27 June 2007

Y It's a New Adventure!

I have begun a new adventure. As much as I said that I didn't want to work full-time ever, ever again, I am. I've taken a pretty easy job at the local YWCA. I applied on a whim and it turns out they really, really wanted me to work here. So, I am trying it out.
Returning to full-time made me anxious, I've had nothing but free time for a year and relinquishing it was difficult. It's taken some juggling to make everything fit but it seems to be working out just fine.

Now, onto more fun stuff...let me tell you about this joint:

I work in a historic building; it’s over 100 years old. This would, of course, on be considered historic in America, as Eddie Izzard would comment. However, I believe that it is on the historic registry and I know that somehow the tree in the yard is a historic monument. I don’t yet know why.
It is brick on the outside and semi-Victorian on the inside, with a splash of 1980’s hotel décor. It overlooks the bay and part of downtown. The view is beautiful and soothing. The purpose of the building has always been a YWCA and was built specifically for the program.

My desk is set diagonally, against another desk. It’s an odd set-up, not one that I would have chosen but it works. I can see the entryways, as per my job. I have some privacy, as I am partially obscured by my monitor. The nearly floor to ceiling windows are behind me. I am tempted to turn my desk so that I can look out the window without turning in my chair but then I would lose privacy and probably concentration. I love to watch the cars pass by on Forest Street.

I have a family portrait and a clock from my home on my desk. Those are the only personal touches that I have brought here. There isn’t space for many homey touches. In addition, after my last career adventure, I am hesitant to make the space too personal. I’m enjoying the anonymity a little and I am reluctant to yet commit to a job wholeheartedly. There are two plants on the little ledge. One looks like a giant dandelion, I think it’s supposed to be outside but it’s been left in my office. The other is a strange little ivy-ish plant that suddenly appeared and no one has claimed.

I have the radio turned on, which is unusual I have been told. Apparently the girl before me never had it on. It would be a slow descent into insanity for me if I were forced to endure silence all day. Alas, I have to endure what I refer to as pabulum radio. It’s “family friendly” pre-programmed radio. Nothing like what I would normally listen to. But the staff and residents alike have had fun listening to the music, it’s become a good ice-breaker.

The front desk/reception area is a long counter and has folding café doors. There’s a transom window above it, which allows in more light. I wish transom windows were used in houses more, there is just something about them that I like.

The lobby has a grandfather clock that literally came with the building. There is also a chandelier that lights the lobby. I don’t think it came with the building, it looks too modern. Nevertheless, it adds to the grand ambience of the building. Again, 1980’s hotel style furniture is placed around for residents and guests. The residents will often hang out in the lobby in the afternoon and some of the conversations that I hear are remarkable!

There is a ballroom, a real authentic ballroom with huge windows that overlook the bay. As you walk in, you can feel and nearly picture the spirits of women past that graced that floor. The ballroom is used for classes, meetings, and weddings now. A remodel will soon return it to its past glory. I can hardly wait.

Upstairs is all resident housing, set up as a mixture of hotel and dorms. Each floor shares a bathroom (yikes!) and a kitchen. It has been remodeled so spirits past are not so prevalent upstairs as down.

The basement houses the old YWCA pool. Sadly, it’s not longer in use. It’s been covered and is now a staging area for a clothing give-away program that this Y program has. I am disappointed that it’s not accessible and will soon also be remodeled for more offices and storage. I’ve only been here three weeks and a few people have asked if the pool is still here as they swam in it as a child. I think I would swim every day if it were.

The residents here have been a trip. There are some women that it’s clear how they ended up here. There are others that I wonder what the hell happened that they are here. Each of them has a specific, personal story, of course. The underlying themes all seem to include mental health issues, domestic violence, or drug use. Sometimes all three factor in.
(And, the residents will give me more fodder for my name theory!!!)

It is nice to be working in the non-profit world again. I just had such issues at my other “work” with not having contributed to the well-being of the community in any way. I guess, if nothing else, it clarified that I don’t want to work for any for-profit companies if I have the choice.

This position is part babysitter, parent, and security guard. The honeymoon period is over so I’m slowly being asked for special favors or getting snarked at. They said it would happen and it has. That’s okay though, I’ve had to think on my feet all of my life.

So, there you have it: a lovely tour of my new work. If I can figure out how to post pictures and make them stay, I will do so soon.

23 June 2007


So, I am chilling, watching Ralphie May on Comedy Central when the commercials come on. I am trying to convince myself to go do something constructive when a commercial comes on:

A couple sitting at a romantic dinner setting. The guy is smirking knowingly when the girl discovers a ring box. Typically, she opens it, her eyes widen, and she smiles.

But wait, what's that? The box is vibrating. WTF?

Now, my attention is caught. Cell phone? Panic button? What could it be?

Fade to text...Durex, the first of it's kind. A vibrating ring. A vibrator ring.
It looks like a child's toy but it's not. Oh, well it's a toy but ...

I've got nothing...I'm not a prude but Damn. Oh My God. I think I need a shower now, and not in a good way. I have no other words, just a shudder and the sudden need to go watch a Disney Movie to cleanse my brain.

Oh wait, yes I do have something else to say. Do you know how pissed I would be? P-I-S-S-E-D. Give me a ring box and have it turn out to be a sex toy. Tell you what, that toy would be inserted someplace I'm sure Durex never intended it to be inserted.

One last thing: Can you imagine being the ad guys for that product? I would love to hear the pitches that ended up on the cutting room floor.

18 June 2007

Silly, stupid people

We are stupid, stupid people that shouldn’t be in charge of our own lives. Really. Seriously. We are both youngest in the birth order and should never be married. This will illustrate why:

On Saturday, we drove nearly three hours, spent three hours racing, and then drove three hours home. It was one of those “It sounded like a good idea at the time” things.

Our original plan was to stay the weekend but the weather forecast called for rain so we cancelled our hotel reservations so that we wouldn’t waste $75.00
And then, our friend called taunting us that the weather was great and that we should come down. So, we did. Stupid, stupid people.

Imagine our surprise at how tired we were upon our return trip! It was a three hour tour, to go all Gilligan on you. Essentially, we traveled from one end of the state to nearly the other end. The MG had been there before, but I hadn’t. About ¾ of the way there, I told the MG that “Even Moses would have turned around by now.” Jeez.

We were asked to race down there, actually, as hired guns. There was another racer from Oregon that is an ASS. A.S.S. It seems that any time he loses a race; he takes his stuff and goes home. Since The MG has had the fastest car so far this season, the other racers asked him to come down and beat the guy. Ever ready for a challenge, MG was equal to the task.

While we were there, the Ass was cordial until he found the need to insult MG after he had been beaten twice. The MG, ever the diplomat, took it well but declared the ASS a definite ASS.

It began to rain about 5:00 p.m. so we headed home having accomplished our mission. Apparently, the Ass didn’t know this and asked for his money back, took his toys and went crying home to his mama. Racers rejoiced!

So, this is why we drove three hours, to race three hours only to drive three more hours. Probably not the best idea we ever had. But we did make a memory and we know that it’s something we’ll never do again! And the Ass will probably not return.

14 June 2007

Incredible Flying Stove

I have one of those embarrassing "Oh please, God, do we have to tell this story" stories. Everyone has one and I went through a large percentage of my adult life without one. Until a few years ago. Someone mentioned the other day that I should post this story on the blog as it's *so funny*

For a wedding anniversary, my brother-in-law bought his wife a stove. A really nice ceramic cooktop stove. I, being the nice person that I am, offered to pick it up for them.

Now, I don't like Sears. I never have liked Sears. They don't have an on-site warehouse and it's always in some far-off weird place. This was no exception.

After work, I went to the warehouse to get said stove. It's in an industrial park in an unpopulated area so I'm not happy about it. It's November, so it's dark. I am regretting offereing to get the stupid stove at this point.

The dude working in the warehouse was literally on top of boxes nearly to the ceiling. (oh, twenty feet up) Because...and this is a quote: "It's warmer up there." AND he seems irritated that I'm there. Apparently I interrupted him watching his "stories" or something.

He goes to get the stove, which is apparently located somewhere back in the bat cave, judging from the amount of time it took him to get it. While I am waiting, I'm reading all the signs posted. Some are for customers, some are not. This comes in handy later.

The dude loads it in my truck, tucking it upright against the cab. He tells me that it can't be laid down, I don't remember why now. I asked him if it needed to be strapped down as I was traveling a distance ON THE FREEWAY. He scoffed at me and said no as if I am an idiot. I just *Love* being treated like a girl. *Love it*

So, off I go. I returned to my office, taking regular streets and even going uphill. Indeed, the stove did not move. I'm golden. Or so I thought.

I leave my office and get on the freeway. Again, it's November in the Northwest so it's dark and damp. (not raining though) As I get up to speed, a semi whooshes by in the fast lane. My truck shakes, un-naturally I might add, and I can suddenly see out my rear window. Just in time to see a box hit the ground and a car swerve.

My mind has blanked what happened shortly thereafter but I'm positive there was a LOT of cursing. I know that I pulled over, jumped out, and somehow dragged the stove to the side of the road without dying. This is a miracle unto its self.

But now, having exhausted my super-human powers, I am unable to return the stove to the back of the truck. I was just getting ready to leave it there when passers-by from the opposite side of the freeway stopped behind me. They said that they saw what happened and did one of those "Did you just see what I just saw?" things. They swung off the freeway, back onto the southbound lanes and stopped. God Bless Them. (a couple, by the way and not from here. That's all I know about them. )

They tucked the stove, now laying down, into the bed of the truck (screw you, mr. Sears Warehouse Man) and sent me on my way.

By now, what has happened is sinking in. The adrenaline is fading and the dread is increasing.

Also, this is the period of time when I didn't have a cell phone. *great* So I pulled off at the next exit and risked catching tuberculosis by using a pay phone to call MG.

I told him what happened: the stove fell out of the truck. He thought that I was kidding. *ouch* No, I explained, it fell out and someone helped put it back in and now I'm coming home. There was a little pause in the conversation and MG asked "How did it fall out?"

Probably a reasonable question. However, this question must have caused a little psychosis on my behalf. My response?
"It was in the truck and THEN it fucking WASN'T!"

Needless to say, the conversation ended shortly thereafter.

Later, I realized that the MG had the more difficult job: breaking the news to his brother that I had lost the stove.

I finally get home and we thrust the stove into the shop and dare not look at it further.

In a show of forgiveness, the borhter-in-law feeds me dinner. After dinner, I called Sears and ask for the manager. Of course, as it's evening now, the manager is not there but I could speak to ...well, we'll call him Steve. (because all Steve's are assholes, just ask me)

Steve dares to mock me about strapping it down. Enter another psychotic break.

I succinctly told him about their warehouseman who mocked me for asking about strapping it down. "Sears does not take responsibility for any item after it has been loaded onto the customer's vehicle. There is a sign posted at the warehouse." was his response.

Hear that cracking sound? That's my head exploding.

"I realize that." she says in a strangely calm voice " I saw the sign and it *actually* said that Sears employees are not responsible for providing rope, straps, or any sort of tie-downs to the customers. That is NOT the SAME as telling me it would be FINE and I could transport it without them."

I guess when I copped an attitude, it gave him an attitude and we were done from that point forward. Go figure.

I waited until the morning and called the *real* manager. SHE was very nice. Although she too tried the "Sears is not responsible" tact and it didn't work for her either. I proceeded to quote every single sign that was posted on the walls. Including the one that stated that Rick was to remember to turn down the heat before he left. I'm assuming that Rick is the idiot on top of all the boxes. Apparently, he's a lizard.

Once I finished my quotation of all the signs and played the "I'm a girl, how am I supposed to know" card, she relented. They sold the Brother in law another stove at 50% cost. I thought that was a pretty screaming deal. Good on Sears.

I offered to pay for it but the b-in-law wouldn't allow me. That's the very definition of forgiveness right there, ladies and gentlemen.

And I DID NOT go pick up the second stove.

And I DID receive tie-down straps one month later for my birthday. Funny, funny man.


So, the crashed stove sat neglected and ignored in b-i-l's shop until Thanksgiving, about two weeks later. On a whim, MG and b-i-l plugged it in and checked it out. Thinking "Wouldn't it be wild if it worked?"

IT WORKED. Granted, it was cosmetically messed up but it worked. The ceramic top was intact, the oven worked. It was a Thanksgiving Miracle.

AND then, the b-i-l GAVE it to me. How's that for forgiveness? Throw a $800 stove off a truck into the middle of the freeway and get it for free.

It's now residing in my niece's house as we got a brand-new stove with our brand-new house. It's been a busy little stove.

Moral of the story: TIE EVERYTHING DOWN.

And use caution if you shop at Sears. (:-D

Vote Dammit

"60.7 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2004 presidential election, the highest percentage in 36 years.
However, more than 78 million did not vote.
This means President Bush won re-election by receiving votes from less than 31% of all eligible voters in the United States."

Don't tell me your vote doesn't count. I'm not listening.

10 June 2007

Weather Report

My weather friend, Scott, has returned from vacation! This was a report he did a few days ago. I don't know how he comes up with this stuff:

Sunshine, Never a Slam Dunk

Aaaaiiiiirrrrr baaaallllll.....
Usually, it's not hard for Mother Nature to hit the Northwest with rain, but today, to keep with the basketball terminology, she bricked the free throw. As expected, rain wrapped around the backside of a low pressure area moving to the east, but the rain overshot the Puget Sound area, instead soaring west to Vancouver Island, then turning south -- sort of like tossing a basketball too far over the hoop, only there's no backboard to stop it. Instead, it's left a rather complex pattern with clouds blowing every which way.
But the gist of the forecast for around here is that it won't be as rainy this evening as first thought. However, there is a Convergence Zone forming, so rain will be developing between Seattle and Everett, but outside that area, just a few isolated showers amid mostly cloudy skies. Lows tonight will drop to the mid-upper 40s. For Thursday, we'll just see some lingering showers in that Convergence Zone area, then all areas drying out and even improving to partly to mostly sunny by afternoon. Highs will warm a touch to the mid 60s. Friday is still on track to be the most pleasant day of the period, with plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s.
But get out and enjoy it, because rain is putting the full-court press on for the weekend. A rather strong front -- especially by June standards -- will push in from the coast Saturday morning. This looks to make for a soggy and windy day. We usually seem to say "Rain, but not a washout" this time of year, but I'm afraid this does look like a washout. Windy too, with gusts to 30-40 mph along the coast and up north, and perhaps 20-35 mph in the Puget Sound area. For those of you going to UW graduation -- bring rain gear. (As wet as it'll be, I'm still glad they do it at Husky Stadium now. It was at Hec Ed when I graduated, and it was a bummer to only be able to have three guests.) Temperatures will stay in the low 60s though the day.

Showers and breezy for Sunday, with highs staying in the low 60s. (Why does this feel like I'm writing a November forecast? About the only difference is that low 60s is cool now, whereas in November, we're sweating and it's pineapple express.)
A broad area of low pressure remains in the area Monday, keeping scattered showers in the forecast, but a better chance of sunbreaks in between. Just a few isolated showers for Tuesday amid partly sunny skies, and then we dry out for Wednesday, although still looks cool and fairly cloudy, with temperatures through the period in the mid 60s. Long range forecasts are flip-flopping for the end of next week and the following weekend. Dry and sunny is leading cool and showery 2-1 so far in model runs this week.
But as we've found out many times before, sunshine is never a slam dunk around here :)

The Name Game, continued

I need to add a few things to my original post:

Jody's are almost always, without fail, psycho bitches from hell. Almost always.
Gary's are usually much like Scotts: ISSUES. Danger, danger! Will Robinson!

If your name is Harmony, Heaven, Peace, or some form as such, your life will be exactly opposite of your name's meaning. This I have seen proven time and time again.

Also, MSNBC recently posted an article about how certain names usually have certain facial characteristics. I am fascinated by this and was disappointed that the the writer didn't go a little further in depth. Everyone has met someone and thought "They don't look like a Melissa, they look like a Kelly." Apparently there is a basis for the thought.


09 June 2007

Time Out

I think that I am the only person on the planet that feels badly for Paris Hilton at this point.

Now, before the flames reach me, Listen: At This Point.

I believe she should have to sit her little ass in jail for DUI, etc because that was the sentence given to her. I believe she should have to sit the whole sentence and not days off for good behavior, etc. Let me make that clear.


When the sheriff let her out, that should have been the end of it. Let the judge fire the sheriff or whatever but don't ping-pong someone back and forth between jail and freedom. That would fuck with a normal person's head, let alone an aristrobrat who has always gotten her way.

Let's put aside the Paris Hilton persona for just a minute. Is it possible? Let's try.

Here is an aristobrat who has had everything handed to her all of her life. Everything. She never has to think about where toilet paper comes from or how to replace a lightbulb. Basic survival skills, not her thing.

Now, let's take her and set her in a closet-sized room. (although her closet is probably bigger than most master bedrooms but whatever) No telephone, no cell, no computer, no Blackberry, no television other than the community television that you know is set on the news channels discussing her very public imprisonment.

Add in that she has said in interviews that she has never been totally alone. I believe her; there are always parents, siblings, friends, media, bodyguards, drivers, and personal assistants. There is always someone. Now there is no one.

So, stark & empty room. No interaction. Nothing recognizable.

Can you imagine how scary that would be? Jail would be scary enough, actually for a normal person. Now imagine it through her eyes.

"Normal" people have been alone, have been hungry, have been scared, and have been with nothing. This is something she has never experienced and she must be terrified.

Do I think she should be released for it? No. I think this is a very Buddhist opportunity for her.

I just can't imagine going from the red carpet and parties of the MTV Movie Awards to jail. I don't think you can get much farther apart on the spectrum, can you?

I don't like Paris Hilton. I think she is a waste of time and "celebrity." I wish she would go away and do something with her life. Nevertheless, I wouldn't wish being bounced back and forth between home and jail on anyone.

Now I pity her. She obviously has issues. I was surprised to read she was in her mid-twenties. She is very immature. Now, you just said "DUH!" didn't you? This is what I meant: The sobbing in jail for three days straight, the reported mouthing of "I love you" and "Mommy, help me," and the screaming of "This isn't FAIR!" are not the actions/words of a twenty-something. They are the words of a child.

With this realization, the rest of her antics make sense now. The tantrums, the girl fights, the name-calling, the dressing up. She never progressed beyond the age of four. Seriously. What the hell happened that she stalled so young in her development?
Is there something wrong, something that is disguised by money, good looks, and good clothes? I read that she never finished high school and never really went to school anyway. So, what level her education? Grade school? Perhaps.

So, now I pity her. She is four and she is on the biggest time-out possible.

What would I have done, you ask?
I don't think jail is appropriate for her. (Now, settle down!) I think house arrest for her is appropriate. HOWEVER, I would have restrictions: no visitors, no take-out or delivery service, 40 hours weekly community service. Summed up: She is confined, she has no visitors, and she has to contribute to society. She has to hear about the world going on around her through her cell phone, Blackberry, and computer and worst of all: she cannot participate. I think for her, specifically, that would be punishment enough.

What happens next? I'm guessing a break-down. And I don't think it will be contrived. I think it will be genuine. That's the saddest thing.

I do pity her now. She is just a toddler in a porn-star body.

And now, I have to go write something meaningful to erase the fact that I just wrote an entire blog entry about Paris Hilton.


I am rarely political with my friends but this boggled my mind so much, I have to get it out:

History will rate Bush well.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says history will remember President Bush's foreign policy favorably despite current troubles in Iraq, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East


I am just curious: What color is the sky in her world?

That's all I had. I'm going to go bang my head against something and hope the bad people go away soon.