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.