Thursday, January 29, 2009


This afternoon I headed to the ladies room for my normal, 3pm-ish, pee break, and found my favorite stall unoccupied. It’s the one furthest from the door. I don’t know why I always feel drawn to that one, but I do. And since the men outnumber the women 10 to 1 on my floor, that stall is usually available because there’s never anybody else even in the restroom. Long story short, I got my favorite stall. But today that stall had a different look. No, nothing alarming or disgusting, just weird. Today there was a bunch of glitter all over the floor. It wasn’t anywhere else in the restroom, just in that stall.


I’ve been imagining possible scenarios in my head since then. How many ways could that happen? Glitter. On the floor. In the restroom. At work.

I think these are the best of what I came up with (keeping in mind that I am, right now, as I write, extremely drunk (I use lots of sentence fragments when I’m drunk. Probably drives Jocelyn crazy (She’s an English composition teacher))). They are:

1. They started making Barbie™ panties in adult sizes.

2. All the cool, hip people now decorate their hoo-hoo’s with glitter and I’m not hip enough to know about it.

3. MegaCorporation has out-sourced custodial duties to a group of fairies, and one of them, say, sneezed while she was cleaning that stall.

Anybody have a better idea?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He's gone!

One of our friends hosted a little post-inauguration celebration last night. There was plenty of food and drinks and lively conversation. Skiver even brought a bottle of some very tasty champagne for toasting. Once all our glasses were filled, we stood around for a second, trying to decide what to toast to. I suggested “He’s gone!” Everyone agreed enthusiastically. Then we clinked glasses and downed the bubbly and continued on with the critiquing of the inaugural fashion, which is really the best part of the whole thing.

I was a bit disappointed when we first arrived at the festivities, because I forgot to bring the George Bush action figure that I got Slag for Christmas two or three years ago. I figured George would be a fun party toy, especially after a few bottles of wine.

The action figure normally resides on our mantel, bent over, with its pants pulled down, thusly:

For a long time the lady who cleans our house would pull up his pants and sit him upright as part of her “tidying of the living room” routine, but lately she’s taken to joining in the fun and doing something amusing with him. Most recently she’s been sitting him in the lap of my Princess Lea sock monkey. But that’s a story for another post.

Anywho, on election day Slag and I decided that we would retire George on inauguration day. The joke has run its course. Oh, we’ll keep him around for the sake of posterity, but the sight of Ken-doll-smooth flesh-colored plastic buttocks has grown a little tiresome. Also, we don't want to appear to be rabidly psychotic, like the people who still haven't recovered from Clinton's presidency. Plus George's butt doesn’t really go with the rest of the décor.

So long, George!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've Gone Red(dish)

Don’t worry, Bill O’Reilly! I swear I’m not a godless commie! I think I’m just having a mid-life crisis. And no, I haven’t traded Slag in for a couple of 25-year-olds. I still have a job. There are no sports cars in the driveway. No, none of that. Instead I’ve gone completely WILD and dyed my hair “medium auburn blond” (with a few blond highlights). How’s that for thrills and drama? Woohoo!!!!!

Somebody better shoot me with a tranquilizer dart before I go nuts and call in sick to work when I’m not really sick.

Photo courtesy of Slag

Saturday, January 10, 2009


While I am now a pretty dedicated flosser, it wasn’t always so. In my teens and twenties, my teeth saw floss only on the rare occasion that I got a piece of popcorn stuck between a couple of molars, and even then I only flossed the spot necessary to remove the offending bit of corn-hull. All the other teeth were ignored. I didn’t hear them complaining, so I assumed everything was fine. I had better things to do with my time.

So, as you might imagine, whenever I went to the dentist during those years and the dental hygienist asked me if I flossed, I’d squirm a little and mumble something about “every now and then” or “once in a while” or some other vague expression that really meant “No. No, I definitely do not floss, but I’m not going to admit it to you. Stop judging me!” Does anybody ever answer that question truthfully? Anyone? Ever? No, they don’t.

I don’t recall exactly what made me start thinking about flossing, and then actually doing it once in a while. I’m going to guess it was something like the memory of my grandmother sticking out her false teeth and making her eyes all crazy-looking and causing me and my cousins to shriek in terror and hide under furniture. I came to realize that no, I am not immortal and my body parts are going to start breaking down just like everyone else’s if I don’t take care of them. In short, I decided that I didn’t want to be the old lady with the freaky teeth who scared small children.

It was hard at first. It was just one more thing that was standing between me and vegging on the couch at the end of the day. I became an intermittent flosser, maybe averaging every other day or so. Still not on the straight and narrow according to The American Dental Association™ I’m sure, but definitely better than never. That slowly morphed into regular, every day, no-matter-what, can’t-relax-and-go-to-sleep-unless-I-have-flossed flossing Now if I don’t floss, I feel like I may as well go to bed with a mouth full of candy and invite the gingivitis to come and have a party in my mouth. I could wake up a toothless old hag! Instead of the toothed apprentice hag that I am now.

So, what was my point?

Oh yeah, well, now that I floss every day, I always expect the dental hygienist to ask me if I floss, so I can sanctimoniously declare “Yes! I floss every day! Aren’t my gums magnificent??” Only she never does. What is up with that? I always leave feeling cheated. I floss every day and I want some recognition for the effort, dammit. Is that too much to expect? She has her hands in my mouth for a good 20 minutes. Would it kill her to ask me one little question? It’s not like it would take any extra time. She could ask me while she’s putting the little drool towel around my neck or when she’s reloading the spinning rubber tool with nasty-tasting tooth polish or any number of other times when there’s a lull in the conversation.

So this week I decided to take matters into my own hands and ask why she doesn’t ask me the floss question, now that I actually do floss. And you know what she said? She said she could tell whether or not someone flosses just by looking, so she didn’t need to ask.

Excuse me….what? WHAT?? She can tell by looking?? Really? So all those times that she asked me about flossing, she ALREADY KNEW the answer? What kind of crap is that?? What, did she just want to listen to me lie, so she could feel superior? Is that how she amuses herself? By secretly mocking non-flossers?

Of course, this revelation has caused me to reevaluate our entire relationship. I thought it was based on trust and mutual respect and now I know that I was just being naïve. It’s true, I am just too trusting. I had no idea what was really going on. I feel so used, so manipulated. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let my guard down and be vulnerable with another hygienist ever again. She stole my innocence and I can never forgive her for that.

And her? Well, she clearly has issues. I mean, you really have to wonder about someone who spends her entire day passive-aggressively manipulating non-flossers for her own amusement. The more I think about it, the more I’m really starting to worry a bit about the woman’s mental stability. She obviously needs a therapist and possibly medication. And it wouldn’t surprise me if someone organized an intervention in the near future. Otherwise things could get out of hand.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I Am Ready

I go back to work tomorrow after being off for two solid weeks. Mega-Corporation closed down operations for two weeks around the holidays this year, instead of the usual one week. MC wants me to spend extra time with my family, to rest and rejuvenate. I know that because I got a little note from HR telling me so. Down at the very bottom of the note there was also some vague comment about “leveraging downtime to confine costs” or some such. Which costs being confined was never fully explained, but I can guess. cough*gettingallthatvacationtimeoffthebooks*cough. Whatever.

I don’t have a lot to show for all this time off. Instead, I have taken care of a million little things that no one would actually notice. I’ve replaced the water filter in the refrigerator and the air filter in the AC system. I replaced the bag in the vacuum cleaner and repotted all the plants in the house. The car is full of gas and its registration is up-to-date and its tires are fully inflated to the recommended pressure. The house is stocked with paper towels and toilet paper and laundry soap and all the other essentials. We aren’t almost out of anything. I have mopped and filed and ironed and organized. I made 2008 contributions to our IRAs. I have a new toothbrush. I even blogged.

So. Let it be known that right now my life is officially under control. It may never happen again, but for just these few hours, I am on top of everything. Bring it on, 2009! I am ready for you. (Here is where I deliver a couple of karate chops to the air around my head, Chuck Norris style, and everybody is really impressed.)

P.S. I expect everything will be back to the normal insanity by tomorrow around this time. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I Am Not Dead (and Neither Is Slag)

No really, it’s true. We are still here. Barely. The blogging suffered and there wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t feel a little pang of guilt about it, but I just didn’t have the mental energy to do it. I hope the blogging gods will forgive me.

It’s been a stressful year for us. Last night Slag and I kissed at midnight, exchanged I-love-you’s, and pronounced a hearty “Good Riddance and Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Ass on the Way Out” to 2008. 2009, you had better watch yourself, because I have had enough crap. Really.

Some things that happened this year:

1. Slag’s back has become nearly non-functional. I mean, it’s still there, connecting his shoulders to his legs, but the number of positions it allows Slag to take without causing extreme pain has decreased to around two. Those would be (a) Lying horizontally on the left side of the body and (b) Lying horizontally on the right side of the body. This makes it difficult for him to work (see number 2) and make pottery, the two things that keep him sane and agreeable, though I will say he has done a much better job of staying sane and agreeable than I would have.
He’s been through some horrendous tests, one culminating in an ambulance ride back to the hospital after the test. The test was called a discogram, and it wasn’t nearly as fun as the name might imply.

There’s a 95% chance that someone will be cutting him open in 2009. We haven’t yet decided who will be doing the cutting or what they will do once they have gained access to his spine. Stay tuned.

2. I know the mortgage industry meltdown affected lots of people out there. It particularly affected Slag because, well, he works in the mortgage industry. So his business has seen somewhat of a slow down. Plus, new, knee-jerk-reaction regulations created by those who don't really understand his job are making it almost impossible for him to do his job effectively. Which is nearly a moot point anyway (see number 1).

3. Wicked Step-Mother™ was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring. It was caught in the very earliest of stages. She went through surgery and radiation treatment and is now clear of cancer, and we’re hoping she stays that way. (2009, do not mess with me on this. I will kick your ass. I mean it.)

4. My Dad’s Parkinsons continues to progress. I don’t see him that often, so when I do see him, the changes are marked. Nothing else to say here, except a hearty, sarcastic Thanks! to The Decider for blocking stem cell research at every opportunity. Someday, I hope he or someone he loves comes down with Parkinsons or Alzheimers or diabetes or something else that would be eight years closer to a cure if he hadn’t been installed in office. Yes, I know that’s mean-spirited, and I don’t care.

5. My net worth has decreased by about 33% in the last 3 months. Not that we’re talking about an extreme amount of money anyway, but it’s very disheartening to see it all evaporate overnight.

6. Last spring the Mega-Corporation that I work for announced it was selling the building where my co-workers and I reside. MC was planning on cramming us all into a data center building out by the airport. A building that doesn’t even have enough restrooms to support the number people who were going to occupy it, let alone any amenities like a cafeteria. The closest restaurant is a titty bar called “The Landing Strip.” (<--I am not making that up.) There were rumors of a Subway in a nearby gas station, but I never saw it. And my commute would have tripled. MC offered move packages to anyone willing to move to another city about 3 hours from here. My boss and four of the people I work most closely with took the package. And then, after houses had been sold and moving trucks had departed, and those of us remaining had resigned ourselves to a work space more appropriate for veal calves, MC cancelled the whole thing. Yes, I’m still in my same office, as if it never even happened. Except all the people I work with now live in another city and that can make work a bit more difficult. It’s not so easy to find a wandering boss when you can’t just roam around the building until you hear his distinctive laugh. And just so you don’t think I’m a completely negative person, here are some good things that happened this year:

1. Slag still loves me and I still love him and we still make each other laugh every day in spite of the year we’ve had. We still have jobs and a house and some savings and don’t owe for anything and I know that’s a lot more than many people have right now.

2. MC did, in fact, cancel plans to move me to a part of town where a titty bar called The Landing Strip is the primary public dining facility.

3. MC still provides pretty decent health insurance and we are going to need it this year.

4. All my parents are relatively healthy and still enjoying life and I’m grateful for that.

5. My brother and sister and their families are healthy and growing like weeds.

6. We have wonderful friends who care and are there when we need them.

7. Obama was elected. I know some people voted for Obama because he is African-American, and I know others didn’t vote for him because he is African-American, but I believe that most people don’t give a rat’s ass what color he is. They just think he’s the best guy for the job, and that makes me so much more optimistic about the mentality and future of this country. The past eight years have been so destructive in so many ways and now it’s time to start rebuilding. I’m worried about the enormous mess he is inheriting from the previous administration and hope he won’t be blamed for things beyond his control, but someone has to try to fix it. Godspeed, Barak. Now, to end on a positive note, here are the quilts I made this year:

The only baby quilt I made this year. This one is for Blaine, the new son of friends Becky and Dave.

This is one I made for my Dad.

This is a quilt I made for my sister. It was my first attempt at a king-sized quilt.

A quilt I made for Slag. His color selection, my design.

This is the first baby quilt I made, for my nephew Levi, who will be 7 in April. I found it while going through my pictures. The quilt itself is simpler than those I make now, but it is hand-quilted. I haven’t hand-quilted one since, because it takes FOREVER.