February 25, 2010

Free (a.k.a.: unsolicited) advice for office professionals

Dear Office Professional,

As you navigate your way through day-to-day life here at {Giant Corporation}, we know it's difficult to know what is expected of you, and to remain aware of people and things apart from yourself. (You are, of course, the center of the universe.)

Sure, there are handbooks, policies, training, self-awareness and common sense. But you can't be expected to keep THOSE in mind.

So we've compiled a helpful list of things you should just...know. Things to keep in mind. Things that most self-aware humans already know, but that appear to keep eluding you somehow.

And, because it's apparently difficult for you to remember things that aren't about your own hair, we're giving you the option of printing this handy list as a little card you can tuck into your wallet for easy reference, or give to someone else to carry for you (more on that later):
  1. Bathroom stalls aren't soundproof. If you're loudly conversing with a friend (on the other end of a cell phone or in the stall next to you), OTHER PEOPLE CAN HEAR YOU. It probably isn't the best time to start talking smack about your boss, and it certainly isn't the right time to relate the long, detailed story of your drunken escapades last weekend. No one cares that you threw up all over your friend, and you both thought it was hysterically funny and then you fell down in it. Really. No one. Ever.
  2. Talking on the phone while going to the bathroom is gross. Maybe your friends don't mind the grunting in between phrases, but we certainly do. And unless you disinfect your phone when you're done (which we're certain you don't), it's disgusting and a health hazard.
  3. This is an office, not a clam bake. As such, your flip flops*, low-hanging capris and belly shirt are, shall we say, inappropriate. We realize that some departments offer more lax dress codes, but this is still a place of business. In theory, you should not be able to go from your cubicle to a wiener roast without changing clothes.
  4. While we're talking about clothes, a sweater tucked into belted dress pants is just a bad idea. It isn't against the dress code, but it looks ridiculous. Particularly when the ensemble also includes a turtleneck, white socks and loafers. We're just looking out for you here.
  5. The atrium is for getting to one's destination, holding impromptu meetings, casually greeting your friends and, possibly, reading on your lunch break. It is not for naps. It's large and echoey in there. We can all hear you snoring.
  6. The kitchenette and printer areas are not social clubs. They are places to warm up your food while engaging in quiet banter with your co-workers or to calmly wait for your print job to appear. When you yell at passers-by, bang on things, curse and shriek with laughter, you are being a jackass, and your co-workers want to hit you with reams of paper.
  7. Your cell phone is annoying. No one is telling you that you can't have a ringtone of a mashup of Oops I Did It Again and a cha-cha remix set to a techno beat. You just can't have it here. Put it on vibrate. Extra credit if you don't then leave it sitting on your desk unattended so it makes loud rattling noises every time you get an e-mail.
  8. The fish you're warming up in the microwave smells like dead people, and it's seeping into your co-workers' clothes. Stop it. Eat the salmon at home. This goes double for cheesy popcorn, which smells like athlete's foot unless you are the one eating it.
  9. Just don't be a dumbass.
We hope that you will take these guidelines to heart.

However, because we know we can't possibly expect you to remember the above points longer than the time it took you to read this memo, we're now assigning you a Personal Reminder. This person's only role at {Giant Corporation} is to walk with you, sit with you and poke you with a stick every time you violate one of the above guidelines. Yes, it's a huge waste of time, money and resources. But we value our employees here at {Giant Corporation}, and we want you to succeed, even if it means paying someone else to babysit someone who purports to be an adult.

Now stop napping and go practice whispering and eating food that doesn't smell like roadkill. We know you can do it.


People Who Have Been in the World

*I know some companies let their folks wear flip-flops; more power to you if it's appropriate -- for example, if your company happens to be located in Cabo. :)

February 24, 2010

Pupdate: Sleepover

We've been babysitting our neighbors' dog, Romeo. (He's the white boy.)

There's been a lot of snoozing going on at our house the last few days.

But they've also had some fun:

Sounds ferocious, yes? Trust me: They lurve each other. And you won't find three wussier dogs than these.


(For some reason I elected to film the dogs in the tackiest-looking three-foot section of our house. Ick. Please believe me, it doesn't all look like that.)

February 23, 2010

Stuff on My Desk: Frankenstein Ring

First: Wow. This is the blurriest picture ever in the history of Stuff on My Desk. (Like how I made it sound like an actual thing? With a history?) Sorry about that. My camera stinks.

This is the most recent addition to the Stuff on My Desk. Well, if you consider Halloween "recent."

Shortly after Halloween, our neighbors had us over for dinner and highly-contentious card-playing.

Well, highly-contentious for the husbands. (We always play boys against girls; playing as couples is a recipe for divorce, or at least an evening of not speaking to one another.) Not that the girls always win. It's just that the boys CARE a lot more about winning than the girls do. So when the boys win, we're still having fun. But when the girls win, it is PERSONAL. Sigh. Boys.


This little plastic gem was perched atop our dessert: leftover Halloween cupcakes. Subsequently, he was also covered in frosting. And I will readily admit that I licked the frosting off his face. Which could be why the white paint on what are supposed to be his teeth is kind of...chipped. So I'm probably suffering from lead poisoning, too.


Once he was (reasonably) clean and free of sugary food coloring, I gave him a place of honor on my middle finger and resumed our card game.

During which Frankenstein managed to get in the way while I was dealing (his giant head made it REALLY hard to shuffle), but I refused to take him off because we were winning, and I liked smooching his little green face for luck before I picked up my hand each time.

And because it annoyed the crap out of our husbands, and that always amuses and pleases me greatly.

When the evening was over, I couldn't quite bear to part with little snaggle-toothed Frankie. (Who, to me, looks like he's a member of Archie's Gang rather than a monster hell-bent on terrorizing torch-bearing villagers. Seriously -- what is with that hair?)

So now he lives on my desk, and every now and then I slip him onto my finger during an extra-boring conference call and smooch his tiny face and wish for a fire drill. So far, Frankie hasn't delivered.

February 22, 2010

Wait, did you mean 30 days in a ROW?

OK. Confession time.

This was probably the worst time ever for me to begin the 30-Day Fitness Challenge.

Between work and other time commitments, I've been getting almost no sleep, and as a result have not been able to tear myself out of bed in the morning more than five minutes before I have to start getting ready for work.

I've been busy every day over the past two weekends. I have a tendency to over-extend myself; I have a hard time telling people "no."

Too busy. Too stressed. No time. No sleep.

I am the queen of excuses.

I was lamenting said lack of time to my husband today, whining about how much I have to do, and how little time I have, and, consequently, how I have NO time to work out.

He--quite correctly--pointed out that no one is forcing me to do ANY of these things (well, except go to work, but that's just because they pay me), and I have no one to blame but myself for being overextended, and maybe I should get over myself because everyone is busy, and, in the end, I'm just making excuses.

Crap. I really hate it when he makes sense. (I kicked him in the shin anyway, just to keep him from getting a big head.)

Historically, this has been my problem when I start a "program" of working out and eating better: I do great for awhile, then I have some kind of life hiccup that prevents me from working out for a few days, and instead of dusting myself off and starting again, I allow it to completely derail me. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet. Here I am. Again.

I decided to publicly announce my intention to join this challenge in an attempt to motivate myself to do better. To be more consistent. To STOP making excuses. At this point, I've officially been participating in this challenge for seven days. Of those seven days, I've worked out...three times.

I'm writing this on Sunday night. I've had a pretty productive weekend, which is making me feel better about the week ahead. (I'm finding that my state of mind has EVERYTHING to do whether or not I work out. Everything.)

So rather than get all discouraged by my lackluster performance thus far, I'm going to try something different.

I'm going to start over.

I'm calling today my first day. Maybe this is cheating. (Let's face it; it probably is.) But as long as I'm working out and trying to do better, that's all that counts, right?

I really hope so. Because I'm finding that I need this accountability, and your support, a lot more than I thought I would.

February 20, 2010

I really don't get it.

My husband is obsessed with curling. As I type this, he is watching women's curling--WHICH HE RECORDED, so as not to miss a moment of the goodness--and he is shouting (shouting!) at the TV.

I get watching it for the goof factor. I mean, there is sliding. There is sweeping. There is yelling and screaming and going, "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Whoa! Whoa! WHOAAA!!!" There are the uber-serious faces of everyone involved. Several of the women on the U.S. team look like they're perpetually on the verge of tears, for some reason.

But seriously? Isn't this just shuffleboard, with ice and squeegees?

(T just rewound to show me "an amazing shot," wherein an American knocked the other team's game piece thingie off the target area. It looked exactly the same as every other shot I've seen since he started watching this. He then told me, "That chick really knows how to throw a stone." I desperately wanted to work in a "That's what she said," but T doesn't watch The Office and it didn't really make sense, anyway.)

All I know is, it isn't normal to be able to slide from one end of a sheet of ice to the other, pulling off a snappy little about-face, in loafers. If nothing else, I have to admire the balance required to do the sliding/sweeping. I would be on my ass in 3.2 seconds.

On the other hand, if I got to wear these pants, it would totally be worth it:

February 18, 2010

Hummus + Spicy = Oh, dear Lord this is good

Our neighbors brought this spicy gem to an impromptu dinner party (inspired by all the snow) earlier this week.

If you like hummus (yup) and love spicy (check), this is simply fab.u.lous. I pretty much hijacked the container at dinner and then growled at anyone who tried to take it from me.

The hummus on its own is great -- I'd never had Sabra before, but it had a good, smooth texture (I'm a big texture person) and tasted, well, like good hummus. Not too garlicky, not too lemony, not too...tahini-y.

And then, in the middle, you have this fabulous spicy red pepper mix, with all the pepper juices running around the perimeter of the hummus and setting off the milder chick pea flavor with bursts of eye-watering spicy goodness...drooooooooolllll...

Suffice to say: I likes.

And: I hear tell that Kroger (even our back-woods, country Kroger) carries it. You'd better believe that, as soon my car emerges from the dreaded white stuff, I'm out the door to pick me up some.

Oh, and also: In looking for the picture at the top of this post, I discovered that apparently Sabra ALSO makes a little snack-sized version, complete with little pretzel crisps for dipping. How cute are they? LOVE.

February 17, 2010

Can I just say...

...that snorting, "Oh, yeah, THAT'LL help," after someone (aka: me) makes a (hopefully) helpful suggestion on a call is perhaps NOT the best way to build team unity.


You'd better believe that when I'm hitting the heavy bag after work tonight, that guy's face is going to be on it.

Jumping on the 30-day Challenge bandwagon!

I think I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I've recently (as in the last five months or so) lost a decent amount of weight. I say "decent" because, frankly, I have a fair amount I still want to lose.

And as I said yesterday, life of late has not exactly lent itself to motivate me to work out.

So I decided I needed a little kick in the pants.

My issue: I hate talking about losing weight. I don't mind at all when others do, but for some reason, it has historically lessened my resolve to stick with it when I talk incessantly about what I'm doing, and how it's going, etc. I have no idea why this is -- I'm sure there's some deep-seated psychological reason I'm just not aware of.


I've hit something of a wall lately. I've had good progress so far in my overall weight loss, but in the last month, my weight has stayed relatively the same. I'm happy I haven't gained anything, but I'd like to bust through this latest plateau. I've tried changing up my workouts, and I'm not willing to starve myself, so...

Kick in the pants.

So. Taking the lead from Wrestling Kitties/Weighty Issues, I am now starting my own 30-day challenge. I'm hoping this will motivate me to really stick with it, try new things, drag myself out of bed even when it's just sooooooo cozy in there...

The goal, in line with WS/WI, is to work out at least 6 days a week for about 30 minutes and at least once a week for about an hour. So far, it's going pretty good:
  • Sunday: Walked/jogged with dogs at the dog shelter for two hours
  • Monday: Shoveled snow for 30 minutes (ugh)
  • Tuesday: Elliptical for 30 minutes and toning-type exercises for 15 minutes

I say all this today when, this morning, I slept in. Until almost 7:30. Which gave me zero time to work out before I had to start working. So I'll either be working out this afternoon or making up the time another day this week. (It's making me a little tired just thinking about that.)

BUT. I will do it. I am in it to win it. I think this will be a great motivator, and I think it'll be good for me to break my self-inflicted "wall of silence" about weight loss.

So... Viva la revolution! (of weight loss)

February 16, 2010

Things I haven't done for a full week

The snow (along with some knotty projects at my day job) has effectively put normal life on hold in the last week.

In the last week, I haven't:
  • Set foot in my office. Between Level 2 snow emergencies and needing some peace and quiet to edit 5 million iterations of a content document, working from home this last week has actually been a blessing. But I bet my loud, snorty cube neighbor totally misses me sighing loudly and pointedly every time he clears his sinuses.
  • Worn shoes other than boots. They don't really go with pajama pants, and yet I was unwilling to change my clothes to match the boots when I had to run to the grocery store. So to my fellow shoppers: You will see me in snowflake-print flannel pants and brown boots. DEAL WITH IT.
  • Come inside without my socks being wet and freezing cold. Apparently I need new boots.
  • Driven my car. Or, really, even seen my car. Our house is a new build, so our mature tree count = zero, meaning the drifts are out.of.this.world. We unwisely chose to eschew a snow fence this year in favor of having a non-ugly driveway. Big mistake. Next year, bring on the hideous orange fencing. It can't be any worse than some of the lawn ornaments I'm seeing out there. (Shudder.)
  • Worked out. This actually has nothing to do with the snow, and everything to do with me being so stressed out with work that I decided on extra sleep vs. working out. Yes, I know working out is the best stress-reliever. I KNOW. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. More on that later.
  • Heard the laughter of children. I don't normally hear the laughter of children in the course of my day-to-day, but I just thought I'd point out that I really didn't hear it at ALL this week. Make of that what you will.
  • Gone more than two hours without seeing my husband. This has been really nice when the work day is over and we can hang out, but with us both working at home during the day, bumping into each other, etc. -- the allure is gone. We both need some alone time.
  • Walked my dogs without laughing my ass off. Chubby, uncoordinated dogs + ginormous snow drifts = comic relief every time.
  • Had any sort of depth perception while walking through my yard. It's entirely possible that I was walking up to the neighbors' house, misjudged how deep the snow was, stepped into a drift above my knees and did a faceplant in the snow. And I may or may not have tried to play it off like I was planning to do a snow angel RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THEN. And it's very probable my neighbors didn't believe me and stood there pointing and laughing at me. Meanies.
  • Seen or heard any birds. YES! The only truly great thing about this week.
  • Watched anything on my DVR. You'd think, with all this time at home, I would be totally caught up on all the super-fun TV going on right now. But you would be wrong. There's just too much going on at work right now. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to watch American Idol this year, and now I have to wade through EIGHT episodes to get caught up?
  • Stopped thinking about vacation. I need a vacation. I really, really do.
  • Had a day off. Did I mention my job is kicking my butt? I did? OK, I'll shut up about it now. But I will say: A three-day holiday weekend kind of loses its appeal when you have to work every day. Boo.

On the up side, I was able to meet with my LOVELY friend, V, who is doing the illustrations for my children's books, and her work (as I knew it would be) is fabulous. Utterly fabulous. And we really are planning some nice vacations this year. And I've decided to take on Wrestling Kitties'/Weighty Issues' 30-day challenge!

So, the last thing on my list was going to be "had anything to look forward to," but thankfully, now, that isn't true.

(I'm smiling.)

February 12, 2010

It's finally happened.

My head, it hath exploded.

My day job is kicking my butt, which is why my blogging has been a little light. Hoping to get caught up over the three-day weekend.

Y'all have a great Friday night now.

February 11, 2010

Um, what the crack is this?

Because US Weekly is calling it a "Hot Pic," and I really, really, really beg to differ.

Or else my idea of "hot" needs updating to include chrome onesies and pointy devil gloves.

(And yes, I just said "What the crack." My mother's friends read this blog. I don't want it getting back to my mama that I said "hell" for all the world to see. Oh, dammit.)

February 10, 2010

Hallmark stinks.

Or maybe it's just that our local Kroger has an atrocious selection of cards.

Because when I went to pick out birthday cards for two of our friends, it was a vast wasteland of horrid rhyming "Wishing you a happy day/in positively every single way!" and "I asked this special birthday fish/to send you a happy birthday wish!" (Um, what? Please don't ever send me a birthday fish of any kind. And what qualifies this fish to be a "birthday fish" to start with? Very suspect.)

Or, my personal favorites, the "funny" ones: "I looked into the sky on your birthday and saw a huge glowing light, and that's when I knew...it was your cake."

(That kind of card always makes me think of the episode of Friends when Rachel turns 30, and someone gives her a card that says something like, "It's better to be over the hill than buried under it!" And then she bursts out crying. As she should have. Not because she's turning 30, but because anyone who gives you a card like that clearly secretly hates you.)

I think the Hallmark folks have officially run out of ideas and have taken to asking kindergarteners for their new lines of cards.

How else can you explain the card I ended up actually buying for one of my friends?

"I'm so happy it's your birthday, I could just fart."

But maybe they're on to something. Because come on: Farts are funny.

Apparently I'm just super cynical. At this point in my life, there are very few cards whose printed messages make me giggle, or go "awwww," or evoke any kind of emotion, for that matter.* The handwritten messages from my husband, family and friends INSIDE the cards? That's the good stuff.

In fact, maybe Hallmark should hire my husband. He may not be much better at rhyming, but finding a way to work "stinky britches" into a birthday wish and still coming off as cute takes talent.

* I do enjoy the musical cards. But have you ever tried getting one for a co-worker and passing it around for everyone to sign, and hearing "I'm Walkin' On Sunshine" 35 times from each individual cubicle as everyone opens it to sign it, and then opens it and closes it another three times because they think the song is funny and now they're singing along to it and dancing around in their cube? Maybe it's just my office.

February 9, 2010

Stuff on My Desk: Dollar Store Painting

Who says great art can't cost a dollar?

...OK, pretty much everyone.


How cute is this little painting? I found it at The Dollar Store for...um, a dollar. (Sorry for the flash in the picture. I couldn't figure out how to turn it off, and I was in a hurry.)

I love it because:
  • The colors are awesome.
  • It's vaguely Fall-ish looking -- my favoritest-est-est season.
  • I'm not sure about the artist, but anyone with the last name "Vagil" (so tragically close to "Vagisil") is screaming to be given the benefit of the doubt. He or she has undoubtedly suffered enough on the playground of life; let's cut him or her some slack.
  • The trees look reasonably lifelike, but not obnoxiously so. (I realize I'm reaching here.)
I actually liked this little print so much, I bought two copies of it (for TWO dollars, total) so I could have one in my cubicle at work and one in my home office.

(It is my secret dream to paint a room in our house that orange color. However, I think it might give T a heart attack. He's not so adventurous when it comes to home decor.)

In short: I love my little print. My cheap, knockoff, painted-by-a-person-of-unknown-sex-or-creed-who-is-named-after-yeast-infection-cream, Dollar Store print.

February 8, 2010

A Who-tastic weekend

I may have mentioned that I love The Who.

So you can imagine how super-excited I was that they were performing during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Fact: Roger Daltrey can no longer quiiiiiiite hit some of the big notes the way he used to, and he sort of looks like a hobbit now:

Fact: I kept giggling because Pete Townshend's stomach kept showing during their performance. Me: "Honey, Pete's belly is showing!" T: "Uh-huh. When does the football come back on?"

Did the knowledge of these facts mean I didn't squeal and clap my hands EVERY TIME one of the announcers mentioned The Who during the first half of the game, I didn't geek out in a major way when the music and the pulsing lights started, I didn't sing at the top of my lungs on every song and I didn't enjoy every second of their performance SO MUCH MORE than the football game (and the stupid commercials)?

Um, no. It did not. Because I did do all those things, and Pete's belly amused me (as does the word "belly"), and I don't care how much Roger looks like Samwise Gamgee -- I still think he's rather dashing for a 66-year-old.

And when he screamed at the end of Won't Get Fooled Again, I nearly peed my pants. It was fantastic.

As if this wasn't enough, Sirius/XM now has (for a limited time, I'm assuming, although I really hope it's permanent) THE WHO CHANNEL.

All Who, all the time. On the way to work this morning, I heard Squeeze Box, Athena, Pictures of Lily and Real Good Looking Boy.

Um, yes, please?


February 5, 2010

An Open Letter to My Droid

Dear Droidie,

There are so many great things about you.

You are by far the coolest, most high-tech phone I've ever owned. You make me feel a little cooler by extension.

I was thrilled that Facebook came standard on your home page. I like being able to check in on things during my lunch break at work. And I'm more than a little geeked out about actually being able to download apps and games and ringtones for free. (I realize these things have been around for years; not sure if I mentioned how behind the times I am.)

Your sliding full keyboard is super cool. No more hitting the "6" key over and over to spell the word "mom." And your camera is AMAZING -- now I can take pictures of my dogs that aren't nasty and grainy. T sent me a video of himself singing a goodnight song last night. From the living room. And I could listen to it on you!

I spent $10 on screen protectors so you wouldn't get smudged from my (apparently greasy) face.

I gladly dived in, gloveless, to save you when you accidentally fell in that snowbank, and I happily spent the next 20 minutes ignoring my freezing hands and making sure every drop of moisture was removed from your face and innards so your life could continue.

I'll be the first to sing your praises, and I'll defend you 'til the end.

But if you ever again mysteriously make the Snooze/Dismiss screen disappear at 5:55 a.m., leaving me to scrabble around, blind and sleep-shocked, trying desperately and failing to shut off your AMAZINGLY LOUD ALARM (which only comes in "Loud," "So Much Louder Than You Thought Was Possible" and "Air Horn Inside Your Brain Stem," apparently)?

I will throw you right back in that snowbank, and no amount of robot-sounding "Droid"ing will be able to save you.



February 4, 2010

I feel like I need one today.

It's just one of those days.

God bless my husband: He had a feeling caffeine would help.

He was right.

My new obsession

Ocean Spray's new Diet Ocean Spray cran-grape juice.

Please allow me to sing its praises:
  1. It tastes awesome. Heavy on the grape, light on the cranberry. Mmmmmm...
  2. It only has five calories per serving (it's made with Splenda); you can drink an entire bottle like the ones above for only 20 calories.
  3. It gets me through the 1:00-3:00 period at work when I JUST WANT SOME CHOCOLATE. (Did I mention the vending machine is a mere two-and-a-half steps from my cubicle?) Plus, I get to yell "Juice break!!" every day at 3:00 and freak out my co-workers.
  4. It prevents urinary tract infections.
  5. And, I think it would taste amazing frozen in little popsicles. A theory I intend to test out when it isn't actually freezing outside.

Highly recommended.

February 3, 2010


Google's logo design today is making me happy. I can't help but love the simplicity of Norman Rockwell:

How cute is that dog?

Thank you! Thank you!

A huge "thank you!" to Two Pretzels -- a fabulous blogger and one of my dearest friends -- for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger award! I'm so honored; what a lovely thing. If you haven't already, check out her fantastic blog.

And now, here are the rules.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award. YES!
  2. Copy the award & place it on my blog. Got it. Done.
  3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award. Check.
  4. Share 7 interesting things about myself. (See below)
  5. Nominate 7 bloggers. (See below)

Seven interesting things about me...

  1. I went skydiving when I was 18 and would LOVE to go again. (I'm serious. Let's go now.)
  2. I've never seen The Goonies.
  3. I always planned on becoming a professional singer/actress. I never even considered being a writer until I was halfway through college.
  4. When he was a baby, my little brother called me "Non" because he couldn't say "Shannon." I smile a little inside when I order the bread at an Indian restaurant.
  5. There is always a song in my head. ALWAYS. Anytime of day or night. I even wake up with a song in my head, and for some reason it's almost always a country song, even though I don't listen to country music.
  6. I hate my feet. They're, like, 98 percent foot and 2 percent toe.
  7. I'm writing some children's books based on stories my father told me when I was little. I'm very excited about them. :)

I hereby nominate:

  1. Two Pretzels: Because good things always come back around to good people, and because yours is always the first blog I read every morning. Love.
  2. Trophy Life: Because you're funny and fabulous, you work entirely too hard, and I love you and your blog.
  3. Iris Took: Because I feel that we are longlost sisters or something.
  4. Aimless Oasis: Because you're a wonderful friend and I am so inspired by your positive attitude and your drive.
  5. 65 Roses for Marcia: Because you're more than family; you're a wonderful friend and you have the most wonderful attitude. And I love your laugh.
  6. Chewlies: Because I absolutely love hearing about your journey into motherhood, and I miss you.
  7. Athena Bee's: Because I was so excited to see a post from you yesterday, and I hope you stick around in the blogosphere.

February 2, 2010

Whooooo Ammmm Iiiiiiii?

(It's times like these that I wish my husband read my blog, since he's probably the only one who'd get the Jackie Chan movie reference in my blog title. Ah, well.)

Since I'm still relatively new to the blogger world and some of you may not know me very well, I thought I'd follow Wrestling Kitties' lead and complete a little survey about myself...

1. What is your name and do you have any nicknames? Shannon. Commonly called Shan for short. Occasionally mistakenly called Sharon (which annoys me to no end). And my husband calls me Bunny, which I adore.

2. What color are your socks right now? White with red and gray stripes

3. What are you listening to right now? A really old reality show on the Fox Reality Channel; people were just as inane on these things 10 years ago as they are today.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? A Fiber One granola bar -- tasty and fiberiffic! :)

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Oh, no. And it's probably better for the welfare of the rest of the world that we keep things that way. I tried to learn once and, after four hours of not moving an inch in a parking lot, I vowed never to try it again.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? The auto repair shop owner, who was refreshingly honest (and saved me a bunch of money) by telling me I DIDN'T need an alignment; imagine, getting repeat business by being HONEST! Sometimes it's great living in a small town.

7. Last place you went on vacation? Sarasota, Florida, in 2008. Hoping to go back (maybe even a few times!) this year.

8. What hobbies do you have? Wow -- so many things these days! Writing (this blog, children's books), crafts (mostly knitting, although I do like scrapbooking, too), Rock Band and Guitar Hero, volunteering at our county dog shelter...

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Much to my husband's chagrin (he is a true sports FANATIC), I have almost zero interest in watching sports on TV. If pressed, though, I would much rather watch college basketball than pretty much anything else.

10. What is your favorite drink? Water, peach-flavored iced tea

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Absolutely, although not for several years now. The biggest fiasco? I went into a hair salon and asked them to make my very-dark-brown hair "warmer," and I walked out with...orange hair. Like, the color of a traffic cone. Did I mention this was six months before my wedding?

12. Favorite food? I spend hours and days pondering this question. Right now, I'd have to say SUSHI, particularly anything that involves salmon and/or avocado.

13. What is the last movie you watched? Saw VI. I laughed through most of it. A testament to why most series are best left at a trilogy.

14. Favorite day of the year? October 5, our anniversary. It's fall -- by far my favorite season -- and it's just fun to look back at our marriage and realize how far we've come.

15. How do you vent anger? Surprisingly? Cleaning. I don't know if it's my unconscious need to bring some order to a disorderly emotion like anger, or just the fact that I get to slam pots and pans around and make a lot of noise so T KNOWS how annoyed I am. :)

What was your favorite toy as a child? Hmm...not sure I had a favorite single toy as a child; it definitely wasn't this. I had a big stuffed dog named Fifi that I used to dress in my own clothes. Maybe I had issues. :)

17. What is your favorite season? Fall -- absolutely. I love everything about it -- just the way the air SMELLS is fantastic.

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Hmm...probably cherries, provided they're fresh. Although I'd much prefer raspberries. But that wasn't one of the options, and never let it be said that I don't at least try to play by the rules.

19. What is your occupation right now? Writer/editor (as well as user experience consultant and other unofficial roles) for a corporate website

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I would love to make a living writing books -- either children's books or novels

21. What state (or country for our international bloggers) do you live and what State or Country would you like to live some day? I'm an Ohio dweller, and (to echo Wrestling Kitties) I actually like living here. I love the seasons and the proximity to my family and many of my friends. I'm not sure my Virginia native husband is quite so enthusiastic, but he's good here for now. :)

22. Living arrangements? Own a house (with my husband) on about 4 1/2 acres of land in the country. I absolutely love being out in the middle of nowhere, knowing our neighbors, being able to see the stars at night...

23. Do you have any pets? Oh yes, although we think of them more like children/family members: two fat and spoiled boxers named Bubba and Murray. We adore them.

24. What is on the floor of your closet? About 20 pairs of shoes that I haven't worn for at least three years. I think a spring cleaning/purging is in order this year...

25. What are three of your favorite items at the moment? I love my new Droid! I've never had a "cool" phone before, so I'm enjoying it for the 15 minutes until it's obsolete. I also love the large box of Lush products my husband gave me for Christmas. It'll take me all year to use, but right now it's just making my bathroom smell amazing. And I'd probably also have to say the remote starter on T's car, which we've officially established is NOT a ghost.

26. What did you do last night? Watched my husband channel his inner rock star with Guitar Hero: Metallica and finished rewatching the last season of LOST. I can't wait for the new (last!) season to start!

27. Any news you want to share? Although I'm being sort of deliberately coy about it, I've lost a fair amount of weight in the last six months and am working on more. Hitting sort of a plateau this last week, but I'm sure it's just temporary. At least that's what I'm telling myself. :)

28. What do you like on your hamburgers? Cheddar cheese, onions, limited condiments

29. Favorite dog breed? Boxers!

30. Favorite day of the week? Any day I don't have to work. :) That sounds terrible, as I do like my job. But who doesn't prefer the days when you just get to do whatever you want?

31. How many states have you lived in? Lifelong Ohioan

32. Diamonds or pearls? Definitely diamonds, although I love the pearls my grandmother passed on to me

33. What is your favorite flower? Any kind of colorful wildflower

34. Favorite meal you have ever had at a restaurant and which restaurant was it? Wow -- I have absolutely no idea. Which should tell you that I've been to a lot of mediocre restaurants. :) Off the top of my head, I'd say this shrimp/garlic/pasta dish at Carrabba's, or the Caterpillar roll at Sushi En in Columbus.

35. What music are you currently listening to? I usually rotate around 9 or 10 different music channels on XM while I'm driving, although lately I've been listening to my Glee soundtrack CD. :) I'm a dork.

36. What is one fun thing you are looking forward to in the coming year? Taking more than one vacation that does NOT include home improvement projects!

February 1, 2010

FYI: Comments issue

Here's where I write a cheesy quip about "excusing my dust" while Written Permission is "under construction," hahahahaaaaa. Boo.

I'm trying to figure out what's causing the comment section to malfunction, so apologies if you've tried and been unable to post a comment today. (I'm sure my stress ball post has set the Internet ablaze!)

Hopefully I'll be able to fix the problem by tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience, and mind the scaffolding! Wocka wocka...

Stuff on My Desk: Pill-shaped Stress Ball

Just like everyone else in the world, I have stress.

It just so happens that I like to take mine out on this small, hand-sized stress ball in the shape of a Dexatrim pill.

(Seriously: Anytime I see pills that break apart in the middle and have different stuff on each end, I think of those old Dexatrim commercials from the 1980s. Remember those? Take one and your appetite is just gone! Little did we know they'd either make us crazy or anorexic or crazy-anorexic. We were so innocent.)

(Disclaimer: I have no idea if Dexatrim actually made people crazy or anorexic. I'm just assuming based on my deep, inner hatred of diet pills. Please don't be offended if you or your loved one had a wonderful (or horrible) experience with them. I'm just talking out of my butt here.)


I got this little guy at a trade show for pharmacists, which my brother and I used to attend with our dad when we were growing up. Trade shows are like crack dens for kids -- you get tons of free stuff, and you're a kid, so no one expects you to sit through a boring speech about the merits of their REVOLUTIONARY hemorrhoid medication in exchange for the tchotchkes they just handed you. You just take it and run to the next booth, where they're giving away candy and free book lights.

And now, as a 32-year-old adult, when my cubicle neighbor makes that snorting noise for the 50th time, and the people in the kitchenette across from me bang on the vending machine WITH THEIR FISTS and the guy from down the hall stands next to my cube, cursing loudly at the printer, somehow missing the fact that I AM WORKING three feet to his left?

I don't have to get up and kick them all in the shins, or scream at the top of my lungs that I HAVE HAD IT with Corporate America and am leaving to take a job in a research library where it's just me and a bunch of books and no one around to be loud and throw away my coffee cup and make the whole office smell like a combination of popcorn and dead, rotting foot skin.

I have an outlet.

Thank you, pill-shaped stress ball.

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