Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Price of Good Health & Sanity

I am being stalked by a team of 7 loud talkers. It's true. It started at 11:00 am when they entered my downward bound elevator on Floor 17 and all started shouting at each other at once. It was very similar to watching an episode of Animal Planet.  I am confident that they were speaking in my native tongue, but the sound-barrier-breaking pitches were prohibiting me from translating the words. This is a common tactic used by stalking operatives to throw off their victims. Picture a group of 7 middle-aged, frumpily-dressed folks close-talking in a tight herd at the loudest register feasible for the human body. In fact, they may have broken loudness records.

I was excited when the elevator landed at 1 and the doors opened. However the herd stopped immediately in front of the elevator doors so I couldn't get out. Another common tactic to trap their victim in a confined space. Panic started to set in and I thought momentarily about taking another ride up in this same elevator car just to make the noise stop (a form of torture, ya know), but I was on a tight I busted through the herd and made my way toward the fresh air.!

After my appointment in a neighboring building, I had all but forgotten about the stalking heard. But then I ran into them again in the hallway. What are the odds of that? Pretty good for stalkers. They were still traveling in a tightly packed herd and shouting at very high pitches. I'll give it to them, they are remarkably fast walkers (except when near elevators). I got past them and again retreated to the solace of open air. Ahhh.

Once outside, I stopped for a very brief chat with a former colleague on the sidewalk. I couldn't believe my eyes when the same herd appeared on the sidewalk in front of me and was headed in my direction. How was this even possible?   I began looking around for Alan Thicke.  I swear that some of them were frothing around the mouth. Could these be signs of an unfortunate addiction to speed? Or an outbreak of rabies in my building? Judging by the crap flying out of the radiator vents in my office, it's likely the latter.

I'm back on the 21st floor on lock down in my office now and feeling a little more safe and secure. Though I'm taking shallow breaths to avoid contracting whatever illness is being spread by these damn radiators. The near-death experience has got me plotting my departure from this job - for safety sake of course. Who can risk getting infected by rabies laden loud talkers? That's a career killer if I've ever seen one. Forget about low cut blouses and too much perfume.

It looks like my quitting will involve a yard sale to resell all of my family's material goods and sentimental items, joining CouponSuzy and cancelling cable tv (I know Bravo, this hurts me too).  This sounds extreme, but can you really put a price on good health and sanity? For the record: Husband is not buying that one either.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dust Bunnies, Cut Offs and Bravo

I've really got to stop telling people that we have an "open door policy."  It's more and more horrifying every time someone drops in unexpectedly when my house is a mess. Is there such a thing as compounding anxiety? If so, I have it. Just today a colleague in a suit was standing next to a toddler table that was teetering over with freshly painted stack of art. I was paralyzed with fear that this man would leave my house with pink sparkles on his ass. I wish I were strong enough to embrace my imperfections, but I'm not. I'm a weak woman and there is simply no hope but to become agoraphobic, stop inviting people over, and accept that I'm living in a toy factory.

NOTE: Seriously Mom. Enough with the toys. There are only so many things I can hide in the attic.

I just got a call from my bestie girlfriend (H.) who has been in my life since I wore cut off acid washed booty shorts and used aerosol hairspray to manipulate exactly two strands of bangs to stand straight up in gale forced winds. Why two strands? I guess I thought that sparsely populated bangs were attractive.  This bestie and I spent our summers on Cape Cape at a phone booth trying to win a date with George Michael from the radio. Yea, that was before we knew he was gay.  We met when we were 15 and were dating the same guy who incidentally had a girl voice. In two minutes, he was long gone and we were bonded for life.

She's seen it all and remained a friend despite my not-so-attractive moments (and I wish I could say there were only a few, but that would be an outright lie). She's got 3 kids, I've got 2. She lives in Palo Alto and I live in Boston. Between the kids and the time difference, we rarely talk now but when we do, it feels like we've never skipped a beat. Talking with H. feels like going home. And she called me tonight to say that she'll be on the Cape Cod for a week in July and....drumbeat's the same week that I'll be there!!!

The universe is trying to tell me something. First there was that coincidental meeting with the man-who-was-fired-then-counselled-by-a-man-within-my-professional-organization. I was awestruck by this man who was turning a hardship into opportunity before my very eyes and then pulled out the business card of a man he was crediting for helping him, and that man works for US! I don't care what anyone says, that was meant to be. And now this week in July with my bestie and fam on Cape Cod! Yay! It's amazing. Life is good and for the record, H. can walk into my messy house any day of the week and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. LOVE her. And I can't wait for my special walk down memory lane this summer. I wonder if the phone booth is still there?

Miscellaneous Emotional Outburst: Oh. My. God. I'm watching Real Housewives of OC and I'm about ready to slap the tv. I don't know how Alexis does it. I really don't. Her husband is an insecure a-hole and if he says that she was made from his bone one more time, I'm going to vomit. I realize I'm a democrat from Massachusetts, but this is 2012, right? Someone send this Jim-guy an email: "Women are equals, dude. But you might be able to find a servant on Craigslist." I'm glad this guy lives on the opposite coast. Ick.

And Here Comes that Pendulum Swing: I'm SO thrilled that Rosie Pope is coming back to Bravo!  Yay! She is a riot and her moms to be are more nuts than me, which is somehow therapeutic.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Rainy Monday Morning

Today I decided to sock it to "the man" and showed up for work at 10am (instead of 9). Wowzer. I'm such a rebel. Didn't take long for me to realize that I've really screwed myself over today, given my workload and hopes of getting home for a 6:30pm yoga class. Duh. I'm better off keeping to my comfort zone and being a rule follower. Live and learn.

The fabulous (no skin) chicken soup that I made without a recipe is sitting on my desk and staring me in the face. I can't wait to dive in and see how it tastes. Marjoram sounded interesting, so I threw some in like a mad scientist. It looks good...but so did those horrific muffins. No. Actually. They looked like horse poop.  I grew up in the country and trust me...I know what horse poop looks like.

I'm psyched to report that my snug navy pant suit is loose today. Really?  @Bethenny was right! It doesn't take much more than awareness about your eating habits to shed a few extra pounds. I'm down 6lbs without a lick of exercise and it feels great.  Maybe it wasn't a rash decision afterall when I lost 1lb and rushed out to purchase a new bikini. Husband thinks it'll sit in the drawer just like the one I bought last year, but I'm determined to prove him wrong. Thinking it would be nice to work a little exercise into my routine, I allegedly signed up for a triathlon in 4 weeks. I'm burning calories in my mind just thinking about it. I haven't yet broken out the book of possible excuses to get myself out of it, but I assure you that's coming. I'm deeply regretting the pool swim because it eliminates the I-haven't-swam-in-years-and-its-just-irresponsible-for-a-parent-of-young-children-to-try-and-do-this excuse from my list.  Damn me. What was I thinking?

I just got a very dangerous text message (broke another rule there! I don't read personal texts while working...damn, I'm going to be wearing a T-Birds jacket soon). My high-powered-super-successful-career-oriented-girlfriend just resigned her high-powered-super-high-paying-job. She is making a life change that involves a pay cut, less stress, and more time with her family. And why is this dangerous? Because I rewrote my resume yesterday and may not make it to 5pm without doing the same.  Again, why is this dangerous exactly? Because I am not super-high-powered with a super-high-paying-job and I have no plan for how to pay my mortgage. I pretend that I'm supercalifradulistic-enough not to need a back up plan because employers will surely line up at my doorstep when they learn that I'm a free agent. True? Not true? Unlikely that I'll ever know....because I'm a rule follower...and my mortgage holder knows where I live. Damn me.

There's always craft fairs...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend in Review

I've never been known as being much of a cook. In fact, I think smart people know me as someone whose cooking should be avoided. I'm 99% sure that people typically stop for a slice of pizza on their way to my house for dinner, but I've been cool with it. Historically, I sucked in the kitchen. But I didn't try, so it was somehow okay. Well, I did try that one time I made a pie for my inlaws Thanksgiving gathering. I don't particularly care for pie, but I really wanted to use my fancy red pie plate. My motives were screwy from the beginning of that one. It was inedible and someone actually gagged at the table when they took a bite. I was mortified and have since limited all contributions to inlaw gatherings to drinks and paper products.

Lately I've been "trying". Following some recipes. Trying new spices. Easter was edible. Meat was cooked. People were happy. That was a BIG step forward in my culinary journey. I was feeling a little bit more confident.

Since then I've started whipping up low fat muffins from scratch and some other health-conscious treats. After a few small successes, my self esteem went from a-little-bit-more-confident to rocket speed. You know that rock-painting/craft-fair fantasy? Well, I added low fat baked goods to my fantasy repertoire. I envisioned elderly people from the entire northeast region flocking to my craft fair stand to purchase wheat-germ-laden-delights and telling all of their retirement home friends about it. Next stop: A million dollar deal from the Shark Tank. Prosperity abound. Ok...I got a little carried away, but why not dream big?

So today I whipped up some carrot muffins from scratch...without a recipe. I'm a natural in the kitchen afterall. Ummmm. Bad idea! I didn't know if I was supposed to use baking soda or baking power and in what quantities. So I used both equally. That was only the beginning of my problems. And no surprise, the "muffins" were horrendous and I threw them straight into the trash. DSS would have been here in a NY minute if I'd tried feeding them to my kids.

As if that taste of carrot "muffin" wasn't painful enough, I'm now working on two more concoctions without a recipe. Chicken and veggies for dinner tonight and chicken soup for tomorrow. Yesterday I noticed chicken on sale for 88 cents per pound and wah lah...the recipes just popped into my mind. Unfortunately, I'd discounted the nastiness involved with skinning pounds of drumsticks and chicken thighs. Oh. My. God. DISGUSTING! I don't know how much they pay the dudes and dudettes who work at Purdue, but I hope they are unionized because it's surely not enough. I am going to have nightmares tonight. The two dinners better turn out delicious or my cooking career is over.

Yes, that's a promise.  Now please excuse me while I bath in bleach to get the feel of chicken fat off my hands.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's been a while

I lost track of the blog while attempting to change the world, but world-changing has proven to be an exhaustive I'm back to blog. And so the cycle continues.

Here are some random thoughts:
  • In an effort to avoid heels-related injuries, I took a cab the distance of a football field. This is not unusual for me, but the cabi's pleasant response certainly was. These several-hundred-foot drives usually end in a screaming match. I will never understand this response from a person working in a service-related industry. I might have given the guy a $100 off-the-books tip for a $5 ride, but he'll never know that because he acted like an a-hole and yelled at me the whole way.
  • Husband and I went to the Celtics last night. It was a business meeting for Husband and I was along for the ride and some free pinot grigio. The low part of my evening was a desperate (and successful) attempt not to vomit in the backseat of our driver's car. Our average speed throughout the 10 mile trip was 90 and involved lots of weaving.  It was so bad that I offered to take a $50 cab ride home to avoid a repeat performance but that didn't pan out (I had an extra glass of wine to help with the return trip). The high part of my evening was witnessing a mature, well-dressed man in front of me yelling "You're the bomb!" at the Celtics mean dancers. Hilarious. From the look of him, this man is very high powered and was wearing a $2500 suit...but I shop at Marshall's and TJ Maxx so what do I know?  People watching at sporting events is simply fantastic.
  • A random man in Boston Common started talking to me yesterday about getting fired and then deciding to start up his own painting business - all in the same day. If that's not a "can-do" attitude, I don't know what is. The guy was so enthusiastic about his future and all of the doors that were opening for him, that I actually got a little carried away in the moment and my mind went back to my craft-fair-business-idea. No, I'm not crafty...but the people who frequent those things will buy anything. There's got to be a painted-rock business in there somewhere. Long story short, this man pulled out a business card of a guy who works in my organization and went on and on about how helpful and positive the man was, and how he helped to change this guy's life. It reminded me why I do what I do. And I immediately sent a note to that guy's boss, bosses boss and up to the top. It's called performance recognition. Ever heard of it?
  • Let me tell you this:  Customer service is so simple and so effective. I just can't understand how the rest of the world hasn't figured this out...well, except for Disney.  My son peed on the floor of a Disney store recently and the lady continued to smile while wiping up the that's customer service. In light of my appreciation for these efforts, I am making a commitment to blog about every business that I encounter who offers exceptional customer service. And when I get a new job, I'm going to add those with bad customer service to the list too (you hear that, a-certain-cable-company-that-shall-remain-nameless?).