Friday, April 27, 2007

Row 129, Seat B

Just when I start to think I've got my problem children (i.e. Marketers that I support) under control, another one rears his ugly, demanding and demeaning head. Let me tell you a little story.
I only make flight arrangements for one person. The boss.
Until recently.
We've got a new marketer who doesn't think he should have to do his own travel arrangements. I wouldn't mind helping him except that every time he asks me to make a flight, he says, "Just get the flight information and let me know what you find," thereby doubling or tripling my workload. Making travel plans for these guys is never easy. Every trip is convoluted and half-baked and usually has to have a sales call in Timbuktu on the way to Chicago.
As it stands right now, I've been on the phone for 29 minutes and counting trying to make his current arrangements. This time, when he told me to let him know what I find out, I decided to stand up for myself. I said, "You know, that's really a lot more work. If you would just give me the paramaters in which you want to travel [yes, I really talk that way], I'll make the reservation."
He said, "Well, no. I need you to find out what my options are and get back to me."
I don't mind telling you I glared at him. "Ok," I said.
Guess what?
He's sitting in the center aisle on every single flight for the rest of the summer. I hope he gets stuck between a fat, sweaty preacher and a fat, drunk salesman.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Days are Numbered

My days are numbered in photo copies.
My hours in paperclips.
My seconds in emails.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

I found them.
The perfect pair of dress shoes for the summer.
I don't mind telling you, I planned an entire outfit around these shoes. Picture it, charcoal sweater set, crisp kahki pants, pearls, the whole nine yards. Very town and country.** Very, "Oh, dahling, you simply must join Richard and me in the Hamptons for the Fourth of July!"
I'm in love.

The problem is that the only size they had left was a half-size too big for me. Couple this with the fact that my toes slide out the front and we have a little-girl-in-her-mom's-high-heels-clonking-down-the-hall situation.
I almost didn't make it to my desk, and I can only imagine what I must have looked like. I know what I sounded like, though, and it wasn't pretty. Or professional.
Luckily, I had the bright idea to put some 3M Nexcare Brand Bandages (not band-aids--for shame!) on my heels, and they seem to be staying on my feet a little bit better.
As my mom says, "Beauty is painful!" ...Or takes ingenuity and sacrifice.

**Dressing in costume makes the days easier. Today is Town & Country, tomorrow will be Modern Gal. Not sure about Thursday yet. I'm open for suggestions.

I've been remiss in my haiku writing.

The "Perfect Pair" is
such an elusive myst'ry!
Beauty is painful!
Gotta look gorgeous...
What's this Town & Country gal
to do? Buy more shoes!

p.s. Nobody tell Richard I bought another pair of black shoes.

Monday, April 23, 2007


This is just too much.
Mandi, where were you?? You could have won!
I've bolded a couple of things I just can't believe.

NEW YORK (AFP) - It's a sport only for the fleet of thumb with a ruthless dedication to punctuation.
And while competitive text messaging may not have quite gained Olympic status, the hundreds of mostly teenagers who took part in the US championships in New York Saturday could think of little but the 25,000-dollar prize money.
Some 250 challengers shunned the warmest day of the year for a dark ballroom where they battled it out for a chance to take on the reigning West Coast champion, 21-year-old Eli Tirosh, for the title of US Texting Champion.
Contestants had to stand with their hands behind their backs until a bell sounded and a message appeared on an overhead screen. The winner was judged on whoever's message -- checked for exact punctuation -- reached the judges first.
The text tests ranged from "faster than a speeding bullet..." and "what we do in life echoes in eternity" to the less poetic "OMG, nd 2 talk asap," which for those over 30 means "Oh my Go[sh], need to talk as soon as possible."
The 250 competitors were quickly whittled down to eight semi finalists, one of whom, Anne Finn, 24, of Allegany, New York, said the pressure was too much.
Tirosh, who said she practiced with her friend and trainer Amy, who threw out random words or symbols and even motivational Buddhist quotes, admitted to feeling a certain pressure due to the home side advantage.
Wearing a satin boxing robe before her championship bout against Pozgar, she said success would come down to who could marry lightning speed and accuracy.
"It's all about the thumbwork," she said. "It's about balance." She said she owed her success to relaxation and deep breathing.
So dedicated is she to the art of the text message that Tirosh apparently unwittingly uses abbreviations such as BTW (by the way), TTYL (talk to you later) and LOL (laughing out loud) in her normal speech.
Pozgar said she trained by sending on average 8,000 text messages a month to her friends -- an astonishing rate of one every five and a half minutes. She pays 10 dollars a month for an unlimited text package on her cell phone.
In a tense championship final, Tirosh seemed to have won after putting down her phone first, only for judges to rule she had made a 15,000-dollar typo in the lyrics to Mary Poppins song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Pozgar, who says she wants to work in fashion when she's older, had no hesitation about how to spend her prize money -- 10,000 dollars for the east coast championship and a further 15,000 dollars for the national award.
She said she was going to hit the stores in New York City.
Her mother Shannon, who had driven five hours into New York from Pennsylvania on Saturday morning for the event, said she would let Morgan spend some of the money but was eyeing the rest for her college fund.
Asked if she would describe herself as a geek, Pozgar rolled her eyes and said no. Her brother, who had separately won a television, seemed to disagree.

Stock Cars

On Saturday night Rich and I went to the Cedar Lake Speedway to watch the Stock Car Races. Rich had a friend racing, so we decided to check it out.
As you can probably guess, this was my first time attending, and I wasn't sure what to expect--other than a cultural experience. And I wasn't disappointed! I was amazed at all the different kinds of people that were there, and I have to admit, the people-watching was definitely better entertainment than the car-watching.
Overall, though, it was a really fun night. What a rush to see the cars careen around the corners. The first couple of races, I thought for sure they were going to flip at every corner. They didn't (and I won't try to hide my bitter disappointment).
Rich's friend, Keith, won first place for his class' Feature Race (See? I even learned the lingo!), which is a pretty big deal, though not all that surprising, I'm told, because he's a "very talented kid," (i.e. fearless to the edge of insanity).
We had a good night, and I left with a testosterone high.

Rich and I between races.

Cars fishtailing around the corners.

I think Keith is the second car in this race. He won 2nd place in the "Heat" (the first race), and took first in the "Feature."

Friday, April 20, 2007

In Limbo

I don't really know what to make of this, other than to say, what a huge encouragement to Catholic parents.
And be nice.


I found these on my friend's facebook page.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Optimist vs Pessimist

A couple had twin boys. One of the boys was a constant pessimist, and the other an eternal optimist. The struggles of having two boys so different proved to be more than the parents could bear, so they went to a psychologist.
After talking extensively about the trouble they were having with the boys the psychologist said, "Try this. For the boys' birthday, which is coming up, give the pessimist the most wonderful gifts you can think of, and give the optimist a box of manure. Then, make them open their gifts in separate rooms and see what happens."
So, when the boys' birthday rolled around the parents did just that, though it seemed unfair to them. They listened outside the door as the pessimist opened his gifts complaining all the time, "Man! A Playstation three? I wanted a Wii! Books?! I hate books! This game is going to break right away, I know it! This birthday stinks!"
Then they crossed the hall to check on the optimist. The found him elbow deep in the box of manure, playing in it, and throwing it up in the air. When he saw his parents he said, "Mom and Dad, you can't fool me! Where there's this much crap, a pony can't be far behind!"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cell Phone

My friend sells cell phones. She relayed the following story to me.

A woman came in looking to buy a new cell phone.
"I lost it," she said.
"Ok," Sasha said, "We can get you a new one."
"I always keep it right here," she said, patting her left breast. "In my bra."
"Ok," Sasha said.
"I either lost it in a parking lot..."
"Yep," Sasha said, "that happens a lot."
"...Or in my sister's coffin."

You can't make this shit up.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Calling Sarah Jane

Does anybody have Sarah Jane Holsteen's email address?
I seem to have lost it and I want to tell her something.

Chipelewski Family

I've gone back and forth as to whether to post anything about my cousin, Jill, and her husband, Jamie, having twins, simply because it's such a special and private story, but I can't take it anymore. I'm so happy for them that I can't NOT blog any more!
On April 5, Jill gave birth to beautiful twins, Kendall Bernice and Kaleb Arthur.
Welcome to the family, little ones! I hope you get to go home soon!
Take a few minutes to peruse their blog. I promise you'll be touched.
Also, if you go back far enough, you won't believe how big Jill's belly got toward the end!

This is my favorite photo of them--holding hands. Isn't that cute?!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lucky Me

What I wish I had said to Shelly* in Accounts Receivable at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas as she completely screwed me over this afternoon:
It might be a "Lucky Day" for you, but so far I've been on hold for 40 minutes. I don't consider this a gift from Lady Luck. Normally I would never, ever consider sitting on hold this long, but I have no choice, you see.
According to your records, my boss paid for Zindb Kmwnd's* two night stay at the fabulously lucky Caesar's Palace at the end of March. Since my boss doesn't have a girlfriend and doesn't know Zindb, I don't feel like he should have to pay for this person's room. Although, I guess that would make it Zindb's lucky day, right?
Here's the thing, Shelly. I'm not getting off the phone with you until we get this taken care of. This is my third lucky, lucky phone call to Caesar's Palace, and I think it's important that I reiterate that I have been on hold for 40 minutes so far. I guess it's ok if you put me back on hold as long as I have your word that you're getting help for this situation, not fighting with your husband on the other line.
No, once again, I don't know how Zindb Kmwnd is, or how or why they got my boss' credit card number. No, there haven't been any other erroneous charges, which leads me to assume that the fault is yours, not mine. Yes, I am quite sure the credit card was not stolen. I am holding it right here. No, I wasn't there at the time. I'm sure this is a surprise to you, but I only schedule trips for other people. I don't take them. I don't know what my boss does with his free time between meetings, but I'm quite sure it has nothing to do with Mr. or Ms. Kmwnd.
Yes, I will send you a fax stating my wishes. Though three phone calls stating my wishes seems like plenty. I have to say, you have a good system here. A good way to weed out the liars. No liar would go through this much nonsense just to save a couple hundred dollars. Unless, of course, they were particularly un-lucky. But then that makes me the fool, eh? Making three un-lucky phone calls to take care of this un-lucky situation.
No, I will not go back on hold. Your husband will have to wait.
No, I will not hang up.
Please hold while I send the fax.
Your fax machine is issuing a busy signal.
No, I will not keep trying. What is your email address?
Shelly. I'm not going to keep trying. I will email what you need.
Shelly, I'm not fooling around here. Try not to take my extreme vulnerability to your power too seriously. I mean business.
I'll be faxing you, b*tch.

*Most names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

Lucky, lucky me.
I love holding on the phone.
This music is GREAT!

Sitting on hold, I
learned a lot about vegas.
There's lots to do there!

Must be the reason
no one would answer my call
at Caesar's Palace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I know I've been lying a lot lately, but you have to believe me when I say it's. snowing. outside.
This goose can hardly believe it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


This morning, on my way in to work, I was on the entrance ramp to get on to highway 36. The sun was in my eyes, so I just narrowly missed the gold toyota pulled over to the side of the road. A woman was very clearly having car problems--the drivers' side front wheel was turned at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the car. She had her flashers on and looked like she was talking on her cell phone in the front seat. She looked like she was about 60 years old and I felt sorry for her, so I pulled over to try to help.
I pulled on to the shoulder, far enough ahead of her car so that in case she got rear-ended, my car would be safely out of the way. I got out and tapped on her passenger window, which she opened a crack. "Are you ok?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm fine."
"Can I do anything? My husband is at home--just a mile away."
"No, I'm on the phone with the pol--Ervin?? Ervin is that you?"
" name is Erin. Sorry. Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help?"
"Ervin! I know it's you!" She turned more fully toward me, now, and I could see a trickle of blood down the left side of her face.
"Ma'am, you're bleeding. I'm going to call 911."
"Ervin, I told you--I'm on the phone with the police right now. See?" She held up her glasses case.
"Ok. I'm going to use my phone to call the police, too--just so they know it's urgent."
"You don't have to waste your minutes. I'll be fine, Ervin."
"It's no trouble at all. What's your name?" I asked, dialing. I thought perhaps it would be wise to keep her talking to me.
"My name? My name. Paul...Paulette? I think it's Paulette, Ervin."
At this point, my heart was really beating fast. She was bleeding, she didn't remember her name, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what happened to her wheel that would make it turn the way it was facing.
"Paulette, can you unlock the door so I can sit down with you? It's real cold out here."
"Oh, sure, Ervin. Come on in."
I sat with Paulette, if that's her name, until the police and ambulance arrived. We had a nice chat about dogs and swimming. The EMT said she would be ok, but wouldn't tell me which hospital they were taking her to.

When I got to work, my phone was ringing. It was a gentleman from Michigan looking for Ervin Days-vows-jezz.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Bunnies

I've been having a discussion with Grandma Shirley about Easter traditions. We understand that eggs and rabbits are pagan symbols of fertility, but how did it come to be that they were connected? Rabbits don't hatch from or lay eggs, so why do they bring eggs?
The best I can tell from is that Easter Bunnies traditionally come at spring time bearing eggs as symbols of spring and fertility.
None of this is new or special. I probably could have figured all this out on my own, but it's got me thinking. Thinking about what we / I worship and how self-serving my idols are. What could be more self-serving and more me-based theology (I just made that up) than worshipping our own fertility? I don't really buy into the whole Easter Bunny thing, but what else do I worship that only focuses on me? Why do I keep looking inward instead of upward? How can I change my focus?
And that, I guess, is the difference between me and a "pagan." I'm not perfect--I have plenty of idols, but I try to seek God in an effort not to celebrate them. I don't think the Easter Bunny will come to our house when we have kids. I don't think Santa will visit either, now that I think about it. Why encourage self / idol-worship to a child that will have the same propensity for idolitry that I struggle with as an adult? If I intend to teach my children that Jesus Christ is their savior, I can't confuse them with pagan symbols of fertility, right?
Somebody back me up, here. I feel like I'm talking myself into a corner.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ours go to ELEVEN.

I discovered after lunch that I split my pants.
I can't decide whether to go home, or just not stand up for the rest of the day.
Discouragement meter: 11
Out of 10.


Last Friday, I worked my fingers to the bone (literally, I cut my thumb) cleaning out the supply and copy room, which houses a printer that we all share. For any of you who work in an office, you know this is a dirty job, especially when you take into account how many people print things out on the printer and never pick them up. Because of this, I hung up a sign that said, "At 5:00pm every day all printouts will be thrown away, with the exception of faxes." I worked all day and went home filthy and tired.
So, last night at 4:44, I threw everything away that people had left on the printer. Early, I know, but I was trying to go home.
This morning a post-it was on one of the signs that says, "I was here at 4:45 and you had thrown my printouts. 5:00?"
I saved it and plan to keep it forever to remind myself that nothing I do will ever be good enough and my hard work is worthless.
What really gets me is the "5:00?" at the end of the note. It's like the author (a woman) tried to think of a way to drive the knife a little deeper. Of course, it wasn't signed, so it was passive aggressive and mean. Apparently, this woman knows how to really get under my skin.
I'd like to add to my Ill Communication post.
#14. Passive aggressiveness solves nothing, you ass clown. (Please see #8, #10, #11 and #12.)

Feelings really hurt
by a thoughtless post-it note.
Why keep working hard?

Discouragement meter for today: 8.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I went for a manicure/pedicure with Mandi yesterday and therefore opened myself to the ridicule of the manicurist.
She held up my hand and said, "What have you been doing to your fingers? Doesn't this hurt?"
I said, "Yes."
She said, "What? You enjoy the pain?"
I said, "No...I can't help it. I chew on my nails."
"Your nails are in fine shape. Your cuticles look painful!"
"I know...I pick at them."
"You pick at your cuticles?" (Judgy-wudgy was a bear...)
"I can't help it. It's a habit I come by genetically."
"Does it hurt?"
And that was the end of the conversation--until she realized that I hadn't shaved my legs.
Listen, I don't smoke. I bite and pick at my cuticles when I'm nervous or agitated--which is most of the time. It feels good--satisfying. The way a cigarette must feel to someone who smokes after a meal. So sue me. I suppose shaving my legs would have been the polite thing to do for her, but I forgot. Sue. Me.
But seriously. Why did she think I was there? If I had nice cuticles, I wouldn't need her help. She did a good job, though. I'll definitely be going back. With earplugs.

Judgement from a girl
paid to fix my yucky nails.
Don't want to hear it.