Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The PS22 Chorus...So Talented

PS22 Chorus

I was watching TV on Sunday and saw a Target commercial that featured an 11 year old girl singing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."  She was sooo good that I looked her up on YouTube and discovered more videos of her and The PS22 Chorus, an elementary school chorus from Public School 22 in Graniteville, Staten Island NY.

I can't believe how well they harmonize! Check out their blog at http://ps22chorus.blogspot.com/ for more videos.

Sunday, February 12, 2012






Make A Difference

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference,
ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time,
add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
~ Marian Wright Edelman

Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 Little Know Facts About The Superbowl

  1. No network footage exists of Super Bowl I. It was taped over, supposedly for a soap opera.
  2. No NFL team has ever played the Super Bowl on its own home field.
  3. No Super Bowl game has ever gone into overtime play.
  4. Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest U.S. food consumption day, following Thanksgiving.
  5. The NFL pays for up to 150 rings for the winning Super Bowl team at $5,000 apiece (plus adjustments for extra gold or diamonds) and 150 pieces of jewelry for the losing Super Bowl team, each to cost up to half the price of the Super Bowl ring

5 Little Known Facts About Your Body

If you touch your tongue while yawning, it can stop the yawn
Your earlobes line up with your nipples
Women blink nearly twice as much as men
Your funny bone isn't actually a bone but rather a really sensitive nerve
When you are born, your eyes are almost full size but your nose and ears never stop growing

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Office Gobbledygook

I found a Forbes article entitled, "The Most Annoying, Pretentious and Useless Business Jargon" that is comical but so true.  According to the article, business jargon masks real meaning. People use it as a substitute for thinking about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.  Here are some of MY personal pet peeves that made it on their list:

Core Competency - Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking. It’s like core mediocrity.

Buy In - Asking for someone’s buy-in says, ‘I have an idea but I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you. I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.'

Empower - This is what someone above your pay grade does when, apparently, they would like you to do a job they do not wish to do.

Corporate Values - Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Think Outside The Box - This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Forget the box, just think.

Learnings - Most educated people know how to conjugate a verb. That’s why most people cringe when the word “learning” is used as a noun. As in: “I had a critical learning from that project,” or “We documented the team’s learnings.” Whatever happened to simply saying: “I learned a lesson from that project?” Aspiring managers would do well to remember that if you can’t express your idea without buzzwords, there may not be an idea there at all.

Reach Out - Jargon for “let’s set up a meeting” or “let’s contact this person.” Just say that - and unless you want the Human Relations department breathing down your neck, please don’t reach out unless clearly invited.

Giving 110% - The nice thing about effort, in terms of measuring it, is that the most you can give is everything - and everything equals 100%. You can’t give more than that. To tell someone to give more than 100% is to tell them that you failed second-grade math.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Surprising Reasons To Give Up Soda

Being a soda addict, I found this interesting and scary:

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American guzzles 44.7 gallons of soda every year. Not sure what 44.7 gallons looks like? It's about what you'd need to fill a small kiddie pool. Now, we all know that soda isn't healthy and we all know that America’s drink of choice contributes to our country's ever-expanding obesity problem. But love handles are just the beginning. Read on for three shocking soda facts that will have you saying “Just water, please” from now on.

Shocking Soda Fact #1: Soda fattens up your organs

A recent Danish study revealed that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in dangerous hard-to-detect fats. Researchers asked participants to drink either regular soda, milk containing the same amount of calories as regular soda, diet cola, or water every day for six months. The results? Total fat mass remained the same across all beverage-consuming groups, but regular-soda drinkers experienced dramatic increases in harmful hidden fats, including liver fat and skeletal fat. The regular-soda group also experienced an 11 percent increase in cholesterol compared to the other groups. And don’t think switching to diet varieties will save you from harm: Artificial sweeteners and food dyes have been linked to brain cell damage and hyperactivity, and research has shown that people who drink diet soda have a higher risk of developing diabetes.

FIX IT WITH FOOD: The average American drinks 450 calories a day. By switching to water as your go-to beverage, you'll make room in your diet for foods that can strengthen your heart, fortify your bones, and boost your metabolism so you can lose weight more quickly.

Shocking Soda Fact #2: Soda contains flame retardants

Some popular soda brands, including Mountain Dew, use brominated vegetable oil—a toxic flame retardant—to keep the artificial flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid. This hazardous ingredient—sometimes listed as BVO on soda and sports drinks—can cause bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions and memory loss, as well as nerve disorders. If that’s not a good enough reason NOT to “Do the Dew,” I don’t know what is.

Shocking Soda Fact #3: Drinking soda makes you a lab rat

Many American soda brands are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, a heart-harming man-made compound derived mainly from genetically engineered corn. The problem? Genetically engineered ingredients have only been in our food chain since the 1990s, and we don't know their long-term health impacts because the corporations that developed the crops never had to test them for long-term safety. Case in point: Some recent findings suggest that genetically engineered crops are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility!


Credit: David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Be Afraid To Try Something New

"Never be afraid to do something new.
Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic."
~ Anonymous

Crackers Unite

One of my favorite early childhood memories is spending the night at my grandmother's house.  I called her LaLa because she would sing to me before I'd fall asleep and when she'd forget the words, she'd sing, "la, la, la..." After playing outside, she'd take me into her pink tiled bathroom and would fill the sink with warm soapy water.  She'd wash my hands with cocoa butter soap and it was hypnotizing.  Between the massage, the steam and the scent of cocoa butter I'd become almost catatonic.  She would then dry my hands with a soft fluffy towel and then massage cocoa butter lotion into my hands and along each finger.  Her hands were always so soft and elegant.  She'd often warn me never to crack my knuckles or else they would swell. I'd want my future engagement ring to fit over my knuckle, right?  Of course I did!!!  So for years to come, I'd crack in shame until I recently found the following article:

Cracking your knuckles does not actually hurt your bones or cause arthritis. The sound you hear is just gas bubbles bursting.  Cracking your knuckles (or any of your joints) can have therapeutic benefits. When you crack one of your joints you are pulling the bones that are connected at the joint apart from each other. This process stimulates your tendons, relaxes your muscles, and loosens your joints. Chiropractors do this for spinal joints when your back is sore and stiff, but you can do this on your own for your knuckles, toes, knees, neck, etc.

Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing. Cracking your knuckles will never lead to arthritis (despite what your mom keeps telling you), but scientists have discovered that it can cause tissue damage in the affected joints. Knuckle-cracking pulls your finger bones apart which stretches your ligaments. Too much stretching of your ligaments will cause damage to your fingers akin to the arm injuries sustained by a baseball pitcher who throws too many pitches. In addition to making your hand really sore, this ligament damage can also result in reduced grip strength.

How does this work? Your joints, the places in your body where you can bend, are where your bones intersect and are held together by ligaments. These joints are surrounded by a liquid called synovial fluid. When you stretch your ligaments by pulling the bones apart to crack your knuckles a gas in the synovial fluid escapes and turns into a bubble. This process is called cavitation. Cavitation ends when the bubble eventually bursts, producing that popping sound we know and love. After that, your joints won't be able to crack for another 25-30 minutes while the gas gets reabsorbed into the synovial fluid.

ps. I was able to sport a nice rock while I was married so crack away!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

President Obama's State of the Union Address

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)

“An America Built to Last”
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Highlights of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:

Said the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes, arguing that anyone who makes more than $1 million should pay a minimum tax rate of at least 30 percent. He also provided more details about the so-called Buffett rule, which sets a goal of a minimum tax rate for those earning $1 million or more a year.

Pushed measures for college affordability, including taking federal aid from colleges that don't keep net tuition down and provide good value, and urged Congress to make permanent a tuition tax credit worth $10,000 over four years. He also called for a new emphasis on the teaching profession to include better evaluation systems and incentives for teachers and improved teacher education. And he challenged state governments to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18, as 20 states already do.

Proposed a nationwide program to allow homeowners with privately held mortgages to refinance at lower interest rates. It would cover both loans issued by government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and private bank mortgage lenders. Congress would have to approve, a difficult hurdle. Under the plan, any homeowner current on his or her mortgage could take advantage of lending rates now at 4 percent or below. Administration officials offered few details but estimated savings of about $3,000 a year for average borrowers.

Reiterated a call for comprehensive immigration reform, including giving responsible young people a chance to earn their citizenship. He suggested creating a Veterans Job Corps to help communities hire veterans, and he committed to closing the wage gap between men and women.

Called for the creation of a new trade enforcement unit that would go after unfair trade practices around the world, including China. Obama said the U.S. would provide financing to put its companies on even footing when the Chinese or other competitors use unfair export financing to help their businesses. He also called for better inspections to stop counterfeit, pirated or unsafe goods from entering the U.S.

Proposed using half the savings achieved by winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to cover costs of new investments in infrastructure. Obama wants the money to go toward fixing existing roads and building new high-speed rail projects. He also plans to sign an executive order in the coming weeks to clear some of the bureaucratic roadblocks that have slowed work on projects that have already been funded. The White House says the other half of the savings from drawing down the wars would go toward reducing the national debt.

Proposed eliminating tax incentives that make it more attractive for companies to ship jobs overseas. The proposal would require American companies to pay a minimum tax on their overseas profits in order to prevent other countries from attracting U.S. businesses with unusually low tax rates. Obama also wants to eliminate tax deductions companies receive for the cost of shutting down factories and moving production overseas. Instead, Obama wants to create a new tax credit to cover moving expenses for companies that close production overseas and bring jobs back to the U.S. He also wants to reduce tax rates for manufacturers and double the tax deduction for high-tech manufacturers in order to create more manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Directed his administration to develop a plan for safe extraction of natural gas from shale deposits, which the White House says will support more than 600,000 jobs. The administration is moving forward with what it calls "common-sense" rules to ensure that safe drilling practices are followed and the types of chemicals used in the so-called fracking method are disclosed for operations on public lands. Obama said he would offer incentives to manufacturers to boost the energy efficiency of the industrial sector by upgrading equipment and eliminating wasted energy in their facilities. The White House estimates those incentives and efforts to reduce regulatory barriers could save $100 billion from the nation's energy bills and cut energy imports. Obama also said he will direct the Defense Department to make the largest renewable energy purchase in history - 1 gigawatt, or 1 billion watts. Obama plans to direct his administration to establish solar energy zones and wind energy areas on public lands to power 3 million homes by the end of 2012.

Proposed steps to target fraud in the financial sector and mortgage industry, with a Financial Crimes Unit to crack down on bankers and financial service professionals, and a separate special unit of federal prosecutors and state attorneys general to expand investigations into abusive lending that led to the housing crisis. "This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans," Obama said.

Responded to criticism from Republican presidential challengers, who have accused him of inciting class warfare by seeking higher taxes on millionaires and assailed his administration's ties to Solyndra, a clean energy company which went bankrupt despite receiving a $528 million federal loan. Obama said critics could "call this class warfare all you want," but argued that most people would consider it common sense for a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes. Obama did not mention Solyndra by name, but defended the promise of renewable energy from wind and solar power, saying he would "not walk away from the promise of clean energy."

Credit: Associated Press

Five shocking facts from Mitt Romney’s tax return

Mitt Romney has plenty of reasons to smile based on the numbers form his 2010 tax return.
Credit: Getty Images

Mitt Romney has plenty of reasons to smile based on the numbers form his 2010 tax return.
After at first refusing to release any tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney finally relented today by making public his 2010 tax return. Romney’s father actually released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president, and Romney’s opponents are still likely to press for the disclosure of more years in the coming months. Still, one year alone is providing plenty of reading material for reporters and interesting revelations for the public. Below are perhaps the five most stunning facts about Mitt Romney’s taxes.

#1 – Romney made more money in one day than the average American makes in a year, yet paid a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans
Romney made an income of $21.7 million in 2010. As Bloomberg notes, this means that Romney made more in one day ($59,452) than the average American makes in one year (approximately $35,000). Romney’s income over one week would put him in the top 1% of wage earners in the country.

But alas this fact alone is not that shocking. The real stunner is the fact that Romney paid an effective tax rate of only 13.9% on this tremendous income. Romney’s tax rate is actually below that of many middle-class Americans who make only $50,000 per year. Romney’s chief GOP opponent, Newt Gingrich, made over $3 million in 2010, but paid a tax rate over 30%. President Obama made $1.8 million in 2010, and paid a tax rate of 23%. Both men made less than one-seventh of what Romney made, yet paid a much higher tax rate.

#2 – Romney made no income from "wages" and therefore avoided almost all Social Security and Medicare taxes
Romney low tax rate can be explained in large part by the source of his income. Almost all of Romney’s income was made off of capital gains, or investment income. As Warren Buffet put it, both Romney and he effectively make money by simply pushing their large sums of money around. While teachers, accountants, and construction laborers work 40 hours a day to earn $1,000 per week, Romney can make that sum in just a few hours by clicking some computer keys.  In addition, Romney is able to escape a number of taxes because of his source of income. A normal laborer would be taxed for Social Security (12.4%) and Medicare (2.9%) when including the employer contribution. Romney pays none of these taxes simply because the income is from "capital gains" rather than "wages."

#3 – Romney's tax return is 550 pages long and details at least four foreign bank accounts
Needless to say Romney is not using the 1040EZ form to fill out his tax returns. The 2010 return alone is 550 pages long and details accounts that Romney has or once had in Luxembourg, Ireland, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands. These countries are historically known as "tax shelters" where many Americans put their money to avoid paying higher taxes domestically.

Conservatives like Romney often complain about the complications of the tax code, but the 2010 return shows that Romney and his tax advisors have effectively used the code to lower his tax rate tremendously. Romney takes advantage of a number of very complex deductions, including one which allows him to rollover his investment losses from one year over to later years in order to offset his income.

#4 – Romney donated $7 million over the past two years
The tax return is not all bad for Romney. On average, the richest Americans give less than one-half of one percent of their income to charity. Romney, in contrast, donated over 15% of his income to charity in 2010 and 2011, almost 30 times as much as the average person in his tax bracket. Romney donated a total of $7 million over the last two years, over $4 million of which went to the Mormon Church.
Of course, Romney was able to take advantage of these charitable contributions by using them as deductions on his taxes, but he still certainly gives away much more of his wealth than most of the top 1%.

#5 – Romney would pay a much lower rate under his own tax plan, as well as Newt Gingrich’s tax plan
As low as Romney’s tax rate is, it would actually be lower if he or his Republican rival had their way. Romney has proposed a plan which would lower the top tax rate and also lower corporate income taxes, which tends to benefit wealthy shareholders like himself. Under calculation by the Citizens for Tax Justice, Romney may end up paying less than half of his current rate if his own tax plan is passed.
But the real shocker is Romney’s tax rate under Newt Gingrich’s plan. As Romney noted in last night’s debate, he may very well pay no taxes at all under Gingrich’s plan. Gingrich would altogether eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest income, which is how Romney makes almost all of his income.

Credit: , Political Buzz Examiner

Friday, January 20, 2012


A voice that profoundly touched its listeners is silent. 
A life that rose to the highest accomplishments and sank to the saddest depths is over.
And Jamesetta has found her rest.
At last. 
~ Richard Corliss

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Just Want A Lunch Box

Co-worker:  Did you go shopping before work?
Me:  Uh, nope, that's my lunch.

So I am in the market for a lunch box.  I have a problem calling it a lunch box as I am over the age of 12 but that's exactly what I need.  It has become a part-time job trying to find something more elegant than my usual Wal-Mart plastic bag to transport my lunch.  I went to a couple of local stores but had no luck.  I then began searching on-line...every evening...without success.  I tried searching for "lunch boxes" and came up with a wide selection of Hello Kitty, Miley Cyrus and other Disney themed boxes that I'm sure rock girl power in the school cafeteria these days.  I then tried searching lunch coolers, lunch totes and other adult sounding names but quickly found that I was limited to construction worker ice chests, Amish-looking quilted sacks and other equally unsuitable choices.  All I want is a simple yet stylish bag, preferably black, to transport food...and also a divided tupperware container to fit neatly inside.  It is painfully hard to find so if you have any suggestions, please forward to me so that I can retire my handy dandy Wal-Mart bag.

Hello Kitty

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's Wrong With A Little OCD?

I love loading the grocery store conveyer belt (is that what they're called?) by like items.  I group frozen meats together, frozen veggies, dairy products, produce, bread, canned items, boxed items, paper goods and miscellaneous stuff.  No, I'm not crazy! They can be loaded in any order so long as they are grouped by like item.  I do that for my own benefit because I like everything bagged logically to make it easier to unpack the groceries at home (one trip to the freezer, one trip to the pantry, etc.)  If I'm feeling particularly pleasant, I will also load the conveyer belt with the scanning bar facing the cashier. How nice of me is that?  However, this act of kindness is rarely noticed or appreciated by cashiers.  I did have a bag boy notice and praise my like item grouping recently.  I felt like we were kindred spirits until he proceeded to ramble on and on about how much he liked Brangelina.  I then realized he wasn't dealing with a full deck.  That got me thinking about whether I was dealing with a full deck.  Is it so wrong of me to get real joy from what others might consider OCD?

  • I am thrilled when I make "good time" commuting to and from work by cleverly predicting and avoiding traffic spots...it makes me feel smart or at least psychic 
  • I actually do have designated "cutting" scissors and "kitchen" scissors a la Martha Stewart
  • I like to stop the gas pump on whole dollar amounts
  • I love templates, auto text, binders with dividers, color coding, highlighting and lists (can you tell?)
  • I lay my clothes out for the week on Sunday night to minimize thinking in the mornings
  • I like planning ahead and coming home to a delicious dinner that has simmered in my crock pot while I was at work all day
  • Paper towels and toilet paper should always roll over because under is just crazy
  • Not to be Joan Crawford-ish but I hate wire hangers and love huggable hangers....hung with all the hooks facing the same way, pant legs facing the right, shirts facing left, etc
A little OCD goes along way to keep me organized and running smoothly.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Car?

My car seems to be falling apart piece by piece. As some of you may know, my horn stopped working a while back. It’s some kind of connection problem in my steering wheel. Then, my passenger window broke and James had to replace the window motor. Shortly after that, my driver side window broke. James replaced the motor on that side too but it broke again so he decided to temporarily rig it in the up position until he finds “a better motor.” Somehow, I don’t think he’s looking too hard because I haven’t been able to use my window for a while now. That makes it tricky to go through drive-thu’s, ATMs and hospital parking garages. He was recently very sweet and out-of-the-blue installed new windshield wipers on my car while I was at work because he said he noticed my old ones weren’t doing a good job. Now, I just need to fix the wiper fluid injector so I can clean my windows without having to wait until it rains.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the bank and parked (I couldn’t go through the drive thru because of the window) and when I went to get out of the car, the handle literally fell off in my hand. I wish now that I had taken a picture of that. For a moment, my mind couldn’t comprehend what happened. I sat there staring at my door and then the handle in my hand, and then back at the door. Such bad words popped into my head. I tried but was unable to get out on the driver’s side. I had to climb my healthy stature over to the passenger side and stumble out of the car. Not fun…or graceful. James came to the rescue and tried to do a temporary fix until he could pick up a new handle the next day. I stood outside with him, at night, in the dark & cold as he took off the door panels of the driver door and rear door. He then unbolted the door handles thinking he could move the rear door handle to the driver’s door but they were different shapes. So, he had to reassemble everything back to the way it was…in the dark & cold. Not fun. The next day, he installed a brand new handle so I was back in business.
The other morning, I stopped at a McDonald’s on my way to work. They are doing construction on the interior so you have to use the drive-thru. I opened the door to place my order, opened it again to pay, and opened it again to get my food. I was annoyed and embarrassed by the inconvenience but put it out of my mind as I continued my drive to work. I parked and reached out to touch a button on my dash and the whole panel of buttons fell inside my dashboard.  Again, I wish I had a picture to capture the utter disgust on my face.   

So now it is 2012 and I have a dilemma.  I can fix the car I have or spend the next 5 years paying off a new car.  A new car would be nice but considering I drive 20 minutes to and from work, it seems like alot to spend for less than an hours use per day.  That new car money could go towards college educations, a car for Brandon, family vacations, lots of things.  I think I'll fix the minor problems with my car and drive "free." 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Supposedly actual excerpts from classified sections of city newspapers

For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

Tired of cleaning yourself. Let me do it.

Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.

Illiterate? Write today for free help.

Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you'll never go anywhere again.

Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.

Stock up and save. Limit: one.

Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.

3-year old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred.

Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.

Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and salary.

Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00

We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.

For sale. Three canaries of undermined sex.

Great Dames for sale.

Vacation Special: have your home exterminated. Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours.

Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.

Man, honest. Will take anything.

Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated. Come here first.

Christmas tag-sale. Handmade gifts for the hard-to-find person.

Wanted: Hair cutter. Excellent growth potential.

Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.

Wanted. Widower with school age children requires person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.

And now, the Superstore-unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.

We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.

The following, is always posted at polling places: "If you are blind or cannot read, ask for assistance"

Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.

Lost: small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.

A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.

For sale: a quilted high chair that can be made into a table, pottie chair, rocking horse, refrigerator, spring coat, size 8 and fur collar.

Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.

Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.

Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.

No matter what your topcoat is made of, this miracle spray will make it really repellent.

For Sale -- Eight puppies from a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Hussy.

Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.

This is the model home for your future. It was panned by Better Homes and Gardens.

For Sale--Diamonds $20; microscopes $15.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.

Wanted: chambermaid in rectory. Love in, $200 a month. References required.

Wanted: Part-time married girls for soda fountain in sandwich shop.

Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.

See ladies blouses. 50% off!

Holcross pullets. Starting to lay Betty Clayton, Granite 5-6204.

Wanted: Preparer of food. Must be dependable, like the food business, and be willing to get hands dirty.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It Was A good Day

I was working and heard the FedEx guy come into the office and say “delivery for Bernard” to the receptionist. My first paycheck was sent to me via FedEx so I thought it was paperwork being sent from HR. When I looked up, a beautiful Edible Arrangement was being delivered to me. I frowned and said “Oh, that’s not for me.” She said it was for me but I was sure it was a mistake. There’s got to be some sort of mix up, I thought, because I never get deliveries (wha-wha). Then I thought maybe it is for me but what an odd gift for HR to send. It was politely suggested that I open the card (instead of staring at the arrangement in puzzlement) so, still frowning, I read the card and it was a gift for me and the boys from my buddy, Stephanie. Mystery solved!! What a sweet and thoughtful cupcake she is.

I decided that was the perfect time to take my lunch break and go shopping and call Stephanie.  I was talking to her on the phone as I walked from the parking lot into the store. I finished my shopping and then stood in line to check out. Ironically, I had just seen a Modern Family episode in which Cam and Jay were changing in a locker room and had their backs to each other. They bent over at the same time and their butts touched. I thought that was hilarious until I was standing in the checkout line, bent forward to reach into my cart at the same time a woman in the line next to me bent over and we touched butts….EW, not funny!!! 

When I came out of the store I put my key into the car door and it didn’t open. I then used my remote and it still didn’t open….because it was not my car. One day I will learn that not all black cars are mine. I spent the next 5-10 minutes looking for my car. Normally, I don’t lose my car and roll my eyes at those who do but I was distracted by the phone call to Stephanie on my way in. I tried to sound the panic button but my remote is “sometimey” and didn’t work. I finally found my car and then the panic alarm had the nerve to go off (in that order.)

So it was a good day full of me laughing at myself and feeling like a supahstah getting an Edible Arrangement delivery!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Office Etiquette

When I started my new job a few weeks ago, I was given a manual with instructions on how to operate the telephone. I did not think I needed an actual manual until…someone called me and left a message. Now, there is an abnormally large orange blinking light on my phone and I cannot retrieve the message. I tried to access my voicemail but, since I don’t know the original password, it wouldn’t allow me to change it. I referred to the phone manual but it said the administrator needs to access a website to reset the password. This all seems very complicated for a phone. The administrator is not in the office and will not return until next week. So, I sat at my desk feeling ill all day with my annual asthma / bronchitis / tuberculosis / chest congestion and a headache while the orange light blinked in my face. Somehow that made my head hurt worse.

As I sounded like I needed an iron lung and oxygen mask, I felt the need to explain to my new co-workers that I was not contagious. I’m sure at least one of them thought I was exhibiting poor office etiquette and was thinking, “For God’s sake, if you’re sick, stay home!!” That made me think of my personal Top 20ish Office Do’s and Don’ts:

DO try to see the good in everybody...unless they are just no good
DO keep unscented Germ-X on hand and use it
DO keep a well-stocked snack drawer complete with condiments and be willing to share
DO fix the printer if you are the one who jammed it
DO say "good morning" even if you're not a morning person
DO have a sense of humor
DO try to do something nice for at least one person a day…what goes around comes around

DON’T yawn, sigh, moan or groan every 30 seconds…you’re bringing me down
DON’T repeat your latest unfunny joke/story all morning…we heard you the first time(s)…it was not funny
DON’T loud talk someone else’s error but whisper about your own
DON’T wake me if I nod off
DON’T be judgmental or condescending in an effort to feel better about yourself…it just makes you look small(er)
DON’T overdo strong perfume/cologne or jingly jewelry
DON’T eat tuna at your desk for lunch…not everyone loves it as much as you
DON’T conduct a conversation with another co-worker at someone else’s desk when that someone else is not part of that conversation and trying to work…go to your own desk
DON’T use speaker phone when dialing, listening to music “on hold,” or when talking…just don’t use speaker phone
DON’T take your responsibilities or your place in the company too seriously…unless you’re a neurosurgeon, you do not hold life and death in your hands and, unless you are the owner, you are replaceable

(note: I wrote this entry last week...the next day I came down with the flu and was sick, sick, sick)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

23 Adult Truths (sent to me by my sister)

1. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their direction on #5.I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.