Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Invisible

I grew up in Southern California where it was sunny and warm. We thought nothing of walking down the street and saying hello, or nodding and smiling to complete strangers. It was all very casual and nobody thought a thing about it.

Then I moved to the Chicago area and boy was I out of place. People there didn’t say hello to strangers. No way, no how. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Even those in the same apartment building would make sudden and erratic detours in order to avoid greeting someone. I thought a couple of times they were going to call the cops because in their wildest imagination they were convinced I was going to mug them. Or I’d developed an advanced case of leprosy.

In Texas it’s a mixed bag. So many people have moved here from all over the country that we get all kinds. Some will return a smile, some will break their necks in order to keep from looking you in the eye. I guess it all depends on where you grew up. You can’t believe how interesting the pattern in the carpet suddenly becomes when they see someone coming toward them. Or…my all time favorite…poof, I'm invisible.

I hate it when someone looks right through me. My kids used to do that when they were telling less than the truth. It was a dead give away.

What are all these people afraid of? Looking someone in the eye is not a lifetime commitment. At least it wasn’t when I was growing up. Maybe I’m just weird. But at least I’m harmless.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Say What You Mean

I was cursed growing up with a father, a teacher, who insisted that my sister and I spoke proper English (even if it was just his idea of proper). One of the greatest faux pas we could make (to embarrass him) was to use a double negative. Now that I’m older, I notice these things more than the average bear.

Have you ever thought about what it really means when someone says, “That may not be a bad idea”? If your boss is the one saying it, it could mean anything from “You’re a total idiot and I’m too nice to tell you” or “That’s a great idea and I’m gonna steal it and take credit”.

One of the stupid things that bugs me is the saying “Not bad.” Okay, so if it’s not bad, why not just say good. I guess some people just can’t be positive.

Now, here’s my all time favorite, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones singing “I Can’t (image placeholder)Get No Satisfaction.” It’s a double negative, so that must mean he’s getting a whole bunch of whatever it takes to make him happy. You could say “I get no satisfaction” or “I can’t get satisfaction”, but when put together, it means something totally different.

By the way, I saw a picture of Mick Jagger’s father once. If Mick was beat with an ugly stick, they used the whole tree on his father. He makes Mick look like one of the Chippendale dancers.

Have I thoroughly confused this issue? I could come up with some wiseass double negative to end this, but I’m can’t think of anything. If a double negative makes it positive, does a double positive make it negative? Oh Lord, now my brain hurts.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Klutz of the Year

I've often said that I could trip on the white line in the middle of the road and last Thursday, I proved my point. I was in the process of trading offices with a guy at work and as always I took the opportunity to dispose of paper that had accumulated since my last move.

Once I decided what to get rid of, I had a stack about 6-8 inches of paper that needed to be shredded. I was down to the very last piece of paper to shred and it was rather thick and wouldn't engage the cutting blades. Like a dummy, I pushed.

When it finally caught and was sucked in, I didn't have time to let go. Believe it or not, all I said was "ouch". Thank God all I caught was the tip of my ring finger and middle finger on my right hand. More than anything they were smashed with only a small cut on the ring finger.

There were two other people in the room with me and they were both ready to rush me to the hospital, but it really wasn't a big deal. I washed the cut, applied pressure and within a couple of minutes it quit bleeding. One of them even asked if I wanted to file a workmen's comp claim.

I did file a claim when I tripped on the carpet edging and fell and cracked my shoulder blade, but for a little cut that didn't even need stitches? I don't think so. It does make typing somewhat awkward, but that's about it. Although I'm being very careful not to get dirt in the cut while I work outside today.

Gee, do I dare go out and use the table saw like I had planned today? I think I'd rather be painting, but then I might fall off the ladder. I guess I'll try to find something where I can't hurt myself.

Here's one of life's mysteries (at least to me). Almost every weekend, I'm outside sweating like a stevedore, but do I loose any weight? Hell no!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Strange Memories

Another round of strange things I remember. I have no idea why my mind hangs on to such useless trivia. But invariably some of this stuff pops up at the oddest times.

A few years ago, I was working on craft projects for our church’s upcoming craft fair on a Saturday morning. I made several stops on my way home to pickup additional supplies. What’s so strange about that, you may ask? Apparently I had rubbed my nose sometime during the morning while using hot glue. My bathroom mirror revealed the damage. I had a long string of hot glue from the end of my nose to my left cheek. If you have ever worked with hot glue, you know it strongly resembles snot. Do you think anyone would tell me? Of course not!

Sibling rivalry developed between my sister and me at a very early age. When I was about 3, I told her I had skated all the way across the service porch and Mom was going to buy me a new pair of roller skates. She was very jealous and a knock-down-drag-out fistfight ensued.

I can’t remember if I ever recounted the time that I told my uncle that I knew he was a boy. Of course he asked how I knew. “That’s easy,” I said. “You have to potatoes and a carrot, and girls don’t.”

One Saturday when I was 5 years old, we were going to see Mom on her lunch break at Sears. She worked behind the candy counter (not that that means anything). My sister, father and I had gotten out of the car and were walking up the sidewalk. I wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention. In fact if I remember right I was avoiding cracks in the sidewalk so I wouldn’t break my mother’s back. Almost at the door I reached up to take Daddy’s hand. Only that pair of shoes I was watching didn’t belong to him. It was a complete stranger. Oops.

Mom’s idea of sex education was on a need to know basis. If she didn’t think we needed to know, she didn’t tell us. I married at 19 and had to be the most naïve bride in history. I had no idea men had pubic hair and I thought my husband (who was ignorant as I was) was some sort of freak.

Well…I guess that’s enough trivia for today. TTFN

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Less Than Clever Post

I thought I'd sit here and write a clever post, but I can't think of a thing worth saying. Obviously I'm still brain dead from this past week at the office...and tomorrow is Monday and it starts all over again. Bah humbug!

At least now I only have (2) new stores to buy for with July deliveries instead of the (5) I started last week with. If that was all I had to do I wouldn't be sweating it, but as the cliche goes, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

We're still in the process of repairing the stores damaged by Katrina (or the seven flooded when Folleys roof collapsed and flooded the mall). And wouldn't you know it? Hurricane season has started all over for 2006. Forecast are for at least (5) severe storms this year.

Can you imagine trying to put a dollar value to the stuff destroyed inside these stores that are a hundred years old? Actually, you take nothing add nothing and presto...you come up with a figure that's just as reasonable as looking into a crystal ball. My crystal ball rolled off my desk several years ago and has a crack the size of the Grand Canyon in it, so it's not a whole lot of help.

Friday, June 02, 2006


This has been the week from hell. Sure I had Monday off, but nothing magically disappeared from my desk, so…I compressed two weeks worth of work into four days. I’m brain dead. No other way to describe it…BRAIN DEAD! When I get home, I intend to turn into a vegetable.

When you have deadlines to meet, an extra day off is just a nuisance no matter how much you might enjoy it.

One of the secretary’s has a sign outside her office that says, “A job well done is an opportunity to do more.” Amen and hallelujah!