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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Parking Fail

So it dawned on me late (naturally), that yesterday's Memory Lane post was my 100th post. Whoohoo! And at some point next month will be my six month blogging anniversary. Yay me! I'd like to thank my followers for sticking around this long, and I hope you continue to stick around to read my pointless ramblings. (hint hint)

So, onto my post for the day.

Just before Christmas, I had to go get cat food. I was very nearly out, and trust me, I've seen how that movie ended. Not pretty.

I went into Petco to get my cat her food, paid for it, and stashed it in the car. As I'm getting in my car, however, I see this older later get out of her car behind me, with her fat little Chihuahua. She proceeds to let her dog meander on its long leash as she walks through the parking lot as she heads to Petco's grooming department.




I don't care if she does have a handicapped plate on her car. To have gone one more row so she was facing  the right direction wouldn't have killed her. Or her fat little Chihuahua.




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Memory Lane Wednesday: Pen Pals

Not long ago, I had an old pen pal find me on Facebook. I was so excited to hear from her, as it has been a couple years or more since we'd written letters. I mean, real letters. None of that e-mail crap.

I started writing to pen pals in 6th grade. My history teacher told us about a program that matched kids based on similar interests after filling out a form. My first pen pal was from Canada, and we wrote back and forth for several years. After that, I had pen pals from several countries, including Greece, Italy, England, and Ghana. 

For a long time, those letters were my only real mail that I received. I'm not counting cards that family sent me for Christmas or my birthday. I mean, until you live on your own, you really don't get mail. And even then, it's bills. Sick joke that is. I looked forward to getting those letters. It was so nice to get a letter. A real letter.

AF in England is the one who found me on Facebook. I don't know how long it took her to find me as I know there are hundreds of people with my name. I'm glad she did, though. I squealed with delight when I saw the friend request from her. She and I wrote for probably close to 10 years, and our biggest shared love was horses. She and I could easily write letters that were 2-4 pages long, sharing what went on in our lives.

Nowadays I forget what it's like to receive a real life letter. I get some Christmas cards in the mail every year, and a few birthday cards. But no letters. It's kind of sad, really. It seems to be a lost art form. We went from handwritten letters to e-mails to Facebook and MySpace. I've even gotten bad at just e-mailing.

My pen pal letters used to bring big smiles to my face and I couldn't wait to open them up to see what was new their part of the world. I miss that. Not that I'm not happy to be able to keep up with AF on Facebook or anything, because I am. And communication is a lot faster that way. And I don't miss having to run to the Post Office to make sure I got enough postage for an overseas letter. Because trust me, it takes forever for the mail to get it back to you if you don't have enough postage on it.

Even though technology makes it easier and faster for all of us to communicate, I miss sitting down and writing a letter to my pen pals. And I miss getting their handwritten ones. I'm sure there will come a generation when they won't even learn to write, they'll just type. And then it will all be lost. Sending and receiving letters will probably be a long lost art form for years to come. But I had fun while it lasted. And that's what matters most.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Charlie Brown Christmas

I  hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I took a few days off from blogging, although I've been trying to keep up with everyone's blogs. Not easy. Some of you were still posting lots and lots!

I love Christmas in my house as usually I get presents three times by the times its all done. Meaning, my dad's side of the family opens everything on Christmas Eve. My mom's side grew up opening everything Christmas morning. So, we have my dad's family over for Christmas Eve and open presents. We have our own little Christmas, just the three of us on Christmas morning. And Christmas afternoon, mom's side comes over and we open presents again. Oh yes. I am spoiled.

This year was a small Christmas for all of us. I made cookies for everyone in my family as I couldn't afford to go out shopping this year.

Christmas Eve we had my dad's family over.  I was up early and helping mom in the kitchen. I was allowed to make the deviled eggs myself for the first time. Usually I have her stand over my shoulder to make sure I get it right. Everyone loved them. My aunt and uncle were running a bit late, so my dad and I took my car in to get my grandparents. We weren't sure if Granddad would fit in my car (if my seat could go back far enough for him) until we got there. He did, though. And it was the first time my dad's parents ever rode in any car of mine. I sat in the back with  Granny, and we were both amazed at the leg room we had in the back. I hadn't sat in my  back seat since I purchased it. My mom cooked a mean lasagna (oh my, it was SO delicious!) and we had cookies and ice cream for dessert. Then it was present time!

Christmas Day, my parents had to wake me up, as usual. For some reason, growing up, my parents had to wake me up instead of the other way around to see was Santa brought. Apparently my cat had been sleeping on top of me, and jumped off me when my dad came into the room with the dog behind him, her nails tick-ticking on the hardwood floors. My cat hates dogs and apparently believes they are all out to kill her. Her claws digging in before she jumped woke me up, as it's quite painful. I then went out to see what Santa brought. Yes. Santa still visits our  house, and always will. Y'all can stop looking at me funny. Like, now, would be good.

My mom's family came over in the afternoon. Nana brought Scrabble, and her, my mom, my aunt, and myself played a game of Scrabble. On the second game, Sonny played in my aunt's place. Nana is very good at this game, and I have no recollection of ever beating her at it . . . or Monopoly, but I actually won the second game. I used up my tiles first and only after adding in everyone's extra tiles did I win by score. My mom had cooked a ham for dinner, and we had pie for dessert. We didn't exchange presents this year, it being financially tight for all of us. But we still had a wonderful afternoon/evening of visiting and playing Scrabble. And that's really what Christmas is about. Spending time with your family.

Today (Sunday), I was the first up, at 8:30am. That's not normal, folks. I walked out of my room and realized my parents were still asleep (they did deserve a good rest!), so I fed the dogs and let them out. I then turned on the TV (they have satellite, which is wonderful for the girl who doesn't even have cable) and found Law & Order:UK. I hadn't seen it yet; my parents said they had tried it and lasted about 15 minutes because they couldn't hardly understand the actors . . . being that it's a British TV show and all. I figured I'd like it, because I like British TV, at least what I've seen. I selected the channel and settled it. I enjoyed it. The phone rang at 9:30 - it was Granny trying her new phones she got for Christmas - and that is what finally got both my parents out of bed. My dad sees me watching Law & Order:UK and asks, "You like it?" I said yes . . . and a few minutes later after listening to actors discuss something,  he looked at me and asked, "Can you actually understand them?" "Yes, dad". I mean, other than the occasional slang term (which you can usually pick up their meaning anyway), I understand it. Even with the accents.

Also, I met my BFF in town for lunch today. She's pretty wiped out, as Christmas was stressful for her this year and she didn't get to relax like she had thought she would get to. I gave her tons of hugs, which I know she needed, and we had a nice lunch. She gave me a book, which I can't wait to start reading once I've finished the other book I just got for Christmas.

My mom was going to cook spaghetti tonight. She makes the best. However, she's pooped, and doesn't feel like cooking so it looks like I'll be running into town for some take out. Which is fine for me, as she did a lot of cooking this weekend!

All in all, it was a nice little Christmas. I've enjoyed my 5 days off work, and I really don't want to go back tomorrow night. Vacations are never long enough.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Memory Lane Wednesday: Grandma and the Box of Hair Dye

Morale of the story: Never allow an old woman near a box of hair dye. Especially when no one knows how old the box of dye is.

Every so often, we would invite my great-grandma to stay a weekend at our house. After Grandpa passed away, we didn't want her feeling alone. She'd enjoy visiting with us, and doing whatever she wished.

This is probably my favorite story to tell of my Grandma, because it's just freaking hilarious.

This one weekend, more than likely in the summer, Mom arrived home with Grandma in tow. Mom carried Grandma's bag into the house, and I got up out of the recliner to greet them. Mom kept walking, and basically refused to say much, other than "hi". Grandma followed behind her, and what I saw was fairly shocking.
She was grinning ear to ear, and asked how I liked her hair. Being the good granddaughter I am, I smiled and said it looked very nice. However, I did notice her hair had an odd sheen to it.

I began following my mother around the house. "Mom?" "Mom." "Hey, Mom?" "Uh . . . Mom??" She knew exactly what I was trying to ask her, but Grandma was always in ear shot. I finally cornered her in her bedroom. She turned to me and asked, "What's up?" Like I hadn't been following her for the last 15 minutes.

"Mom, why is Grandma's hair green?!"

"She said she found this old box of hair dye in her vanity, and thought she'd use it up. "

I'd seen the vanity. It was full of stuff no one, let alone her, ever used. Only God could possibly know how long that box of hair dye had been buried in the vanity.

So, for the whole weekend, we complimented her on her hair. She had no idea that it was green. It was a pretty pale shade of green, but it was, nevertheless, green.





My great-grandmother. Without the green hair.  :o)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rain Gear Fail

So the past few days here have been rain, rain, rain, rain . . . you get the idea. For two straight days it was a mere drizzle. More annoying than anything. The suddenly, since about 4:30 Sunday morning, it's been raining. Hard. Like, windshield wipers on high and near hydro-planing on the freeway to get home from work this morning. Around 2:30 this afternoon, I awoke to such a racket. A torrential downpour that was pelting the windows. Forget raining cats and dogs. Shit. This was raining hippos and elephants.

As I looked out the window I saw what would be categorized as an "epic fail". One would think that in the face on such a downpour that one would fully understand how to dress in this situation.




Okay, while the guy in the middle looks like a complete arse, at least they are prepared for the weather. Perhaps only missing the umbrella. At the very least, one would have a hooded sweatshirt on, with hood up, and an umbrella.

Not wearing gray tights, skin tight yellow t-shirt, and ballet flats. Nor would you want to run shrieking through the rain carrying a weather unprotected baby in your arms, running pell-mell into drive without properly looking before the possibility of a car coming through. And why the hell are you shrieking anyway? It's not like you had any fucking idea it was raining outside!!

I guess at least they weren't dressed like this:

 
 
Right. Perspective.  Gotta keep that perspective.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm Half-Assin' It

Well, I'm a follower, dammit, so therefore, it was only a matter of time before I followed Simple Dude in his Half Ass weekend posts. It was inevitable. Doomed Destined to happen. I am a Simpleton, after all.



 
Yesterday I noticed something made me slightly uncomfortable. My new neighbors across the drive staring at my apartment. Kinda creepy. The building across from mine is a set of two bedroom apartments, my building is a set of one bedrooms. So my sliding glass door is in my "dining/living" area, as opposed to the "master bedroom" of the two bedrooms. Yesterday as I was cleaning the mess on my dining table, I noticed that the new folks across the drive had their blinds open on their slider and I could see the blue sheets on their bed. I wondered if they realized that no one around here seems to have the blinds open on the windows the peer into their bedrooms. No one. Suddenly I noticed a pair of striped pajama bottoms standing in front of their slider. I kept to my own business, but kept glancing over and noticed that those pajama bottoms were still there. They even sat on the bed, facing my direction. Hmm. Chilling. It was like that for about an hour or so. I would have thought it was a pair of starched bottoms that had a life of their own until they went and sat on the bed. I eventually closed my blinds just to keep their prying eyes from continuing to creep me the fuck out. They really need to find someone else to peek in on, as my life is boring and my apartment is a mess. Plus I really don't want to get sucked into a weird version of Rear Window.

Christmas is next weekend and I'm having a hard time accepting it. I mean, where did the year go? Seriously, isn't only like, August or something? How did it become Christmas already? This year I have been avoiding the malls and stores because I'm broke, and can't afford much other than groceries and the occasional Big Mac. That reminds me, I need cat food. Please do not ask how a Big Mac reminded me I nee cat food . . . just go with it. I've thought about purchasing a tree, but I'd have to get a new tree stand since mine somehow got lost in my last move. Plus, there won't be presents under it so it would be a bit depressing. Looks like I'm Charlie Browning it again this year. Cool by me, since I am Charlie Brown and all.





I watched Letters to Juliet today, and enjoyed it. Anyone who is looking for a decent chick flick to watch, I would recommend this one. I had no idea about letter writing to Juliet, but apparently, people travel to Verona, Italy and leave letters/notes on Juliet's house. I found it romantic, sentimental, and a wee bit silly. But it's still sweet.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Hi, Boss? Here's my two month's notice . . .

It's now officially official - I've given notice to everyone. Well, except my apartment, but that will come just after the holidays.

If you missed my rant on the anonymous jackwagon that leaked out to management about my leaving, please click here.

My supervisor asked to speak with me on Wednesday night, turns out, it was regarding this "rumor" she had heard. I sat down, and told her everything . . . well, not about my blog or anything, but that the rumor was true. She blamed Facebook; the fact that I put everything on Facebook seemed to be the evil factor in all of this. Anyway, she was rather Zen about it. She was totally fine with it. I think she was more worried that I was uncomfortable talking to her, which wasn't he case. After working there for six years, I sorta figured I'd get the "You're leaving me?" line, but other than that, I was just planning on waiting until after the holidays.

Turns out, another gal put in her notice the same night. My poor supervisor.
I've told my volunteer gigs, as well. At Saddle Pals, they were shocked and wanted to know all the gory details. And the instructor told me I couldn't leave until February 18th, as that's the last day of the next session. Another gal at Saddle Pals told me that if I needed any help whatsoever, to call her and she'd be there in an instant. I told her I will welcome any and all friendly faces that wish to come visit me in Sticksville, USA.

At Homeward Bound, Jody (the gal who runs it), was so excited for me, she hugged me. Two other volunteers that were there heard everything as well, and were both excited for me. Jody has heard me talk of the ranch before, and knows how much I love it up there, and knows that that is where I wish to be. She also has requested I send her pictures.

As scared as I am of this huge shift in my life, I'm welcoming it. All of the support has been overwhelming. My family, though a bit shocked by my announcement at Thanksgiving, gave me wishes of good luck and encouragement. My best friend, while fully understanding my dislike of being 8 hours away from her instead of 2, knows I'm not a city girl and has assured me that nothing will ever change between us. My co-workers have all wished me well, and know that I am moving on and up in my life and only want to stay in touch. Several have offered their homes to me as my hotel when I come to visit. While I fear I will fall on my face in a big steaming pile of cow shit, I wonder if I can ever fail if I'm supported by so many?

The votes were unanimous in my going up there. Not a single person said I was wrong for even considering it. Those who know me know that I don't like city life. Sacramento is 400,00 people. That's about 350,000 more than I'm comfortable with. Even my boss was supportive and answered questions I had about my 401k or my vacation time that will be paid out. Every single person I know that spoke out, whether on Facebook or my wonderful peeps in the blogoshpere, showed me nothing but love and support.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. While I'm sure I would have made the same decision even if all the naysayers showed up, I'm so thankful that none of them did.

After 6.5 years, I'm finally getting myself a day job.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Memory Lane Wednesday: How to (Embarrassingly) Break Your Foot

In the summer of 2001, I finished my first year at Chico State. I mean, actually taking classes. I had been working for a vet clinic there, that since February of that year, had been making my life miserable. Okay, I take that back. It wasn't the clinic itself, it was the office manager.

In March I nearly walked out but got talked down  by my Dad who happened to be in town on business and brought me dinner when I called and begged for food, having locked myself in the towel room and was crying. For the next few months I kept trying to figure out how to leave without anyone knowing I was looking for a new job. That office manager must have had ears like a freaking fox because she caught wind of it pretty damn early.

However, on Memorial Day weekend of that year, I accidentally found a way to leave my job without having to immediately find another job. I broke my foot.

I had gone to my parents house to house-sit for them for the weekend while they got to go camping in style (i.e. in a trailer). I didn't really mind, though. It's not like house-sitting for them is super hard. Considering I lived there prior to moving out. I had to turn water on and off, feed the pets, possibly water plants and not burn the place down.

Also, during this time, my boyfriend at the time, was in another state, working on an internship. I think he had already gotten out of school by the holiday weekend. One night, we were talking on the phone, and he said his cell phone was dying or he was running out of minutes on his calling card. Enough time has passed, I really can't remember. But for whatever reason, we had to hang up, and he promised to call me back the next day. I assumed the next night.

I assumed wrong.

At 7am the next morning, the phone rings. I was dead asleep. So naturally, the phone scared the Holy Living Shit right out of me. Literally. My body literally jumped off the bed all at once (like a damn cartoon or something), and when I landed it wasn't on the bed. I landed on the floor, semi-on my feet.

And I heard a very loud crack!

FYI, cracks are not good. Pops are livable. Cracks are not. Just in case you didn't know that.

Somehow in my momentary flight to the ceiling, I had grabbed the phone, turned it on, and by the time I was sort of on my feet, hanging on to my dresser in order to not crumple into a pile on the floor, I was saying "Hello?" in my most awake and upbeat voice. I couldn't fool boyfriend, who was like, "What the hell was all that?" Thinking fast, I mumbled something about how I'd twisted my ankle in the corral or something. I hopped back over to my bed, which was like two feet from my dresser, and laid down. My left foot throbbed like it was nobody's business.

We talked for awhile, and as I stared at my left foot, I saw a goose egg form on the outside of my left foot. After getting off the phone, I tried standing on it. Big mistake.  I couldn't even set it on the floor. Obviously something was very wrong. I managed to dress myself without saying too many cuss words, and hopped on my right foot through the house to feed the animals. I was thanking God we didn't have the horses anymore as I'm not sure I really could have carried hay and hopped all at the same time. It's not as easy as walking and chewing gum.

I eventually hopped out to my car and drove myself to a walk-in clinic. I waited in the waiting room for what seemed like eternity. And suddenly the fact that I really hadn't eaten anything was catching up to me. Plus I think a delayed reaction to what happened to my foot. I basically blacked out in the waiting room. And in case you were wondering, puking and blacking out in the waiting room will get their attention and take you in before all the others who were actually before you. Plus they will get you cookies and water.

I had x-rays done and it was proved that I had in fact, broken the outside bone on my left foot. No one however, believed me when I told them how this had happened. I jumped out of bed to answer the phone. Yeah. I'd look at me funny, too. They gave me my x-rays so I could take them to my orthopedist of choice and sent me home with a set of crutches. And suggested I didn't drive, considering my episode in the waiting room. I immediately went to get food and felt like a million dollars.

Now I just had to tell my boss and my parents. Right.

A kennel tech was supposed to be in around 3pm to start work on weekends. I called for 5 hours and no one answered the phone. Until my manager happened to pick up. I told her how long I'd been trying, and then told her what happened. She was less than pleased since I was supposed to be at work the next day, and now she found out I would be out for at least two months. Then I called one of my mom's co-workers to get the number for the RV park my parents were in as I couldn't find it anywhere. And no, that part of the wilderness does not get cell phone reception. It didn't then and it doesn't now. I talked to one of the owners and asked them to please get a message to my parents in space whatever to call me at their earliest convenience . . . it's a very minor emergency.

My parents call back, my mom totally freaking out. They almost left that afternoon to come home, but I was fine, and told them they could still stay the night and come back as planned the next day. Since I had never broken a thing in my life, they were only slightly concerned that I had a broken foot.
With my parents help, I got in to see our family physician the next day, and was referred to an orthopedist, whom I saw by the end of the week. The doctors' concerns were only that if the crack had continued it would have gone into my ankle joint and it would have required screws and pins and shit. But I technically had a "fracture" as it wasn't a clean break. Whatever folks. I still can't walk.

I got a cast put on with pretty purple tape on the outside. Anyone ever had to wear a cast? Sucks when there's an itch. Oh does it suck. I kept a wire coat hanger next to me at all times. Anyone ever had to wear a cast in summer? Yeah. That sucks majorly. Especially when in Northern California it can easily be triple digits. Often. And shopping on crutches isn't fun. I had to buy new books so I wasn't too bored. The walk to the store never seemed so damn long.

And anytime I went anywhere, people made some sort of assumption as to how I broke my foot. Considering just about anything was less embarrassing than how it really happened, I just let them think whatever. So, over time, I broke my foot by playing soccer, softball, volleyball, falling off a horse, hang gliding. Whatever they said, that's what happened.

By the way, if you ever intend on ending up on crutches, don't live in an upstairs apartment. Because going up and down stairs on crutches is the furthest thing from fun as you can possibly imagine. Scary. Shit.

And strangely enough, I found three other people that broke the same bone on the same foot that summer. What are the odds?

My manager had told me that she couldn't hold my position for me for two months. I told her I understood and did a happy dance in my chair. As soon as I could walk, I was out looking for another job. And I found me one at Petco. Strangely enough, when I went back to my manager to ask for a letter of reference she was shocked to hear I was quitting. Um. WTF? You tell me you can't hold my position for two months, yet you did unbeknownst to me, and you're shocked when I find another job? Tell me when any of this makes sense to you. You idiot.

My broken foot had been my way out of that horrible job. Actually the job wasn't the bad part. It was the office manager. I started work at Petco the day after I got my cast off.

Oh, by the way, if you've never worn a cast, your leg looks might fugly when you get it off. Shriveled and hairy. I couldn't get a razor to it fast enough.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Et Tu Brute?

I recently learned something that annoyed me. This was a few days ago. I thought if I just put it in the back of my mind, I wouldn't be annoyed with it anymore. That I would simply move on from it. Apparently, I was wrong.

While I admit that I'm partially to blame, I firmly believe that I still have every right to be upset that someone betrayed my confidence. Or so I'm told.
News reached me that someone that I work with has betrayed my confidence and spilled to a member of management about my leaving. I don't know who said it, and I'm not sure which member of management it was told to. But someone did say they overheard it. And they wanted me to be careful about what I post.  I was careful - and now I'm sick of it. I trusted people, and this is where it got me. Hurt, pissed off, and I think my trip-a-bitch foot is starting to twitch.

Now, I fully understand that perhaps I should have waited until after I had told my supervisor to put my decision into print in the blogoshphere. However, everyone else who knows my secret has (as far as I know) kept up their end of the bargain. They have all promised to not say anything until they know that I have finally worked up the courage to talk to my supervisor. But I also didn't want to give two and a half months notice. Because that's like, too much.

What upsets me is someone amongst  the people who have promised to not say anything has gone against that promise. Not only does it make me angry, but it hurts my feelings. It hurts to know I can no longer trust that person - and it's annoying not knowing which person said something. It was not their place to go running their mouth. It was not their place to say something to management.

It was mine. And now I have no idea if my supervisor knows but just isn't saying anything to me about it.

How dare they do this? Obviously a lack of respect for my feelings, I suppose. A chance to be at the top of the gossip mill food chain, perhaps?





I guess if they feel it's their place to go around notifying management about my decision, then perhaps they should come give notice to my apartment complex, too? And put in for change of address to my creditors? Sign me up for new utilities at my new place? Arrange for assistance with the heavy lifting? Pack my shit and load it in a trailer? And then I can watch them in my rear-view mirror with the shit-eating grin on their face as I leave town, right?

I have lost respect for this person and no longer trust them. I can't put my trust in them to keep a secret; I no longer trust who they are.  I only wish I knew which one to be rightly pissed at. Perhaps I trust too easily. Perhaps I'm naive like that. I guess I'm one of those people who still believe in the good in people. Therefore I'm crushed when someone crosses me like this.

Next time, if you have no intention of keeping a "promise", don't "promise" to do so. Just stab me in the front next time so at least I can see it coming, okay?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ummmm . . . Really? LOL

If only I had gotten a picture, this blog post would oh-so-much easier. Alas, I couldn't. I could easy be seen and I didn't want to appear rude.

I was having lunch with a friend today, at a nice little cafe in town. We'd been there a couple hours having a nice time, talking laughing. I suddenly stopped dead my conversation at on point because of what I saw. I can't even find anything to do it justice on Google looking for similar images. 
I couldn't speak for fear of bursting out laughing in front of the poor woman's face. I just started sipping my water while my eyes watered up because I was holding in my fit of laughter. I then buried my face in my hands, trying not to laugh out loud. Nothing was working. I was rather surprised at the fact that this was allowed inside the establishment, but maybe because it was technically contained they were okay with it. I have no idea. All I know is that this woman stopped about half a dozen conversations as she was led to her table by the hostess.

Imagine, if you will, an nice elderly woman, of maybe 60-ish in  a pink track suit.

Pushing a stroller. 

A pink satin stroller. 

With a long haired chihuahua in a vest.
I shit you not.

Like I said, I sooooo wanted to take a picture, but I thought it might be rude just taking one when the gal could see me and all.

We decided we could no longer have any conversation as we were both trying so hard not to laugh that we were nearly crying. And all we could think about was the little dog laying in it's pink satin stroller, getting caressed by it's mom as she ordered herself a glass of wine. Oddly enough, it was pink in color, too.

And no, the dog was not disabled - it had all four legs. And it had use of them.
Overkill, lady. Overkill.

But, thank you oh so much for the laughs!



Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick Updates

Awhile back, I complained in some detail about the United Way Campaign at my job. Fortunately, I wasn't bothered more than a couple times to buy all sorts of crap. On principle, I wound up not participating in my own department's fundraiser.

The campaign lasted 8 weeks. I had to endure my boss every week telling everyone to participate and donate. Come to find out, it was a competition between departments; whoever raised the most money got some sort of booby prize. I can't remember what it was, but I remember catching wind of it. And not only was my boss running her mouth about donating money, every time there was an event, everyone told me to join them as they all headed to the break room or conference room to participate.

All in all, our goal (just for our lab, this is not including the other two dozen labs in the United States) was to raise around $8700. In the end, our lab raised around $9300. Most of it was in pledge cards, so that people donated so much out of every paycheck (somewhere around $6000), and the rest was from the weekly fundraisers. I'm glad that we surpassed our goal, I think it's awesome that those who could give did so.

As for me, I'm soooooo glad it's over. Every week I had to explain to people I didn't have the money to donate. Then I'd get people who said they'd pay for me. As nice as that was of people to offer (I think so that I'd be included), I simply couldn't do it morally. It's one thing to bum a couple quarters off people because the soda machine ate some of mine, but to let people easily spend $10 on me just so I could participate in one of the events - no. I just couldn't handle that.

After the first week (click on the first link above) where I was basically humiliated, I feared the remaining 7 weeks were going to be pure Hell. Luckily, it wasn't pure. It was slightly diluted. I'm just glad it's over and I can rest peacefully.


As for Henry Higgins, it's doubtful that this person will ever get punished for their misdeeds. I have yet to find out that anything was ever done. Although, as far as I can tell, they haven't left early on a weekend since then. It's not right, it's not fair, and it fucking sucks. All I can say is Karma is one bad ass bitch, and I hope to God she's aiming straight for that person.

Everyone who knows any detail of what happened knows that it wasn't right to punish the person who did get punished. Especially as severely as they did. But for that person to be singled out and punished is even worse. The fact that Mr. Henry Higgins has yet to be touched by managerial punishment simply because they are fast at their job is about the shittiest excuse I've ever heard. Favoritism in that sense should not be allowed, and being that that person said they'd do the punished person's job and didn't and got away with it is a huge no-no in my book.

Some day, some where, some how, you will get yours.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

That's Where That Is!

I have slowly started going through things to start packing and whatnot. In fact, I had a moment of productivity this morning. I have lived in my apartment for about a year and a half. I downsized from a two bedroom to a one bedroom. I didn't really save on rent, however, I no longer lived next door to crack heads, and got my own washer and dryer (hooray for no more laundromats!). After the move, I still had plenty of shit that had to stay hidden in boxes because I just didn't have the space.

Enter the present.

Do I mean to tell myself that I still have the shit I thought I lost (or didn't even know I  had)?! In my moment of productivity, I found:

  • My back-up back scratcher, which I had been wondering what happened to it since my collapsible one died awhile back. And I've been dying for a back scratcher. Seriously, I could just sit on the couch and scratch my back all day with it, it feels so damn good.
  • Some scrapbooking materials that I thought I didn't even have. That means project!! Something to fill any future voids! (Am I too enthusiastic?)
  • 3 open boxes of Christmas cards. Now if only I had extra money to pay for postage . . . Guess that means I'm ahead of the game for next year.
  • 3 open boxes of Thank You cards. Apparently I won't need to go buy more to thank family and friends for Christmas and birthday gifts this year . . . or next year. Or the year after that . . .
  • My Coach purse that I thought had gotten lost or stuck in a yard sale pile. 
  • My laptop bag that I use to travel with my laptop. Seriously looked everywhere when I went on vacay to my grandparents place in October. Sheesh.
  • 5 baseball caps.   One of which I'd been wondering about for awhile . . .  
  • A 3-pack of legal pads. Hmmm . .  . guess that means I shouldn't have stolen 3 from work, huh?
  • A few CD-R's. Whoohoo that means more mixed tapes CD's in my future! Rainy day project!


I'm sure the list will continue to grow. Could make for interesting moments of productivity. I mean, God only knows what else I will find . . . 


On the flip side, I can no longer find the keys to my filing cabinet. My "safe place" failed me.






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Memory Lane Wednesday: Narcoleptic Adventures at Taco Bell

Since everyone seems to have at least one theme for a day of the week, I shall try for my own. I may jump on the Random Tuesday Thoughts bandwagon that Jess and Jewels have, but since it's Wednesday, I sorta  missed that boat. Naturally. I think I shall try Memory Lane Wednesday. I will just pick some random memory, and share it. Hopefully it will stick. If not, oh well, I gave it shot. At least for one day, right? So here goes:
 
About two years ago, I was working swing shift at my current job. I worked 3pm to 11:30pm. I found out that this shift was actually worse than regular graveyard. Mostly because after a few months the workload increased to the point that I was a wee bit frazzled working anywhere from 10 to 18 hours in a shift to get the work done. Anyway, after one of those 12 hours days, I was pooped and didn't want to cook anything at home (not to mention it was 2am). I was going to go the lazy route and hit up a drive-thru. Taco Bell to be exact.
 
I pulled into line behind a tuna-boat of a car, who was behind a nice brand new Toyota Camry, who was behind some other car at the speaker box. A minute later, the car at the speaker box moves on around the corner. The Camry doesn't move. It just sits there. Like a bump on a log.
 
The guy in the tuna-boat car peers out of his window and finally just pulls around the Camry. He keeps glancing back at the Camry, and now it's my turn to poke my head out the side window at the Camry. There was in fact a driver in the driver's seat, her arm on the door, her window down. Tuna-boat guy orders his food, then starts to get out of his car. I did this as well because I was deathly afraid this poor woman had suffered a heart attack while waiting in line and was either in need of an ambulance or a hearse. Tuna-boat guy and I slowly walk up to the car, both of us looking concerned. I said, "Ma'am?" and he rapped on the hood. The woman in the Camry jolted awake. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and Tuna-boat guy said, "Damn! I thought she was dead!"
 
The woman didn't say a word to either one of us, which I thought she should have at least said, "Oh I'm sorry!" Tuna-boat guy pulled his car around the corner and Camry-lady pulled up to order her food and moved on. I pulled up, ordered my food, and moved on around the corner. The guy behind me did the same.
 
So at the pay/food window, Tuna-boat guy was waiting. Camry-lady had pulled in behind him and put her car in park. I immediately saw this as a bad sign. I just knew what would happen. A few moments later Tuna-boat guy gets his food and he pulls out. I waited a minute behind the Camry, while the poor Taco Bell workers just stared out the window waiting for the next car. I hung my head. I got out of my car and went to the Camry again. I knocked on the door, saying "Ma'am?" She jolted awake, put her car in drive and screeched the three feet to the window. At the window, she acted like she was in a hurry, as if she'd had to wait an hour for her food to be prepared. Really?
 
She got her food and screeched out. I pulled up and shook my head at the poor employees.
 
I would have reported her to CHP or something, but her car was new, and had no plates.  And I didn't get my food fast enough to follow her. If you're that tired, possibly consider not resting in a drive-thru. If you're narcoleptic, consider not operating heavy equipment, such as a car. And if someone has to wake your sorry ass up twice, please apologize and thank them. Common courtesy.
 
Of course, it would have been common courtesy to not fall asleep in the drive-thru to begin with. Duh.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Seriously?

Dear Internet Connection:
 
I just wanted to tell you how much I love it when I try to leave a comment on a fellow blogger's post you reset my connection once I've hit the "post comment" button. After I've typed a small novel.
 
Excuse me? What the hell did you need to reset, you retard? I was already connected, browsing at my will. And then you decide to "reset" my connection so that after all my hard work, my comment is possibly lost? Into the black void of computer-land? Screw you.  And the horse you rode in on.
 
Love, Kisses, and the Finger,
JDay
 
 
To Jewels, if you read this, here is the comment I attempted to post on your latest post regarding your open auditions for friends (since at the moment, I have no way of knowing if it actually went through . . . if it did, I'm sure it's slightly changed as I re-typed it):
 
If I didn't live 3000 miles away, I would sign myself up. But alas, long distance relationships never work, so I will take myself out of the running. Besides, I hate getting called on my shit (not that I'm crazy about calling others on theirs either), and I don't drink. Plus, it seems that we have a similar taste in men, therefore I could see us killing each other over said men, which would make it all a moot point if we actually did kill each other. However, I insist that you write your stories on here, so that I may live vicariously through you. Don't forget to include your dark twisted sense of humor, as I'm pretty sure we share that, too. I wish you the best of luck on your friend search endeavor.  :o)

Seriously, I hit "post comment", I get a notice on my browser saying the connection was reset, and I click on your link and I'm taken to GoDaddy.com. That shit is so random, it's just freaky. One day I can click your link and be taken to you, other days, it takes me to GoDaddy. That's just some weird shit. Oh, please don't think I'm mad at you, for I'm pretty sure the fault of the linkage issues isn't actually your doing. Next time I will copy/paste my comment before hitting any buttons just in case my browser pulls it's random idiocracy again. It's like the third time my browser did something retarded. Annoying. As. Hell. I had to restart my computer like three times to get stuff to work right.

Man, how I love technology.

Friday, December 3, 2010

For the Love of Books

Now that the spreading of the Blog Love to all my wonderful followers is done, I shall attempt a real post. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here to find out!

Yesterday I finished a book. Not that this is like a news flash or anything, as I love to read. I used to always carry a book around with me as a kid - drove my parents nuts. However, after I finished the book, I realized even just a few years ago I might never have tried it. Why? It wasn't by Dean Koontz.
I admit, I am a huge Dean Koontz fan. It's extremely rare for me to not enjoy every word written in each of his novels. I am constantly lying in wait for his next book to come out in paperback (I'm not a fan of hard cover).

But it got me thinking. Or rather, remembering. I have always seemed to be quite selective when it came to my books. As a kid, I only read horse books. This of course limited my reading material. I had few exceptions, but if I found a book that had anything to do with horses, I was reading it. I guess you could say I was slightly obsessed? I mostly remember reading The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley as a kid. I read those so many times I can still tell you about every book. I actually wrote to Walter Farley for school once. We all had to write a letter to our favorite authors. I was singled out as mine was the only one who happened to be dead. I wrote to him in 1989 I believe, and he had passed away only in the last year. I was so disheartened to hear that my favorite author had passed on.

My great-grandma gave me my first non-horse book that I remember enjoying. I believe it was Sweet Valley Twins. I was around 11, I think. After that, I slowly branched out. Very slowly. I was still obsessed with horses, so I was still after those books. I used to spend a day of the week in summer with my Nana, who would take me to the library. I usually always got the same books, just re-reading the same material. One summer, I decided I wouldn't check out a single book I had already read. It  was a huge challenge for me. But I made it. I read new books for the whole summer. And you know what? I enjoyed them. I used to live going to the library with Nana. Then libraries became my study hall and the bane of my existence in college.

I eventually branched out into the books written by R.L. Stine. These lead me to my first Dean Koontz book, Strangers. I've been hooked ever since. I've tried reading Stephen King, but his shit comes from so far out in left field I have no idea how that man sleeps at night. The few books of his that I've read, I did enjoy but they were so freaking weird they actually gave me weird dreams. Something Dean Koontz's books never did. One book that I read that I wound up loving was The Diary of Anne Frank. I later bought myself a copy at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

A few years ago, though, I ran into a snag. I had read all of Dean Koontz's work to date, and Stephen King did little to help me sleep at night. I had nothing to read and I was anxious for a book. Enter Harry Potter. I had happened across the movies and found that I enjoyed them. After the 4th film (Goblet of Fire), I decided I would try to the books. I had heard nothing but good things about them. I loved them. I devoured them. And when the 7th book (Deathly Hallows) came out, I realized there was no way I would be able to wait a year for it to come out in paperback. It's one of the rare books I own in hard cover.

After enjoying Harry Potter, I thought, maybe I should just try random books. So I did. Soon I had a stack of books on my dining table just waiting for me to read them. I'm not a speed-reader, I enjoy just lounging with a book. I would browse the book section in Target for something that caught my eye. I'd spend ages in Barnes & Noble's trying to choose. I enjoyed every book I bought and tried.

I read two of Alice Sebold's books, Lovely Bones and Almost Moon. I'm still on the fence about the latter. I enjoyed the former, however. I read Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. If you haven't read it, you should - my mom borrowed and won't give it back as she has a line of friends that want to read it, too! At least I'm getting my money's worth!

I also started to attempt the classics. I started with Jane Austen. And of course, I started with Pride & Prejudice. I admit it took me a bit to get into it. No one talks like that anymore, that old English and we no longer use a portion of the vocabulary they used back then. I had to break out the damned dictionary. And luckily for me, the Barnes & Noble Classics have notes by scholars in them, defining some words and describing other things so I didn't have to look shit up on Wikipedia or something. I mean, really, how many different types of carriages did there have to be??? Anyway, about half way through the book I couldn't put it down. I had to know. Then I moved on to her other novels and loved them almost as much as Pride & Prejudice. And my best friend introduced me to the hilarious Jen Lancaster - some of her stuff had me laughing in such fits I couldn't stop for 30 minutes.

The book I just finished was loaned to me by a co-worker, who shares my love of Pride  Prejudice. It was called The Pemberley Chronicles, and it continues the story of everyone in Pride & Prejudice. I did get a wee bit tired of hearing about all the happy marriages, but really enjoyed the book.
I recently purchased a book by Kathy Reich, whose books spawned the TV show "Bones", which I adore. Now that I'm done with my recent read, I will be trying out Kathy Reich. 

I also want to continue attempting the classics, although some of them seem to scare me. For lack of a better term. I tried Uncle Tom's Cabin, and got about 2 chapters in and realized I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I couldn't understand anything. I tried a couple more times, to no avail. Perhaps some books make me wonder, simply because of the classics I was forced to read in school. No offense to anyone, but Steinbeck bores me to tears. I pretty much failed every quiz relating to The Grapes of Wrath because I never made it past that damned turtle chapter. And I hated Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm. Because I didn't like the premise of the books I had to read, not to mention I was forced to read them, I think these are partly reasons why I can stand at the Classics section in Barns & Noble for an hour and walk out with nothing. However, one day, I will actually try another one.

I'm not saying I was right or wrong as a child to be so selective in my reading. I did learn a lot about horses that way. My love of Arabian horses comes from the Black Stallion books - in fact, my first horse was Arabian. But I see movies that are being made out of some of the classics like Narnia, where I enjoy the movies and I wonder if I would have enjoyed the books as a kid? We'll never know now if I would have.

For now, all I can do is keep moving slowly forward and dive into all sorts of new worlds.

Except for Twilight. I don't do vampires. Even sparkly ones.



 

Tis the Season for the Blog Lovin'

I truly love when I check up on my blogs in the morning after work and find that someone was generous enough to pass around an award. Especially when someone played Oprah and gave all of her followers the award. Canadian Blogger Girl was generous to give this award to everyone. 



This award has one condition: to pimp CBG's blog. So here's my plug: go check out her blog, you won't be sorry! 

 And now it's my turn to play Oprah (yes, I'm stealing CBG's idea). I never do like having to choose which blogs to pass awards on to, because then I feel like a git for not passing it on to everyone. I enjoy all of your blogs, and I appreciate you taking the time out to read my rambles. And I will keep the rule that CBG had, just pimp my blog and pass on the blog love to whomever you wish.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How To Annoy Me 101

I consider myself somewhat laid back. Yes, I can get worked up over stupid little things, just like everyone else. But overall, it's hard to really piss me off. However, it's fairly easy to annoy me. And unfortunately, I could possibly be charged with assault for beating the snot out of those that do annoy me. Whether or not they realize they're doing it.

Referring to me as "special". I've recently written about my issue with eczema on my hands due to an allergic reaction to a new brand of gloves at work. Due to this reaction, I can no longer wear that type of glove, especially that brand. I have taken to wearing vinyl gloves, which seem to be doing okay. Unfortunately, they are clear and therefore are clearly different than all the pretty colored gloves we have. Several people have taken notice of my "special" gloves and have somehow attached the word "special" to me. On several occasions in the last couple weeks, people will say to me, "You're so special, you get special gloves." Or, "Why do you get special gloves?" Things like that. It technically does not offend me, but it annoys the shit out of me, as I've already told folks why I can no longer where the normal gloves. Singling me out as "special" will do you no favors with me. All of my co-workers are aware of the issue, so is my boss, and that's why I no longer touch the other gloves. It is not my fault that our company has decided to be cheap bastards and therefore change to a cheaper brand of glove that has a different additive that I'm apparently allergic to. It is not my fault that I am now forced to wear the "special" gloves. I don't want to be "special", I just want to do my job without my hands itching so bad I want to scratch the skin off. So, quit referring to me as "special" with "special" gloves. You make me sound and feel like I'm the paste-eating kid in the fucking corner.

Make me tell you the same thing ten times. Really? It's one thing if there's something loud in your ear and you can't hear me. It's another if I've already told you five times in the last 30 minutes. I don't care what it is I told you. If you're new to a bench and ask questions, even the same ones, I understand. You need time for it to sink in, to fully understand it all. When you've been doing the bench for several months to several years, I shouldn't have to tell you shit ten times. Don't make me send out "friendly reminder" e-mails to everyone just because you're a damned idiot and refuse to do it right. When you've been somewhere long enough, I shouldn't have to tell you what it is, what to do with it, and why. Put on your big girl panties and fucking do it. I'm not your mother and they don't pay me to be your nanny.

Invade my personal bubble. I fully understand and comprehend that everyone is different when it comes to this idea. Everyone is raised a little differently - different family dynamics or cultures. But y'all need to understand that, too. If we're telling secrets, yes, it's okay to be near me to tell me said secret. But in general, keep in mind the average person likes to have their own personal space. Some elbow room. Don't be standing so close to me that when I move, I do an accidental boob graze. Don't make me feel claustrophobic.  If you don't move away when I ask nicely, I get rude. Because you're in my fucking space. If you get upset that I'm getting rude, it's your own damn fault. I asked you nicely to start with. Your inability to move away from me will not induce me to be nicer. In fact, after rude, comes bitch. After that, I become  tattle tail and go to the boss. Respect the bubble.

Make me attend a training session where I learn nothing. Waste. Of. Time. Seriously, I could have slept another hour under my wonderful electric blanky. Instead I had to get up earlier than usual to make sure I was early to attend this uber-important training session. Once there, I'm plopped into a chair in a cold office, watching a boring Powerpoint presentation while on a conference call with half a dozen other night shift members from other labs across the country. Where I am forced to hear roll call of every lab in the country, and mine is at the end of the list because it's at the end of the fucking alphabet. Then I'm forced to listen to the creators of this wonderous Powerpoint as they read it verbatim to me over the phone. Really? I couldn't have just clicked through it myself? I had to have it narrated? What the Hell? And may I remind you, I learned nothing I didn't already know. So, what was the point?

Eating food that is not yours. And no you didn't receive an invitation. This has only happened to me once, but it happens to others. And it annoys me to no end that someone felt they that the right to take what's not theirs and eat it. Makes all of us who have had lunches disappear think about bringing a special lunch for that jackwagon, all laced with laxatives. Notice it's plural. It's a simple rule: If you didn't bring, don't eat it. Unless someone says, "Hey, I brought lots of food, so if you'd like some, please, help yourself." If you're not sure that you brought it, perhaps you shouldn't eat it. I mean, you take your lunch fours hours into your shift . . . if you can't remember what you brought, perhaps you should put your name on it. And start taking that Ginko-What-The-Fuck.

Saying my full name repeatedly; or even my nickname. I'm going to change my name. To Olga Hergensfeldt-Zolnerowich. Yeah. Doesn't roll off the tongue so pretty now does it? I know my name, don't wear it out. Don't sing it over and over.  I don't say yours, so please, don't say mine. Because when you say my name, I think you need something. When you don't, yet you keep saying my name, I place you in the "cry wolf" pile and I stop paying attention to you. And the next time you really need me and say my name, I'm going to assume that you're just saying it because it's apparently fun for you. Don't say my name just to say my name. It may be fun for you, but it's not fun for me to hear my damn name over and over.

Create drama just to create drama. I don't care where or why. It's one thing to create a scene if you found glass/fingernails/insects/band-aids/phalanges in your soup. It's one thing if someone ate your lunch. Otherwise, nobody cares. We all have complaints or issues, and we will listen to each other in turn, but we know when to stop. Creating drama at every turn just to get attention drives me batshit crazy. When you're attitude walks into the room five minutes before you actually do, it's time to see a professional. When no one wants to speak to you, it's time to re-evaluate. Don't throw a hissy fit about what you're assigned to only to be okay with it when the boss says someone else can do it. Don't have a conniption fit over something not working the way it should, meaning you're life just got harder for the rest of the day. Don't complain that no one helps you when you never ask for help. Don't one-up every story or complaint someone has so that you look like you're always better or worse off. Get a shrink, take a happy pill, and shut the hell up before I find a familial connection to the Mafia.


 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Hard Can It Be To Find "Hypoallergenic"?

Today marked another appointment to see the wonderful folks at the worker's comp medical facility. It was about 40 degrees outside, and it was about 42 degrees inside. Obviously their heating works wonders, does it not? Luckily the room I was eventually led to was probably closer to 45 degrees. Maybe their windows up front in the waiting area are too big? Whatever. I totally took my big coat, so I meant business in my attempt to stay warm. The M.A. kind of laughed at me as I still bundled under it even after taking it off to he could take my blood pressure.

Luckily I saw the first doctor that I had seen a couple weeks ago. So I didn't have to regale yet another doctor with my back story. I told her that while most of the original spots seem to have started healing, I have had a couple new spots show up. And that the vinyl gloves I've switched to seem to be drying my hands out so bad that my skin gets all flaky. (Why, yes I am full of complaints.) So she tells me to start using hypoallergenic lotions. And she insisted on me wrapping my hands in saran wrap to help my skin absorb the prescription ointment. I did tell her that I did in fact attempt this, and many curse words followed.

So after my uneventful appointment, I drove to the store to find my some hypoallergenic lotion. Now, I use lotion all the time. I am my mother's daughter. I found the store's section of lotion and looked. And looked. And looked. All I could find was "fragrance free". I finally went to the Pharmacist to clarify that fragrance free was not the same at hypoallergenic. I went back to the section and looked some more. I mean, my face was pressed right up to the bottles of lotion making sure I didn't miss the key word "hypoallergenic".

After examining for about 20 minutes, I finally found a brand that had a hypoallergenic formula. Of course, it wasn't whatever brand the doctor was attempting to describe to me - she couldn't remember the name of it. However, in my mind, hypoallergenic is hypoallergenic.
Oh this is just so much freaking fun, I can hardly stand it.