Friday, October 18, 2013

flying high again

it hasn't happened in quite some time, but that's partially because this is my first time leaving town in three months. 

it's also the first time in a long time that i've had a lengthy layover in an airport with free wi-fi.

yes, dear reader- i'm blogging while on the move.

during my four and a half hour flight from charlotte, nc, to salt lake city, i found myself inspired by both my recent jog through the charlotte-douglas airport and the infant screaming just over my left shoulder.

before i get to my list, i feel the need to share this link. i cannot agree more with the oatmeal regarding the placement of screaming children on planes. (it's not that i don't love children. heck, i plan on having at least a couple of my own one of these days. that said, i do not love little ones screaming within close proximity for over a third of a long flight- especially when i had to get up on the wrong side of dawn to catch said flight and was really looking forward to taking a nap.)

all right.....the list:

five things i always take on airplanes

     1. running shoes (on my feet)

          ....because it is inevitable that, at some point during my travels, i will wind up sprinting across at least two concourses, because:

          1a. a half hour layover seemed doable back when i was trying to save $100 on my plane tickets
          1b. the speed limit along the highway between home and the airport was being enforced a wee bit more strictly than usual
          1c. yet again, i wound up stuck in the security line behind some poor soul who has apparently never flown before and therefore feels the need to put each of their worldly possessions in a separate bin

     2. carry ons

          .....because i'm too cheap to buy my worldly possessions their own seat on the plane and, besides, if i can't fit everything i need for less than a week into two bags, clearly i need to reevaluate my choices in footwear (and, most likely) reading material. 

     3. my ipod

          ....because it can't drown out the screaming child in the next row completely, but maybe i can mask his/her caterwauling with that of the lead singers of random hair bands of the 80s.

     4. one of my sigg water bottles

          .....because most airlines now give you maybe a shot and a half of soda, once you subtract the ice from the cup.

     5. my camera

         .....because if i ever look out from my window seat and see superman on the wing, i am so taking a picture. 



Monday, October 14, 2013

lost in translation

so there i was, minding my own business at the gas station, when the driver one pump over asked me what my shirt meant. had i been wearing my icelandic shirt, i totally would have gotten it. however, this one has a pretty common, easily recognized word on it, so his request threw me off a little.

i translated it for him and, as a bonus, i also mentioned that the back said "adios", meaning "goodbye". 

i finished pumping $30 worth of gas into my car and headed to work, where i related the story to a coworker. said coworker pointed out that the guy probably asked about the shirt in the hopes that i'd turn around and show him what was on the back. 

*

though i generally consider myself to be pretty intelligent, sometimes i'm really quite slow. :~/

*when i asked my coworker to take a photo of the shirt, i didn't expect to wind up with, like, three of the front, and twenty of the back.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

in which i run for maximum color, not minimum time

i may be permanently blue.

well, actually, i know from experience that it'll wash/wear off eventually- it always does. 

what you see above is the aftermath of the color me rad 5k, which took place this morning in columbia, sc. 

the blue will come off eventually, just as it did after the color run last march,




and the green and red did after the bubble run last may,


and all of this somehow came off after the neon splash dash last may, as well.


(i'm not saying there wasn't some serious scrubbing involved. in fact, just thinking about it makes me want to haul out the body scrub and a loofah.)


that's the thing about fun runs. they're not really for the sort of person who doesn't like getting a little messy.

fortunately, i've never been that sort of girl. mud? bring it on! colored powder (and possibly colored water, to boot)? sign me up! i'm perfectly willing to get dirty for a good cause, too.

what would be ideal, of course, is if at least one of the above could be followed by this


if, for some reason, the color from color me rad is permanent, i guess i'll have to switch my halloween costume this year from "genie" to "smurf". thankfully, i've got a few weeks and a whole lot of body scrub i can use between now and then. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

a hairy situation


due to poor planning on my part, i had to stop at a gas station this morning between leaving work and heading to the canal for my daily run. 

while waiting in line behind a guy who couldn't decide whether or not a cup of the "caffeine blast" coffee would be as powerful as an espresso, the longhaired male cashier (vaguely resembling mike tramp, lead singer of white lion, circa 1988) said, "hello there, beautiful*. i want to take my time with you."**

after i left, i kicked myself for not asking the obvious. (i mean, he wasn't horribly unattractive.)

perhaps next time i'll work up the nerve.......to ask him to recommend a good detangler.



*did i mention i was heading to work out? we're talking about yoga pants, a t shirt, my favorite hoodie, and the five new zits that sprung up last night. i'm not sure whether i should be genuinely flattered, or if i should assume he thought i was an off duty stripper from across the street he thought he could score a free lapdance from with a well-placed compliment. 

**twice....but hey- maybe he'd been gulping down the "caffeine blast" this morning. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year....no, really.

i know the song says the winter holidays are "the most wonderful time of the year", but i beg to differ.

here in columbia, south carolina, mid-september brings the annual greek festival. how can the combination of gyros, 



(this is the shortest i have ever seen this line.)

greek fries, 

homemade pastries,
(the place was so packed that this was the closest i could get today.)
reasonably priced dinner combos,

vendors, 



and festival souvenirs

(on a gorgeous weekend, no less)

not sway you just a little in favor of the festival?

i've already worked out once today, in an effort to pre-burn the calories i consumed in my fries and gyro. there may have to be another round of each (exercise, gyro/fries) later. after all, the festival only happens once a year. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

in which i learn to keep my mouth shut

all has not been right in setzer's little world lately.

i mean, sure- she still enjoys hanging around on "her" (my!) hammock,



and she's still showing an interest in food

and drink, 


but she's been having some, uh, how to put an indelicate matter delicately? 

.................
.................

well, heck. let me just put it out there. 

she's had issues with both condition and location of her poo lately. 

yeah, good times.

after a week and a half of this crap, i decided it was time to tote her into the vet's office for a little poke and prod. maybe the fact that we were going off of her annual schedule would fool her into thinking we were going somewhere fun- walt disney world, perhaps? 

yeah, no.

we called and made an appointment for this afternoon, about an hour before i had to come to work at the radio station. 



i grabbed her carrier out of storage, bagged up a delightful little stool sample (i'd prepaid for a fecal analysis at her last visit, but a sample was never obtained/brought in, so i was looking forward to cashing it in, now that there seemed to be an actual need for it.), attempted to coax her into the carrier, gave up and stuffed her in, and took her downstairs for a ride in my chariot.

setzer liked the very first car ride, nearly three years ago.

unfortunately, that ride led to pokes, prods, and being stuck in places that are insulting to one's dignity. 

subsequent car rides have been filled with chatter (i have no idea where she learned some of that language!), and once or twice she's made some sort of excretory exclamation, as well. 

by the time we got to the vet's office, her little bag of poo was floating in a sea of pee. (perhaps this was to ensure they would not try to obtain a sample of any sort from her.)

a couple of minutes after we walked in, the vet walked by and commented to the lady at the desk that the new cleaner she'd used on the floors earlier smelled funny. i hadn't quite caught it at first, but when she explained to her coworker why she was grabbing a mop, i felt the need to speak up.

"uhm, it might not be the cleaner you used. my cat felt the need to express her disapproval of our car ride artistically. her medium of choice this afternoon was pee."

(i think the floor was still remopped while we were in seeing the vet.)

after taking her out in the exam room, another reason for the pee became apparent. 

it seems i should've shaken out her carrier. 

since i would probably react similarly upon finding myself in close quarters with a large roach, i guess i can't really blame her for completely emptying her bladder during transport. 

thankfully, this was nothing the folks at the animal hospital hadn't seen before. there was little to no reaction as she came out of her carrier and, curious cat that she is, jumped around on every possible surface with her wet tail and paws. in fact, upon weighing her, i'm pretty sure the vet tech included the phrase "soaking wet" when recording that she weighs just over 9 pounds. 

after weighing, i guess she finally realized that she was, in fact, wet, and proceeded to shake herself, much like a wet dog.

unfortunately, at precisely this moment, i was in the middle of discussing her diet with said vet tech, and my mouth was wide open.

so, to recap, there's pee in her carrier, pee on every possible surface in the exam room, pee on me, and potentially little droplets have entered my mouth. 

so, yeah- that's awesome.

i'll spare you most of the other details, though i must brag about hearing the vet tech and the new vet (setzer's old one seems to have fallen off the face of the earth) discussing how friendly and pretty she was.....you know, perfect- aside from the whole "covered in pee" thing. 

so, with less than half an hour before i had to be present and accounted for at the radio station, we left the vet's office, with a clean carrier, slightly moist kitty, and prescription for a mile stool softener in hand.

unfortunately, by the time i got her unloaded and grabbed my backpack, i didn't have time to change. 

so, that smell? it's not the floor cleaner. i'm afraid it's my new perfume- eau de setzer.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

gangway!

i went rollerblading down at the canal on my way home from work today. (i put miles 61-65 on my new wheels.) there were lots of folks walking and running along the same path. normally,  i have no problems when it comes to passing them. 

tonight, however, was different. 

on three occasions, i found myself attempting to pass people who either did not grasp that "coming up on your left" means that someone is about to pass you on your left and would appreciate it if you'd move over, or maybe they thought i could skate on gravel.*

the entire 2 1/2 miles between the dam and my car,



i fantasized about putting courtesy aside and investing in one of those little horns that emits a really loud "AWOOGA" when squeezed. 


i haven't ordered it yet, but i'm not ruling it out, either. 


*no. trust me- i learned this firsthand a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

back on the road...err....sidewalk



it took 30 minutes to talk myself into going for a bike ride (28 to try to talk myself into running, 2 to haul my bike downstairs instead), but i'm pleased i gave in to myself. 

after a month spent with a low back tire, riding with a fully inflated one was a vast improvement. (on the downside, i suppose, i didn't get honked at nearly as much as usual, which backs up my theory that the honkers were just good samaritans trying to alert me to the state of my back tire- much like fellow drivers trying to get the attention of the guy zooming around with his gas cap dangling.)

as an added bonus, it seems the fine folks at "uncle bob's storage" finally trimmed back the bush that threatened to clothesline me each time i rode by. in a show of appreciation, i have cancelled plans to cut the bush myself and then leave the trimmings on their front step.

Monday, September 16, 2013

the long and short of it


there is a downside to having both long hair and a convertible.* 

though i love having long hair, were i not trying to grow it out for locks of love, i would cut it off tomorrow rather than have another tag team wrestling match (me and the hairbrush vs. tangles and more tangles) after my post-workout shower. 

however, since i'm just an inch or two away from donation #3, i believe investment in a family size vat of detangler is in order instead. 

*to answer the question before it is asked- 95% of the time, it's up in a ponytail, bun, or braids. i learned a long time ago not to let it fly completely free with the top down. i get out of the car with instant dreadlocks.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

something worth noting.....

holy schnikes- it's been a while since i last pounded out a post. i keep meaning to tell you about this year's birthday trip, but i'm normally on the internet via my ipad, and i've yet to find a way to convince it to allow me to upload the photos saved on my ipad. (i suppose i could tell you about my trip, minus the visual aids, but i just don't think it would do it justice.)

anyway, i have time to post this morning from my home away from home. normally, i'd be slogging through paperwork for job #3 right now, but i'm about out of paperwork to work on for that job, and i'm already ahead of where i should be by about a month. therefore, i've got time to work on other projects during my downtime here. just think- in a couple of weeks, i could be all caught up on my photo albums- even the one from my trip to ireland a mere 7 years ago!


hahahahaha- just kidding. i'm not quite ready for that sort of major undertaking. i believe dr. leo marvin would advise taking baby steps here:


so, instead of filling my backpack with half finished (if i'm lucky enough to have actually gotten that far) photo albums, i brought in my address book and a supply of notecards. 

i received some rather spiffy "curious george" notecards in a random care package from a friend a couple of months ago, and while they're not quite large enough for the last two thank you notes i need to scribble pertaining to my trip*, i think they're a perfect size for random notes of gratitude- an idea i'm borrowing from my best friend from high school. (i'd offer up a link to the post where she talks about this idea, but i have scoured her blog and it is eluding me. however, if you have a few extra moments, it's certainly worth checking out.)**

first up: eating a little crow and thanking an old boss for putting up with me back when i was stubborn and immature. (i'm not apologizing for not giving my two year olds candy, though.)

*both are heading out of the country, and i need to print up a photo to enclose with each one. unfortunately, i'm planning on printing 4x6s, and the notecards are 3 1/5" x 5".

**also, maybe if she sees the extra traffic over there, maybe she'll start posting regularly again. :~)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

for me? you shouldn't have....


dear clumsy owner of the white car parked next to mine for most of the day today, 

thank you so much for the early birthday gift. while i would like to pretend the white streak you left on my car is some sort of racing stripe, i'm fairly certain it can be buffed off the next time i wash and wax my chariot. the quarter sized dent, however, should be a lasting deterrent against car thieves. i thought driving a stick would be sufficient, but this new blemish is off putting enough that it should add an extra layer of protection.

it's unfortunate that i didn't notice your gifts until after i'd driven to subway and gotten out of my car, and that by the time i returned you'd clearly moved on to share your utter disregard for others' possessions with other lucky drivers (well, parkers, i guess), as i was raised with manners and really wish i'd been able to give you a personalized "thank you" note. 

sincerely, 
duff 

p.s.~ may your tailpipe fall off the next time you violate another car.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

the (500 mile) long and winding road

it's taken a week to get caught back up with myself sufficiently to free up some time to post about my recent road trip to baltimore, but i finally have a moment or two to share a few thoughts from last weekend's mini-vacation:


thought #1: some things never change......like my inability to leave home with enough time to actually stop at south of the border to take some photos. 



thought #2: taking cloud shots became so much easier when i got my miata.


thought #3: another thing that doesn't change? traffic in northern virginia. even at 10 pm, it's a frustrating mess.

(this tie up cost me about 20 minutes. the one i encountered in northern virginia on the way back home sucked away another 45 minutes of my life. i need to figure out another route between columbia, sc and columbia, md.)



thought #4: though i can't really see myself moving back, seeing the "maryland welcomes you" signs at the border always makes me feel like i'm home again. 


thought #5: maturity is overrated.

thought #6: as flags go, you have to admit that ours is really good looking.

(since it was a clear day, the 15 star flag, measuring 30 by 42 feet, lfew over ft. mchenry. i don't know that we even had this kind of luck during our field trips in elementary and middle school.)


thought #7: when i die, if there's a short film shown as a tribute to me (i've already started thinking about the soundtrack.), the entire section involving the ten years spent growing up in baltimore should be shot in smell-o-vision and scented with old bay seasoning.


thought #8: i am not known for dealing well with change. when i first returned to baltimore after many years away, i was shocked to see that the power plant, which had been an indoor amusement park for several years during my childhood, had been turned into a shopping and entertainment center. i was so upset (and stubborn- it runs in my family) about it that this is the only hard rock cafe i've ever come across that i have refused to set foot inside.

my stance has softened slightly over the years- i'm sure the power plant would be a sad, sad sight had it been left vacant- but i still wish they'd bring back the amusement park. 

(i was similarly distressed when memorial stadium was torn down and the orioles moved to oriole park at camden yards. that said, i think i'm ready to finally attend a game there. it just won't be the same, though.....)


thought #9: experiencing another culture can be a little pricey ($4 for an ear of corn, in addition to the entry fee into the latino festival!), but worth it. 


thought #10: picking out landmarks along the way makes any road trip more fun. (this muffler man, along i-95 in north carolina, stands about halfway between my doorstep and my sibling's.)

thought #11: if you aren't a fan of road trips, perhaps you're just not driving the right car*. i highly recommend a convertible.



thought #12: it's important to know when to put the top back up on your car.

i left the top down after shooting the top shot and though it sprinkled a little as i skirted this storm, due to the high-speed aerodynamics, i stayed dry. after shooting the second photo, i briefly contemplated pulling over to put up my top, but since the clouds were off in the distance and moving east (away from my path, as i was heading south), i decided i'd rather continue as i was. 

*or, perhaps you've gotten stuck in northern virginia one too many times. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

cue up track six on "eliminator"

when i try to write a post after a long absence, i always seem to half-write a couple of things, only to wind up ditching them as soon as they start to feel kind of clunky. then, if i'm lucky (and my short attention span hasn't pulled me toward yahoo headlines or the pile of paperwork that i really ought to be doing), i wind up pounding out something brilliantly funny and/or perceptive* to tide you over for another fortnight (or two, or three) until the mood strikes me again. 

i make no promises of brilliance this evening. 

however, i can promise that i'm no longer going to ponder why my posts went from daily to bilmonthlyish (blame facebook), or discuss calls received at my full time job this evening.**

instead, this evening, i'm going to share something that has kind of thrown me for a loop. 

the main reason for my infrequent posting is that my time is basically divided between juggling my three jobs, napping in between said jobs, and trying to squeeze in some exercise in an effort to keep my somewhat sedentary jobs from taking their toll on my derriere. 

as a result, the bills are paid, i'm not completely sleep deprived***, and apparently i have a secret admirer. 

yes, you read that right. 

i. have. a. secret. admirer. 

while that sinks in, watch this:


(i chose this version, as opposed to the original, because i think guillermo's sweet dance moves really need to catch on.)

okay. so, now that you've seen hot girls, let's get back to talking about me.

the past three days, i've been filling in at the radio station, while the coworker i'm filling in for fills in for someone else, who happens to be on vacation this week. since my favorite place to work out (the columbia canal) is on the way home from the radio station, i've been wearing workout clothes to work so i can leave work, go to the canal and run or rollerblade, and then head home for my pre full-time shift nap at the answering service. since it's been hot out, i wore shorts two days and a running skirt i picked up at target (like this, but in hot pink) the third. 

apparently, the skirt made an impression. 

this secret admirer (still "secret", as my source refused to cough up any details, aside from the fact that i don't know this person, which narrows the possibilities by about ten people, as i honestly couldn't pick most of the folks in that building out of a lineup, as i'm usually only there on weekends) apparently has a thing for my legs.

admittedly, i'm flattered. floored- given that i consider my thighs a slight area of concern (damned cellulite)- but flattered. 

however, there's a little part of me that, despite the ego boost of being told that the sight of me in a bikini probably wouldn't scare too many people, is whining, "wait a minute! what about my mind? my sparkling personality? my impeccable taste in music?"

it's a little part, though- one that's easily drowned out by the new song i'm practicing for karaoke night: 




*or at least it seems that way to me at three in the morning, when the green tea i sip while at work is starting to wear off. 

**oh, i'm a little tempted, especially given the number of pregnant teenagers i've heard from lately, but that's probably best saved for an epic post later. 

***though a nap sounds really, really good right now

Sunday, May 05, 2013

not a drop to drink

i've had a little dry spell when it comes to posting lately, but work has come to the rescue once again. 

as i've said before, we answer for a wide variety of businesses. 

craving hibachi? i can make you a reservation if you live in one of three southeastern cities. 

looking to cash in on a disability claim? i can get your information to one of several lawyers in our area. 

member of the houston media, looking to do a story at one of the local airports? you'll probably be calling me to get clearance. 

a neighbor of my dad's down in florida with a major leak in your roof? as long as your abode is still under warranty, i can probably get someone out there to take a look at it. 

need to have a tree taken down? i'm on it. (should you need to get a cat out of it, though, you're probably on your own, as we don't have any special connection to the fire department. however, if the cat hurts itself coming out of the tree on its own, i can summon a vet for you.)

so....you get the idea. 

one of our bigger accounts is the local water department. we function as their after hours emergency line, and i wind up fielding a few calls about broken water mains and sewage backups, and an awful lot of calls (especially on friday nights) from folks wigging out about whether or not their water will be turned back on that evening. 

i see these calls as "patience endurance tests". after being told that their water should be on at midnight, they will call in at 11:30, demanding to know why nothing's coming out of their faucets.  then, when i tell them to be patient, invariably i will get to hear about how this qualifies as an urgent emergency, as they have (at least) three children, an elderly person, and a thirsty llama in the home* and there is no way they can go without water. 

here's where my patience gets tested: i have to try to calmly explain that i am not allowed to page the on call provider to have water turned on- only off- and when they counter with their tales of desperation and woe, i have to refrain from pointing out that the entire crisis (parched llama and all) could have been averted if they'd just paid the bill on time. 

anyway, now that i've laid that foundation, i can tell you about this evening's unusual situation involving the water department. 

shortly after arriving at work this evening, i fielded a call from a gentleman who'd just returned from a multi-day business trip and found he was without water. he was unsure of the reason behind this, as his bill just came due yesterday (the 4th). he lives in an apartment building, so i asked if any of his neighbors had had any issues. understandably, he did not wish to run around knocking on their doors after 11pm. i asked him to look outside and see if there were any huge puddles or other signs of a leak or broken main, but he said it was raining and therefore, could not tell. i contacted the on call water maintenance technician and inquired as to whether he'd heard of any broken mains. no such luck. out of options, i told the caller i'd enter in a message ticket on the city's website so the matter could be looked into when the office opened monday and suggested he speak with his neighbors and/or landlord about the matter tomorrow to see if it was a localized problem or a buildingwide issue. 

after about fifteen minutes, he finally hung up. 

thirty seconds later, the phone rang again. 

apparently, we answer for the company that owns his building, as well. 

i got to hear all about his call to the city water department (i got neither praise nor complaint), and despite assuring him that i was familiar with his problem, i don't think he'd realized that we'd already spent a magical quarter of an hour on the phone together. after taking down all of his details (for a second time, i might add), i put him on hold and dialed the emergency contact for the owner of the building. 

there was a slight delay in connecting the call, as it took her a few moments to contain her laughter after i explained the coincidence. 

hopefully, his water will be fixed and all will be right with his world again by lunchtime. otherwise, might i suggest he go out for lunch at a local hibachi place? i can suggest a few with fabulous restrooms. heck, i'll even be happy to take down his reservation. 

*i might be exaggerating about the llama. i don't think they're allowed within city limits. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

a bit of cheer from yesteryear*

i noticed today that several of my nearest and dearest seem stressed, depressed, or just generally a little "off" lately. 

perhaps this blast from the past will help, even if it's only for 3 1/2 minutes....and even if it's only because it's hard not to smile at the ridiculousness of the "apostrophe" sort of thing the otherwise bald guy's got going on on his noggin:


that's all i've got for you this evening. hopefully, it helped. otherwise, i may have to bring out the big guns tomorrow night.

*sorry- sometimes i get a little dr. seussish

Sunday, April 14, 2013

tempted (by the doughnut of another)

i came to work this evening with a salad and the best of intentions. 

since i started working overnights full time at job #1 (formerly job #4), i've gained a couple of pounds. 

i know this may not be a big deal to some of you, but weight is easier to put on than it is to take off and i've noticed that several of my coworkers at this rather sedentary job are, well, sort of round. (granted, some of that can probably be attributed to the fact that about half of them are college kids who tend toward fast food- a staple of the college diet- but still....)

i like having junk in my trunk, but i'd rather not need one of those little uhaul trailers to cart it around. therefore, i figure it's best to nip these things in the bud (or butt, really) before putting on jeans involves a wrestling match that i may or may not win. 

as soon as i noticed my weight creeping up, i took a moment to reevaluate a few habits i'd picked up (a soda each night to get me jump started before switching to green tea) and dropped (workouts were fewer and farther between). 

i cut the sodas down to one a week (first night back is always the hardest), and my schedule during most of the week consists of

work
workout 
nap
lunch
work
workout
dinner
nap  

i've made a little bit of progress over the past couple of weeks, but i still would like to knock off another pound or two, so i can finally sport the clingy new dress i bought in st. john last month, hence the salad on which i'm dining this evening. 

unfortunately, the crunching of said salad isn't quite drowning out the siren song of the chocolate frosted doughnuts sitting on the table in the room next door.      

since i have a habit of trying to rationalize just about anything and, as we have all heard before, chocolate has antioxidants and is therefore good for you, i'd be lying if i told you i wasn't contemplating just eating the frosting and throwing the rest of the doughnut outside for the birds and squirrels.

like me, they'd probably be far more interested in that than this salad. 



Monday, April 08, 2013

in which i finally divulge my utter smoothness

it's taken me a couple extra days to get around to it, but i'm finally sitting down to pound out the post i meant to write the other night....the one that fell by the wayside because i ran into that article about the woman who actually manages to eat goldfish crackers slowly enough to notice their markings.*

on the bright side, the extra couple of days have allowed me to determine whether my streak of smoothness has ended or not.

i am pleased to report that it has. *knocks wood*


this was my theme song friday:


not because of the heat, mind you (though it was warm enough to drive around with my top down), but because i was on a roll. 

my first smooth move happened early in the afternoon, when the phone rang. since i have caller id, i saw it was the company that handles my ira, and i figured the secretary was probably doing her annual call to set up a time for me to talk to my financial adviser regarding the vast wealth i don't have. 

while i was not raised a southerner (everyone in my family was born west of the mississippi), i was raised to be polite, so i tend to say "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" a fair bit in conversations. 

normally this is a good thing, well received by the person i'm conversing with.**

i think i must've thrown three or four "yes ma'am"s out there before i realized that the person on the other end had said his name was eric.

whoops

my smoothness did not end there, dear reader. 

later in the afternoon, after i'd taken care of some chores, i finally wrote up all of the donations i'd piled up for goodwill and packed them into a box so i could drop them off at the donation center en route to the grocery store. (naturally, the 1990's era teen magazines my dad shoved into my car after his last trip to the house in kansas city were on the bottom. i'd rather not flaunt the fact that i was actually interested in ym's**** articles about ways to pick up boys.*****)

since the box was pretty heavy and i had other stuff i needed to take with me for my errands (kroger ad, coupons, wallet, cell phone, checkbook, plastic bags to recycle, reusable bags to tote groceries), i simply put the other stuff into the box, on top of my donations and then unloaded them when i got down to the car. 

fast forward a couple of hours. the donations have been made, unused coupons left on store shelves for other frugal customers to use, groceries purchased and put away. by this point, i was lounging on the couch, watching the last few minutes of big bang theory before heading off to bed for my pre-work nap. i reached over to turn the ringer off on my cell phone (it's pretty much inevitable that i'll get a call just as i'm drifting off to sleep), but there was nothing to reach for. 

remember how i'd unloaded my essentials from that box? yeah, well, it appears i missed one. 

so much for settling down for a nap. 

i was on goodwill's doorstep six minutes. 

thankfully, when i'd been there earlier, i'd seen which direction the donee (that would be the person who receives the donations, as opposed to the donor, who does the donating, right?******) went with my box.

also, thankfully, due to the large volume of donations, my box had not yet been dumped out. 

as i retrieved my sad little dumbphone, i noticed him looking at it as if surprised i'd actually be seen in public with the poor thing. (it's developed a little hinge issue recently, and i've yet to figure out how to fix it. tape has not worked, nor has my jeannie-style blinking.) 

"i know it looks a little rough," i said.

i, on the other hand? smooth. 


*actually, let me digress for a minute about that, as i've had a couple more thoughts since writing that post:

thought one: is it just me, or does the marking on the side of the goldfish look more like a fin than a cross? should this be construed as proof that poseidon exists, or are we just to assume the creator of that particular goldfish was trying to make it a little more lifelike?

thought two: isn't it a little sadistic that she stares at her goldfish so intently before eating them? as i mentioned before, i can't stand having my food looking at me. it makes me feel a little guilty. thankfully, when i go out for sushi, no one ridicules me openly for putting a little ginger blindfold on my aji.

**there is only one exception that i can think of, and it happens to be one of the few people i dislike so intensely that i would not pee on them if they were on fire. naturally, because they once told me they disliked it, when i started disliking them, i doubled up on the appropriate term.***


***this is probably proof that even basically nice people can have moments when they're not so nice. 

****wait- ym is no longer published? crap! i need to get those issues back! they're collector's items! 

*****not that i could ever get them to work, anyway. then again, i was generally about as subtle as vanilla ice's highlights during that same era. 

******i thought i was making that up, but no- it's actually a word. you can bet i'm adding it to my scrabble/words with friends repertoire. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

is that christ on my cracker?

i'd originally planned on writing about my ultra-smooth moves today, and i still intend to do so at some point this weekend, but whilst browsing through yahoo's headlines i came upon this article

(while you read it, excuse me for a moment while i go retrieve a small snack.)

ok. i'm back. done reading yet?

so, here's the question that comes to my mind, and i figure there's a good chance it popped into yours, too:

how is this even possible? 

now, please don't think i mean for this to lead to a lengthy discussion of whether or not divine spirits try to express themselves through cooking. in fact, i try to avoid almost all conversations pertaining to religion and politics, due to the fact that they usually end with some degree of animosity. 

no, dear reader. i'm trying to work out how someone can actually allow goldfish to sit around long enough that they notice whether or not there might be unusual markings on them. 

i don't know about you, but whether i'm eating them by the handful or scooping them out of my soup, i don't normally stare at my goldfish. (part of this may be attributed to the fact that i can't stand having my food look at me while i'm eating it- it makes me feel like some sort of horrible predator.) 

perhaps if she ate the "xtreme cheddar" variety, she too would find them so irresistably tasty that she would be unable to fight the urge to hoover them down without a second thought regarding unusual markings or, really, much of anything else. 

then again, given the apparent prevalence of food with unusual markings, maybe i should slow down, a little, too. i mean, for all i know, jim morrison could be lurking in this container of ben & jerry's karamel sutra. 

despite my deep, abiding love of that particular flavor, if i find a face in my last pint, you can bet your bippy i'll sell it off to the highest bidder. i mean, this sort of....dare i call it a phenomenon?...can bring in big bucks. 

i just hope he appears toward the bottom of the container.






Monday, March 18, 2013

a taxing effort

it's the least wonderful time of the year.

on an annual basis, i find myself really disliking the fact that i'm a 1099 employee at one of my jobs. however, while my inner voice is fussing at me for not putting my foot down and either insisting on being converted to a regular employee (as everyone else is this year) or finding something else to do with my time, the competing voice of my biological clock is pointing out that i could easily have a little deduction by this time next year, thus lessening my tax burden.

by the time i finish figuring out my taxes this year, i may be giving some serious thought to that latter point. (i'm already pretty much set on the former....once i raise enough moolah to pay this year's tax bill. you know- once i'm finally able to figure it out.)

i've been at this for an hour so far and, aside from my semi-neat* piles of paper, this is as far as i've gotten:

as you can see, where there should be a form, there is a mostly blank screen. when i click on "file", in the upper left hand corner, the program taunts me by showing me the theoretical option to "create new return", which is greyed out. in fact, the only option i can actually select on that tab is "exit". awesome. (i think i know what you're going to suggest and, believe me, i have already restarted my computer twice, with no such luck.)

since i have already had to have a lengthy discussion with my computer regarding its dvd-rom drive's refusal to acknowledge the h&r block cd's existence**, followed by three attempts at installation***, i'm beginning to wish i'd bothered to pick up the paper forms.

.....not that i can actually file on paper, mind you. my tax situation gives "complex" a whole new meaning.**** i could, however, roll up the forms into a nice little tube and then beat the crap out of my recalcitrant computer with them.

my inner wesley snipes is now drowning out those other voices, insisting that this is a sign i don't have to do my taxes this year.

i'm not listening to it yet, though i am considering picking up a short term gig as one of those dancing statues of liberty, in the hopes that my employer will figure out my taxes for me for a lot less grief and money. (plus, all that dancing around should leave me with some pretty gorgeous gams. sounds like a "win-win" to me!)

*my furry assistant, setzer, has been "helping" to "organize" my carefully sorted piles.

**i told it i once knew a texas instruments machine back in the mid-80s with more functionality than it was exhibiting. strangely enough, it decided to start reading my cd after that. 

***it kept aborting the installation, insisting it was installing something else. THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE TO INSTALL!!!!!

****four jobs last year, multiple bank accounts, stocks, and some other income- all leading to my making too much for most tax breaks/deductions and too little for the rest. argh.