Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Holidays. Kicking My Arse in the Free Time

Lack of posting due to whatever excuse I feel like using. And for now that would be the holidays. Which aren't officially over until after New Years.

Being one of the last hires this year, I am doomed to work every stinking working minute that isn't an official day off. This makes me sad. It's not like I didn't know that was going to happen, but sad nonetheless.

There is one thing that was pure unexpected joy for me this season though. It is Gay themed Christmas Cards. I've never gotten any before, and now that I have, I adore them. The jokes, the puns, the picture fun with once never dared make fun of subject matter. Pure glee in an envelope.

I got one the same day I got a card with some heavy Catholic content. I giggled as I put the two cards in the same bag facing each other for the ride home. When I got home there was no holy war, there was no name calling and nobody burst into flames.

It's too bad that people in general can't be more like their holiday cards. There's a spot for your message that people can take or leave, you wish everyone well and you don't mind when a different belief shows up for the ride home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I've Been Thrown a Lit Stick of Dynamite

So at the new job, I learn the new boss has a sad event happen in his life. His mother in law has passed away after a battle with some kind of illness.

For normal people, this is a deal with able event. For me, it is a time to make sure I keep my trap shut the hell up so I don't offend the man. I smartly sent Mr. Zoom out for a card for me. And all I did to that card was sign my name.

"Ok, what kind of card should I get for you for him?"

"Something that won't offend a highly religious man who happens to be my boss of less than a month, who's mother in law just passed away? Is there a section at Hallmark for that?

It turns out my new boss is not only very religious, but so are several other co-workers. So much so that it's openly spoken about in passing among themselves. Which is fine with me. They don't try to convert me, ask me what I believe, or otherwise know I'm there. I'm all for any beliefs people want to have, as long as they respect my right to do the same.

But there will come a time when all of that changes. As Olympic Champion of snacking on my feet, both at once even, I can only hope I stay below the radar as long as possible.

I've already mispronounced the name of a key co-worker in such a way that people who witnessed it actually rolled on the floor laughing. I'd tell you what it was, but it's unique enough that it would instantly identify me to anyone happening along this here spot on the net - who happened to be connected with my job. I can tell you that I called him/her the name of a car manufacturer. An American one, at that. It made Mr. Zoom make that forceful "HAH" then silent laugh thing he does when he's really stricken with the funny.

About a week after I started the new job, a temp was assigned to the desk two desks away from me. She didn't have a lot to do there. She spent a lot of time on the internet. The way her computer was situated, I got a decent view of her web tour. I was struck with familiarity when I saw her staring at a screen...that I knew I knew....but couldn't place. I later realized it was the create post screen of blogger!

A fellow! I didn't get a good enough view to see what her blog was though. I was so amused with the fact that a fellow blogger was temping at my office that I tried to secrety take her picture while she wasn't looking. I was hoping to get the blogger on screen when I did it, but as we already know, I suck at secret agent stuff.

When she had her back to me, I took my camera and lined up for a shot. This was tricky, since other people could see me and I had to time it perfectly. Turns out I forgot to turn off the flash, so when the camera went off, she immediately turned around. I put on my best "Hm, I'm looking down at my desk...looking for something that isn't there, it's important and I'm not paying attention to you at all...WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME?" act. I even talked to myself out loud "NO, no......that pencil isn't right here where I thought I put it......hmmmm".

I suck at acting too.

I tried again to take her picture since the one I had just snapped might have been fuzy. I turned off the flash, but this time the little *tink* noise the shutter makes caught her attention and she immediately turned around again. Which lead to me fake looking for my pencil again.


I haven't seen her since.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not Very Holiday Spiritish - Granted.

Dear Resume Writing People,

Quit putting your hobbies or personal interests on your resume. You might as well send us to your myspace page where we can see what you really do enjoy, and learn even more reasons why we shouldn't hire you.

"I enjoy reading, water sports and camping in the summer." I CARE NOT. Do you also enjoy researching how to put together a decent resume? If the job you are looking at actually requires such information, you can put it in your cover letter. Provided you even know what that is.

And chances are, should your personal interests factor into the job you are seeking, they will need to go on the top of the page, not waving pathetically as an afterthought at the bottom.

I don't know. We might hire Betty because she likes to put together jigsaw puzzles while kittens romp at her feet instead of Jane, since she likes to run through sprinklers balancing a Mai Tai and a volleyball. While Jane might be a lot more fun in the office, Betty isn't likely to call in the next day with a hangover or a broken leg.

I don't work in any position that screens resumes. I don't have an ounce of influence in this corporation as to whether a resume is chosen for the next step. The person I work for does see resumes though, and the ones with personal information on them make me want to seek out the author during his/her interview and 3 Stooges poke them in the eyeballs for including such things. AND GETTING AN INTERVIEW DESPITE OBVIOUS OVERQUALIFICATION IN NITWITDOM.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

When the Broken is Nobody's Fault But Yours

There was about a 45 minute block of time today wherein I was convinced that the Superior Court had lost its telephone service. I would have bet anyone around me this was true. I spent that 45 minutes attempting to make successful calls to that court, only to get a recording every time that said "I'm sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number and try again."

I tried every department telephone number I could find on the internet. There are at least 50 of them. NONE of them worked.

I reasoned "Hm. I'm new. Chances are I'm not dialing the phone correctly. I'll try calling a number I know is working and see if I get through." I tried my home, and I got the answering machine. OK, then I can't be doing anything wrong, right?

So in flustration, I called the associate attorney that assigned this to me. I said "Yeah. You aren't going to believe this when I tell you - and I'd like you to try the same numbers I did - but I can't get one single number to the Superior Court to work correctly. They are broken. BROKEN I TELL YOU. I get an "unable to connect" message every time. And I tried local numbers I know, and got through on those so I have to be dialing correctly."

He good naturedly conference called me in on his attempt to get through to our court department - AND GOT THROUGH ON THE VERY FIRST TRY. When the clerk picked up, I honestly thought it was a joke. After the call was completed, I asked him to come up to my phone so I could try again. Because I kept getting the same result.

While he watched, I started to dial the number. And then the laughter. THE LAUGHTER began. "The problem is you aren't daling 1 - xxx - xxx-xxxx. Because you do know we are in the yyy area code??....which means xxx numbers need a 1 before you dial...."

Turns out that I was dialing as if I was in the area code FOR MY OLD JOB (xxx), not the new area code (yyy) I'm dialing from now. Not the area code I've typed onto at least 300 some documents in the last month.

I laughed. He laughed. I'll bet you a gillion dollars I'll do it again. Wish I had that 45 minutes back - but whatcha gonna do.

Besides, I've got a much more disturbing worry to worry about. The air is so dry lately that the inside of my nose now feels as if I've coke whore sniffed an entire pan of baklava up into there. Like I'm storing for the winter or something. I can't breathe without making whistle noises. And every once in a while I get the sensation that I've got a dangler. But nothing is ever there. At least not when I look. And trust me, blowing my nose only makes all of this much worse.

If I can't even dial a telephone correctly, how am I supposed to trust myself to keep my nose dangle free?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Heart Swells with Cable Provider Love

There is little I adore more than being on the couch in my jammies with a blanket, watching all the t.v. I can absorb. I realize this is not a healthy, admirable or inspiring habit. I do not care. It makes me oh so happy, and life is too short not to find what makes you happy and do it.

Wittgenstein can totally bite me and then wear it.

I spend a LOT of time in the On Demand. That is the channel that our cable company provides where you can buy movies to watch. Some are good, some are absolute trash. I love them all. I like to pick some indie film and then go to IMDB after I watch it to see what other people thought. One recent pleasant surprise was "Brothers of the Head". Wonderfully dark, twisted mocumentary that won't leave you easily.

Today I was browsing categories when Christmas came early to the Zoom household. Cleverly disguised as "Special Interests", which to me usually means documentaries...

Behold my next false story to strangers about how I met my husband: Dating On Demand.

I can still hardly believe this exists.

So of course I had to find out what the man of my dreams was like. After all, I've spent all this time believing he snores me out of bed every night and laughs when I trucker burp, without following up with divorce papers.

The anticipation nearly killed me.


Turns out I don't dream like other people?


But to prove I wasn't just thinking about myself, I decided to see what kind of replacement wife Mr. Zoom could have if .. say.. trucker burping becomes unamusing to him. I picked from the girl next door category.


I previewed the reason she's a good catch. "You should date her because you'd be loved and treasured. Now if that's not a good reason, we don't know what is!"


Mr. Zoom definitely deserves to be loved and treasured.


Although not by a pirate.

You may have noticed under "Dating on Demand", there is a submenu called "Something Weird". GLEE washed over me AGAIN!


I haven't had time to see all the weird goodness in here, but I was immediately drawn to SCHOOL SCARE FILMS!!


LSD Insanity. YEEEEES! Although it's not very cool - since the film itself asks "LSD, Insight or Insanity", and the title in On Demand gives you the answer straight away. Because I was leaning towards insight at first...


You get pure, uncut, retro educational filmage without the homework!


This poor woman mistook a flame from her gas stove for a carnation. Flower. Flame. Easy mistake.


And it's all in the Free Zone! I haven't been this happy since I found the submenu from the IFC channel that plays indie films for free that are in theaters now!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Tagging, by Poly. The Answers, by Zoom.

6 Weird Things About Me.

1. I can not seem to stand still long enough to fill the gas tank in my truck. I will start, and by the time $35 or so dollars has rung up on the pump, I'm bored and feel the need to drive away. I usually try to make the amount of gas cost some uneven amount - like $33.21. I only do that because Mr. Zoom checks the accounts almost daily, and he adores even amounts. When we go out to eat, he will figure a tip so that the total bill is an even amount. And quite honestly, the uneven debit game is the only thing that keeps me at the gas pump for a few seconds more. Mr. Zoom will get into my truck, see the 3/4 gas tank and say "I thought you went to the gas station today?!"

2. I have a toothbrush bristle phobia. I am fine with my own toothbrush, but if I see one on t.v. - especially if someone runs their fingers over the bristles, it makes me squirm. If someone is holding a toothbrush and mindlessly flicks the bristles, it also drives me crazy. I have no idea where this came from.

3. I take medication every day to function "normally". Antidepressants. I once lived a life of panic attacks and never being able to step foot ouside my own home. Medication, sometimes deservedly, gets a bad rap.

4. When I'm out in public, even if I've just rolled out of bed, I have to have earrings on. I think I know where this obsession came from. When I was little, my fine, thin hair (almost impossible to grow long), along with my "tall" size had many people assuming I was a "boy". I was crushed every time I got mistaken for a boy. Granted, I was I huge tomboy and my friends were mostly other boys (2 older brothers' influence), which didn't help. Also, my girls didn't become anywhere near their "D" size until I was about 33 years old. So having a "B" or less rack under there wasn't much of a giveaway either. How I figured earrings would be the shield from mistaken gender? Dunno. But to this day I need to have earrings on if I'm out in public.

5. When I was young, I never seemed to believe I'd live beyond 20 years of age. And it wasn't always 20 that I focused on, just what at that time felt like "older" to me. I don't know why I thought I wasn't going to be alive much past my teens. It wasn't like anyone abused me, threatened me - anything like that. I had absolutely NO basis for any kind of crazy thoughts like those. But I can remember them being a prominent theme in my daily thought rotation until I turned at least 18.

6. When I was little, I thought UPS trucks were chocolate milk trucks. I was actually young in the days of milk delivery. And milk always came out of white trucks. I figured the UPS trucks never came to our house because chocolate milk wasn't allowed.

Now, I'm supposed to tag people. But I'm never very good with that. So I always take the wussy way out and say "ok, here you go. If you want to be tagged, then.... shazaam! You are."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ok. Fine. I Don't Need to be Told THREE Times.

Hello blogger account. You bombard me with "UPDATE YOUR BLOGGER to the NEW AND IMPROVED BLOGGER", in beta. And I don't want to do that. It took me long enough to work this one. And I don't even know all the features here yet. So until you tell me I have to upgrade, I think I'll stick with the old version.

This here recent Thanksgiving arrived with a few unexpected adventures. We normally don't do much for this holiday, but were given the opportunity to visit family so we took it. I won't be back to work until Thursday. This is the only time off I'm going to get for about a year, so we figured we'd make the best of it.

And by best of it, I mean going out into the public world and apparently provoking the suspicion of one heavily accented grandma with a baby stroller.

You know how some brain disorders are associated with hypergraphia? Or at least I think I read that somewhere... Well, whatever disorder I have comes with a mean case of hyperphotographia. As long as I can remember, I've had a love of photography. My father had his own darkroom before I was even born, and one of my great aunts was so very good at it. There's even a photo club in Washington that has a memorial award in her name issued every year. I suppose it's run in my family - although the being good at it part took a left turn and never arrived at ME. Which is why I can't understand why I'm so fascinated with something I'm clearly not able to do in a way that justifies putting myself in the cross-hairs of public ire.

Today I went down to Balboa Island. It's a huge tourist attraction in the summer. This now being winter, and a week day - I could hardly get the camera charged up fast enough to get down there and wander around. I figured the Fun Zone would give off an interesting vacant carnival type vibe since it is winter.

There were other people there, but nothing like the jam packed streets of summer. I purposely stayed out of the residential areas on the island. There were some great photo opportunities, but I had to let them go. I didn't want to freak anyone out by taking pictures of their house.

I began taking pictures almost immediately upon feeding a parking meeter at the Fun Zone. I noticed an older lady with a baby stroller behind me. Feeling like I was in her path, I turned around and headed the other direction on the street. I crossed and started to enter the Fun Zone from a different angle. Whenever possible, especially when children are involved, I try to stay out of someone's way. That's all I was doing.

I noticed that baby stroller lady was about 30 feet behind me. I thought "That's weird, I totally would have thought she was going in on the other entrance....ooooh, look, carousel!" I found the Ferris Wheel, the car ferry, etc. Every time I looked behind me, there was baby stroller lady. I started to think to myself "I swear she's following me. WHY?", but decided she was probably NOT doing that - since who would follow me in the first place, and who would follow me with an infant in tow? It just didn't make any sense.

(Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures, so I guess I try to make links)



As I stopped to change a lens, she was off to the side of me. I looked up and smiled at her. She grabbed her baby stroller and began to finally roll past me. She paused, looked right at me and half said half angry voice addressed me "Yoh lllruhn alllround taking LOOOTS of pictures. Ihhheets reallly rehallly WEEEIRD! Boot, I shuphose....whutevah...." and she waved her hands around at me. All I could reply in that moment was "I'm just practicing with my camera." I was stunned that she was actually following me, and that she was irritated with me. "OOOOH, I DOOH NOOOT CHINK SO!" she yelled back at me and finally went on her way.


As she continued down the path away from me, I tried to take a picture of her. Both to annoy her, and to prove to me that I had actually been followed and accused of .... something... by some crazy lady with a stroller. I, unfortunately, had the fisheye lense on and my white balance was set for sunny, not shade. So her picture isn't all that clear. And it's only the back of her.

And what kills me is that I understand people asking me what I'm doing. I get that in today's world, one has to question people and what they are doing if it concerns them. I don't mind if they politely ask, because I'll politely respond. When attacked like this, I just sit in my truck afterwards and say things to nobody like "Oh yeah? Well if I bother you so much, why don't you call the police? What's that? Oh yeah, because what I'm doing is NOT ILLEGAL."

There was a group of 3 college age looking kids down there doing the exact same thing I was. They had cameras and lenses galore. Baby stroller lady didn't seem to have a problem with them in the least.

I was wandering behind some of the businesses, and in the alley I saw this:


The instant I took that, a car pulled up behind me and a man rolled down his window. He asked "Are you a spy?" I said "No, I'm just practicing with my camera." He said "OH, I thought you were the FBI or something" and then he drove away. I'm positive he was just being cautious - trying to find out what the hell I thought I was doing. But if I'm a spy, I don't know it. And I'm the worst one ever. Who can resist photgraphing a bright yellowgreen house in an alleyway? I'm pretty sure spies are trained to resist.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's Only Been Two Weeks?

You are all very kind with your comments in the last post. Thank you.

Ok, so here's where I get to tell on myself. Run down all the ways I was feeling a little like a square peg destined for a round hole. I can say that after completing 2 weeks, I feel a thousand times better than I did on day one.

On day one, I was completely tazered. I had been given reference materials for the 6 hours of training my head decided to block completely due to terror, but they were 3 inches thick. You would think the occupation of law would allow for searching through reference material - but you would be wrong. Secretaries are expected to just KNOW. No attorney wants to see you raise your hand in that "wait a second please?" gesture while they are busy machine gun assigning things for you to do TODAY.

I have to admit that nobody at my new place really expected me to know firm policy inside and out on even my 6th day there - but that is me. Always taking a nugget of doom and making it my own asteroid. I also have this wonderful ability to absorb my prior surroundings and take it with me. Like these examples:

At my old job, we were encouraged to send every copy job to "staff services" (the copy room), no matter how small it was. That's all well and good when your office only takes up two floors. This week when I sent a series of small copy jobs down to staff services, I got a personal visit from one of the people in the department. "Here are your copy jobs. Um, these jobs are REALLY simple. Didn't anyone show you how to use the copier up here?" OOOOOOOH! I'm actually encouraged to make my own copies!! "Yes" I said "but I'm new. Please don't poison me." There you have an example of nervous utterance from me. How this person could poison me? Makes no sense but hey - I suppose they will have to learn about me sooner or later?

At my old job, when printing a document we had to sortof guess when other people were printing and then stick letterhead or labels in the printer at the right time. Hoping we guessed right. At the new job, apparently the printers are programmed to pick your paper for you out of 4 possible bins. So when I sent a letter to the printer and then walked over to get it - I was upset to see that a letter was already laying in the printer. It was mine, but it was on letterhead and I had just wanted a draft. I immediately assumed I had printed on someone else's letterhead. So I said out loud "whoops, I just printed on someone's letterhead....sorry." Yeah, everyone just gave me the "what ARE you talking about" face.

The loos. The loos at my old job had automated EVERYTHING. Flusing, sinks and soap dispensers. The ones at the new place? NO AUTO ANYTHING. Ok, that's fine. After a lot of "ohmygosh...did I flush?" and running back to make sure, I'm getting that habit back again. But the worst part of the new loos? They have hand lotion dispensers. Guess who thought they were the soap dispensers? Guess who thought that until one lady who works on her floor said "ahem, that is the lotion dispenser and it's been empty all day." because I was frantically trying to get something out of it - needing soap to wash my hands.

Mr. Zoom had told me all about the super stocked kitchens on every floor. He mentioned that every pain releiver, every cold remedy, every antacid was available for use while on the job. One day I had a headache and went in the kitchen in search of rumored mediciney goodness. I could NOT find anything like that. So I sent an e-mail to Mr. Zoom asking about where I could find it. He brought up (from 7 floors away) some aspirin for me and then wandered into our floor's kitchen (which just happens to be two cubes away from where I sit.) I then heard "ZOOM, your first aid box is RIGHT HERE!" I got up and said "where?" He pointed to the GIGANTIC first aid box nailed to the wall, at eyeball level, right as you enter the kitchen. "OOOOOOH" I said. "I didn't know we were allowed to open and use that?! I thought that was for ... fires, or earthquakes and stuff."

And my best performance the first week - I interoffice mailed a document to someone just 2 cubes away from me. At least she sits around the corner from me, and it's not like I have to look at her akk day and realize I made myself look like an incredibly lazy princess to her and a few other people. But I do have to pass her on the way in and out every day. And she's ALWAYS at her desk.

So there it is. 2 weeks down and I'm not fired yet. I really do feel pretty comfortable there now all things considered. And next week is short due to Thanksgiving. Which scares me a little bit because I keep having those high school, can't remember my locker combination dreams - only it involves passwords to the computer programs. At least I'm not to the "at work nekkid" ones yet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Tired

I started my new job on Monday. It's only Tuesday, but I'm telling you right now it feels like I've lived about a week and a half already.

I had completely forgotten how difficult it is to learn a new job. It's basically the exact same job I just left as far as tasks. The exhausting part is learning how this particular firm accomplishes those tasks. The amount of information - the passcodes alone - that I have to now remember is astounding (to me.) I've got stickie notes in places they were never meant to be.

Mr. Zoom is there, thank goodness. I don't get to see him during the day since he's on a different floor. At some point there will probably be something his department will handle for mine, but what he does daily is so far removed from what I do daily, that it will be easy to maintain our distance at the office.

It forces me to reach out a little bit to co-workers [strangers] that I'd normally avoid while hoping I could "figure it out" on my own. I still do try and figure things out on my own, but I'm not as hesitant to seek someone's assistance if I've got the one person who loves me no matter what just 6 floors away if I need him. Im sure that makes zero sense to normal people.

I won't be able to check in on you guys or even update until I feel like I'm starting to "get it" at the office. Even after work I've been able to do little more than hoover some dinner down and then fall into bed. Apparently I can not be made so tired that I can not eat.

Everyone keep writing and have a good November.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


We Zooms are never ones for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines day... I can't possibly keep everyone's dates straight, even with modern technology. I'm too flaky to stick to one technological device - so there's endless incomplete information in about 30 places at one time.

That translates to me forgetting just about everyone's day. I like to give anything I find for someone right away instead of waiting for a special day anyway. Part of that is because I simply can't hold on to something I've found for someone for very long. I feel like I will explode if I don't get it to them right away.

Today is our official first wedding anniversary. And I guarantee you that I wouldn't even have known to write happy anniversary to Mr. Zoom in any kind of big deal way - except for my parents. Those who birthed me are quite insane. I've already apologized to Mr. Zoom.

He came home one night while I was at the gym and this is what I heard on my cell phone: "Um...there are large....LARGE packages here at the house. Only they aren't packages... really. They are trash bags. But it doesn't appear to be trash. I think it might be something from your parents."

Indeed, it was.

It came with a card explaining that this is our one year anniversary, which means paper.

And we will be using all of it. Although both of us are a tad disturbed at the Nesting Boxes. They are Christmas themed, and for some reason scare us as a clown doll would if it were sitting in our house staring at us.

"Are we a household or an institution? My guess is both."

My FAMom also provide me with a bag of leftover Halloween candy. I was amused and afraid for her when I got it home and realized she had made individual baggies of candy for her visitors:

Witness two bags she prepared. Each has exactly the identical contents. She's not about to let any little greedy child try and fool her into thinking they deserve a second helping - since all of her offerings are full of thought and fairness. Fairness you CAN.NOT.ARGUE. I love my mom, but she's always looking at a situation as having a potential problem attached to it. And she loves nothing more than beating you to the solution to it. Whether a real problem exists or not.

When I came home with these I told Mr. Zoom "Uh, you want to take this to the office with you? Warning though, my mom individually baggieized the candy."

Now, where am I going to store 30 rolls of toilet paper?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ah, Now I Get It.

It being where I learned to maintain my love of a stupid joke well past the age that most people claim I should have let it go.

I went to visit my parents tonight. The first thing my Dad said to my FAMom was "Let's show her the canned pudding!" I know my Dad well enough to freeze upon hearing this set up and say "Why, whatever do you mean?" And I was just a litte curious as to what they had "discovered" this week. They are getting to that age where I have to act like discoveries they make are extraordinary. Act like that e-mail warning hoax they have forwarded isn't all bullshit, but an incredibly helpful - no - lifesaving document. Stuff like that.

He eagerly went to his office and returned with a can of Spotted Dick. I made the requisite "Aww geeze, that's silly" talk and handed the can back to him. All the while thinking "Gad, I've read up on that dish, and can't understand why anyone would eat it, much less can it. I wonder how canning it goes over with people who actually eat that stuff?"

He explained the history of Spotted Dick and how a friend had bought it for him at a British store out here somewhere. FAMom and Dad could not get over themselves. They kept giggling and passing the can around.

I would have taken pictures, but I had left my purse in the car since this was to be a short visit.

When I got up to leave, my Dad said "Mom of Zoom....shall we have some Spotted Dick now?" That sent them on a giggle fest that I'm not sure isn't continuing even now. 3 hours later. I love that they still laugh at potty humor.

After all, I managed to break out into uncontrollable laughter today when I told the managing partner "Your package is large and organized." This is an example of how I talk, but not all of the important information is out loud. Listening to me is literally like trying to listen to the speaking version of one of those bots or programs that spews that jibber jabber in spam e-mails.

What I was trying to say to him was "Your documents for the hearing tomorrow are organized by motion, opposition and reply - And there are 4 motions being heard tomorrow instead of just one."

Thank goodness he either knew what I meant by the crazy speak, or he simply wanted away from me as soon as possible. Because he just kept on walking after my statement. It is really going to be difficult to train a whole new office in Zoomspeak. Without my getting fired first.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why, That's Below the Standard of CARE!

Our office makes coffee available to its employees. FREE. We have one of those cup at a time machines, with about 6 different kinds of coffee to chose from.

It wouldn't matter if there were 100 kinds to chose from, someone would be unhappy with the FREE coffee. Just like there's always someone unhappy with the FREE bagels and muffins provided on Fridays.

Everyone knows there are people who would rather complain and still take advantage of the free, rather than quietly go fulfill their needs elsewhere at their own cost. I tend to think of it as misplaced entitlement, and it amuses me that people waste so much energy complaining about the free.

This morning I was treated to a new level of misplaced entitlement. It was frosted with the painfully obvious "someone learned a new phrase and isn't using it correctly."

A particular employee of this firm is what is known as a table pounder. He/she constantly uses the f bomb and emphasizes his/her verbal communications with clenched fists hammering on whatever surface is in front of him/her.

Attorney Smash was at the coffee machine when I came in to the kitchen.

"THERE'S NO DECENT COFFEE HERE! It's all this flavored and decaf crap." <------- (lets all take a moment to notice of the use of the word crap, shall we? In my head I said "poo, you should call it poo - or you will be written up.")


Now, the last time I discussed the term Loss Leader with someone, I was told it was a desirable item that a business sold at a loss in order to tempt customers to look around and buy other items. A way to get people through the door. I'm pretty sure it's not the stuff that's left over that nobody wants.

I pretended to look through the cabinets in an attempt to find Attorney Smash some "good" coffee. I kept saying "Nope, all that is here is that....what did you call it?"


Attorney Smash repeated this loss leader theory to at least 2 more people who came in the room. Every one of them glazed over with a mental block building look. They seem to like the loss leader coffee just fine. As do I. In fact, it's rare that those flavors are so plentiful.

I hid my giggles by pretending to search yet another cabinet. At least one other person listening to his rant caught on to what I was doing and before long we both had to leave the kitchen.

It must be hard to go through life believing all acts are a covert attack on one's happiness. I wonder if I can get some rumors going around the office confirming that fact before my last day arrives.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to Pooville

Last night I was taking some time after work to gather a bit of my personal stuff out of my work area. Every evening I've hauled a box out to the truck so that on the last day I'm not tempting the fall over gods with my wide load.

My telephone rang, and it was the office manager. I was informed that I am not permitted to use the term "crap" in the office. Even after hours. Here's what I heard "bla bla bla I challenge you to be creative in your off color language bla bla bla."

I'm certainly not going the way of a certain co-worker who uses the term "Puppy Trax" (yes, she has it spelled out on a sign in her cube) whenever she feels the need to creatively curse. Whenever she lobs this annoying phrase into the atmosphere, the wave of cringing can be seen circling the office - sometimes twice - depending on the number of Trax delivered. If I were going to be working here longer, I would blame the next round of heart attacks on the additional stress created by resisting the smackdown of this phrase and its overwhelming hurl factor.

I know call the crap POO. While not exactly creative, it is amusing. To me. "Aw Poo. I just dropped my pen in my lap for the 3rd time today. Another 2 or 3 rounds and I'll be forced to wear yet another unintentional smilie face on my britches - in an unfortunate location."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Sale Price Scans at the Register.

Ages ago, someone told me about the Hollow Earth theory. I saw a picture and went "neato!". I didn't absorb any science concerning it. All I remembered was the water, the islands and the little theoretical sun. And then I promptly forgot all about it.

Which is why (I think) while watching Lost during the last three weeks, my head clicked to "Maybe it's a Hollow Earth theory with other science fiction twists?" It was when the woman said something about sailing around in circles keeping the ... uh... survivors busy. Somehow that made me think Hollow Earth. I googled Hollow Earth and Lost, and see that someone took a lot of time to explain the possibilities and non-possibilities of this being the case. I didn't read it though.

I'm willing to buy it without understanding it and call it a show. I'm growing tired of the cranial blue balls every week.

I was also disturbed, recently, by something I saw in my hair salon the other day. This particular shop displays art by local artists for sale. The name, title and price of the piece is displayed. Totally normal stuff, right?

Yes. But. One particular artist spelled her name "Nansea". And it took me a good 20 seconds to realize it wasn't pronounced "Nanseeeeah", but "Nancy". And then I became annoyed.

It's not that I think unique spellings are bad - in general. I understand the benefit of making one's name stand out. Especially if you are an artist or someone that needs to make sure when you are googled, there's a good chance YOU are on the first page of the results. I'm annoyed because my thinks too much about things that probably don't matter consciousness will now be terrified to assume things that were traditionally sorta ok to assume.

There's already plenty of wiggle room on the spelling of someone's name. I can get into a never ending trough of hot water just by mis-spelling a client's name on accident. I don't need to be aware that there are now about 3 gagillion other ways to spell names that were considered pretty stable (at least by me) until now. Sure, you have your traditional ending in "y" names ending in "i" - and the owners of those names are pretty used to me saying "Judy with a Y or an I?"

Now what am I supposed to do? "Betty? Is that with a Y, an I or a TEA?" "Betsy with a Y, an I or a SEA?"

I'm sure you can see sea that the possibilities are endless.

This is not good for someone who just today, after being at work for 5 hours, realized what that scratchy thing poking her in the lower back was. Yes, I accessorized today's work outfit with the original price tag that came with the skirt. Not just one of those "inspected by ____" stickers that usually hides inside of an article of clothing, but a full sized, anchored with a plastic tether, price tag.

Monday, October 23, 2006


A lot has been going on behind the dancingblog curtain. Mainly, I had an opportunity to interview for a position at not just one, but two companies in the last couple of months.

And I got one of them.

I wasn't actively looking for new employment, but I will now be saying goodbye to my current job and starting a new one in November. One of the best things about this job is that Mr. Zoom and I will be car pooling again. Actually, we will be working in the same company again - just on different floors and completely different departments.

I'd have taken this opportunity if Mr. Zoom didn't happen to work there. Although I'd have never known about it if he didn't. And the company seems to have not one single problem with us being married and working in the same office. AWESOME.

Some people are happy for us. Others think we will be divorced soon because of it. All I can say is that every one of the couples I know that has been divorced never worked together. So, I can't see that it's any more of a threat to marriage than snoring yetis and blanket burritos.

At least this way Mr. Zoom can keep a daily hand on my wheel of emotions. Makes it easier to knock it off of its spinner when it lands - a time or two too many - on the section marked "for every action (perceived or actual) there is a disproportionate and inappropriate reaction you've never seen before."

For any women out there who are young enough to believe you won't turn into your mother, I say "hang on to that dream as long as you can." For the rest of us, all we can do is hope the percentage of MOM is less than the percentage of US that takes over our daily consciousness.

I was discussing a project with a co-worker the other day. As is often the case, this person was NOT happy with the circumstances. Normally my interior ** dialogue goes something like "...uh, yeah...I'd be upset too. But he/she knows I can't change the circumstances. This isn't personal. I'll let them complain, then they can get on with the project."

That thought process was apparently too much trouble. Instead, this day I surrendered 1% of my SELF to Internal MOM who thought...

"Why is this person giving me LIP?"

I'm pretty sure that in the dictionary, the word LIP - when used as slang (a synonym? metonym?) for back talk or sass - has one of those little "WE CARD!" stickers you see in liquor stores. "Unless you were born before 1906, knit pet sweaters and eat dinner at 4pm, we cannot lawfully allow you to use this word. Be prepared to show proof of your age."

Mr. Zoom is lucky. All he ever worries about is getting to an age where it's ok to tuck his shirt into his shorts. He's asked me to intervene if this happens. Ok, easy enough.

But who is going to pull my MOMshirt out of MY SHORTS? Sure, I've asked him to intervene - knowing full well that when he says "You are acting like your mother", the wheel of emotions will spin. And the pointer will rest on angrybittercrying wife.

I guess I'll know what he's trying to tell me if he says we need to talk and he's wearing all of his ice hockey goalie gear. And swinging a stick.

**Update after posting...INTERIOR dialogue? Really? It doesn't even have as many syllables as INNER. Maybe it is time to take up knitting pet sweaters.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bake for 8 Hours at 350 Degrees

There are certain things I do that Mr. Zoom claims will "help me distinguish the real you from the clone/alien you." - should that ever become necessary.

Things like, every time I see an ad on t.v. for Islands Restaurants, I feel the need to say "I don't like that restaurant. I don't know why, but I just don't like their burgers." Every.time. As if he can't possibly remember that from the 232 other times I said it. Or how I ALWAYS have 3 open bottles of drinking water in various locations in the house. Mr. Zoom says it's like I'm afraid to finish one.

Mr. Zoom has tells too. He finishes up most rants with "toot sweet". ".....and they better refund my money. Toot sweet." He stops all tivo'd t.v. shows mid playback to do SOMETHING. Which causes me to sass/whine from the couch "please come back...I'm going to forget how this show staaaaaaaaarted..."

Here's another thing I do every single year. Although I don't know if Mr. Zoom is quite as aware of it as I am - in the same way that I am.

Whenever Fall finally starts to give us the slightest chill in the evenings, I immediately activate the blanket burrito effect. This is where I wind myself up in all of the blankets because it's finally cold outside. And I love Mr. Zoom only the teeniest bit more than I love sleeping in cold weather with all of the blankets.

The problem is that it's not THAT cold. I end up waking in the middle of the night and sleep fighting all of the blankets off so I can breathe/stop sweating. I don't know about you, but there are few things more annoying than going to sleep dry and happy - only to wake up 3 hours later damp and uncomfortable - with no one else to blame. In fact, I'm fairly certain this is the sole reason babies cry.

Mr. Zoom is painfully aware of the blanket burrito - simply because he's lucky if he gets even a shred of blanket for his own use during this time. I don't know if he's aware of how angry I am at myself when I fight the blankets off each night in an effort to bring my body temperature back under 150 degrees. I'm pretty sure I've passed it off as "Oh honey, you need blankets too. Here. Have some."

No wonder my mother's first question upon seeing me is always "How's Mr. Zoom?" I'm not a huge read between the lines kind of person, but I can guarantee you that question is less about how he is than it is about how she's terrified he's going to figure out what kind of crazy he's married into. And try to get away.

And if he thinks it's hard to get some blanket in the winter time, he should just try getting away from me and my family.

Monday, October 16, 2006

OCD Humor Husbandry

Poor Mr. Zoom.

Last monday was Columbus Day. And while we didn't get to take that day off work, I did take that day off from the gym. Which meant that a lot of sugar/caffeine consumed by me during the day had nowhere to go. Nowhere, but for planning a practical joke on Mr. Zoom.

Mr. Zoom isn't OCD in the gets in the way of life kind of way. He's OCD in the little bit of information is dangerous and exploited by his wife kind of way.

The towels in the bathroom must be just so. They are hung perfectly and adjusted by him every day. When I get onrey, I like to tweek the towels while he's watching and see how long it takes him to fix them.

Monday night we were changing into comfy clothes to go out after work and I had an idea. I went in the loo and pretended to wee. I had my camera with me. I set it on video and placed it in such a way that I hoped it could capture a towel tweeking event.

And it did. Although there's a lot of space in this where nothing happens. And it's horribly out of focus. It's like a director's cut.

After he re-adjusts the towels, we get into a gigle wrestle match as he thinks I'm trying to re-muss the towels. I lovingly call him a jackass.

Check this out:

towelfoolery - Custom videocodes by MyWynk

Friday, October 13, 2006

Right. Ok.

Mr. Zoom and I pulled into the parking lot of our local IHOP. We were both distracted right away by the large apaprtment complex that sits next to that parking lot. There was activity in one of the apartments. Mr. Zoom said "See that? It looks like there's some nekkid going on there..." I didn't have my glasses on, and could only see featurless forms from that far away.

After about 20 seconds, we both lost interest and started to get out of the truck. Mr. Zoom had driven. I opened my door and at that moment a police officer ran by. I almost tagged him by opening my door. I actually said out loud "oh no" as he went past. It wasn't even an excited "oh no", just a matter of fact ""

I watched the cop go through the bushes (about 2 ft high) that border the parking lot, and then disappear. He fell right on his face. Kerplunk. The bushes hide the fact that immediately after the asphalt of the parking lot is a nasty decline? (down and away - leading to a sidewalk) with pelenty of slippery foliage on it. If you aren't ready for it, apparently one takes a nasty tumble forward and pretty much lands on their head. And any nightstick that person happens to be carrying will fly up in the air so that any witnesses will think "how cartoony was that?"

Mr. Zoom said to the space where we thought the cop landed "are you ok?" While that was going on, I got excited and tried to exit the truck. What I forgot was that we were parked in such a way that the parking lot gutters made a strange valley right where I jumped out. And this should be no surprise to anyone out there, I too fell down but next to my truck. Right there in the parking lot. I pulled myself up about the time I heard the police man say "I'm fine". I turned around and watched him run into a waiting police car and they drove away.

Mr. Zoom had been watching the polcie man activity. He didn't know his balance challenged wife had managed to skin her knees in the IHOP parking lot. He didn't know the grown ups all around him this night would start falling over like a 7 10 split being picked up. He came over and helped me assess the damage. I assured him I was fine, just scraped up a bit.

We had come to the IHOP for some breakfast for dinner, and I wasn't about to let falling down get in the way of that. When we got inside I went to the loo to wash off my knees where I could see the bruising and scraping was going to mature into some wicked pretty colors in the next few days.

While in there I caught my reflection in the mirror and had the talking heads moment that goes "How did I get here? Less than 10 minutes ago this day was damn near normal. Next thing you know after a conversation about nekkid strangers, a police man runs by, falls down, I fall down, and then I find myself practically taking a bath in the sink of an IHOP loo! Thank goodness I wore flip flops."


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Continuous Loop of Duh

I'm sure my parents had high hopes for their daughter. I think they even tried to maintain that optimism after I managed to need stitches after simply walking home from school one day. I was in first grade. I was walking along perfectly fine when suddenly I woke up with my chin resting on the curb and the rest of my body sprawled in the gutter. My babysitter was walking with me, so she scooped me up and dusted me off. I had tumbled off the sidewalk. Under my own power.

My babysitter was a wise girl. She saw that I had caused some serious harm to myself, but she didn't let me know that. I had "split my chin open", and was happily oblivious to that fact - and the blood. She talked to me as if things were completely normal as she sped me back to the house and called my mom. I later came out of the Dr.'s office with stitches in my chin, one very weary mother, no lollipop and my first official blackballing from a Dr.'s office.

I've never been a good patient, even under the best of circumstances - and my abilities for fighting a Dr. were well honed, even at 6 years old. This skill would later earn me highlighted files in various dental and optical offices - as times changed and outright refusal to see a patient became a perceived litigatable (probably not even a word) offense.

Over the years I managed to chip my front teeth roller skating, ride a skateboard into a fence, follow my older brothers into situations with road signs warning "BAD DECISION", and other little gems that are now stories in constant rotation at the holiday dinner table.

You might see these examples and think "Sure, that's all physical stuff that most kids go through. Sure, most kids don't just fall down their entire lives and through young adult hood at that rate...but it doesn't mean she can't excel at something....right?"

I'll tell you about the day that logic went out the window for my Mom and Dad. I was 19. I was at home studying for class when my Dad asked me to run to the grocery store for him. I was happy for the break, and took the list to the store. I returned with all but one item. That was the 3 bananas he had asked for. He said "You forgot the bananas?" But I hadn't. "Well, I got to the banana section, and there weren't any bunches with just 3 bananas on them. So I couldn't get your bananas." He shook his head as if I'd just squirted him in the face with a water gun. " you can...tear... bananas off a bunch, right? You do know that you don't have to buy them as they are - that you are allowed to pick and choose and separate them if necessary??"

I didn't know. HAD.NO.CLUE.

And you may be wondering what brought on these memories for me.

I was at work the other day. I walked into the copy room. There wasn't anyone else in there, which is rare. The door shut behind me and I began looking for my supplies. When I found what I needed I headed to the door I had just come through. This is an important fact, simply because of what I did next.

On that door was a post-it note. It said "Please do not use." And I'll be damned if I didn't just stand there and think "Hm. Wonder what's up with the door. I guess I shouldn't use it. I should stand here all alone in this room and wait for it to be safe to use again." And there I stood for a good 60 seconds.

Right about then, one of our copy guys came through the door. I had one of those "OHMYGOSH!" looks on my face. He asked "What's wrong?" I pointed to the stickie note on the door. He took it off. "That was left over from some earlier copy project we did." And then the realization hit him. "DID YOU THINK THAT WAS FOR THE DOOR? IS THAT WHY YOU WERE STANDING IN HERE?" Others had filtered in at this point.

"No, I ... well!?...ok, yes. Maybe? But the note..and the thing..." I whined and pointed in a meek attempt to justify my immobilization. "gah...whatever...." I gave up and pouted all the way back to my desk.

It was the bananas all over again. And there were witnesses.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's Like He Loves Me Anyway

Friday night I settled onto the couch to rule my living room queendom and order the subject television around. Mr. Zoom cuddled up with me and said "I'm going to stay here forever." My reply? "Bring ice cream."

I left the house today with the camera. I wanted to give Mr. Zoom some time to have the house to himself. Plus, I just don't sit still very well and wanted to go exploring.

I went up to Old Town Orange. I was goofing around at the train station when a train came through. It had fun graffiti on it. I love graffiti. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because someone wanted someone to notice what they did...and I noticed. So I got to just stand there while the train came by and brought me fun graffiti to take pictures of.

Here's the link to the set on flickr if you want to see it:

I also came across this shop window. The shop WAS called Stiches. But someone fixed the window so it now says "TITS". And I'm still laughing about that.

The other night when I was driving home from work, I saw this cross on the side of the road.

It says Robert on it. It also says "from your little sister." Roadside memorials get me the same way graffiti does. Someone wanted someone to notice, and I did. I just wish I knew more about what happened. Or maybe I don't.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's Like Having Your Dreams Become Reality.

Just in time for Halloween, in fact so early it's almost "Christmas Crap in June" sickening, I've unintentionally transformed our bedroom into a set for horror movies.

Imagine, if you can, your loving spouse asleep in bed as you enter the room and approach "your side" to settle down in what should be the one place you feel the safest. There is no light, because you know from past experience that she has night terrors. And sometimes turning on the light triggers them. So you've learned to approach softly. You've learned that if you can round the corner of the foot of the bed, you are home free. So you get to the corner of your own bed and think "Ah, safe. Bed bed bed bed, mmmmm". Your guard down, your wife shoots straight up in bed and emits a scream that could only be manufactured in hell by minions from the wrong side of hell's tracks and sent to kthulu and a Minotaur for delivery to the human world.

This kind of performance last night by me caused Mr. Zoom to suffer what he has dubbed "a crumbler". That's when I scream at him without warning and cause him to lose muscle control in his legs. And it makes him crumble to the floor.

This particular night terror was one of the most vivid I have ever had. I remember "waking up" to a form standing right next to my bed. I remember being terribly frightened, and swinging wildly at it. It then split into 3 forms and I continued to swing. As I was doing this, I looked to my left and saw Mr. Zoom's figure crumbling next to the bed. This is the moment that I "woke up" for real and realized I was having a terror. I had not heard myself screaming. I immediately began to apologize to Mr. Zoom, who amazingly didn't walk over to my side of the bed and smother me with a pillow.

After he got in bed, he said "Wow honey, that was a crumbler. I nearly peed on the floor just now." And that's when I broke out into loud, uncontrollable sobs. Not just the squeaky crying kind, but the out of breath, manic, unreasonable, sobbing kind.

All of you people out there with normal wives and girlfriends, don't you just wish you could get you one of these? Mr. Zoom calls it the wheel of emotions. Then he makes the best "whirring" noise while he fake spins it in the air.

I was devastated that I had once again night terror crumbled him. I try not to cry in front of him, because I know how much girls crying rips his heart apart. And I don't find myself crying except when I'm tired and I feel overwhelmed. All the frustration of having this hair trigger screaming switch that I can't get rid of or even be conscious for when it's flipped just got to me and I felt defeated.

Mr. Zoom tried to comfort me. After I continued to fall apart, he said "Well, just know that if you ever wake up and there's a warm, smelly biscuit on your side of the bed, you will know why."

And that brought me back around. I began to laugh cry, which finally evolved into laughing. And apologizing. Over and over. But he wouldn't let me keep saying I was sorry.

Because he is, hands down, THE best husband in the world. I hope he knows how much I appreciate him. Even when I'm screaming.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's Like We Heard a Noise.

Mr. Zoom and I witnessed something very surreal this past Saturday night. We were on the couch watching t.v. I was taking up my regular 85% of the couch lounging space by lying down - which forces Mr. Zoom to sit up at the end. I usually drive the remote until I've become frustrated with the Tivo and my inability to distinguish actual show from commercials. Which leads to a lot of forward, backward, forward, cuss cuss cuss, backward - and then me tossing the remote at Mr. Zoom with a "you do it, it hates me."

Now, we've known we have a family of Raccoons that visits our home at night. They scared the crap out of me one night by walking through our courtyard about midnight. They were so loud that I woke up thinking there was a person or two in our courtyard - for nefarious reasons. I got up, peeked outside and was shocked to see two large raccoons, with a smaller baby traveling behind them as they ran up over the fence. They had been taking turns in our fish pond, apparently. So far none of the fish have been eaten, but we have to count them every morning to be sure.

So back to me hogging the couch. Mr. Zoom and I suddenly hear a lot of commotion in the back yard. Our sliding glass doors were open, and the screens were closed. The noises were definitely animal. They were sorta growly, sorta chattery. Hard to describe. It made the back of my neck wriggly with hairs standing on end. We paused the t.v. and looked at each other. Our couch is situated so that our backs are to the yard/screens/sliders.

Mr. Zoom turned slowly around and whispered "HONEY, IT'S THE RACCOONS!" I raised myself and could barely see a little racoon with his paws up on our screen, looking in the house like he was a shopper at the mall. When we Zooms got up to move, we were positive the raccoons would bolt. But they didn't. Instead, Mom and Dad raccoon spent the time running at each other full speed, and tumbling in a ball of fur together until they came to a rest at the other side of the yard. The baby continued to peer inside the house. He even started to pull on the screen as if he was going to pull it down. Mom and Dad were HUGE. I mean HUGE. I don't know about you guys, but I used to think raccoons were maybe as large as a cat. Let's just say, these guys could eat all the cats in our neighborhood - and give any of the dogs a good run for their kibble.

Me, being a total sucker for anything animal and furry kept saying "AWWW HONEY LOOK! AREN'T THEY CUTE! HE'S HUNGRY!" Mr. Zoom very gingerly went to the screen and shut both of the sliding glass doors. And locked them. If we had a hockey stick in the house, I know he would have fetched that first. He wisely said "I don't want them trying to get into the house. They will get into the house. Look at the size of them. They could get through the screen in no time."

We both grabbed our cameras and tried to take pictures. None of mine came out because of the glass on the sliding doors. Mr. Zoom got a picture of some glowing eyes, and one of a fuzzy tail, and that was about it. The entire time we watched them, they romped in our back yard and continued to pull on the screen doors. They rolled in the grass, stretched out, got up and continued to charge each other. They talked to each other. They kindof reminded me of miniature bears.

It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen play out in my back yard.

"That's it" said Mr. Zoom. "They are far too comfortable around us. I'm off to Ace tomorrow to buy some synthetic coyote urine." Listen folks. This is only our second year of owning this house. What kind of animal wiz am I going to be looking for this time NEXT year at the hardware store? And why does everyone I ask about this product act like it's common knowledge? Again with the living under a rock for me.

Turns out that coyote wee wee freaks them out and they avoid such areas completely. Natural predator and such and such. Which, great - they don't get hurt, nothing gets poisoned, everyone is happy. But I was still a little sad.

I really didn't want to coyote wee wee the yard, but I knew it was for the best. The raccoons aren't going to benefit from my making them comfortable around humans, and I'm not going to benefit from them eating one of our fish at some point. And they are destructive. They eat everything, and tear up everything looking for things to eat.

We still have the Shmoo visit us from time to time, and we still have our fish. Apparently their pee isn't good for deterring much wildlife.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's Like An ET Extra Wandered Away from the Movie

Home ownership rocks. It really does. Except when it blows hard. It blows pretty hard when you have to hire a band of beekeepers to extract a hive out of your roof. Twice.

The only good thing about it is watching the cars drive by and wonder why there's some guy in a hazmat looking suit on your roof? Because the bees aren't visible to just anyone happening on the scene randomly. Or so we've learned.

I was only brave enough to take pictures (from practically across the street) for about 5 minutes. Then I ran back inside where the angry bees couldn't get me.

If the bees are smart, which I think they are, they will just let me continue to live my life in unbelievable Needs Helmetness as their revenge.

I had learned after about 15 years of being a member of the work force that I am never EVER going to be able to obtain a cup of coffe and drive to work with it, without wearing it. Or having the interior of my car wear it. Impressive, no?

To counter act this, I put one of those little packages of kleenex in the center console of my truck. You know the ones I'm talking about? The little plastic wrapped mini kleenex package your gradma or your mom carried in her purse?

The next day I get my coffee on the way to work. I predictablly spilled it. Thing is, I didn't count on spilling it directly into the plastic reservoir that is ON TOP OF the center console that I put the kleenex in. And it happens that the center console flips open in order to get to the contents inside. Flips open in a way that all the coffee it was now holding would have been flug all over the truck and me (again) in an attempt to clean it up.

It was a magnificinet moment. I drove to work with a little puddle of coffee flowing around the center console top like a lava lamp goo blob. And it circulated in time with my traffic stops, starts and turns. DELIGHTFUL. It's footprint remains dried on the console today.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Like Morning Conversation with the Zooms

Mr. Zoom and I were having our typical

"....bla bla distrubing conversation, disturbing conversation, bla bla bla...."

He stopped me mid bla and asked "You know this why?"

"...uh, ok, but remember you asked for this..."

This is when he put on his sassy pants and delivered a speech. "Did I also ask for you to get out of the shower every day, refuse to dry off, and then hug me so that all the water ends up on my clothes?"

I have a strange dislike for bothering to "dry off like a normal person" after a shower. It's one of my features.

"Yes, yes you did. When you said 'I do'".

"Oh really? I don't remember that."

"That's ok, most men don't remember much about their wedding. You love being my towel."

"I do.?!"

"SEE! You just asked for it again!"

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Like Trying To Read Alien

I am the master of communication encryption. I believe the government will be knocking on my door shortly with an important assignment.

Friday night Mr. Zoom and I took his mom out for her birthday. She was browsing the wine list and asked me "how do you pronounce that" as she pointed to a 15 letter word. I said "not on your life. I have no clue." Mr. Zoom said "where are you guys looking?" What I read? Dessert Wines. What I said? "Desert wines."

"Really?" he said. "Wines they serve in hot sandy places?"

At another point in the evening, Mr. Zoom threw out a trivia question. "What do they have in Agusta every year?"

"..A gusta wind?" said I. This caused me to be amused at myself for the remainder of the evening. The correct answer was some golf thing, but I was too busy being a simpleton.

Sunday we were at El Pollo Loco's drive through in our jammies. I was driving, so I was charged with ordering. What I said "Three chicken breasts, five orders of flour tortillas, one diet coke and one regular coke." What the girl working the speaker heard "One chicken breast, 10 flour tortillas and a large coke?"

I tried again. "THREE chicken breasts. FIVE packets, orders of flour tortillas. ONE DIET COKE. ONE REGULAR COKE." "Ok" she said, "drive forward."

At the window she said to me "So that's 2 tortillas and a breast?" After finally clarifying the order, I turned to Mr. Zoom and said "I really need to figure out the code words each day before I leave the house. Maybe I should have orderd 10 dalmation sandwiches and two crow pies?" I have no idea why my mind went to 101 dalmations and made them sandwiches, or the nursery rhyme of birds baked into a pie, but there you go.

I also asked for salt (Mr. Zoom loves extra salt) and was given a packet of sauce.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's Like Scrubs is in Syndication

Once again I'm in a place where I can't post very much. And as you are all probably sick of hearing me say, I can't read the rest of you, or comment from the office. It makes me sad, because I'm getting to know a few more writers out there and I like their stuff.

And comments. I believe in a past comment, Wolf Girl eloquently described how my (hesitant to call it a) brain works when interacting with others. I adore how you people give me little bits of fortune cookie like wisdom to carry with me. I just wish I could let you know that a little more often, or with a little more consistency.

Lately, the office thinks it needs me more than usual. Although I'm positive I will have caused a revision of that assessment within the week. This combined with the fact that *heart* Scrubs is now in syndication on WGN, well - I'm pretty useless by the end of the day. More so than normal.

The only things that have even hit my radar that aren't Scrubs or work related are these:

1. Supermarket milk is kept at an alarmingly cold temperature. I'm talking dry ice like injuries from carrying the stuff 100 feet to the register. Ice cream containers don't even make me do the hand switch, use the arms of my shirt for protection wiggles like supermarket milk did last night. And we had four containers of ice cream Dibs with us, so I know. I kept telling Mr. Zoom how much this concerned me - and he properly dismissed me by explaining "you picked the ones from the back, knucklehead."

2. Finkos (FedExKinko's) are ruining things. Kinkos was always open 24 hours a day, and now some Finkos have HOURS! That's not cool. Ok sure, I don't ever need a Finkos, but that's not the point. For some reason I find a Finkos with hours to be a threat to my sense of "things that just are." Like, 7-11 is always open, there is always something you need from Target, and Mr. Zoom will always get out of a traffic ticket, and I will not.

So there you have it. I'll be out for about a week, wherein out means being at the office (more than normal) and unintentionally alienating my co-workers (some of them for perhaps the third or fourth time).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Like I'm Tourette's Lite

You know how sometimes you can say the wrong thing out loud - and far too loud - for the situation? You know how YOU probably only do that, I dunno, like three times a year? If that? I do not know what normal behavior is anymore, so I'm probably guessing high.

Well I do it often. So much lately, that it's becoming alarmingly less surprising each time. Look, if I'm alarmed, you know it's pretty scary for those around me.

Today's office jibber jabber consisted of famous people. Some people in our office apparently have famous pals, sisters, brothers, friends of someone's dog sitter, etc. Some have been in movies no one has heard of, some were extras, some are names everyone would recognize.

A co-worker came to my desk after ovehearing one of these conversations. She was reviewing the names that had been dropped. She was ruminating about how nifty it would be to hang out with the "famous". This is when I impulsively blurted out "The thing is, we don't know what 'famous' people are really like apart from their public persona...."

Right about here is were all ambient office noise suddenly ceased, creating (what I prefer to view as) the illusion that I was practicaly screaming when I continued,

"...I mean, most of them probably just end up locking themselves in your bathroom so they can do a line or ten of coke off your counter!"

Well that did it. The co-worker in question suddeny heard her phone ringing and ran the hell away. All the other people who didn't just hear my comment, but were force fed the thing at a freakishly uncomfortable volume, intermittently broke their stunned stance and wandered away while trying not to make eye contact with me.

My mind loves - LOVES - to take a conversation happening in my vacininty, find an obscure reference from my life's past, and pretend that it makes perfect sense to throw some varation of that experience out into the world.

Years before Mr. Zoom I dated a musician. He played in a band with another musician who was - semi famous - maybe at some point in his past musical career. At this point however, about 98, 97 - this particular individual had made it a habit to appear at our home without notice. He would then walk directly into our loo, lock himself in, and do coke off our counters for hours. By himself. I never found out what finally made him leave - I had always bolted from the household before he departed.

That situation, while possibly the teeniest bit relevant to a discussion about famous people, was of no value to the conversation at hand. Yet my mind readied and shot that cannon ball of information out into my workplace - as if it was the bestest example of famous folk and their antics, EVER.

I tell Mr. Zoom all the time "Sometimes my face just talks. I don't know how or why. Please don't divorce me." Now I'll have to add "when I get fired."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's Like Paying For Air, Only It Makes Even Less Sense Than That.

I bet that's what it feels like to be married to me.

Mr. Zoom kindly reminded me that we were back on track for watching our funds this morning. I consciously registered the message. I was not going to make that $20 tip mistake again. My inner dyslexic, however, sent the following orders to my body: "At the first possible moment after this conversation, throw some money at a situation and obtain nothing in return. That'd be NEAT."

Not 5 minutes after our e-mail conversation, I bought lunch from our office lunch vending lady. I paid her in advance for an item she would bring around noon. She does this every single day. I've done this with her at least 38 times, and it always works out just fine.

This time she returned to our office when I was away from my desk AND she left without even trying to find me. Normally, she will have someone go find the person who ordered from her so she can deliver. I've been the person she's asked to do this very thing, a bunch of times. Our office paging system isn't the best, so you can't always be sure you will hear the arrival of the lunch lady. She knows that.

About 12:30 I started to wonder where she was. I asked around and everyone gave me the face. The "oooh bummer, she already came and went" face. So there I stood, in the middle of my office having paid $6.00 for a lunch that would never find it's way to me today. I ended up going to Del Taco and spending another $6.00.

So basically I paid $12.00 to eat barely $6.00 worth of food today. FANTASTIC!

How could I have thought it would go any differently? There's nothing more dangerous than my being extremely careful.

In addition, as I walked through the mall to get to the Del Taco, a human pop up ad handed me a Bic Duo "For free! It's a high lighter and a pen, all in one!" SWELL! Can I eat it? NO. Do I need one of these? NO. Did anyone at the office want it when I came back? No.

My ability to obtain the things I don't need and lose or outright destroy the ones I do is truly astounding. I played with the pen while waiting in line for my lunch, and predictably wrote on myself (unintentionally) with both the ink (black) and the high lighter (yellow).

Might as well write FINANCIAL DOOM!! on my forehead and highlight it with screaming yellow high lighter.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Gumdrop With an Attitude Problem or Rice Candy?

My co-workers will often bring all kinds of cookies and candy back from wherever they went to lunch. The particular day in question was special because they all went for sushi, and had stopped at a japanese market that was nearby.

They introduced me to the perfect cookie this way. It is called Pocky. They taste exactly like chocolate milano cookies, only they are what I call "chocolate covered sticks." Basically the cookie part is in a stick form, and the chocolate is on one side of it. Sooooo goood.

On another occasion, they brought back something called Botan Rice Candy.

Because they had been so right about the Pocky cookie sticks' fabulousness, I decided to try a piece of this rice candy that they were all raving about. Now, anyone already familiar with rice candy can probably guess where this is going. Apparently there's an entire subgroup of people out there that know this stuff and how it works. This group consists of everyone but me.

This is what the candy looks like out of the box. Simple enough, right? It's got a plastic wrapper on it and you unwrap it to get to the good stuff, right?

Not so much. I unwrapped the first layer and was faced with a second layer. I thought "uh? What's up with that? Oh well, sometimes you have to work for it I guess." I tried to get the gummy candy out of the inner wrapper, and I had no luck. The insides split apart and the wrapper broke off in my fingers in such a way that it was obvious the candy would not ever be freed from it's wrappery sufficiently enough to be consumed. I just figured that maybe the contents were old and I quietly slid the piece I was fighting with into the trash can.

About 10 minutes passed when the two attorneys that had purchased the candy came out and asked how I liked it. "Oh, I'm not hungry at the moment..." I said. They knew right away I was totally fibbing. "Ohmygosh!" they gushed, "YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO EAT IT, DO YOU?!"

I just kinda looked at them with a stupid look on my face. One of them grabbed a piece out of the box and started telling me "It's fun! You have to eat the wrapper! Seriously. It's meant to be eaten. That's how it works. I never should have left you alone with the candy. I didn't realize you had no idea how to work it."

I immediately thought this was an elaborate set up for retribution. I've pulled quite a few jokes on my co-workers, and was convinced that this was a clever way to trick me into eating plastic. I unintentially highlighed my naivete by defending my choice not to eat the candy wrapper with some bravado.

"Please. I might not be an expert of many things, but I know my candy and confectionary foods. I also managed to pay attention when my parents taught me not to eat paste as a kid. I'm not eating plastic. Sorry."

One of them got the gigles over my terror of eating "the plastic". She unwrapped the piece of candy she had in her hand and showed me the candy wrapped in only ONE wrapper. She then popped it in her mouth and chewed it up. Swallowed it. Then laughed at me some more.

A few other co-workers came by, and because the universe loves to grind my confidence into the carpet with the heel of it's shoe, this is exactly what happened next. Almost every single one of them saw the box, paused and then said "OH, is that Rice Candy? I love this stuff. Eating the wrapper is half the fun!"

Oh, of course it is.

That's when I gave in and realized that life had pulled a joke on me without even trying. I threw one of the candies in my mouth with the edible wrapper. It still felt like plastic to me, and sorta tasted like plastic too. But it did dissolve rather effortlessly.

That night I came home and demanded that Mr. Zoom drop everything he was doing and join me in the kitchen. You see, I still wasn't convinced that I hadn't actually eaten plastic at the office. I wanted to see if someone else, in the same kind of circumstances, would try to eat the candy the same way I did; i.e., trying to get all of the plastic off of it before eating it. To my relief, he tried to remove the second, inner wrapper too. When I told him that there was a chance that we were supposed to actually eat that inner wrapper, he said "OH, rice paper!"

And that's the exact moment I noticed the instructions/information on the box:

Well, at least I know what to be for Halloween. Girl living under a rock.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

When a Bagel and Coffee Costs $23.60, It's Time To Hang It Up

Today began just like any other day. I left for work and stopped at the coffee shop for a large decaf and a cinnamon sugar bagel. Because the coffee ladies are always so nice to me, I try to tip them with a dollar about every week or so. I often pay with a card, so the opportunity for dumping any extra change from cash in their tip jar just doesn't present itself. I placed a dollar in the jar and proceeded on my way. On my way to the car, I predictably spilled much of the coffee directly onto my blue shirt. I cussed at myself and got into my truck.

On the way to the office, I made a turn. A turn I've made every day for nearly five years. Unfortunately for me, my bagel was placed in my bag in such a way that this particular turn flung the bagel and it's protective pastry bag directly onto the floor of my truck. THUMP! The bagel wiggled it's way out of the bag with each minor bump in the road - because only being half way covered in muck wasn't good enough.

I made another turn. Unbeknownst to me, I had returned my wallet in my purse so that it sat on the same trajectory as my bagel. I am not kidding you when I say my wallet flew out of my purse and landed INSIDE the now empty (save for the goo that cinnamon sugar leaves behind) pastry baggie ON THE FLOOR OF MY TRUCK.

I arrived at work and gathered up the shrapnel that was now my possessions - and inedible breakfast. I dumped the bagel and magic bag into the trash, and spilled EVEN MORE COFFEE ON MYSELF while hobbling to the elevator in my office building.

We have a food vendor lady that comes to our office in the morning, and then at lunch time. She sells breakfast and lunch items. Because I now had no breakfast, I went to her to buy something to replace my bagel. I chose something innocuous, and went to pay her the $2 I owed her.

I opened my sticky wallet, and inside looking back at me was a $1 bill. What you don't know at this particular moment is that I left my house this morning with both a $20 AND a $1. Because I was now staring at only a $1 bill - say it with me people - that meant that I had tipped the coffee ladies $20 this morning!!

I started to laugh - so that I wouldn't cry. I explained to the food lady that I would not be needing her services - but thanks.

I sat down at my desk and looked at the clock. It was only 9:15. I had left my house at 8:45 this morning. In one half hour I had managed to buy a bagel and a coffee for $23.60 - of which I was able to consume ONLY about half of the coffee and none of the bagel. Oh, and lets not forget the cost of now dry cleaning an item for yet another coffee stain.

I knew I had to confess to Mr. Zoom right away. Because making this sad situation even worse was the fact that JUST LAST NIGHT he and I had a talk about saving money and being super careful with what we bought. Of course we did. And apparently my first act in helping us accomplish that goal was to literally throw money away.

I shot him an e-mail with the subject line: Your Wife is a Moron. The body said "Go ahead, ask me how. But first promise you won't divorce me."

About 2 minutes later my desk phone rang. It was Mr. Zoom. He wanted to know "what did you do. I won't divorce you." After a good few false starts by me, both due to my giggles AND my reluctance to just come out with what I'd done, he said "Is this going to cause me great pain and anguish?" And of course I heard "cause" and thought he said "cost" - so I said "Well, I can tell you that so far it's cost you at least $20!"

I finally got the whole story out. Mr. Zoom gave me the Best Husband Ever response by giggling right along with me. Then about 2 hours later I got an e-mail from him with a present attached. I don't know how to get it to display here, I think it is too large.

It was a "cheat sheet" with a picture of a $20 and a $1 with a huge = sign between them. And that was crossed out with a giant red circle and a slash.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

His Ticket Comes in the Form of a Marriage License

Labor Day afternoon. Mr. Zoom and I had slept in. We wallowed in our day off with glee. We didn't even bother to change out of our jammies the entire day.

About 3 or 4, we got hungry. I don't cook. I hate cooking. I will never like it. I did not hide this fact from Mr. Zoom before we got married. We didn't have much in the way of groceries in the house anyway, so that left us with the drive through option.

We didn't change. We just climbed into the truck in full jammie couture and began to make our way to junk food sustenance. It comes out of a window and we never have to exit the vehicle - it's like driving your couch to the kitchen.

On our way Mr. Zoom broke out into what I thought was channeling. "I just California stopped that stop sign dammit. CRAP. Rolled it. dammit. DAMMIT." I said "uhhhh....what's wrong? Is there a cop pulling you over? I don't see lights...or a car .... " He said "Yeah....DAMMIT." That's about when Mr. Zoom pulled over, and I saw the police car coming up behind us. Now, here's the important part. The police man hadn't even started his lights or was he even behind us before Mr. Zoom started to pull over. I tried to be supportive "It's ok honey. It's just a ticket, no biggie. Traffic school."

Mr. Officer came over to my side of the vehicle. I had removed my sunglasses, because I figured the way we looked - jammies, slippers and my special fright wig bed head, it would be helpful. He asked us to turn off the engine. He said "I assume you know why I'm here, since I didn't even pull you over yet." Mr. Zoom took full responsibility. He admitted he rolled the sign. Mr. Officer wanted his license, registration and insurance.

Here's where we looked like total crack heads. I had about 2 years worth of registrations in my glove compartment. I fished the wrong one out and gave it to the Officer. THEN I found the right one and gave him that. Mr. Zoom handed over his license, and an expired insurance card. We assured the officer that our insurance was current, but we didn't exactly have proof of the moment.

I knew we were going down. I've been yelled at by traffic officers before. My proof of insurance cards renew ever six months, so often I forget to take them from the house into the car. STUPID, I know. It's just one of those things with me. Like losing my keys. I do it all the time and I should know better - yet I insist on making that same mistake over and over.

Now, even though I knew a ticket was unavoidable, I was a little happy about it. You see, I've had to go to traffic school 4 times since I started driving. And this time the ticket wasn't going to me. I love Mr. Zoom more than anything, but the guy hasn't had to experience traffic school on the level I have. Some might argue that is because he is a better driver than I am, and I would agree. Very much so. But this is my sense of fairness we are looking into and your logic has no authority here.

In the 4 times I've been pulled over and ticketed, I've never once been disrespectful to the officer. I've always admitted what I've done. I always thought being honest and respectful might get me a pass. And I've got boobs! If Mr. Zoom's opinion of them is correct, they are quite nice and should have at least gotten me out of a ticket or two. Alas, this is not the case for me. I've been to traffic school every time as a result. Anyone who's been to this snoozefest just one time knows how claw your eyes out agonizing it is. Stupid not working boobs.

So you can, perhaps, see how I smugly thought to myself "Ah, Mr. polite, apologize and be honest. It's not going to get you out of it. Trust me, I know. I'll pack you a little lunchable for your day at traffic school."

That's when the officer said "Well, since it's a holiday and all, I'm not going to write you a ticket. Bla bla bla careful bla bla bla pay attention......" and my body visibly tightened in disbelief. Mr. Zoom thanked the officer and we were on our way again.

I turned to him and said "I hate you." I then followed up with some impressive bitterpout, "I NEVER GET OUT OF TICKETS! And I've got the girls! It's not fair. How many times have you been to traffic school?" He responded, "Once." I repeated "I hate you." Mr. Zoom knowing he was dealing with crazy, decided to run with it. "Not only that, but the one time I had to go, it was Kevin and Bean's comedy traffic school." For anyone not familiar, Kevin and Bean are the comedy morning drive duo on radio station KROQ. They are immature jackasses. I love their shtick. So of course it's only fair that he got to attend their traffic school that NO LONGER EXISTS.

Now, I can't hold on to a thought for very long. Generally I'd have been peeved at the perceived injustice for about 5 minutes, and then totally forgotten about it. This was not to be the case this day. As we rounded the corner on our way home again, I said "AND WEREN'T WE NEXT TO A SCHOOL?? How is that fair? I NEVER get out of tickets. EVER. AND I HAVE THE GIRLS!"

Mr. Zoom, probably amazed that I'd maintained a subject for more than 10 minutes now, asked "So, are you saying that if you were driving, we would have gotten a ticket?" I put on my indignant face and shot back "YES. Not only that, we would have ALSO been cited for not having proof of insurance all proper like. IN FACT, I bet if you had ASKED him for a ticket, he would have STILL let you go. I hate you."

As we sat at the light waiting, I took the opportunity to yell out of the truck's open windows so other drivers with open windows could hear: "YES, here he is! The great ticket avoider. Yesireee. Ticketless."

Mr. Zoom calmly replied "Look, why don't you get on your bike and ride back over to the officer. Explain all of this to him and get me a ticket. OK?" My reply was flat and bitter. "I still hate you."

Later that night we were watching t.v. on the couch. I got a warm and fuzzy feeling over having Mr. Zoom with me and I said "I love you. Thanks for putting up with me." He said "Aw, I love you too. I'm glad to see you didn't hate me for very long." I smiled and said "Oh, I still hate you - traffic ticket shield man. Ticket repeller. I just love you at the same time."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cujo Was A Jack Russel

I needed some mystery bricks (frozen dinners) so I hit the grocery store behind our house the other night. When I came out, there was some police activity outside the shopping center - down the sidewalk a ways. This is nothing out of the ordinary. All the same, I decided to avoid that area. I cut through the parking lot to get to my truck.

It was past dusk. It wasn't quite dark, but just minutes away from that if I had to guess. I was keeping an eye on the police activity, which at the time seemed like a really good idea.

Proud of myself for not walking straight into trouble, I gently swung my bag of frozen food at my side as I journeyed to my truck. At the very moment I chose to mentally pat myself on the back, a growling, snarling set of teeth with a black nose attached and some fur lunged at me from inside a parked car. At the time it happened though, I did not know 1. what it was, or 2. that it couldn't get me - that the window was only cracked enough to funnel the noise directly into my ear.

When I regained mental consciousness, I was hugging myself and my teeth were chattering together as if I was really REALLY cold. I couldn't scream, although I wanted to. Somehow I managed to hold on to both my mystery bricks AND my bladder. All I can say is that the owner of that car is extremely lucky that I made a visit to the loo before I left the house that night. I'm telling you right now, if I had anything to give up in the pipes when that incident happened, it would have been all over the parking lot and probably on the car as well.

While I was regaining my composure, I realized I had jettisoned myself a good 30 feet away from the car without knowing it. I looked back in to see what kind of beast had given me the scare of my life. I'm pretty sure it was a Jack Russell Terrier. His tail was wagging. He was keeping an eye on me and my threatening dinners. I love animals, but at this particular moment I gave the doggie the finger. I know it's not his "fault". He's only protecting his owner's car.

I was so mad and scared at the same time that I thought about staking out the car so I could verbally berate the owner for leaving his/her pooch in the car with the window cracked enough to make me think I was going to DIE. I didn't. I got in my truck (which ironically was only two cars away) and sat there trying to control the shaking. I finally got my heart rate close to normal and drove home.

People please. I don't want to have to start carrying extra britches every time I go to the grocery store. It's inconvenient and there's no place for me to change. I shouldn't have to survey every car I pass in a dark parking lot for the hound of hell which seems to want nothing more than for my plumbing to release as I run screaming from the car in question. DON'T LEAVE YOUR DOG LOCKED IN YOUR CAR UNATTENDED.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When The Yeti Sleeps

I finally captured a sample of Mr. Zoom and his nocturnal symphony. It is free of any visuals and clown killing. If it were listed on itunes, it would have a little [clean] next to it.

Check this out:

BuzzSaw Husband - Custom videocodes by MyWynk

It should be noted that Mr. Zoom probably deserves an award for the amount of tomfoolery he puts up with (from me alone) - and the fact that I just called it tomfoolery.