Friday, December 31, 2010

New Day

Separation Anxiety

Every morning when I leave for work I say goodbye to Johan. There is nothing odd about that, in itself, as many people say goodbye to their pets. I, however, do not just sing song “bye bye, Johan!” but talk as though to a person… a slightly needy, manipulative, high-maintenance, self-centered person. What’s more is that I sound like an idiot martyr.
                ME: “OK, Johan, I have to go to work. Again. Every day with this work bullshit. Have a good day”.
                JOHAN: “Wheeek! Wheek!!!! Wheek!!!!!!”
                ME: “Quit yelling at me! I gave you everything. You have hay, food, water; I even gave you a piece of pepper”.
               JOHAN: “Wheek!!!!” munch munch munch “Wheeeeeeek!”
                ME: “Why do you think I have to go? I have to go to work to make money to keep you in bell pepper and cilantro.”

In contrast, here is what happens when I leave and J is awake and I say goodbye to him.

                ME: “Bye honey, I’m going to work. Have a good day.”
               J: “OK, Kitty Cat, have a good day. I’ll get the door.”

I think the moral of this story is clear: Johan needs to learn how to speak English.

From One Job to Three

Perhaps I am being ridiculously na├»ve but I had no idea that transitioning jobs within a company could be so exhausting. All week I was trying to acclimate to my new role whilst remaining, about 80% and simultaneously training my successor. This has wiped me out to a surprising degree. I don’t know if it is because I’ve had to run about the office in order to be in two departments or because I’m mentally fatiguing myself trying to master a new job while also trying to impart wisdom and proper training regarding my previous position.

But jesus am I tired! One night I took a nap at 8 o’clock and ended up going to bed at 9:30. Granted, it was only my third day getting up before 7 in the morning and I had been to the gym, but still, it was a bit ridiculous to be so tired. I woke up the next morning at 5 and got out of bed by 6 and, while I did not feel particularly tired, knew a nap would be in order at the end of the day… and oh my god did I fucking nail it!

Other than wearing me out, work has been rather delightful. Once I finally received my filing drawers and was able to get organized and settled in for good, I was ready to get on with things. I have trouble focusing when my work-space is in chaos so being able to file and organize has been a god-send. I might be a rather shocking house keeper at home but in the office, I’m quite tidy. And, because I am such a little take charge girl, I’ve thrown myself into my new responsibilities and have been setting up new protocols and taking part in self-training so that I’ll be able to book my new boss’s travel and do his expense reports. I’m excited that I’m learning so much and I’m feeling more and more like I belong where I am.

Because the new girl, JB, just began on Monday, I am still pretty involved with the regular departmental duties. JB is learning fast and I’m confident that she will be able to take over and quickly become acclimated to the work and processes and procedures. Hopefully she will be able to get along with NWCW and they will work in harmony. Since I began training, I’ve really started to feel like a professional and an expert, because I’m able to answer questions, explain procedures, and multi-task when necessary. I’m also starting to feel like an office expert along the same lines as EA, who everyone knows is an expert on everything. It’s a good, competent, proud feeling and I’m very pleased that I don’t feel like Jo-Jo the Idiot Girl like I usually do.

Hopefully, this all bodes well for 2011. I have just under 3 hours left of 2010 and I intend to enjoy them. Happiness to you and yours.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Hanukkah

I would like to remind the mid-west that the world does not, regardless of popular belief, comprise only Christians and Jews (and scary Muslims, as the mid-west seems to view them).

I had to cover switchboard from 4PM to 5PM yesterday, the end of the last working day before a 3-day weekend and everyone was so carefree with their "Merry Christmas!" wishes. I mostly retorted with "yep!" or "uh huh!" but was sorely tempted to say "shalom" or "go fuck yourself."

I'm an atheist and, for me, Christmas becomes a time to turn me into an asshole. It isn't just that I don't want to partake whatsoever in this bullshit day, but I end up sounding like a complete and utter asshole whenever someone wishes me Happy Christmas.

"Merry Christmas, Cat!"
"Yeah, I don't celebrate."
"Oh... well... happy holidays..."

Fuck you. Next year I am going to put all sorts of notices up on my cubicle to alert the masses that I am an atheist and will wear a shirt that says "I am an atheist" to keep well wishers away. It is enough that stores close down and I have to listen to crap music and deal with bullshit television specials. I really don't think it is fair to expect me to deal with the passive aggressive reverse table turning shit as well.

So bah humbug and suck my dick. I don't believe in God, don't give a shit about your pageants with the baby Jesus, and really don't care about your once a year good will towards men. Charity is year round mother fuckers, not just one week out of the year!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some movies from the 90's to watch, ones given to me by a Jew because he's switched to BlueRay and wanted to get rid of his DVDs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random Musings

When I look through the blinds in the morning to see what the weather looks like, I always feel like a busy body checking up on the neighbors. Even if the only neighbors out and about at the time are squirrels.

While I enjoy grapefruit, I feel I must be doing something wrong when I eat it. The amount of effort I put into getting the segments out and the amount of actual grapefruit that I end up ingesting do not seem to be on par.

I've recently moved cubicles in my office. I have discovered that even if you work in the same office for three years and know most of the people in your new area, you can still feel like a brand new employee and sit awkwardly just hoping someone will stop by and say hello.

I think it would be fun to be super rich and/or best friends with a famous person but I would never want to be famous (outside of this blog, naturally.) I genuinely do not understand the desire to be on television.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Account of My Monday

My personal theme yesterday was "whiny and stupid." Here are a few of the highlights of my stupidity:

1: In an effort to get most of my crap to the car before having to bundle J out for his orthopod appointment, I trudged to the car, attempted to open the trunk with the wrong set of keys, swore, and trudged back into the apartment. It was only at this point (and after dropping my lunch), that I felt in my coat pocket where, ta da!, the appropriate keys were.

2: Upon arriving at work, after dropping J at orthopod, went to open trunk of car and, instead, opened the hood. To my credit, was driving J's car, not my own. Proceeded to get out of car and attempt to simply pat hood down before putting coffee mug down, opening hood properly, and slamming shut.

3: Remembering that the receptionist was on vacation, I quickly checked the switchboard coverage spreadsheet, noted that I had 4-5 and NWCW at 3-4. E-mailed all other administrative staff asking for someone to switch with me and take NWCW's spot since she was out of the office. The receptionist stopped by my cubicle with some packages and messages and after 3 minutes of chatting, I realized that the receptionist was in the office and thus, I did not have switchboard coverage. Looked at the spreadsheet and realized it didn't start until the 23.

There is another one but it is too much to go into if you don't work where I do so you'll just have to trust me that I was a major idiot and I whined mightily throughout. In fact, I was in so whiny a mood that I called Birdie, one of my work friends, to see if her department had any holiday treats ala baked goods since her department frequently does. No such luck but she did inform me that one of our other friends had refilled her candy bowl and that I could always check that. On my way to do so, I saw that someone else had cupcakes and, upon learning that they were a free for all, I snagged one and then called Birdie to give her the dope.

I'm not sure if this was before or after Birdie and I stood in the hallway discussing how we were fatter than we've ever been, me with my pants that are too tight and leave red belts on my stomach, Birdie with her skirts that have stretch marks when she removes them. At one point she said "wait, didn't we do this last year? Talk about how we were fatter than we'd ever been?"

Later in the day, after my second cupcake, J and I had the following conversation via text message.

ME: "Have replaced booze with cupcakes."
J: "Poor Kitty."
ME: "But I like cupcakes."
J: "I know, but earlier you said you were having a bad day."
ME: "Yeah, but do you know what helps? Cupcakes."

And that, ladies and gentleman, is an account of my Monday. Today I get to move cubicles and unpack all of my crap. It isn't a matter of simply taking things from one cubicle to another because special people have to come in to raise the desk surfaces of my new cube and lower the surfaces of the old*. To do so, there can be nothing on the surfaces or in the drawers that are attached. So I had to box up all of my crap in printer paper boxes and tub drawer things, put them on a cart, and shove the cart somewhere. The good news is that this will give me an excuse to kill time and I am somewhat phoned out lately. Another bright spot is that this will keep me away from the lady with the cupcakes.

*I have my cubicle surfaces raised whenever possible because, while 5'7 isn't terribly tall, most of my height is in my legs and with a standard cubicle, I knock my knees into the drawers and the little keyboard tray all the time. My new cubicle doesn't have any filing drawers yet so god knows what I'll do until they arrive with my three drawer lateral. Till then, I will be living like a displaced person, but one happy to be displaced! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It is Sunday and I am b-o-r-e-d, none of the blogs I follow have updated in awhile, so here I am and here is what I've done today:

1: Watched SNL which I recorded last night.
2: Watched a recorded "Mentalist"
3: Made cookies.
4: Watched "Fred Claus" again, even though I watched it yesterday (still haven't seen the beginning).
5: Went for a walk in 15 degree weather, freezing my toes but not the rest of my body.
6: Poured some wine and put in "Bridget Jones' Diary", which I watched just yesterday.
7: Took a bath.

And now here I am, drinking a Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA. Lush, you say? No, I'm just getting rid of the alcohol in the house (but not wasting it, of course). I caught a good glimpse of myself in the mirror and holy hell but I've let myself go. I was going to join the sober gang for new year but fuck that shit, I'm starting early.

Just remembered: I also watched "It Happened on 5th Avenue" or some such title on TMC this morning, around the time I made cookies.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day. I am dropping J off at an orthopedist's office so that he can finally have his foot/leg treated properly. We are both hoping that they do something that will allow him to walk. It was a month ago that he fractured the distal fibula and for the past week he has been 100% non-weight-bearing. It has been miserable for the poor guy.

Then I will go to work, sans my awesome boss and my NWCW, and come home to do some chores. Must remember to bring boss's X-mas gift. Yes, X-mas. I don't partake in this stupid holiday but I do buy my department cohorts New Year's gifts, almost always a bottle of wine apiece. This year, my coworkers and I got our shit together to do a group gift for our boss, something we dropped the ball on last year. One of the nurses and I came up with the idea of each putting in twenty bucks to get boss two tickets to a theatre she likes and some red wine glasses (she's mentioned before that her daughter complains that she hasn't any proper ones). I offered to get the glasses and did so yesterday, squeezing through the crowds at World Market and then trying, desperately, to get out of the parking lot. I don't know if we are "presenting" the gift or just putting it in her office but I hope the latter. I always hope the latter but people seem to love making gift exchanges about the giver rather than the receiver.

And now I am rambling. I had better post this boring bit of nonsense before I start going into uncharted territories.

Oh, wait! I just remembered! One of the after work chores I did this past week is buy a new vacuum and I fucking love it! I've used it every day since I purchased it and each time I have felt a renewed sense of my old domestic self.

In case you thought I wasn't really a true wild spirit.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Johan the Destruktor

Would you like to see a picture of unbridled joy? Have you ever wondered what I look like? Well here you go! This was taken within the last 2 months and features me with my guinea pig, Johan the Destruktor. I love the fuck out of the little rodent. Please note, however, that along with the ecstasy, the glasses are not permanent fixtures. I usually wear gas permeable rigid contact lenses during the day unless I'm really lazy.

And here is a video of Johan that I took today. He somehow, after going under the rolling pantry that J and I use to hold our DVDs and television, got stuck between the wall and his cage. He never did figure out that if he just backed up a little further, he could turn around and leave the way he came. This cracked my shit up, as you might be able to tell from the vocal track. Is that what you thought I sounded like?

I would just like to point out my favorite part of this video. It is the fact that after I say "are you gonna try to run backwards for me? Do it!" he does it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunny Side

My Ammy is doing remarkably well. She was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday but that had to be postponed due to a total collapse of her right lung. They performed a broncoscope and were able to keep her off a respirator. The next day they pinned her hip, using a spinal (thus no respirator) and she is doing so well, from what my uncle has told me, that I swear she must have made the whole thing up for attention!!

I am, obviously, incredibly pleased. Here, let me draw a picture:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pity Party

Here is my day as it lays before me.

I am up at 6:00 AM, which I haven't been in god knows how long. J came into the bedroom at 5 AM complaining of foot pain and worrying about what he is going to do in order to get around. So I chatted and joked with him for a bit. Then he fell asleep, but I could not. Eventually I just got out of bed.

I had planned on getting up at 7 and going to the gym, but that is not in the cards. Instead, I have to take a shower, make J some sandwiches, bring his office stuff into the living room and provide him with water so that he can sit in his chair all day and disturb his foot as little as possible. Then I have to go to Staples and look for an office chair that he can use as a cheaper version of a knee walker.*

Then 8 hours of work.

After work I had planned to go to Kohls in search of a new vacuum cleaner to replace ours which sucks... or rather, doesn't suck enough, given that that is what it is meant to do. But I don't know if I'll make it. Am hoping a shower and some coffee wake me up.

Oh poor me and my problems, right? I'm going to look on the bright side and at least be grateful that I am able bodied, healthy, and have a husband who loves me.

*I don't know if I mentioned this previously and I am too tired to look. J has a closed fracture in his fibula, something that occurred on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. He didn't know there was a broken bone until the next Sunday, when he went to the ER to have something else looked at. They gave him a crutch and a splint and said to keep off of it. Have you ever tried to get around with one crutch? J doesn't have a left hand so he has to hop around and just hope he doesn't fall. This is putting a lot of pressure and pain on his uninjured foot so he called the orthopedist, whom he will not see until the 20th, and they suggested a kneewalker, which I believe is essentially a wheeled device for you to kneel on with the injured leg in order to take pressure off the OK limb. Looking online for Columbus, it looks like $100 to rent. So we thought we'd do a white trash version and get a wheeled office chair instead, something that we can use once he no longer needs it to hobble around on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hope...... fading

My grandmother may die this week. I suppose that is true of anyone really, but my grandmother broke her hip last night and requires a risky surgery made all the more risky given her age and past medical history.

My brothers and I call her Ammy, an innocently bastardized version of the Icelandic of Amma. We love our Ammy and she has been in our immediate lives since we moved in with her and Pop after our father ran out on us. She took me to Iceland when I was 13. She taught me to sew. She used to let me help put Pop's change into those coin wrappers and clean her silver. She also introduced us to crepes and fish cakes, two things that my middle brother, M, loved as a child. It is because of the lunches she made during that year we lived with her that I prefer my tuna fish sandwiches to be made with mayonnaise only, the sandwich cut into three strips, and left to sit for a few hours.

I write to her once a month. When I first applied for this new job, she was the only person in my family that I told and she was the first to know that I'd gotten it.

And now I may lose her. Nearly 88 years old with a history of stroke and COPD, no surgeon wants to operate on her. And she is in tremendous pain. The surgery will either save her or kill her, as anesthesia at her age is a real danger.

Death is, obviously, the worst case scenario. In some ways, I suppose, it is time for her to go. Her life is one of misery and depression. She is cared for by my mother, who has a short temper with her because Ammy drives her nuts and has never been particularly nice to her. Mom's brother and, especially, her sister, are no help. I think it would be better to die than to live forever in misery.

But I'm selfish and I want my Ammy to live forever, at least until I can see her again. I told my mom this morning, when I heard the news, that I was happy that I'd at least gotten to talk to her on Friday to thank her for my birthday present and tell her about my promotion. Mom said that Ammy had been so happy and proud of me about that news.

I want to have another opportunity to make her proud and happy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


If you know me on Facebook, then you know that I am currently in a fairly victorious mood. Here, I'll show you:
See, I'm pretty happy, right? Because remember how I bitched and moaned about shit not going my way, and how I mentioned that I'd applied for a job on November 11th? Well, I straightened out my attitude and that did wonders for me. Then, yesterday, I was informed that I'd gotten the job.

That isn't strictly true. I found out at least a week ago that I'd gotten the job, but you have to wait for the Human Resources department in another state to contact you before it is official. That idiot finally called me yesterday and, after I negotiated a $4,500 raise, I got the job (they wanted to give me a $3,000 increase, I declined based on the terms and thanked them for the offer, and then the idiot just said "ok" and that was it until the awesome executive assistant took care of things). So I am feeling pretty chuffed.

And that doesn't even cover what a rad fucking 30th birthday I had! Dude, I went to Starbucks before I hit the office so that I could get my free birthday drink. Then I worked for about 3.5 hours before my friend took me to a delightful lunch. It happened to be the day of our holiday party and management let's us go home at 1 on that day, so I left and went to the gym for a little cardio before a birthday nap and dinner with J. I got some stellar presents including an iPod Touch from J and a really pretty coat from my grandmother. I also had a total of 7 people sing 'Happy Birthday' to me so I felt special all throughout the day. Rad. Rad. Rad.

And now I have a three-day weekend because I disposed of my final PTO day of the year on Monday. So, to recap: Had an awesome 30th birthday on the 8th, was promoted on the 10th, and am not enjoying a three-day weekend.

Life is good!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

China and Platinum Will Both Be Accepted

On December 25, 1990, I received my first journal. I was a newly minted 10 year old and had never even considered keeping a diary. But my cousin BEN, a writer, gave me this gift and I have utilized it ever since. This month marks my 20th year.

Many people seem impressed when I tell them about the length of my autobiographical chronicling; my husband has said that he thinks I would be a natural writer given how long I’ve kept a journal. I, myself, am neither impressed nor convinced of any talent.

My first thought, when I consider how long I’ve done this is “wow, that is a long time.” My second thought is “fuck that is a ton of weight to cart around.” I’m not speaking metaphorically; some years ago I had a foot locker in which I kept all of my diaries and notebooks and that mother fucker weighed a ton. It was only recently that I had to get rid of the trunk as it has fallen into disrepair, and my journals were retired first to boxes and then to a shelf in my bedroom closet.

20 years is, obviously, a long time and my journal began with a bang. Begun in December of 1990, it records my father’s death on February 19, 1991 and many deaths thereafter. It contains my innocent self in its purest form and records my childish naivety. If you look at my entries around the time of my father’s death you’ll find that February 19 was the worst day of my life; a week later, I write about going to Old Historic New Castle with relatives and it is like there had been no tragedy at all.

I am sure there are the tons of entries regarding the usual adolescent misgivings and anxieties, and I know damned well that there are embarrassing chapters from my teen years, but I do not go back and read these very often. Sure, I occasionally grow nostalgic to see what I was like in the 7th grade or what I was writing when first given a diary; who wouldn’t be? But it was only in recent years that I had the courage to look at the high school diaries given how apathetic and melodramatic I was. Seriously, everything was SO important and SO meaningful to me during that time of my life and it took a long time for me to be able to even casually open the cover of one of my journals from that period.

At this point in my life, it is the college years I can’t face. It isn’t that I was still a ne’er do well or a self-important teenager; it’s that I most likely had the onset of my bi-polar disorder at 17 and did not have treatment until 23. If you haven’t experienced this delightful disorder, you won’t know what I’m talking about. Suffice it to say that a number of years in my life featured me being totally out of control and in need of help. I’ve been fortunate, mind you, as I have never suffered from any form of psychosis. But my life would have been greatly benefited by an earlier diagnosis and earlier prescriptions.

I am embarrassed of many of the events that occurred during my college years but, more troublingly, I am afraid of who I was. I recently opened a journal that I’d kept whilst still in college and I was shocked by the vitriolic hate that I’d been directed toward myself. I’ve always known that I suffered a great deal of self-esteem issues during my time but somehow I’d managed to forget the hate I previously felt for myself. At one point in my life, I thought about suicide every thirty seconds. The first time I saw my psychiatrist at the university I told her “I think about killing myself as frequently as people think about sex; I know, I’ve timed it.” I wrote so many suicide notes during that period because I needed to perfect the final version so that my family and friends would understand implicitly that they were not to blame. Oddly enough, I think it as my failure to come up with the perfect letter that allowed me to survive and see the day I would finally seek help.

Not that I didn’t grow impatient. One night I took a bunch of pills, washed down with vodka. I ended up getting sick, throwing up, passing out, and then going to my morning class as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t my first attempt but it shared certain similarities; my attempts were not cries for help. I either wanted to die or, should I survive, I wanted no one to know about the attempt.

These days I reckon my journal is boring and whiney. That is totally fine by me. I have had enough death and enough madness to satisfy any bored part of my being. Sometimes I think that the reason I’m so OK and well-adjusted to the idea of aging is because I am so afraid of the past. I had some scary years and I hate being reminded of them. I’ve never been in a rush to grow up and I’ve never been too upset at the idea of aging (well, with the exception of turning 25, which, oddly, was very hard). I wonder if I don’t look towards my 30’s with great anticipation if only because they signify the end of my tumultuous 20’s.

If nothing else, December 8th will begin a new decade for me to document in old-fashioned, heavy as fuck notebooks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Nony Moose

Evidently, I had my settings so that you had to have a gmail account to comment. Well people of the world who think I suck, comment away! The gates are open!

I am fucking lazy

I read a blog post by Becca (, the first blog post of hers that I've read, and wanted to leave a comment but felt I should write an e-mail instead. Why, you non-existent audience member ask? Because her post was very serious, emotional, and moving, and my comment was incredibly fucked-up asinine. I didn't feel I had the words or ability to respond to the sincere message of her post but I wanted Becca to know that I totally love when people use the term 'whilst.'

So I e-mailed her this message. In the subject line I put "Triumphant Joy" because I was watching a Marshall's commercial and this was a term used to persuade me to do all of my 'Holiday Shopping" at their fine, designer, discount store. And because I am me, I explained to Becca where my subject line came from.

Are you lazy like this? Seriously, do you just take the nearest thing to use as a title? As I also said in my e-mail, when Instant Messenger was brand new, I had multiple user names and one was 'Soy Complex' because I had to come up with a name and that term was on the cereal box in front of me. I've had e-mail addresses of 'highbuttonboots' because that is what a boyfriend gave me as a gift at the time and 'seethruplayment' because it reminded me of a Sonic Youth song.

When I had a diaryland account, my journal was "girlcat" because I am a girl who goes by the name of Cat. This blog is called "justaregulargirl" because that is what I am. Oh my god I'm fucking lazy. If you are reading this, why???? Why are you reading this? Unless you just stumbled across it. In that case, yeah, I totally understand why you are saying "what the fuck is this bullshit? Fuck this!" But you, you people who come here on purpose, what the fuck are you thinking?

And in other news: no word on the job I'm trying for. Sucks but at least it is the weekend so I don't have to deal with any anticipation tomorrow.

PS: Hi, Becca! I'll try to figure out how to link you. I'll ask your help if I can't figure it out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Hello, internet! I hate when the blogs I follow go off-line for any extended period of time and this usually occurs during the weekend and holidays. So I figured, since I have a blog now, I should not be a hypocrite and, instead, pretend that people actually follow this blather and might miss it during the weekend. Don't worry, I know this is an illusion and that's cool, but still, here I am. So here is a list of random things I like.

1: My guinea pig
2: The movie Knocked up
3: British Who Dunnits
4: Napping (oh my god I like napping)
5: Dogs
6: Shrimp (to eat, not to keep as a pet)
7: Calligraphy
8: Emma Stone
9: Fruit roll-ups
10: String cheese
11: Hats
12: Accents
13: Futurama
14: T-shirts
15: British pound coins

And I'll end there. I like a lot of other stuff but figured I'd stop at a nice, round 15. That and my shrimp and fries are done.

Out like sauerkraut

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lowered Expectations

It's funny what a really, phenomenally shitty week can do to your perspective. If you remember (and how could you forget given all of my self-pitying and whining?), last week was pretty awful. It was like this:

This week, I'm pleased to say, is nothing like last week. In fact, I would say that this week is the good twin of last week except for the fact that while last week was phenomenally horrific, this week isn't especially good. It's as though my expectations were lowered to such an extent that so long as no one pokes me in the back of the neck with a flaming twig, I'll consider it a fantastic day. Let's look at the facts shall we?

Work has not been overly stimulating or interesting lately. Mainly I've been filling the hours with some mindless data entry. Ages ago, the IT folks were tasked with creating a database in which one person, we'll call this person HQ, could have a centralized database to contain all information regarding independent contractors for all of the company's contracts and projects. IT doesn't take this very seriously so I've had to double enter items into this database from a pre-existing one since the two cannot communicate. As you can imagine, the task is as thrilling as it sounds.

See? There I am, typing away.

When not busy with this riveting chore, I've been dealing with the usual. You know, stupid people and shit I don't care about.

Both those things seriously happened this week. I received an e-mail from a freaking project manager of all people, stating that she was asked to obtain a specific object from a specific group of people and she wanted to know how to do so. Apparently, the concept of "contact said individuals and request the necessary object" is not something this person could even begin to wrap her mind around. Instead, she had to contact me, in an office at least 500 miles away, to intermediate. I feel like I am red tape in this instance.

And a person I shall call NWCW (short for no-worker co-worker) is going on vacation for Thanksgiving. I get to hear all about her excitement in between her personal phone calls and e-mails and I also get to hear the apology she loves using at every opportunity: "sorry, my mind is already on vacation!" It should be noted that when she gets back after the holiday, she will be using the other standby of "sorry, my mind must still be on vacation!"

At home isn't any more exciting. I've taken the week off from the gym and, while I have picked up Jane Eyre, which I am thoroughly enjoying in tandem with some Adam Dalgliesh novels, I've mainly been drinking red wine and watching boring television.

As you can see, it isn't like this week has been unicorns, rainbows, and diamonds falling out of the sky. It has been mundane, long, and uneventful. But because of the nightmarishness of last week, it seems like a gift. In fact, the only negative part of this week has been the overwhelming amount of suspician that has been with me all week, just waiting for the bad to creep up and ambush me. Hopefully it won't. But just in case, here is what I look like as a pirate, so step off bad stuff!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pictorial Representation

This is what it looks like when you come in to work on Thursday after a particularly trying week to find that your job has been posted in the open listings within your company. Needless to say, I am not looking forward to tomorrow's Monday with any happy anticipation.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Week in a Nutshell

On Sunday my mother called to ask me to lend her $3,500. My husband called her and made her cry, thus necessitating my calling to smooth things over.

On Monday, my mother called to say that she wanted to fly to Columbus next month to be here to celebrate my 30th birthday with me. I was put in the awkward position of being the adult and explaining that it would be madness to spend an absurd amount of money when she obviously didn’t have any. I cried all through my ride home from work because it broke my heart that I had to be the one to sacrifice and stand up and be reasonable when it’s my birthday. Both of my brothers got to have our mom with them on their 30th birthdays and neither one has ever been asked for money. Just me, the baby of the family, the one who was kicked out at 18.

On Tuesday I received my mother’s reply to my e-mail in all of its self-pitying glory. I was right, she said. She couldn’t look J in the eye anyway, now that he knows about her financial difficulties, she said. But she is never the practical one so she would, she stated, still feel so upset that she couldn’t be with me on my day. Nothing about how I might feel. I cried all the way home from work, shouting out loud all of the things that I was upset about, letting it all out in one cathartic commute.

And today, Thursday, I find out that a job opening that I’ve been interested in is not quite what I thought it would be. Half of the job description is half of my current position, the half that I love and that I’ve built up and turned into what it is today. So I will have to apply for my own fucking job and just hope that I can get it and that it will pay enough to make the more worthwhile. Otherwise, I won’t simply be stuck in my current job with a colleague I despise and another that irritates the fuck out of me, but I’ll also have to train someone else to do the fun and stimulating parts of my job.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My mother called and left a message on my cell phone today. I was a bit shocked, as my mother never calls me. Not because she isn't allowed or anything, she just doesn't. I would have been worried that something had happened to my grandmother if it hadn't been for the fact that my mother, and not my middle brother, M, had left the message. The last time I had really bad news, it was when M left me a message and then, on the phone, told me that our dog had died.

I called my mom from the grocery store since it was on my walk to said store that I received the message. She was a bit affronted by the fact that I assumed something was wrong and assured me that it was nothing serious. But it was... my mom needs me to get a cash advance of $3,500 0n my credit card. I asked what she had gotten herself into and she assured me that it is just that she is behind on bills; she is just her usual self, not any good at all with money.

I am disappointed. I'm disappointed that life hasn't turned out well for her at her age (63), that she has to put up with taking care of her mother who is nasty as hell to her, and that she has yet to learn. She didn't ask either of my brothers. I knew that, even before I asked. With M, the reasoning is, officially, that he is a teacher who just, essentially, lost his house. The real reason is that M is like mom and bad with money and makes really poor decisions so that his wife is a stay at home mom even if they can't afford it. With S, my eldest brother, the official reason is that there are medical bills because his wife lost her leg to cancer last December and has been recouping since. But his father in law has $50 million dollars so the real reason is that this is S and you can't ask him for anything.

But Cat, the youngest, was the one who was raised to be an independent and responsible adult. Cat is the one you can rely on to help you out and to have the ability to bail you out.

I am disappointed and concerned. J is pissed off and wants to start a fight. My mom, I believe, is ashamed and desperate. I texted J and told him that if he hadn't already ordered the present he had in mind for my 30th next month, to just not do so. I'll have to really buckle down and budget up if I am to bail my mother out again, especially if J is not on board.

I assume that this is what adulthood is all about. In some ways, things really do get easier, but, in others, they get harder than you can ever imagine. Thanks for the fork in the eyeball life.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Phrases I Dislike Tremendously

We all have our pet peeves when it comes to the language we speak. Some of us are self-proclaimed "grammar Nazis" who, behind the mask of being lovers of the language, happily judge those who end sentences with prepositions, misuse 'I' in the place of 'me', or err grammatically in other ways. Others abhor contractions or recoil when met with slang. I believe one of the more common pet peeves is the dislike for certain phrases or words. Many people have agreed with me in the past that ophthalmology is an unattractive word. I, myself, like 'lackadaisical' and 'splendid'. 'Ointment' and 'salve' are terms that I've heard others concur on as being unpleasant. You get my point.

This post is my way of sharing my dislike for two phrases and one (new) term that is being bandied about in the office. Enjoy!

The first is "That's what she said." Am I really the only one who is tired of this? It didn't seem like that big a deal when it first started up but now people blurt it out at every possible opportunity. Am I really supposed to find it funny on any level whatsoever? Even if the speaker acknowledges how completely over-used this phrase is, I still don't feel that they are justified in using it at all.

And people really do use it whenever they can such as below:

I've literally had conversations about work-related minutia and had someone respond in this way. It doesn't even make sense! And yes, I know some would argue that this is the whole point but it just seems fucking stupid. It is also just a tad annoying when someone busts out with this outdated and ridiculous phrase when you are trying to have a serious conversation. Even worse, however, is if you are feeling ill or low, as you can see below.

I have a feeling that our friend there is none too pleased with the giggling cunt's response to his misery. If I were Hungover Harold, I'd punch giggling cunt in the mouth and then maybe throw up on her. Because I for one, do not like to hear nonsensical bullshit responses when I'm telling someone I do not feel well. "That's what she said" is probably the biggest offender in my mind just now.

But TWSS is not the only thing that grates on my nerves. I, like so many others, like to complain in multiples, so let's move on, shall we?

I'm not sure if this would be considered new, relatively new, or old, but I really dislike the phrase "I'm just sayin." It isn't meant in quite the same way as "no offense" but it is just as tacked on. I believe it is meant to excuse the speaker from any responsibility or consequence of what she or he has just said and I think it is cowardly. For instance, imagine if you were the painted up hussy below:

The brunette, Starla, is telling her friend, Jean, that she thinks too much make up is "trampy" (I bet you thought the blond would be Starla, but that is only because you stereotype people). Starla obviously realizes that she most certainly has offended her friend but she cannot unring the bell as they say so she adds "I'm just sayin'" as a way out. She doesn't say "no offense", which might make Jean feel better as she could assume that her make up is tasteful. Instead, Starla essentially looked at Jean and said "you look like a tramp in my opinion" but, because she said "I'm just sayin'", she is supposedly absolved of any guilty conscience. Because after all, we are all entitled to our opinions aren't we?

This is another phrase that is used in all sorts of situations. I think it is viewed as more common in casual chat, especially given that the 'g' is dropped from 'saying', but I have heard it used in multiple situations, which is part of why I despise it so much. If you are going to say something that you believe might be taken as inflammatory, think about it. If you truly believe in what you are about to say, then own it when you say it. If you don't feel you can communicate articulately and effectively enough so that your meaning is not misinterpreted, then zip it until you can express yourself more appropriately. For instance, take this douche bag:

Mr. Footless really believes in what he just said to Barbara. However, he realizes, mid thought, that what he is saying makes him sound like a douche because the idea is douchy. Hell, the fact that women really do make less money than men, the fact that pay inequality still exists in the 21st century, is a travesty. So what can Mr. Footless do other than trail off ineffectually? "I'm just sayin'" to the rescue! If I add "I'm just sayin'", then my audience will realize that this is just something that is coming out of my mouth and not necessarily what I believe! After all, I could say "I'm just sayin'" after I've read the ingredients off the box of Cheerios and I literally would have just been saying those things. In fact, I can say "Hitler was a guy who lived in Germany. I'm just sayin'" and no one could find any fault. Whew, that was close.

Hmm. I sound kind of passionate about IJS, don't I? Maybe that is the more grating of the two phrases. Maybe I should have them do battle until I can figure it out for sure.

Finally, there is a new term that is going around the higher ups in my office that I find ridiculous and totally unnecessary. This term is 'bandwidth' and from what I can decipher, refers to the resources a person needs to get their work done. Individuals are frequently referred to as the resource and you'll hear about "increasing Jodi's bandwidth" meaning "we'll give Jodi more hours for this project and remove her from less important things so that she can totally focus on this." It's stupid and unnecessary. Why couldn't they just say "we are going to give some of Jodi's less stressful task to others admins to allow her to focus more on this project"?

Here is how I first heard about this term and my reaction to it.

What the hell? The guy who said this to me is someone who likes to drop terms and names with utmost nonchalance in hopes of impressing all and sundry. It is kind of funny when people try to impress me because I don't call them out, I don't sit in awe, I just go blank. But bandwidth threw me for a loop.

And kind of made me feel fat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Evening

J surprised me this evening when we went out to dinner (at Bob Evan's; for some reason I didn't want to say that part but I don't know why so figured I'd better just go ahead or else risk becoming a snob). Earlier that day I'd asked him if he was going to watch the Phillies-Giants game and he said 'no.' I assumed he just had a lot of work to do, as usual. Over dinner I told him that I would be watching and he said "no you aren't" and pushed two tickets over the table. They read "An Evening with Matt Groening."

I was shocked. J picked the tickets up the day beofre and had it all planned that we would go to an auditorium at teh Wexner Center at 7PM to listen to this discussion with Matt Groening and Tom Gammill. He'd been trying to figure out how to surprise me with the tickets from the moment he'd picked them up so I think he was pretty relieved when he finally got an opening. He knows that I am frequently bored and unhappy with the lack of social interaction and fun in general in my life so he was very excited to surprise me.

And it was great. We arrived early as we are unaccustomed to doing things like this and wanted to ensure we'd get parking and get seats together. We got to the actual auditorium 45 minutes early and chose seats well in the back so that we could leave with minimal fuss if we decided to leave early (which we are always likely to do given our attention spans, discomfort amongst crowds, and neuroses in general).

The discussion was fun. It went back to Mr. Groening's cartoonist father, Homer, and covered Life in Hell, The Simpsons, and Futurama. J and I both enjoyed ourselves and laughed a lot. We took pictures of one another with my camera phone after J said "I think we should take pictures of one another. Have you ever noticed that people do things and go places and take pictures of each other and put them on Facebook? Maybe we should do that."

We left after an hour and a half, a bit before the QA portion, which we were not interested in. As we left the auditorium, we were both super stoked that we did something so normal, so usual for people our age. I always get really thrilled when we act in accordance with what I think people our age do. I know it isn't perfect since I actively appreciate our behaving normally, but when we do this sort of thing, I'm so proud of us for getting out of the house and engaging with the world like everyone else. It makes me feel less freakish.

Until, of course, I skip and sing about how I've done something normal, at which point I give myself away.