Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Songbirds and Axe Murderers

I suppose this should have been posted closer to Halloween but, really, Halloween is a year 'round thing for me so I'll let it slide.  And so will you.  Capice?

On that note...

To get to work on time I have to leave the house at about 6:15 to catch a train to Boston.  If I need a little extra prep time in the morning I have to leave by 5:15 to catch the earlier train.  Because of this, it is almost always dark when I get into my car.  There a couple of weeks after we "fall back" where this isn't the case but it doesn't last long.  My point, and I do have one, is that it is dark AND deserted at that hour of the morning.  So, being a person with a relatively active (and often NOT helpful) imagination, I regularly convince myself that there is a murderous stowaway hiding in my back seat as I drive to the train station in the pre-dawn darkness.

Obviously, this is not a welcome thought and it gives me the creeps every time.  I can almost smell the stale sweat and dried blood caked to his clothes.  Perhaps that noise isn't my trailer hitch back there shifting around but is instead the clank of an axe head jostled by a pot hole.

These thoughts don't generally come when I'm getting into the car and can actually perform a visual check.  Nooooo, I wait until I'm ripping down Maple Street to start conjuring up my possible bloody companion.  Obviously, this means I regularly start my day bravely riding the wave of a panic attack.  This may not be for the reasons you think, however.  You see, I'm not worried that the cannibalistic psychopath hitching a ride with me is going to rise up and bludgeon me into a pulp before turning me into a skin bathrobe for his mommy.  My theory is that the killing part would have happened back in my driveway.  Unless this guy is suicidal along with homicidal, he would be foolish to slit my throat from the backseat as I drive.

Nope, what scares me is that this freakshow might have heard me tunelessly bellowing along to the radio.  (shudder)  I would die if that happened.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nailed It!

This may come as a shock but I am not the girliest girl around.  That title, I think, might belong to my sister.  Anyway, because of this I really don't have any burning desire to paint my nails.  Well, I suppose if I'm building some shelves or something those nails would need to be painted get my drift.

I probably should like it.  I love art and doodling and I triple-word-score* love matching colors so you'd think I'd dig an opportunity to combine all those likes into a socially acceptable act of self-decoration.

I always thought it was my non-girliness that made this nail painting into a thing that didn't interest me. I've been giving it some thought lately, though, and I think I've pinned down my issues regarding nail painting:

  1. Some people think that if your toenails have been painted that open-toed shoes are not only acceptable but damned near mandatory.  No.  No.  No.  A thousand times no.  Sometimes applying toenail polish is like putting lipstick on a pig.  Now, I am not saying that people with gnarly feel should not be allowed to wear sandals.  Sandals are comfy and it's good to let the feet run free on occasion.  I'm just saying that if your feet have been well used perhaps putting the visual equivalent of a marching band on them is not the best idea.
  2. The second reason that it's not my favorite practice is that it's distracting.  The designs (if there's a design) are so tiny that you have to get a good look to see what they are.  Have you ever seen a cat watching a laser pointer?  That's what I feel like as I track the gesticulating fingertips trying to get a lock on whether that's the Dominican flag or dolphin with a raspberry beret.  It's exhausting.
  3. The third, and most significant, objection I have to the painting o'the nails is this:  there is NO way to tell how dirty those nails are.  Just let that percolate for a moment.  You can't tell me that every person who takes the time to paint their claws is guaranteed to be meticulous about their personal hygiene.  Not in a world of hat = hair wash and cologne = shower.  Think about this next time some food service person who has got John 3:16 printed out in its entirety on each finger gives you your yummies.  How much funk is living under that message of love?

* This is my personal saying for "really, really".  Feel free to use it and if it becomes a meme, we'll know that it all started here.

See?  This would be cool

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The sky is blue LOL! SWIDT?

As a savvy netizen, I think I'm relatively current on trends in netspeak.  Also, as a savvy person, I understand the concepts of literal and figurative.  So, I understand that people who write LOL did not necessarily literally laugh out loud.  I get that.  I do, however, feel that using LOL does at a very minimum imply that what has just been written or read, is to some degree, funny.  That's not crazy, right?

So why are there so many people who use it at the end of virtually everything they type?  Do they think it's some kind of fancy internet-only punctuation?  Do they think that LOL stands for something closer to QED?  Or, most horrifying, are they really under the impression that everything is that funny?

For example,

Person 1:  Does anyone know what time the play is tonight?
Person 2:  I think it's at seven lol
Person 1:  Thanks!  lol

Are these two people huffing paint while Facebooking or what?

There's a person who works near me that does this in real life.  I used to think she and her colleagues were having so much fun I was kind of jealous but then I realized that she just laughs at the end of every single sentence.

This is what I imagine when I see a lol infested conversation:

Also, in case you're wondering why I'm able to blog two times in two days: we are in the midst of finals so it's either this or actually grade something (shudder).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's Been a Pleasure Working Here

Long time no blog!  It's been an eventful few months here in Maialand.  I'll be sure to blog about how I turned 40 and immediately broke my hip but the time for that is not right now.  Instead I'd like to tell you about how I embarrassed myself not once but twice on this, our very last day of classes.

All day.

I had a class that was presenting projects.  This is a computer programming class so many of them had created little games to be demonstrated.  One student had created a game similar to the Family Feud Facebook app and she had chosen another student to be the player.  One of the questions was to name musical instruments that are played at a wedding.  The student playing guessed "harp" and "piano" and "guitar" with varying degrees of success. She then guessed "organs" .  Not "organ" but "organs".  I know it's a subtle different but my immediate thought was "No, that's what gets played _after_ the wedding."  I started giggling and couldn't stop before I had devolved into a teary red faced mess.  So very professional, I am.

Next, I was safely ensconced in my office.  Since the only thing I have left to do is give and grade finals, I was pretty much just following links posted on Facebook.  A colleague had posted a link from a site called which, you can imagine, has a whole bunch of terrible/hilarious gems.  I was clicking through them when I heard a knock on my door.  It was an alum visiting campus saying hello and sharing what's new in his life since graduation.  After a nice little chat he wandered off to see if he could find other familiar faces.  Pleased with our conversation, I turned around to resume my surfing and found that this had been on the screen behind me the whole time.

Normally, on days like this I would head home now and try to minimize the damage I could cause by continuing to be in public.  Today, however, I am going out to dinner with colleagues past and present to celebrate the retirement of one of our number.  Opportunities to continue making the wrong impression abound!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Those Aren't Pillows

OK, there's something I just have to say.

Dear Men of the World,

You know when you stick your hand into your pants pocket and pretend to be jostling your change but you're really scratching and/or fluffing your junk?  You are fooling no one.  No one.  Not even once.

Thank you for your attention,


Monday, March 5, 2012

My Own Worst Enemy

I have been very fortunate in that I was born with a talent for testing well.  Some people might translate that as being smart but...well, let me tell you a story.

I have one of this really big pill containers that has each day of the week labelled on it.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  While I do have one pill (a low dose of blood pressure medication) that I take every day, I have the enormous pill holder because I also try to remember to take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, glucosamine, and various other (hopefully) healthy supplements and those suckers tend to be pretty big.  Other than that one pill, I only ever take Tylenol and when I fly I take Ativan.

This week just happens to have been the week before spring break.  In case you've completely forgotten what the week before spring break is like, the students are almost completely useless.  This is unfortunate since it's also the midpoint of the semester and therefore this week tends to have lots of tests in it.  Anyway, students aren't the only ones who love their spring breaks.  We profs might not jet off to Daytona Beach for drunken revels but we do nevertheless value the week as a chance to travel or at least catch up on grading papers.  I mentioned to my officemate a few times this week how I was really looking forward to spring break because getting up at 5:30 (4:30 on Monday and Wednesday) was pretty tough this week.  Way more snooze button action than usual.  I didn't even go to the gym at all this week.  Clearly, I was in need of a little me time to reboot my system!

So Thursday night I ate dinner and went to bed nice and early in hopes of reading a little and getting a little extra sleep to fix this pre-break slump.  Huppy noticed as she was brushing her teeth that I had not taken any of the pill container contents on Thursday and possibly only the morning half for Wednesday.  Here's what happened:

Huppy (from bathroom):  Did you not take your blood pressure pill today?  Or yesterday?
Me (in bed reading with my eyes closed):  Yes?  I'm not sure.
Huppy:  I don't think you did.  Don't you think you should take today's pill?
Me:  (really comfortable in bed):  Well...probably.  Eh, I'll take it in the morning when I get up.
Huppy:  Uh huh.  How about if I bring it to you now?
Me:  Sure, thanks!
Huppy (walking from with pill and a glass of water):  Isn't your blood pressure pill pink?
Me:  Maybe?  It's the only tablet in the pill thingy, the rest are giant horse pill sized supplements.
Huppy (arriving with pill and water and about to hand them over):  I really think it's supposed to be pink.  This is white.
Me:  Huh.  Maybe they changed?
Huppy (not handing them over yet):  Are you SURE this is the right pill?
Me: Lemme see...ohhhh, wow.  Is that...?  Holy crow, have I been taking Ativan instead?!?
Huppy (heading back to the bathroom with pill in hand):  Good grief, Maia!  This IS Ativan.  Where the hell are the pink pills?
Me (laughing so hard I'm crying):  This explains SO MUCH about this week!
Huppy (very much not laughing):  This isn't funny!  If you are doing this kind of thing at age 40 what the hell are you going to do to yourself at 80?
Me (tring not to laugh):  You're right it's not funny...I should probably be a little worried about this situation but, you see, I'm on Ativan.

I found my blood pressure meds in the kitchen in a basket under the pile of supplement bottles.  My BP was still fine despite the fact that I hadn't taken them in almost a week.  I've since gotten back on track there.

Huppy took away the Ativan bottle with the two untaken pills inside.  Since I took most of the ones I had I now have to remember to get a refill before I go to Oregon in May.  I promise to hand that bottle over to Huppy as well.

So, yeah, clearly I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Assault With Intent to Watch a Movie

I posted a status on Facebook the other day that went as follows:

I think that _if_ I ever end up in a physical altercation with another person (by no means a guarantee because that's not how I roll) but will take place in a movie theatre. This is my prediction.

Now, I think I am generally a person who is fairly easy-going.  Sure, there are things that I find annoying.  
Here are a few:

I get irked when I order pasta in a restaurant and it's over-cooked.  I mean really - a box of pasta costs 89 cents - the profit margin on a plate of it is huge.  Bearing that in mind, I think it's not unreasonable of me to expect it to be cooked properly.  

We have a self-checkout aisle at the grocery store.  We also have hand scanners that allow a shopper to be able to scan and bag their items as they shop.  Then, at the self-checkout aisle, one simply scans a bar code and a customer card and the entire order scrolls across the screen.  It's very convenient as there is no time at the register needed to scan items or bag them.  What drives me batty is when someone uses that lane to process an enormous order that has not been scanned and bagged.  Do they not understand that by doing that they're spending twice as long checking out?  In the "manned" lanes a person is bagging while the food is being rung up but these fools are scanning, then paying, then bagging.  All while I'm standing behind them with the ability to process $200 worth of groceries in 45 seconds.

Buying women's clothes.  Honestly, I think that's a whooooole other blog post.  

OK, so some things get under my skin but I usually just roll my eyes or fume a bit and that's it.  No confrontation, no taking it out on some poor schmo in customer service, and no snide comments.  Life is too short to get really worked up about this stuff.


You know when people talk during a movie?  Yeah, that goes up my ass sideways.  I mean, really.  All of my non-confrontational habits go right out the window.  I exhibit both passive-agressive and active-aggressive traits.  I sigh, I stare, I glare, I say things like "Really?!?!", "For frick's sake!", and "This is NOT your living room!".  Sometimes these people are drunk, sometimes stupid, and sometimes a horrible combination of both.  If you're too dumb to watch a movie without needing to make comments to prove that you understand what's happening, stay at home.  The only reason I have not yet gotten into a full-on tussle is that often Huppy is at the movies with me and confrontation is her Kryptonite.  Each time I make any of my little protests she sucks in her breath, bugs her eyes out at me, and dies a little bit inside.  The problem is that this happens almost every time I see a movie.  Do people suck more lately or am I becoming the curmudgeon that I've always wanted to be? 

So yeah, this is clearly a hot button issue for me.  Be forewarned rude movie-goers:  when I finally lose it I'll lose it big time, I have a second degree blackbelt, and I outweigh 90% of my potential opponents.  Let's just all play it safe and shut.  the.  hell.  up.