Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let your fingers do the walking.

Hello nice phone book delivery people. I’m glad you’re employed and I’m sorry it is so cold, but I am wondering if instead of dropping off the thick polyvinyl bag full of a gazillion yellow pieces of paper I’ll never look at on my front porch, you could maybe just walk around out back and put it back in the alley? I mean, just to save me the steps and all? (Best if you remove the bag, put it in the gray garbage can, then set all the yellow bound pieces of paper in the recycle bin, please. Remove the magnets from the plumbing company, too. They go in the gray can.)

Say, do you have one of those suggestion boxes at work? Because I was thinking that you could tell the people you work for that a few years back, before he invented recycling, Al Gore invented the internet. Which is just stock-plumb full up with telephone numbers. I can't really think of anyone under the age of 72-1/2 that uses your “book” anymore. Unless they’re too short to reach the dinner table. I know it's sad, but I think it's alright to let this idea go the way of the brontosaurus. Okay, well that’s about it. Have a good day now, ‘preciate it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Beware, yet another danger in the world.

I was feeling particularly June Cleaveresque last night so I bought one of those ginormous tubes of cookie dough that is conveniently sold right next to the yogurt. Yogurt, as you probably know, is the food that people think is good for them, and the number one choice for dieting women to eat for breakfast. They shouldn’t because it’s chock full of sugar so it’s sorta fattening, but don’t tell them I said so, they more they eat of it, the skinnier I look standing next to them. I don’t eat yogurt at all because I took a lot of anthropology courses in my day so I find it hard to ingest anything with the words “live cultures” on the label. I mean, really. Wonder what happened to the Anasazi? They were probably ground up by the Dannon corporation with some raspberries and soylent green and served with granola.

Anyhoo – they keep the cookie dough right next to the yogurt because it has exactly the same target demographic. Hungry people. Who eat live stuff. However, I bought it because I thought it would be nice to bake my kids some cookies, without having to actually, you know, MAKE them. My kitchen would smell yummy without any actual effort. And, I could eat some of it raw, which is the whole reason God invented cookies anyway.

Later in the evening, as my two little scholars sat brightly at the kitchen counter doing their homework with eager smiles and great attitudes, not at all pissed off because schoolwork isn’t fay-er, and not at all wondering WHY they would ever need to KNOW this stupid stuff, and not mentioning a thing about the exciting things that were probably on Dirty Jobs RIGHT THAT MINUTE that they would NEVER get to see, I preheated the oven. I sliced open the dough package, and my knife slit right through the WARNING. On the cookie dough. There was a warning. It went something like this:

WARNING: Cookie dough contains raw ingredients and should not be consumed before baking.

What the?

They effectively told 89.2% of their customers “STOP using this product. You’ve been warned.”

I was going to take a picture of the warning so that you could all see for yourselves, but I pretty much baked 9 cookies and ate half a pound of raw dough and the label is sort of destroyed. However, I’m still here to talk about it, and I think that’s what really matters. No wonder June Cleaver used to make the cookies from scratch. Keeps Big Brother off your back, man.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am the biggest badass in this entire parking garage. Keep yo’ distance.

Most days of my life, I park in a big ugly concrete several story parking garage and then walk a couple of blocks to my office. Usually fairly uneventful. The parking part. Not the walking part. The walking part is excitingly urban (!) because it is filled with panhandlers, Greenpeace representative, Save the Children representatives, crazy people playing the clarinet, etc. A very long time ago, I was nice to all of them, but now I just have standard answers for them all:

Panhandler: Sorry, dude, nothing but plastic! Let me know when you take plastic, man.
Greenpeace Rep: Sorry, on my way to hunter safety class! Keep up the fight, brotha!
Save the Children Rep: Oh, I’m actually on the way to “Save a Child” myself right now! From middle school! Ha! See you tomorrow!
Crazy Clarinet Guy: See Panhandler.

Either that, or I pretend to be on the phone. Because my street peeps totally respect that I have a Very Important Call, even though I’m really listening to “You have no messages.”

Today was different. Today the parking garage was fabulously exciting. And that is because today I apparently sent out an Invisible Vibe that I Am A Very Bad Person. Let’s start with…

Experience A.
I drive in normally, but today instead of winding my way up four stories, there was a spot on the 2nd floor. I pull in. My phone slides off the seat and lands on the floor. I reach down to get it, apparently with my foot on the brake. A car stops and puts on its blinker, apparently thinking I’m leaving? I guess? I turn the car off and open the door. A lovely and gracious looking woman with perfectly coiffed hair lowers her window and screams in a voice not unlike Lyle Alzado, “Very f*cking nice, moron!” while slapping her steering wheel and peeling out. I look to see if I have a bumper sticker that says, “Old Ladies With Foul Mouths in Red Cars Suck Out Loud.” Nope. Nothin.

Experience B.
I enter the elevator. I see someone running towards it. I push the button to keep the doors open. Just paying it forward, y’know? A lady gets on, I smile and say “Goin’ down to the street?” She looks at me, squints and is all like, “Uh, No.” Only not in one syllable. In like FIVE syllables. Five syllables that meant “OMG, You Are So Stupid, and I have the intonation of a spoiled 14 year old.” She then proceeded to hit the button for the 1st floor really hard. The door opened and as she stomped off, she audibly muttered, “BITCH.”

Really? Holding the door for you and asking you a question means I’m a bitch? Mmmkay. Thanks for the info, sweetie.

Experience C.
I step out onto the street. A uniformed police officer on a bicycle is trying to light his cigarette from the lit cigarette of another police officer whose car is idling nearby on a sidewalk. I immediately go Highlights Magazine on the scene, and count several things Wrong With This Picture, but look away and keep walking. I hear Officer Bikey say, “Gah, whut?” I turn around. Yup, he’s talking to me.

I checked my reflection in the very first check cashing establishment I passed, and there was no mark of the beast on my forehead or anything. So that’s why I think it’s some sort of metaphysical vibration I’m transmitting. I hope it lasts because totally feel like a badass now, and I’m really excited for lunchtime. Watch out, you sandwich-makin' MFers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Canada totally hates us.


Probably everyone in the world saw footage of the amazing US Airways plane landing in the Hudson River yesterday. Well, everyone but me, because yesterday was the day that I make a 160-mile commute into the Land of No Radio Reception. Okay, that’s kind of a lie, there’s radio reception, there’s just not reception of any stations you’d really want to listen to. There’s a wide variety of Christian Rock – no offense against the Son or rocks, but I cannot handle grown men singing about their Love for Him for longer than a few minutes without wanting to throw myself into a fiery pit for all eternity if you know what I mean.

There’s also some farm reports, but hearing about grain futures tends to make me very sleepy, and there's, oddly enough, an AM station from 500 miles away with their totally cool “Swap Shop” program, which is like Craigslist for senior citizens and isolated folks with no Internet. It’s a call-in show, people describe what they’re selling (usually mid-70s Monte Carlo wheels, exercise bikes and broken portable air conditioners) then you leave your phone number. All the listeners sit patiently at their kitchen tables with pencil, paper, telephone and transistor radio and write down everything you’re saying just in case it’s something you can’t live without. I know this because my grandpa used to do it. But he usually got all the way through the person’s description and then crossed it out at the end saying, “Damned crook, it ain’t worth that.” I cannot listen too long to the Swap Shop very long either, because there’s no cell reception on the 160-mile commute, so I worry that I’m going to hear about the most awesome thing ever and not be able to call, and then I’ll spend the rest of my life in a deep depression searching ebay and craigslist nationwide for the person that got my thing. “My thing” is probably a 1968 Camaro convertible for $250. Or maybe a ‘74 Cuda for $275. Or a neat sweater. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS, AND I AM NOT WILLING TO FIND OUT, OKAY?

So – while the rest of you were watching the completely amazing and awe-inspiring plane landing, with sweet little tugboats helping out, I was skipping around AM radio, hearing bits of pieces of the story from all manner of experts including American Idol Contender Ace Young’s Dad. He’s apparently a pilot,but what makes him an expert is that he was on the phone with Ace, yes, THE Ace, the Ace who almost won American Idol, anyway, his dad was on the phone with HIM while Ace watched it all happen out his NY apartment window. Which is pretty amazing, so it was kind of like hearing an eye witness report via cellphone.

Anyway, one particularly thorough report from NPR calmed all our fears by saying that although it happened in New York, and involved an airplane, there is “Apparently no indication of terrorism.” Really? Thanks, NPR. But you are wrong. You just don’t realize the horrible threat of evil terrorist GEESE. From Canada.

The plane went down because geese flew into the engines. Not one goose, accidentally astray from his V formation. Several Geese. Plural. Why would a flock of birds so recklessly toss themselves into an obvious death? People, do I have to tell you everything? Because the Canadian government has trained them to be Kamikaze geese. Tell me, what kind of geese were they? Canada Geese. No, not Canadian geese. They’re called Canada Geese. Because they’re OWNED by the Canadian government. And there’s two types, Greater Canada Goose and Lesser Canada Goose, so you can tell what their military rank is. (Look it up, it's totally on wikipedia.) They might as well have big freakin’ maple leaves on their wings, because they’re essentially warbirds for our “neighbors” from the north. Neighbors, my ass, they want us GONE, and they’re trying to take us out one poop-covered golf course at a time. They’re completely jealous of us, and everybody knows it.

Yesterday, their escalation plans became more apparent. They’re getting bolder. No longer content with simply filling the treads of our bike tires with goose shit so that it splashes up in gooey green stripes on our tshirts, they're trying to take planes down now. It’s scary, peeps. Another reporter on yet another station interviewed some guy from some organization that does nothing but count “bird strikes” to airplanes. Last year, there were more than 400 bird strikes on US Air Force planes alone. What’s that tell you? I don’t know about you, but I think we should put an immediate stop to importing LaBatts. And we should probably kick Michael J. Fox and the bald guy from Letterman out, too. Goose terrorism is only the start, my friends. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

An update since I first wrote this…there is apparently now an attempt at a cover-up, because there are reports that “perhaps the alleged birds were not geese.” Whatever. Nice try, Canada.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beer, backrubs and bellyaching.

I have been very busy lately. This is not an excuse for not paying more attention to my poor little blog, it is simply a reason. And the reason is a pretty good excuse, I think. Busy doing what, you ask? Well, for starters, I HAD to go on not one, but TWO “girls-only retreats” IN ONE WEEK. Do you have any idea how tiring that much relaxation and rejuvenation really is?

The first was a whirlwindy trip to the Texas-Ohio State bowl game with my friend Teffy for her 40th birthday. This was a teensy bit disturbing, because I generally don’t cheer for either of those teams, AND I was also with Teffy on her 21st birthday, so at some point during the revelry we realized we’d known each other for twenty years, and then we realized that we couldn’t possibly be 25 anymore if we’d known each other for twenty years, because we didn’t know each other when we were five, for chrissakes, so then we had to get even MORE beer than we had before to help it all sink in, and I’m not so sure if that was such a great idea because it made me very tired and I had to take just the little itty-bittiest nap in the third quarter of the Fiesta Bowl. And, I think that THAT IS OKAY, because I ask you, why even go on a girls-only retreat if you cannot take little naps whenever you want in the name of rejuvenation? Besides, according to ESPN highlights, the third quarter was pretty uneventful. And I totally woke up for last call, I mean the fourth quarter, when everything exciting happened, and Texas won, which was who I ended up cheering for since Teffy made me wear all her burnt orange clothes and yell “Texas Texas YeeHaw” a lot, which, truth-be-told, I sort of enjoyed. I’ve been saying about other things ever since, like, “Lasagna Lasagna YeeHaw” and “Bedtime Bedtime YeeHaw.” I really think if that Obama character had developed a cheer like that for the presidential race, he actually might have had a chance to win it.

The second two-day estrogen-fest was a luxe mountain getaway for work. Well, not really for work, but it makes you feel a tiny bit sorrier for me, right? Like, if I said I was staying at an incredibly fabulous resort with several hours of back-to-back spa treatments, unlimited champagne, amazing food and the most comfortable bed on the planet for FUN, you’d probably be all like, “Yeesh, spoiled beyotch,” but when I say, “BUT IT WAS FOR WORK SO IT TOTALLY SUCKED,” then you would be all “Oh, I’m sorry for judging.” But it totally didn’t suck, it was totally awesome. And even though it was AT my work, my work is totally awesome, and even though my boss was there, my boss is, well, the kind of person who invites people for totally awesome weekends and then says, “Oh, bring a friend who I don’t even know and they can have a totally awesome weekend, too.” And then gives you a present. So, I brought my neighbor Spanxy, who not only had a great time, but also lent me her bitchin’ crocodile Danskos to wear to the fancy wine cellar for the awesome dinner, so I hereby love her forever. And her shoes.

When I returned to civilization, I very carefully removed my liver and hung it up to dry for a couple of days. Being liverless, and in love with Spanxy’s shoes, I hiked up my britches for a trip to the mall to purchase my own. If you know me you are aware that shopping for me generally takes a whole lot of pre-mall alcohol prepwork, but I decided to try it sober just to challenge myself. Bad idea, because even though Katie Couric assures me the economy is very very very bad, for some reason every person in a eighty mile radius was also at the mall, and each one of them walking incredibly slowly Right. In. Front. Of. Me. With big bags of recently purchased crap. I purposely went during an NFL playoff game, figuring that would knock down bored mall traffic a bit, but guess what? It doesn’t. It just means that there’s a big TV in the middle of the mall with 482 morose looking husbands watching it. Sidebar: If you were thinking about opening a sports bar with no bar, I wouldn’t do it unless you want very unhappy customers.

More importantly – WHY did these men even GO to the mall? I’m thinking it is a control issue, but I can’t figure out if it is Wayne trying to control what Margie spends, or Margie needing to keep an eye on Wayne so he doesn’t WATCH FOOTBALL AT HOME, because, that, apparently, would be wrong.

It all worked out, I have new shoes and got home before the end of the game. I know you were worried about that part probably. And, although I hate the mall, I am all about comfy shoes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Shiny. But deadly.

Hello, little blog. I’ve been away a long, long time, now haven’t I? I didn’t forget about you, and the fives of people who read you did not forget about you either, because they’ve all been on my ass about updating you.

Further, the nice ladies at Blogher who so kindly stick their ads over to the right over there, also were sort of wondering why I’ve been ignoring you. They were all, “Um, I thought you said you posted at least three times a week,” and I was all, “I thought I only had to do that for the NaPlaBlahMoMaNo-whatever thing in November,” and they were all, “yeah, but you didn’t do it in November either,” and I was all, “Hey! Look! A shoe sale! Seriously, look over there!” And then I ran away really fast and hid in some bushes.

So, a lot of bloggers spent the holidays writing about their shopping lists, their relatives coming to town, their revelations from the past year and their hopes for the new one. I could do NONE of that. You see, I am practically paralyzed by the holidays. I dread them. I think of them only with fear and horror.

It’s all the damned glitter.

Glitter, you see, is a highly dangerous and toxic substance. What? You were not aware that you could DIE from glitter overdose? Well, you can, Mr. Head-In-The-Sand. I know this because in first grade, I was told about it by a freckley-faced, pig-tailed little girl named Kim. She was delightful in everyway, and we were having a most fantastic time with a vat of Elmer’s and a few shakers of glitter. It was an extremely educational activity, wherein our teacher had mimeographed off some poorly drawn candy canes and tossed them on a table where we were assigned the challenging task of painting the candy canes with glue, then sprinkling glitter upon them. If I recall, the next step would be cutting them out and trying not to completely screw up the scissors with soggy wet mimeograph paper, but alas – we never got that far.

The teacher, a sturdy substitute with thick glasses and a wig that seemed to be put on completely backwards had left the project table for a few minutes, presumably for a quick nip from a shiny flask of ripple she kept in her 18-hour bra, and Kim and I were left alone. Being ever the efficient task-master, I decided that instead of gently sprinkling the glitter upon the sea of Elmer’s, I could save precious minutes as well as end up with a superiorly-covered product by removing the lid from the glitter shaker and dumping the glitter on the glue. Just as Kim looked up from her project, I put my 6 year old lips to the edge of the table and gave a mighty puff. The excess glitter flew away, and I was left with a perfectly covered candy cane.

And that’s when the screaming started. “MY EYES! MY EYES!” Kim shouted. She had her narrow fingers over her face and went on, “DON’T YOU KNOW GLITTER CAN KILL YOU?”

“Uh. Actually I kind of did NOT know that, Kim.”

“YEAH, WELL IT CAN KILL YOU, GLITTER CAN KILL YOU.”

“M, kay. Um. How?”

“It is VERY sharp! What if it woulda went in my EYE?”

“Okay, seriously. It didn’t even GO in your eye? You’re just worried about it going in your eye?”

“Yes! It’s so sharp! If it even gets in your hair it can cut your head and they can't get it out it just stays in your head and you'll be bleeding in your hair!”

This is where I sort of lost interest. After all, my candy cane was extremely shiny, and the edges were quite perfect, if I do say so myself.

But Kim wasn’t done. She dropped the bomb.

“I know, because my mom is A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER!”

If that ain't a reliable source of potential craft supply injuries, I do not know what is.

From that minute on, I pretty much have just tried to stay inside from Thanksgiving until January 2. I'm so glad the nightmare is over. At least for another year.

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