Archive for December, 2008

Maybe a librarian?

December 31, 2008

We had a nice Christmas. The kids got game systems that they love and we had the family over for Christmas. That went well, better than Thanksgiving, as there was no illicit aluminum foil thievery.

Backtracking, a couple of weeks ago I got a message that I had left some papers in a library book. I didn’t think much of it, as I often use junk mail as a bookmark, so I just waited until a book came in that the library had ordered for me. (I LOVE intra-library loan!)

BTW, I live in a very small town where the librarians know me by name; I know them; I bring them cookies; they know the names of my kids, the types of books I like to read and a couple of the librarians are fellow PTO cohorts.

(But they don’t know about my blog. Knock on wood.)

Thus, I was quite mortified when I opened the held book and a stack of papers fell out that included:
1. A late notice from our mortgage company.
2. Lab paperwork from my last doctor’s visit.
3. Half a blog post about Reagan cheerleading, in which, in an obtuse attempt to be humorous, I wrote scores of cheers in a stuffy Old English vernacular.

“Be egregious, be-e-e egregious!
Be egregious, be-e-e egregious!”

“We will, we will vanquish you!
Vanquish you!”

And my masterpiece:

“The Princes we be
Verbose to the Utmost
We will turn you to milquetoast

I am a bit embarrassed. Partially that the librarians now know my financial and health situation, but mostly that they must think I am a crazy person. Who else would think to rhyme “utmost” and “milquetoast?”


*And she hasn’t paid her back yet.

December 11, 2008

A couple of days ago I took Reagan to the orthodontist, on the way home, clutching the precious paper that would give her school-time access to the wonders of chewable flavored rubber, she said, “The other day Jesse turned in a gum pass to Mrs. W.”


“He doesn’t have braces.”


“And he had whited out a name and written his in and changed the date.”

Yesterday Taylor got home from his first chess meet and said “I’m not good at being black!”

Last night leaving our tiny local grocery store Reagan whispered, “You know that clerk? She deals pot.”

“How do you know?”

V., Rea’s thirteen year-old friend, told Rea that her mom, K., “*borrowed” thirty dollars from her so she could buy pot from the rotund store clerk.

Highway to the Danger Zone; ride into the Danger Zone…

December 5, 2008

I don’t want to get dooced writing about work, but what am I, if not a rule-breaker? Dream-maker? Love-taker, don’t you mess around with me!

My work rents a small office in an even smaller town.

Our rent for the past few years was $250 per month.
I know, sounds laughably small, doesn’t it?

But you haven’t SEEN our office. It’s a shoe box formed between a U-shaped bar/restaurant. Thus we get the smell of cooking fries from one side and the sounds of the jukebox on the other. (Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town and everybody else, tries to put my sloopy down….)

Furthermore, a ceiling tile directly above my head is making it’s slow descent, dribbling crumbs of plaster on my head and desk. (“Someday love will find you; break those chains that bind you…. seperate ways”)

The front door has a huge draft.

Our only air conditioning is a giant, pre-1980’s window unit.
And it smells like mold. (We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love; we’ve got a wave in the air, radar love…)

The flourescent light for the front half of the office doesn’t work. Thus I type in the semi-dark, especially on cloudy days. (The lights are much brighter there; you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go Downtown….)

We have so little storage space that we have a file cabinet in the bathroom. (A, B, C, as easy as 1, 2, 3…)

Speaking of the bathroom, if you stop by and request to use it, you’ll get the following warning:

“You have to flick the light switch 2-3 times to get the light to come on. If the light turns itself off while you’re going potty, knock on the wall and we’ll flip the switch for you. Then when you go in, make sure you put the doorstop in the door, otherwise it might pop open. If the toilet starts to run while you are going, don’t worry, that happens sometimes. But make sure you don’t use more than five or six squares of toilet paper or it clogs up. And when you are done, make sure you hold the handle down until a count of ten or it won’t flush. Oh, and when you get done washing your hands, put all your weight into turning the handles because otherwise the sink leaks.”


Our landlords won’t fix anything.

And just raised our rent to $400 per month.


So my boss, M., sent the new lease to our Chicago boss, B., with a list of office repairs. Facetiously, at the end she included “paper thin walls that allow us to hear domestic disputes.” (Our landlords often have loud knock-down drag-out fights that are so bad I’ve almost called the police.)

B. didn’t realize that we were joking about the walls, and, writing a proviso to the lease, merely changed the wording to “Paper thin walls that allow us to overhear conversations in the adjoining properties.”


Once the landlords get the list the “knock-down, drag-out fight” just may be happening within our little shoebox of productivity.

%$#!*& !+ &%$^#@ door(s)

December 2, 2008

I need some advice. My deluxe vehicle in the sky, a 1997 Toyota Rav4, well, the goddamn fucking doors won’t close. When you shut the door, it just pops right back open. The harder you shut it, the faster it bounces back towards you. This only happens when it’s cold outside.

I’ve tried de-icer on the door, on the latch, but it doesn’t seem to help. The doors also have a tendency to freeze shut.

Any advice?

And NO, I can’t just go buy a new car! (Or build a heated garage.)

Thanksgiving 101

December 1, 2008

T-day minus one:
Don’t try to find turkey parts to make “make-ahead” gravy the day before Thanksgiving. THERE ARE NONE.

If you decide to use chicken parts instead, please read the full recipe. Otherwise you might realize, at 9 pm, that your chicken must be basted with butter every 20 minutes for two hours, then simmer on the stove top for another six hours, necessitating someone (your spouse, preferably) getting up at 5:00 am to move the chicken stock to the fridge.

Planning to smoke pot on Thanksgiving at your relative’s house? Please bring your own foil, rather than hovering in the kitchen and trying to surreptitiously acquire some.

Note: If your homebase is lacking foil, it also might be best not to drink homemade wine in the car on the way to said relative’s house, as it makes one considerably less stealthy during foil requisition activities.

Or, you might consider asking “May I have a piece of foil?” as that would actually be MORE discreet than sidling over to the foil and noticeably startling when glanced at, retreating, approaching again, (x4), tucking the foil into your shirt front and scurrying out the back door. (Yes, mothers AND sisters-in-law DO have eyes on the back of their head, and, yes, will know what you were doing and will totally toy with you.)

When confronted about the illicit nature of the foil theft, saying “M. told me to!” like a four-year-old tattling is not the best idea, either.

Furthermore, if a relative is mad at you, for example, for stealing $22 from your nephew, and you decide to apologize, it’s good to stop at “I’m sorry,” rather then adding “that you are mad at me and I am mad at you.”

It’s also not necessary to add “And I didn’t do anything wrong.”

And, if the pot gives you munchies, then please DO NOT eat ALL the shrimp.

T-day +1
Do not go shopping. Unless you are bored. And feeling stir-crazy. Then you should brave the mall, as it will make you wish you were at home.

If you need to burn off a few postprandial calories, then believe the tree guy’s proclamation that “White Pines are easy to cut down.”

T-day +2
Realize, walking, that “one more mile” out is actually two more miles total and a seven miles is a heck of a long walk! Of course, on the walk, you may just spot one of these:

Carry it around the streets of your small town, hooked on a stick, a’la hobo napsack, in order to get it home to show to your children. Who will refuse to leave the warmth of the house and the intellectual stimulation of their video games to come and look at it.

Google it and find out that it’s a “giant puffball mushroom” and that it’s actually edible AND contains TRILLIONS of spores. Wash your hands repeatedly.

T-day +3
If you have a thirteen year old pms-y girl and she’s acting like a thirteen year old pms-y girl do not make any jokes about her dog getting kidnapped and returned to her in pieces. She won’t think that it’s funny and may go to cry in her room.

T-day +4
Return to work, refreshed from your long weekend.