Sunday, January 31, 2010

five lame excuses for not posting last weekend

1. still traumatized over car's illness- which nearly led to yours truly having to pull over with car trouble in the first well-lit parking lot i passed after getting off work at midnight two weeks ago tonight.

pro: there would have been lots of guys who could have potentially helped me out.

con: said establishment was a strip joint

2. consumed too much caffiene during work and couldn't concentrate long enough to spend an hour pounding out a post.

3. my (friend's) dog ate it.

4. too busy rereading the tao of pooh.

5. knew computer crash was eminent. didn't want to spend its final hours posting.

(actually, it wasn't a full crash- just an update that somehow made everything kerflooey. the incident monday was followed by my office computer being invaded by a nasty russian virus on wednesday that threw out a bunch of pop-ups, blocked my virus scanner (which finished its morning cycle about three minutes after the first popup, and assured me everything was ok), and repeatedly sent me to a fake viagra site, as well as a rather charming porno site that offered "dirty chat" (and poor grammar). i have no idea what the official name of the virus was, but some blend of "rasputin" and "hydra" would've been appropriate.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

in which i narrowly avoid learning yet another lesson the hard way

i have to get used to driving my car again.

i made a deal with SO the weekend before we left on our respective winter vacations: since he was going to be away from home (charleston) longer than i was (columbia), and his flashy new chariot (a corolla almost exactly like the one i was seriously considering over the summer, during the great clutch/transmission debacle) gets slightly better mileage than my 8 1/2 year old wheels, we swapped for a few weeks.

as i headed to work this afternoon, and he headed out of town, we swapped back.

have you tried to switch back to driving a 5-speed after driving nothing but automatic for four weeks? it took my left foot a minute to figure out what it was supposed to do, which led to yours truly sitting in the parking lot, looking like an idiot, trying to figure out why the car wouldn't start.

uh, duh.

SO's main reason for wanting to switch back was that my car had started running hot again on his trip up from charleston friday night, and since he had a long drive back, he didn't want it to overheat.

this is an annoying habit my car had picked up on an intermittent basis lately. over the summer, my trusty mechanic said that there was condensation on my thermostat housing, and that it was okay for the moment, but would eventually crack and i'd need a new one. he said it wouldn't be a huge deal, so instead of freaking out the first time the needle inched toward the red line, i simply turned on my heat full blast, which i balanced out by rolling down my the middle of south carolina winter, which means it was about 50 outside. (actually, the window part isn't unusual. i've been known to suffer frozen hair because i have a habit of driving with the window down, year round.)

today, however, the needle shot up almost immediately, and despite running the heat full blast, didn't budge from its new position, unnervingly close to the dreaded red line.

i believe this is pretty universally considered a problem.

thankfully, i work with boys. not only boys, but boys who know basic things about cars.

when i got to work, i went up to one such boy and asked him if, before he left for the day, he could peek under the hood of the car with me and help me check my coolant....just in case this wasn't just a thermostat housing problem that i could blow off.

did you know a car can still run with a miniscule amount of coolant? thankfully, i do not know exactly how short that trip will be, because after discovering the source of my problem (hoepfully the sole source), the aforementioned boy went out in search of a vat of coolant, so i wouldn't be wandering around the aisles of various gas stations in the wee hours of the morning (i get off at midnight on sundays) in search of this chartreuse elixir.

ooh! ooh! ooh!- let me point out that i thought to fashion a funnel out of one of this thin, plastic water bottles, which seemed like a far better idea than my initial plan to make one out of paper- macgyver would be so proud, despite the lack of chewing gum or a paper clip being involved in this little project, which is not to say i don't have them in my backpack at all times, just in case.

so, now i'll be able to spend the entire drive home this evening getting reaquainted with my car....rather than possibly spending part of it getting acquainted with yet another tow truck service in the middle of the night. this is a good thing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

on personal space, carry-out condiments, and tainted love lotion

they say you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of their personal space.

in high school, your locker contained not only your backpack and books, but also a glimpse into your little world.

that was eons ago, and quite frankly, i don't recall the exact contents of mine, though i'm fairly certain there were pictures, barely opened textbooks, my walkman, a variety of writing utensils, a partially-eaten snack-sized bag of sunchips or doritoes, some random toys, and at least one or two pieces of homework that may or may not have actually gotten turned in.

in college, it's your dorm room that's supposed to tip everyone off as to who you really are. my blow-up blacklight-friendly green couch still lurks in my dad's garage in kansas city, the random quotes i stuck to my ceiling are glued into a scrapbook somewhere, the lava lamp (a high school graduation present from my mom) is in the corner of my master bedroom, and i'm fairly certain that most of my trinkets from mardi gras are still fairly well contained in a box in my living room.

in short, i've always gone for vaguely-organized chaos.

while heating up my dinner this evening, in the radio station breakroom (let me briefly digress long enough to point out that i am not responsible for all the chaos and clutter there.), i had roughly 2 1/2 minutes to glance around the room, particularly at our cubbies.

i've worked here at the radio station for nearly 8 1/2 years now, and though my stations/duties have changed, my production cubby has remained the same.

i think when i first got here, there were signs posted somewhere near the cubbies that stated they were "for production orders only". perhaps if i were curious enough to dig through them, i'd find one of these signs still floating around. however, i'm really not that curious....i know they existed at one point in time, sort of like dinosaurs, and for a while, i heeded their stern words.

some of the 20 cubbies sit empty. either they were never used, or else they were cleaned out when their owners walked out of the building for the last time.

some of the cubbies have a couple of pieces of paper- maybe one of those glossy cards promoting some small-time rapper hoping to catch somebody's ear on the way to becoming the next mc hammer or ice cube or lil' wayne.

there's a cubby on the bottom row that contains a few dozen fedex envelopes, filled with cds from programs we may or may not run on our stations anymore.

also on the bottom row, there's the untouched cubby of the former employee who was busted in the wee hours of the morning, testing out off-label uses for (insert name of major beauty company that isn't avon, as well as a type of fabric and a body part that comes in a pair) lotion while most likely chatting (uh, single-handedly) with one of the many "exotic dancers" he was friends with on myspace.

well, it was untouched until fairly recently, anyway.

as my chicken baja chalupa was heating in the ancient microwave that bears a small black mark from an attempt to nuke a foil-wrapped fast food sandwich (to the nuker, who shall remain nameless, this did not seem like a bad idea. i mean, the foil was only on one side of the paper, so really, it's not like the thing was going to blow like the microwave full of metal in pump up the volume. it did, however, shoot out a couple of interesting little sparks, which actually helped the nuker out of her- i mean their- 4am mid-shift sleepiness.), i wandered over to my cubby in search of fire sauce, because for some reason, the fine folks at taco bell rarely understand what "a large handful" means.

now, my cubby is probably due for a good "decluttering". i have various eating implements (plasticware and chopsticks), condiments (ketchup, arby's sauce, horsey sauce, fire sauce, ranch dressing, mediterranean dressing, salt, and possibly a packet of pepper or two), napkins, teabags (because one cannot rely on sandwiches in foil wrapping to keep oneself awake all the time), a couple of issues of rolling stone, and i sincerely hope i didn't throw out the article about the octopus who was looking for love, finally was set up on an octodate at a ripe old age (no word on whether the soulful crooning of barry white was used to help things along), and then expired shortly thereafter.

it was while retrieving the runaway fire sauce that i noticed it.

or, rather, the absence of it.

the tube of hand lotion was missing.

it's been chilly here in south carolina lately, and with the heat on in the building, the air is pretty dry. i've almost run through my small tube of hand cream. however, i'd rather use a bunch of little neosporin packets from the other break room than to go anywhere near the tainted lotion in the bottom cubby.

lacking the ability to call horatio caine and convince him to chase down the culprit, i have been able to come up with two possible scenarios:

possible scenario numero uno: a desperate employee, suffering the agony of severely chapped, cracking hands, saw sweet relief in the form of a tube of lotion in the unused cubby of a person he/she had never heard of, and helped him/herself.

possible scenario numero dos: one of the buick-sized roaches (last seen scurrying around in my usual stall in the girls' bathroom, leading yours truly to decide to "hold it" during the remainder of my shift yesterday morning, plus the fifteen minute drive home) carried it off...hopefully to some secret corner one of my coworkers' children will never, ever, ever find.

i would have come up with a third scenario, but really, i only had about 2 1/2 minutes to find the fire sauce, attempt to prevent a condiment/utensil avalanche, and retrieve my dinner.

as soon as i finish my last chicken taco, though, i might just have to go back to my cubby and, using one of those sets of chopsticks, carefully pluck out the contents, just in case some well-meaning soul saw the lotion on the floor (if it was fairly full, it may have been too heavy for even a buick-sized roach to haul very far) and, seeing the clutter in my cubby, stuck it on top of my teabags.

better yet- maybe i should wander down the hall to the other break room. i think there may be some unused latex gloves next to the neosporin.

after all, i'm not sure what the possible tainted lotion/chopstick/napkin combination might possibly say about me, but i'm pretty sure it wouldn't be anything good.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


it was pointed out to me a couple of nights ago that i've been a little too quiet on the blog lately. i'd offer to add "post more regularly" to my list of new years' resolutions, but

a. i don't usually make resolutions. i break enough stuff as it is and

b. were i to make resolutions this year, i'd wait until february or so, when everyone else has broken the ever-popular "get into better shape" resolution, saving me the long wait for a treadmill at my apartment complex.