Friday, July 29, 2005
Incidentally, I told my berated co-worker this morning, “Don’t worry. She told me yesterday that she hates people like me.” Her response? “Did you tell her, ‘likewise’?”
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Her: “I’m here to complain.”
Her: “Yeah. You parked crooked in the parking lot and took up, like, 4 extra feet of space and now there isn’t room for another car to park in that lot.”
Me: “Oh…I’m really sorry. I must not have even noticed. Usually I’m very aware of those things and straighten up.”
Her: “Don’t apologize. You don’t have to apologize. It’s just that I hate people like you who take up all the space in the lot. You see, if people park right, we can fit 5 cars in that lot. But when you park crooked then I have to park crooked and now there’s no room for the 5th car. Do you understand? It just bugs me! Now only 4 cars will fit there!”
Me: (Dies of embarrassment/shame…then gets pissed)
Because, truly (and you can ask Owen) I am always very aware of unfair parking practices and I always straighten up. So I went to the lot to move my car and I couldn’t even tell how it is that I parked crooked. For one, I parked parallel to the car next to me. And, secondly, even when I stood at the back of my car and looked at it, I still couldn’t tell how it was crooked. It sure as hell wasn’t taking up any 4 fricking feet of space! So what did I do? I moved it….to the street. (I know….so passive-aggressive. But being spiteful makes me feel better.)
Incidentally: This is why it is my primary goal each and every day to go the entire day without speaking even a single word to her.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
1. My mom. My mom is an amazing woman. She is smart, she keeps things together and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. She is also incredibly caring. She is always there to help, weather it’s “things” you need, or a small temporary loan, or even just a shoulder to cry on and a hug. I love my mom so much for showing me how good people live, and for teaching my brother and sister and I what unconditional love means. Someday I hope I can share the things she has taught me with my own kids. But if not…well…I suppose we’ll have to take another page from her book and share our home with kids who need it. If there’s one very important thing I’ve learned from my mom it’s that love makes a family.
2. My husband. I know what you’re thinking: ass kiss! Who wants to go shopping this weekend? But really, it’s true. Despite how it may seem sometimes, Owen takes care of me just as much as I take care of him. He has a belief system that he believes to the core while at the same time being extremely open-minded. Sometimes it may not seem like a good thing, but he always says what he means…and he usually has good intentions. He has been amazing through all of this fertility stuff (despite how it may seem in his blog). He has never hesitated a single step of the way and he goes with me whenever he can. He’ll wince and apologize even while giving me a shot. He’s great with kids, and I know someday he’s going to be a great dad. Sometimes I get frustrated with him, but I love him more than anything.
3. My grandpa. And my grandma when she was living. These two people set the bar for living the right way. In fact, they taught my mom everything about love that she taught me. The stories I’ve heard about them are just amazing…helping those who couldn’t afford to pay for dental care when they themselves had barely enough to get by with their six kids, helping my mom and dad behind the scenes (probably more than I’ll ever know), going to San Fran to take care of Pete when he was sick. The stories go on and on. It is my ultimate goal in life to become like them. And if I could only be half as good and kind and caring, well, I would be a great, tremendous success, and a credit to them and to my parents.
4. Tim Allen. Not “Tool Time Tim” from TV, but a guy I know up here. I first met him when his son worked for me at Blockbuster. From the first time I met him, I was surprised and touched by how affectionate he was with his teenaged son and, moreover, how receptive his son was to his affection. “This is not normal,” I thought to myself. Then I learned a little more about him, and it made sense. I was nonetheless floored. Tim lives in/owns/runs the Allen Home for Boys. It’s a foster care home that specializes in helping troubled teens. Tim’s kids come to him in rough, rough shape. Many of them have seen the ugliest the world has to offer. They are abused, unloved, and often have had severe substance abuse problems. Tim loves them all, despite their frequent screw-ups, and has adopted several of them.
Those aren’t all my heroes by any stretch…but it’s a start. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as time passes. Maybe, if you want, you could share who come of your heroes are? Post a comment and tell us all…
For example…kids get to play games that 1.) are made up, 2.) contain rules that are completely arbitrary and 3.) make no sense. At all. They play together and even though the rules are completely nonsensical, they all understand them and, moreover, they can all tell when a rule has been violated even though the same rule does not apply to all people in the same way. (Ex. You’re “it” because you’re wearing a blue shirt. I’m wearing a blue shirt too, but it has white polka dots on it, therefore exempting me from the possibility of being “it.” You can’t be “it” if you have polka dots. DUH – everybody knows that.)
And, even though I am not a person who ever approves of violence as a solution to any situation, the idea of being able to whack somebody over the head with a truck because he stole your triceratops is somehow comforting. I know what you’re thinking, though…you’ll get caught because you, being 5 years old, are not capable of lying. (Q: “Alex, what are you doing with your fingers up your nose?” A: “Getting’ boogers.” Again – DUH) But here’s the thing….if you do get caught, do you know what happens? You get a time out. That’s right….for five minutes you have to/get to just sit there and think. Where do I sign up? Besides, we all know that in 10 minutes, everybody will have forgotten and will all be friends and playing together again. And let’s be honest….who couldn’t come up with a list of people they’d like to whack on the head with a truck. It sounds therapeutic to me.
And now I am off to a healthy lunch of healthy foods that are full of fibery goodness and anti-oxidants. And I'm thinking...I would so much rather be having chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs and chocolate milk.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
1. “Sarah. Please take the list of names on your desk and put them into an Excel spreadsheet for a mail merge. Put the first name in column one, the last name in column two, the street address in column three, the state in column four, the zip code in column five and the telephone number in column six. (Mental response: Am I such an IDIOT that you think I don’t know what order information is supposed to be in to be sent in the mail or are you micromanaging me a TAD BIT?!?!?)
2. “Sarah. I know I have told you this before but PLEASE do not put abbreviations in the information of items to mail. I’m just looking at some of the attorney lists and there are abbreviations! Road needs to be spelled out: R-O-A-D. Drive D-R-I-V-E. Please don’t do this again. I just don't like them abbreviated and that's just something about me that you're going to have to get used to.” (Mental response: What the f*ck are you talking about?? I don’t do anything with any attorney lists…)
It's going to take some hefty willpower to keep me from jumping off a bridge until I can quit in December. The sad part? I'm actually beginning to like some of the stuff I do there. (Sigh.)
So, just so you know, I’m forwarding the word about the rally, scheduled for 10/7, on the steps of the MI capitol building. The Michigan Battered Women’s Clemency Project will hold a rally on the front steps of Michigan’s Capitol Building on Friday, Oct. 7, at noon. The Project has submitted 20 petitions for clemency to Governor Jennifer Granholm in connection with the rally. It is hoped that Governor Granholm will grant clemency to these women who never received fair trials.
Here is one of the women’s stories:
Doreen Washington had nothing to do with the 1988 death of her violently abusive husband, who was shot and killed by her foster son in a moment of panic and fear. The 12 year old child thought he was protecting Doreen Washington and her son from her husband's attacks. She had been injured, beaten, and set on fire by her husband, and was repeatedly hospitalized for her injuries. She went to police over and over but received no response to her appeals for help from police over the years. At her trial, her medical doctor was not allowed to testify in her defense, and she was convicted of first degree murder and conspiracy. She bears permanent scars over much of her body and health problems from the years of abuse. (kind of makes you want to help too, doesn’t it?)
Monday, July 25, 2005
You are a turd. I hope you have an awful day.
P.S. You really shouldn’t drive like that with small children in the backseat.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Fact #1 (and my personal favorite): “Skunks prefer not to spray. They’ll raise their bottle-brush tails straight, then stamp their forepaws. Sometimes they’ll lift into a handstand (my emphasis), just to let you understand the agility you’re messing with.” (I love it…I can just imagine them in little pink leotards with tiny little matching leg-warmers, practicing their handstands on a little bitty balance beam!)
Fact #2: “When skunks spray, they utilize a pair of small nipples near the anus to shoot a fine mist of atomized liquid over their attacker. Skunks can spray eight to a dozen feet with discouraging accuracy (internal soundtrack: the theme song from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”). A healthy skunk can squeeze off five or six shots in succession, though it might then take days to stew up enough potion to fully reload.” (“I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. So, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”)
Here’s what I love: as long as all you were doing was shooting people, stealing their cars or beating them to death with a 30” double-ended (headed? What do you call those things, anyway?) dildo, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was passable. Acceptable, even. But now that word has gotten out that you can unlock graphic sexual content, well, now it’s BAAAAAADDD. Hello? It’s okay to beat a prostitute to death but it’s not okay to have sex with her? (And no, I’m not advocating prostitution, merely spotlighting hypocrisy)
What in the world EVER made this game okay??? And now that it’s all over the place about the sexual content, even though major retailers are pulling it from the shelves, sales for Rock Star (the group that created the game) are going to go through the roof. It will be more popular than ever, and so will the rest of their games…there will be a virtual treasure hunt for hidden content. I hope the FCC nails them.
Fact: according to the Parents Television Council, “By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. The more “real life” the violence portrayed, the greater the likelihood it will be “learned.” Over 1,000 studies find a causal link between media violence and aggressive behavior in children."
Friday, July 22, 2005
I also understand how we were attacked because the terrorists (terrorists = most overused word in the American lexicon) do not agree with (I daresay even hate) our way of life. They hate our freedoms…our brazen women who dare to leave the house with their heads in plain view of God and everybody (let alone the mortal sins of driving, voting and
The 9/11 attacks were a rude awakening for us comfy Americans. We took our comfort for granted, forgetting how comfortable and vulnerable we were (and always will be). The recent attacks in London have served as a reminder to many Americans that you just never know when or how something like this will happen…we must always be on the lookout. I get that too.
But here’s what I don’t get…last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to renew a new version of the Patriot Act that eliminates all but two of the previous sunset provisions (and if you don’t know what that means,
Now I remember how, right after 9/11, when people were afraid to fly, everybody said, “you have to fly anyway; you can’t live your life in fear…if you do that, the terrorists have won. (Sidebar: please don’t tell all the dead people or their friends and loved ones that that didn’t lose anything in those attacks.) The idea behind the whole “the terrorists will win” thing was that, if we allowed fear to control our actions, we would live in mass hysteria, the economy would collapse and their attack would have succeeded in causing massive damage to the American psyche, economy and the people themselves.
So this is my question: by renewing the Patriot Act and revalidating the limitations it places on our civil rights, aren’t we submitting to the aforementioned fear that means the terrorists have won? Have we just handed them victory on a silver platter?
But last night, last night I got a bill for $112.00. Granted, this bill pales in comparison of some of the other bills I’ve gotten and I’m happy to pay it (if it eventually gives me what I want) but, hey, you can buy a lot of Ho-Hos with $112.00, am I right? (No….I don’t intend to do this…it’s just a point of comparison. I can’t even imagine how long I would have to punish myself on the elliptical machine to get rid of $112.00 worth of Ho-Hos…but it sounds like hell. What am I saying? 5 minutes on that torture device is hell. Right…back on track…) What is this bill for, you ask? No gory details to share here, it’s just my “long distance case management fee.” So let me make this clear…they charged me $112.00 for three phone calls and faxing three orders for lab work. Yeah. You people who just get pregnant by accident….bite me.
But here’s where it gets good. I am supposed to have my lab work drawn first thing this morning so that the results can be faxed down state by this afternoon and my case manager can tell me weather or not I need to keep receiving injections. I get up early, leave the house an hour early so that I can go to the hospital and have the blood drawn and still get to work on time (since I have to leave for two other Dr. appointments today and have burned up all my sick, personal and vacation time). I get there at 10 after 7, wait in line for 5 minutes, only to discover that the freaking office in Grand Rapids has not faxed down the order for my blood draw. The lab won’t do it without the order. The office down state doesn’t open until 8 (at which point I am supposed to be at work) and so I can’t call them until then. So…I dragged myself out of bed early for nothing and I am still going to end up missing work this morning to go back.
AND they have the nerve to charge me $112.00 for “case management” … for three phone calls! What the frappucino is that?!?!?!? THIS is the “case management” I must pay $112.00 for? GGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRR I get so mad!!!
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Without furter adue, allow me to present you with...
A is for Age: 26 (until October)
B is for Booze: When I am allowed (not these days) I like Beam and Diet Coke. Amaretto Sours and Fuzzy Navels are also splendid.
C is for Career: Please GOD don’t let this be my career!!!
D is for Dad's name: Daniel. Danno if you’re family.
E is for Essential Item to bring to a Party: Um…for me I would have to say insecurity masked as a smug attitude.
F is for Favorite Songs at the Moment: “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked Soundtrack….or anything else from Wicked. “The Power of Two” by the Indigo Girls is always a favorite too.
G is for Goof-off thing to do: Um…I have a TiVo addiction. My husband is my TiVo enabler. Do they have 12 step programs for that?
H is for Hometown: Traverse City, MI
I is for Instrument you play: I am an excellent kazoo player.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: I am 100% a strawberry gal. Nothing else will do.
L is for Living arrangement: A rent-to-own house with Owen, my husband, and our “stray” (a.k.a. temporary roommate), Liam. And Roxie and Velma, wonder-cats (as in, “I wonder what they’re scheming today…). Oh…and soon: foster kids. Stay tuned.
M is for Mom's name: Sylvia. Sylv if you’re family. I have been forbidden from using it on my children. Kind of too bad, since I think it’s really pretty.
N is for Name of best friend: Owen…He’s my best friend and my husband all rolled into one. I’d say “no muss, no fuss” but that would be a big fat lie. Still…he’s the best husband I ever had (wink, wink) and I love him to pieces.
O is for overnight hospital stays: A few as a kid….pneumonia a few times and a tonsillectomy.
P is for Phobias: White creamy foods (mayo, salad dressing, whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese…that sort of thing). And yet somehow my sick, twisted mind is decidedly okay (I daresay even enthusiastic) about vanilla frosting and ice cream. What a crock.
Q is for Quote you like: I have two: “I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” ~Helen Keller. Also, “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” ~ Susan B. Anthony
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: That would be my marriage…5 years this august and two years of dating before that. And we still hold hands. Can you believe it?
S is for Siblings: Two: Matt and Rachel. They rock. We have good times together. I love them both to death.
T is for Texas, ever been?: No, for two reasons. 1.) My hair isn’t big enough and 2.) I take that “Don’t mess with Texas” stuff seriously.
U is for Unique trait: The dot on my brain map is right in the middle. That means I am equally left and right brained and also equally an audio and visual learner.
V is for Vegetables you love: I love corn on the cob, green beans either from a can or raw, and peas that are still frozen. (I know, I know…..sick sick sick.)
W is for Worst traits: I am picky…about almost everything….food, clothes, décor, books, movies….you name it… Oh yeah...I also use the elipsis WAY too much. (And if you don't know what an elipsis is, look it up in the dictionary.) (I overuse parentheses too.)
X is for X rays you've had: Well…I’ve had several…my right knee, my right hand, my head (yes, they did manage to locate my brain…though not the aforementioned dot) and, most recently, my uterus. That was a joyful experience. Not. NotNotNotNotNotNot.
Y is for Yummy food you make: Chocolate chip cookies. And, recently, stuffed manicotti and Italian Soup (don’t worry, it’s not made with real Italians).
Z is for Zodiac sign: Libra…and I hate it. But I think all that zodiac stuff is bunk anyway.
This reminds me…way back in the day when Owen and I were fist going through all this fertility stuff and the topic of my higher-than normal risk of having a multiple pregnancy arose, Owen had a dream one night that I had a litter of kittens. Gross, eh? But then again…he’s twisted.
On page 33 there is a fantastic quiz you can take to see if you are a micromanager. It features questions such as “I offer input on how people can best utilize their time a.) frequently or b.) infrequently” and “People who see things differently than I do are a.) misguided or b.) interesting.” Of course, my favorite one is “The soundtrack for my internal monologue is a.) ‘Caramina Burana’ or b.) ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning.’” Hehehe…made that last one up.
Still, the book is full of tips for working effectively with micromanagers and also for avoiding becoming one yourself. I, myself, am perilously close. My one saving grace is that I have nobody to manage at work and at home I am limited to Owen (who desperately needs it) and Roxie and Velma. Sine they spend most of their time molesting the gargoyle statue on our back deck (just the cats, not Owen) and since I am not going to lower myself by telling them how they can do it better, it looks like I’m in the clear for now. But I can tell that I am really just a ticking time-bomb of excessive supervision and needless hovering looking for a subordinate to latch onto in parasite fashion.
Truly, though, according to a study quoted in the book (and we all know that studies are infallible, right?), 79% of employees surveyed report being micromanaged and 69% of them say they’ve considered changing jobs because of it. 71% say that micromanagement has interfered with their job performance. 85% say it has had a negative impact on their morale. That’s just a nice way of saying it makes them want to go Donald-Duck-nuts with the screaming and cursing and the little jets of steam shooting from where his ears should be (since he doesn’t actually have ears, does he? I wonder if that’s why he talks so poorly…hmm…). Or worse.
Those of you who have the courage to tune in regularly will no doubt have the honor of experiencing just such behavior vicariously through yours truly since my boss wrote the book on management strategies that include: hounding, hovering, endless reporting, and double-double checking. Paranoia, anybody?
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
People have been telling me I should blog. Before that people told me I should journal. Of course, people tell me to do things all the time and, usually, unless I see a logical reason why I should (such as, for example, I am being paid for it. See #25, below) I am not one prone to just skip along and follow orders. However, my husband thinks it will help me start writing again. Maybe he’s right, so here goes…
It is my understanding from my cousin, Amy, who knows these things, that beginning a blog with a “Blogger's 101” laundry list of stuff about me is a good idea. I trust her judgment since her blog is fantastically entertaining and funny. You should check it out: http://spaces.msn.com/members/Floyds-Hardware/. So here it is…the beginnings of me…
1. I have a middle name (unusual in my family)
2. I got it when I was like 4 (unusual in any family?)
3. I’m proud to be a nerdy girl
4. I have officially been enrolled at 7 colleges
5. I actually earned a degree somewhere in there
6. I had a double major: English and Women’s Studies
7. This has made me almost completely unemployable
8. I graduate from college #7 in Spring 2006
9. Degree #2 will make me a teacher
10. I have been married for 5 years
11. My husband has a useless degree too
12. I have two cats: Roxie and Velma
13. I love musicals
14. My husband bought me VIP tickets to Wicked in Chicago for our anneversary
15. In my next life I want to be either a Broadway star or an Attorney.
16. Either way, I’m going to be skinny
17. And almost 6 feet tall
18. I can’t eat white, creamy foods (like mayo)
19. It’s completely mental
20. I will puke nonetheless
21. I can’t live without my iPod, my laptop and my step stool
22. I am 5’1” tall
23. There is a woman whose sole purpose for existing is to make me suffer
24. Her name is “My Boss”
25. She has made me water the flowers twice this week (and it’s only Wednesday)
26. They are going to drown
27. She is psycho
28. My favorite color is red
29. I am a tidy person
30. I am a very politically minded person
31. I don’t like animals (except cats)
32. Most dogs make me nervous
33. I love documentary films
34. I own the BBC’s Blue Planet and have watched it many times
35. I work for a nonprofit that serves underserved women
36. My job title DOES NOT describe my job
37. At all…even a little
38. I hate to wear shoes in summer
39. I hate having my fingernails painted
40. I had a facial once. It hurt. Bad.
41. My sister is amazing – she’s going to change the world
42. She has a middle name too
43. My brother is adopted
44. I love him just the same
45. We fight like we’re blood-related
46. I love my family beyond reason
47. I am lucky: I love my in-laws as though we were biologically related.
48. My grandparents were and are amazing wonderful people
49. I am a card-carrying liberal because of them
50. I miss my grandma so so so much
51. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
52. It makes me chubby
53. It also makes it hard for me to get pregnant
54. My husband and I have been trying for almost 2 years
55. Last night he gave me my first injectable fertility drug
56. At first it didn’t hurt. Then it hurt like a bitch
57. He didn’t pass out (believe me…this is amazing progress!)
58. I am a published writer
59. I wasn’t published in anything big or famous
60. Still, I made $50 from it
61. The poem that won was written in and was about Prague, Czech Republic.
62. I have had writer’s block for almost 2 years.
63. It’s like mental constipation
64. I love black and white photography
65. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m an amateur photographer.
66. But I’m not, really.
67. I am the office computer nerd
68. I don’t know that much about computers (What does that say about my office?)
69. I know more than anybody else here
70. They made me the network administrator
71. I am the network GOD (Ha ha! No access for you!)
72. Actually, I’m more like a God in training
73. I could still bring this agency to its knees (a thought I relish)
74. I love sweet, baked things
75. That’s another reason I’m chubby
76. I used to want to be a surgical nurse so I could wear scrubs all day
77. Then I realized I don’t like to poke or cut living things
78. Yesterday I spilled a glass of water all over my computer
79. Nobody at work knows I did this
80. If they did, I would be subjected to a 45-minute discussion/investigation so that correct blame could be placed (repeatedly) and the correct person could oversee my future water drinking. I would then have to do quarterly reports on my own personal water consumption and a cost-analysis to be sure that the agency was not being over-charged for it.
81. I hate my job.
82. I get to quit in December to student teach
83. I can’t freaking wait!!!
84. I love words.
85. I like to keep them around by the bookful
86. In 2003 I spent 2 months in Europe
87. My husband is awesome because he let me go
88. My parents are the best
89. I had a fantastic childhood
90. I am a very light sleeper
91. I make the best chocolate chip cookies around (experts agree)
92. I love National Public Radio
93. I am more mechanically inclined than my husband
94. I seem to spend an unusual amount of time fixing vacuum cleaners
95. I use the elipsis (...) too much...
96. I am learning how to be a sports fan.
97. My husband and I will receive our first foster care placement at the end of this summer.
98. I once stood in the back of the “Million-Dollar Truck” in the “Beautiful, Beautiful Blue Fault” (an amethyst mine in Ontario)
99. My grandparents paid good money for that
100. I have traveled with my grandparents for a week every summer since I was 5 years old.
101. This was the first year I had to miss the trip. (See #81 above)
So that’s me…but not in a nutshell because tan really isn’t my color. I hope you enjoyed…and I hope you’ll be back. What with all the changes on the horizon for me, I have a feeling that things are about to get interesting.