Wednesday, July 30, 2008


After the bowl incident on Tuesday, what more could happen? Smores.

So, I like a big bonfire as well as anyone else, I like the campy songs, tinfoil dinners, roasting stuff etc. However, there is one part I do not like-marshmallows. I really like to roast them, but as far as eating them, they are simply too odd.

So, Wednesday night a good friend of mine organizes a marshmallow roasting affair. I showed up, I brought some hangers to act as roast sticks, everything was in good order. As I prepared my first marshmallow J., the party diva herself, entered the scene.

J, as it would happen, had gone all out. She had brought packages and packages of all the necessary items to make her favorite smores in the whole world-fudge stripe cookies, Reese's peanut butter cups, and marshmallows. Bouncing with excitement, she explained in great detail how I needed to assemble my own smore.

Now before I continue, I must say there were a few problems with this situation. For starters, I don't care overmuch for marshmallows. Additionally, I am only a moderate fan of Reese's. The main problem though-I can hardly choke down a fudge stripe cookie without toppling to the floor in disgust. I simply do not like the things.

Of course, with J illuminated by her brilliant idea, I could hardly mention these things. So, I instead start raving on about how good it all sounded (all the while, thinking of the bowl of cooked peaches the night before, wondering if I had suddenly been sent a curse where nice nice people do really well meaning things that you'd rather they didn't do)

I joined everyone, all 6 people in attendance, around the campfire. As I slowly roasted my mallow, I started contemplating how I was to get out of this present predicament. After raving about the little things, I knew I would have to eat one. Just the thought of it all made my palms sweaty and I began to experience a new difficulty-hanging onto my hanger-stick. All of the sudden, I said "I don't really like to eat these roasted marshmallows". The others just sort of glanced at me. Then, for some reason, I continued "I really don't like Reese's much and I hate fudge stripe cookies" I think J was a bit surprised (which is not to be wondered at seeing as I had, 5 min previous, been gushing over them.) J took it in really good order, (she is a best friend and all) though she did tell me how ridiculous I had been to not tell her earlier.

With that off my chest, I prepared to enjoy the fire. However, this was not to be. Immediately waves of guilt sloshed through me, threatening to crash me to the floor. J had been so excited and I had not even tried her special treat!

So what did I do? I proceeded to roast a marshmallow, squeeze it between a Reese's and two fudge stripe cookies, and eat it!

It was actually pretty good, very rich, but really good. Try one yourself sometime.

The Bowl-Tuesday night

After the car wash, I headed straight home. After such a frazzled day, I knew I could not take any more excitement. I prepared myself to relax all night on the couch.

To make things even better, my roommate's friend comes over to make dessert.....

an ominous beginning to another problem.

So M announced that he was going to make stone fruit salad- what could be more refreshing?
After dinner I set myself up watching Law and Order-SUV. It was so intense I completely lost track of my surroundings and was surprised to look up on one commercial break to find M holding out a bowl laden with his magnificent dessert-peaches and apricots cooked in a delicate sauce topped with whipped cream.

Immediately, my head began to swim. There was M, arms outstretched, smiling and excited about his dessert, what could I possibly do?? (the problem, you see, is that I don't like cooked fruit!) I pasted a smile on my face and willed my hands to reach up and accept the bowl. I glanced up to see M and D watching, just waiting to see how much I loved the dessert. Nervously, I took a big spoonful of the whipped cream and shoved it into my mouth. I think my eyes nearly shot out of my head when, to my surprise, I found that it was not whipped cream at all. It turns out, is was ricotta cheese (not a bad thing, just a surprise when one is expecting whipped cream). Feeling a bit faint, I pushed the blob of white surprise aside and gingerly took a bite of a peach.

Now, the peach was quite nice, not a problem at all (except for the being cooked part). I ate a few more but just did not seem to be making any head way. I swear there were at least three peaches and two apricots in my bowl alone.

So there I was, sitting on the couch in the front room. Raving about this dessert to M-who was camped in the kitchen, blocking my way to the sink. (I simply could not find it in my heart to let him know I was not going to be eating it all, after all, I truly did appreciate his making the dessert). Then, I was struck with a brilliant idea. I snuck around the corner and put the bowl in my bedroom! I raced back and hopped on the couch before I was missed at all. I happily continued with my show.

Near the end of the episode, M decides to go completely overboard. Cooking the dessert was not enough for him, he was going to clean up too! he approached me and asked if he could take my bowl. I was struck dumb! I looked around me, in my lap, I lifted up a blanket on my legs, searching for my bowl. M just looked at me really strangely. Then I said, "I guess I took it in already" (which he knew full well I had not because he had been in the kitchen the whole time). However, he could not disagree that the bowl was simply not to be found. With both of us looking very confused (M as to where the bowl had disappeared to and me-wondering why I had pretended to look under blankets as if I would have put a bowl filled with syrupy juice under blanket), M meandered away.

I breathed a deep sigh of relief, I had made it through an entire Tuesday.

The Car Wash-Tuesday evening

After my ordeal with the fish tank and my bank card, I really needed to relax. On my way home from that catastrophe, I headed straight to the car wash.

After enjoying the pull through wash, I zealously decided to go all out, to vacuum the car too! I rounded up all my quarters and found 6. The vacuum needed 3 per time, but I could not tell how long it would go for, so I just decided to work quickly.

My first set of quarters served me well. I zipped around the passenger seat and the back seat, working quick and calm, yet still very thorough. When my time ran out, I had done approx half of the car. I put in my next set of quarters, and soon found things getting a little out of hand.

So, there I was, scrunched precariously in my backseat, whipping the vacuum over the floor mats. (additionally, my pants turned out to be rather low riding and consequently I lost several seconds of precious vac-time pulling them up). Getting the panicky feeling you get when you know time is about to run out, I zipped over to crouch on the front seat. I whisked the floors clean and pulled the lever to push the seat back further. Interestingly enough, my knees were halfway on the seat and so I ended up flying back and ended sprawling face down on the seat. Annoyed, and ever conscious of the ticking clock I struggled to sit up and pulled the lever to move the chair back into position. This time I of course grabbed the wrong lever and the chair bounced forward hitting me in the head. Feeling absurdly angry bounced my head against the seat cushions a few times before scrambling off and pushing it into the correct position. I finished my vacuuming as the time ran out.

I got out of the car and found I was quite a mess. I was dripping sweat, half of my shirt was covered in dirt, my hair looked like I had been electrocuted, I could not find my shoes (i had taken them off to avoid getting dirt in the car) and I was still angry about the seat not cooperating. I turned to hang up the vacuum and found a middle aged guy just staring at me as he wiped his car off.

I then proceeded to find lots of quarters in my purse (wish I had know they were there earlier, then I could have vacuumed in a more leisurely manner) and I slowly vacuumed off the floor mats.

After all of this, I just drove away as all the other car wash patrons just stared.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fish tanks and Identity theft-Tuesday afternoon

I had a rather chaotic period last week. I think it all started with the fish tank water on Tuesday.

So, with J out of town I was assigned the impossibly hard task of adding 5 gallons of water to his fish tank. I left work an hour early to complete the task. I went to the grocery where I intended only to race in and fill the enormous jug with special water but, while wandering around looking for this magic water, I found myself filling my cart with all sorts of odds and ends. Seeing as how it was 4:30 in the afternoon, I had missed lunch, and it was about 100 degrees F, I bought a box of otter pops, some carrots, and, in a slightly rebellious mood, I picked up a pack of cookies, the white ones with the lemon cream in between. (these were getting me so excited, I have never bought these of course, and have not even had them since P's law school graduation when I was in high school!)

I soon found the water and filled my jug. I then found i could not even lift the thing off the stand and into my cart. So, I pulled the cart really close and just sort of scooted it off. As if fell a good two feet, quite a bit of water went zipping out of this hole in the top (and unfortunately landed on me).

I got up to the register to pay and slid in my debit card. I punched in my code and it said, bank denied. I thought to myself "Bank denied!!!!!!!!???????" I know i have money in my account, what is going on? And that is when it hit my- I had been a victim of Identity theft (and only a week after cancelling my free month membership of identity theft protection which I signed up for accidentally at the bank).

Well, this was not a pleasant discovery. My first thought was, I'm going to have to put back the cookies! Giving myself a shake, I pulled it together (I really wanted those cookies). Thinking fast, I whipped out my credit card and was pleased to see that the payment was accepted.

Well, still filled with inner turmoil, I raced to my car. I threw everything into the car, using a burst of emergency adrenaline to lift the water jug. I hopped in the front seat and simultaneously ripped open the cookies while dialing my bank (lucky I had their card). I was frantically thinking of what to say when I started to punch in the debit card number. That is when i saw it-the name on the card-it said, S. K. (not my name)!!! I had my roommates debit card (must have picked it up accidentally at the Italian Ice store the previous day). Further, I found my own card in my purse! It turns out that I was not a victim of identity theft after all, what joy!

Well, to finish this little portion of the story, I found to my dismay that my poor roomie had discovered her card missing and cancelled it that afternoon. However, her new card has since arrived and all is well.

So, back to me, melting in a 100 degree car, eating cookies. I drove to J's and began the ascent to his apt with the water. 30min later, I reached the top (average time, 2 min per stair) sweating and panting. I hustled myself indoors and collapsed on the floor. Thinking my troubles over, I happily scooted the jug to the tank. I am not sure you can imagine my chagrin at realizing I now had to get the water into the tank (some 5 ft off the floor). I collapsed on the floor again.

After another half hour of struggle I managed to dump the water into a secret lower tank using some brilliant contraption of chairs and shoes and with that, I happily headed back to my car and off on my next adventure.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Hall

There is something odd going on at my work place. I will tell you about it.

We all get along very well when we are in the lab. We laugh and joke (well, someone makes a comment once an hour and we chuckle for a min) about all the bad science in movies etc. But when we are not in the lab, as in, we are in the hallway, things get weird.

So, when I go to walk down to the elevators/stairs I can see all the way down the hall. It is a long, long, hallway, devoid of furnishings or feelings. It is rather nice in a twilight zone sort of way. Sometimes you see people in the hall and here is where the problems begin.

First of all, you can see them from way off in the distance, long before you could speak to them. The question is, do you acknowledge them, should you wave and smile, or should you just look around at the ground, ceiling, or anywhere but them? And if you do acknowledge them, then what is left to do when you come even with them in the hall? Say hi again?? It is so hopelessly weird that I have come up with a solution. I sort of tilt my head sideways, paste a dreamy look on my face, direct my eyes to look upward, and float down the hall as if lost in daze. (This works quite nicely unless I am wearing super high heels and the floors have been waxed recently-in which case I fall to the floor) Overall, with this I can avoid the distance problem.

Now when I come even with the person in the hall, me going one way, them the other, what to do again becomes the question. (one clarification on the term person-it is someone who either woks in my lab, another lab on the floor, or a professor, basically, these are people you see on a daily basis and certainly know) Initially, I would say "HI!" then, I noticed that that often made people uncomfortable. They would sort of mumble something, look at the wall, and scoot past me like I was insane. (some people on my floor are not super social) So then I tried saying nothing. This means that we walk past each other slowly, looking at the other person, not knowing what to do, and feeling even stranger! It seems like a no win situation!!!

In the end, I have decided that it is more normal to say hi, even if they don't respond, then to simply walk past and attempt to pretend the other person is not there. Even better, I have come up with a plan to avoid the situation entirely. Before exiting the lab, I will peak up and down the hall. When the way is clear, I will rush our and race to the end. Then I will flatten myself against the wall (which juts our 8 inches by the elevator) and wait for the elevator to come to avoid being detected-and thereby making someone else in the hall feel awkward. (Since the elevator comes once a century I may be there for a while).

We will see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Two more reasons why Billy cannot get a job

I cannot believe I forgot two of the important reasons why Billy getting a job would be simply unthinkable! (fortunately for me, Billy remembered and told me)

problem 9: Billy has to have her wisdom teeth removed and so will be laid up in bed for at least a week. if my own experience is anything to go by, Billy won't be fit to do anything but lie in bed having hallucinations, work is out of the question.

and now, for the grand finale,

problem 10: The RODEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Billy cannot miss the rodeo two years in a row! (last year, being in italy was a relatively good excuse, but, there can be no excuses this year.) (the rodeo is very important, I remember when a relative of mine, a certain E, was fired from her job rather than risk not showing up to this special event.)

J's mission to get Billy a job

So, I have a two family members, one we'll call Billy and one we'll call J. Now J really wants Billy to get a job this summer. Specifically, J wants Billy to work at the Nordstom Sale. J has taken it upon himself to see that it happens. He has called her himself, and enlisted the support of all other family members. I myself received a call with strict instructions to get Billy to pick up her application immediately and also with a warning to keep all communication between us secret. (I think it might be too much to hope that Billy would not connect everything)

My question is, what is J's interest in the matter? Does he want something from Nordstroms for 30% off the sale price (tempting now that I think of it) But I just cannot seem to believe that is it. He is going to too much work for that. It is something more, I just cannot put my finger on it, I'll have to keep thinking.

Let's go back to poor old Billy. Billy now has been off for several months and has just calmed the yearning in her heart to come home. Now, only a week into her sabbatical from life, she is being pestered from all sides to get a job.

As far as I can tell, there are several problems with this plan.

problem 1: Billy has three options for transportation: 1-roller blades 2-bicycle 3-hiring a chauffeur (4-depending on K for rides to and from work. As K has taken to spontaneously jaunting about the country and driving Johnny to Dance, this is just not a realistic option)

For those of you who know Billy, you are thinking, maybe ax the roller blades. The chauffeur is also going to be ridiculously expensive (I looked it up on google). This leaves the bike. Fortunately the distance is short, otherwise, she might die of heat stroke before she made it to her place of employment. (However she might just die of embarrassment when all the neighbors-who drive to work-pass her pumping the pedals and wonder what she is up to). I have never seen bike racks at the mall so where she will store the bike is left to be seen.

problem 2: Billy has never had a job before:

I suppose I had better explain, this is not quite what it seems. Billy has worked before, she has worked hard in school, she has worked to build houses on the SIMS game, hey she has even worked out. It is simply that she has never gone to work-a place with a break room and other employees and taxes etc. (though one summer Johnny, Bill, and I created a break room right in our house where we ate lunch and watched general hospital 5 days a week)

Billy has been both self employed (piano teacher) or parentally employed (house keeper, driver, cleaner, chef, gardener) most of her life. With these two special types of employment, she has enjoyed a great deal of freedom. I am sure she will find a more typical employment confining and stifling.

problem 3: J is insisting that Billy come out to visit him this July, but how can Billy do this and work at the same time? -this ones a real conundrum.

problem 4: What will happen to Thursday dinner?
Now, we all congregate at the house for Thursday dinner, which is prepared by Billy. If Billy works, what will we eat? We will have to revert to the old days which will end with us as cannibals in the county jail, and also in the National Enquirer (on the bright side, I may be allowed to purchase that edition-seeing as how F seems to disapprove of the paper, I am forced to only read the tidbits I get in at the grocery check stand.)

problem 6: Who will Johnny play the SIMS with?
Without Billy, Johnny will have to play the SIMS by herself. on a more serious note, without Billy, there will be no one to play the WII with Luke and Seth!

problem 7: The plants:
With K constantly jetting off, watering the plants has fallen on Billy (more of a task than you think) Unless K plans to hire her South African Tree expert to design a desert friendly yard, let nature take its course (25% of everything will be dead-though at the rate things have been going, this might be an improvement) , or unless F can teach the lawn a lesson in water conservation those plants have to be watered.

problem 8: Billy already has a job.
Billy has a job, it is to be available to do things for everyone else. I call her and she teaches piano for me. Boo calls and she babysits. K calls and she drives Johnny to dance. F calls and she tests pool water. J calls and she talks on the phone to him. If Billy gets a job, we will have to do our jobs ourselves! The whole house will fall apart. It will be back to dinner from Johnny's easy bake oven (small portions let me tell you) and complete, supreme, chaos!!!!!!!!!!

I should mention here that Billy is actually the house keeper (a major task to keep this household running smoothly. (which I know as I did it myself for several years)) So she is legitimately employed.

overall: I am not sure if Billy should get a job or not (I am still enticed by the 30% discount)
beyond that, I am not sure if Billy will get a job or not. I will keep you posted on the matter.