Mixed Bag

For your Friday enjoyment, a couple of random office pictures.

Dexter, stop distracting me. Some of us have to work for a living.
**bonus points if you can spot the office plant I stubbornly refuse to water**

Coworker: Hey, Sarah, do we have any copier paper?
Me: None at all.

Enjoy the weekend!

The Great Pumpkin

The Wandering Writer is having a contest which is really just an excuse to brag about Ernie, and so I am entering. Not that I need an excuse, however…

I don’t dress Ernie up too much, which is probably why he is so tolerant of it when I do decide to do it. I had high hopes for this costume; Ernie and I would sit on the porch, bowl full of candy in my lap, and hand out candy to all the kiddies that came by. I wasn’t thinking clearly, because it was my first Halloween in Michigan. In case you are wondering, it is cold in Michigan on October 31st. And by cold, I mean holy-smokes-I-think-I-have-frostbite cold.

I lasted about 20 minutes on the porch and got no trick-or-treaters. Apparently, in the village I lived in, everyone trick-or-treats in one area a couple of streets down that really gets into Halloween. We are talking a whole block of houses decked out with a pirate ship complete with skeleton crew, ghostly organ players straight out of Disneyland’s The Haunted Mansion, and a pretty impressive electric chair. I ended up giving all my candy to a trio of older boys who wandered past the house on their way home from the “cool” street. Bummer. But Ernie did look pretty cute…

Hey look! I’m all dressed up!

So…when do I get my candy?

I think it’ll look better on you *wink*

See? But seriously, about that candy…

I do have a pretty cute picture of Dexter and Ernie all dressed up for Halloween together, taken when Ernie was just a puppy. But it’s at home. So maybe tomorrow?

I just hope I spell my name right

Office dynamics are weird. I mean, you’re spending upwards of 40 hours a week with people who are not your family or even your friends. You end up finding out things about your co-workers that you really wish you hadn’t, like that Nancy in Finance used to have a drug dependency, or Bob in Human Resources cheated on his wife 16 years ago and just found out he has a daughter from the affair. But the worst thing about the semi-intimate relationships you develop at work are the cards that are circulated for various occasions. Birthdays are not too bad, I guess. A quick “haha, you old!” and you’re done, right? Boss’ day; again, not so bad. “Thanks for not firing me,” has seemed to go over pretty well in the past.

The occasion that leaves me chewing my pen, at a loss for something, ANYTHING to say, is when a coworkers’ family member dies. In the year that I’ve been here, two of my office mates have lost a parent. Granted, my supervisor’s father was 96 and it came as no surprise, but I was still at a loss. My boss always comes up with something like “Keep him alive in your heart,” or “You are a testament to the person he was,” both of which make my lame, “So sorry for your loss,” look even lamer by comparison, even if I am lucky enough to be the first of my similarly tongue-tied coworkers to scrawl that trite sentiment on our group card. Even worse is when a card circulates for someone in our building who I couldn’t pick out of a lineup for a million dollars. How bad is it to write, “You and your family are in my thoughts,” when I know I most likely won’t think of them at all after I put the card in my office neighbor’s inbox for their signature?

The task of getting a memorial plant fell to me when an office mate’s mother died after a protracted illness. The office consensus was that we wanted to get him a tree that he and his daughters could plant in memory of their grandmother. Unfortunately, it was January, and every tree I found was dormant and looked like an ugly dead stick stuck in a pot. “Sorry your mom died; here’s a twisted twig we stuck in a pretty pot that may or may not bloom in a couple of months.” After reporting the dismal selection of potted trees at three local nurseries and 2 home improvement stores, my coworkers urged me to get the “best looking” tree I could find. For $45. *Sigh* I ended up getting the saddest little magnolia tree you can imagine, and putting a big white bow on it before putting it in his office. I cringed when I showed it to the office, and the silence and raised eyebrows that it was met with confirmed my belief that this was not the memorial any of us had envisioned.

Today I signed another sympathy card for a cowoker I have yet to exchange a single “hello” with. At this point, I’m not even sure what I wrote. I’m pretty sure I didn’t write “Happy Birthday,” but other than that, who knows?

Sometimes good things happen

Yesterday was much better than the day before. At least, there weren’t any cops waiting for me when I got home and the house was still locked up. Sweet.

Also, Julie and I picked up our back-up Halloween costumes:

We laughed at each other for about 20 minutes in Joann Fabrics.

Anyway, the BF mentioned that I should blog sometimes about the good experiences I have with the dogs out in public. I tried to explain that it would be boring to read about how I walked the dogs and someone didn’t tell me how viscious my dogs are. However, in the interest of fairness, I’m going to give it a try. Here goes…

  • Saturday we were sitting outside at the Dock Street Oyster Bar. This place is very Dex and Ernie friendly and our waitress always brings out a bucket of water for the dogs. Two guys were sitting at the table next to us, and one of them came over to pet the dogs and mentioned that his pit bull had been hit by a car and died 2 weeks ago. He told us they were out in the country and his dog had followed a car 2 miles out to the highway and had gotten run over. We offered our condolences, and then the guy asked the dogs’ names. He was a little taken aback when we told him; his dog’s name was Dexter, too. What a coincidence.
  • Then we went to The Barbary Coast for some beers and some pool. As soon as we walked in, Dex and Ernie were fawned over by some drunk ladies at the bar. Dex made a bee-line for the treats behind the bar, and Ernie was busy giving everyone high fives. Several people commented to me how well behaved the dogs are, and that they wish they could bring their dogs out in public. Later on, a guy brought in his pit bull with the biggest head I have ever seen on a dog in my entire life. He (the dog, not the owner) and Dex had a blast sniffing butts and guarding the front door together.

So there you have it. A completely positive post. A little bit boring, too, but I’m too busy stressing about my Halloween costume and the upcoming NaNoWriMo to come up with much more.

I didn’t check the crawl space

Yesterday was not a good day, internet friends. I came home from work to find 3 police officers on my porch and the front door wide open. My first thought was that something had happened to the dogs. As I raced up the porch steps, Dex came waddling out of the front door. Before they could get a word out, I asked the officers if there was another dog here. They told me they had put Ernie in the spare room because they weren’t sure how friendly he was.

The police officers said that they had received a call from a neighbor that my front door was wide open. When they arrived, both dogs were in the house, and nothing seemed amiss (other than the cushions being off the couch, but the dogs do that all the time). Either I didn’t close the door all the way when I left in the morning, or someone came in to the house and the dogs scared him off. I’m 99% sure I locked the lock on the doorknob, but I know I didn’t deadbolt it. The officers walked through the house with me, checking behind every door, in every closet, and under the beds. Once I was satisfied nobody was there and nothing was missing, I packed up the dogs and went to a friend’s house.

During the whole ordeal, I was mainly upset that something could have happened to the dogs. I’m surprised they both stayed in the house (which is not to say they didn’t go roaming and come back, but it was a little chilly yesterday). They could have been hurt–shot or kicked by some desperate drug addict. I thought back to the guy who cut my grass a couple of weeks ago. What if they had tried to attack the police officers as they came in the house? I wouldn’t blame them if they did, but others might not have been so understanding.

It’s got me really shaken up today; I didn’t sleep very well last night and I’m dragging ass today at work. I just want to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate in the middle of an Ernie and Dexter sandwich. I’m proud of the boys for being so good and staying close to home, but I feel like I’ve let them down by not keeping them safe.

The one where I touch chicken guts

Internet, meet my dinner. Dinner, say hello:

As I was trolling the ghetto Food Lion yesterday for dinner ideas, I came across whole young chickens on sale. Bingo! A few potatoes and some green beans later, I had a meal plan. Unfortunately for the chicken, he had yet a few more indignities to suffer before retiring to the cleansing retreat of a 350 degree oven.

First, since I bought him at 2:30 and I was determined to eat dinner by 8:00, I quick-thawed him in some warm water until I could pry his legs apart and pull out the neck/gizzards/other disgusting organs I cannot name from his body cavity. Guts disposed of, I mounted him on an upright chicken roaster and rubbed him down with olive oil, black pepper, sea salt, and cayenne pepper, paying special attention to his underarms.

At the suggestion of a neighbor, I decided to give the beer can method of chicken roasting a shot. I opened a beer, poked some holes in the can, poured about half of it out, and sat the chicken down on the beer can. The chicken looked kind of uncomfortable.

We gave him a last drink, then retired him to the oven for 2 hours.

He was delicious.

Now, for a gratuitous picture of the boys.

A couple days late and a few dollars short (pit bull edition)

So I missed out on Wednesday’s Vlog Day, because I am behind the times and also I suck a little bit. So to make up for it, I’m posting some videos of the dogs wrestling. First up, we’ve got the dogs wrestling in the hole in the middle of the yard. Please be advised, the dogs may sound like they are killing each other, but I promise you they are just playing.

Next, Ernie gets the zoomies and Dexter does a face plant (but shakes it off like a truly Bad Mutha Fudrucker).

And finally, Dexter gets the wiggles.

Enjoy your weekend!

Random Joke

I was driving home from work yesterday and I passed a parked car with “Want to hear a joke? Call KL5-1234” painted on the rear window. Well, it wasn’t a KL5 number, but I don’t want to blow up some stranger’s phone with internet spizam (ok, that word sounded cooler in my head than it looks typed. Oh well.). Also, I’ve wanted to use the “KL5” prefix ever since I read my first Baby Sitter’s Club book. How cool was Claudia? Check out What Claudia Wore.

I digress.

I’m sitting in traffic with nothing better to do than pick my nose and pretend no one can see me (did I mention my radio was stolen from my car? for the third time? almost a year ago? and I still haven’t replaced it?), so I called. Seeing how close we are to the election, I thought it’d be something along the lines of “Want to hear a joke? Have you hear the one about how Barack Obama has secret makeout parties with anti-American terrorists and serial killers?” Either way, I figured it would be something to blog about.

*ring ring*

Mysterious Jokester: Hello?
Me: Um, I was hoping to hear a joke.
Mysterious Jokester: What kind of pants does Super Mario wear?
Me: I have no idea.
Mysterious Jokester: denimdenimdenim

Get it?

Okay, maybe you had to be there, but I just said ‘thank you’ and laughed all the way home. Or maybe it works better if you say it out loud. That joke is almost as good as my favorite joke.

Q: What kind of bees make milk?

Man, it gets me every time.

You may be right. I may be crazy.

The small women’s college I attended my freshman year bragged about the extensive screening and matching process the recruitment officers go through to determine which two incoming freshmen would be best suited for each other as roommates. I was pumped, although apparently I didn’t convey my true personality, because my roommate and I were no match at all and had nothing in common other than a shared major (Biology, which she promptly changed to Business after our first dissection lab). I should have suspected my roomie wasn’t going to be a barrel of laughs when she contacted me shortly before move-in day to coordinate which twin extra long comforter sets we were going to purchase, “so we’ll match.”

“Jenny” was a huge dork who went home every weekend and had a small desktop zen garden. I blasted Ben Harper, dyed my hair purple, and snuck beer into my mini fridge that my friends at nearby Wake Forest had provided for me. I raked the sand in her zen garden into what I hoped were disruptive patterns in her absence and blamed it on our neighbor, who we both couldn’t stand but was always stopping by. It was during this time I developed the habit of talking out loud to inanimate objects, as I had the room to myself 98% of the time.

Oh, Papa John’s Pizza with ham and pineapple, you are so delicious.

Screw you, printer! Don’t you know I have a paper due in 45 minutes?!?

When I left Salem College and moved to Wilmington, waiting tables didn’t help. I cursed my pens for exploding in my apron, gave the tea urns the finger when they overflowed, and begged my car to start for me in the morning. Mop bucket! How about not tipping over and drenching my shoes for once?

All bets were off, however when I got Hemo. She is the talking-est cat I know. She’ll have a full on conversation.

Me: Hey Hemo, did you have a good day?

Hemo: No.

Me: How about some dinner?

Hemo: Now!

Me: There you go.

Hemo: Fuck you.

Ok then.

My cookie tastes like a pen

Inspired by Ben’s work-related post, here’s a peek into my office:

  • A coworker’s response to a remark about his habit of clipping his nails at his desk:
    “What? At least you know I’m well groomed.”
    What I know is to avoid your office during your grooming sessions, lest I get a nail clipping in my eye.
  • From the mail room lady:
    “Would you like some cheese and jalapeno grits?”
    Yes. A thousand times, yes.
  • A local restaurant dropped off “goody bags” with coupons and pens to drum up some lunch business. I high-five a coworker about our good fortune–coupons and a pen!?! I find out later that each of the bags also had a cookie in them, but the fat bitch switchboard operator took them all out and ate them over the next 3 days. Now I think my pen sucks.
  • The boss is on vacation this week, and I had to show him how to set up his automatic email “away” message. For the fourth time.

    I will not be watering his plants in his absence.