Thursday, December 11, 2008

If we all put our heads together.

The only thing that makes my ass itch more than regular meetings are “brainstorming meetings." Dude, I hate brainstorming meetings. Mostly because I am pretty sure I could come up with perfectly great ideas ALL BY MYSELF and save a hell of a lot of time sitting around a table gently explaining them to others, watching them ponder them, listening to them say I’m wrong, and then, eventually, after five hours and twenty-three cookies later, presenting my own ideas back to me as if they had just come up with them. This is what's called "teamwork."

I could give a crap about teamwork, frankly. For several years of my corporate life, during big ginormous planning meetings, I would volunteer to be the “Scribe,” which is teamwork speak for “the person with the giant Sharpie and huge pad of paper on an easel." No one else ever wanted to be the Scribe, because you have to stand up. And it’s more obvious that you’re only there for the cookies when you keep leaving the easel to grab another one. But mostly it’s because you have to stand up. Whereas my "teammates" saw the Scribe as someone who had to listen to everyone else and write down their group thoughts, I saw it as The Person Who Gets the Sharpie and Doesn’t Have to Listen At All. It was rather wonderful standing in front of a group of 12 people waxing poetic about customer service intiatives and smacking hotel baked goods while I was writing down my own personal and private thoughts without their permission. And, at the end of the day, it had exactly the same result as actually discussing it with them, we used the ideas I wanted to afterall.

Nowadays, I work for a family-owned much smaller organization. We don't waste time or paper, and I'm good with that. In honor of those extra good times with extra big paper, the theme for today’s Half-Assed Haiku Thursday shall be: Meetings.

Forbidden words: Post-it, Tony Robbins.

Here’s mine.

Think out of the box!
We will greenlight everything!
Except that. It’s dumb.

Happy Thursday, Internet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You can still rock in America.

I recently wrote about some non-festering granite in my foot (note to self: name my rock band “Festering Granite”) and readers of this drivel commented that 1) I’m probably going to get gangrene, and, b) Go to the doctor right away, even though that reader still has rocks in their knees from the early 80s.

Well, the current podiatrical update is that the granite is still in there, and it doesn’t really hurt anymore. Also I don’t have gangrene. Unless gangrene begins with minor sinus pain and the desire to stay home from work drinking hot buttered rum, then baby, I got the gangrene BAD. But my best pal “anonymous's” story reminded me, that I too, am walking around with gravel rattling in me, apparently causing me no more harm than the granite in my foot.

When I was 7 years old, I wrecked my sister’s sweet ass purple bike with extra long metallic banana seat and ape hanger handle bars. (Secondary note to self: Banana Seat would be an awesome band name, but it's already taken by some dudes in Oklahoma.) This bike was so cool that if it had windows, they’d be tinted super dark. I rode it periodically WITH PERMISSION ONLY. My sister didn’t ride it anymore because she had short-shorts, knee socks and feathered hair, which required a ten-speed. Believe me, at the time it was relevant. It was much too big for me, but by sitting on the very tippy end of the seat, and using my very tippy toes to pedal, and stretching my arms as faaaaar as they would go, I could manage it. Kinda.

So, one day, I walked the sweet purple machine two doors down from my house to the concrete driveway of the volunteer fire department station, because the only smooth surfaces in town to ride bikes on were the blacktop at the school, the firestation driveway, and the state highway. I spent as much time as possible riding in circles around and around and around a this fabulously flat chunk of concrete. It was smooth sailing, so to speak, in contrast to the rutted mud and oiled dirt the rest of the town provided for my entertainment.

There was often gravel on the driveway – understandably – and it took careful coordination and super steering ability to maneuver the circles at high speed. Or so I imagined. This particular day, I was doing amazingly well, and imagined that all passing grown-ups were probably saying, “My! What a skilled child that is! I bet she’ll be an amazing driver when she’s bigger! I wonder if she’s a child race car driver NOW? Should we get her autograph?” When a jerky kid caused my accident. This jerky kid, who I will give the fake name, hmm, let’s see, how ‘bout we call him “Donny S.” rode his bike really close to mine for a few circles, causing me to wobble since the bike was way too big for me, and I eventually banked my turn a little too hard, slid sideways on the gravel and crashed. Well, “crashed” is really not it, I just sort of hit the ground and kept sliding. For awhile. When I eventually skid to a stop in a pitiful heap of plaid shorts and uneven ponytails, “Donny S.” laughed really hard. He was at least 6 years older than me, so it was an especially rotten thing to do.

Luckily, my head took most of the impact. So I was okay. Mostly. See, the sliding across the gravel and concrete on the side of my head part? Turns out that sort of embeds gravel in your head. Which my mom had to remove with a pair of tweezers while I sat screaming on the kitchen counter. To quote my 7 year old self, “Neato Kapeato.”

At least one piece of gravel remains under my left ear, because both my mother and I very quickly tired of her digging around in my skull with tweezers. Later that week, I confronted “Donny S.” in his front yard, right in front of his grandma, too, and told him how dreadfully injured I was and that he was a very rotten and jerky guy for making a little girl wreck. I am sure he and his grandma felt really badly when I growled through clenched teeth, “AND NOW I HAVE ROCKS IN MY HEAD!”

I’m thinking that I should get a disclaimer on my drivers license weight due to heavy mineral content.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Comin' in under the wire.

It's Haiku Thursday. True dat. But, where I live, it's also Snowstorm Thursday. Not usually a big deal in these parts, but I do an 160-mile round trip commute every Thursday to a sweet little spot in the Colorado mountains, charmingly referred to as "the Icebox of the Nation," conveniently located at an elevation of 9500 feet.

So. It kinda snows more there. But I still have to go. I'm THAT important and needed. Anyway, today, I've spent a total of about six hours creeping along with very little radio reception with snowflakes coming at me like stars come at the Millenium Falcon. Guess what I did the whole time? If you guessed "wrote some super bitchin' haiku," you are SADLY mistaken. I did, however, manage a couple of text messages, and perfected my Lenny Kravitz imitation, since I couldn't reach any other CDs. I am so serious about this. If Lenny ever has a concert scheduled in your town, and suddenly comes down with laryngitis...just call me. Excluding that I'm white, not half-Jewish, female and cannot play the guitar, I AM TOTALLY LENNY KRAVITZ. You won't know the difference.

So - I did come up with a few half-assed haikus, which I am still considering. But even more, I am considering changing the name of Haiku Thursday to Half-Assed Haikus. AND, I'm considering trademarking it, so don't you even think about it. It's officially copyrighted right this minute, you big stealers.

Okay, down to business.

Topic: Weather Reports
Forbidden Words: Stormy, Barometric pressure.

Watch out for black ice
the weatherman says to me
Sorta racist, huh?

Toddy time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'.

Behold - my Great Grandmother's china, and the "secret ingredient" in pretty much everything I make on Thanksgiving. Not really super secret, since I wear two bottles in gun holsters on my apron all day.

I once attended a Thanksgiving dinner where the guests applauded the turkey and the woman who cooked it. Let me say that again in case you were reading quickly. When this woman set the turkey on the table, before anyone had even tasted it, the people looking at it CLAPPED THEIR HANDS IN DELIGHT. Because they were hungry? Because they could already tell it would be the best meal of their lives? Because it had a little flashing sign over it that said “APPLAUSE”? Nope. Just because she managed to put a big bird in an oven and take it out again. I distinctly remember this particular thanksgiving because 1) the turkey was wretchedly dry, and 2) I was asked to bring rolls.

Yeah, you heard me. As in anyone in-the-know knows, rolls are the suckiest assignment there is for Thanksgiving. Next to ‘sodas.’ By assigning rolls, you’re basically saying, “Listen dear, we know you can’t cook worth a damn, and rather than eating whatever crap you’re going to dump out of a can and sprinkle fried onions on, please, for the love of our safe digestion, bring rolls.” You cannot mess up rolls. It’s the assignment you give your in-laws' youngest son’s girlfriend, or the tottering drunk from work who you’re only inviting to be nice. To assign rolls to anyone capable of operating a microwave is ginormously insulting.

Note – if you have been assigned rolls for more than one year in a row and are now reading this and thinking you’ve been insulted by your friends and family, I’m sure that I’m terribly wrong just in your case only and you probably are the most fabulous roll-bringer ever, and THAT is why they keep having you bring the rolls. They like you a lot and trust you. Really.

The thanksgiving of the applause vs. roll-bringing was the very thanksgiving I swore to never leave the house again on thankgiving day. I also swore that our thanksgivings should be a relative-free zone, friends only! But that is mostly because our relatives want nothing to do with us on thanksgiving since I only assign them to bring rolls.

Our friends, on the other hand, can be trusted to bring good attitudes and sturdy drinking shoes, therefore, they may come without limitation. The week before turkey day, I shop and plan and make at least three spreadsheets with the exact timing required to pull off a meal for 20+…mostly just because I like spreadsheets, but also because I am pretty sure, with me telling everyone what to do nothing will go wrong. So far so good.

Instead of thunderous applause at the very sight of me using the oven without burning myself or poultry, my reward is people happy to return year after year to enjoy the day with us. And for that, I am thankful. If you were here this year, I'm glad. If you weren't, please show up next year, I'll pour you a mimosa and serve you a roll.

As a side note, I met the Big Dude on a thanksgiving day many years ago, another thing I am thankful for, and since, we've spent every single thanksgiving together.
Seventeen thanksgivings
Twelve years of marriage
Four wedding rings (super sorry about that losing/breaking thing I do)
Two sons
And One Dude. Happy thanksgiving to you.

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