Monday, December 22, 2008

Glitter Isn't Always the Answer

We got our tree late this year. We always get a small, lonely tree - a Charlie Brown tree. It is Mr. Zoom's favorite thing about Christmas. We were so late this year that we had only one tree to choose from in our size and price range. Only problem was, it was flocked. I hate flocking. Why would you cover a real tree in fake snow?

And it was flocked with gray sparklie stuff. GRAY. It looked like this tree had been rolled around in some one's attic, and then they threw glitter on it for laughs.

We asked if they could hose it off. They laughed at us. We asked if there was any way to de-flock it. There was. But we'd have to pull it off ourselves.

And that's exactly what we did. We pulled up a trash can and went to work on the little insulation strangled tree. Mr. Zoom had negotiated a price reduction and the guy working the counter was apparently so amused at our de-flocking ritual that he gave us a stand for free. We didn't get all of it off, but enough that you wouldn't know it was previously flocked unless you got real close to it.

As is customary, Mr. Zoom did all of the setting up, decorating and placement of the tree. I worked hard at watching t.v. and napping.

By the way, everyone who gave us candy/cookies/toffe/nom nom nom for Christmas totally owes me new pants 2 sizes bigger than before Christmas. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

That Time I Thought I Was Helping.

These last few weeks at work have been the kind that serve as plot lines for dramatic movies and books. I've been self medicating with sugar, no gym, and a very understanding husband.

Yesterday at work I got a call from one of my coworkers. She said "please come here." and that was all. When I arrived at her desk, she was in full tears and uncontrollable sobs. Turns out that working in our department is enough to bring someone new to tears within 2 weeks. I did what I could to assure her that she's doing great, and like a trooper she fought through it.

Later that same afternoon she came to my desk. From the other direction came yet another coworker who knows both of us. He is a notorious Frat Boy Party Party Party type guy. He usually emits so much booze vapor, that we all get a contact hangover just by walking by his office. So Crying Coworker and Frat Guy Coworker begin discussing drinking after work. Crying Coworker is starting to cry again, so I immediately look for a way to lighten the mood. Frat Guy Coworker says "Oh, I'm sorry. I can't go drinking for at least a few more weeks. I am still pretty messed up. I mean REALLY messed up."

AHA! A moment to seize! I looked at him and confidently asked "Oh, what in the world did you do to yourself this time?" Nothing like a frat boy story resulting in drinking abstinence to lighten a mood, am I right?

He turned to me and said "Well, I sat vigil at my father's bedside for 4 days and slept in a folding chair next to his bed as he lay dying and finally passed away on Saturday."

He didn't stop there. He proceeds to deliver a gut wrenching story about his vigil, almost as a pastor would to a congregation. Hand flourishes, *magical* moments and I kid you not, this brought at least one other person listening in to full tears.

Fighting my own tears I apologized. Offered condolences. Of course he said "Oh, it's ok. Don't be sorry. I'm ok."

Sure. I felt even worse, as if that were even possible at that moment.

It's times like these when I can confidently say that life doesn't just happen to me. It throws me down, has its way with me and then kicks sand in my face as it zips up and walks out the door.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Proverbial Poo Has Been Distributed by Fan

This past week, our firm conducted a huge cut in staff. For the time being, I am still employed. I am not taking this for granted though. And the flip flops my stomach is doing are fantastic for dieting.

I've never been this close to people loosing their employment in such numbers before. And I've never been this worried about my own and Mr. Zoom's job security. The hardest part of this situation is that there appears to be no obvious reason(s) for many of the choices in who gets cut. Anyone could go at any time.

Mr. Zoom and I are trying to realize there's not a lot we can do that we aren't already doing to make this any easier on our nerves. We both still have jobs. He's doing better than I am. Probably because he knows he's a much better prostitute and pole dancer than I am. I hope he makes enough money for me to continue my On Demand movie habit.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I went to my Mom's house to pick up all of her left over Halloween candy. She called me to say "Your dad and I are about to burst our britches." The older she gets, the more often she lets gems like this fly out into the open.

She said she also had something for me that should have gone in my baby book. Well, that's always a good time.

When I got there, she handed me this envelope of crazy.

I don't know if it was just something you did in the 70s, but for some reason my mom has a collection of coins that were given to me as a kid from people. Random people. These aren't relatives or close family friends.

In fact, the one from "Mr. Crow"? Yeah. Mom doesn't know who that is. Neither do I.

The non restrained coins are: 1971 Silver dollar; bicentennial 1976 half dollar; and two bicentennial quarters. You know what childhood memory the bicentennial coins brings up for me? The fact that the family was sitting at a diner and someone at the table said "I am SO sick of this bicentennial crap. When will it be over?" I don't know who it was that said it, but I know that memory is a perfect snapshot of our overall joy to be with-ness.

The coins taped down and annotated: 1967 half dollar and a 1970 nickel. Awesome.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Best Day Ever.

Around our house, there's an understanding. If I'm hungry and the food item is in any kind of packaging, said box/bag will end up looking like wolves drug it into the house. I just don't have the patience or talent to open things so that they can be re-closed. I'm hungry, dammit.

Mr. Zoom will often sprint towards anything I've indicated an interest in so that he can open it like a civilized person would. I'm not allowed to open chip bags when we are having people over.

That's why when I opened our trash bin and saw this:

I took it out and photographed the evidence. I don't eat ice cream (not because I don't want to), so that left only one other person in our house.

I ran into the room where Mr. Zoom was. "PLEASE tell me that the cut in two strawberry ice cream container in the trash is your work, that you did that so you could get to it faster?"


I ran away squealing with what he now calls "happy feet."

In other news, we Zooms have now discovered that is it actually possible to be locked inside one's car without the ability to override the auto-locks.

Every night when we leave the office, Mr. Zoom and I put our work stuff in the trunk of the car. I usually put my purse back there too. The ride home is usually about 10 minutes at the most, and it saves me stepping all over it because I've put it on the car floor.

This particular evening we stopped at the store on the way home. I didn't need anything and decided to wait in the car. He got out, got his wallet out of the trunk, walked away and clicked his fob to lock the car. I didn't thin a thing about it.

About 10 minutes later I wanted a little air. Since there was no key, I knew the window would not work. So I tried the door. Nothing. Tried to unlock the door. Nothing. Tried to unlock the driver's side door. Nothing. Looked for a kid safe lock master override or ANYTHING. Nothing.

No cell phone, no purse, no nothing. Holy shit, I'm LOCKED IN A CAR AND CAN'T GET OUT. I'm claustrophobic and unreasonable, too.

I began hitting the horn, trying to get any one's attention. Sure, I got plenty of attention but not one person would approach the car. You know the term window licker? Yeah, I had hands and face pressed up against the window in what I can only imagine was an Oscar winning performance of lunatic face. I wanted to see if I could get someone to go find Mr. Zoom and let him know I was trapped. Turns out I looked more like I wanted to eat brains.

I spent a while with the window, feeling the panic. Shortly after that, Mr. Zoom did emerge from the store. We were both just kind of standing there wondering what just happened.

All is well and now I laugh at it. And hey, now I know how NOT to obtain help in the future, right?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life. I guess I'll Never Ride Bareback Again.

What's that you say?

I'm medicated. I take pills every day in order to function. They say it's depression. My body either doesn't create enough serotonin or dopamine or fruit loops on it's own - or it makes too much, so I have to give it some encouragement to settle the hell down.

I'll be taking this stuff for the rest of my life. And while I knew that going in, I was never ready to fully accept the fact that I need help. For without the meds, I see and hear things. Things that aren't there.

I've managed my meds in excess of 10 years. I've only ever missed a med on accident one time. The withdrawal symptoms that followed were terrifying and confusing until I remembered "Oh, yeah. Forgot to take my pill." My senses had gone mad hatter on me, but it was easily fixed.

Right about now, you should be backing away from me with your eyebrows raised and your hands in a defensive position. It's ok. I would too, if I didn't know me like I do.

I know that my life is good and I pass for normal. At least as long as you don't look too closely, or expect particularly lady-like actions from me. I work hard at the office, I play hard whenever I can, sometimes when I'm at the office. My husband is my best friend and ALWAYS he's so good to me that there are times I think I've accidentally skipped a med and he's merely an illusion.

But there are bad times too. Little surprises that reinforce the fact that control is never to be taken for granted. Without getting too graphic, I recently missed a med without missing it. My body, uh.... evacuated some food I ate. And along with it was apparently a sizeable chunk of my time release med.

A night or so later, I awoke in the familiar cold sweat with my heart racing. Wild thoughts and the rubbery feelings all over. I knew this was a symptom of a missed med, but couldn't figure out how that was possible. I also knew I had a little time until things got real bad. The electrical zaps in my head hadn't arrived yet. And this wasn't a run of the mill panic attack.

I went through my days and concluded finally that I must have unwillingly given up too much of my med to the City's sewers. It made sense. I had taken it right before the snack of FAIL.

I took half a dose of my regular med as a replacement and within 24 hours I was right as rain.

And as I'm wont to do, I became a little introspective about my mental health. Why me? Why do I need to go through this? How can I fight something that throws me a curve every once in a while? What if I can't handle the next one? How can Mr. Zoom possibly stand so solidly beside me and accept everything that is me? If I'm crazy, and these meds are the only thing keeping me sane - holy shit.

I am literally, figuratively, clinically - mad.

And for about 3 minutes, I was actually happy being insane. I know it sounds strange, or at least I would think it does, but there was a weird kind of freedom that came with finally accepting that I am a full tilt nut-bar. Because for 3 minutes I didn't care that I need help, that I can't do this on my own, that I have to take medicine to participate in this world. I was what I am and I have a way to deal with it.

I haven't been able to maintain that acceptance, but it was a start. And I'm pretty sure I owe it to that half a cheesecake that I ate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just When I Thought I Hated Hollywood....

ZOMFG! Did I just use internet slang?

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People + Simon Pegg = Zoom Girl Boner.

Read the book by Toby Young a couple of years ago and loved it. I also read another of Young's books where he laid out the uphill battle of getting Lose & Alienate made into a movie. It didn't go well. And honestly, I had thought the project was dead.

...until I just saw a trailer for it on my t.v. in the middle of my Family Guy re-run. ALMOST needed a change of undies.

I suppose this is what I get for not keeping up on IMDB and, you know, the information that can be had in less than a second these days. As long as one isn't a complete knob. I feel a little shame, but mostly I'm looking for a cigarette after my massive moviegasm.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Exiting the Passenger Side, Even Though You Drove

I went to the grocery store on Sunday. That was dumb. Apparently everyone else in California needed to go to the store at exactly the same time. I had never been gridlocked in the bread aisle before, and it was quite a strange sensation. I had to override my claustrophobic driven urge to ram everyone with my cart.

Screaming children were EVERYWHERE. I heard, well, we all heard one parent yelling "Is it because you don't want to go to the birthday party? IS THAT IT? IS THAT WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS TO ME??" It was like watching synchronized swimming as we all decided whether we would be the people to act like the ruckus wasn't there, or we would be the people to stare directly into it.

At one point I found myself in an aisle alone. I was grateful for the space. And then the world decided to punch me in the face with a situation that happened far too fast for photo documentation. My own photos. As I'm positive security cameras caught it.

I was about to wheel my cart further down the aisle when an elderly man carrying something began walking towards me. My head began to calculate where he would be going, as we all do when there's another person in a space we need to navigate. I hadn't started moving yet because I felt like he was heading right for me. I remember thinking that was not possible, but then he came up to my cart and dropped the item he was carrying in it. He then looked up at me and I know all he saw was a strange lady staring back at him with her jaw riding in that built in kid seat shopping carts have. I wasn't sure WHAT to do. But then he literally clicked into the realization that my cart was not the cart he was looking for. He grabbed his items, practically yelled "I'm sorry" at me and then literally RAN AWAY.

I didn't see him the rest of the time I was in the store. I really wanted to. I wanted to see that he was with someone that perhaps looked like me and he just mistook my cart/me as that person. That maybe he had left her there while he retrieved something and that is why he thought I was her. What gave me the punched in the face sensation was that I was afraid he was having elderly dementia issues and I had witnessed an episode. And acted oh so gracefully as to stand there with a look of shock on my face. I really really wanted that not to be the case.

Just like I really really wanted the spider that was on my truck to be gone by the time I got out of the grocery store. Mr. Spider had built a web on my side view mirror, driver's side. I had driven on the freeway in order to blow him and his web off the truck, but it didn't work. And when I got off the freeway, Mr. Spider would come out of the center of the web to crawl up the driver's side window at stop lights. It's really not safe to drive a vehicle around while fighting the wibblies and saying "ew ew ew ew ew ew ew". When I arrived at the grocery store I exited my truck through the passenger side. I made some guy who parked 2 spaces away from me raise his eyebrows when he saw me climb over the center console to get out on the passenger side. I had to do all my business that day out of the passenger side. For all I know, the spider and his web are still there. Mr. Zoom drove us to work today.

I really hope the elderly man from the store had a spider like reason for placing his item in my cart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Insecurity Needs a Workout Too

Usually the rule around the house is that once I go outside alone, Mr. Zoom knows to expect a story when I come back. To lessen the chances that I get myself beat up, arrested, or made to cry - Mr. Zoom will actually accompany me many places. This seems to keep the weirdness away.

And this is one of the main reasons I carry a camera with me at all times. If I didn't have actual proof of some of the things that happen to me, I'd think I'd gone "Beautiful Mind", without the brilliant part. Just the seeing things part.

Monday Mr. Zoom went with me to the gym. It was less of a protection thing for me and more of a want to get exercise for him. I was elated to have him with me. For all kinds of reasons, the most obvious being that I would be story free for the evening.

After I kicked the ass of a treadmill*, I went to the little lobby area to wait for Mr. Zoom. This area is directly in line with the "Kidz Klub" and often parents are streaming in and out with their minis. I was checking my e-mail with my phone and I looked up to see a little red headed kid, probably no more than 5 years old standing right in front of me. I exaggerate not, her face was inches away from my face. She asked me very loud and VERY directly, "Are you someone's mom?"

I went immobile in the head and body for a moment before I squeaked ", I'm not." Her Mom raced back towards us to grab her, said "I'm so sorry!" to me and then drug the little depression machine off and out the door. I felt worse than I do when I'm forced to take a treadmill in front of the t.v. playing Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. SMART. What is FAIL? THIN? fail. And now, YOUNG? fail.

It was already feeling a little unhip girl logic that told me this stranger's little girl thought I was a mom because I was old. It could have been because I was in the lobby area. It could have been because I had a cell phone and was using it. It could have been ANYTHING, but Mr. Zoom got to ride out the wave of self critical jibber jabber that followed. And I am quite surprised that he didn't sit me on the couch and tell me to shut my hole, life is pretty damn good - what some strange kid innocently asks me should not bring my whole world to a halt. Especially since I didn't know where the question was coming from.

But he didn't. He let river jump to conclusion run itself dry.

I like to think I don't have any illusions about being 39, and looking 39 - whatever that means. But you know that idea you have in your head of what an age looks like to you? But I suppose the truth is, that just like I believe the dryer shrinks my jeans, I love to believe that maybe I look pretty good for 39. And that nobody would ever mistake me as someone's mom. But just like the phrase "looks 39" is ambiguous, so is "looking like someone's mom". Because there are a lot of moms out there who are fantastic looking, as well as genuinely wonderful people I'd be honored to be compared to/mistaken for.

So what have I learned? That the dryer really DOES shrink my jeans. That's what.

*Not really, as everyone knows only Chuck Norris can kick treadmill ass.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Underrated Creepiness: The Ice Cream Truck

Mr. Zoom and I came round the corner on our way home from work and stopped mid-smack talk to gawk at the ice cream truck parked in the middle of our street. I began to flail, because my camera wasn't handy and my cell phone couldn't boot up in time to get a shot of it. And the weird thing, it wasn't parked because there were kids there. It was just parked. With the ill-tuned music gushing from it.

Mr. Zoom - funny enough - zoomed into our garage and got his camera out so he could video the rarely seen ice cream truck as it passed our house.

I had previously used the last of my phone battery to amuse myself at the office while waiting for Mr. Zoom to meet me in the lobby to drive home. I spotted a large fly on the window, booted up my phone and giggled to myself as I internally repeated "super fly!" to myself. I took some pictures which I intended to upload to TwitPic. Then I realized that nobody was going to be able to see the fly and the moment vanished.

But not before Mr. Zoom came down and saw me giggling to myself and chasing a fly around with my cell phone camera. The work week hadn't ended fast enough.

Just that morning I had gotten in the shower and all too late noticed a cricket in there. I had the wibblies, but figured I was already soaked in water so as long as he stayed in the corner I could finish my shower. With one eye open at all times. At that very moment, clown cricket took massive leaps into the water on the shower floor and began hop swimming towards me. I yelped and flew out of the shower, squealing for Mr. Zoom in the patented bug-in-my-space-come-fix-it-noise.

"BIG CRICKET IN THE SHOWER!!" I pointed while I struggled with a towel. "I was going to be fine, but then he came out of his corner and started chasing me across the shower! Apparently it was ON."

Mr. Zoom, barely hiding his amused disbelief "Came after you. Right." Then he opened the door. "Oh. He's a big boy." Mr. Zoom had to go find some cardboard so that he could air lift clown cricket out of the shower while I hid under a towel. That is not an exaggeration. I can't stand watching Mr. Zoom deal with the bugs.

You know how getting back in the shower after you've pre-completion exited just doesn't feel the same as getting your whole shower done in one session? Threw off my whole day.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Proving that I'm Always the Last to Discover Anything

It was last weekend that I entered the Bed Bath and Beyond for what seemed like the first time ever. I've been to that store before, but just like I didn't appreciate San Francisco when I was 9, I didn't understand the love capacity I had for Bed Bath and Beyond until this past weekend.

I can't stop thinking about the magical aisles with bric-a-brac that nobody needs but desperately wants. The "as seen on t.v." items are my favorite. And I bought some of them, too. The jury's still out on the actual effectiveness of those products as compared to their claimed effectiveness. But no matter. I was high on potential and I LIKED IT.

Do all BB&B's have just that one teeny little door to enter and exit through? Is it a theft deterrent kind of thing? I'm not sure how they get away with that as far as fire safety codes, but maybe they are so awesome that they are exempt. I am claustrophobic, but for some reason the super high ceilings and walls, covered with absolutely anything you could ever imagine isn't a threat to that part of me. Like, if there was a fire, I'd probably just run to the travel section, lie down and say "yeah, this is as good a place as any to have it all end."

HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR TRAVEL SECTION? Everything you've ever needed is in miniature travel size and in stock in that store. Most stores have that sissy one side of the aisle filled with a few bins of marginally exciting travel sizes. Not BB&B. They dedicate an entire SECTION to that. Their sections are about the size of a room in a house, with extra high ceilings. And all the wall space plus shelving aisles in between is stocked full.

Let's put it this way. Mr. Zoom used to shudder when I told him I'd be going to Target. I can still spend way too much time and money there - but there's a brand new (to me) whore in town and she gives me exactly what I want and exactly what I didn't even know I wanted. In several sizes, colors and brands. It makes me feel like I could have a clean, organized, hip home without the enormous energy I waste already if I could just fugue out the magical combination of items to buy and use. It's like they have some secret gas in there that induces domestic euphoria.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

All the World's My Helmet

Mr. Zoom came home from the store with salsa. And thank goodness he got the non-poisonous one.

I suppose in the wake of the tomato scare, I get it. But here's an example of caution gone too far:

Because if you come back from the fair with anything less than 3 layers of dust, straw, beer, animal hairs, drool, chocolate, sweat, a set of ShamWows and a sense of having sold your soul for something deep fried, well - ur doin it wrong.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tweet. Chirp. Caw.

Blame twitter. Not that I think anyone is checking here for new content - but due to twitter and it's amazing ability to let me drain my noggin's chatter-pan more regularly, I find myself posting "big posts, official ones" to the blog much less often.

And even if it didn't exist or I weren't using it? There wouldn't be much here lately anyway. Bout all I have is a new found hatred for the sound a plastic spoon makes when it scrapes the bottom of a yogurt cup. For some reason this JUST started bothering me. One of my co-workers eats yogurt daily at her desk, has been for as long as I can remember. Yet, this audio event has just started to bother me.

We Zooms recently got to play a game called Apples to Apples with some friends of ours. Despite the fact that it isn't a drinking or eating game, I liked it!! The brief description of the game is that you have to pick a word you are given and match it to a word the "judge" gives you. Something you think will be seen by the judge as a match. As someone who can create a link between two or more events/things/etc., this game felt like it was made for me. Although I didn't come close to winning but once, and only then after I started shutting down my special kind of logic.

Zoom: "What do you mean toasters aren't shocking?"

Judge: "Well I'm not taking it into the bath with me!"

Zoom: *pout*

The after effect on Mr. Zoom is that when he says things to me now, I like to latch onto a word and fling "matching" words at it. Only nobody really knows what word will trigger me, or what I'm even talking about until deep resentment has set in.

Mr. Zoom: "I'm going to the market today."

Zoom: "ORANGES! glassware. MITTENS! Cake. Nooooo. Cash. WHY?!"

Mr. Zoom: *sigh*


Monday, July 21, 2008

Wax On... Why Are You Crying?

Recently I discovered the certificate I was issued when I obtained a yellow belt in some flim flammy karate class. When I was 10, the year 1979. YIKES!

I can totally remember when my Dad and two older brothers decided to take karate classes for the exact same reason that everyone else at the time wanted them. They all wanted to be Bruce Lee. And I wanted to be and do whatever my brothers were doing - the fact that I was a girl and they were boys didn't mean a thing to me. I should have known from the lack of hesitation [upon my joining the class] on their part that it was an incredibly bad idea. For me.

We were 3 latch key kids. When my brothers weren't spending time locking me out of the house, they were using me as a target for home made darts or just beating me up in the way that only brothers can do. Enrolling all of us in a class where they were not only allowed, but encouraged to beat on their sister was the ultimate get out of jail free card.

When the teacher informed us that karate was only to be used to protect oneself, and that it was downright improper to use it solely to show off or whack your sister in the head, I had hope. Hope that my brothers wouldn't roundhouse my ass just for fun. It is one of the clearest memories I have of complete and utter dismay at the difference of life "on paper" and "in reality". It was the down payment on my helmet for life. Because what do 12 and 14 year old boys care about improper? Only that the forbidden nature of it was the exact fuel they needed to put operation pummel-your-sister into action.

My Dad was in the class with us. That slightly cut down on the number of "sparring" sessions I had to endure. That - and the fact that I learned to cry sooner rather than later, which I believe got on their nerves more than anything.

Memories of those individual lessons are lost to me at this point. A blurry image here and there, mostly of my trying to remember my Forms. Or Form. Or whatever that maniacal dance routine was that they assigned to us at each level and that we were expected to memorize and perform on demand. One particular lesson I remember the class being introduced to a room - not unlike one of those super bounce things at kid parties - but it was an actual room in the building where the lights were turned out, we were placed inside, and the idea was for us to use our spidey senses to spar with our classmates. That might have been considered a great teaching technique if I didn't immediately curl up in a ball in the corner and just hope that nobody tripped over me. Much more turtle than spider.

I remember testing for the yellow belt, and quitting the classes the very night I got it. I was NOT going to stick around for nunchucks and throwing stars. Those items might not have been on the teacher's agenda, but that wouldn't have mattered to my brothers. There was already a pond in our courtyard filled with plastic army men who had been tied to bottle rockets and shot into the pond from the roof of our two story home - and cleaned out again before our parents got home. I didn't need much encouragement to believe that I would soon be forced to "hold this for a second, I want to see if I can make a throwing star stick in the wood while I run through the yard like a ninja."

I'll tell you what though. I was the best crier in the class.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Really. It Wasn't From the Circus.

So what's the last thing you expect to see on the sidewalk as you drive home from YOUR work day? No really. Think of all the things you would never expect to see.

Is one of them a unicycle being ridden down the road? Because it should be.

When Mr. Zoom and I drive home, this is what we normally see, and what we expect to see. Sure, throw a random person walking their dog in there. We can handle that.

I am a clown, I am here for Earth's amusement. I have to be. How else can you explain that several times now, Mr. Zoom and I have been driving down that road and seen an honest to goodness UNICYCLE WITH A RIDER ON IT just toolin down the street like it's perfectly normal?

And the worst part? I can NEVER get a picture. NEVER. Even if I drove home with the camera on and pointed out the window, the speed at which both we are driving and the unicycle is going the other way makes it impossible for me to capture proof on ... digital camera.

And this keeps me up at night. Because who believes you when you say you've spotted an actual unicycle with rider just going down the street as if that's perfectly ok? And there's no circus around. The fair hasn't even been in town when the thing shows up every summer.

So guess what you all get. You get a really crappy artist's rendering of what Mr. Zoom and I have to see once in a while. Just like court cases where media can't come in. Only I'm spectacularly inept at drawing in general and I have not the slightest clue how to work the photoshop on our computers.

See that? Do you think you could keep your collective sh*t together if YOU were driving down the street and saw that?

I didn't think so.

FINALLY, after like 2 years of fretting over the fact that that I'm never going to get photographic proof of the existence of this thing, I can

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Defending My Nit-Wit Title

Poor Mr. Zoom. Anytime now he will wake up in our house, and once more, wonder how I can possibly claim I wasn't raised/trained by lunatic hippies. With a straight face.

Mr. Zoom has come down with a horrible cold. The way he deals with ill is nearly identical to how he deals with the realization he's married to a woman who will do and say just about anything if it makes sense to her - and only her, the rest of the world is welcome to get on board but if not - oh well that's what insurance is for. Only the trained eye of the wife can tell the difference between "you've got to be kidding me" and "sick". When sick, he takes some cold relief medicine, and then curls up in a ball for a 4 day sleep in the guest bedroom. One doesn't wake him. One doesn't try to feed him. One only checks to be sure he's still breathing throughout the day.

I leave sick friendly food offerings in the fridge. I leave little notes around for him to call me if he needs something (but he never ever would).

Today though, here's what he's going to find when he wakes up and makes his way to the kitchen. A fresh loaf of bread I bought for him last night (for toast. He loves toast when he's not feeling great), a note that I love him, and oh yeah, a note that there's A WASP IN THE BATHROOM. Be careful.

What he'll see when he goes to the loo to check it out is another huge note on the bathroom mirror "WASP!! on the floor!! CAREFUL". He will then look down to see a brown paper lunch size sack taped over an upside down high-ball glass, which is covering a wasp I found in our loo last night. The sack says "stoopid Wasp".

I think I carried the bee into the house on my clothes. For some reason bees literally try to stick themselves to me. One time I went to lunch at work, came back to my desk and couldn't figure out why my hair was buzzing. I'd brought a bee all the way from outside and up 14 floors to my desk and didn't even know it. Just a month or so ago, a huge bumble bee followed me from our yard and all the way out to my truck. I was positive it was going to kill me and then drag me back to its house for the family to feed on. It finally flew away, but not until after much whimpering and adrenaline leaked out of my body.

So last night after I get out of the shower (had gone to the gym), I see the wasp on the floor. He's barely alive. Normal people would take care of it by vacuum or broom and dustpan. But I can't. I can't I can't I can't. Normally Mr. Zoom can recognize a spider squeal out of me and will be there within seconds to deal with it. But this time he was already down in the sick sleep and I wasn't going to wake him up.

The solution was for me to grab a glass and turn it over on the bee. And even that gave me the worst case of the willies. The glass landed over it's target and I shot backwards going "woeeididd eee ooo eeeiiieeee". I was afraid later that Mr. Zoom would wander in there and not see the glass or bee, and might kick it. So I took the lunch sack I found in a drawer and some packaging tape, and I taped the bag over the glass and onto the floor (cement acid washed floors, no carpet).

I'm pretty sure a giant spider will show up in the shower tomorrow morning. That's usually how this works. Worst time possible for critter interaction? Great. Everybody swarm.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fire Safety by Tag-Team

P Touch labelers are the best invention ever.

There are times when I hate living in a neighborhood full of college kids. Then there are the times they make me laugh and they make me thankful that our house isn't at the end of the block.

Managed to get a better picture of one of our office falcons this week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's so Funny?

Our house was built a long time ago. It is the fact I bring up every single time I blow the fuses in the house with my hair dryer or the vacuum cleaner. Mr. Zoom has never managed to do this, no matter how much electric stuff he has running in the house at one time. Apparently only I have the power.

One of our lights was set up on this antique timer that was built into the wall:

To fully appreciate it, you have to see the combination lock type set up one has to work with in order to get it to do anything resembling "useful". Or, working at all. Ever.

So one day on the way home from work Mr. Zoom throws this comment out:

"Yeah, I'm going to replace that thing. Because it's not working right and I'm always afraid I'm going to open the stargate whenever I mess with it."

I laughed so hard the rest of the way home, I think I snorted. And he really didn't think it was all that funny. He married me, so his point of views are obvioulsy invalid anyway.

While walking to our car through the parking lot last week, I saw this:

Which I also thought was hilarious. And I haven't even seen the movie, nor do I know who's car that is.

Yesterday, one of the baby falcons that lives on our office building landed on my boss' window ledge and proceeded to squawk his little head off. He had brought a round...lunch with him. I couldn't really get good pictures because the camera didn't want to focus on the bird, and I didn't want to scare him off.

The only reason I know it is a falcon is because when we all first noticed the birds we called them hawks. A co-worker wrinkled his nose in disgust and informed us all that it was a FALCON, not a hawk. And how silly of us to make such a pedestrian mistake, but, you know, not many people bother to learn the difference.

I still don't know how to tell the difference, because I tuned out as soon as our lack of intelligence was thrown on the floor and danced upon by some guy who apparently became a real estate attorney so he could wow a bunch of unsuspecting people with his amazing bird knowledge?


Friday, June 20, 2008

You Need Proper Supervision

There's just not a lot going on in my world these days.

I did witness our self proclaimed cougar hunter stalking one of our very cougar, single employees. He scored a dollar to buy some chips out of the vending machine, for himself AND another friend of his. I felt like I needed to boil myself for having been in the office kitchen when the deal went down. I did add a round of eye rolling to the general ambiance, but silently endured the willies the rest of the time.

Oh, and there was a company potluck, but there was a fight about who would get to bring the fruit bowl. Yes. Yes there was.

Mr. Zoom has had to chase me off of the science channel a couple of times, since there are many specials about black holes and theories of planet creation. I'm fascinated, but after watching those I can't sleep. I get that ticklie bottomless pit anxiety that comes from learning you might be sucked into a massive, mostly invisible, space quick sand AT ANY TIME - and I'll probably turn inside out in the process. Or that our universe is basically an accident residing on the inside of something even larger than can be comprehended. It's the Nova String Theory special all over again. I don't need a reason for life to be what it is - I try and enjoy it as much as I can while I'm here - HOWEVER I got here. And I know that these happenings are not very likely - just possible. Nevertheless, it yanks the carpet out from under me, which causes my yap to flap at Mr. Zoom when he's trying to go to sleep.

Oh, and then I also start throwing words at Mr. Zoom (like Singularity) as if they are a perfectly natural and long time member of my vocabulary. Sometimes he just takes it in stride, other times he has to stop what he's doing so he can rub his face in that defeated way that husbands do.

When Mr. Zoom and I are around the house and I need his attention, I flip on the Lifetime Channel. He's afraid of it (and to tell you the truth, so am I). I've even threatened him "If you don't _______ now, I'm going to sit down and watch Lifetime." Usually what is at stake is that I'm hungry and ready to get something to eat, and he's not quite there yet. Instead of being an adult and going on my own way, I use terrorist tactics to bring him around to my point of view. There's a Lifetime in the HD channels now, I wonder how fast I can get lunch with that thing!

What do you know, it's dinnertime!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tourette's Marketing. Ur Doing it Wrong.

Last night Mr. Zoom had finally gotten me to pick a place for dinner. Since he was going out to buy some milk he wanted to make things simple. I'm a gigantic pain in the ass when it comes to picking a place to eat. I don't want to be, but I am. I was going over what I wanted to order with him - well, to be honest I was changing what I wanted every .5 seconds - when he finally said "look, just tell me what you want and I'll go from there." Sensing that he was interested in getting a move on - I said "Awww, come on. We've had sex! And in a post sex high, aren't you supposed to find everything I say riveting and fabulous?"

And without skipping a beat, he said "No no no nooooo. That's BEFORE we have sex. Not after." I almost high fived him for that one.

He went on his way and I settled onto the couch for some T.V. and Nintendo DS lite while I waited for him. I was surprised when about 15 minutes later my doorbell rang. I thought for sure it was Mr. Zoom, who likely had his hands full and needed me to unlock and open the door for him. I looked out the peep hole to be sure it was him, and it wasn't. There were two people I didn't recognize out there, and I could hear one saying through the door - and what he thought was under his breath - "please don't freak out - please don't freak out - please don't freak out" Which of course, made me freak out. Silently, but still.

They had heard me thud my way to the door, and when I hadn't responded one of them said "HELLLOOOOO." I kept the door closed and shouted back "UH, my husband isn't home at the moment."

What's wrong with me? If these are bad people, why don't I let them know I'm home alone! That's a fantastic idea! Not only that, but apparently I'm a 1950s housewife who can't take care of anything without the Husband? It would have been even better if I was dragging a vacuum around the house with me and I called it a sweeper or something.

Team Marketing wasn't giving up, and I was told (as I was still watching through the peep hole), "Aww, come on lady. He's got tourettes [pointing at his pal]. He needs to practice. Will you just let him do the presentation?"

Whether or not I fit the definition of LADY on paper, it still makes me uncomfortable when people say it at me. Although I really couldn't blame him since I pulled the I'm-Incapable-without-A-Husband thing. But I also couldn't figure out what the other guy's tourettes had to do with anything. And was positive that he probably didn't appreciate having those facts yelled through a door.

"No thank you." I said. I watched them through the door, their shoulders dropped in the realization that I had indeed, freaked out and refused to open the door. They said "Do you want a free paper?" I declined. They left.

Mr. Zoom got home. We ate dinner. I didn't want to share the story of Team Marketing with him just yet. And, I do believe he'd already told me earlier that very day that "Just because people talk to you, it doesn't mean you have to respond."

What he's really saying is "One of these days, someone is probably going to punch ME for something YOU said."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Giant White Noise Machine"

You'll have to click it to actually read it.

Make your own at:

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mr. Zoom Shoots Nature's Peen

There's a river-ish thing that runs along some of the road we take to get to the office. I was always confused as to how California could justify calling these sometimes filled water ways "rivers" when in New Mexico they called them Arroyos.

Because, see, I thought as a kid that arroyo was THE name for nature's man-made cement sewer system for rain water. Not bothering to realize it was another word for small river. Just one of the many ways I've stumbled ever so gracefully into the concept of regional dialect.

Anyway, one morning over trying not to spill my coffee, I spied a giant rock phallus in the river bed. It is not unusual for there to be some kind of shape there, as the frats and sorrorities of the college right next to this place have been placing a rock version of their Greek pride on that very spot for years.

But this was the very first Greek symbol I understood immediately and without so much as a stutter. Mr. Zoom went back one evening to record this creature in its native environment before civilization could cover it up. It has since gone back into hiding.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is my Boom Stick

While the rest of my idol bloggers are out there becoming grand parents, dealing with real world issues, writing inspiring posts - I'm over here inventing a way to keep birds out of my hair.

Yes, birds. out of. my hair.

Spring brought some particularly aggressive birds to the Zoom Yard. Aside from just being annoyingly loud and consistent with the loud, they have taken to flying at our heads when we walk outside. This is not unlike the situation I have dealt with at the coffee shop every year at this time - for the past 4 years or so.

But if you can't be safe in your own yard, then it's time to find a weapon. At least that's my view on it.

Behold the Bird Booty Boom Stick. Never before has there been a better use for the cardboard part of a dryclean hanger. My own pythagorean theorem: The as the length of the cardboardus - tubus of the hangarus increses, so increases the number of failed avian landings on the Zoomus Headus.

I find that my particular hairstyle - lazius maximus - is particularly threatening to birds. I roll it all up and clip it on the back of my head, and the fringe apparently looks so much like another bird that even if they didn't want to attack me - the obligation by nature is so strong that they do it anyway. I'm not waking up earlier to avoid bird bombings when I can simply wield my new weapon AND have my lazy too.

Mr. Zoom christened the stick with phrases I can't recall the exact wording of. One side says Bird Booty Boom Stick (I think) and the other says "Behold Zoom Beater of Bird Ass" or something similar. These are obviously nods to both the Evil Dead and Sealab. And before I get hate mail, please know I'd never actually hit any bird. I just twirl the thing up over my head as I walk to and from my vehicle. Mr. Zoom actually called this one for what it was: "Oh, that's fantastic. Wait until you actually hit one and it falls in front of you. You are going to be devastated."

I had read on the internet that the birds wait until you turn around, they figure if they can't see your eyes, you can't see them and that's when they attack. The solution, prescribed by the net, was to make a giant set of eyes out of paper and stick them to the top of one's head. This won't be happening. For one thing, I'd have to keep track of both fake eyes, and that is a recipe for disaster. What if I can only find one eye? I'm fairly certain that a cycloptic bird looking hair style is going to get me in more bird trouble than walking around with my stick. And if they hit me, they will steal my paper for their nests.

Or we can look at it this way - I am one to two paper eyeballs away from being reported to the police as it is - I know for a fact that the patrons of the coffee shop are very much on edge when I come in holding my stick. They can not figure out what I plan on doing with it, until they see me walking away and dodging birds. Sticking paper eyes on myself is pretty much asking for a dog pile of citizens' arrests.

So that's what I've been up to lately. Staying out of jail and clinging to my laziness, no matter what the cost.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

For My Mom

Dear Formerly Amish Mom,

First of all, let me just say thank you for getting the hell off the farm and fleeing to evil civilization when you did. Because even though I wasn't even in utero pre-production yet, had I been born into that world I know I'd have become the kind of eccentric loon that I adore researching today. However, Mom, you managed to bring some of that Amish charm with you and nail it into my subconscious with the kind of zeal you Ams reserved for barn raisings. All well intentioned love, I know.

You were always so worried that I'd end up looking like a trollop. Not an unrealistic fear, considering the women in our family have all been granted size D or larger racks. And apparently nothing screams whore like an oversized rack. Even after I grew up and out of the house, you let me know every single time I saw you just how disappointed you were in my cleavage to clothing ratio.

I spent so much time focusing on the TOP of the girls that I completely overlooked the other side of the mountains. I still don't understand how cracker crumbs can adhere up under there so stubbornly and in such great numbers. Doesn't gravity work anymore? Any surface that contains anything transferable, food, dust, colorforms - I merely have to think about walking by and an hour later I find those items attached to the upunder side of my girls.

You tried so hard. You really did. What you didn't know was that no matter what we women do, we look like a 2$ whore to somebody. I just look like one that's a tad more expensive - one that can be bought for an all you can eat buffet or admission to a very dusty place.

And even though that's exactly what you tried to avoid, I need you to know that it could have been worse. So much worse. I'm not easy to work with by any standards, and somehow you raised me well enough to find and land the Best Husband in the World. I only wish I knew exactly what cloaking device you activated for that to happen.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Too Long for Twitter

Actual conversation I (Zoom) had with ... let's just say ... someone who should know better (SNB).

SNB: "I haven't received any e-mail on my blackberry since 10 am. I think the office e-mail is down. Would you check?"

Zoom: "Ok."

Call to help desk reveals e-mail is functioning properly.

Zoom: "I called help desk and they say the e-mail systems are working fine. You need to call them so they can walk you through a couple of trouble shoots with your blackberry."

SNB: "Ok, I'll call them after I'm out of Best Buy. My battery in my blackberry is dead so I'm getting a new one."

Zoom: "How are we talking if your blackberry battery is dead?"

SNB: "It's not."

Zoom: "..."

SNB: "It was, but I have a new one."

Zoom: "You do realize that in order to receive e-mail, you need a functioning battery, right? It doesn't just fly through the air cloaked in invisibility and then embed itself into your device. The device still needs battery power to refresh your in-box."

SNB: "Yeah."

Zoom: "Are you going to walk in here with Ashton Kutcher?"

SNB: "Who?"

Zoom: "Nevermind. Check your e-mail now that you have a new battery. I think you'll find them in there now."

SNB: "Yup. There they are."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Define "Adventure"...

Our local phone book arrived on our doorstep a few weeks ago. I swooped in and got it before Mr. Zoom could huck it into the recycle bin. Why? Because if you've ever read a phone book (I played with bricks as a child - what do you expect), you know there's all kinds of information in the front of it about local attractions.

I've been passive aggressively touring my local cities with my camera long enough now that I'm out of places to go that are obvious. And safe. Enough for me to go on my own and let Mr. Zoom have the t.v. for a few hours, anyway.

So I cracked the phone book and ran down the section that targets people visiting. To my surprise I found a listing for something I'd never heard of or seen before called "Adventure City." In Anaheim. So I grabbed the address, my camera and the Garmin and I set off.

And my Garmin sent me into STANTON. There was an adult book store and a strip club on my right, and 3 blocks later I saw Adventure City. I got into the parking lot and realized I was going to turn around and go home. Immediately. Why?

There were gang tags on most of the fences of AC, which doesn't really bother me very much on it's own. But combined with the hookers on the street and the man talking to the tires of cars while searching the trash bins, I thought this might be asking for a tad of trouble. Add to that the fact that this AC is indeed a teeny, tiny, ghetto fair designed specifically for children - and a very popular one from the packed parking lot - I wasn't going to tempt an ass kicking by being an adult with a camera and no child in tow. And for the record, I wouldn't really blame someone for doing so if they honestly believed me to be a threat to their child - or any child.

Because people have no way of knowing that I am harmless. That I specifically leave all children out of any photos I take. I specifically avoid adults, too. If I accidentally get an adult or child, it either gets deleted or if it is post worthy, gets modified so no identities are revealed. I would only ever take pictures of a person in public if they were practically wearing a sign that said "look at me." Otherwise, I leave people alone and out of it.

I gathered up a willing Mr. Zoom and we hit Adventure City.

Upon paying our entrance fee, a grandma working the turn style sized us up and said "Uh huh. Are you meeting someone inside?" Most of their business, I think, comes from the giant kid birthday parties they organize at this place. We had cameras akimbo and no child escort. "YES" I lied. And then I felt better for dragging Mr. Zoom on this surreal outing with me.

Inside it feels like miniature golf, only with roller coasters and fair-like rides instead of golf holes. And there are probably less than 18 "attractions" in the place. And it covers less land than your average mini golf course.

But it's big on crazy. And we love crazy. Unfortunately, most of that crazy was provided by the guests in the park so I don't have a lot of photographic evidence for you.

The Merry Go Round though, this will perhaps give you an idea what we were dealing with. It had the usual kitch on it, but...

And I don't know how well you can see it here, as when I saw them I was a little taken aback ... but painting a set of the angel's faces black? Isn't that supposed to be an insult? TO the very people who are attending this place?

We were through AC and back at our car in about an hour. And there was a crazy homeless guy circling the car. We didn't think he was after anything having to do with the car, we just parked too close to one of the trash cans. We let him do his thing in peace and then got in the car and went home.

It's funny, because every once in a while one of us Zooms will say "I don't know how that place still exists." And we always know without asking that we are talking about Adventure City.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Neurotic Consumerism

Mr. Zoom began reading dooce dot com waaay back before we were even dating. He was, and still is, in love with Heather Armstrong. I love me a good dose of dooce too, but for some reason I don't check in there daily. I seem compelled to click on defective yeti before I do most anything else.

Mr. Zoom had told me about dooce's book "Things I Learned About My Dad" a while ago. I knew we'd be buying one when it came out.

So imagine my surprise today when checking into defective yeti, and seeing dooce's book on 4-29-08's entry. Turns out that yeti has an essay in her book. And of course I didn't see this post until today, 4-30.

I shot an e-mail off to Mr. Zoom with the subject line: "What you WILL be buying at lunch today." He made some snarky comment that he might be willing to share his Dooce book with me, since Yeti contributed and all. But I had to be nice.

And I was proud of him for holding something I wanted out of arm's reach like that. I ramped up the bitch hackles and proceeded to outline every reason he was not only going to buy the book, but he would be buying two copies.

Yes. Two copies, one household.

First of all, Mr. Zoom has a rain dance he does with books. It consists of him purchasing hard cover books only, taking the dust jackets off, and then throwing the dust jackets away. When I found out about this before we were married, I made him swear he would never ever ever do that to any of "my" books. Trust me, if you knew Mr. Zoom in person - you would know just how counter-Mr. Zoom this action OUGHT TO BE. He buys and applies protective covers and stickers for his phones. He buys and applies them to MY phone and Nintendo DS, when I wouldn't bother to do so for myself.

I'd rather share my lunch and dinner with strangers for a week than bin a book's dust cover.

Second of all, Mr. Zoom loves his things and takes very very very very very good care of them. I could never and would never borrow something from him that he loves, much less a book by one of his favorite bloggers. I know me. I'd accidentally bend a page or drop a pretzel in there - and Mr. Zoom would never sleep again. I know this sounds weird, considering he's willing to throw away the covers, but it's just part of the retardation dance we do. And everyone should know that while Mr. Zoom admits he's a bit of a perfectionist freak - he has never ever ever made me feel bad about damage to a thing of his. It's always an accident and I believe it's me who makes me feel bad, not him. He's always super gracious about things like that.

All the same, I'd rather let the coffee shop birds fly in my hair and make a nest than borrow anything from Mr. Zoom I know I could not return in better than perfect condition.

For those two reasons, I told him he had a choice. He could either buy me a copy at the same time he bought "his", or I'd go out on my own and get one. But I would not, under any circumstances, borrow his.

You would have thought he asked for a french fry from my plate.

He came back from lunch and personally brought me my very own copy of the book. And how lucky were we? We got the very last two copies from the store near our office. He said they had to go in the back just to find them, and their computer says they were the only store in that chain that even showed they had any left in Orange County.

Awesome. While I realize that my uber crazy might might have deprived another customer from getting their own copy of the book, I'm too happy that I won't have to worry about accidentally dropping Mr. Zoom's copy off a freeway overpass. Because as unlikely as that may sound to the rest of you out there - it is always a possibility in my world. And this is a book I really really really want to read.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Formerly Amish Mom Reviews Harold and Kumar

I paid my parents a visit this weekend. They were very excited about a movie they saw and are positive that Mr. Zoom and I will love it.

I should have known something was wrong when the giggling started. "I picked the movie" my mom said. This is usually followed by things like "It was C Movie, and it was fantastic." " mean B Movie? The cartoon?" "YEAH, that one."

So here we go. She tried her best to get the title right "you know, Escape from GTO". Giggle Giggle Giggle.

My mind raced to match the attempted title to an actual one. OMG. " you mean Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay?" "YEAH" both parents said, "THAT ONE!"

"You saw and liked Harold and Kumar?.....wait. Did you guys even see H&K go to White Castle?"

"Yes." they said. "We thought it was kinda cute for a stoner movie."

My parents just said stoner movie. LOOK AT MY PARENTS. My mom wears sweaters with kittens and horses on them. Look at her hat. That's nearly a bushel of fake blue flowers on top of a straw hat she's wearing. My dad prefers hats that I can only refer to as "newsie" and scary. They both got really upset once when I made a joke about not being able to bring Mr. Zoom to a dinner party with family and how I was bringing my friend A instead, and was going to tell everyone that I had switched teams and she was my new lesbian lover. THAT got an "over the line" head tilt with a disapproving "ZOOM! Not funny." But Harold and Kumar? Apparently that's all kinds of good family fun.

"So wait. Battleshits? You guys are ok with Battleshits?"

"Oh, yeah. That's funny."

And then they went on.


"We were the only gray hairs in the theater with a ton of kids. You know, there's a part where instead of a topless club, it's bottomless. Get it? Bottomless?? So when one girl goes to take off her top, they say 'hey, what kind of establishment do you think we are running here?"

They thought this was the best joke ever.

"Then when they questioned the guy as to why he didn't have his bottoms off, he said 'but I do' and he stood up."

My mom takes over the story and continues "So here's this guy, he stands up and his penis is hanging out of this GIANT, and I mean HUGE bush. Just the biggest, most humungous bush. He's standing there at the table like that."

My dad contributes "You know how the guy who played Doogie Howser? He's in it, eating mushrooms and seeing unicorns. It's hilarious."


And that's when the screaming in my head started. It's still there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

...Have I Said Too Much?

like my gym because most of the time I can dodge the promotions with ease. Hands full of towel and gym bag make it nearly impossible for them to hand me anything, and the way they are generally set up, I can gauge when they are working with a victim and scoot past before they notice me. Timing is everything.

Unless they change their attack. One evening I scanned my card and the counter person said "Can I ask you a question?" Thinking perhaps there was an issue with my membership, I said "Will it hurt?"

He said "When was the last time you had your body fat ratio taken?" I looked to the side at that moment and saw a sign-up sheet. DRAT. I had been sneak promotioned!

Because I'm socially incapable, this is how I responded: "OH GOD NO." Just like that. I drew the attention of two more employees. "Look" I said, "I come here, I do the treadmill and I scurry home. That's it. That's all." I pointed at the treadmills on the second floor, as if he couldn't see them for himself.

The undeterred tried again "But, what are your goals?"

"I don't have any."


"NONE. Treadmill. Home. That's it. I do realize this is your job and all. But I don't want any. Please, just tell me the magic words to say, or whatever I have to do so that I can not have to do whatever it is you are trying to make me do."


I wish I could have seen my own face, because I bet it was a fantastical display of realization (why yes, yes I could just keep walking away - why do I not think of these things?), shock (I'm out? Already?), confusion (should I be offended?) and glee (he just told me to tell my story walkin! That's hilarious! That's the kind of response Mr. Zoom is really going to be sad he missed out on!)

When I reported the experience to Mr. Zoom, he said "The next time why don't you just shriek and run away instead of trying to talk. Because the results certainly can't be any worse than what happens when you do talk to people."

And he's so very right. But I know me. I have verbal hairballs. When they need to come out, they need to come out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flinging Poo

The Zooms have a long standing debate about crap film. Ok, not really long standing - because I literally just last month remembered that my most favorite guilty pleasure is the movie "Major Payne", but I have been giving Mr. Zoom a truckfull of crap for owning the DVD entitled "Aliens v. Predator" or "AVP" ever since I saw it in the Amazon box - what, it has to have been a couple of years ago now.

So while he has an entire DVD library full of craptacular film that I've purchased, he has only recently been able to fight back and defend his "AVP" because he caught me laughing like a wine-o on a roller coaster when I stumbled across "Major Payne" for free on TV last month. I watch most of the other bad choices I make when he's doing other stuff around the house and that way I'm able to quietly bury them in the DVD collection without drawing any attention to myself.

"I forgot how much I love this movie" I gushed when he came out from his office to find out what I was guffawing at. He watched for a few minutes and then ran out of the room while pinching his nose shut with his fingers. "That's your guilty pleasure!!" he yelled back as he fled. I was convinced he couldn't appreciate the hi-lar-ity of the movie because he didn't hear any of the fabulous lines. So the next day I found all my favorite quotes on imdb dot com and e-mailed them to Mr. Zoom. He wasn't impressed.

Today at the office, this debate flared anew. Except it was via e-mail, so I actually have a transcript of it. You will note that several times I attempt mathmatics - and fail, and that I end the debate by stating a fact not even in argument. This is what it is like to talk to us. You will thank us now for remaining childless:


From: Mr. Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:20 AMTo: Zoom
Subject: I may put in a Amazon movie order today
Any wants?

I have these so far;

Aliens Vs. Predator 2


From: Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:35 AM
To: Mr. Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

ALIENS V. PREDATOR 2? Do movies I pick have to ride in the same box?

From: Mr. Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:37 AM
To: Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

I don't want to hear a peep out of you Sgt. Pooh or whatever the heck that Wayans brother movie is.

From: Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:38 AM
To: Mr. Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

yes but I DON'T OWN IT ON DVD. It's Major Payne. And again, DON'T OWN IT ON DVD.

From: Mr. Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:40 AM
To: Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

The fact that you watched Colonel Turd even once is SO MUCH WORSE.


From: Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:46 AM
To: Mr. Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

I DEFY YOU TO DEFEND THAT. How can watching something bad whenever it is on t.v. FOR FREE be worse than paying 10+ or - dollars for a steamy STEAMY pile of doo doo franchise like AVP? AND SHIPPING. YOU PAY SHIPPING.

Your purchasing of that smelly title(s) and bringing them into our beloved DVD collection is so much worse a violation than my watching and laughing at Major Payne for free. SOOOOOOO MUCH WORSE.

You are giving them a reason to make more. I am merely enjoying some bad film for free. Already out there. AND NOT IN OUR DVD COLLECTION.


From: Mr. Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:05 PM
To: ZoomSubject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

It's simple math really.

Major Payne - very very high level of dookie - hence watched at all in any circumstance, travesty.

AVP - high turd level - watched or owned bad, but not worst

Here's the equation
(poohocity) + (interaction with movie) = (resultant LOSER score)

For Major Payne

1000000000000000000000000000000 X 10 = 10000000000000000000000000000000

1000000000000000 X 10000000 = 10000000000000000000000

The winner, clearly, is Mr. Zoom. In order for you to refute this you'd have to do math. We both know that's not going to happen. So after even further review, the winner is Mr. Zoom.

From: Zoom
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:05 PM
To: Mr. Zoom
Subject: RE: I may put in a Amazon movie order today

Oh, no you are NOT pulling the math card on me.

Major Payne - high level of dookie - watched for free but not purchased on DVD (therefore not encouraging the pooh NOR WAS IT SEEN IN A THEATER BY ME) - so using your own very clever equation:

For Major Payne

100 X 10 (I'M BEING GENEROUS TO YOU on the interaction score, because I'm right and once you realize that, you will sting with the slap of my rightness and I want to look like the angel that I am) = 100

Lets look a little closer at AVP.

YOU DROVE ME TO A THEATER AND PAID FOR US BOTH TO SIT THROUGH AVP, dookiefest of the highest dookie order - winner of the steamer in summer award - AFTER which I had to remind myself that Aliens is one of your favorite franchises and you couldn't be blamed for giving this film (used as in "slime") a chance. And that I still love you.

THEN YOU BOUGHT IT ON DVD. You have now essentially paid for POOH 3 TIMES, plus shipping.

THEN YOU TRIED TO SNEAK THE FACT YOU WERE BUYING THE SECOND ONE by adding it to the bottom of the "oh, here are the titles I'm thinking of ordering today" e-mail. That gets you an elevated interaction score, which I notice you flat out mis-calculated. Let me correct it for you.


1000000000000000 X 10000000 to the 2nd power = 10000000000000000000000 to the power that would be there if I knew how to do math with powers.

I WIN, I AM RIGHT, I BRING LESS STINK TO OUR FILM EXPERIENCE THAN YOU DO. Wear it with your I Heart AVP t-shirt down to the Wife Is Right store and buy me a CAKE!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Monday Morning Ascent to Hell. Yes, I Said Ascent.

This morning. Boarding the elevator at the office with Mr. Zoom and two other co-workers. One co-worker is old enough to remember when there was no such thing as television broadcasts in color. She is matronly. The other one is so young that he couldn't possibly know what life might have been like with cell phones that were just phones and bigger than a lipstick . He's the young and hip. There are a few others that do not work with our company sharing this ride.

Mr. Zoom has carried my bag o' lunch, books and bric-a-brack from the car for me. Just before we reach the floor he and young hipster depart on - he swings my bag towards me. I am convinced that his swinging of the bag is his playful attempt flip my compulsion switch. We have a this thing between us - everytime he swings a bag, I playfully nag him not to do it. I don't expect anyone to understand why we do this, we just do. I jokingly bristle at him "NOOOO. Don't swing it!"

Matronly notices and says "What's the matter? Is he tossing your salad?"


The Earth slowed its rotation (I felt it) and my eyebrows shot up and over my hair, landing on the back of my head. I had to think fast. Everyone knows I'd have better luck wearing a jacket made out of striker board, pants made out of match sticks - and running through a car wash of lighter fluid.

Young hiptser starts to giggle.

I fight the urge to stomp on his toes. I do not look at him OR Mr. Zoom. I know better than to think any rescue will come from that direction. And of course we have to stay in this box until the very last stop.

"No. uh. no. NO no no. He's shaking up my cola." DO NOT LAUGH. NO EYE CONTACT. DO NOT LAUGH. Yup. That's the best I could do.

As Mr. Zoom and Young hipster depart on their floor, I hiss "STOPPIT." Which only serves to fan the flames of giggle into full blown laughter. The doors close and I'm left with Matronly, who THANKFULLY has no idea that she's just added a porn element to the Monday morning of 3 co-workers and 2 complete strangers.

The aftermath. I sat at my desk and had a debate with myself. Which was worse? That ride I just took or the time I exited a loo with the back of my skirt tucked into my hose? And I didn't figure it out for like, 5 minutes.

With that, my brain leaked out of my ear and I've been quietly working at my desk ever since.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hidey Hole.

Last weekend Mr. Zoom and I were outside. Playing in the street. Well, not exactly like that, but sorta.

I sat on the curb and noticed a fur ball inside a pipe/hole in the curb:

At first I was scared. If the animal was dead, I was going to be really really sad. Look. I know about the circle of life and all of that. But I can't handle kids or animals in pain. It wonks up my whole day.

I realized it was breathing, whatever it was. I shrieked at Mr. Zoom to "come over here right now. You have to see this." He did. We looked closer. "It's breathing" I said. "Well Zoom...I don't know how you are going to play that one." he said.

I took a picture. We tried to figure out what it was based on the fur. I said "oooo. It looks like bunny fur! It's a baby bunny!" Because I know what bunny fur looks like? Up close? No. Because I want things to be what I want them to be.

I waited around - with astonishing focus, since I'm generally bored within 30 seconds - and my newfound bunny turned around in his pipe and revealed a RAT face.

OOOOOOOO. A rat. Curiosity satisfied, I let the little guy be. After I took his picture.

And then I came home and exploited the image for some cheap giggles (my own giggles - Mr. Zoom's head shaking) via the LOL cat builder:

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I Was Conflicted. Now I'm Just a Side Bar Whore.

I decided to yank my (blogger provided) links section and throw in the widget that shows you my delicious links instead. Or - as the proper format is. You get a better variety while still getting the ones I really hope you find as entertaining as I do. And I don't miss anyone. It got a little confusing as to what links I had where.

Not sure how it happened, but apparently I can't stop linking my life to the sidebar. I like having everything in one place, clickable, and on the web where I can access it regardless of which-what-where computer I'm sitting at.

Apparently side bar love is more for me and my convenience than it is for you. I am THAT easy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wonder Why.

I don't understand why almost every, no wait...yes, every Japanese restaurant I've ever eaten at - why the owners/employees/waiters/waitresses/hostesses seem to despise their customers so much.

Am I the only person that feels this? It could just be me, because I have an incredibly bad habit of creating some kind of theory - a pattern - in my head and then "seeing" the results all over the place.

But it just seems like every time Mr. Zoom and I go for Sushi or other general Japanese food, the staff would really rather be punched in the face than deal with customers. You try and order things, and you get the look. The one that says "oh seriously, sad excuse for a customer - why WHY do you eat that? I know it is on the menu, but we don't expect people to order it and it literally hurts us to make it and bring it out to you."

Or you just get the belligerent shift. "NO. You can not order two appetizers AND an entree. That is not how it is done." "NO. You can not order TWO of the same entree. You must have better variety." Once I was with friends and we were at our favorite sushi place. We had noticed that sometimes the "appetizers" came out after the entrees, or after we were basically done eating and had almost forgotten they had been ordered. Other times they would arrive "first". When we asked about this phenomenon (politely, because if we were a bunch of jackasses - I'd totally understand ALL of this), we were given the curt response of "that's how it goes."

And when you leave, they practically scream "THANK YOU" as you walk out the door. Causing me to worry that it is a thank you loaded with sarcasm and potential boobie traps. Will the door hit me on the ass on the way out?

We aren't noisey. We aren't unkind, in fact we are very appreciative of service. We tip well. You wouldn't notice us sitting next to you even if you knew us in person.

I'm always so conflicted. I never know if I should assert myself the least little bit or continue to try and find the magic words to keep the wait staff from making that face at me/us. And it's exhausting looking out for potential boobie traps all the time. Especially after some Sapporo.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Normally I'm so very fond of practical jokes I don't know what it is about April Fool's Day that winds me up so bad every year. I always wake up and tell myself "remember, it's April 1. Shenanigans are going to happen, DON'T FALL FOR IT. And is it really so bad when I do fall for it? No. I just feel incredibly exposed and embarrassed, like when the birds at the coffee shop fly down and peg me in the back of the head.

It's merely 9:30 a.m. and I've already fallen for a joke. A co-worker said "oh, that's weird. Did you see the e-mail where they are sending us home at 3?" It's so typical for me to miss any kind of news before it is weeks or years old, so I said "No, why? What's going on?" "APRIL FOOL" she said. My response was my left middle finger and another gulp of my coffee.

And in the time I was writing this? Found out I fell for a second april fool e-mail by Mr. Zoom's father. I won't go into detail on it, but there was enough specific detail in it to completely suck me in. AND, he had sent the e-mail last night so I'm thinking that's an April Fool Foul, and it can't be claimed as a success.

My fool points are already at 2. When I got off the elevator this morning, the regular maintenance guy was in the lobby with his tools. Our lobby is surrounded by closed doors with keypads to enter. And I thought to myself "I wonder if he's waiting for someone to let him in." The important thing here is that I thought that to myself, I did not say anything out loud. He actually approached me and said "Do you know someone named XXXX?" "No, I'm sorry. I don't. Nobody by that name works on my floor." I was all guarded, I had just reminded myself that it's April Fool's Day. And honestly, I don't know anyone named XXXX on my floor. I offered to him "It could be someone new, but I just don't know." He pulled out his pager, and showed me where it actually said "Company Name, contact: XXXX". "Sorry" I said, "I don't know who that is."

Turns out that I DO know who it is. And if I'd thought about it for a second longer I would have realized that person was on another floor. Instead, I left someone in the lobby thinking there was a slight chance I was being April Fooled. For no reason. When you play april fool on yourself, I'm thinking there should be an extra point for retardation. My fool points are now at 4. At this rate I might want to consider just running down the street with a sandwich board that says "UNMANAGEABLE".

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cruising the Icebergs of Family Crazy

My brother and his girlfriend came around for dinner with my parents. Mr. Zoom and I were invited, but Mr. Zoom couldn't go. I ended up agreeing to face the House of Retired Crazy on my own. And you know what? Some magical things happened.

As it is with every family, the same stories came out in almost identical order to every other family gathering. But this time there was a change. My Dad began to tell the story of how Mr. Zoom had asked for his blessing before proposing to me. I knew 90% of the story already, but there was a backside that I did not know.

My Dad was enrolled in cooking classes - he always is - and Mr. Zoom had arranged a dinner for the parents on one of his class nights. Dad gathered the class and let them know why he couldn't be at the next meeting. Upon returning to the class the next week, he told the story of why he had to miss the previous class. He was so relieved that his daughter finally got a marriage proposal at all, AND that it was from someone who obviously cared about doing something respectful. He wanted to share it with his class. He further added that two rather "rough and tattooed" gentlemen in his class later came up to him and said "We are happy for you, because that is absolutely the way it SHOULD be done. The ONLY way." Dare I say Dad felt like a hommie after that.

The most fantastic part about watching Dad tell the story and learning the new information was seeing how very much he honestly adored the fact that Mr. Zoom did that.

I also learned that my brother's girlfriend's dog literally threw up dog food the very first time he came over to her house. He said he's actually shocked that Miss K went on a second date, knowing that most women will heed the warning of a pet over almost anything else. Especially one who has yacked dog food all over the living room upon the initial meeting. The Dog is now attached to my brother's side whenever he can be. No more yacking.

This next discovered fact might give us all a glimpse into why Miss K gave him another chance. Apparently when she was a kid and was served fried chicken, she would try and put the chicken back together on her plate. She was raised on a farm and I guess this activity freaked out her brothers and sisters.

The not so magical also happened. My Mom got a ticket for blocking the sidewalk with vehicles from their driveway. She concluded that "someone from the street called the police and tattled on her." Because everyone knows that police don't patrol randomly on their own or anything. *SIGH*. Mom now has another "warning" to add to her daisy chain of paranoid like disclaimers for visitors: "Watch out for the children". "Don't park there on street cleaning day." "Do you have $150 spare dollars? Because that's how much a ticket is going to cost you if you have blocked the sidewalk."

She had everyone doing the car shuffle even further into the driveway, even though we were all very much clear of the sidewalk in the first place. I swear I saw her wave her hands in restrained victory after the car engines were silenced.

And my parents got dinner on the table the typical 2 hours later than projected. But it was still good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"When I Was Six I Had a Full Time Job"

Ah, technology. There can't be many people left who don't use the Internet in some way. Because my Mom recently received some photographs from the woman who used to babysit for me when I was a kid in the 70s. By e-mail. And those pictures are of me FROM the 70s. There was some scanning involved. No USB or card to computer digital dump, attach and send.

And my Mom received them, opened them and there was no 911 involved.

Aside from the typical 70s clothing, something hit me about one particular picture:

That's me, on the left - no hat. Babysitter Lady had a son who was one year older. We were watched at their house. Do you see it yet?

I AM PLAYING WITH A BRICK. I am not sure if I'm frosting it like cake, or if I'm actually playing "build a fence/driveway/house." I'd go with cake since most of my childhood was spent eating dirt in various forms after having been convinced by others to do so.

Can my parents actually claim to be surprised that I am not the delicate flower they seem to expect knowing I played with bricks? I think not. And I will now be throwing that around when I've got nothing else to say. Which means every time.

Why did you/How could you/Why would you/ What were you thinking? "I'm sorry. I played with bricks when I was a child"

Like my own personal pictographic Wikipedia of abnormal child development.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

But I Don't Want the Version for the Flibbity Flam 490 Platform. Thingie.

Mr. Zoom has been super busy at the office. They have been working on a huge tech project, so by the 3rd day of not sharing a car to work with him to and from the office, I became a little determined to bring his attentions back around to me. Plus, I knew he wanted a particular video game and would not have had a chance to purchase it on his own yet.

I left the office last night and went to Best Buy. Mr. Zoom wants Rainbow Six Vegas, 2. It was supposed to have come out this week. So I thought I had this little chore totally locked up as a simple stop on my way to the grocery store for more instant oatmeal. I went in and knowing I have no clue where to obtain a video game for the PC (except at Target. I totally know where they are in there), I went to a clerk to ask for help. He said "Oh, I don't think that's out yet. Let's go see the computer."

He clickity clicked around and said "No, that won't be out about a week from now. March 26." I said "Oh, ok. Thanks anyway." But he kept going: "The street date for the PC got pushed back for a month, so it's not coming out until April sometime. But the version for the 340/690/playstation/my grandma's turntable is here. Do you want that one?"

Street date? What? Who? All I know is the words that were fed to me by Mr. Zoom. "RAINBOW SIX, VEGAS, 2 FOR P.C." Going outside the lines in this instance would not be a good idea. And isn't April a lot later than what he had just told me? Because this whole spiel sounded suspiciously like a mathtacular word problem, I just said "no thanks" and slinked away to the DVD section. Totally defeated. NOW what was I going to buy for Mr. Zoom? I knew there were at least two more games on the list he had given the family for ideas from his last birthday, but like a typical Zoom I left that in the car.

Then I saw a copy of "Eagle v. Shark". One copy. I've been looking to buy this movie since I caught it on On Demand. They've always been out of it, and now here's a copy with my name practically written on it - begging me to buy it. So I did. Oh, and I also happened to attract a copy of "Into the Wild", which I haven't seen but did read the book. I'm such a fantastic wife. I go to the store to buy a present for Mr. Zoom and come out with none for him - TWO for me!!

I got into the truck and realized I had Mr. Zoom's list of other games wanted. BUT, I couldn't go back in the Best Buy, because I had just been in there and the language they spoke I did not understand. So I needed another store. Luckily there's a Circuit City just across the street from this particular Best Buy. So I drove like a typical girl over there (I took out a curb on my way) and readied myself for a second attack on Operation Gift for Mr. Zoom.

I went inside and tried to find a clerk. There were two of them having a rather heated debate about cinnamon breath mints and a slammin party for the evening. I asked the one who decided to break from the discussion first to help me out. He couldn't find any of the games I needed on the list, so we went to the computer for more information. "Jibber, I don't have those two games you need for PC. OH, wait, I have a Hit Man Trilogy, which has the two games you want, plus another one." I said "OH, great. I'll take that then."

His response? "OH, no wait. We don't have it here." Of course they didn't.

This clerk tried to uber sell me some other versions and some other games, and I just kept backing away from him saying "nothankyou, nothankyou ...thanks for looking it all up, but really, nothankyou." I backed into the Nintendo DS games, and when I turned around to browse, I found the pictograph game I've been jonesing for - for like a month. My brother-in-law had told me about it and offered to let me borrow his wife's pictograph chip. I declined, because look at my life. Does anyone think I could borrow something from someone and not have it accidentally go down the toilet or something? And these days, things are discontinued about 10 minutes after they hits the store for the first time. So it's not easy to replace stuff. So when I saw pictograph, I made an actual little jump for joy and took it to the register. And bought it.

If anyone is keeping count, that's 3 PRESENTS for me, and 0 for MR. ZOOM.

Next I drove to an alternative Best Buy. Because dammit, I was going to buy Mr. Zoom a game he wanted no matter what. Inside the alternative Best Buy I had the exact same luck. Zilch. I avoided speaking to any clerks - because in my mind - I might have to come back here AGAIN tonight, and I didn't want to burn another electronics store option. I searched the games until I found something that I hoped Mr. Zoom would like. Even if it wasn't on his list. Which is the biggest, fattest chance you ever saw. I chose something that looked like it might work. I then browsed the DVD racks, because I thought I had heard him mention that he wanted "I am Legend" on DVD.

There was a huge display of that movie, right in front of me. I skipped over to it, figuring I had finally won a nod from the luck department. Not so fast, apparently. Can anyone tell me why a DVD now has to come out in 8 thousand flavors? Why there has to be the one with a t-shirt wrapped around it, one with a metal cover, one with a cardboard cover, one with "never before scenes", one with "alternative ending", the "collectors version special edition", one in wide screen, one in sucker buy non-wide screen, one for dvd players owned by ferrets; and then don't even get me started on the versions for game consoles. Of which there are another 600 versions. All this does is guarantee I will buy the entirely wrong version for Mr. Zoom.

Knowing this, I decided to buy the most elaborate and ridiculous version of the dvd I could find. I bought the one that comes in a metal container. And I think it has the alternative ending. Or something. Hell, I don't even know if we own the proper player to play it at this point.

FINALLY, I had gift(s) for Mr. Zoom. Although I knew they were merely representations of my efforts, and possibly things he was going to have to return. So I went home and told Mr. Zoom about my day.

And then I realized I totally forgot to stop at the grocery store for the Oatmeal. HOORAY!!