Monthly Archives: December 2008

Still Alive

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I’m still alive, in case anyone was wondering. But hot damn, it’s been crazy around here. Two weeks ago, on Thursday, I got called into a meeting and told that we needed to design, plan, implement, run subjects for, analyze and report a study, to be completed the following Friday. Umm…okay? Let the crazy begin. I had already scheduled Monday off as a shopping day and I couldn’t change it, since I had not bought one single gift yet (I was rocking the procrastination this year, although in my defense, it was less procrastination and more broke-and-waiting-for-my-bonus-ation), so I worked like crazy on Friday writing protocols and questionnaires and recruitment ads and I left a shitload of prep work to my colleagues for Monday. Monday was a long, exhausting day which didn’t include nearly enough chocolate and/or wine. Then back to work on Tuesday when the crazy-assed subjects started showing up early and didn’t quit all day. Then off to my work holiday dinner and another late night. Then back in the office early and working late and like crazy all week long. But we totally rock and got that shit done.

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Saturday, I still had some shopping to finish, so I loaded up the kids and headed out to the nightmare that is the mall on the Saturday before Christmas. What I thought would be a quick trip ended up being an all day marathon of one of my least favorite activities: Shopping with Kids. We ended up making a last stop at Burlington on the way home, where I discovered The World’s Biggest Asshole of a Sales Associate.

First off, she was slow. Reeeeeaaaalllllyyyyy sloooooooooow. I stood there contemplating changing lines, but I talked myself out of it, because you know how that goes – changes lines then that one is slow. So I watched (no exaggeration) two and three and six people go through the other lines while she was still checking out the ONE woman in front of me. Then, I had a gift in my cart for each kid that I managed to keep them from seeing. So when I got to checkout, I told the boy to take his sister and wait in the chairs a little way away so she wouldn’t see (he knew about hers but not his). As TWBASA was taking forever to take things off hangers and prep them for ringing up, she picked up the shirt I had for the boy. She was waving it around and holding it up, so I grabbed another shirt and held it up like I was looking at it to block his view. And I told her that I was trying to hide it from him because it was a surprise. She finally set it back down and picked up the next item. Instead of ringing them as she went, however, she was just “prepping” them to ring.

So she picks up the short again and instead of just ringing it, she holds it up in the air, is waving it around again, and actually turns around and faces the chairs where the kids are sitting, all the while holding the damned shirt up high in the air. I don’t know if she was intentionally being a dick or what but I wanted to punch her in her stupid face.

Then she moves on to the next shirt, and can’t find the price tag:

TWBASA: This doesn’t have a tag.
Me: It doesn’t? I am sure it did when I put it in the cart.
TWBASA: Well it doesn’t.
Me: Um…so…
TWBASA: There’s no tag.
Me: Well, OK?? But…
TWBASA: I CAN’T RING IT WITHOUT A TAG!!
Me: Well, then I guess you will have to call for a price check.
TWBASA: Hmmph!!

Then I find the tag sitting on the counter, where she must have knocked it of in all the “prepping” and I show it to her:

TWBASA: I don’t know if that is the right tag.
Me: It is – look, same brand, same size, see?
TWBASA: hat might not be the right tag.
Me: Well, OK, I am pretty sure it is, but…
TWBASA: I CAN’T RING IT WITHOUT THE RIGHT TAG!!!
Me: THEN GET A FREAKING PRICE CHECK!!

She hmmph-ed again, but used the tag.

Five minutes and two items later, she picks up a book that is also missing a tag. This one, I know had a tag when I put it in the cart, because the girl picked it out to buy with her own money and I checked the price:

TWBASA: This doesn’t have a tag.
Me: Oh.
TWBASA: It. Doesn’t. Have. A. Tag.
Me: Well, it had one, but I guess it fell off like the shirt.
TWBASA: It doesn’t have one now.
Me: Well, I guess we’ll have to get a price check on it, then, won’t we?
TWBASA: Where did you get it?
Me: In the books.
TWBASA: You mean Baby Depot?
Me: I don’t know what department it is – the kids toys and books.
TWBASA: I don’t know what that is.
Me: The toy section. Where there are toys. And giant bookcases. Filled with books.
TWBASA: Is that Baby Depot?
Me: I don’t know.
TWBASA: Well, what department is it then?
Me: I don’t know. Because I! Don’t! Work! Here!
TWBASA: Hmmph.

I had to get a manager to come over and take care of it. Thank god there was one nearby, because the police might have been involved and you’d all be reading in the paper about the stabbing in Burlington.

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I pulled the girl’s Christmas dress out of the bag last night only to discover that they left the ink tag on it. And now I have to drive back into the jaws of hell to get it removed. And I can’t find the receipt. Awesome.

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And speaking of awesome, my friend Hedge got a Christmas card from a neighbor. This neighbor barely speaks to her any other time and basically thinks she is too good for her neighbors. As soon as Hedge saw the return address, she thought, what the hell? But it all became clear when she opened it and inside the Christmas card was a bookmark advertising a new book. A book written by the woman’s mother. And self published. And it is so unbelievably awful awesome, I had to share it with you. Apparently, it is the first in a trilogy and sure to be a swashbuckling bestseller. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Captain S1ick:

Friday 5: Keeping it Positive

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1. What’s your favorite thing about the shoes you’re wearing (or the shoes you were most recently wearing)?

It just so happens that I am wearing my favorite shoes, ever, and I love them for so many reasons. I guess my favorite would be that they make me taller. I love big ol’ platform shoes, especially since many jeans companies recently decided that “average” is three inches taller than they used to. Seriously – I have talked to people in a couple of stores about their jeans and last year, they all added inches to average ;length jeans. Not to petite or tall, just to average. And since the petite were too short to begin with, I can’t wear those. And the average that were just right are now way too long. So the only way I can wear them is to either a) with regular shoes, which frays the hem because it drags on the ground (and also I look like a jackass), b) have them hemmed, which looks like hot ass, or c) wear tranny shoes. C it is!

2. What’s your favorite thing about the people you work with (or the people you go to school with)?

I’m quite lucky – I work with awesome people (mostly). I truly like my coworkers. It’s hard to say there is one thing I like the most, because we are all different. I’d have to say that because of the type of work we do, everyone here is smart. This means there is always interesting conversation. And most everyone has a similar sense of humor. But also – they are fun and kind and caring and silly and generous and dependable and helpful and generally a bunch of good folk.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the climate where you live?

The changing seasons. We get four very distinct seasons here and I love it. I especially love the beautiful falls. And I love having lots of snow in the winter (so get cracking, Mother Nature!). Don’t get me wrong – there are times I complain about the heat of summer or the cold of winter, but if I moved north or south and didn’t have those, I would miss it.

4. What’s your favorite thing about Friday?

Is this a trick question? Because, duh!

5. What’s your favorite thing about the year coming to an end?

Hmm…I don’t know if I have a favorite thing. I guess I’d have to say that it’s that I love the Christmas season. Otherwise, one year is like the next. In fact, the end of the year is also a reminder that I am getting older my parents are getting older, my kids are growing up. I don’t like that part so much.

WTF, Highlights?

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I am currently running a big project at work and putting in extra time, so I have had no time to update. However, I am making time to share this total awesomeness with you. You’re welcome.

Remember Highlights magazine? They always had it in the doctor;s office and you;d spend that waiting time doing mazes and spotting differences and wondering what the hell was up with Goofus and Gallant. And of course there were the hidden pictures. Those were awesome.

And they still are (or at least they are to those of us with sick, sick minds):

Photo Meme

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I was tagged by her last week on this photo meme. Of course being slow, I am just getting around to getting it done. Anyway, you go to your 6th picture folder and pick your 6th picture. Then tag 5 others. Of course, although I like to be tagged, I hate tagging other people for stuff (I always feel like the weird, loser girl), so instead, I will eat a sandwich. That’s almost the same thing, right?

Anyway, I give you:

The girl had some seriously crazy-ass hair in those days. When I first saw this photo, I was immediately reminded of a more famous photo, so I did a side-by-side compare. And I had to share it with you as well:

And because I feel a little guilty, I have to prove that she wasn’t always looking like a drunk criminal has-been actor, I have to show otherwise. Because she often looked like this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

But she made up for it when she looked like this:

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Also – this is for redpenmama:

We Have Our Winners!

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OK, so I did my drawing early this morning, but I am just getting around to posting about it.

Anyway, first up is Brisingr:


(I have no idea why the “random.org” didn’t show up in that image)

And the winner is… I am a Tornado!

Next up is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

And the winner is… Bethtastic!

Finally, we have Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince:

And the winner is… juliloquy!

I also did a random drawing for which book would have the Cheesecake Factory gift card inside, but I am not telling you which one it is. I like surprises, so you’ll have to wait until you get your books to find out. it’s like the geeky book cheesecake lottery!

Ladies, please email me your mailing addresses so I can get these out to you!

Christmas Music

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Don’t forget – my geeky giveaway is still going on!

Things I’ve learned from listening to the All Christmas Music All the Time channel:

– When it comes to the standards, the originals are almost always the best. No on can rock around the Christmas Tree like Brenda Lee, Gene Autry is the only one I want to hear sing Rudolph, and no matter what an asshole he purportedly was, Bing Crosby simply IS White Christmas.

– Occasionally, though, the remakes are better. Willie Nelson made Pretty Paper.

– There are so many, many ways to fuck up Silent Night.

– To wit: Christine Aguilera has a set of pipes, but someone needs to explain to her that “peace” does not have 17 syllables.

– I don’t like my Christmas songs to be fucked with very much. Jazz them up, rock them out, whatever, but don’t fuck with the basic song in ways that make them un-sing-along-able. And Christmas songs are made for singing along.

– Medleys suck. While we’re on the topic of singing along, it sucks when you’re just about to rock out the second verse of O Come All Ye Faithful, and suddenly you’re in the Little Town of Bethlehem and thinking, “Did I just black out?”

– Hard Candy Christmas is seriously underrated.

– So is Fum, Fum Fum.

– With a few exceptions, the awesomeness of the 80s did not carry over into Christmas Music.

– Even at Christmas, the entire concept of John Tesh makes me want to vomit.

– Suzy snowflake is what second graders sing in music class. It does not belong on the radio. Ever.

– Merry Christmas from the Family sounds more like my family every year.

– No matter how much eggnog* I drink, I still think Bruce Springsteen sucks. Santa Claus is coming to town sounds like something your chain-smoking drunk uncle forgot the words to. (*OK, rum and coke. But in a festive holiday glass.)

– Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy makes me nervous when the girl is listening. Because I’m crazy and I don’t have enough ridiculous shit to worry about.

– Synthesizers + Christmas music = Baby Jesus Crying

– Please – no more barking damned dogs (though when I was a kid, they had a version of it with laughing and it was infectious).

– Vince Guaraldi? Genius. So pretty and nostalgic.

– And on the Peanuts topic, Snoopy’s Christmas is pretty cool, too.

– And of course all the Grinch music. I mean, anytime one can work “three decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwich with arsenic sauce” into a song – I’m in.

– You can’t go wrong with Dominick the Donkey.

– Embarrassingly enough, I’m still a sucker for the chipmunks.

– Madonna is no Eartha Kitt. Neither are the rest of the skanks who have tried, and failed, to do Santa Baby justice.

– Who the fuck wants a hippopotamus for Christmas? What, are they on crack? Hippos kill motherfuckers! You do not want a hippo!

– Angels among us isn’t really a Christmas song, but I love it anyway.

– I really HATE the songs about poor little street urchins who are starving and Jesus disguised as a homeless person and God help me, if I hear Christmas shoes one more time, I’m going to hunt down the person who wrote it and run them down with my sleigh. Then beat them with those fucking shoes. Just in case they meet Jesus tonight.

Calling All Geeks: Completely Geeky – Though Dated – Giveaway. Plus Cheesecake!

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OK, so I’m jumping on the giveaway bandwagon, but in the interest of full disclosure while you may get something free from me, you will be helping me by getting rid of some clutter in my life.

A few months ago, I pre-ordered Brisingr (yes, I am that much of a geek). When it was delivered, there were two boxes addressed to me. One had Brisingr and the other had three books: Brisingr, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I immediately called the company and they basically did not care. I asked them if they wanted to know whose name and invoice number was on the slip in the box (no) because I figured they would want to get this person his order ASAP, since he clearly is a big geek like me and pre-ordered his geek book and most likely would be waiting for it.

Are you sure you don’t want the info? (no). What to do with the books (don’t care). Don’t you even want my name? (no). But what about…? (no) Well then shouldn’t I…? (no) But don’t you think…? (don’t! care!)

After about 10 minutes of this, I insisted that they send me return shipping and they agreed. Weeks passed, no label. I called back. They’d send it. More weeks. More nothing. It’s now been 2 months and I no longer give a shit. Surely, my poor fellow geek has long since complained and received his order. And since the company doesn’t seem to care, then I am making the executive geek decision to pass long this little windfall to a fellow geek (albeit one who has somehow missed a couple of books that everyone has already read).

So, have you been dying to read any of these books, but haven’t had the chance? Have you borrowed them from the library, but would love to own them? Do you have kids that have just started reading the Harry Potter series and haven’t gotten to numbers five and six yet? Are you wondering what the hell Brisingr is all about and just how much of a geeky teenage boy is Gina, anyway? Then this is the contest for you.

The Harry Potter books are nice paperbacks and Brisingr (the third and latest book in the Inheritance no-longer-a-Trilogy. Or if you have no idea what Inheritance Trilogy means: blah blah geekity geek dragons geeker elves geeky blah geek dwarves geekatron blah blah swordfights)

All you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me which book you want. You can name one two or all three, and I’ll do a drawing for each.

And for a little incentive, I’m going to randomly choose one of the books to slide a $25 gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory in. But I won’t tell which book – you’ll have to wait until you get yours to find out. It’s a big, geeky, cheesecake lottery! And if there is only one person out there as geeky as me, then baby, it’s your lucky day, since you can win more than one!

I’ll keep it open until Tuesday evening, so I can get to the post office Wednesday when I am out of the office.

Oh, and also? I keep typing “Harry Pooter” Hee.

Friday Five: Childhood Indulgences

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1. When did you last have a mid-day nap?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh wait. You’re serious? Really? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OK, let’s see. I’d say probably sometime in1996 when I was pregnant with my first child.

2. When did you last have milk and cookies?

I can’t even remember. I have had cookies very recently, but the milk not so much. I actually like milk, but never really drink it. And I don’t care for milk and cookies. I like milk, I like cookies, but together – blech. And don’t even get me started on the heinous practice of dunking. Gag!

3. When did you last have a bubble bath?

Two weeks ago – it was the last real bath I took before that hugely expensive asshole motherfucker of a water heater died for good. Fucker.

4. When did you last jump on the furniture?

I jumped on the bed in the hotel in Disney out of sheer excitement.

5. When did you last play in the mud?

Does falling in the mud count? If so – about a month ago. Otherwise – I have never been much of a mud girl. Dirt, maybe, but not mud.

Friday? Five

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Yeah, yeah, it’s Sunday, not Friday. But I had lots of things to do, like eat leftovers and decorate and drink heavily, so I’m a little late. Sue me.

Friday Five: Over

1. What’s a profession you believe to be overpaid?

Without a doubt, professional athletes. Don’t get me wrong – I like sports. I watch sports. I go to sporting events. But holy hell am I sick to death of the whole damned lot (minus a few) of rich fucking crybabies. These men (yeah, sexist, I know, but let’s face it, it’s men making the big buck), well actually, boys in most cases are doing what millions of other boys would give their left nut to do and getting highly paid to do it. And the fuckers are beating up (or killing) their women, driving drunk, taking drugs, cheating on their wives, shooting their dumbass selves, getting in fights in bars, and just being generally despicable. And a good many of them can no more use even passable grammar than they can perform surgery.

I know it makes me sound old (which I am), but it’s hard to compare these guys with the athletes of the 60s and 70s who were in the sport for the love of the game, who had to educate themselves so they could be something after retirement other than a retired overpaid athlete. The ones who are actual surgeons. And motivational speakers and business owners and community leaders and state delegates and engineers and real estate developers and stockbrokers and authors and investment bankers .

2. Who’s a musician you believe to be overrated?

This is a hard one, because at first, ten jillion names come to mind, but I realized that in most cases, it’s probably not that they are overrated, but that I just don’t appreciate their musical styles. So I had to narrow it down to those whose style of music I like, but just not them. Even doing that is hard – I have never cared for the Stones or Springsteen, but I don’t know if I can really say they are overrated, because I can appreciate their contributions to the musical world. And really, I think I just don’t care for them. Maybe Lucinda Williams – mr b loves her and I like some of her stuff, but after a while, it all sounds like the same bitching and moaning to me. Like she wants to be Neil Young but can’t quite pull it off.

3. What in your life could stand to be overhauled?

I couldn’t even begin to narrow it down. My house, my schedule, my weight, my closets, my physical fitness, my relationship with my husband, my wardrobe, my patience level. You name it, I need help with it.

What’s something interesting you recently overheard?

Cellphone conversation heard in line at w@l-mart: “I’m sick of your shit. You ain’t no kind of baby-daddy. You ain’t brought me no money like you said, but you damn sure got money to give that whore Sheila. Fuck you. This baby is five months old and you seen him three times. And now I gotta buy more fucking diapers. I don’t even have no money for no fucking weed. Fuck You! Yeah, I heard that before. Fuck you. Well, maybe this baby ain’t actually had to educate themselves ain’t even yours, asshole!”


5. Who is the most overextended person you know?

Do we mean time-wise? My friend Hedge. I lament being overextended, but then I realize that she is doing the same thing with the full-time job and the kids and the activities and the husband (sorry hedge – I mean “youth-ruiner”) and the house and the dog and so on, except that she’s doing it with one more kid than I have. Plus, one is a teenaged girl and another has a chronic illness.