Standards

Aug. 26th, 2015 03:45 pm
terribleturnip: (percy)
One of my colleagues has a beautifully printed sign in her cube that reads:

Today, Practice Excellence.

I have a post-it note slapped across my calendar that says:

Today, (although then I scratched it out and wrote "This Week" because by Tuesday morning I could tell how the week was going to go down.)

Finish RFP analysis
Send out Customer notification
Don't swear out loud
Tell Supplier the product can't ship yet, they have to store it.
Don't kill anyone
Draft laundry bag contract
Take a walk instead of buying Cheez-Its.
Order samples for Customer to-go program
Draft plastic and paper cost forecasts
Buy case of wine; don't forget coupon.

She's fairly new. I like to think that after eight years, she'll be worn down, too.
terribleturnip: (percy)
I do a lot of self-study. Not navel gazing, really, and certainly not any kind of soul-searching or angsty XXXX. But I like to throw a little thought against why I think certain things, react certain ways, follow my thought processes through to see why I’m behaving a certain way. So, when I judge someone’s character because they’re driving a pick-up truck with a gun rack in the back, who cuts me off in traffic, I can self-check – hey, that’s jumping a bit to conclusions, unfair, and sort of classist of you, maybe he didn’t even see you, it’s not like you haven’t done that by mistake. On the other hand, when I judge someone’s character because they’re driving a pick-up truck, have a gun rack in the back, cut me off in traffic and have a confederate flag decal in their window, then my self-check says “yep, you can totally judge him, carry on.” Of course, in addition to sometimes course-correcting my thinking about things, learning a bit about how I mentally got to certain places, there are certain realizations that I don’t particularly feel a need to change…AND are not terribly useful or inspiring in terms of personal growth and self-knowledge. They’re pilling up. So, I thought I’d get some of them out of my head.

Things I know about myself:

I would never go on a tour bus that had Kewl Tours written on the side, no matter where it was going, because I just couldn’t support the word “Kewl”.

I will never be called a fashionista. I consider shopping for clothes and shoes a painful chore. I don’t understand why, when I find something I like, the company can’t keep making that same thing for the rest of my life so that I never again have to think about sneakers or jeans. It’s just as well, though, since every time I hear the word fashionista, I’m nearly overcome with the urge to punch someone in the face.

My ability to forget things is amazing. It took me from November to mid-January to bring in a blanket to throw over my legs at work -- the cold air rolls off the window and down to my legs…so cold air on my legs, warm air blowing on my head, I constantly felt like I was being gripped by some sudden onset influenza. I felt like that day after day after day for 2 and a half months before I FINALLY remembered to bring a throw in. So, I suppose I should feel better about the library books that I’ve now forgotten to put in my car for three days running, right? (Please don’t try and be helpful by suggesting tips here. I am impervious to reminders/notes and other techno hints. For a while, I thought I’d latched onto having Google calendar send me reminders. But I am amazingly good at ignoring them, not logging on, swiping them away and instantly forgetting. I’d invite you into my memory palace, but the roof keeps caving in.

I will never answer a message from someone on a dating site if they do not capitalize the letter “I” when it’s being used as a personal pronoun. Seriously. You are either incredibly sloppy, terribly lazy, or a teenager. And I’m not dating any combination of that.

I get frustrated with myself because there are piles of crap everywhere – bedroom, kitchen, office, at work. I resolved to get my act together this year – and I’ve been ruthless at offloading stuff to the trash, thrift stores, etc. Organizing and putting all the things in their places. It now takes me twice as long to get dressed because I don’t know where anything is. It’s all in drawers and hanging up, so now I have to find the right drawer. In taking all of Christmas and all-season ribbons and giftwrap downstairs, I somehow managed to lose my entire bin of non-Christmas gift wrap. Seriously. A long bin, holding maybe a dozen rolls of wrapping paper, has disappeared somewhere between the office, where it was, and the basement, where it was going. I’ve looked everywhere. Gone. I mean, not gone. Clearly, at some point in looking through the entire house, I’ve looked right at it. And instead of thinking “oh, there’s a long, clear, shallow, rectangular bin holding the wrapping paper, THERE it is” I’ve looked right at it and thought “gee, another bin of sweaters”. Because I will become delusional just to prove to myself that being organized is a stupid waste of time. I’m only hoping that once I’ve gone through the whole house, there will be some kind of ouroborosing of the space time continuum and all of the “hidden” things will be flushed out.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So I’m trying not be offended that there’s a car parked on my street that has “historic car” license plates and it’s younger than I am.

Also, I passed a car that had a bumper sticker that said “Jesus. You might as well praise him.” Is that code or shorthand for something? Because I’m hearing that with an shoulder shrug and an add-on of “because it sure beats poking your eye out with a stick”. Atheist, Agnostic, Apathetic?

In case you thought I’ve lost my edge, you’ll be pleased to know that last week, one of the freezing rain, or wet snow, or puddles of something in between rain and snow, or tears of heaven or WHATEVER, my boots were wet, I managed to slip on the lobby floor at work, falling on my face and sliding so that my head slammed up against the elevator door. And then, naturally, the elevator opened. And of course there were people inside, more than a bit disconcerted at me sort of sliding into their space. I just wish I could have seen their faces at that moment, because I know that at least one of them was thinking “oooh, I’m in a bit of a hurry, do you think I’d look like an expletive if I just hop over her?” I know that’s what I would have thought.

Okay, it’s sloppy thinking to think that all conservatives were upset/outraged by the multilingual America the Beautiful commercial that Coke ran, and to think that all liberals thought it was great. And would have been happier with the phrase “jingoist douchebags” as I think that narrows the focus on who we’re really making fun of here. But still, some of these are really freaking funny. And wish I had the time to troll (in the old fashioned sense of the word) Facebook and boards, typing the comment “If you do not know the words to the national anthem to begin with, then you have no right to get your panties in a wad that it’s being sung in another language. And before you start singing “purple mountains’ majesty” let me remind you that that’s NOT our national anthem. So, you should probably chill.”

http://liberalplanet.com/2014/02/03/the-10-best-left-wing-memes-in-response-to-the-right-wing-coke-ad-outrage

I am certainly not an “oh, I love kids” person, everything they do is adorable! Babies I can totally take and leave, unless they’re eating lemons. But one thing that always make my ovaries reconsider is elementary school science fairs. Oh! The earnestness and eager little brains sinking their teeth into proving something for the first time! And the way this is written up, just slays me. Colliding with cows and inadvertently driving backwards.

http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/the-effect-of-texting-on-mario-kart-performance-new-study/

So, I read this book about a family that had to move from Manhattan to a tiny town in North Carolina because the wife lost her job, having done something really dumb as a reaction to grief about her father’s recent death. And she and her husband can’t talk about it. The husband’s all hurt, his own grief about his brother’s death and family issues, and having to live in reduced circumstances. And they’re dealing with being Jewish in a seriously Christian community, headed up by a neighbor, who’s got problems of his own and she’s working at the local Temple where the Rabbi is a bit crazy and the Temple Board is trying to deal with it and while beautifully written, the angst and anguish and handwringing filled the room every time I opened the book. It made me want to give the book a hard shake and tell all of the characters “for crying out loud, pull yourselves together and TALK to each other. You’re all hurting, stop assuming, stop withdrawing, just TALK about it.”

So it made me feel better when I read this article:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-divorce-newlyweds-discussed-relationship-movies.html

I’m actually pretty excited that having couple watch a movie once a week and then discuss it afterwards…actually worked as well as therapy and skills building. That could be a much more acceptable plan when one or both partners resists therapy, or, quite frankly, that may be out budget/time reach. Plus, validates my own theory that learning to be able and willing to communicate gets you halfway there, and being able to watch third parties get it wrong (or right) and then talk about that, ratchets up the ability to think about how YOUR behavior might feel/sound to your partner, which is a good part of the way to some crucial skills.

And this is for Fountaingirl, because yes, I’m also getting really tired of all of the mindless clickbait (although not as tired as I am of notifications of my friends making friends, my friends congratulating each other on their birthdays, and getting to another level in some game I don’t play):
http://downworthy.snipe.net/
terribleturnip: (percy)
Can someone explain to me how Jesus could possibly give a rat’s patoot about a football game? I’ve studied the Bible, my friend, and I’m pretty sure that if Jesus was going to take an active role in our lives, he’d probably save all those starving children before he lifted a finger to get your ball over the goalpost. Plus, also, he’d probably nuke Wall Street. Or at least flip it upside down. Look, in order for Jesus to help your team WIN, he’s choosing to make the other side LOSE. To paraphrase George Carlin “We totally would have won if Jesus hadn’t made me fumble.” Why the hell would he do THAT? Satan, now Satan would do that in a heartbeat. Seriously, if there’s going to be a deity/supernatural being that’s going to get involved in sports game determination, ignoring all the suffering and tragedy in the world, and would then award the game to the team that prayed/worshipped hardest, I’m pretty much certain we’re talking horns and pitchfork here. Seriously.

Yesterday, I pulled up a website and it showed me an ad for a dating website. For people over the age of 50. For SENIORS. A senior dating website. That’s me, apparently. A senior. Noooooooooooo. Pfphsftssst! I immediately logged onto OKCupid, updated my profile and finally sent a reply to that 24 year old that’s been stalking me. You know, because that's how mature I am.

Aha! See, I’ve always thought that a doorway should be called a mind eraser. I’d love to see some research on stairs, because a flight of stairs will do the same thing, sans actual doorways: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/22/why_walking_through_a_doorway_makes_you_forget_partner/

And finally, I see a use for Twitter:
http://www.springwise.com/australia-sharks-tweet-approach-beach/

Dear cats, the point of having those throws and blankets over every single piece of furniture in the house is so that I don't have to spend hours combing fur off of all of the upholstery before company arrives. Instead, voila, run around like a lunatic, snatching them all off, and bundling them into a closet so that for those brief shining hours while company's over, I can appear to have normal person furniture. When you burrow underneath said blankets and throws and sleep there? Yah, ruining the point. Don't think I don't know you're doing it. I mean, sitting down on top of a lump that turned out to be Pushkin was one hint. But also, that circle of cat hair that remains on the furniture after I take the cover off....

And finally, I totally drink across party lines. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/31/what-your-favorite-drink-says-about-your-politics-in-one-chart/
terribleturnip: (percy)
Here, I’ll confess something. There is something wrong with my brain. Or brains. I use the plural, because there appears to be several different people in charge throughout the day. As if my brain read the book Sibyl and decided to adopt a more functional version of multiple personality disorder. Although let's do a total mash-up of psychological theory, drag Freud in, completely obsolete, except that it uncannily fits here. Except of course, my Id, Ego and Superego are perfectly amicable and have simply split the day up between them.

Please note, this is not, in any way shape or form, serious thinking about psychology, cognitive thinking, or any other kind of science. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Dear writers of Being Human, Let’s get this straight. You kill off all the characters I enjoyed and left me with the one that has annoyed the carp out of me since episode 1? Admittedly, it was easier to let go of Mitchell once he fell in love with said chattycathy dippy/dopey character. And then in the beginning of the next season, you introduce three new ones and I have to say goodbye to two of them right away? Seriously. Settle down. I’m trying to decorate a Christmas tree and you’re making me cry non-stop. My only consolation is that I know at the end of this season chattycathydippydopey also dies. And Hal…okay, now that I get to know him better, as the risk of ripping off a whole different vampire/werewolf series, I’d like to do real bad things with him.

Dear headphones, why the hell isn’t your cord two inches longer? That’s all it would take in order to enable me to turn around and access the things behind me. Instead, nearly daily, I’m forced to confront my inability to learn simple things and instead yank you out of the socket, or have the headphones yanked off my head.

Dear cold viruses, are you seriously lined up, holding deli counter numbers? This is number three in a row. I haven’t even had the chance to get over one, when the next one is moving in already. And you expletives are carrying a lot of luggage. Although, on the other hand, since I haven’t felt well and normal since before Halloween, I suppose it’s kinder that way. I may well have forgotten what “well” feels like.

Dear family that ran up an $80 tab in the restaurant and left an $8 tip. I know, math is HARD. That’s ten percent. Now, take half of that, which would be $4, and add that to your ten percent. That equals 15%. Although since you had small children that made a mess of the sugar packet container, shredded napkins and dropped food all of the floor…you should have doubled or tripled that ten percent. If I were empress of the free world, the punishment for undertipping would be to work a certain number of hours as a server. That’d learn ya.

While I was there…

Dear guy at the other table, did you know that you’ve been talking nonstop since I sat down, ordered and ate my meal? Unless the other people invited you specifically to tell them all about everything you’ve ever had a thought about, you should probably let them get a word in edgewise. Here’s your hint, if someone at the table is pointedly not making eye contact with you every time you start talking, and he/she is not socially impaired or blind, then that is your hint, nay, your bodylanguage billboard, flashing in neon, that you are boring them. Look, I’m a fellow yammerer, I know, it’s hard. But seriously, give it a rest, take a break, and ask THEM something. And then resist the urge to follow that up with YOUR opinion of whatever it was they were talking about. Conversation, it’s give and take.

Dear Folks at Cards Against Humanity, well done. The envelopes alone were worth the $12. Although also having various cards that were part of the 12 days of Christmas, most of which are too filthy to make it onto here, past my own self-imposed filter, except maybe for “Slicing a ham in icy silence”, was a special bonus. And the trial game, also too filthy to describe here to any degree, Clusterexpletive, looks fun. Although when your circle of friends includes several ex’s, and the significant others of those ex’s…and the game is essentially a series of hookups, and winning points on whether you complete successful twosomes and threesomes, well, let’s just say, it might take some doing to get the right group to play THAT game.

Speaking of ex’s…

Dear self, do you even HAVE a filter anymore? When talking to your ex about the upcoming party you’ll both be attending, where the theme is Winter is Coming and you’re all going as Game of Thrones characters, you specifically as Cersei Lannister…and you get to talking about what might have prompted your mutual mundane friend to suddenly go all cosplay on you…and you’re both discussing the level of seriousness, like are we expected to BEHAVE in character? (Because we are essentially talking about a party that is comprised mostly of our old D&D group….don’t be judging!) And I say, well, I’m not sure who’s playing Jaime Lannister, but if he’s cute and available, taking it seriously might be just fine with me. And he says yeah, well, except depending on where in the story we’re landing, he could be one-handed and morose. Although you hitting on him might be enough to get rid of the moroseness. And I say “Well, as long as he’s got ONE hand.”

Hmm, maybe playing that game with the ex’s and their SO’s won’t be that much of a stretch….it’s not like they don’t KNOW me.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, reading with interest the new plan Amazon’s got to eventually deliver packages with drones. Please oh, please, let this plan not ever come to fruition while I still walk the earth. I’d have to wear a helmet every time I left the house. Avoidance subroutines, schmubroutines, have you MET me? Or read this blog? I do a daily dance of death with my cats in the kitchen, hallways and living room as both of our avoidance subroutines clash and conflict. My brain and spotty synapses can circumvent any logical and effective avoidance programming on this earth. Let me show you the scars on my ankles from the Roomba. I’d come out of the house and there’d be the drone headed for my door, all peaceably like. And we’d be fine. Except then while I was looking at the drone, I’d accidentally step into MommaCat’s water bowl, lose my balance and lurch to the side, which the drone would niftily dodge. Except nothing in its programming could possibly anticipate that I’d over-compensate for falling, and come lurching back in the other direction, which the drone would just barely adjust for…but then be doomed when I bounced off the railing (do everything with maximum force is my motto) and came back again and then, well, it’s hair full of rotors, isn’t it?

I’m just bummed that it’s in the news now. Because if this were right before Halloween, I’d have drones caught in the giant spiderweb, being eaten by carnivorous plants, being grabbed by the giant Chicken man, a heap of them smouldering, courtesy of dry ice, in the birdbath, carefully watched by bird skeletons, impaled on tombstones, caught in ghost tendrils….and I, of course, would be dressed as a this decade’s Tippi Hedren. (Look it up children, Tippi Birds Hitchcock)

I am no more competent when it comes to passwords. For starters, my fingertips have some property that not only makes them pretty non-reactive to touch screens – seriously, my future will include surgery to insert conductive chips in my fingertips so that I can continue to function in a touchscreen world – but also eats away at the letters on a keyboard. M, N, V, and B are particularly vulnerable. And you can probably tell right away, that any temporary password I’m going to get includes….MNVB in some combination. As a touch typist, albeit one that yes, can type without looking at the keyboard, but engages the backspace key and retypes probably half the letters struck, I suppose that would be the idiot-savant version of touch typist – I can mistype and retype words very quickly. Typing them correctly in the first place? Not likely. So, to address this password problem, where you really can’t engage your touch typist brain. (Well, I can’t. I type words, not letters and have no idea what my fingers are doing really.) But when I look down to hunt and peck, hmm, all of these blank keys….but hey, I engaged the big brain and viola! I printed out an image of a keyboard and keep that tucked underneath the real one. Ha! So, there.

(Please note, viola, as opposed to voila, is purposeful. Because it’s funny. Typed. Not spoken. Trust me on this one.)

So, you want to know why I deserve a medal right? )

Last Words

Nov. 27th, 2013 11:55 am
terribleturnip: (percy)
I'm posting these random bits because for four days I've had a headache on one side of my skull that is probably NOT the same thing as having a spike driven through it, but in my weaker moments, I liken it to that. At one point, when it started, I was laying down and it woke me up and I thought, ah, I'd better not stand up. What if it's a blood clot and I shake it loose and then it hits my heart and BAM, dead. I should just lay here and maybe...I dunno, it might dissolve? And, as queen of the glass half empty, but also empress of WASPY worrying about things that really don't matter, I started worrying. I should leave a note so people know where to find things like bank accounts and insurance. Hmm, the litter box isn't very clean and that'll be problematic. Did I leave something upstairs on the nightstand that should probably be put away, in case my mother's the next person in here? I should put more cat food in the bowl so they don't have empty stomachs and start nibbling on me too quickly. Or text a neighbor and ask her to check up on me if my car's still in the driveway tomorrow afternoon. And as seriously worried as I was about standing up and shaking DEATHCLOT free, I got up anyway because damn the litterbox really did need cleaning, and I had to pee. And I lived. But now it's three days later and it still hurts and I'm stuck in the conundrum of "if I go see a doctor, it will be NOTHING and I'll have to feel embarrassed for not being able to ride out a little headache" or "No one will know what it is, and after dozens of tests and shrugged shoulders, I'll just have to learn to live with it, which I should have done in the first place". OR, blow it off and drop dead over Thanksgiving weekend. So, I'm going to the doctor, but just to cover all pessimistic bases, I didn't want these gems to linger in my drafts folder. (Don't worry, I'll totally live. How could I die, knowing that these were my last words? Seriously.)

Cut for length, 'cause I do go on, even with stabbing head pains )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Okay, I've been hanging onto this one as I figured I'd better get the results (negative) back before I put it up, since I couldn't bear the thought of sympathy or others worrying about me....and I suppose you can enjoy the funny with a clear conscience then.

Not the entry to read if you're shy about ladybits...although it's the kind of talking about ladybits that's entirely clinical and should leave you still able to look me in the eye at a cocktail party without flinching. Assuming you can do that now.

Cut to cater to your sensitivity )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Right. October. Mid-Atlantic. 90 degrees. I know, given the weather we've had, I shouldn't complain. It's been brilliant. But really, I so look forward to this time of year and since it hasn't rained in weeks and it's going to be near 90 degrees and humid this weekend, there's a high likelihood that I'll either spontaneously burst into flames...or accumulate enough sweat and dust to turn me into a golem. Please feel free to write something on my forehead backwards so I can erase it and put myself out of my misery.

Turnip at Toad dot net appears to be dead and while it comes to no surprise to me, if any of you are still using it, well, don’t. You can PM me if you don’t have anything else. That had become what I’d considered my “throwaway” e-mail, the one I used when shopping or if required to submit an e-mail or post an e-mail in a less than secure place, figuring that when/if it got compromised, or so spam-ridden that it was breaking my filters or patience, I could walk away from it. But of course, once again, the company it ran through went feet up with no notice and the parent company is so far uncommunicative.

But it was time to set up another “throwaway”, so I set up another gmail account that would forward to my main e-mail inbox. Now let’s ponder the irony that Gmail thinks the messages that Gmail is sending me, welcoming me to Gmail…are Spam. “We can’t verify the source of this message.” I feel like I’m in the technological equivalent of the horror movie Black Christmas “The calls are coming from inside the house!”

(Sorry, three hours of Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm nerd-references and the whole 70’s-80’s horror/sci-fi/geekdom attic in my head got swung wide and bits of trivia are swirling around like the storm of cat hair that a Furminator, four cats and a ceiling fan make in my living room once a month. And realizing that they’re all about my age, so that finally, the geek/nerd jokes and references were ones I got and found funny, THAT was delightful as pretty much any gaming reference after 1985 is lost on me….unless it’s tabletop-related.)

Every problem I’ve tried to solve today has created half a dozen new, even harder ones to solve. If I keep this up, it’ll take me only another three weeks to ensure that I have a year’s worth of work, even if I don’t get a single new assignment. Awesome. There’s a part of my brain that is rat terrier busy right now calculating the odds that doing NOTHING will actually put me farther ahead than trying to accomplish something.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. So let me give you some distractions:

I loved the book The Shining. LOVED it. I thought the movie was highly overrated and didn’t think it came close to doing justice to the book, although to be fair, I suspect that part of the reason so many King books ARE so good, is that they’re tapping/relating so directly to your brain or imagination, that they just CAN’T be effective when someone else represents them for you. I was never really sure WHY I didn’t like The Shining movie though, beyond it leaving out some parts I’d been fond of, and a visceral dislike of Shelley Duval, which I’m sure is directly related to the characters she played and not her actual personhood. She’s probably a very nice person. (Kubrick, on the other hand, I have no problem believing that I wouldn’t like HIM.) But this writer sums up why I didn’t like the movie, and I think it’s a hole a lot of movies fall into, even if they’re Kubrick-ego-free.

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/01/what_stanley_kubrick_got_wrong_about_the_shining/

And here, you need a break from being pissed off at Congress. Let’s all get pissed off at the people who are funding the very expletives who are currently holding our country hostage. This is just awful. Well, no, wait, actually, it’s BRILLIANT. Brilliantly awful. If only it weren’t using lies and scare tactics…and could theoretically cause woman to DIE, I’d admire it. Also, the irony that the people who are bringing us bucketloads of legislature across the nation that are aimed at regulating my uterus and vagina, required trans-vaginal sonograms, trying to prosecute pregnant women for endangering fetuses, and all sorts of other shenanigans that seem awfully focused on my ladybits are implying that…..

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/19/koch_backed_conservatives_go_pro_cervical_cancer/

Get your paws off of me, you damned dirty ultraconservative!

(Do you remember THAT movie, children?)

Words.

Apr. 30th, 2013 03:04 pm
terribleturnip: (percy)
Running a couple of errands today, I ran into several amusements. First I got behind a home contractor van labeled Hyman Restoration, which made me giggle a little. It’s an actual name and I’m sure most people are mature and don’t think anything of it. But I’m not, and I did.

Then when I was at the post office behind a man who had several packages marked Fraigle. The gentleman in question was clearly not a native English speaker, so it’s an understandable error. But I’ve adopted it and when I got back to work and a colleague asked me how I was feeling, I couldn’t resist saying “I’m feeling a little fraigle” which made me happy and less fragile-feeling.

On the way back to work I got behind a truck that had vinyl letters on its back window: There is a differance in “living” and “living well”.

There’s also a difference between those who recognize their grammar/spelling limitations and those who think proofreading is for sissies, happily proclaiming those limitations to the world.

Know your limitations my friend, and find a way around them.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Okay if you haven’t seen the “goats screaming like humans” video, you should, it’s hysterical, although not as funny as “How to Piss off a Frog” which is short and bellylaugh inducing. Admittedly, experiencing schaudenfreude from watching animals get revenge on humans is perhaps my second most favorite pleasure in the world.

Although I need to make a point. Actually, some of them are sheep. There, I said it. I feel much better. It would be the highest form of geek douchebaggery to post that whenever anyone posts the video, but it’s been hard to resist. But here’s the thing: you really HAVE to resist. Because, for starters, that’s not the point. Let’s face it “Sheep and Goats screaming like Humans” is unwieldy. And “Caprinae screaming like humans” is the best possible title from an accuracy standpoint, and extremely appealing to geeks like me, but let’s face it, you didn’t spend hours gathering and editing goat and sheep videos so that it could be appreciated by the 125 geeks in the world who’d run across it, know you were talking sheep and goats, had the time to click on it and weren’t at work or someplace that bans YouTube or headphones. You did it for the adoration of the masses, and I applaud you for it.

But there’s something in a geek’s brain that won’t let inaccuracy rest, even in the face of seeming like an expletive jerk. Which is why we get beat up all the time in middle school and high school…at least until we develop an internal editor or are so ostracized that our only company is other people who start a lot of their sentences with “Well, ACTUALLY…”

And that’s your cue right there. When you realize that the sentence you’re about to utter begins with the word “Actually”? Think long and hard on your audience, Bucky. Because the frequency of sentences you utter that start with the word “Actually” will be in inverse proportion to the number of friends you have. And if you’re not careful…you will die alone. Smart, but alone, and nibbled on by cats, or your whateverdoodle, or ferret or hermit crab.

Personally, I recommend you start a semi-hidden blog like this one, hidden amongst the reeds of friends who get you and complete strangers who don’t even know you or really care, so you can get it out of your head before it births a tumor or something.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Ha, this is awesome:

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/some-things-that-are-worse-than-being-alone-on-valentines-day

An article that came across my desk today estimates that American will spend 815 million dollars on their pets for valentine's day. 815 MILLION? WTF? I can only hope that includes food. What are you people BUYING? They can't read a card. Chocolate will kill them. And at best, they'll eat flowers and puke them up, giving you a less than felicitious Valentine's Day present.

I have been sabotaged all day with cheap chocolate. Little gifts from the boss, two suppliers, our social committee. (Remind me to never schedule business meetings on Valentine's Day again, as they seem to feel as if they need to bring something. Dude, we do business together. I may like you...and I'm sure you love my business...but it just feels vaguely inappropriate.) Plus, of course, while very good chocolate? I can have one a day and make it last. Cheap chocolate? Whoops, all gone, one day. AND I feel awful, all cheap sugary high, blowing it already on day 3 of our weight loss contest, guilty and shamed.

I think I better pick up some flowers on the way home, eat them and puke it all up.

(For the record, I'm not referring to eating disorders here. I'm talking about cats. I have five of them. Eating things and puking them up seems to be one of their main hobbies.)
terribleturnip: (percy)
I’ve succumbed to peer pressure and joined my department weight loss contest. Peer pressure is not actually a motivator for me – if anything it motivates me to do the exact opposite of what my peers are doing. But this whole not-feeling-well for what seems like weeks has got me thinking that if nothing else, if we’re all participating, maybe I can peer pressure them into not ordering bacon-cheese-fries at Happy Hour. Which is my WATERLOO.

And of course, writing about it here also locks me into having to perform since I’ve now announced it in public. I’m really pretty easy to manipulate. Especially when I’m doing the manipulating.

The problem I have with food is that being full has nothing to do with whether I eat something or not. Drink a glass of water before you eat to make you feel full…not so much. My tastebuds make Charlie Sheen look like the Sultan of Self Control. They’re always looking for the next high, the next thing, ooooh, I’ve never tasted THAT before…wait, let me taste that again, I’m not sure if I could tell if I liked it, I wonder what it would taste like paired with….

Case in point: This bizarre candy bar I got in the Polish deli. Okay, sucker for strange treats from other countries. And for trying things. And how could I possibly resist a Croatian candy bar shaped like a tiny chocolate covered banana?

I couldn’t, right? Yeah. I mean, the deli smelled like smoked meat heaven and I had an armload of kielbasa, and packets of frozen pierogies and that was all about delayed gratification. And I needed something to keep me from gnawing on the end of one of the kielbasa on the ride home, so oh, hey, interested candy bar!

And my first bite of the Bananko, I thought, okay, weird texture – like a banana flavored circus peanut covered in dark chocolate. But then I was thinking, I haven’t had a circus peanut in decades, I don’t even know if that’s the texture, as I took another bite. Almost sandy-ish, as I took another bite and really spread the banana part out across my mouth. But nice banana-chocolate combo flavor I thought with the next bite.

Little known fact about me – while in high school I sold chocolate covered bananas in a booth at our local agricultural fair – it was to benefit our high school scholarship fund. Of course in addition to selling chocolate covered bananas, I also worked a bit in the library booth, exhibited in the flower, photography and vegetable shows, the horse show, and did a couple of stints as a costumed character, including Cookie Monster and Big Bird. In any given year, over three days. Multi-tasking, doing too much, and wringing every bit of fun out of anything. I’ve been doing it a long time.

But I had paused in my eating my Bananko to reminisce and realized that the texture was indeed Not Good. And was the flavor really that good, or was it actually really chemical? Another bite. Yup, you know what it really tasted like? The banana flavored pieces of those candy necklaces. And then, bam, last bite, and yes, after all that, it was sort of gross and something I never need to eat again.

But I had to be SURE. My luck that I have tastebuds from Missouri.
terribleturnip: (percy)
That's pretty much my philosophy on everything. Although I will allow that there's a second clause to that, which is: "but every once in a while, it's okay to phone it in."

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Edward Gorey any more than I already do, I open my new calendar and there’s one of his pieces: Frivolity, at the edge of a Moral Swamp, hears Hymn-Singing in the Distance and dons the Galoshes of Remorse.

Which just delights me. It creates a fabulous picture and just delights me (since I own several pairs of Remorse Galoshes), the pacing, the wordchoice. And then he drew a fabulous picture to accompany it. Talented Bastard.

I promised myself I would write more often. I made no commitment to segues or coherent themes. So, this is what happens. )

2012 review

Jan. 3rd, 2013 10:19 am
terribleturnip: (percy)
An unexamined life is not a life worth living. I don't remember who said that, but I take it very seriously. A new year, time for taking stock? Oh, what you don't want to do it because everyone else is doing it? Oh, you feel like you're selling out to peer pressure doing it, just because everyone else is?

What, are you in high school?

I'm talking to myself here, but if the shoe fits you, feel free to borrow it. It doesn't actually matter, as long as you've thought about it, thought about why, and then decided you want to anyway. More thoughtfulness, that's what the world needs.

So anyway, here we go )
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, this past weekend I spent time cleaning out old files and paperwork. Struggling with a little tristesse at throwing out Percy & Willow's medical records. Their dentist (go ahead, begin mocking) took a “mug shot” of each of them and that appears on all of their bills, test results and paperwork, which I think is a brilliant idea. But golly, when I opened up that folder and came face to face with Willow’s attitudinal close up – a true “what you are YOU looking at” look…well, let’s just say I had a “Bambi, your mother can’t be with you anymore” moment. Although I half-assedly added up the dollar amounts on some of the bills and think ounce for ounce, Willow was probably the most expensive thing I ever...WILL ever own. Even more alarming, I keep way better records on my pets than I do myself. Evidence: My last mammogram results filed right there in the Greyhound Section of the Pets, Medical file.

Football. Really, I’m actually going to have to CARE? Damn it. I was really, really hoping that the Ravens would beat the Patriots – I mean, c’mon, it’s the Patriots…I grew up with them sucking, and with the Red Sox continually throwing away their chance at the bigtime. So unlike fans who may have come to the teams more recently, I have very low expectations. And it’s more fun to watch the Superbowl with people who are agitated about it. I mean, let’s face it, I could give a rat’s patoot about watching the game, but at least if other people are excited, then hey, there’s theater for me!

But Giants vs. Patriots? I am helpless in the face of this match-up. I HAVE to care. See, my home town is the geographic center point between each team’s stadium. Literally. We’re just south of Middletown, which is not a very original town name, but in this case is actually located halfway between New York and Boston. So when you grow up there, at some point, you have to choose…are you a Boston fan or New York fan? No, no, don’t even try it. There’s no NOT choosing. I’m all about the contrary – having chosen Boston, because my parents were New York – but you HAVE to choose. It’s just not worth talking about why you don’t care. And once you’ve chosen, everyone pretty much leaves you alone about it, as long as you’ve picked one. If you’re not cheering in a bar that is. And that’s the thing, why it’s so relentless – because most places in the country, either there’s no team, so you get a vague mix of the nearest team with varying outliers. Or, there’s a rabid fan base with little pockets of people “from somewhere else”. In that town, you can bet that about HALF the bar is rooting for one team, the other half for the other. You get that a little bit in this area, the DC-Balt corridor, but let’s face it, how often do the Ravens and Redskins wind up in the same stadium? Nationals and the Orioles? But the Red Sox and the Yankees? Seemed like all the freaking time, growing up.

(Please note there are probably certain errors and erroneous assumptions in the previous paragraph. What I DON’T know about sports would fill a football field. Hell, I drew a blank on who the Washington baseball team was. The preceding paragraphs had triggered baseball, Yankees, and suddenly my brain is humming “whatever Lola wants, Lola gets…” and I knew the Senators wasn’t right.)

So, anyway, I’m very disturbed that some vestigial piece of my mind is going to actually give an expletive who wins the Superbowl. This is going to totally ruin my enjoyment of the commercials. And yes, I’m sorry, very sorry, that the Ravens didn’t win. Although, let’s all be thankful that whatever team Tebow is on, didn’t win because while I’m a little tired of the “hey dude, how about asking Jesus to save all those kids dying of malaria in Africa, instead of you know, wasting divine intervention on a football game” meme…I probably would have to be sedated to not go there throughout the entire game.

Despite the fact that it’s freezing here by the window, today I’m so glad to have it. Actually, I’m not freezing. Rather, there’s warm air blowing down my back, but my fingers, toes and nose are all chilly from the cold radiating from the window. But it’s looked awesomely foggy and creepy all day and now, late in the afternoon, the fog has lifted to just below tree height, and I’m about eye-level with the fogline as it hits the trees. And the crows are flying en masse back to their rookery right now, so they are all flapping in and out of the fog, becoming visible and then not as they hit one level of fog or another. And they’re almost all flying directly away from me, so it’s very much like a stream of giant marionettes. My only regret is my lack of time and brainpower to do justice to the image. But I put in some cello music by Zoe Keating, just to have an appropriate soundtrack. A murder of crows in the fog, sixteen cellos...yes.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Obviously I need to do more writing. I can tell when I'm not writing enough…or enough of the RIGHT stuff. My brain just gets so filled with words and thoughts and then I finally get a few minutes to put metaphorical pen to paper and it's the literary equivalent of a greyhound going batshit* when you get home: highspeed joy that makes you feel like you have seventeen dogs freaking out that you finally got home and rescued them after two HOURS of complete, total, UTTER abandonment. And suddenly there is a dog part everywhere you turn and you're getting stomped on by practically prehensile toes tipped with raking claws, being poked at by an impossibly intrusive pointed snout, bodychecked by a veritable Metrotrain of oddly articulated dog midsection and brutally whipped by a tail that would be prized by dominatrixes the world over. And then the 60 seconds is over and the greyhound goes and lays down, completely ignoring you until you touch leash or dogfood bowl.

THAT'S how I’ve been writing. Here are some quotes from WORK e-mails this past week:

“Ha, still haven't found my mind, but I've put up posters on telephone poles, so I have high hopes of retrieving it, as I lied and said it needed daily medication. That tends to work with dogs, so we'll see.”

“If you could coat this with a glaze of urgency, I'd appreciate it.”

“I know you have a lot of forest fires to put out, and this is just a small problem, but consider it a hole in one of your fire hoses. Eventually, conflagration.”

“Here's the deal: I am not going to change the way we do business because it annoys your accounts receivable department. You're just going to have to suck it up.”

“Make this go away and I will totally owe you my firstborn. On second thought, my ovaries are like raisins that rolled under the couch six months ago. How about I buy you a beer instead?”

I've used these words/phrases: Palpitations. Rat's Patoot. Please sit up and focus. Time to pull on your big girl panties. Completely unglued. Havoc that makes Ragnarok look like a childs' birthday party.

It's bad enough when this stuff is in my head. Less professional when my internal editor stays home sick and I say it out loud. But when I start committing it to my work record? Eek.

So – what follows is probably in need of some severe editing, but right now the brainpurge is needed far more then knowing I've gifted some finely crafted piece of writing to the world. Sometimes you just have to go with the fart joke. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
At a fairly early age, I realized that I was not, and would never, be thought of as completely normal. I'm grateful that sometime in high school I decided to just stop fighting it and embrace it. So that's my theme this afternoon, as I wait for my last price sheet to be uploaded. (O, Supplier Name Redacted! There is a negotiation in your future which will be quite a bit more painful, owing to making me wait to the very last minute on a Friday before a holiday weekend, even though I've been reminding you for days. I'm not vengeful often, but when I AM...)

You hang out with folks that work renfaires and sooner or later you'll hear: Our lives are not like other people's.

Yup. Although I suspect that if the time travellers step on the wrong hippy and renfaires vanish from the timeline, I still would be saying that.

Hidden behind a cut NOT because I'm shy...well, not about stuff like THIS...let me assure you, in the interests of brevity only. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, it was lamb chops indeed for New Year’s Eve. Staying until the end of the day at work, and then adjourning next door for a couple of commiserative beers with two colleagues who also been stuck in the paddle-less boat all afternoon…well, it did help me reboot, but it did make me…feisty…by the time I got to Gourmet Grocery Store that waves the sustainable banner a little bit more than they deserve, negotiated the parking garage and then the thousand pretentious morons in the store who had also waited until the last minute to get their New Year’s Eve supplies. Although unlike most of them, I didn’t feel the need to bring an entourage with me, and was pretty laser-focused on my needs. I mean, okay, in a way I used to grocery shop professionally. Five plus years of working in one, and then, as a personal chef, beginning each job with provisioning at at least one, if not three, grocery stores, I shop more like a SWAT team member than a normal person. But with my internal editor stuffed under the driver’s seat like an old McDonald’s bag, and my bad attitude riding my shoulders like an irritable arboreal badger, how much tolerance, peace, love and understanding do you suppose I had for people obsessing over the merits of whether the hamburger meat is better to be grassfed or organic, since they were out of grassfed AND organic and while I can understand the mental debate, on the other hand, when you are the first of six people between me and the butcher and you are indulging yourself in this discussion on NEW YEAR’S EVE, and you’ve begun wringing your hands and whining that this is for YOUR CHILD, so this is very important, your child’s future HEALTH…

Well, can anyone fault me for saying “For crissakes, lady, there is NO discernable difference between the two, when it comes to your child’s future health. And the number of days since you sanitized your door knobs will have a far greater impact on your child’s health than one goddamn hamburger. Please stop wasting our time; it’s a holiday and we all have to get going.” ? Certainly my compatriots in line did not. She grabbed both packages and moved off to the side at least to continue her pointless internal debate, and when it was finally my turn, (I was only there because they had no pre-packaged rib chops) the butcher pulled a lamb rack, went in back and cut me four adorable little chops. I didn’t notice until I was at the register that well, let’s just say I didn’t pay a typical price for lamb. Yay for butcherly gratitude! If I hit the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again, I think I would hang out in stores and give unreasonable customers the expletive they’re asking for. I’d probably have to move often.
But I suppose if I were a millionaire, there would be less of a downside to that )

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