I feel the need

I feel the need

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sometimes I just create my own sticky situations.

Hello all!

I love going to fairs and little stores and finding all sorts of natural products.  Anything from jams to body lotions, I love the idea of "natural"  "home made" "farm fresh" "Organic."

Whenever I go to the Renaissance Faire, I try to get a salt scrub for my hands.  You know this stuff, it's like chunks of salt, scented for your pleasure.  A woman with a rose in her cleavage shows you how to scrub away all the toxins and whatnot stored on your hands, and then she rinses them off with some water  and your skin feels like a baby's butt. I love it! $10 a jar later, I swear to myself that I'm going to use the stuff this time and it's going to be magical.

I have a closet full of these items.  I have no trouble buying them.  Apparently USING them is a problem because, after all, I paid so much money for this nice, natural thing, I should really make it last a good long time.  (I'm waiting for a special occassion for my skin to feel nice...apparently the rest of the time I can just walk around looking like an alligator.)

So yesterday I realized that I'd just purchased yet another jar of sea salt scrub, this time stuff for my feet, but that I had a jar I'd bought a couple years ago still in my cabinet.  Well, best use the old before the new, so I pulled out the old jar.

It was sort of hard to open, a little sticky.

For those of you who have never worked with this sort of thing, let me give you a hint....sea salt should never be sticky.

Undaunted, as I generally am, I dug some of the grainy, sticky stuff out of the jar with two fingers and then tried to rub it on my hands.  The sea salt rolled on my skin sort of like a really bumpy, sticky stone.  Instead of individual grains of sea salt clinging to my skin like clean sand, this was like that last bit of honey in the jar, the stuff that's petrified and no amount of warming will make it right. 

I should have stopped there, but as we all know, I'm not one to really learn from a small mistake.  I've got to keep going until ALL the bells and whistles are going of in my head.  So, I dug in for a second, larger fingerful of the sticky goo and tried to rub that up and down my arms.

At some point, my fingers stuck together, and large balls of sea salt glued to my arm hair, I realized that this particular product was probably two years past it's expiration date and I was no longer working with sea salt, but with some sort of oily, greasy super glue.  My first instinct was to wash off the goo, so I pumped out some Bath and Body works hand soap and tried that.

All I succeeded in doing was getting the soap pump stuck to my hand.

I was clearly not going to be able to do anything else until I cleaned the now hardening goo off my skin.  I had to think carefully about my next move because my hands were so sticky, anything I touched was going to require cleaning...if I wasn't permanently attached to it first.

What gets out sticky sea salt based goo?

Then it DAWNED on me!  If Dawn dish washing detergent can clean up that baby duck in the commercial so nicely, it could certainly work in my case.  And, since Peaches is such an animal lover, we just happened to have TWO big bottles of stuff in the kitchen.  (You know the ones where a dollar goes to some wild life foundation.)  All I had to do was go to the kitchen and clean myself up with it.

Have you ever  counted the steps you go through to get from a bathroom to the kitchen to wash your hands?

I have, because I had to do it without use of my hands.

The duck is actually laughing at me.

1)  Open sliding bathroom door.  (Did this with my toes.  Took some extra time because I had to wedge one of my toes under the door first.)

2)  Open the bedroom door, walk through it, then close the bedroom door before a cat gets in.  (almost worth NOT shutting the door because I was sticky from the elbows down and had to open and close the door with my armpit.)

3)  Open the kitchen cupboard.  (Used the toes.)

4)  Get the bottle out  (Had to use my hands)

5)  Turn on the water.  (Again, the hands...stuck to the handle a bit.)

6)  Open the bottle.

7)  Rub the soap on the skin

8)  Rinse.

There's a step 9...the moment when I realized that Dawn was NOT working for me.

9)  Reevaluate...again...just how stupid you are.

Well, I figured since I was at the since anyway, and since I already had foaming dish soap going, I'd do the dishes.  So there's that.

Their motto should be:
We are can clean
up many messes.
"Stupid" is not one of them.
I did a lot of dishes, rubbed my arms in Dawn again...nope, still sticky.

Later Hubby and I went for coffee.  I warned him, as he took my hand, that I was a little sticky.  He was amused for a bit, saying that he liked not having to use much pressure to hold my hand  (note to self:  Just how hard is it to hold my hand?)  but then when we separated to do something, he refused to hold my hand anymore, saying he didn't like how sticky HE WAS.

Yes, I tossed the old jar of the sea salt scrub and yes, I vow to use the jar I just bought all up before the year is out.  I'm happy to say that now, 24 hours later,  any sticky residue is gone from my skin.

I wish I could say the same thing for the soap pump in my bathroom and the Dawn soap bottle in the kitchen.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Laundry List Friday: 5 skills I'm putting on my next resume.

Good evening all!

So I've now completed my third week with the new job.  Got my first paycheck, which, I am delighted to say, did not reflect any sort of oddities given the fact that we were bought and sold a week ago.

I was going to write a list entitled "There's something about Sherri"  all about the woman I work with, but today something struck me that was far more funny...I am clearly NOT putting my best, most usable skills on my resume.  Who knew?  So, the next time I send out my resume, you can bet it's going to include the following vital, if somewhat specialized skills.

5 Skills I bring to any business.

5)  I can read and translate a paycheck.  (I can also open one without shredding it.)

Those of you who follow me on Facebook  (and if you're not, why aren't you?  I AM HILARIOUS!)  have been hearing about the woman who sits next to me...I call her LCW  (Lady CoWorker).   This poor woman, while being very sweet, is also easily befuddled and therefore unintentionally hilarious.  Yesterday, I got my very first paycheck.  (Also, my very last since the business that hired me was sold and bought and therefore I now work for yet another new company.)  I was pretty jazzed as I read through hourly pay, overtime pay, deductions, totals, all that good stuff.

Meanwhile...at the desk next to mine:

"WHAT?  This isn't right!  This. Is. Not. RIGHT!"

"What's not right?"  (Why do I get involved.)

"My deductions.  Who can live on this if this is how much they're deducting?"  (Truly a question we all ask.)

I didn't get very involved past that for about five minutes.   Then LCW stopped NBM  (this only causes more hilarity.  Read on...) 

LCW:  I need to talk to you about my paycheck.  (She waves the tatters of the check, which is one of those that's held together by perforations and you're supposed to fold along the lines and THEN tear the ends off.  She sort of forgot to fold on the lines.)

NBM:  What did you do to your paycheck?

LCW:  Nothing.  I mean, I couldn't open it, so I just tore at it.

NBM:  I hope you haven't voided it by tearing it almost in half.

LCW:  WHAT???????  You can do that????????????

(I should interject here that NBM, I believe, LOVES to needle LCW.  LOVES it.  Sort of like a 9 year old boy poking at a dead animal. For him, it's fun, it's easy, and it provides amusement in an otherwise blechy day.  I'm just guessing, given how often he does it.)

"NBM:  Yep, you can.  So what's wrong with your paycheck, other than the fact that it's torn?

LCW:  It's not right.

The phone rings, and NBM is out of the conversation.  I don't like watching the wounded, so I roll my chair over to her desk. 

"What is the problem?"

LCW:  It's not right.  They took $1200 in taxes out of my check.

(Let me just say, if they took $1200 out of one paycheck, I'm thinking I'm being WAY underpaid!)

"Let me just look at it."  I look at it and realize instantly what the issue is.  "The $1200 is your gross pay to date.  The amount of taxes taken out is right here."  I point to the column. 

LCW: It's too much taken out. How am I supposed to live on this if they're going to take that much out in taxes?

"I ask myself that all the time.  But see, these are the hours you worked. This is your hourly wage.  You multiply this by this and you get this number here."

LCW:  I don't know. I don't think you're right.

(I guess I should have known I was in trouble.  She asked me the other day to figure out, with the calculator on my desk, what 20% of 1000 was.  Hers kept tellling her 200, but she just knew that wasn't right.)

"It's right.  The total on your check is the total after they take out taxes.  That's the amount of money you have."

She was quiet then...but that didn't end the issue.  later in the day she called the home office....in Montreal...and got very upset when they were closed. 

4)  I can type without the rubber fingers for protection.

In the move, many of the office supplies got jumbled.   LCW was sorting through a box of things yesterday and handed me one of those rubber fingers covers, the type you use to avoid paper cuts when you have to thumb through a lot of paper.  I asked her what it was for...she said, "You'll need that since you do so much typing."

3)  I am able to hold a conversation with someone and put stamps on outgoing mail at the same time.

NBM does not think so...as evidenced by his shout from his office today that all the sales guys "GET AWAY FROM SARAH'S DESK."  I asked if we should just erect barbed wire around my area, since this wasn't the first time he's thwarted my attempts to get to know my co workers.     He said it might be a good idea...except he wasn't sure of something, which brings me to #2.

2)  I know what the word THWARTED means.

Say it with me, my friends, "How do these people not fall down more?"  We are #1 in the company, led by man who does not know what the word "thwarted" means when used in a sentence.

Once again, Sarah's work environment has thwarted her desire to stay employed.
And finally....

1)  I know how to change a roll of toilet paper.

I thought this was something only my children refused to learn...but now I realize that it is a necessary skill in the workplace because CLEARLY no one else who uses the ladies' room...(and yes, many of the guys use the ladies' room...unless LCW has decided to leave the seat up.)  is able to do it.

So there it is my friends...the top five things I'm going to put on my resume based on the skill set I have that's so clearly lacking at my current workplace.

And we are number one in the company.

God help us all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

File this under the heading "Stuff I cannot make up"

Hello my friends!

 For those of you not familiar with the television show, "The Office,"  especially the US remake of the brilliant British original,  you need to check it out on Netflix, or on NBC's website. It might take a couple episodes to warm up for you, but believe me, it's worth it, and it's apparently going to become required reading if you're going to check in on this blog.

Yesterday was a lightening bolt of a day for me.  It's only my third Monday.  Yes, that's correct, I've only been in this job two weeks and one day.  And in that time, I was offered a promotion, (refused it after 3 days of training), became the "answer girl" for roughly half the things we do in the actual office, helped relocate the office, got bought out, fired, and rehired.

That was my first two weeks.  So arriving to work on Monday, I was sort of channelling the great Dorothy Parker when she said, "What fresh hell is this?"

I don't think even Dorothy could have believed this one.

In true Michael Scott fashion, the branch I work for is the most profitable in the company, which means my NBM  (New Boss Man) will probably never be fired, demoted, or exiled to an island deep in the Pacific, guarded by man eating sharks....all of which are female.  (He doesn't play that well with the fairer sex.) 

Working in the office, listening to those around me, I was convinced that the corporation as whole understood that NBM was pretty much a throwback to those delightful days when women were only good for bringing coffee and chasing around a desk, and they were keeping close watch on him so that he wouldn't actually do something so 1954 he'd do damage to someone.

Well I was right about one thing...they were keeping a close tab on him.

Yesterday, when I arrived and was simply minding my own business and making coffee, I heard a shout of agony emit from him office.  I was sort of hoping that he'd fallen and bruised his double standard, but such was not the case.  No, instead, corporate sent him an email informing him that he was to take three days next week and visit the nerve center of the company.  (The big corporation company, not the home office of the gent who just bought us and now runs us under the same name...you think this is confusing...try working here.)

They want to do a psychological profile on him...

To find out what in his brain makes him such an awesome leader that our branch is so profitable.

This is the man who last week got into a shouting match with...oh let's call her Sherry, the woman who sets sales appointments.  (More on her on Friday.)  The argument:  whether or not Sherry had clicked on the wrong button and scheduled the same appointment twice in one day.  (She had.)  The reason for the length of the argument?  (9 minutes)  NBM doesn't have any better grasp of the computer system than Sherry has.  And I've only been there two weeks.  It was sort of like listening to two people talk in a language they don't totally understand, and you only vaguely know.  (I solved their issue with two clicks of a mouse...took me forty seconds.  I should NEVER be the smartest person in the room! That does not bode well for the room as a whole.)

This is the man who, though he informed me that he knew EVERY aspect of the job, could not answer a simple procedural question I had and instead had me call an office in St. Louis.

This is the man who is now hiding his cereal bowl and spoon in a drawer in the new kitchen.  Washed?  No, of course not.  Rinsed, I believe so, but not washed.  Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon that this morning while looking for a coffee filter.

Yet, in true Michael Scott fashion, our branch is NUMBER 1 in all the branches of the company.  And the corporation wants to know how to make more of him.

God help us all.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Laundry List Friday (On Saturday) 5 reasons I didn't write this yesterday.

Good evening!

Well my friends, I do apologize for being a day late.  I guess, now that I'm thinking about it, I sort of planned to be late with this list, mostly because the new job I have doesn't exactly allow me to...you know...play on the Internet all that much.  So, I actually came up with this on my way to Madison last night, where I had my monthly meeting of Mad City Romance.  Normally, I attend with my friend and critique partner, Marie, but Marie had a very bad treadmill accident...the kind I really would like to have her write about because, as injured as she is...the story is really funny!

However, on my way to her house, I realized that I had a lovely reason for not writing a laundry list...you know, beyond the usual excuses I offer.  So, without further ado, here's this week's list:

Five reasons I didn't write my Laundry List yesterday:

5)  I didn't really have a topic.

Face it, No one who is funny is funny on cue, and I sometimes struggle with lists of five.  So, giving myself an extra day not only gave me a topic, it gave me a starting point.

4)  I spent Thursday cleaning up my home office.

Short of actually parking Dementors in front of my office door, I haven't yet found a way to keep the family from dumping their assorted piles of crap on my desk.  One could argue that technically it's not just my office, that it's the family computer and that I am being selfish.  One would then have to wonder why there's so much Rick Springfield stuff in the "family office."  ( we all know that if I had a patronis,   this  shot of Rick would be it!)  So I had to spend part of what little writing time I do have in a day actually slogging through piles of paper and receipts and that sort of thing, just to unbury the keyboard.

3)  I'm still trying to download my son's senior pictures.

I'm not a complete idiot, but I am finding that I can't open the files Skippy's friend...we'll call her Amy...sent me containing the pictures she took for him senior yearbook.  I am trying very hard to not have to ask her again to simplify things for me....like maybe just print them out and mail them to me.  Then I will have reached the level of my mother, who call me the other night, weeping because she couldn't find my newest novel on Smashwords.  Frankly, I'd like to think I'm a little better than that...but we all know that's not the case!

2)  I've just stumbled upon the most blog worthy person on the planet, but I'm not sure how to mention him/her here without insulting him/her so I've been spending a lot of time just taking notes.

A blogging gem like my new friend comes along once in a lifetime.  If I told you the stories, you would howl, but I really don't want to insult this person because, well, I want to keep this person around and on my good side!  Stay tuned!

1)  I got fired yesterday...and rehired.
It's not just a show...it's my life.
At a mandatory meeting yesterday we were all informed that we'd been bought out and subsequently terminated from our "old" company.  Which means my first check from this circus of a zoo of a job will be my last, but it also means I've been hired by a new circus.  And, in the continuing proof that I've suddenly stumbled into Dunder Mifflin world, the sales guys told me that this branch was bought because it's the most profitable branch in the company and NBM, as completely socially inept as he seems, is blessed to be running the best branch ever, and will therefore never be fired....

More disturbing to me is that since I was forced to come in an hour early and was not allowed to leave an hour early, I should get an hour of over time...except that this extra hour was on the NEW company's time and therefore NOT overtime.

Which brings me to the question...since I've really only worked for this company for TWO DAYS do I really have to give two weeks' notice if I want to bail?  This might be that window we're always told God opens.  Maybe I should think about not showing up on Monday...oh, but I can't miss the complete fall out when my new blogging inspiration gets the news.  (And why didn't he/she have to attend the mandatory meeting?  Hmmmmmmm?  I have my guesses on that one.)

There you have it my friends.  It's not a good list of excuses, but it's mine and I'm standing by it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How did you not fall down more before you hired me?

Hello all!

So I've now been at the new gig 7 days, and I have to ask this question:


Let's just recap what's happened in my first 7 weekdays:

Monday:  First day...was handed a large file of paper and told to schedule plumbing inspections.  Was not told what, exactly, was being inspected, or where the phone numbers for the plumbing inspectors were.  Also, was held responsible for the fact that one of the municipalities had raised their permit fees and therefore permit requests were being returned...slowly.

Tuesday:  Was offered sort of a promotion...since a position just opened up.  No talk of money, but was sent immediately to another desk where the disgruntled employee who was leaving was to train me.

Wednesday:  Learning far more about the New Bossman than I really wanted to.  And not all that jazzed about it.  NBM leaves empty cereal bowl on my desk after he eats his breakfast.  Figuring, since the bowl is sitting next to the plaque that says, "Director of first impressions"  I probably shouldn't have a crusty, milky cereal bowl on my desk, I take it and wash it.  Rest of the office folk scold me for failing the "bowl test."

Thursday:  Really starting to wish people would remember that I have been here four days, not four years.  Find out more interesting info on the Boss...and am starting to think I work in a daycare center, given how much tattling there is in the form of furtive phone calls to Human Resources.  Starting to feel that same heavy feeling when I come home from work.  Oh, and though the new position is triple the responsibility, NBM informs me that my raise will be $1.50 and hour from my previous agreement.  Not sure it's worth it.

Friday:  Can't take the pressure of the hurried training any more.  I can probably do the job, but between NBM's constant pressure to know everything NOW and the rest of the office telling me how awful he is and how hard the job is, I've decided NOT to take the offer.  NBM did not take it well.  Informs me that he knows EVERY ASPECT of the position and that the woman doing the job is simply slacking because she likes to create tension.  Having sat next to this woman for four solid days, I have my doubts...but I don't care.  My soul is worth more than $1.50 an hour...I think.  I feel remarkable happy again, in spite of the fact that NBM, in a hissy fit, drops another file of paper on my desk and says, "Fine, then do this."  Again, no explanation about what I'm supposed to actually do with it...so I sort the papers into a nice alphabetical order and put them in my desk.

Friday PM:  After long talks with NBM, the other woman decides to leave a week early and never return.  She spends an hour on the phone with HR, and then walks out.  She does leave her keys with the other lady in the office (the one who shrieks and cries when she can't figure out something on the computer...which is pretty much every half hour), as well as a note for NBM.

Monday:  Did I mention that the lady who got the note and the keys doesn't come in until 11 AM?  When I arrive at 8 AM, the office is in chaos...and suddenly I am the answer lady.  Turns out, NBM knows NOTHING about the position in question and between him and the production manager, they haven't a clue how to carry out the most basic tasks in the company.  At least the production manager says please and thank you when I am able to help them out. 

Yes, I've been here less than 6 days.

Oh, the office is relocating, and no one seems to know exactly which day we're supposed to show up at the new location.  I ask this question and it turns out that today, Tuesday, I'll be at the old location one more day. Which is funny, since I happen to know that the phones are being switched to the new location today.  NBM also informs me that I'm responsible for packing up and moving my office computer.  Really?  I wasn't aware that I was covered under the insurance policy for broken stuff. 

Also, while there are 7 company cars and vans in the parking lot, apparently not a single one of them is stocked with a pair of jumper cables.  While we in Wisconsin don't worry about dead batteries so much in the summer, jumper cables are something most of us carry in our cars.  However, when I return from my lunch break, sales guy asks if I have jumper cables because his company car is dead.  I do...but seriously?  How did these people manage to stay upright without me?

Bigger question...how do I keep falling into these situations?  Is all of corporate America simply this comical?  Am I being filmed?  Is that Rick Gervaise behind the shop door?  Am I on The Office?

My company picture.  The only on
missing is the woman who weeps
when the computer make her mad.
Finally, today.  As I expected, the phone guy showed up at 8 AM just as it had been mentioned about the office for at least...7 days.  Guess who was COMPLETELY SHOCKED by the news that we were not going to have any phones available to us all day?  If you said New Boss Man, you'd be right.

But the bigger funny, the one that made me run to the bathroom for a private guffaw.  The production manager, you know, the one not allowed to schedule production appointments, was not quite understanding why he couldn't fax something.  The following is a real life conversation between the two men who are now giving me orders:

PM:  I can't fax anything.  I'll bet that's because the phones are out.

NBM:  Why can't you fax anything?

PM:  The phones are disconnected.

NBM:  Why wouldn't you be able to fax anything?

PM:  Isn't the fax line connected to the phones?

NBM:  Oh, that's right.  So....what you're saying is that we can't fax anything?

PM:  I guess not.

I mystified them all by answering a phone call in the middle of this meeting of the brain trust.  Apparently, the phones hadn't quite been turned off.  Here is that conversation:

NBM:  Did you just take a phone call?

NGS  (New Girl Sarah):  Yes.  From one of the sales guys.

NBM:  How did you do that?

NGS (fighting the urge to reply in a smart alecky way):  I guess the phone isn't completely disconnected yet.

Phone Guy (who is about ready to shoot someone in the face):  Okay, all your phones are disconnected.

NBM:  They can't be...she just took a call.

Phone Guy:  Right...and then I disconnected the lines.

NBM:  Then how could she take the call.

NGS:  Excuse me...I'm just going to run to the ladies' room.

It's a real place...and I work there now.  God help us all.
So now we are in our new location.  It's a lovely big top with lots of music and clowns running around.  Me...I'm the bearded fat lady in the corner, taking notes and writing my next novel. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Laundry list Friday: the 5 things in a woman's "survival" kit

Good morning!

So my first week at the new job is in the books.  I got a promotion, a raise, a new office, a whole bucket of interesting office politics, the front seat to what might be a great office war next week, and the knowledge that once the woman I'm replacing leaves, I'll be the only one in the building with the skills to perform certain tasks, all of which are tied to everyone's income.


However, that's not why I'm here today.  Today I want to talk about five things that every woman has.  Maybe she's not even aware of it...the men around her a most definitely not, so this might be instructional for them.  So men, read on!

5 things every woman has, let's call it the "Survival" kit.

5)  Candy/painkillers

Every woman...young, old, rich, poor, does not matter.  Race, religion, orientation, it does not matter.  Every female in the world has ready access to candy, generally chocolate, and painkillers of some kind.

I keep a ready stash of no less than two kinds of Tylenol/Advil sort of knock offs, and I generally have a bottle of Midol...because you never, ever know when someone is going to need that specialized pill. 

As for candy, when my brother presented his new born daughter to me, I held her and said, "I am your aunt Sarah.  I will always have candy in my purse."  And I do.  I, like many women, carry it not so much for my benefit, but for those around me.  You never know when a chocolate craving, bad breath, or a long church sermon are going to strike, so it's good to have something on hand.

The secret, of course, is to NOT get the candy mixed up with the painkillers.  That's why purses have separate pockets.

4)  The ability to carry everyone's crap because we have a purse.

When we were first dating, my husband was perfectly capable of carrying his own crap.  When we got engaged, he started asking me to put his sunglasses in my purse.  When the kids were little, I had the diaper bag.  Once a woman has carried a diaper bag, there's no going back to a tiny purse.  There just isn't.  We were at a really fancy party once...once...and I bought a purse just large enough for my phone, some cash, and my "emergency pad" (see #3)  and hubby hands me his wallet and asks me to carry it.  I don't know why men are unable to handle carrying a wallet.  Seriously, you talk about having everything you need in that wallet...you mock us for dragging a suitcase everywhere.  And yet, ladies, show of hands...how often has your man asked you to carry his wallet in your purse?

Yes, we are all Marry Poppins.
Yes, I'll be right along...just as soon as Mr. Banks collects his wallet, sunglasses, calendar, laptop, cellphone, and lunch from my bag.

Gents, do you know why we will always drag a purse?  It's not for our stuff...IT'S FOR YOUR STUFF!

3)  "Emergency Pads"

While this is self explanatory, to the women, I have to give a basic biology lesson to the men:  Women only really need feminine stuff 5-6 days a month.  However, we typically carry a small stash with us for two reasons

a) the female cycle is a delicate thing and the slightest stress can throw it out of whack, and either speed up the cycle or slow it, making predicting the arrival of the blessed punctuation somewhat an inexact science.

b) of the 6 billion people in the world more than half are women, and more than half of those are women of the punctuation years.  And of those, I've been in the bathroom stall next to at least 5% over the years who have begged me, a complete stranger, for a pad.  The only question I ever have is "Over or under the stall wall dear?  Where shall I toss it?"

When Peaches was 10, thanks to our friends on the TV who ALWAYS must advertise during children's programming, I made sure Peaches had her own emergency stash.  On the first day of 5th grade, one of her friends needed that stash.  While Peaches wouldn't need it for a couple months, she was quite pleased to be able to help.

2)  That thing we can't part with...no matter how...gross.

I have the same comb I've used since I was in 7th grade.  It's big.  It's yellow.  I used to carry it in my back pocket.  I've lost it four times, once it actually was thrown away, picked out of the trash, and put in a lost and found at an office building where I was the cleaner.  It's more than 30 years old, and it's the only comb I will use.

My mother does laundry in the same denim shorts she's worn since high school.

My grandmother wouldn't part with a favorite bra, even when it meant holding it together with safety pins.

We all have that one thing, be it something small, like a comb, or something larger, like a favorite coat or a coffee mug, that no matter how old or out of date it is, we keep it, and we use it all the time.

While this is not necessarily just a female thing to keep that one thing, I think it's very female to keep it in our daily lives year after year.  We draw strength from the stability of that one small thing.

1)  Period pants.

I realize I reference the monthly cycle a lot.  But honestly, this is about women, and the one thing that is so genuinely, completely female is the punctuation.

And to that end, every single woman on this planet has a pair of period pants.  How do I know?  Because all of us have had that "leakage moment" and all of us had had to tie a jacket around our waist at one point or another and we swore, and we hid in the locker room and tried to shut out the taunts and jeers from the evil trolls who pointed and laughed, that we would NEVER EVER wear white pants again.

Now, some of us still have white...or light pants...in their arsenal of clothing.  But every single one of us has that pair of pants that is almost always black, is soft, very comfy, perhaps loose even.  Lots of pockets to discreetly stash emergency pads so that a quick trip to the ladies room isn't even more obvious because we have to drag along a back pack or a purse.

Is she or isn't she?  Maybe, be very nice to her...just in case.  She might give you candy...or a Midol.
Sort of makes you think:  Maybe it's not so much a fashion thing that all women seem to wear these days is black pants.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No, I don't think I have a problem with priorities...

Good morning!

So I started my NEW new job yesterday and I have to say, this one might just be a winner.  Granted, in a week I will have a whole new commute, something I've never ever done before, and granted, I have ZERO freedom on the Internet...also something I've never had before.  Apparently, the new company frowns on playing on Facebook three hours a day! 

However, I will adjust and all will be well.  My goal is, in the next three years, to actually convince the powers that be that I could do the job just as well from home.  Wish me well!  LOL!

Any way, the first day at any job is full of "Wheres."  Things like, "Where do I hang my coat?"  "Where do I sit?"  "Where is the pencil sharpener?"

For me, there are really two big questions:

"Where is the coffee maker?" 

"Where is the bathroom?"

And, to be honest, the second question is really not that important.

No, I do not have an issue with priorities.  I have proved I can make it through a work day without hitting the restroom.  I haven't been so lucky with the coffee thing.

Typically, because I have sort of a social block when it comes to all things restroomy, I don't ask because I do not like to admit I need to use a restroom.  I know.  I'm 43 and I still have this issue.  I sort of hope the restroom will just reveal itself, sort of like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter.  (By the Way...the rest of my family is going to the midnight showing of Harry Potter in two nights. Me...I'm being responsible and going to bed at a normal hour so I'm fresh for work.  Yes, I have grown up!)

SO yesterday I sat at my desk and did the basic, menial tasks I was given because I'm new and what they really need me to do they have to train me to do and no one really has the time to train me.  I guess I'm learning by osmosis...again.  This job almost wins for the least amount of training before I was expected to perform a serious job task.  Twelve minutes.  (The record is when I worked truck unload at Kohl's...forty seconds.  Some guy pointed to a bunch of pallets, rattled off department names, and they started throwing boxes at me.)

By lunch time I was a touch cranky because 1)  I hadn't had second breakfast...and a third shifter typically has, 2) I hadn't had any coffee, and 3)  I still didn't know where the bathroom was.

But it was lunch time.  And the woman with whom I share space comes in at 11...and she informed me she was a rabid coffee drinker.  YAY!  She also informed me that it was time for me to go and eat lunch, where ever i chose to do so.

She did not however, tell me where the restroom was. 

Seriously...did these people use the gas station on the corner?

However, after lunch, while brewing a pot of coffee, I heard the familiar sound of a flush.  I knew then, that there was, indeed, a restroom in the building.  I just had to find it.  Being new, I knew I was being watched from all sides  (I'm not paranoid...I sit in the middle of the office with all the private offices around me.)  So after studying each door in the office, I decided, by process of elimination (no pun intended) that the last door on the right was the room I was looking for.

Two hours later( and three cups of coffee), I got up from my really awful desk chair, and checked. 


I know you're all thinking I'm a little mixed up, but I beg to differ.  My priorities are just fine.  Think about it:  Working 3rd shift, I didn't use the restroom until the third night.  This time around it only took me six hours.

I'm getting better!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Laundry List Friday: 5 things that are "awesome" about cortisone shots

Good morning!

So, as expected, my ortho doc scolded me for my foray into the physical world of 3rd shift work yesterday.  The results are in:  Yes, I messed up my hands more in the short month I was at that position and no, I won't get that damage healed.  Yay me.

Dr. Doogie also reiterated the state of my thumb joints with this succinct statement after looking at my x-rays:  They are just so bad!

So, he gave me a cortisone shot in my right hand, though he really didn't want to have to give me any shots in either hand for at least another 6 months.  But, since the damage and the pain was pretty undeniable...as well as the loss of use (he tested my thumb strength with a cool little thumb pressure machine.  I pretty much have the thumb strength of a newborn and should probably give up everything involving my thumbs.)

That's the spot...sort of.
The thing about getting a cortisone shot is that it's not the quick fix pain kill you'd like it to be. Which brings me to today's list:  5 things that are "awesome" about cortisone shots.

5)  Getting the shot is really more of an art than a science.

Seriously, this is what Dr. Doogie told me yesterday.  In order to give me the shot, he had to locate the joint.  This happens when he tugs on my thumb a few times, and yes, that's good big fun for me.  Then, having located the tiny little joint, he draws a line in pen on the joint line.  THEN he gets the topical antiseptic and anesthetic, the application of which is fairly painful, but nothing compared to getting a 3 inch needle stuck into the most tender part of the aching joint...if you're lucky.  There's a certain amount of twisting and wiggling about before the medicine, which sort of feels like FIRE being injected, actually finds it's point.  And how does Dr. Doogie know when he hit the right spot?  When I howl and suck in my breath.  That's when we know we're in the right spot.

I asked him how he practiced this in med school.  "Cadavers?"  I asked hopefully.  "Not really," says he.  "Sort of just hit and miss practice."

Egads.  Those poor practice patients.

4)  It's surprising just how big the needle hole is.

Needle shown is actual size.
Next time you get an injection for something, take a look at the needle and the injection sight when you're done.  You might be hard pressed to find the needle stick spot.  Not me.  Upon withdrawal, the needle leaves a big, gaping hole... sort of awesome, if you think about it.  I mean, talk about your basic puncture wounds.  I only wish Dr. Doogie would use cooler band aids.  I  mean, Peaches got a booster yesterday, and she got a Snoopy band aid from her peds doc.  You'd think someone as young as Dr. Doogie would at least have a Powerpuff girls band aid lying around or something.

3)  The real pain doesn't start for 3-4 hours.

Yeah, getting a cortisone shot isn't like inhaling chloroform.  There's a certain amount of tenderness for a couple hours, followed by blinding pain and complete loss of the affected body part for about 8 hours. 

Contemplate for a moment, just how much you use your hand, especially your dominant hand, in the course of even the quietest of evenings.  Change your clothes?  Use the rest room?  Take a phone call?  Change the channel on your TV?  Trying doing it with the opposite hand, or one handed.  Oh, and be sure to have someone bash your hand with a hammer ever time you move it.

Gooooooooood big fun!

2)  My hand isn't fat...it's swollen, swollen with cortisoney goodness.

Fluffy girls sometimes have random, fairly thin body parts despite the fact they are fluffy.  For me, my hands  (not my fingers...I have large fingers) are very small and trim.  Except after a cortisone shot when the medicine actually sort of just sits there for a few hours before dispersing.  It's an attractive look, I promise you!

1)  I won't be able to ride in the Tour de France.

Who's not in this picture?  I'm not!  Why?  Cortisone shots!
Hubby and I are fans of the Tour, currently running right now.  22 days of super skinny guys riding endlessly on bikes through gorgeous French countryside...and then getting tested for drugs twice a day.  And guess what...my cursed thumbs are going to keep me out of this great race.

Yes, that's the reason I'm not training for the Tour.  That's the ONLY reason!  Darn cortisone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The bare minimum in fashion sense...

Hello all!

I didn't think I really had to go over this topic...again...but after hitting Summerfest with Peaches last weekend, I guess I do. (And if you can't get to Summerfest, just go someplace where there are large groups of people outside for long periods of time.  You will see what I mean.) So here we go:

Ladies, and this is addresses specifically to the ladies, not that it's gross or anything, but because men's fashion is so completely basic I do not need to discuss it,  (For those of you unsure...pants and shirt.  Period.  End of discussion.  Shorts, if you must, but shorts that skim the knee.  No higher...no lower.  No Man-pri s.  Pants, shirt.)

Anyway, ladies, I've recently been spying with my little eyes a number of women who plainly need to be reminded of the bare minimum rules of fashion.  As most of you know, I've long said, "Just because they make a size 22 bikini, does not mean you should WEAR a size 22 bikini."  Indeed, as a size 16 girl, my own swimsuit has more coverage than most of Britney Spears' complete outfits.

So I've come up with a few minimum guidelines that we should all follow, if for no other reason than to avoid being put in blogs like this!

1)  It is NEVER okay for a woman over the age of 35 to expose any part of her underwear.  This goes double for women who have their children with them, and triple for women who are a bit fluffy.

I'm not that old, but when I was a kid I would have been mortified to show any tiny bit of my bra strap to the world.  Now, Peaches wears tank tops and sport bras layered.  That's fine for Peaches, she's 14, fit, and dresses in an age appropriate manner.  But for the rest of the over 35 planet, let's just bear this in mind:  Those Playtex super support straps are not sexy, and no one wants to see that much industrial construction at work.  If you MUST wear a tank top, ladies, and if you are slender, find a bra that goes with the top you're wearing.  Be classy.  You're not a kid anymore.

Fluffy girls...sorry.  For those more bosomy, the tank top is, frankly, a fashion no-no under the bare minimum rules.  I know it's hot outside, but you are not able to go without support  (and you know you're not, don't try it) and bra straps on a big girl are not sexy.  Take it from me, your resident big girl...they are not!

Oh, and as a side note...the strapless top with the bra under it?  YIKES!  This is NOT an acceptable way around the tank top issue.

2)  Minis have an expiration date.

Ladies, we all want to look young.  BUT, there comes a time in every woman's life when you have to realize you are too old or too big for an outfit.

Mini skirts.  Anyone over the age of 35 should NOT be wearing a mini skirt.  Period.  Thank you for playing.  Don't even ask again.  That number goes down a year for every 10 pounds you are overweight.  At Summerfest Peaches and I witnesses a fairly young woman, probably in the late 20's area of life, dressed in a white cut off denim skirt.  Now, this would have been okay if a)  she weren't 100 pounds overweight and b) when she sat down we didn't get an awesome view of her granny panties waistband, which also covered her lower back tattoo.
(Don't even get me going on those.  The answer is NO...never...ever.)

Flirty mini skirts LOSE when in battle with round cheeks and rough dancing.

What we see in the photo above are two women...well beyond the 40 mark in age, wearing wildly inappropriate clothing.  Yes, they are at a rock concert.  Yes, they are dancing on top of a picnic table.  And no, the older woman is NOT wearing any sort of support.  Is this the picture we want to present to the outside world my friends?  I think not.

3)  And talking about support...

Ladies, wearing a bra is a MUST if you are a) over that magic age of 35  b) mother to more than two children  OR are a c)  are a B cup or larger.  And I do not CARE how perky you think you are...or how awesome that tiny little tank or strapless top might seem at the start of the day.  By the end of any given day outside, your boobs, much like your hair and your make up, are going to sag and the results are simply NOT going to be good. 

As for those of you with "enhanced" assets.  Let me just say this:  While at Summerfest, Peaches and I were able to take in a young band called Last Page.  I enjoy watching the up and coming bands...they have a lot to prove and generally put on a good show.  This band was made up of teens 13-17 who did reasonably good covers of some of my favorite 80's bands.  I enjoyed them thoroughly.

I was not, however, as appreciative as the woman in front of me who a) had been drinking for at least four hours and 2) was quite proud of her perfect, post op assets.  (As was her equally inebriated male partner.)  I'm not saying the dress she had on was low cut.  I'm saying that had she, at her age of a very nicely surgically preserved 55, bounced up and down one more time, those torpedoes would have been released to seek a target.  She was a very pretty older woman who made a very BIG impression on the rest of the crowd, mostly made up of the mothers of the band and teen girls.

In short...as much as we put emphasis on all glands mammary in nature...no one actually wants to see one come flying out on its own.  Real life is NOT a Def Leppard video, and 99% of us need the friendly confines of a good bra to keep things pointed in the right direction.

4)  So you've followed all the rules, there's just one more:  LOOK IN A MIRROR.

You've got the concert T on...which means you can wear your good bra.  You're wearing flat sandals, so you won't fall off the stilettos you were thinking of wearing.  And you have a skirt that offers max coverage.  Well done.

Now, look in the mirror.  What does the whole outfit say to you?

I only wish you could see how this skirt sparkled in the sun!

The over all effect should not be one that makes people stop drinking their beer to stare at you.  A bare minimum rule of thumb:  Dress for comfort...dress for the event...dress to blend.   Follow that, and you won't find yourself in my blog!  EVER!

Finally, my friends, a little math for you.  Not sure just how bare you can be this summer, say on the beach or at a concert?  I find this equation to be very helpful when I'm picking out an outfit:

Your age  +  the number of pounds overweight you are = how many extra inches of material you should add to that saucy little outfit you're thinking of wearing.

I find wearing a snuggy generally fits the fill in my case.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Laundry List Friday: Five things I will and won't miss about working nights

Good afternoon!

As many of you know, my run as a third shifter is quickly coming to an end.  To honor this past month, I wanted to give you the five things I will (and won't) miss about working during the witching hour and beyond.

5)  Time to make the donuts.

Who says you can't make use of an art degree these days?
There's something satisfying about filling an entire bakery case with donuts you've thawed and frosted all on your own.  Hundreds of donuts...all lovingly hand decorated by you.

Then again...hundreds of donuts, not a won you're allowed to eat, and let's not forget...I fail at getting the sprinkles actually ON the donuts.  I get more on the floor.  This should not befuddle me.  I have little or no artistic talent, and my aim, for those of you who haven't seen me play basketball, isn't good.

4)  Scent of a woman.

Night time brings on different scents.  People coming home from work smell like the work they do.  I've met a lot of delicious smelling restaurant workers over the past month.  Is it weird to sniff someone as you're taking their money for their coffee, donuts, and gas?

Then again...in spite of the fact that I'm endlessly washing dishes and washing my hands I will NOT miss coming home and smelling like I've spent all night shoveling coal in the engines of the Titanic.   

3)  Feed the world.

I'm a nurturer.  Ask my kids' friends...I have fed half of Waukesha's children at least once in the past 18 years.  I love making food...albeit quick food that doesn't take any actual culinary talent to make...for people.

Andrew Zimmern never braved this weird food!
Then again...when I'm making burgers and burritos at 3 AM for stoners who simply WILL NOT GO HOME, I get a little irritated.  Yes, I hate throwing food away, but seriously...must you buy all six of the pizza slices I made before I even get them set in the hot spot?  Can't I get a bit of  a break?  SERIOUSLY?  WHO IS BUYING BURGERS FROM A GAS STATION AT 4 in the MORNING?

2)  Regulars.

I love coming across the odd person.  The quirky, the unusual, the unglamorous all fascinate me, and this job was full of that.  (Oh, and I am almost fluent in "Cigarette" now.   Yay me!)

Let's just say, this job was TOO full of quirky.  To quote Jack Nicholson from "As Good as it Gets" ...one of my favorite movie quotes:  Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here. (And you'll most likely find it in aisle three next to the newspapers and motor oil.)

1)  Co-workers.

I really liked the people I shared the night with.  I didn't have much in common with them, other than the need to make some money, but I liked those two...let's call them Matt and Gina.  You couldn't find two more different people, yet they got along great and accepted me into their little, odd, family.

And oddly enough, I have nothing negative to say about anyone else. 

So, after Sunday night I have a few days to recuperate, get a cortisone shot in my hands, and get back on a normal schedule.  Then, my new career begins.

I'm hoping it lasts longer than 30 days.

At Least the Creative Spark isn't Dead.

Good day. So for a little more than a week I've been battling my usual summer cough that turns into a sore throat.  Every year I g...