Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pump up the volume!

Every week on Tuesday at 2:30 a dude here at work goes into a small room right next to my cube, shuts the door, and initiates a teleconference.  He then proceeds to shout at the phone for an hour, making every word he speaks completely crystal clear to those of us who sit within a 20-foot radius.  I know this is the correct distance, because I just went and asked a collegue who sits further away if he could hear the call, and the answer was a firm 'Yes.' 

Dude is in a room, with a shut heavy wood door, talking to a phone that is 1 foot from his mouth.  We can still hear him.

Worryingly, he’s not necessarily talking about mundane stuff!  Sometimes dollar amounts come up, sometimes future plans sometimes personnel changes  This could be important, and I don’t need to hear it, but how does one get that message across that he’s being really rude without meaning to?

(Whoa - Holy smokes – it’s getting LOUDER.)

Do I knock on his door and give him the stink eye, or slip an anonymous note under the door, or email him later on with the details of his call?

I think I’ll go with the email.  Minus the call deets.  Just tell him, nicely, that if he wants to use his outdoor voice there’s a place for that, AND IT’S OUTSIDE!!

(Walks off to think on it and escape the clamor)

Oh, joy, I have returned, and the call has ended early!  Yes!  Sometime during that 10 minutes of laps I just walked around the building he ended the call.  Peace has returned.  I can think again.

Until next week…


Just so you know, I'm wearing a new shirt.  I am not sure if I like it yet, because it's not made of knit material and I forgot to cut the tag out of it this morning.  The arms are too tight for me (which mean they actually fit properly and I'm not swimming in the shirt) and I'm not sure I look all that good in red.  It's not the same shirt I usually get, in other words, but I'll give it a shot.

It's not the most horrible shirt I've ever put on - that honor goes to the dreadful bodysuits of the '70's that never stayed snapped up all the way and were made to make the wearer sweat and were itchy as all get out.  *Shudder*  Yuck.  This shirt is nothing like that, and yet I know as soon as I get home I'm taking it off to put on something baggy, knit, and soft.

Totally looking forward to that moment.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

Five o'clock around these parts
the sun still hangs high in the sky
looking like 2
but it's not,
it's quitting time.

Five o'clock today I walked
through our front door
loving the shiny floors
and how the light bounced
brightly, cleanly
on them.

Had all kinds of plans at five o'clock:
clean this
straighten that
fold those
update that
cook this
research that

But to start,
At 5-oh-five I poured a drink
and sat down
only for a moment
to rest and recharge.

Two-point-five hours later
this is what I've done:

I felt the day end
sensed the sun slipping down
heard the hushing up of traffic
watched day turn from gold to blue
then purple, now black.

I sat with the birds
excited as they at the roosting time
smiling at their peep-peep-peep
as they announced bedtime
one, after another, after another.

I sniffed warm air
then tepid
then lukewarm
then cool
and brought the plants in.

I did, mostly, nothing
except be in the world
at the moment
in that time
for no other reason that to
live in it and not be so busy
trying to make one of my own.

Two-point-five hours later
the world looks, feels and lives
very differently that it did at five o-clock.
I am happy to have spent this time
with the world, saying hello
And goodnight.

Someday, when I am old
When eyes and ears have failed
This will be what I live in when day turns dark
The lowering traffic
The festive peeps
The golden arms of sun
And I will be happy to have spent this time
In the world.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yo, my peeps!

This post is for the birds.

Does anyone even SAY that any more?

Doesn't matter, I just did, and I'm leaving it as it's a wicked (dun dun DUUUUUN!) foreshadowing of the topic of this entry.



This is, in fact, about birds!

But why birds?  Why not something interesting, like a recipe or the proper way to iron a placketed shirt?

Here's why - I'm thinking of cutting down trees.

Trees that house some very speciala guests: my peeps.  My cutie-pie adorable little peeps, who at dusk every evening set up a fluttery chorus of 'peep, peep, peep!' for about 10 minutes, until the day goes blue and presumably that's their bedtime.

Two months ago they were peeping at 5:30, not they peep at 7:30.  But they are faithful to peep every day (kind of like these little guys at about 1 minute in) and it cheers me up tremendously.

But they live in an overly tall hedge of Leyland Cypress that are going bald at the bottom and thinning through the middle (interestingly, normally as one ages those things happen exactly oppositely!).  Those trees are not looking so hot at present, and if the tree guy says they can't be saved, well then they might just have to go.   They're there, after all, to off some privacy, and when I can SEE the preschool next door through the branches, it's obvious that that whole privacy thing is not really working so great.

Important to keep in mind here: as implied above,  if I cut down the trees, the peeps will have no place to perch to peep, and I might lose my little buddies who I really do love.  THEY ARE SO CHEERY!!

What to do?   Do I let the trees just die slowly, providing housing for the wee peepers, or do I do the unthinkable and chop down the trees with their peeply lil' birdies (and, presumably at this time of year, their birdie babies?

Oh, I just went there with the babies thing.

A new level of pathos unfolds.

No.  NO. I can't do it.  I can't cut down the trees! Not with chickie-chickie-babies as a potential collateral damage point.

Could you??

Keep in mind - THEY'RE CHEERY.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A few random things rolling around that need to be evicted.


I’m sure you know by now that I have become a ‘woman of a certain age,’ with all the attendant joys thereto.  Oh yes, the joys.  Wrinkly old-lady hands, strange under-eye skin, dry hair, let’s not even TALK about the chestal region, and, recently, a chin whisker.


A unique little darling, quirky and original.

So naturally, I call it Tracy Lynn.  I’d like to think she would approve of this.

Biff made ‘Fish with hobo spices’ for dinner last night.

It was spicy, as you might expect for a dish that involves that much of many different kinds of pepper.  I can dig spicy, we’re pretty good buddies, but this dish flirts with bordering on ‘too much.’  Doesn't touch the border, mind you, but it definitely approaches the line.

I didn’t eat but about half of mine last night, so brought it in to work with me today to have for lunch.

And, wow.  It took me 30 minutes to eat ONE tilapia filet, because overnight in the fridge the spiciness not only CROSSED the border, but did so with tanks and heavy artillery.  Holy schnikes, I just about needed a drool cup.  Each new bite was a powerful blast, an explosion, an assault, but I was not vanquished nor beaten by a piece of fish!  Oh no - I withstood the onslaught, raised my defenses (lots of water), and soldiered on, masticating the maruading attack into submission and finishing it all up like a good girl.  I, in short, WON.  Over FOOD.

I’m sure you’re as proud of me as if I was your own child finishing a grueling marathon or winning an award for best penmanship or something.  I really love that about you. 

Mother Nature is pulling out all the stops today for the first day of Spring.  Good Lord, it’s gorgeous outside.  In the 60’s (F), sunny, a little breezy – perfect.

Compare that to what nonsense was going on earlier this week, with the sleet and the frizzle and the snow and wind so fierce it blew the chimey bits off our windchimes (our neighbors might not be so sad about this), and I’m pretty confident in stating that Mother Nature is a schizo freakjob with a definite sadistic streak.

Whoever is out there with the tub of Chiffon trying to passit off as butter, knock it off!  It’s been over 40 years, that ruse doesn’t work, it just pisses her off, and you’re making all of us suffer!  Lay off!


I also prefer butter, so understand the anger.


Well, that's it for now.  I feel better getting all of this Very Important Information to you in a timely manner and within budget.

Tiff out.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Blog is Dead! (Long Live the Blog!)

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
We are all savvy consumers of eGoods by this point, with our ethises and ethats pouring into our brains and homes at a pace faster than a galloping gazelle.  eBooks!  eFriends!  eFamilies and sheets and blankets and lives and alter-egos and fandoms and playmates!

Of course it really all started with eMail.  Then it was chatting on ‘boards’ or ‘rooms,’ how quaint.  Then IM, then came blogs.  Ah, blogs.

I started thishere blog in the fall of 2005, or about 8.5 years ago.  I was in a very different place in my life, with a very different brain, but all along in the blog thing I meant only to write as myself, for me, about me, sometimes only TO me.  It was a heady time of personal blogs, with everyone having at least one, and some of us tapping away on multiples, several times a week.

All for fun.

(OK, there was the Shrinking Piggies blog, which was for motivation, but we had fun there too!).

I am sad to report that, as reported before here among other places, things have changed and the tide has not yet turned back to 'blogging for fun.'  No, nowadays it appears that it's blogging for profit,' which is not the same thing at all.

Today I read this festive little piece about how to get started in blogging, build traffic, and eventually turn that ol’ blog into a money-maker.  It’s divine….ly depressing.  Note how the notion of ‘blog’ is now a topic-bound item, with no room for ‘middle of the night ranting.’  That you have to find your ‘niche,’ and trackback, tweet/retweet, pingback, link lavishly, namedrop, cajole, wheedle, and spit on your thumbs to make any success at all from your blog.  You have to put in HOURS of research for one post, so writing even just one post daily is like a full-time job, but hey Mister if you want to be a world-famous blogger, you have to put in the tough hours, do the hard work, nose to the grindstone (or screen) and churn out that dang work.



That’s sounds like about as much fun as….working, and I do enough of that already.  So, don’t listen to that dour buzzkill, kiddoes – just write from the heart, write fast and furiously, do what you love and the money will follow!

Just as long as you remember that retweeting thing.  That probably works.


If you are ever in the market for a new dishwasher, don’t even THINK of getting anything but a Bosch. 

Wise words you’d do best to heed.


Our roof needs to be replaced, the house needs to be repainted (or re-sided), it’d be nice to have a new-to-us car for commuting purposes (gas savings, here I come!), but what I would REALLY do if I had an extra few thousand bucks?


Aw, yeah.

What would YOU do if you got an extra, say, $5000 to use however you wanted?  I’m thinking hot tub is #1 on most lists, am I right?

Do blather on about your choices down in the comments, and we’ll see one another again soon.

Tiff out.