Thursday, July 31, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

Here are a bunch of posts I started based on things I read throughout the week that never got finished. The beauty is that if I group them together, it’s long enough (that’s what she said) to make a post. And if I give it a name like ‘weekly news roundup,’ it almost sounds important…

I Testify (In Shorts That Are Deemed To Be Too Short For The Social Good)!
I saw a news headline on Friday that caught my attention. Apparently humanity’s friend Richard Simmons testified before congress defending Physical Ed in schools. I still cannot verify whether or not he was in his trademarked workout outfit. Although if he was, you can let your school children know right now that Congress has officially decided to pull PE out of schools across the nation. I wonder how congress got him to sit still at the testification table. Did he provide his answers by yelling and singing and clapping? I bet the shock of seeing Richard Simmons in a suit would be comparable to seeing Pamela Anderson wearing a bra.

What Did You Say Your Name Was?
Imagine being 9 years old and having the name ‘Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii.’ Seriously. Talulah is pretty cool and is probably how she was referred to, but does that mean her middle name is Does The Hula From Hawaii? When she gets in trouble, do her parents yell at her using the entire first and middle names? I bet she hates those days when there is s substitute in her classroom that doesn’t know her and reads her entire name off the role sheet. I’m sure she yells ‘HERE’ as soon as the sub calls out Talulah in the hopes of stopping her from saying the rest of it. Not only is the name too long, it’s entirely too unnecessarily descriptive. One can only imagine what her parents were doing when they decided to begin rhyming on their daughter’s birth certificate.

Fortunately, a judge in New Zealand is changing her name because no child should have a name that could be the title of a Chubby Checker song or Dr. Seuss book (Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii.’ It Could be Maui or Kauai, but she always is very cry-y. It’s not the Mambo on a bongo or the twist with her wrist or the stroll on a pole…). Granted, I am being a hypocrite here because I named one of my daughters after a racetrack. But don’t worry; it’s not Daytona because that sounded too much like an adulty stage name, if you catch my drift…

Jumping The Shark
The next bit of news deserves some biting commentary. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest had a scary encounter recently and had to blab talk about it on his radio show. It seems he was bitten by a shark. Oh the humanity! He lived to tell about it though, perhaps because Ryan was wearing a sea vest? Get it Seacrest, sea vest? Hey, I just jumped the shark and didn’t have to get my pseudo-pompadour or leather jacket wet to do so! That’s all I really had to share about this story. Basically, the only reason I included it was to be able to make my Ryan Sea Vest joke.

Things You Never Expected To See But Did
Except for the fact that I had to tell almost everyone I know about these next two items, I really wouldn’t consider them to be news. I was out jogging the other day (ok, it wasn’t jogging, just really brisk walking, but that doesn’t sound as athletic) when I could have sworn I heard ‘Silent Night’ playing. At first I just chalked it up to the usual dizziness, shortness of breath and general confusion that happens when I tend to exercise. But then I thought I heard ‘O Christmas Tree.’ Since two makes a pattern (I’ll give you an example: I had twin children, therefore, I have a pattern of children), I figured this was really happening and not just a reaction to my lack of oxygen. Christmas songs outside in the middle of July? How is this happening, I thought. And more importantly, why didn’t I know about it? I wasn’t sure if it was someone’s music box or those outside decorations people put up during the holidays that play music, but the noise was definitely getting louder. And then I saw it. It was coming from an ICE CREAM TRUCK. I couldn’t get over it. An ice cream truck playing Christmas music in the middle of the summer! The part that really got me was the song selection. Are ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O Christmas Tree’ really the first holiday songs that come to mind when outfitting an ice cream truck? It struck me as blogwothy, and I’m not just saying that because everyone else I told responded with ‘so?’

And then there was what I saw while driving home from work the other night. I have to pass a funeral home every night, so I’m accustomed to seeing mourners dressed in dark clothing outside either waiting for the funeral service to start or just leaving the service. The other night was quite different though. The first thing that caught my attention were the yellow and blue balloons tied to the hearse and the doors of the mortuary. Obviously my first thought was that a clown had died. This thought changed slightly though when I saw the Mariachi band outside singing and playing their instruments. Ok, I figured, maybe it was a clown of Hispanic heritage. And then I saw the people drinking from small plastic cups with cocktail napkins in their hands. This really threw me. Maybe, just maybe it was a Hispanic clown who had very good taste and an appreciation for the finer things. You know, the finer things that require cocktail napkins. I realized that was stretching it. Then I figured out that it was probably something like an open house. I’d never thought of shopping around for funeral homes before, but now I can tell my family that I want my final arrangements handled by the place that had the cool balloons and really good cookies. Knowing that will happen is sure to make me rest in peace, unless of course I decide upon cremation. Then I’ll rest in lots of pieces…

Have a great weekend everybody and remember to send me the questions that keep you up at night so I can make something up research it for you and answer them for Q&A Monday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Going To The Suggestion Box

At the end of last week, one of the newer readers here gave me a great suggestion. E told me to get topic suggestions and file them away for those days where my mind is infertile as an 88-year-old woman or barren desert or better yet, an 88-year-old woman in a barren desert, take your pick. Not only was E’s suggestion a good idea, she actually got the topic suggestion box going with a few submissions of her own. I will attempt to tackle E’s suggested topics today, though after I’m done, my suggestion box will be empty again. I guess it’s feast or famine. I also forgot to take my camera to work again today today and alas cannot post my Wednesday Window of the Week pic. I used ‘alas’ to make it seem more dramatic. It’s not normally part of my daily vocab.

E’s first topic suggestion concerns mullets and perms, but not just any mullets and perms, mullets and perms circa 1990. Since I don’t know what circa means, I’m not sure how to approach this. I’m kidding. Of course I know that circa is the scientific name for killer whales, like Shamu, though I have no idea how that relates to the year 1990. Perhaps that is when ‘Free Willy’ came out?

Perms may not be as in style as they were back in the days of the Brady Bunch and The Carol Burnett show, but I know people still get them. I can’t remember anyone in my class or age group having perms around 1990. I do however remember my mom having one. I also remember how badly the perm stuff smelled. I’m not quite sure why that smell could not have been masked my a better scent like coconut or grape snow cone, but not doing so was a real case of nasal neglect. The whole house would smell of perm, often driving my father, brother and I to go out to McDonalds or something. Well, I guess that’s not all bad, except for the part where we would return and the house would still reek of perm. Needless to say, I am not a fan of the essence of perm.

Then there’s the mullet. I can’t say a whole lot about the mullet, but fortunately it was not dependent on the scent of perm. Being in So Cal in the early 90s, I don’t recall ever seeing a mullet. Well, when the K-mart in the middle of town was open I may have spied one or two, but back then, it was a rare sight. I do remember seeing lots of fades and the girls who made their bangs as tall as a small office building. I swear they would pull their bangs, press it against a flat board and use enough hair spray to create a floating toxic cloud the size of Manhattan, which I have seen from the air and can tell you is quite large. I’m speaking of the size of Manhattan, not the toxic cloud. I merely used the size of Manhattan for illustrative purposes. I highly doubt the hair spray cloud is that big, but now it’s irrelevant because I had to explain it. At any rate, fades and big hair are the dos (as in dues, like hairdos, not the Spanish word for the #2) I remember.

Nowadays, mullets and perms can go quite well together, if you are in country music. It’s like Dolly meets Travis Tritt. I think Reba was also a causality of the big hair days. I’d mention Billy Ray here, but E has brought him up in a later topic suggestion. Yes, the mullet may be the embodiment of efficiency with its business in the front/party in the back, but the perm takes it one-step further. The perm is always ready to go. Constant curls equals constant action. Heck, even William Shatner sported the perm in TJ Hooker.

Next, E asks if Britney Spears can make a comeback. My answer depends on whether the comeback is mentally and parentally or musically. Actually, no it doesn’t it. I gotta go with ‘no’ on all fronts. I’d give it about 5 years and then she’ll be doing the celebrity reality circuit, stuck in a house with Pat Sajack, Miley, at least one cast member a piece from ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and ‘High School Musical.’ She won’t win. I also see Oprah in her future, followed by either Kabala or The Church of Scientology. And lots of plastic surgery. And sadly, a few more failed marriages. But don’t call it a comeback! Sorry, that lyric has been in my head since first typing the word ‘comeback’ up there a few sentences ago.

Another topic in the suggestion box is ‘Who’s on your laminated card?’ Uh, I’m supposed to have a laminated card with someone on it? Will a card stock frequent diner card from the BBQ place down the street from my office do? Or how about my Golden Spoon frozen yogurt card? I only need two more stamps on it before I get a free one. Actually, I think my driver’s license is laminated. If that counts, then I am on it. I also have the card I made that shows which excuse to use for getting to work late. I’ve found you can be much more credible when you have a credit card sized chart to help you keep track of the excuses you are using.

It just occurred to me that maybe laminated card is another way of saying emergency card or emergency contact. If that’s the case, then my cell phone and other contact info is on it. That way, if something happens to me, the authorities can call my cell phone and leave a message about my emergency situation so when my wife and children retrieve it from the hospital or coroner’s office, they can check my voicemail and hear the message informing them that I have been injured or in some other type of emergency. Wait a minute, there might be an easier way to inform my relatives. Let me think about this for a little while.

Lastly, E suggested I tackle the great ongoing public debate right now regarding who to back this year. That’s right; she wanted my take on who's smarter - Billy Ray Cyrus or Pam Anderson? As you might imagine, this is a real toughie. Both have undergone major transformations during the last several years. Billy Ray has gone from mullet (told you that would come up) to long hair and from country heartthrob (not my words) to TV personality. I guess we could refer to him as an actor.

On the other hand, Pamela Anderson has increased the size of her jumbas and then decreased them and then increased them again. She has also married a rocker and then divorced a rocker. However, she doesn’t have 3 names and isn’t riding her child’s coattails to relaunch her career. Plus, she never recorded one of my favorite country songs, ‘Words By Heart,’ so I gotta go with Billy Ray. And yes, saying that publicly does ache and break my heart. I know. I know. You saw that coming…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who Knew A Machine Could Bring Us All Together?

Technology is amazing. I guess when you figure out that we were able to land a man on the moon (if you choose to believe in that sort of stuff); the newest machine in our office should come as no surprise. It will revolutionize the way we go about our day. Heck it might even make us better workers. Strike that. It might even make me a better worker. In fact, I’m not sure why this thing wasn’t installed earlier. I suppose I should just be grateful that my employer has finally seen fit to put one in our office.

In fact, not even a 5.8 magnitude earthquake literally less than 5 miles from our coffice (sorry, I honestly actually wrote coffice there, you’ll see why in a minute. Obviously I meant ‘office’ though) could curb our excitement and appreciation for our newest office toy tool. What? I have yet to share what it is with you (well except for the big photo there on the left of course)? Well, let me do that now. It’s the Saeco Rubino 200 coffee vending machine. Sure my office may not have cool perks like bocce ball courts, gyms, a cafeteria or pens with blue ink, but we now have a special coffee machine. It is fancy, like in faaaaaan-ceeeee. It serves coffee, which is so 2003, espresso, moccacino, hot chocolate, latte, mochafrapa, crapacinno and a few other combinations I may or may not be making up because I can’t remember them all and am not very hip. It grinds the fresh coffee beans and even lets you select your own sugar setting, which may let me finally say ‘come on gimmie some sugar’ in the office without having to go to HR.

Heck, mine was even dispensed with the wooden stick already inside of it, which is odd because no one else’s did, which is even weirder because when I got another cup (hmmm, Michael never gets a second cup from our old coffee maker) it again came with a stick stirrer when no one else’s did. Remember all that stuff I said before about how this new machine will make our office a better place and make us me a better worker? Well, I was a little to quick to call that one. Beverages from the machine were free today (we’ll have to pay a dollar for them tomorrow) so there was a non-stop trek of coworkers walking back and forth from the break room seeking or already enjoying caffeinated pleasure. It made working a little difficult since CERTAIN coworkers like trying to make witty comments to everyone who passes by. At last count, I the unnamed coworker had made 26 straight questionably witty remarks.

But that’s all beside the point. What is important here is the new coffee machine in our office. Its presence among us means we no longer have to leave our office to go to Starbucks or the donut shop or the other Starbucks or the Starbucks inside Target or even the Starbucks two blocks down from the Starbucks that is 3 blocks down from the original Starbucks I mentioned, which if I remember correctly is only minutes from the It’s A Grind, which of course is a few blocks east of the Coffee Bean, which is right before you turn at the 7-11, who of course also serves coffee, just as the AM/PM gas station center across the street from the 7-11 does. Why do I feel so exhausted right now?

I was counting how many coffee runs some of my coworkers made throughout the day and some of them got up to 4 or 5, which is just unbelievable. The coffee was free for the first day and I was able to fit in 8 trips, not counting the first one when the vending machine owner guy pressed all the buttons for me, which irritated me to no end. So yes, I went a little overboard and tried all of the combinations. Some of them twice.

I believe it was sometime after having the espresso that I yelled to duck and cover under the desks because I was feeling another earthquake aftershock. As no one else ducked, I got out from under my desk realizing it had just been the jolt of the caffeine. I don’t think anyone saw me. Well, they may have seen me but were just not choosing to acknowledge it. It’s easier for me to go with the fact that no one else saw me duck and cover for an aftershock that never happened, so that’s what I am going with. I will tell you this though, something was definitely shaking. I just wish I could be sure whether it was me or the ground.

The more time I reflect on it, I think the days of our office ‘water-cooler’ talk are over. I’m just not sure if we’ll refer to the coffee maker as the Saeco machine, the coffee machine or the dark blue altar to the goodness of Saint Juan Valdez? I tried them all out in the following sentence: ‘the scuttlebutt around the (insert name or description for coffee machine here) had me really excited…’ but none of them seemed to click.

There is one problem though. We have to start paying a dollar per cup tomorrow and there is no way I’m paying a dollar for that coffee machine’s tiny cup when I can close my eyes, point and end up at any of 7 local coffee joints around my office. Ok, yes I will. It’s got really cool buttons on it. It’s like a new arcade game with frothy prizes…at work!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Imagineer That

I know, I know, that was the cheesiest title of all time. It kept popping through my head on a visit to Disneyland recently though. I couldn’t help but think that being a Disney Imagineer must be the coolest job ever. And yes, I mean even cooler than cheese taster, ice cream mixologist and Official Purveyor of How To Appropriately Spend Retirement.

You may better know that last job I mentioned by its unofficial title of Retirement Liason or Retirement Consultant. Basically, it’s someone who is paid by retirees to advise them on how to spend retirement. Not how to spend for retirement in the financial sense, but how to enjoy ones retirement. There is a lot of hard work and research that goes into that job because the only way to tell people how to enjoy retirement is by doing and experiencing those things first hand. Some jobs are just inhumanely tough, but our economy and basic operation of society are dependent on people who do the jobs that no one else wants to.

As far as Imagineering goes, could there be a more enjoyable job than getting to create rides, d├ęcor and attractions for The Happiest Place on Earth With The Notable Exceptions Of The Tillamook Cheese Factory And My Newly Redone Backyard? I think not. As I sat in the Tiki Room contemplating how it could be recreated under my new patio, I realized just how creative the original Imagineers were. Singing tiki gods? Robotic bird hosts? Yep, this is the stuff of pure genius, or a byproduct of the hippy counter culture. Let’s just stick with the genius thing though.

My mind drifts off to imagine what it must have been like to hang around with these types of people. I say this because really, how often does the phrase ‘let’s create a bunch of drunken pyromaniac pirates who like to sing about pillaging and extortion’ come up in a staff meeting? Personally, I can only think of one time that has happened in my office, but then I was asked to repeat a new fiscal policy while I had been daydreaming, so I’m not even sure that instance counts.

What do these people come up with for their homes for Halloween or Christmas? Are they allowed to do things like that for personal use and then charge their neighbors for admission? Is that a conflict of interest with regard to profiting personally from their employment? Do they care? Do they just want to leave all that Imagineering stuff at the office when they leave work each day because to them it’s just a job? How many questions did I ask in that last sentence? Are there any questions I didn’t think of? Do you really care?

I used to know a family friend who owned an animatronic company. What a great playground that was! Well, except for that time I went to see the bigger than human singing rodents he was building for a certain kiddy pizza parlor that hosts birthdays and stuff. Seeing dozens of these figures in various states of undress and completion was enough to give me nightmares of armies of singing birthday party pizza hosts coming after me because I refused to buy tokens for ski ball and air hockey. To this day, I still tremble when I pick up a slice of pizza, or when I hear ‘Happy Birthday To You.’

Oh, the many office birthday cake days I have ruined as I cowered and shrieked like a little baby under my desk as the rest of my coworkers sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the office birthday boy or girl. Is using boy or girl in an office setting not appropriate? Fine, birthday PERSONS. I could only explain away my conduct by saying I was antisocial or that I have a grudge against people celebrating their birthdays because mine falls on Christmas Eve and I have been shafted each of my 34 birthdays for so long. I guess I really didn’t need to say ‘for so long’ there given the fact that I just said it was 34 birthdays. I must just like being redundant. I must just like be redundant.

I guess the thing that sets Imagineers apart from us regular dreamers is that they are smart. Smart enough to build things. Let me be more specific about that: they build things that work. Oh, and they work for Disneyland. That part is pretty important. If you build things that work for someone other than Disneyland and you call yourself an Imagineer, chances are you’re asking for legal trouble.

Imagineers are able to come up with an idea and then make it reality and better yet, make it something that people want to pay to come see. Don’t get me wrong, I have ideas. Plenty of them in fact. The only problem is that all I can do with my ideas is blog about them or put them down on paper in stick figure form with descriptive arrows that say things like ‘this part moves’ or ‘I’m not sure how to make this part do the happy dance, so I’ll leave that up to you.’ Unfortunately, no matter how descriptive the arrows my be, I’m pretty sure an idea expressed through stick figure form does not qualify as a technical drawing, just as a lego building does not constitute a ‘model.’ You probably also have to be good at math. If being an Imagineer just required someone to have ideas, we’d all be Imagineers, or more specifically, people with great ideas who are unemployed, at least by Disney.

I’ve mentioned a lot of things in this post, so let’s review. It would be cool to be an Imagineer for Disney. Oh, and I like cheese.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Q & A Monday – Installment 3

Things will be pretty brief this week. Two people submitted questions. While this would normally make someone question the need for a Q & A Day, it just makes me grateful. Grateful that ANYONE asked questions, which brings me to the part where I need to apologize to not getting around to all of your blogs as often as I should be lately. I really only have two excuses: 1) That whole pesky ‘don’t blog again at work or you’ll be in trouble’ thing and 2) The steroidal kiddy pool currently housed in my backyard. Believe me, the combination is an online time killer! For that, I do apologize but am oh so grateful to still have people that want to visit here.

Ok, before I question the answers, or something like that, let’s review the rules. First and perhaps most importantly, do not repeat these answers in a public forum as your sanity and credibility may will be questioned. Second, I do not research my answers so they very well may not be true, I believe this is mainly because it’s often easier to make things up than it is to study or verify them. Lastly, I usually ACCIDENTALLY forget at least one submitted question every week, though I really have no excuse for doing so this time around…

First off this week, and I’m going to warn you that once you have read the answer to this question, we will be half way done, is Eva. She asks: ‘Have you dropped your quest to have "Now if you'll excuse me I have to go x-ray my chicken" become a part of society's vernacular?
No I have not. I may have gotten away from using it for a while, but that was because I overused it at work and was accused by our HR department of using the word ‘chicken’ as a substitute or ‘slang alternative’ for a sinister, possibly even adult meaning. Obviously, this was untrue as the phrase really did come about from a dinner discussion I had with friends who had a sick chicken. Really. We were eating at an Italian restaurant at the time, if you need further proof. Oh, and I made that HR part up, in case they are reading this.

Last up this week, we have a fellow cubicle dweller, Employee No. 3699, who asked: ‘What is your favorite letter of the alphabet and why? Who is your favorite cartoon character? Butter or margarine?’
Well, my instinct is to go with the letter ‘A’ because it’s the first one and I get it over with quicker. However, ‘x’ is pretty cool. It’s very versatile, especially for people who prefer what rude people like to call a ‘lazy’ lifestyle, although I prefer to call it a ‘lifestyle of activity efficiency.’ ‘X’ can be used as a substitute for larger words like x-ray, Christmas, and most likely another handful that I can’t recall without looking them up. So, I’ll go with ‘h.’ My favorite cartoon character is Paris Hilton. What will she do next? Ok, seriously it’s a tie between Homer Simpson and Johnny Bravo. As far as butter and margarine go, I can’t recall ever having margarine. I normally have stuff like ‘I can’t believe it didn’t congeal like butter’ or ‘What a crock of country,’ but whenever I get the real deal butter, it’s a very special day indeed.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Feel free to send me your questions for next Monday, but I feel I should warn you: question slots are going fast. Yep, about as fast as a raised 4-door two-ton pickup off a used car lot in Los Angeles. That’s a gas joke. Well, a petroleum based joke, not the pull my finger kind.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Long Weekend Repost: Post Game Report

Ok, this one was written last August after being released from the hospital where I was 'staying' to be monitored while starting the first several doses of my scary new 'better pay attention to the label' heart medication. As it is a pretty long post, I'm putting it up over the weekend, so feel free to read it in sections, or skip it entirely. Better yet, why don't I just tell you how it ends. I wake up and discover it was all a dream....

My little three day visit turned into five days for a few medical reasons and with only 7 channels on the 1970s TV fixed to the ceiling with a black pipe used for plumbing or blunt bludgeoning, I was a little strung out.

I was going in to be monitored as I started a very potent, almost experimental heart drug. I should have guessed what was in store for me when my first nurse had no clue why I was there and actually assumed I was in the hospital to have my implanted heart shocking/rhythm maintaining device checked. Uh, here’s the thing Nurse Dixie, I don’t have one. When I told her it was for the meds, she disagreed with me and then confessed to having never heard of Dofetilide, the med I was about to be given. It’s a good thing she had that nice grandmotherly thing working because she would be doing something to me or writing something down and then say things like ‘oh wait, that’s not right’ or ‘it’s a good thing I caught myself, you shouldn’t have this.’ Instead of worrying, I just laughed, knowing I would probably die in her care. Fortunately, not long after I arrived, there was a shift change.

My first roommate was something one could only dream up, except I’m telling the truth. He was an older Southern Gentleman, a real dandy. Listening to his voice, I felt like the Confederates were just moments away from stealing my plantation and drinking all my sweet tea…I mean that what the Civil War was like, right? I should probably begin podcasting, because written word will never, ever do justice to my impersonation of him calling his mother’s caretaker. As he was watching an I Love Lucy rerun (as opposed to the new episodes I guess. Did I really need to say it was a rerun), he called his mom’s care taker and this is what I heard (now picture a very, very dignified Southern voice saying this ‘tell mutha, that Vitameatavegimin is on. You can watch your stories lata, Vitameatavegimin is on.’ I was laughing so hard I almost popped my IV out. Moments later his phone rang and in the same dignified voice, I heard ‘I will have to call you back in 90 minutes. Vitiameatavegimin is on and then I need to watch my Judge Hatchett.’ All I could do every time his mouth opened was picture Forrest Gump’s Mama’s house.

Now I believe it is well documented that I can do very little without messing it up. Unfortunately, hospitals stays are apparently no different. Since I was hooked up to a heart monitor that transmitted wirelessly (they can figure that out but not how to get a WiFi connection), I was free to take little walks. Part of what I like about walking in the hospital is that I always bring a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to wear, so I let my gown hang open from the rear. It cracks me up watching people turn around as I pass thinking my arse is hanging out (are you looking at my bum). If they are patients, they usually ask me how I got away with shorts and a t-shirt and I just tell them no one stopped me. It’s a fun game to play and I highly suggest you try it next time you’re hospitalized!

For me, walking was actually encouraged so they could see how my ticker was holding up. I walked as often as I could. My mistake on my first walk was that I went all Energizer Bunny on everybody and just kept going. I saw a window and was drawn to it like a moth to a flame, or for you younger readers, like Lindsey to a half opened bottle of liquor. Of course the window was practically on the other side of the floor I was on. About 25 minutes later I realized I might have strayed a little too far so I headed back. It was about half way back, as I approached the elevators, that I thought I heard the faint sounds of my nurse calling my name. So, like any kid in trouble, I stopped to look for a place to hide and could not find one. As my flight or fight reflex took over, I started running towards my ward. I slowed down right before I got to the nurse’s station. She asked if I had been running. Forgetting that she could see every beat I take (with sincere apologies to The Police for butchering that line, but admit it, you'll be singing 'every breath you take' to yourself for the rest of the day. Especially after I do this: 'every breath you take,' 'every breath you take', 'every breath you take.'), I told her no. She then proceeded to tell me that I had gone too far and that she would tell me not to do it again, but since my heartbeat accelerated so rapidly during my ‘little walk,’ I should not walk again until I was shocked back into rhythm. It was at this point that I admitted I had run because I thought I was in trouble. Everyone that heard this just shook their heads. Yep, the trust was gone…no sucker for me.

I learned a few hospital stays back that if you know a visitor is coming, give them directions to the hospital that will take them past all the local eateries and say something to them like ‘I will tell the nurses not to let you in if you don’t bring me a burger and fries.’ This devious method of getting decent food has not failed me yet. But it did lead me to my second straight run-in with the nursing staff. My new nurse walked in as I was polishing off my Whopper (that’s what she said…sorry, that was SO easy) from lunch and gave me the lecture that I was not allowed to have outside food. I shoved the rest in my mouth and apologized for the misunderstanding. What I neglected to tell her was that my parents were on their way with tacos for dinner. Fearing the return of Nazi Nurse, I have never eaten tacos that fast in my life. Little tip here: don’t quickly gobble down spicy tacos. It is not gastronomically worth it.

Finally, after my shock back into normal rhythm and with plenty of my new medicine in my system, it was time to come home. That was until I tried to fill the prescription they gave me for my new med. The pharmacy told me they didn’t have anymore and had no idea how they were going to get any. I wanted to commend them for their excellent customer service skills, but figured it wasn’t worth it. My nurse stepped in to help and was able to get the pharmacy to give me a 14-day supply. When the pharmacist said that’s all they had, I made a joke about cleaning them out of Dofetilide. She said not to worry and that she was assuming I was the ONE person in the hospital who they had been supplying it to for the last 5 days.

Now there’s a comforting thought…One of the biggest hospitals in LA and I was the ONLY person on this drug? Who the heck am I supposed to call if I get sweats, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, chills, blurred vision, liver failure, I start receiving AM radio signals in my head or get anything that lasts more than 4 hours? OK, I’ll admit, I probably would not call the same person for that last concern as I would for the rest of them, but you get the point…

Have a great weekend (and remember to send your questions for Q & A Monday)!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blank Is The Page

I try to write every day, whether it gets posted or not. Today however, I opened up Microsoft Word (shoot, I mentioned Microsoft and now owe them royalties because I used their name. Double shoot, I just mentioned their name parenthetically, which I think is a half-royalty) and prepared to let the daily musings spew forth as would the vomitious up-comings of a person who reheated the previous morning’s airport cafe scrambled eggs, but nothing came out. I left MS Word open for 35 minutes and came up with nothing, though I did notice eventually around the 14 minute mark that I had begun blinking in tandem with MS Word’s cursor, which actually led me to believe that there was no cursor there, which kinda started freaking me out, especially since I was suffering a blinding migraine at the time.

Now I am left still pondering what to write as I have a goal of writing daily, even when nothing spews forth as described in detail in the paragraph above. I’ve been thinking about grouping all my posts by category (yep, all 3 of them – cheese, work despisement and Lucy and Ethel) and self publishing a book. As an added gimmick, I thought about writing a book, but writing a second book at the same time about writing the first book. Wait, I confused myself there so I shall try to explain that in a simpler way. I’ll write a book about writing a book. It’s my hope that the gimmick factor alone will catch some publisher’s attention. All of that however is still a little way off as I can’t think if what to write about today.

Sadly, there are no fake, semi-legitimate or greeting company created holidays today. No odd news tidbit caught my attention and Lucy and Ethel were too busy watching (and singing and dancing along to) High School Musical 2 to provide me with some blogworthy interaction with them. I can tell you though that between their repeated viewings of HSM Classic and HSM 2 (I reduced High School musical to letters there because I think that’s what all the cool kids are doing and it’s obviously much easier than typing it out) and Hairspray that I’m pretty much over Zac Efron. Ok, that’s not so much as saying that I was into him at any given point, it’s just that I am sick of hearing him sing. I really have to be careful saying stuff like that. It’s that type of careless wordsmithing that starts rumors.

I could make up some news story to share, but that might affect my credibility. I could wax poetic about all the different selections of Tillamook cheese I discovered at WinCO last night, but I don’t want to make anyone jealous. Though I would be happy to purchase, sell and ship you any requested selections for the amazing price of just $23.00 a block. I realize it’s a bit steep, but just try to think of the quality of fromage you will be receiving. Well, that and the fact that if this blog doesn’t start generating me some income soon I’ll have to resort to ads on my blog or blogfomercials where guest posts are written by other companies about their products and services. It’s a new niche.

Then there’s my concern about how much I seem to be using word the ‘squirrelly’ lately. I use it for things I don’t understand and for things that appear to be somewhat questionable. This was brought to my attention by a coworker who pointed out how often I use it. Now I’m self-conscious about it, but since my only comeback was ‘excuse me, but I have to go x-ray my chicken,’ which prompted their response of ‘that’s what she said,’ I realized what a slippery slope I was walking, or should I say talking. It all got pretty squirrelly pretty fast. I was also heard exclaiming ‘let’s turn this mutha out’ on our way to lunch. Another coworker pointed out how uncool I sounded saying that and then I was reminded of how a very dear friend told me that my use of ‘mutha’ made them giggle. I guess all that’s left to complete my hipster doofus trifecta is me saying that I saw someone macking on someone else, however I am going to resist the temptation to do so no matter how strong the urge gets. And believe me, the urge is strong (that’s what she said).

Lastly, I could share how I had Lionel Richie’s ‘Do It To Me One More Time’ come on my Ipod today while some of my coworkers were congregating in my cube discussing important work topics like lunch and the current offerings of our vending machine. Once one of them called me out on the song, it allowed the rest of them to comment, by which I mean mock - incessantly. Yep, there’s really no way to recover from that. I don’t want to sound too much like Bogart in Casablanca here, but of all the songs in all the world, why did that one have to appear on my Ipod at that moment. Over 2400 songs and one that is probably more appropriate during, oh I don’t know, mating or a ‘marital conference,’ comes on. With lyrics like 'you're my Motown lover' it's just asking for trouble. Seriously, why couldn’t ‘Convoy,’ Sinatra’s version of ‘Mrs. Robinson’ or Sammy Davis Jr’s rendition of ‘Shaft’ have come on? I mean Sammy’s ‘Shaft’ is one mean mutha----shut your mouth!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is It Hot Enough For Ya?

I honestly hate when people ask me that, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to draw attention to my inaugural (doesn’t that make it sound all official and prestigious) Window of the Week, or Wednesday Window of the Week. It comes from a long time visitor here, ChefMom. If I remember correctly, this was taken in Florida and it has caused me to play Jimmy Buffett since putting it up on my cube’s walls. Seriously, look at that ode to a tropical/nautical/palm treed oasis and then try listening to The Carpenters, Bee Gees or even Barry Manilow. It just doesn’t work. In fact, it’s like putting chocolate syrup on your perfectly grilled t-bone. I can tell you though that the window idea is proving popular with my coworkers. They all stopped in to look at my window and smiled when I told them why a random picture is hanging in my office. They seem to think it’s a very good idea and are most likely smiling at me to mask their jealousy that they don’t have a window and that they didn’t think of it before I did. Of course, as soon as they walk out they all congregate near the fax machine and laugh. They may be mocking me, but they don’t have windows like I do. Those fools! They’ll be asking me for my windows soon. They’ll come begging. You’ll see.

Now, as for the heat statement. On the unofficial, non-workplace endorsed list of 2008 holidays (Hi Kat), Wednesday is ‘Is It Hot Enough For Ya Day.’ I guess it happens every July 23rd. The ironic part about it this year is that in my part of So Cal, it has been unusually cool. I guess cool isn’t the correct word, but I will say that I woke up in the middle of the night Monday and had to turn off the fans because I was so cold, but then I am on blood thinners and react to cooler weather the same way a medication-laden octogenarian does. We’ll just say a paper cut causes me to bleed like an artery was severed. There have also been clouds and a cool breeze. Basically, not quite the weather that would make me say ‘is it hot enough for ya?’ I have said, ‘wow, what nice weather we’re having,’ recently though. Gheesh, can I possibly get any more boring here? Don’t answer that.

After typing those last few sentences, I feel like I should be ending my weather related phrases with ‘sonny.’ I’ve always felt that talking about the weather was something you start doing when a) you have nothing else to talk about, b) you are retired or c) you have reached the age where you get grumpy if you are not eating dinner at the local diner by 4PM. Whenever we used to decide to go out to eat, we’d try to get there early to beat the crowd, thus leaving our friends to ridicule us for being old. So what if we prefer shuffleboard to volleyball. Though it is interesting to sit in a restaurant with two five year olds while everyone else around us is gumming their food or requesting that their pot roast be strained and mashed to the consistency of baby food. I’M KIDDING!! Hold back on the hate e-mail, I’m just kidding.

It does strike me as odd that summer, the hottest time of the year, is considered BBQ weather. That might hold true for the guests at the BBQ, but certainly does not for the person assigned the grilling duties. Think about it: it’s 100 degrees out and you are sweating over a 375+ degree fire in the grill. I’m not good at math, but doesn’t that create a combined ambient temperature of 475 degrees? Right? I used the word ambient to give my equation more validity; that’s not normally how I speak. And then comes winter when it’s freezing outside and you can warm yourself over the same hot grill, but everyone else is huddled warmly inside or didn’t even bother to come over because no moron invites people to a Hawaiian themed BBQ in the dead cold frozen abyss of winter. And trust me because I may or may not be speaking from experience, depending on what that would do to your opinion of me.

So in conclusion, to celebrate Wednesday’s holiday, I sincerely ask you ‘is it hot enough for ya…sonny Jim?’

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Sport For Kings…And Rooks…And Bishops…And, Boxers?

I recently read (in more than one place, which means it’s really important) about a new sport. Or possibly it’s a sport that’s been around for a while but no one knows about it. I know I certainly didn’t. Are you ready? It’s called Chess Boxing. When I first heard about it, I just assumed that boxers dressed up like certain chess pieces and could only move around the boxing ring in the manner that was allowed for the particular chess piece they were portraying, but then some have accused me of having an overactive imagination.

It turns out that chess boxing is exactly what it says. It’s a round of boxing followed by a round of chess. That’s right, the competitors physically box and then beat the rook to pawn 4 out of each other and then sit down to play another round of chess, then take a quick break and start boxing again. While it seems like the perfect Hanz N Franz SNL skit (‘don’t be such a girly pawn’), it’s a real deal sporting event. You could say it’s pugilistic pawning. Or not. Actually, don’t say it; people might look at you funny.

When you stop to think about it, it’s the perfect sport for the intellectual who wants to flex a little muscle. Kind of a Clark Kent sport. However, since I suck the big straw of suckyness at both of those events, the sport is not for me. I just wonder as the boxing rounds add up how well the punch-drunk boxers are able to execute their chess moves. Even though I am not good at it, I have played chess before and I have to say that it’s not really the type of game that makes me want to sock it to someone. And having just quoted Laugh-In, I am now going to find a hole and crawl inside it for a few months. It’ll give me time to ponder all the other great sporting combinations that have yet to be exploited invented.

Now if the game played in between rounds of boxing was Monopoly, then I could get into the hitting mood. Have you ever played Monopoly with that really annoying person (and no, it’s not me) who gloats every time you land on their property that has a hotel? Yes friends, that’s the type of person I’d like to go a few rounds with. Or how about Yahtzee? You know what I mean; you get to the point where you have to start scratching off score combinations you know you won’t be able to roll while your opponent is rolling everything they need. Again, that’s when it’s time to lace up the leather. I don’t know if ‘lacing up the leather’ is really the cool way to say ‘put on your boxing gloves,’ but I’m hoping for a few coolness points, especially after quoting Laugh-In. And I like using ‘quotation marks’ as ‘often as I can.’ ‘You know what I mean?’ Ok, it’s out of my system.

By the way, that reminds me to share a little nugget of daily wisdom with you. Try to avoid singing the ‘sock it to me’ part of Aretha’s ‘Respect’ when around children, no matter how fun it is singing that part. I did so while driving with Lucy and Ethel and it literally took me 30 of the 45 minutes of our drive time to explain what that phrase meant. Although I have to admit that it was fun getting little children to sing ‘sock it to me’ over and over again. I swear if you give kids enough candy, you can get them to say anything.

Chess Boxing reminds me of writing a post a few years ago about Eel tossing competitions in Britain. I also know there is a cell phone tossing competition and an official Rocks, Paper Scissors league. As the world prepares for the XVBR^%$#@ Olympiad (I couldn’t remember the real number and probably over did it there, sorry) in Beijing, maybe it’s time an alternate Olympics is held with all of the sports that are too odd to be included in the traditional Olympics, like pole vaulting. Since Curling (one of my favorite sports to watch) is already in the Winter Olympics, we could add Bocce Ball to the Alternative Summer Olympics. I don’t want to brag, but I could really throw it down in my younger days. Or should I say ‘I could Bocce like a mutha?’ The fact that my friends and I spent so many weekends in college and high school playing Bocce Ball, as opposed to say, I don’t know, dating, is entirely beside the point here. I would relish representing my country in the Alternative Olympics as a Bocceist, especially marching into the main stadium in some ‘alternative’ city like Needles, California while some ‘alternative’ performer like Weird Al or Englebert Humperdink sings our national anthem.

Ok, clearly I have gotten ‘carried away’ here and should have cut this short paragraphs ago. I need to remember that I do not get ‘paid per word.’ Now I wish I’d come up with an ‘alternative’ post for today. ‘Bocce Ball rules!!!’

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Q & A Monday

It’s almost Monday again and what better way to get back into the swing of the workweek, by which I mean forgetting the great summer weekend I am leaving behind and strapping myself into my office chair for another unpredictable ride of phone calls to return, coworkers to annoy and deadlines to meet, than answering questions and pretending I have wisdom beyond my years or between my ears.

Since I have been tested and discovered as having neither, I will give you my usual disclaimers. The answers I offer are neither researched or fact checked. Therefore, you’d be best not to repeat them to anyone or to attempt using them as answers in Trivial Pursuit or in a court of law. Also, I usually tend to ACCIDENTALLY leave out someone’s question every week, but please cut me some slack because I did say it was accidental. So, with that out of the way, on to the first question for the week.

The first question is from Eva who asks: ‘How is your new patio cover working out?’
Well, it’s working out up to 5 days a week now and I can really see how much more toned its 4 support columns are getting. Though I am hoping it starts paying the abs some attention.

Next up is a fellow cubicle dweller, Employee No. 3699. She asked ‘Deep Dish or Thin Crust? Chocolate or Vanilla? I Dream of Jeanie or Bewitched?’
Probably deep dish. I like the crust flaky, though truth be told, I usually don’t eat the crust. The less crust I eat=the more pizza slices I can consume. Does this actually make more sense? No, but it reduces my guilt and I am fine with that. Vanilla over chocolate or any flavor, unless that flavor is coconut or artificial grape, better known as flavor color GP584. And I’d take Bewitched over Jeannie. On what other show can you have two different men with dirty names playing the husband and supposedly no one else notices, not even the snoopy neighbor that spends most of her retirement looking through the windows. You’d think at least she would’ve noticed the hubby switch.

She also submitted these gems: ‘Would you rather your toenails grew at a rate of 1" per without cheese? Would you rather have a window in your cubicle or work 15 minutes less per day? Would you rather title your book "I'm An Idiot And No One Contests That Fact" or "How To Survive Global Warming And A Nuclear Holocaust (By Buying This Book)?"...nothing like throwing your question right back at ya!!’
Obviously I cannot live without cheese any more than I can do without my spleen, gall bladder or appendix, and since Howard Hughes got all freaky and paranoid and lived the last several years of his life without trimming his toenails or fingernails, I’m pretty comfortable choosing continuing my love affair with cheese while my cuticles grow to alarming proportions. You didn’t think you were going to learn anything here today, did you? I would rather have the windows. Yes, 15 minutes a day less would be nice, but since I normally get in 30 mins after everyone else, it wouldn’t be fair of me to take off 15 minutes before everybody. And besides, I really, really want a window and already try to leave 15 minutes before the rest of the staff. That full 8 hours is a real bee-otch. As for the book title, I really preferred the 2nd one, but everyone else seemed to favor the title where I admit I’m an idiot. You know, if I spent a little more time thinking about that fact, I might be hurt and offended.

The next volley of Qs comes from my Best Bud’s Wife. She asked: ‘Why would anyone eat haggis? Where do they get the meat for mince meat pies? Won't you be my neighbor? Have you ever done anything evil....I mean eeevil. Like, the froo-its of the devill...eeevil? Who's Ralph?’
I will go ahead and answer these questions here, even though I should have just answered them in person when I saw you Saturday night. But since your homemade tortilla chips were so amazing and I basically consumed the bowl in its entirety and by myself, I will answer them here. I am not sure why anyone would eat haggis. It might be because it’s a form of torture that someone was enduring or they may be inebriated past the stage where they soil themselves and are aware of what they were eating. I saw it being prepared on ‘Bizarre Foods’ once and it frightened me. Although, if I was allowed to grill it, I might be willing to try. Grilling makes everything better, except for celery.

Also, it’s funny that you ask about the mince meat pies because before heading to your house Saturday, I watched a pie competition on The Food Network and one of the guys made mince meat pie. Apparently it has fruits and stuff and pork lard, which I assume gives it the meaty flavor from which its name is derived. And no, I do not know why I am pulling out all the big boy words today. My grandfather likes mince meat pies. One day I will ask him why. Perhaps it gives your taste buds the same sensations and .pork chops and applesauce.’ After all, it is pork and spiced fruits. Now I want to go watch the Brady Bunch. As soon as my aunt wants to sell us her house across the street from you, I would love to be your neighbor. But, I’m really trying to get away from shoes that lace up and I don’t like wearing sweaters. I actually have never done anything as evil as the fru-its of the dev-ill. I’m too boring. I am not sure who Ralph is. There is a valued frequent commenter here named Ralph, but I don’t think that’s the Ralph you are referring to. I have also heard ‘Ralph’ substituted as the pronunciation of a comic-book burp. Perhaps Ralph is the guy that caused me to miss the holidays in that scary, scary dream I told you about…

The last question this week comes from Aislinge who asked: ‘If I fire people, does that make me a heartless, unfeeling wretch or just good at a bad part of the job?
Well, I am very uncomfortable calling people names, so I can’t tell you that firing people makes you a heartless, unfeeling wretch. Let’s go with you are good at a bad part of your job, which is to be commended. See, I am bad at the good part of my job, which causes me lots of issues. However to balance that out and in my defense, I am very, very good at the part of my job that requires me to take breaks, lunches and leave at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure this makes you a much better worked than I am.

Ok, those are all of the questions to be answered today. Thank you for submitting questions and we’ll do it again next Monday. Also, thanks to everyone who sent me window pictures. I’m putting the first one up on my cube in the next few days and will unveil it on Window Wednesday. Now, if I could just think up blog names for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Stuff And Such Friday

* How do you not laugh when your children are given stuffed toy monkeys and ask you the follow morning when you wake up if you will ‘play with their monkey?’ Come on, it’s not just me, right?

* Why is it that driving on company time is such a pleasant experience? I’ve also noticed I drive much slower when I am driving on company time and am returning to the office afterwards.

* It’s time to watch what you say when your daughter gets into the pool and yells, “It’s so freakin’ cold!” Bonus points for her using it correctly and nailing the enunciation though.

* There isn’t much you can say to your boss in defense of him finding you taking a picture of your cubicle wall in the middle of the day. And I HIGHLY recommend against telling him that it’s part of a project for your blog.

* Does anyone else ever hear songs they recognize when the fax machine is auto-dialing? Moreover, does anyone else ever find themselves humming or singing the song they thought they heard while the fax machine was auto-dialing?

* I wish Facebook would make Flair for my office. Then maybe I wouldn’t be so desperate for windows. I would however become far less productive. Well, far less productive than my current level, which is sort of like comparing a negative number to another negative number.

* Ms. I Want To Go To Mime School came into my office the other day and declared that her ‘stress ball’ was missing. She turned right around and left when I started giggling like a 12-year-old schoolgirl. I think it was her use of the word ‘ball’ or her saying, ‘I checked my drawers’ that got to me. I’ve been waiting for HR to call ever since.

* Not that I am going to self-publish my writings into a book, but if I did, what would be the better title: ‘I’m An Idiot And No One Contests That Fact (Which Makes Me Feel Like Even More Of One)’ or ‘How To Survive Global Warming And A Nuclear Holocaust (By Buying This Book)’?

***This is the part where I wish you all a great weekend AND beg plead remind you to send in your questions for Q&A Monday. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oops, I Meant To Go The Other Way

Thursday the 17th, aside from being my mother’s birthday and the anniversary of the day Disneyland opened in 1955, is Wrong Way Corrigan Day. I wasn’t really sure what that was about, so I took to the fastidious research that got me through college with all ‘C’ grades. Actually, I got mostly A’s in college, but it kinda cramps my ‘I’m An Idiot and No One Argues That Fact’ style. If I walked around telling everyone I was an ‘A’ student in college, they might expect more of me and that goes against years of trying to lower everyone’s expectations of me so that I have more time for important things like napping and teaching my retriever Mabel to actually go retrieve something.

I read the name Corrigan and it makes me think of corrugated, which really has no impact upon this story at all, but I wanted to get it off my chest. I really do feel a lighter load now. My fastidious research, also known as ‘googling’ and ‘wikipediaing,’ gave me a great explanation of Douglas Corrigan and a little ‘accidental’ trip he took long ago in the days before TiVo, cell phones, GPS receivers and deep fried twinkies. In the late ‘30s, Corrigan flew from Southern California to New York and then was trying to fly back to So Cal. The only thing is that he ended up landing in Ireland instead. He blamed weather and fog and stuff for getting him all turned around. And that’s a little fact not to be overlooked here. I can guarantee you that the next time I go the wrong way and am getting grief about it that I will be blaming weather and stuff. Heck, I might use that excuse just to come in to work late some day. ‘I swear, I swear, the smog got me all turned around and I took the wrong freeway and didn’t realize it until I had reached Needles. Aren’t you impressed though that I persevered through all of that and still showed up to do my job and set a good example for the rest of my coworkers?’

Other than commemorating the day of his landing in Ireland, I am not sure what we are actually supposed to do on Wrong Way Corrigan Day. My first temptation is to go drive backwards down a street close to home honking and yelling something like ‘Long Live Doug Corrigan – the man who made backasswards cool!’ However, there are legal ramifications to this, not to mention safety concerns and insurance rates to think about it. Then there’s the fact that I don’t know Douglas Corrigan well enough to call him Doug, possibly because he died before I was born. Plus, if I yelled anything like that anywhere near my home, my family would change the locks. My poor family is already looked down upon by our neighbors because of my propensity to crank up the Barry Manilow while grilling on the patio or laying in my hammock, so they really don’t need the further shame that my little backwards Corrigan parade would cause.

Fortunately we have portable GPS devices these days to prevent backwarding. Well, assuming one actually follows the GPS device’s directions. Thinking that I was born with a reliable sense of inner-navigation and bearings, I tend to doubt the leadership that my GPS device seems so willing to give me. Its female voice is so pleasant and reassuring and confident that you just get the feeling it knows exactly where it is at any time and how to safely and quickly get you where you want to go. The only problem is that sometimes the direction my device wants to send me just doesn’t ‘feel’ right. No, I am not a Jedi, but I do tend to trust my feelings. It’s not really a ‘force’ as much as a notion that I need to go in the opposite direction I am being told to go. I am slowly overcoming this. Perhaps I would have built my trust and reliance in my GLAD (Getting Lost Avoidance Device) a little quicker if it had been programmed to call me a ‘dumb ass’ or ‘chemical byproduct of cow feces’ whenever I didn’t listen to the device’s directions.

So, despite the fact that I have just shared 4 paragraphs of completely useless information, enjoy your Wrong Way Corrigan Day. I trust you will celebrate it however, you see fit. But I’ve got dibs on the yelling and honking!

And while I’m giving you the Questionable Holiday 411 (to sound like the cool kids – did it work?), Friday is Wiener Day. Wiener Day commemorates the day the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile was unveiled. Does anyone younger than 80 still call hot dogs wieners? I mean there’s Wienershnitzel, but that’s a definition for a breaded veal cutlet (did that impress you? The internet rules!). Can you tell that I am continuing this post just so that I can type wiener? Wieners, wieners, wieners. There, it’s outta my system. WIENERS! Oops, I guess it’s not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Will Be About Wine. Or Maybe Whine. Possibly Both?

First off, thank you to those who sent or are going to send me photos of windows for my office cubicle. After posting yesterday, I was afraid I might have New Coked it; by delivering what I thought was a good idea that turned out to be something that no one else thought was a good idea. So far, it looks like we are more down the road of Angus beef burgers or stuffed crust pizza, with regards to general acceptance and all. Holy crap do I need to stop relating my ideas to food or this post will never get completed! Any way, thank you for being so willing to brighten up my little cube.

Now, onto the whine wine. Everything about wine makes it something I should enjoy immensely. There are many, many kinds, makes and brands. People can sit around and discuss it. You make going to see where it is made a destination. And perhaps most importantly, it comes in many different packages and with a ton of different labels. I like packaging. Just ask my wife when I buy a new kitchen gadget at Target. No matter how heavy it is, I walk around with the box in my arms struggling to walk and read all of the packaging hyperbole that got me to buy said gadget in the first place. I might fit the mold or profile of someone who connoisseurs wine, assuming you can connoisseur it. I know you can consume it (well I can’t – but more about that in the sentences to come), but can you connoisseur it or just be a connoisseur of it? These are the questions that keep me up at night. Well, that and planning whether I want a real wood or faux wood dock in the front yard for that time in the not too distant future when my home in Corona becomes beach front property. And whether you can serve boiled lobster at a clam bake. It’s not called a lobster bake, and since it specifies clam, I’d hate to let anybody down. I can already tell there is going to be lots of responsibility as a beachfront homeowner.

Thanks to the unusually high variety of PRESCRIPTION (I’d hate to start nasty rumors) drugs, I cannot consume, or alas even connoisseur, alcohol. Heck, I never even developed a taste for it. In fact, when I smell alcohol when out with friends and family, I instinctively begin clenching my left fist in anticipation of having blood drawn for yet another test as if rubbing alcohol had already been swabbed over my arm. Also, did my use of the word ‘swab’ just then make anyone else think of pirates? Arrrrr right, back to the subject at hand, sorry. Smelling alcohol and thinking of having a needle plunged into my flesh is quite the pleasure killer. To help you understand, although I tried to be pretty crystal clear there, I will offer up a few other examples. In a twisted way, I guess it would be like smelling manure and associating it with beef or smelling cut cheese and associating it with cheesy goodness. And I’m talking about real cheese that has been cut at a cheese factory. It smells nasty, man. But then again, so does the other type of cut cheese. I’m going to stop now.

It bothers me that I’m not a wino. Wait, it bothers me that I’m not into wine or I am not a wineologist or winist. Or is it vineyardarian? The relatives I just visited in Oregon live in the middle of a vineyard and there are wineries all over. I’ve always thought it would be the coolest thing to own a winery with some clever name (which I would offer up right now if only I hadn’t sat in front of my computer for the last 20 minutes trying to think of one and only coming up with The squeezed grape or Virgin Wineries – in an ode to my lack of drinking sophistication) and equally clever label, but a non-wine drinking winery owner seems kinda dumb. Although, it does have a great PR angle. Owning a winery just seems fun. The oak barrels, the aging process, the tasting and selling and tours, and do I really need to mention getting to act like Lucy Ricardo while stomping all those grapes into juice. And it hitches up the sophistication level a few notches, which is a good thing because I could most certainly use a good sophistication up-notch hitching. I think. Truth be told, I just confused myself quite badly.

Do you ever feel like you are missing out on something? Like when you get to work and all of your coworkers see you, stop laughing and mysteriously, but quite obviously, disband? Like Michael Scott says: ‘I like inside jokes. I hope to be part of one someday.’ That’s what the whole wine fun seems like to me. We have friends who are into wine and take weekends to visit wineries and have a wine fridge in their kitchen and give away wine as gifts. It all seems like such a blast and real grown-upy. I’ve tried alternates like Root Beers. Have you ever noticed how many root beers there are? I used to collect Root Beer bottles for the labels. Then I realized how much I could make by recycling those bottles and my collection kinda, well, liquefied. I’ve certainly tried it with cheeses. Just one problem though, there seems to be a shocking shortage of cheese factories to visit. Well, at least legal ones. On our trip to Oregon, I checked the option of our GLAD (getting lost avoidance device) GPS unit to display the little bottle logo for all the wineries in the area. Surprisingly, there was no such logo indicating cheese or root beer factories.

It’s not that I’m whining or pulling out a bottle of hater-aide for wine connoisseurs. In fact, I envy you and look to live vicariously through you. Vicarious through vino, you might say. Or since you aren’t a member of the species Dorkus Humanicus like me, you might not say that. Actually, I’d bet on it. So, I hoist my diet A&W Cream Soda in your wine loving honor. The next time you spend a weekend wine tasting; just bring me back a t-shirt. Or a really cool label…

***Here’s my little reminder to send me your unanswerable questions and window pictures. I made the font green to soothe your eyes. As a token of your appreciation, you can just send me questions and window shots.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Make A Better Pin Cushion Than A Window

If I talked to my cubicle’s walls, that is exactly what I would say. They are made of pincushiony material that you can easily pin a photo to, but they aren’t very transparent, though if they were, I’d just see out into a hallway and then would probably want my walls back. Bottom line: I ain’t got no windows. Well, that’s not actually the bottom line, that’s my complaint. The bottom line is that I want windows, or just one window. Una window, onlyamente singularo windowrino. Yes, I did major in Spanish, why do you ask? Heck, even a porthole would do. Really, anything larger than a peephole would be quite satisfactory.

It came up while conversing with Eva the other day that her office has windows and I know of other bloggers who have windows. I’m not normally envious, but knowing that some of you have windows really causes me a lot of pane. Get it, window pane instead of pain? Yes, I’m using lame humor to mask my sadness. They say it's the worst and final stage of window grief. Would I be a better worker if I had windows? Would I be a more productive worker if I had windows? Would I be a more gruntled worker instead of such a disgruntled worker? Actually, the answer to all of those is probably still no; especially since I am easily distracted and just watching a leaf blow by is enough to stop me from my current task, but all the dramatic questions sounded good.

As I examined the current confines of my workspace and the building in which it is caged housed, one thing became painfully obvious. I will never have a window while working there. I once put up a stick of bamboo near my cube’s doorway to fill my work area with the intoxicating ideals of the tropics, but someone mistook it for trash and threw it away. I then brought in some flamingo party beads that I found on clearance at Christmastime at Kohl’s, but that only invited my coworkers’ taunts, so I took them down. And speaking of Christmastime (because I haven’t knocked out a good segue in a while), I’ve got that covered. Seriously, do you know how many little tabletop artificial trees $10 bucks will buy you at the local dollar store? Ironically, it buys 10. When they are put atop all the filing cabinets lining the outside walls of our cubicles, it creates a wonderfully foresty atmosphere. So much so that you almost forget you don’t have a window. For some reason though, our company forbids holiday decorating until after Thanksgiving and mandates that we undecorate or de-decorate or possibly dis-decorate as soon as we get back from the Christmas holiday, so we really only have about 4 weeks to not miss our windows.

I have finally come up with a solution to my window crisis though and the good news is that you, yes you, can help. I am asking you to photograph your office window or home window or neighbor’s window or airplane window or boat window or hotel window or cabana on Maui window or car window and email it to me. Basically, if you can see out of it, I want to see it. What am I going to do with that photo? I am going to post it on the cubicle wall seen up there to the left of this post (which is my cubicle wall, by the way. With the exception of Lucy and Ethel's drawings, can't you see how sad and depressing it is, all monochromatic and with no flair - whoa, way too much HGTV coming through there, sorry) and change them out each week. Yep, I am going to have a revolving window of the week.

What will you get out of it? Well, not money, so you can tune out now if you want and I will understand. But, I WILL take a picture of your picture of a window on my cubicle wall and feature it prominently on my blog. It’s like an almost endless circle of pictures of windows. It’ll blow your mind, man. And unlike most gimmicks stunts ingeniously thought out ideas I’ve tried, I’d like to continue this one far beyond my normal customary week or so. Seriously folks, I want a window or scenery to put up every week that I can look out of and pretend (in my own special little way) that my office has a fancy window.

If you are so inclined, please send me your best window shot and I will pick my first window of the week for my cubicle on Monday. You will bring joy to my work life and I will accidentally contribute to killing a tree when I print it. Hmmm, that last one isn’t really a big benefit to anyone. We’ll just focus on bringing joy to my work life and who knows; maybe we’ll have lovely conversations about the things that can be seen out of your window. Oops, I mean OUR window. That’s the part where the whole cast would laugh right before the credits roll. If there was cast. Or the joke was funny…

Many thanks in advance!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Q & A Monday – The Return. Or The Revenge. You Decide.

Well, I opened up another Q & A Monday. You were nice enough to do the ‘Q’ part and now I shall do the ‘A’ part. Just a few things to remember prior to starting though. My answers cannot be quoted for use within a public forum or to try and impress someone with your (which is actually my) knowledge. Seriously, I’m not that smart and quoting me will only get you in trouble, most likely because I have already quoted someone else and as many teacher told me in school ‘you cannot quote the work of others and present it as your own.’ I think doing so is called plaque or something like that.

The second thing I need to tell you is that if history is any indicator, I will more than likely forget to answer someone’s question. If I do that, just kindly remind me and I’ll get to it within a few months or so. Also, I don’t spell check or fact check my answers, which means unless it has something to do with Barry Manilow, SNL or cheese, it probably won’t be accurate. So, with that out of that way, here’s the first question…

And first up we have my real life best bud’s wife. I realize that’s quite a title, but my best bud means a lot to me, so I don’t mine typing it. Her questions were or are or possibly is:
‘AM or FM? Paper or Plastic? Coke or Pepsi? Boxers or Briefs? And the most important of all - Mozzarella or Cheddar?’
Ok, FM, although I have found a nice oldies country station at 1350 on my AM dial. Paper – because we all should do our part to be green, even though paper bags are brown. As far as Coke or Pepsi, I say whatever one they happen to be serving. I’m not particular, unless it’s Coke Zero. I do like Coke Zero and you can add almost any flavor extract to it to make it even better. Pepsi has Pepsi One, but seriously, why do I want that extra calorie when I can get a Coke Zero that has none. I bet someone at PepsiCo is taking a lot of heat for that one. Boxer-briefs (I figure if I answer this one quickly nobody will pay attention) and definitely Cheddar. In fact, I am currently enjoying a lovely block of 1 year aged premium sharp white Tillamook cheddar. It is magically delicious!

Next up is actually Best Bud’s Wife’s Sister – AmyMax who asked:
stick or automatic? Oh yeah, you said you raised your PLAMS in the air. What in the world are plams? : ) (can't wait to hear that one)’
Automatic. It’s much easier and you don’t have to use your left foot for that pesky clutch, although my left foot does fall asleep more now which can have dangerous repercussions as I furiously bang my left foot up and down on the floor board while driving. My first two cars were sticks and they were more fun to drive, but required more work. When I find myself missing driving a stick, I just grab the Coke bottle (or Pepsi to stay consistent with the answer to the Coke/Pepsi question) in the cup holder of my truck’s center console and pretend it is a stick shift. Try it. It really makes driving more fun. As for plams, it actually was a typo on my part, but I looked it up and it is an ancient fruit from Mesopotamia. No it isn’t. I made that up.

The Exception submitted a question this week that despite my better judgment, I am going to answer truthfully. She asked: Do you know all the words to any ABBA songs? Which do you sing and dance to most frequently?

Well, here goes. I know all of the chorus to ‘Dancing Queen’ and believe that the only way to dance to it is to swing your arms out in the air and spin as you look to the sky. I mean, not that I do that, I just think that type of moves compliments the song. I also know some of ‘Fernando,’ but that’s because it makes me think of former Dodgers great Fernando Valenzuela.

Despite that fact that here number is so high, Employee No. 3699 is up next. Obviously, I didn’t choose to answer these questions in numerical order. This is partly because I cannot count to 3699. Here questions are: 1. Since I'm still fairly new coming here, what is it you do at work in between singing loudly and doing 'The Hustle'? 2. Can you describe yourself in one word?3 . And most importantly, what is your favorite cheese? 4. What will the winning lottery numbers be next week in Illinois?
In between singing and hustling, I am tasked AND charged (so you know how important that is) with selecting VP candidates for both parties. It’s a very tough job and the answer is yes, I do find the term Veepstakes very demeaning to what I do. The one word to describe myself is probably ‘lost,’ though I might need to change it to ‘wrong’ or ‘guilt-ridden-liar’ (I hyphenated it to make it appear as one single word) because I’m starting to feel pretty bad about making up the VP candidate job. In between singing and doing the hustle at work, I am usually found playing with my yo-yo or loading up a PEZ dispenser. And to answer her last question – the type of cheese that happens to be nearest me at any given moment is my favorite. The winning lottery numbers are going to be 5, 9, 0, 7, 4 and the bonus number of ‘G.’ Wait, that doesn’t seem quite right…

Mel Heth stopped by to ask: ‘If you could only have one cheese for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?'
Wow, that’s like the third question about cheese. Do I really mention the lovable dairy product that much. Yes, I’m kidding. I’ve still got water in my ears from the pool and its constant sloshing made me think that would be funny. If I could only have one, it would definitely be a basic medium cheddar. It compliments everything, except for celery. I hate celery.

Amy’s question was a good one. She asked: Are your daughter's names really Lucy and Ethel? Or are those names to protect them?
No, that was how I referred to them after bringing them home from the hospital and it kinda stuck. It really is appropriate because they seem to have that same gal-pal relationship. Their actual names (and this is the first time I’ve ever used them on this blog) are Laverne and Shirley. Nah, making that up again. It’s Mary and Rhoda. Sorry, I just can’t stop. It’s habitual with me.

Natalie asked a particularly poignant question about parenting and since my daughters are far more mature than I am, don’t quote me on this answer. Natalie asked: Why do people with kids get all up in arms about video games that are in no way shape or form for kids? Isn't it their responsibility not to let their kids have them?’
It is their responsibility, but I’m a little outta place answering this one because we only let the twins use the Wii. The only thing that gets me up in arms about that is when they beat me, which is on a fairly regular basis. And they still have yet to step foot in a real bowling alley. It smarts I tell ya! It is a little scary though that video games these days have to have ratings comparable to movie ratings.

Ok folks, those are all of my answers for the week, except for the one or two questions I am sure I missed. I hope it helps start your work week off right. You know what I find really helps get the work week going? Sleeping in, though not every employer thinks it's as good an idea as I do. Feel free to submit your burning questions for next Monday, though here’s a word of advice: if your questions are burning, you might want to see a doctor and seek treatment instead of waiting until next Monday…

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Holidays Are Upon Us

Well, not THOSE holidays, although there is a little of THAT holiday fun coming this weekend, but more about THAT later (wait, I didn’t need to capitalize that use of that, sorry). With the end of the week upon us, there are a few things I need to make sure you are all aware of this coming weekend. I’d hate for you to find out about them after the fact, because who likes celebrating belated holidays. More than once (perhaps 6 times, though I am just throwing out the first number that came to mind) I have been chastised for not sharing pertinent holiday happenings with you in enough advance time to be able to celebrate. Tonight, that practice ends. So, I am putting on my town crier Paul Revere hat and riding throughout the countryside to announce the advance of some pretty important, possibly illegitimate, but still fun to celebrate, holidays (and this is where I say ‘Hi Kat.’).

First up is Friday’s big holiday. You may have heard a little something about this one and I have to thank a high school friend who I reconnected with through the great new time killer, Facebook (no, I don’t do that at work. I’m a good, model employee…and it’s blocked). She advised me (advised me? Am I filling out a police report or something?). She let me know that Friday is free Slurpee Day at 7-11. This one is legit folks. I checked it out online and if someone feels strongly enough to put it on the internet, then we know it has to be true! In honor of 7/11’s birthday, on 7/11, they are giving away free 7.11 ounce Slurpees in special birthday cups. Did anyone other than me notice the symmetry and smooth connection of all the 7/11s there? It was kind of subtle. At least they went with free Slurpees instead of charging $7.11 cents, though a promotion like that would probably be doomed for failure when I spend a little more time thinking about it.

I love me the Slurpee. Yes, my high school English teacher would hate that last sentence, but then she had it out for me because I turned all of my writing assignments in with all the words capitalized and I wrote really small and she was really old, but none of that is relevant to the artic joy that is the Slurpee. Its icy, syrupy goodness cannot be denied. To me, it’s almost like cheese, albeit in a frozen, somewhat slushified state. And it’s not a dairy product, but other than that, it is just like cheese to me. Holy crap, could you imagine a cheddar Slurpee? I honestly think I just shrieked a little while writing that. Before the goosebumps or other embarrassing things start to happen, I’ll just say head to 7/11, on 7/11…

I get to take the twins to a bounce-house birthday party on Saturday and Sunday is actually the rare dual-holiday. While these present celebratory time challenges as we try to incorporate two different holidays into the same 24 hour period (or 12 in my sleepy case), I suggest that you spend the morning-early afternoon celebrating one and then the remainder of the day-evening celebrating the 2nd. Somehow in my mind that suggestion sounded much more clever, unique (or clunique) and out-of-the-box than it came out. I’ll have to work on that.

Sunday is both Embrace Your Geekness Day AND Gruntled Workers Day. I know, I know, isn’t it so exciting? I am all ready to embrace my inner geek, perhaps because my outer geek is so prominent. Much more prominent than my ears or my nose for example. I’m thinking The Science Channel was well aware of this holiday as they are broadcasting their Space Week all this week. I’ve been watching or taping every show they have been broadcasting. It’s almost as exciting as Shark Week, without the blood or water or torn flesh or shark cages, though some of the suits the divers wear could be compared to space suits. Assuming of course you were trying too hard to find a comparison between the two, which obviously I am, which is obviously a sure sign that I have run out of things to compare. I don’t want to offend anyone, but to embrace my geek, I plan on spending the first part of Sunday celebrating by watching Star Trek reruns, going to a comic book store and maybe even challenging someone to a lightsaber fight. I wonder if they still sell Dungeons and Dragons kits anywhere?

As far as celebrating Gruntled Workers Day, I have NO clue. It’s obviously the opposite of disgruntled, but that doesn’t really help me any. I looked it up on an online dictionary and it only said something about putting humor into something, so I guess it has to do with trying to be happy where you work. I have to admit the irony of the holiday’s timing as it is on Sunday. I have never, ever met a disgruntled office worker on a Sunday. Do you want to know why that is? Yep, because it’s a Sunday and they are not in the office. So, I will happily be a gruntled worker on Sunday but will go right back to a state of disgruntledness on Monday. I guess I could approach Monday as a sort of Boxing Day for Gruntled Workers Day, but that’s either too confusing or makes no sense. Perhaps both.

Right about now, you are probably thinking that this coming weekend couldn’t get any rosier or perhaps turnipier or maybe even daffodillier. You’re right! Unless you are just saying that to mock me. If that’s the case, shame on you. Mocking hurts. Well, not really. It’s actually pretty fun. It’s BEING mocked that hurts…Any way, this weekend is the Hallmark Christmas Ornament Preview/Premier weekend at Hallmark stores everywhere. Yeah, I admitted to it. I get excited about it. Seriously, who can resist the plethora of resin ornaments of our favorite pop culture icons that really have nothing to do with Christmas? OK, I realize that might sound a wee bit moc-like, but I do look forward to seeing all the new ornaments I will be paying way too much money for before Christmas knowing full well that I can buy them 50% off after the holidays. Again, not mocking.

And lastly, I am hoping for at least one visit to Disneyland this weekend. I bought a new Disneyland t-shirt that has the same images on it as the Disneyland coffee mug I use at the office and want to get the chance to wear it proudly. Wait a minute, in that really, really did not need to be shared; let’s just chalk it up to one more way I’ll be celebrating and embracing my geekness. You know, I really need to stop writing down everything little thing that comes to mind.

** Last reminder to get me your questions for Q & A Monday. Do you have a burning question, a math problem you can’t solve? Does a friend have relationship trouble? Feel free to ask away. And have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Let’s Hear Mellencamp Sing About This Town

I decided to rework an old post today in light of the fact that I slammed a yo-yo off my head while trying yo-yo tricks at work and still have a slight headache. Fortunately everyone was on a conference call in my boss’ office at the time of the accident mishap work related injury sustainment so nobody else noticed. By the same token, no one noticed I wasn’t in on the meeting either, so I’m choosing to take that as a very good sign that it wasn’t a conference call I was supposed to be on but missed because I was working…on my yo-yo tricks. Now, if you’ll please indulge me as I revisit a very, very goofy post about what I think would be utopia…

I read recently that there was a small town listed for bid on E-Bay. Apparently it was just a few buildings but because it used to have a post office it can be considered a real deal town. That just goes to show you how much times have changed. Now days, if it has a Starbucks it can be considered a real town. How cool would it be to own a town? Very, I say. I could buy a town and join the ranks of other famous town owners like Kim Basinger and, uh...Hmmm, perhaps using the plural version of owner was a bit ambitious there.

When you buy a town, I wonder if you get to rename it. I hope so. I’d hate to spend that type of money and be stuck with someone else’s town name, unless it gets me a discount. Discounts are very powerful tools; just ask Wal-Mart on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I think I’d call it something that would be easy to read on a small map and could be readily understood by everyone passing through. This is something that really deserves a lot of thought, so for now I will just assign my town the working name of Townshipvilleberry until I can devote the necessary thought to it.

I’m hoping the name will evoke images of olden, small town, middle America, back in the good ole days, with a splash of Disneyland Main Street to flavor it a little. My town would be very inviting and open to all. Where the money would come from to establish this town is beyond me, especially after paying to obtain the town in the first place. So, we’ll just assume that I have the money to both buy AND fix up the town. To help you better imagine my town, I am trying for a finished project that will be something between Mayberry and New Rochelle (bonus points to anyone who knows what show was set in New Rochelle*), although I’ve only seen both of those towns in black and white, so maybe I should shoot for Oz. That had plenty of cinemascopey color from what I remember.

That all being said, I would commission a beautiful sign at the border of my town welcoming everyone to the town. I would seek out corporate sponsorship to somehow offset the cost of the sign (and the town), so the sign may read something like: ‘Welcome To Townshipvilleberry, sponsored by Coca-Cola and presented by Procter and Gamble.’ Yeah, corporate sponsorship is always a last result, but think of what the additional funds will let me do with my town.

There would definitely need to be an old-fashioned main street in my town complete with gazebo where people could perform and public celebrations could be held. It shall be called the Bank of America Gazebo, presented by Frito-Lay. My town would also need a gas station, bowling alley, laser tag facility, mini-golf course, bounce house birthday place, movie theater, town hall, fire house, hot dog/burger dive, fondue joint and old-fashioned malt shoppe (notice the fancy ‘e’ on the end there? This is going to be one top-notch town). Oh, it would need a Bar-B-Ques galore, too. Seriously, have you ever seen a town without a Bar-B-Ques Galore? Ok, a SUCCESSFUL town without one? And a Chili’s. Every town needs a Chili’s. Maybe they can get away without that stuff over in Crapsville, but most certainly not in Townshipvilleberry.

Since I paid for the town, I believe that entitles me to mayorialship (my word, but feel free to use it). Having never held public office, I don’t know what my mayorialship would require of me, but I’m hoping it’s stuff like judging pie eating contests, beauty contests, figuring out how to spend the town’s money and lots of ‘official’ afternoon naps. And maybe a cool convertible Cadillac like Boss Hogg had. I’m also counting on an oversized pair of scissors I can carry around for official ribbon cuttings. A sash that says ‘Mayor’ would be pretty snazzy too. I’d like a top hat, but if I have to choose between them, I’ll take the sash. Unless you think the top hat would be better. I’m not too informed when it comes to fashion, except for my Dunder-Mifflin t-shirt. That one gets lots of noticement.

I suppose folks are going to want to live in my town, so a homebuilder would be necessary. And once you build homes, you need grocery stores and sprinklers and a newspaper. Then comes a police force, schools, eventually an airport, a dump, a hospital, Target, a McDonalds and then an In N Out Burger. Wow, this is going to get expensive. I think the first thing I’ll do as mayor will be to pass a law declaring that deficit spending is ok and that I will need to raise taxes. To avoid having too high a tax rate I will open corporate sponsorship up to all public facilities. The school can be sponsored by Crayola, the police station by ‘Cops on FOX’ and the airport by Jet Blue. Wait, are they still in business? For fun I could try to get Burger King to sponsor the McDonalds. And just picture a sign that reads ‘Target – Presented by Wal-Mart.’

On second thought, just thinking of all this stuff is making me tired. Perhaps I’ll just buy the town and ‘flip’ it for a profit. I watch people successfully ‘flip’ properties all the time on HGTV. And they don’t have their own Bar-B-Ques Galore. Or Chili’s.

*Disclaimer – bonus points awarded on this blog may be plentiful but are not redeemable at this time.