Friday, December 31, 2010

Back In Recovery

Aah, Family.  Nothing more delightfully exhausting, is there?

There was a song once (maybe more than once) about how a person just wanted to sleep in his own bed again.  To say that I could relate would be understating things, although the songwriter's version was apparently at the end of a bad turn with a woman, mine was after a few days of my self-induced Not Your Routine thing at my parent's house.  And let me be clear--they are great people, community leaders, talented and nice as all get-out, but after the 900th time hearing your parent declare something "stupid" (or any variation thereof) and being silent about the fact that you flat-out disagree, a person gets a bit twitchy.  And then you have a few (several) beers or some pills to calm the twitchy.  When I got home and flopped sideways on the mattress in my own room, sans chemical enhancements, I became unconscious immediately and stayed that way for almost 12 hours--didn't even care to find a blanket the entire time.


Now then, is the problem is that my parents think things are "stupid" that I do just about every day (including living in a city as opposed to a wind-swept prairie)?  Or is the problem that I choose not to tell them that I think them impossibly small-minded?  After all, living where they live, "small-minded" is a survival technique.  It's rough as hell out there--small population, harsh landscape--and you won't survive it without friends.  Well, when there are only a couple hundred of you and the choice is agree or be out in the (literal, bitter) cold, you are more likely to form some opinions that might not fly when confronted with a more diverse population.  Here is an example of what I mean--a class mate of my sister's moved away and became a successful doctor and my mother admitted to being surprised by that because "he always seemed so backwards."  And various other entrepreneurs (or nationalities...), when their names are uttered, it is with disgust.  How dare they?  How dare they be different, and be successful at it?  

There is an old marketing credo which goes like this:  "Everybody drinks Coke".  That is to say, in almost every populated corner of this earth, you can buy Coca-Cola.  The Coca-Cola marketing campaign has convinced every living soul on the planet that they are, in fact, The Real Thing.  In marketing, we hold this example most high, because, well, it means that you can sell anything to anybody if you just keep at it long enough.  There have been a couple of occasions in my life when I have heard someone declare that "you can't do that here" because this is (insert name of town)  and a person of influence has, at one time, declared it undesirable.  When you hear that sort of thing, you make a decision--do you tell them "Everybody drinks Coke" and set about the business of proving them wrong, or, just say "screw it" with the full realization that you're going to have to excuse yourself from there before long or succumb to the twitchiness?

My home town has a strong "you can't do that here, this is (insert name of town)" vibe--not that anyone is nasty about it, but that may be only because nobody ever confronts them with a Coke.  Things are a certain way, they've been that way a long time, and rarely do they falter.  Why should they?  Things are working just fine the way they are, right?  Well, yes, but it's so different everywhere else!  If I had never left, I might still feel the same, but, I did.  I left, and, spent 20-odd years looking at things that were in direct contrast with my upbringing.  Somehow, I managed to thrive despite the fact that everything I've done has been "stupid".

Of course, it may also be true that it is I who is the small-minded comfort junkie and all of what I found so painful was just me being annoyed because I couldn't flop on a couch with whatever my current project was, a handheld social net/email/texting device at the ready, and watch Hugh Laurie's American accent show for six whole days in a row.  That kind of thing can send me right over the edge.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ugly Business AKA She Breathes Fire

What an ugly day it was.  

Not the weather, not the part about how I had to walk two blocks to my car thanks to the Minneapolis Snow Parking Disaster of 2010, or even my bad hair, was ugly.

You know how when someone is giving you a hard time and giving you a hard time and giving you a hard time and you tell them to knock it off but they don't stop and finally, at some point you haul off and smack them (literally or figuratively) because they Just. Wouldn't. Listen. ?  You know what I'm talking about?

Today was the day that I hauled off and smacked someone.  

Figuratively, of course...

They had been hassling me for a long time and I'd reached the end of my patience for their stupidity.

I don't take myself very seriously, but I do take my work very seriously.  I put actual effort into it, and I'm the opposite of a clock-watcher.  I'm one of the rare few that actually gives a shit about the level of work that they do.  As such, when I meet someone who doesn't take work seriously, I don't have a lot of respect for them.  When I get stuck working with someone who doesn't take work seriously, I find them annoying.  When that person works in an area where they can affect ME by not taking their work seriously, I flat-out get angry.

To have your reputation destroyed by someone who simply doesn't give a shit is the worst kind of injury.  I'm talking about someone who, just for jollies, just because they can, takes purposeful steps to make you look bad, even though there is nothing to be gained by it.

That is what you call Evil.  Evil, evil, evil.

There is no remedy.  You can't teach people like that how to cooperate or be nice--the are not interested in cooperating and they don't care to be nice.  If they can fuck you up, they're going to fuck you up.  The only way to get them off your back is to haul off and smack them.

So you do it.

And then, you can't believe it came to that.  

You can't believe you had to smack someone (figuratively, of course...) to get them to stop being a fucking asshole.  


And most untidy.

Not to mention somewhat barbaric, and strangely, you find yourself wanting to say bullshit like, "You have fucked with the wrong person today!" and other exciting B-movie dialog.  It just sucks.  I mean it really, really sucks.  So unnecessary.  I'm so not interested in smacking people.  It's the last thing I want to do.  What drives someone to pick at you until you snap?  And why do you feel like you are doing them a favor by doing it?

Anyway...that was my ugly day.  Poke, poke, poke, ROAR!  My turn to be the dragon, I guess.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

There Are Reasons Why Kittens and Babies Are Made Cute. This Is One Of Them.

The kitten likes Palette.

Palette is a delicious Peruvian Highland Wool sold by KnitPicks (Click. See. Buy. Enjoy.) that one uses to make....well, Peruvian Highland Wool thingies.  

In my case, I'm using it to make teeny sweaters.  Please enjoy this delightful photograph, taken by someone other than me, of teeny sweaters that were knit by someone other than me.

I keep a fair amount of yarn in the house.  

Oh, who are we kidding?  There is what some might call a "lot" of yarn here.  So what? 
Anyway...all the yarns are yummy in their own way, but by the taste of the cat, none so Palette.  

Palette, he sneaks off with in the night.

Palette, I come home to see unraveled all the way down the hall and into my room, where I find it mostly intact, but heartlessly discarded by it's kidnapper.

Palette, I sit down on my accident, even though I am certain I didn't leave it tucked under that blanket in the crevasse of the sofa.

Palette, which I keep "safely" sealed in the plastic bag it came in, taped shut, always manages to escape with the help of some striped beast who shall remain nameless but you can call him "You Asshole!" because he's used to it by now.
"I'm not wrecking your yarn, Mom! I promise!  Instead, I thought I would destroy the Christmas Tree!  
You're welcome!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stuff You Wish You Didn't Have To Write

I wrote a sympathy card this morning.
It's not one of these things where I try to show off any skill at writing, but at the same time, hope to be able to say something that is of some comfort.
But what could I have told her, this friend of mine, this would-be mother of two, who has suffered the loss of her second baby 6 months into the pregnancy?  All she ever talks about is how she wants to be a mommy and have a house full of children, and I'm supposed to tell her it's not shitty to go home from the hospital with no baby...again?
Of course, I could not.
It seems so ridiculous.  Other friends get pregnant and have babies entirely by accident.  Hell, I did that, too.  And on days when my "accidental" children make me angry and annoyed and I'm ready for them to hurry up and move out already, what does Angela do?  What does she always say? 
She laughs at their antics and says, "What a blessing your girls are."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Got Your Crazy

Once about a hundred years ago, I was watching Law and Order, CI, because I have a thing for men in long coats, and Vincent D'Onofrio had a great line about how schizophrenics make very good witnesses.  I always remembered that line, for some reason, and today, when speaking to my very, very first actual schizophrenic, I remembered it again.

What I do for a living is talk to doctors, and I don't hear much from patients.  Because I work for an insurance company, you can imagine that the doctors are stressful enough--adding patients to that would be like playing sad songs for a depressed person.  It would ultimately just push me right over.

Today I was working on some new technique for talking doctors hands off my throat when out of the blue, my phone rang and on the other end was a lucid, confident sounding person who said he needed to speak to someone regarding insurance fraud.  I perked right up, as anyone in an insurance company would, upon hearing the words "insurance fraud", asked him is name, and begged him to tell me what happened.

He replied that while he had been in custody that cameras and probes had been implanted in his head, and that's not appropriate treatment for schizophrenia.

Huh...wasn't expecting that.

I didn't want to go into the "why" part of the "in custody" revelation, and simply asked, "So...what makes that insurance fraud?"

"Well, you people paid for it, that's why!"  He answered.

I paused for a moment.  I mean, what else could I say but "Hmmm..."?  

Just ask any of the physicians I speak to on any given day--they'll all tell you the same:  "You SUCK because your company doesn't pay ANYTHING!"  Going by that logic, the idea that we would put up the funds to pay for experimental brain spyware seems, well....ever-so-slightly improbable.

I asked when the surgery occurred, and he said that it had happened within the last several years but that he wasn't sure of the date.

"Tell you what," I rallied.  "I know how you can see a list of every single thing we have ever paid to have done to you.  Would that be helpful to you?

He agreed that it would be very helpful.

I then rather mercilessly gave instruction on how to rend such a list out of someone in customer service, providing my new friend with the precise terminology to guarantee results.  He dutifully repeated my instructions back to me.  I gave him the phone number and transferred him directly to some unsuspecting sap who likely worked in the same office as the thug who had transferred him to me.  I figured with the right keywords, he'd sound no more crazy than the multi-degree'd physician who, after I implied that doctors across the country have just about the same remedy for a runny nose, said to me, "You know, here in Texas, we're not like you Minnesotans.  This is TEXAS GOD-DAMN-IT!" 

Really, there is nothing smarter-sounding than a person saying "This is TEXAS GOD-DAMN-IT!"  Am I right?  Or am I right?


That's my wacky work story for today.  As I mentioned, it is rare that I ever speak to a patient, but after this, I may switch.  Sure, this one was crazy, but, at least he wasn't stupid, and some days that's a step up.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some Of It Is True

Burning one off, off the top of my head--ready?  Set?  Go!
  • The deli downstairs is having "Wiener Wednesday" with hot dogs, brats, etc., and one of the ladies at work is just slightly too excited about that.
  • My boss (and I swear this IS true) just asked someone how bi-focals work, because as a man in his 40's in these United States, he shouldn't be expected to have a grasp on that concept.  Really?  You don't understand bi-focals?  Bi-focals?  Why don't you just go home and lock yourself in the basement before you hurt yourself?
  • We're being asked to trust the same person who doesn't "get" bi-focals to stand up for us, to some of our highly educated clients, and explain our program without making the rest of us look like total assholes.  Hold me.
  • Let me make it perfectly clear that we do not need his assistance in looking like total assholes--we've got it covered.
  • I spoke to a client yesterday who happened to have a strong (almost stereotypical-sounding) Italian accent, who also happened to be from New York.  We spoke for a while, and he asked if he could put me on hold, so I said, "Sure."  ...And what do you suppose was his hold music?  Uh...the freaking theme from The Godfather.  The Theme From The Godfather.  Strangely, I was much more agreeable to his point of view after my short time on hold.  Touche with the subtle sales tactic.  You win.
  • Last nights Glee?  When they sang Don't Cry For Me Argentina?  Yeah, baby...
  • When I say that I started wrapping Christmas presents last night, please understand that what that actually means is I picked out the wrapping paper and bought it, then watched while one of my kids started wrapping Christmas presents last night.
  • Ditto the holiday spritz cookies.
  • Thank you, Cybermen--er....I mean, Online Retailers, for continuing to have ridiculously AMAAAAAZING deals and sending me 17 emails a day about them.  Sorry, I've spent it all.  I spent it ALL on Thanksgiving DAY!  Yep.  Not a penny left to spare on the $29.99 laptop.  Nothing but Ramen and spritz cookies from here to February.  Let me know when you reach that elusive Never-Runs-Out-Of-Money demographic you seek, OK?
  • OK, that one was a lie.  It won't be just Ramen and spritz cookies.  I probably have some pinto beans in the cupboard.  Pinto beans and a can of creamed corn.  We'll be fine.
  • I cleaned my room and the cats were so excited that I removed all of the clothing off of my chair (for once) that they now fight over the chair.  It was especially awesome to witness cats fighting over the chair this morning at 4:00AM.
  • OK, that last part was a lie.  I mean the 4:00AM part was true, but it was not, in any way, "awesome".
  • Related:  One kitten for sale, barely used.
I'd write more, but I thought it would be fun to go over and try to explain no-line bi-focals, and bi-focal contact lenses to my boss--I plan to speak to him as if he was very small, because my superiority complex has been at rest for far too long.

Monday, November 29, 2010

All That Glitters

Is probably my knitting

As a rule, I try to avoid glittery yarn and all it's....glittery-ness.  Nothing says "I bought this at (Insert Your Favorite Heartland Retail Giant) for four bucks" much more than shiny, knit-but-also-glittery clothing.

I give this a pass because it's not clothing.  Or at least not for me.

Tree Skirt, in the "new" Christmas colors...

True to form, I am not quite done making this item--hopefully before there is a tree, there will be a skirt.  My children should expect no hot meals before this is finished.  The yarn is from Herrschners, and I believe they started selling this a year ago (maybe two) but they were sold out every time I looked until October of this year, so, I grabbed a bag of it and began, as soon as I was able. 

Since these are the "new" Christmas colors and most of my tree started showing this color scheme last year (in the ornaments and ribbon), the fact that I am hand knitting something to go with this trend is a sure indicator that by this time next year I'll be sick of it and ready to switch to something else.  Sometime around next Thanksgiving, I'll be reminded of my distaste for fuchsia, will re-visit Herrschners and will be advised that the NEW "New" Colors are all sold out.


Until then--"Oooo-aaaaah!  How delightfully trendy!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chock-Full of Random-y Goodness

  • Got an email from the Science Museum of Minnesota, announcing the on-sale for the exhibition of the greatest of all rock and rollers, King Tut, and now, of course, all I can think of is how he "gave his life for tourism", because that's just how funny Steve Martin is.
  • Got another email announcing a "Live Mohair Competition".  Of course I opened it.  Who wouldn't?  I mean, knitting?  Live?  Yeah, baby!  Much more exciting than some dead guy.  (Was that sarcastic?  Because that was supposed to be sarcastic.  Any word on that sarcasm font?  Anyone?  Anyone?)
  • Interesting to note that the dead guy is still touring and he's coming to my town, but, you have to buy a plane ticket to see the knitting.  Oh, Vogue.  I love you so much....You're almost the only entity in the world who can get away with telling me what to do.
  • I went to parent/teacher conferences last night, and one of my 10th grader's teachers suggested that I might be her sister.  It was, far and away, the lamest thing I'd ever heard in my life.  Of course I lapped it up like a dehydrated beagle.  Similarly, a person at my office, who is 30 years old, figured that I must be about 8 years older than her.  Yeah.  Needless to say, I made no effort to correct her.
  • I conned my boss into giving us a "Casual Week" because....well, just for the hell of it, really.  So here we all are in our jeans and slippers (shut up) and wouldn't you just know that every other department on our floor chose this week to step it up and wear heels and skirts and suits?  GAH!  I hate you guys!  Where were all the sloppy, schleppy clothes you all had on last week?
  • Noted:  Writing blog posts does NOTHING to prevent one from succumbing to the effects of the freezing cold office, where the air temp isn't high enough to thaw a Thanksgiving bird.  Time to switch back to the excitement of live knitting...

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Just thought I would warn everyone that I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year.  So you might be seeing random "OMG, I totally ruined the _____" type comments from time to time, on Twitter, FB, etc.

I haven't cooked a Thanksgiving dinner since 2007.  That seems like a whole different lifetime.  Hell, it WAS a whole different lifetime.  I had a house full of people to cook for back then.

This year?  Just me and the one other meat-eater, plus one vegetarian.  A total of three, two of whom like to slather everything in gravy, and one of whom still doesn't like her food to "touch".

I know it doesn't seem worth it to even cook a huge thing, but damn-it!  I want to.  Sure, one of the turkeys will have been constructed entirely from textured vegetable protein, but I'm doing it anyway. (for the record, the Tofurkey is not shaped like a turkey--really more of a turkey roast look.  If it was actually shaped like a turkey, I would have refused, cuz that's just lame.)

It'll be a scaled back, cooked because I felt like cooking, hey-who-cares sort of dinner.  No worries that my potatoes aren't the right kind, or that we skipped the green-bean casserole (none of us like it) or that at pie time, the pieces will be un-naturally huge and covered with more whipped cream than a person needs to consume in an entire year.  So what?  We're talking about the basic "food is love" sort of Lost Weekend of face-stuffing.  It'll be a reminder of all that we have, and of all that we are capable of accomplishing.  Just the kind of celebration I need right now.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Second Thought

I think I WILL be discussing that entire week that was lost to "30 Rock".

I don't watch TV like a normal person.  I mean, I do, and yet, I cringe when people say they have to rush home because their show is on and they don't want to miss any of it.  Yes, it still occurs, even in this age of DVR, people still leave my presence, using only a television program as an excuse.

Wait a minute....maybe that's just those people's excuse?  Maybe they are trying to be nice and don't want to tell me the REAL reason they are leaving?????  GAH!

I had to go there, didn't I?  Had to go there...

I have very few "musts" associated with a television schedule, though there are television "dates" with my daughter--is that the same thing?

Anyway, once upon a time, on a boring Saturday morning, I was all alone, flipping around on the TV, looking for something to watch, and it was early enough in the day that there was nothing on except infomercials, so I got out the crack pipe  **cough** I mean, went to my Netflix on demand--same difference, and saw the much-recommended 30 Rock sitting there all lonely-like.  I clicked "Play Now" and lost several days of my life, just like that.

Around the following Thursday, I had completed watching every single episode all of the first four seasons of that show....and little else.  I prepared my food in the kitchen, but returned to the front of the TV before eating it.  I did my writing with the laptop on my lap and the Wii remote lying to my immediate left.  I showered and made myself presentable when I absolutely had to leave the house, but most of all, I just watched TV, in my jammies.  I watched TV late into the night.  I watched TV early in the morning.  I stuffed my face with as much of it as I could, until all of it was gone.

I awoke from my comedy daze, hungry for more, but still not willing to tune in to the show at it's regular time on Thursdays because, uh, that would be entirely too normal, watching it one episode at a time.

I did that exact thing with The Tudors, except the 3rd and 4th seasons of that spectacular show were only on DVD and people, I suffered, OK?  Suffered.  DVD? have to wait for it to come in the mail?  GAH!

(P.S.: Dear Producers of The Tudors.  I'm sure you tried very hard to make Jonathan Rhys Meyers look fat and blobby like the Henry VIII of legend, but the dude's a stone fox, and a skinny one, at that.  So you failed.  Not that I mind.  At all.)

Anyway...That's how I watch TV when I watch it.  In massive doses.  I'm a huge TV pig.  I want it all, and I want it right now. 

It's much the same with chocolate and me, as you can well imagine.

Season 5 of Dr. Who?  Watched it.  All of it.  All at once.  Then I went back and rewatched all the previous seasons, too.  Ah, Rose Tyler, we hardly knew ya.  Oh, and I watched every episode of Torchwood over again, too.

The reason I am bringing this up now is because I'm all caught up on 30 Rock, and have only the last disc of The Tudors left before I have watched all there is to see of that.  So...the king is about to die and I have no suitable television heir.  Which means I might, for a time, watch TV like a normal person, adhering to something resembling a schedule. 

It's entirely possible that I might go to sleep sometime before midnight so that 5:30AM alarm clock jangle will be less dreadful when it goes.

Waking well rested, I'll be cheerful and less rushed in the mornings.  Shut up, it could happen.

I may even sit at the table to dine.  Wouldn't that be something?

The cats will be so confused.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wait, Wait....Didn't You Used To Be....

How does one go from constant blogging to just occasionally checking in?  Follow my lead:
  1. Get Busy.  I know, I know....plunking down in front of a television may not seem like "busy", but I swear it is.  Really.  Not only is it important for me to spend evenings burning through the final season of The Tudors on DVD (and no, we will not be discussing the entire week lost to "30 Rock") but I have a lot of knitting commitments and sure it seems like leisure, but....I call "busy".  And I will provide some variety of photographic evidence in the near future.  And for the record?  That's one effing great TV show.
  2. Yawn.  I can almost say that there is nothing happening except knitting and television.  Oh, yes, there is driving back and forth and going to work and eating and sleeping, but....yawn.  Boring!
  3. There is no Three.
  4. What?  You thought that even though there was no Three, that there would be a Four?  What the hell's the matter with you?
One day soon, my day soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

OH! By The Way...

I just ordered this.

Here's a picture so you can see how freaking cute it is and how I couldn't have possibly resisted.
I know, right? ;-)


A lady who works in my office has what I call the Classic Midwestern Wife/Mom Duty Gene.
Sometimes, you don't recognize it in a person right away.  Sometimes, you have to close in on a holiday before it becomes evident.  Case in point:  Today, the topic of her Resigned to Duty monologue was Thanksgiving.
She described "her" upcoming Thanksgiving, indicating that (of course) she would be hosting and not only did she have to do all the cooking, but also, she has a dog and several of the family members attending also have dogs and (of course) everyone would be bringing their dogs along for the visit, thus creating a situation in which there would be SIX dogs on hand for that 4th Thursday, and What A Time that will be!
Please note, Duty makes no effort to tell people to leave their dogs at home, or hell, even contribute to the food in any way.  Duty only sighs and says, "It's going to be a madhouse, but somehow I will manage to not only cook a four course meal for 30 people, but also maintain order in a house full of large, furry creatures who are trying to simultaneously eat off of everyone's plates and smell each other's butts."
Any time I think myself a martyr (which is often, I might add), I need only consider those Duty-Bound wives and mothers.  Are they better wives or mothers because they take all of this upon themselves and heap on the "duties" while accepting or soliciting no help from anyone? 
I think that's open for debate. 
Look at it this way--if they didn't get something out of it, they wouldn't do it.  Of course they want to make all the food!  Why?  So that all compliments about food will be directed at them and not at someone else! 
Anyway...I'm thinking restaurant for Thanksgiving this year--does that make me a bad person? 
I bet people who own restaurants think I'm awesome...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Return of Random Wednesday!

Yeah....don't get all excited like I'm going to be doing this regularly, or anything....
  • I think I can say this now:  I'm sick of Taylor Swift.  Actually, I was sick of her about a year and a half ago, but I never said anything because, gee, it's Taylor Swift and how bad could she possibly be?  Not to say that she's bad, I just stopped caring.  We have now progressed from "Don't Care" all the way to "For the love of God, please stop".
  • It should also be mentioned, any time I am rolling my eyes about someone famous, that clearly I am not famous, or young and cute, or in any position to proclaim myself "better" than anyone who is famous, or talented, young and cute, or any combination of the three, but if you want to tell me to shut the hell up about it, save your breath.  I was a cynical harpie long before Taylor Swift was even born.
  • For those of you following along on Twitter, yes, I mentioned Jack Benny with the assumption that people would actually know who that was.
  • No, the fact that I'm old enough to know who Jack Benny is does not have anything to do with me being sick of Taylor Swift.  Does Taylor Swift know who Jack Benny is?  If she doesn't, can I hold that against her?
  • I'm about to get cozy with my cable bill.  Hold me.
  • Three weeks later, the so-called "Six Hour Afghan" is still not finished.  Can you say "Christmas Present"?  Don't worry, I'll pretend that was the plan all along.
  • The woman in our office who likes to declare "Pot Luck" every third Wednesday must be stopped!!!  I barely get around to cooking for the people I'm actually related to, and I'm supposed to contribute to the office, too?
  • On the other hand....YUM-O!  And thank you to all the people who like to show off their cooking skills at office potlucks...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No, Joe.

The "Mojo" and the "Nojo".

There is this guy in my company--soft spoken Texan--who likes to say that if you're being positive, that's your Mojo, and if you're being negative, that's "Nojo".

I like the sentiment.  In my life, having a positive outlook, or being proactive, or hell, even just being realistic and taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure a good ending in a bad situation, has been something for which I pride myself.  I prefer action to panic.  That's not to say that I never panic, it's just that I'd rather be in a situation where I could take an action to aid in a positive outcome than to sit around ringing my hands because someone else's actions were going to leave me completely screwed.

So we had a meeting...a meeting about the "Mojo" versus the "Nojo".  About how, instead of sitting around complaining, you should check yourself, and, try to contribute to the solution.

You wouldn't think something like that would cause any hardship, would you?  Some innocuous team-building C'mon-Get-Happy corporate workshop?  I didn't think so, either.

What occurred as a result of the Mojo v Nojo meeting was that now anytime anyone raises any kind of concern, legitimate or otherwise, they are being accused of having "Nojo".


Oh....mah-gawd.  I feel like I work in the pages of Animal Farm.  Whatever you do, don't disagree, or the pigs that are more equal that others will Trotsky your ass right out of town....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Straight-Up Nostalgia

This past weekend, I took my almost-out-of-high-school child Out West to look at some of the colleges of my youth--places where the people who would become some of the most important people in my life got their college educations, and where I narrowly avoided getting a degree of my own.
If only I could be a student now, knowing what I know now, and not being the dumb-ass I was when I first went to college.  I'm not one to regret much, but the cavalier attitude I had toward college at the time I was enrolled was certainly worth the lament I'm feeling.  I'm a stupid-head.  I didn't do the school justice, and my daughters are far better prepared to be successful at it than I ever was.
But, what can I say?  I started a career, and that career was way more fun than school, so, what else is a 20 year old going to do?  Pretty easy to figure that out.
What was somewhat striking about roaming around my former campus in particular was that while I felt a great deal of familiarity with the real estate, I didn't have a lot of "I remember whens" that went along with the campus itself.  Our tour took us right past the dorm room that my (still) best friend and I shared 25 years ago, and while I remembered the number (230W Grantham Hall, MSUM), there weren't a lot of "Barb and I had such CRAZY times there" memories that popped into my head.  We just...lived there.  It was the place that I had to go back to after doing radio.  You go from being some oddly popular person that people liked and paid attention to, to just another anonymous student, failing out of Psychology class because you're stupid enough not to get out of bed on time.  
In reality, college was just a back-drop to me when I attended--at least everything after my freshman year, just when classes should have started to get interesting.  It was almost a hindrance to my "other" life.  Now after being out of that "other" life for ten years, I can say with some certainty that I should have paid more attention to school than to radio.  Oh well.  I'm not dead, yet, after all.
Now that I am smart and college makes perfect sense to me, I'd much rather being doing that than the thing I am doing right now.  I guess it's what happens to you when you get beyond a part of your life where everything is handed to you (spoiled) and into the part where it's all up to you.  My kids, for the most part, are already there!  Incredible.  I'll be sure to remind them of how awesome that it when they are groaning about repaying their student loans.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Thing That Happens When You Actually Sit Down To Write

Somewhere on the road between Fargo and Grand Forks, you get about an hour with the teeny-weeny keybaod on your phone while The Kid drives...

--Listening to The Used singing their cool remake of the Queen/Bowie song "Under Pressure" and realizing with some certainty that Freddie Mercury's original ad-lib scat singing is something no other human should try to replicate. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. 
--Also noted on this trip, Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" has always been, and will continue to be a bit of ass-shaking perfection
--Gone the way on the dino, but of no importance to anyone: colored toilet paper. Huh? Anyone? Yeah, I told you it was completely unimportant...
--We toured a college (which will remain un-named for the moment, and you will soon learn why...) that my teenager declared "not pretty enough". And...that was actually one her reasons for not wanting to attend classes there. Yeah...
--I dunno--all of my friends who went to school there are among my favorite people on the planet, so I know it turns out good people...either that or they were REALLY awesome before, and somehow managed to stay awesome in spite of the school?  Naaaah...
--By the way, "pretty enough" by teenage definition is apparently something along the lines of Oxford University. Feel free to toss your head back and laugh at this point. I sure did.
--One more note about college--WOW, have things turned spa-like since I attended college 872 years ago! The food options alone make me wish I was 18 again. And free state of the art fitness center? Uh, Hello!?!?  Not pretty enough...
--Speaking of food options, I ate a seafood enchilada last night that made me rather happy to be alive.
--I have become the second-to-last person on the planet to switch to a flat screen tv...or at least my kind neighbor who intercepted my package delivery yesterday in my absence assure me that there is one of those sitting in my living room right now.  Woo! More couch time!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Keeps The Riff-Raff Out

Sorry about the momentary flame-out on that last post.  Sometimes, the only way to get rid of hateful people is to be mean.

Of course, the meanest thing you can ever do is put someone's ridiculousness on display.  We all have our own ridiculousness.  The difference between sane people and crazy people is that crazy people like to pretend that they don't have ridiculousness.  That's why putting it on under a spotlight is such a powerful thing.

These are the people of my life.  There must be some level of comfort for them in me, because there are a lot of people like that who find their way to me.  Yes, I have actually met the creeper person in real life, and I thought it was hilarious when a friend joked to me that I had a "stalker like those Hollywood types".  To be honest, I don't think there has ever been a time in my life in the last 25 years when I DIDN'T have someone like that in my life somewhere.  It might be the actual psycho hiding in the dumpster, or, it might be someone with a job and a reputation to uphold.  

Those are the scary ones, by the way--the ones with something to lose.

I usually try to blow off bad behavior.  Regular readers don't laugh.  I mean, yes, I get mad, and obviously I rage and vent, but after I'm done blowing off steam I go back to a regular heart rate.  While this is all very good for my mental health, it does nothing to address the crappy things that people do, and, in most cases, it's not my job to address the crappy things that people do--that is, until they show up where I "live" and try to shit all over the place.

Anyway...sometimes, in order to maintain your mental health, you can't turn the other cheek--you have to defend yourself.  When this asshole showed up and declared me an "awful person" because of my reaction to some stepdaughter drama, clearly they no intimate knowledge of my history with that person--they only think they know me because we shared a meal, once.  They don't know the number of hours I spent consoling her father when her mother denied his right to see her and her brother.  They don't know the sheer amount of time spent writing and typing up affidavits and working on the numerous court cases where we fought for custody of her, and how we went into debt to try to get her away from her abusive mother.  

Putting your self and your own children in considerable financial risk to try to save someone else's kid is not something that an "awful person" does.  

And what about when she finally did come to live with us?  This abused child, who acted out, who needed a strong but loving hand, but I was not allowed to do more than advise on discipline because I am not her parent.  Being forced to sit and watch while she stole from my own children, lied, and manipulated all of us, getting basically whatever she wanted, all while blaming my children and me for everything bad that was happening in the household?  All while her father did nothing about her behavior?  Yeah, you're right.  All that turning the other cheek is the sign of an awful person.

Do you think, if you asked her, that she would have even one nice thing to say about me?  Me, the lady that was just trying to keep her from failing out of school and/or getting pregnant or arrested?  Highly unlikely.  She didn't have anything nice to say for the first ten years I knew her, and I'm sure her level of gratitude for the sacrifices I made on her behalf has not changed.

I endured this person, OK?  Endured.  Her abusive, narcissist mother succeeded in producing an almost perfect copy of herself in this child because even though we finally got custody of her, the fact that her father didn't demand better behavior gave her permission to keep strolling down the same road her mother put her on.  I have every right to be annoyed when I hear that her father gave her money again, and that she pissed it away, again, on everything but the rent.  It was especially bitchy the way she didn't even try to hide her shopping spree from the guy who gave her the money, but that's her style:  Bitchy.  It breaks my heart to see the way she and her brother have taken advantage of their father.  He's only trying to help, and all they do to repay him is shit on him.  I have every right to roll my eyes when I hear about her asking her "Daddy" to rescue her from yet another situation she was warned away from, but got into anyway.  The person who came to my blog to nominate her for sainthood because she got into a physical altercation with her boyfriend has spent even less time with her than they have with me.  They know nothing.

I take it back--they don't know nothing.  The learned one very important thing this week.  They learned Shelly will rip your head clean off if you EVER question her integrity in matters concerning her step children.  I gave up everything for them, and got nothing in return.  Don't you dare.  Don't you dare, EVER go there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Number One Fan

In case anyone is wondering why comment moderation has been turned on again...

Here is why:
It's the old, "Write a vile, nasty comment, then check back a million times to see if the author has responded," bit. 

Why don't you just use email notification like a normal person?  That way, when the author responds, it gets sent right to your email!  Oh, wait, never mind...I guess that would take the "Anonymous" out of your "Anonymous" now, wouldn't it?  Luckily, this person is not tech-savvy enough to actually be anonymous, and you can clearly see that somebody logging in from Red Rock Radio in Duluth, Minnesota has entirely too much time on their hands.  I'm not tech-savvy myself, so you know it didn't take much to figure out who this particular "Anonymous" is.  Nicely done.  You don't look obsessive at all!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....I WRITE this freaking blog and I don't look at it as much as this person does!  So first of all, thank you for your support!
Second, if you are dying to read this every day, like I see that you are, you can also bookmark it instead of doing a daily Google search.  Just sayin'.

Third (and who would know this better than someone in the media?):  All media has an "off" switch.  You think I'm a lousy, awful person, and, I won't argue with you on that, but doesn't it make more sense in life to simply stay away from that which offends, rather than following it around like some crazy stalker?

I had given some thought to maybe saying "Red Rock Radio in Duluth, Minnesota" numerous times in this post in hopes that this blog post would be the first thing that comes up if somebody is looking for your radio group online.  That way, they'd get a good idea of just who they are dealing with.  ( this person going to service my radio advertising account, or spend the day obsessively stalking someone online?)  I thought better of it, though.  Two mentions and photographic evidence of your psychosis will have to suffice for now.

And by the way, I have screen shots that look just like this, going WAY back--almost three years worth--so while I do appreciate the support, I have a mountain of paperwork to turn over to Myron and Ro at Red River Broadcasting if you should ever cross the threshold from "Annoying Creeper" to "Guy Hiding In The Bushes Outside My House".  A girl has to cover her ass these days....just sayin'.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Going To Be Completely Honest, Here...

What kind of an awful person am I?

Let me tell you.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my ex, telling me about a really bad thing that had happened to his daughter, my former step-daughter.

Upon hearing this news, I felt virtually nothing.


No, "Oh my God is she OK?"  No, "Oh that's terrible!"

Tell you what....I won't make you read the archives to figure out where all that cruel heartlessness is coming from.  I'll just tell you.  I do not like this woman.  Don't like her one little bit.  The entertainingly bitchy stuff she did, which made it to the blog, was just the tip of the iceberg in reporting the day to day hell--and I do me "HELL"--of living with her.  The nicest thing I can say about her is that she didn't have body odor.  She lied, she stole, she manipulated, and worst of all, she blamed all of her awful shit on other people, and since my children and I were the closest scapegoats, we usually got the brunt of it.  I actually dislike this person, for real.

A couple of weeks ago, when her father described what an asshole her boyfriend was, I thought, and said, "There are two sides to every story," and I asked him if he had formed that opinion based on time spent with the boyfriend, or on his daughter's anecdotes.  Since she, herself, would never admit to doing anything wrong, certainly everything that could have been wrong with their relationship had to be the boyfriend's fault.  Her father bought into that.  He buys into all of the stuff she tells him--always has.  The fact that her father believes everything she and her brother tell him is actually the number one reason why I am no longer with their father--I couldn't stand to be around it anymore.  No matter what happened, it was always our fault.  

Mathematically speaking, that's some pretty sketchy odds--I is it possible that a person can go through life without ever, ever making a mistake?  But that was the logic his children would have you believe--that they were above reproach, and everyone else was irreparably flawed.  Having conversations with them in which they would blithely make up some incredible, negative untruth about you, then look at you as if to say, "Yeah, I lied--what are you gonna do about it?" produced the most incredible rage in me.  But as much as I hated them for doing that, I hated the fact that I was letting them have that power--that they could push all of my buttons and get a reaction, to make me look like a crazy person for being in constant disagreement with them.  I had been a happy, relaxed person, and then I met those two and became a hyper-vigilant, stressed out, angry person.  It was not a good thing.  I left.

On Sunday, I was advised that my former step-daughter's boyfriend had thrown the woman to the ground, smashed her head on the sidewalk and beat her up.

I was not taken aback.  I was not surprised, or appalled.  The only thought that ran through my head was, "Wow, just think how many times she made me so angry that all I wanted to do was grab her by the hair and smash her face into a door frame, and now someone has gone and done it."  And that's the truth.

Do I sympathize with him?  Absolutely not.  If you feel like beating the crap out of someone, get the hell away from them, like I did, before you do something you'll regret--something that will give them power over you for the rest of your life.  

But I most certainly understand the rage.

I was unable to provide her father with the appropriate sympathetic responses to a woman being beat up, and instead asked questions like, "Did anybody SEE this happen?" because that's how deep my mistrust goes--it would not surprise me one bit to discover that she made most or all of it up.

I don't feel bad about not feeling bad.  She earned my disdain, one lie at a time, over the course of many years.  I'm not glad this happened, whatever it was that actually occurred.  I really wish it hadn't--not because I wish her well, but because some angry person not so very different from me has ruined his life in one stupid, drunken evening.

Her father used to say, when speaking about his children's mother, that if he'd only just killed her when he first felt like doing it, he'd have been out of jail by now, and the world would have one less evil bitch in it.  We all laughed about that because A) He didn't kill her and B) She really was/is a truly awful, evil bitch.  

I wonder if the boyfriend will be saying that same thing 20 years from now?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here's Looking At Me, Kid

While looking at my blog stats, I noticed that someone visited the blog after finding it by doing a Google search for the word "Shelly".

Please allow me to introduce you to the odds of finding a blog with low readership and virtually no advertising by searching the un-famous author's not-entirely-unique first name.  

Because I'm here for you, I did the research.

Of the 17 million results, the bulk of the first several pages consisted of web sites for a bunch of people most of us have never heard of, with verbiage stating that "This is the OFFICIAL Shelly _(last name)_ web site!" like it means something.   There were the "Shelly, Inc," sites and the Shellys who are actors/TV hosts/authors, and the Shellys who are wacky stay at home moms with "crazy" lives (Tip: if you own a mini-van, your activities are immediately excluded from being considered "crazy".  Driving your kids around and making it home just in time to make dinner is not "crazy"--that's just a Tuesday), and that's all very entertaining reading for a bitch like me, BUT...

I think my personal favorite was the description under, which states "Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here."

I would like to apply that last statement to all of the self-important Shellys on the web, myself included.  I would especially like to say that very thing to the Shellys I found who spoke about themselves in the third person, or peppered their pages with performance reviews declaring them to be the only Shellys we should care about, or those Shellys who appear to be taking themselves too seriously (talking to you, Lowenkopf--you're lucky you're a man, is all I can say. Wait--I would also like to say, Mars, you're cool, so just ignore all that negative shit I just said about all those other Shellys).

There are a lot of singer Shellys, photographer and writer Shellys and, oddly, realtor Shellys on the web.  I'm sure they are all lovely people.  Then again, if they are anything like me, maybe not.

I found a web site for the 2008 Shelly Awards, OK?  The friggin' Shelly AWARDS. point is that I never did find this blog while searching for Shelly.  I didn't even find anyone named Shelly Payne in the first 30 or 40 pages, so, wow, and also, I didn't know Zac Brown's wife was named Shelly!  Cool!

OK, forget that last part.  My real point is...we all get so wrapped up in our little "thing" that we forget that there are hundreds of other Shellys out there, waiting to be found.  

Except for Zac Brown's wife--clearly, she has already been located.  

Many are, like me, in various stages of desperation, depending on what day of the week it is, and whether or not anybody said anything nice about them that day.  Because you've never heard of most of them, you might be safe in assuming that they have more love than "talent" or "luck"--those two wildly subjective things that determine whether or not people take you seriously enough to throw piles of money at you and adore and/or loathe everything you do, regardless of whether you think they should.

But they keep trying, those Shellys...I like that.  I like the fact that there are a bunch of schmo's like me, getting up every day and doing something, and feeling good enough about it to share.  Even better?  There's somebody willing to power through hundreds of pages of search results to find even the most obscure of them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pat On The Head

Did you ever have someone talk to you as if you were very small? 

I mean something along the lines of a, "Wow, you tied your shoes all by yourself!  You are such a BIG GIRL!" kind of thing…

Why yes, just today, in fact.  Why do you ask?

Let me give you a little background, starting with the obvious, that being that I'm a grown-ass woman and any patting on the head that occurs as a result of my miraculously being able to do something any normal grown-ass woman should be able to do is only going to result in me being annoyed at your condescension.

Also, I have been speaking in the grown –up language about grown-up topics for many years now.  Granted, I spent 14 years in radio, so, I was a bit slower in developing my Adult Persona (radio is really all about extending your inappropriateness as far as you can, for as long as you can), but, I stopped doing that ten years ago, and I now know how to behave appropriately in many situations. 

Funny thing is, when I was in radio, everybody assumed I was appropriate when I seriously wasn't.  Now that I'm no longer in radio, they assume I can't be appropriate.  Weird.

Anyway….today, I wrote an email.  It was an email just like the million other emails I write every day for work, and somebody went out of their way to say, "That email you sent to Dr. So-And-So was very appropriate."

As if they were concerned that I would send Dr. So-And-So an email that was inappropriate. 

As if, for my jollies, I like to annoy and confuse our clients, and when I'm feeling REALLY crazy, I create litigation-able correspondence in hopes that I can say something SO inappropriate that my Fortune 500 company gets sued.

(Insert eye roll here)

Does anyone out there have a job where people act like you know what you're doing?  I'm just curious if they even exist. 
Anyone?  Anyone?

I'm a writer, OK?  I write.  That's what I do.  I write.  To assume that I cannot create a simple document is the highest insult.  So I just would like to take this opportunity to very inappropriately say "Fuck off" to the people who do that.  Please also note that the "Fuck off" is located a safe distance from the business correspondence.  Because I'm just that good.  Now please, don't let me keep you from the very important business of fucking off.  Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

They Write About Love


I was archive diving and found this little scribble from June 18, 2008--thought I would re-post.  Ironically, it's a post based on something I originally wrote in 2007, which was, itself, written during the fallout from a chance encounter from late 2006.

You would think I would not miss several years of "emotional mess", but I do.  I am not a drama queen by any stretch, but I do love to FEEL, and I want to feel love, and am not content to shut it off because I'm afraid it's going to end badly.  I have had my share of bad endings.  Yes, they sucked.  They all sucked.  I'm not going to lie--it is a teeny bit depressing to read things that I wrote while "under the influence" of some gigantic emotion while I sit here feeling blank for several months in a row.  It's coming around, though.  Slowly.  And as I climb back up to a place where I can feel those huge feelings again without worrying about my hand being slapped, I am heartened by this post.


Freaky Scene

I just found this thing I wrote back in January 2007--I couldn't edit it in a way that I liked back then, but this morning it seems to make sense.

Love gives you a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, while simultaneously injecting you with the world's most powerful hallucinogen.  It is the one thing you will need on this earth, in order to be able to experience anything else--any color, any flavor, good or bad.  You can't order it ala carte--it only comes on gigantic, heaping platters, piled high with both things you desire, and things you despise.  It is for nothing terribly poetic, though the very skilled can sometimes create a clever lyric around the concept. It is a requirement of being alive. Simple. Grand. Wonderful. Awful

Clearly, only someone in the thick of obsession could have written that.

I'm amazed at just how MUCH is created as a direct result of falling in love with someone--glorious things, and really, really dreadful things--all smashed together in some chaotic mix in your head.  At the time I wrote this, I would sometimes wake up feeling wonderful, but awful by bed time, or vice versa.  Feelings of exhilaration and joy were almost always followed by the overwhelming notion that I was completely undesirable.  An all day roller coaster ride, only, like every other emotion, its not something that is actually "happening", that others can experience, and no matter how much you talk about it with friends, if you can't express it to the object of your desire, you're all alone in your freaked-out world.  You can't imagine how many times in the last year I have asked my best friend "Am I crazy?  I'm not crazy, right?" while we pick through the minutiae and try to interpret every nuance, in an frantic effort just to keep my head about water.  Obsession becomes the only word that describes it--it makes you f*cking crazy.

What has changed since that time is the pitch of the highs and the lows.  Somehow, I managed to not self-destruct, and reached a place where there really aren't any lows--or at least no lows based on what someone else might be thinking, which is always the worst possible thing to hitch your life to.  I am quite calm these days, and that is a good thing because frankly, I thought my brain was going to explode.

But I still believe those things that I wrote--falling in love snaps you immediately into a perfect perspective, because they say that relationships are like mirrors, and what you love about someone else is actually a reflection of something in yourself.  To say that it gives you a very strong sense of right and wrong is to say that when you fall for someone, you actually find your own values--you might say things like, "I don't even know what it is about him that I like, he just seems like a good person", while your mental Rolodex silently flips through all the qualities that you consider "good" in relation to your own goodness--you relate everything about that person to yourself, unconsciously.  Maybe you didn't think too much of yourself before, but when presented with someone who seems to share your values, it validates them and, by extension, you.  All of those things you have been feeling, those things inside of yourself that you cannot change because they make up the very essence of You, are always ten times more beautiful when you see them in or through someone else.
It is easily the happiest thing in the world to find a kindred spirit.  You're filled with joy, but also disbelief--especially if you've been alone with your thoughts for a while, or you're deep into a "nobody will ever 'get' me" funk. 

(Personally, I have a permanent residence in Nobody Really Understands Me Land--palatial estate, in fact.  The neighbors are friendly, but, for obvious reasons, we all pretty much keep to ourselves.)

While your This-Is-Probably-Going-To Hurt-Really-Bad, logic tells you to approach with caution, every other cell in your body just feels like a moth drawn to the flame--every urge screams MATE WITH THIS PERSON RIGHT NOW! 

And that's the "makes you crazy" part that make you write poetry and sh*t...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Involving Cats. And Yarn.

Some of you elders might get that title reference.  For the rest of you...

Herringbone is...just so cool-looking, and easy to achieve.
Also, you can do it in just about any damn color combination you want to use.  A recurring favorite of mine, that certain purple, paired with that certain green...rises again from the mist.
Just a scarf, don't get all excited...
The yarn is Isager Alpaca, from our friends at Needlework Unlimited, located squarely on the path between my house and some place I frequently have to drive to, to transport a child.  It is also very conveniently located near one of the finest liquor stores in all of Edina, so, there is that, too.  If you have no interest in driving to my daughter's best friend's house or seeing a walk-in beer cooler bigger than my first apartment, feel free to do the adult thing and order online.

'Lil Beh-beh Socks, for a friend who is expecting.  I can't remember the yarn but I also made a pair for myself in the same color--some of you may remember the Winter Olympic project that I absolutely did NOT finish before they put out the torch?  Those look different from these, because my phone camera flash likes to create color mutations, BUT, still very cute and appropriate for any fabulously stylish little person.
Please also note, at the bottom of the photo, from an "I can't believe you're wearing that" opportunity straight out of my children's nightmares, red T-shirt style sundress, purchased in 198_, and, if that wasn't enough, a PINK terry cloth robe from 199_, that was given to me by my mother-in-law.  Yes, my mother-in-law gave me a pink terry cloth robe in the 90's.  I hated it the minute I saw it.  Now?  I love it.  Go ahead--shoot me.

And this is just a random picture of Jack's right foot.
Excuse me...Jacks right foot, and his burgeoning gut. Love you, Jack!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Stuff For Your Urban Dictionary

Kittens Are So Insane Cute!


Google it.

Or, watch MTV—either/or.

For those of us in the crowd (myself included) who may be nerds or geeks or rednecks or whatev’s, Parkour is when those people run up walls, do a handstand off a fence rail and a flip over a garbage container, then follow that up with a roll under a park bench.

I like to call it Urban Gymnastics.

My kitten, Napoleon (classic "short man" syndrome on this guy, by the way...) is unbelievably talented at Parkour.  (Kittens throughout the ages have had this skill, but thank God we now have a name for it...)

Say you’re me, and you’re sitting in a chair, just an ordinary, ugly reclining chair, and maybe you have a remote control for the television resting on one arm of the chair and your phone on the other arm, and you’re doing important Facebook stuff on the laptop while cradling a cup of Scotch hot chai.

Oh, come on! Play along!

Suddenly, you hear the kitten barreling down the hallway in his distinctive gallop, and as he rounds the corner, you realize with some horror that he’s headed right for you. In the split second it takes for him to get from the hallway to the chair, the only thought that runs through your mind is that when that cat hits your lap at that speed, you are going to spill Scotch hot chai all over the keyboard and yourself, and the very important remote/phone arrangement will be toppled.

What happens instead?  Magic.

The kitten leaps from three feet away to the right arm of the chair, spots the remote, adjusts, and lands just beyond it.  Then, in the same movement, he launches himself to the top of the chair, hangs momentarily behind your head, then proceeds down the other side, skipping gingerly over the phone, following that with a beautiful long jump to the coffee table where he narrowly avoids three lit candles, vaults again, ricocheting off the front of the sofa, and before you know it, is on his way back down the hall.

And not a drop of Scotch hot chai is spilled. Amazing, that Parkour stuff…look it up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Perspective Rears It's Ugly Head

Life is full of perspective-changing moments.  Saturday night I was out with a friend, and both of us were complaining about how much it sucks being single.  We lamented how sad it was for us, even though we have friends, not being someone else's special someone. 


When I got home from dinner, I found out that another friend had lost her partner of three years in a tragic car accident.  Needless to say, I realized immediately that I had nothing to complain about "just" being single.  After all, alone was a choice that I made for myself, not one that was thrust upon me through devastating circumstance.



The worst feeling in the world is the feeling of being powerless.  I thought I had been feeling that so much lately, and I was, but obviously, I continue to be a very lucky person.


We put so much effort into preventing any bad feelings creeping in--so many unimportant things seem "life or death", and we fight as if we are trying to hold back the flooding waters that will surely drown us.  However, on the occasion that things do blow up, you very often wonder why you were so concerned because, well…you lived.  You made it through the hard part and the sun came up again.  It's never quite so obvious as it is at a time like this.  

My friend is a lot like me in that her instinct in this trauma was to just fix it.  We fix things that are broken.  We can't wrap our heads around situations that our own actions can't cure.  While she will never, ever be able to "fix" what happened, in time it will become a part of the landscape of her experience.  It will be a low point, to be sure, but being the person that she is, someone capable of remarkable things, I think that she will use this tragedy to fuel many, many future insights.

I wish she didn't have to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Now Return To Your Regularly Scheduled WhateverTheHellThisIs

Remember the olden days, ancient times, when you'd be watching a television program and then *POOF!*  the screen would go blank or static-y and after a time, the television station would put up a graphic apologizing for the problem and begging for your patience through the technical difficulties?
They actually used the words, "We're sorry" and everything.
It just occurred to me while writing the title for this post that I haven't heard anyone say "We now return to your regularly scheduled programming" for a very long time.  They used to air that announcement after the President spoke, too, or if they had a breaking news or weather story that interrupted a broadcast.
And most of those apologies happened during my Soaps, thankyouverymuch.
Nobody apologizes for disruptions anymore--did you notice that?
Or is it just that I don't watch soap opera's anymore?  For all I know, they are apologizing all over the place, and I'm just not paying attention.
I had an epiphany last night.  Nothing too exciting, just a sudden realization that I no longer give a shit, so, in a sense we are returning to where we were before the start of the summer, before my stress level shot through the roof.
After the epiphany, I fell asleep and had a dream about a grand, beautiful home filled with fine furniture.  I have dreamed about that house dozens of times, but not lately--nothing like stress to suck all of the success thoughts right out of your head.
Those of you following along in your dream books at home will know that the beautiful house is very much a place of comfort, in a good financial omen sort of way--not that I am expecting anyone to throw money or anything, but hopefully we'll get back to the "The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get" mode that I'm used to.
Did I mention how I love the Fall?
Anyway--we now return you to your regularly scheduled WhateverTheHellThisIs
Hope I didn't interrupt anyone's Soaps.

I Promised To Use My Powers For Good And Not Evil...

Here's a little thing-thing for your consideration from my buddy in Duluth--Heart Walk is coming!  If you'd like to walk, or you'd like to contribute, please do! 
Take it away, Miss Jessica...

I will be joining my coworkers by walking in this year's Start! Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association on September 25th in Canal Park.

I have set a personal goal to raise funds that are needed for critical heart disease and stroke research and education.You can help me raise funds by making a donation online. Click the link below to visit my personal donation web page where you can make a secure online credit card donation.

The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer a smaller amount, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.

Your donation will make a difference in building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, our nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers.

Thanks so much for your support!


Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support American Heart Association-MN Duluth

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Serious Question!

OK, wait....First, here is the background to the Serious Question:  What a dumb summer.  What dumb "writing" this summer.  I shoulda slapped myself a long time ago.  Three months of whining.  They should have taken away my internet access around mid-June.  I wasn't even entertainingly angry, I was just depressing.

So here's the question--Is the name "Garret" an asshole name?  My 17-year old swears it is.

KIDDING!!!  JUUUUUUST KIDDING!  That's not the question.

Here's the question, for real:  Should I just nuke this entire summer's worth of bloggy-poo?  I mean, I can't even read this crap.  I don't want it around.  Whiny, Woe Is Me, bullshit is all it is.  But I don't want anybody surprised when something very recent just goes "Poof!", so, that's why I'm asking...


Or Toss?


(What we may end up doing is "editing" content so that the dates remain the same and instead of the depressing whining, there will be pictures of cute boys and/or recipes for salsa.  That way people will think all I talked about all summer was cute boys and salsa.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Not Much Of An Actress...

...but I have taken on the role of helpless female.

Mind you, this is the exact opposite of what I'm like in real life.  In real life, I am an intelligent, competent, independent, competitive, madly motivated, and hard-working person.

Those qualities are no longer called for.  Crap...I just spent the last 30 years perfecting them.
What I have to do now is something that I have never been good at, which is to Scarlett O'Hara myself out to some benefactor.  I'm stuck, y'all.  Stuck.  My boss makes my work life a hell, and the only solution offered to me by HR and my boss's boss is, "Maybe you should find some other job" and/or "If you want to find something else, we won't try to stop you."
No love at all.  Not a bit.
All that stuff I have been doing all these years that has brought me only good things at work, is the direct opposite of what this situation calls for.  This situation calls for Pretend You're Stupid and Ask The Big Strong Bossy-Poo To Help Silly Little You Navigate This Scary Employment Thing.  Because God knows the fact that I have been perfectly capable of holding my own all these years is not evidence enough of my, no.  I'm just some dumb girl.
I've never been the giggly, girly-girl, flirt with men and get them to do things for me, type.  Some women are good at extracting goods and services from guys, but that's not a skill I ever developed.  I was the stupid one going through life saying, "I don't need you, or your money."  I was the idiot, out there doing it for myself.
What happens when you do that, by the way, is that you end up doing it for yourself.  You end up doing everything for yourself.  You end up raising your kids by yourself and you end up paying the rent and all the bills by yourself, dealing with the auto-mechanic by yourself, taking the trash out by yourself, and also sleeping by yourself.
In other words, there are times when it really sucks to believe in yourself.  There are times when life beats the living hell out of you for it.
I would say that it's not worth getting down about, and that you should stick to your guns no matter what.  People who don't see the value in you are not worth getting upset about.
I would say that.
OK, I DO say that.  Fuck 'em.
But think about it this way...those flirty girls who have that knack for extracting things from men--they are no less capable than me.  They're just smarter about different things than I am.  It's a con job, letting men think that a woman can't function without their help--it's a lie.  I used to wonder what would make a woman want to lie like that, and I used to think they were lazy for not "doing it for themselves".  Now I see that those women are significantly more powerful than me, and can topple men who would use their power to keep a woman down.
Frankly, I want some of that.  I want to come out on top in this situation, and pretending that my boss is NOT a moronic douche-bag is the the only tactic left in my bag of tricks.  I have to lie about my own capabilities and his, because my capabilities hold no value to the person standing between me and success, and that person's lack of managerial skills is of no interest to his superiors.
Thank you, Corporate America for making me a lying whore.  I promise you, I will never forget it.