Saturday, February 26, 2011

There certainly must have been something in that old silk hat they found...

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'll Ask Her

Hey there! When I check my stats, I routinely see that someone in Alaska reads this blog. That tickles me and brings out my curiosity. Who are you? Hi, how are you? I visited Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan on my cruise last year. Beautiful state from what I can see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1 wish 2 wish Red fish Blue Fish

Wish List
Tea/Coffee Related

1: Pretty tea pot
2: Pretty tea cup
3: Loose green tea
4: Good, whole bean coffee for work
5: Cream pitcher for work, preferably shaped like an animal

Wish List
Non Tea/Coffee Related

1: I think I’d like to have people “follow” my blog
2: I need new bras and underpants
3: More energy, but not the 5-hour induced kind
4: New skirts
5: New clothes in general
6: A better intranet and human resources department

Gevault. Our company has some outsourced, third-party group that is auditing dependent status in order to prove that our spouses/domestic partners really are our spouses/domestic partners and that we really did give birth to that baby we mentioned. I may just have to submit a joint checking account with both my and J’s name on it or I may have to submit that with a copy of my marriage certificate. I’m hoping not since I submitted that last year. If I do, I think I’ll fuck with HR and e-mail them questions like this:

“I have a copy of my 2010 tax return, which I filed jointly with my husband. I can’t find my marriage certificate, though. Can I submit a picture of the two of us hugging with a current newspaper in the frame?”

“I can’t find the documents needed, but here is a copy of the sex tape we made on our anniversary three months ago. If you turn up the volume you can clearly hear my husband say ‘happy anniversary, baby!’. I’m also including a notarized statement from my mother and my husband’s mother, both testifying that the individuals in the video are who I say they are.”

“I notice that the company covers legally married individuals as well as domestic partners. Does this mean that I can cover both my husband and my long-term boyfriend? He’s only 18 and he just graduated from high school so he doesn’t have a full-time job yet. We have a joint checking account, one that my husband doesn’t know about.”

Hmm, maybe not. I don’t want to end up on someone elses “Stupidest Questions I’ve Heard as an HR Employee” or something. My idiocy is to drive traffic to my own blog only.

1 wish 2 wish Red fish Blue Fish


Wish List
Tea/Coffee Related

1: Pretty tea pot
2: Pretty tea cup
3: Loose green tea
4: Good, whole bean coffee for work
5: Cream pitcher for work, preferably shaped like an animal

Wish List
Non Tea/Coffee Related

1: I think I’d like to have people “follow” my blog
2: I need new bras and underpants
3: More energy, but not the 5-hour induced kind
4: New skirts
5: New clothes in general
6: A better intranet and human resources department

Gevault. Our company has some outsourced, third-party group that is auditing dependent status in order to prove that our spouses/domestic partners really are our spouses/domestic partners and that we really did give birth to that baby we mentioned. I may just have to submit a joint checking account with both my and J’s name on it or I may have to submit that with a copy of my marriage certificate. I’m hoping not since I submitted that last year. If I do, I think I’ll fuck with HR and e-mail them questions like this:

“I have a copy of my 2010 tax return, which I filed jointly with my husband. I can’t find my marriage certificate, though. Can I submit a picture of the two of us hugging with a current newspaper in the frame?”

“I can’t find the documents needed, but here is a copy of the sex tape we made on our anniversary three months ago. If you turn up the volume you can clearly hear my husband say ‘happy anniversary, baby!’. I’m also including a notarized statement from my mother and my husband’s mother, both testifying that the individuals in the video are who I say they are.”

“I notice that the company covers legally married individuals as well as domestic partners. Does this mean that I can cover both my husband and my long-term boyfriend? He’s only 18 and he just graduated from high school so he doesn’t have a full-time job yet. We have a joint checking account, one that my husband doesn’t know about.”

Hmm, maybe not. I don’t want to end up on someone else’s “Stupidest Questions I’ve Heard as an HR Employee” or something. My idiocy is to drive traffic to my own blog only.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3-Day Hangover

Remember Friday when I was posting every other minute? Well, the first post was all about how awful the day before a 3-day weekend is because it stretches forever and a day before it finally ends. Granted, this particular 3-day eve was a bit more traumatic than usual, but I was still just as bitchy and whiny about the day dragging on and on.

You know what might have helped? If I'd tackled some of the work I had on my plate as opposed to simply shuffling e-mails into folders and stacking things neatly on my desk. Nothing like coming back to work with mountains of messages and seas of paperwork waiting for you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sorry, ladies, he's taken

Note left for me on the dry-erase board this morning. Somebody is very good at Wii Sword Play and proud of it.

I was born in 1980

There is a man in IT in my office of indeterminate age. I'm guessing he is in his 40's but I really don't know. He is a huge Buckeyes fan, single, has at least a niece, and seems to embarrass easily. He's a nice guy but something of an enigma.

One day he told me that he used to listen to his iPod on the way to work but that he'd lost his adapter so could no longer charge it. I, in my spastic, manic, immediate action way, said "I have three!!!! Here, let me go get you one!"* A few days later, IT Guy came to my cubicle and said "OK, then, what type of music DO you like?" He asked it just like that, as though we'd previously discussed music I do NOT like. He caught me off guard and I think I looked scared because he explained that he just wanted to give me a CD as a thank you for the adapter. He ended up burning me the new Kanye.

Now me and IT Guy swap CDs, which is really strange. After Kanye, he gave me an instrumental album filled with songs that make me think 'mood music' and 1970's Spanish porn. I gave him a very mixed album of things I listen to, including Florence and the Machine, Nirvana, Wu-Tang, and Pink Martini. Then, pre 1980's Rhythm and Blues.

Who knew that this what I needed to perk me up on 2/19, day of the 20th anniversary and day after sister in law cancer news? This album includes Stevie Wonder, James Brown, War, The O'Jays, the Theme from Shaft, and so much more! Seriously, I put this album on to listen to it while I cleaned, only to be very pleasantly surprised. I was so happy and excited that I sat down to make yet another album for indeterminately-aged IT Guy. I was up, briefly, for the challenge of making my own instrumental album but grew bored and instead put together an album of just fun stuff, some guilty pleasures, and some things I was obsessed with at some time or another.  I am almost embarrassed to say what is on the album, but you know what? T'is my blog and I am an embarrassing person so here you go, world:

1: Charotcha - Alva
2: Piano Interlude - I don't know**
3: I don't know but super fun - I don't know
4: Mambo Italiano - Rosemary Clooney
5: Sympathique - Pink Martini
6: Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - The Trevor Horn Orchestra
7: It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork
8: The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) - Weezer
9: Wind it Up - Gwen Stefani (guilty pleasure)
10: Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne (guilty pleasure)
11: Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
12: No Man's Woman - Sinead O'Connor
13: One Man Guy - Rufus Wainwright
14: Don't Know - Don't know
15: You're So Vain - Carly Simon
16: I Don't Want to Grow Up - Tom Waits
17: I Don't Want to Grow Up - Ramones

*Seriously, sometimes I think I must have been a small, yappy, excitable dog in another life or something. I also portray ADD tendencies without having the actual disorder saying things like "that's an interesting house" mid sentence and then carrying on.

**Yeah, I have a lot of unknown songs by unknown artists on my computer. By 'unknown', I mean, I don't know who the artist is and I don't know the name of the song. These songs are from when I was dating my nasty ex-boyfriend and the time of illegal downloads. I wish I knew what the songs were and who by but it is also kind of fun to have anonymous music.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts Thoughts Thoughts

Yesterday, J and I went to P.K. O'Ryan's, one of our favorite of all places, for dinner. After we'd placed our orders (cheeseburgers for both of us, a Stella for me and a Young's Double Chocolate Stout for him), I suddenly recalled something from years ago. It was the eve of my eldest brother's wedding and we were exiting the restaurant after a very jovial rehearsal dinner. My middle brother and I flanked our sister-in-law to be and asked if she was sure she wanted to join our family, was she certain she wanted to become one of us with our cursed history.

M, my middle brother, and I used to half-joke about how someone in our past must have made a deal with the devil given all the rotten luck we'd suffered in childhood. These days I think we both figure that everything that happened and happens is due to poor health and mental illness but when you are young and certain traumas are still fresh, it feels like a family curse. So we asked this girl if she really wanted to sign up for possible and probable misfortune.

I texted M last night to see if he remembered doing that but I never heard back. I wonder if she remembers. It isn't true of course. What has happened to her has nothing to do with the fact that she married into the family. I don't believe in ghosts or demons or superstition but I do admit that the fanciful part of me is glad I took my husband's name because that would save me from a similar fate. The rational part of me knows that the cancer has been with this person for years, in a growth on her foot that she ignored too late because it didn't bother her. It was with her long before she met my brother.

But when things like this happen, when you receive this type of news, who remains 100% rational right away?

Friday, February 18, 2011

3 a day? Who am I?

I realized today that I will not live forever. OK, I did actually know this before but it really hit me for what it is. I realized that I will have to give this great thing back one day, and no longer enjoy it.

And that makes me incredibly sad. I don't want to live without the grass and sky, squirrels running chaotically across the parking lot and hawks sitting predatory-ily on lamp posts. I want to enjoy the changing of seasons forever. I want to experience sounds, smells, sights, all of it, forever. I don't want to give it back. It isn't fair to give me this extraordinary gift only to expect me to give it back.

I am very conflicted regarding my sister in law's discovery. This SIL and I are not close, as I said in my last post. I think I last saw her about five years ago. My brother and I have never been friends although, at this point, we wish one another well. But I am very upset for them both and cannot imagine what it is like to deal with this. My SIL is facing something like certain death and my brother is dealing with the fact that he may lose his wife.

And tomorrow is the 20th anniversary or my father's death from lung cancer. Take that eldest brother o'mine; how does that feel? Poor bastard.

I left work 30 minutes early but the tears came before I got out of the office. I learned the news around 1:12 p.m. but it took awhile to take hold. I sat in my car gasping and weeping for a moment before I started my 12-mile drive home, during which tears slid down my cheek. I'm not an attractive crier. I turn white and splotchy and just look like I have a nasty, snotty cold when I cry. I like to think sunglasses hide it but there is no hiding the red nose.

I'm upset and scared and sad. I feel like I shouldn't complain or whine about anything because it could be worse. But I also understand that humans will always complain and whine about petty things because it is in our nature to do so. Life is not one, long, extended orgasm. It is also, thank fuck, not a bi-polar roller coaster of extreme joy and extreme trauma. Most of the time we live normal lives with average occurrences. We complain about how long the work day is, how annoying store clerks are, how much traffic sucks, etc. If we always had in mind that it could be worse, that we could have cancer or be raped or killed, we would all live in protective bubbles.

So maybe it is OK for me to bitch about petty things ---- just so long as I keep in mind how lucky I am to have these petty complaints.

32

I think that is how old my sister in law is. I don’t know her that well as I don’t know my eldest brother that well, but I know that her age is between mine and his so I’m sticking with 32.

In December of 2009, my sister in law had part of her leg amputated due to synovial sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer that was found in her extremity. She underwent chemotherapy, which was terrible (obviously), but bounced back really well.

She was given a 60% chance of living to age 40.

She had a 3-month check up today and found out that the cancer was back. In both her lungs.

I prefer my previous blog post…

And on the third day...


It is just before 12 noon on the eve of a three-day weekend. This is the worst of all the eves in my opinion. Christmas Eve, if you happen to celebrate the accompanying holiday, is filled with good will, cheer, happy anticipation, gluttonous feasts, etc. New Year’s Eve is filled with hope, drunkenness, good cheer, and wanton hedonism (because we’ll be good tomorrow). All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, is probably the best of all the eves (those are the same things right? All Hallows Eve and Halloween?).

But the eve of a three-day weekend is always pretty obnoxious. I am only four hours into my work day and it feels like I’ve been in the office for eight. I am so bored that I’m not getting any work done and am distracting myself instead with blog reading (ohvic.com) and putting my hair in stupid styles to see who is too polite to comment. Here is the first style I tried: 

 Not that great, is it? It was better in real life. I mean, it was awful, but I couldn’t really capture the awfulness using the paint program. And now my hair is just down anyway because I got tired of this particular game.

I have work to do but I don’t feel like doing it. Yes, as someone else pointed out, I do like my paycheck, but that doesn’t help motivate me at this point in time. All I seem interested in doing is eating all the food I brought with me for the day, taking a nap, playing Wii, and maybe reading my People Magazine. It doesn’t help that my boss is in a different office over 400 miles away today and will be on PTO for the next week.

I kind of want to go and make some popcorn but there are women in the break room who I am sure have seen me walk back and forth five or six times already and I don’t want them to get suspicious. I would be suspicious if I noticed the same person going back and forth five or six times in the span of 30 minutes.

Maybe I’ll go get a 5-hour energy drink from the gas station down the road. Anytime you say ‘from the gas station down the road’ you know you are onto a winning idea. Of course, 5-hour energy might not be the best thing for the sore throat I’ve got from choking on my own spit yesterday. Hmm. Tricky.

Maybe I’ll rearrange everything in my cubicle.

I have a calendar in my cubicle (actually, I have three in my cubicle and two in my briefcase) from the HR department. It includes information on which “awareness” month it is and tips on how to be healthy. Last month was cervical health awareness month, glaucoma awareness month, blood donor month, and thyroid awareness month*. February has some really good tips on how to make inactive tasks active ones. For instance, I should squat often when cleaning my work space and updating my filing and ride a stationary bike whilst answering e-mails. I’ll put in the expense request form for the stationary bike but it might be awhile before I get that necessary resource so looks like I’ll just have to depend on tip number three, marching in place when on the phone, to get my activity. And if you have been keeping up, you know how much I love being on the telephone.

And if you were wondering, it is American Heart Month, Kids’ Ear, Nose, Throat Health Month, and Children’s Dental Health Month. I guess I should be really aware of little kid face holes for the next few days.

*Three of those apply to me because I have a cervix, I donated blood that month, and I have a sluggish, lazy, fat thyroid. But since when can it be multiple awareness months?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shut Up and Swallow

If you have contacted me for information, pause once and awhile so that I can get a word in, will you? This happens every so often when I have the misfortune to take a phone call. I hate phone calls. Whenever I return to my cubicle and see the red flashing light on my telephone indicating a voice-mail message, I immediately groan and mumble something along the lines of “god fucking damn it… I don’t want to talk to anybody.” If I’m lucky, it is just CVS calling, yet again, to let me know that the medications I’ve put on automatic refill are ready for pick up.* Or else it is my friend Birdie, who knows that I hate voice-mail but who insists upon leaving them, in a very professional manner, should I not be at my desk whenever she calls. On these occasions, I am perfectly happy to have gotten worked up for nothing. But then there are the other occasions.

I am responsible for recruiting and credentialing physicians who work for my company. We have specific requirements and criteria that must be met before we will even consider an application. Many physicians like to be certain they are eligible before they complete the mountain of paperwork and so they call me, their friendly, helpful, eager to please point of contact. Sometimes they want to know if they can return signature pages only as opposed to the eight hundred non-signature pages that are included with their materials. Other times they wish to know if the fact that they are licensed in seven different states is a benefit. Those are easy questions and when the physician on the other side of the telephonic connection is a rational and direct person, things go well. Sadly, there are many, many, many non-rational and indirect assholes out there who like to chatter on or, better yet, argue with me about why my company should let them do x y or z even if they don’t meet the criteria.**

This morning I had the misfortune of returning a message to a very long-winded physician who had one, easy, quick question that lasted for fifteen minutes. At one point I said “I’m going to put you on hold and run down the hall to ask the director and I’ll be with you in a moment” only to have this particular physician say “OK” and then proceed to blather on for three or four minutes more. I’m not even sure what exactly he said during the fifteen minute call because I eventually quit listening (the participation desired on my side seems to have just been empty agreements and sympathetic/understanding grunts) and just continued on with some other work.

Are these people lonely or do they sincerely enjoy hearing themselves speak? Seriously, who goes on and on and on with their life story and work history when all they need from the other person is a simple answer to a question? I called my optometrist’s office today to confirm that I was being seen at the Bethel Road location for my appointment and I didn’t hold the receptionist hostage by explaining that I’ve had trouble getting lost in the past or that I couldn’t google map the location or that I used to see someone whose name I can’t recall when I lived in Delaware and boy did I have a bad experience with that particular practice. No, I simply asked if I was being seen at the Bethel Road location and was it located across the street from that fancy restaurant. The gentleman who answered the phone confirmed this information and we said our goodbyes.

I suppose I should just consider myself lucky that I do not work with a passel of these long-winded, self-indulgent, chatty Cathys.

*I keep waiting for the day that the automated voice gets nasty with me for not coming in to pick up my prescriptions. One day, I’m convinced, the message will change from “… your prescriptions will be held for FOUR days” to “Look douchebag, YOU were the one to set this shit up and you knew that it meant that we’d automatically refill your scripts so can you just fucking come get them? I’m tired of calling your forgetful ass.”

**Regardless of the field in which I’ve worked, my favorite type of idiot to come across is the one who informs me that I should change a policy. This especially tickled me when I worked for a hotel chain because I would internally smirk at the ‘guest’ and think “yeah, the girl in the polyester vest and plastic name badge wields a LOT of policy-making power.”

In other news, I choked today. Literally. I managed to swallow my own spit incorrectly and this led to a prolonged bout of very attractive seal noises as I tried to take deep breaths in order to cough it out. The person who sits on the other side of my cubicle asked if I was OK* and the general manager of the company, whose office is just outside said cubicle, peered over and said “she’s breathing.”

This has got to be one of the most embarrassing things that can happen in a public place or the office. There is simply no dignity in choking unless you require the Heimlich maneuver, which lends importance and danger to the incident. What I did just shows that my throat and swallowing function are subnormally intelligent and get confused when a little bit of saliva is trying to make its way down. And it is always so loud when it happens! There is no covering it up or keeping it quiet and private. Instead, it is like having an annoying, braying laugh that others can hear on the other side of the office. That coupled with the red face from lack of oxygen make me feel so dainty and sophisticated.

The worst part? This happens to me far more frequently than it seems to happen to other people. The reason I know what to do and how to handle it quickly, and my ability to run out of a room or head for an exit is because this experience is disturbingly common for me. Lousy swallowing function!**

*Why do people insist on asking me if I’m OK when I’m choking? What the fuck am I supposed to say? I can’t breath for fucks sake!

**Ha ha, yes, swallowing function. Go ahead and make your blow job jokes.