Thursday, February 28, 2008

Escape To Neverland

Where to begin? It seems like there is so much to blog about. Friday is Leap Day, I walked into the breakroom at work yesterday at the exact moment the coffee maker started beeping that it was ready, I finally beat Ethel at Wii Bowling (but had to apologize after dancing around her in celebration) and I have rediscovered the Slurpee…and am addicted. Well, that’s if you consider 2-3 a day to be an addictive tendency. But I must say that all of those as post topics paled in comparison when I was perusing the news and found out that Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is about to go into foreclosure.

Let’s say it does go into foreclosure and someone is stuck trying to sell the place. How do you begin to get people to look at it, or at least get people to look at it seriously? What type of people would be interested in Neverland? After all, it’s kind of like the disgraced version of Graceland, or would that be DisGraceland? Are there that many prospective buyers out there that are looking for a theme park AND a zoo in their back yard? Most would settle for a pool and at best, a strip of grass for Bocce Ball or a BBQ island, but zoo cages and figurines from Peter Pan? It’s hard to not look pretentious at that point.

I mean it has nice front gates and all, looks a lot like the entrance to Disneyland (which we all know is the hallmark of good architecture) and I think the shrubbery was pretty cool (at least according to all those aerial shots taken of it by local news agencies when he was in all that trouble), but does anyone really want to live in Michael Jackson’s home? I don’t use the word cooties lightly, but I think this is a time where cooties should be mentioned. I guess you could buy all the land and then bulldoze everything that Jackson built. Perhaps you could turn it into a Michael Jackson museum…once all the beds are removed. Ok, I know that was bad, but the History of the allegations of what took place in that house are bound to be brought up when talking about Neverland.

I don’t Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, but I think if you approached most people with the opportunity to buy Michael Jackson’s ranch, they would tell you to Beat It, even though that is kind of inappropriate to talk to someone that way, though I guess it’s just Human Nature to do so. It’s not like we need to consult The Man In The Mirror to help us make a decision like that. I Say, Say, Say that it’s really pretty Black and White here; you either want to buy it or you Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, whatever the hell that means. The biggest drawback to buying Jackson’s house is that he was a pretty Off The Wall guy and many still think he’s a Smooth Criminal who got away with something pretty awful with what he thought was a PYT. Maybe there is some Ben or Billie Jean out there that would love to have the home of a pop icon, but many would just tell the realtor to Leave Me Alone. After all, when it comes to Michael Jackson these days, most people would tell Jacko that The Way You Make Me Feel is pretty BAD.

Ah heck, I don’t really care who buys Neverland or what they do with it; I just wanted to see how many of Jackson’s songs I could weave into a crappy paragraph essentially about nothing. It was quite a Thriller to me. OK, I should really stop now, but I Never Can Say Goodbye. Please don’t stop reading, I Want You Back. I’ll write a good post, I promise. It’s easy as ABC. I may be no Dancin’ Machine, but I know I can write better. Yeah, that one was overdoing it. Just Blame It On The Boogie. What is wrong with me???????

****If you are still here, remember to get me your questions for Q&A Monday. Have a great weekend and enjoy the extra day we get this year. By the way, why can’t we get an extra day in October or December or June or July? Why an extra day in the dead of winter???****

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The World Ended, For Just A Little While There

Yes, for thousands of Americans last night (it could have been millions, but that sounds too dramatic) the world came to a screeching end for a couple of hours. Now, it wasn’t the power outage in Florida. It was the 3-hour closure of every Starbucks. Yep, beginning at 5:30 local time, which would be 5:30 your time and your time and their time, Starbucks closed to train employees on how to make a better cup of espresso.

While I never did take a business course, I have worked for a few corporations and even owned my own business for five years, so I feel safe going out on a limb here and making the statement that follows. Is it really that prudent to close all of your 7100 stores for 3 hours? I mean aren’t their employees taught how to make espresso when hired? Isn’t that their THING? You’d think they already know how to do that, right? OK, you’re right, those were more questions than a statements, but seriously, it makes me think of the same thing when I see a gas station closed. 3 hours with no profits? Ouch.

And then there are all of the people that this decision impacted. Where in the world to get my coffee fix? I mean other than oh, let’s see Dunkin Donuts (even if Rachael Ray hawks for them), 7-11, It’s A Grind, AM-PM, many book stores serving Seattle’s Best, The Coffee Bean, any restaurant and I don’t know, maybe MY OWN COFFEE MAKER? Granted it has become pretty easy to get used to running down to any corner or grocery store to pick up a cup of Starbucks, but I discovered that I actually own a coffee maker and it turns out that it works pretty well. Who knew? Truth be told, I usually go ANYWHERE else for coffee than Starbucks because I like to favor the underdog. It’s the same logic that makes me shop at the local gas station for groceries instead of those big chain grocery stores or why I take side streets instead of the highways that everyone else uses or why I root for the Clippers instead of the Lakers. It’s all about the underdog for me. And yes I am kidding about the grocery thing, they are seriously lacking in the fine cheeses department. But I am not kidding about the Clippers deal and that haunts me daily. Apparently, underdog is code for losing consistently by 25-30 points. But that really has nothing to do with coffee.

I wish my coworkers and I could be seen as needing to learn the fine art of doing our jobs better. We would all love to have 3 hours of ‘training,’ preferably at the local indoor go-cart track or the laser tag place across the street or maybe the bowling alley. We could be taught how to answer our phones, how to better share one networked printer, the things to say and not to say in corporate emails (trust me, I have many of the latter to share on that topic) and how to interpret 43 different reports that all contain the same data. A good cup o’espresso it ain’t, (wow that sentence played havoc with my spell checker), but we would all love to get paid for three hours of play, I mean ‘training.’

You know, you may find this hard to believe, but despite my daily serenading of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1970s hit ‘Alone Again, Naturally,’ our office morale is disturbingly low. Conventional wisdom would lead me to blame our jobs, but I am going to take a different approach and say it’s because of our cubicles…and then our jobs. Perhaps if we made cool cakes for a living like certain folks who frequent this blog (and you know who you are), we would be happy. Although I think management might not approve of us swapping an oven for a fax machine or fondant for paper. Wow, watching Ace of Cakes is really paying off. I thought I’d never be able to work ‘fondant’ into one of my posts…

But rest assured that Starbucks is open again and serving a better cup o’espresso than you’ve had in months. Yes, it probably hurt last night but the cold turkey withdrawals are a thing of the past. Your patience has been rewarded and your cup of Starbucks coffee should now taste better than ever, unless of course you forgo Starbucks like me and blow through a straw into your coffee to get it all frothy. Quick tip though, when your coworkers ask how you get your cup of office coffee so much frothier than theirs, don’t offer to froth it up for them. It seems certain business professionals take great issue with someone else blowing into their coffee. Gheesh, some people…

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It’s New And Different Because It’s Random

Lacking the time to prepare and present one cohesive semi-cohesive essay on something of interest, I am taking the easy way out and writing down more random thoughts and calling them bullets to make it sound fancy. Ya know, the same way that folks refer to jeans as dungarees to fancy them up, which is much better than using a Bedazzler to fancy them up. Ok, now let’s spin the wheel and see what randomitivity is in store:

* Happiness is deflating a Whoopie Cushion in front of two 5-year olds. Although truth be told, I may have been giggling harder than Lucy and Ethel.

* Why is it that listening to upbeat Sinatra tunes can put a little bounce in your step? Also, why is it that after listening to the same upbeat Sinatra tunes I find myself saying things like ‘chick,’ ‘ring-a-ding-ding’ and ‘coo-coo baby?’ I’m starting to get some pretty funny looks. They are those type of looks that force you to smell your arm pit to make sure you remembered to put on deodorant in the morning. Come on, we all do it…

* If Coke can mix the taste of coffee and their soda into one fabulous but hard to find beverage, why can’t I reproduce it using the same 2 ingredients?

* If I were a truck driver or fighter pilot, I would want my call sign to be ‘10-4.’ This is because I thrive in a chaotic environment.

* The Chalupa is severely underappreciated as a foodstuff. It’s fun to say, it’s tasty and is cheaper than a Big Mac, but then my first car was cheaper than a Big Mac.

* Doesn’t saying ‘Viz-Tin’ sound much more relaxed, cozy and inviting than saying ‘visiting?’ I know I’m a little late joining the game, but I really want this to be the in-word for ’08. Well, after ‘Obama,’ of course.

* Why is it that in EVERY scene (documentary or entertainment show) ever filmed inside of a bottling plant or other production line since the mid-1970s, the people in front of the camera have to bob up and down and say ‘Schlemiel, Schlimazel?’ Granted, I am not above reproach on this issue, but eventually it’s no longer clever.

* If one (and yes, I am referring to myself) decides to self-publish, can one (yep, still me) still brag about being a published author? You know what, your answer probably doesn’t really matter; I’m sure I’d still brag about it anyway.

* Wouldn’t ‘Feta, Etcetera’ be a great name for a cheese specialty store or deli? It’s certainly better than The Gouda Garage. And I KNOW it beats the name for my coffee/donut shop idea: ‘Mud ‘N Crawlers.’ Unless of course I make it a coffee/donut/bait/tackle shop, because I know that is one demographic that Starbucks forgot. Yep, ya just don't see a lot of fishermen in flannel and waders in line for an iced mocha or carmel mocchiato down at the local Starbucks, do ya?

**And yes, I will probably use the customizable Vanna/Wheel thingy for my next several posts.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Q & A Monday

Who knew that NASCAR would have a 2 day rain delay at the California Speedway this weekend? Well, I’m sure you didn’t and more to the point: I’m sure you don’t care. But that is the reason why I am posting Q & A Monday so close to Tuesday. I don’t know why I like to preface things so much, but before I get to this week’s questions and answers, let me just say this…
Get it? Uh, never mind. Again.

OK, just in case you don’t remember the rules of Q & A Monday, please don’t quote my answers for research purposes or to impress your friends. Well, I guess you could, but it wouldn’t be a very smart thing to do. Also, all answers are thoroughly researched and none are fabricated, with the exceptions of the answers that may contain consonants, or vowels and most certainly any combination of both. I think that about covers it. Did I mention the thing about truthfulness? Ok, good.

First up this week is Patti who asks:
1. Did you have a lunar eclipse in California like we did in Connecticut on Wednesday night?
Or was in just on this side of the continental 48?
Good first question, Patti. If a lunar eclipse is the one where the moon disappears behind the clouds right before it rains for 2 straight days, then yes, we did have a lunar eclipse. There is also one tonight, but that is because the moon has moved behind my neighbor’s tree.

Patti also asked:
2. When your twins were babies did you use markers to write their initials on the soles of their feet to tell them apart?
No, but the hospital tags that I left on their wrists for the first year and a half of their lives did leave some discoloration that very closely resembled marker.

Patti had one more question this week and it was:
3. Will you ever do another Podcast?
I was so tempted to answer this question with a podcast, but didn’t get around to it. I plan on podcasting again very soon. In fact, as soon as I get my voice back it will be the first thing I do. Ok, I know you won’t believe that I have been without voice for 4 months, so I will just claim laziness. No, I was kidnapped. Wait, amnesia. That’s always a good one, I think. I’m not sure, I really can’t remember.

VE stopped by to ask a question that all kids would like to know. He asked: What does the tooth fairy do with all the teeth?
The obvious answer here would be that the tooth fairy or TF donates them all to denture manufacturing facilities, but that would be too easy. TF actually grinds them all down and manufactures a highly potent fertilizer with them. Here’s the kicker though; she pays us like 25 cents for a tooth and gets $28.50 per bag of fertilizer. That’s one heck of a profit margin. I’d like to take a bite out of that income.

Selma asked 2 questions this week. They are:
1. Why can't I put on mascara with my mouth closed?
To more thoroughly answer your question Selma, I put on mascara today and the same exact thing happen to me. I was also invited to sing Boy George’s ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt’ at a karaoke bar, but since you didn’t say that happens to you when you apply mascara, I won’t go into it. After consulting with a few physicians, I was able to determine that the metaocular nerve opens the mouth as a reflex whenever the eye is touched. Apparently, this is an evolutionary human instinct that comes from our ancestors who would yell whenever they were poked in the eye in order to scare their attackers. Funny enough, the same thing happens when we put in contacts, which of course our ancestors originally made from smooth and flat stones. Though modern research has shown that those contacts were more for decoration as they actually made our ancestors’ vision worse. Much worse, in fact.

2. Why is abbreviated such a long word?
Boy oh boy that’s a good one. There originally was a much shorter translation, but it was lost in a fire in San Francisco many years ago, 1979, I think. We are left with the other translation: abbreviated, which is French Canadian for ‘what is the biggest and oddest collections of letters that can be used in one word that does not have the letter x or z in it.’

Carrie posed three questions this week, which begs the follow up question of how one poses for questions…but since it was my choice to use the word pose, I’ll just replace it with ‘asked’:

1. If beauty is truth, and truth beauty; why can't my nylons EVER exist without holes or runs? Well, the truth is nylons are made cheaply. And real beauty does not require them. Unless one has not shaved their legs, in which case I am no longer concerned and DO think nylons are necessary. They are also a must if you want to rob a bank and appear to have much tighter skin and a much bigger nose and lips than you really do.

2. Why are iPods gifts from God - and why does God always need it back for repairs?
They are gifts from God because God realizes how much music soothes the soul and how easy it is to soothe the soul when you can have multiple gigabytes of digital tunes categorized by artist, song, title or playlist. I’m serious, there’s like 30 verses in the bible about it. As far as why God always needs them back for repairs, well, let’s just say that on the 7th day God made the Ipod and on the 13th day he realized it was too good a creation and it must occasionally be taken away from us so that we never fail to appreciate it for the miracle it truly is. Which sucks, because I need to take mine in to get fixed!

3. Can I have my coffee break now?
Yes, although I am writing this at night and being pretty sure that you are in a later time zone, I have concerns that it might cause you not to be able to sleep.

Natalie, who truly appreciates Huey Lewis and the News for the geniuses they are, asked:
Either you give up fried foods forever or Fred Willard gets breaded and dunked into the biggest deep fryer in the world and is served to you with a nice spread of dipping sauces each of which you are required to try. What do you do?
I just can’t eat one of my comic heroes, as appetizing as you make it sound. So, I give up fried foods. However, this may cause me to go postal. Although if I am not employed in a post office, maybe it will just cause me to go cubicle…

Chef Mom’s question made me giggle. Ok, it’s still making me giggle and I’m sure you will see why. She asked: Okay...I have thought short and softly about this...not long and hard...(I know what you're saying in your mind Micahel; That's what she said!)What is your favorite cheese? The one you couldn't EVER live without.
There’s mozzarella, feta, gorgonzola, Swiss, American, Bleu and on and on, but at the end of the day, a nice sharp cheddar always makes me smile. And gain 10 pounds. But cheddar it is. Call me a cheese simpleton, but I love the taste of cheddar.

Citizen of the World asked: Would you rather have your eyes where your ears should be and ears where your eyes should be, or have all your limbs shorted by half, which would you choose?
First off, I had to read this 3 times just to figure out what you were saying. I even tried to diagram it, but stick figures can be very limiting. Since I never could fully imagine it and because I’m not that tall to begin with, I could handle the shorter limbs. Plus, then I could by kids clothes and save a fortune. I really am getting sick of seeing 5 years olds dressed hipper than I am.

She also asked: Why do my family members quiz me for psychological advice and then ignore everything I say? My guess is that it’s because you are telling them things they don’t want to hear and didn’t expect to hear when they asked you to approach it from a psychological perspective. By the way, I need to ask you why I keep dreaming that I wake up on December 26th and am horrified to learn that I missed Christmas. If you are going to tell me that it’s because I have some unhealthy love for the holiday or something though, I am going to ignore it. Crap, I just did it to you. See how hard it is not to do that!!!!

Best Bud’s Wife (translated for blogsville as my best friend’s spouse) asked: Why do babies fight sleep and adults fight to stay awake?
I think it must have something do with whether or not one goes stinky in their undergarments. You’d think it would be more complex, but I’m betting it’s not. Babies stay awake because they are uncomfortable after soiling themselves and we CAN’T stay awake because our bottoms are dry and we are comfortable. Come on everybody, think about it before you dismiss it.

And last up this week is Frigga, who asked 2 questions:
1. What would be the coolest way to die involving a vat of hot cooking oil?
Honestly, I was trying to be funny and just threw it out there since it was the first thing I could think of. I must now apologize for that because wasting a good vat of hot oil is a very tragic thing.
2. How do you fold fitted sheets?
I think I can actually help you with this one. Step one, roll them up in a ball and step two, shove them in the closet or drawer. Of course you won’t be able to store as many as if you had folded them, but I think you will find that you are much more relaxed for not having tried so hard.

And that’s Q&A Monday for this week. Thank you for your great questions everyone! I hope I was able to help you in some small or Nobel prize deserving way.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Q & A Is Here To Stay

Once upon a time, I used to do Q&A Tuesdays (I’m sure the few of you who for some reason have kept coming back here since last summer might remember them. If you don’t, well, all you missed was a bunch of misinformation and possibly an inflammatory statement or two possibly coupled with the mention of cheese). Then I got lazy busy and stopped. I’ve been thinking about bringing it back, but in order to do so, I need to have some questions to answer. While I could quiz myself (which I think is legal in all 48 contiguous states, with the exception of maybe Kentucky), I would much rather answer other folks’ questions. I say this because I already know the answers to the questions I would ask myself: ‘what’s your favorite food,’ ‘what’s your favorite color,’ ‘what would be the coolest way to die involving a vat of hot cooking oil,’ and on and on and on. Truly exciting stuff as you can see, so yes, I need YOUR questions.

If I remember correctly from last time, the rules are simple. Just about anything can be asked, my answers cannot be used against me in a court of law, I will probably forget to answer at least one question every week (so please don’t take it personal, after all, as much as I love them, I still occasionally get confused and mix up my identical twin daughters) and I do not recommend using them as part of a research project or in an effort to impress others or make friends. Trust me; if my answers don’t help me do that then they certainly aren’t going to help you. And for the record, I’m just kidding about getting my twins mixed up. That hasn’t happened since AT LEAST last Thursday.

So here’s the deal. I will run Q&A Tuesday each Monday. OK, there has to be a better way to say that. I’ll try again. Send me your questions at the end of the work week or during the weekend and I will post my answers each Monday, unless any given Monday is a holiday, at which point I will post the answers on Tuesday, or the next available day that I feel like it.

Do you have questions about ethics, need a solution for global warming, interested in my thoughts about a post-Fidel Castro Cuba (I’m thinking theme park), want to know the story behind Ricky Nelson’s song ‘Garden Party,’ curious about the best place to eat at Disneyland, want proof that you shouldn’t mow the grass while barefoot or in sandals, want me to answer a random question using nothing but song titles (yeah, I’m asking for someone to challenge me) or need a list of things that you should not do when suffering from a sinus infection? Well, just feel free to ask me whatever you wish each weekend and I’ll do my best to answer each Monday.

While I can’t promise I won’t go all Cliff Claven on you, I will try to answer them the best I can, which for legal purposes, I now need to tell you does not include honesty, factual accuracy or even making sense. In fact, I believe all that I am authorized to say on this matter is that I can almost assure you that my answers will be in English, or a reasonable facsimile of, unless I am asked to type quickly. Then all bets are off.

See what fun this is going to be? Is it my veiled way of getting out of one day of thinking of something to write by having you, the wonderful reader, provide me with ideas in the form of a question? No comment. So go ahead, please don’t be shy. Send me your questions. It’ll be fun and painful. I mean painless. I know about 6 of you read my blog regularly, so I am expecting at least three questions. I will even give the first person that submits a question a prize. It may just be an email thanking you for your question, but I promise to make it all fancy and put ‘Your Fancy Prize’ in the message’s subject line.

See you with your answers on Monday! I hope. Please? Pretty Please? I will beg. And that’s never pretty.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It’s Singularly The Greatest Day Ever

Well, no, it’s not, but the title worked for the post’s subject matter. Tomorrow, Thursday February 21st, is Single Tasking Day. This is of course in direct contrast to multi-tasking or more-than-one-tasking-but-not-enough-to-be-termed-multi-tasking. Although I guess that would just be semi-tasking or couple-tasking? No wait, semi-tasking would be not completing any of the tasks and couple tasking might be either a couples/relationship counselor or perhaps a swinger, and that thought just makes me a little queasy. And by queasy I mean not wanting to eat for several days, even when deep fried nuggets of beautiful cheese are dangled in front of me on a tray with a Mountain Dew next to it. You know, I sat down to write about something and it seems as though I strayed off course just a little. Perhaps that makes me a semi-tasker or at best, a single-tasker. You may not have noticed, but I have trouble focusing on the same thing for more than…does anyone else hear that squeaking sound? See what I mean?

How bad is my tasking ability you ask? Well, while just trying to compose that first paragraph up there, I had to stop typing three times to turn up the ole Ipod and sing along. First time: Night Fever by the Bee Gees, 2nd time: MTA by the Kingston Trio and the third time: The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton. Oh wait, hold on, Garth is on…

OK, I’m back. Perhaps this lack of attention or my mind’s unwillingness to be able to handle more than one project at the same time is why I tend to get a little behind at work sometimes, by which I mean often, which of course means almost all the time, which is really just a coded way of me trying to save face instead of admitting that it’s every day. Do you know how hard it is (that’s what she said) to be working on something and then have to stop because a good song comes on and you feel the unrelenting urge to harmonize to it? And more to the point, have you ever found yourself trying to harmonize to Disco Inferno? It’s not so easy. A simple solution to all of this would be to stop bringing music to the work place. I don’t know about you, but I tried this once and drove myself crazy with all of the one-liners and hair-brained schemes that kept popping into my head. Although, I might actually pursue the deep fried fruit stand idea. I’m willing to sign up franchisees, but act quickly.

When you think about it, Single Tasking Day is a great idea. It gives all of us the excuse to just focus on one thing all day Thursday. I guess it’s the old adage that we should do one thing and do it well. After all, if you have several irons in the fire, you are bound to get burned. I made that up, but that has been my experience. Although I should preface that by saying that I have personally never put an iron in a fire but I do see it as a personal challenge to be able to successfully use my fingers instead of cooking tongs when I move the charcoal around while I BBQ, which really has nothing to do with any of this. I was just reminded of it by the irons in the fire thing. Wow, am I having trouble focusing today. I sure hope I can get that straightened out by tomorrow so that I can properly celebrate Single Tasking Day. Oh shoot, straightening things out reminds me that I need to iron when I’m done with this post. See, this single and multi-tasking thing is hard. Oh look, a humming bird…

So I guess the only thing left to decide is what to single task tomorrow. Logic and common sense would decree that if you are going to spend all day working on one item then it should be an important and lofty task. Unfortunately, that’s not how I roll (did that seem genuine, it’s the first time I’ve used that phrase, does it work, it felt a little forced) so I shall settle all my efforts on just getting to work on time, or perhaps on putting my shoes on without losing my balance and starting to fall over.

Maybe I’ll single task on sitting at my desk for more than 15 minutes in a row and working on the same project for that same amount of time without wanting to get up and walk in and out of my coworkers’ offices asking them if they watched the Knight Rider TV movie the other night (seriously, did you see it? The Hoff had a small part in it…and he looked sober!). After that last sentence, I’m thinking that I should focus on learning how to write shorter sentences. Or maybe when coworkers walk in to my office to ask a question, I’ll stop greeting them by saying ‘Welcome. Can I open a savings or checking account for you this morning?’ That just kills me, but I think everyone else is starting to get a little sick of it. Well, if I can’t single task long enough to decide on what my single task should be, I guess I don’t stand much chance successfully single tasking tomorrow. Did that even make sense? Maybe I should just phone in sick and single task on teaching Lucy and Ethel to correctly identify the entire 43-car field participating in this season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. They award scholarships for that type of thing, right? Hey, I hear a cricket…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Woo Hoo, It’s Employee Review Time Again

Knowing that I will receive my annual employee review later this week and knowing how bad it’ll probably be (remember that little blogging at work talk I received?), I let my mind wander to what lies in store for me. I ended up thinking of:

The Things That You DO NOT Want To Hear Your Boss Say During Your Employee Review:

“Unfortunately, the Friday before the Daytona 500, Thomas Crapper’s birthday and the anniversary of the debut of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese do not count as official ‘national’ holidays.”

“It seems that some people DO find the idea of Disneyland Cuba offensive.”

“It’s not polite to point and laugh at others while doing the ‘Happy Dance’ on days when you leave the office early.”

“Your coworkers seem to have a problem with you playing your Ipod all the time. Well, it’s not so much THAT you are playing it as WHAT you are playing. Really, Barry Manilow? Seriously? Come on, let’s be a little more considerate of the people we share an office with, ok?”

“We decided instead of giving you a raise this year that we would just let you keep your job.”

“When HR learned that we were going to be meeting today, they gave me just a few pages of items concerns that they had.”

“When I asked you to prepare a 500 word essay on why I should let you keep your job, you know I wasn’t kidding, right?”

“No Michael, I would not consider learning how to make a Monte Cristo sandwich to be personal growth.”

“Well, I would like to commend you on getting to work on time, oh let me see here, 8 times this year. Yes, it certainly is an improvement over last year.”

“Not everyone considers dancing or skipping down the hallway of the office as a leadership quality.”

“I see you still haven’t packed your office yet, huh?”

“So, tell me more about this blogging thing you do during company time.”

“Michael, you know that thing that Donald Trump says to the loser each week on The Apprentice, well…”

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Holiday Repost: President’s Day – It’s Worth A Day Off!!

Tomorrow is President’s Day. It’s a mixture of Presidential Birthdays like Washington’s and Lincoln’s, although Reagan also celebrated a February birthday. As several different food types end up on one plate at a cheap buffet, so it was easier to mix all of the commander-in-chief’s birthdays into President’s Day. Did you think about your Presidents this weekend? I know I did as I spent my Washingtons, Lincolns and Grants at Target, the grocery store, a local restaurant and the gas station. Our Presidents have done amazing and memorable things over the past 200+ years, so let us recall the memorable ones.

Who could forget the exploits of our past leaders? Why as far back as 1797 they showed that when elected, they were capable of about anything we could or could not imagine. There was our second President John Adams’ XYZ Affair, which almost led us to war with France. Thomas Jefferson had his fling with Sally Hemmings and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson who took office after Lincoln’s assassination. Second to possibly only Bill Clinton (who I’ll get to in a moment) was Ulysses S. Grant’s Credit Mobilier and Whiskey Ring scandals. 1924 brought us Warren G. Harding’s oil related Tea Pot Dome scandal and need I remind anyone of the Watergate Hotel break in that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation (I am not a crook, but I will be leaving office effective noon tomorrow – I’m mixing two different speeches, but you get the idea). Even the great communicator Ronald Reagan was not immune to major Presidential scandal. Although he left office truly believing he had no part in it, his administration (and the likes of Ollie North) was responsible for The Iran-Contra Affair. You have to wonder if it’s an attempt to try and lighten or romanticize political wrongdoings by calling them affairs. Then there was Bill Clinton who gave us Whitewater, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky (I guess you could term the last two scandals affairs as well, if you wish).

Of course, our Presidents are capable of more than just full-fledged scandals. It is rumored that even FDR had a lady on the side (although in his defense, have you seen a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt? I’m kidding, really, I’m kidding). Eisenhower decided to allow a U-2 spy flight over Russia right before a summit with them and Nixon had to give the Checkers speech after being accused of taking illegal campaign contributions in 1952. JFK was rumored to have been with Marilyn Monroe and a girlfriend of a mobster as well as getting huge election help from Frank Sinatra and the mob (I won’t mention the Bay of Pigs invasion) and once declared in German ‘I am a jelly donut’ at the Berlin Wall (do you think that speech writer and translator were fired). While not accused of having a lady in waiting (which with Lady Bird Johnson, I guess he technically always did), there are the famous photos of Lyndon Johnson picking his dogs up by the ears. President Ford had trouble walking in a straight line or up stairs at times and Ronald Reagan was once caught on air while waiting to deliver a speech joking about how he had just issued orders for nuclear missiles to be fired at Russia. The first President Bush promised no new taxes and then promptly raised them, which may have caused his famous vomiting in Japan. Bill Clinton once stopped air traffic in Los Angeles by having a hair stylist board Air Force One on the tarmac to give him a trim. Then there is our current President who has trouble just making a public speech.

Despite all of their, um, uh, ‘accomplishments,’ on this President’s Day, let us remember the 43 men who have ascended to the highest office in the land (with the exception of course of Donald Trump). It’s a remarkable thing to be elected as the President of the United States. Our Presidents are mere mortals who transcended their common man. The only problem is that many of them still acted like the common man. And to that, all I can say is Happy President’s Day! At least we get a day off of work for all their efforts and maybe a few really good car dealership and furniture sales, right? Not to mention a day off after spending all day Sunday watching the Daytona 500 and the NBA All-Star Game. Whew, I'm spent!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

You Know It’s A Slow Day At Work When…

Well, first of all, you come home from work and actually want to write something detailing how slow the day at work was. That’s a pretty good hint right there. It also may be a sign that I am way too into this blogging thing.

Your coworker takes the time to get up from his seat, round his cubicle wall and come tell you personally that he is working on the mother lode of all useless data reports. And you get slightly excited about it for a moment.

You actually volunteer to accompany Female Coworker to small claims court, just knowing that she will be found in contempt. Unless of course you are found in contempt for telling her repeatedly to shut up so that she is not found in contempt. It’s a pretty vicious cycle.

You find yourself daydreaming about two desert tortoises racing. And the daydream lasts long enough to see who the winner is.

You remove the Dwight Schrute head stress ball from the top of your monitor and wash it. You are also found talking soothingly to it while scrubbing his head.

No phone is heard ringing for over 36 minutes and 43 seconds. When it finally did ring, it was someone’s spouse with a grocery request. And I’m not even sure that counts as an office phone call.

You contemplate calling a coworker’s client to tell them that their contract has been terminated just to shake things up for a few hours.

Female Coworker asks us what type of juice is the best to clean a penny so she can help her daughter with a science project and we all spend the next 30 minutes arguing amongst ourselves about our answers. Final analysis: we were torn between lime and tomato, though I still assert that cola is the best.

You and your coworkers take the time to listen to the oft-annoying guy in the office try to record his outgoing voicemail message 6 times before he gets it right. Obviously his final success is applauded by everyone in the office.

*On a different and unrelated note altogether, I noticed something I wanted to share while browsing through Valentine’s Day cards. Hallmark has all these great sound cards now where you open the card up and it plays the original version of some song that barely relates to the theme of the card. They had a lot of classic TV themed ones and I looked at a card that had Radar from MASH on the front. When you opened it up, it plays the original instrumental theme from MASH (one of the greatest TV shows of all time, by the way). Does anyone remember the name of the theme song from MASH? It was ‘Suicide is Painless.’ Does that strike anyone else as just the teeniest bit odd for a Valentine’s Day card? Maybe it’s just me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

MMMMMM, Fortified Chocolaty Goodness – Just In Time For The Holiday.

CBS 11 television in the Dallas/Fort Worth area recently released the results of an investigation they did that closely examined some of our favorite treats, chocolate. The results, were, well, a bit hairy. Apparently, now there is a new class of chocolate. We have our white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and the newest – textured chocolate.

Yep, the CBS investigation of different types of chocolates found cat hair, human hair, clothing fibers and even parts of an insect. Wow, that is certainly something to, uh, chew on this Valentines Day. Now not only do we have the choice of chewy nougat filled centers, caramel centers or crunchy centers, we get DNA. Wasn’t the big thing about Lady Godiva the length of her hair? How appropriate that you can get her expensive chocolates with some of that hair in there.

With all of the things they have found in chocolate, maybe some candy company should come out with CSI Chocolates. You buy the chocolate, you dissect it and you figure out what non chocolate elements are in it. It’s fun for the whole family. Heck, you can even pretend you are cracking some gruesome murder scene and then eat the evidence so no one finds it.

I guess Forrest Gump was right after all, life IS like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Like some remnants of a bug or a strand of a stray cat’s hair, because let’s face it, all the clean and respectable cats are not going to be found around a chocolate processing plant. Instead of Reese’s Pieces, we can get a piece of Reece, in addition of course to Kit’s cat.

Ok, I’m done. I’ll stop focusing on what is in chocolate. After all, today is Valentines Day, so it’s time to put on the Engelburt Humperdink and get to the point of the day - - the luuvvvvv (say that with as deep a voice as possible, it’s a lot more fun). Though to be on the safe side, you might want to give the special lady in your life a lovely bag of beef jerky. When you think about it, beef jerky is the perfect Valentines Day Treat for a woman. It’s tough, hot and spicy. And that’s what she said…


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Random Wednesday Bullets

* When your Female Coworker arrives at work with impressions on the skin under her eyes, don’t ask her if she wore goggles on her drive into work. My first clue here was that everyone around me shook their heads as soon as the question left my mouth and began to linger awkwardly in the air. When she puts on her ultra-cool and ultra-hip sunglasses that are all the fashion now to show you how the marks got there, don’t respond by saying ‘your sunglasses look like a damn pair of bug eyes.’ I probably don’t need to explain any of this any further. Just don’t do it.

* Has anyone else seen the Annie Leibovitz Disney World ads yet? If so, have you seen the one with Giselle Bundchen as Wendy, Mikhail Bereznikov as Peter Pan and Tina Fey, yes Tina Fey, as Tinkerbell? Yep, Tina Fey AS Tinkerbell. Those who are regulars to this blog will now understand why I have been reduced to a mass of mumbling, bumbling idiocy…I just hope my boss finds this to be an acceptable excuse for my lack of being able to do anything coherent at work since seeing the ad. Yeah, like it's the first time I've had to make excuses for my work.

* Despite the aging and male pattern baldness, does anyone else think that former advisor to 4 Presidents and current CNN analyst David Gergen is one of the coolest and smartest dudes in the country? I think it’s time to go shopping for a ‘Gergen Power’ T-shirt.

* You begin to realize just how much your children watch and emulate you when as a joke you put Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ on the karaoke machine and your daughters actually can sing the first few verses and chorus. I found myself smiling that sly, Grinchy smile.

* Who is Amy Winehouse and why do we care so much about her rehab? In more important news, Dolly Parton is having to reschedule some tour dates or something like that because of back pain. Just guess what is causing that pain. Now that folks, is entertainment news!

* I thought it would be fun to go someplace like a Presidential Library and ask one of the guides about a miscellaneous fact about that President and have them completely floored and unaware of that fact. Then I did it. What didn’t occur to me was that because the guide gets to wear a fancy jacket and is actually employed by the Presidential Library, everyone will choose to believe the guide; leaving you looking like an idiot…again. But I swear to you, I KNOW that I read once that President Reagan wore sweats at times on Air Force One so that his pants wouldn’t wrinkle. I just know I did!

* When they were hiring for ‘Super Delegates,’ I must have missed the listing on HotJobs and Monster. I tend to zero in on any job listing that contains the word ‘super.’

* I spend way too much time at work thinking of new acronyms for projects in our department by using the letters A, S and S.

* I can’t believe I forgot to take The Carpenters off of my Ipod before bringing it to work today and plugging into my desktop speaker dock. Well, prior to my coworkers giving me grief about it, I HAD been sitting on top of the world. Is it really my fault if Rainy Days and Mondays through Fridays get me down? Funny enough though, they all longed to be close to me a few hours later when Eddie Kendricks’ Keep On Truckin’ came on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who Knew That Making A Point Would Take So Much Power?

I have discovered that this week is ‘Just Say No To PowerPoint Week,’ although I have yet to see Nancy Reagan. Get it? Just Say No? Nancy Reagan? Oh never mind. As a cubicle dwelling, fluorescent-lit keyboard jockey, this holiday touches a nerve with me. And I’m talking about that kind of nerve where the dentist thinks your mouth is numb but then he scrapes at your gum line only to realize that the local anesthesia hasn’t arrived at its destination yet. Or maybe that type of nerve touching where you watch a video of the guy falling downward onto a pole between his legs. It’s funny, so you laugh while crossing your legs to help numb the pain that the guy on video you have never met is feeling.

Like me, I’m sure that many of you are used to the horrible, coma inducing corporate, executive designed PowerPoint presentation. While being subjected to many of those presentations, I gave it some long and hard (that’s what she said) thought and have decided that I would rather be stranded in the desert with Rachael Ray while she is on speed. That’s because she would talk even more than normal and that would be irritating and I would be stranded in the desert with her with nothing else to do bit listen. I think I’m going to stop explaining my jokes. I blame being sick for that. Sorry.

Seriously, I have been subjected to PowerPoint presentations that have made me want to jab hot cheese-laden fondue forks into my ears, twist them and then push them in harder, pull them out and repeat. I think I may actually feel sorrier for the designers of these presentations than those who have been subjected to them. Do they seriously think that they are creating something of interest or something that will convey important corporate info while maintaining our attention at the same time? Are they proud of the anesthesia-like reaction that they cause?

Now if I had to create an overly corporate-themed PowerPoint, I would try to throw in a few semi-subliminal (wow, that’s fun to say) things to at least try to entertain the troops. I’d use little sound effects, quick slides containing pics of cartoon characters or perhaps slides upside down or maybe even vacation photos. Now I realize that it may not look professional, but then who ever said I was a professional. Besides, it would make those that know and work with me laugh a little during the presentation. Or maybe they’d shake their heads. But I guarantee you one thing: it would keep their attention.

There are so many ways that we could make an effective yet entertaining PowerPoint presentation. For instance, if you absolutely HAD to have a pie chart, why not overlay it onto a real picture of, oh, let’s say my favorite pie, Key Lime Pie. And I’d make sure that all of my math was incorrect, though that’s more of a retaliation thing…Perhaps every slide should have its info displayed over a faded out image of some real miscellaneous 1950s-era picture. And what PP presentation wouldn’t be drastically improved by containing sound bites from The Office? In fact, I would search far and wide for a quote from a female executive or female expert on whatever field the presentation was about, just so I could work in an audio ‘that’s what she said.’ I’m sure that plenty of Star Wars clips and references would be well received too. And then there’s always little puppies and kittens because who doesn’t love cuddly puppies and kittens? Unless the audience is predominantly male. And we all know what would appeal to them. Yep, pics of slabs of grilled beef. What did you think I meant? Well, the whole bikini angle did occur to me, but then giving the good folks in HR samples of a PowerPoint presentation I designed with models in bikinis in it is kind of like writing my own corporate obituary. Of course you could make the argument that this blog solidified my corporate death at least a year ago.

If I were a manager, which of course is in no real danger of ever happening, not that I need to PowerPoint that out (ha, get it??), I would include little hidden images of PacMan or the Smurfs or Charlie Brown or perhaps M&Ms or maybe even little cans of Spam and then reward my employees if they correctly counted the number that they saw; thereby promoting employee participation in said presentation.

Perhaps I could lobby for a new position with my employer that would allow me to give PowerPoint Presentations on how to effectively construct informative and engaging PowerPoint Presentations. Maybe I’d find a way to make every slide slightly out of focus as it is projected onto the wall or screen. I’ve never seen research conducted about this but you’d have to figure that having a room full of people straining to figure out what is on the screen in front of them is bound to make them pay more attention and better retain what they are reading. I am also really, really fighting the urge to suggest using the song ‘Convoy’ as background music, though I have yet to figure out why all those truckers got in trouble with all those ‘bears’ in the first place.

Breaker, breaker. 10-4. I’m over and out. Crap, that part there didn’t sound too much like something Ryan Seacrest would say, did it? Now I’d better go construct a PowerPoint presentation explaining all the ways that I think Ryan Seacrest is the male Rachael Ray so that no one can accuse me of being a fan of his because I accidentally let my parting sentence contain the word ‘out.’

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Top Reasons You Know Your Are Sick

It's been like a week since I made a 'That's What She Said' joke to anyone.

You lie awake one night writing up practically an entire episode of the Office in your mind. And it’s about bowling. And then the next night you lie in bed trying to figure out how to produce a video sample of the script for Office executives using only your PEZ collection.

After not eating the entire day, you get out of bed at 3AM to make about two pounds worth of pasta topped with butter and parmesan cheese. You top that off with your last egg nog ice cream bar and finish off the great night by bringing it all back up in a very unexpected and unwanted ‘encore.’

While lying in bed, you think that it would actually be funny that the next time you are in the hospital (which of course is the most positive thought ever) that when your friends or family call you in your hospital room to see how you are doing, you are going to respond somewhat loudly by saying ‘well, the doctors say I should go home in a few days, but they are still concerned with my vaginal bleeding,’ just to see what the reaction will be of the other male patients sharing the room with you when they have to walk by you.

When your favorite driver wins the first NASCAR event of the season, you respond by saying ‘I’m going to bed’ instead of celebrating so loudly that your neighbors think you are reenacting America’s first Independence Day again.

While attempting to brush your teeth, you lose your balance and fall down against a wall in the bathroom. You respond by getting up and then falling down again. Then, uh, shoot, now I can’t remember how that one ended. Hey, how did that knot on the side of my head get there?

For breakfast one morning you decide to have a can of Vanilla Slim Fast. Since you are sick and it ‘doesn’t go down very smoothly,’ you catch yourself preparing to write a letter to the makers of Slim Fast demanding that they change the name of their product to ‘Insta-Phlegm.’

You have missed so many days of work that you have truly begun to forget what your office looks like. Oh wait, I may be confusing that with signs you have become deliriously happy.

You sit virtually motionless one day and watch documentaries on water buffalo milk, truck stops and building collapses in a row; most likely without blinking.

You have taken your temperature so many times that the battery has gone dead but it takes someone else pointing this out to you after standing in the same spot for over a minute and a half without the thermometer beeping. And after they do point that out to you? You stick the same thermometer in the other ear without even realizing it.

You are pretty sure you just spent 45 minutes in the shower but can’t recall actually washing anything.

You awaken one morning only to realize that you apparently wrote an entire blog post with the goal of seeing how many Bee Gees songs you could work into it. And if that isn’t bad enough by itself, you become furious when you realize you didn’t use that New York City Mining Disaster song, Tragedy or Nights On Broadway.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I Wonder If It’s A Pyramid Scheme?

Hot on the heels of me offering to write posts for money (which was a joke, really. Honestly. Come on you can believe me) comes today’s pointless holiday that I am choosing to celebrate. Today is called Laugh and Get Rich Day. Now of course I can’t find anything about it on the Wondernet, so I am left to ASSume what we are supposed to do in honor of today.

As you might expect, I laugh…a lot. As you also might expect, I GET laughed AT a lot, too. The only problem is that all of my laughing has most certainly NOT made me rich and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t helped my coworkers (the biggest offenders of the laughing at me category) either. If they had gotten money for laughing at me, most if not all of them would no longer need to work and would be what people refer to as ‘financially independent.’ (When you read that last phrase, feel free to use air quotes).

I tried laughing a little earlier, but my wallet still echoes. I thought about trying to laugh outside of a bank to make the money transfer part a little easier, but didn’t want to risk being accosted by security guards. At this point, to celebrate my futility, I am very tempted to have a shirt printed up. The front of the shirt will say: ‘It’s laugh and get rich day, but I laughed and all I got was this stupid sore throat’ and the back will say: ‘…and some dirty looks.’ It’s just a thought.

Maybe I haven’t made money laughing yet because I haven’t bought into the pyramid aspect of it yet. You’re familiar with the pyramid, right? No, not the one with all the clues on it and the snappy music and Dick Clark in really outdated blazers (though who doesn’t love that pyramid). I’m speaking of the symbolic pyramid where you get to watch me laugh for money and then start laughing yourself. Of course your initial laughing is not for pay because I get your money at first. But if you can get 3-5 people signed up to laugh at me, then you get a small percentage of my take and on and on. Eventually, I will be like the Darth Vader of laughing for money and you will all be my laughing storm troopers. Or maybe I would be the Emperor of laughing and you would be my Darth Vader and so on and so on. Hang with me; I know there’s a decent Star Wars analogy there. OK, how about this? I’d be the laughing Yoda and you’d all be my laughing Jedi. Yeah, that’s a pretty good one.

One thing is for sure though; if we work the pyramid correctly, I will one day be able to stand on the top of my pyramid (proverbially speaking, of course) and shout ‘I started a joke.’ I have always wanted to be able to yell that, because let’s face it, how often do we really get to reference Bee Gees song titles in our everyday comings and goings. And yes, I do realize that the rest of that lyric states ‘I started a joke that got the whole world crying, but I couldn’t see that the joke was on me.’ I am choosing to ignore that part though, because I am going to start a joke that gets 3-5 people to pay me, followed by another 3-5 people and then the 3-5 they’ll sign up after that. And I know what you are going to say to me when all the laughing money starts rolling in: ‘Michael, you should be dancing.’ OH MY GOD, did you see that? I was just able to reference TWO Bee Gees songs in one post.

Am I going loopy? I mean I did have quite a fever last night. I guess you could call it a ‘night fever?’ Oh wow, that’s 3 titles now. Ok, I am going to stop before I lose all of my readership over the excessive use of Bee Gee song references. Yes, you could say it’s my way of Stayin’ Alive in blogsville. All right, I’m done now. I swear!

Well, I am off to try and make everyone I know laugh in the hopes of getting my pyramid ‘triangular thing that the Egyptians built with the help of aliens’ started. However, first I would like to give you some tips on what WON’T get people to laugh based on my real life learnin’s at work yesterday:

1. When your VERY pregnant coworker walks by holding 3 styrofoam cups of water (please don’t ask me why), don’t say something to the effect of ‘please don’t drop any of those cups because I’d hate to see your water break.’

2. Also when speaking with the same VERY pregnant coworker and you are discussing the delicate subject of her contractions, DO NOT refer to the contractions as ‘the baby knocking at her door.

3. Lastly, don’t even bother telling a VERY pregnant coworker that when the baby doctor is checking to see how dilated she is, she should sing ‘How Deep Is Your Glove.’ YES, if you give me credit for slightly altering that one, I have referenced no less than FIVE BEE GEES SONGS IN ONE POST!!!

At least yesterday was her last day at work before maternity leave. I don’t think I could’ve kept stepping on eggshells when around her much longer. She really didn’t care much for all of my jive talkin’. HA, THAT’S SIX, BABY!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The 'I'm Too Busy Watching Election Coverage' Repost: Top Ten (And A Half) Things Said Before Or After My Open-Heart Surgery

I post a Top Ten and a Half List every Friday (or at least I used to -- for a few weeks anyway). Why ten and a half? Because I don’t want to be accused of stealing a great idea, of course…

So, here are the top ten (and a half) things said either before or after my open-heart surgery for valve replacement:

11. That saw isn’t dull, is it?

10. Now, when you cut out the old valve, you’ll wake me up so I can see it, right?

9. Oh, you say you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

8. Say, did you hear the one about the anesthesiologist and the narcoleptic?

7. When I run from now on, will I make sounds like Lee Majors in the Six Million Dollar Man or is that extra?

6. Doc, you did a great job. Let me buy you a steak. Oh, the cow is sacred to you? How about pulled pork then?

5. Does this new valve make me look fat?

4. Can I go home now? I’m starting to lap the old guys when I take my mandatory walks around the nurse’s station.

3. What do you mean you can’t find one of your surgical clamps?

2. Seriously, no one else hears that ticking sound?

And the number one thing said either before or after my open-heart surgery…

1. You’re working on my heart, so explain to me again why you have to put that tube up my…

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For Rent

I made a joke yesterday about paying people to write my blogs. Then I retracted that statement realizing that I might be on to something. We all struggle with finding good post material from time to time, right? I know I do. Although there really should be no excuse for that given the fact that I have 3,000 post-it notes surrounding me that contain different things I have heard or seen or thought of for future blog posts. It’s like a giant 3M baby spit up all over my desk, assuming of course there is such a thing as a 3M baby and that it is capable of regurgitating paper in perfectly formed stick squares. Oh man, I think I’m onto next year’s top Super Bowl ad!!

But, this isn’t about Super Bowl ads. This is about blogging, or more directly, blogging without really having to blog. So, without further ado, I announce the launch of 'Rent-a-Blogger.’ That’s right, for a small fee, you can have ME write your blog posts. I’m still fleshing out the details, but I think I’m going to go with 2 different plans.

Plan 1: The ‘I’m Your Blog Bitch Plan’: You pay me and I write the blog post. It’s simple, it’s concise and there is no further relationship needed after the blog has been published. This plan is cheaper.

Plan 2: The ‘In It For The Long Term Plan’: This one involves a little cuddling at the end. Here is where I write your blog post and then stick around to respond to everyone’s comments. As it involves a little more commitment, it costs a little more.

These plans can be performed two ways. You can provide me a topic or I can come up with the topic without you. Chances are, you will be much more pleased with a topic that YOU choose, so please keep that in mind. You can also tell me which topics are off limits for your particular blog. Don’t like cheese? Does Rachael Ray make you want to toss your 30-minute cookies into something not so Yum-O that slightly looks like a dirty pool of EVOO? Can’t stand Tina Fey or Barry Manilow or Kenny Rogers (and shame on you if you answered yes to any of those names!)? Well then, just say those topics are off limits. After all, YOU are paying ME to blog for YOU (and yes, switching back and forth between all caps and no caps IS very tedious). Although I may not write about it with any knowledge at all, I will blog about whatever you pay me to.

Shoes, purses, operating riding lawn mowers, fly fishing, the fact that you have nightmares about the yellow smiley face guy from the Wal-Mart ads; it’s all up to you, the PAYER. I so wish that I could offer this AMAZING opportunity free of charge or as a non-profit service, but Alan Jackson’s new CD comes out today and I’m currently a little strapped for coinage. I also just bought the coolest retro Green Eggs and Ham t-shirt. Yes, that money could have been used for the CD or something like a car or house payment, but when The Seuss presents himself in cotton t-shirty goodness, you have to answer the call!

So, feel free to contact me with your blogging wishes, desires and needs. I am here for you. Sooooooo here for you. Yep, I’m just here waiting. And waiting. I’m tapping my fingers on the desk, literally. Send me an email and I can begin today. Really people, I am not going to blink until you contact me. Don’t make me hold my breath. I’ll do it. How else do you think I graduated from college? Here I go. I’m inhaling now…

Monday, February 04, 2008

Repost Monday: The Swiss-Liech War

This was written barely a year ago and there are parts that seem very outdated already. Yes, I'm hoping that makes you want to read it since I didn't get a new post done yet. Can't I just pay someone to write my posts? Wait, forget I said that. I want to be the person that people pay to do their posts....

With the end of the cold war, a large-scale European war seems to be more remote than ever, until late last week, according to the AP. The Swiss Army is noted for a lot of things; well OK at least two things that I’m aware of: the Swiss Army Knife and Swiss Army Watch. Apparently both of those items do not come with a compass or GPS device because part of the Swiss Army got lost during maneuvers and ended up in Liechtenstein last week. When they realized they were lost, they crossed back into Switzerland with no apparent harm done. Perhaps it was a reconnaissance mission?

This is the type of thing that might have alarmed the Super Powers during the Cold War but now just seems like a really good late night comedy punch line or sketch. How many Swiss Army officials does it take to read a map anyway? Or perhaps the map they were using had more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese? Gee, I Swiss they wouldn’t invade their neighbors anymore…you get the point.

Although they were neutral as their neighbor Germany waged war in WWII (see, I did a little research for once), fear is mounting that Liechtenstein may retaliate this time and invade Switzerland’s famous Matterhorn as well as try to confiscate the millions of dollars located in Swiss bank accounts throughout the alpine country. Mountain climbers and evil super-villains with large stashes of money in Swiss banks are on edge.

“Our military objective is quite clear after this intrusive and hostile action taken by zee Swiss,” said Liechtenstein’s military commander, Wilhem Von Luchenbacherhelmenstein. “Virst Ve Vill attack zer banks and zen ve vill use dat money to turn zer beloved Matterhorn Mountain into ze rollercoaster like ze Disneylandia.”

Reports have confirmed that the Swiss have offered chocolate and watches to appease Liechtenstein, but have yet to receive a response. I won’t say that the world is holding their collective breath on the outcome of this incursion into Liechtenstein, because, well, we’re not, especially with the controversy surrounding Britney Spears’ rehab stint and the fact that David Hassellhoff is appearing in The Producers in Vegas. However, this action appears to have sparked the aggressive tendencies of several smaller nations hoping to invade and plunder their neighbors.

Throughout Friday, countries were announcing their plans to declare war on their rivals and geographic neighbors. Cuba wants to attack Florida, France wants to attack Italy, Nevada wants to attack Southern California tribal casinos, Texas wants to conquer all of New England, Kobe wants to invade Shaq, Hillary plans on overthrowing Bill, UCLA hopes to declare war on USC and Ann Coulter wants to attack John Edwards (oh wait, never mind, that already happened). Reports earlier in the day that the United States House of Representatives had been overrun by the United States Senate have apparently proven false. I am hearing rumors though that NBC has invaded CNN, but I think they call that a takeover. Though I do think the Dollar Store just captured the 99 Cent Store. Seriously, they were across the street from each other and the 99 Cent Store was taking all the business away from the Dollar Store.

Who knows what the repercussions will be after this invasion that was innocently sparked by an accident. It reminds me of the time in high school when my friend and I ‘accidentally’ ended up right behind the court during a Lakers game and were questioned by The Forum's security before being turned around. Only then, we were able to use the excuse that we got lost trying to find the men’s restroom. Maybe that’s what the Swiss should have said…

Friday, February 01, 2008

Me And Mrs. Jones (Otherwise known as ‘and now for something completely different’)

You’ve heard the Me And Mrs. Jones song, right? Well, so did we on the way back to the office after lunch. It’s been stuck in my head since then. I spent the entire afternoon at work singing it belting it out (with limited choreography, of course). I was accused by my coworkers of being tone deaf, not having enough soul and of being the Wayne Newton of great 70s soul music. OK, I am paraphrasing that last one there. It was actually just a very short 4-letter verb (at least when used in the way it was) followed by the word ‘you!’

But, by the end of the work day I had everyone else singing it, even after they all protested how much they were getting sick of it. It reminds me of that time in the 6th grade when I got everyone at my table singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ by the end of the day or when I got everyone in the row behind me to look up at the ceiling after I kept looking at it while I was a Sophomore in High School. Of course my English teacher gave me detention after that stunt, but unlike many things in life, it was really, really worth it. This stuff is much easier to do then you’d think. Try it. Sing or hum something like Danke Schoen all day and see what happens.

Perhaps everyone in the office will finally see my brilliance and stop underestimating me now. Oh wait; I WANT them to underestimate me. That works to MY advantage, right?

Looks like I prematurely tipped by hand. No wonder why I suck at poker.


Well, back to the drawing board.