The Difficult, Challenging, Sorta Good, Very Long Day

I have a headache. Everything I touched today fell apart.

Okay, no. It’s not that everything really fell apart. It’s just that everything became such a bigger deal than it was supposed to be. And I’m not complaining. Because there’s nothing I love more than being challenged and I probably haven’t been challenged enough lately. But if we could space these challenges out some, I might not have a headache.

AND … just when I thought my head was about to explode, I called home from the office, just as a courtesy, because I am nice like that, unlike some other spouses I know, to let my spouse know that I was still at work when I would normally be halfway home and that I would be just a little bit late today.

(I should get some sort of prize for that run-on sentence. Do they award chocolate for poor sentence structure?)

So as I was saying, I called home. I said I would be late. The husband said, “Okay. But will you do me a favor please?”

I didn’t even wonder what the favor might be. I was tired. I said, “Sure. What?”

At this point, he would normally say something like, “Drive careful, will ya?” Except today he didn’t say that. Today he said, “Say hi to Lucy will you?”

“WHAT?” I screech-whispered into the phone, hunching forward and tucking the phone in closer to my face. “No. No. I am not talking on the phone to our dog!”

“Yes. Come on. Just do it.” He was cracking himself up now. There was no question in his mind that this was going to happen. I’m not sure where this was coming from because, you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that my husband does not normally have silly tendencies. That’s my department.

“Mark. No. Stop it,” I whispered fiercely. I was not in the mood for this. This is something my daughter would do, not my husband.

“Yes. Come on. Hold on while I put the phone by her ear,” he was insisting.

He needs to get out more, I thought as I resigned myself to the fact that, like it or not, I was going to become the doofus who talks to her dog on the phone. But I refused to pretend like it was cute and funny.

“Okay,” Mark’s voice sounded a little more distant now. “Say hi to her.”

I hunkered further down at my desk, casting sidelong glances to make sure no one was witnessing this colossal act of stupidity. I lowered my voice, and so as to discourage any further attempts on his part to solicit any further participation on my part, I muttered in the flattest tone I could muster, “hi. lucy.”

Mark was giggling. I swear he was giggling and then cracking up and his voice came back clearly on the phone as he laughed, “Her butt is wiggling and she’s bouncing off the walls! Do it again! Hold on…”

Please God, not again.

“Mark, no… if you ever want me to get home tonight….”

My pleas were interrupted. “Never mind. She ran off to the front door. She’s looking for you outside.” He was still giggling.

“Yeah. I’m gonna get my work done here so I can come home tonight anyway,” I said dryly, trying to make him see my eyes rolling via mental telepathy.

“Okay. See ya in a while!” He was still laughing. Clearly he was oblivious to the fact that I was rolling my eyes at him. Or he was choosing not to acknowledge it. He’s an expert at that.

I’m sure you think that this story ends with my headache magically disappearing due to the comedic relief provided by my husband and dog. You’d be wrong. But there is a happy ending in that I did eventually make it home where my dog attempted to wiggle her butt off the back-end of her body in her overwhelming joy at seeing me again. And she tried to eat my black boots as I was attempting to get them off my feet. But I didn’t even care because it sure was nice to have such a warm welcome after such a challenging day. But I am  definitely not having any more phone conversations with Lucy. She’s a terrible conversationalist and her phone manners are deplorable!

Fun with Donut Holes

Remember when ‘donut’ used to be spelled ‘doughnut’? Where did ‘doughnut’ go?

For that matter, didn’t ‘catalog’ used to be ‘catalogue’?

These are the thoughts that plague my mind and prevent valuable information from sticking.

Back to the topic at hand…

Every first Tuesday of the month, we celebrate birthdays at work by bringing in treats. (Actually, those who remember to bring treats actually do bring treats. I usually don’t remember. But today was Shannon’s birthday, so I remembered. I brought Turtle Chex Mix.) Someone brought lemon bread and someone else brought donut holes. It was a sad little showing of treats, but since most everyone is dieting, it worked out okay.

By the end of the day, there was one, sad little donut hole sitting all by its lonesome on the treat table. Five o’clock was nearing, and not a soul could be convinced to eat that lone donut hole. This is where my stupid sense of humor kicked in.

Yeah, I know. This is so dumb. I gave the donut hole some legs made out of pins and I gave it a neck made out of a pin, and I put a little post-it note for a head on which I had written, “EAT ME!”

I then proceeded to sneak around the office and stealthily leave the little donut hole on various desks. My coworkers would eventually notice the little donut creature and the result was…

hysterical laughter!

It was SO stupid that people couldn’t help laughing. Even the woman who has a reputation as being a bit scary ended up laughing so hard she was crying.

I don’t know. You probably had to be there. But looking at that picture still makes me laugh. And I made a bunch of people laugh this afternoon. It was a successful day.

The department supervisor was long gone for the day by the time the donut hole creature was born. Not to worry. It is now sitting on her desk waiting for her arrival in the morning.

I wonder if it will seem as funny tomorrow?

Apropos of Nothing

I love summer. No. I mean, I. REALLY. LOVE. SUMMER. I am happy at this time of year. I like it when the weather is warm and I can see the sun and people are not afraid to leave their homes for fear of freezing. If the weather could stay exactly as it is now, I would be in Heaven. (Look for the I. DESPISE. WINTER. version of this post in approximately seven months.)

Mark is buying a new truck. It’s time. He called me at work a couple of times today to update me on which truck he found in what price range and color at which dealership and what kind of extras come with it. He needed my opinion. I said I didn’t have an opinion. All I wanted to know was if the monthly payment fits the budget. I don’t care about anything else. It’s HIS truck. He said it wasn’t his, it was ours and I should have an opinion. I said it wasn’t ours, it was his. The car is MINE and it’s paid for. See how that works?

Downtown people are scary sometimes. I was leaving work and walking the couple of blocks to my parking ramp. There was a guy standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus. Well, I presume he was waiting for the bus because I think that’s what people do on bus stops. I could be wrong though. It’s been a while. Anyway.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah.

The guy at the bus stop was prying his cell phone apart.

With a knife.

A big knife.

I looked at the knife and all I could think is if he decided to stab me with the knife it would be able to go through my stomach and come out my spine. Ironically, this thought only raised a mild curiosity within me and very little actual fear. I may be a slight bit too trusting. But you’ll be pleased to know I did not get stabbed after all.

I think I’m going to go buy myself a hot pink and black bowling ball tonight. It’s time to get my own and stop bowling with Jake’s, don’t you think?

Exactly how many pills did Carter have, anyway? And was that Jimmy Carter? And what kind of pills were they?

No, I have not been drinking.

Life is Good – May 15, 2009

PurpleWhite2Just a few things that made life good this week…

The pain is gone! ~ A few days ago, I realized something has been missing. And that something is the back pain I have been battling for months. It appears to have gone on haitus, much to my relief. I’ve spent so much money trying to find the cure. I’ve purchased “good” vitamins, natural remedies, a base to raise my computer monitor at work, an excercise ball on which to sit and strengthen my core and I’ve made multiple visits to the chiropractor to the tune of almost thirty dollars per visit. And suddenly, my pain has been cured. Do you know what did the trick? A body pillow! My coworker, Trish suggested it. I had spent a small fortune on other things in the hopes of finding an answer and the answer ends up being a thirty dollar body pillow. I love this pillow. It keeps me from curling into a fetal position, which, I’m thinking was the big problem. It takes up a lot of room in the bed, so Mark is not so fond of it. My cat, however, loves it and she climbs right up on top of it and now we all sleep happily ever after.

~~~~~~~~~~

And off to work they go ~ While I’ve been worrying about the future of my job, both of my boys have been seeking employment for the past few months. And both received job offers in the same week. Brad will be working for a friend of ours as an intern with an engineering firm. What a great opportunity for a college kid! And he’s thrilled that he’ll have a normal 9 – 5 workday, as opposed to last year when he worked second shift and had no social life.

Jake applied for a position and was hired at the new Pinz which is opening in our area in just a few weeks. He’s going to be a laser tag attendant. Can you say FUN?

~~~~~~~~~~

I won! I won! ~ I never win anything, and this time, I really didn’t want to win. So go figure. I actually won. But winning the thing I didn’t really want to win was a really cool experience.

See, what happened is this. My friend Christopher of Blog Harbor fame, who is a fellow resident of the fine state of Minnesota and a former local radio show host here is searching for a new radio home. On Thursday he was doing an on-air audition at WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota which just so happens to be where my son currently lives while he goes to school. I wanted to support my friend as he auditioned live on the air, so I tuned in to the station online and heard that there was a trivia contest going on. Caller after caller took a stab at the correct answer, but no one got it right. “What the heck,” I thought. “I’ll call in.”

Have you ever called into a radio station during a contest? I have. I never get through. So I figured, “I’ll just call in and help boost up the call queue, make it look good. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do.”

So I dialed the number and someone answered the phone right away! Holy crap, I got through!

“What’s your name,” he asked?

“Uh, Terri.”

“Ok, Terri. Hold on.”

Next thing I knew I could hear Christopher talking to another caller and then the next thing I knew someone said, “Now we’re going to go to Terri.”

“Terri? Terri? I hope there’s another Terri in the call queue.”

And then the next thing I knew, Christopher was on the line and I was on. the. air. ohmygodwhatdoIdo?!

In my mind I was thinking, “Oh, sh*t.” I didn’t mean to actually participate in this contest . Meanwhile, Christopher was asking me what happened for the first time in the U.S. on May 14, 1904 and I was answering, “The Olympic games.”

And the embarassment really set in when he asked me, as if he could read my guilty mind, “Did you know that?”

Did I know that? Of course I didn’t actually know that. I don’t have to know such things. That’s what the internet is for. Do I lie? Do I tell the truth? Answer, you dork!

“Um. No. I, um… Googled it.” (Real charming, huh? I could never be on the radio. I had stage fright being on the phone on the radio.)

I think (I’m not sure, I was so nervous) I was then asked if I thought I could make it to the station by 4:00 to pick up the tickets I had just won to a local baseball game.

“Um, no.” I had to admit that I lived four hours away in St. Paul but that I could get my son to go pick them up, which then turned out to be not true after I talked to Brad and found out that he and all his friends were busy studying for finals and/or could not make the game and my embarassment was furthered when I had to call back and say, “I can’t get anyone to come get tickets. Can you give them away to someone else?” Thankfully, it was no problem. In hindsight, I’m wondering why I didn’t just give a wrong answer and let a local caller have a chance. I’m a real genius sometimes. So, yes. I embarassed myself completely on a Fargo radio station and won tickets to a game I had no hope of attending, but it was fully worth it because I got to talk to my friend Christopher while he was live on the air, which is so cool! And he’ll be on again today from 12:00 to 2:00 pm (central time) and next week Monday through Wednesday, so tune in here and give him a listen, ok?

Thanks!

Happy weekend everyone!

Why it may appear that I am a slacker

Someone… I’m not naming names… (*Ahem*Cough* Rock Chef*Cough*Cough*) has suggested that I’m slacking on my blogging duties. And I just want to say that I have NOT been slacking. I’ve just been very busy.

You see, Monday is bowling night, which means there is no time for a blog post. I race home from work and change into my fancy, pink Ball Busters bowling shirt and run back out the door in order to get to the bowling alley on time. On a typical Monday, the games finish somewhere around 9 pm and I get back home in time to go to bed at a decent hour and wake up the next day in time to get to work like a responsible adult. This week, however, was different. It wasn’t just any Monday. It was a special Monday.

DSCN3108 by you.

My best friend, G turned FORTY!

DSCN3107 by you.There was a very regal and proper cake.

DSCN3113 by you.There was some beer…

DSCN3109 by you.And there was some “after-bowling” bowling, during which G was kind enough to pretend she’s just as bad of a bowler as I am. Check out those scores! What a great friend she is not to show me up.

(I just have to add that I bowled a turkey – three strikes in a row – during one of the “after-bowling” bowling games. Of course. When it doesn’t matter. Next Monday, during league games, I’ll be lucky to break a hundred again.)

At approximately 11:30ish, G told me that her back was protesting and we should call it quits on the bowling. I looked at the clock and thought, “That’s not bad. I might still get up for work on time and get there on time.”

But then there were darts. I didn’t know there was going to be darts.

I’ve never played darts before. Darts take a long time. We had a great time. I randomly threw my darts at the board and got a bunch of bulls-eyes, which ironically enough, was not really the goal. Someone might have told me this sooner. Not that it would have made much difference.

We had fun and finally finished the game at 1:30 am. Have I ever mentioned that my alarm clock goes off at 4:00ish? Yeah, I came home and turned off the alarm. Mark woke up enough to ask if I had fun and I said yes and asked if he would make sure I got up at 6:00 when he did so that I could call in late to work. I shouldn’t have worried about it. I was awake at 5:15, called in and left a message that I would be taking a few hours of PTO time and would be in later. The plan was to go back to sleep for a few hours, but guess what didn’t happen. It was a long day at work, and even worse, I was made to attend a basketball game after work, which might have been exciting if my eyelids hadn’t felt so heavy. Guess who has realized she is too OLD to stay up late and party on a weeknight? Guess who fell asleep the minute her head hit the pillow on Tuesday night? Guess who couldn’t possibly squeeze in a blog post again last night?

Not to worry. A good night’s sleep was all I needed and I am back to my old self. (Emphasis on “old.”)

**********

Did you know it was Ash Wednesday today? Yes, it is the kick-off to the season of Lent. Good Catholic that I am (not), I was completely unaware until I was reminded of it this morning. Of course, I had decided to be all domestic today before leaving for work and put a bunch of chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight. And the problem with chicken is this. If you know anything about Catholics it’s that we’re not supposed to eat meat on Ash Wednesday or on Fridays during lent.

I was lamenting my chicken dilemma to my neighbor who had sent an email to me at work (out of sheer boredom, I’m thinking.) I asked if he remembered it was Ash Wednesday. He replied, “Yes. I called my mom and told her I didn’t go to church, but I did go to Cabela’s today. She forgave me.”

I explained that I hadn’t gone to church to get an ash tattoo on my forehead and likely wouldn’t, but I had so far managed to avoid eating meat. He then replied, “I have some thick cut pork chops thawing for dinner and I will eat them without guilt.”

I replied, “It is kind of ridiculous when you think about it, isn’t it? I mean, really. You’ve departed from your earthly body and you find yourself face to face with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter eyes you up and says, ‘Ah yes. Mr. B. I know you’ve given thousands to charities, sacrificed your time and shared your talents with those in need. But I can’t let you in. Sorry. It’s that pork chop thing. Down you go. Here. Take this jug of ice water. You’re gonna need it.'”

Neighbor replied that my St. Peter humor was REALLY funny. Like he was surprised. Which I didn’t take as a compliment because I like to think I’ve been funny a time or two before, but maybe not. I didn’t tell my neighbor this. I just told him to laugh it up because at that moment there was probably a bolt of lightning aimed at my head as punishment for my making fun of the Catholics. You’ll be happy to know I did NOT get struck dead by a bolt of lightning, and therefore, I was able to update my blog today! And now you know what I’ve been up to!

I know. You WISH you were me. I’ll be back to catch up on all the unread posts in my reader as soon as I go for a run. I have to do this while there’s still dry pavement because there is a 90% chance of snow here tomorrow.

Yay me.

Proof that winter WILL end someday

I woke up at 6:00 with the thought of going for a run. It was 3 degrees according to Weather Underground but I went out anyway because sometimes I’m stupid like that. I put on some extra layers and off I went. I thought it odd that there were birds chirping. I haven’t heard birds in a long time and it still seems much too cold for them to be back. I’ll take this as a sign that spring truly will return someday, as unlikely as it has seemed lately.

As soon as I left our driveway, a wall of cold air hit me in the face, but I thought once I started running I’d warm up and wouldn’t notice how frigid it felt.

“The best laid plans of mice and men…”

The run didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I warmed up just fine but it had snowed slightly Tuesday night; a wet, sticky looking snow which has now frozen solid to the path. There was a slight wind and I just had no stamina. I couldn’t shake the cramps in my sides. It was a struggle and I was simply running on empty. Why? Dinner was waiting for me on the stove last night when I got home, but everyone else was either gone, or had already eaten. It’s no fun eating alone. I ate some garlic bread standing in the kitchen and never went back to eat a real meal. No wonder my body was retaliating today.

There is no room in this house for a treadmill but I wish I had one anyway. I’m sick of the weather dictating whether or not I can run. The sporadic exercise schedule is making for slow (or no) progress. Maybe I’ll have to bite the bullet and join a gym. I just hate the thought but maybe I should just give it a try. Who knows. I might enjoy it.

Regardless, even though the winter seems endless, I know warmer days are on the horizon. Talk around the house these days is turning to spring and summer sports. I just bought new running shoes for Jake in anticipation of the track season. The team will start running inside the school soon until it warms up enough to move practices outdoors. 

Kacey’s volleyball season doesn’t end for another couple of months, but school softball sign-ups just opened up. She wants to get her own catcher’s glove. She proved to be a good catcher last year, but I hate to buy the glove not knowing whether or not she’ll actually be awarded the catcher’s position. I think she has a good chance. She told me that all her practice serving a volleyball has strengthened her throwing arm. She went to a captain’s practice at school last night and said her throws were stronger than ever and right on target. They practice throw-downs (the throw from the catcher at home plate to second base) and said she was able to get them to the second baseman (basegirl?) with ease. That’s not an easy throw for many to make.

There are two softball seasons that sort of blend together every year. There’s the school season, and before that one ends, practices for the summer teams begins. A couple of weeks ago, Kacey mentioned she might not want to play summer ball this year. (Secretly, I was thrilled at the idea of free evenings and weekends, even if I was a little sad that after all these years she was thinking of giving it up.) She debated with herself for a few days about playing. Her best friends with whom she has played for years have decided to pursue other interests. One wants to work. One is thinking of playing summer hockey. Another has joined a club softball team and won’t be playing in the local league. Kacey felt like it wouldn’t be the same without her buddies.

She came to me several times, lamenting the fact that she just couldn’t decide if she wanted to play in the summer league. I finally suggested that if she was this conflicted about it, her heart was no longer in it. I told her it was ok to give it up if that’s what she really wants and she seemed relieved to be given permission. She told me she would try out for the school team but would skip the summer league.

I thought it was settled. I started thinking about spending weekends at my in-laws’ cabin at the lake again. I thought about relaxing evenings at home or outside with the neighbors. And then I received an email from a woman who was organizing a summer team saying she wondered if Kacey would be interested in playing for them. I replied to the email, telling the woman that Kacey had been feeling very uncertain about playing ball this summer but to be fair, I would discuss the invitation with her.

And that’s all it took. All my girl needed was to be needed. She knows many of the girls on the new team and there was no question in her mind that she wants to play. She was talking on Facebook with one of the girls yesterday, and it seems they could use a catcher. I guess that settles it.

So there will be weekends when the house doesn’t get cleaned and there will be times I complain that we have to drive way too far to the tournaments. But I’ll get to see my girl doing something she loves (all while soaking up the summer sun.) Besides, in a couple more years, it will all be a fading memory and I’ll have all the time in the world to lounge around with nothing better to do. Right?

I guess I’ll be pricing catcher’s gloves now.

Sharing my useful knowlege

I thanked a coworker for sharing some new-found information this morning. She replied, “Knowledge is power. Use it wisely.”

I told her, “Ignorance is bliss.”

Truthfully, I do like to be well-informed, but that doesn’t always mean I’m smart. Smart people don’t run around melting their finger skin off with hot irons.

Smart people don't touch hot irons by you.

Don’t ask. Yes, I knew the iron was on. Yes, I knew it was hot. My only defense is that it was way too early for my brain to be functioning at full capacity and it even took quite a few seconds for my nerves to scream out, “Hey, Idiot! That hurts!”

Allow me to share some powerful knowledge with you. People with blisters on their fingers don’t bowl very well. Did I tell you? I’m a full-fledged member of the bowling team now. And of course, now that I’m no longer the sub, I’ve forgotten how to bowl. I bowled like a rock star when I was just the sub. Now that I’m a true member of the team, I kind of suck. This week, we’ll blame my pulled back muscle and blistered fingers. Next week I better show some improvement or they’ll kick me right back off the team!

There are interesting people in the bowling alley. Last week I was chatting with my little 17-year old mentally challenged buddy. He was telling me about bowling with his family and I told him as soon as they finish building the new bowling alley by my house that I’m going to go bowling all the time with my 17-year old son who also likes to bowl. There was a man sitting next to my buddy and I heard him ask, “Where do you live?”

I looked at him, and he was facing my direction but I honestly couldn’t tell if he was talking to me. One of his eyes was squished shut and the other was sort of floating around in circles. I tried to follow his gaze, but I was getting dizzy. He asked again, “Where do you live?”

I decided it was a safe bet to answer and that turned out to be a good call, since he was, in fact asking in which city I live so he could figure out where the new bowling alley was going to be. We had quite a nice conversation and I didn’t have to try too hard not to ask if he was allowed to drive with that rogue eye.

ADHD moment… Total change of subject. Check this out:

Believe it! by you.

My daughter got the biggest kick out of this insert that came in the package of underwear I bought her. The undies were these really teeny-tiny microfiber panties and did NOT look like they’d fit a grown person. But guess what? They do!

And speaking of random thoughts, my boss buys these awesome scented liquid Bath & Bodyworks hand-soaps for the ladies’ room at work. The one I tried today smelled really good, and I wanted to make a note of the name so I might buy some for at home. It was “Freshwater Cucumber.” I wonder if there are saltwater cucumbers too? I didn’t even know cucumbers could swim.

No, I have NOT been drinking. I’ve just had a hair-on-fire busy kind of week so far and for the record, I LOVE IT! Bring it on!

End of rambling… I’m off to catch up with all of you.