Friday, May 30, 2014

Arrived: Punta Cana

Holy day yesterday. Started at 3 a.m. and went to midnight, and included three airports, two flights, a woozy child (one ear didn't pop on the first flight), passports left in the car at the first airport (discovered and recovered amazingly quick thanks to M's ability to sprint), a crazy taxi-style ride through the Dominican, a gorgeous resort, beautiful room with a beachfront view, buffet dinner full of things I didn't recognize (I decided to be brave), cocktails, coupla beers, seashell hunting, floating in the ocean, and a Michael Jackson show.

I took a few pictures but wifi is limited here to my iPad, and I've not figured out how to transfer pix from my phone to the iPad yet, nor am I in any frame of mind to spend my vacation working on that. So photos when I get back Suffice it to say that it's gorgeous here. And that I don't really have to do anything if I don't want to.

I could get used to this.

Except for the wifi thing. That needs to be fixed by a minion, and it'd be great if he could also eliminate the $25 for 25 hours of internet time charge, too, limited to one device. I'm way too connected for this to be workable long-term. (Let me clarify that "connected" means to blogging and sharing photos and Instagramming, and reading news, etc. I am perfectly fine with being wholly disconnected from anything resembling work.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Packed. Almost.

The hat says it's "packable," but I'm not too sure.

Off we go tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The maelstrom in my mind

I've been watching the #YesAllWomen trend continue to play out on Twitter, and have a mixture of emotions going on.

I'm proud of all the women who are sharing their stories.
I'm pleased by all the wonderful men who are supporting these brave women.
I'm pissed about the men who think this is a joke.
I'm furious about rampant misogyny.
I'm scared for my daughter's future.
I'm worried that I won't teach her how to protect herself adequately.
I'm raging that I have to teach her how to protect herself from men who should know better.
I'm hopeful that the women I know have raised/are raising their sons to be kind, respectful, loving men of honor. You ladies rock.
I'm sad that I've been on the receiving end of misogyny.
I'm proud that I stood up for myself and the other women around me.
I'm embarrassed that I could be doing more. Right now.
I'm paralyzed in that I don't know what else to do.

Please, join the discussion. Bring this issue into the light and maybe, just maybe, there will be a sea change. This isn't "rampant feminism," this is basic respect for others. We can all do better. We must all do better. It's time.

I posted this on Facebook tonight, tentatively. I've been pretty gunshy about putting myself out there due to the crap that happened at work (including a monk stopping by my office to chat about the profile pic I loaded months ago...that was an interesting conversation that mostly involved me wondering how the fuck he saw that since I thought I had all my privacy settings locked down), but tonight I wanted to say something.

What I didn't write about was that time a few years ago when I experienced a dickhead groping my ass at a convention, only to learn that he had done that and worse to most of my female colleagues. He was a vendor, and there were no women on the management team until me, so no one said anything. So I said something. Immediately. I sought out my boss, Brian, and right there in front of the hotel elevators told him what happened to me, what happened to my colleagues, and what to do about it. He was appalled, and apologized profusely. He set the vendor straight, and apologized to every woman on our team, whether or not they had been personally affected. None of the women were ever made to work the show booth without a "friendly" male present again. Brian is a good man. Brian is also happily married and is raising three daughters. He is working to make the world a better place for his girls than what his female peers are experiencing.

I also didn't write about how I was treated by my own family, being judged in the workplace because of my status as a mother. While this doesn't qualify as traditional misogyny, as it was perpetrated by two females, I was still castigated for my feminine decision of choosing to have a child. "She's not willing to put in extra hours...she's a mother." "She won't want to work an evening event...she has to take care of her child." These women perpetuated discrimination, which is both loathesome and depressing, especially since one of them is a mother herself (her children were older and self-sufficient, so she used my toddler to "prove" that she was more dedicated to her work than I could ever hope to be).

Right now, as you've read here, I'm dealing with some idiots at work. Two of them are married with children...both have daughters. How they can treat female colleagues so terribly comes as a surprise to me. I want to ask them, "Do you want your daughters to be treated this way? Your wives? Is this the future you want for them?" I'm growing increasingly angry that they have effectively silenced my voice by making me feel as though I need to set ultra-high privacy standards just to protect myself. They made me question my ability to write, having looked over a professional communication I drafted and deeming "it sounds like it's written by a girl." Fuckers. I am nearing the point where I won't give a shit, and will go public again. Let them come and try to get me. They'll learn what a real "bitch" really is.

I'm finding my voice again, and I'm learning to not be afraid to use it.

Yeah. Right now I'm writing like a girl, assholes. Jealous?

Today's photo is of a lone, pink Lego that came out in the wash, literally. I was doing laundry in preparation for our vacation and this little Lego came out. It gave me hope that my girl is smart and strong, and that I can do whatever I need to in order to make her world a better place. Let's roll.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Make a wish

And many mooooore...

Nothing funny to write about today. Just an intense day of dropping off the creatures at my dad's as he's watching them while we are on vacation, and then having to come home to an empty home which freaks me out even though the cats usually annoy the shit out of me when they're here.

We also had a hard parenting day. Zoe's friend went along with us to drop off the animals, and on the way home she and Zoe began lobbying to go swimming this afternoon. We already had other plans, so we said no. They continued. Let me clarify that by "lobbying" I really mean "pestering the shit out of me incessantly and refusing to accept the answer of no to the point that I wanted to throw them both out of the car." (Further clarification: the car was not moving at that time, so it's not as bad as it sounds.) (I'm not THAT mother.) I even threatened Zoe with banning all play dates for the summer if they didn't stop. Zoe lightened up, the friend charged ahead. By the end of the ride home (which is not a short ride, just so you don't think I can't handle five minutes of peppering) my head was pounding and I was livid. Her friend collected her things and M drove her home. When he and Zo returned I was vacuuming with an intensity that would have scared the shit out of the cats had they been around. M, wise man that he is, knew that it would not be good for me to handle this particular situation with our daughter so he left me to my vacuum-rage and cornered her in her room to have a talk. She was then left to stew about it for ten minutes and then they talked some more. The end result was a tearful apology which I immediately accepted, a discussion about how it's not nice to drive Mommy to the brink of insanity, snuggles, and a grounding from desserts until we go on vacation and from American Girl catalogs for a week after we return. This was glumly accepted until we celebrated birthdays at dinner tonight and she was denied birthday cake (see candles in today's photo). More tears. I came close to caving but thankfully M held his ground (actually, he held OUR ground since I was obviously too weak to do it alone), and I'm glad he did because just recounting her behavior here gets me fired up all over again. He was right and I knew it and he knew it and I'm glad he was there to be the strong one for me. This is why it's good for children to have two parents, so when one goes all weak-ass sissy caver, the other can be the righteous badass who does the best thing for the development of the child. And saves the weak-ass sissy caver's future sanity as hopefully the child will have learned from this lesson and will not drive the caver into a straight jacket.

Next time I may resort to screaming, "BECAUSE I SAID NO, DAMMIT! DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE." Which is what I felt like doing but didn't because I don't want to be THAT mother, either.

This parenting stuff is fucking HARD.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shit we accomplished today

Early mass. And by early I mean 9 am. Anything before 9 am is not classified as early. It's classified as "no f*cking way."

A fight discussion about neither of us being able to figure out how to load a new gift card into the new Starbucks app. We blamed each other for our mutual stupidity.

Foisted our kid onto not one but two friends today. We had a morning play date with Friend 1 and an afternoon swim with Friend 2. To avoid being total deadbeat parents we invited both girls to spend the night. Friend 1 declined, Friend 2 is here now.

After many stores and fitting rooms, found two lovely pairs of linen pants for M to wear to dinner in Punta Cana.

Cracked ourselves up at Which Wich by labeling our sandwich bags with our Top Gun names. (See photo.) Note to M: You can be my wingman.

A lunch chat about retirement savings. Because clearly we're old as shit and have nothing more interesting to talk about.

Bought a big, floppy hat to wear at the beach in an attempt to ward off wrinkles. And any appearance of being younger than 80.

Figured out how to load a new gift card into the new Starbucks app. This, obviously, happened post-coffee.

Weeded the mulch bed around the train track oval in the front yard.

Cut the grass.

Swept the train track oval.

Bet a million dollars that you don't know anyone else who has a train track oval in their front yard.

Clarified for Zoe that while Mommy's parents are divorced and remarried, they didn't just swap spouses. Although Grammy and Grandpa Ray used to be married, Papa and Grandma Judy did not. The family tree is already pretty f*cked up, sweetie. Let's not make it worse.

Booted up Gremlins for the girls to watch. The original Gremlins, not the horrific Gremlins 2 that should never, ever have been made but which we now own. Damn you box sets!

Made arrangements for the animals to spend the week with their grandparents while we are gone. It'll be a long, yowly ride out to Villa Ridge tomorrow. Might require a Starbucks stop first, which is fine because we finally got that damn gift card loaded in.

Ordered in Chinese food and stuffed our faces. Mmmmm. MSG.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My husband is handsome

No shit, ya'all. I have irrefutable proof right here.

He's also patient, as evidenced by the fact that he waited until I was four or five snaps in, moving my phone all around, before he asked, "What the fuck are you doing?" (The f-bomb being implied, of course, as Zozo was sitting right there.) "I like the colors in the background. Just trying to get one I like." Then I put my phone away because the chip and salsa refills arrived and because people were staring, trying to figure out who the movie star was at my table because why else would I be snapping a shitload of pictures of the guy I've looked at for over 20 years.

Because he's hot, people.

(His hotness is in no way related to the fact that he puts up with the likes of me every day, but that sure doesn't hurt either.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Low maintenance

Sometimes all I need is an iPad with great blogs queued up and a giant pitcher of sweet tea.

Today was the official start of my summer hours. I dress casually, and work from home more. I was so productive this morning, banging away in my home office while Zoe played with a friend out the window. It was peaceful and I felt like I was actually accomplishing stuff, which doesn't happen every day now.

Then I got a douchey email reply from a colleague. I was really upset about it and called M to vent. I read him my initial request and then the one-word reply. He burst out laughing which made me see how ridiculous the whole thing is and so I started laughing too. He totally got my head in the right place. And this, my friends, is just one more reason why I love that man.

I did go into the office for a bit this afternoon, but most people started their holiday weekend early and were gone and maintenance already started (loud) demolition for the library renovation, so I didn't stay long. Tonight was a happy hour to say goodbye to two awesome colleagues who are leaving for greener pastures. I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in, as sometimes the Jerk Crew crashes events and makes things uncomfortable for many, but only the nice people showed up and it was really a lovely night. We all stayed much later than expected, and then everyone decided to leave at once and so there was this awkward circle of people standing around trying to say goodbye but not wanting to and I started to sweat because I couldn't do my normal disappearing act where I wait until everyone is talking to someone else and then slip out. I learned that from a former boss. Everyone would be chatting and then someone would be like, "Hey! Where'd Brian go?" He'd be long gone without having to do all the goodbye stuff that drags on when all you really want to do is go home and get into your jammies and belch freely. I finally just bolted tonight when no one was looking in my general direction. Urp.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chop chop

Relief! Chopped the fuzz today. M is not pleased, but I have received a ton of compliments already and I love it. It's not so short that it borders on masculine, but short enough to be easy to style, cool for the summer, and should maintain its style through most of the day. While I loved the look of my longer hair in the morning right after I styled it, by noon it invariably looked as frazzled as I felt.

Note to others: when someone gets a new hairstyle, stop at "It looks cute!" Do not add in "I never realized how much you look like your GRANDMA." (Emphasis mine.)

Really? I mean, I realize I'm forty and a half (yes, I'm going back to counting the half years like kids's more fun that way) but grandma?! Say that I look like a younger version of Granny, or that you can see the family resemblance (which I can see too), but don't be all "Hey, nice old lady haircut."

'Cause that's how it came out. Just stop at "cute" or "adorable" or "sassy," which are all lovely comments received and appreciated.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go clean my dentures and wash my face with cold cream.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Parish Picnic

I missed over half of it (damn work meeting) but had a blast while I was there. The child ran wild. The husband consumed beer. I bid on and won "beer school" at the brewery and a Barret Jackman-signed hockey stick in the silent auction.

I did NOT ride the stupid Ferris wheel.

It was a good time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It is time. Or it will be on Thursday.

The time has come, just as I knew it would.

The Hair. It must go.

I've been growing it out for about three years now, and, predictably, I'm completely sick of it. It happens this way. I grow it, I cut it, I grow it, I cut it. I think it's boredom. Or the sick and twisted desire to drive M completely crazy. I am being good this time, though. I let him know. I even showed him the sample photos I found to take to my stylist. Maybe let him think he has a say in the matter. I'm all about teamwork and compromise, after all.

The appointment is Thursday. Which is THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. This is too long to wait, obviously, becasue I have no patience and once I decide I want it gone then I want it gone now dammit. But I will wait. Because I really, really love my stylist and therefore I have no choice. But I'm not happy about it.

I'm not going back to the pixie cut, at least not yet. It'll be drastic, but not like that time when we were first married and I cut off all my hair when M was out of town and when I picked him up from the airport he looked right past me and then came back to me and screamed, "What did you do to your hair?!" That was pretty funny. He's getting older now, though, and I want to minimize shocks to his ticker, so I started easing him into the idea about a week ago. Poor guy. He knows once the idea is floated that's pretty much it. He so loves long, disgusting, ratty hair, and abhors cute, adorable, flattering, short styles. I feel bad that I keep dashing his hopes, but not bad enough to keep this mess o' fuzz on my head.

I'm pretty proud of myself. This is the longest I've had it since we got married. I could tie it in a knot under my chin if I wanted. (I don't.) (But I could, which is, in some twisted way, impressive.) (To me, anyway.) I can put it into a weensy, curly ponytail that's about as big around as my pinky. I stick it in two fun, curly pigtails that everyone compliments me on but which I cannot wear to work and be taken seriously as a professional. I could put it up in a banana clip if those things were back in style and I wanted to recreate the 80s. (I do not. Most emphatically, I do not.) Still, go it must, in the name of creativity and newness and fun. For me, at least. M will sigh grudgingly and say things like, "Whatever makes you happy, Princess," because he is a good man and because he knows I will do it anyway no matter what he says.

At least I'm not dying it purple.


(I'm not, I'm not! It was a joke! Calm down there, M. Maybe take a baby aspirin.)

The orchids live

Only because I am following the direction of a monk to care for them.

Monday, May 19, 2014

And that's how the cat got a middle name

I just woke up because the dryer kicked on again (it has the wrinkle guard setting that'll run it for 30 seconds every eight minutes after the cycle to, you know, guard against wrinkles) and it'll keep going all night until I get up and take the laundry out so it doesn't wrinkle which makes my dryer an annoying, naggy bitch. I woke up with M on one side of me and Max on the other, and as I climbed out over Max (only because he's smaller and less likely to grumble) I remembered this conversation Zoe and I had the other day:

Zoe: What is Tachi's full name? Is it Tachikara?
Me: It's Tachikara Roses.
Zoe: Okay, well, then what's Max's middle name?
Me: Answel.
Zoe: He's Max Answel?
Me: No, technically he's Maxwell Answel.
Zoe: So his real name is Maxwell? Not Maximiliano?
Me: Yes. I mean, I guess so. He has a lot of names.*

What cracks me up is that the child accepts what I tell her as gospel, never questioning why Tachi's middle name is Roses, or where the hell Answel came from. Which is sad because the story is a good one. Back when I was on my Ansel Adams kick we determined that Max didn't have a middle name and deserved one. I suggested Ansel, and M's response was, "You're going to name the cat Maxwell Answel?" and because that sounded so much better than Max Ansel, it stuck. Much to M's chagrin.

*He also goes by Maxi, Maxipad (this makes M uncomfortable), Maxerroneous, Maxwellian, Furball, Fuzzball, and DammitMax.

Well, that went better than expected

I didn't have to use my bullet-deflecting bracelets, my boomerang tiara, or my truth lasso!

Wednesday is the big meeting. I almost can't wait now.

I need a costume

I just realized that by the time I get home tonight I will most likely be in no shape to write or post anything here. I have a business meeting at 7 p.m. with the King of All Douchebags, and it promises to get ugly. Thankfully there will be others there, most of them in my corner, but still. It's the whole idea of having to deal with someone's fragile, yet enormous, ego that tanks my day.

I'm thinking that I may have to strike a pose before I go in there. I'm not kidding. I read an article awhile back about how much posture can play a role in how you're feeling in any given situation. The author recommended that women strike a "power pose" for five minutes before going into high-pressure situations. Mine is the Wonder Woman pose: hands on hips, chin held high, and feet apart in an aggressive, "BRING IT" stance. It would help if I had those fancy golden cuffs but I do okay without them. I just harken back to my childhood days when I wore Wonder Woman Underoos and a Wonder Woman swimsuit and carried a Wonder Woman lunchbox and I didn't give a shit what anyone else thought.

The girls of today need a Wonder Woman, I think. From what I can tell, all they've got are big-eyed, makeup laden drama queens. I mean, the sisters from Frozen are pretty good, but one has severe self-confidence issues and the other is a bit rash. And their eyes are freakin' enormous. Completely unrealistic. Lynda Carter, now, SHE'S realistic. An achievable Amazonian babe who doesn't take shit from anyone. Go ahead and question those high waisted blue spangly grandma panties she sports and she'll knock your lights out. Girlfriend also has hips, which make her a favorite in my book.

So I will try to channel my inner Wonder Woman during my meeting tonight, and if that fails I will go home and cry to M and then drink heavily for awhile.* I will use my invisible golden cuffs to stop verbal bullets, my tiara to knock him unconscious when he starts talking too much, and my golden lasso of truth to make him stop fudging numbers.

*Kidding. **Maybe.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I toadally don't have anything fun to write

Okay, I know that was bad, but I'm scraping tonight. Good day, just busy with a bunch of boring shit no one wants to read.

So I'll leave you with this question: does this toad look crabby? Or is it natural that ALL toads look crabby? Kinda like how some people are unfortunate to have Resting Bitchy Face, which means your default expression is "I hate the world and everyone on it" even if you're having a fabulous day with a Starbucks and non-douchey colleagues and deadlines that are so far off they're practically in a galaxy far far away.

I would like to have that kind of day tomorrow, but I won't because I have a shit deadline on Wednesday (that means nothing and everything all at the same time. Confused? Yeah, me too.) AND an evening work meeting with one of the asshat coworkers. I suppose I should be thankful that all the asshats won't be there at once.

I learned more about how the Xanax works over the weekend. It's completely situational but it mainly just serves to relax you, like the equivalent of that feeling where you take a deep breath and relax. Yeah, that's not gonna work for me. I need whatever pill it is that makes me go, "hey there jackass! I really don't give two shits about you or the lunacy you spew on a regular basis!" What's THAT pill called?

I also need to learn to adopt the expression of my toad friend here for both the meeting tomorrow night and the Wednesday board of advisors meeting, because it's the perfect cross between inscrutability and "f*ck off." I'll call it my Professional Toad Face, which I think is just above Resting Bitchy Face.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Today in photos (some of today, that is)

Blogger is being an asshole, so bear with me while I mess with trying to upload photos and get them where I want them.

EDIT: Okay, I think I got it. It only took both the iPhone and the iPad to figure out the shitty work-around. I guess I can't complain because Blogger is free, but it's late and I'm tired and I'll go ahead and complain anyway, because it seems perfectly reasonable that this should be my biggest issue in life right now.

And while Daddy was gone...

Well, now that we've shown the finished product to M, I am allowed to talk about the fact that Zoe had her ears pierced Friday. She swore me to secrecy until we could show him, and he's on retreat this weekend.

Now, don't get the impression that I went and did this all on my own. I would never create holes in our child by myself. This was definitely a Family Decision. Many of her friends have been getting their ears pierced, and she asked if she could, too. We figure she's responsible enough to take care of them, so we agreed that it was time.

Later that night, after Zoe went to bed, M asked me to do it this weekend while he was gone on retreat. "I just can't be there. I can't watch it." Then the man physically shuddered while making a face that looked like he was about to vomit.

This kills me. This is the guy who watched doctors slice open his wife's abdomen, break her water manually, then pull a baby from her gut, all without batting an eye. He watched them pile his wife's organs back into her body and stitch her up, and didn't flinch.

And yet, the mere thought of ear piercing nearly made him hurl. WTF?

So of course I had fun with it. "It's not a big deal. It's like two staplers. Bam BAM!" He turned green and begged me to stop. And I laaaauuughed.

He left Thursday for the retreat, and I picked Zozer up from school on Friday instead of having her go to after care. We went straight to the mall and she marched into Sweet and Sassy and let them know she was ready to get her ears pierced. It took her about 30 seconds to choose her starter posts, and then she was ready. Apparently her friends had given her so many details about how it went down that she was perfectly fine and ready to go. The whole thing went so quick, and she was thrilled. I, of course, cried like a little baby over the whole idea of my baby girl being old enough to sport earrings.

Another rite of passage down.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Turns out the cure for stress is to not go to work

Today was wonderful, just lovely. And as I was getting ready for bed tonight I thought about what made it so nice. And then it hit me:

I spent very little of it at work.

I went in this morning and took care of a couple of deadlines, and I worked from home this afternoon.  This added up to a day relatively free of work-related stress.

I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to give up on work just yet. I had my hour of prayer for the retreat M is on this weekend and, along with my rosaries and other prayers, I asked God what I should do about this stuff at work. The prayer thing, I found, works pretty well. And, surprisingly, it has no side effects, which makes it way better than xanax, pot, and beer. Anyway, in thinking about it, I realized that I do care deeply about the place, and my monks, even with all the shit going on and how frustrated I am and how I wish things would get fixed already. I'm torn. I really do love the place. It's just the three amigos (and by amigos I mean assholes...amigos is, like, Guatamalan for assholes, right?) that are making everyone's life a living hell right now. The problem is, they are too pervasive to ignore. They have an impact on nearly every part of all our jobs there. Eh, we'll see.

My MIL and I were the runners for M's and Dad's retreat today. That means we drove up there with things that were missing, snuck in and dropped them off, then left and went to lunch. We were invisible, which is exactly how we were supposed to be. I sent M a text afterwards: "In and out! We're like NINJAS! Me and mom...ninjas!" I got no response.

In other You'll just have to wait for tomorrow night. (More information forthcoming!)

Lovely today

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Morning light on the peeling paint of a cottage on campus.

This is slightly creative, and was made pre-doughnut. Perhaps I'm giving too much credit to the doughnuts.

Lost: creativity, and the willpower to stop eating

It's 9:14 p.m. and I'm tired because I was up until 2 a.m. and I have heartburn because when I am stressed I overeat and by the end of this week I should weigh 5,739 pounds at the rate I'm going so I think maybe the heartburn is saying, "Hey, stupid, stop shoving everything you can find in your mouth. That's not good for you. Drink water." I should listen to the heartburn. If I promise to listen to you, will you go away? Now, please.

All this is to say that I'm not feeling very creative tonight and that my favorite subject is sleeping with approximately 42 men in North County (wait, that didn't sound right...he's on retreat, people, get your mind out of the gutter) and is not here to give me fodder and so I think I'm just going to go to bed and hope that I stumble upon some creativity tomorrow. It's highly unlikely, though, as today was doughnut day and if you can't find creativity in the wake of free doughnuts, well, then there's something really wrong.

Also, I'm trying to say that I'm going to bed early tonight and hoping that I don't have the same dream I had last night, wherein the Headmaster was a zombie. It wasn't pretty, friends. Monk zombies are creepy as hell.

And on that note, sweet dreams.

Last Brownie Meeting!

I could so write about this but it's after 2 and I have a stupid meeting tomorrow (uh, today) at 9 that I should be conscious for.

Or perhaps the alternative would be less painful...

Let's not dwell on the bad stuff. Look! Brownies!

(This topic was most likely going to be my post for Wednesday but then M asked me The Best Question Ever and, well, that sparked the whole diatribe below.) (Which is probably more entertaining anyway.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Question of the Day

I am used to many questions in my house. They come at me at all hours of the day and night, in a near constant barrage of queries.

"Where are the bath towels?" "What's for dinner?" "Do I have to take a shower tonight?" "Have you seen my voltmeter?" (Seriously...I have found more tools for M than I can count. And they are his tools. I can honestly say I have never needed to use a voltmeter on my own. But I can tell you where it is.) "Can I have ranch on my salad?" "How many shrubs should we put here? And here? And over there?" "Is today a dress down day?" "What time is her piano lesson again?" "Did you see the cat puke over there?" "Should we clean up dinner now, or later?" "Does this shirt go with these pants?" "What tie should I wear?" "Can you review this email?" "Is Jamie spelled J-A-M-I-E?" (Just got that one as I'm typing this. No shit.) "Is there clean laundry somewhere?" "Do you like these flip-flops? How about these? What about these?" "Have you checked the weather?" "Have you seen my chapstick/keys/nail clipper/wallet/phone/iPad/headphones/sunglasses?"

I can usually handle them fairly well, but sometimes it just gets to be overwhelming. Like when M asks me the same question three or four times because he doesn't like my answer. Or when both my husband and my daughter feel it necessary to pelt me with multiple questions at the same time. Then my brain goes into overload and I freak out and start screaming "One at a time! One at a time!" and my family looks at me like I have six heads because why on earth can't I answer 12 questions at one time? If I use each of my six heads that's only two questions per head and that's reasonable, right?

I'm like a freakin' encyclopedia in our house. I'm expected to know everything. (By the way, I realize that using the term "encyclopedia" means I'm old, but I couldn't bring myself to reference Wikipedia because more shit is wrong than right on that site and I am never, ever wrong. Or hardly ever. Mostly. Anyway, the Encyclopedia Brittanica was rock solid, fact-checked and verified, so that's me. Not some Wiki shithead. Wikipedia would tell you that the voltmeter is in the BAS when, in fact, it's in the storage room of the garage, on the first shelves to the right, second shelf from the top, about 3/4 of the way back on the right side. F*cking Wikipedia.) This year, of the very first things I asked for on Mother's Day was "No questions!" I wanted, more than anything, to not have to know anything/everything for an entire day. It didn't last, but I thought it was a valid request and one that I may ressurect on other special days, like my birthday and Memorial Day and days that end in "y."

Tonight, though, I got a question that perfectly sums up my existence as Master Answerer in this house:

"Does asparagus make you fart?"

My response should have been something witty, the likes of which Bones from The Original Star Trek would say: "I'm a writer not a doctor."

But instead I went for the classy and typical Amy response: "How the f*ck should I know? Google it, dammit."

And then I laughed and thought, "Oh yeah. This is so blog-worthy."

Given the frequency and oddity of the questions I am asked, I may start cataloging them for sharing here at Latent Images. This would serve two purposes: laughter for myself and my readers, and incentive for M to figure out shit on his own so he doesn't have to ask me so many damn questions. 

Max. Again. (Sorry.)

Another photo of Max. He's growing weary of me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

And we just keep sliding down

The suckitude of Monday bled right into Tuesday and we just continue to slide downhill.

(Note: there was a bunch of shit that happened at work in here, but since I don't trust the Assholes with anything I took it out. It was boring anyway. Trust me when I say you're not missing much.)

Came home and worked for a couple hours to get things ready for the Girl Scout meeting tomorrow, so I'm feeling good about that. Laundry is done and mostly put away. Kitchen is cleaned up from dinner. I was just starting to relax...

M typed up a big ol' email to the 2nd grade parents regarding the new volleyball team that's forming for next year. Then he asked me to read it and give him my feedback. This never ends well. It'd be like me asking him for calculus help and then getting pissed when he gives is. The only difference is that I know that I suck at calculus and would never attempt it without him in the first place. I'd just make him do it. I asked him, "Why do you ask for my feedback and then get pissed when I give it?" He said that I offer my feedback in a forceful manner. Just as I didn't do well in the mathematics department at his alma mater, he'd have cried from the "forceful feedback" at mine. (I'm not saying he sucks at writing like I suck at math. I'm just saying we each have our own strengths and he should recognize that his might not be of the barf-on-the-page variety.)

Also, I tried tweeting again today after a year-plus absence. It didn't work out so well. My singer on The Voice got cut even though I tweeted for her. And retweeted for her. I might have to go back into Twitter hibernation. Anyone who is following my Twitter feed is just completely confused right now. As am I. I really don't understand how that form of communication works, but apparently it's not effective in saving certain singers.

And that's all I got today.

Monday, May 12, 2014


M says I should make this my blog post today, and since I'm really tired and feeling uncreative (although I totally just made up a new word there), I'll throw him a bone.

Also, since he feels like he's too often the subject of my blog posts, I think he's trying to divert my attention. To a dead man. Well played, M. Well played.

What I wrote on Instagram was this:

Saying goodbye today. Tell a joke, say hello to a stranger, and pronounce the L in salmon, all for Big Lee. Godspeed. You are missed already.

EDIT: I forgot to include this awesome conversation we had outside the post-funeral lunch at the Elks Lodge with the Ann Arbor lesbians:

A: We need to go visit Ann Arbor again.
Lesbians: Yes! Come up and see us!
M: Yeah. Hey! We should go to that awesome restaurant with the great food and the outdoor seating, right there in downtown! The Spotted Dragon!
Lesbians: ?
A: What? The Spotted Dragon? You mean The Prickly Pear?
M: Yes. That's it. The Prickly Pear.
Lesbians: (Completely ignoring the fact that "The Spotted Dragon" is nowhere close to "The Prickly Pear, except for the word "the" which doesn't really count because it's used in everything from The Beatles to The Civil War to The Apocalypse) We love that place!

EDIT 2: How many people can say they had a post-funeral conversation with Ann Arbor lesbians outside the Elks Lodge? This, my friends, is why I love my life.

EDIT 3: M just read the post and laughed that I included our Spotted Dragon conversation. "I was close! I knew it was an adjective on a noun!" I can't make this stuff up, people.


A wee glimpse into my Mother's Day morning. T'was blissful.

I'd like to retire so I can have this type of morning every day.

After my shit-soup meeting tomorrow at 8, I just may be announcing my early retirement. (Just kidding, M. I'd totally make then fire me like I did two jobs ago so I could get unemployment.)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

If it's not one thing, it's your mother...

Today. Was. Awesome. 

If you take out the wake for my best friend's dad, that is. Even that wasn't so bad except that someone had to die to have it. (Damn it. There really is no way to make a funeral fun. Ya'all better figure that stuff out before I die, because I want my funeral to be a party.)

Woke up this morning to a snuggly daughter who ran out to let my husband know that I was conscious and ready for breakfast. He then promptly dispatched himself to Starbucks, bringing me coffee and pastries in bed. We had a leisurely morning there: three humans and two cats, each doing whatever the hell we wanted. I got to catch up on some blog reading and sip my mocha, surrounded by the people and creatures I love the most in this whole entire world. 

Before Mass, we hit the St. Clement art show, to see Zoe's work over the course of this year. I love her art. It is so dear to me, and it practically makes me cry. She worked in a variety of media, but my favorite piece is her chalice, which she describes as "short and fat with a hole in it." She's totally right, but the hole isn't in the bowl part so it's completely useful as a chalice AND as a place to stash secret stuff. (Another host? A teeny tiny rosary? Candy? Money for the parking meter? Weed?) It's adorable, and she made it, and I love her. I mean it. And her. Whatever.

Then we had Mass, where at the end I got to stand up with all the other mothers for the Mother's Day Blessing, which is important to me because there was one year I sat there in tears during the blessing and a couple more where I just had to skip that Mass altogether and lay in bed, crying. For eight years now, I've gotten to stand up. I cherish it, but I also wonder how many women are sitting around me, barely holding back tears, or hiding in their beds because it's easier than coming to church and being reminded that you're still not a mother. I ache for them, and I share my blessings with them.

Then we went to a buffet where I stuffed myself silly, because nothing says "I'm celebrating being a mom" than pigging out so much that your stomach distends and you look pregnant all over again.

Tonight was the wake for Big Lee. I already wrote how awesome he was so I'll stick to the details of the wake instead of eulogizing him yet again. There was a large crowd there, and I was happy to see that my parents came to pay their respects. They loved Big Lee, especially Fred, and I know they recognize the hole left in the world because of his death. Stef and her mom were holding up well, as shell-shocked loved ones always do during wakes. They stood by the casket as people shuffled by, expressing what Big Lee meant to them and how sorry they were for their loss. At 7 p.m., Lee's Elk brethren did a service with involved 11 gongs to symbolize their time of respect (?) and various club officers testifying to his brotherhood, his patriotism, and other fine qualities. The Elks lined the sides of the room and wrapped around the back. We could tell the officers by the Star Trek Klingon necklaces.

About halfway through the service it struck me that there were two distinct groups there to pay their  respects. The Elks, of course, and then the folks we were sitting with: the lesbian contingent, most of whom flew in from Ann Arbor, Michigan. So we had 70+ year-old WASPS mixing (not very much, mind you) with 40-50 year-old lesbians. And us. M asked, "Ummm. Are you her only straight friend?" I grinned. "The only one in Missouri! I think there's another straight Amy in Atlanta?" I'm cool with being Stef's token straight friend. She serves as my token lesbian friend, so I figure we're even. When you're friends since 7th grade, there's a lot more embarrassing shit to worry about than someone's sexuality. (Junior High aerobics class, for one, and mid-eighties eyeglass frames.)

I was so happy to see that these friends she cares so much about all came in to be there for her when she needed them. And it was good to catch up with the ones we knew, most of them we not only know, but had some good times in Ann Arbor with that may or may not have involved alcohol and jarts.

Anyway, it was, overall, an excellent day. I got to read, and write, and spend time with people I love. I got to ride in my Corvette and eat good food. I said goodbye to an old friend, and celebrate how special he was.

Posts I made on Facebook (for those of my readers not on Facebook):

This morning, after seeing all my friends compliment each other and their mothers, and knowing that I have at least one friend hurting from motherlessness and remembering what that felt like, and also that I have friends who have chosen to remain childless and still give just as much as all the mothers I know and deserve to be recognized:
Here's to all the kickass women in the world, because even if society hasn't handed you the title "Mother," you do, indeed mother every single day. Whether it's nurturing a hurting friend or caring for an aging parent or tending a sick spouse or making your furbabies MOTHER. The world needs mothers. ALL kinds. Happy Mother's Day to traditional moms and nontraditional moms and moms in waiting. You all are incredible.

Then, tonight after reading a plethora of posts by husbands who are either sucking up to their wives or were forced at knifepoint to write glowing tributes just so the bitch'll get off my back already:
My husband isn't active on Facebook, but if he was I'm sure he would have written, "My wife is the most awesome mom in the entire world, and not just because she does all this shit around the house and keeps our family life running like a well-oiled machine, but also because she looks like a freakin' supermodel while she does it. You are a goddess, and you kick all the other mothers' asses." Totally. That is SO him.

HMD, friends.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Eve

Dinner. Then a trip to the Custard Station. OF COURSE.

"Oh, you don't want to work on a holiday that's supposed to honor you? Pansy."

I planted more shrubs today. Well, M dug holes and I planted. We finished the front, then took on and completed the north side of the house and the planter box around the back patio.

I am done with shrubs.

I only had to go to Home Depot twice today, though, so there's that.

I also pulled up all the weeds and dandelions around the BAS. (That's Big Ass Shed for those of you who don't remember.) There were so many that I half-filled a yard waste bag. Turns out I hate dandelions.

Everything looks good, though, and I feel like I did enough work that I just might be able to take Mother's Day off and sit on my ass.

M does not understand this, as we had a discussion this morning regarding our two modes of landscaping. He told me last weekend that he read an article or talked to someone who said that it takes about five years to get landscaping done after new construction. I was all, "Okay, yeah. I can see that. Rock on." M, apparently, was all, "F*ck that. We're getting it done in 48 hours." So we had a discussion wherein I tried to convince him that it's not necessary to go out and kill ourselves over landscaping, that we can take it easy and actually enjoy the process. That's when he got all snippy and cracked that he had to get moving to get everything done because I had mentioned that I didn't want to do any yard work tomorrow. On Mother's Day. This is when I wanted to hit him with the rake and stuff him in a yard waste bag.

So we both toiled in angry silence for part of the morning, until he either worked out all his aggravation or pulled his head out of his ass and remembered that it's Mother's Day weekend when you're supposed to honor the mothers and then started being all sweet as pie. Then came the typical M confusion: "Well, I'm not in a bad mood now, and even though I haven't apologized I'm totally pretending I wasn't a big jerk earlier, so what's the problem?" There is a reason the girls in my sorority voted him "Most Clueless Guy." I thought it was charming. (Note the usage of past tense.)

We worked it all out, and he will be at brunch tomorrow and not spending the day in a yard waste bag.

Things are looking awesome around here, and I'm looking forward to spending time outdoors enjoying all our hard work. And not going to Home Depot multiple times a day.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Friday Funday

After a shit week, we cut loose and had some fun.

I am well aware that these images will be much funnier to me than they are to you, but I don't care and am posting them anyway.

Things I learned tonight:

1.) I am capable of successfully carrying the moniker "Shazam." It goes well with "Cosmic Bowling."
2.) I was told to drink my beer from my rented shoe so I found a loophole and DID, which only proves that I am extremely capable at my job which is called, in part, Public Relations (also known as bullshitting).
3.) I only order two glasses of wine when it's 6:29 p.m. and the happy hour prices stop at 6:30 p.m. It's called being fiscally responsible.
4.) For some reason the shortest person in our group being photographed next to the tallest person in our group is insanely hilarious. Oh, wait, there may have been beer involved.
5.) We have awesome friends.
6.) I am annoyed at my iPhone's inability to properly ascertain what the hell I'm trying to type on any given day, but especially while intoxicated. I like to use big words to impress myself, motherf-er. Get a clue already.
6a.) I should not blog while intoxicated.

Sea creatures in the transom


(Yep. Hit the end of the day again and went "Oh shit! I need a picture!")

(The octopus has been there for a few days. I wonder when it will move on.)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Making Monday a Monday

I'm having issues this week. Mostly work-related (idiot bullies) but some personal (death...and swollen gums). Today I learned that one of my favorite colleagues is resigning. (Insert boring work-related crap here. Redacted for your reading pleasure.)

Since this entire week has pretty much maxed out on suckitude, I'm hoping that I can make next week better by confining all suckiness to one day: Monday.

On Monday, I have a meeting scheduled that I am thoroughly dreading. It will be nothing short of a shit-storm and will invariably end up with me either screaming or crying, and quite possibly both. (More redacted work crap.)

That's 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

From there I head to the funeral of my best friend's father. Funerals suck. There's just no way around that. I can't even try to make it funny, because when someone tries to bring the funny to a funeral it just gets awkward. I take that back: kids can be funny (unintentionally) at funerals. 40-year-olds...not so much.

That's 9:30 a.m. until sometime after lunch.

Then, at 2:45 p.m. I get a mammogram. (Nothing to worry about...just the preventive health thing.)

So, to recap: Monday consists of a meeting from hell, a funeral, and boob smashage.

Here's to Monday.

Art (or something) (or many things)

Oh! I did make a picture today. Or yesterday, rather. Before my world zoomed in and went all tiny.

I had to follow a photographer all around the campus. I hired him to shoot candids in the classrooms and throughout the school and he needed to be escorted and my assistant had a LASIK consultation and lunch with his grandparents and so it was up to me.

Clearly, I need at least one more minion. Preferably two. I'd like a minion to take care of the litterbox, because I just did that because it was extra stinky so I could smell it in the great room and good God Max what did you eat?

When that minion wasn't cleaning the litterbox he/she could do laundry, load and empty the dishwasher, balance the checkbook and pay bills, most of which I also had to do today instead of sitting on my ass and sobbing, which is what I felt like doing.

This post was supposed to be about the picture today but look at that. Minions and tragedy. I'm easily distracted. Or tired. Or sad. Or all three.

Today's picture (yesterday's, whatever) was made in the studio art classroom while my photographer worked. I can't do studio art but I love how a studio looks and feels. I need a real artist to work in my project room for like a year, then I'd kick her out but make her leave all her stuff (like glass jars with colorful paint dried all over) so I could feel artsy.

This is probably not a viable plan. (However, this might be a good time to confess to M that I think I made a mistake in painting the walls of my project room chocolate brown because it's too dark in there. The room is too small to carry it or something. And yes I know I said I wanted to try it because Ansel Adams said that chocolate brown walls are the best to hang black and white photographs and you encouraged me to give it a go and I'd like to remind you of that when I tell you I'm not liking that color and want something light. Also, I love you and I think you are the most wonderful, incredible, supportive and UNDERSTANDING husband in the whole world and did I tell you I love you? And also that I promise to never take interior decorating tips from Ansel ever again?)

I made some other pictures today, too, but I like this one the best. It looks like my heart feels right now: all messy and jacked up but colorful and with the potential to maybe, some day, make something beautiful.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Love and Loss

That moment when your world gets completely upended with no warning, and all the shit you're dealing with no longer matters because someone you love is hurting. That moment...

I learned today that my best friend's dad died. Stef has been my best friend since 7th grade, so I've known her parents since I was 13 years old. They have been kind, warm, and welcoming, just like Stef. I have loved them nearly as long as I have loved her. Big Lee was an incredible man. I don't know who named him Big Lee (Stef, maybe?). He was short in stature but huge in personality. His heart was the size of Montana. I never saw him without a smile, and he usually had a (really bad) joke to tell. Everyone he met became a friend. He loved M, as one charismatic engineer to another. And his daughter adored him.

When Stef told her parents she is gay, Big Lee responded how every parent should: he told her that he loved her, would always love her, because she's his daughter. I can't imagine the relief she must have felt, because it was really hard for her to tell them. She feared the disappointment. She needn't have worried about her dad.

It's weird to me to think that there's this hole in the world now, that Lee used to fill. It's hard for me to comprehend that he is gone. That I won't see him again at Christmas, that he'll never send me a goofy email out of the blue with a joke he thinks I might like. That I'll never get another funny story about his exploits from Stef.

And I can't imagine what she and her mom must be feeling right now.

This is the second time just this week that one of my friends lost her beloved father. I am seriously not ready for this shit. I am not ready for my generation to start losing our parents. We are too young. They are too young. (The definition of "young" skewing higher and higher the older I get.) I don't like this feeling of helplessness, that people I care about are experiencing excruciating pain and loss and I can't help one damn bit. This week is the anniversary of my aunt's passing. It's been five years and I still can't believe she's gone.

When you get news like this, it's crazy how much your world perspective changes. Today, I was sitting there discussing some issues with my assistant. We were reviewing tasks that were completed and ones coming up and the status of several projects. I had my office window open. My phone was lighting up like mad. Text after text after text. I finally paused the conversation to check the phone and was stunned to see Stef's message, sent to a small group of us. Everyone was responding, which was why my phone was going crazy.

All of a sudden, nothing on my desk mattered. The tasks and projects and the new website and the stack of invoices needing to be coded...none of it mattered any more. All that shit was just that: shit. My world immediately collapsed down into what was happening to my friend and her family.

Isn't that strange how that happens? I'm always surprised by that. I still remember the phone call about my aunt, and the phenomenon of my world shrinking immediately to what was truly important. It's all a matter of perspective, right?

I responded to Stef, who was stuck on a plane with paralyzed limbs, trying to get home, and then cried for awhile, and then tried to work. It's hard to do the mundane, hard to act like everything is like it was before. It's like an out-of-body experience or something.

We went out to eat tonight, and shared Big Lee stories over dinner. Then I insisted we get dessert at the Custard Station to celebrate Big Lee. It was a small nod to a man who celebrated every day of his life, who once spent an entire dinner trying to convince two 14-year-old girls that it's pronounced "par-MEE-zhan cheese" with a straight face. Who serenaded me and M with "Centerfield" one night as we visited. Who wore a trucker hat that said "ASGROW," some agro-company, that prompted his daughter to ask, "Hey Big Lee! How'd your ASGROW?"

Stef said today that her world will never be the same, and I believe her. OUR world will never be the same, because Big Lee isn't in it any more. I gotta believe he's already up in heaven, regaling St. Peter with bad jokes, awful puns, and a great rendition of "Centerfield."

Please keep Stef, and my friend Amy, and my cousin Jen, in your thoughts and prayers this week. I can't imagine how they feel, which reminds me of how lucky I am to still have all my parents. And say a prayer of thanksgiving that they, and us, are so blessed to have received all the love their parents had to give.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014



What I learned today

  • Zoe has dreams about white poodles that have rainbow polka dots.
  • "trombone" is French for "paper clip," because clearly paper clips are shaped like little trombones.
  • The orchid on my desk attracts poetry-writing monks, who rush in and wax, well, poetic, about the beauty of a flower trumping the finest architecture man could ever create.
  • My monk prefers staples over paper clips, because he can forcefully bang the stapler whereas fastening with a paper clip is rather anti-climactic. (We talked a lot about paper clips today.)
  • There are many kinds of pants: grouchy, I-don't-want-to-work, smarty, party, margarita, gusseted-crotch, happy, and shit-my. Wow. Who knew?
  • Sand ninjas are real. I know this because I saw a photograph. And photographs don't lie.
  • Gaining FTP access to the company that's building our new website at work takes about 1,367 emails to fourteen people over two days. And I still don't have access. "Why don't you just email your 100+ images to me?" "Why don't you not suggest ways I can waste an entire day."
  • I'm much happier when I can manage to completely avoid the douchebags at work. If I can maintain this status, I shall not require pharmaceutical help. Maybe.
  • When you read emails from the British monks, you pronounce everything with the British accent in your head.
  • M, when he chooses to, can bring the funny. I mean, really. He had me in stitches tonight, and you'd be in stitches, too, except that he forbid I share what he said. Suffice it to say, the boy can bring it.

Monday, May 05, 2014



We normally have our Monday morning assemblies in the theater, which is an awful room that has no soul. This morning, because AP tests were being taken in the high school and it needed to be quiet, we met in the gym. The bleachers are uncomfortable but the morning light totally made up for it.

It has been blissful

Pet Peeve #262: When M decides at 10:38 p.m. that he's going to read his personal email for the first time today and then ask me a shit-load of questions about everything in it. At 10:38 p.m. my brain has pretty much wound down for the night and is in the process of logging off. I do not want to start thinking again at 10:38 p.m. I want to go to bed.

I just got five questions in a row about an email from Zoe's piano teacher, including two queries that involved me explaining the nickname she calls her son (he's very literal) (M, not the piano teacher's son).

Last night it was in regards to a message from Zoe's teacher that went out to the whole class regarding a summer school program for kids at the community college. Despite my assurances that her entire summer has already been planned, scheduled and PAID FOR, we had to go through a whole thing where we looked at the program, looked at the dates for the program to determine conflicts, and discuss whether our daughter qualifies as "gifted." Then he wanted me to send an email to the teacher basically asking if our daughter is gifted, and then pouted when I told him he would have to send it himself. This entailed me walking him through how to log on to the school's message system (which he should know how to do himself by now since she's finishing her THIRD YEAR there). After he wrote his message, which was written completely M-style and not at all Amy-style (in other words, it had no f-bombs), he wanted to sign MY name to it. I refused. He pouted some more.

This, my friends, makes me want to try any of the remedies mentioned in my previous post. And possibly all at once.

I work with pot-smoking alcoholics, apparently

In the dining hall today I had an interesting conversation with some of my colleagues. I asked the table if anyone has tried The Xanax, as I am interested in checking it out.

Colleague A: I tried it once. It made me tired. Do you want to be tired?

Me: No. I just want to not give a shit.

Colleague B: Oh, well, then you should just try alcohol.

Me: I would, except that I can't be drunk at work. At least not more than once.

Colleague A: Pot. Pot would work. You should get some marijuana.

Me: Huh. That'd be interesting. I've never tried marijuana.

Colleague A: You've never tried marijuana? Seriously?

Me: Nope. When I was in high school my step-mom told me that it made her cry. I didn't want to cry so I never tried it.

Colleague A: It just made me laugh.

Me: I just figured out a couple years ago what Green Day really means.

Colleague C: When I was in high school, Green Day released their "American Idiot" album and...

Me: "American Idiot" came out when you were in high school? Man, that makes me feel old. Thanks for making me feel old, asshole. Anyway, I don't think I can use marijuana at work, either.

So what I learned today was this: only one person has tried The Xanax and didn't have much success, but plenty of people have experience with alcohol and marijuana. And that I probably wouldn't give a shit about my assistant making me feel old if I was on The Xanax but mainly because I'd be sleeping at my desk all day.

I'm starting to think trying any sort of mood elevator might not be a good idea. Beyond Starbucks, that is. No way am I giving up that shit.

(Note to M: I'm guessing a decaf grande non-fat no-whip extra-hot mocha every once in awhile is probably a lot less expensive and more legal than The Xanax, pot, and alcohol. All this is to say that you should support my habit and be proud of my gold-star status because it's keeping me gainfully employed and contributing to that 403(b), mister.)

Sunday, May 04, 2014


"Let's spend two straight days planting shrubs and flowers and have to run to six Home Depots eight times and still not have everything we need because that sounds AWESOME!" said no one ever.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Work & Rest

We worked in the yard today. We'll work in the yard tomorrow.

Tonight, we rest.

(I took a couple other pictures today but they were shitty. Then I started to feel desperate. I made this one and am happy with it. My man...and his technology.)

Friday, May 02, 2014

When work is good

Geese on the chapel. Honking throughout Mass this morning.

This is pretty indicative of how my day went, which was awesome compared to the shitsoup it was yesterday.

I laughed a lot today. A LOT.

This is good because if I can laugh I'm pretty sure I do not need the Xanax. I would much rather laugh than resort to federally-controlled pharmaceuticals, although I am certainly not above trying them should it be necessary.

Today I learned a new word: aspergillum, and I sent an email inviting some of our closest friends to join us for bowling, Trivial Pursuit, eight-man luge, and/or cat juggling. Amazingly, two of the three couples immediately said yes. I love our friends.

Also, I learned a new phrase to use at work: We're building the plane as we fly it. It's a paradigm shift! It's thinking outside the box! It's forward motion and a 30,000 foot view and it leverages our strengths!

I love business-speak. It's usually so ridiculous that I can't help but giggle in meetings when someone uses it and then I have to make up a reason why I'm laughing when no one else is laughing. At M's work they have their own language. And a lot of them start their sentences with, "Sooo..." Come to think of it, M stopped doing that once I pointed it out to him. He swam upstream. I wonder if he single-handedly banished the soooo from his office. I'll have to ask him when he's not exhausted from work and in a comatose state on the other couch. Other words he's brought home include opty (opportunity), convo (conversation), and stage gate (which I think means different status points but am not entirely clear). He's also working on a project called Neptune, and every time he mentions it I think that it's good they didn't pick Uranus because that would cause so much giggling as to slow down productivity. "We need to schedule a stage gate for Uranus." Now that's just asking for it.

But no one would have to wonder why people are laughing in meetings.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Grommet. Plenary. Xanax.

Today sucked. For the most part. But I made some pretty pictures. Except for the one of the quarter I found in my desk when I was rummaging for change so I could buy a soda because the day sucked and I thought that with my grouchiness that I might not be able to find anything to shoot more beautiful than finding the quarter.

Also, mean people suck. Especially when they blast out their nastiness in a big meeting.

He could have at least waited until I had my full cup of coffee. Then I might not have felt like stabbing him with my pen so much. Except I wouldn't really have stabbed him because it was my favorite pen and I wouldn't waste it on a douchebag meanie with a beer gut and a bad attitude wrapped in layers of insecurity and ego. He's lucky it was my favorite pen.

Also, I like the word plenary. Not as much as grommet, but a lot.

Finally, I'm considering trying the Xanax. I think it might help me not want to stab my misogynistic colleague. Or beat him with my stapler (which was another thought I had when I realized I would never sacrifice my favorite pen - but I have no allegiance to the stapler so that's expendable). One of my friends on Facebook noted that it's "probably frowned upon to beat people with office supplies" but I think it'll be okay because if the guy at work can get away with being an asshat to others on a regular basis surely there will be no real repercussions for creative uses of things we order from Staples.

I'm thinking I should probably not share these thoughts with my doctor when I ask for the Xanax.

Also, Xanax might become another favorite word, but after grommet and plenary.