Thursday, June 30, 2005

The pen is mightier than the flowers!

If you have read the old posts, you may remember that I have a little love affair with office supplies. Some of you may understand this, and if so, I would love to hear from you. Maybe we can start an office supplies pep squad. Or a support group.

When I was a kid I would often spend my allowance on office products. I remember that I used to buy these expensive pens that had waterproof ink for my journaling. Because what if my journal ever fell overboard into the ocean? When it washed ashore in a foreign land, eons from then, I wanted people to know The Truth. Which was that JR in my fourth period class had gorgeous green eyes but that his little pick-up lines had NO effect on me. And this was in 8th grade. Even then I was cheese-resistant. I felt it was my duty to pass on my wisdom to the young women of the Future.

These days I am so happy when it comes time to replenish the supply cabinet at work. I critically examine and research each product for quality, asthetic appeal, and functionality. I create Excel spreadsheets that note the price and page number of each desired item in the catalog. It is a thing of BEAUTY! I may even post the next one I create.

And? The whole reason I loved this movie was that the main characters make up a story about how they invented the glue that makes Post-Its stick.

So in light of these things, I realized that yet another career I would enjoy would be selling various pens, pencils, clips, and staplers on QVC. I watch QVC sometimes and wonder how these sparkly, well-manicured women can have so much to say about inanimate objects. The twee charm bracelets! The waffle irons! The luxurious sherpa jackets! What? Here's all I'd be able to think of:

"Here is a jacket. It's pretty soft. Comes in blue or red. Want it?"


(dumbfounded look from camera crew)

But office supplies? I could say a lot! I could be the special office supplies correspondent!


"Note the way the pen writes fluidly with crisp, black ink. It has a beautiful silver-finish clip for convenient attachment to pockets or portfolios. Its cushiony black base positively pampers your fingers during those marathon writing sessions. This pen practically does the writing for you! It comes in a beautiful array of colors, including fiery ruby red, striking emerald green, and soothing ocean blue. Believe me (chuckle), the boardroom will buzz when you pull this baby out of your briefcase! This pen says, "Look at me, everyone. I am a goddamn genius!"

(Note to QVC: call me.)

One of my favorite items ever was that little red stapler that I got for Christmas one year. A classic never to be forgotten.

See how nicely I show off the stapler? I just need a manicure and I am totally QVC material!

"Presto! It's so easy."

I also have this very old metal stapler that is actually rusting in some spots. But I must keep it... for when I open my fabulous Museum of Office Supplies one day. I think I own six staplers altogether... three at home and three at work.

Old n' rusty, but still works! Sometime in the 80's I tried to decorate it with white and sparkly gold paint, the remains of which can be seen on the left.

It says "Tatum Rascal" on it. Was this a brand name? The original owner's bad-ass boyfriend? I have no idea. As a librarian I should research this immediately, but I'm too tired.

I LOVE this. My husband bought it for me. It combines my two favorite things in the world: highlighters and Post-Its. When I spotted it in Wal-Mart I thought it was too grand to be an impulse buy, so I sighed, "Well, maybe I can ask for it for Christmas..." Shooting me a totally disgusted look, hubby plucked it from the rack and tossed it in the basket.

"It costs TWO BUCKS. Seriously."

I was a very happy girl that day.

And the other night? My husband came home with flowers and a brand new Avery Double Click pen. Guess which one I liked the best? It's green! And it's a pen, and a pencil, and it has an eraser hidden in the top! I LUV it. I use it at work and if anyone attempts to borrow it, my cold evil stare stops them dead in their tracks.

Even these beautiful flowers cannot compare to my new Double Click pen.

Currently I am lusting after one of the old-school Trapper Keepers that I always wanted when I was in school. Preferably one with cute kittens or a unicorn on it. Must be vintage. Anyone have one they're willing to give up?

Please? I'll let you use my new pen!

In which I post gratuitous photos of my dog

Is it very wrong of me to be obsessed with my dog? Because I think I am. Obsessed, that is. Or just very much in love.

I don't think I was this consumed with my past two dogs. I had never lost a pet before, so for a long time I was in Never Never Land where sweet, loyal pets never get sick or die. No! They are happy and well for many years, and then considerately wait and pass away on the same day I do. Yes, I also believe in fairy dust.

Well, for any of you who have not figured this out yet, most dogs live about 10-12 years. Most humans, on average, live about 80 years. So you do the math.

In any case, both of my previous dogs died within one year of each other, and I had to put one of them to sleep. Both were very sick at the end, and it was nearly unbearable for me to watch. So now I have this heightened awareness, and every strange noise, bump, or movement is cause for concern. Or PANIC! No, I try not to panic. I avoid panic by letting my husband schedule and attend all the vet appointments, which he handles beautifully. And CALMLY.

I read a favorable review of this new book and ordered it from Amazon. When it came I could not get through it without breaking down, and it's been THREE YEARS since my dogs died, people. Three years! Any time I caught a glimpse of the book I felt heartbroken, so I had to hide it under a stack of old Gourmet magazines. This is a move I learned from Ramona Quimby. Don't know who she is? Tisk, tisk. Ramona's book had a picture of a scary gorilla in it that was giving her nightmares, so she hid it. Get it? If you can't see it, it's not there! Again, fairy dust, people.

So in an attempt to freeze my dog in his young, healthy body, I take TONS of pictures. And you must agree, he is adorable. You agree, DON'T YOU?

That's what I thought!

Look at me, I'm smiling. SMILING! I am so adorable.

Watch, now I will destory this box. Am total box-ripping CHAMPION.

Told ya.
Does this knock your socks off, or what?
I love to bask adorably in the destruction I create.

Friday, June 24, 2005

How do I love thee?

Why I Love My Husband

1) I was 17 when I met him. He, being much older and wiser as a 19-year old, told me, “I don’t date high schoolers.”

2) But then he did.

3) For our first date, we listened to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on his record player.

4) He took me to see this at National Theatre and watched my face the whole time to see my enjoyment.

5) When I wanted to go away to college, he didn’t try to convince me to stay.

6) Once I ran barefoot all the way back to my dorm room in a rain storm. When I burst through the door there were a dozen pink roses on my desk.

7) After I had to put my beloved dog to sleep, he bought me a silver necklace that had a cocker spaniel charm on it so I could still keep her close.

8) When we were in graduate school together he brought me snacks to help me stay awake in class.

9) Due to a learning disability, he had to work twice as hard in school but never complained.

10) Now he uses his experience to help others.

11) After he proposed on the beach he yelled out to people walking by, “I love this woman so much that I just asked her to marry me!”

12) At our wedding he danced with his mother to Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’.

13) He plays with our neighbors’ kids.

14) He laughs at my jokes.

15) He’s proud of my job.

16) He rubs my head when I get a headache.

17) He loves our dog as much as I do.

18) He makes a mean black bean enchilada.

19) We’re celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary and eleven years of being together...

20) ...but it seems like no time at all.

Happy anniversary, baby.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen

Two posts in one day! I know, you are shocked.

I am relaxing at home, the work of day is done, and my husband is away for the evening. I just finished a Bacardi Silver Raz that truthfully? I bought because I liked the name. But honestly? I do not like so much. Too sugary. But you know-- waste not, want not. Mmm. Artifical raspberry flavor. And... sulfites.

I am here because I have nothing to do. Nuh-thing. Except type to you about things you probably don't care about. But that's my perogative, isn't it?

Don't snicker. Don't you DARE.

I realized on my way home from work today that I am stuck in a total rut with the music I listen to. My car's CD player holds 6 CDs. I put 6 in. I listen to them FOREVER. Because I? Am too lazy/rushed/forgetful to change them.

Right now you may be interested in knowing that I am grooving to George Michael. The BEST of Mr. Michael, that is.

You may also be horrified. At least, my husband was when I approached him in Best Buy with it clutched to my chest. And also this one. This is the man who will willingly buy me tampons in the grocery store without making me feel a drop of guilt, but ask him to use a credit card that has his legal name on it to purchase a George Michael double CD set?

Hee. Hee hee.

But anyway, George is just for when I'm working on the computer. Here is what I have in my car, in no particular order:

1. Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection

2. Indigo Girls: 1200 Curfews (disc 2)

3. Usher: Confessions

4. Michael Jackson: Number Ones

5. Cake: Comfort Eagle

6. Disc #2 of the 10 bazillion that make up the book-on-CD version of Bill Clinton's autobiography, My Life.

What? Is that weird or something?

I have just two comments about this. First, I am proud of the fact that I know every word of Billie Jean, and I did indeed sing along with it five times on the way home from work today.

And second, I really hope that my spending evenings with George won't turn you off. However? If it does? Your loss.

No no no, wait! Come back! I can kiss up. Watch:

I know I Can't Make You Love Me. Maybe my taste is just Too Funky for you. But I hope all you Cowboys and Angels will give me One More Try, because a Moment with You is like Jesus to a Child at the end of a Hard Day. I'll just have to keep the Faith that you will let the Monkey keep Spinning the Wheel Outside.

I am Waiting for that Day.

Desafinado*, Star People.


* I don't know what this word means... it just sounded like some kind of adieu. Advance apologies if I have managed to offend you in another language. Just so you know, when I am offensive it is usually by choice, not by accident.

What I Wish

Do you ever have those moments when you think of something that would make you really, truly happy? And you get all excited for a minute, and you’re transported back to that childhood belief that if you really really want something, and you really really deserve it, maybe you can just wish hard enough and hey-- you’ll get it!

Like just now, I really really wished that I had a strawberry milkshake. And the endorphins rushed through my body and cheered, “Happy happy happy!” But when I looked down at my desk, I saw only my bottle of tap water, and no milkshake.

That was disappointing.

Or this morning I was talking with my co-worker, who is a really awesome guy. And I really really wished that he and his wife lived next to my husband and me. Because then they could be all, “Hey! It’s such a nice evening that we’re going to sit outside and talk!” And I’d be all, “Great idea! We’ll join you!” And we’d sit out and laugh laugh laugh and all the other neighbors would wonder what we were laughing at and be jealous of our great friendship.

But? I still live where I live, and he still lives 40 miles away.

That, too, is disappointing.

As a child, I absolutely believed in the power of the mind. My thoughts? Could accomplish some Very Major Things. But fear not, I did not let my perceived power go to my head. I was a very serious child, and I weighed every decision very carefully.

For example, one day I woke up with the belief that I could choose my sex. Now get your minds out of the gutter, people. I was four. I mean that I thought I could choose whether I would be a boy or a girl. Never mind the fact that I was obviously already a full-fledged GIRL. I figured you had to be SOMETHING when you were born, and then when you had matured to the age of 4, you could choose whether you would be a boy or a girl. And you would remain as such for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Obviously, this was not something to take lightly.

I clearly remember weighing the pros and cons of being a boy or a girl. Right around this time, my mother had just had my little sister. When I asked, she told me that it hurt. That made a big impression on me, because I did not like anything that Hurt.

Girl / cons: Girls must have babies, and this Hurts.

Also around this time, my father had cut his hand while fixing the car. This made a huge impression on me because I saw the BLOOD on his hand, and blood to me was Very Scary.

Boy / cons: Boys have to fix the car and hurt their hands. This also Hurts.

Honestly? I can’t even remember what the pros were. All I knew was that there was a damn good reason to reject either sex. However. In the end, I chose to be a girl. Obviously. Behold the Power of My Mind!

No, really! The way I made The Decision that night was to close my eyes very tightly and say firmly, “I do NOT want to be a boy. I want to be a GIRL. Thank you.”

Had I actually witnessed the birth of my sister, chances are damn good that you would be reading a man's blog right now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Woke Up This Morning...

Hello, weekend? Where aaaaaaaare you?

I am seriously tired, folks. Not in a whiny, oh-I-wish-it-was-Saturday way, but as in I almost fell asleep at a red light this morning.

This morning I shared this with someone and they (of course) asked, “Why are you so tired?” And I (of course) answered, “I have no idea!”

Big liar, here. When I really think about it, I can come up with lots of reasons that I am tired today.

Fifty-five, in fact:

1) The fifth season of the Sopranos finally arrived at Blockbuster

2) which I have been waitingwaitingwaiting for, because we don’t get HBO

3) and because I am obsessive like that, I had been checking the website MULTIPLE times each day for news of its rentability

4) so I was therefore able to call my husband IMMEDIATELY and tell him to get himself to our local Blockbuster A.S.A.P.

5) I also said please.

6) So he went and rented the entire fifth season

7) because he loves me

8) and knew I would whine incessantly until he did.

9) And I’ve been watching every night

10) being bombarded with profanity and images of sex and violence

11) and inevitably falling asleep in the middle of whatever episode we’re watching

12) and waking up when it’s over

13) so my husband has to rehash the entire story line for me

14) and last night I fell asleep AGAIN while he was rehashing

15) which exasperates him

16) so I pinched myself so I could WAKE UP

17) (ouch)

18) and then I was awake

19) so we took the dog out for his last bathroom break of the night

20) but the air had gotten cooler and the grass was wet

21) and Breeze + Wet Paws = Hyper!!!!!!!!! Whee!

22) so he wanted to race up and down the hallway

23) tried to reason with dog

24) he would not listen

25) so when I managed to catch his furry little body I took him to our bedroom and shut the door

26) this made him Mad

27) so he Acted Out in typical fashion

28) which means he crawled under our bed while we were trying to sleep

29) and scratched at the carpet

30) and butted his head against the bottom of the mattress

31) we tried to Ignore Him

32) but then he started growling

33) which made me laugh

34) but made hubby mad

35) so hubby crawled under the bed and pulled the dog out

36) and it looked like a battle of wills

37) and also like my husband was birthing a calf

38) which made me laugh even harder

39) which meant that I was then WIDE AWAKE

40) so after the dog was on the bed where he was supposed to be

41) I lay back in bed

42) and started thinking about the drunk driver I had seen on the way home from work

43) whom I reported to the police

44) I got his license plate number and everything, because he seriously SCARED me

45) and I started to worry that he might have family in Jersey or New York

46) and I started to worry about my kneecaps getting broken

47) and since I like my kneecaps

48) you can understand why I was distraught

49) so I decided it would be smart to assume an alias

50) which I may reveal someday

51) but not right now, because I seriously need to catch a nap

52) So in conclusion

53) I'll just cover all my bases...

54) Note to Tony S: I have a vicious passive-agressive dog under the bed


Monday, June 13, 2005

What I'm Reading Now...

Yes, I always like to have two or three books going at the same time. I love having OPTIONS. Slow chapter? Switch to the next book and try again later! Story line getting weird? Take a break and try some nonfiction! So here goes:

1. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
by Ruth Reichl

Reichl used to be the food critic at the New York Times. She's also the executive editor of Gourmet magazine, so she really knows her stuff. Why do I read? LOVE books that offer glimpses into the food world, whether is be via critics, chefs, or restaurant minions. This one follows Reichl as she creates disguises and accompanying personalities that (usually) allowed her to eat undetected in NYC's restaurants.

2. Irrational Exuberance (2nd ed.)
by Robert J. Shiller

In the second edition, Shiller puts a real estate twist on his cogent aguments about "bubble-like" market behavior. Why do I read? Because like everyone else who lives in my area, I am obsessed in an unhealthy way with the skyrocketing value of my home. It's great! It just keeps going up and up! So do the property taxes! Weep.

3. Down Came the Rain
by Brooke Shields

An intimate look at her personal struggle with postpartum depression. Why do I read? Actually, it's because I happened to see her on Oprah, and while I usually turn the channel immediately upon encountering a celebrity interview, I was riveted by her story.

And last but not least...

4. Fodor's Italy 2005

Yes! Our Italy extravaganza is almost here! Almost, as in only 2 1/2 months away! Why do I read? Can't wait to go. We've been trying to learn Italian for the trip. So far I can order white wine, red wine, the house wine, and coffee with cream and sugar. I can also ask where the bathroom is. That's right, all the essentials.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

What NOT to say

The following is a real conversation that happened at my place of work:

Co-worker: Oooh, I am not feeling good at all.

Me: Maybe it's seasonal allergies like I had!

Co-worker: But this is really bad. I think it might be dysentery.

Me: Huh?

Co-worker: My insides are really churning! I was up all night last night, practically living in the bathroom. I can just feel them, moving all around and gurgling!

Me: Huh!

Co-worker: The problem is that my doctor needs three samples to find out for sure! I've got one, but I need two more. It's pretty difficult.

(first thought is, samples of what? But nevermind! I got it! Thanks!)

Me: Huh...

Co-worker: (suddenly cheery) At least the bathroom's not too far away!

Me: Right!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

In which you are subjected to wordy contemplation of my professional transformation...

A comment on my last post made me think about my chosen profession, librarianship. To use the word “chosen” is probably giving myself too much credit, as I sort of found myself in the library world without even trying very hard.

I originally started out as a social worker. I figured, I like helping people. I like to problem solve. I LOVE making tons of dough. Social work, here I come!

(as you can see, in a brilliant and cunning move I traded one high-paying profession for another)

I went through all the necessary undergraduate and graduate schooling and became a social worker (yes, most of them do go to school “for that”. I add this comment after years of enduring, “You have to go to school for THAT?” Wait a minute—that still happens! *slaps forehead*)

Worked with mentally ill teenagers, worked with families and abused children. Loved the people, hated the circumstances they suffered. Got burned out pretty quickly. Couldn’t see myself social working for 30 more years.

Depression set in.

So what did I do when the going got tough? That’s right, I QUIT! And OF COURSE I gave appropriate notice. I’m professional to the bitter end.

But no, I didn’t have another job lined up. At the time, we could live on my husband’s salary, so I was lucky. There was no, holy crap! Time to stock up on Ramen! I was free to quit, pack up my office, and slip blissfully into Days Full of Nothingness.

I threw myself into the culinary arts. I took cake decorating classes and baked every week. I would spend hours planning elaborate menus for the week, then leisurely search the Shoppers Food Warehouse for the ingredients. Having all the time in the world allows you to get very intimate with the bread selection at your favorite store, and to do grape-by-grape comparisons of two bunches of red globes. In the car on the way home I would gleefully review how much I had saved by using coupons. Oh yeah, baby. My husband was going to be PSYCHED that I was unemployed.

This was fun for about a month. Then I found myself staring out the window during the day, wondering about the lives and destinations of every person I saw.

Me: (talking to random passerby) Oh yeah, look at you driving by in your Saturn. You’ve got someplace important to be, huh? Well, not me. I’m free as a bird! FREEEEEE AS A BIRD!”

I think I was standing in the kitchen chanting this when my husband got home. Here’s how the inevitable conversation went:

(husband holding me, speaking in soothing tones)

Husband: Hey! I love that song.


Husband: (scratches head) Hmmm... sounds like maybe you’re ready to go back to work.


Husband: Do you want to look for another social work job?


Husband: Well, what would make you happy?

Me: (tearful gasp) I think I want to be a librarian!

Husband: Huh?

Me: Huh?

Yeah, it really happened like that. Cue the heavenly light and angels singing! I was destined to be a librarian!

Now, I love my work. But there are other things I have considered, and then rejected. Behold:

Top 5 Careers Considered and Rejected, with Explanation:

5. Raise Pygmy goats

Rejected: because I live in a town house.

4. Seeing Eye Dog trainer

Rejected: because this is for volunteers. No money, honey.

3. Landscape architecture

Rejected: because I am the world’s worst measurer. From watching Landscapers’ Challenge on HGTV, I see that accurate measuring is Very Important. Also, I sunburn very easily.

2. Chef

Rejected: because I do not want to work every weekend. Also, chefs frequently suffer burns on their hands and arms, as I learned by reading the excellent Kitchen Confidential. This could adversely affect my chances of becoming a hand model one day.

1. Bring to fruition a brilliant concept in which a computer can tell people which books they might enjoy!

Rejected: because this already exists., NoveList, etc. Not to mention that this is part of a librarian's job. It's called readers' advisory. Seriously! I do not make these things up!

So the decision to become a librarian was made one day from the depths of despair. Even though I'd worked in libraries all through high school and college and grad school, it never occured to me that libraries were my destiny. See? All it took was a guy driving by in a Saturn to inspire a moment of life-changing clarity.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

That's hot

Yup, I've been sick.

Truly, as in my nose has been running so fast and so long that I'm certain I am 100% void of any body fluid by now. As in my sinuses have been hijacked by Saddam Hussein. As in PLEASE KILL ME AND PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY.

This after almost a week of saying to my co-workers, "Don't worry, it's just seasonal allergies!"

Tee hee. MORTAL FOOLS! You will all get sick now. Very very sick.

Dear god, they do not MAKE anything for the cold I had. Actifed, which totally knocks me unconscious but always dries me up like a champ, had no effect. Ditto for Benadryl, even the SEVERE cold & allergy formula. And the cute little-yellow-different Tylenol Sinus pills? Ha.

Ha ha ha.

I could barely make it through the line at Safeway, clutching my jumbo-size Kleenex and wheezing-dripping-sneezing as horrified shoppers slowly backed away, abandoning their Gala apples and pints of Chunky Monkey. I even hallucinated that Brad and Angelina were studying me from the cover of US Weekly.

"Ew. Why doesn't that chick stay home?" Brad asked handsomely.

"Come," Angelina pouted. "We'll help her if we have any time left over after we adopt all the children in Cambodia."

Then I saw Nicole Richie beckoning from her place in between Lindsey Lohan and Mary Kate Olsen.

"Psssst. Sick lady! Hand me that ice cream."

I think I was pressing a half-melted pint of Ben & Jerry's against the magazine rack when the cashier turned off her light and ran for safety.

That's hot.