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.