Thursday, December 2, 2010

There are no magic numbers here

Have you ever seen that “by the numbers” thing in the newspaper? I love that. Love trivia--little nuggets of useless information that I can retain in my poor wee brain, squeezing out all of the more important stuff. Since I was a little light on blog topics this week, I have created a “by the numbers” list of my own. (Thanks to my local newspaper, from whom I ripped off the idea.)

2,252
The number of copies I nearly (accidentally) made at work yesterday. I needed two.

12
The number of dog paws in my house.

5
Approximate weight, in pounds, of the mulch, gravel, and leaves that 12 dog paws track into my kitchen on a daily basis.

1.875
The number of ounces in the bottle of saline spray I have been huffing for the last two weeks in an attempt to open up my clogged sinus passages.

8
Advil Congestion Relief pills I have taken because the saline spray wasn’t working. Now the pills aren't working.

4
Firemen who responded to my 911 call when I was trapped in a car wash.

6 – 12
The number of months, according to some website that I can no longer find, that it will take for me to grow out my pixie haircut.

4,593
Estimated number of times I will want to shave my head while I am growing out my short haircut.

$1,000,000
Amount of money that it would take for me to ride a motorcycle. (Seriously. Petrified of those things.)

3
The number of leftover Thanksgiving desserts I ate the other day—after consuming my little Weight Watchers-approved bag of veggies. (Pumpkin pie, dark chocolate cake, and cranberry cinnamon cheesecake. All yummy.)

2
Pounds I gained from eating leftover Thanksgiving desserts.

17
Days left until my church Christmas play, which is currently occupying all the parts of my brain that aren’t all full of trivia. 


I was just finishing up my list, when I was brutally reminded of another:

240
Approximate number of times a day that I get poked--by a dog paw--in that one spot on my belly that is still sensitive from surgery.


And now: 2:20 until I can go snuggle in my warm bed. It's snowing outside, and I don't like it, y'all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fortunately for them, they're also cuddly and lovable

I’ve often heard parents (particularly new ones) talking about the things no one tells you about before you have a baby. Like projectile vomiting, all-night screaming jags, diaper bombs, and other trials of parenthood. Well, I don’t have any kids…but I do have dogs. When my husband and I bought our first home in 2003, I decreed that it was time for us to have a dog. While he was scouting out lovable pooches on Petfinder, I was dreaming of L.L. Bean-catalog-style dog scenarios: Running through sunny meadows, frolicking at the beach, and cuddling with my fastidiously-groomed, perfectly-behaved Man’s Best Friend beside a roaring fire. Boy, was I wrong. Not to imply that I don’t love my little beasts—I adore them! But. In my seven years as a dog owner, I have learned a lot…and not all of it has been good.

Things No One Tells You about before You Get a Dog

You will become intimately familiar with all of the gross substances inside your dog.
My family had several dogs when I was growing up, but my mom must have taken care of the dirty work, because I don’t recall ever having to clean up so many gross excretions. Pee, poo, barf, mucous, mysterious leavings that could possibly be some mixture of the aforementioned…you name it, I’ve cleaned it up. And if one of the dogs is sick? You actually have to examine the stuff you’re picking up, prepare a “sample,” and, possibly, discuss its qualities and characteristics with a veterinary professional. I’ve never seen any of that  stuff happening in the L.L. Bean catalog.

Dogs don’t have the ability to use good judgment.
They eat things that were never intended for consumption. They figure out how to get into situations that they don’t have the brainpower to get out of. They talk trash to German Shepherds and other big, tough-looking dogs, even though they are 30-pound fluffballs who couldn’t kill a mouse. If you are going to share your home with a dog, you need to have a clear head, the ability to think on your feet and remain calm, and the vet’s phone number on speed-dial. I have actually gotten better about handling dog emergencies over the years, and no longer resort to bursting into tears and calling Mr. Nerd to tell me how to handle the latest catastrophe. It can still be really unnerving sometimes, though.

Dog hair is the most confounding substance on the planet
It gets everywhere--even in places where the dogs don’t go--and you will never get it off. You might as well give up trying. It can sense when you’ve just vacuumed, and it will fly off the dog(s) at an incredible rate until all available surfaces are covered again. Also, if you don’t commit to Swiffering every 45 minutes or so, it will bind itself into six-inch tumbleweeds and roll down the hallway. The best you can hope for is to try to match your furniture and clothing to the color of the dog, so it won’t be quite so obvious that all of your possessions are sporting a layer of fur.

Dogs have extra-sensory abilities
It’s true! They must have some kind of special powers! Otherwise, how could they tell when I am in a hurry, so they can all gang up under my feet? (I swear, it is just a matter of time until I go bum-over-teakettle down the steps some morning.) Or sense that it's Saturday, so they can all start barking and running around the bedroom like rabid dingoes about two hours before I have to get up? Or determine—even from several rooms away--that a food item has just been set within dog-reach somewhere in the house? It’s amazing. You would think, given these astonishing mental powers, that they would be well-trained, perfectly-behaved, and able to perform all sorts of incredible tricks. You would be wrong. After seven years of work, all we have to show for it is a solid “sit” and a lackadaisical, halfhearted “stay.”

Dog people, what have I left out? What about cats? Do they come with a set of warnings, too? Tell me about it in the comments!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might think that all I do is shop, take care of my wee beasts, watch TV, and lurk on my favorite blogs. (That's kind of true, actually.) I do, however, have a day job—I am an administrative assistant in a government office, where I am responsible (along with a couple of other admins) for answering the main phone line for the division. Calls. Lots of calls. Lots of calls from citizens, who are often a little unsure about how things work in local government—which I understand completely. The reason people call in is to get information. Somewhere along the way, though, it seems like some folks missed the instructions on how to make a good phone call. Clearly, these people need some help. In the spirit of being helpful, I thought I might include a few hints here on how to get the most out of your phone call.

1. Know why you are calling
You might think that this is a no-brainer, but there have been times when I was 10 minutes into a call and still had no idea what the person was asking. While playing a rousing game of “20 Questions” might be fun in my spare time, I don’t really enjoy it when both of the other lines are ringing, the copier just went toes-up, I can’t get a crucial document to print, and I have a meeting in seven minutes.

2. Be able to articulate said reason
I try to be patient here; I know that not everyone talks on the phone all day long as part of their jobs. I don't need a flowery oration. Just basic, moderately coherent human communication, that’s all I ask. If you are a young person (we get a fair number of calls from students working on research projects), please keep in mind that we are not all young people, and we might not be familiar with the current slang.

3. Do not be on fire
Our office gets lots of calls from people who are up against deadlines. They’ve often waited until the last minute to do all of the research on some kind of massive project. Therefore, they act as if their shorts are on fire, and they’re calling someone to come put them out. When someone says “emergency” to me, I think life-or-death, severed-limb, contractions-10-seconds-apart situations. Not “I forgot that my paperwork is due in 20 minutes and I lost the instructions and if I can’t get this done the world will end” kinds of situations. Not an emergency in my book. Please calm down.

4. Leave a message
Want to drive a receptionist (or other phone-answering person) crazy? Call for someone; note that it’s really important that you talk to them ASAP; refuse the opportunity to leave a message; and continue to call, every 15 minutes, for the rest of the day. I can’t stress this enough: leave a message. I know it’s hard to trust again when you’ve been burned before. But you need to understand: I want you to reach the person you’re trying to call! So you will stop calling me every few minutes. The people I work with are an incredibly passionate bunch of professionals who are very dedicated to serving the public. They return calls religiously. LEAVE A FREAKIN’ MESSAGE. (ahem)

Hopefully someone out there will find my helpful hints, and save some poor soul a bit of misery at work. Anyone else out there ever worked reception? Did I leave anything out?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I only come here seeking knowledge

Do you ever feel like life is giving you more questions than answers? Do you ponder the big existential questions like “who am I?” and “why are we here?” Did you come to my corner today as part of your quest for knowledge? If so, then--ha! You have seriously overestimated the intellectual level of this blog. I don’t have the answer to anything, other than what happens when a dog eats a hairball out of the trash. (You don’t want to know. Trust me.) As a matter of fact, I have some questions of my own. And, since my husband has gotten tired of me pestering him, I’m doing what any rational person with a question does these days. I'm turning to the Internet.

Why do socks have seams in the toes?
Since the weather has turned cooler, I am once again reminded that I hate socks. I only wear them to keep my feet from freezing off. And you know why I hate them? Toe seams. Hard, stabby seams, right in the narrowest part of the shoe where my toes need  all of the available space. We have nano-computers and space shuttles and working artificial organs, and yet the hosiery industry has yet to figure out how to knit a sock without seams. Lame.

Why does my hair go nuts overnight?
A couple of years ago, I got tired of dealing with my super-thick, white-girl-Afro hair, so I cut  it really short  to impart some degree of control. Short hair requires a fair bit of upkeep, so I get a trim every few weeks. Here’s what I don’t understand: One day, it will be fine…acting like normal human being hair, more or less, and able to be styled without too much trouble. The next day—a mere 24 hours later!—it won’t dry, it’s sticking out all over like some deranged Bozo wig, and it takes a crap-ton of hair gel to slick it into some sort of relatively normal shape. And if humid weather gets added into the mix? There might be tears. Quickly followed by a frantic call to set up a haircut appointment.

Why does my clock radio have a mind of its own?
This one has me completely mystified. A couple of Christmases ago, Mr. Nerd bought me one of those really fancy iPod-docking clock radios. It’s very nice, has two alarms, and a bunch of different functions (although it has a 60-page manual and it nearly requires a Computer Science degree to program it). The big mystery, though, is how and why it’s able to change stations of its own free will. Every few months, I re-set the alarm to my preferred radio station. It will work fine for a while, then I’ll notice that I’m waking up to classic rock. Then alternative rock…NPR…oldies...adult contemporary…Top 40, etc. When it lands on a country station (shudder), I know it’s time to start the cycle all over again. And each time I haul out the manual and block out a couple of hours for re-setting the alarm, I wonder.

Those are my questions of the moment. I'll be here playing Bubble Town while I wait for the great minds of the Internet to send me some answers. Bonus points to the first person who correctly identifies the musical reference cleverly hidden somewhere in this post.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now appearing in a nightmare near me

There's a lot going on in my corner right now, so I've been a bit pressed for time to write. I was going to do just that, though, about the photo below. Until I realized that a simple recounting of the conversation that this photo inspired might be funnier than any narrative I could write. First, some background. Mr. Nerd and I were sitting in traffic, on the way home from work. The photo is of an ad that appears on the back ends of some of our local buses. Of course, since I think it's bizarre and terrifying, I wanted to share it with you. So I asked Mr. Nerd (who always carries a camera) to take this photo:

Oh, hai!

Me: Can you take a photo of that bus, please?
Mr. Nerd: Sure, why?
Me: Because it's terrifying, and I want to write about it on my blog.
Mr. Nerd: You know, you're right. That freaky guy looks like he's peeping over the headboard or something. Like that view of him is the last thing you'd see before he murdered you in your sleep.
Me: Exactly! And, thanks for putting that image in my head.
Mr. Nerd: (sounding extremely satisfied with himself): You're gonna have nightmares now, aren't you?
Me: (shudder) I think the nostrils are the worst part.

So, what do you think? Terrifying? Or am I too sensitive? Are the nostrils the worst part?



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good night, dying of fright, get out the dynamite

Okay, I've had enough. This has been going on for weeks, and I just can't take it anymore. To emphasize my point, I'm going to make it big and bold:

The news media MUST stop airing bedbug stories, effective immediately.
It is freaking me out.

It seems like every time I turn on the news, they're talking about bedbugs. In hotels, hospitals, stores; which cities and states have the most cases; how to tell if you have them; and on and on, ad nauseum. Each story is accompanied by large photos of the wretched things, along with disgusting, crawling video footage. In case you haven't read about it here yet, I HATE BUGS. (I even have a blog label for it.) So, while this  neverending discussion of infestation is probably mildly disturbing to normal people, it is really messing me up. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to sleep standing in the corner, whimpering, because I fear all of my furniture.

I haven't had as much time to watch the news since I went back to work a couple of weeks ago, so I was starting to relax a bit. Until yesterday...when I heard about the North American Bedbug Summit. They are having a freakin' summit--the kind of thing usually reserved for talks about nuclear disarmament and such--to talk about bedbugs. If I had thought the mere existence of such an event was the worst part, though, well, I would have been wrong. This morning, I heard the following bone-chilling quote from someone associated with the summit: "If you start with one bedbug now, you will have 30,000 in a matter of six months." He may have said more, but I can't be sure, since I fell into a dead faint in my kitchen.

Media people, I know why you run the bedbug stories: ratings. No one wants to get bedbugs, so everyone watches your programs in hopes that you will reveal some magical bedbug-eradication secret. But please, I am begging you. Stop now, while I can still go to bed without thinking about hundreds of little bug feet.

Note: If any Homeland Security/FBI/terrorist watch list types happen to be reading, I don't actually have dynamite, nor do I have any means by which to procure it. I was just trying to be funny in the title of this post. Please don't send me to jail. You just know there are bedbugs there.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

And me without my adamantium

The other day, I came home from work and I was S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. Within this box...

lay my solution: Kraft macaroni and cheese. I don't really cook, because, when I am hungry, I don't want to cook. I want to eat. I seem to have lost my ability to eat most foods since my surgery, so mac and cheese has become my standby. (Quick, minimal effort, tasty...meets all the criteria). Very well, then. Open up the box and--

I. Can't. Open. The. Freakin'. Box. Do you see the perforations in the (crummy cell phone camera) photo up there? It says, "Insert Thumb & Lift To Open." Is it just me, or can anyone actually open these things? I know I am kind of a weakling, but I couldn't even stab it open with a knife. Seriously, I would have to have Wolverine claws to get into the cursed thing. And, of course, the top of the box was never intended to open, so it wasn't exactly easy, either. That's why it's all ripped up. I was afraid I was going to have to smash the whole thing with a hammer and try to catch the flying macaroni shrapnel so I could have something to eat.

Kraft, let me give you some friendly advice: Your average macaroni and cheese customer does not need any additional aggravation. They are in a hurry. Either they are making your product for the 47th night in a row --because their picky kids won't eat anything else--or they are (like me) lazy sods who want something hot to eat that is a notch above a frozen dinner, but requires no actual cooking skills. So please, make the boxes easier to open. And do it quickly, because that was my last one.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In which I complain about commercials. Again.

It's Thursday night and I'm front of the computer, so it must be time to blog. To be honest, I'm beat. I went back to work this week, and I'm tired, achy, and kinda grumpy. Time to gripe about commercials! I don't watch a lot of TV, but these are the ads that have been driving me crazy when I do.


Victoria's Secret "love my body"
You know what, Victoria's Secret? I would love my body, too, if I was six feet tall and weighed 42 pounds. No cellulite, no stretch marks, no thunder thighs...what's not to love? I would think a lot more of your commercial if you had actual human women, with normal bodies, hawking your seriously overpriced knickers. 

Dairy Queen freaky lips
No video for this one, unfortunately. If you've never seen them, this series of commercials features a set of weird animated lips discussing various Dairy Queen products. In one commercial, The Lips are talking about some food that's served with gravy. To demonstrate the deliciousness of said gravy, it pours--like a fountain--over The Lips, the thought of which I find nauseous-making. Gravy, although sometimes tasty, is not refreshing. I can't imagine why anyone would want it poured over their face. Blerg.

That *%@$ Friskies song

I see this commercial every morning during the news. Every. Single. Morning. And, every morning, the little song gets stuck in my head. I'll find myself standing in the copy room at work, singing, "It's the magic Friskies makes happen, every day, so many ways," and then I start to think I might need psychological help.


Wait! There's a good one, too!
See, it's not all complaints this week. I just love this--every time I watch it, I end up grinning. Well done, Geico. I kinda like your little gecko, too.




So, how was your week? Any commercials bugging you lately?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Curse you and the salad you rode in on...

Have you ever noticed that there are food trends? Certain foods will go through a big surge in popularity, only to be replaced with the next big thing that comes along. They mentioned this phenomenon in an episode of Seinfeld, concerning pesto. (George referred to Seattle as "the pesto of cities.") Even though I hardly have my finger on the pulse of the culinary world, I'm pretty sure I know what the current hot food is...feta cheese.

I can tell that feta is currently having its moment in the sun, because it's not just for ethnic or high-dollar restaurants anymore--fast-food joints are picking up on it, too. Mr. Nerd and I eat out quite a bit, but I try to stick more or less to the food pyramid guides, so I'm always looking for a good salad. Recently, Wendy's introduced a new line of salads, and I was so excited. We stopped by one Sunday after church, and I ordered up a Cobb salad. Grilled chicken, bacon, veggies...how bad could it be? Pretty bad, I discovered, if it's topped with disgusting feta cheese. (And boiled egg-blerg-but that's a subject for another post.) So, lesson learned.

Until a couple of weeks ago,when Mr. Nerd and I found ourselves once again in the Wendy's drive-thru. He was interested in a salad, too, so we were looking at the garage door-sized posters of the salads on the side of the building. The chicken, apple, and pecan salad looked delicious, but! "What is that white stuff on there? Can you tell?" I asked Mr. Nerd, hoping against hope. "Looks like feta." Grrr. Another salad, ruined. By feta.

Here's the thing, feta: I'm not really big on cheese. I like the more standard varieties (cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, even gouda) just fine. But if it's squishy, has visible mold, or smells like butt-rot, I am not going to even consider eating it. So, feta, you just enjoy your popularity while you have it. I'll be biding my time, waiting for the next Big Food Thing to come along. And praying that that Thing is not some kind of fish, because I don't eat that, either.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Greetings from the stir-crazy

Three weeks post-surgery today, and I'm really ready to get out for a while...I haven't been any further than the mailbox since I got home from church on Sunday. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that, even though I feel well, I'm not physically ready for any big outings just yet. Since I was feeling so well last Saturday, I decided to try a shopping trip. It was a lot of fun (and I found good stuff), but it took me about three days to recover. On the upside, I've actually been able to wear shorts today! I'm sure Mr. Nerd will be delighted to see me in something other than a robe.

I've learned something else, too: even though I haven't blogged in over a month, it's really hard to come up with posts when all I do is sit around the house all day. So, here's a little glimpse at what I've been doing for the past three weeks.

hanging out with the world's laziest dogs
Seriously. They do this ALL day. Except when they're going nutball, barking at nothing.

online shopping
My custom Chuck Taylors! I learned about custom Chucks on Cardiogirl's site. Thanks, CG. (And yes, those are my legs. They really are that white.)

coloring
One of my "grownup" coloring books. I never outgrew coloring, and it really helps to pass the time. I can spend most of a day working on one of these pictures.

reading
My wonderful co-workers sent me a sweet gift basket with lots of stuff to read, and other goodies, and a bunch of folks have been saving magazines and catalogs for me. This Old House, Glamour, Biscuit Magic...clearly, I have a wide variety of interests.

eating rainbow sherbet
I don't really have much of an appetite since the surgery (yay!), but when I am hungry, all I want to eat is sweets. So, meals have basically become a dessert-delivery system. I'm currently finishing up my second half-gallon of rainbow sherbet.

My post-surgery followup is tomorrow, and I should find out then when I can go back to work. Since I have been staying up until midnight, not doing my hair or makeup, and taking a nap whenever I feel like it, being back at work is going to be a MAJOR adjustment. Hope there's room in the communal office freezer for my sherbet fix. Oh, and I guess I'm going to have to, you know, get dressed every day. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm back, y'all!

Well. It's been kind of an interesting summer.

On the first weekend in July, Mr. Nerd and I were looking forward to our upcoming week of vacation. That Friday night, dinner out at a Mexican restaurant for my aunt's birthday left me with a terrible stomachache. By Saturday afternoon, the stomach pain sent me to the local walk-in clinic, which sent me to the ER for a CT scan. I had suspected appendicitis, and the walk-in clinic folks agreed; when the ER doctor walked into my room looking really freaked out, however, I knew something else was up. He told me that my CT scan showed several masses in my abdomen...and then he wasn't the only who looked freaked out. After that, Mr. Nerd and I spent our week of vacation going to various doctor's and testing appointments, and trying to have a bit of fun when we could. One of the blood tests checked for cancer markers in my blood, and it came back elevated. I saw a gynecologic oncologist, who reassured me that it might not actually be cancer, and scheduled me for surgery.

So, two weeks ago today, I had major surgery to remove a whole mess o' lady parts. It turned out that everything was okay--no cancer whatsoever! Obviously, I am incredibly thankful that everything is going to be fine. I am currently sitting at home, trying to combat boredom, and doing the required four- to six-week recuperation period.

This whole thing is so new to me--I've never had surgery, spent the night in the hospital, or really had any medical problems, except for a bout of scarlet fever when I was little. I was pretty nervous going into the surgery, but, for the most part, being in the hospital wasn't too bad. With the following exceptions.

Your modesty suffers
I am modest. Nearly to the point of prudishness. I've heard many mothers claim that, once you've gone through the process of labor and birth, you lose all modesty. Well, I've never had kids, I hate discussing my (ahem) personal business with anyone, and being in the hospital was just mortifying because of it. It was not at all unusual to have a perky patient care tech bop into my room and ask several embarrassingly personal questions (in front of various family members, deacons from my church, whomever): "Ms. Absepa? Are you peeing? Have you passed gas yet? Would you like a stool softener?" Cripes, people. Couldn't you write me a note? Or at least whisper? And that doesn't even begin to cover the mortification I felt anytime someone wanted to take a look at my incision, which is on my lower, lower, LOWER abdomen. Mortified, I tell you.

They might kill you trying to take blood
I did not sleep the first night in the hospital. At all. Any time I started to doze off, someone popped in to check my vitals, IV, incision (gah!), etc., etc. So naturally, after my sleepless night, a girl showed up to take blood...at 4am. I am not kidding. She made two tries on my right arm, but came up with less than a thimbleful of blood, probably because I was so dehydrated. (No food or liquids after midnight before the surgery; ice chips only until late afternoon; and clear liquids for supper. I truly thought I was going to turn into a human-shaped tumbleweed and just blow away.) At 5am, she came back, and took a stab (well, two) at my right hand. She was getting mad by this time, sweating and growling at my uncooperative veins. She finally gave up, threw me a disgusted look, and left. ANOTHER girl showed up at 5:45, and went to work on my left hand. Apparently the additional thimbleful that she was able to extract was enough, because they left me alone after that. I came home looking like I had gone a couple of rounds in fight club.

Some medical procedures are just evil
While I was in the operating room (but, thank God, after I was asleep), the doctors set me up with a Foley catheter. If anyone ever tries to do that to you, RUN as far and as fast as you can. This was, by far, the worst part of my surgery experience. As the nurses explained to me, your bladder can kind of "forget" how to do its thing after you've had a catheter. Well, mine forgot for a while, and it was no picnic. Things went on for so long that the nurse was on the phone with my doctor (talking about putting the evil thing back IN), when my bladder suddenly came to its senses and did what it was supposed to do. A huge relief, in every sense of the word.

Honestly, although I'm making fun, everyone at the hospital was really nice. I have been blessed with a smooth recovery and not too much pain. And Mr. Nerd is totally jealous that I get to sit at home, waste time on the Internet, and nap whenever I want. All things considered, I'm feeling pretty grateful lately. And glad to be back to my blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please pardon this interruption...

But it looks like Nerd in the Corner is going to be taking a break for a while. I have some medical stuff going on, and I'm not sure how regularly I will be able to post in the coming weeks. Since I love my readers (and blogging in general), I obsess about my blog and feel really guilty when I don't post as often as I should. Taking an announced break should help to free me from feeling guilty while I get poked and prodded by (seemingly) every doctor under the sun. I'll still be reading all of my favorite blogs, commenting when I can, and hanging out on Facebook if possible. I'll miss you guys! Hope to be back again in full force in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

They say knowledge is power...

So gather round, kids, and let Ms. Absepa fill you in on some of the things I’ve learned over the  past (extremely busy, moderately stressful, fairly exhausting) week or so. Don’t worry—there won’t be a test on this material.

Lots of kids + lots of sugar = a little scary
I spent a few nights last week working my church’s Vacation Bible School. One night, the kids had root beer floats--with cupcakes--for their snack. There were about 60 kids, and roughly 20 or so adults to corral them all. It’s a miracle there wasn’t a mini-riot that night, because those kids were all so jacked up that I'm not sure we could have gotten them back under control if they had decided to mutiny. I’m thinking next year we should consider serving fruit and bottled water.

Moving sucks, hot weather makes it suck more
I’ve developed a theory that, unless you schedule your move in January (which, of course, guarantees that there will be a blizzard), your moving day will always be the hottest day of the year. My parents and sister moved last weekend, and it was 94 degrees, with about 400% humidity. It was already nearly 90 when I joined the fun—at 9 am—and it only got worse. Fortunately, they had movers for all of the really heavy stuff…and Speedway has slushes for 89 cents. I drank so many of those this weekend that I believe I might have replaced all of the liquid in my body with Wild Cherry Freeze.

Investigate your doctor’s background carefully
In general, I am not one to doubt the medical community. After all, doctors go to school for a long time, so I feel like I should trust them. However. I’m pretty sure the fellow who performed my arthrogram yesterday was actually a sadist (who decided to show up at the clinic, throw on a lab coat, and torture a few poor souls who were already suffering), rather than a radiologist. And he knew I wouldn't try to run away, either, since his nurse made me take off my bra and put on that flimsy gown. And that “contrast medium?” They might tell you it's iodine or barium, but only pure, unadulterated bottled evil could be that painful. Here's the most important lesson I learned last week: If your doctor ever mentions anything about a contrast MRI, run away as fast as you can.
It hurts like *#$&, which might make you want to kick the "doctor" in the groin as hard as you can. And they would probably frown on that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear footwear industry, you've done it again

First, it was the floot, a fugly flip-flop/ankle boot hybrid. Then, a couple of days ago, my sharp-eyed aunt, K, found a link to this abomination:



It's made by Sanuk, and it's called the Tubeflop.  Here's a brief description from their website:

"Light and breathable sock connected to footbed through molded channel. Strap is feminine and soft."

So, it's a flip-flop...connected to a tube sock. Call me crazy, but I thought the primary purpose of knee socks was to keep you warm. I know some people live in parts of the country where you can be outside for more than 2.4 seconds without bursting into flames, but it's hot as all get-out here, y'all. You know what I think about when I look at Tubeflops? I think about how hot and itchy and gross my sweaty calves would be after wearing those things for about three minutes. If they're intended for people who live in cooler climates, they're still dumb. My feet are always freezing in cold weather. What good would it do me to have toasty-warm calves while my piddies were getting frostbitten?

I've been thinking a lot about this craze for bizarre shoes, and I think I know who is behind it all:


 
Remember this guy? I'm guessing the haberdashery business has suffered a lot in the last few decades, and Mr. Hatter was looking for some work. He turned his attentions to footwear-he's mad, remember-and the result is the Tubeflop. But, because I am a giver, I'm going to give him some career counseling. I'm pretty sure I've thought of the perfect employer to match his skill set:



Lady Gaga is clearly not afraid to take a few fashion risks, and shoes and hats are essential pieces of her crazy get-ups. I think the Mad Hatter could have a long and illustrious career designing her gear...and then the rest of us consumers would not have to suffer whatever he thinks up next. See? Perfect match.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Maybe not the ninth level, but it was getting close

Spent some time waiting at the doctor's office today. A lot of time. As a matter of fact, I was able to read nearly the entire July issue of Real Simple magazine. Have you seen this thing? It's about a half-inch thick. After a while, I started thinking that maybe I had died and I was in Hell's waiting room, rather than my orthopedist's. Of course, Hell's waiting room is never empty; you're always accompanied by the most annoying people possible.

Christopher, the Super-Irritating Child
I swear, I am an irritating kid magnet. This one appeared to be about four years old, and he was LOUD. (And yes, I know--you can't expect small children to sit still and be perfectly quiet. But I don't think it's unreasonable to require them to leave the other patrons alone.) Christopher thought it was great fun to crawl on the floor under the chairs...and then pop up at the end of the row, which was directly beneath my elbow. He did this, oh, twenty times or so before his "MAMAWMAMAWMAMAW" (that's what he kept yelling) told him to stop. He finally discovered the toys in the corner, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Until...


Suspender Man
Suspender Man arrived with great fanfare. He, too, was loud, and on crutches (and inexplicably attired in Ralph Lauren denim shorts with suspenders). Suspender Man greeted all of the receptionists, loudly; found a seat, loudly; and made a great show of getting settled and arranging his crutches. Ahh, now I can go back to these engrossing articles about hot dog toppings and sports bras. At that point, Suspender Man yelled, "Whoo!" and nearly scared me out of my uncomfortable chair. He proceeded to holler "Whoo!" at intervals of approximately every 90 seconds. He left just enough time between for me to think we were finished with the Whoo-ing. Each outburst was followed by a heavy sigh, which wafted directly over my head, along with a gust of coffee breath. Ugh.


Every-freakin'-one else
There must have been 25 people in this waiting room, and at least 20 of them were having full-volume cell phone conversations. Do people not care that everyone in the room can hear them discussing their personal problems? In addition, a sign is prominently posted in the waiting room forbidding the use of cell phones. Clearly, no one was paying attention. 


Oh, and did I mention that all of the doctors were running over an hour behind? And Dr. Phil was playing (loudly!) on the TV? Having your blood pressure checked is not part of a visit to the orthopedist, but, if it was, I'm pretty sure mine would have been through the roof. You know it's been a stressful visit when it's a huge relief to go back to work. And best of all, I get to go back in two weeks! Do you think that's enough time to round up an annoying kid and prepare a loud, embarrassing cell phone conversation?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Maybe I can hire him as a bunnyguard

Wow. I just realized that it is Thursday, and I haven't blogged yet this week. I'm so dog-tired that I just ate dinner (pizza, courtesy of Domino's) in my PJs, so it looks like it's random time. Here are a few thoughts for the end of this short (and yet oh-so-long) week.

  • If you work outside your home, have you noticed an unusually large amount of water on the sink in the office restroom? One of my coworkers stopped by my desk this afternoon to point out the big, wet stripe across her abdomen, incurred when she leaned against the sink. What could cause a massive puddle on a sink where people only wash their hands? Do ducks sneak into the restroom and paddle around in the sinks? Because I refuse to believe that humans could splash that much water, then refuse to wipe it up...particularly when they should already have paper towels in their hands from washing.
  • I have, in the past several days, bitten my cheek repeatedly in the exact same spot, and cut the same place on my calf each morning when I was shaving my legs. Apparently pain and/or blood is not enough to make me remember to be more careful when chewing and shaving.
  • We have the most incredibly bold rabbits in my neighborhood. It's a massive, new-ish subdivision, with kids and cars and dogs all over the place. Living amongst all these threats, the rabbits must have gotten streetwise or something. We pulled into the driveway this afternoon, and there was a bunny lying in the front yard, just hanging out in the shade. I pulled further forward, and further still, and the bunny just...didn't move. Mr. Nerd got out of the car to shoo him off (I was afraid he would get scared and bolt under the car. [The bunny, not Mr. Nerd. Although he does say that my driving terrifies him.]) The bunny still didn't move! Mr. Nerd had to physically stand over him, and then he hopped off rather nonchalantly, I thought. Sometimes I wonder if one of these little toughies might run right into the house when I open the front door. Three dogs + one rabbit + indoors = Very Bad. 
That seems to be the sum total of what's rattling around in my head tonight, except for a plea for opinions from my bloggy friends. I am interested in exploring the possibility of migrating my blog to Wordpress, and I would like to hear from anyone who has been through that experience. Was it difficult? Did you have any major problems? Is Wordpress easier to use than Blogger? Harder? My HTML skills are very limited, and I don't know the first thing about CSS and stuff, so I am a little nervous at the thought of migrating. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Have a good weekend, and watch out for tough bunnies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No, Mr. Spider, I expect you to die

I hate spiders. (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before.) Since I hate them, I am a huge chicken and don't want to kill them…but my husband has basically refused to kill critters for me anymore, so I am on my own. Which would be scary enough in and of itself, but I think the spiders are getting smarter. And that, my friends, is simply terrifying.

Sunday morning, I stumbled out of bed in my usual stupor to let the dogs out. Since I take something to help me sleep, I'm usually pretty confused for the first half-hour or so after I get up. I was collecting the dogs' dishes to feed them, when I saw it. Huge, black, evil freakin' spider, hanging out by the laundry room door. We keep a rolled-up catalog in the kitchen for killing critters (and threatening wayward mutts), so I grabbed it and steeled myself for battle. I gave the big #$%*^!& a solid swat, and stepped back to check his whereabouts. Except there were no whereabouts, because he was gone. No telltale smoosh on the catalog, but no sign of creepy-crawly, either. Then I heard a scratching, scuttling sound. And noticed that the catalog—which was still IN MY HAND—was moving. The spider had apparently seen the catalog coming, decided it would be a lark to cause me to have a fatal heart attack at 6:15 on a Sunday morning, and jumped inside. I was now holding one JC Penney's underwear ad, and one eight-legged ball of evil. I immediately broke out in a cold sweat, felt faint, and nearly wet myself, simultaneously. With more presence of mind than I thought I possessed, I shook the catalog violently until the monster fell out, then proceeded to beat him into oblivion. Have you ever seen Dr. No (the first James Bond movie)? Remember the tarantula scene? It was kinda like that. (For those of you who have never seen Dr. No, Bond wakes up in his hotel room to find a tarantula crawling up his arm. He flings it off, grabs a shoe, and pounds it repeatedly. During the beating, there is a big, crashing chord that plays with each whack. BAM! BAM! BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!!! Then Bond wanders weakly off to the bathroom, clutching his stomach, presumably to hurl.)

This repeated pounding on the floor with the catalog woke up my husband, muttering about the racket. Of course, if the spider had crawled out onto my arm? He would have found me in the middle of the kitchen floor, dead of fright, and surrounded by hungry, confused (but mostly hungry) dogs. And I'm sure the spider that caused it would have been long gone. Even Gil Grissom wouldn't have been able to solve that one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This might be rarer than Sasquatch...

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a rant about some butt-ugly shoes I saw at Off Broadway, which I dubbed "floots" because they're kind of a boot/flip-flop hybrid. Since then, I've seen them in all the shoe stores, but never on an actual person. (Maybe because they are, well, butt-ugly?) But my sharp-eyed blog buddy Cardiogirl had a sighting! She wrote a hilarious post about it, complete with an awesome illustrative doodle. You should go read it immediately, because it was nine kinds of awesome. Thanks, cg...that totally made my day.

            *********************************************************************

Do you ever have a dimwit week? If so, is there a cure, or am I going to be an idiot forever? All week long, I've been answering my work phone and completely forgetting what to say. On Sunday, I bought a dozen eggs so that I could make a pineapple upside-down cake for work...then left the eggs in the car for six hours. When I was baking the cake earlier this evening, I realized (too late) that I had bought the wrong kind of cake mix...and boogered up the liquid/fat ratio beyond all recognition. If you can offer any suggestions to help my poor brain, I would really appreciate it. I'm off to Kroger to buy more cake ingredients.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weird things, volume 2: The one with the pig

(So, it seems that my last post freaked some folks out. Sorry! I have a strong stomach and a high tolerance for yucky stuff, so I forget sometimes that other people might not enjoy reading about things like my gross ear. I promise, there will be nothing icky in this post.)

As far back as I can remember, I have loved pigs. I'm not really sure why I love them; I've seen several porcine-related episodes of Dirty Jobs, and they're certainly not the tidiest or most charming critters. Still, I think they're adorable. When it became trendy to keep pot-bellied pigs as pets a few years ago, I wanted one desperately...that is, until I actually met one.

I had been out to a bar with a couple of co-workers one January Saturday night. We ran into some friends-of-friends, a group of college guys, and ended the evening hanging out at their place. I can't really remember what brought the conversation around to their pet, but one of the guys said, "We have a pot-bellied pig." You do? Squee!! Where? No sooner had the words "in the back yard" come out of his mouth than I  was out the door, looking for some sign of a pet pig. Mind you, I completely disregarded the fact that it was after midnight, the guys' house was in a suburb (and therefore surrounded by close neighbors) and it was about ten degrees. Nothing was going to stop me from petting a pig.

I somehow found the pen in the dark, squee-ing all the way (did I mention that I may not have been entirely sober?). The pig had come to the gate, probably to see who was making such a ruckus at that time of night. I was just sticking my hand through the gate to pet him when, simultaneously, I heard, "DON'T!" and felt a CHOMP. The pig, the one that I was so excited to meet, had bitten me! The guy explained that the pig lived outside because he wasn't very friendly, and I wasn't the only person he had chomped. I was crushed. I had no idea pigs could be ill-tempered. The bite didn't hurt much at the time (tipsy, you know) but my fingers were really sore the next morning. That day, I gave up my hopes of having a pet pig. Since then, I don't really trust them, so I just squee over them from afar.

So, there you go. Yet another weird thing that has happened to me. I don't know anyone else who has been bitten by a pig. Have you ever had a close encounter with a barnyard animal?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weird things seem to happen to me, Volume 1

"There is no earring here," said the triage nurse confidently as she checked out my earlobe. "It must have come out." When I told her that there was, in fact, an earring there, except my earlobe was too swollen to see it--well, she got kind of pale. It's a little alarming when an ER nurse, who has probably seen every kind of gnarly injury known to man, looks at a part of your body and blanches. Let's go back to the beginning of the story, though.

My poor ears have taken a lot of abuse—they have been pierced, in exactly the same spot, no less than five times. The first two times, I was too young to care for them, so I let them grow back; the third time, they got infected; the fourth time, things got interesting. My ears had been pierced, again, for about two weeks. The left one had been feeling a little infect-y, but I really wanted to wear earrings, so I was trying to deal with it. In the span of a couple of hours one evening, my ear turned bright red and started to swell. It was getting kind of painful, so I checked it in the mirror…and realized that I couldn’t see the earring, at all. My ear had actually grown (or swollen or whatever), well, around the earring. I was starting to get kind of freaked out by this point, so I headed off to the ER. Where I made the nurse turn pale. After apologizing to the nurse, I eventually ended up lying on an ER gurney while a doctor took a scalpel to my earlobe and cut(!) it open to retrieve the earring. I don’t want to be too graphic, but I will note that I had to throw away my white sweater after that little escapade. Did you know that there is a lot of blood in your earlobe? I didn't either. The evening ended with the shaken triage nurse telling me that her daughter had been begging for pierced ears for months, but there was no way it was going to happen after she saw my ear. So, to the child who got a hearty lecture instead of a shiny new pair of earrings, I’m really sorry that I wigged out your mom.

Since a lot of weird things seem to happen to me, I think I'm going to make this post part one of a series. (The next gripping tale features a pig.) Are you one of those people, too? If you are, what's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How do I hate thee, Blogger? Let me count the ways...

There was supposed to be a pre-written, mostly well-thought-out post here tonight, but the first of what turned out to be many computer snafus left me unable to retrieve it. Instead, I was going to regale you with off-the-cuff tales about a couple of my early jobs...except that bloody bollocky frickin' Blogger refuses to save any of my drafts. (Props to Absolutely Fabulous for teaching me British slang.) It keeps giving me some error messages about META tags, which means about as much to me as Esperanto or astrophysics. So, I'm conceding to Blogger, for now. Check back tomorrow night for a post about the weird thing that happened to my ear. It's more interesting than it sounds, I promise.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Of floots and fashion victims

Have I mentioned before that I love clothes? Since I love clothes, but I do not have the budget of, say, Sarah Jessica Parker, I spend a lot of time looking at catalogs, reading magazines like InStyle, and dreaming of the wardrobe I would have if I was a bajillionaire. I was happily perusing one of my catalogs recently when I saw what could possibly be one of the dumbest clothing/footwear ideas of all time. I would describe the item, but it kind of defies description:



It’s a flip flop…in an unholy union with the cuff part of a boot. What the heck? What is the purpose of this ridiculous shoe? Is this for women with hot feet but cold ankles?  Are they specifically created to show off your pedi? I think the designers are running out of ideas, frankly. They’ve come to the point where they’re just taking things that already exist, cutting them apart, and rearranging the pieces, and this is the result. I call it the “floot.” Part flip flop, part boot, all absurd.

When I first saw the floot in the catalog, I thought it must be one of those things that Paris Hilton types would wear, but no normal woman would ever put on as part of everyday life. Imagine my surprise when I walked into my favorite shoe store last weekend, and there was a big display of floots right inside the door. Since my little corner of Kentucky is hardly a fashion mecca, it appears that normal women must be wearing them, too. It is to those ladies that I would like to direct a word of warning: No matter how cool floots seem right now, it will not be worth the shame in the long run. Trust me. Since I was a shameless trend-jumper for many years, I wore a lot of things that I deeply regret--and that make me very thankful that my family is not big on taking photos. (No evidence of my crimes.) Here are a few examples:


I wore a Mork outfit, fourth grade. Exactly like this, except my pants were khaki.

Jams shorts, similar to the ones I wore in high school. With a knit sweater vest. Oh, and I was chunky. It was a great look for me.

MC Hammer pants, late 80s. I couldn't even blame my foolishness on youth anymore; I was an adult when I wore these. Tragic.
 
Talk about tragic! I had about 10 pairs of stirrup pants in the early 90s. Picture these pants, a heavily crocheted sweater, lots of chub, and flats. Aw, yeah.

Having seen these horrors, you must be convinced that I have some serious regrets about my fashion past.  Surely you understand why I'm recommending that you leave the trendy, goofy shoes behind and settle on a more conventional pair of sandals. The floots might make you feel really hip for a weeks, but the regrets could last a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's time for Doodle-palooza 2010!

Last week, I was hanging out over at Cardiogirl's place, commenting on her post about sidewalk chalk. If you're not reading Cardiogirl...well, why not? She has a lot of funny, insightful, interesting things to say on a wide variety of topics. She posts every day, for cryin' out loud, even though she has three young kids, and several of the terms in her glossary are Seinfeld-based. Anyway, back to the sidewalk chalk post. In my comment, I noted that I am a doodler; Cardiogirl agreed that she, too, loves a good doodle. Since we live a few hundred miles apart and don't have the opportunity to doodle together, CG challenged me to scan and post some of my doodles, which she will replicate on her sidewalk in chalk form, photograph, and post to her blog. How awesome is that?

I should note that all of my doodles are the same shape because I drew them on the blank Saturday and Sunday squares of the division calendar, during my weekly staff meetings at work. Since my boss reads my blog sometimes, I should note that studies have shown that doodling helps you pay attention. So, it may appear that I'm zoning out, but I am actually totally focused on the meeting AND exercising my creative side. Back to the purpose of this post...Cardiogirl, here are some of my doodles. I can't wait to see your chalk interpretations!
 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Warning: This post could be even less coherent than usual

A few months ago, I made a promise to my blog readers to update more regularly and, for the most part, I've stuck to it. So, I'm going to beg off tonight, because I'm not sure I can string more than two sentences together. Here's a brief recap of my day--for extra fun, see if you can spot the parts that left me in this wrecked, depleted state:

  • Arise at 4:45 am, as usual on weekdays, even though I won't be working
  • Deprive Sebastian dog of food and water, in preparation for his tooth cleaning and other procedures
  • Drive hungry, thirsty, confused animal to the vet; gently console while navigating through morning rush-hour traffic
  • Pick husband up; drop off at work
  • Embark on a 45-mile round-trip errand extravaganza
  • Arrive back at home; immediately head outside to mow the yard (front and back)--it was hot
  • Talk to vet about Sebastian's procedures while in the shower, cleaning up from lawn-mowing (sorry, Dr. Rauth!)
  • A break! Lunch, check email, take a blessed half-hour nap
  • Leave to pick up Sebastian dog; note, with dismay, how heavy the traffic is already at 4 pm
  • Spend over an hour in crawling, brake-every-ten-feet rush hour traffic with a wigged-out, post-op, hungry/thirsty/whiny dog
  • Contemplate several acts of bodily harm
  • Arrive at home, finally; feed dogs, feed self; hello, wine bottle my old friend!
And now I'm just knackered, which is why there's no post tonight. I will leave you with one treat, though:



Sigh. His name is Laurence Fox, and he plays the enigmatic Detective Sergeant Hathaway on the BBC detective series Lewis. It's a great show, Mr. Fox is absolutely yummy, and I intend to spend the rest of the evening enjoying it. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My name is absepa, and I am a STATS sufferer

Severe Tick-Associated Trauma Syndrome (STATS)

Severe Tick-Associated Trauma Syndrome, or STATS, is a short-lived but deeply distressing condition directly attributable to a variety of the family Ixodoidea, more commonly known as a tick. It typically affects individuals who are predisposed to moderate to severe entomophobia (or fear of insects), but anyone can be affected. There is no known cure for STATS, although the severity of the condition typically lessens as time passes following the initial contact with the tick.

Symptoms
Although each individual presents differently when affected with STATS, one or more of the following symptoms may be observed:

- an overall “freaked-out” appearance
- sobbing
- whimpering
- trembling
- bouts of swearing (directed toward those @#$* bugs)
- nausea (typically observed during the process of removing the tick)
- an intense need for chocolate and/or a glass of wine (following tick removal)

Following the removal of the tick, the STATS patient may suffer from episodes of skin-crawling sensations (also known as the “heebie-jeebies”). A more violent form of the heebie-jeebies, known as the “willies,” might cause the patient to leap suddenly from a seated position and begin tearing at their clothing, in fear that there is another tick somewhere on their body. Also, do not be surprised if the patient desires to immediately launder (or perhaps burn) any garments, bedding, pets, relatives, etc., that could possibly be housing another tick. This is normal behavior following such an experience.

Treatment
There is no formal treatment for STATS, but caregivers of patients are advised to be gentle with sufferers following an attack. Mocking, teasing, or accusations that the patient is being “too much of a drama queen” generally will not aid the patient in their recovery, and might cause feelings of bitterness in the patient. Caregivers are advised to be kind to the patient; offer supportive words and a tender hug; and provide the patient with a “treat” such as chocolate, ice cream, or cake, and perhaps an alcoholic beverage. This type of offering will typically go a long way toward improving the patient’s overall disposition. The treatment phase of STATS can be expected to last a few hours, but patients may continue to exhibit some symptoms of this illness for a few days up to a couple of weeks. In rare cases, patients who were severely traumatized might continue to suffer the willies and/or the heebie-jeebies throughout the summer months, when STATS is most common.

(Editor’s note: The neutrality of this article cannot be confirmed. It should be noted that the author is a multiple-episode STATS sufferer, with the most recent incident occurring only two days ago. It should also be noted that the author’s spouse not only refrained from mocking, but actually performed the removal of the tick, since the author was far too wigged out to do it herself. He’s a real gem.)


Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Carrie Underwood and dog food made my day

This is not something I would normally do, but I’m going to use my little part of the bloggy world to promote a cause that means a lot to me. I recently saw an interview with Carrie Underwood on the CBS Early Show. I've always liked her music, but after seeing that interview, I think I love her. Carrie Underwood is partnering with Pedigree dog food to benefit homeless animals. For every person who becomes a fan of Pedigree on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Pedigree), the company will donate one bowl of food to feed shelter dogs. That is awesome, in my book.

Anyone who’s read this blog more than once or twice knows that I dote on my three dogs. They were all rescues, but only one of them actually came from a shelter. When we saw Abby’s listing on Petfinder and contacted the shelter, she had already been there for more than six weeks--the shelter director was frantically searching for a foster family to take her in, so she wouldn't have to be euthanized. Mr. Nerd and I have had the pleasure of Abby's company for nearly six years, and she is a great dog. We are so grateful that she had a place to stay for those six weeks. The director of the shelter is a wonderful person who tries her best to save as many animals as possible, under very difficult conditions. The shelter is run solely by volunteers, is severely cash-strapped, and often makes appeals to the community for donations of food and supplies. Without caring people like these, and donations from companies, so many dogs and cats would not be able to stay in shelters long enough to find good homes. And Mr. Nerd and I wouldn't have this:



(Abby's pretty big on giving kisses. I don't really mind, even though I'm making a face.)

If you’re on Facebook, would you please consider becoming a fan of Pedigree to help provide food to shelters? She may not look very excited, but I know that Abby would really appreciate it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The inexplicable pickle

Saw something really weird a couple of days ago. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and I still can’t come up with an explanation for—well, wait. Let me give you the back story, and then we’ll get to the bizarre part.

Mr. Nerd and I both work for our local government. We work downtown, and we ride together to save money. We park in a typical downtown parking garage—dimly lit, a little smelly, narrow spaces, you know the kind of place. A couple of days ago, we ran home at lunchtime to let the dogs out. When we got back to work, we found a great parking spot--which is no small feat, since several hundred cars park in this garage. I jumped out of the car and headed for the exit, but noticed that Mr. Nerd was hanging back. With his cell phone camera out, taking photographs. Being of a very curious nature, I had to see what he could possibly have found to photograph in the parking garage. It was this:




A jar of pickles. A one-gallon jar of those enormous, whole-cucumber-size pickles. Sitting, unopened, next to a concrete pillar in a downtown parking garage. What. The. Heck?  When we left work that evening, it was still there, untouched. That was two days ago, and it's STILL there. We’re completely mystified. Who carries pickles around with them? Who would bring a giant jar of pickles to work, and then leave them in the parking garage?? So many questions.

Unfortunately, unless one of us runs across a co-worker who happens to be snacking on a massive pickle, we’ll never know. The Leaving of the Pickles will become just another of the mysteries of the parking garage. Like why that one space is always filled with a deep, murky puddle, even in dry weather, or who left the pile of pink Pixie Stick dust that appeared one day by the exit door. Who knows what secrets lurk in the shadows of the parking garage? Well, except for that one corner that always smells like pee. It’s pretty clear what’s been going on over there.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I speak of the pompitus of song lyrics

I was listening to the radio today, when the new Black Eyed Peas song came on. It was a pretty cool song, except that the lyrics seemed to consist mostly of the words "Imma be." (A Google search just informed me that that is actually the name of the song, as well. And I don't think "imma" is a word, Kanye West's use of it notwithstanding.) That got me started thinking about songs with decent melodies and dumb words, which is something that has annoyed me for a long time. I have some kind of crazy Rain Man memory for song lyrics, so bad ones stay with me for a looooong time. Here are some of the ones I find the most ridiculous.

the "it will all make sense if you take another hit off the bong" lyrics - Oasis

slowly walking down the hall
faster than a cannonball
- "Champagne Supernova"
These fellows had some big hits in the 90s, and earned a bit of notoriety for their outlandish behavior. If I remember correctly, they also had a reputation for being potheads, which is the only possible explanation I can come up with for those lyrics. They probably seemed reeeeeeaaaally deep, man. Oh, and the next line in the song? "Where were you while we were getting high?" Uh-huh. I thought so.

The "we need a thesaurus" lyrics - Van Halen
hey only fools rush in and only time will tell
If we stand the test of time
- "Why Can't This Be Love?"

I know the guys in Van Halen did about a metric ton of drugs back in the day. I refuse to believe, however, that they killed so many of their brain cells that they couldn't come up with something better than "only time will tell if we stand the test of time." Geez, d'ya think? Sorry, fellas. You have some really good rockin' songs, but that's just lame.

the "who cares if it doesn't make sense-it rhymes!" lyrics - Elvis
well, bless my soul what's wrong with me?
I'm itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree
- "All Shook Up"

Okay, I know this might result in hate comments, but I don't think Elvis was a very good songwriter. He had tons of charisma, charm, good looks (at least when he was young), a nice voice-absolutely. But some of the lyrics were pretty trite, and some were just bad. A fuzzy tree? Also, if you think you're in love, and one of the symptoms is itchin', you might want to have a doctor look at that. And maybe pick up an antibiotic. I'm just sayin'.

The "I can't think of any more real words, so I'll just sing nonsense" lyrics - Miley Cyrus
Noddin' my head like, yeah
Movin' my hips like, yeah
- "Party in the USA"

Actually, it's not fair to crack on Miley Cyrus for this, when there are millions of artists who have resorted to filling in a space with either a nonsense word, or something like "yeah" or "alright." (It's still an annoying--albeit catchy--song, though.) Let's not forget Steve Miller, the king of the nonsense word, who came up with "pompitus" to fill a three-syllable gap in his song "The Joker." But at least he was upfront about it...he needed a word, so he just invented one. And you know you like the song anyway. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to start using "pompitus" as a multi-purpose word, kind of like "aloha." I like it.

That's just a small sampling of the dumb lyrics that bug me. There may be a sequel to this post someday. Are there any lyrics that just drive you crazy? Let me know in the comments.

headphone guy came from here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And this is why I growl at the TV

We don't watch a whole lot of TV around here, mostly because we only have basic cable--22 channels. When we do watch, it is often PBS, which we both love. At the moment, though, PBS has chucked their usual lineup in order to conduct their "Telefund," so we've been suffering through some network shows. (I know they have to raise money. It's just really annoying that they're asking me for money to support the shows I enjoy, while they're pre-empting, you know, the shows I enjoy.) Aside from the quality programming, there is one particular reason why I love PBS...there are no commercials.

There are a few exceptions, but commercials, in general, annoy the heck out of me. I see this one every morning while I'm getting ready for work:



Gaah! Melodramatic much? "A prescription?!? What do I have??" Geez, lady, it's eye drops. Buck up! It's not like they're going to kill you.

I saw this one for the first time yesterday:



The commercial itself isn't terribly irritating, but there's something in there that I think is absolutely ridiculous. At 0:26, when the driver pulls close to the guy to grab the burger, a message appears: "Professional driver on closed road. Do not attempt." Is this really something someone would attempt? Veering over to the side of the road to snatch a cheeseburger? Considering the vehicular maneuvering that would have to take place, not to mention having to find someone who just happens to be sitting on the side of the road eating? I'm really skeptical about this.

This is the one that really makes me think I might snap:



I cannot STAND that kid. It's probably very, very wrong to feel that way about a child, but I can't help it. I see this commercial every morning, and every morning I go on a mini-tirade about it. It makes my husband's day, I'm sure.

There are many others, but those are my worst. How about you? Are you easily annoyed by commercials? Which ones get to you?