I feel the need

I feel the need

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baseball as explained by Noelle C.

Good morning!

I've been absent from the blog much this month because 1)  I'm racing to get "Fresh Ice" to the second to last stage of publishing and 2)  nothing all the funny has happened to me lately.  I realized this week that NBM is pretty much a horrible human being when it comes to having human emotions like empathy or tolerance of those he imagines are weaker than he.  Case in point:  Three of us at work are in physical therapy.  Two are guys who got hurt on the job.  The other is me.  One of the guys is still able to do his job, but he has to go to PT a couple times a week after he gets his job done.  The other is on very restricted work and has more PT.  He injured his back, and it's painful to watch him walk, but since this has been going on for several weeks, NBM has taken it upon himself to make like miserable for the poor guy.  See, NBM pictures this guy as weak, since he can't suck it up and do his work.  Of course, I don't see NBM picking up anything heavier than his cereal bowl in the course of a day and he almost never interacts with anyone outside the office.  (So when he spread his death cold all the way across the company, and then mocked everyone who had to miss work because we weren't strong enough to 'suck it up' that's when I realized just how horrible he is.)

Anyway, I'm not here to list the reasons I once again believe my boss is the spawn of Satan.  That's the plot for another book down the road.  No, today I'm going to tell you the story of how and why Noelle C absorbed a baseball game.

A few weeks ago, we got a very nice letter from a customer who happened to work for the Milwaukee Brewers.  The letter detailed how Noelle C, The guy who is on restrictions at work, and I all teamed up to give this man great customer service.

It wasn't a letter we get very often.  Fortunately for me, I open all the mail, so I not only got to read the letter right away, I also noted that the customer had given Noelle C, the guy on restrictions, and me two tickets to an upcoming baseball game.

Since the letter was addressed to PM, I put it on his desk, but I knew exactly how this was going to play out.

See, NBM is a HUGE Brewers fan.  HUGE.  Me, I can take it or leave it, but I do enjoy a day at the ballpark.  Noelle C isn't what you'd call...aware of sports.  And Restrictions Guy, well I'm sure he'd enjoy a day at the ball park too.

A couple days after the letter arrived, NBM was rustling through PM's desk, because that's what he does to everyone's desk, he rustles, he messes up whatever he can, and then he "cleans" the desk by shoving all visible piles into  drawer.  He asks me if I'm a Brewers fan. 

Now, we all know what this means.  This means he saw the tickets, and realizes that I'm not quite the idiot he thinks I am, that I've read the letter and that I know exactly who should be getting these tickets.  I sat YES, I am.  (Well, I might not be, but I have friends who are.)  So he grudgingly hands me my two tickets.

A couple days after that, Restrictions guy comes in to the office and asks if there's a letter mentioning him.  (See, NBM tries his very, very best to keep all the employees from having conversations without him in the room.  But more on that later.)  I felt horrible, hearing this, because then I knew NBM was trying to snag the tickets from Noelle C and Restrictions guy without ever telling them about the letter.  And since he monitors every word I say to everyone at work, there was little chance I was going to blow the whistle.

Yep, there was a letter saying nice things.  Restrictions Guy pointed out that it was sort of shabby  (he didn't say shabby)  that he had to go looking for compliments when NBM took everyone opportunity to howl at him about any little thing he does wrong.

I'm not sure NBM mentioned the tickets.  Although he did post the letter on the bulletin board, buried under of bunch of negative letters, so maybe Restrictions Guy got his tickets.

Meanwhile, NBM MUST have said something to Noelle C about the tickets because Thursday Noelle C was all a twitter  (have I mentioned she's in love with him?  Oh yeah, Elsie W wasn't right about much, but she was spot on about that one.)  and came fluttering into his office to talk about baseball.

Now, Noelle C is in her fifties.  She's lived in the US her entire life.  I'm not a huge baseball fan  (American football, hockey, and figure skating are more my thing) but even I can decipher the mysteries of OUR NATIONAL FREAKING PASS TIME. I mean, how can you miss the basic points of the game with so many great baseball movies out there? 

Oh, wait, Noelle C also doesn't watch TV or movies...or read books except for the Bible and my books.  (Makes you wonder what exactly she does with her free time, doesn't it?)

Here are Noelle C's comments on what I can only assume was her very first baseball viewing experience.

"Oh NBM,"  she says in a breathy voice one normally hears only in melodramas, "I tried so very hard to watch the game, but there was just too much action happening."

(Side note:  Has anyone watched a baseball game?  There are whole stretches of the game that feel like they are in slow motion.  Even the biggest play of all, the home run, is not as fast paced as, say,  a time out in American Football.)

(Side note:  That's called the PITCHER!)

"And you know what?  All he did the whole game was throw the ball and catch the ball and throw the ball and catch the ball."

(Side note:  Yes, that's called PITCHING, and it's sort of the big part of the three main pieces of baseball.  Throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball.)
Then, she says this:  "I just can't believe they pay anyone millions of dollars to just throw the ball and catch the ball.  I mean, that's all he did, and he wasn't all that great at it I don't think because not too many guys could hit the ball when he threw it."     Yep, that's what she said.  Have I mentioned she makes $2 an HOUR more than I do and, not unlike Elsie W, she pretty much STINKS at her job?  (Yep, once again, I'm working for two.)  And she's confused about how a top notch baseball player makes so much money?  Sweetie, I ask myself that question about YOU every single day.  I know she figured she'd get to first base with NBM  (see what I did there with that reference?)  but the man, while he's very good at stringing her along, suffers no idiots when it comes to sports.  I'm pretty sure he's hoping I show up at the game and not her because I listen to sports talk radio all day long.
Hate to disappoint, but I am definitely NOT going to the ball game.  Hubby says they are work tickets, I should give them to someone at work.  Thing is, except for NBM and Noelle C, I really like everyone at work, and why would I make a work, friend sit next to the two reasons my work like stinks?  My plan is to give them to a friend who loves the Brewers and doesn't know my coworkers. Because anyone else is going to have to explain the finer points of the game over and over to her....you know, like why one guy gets only three pitches and one guy gets way more.   I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Enjoy George Carlin:  The late, great master of humor, as he discusses the differences between Baseball and American Football.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Broccoli Conspiracy.

Good evening.

So, many of you have been following my diet foibles up and down.  Believe me, I've done them  all, and I've even invented a few of my own.  My most successful was replacing any dessert with baby food dessert.  I loved the stuff, and I lost weight.  Don't bother trying that diet anymore, however.  The do-gooder nutrition watch dogs that suck the fun out of pretty much everything decided that babies didn't NEED desserts and therefore it is impossible to find Blueberry Buckle, Apricot, and Peaches.  Oh,you might find peaches, but they are watery, with no thick, lovely pie filling feel to them.  Blech.

That got me to thinking about the major diets that are out there and I was horrified to uncover what I believe it the biggest, most dangerous conspiracy since, well, I just say it, since the early nineties when BIG FLANNEL got it's comfy deep fingers into the style minds of everyone.  We spent the better part of a decade all looking like sad, unwashed lumberjacks.

Let me lay out the facts and see if you can draw the same conclusions:

Atkins diet:  Leave carbs alone completely.  Eat only protein products, NO CARBS....for the LOVE OF GOD....NO CARBS. 

If you must eat something that isn't animal flesh...have a spear of broccoli.

Low carb diets.  (Ideal for diabetics)  very low carbs.  Breads, sugars, most fruits, pasta, all pretty much off the list as well as corn, peas, and carrots.  If you want something snappy, try some broccoli.

Vegetarian:  No animal flesh.  Milk and dairy is okay.  Oh, you know what tastes really good with cheese sauce?  Broccoli.

Vegan:  No animal, no milk, no cheese, we're a bit iffy on cruelty to plants in some cases, but hey, eat all the broccoli you want.

Weight watchers:  Big news!  Fruit is zero points now!  Hey, know what's ALWAYS BEEN ZERO POINTS?  Broccoli.

Go to a restaurant.  Order a steak.  They always bring it with a side of vegetables.  Know what that vegetable always is????????????

And it's not just eating...oh no.  President George Herbert Walker Bush  (Bush Senior  in case you're unclear)  expressed a distaste for broccoli.  He was a one term president.

No big deal you say?  Let's look at those who followed:

Clinton:  WAS IMPEACHED for lying under oath, served two terms.

Bush Junior:  Pretty much lost both elections, sort of (American politics make so much sense until you get to that Electoral College business.)  served two terms.

Obama:  Well, it doesn't look good.  The economy's in the dumper, the national debt is worse than my Kohl's bill, and let's face it, he's riled up the old folks, and that's never good.  They've got nothing but to time express why they're unhappy.  BUT, he's never said anything negative about broccoli, has he?

Nope, Big Broccoli has us all by the florets.  I can't say anymore.  If this blog vanishes over night...I was clearly murdered by broccoli!
Who can forget this classic tune from Dana Carvey singing about Broccoli?  By the way, has anyone SEEN Dana Carvey lately?  Ponder that...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sarah's Olympics!

Good morning!

I can't believe it, but the 2012 London Olympics are very nearly over.  It seems like not a minute ago we were watching Queen Elizabeth parachute out of a helicopter and Mr. Bean play "Chariots of Fire."

While watching more than my fair share of coverage, I couldn't help but note that there's a group very under represented in any and all Olympic events.  We have the Olympics, where the super fit able bodied compete.  We have the Para Olympics, where the super fit not quite as able bodied compete.  But there's another section of the population that could, and probably should, get up and compete in, well, something.

Ladies and Gents:  I give you, the Sarah Olympics!

And Sarah in Lane 3 has just drowned
in the first 50 meters.
The Sarah Olympics are for the not at all fit.  These are contests where people like me rise up from their couches and their bags of Frito's and compete in athletic events for which they have no training or measurable ability.  I got the idea last when while watching swimming with my friend, Marie, and her husband, Dave.    It was one of those backstroke races and you know how they have to enter the water by sort of diving backwards underwater? Well, Dave and I both agreed that if real people were in the Olympics, at least one of those swimmers would start the race but never surface, having inhaled a noseful of pool water.

Thus an idea was born, an idea that developed then with the help of Hubby, who suggested that events for the former couch huggers be assigned according to a draw from a hat. 

Yeah, she's crying.  BUT
she managed to do 90%
of her routine perfectly.
Picture Gymnastics.  I mean, we couch sitters are pretty rough on these tiny, starved, mutant teens who can do flips and vaults, and fly from bars and seem to have no human sense of pain.  Yet have one of them fall off the balance beam while doing some sort of triple somersault flip spread eagle move and we all yell at our TV, "You are terrible!"

Until, in the Sarah Olympics, one of us draws balance beam from a hat...and the gold medal winner will be the one who is able to make it from one end of the beam to the other without falling.  Granted, we wouldn't look at miserable as the Russian Gymnasts who sobbed their way through these games.  But then, in the Sarah Olympics, we're getting people off their couches...not out of gyms where they've trained for 80% of their lives for this one huge moment.

Anything involving the word "bars" would be right out for me.  The last time I had to hold my body weight up or pull it up on a bar, was the President's Physical fitness test in high school.  They had me stand on a chair, and get my head and shoulders above a high bar.  The idea was for me to hold myself in that position, once they removed the chair.

They couldn't get the stop watch started fast enough.  I believe I clocked a 2 second hold.  I wasn't the worst in my class...there was one girl who fell to the floor before they turned on the stop watch.

Now I'm not suggesting we put in the games that everyone plays.  In the Sarah Olympics there would be no Table Tennis, Badminton, Basketball, Soccer, or Tennis.  Basically, if I've played it and managed to be on a winning team at any point, it's not an Olympic sport.  Granted, the athletes in those events have taken backyard fun to a whole new level, but still, if a couch sitter CAN do it, then it shouldn't be an Olympic event.

She finished ahead of 7 other runners.
Distance running has always been a fascination of mine.  True, it's dull as toast to watch on television, but I'm in awe of anyone who can run more than nine feet.  One of the most enduring Olympic images in my brain is from the 1984 Los Angeles games when Swiss marathon runner Gabriela Andersen-Schiess staggered into the arena.  It was clear there was something very, very, very wrong with her.  Severe heat stroke had pretty much paralyzed half her body but she waved away medical personnel and finished with a time that would, in the first five Olympics, won her a gold medal. 
This year's gold medalist made it
500 yards before collapsing.  It's a
Sarah Olympics record!

In the Sarah Olympics, the marathon would look a little more like the "Bring out Your Dead" scene in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.  Someone with a cart just follows the runners around, picking up the ones who have fallen.  Gold medal goes to the person who completes the most in the 26.2 mile race.

Bronze medal.
Another event that fascinates me is diving.  I got pulled into diving big time.  I love the water, and I don't mind heights so much.  But put the two together, and then make people twist and turn and swing around in the air before hitting the water, and I'm hooked.  Of course, the Sarah Olympics would look a bit less like the current Olympics, and a bit more like a Mr. Bean sketch from years ago.
Gold medal.
Silver medal

I love the idea of track and field events in the Sarah Olympics.  The Shot Put competition would be measured in inches...and I have a feeling the bronze medalist wouldn't have to do much more than actually pick up that big honking ball.

(Check this video!)
Hurdles.  Yeah, I did a hurdles unit in gym class in college.  I liked the hurdles.  See, what I did was made sure I had the hurdles on the very end.  Then I'd run up to the hurdle, and run around it. In the Sarah Olympics, the hurdles competition would just be a mess.  The track would look like Christmas Day in a house where everyone got Tinker Toys.  High jump, long jump, triple jump.  All measured in inches, not feet or meters. Weight lifting?  Sure...I could probably lift that bar thing that holds the weights.  In the Sarah Olympics that might be enough for a bronze. So as you're enjoying the final moments of the Olympics, and if you check out the Para Olympics, which are coming up in the next couple weeks, think about this.  How would YOU do, if you competed in the Sarah Olympics?
A final video for your amusement!

Fun Fact Friday: Now that it's dead, Sarah reveals a childhood dream.

Happy Friday all! What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why....