Friday, February 27, 2009


I'm wearing my stripey socks, which generally have magical powers to lift all woes. But not today. Because today I feel like that white part at the bottom. I feel like a heel. I had to spend my morning calling each of our 40 employees to tell them that, due to a glitch in our payroll system, the checks they received today cannot be cashed and they will have to wait until Tuesday to get their new ones. Which would be fine if these people all had rich uncles to pay their electric bills but they're mostly all working as custodians or food service workers or clerks at the county hospital and making about $9.75/hr. I don't know how many times today I've said, "I'm REALLY sorry."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grammar Test

Here are my answers from the previous post:

1.) Rocky Road
Chocolate Malted Crunch
Butter Pecan
2.) I've never met a soup I didn't love.
3.) Robin eggs. Because I love malt balls and you can paint your lips with them.
4.) I fear I may be. And yet I still like myself.

As requested by some, the Grammar Test! I'll post the answers later. But, if you're like Valerie and want it graded, you can send it to me and I'll grade it for you and put stickers and happy faces all over it and you can proudly display it on your refrigerator. Just email me for my address.

1.) Both Mr. Higgins and (A-she, B-her) were at the trial.
2.) Please get this information as (A-quick, B-quickly) as possible.
3.) Someone has forgotten (A-their, B-his) briefcase.
4.) Whenever he looks (A-sad, B-sadly), you can be sure something is wrong.
5.) Neither of them (A-approve, B-approves) the new contract.
6.) The company requires the form to be submitted by all of (A-it's, B-its) employees.
7.) (A-Whoever, B-Whomever) handled the case did a wonderful job.
8.) Either John or Mary (A-has, B-have) the directory.
9.) Tuesday is (A-ladie's, B-ladies') night.
10.) The loudest noise now (A-is, B-are) motorcycles.
11.) He (A-set, B-sat) in the chair.
12.) Ira invited Ken and (A-I, B-me) to attend the meeting.
13.) The article he wrote is (A-a, B-an) history of the event.
14.) She could (A-of, B-have) gone.
15.) Each of us (A-is, B-are) here.
16.) I saw in the newspaper (A-where, B-that) prices are rising all over.
17.) The flower smells (A-sweet, B-sweetly).
18.) She (A-use, B-used) to live in the country.
19.) He has already (A-ate, B-eaten) dinner.
20.) Everyone in the fraternity is concerned about (A-his, B-their) popularity.
21.) He is (A-already, B-all ready) to go.
22.) Is the hat (A-her's, B-hers)?
23.) John asked if (A-they're, B-their) coming.
24.) The noise of the engines (A-annoy, B-annoys) all the people there.
25.) The doctor insists that the president (A-remain, B-remains) in bed.
26.) There (A-is, B-are) to be three people there.
27.) Try (A-and, B-to) be there.
28.) They (A-saw, B-seen) to it that she got home safely.
29.) Let's (A-don't, B-not) stay.
30.) He is the (A-principal, B-principle) of the school.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Pop Quiz!

1.) This morning on my way to work I heard "It's the End of the World as We Know it" for about the 5th time in 3 days. I'm taking it as a sign and tomorrow I will begin my End of the World Diet, which consists of nothing but Thrifty's Rocky Road ice cream. I know that everyone thinks that the best Thrifty's flavor is Chocolate Malted Crunch, and that's fine, it's a great flavor. But you're all wrong. Rocky Road is the superior ice cream.

Question: What are your top three favorite Thrifty's ice cream flavors? And for those of you who don't know what Thrifty's ice cream is, how will you go on living?

2.) Katie made this soup last night and gave me some left overs for lunch. When I got home from work I felt nigh unto death and so I took a little nap and got up and had some of that soup and I instantly felt 50% better, which is to say I was in the same neighborhood as death but not right next door. The soup was just as delicious and spirit-reviving in leftover form.

Question: Do you prefer brothy soups or chowdery soups? If you're not a fan of soup, why are we friends?

3.) I went to Rite-Aid on my lunch break to get an envelope so I can mail Andrea her apron and I noticed that they have their Easter candy out. (Side note: Does anyone know when Easter is? I don't even know if it's in March or April this year.) There is something wonderful about rows and rows of brightly colored Peeps.

Question: If you could only have one Easter candy in your basket what would it be?

4.) We test all of our clerical applicants on filing, math, spelling and grammar and everyone does great on the first three. But nearly everyone BOMBS the grammar test. And I would say that 90% of those who take it get #12 wrong: "Ira invited Ken and (A-I, B-me) to attend the meeting." Including the person who did the answer sheet because it originally said the answer was A. When we all know the answer is B-me. Well, I read this article today and now I think I'll tell everyone who gets it wrong that even our dear president would too. You know, if his current job doesn't work out and he happens to be looking for long-term temporary clerical or medical employment in the greater Los Angeles area. I actually don't think this is the worst grammar mistake a person can make. In fact, it's a pretty common one. The question that really bothers me is #19: "He has already (A-ate, B-eaten) dinner." If it's down to two candidates with similar qualifications, I will probably give the job to the person who got that question right.

Question: Does this make me a Grammar Snob? And if so, do you still like me?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Not an Apron-Making-Hack

My lovely Aunt Vicki gave me a book a few months ago all about aprons. And I got inspired to make one. I love the idea of hostess aprons. Don't you? They're just so charming. Wouldn't you love to invite people over for dinner and come out of your kitchen wearing one while carrying a roast?

My plan was to sell it on etsy but the seam is a little wonky in the back (story of my life - wonky seams). I blame the bias tape. Actually, I blame the gal who wrote the book and suggested that if you don't want to be considered an apron-making-hack you'll make your own bias tape. So I spent 18 years of my life making 4 yards of bias tape (even though in the end it barely needed 2) and then another 18 years creasing and pressing it. And then 18 more years sewing it on then taking it out then sewing it on then taking it out. And then about 5 seconds to decide that bias tape is the Mayor of Jokeland and who cares if the seams are showing a bit. I sure don't.

And maybe you don't either, and if you don't, you can have it because I've decided to give the apron away.

The first person to calls dibs can have it, free of charge, I'll even pay for shipping. But there is one condition: You have to send me a picture of you wearing it while holding a platter of food. It doesn't have to be a roast but it needs to be something you would serve to a guest. I know...I'm so demanding. But you can humor me, right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I will not be silenced!

It's very slow here today. I've finished all my work and Chiquita took the afternoon off. So what do I do when I'm bored at work? I turn into a Very Concerned Consumer.

The following companies/people received letters from me today.

1.) CVS Pharmacy. I bought their brand of lotion with SPF 15 to give my cancer prone skin a little extra protection during the day and it ended up being sunscreen in a lotion pump bottle. It actually smells, feels, and goes on like sunscreen. Which means I smell like sunscreen and my arms are greasy without the benefit of being at the beach.

2.) Burt's Bees. I tried some of their shampoo and conditioner for a few days and it made my hair feel like I stuck it in Vaseline.

3.) Rachel's Yogurt. I saw this product at Sprouts and had to get it because my name was written all over it. Literally. Can you believe they named a yogurt after me? I'm super flattered. Anyway, it's yummy and I wanted to thank them for not putting my name on something gross.

4.) My state senators. I saw on the news this morning that they were locked in the state capitol until the budget is signed. I suggested that maybe their paychecks should be locked in the vault until the budget is signed also. I may have used the phrase, "Stop being such babies and SIGN IT!"

I will not be silenced!

Friday, February 13, 2009

It pays to know how to turn my computer on and off

Well, this is turning out to be the BEST (day before) VALENTINE'S DAY EVER. Why? Because I got into work and there were roses on my desk from Chiquita to thank me for not being slightly retarded like the girl who worked here before me, and making her feel comfortable enough to be able to leave the office for 5 hours yesterday to get her hair done. And there was a Valentine card with it and inside was a $50 bonus. Who needs a boyfriend when I have Chiquita to shower me with presents?

It's nice that Chiquita loves me for my phone answering skills, because based on the appearance of my hair today I should start looking into a Home for Sad and Tragic Spinsters. It is more tumbleweedy than normal. We're having another beatnik poetry reading tonight and the theme is "scary" in honor of Friday the 13th. I'm thinking of not even bringing a poem and instead just show up with this hair.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Early Morning Eyelashes

Guess who's at the gym at 5am? The Cat Woman! (Gird your loins before viewing). And she looks just as scary/amazing as ever. The significant part about this is that she is just as made-up at 5 in the morning as she is at 5 in the afternoon, when I use to see her. Spider-web eyelashes, lots of lipstick, blush, shadow, eyeliner. And really big sparkly chandelier earrings. She also brings her own personal fan to blow on her as she's on the step-climber - I imagine to help out with the sweat to foundation ratio. Whatever her motives for it are it makes her seem both gloriously superior and incredibly wack-a-doo.

She brings up a good topic for discussion. People who put on make-up to work out. I'm pretty sure the Cat Woman is one of those women who wears make-up to bed - I bet if you cut open one of her eyelashes you could count the rings and date them back to 1939 - so I understand that a special kind of therapy is needed for her. But there are other woman there in make-up. At 5 in the morning! It's one thing to have on make-up at the gym in the afternoon, when it's normal to look like you've been alive that day, but in order for someone to have make-up on at 5am they would have had to wake up that much earlier to put it on. I can barely find my toothbrush, let alone my make-up bag, when I'm getting ready to head out. I'm not sure it even exists at that time of the morning - like magic elves bring it out at 7 when I'm ready to face it. I want to put my arm around those women and say, "You're at a girls-only gym and most of us look like sweaty bags of death and when you leave here it will still practically be the middle of the night. Why would you get gussied-up for this? Is there a pageant being held in the weight room that I'm not aware of?"

Monday, February 9, 2009


What's that? A Barnes and Noble bag with books inside?

Does this mean the Book Buying Moratorium has been lifted?


Happy Rachel.

Want to know what I bought? This and this. That first one, The Solace of Leaving Early, is a perfect example of why I love to own a book. Because sometimes you love a book enough to want to re-read it, even if it's just a favorite-parts re-read. You can't do that with library books. You can't lend out a library book to a friend you know will love it. You can't write in a library book. You can't fold the corners over if you have misplaced your bookmark.

The year of not buying books has taught me that libraries are wonderful places. I've had a lot of fun going into bookstores and jotting down books that I want to read then checking them out from the library. But sometimes you need to have a book on your shelf so when friends come over and they say, "Have any good books to read?" you can place it in their hands instead of looking for a piece of paper to write down the name.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I picture my Wealthy Benefactor looking like Gilbert Blythe

I turned my tv on before going to bed the other night and there was Anne talking to Gilbert in the gazebo in Anne of Avonlea. Which meant that I wouldn't be going to bed for another 30 minutes because I can't be expected to not watch the end of Anne of Avonlea. Even though I've watched it hundreds of times.

I actually did the calculations. I've probably watched all 8 hours of the series* at least twice a year, every year, for the last 20 years. And there have been periods in my life when I've watched it once a month, because sometimes you just really need Anne. But that still only puts me at about 100. But the ending of it all, on the bridge with the "diamond sun-bursts and marble halls", that I have watched way more times than I can probably count. Because it's almost mandatory that after you're done with the whole thing you watch the ending a few times. You have to! You've just watched 8 hours of Anne shunning Gilbert with a firm hand, and then finally, when he's on his death bed, she comes around. You need that bridge scene. You've earned that bridge scene. So it's only right that at the end of it all, whoever has the remote control hits rewind for a few seconds and you watch it again. And maybe again. Okay, and maybe again. You deserve it.**

I couldn't rewind it that night but I did, even after 20 years and hundreds of viewings, clap as the credits rolled.

*I don't count that last one. What was that? An abomination, that's what.

**To be fair to the books, I've read that same scene in Anne of the Island hundreds of times too. Even though it's in a garden and not on a bridge, and there was a different guy in love with Anne (who's with me that Roy Gardner would have been a better choice as a romantic rival in the movie than Super Old Morgan Harris?), and Gilbert was never engaged to Christine Stuart. As if.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Birthdays, Tacos, Bunnies, Mirrors

Just a few observations on today:

1.) Today is Katie's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You can leave her a birthday wish here) and so I was texting her because I'm picking up dinner from The Whole Enchilada to celebrate and I wanted to know if she wanted the tacos asada. And my predictive text does not know the word taco! TACO!!! The perfect food, and it's not in my cell phone's dictionary. I don't know if I've mentioned here how much I love tacos but I'm pretty sure that if I had to choose a meal to be stuck on a desert island with it would tacos.

2.) Do you know how many people are looking for clerical work in Commerce, CA? 324. Or, at least, that is how many resumes I have received today for the job I posted on Craigslist. Today! 324! My favorite resume so far was from a girl who put "Working as a cigarette girl at the Bunny Club in Las Vegas" under Applicable Work Experience.

3.) I have to get a new compact mirror for my purse because it is one that opens up and on one side is the regular friendly mirror and the other side is the magnifying mirror that hates me. Every time I open it all I can see are GIANT PORES and WRINKLY LIPS and GOOD HEAVENS IS THAT A ZIT OR A CANCEROUS LESION BECAUSE IT LOOKS TOO BIG TO BE JUST A ZIT. GREAT, I HAVE CANCER!

Monday, February 2, 2009

You can wait until 7 to tell me you've lost an eye.

On my way out of the gym this morning I walked by the office and I overheard the girl in there saying into the phone, "Okay, well, just call us when you're ready to renew." And I stopped and stared at her, eyes agog, as she hung up and crossed off a name from a list. I contemplated going in there and rubbing my sweaty shirt all over her face.

Because it was 6am!

Can you imagine that poor woman who had to answer the phone at 6am and hear, "Hi!! This is Shelly from the Spa!! It's time to renew your membership!!" Who would be awake enough to handle a call like that?! Only people who are crazy enough to be at the gym at that time. And I can tell you from experience that that may not even be the case. I have become very good at power-napping on the eliptical.

I can promise you that if I ever get that sales call at 6am my fury would be so great that it would travel through the phone lines and make Shelly's hair fall out. Even if I had just gotten home from the gym and it was 6:05 there would still be hair loss because how does Shelly even know that I'm not dead asleep? How does she know that I'm not snuggled down in my bed and when the phone rings the first thing that will run through my head is that it's my mom saying that my dad choked on his oatmeal and is in the hospital on life support, because why else would someone be calling me before the sun is even up? My phone should never ring before 7am. At the very earliest. 8 would be more acceptable. I am almost always awake at 6 but this does not mean I'm ready to talk. And I am certainly not ready to answer the phone.

This got me thinking of other acceptable reasons to call me at 6am besides my dad being on life support. Here's my list:

1.) You're in the hospital and you need a blood transfusion but the hospital is fresh out of O+ and so you call me to come down and help you out. You promise me cookies once you have recovered.

2.) You were out jogging and you passed by a Slurpee machine sitting on a curb that someone is giving away. You're sitting on it so no one else claims it until I can get down there.

3.) I was suppose to give you a lift to the airport and I'm not there yet because I probably overslept.

4.) You're my Wealthy Benefactor and you've been knocking on my door for the last 30 minutes because you want to give me a check before you fly off to some important business meeting, in which case I would sweetly tell you to put it under the mat.

Initially I thought that the death of a loved one would make the list but I'm going to honest with you and say that I would be much better prepared to take that kind of news in the 7 o'clock hour.