Friday, December 21, 2007

Restraining the Unrestrainable

Last night I found myself gathering some last minute holiday gifts. Mr. Zoom wasn't with me, as 75% of my reason for purposely placing myself in the middle of sticky retail holiday ooze was to get an item for him I had just that day thought of as a really good gift idea.

The particular store(s) I had to share personal space with strangers with was one that potentially carried a video game for Mr. Zoom's Wii that I knew he'd been looking for and it was not on his Christmas list. It is the Tiger Woods Golf that came out, and apparently has sold out just about everywhere. The only reason I knew Mr. Zoom wanted it was that he mentioned he couldn't find it. Let me tell you something. If he can't find it, it can't be found.

Knowing this, I checked each store and of course, they too were sold out. Until I got to Target. My beloved Target. But here's the thing. Wii games are locked in a glass case. And there was only 1 Tiger Woods game left in the case. It was shouting "I'M THE POPULAR GAME EVERYONE WANTS, I'M THE LAST ONE, YOU'LL NEVER GET ME." I've never purchased a game behind glass before, so I had no idea what to do, really. There were a lot of other people peering into the same case that I was looking in. I fought the urge to throw my body against the case and yell "BACK OFF."

Instead, I ran (literally, I ran) to the register where the only employee of Target in my eyesight was ringing up a customer's purchase. I stood in line behind the customer and kept searching out the visible floor for any other red shirts who I could pounce on and demand they unlock my game for me. I wasn't too wound up, because I was next in line - but then customer guy started writing a check for his purchase. A CHECK. Not only that, but his check was rejected and he then tried to pay for his item with credit cards, business cards, oolongs and probably some orange peels.

About that time an employee of Target crossed my path. And I did notice he had on a black shirt, but he still had a name tag on. I stopped him and blurted "Excusemecanyougetanitemoutofthecaseforme?????!!!" He put up his hands in that woah woah woah manner and said "Sorry, I work in the portrait studio. I can't help you out." Then he ran away, which was wise.

I was beginning to feel exactly like one of those crazed holiday shoppers I swore I'd never ever be - one of those shoppers I've been run over by in the past - only a LOT worse. I tried to gather myself, but the potential that I could be the person to bring home a game for Mr. Zoom that I knew he wanted and he could not find was far too much for me to handle. I started to twitch while waiting in line. TWITCHING!

Around that time, something somewhere magically cleared for the customer and he was free to go. And at that exact moment a second Target employee entered the area and I lept at him. "CANYOUGETAGAMEOUTOFTHECASEFORME???". Employee #2 looked just as rattled as portrait studio guy - but grabbed his keys and motioned to me. He said "I'm on my way over there now, so I can get all of them at the same time." Which freaked me out because now I was convinced someone else had claimed the game I needed before I could do so. I tried to corner him into telling me the rules for calling dibs on ... say ... the very last Tiger Woods Wii game that might be in the case. "Ok, say I've been in line - I SAW the game first, but couldn't find anyone to get it for me. Then someone else finds a wandering employee and asks for the game. WHO GETS IT??" He actually giggled at me - seeing my attempt to badger him into agreeing that I should get whatever I was asking for, and asked which one I needed. "TIGER WOODS!" "Oh, yeah. We have just one of those left. I'll get it for you." Ahhh. The promise of victory.

I finally got it paid for and into my purse. I had 3 more stops to make before I could go home, because I still wanted to get him the item I started out for.

Normal people can wait to give a Christmas or birthday gift on the actual day of the event. I.CAN.NOT. It physically drains me to have a gift for someone and not be able to give it to them. Mr. Zoom is very familiar with this. Now I had to decide if I was going to attempt to hold this item for Christmas, or if I was just going to give it to him right away.

I got home and when I got through the door I threw my arms up in the air (like a ref signaling a field goal) and ran a circle through the entire house. Then I stopped at a very very confused Mr. Zoom and said "I'm sorry, but this has to happen right now." Or at least that's what I was trying to say. What he probably heard was "huuunnn yieeee wehehhheeeee neeeee!" I handed him the bag and jumped up and down like a mental patient trying to catch invisible hoops with her head.

Yes, I had TOTALLY decided to hold it until Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Am Jesus' Pinata.

This afternoon I was driving down the street gently embracing a nugget of nonsense my parents had handed to me over lunch. They had seen I Am Legend over the weekend and were not happy about it. Which is odd, because my parents love all film, craptacular and brilliant alike. So my senses perked up and I asked them what they disliked about IAL. Their answer?

And I'm not making this up ...."it was scary."

My FAM was adamant that Alvin and the Chipmunks would have been a much better choice.

I was simply struck silent. There was nothing I could or can (even now, 6 hours later) say that would make that conversation up there more beautiful than it already is.

As I rounded the corner to arrive home and convey this story to Mr. Zoom - I was greeted by something magical hanging off of a neighborhood mail box.

I think I know how the Wise Men felt when they saw the Star in the sky. I slammed on the brakes and maneuvered my truck to the side of the road. I grabbed my camera from my bag and recorded my very first, ever in my lifetime, never even knew they existed - Santa Pinata sighting. A SANTATA!

I simply cannot believe my parents did not find and purchase at least 4 of these before anyone else in California did. They are totally slipping.

Friday, December 14, 2007

No Eye Contact. Ever. Again.

Technology is such a wonderful thing. I can say I love it more than I hate it. BUT, when I do hate it - it's a burning, not healthy and totally unreasonable hate. Mostly because it is my fault it has bitten me in the britches and I could have prevented it.

Mr. Zoom embraces technology so fast and so flexibly - that he often can not understand what is wrong with the rest of us. If you are a retailer or utility that requires payments from the Zooms, you BETTER have an on line and preferably an automatic payment interface or Mr. Zoom might actually find your offices and demand you do so - in person.

Naturally then, at Holiday time we Zooms are going to coordinate gift purchases via e-mail. This week a rapid fire informational session was happening when it was brought to our attention that Mr. Zoom had accidentally sent an e-mail containing information about a gift already purchased - including the person who the gift was for. OOPS! He made repairs quickly, and all is forgiven.

When that happened, I thought to myself "Wow. That mistake was totally mine. I know for a fact I should have been the one to have done that. After all, I've totally shot my e-mail yapper off to the wrong parties in the past, and he's so careful and better at this kind of thing than I am."

Later in the week I shot off a customary at work - I'm thinking about you and love you - e-mail to Mr. Zoom. We work at the same company, but you'd be surprised how little we actually see of each other during the work day. I like to send afternoon reminders that we are married now, and regardless of any smartening up he's done since agreeing to marry me, he can't get away from me. I knew he'd been super busy this week with a tech roll out, but was still a little perplexed at having received no return e-mail almost an hour later.

About that time, I saw an e-mail arrive from my Boss. The preview box showed me the contents of his e-mail to me: "??" That's when I realized I had sent the following e-mail TO MY MALE, MARRIED BOSS - Subject: gosh I love you - Contents of e-mail: so very much.

At that moment, all of the oxygen on our green and blue planet was then sucked out of the atmosphere and transported directly into my head. And it hurt. A lot. Because apparently my brain no longer resides in there and nature hates a vacuum. I immediately shot off an explanatory e-mail to the Boss: OMG. I AM SOOOO SORRY. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO MY HUSBAND!! And then I fought the urge to faint at my desk while sitting in my chair.

My Boss came out of his office and mercifully, had a good long laugh with me and the few other people around us who were let in on what happened. I was so terribly embarrassed by my error that others started to blush FOR ME. Then we all started laughing so hard we all cried. I continued to laugh cry while I deleted all the evidence of my brain taking leave of my head.

Later that evening Mr. Zoom and I were running errands. I began my story this way: "I'm going to tell you a story. It is horribly embarrassing for me. Literally. painfully. embarrassing. But I'm going to tell you anyway." I got my story out, and as expected he shook his head in that "only my wife" way. He said "And how come I'm only hearing about this now?" I replied "Because I literally just this second got over it enough to tell you without crying."

And we laughed. Because that's what we do. Although between fits of laughter I had pangs of tears - and in an attempt to justify the see/saw emotions I blubbered "Ok, so let's review. You ruin a teeny part of someone's Christmas by accidentally revealing one of their gifts to them. I wind up nearly breaking up two marriages and embarrassing myself beyond all .... all... get-it-backedness (was searching for the word redemption)!!"

It's time for me to set the e-mail program to "delay all sent messages for 5 minutes". Even if it wouldn't have saved me this time. Maybe it will manage to keep me married for just that much longer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Touched in the Head by PDR

I was in the copy room one day and something caught my eye. The recycle bin had a HUGE, red, hardcover book resting on the top of the pile. Because I adore books, I ran over to it and yoinked it out of the recycle bin. It was a Pysicians Desk Reference, for the year 2004. I snuk the treasure home, where Mr. Zoom promptly caught me and called me out on my skulking through the house with it. "IT WAS ON THE TOP, IN THE RECYCLE BIN!! I HAD to bring it home. You know I did. It's a book, it's about drugs and it has color pictures of drugs in it. SCORE!!"

The fact is, I will probably never ever use it for anything other than pressing a flower (which I haven't done since high school) or as a doorstop. Even worse, it will probably end up in our bookshelf and it will collect dust. But I love it just the same. If I have to start calling it Vintage just to keep it in the house, I will.

But I don't have to do that. Because Mr. Zoom lets me - be me. No matter what. Even if our co-workers start calling me dumpster dive .

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do You KNow Who That Is? Is it Ethyl Merman?

Mr. Zoom is the most patient and understanding husband ever built. I was lucky to get him. Much like my Chevy Silverado 2001 - he's one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Mr. Zoom also comes with a very scary feature. Mr. Zoom can see a generic, no name person in a commercial just once, and he will recognize that person in everything from more commercials, to t.v. to movies if they get that far. While watching t.v. or, really anything, I get "OH LOOK! It's that guy/girl/ DOG who was in that ad for NAME BRAND WHATEVER that ran a while ago."

He tells me that people in ads often have a group of ads air all in a relatively short period of time. Somewhat like a commercial "it" person.

Sometimes he says "Do you know who that is?", which inevitably leads to me going "who? that person or the person who they just showed?" and then we have to wait until the "target" comes back on screen before continuing... "THAT person!" And I always say "no", just like responding to a knock knock joke with "who's there?" - which allows him to continue with the listing of ALL appearances the target has made in the past, and a list of their ingredients! - he is my personal IMDB. THANK GOD FOR DVR. Because while we are doing this retarded dance, we can pause the show, rewind or just plain go over it multiple times when I have to cranially catch up with what he's just told me.

I'm pretty sure that's the worst paragraph, structurally and informationally, that I've ever created. Oh well.

So far I have resisted trying to out recognize someone before he does. In other words, I continue to not pay attention as closely - because that requires concentration. If I can't remember to pout about something for more than 10 seconds, how am I going to learn to concentrate on commercials for more than the sparklie distractions that they are.


Until my Mr. Zoom pointed something out about a specific series of commercials that are running now. You know the ones with the people talking about how they need a phone service that works everywhere they do? How they show them in about 4 different places with each commercial? And they end with a name of a place like Phillawareapragakahn? Well, Mr. Zoom told me that each of the main "actors" in each of those commercials plays a different part in the other "actors" commercials.

AND IT'S DRIVING ME MAD(der than normal).

I was fine being the inattentive commercial drone. But now every time I see one of these commercials, even if I hear one going on somewhere, I have to stop what I'm doing and compare faces in the foreground AND BACKGROUND. HAVE TO. This is exhausting for someone who can't even stay focused long enough to fill her gas tank all the way to full.

In case any of you were like me, and are now cursed to seek out the similarities in those ads like one of those "spot the changes" games - all I can say is I'm sorry that you don't have a Mr. Zoom with you to make the madness hurt a little less.

Take this example. We were on the way to work this morning when a Serge Tankian song came on the radio. He's the singer from System of a Down. He has a very distinctive voice. Mr. Zoom said "OH, it's alternative music's own Ethyl Merman!" Which will make me laugh all day...until one of those stupid cell phone commercials comes on the t.v.

Monday, November 26, 2007

15 Minutes of ... Wait, Don't Tell Me... Is it Cheese?

Saturday was really quiet at the salon. I had to go get my bi-monthly fingernail tune up and was prepared to practically sleep through my appointment, as usual.

There was a woman there who I had never seen before. She was conversing with my manicurist, so I was able to hear that she was in on her "off" Saturday due to scheduling conflicts. And who cares, right? Least of all me, who as stated above, wants nothing more than to doze through the process and be shot back out into the world so I can go home and watch t.v. on my couch.

However, this particular Saturday having been the Thanksgiving Weekend, made it really really quiet in the salon. There was only one other manicurist in there, with her own sleepy client. My manicurist started up a conversation with the off Saturday lady ("OSL"). Before long, OSL offered that she had to go out of town next week to do some training in New Mexico. And that she was cooking a huge meal "tonight" and had to find an Italian supply shop to buy some key ingredients.

Because I'm as bright as the moon on a moonless night, I opened up my yap and offered that I knew of a local Italian supply store that might help her with what she needed. She responded to my nugget of advice by affixing the site of her Unwanted Verbal Fact Cannon on my heart. I was annoyed at myself, until OSL began to share with the entire room - her claim to fame. Although she does not call it fame.

What? I know. It doesn't quite make sense yet. Stay with me.

OSL is from Roswell, NM. She was born in April 1947. Without any of us asking, she informed us that was the site of the alien crash landing, and that it happened in 1947. And that the aliens came to her parents' house and switched out her mom's human baby for her. Which I thought was kinda decent for aliens, since they could have just taken the human baby and left nothing. Right? OSL, her friends and family have and do know all of the key people in the Roswell Crash Story, Myth, Parable - whatever. At this point my love of the Lunatic Fringe began to show and I was unable to keep my body from physically jerking when she'd proceed to another thread of the story. Baby coffins and secret this and that - she personally knows people. But until 20 years ago, she says she was never permitted to discuss the events outside of her home. When asked why (and not by me, because I was paralyzed with fear and glee while these things were being said), she said "Because they kept disappearing. All the nurses involved in the event, they all disappeared."

I've always felt like this conversation would be had in front of me or by me, but I always imagined it would involve a homeless person or an institution in the background.

OSL began to wind down her story by saying "I had my 15 minutes of ..." and she was searching for the word. She motioned to us in the room in that universal "help me fill in the blank" way that people do. When I offered up "fame", she said "NO!..that's not it" and waved the universal hand gesture for "idiot" at me. She decided to finish her sentence all on her own: "I had my 15 minutes of ...... but I was too young to enjoy it."

She didn't fill in the missing word. I MUST KNOW WHAT WORD SHE WANTED, but I cannot and will not ever know. Apparently it wasn't fame. Maybe alien babies are immune to our human fame. Perhaps she said the word, but like only dogs can hear certain pitches, we humans aren't equipped to know what her 15 minutes is called.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Like Caligula Unable to Conduct an Orgy

I've noticed a disturbing trend in broadcast television lately. It's that highly distracting, godawful blur out of people's faces and products. I HATE IT! Does anyone consider what happens to a mind like mine when blurr out shows up unexpectedly? My thoughts are sent spinning out of control like Darth Vader's stylie Tie Fighter at the end of Star Wars. Angry, evil and tons of time to sulk about it.

"Gee, I wonder why that person's face is blurred out. Did someone use a name, a face, an eyebrow that belongs to someone else? Who could possibly be upset about being on t.v. in some background, where I wouldn't even be looking EXCEPT FOR THAT BLURRING OUT THING THEY DO? Isn't this shot on a public street? Don't the people making this show realize that they are making their show look like my brother's prom picture from 1982? Back when people thought that fuzzy blur effect was kinda neat? Back when we all didn't know any better? Now I'm just annoyed and angry...and need to pick a fight with my husband."

WHY must I participate in this ocular rodeo?

AND, they are now blurring BACKGROUND ART. I could have sworn I was watching a re-run of Seinfeld the other night and a painting or picture in the background was blurred. WHO.IS.COMPLAINING? WHO? Because I demand the right to poke that person - all those people - right in the eye with my remote - left eye first, then the right if they don't agree to balls up and stop ruining one of the things I love most in life. TV shows.


Where does the madness stop? Because apparently shows that were created and broadcast long before someone wadded up their undies, put them on and ran to their attorney with dollar sign pasties are not left alone. It's as bad an idea as Ted Turner colorizing classic films. BAD.

Let's just go ahead and castrate the entertainment industry using our court system. Who isn't excited to live in a world where all we are left with is memories of better times? That'd be neat.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tagged by Pie

So Coconut Cream Pie (CCP) gave me a tag and the only prescription is more cowbell. Or, answers from me?

Four Jobs I Have Had In My Life:

1. Restaurant Research - telephone and in store surveys of fast food restaurants. This was before the internet changed marketing completely. I think they still have "mystery" shoppers though. I had NO life and I was in high school. I was a star employee, or so they said. As soon as I got a boyfriend I was outta there.

2. Mail Boxes Etc. - Pre-UPS/FEDEX/Kinko's mail merger store blobination. MBE was one of the only places licensed by the post office to sell stamps AND be a "post office box" location. We did HUGE business with UPS shipping. Christmas was fantastic for picking up more hours. I liked the job because I was on my feet a lot of the day and packing up packages for people. I was in college when I worked there.

3. Target. Cashier, planogram and for .5 seconds....receptionist. The sat me down at this huge board with blinkie lights and said "answer phones." There was no denying I sucked at that. So they sent me to planogram and part time cashier. I sucked at cashier too. Also, because of the employee discount - I never left with more than half of my paycheck. It wasn't a huge discount, but hey, anything off already low prices on crap you just don't need is reason enough to buy.

4. Secretary/Paralegal at a law firm. It's what I do now. I love what I do.

Four movies I can watch over and over and over:

This always changes around for me. But for now it is -

1. Billy Madison
2. Wizards
3. Dream with the Fishes
4. Monsters, Inc.

Four tv shows I like to watch:

1. The Soup on E
2. Scrubs
3. Family Guy - which I JUST found in syndication. Talk about missing the biggest funny boat ever!
4. The Office

Four places I have vacationed:

1. Ireland
2. Vegas
3. Thailand
4. Chicago

Four Of My Favorite Dishes:

1. Filet Mignon from Turner New Zealand
2. Flat iron steak from what used to be Rouge and is now French 75
3. Fish and Chips from The Olde Ship
4. Gringo Burrito from Rutabegoraz

and an illegal 5. Store bought chocolate cake directly out of the tin foil pan it came in.

Four websites I visit Daily:

1. Google
2. Court webpage with all the homepages of all CA courts linked
3. Dictionary/Thesaurus dot com
4. OMGkitty dot com [over in my links as "Pimphand!"]

Four Places I would rather be:

1. In a bookstore with unlimited, disposable income.
2. At home on the couch with Mr. Zoom and a Tivo full of new shows.
3. Photographing anything and everything.
4. Looking through my family's photo slides from the 60s and 70s.

Four bloggers I am tagging:

I'm still thinking about the cake. So tag yourself if you like.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"I don't even need to be here for this conversation, do I."

The time change. Oh, how I love falling back. Or what I consider returning to the REAL time. I don't know who thought robbing me of an hour of sleep for 6 months was a good idea. And then extending it? I continue to be bitter about that. My epitaph will probably read: "Here lies Zoom. Maybe now she will shut her yap about the injustices of Daylight Savings Time."

Mr. Zoom sometimes tries to go to bed before I'm good and ready for him to go to sleep. It is, quite literally where the "zoom" came from. My ability to verbally poke him when he's trying to start his slumber is not legendary yet. Although it will be when our story shows up on 48 hours because he decided to reclaim his God given right to go to bed whenever he feels like it - by taking me on a "camping" trip that goes tragically awry.

Last night was one of those nights. We were in bed and I kept filling the night air with my own voice. At times playful - others, trying and combative - and at ALL times annoying for poor Mr. Zoom.

In the middle of my one way rant, I felt Mr. Zoom's hands on my back. I said "Oh no you don't. Don't go trying to calm me with your kind, understanding, gentle hands." And that is when he ever so gracefully put me in my place. He replied "Oh, I'm just trying to make sure you stay over there [your side of the bed] ...

I like to call it ...


And with that I laughed until little tears of joy sprang from my eyes. And he finally got to fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wrong Place Wrong Time Wrong Pen

I was trying to get a document served. I was working at the copy station, and I reached for a pen that was among probably 150 other pens - living in the Giant Bucket of Pens. These seem to be the community pens, the orphans, the abandoned and chewed upon. Normally I bring a pen with me from my desk. Not because I thought about it - it's just one of those habits.

Like when Mr. Zoom is driving us somewhere and I've got my own car keys in my hand. Even after I've gotten in the passenger side of his car.

I was busy putting together labels for the service when I noticed big blue fingerprints all over the proofs. The pen didn't even have the decency to stop gushing ink when I began looking for the source of the blue. I had grabbed the one pen in the Giant Bucket that had hemo-inka-philia .

I threw it away and then realized I should probably try and wash the ink off before it set in. All I could hear was my mother's voice scolding me for drawing on myself. Sure, not the same as taking a pen to your arms and legs when you are bored and 11 years old, but no matter. The same impulse that makes me hold my car keys even when I don't need them is the same one that is tuned into my mother's lecture frequency. Like satellite radio. She's in between the stations.

I went for the small kitchen on our floor that is close to the copy center. There's a sink and always soap in there.

Unfortunately there's also coffee in there. One of our Big Deal Partners was in there getting some coffee when I came barging in with my hands in the air like I'd been scrubbed up for surgery. I turned on the hot water and went right for the soap. I used lots of soap. I scrubbed long and hard. So much so that the hot water got very very hot and I hadn't been paying attention.

I mindlessly stuck my hands in the water to rinse. Before I knew what happened I realized I'd jerked them out of the water and shot HOT, SOAPY, INKY WATER all over one of our Big Deal Partners - and the room.


I apologized and flailed. I Chevy Chase'd my way through the rinsing process and started handing out paper towels. Luckily whatever suit he was wearing was dark. He got away annoyed, but as far as I can tell, un-inked.

And it didn't budge the ink at all. It took two days of showering for it to finally disappear.

The Wise One; Ninja G

Upon learning of a blog by a mutual friend - He who is known as Ninja G authored the best one line e-mail responses I've ever seen:


From: Ninja G [] Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:37 PM
To: All The Monkeys

"How do you people have time for blogs? I barely have time to fart out-loud for all to enjoy."

Friday, November 02, 2007

What Just Happened?

Southern California decided to become a Giant Ring of Fire the week before I was to be in an outdoor wedding. Friends, family - people I didn't know but was feeling extreme sadness for were displaced and scared - everywhere.

I couldn't concentrate on anything but the news for nearly a week.

I'm relieved to say everyone I personally know and all family got through the fires very well. Damages were limited to stress over the situation, but physical and structural damage was nil. Except for the ash and smoke which we are ALL still dealing with.

I hope everyone who lays eyes here got through it safely - family and friends of yours as well.

The Friday before the fires broke I was at work when an e-mail flashed on my screen with the title: "Monday is Jesus' birthday." Because I'm a nitwit, I said "What? Monday isn't Christmas."

And since we are discussing Zoom Christmas retardation - it is time to reveal that when I was a kid I could never understand how it was OK for us ... people... to give Christmas gifts to each other. I knew the story went that three wise men gave gifts to Jesus when he showed up all those years ago. So when people started exchanging gifts all these years later because of that - I thought it would be seen as the gift giver saying to the recipient "You are now Jesus and I am a wise person. I am giving you a gift because of that."

And I knew enough to know that wasn't an ok thing to think, much less act on.

And I couldn't understand why we did it year after year after year. Further, when someone said "She/He is playing God", I thought they meant someone got caught accepting gifts as if they were "Jesus".

Apparently I had a little trouble separating God from Jesus - as well as symbolic gestures of gift giving. And thinking a little too much while not thinking enough.

I wish I could say I've grown out of that.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Make Sure You Watch Out for the Children!"

I was on the phone with my mom yesterday. She suddenly halted the conversation "oooh hold on a minute. THE STREET CLEANER IS HERE!"

Back in the day, I can remember my mother taking glee that can't be classified any less than seismic when she would remind every single member of our family that "Tomorrow is street cleaner day. You will want to get your car out of the circle before they come or you get a ticket!!"

It wasn't just our family that she lectured. Visitors, even if they were not staying for very long would be treated to this warning as well. I know her heart was in the right place, but unfortunately that jabbed me in the wrong place every time. It was like a commercial you can't stand - and the show you are watching is live. Even going for a sandwich, you can still hear it and it still makes the hair on your neck stand on end.

There's a companion "warning" that is issued to everyone who dares park anywhere near their home on NON street cleaner day too. It's the "Make sure you don't back over any children when you leave, we have a lot of kids play in the circle and you can't see them in your mirror!" speech. This one really gets me going, so much that when I hear it now, I say "Yes mom, but I was really looking forward to getting me some street urchin this time."

Not having lived there for over 10 years, I was shocked at how fast my muscles contracted in defense of an anticipated street cleaner warning. After all, how could she warn me if I didn't live there anymore? And by the way, when I moved into a house with Mr. Zoom, she did ask me if we had street cleaner day. TRUE STORY!! Alas, we do. But we don't get tickets for parking there on those days. WHOOO AAAAH!

Mom continued "...I have to get to the window to see who got a ticket this week." .... pause... ...pause.... "Oh well, nobody's in the street this time. No tickets. What were we talking about?"

I wish I could have seen the look on my own face. Even more than 24 hours later, I'm still dumbfounded that my very independent, stubborn, never bored mom has taken to looking out the window for victims of parking tickets - as entertainment. She's got hobbies. She's got movies to see. Friends to hang out with. It just feels so ... odd.

Maybe my dad installed something in the house all by himself again and the electrical/radio/microwaves are silently turning them both into stereotypical retired folks with passive aggressive parking ticket vindictiveness? Now I'm going to have to ask Mr. Zoom to check things out. Make sure there's no oven in the closet now or something.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It Was Only a Matter of Time

Lessee. I've been on medication* since at least 1994. I take at least 3 pills a day to maintain the thin THIN veil of normalcy I wear.

After lunch today I collected my afternoon tablets and grabbed a diet coke. One of my pills began to fizz on it's way down the hatch - and that's when I realized what I'd done. I just took a tranquilizer. On accident.

Months ago my Dr. had given me a new form of Xanax that could be taken without water. It dissolves in your mouth. Very handy, since weirdo's like me are often taken by anxiety in situations non-conducive to obtaining a glass of water.

Handy, unless of course you didn't mean to take a TRANQUILIZER at this moment and time. The dissolveable pills are nearly identical in color, shape and even have a score in the middle of them just like my afternoon antidepressant.


Not only that, but I only take half a Xanax when I DO need one. I suppose that considering the span of time that I've been juggling daily medications, this was bound to happen sooner rather than later.


At least Mr. Zoom is guaranteed a peaceful evening tonight. If you are reading this honey, you might want to scope out a t.v. schedule of things YOU want to watch without your wife's incessant commentary. When this thing kicks in, I'll be willing to watch GOLF and Soccer (oh, excuse without complaining.

*antidepressants and one antihistamine daily, heavily monitored by prescribing physicians and not taken lightly, I assure you. I abhor relying on medication in order to function normally.

Update: I just sent an e-mail to our office copier, and couldn't understand why I kept getting a bounce back. Undeliverable?! Puuullleeeeeze. Not possible.

I spent 5 minutes trying to get a quote within a quote to show up on the screen properly when someone saw me struggling and told me to stop using the comma key.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Squirrel Elvis Collecting Ur Nutz

Our regular squirrel Elvis has finally been caught on tape.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WTF with the Licorice Flavor?

Has anyone else noticed that all brands of generic ibuprofen seem to have added a ghastly black licorice taste to the tablets?

Not only that, but it has a hint of mintyness to it.

QUIT IT WITH THE MINTY BLACK LICORICE TASTE! It's awful and I'm taking these tablets because I'm already miserable!!

I feel like I'm ingesting hardened dollops of some failed licorice flavored kid toothpaste.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why I fear Wedding/Baby Shower Games

I was at a shower for a bride whom I will be a part of the wedding party. The announcement was made that there is a game called "Guess the Bride's Age".

I immediately think "Whoa. I totally should not play that one. I mean, I'm in the wedding party and she was in my own wedding. I totally know how old she is. Besides, how retarded is that for a game? Don't people get upset if you guess way too old? And come to think of it, most of these people are close friends and family. So ... how is this even a game?"

So I leaned over to another bridesmaid and I said "Are you playing this game? I mean...wouldn't it be totally unfair to everyone else?" She said "Oh, I'm totally playing. Besides, I didn't know her when she was 4."

...and that last statement SHOULD HAVE been the clue that I had the entire concept of the game WRONG. But sadly, it did not.

When it came time to go over the answer, I was shocked to learn there were actually several answers. I had completely missed the gigantic board with all of the bride's kid through young adulthood pictures WITH NUMBERS on them. And the answer sheet with the numbers and a space for one to guess the age of the bride AT THE TIME THE PICTURES WERE TAKEN.

Yeah. That is EXACTLY why I fear shower games.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One Minute Project: The Mr. Zoom What's Wrong With You

There is a site I love to visit, even though I have never performed any of their projects for myself, nor do I understand some of their techy talk. But it is tons of fun anyway: (I still can't link properly)

They often have a segment they call "One Minute Project".

Here is my own One Minute Project: The Mr. Zoom What's Wrong With You Silent Head Tilt Retort.

Scenario 1: Mr. Zoom realizes I've removed my shoes on the short ride home from work. While I struggle to put them back on, he asks "Why did you take off your shoes? Do they hurt you?"

Response: "No. I needed to be free."

Scenario 2: Start referring to the yard, house, home as "land". i.e., "ARRRRRGH, stupid skunks! They've just sniffed up our land with their skunk smell. CAN'T YOU SMELL THAT?? Stoopid skunks."

Scenario 3: Offer completely random, baseless theories to questions not even asked. i.e., upon noticing smoke from what might be a forrest fire, say "...hmmm, maybe all the rich people got tired of all the heat from the sun so they are trying to make their own clouds."

Scenario 4: Watch Soilent Green on TCM and then proclaim "RAISINS ARE REALLY SKUNK SPHINCTERS!"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Those Who Live in Stone Houses...

Mr. Zoom and I met up with his Mom for dinner last night. Not just his Mom, but my Mom-In-Law.

Because I'm really comfortable around her, I didn't let up on the sass attack I had started on Mr. Zoom earlier that day. The recent heat wave has given me a new obsession: convincing Mr. Zoom that we need to build a stone house. Apparently stone remains cooler so much longer than regular houses. And that, I have decided, I WANT.

On the way to dinner I sprang the news on Mr. Zoom: "I heard or read somewhere that some guy had a stone house, and he said he didn't suffer during the heat wave because stone is so great at staying cooler longer! We need a stone house."

His reply was quite honest: "I don't even know what to say to you right now. Are you asking me to raze the house and re-build it in stone?"

"no?.......yes?....... I.WANT.STONE.HOUSE." I continued to talk like a crazy person while he tried not to laugh directly in my face. "You'll see. I'll find all the great information on the internet and I'll show you how we should have a stone house."

Shortly thereafter I was distracted by.... probably air.

When we got to the restaurant, magically the stone house situation came up again. Mr. Zoom rolled his eyes and tried to explain to his Mom. "Welcome to my wife. Mrs. 'I have no idea how a house is built, but I want one in stone.'"

Ooooh. I totally sniffed a challenge there. "OH YEAH? WHO'S FAULT IS THAT? Mr. Spoil Me Completely Rotten!! Never lets me do anything for myself, always being all good to me. That's the problem here."

"Oh, sure" he said. "That's the problem. I've totally shielded you from the world of construction and how it works."

His Mom, being familiar with our sass talk said "OH, don't worry. I'll take you over to Home Depot after dinner and we can tour the construction aisles."

"GREAT!" I said. "I can totally pick the stone for my new house!!"

And then I flung sticky rice directly at my Mom in Law. OH YES I DID. Accidentally, of course. It flew from my chop sticks as I was literally pointing out Mr. Zoom's guilt in my lack of home construction knowledge. A single grain of rice Cirque de Soleid through the air and locked itself RIGHT ON HER BARE ARM.

Mr. Zoom immediately spat out so much laughter that the tables around us were trying to figure out what happened, what was so darn funny. We all got the giggles and I kept trying to apologize through my clenched jaws. I still had some rice in there and was afraid of making an already borderline bad, bad situation that much worse.

And I still want a stone house. Easy to clean meals off of the walls!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lonely Cart Cum Foliage - It's For the Fish

That title alone ought to show up in many porn searches. Sorry pornseekers.

THE LONELY CART IS BACK!! Well, it's not the same cart, but it was left in the exact same location as the previous cart.

And, like a negligent mom trying to figure out which twin child on the floor is which, I immediately noticed something different about this cart. It had an empty pack of cigarettes in it! Again, not unlike a neglected child.

Mr. Zoom was not with me to witness my glee this time. He had to do something after work and we had driven separate cars to the office. There was no one to stop me! I rolled the cart into our courtyard.

AND PUT PLANTS IN IT!! Just like I had threatened I would if the other cart didn't go away.

Then I sat on the couch and waited for Mr. Zoom to come home. He didn't even say hello when he came in, just "Is there a story behind the cart in the yard?" When I told him what happened, he asked if I called the return if found number. I laughed, and said no, why would I? "Of course not" he sighed.

The next day I spent a good chunk of his valuable time trying to convince him that the fish in the pond had recruited me to tell Mr. Zoom that they [the fish] liked the cart. And didn't want it to leave. "OH.COME.ON. Mobile yard foilage*. How can you resist that?" *foliage, yes - I know.

His response was swift, although mostly ignored by me: "Duly noted. VETO. Next."

I tried various tactics. None of which were effective in releasing Mr. Zoom's grip on good taste. I might have to give up my new planter, but something tells me I won't have to wait long for another one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lonely Cart Club Meeting In My Yard

Mr. Zoom loves his yard. It's not finished yet, but he still loves it. He gets very annoyed when people mess with his yard.

Last week we drove up and I heard him groan "oh that's just terrific." Being the ever observant person I am, I said "WHAT??!!...OH. oh. OMG!" and I literally clapped my hands in glee when I saw what had him so upset:


I've got this rather annoying habit of spying single, lost/abandoned carts and squealing "Lonely Cart!" at Mr. Zoom. And when he tries to play along - showing me a cart before I spot it, I usually shoot him down: "Oh, that one doesn't qualify. In order to be a lonely cart, the cart has to be a certain distance away from any store it might belong to. Otherwise it's just a CART. Not a Lonely Cart."

And the distance, although certain, is not ever known to anyone but me and changes all the time. Apparently.

I've actually intended to collect pictures of lonely carts. I have a few, but as with most of my grand ideas, they rarely materialize in any way other than my shrieking nonsense while in the car with Mr. Zoom. He makes the "I'm tired" noise when I do that.

I leaped out of the car and started taking pictures. Mr. Zoom just went to the mail box like he does every day and probably prayed that none of the neighbors were watching this scene.

That's when I saw:

Drat. My idea of loading up the neighborhood shorties and sending them down the road in my new pet cart was denied before I even had it!

Amusingly, this cart had an "if found, please call ____" sticker on it.

And I actually called the number. The first person I got a hold of had no idea what I was talking about. "Um, yes. See, someone left a shopping cart in our yard and it belongs to your store. There is a sticker on it that says "if found, please call _____. And so I did and here we are!" As if I just handed her the meaning of life on a platter.

I was transferred. To a manager. Who at first was just as mystified as to what I was trying to tell him. But then a switch was flipped and he seemed very grateful that I called. He took my address and thanked me at least 3 times.

When we went to work the next morning? Cart still there and still lonely.

When we got home that night? Yup. Still there. Still very lonely. I told Mr. Zoom that if it stayed one more day I was going to wheel it into our yard and use it as a planter.

The very next morning it was gone. Stolen? Returned? Rolled away on it's own? Who knows. Mr. Zoom is really glad it's gone. I kindof miss it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Boil Boil, Toil and Trouble

Mr. Zoom asked me one day "How do you know how much water to add?" [to my bowl of instant oatmeal.]

I told him "I don't know, really. I pretty much just guess. There's a formula (directions) on the box, but I don't like being told what to do. Even if it's by a box of oatmeal."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Honk If You Heart Your Pimp

Last night on the way home from work, we zooms encountered a traffic jam. Not the same kind that is expected at 6pm rush hour, but real honest to goodness - there's a reason - traffic has been halted type thing.

I kept yapping at Mr. Zoom to "go around". Despite not knowing where the road leading away would go, I convinced him to take it. As usual, this was a fantastically stupid idea. We went up a hill, around a bunch of buildings, and landed exactly IN THE MIDDLE of the situation that was blocking traffic. Not only that, but I now had us on a road that wasn't considered a main artery so when traffic was finally being waved through again, we had to wait extra long.


The police were busy trying to clear things up. Our road, though not a main artery, had about four lanes. We were about the third car back in our lane. We knew we weren't going anywhere for a while, so he patiently let me do that jibber jabber thing I do when I'm unwinding after work.

Then it started. The honking. People behind us were honking their horns. Annoyed that they weren't moving. I kept saying to Mr. Zoom "But don't they see the police man? We can't just run him over? Want me to get out and go talk to them?" There was a large suv behind us who was particularly busy with her horn. I should have, at this time, taken out my camera and recorded the situation. But of course I did not. Yet another stellar decision by me.

I turned around when the car behind us kept going on and on with the horn. It was a lady, with what I assume was her daughter in the seat next to her. Mom was having arm flailing sessions in between honks. I also saw her encourage her daughter to lean on the horn too.

I don't know anything about parenting. But teaching a kid to join in on futile displays of aggravation due to perceived entitlements not being instantly fulfilled just seems like you are buying her a condo in the adult town of BEATENBYMYPIMP - which she will eventually sell at far below market value for all the chemical life lessons and self esteem she can find to fill her empty soul. Ok, that's probably a bit dramatic, but honestly - look at the kind of world we live in these days. If the police are out there coordinating a situation that spans 5 blocks - something serious is probably going on. I think we can wait 5 minutes longer than normal.

The honking continued, and cars behind those previous cars joined in the racket. Eventually the police man at our intersection stopped traffic to allow our street to go through.


he let us though and HALTED all the cars behind us! He was going to make them wait some more, to which Mr. Zoom and I immediately started high-fiving each other.

It almost felt as good as the day I married Mr. Zoom. Almost.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oatmeal. Lowers Cholesterol but Raises Chest Awarness

I am not graceful. I never will be. This goes double for eating. Mr. Zoom is painfully familiar with the flying shards of food I produce when I'm busy trying to consume something AND be sure nobody steals any part of it. Because he's so damn good to me and only gently teases me "OMG, this might be a record! Only 3 Cheerios under the coffee table", I've forgotten how horrifying this spectacle can be for the uninitiated.

This morning I was at my desk when a co-worker came by asking for my boss. The boss wasn't in yet, so I dutifly took down the person's name and told them I'd send them an e-mail alert when the boss got in. This person suddenly grew very uncomfortable and nearly ran away from my cube.

This is not unusal. Not at all. Although this time I knew for a fact I couldn't have said something to cause this person to flee. What's even more disturbing, is that I'm notorious for NOT noticing when someone is uncomfortable. This time I noticed, and I noticed big.

I continued to work.

Until I noticed something on my sweater. On my sweater, right in the center of my left girl! It was was a little blob of instant otameal. Part of my breakfast. Let me bring the picture further into focus for you all. I'm wearing a pink sweater today. And the oatmeal that had apparently been flung from my morning feeding had landed so perfectly and was of a color that it honest to goodness looked like an exposed BOOBIE!

No wonder my male co-worker ran away from me! At that moment I wanted to run away from me. When panicked, my brain chants unhelpful, shorthand thoughts at me ""GIANT KNOB!! GIANT KNOB!!" [you are a]."

I removed the breakfast from my sweater. Whatever forces have been sassing me lately must have decided to give me a break. Because the oatmeal came off and left no trace of where it had been. As I tossed it away, I kept looking around. Almost as if I wanted every single person who had noticed my breakfast boobie to come by again so they could see that I had removed it - and that I really don't live that way.

At least not AFTER I notice.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Life Lesson Category: Loo

I have acrylic fingernails. It's one of the few girly type things that I consistently miss when I have given them up in the past. So I am forced to go to a salon at least every other week for maintenance on them.

I went yesterday. During these appointments I generally consume 1 diet coke (in the summer) and/or one coffee (in the winter.) Predictably, I must pee after the appointment. Most of the time, I wait until I've gotten home. Yesterday, I coldn't wait.

This particular loo is more like one in your own home. It is a single occupancy type deal. No stalls - just one door between toilet and outside world. I entered, closed the door, flipped the lock and went about my business.

I know from observation that this particular loo is a busy one. When I heard a voice outside the door and saw the jiggle of the knob - I did not think anything of it. After all, I had locked the door. But as it turns out, taking a pee in public was about to become a lot more public than anyone ever intended.

I sat, with my pants and undies completely at rest around my ankles and watched in horror as the door appeared to be opening despite my knowledge of having fully locked it. Slow motion panic cam was activated, and all I could say was "whoa whoa WHOA wait a minute JUST A MINUTE" as the door came open even more. Before long the door was completely open and the sunlight was pouring in. There were shrieks from both the door lady and me.

I had instinctively taken the hand with a wad of yet unused toilet paper and placed it over my coolie area. Which wasn't even viewable because my legs were so firmly clamped together that it probably looked worse than it would have if I had just sat there nice and relaxed. I also took my other hand/arm and covered my girls. As if my shirt was going to magically fly off at any second. It need not be pointed out that I might have been able to reach down with both hands and at least partially retrieve my britches from the floor. I might not have been in a position to fully cover things, but by trying I would have had the added benefit of possibly obscuring my face from all who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time that day. Looking down for even a moment probably would have been enough.

Normally this kind of situation is tempered by things like "Oh, who cares. You will probably never see any of these people ever again." Not even close to true in this situation. I see the exact same people every other Saurday at this exact time - for months, if not years at a time.

There was a lot of squeaking and apologizing - both by myself and the woman who had unintentionally exposed me. When I finally got it together and came out of the loo, she was still standing there. I told her to be really careful, as the lock on the door doesn't seem to work very well.


Turns out that indeed, I had locked the door. But, I had not been able to fully SHUT the door. It, I was now told, has a habit of not fully engaging in the frame. The little latchy thing doesn't always come to rest inside the hole that would have kept it shut. At least that's what I was told by my nail lady as I tried to flee the scene.

There are ladies in there that will now forever recognize me as that person who was seen by the whole room when someone opened the door on her while she was taking a pee. Those that didn't witness the event will be able to recognize me by the extensive testing I am now forced to give to any loo door that doesn't lead into the redundant fail safe that is a bathroom with stalls.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Notes on a Tan White Guy and a Dead Clown

I am over at my parents' house fairly regularly. Whenever I'm going over there, Mr. Zoom knows a story will be returning with me. That, and a few or more bags of ... stuff ... my FAM has decided to donate to me.

My parents shop at Costco. Only they don't just shop there, they practice XTREME shopping all in the name of getting a bargain on things they use anyway. Which is fine, great, wonderful. Unless they change brands/can't use it/forgot they already had 47 of them at home. Because when there's a shift in the shopping list of the parents of Zoom, there is a Mr. Zoom trying to figure out "What are we supposed/going to do with 10 bottles of soap? And 5 synthetic loofas?"

See for yourself:

I do not know what caused the soapy falling out of favor at the parents of Zoom household. I was too busy trying to figure out the contents of the other bag:

Yes, that's a lot of microwave popcorn, a box with a pair of shoes in it - and a bag of Trader Joes Sesamie Crackers. And a bundle of Avon lipsticks.

And you just don't say things like "Aw gee, that's neat and all, but we can't possibly use that. Do you have someone else you could give it to?" Because while it was intended to be a polite decline, it will be regarded as complete and utter thanklessness. The retribution will be hearing the story of how Zoom didn't want to take the 4 boxes of instant jello pudding, 5 bags of dried snow peas and a loaf of bread home with her. And by the way, the bread looked more like a bunch of pine nuts, gravel and some branches held together by nothing more than the sheer ridiculousness of the combination - God's laughter is a fantastic fusing agent. They will tell this story until it morphs into 3 or more stories. And so on, and so on.

But all of that is simply a side note to the events that prompted this post.

I walked into their house on this last visit and barely recognized my own Dad. Sitting in his chair reading a book was a very tan human. Who kinda looked like the Dad I remember from last week. My dad is currently so tan, that when the skin on his arms and hands gathers in creases, he looks just like the burned parts on burnt toast. Burnt toast made of white bread, mind you.

This man was so white that I think tooth whitening companies used his image as an example of "white" that could be reached by using their product. "After 3 weeks of using our product, your teeth will be *this* white - or your money back."

After asking a few times (he's hard of hearing - or hard of nagging - jury's still out on which), I discovered that he's taken up bike riding. Which was a relief. Because if I had to put down money before I asked - it would have been on him finding out about spray on tanning. Thankfully, that was not the case.

"How did you get so tan?"

"Oh, riding my bike. It doesn't bother my back and do you know that today I did 12 miles on it?"

"You know it's hot out there, right?"

"Yes, but only when you stop."

"Stopped is what I'd be most, if not ALL of the time. And I'd be hotter than when I just went about my day without biking. So biking seems rather silly to me. But you go ahead and tell me more. Are you using ANY sunscreen?"

"No, but I am wearing a hat!"

But I already knew that. His head is pre-bike riding white, and he's only got about a Homer Simpson head of hair left. It's pretty obvious that something is on his head when he's riding. He showed me the hat he has been wearing. And it wasn't a ball cap or a biking hat, but a newsie hat. How he gets that to stay on his head, I didn't ask.

After that, Dad did shift the subject from tan/bike/hat to his new grandfather clock. He wanted to show me how it should be shut off - say, if a pallate were to crush the two of them at Costco and someone needed to wind down the household for them.

Playing along, I dutifully followed Dad into the living room while he explained everything ever said or written in regards to grandfather clocks. He sprinted to the hall closet and came out with a brass key. A brass key with a gold rope dongle on it! You know those curtain decor thingies that hung on the tie backs? All I could think was "ELTON JOHN! ELTON JOHN!".

Dad was working on getting the key to work in the clock, which is apparently quite a feat. By this time my FAM had come into see what we were up to.

"NEVER EVER touch the brass workings inside. The oil from your hands will smear up the pieces."

"Doesn't appear to be a problem since the key doesn't even open the almighty door giving one access to the brass workings - unless you are about to pull some magic out of that curtain decoration you've hitched onto the key?"

While Dad struggled with the key, we all got the giggles. This is not uncommon for us. What is uncommon is that at that moment, my FAM killed one of the loudest, WHOOSHIEST clowns I've ever heard! Serious clown murder, and by my own mother. She instantly squealed "OH MY! WHOOPS!" as she fanned away the clown corpse. My Dad, having endured many years of her chastising him whenever he audibly killed a clown - whether it was just them or anyone else in the room - immediately began to give her a bit of good natured grief. She bantered with him for a while - but I knew better than to join in the teasing.

You think declining a parental household donation is bad...just try teasing my mother about killing a clown.

With that I was forced to withhold the laughter that was clawing it's way through my body - and resume trying to open a grandfather clock. And all I could think of was "DEBACLE! DEBACLE!"

I really hope they aren't teaching me about that clock because they plan on sending it home with me some week. But if they do, at least they'll never have to worry about me touching the inner workings of it. I'll never be able to get that key in the hole - I'll be laughing way too hard.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Totally UnFair

I got a funnel cake at the fair. They put two forks in it when they handed it to me.

As if I am expectd to share? How presumptuous. And chances are, I'll use the second fork to fight off anyone coming near my deep fried treasure.

Granted, the thing was larger than the full size paper plate it came on, but Zoom doesn't share food. Unless I'm full. I didn't even take a picture of it, because I was too busy stuffing it in my face. Afraid someone would see the extra fork and help themselves.

I didn't finish it. I couldn't. But Mr. Zoom didn't want any after all. Turns out the Balboa bar he scored right before my funnell cake purchase was enough to keep him busy. But all the same, I didn't offer until I was done.

Poor Mr. Zoom gets the unhappy face whenever he tries to get a slice/bite/drink of whatever I've brought back to the cave. And I reallly wish I didn't have this particular quirk. Consciously, I know it's silly. I know that I'm not 5 years old anymore and my brothers aren't stealing my "share" of anything. But I just can't help it.

It turns out that I'm even more possessive of my liquid refreshments than I am my food. Actually, it's more situational. The more difficult the drink is to obtain in the first place - the more of a 5 year old I become. If we are at a restaurant, I don't care. But if we are walking around say - the Fair - and I've got a bottle of water, you best go get your own before asking for some of mine. I've been known to encourage people as in "Would you like me to pick one up for you?" to avoid sharing. It's not the money. I'm happy to pay anyone's way to keeping the hell away from my prize.

And here's the other thing. If I were out and saw someone in desparate need of food or water - if I had any I'd give it. All without the eye roll and growl that accompanies my handing over of my food/water at any other time.

I'm like some kind of retarded food ninja. And Mr. Zoom gets to deal with it for the rest of his life.

I don't even know who this girl is. I just liked her "look" through the camera. I finally broke out the telephoto lens. I don't know why it took me so long to do that - except that I'm the last person to figure out ANYTHING.

It took me nearly 2 years of going to the gym before I realized having an ipod of some sort might make the experience a little more enjoyable. 2 years!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Writing's on the Palm

I had a rare, slow day at the office today. I can still hardly believe it. I even got to eat lunch with Mr. Zoom. This never happens here. To me.

At our old firm, we ate together way more often than we didn't. When the check would come, Mr. Zoom would hand over his debit card so that we could get out and get back to the office on time. I regularly tried to thwart [yes, I said thwart] his writing in of the tip and the signing of the debit slip. That only meant we were going back to the office and I didn't want that.

Frustrated, he would sit opposite me and try to figure out if feigning disinterest was best or if threatening me with no cookies would get me to behave. "Zoom, come on. It's 2:15. We need to get back to work." "Zoom, give me the pen." "Zoom, stop jiggling the pen so I can't write." "Knock it off, monkey/knucklehead/wife."

Today when the bill came, I snatched the pen away. He went through the faces and noises. I started to get full of myself and would put the pen where he could grab it and then I'd yank it back. Laughing. Then I got the idea to try and mark him a little on his hand with the pen.

I knew he'd hate it, but I didn't know it was a fuse leading directly to an OCD bomb. I got him good on the palm of his hand. When he realized it, he used my full name. "ZOOMITY ZOOM ZOOM! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

He should totally know the answer to that already. But he keeps asking.

"Why?" he said as he tried to get the ink off of his palm. "WHY?" I was shocked by his reaction - as I anticipated something more along the lines of "That's it, I'll just go get another pen and deal with you later." I was sensitive though, and I started to laugh. A lot. And every time he'd grab his soda glass to use the condensation to get more ink off of his hand, I'd laugh even harder.

"you KNOW about me and the washing of the hands and such!"

"Yes, I do. But honest, I didn't know it would get you THAT bad. Wish I had. I'd have used that one earlier." More laughing.

Lucky for me, he started laughing too. And when I thought we were over it, he'd start going after the palm tattoo I'd given him again. Which would make me laugh even harder, and that would make him get the giggles.

There were tables stuffed with children that had to be more than half our age, and none of them caused the kind of scene we did.

As we walked back to the office, I said "I haven't been out of the office for lunch in so long, I don't know what to do with myself!"

He replied "Well, you can cross sketch book husband off the list."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Deconstructing Your Cookies

Look here at what kept me busy at work for a good solid minute before I realized why it wasn't "working"

I was assembling a motion with 10 copies. I had a system down where I would just reach in my bin of binder clips and grab one, apply, and move on to the next copy.

This clip kept spinning around in my hands. I kept muttering "FRICK". I couldn't find the other handle to make it open. I had to stop everything, just like that commercial where a customer pays with cash or a check, and reset myself because of this one sided binder clip.

Look at what I do to Mr. Zoom's Oreos

This is one of my favorite things, because it drives Mr. Zoom mad and I don't have to work at it. Mr. Zoom loves double stuft Oreos. I like them too, but I can only eat one to two of them before I decide there is too much sugary white filling inside.

I must break them apart, and usually one side is free of almost all filling. For the side with filling attached, I remove the white stuf by using my teeth to chip it off. Then I deposit it onto the paper plate. Mr. Zoom finds this to be an abomination. "What's wrong, why do you do that?" "Too much filling." "You need the regular Oreos?" "No, even with those I do this."

One day he came home with a tub of graham like chocolate crackery type cookies. It was so cute when he handed it to me he said "And now you don't have to deconstruct Oreos." which is code for please stop using the cookies in a way they were not intended.

It didn't work. It's just not the same unless the chocolate cookie has been carelessly excavated from the Oreo package and its insides have been removed.

Another food habit we don't share is his ability to eat lunch really late in the day. Mr. Zoom and I were talking about how he can eat lunch as late as 2 and 3 pm on one of our drives around town. He defended his acts by saying he woke up at 11 (this was while he was on vacation), and maybe he wasn't ready for lunch as early as 12, 12:30 or even 1. Before I knew what I was thinking, I gave in one sentence, evidence to the world that PMS does indeed exist. "How can you NOT be ready for food when you first wake up? I AM."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Theories Begin in my Pants.

So many times I hear myself speak, and I can't understand why I can't keep my crazy to myself. I was able to do this just fine, save for a few unguarded moments, before Mr. Zoom came into my life.

He convinced me that he might actually like being around, that I can't scare him with mere words; nonsensical gems that I manufacture spontaneously.

That might have changed the other day. For some reason, I can NOT simply observe life silently. And it's not that I have to describe what I'm seeing. No, I apparently have to find a cause and effect - I must create a theory and declare it as fact. Or at least a fact to be later proven or refuted.

And it's not possible to know what item will be captured in my theory net.

As we drove about the city the other day, Mr. Zoom said "Did you notice that the grass in the common areas is like a foot tall? Is the gardening staff on strike or something? We have enough old grumpy nothing better to do residents that I've got to believe they're all over the association about that."

"Oh, I DID notice that on my way to work the other day. But you know what I thought? You know how when grass gets really long it gets those shoots with seed looking things on the top? Well, I thought that ... maybe... maybe they were letting the grass get to that point so that it would re-seed itself."

And then I laughed like I was reading Defective Yeti, for a good five minutes.

"How far into that story were you when you realized how silly it sounds?"

"Actually, I carried it with me for about a day and it wasn't until I told it to you just now that it hit me as odd."

Some time ago I convinced myself that rain in Southern California is almost always followed by a round of Santa Ana winds.

Mr. Zoom commented one day on something, something probably not even close to weather, wind or rain related. But, I had to share my theory: "You know, I've noticed that after a rain, there always wind. Like big wind."

"WHAT? So you are saying that every time it rains, there's wind afterward? How could that possibly be?"

Sarcasm is the glue that keeps our marriage together.

"...well, no..yes? I mean, it's like always a day later after it rains. Sometimes a couple of days. Not so far out as a month, that would be silly." [yes, indeed THAT would be silly.]

"So are you saying that after it rains, any time there's wind after that - they are connected?"

I decided to pull out my closing argument:

"Rain brings wind, but wind can happen without rain happening first!"

"youuuuuuuuuuuuuu betcha. Here, have a cookie."

I will sometimes ask Mr. Zoom to provide a missing element to my story. We drove down a street that has been under construction since what feels like 1985. Mr. Zoom noticed that some of the cones had been removed and he was getting excited at the possibility of being able to drive to work without a sea of Cal Trans Orange. The cones that were left were the kind that - to me - look fairly solid in the ground. I asked Mr. Zoom how they get the cones to stick to the road.

"They have a glue that they come by and use to stick them into the road."

"Oh yeah? How do they get them removed later? Wait, I know. They wait for a really hot day and then they send prison labor out to pull on them when the ground is the most pliable!"

"Yes Zoom, that's it. It is prison labor." He sounded kindof tired.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Elvis Lives. In My Yard.

There is this squirrel who has been visiting our yard quite a bit. I've been hoping to capture him on video or even just a picture - but no luck.

We've named him Elvis - after I had thrown some squirrel friendly food out into the yard:

"Look honey, the squirrel!"

"Yeah, he doesn't appear to be too afraid of us. I think he's like Elvis. I bet he plays all the yards . . . for all the nuts he can get."

This morning as we Zooms were getting ready for work, our telephone rang. Our neighbors, who have started a huge construction project, wanted to talk to us about the common wall. Although they wanted to talk NOW.

When we didn't call back within 60 seconds, they called AGAIN and even knocked on our door.

Mr. Zoom was not pleased. I tried to create a solution:

"Tell them we've adopted Elvis. That we've converted to his nut church and are donating all of our money to trees."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Didn't Really Want You To Do What I Asked You To Do. Everyone Knows That.

When I started here, I didn't find the Rosetta Stone to my fellow co-workers' e-mails among my welcome package contents. Know why? THERE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO BE ONE.

I have failed to properly de-code just about every e-mail sent to me in the last 6 months. Silly me. When my name is in the "TO" spot, I usually think I am supposed to respond/act. Not the case, it turns out.

Several times I've responded to be notified that "I wasn't talking to you, that was so that ______ would do it..that..whatever."

I am now paralyzed with indecision when any one of the 150 daily e-mails arrives. I bet you can actually see me freeze when the notify screen shoots out that teeny, almost transparent preview of the message in the corner.

I've actually had telephone and face to face conversations like this:

Person: "Did you get my e-mail?"

Zoom: "Yes. But I'm not sure who needs to do what."

Person: "But it's right there in the e-mail"

Zoom: "Is it.?. Because I never know what is straight forward instruction and what is heavily veiled attempts to do...what ....I'm not really sure - hence the hesitation."

Person: "OH, you are so funny. Yeah, I can see your eyes moving back and forth, trying to connect the dots when I tell you stuff.

Zoom: "So that's what it looks like on the outside. Ok. But still... I'm not any clearer on what I'm supposed to do..."

Person: "I know. Ok bye!"


I am just not cut out for, nor am I willing to learn, art of subtle hint reading. If you want something out of me, I need in-your-face straightforward notification. If you want to be mysterious, just re-name something in the sentence like my mom does.

My FAM called last night to say she needed help with her digital pictures. I was short on time, so I specifically told her "Look, what I'm about to do? Don't try and follow it. Don't try and learn it. I'm going to apply a quick fix to this situation and we can go over it some time next week when we both have some time."

So what's the first thing to shoot out of her mouth after I start working? "WAIT! Don't you have to hit the CURTELL key for that?"

CURTELL?!? What the? - my entire body seized when just a second later I knew she was talking about the CONTROL key [CTRL]. I had to keep from outright laughing - she uses this term with such determination, as if Bill Gates himself whispered it in her ear. She's got a good sense of humor, but not when she's so frustrated at the computer that she's called me for help. My life depended on holding on to this little re-naming gem she's got going until a later date.

She might be formerly Amish, but that doesn't prevent her from handing out the pain when one "wrongs" her.

I waved her off, saying something about that key not working in the program I was currently using. So I fibbed a little to get her off my back? I was running out of time and she won't remember that "instruction" at a later date anymore than she'll figure out that the Curtell key is actually Control.

If only my co-workers were so easy to figure out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fear and Loathing in my Frankenstein Uterus

My uterus has the ability to cramp with alarming strength. Like, it is Frankenstein and I am a much larger little girl he(it) squeezes to death.

I take medicine for that so I can get through my work days and fun days with minimal down time. Lately though, I've needed more drugs than usual. My doctor decided to give me a new medicine to try - something stronger and unfortunately, something that would knock my sh*t out.

I'll try anything, and I figure that once I know how I respond to medicine, I just work around the instantaneous sleep side effect. That's terrific...unless the medicine is making me see and hear things that cause me to run around the room .... AS IF I AM ON FIRE.

Mr. Zoom was sleeping soundly at 2 am when I came charging into the room, snapped on the light and shook him awake. "heeeeelp meeee. I'm having an attack." He shook the sleep off and tried so hard to calm me down. "HEEEEELP MEEEEE THE MEDICINE IS MIXING!!!" "CALL 911! I need crackers!!"

Now, what he DIDN'T know was that I was freaking out because I was seeing and hearing things that weren't really what they seemed. All he knew is that I was flipping out, randomly eating Ritz crackers and begging him to call 911. In my head, if I ate crackers I could get the medicine to stop "attacking" my senses - soaking it up I suppose.

This hallucination thing happened to me once before when I was in my 20s and I had some Nyquil to help me sleep during a bad flu. I woke up to purple spiders, dinosaurs and other random stuff. And all of it was purple for some reason. I haven't had Nyquil since.

This most recent event started out just like any other middle of the night wake up and have to pee experience. The problem though? When I pulled a new tampon out of the cupboard and saw the wrapper, the texture in the wrapper attacked my head. You read that right. The teeny little dimples in the plastic around the tampon suddenly grew huge - I'd guess about 20x their original size, and appeared to float up around my head. The texture literally undulated as it kept growing and seemed to be drawn to my head like a bird from the coffee shop protecting it's nest!

ALTHOUGH, the yellow swirls that are the decor on the plastic - and the ones that you'd think would be the trigger - stayed right where they were supposed to be. Sober examination of the box a day later revealed this text: Discreet purse resistant [their bold, not mine] wrapper with easy-to-open tabs. I think if Tampax interviewed Mr. Zoom, there'd be a whole new paragraph on the box.

To make the situation worse, I also had a line to a song running in my head. We've all had that, and generally no big deal. Only, it wasn't my voice or even the singer's voice saying/singing the line. And I couldn't get it to shut off no matter what I did - and for some reason the fact that I couldn't identify the "voice" was upsetting me. Ok wait, it wasn't running in my head while I was being attacked by my tampon wrapper...but the minutes (felt like hours) before that event it was.

And this is the weirder part. I'll try and explain it... the line of the song running in my head was from "Bleed it Out" by Linkin Park. Truly appropriate, yes. BUT, I only knew the second half of the line until just now when I googled it to get the first part:

"I bleed it out, digging deeper just to throw it away."

THIS IS WHAT I HEARD: "La la la la la la ...just to throw it away." over and over and over and over again. I know we had heard the song on the morning radio show we listen to on our ride to work Friday morning. I did NOT know it would half stick in my consciousness and come out later as a sanity repellent.

Mr. Zoom did everything he could to keep me from calling 911. He is supposed to do this. I don't know for sure, but I think at one point we had somewhat of a stand off where he stood between me and the bedroom phone - trying to get me to calm down before I made a call I was going to regret. I think I might have had crackers in one hand while making a few attempts at the telephone. It had to have been like fighting off a giant toddler holding soggy finger foods.

Horribly embarrassing. Although in the days that followed, I've been able to laugh at it. I realize, again, how lucky I am to have Mr. Zoom. I don't know of many people who would allow themselves to be jolted awake at 2am by unreasonable - ney - lunatic behavior - and through everything thrown at them, hold on to both their wits and their spouse without one single condescending, judgmental or patronizing word. All without a 911 dispatcher on their side.

Monday, June 04, 2007

But I Don't Want To Share My Entree!

I am the biggest sucker in the whole world. No, really. I know better than to watch a Linklater film, yet in the last year I've done it twice.

In fact, I truly need to IMDB that guy. In addition to Slackers, A Scanner Darkly and Fast Food Nation, I bet he's also linked (bah!) with other films I hate. FFN was the last steaming meanderfest I picked from our cable provider's Movies-to-Rent-from-Couch service. I know he's trying to say something poignant by overstating the blasé. I get that. Or at least that's the best explanation I can come up with on my own, without googling him and his movies. BUT OH MY GAWD there has to be a better way. I've seen it with my own eyeballs in other films, I know it can be done.

Linklater film is like a road trip where you drive for 90 minutes to 3 hours, and nothing happens. Literally nothing. The road is straight and free of everything - even scenery. There are no fellow vehicles to look at. There is nothing on the left, right or behind you to look at. Only you can't speed. You are forced to drive the same speed the entire trip - and it's old people speed. Like 50mph. you reach your destination and the car quietly and almost imperceptibly dies. And that's the ONLY way you know you've reached "your destination."

What just happened? Is that the end? Did I just spend money on that experience? Did I even care about any of the characters? Because if I did, I missed both the story and the being interested part. Yes - yes you did, my friend. You just watched a Linklater film.

There is only one thing more disturbing to me than Linklater. That would be television specials on String Theory or M Theory. It's not that I'm annoyed that I got nothing out of the experience. Quite the opposite. I was very happy to have 3 dimensions. Unfortunately, there are these people that say there are actually 11.

I recently tivod and stupidly watched a special on parallel universes. I came away from that show with the following knowledge: M Theory means that our universe is nothing more than a zit on the ass of membranes that collided. And we aren't sure, but it just might be prom night. It's only a matter of time before we get squeezed out of existence.

AND, there are possibly worlds just like ours (in the membranes or out, I don't know), but physics might be totally different there. Like when eating at a Chinese restaurant I won't be expected to share my entrée? Do you know how annoyed I'd be if there was a world like that and I couldn't live in it? Because a feature of these parallel places is that "you" might not exist there. Or something.

That's a Knowledge Wedgie - right what that is.

And Mr. Zoom is always gone when I cue up this kind of show. Or he'd (rightly) block me from doing this to myself.

"What's wrong? You look wonky."

"I watched a show about String Theory."

"Why do you do that?"

"...I thought it would be interesting...."

"Are you ever going to sleep again?"

"Apparently not in this universe, I'm not."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

You did .... whatnow?

I made myself laugh. Again.

I made an LOL Husband.

Got no idea why super horrific English might be considered funny? Even by the low standards you've come to expect from a simpleton like me?

Check out the pros at:

Friday, May 25, 2007

More Like Me Than I Want to Admit

I had to go to the Dr.'s office this week. I always carve out a 4 hour chunk of time for this. Appointment Smappointment. You will sit in the cold room for 2.5 hours - that way we can be sure you really REALLY want to see the Dr.

And then we will just tease you by asking questions, and telling you the Dr. will be in soon. 30 minutes to an hour later.

That's just the way the medical office, funded by insurance dollars works these days.

I've noticed that in the 4 or something years I've been seeing this Dr. that the office nursing assistants are never the same ones every time I go. This time, there was yet another new lady who, when calling for me, magled my very VERY simple white girl name. For example, let's say my last name is Jones. She pronounced it like this: "Jayyyyeeeoooonnneeeesssss?"

This woman was very kind. For some strange reason I felt very at ease with her. It would soon become apparent that - this was/is because she's a whack-a-doo. (I got that term from a blog I can't remember, or I'd credit it. I adore that word, and really wish I knew who to give the credit to.)

She sat me down for the blood pressure test and said in very broken English "OOOO, I Leeeooooveeeee you sweater! The coooolaaair is mine favorite!" I said "thank you" in the teeniest of voices. The one most strangers get when I am forced to say something back.

She put the BP cuff on my arm and struggled with the stethascope. After a minute of this, she looked me directly in the crazy eye and said "Eeeef shoo ever gheeeet tire of that sweeeter, insteead of gooo will (good will), you keeen seeend it to me!"

Look, just insert LOL cat language wherever she's talking and you will get the idea.

And for a second I actually thought to myself "Gee, she seems to love it. I could probably send it to her if she wanted it?! WAIT, what's wrong with me? She's not even going to be here in 3 months when you have to come back. Stop being retarded and focus on where you will go for lunch today."

She took my BP and declared "Shoo know wha? I tell soooo many people to seeend me their sheeerts, that in 20 year I'm gonna has sooo many sheeerts I won't know what to do!!" She started to laugh at herself - just like I always do. I politely giggled along and secretly wished I'd have asked Mr. Zoom to come to this appointment with me. He HAD to see and hear this for himself.

And then she turned to me and said "DO YOU WANT YOUR TEMPERATURE TAKEN?" in nearly perfect English! NO LOLcat. I said " I don't have a fever? Did my blood pressure result indicate I should take my temperature?" She said "No, it's totally up to you".

And then she tore one of those disposable thermometers out of its little package. Before I could go back to thinking about what I'd be having for lunch, she had it in my mouth. Didn't she just say I could decide and I had decided NO??

My temperature was 97.8. Right where it always is. She stuck me in a room to wait.

About 2 hours later, another nurse came by and asked me all of the same questions that the thermometer wizard had asked.

I'm actually kindof sad that whack-a-doo nurse probably won't be there the next time I go in.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

From the BS Food Group

"Why what do you have there?"


Response to Mr. Zoom after he found me hunched over half a sleeve of Chips A Hoy cookies. Looking a lot like Gollum after stealing the Ring from Frodo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bread of Shame. I Make Toast.

Mr. Zoom is my bread of shame.

Now, I don't know that I'm even using that phrase correctly. I recently read a terrific book and the author, I thought, had learned that the Bread of Shame was when someone gave you something you didn't earn. But it wasn't a gift. More of a ... well, shameful possessing of a gift one never should have gotten?

And because I love lobbing crazy phrases at Mr. Zoom when we are talking, I immediately took a hold of Bread of Shame and made it my shorthand for "I don't deserve you." For at least a day, everything he said - I high volume said "BREAD OF SHAME!!" back.

"That can't be you're get out of jail free card, you know."


To prove just how pathetic my attention span is, I failed to find out the true and correct meaning of bread of shame...because I didn't immediately find a hotlink to it in Wikipedia. It was in there as regular text, but who has time to read all of that?

One day last week after getting home from work, I heard Mr. Zoom saying hello to me from the computer room. I got very happy and ran in to greet him. We had conflicting working hours that day, so we didn't carpool. We then decided we were starving, so we were going to get dinner.

I went to get my keys and....could not figure out where they were. This is not abnormal for me. I lose my keys on average of 619 times a month. I generally find them within 30 seconds of realizing they are lost. Generally. This time even Mr. Zoom had to get in on the search, because I was becoming frantic.

We retraced my paths/steps over and over. We went through my purse individually, and a couple of times together. It got so bad I was checking in the refrigerator and cabinets, just in case I had put the keys in there. I then heard "Zoom, come here." I went to the doorway out of the bedroom and poked my head around the corner. Mr. Zoom said "Come over here and pick up your purse." I thought he found the keys inside, so I went over and looked inside. "No...PICK UP YOUR PURSE." I then figured he was tired of looking and we'd use his car instead.

I picked up my purse and my keys were UNDER it, where they had been when I put them on the table and put my purse on top of them not more than a half hour before. I laughed so hard I snorted. I said "BREAD OF SHAME!!"

And now every time something is lost, Mr. Zoom says "Have you checked under your purse? No, I'm serious."

The very next day I was at the office and went to buy my lunch from the lunch lady. I had left my wallet in the car. The reason my wallet isn't always in my purse in the mornings is because I take it out to buy coffee before we leave the house. And I'm constantly forgetting to put it back in my purse.

I e-mailed Mr. Zoom "BREAD OF SHAME! Your wife needs money for lunch. Why? Because she left her wallet in the car again." He kindly brought me a $20 and didn't even give me a lecture about how if I'd put my wallet where it belongs, it'd be with me when I needed it.

Mr. Zoom surprised me with some books he had bought me on his lunch hour one day. I screamed "BREAD OF SHAME!! You know that once I open these books and look at the pages inside they can't go back, right? Are you sure you want to give these to me? BREAD OF SHAME!!"

He's sooooo bread of shame that he should wear a cellophane wrapper, a best by date and a twisty tie thingie to protect his freshness.