Friday, March 31, 2006


I changed from the insanely expensive flushable litter to the old kind.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Unrelated Work-Related Humor

I am so lucky that my workplace offers many opportunities for amusement.

In the bathroom we have "touchless" everything - the toilet flushes when you stand up, (and sometimes repeatedly when you're just sitting there,) the water turns on when you run your hands under the sink, and the paper towels come out when you wave your hand in front of the beam. I was alone in there the other day, peeing, and out of nowhere a fresh paper towel dispensed itself. Nobody else in there. I'm thinking a rogue air molecule was toying with it.

And then when I was walking out of the ladies' room I noticed on the floor a single square of toilet paper. Seven steps later in front of the Coke machine there were about six more squares, twisted and crumpled at one end, looking like they'd just been removed from someone's shoe. Heh heh.

I spied out in the parking lot a round sign up high on one of the light fixtures with the letters "AP" on it. "How nice," I thought. "They're marking our lots so we can remember where we parked." It is, after all, a huge facility. But coming out of the gym (on the opposite end of the building) I noticed the same sign in THAT parking lot WITH THE SAME "AP" LETTERS. Ha hahaha! What a tease. Yeah, we'll help you find your car after work. Simply memorize the section you're in!

Then there's the woman who sits across from me. She has a vibrating chair cushion. I'll be sitting there talking to customers and all of a sudden I'll hear this hummmmmmmm coming from somewhere and I'll look around, all embarrassed because, you know, what it sounds like.

I told Sydney about it. Here is her response:

"OH that is sooo creep-tastic!!! do you think she's using it for SECRET WORK-RELATED MASTURBATION?!?!?!?!?!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Poor Kitty

Well I'm a bad bad mommy.

This morning we are having a delicious and intense thunderstorm. I love thunder. There is nothing I'd rather do than curl up on the couch with a book and a thunderstorm.

So I'm coming out of the bedroom after having gotten dressed and Joe dashes in and heads straight for my closet. "Noooooo kitty! Not the fuck in MY CLOSET!!" I chase him out of my room and pick him up to take him outside for potty call. Special note: cats do not like to go out in the rain. They will root their front feet to the floor and you can make a complete vertical cat by trying to make them go out in the rain. I get him out by reversing him butt-out and he doesn't want his nose shut in the door so he pulls back and I shut the door.

I wait an interval that I think is suitable for peeing and/or pooping. I open the front door and he isn't there. Success? I then hear him yowling at the back door and let him in.

There is nothing more comical than a wet cat.

Just to make sure, I shut him in the bathroom with the litter box for a few minutes. He does not like this. Once I think the paint on the inside of the bathroom door is probably worn off from his scratching, I open the door. He comes out and I pet him for a minute. Then a loud and close thunderclap sounds and he darts into my room.


In fact, he's in there now. And I'm out here feeling guilty.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Before 'n' After Magic

This is a really dumb tattoo I got one night when I was slightly drunk. It was a total spur-of-the-moment thing. [Try to avoid impulse tattoos.]

Here is what I did to cover it up. Much better, right?

Here is a really cool tattoo I got. It was my second tattoo ever.

But see what it turned into? The artist told me this would happen, but I wanted it anyway. I had someone ask me if it was a bunch of grapes. No, we need to fix this.

Here's what I did to cover it up. Much better, right?

So, to recap:

1) No impulse tattoos
2) Trust the artist. If he says it's a bad idea, it's a bad idea.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Secret Message from My Pants

During a lull in the action yesterday I happened to put my feet up on my desk so I could appear rakish and casual, and noticed as I did a reddish discoloration on my left trouser leg. Hmm. It looked like what happens when you put something red into the laundry accidentally, only I didn't. I make a whole separate load for red things.

A closer look revealed that this wasn't just a blotchy stain. This was numbers. There was a zero and a six and something else I couldn't make out. At least it looks like a zero and a six. It could be a "G" I guess. Go?

What do you think my pants are trying to tell me?

Friday, March 24, 2006

My Life is So Fun

I got a cool new desk toy that I had to share. It's a teeny Yahtzee in a pen!

I won it in a sales contest. It actually wasn't the prize - the prize was an entry in a drawing for a $500 travel voucher - but you got to pick something from this array of stuff so you'd have something tangible. I didn't win the travel voucher and I don't care. I have Yahtzee!

I play with it constantly. I don't keep score because the teeny Yahtzee score cards are too cute and I don't think they have refills. So I just roll the dice and see what I can come up with. Once I was on the phone with a customer, and I just barely stopped myself before I yelled, "YAHTZEE!!!" in his ear. Whew.

When it's all put together it also doubles as a pretty decent maraca. Annoy all your friends!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Red Flags Never to Ignore

Or, How to Ruin a Perfectly Innocent Kitchen Utensil for Someone Forever

Okay, folks. Part of this one is kinda gross. If you're easily offended you might want to skip it.

This will be a cautionary tale. Kinda like, "Never, ever do the stupid thing I did."

So this is about five years ago. I'm dropping off Zachary to skateboard at a friend's house and go in to say hi to the friend's mom. There's a guy there. He's a teacher. We hit it off famously and exchange phone numbers. We go out on a couple of dates, where he tells me that he has three kids and has been celibate for the past three years waiting for the right person to come along. Wow! This could be pretty cool!

Things move very quickly. He lives in Taylor, which is about a 45 minute drive from Austin, and soon we decide that we need to be closer together. He will move in with me. I have a great house in Hyde Park, 1700 square feet, and a king size bed. Let's go!

The first red flag shows itself as we are meeting his elderly landlord the day we are to begin moving his things out and over to my place. He introduces me as, "Holly, one of my fellow teachers." Now, he hasn't cleared this with me in advance so my eyes widen. I am not a teacher. But I play along with him. Maybe he has a plan.

The second red flag occurs the next day when we are an hour late to meet the landlord to pick up more of his things. My thought was we would simply tell her that we had been unavoidably running late and apologize for the inconvenience. He, however, came up with a better story. "There is an 18-wheeler turned over on I-35 and the traffic is backed up for miles and miles in both directions. We barely made it." My eyes widen again. This one could easily be exposed as the blatant lie that it is.

So, to recap: I'm about to share my home with a pathological liar.

The third red flag occurs when we are moving his bed out of his apartment. We get the mattress downstairs and come back to lift up the box spring, and I spy on the floor underneath a kitchen whisk with globs of vaseline clinging between the spokes. "What the hell?," I say. He does not answer. I quickly pick up a box and take it downstairs. When I come back the whisk is gone.

Now a normal intelligent person such as myself would immediately end any association with this obviously bad bad man. Right? Wrong.

In the course of the next few weeks, there are more flags. We plan to go visit some friends of his in Dallas, and he instructs me beforehand that I am not to ask them any questions about him. He tells me that he has, during a period of unemployment, filed lawsuits as a creative way to generate income.

But for reasons I won't go into here, I stick it out with him. I will end up losing two jobs, two cars, my good credit and my house.

Still, I can say that I have learned many valuable lessons from this episode in my life and I'm all the better for having endured it.

From time to time when we are cooking dinner together, one of the kids will say, "Mom!" And I'll look over and they'll be holding up a whisk with an impish grin on their face. This makes me laugh.

Oh - his name is Francis McCauley.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Breast Cancer Bimbo?

So last night I went out to the Water Tank after work with Kristin to meet her boyfriend and another friend. We went in to the bar to get our beverages and then settled in outside on the front porch for a little conversation. It wasn't even three minutes later when we were approached by a slightly drunken biker dude.

"Ladies!" This despite the presence of Kevin, presenting ample evidence of maleness including facial hair and no breasts.

"Have you got your ticket yet?"

Well, I'll bite. "What ticket?"

"Your ticket to the raffle."

Still not quite enough information. "What raffle?"

"We're raffling off a 2007 Harley Davidson Road King to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation."

Oh. Cool. I'm all for that. So we ask him to tell us more. The tickets are $20 and he tells us where we can go see the actual bike.

He says, "Do you want a free Harley?"

I tell him that I'd be lucky if I could keep it from falling over and crushing my leg, much less ride it.

"No, you win it, you sell it."

Still, nobody at the table has $20 to give this guy right now. Jane tries to give him $5 towards somebody else's ticket but he refuses. He does, however, tell her that she can go to the website and donate.

He starts to tell her where to go, but she says, "Oh, I can find the Susan G. Komen website."

"No," he says, "here. It's this one." And hands her a sticker. "It's under construction," he says.

Now on a side note, when I see "Under Construction" on a website, I think it means one of two things. Either a) I got tired of fucking with it, so here. Or b) I have lots of cool plans for this website but I can't find anyone who knows what they're doing to do it for free.

So she takes the sticker and starts laughing. I am dying to see what she's looking at but she studies it and hangs onto it for a few minutes before starting to hand it back to him.

"Lemme see," I say. So she hands it over.

It's a silhouette of a busty bimbo with '06 on her chest. I can't believe this. I start to hand it back to the biker but Kristin elbows me and whispers, "Your blog!" So I ask him if I can keep the sticker. He is delighted to agree.

I'm still stunned. So that's why they're doing this. They want to Save the Boobs!

<-Actual Sticker

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Reporting to you from the dating front

Well, it's a zoo out here. I've actually met some really nice fellows and I'm happy with the way things are going, but that's not funny. What's funny is these guys:


So I'm supposed to meet this guy for coffee at one of the cool local coffee hangouts. They have wifi and lots of cozy tables where you can study or just hang out and read the paper if you want. I go in and get my coffee, a Quad Latte which is four shots of espresso and lots of milk. I case the inside to see if I see my date and I don't. I go outside and look to the left, no date; look to the right, no date. I choose a table right in front of the door to the patio, so he'll see me when he comes outside, and settle in. I have my iPod so I decide to watch an episode of Arrested Development until he gets here. When the credits roll I look up and around, still no date. Oh well. I've been stood up before. As I'm getting ready to get up, I see somebody out of the corner of my eye going inside and think it might be him. No problem - I'll email him that we missed each other. I go inside to drop off my empty glass and almost run right smack into him coming back outside from getting a refill. We recognize each other. I tell him that I've been sitting outside and that I've reached my limit, coffee-wise, but that we can still go chat if he wants. He tells me that "Pooch" is not his real name. I wait for him to tell me what his real name is, but he does not.

We sit at his table, which is around a corner in the back and invisible unless you go all the way to the back and to the left, where I didn't even know there were any tables. Not where I'd have sat waiting to meet someone. So he launches in talking and doesn't shut up for the next 45 minutes. He keeps referring to people as "sheeple" which I find mildly amusing the first time but by the eighth time I want to stab him in the thigh with a fork. He tells me that he's a Viet Nam vet which is no problem - my ex was a helicopter pilot in the war. He tells me he's a conspiracy freak, which is.

He has a "band" and is a "musician." He doesn't have a gig for South by Southwest (which he keeps referring to as South By, and I'm guessing I'm supposed to conclude that he's a real "insider" from this) but he does have a 30 minute spot on public access television during the festival time-frame. I'm thinking this doesn't count. I could probably get a 30 minute spot on public access television. I ask him what kind of music they play and instead of answering, he launches into a story about his drummer who was in jail (framed) and the substitute drummer they were using, and how the original drummer is now free, and about what they are doing with the interloper drummer. Later he mentions that they have been compared with Grateful Dead and that this surprises him. I now have all the information I need.

He hands me his business card. He tells me that he lives on disability income but that he is a plumber on the side. His motto is, "I'll work like a dog for you." Get it? Pooch, dog? Featured on the business card are two dog heads cut from photographs. One of them has a glowing solid green alien eye. He must not have Photoshop.

He lights up when I tell him that Zachary is into Frank Zappa and has a huge collection of bootleg concerts on CD. He wants to copy them! This is not gonna happen.

Dating blunder: I give this guy my business card as we are leaving. I'm still not sure why.

Since then he has sent me two emails. The one I got this morning tells me about his upcoming public access gig and tells me to "tape it if you can." I am tempted. His band is called "No Pedigree." Get it? No pedigree, pooch.


I should've known this was going to be a mess. The guy's personal ad is ALL IN CAPS. He also says he "won't last long" so ask him out while you still can.

We agree to meet at Starbucks. He doesn't tell me that he doesn't drink coffee and has never been to a Starbucks before. I see him waiting in line for his beverage (iced tea?) and go order mine. Once I pick it up he indicates that he'd like to sit outside, so we head for a table in front. When we've been sitting down for all of three seconds, he decides that it's too windy. I get up so we can go back inside, but he has a better idea. Let's go sit in his car. [Major dating red flag. Do not ignore this flag.]

I reluctantly join him in his car which is at least clean. I make sure to keep my right hand free and near the door handle, just in case. Also my purse handle is resting over my knee for a quick getaway grab if needed. Just the same, I'm very nervous. At one point he reaches over and turns the key and I just about bolt right out of the car, but it turns out he is just going to play me some of his Otis Redding cd.

He works in the cargo department at the airport. He proudly tells me that he barely works two hours of his eight-hour shift, that he spends his time watching Judge Judy and some other shows. I toy with the idea of finding out who I can report this to.

He tells me that I look like a hippie. I don't agree - if you're going to stick me in a category, I would think aging punk-rocker would be the category. Hippies don't have facial piercings as a general rule. Still, I've heard this before, so, hmmm.

After a while I tell him that I need to go home and cook dinner for tonight. He asks what I like to cook, and I tell him Indian, Thai, Mexican, I'm eclectic. He tells me that I have to cook him some enchiladas. Yeah, okay. Sure.

As I'm getting out of his car, he says, "Let me see your legs." And lifts up my dress to inspect my legs. It's all I can do to keep from breaking into a full-on run back to my car. I keep my eye out for his car behind me as I head out, and take the extra-circuitous route home.


So I'm still out there meeting guys. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Grab some more Clorox

Oh no! It's more totally clueless customers.


Just yesterday:

Me: What is your occupation?

Customer: I don't work. I'm retarded.


I get this next one a lot. We have to ask what the vehicle is used for, in case they use it in a business or to haul people around for money.

Me: What is the primary usage of the vehicle?

Customer: Transportation.


Customer: Driving.

No, really? I thought you were going to throw wine and cheese parties in it.


Me: Hi. How can I help you?

Customer: Yeah, I called in yesterday to get a quote and I forgot what it was.


Me: Hi. How can I help you?

Customer: Have you ever heard of Standard Family Insurance Company?

Me: No.

Customer: Okay. [Hangs up.]


Surprisingly, I also get this one a lot:

Customer: Why is it so expensive? I wasn't planning on having any accidents.


Me: Do you have a middle initial?

Customer: [rustling shuffling sound] Just a sec. Lemme get out my driver's license and check.


This customer was calling from New York:

Me: Have you had any moving violations?

Customer: Yeah, I got a ticket for not moving my car.


Me: Hi. How may I help you?

Customer: Um, can I call you guys right back?


So I'm pretty scared. They seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The quest continues

The other day I was dropping Sydney off at the UT Testing center and we had a few minutes to wait until they opened the doors, so I picked up this copy of their continuing education catalog. I was intrigued by the clever dog on the cover.

Just a quick glance through this thing tells me that the folks at UT are probably way more interested in making money than in furthering your education. Either that or there's a bunch of wackos running things over there.

Featured on the cover is, "Choosing Video Games for Your Family." It costs $28. Now, maybe this is just too obvious for most people, but I have Google. And I bet I can find about ten free ways to learn how to buy video games for my family. Right here at my desk.

One class idea that catches my eye is, "Creatively Express your Chronic Pain." Quite the bargain at $28. In my mind, I'm imagining a room full of people with flair pens, trying not to stab each other in the thigh with them. I'm imagining a lot of anger in this room. (I get pissed off when I hurt, don't you?)

A class that I don't think I want to take is "Submission Grappling." I don't want to know what submission grappling is (hint: it includes shootwrestling.) But in case you do, it's $68. Also, Training Uniform Optional for $65.

I keep expecting to turn the page and find a "Growing Grass in Your Backyard" class or a workshop on "How to Watch Television."

Here's one called Orienteering: it's considered a "Thinking Sport." Heh. "It's a road rally on foot. It's a treasure hunt in the woods. During class, you will learn about the sport of orienteering and how to read a map and a compass." Um, where were you in 4th grade? "The key..." to Orienteering, " more the ability to make wise decisions rather than the ability to run like a deer." Whew. That's a relief.

And then there's "Canine Massage" for only $40. Now - show of hands - who thinks their dog will sit still for a massage? I have enough trouble once a month trying to get them to let me squeeze just 2.7 ml of flea medication between their shoulder blades. Even when they slow down long enough to be petted they're making figure eights around my legs and jumping up on my lap and then jumping down and generally not interested, I don't think, in a massage. But what were you gonna do with that $40 anyway?

Here's one called, "Yes, You Can Juggle!" Um, no you can't. Don't even bother to try.

Or the closely related, "You Can Do Magic!" Well, maybe. But please don't.

How about, "Soybean Candlemaking - Intro." Did you know that "Soybean candles are the newest innovation in the candle industry"? No, I didn't even know there WAS a candle industry. This exciting class costs $48, but you also have to bring $48 for materials. (Why didn't they just make the cost of the class $96?) Also, this is an intro class, but there's no "Soybean Candlemaking - The Advanced Class." You just get the intro and you're on your own.

But my personal favorite is this one: "Handmade Birthday and Greeting Cards." This class promises to "...teach you how to WOW your friends and family with unique and personalized cards." To do this, "You'll learn to use rubber stamps..." I'm imagining a textbook for this class: "Step 1)Place rubber stamp directly over stamp pad and press firmly. Step 2) Place rubber stamp directly over paper and press firmly. The End." Now the really good news, it says that "No prior experience is required, just a desire to have fun." So, if you passed first grade for "social" reasons, rather than your grasp of the material, you're covered. The instructor for this class is the famous Judi Hays, who has even been featured in "The Rubber Stamper" magazine! [How to ensure that no one will ever have sex with you again: subscribe to Rubber Stamper magazine and leave copies of it lying on your coffee table.]

So I guess the quest for enlightenment continues, huh?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grab some Clorox

I think we may need to clean out the gene pool.

I talk to many people every day and as it turns out lots of them are completely clueless. I mean, we're talking how-do-you-manage-to-get-the-correct-feet-into-the-correct-pants-legs clueless.

Here are some examples, for your amusement.


Me: How many household family members are old enough to drive?

Customer: All of them.


Me: How many miles do you put on your car annually?

Customer: You mean, per month?


Me: Does your motorcycle have any special construction?

Customer: Yeah, there's stickers all over this thing. One of them says, "No more than one rider."

[Could he be thinking I said "special INstruction"??]


Customer: You'll have to excuse me. I've had a couple of drinks.


Me: All right. May I have your name?

Customer: Josh.

[You mean, like Cher?]


Me: Do you have the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number?

Customer: [silence]

Me: Do you have the VIN?

Customer: You mean the year, make and model?


Me: What is your zip code?

Customer: 12


Me: Have you moved in the last 60 days?

Customer: What address are you showing?

Me: [reads address]

Customer: Well then, yeah, I've moved.


These are true excerpts from actual conversations I've had. AND THERE'S MORE! That's right. There will be a future installment of Grab the Clorox coming soon. In the meantime, be thinking about some sort of licensing scheme we could use to keep these people from having children.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I joined up one of those internet matchmaking services day before yesterday. I'm really happy by myself and fulfilled and content and everything, but just a tiny part of me is tired of taking care of everything by myself for so long. That and I'd like there to be some sort of male role model in my children's lives.

I was prepared for all the questions I'd have to answer. I was ready to put myself "out there." But what I wasn't prepared for was immediate and repeated rejection by total strangers! Ouch!

The first guy ended our communications because he couldn't see my picture. Well, it was up there but they have to "approve" it so you don't put anything, you know, lewd. So fine, whatever. So I go to see this guy's picture. AND THERE ISN'T ONE. He wants to see my picture but has elected not to let me see his picture until we know each other better. What a jerk! I'm thinking. Maybe I've dodged a bullet here.

Next guy has answered my questions, sent me his questions, and I'm waiting for him to tell me what he has to have and what he can't stand in a mate. And he drops me. Wants to explore other possibilities. Well, ok. Kinda abrupt, but ok.

Third guy doesn't even answer my questions - he's rejecting me based on reading my personality profile. Now I'm starting to get good and pissed off. I go back to read my profile again to see just what's so unappealing he can't even answer my stupid five questions. I see nothing. I'm really not that bad. Really.

So you might be thinking the perfect thing to make me feel better would be a good tell off. But guess what - the little reply thingy is multiple choice. These are your five choices for a pithy response to each rejection:

1) I have now posted my photo and when it is approved it should be available to you.

2) I have completed all my Match Profile questions.

3) Good luck with your search.

Okay, probably somewhat insincere but you wanna take the high road. Okay.

4) I really felt that we had potential. I'd like you to reconsider.

Now this is begging. You want to get rejected AGAIN?

5) I think if we met, you might have different feelings about who I am.

But, see, he doesn't *want* to meet. What is this going to accomplish?

What we're missing is the response I want to pick:

6) Fuck you asshole. I didn't want to date you anyway.