Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't Judge a Magazine By It's Utilitarian Cover.

I really cannot believe I'm so late to the party. "Which party is that?", you may be wondering. Well, the party that's between the pages of Consumer Reports, Reader. THAT party.

Yeah, you read that right. 

I had. No. Idea. What a wealth of information was nestled between the covers of that very manly-and-uninspiring-looking magazine. Uninspiring in the exact opposite way that Sephora inspires me, that is. Pretty shiny colors and sparkle and kapow pop off the pages at Sephora. It compels me to read. 

But Consumer Reports? They must know they've got the goods and don't need to be showy. It's an understated demeanor, all towny and sophisticated. 

It was that very understated cover that made me throw the magazine right at Joanne's head with contemptuous disgust when we were on vacation and she pulled out her reading material to share.  I even said something along the lines of, "Consumer Reports?? What kinda fucking vacation reading material is that??" 

I like to fry my brain with tales of Snooki and who the Kardashian's are dating while I'm frying my delicate-rose skin. People Magazine? Yes, thank you.

Of course, I write that, but the magazines I brought with me for vacation reading? Reader's Digest and Prevention magazine. 

Jezzus, we travel like a couple-a old - OLD - not middle-lifed - ladies with our reading materials. Consumer Report. Reader's Digest, Prevention magazine. Boys!! The party's this-a-way!! Come-and-get-it! 

And I had the NERVE to disparage Joanne's mag-of-choice?? How the hell dare I?  

Well. I dared. 

And after a few bits of lying about in the sun, I picked up the Consumer Reports. And was quickly engulfed in learning all about top-rated toilet papers. 

I am not kidding. All laid out, right there, with accompanying reviews and price and where to get it. 

I devoured the two issues Joanne had brought for the trip, learning about lawn mowers and electronics and cars with good gas mileage. I longed for more when I was done scouring those issues from cover-to-cover. 

Yes. Say it. I'm old. 

However. I have a very clean butt since switching from Charmin (Rated #11) to the #2 choice. 

I keep searching for their #1 recommendation, available at Walmart, but haven't been able to find it:  White Cloud Ultra 3-Ply Ultra Soft & Thick.  I will keep up my search. 

I do have to say that I'm not completely in love with my #2 choice, Quilted Northern Ultra Plush - it kicks up a lot of "dust" when you unravel it from the roll.  I'm going to continue my quest to find their #1 and will report back if I feel it lives up to the CR hype. I give you so much, Reader. You're welcome. 

Joanne bought me a subscription upon our return home. I cannot WAIT to get my very own first issue in the mail. I'm going to create a filing cabinet for them, because this wealth of information should never get pitched out. Oh nosiree. These are keepers. Right next to my Reader's Digests and Prevention magazines. Old people? Stop on over. I'm all geared up for company with fun conversation starters. 

And I'd like to know how exactly one goes about getting a job with Consumer Reports. Because this, reader? Would be my Dream Job. 

Consumer Reports? Contact me, please. I think we could have a grand love affair testing and reviewing products together. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tiny Town Accommodations

"So what's happening in Tiny Town?", you may be wondering, Reader.  Or not. But I survived my first full week at The New Job (it gets caps for now, as it's almost like a living/breathing entity. or something.) and a few things have me scratching my head. 

First, I'm blown away by the luxury accommodations at my new digs. Remember when I've said I've put better stuff on the treelawn?? I wasn't joshing. 

My new desk. Is held up by a 2x4 and a bolt. Bolted to the fabric partition wall.  

And the other drawer? Wouldn't shut when I kept pushing it shut, and my very helpful product assistant (no sarcasm here, she's a truly helpful and lovely person) pointed out the magnet on the side that is used to hold the drawer shut.

Don't envy me and my fancy desk, Reader.  I'm still waiting on a laptop and a suitable chair. 

On to other things that cause me to scratch my head.  The signs in the bathroom continue to befuddle. 
This is right on the wall when you walk in, giving you a little bathroom pep-talk:

To what does this message refer?? Toilet paper?? I didn't know that I needed a pep-talk from the engraved signs as I go to do my lady business. 

However. Someone could have heeded that advice in some manner. Immediately after reading the sign I rounded the corner to enter a Tiny Town stall and reared back in horror. There was a shit-explosion of unseen-before magnitude in that bathroom stall, and I frankly don't know how someone could have created that horror, sauntered out, hopefully followed the wash-your-hands-rules, and then returned to their desk as if they hadn't just defiled the very small company's shared bathroom space. 

They need to emphasize the LADIES on the "Ladies Restroom" sign. Obviously. 

Because no "lady" created that mess and left it behind. 

I was going to take a photo to visually telegraph the juxtaposition of the engraved messaging with the reality of Disgusting Non-Ladies, but even I knew when to draw the line in the sand on TMI. Which surprised even me, because Reader? I didn't know I knew what constituted TMI. Pessaries and things that burn my hoo-ha aren't off limits. But now?  I've learned. 

So really? That unladylike bathroom shitter person? Was a teacher. Like Mother Theresa, spreading good into the world. Because I learned sharing boundaries. And why it's important to touch absolutely everything in the bathroom with paper towels

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Whine

Today was my first day of my official never-gonna-get-another-day-off-again career.  

I tried a new route into the office today.

Took me 50 minutes. 


I'm trying trying trying to find something that streamlines my ... patience, I guess. I am not an angry driver. I refuse to get worked up. But I haven't been able to find The Way yet, the one that will skim me through traffic at a steady pace. 

I don't regret leaving my job, but I regret sacrificing my easy commute. And my easy-to-understand vacation time, but that's not my immediate problem.

If only all these motherfuckers would get out of my way in the morning. 

Or I could helicopter in. Because we're within walking distance to Cuyahoga County air field.  

I need to marry Jack Bauer. Because he could fly a helicopter. 

And the ride home? 50 minutes. I even hung around, leaving right around 6:00 p.m. in the hopes of avoiding traffic. 

It was only mildly successful. 

So I guess I have to get there at 7 a.m. and stay til 7 p.m. 

I can hardly wait for winter. Yay me. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sleeping Near the Enemy

Apparently the allure of sleeping on the soft blankie and the recliner overrides their acrimonious relationship. 

Because even after seven months of togetherness, Purry and Girlie are often hissing and boxing each other. Needless-to-say, I was surprised - and hesitant - when they both wanted up on the recliner.  Past attempts have resulted in a cat fight right on my lap, which I do not enjoy at all. It's scary, because they are very loud for being so small. 

I've asked them nicely to please try and get along out of respect for my still-broken heart for their brother Twinkle Toes. 

Maybe they're trying.  Or maybe they were just too tired to fight. 

Probably that one. Because cats are usually just out-for-themselves assholes. It's part of their charm. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tiny Future

Some of you may be wondering how the new job's going. 

Two days so far. And I feel like a giant in Tiny Town. I'm physically too big for the space.  The cubicle aisles are so narrow, two people can't walk down them shoulder-to-shoulder at the same time. 

Desk space? We share a cube. Two desks, our computers facing their respective corners, and we have a table in between us to define our personal space. That's not a lot of definition. 

There will be no butt-scratching, no bra-wire adjusting, no phone calls to loved ones without the inclusion of my team mate. 

Poor her. Because she doesn't know just yet that I'm not one to let a little lack of privacy stop me from doing what needs did, scratching what needs scratched, adjusting what needs adjusted. Oh nosirree. 

We may have to marry after six months because of our forced intimacy. Some levels of it might even be against the law in Utah. Or encouraged. I'm never sure about Utah's laws of morality, because they don't endorse alcohol or gay rights, but they do like a man having a lot of wives, which seems like that would go hand-in-hand with a lot of alcohol and even some gay activities, if you were doing that whole thing properly and making full use of everyone's talents. 

But I sidetrack. 

Back to Tiny Town. 

They have this engraved plaque in the ladies restroom:

We're schooled in proper hand washing and paper towel usage. Really. 

I have one question that begs an answer. If all ladies are washing their hands for 20 seconds in warm water, rinsing well, turning off their faucet with their paper towel,  what in Garth's name sort of germs could make it onto the door handle that we should be so wrapped in protection upon opening the door??  What? I"m asking. Because I really don't get that whole process.

Are our poop and pee germs from the toilet able to fizz up into bubbles, float out of the stalls, sail across the room and land on the door handles, spreading fecal matters to whomever so dares to touch without a paper barrier?? 

Because that is some pretty powerful stuff and maybe each toilet should be encased in a plastic bubble to prevent contamination. 

Another thing about the restrooms in Tiny Town. The size. I have to turn sideways and adapt a Twister-type configuration to exit the toilet, and the door still knocks into my boobs. 

And believe you me (what does that mean?? how is that even a correct phrase?? maybe it's not and i'm high on crack), I am not the largest gal in Tiny Town. I'm downright average, if not on the smaller size.

One nice feature (so it's not all complainy and blah), they provide a nice array of ladies necessities in the restrooms, free of charge.  I like a complimentary tampon.  It tells me how nice my vagina is...oh wait, I meant a complementary tampon. I like those, too.  

Tiny Town's office furniture makes the furnishings from The Card Mines state-of-the-art. Seriously. We are equipped to do our jobs with the least amount of modern trimmings possible. I hesitated to sit in some of the conference room chairs.  The temporary computer they hooked me up with? I've put better on the tree lawn.  

Everything is just a little.... a little..... below standard. There. That's it. Just not quite average. 

However. I am excited about my actual work. The work promises to be pretty great. And maybe I really will emerge as a Giant in Tiny Town.

If I can just make it in to work on time. Because getting there? Is more than half the battle. Traffic.  I was ready to quit before I started, sitting for over an hour in traffic to travel 25 miles. 

Ever resourceful, I've dug up an alternate route and am going to give that a shot next time. 

Lastly? On my 2nd day there, we had a corporate-wide meeting - we all stood outside on the patio, we are a rather smallish company, apparently - and they announced that we've been sold. 

I'm hoping that the new owners want to relocate to the west side. I know a building that will be available in a couple of years (when The Card Mines relocates!). Which would be poetic, that I end up from where I came.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Here's to a job. Done.

We celebrated the end of my era in The Card Mines Friday after work.

The girls had a balloon dude make me a crown and a magic "wand."  Which really didn't look anything like a magic wand, but that mess on my head could't have looked less like a crown, either. 

Balloon-maker was really really bad at his job.  

He asked me about my new job. I told him I was going to be a stripper. Because really, if he can call himself a balloonist, I can call myself a stripper. I think we'd both provide about the same quality of work.

I tipped him $10. He needs encouragement.  

We drank big margaritas. 

Some friends showed up which was super-nice, especially considering it was a gorgeous Friday night and I'm sure they had other more outdoorsy places they'd rather be than in a bar.  But maybe not. 

The more I had of the giant margarita, the more maul-y I got: 

Meggan was the unfortunate recipient of my displayable love.   And then the photos got blurry. And I started to look really sweaty and draggy. 

Yet they still had nice things to say about me, and even wrote them down and gave me presents, which was really nice and unexpected.

Thanks, Friends.  And Hoff for arranging. I will never forget you. Unless I'm too busy hanging out with my new friends ~ wink. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


Yes I am. And yes I did. 

Today is the last Monday I'll be getting up and heading into The Card Mines.  

22 Years. 

Big-a changes. 

It's been a joyride. 

I only wish I was going on to something more exotic than my reality, such as writing dirty romance novels on the beaches of Grand Caymen as one friend suggested.  

I'm not doing that, and I'm ashamed of myself for not having that plan in my back pocket. 

Maybe I need to start working on that! My Friend Murd and I have a half-baked idea, we need to get a-started on it, I do believe. People expect nothing less. Or at least one people.

Happy Monday, Reader! And look forward!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


We cried and cried and said goodbye to my beloved kitty, Twinkle Toes, on Wednesday, May 2nd 2012.

He was 10 years old.  Not nearly long enough with such a fine little friend.   

I found him on a golf course, or I should say he found me. He came wobbling out of a bush, across a June-sun hot asphalt parking lot, mewing and toddering on unsteady little feet. He had been neglected, laden with worms and ear mites and a sinus infection. His eyes were matted shut and he couldn't see where he was going. But he found me.  And I swooped him up and raced him to a vet, proclaiming as I held him - snotty-nosed, matted-eyes, swollen-bellied - at arm's length, "I have to save him! I love him already!"  

After a day of treatments at the vets, his eyes were unmatted, his mites were being treated, his belly had some food inside and he was conked out on a pillow at my side. 

And he was off, on the fast track to becoming The Cutest Cat Ever. 

He was busy and playful and brave. Not much daunted him. Not even dogs. Or shoes. He dominated my sneakers and didn't give up until he'd chewed the laces right up. 

I had often said that if he were a person, he'd be one of those little boys who walks around with a little smudge of dirt on his cheek, and a pocket filled with Boy Things: stones, strings, frogs, etc. All sorts of things that a little boy needs to have fun. Twinkle was that boy, and would often walk through the house carrying his favorite toys in his mouth, he wanted to be prepared  just in case he needed to play.  

He never outgrew his love of a string and would walk around with his favorite black nylon string in his mouth,  a deep meow coming from him to get our attention. I always thought something was wrong, because it was a plaintive meow. Always after the lights were out and we were trying to go to sleep.  Kenny would unfailingly roll over, turn on the lamp, grab his string from him and twirl it around a little bit, commenting, "Twink wants to play string game, so I'm playing with him," when I asked what the heck he was doing. 

He grew up into a fine little fella. Never causing any problems, getting along with any circumstance that came his way. When we moved in with Kenny and his cats, Twinkle quickly made friends. 

There he is, smack-dab in the middle of Stan & Caesar, who I'm sure were waiting for him on the other side. 

He was the man of the house, in charge when we weren't home.  Before I left for any trip, I always had a talk with him about his responsibility in taking care of the others. He never let me down. 

He was sick when I returned from vacation. He was weak with low blood sugar, but that was only a symptom. He had contracted (they believe) hepatitis, at best guess from a combination of his diabetes wrecking havoc on his little internal organs over the course of time. He was jaundiced, which before this I had no idea what jaundice on a cat looked like. Unfortunately, I now know. 

They operated on him, to take a look inside. Atrophied internal organs.  But they thought he could be fixed.  What the couldn't see was that his bladder had just stopped doing it's job. And without a functioning bladder, there's just nothing else that can be done. 

I was able to comfort him into some restful sleep during his duration in the cat hospital, and we had hope when we brought him home that he would get better. We always hoped. 

He was a really good cat. He was cute and nice (although he did like to chomp ya right on the nose if you put your face next to his - I got a lot of nose chomps as I moved in for the kisses), and just an overall good guy who made me happy just to watch his cat antics. 

My friend once asked me, "Hey, hows's that cat that you got from the golf course doing? He sure was lucky you came along that day." 

I replied, "He's doing great, and actually I was the lucky one that day."  

I was the lucky one.