Archive for September, 2011

It all started in the late spring when I realized my rather substantial, brunette eyebrows were getting a little caterpillar-like.  I called my go-to salon with my favorite eye-brow-waxer and inquired about an appointment.  She was “unavailable” but they could book me with the owner.  Desperate times, meet desperate measures.  I went for it.  Epic mistake.  Big effing mistake, people.  My natural eyebrows basically look like inverted check marks.  The salon owner’s natural eyebrows basically look like the St. Louis Arch.  Guess whose eyebrows I went home with?  That’s right.  And I didn’t even get to see the Mississippi River.  I did, however, inquire as to the whereabouts of girl-wonder-eyebrow-waxer.  Turns out, she’d moved on.  Imagine that.

Thus, I commenced the stealthiest most FBI-CIA-Secret Service style Google stalking known to the civilian public.  I. Am. Amazing.  By knowing only her first name and one place she worked, I found girl wonder.  She and a friend opened their own place.  I went to see her.  I begged for her help.  She laughed.  Not a mean laugh.  And not exactly a pity laugh.  Just a laugh of, “You poor jerk.  The leaves will be turning before your eyebrows grow back.”  Whelp, here we are, O-ficially in the fall of 2011.  The leaves aren’t really turning, but my eyebrows have grown back in.  And today, I got to see my friend again.  And she approached my eye brows like she was sculpting a masterpiece.  And they do look fabulous.  Just the inverted-check-mark-way I like ’em.


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The Ball Complex

My dog is obsessed with balls.  Having them.  Getting them.  Fetching them.  Hoarding them.  This may be because his actually got chopped off when he was a puppy.  Castration jokes.  Always funny.

I wrote several weeks ago about the fact that he had a globe-shaped ball and that it went missing and that we replaced it with a glow-in-the-dark version from the awesome dog-treat company Chuck It.  Well apparently I have the gift of prophecy, because what do you know, one day after writing that post, glow-ball went missing.  And hubs and I searched high and we searched low.  We crawled around the shrubs on our hands and knees, practically calling to gl0w-ball to “come out, come out, wherever you are!”  Well, the one good thing Irene brought us was the return of glow-ball, which somehow got rattled down from wherever it was trapped and we found it again while playing in the yard.  It was a good thing.  For a day.  And then glow ball went missing again.

In this sad interval, Remi played with a busted tennis ball.  He was like some poor child in a third-world country that you see on those very sad commercials.  And he had very sad eyes.  Go give to charity, people.  And we got guilty.  So we went online and ordered him a new world ball.  And we found glow ball again.  And we still spend a good portion of every afternoon crawling around our house looking under furniture for glow ball and the world.  And to think that we thought we’d have to wait to have human children before humiliating ourselves on the regular…..

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Channeling Dixie Carter

I’m going to have to start a new blog category for “times I make a scene to get better customer service.”  I really think of myself as someone with reasonable expectations.  And yet, I keep having to educate “those who work with the public” about how to talk to customers and provide reasonable concessions to make things right.  Yesterday, I spent some time in my local “designer labels at discount prices” store.  With my new job comes a new dress code, and as I change jobs seemingly every 10 months or so, I have a good thing going with the “new job, new wardrobe line.”  Don’t tell my husband.  He thinks everyone does this!

Two jobs ago, my wardrobe required a mix of business casual and business professional attire.  My most recent job required all-business, all the time.  My new job requires not-being-naked.  There is an official dress code, but unofficially, as long as all your parts are modestly covered, I think no one cares that much.  I like this dress code best of all.  Unfortunately, I’ve spent the past two years feeling like my clothes weren’t QUITE RIGHT much of the time.  It’s like when you are interning in college and you try to make your going-out-to-bars tops seem professional by wearing them with one of three pairs of pants and two blazers that your mom bought you off the “suit separates” rack at JC Penneys.  Mmmm, good times.  Fun memories.   Unfortunately, not so fun to live out in your late twenties (I’ll be hanging on to this decade until the bitter end!) and it was time for some new clothes.

So to the designer discount store I went.

I found a few work-appropriate pieces of clothing, all in black, gray, and red, because apparently, that’s all discount designers have left over.  In size-not-four.  Or make to begin with.  And I found some new shoes.  And I found one kick @$$ pair of black boots.  The search for black boots and all of my criteria within deserves its own blog post, but suffice to say that I’ve been looking for awhile.  And I found ones I liked.  And the zipper pull on one boot was slightly mangled, but no matter.  My inner Dixie Carter was ready for action.

Well the whole store was apparently ready to check out at the same time and there was a long line of harried customers and harried employees.  No fear.  Dixie doesn’t back down.  And so I asked the clerk checking me out if they could offer me a discount on the boots I had selected.  “I have to ask my MANAGER!,” she said, her voice escalating as if I might put up my dukes to fight her.  I nodded.  She came back after several minutes of deliberation.

“We can give you one dollar,” she said.

“ONE DOLLAR!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  That came out too loud.  Great.  I yelled at her.  Rules of negotiation say I’ve officially just lost.  Oh well, gone this far.  No looking back.  “Can I speak to YOUR manager?”

After much gesticulating and a lot of glances my way, the manager came over.  “Sir,” I said, trying to start over and sound like a not-crazy-person. “Can you offer me a discount on these boots?  The zipper is damaged.”

“Yes,” he sighed.  “One dollar.”

“ONE DOLLAR!?!?!  Are you KIDDING ME!??! THESE are $100 boots!”  Damn it.  I am LOSING IT.  The argument and my dignity.  He turned over the boots and looked at the price tag for the first time.  $118.  “Could you do 10%?  I’m going to have to have the zipper fixed.”  I’m going to use a hammer to bang the rough edges out and I’m going to zip carefully.  That’s what I’m GOING to do.  But you, Mr. Customer Service Ricco Suave need not know that.

“NO.  I cannot do 10%.  No way.”  Um, in case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t Bergdorf.  I doubt you have Imelda Marcos back there putting custom stiletto orders together.  I had to get a plastic tag from one of your associates and let her count the number of garments I took in the dressing room.  And when I came out in my t-shirt and jeans, carrying my wallet, she looked me up and down to see if I had stuffed a spare cardigan anywhere.  You can most certainly take 10% off.  Sighing, Ricco went to work.  About 12 minutes later, he came back.  “I can give you $6 off.”  At this point, I could see there would be no further discussion.  I nodded.  Dixie had lost the battle.  But she will win the war.  Soldier on, comrades.  Soldier on.

P.S.  My $112 boots with the wonky zipper ROCK.

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Finding the bathroom

I have just finished week two of a new job and I am exhausted.  This is my fourth job since graduating from college, so it’s not that starting a new job in a new place is a new concept to me, but as this is the largest corporation I’ve ever worked for and my working location is actually called a CAMPUS and the population of the CAMPUS actually exceeds the population of the rural county I grew up in, I think I’m justified in being a little tired.  There are several things that are different about my new job and new company than anything I’ve ever experienced.

The first is the pens.  As most of my previous experience has been with non-profit organizations, I’m used to “living lean.”  As in, justifying on a written form why I NEEDED the better pens or the post-it notes that weren’t just regular-old-yellow and hoping someone would sign off on it without a meeting about the budget and “serving the children” and all of that.  And this job is with Corporate GIANT, so they just put out buckets and buckets of new GEL pens and pencils and hi-lighters and legal pads and paper clips.  Everyone prints on color printers without thinking twice.  The department admin told me on the first day that she could order anything I needed.  AN. Y. THI. NG.  I almost hugged her.  And I almost laughed hysterically.  YOU MEAN YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO PAY ME TO WORK HERE?!!?

The second is the food.  There are several dining options on campus including a Chick-Fil-A and a Starbucks (I think we all know where I won’t be going!), plus free fancy-pants coffee from machines on every other floor.  OMGosh.  And the food is cheap.  I had a soup, salad, and soda for less than $4 last week.  I almost hugged the check out person.  And I almost laughed hysterically.  YOU MEAN YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO PAY ME TO WORK HERE?!!?

The third is the expanse.  I have to think veryhard all the time about where I am going.  Around the bend, down the stairs, take a left, thru the cafeteria, take a right, through the revolving door, across the sidewalk, into the next building, flash your badge to security, scan your badge through the door, down one flight of stairs, turn left, turn right, don’t look like an idiot.  And just fuhgetaboutit with the bathrooms.  I arrive to each meeting breathless, slightly sweaty, and trying to appear as though it is no big deal and I’m totally on top of  all if it and ready to rock and roll.  BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO KEEP PAYING ME SO I CAN ACTUALLY WORK HERE!!!

The fourth is the schedule.  Apparently people who work in corporations are adults and not minions and they are trusted to show up, bust their cans, and leave when they need to.  No one is waiting by the door, looking at their watch, and tapping their foot because I’m 5 minutes later than the “start time.” And no one says dumb@$$ things about how I need to be at my desk and WORKING at that time.  I could almost hug my boss. I could almost laughed hysterically.  YOU MEAN YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO PAY ME TO WORK HERE?!!?

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Hard to say anything to make this funnier.  All I have to say is that she took a midnight train going anywhere.  And if this song isn’t on your iPod, go now and get it.  YOU.  ARE.  WELCOME.  Have a drum solo for me, ok?

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So first there was an earthquake.  AN EARTHQUAKE.  In Virginia.  W. T….?.  And then there was a Hurricane named Irene.  And like most women, she took her sweet time making up her mind where she wanted to go and probably stopped and asked directions about 12 times.  It was her prerogative.

I was lucky (??) enough to be home during the earthquake, letting the dog out to tinkle (Also, side note, my mom called EVERYONE’s private parts their “tinkler” when I was little.  I think that’s kind of messed up and highly Victorian.  Moving on.), and so while my husband and my coworkers were evacuated out of their respective places of business and trying fruitlessly to call and text EVerYONE THEY KNEW, I was home, watching the local weather guy just about wet his pants (with his tinkler) over the excitement, except they don’t really train you in weather man school to talk about earthquakes, since they aren’t WEATHER, and so all he could say was things like, check on your neighbors, and sniff around your house for gas leaks.  I made myself a Bloody Mary and enjoyed the drama, but hey, to each his own.

A few days later, Hurricane Irene made her presence known around these parts and since we first thought we’d get some family member evacuees from North Carolina, and then later, from the coast of Virginia, but ended up getting neither, well, let’s just say there was plenty of chocolate pudding cups at our house.  Chocolate pudding and toilet paper.  We’re good until 2013 on both fronts.

My main gripe about the earthquake and the hurricane was the haughtiness that came out of them.  Like, all my college friends who moved to California (Not a small number, incidentally.  Long story.), were all snob-a-riffic on Facebook, pretending that they were WAYYY above being excited about an earthquake, and then a few east-coasters-turned-west-coasters-turned-east-coasters again were all trying to out-haughty the nay-sayers and say how bad the earthquake was.  And then there was the Hurricane (Irene, you were SUCH. A. HAG.) and apparently if you don’t live in Vermont or five feet of water in your basement or have a tree in the middle of your house, like the people a few blocks from us (Oie-vey.  I still stop every time I jog by their house to just look, shake my head, and send up a little prayer and good thought for those folks.  Yes.  I’m a grandma.  What of it?), then you have to pretend that downed branches and 5 inches of rain in 36 hours is “no bigs”?  Um, hellz to the nothankyouverymuch.  It was drama and I shall blog about it.  I lost my power, people.  I could only check facebook on my iPhone every three hours.  I had to put my food on ICE.  My husband and I had to read for entertainment.  GAH.

What I’m saying is that I got really angry about how everyone sort of thinks they are cooler when they put down other people who are excited/anxious/ready to share events, be they weather related or not.  So, if you ARE one of thosepeople, then get over yourself.  I find a Bloody Mary helps.

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I have a friend who works for a major sponsor of a NASCAR team and knows lots of inside information.  Go ahead.  Be jealous.  And what HE says and what his WIFE says is that each driver has a spotter who stands up on tall scaffolding and uses fancy-pants binoculars to tell their driver if other drivers are behind them or beside them or whatever, since the NASCAR cars don’t have side and rear view mirrors (duh, they drive a million miles an hour and have to concentrate on NOT DYING).  And sometimes those spotters just say for seconds upon minutes upon hours, “Still there………still there………….still there……….”  And so that’s it guys, in case you were wondering, I’m “still there” and agonizing WAYYYYYYYYYYYY more than you are about how I’m never going to write a best seller if I can’t even keep up a blog.

There’s good reason for this.  Some things happened to me:

1.  Earthquake of DEATH (post to come).

2.  Hurricane of DEATH (post to come).

3.  Getting a new job (post to come).

4.  Quitting an old job (post to come).

5. Painting two rooms and one BASEMENT of our house (post to come).

6.  Throwing the ball 5 million times and cleaning wet paint off of my dog in between games of fetch (see above, post to come).

7.  The start of college football (post to come).

See?  I’ve been keeping it real over here.  Stay tuned….

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