Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Big Fat Greek Water Park

Sometimes I envy Toque McToque for her job, because she could write an interesting blog just about the people who call. Today she had one woman call who had been trying to log in but forgot she does not have access to the internet. Then another one was upset because on a form she had received from Toque's office it said: "Attachment - N" as in none, but she had not received any Attachment N.

When I said I was tired of this 9-5 stuff, perhaps I should have been more specific. Actually, I start work well before 9 am, but I was contacted about a job that starts at 6:30. Yikes!!! That's about the time I roll out of bed in the morning, and that is painful enough. I can't imagine being at work by that time! Those 7 am meetings we have at my current job once a month are painful enough. (It doesn't help that they are in a conference room we aren't allowed to bring coffee into. Doesn't that violate the Geneva Conventions??)

This weekend Anna Banana II and I went to a water park and also rode the go-karts. I figured I could out-drive those punk kids, having many years of driving experience (none of your business how many), but I always came in second to last, just before Anna Banana II. And of course there was always one punk kid who mistook go-karts for bumper cars. Dude, you aren't cool, just illiterate. See the sign that says "No bumping"? Or did you think that was for decorative purposes? The water park had a cheesy Greek mythology theme and was a lot of fun; in keeping with the cheese factor, we had to get some ice cream in little beads. I had looked all over town for cheap water shoes before this outing, but everyone was either out for the season or only had expensive ones. Wouldn't you know that as they routed us through the gift shop on the way into the water park I found exactly the shoes I wanted? Although I wasn't necessarily thinking of getting them in retinal-damage neon green.

Famous Hat

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mr. Duck Was in Luck

This post is a bit late, but I did want to give a quick summary of our canoe trip on Saturday. (Yes, it finally did happen!) Only Richard Bonomo, Anna Banana II, Jillymoose, and I were able to make the backup date, so we piled into the Bonomobile and drove to the Kickapoo River. (I LOVE that name!) Old Mr. Duck was nowhere to be seen, but Young Mr. Duck and his compadres were ecstatic to see us. They even gave us neon-colored duck calls! So now I have a hot pink one to go with my glow-in-the-dark one. From no duck calls to two in under a month!

It was a perfect day for canoeing, with a lovely breeze, and the river was still a little high so we zipped along, barely paddling. Huge groups of drunken canoists wearing leis and Mardi Gras beads were jealous of our duck calls, so we told them next time rent your canoes from Mr. Duck. The drunkest people were planning to go all the way to Bridge Seven, and we wondered when they planned to arrive - the following Thursday? We had a leisurely picnic lunch and stopped at Wildcat State Park to swim for awhile, yet we still arrived at Bridge Five an hour early. That turned out to be good because Jillymoose ran into an old high school friend she hadn't seen in years. When Mr. Duck picked us up and we told him that everyone was jealous of our duck calls, he said he loved customers like us: "You're the best advertisement!" So we have been redeemed in the eyes of Mr. Duck.

Famous Hat

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We Have a Winner!!!

ePlush Virgo horse (whose birthday is April 13, weirdly enough): $12.50
Winning the championship with hUbie Sukx: PRICELESS

Famous Hat

Another Fishy Post

Hi, this is Amminadab. If you have been to Famoo Shat Dot Blogspot Dot Com before, you may have noticed that my late wife Arphaxad would sometimes write posts. She was in the process of writing a novel when she died. I can't write a novel, but I can write a limerick:

There once was a sexy goldfish
Who would get anything that he'd wish.
And then he said hey
And swam right away,
And his beautiful tail went swish.

Thank you, thank you. Please send all compliments to amminadab@fish.h2o. Please send any criticisms to tallis@fish.h2o.

Scuze me? This is Tallis, Amminadab's new bowl partner. I don't need to hear from anyone about Dab's poetry. He's a big fish (OK, he's a small fish) - he can handle it himself! I don't have any thoughts of writing a novel either, for now, but possibly I will someday try to pick up where Arphaxad left off, if I can figure out where she was going with it.

I thought it was going to be the true story of how she met a very handsome male fish and-

Shush - I don't need any lip from you!

Do fish have lips?

I know one fish that isn't gonna have any fins if he doesn't shut up and let me post!

You are sooooo sexy when you're mad!


Yes. In fact, why don't we... Famous Hat, can you finish up this post for us?

Hey, readers! Did I ever tell you about the time I got stuck on a roof in Rouen? Oh, I did? Hmmm.... sorry, check back tomorrow and see if there's a more interesting post then.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Disgruntled State Worker Skip Day

Right now I am blogging at Rich's house because I never went to work. That's right, today was Disgruntled State Worker Skip Day! (also DeNiece's birthday, so if you're reading this, Happy Birthday!) I called in sick, and maybe I was, since I had a sore throat and crashed on my futon until 3 in the afternoon. What was the nature of my illness? I'd guess Sick of Work, but who knows? It has been a long time since I was a Gruntled State Worker. Is it because one of those words has to disappear from the phrase? Perhaps I can be a state worker, but not gruntled; perhaps I can be a gruntled worker, but not for the state; and I'm guessing I would be most gruntled if I didn't have to be a worker at all. Now that is a very common sickness!

Famous Hat

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Stupid Trophy: Call for Nominations

It's the First Annual Famous Hat Stupid Awards! Toque McToque wanted to know what the winner gets, so I said, "The Stupid Trophy." She wondered what that would look like, so I have created an image.

The Stupid Trophy

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to nominate candidates for the Stupid Trophy. When I get enough nominations (a number I will arbitrarily decide on), then all 4.6 of my loyal readers can vote for the winner of the Stupid Trophy. You can nominate as many people as you like, so I am nominating three today.

1. My office mate, Light Bright. If you want reasons she should win, read any post about her.

2. The cop who patrols the Farmers' Market on the lookout for "trouble." He hassled my band about busking, even though we explicitly turned down any tips people offered us. I have it on good authority that he also hassles the people who give out free coffee. A cop complaining about free coffee??? Now that's worthy of a Stupid Trophy!

3. Once during a thunderstorm, a coworker kindly offered another coworker and me a ride home. We were talking about lightning, and I said that I had heard the number one place people die in thunderstorms is on golf courses. We were all wondering who would go golfing during a lightning storm... and just then we drove past a golf course and, sure enough, there were some people (all of the male variety) playing golf. (Lest you think I am being sexist and think women undeserving of a Stupid Trophy, go back and look at my #1 nomination.)

Feel free to nominate as many people as you want!

Famous Hat

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Regional Variations in the USA

For those of you who enjoy Light Bright’s spelling errors, I missed another egregious one when looking over her dictation: “sever” for “severe.” Then again, who among us has not had a sever allergy attack? You know, one where you are sneezing so hard that your head is in danger of being severed from your body. Light Bright also came up with some alternate spellings for the fungus Alternaria (appropriate, I suppose); my favorite was Alertnaria, presumably a fungus that feeds on caffeine. And this is the person they are grooming to replace me when I leave? Funny… they said they had problems with my lack of accuracy. They also said I do not anticipate needs, so they hope to replace me with someone who ordered a cake for a going-away party and didn’t think to have a message put on it. No “Good luck, Coworker!” No “We’ll miss you!” Just a blank cake. (It’s almost a Cake Wreck, only more of a Cake Orderer Wreck.)

The other day my coworker with the best stories stopped in, and he was regaling us with tales of interviewing at other institutions. He said only at Davis (in California) did they talk about deep things while wining and dining him; in Miami they did more whining with the dining as they talked about how they all wanted to get out of there, and somewhere else in California they all talked about how far they lived from the institution. Somewhere down south he was shocked by their blatant racism. My favorite story was when he visited an institution which will remain anonymous in New England, and the director kept asking him if he was OK with working with “Them.” My coworker finally asked who “They” were.

“You know!” said the director. “THEM!”
Them who?”
“You know! The…. Jews!”

And this was in the 80’s! Who knew? This gentleman, who is originally from a South American country, and was born before his middle name (Adolfo) had any bad connotations, concluded that the Midwest is where people are best-educated and least prejudiced. As someone who has spent all but the first two years of my life in the Midwest, I will happily concur with that assessment.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Searching for Schrezeprot

While spellcheck is a wonderful invention for the many bad spellers out there, it can only correct some of the errors. Light Bright my office mate is an excellent case in point of those whose errors are so far from the correct spelling that spellcheck is stumped when trying to suggest an alternative spelling. She once got very frustrated while trying to Google the city of Shreveport, Louisiana, despite asking me multiple times how to spell it. Finally I got up to look at what she was typing into the Google search: Schrezeprot. Huh. Wonder why Google couldn’t find that? But if she couldn’t spell it correctly even after asking, is it any wonder that she couldn’t get close enough for Google to at least guess at what she was searching for?

Then there is the other type of spelling errors spellcheck does not even notice, because Light Bright uses a correctly-spelled word in the incorrect way. I was looking over some dictation she had done and found the following, which I have compiled into one sentence for your convenience: “A resent study looked at the peek flow of Finish patience.” Does this study begrudge someone furtively looking to see if understanding is over? Because surely it is not about a rather new study that examined the highest exhalation rate of people from Finland who were under a doctor’s care. That would be totally different.

Famous Hat

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trusting My Instincts

A few weekends back, I was supposed to go to the Renaissance Fair with Mamastep, but I woke up that morning with a very bad cold and spent the entire weekend in bed. Bummer! I had really been looking forward to it, but for some reason when we rescheduled the trip for yesterday, I kept having an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t supposed to go that day. Not sure Mamastep was too happy with me, pulling out at the last minute – TWICE – and the second time for no particular reason. Not sure where that feeling came from, but considering the day I had instead, maybe I should have gone to the Renaissance Fair!

The night before I went swimming at the health club. Around 11:00 a family came into the lap pool: Mom, Dad, school-aged kid, and preschool kid. OK, first of all, what is a preschool kid going to do in the lap pool?? (Answer: hang out in the hot tub, which has a big sign saying “NO children under six allowed.”) Secondly, why is this kid up at that hour?? The next morning I got up early anyway, to go to the ultra-early Latin Mass at our church in order to get done in time to meet Mamastep and her friend, but I could not shake the feeling that I shouldn’t go. So I went to my usual Mass and sang in the choir, and the only bad things were the usual, like two groups going to different restaurants for brunch and I had to choose between them, but that is an ongoing issue. Also, Semper Fi’s dad had died during the past week.

It was a beautiful day, and some of my cooler coworkers were having a cookout at the lakeside park where we always rent boats, so Richard Bonomo and I headed over to join them. Some of them had brought their own boats, and others were renting, so Rich and I rented the catamaran. We sailed off jauntily, waving to my coworkers, and it was a perfect day as we skipped across the lake, getting splashed by the surprisingly warm water. Then disaster struck: Rich tried to tack but we got stuck in irons and drifted into the weeds near the edge of the lake. I paddled furiously with the oar we had thought to bring as Rich wrestled with the weeds tangled around the rudders and tried to get the sail to fill with wind, but we could not make any progress. Finally a guy from the boat rental place came to rescue us with a motor boat. He shooed us into the boat, took down the cat’s sail, and tied it to the back of the motor boat, so we returned to the dock like that… in front of my work peeps! (At least they were the cool ones.) We have never had to be rescued before, so it figures the one time we do would be in front of an audience. The rental guy said he was sick of rescuing the cat, so he was selling it for $600 at the end of the season. Rich is sorely tempted, so I propose that we start a boat fund for him. Still, it was a beautiful day, and 15 fantastic minutes of sailing, even if we had to pay for a full hour PLUS the rescue fee. I still can’t help wondering why I wasn’t meant to go to the Renaissance Fair, but maybe I will never know. Hardingfele always asks if I avoid accidents when I do things because of these feelings, and I say no, I never hear of anything.

Famous Hat

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Long Shaft of Light

A couple of nights ago A-Joz and I went to one of the local lakes, rented a pedal boat, and pedaled furiously from boat to boat in the lake, collecting parts for a sundae: bowl, brownie, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and finally whipped cream! Then we just drifted as we enjoyed our sundaes, and then we pedaled around the lake at a much more leisurely rate. We just had a basic pedal boat, but the place that rents them has an “annex” down by the zoo, and there they have two swan pedal boats and a tricycle one. I am hoping to try the tricycle boat sometime soon, and maybe even get some awesome footage of it biking (triking?) across the top of the water.

ePlush has a new line of Zodiac pets, starting back in May with the Taurus Bull, and for Gemini they had a butterfly. I thought that was cute: Gemini Butterfly kind of rhymes, and Geminis can be flighty. But what, I wondered, would they do for Virgo? Yesterday I saw an ad for the Virgo… horse?? All I can say is, they better have a Libra Zebra. When I asked Richard Bonomo if he were curious what they would have for his Zodiac pet (Aquarius), can you believe that he was not??

Last night Hardingfele came over and swam in my pool, then we trimmed the rabbits’ claws. Charlie just sighs and goes to his “Happy Place” until we are done and he gets his treat, but Cashmere was a total drama queen, making a sad little sobbing sound the entire time and jerking her paw away with each clip, as if I had cut off her toe. Oddly, we did her second, so she knew it was coming, but she made only a token attempt to escape. I suspect she enjoys her chance to overreact, along with the treat afterwards.

Then I went to Rich’s house so we could drive to a park in the middle of nowhere to watch the meteor shower, which was not a disappointment. We saw tons of meteors, many of them with amazing trails behind them. However, the trip there was eventful, starting with Rich leaving his car door open as he was about to pull out of the driveway. I said, “Rich, the back door is open!” and he got out of the car, walked around the open door, looked at the hatchback, and said, “No, it’s not.” Then he wondered where we could grab a quick bite to eat; I pointed out that there were two fast food places at the end of his street, and he professed not to have ever noticed this. We did successfully arrive at the park, where there was an excellent view of the Milky Way, prompting the following exchange:

Rich: As a child, I wondered how galaxies retained their shape.
Me: By working out a lot.
Rich: And then I learned they have a black hole- oh! Ha ha! That’s funny!

There was a guy nearby using a laser pointer to show a woman different stars, and in the mist it had quite an impressive shaft… of light. I started laughing and said I wished Toque McToque were there, I had just thought of something she would think was funny. Rich wanted to know what, and I said, “You wouldn’t like it,” which intrigued him, and when I said it had to do with women laughing at men, that only piqued his interest more. So I said, “You know how some men buy big cars or houses or whatever to compensate for being small in other areas?” and he said, “Sure,” so I said, “That guy seems very enamored of his laser pointer, and it is very long.” I thought Rich would be offended, but to my surprise he just laughed. However, when I later commented, “There goes Mr. Extension again,” he said, “Famous Hat! Stop it!” So I must have surpassed his Naughty Joke Tolerance Level at that point.

Famous Hat

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bedroom Post

Welcome to my bedroom. When I look up in bed, this is what I see: a painting of the Grand Tetons. I have no idea who did this painting; a friend gave it to me when she moved out of town.

When I look down at my feet, this is what I see: my new pedicure! Perhaps my new career should involve painting nails.

When I turn off the lights, this is what I see: a glowing duck beak! I bought one at our local college league baseball game. If you blow into it, it makes a sound approximating a duck quack. I bought Anna Banana II one too, for her birthday. We went to the game with A-Joz and the Fabulous Jackie O, and we sat in the box seats, which came from Wrigley Field. We got free food and three free beers. Guinness counted for free beer!

I also see two of the Undersea Players glowing, but my attempts at photographing them were not terribly successful. This is probably the best example. You can see Tony Abalone fairly well, and to the right Canada the Crab is glowing faintly.

If you leave my bedroom and go out onto my balcony, you would see my new orchid. Isn't it lovely?

Famous Hat

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Everyone knows what a concession speech is: when a politician loses an election, he concedes the race to his opponent. So then what exactly is a concession stand? What are you conceding? That you can't sit through a two-hour movie without shoving something in your mouth, no matter how overpriced and unhealthy it may be?

Famous Hat

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Sometimes I wonder, what is wrong with people? It’s not as obvious as what is wrong with, say, rabbits. Just the other day I had a huge fight with Cashmere when she gobbled down her piece of banana and then stole Charlie’s piece away from him. She ran under the desk and I pulled her out by her ears, I was so angry… and then it occurred to me that, duh, rabbits have no sense of justice. As far as I know, most people over the age of reason cannot use the same excuse, so then why are they so unjust?

One example of what I consider an injustice is tattling, which seems to be a favorite activity of at least one of my coworkers. How else to explain that nobody ever says anything bad to me and then at my annual review there are suddenly all sorts of anonymous allegations against me? By then it is so long after the fact that I may not even remember what incident they are referring to, or who it involved (Anonymous Coworker), so how can I defend myself? No actual court of law would ever work like that. You always have the right to face your accuser. But little girls and Anonymous Coworker don’t have the cajones to face the person they are slandering. Now little girls I can understand, because of course they have no cajones, but Anonymous Coworker is an adult male so you would hope he does. But apparently not.

Toque McToque sent me an article from CNN.com that actually says the following regarding issues with coworkers: "It's almost always best to talk directly to the other person." That’s right, if you have something to say about me, say it to my face, Anonymous Coworker. I’m tired of your little chicken poop act. I’m also sick of the bizarre ring tone on Light Bright’s phone, but that is another matter entirely.

Famous Hat

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Missed Shark Week

On Friday I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt as usual (if you don’t know why, rent the movie Office Space – go on, I’ll wait) and a necklace that resembles shark teeth. When I got on the bus, the bus driver commented that I had dressed for Shark Week, and A-Joz and I had a good laugh about that, thinking she was making it up. However, as we walked up the hill to work, still laughing about it, another woman said that Shark Week was actually the week before.

“You’re messing with me,” I said. “I know you are. You’re a Gemini.”

However, she insisted that it had been Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and anyway, if she were messing with me, it would be because she was a Monkey. I said as a Pig I am too trusting and would probably believe her, but as a Capricorn I am cynical, and she said, “You must experience a lot of cognitive dissonance: ‘I want to believe you, but I just can’t!’”

When I got to work and mentioned the story to my office mate Light Bright, she said, “Shark Week! That’s on the Discovery Channel!” Now as my 3.8 faithful readers well know, I do not own a TV and therefore cannot verify the existence of “Shark Week,” but having it independently verified by two sources would seem to be more than a coincidence. So I missed this momentous occasion, which Toque McToque (yet a third source of verification) tells me happens every year, but as she pointed out, at least I can accessorize for it. Now that I know, next year I will try to celebrate Shark Week appropriately.

Famous Hat

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Not a $@#&*! People Person

One thing that struck me as hilarious when I was talking to my supervisor after that dreaded meeting was when she asked what my ideal job would be, I replied computer programmer, and she seemed shocked. "You just seem so people-oriented!" she said. "Don't you want a job involving people?" and I said, "Not really." Then she said I must be a very good actress. In a culture that puts such a premium on being a People Person, especially when you are a female, did I ever really have a choice? Maybe in the Middle Ages I could have been an anchoress, but currently the jobs available to women all seem to take loads of people skills.

How about running a lighthouse? Do they even have people who do that anymore, or is it now all controlled by computers? I once saw a Mexican restaurant called "El Faro," and I thought, why don't they call them The Lighthouse around here, instead of those cheesy names like Fiesta Cucaracha and Margarita Verde?

I think it would be fun to drive a semi, but the fact that I can't drive more than four hours without getting groggy might hamper this career option. Is it something genetic? When Tiffy and I go on road trips, we're always like, "If you take two hours of my four-hour shift now, I will take two hours of your four-hour shift later," but we have a friend who could just drive forever. In fact, back in college she proposed a vacation that would entail driving as far as we could (she was thinking Idaho) and then just turning around and coming back. Her father was a truck driver, so she must have inherited some long-distance driving gene Tiffy and I just don't have.

By the way, if any of my loyal readers happen to be perusing this post, I am not referring to you when I say that I don't like people. It's people in general I can't stand; you are fantastic.

Famous Hat

Friday, August 6, 2010

Famous Hat's New Career

I have been saying for years that I need a REAL career, enough with these jobs that have grandiose titles but are actually just secretarial positions. I have pondered (and rejected) the following career paths: sensationalistic journalist (RIP Weekly World News), dry ice sculptor, and full-contact urban planner. But now it's time to get serious.

I enjoy working with the following things: plants, animals, words, music, computers.
I do not like working as well with the following things: people, numbers.

I would like a job that entails some physical labor, and I would love to be outside, but the fact that I can practically get a moonburn means that landscaping or archaeology might not be the best choices. Are there outdoor jobs that are always in the shade, or that only take place at dawn and dusk? And of course my ideal job would be located somewhere near water. It would not have to pay a fortune, but it should pay enough for me to afford my teeny condo and maybe even take a vacation or two. Preferably it would be in a tropical climate, but only if it pays well enough that I can afford to move. It needs to be ethical; no mercenary jobs or anything involving abortion. If I have to be stuck in an office, I would prefer a window.

Anyone have any ideas? What should my next career move be? Unfortunately there is a four-year waiting list for the computer animation program around here.

Famous Hat

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Litagy of Reasons for Not Blogging

What most of my faithful readers are probably wondering is: why have I been silent for so long? It was a combination of a cold (in the summer? I know!) and preparing for battle. Today I had my annual evaluation and had been forewarned that it would not be pretty, so I was braced for an ugly fight. However, almost everyone was an adult about it, and we amicably came to an agreement that this job simply does not mesh well with my particular skills. So I am still employed here but am looking, and they promised to give me a good reference.

The one immature individual in the bunch was surprisingly quiet for most of the meeting and at one point came out with this gem: “Your email came across as a litagy of complaints!” I’m guessing he meant a litany of complaints and just sort of mashed the word together with liturgy, since they are both “churchy” words.

Enough about work. Here are a couple of shots of what Toque McToque calls my "Fishy McMansion," kindly taken by Palm Tree Fan when she was in my office for actual work reasons. You can see how Tallis and Amminadab have much more room than they did in that old bowl, and you can also see how Tallis has one reddish eye, as if she is hung over... but only on one side.

Famous Hat