Thursday, June 29, 2006

In Case You Weren't Paying Attention

There's something very important happening in the America today. No, it's not the war, although I admit that's important. And it's not the fact that our current administration is emulating fecal matter. And it's not even the nebulous threat of global warming (baby, it's hot outside). No.... it's the fact that Star Jones won't be on The View anymore.

I know... I thought it was a sign of the Apocalypse when Rosie was marked to take Meredith Vieira's place as the mediator-slash-captain of the show. (Rosie? A mediator? You've got to be kidding me.) However, now I know the world is really coming to an end without Star Jones to make in fun of anymore.

Our only hope is that she starts peddling Payless Shoes again, which is guaranteed to bring hours and hours of snark back into our lives. After all, a world without Star Jones to snark on is like a world without Jimmy Choos.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Today I realized something: Michelle created a self-fulfilling prophecy two weeks ago when she said "PJ doesn't like me."

Sure, I used to like her. That is, until she accused me of much wrong-doing. However, today when she said "Hey PJ" to me and my first inclination was to slap her instead of saying "Good morning," I realized I no longer like her.

I wonder if I ever will?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bed Shopping

Hunky is sick of our bed.

It's a six-year-old Select Comfort "numbers" bed. The bladders leak (maybe they're going through menopause), and we have the head of the bed on 6-inch risers on the advice of my doctor.

After months of complaining, hunky finally decided it was time to get a new bed. Of course, this meant I would have to go shopping with him. I knew it would be painful.

Hunky swore the shopping would be easy as he already had the bed of choice narrowed down to two distinct brands/models: the split king adjustable Select Comfort 9000 (pillow-top, remote controls, massage option) and the split king adjustable Tempur-Pedic bed. In my heart of hearts, I knew it wasn't going to be that simple. Three days, six stores and many repeat visits later, I was proven to be right.

Even though hunky had the Select Comfort model all picked out, he wasn't sure which Tempur-Pedic model to go with. There are seven models, and no store in Reno seems to carry all seven. In fact, even after visiting several stores, we still didn't get the opportunity to try out all seven. After much ado, hunky decided on a pillow top model...but which one?

One of our first stops was The Mattress Store to give their Temper-Pedics a test snooze, and the nice salesman told us that they didn't - no wouldn't - sell any of the pillow top Temper-Pedic models for use on an adjustable frame. Their reason? They bunched up, were too uncomfortable, and not worth the hassle.

Hunky was disappointed, and so we trekked to several more stores to test snooze their Temper-Pedic models. We found faux Temper-Pedics and real Temper-Pedics, but only the very basic model was on the adjustable bed frame.

Hunky wasn't convinced. He had to find a pillow top model on an adjustable frame.

So, several days and several more stores later, we finally found a store that would sell the Temper-Pedic pillow top models on an adjustable frame. But guess what? They didn't have one on display. At that point, hunky thought it was time to give the Select Comfort 9000 another test snooze. We scrambled back into the car, and headed for Sierra Summit.

A few zzzzz's later, we hid out at the wine store behind a couple of glasses of red to discuss our options. After listing the benefits of each bed, and the cons of not being able to test snooze a pillow top Temper-Pedic adjustable bed out, we decided to go to Mattress Discounters to take the kind and gently pushy salesman up on his discounted offer.

Having made a decision didn't make the rest of the day (Sunday) any less painful. The buying process took much too long. Hunky decided to pay for the bed outright, and the credit card company didn't believe him. He had to convince the credit card company he was, in fact, the owner of the card and not an identity thief. After answering a 20-minute quiz and submitting some blood and urine, the credit card company was convinced he was who he said he was, and approved the transaction.

The equipment didn't believe the credit card company.

After several mistries, the transaction finally went through and in ten days (or less) we will have a new pillow top Temper-Pedic adjustable split king bed delivered to the house.

Now we just have to figure out what to do with our old Select Comfort bed...and we're already arguing about that...

Tuesday Night Book Club

Okay. I'll admit it. I was one of the five people in the United States watching CBS' Tuesday Night Book Club before it was cancelled.

I don't know why; from the first five minutes of the show, I could tell there was no way in hell it was a reality unscripted drama. It was very clear that there was a script of some sort, even if it was loosely used.

Plus, book club? Um, nope. Just a mere ruse to get the women together. They never read the books, and seriously, with book picks like Good In Bed, I doubt any of them were serious readers anyway.

Seriously. Good In Bed as a book club pick? Come on, ladies! It's nothing but fluff!

But on to the drama.

The first show began with a narration to warn the viewer that while these women seem as if they have everything - money, good looks, youth, amazing lifestyles - they, too, have problems just like ugly poor people do. Marriages on the verge of collapse. Not enough sex in their relationships. High taxes. Lack of good gardeners.

Yeah, I could tell those women were just like me, only prettier.

So I sat glued to the tube while beautiful women with their varied "problems" paraded in front of me. At the first "book club" meeting, since no one had read Good In Bed, they decided to talk about sex instead. Oooooh, this could be good! I rubbed my hands together in anticipation and fast-forwarded through the commercial.

Well, believe me when I say it wasn't good. Kris whined that she was just reconnecting with her alkie husband, so sex wasn't really "there." Jenn, the "trophy wife," is married to a perv who hits on all her friends, but she doesn't care because the sex is great and he gives her tons of money to do with whatever she wants. Kirin complained that her doctor husband was more interested in his motorcycles than her. Jamie is having great sex, just not with her husband. Sara, the only single-never-married girl in the bunch, has tons of great one night stands. Tina, the divorcee, didn't comment much on her own sex life and instead interrogated everyone else. Lynn, the bitchy newlywed, complained about her sex life, however later in the episode we find out why her husband won't have sex with her; she's too busy bitching and complaining, so he never gets a chance to seduce her.

Yeah. These women's problems are just like mine, with added Botox.

I watched the second episode, convinced it would be better. It wasn't.

The book pick was better: Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. However, once again none of the women read it, and instead decided to use the book club session to bitch about their lives and drink vast amounts of alcohol.

We catch more glimpses into their oh! so dreadful lives. While unpacking their belongings in their brand new, spacious and quite expensive home, Lynn rips her husband a new one and then later wonders why her husband doesn't want to go see her "perform" at a body building show.

Tina cries because the family therapist told her that her children graded her parenting, and it only amounted to a "C." Um, since when do children get the right to grade their parents? Instead of crying, I'd have them write 100 times on a blackboard (Bart-style) "My mom loves me and does her best." Then I'd axe the family therapist and enroll them all in summer school.

Kirin once again complains about her doctor husband and her childless house (her children both go to school and she doesn't know what to do with her day). Um... guess she hasn't heard of a little thing called a job or another thing called volunteer work.

Jamie complains that her marriage sucks, but no wonder... she's been cheating on her husband ever since they got married. I guess that would suck, more for him, though than her.

Lynn cries when her husband doesn't show up to go with her to her body building show. Well, duh... she threw her old boyfriend in his face before the show. What did she think he would do? What wasn't mentioned is that he is a firefighter, so probably had to work. However, me-centric Lynn thinks her show is more important than saving people from raging fires.

As if all that wasn't enough, the trophy wife decided all her friends needed Botox, so she invited them all over and guilted them into getting injections. After all, nothing says "beautiful" like a face that doesn't move.

Still, as sick and self-serving for the "main characters" as the show was, I was sort of looking forward to the next installment. CBS killed it, though, before it would air this week. So instead of watching rich women complain about their sucky lives, I'll just sit around a gyrating fan with my girlfriends this Tuesday. We'll hitch up our muumuus, sip from our Dollar Store beer cans, and talk about the book we read. And if we didn't read it, we'll inject our wrinkles with Jello and hope for the best.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Scrying Game

Last night's class consisted of a scrying lesson, complete with crystal balls, mugwort tea and an anointing ritual.

My instructor had three crystal balls, which normally wouldn't have been enough for a class of seven, however four of the students didn't show up. Score! We each got a ball to ourselves.

We sat down, got comfortable, and our instructor told us how to begin. I focused on my question. Nothing.

Okay, so maybe I'm just not tuned in. I closed my eyes, centered myself on the question, and asked again. I gazed into the crystal ball. A shape was beginning to form...then nothing.

I was about to give up when the instructor said, "Raise your hand if you're having trouble." I waited a moment; no one else raised theirs. I put mine up in the air, and he took me aside to talk to me.

After giving me some more instruction, I sat down to try it again. However, before getting too far, my instructor said we could also use scrying as a means to "peek" in on people. I decided to peek in on Todd.

I asked the crystal ball what Todd was doing. It showed me an empty bedroom, and immediately I knew Todd was watching TV. But no, that couldn't be right; when I left, he was in the bedroom reading. I looked again. Nope. The bedroom was empty and I had this strong feeling it was because Todd was downstairs watching TV. However, my rational mind kept fighting with my witchy mind. See, rationally I know that when Todd reads, he gets so absorbed in the story that he loses track of time. Yet, my witchy mind kept telling me that last night was different: Todd lost interest in the book and went downstairs to watch TV.

After the scrying exercise was over, I went home and found Todd sitting on the couch, surrounded by the dogs and Schmutzy, watching TV. He asked me about class, and I told him about the scrying exercise and peeking in on him. I admitted that even though I saw the empty bedroom and knew he was watching TV, I couldn't really accept it. That's when he told me that he was antsy, and kept changing between reading upstairs and watching TV downstairs.

So maybe I'm better at this scrying thing than I thought I was, after all.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Batter Up

I've been putting off writing about this, because there's just no good way to couch it. I was wrong, and that's all there is to it.

Well. Okay. That's not all there is. Of course there's a story behind the wrong, and this is that story:

Sunday I got home around 6 p.m. from the Bay Area. I brought a few small items into the house, and even though Todd heard me and knew I was home, he didn't come out to see if I needed help or even to say, "welcome back." Kind of ticked me off, but then I rationalized that he might be in the middle of something, so I packed a pull cart full of goodies (presents from my parents and stuff I bought), and proceeded to go back into the house.


Oh no. I knew what it was without even looking...but of course, I had to look. It was my prize of the weekend: a plaster muse I got at an antique fair. It was part of a pair, one a writer and the other a musician. The writer was the one I wanted the most, so of course it was the one that broke...into a hundred tiny, chalky pieces.

I almost cried right there in front of the house, but I managed to clean up the mess instead.

I finally got everything into the house after three trips. Then I hear a voice from the family room "Hi honey." Yeah. Hi.

But... I had missed Todd, so I pushed my frustration aside and went in to see him. However, being in the wrong frame of mind, I didn't see him as much as I saw the mess that surrounded him. Crap all over the counters (my pet peeve). A TV on the floor, and a new one in its place. The box and wrappings from the new TV were all over the place...blocking entry into the bathroom and the laundry room.

Needless to say, I was pissed.

"Please tell me you are going to move the TV on the floor to someplace else."

"Crap. Is this what you're going to be like? Just get in your car and drive back to your parents' place, because this isn't your home."

Angered by his comment, I grabbed a piece of nearby packing Styrofoam and chucked it at him. It hit him in the chin.

Things didn't get much better right after that.

We managed to somehow talk it out. I admitted to blaming him for the broken muse. He offered to fix it (moot, because it absolutely was unfixable). I apologized for throwing Styrofoam at him. We talked about the comment he made (not my home). We kissed, he forgave me, and we made up.

Yet, three days after the fact I am still ashamed of how volatile my anger got at that particular moment in time. I know it was only Styrofoam and it didn't hurt. Still, it was the absolute wrong thing to do.

I know what set me off, and it wasn't the broken muse. Sure, that was what got me into the state I was in, but a few minutes upstairs alone would've been enough time for me to cool down. No, it was his saying that the house wasn't my home.

It's times like that when I feel so absolutely afraid of my's as if, after all this time, I'm still only a guest. And it's fear that caused me to chuck that Styrofoam at him, not anger.

I'm not sure what to do about the fear. I'm afraid that, like the muse, it's broken and it can't be fixed.

In Broad Daylight

As I was to cross the street for a Starbucks fix, a tall, black woman walked confidently down the street towards me. Neither I nor the woman next to me could keep our eyes off of her, probably because of her legs.

See, not only was she tall and skinny, she had legs as long as a giraffe's. She had on a pair of hot pink short shorts, and sparkly silver high-heeled sandals. The short shorts were low risers, and showed off a tattoo on her stomach. She was headed towards the Wild Orchid, so I pegged her for a dancer.


As she got closer, I realized that she was a prostitute. What gave it away? She was drug-thin, and her butt cheeks were hanging out of her shorts. Her clothes were well worn and dirty up close. And, she passed right by the Wild Orchid and just kept going, towards the seedier part of Virginia Street.

Still, even after realizing she was a prostitute and not a dancer, the stranger next to me and I could not keep our eyes off of her. I tell you, it was the legs. They were mesmerizing, and also cellulite-less.

While I wouldn't want her lifestyle, I have to admit to wanting those legs. And maybe even the sparkly silver high-heeled shoes that came with them.

Let's Talk, Part 2

Just when I had given up on Chris, she sidled into my office late yesterday afternoon. "Now that it's quiet, do you have time to talk?"


Without going into she said/she said, Chris basically apologized for handling the situation poorly. She said that in thinking of it afterwards, she realized I must've felt blindsided, as if this came out of nowhere. She added that in hindsight, she would've waited until Michelle calmed down to have a meeting, and then advise her not to offer up emotionally-charged accusations, but instead focus on work-related and personal interaction items that could be worked through.

She alluded to the fact that Michelle is a bit immature when it comes to dealing with team situations and team interactions. She believes that comes from the fact that Michelle has self-esteem issues and basically did nothing but data entry for the last eight years (i.e. didn't deal with people, just sat and entered data all day long).

Yes, she's a terrific worker, however not so adept when it comes to dealing with other people's personalities.

Conclusion: Since I am "more mature," I should probably make a move to make things more bearable between us, but if I don't, Chris isn't going to hold it against me. She did add that there could come a day when I would be Michelle's direct supervisor, so it would be in my best interest to develop a more cohesive work environment with her. She added, though, that I could only do what I could do and if Michelle's lack of emotional maturity can't deal with it, there's nothing more to be done.

All in all, I'm glad we had the talk. I admit to feeling a bit of anxiety when Chris sat down to talk to me, however the talk went smoothly and it was clear she didn't blame me for anything that transpired.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Anybody Out There?

I just finished Marian Keyes' new book "Anybody Out There?" I had no idea what it was about; all I knew is it was by Marian Keyes, and that was good enough for me. (I have forgiven her for "The Other Side Of The Story," a contrived mess that I gave up on after about five chapters.)

I'm not going to give the story away. I will say that it focuses on yet another of the Walsh sisters, Anna this time. The story is touching and funny and the more I get to know the Walshes, the more I love them. In fact, I even grew to like Helen in this book, and I couldn't stand her before.

Whether or not you're a Marian Keyes fan, I encourage you to pick the book up and read it. You won't be sorry.

Mighty Hem-a-tighty

On Friday, we took Todd's dad down to Virginia City to "sheck it out." Todd's dad told us "I have to get something for Karen today!" (Karen being Todd's mom.)

While strolling Virginia City's main street, Todd's dad saw a rock shop he wanted to go into. He thought he might find something for Todd's mom there. We traipsed in, and immediately I was drawn to the shelves and shelves of polished rocks, gemstones and crystals.

A little basket near the cash register caught my attention. It was full of hematite rings. When I visited London with Chris last year, I noticed he was wearing a hematite ring. I immediately fell in love with it. He told me they were quite cheap, and I've been on the lookout ever since.

Chris was right about cheap: the rings were only $2.50 each. I started trying rings on, and Todd wandered over. "What are those?" "Hematite rings. Want one? I'll buy it for ya."

Before I knew it, we were clamoring over each other to find a ring in our size. After a few misses, we found rings that fit. I paid for Todd's ring while he was still wearing it. He wouldn't take it off. He was in love with it.

After purchasing the rings, Todd decided he had to have another, and bought another one. He wanted a "just in case" ring, you know, just in case he lost his, or just in case it broke.

Since Friday, the only time I've taken my hematite ring off is when I use sticky hair gel. And Todd? He hasn't taken his off at all.

I know about the powers of hematite, but man, wearing this ring is amazing. Now obviously it doesn't cure all anger; see yesterday's post about Michelle for proof. Still, I think that I'm a little more immune to the crap that goes on around me while I have it on.

Of course, now I want even more types of gemstone rings. I think I found my new obsession.

The Art of Sensuality

A while back, hunky bought some satin sheets off Amazon because he thought they would be "sexy" and "sensual." However, around the same time, he also bought some other types of luxurious sheets, so we've mostly been using those on the bed.

Feeling in touch with my libido last night, I decided to put the satin sheets on the bed. The fitted sheet went on without a hitch. In fact, it stretched nicely, and fit tightly, just as something sensual should.

Then I put the flat sheet on. Or at least I tried. The flat sheet kept sliding off the bed. I thought, "Gee, these sheets really are slippery," and then I realized what the problem was: risers. See, both hunky and I have reflux, however my case has reached dangerous-to-my-health proportions. So, we took the doctor's advice and raised the head of our bed by 6 inches. This means we sleep at an angle, normally not a problem, unless satin sheets are involved.

Because I'm tenacious (but not Tenacious D), I kept at it. I finally got the satin top sheet to stay somewhat in place. That is, until I put the comforter on. Then both pieces started to slide off the bed.

I did a little maneuvering, a little tucking, and finally it all fell into place.

For about ten minutes.

When we went to bed, we didn't even think about getting romantic because we were spending all our time trying to stay on the bed. It was difficult, though, and we kept losing the battle...sliding down the satin sheets to the foot of the bed. I woke up several times during the night to find I was falling off the bed. And in an effort to stay put, Benny crawled underneath the sheets and hung on for dear life.

This morning, we decided the sensuous and sexy sheets will be taken off tonight, and the jersey sheets put back on. They may not be as sexy, but at least we'll get some sleep.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Where's A Muzzle When Ya Need One?

Yesterday, Michelle and I were the only ones in the office (with the exception of Becky, who stopped by to run payroll, and left again to do yoga or go shopping or whatever it is wives of executives do with most of their day). Our conversation, as it were, was pretty much "good morning," "I'll be back in a minute" (code for "I'm going for a nice pee"), and "good night."

Today? I can't get the damn woman to shut up. I think she is a) talking to me only because she feels she can safely do so when Chris is around, or b) talking to me to see if I will be snippy, which she can then immediately report to Chris.

Either way, I think she's only talking to me today because Chris is around. How childish is that?

With the exception of one thing, everything she approached me about today was stuff we could've covered yesterday. And one thing, especially, should've been covered yesterday when the office was quiet (she needs me to train her to use Exact Target; approaching me today about it is silly, since everyone just came back from a few day absence and needs a lot from us today).

I don't care how bad this sounds, but it's honest: everytime she approaches my desk, I just want to slap her across the face. Seriously. It is taking every bit of restraint I have to stay put in my desk, and not scramble over it in a fit of anger and slug her a few times.

So, if you all see my mug shot on tonight's news broadcast, you know I failed and slapped the shit out of her. I hope one of you has some bail money, just in case.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Spicy Nuts

Now that I'm somewhat out of induction, I can begin to add more to my diet bit by bit. I decided to add nuts back in, and wanted to make healthier selections than I did last time.

Perusing the new George Stella cookbook bought by hunky, I saw a recipe for Spicy Nuts. I thought I'd try it this weekend.

Now the recipe called for one TABLESPOON of curry. I thought that was a lot, but went with it.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much. I don't know if the measurement was a typo, or if George really likes his nuts that spicy.

I wonder what his wife has to say about his spicy nuts?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Let's Talk

After last week's "she doesn't like me" debacle, I found myself angry, irritated and frustrated with how the whole "meeting" went. Because Michelle was bawling, I felt I was unable to really say what was on my mind ("This is ridiculous! What is this, the eighth grade?") or do what I really wanted to do (laugh), and instead was relegated to the just playing the role of listener.

I decided to write a confidential memo to Chris, outlining the "points" made, and my rebuttal to each. I had hoped to give it to her early on Thursday (the day I decided to return back to work), however the day was filled with frantic last-minute activity for our upcoming conference, so I didn't get a chance to hand it over until I was leaving for the day. Here it is, in it's entirity:

After our meeting on June 6, 2006 with Michelle R., I felt it important to provide my rebuttal to a few of the items brought up for discussion:

Item #1: "PJ doesn’t like me."
Rebuttal: "Liking" or "Not Liking" a fellow employee is not a condition of work. Yes, it’s nice to like fellow employees, but as long as the work gets done and there is no sniping, arguing, etc., it shouldn’t matter whether or not I like another employee. (Let me state for the record that I do like the employee in question, but whether I do or not should not shade how I’m viewed as an employee.)

Item #2: By giving a contract for Michelle to file, I was “setting” her up for "failure."
Rebuttal: I do not, nor have I ever, set Michelle up for failure. By stating that I had set her up for failure by simply giving her a document to file is, frankly, a ridiculous and unfounded declaration. I, myself, did not know where to file the document. That does not make me a failure, nor does that same lack of knowledge make Michelle a failure. Furthermore, I rarely give Michelle projects, so there really isn’t any way that I’m "consistently" setting her up for "failure." Moreover, on the few occasions I have given her something to do, I made it clear that I was available to answer her questions.

Item #3: "PJ never talks to me," coupled with "PJ isn’t shy."
Rebuttal: Both statements are untrue, and the latter has absolutely nothing to do with work. It’s a personality trait, and I shouldn’t have to argue with a fellow co-worker as to whether or not I’m shy. Regarding the "never talks" accusation, I feel the need to point out that Michelle and I talk frequently about common interests, especially when we have the office to ourselves. However, as Acme Consulting Company is a place of work, and as I was told upon hire "while we like to have fun, we don’t often have a lot of time to just chat," I try my best to adhere to that policy. Moreover, Michelle mentioned to me that she has an extreme distaste for chatty conversations in the morning, so I refrain from engaging her in those types of conversations in the AM, to honor her, not to push her away.

Item #4: Michelle feels intimidated by me, and is uncomfortable approaching me.
Rebuttal: This is an insecurity issue on her part, and should not reflect badly upon me. I am not responsible for her feelings and insecurities. I have made myself available to her on many occasions, and have told her numerous times that if she has any questions about certain projects to just ask. If she doesn’t ask – or doesn’t have the courage to ask – that’s not my fault, and it’s not in my control.

In closing, I would like to say that I understand emotions sometimes get in the way and we all have a bad day now and again. However, I feel that I was unfairly and unjustly put into the spot of defending myself against accusations that are more about the complainant’s feelings, emotions and insecurities than any real workplace issues that can be fixed. Arguing with someone as to whether or not I really am shy or do like the person is not conflict resolution, nor is it productive. It only serves to get the complainant’s feelings out in the open, but neglects to offer applicable, workable solutions to make things better. Moreover, on a personal note, the emotionally-charged accusations and lack of concrete, workable solutions left me in the awkward position of having little or no recourse for working towards viable conflict resolution solutions.

In other words, I have no control over Michelle R.’s insecurities, or what she thinks and feels. I am not responsible for those, nor should I be held responsible for those. However, if she feels I am not giving her the tools she needs to be successful on the job, or if she feels she needs more guidance to complete tasks, then I would be more than happy to address those problems and work towards obtaining successful solutions.

This morning, Chris called from the conference to give me some information, etc. At the end of our conversation, she said she wished I hadn't given her such a "formal" missive, and that she felt bad that I didn't just talk to her about all that stuff. She said she much prefers talking, however she did read what I had to say and would like to talk to me about it when she returns.

I understand where she's coming from, however we all see how much of a chance I am given to "talk" in these meetings. Kind of hard to be brutally honest when someone is crying and her boss is trying to make things easy on her.

I welcome the chance to talk. Now let's just see if it really happens.

In Loving Memory

Saturday, I drove down to Lincoln to attend Darlene's memorial service.

I left in plenty of time, but somehow I missed the turnoff for Hwy 193. I ended up in Sacramento before I realized I had gone too far. I turned around, and eventually found the turnoff. However, the case of the missing exit cost me time: almost 30 minutes.

I wasn't sure what to do. Would it be bad manners to walk in late? Should I go anyway? Or should I just head back, take a side trip to the mall so I could have a piece of low carb cheesecake at Max's and then head home? I wasn't sure what to do.

All of a sudden a thought shot through the chaotic mess in my head: "Darlene's son is late. Go; the service is being held for him."

I thought, "That's weird" and promptly began to discard the thought and worry about what I should do. Since I couldn't come up with anything concrete, I thought to myself "What would Todd do?" Todd is utterly confidant and late all the time... I realized he would just go. So I headed the car in the direction of the church theater, and kept driving.

I arrived as I expected: 25 minutes late. I was nervous as I approached the doors to the theater. I noticed people walking out. Oh no! Could it be over already?

I walked inside, and saw lots of people seated in the theater, talking to one another. I headed on in, and immediately located a group of people I used to work with. They motioned me over.

As soon as I sat down, someone went up to the microphone and said, "We just heard from Darlene's son. He's about a minute away. As soon as he gets here and settled, we'll begin the service. Thank you for your patience."

Now wasn't I stupid for not paying attention to that thought when I had it?

Darlene's was the first civilian memorial service I've ever attended. I don't know how most memorial services are conducted, but this one was beautiful. She planned it all, down to the catered finger foods. She said she wanted it to be a celebration; that she hated sad, long, drawn out services. She didn't want the affair to be sad, and it wasn't.

Now that's not to say I didn't shed some tears. I did, especially during the slide show that plastered pictures of Darlene's life from babyhood to adulthood on the screen. And, when a few people spoke about her unending kindness, her ability to make friends wherever she went, and her courage in the face of death, well, yes, I shed a few more. But it wasn't really crying... just tears that expressed how deeply I felt her loss.

After the service, I caught up with the "girls" I used to work with. We made promises to keep in touch, and then went our merry ways. My way was to Max's for that low carb espresso cheesecake.

You didn't really think I'd give that up so easily, did you?

Kiss Me

Instead of putting on my usual lips of choice (Cover Girl Raisin lipliner, Chapstick, and Clinique Sassy Spice lipstick), I reached for my pot of Philosophy's Kiss Me. I smeared some on, took a look in the mirror and thought "Wow, that woke my face up."

I ran downstairs to kiss hunky good-bye. He took a look at me and said "Your lips look great this morning. New lipstick?"

While he might not always notice new things about me (like my "new" frames), when he does he's always sure to throw a compliment my way. Guess that's one reason why, after eight years, I still love him.

Wounded In Action

Friday morning, Schmutzy and I engaged in a fight. It was woman against cat as I tried, unsuccessfully, to put him inside a pet carrier so he could go to the vet.

After 15 minutes of struggling and the use of a towel, I was finally able to get him into the pet carrier. I, however, was not left unscathed. My "new" shirt was torn, and the muscles in my lower back rebelled.

Three days later, my back is still hurting. Schmutzy, on the other hand, is walking around like the victor, tail held high and as mouthy as always. I swear I saw him stick his tongue out at me this morning as I struggled to get out of bed.

That's fine, Schmutz. Just fine. Just remember, I control the chicken breast treats you love so much.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Instead Of Valium

I'm taking a Mental Health Day!

Called in "sick." And, hey, I didn't lie. I am sick. Sick of dealing with a bad case of the "she doesn't like me" sniffles.

Todd's dad is in town. Who knows? Maybe we'll all do something fun today! And if no fun is planned, I can make my own fun at Savers.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Boo Hoo

I just had a feeling that something was going to go wrong at work today... and I also had a feeling it was going to concern Michelle.

I was right.

Earlier this morning, Michelle was in the production room (which doubles as Chris' office), putting together some envelopes. I heard Chris ask her about her weekend, and Michelle's response was quiet. I thought "Hmm... something's wrong with Michelle," because normally, Michelle will chat it up with Chris on Tuesdays.

I went back to work, and thought I heard something. I looked up, and saw that Michelle was talking to Chris, but I couldn't hear anything she was saying because she was talking so quietly (which is unusual; Michelle has kind of a loud voice). I turned down my radio... no luck. Still couldn't hear.

Then I noticed that it looked as if Michelle was crying. I thought maybe she just had an exceptionally bad weekend... that is until Chris came into my office and said it was time for the three of us to talk.

Oh gawd.

The basic problem is this: "I feel as if PJ doesn't like me."

Boo hoo. Waaah waaaah. So what?

That's what I wanted to say.

"You don't talk to me. And even though you say you're shy, I saw you at the Christmas party, and you're not shy. You just don't like me. You don't talk to me."

What I wanted to say: "Stop with the fucking drama. This is a place of business, not a chatathon."

What I said: "I just don't talk much. I'm quiet."

Then I was hit with the accusation again: "I feel as if you simply don't like me. I don't know what I've done to you, but you just don't like me." Sniff, sniff, sob, sob.

So, then I had to tell her of course I like her. I feel that Acme would be in a hell of a lot of hot water if it weren't for her. She's a hard worker and a good person to have on our team. I simply don't indulge in a lot of small talk. It's not my forte.

"I've heard you talk. You just don't like me."

Chris finally intervened and basically acknowledged that while Michelle's feelings are valid, it would be more constructive if she could give me things to work on. Like "PJ, when I come to work in the morning, I'd like to chat with you for a few minutes," or "PJ, when I come to you for help, I would like you to go into more detail," etc. Then she asked Michelle to pose something to me that I could actually work on fixing.

She pulled out a document I had left in her inbox yesterday, with a note on it that said "Michelle, please file in appropriate place." She held it up and said "I feel like you often set me up for failure. I have no idea where this document gets filed. It's like you just set me up to fail tasks."

Um. Not knowing where to file something is not a failure. I had to explain that I thought she had typed up the original document, and therefore knew where to file it. I managed to leave out the bit in which I felt like saying "not knowing where to file something is not a failure. Just fucking ask someone!"

I mean, really. How is leaving a contract on her desk to file setting her up for failure? Obviously I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE TO FILE IT. Does she think I look at myself as a failure for that? No frickin' way, Jose.

Holy hell. I don't even know where to go from here.

I feel resentful, because this whole thing just seems so eighth grade. And it's not that I don't talk to her; heck, when Dennis and Chris is gone, Michelle and I often have talks about metaphysical subjects. But when the office is full, there is absolutely no time to talk, except for maybe a "how was your weekend," or "reading anything good?"

And I am extremely shy, although I'm fairly comfortable here now, after almost three full years in this office. I just don't feel free to sit around and make idle chit chat. In fact, Chris has often pointed out to me that while "we like to have fun here at Acme Consulting Company," we really need to sit at our desks and pound out the work. And so, that's what I do.

And then there's the whole setting her up for failure thing. I rarely ever give her anything to do. She basically works for Dennis, and then Chris is next in charge. Once in awhile, Chris will say "Have Michelle help you out with blah, blah," and I do. But in that case, I sit down, explain to her what it is we're doing, and we figure out which portions of the project to tackle...together. So, where is she coming up with this crap? I have no idea.

The rational side of me says that of course she overreacted because, for some reason, she was already feeling delicate. Tuesdays are her Mondays; I get that. It's not always fun to walk in to the job after a long weekend and discover there are problems with whatever happened on Friday. Still... to make it personal or to take it personally is just... aggravating to me.

I've had my moments here at Acme, believe me. Yet, I don't know if I've ever believed them to be personal. For example, Chris isn't always the best communicator. Does that mean I think she doesn't like me? No. It just means I think she's a poor communicator, and yes, maybe the lack of those skills has sometimes left me feeling frustrated or angry or, yes, even close to tears. But never did I think "Oh boo hoo, she doesn't like me."

Then again, maybe that's just something that has come from maturity. I think back to my Army days, and can remember feeling as if two of my bosses (at different times) didn't like me. However, I can't really remember how I dealt with it. I guess I just carried on; after all, it was the Army, and there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it at the time. I just sucked it up.

So Michelle, suck it up and grow up. I like you already. But if you keep putting me in the hot seat, that like is going to fade and fade quickly.

Just Because

When I got home last night, everything seemed fine between Todd and me. Sure, he had a sucky day (dogs broke down the fence, air conditioning contractors were in and out of the house, fence contractors didn't show up for appointments, etc., etc., etc.), yet we were able to sit down and have a nice dinner together, drama free.

Until he went to the store.

Now, yes, Todd invited me to go to the store. But after a long day of work and then a workout, I just didn't really feel like it. So, I opted out. I got spammed anyway, though, when he got home.

See, while he was away at the store, he decided he was mad at me. For what, I'm not entirely clear. I know it had something to do with the fact that when "asked" (and I use that term sarcastically) to take the dogs to daycare, I countered back by saying I had really wanted to work out in the morning, since we needed to pick up his dad after work, and then I needed to go straight to class. In other words, I didn't really have the time to do it.

There might have been other things he decided he was mad about... I don't know, because when he came home, he pretty much gave me the silent treatment.

Before I knew it, he was asleep. In the bedroom. Without having said good night. Now, if I had done the SAME THING, I would have been vilified. "Do what I say, not what I do."

This morning wasn't any better. Todd only said one thing to me, and actually, he didn't say it at all. He yelled it. "Honey, did you break the spigot out front?"

Oh yeah. Sure I did. I broke it and tried to hide it from you.

Of course I didn't! If I had, I would've mentioned it to him, and scrambled to try to fix it.

It's times like this I think we're doomed as a couple. It doesn't matter how many things I do right anymore. It's never enough.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Increased Awareness

Last week, I held a self-dedication ritual. Since then, I've had four incidents of extreme awareness:

1. Friday morning, I awoke and knew in my heart that Darlene had passed away the night before. A few hours later, I received an email from an old friend confirming my suspicion and informing me of date of the memorial service.

2) Last night, I had a dream that our dogs broke down the backyard fence. Today, Todd called me at work to tell me that the neighbor pounded on the door early this morning to let us know that our dogs were in his yard because they broke down the fence. The only two differences between reality and my dream was the actual part of the fence that was broken (in my dream, it was the east facing fence; in real life, the north), and in my dream the fence that was broken down revealed an alternate fence behind it.

3) Early this morning, I had another dream that my registration tags were missing off of my Honda (I've been primarily driving the Vibe, but planned on driving the Honda today). When I got out to the Honda, I remembered my dream and checked the license plate. Sure enough, my tag was missing. A call to DMV assured me that my car was registered, so I think someone stole my tag, but since I hadn't driven it much lately I hadn't noticed.

4) During my lunch break, I walked to the post office to mail a package. Because of road work, several streets I would normally walk back to work on were closed, so I had to use an alternate route... which took me by Starbucks. Because of reflux, I can only drink a few of their decaf blends without experiencing a backlash. It was hot outside, and I debated with myself as to whether or not I really even wanted coffee in the first place. Secondly, I normally call first, to see if the blend they're serving that day is one that agrees with me. Because this was spur of the moment, I hadn't called...

I decided to just tune in and all of a sudden I felt that they were serving Light Note, a blend that agrees with me, but doesn't necessarily delight me. I asked myself how I felt about this, and decided that I felt a bit luke warm at the prospect of having Light Note. However, then I realized I could be totally wrong, and decided to check it out... turns out I was right; they were serving Light Note.

I got a cup, and left. When I got to the office, I took a sip and guess what? The coffee itself was LUKE WARM. I thought this odd, because on the way to Starbucks I remember that in my internal debate, I used the term "luke warm." I didn't realize it would be literal!

It's been an interesting few days. I hope this strong awareness continues, but my instructor told me it could very well abate after awhile.

I really don't want it to, though.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Numerology is one of the few metaphysical arts that I absolutely don't believe in. I find it to be a bunch of hooey. I'm never like whatever number I'm told I am. It just seems so odd.

However, since I am surrounded by numerology nuts, I decided to give it another try today. I went to this website and used the graph to figure out my Destiny number. I came up with 12/3 (which basically means I'm a "3.")

I read the description of a 3 and discovered I'm pretty much nothing like a 3. And then a little thought crossed my mind: "But your mom was going to name you something different."

Long story short, my mom had a name all picked out for me: Cynthia Denise. Another woman she worked with was pregnant at the same time, but didn't have a girl's name picked out as she was sure she was having a boy. My mom said "But what if you have a girl?" "I won't have a girl. I know I'm having a boy."

Well, I was born a month late (in fact, I wasn't about to come out of the womb, so the doc had to finally take me by Caesarean). And yes, the woman at work had her baby first - a girl. The woman had no idea what to name it, so she stole my name.

Just for fun, I worked out the graph for what my name would've been if my mom had been able to name me what she wanted to. And guess what? It still works out to a 3.

I find that very odd. However, odd as it is, it still isn't me.

I'm more like a ten. Now that's the kind of numerology I can get down with.

I Need New Glasses

Well, guess what?

There is no way in hell I'm getting that editing job I applied for... turns out the hiring manager's name is Trey, not Troy... and guess who I sent the application to? That's right. Troy.

Some Editorial Assistant I would make!

So, looks like I'm stuck at Acme Consulting Company for a little longer. Not that I mind. I do like my Friday's off.

Of course, if I keep making mistakes like that, I might have weeks and weeks off while stand in the unemployment line...