Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bringing joy to Wal-Mart

How to make a Wal-Mart employee and the teenagers blocking the aisle playing the store's video game (TBTAPTSVG) laugh.

Me: Excuse me, do you carry a sensor bar for the Wii?
Employee: Just the bar?
Me: Yes, just the bar.
Employee: You don't want the whole Wii?
Me: No, say... your dog ate the wire on the bar and you need just that.

Of course, it meant the TBTAPTSVG mocked me, asking "how they even get to it?" But I take the axiom, "always leave them laughing" very, very seriously. Even at Wal-Mart.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's about time that lazy KAT posted!

Hoo boy, has life been busy kicking my butt lately. I have checked in on the blog every once in awhile to make sure SJ has been picking up the slack, but that's about it for my non-work related computer activities. I know! I've been too busy for blogging (and, looking back through the archives, I think we can all agree that's never happened before).

Anyway, life has been day after day of getting the house ready to show, hustling the dogs and anything that would hint that they exist out the door, dropping the dogs at the grandparents, hustling to work where I remember about 60 percent of what I learned the day before, muddling through work and then coming home to be exhausted and try to get the house ready to show the next day (it's amazing how disorganized a house can get in the four hours you use it between getting home from work and going to bed) But, oh! The new job is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I have covered the state's attorney general, the secretary of state, the governor and- oh yeah- the vice president of the good ol' US-of-A. Not that those people make it so amazing, but it's kind of cool, no?

Anyway, this weekend was a blur of doing... exactly nothing. I worked on Saturday and we threw some yard work into the mix along the way, but it was mostly a few days of eating, sitting in the sun, eating, waaaay too much drinking for 2 p.m. on a Sunday, eating and S'mores (you have to try substituting Mounds or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for the plain chocolate- awesome!) At one point, I thought, "if I were still at my old job, I would have spent this weekend working to get the papers laid out and stressing about getting it all done." Then I toasted my new job and asked for another Mai Tai.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

things to do before i leave for vacation.

hope you don't mind, but i thought a public reminder of all of the things i must do before we leave on saturday would encourage me to .. um.. do them.

1) go grocery shopping in order to keep up the myth that j and i do and can actually cook when we're on vacation. (we don't usually, but we're about to leave for a week to vermont with my parents, anonymous and her husband and child.)

2) call the sofitel in montreal and confirm my one night reservation when i no doubt will need to get the heck away for a day.

3) put fishing line on my new reels. i think it's hard to fish without line. i mean, i've never tried it, and i guess if push comes to shove, i could try clubbing them over the head with a paddle.

4) pack the paddles for the canoe.

5) get an additional strap to help affix the canoe to the roof of our jetta. (there's a statement you won't read often.)

6) pack the groceries.

7) pack the dog toys for bailey's week-long stay at the boarding place that costs more than our week long lake house rental and one night at luxe sofitel.

8) find a cooler. and things that keep the cooler cold. like ice. and ice-like goo in packs.

9) clean out my car of the 4 bags of clothes to go to the goodwill (thank you, winsor pilates for making me ditch half of my wardrobe) and the bags in my trunk of random holiday decorations from the office.

10) find some clothes and stuff them into a suitcase. i figure i really only need one nice outfit, for our brief stay in Montreal (you thought I was kidding, no?)

11) drop off dog. pack car. load canoe. drive 5.5 hours.

12) learn more french in order to listen to the radio traffic reports.

Monday, May 19, 2008

update: still don't know if it floats.

we didn't try the canoe yesterday because it rained.

instead, KAT and i had an adventure. the planning went kind of like this:

kat: hey! do you wanna...?
me: sure! when?
kat: how about..
me: okay! just pick me up.

and it ended in dairy queen.

the end.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

let's hope after all of this that it actually floats.

It was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon here in Connecticut. So lovely, that we thought "Hey, it's really nice out. And look at how lovely and peaceful the river looks. Don't you wish we had a boat?"

So now we have a boat. Okay, not like the kind with a motor and everything, but we do now have a canoe. It was really easy to get. We went on the Internet... did some research (in the interest of full disclosure, we had done some research earlier as well) and found what we wanted to get: An Old Town Guide 158 or 160 model.

The first store we went to didn't have the one we wanted, so we ventured further down Rt. 44 in Canton (about 10 miles from home) and walked into Dick's Sporting Goods. Now, let me just say that I don't think it's the wisest plan for Dick's to house their canoes on the second floor, deep in a corner. We found the one we wanted and purchased it, all with in 20 minutes.

So far so good, right?

We even had the foresight to bring our rooftop car carrier combo (which really consists of some foam pads and some straps).

Well, here's where we almost got a divorce. After purchasing the canoe, the guys that work at Dick's encouraged us to "try to lift it" to make sure this was a good idea. Sure, we could lift it! (We could!) How hard could it really be to get it on our car?

As it turns out, it was, let's say, a little tricky.

After around 20 minutes of some, shall we say, strongly dictated directions, we managed to get it securely strapped to my car. I'm kind of glossing over the parts where there may have been some swearing, and some loudness and maybe some harsh words.

And while this little project took the majority of the afternoon, we should mention that neither of us have much canoe experience. I haven't been in one in about... um 20 years or so.

We have a week to master the canoe before we take it up to Lake Champlain (let's hope that our canoe doesn't look like a really big fish to the lake's resident monster - Champ) -- although we both have to work from Monday through Friday. So really, I guess that leaves just tomorrow afternoon.

But really, how hard can it be?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

since i don't have my own funny child, i stole this from my sister.

anonymous im'd me yesterday at work. apparently, e saw his first "person of restricted size." which is kind of surprising, because in our town, there actually are quite a few "little persons."

in fact, i've had a lot of interesting stories surrounding people of restricted size or vertically challenged. but that's a blog entry for a different day.

apparently e saw this man at a small distance. walking towards a store, and was curious. so he asked the man:

"Hey MISTER, are you a PUPPET?"

presumably, he didn't hear. but i can only imagine the confusion when e watches Star Wars for the first time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

and my arms are totally tired.

i am back in our peaceful little state, after a long weekend in raucous, dimpled-chad-counting and (horribly) on fire florida.

that's right. we're jet setters. we pick up on a moment's notice and just take off. to places like Morrocco, France, Italy.... or well, actually, EPCOT.

doesn't it seem like i'm in disney all of the time? i know. to me too. but this time, it was so fantastic because i got to see some fantastic musicians. and one in particular whom i totally adore made our trip even better. i cannot stress enough to anyone traveling to Disney to make it a point to ditch the kids for a night and hit up Jellyrolls. even after standing in the soarin' line (and perhaps especially after standing in the soarin' line), you need a place where you can listen to fantastic entertainers and just relax. for us -- and we are not usually bar goers -- that place has always rocked.

our trip itself started out a little rocky (bumpy, bumpy Delta) when my fellow passenger in row 41 (full flight. but cheap!) was um... 4 years old. her mom was on the other side of the aisle with her two other siblings, and behind her was the aunt and additional child. no father - it was just two moms with their four children under 6 on vacation to Florida.

so the little girl and i bonded, while j just shook his head. i colored, i played some games, i fished animal crackers out of a backpack, etc. i also watched a little bit of the Barbie Mariposa movie (i was kind of hoping the battery would die on the portable DVD player).

good times! i did kind of wonder whether i'd let my 4 year old girl sit next to some stranger (although, the mom totally referred to me as a girl- "go sit next to this nice girl") but the mom totally had other things on her mind -- the youngest child spent the better part of the flight screaming.

we really tried to relax - i had a massage appointment on Monday morning (so much better than sitting in traffic), and we tried to veg out in the hot sun for as long as our pale northeast selves could take it. (mind you, with spf 45 and sunglasses).

but somewhere between walking from ride to ride (short lines!) it dawned on us that we really should consider the beach next time. we do go a lot, mostly because j loves it so much and we stay there virtually for free. and who am i to say no to a luxe one bedroom villa walking distance to Wolfgang Puck's and a few other fine restaurants?

so we're back. oh, and the woman that passed out while watching the Canadian circlevision movie and smacked her head on the hand rails was *not* me. i managed to come through this four day weekend with no scrapes and no broken bones.

i consider it a breakthrough.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I did not disappoint! (tales from a klutz)

So, remember how I sort of promised you an embarrassing story from my first day at my new job? Oh yeah, I've got one.

First, let me say that I love the job, I had a very productive day and I even interviewed the state's attorney general without (too much) stuttering. So it's not like this story is going to keep me from going back for Day Two or anything. But, still...

So, one of the women who works there was helping me out after my boss left early. She walked out of the studio I was in and, as I stood up to follow her, the chair slid funny and fell over. I kind of caught it on the way down before it could make a loud noise, but I could not for the life of me get it back up. The wheels kept rolling it in different directions, preventing me from getting it upright, and I kept having to step over it and try to haul it up from another angle.

Basically... I wrestled with a chair for a good 20 seconds or so. I have no idea if the woman wondered where I was or turned around to watch the show I was putting on, but I'm going to pretend she didn't and think I pulled off Wrestlemania '08 without an audience. Or perhaps she's updating her blog, or her friends, right now with the story of the well-dressed, fairly well-spoken woman who couldn't get out of a chair without creating a spectacle.

Hey, if this was SJ telling the story, there would have been broken bones involved... at least in my case no one got hurt!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A quick update until life settles down (ha! like that will ever happen!)

SJ's on vacation in a land where mice speak and ducks have nephews, so I'm left to carry the blog until she returns. But life has been a whirlwind of demolishing our bathroom, keeping the dogs from getting more than a taste of sheetrock, doing yardwork for that all-important "curb appeal" and three soccer games in a weekend (man, am I way too old to be playing that much soccer without at least three days' rest between games!)

And the new job starts today, which means I won't be that carefree, makes-her-own-hours and updates-the-blog-when-the-thought-strikes-her editor I used to be. I'm going to have to get used to regular hours and actually being required to work (remind me again why I left my old job?!?)

I wanted to let you know I'm still alive (but barely... did I mention how sore those games left me?!?) and will do SJ proud. Now I'm off to the new job and, if we're all lucky, I'll do something completely embarrassing and have a funny story to report when I return.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's lonely at the top when the top is actually still the same corner and not actually the top.

i got some good news on friday and much like KAT said, it's taken up my entire mental thought processes for the past four days, so i should share.

it seems my years of hard work at my company, trudging away during really long hours and doing crappy things that no one else wants to do has finally paid off.

i've been promoted, and in the interest of my anonymity, let me just say that my new position is Very Promising. except now my husband cannot make a joke without referring to me as Madame Very Promising.

so i headed home on friday, all happy and excited and stopped by the liquor store to pick up a bottle of champagne to celebrate. and the day was solidified as The Best Day Ever when i got carded.

and then we got KFC. that's right. original recipe and champagne. that's how i roll. (although, when the CEO asked me how i celebrated, my response was to say "my husband took me to dinner" - which i think counts because we didn't use the drive through.

but overall, it hasn't changed things too much, except we are perhaps looking at real estate listings a little more seriously than we would have a month ago.

and you know. i may have bought a pair of shoes. and they may have been converse all-star mary-janes. black leather. with an off-white toe.

Monday, May 05, 2008

May I have your attention, please...

... I have an announcement. I thought about not announcing this just yet, but it's been a really big part of my life lately and it seems strange to not talk about it here. And no, I am not pregnant. Not now and not for awhile. I know that's what you thought when you started reading this, wasn't it?

Anyway, remember... oh, 15 months ago... when the Pretend Husband and I signed on the dotted line and became homeowners? How nerve-wracking that was and how glad I was to not have to do it again for 5-7 years? Yeah, forget that plan.

We're moving.

We made a decision-- in about 20 minutes, no less!-- to put our house on the market and buy the house I grew up in. It's a long, long story that involves the PH convincing me by confusing me with lots of numbers (darn that math!), but I'm excited about it. We're going to have a big house that will be very, very nice once we pour our hearts, our souls, our sweat and all of our savings into it. (And srg, I don't know if you've deduced by now that we're moving to your town. Meet you at the pizza place!)

But yeah, things have been crazy this past week as we rushed to finish those last few projects (I put up a chandelier all by myself) and clean up before the real estate agent comes tonight. And it's a little sad because the house is finally (FINALLY!) exactly how we want it... just in time for someone else to enjoy it. But, despite that and the craziness of cleaning and moving... and how hard it's going to be to fix up the new place (well, new to the PH, but old for me)... I'm looking forward to it. Of course, we'll see if I'm still saying that when it comes time to move all our crap AGAIN.

Friday, May 02, 2008

sj's pet peeve #525

i've come across a rash of people lately being silly with their punctuation.

i first noticed this problem about two years ago when i was getting a badge for work -- you know, one of those office security kinds of things. now i may not have mentioned it before, but i have one of those silly hyphenated names. like, Samantha Smith-Jones. it sounds a little supercilious, i realize, but i did it because i used to be a journalist and wanted a way -- once i got married -- to tie professional name to my reporter name.

but i have to say - people have a certain idea of what a hyphenated named person should look and act like, and apparently, i'm not it.

(btw -- i'm also not Samantha-Smith Jones, although that's what i was most recently addressed as on yet another shower invite.)

but i'm also not this person: Samantha Smith'Jones. when i got my badge (remember the beginning of this post?) i told the man how to spell my last name. "S-M-I-T-H-hyphen-J-O-N-E-S." but apparently the difference between a hyphen (-) and an apostrophe (') was lost on him.

i thought that was odd at the time. but then i thought it odd all over again when last week i was sitting in a meeting with a financial person who referred to this "'" as a hyphen no less than 5 times. i looked around the room at the others in the meeting, but no one else looked nearly as disconcerted as me. "But that's an apostrophe!" i thought. i started to doubt my own sanity.

is the apostrophe actually called a hyphen in some bizarre financial accounting worlds that i don't know about? or should i have shouted out what i wanted to shout out: THAT'S AN APOSTROPHE!