Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Post

First of all, thanks to everyone who prayed to St. Anthony about my missing diamond ring. It is back safe and sound. Also, since this is a happy post, let me say that today at work I got a lot of compliments for the work I did preparing for a big meeting. Nothing like a few "Atta girl"s to make a person feel better!

This weekend was a lot of fun, especially when I went to a gamelan concert with Richard Bonomo, Kathbert, Jilly Moose, Luxuli, and her husband. To our surprise, someone we know was playing the gamelan so afterwards we asked him all sorts of questions about it. He showed us his music, and it was just a bunch of numbers, which tells him when to play which note. All the guys in the concert wore batik shirts, and the dancers had very cool Javanese costumes. Jilly Moose wondered afterwards if I could use Garage Band to try to replicate gamelan music, which is an interesting challenge. I might have to know more about the intricacies of it to make something that sounds genuine, but in theory if I knew what I was doing, it should be possible. So maybe in the future I will post my attempt at doing so on this blog.

My other happy news is that I got paid for blogging! The payment showed up in my bank account last week. Now I can say I am a professional writer. What do I plan to do with this largesse? Why, throw a party for my regular readers, of course. Details will be forthcoming.

Famous Hat

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blue Over My Diamonds

I wonder if my regular readers could say a quick prayer to St. Anthony for me? I lost a ring, and not just any ring, but the most valuable thing I own. It has blue diamonds on a white gold band. I just lost it today and have looked everywhere for it. Somehow it just slipped off of my finger. Thank you so much for asking St. Anthony to help me out.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peon Appreciation Day Done Right

Today is Peon Appreciation Day, another fine made-up holiday courtesy of Hallmark, and many of my readers may remember how my old boss FOXbought us lunch and then humiliated me. It’s a new year with a new boss, and this time we got Gerbera daisies in pots. Now that’s a gift I can get behind! A live plant, not cut flowers, and not free lunch at a cost of getting marinara sauce all over myself. My daisy has sunny yellow flowers and my office mate Light Bright’s has very pretty orange flowers. They really add a splash of color to our office. So thanks, New Boss! You are turning out to be the best thing to have happened at this job in a long time.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Relaxing Weekend

Sorry for the silence yesterday, I was just very busy. I am feeling much better about life in general, and work in particular, after a refreshing weekend. On Saturday I got up early to work out with Luxuli and Hardingfele, then Hardingfele and I went to the first Farmers' Market of the year with her daughter Rockstar Tailor and Tailor’s BFF. In the afternoon Rich, Kathbert, and I helped Anna Banana II move a bunch of stuff out of storage, and then we had a nice relaxing dinner with Luxuli and her husband. (Except for Kathbert, who was at Roller Derby that night.) Sunday we had waffles for brunch, and then Anna Banana II and I went to the public garden to pray the rosary, and this time nobody made any strange comments about it. We tried to be very quiet about it, so maybe nobody noticed. Then she and I went to a cupcake place, and then we met Luxuli and Jilly Moose at a Mexican restaurant. So that improved my mood, and my boss has been great. That helps a ton too.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Work Rant

How many times can I hide in a supply closet at work, crying my makeup off, before I slowly go mad? How many nights can I come home and curl into a fetal position on the floor, petting a rabbit because I am incapable of anything else? Do other people hate their jobs this much? When faculty are asked to list my strengths, can’t they find something to say? What about punctuality? I always come to work on time. I never thought “None” and “…” were among my strengths. I tell myself maybe they don’t know I’m creative… and then I remember that they don’t care. Is this just the lot of all working people? Or is this job such a spectacularly bad fit that my superiors all find my completely incompetent? And what, short of winning the lottery, does a person do about it?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Heavy Breathing at Work

My office mate Light Bright and I are continuing with our spring training. We close the door when we do our exercises, but probably everyone can hear one of us panting and gasping as the other one counts off the time or the number of pushups. We got a new exercise for the core area called the Bicycle, which we can’t stand.  You lie on your back and bring your opposite elbow and knee together, and you do this for a full minute. We are both very sore from all this planking and bicycling. I can hardly wait to see what the new assignment will be next week! Also, since the place we work at has “half floors” that only the maintenance people have access to, we could either do four or six flights instead of the required five, so we opted for six and were huffing and puffing afterwards. There are also food fitness challenges, so right now I am having to write down everything I eat, avoid any drinks with sugar, and only eat whole grains. They will add a new food challenge next week too. By Week Nine I will not be allowed to eat anything! And how will we ever have time to get all our exercise challenges in?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Communication Workshop

Sorry for the silence yesterday, I was at all-day training offsite and didn’t have access to a computer. This training was on effective communication, and I actually learned something useful: that my communication style is Relationship Building. This explains so much about why I sometimes feel stupid at work, because I need more time and input to make a decision than some of the other types. This was a class for women, and Relationship Building was the largest group, so I am wondering if this is a very feminine style of communication, and if the more male types that favor quick decisions based on data rather than people are preferred where I work. At least now I feel justified in saying I need some time to come to a decision, and I need input from other people. There is nothing wrong with any style; they are all necessary. My style is good for collaborations.  So if you feel the need to collaborate with someone, apparently I am your woman.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, and so far nothing strange has happened to me all day. Wednesday I was running late for work and then realized I had forgotten my coffee, so I had to run back for it. Then I was sure I would miss the bus, but it was ten minutes late. The only thing different about today was that I realized someone stole the styrofoam coffee cups out of the locked supply closet AGAIN, but then I got an email from the coffee place to order new supplies ten minutes later, so I just ordered some more. So is that bad or good luck? It seems to me that it just cancels out. This thief is driving me crazy, if it is in fact the work of just one person. A couple of weeks ago he (?) stole all the caffeinated tea and just left the herbal stuff behind. However, today the tea with a kick was all safely in the cabinet where it was supposed to be.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Training

Here at work they are very in favor of “wellness,” and so they attempt to get us to do healthy things like walk a mile. Today my office mate Light Bright and I decided to walk the mile route, but we couldn’t stand how inefficient it was. We knew tons of shortcuts to all the places on the route, which admittedly defeats the purpose of walking exactly a mile. Luxuli bought me a spring training pass at our health club for a late birthday present, so I was telling Light Bright about the things I need to do for that, and she thought we should do them together. Besides walking a mile, I am supposed to do five flights of stairs, one minute of jumping jacks, as many pushups as possible, and hold the “plank” position for as long as possible, three times a week for all of these. Light Bright and I each managed twenty pushups and one minute of holding the Plank. We didn’t think a minute of jumping jacks would be a big deal, but it is much harder than it sounds. So we are going to encourage each other and try to get fit together, though I must admit that I have a longer way to go than she does.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rubber Chicken Dinner

Sorry for the long silence. They have changed the interface on this blog site, and it really confuses me. So if this looks strange, you know why.

I hope all my readers had a great Easter. Mine was fabulous – we had chocolate mousse AND chocolate pudding at Easter dinner! I was very tired after the Triduum and didn’t make it to the Lutheran church on Sunday, but I hear they carried on without me, somehow. Now Cecil Markovich is trying to get me to skip Lutheran choir practice for Frogs Night Out, but I’m staying strong because we have a Bach thing we are working on. You know what I would do for Bach? Go to a concert on Friday and another one on Saturday, that’s what. You can never get too much of some good things.

The other day my office mate Light Bright and I were listening to Public Radio, only unbeknownst to me she was not actually listening. They were talking about political fund raisers, and how breakfasts are becoming very popular, even if the stereotype is the rubber chicken dinner. They kept repeating that phrase, so I said to Light Bright, “Rubber chicken dinner” since, let’s face it, it is a very entertaining phrase. However, she had not been paying any attention to the story, so she thought I was just randomly saying that and started laughing really hard. Now it is on our list of quotes.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flower Coffee Cup Art

Yesterday my office mate Light Bright and I got some coffee, and the barista put them in double cups, so we used the outer cup to create coffee cup art. Here is my seasonal creation:

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Are Your Skillz?

I took a strength test recently that said some things that didn’t surprise me (I am good at music and weak at kinesthetic stuff) and some stuff I didn’t understand (I have strengths in Existentialism and Intrapersonal skills). Here is the list of skills:


When I told Toque McToque about this test, and how I didn’t even know what some of these strengths of mine are, she wondered where the Awesome skills were. This inspired me to come up with what seems like a more relevant list of skills so let’s call them Skillz.

Awesome – I have some of these
Useless – I have tons of these
@$$-Kissing – not a strength of mine
Numbers and Boring Stuff – I am about average in this
@$$-Kicking – this is definitely not my strength!
Talking Your Way Out of Trouble – I’m not so hot at this
I Got Rhythm – yes I do, I got rhythm, how ‘bout you?
Mad Sexy – I don’t have these at all
ESPN - I know what you're thinking

If there is any demand for it, I will create a test so you can determine your own Skillz level.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Short Story in the Winning Style

Hardingfele and I entered a contest on Public Radio in which you are to write a story of no more than 600 words using the first line they supply. Unfortunately I cannot post this story on my blog yet since by the rules it cannot be posted anywhere else, but neither of us has high hopes of winning after spending last night reading the past winners. These stories all had an underlying theme which I would characterize as “suckiness.” Let me attempt to demonstrate using as the first sentence a piece of spam that Hardingfele received today:

My name is Eutropio Benedito a retired Portuguese Oil Merchant, Your reply is needed. Oh, you do not reply? Then I will call you Dulcinea of El Toboso.

I remember when El Feo came to town, this was when we had the Lenten processions on Good Friday with men dressed in black robes with towering hoods, like so many opponents of the Ku Klux Klan. El Feo was a very ugly man with only one tooth, and he smelled of motor oil and damp forests. Nobody knew where he had come from, but this did not stop people from talking, as it never does. I saw where he went, however. I kept this knowledge secret in my chest like a squirrel hoarding nuts, but it clawed at me as if the squirrel were trapped in my throat, trying desperately to escape.

The rains came early that year. They poured from the heavens and washed away the signs of struggle, the stains of blood. There was no more evidence of crimes crying to Heaven for vengeance. There was only what I had seen.

Sometimes a woman can be a terrible thing. She can speak loving words with those soft, lying lips and then use those same lips to kiss another man. Sometimes we see things we were never meant to see, and the vision burns into our memory, remaking us. Am I a saint or a sinner? Who is to stand in judgment of El Feo? I cannot say I would not have done the same.

When the moon rose full in June, El Feo left forever, and I will never be the same.

Famous Hat

Monday, April 2, 2012

Popcorn Magnolias and Crane Parents

Yesterday Richard Bonomo, Tiffy, Katzooks, and I went to the Arboretum in spite of the cool temperatures. (Where was that 75 degrees Fahrenheit they had promised us?) The magnolias were almost done blooming already, and we could not find the one that smells like a cinnamon red-hot. Katzooks said they should genetically engineer magnolias to smell like all kinds of movie snacks, like Jujube Beans and Junior Mints and, of course, popcorn. We loved the idea of the popcorn magnolia, but it might drive a person crazy. “Why am I smelling hot buttered popcorn here in the middle of a bunch of blooming trees? And more importantly, where can I find some hot buttered popcorn?”

Then we went out onto the boardwalk that goes into the wetlands, and there we saw a sandhill crane sitting on a nest. There was a second sandhill crane walking around in a surprisingly loud manner – this bird was not sneaking up on anyone – and then it went over and switched places with the first crane. I love that they divide the work like that. So hopefully I will have some photos of a cute baby crane to post soon.

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