Monday, August 29, 2011

What to do...

Darling invisible friend, please do not faint. I realize that I'm posting twice in one day, but fear not---The End is not actually nigh. I..just felt like it.

Well, I'm really trying to noodle out a small dilemma, and I'm shamelessly using you as a sounding board. Now, given that you're invisible [and possibly imaginary] you are not obliged to respond. Heck, you're not obliged to do anything! I can't even make you read this blog, unless, of course, you bear the burden of existing in my plane and being a coworker. Then I'm just going to annoy you until you read the damn thing in self defense, praying to God that this will finally shut me the hell up.

It won't. But you go right ahead and give it a try. Good for you!

So yes, shameless using is occurring, even as we speak. Type. Read. You know what I mean. You're being used like a cheap piece of meat. I didn't even buy you dinner or tell you I loved you first. Don't you just feel dirty?

I thought so. You're welcome.

Anyway. My dilemma is this--wait a minute. I have to give you backstory. Because I do. Because I do! You won't have a clue what's what if I don't.

Yes, that would be a bad thing. Sheesh, you're acting like we're married!!! I have only one faux spouse and she never reads this blog.

Not that this hurts me. Moving on.

As you may recall, I had a birthday a couple weeks ago. Very Nice Person had been informed of the event as it was upcoming, on several different occasions. On the actual day, however, VNP was in Ocean City, MD, partying with his buddies...

...Forgetting my birthday entirely.

No, I did NOT cause the hurricane that swept through the area. Pfft. Please. If I could do that, I would hit plenty of other places first.

I gave him until midnight, east coast time, to call and wish me well. When he didn't, and I had had a small amount of good Irish whiskey, I called to inform him of his error. Exclamations of regret and apology were uttered; he is, after all, a Very Nice Person. I also informed him of my intention to use this against him on several future occasions.

Yes, several. Something like this doesn't produce a one-time needling, so to speak.

He accepted that abuse would be heaped upon his head, and more than once, as is appropriate behavior, given his lapse. In ensuing conversations, he acknowledged his impending doom. So all's right in the world. Right?

Not so much.

In the time since my [forgotten] birthday, I have not yet received a gift, flowers or even a belated birthday card. At this point, and as I see it, I have a few options.

  1. I could fold my hands demurely and wait patiently for VNP to think of giving me a belated token of his esteem, all on his own, as if psychically prompted. [Yeah. I know.]

  2. I could build a bridge and get over it. [Yeah. No kidding.]

  3. I could inform him that the aforementioned torment of the damned that was to be his for forgetting my birthday is about to commence and it would be in his best interest to send flowers/chocolates/something pretty immediately.

Hmm. So many possibilities. Whatever will I do?

Ouch. Seriously, OUCH.


Many people have them these days. I understand that people want to find a symbol or image that represents a significant event in their lives. Tattoos are permanent expressions of thought or feeling or artistry.



I'm sorry, but no way in hell.

Just the idea of a needle, or a bundle of needles, ramming ink into my skin, over and over and over, gives me the willies. I'm a wimp. I admit it. I'm okay with it. I don't have to be all tough and strong, particularly when it's something so incredibly optional as a tattoo! Roommate can be that way. I do not have to be.

Speaking of, here's her third:

It's sideways. I know. It isn't sideways when I look at it on the computer, but...we shall simply add this to the list of things I do not know how to fix on this delightful machine. Accept. Move on.

Anyway. Roommate, incredibly tough creature that she is, has had three tattoos to date, two of them on the very sensitive area of her ankle. Both ankle tattoos were...applied, shall we say? Yes, applied to commemorate the occasion of the 3-Day walk for breast cancer. The first was the traditional pink ribbon image, with 2009 on the ribbon. This one, in case you couldn't read the printing around the pink boxing gloves, reads "Fight Like A Girl," and '10 is inked on the glove itself. She's still noodling out what symbol will be used for 2011's walk.


Having participated in the 3-Day, I feel the body is sufficiently abused by walking sixty freaking miles, but hey. That's Roommate. I have said before and I shall say again, Roommate is very strong. You pretty much have to hack off a limb to get her to express pain. I get a hangnail and the planet knows.

Coworker Tonya is also no stranger to pain, so getting this:

...might not be the ordeal she's used to enduring. Between raising a teenager, working in the Lab From Hell, going through gastric bypass and oh, yeah, dealing with me on a regular basis, one might be forgiven for assuming Tonya likes pain.

I'm not judging. I'm here to love, not to judge.

Look, if people want tattoos, or piercings, or scars, or whatever, they should have them. Over here, on the wussy side of the room, I shall decline. For my sake, for my friends' sake, for the sake of the poor tattoo artist who'd get saddled with me. No. No, thank you.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

38 minutes to go.

I'm a clock-watcher. I have officially become a clock-watcher.


I know. I'm not proud of it, I'm not saying that. But oh, Omnipotent Comedian, how I loathe being in my current situation.

How long does one have to tolerate being treated like a moron before one is forgiven for blowing one's top? Have I reached that point? When I saw the list of anniversaries of employment on the work computer yesterday, when I saw my name, when I saw seven years written after it, I almost burst into tears.

Seven years. Wasn't that a traditional length of time for indenture or enslavement in the Bible?


As my job hunt has been as-yet unsuccessful, my flailing, ill-conceived plans for escape have plumbed new depths, darling one. I keep mulling over procedures and surgeries that would allow me extended periods of leave. I've contemplated asking the more heavily armed members of staff to shoot me. Not anyplace vital, or anything, just somewhere that would force me not to work in this Pit of Despair.

Sadly, as a feminist, I'm against a marriage of convenience.


No, I really am. That would be just wrong. Wrong.

Oh, stop it. Yes, I read those romances, too, but no matter how much fun that is as a fictional premise, it's not my life.

But then, I'm not sure this is my life, either.

Seventeen minutes left.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quote of the Day

Never go to WalMart wearing a blue shirt.

~Michael the courier

I have no words.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This way lies perdition.

Hello, darling invisible one. Did you miss me? I was "on vacation" last week. I use the dreaded quote marks because my vacation plans got screwed. Sideways. With a chainsaw. And maybe some lemon juice. I did very little that was wonderful and fabulous, which is what all vacations should be, and spent a fair amount of time embittered and tearful.

Oh, yes. Fun times for everyone.

Anyway, one fun thing that did happen was sushi night with the X-ray crowd, AKA Shakespeare's Weird Sisters, post makeover. Let me tell you all about it. Okay, most about it. Fine, some about it.

I was enjoying a lovely evening out with my darling friends Nina, Lisa and Connie [or Hecate and The Babes] when the fact that I was the only person at the table not on Facebook became a topic of discussion. The way they talked, you'd think I was the only person the planet not on Facebook.

What? Oh, stop it. There are lots of people not on Facebook. Okay, mostly these are people who don't have computers. Or electricity and running water, but they're still people, fer chrissakes.

Anyway. This has started to become the full-court press from some people. I had to wrestle my phone away from Adriane, one of my coworkers, when she tried to create a Facebook profile for me. This, by the way, is not as amusing or easy as it sounds. Adriane is not a wimp. And she elbows really hard. Which hurts my feelings. And my ribs.

I'm just saying.

Now, you may be wondering why the heck I'm so determined to stay away from Facebook. You and many other people might be clamoring/cackling over their cauldrons, "But Lisa Marie...It's so gosh darned fun! One can reunite with old school chums! Play meaningless and mind-numbing games! Chat endlessly with people all over the world! Update your current mindset endlessly!! You'd have so much fun!!!!!" To these people, I can only say:


If I were on Facebook, I would only be on Facebook. Constantly. Unfailingly. Ruinously. I would become one of my coworkers who can't be bothered to do the job at hand, because someone just posted something that needs a comment. I'd have to know what everyone's status was, all the time. I wouldn't be able to stop myself.

The dogs would be neglected, which, okay, might be an improvement on spoiled rotten. The garden would get over-grown...okay, more than it already is. I'd be unable to make it through an hour without pulling out my phone...okay, more than I already do. My exercise regime would--all right, quit laughing.

I'm trying to limit my time in the Hostess Snack Factory of temptation, and what do Hecate and her sisters do? They line the path to hell with Twinkies and HoHos.

"But Lisa Marie, if you were on Facebook, you could tag your blog. And then I would tag it to my friends, and they would tag it to theirs. Then everyone would read your blog!"

I'm not entirely sure what this tag thing means, but I know a Twinkie when I see one.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What Patients Hear, Part 1

Me: And when did you last have anything to eat of drink, besides water?

Patient: I had some oatmeal this morning, and some coffee.

What I do not say: Okay. Really? Did you hear me ask what you ate? No. The question was "when." But that's all right. No, seriously. We'll figure it all out. Despite time being a relative concept, and all.


Me: All right, I'm going to leave you alone for a moment, so you can change for the EKG. I just need you to take off everything from the waist up [hand motions demonstrating this area] and put on your gown open to the front [hand motions like doors opening to the front] so I can get to the skin on your chest.

Patient: Do I need to take of my bra?

What I do not say: it on your body, above your waist? All right, then.


Me: And when did you last have anything to eat of drink, besides water?

Patient: Um, what time is it now? [turns and stares at clock] It would have been around eight o'clock.

What I do not say: And you needed to know the current time to impart this information...why? Because if it had been fifteen minutes later, you would have eaten at a different time?


Me: All right, I'm going to leave you alone for a moment, so you can change for the EKG. I just need you to take off everything from the waist up [hand motions demonstrating this area] and put on your gown open to the front [hand motions like doors opening to the front] so I can get to the skin on your chest.

[I leave room, return in less that five minutes find patient has stripped off every scrap of clothing. If I'm lucky, the patient has donned the hospital gown...inevitably, the wrong way.]

What I do not say: ARG!!! MY EYES, MY EYES!!!


Me: And when did you last have anything to eat of drink, besides water?

Patient: Nothing.

Me: Okay, you're fasting. Let's take a look at--

Patient: All I had was my mocha.

What I do not say: of your head, would you say that this is something besides water? Yeah. me, too.


I'd just print a sign, one reads those.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visual Aids

My coworker Tonya and I will not work together again until the 29th of this month, so to celebrate my birthday, she assembled a feast of Weight Watchers-friendly foods,


a balloon,

and...this card.

No, it's not a picture of my wee beastie. It's someone else's wee beastie, with a remarkably similar attitude.

Anyway. It just makes me say,

Good coworker! Goooood coworker!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Yard Sale

Okay, it was successful. Roommate worked her tail off [no, really; she's completely tailless now] and money was raised for the Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer.

Again, I am not walking with her. I learned my lesson in 2009. Sixty freaking miles, people.

We started by putting together the "cabana" on Friday night. Actually, I spent the majority of the day baking treats for the yard sale. Banana bread, shortbread, chocolate chip cookies. I have a request for peanut butter-fudge brownies that I'll be working on this week. Anyway, the cabana. It's on the left of this picture: And prominently featured in this one:

It's the brown-ish thing. We didn't put up the mosquito netting because we knew someone would accidentally rip it. Maybe me. And really, by the time we finished our "Laurel & Hardy Read Instructions" routine, we were doing bare minimums.

We were also happy to provide the local mosquito population with snacks as we assembled the cabana a la The Three Stooges. Such fun.

Anyway. We started early. Butt-crack of dawn early. We finished late. Ten PM dinner late. We spent two days hauling and organizing and bargaining and being as generous as I was capable of being.

Lots of people came. Lots. A few kind friends helped out.

I love those people.

Roommate wisely took today off of work to deal with the remainder of the chaos. I? Why, I'm at work. Twelve+ hours on.

Because I'm just that stupid.

Anyway, if anyone should WISH to donate to Roommate's fund-raising efforts, one could simply click here. Roommate would be endlessly grateful. Women who want to keep their breasts and you know, stay alive, would be grateful. Men who want women to keep their breasts, and yeah, okay, stay alive, too, would be grateful. Families who are tired of having loved ones die of this bitch of a disease would be grateful. I would be endlessly grateful. Heck, I'd be inspired to bake delicious things and mail them to you in gratitude.

Go on, try it! You never know what might arrive in the mail afterward.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Slinky, a Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy!

The other day, I heard someone say the following:

The guy is a Slinky. Essentially useless, but still fun to push
down a flight of stairs.


It's wrong to find that amusing, isn't it? See, this is why I'm going to hell.

Well. One of the reasons. Anyway.

I'm certain I'll be able to save a seat for a few people, but you know, you just know they're going to put some real jerks in my section. It is, after all, hell.

On the up side, unlike Heaven, there will be plenty to complain about. See? Glass half full.

And I also know, after any length of time, I will annoy even the most saintly of people, so eternity in hell, where I imagine hot yoga will be mandatory, the irritation level will get pretty high, pretty quickly.

I have a picture in my head of an angry guy with little horns, pounding on the pearly gates not long after my arrival. Whomever answers will have the burden of a rather pithy conversation. "Look," he'll probably say. "I know she can't be up here, but this is not working for me."

Maybe they'll give me my own section.

I'm sure there would be nothing good on TV, though.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One Of The Many Things I Do Not Understand

A coworker of mine and I were walking out of the building together after a long day's toil. With a small laugh, she read a text message from her husband, then pocketed her phone. "My husband's trying to score points, or something." She shook her head as we approached the timeclock.


"Yeah, he's done all this work in the back yard, and he packed my dinner for today."

Interesting. Other than the actual marital relationship thing, he sounds a bit like Roommate. Many, many people have expressed interest in kidnapping Roommate, so I do understand her value, and the value of all such people. And perhaps it's simplistic, but I also understand the reward system that is often in place in actual marital relationship; unlike with Roommate, it's not just a Dr. Pepper and a Snickers bar.

"Well," I said, "You know what you need to do." At this point, meaningful looks were exchanged and my coworker laughed again.

"Oh, of course." She waved a hand dismissively, as if to say, Duh, he always gets that. Then she continued out loud. "It's just that he's been trying really hard, and listening to what I've been saying, what my concerns are."

"Wow." There was a moment of quiet as I thought about this. And attempted not to be outsmarted by the timeclock. After winning that small battle, I continued. "I think you're going to have to do the things you don't usually do." Another meaningful look.

She laughed and nodded.

"There may have to be outfits involved," I added.

Her eyes rounded. "Ohhh. I haven't done that in..." she trailed off. I can only assume the amount of time since that had been done was significant.

"There are sales going on at Victoria's Secret right now," I informed her. Hey, I'm a helper.

"That's right!" she exclaimed. "Maybe I should let him pick out something--"

"No, no, no." I sighed and shook my head. "The first one, you surprise him. Then you tell him he can pick something else out for the next time. Why do I have to tell you this??? You're married, you should know this. You've done this before."

"I know, I just..." She laughed again.

See, this is where I become completely confused. A married person, in theory, is joined for life to a person with whom he or she has exchanged vows. To love and to cherish. In sickness and in health. Or, some of my favorites:

With this ring, I thee wed. With my body, I thee worship.
And with all my worldly goods, I do thee endow.

Most people get the ring part. A lot of people focus on the last part, especially if the "'til death do us part" seems optional. But the middle bit, especially in a lot of long-term unions, seems to get lost in the shuffle.

I don't understand this. I really don't. As I have said to my married friends, on many occasions, you have a penis right there, available to you! Free! No moral dilemma! Birth control has probably already been handled! One would hope you know all health concerns already. And's so happy to see you.

If you don't utilize your available Mr. Happy to the best of its ability [or your ability, for that matter] you're taking a gift and pitching it in the attic. Why would you do such a thing? It's like being given a Maserati and saying, "Oh, it's nice and all, uses a lot of gas. And I've put on some weight, so the seats aren't quite as comfortable. No, I know, I can drive it any time, but most of the time, I just leave it in the garage."

Are you kidding me???????

Please. I have said this before. Please. For the sake of those of us without a car, or those of us who only get to drive a rental now and then, get that bad boy out of the garage and find some open road. Open up the throttle. Roll the windows down and let your hair get messed up.


Monday, August 1, 2011

She does it all the time.

Nora Roberts is the queen of modern romance novels. We all know and accept this.

And by "we," I mean anyone who is even remotely attached to the world of romance novels. Reading, writing, publishing, book selling. I imagine if you live on Nora Roberts' block, you know this. Hell, if you live in Nora Roberts' zip code, you know this.

This amazing woman has published more that two hundred novels since the 1980s. Over two hundred. Seriously. She's spent close to one thousand weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, nearly two hundred of those weeks in the number one spot. I imagine she could submit her grocery list to a house and they would print it. I can guarantee you, I'd be in line to buy it.

Not that I love all of her books. I don't. Out of the 120-150 books of Nora Roberts' that I've read, I think I didn't love four of them. Oh, liked them, sure. But love? Not as much. The other LOVE.


I'm actually delighted for Nora Roberts and her massive success, which, I'm sure, is a great relief to her. She's probably weak with relief, right now, and has no idea why. The woman has earned her success. I don't resent that type of good fortune because she's worked for every single scrap of it.

And she's remarkably talented. She can break the "rules" of fiction writing because she writes so darn well. She does. She creates superb characters. She creates realistic and magical worlds, and I believe every single one of them exists. She tells stories that leave me happy, teary, laughing, satisfied, hungry for more.

I could love Nora Roberts. I could, but for one tiny thing.

She has never been on a diet a single day of her life.

How do I know this? How could I possibly know this? Not because Nora emailed me and told me so. Oh, no. That only happens in my fevered imagination. I know this because of Quinn, from Blood Brothers.

Quinn, the heroine or female protagonist of Blood Brothers, book 1 of the Sign of Seven trilogy, is a woman who has made a lifestyle change. That's right, Quinn has given up dieting and is trying to live in a fashion that keeps her body healthy and her weight in an acceptable range. A big joke throughout the book is Quinn's need for healthier food options.

Like 2% milk.

Other characters tease her about her requests for 2% milk, making reference to its watery appearance and taste. Quinn soldiers through, however, and continues to suffer bravely with 2% milk's flavorless burden.

That sound you hear is my forehead, hitting the desk.

2% milk has half the fat of whole milk. It has a distinctively different taste. It also has 120-125 calories per cup. It has five grams of fat. Per cup. FIVE. Any woman [or man, for that matter] who has been obsessed with dieting, BMIs, calories, fat grams and/or everything else I obsess over in regards to my weight know very well that you don't just blow that much of your day's intake on 2% milk!!

You go for skim. Zero grams of fat. Ninety calories per cup. That's eight ounces, people.

Yeah, it's blue-ish. Yeah, it tastes like thick water, until you get used to it. But like drinking real soda pop, jeeze louise, you just don't waste your calories on the real thing.

Nora Roberts is a lovely and gracious woman to her fans. She works like a fiend; she's been quoted saying that daylight hours are writing hours. She's talented. She's got staying power. She has a family and by all accounts, many good friends. Or at least good acquaintances. She is respected, if not revered, in the world of publishing.

And she's never been on a diet in her life. Gah.

I'll be in the corner. Sulking.