Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A good day means the toilet water's green

What's the square footage of an elevator? Four by four? Five by five?
So, if you're trying to have a private conversation, ain't gonna happen, right?
Here's a conversation I overheard one morning as I rode to the 7th floor:
She: You know how I know it's going to be a good day?
He: How?
She (whispering): Two things happen before I get to my desk. I get to press the button on the elevator, and when I go to the ladies' room, the toilet seat is up and the water's still green from the cleaning crew. I get to be the first to use it. That's a good way to start a day.
(He and I exchange glances. I raise my eyebrows. He gives an embarrassed smile.)
I know what this toilet-seat joy means to her. It means you are the first set of buns to touch the seat since the cleaning crew swished the bowl and left the clean green water. It's a free ride on the B&O Railroad. You get to head straight to "Go," get out of paper-seat-cover-jail free and collect your 200 seconds of time saved.
But do you really think the cleaning crew WIPES the seat? I wanted to ask her and ruin her fantasy.
It's the little things in life that we need to keep us going. Little things in life, like green toilet water and elevator buttons.

Friday, July 18, 2008

More formulas, more confusion

Shopping for kitty litter. Standing at the back of Pet Smart, viewing the options.
  • Long lasting odor control
  • Immediate odor control
  • Multiple-cat formula
  • Anti-microbial odor control
  • Crystal-blend formula
  • Litter for small spaces
One kitty litter brand. Six formulas. Is there something wrong with me? I want a kitty litter that does all those things. I want immediate, long-lasting control for multiple cats that doesn't track and that clumps and scoops easily. Do I buy all six and mix them in a giant barrel?

If I choose the immediate control, does that mean it won't last? If I choose the long-lasting odor control, does that mean my nostrils will be filled for a short time with eau de cat poo-poo?

And what the hell is crystal-blend formula? According to the Web site, it minimizes dust, offers crumble-free performance (whatever that is) and locks in moisture.

Shit! I want that too!

Lucky for me, Tidy Cat has a "litter selector" on its Web site. Here is the kitty litter that matches my lifestyle:

"Based on your responses, we recommend Tidy Cats Scoop® Small Spaces™. Small Spaces™ is formulated to control odor in tight places with specially designed Litter Granules to absorb odor and form crumble-free clumps, and Power Pieces to neutralize cat box odor on contact."

When I was in Mexico last week, I bought a "wish bracelet" with black beads that symbolize power. Be careful what you wish for: Power may come in the form of clumped-up cat crap.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Is he cubicle-worthy?

I went to an event a week ago with the new guy in my life, and a co-worker snapped a shot of us together with one of those point-and-shoot disposable 35-mm cameras. The picture came out well, which is a rarity for me.
I typically don't photograph well and my already over-sized head looks even larger when it's flattened on photo paper. Big and round.
Spying the new photo tacked to my cubicle wall, another co-worker said, "Is that the new boy?" Yes, I said. "Oh," she said, sounding surprised. "He's cubicle worthy?"
Funny thing is, I debated what to do with this photo. We've been seeing each other for only a few weeks, so is it too soon to add him to my workspace? I actually hesitated and gave it some thought. "If I tack this photo to my wall, what does it mean?"
I wanted to ask her, "Well, how long did you date your boyfriend before you brought him into your cubicle?"
Cubicle bling means something - it tells your co-workers who you are. It makes a statement: This is a big part of my life. I display two images of my son and one of my Little Sister (my match from Big Brothers Big Sisters). I also have a faux magazine cover that was a gift from my former coworkers and press passes and Super Bowl volunteer badges proudly hanging from a hook.
These items are trophies. Achievements. Sources of pride. Things that make me smile.
The photo sat on my desk for several hours. While I toiled away, I occasionally stole glances at it, first checking how my arms look (need to do more bicep curls and shoulder lifts) then looking at his sweet face.
He makes me smile. I tacked the photo to the wall. I decide it means that I like him and that's all it has to mean.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Gnat

The Gnat buzzes around my eyes, looking for resources to nourish his needs. No matter how many times I swat him away, he returns with new tactics to get my attention. Each time he returns, I am exasperated.

Because I am a kind person, at first I am gentle. I suggest it would be better if he would rely on other resources for his neediness. I wish him well, bid him adieu ... thinking he will fly off into the sunset, leaving us both with romantic thoughts of what used to be.

Then The Gnat returns. He buzzes around my head, a little bigger this time, with gifts and promises. He attempts to lure me into his swarm, and not only am I insulted that he ignored my first request to "shoo," but now I am irritated because he has ruined my romantic thoughts of what used to be.

I am more firm this time, waving my arms, indignant that he must fly away and stay away. My telephone rings and I hear his familiar buzz on my answering machine. I hit "delete" before my heart rate increases and my head explodes.

The Gnat buzzes around the heads of my family and friends, fishing for information. He "accidentally" buzzes me via text message meant for someone else. His travels take him to a tropical location, where he feels it is appropriate to contact me to remind me of the travels we once shared.

I now have thoughts of "What was I thinking?" when I look back on time I shared with The Gnat.

I am beyond annoyed. I pull out the biggest can of gnat repellent I can find. Using phrases such as "mentally unstable," "leave me alone," and "never contact me again," I fire them at The Gnat, hoping that it will stun him enough that he'll seek nurturing from other sources.

I hate bugs.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why does Tide have 40 formulas?

I'm shopping for laundry detergent and I realize I have spent untold minutes in the aisle reading labels, trying to make the right choice.
Tide, for example, has 40 formulas. Liquid. Ultra Liquid. Powder. Simple Pleasures. Simple pleasures? With Stain Scrubbers. Scented and unscented. With bleach and with bleach alternatives. And baking soda. And combinations of all of the above mixed with mountain fresh scents, ocean breezes and other flowery scents.
I'm overwhelmed with choices. I don't know what to do. I just want to wash my laundry. I'm looking for a label that reads: It just cleans your clothes; that's it. I don't need pleasure while doing laundry.
I'm getting pissed off now because Procter & Gamble has made my life so COMPLICATED.
The choices continue on the toothpaste aisle.
Whitening. Tartar control. Cavity protection. Sensitivity protection. Gel. Paste. And striped, which has both gel and paste for indecisive people like me, I guess, who want it all. Huh - no "simple pleasures"?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random thoughts inspired by my lava lamp

As I sit in front of my Mac with Firefox running, three tabs going, while texting a friend back in Michigan and chatting with my son on the old-fashion telephone, it occurs to me I may be overstimulated tonight.
My eyes wander to my lava lamp, and I slip into a trance as drool drips down my chin.
Kidding about the drool.
Back to Firefox ... I've got Yahoo mail open, my Match.com page and this new Blogger thingy, all of which I'm clicking back and forth among, checking messages, looking for e-mails. Oh, yes, and I just closed a tab where I was searching for condos through my Realtor's database.
As much as I don't want to admit it, I am back on Match.com, but I think I've figured out why. Because it's there. I've been off and on the site since November-ish. Each time I depart, I swear not to return. Yet, there I go, back again. Same old faces. Some kid (30-something) named Andrew seems to always be connected to Match. He IMs me every time I return and welcomes me back. I slouch in my chair and feel like a loser. Then I do some searches, see interesting faces and remind myself that this is the 2000s, and this is how people meet.