Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dixie Cups Are Not The Equivalent Of Poo

Some of you know that I am extremely arachnophobic (for those that don't, there's your useless piece of information for the day). I hate spiders. Hate them. Big, small, hairy, spindly, I do not care, if they have eight legs, they are the spawn of Satan as far as I am concerned. My arachnophobia is so bad that if I am within 10 feet of a spider, I become paralyzed. I just stand there, staring at the thing until it either goes away or I figure out a way to dispose of it (and by figure out a way to dispose of it, I mean yell "HUBBY" hysterically at the top of my lungs until my husband comes and kills it for me).

But sometimes, Hubby is not always present when I have a spider situation, and I am forced to deal with it myself. This usually involves my pretending that the spider does not exist (this is possible if the spider has situated itself in a nice corner somewhere, and doesn't seem interested in relocating any time soon), or, lately, and since I always seem to encounter spiders in the bathroom, my trapping them in a Dixie cup and then shaking them into the toilet bowl where I then flush them to their watery death.

So yesterday morning when a big nasty spider had the audacity to drop from the ceiling within a couple of feet of where I was standing, I immediately grabbed a Dixie Cup (after I finished screaming of course, and checking myself to make sure that no trace of web/spider had actually made physical contact) and caught the little bugger mid-drop. I then rushed to the toilet to get rid of the Big Nasty before he could escape.

And do you know what that spider had the nerve to do? He attached himself via spider web to the cup, so that when I went to go shake him into the toilet, he just hung their in mid-air. So I shook him again, and this time he started to climb back up his little web of survival and headed straight for my hand, which was still holding the cup.

This resulted in my second arachnophobe freak-out of the morning. I have now lost all sense of calm and rationality, and I am just trying to kill the Big Nasty at any cost. I begin madly shaking the cup, and think that I've managed to get the Big Nasty into the toilet, so I flush, but then realize that the Big Nasty is STILL attached to the cup and is now dangerously close to ME. I completely freak-out, and drop the cup into the toilet.

And then after I drop the cup, I realize that the toilet is still in the process of flushing.

I have a split second to think "It should be okay--the Dixie Cup won't fit down the opening in the toilet bowl that leads to the pipe" before the Dixie Cup disappears along with Big Nasty into the watery unknown of wherever it is that toilet bowl flushings go after you flush.

Yes, people, I have just flushed a Dixie Cup down the toilet. And I have no idea what to do about it. And I am late for work.

But then I have an idea. I take out another Dixie Cup, and examine it carefully. "Yes," I think. "This is about the same size as some poo. Maybe it could fit after all."

So I give the toilet another flush to see if the Dixie Cup appears to have made it safely through the plumbing, or is still stuck somewhere in the pipe. And I really should have just left well enough alone.

The Dixie Cup was obviously still stuck somewhere in the pipe, because the water reaches almost overflow level, and just when I think I better start getting some towels to clean up the impending mess, the water is suddenly whooshed down the bowl, the toilet starts making weird gurgly noises, and bubbles start coming up from where the water is supposed to go out.

I get the plunger, hoping that maybe if I can't help the Dixie Cup along to its final destination, then maybe I can at least get it to come back to its point of origin. But the Dixie Cup is definitely stuck.

I do not have time to call a plumber, so I decide I will have to call one after work. I put a note on the toilet seat in case Hubby beats me home, and then try to figure out how I'm going to tell him that I screwed up our plumbing in a manner worse than most kids could manage. I decide I will call Hubby (who had to leave early this morning to take my car in for a 6:15 a.m. maintenance appointment that I took the liberty of making for him) when I get to work, and that way maybe he'll have some time to cool off before he gets home.

As I am walking out the door to go to work, I see Hubby coming in from the garage. Oh goody! The appointment was quicker than the estimated time we were given, and Hubby had enough time to come home before heading to work himself! I have no choice but to tell him in person. From the look on his face, it appears that Hubby can't decide whether to laugh or cry. He just tells me to have a good day at work and he'll see me tonight. Off to work I go, wondering how many hundreds of dollars that Dixie Cup is going to cost me.

I got a call later in the day from Hubby. He was able to fix the toilet. He wasn't even that mad about it, but I did get a lecture on alternative methods of spider disposal.

So all things considered, I think it worked out pretty well.

But that, people, is why Dixie Cups are not the equivalent of poo.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's A Boo

It snowed this weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Not THAT Stupid...

This morning my boss came in to dictate a document (I should probably mention that my boss is of grandfather age and cannot use a computer and is not interested in learning how to use a computer so everything he wants typed he dictates to me and I type--I know, I know, great use of a college degree, huh?). He created (and by created I mean plagiarized) this document by using a document that we were given by another company as a model, so every time the original document capitalized something, he wanted it capitalized in our version as well, and every time there was a comma, he wanted a comma in our version as well. This is what the initial dictation session sounded like:

Boss: "For value received--and all of that should be capitalized, and then make a line so we can fill in the company name later--comma a Minnesota limited liability company--and then borrower in parenthesis and put quotes around borrower and capitalize the b" and then he continued to dictate for about a paragraph until he got to this part:

Boss: "in lawful money of the United States of America--and capitalize the u and s and a in United States of America."

Me: Snort (and then tried to hide the fact that I was openly laughing at him for telling me that the name of our country needs to be capitalized with more snorting).

I mean, really? Are you kidding me? Don't you learn about the relationship between capitalization and proper nouns in, like, first grade? Did he think I didn't know this?

I'm not sure if he really thought I am so stupid that I needed clarification in this area, or if he was just mindlessly reading what he was dictating and didn't realize that he was stating the obvious. Either way, I've decided I've earned something chocolate for lunch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Did You Do For Earth Day?

Some people plant trees in honor of Earth Day. Some people teach their children easy ways to be environmentally conscious. What did my husband do?

"I didn't fart as much."

I'm so proud.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

These People Be Crazy...

Based on the driving skills we’ve seen our fellow Minnesotans exhibit over the last few days, I am seriously lucky that I can sit here and blog right now instead of being holed up in an emergency room somewhere. I’m not sure if it’s the sudden sunshine that has everyone all loopy-loo or if seasonal allergy medication is causing for some impaired judgment issues, but Jeff over at View From The Cloud recently had a post on this very same topic, so something has to be in the air.

This weekend we were almost sideswiped by a woman who didn’t seem to understand that the lane she was in did, indeed, continue past the intersection. We went to cross the intersection after waiting at the red light (and given the amount of time we had to wait there, I have no idea how she did not manage to at least glance in the direction in which she was headed and notice that there were two lanes ahead of her) and suddenly, in the middle of the intersection, there she was, right in the very space that our car was occupying. The road curves at that point, so we knew she had just completely misjudged where her car needed to be if she wanted to end up in the same lane on the other side of the intersection as she had been in before she arrived at the intersection. Hubby honked, but she never even flinched. I wonder if she’ll ever even realize what she did.

Then last night we had a similar experience, thanks to the wonderful freeway interchanges known as clover leaves, or as I like to call them, suicide circles. These interchanges have about 50 feet of road where cars that are both getting on and getting off the freeway have to merge. So basically, you have, like .05 seconds to get on/get off the freeway, at 60 mph, while dodging not only the other people trying to do the same thing but also the people who are already on the freeway who were going 50 mph but are now going 237 mph because they will be seriously inconvenienced if you happen to merge in front of them, all while trying not to get killed. Clover leaves are a ridiculous design but because they’re one of the cheapest types of interchanges to build, we have an abundance of them here.

Anyway, we were on just such an interchange, and happened to hit our 50 feet of straightaway just as a guy in an SUV was trying to get on the freeway we had just gotten off. The guy was somewhat behind us but still about halfway even with us when he started to merge, so my husband sped up to avoid being hit, and at the same time turned on his turn signal to let the guy know that we wanted to come over. You would have thought that we had tried to drive a tank over his SUV instead of maneuvering a VW Bug through traffic with the way he honked at us. What’s funny is that this guy apparently thought we might crash into him (even though HE was the one who came close to hitting us), but when a gargantuan SUV and a VW Bug collide, really, who’s going to win that battle?

In addition to the above, I have seen people SLAM ON THEIR BRAKES and put on their turn signal in the middle of the freeway when they realize that the exit they want is now directly perpendicular to them rather than in front of them. Is it too much to ask that you get off at the next exit in a sensible manner and turn around? I have also seen many, many people doing 40 mph in the fast lane on the freeway (or 20 mph under the speed limit on any given street) because maintaining an appropriate speed while talking on a cell phone is NOT a skill that is well developed here.

I never thought I'd miss Los Angeles traffic, but I would so rather share the road with someone who will take out four lanes of traffic at once before you even know what's happened rather than someone who will come to a screeching halt in the middle of a 60mph highway, turn on their signal, and wait for all the nice people to let them over. Traffic laws are useless without common sense.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Post That's Actually Positive About Minnesota


The snow is gone, the snow is gone, the snow is gone, the snow is gone!!!!

Well, people, it's been a record week for the Twin Cities. We had two whole straight days where we hit at least 60 degrees!!!! Considering it had only made it to 60 degrees two or three times so far this entire year, I'd say we're doing pretty good! I'm especially pleased that almost all of the snow is gone. I wish it would stay gone permanently, but I'll take the next 6 months or so of snow-free weather in a heartbeat. I'd like to thank you all for your wishes of warm weather. I think it worked!

I've been slow to post this week because we had a great weekend, and I've stalled returning to reality as long as possible. Our trip to the Lowell Inn was fantastic. I loved the Victorian setting and decorations. Every room is different, and I'd love to go back and stay in some of the other ones just to see how they're decorated.

The weather never did really cooperate, but I love Stillwater so much it didn't matter. Friday we ate dinner at an old fashioned diner in town called Lily's, and then Saturday we visited the historic courthouse, had lunch in a tea shop (yum), did some shopping on Main Street (yes, Stillwater still has a main street--it's mostly touristy now, but I still love it), took a tour of the limestone caves, and drove around to gawk at all the old Victorian houses for sale. (Anyone have $1.4 million they want to donate for my dream home? Okay, okay...I'd settle for $700K. Anyone?)

We ate dinner at the hotel Saturday night, and lounged around Sunday before having to come home. :( It was just a really relaxing weekend and it was over all too soon. Thank you honey for a fabulous birthday gift!

Friday, April 11, 2008

When Will It End?

I don't know what came over me this morning.

I saw this woman dumping stuff on our lawn, and I just snapped. I'm talking insanity of previously unreached proportions. I think I might have even foamed at the mouth a little. "Who does she think she is?" I fumed. "Doesn't she understand that this isn't her personal dumping ground?"

I screamed at her to pick up her stuff and leave, but she didn't listen to me. She just kept on dumping it there, oblivious to my misery. I've seen her around here before, doing the same thing. I don't know what to do about it. According to the locals, she's been doing it for years, and no one's ever been able to stop her.

So I did the only thing I could do. I shook my fist at her and shouted "Some day! Some day I'll show you! Some day I'll invent a machine that controls you and your ways, and then we'll just see if you can manage to make it snow in April!"

Stupid Mother Nature. Stupid snow. Stupid winter.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Do I Even Bother?

Today my boss tossed a 10-year-old partnership agreement on my desk (in this partnership, there is us and the limited partner) and told me to contact the limited partner and request information needed for a refinance. He gave me the name of the limited partner and its president's name from 10 years ago. Based on the amount of turnovers and mergers in this field, I knew I was about to embark on a search for a needle in a haystack.

First I tried Google. The search came up with a lot of similar names, but not an exact match. So I tried the Minnesota Secretary of State Web site and various online yellow pages. No luck there either. So then I sat and flipped through the extensive partnership agreement, hoping to find letterhead or notes or something that would have some contact information on it. I came up with an address, but no phone number. Oh, and also I found a different name than the one my boss had given me. Shocker. I don't know why that didn't occur to me earlier.

I Googled the other name, and realized why I hadn't been able to find them in any Minnesota related searches. They're a Florida company. Alrighty then. So I went to the State of Florida's Web site and did a business search, hoping to verify the address that I had was current, or find the current one. Yeah, they had several addresses listed. None of them matched the address my boss had given me. And no phone numbers for any of them, of course. Oh, and there had been a merger in 2003, so I was still searching the wrong name.

I did a reverse directory search on one of the addresses, but didn't find anything useful. So I searched the third name and finally found a Web site. The company had offices all over the world except at the address my boss had originally given me. So I called the number of the office closest to the 10-year-old address. I went through a slew of automated menu options, and then waited on hold for a human.

Human told me to call the Boston office.

I called the Boston office. I got more menu options, and then got to listen to more elevator music while I waited for a real live person. Unfortunately, this was an effort in futility, as the human at the Boston office told me that all of their limited partnership accounts were now handled out of the Dallas office.

I called the Dallas office, went through their automated menu selections, waited for a human, and then finally got to talk to someone. This person searched our company name and the company name of the limited partner and their address, but could find no record of our agreement much less the name of the person who was now handling our account. She asked if she could put me on hold while she looked into it. I waited for 10 minutes, and would probably still be waiting if I hadn't been disconnected.

The above process took about an hour. That's an hour of my life I'll never get back. At least I got paid to waste my time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

He Doesn't Always Make Ham, Hot Dog, Cheese, and Olive Sandwiches

This weekend I was complaining to my husband that my mother forbid me to post what I thought was a cute and funny story about my father because "we don't want to be on your blog." I was...well, I was not happy that I had lost a perfectly good piece of blogging material to censorship. Anyway, in response to my exasperation, my husband made a half-joking comment about how it was sometimes embarrassing to be the subject of someone else's blog, and then asked me if I wanted a hot dog, ham, cheese, and olive sandwich.

So this post is for you, honey. Here's 10 of the many reasons why my husband is awesome:

1. He does most of the cooking (and aside from the culinary debacle mentioned above, it's usually really good).

2. He will do the dishes and other household chores just to be nice.

3. He buys me flowers just because.

4. He picks out clothes for me and then surprises me with them (he usually does really well with this too).

5. He didn't get mad when he told me that he was comfortable spending a certain amount of money on last year's trip to Europe and then I went and spent more than double that amount...(I don't know what came over me, I swear.)

6. He called me every day from work when I had pneumonia to check up on me and see if I needed anything.

7. He's taking me here for my birthday.

8. When his car officially became beyond the point of repair, he took my old car and let me drive the new one.

9. He gallantly volunteered to take care of me when the Alzheimer's officially sets in so I don't have to worry about whether I will have a male or female aid taking care of me at the nursing home.

10. He good-naturedly puts up with me posting stories about his making ham, hot dog, cheese and olive sandwiches.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Some Men Should Come With A Warning Sign

My job is a wealth of blogging material, as you will come to find out. I had debated telling you today about my former supervisor who we think faked having ovarian cancer, but I've decided to save that for another day and instead blog about a dear co-worker of mine and her recent boy trouble, because I am having trouble being there for her as a friend, considering the mind-boggling situation she has managed to get herself into. I'm hoping someone out there might have some advice.

Co-worker met Man in a bar a couple of years ago. Co-worker was immediately attracted to Man. Co-worker found Man fun to be around and easy to talk to. Co-worker and Man had several dates over the course of several weeks, and all seemed to be going well until Man started exhibiting multiple red flags that should have sent Co-worker running for the hills but did not.

It turned out that Man had several DUI's, did not have a driver's license, and had to take an alcohol test every morning and call in the results because of his DUI's. Man was not the type to make his child support payments, probably due in part to the fact that Man had BAD credit problems. BAD. The worst. So bad that Man got kicked out of the apartment Man was sharing with a friend, and showed up on Co-Worker's doorstep on CHRISTMAS DAY and asked to move in because Man had no place else to go. They had known each other about a month, and prior to this there had been no discussion of them living together. Co-worker however felt bad turning him away on Christmas day, so in moved Man.

Man assured Co-Worker he was trying to change, and Co-worker rationalized her decision by saying that Man's honesty was a testament to his character. At first, things went relatively well. Man cooked, cleaned, and paid rent. However, as time went on, their relationship rapidly deteriorated. Co-worker discovered Man was manipulative. Man would stay out all night with his friends (one of them a married woman who Co-worker later found out he was having an affair with). Man would not invite Co-worker, and would not call Co-worker to let her know where he was, even though Man and Co-worker were still dating at this point. After a few months, Co-worker had had enough, and kicked Man out. Except Man did not leave. Man immediately apologized, said he was sorry, and begged for forgiveness, said he would change, and agreed to work on their relationship. Co-worker, still attracted to Man, gave in.

Man of course did not change, and as soon as a few days later was acting as though nothing had ever happened. Things continued in the same dire state for several more months, during which Co-worker began to suspect Man was getting him a little something something on the side. This is where things went from bad to beyond my comprehension.

Co-worker, instead of just kicking out Man for good and washing her hands of his loser-ness, began an obsessive quest to gather proof for the whole world just how much of a low-life rotten scum bag Man really was. Co-worker followed Man around, trying to catch him cheating (which she did). Co-worker went to where she knew Man would be hanging out, trying to catch him cheating (which she did). Co-worker set up fake profiles on dating Web sites that she knew Man subscribed to hoping to lure him in with pictures of hotties and prove that he was not only cheating on her, but also on the married woman with whom he cheated on her with in the first place (which she did). Co-worker even contacted the husband of the married woman Man was doing the nasty with, and told him what she knew.

And that is an extremely edited version of the lengths that Co-worker went to. There are so many more sordid details, but if I were to include them all, I'd probably crash Blogger's server. Suffice it to say that Co-worker made many many decisions I and everyone else in her life vehemently disagreed with, but she was bound and determined to expose Man for what he was. I think she thought it would make her feel better. Of course it didn't, and not only that, but Co-worker sucks as a spy and got busted by Man in every single one of these endeavors. So to add insult to injury, now Man publicly refers to Co-worker as his "psycho stalker" (they live in the same small town).

Co-worker is devastated about the whole thing, and is often in tears over why she wasn't good enough even for the worst of losers (the ladies here in the office repeatedly tell her she should take this as a compliment, but she doesn't see it that way). This has been going on for quite a while, and I don't know what to say to her anymore. I could use some suggestions.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Figure Skating Faux Pas

I promised myself that I would never post an e-mail forward in one of my blogs, but then I got this today. I thought it was hysterical. I think I found it so funny because this happens more frequently than it should in Minnesota, and every time it happens, I feel a little less pity for those involved and a little more exasperation at the absence of common sense. I hope you enjoy.