Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas

I didn't tell you about Christmas at all.
We had a very nice (but short) Christmas weekend.
We spend all day Saturday with the Grandmas at the farm, then Sunday evening with Richard's family, and Monday with my family and then Richard's immediate family joined us at our house for dinner and "Deal or No Deal."
One of the highlights of my Christmas had to be the "Camp-Stove Coffee Cookoff." Dad gave Lauren a camp stove and a coffee pot for Christmas and challenged her to a duel. The participants were graded on three criteria. 1. Taste--whose coffee tastes the best? 2. Speed--who could make coffee the fastest? 3. Style and Cleanliness--who looked the best while cooking? Who could make coffee with the least amount of mess? It was a very close race, but Lauren pulled through in the end despite a HUGE boil-over. Simply put, her coffee tasted the best. (Sorry, Dad)

Dad and Lauren before the competition.

Dad setting his watch.

Dad adjusting the flame (yes flame) on his camp stove.

Lauren watching intently for her coffee to perk.

Both pots had overflowed by this point.

Who says we don't know how to have fun in the Duffert family?

We are heading out of town for my cousin's wedding this afternoon--have a safe and Happy New Year!

Rich gave me a digital camera for Christmas. Can you tell?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Worry Wart

My husband just turned over and said, "Why are you still awake?"
I said, "I don't know."
"Are you worried about something?"
"I don't know. I'm always worried about something."
"That's true," he said. And as he turned over to go back to sleep he said, "Can you turn the heater off?"
Sure, babe.
So what am I worried about?
Here's a list in no particular order:
-I haven't been to spinning in almost two weeks. Am I getting pudgy again?
-I don't know how to locate the vendor numbers I need for the end of the year accounting tomorrow.
-I'm really hungry, but is it ok to eat chips and guacamole this late at night?
-Did Christmas really go well, or is everybody just being nice?
-What on earth am I going to do with this much leftover meat?
-I think I might have gingivitis.
-Would lasagna be ok for mom's grad party?
-My fingernails grow very fast while my hair grows slow--why?
-Who am I? Or better yet, who is Erin?
-And how do other people actually see me?
-What do I want to do with my life?
-Do I actually have a career ahead of me?
-And what about this publishing thing?
So, gingivitis and hair care aside, what about this publishing thing? Dad is making a big push for me to send out something--anything--to a publisher. But what to send? And where? And why, oh why, would anyone want to read what I have to say, let alone pay me to say it?
Why don't I send something?
One word: FEAR.
Can you imagine it? My smarmy writing friends banging their heads against their well-worn over-loved and dying typewriters purchased at thrift stores in despair to learn that Erin has been published anywhere. Erin--remember her? The one who gave up a life of pain and suffering for her art to get married and live in the suburbs somehere. Didn't she have a baby? Or two? Remember Erin? The one with no discernable talent other than the uncanny and often irritating, though effortless ability to find the punch-line every single time? She was fun.
I'm afraid of what those smarmy friends would say. I'm also afraid of getting turned down. It's not like I can keep a secret--you know I'd be on here the next day saying, "The New Yorker" turned me down. My smarmy friends would feign sympathy but secretly scoff at my arrogance. "'The New Yorker?' Yeah right!"
So what if I aim low? Shoot for Reader's Digest or Cosmo?
It wouldn't hurt so much to get turned down by magazines designed for elderly potty-goers or desperate twenty-somethings.
I think I'll aim low.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Let's Talk

I need to get some things off my chest. Two things actually.
1. Stop sending me Christmas Cards.
I announced at the beginning of the Christmas season that I would NOT be sending Christmas Cards, and you people keep sending them! This, of course, makes me feel like I need to respond, and I have sent out more than 25 cards so far. I'm writing now to say, enough is enough. Don't send anymore. I love you all, and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but I don't want to do it $.39 at a time. I have better things to do--as do you.
Spread yule some other way.
2. I'd like to phase out the hugging.
I know Christmastime is a time for spreading the aforementioned yule, which often comes with a hug. Well, now I'm sick. Actually sick from all your virus-spreading hugs. My nose and ears are plugged and my throat hurts. Merry frickin Christmas, folks. Thanks a lot.
It's not just the viruses. I really just don't like hugging. Do I have to physically affirm that I love you every time I see you? Rest assured when I feel like giving a hug, I will give one. If I'm not in the mood, though, I really will let you stand there with your arms out feeling foolish. When I want to hug you, I will. I just don't see how it's necessary to hug all the time.
Now in regard to hugging, here's something funny. You may know the Nourse family and their affinity for the hugs. Jared, Naomi's husband, knows how I feel about hugging and when it comes time to leave their house, I can see on his face that he wants to hug me but doesn't want to make me uncomfortable. This always melts my heart so lately I have been the one who initiates the goodbye hugs when we leave their house.
See how it works? You can't hug-attack. You have to wait for me to choose the hug. Let the hug come to you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

BUSTING with Pride, part 2 (Hootie-Hoo)

What a great weekend. Lauren, Richard, and I drove down to Wausau on Friday night, stayed up way too late giving mom her graduation gifts and goofing around, and then, bright and early the next morning, we were off to UWSP for the best graduation ever. The speaker was a stand-up comic. Honestly, it was the least painful graduation I've ever been to, including mine.
The best part was watching my mom come out with all the graduates with the biggest smile I've ever seen. I had texted her so that she would know where we were sitting and she spotted us immediately. She kept leaning back to wave at us through the whole ceremony. When it was her turn to walk across the stage, Lauren shouted, "That's my mom!!" While I gave her the customary Duffert-Family-Graduation, "Hootie-Hoo!"
She still has finals this week, but the end is near, and I honestly couldn't be more pleased. I can't describe what it felt like to watch her graduate--she beat the odds and went back to school, and I am so proud.

This is when I started to cry.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Angst

You know what I hate more than the Little Drummer Boy?
Giving a gift, having someone open it, and the look on their face says, "Oh."
I hate that! I never want that to happen. I love giving gifts, and I want the receiver to he as excited about their gift as I am, you know?
It's this fear that drives me.
For some reason, however, this year is different than any other. For the past two years I have freaked out about the M-I-L, and ended up doing something lame-o. But this year is different because I have really great presents for the in-laws, and just mediocre gifts for my own family. I had the perfect gift for my mom, then discovered it wasn't quite right, went back for another, and still, it's not quite right. Lauren and McClain are easy--we always make Christmas Agreements. "I'll buy you this if you'll buy me this..." But I have yet to have a moment of glorious inspiration for my dad. I have purchased several gifts for him, but none of them are quite right.
I am feeling very discouraged, friends and brethren. The in-laws were easy this year, and I feel like my whole world is upside down!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Short, Imagined Dialogues

This morning as I was getting ready for work (late), I imagined my boss saying something to me about my perpetual tardiness. He has never yet noticed that I am late, to my knowledge. Or rather, he has never said anything to me about it.
Our imaginary conversation went like this:
Him: Erin, you really need to work harder at being on time. Why are you always so late?
Me: Well, it all boils down to one thing, sir.
Him: What's that?
Me: Pantyhose.
Him: Pantyhose?
Me: Yes.
Him: Please explain.
Me: Well, every single morning, I stand in front of my closet and try to figure out what to wear. Every day I ask myself, 'Will today be a pantyhose day?' Then I have to go through a small check list. 1. Do I have anything clean that does NOT necessitate pantyhose? 2. When was the last time I shaved my legs (pertaining to skirts only, obviously)? 3. What's going on today--how nice do I need to look? So on and so forth.
This whole thing probably takes about five minutes, which, when you only give yourself fifteen to get out the door, is a lot. Then, if I decide today is indeed a pantyhose day, I can automatically add at least 15 minutes of hopping around the bedroom, half-naked, on one foot while I try to squeeze into "Nude, Control Top, Large." It's at this point that I have to wonder--am I buying the right size? If I paid more than $1.99 for my pantyhose, would the whole ordeal go more smoothly? Am I sure I don't have any clean pants?
Sir, I just don't know what else to do.
Him: Perhaps you could get out of bed earlier?
Me: Oh. I guess I could do that.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Come here, Drummer Boy...

Does anybody else hate the Little Drummer Boy?
Is he actually in the Christmas Story, in the Bible? No.
I'd like to kick him. And pinch him. The drummer boy takes away any happy feelings I might be feeling about Christmas--family, memories, finding that perfect gift...and replaces them with pure unadulterated irritation. To me, the drummer boy encompasses everything that is annoying, frustrating, and just plain BAD about Christmas. Put yourself in my shoes. I'm out, running the many, many errands that are necessary at this time of year, I'm enjoying myself, humming along with the radio when suddenly, I hear a vaguely familiar melody. I shake my head, trying to rid myself of the melody as I change the station, but it's too late. It's stuck with me.
And it won't leave. For the rest of the day, "Par-um-pa-pum-pum..."
Come here, drummer. I'll pru-um you.
Since the offending percussionist is not actually the real Christmas story, and is part of a song made up in 1958, I nominate that we vote him off the island. I want him out of Christmas alltogether.
What do you think, friends and brethren? Can we send him away to live in a gingerbread house somewhere in Siberia, along with all the other Christmas irritations? You know, Rudolph, cell phone salesmen, and every mall-hired Santa in the world?
Who else should we vote off Christmas Island? I want to know what irritates you in this season. Don't hold back, folks. What bugs you that takes away from the real joy of this season?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Good Luck, Scott

My writing friend, Scott, has a blog, Nehring The Edge, that has been nominated for The Weblog Awards. If you go to You can vote for his site.
If you're so inclined, you can vote once a day/per computer you have access to until December 15th.
Good luck, Scott! I'll vote every day!

I'm an Imp-O-tent part of the team!

Do you remember that joke about the man who goes to get his vasectomy wearing a tuxedo?
Keep it in mind.
Since the "reorganization" of our division (i.e. swallowing up a smaller department, firing 50+ people, and getting a new name), my manager has taken on a lot more responsibility than before. He does not hesitate to remind me how important he is. As a result, I have been working very hard on some things. The first of which is to not be stupid. That one is a work in progress. The second is that I've been working a lot harder to look more professional and at my job. I bought a lot of new clothes with my birthday money, and so far I feel like I've been pretty successful. I've also been receiving a lot of compliments, which, if I let my neurosis get really out of control, makes me think that I really did look like crap for the last few months. Oh well.
Yesterday even our VP noticed my transformation. I wore a black skirt and tights with a red sweater. Very sharp, friends. He said, "Well don't you and red today!" (Anyone who can tell me what this means wins the prize.)
Anyway, since I'm working for someone important, I think I should look important.
Which brings us back to the man getting a vasectomy in a tuxedo.
When asked why he was wearing a tuxedo, he said, "If I'm gonna be imp-o-tent, I'm gonna look imp-o-tent."
There's a joke in there somewhere. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

That's My Sister!!

Where's the worst place in the world to get hit on?
Besides prison, I'd have to say at the doctor's office.
I had lunch with Mandi yesterday after her doctor's appointment, when she told me this story.
She was sitting in the empty waiting room for her name to be called when a man in his mid-30's sat down on the double seat right next to her, despite ALL the empty seats in the whole waiting room.
She's that magnetic, friends. ; )
He, of course, very casually started a conversation.
"How are you doin today?"
"Been better," Mandi said briefly, wanting to avoid further conversation. They were, after all, at the clinic.
"I'm sorry to hear that. What are you in for?"
Mandi looked at him, "I can't stop peeing."
End of conversation.

That's my sister, shooting a man down with only four words. Classic--I love it!

In other sisterly news, Mandi was featured in the Stillwater Gazzette. Check it out.
Way to go, Noonie!

(Big Tooooooooe!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I woke up this morning thinking, "It's Wednesday...half way through."
I then woke up and hour later and thought, "It's EIGHT O'CLOCK!"
Which is the official story.
I really did think it was Wednesday today until just a few minutes ago. Whether or not I "overslept" on accident is still up in the air.
When I told Arnie I woke up at 8, he said (teasing me), "How can you even do that?"
Like it's hard.
Needless to say, it's NOT Wednesday, and I still have NINE THOUSAND days to go until the weekend.
Awesome. I'M. SO. HAPPY.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cheatin' Heart

I have to tell you something, and I don't know how to say it.
I'm just going to come right out and say it.
I've been cheating.
Over my lunch break, on the way home from work, even over dinner, if I can get away with it.
Yes, it's with my ex.
I tried to realign my loyalties, but I can't fool myself anymore--or you. It's just not fair.
Sure, things were going great for a while, but when the pressure is on, and we get down to the basics--the nitty, gritty details--my needs and desires, on a molecular level, you just don't cut it. I need something better, more Real. I really think I deserve it, too. You deserve to be with someone who isn't longing for another.
I know this is hard, but you'll find someone--soon. Someone better, who cares about you and loves you for who you are.
It's not you. Really. It's me.
I will always hold a special place for you in my heard, Diet Coke, but it's time we parted ways. Please don't cry. I'll keep you in the fridge for my diet-drinking friends, but I have to be true to myself, and I'm just not happy with you. I feel like I can't be me.
I'll miss you, but I've got to stick with the Real Thing--I'm a Classic kind of girl, you know?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rambling Relief and a little Embarassment

I'm sorry I haven't blogged much, friends. A lot has been going on in my life that isn't exactly blog-worthy.
I found out today that my job is safe, which is a relief, though I also learned that I had to be fought for, which is NOT what I was hoping to hear...But at least I still have a job! Until tomorrow...

So, basically, the joke goes, "Not so fast, Smith, Jones, and Desvousges. Or wait. Desvousges, you can stay."
Not to sound ungrateful or anything. I just didn't want to hear that I was on the chopping block in the first place.
Am I rambling?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not so fast, Smith and Jones

Those of you whose jobs are safe and you should come back tomorrow morning, take one step forward.
Not so fast, Smith and Jones.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More thoughts on Thanksgiving

I wasn't satisfied with my first post about Thanksgiving--it felt forced and hollow, but I wasn't ACTUALLY feeling very thankful until I was on my way home this afternoon, listening to the new Barlow Girl disc. They do a beautiful (although abbreviated) version of "For the Beauty of the Earth."
Read the lyrics through once:

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

I was totally having a "Yeah, God!" moment.

And then I saw a dead turkey on the side of the road.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my sick sense of humor.
(And my family, like I said before.)

To the Turkey

Oh Turkey, you fool
dead on the side of the road--
Should have been dinner.

What were you doing?
Is this what they call free range--
walking down the street?

Should have been dinner
next to the pumpkin pie and
cranberry jelly.

Are you stuffed, dear sir?
With savory herbs like thyme?
Still need to be plucked?

A Cornicopia of Blessings

The plan is still a little up in the air, but I THINK we are leaving tomorrow morning to go to Nebraska. I'm really looking forward to seeing the fam and having some down time. And some serious shopping time.
Yes, I am one of those crazy shoppers who races to the mall before 8am to get that GREAT deal on a chenille bathrobe...or earrings...or leaf blower...whatever. I really like it! It's shopping on a mission, and I love the challenge! I've got my list ready, I plan to scan the ads on Thursday after dinner, and Lincoln, Nebraska, HERE I COME!!
We're also going to hang out down town Lincoln before the Husker game, so watch for us on the pre-game coverage. We'll be wearing red.
This year I am especially thankful for my family--ALL of them. The siblings, the parents, the in-laws. God has blessed me in this area.
So, Happy Thanksgiving, fellow bloggers. I hope you sit down at a table tomorrow with people you love, food that satisfies, and conversation that edifies!

Monday, November 20, 2006

An Actually Happy Birthday

So the 25th Birthday turned out pretty well--even though I am very, very old now.
A whopping EIGHTEEN people turned out for my birthday party at Buca di Beppo, where laughter prevailed, food was bountiful and drinks were plentiful...very plentiful in my case. It was a GREAT party. They put is in the back, which was wise because we were very loud.
The highlight of the night for me was when the group (including a large group of high school students seated near us) decided to sing me "happy birthday." For some reason, we had to wait momentarily to start singing, so I suggested a round (or two) of "Frere Jaques," which everyone sang heartily, much to my pleasure. I believe there were actually 4 rounds started. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Why? Not because I love the song, but the sheer hilarity of the situation tickles me still. Imagine it. 30 people (some a little more lubricated than others) singing "Frere Jaques" at the top of their lungs--in ROUNDS. Could a girl ask for more?
I think not.
I also got the most BEAUTIFUL gifts. All my friends and family are so generous! I made a killing on the Jewelry and Candle front, though, including a BUNCH of handmade jewelry from Naomi, and a candleabra (?) from the Plumms.
Richard gave me the most beautiful pearl necklace that he bought from the Little Mermaid herself. He had to sell her his voice for it, but it was SO. WORTH. IT.
So, thanks, everyone for making my birthday such a success, and thank you especially, blog friends, for your warm wishes when I wasn't feeling very happy on Friday. : )

It wasn't that bad,
try not to think about it--
thirty will be worse.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy Friggin Birthday.

At midnight last night, I thought, "I'm TWENTY-FIVE."
I know you're all going to roll your eyes, but I'm really having trouble with this one. When you hit 25, you're not a kid anymore. I'm a woman now.
I've accomplished a lot in my 25 years.
I graduated from high school and college, got married, traveled through Western Europe, overdrawn my checking account by $400, been "laid off," and acquired a relatively grown-up job. I've even had some of my stories published.
That's the problem? What's AFTER 25? Child bearing? A long and happy marriage?
I look forward to both of those things, but all I can see in those two things today, in my frame of mind is saggy boobs and exhaustion.
I'm in a new box now. For a long time I was in the 18-24 box. Now I'm in the 25-30 box. Next is 31-35. This doesn't sit well with me.

I'm twenty-five now,
I can't believe I'm so old
Is that an age spot??

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Blood Pressure

Last Friday my Division announced that we are merging with another department. 50 out of 200 jobs will be cut. I don't dare write much, just know that things are quite tense around the office, and rumors are just a-flyin'. I am privy to a lot of the goings-on behind closed doors, and to say the least, it's stressing me out. Not to mention, I'm really not sure that my job is all that secure.
I had a routine doctor's appointment (a different blog topic altogether, believe me) today, and the nurse said, "Your blood pressure is a little high."
The deadline for the merger is December 1, so at least the pain be over quick--like ripping off a bandaid.
I mean, a 3M Nexcare Wound Bandage.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Colder than...

Until I got "the look" from Richard on Sunday night, I never realized that the phrase, "Colder than a well-digger's butt," just doesn't make any sense. I've always thought it was a funny thing to say but never really thought it through. The truth is, it doesn't make any sense. Why would a well-digger's butt be cold? Only if he was digging a well in the winter. Why would any one try to dig a well in winter? The ground is frozen. Follow my logic? The phrase is now completely debunked, and to be honest, I'm a little sad about it.
We were shivering as we got into bed last night and as we settled into the covers (you know that REALLY cold feeling when you first get in bed because the sheets aren't warmed up yet?), and Richard said through chattering teeth, "It's colder than a coal miner's butt!"
Close enough, babe.

Today's haiku can also serve as a limerick (I'm really proud of this one):
A well-digger's butt
is never as cold as a
coal miner's bottom.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Quilting Lessons Learned

The quilting retreat was wonderful. This one was the more like a slumber party than any of the others I have been to. Kristen, Ruthie, Sarah, Naomi, and I stayed in the old camp director's house and had a blast. We even did each other's hair! I came home feeling very refreshed and thankful for the wonderful women God has put in my life. Kandi and Naomi were newbees this year and both finished GORGEOUS quilts! You'll have to check their blogs for photos, which means Kandi will have to START. A. BLOG.
I always learn a lot at the retreats. There are so many seasoned quilters there every year that it's impossible NOT to learn something.
This year, the top things I learned were:
1. How to make a purse out of an old pair of jeans. I can't in good conscience recommend lining said purses.
2. Mean people suck (though I'm still waiting for a little more clarification on this one from Kristi and Kandi).
3. White quilts are not necessarily for babies, and should, in fact, be kept far, far away from a nurshing child.

Here are some fun photos from the weekend.
This is the log cabin I've been working on for about a year now. I quilted it myself! This is the one Ruthie threw up all over. I guess I'm glad she didn't have peas or carrots for lunch...I swear I almost had an aneurism.

This is a quilt top that I finished. It is a wedding gift for a friend. I think it turned out really nice.

We dressed up as cow girls for dinner on Saturday--the whole group did, not just the 3 of us. I think we should have won best dressed, alas, we were only adoreable losers. I think we look pretty cute. : )

Thursday, November 09, 2006


When people at work say, "What are you doing for the weekend?" I'm torn. I know no matter what I say, I'm going to get a look.
The conversation usually goes like this:
"I'm going on a retreat."
"Really? Who are you going with?"
"Some ladies from church."
End of conversation.
Or it can go like this:
"I'm going on a quilting retreat--don't make fun."
"It takes all kinds."
End of conversation.
I can't win.

I'm very excited about the retreat this year, but also very nervous. There are a TON of us going, and for some reason I just can't shake the worry that it won't be PERFECT and that I won't get to see everyone I want to see and hang out with. I honestly feel like I'm heading to Junior High camp. Every single year I panicked because I was just positive that it wouldn't be as good as the year before. I'm trying to remember that God always has (and had, even when I was 13) a higher agenda than mine, and that every year was wonderful regardless of my petty worries.
Easier said than done.
I can't wait to get out of here, though! It's going to be a LOOOOOONG day!

It's finally here
the quilting retreat has come
got lots to get done!
When people at work say, "What are you doing for the weekend?" I'm torn. I know no matter what I say, I'm going to get a look.
The conversation usually goes like this:
"I'm going on a retreat."
"Really? Who are you going with?"
"Some ladies from church."
End of conversation.
Or it can go like this:
"I'm going on a quilting retreat--don't make fun."
"It takes all kinds."
End of conversation.
I can't win.

I'm very excited about the retreat this year, but also very nervous. There are a TON of us going, and for some reason I just can't shake the worry that it won't be PERFECT and that I won't get to see everyone I want to see and hang out with. I honestly feel like I'm heading to Junior High camp. Every single year I panicked because I was just positive that it wouldn't be as good as the year before. I'm trying to remember that God always has (and had, even when I was 13) a higher agenda than mine, and that every year was wonderful regardless of my petty worries.
Easier said than done.
I can't wait to get out of here, though! It's going to be a LOOOOOONG day!

It's finally here
the quilting retreat has come
got lots to get done!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Going Nowhere Fast...

Thanks to Miss Confident Independence, now I can tell you all about my Spinning class last night.

I had a great time. I got there early to choose a bike at the back near the door (I wasn't sure whether to expect another "beginner yoga" experience and wanted to be close to an exit, should I happen to need one), and ended up sitting right under the fan, so I managed to stay cool through the class, which was a huge plus.
I wasn't able to keep up with the class, but I really enjoyed myself, had a great work out, and am sore in all the right places today (i.e. all the places I'd like to slim down). I fully intend to go back after the quilting retreat. The only bummer about the class was that the seats on the bikes aren't very padded. I'm going to have to get some of those padded bike shorts if I'm going to keep this up.

The best part of spinning:
When we're doing a sprint (pedaling as fast as we can) and the instructor says, "You're flying! Your legs are flying! You! Are! Flying!

The worst part of spinning:
My ass hurts so bad I can hardly stand it.

Dear Abby

I guess no one saw this:

Dear Abby,
I'm looking for practical advice as to how to handle a difficult co-worker. I'm basically a slave in my job and I don't get to ask the people I support to make my job any easier by, for instance, sending me an email instead of shouting orders to me on the fly as he's on the way to the bathroom. When this guy gives me instructions over his shoulder in this way, I am very likely to forget because I am not usually in a spot where I can write it down immediately like I usually do. When this happens, he talks to me like I'm the dumbest person he's ever met. How do I do a better job so that I don't have to deal with him talking down and being mean to me? How do I make him stop being so mean to me?
Sincerely yours,
Overwrought Employee

I'll tell about spinning when I get some help!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Today's a two-fer.
Blog #1

I now know what it feels like to be the fattest person in the room.

For those of you rolling your eyes right now, know this, I'm not kidding.
I know that I am not fat. I know that. But, recently, I've been putting on a little weight, and in an effort to stop (the insanity) this, I joined the 3M fitness club yesterday. It's only $18 a month for unlimited classes and machines. A great deal! I fear, though, that I may have signed up to waste $18 a month.
I decided to jump into my new membership feet first and take BEGINNER Yoga. I love doing pilates, and Yoga isn't a far stretch (no pun intended). Except that it IS a far stretch. I almost cried. Right there in the middle of a class full of glistening, sweaty, hard , size 2 bodies. I was very clearly the only beginner, and very clearly not there "Because I love it." I was bumpier and jigglier than everyone in the class, including the three MEN in attendance. Plus, I fell down not once, not twice, but three times.
I. Fell. Down. THREE TIMES!
The instructor started out trying to help me with my posture and stances, but eventually gave up entirely. She approached me after class and said, "How did you like your first yoga??" I said, "It was painful." "Well don't give up," she said. "Keep coming! Promise me you'll come back?!"
Spinning is tonight at 5. I'll let you know how it goes.

Karli, encouragement needed.

Here's blog #2.

Dear Abby,
I'm looking for practical advice as to how to handle a difficult co-worker. I'm basically a slave in my job and I don't get to ask the people I support to make my job any easier by, for instance, sending me an email instead of shouting orders to me on the fly as he's on the way to the bathroom. When this guy gives me instructions over his shoulder in this way, I am very likely to forget because I am not usually in a spot where I can write it down immediately like I usually do. When this happens, he talks to me like I'm the dumbest person he's ever met. How do I do a better job so that I don't have to deal with him talking down and being mean to me? How do I make him stop being so mean to me?
Sincerely yours,
Overwrought Employee

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween...

Interesting fact--the tradition of carving pumpkins comes from Ireland (which is not all that surprising due to the Celt's love of anything dark and twisty--aka, Pagan). A very clever farmer named Jack tricked the devil into climbing a very tall tree. While the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross in the trunk of the tree so the devil could not come down. Years later, when Jack died (not sure what happened to the devil--is he still in the tree?), he couldn't get into heaven because of his sin, and couldn't get into hell because of his trickery. He was doomed to roam the earth alone, so, he carved out a turnip and put a light inside to use as a lantern. Because of this, he became known as "Jack of the Lantern," and we carry on his tradition today, but with pumpkins instead of turnips because--who wants to carve a turnip?
Naomi and I carved pumpkins last night, and I think I may be reaching an unattractive point in my love for my pets. I carved a Kitty and a Pedro. They turned out pretty funny. We had so many seeds from three pumpkins that we roasted three different flavors. We made Spiced Seeds, which are coated in butter, garlic salt, and worsteschire (?) sauce. We made Cayenne Pepper Seeds, which are toasted in salt and cayenne pepper (yummy!), and finished with a new and dangerous flavor--Cinnamon and Salt. I was nervous about this flavor but it's DELICIOUS. All you do is sprinkle salt and cinnamon on your seeds, roast at 350 for 5 minutes, stir, and roast for 20 more minutes. To. Die. For.
Cinnamon and salt,
a dangerous combo, friends.
Three words--To. Die. For!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mr. Congeniality

OK, so we didn't win the Costume Contest.
We were beat out by some kids. I should have known! I should have gotten some kids to help me win. Oh well. They dressed their Boxer, Roxie, up as a deer, and wore deer hunter outfits. It was pretty cute.
We DID win 2nd place in the obstacle course, though, despite a questionable "Dragging by the Leash" flag raised by none other than my husband.
I was overwhelmed with thankfulness that our class is so small, because when you gather all the dogs from all 3 training classes, things get a little out of hand. Let's just say that I'm thrilled to death that the Minpin belonging to the 4 year-old, and the Golden Retriever and the sheepdog owned by the Disgustingtons are in other classes. (Seriously, what's hard about getting your child to take a bath?)

I think you'll enjoy these photos.

Erin and Pedro at home before the big contest. (Despite what it looks like in this photo, no, I am not pregnant. Thanks for asking, though.)

Pedro showing off his WINNING costume.

Pedro bobbing for tennis balls.

Pedro near his prize for losing at Tennis Ball bobbing--most likely wanting to attack the incredibly irritating MinPin near us. (Thank goodness they're not in our class!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lost in the Cosmos

Did astrologers use Pluto to determine our horoscopes?
I bet they feel dumb if they did.

My haiku for today is DEEP.

There's no more Pluto;
Nothing new under the sun.
What to use instead?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy HOWL-oween!

So, Pedro's dog training class is having their annual
"HOWL-oween Costume Contest and Training Party."
Of course, I'm going to dress him as Napoleon Dynamite in a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt. I honestly think we might win. Maybe I have a sick sense of humor (hence naming the dog Pedro in the first place), but I think it's the funniest thing I've thought of in a long time. Not that it's really a creative stretch, but come on.
I don't care who you are--that's funny. ( :
My excitement was tarnished briefly at Wal-Mart yesterday when I approached someone stocking the children's clothing and asked, "Can you show me where the tiniest white t-shirts are that you sell?"
She saw the iron-on letters in my hand and said, "Are you making a costume for your baby?!?"
And I had to say, "'s for my dog."
I felt a little foolish, especially when it became clear that she didn't want to help once she realized that this was a canine costume, but won't she feel like an arse when I bring home the grand prize!
I hope it's money.

p.s. Anyone who knows what a "Training Party" is, let me know. I thought the words were mutually exclusive.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

God's Green Earth: Appliances Fight Back

I literally dragged Richard all over God's Green Earth last night looking for the PERFECT coffee maker. I could have picked one out for myself, but I was having trouble because I only wanted to spend about $20, but I'm tired of $20 coffee pots, you know? I was about to just pick the $50 pot when he said, "What about this one? It'd be perfect for us--it only makes 4 cups."

That's when it all came rushing back to me.

I already had one of those little 4-cuppers. It was at home, in the bottom cupboard, behind the crock pot. I had completely forgotten that Chris and Katie Sandquist gave it to us when we got married. I used it about 10 times and put it away when mom gave us her old one (which figures, since it was on the fritz--thanks, mom).
I told Richard all of this, and he very graciously said that it was ok that I dragged him from Roseville to Woodbury and back, and could we just go eat now.
I felt a little foolish.
The coffee was great this morning, though!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Brokedown Appliances

This morning, my coffee pot (appliance #1) died. It must be getting hot enough to brew, but then by the time it hits the cold pot, I have cold coffee. Apparently the burner has burned out--or perhaps has actually started COOLING the coffee. Yes.
I intend to put up plastic over our windows (due to the extreme lack of insulation in our home), but my blow dryer (app #2) doesn't get hot enough to make the plastic tight over the windows.
And finally, my curling iron / straightener is a cool gadget (app #3). I just got it the other day, and immediately dropped it on the floor. The lock that holds the straightener closed so that I can use it as a curling iron broke, and now only keeps the straightener closed part of the time so that it keeps POPPING open and smacking me in the head. So far, because of this, I have only burned my ear once. It's getting exchanged tonight.
I tried to order the perfect coffee maker from, but they can't garauntee that it will be here before November 6. I guess I'll just have to go actually pick one out. Either that or drink cold coffee...
Despite all these disasters, I'm in a pretty good mood! I got to go to an impromptu birthday party last night and have some much needed laughs.

Give me my coffee,
Need a hotter blow dryer,
Just don't burn my head!

Weak. Can anybody give me a better haiku? I'm a little rusty.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Jeff will be ok--thank you very sincerely, everyone for your prayers and support. He is home now, and resting comfortably.
I don't have a whole lot to share other than that I never thought I'd say I was glad the weekend was over! Talk about an emotional roller coaster! My tummy is having trouble settling down...
Richard is finally home safe and sound, and maybe life will go back to normal for a little while! (Please note that by "normal" I mean INSANELY busy.)
Today is Naomi's birthday, so be sure to wish her a
Happy Golden Birthday, Naomi!!!
Happy 25th Birthday, Carla!!
(and Dave?)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Har, har.

Rejected Names for Nerds Candy.
- - - -


Prayer Request

Yesterday morning, Jeff, my brother-in-law was in a car accident. He fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tree. We don't know how fast he was going, and he doesn't remember anything.
He was rushed to the hospital where they treated and have been treating his hand (several stitches), broken lower jaw, and lacerated spleen.
He will be ok, but they will keep him for a while to make sure his spleen doesn't bleed out.
The entire ordeal was very emotional on a lot of levels--over the day I felt fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, joy, comfort, exhaustion, and true, honest gratitude especially to Bia for showing such selfless love to my family. She was there with Jeff before any of us got there and stayed much longer than the rest of us. The love of Christ comes in all forms, and it seems that Bia is tuned-in to whatever God wanted to use her for yesterday.
I left work early to go visit him, and then went with Brenda to sign his car over to the tow guy, which, believe it or not, was NOT an easy thing. Let me suffice it to say that the guy at Budget Towing off of W. 7th Street in St. Paul needs to work on his communication skills.
Brenda and I spent an hour or more cleaning out Jeff's destroyed Cavalier. The engine is the only thing that stopped the tree from coming all the way through the car. It seemed like the fact that we had a job to do in cleaning out the car made it easier to deal with the crisis. I was impressed with how calm and collected Brenda was through the whole ordeal. I think I wasn't the only one who was anointed with the Holy Sprit yesterday.
We took everything out of Jeff's car and put it into bags and carried it out of the tow yard.
Brenda and I were both dressed relatively nicely when we started the whole ordeal, and as you can imagine, it wasn't a very clean job cleaning out a wrecked car (a bottle of Tide had exploded in the trunk, among other things), so as we picked out clothing from Jeff's car, we chose the cleanest pieces and put them on. I actually changed pants in the middle of the tow yard. I figure, give the jerk in the office a thrill. Talk about a winner.
The point is, I prayed for anointing all day. I knew I couldn't be what Brenda needed (whatever she needed) without help from God, which He provided. And also, shave your legs because you never know when you may need to strip down to your underwear in an impound lot.

Please keep our family in your prayers. Richard is in Pennsylvania this weekend, and being so far away when Jeff is hurt is really hard on him. Pray that the Lord will bless our interactions and help us to make good decisions. And pray that I can continue to be whatever Richard's family needs me to be.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Smackem Crackem

Today over lunch I had to run to Cub to pick up a few things.
I turned down the aisle to park and had to stop and wait for an elderly woman in a turquoise Plymouth Relient (sp? don't care--you'll all make fun anyway--please see Pet peeve #7.). I watched, horrified, as she hit two, count'em, TWO cars while trying to back into a parking spot.
It went like this:
Car One
Stop at an angle in the aisle.
Back up, back up, back up, smack.
Back up, back up, smack, crack, scrape.
Turn wheel hard (take a long time to do so).
Car Two
Back up, back up, back up, SMACK.
Forward, scraaaaaaaape.
Back up, smack, crack.
Forward, scrape.
Back up into parking spot.

Smackem crackem, Ma'am.
Of course I think you should keep
your driver's license.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Strange Things Happen in Bars

It's true.
The other night we went to a birthday party / Hand Fest '06 for the boyfriend of a good friend of mine from college. The party was the celebration of Matt's 25th birthday, and the 3rd anniversary of the day he sliced his hand open. It was a typical birthday party--games, ice cream cake (with a frosting-drawn cut-off hand), and a few beers.
After a couple of hours, we decided to head to a favorite bar in St. Paul called the Muddy Pig. We took over two tables at the back of the bar and laughed and talked.
We'd been sitting there for about a half hour when my foot touched something soft on the floor. Thinking I had dropped my scarf, I felt around and picked up what was down there.
It was not a scarf.
It was a red, leopard-print thong.
Of course, horror overtook our table, and then hilarity. Being that we had had a few drinks, the germ factor was not at the front of all of our minds, but I'd like to go on record to say that I only held it long enough to determine that it was from Fredericks of Hollywood, and was a Large.
Joe, the guy sitting next to me, grabbed it out of my hand and flung it across the room. It hit some girl in the left breast and landed in her lap.
This, of course, brought about more hilarity, because, of course, she flipped, but had no idea where it had come from (can I get any more commas in that sentence?,,,). I'm thinking she had had more than a few because it wouldn't have taken much to figure out who had flung it, considering the fact that we were practically rolling on the floor with laughter.
Somehow, a few minutes later, the undies ended up on the floor again in front of Joe, who picked them up and put them around his neck.
It was at this point that we discovered that it was a red, leopard-print MEN'S thong.

You can't make this shit up.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blog Harassment Dipped in Chocolate--and at only $5 a bag!

I'm getting Blog Harassed.
I'm SORRY it's been over a week. I've been busy.

So here's what I've got for you today. I keep a secret stash of Dove DARK chocolate in my desk drawer. (If I leave it out, the vulchers I call my co-workers eat it ALL.)
My Dove Promise for today was this, "Collect 10 different kinds of tree leaves." Can I get a resounding "GAY."? Or if you're more inclined, "LAME."
I HATE Dove Promises. I have a friend whose mom actually wrote to Dove Chocolate to tell them how stupid their "promises" are. For those of you who don't know, a Dove Promise is a little...fortune...on the inside of the foil your ridiculously expensive chocolate came wrapped in.
I'm thinking of boycotting Dove because of these stupid phrases. They don't make me feel good, they make me irritable. YOU go collect 10 different kinds of tree leaves, you weird Dove-hippies. I'd be thrilled to have enough time to file my nails and remove the makeup smudges from under my eyes BEFORE two meetings in the morning, let alone go leaf collecting.
Yessiree. That's it. I'm through with Dove.
Just as soon as I'm done with this bag.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rough Seas

I'm having trouble keeping the lid screwed on today. Every time I start to feel like I have a handle on what I'm doing at work, or get the house under control, or get the spending down, I start to drown again.
God has a sense of humor, though. I've been thinking this thought, specifically that "I start to drown," for about a week now. This morning, one of my co-workers likened my current confusion to a title wave. She said, "If you can just get past the crest of this title wave of knowledge, you'll be out to sea and sailing peacefully in no time." Of course, she had no idea that I felt like I was drowning.
She was trying to encourage me, which was nice, I guess I'd just like to know how long this title wave will last...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Good One.

ROMEO:News from Verona! How now, Balthasar?Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar?How doth my lady? Is my father well?How fares my Juliet? That I ask again,For nothing can be ill if she be well.
BALTHASAR:Then she is well, and nothing can be ill.Her body sleeps in Capel's monument, And her immortal part with angels lives. I saw her laid low in her kindred's vaultAnd presently took post to tell it you. O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
ROMEO: Is it e'en so? Then I defy you, stars!But soft! What SMS through yonder RAZR breaks?
SMS ON ROMEO'S PHONE:i'm ok -- poison fake rofl cul8r :-*
Thanks, again, Tim.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Little Old Blue-Haired Ladies

It's official. I'm an old lady. Instead of washing my hair this morning, I just curled and teased it, and I think it looks pretty good. Strange thing, though--I think it's starting to turn blue.
Speaking of little old blue-haired ladies, I forgot to tell you about Richard and my stumble at the Dome on Tuesday. After the game we had to make our way down from the ceiling (my ears popped on the way down, I swear), and we were about 5 rows down when I thought, "Wow...this is really slippery. I'd better hold on tight, I don't want to fall."
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind when Richard fell down behind me taking my feet out from under me. We must have looked like dominos. The coke Richard was holding went EVERYWHERE and finally landed in one of the seats, which is where we left it. Rich caught himself with his hands, but I was not so lucky. I caught myself with the backs of my forearms which immediately began to swell. I sat there for a second, covered in coke, and assessed my injuries, which were not bad, luckily. Richard started apologizing immediately--I think to everyone around us, and tried to help me up. The whole ordeal couldn't have lasted longer than 30 seconds, which was long enough for a little blue-haired lady to pass us and say, "Are you ok?"
The irony was not lost on me.

Little old lady,
You look cute in your jersey.
Thank you for asking.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Playoffs, Baby!

I have 9.4 hours of vacation accrued here. I used 4 hours of it yesterday and intend to use 4 of it today to go to the playoffs games! Yesterday was a disappointing loss to the Oakland A's, and just not a very exciting game all around. It's not very thrilling when your team only has 5 hits in the ENTIRE game.
I just don't think there is anything more fun than going to the Metrodome to watch baseball. I know most people HATE the Metrodome, but I love it. It holds so many great memories for me, that every time I go there I feel excited and anxious all over again--like it's my first time at a game.
The seats I bought from the ticket line are...terrible. They are obstructed view, so I knew what I was getting myself into, but I didn't know they would be BLOCKED view. It didn't matter much, though, because part of the fun of sitting in the nosebleed section is that you're surrounded by 25-year-olds who don't care where you sit, so we were able to shift around and see the entire disappointing game.
Today, though, our seats are AWESOME! We will be along the first base line, right by Justin Morneau, only 30 rows back, so be sure to watch for us in the crowd! I'll be the crazy screaming fan wearing a Santana t-shirt and my pink Twins hat. I should be easy to spot.

Monday, October 02, 2006

2006 Central Division Champs!

Talk about the FUNNEST game of all time. Rich and I were lucky enough to go with another couple and I swear, I have never had so much fun at a ball game. The best part was when they started playing the Detroit game on the Jumbo-Tron and the Twins came back out to the dug out to watch with us. As I'm sure you can imagine, the Metrodome went CRAZY!
What a fun game.

Congratulations to the Twins on their win, and to Joe Mauer (my boyfriend) on beating out Derek Jeter (ugh) for the American League Batting Title. He sends you all his love.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Don't it Just Break Your Heart?: Banned Books Week

I came across this article this morning and I'm glad I did because I discovered that it's Banned Books Week! That. Is. So. Cool! I'm sorry I happened to come across it at the tail end (Banned Books Week is Sept 23-30), but I am an ardent supporter nonetheless.
Most of the books on the list below I would consider classics, and many of them even played a part in making me who I am today. Censorship is such a touchy and gray area that it's hard to take a stand--because it's so subjective. It's close to my heart, though, having dealt with it personally as an editor. Books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men and James and the Giant Peach, are so much more than offensive and obscene or racial slurrs. just breaks my heart. These books are my friends (except the scary ones--I am not friends with scary stuff).
What it comes down to is discretion. If you don't want to read Harry Potter (though I don't know who wouldn't), don't. But don't try to take it away from someone who might be looking for a new friend.

Please note, I'm leaving the incorrect quotations as the author of the article published them.

A Long Shelf Life
By Vera HC Chan
Fri, September 22, 2006, 3:41 pm PDT

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."—Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Compelling as they are, some folks would rather you didn't read the words above. The quote comes from a Pulitzer Prize-winning book that's been denounced for so-called racial slurs and profanity, and banished from school library shelves.
Irony never ceases, nor does the impulse toward censorship. But now is a perfect time to celebrate books such as Lee's masterpiece, "Ulysses," and "Heart of Darkness." Banned Books Week is here and thumb-nosing librarians and freedom-loving bookstore owners are celebrating the 25th anniversary of reading verboten material.
The American Library Association keeps an accounting of objectionable reads. We curled up with a good computer to check which forbidden pages still beckon readers and searchers.
"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)*!
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)*
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)**
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)*
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)**
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)*!
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)*
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)*
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)*
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)*
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)*
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)*
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes) *
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)**
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)*
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)*
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)*!
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)

*Erin's recommended reads
*!Erin's REALLY recommended reads
**Recommended even though you'll hate it. It's good for you.

Please note--not all, but most of these books can be found on my bookshelves at home. So there.


This morning, I found myself in a situation where I spent a small period of time near a window that looked out over the parking lot.
I watched a man pull into the handicapped spot. He struggled to get out of the car on crutches WITH a coffee in his hands, which he set on top of the car. He then struggled to take a wheel chair out of the trunk. struggled to set it up, struggled to sit down, struggled to get his crutches settled across his lap, and then realized his coffee was still on top of the car.
He struggled to stand up again with the crutches, grabbed the coffee, put it between his legs, re-settled the crutches and wheeled himself inside.
I guess a guy's gotta have his priorities straight.

I have also seen the weird skeleton lady three times this morning. I usually only get to see her once a week or so. What a treat.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm tempted to say something terrible like, "This guy always needs to be the center of attention." Or, "He's more high maintenance than me."
But I won't.
Depression is a serious thing. We shouldn't joke about it.


I had a really funny blog prepared in my head for today, but then I got to work and had two messages* waiting for me about how I screwed up (everything. in. my. entire. life.), which, combined with my evening last night has sapped my energy and humpr.
(Upon final re-reading: I'm choosing to leave that typo just where it is, because it's helping bring back my humor just a little. LOL--Bring back the humpr!)
It was a blog about my favorite radio station and that they are having their annual fundraising event. There are no commercials, which I really enjoy, so they have to fund their costs with pledges and public support. I was even going to go into a long tangent on how PBS raises money and we used to wach Anne of Green Gables every year and cry and cry because we knew Matthew was going to die--and he always dies. But, the long and short of the blog is that I could never be a host for one of these events.
Host A said, "Are you ready for another full-day pledge?? Can you handle it?!?"
Host B said, "Absolutely! I can take it! Yeah!"
I would have said, "No thanks, I'm full."
Host A said, "It's time to celebrate! We've reached our hourly goal!"
Host B said, "Hooray! I'm so excited!" (Or something like that.)
I would have said, "Cool. Can we head to the bar now?"

See? I wouldn't be very good at it.
So, that's what I was going to blog about today, but now I don't feel like it.
I'm going to go back to hiding in my cube.

Hiding in my cube,
just can't do anything right.
Something's gotta give.

*Just got a note from the person who was upset with me--everything worked out ok, but I'm not changing the blog because I think it's sort of funny.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Stress Factor

This has been an incredibly challenging two weeks--mentally and spiritually.
I was so stressed-out at one point that I couldn't make my fingers work right--couldn't grab stuff, couldn't type, couldn't dial the phone.
Hel-LO anxiety.
But, I think my stress levels are going back to a normal level. Know how I know?
I just caught and killed a fly with my bare hands.
I couldn't focus enough to do that last week, so I take it as a good sign. Not, for instance, as a sign that I might be SO high-strung, and over-worked, and stressed that I have turned into a killing machine. Surely not.

I'm doing better--
Call me Mr. Miagi!
I need stress control!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Heeeere's Your Blog

You know the Jeff Foxworthy thing, "Heeere's Your Sign"? Some days I hear a little voice in my head saying, "Heeere's Your Blog!"
This morning, I was in the ladies' room, which, between the hours of 7-9am is a very busy place here at work.
I was checking my teeth and hair in the mirror when one of my favorite co-workers walked in. I've always suspected she was a wild woman and what I heard today confirmed it. She's about 50-55 and always appears to be very put together.
She came into the bathroom and greeted me and then a friend of hers from another department.
They started to talk while I primped and listened. The beginning of their conversation was fuzzy to me, but it must have started with something like, "I'm so tired today! I have to make sure I look ok--matching shoes, check. Matching shirt and pants, check. Shirt buttoned, check."
It went on like this for a few moments.
Then, my co-worker said, "Last week I tucked my skirt into my pantyhose. It was so embarassing."
Her friend said, "Oh, that happens to everyone! Don't worry about it!"
She said, "I know...but I wasn't wearing any underwear."
That's when all sound stopped--like when someone drags the needle across the record. Complete silence.
Heeere's your blog.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's like groceries but shorter.

"Grosh! Grosh! I know it! It's Grosh! Listen to me! Grosh! Wait--no....Russian! If you live in Russia, you're A RUSSIAN!"
The marriage retreat was a wonderful opportunity for grosh between Richard and I.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Earlier today I was transporting several boxes by way of a hand dolly...or whatever those things are called. One of my co-workers asked if I'd give him a ride. Har, har.
The joke isn't a very funny one but it reminded me quite pleasantly of the day we moved Grandma Shirley out to the farm to live with Gram.
I was young--like 12 or 13, and my mom had somehow convinced what I thought were the two CUTEST boys in the entire church to help us move her.
She asked Adam Hart and Josh Schettle.
My young, pre-pubescent heart was likely to explode. I had such a crush on both of them that I didn't know which one to blush over more. They were both so tall and old and mysterious and handsome; unlike FCC's other very crushworthy boys like Ben Holsteen and Derrick Hagen, both equally cute, but lacking the mysterious quality Josh and Adam seemed to possess.
Looking back on the day, they were probably paid $50 each to work like horses, and I specifically remember stopping at Hardee's for lunch, so it wasn't like the "perks" of the job were even very good. But they were happy workers and spent the entire day with us helping to move, which, I think is quite admirable for a guy of maybe 15 (??).
The day wasn't completely mischief-free, though. At one point, I looked out into the hall of the apartment complex we were moving her out of, and found Josh and Adam giving each other rides on the hand dolly as FAST as they could go up and down the hall without making a sound.
(It was a complex full of elderly people and the three of us had been severely warned NOT to make any noise).
Before I knew it, I was on the dolly myself, holding on for dear life as Josh panted in my ear as we raced down the hall. I'll never forget Adam whisper-yelling behind us, "If you hurt her, I'll kill you!" Such protective ownership! I swear to you, it's a miracle I didn't die of a massiave coronary then and there.
Josh, of course (this will come as no surprise to any of you who know him), never said a word to me the entire time--the entire day, in fact.
What a fun, random memory!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sleep Schedules

On Sunday night, I laid awake most of the night. I'm still not sure why, but I think it's mostly because I got all wound up working on my story and then couldn't relax.
There's nothing worse than not being able to sleep--it didn't used to be very unusual for me to lay awake for hours at a time and I got used to it after a while. I don't know if it's because I got married or because I am getting older, but now it is very rare for me to lay awake more than oh...two minutes after my head hits the pillow, so I had FORGOTTEN how much it sucks to stare at the ceiling until 4 in the morning.
I did everything--I thrashed, I tossed and turned, I sighed and snorted, I elbowed and kicked. I did anything I could think of to "accidentally" wake Richard up. All I wanted was to TELL someone I couldn't sleep. Even the dog and cat didn't move when I finally got up to watch info-mercials. I flipped back and forth between Bowflex and that little silver blender one--you know the one where they make omelets and drinks and muffins and pesto/garlic sauce in one little blender? I didn't buy anything, though I wanted to. Think how FIT I could be if I had the Bowflex in our basement and the handy-dandy blender to make all kinds of healthy foods upstairs!!! I decided it probably wasn't a very wise use of our money.
As a result of my night o' insomnia, I haven't recovered all week. I've been a freaking walking zombie and just can't seem to get back on track. I can't WAIT to go on the marriage retreat to spend some much needed one-on-one time with my honey and R.E.L.A.X.
Also, I was asked to join the synchronized swimming. Thank goodness I got a new bathing suit!
The conversation went like this:
Kristen: Hey, do you want to join us for synchronized swimming?
Erin [unabashed glee]: Um, YES.

I'll keep you posted.

This haiku series is dedicated to both infomercials and the marriage retreat. Enjoy.

Don't need no Bowflex.
Don't need no crazy* blender.
Just my man and me!

The Marriage Retreat

is finally here. Dive in!
It's synch or swim time!

*The word AWESOME could be substituted here.

Yes. That was a good one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I think the title of my blog should have been "You Can't Make This Shit Up,"** because I've got another one for you.

I had dinner with my sister and her roommates tonight, and Bia told a story about visiting Caribou Coffee. She was visiting with a friend near a window that looked out over the patio when they noticed 3 (?) kids sit down outside. They were dressed very strangely--in army fatigues and leggings and leg warmers. They had tattoos on their faces, and they looked more filthy than the two dogs they had with them (which had collars with tags and leashes, thus making it look as if they couldn't possibly be homeless). Bia and her friend watched one of the kids rummage through the garbage and fish out a used coffee cup, which, they both assumed (probably as you are) that they were going to use to give the dogs water.
If that's what you were assuming too, you would be very, very wrong.
Instead of filling the cup for the dogs, Bia and her friend watched in horror as the vagabonds (heh) produced a can of pumpkin pie filling (the un-seasoned kind), open it up, dump it into the coffee cup, stir it up with whatever was left in the bottom and proceed to pass it around the circle until it was gone.
Then they left.

Now just wait a minute and let the HORROR of what I've just written wash over you.

Lauren suggested that perhaps they were just getting into the "autumnal spirit."

The truth is that the story poses more questions than it answers.
Do ponder it for the day--I know I will.

**But none of you would have listed me on your FaithCom Bloggy Blogger thingy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Career Woman

I just had a really great meeting with Arnie.
Turns out, he likes me and thinks I'm doing a great job. Who knew?
He asked me what my long term goals were for my career at 3M--where did I see myself in 20 years? This poses a bit of a problem for me, which, I don't plan to describe at my desk at the moment, but if you think hard, I'd be willing to bet that you can figure out where I'll be in 20 years.
I told him that in 20 years, I'd like to be in a job where I can really utilize my degree, which is something I am actually quite passionate about (and between you and me, there aren't a whole lot of occupational things I can say that about).
He seemed satisfied.

In other news, I've been hearing a lot of Bob Marley on the radio these days. Any ideas on why?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cow Farts?

In or around 1929, Gram and Grandpa Cliff moved from Chicago to an Indiana farm with their two children, Charles and Shirley. The Great Depression had driven down Cliff's wages at his "good job in the hospital as a biologist" to the point where they could no longer afford their rent.
Cliff's brother (?) owned a farm in Indiana and it was a safe place to "just exist," as Gram put it this afternoon at the farm, until they could weather the storm and get back on their feet financially. They were bound and determined to never go looking for help from the government, and never did.
They didn't know anything at all about farming and looking back on it now, the entire thing is more a nightmare than adventure to Gram. There were no fences for the cattle, of which ther were precious few and scarce enough money to purchase any more, were apparently allowed to wander aimlessly in the barnyard and near the farm. This didn't turn into a problem until they got into the green oats one day.
Cattle are never supposed to eat green oats, because for some reason it makes them swell up with gas--like balloons. So, of course, the cattle swelled up like balloons.
Gram's father happened, luckily, to be visiting, and knew exactly what to do. He sterilized a pocketknife and stuck the first cow in her belly. As the gas escaped, it sounded like a balloon flying around the room as the air runs out of it.
They stuck each cow.

You can't make this shit up.

Gram told me this story today when I went to visit, and we both cried with laughter. What a secret and lovely treasure I possess living up there "just existing" in that little house in Northern Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Interestingly enough, Naomi's post, "Beautiful" much better describes my sentiment in my post, "Women."
Check it out.


Here's something interesting.
Take a few minutes to flip through the women on this list.
It's interesting that so many of the world's most powerful 100 women are not American. At the risk of sounding feminist I'd like to point out that it's a little sad and strange that Chile, New Zealand, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Israel (vice pm), Finland, Phillipines, Liberia, Latvia, Greece, South Korea, Jordan, Mozambique...on and on, all have presidents or prime ministers that are women. I didn't intend for the list to be so long, but once I got going, it was a bit startling. Perhaps I'm acting under stereotypes I've created in my own mind, but many of those countries do not immediately strike me as the kind of places that encourage women to succeed and move forward.
Note also that countries like Afghanistan, China, Singapore, Nigeria have women in positions of serious power! Not to mention all the female leaders in the UK and other European countries (France! Hel-LO)!
Two American leading women that caught my attention were the host of the "Today Show," and the executive for Playboy. Yay America. What's our problem? Why do women of Third World Countries and countries that (in our minds) are completely anti-feminist (I think if I tried, I could come up with a better way to describe it, but you know what I mean), end up as the movers and shakers of the world--absolutely no pun intended--while American women are powerful because of their jobs on TV or at Playboy?
(To be fair, there are some impressive American women on the list, too...but that defeats my point.)
Just a thought.

Now, I have mixed feelings on this, because I have to wonder--what have these women sacrificed to succeed in this way? Have they given up satisfying and fulfilling lives as wives and mothers? There are things that I will never sacrifice for any job or career. I could never be happy as the president of any country or corporation--I lack the killer instinct. What is the appeal for these women?

That's my weekly rant...or something. Do scroll through the list. It's really interesting.

In other interesting news, Milwaukee ranks as the nation's drunkest city, followed closely by Minneapolis-St. Paul. Nice.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Welcome, Little Boy!

Easton James is here!!
Easton James was born to Miranda Beckenbach (my cousin) and Adam Tharp on the afternoon of Saturday, September 2, just in time for the Huskers to play. He's just a little guy weighing in at 5lb, 13oz, but he's a keeper! He has very long fingers and toes, and looks just like his granddaddy!

Welcome to our family, Little Boy! We are so excited you have finally arrived! You are the beginning of a new generation, which is no small thing. Just like King Josiah--a young king--I believe "Good Things Come in Small Packages," and you will do great things! I pray that you will be a leader among men, and a gentle and loving husband and father. Moreover, I pray that you will always turn to the Lord and trust your life in Him.
But first, let's get that nursing thing down.
I can't wait to meet you at Thanksgiving! I love you!

Tom Cruise is Crazy (and probably gay)

Cute kid, but come on...seriously.

"The Taliban are on the move again in Afghanistan. And, in other news, Suri Cruise has two eyes, a nose and a full head of hair."

Well said, Joal Ryan.

A series of haiku in honor of Baby Suri.

Tom Cruise must be gay.
It's the only thing that can
explain the weirdness.

Maybe if he would
just come out of the closet
things would make more sense.

Don't care if he's gay--
more power to him, I say.
The charade must end!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'll Put Your Name to Shame!

I regretfully inform all of you that I will not be using any of your name suggestions, though I do appreciate all of them, and will consider them for future publications.
The name will be revealed at a later date.
A consolation candy bar will be available at my home on the evening of Tuesday, October 31 between the hours of 6-9pm.
Thank you for participating.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hair's the Thing

Good title, eh?
Remember the last haircut?
I've found the key. It's not getting your girlfriend to fix whatever Harrison botched. Let me describe the scenario for you.
You're waiting your turn at Great Clips (I know, I know. I vowed never to go back, but I was in a hurry and what can I say? I like a little danger every now and then.), and you hace the choice between the hipppie lady with orange hair and the impeccably dressed, clean-cut, well-spoken, charming, interesting, gay guy. Who would you choose?
Let's just say I made the right choice.
I have a great $14 haircut, and I guess a girl can't ask for much more than that.

I sill need a tough, intelligent, rebellious name for Ruthie. Help me out folks.

Writers, Writers Everywhere--Part 2

So the first night of the writers group went well.
I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and I feel like I got some good feedback on the first 6 pages of my Romance Novel.
I need help though. My heroine needs a new name. She is currently (and was named before Baby Ruth joined us) Ruthie. She, I'm sorry to say, is not a Ruthie. She's tough, rebellious, and confused. me out folks. What's her name?

Winner gets a free candy bar of his or her choice.*
*I reserve the right to not choose a winner if I deem none of the names given satisfactory.

Ruthie you are not,
heroine of my story.
We need a good name!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Gotta Love It

Gotta love!

BiblicalHorror Movies.

- - - -
The Garden of Bleedin'
The Ark of the Coven
40 Days and 40 Frights
The Bloodthirsty Apostle
Slain and Able
Give Us This Day Our Daily Dead
Gold, Frankincense, and Murder
Lazarus Returns, With a Vengeance
The Kingdom and the Power and the Gory, Forever
The Dead Sea
Thou Shalt Murder
I Know What You Did Last Supper

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Writers, writers everywhere...

So, NAOMI started her own blog! It RULES. Everybody's gotta check it out.
It's at
She's got several good ones up already. I swear you won't regret it. As soon as I can figure out how to add her as a link, I will. So watch for that. She's a talented writer! I'm so proud--and sad that I didn't know until now!

In other news, I'm joining a writer's group.
Yep. I'm pretty nervous about it. I haven't written anything other than this blog since I graduated from college.
BUT. 3 Years ago, Jenna and I joked about how fun it would be to write a Christian romance novel. I've always thought that writing a romance novel in general would be a fun challenge(though not all that challenging, to be honest). They tend to follow the same recipe every time. You know, boy meets girl. Boy woos girl. Boy and girl have great time together, fall in love. Girl finds out something secret about boy. Boy overcomes differences. Boy and girl wed. Or do it, depending on the target audience.'s my rationale. If I can write the above recipe with any quality whatsoever, I think I could sell it. To a PUBLILSHER. Or maybe just my mom. I dunno.
Wish me luck. We're meeting tomorrow at 7.

I'm joining a group.
To start my first real novel--
this is really it!

(I hope.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Communication Skills

I've been thinking lately about how differently men and women communicate--with each other and one another. I know this isn't new by any means, but amusing, nonetheless.
For instance, two women want to go out to lunch. To schedule it, it takes no less than 7 email. They go like this (in the interest of saving space, I have cut their convo down to the bare bones):
1. Would you like to go out to lunch with me some time?
2. Yes! When and where?
3. You can decide.
4. Well, it really doesn't matter to me...whatever you want.
5. Ok. Do you like Chinese?
6. Not really.
This is where I get fed up and turn into a man.
7. Let's just meet at Subway at 11:30 on Tuesday. See you there.
I then proceed to ignore any follow-up email. I'm mean like that.

Two men want to go out to lunch. They don't email at all. They call (highly effectual). The conversation goes something like this:
"Hey--what are you doin' for lunch today?"
"Let's meet at Subway at 11:30."
Then they hang up. They don't even say goodbye.

A woman and her husband want to go out to lunch. They email because for some reason, they have fallen under the dilusion that writing to each other can help wit communication during the work day. The email go like this:
Woman's email: Do you have lunch plans today?
Man's email: No.
Woman: Well, I was thinking that maybe we could have lunch because it would be nice. And we haven't gone out in a long time. I think our flame is fading. Do you love me anymore?
Man: Ok. Where should I meet you?
Woman: Well, I can't meet you because my car is parked, like, a mile away, so I was thinking that maybe you could pick me up. That would save time anyway because I only have an hour, and since you don't have any time constraints, it would be better for you to drive both of us. Do you know how to get to my building? I'm in 223 now, which is different from last time. You have to find your way into the quad. It's that big building that faces the highway. 223 is part of the quad that is made up of buildings 220, 224, 223, and 225. You should be able to find me. Call if you have problems. I'll try to find my campus map, just in case.
Man: What time?
Woman: It really depends on when you can get here. My lunch is scheduled from 11-12, but if I need to adjust, you need to tell me right away so that I can tell the girls where I'll be and when.
Man: 11.
Woman: Cool. Can't wait to see you! Love you!!
*half hour later*
Man: Will 11:30 work?
Woman: I guess so. I'll have to ask the girls...yes it should be fine. Do you know how to find my building?
Man: Is it different than last time?

Shoot me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't Blame Me...

Have you seen those bumper stickers? The ones that say,
"Don't blame me...I voted for Kerry."
I think they're really lame, and they puzzle and trouble me every time I see them.

This is the guy I automatically assume is driving the car when I see that bumper sticker:

I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, do you think any of those people really get blamed ...for the state of our country? ...for the way our president may or may not have handled things, ever? ...for whatever they don't like about our government? Or is it just a way to tout their liberal stance even when it's not an election year? I'm guessing that's probably closer to home, but I'd prefer to see a "Liberal Ass" bumper sticker than "Don't blame me..." It just gets right to the point.

Also, I'd like to point out the high incidence of my being cut off in traffic by these people. Again, I'm just sayin'.

I guess I just don't get it. Why would anyone blame any one person for how they think the country is shaping up? we (metaphoric we, folks) tend to blame one man in the first place.


Ok, so not one of my best blogs, but you have to admit--the guy in the middle is sorta funny.

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Identity

I was accused, this weekend, of being a yuppie.
Upon further thought, I think it might be true.
I took the following mental quiz:
Caucasian, check.
Silver Volkswagen, check.
Fine taste in shoes and purses, check, check.
Ipod and accessories, check.
Dog, half-check for lack of chocolate lab. (By my testing standards, miniature dogs rate higher on the "Hipster" testing scale than the "yuppie" scale. See: Britney Spears & Paris Hilton. Go figure--it's a fine line.)
Corporate cube job: cha-check.
House in the suburb of all suburbs: check.
Useless 4-year degree (i.e. Art.): check.

I was still hesitant to take on this new title until I read the following passage from a book I'm reading by my second-favorite author, Nick Hornby:
All those wooly hats, and mustaches [sic] with parts of them missing, all those new tattoos and plastic shoes...I mean, I'm a liberal guy, and I didn't want Bush to bomb Iraq, [...] but these people fill my heart with fear and loathing, mostly because I know they wouldn't have liked my band. [...] They don't like real music, these people. They don't like the Ramones or the Temptations or the 'Mats; they like DJ Bleepy and his [...] stupid bleeps. Or else they all pretend that they're [...] gangstas, and listen to hip-hop about hos and guns.
-A Long Way Down

Now, what got me in this passage isn't the part about the Ramones or the Temptations (who doesn't like either of those?), but the clincher is the part at the end about hip-hop.
I'm pretty sure that the fact that I ride around in the aforementioned silver VW listening to hip-hop and rap, turning it down, discreetly at intersections clinches my status as a yuppie. After all, I'm still just a white kid from Wisconsin. I won't ever be able to change that.
So, friends, go ahead and judge. I am all of these things--but at least I have finally found my identity. I now know myself.

Fa-shizzle, ma-nizzle.

I'm not afraid now.
I embrace my yuppie-hood.
I know who I am.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bathing Suits

On Sunday, Richard and I are heading to his parent's camp-site to spend the day drinking bloody mary's in the sun and riding on the boat. I'm thinking of trying water skiing. I haven't tried since I was about 13, at which time, I possessed a bit more upper body strength, and a lot less weight in general. The odds aren't good, folks. Add to that my ridiculously high center of gravity, and I've almost got myself talked out of it.
Anyhow, I need a bathing suit. I have, in my possession, several bikinis, but I'm not feeling all that confident lately, and I don't want to try to maintain proper...decorum...and try to water ski. So, I think I need to go find a bathing suit on sale on Saturday. The idea has had me cranky all day.
The criteria:
-Youthful, not matronly
-Secure hitchum & hoistems
-Modest, yet mysteriously alluring, but only to my husband--NOT assorted uncles, etc.
-Attractively slimming without creating any extra bulges in the thigh or back area
-Thigh minimizing not necessary or plausible, but would be a plus
-Breast lifting and enhancing (again, without being too revealing)
-Inflatable life preserver, hidden attractively in the straps or bra area
-Small transistor radio
-DVD/VCR in case it rains
-Water-proof iPod pocket
-Size 10 (please, please, please, please, please)

Any suggestions on where I should shop? It shouldn't be too hard, right?

Swimsuit season is
supposed to be over soon!
I'm just starting now!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This morning at 11:30, my cousin, Miranda, is scheduled for an amniocentesis to determine whether the little boy she's carrying has lungs developed enough to survive if they induce labor tonight. She is approximately 8 months pregnant, and they have determined that the baby weighs about 6lbs. This is both very exciting and very scary for the whole family. If you would, please keep Miranda and Baby Boy in your prayers today. It could turn out to be a LONG day for both.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Baby Boom

Everyone's all excited that more baby panda bears have been born in the last few months than...ever. Just a little rant here, folks. Why is China spending all this money to try to preserve the Panda population when clearly, Pandas are WAY TOO STUPID to survive on their own? Whatever happened to survival of the fittest?
It seems like a waste of money to me. I mean, I though people were starving over there.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I See Dead People...

This weekend I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota with my in-laws to see Bodyworks. I had a great time with the fam--I learned a lot about bodies just from Brenda alone, and of course, I always have fun with Bob and Mandi (That's my sister!!!).
I was really nervous at the time to go, because I've been a bit weak-stomached lately, and I thought for sure that I wouldn't be able to take it, but that wasn't the case. My nervousness went so far, in fact, that when the Senior Volunteer taking our tickets warned us not to touch the "Plasticenes" (sp?), I guffawed. Like I'm gonna be tempted to reach out and touch a dead guy.
I was not, in the end, tempted. Believe it or not.
I've been trying for two days now to figure out how to blog about the exhibit, and to be honest, I am still at a loss for words. So, here are my general impressions. I'm not about to mince words, so consider yourself warned.
1. Brenda and I determined afterward that the whole thing was about one thing. The Penis. There were a lot of them--penises, that is. (Which begs the question; what is the plural form of the word, penis? Peni? Penii? Penises? Somebody help here.) Dissected penises were EVERYWHERE.
They weren't as upsetting, though, as the Human Tongue Display, which is not what it was called, though it was the only display case that I had to walk away from. It went like this:
Brenda: Hey, look at that big tongue.
Erin: Where?
Brenda: There! You can see the taste buds and everything.
Erin. Oh. [Walking away.]
2. How interesting / sick / weird that a man has spent his life dissecting human bodies, plasticizing them, and putting them on display.
3. Everywhere I look now, I see dead people. I saw a lady in a car yesterday, and we made eye contact briefly, and for a moment, I could see her--dead. Thanks, Science Museum.
In short, the exhibit sort of messed me up. It was really interesting, and sure, worth $20, but I can't say I'd go again. If you go, DO make sure to see the baby/fetus room. It was AWESOME. A little girl ralphed while Mandi was in there, though, so it might be a little hard to take for your TEN-YEAR-OLD. Yeah, people. Don't take your kids. It's a 10+ activity. Really.

I see dead people.
They're everywhere I look now.
Too many Penii.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just Can't Wait to get on the Road Again...

On my way in to St. Paul today, I saw an accident between a car marked "Student Driver," and a Menards truck. Guess who won. I said outloud, "Ohhh...that poor kid." Until I saw that it was actually a grown man--the instructor, perhaps? Either way, how embarassing.
THEN, I pulled into Davanni's (my latest guilty lunch pleasure--their lasagna is to. die. for.), and was almost run down by a Ford F350 with a trailer completely filled with cat-scratch posts, cat houses, and cat jungle-gyms (Apostrophe? Yes? No? I don't think so...). It was a giant, looming, lattice that swayed precariously, made entirely of carpet-covered 2x4's.
I had to laugh that I was almost run down by something so cute, cuddly, and generally not offensive in any way.
Of all the weird things I've ever seen on the highway, my experience the other day, however, takes the cake.
I was on Highway 36, heading home--talking on the phone, of course--when I saw a Port-a-Potty tipped over on the side of the road. My car read that it was 100 degrees outside. Bleck. Enough said.
Then, a couple of miles and a different phone call later, I saw another one. Then another. Finally, almost ten miles later, I saw a truck pulled over with a flat bed loaded up with more Port-a-Potties than I have ever seen in one place outside of the State Fair(probably 15). He had lost 3 before he realized it between Oakdale and North St. Paul. I'd say he was a little over-loaded, and probably kicking his own ass for not planning well enough. (Strong language? Maybe--but how would you feel??)
I do NOT envy that guy. I still think about him sometimes. He always makes whatever is wrong at my job seem a little more bearable.

Potties on the road--
hot and sticky day outside
my job's not so bad...