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.