Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"everyone needs a mental health day"

generally speaking, these are not words that you want your boss to say to you.

the rain has made me, and probably everyone around our state, a little soggy. so when my boss asked me if i was feeling okay, and then suggested that i take friday off, saying "everyone needs a mental health day" it was enough to make me think - heh.

that's .. not so good. i mean. am i publicly losing my grip on my mental health?

or maybe i'm just getting a well-deserved nod for dedicating all of my time to work, and no time for blogging. whatever the reason, i'm psyched for an upcoming four day weekend.

we were discussing at lunch today the genius of both "the office" and "officespace." of course, having worked (and still am) in an environment so closely related to both, i can appreciate the true genius of these programs. like for instance, i work for a consultant now. at least i think. she's kind of inbetweenish, but she refers to me as her staff. which is, a little officespace like.

"so, what do you do here?"

"um, well i run these tps reports..."

it's all a little surreal, but what office is complete without a characture of michael scott (we have one -- he's bald, sticks his chest out often and sends condescending emails saying 'good job' and assigns the entire company tasks to do, although no one actually works for him)? or the crazy woman who has 10 cats and has kitty mugs and calendars all over her desk?

or the younger woman who wears skin tight outfits and has 8 inch nails and asks every one who comes in for an interview if they're nervous. which is usually fine, except that it's not a question an MBA with 15 years of management experience typically expects to hear.

there's also the jargonites -- those that latch on to the latest buzzwords and repeat them ad nauseam. there are some phrases and words that make me throwup in my mouth. one such word is "synergy."


Friday, August 25, 2006

My tiny thumbs ruled out hitchhiking home...

My plan for yesterday: Get out of the house early sporting a sassy hairstyle to drive an hour and take care of some work for the radio station. Then leave there and book back an hour to arrive at work at an acceptable hour. Work like a madwoman and go home with a sense of accomplishment.
What actually happened: The plan began to fall apart the night before when the Pretend Husband went to play poker with friends and I discovered that I can’t fall asleep (at least not easily) without him next to me. So I ended up still being awake when he got home around 12:30 a.m. and we then, of course, had to talk for an hour to catch up on our days.
About five hours after we finally went to sleep, the alarm blared us awake. Skipping the sassy hairstyle in favor of not taking the time to shower (thus hopefully leading to me getting to work that much earlier and being that much more productive), I went with an experimental “no bangs” look (as in, “Look at my sixhead. It’s not a forehead, not a fivehead, but a sixhead! It’s huge!”)
Anyway, I hit traffic on my way to the radio station, but still felt like I had the time to stop for gas (good thing, since I wouldn’t have actually made it without the fill-up) and get there. Everything was peachy… until I tried to turn into the parking lot of the radio station and my car died.
When I say died, I mean the engine sputtered, all the dashboard lights came on and the power steering locked up so I had no control over the car other than bringing it to a stop in whatever direction the wheel was stuck in. Still in the street, I tried to get the engine started. After a few attempts, I got the car to start long enough to get it into a parking spot, where it died again.
This is where I’d like to take a moment to point out just how unfair this situation is. I mean, I take my car in for regular tune-ups and oil changes, I try not to drive like a maniac and make her do things she doesn’t want to do and I even sometimes treat her to a wash and wax. I don’t expect much in return– just her to get me where I need to go as fast as I need to get there and not strand me in another state. She was definitely not holding up her end of this bargain!
Luckily, there was a garage right next to the station and although it specialized in tire rotation and oil changes rather than fuel system repair (it’s all cars to me), they were kind enough to tromp over to the parking lot where my car sat forlornly and try to diagnose the problem. I was actually the one to come up with what happened and surmised that the batch of gasoline I had put in the car five miles before was a bad one.
To make this long story (kind of) short, the kids from the repair place put in some sort of solution that sucked the water out of the gasoline, had fun burning out my clutch while driving around the parking lot for 20 minutes to get the stuff through the system and only charged me $1.50 for all their fun.
And, although I was much later for work than I had intended to be, at least I got there in my own car, which is running just fine now. I never quite achieved that sense of accomplishment, but I may have found a new hairstyle, so I’d say it all evened out in the end.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How we knew the neighborhood was not for us...

We’ve been house hunting lately… with some very mixed results. Having spent time going through two homes so mildewed and moldy, we would taste it for the next three hours, we were pleasantly surprised to find an almost-brand-new home in our price range. The house is only 9 years old and everything in it is new because the owners bought it from a foreclosure and fixed everything (which they had to do after the owners who were being foreclosed on sprayed food coloring everywhere… “Honey, I can’t find the markers or paint with which to ruin this beautiful house. Let’s search the kitchen for instruments of destruction. Potato peeler? Not going to work. Turkey baster? Nope. Can of whipped cream? Not destructive enough. Food coloring? Bingo! Now stand back while I ruin this entire three foot space with this tiny bottle of red!”
Anyway, beautiful house, nice views of a nearby lake, pretty big yard… not such a great neighborhood. Our first clue was the large group of people gathered in front of a home, not to barbecue, not to play Flashlight Tag, but to watch two guys tar a driveway. I’m not kidding when I say a quarter of the neighborhood had turned out for the big event. One woman had even set up a lawn chair in the yard to watch the festivities.
We’ve always mocked this area for having the kind of people who… are hicks, maybe have a set of teeth between them, could give the “Deliverance” actors a few tips… But I was giving it a chance and figured I might be able to overlook the crummy surroundings if I kept busy filling three bedrooms with belongings, throwing barbecues and finishing the den in the basement. Of course, I realized everything I was dreaming of would have kept me inside for however long we lived there… and what’s the point of living near a lake if you’re not going to step outside to enjoy it?
So we’re waiting to hear if our offer is accepted. Just kidding… we’ve moved on in our search. My dad has advised us to not worry so much about what we can afford and instead find something we really want (“Creative financing, KAT, creative financing.” I hope his creativity doesn’t require any actual money since we don’t really have any) We’re now in the market for 3,000 square foot houses with hot tubs, in-ground pools, stables for the horses we’re sure to have (through more “creative financing,” of course) and servants’ quarters for the live-in help. Of course you’ll be invited to the housewarming– and bring cash!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Maybe I can borrow some teething rings from my nephews...

Yesterday, armed with a maglite longer than my arm, a mirror the size of a compact and with the help of Bailey's nose, I made a discovery.

I appear to be teething. There is a small tooth like bump appearing where i'm not supposed to have any teeth.

I've had my wisdom teeth removed -- twice in fact. The first time it left me with no feeling on parts of my lips and chin.

The second time, it seemed to go okay, but now, I've made the discovery that it's possible that he didn't get it all.

Is it possible, you think, to have five wisdom teeth? or do you think he maybe... missed a spot? which leads me to wonder if maybe i shouldn't be going back for the THIRD time to the same doctor. but, i figure, he messed it up, he can fix it. besides, he actually called me at home after my first surgery to make sure i was okay. that's nice bedside manner, calling your patients on a friday night at 8 p.m.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I figure this is good practice for having a teenager.

The Peekapoo is mad at me. Noticing her gnawing at her stomach yesterday, we decided to take her to the vet to have the site of the incision from her spay checked out (and I left work early to do that for you, missy!) It turns out there may be an infection at the spot and she needs both antibiotics taken orally (thank goodness for peanut butter! I could feed her anything as long as it was covered in peanut butter!) and an ointment that has to be applied to her belly.
That’s where the fun began. I think the ointment must make the spot either itch or burn and she doesn’t like it at all. Enter the newest fashion accessory for all hip, sick dogs… the lampshade collar. Our little lady is sporting the latest in plastic neckwear… at least for as long as I can take her sad stare in my direction before I crack my resolve and remove it.
I can only imagine what poor Molly is thinking when put her into this contraption. I think she must feel like she’s been placed in a small plastic room because that’s all she can see out of her peripheral vision. To escape the room, she either makes a mad dash to get out of it… or sits as still as possible until I arrive to release her from it.
Both options are of kind of disconcerting. It breaks my heart to have her run away from me as fast as her furry legs will carry. It’s also kind of eerie to have her stand next to me on the couch for 20 minutes and not move a muscle. And I do feel a little guilty for laughing every time she whacks the shade on the doorjamb.
It’s going to be an interesting time in our house for the next week or so. Of course I took photos of Molly looking forlorn in her new hat, but they haven’t been developed yet. I think I’ll cut her a little slack and post one of the ones from after her recent haircut. Just imagine this puss glaring at you from inside a giant plastic lampshade.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why my boyfriend never takes me out in public...

I feel like I took a huge test last night and am happy to report I passed with flying colors (well, as long as I’m allowed to evaluate myself, I might as well give myself an A+, right?) The test was a dinner with the attorneys from the Pretend Husband’s law firm and their significant others.
I was warned on the way over to the country club where it was held that I shouldn’t do a lot of speaking. The PH was concerned about his coworkers knowing too much about his personal life and was understandably worried about what kind of stories I might tell (“Has the PH ever told you about the time he was mad at me for breaking our naked-in-bed rule and retaliated by wearing a wool sweater and sleeping on the floor? No? Here’s what happened…”)
I sort of felt like a trophy wife sitting there beautifully and quietly supporting my husband while life went on around me. There was a slow start to the dinner. We arrived at the same time as the firm’s newest attorney and his fiancée. The first 20 minutes of the evening were spent listing to the fiancée describe all of their wedding plans and brag about her job as a very important senior managing paralegal at another firm. (“Last summer, I had a lot of time to walk around the city because I had been working on a billion-dollar case that settled.”) It took only a few minutes before I wasn’t a fan of the fiancée, but I was worried because she definitely kicked my butt in the “first impressions” category. At least she was interesting… while I sat there quietly supporting my hubby.
The dinner went on and the partners started asking the PH about all sorts of things he apparently once shared with them and then forgot about. While I was changing all my answers to make it seem like we’re not “living in sin” (because Lil-Miss-Perfect and her fiancé are not, of course), it turns out everyone already knew we live together and don’t really care that we do. The evening became more raucous (coincidentally, it occurred at about the same rate as the growth of our bar bill) and I finally got to be myself.
The Important Paralegal Fiancée seemed to bow out of the competition early (I think having to tote around the huge rock on her finger must have tired her out…) and stayed quiet for the rest of the meal while I stepped up to entertain the troops.
Once they hit on the topic of our cutie Peekapoo, Molly, it was fair game. When they mocked the PH for having a fluffy, little designer dog, I only added to their amusement when I commented, “I wanted a German Shepherd.” (It was purely for the comedic value of course, because I love my little puppy with the big underbite).
I also told the story of our crazy neighbor (the woman once asked if it would be OK with me if she kept a horse on her property… all quarter-acre of it… in the city!). The neighbor who thought it was cute that our names are extremely similar (think “Pat and Patricia”). The next time I met her, she said, “What are your names again? I know it’s something really easy to remember. Is it Frank and Jennifer?”
In any case, I left them laughing while the Fiancée sort of slunk out the door. And the PH was fine with all of the stories I told, other than threatening to tell Molly about my wanting a German Shepherd instead (Molly, if you’re reading this, I swear I was just kidding!) All I can say is, bring on the company Christmas party!

there's just nothing funny going on

sorry -- that's my excuse. i can try and recap though and maybe make my life seem more exciting and funny than it's been. but truthfully, i haven't been to any showers, witnessed any car accidents or anything that makes for juicy blogging.

but i did go to my gynecologist. (she says hi!) not so exciting, but it was pretty funny when i came in late that morning to work. the conversation i had with a guy i work with was kind of funny.

him: hey- how is everything? you were at the doctor?
me: um. okay?
him: did they do anything painful?
me: err... (Mental thought: does he realize what kind of doctor i went to see? i mean, that pap is a little tough to take...)
him: is it still bothering you?
me: OH! um. this wasn't for my neck.

it's really, really funny to watch a red-headed man blush.

but other than that little incident, the life of sj has been a little quiet, and a little boring outside of work. i should have some stuff next week when my husband braves the midwest for a fun and exciting trip to wisconsin.

stay tuned!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Maybe I should stick to editing...

There once was a girl named SJ
Who used to have things to say.
But her boss is uptight
She’s too busy to write
Though we hope she will post someday.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I can't seem to stop 'showering'

This weekend, I attended another bridal shower (surprise, surprise, huh? Apparently, this is a side effect of getting invited to so many weddings, which is a side effect of being so damned popular). One good thing about it was the lack of anticipation (and I’m sure the PH appreciated the lack of whining, “I don’t wanna go!” for a month beforehand). But the reason for this? Because they forgot about me. Apparently, the invitations went out weeks ago… to everybody else. The personal phone call four days before the shower was reserved just for me.
Of course, the bridesmaid who called was beyond apologetic and I realize how something like this happens (and am trying not to take it personally), but it did limit the gift options significantly. I had almost decided to go against every fiber of my being and just buy something straight off the registry. Then I heard the bride-to-be’s voice in my head exclaiming, “Oh my gosh, you’re so creative” every time she opens a gift from me. It’s a lot to live up to.
Two trips to Target and one to Home Goods for Pyrex bake ware, wooden spoons, whisks and kitchen-y stuff like that later (I got myself a purse because I still like to think about me even when other people forget…), I was good to go with a fairly creative gift, if I say so myself. It was a baking-themed gift that included the Pyrex stuff off the bride’s registry, a mix for apple crisp, wooden spoons, a whisk and a trivet. And it was all wrapped inside one of those fabric-covered boxes with the best white bow I could manage while brushing my teeth, shaving my legs, making a card and trying to get ready to leave for the shower.
Twenty minutes later, I was stuck in traffic and trying to figure out whether the bride-to-be would be brought along the same route. I did not want to be the one to ruin the surprise by meeting up with her outside a restaurant I had no reason to be at. It worked out for me because she hit the same traffic and didn’t arrive until an hour after the shower started.
Who it didn’t work out for was the three people involved in the accident I got to witness while in the traffic. A guy in a brand new Saab tried to quickly move into the left lane as everything was slowing down ahead of him. Unfortunately, the Cadillac stopped in the left lane refused to move (probably because of the three miles of stopped traffic ahead of it, but that’s just a guess). The Saab creamed the Caddie and I watched as both cars limped over to the breakdown lane. While the Cadillac suffered a bruised and dented bumper, the Saab looked close to totaled. The entire front end was smashed in, the headlights were gone and the hood was buckled.
Thinking about what those three people were in for as they waited for the police, evaluated their cars, called whomever they were going to visit to let them know they would be late, waited for a tow truck and got rides home, I figured attending a bridal shower wasn’t such a bad way to spend an afternoon. It’s all about a sense of perspective, people.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here comes the bride... and another one... and another one...

After receiving yet another wedding invitation in the mail yesterday, I got to counting just how many of these events I’ve taken part in. I got to 17… then remembered three more. So I’m at 20 (plus two weddings I couldn't attend) and may still have a few I haven’t thought of.
So far, we’ve been to two weddings this year (and declined the invitation to one other) and we have two more weddings to attend in October. Next year is going to be a crazy one. I know we will be invited to at least three and can think of two more couples who will probably have us on their list. Not to mention the fact that the PH and I have considered making it official before the end of next year (if we can find a date that’s not already taken).
Being somewhat of an expert on the subject, here are my first ever Wacky Wedding Awards…
Weirdest Wedding Situation: After dating a guy for a month, he asked me to be his date to his sister’s wedding. Meeting a guy’s family for the first time in a receiving line is not a great idea. Even worse, we were seated at the head table (I sat next to the bride!) and were asked to join in on the first dance. I think the pressure was too much because we broke up a week or so later– but at least he and his family have tons of wedding photos to remember me by!
Worst Wedding Attire: This one has to go to a dress worn to a bridal shower, actually. The way-too-old-to-be-wearing-that woman had on a short, tight, shiny dress, that was so inappropriate on her, it couldn’t even zip all the way up. So she walked around with the dress half unzipped (half zipped?) all afternoon. Even better is an outfit I never saw, but SJ remembers her mom covering her eyes as a kid when a bridesmaid’s spaghetti strap broke and her boob popped out at the altar. Where is “America’s Funniest Home Videos” when you need them?
Event Most Reflective of the Couple’s Personality: Admittedly not a wacky category, this one has to go to SJ and her husband J. Their wedding was a do-it-yourself (or actually, “do-it-herself”) affair, as SJ either planned or made every detail of the event. She spent months stringing beads on wire to make herself a hefty, but beautiful bouquet. She bribed us to help create the silk flower topiaries that were the centerpieces at the reception. She even whipped up six bridesmaid dresses on her sewing machine in her free time. OK, I’m kidding about that last one, but she did write a novel in the form of the wedding program that gave a brief history of each member of the wedding party and explained why they meant so much to her and J.
Best First Dance: This one is a three-way tie. My cousin and her handlebar-mustached hubby definitely win at least a third of the award for their very untraditional first dance. Although the Neil Diamond song started slow, it quickly picked up tempo and they broke into a choreographed routine. A friend of mine also gets a piece of the award for her dance, which included two uniformed waitresses walking onto the dance floor with the couple, then dumping pitchers of water onto dry ice to create a cloud for them to dance on. Unfortunately, it scared the crap out of the flower girls, but it looked cool to the rest of us. The final fraction of the award goes to another friend, who took dance lessons with her husband-to-be and had their first dance choreographed. I haven’t seen the guy pull off such fancy footwork before or since (although I haven’t been dancing with them so it would just be weird if I did).
My fingers are tired of the typing so I will leave a second installment of the awards for another time. I can’t be the only one with these experiences (although it seems as though I have had a large number of them). Any nominees?