Thursday, March 31, 2011

And sometimes, I really hate where I work

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bring on the unisex jump suits

You'll notice that my hair changes. It does sometimes, maybe I have pig tails, maybe it is down. But usually it looks shitty and I don't have bangs because I have a mother fucking cow lick which I have no idea what is but prevents me from being able to rock bangs.

When I draw comics of myself I try to make my dress a different color for variety's sake but in real life, I'm very boring and stick to black, gray, and navy/denim as much as I possibly can. It is a rare day indeed that I'm not wearing either black or jeans so really, if I were to be true to who I am comic style, I would look boring and depressed. Really, I'm just lazy and play it safe. Do you know how easy it is when you only wear a handful of colors? Super easy is how. The clothing in my closet that doesn't get worn is the clothing that is some random color or style that doesn't match a fuck thing I own (or else won't fit my fat ass without fishing wire and crisco). But black matches EVERYTHING! Why wouldn't I just wear that?

Actually, if I had the balls (figuratively of course), I would wear all black every day with maybe a pop of color in the shoe. In my dream world, I wear black leggings or tights, a black skirt, and a black top every single day. I'm all for uniforms. I don't need to 'express' who I am through what I'm wearing. The denim jacket and black ballet flats that I'm wearing right now don't say a mother fucking thing. They just keep me slightly warm and prevent me from fucking up my feet. Who gets dressed thinking "I want my outfit to scream to every sighted person who I am and what I'm about" other than hipsters?

I like people who say they don't care about physical appearance and so they dress really shitty on purpose to show you just how above the whole superficial melee they are. But guess what dicks, you put just as much effort into buying shitty crap to make sure people think that you don't care as other people do into buying non shitty crap. The only people who probably truly don't give a shit are farmers who wear overalls and plaid shirts.

So get over yourselves hipsters and too cool for school types. When you die you'll probably shit yourself like the rest of us regardless of your interesting facial hair and tight pants.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What's up blog? I feel like I've been a bit dull

Awesomeness Russian Nesting Doll Style

The blogging world fucking rocks. Sometimes you find a really great site that you started following like a year and a half ago and still enjoy and then, every so often, that great blog gives you the gift of another rad as shit blog to follow! When that happens it is a two for one on par with buy some tonic get the vodka free or something.

I've been reading the fantastic Whoopee! for quite some time now and not only have I enjoyed the writing/stories/comedy but just by checking regularly, I've found this big bag of greatness! Seriously, check it out. I now have another new obsession!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes I really love my office

I just had the following conversation with the general manager of my company.

Him: "That contract you forwarded takes up 25 jigawatts of space."

Me: "Jigawatts? What's a jigawatt?"

Him: "It's what powers the flux capicitor."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sometimes it feels like I married a moody teenager. I love J to bits but lately there have been too many sighs and grumbles and black moods...

Let me stop right there. Do you ever find yourself wanting to tear your hair out, wanting to scream, wanting to complain to your best friend about how you just can't take it because you significant other is complaining and griping all the time and then, on top of the frustration and upset, feel the added weight of tremendous guilt because it isn't like your significant other chooses to feel these things? I do, all the bloody time. I continually complain in my hard copy journal about how J is depressed, how he moans and bitches but doesn't seem to do much about it and then I feel guilty and ashamed for not being more sympathetic. Some days I dread going home. I dread hearing him say how he can't keep doing what he is doing, that he hates school and wants out, that no one is hiring, that he is crazy, and so on and so on. I want to yell at him to do something about it. Fucking quit school and spend all day looking for work. Or else deal with it and continue with school because not everyone loves their job. And go see a fucking shrink. I know you think they are useless, you tell me so all the time. But guess the fuck what... some times they work! Sometimes people have their lives saved by them. I did. I will take medication for the rest of my life because I have a disorder that is treated by the psychiatric world and it sucks but not as bad as being untreated sucks.

Suck it the fuck up, kid.

And then I feel terrible because I love this person and he was treated cruelly by his parents and he was born without part of his left arm and life just hasn't been good to him so the people who love him should.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Geraldine Ferraro ran as the vice presidential nominee in 1984 when I was three years-old. She has died, at the age of 75 and when J and I spoke about it, he made a comment that essentially said "who cares that she ran for vice president? She lost. People don't care about who lost." When I realized that he was serious, I wanted to hit him. He went on to say that it only matters in this backwater country because other places have had female prime ministers and presidents and vice presidents for years. That did not make me feel better but simply made me angrier that he didn't think it mattered that this woman paved the way for other hopefuls and that her ground-breaking achievement in 1984 pointed out all too clearly how non-progressive our country is.

The world as a whole still does not treat women as equal citizens. We have come a long way but we are still second class. We do not have 100% control of our reproductive rights (men do), we still do not receive equal pay in the work-place, and our body parts are still considered items that must be shielded from both children and adults (Ohio recently passed a law to enforce the use of pasties in strip clubs... nipples are evil). Tits are to be covered and hidden in shame. Women in the locker room at my gym do all sorts of tricky maneuvers in order to undress and dress without showing any skin because we have had a lifetime to learn to be ashamed of our bodies.

And this is in the US, the land of opportunity. I'm not even outlining what it is like to be in a country under the rule of the Taliban or one under a religion that calls for women to cover up from head to toe and not be seen unaccompanied by a man. The US is so incredibly fortunate that it is appalling that we have not yet had a female president. Did I vote for Hillary Rodham-Clinton to run as the Democratic nominee during the last election? No. You know why? Because I felt it was more important for Democrats to win than to push the feminist agenda and I knew my country would vote for a black man before they would vote for <<shudder>> a woman. I was more concerned with not continuing under a Republican regime than with asking people to open their eyes and understand that my gender is competent, intelligent, and capable. It was a difficult choice.

That being said, it was a choice I am glad I had to make. And I thank Geraldine Ferraro for making it a choice I actually had to make.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In some ways, I'm a different person at work. At work I am surrounded by individuals who are involved, to some degree, in the same profession. Our interactions are based on the fact that we all work in the same place and need to communicate in order to complete our tasks. There are some individuals that I consider friends but during the work day, we 'hang out' only for short increments of time if we are bullshitting and are usually involved in some work-related 'thing.' At home I do not talk about credentials, accreditation, client satisfaction, provider abrasion, dead lines, projects, etc. I don't talk about work too often, I hope, when I'm at home.

This is all and well and, I'm sure, very common. Aren't we all generally at least a little different when we are in the office? No matter how 'individual' or 'unique' you might think you are, no matter how much you want to say "I'm so myself ALL the time", you behave differently. Disagree? OK, when is the last time you were in a meeting and farted openly and not by accident but just because you had to? I make my point.

The one problem with having two different worlds is when you have a dilemma in one that cannot be discussed in the other, and that is what I've come across just now. There is something at work that makes me uncomfortable and I don't like it but I can't talk about it with J or my friends because you can't totally grasp the situation unless you work at my company. And I can't talk about it with people at work because it would feel wrong, like 'bad' gossiping, a breach of trust, or I don't know, just wrong some how. How do I make this clearer? OK, let's pretend I had a problem with J. Let's say I found out that he was looking at web-sites that featured naked photos of his male students (he would never do that and this has nothing to do with him, I just needed an example). He isn't cheating on me (people look at porn, deal with it, it doesn't hurt a relationship unless the porn is a home video of your spouse diddling someone else), the site is legal (the students are 18 and above OK? And they all signed releases), and it is a public site, not e-mailed photos. I would be very uncomfortable with this and before I brought it up with him, I'd want to get some perspective.

What would I do? I certainly wouldn't ask anyone at work, not even Birdie, who I consider a bonafide friend. Why not? Because she wouldn't really understand the whole picture. No one would outside of my relationship with J just because I feel you would need to have put in the time (7 years this May) in order to understand who he is as an individual as well as who he is in respect to me (and vice verse, switch he with I and then fix the verbs). Also, I think you'd have to be or have been, through something very similar to really understand. And I'd have to understand my own feelings before I could talk to anyone. Would it bother me? I don't know. It doesn't bother me if he watches porn so why would it bother me if he looked at pictures of naked young men? Would it make a difference if they were his current or former students? Would I be uncomfortable if I found out he was bi sexual? Would I feel threatened or question my femininity? I have no idea.

I think you get my point. Happily, this has nothing to do with J or my marriage and is situated absolutely in the work place. But I can't talk about it with J because he doesn't understand all of the little intricacies of my office or my work and he doesn't know the people the way I do. And he wouldn't understand how I could be conflicted about an issue simply because it came up at work when in other circumstances I'd have no trouble saying 'this is how I feel about this.' And I can't talk about it with my friends because with the exception of one, they don't really understand what it is I do. I can't even put it here because there are some people I work with who might read this and, well, like I said above, it just wouldn't be right.

It is, as the British say, a bit of a sticky wicket. Very annoying too.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All We Got is Us

I spent my formative years in an exciting place called Bear, Delaware. I think I've mentioned it before. It's not really a town, just a zip-code, a few stretches of highway, and a couple of strip malls. Delaware is the kind of place you either love or hate. Yesterday, I spoke to a South African physician who had been in the US for 31 years, previously in Boston, who simply loves Delaware. J and I are the "congratulations on getting out" types.

That being said, I am not immune to the phenomenon that is state loyalty and pride. I know which celebrities are from my little non-state, which ice skaters have trained in the University of Delaware facilities, and what technology Apple got from work done at said university. It is what it is. I spent so many years there that it is a part of me and always will be.

So it is rather exciting to know that people my age, ones I grew up with and went to school with, are involved in something as rad as a freaking rap movement. I've seen a few posts on facebook but I watched one this morning before work that laid it out for me. All We Got is Us is something of a collective rap effort where friends help friends, promote friends, produce friends, etc. No money exchanges hands, no money is required or encouraged. It's really very neat (says the very white girl from Bear, Delaware). Check them out. Seriously, I went to high school with some of these kids.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I Do and Say That Piss Off J

(Or: Oh my god! He hasn't hit you yet?)

My orangutan impression.

Ask him if he wants to smell my foot.

Scrunch up my hand so that it looks like a mouth and talk through 'Lippy.'

Sleep with stuffies.

Argue illogically just to provoke him further.

Wiggle my eyebrows like Gracho Marks.

"I bet it would be really scary to be attacked by a pterodactyl."

"Don't you think it would be awesome to be a ventriloquist? Not on stage with a dummy, but having the ability?"

"You love the [guinea] pig and he is your best friend."

"Will you go to work for me tomorrow? If you loved me you'd go in and do my job for me on Mondays."

"I'm going to change my last name to Horsefarth and tell everyone the h is silent."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sue Versus IT

Work Place Fail - Again

Oh my god! What the fuck? I need to make a flight reservation for my boss so that he can present to a health plan in Minnesota and I have NOTHING to go on! Do you know how many airports are in Minnesota? Roughly seventeen million!!! So now I've e-mailed the VP of this department twice asking for confirmation on the time of the meeting and where it is and so I look like Cat the Idiot Girl who was hired in order for the company to meet its affirmative action quota with regards to special needs employees.

It is positively indecent how clearly you can see my incompetency on days like this.


Does this bode well for the rest of the week?

Here are three reasons to giggle at me today.

  1. I met with my trainer for our last session on Saturday (poor bastard; I really hope no one blames him for my utter failure since I was so non compliant with regards to the diet) and I had to do squats for the first time in ages. It now hurts when I walk, sit down, stand up, go up stairs, and go downstairs. I have had to pee for 30 minutes but the pain associated with making that happen (getting out of my chair, walking to the lady's room, sitting down on the pot, standing back up) has so far outweighed the urges of my bladder. 
  2. I was a bit late to work this morning because I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I'd DVR'd last night. Nothing like giving"I just wanted to get the the bit where George and Fred leave school in a blaze of glory" as an excuse to being 12 minutes late on a Monday.
  3. On my way into work today I did what I've done most mornings: listened to my iPod and sang along (very loudly) to Cee Lo Green's 'F*ck You'. I am extremely white and what I'm doing really shouldn't even be called singing. I do hope no one outside the car can hear me. This is, however, less embarrassing than when I get into a mood where I'm singing along to the Wu-Tang Clan. When that happens I know it is time to get a transmitter so that I can play my iPod through the car stereo to drown myself out.

There are many inaccuracies in this picture because I am not a gifted artist. Just be aware that my commute to work is not nearly so pretty or picturesque and that my car is not quite so large (or teal).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reason to get through the day - Nap

At 8 pm last night, I decided I would get some beer to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. At the store I settled on Blue Moon's seasonal Spring draft thinking it would be fun and crisp. It wasn't. It tasted like cheap, fizzy, yellow, American beer. But I drank it because I am not a wasteful person. I did not drink water before going to bed because, pfft, why bother?

All that is to say that I have a hangover. Hangovers make it very difficult to work and so I am, instead, coming up with things to do instead such as catch up on some blog reading, attempt to improve my spider solitaire game, eat chocolate, stare at my cubicle walls, and drink too much coffee and not enough water. In about 40 minutes I will go to a conference room and Wii bowl with my team so that should carry me to the half-way mark.

And then? The hours will stretch out before me and I will have spent an entire work day feeling like hell and not getting anything done.

But after that? Nap. I fucking love the fuck out of naps. And because it is Friday and I don't work tomorrow, I can nap like a mother fucker, nap for hours, and just loll around in bed for as long as I like. Remember when you were a little kid and your mom would tell you it was time for a nap and you were all "no! wah! I wanna play! naps suck!" Well now naps fucking rule. I'm the queen of napping. If it were a sport I would fucking medal in the Olympics. And I get really excited when it is nap time, announcing it to J and running into the bedroom, ripping off my clothes and all but diving under the covers. I make sure I have my stuffed animals (shut up, they are just animal shaped pillows and they support my arms) and my pillows and J makes sure I'm all covered and warm. Sometimes I make happy squeaky noises because I'm giddy with anticipation. And god help J if he decides he wants to take a nap with me because then I will whine and push him and tell him 'no' because he will snore and roll on top of me and ruin my nap and it is MY FUCKING TIME TO NAP GOD DAMN IT.

Just thinking about it gives me a reason to actually do some work in hopes that the day will go by more quickly because I have a nap waiting for me at home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Information Technologies

Did you know that all IT/technical/electronic data people aren't the same? It has taken me roughly three years to understand that Tech Support is who I need to go to if I am having trouble with my work PC or phone, Programmers are the ones I must approach for problems with internally created software programs, another vague population of IS folks if I need network assistance, and a corporate group if I need to set up a new procedure for transmitting electronic data from a client to our company. How insulted would any one of these groups be if they knew that the majority of non-techy office staff lump them all together as IT? Or are they used to it the way administrative support staff are commonly referred to as secretaries?

And not all IT people get along! I found out today that the guy I'm working with trying to set up a new electronic data transmission procedure gets really frustrated with what he calls "IT" people that he has to work with. I thought they'd be a big old band of brothers shooting the breeze about how stupid the non-techy people are and comparing gadgets and speaking in binary code, just like they probably imagine I get together with the other secretaries around the water cooler and shoot the shit about the best method for opening the mail, how to prevent neck cramps when answering the phone, and whatever else it is secretaries do.

One thing I have found that is somewhat common amongst programmers, tech support, et al is that if I approach any one of them with an attitude that says "look, I'm really lacking in expertise when it comes to what you do so please be patient with me and understand that I don't really know what I'm doing", I am more likely to be treated well. If I cold call someone I'm directed to, I am likely to be told, in an annoyed voice, that that person isn't really involved with what I'm talking about and doesn't know why s/he always gets bothered by it and please tell the administrative contact to quit transferring calls.

One universal, it seems, is that the stereotype of a smug, arrogant, better than you, generic IT Guy still exists. This comic is dedicated to my new friends, Geoff and Chris.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I think I'd rather it had been a bad excuse

As anyone in the U.S. who works in an office probably knows, it was Girl Scout Cookie season recently. I myself purchased seven boxes (to support the young women, of course, not because I'm a glutton). On Friday I received an e-mail from a guy in my office that basically said he'd pay me $5 if I gave him one of my Lemon Chalet boxes because he'd eaten his and was jonesing for more. I checked with J to make sure he wasn't attached and then informed office guy that the deal was on. Monday was a PTO day but I had to come into the office for some Wii bowling (long story) so I said I'd bring the box then.

Monday rolled around and, true to my word, I brought the cookies with me. Office guy wasn't at his desk so I left the box in his cube and just went about my business. Today, upon my return to work, I sent him the following e-mail:

"To: Office Guy
From: Cat
Subject: Hmmm....

Imagine my surprise when I came in to my cubicle and did NOT find $5. Seriously, I was gonna use that money for a soda. I'm not a running a charity here, Guy."

A bit later I received his reply and I just about wet myself:

"To: Cat
From: Office Guy
Subject: RE: Hmmm...

Apologies Cat, yesterday I went to the emergency room around 11am.  Was having some issues breathing or possible heart problem.  I will be in today and still want those cookies!"

Well shit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cry Baby

I seem to have two hobbies these days. The first is constantly reminding myself that I have a great life when I dare complain. I joke about it to others, how if I whine I immediately mock myself for my middle class martyrdom because, honestly, what is so bad about my life? The full-time employment with health benefits and paid time off? The loving husband? The affordable apartment? I belong to a mother fucking gym so how bad can it be? But, if you've read this blog for any length of time, you already know about this particular hobby.

The second hobby is reading books that make me openly weep.  Two weeks ago I rented The Lovely Bones and watched it twice, sobbing in my unattractive way. Then I went to a used book store to buy the paperback, which I'd read years ago, apparently in order to weep some more. This weekend? 1,000 Splendid Suns. I'll warn you now - if you are susceptible to crying over books, you might want to skip this one. I purchased it at least a year ago based on the recommendation by my then boss. I picked it up randomly yesterday and started reading. I have about ten pages left and just a moment ago J said "Kitty honey, you need to take a break from that" because, as he watched the History channel, I sat next to him reading and crying, nose snuffling and vision blurring. This novel contains the most fucked up stuff I think I've ever read and part of what makes it all that much worse is that it is based on reality.

1,000 Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, follows the lives of two women born in Afghanistan beginning in 1959 through, I believe, 2002 (like I said, I still have a few pages). One is Mairam, the bastard child of a wealthy man. Mariam worships her father until one day, when she is 15, he rejects her and she realizes that all her life her mother had been right, that he wasn't a god full of love and that he would never welcome her into his 'real family.' Mariam ends up married off to an older man and sent to live with him in Kabul, where we meet Laila, who has a father who adores her and who encourages her to pursue her education, and a mother who spent all of her love on her sons, who have gone to fight in the war against the soviets.

I'm not going to give anything away but trust me when I say it is no spoiler to state that these women live the shittiest lives you could ever imagine. I've said for years that even though I may not agree with all the things the US does, I've always been and always will be, eternally grateful to have been born and raised here. I might bitch about work and joke that it is ridiculous to be expected to show up five full days a week but in reality I know that this is a hard fought privilege that I, as a woman, am lucky to have. This is why I get so pissed off at those women who tell me that it is their right not to vote. I'd like to know who fought and died for that right. I'd like to know how that is a right when so many women in other countries view their legal inability to vote a crime and a punishment. This is just one of the reasons that separation of church and state is so vitally important.

And so there you have it. Nice the way the latter hobby lends itself to the former, isn't it? I mean, now I can remind myself, when I bitch about something, that at least I'm not ruled by the Taliban. As important as I believe it is to be aware of other cultures and what is going on around the world, I think this will have to stop at some point before I go overboard. 

Friday, March 11, 2011


Remember how awhile back I commented that the earth seems pissed at the inhabitants?

Have you watched the footage? Can you even begin to imagine the nightmare? Buildings, on fire, being carried through cities and towns. People swept away by an unforgiving tide. Destruction and tragedy at such a massive scale.

And Japan is one of the better prepared countries, if anyone can be prepared for this sort of event.

J summed up one of the emotions he and I both have about tragedies such as this one. All he and I can do is feel bad. Yes, we can and do donate to causes such as the Haiti Relief fund. But when things like this happen to wealthier countries, we can't even expect to contribute, in any real way, through donations. Impotence and helplessness mixed with terror is all we have. And then we ask ourselves, 'how must those citizens who are living through this feel?'

And then, because I can, I turn the channel to something to take my mind off of things. Because I can. Because I am among the most fortunate girls in the world and, like most humans, when things do not affect me directly, it is oh so easy to look away to close at hand comforts.

But I shall continue my campaign to maintain perspective and not bitch about daily minutia without being dead aware that I am, indeed, among the most fortunate girls in the world. As a friend on Facebook said, maybe now Charlies Sheen will give it a rest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eye-Crossing Excel Extravaganza

At this moment, work is seemingly endless data entry and cross checks of reviewer data on mammoth spreadsheets. When I say mammoth, I am not exaggerating; most of my time this week has featured a spreadsheet that included row 1,059 and column AJ. This is all to ensure that when IT does its magic and makes my HQ database the be all end all of reviewer data, other banks (which will now be read only) will not be corrupted with incorrect data. So I've gotten to go row by row, column by column, making sure that addresses and contact numbers/e-mails are up-to-date and accurate.

Part of the fault is mine as I am the type A jerk off who wants to make absolutely sure that everything is 100% tip top. But who can blame me? Once this is all up and running, I will be solely responsible for the data. It is an enormously exciting prospect but it is also terrifying. They are giving me all of this responsibility, which means my hard work and diligence have not gone unnoticed and if all goes right, the possibilities are endless. I can grow the panel to accommodate and serve my company's contracts across the country. I am the expert of this particular slice of the pie as it is, and if it gets big enough and I get good enough, maybe I'll be able to move up in the company!

But what if I fuck up? What if the higher ups were wrong and I'm not that hard of a worker or that diligent? Anything that goes wrong will be my fault. What if I do grow the panel to an enormous size to accommodate new contracts (we are, after all, budgeted to grow 50% this year) and I simply can't handle it? I might let down my former boss, who I absolutely adore. I might let down contracts in satellite offices who rely on me to supply them with the information they need. I might piss off a ton of our reviewers and diminish the panel. I might prove everyone who ever had any confidence in me wrong. In sum, I might fail.

I'm exaggerating, obviously. For one, for every man in the office, there are at least 20 women, so there is no way there would be an even number of both sexes fleeing from a building under attack from flaming arrows. And two, we only have one story to our building.

But you get my point, that work has been filled with tedious, eye-crossing tasks that will culminate in an emotionally conflicting result. I sincerely hope I do well so that I can continue moving up the corporate ladder, but I am also scared shitless.

Is it any wonder that, in order to take a break and amuse myself, I look up some of our inactive reviewers who were born in the 30's and/or 20's to see if they are still alive?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Skipping through a field with big ass flowers

I have been doing a tremendous job of not working today, which is quite fitting seeing as I had my formal work evaluation earlier this morning. Most of the day has been spent picking things up and putting them in different piles, checking my horoscope (which I haven't done in years), e-mailing my husband because I find that I miss him when I go back to work after a weekend, and repeatedly hitting 'refresh' on my e-mail with the hope that something interesting will pop up. Well, I did that, scheduled a lunch with a friend, and thought about what I'd like to eat. So really, I have been rather busy.

This happens occasionally. Usually I am very type A and hardworking, earning my dazzling performance evaluations. But then I fall into a strange mood of cannot-be-bothered. Seeing as this has started on a Monday, I do not believe it bodes well for the week. Fortunately, I'm taking a half-day on Friday and, given my current state of mind, will probably not log into my work e-mail and use precious PTO hours working. Type A Cat does that sort of ridiculous shit, but Type Z Cat doesn't even wear proper work clothes to the external client meeting when she gets to work from home or take the day off afterwords. The office is lucky if I don't show up bra-less in a mu-mu when Type Z Cat shows up for a few hours before returning home where she can bask in her own ennui and crap television. 

It's all fine and well to avoid work and dick around all day (no it isn't) but it does make the day drag on. Maybe I'll draw a comic. Hang on, be right back.

There we go. As you can see, I evidently want to be outside skipping in a field with giant flowers and this is how I am spending precious corporate hours.

Jesus, I'd better actually do some work.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Do you ever have painfully conflicting emotions about those that you love? I'm wracked with frustrati