Sunday, February 22, 2009

About lost things

Last week I filled out one of those 25-things lists on Facebook but instead of 25 things about me it was 25 things I dislike.
And I forgot to put one of the things that I dislike the most: losing things.
I hate losing little things that don't really matter and are easily replaced--like , say, cheap sunglasses. And I hate losing, or perhaps I should say misplacing, things that I really need, say, like a birth certificate or an immunization record. And I really hate losing something that is hard to replace, like a cell phone.
One reason I hate to lose things is because I can't give up looking for them. Because I'm a pretty good finder, I have a lot of motivation to look. And a certain competitiveness with the lost-ness, and a certain tenaciousness about the search. I HATE giving up.
I also hate looking for something I suspect I might have given away--certain purses, for example. In occasional fits of tidiness and clarity, when a housekeeping mood comes on, I get rid of things that I later regret. That must be what happened to that red purse I bought in 2002....
I lost a pedometer last week, I'm missing a sock, I can't find an immunization record for a MMR I think Tony should have gotten in the late '80s (but, kudos to me, I found Angela's).
I'm still missing the lip gloss I lost last February in the Ft. Wayne airport while waiting to catch a flight to NYC. Sephora, cinnamon, tube, if anyone finds it....
Which leads me to what got lost today. 
Four (read, 4!) tubs of it. Mixed together. In a big pile. Shaped into something resembling a pizza. 
A light pink ... a dark pink ... a blue ... and a purple....
Mind: I did not lose the Play-doh. No, indeed, the blame lies on the little girls, who spent most of the afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, playing with the 'doh, rolling it, cutting out circles, rolling it, bringing it in to us and trying to give us pieces of the pie.
And now ... it's gone. Gone!
Well, now, it's not gone. I know it's here ... somewhere. 
But where the HELL where!?
I've looked everywhere. I looked all around the kitchen table and under it. I looked in the toy area. I looked in the TV room. I looked in the bathroom.
I looked downstairs in the playroom. And in the game room. And the storage room.
I looked upstairs, in the extra bedroom (but not in the bedclothes ... mmmmm), in the books, in the bathrooms (two), in the exercise room, in my bedroom. 
No Play-doh.
Somewhere, in this house, a pile of multi-colored Play-doh is slowly hardening. It's been missing long enough I think it's beyond saving, for play purposes. If it's gone long enough, it will harden into what I like to think of pre-adolescent art; I might have to save it forever to preserve the episode.
But until I find it, I will be on the lookout for stepping unawares in it, or for plunging my hand into it. 
Or I may go to bed tonight and find myself getting way too close to it.
But until I find it, I'll be obsessed by it--the thought of that blue-green muddle will hound me.
(And I really hope that it's no where that a GUEST might come across it....)
I hate lost things. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

About the dramas of the day

No, I am not a drama queen, nor even a princess, but sometimes what gets us through the day at work is a little drama.
And where do we find the drama? 
In the parking lot. Lots, actually. Lots of drama in parkings lots. (I think I channeled Dr. Suess there for a sec.)
We have parking lots on both sides of our building. So everyone is assigned to one side or the the other.
The big lot on the east side is general parking.
The several smaller lots on the west side are assigned parking. And therein lies the drama.
For office people, the west-side lots are most desired. So much so there is a WAITING LIST to get a west-side spot.
I've been a west-sider since my first day, when I was given the spot of the person I was replacing (he retired). 
Imagine my surprise when a co-worker with a little more seniority than me discovered that I had a west-side spot and called me out on it. "How'd you get that spot!?" she demanded. "HR gave it to me," I replied. Seems she'd been waiting a couple of years for a west-side spot. And she harbored a little resentment towards me until she eventually moved on to a new job. 
She never did get a west-side spot.
There's a little game that gets played on west-side peoples' days off, too. It's called, "Who Takes Your Spot." In this game, people with lesser spots (east-siders, far-west vs. near-west) vie for the prime spots of people on vacation, sick, traveling, otherwise out-of-the-office. It's a brutal, winner-take-all contest. And your prize is that you get to walk 50 less feet or so into the office! 
You know you've really made it when you get assigned to the managers' lot. Closest to the building, these 30 or so spots are coveted, doled out sparingly to directors and managers by HR, and specially watched for the "Who Takes Your Spot" game. Competition for these prime spots makes the Daytona 500 look like a preschool tricycle race. Friendships have been shattered vying for front lot spots. 
Those front lot spots are also the ones most likely to be stolen by company visitors who have no clue where visitors are supposed to park (side of the building) and just pull up right by the door.
Visitors have been double-parked into spots by disgruntled employees. Threats, including "tow trucks" and "calling HR" have been thrown about.
Who knew a parking lot could be so fraught with drama? 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

About a new haircut

Getting a new haircut is quite a leap of faith.

Faith that the new haircut will make you look better/younger/perkier/younger/refreshed/younger than you did with the old haircut.
Faith that your hair stylist can pull off the new haircut.
Faith that your loved ones will either, well, love it, or at least, like it, or, if they don't, break it to you gently you look newly bad.
Faith that your hair will grow out quickly if that last case transpires.

So yes: I'm going this week for just such a new haircut. And I do have a 'do in mind. 

Okay, the picture above is a year and a half old, but my hair is shorter in that pix than it is now, so it's a good approximation of what I look like with a short haircut.

Having grown my hair out into more of a bob, and that bob getting kind of out of control and hiding behind my ears a lot, and being TOO much for me to handle (since I'm not a hair stylist kind of girl), the time is ripe to whip myself into shape! 

And since you'll never guess who I want to transform myself too, I'll put a picture of her too. I've already told Brenda, who cuts my hair, that I am not expecting to lose 20 years, but hey, five would be good. 

Katie Holmes! The famous "pixie cut"!

The only thing I'm betting on ... your blogger will not receive 1/100th of the criticism this young woman did over a simple haircut. Because when I was searching for pictures, I came across some of the stupidest comments about her hair than I could have ever imagined.

Even if it looks bad on me, no one would ever care that much. No one should care that much.

Updated: A bad picture of a good haircut.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How to procrastinate by Cathy D.

1. Take one weekend.
2. Fill it up with stuff over which you have no control, like birthday shopping (although not for onesself), basketball games (not one's own), party-dress shopping (again, not for onesself), birthday party (again, not for onesself), and sundry errands (for the public good).
2a. Keep spending time on computer checking email, Facebook, Google Reader, and weather (to make sure no frigid spells are forecast). Make vow to stay off computer.
3. On completion of the above, realize one had actually created a to-do before the weekend
4. Go to kitchen to find purse and dig out to-do list.
5. Remember that "cleaning out purse" was one of the things on the to-do list.
6. The to-do list is written on a very small piece of notepad paper. Realize need for larger paper for additional tasks. 
7. Go to find new legal pads recently purchased on errand. Hunt. For awhile. Find pads in office.
8. Recast to-do list on nice, big legal pad. Admire the organization.
7a. Break computer vow by updating Facebook about how busy I am.
9. Decide to fold laundry first. Go upstairs.
10. Realize I'm a little weak and hungry to work. Go back to kitchen and find chips and dip from Superbowl party last week. Consume.
11. Realize this cannot be crossed off to-do list.
12. Get text from Jayme wanting a copy of picture taken last night at birthday party. Break computer vow by getting camera, taking out SD card, and trying to find picture. Get distrated because laptop SD card slot will not recognize 4gig SD card. Puzzle. Try other SD card in slot.Works fine. Google "SD card not recognized." Find several reasons, perhaps because new SD card is too big. Break down and connect camera to laptop with USB cord. Wait while software driver installs. Copy pictures to laptop and send to Jayme. 
12a. Since I'm on computer anyway, check email, Facebook and news. 
13. Go back and check to-do list since I've lost focus dorking around with SD card.
14. Go fold and put away the laundry. Cross off list!!!!!!
14a. As reward, just check email real quick. Just for a sec. Notice my copy of Twilight lying on end table. Decide to reread meadow scene because I realize Edward could do laundry in 1/10 the time as me. 
15. Give self mental shake. Recheck to-do list. Realize several items on this list are not going to happen today.
16. Realize if I list "check email" and "update Facebook" on my list, I will feel more productive!Also, "reading"!  Go to kitchen to revise list.
17. Get distracted by TV being changed to Sheryl Crow concert (not by onesself). Reminisce about seeing her in concert with John Mayer. Replay concert in head as Sheryl sings "Gonna soak up the sun." Feel guilty I have every song John Mayer ever recorded on my MP3 and not one Sheryl Crow. Force self not to download Sheryl Crow songs right now. Instead put on to-do list.
17a. Notice husband's laptop has a "Thomas the Tank Engine" screensaver. Engage in pointless conversation about WHY, since no children use it? No good reason.
18. Look at RSS feed and realize blog has not been updated lately. Feel guilty for my many six readers. Search brain for possible topics.
19. Come up empty. All I can think about is my to-do list.
20. Damn, I'm good at this procrastination, huh!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

About my friend Mike

You know the term, "sudden death"?

Not like in a sports way--like in an NFL football game, when it ends in a tie, and the overtime is called "sudden death." Because that's not really death--it's just, "this game finally over." And there's always another game.

No, I mean "sudden death" like in "death came suddenly." 

This time, to my friend, Mike.

I'd worked with Mike for almost 10 years when he accepted a new job that took him and his family to Birmingham, Alabama, last April. Ten years is plenty of time to get to know someone, even in an office atmosphere. It's plenty of time to learn about interests and dislikes, about family, about childhood, about personality. Plenty of time to become friends.

Even in a busy office, there's sometimes time to chat for awhile in a cubicle, and talk about the funny things your little boys said, or what your wife is writing about, or the next ballgame you have tickets to.

Or, you might find yourself talking about the inadequacies of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium, and when in the world they might build a new one, or how it felt to be one of, oh, say, two fans for a baseball game. Or, you might find yourself getting razzed about being one of those two, er, few, anyway. 

The conversation might even veer into work territory, and you might dissect a meeting that didn't go quite right, or a project with a recalcitrant author, or why in the world can't we wear jeans every Friday?

Or, you might find yourself rejoicing over a Florida Gators win ... or commiserating over a loss. Or talking about where in the world that dead, dry, taxidermied gator on his desk came from. Or asking, just how may Florida Gators shirts can one have?

On a long weekday afternoon in a quiet cubicle farm, a little lively conversation is much relished.

Mike, of course, loved his family and the Lord above all; he would not deny he also enjoyed a good (hey, any) sporting event and a cold (hey, any) beer.

Mike died while working out at the gym; I imagine him running, and somewhere between strides leaving this earth and running into the arms of His Lord and Savior.

He leaves his parents, his wife; his little boys, whom he loved teaching about his Faith and about his sports; his step-children; his parents; and so many friends, and readers. 

Mike, the ultimate sports fan, exuberant football fan, appreciated the tension of a good overtime period--what the commentators call "sudden death," even as they debate about its fairness.

Mike, the good Catholic, would have been prepared--death was sudden, but not unanticipated; surprising, yet he would have been as ready, spiritually, as he could be.

Mike, husband and father, son and friend, Rays fan -- there's no sudden death in baseball, you know. If he'd had to chose, he'd go for a ballgame that dragged on forever, in the way only a baseball game can; a game that ended in a tie, then went into extra innings; a game that ended up in the record books only because it was so long. The kind of game that when it's over you look at each other and say, "I got old at that game."

He should have gotten old. I'd have loved to tease him about that.

Bye, Mike--Go in peace, you Gator.