Thursday, June 30, 2005

Don't Forget My Red Stapler

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year. Not an actual New Year, like Chinese New Year or the Jewish new year, but the beginning of the made-up "fiscal year."

While the fiscal year does have some importance in businesses outside of the accounting department, few businesses are hit as hard as those who sell things or raise money. They spend the better part of June scrambling for invoices and wondering where in their job description "collection agent" fits in. It's actually a part of the ubiquitous catch-all "other duties as assigned."

Anyway, today the executive Vice President of our five-state region came in to check on things. This was a worrisome sign for many of us who remember the summer of 2002. That was the last time he had made such trip and it ended in the elimination of a couple jobs. So the mood for this morning's meeting when he was to address the staff was less than enthusiastic. In fact, the secrecy shrouding his visit added that much more tension.

So this morning I made my list. In the event of a firing, I made the list of items that are mine in my office. When a person is gone from this place, they must leave at the precise moment of being told. If they have a planner of purse, they may collect, but they may NOT under any circumstances take anything else. Instead, an employee boxes up what he or she thinks was the former employee's items and sends them along.

I, on the other hand, want to be prepared. I made my list and handed it to a friend "on the inside" in case of emergency.

Luckily, no one was let go and the list will remain unused. Happy New Fiscal Year!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dumb then Dumber?

Does anyone else feel like the older they get, the dumber they get? I mean, sure I'm racking up "life experiences" like pennies, but what about learning?

I feel like the longer I stay in a job, the less I'm learning about anything not related to the job. Yes, I still read and all, but things that I used to know and care about I can't even remember any more. I'm more content to read Jennifer Aniston's accusation of infidelity towards Brad than to pick up something a little less entertaining.

I almost feel like I should take a class or something to remember that I really do have critical thinking skills that aren't in any way related to selling an idea, sponsorship or mission statement.

At the rate I'm going, I'll be subscribing to National Enquirer by the time I'm 40. No wonder old people like Matlock.

Monday, June 27, 2005

My Feet Hurt

It's been a long ass day. It started early this morning when I hurried into work to get things ready for the awards presentation this morning. It went well. I had two TV stations and a newspaper. Not bad. Not what I would've really hoped for, but it was an awards presentation on a Monday morning, after all.

The people were nice and I only got bitched out once from someone not really involved in the event. She bitched me out because she wanted to be MORE involved in the event. By more involved, I mean she still wanted me to do all of the actual work of putting on the event, but she wanted spokespersons from her organization to get all the media time. Do I look that stupid?

However, what I've found through all of this is that I'm not really a person who enjoys doing PR. I love advertising, writing, designing, editing, and even media sponsorships. But I don't like the ass-kissing that's involved in getting media to your event. I'm not above ass-kissing, but I just don't like it.

Anyway, all in all, a good day, but busy as crap. Now my dogs are barking (feet are hurting) and the only thing that might give me solace (aside from Chef) is knowing that there are crazier people out there who like squirrels and making dioramas. They practically faint with joy when they get to combine the two and share with the world. Below is just a tiny tidbit of the reason why all other countries hate the U.S.

The joys of animal photography. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Biggest?

I stopped by Arby's last night on my way home from a work event and was surprised to hear that they no longer have the Big Montana. Not that they've done away with the concept, I mean it's hard to improve upon about a 1/2 pound of delicious roast beef. However, the delightful name is now the generic sounding "Biggest." I'm totally disappointed.

So I've noticed a lot of bloggers make these nice lists about themselves, so I've decided to copy them. I want to devote a whole entry to writing mundane things that reveal little about me that you might already know.

Here goes!

10 years ago
  • I got my driver's license and finally got to drive my first love, Carlos
  • I slept off my Saturday morning hangovers on the gymnastics mats at Gus Doerner's and proudly continued our tradition of being the worst service-oriented store in the mall
  • My friends now thought that I was an annoying chick and they were right
  • I met the boy that I thought would be around forever, but instead left with a whimper a few years later

5 years ago

  • I sat at a blackjack table in Vegas with She-Ra and He-Man that the dealer SWORE that Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt had just left
  • Precious convinced me to skip ice skating class when we were only a block away from the rink
  • A bouncer named Phillip called my friend Honkeys without trying to be funny
  • I wore a homemade sachet that was supposed to have magical powers to lure in the right man
  • I spent a summer without sleep, in constant worry and found out what true friends really are

Today

  • I found out that She-Ra's coming in this weekend!
  • I'm worried that no media will show up for a press event I'm having on Monday
  • I'm hoping that Chef will make Tacos for dinner
  • I'm wondering if I will ever finish writing the three stories that I currently have going
  • I'm glad to met a great man who not only indulges my weirdness, but also adds in his own for good measure

Tomorrow

  • I plan on sleeping in
  • I want at least a couple, if not several hours, to be lazy
  • I need to get things over to the Goodwill and OUT of my apartment

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm trying to get my work done so that I can head out early.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Remembering the Good Day

I took Monday off. I really didn't have anything going on at that time and it was chance for Chef and I to get some stuff done and enjoy each other's company.

I gotta tell you. It was glorious. I slept in, had sushi for lunch, went to a movie, and got to lounge around too. It was enough for me to hold on to when days like today happen.

There are times when you're busy at work and you know you're going to be busy at work. Those seasons that just demand the most out of you. But is there nothing more disturbing than thinking you're in a slow period and having a bunch of crap jump out of the woodwork? How about thinking you have 10 days to something and finding out you have 3?

See, it's days like today when I remember laying on my couch on a Monday afternoon and smiling. It totally makes me want to go back to school. Remember those great weekday afternoons when you'd skip class and just hang out for not real reason. I miss those days. I miss the freedom of knowing I didn't have to go to class and my not going was not going to affect the lifestyle that I'd grown accustom to. Damn my expensive shoe habit.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Total Tomato, you Dill

So Terri Schiavo's autopsy report came out yesterday and it revealed that her brain weighed about half of what a normal brain should weigh. Chef thought it was an appropriate time to make a smartass comment about how women only have half a brain anyway. I don't think we have half a brain. I just think we don't count our genitalia in the final tally of brain matter, but that's just me.

Anyway, she was a vegetable, it turns out. And yet another time for politics to make its way back into the limelight. Sen. Frist publicly based his decision on forcing the federal courts to look at the case again on the fact that he thought Terri was responsive to people. Why did he think that? Because of the video tape evidence. All I have to say is that I'm glad that my doctor doesn't base his diagnosis on videotapes.

Again, it was a tough decision, but I'd rather not have my Senator deciding whether I live or die. He'd probably keep me living forever just to ensure that my family would have "me" vote for him. I'm just saying.

On another note, have you ever wondered how those states without a lot going on for them manage to employ a marketing and tourism department? I mean, how creatively can you manage to market Kansas? It's flat. I get it. Have you ever noticed that the later into the night it gets, the worse the attractions for the advertised state is? Poor Delaware. It's a 3 a.m. slot for you.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stayin' Alive

I've been surrounded by survivors lately. Today I had a photo shoot with some survivor volunteers who are our "posterpeople" for the campaign. Yesterday, I talked on the phone with a man who was saved a week ago.

This guy was working out at a local YMCA and had a sudden cardiac arrest, where the electrical aspect of the heart shorts out and the heart stops. So he's lying on the floor, not breathing, no heart beat and a doctor and a nurse who were working out and some Y staff grab the Automated External Defibrillator and shock him back to life. The AED was placed there three years ago with the help of our organization.

It was weird to talk to someone who basically died for several minutes and woke up in a hospital. You could tell how grateful he was to be alive. It was like that part in Fight Club where Tyler Durden threatens the liquor store clerk and makes him go back to school. "Tomorrow he will experience things in a whole new way. The cereal he eats will be the best in the world because he is there to eat it. "

That's what it's like to hear survivors talk. To hear the buoyancy in their voices and the disdain they have for those who had similar experiences but don't change their lives. It's funny to listen to people talk in percentages, like "The doctor gave me a 5 percent chance of making it through the night." The lingo changes and it becomes funny to listen to them rate their procedures against others. "He ONLY had a stent. I had a stent AND a bypass."

All in all, it's pretty humbling and although it doesn't change the inner mechanisms of the organization, at least it relieves the feeling of bullshit....at least for the afternoon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Da Pain! Da Pain!

Does anyone have any helpful hints for ingrown toe nails? I think I've got one and today it's making its presence known. Of course, I am wearing pointed toe high heel shoes, so I'm really just tempting the Gods.

I've tried using nail clippers to dig the bitch out and tried to cut it, but I may need some extra help. I hate spending time with my feet anyway.

Speaking of feet and my lack of love for them, has everyone seen that foot fungus commercial? It's an old one and now hotmail is using the animated banner of it to taunt me. It features the little fungus creature popping up the toe nail on a big toe like the hood of a car to show us all the disgusting things underneath it.

The first time I saw this, I about barfed down the front of my shirt. I'm not a big foot fan and it's mostly because my foot injuries have been incredibly painful. Nail injuries in general weird me out and I've had both my big toe nails come off at some point or another. The pain and the tenderness after one of those puppies detaches is enough to make me wince just thinking about it.

Damn those toe fungus people!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

You don't need food or shelter, you need good Christian restraint

I read an article the other day about the AIDS efforts in Africa. Yes, timely seeing as it's "Get Your Stanky Ass Tested" Month. Anyway, it pointed out that just in time for the 2004 election, Bush promised $15 billion in AIDS relief efforts. The gesture was a general feel-good move that was enough to have some people feel like "See? He doesn't just want to bomb the shit out of places that aren't America and drain them of anything that might be profitable. He cares about the AIDS babies, too."

Whatever. It was bullshit, like most political maneuvers. We're giving away about half of what we said we would (yes, it's still $7-8 billion, but my mom always told me not to let my mouth write a check that my ass couldn't cash).

Here's the big kicker: Instead of giving the money to proven non-governmental AIDS relief agencies, the Bush administration has stipulated that only efforts that promote abstinence over condom use. That's like making a cancer patient think happy thoughts to get better while we hold the medicine.

When will people realize that about 70 percent of the WORLD is NOT Christian? Since when did religion become an outright necessity for receiving US funds? The US doesn't hold back on military funding for Iraqis and we KNOW they aren't doing the sign of the cross with every dollar they get.

I thought we had a separation between church and state . Although I knew it was never really true, I liked the delusion.

After 2008, the only Bush I want to hear about is Billy Bush and I only want to see him interviewing some shitty celebrity that's "in love" and "has to tell the world."

Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm not getting a Michael Jackson Prize, either

So, he's "not guilty." Is there anyone in America that wouldn't at least have a slight hesitation if they were asked to send their kid to Neverland Day Camp?

Remember when you had that picture of Michael Jackson in the leaning on elbow pose and you thought, "He's so cool. I wanna be just like him some day." Remember seeing the Thriller video and thinking "WOW! He's always going to the greatest!" I do and it makes me sad.

Has there ever been an entertainer in the history of modern entertainment that has done more of a 360 than MJ? Yes, Elvis got fat and died on his toilet, but most people don't think of that as the first thing on their mind when they think of Elvis.

Whenever you think of Michael Jackson, you will now and forever always remember his child molestering accusations. It's not ever going away. It makes me long for the Blanket episode of South Park.

Friday, June 10, 2005

There is no award for Coolest Mother, so stop trying

I realize that a lot of mothers want to be the cool mothers. My mother was great and I loved her deeply, but never did she try to wear low rider jeans and hang out with my friends for shits and giggles. She was the mom she was supposed to be when I was in high school. Strong, authoritative, yet let me be independent.

I guess it kills me when I see those moms who want to be "hip" and be best friends with their children. The teenage years aren't for being friends. That's what the older years are for. The teenage years are for ass kicking. If you want to be a cool parent to a teenager, look the other way once or twice when the Southern Comfort isn't as full as it used to be or just yell when you find a bottle cap in the garbage disposal instead of denouncing beer.

A mother in Nashville was trying to win the cool mother award. She hired a stripper for her son's birthday. His 16th birthday. Good god. I love flying titties as much as the next person (unless the next person is a guy because I could never love them as much as a guy), but make them download internet porn or steal Playboys for that shit.

Maybe I'm just getting "unhip" in my old age.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Not so bad...

So a week ago I visited a Mapco Express (a gas station for those of you without the Mapco) and it was raining. Well, apparently rain hinders their credit card machines because theirs froze up...while in the middle of processing my payment.

Having no other forms of payment, I had to wait...for 20 minutes. Finally, I got frustrated, bought the bullet and used their in-store ATM. The ATM charged me out the ass because it was another bank and in a gas station and apparently convenience comes with a hefty $4 price tag.

I was irritated but things happen. I only became pissed when the next day I checked my bank balance to realize that they'd charged my card. I called immediately and was told that I would have to check with the cashier that took my card and hope that she remembered me. I was livid at this point. Went down there the next day at the same time as the previous purchase and was told that the cashier wasn't working that day, so to come back.

At this point, I was pissed enough to fire off an email and a phone call to the corporate offices with the store number in my possession. I have to day that they actually responded quickly and efficiently. In fact, one week later my account has been rectified and I'm the proud owner of a new $25 gift card for my troubles (which is only not good for lottery tickets. I only hope that I can find a Mapco that sells gas and donuts so I can be insured that they will take my credit card-like gift card).

See. Sometimes bitching does accomplish something.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Most places won't even guarantee 30 minutes or less anymore!

A pizza delivery guy in Florida got SHOT in the leg and continued to deliver his pizzas. How many people other than an FBI agent would get shot doing a job and keep on doing it like nothing happened?

Before people out there start saying, "He just got shot in the leg." I ask you this: Have you taken a bullet? Then shut up. It's a bullet in the leg.

Which makes me wonder, I can't seem to find a gas station attendant that cares enough to come to the register to ring me up, let alone someone who would get shot and ring me up.

A sad note, one of today's top searches on msn.com was "Natalee Holloway," the girl who went missing in Aruba. Seems like everyone is searching for her.

However, a man that was MIA is now back on it. Dave Chappelle met with Comedy Central after his trip to Africa. Apparently Africa is now the place to go to for celebrities. Dave Chappelle, Oprah, Brad Pitt. Africa is like the new rehab for celebrity sightings.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What happened to a good publicist?

There is a reason why entertainers pay other people money to help them work the media. That's because entertainers are idiots. Not all of them, mind you, but a vast majority of them, and to keep up the facade of the cool demeanor they need a barrier to prevent them from exposing their true self. Usually their true self turns out to be more like the creepy guy in the bar that thinks his charm will get him out of a DUI. Or the chick in high school that had little boobs and no brain, so to make up for it she screwed half the school...and not just the male half.

These are our celebrities. They are insane and stupid and show this in their attempts to prove that they're "just like regular people." And lately, the bumper crop of dumbass moves has been enough to keep me entertained.

Let's start with Tom Cruise. How did he think it would be a good idea to fire his publicist of years and years? The publicist that realized that the majority of Americans would not buy into a religion that incorporates aliens into their sermons. The publicist was smart enough to steer Tom away from the religious outpourings and into history as a stud. However, Tom's new publicist, who happens to be his sister and a Scientologist, is not as smart. I don't give a rat's ass what, if any, religion a person chooses to believe in. I just don't want to hear he or she spewing their beliefs at me like an evangelist. There should be a separation of church and star.

By the way, have you seen the picture of L. Ron Hubbard? It's a sexy blend of Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Price and Hugh Hefner.


That Sexy Beast: L. Ron Hubbard. Posted by Hello

Okay, so that leaves Britney. Just when people were starting to forget that Mr. Federline dumped his impregnated wife to go on tour and fall for Britney, she decides to make a show about it. Is anyone else feeling the freaky coincidence that Moesha (with the ex Mrs. Federline) was on UPN which is now home to the new Mrs. Federline? I would think that for Kevin the next logical step would've been to knock up one of the girls from 7th Heaven on the WB or something, but I guess he skipped a couple steps.

Anyway, the very first scene of the show had Britney saying "They look like boobs. But they're not. They're my knees!" And that was probably the least vomit-inducing thing that's been said. I actually feel a little bit sorry for the people who thought that Britney's little sex surveys wouldn't be seen by anyone. Of course, they're on UPN, so they are being seen by no one.

Okay, so Russell Crowe's a rebel. We get it. He doesn't have to hit hotel clerks when his movies suck at the box office to make that point. No other harmless hotel phones need to get hurt in the process. If a publicist had been there, he or she could've taken the punch and no one would ever have known. Or they could have at least leaked the story in a much better and less obvious manner.

What it comes down to is this: Celebrities, I beg you. Please don't be regular people. You need someone to censor you. Not everything you say or do needs to come out to the public or is worthy of publicity. Get a good publicist. Keep a good publicist.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Too Hot to Handle

Too Cold to Hold.

I spent the majority of my morning on a golf course and not in a good way. It was our annual golf tournament, which means getting up at 4:30 and moving boxes at 6 a.m. in the already hot June sun. Not exactly a good time. This year was no exception.

The only time I have felt ickier than I do after a day at these golf tournaments is the time that Swampette, She-ra and I went up to West Lafayette one muggy 4th of July to visit She-ra's now-husband. He lived with some guys in the typical bachelor apartment in the not-so-typical attic of a very large house. A very large house with absolutely no central air conditioning. It was the first moment in my life where I began sweating the moment I stepped out of the shower. Literally had a 2 second window of feeling clean. You cannot begin to pack enough underwear for an occasion like that.

Nonetheless I spent the majority of the day under a not-so-cool tent on the practice putting green taking pictures of the teams as they rode past. I was under the tent with 5 retired men and had a good time with them. In fact, it made me realize that I liked these strangers immensely more than I could stand my co-workers. In fact, when left with the option of getting out of a normal day's work or sitting at the golf course with those people, I chose to go back to work. Yeah, they're that bad.

I didn't feel too bad. About 10 minutes after I made it back to the office, a huge rain cloud opened up and the afternoon round got cancelled. Which only means that we'll regrettably have to golf another day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

On the Road Again

I wish I was as ready as Willie Nelson to get on the road again, but I'm not. Tomorrow I head to Knoxville, the home of the Orange that gives me seizures from the sight of it. I'm doing Media Training for an office there that needs some help.

Actually, it will be the first meeting there since the executive director got fired, so that'll be some nice tension to walk in to. Wonderful. Plus this is my trouble office. I consult for four offices other than my own and this is the one that doesn't seem to get it. I'm not at their beckon call. I'm just there to help them.

The bummer of it is that I will get home late, because their team meetings are at 3 p.m. on Friday. How shitty is that? Anyway, I'm going to get home late and tomorrow is Chef's birthday. Wish him a happy day tomorrow since I won't see him until later.

I just can't wait to get on the road again...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Red Puffy Eyes

And it's not from crying. It's from allergies. At least, I hope it's from allergies. I've been sneezing for the past two days non-stop. It's maddening and it's making my mascara smudge in the under-eye area. It actually looks like bags and it's nice because the people here think that I'm sick and are leaving me alone.

Why do I want to be left alone? Because I took yesterday off. I know it was already a three-day weekend, but when I woke up with puffy eyes and a grogginess that wouldn't go away, I knew I was in trouble. Chef looked over at me and said those three little letters that made sense: "P.T.O?"

Y.E.S.

Chef was off of work yesterday too, so it was nice to have a day to ourselves. I even managed to stop doing housework and moving crap for the majority of the day and enjoy myself. In fact, I even played Xbox with the man. And it was fun.

I was sitting there yesterday afternoon watching part of the worst soap on TV ("Passions") and remembering what it was like to get the summer off. I miss that. I also miss taking a day off of work and doing nothing. Just taking a day because I want to, not because I'm sick or have to travel or move. I'm going to take those more often.

Now it's back to work where I've decided to let out my emotions more fluently. The first recipient of that philosophy is currently not talking to me, but whatever. A girl came in my office looking for me and said "It was weird yesterday. It was like I was the only person who cared to work after the holiday." I looked at her and deadpanned "Yeah, that's how I feel here every day when I'm here after 4 p.m." The girl, notorious for leaving after 3:30 every day, turned red and scuttled out.

I hope more people will scuttle out of my office more often.

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