Dec 28, 2010

Attack of the Killer Trader Joe's Tomato

Spencer and I took a quick trip to the Trader Joe's in Shrewsbury, MA tonight and I just had to write about the woman in front of me in line.

It's worth saying that I've never been a fan of Trader Joe's.  It's not the store, it's simply the type of people who shop there.  My general observation has been these people eat Granola, have food allergies, don't wear socks, embrace the cuteness of cow bells clanking at the registers and somehow balloons are occasionally involved with these people's kids.

However, I've completely warmed to this particular Trader Joe's location because they took over a now defunct pool supply store which has allowed them to nearly double their retail space. More space in the aisle means Kim doesn't have to kill anyone.  Those sandal -wearing neo-hippies can make love to their nuts and berries while leaving me to peruse the insanely cheap flower bouquets and the fresh produce.

So tonight we went there to buy six bags of broccoli that are packaged for steaming in the microwave and I scored 4 more Pomegranates for $1.99 each.  I chose the register where the cashier was sporting his tropical Hawaiian shirt along with a salt and pepper beard.  Unfortunately he was in the middle of ringing up a woman who quickly turned into one of those super annoying customers that I always seem to have the pleasure of standing behind in every check-out line!

Apparently she bought some plum tomatoes the other day for $2.16 and they were simply awful.

Cashier rings the cow bell and presumably the front end manager promptly appears to credit the lady $2.16 no questions asked.  (Mind you, she didn't have the offensive tomatoes with her nor did she have a receipt for the prior purchase!)

This is what burns me up.  After she's pleasantly credited the $2.16, she just has to remark to the cashier, "Well, I know I won't be buying my tomatoes from Trader Joe's anymore!"

As Seth and Amy from SNL would say, "Really? Really!"

Was it entirely necessary to make that remark after she was completely taken care of by Trader Joe's?  Wasn't it enough that they gave her money back without any hassle at all?  Did she have to say that she would be taking her tomato business elsewhere?

I've purchased hundreds of dollars in Pomegranates over these past few years.  I've had my fair share of rotten ones, but I've never once returned fruit to a grocery store because it's just not something I would ever consider doing.  I know some would say I'm entitled to a refund. However my philosophy is buyer beware when you're buying fruits and vegetables.  There's a reason why I see people knocking on watermelons and sniffing cantaloupes in the local supermarket...picking fresh fruit is a skill that is developed over time.  You're bound to choose poorly sometimes-it's just the way of the world.

Tonight I left Trader Joe's with a healthy respect for their excellent customer service. I guess Trader Joe's customers are probably like any other customers out there in the land of retail: there's always going to be one rotten tomato.

Nov 25, 2010

Rainbow lamb

Rainbow lamb, originally uploaded by Tims Photo's.

Someone really took pride in presenting their lamb at The Sacramento County Fair.

Tundra Comics for Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

My bestie Marty just texted me a picture of the Hello Kitty balloon seen at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm not a parade sort of gal, but seeing this in person from the ground certainly would have been worth it.  But since I have such awesome friends, I didn't need to be there because when she saw that big old kitty she instantly thought of me.

It seems the common thing to do during this holiday is to become reflective about things in your life you are most grateful for.

In no particular order, here is my list of people, places and things that make me want to high-five total strangers just to show them how happy I am today:

  • Amazon Prime: The $79 bucks that I paid for this 2-day delivery service is going to save me from all the frustration of holiday shopping in the upcoming weeks.
  • Music: This past week has seen some incredible new releases from some of my favorite artists and right now I can't wait to get in my car and drive with the volume turned up to level 16.
  • Bose: I just accepted a new position within the company as a Retail Analyst. I've begun to meet new people and learn lots of new things about Retail that has me energized and excited to get out of bed every day, not to mention how thrilled I am to have a brand new laptop and shorter commute to work.
  • Spencer: All mushy stuff aside, I am thankful to have spent these past 24 years of my life with him.
  • Cold Nights: Our beagle Minnie is more than happy to snuggle up to us in the bed every night now that the temps have dropped and somehow feeling her weight against the back of my legs or hearing her gentle snoring adds a sense of peace to the night.
  • Friends: My co-worker and friend Patty recently invited me to join her and her family for Hanukkah dinner on December 5th. I know I'll probably be looked upon as a strange invite at the dinner table by some of her family, but the fact that she's welcoming me into her inner sanctum means more to me than I can say.
  • Pomegranates: I look forward to ending each day sitting in front of the TV watching a favorite show and picking those damn little juicy seeds out of their skin and happily eating each seed while I stain the tips of my fingers yellow and try not to make too much of a mess.
  • That's Entertainment: Spencer and I take a trip to this comic book store every Sunday morning.  He buys old video games and I buy a couple of Smurfs each week. I love walking through the aisles because it allows me to be exposed to this whole other world of collecting that I've never experienced before.  While I see adults talk excitedly about comic books, I get lost in my own world searching for old toys and appreciating the thrill of the hunt.  Currently I've got my eye on this Fisher Price xylophone in it's original box, but I talk myself out of buying it every time we go there.  I know I'm going to buy it, but just knowing that it remains on the shelf, unsold, week after week will only make it more special to me when I finally give in.
So that's my short list of things right now.  I hope you take the time to come up with your own list and reflect on what makes you grateful this Thanksgiving.

Nov 20, 2010

Kathy Griffin @ The Hanover Theater

 Karen and I went to see the comedian Kathy Griffin tonight at the Hanover.  Karen turned 40 this past September and since we both love Kathy Griffin, I thought treating her to (nearly) front row center seats would be a great gift.

Kathy walked out to the roar of the crowd and just did a fantastic job owning the entire place.  She dished on celebrities, talked about how she dedicated a chapter of her book about a bad stand-up performance in Worcester and closed the show by reading a purported drunk 2am email from her mother Maggie sharing her Last Wishes. 

I hate crowds so naturally I stayed behind while everybody filed out.  I passed the time by taking some photos of the ornate chandeliers and got a pretty good picture of Karen talking on her cell phone, but here's the best part:  as we were beginning to leave this middle-aged woman walked up to the stage and asked the stage hand if she could have the red plastic cup that Kathy used to drink her water from during the performance.  The look on the guys face was precious and I wish I could have captured the moment.  He must have been thinking,  "Really? You want the plastic cup? OK... here take it.  Less trash for me to clean up."

Speaking of trash...I was feeling kind of bad seeing all the senior citizen ushers walking through the aisles after the show collecting the empty glass beer bottles and cups left by the audience. It made me sad.
Way to keep it classy Worcester.

Nov 14, 2010

Santa's Little Helper

Our groomer Furry Essentials was offering professional holiday photographs through Brenda Gale Photography. We signed up and Minnie had her big photo shoot this morning around 10am.

Brenda took some really cute photos of Minnie. I'll be sure to post the link soon so you can see all of the photographs.

This particular one was my favorite: Minnie looking at the camera with her get-me-the-hell-outta-here look while Spencer was cooing something adorable in her floppy ear.

We love this dog so damn much!
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Nov 6, 2010

Baby Owl Practices Pouncing on Imaginary Prey - CUTE!

Ricky Gervais...Brought To You By The Letter N

Friends With Benefits -Thank You Justin TImberlake...Again!

As much as I'm frustrated that Justin isn't rushing into making another CD, he is delivering on the goods with upcoming movies.  And by 'goods' I mean the above super-hot flirty red trailer recently released online to create some buzz prior to its release date on July 22, 2011.

I've already added it to my DayPlanner with a exclamation point where the point is in the shape of a heart...cause I Heart Justin Timberlake....

Oct 15, 2010

In the Jungle, the mighty jungle...

I feel like this song today. The woman screeching in the background reminds me of Star Trek...I have no idea why.

Oct 9, 2010

A History of Rap: Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake & The Roots

A History of Rap: Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake & The Roots

It's embarrassing how many times I've watched this performance. This makes life worth living.

Sep 26, 2010

2010 B.O.N.E.S Beagle Bash

Beagle Bash 2010

Minnie, Katie and I had a nice afternoon being around all the other Beagle enthusiasts at the B.O.N.E.S Beagle Bash held in Auburn, MA.

Katie and I went last year, but didn't take Minnie with us because I didn't know how she would react to so many dogs - especially her own kind -and I had wanted to check it out myself before bringing her.  I shouldn't have had any concerns because she went with us this year and I think she wasn't impressed with the whole event.

We got to see a short presentation from a K-9 unit using her Beagle to sniff out suspicious smells in luggage. That was pretty interesting.

We also got to see a Hop Along Cassidy 3-legged Beagle all decked out in his cowboy outfit.  The theme this year was something about cowboys, but I didn't see too many people dressing up their dogs.  Thank God.  I threw a red bandanna around Minnie, but that's about it.  Minnie isn't into costumes.  She's more into food.

Minnie was exhausted by the time we left and she came home to only nap the rest of the afternoon away.

Sep 11, 2010

Honda vs. Toyota

This was the scene of my big excitement today.  I was going to the groomer to pick up Minnie from her bubble bath and came across this hot mess.

The Toyota was brandy new and the guy driving it was a Papa Gino's pizza delivery guy just trying to get someone one of their pizza's for lunch.

The man driving the Honda SUV apparently jumped out of his truck immediately after impact, but after finding out the guy that hit him was working for Papa Gino's that's when he started to feel all tingly and needed medical assistance.

The irony of this incident is where it happened - right in front of an EMT training center.  So by the time I gathered Minnie and we were heading for the car, the EMT class was getting out and let's just say they were interested in a little hands-on training.

Not To Be Confused with a Brillo Pad

Cute baby animals - Not To Be Confused With a Brillo Pad
see more Daily Squee

Coochie Coochi Coo

Sep 6, 2010

Be Nice Monster

Spencer bought this garden sculpture from Design Toscano for his mom's backyard.  (It came in two pieces and hooked easily to the tree)

Apparently this BigFoot is so life-like that a little visitor named Olivia quickly ran inside the house after seeing the monster hiding behind the tree in my mother-in-law's backyard.  She even tried to lock the kitchen door because she was afraid the monster was going to get her. How cute is that?

Her brother was wondering why there weren't any foxes in the woods behind the house?  Spencer remedied the situation by promptly buying a nice resin fox from Design Toscano.

Can't wait to see their reaction the next time they visit The Perry's.

Black Flag Home Invading Scorpions

Spencer happened to see this can of Black Flag sitting on a shelf in the pesticide section at the new Super Wal-Mart in Worcester.

(Note the single can featuring a big and scary scorpion. )

This must be a misplaced can because I've never heard of  scorpions being indigenous to Massachusetts.

Aug 31, 2010

My First Solo Mission

Sadly I went shopping today, all by myself, during lunch because one of my friends (and most favorite co-worker) is no longer working with me. She's moved on to EMC in Hopkinton, MA.

I had intended to visit Staples in Westborough to wander the aisles since I haven’t been there in months and haven’t checked out their Back-To-School merchandising.  But instead I was pulled towards Home Goods to check out their Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations.

Aside from the aisles and aisles of decorative seasonal décor, I came across some really interesting things that I was tempted to purchase, but restrained myself. They had a wooden standing magazine stand that would be just perfect to place in my hallway for $50.00.  (I’m still undecided and might swing by on my way home from work to buy it!) 

I found a  bright yellow smiley face canister with a latch on the side.  I had to buy it, but I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  My guess is it’s being added to my smiley face collection which will eventually be displayed in my curio case.

In their pet section I found a marked-down doggy frame and seriously considered buying your dog Anke a rawhide birthday card, but I put it back because it wasn’t personalized enough.  (God forbid I buy my friend's dog a card and it doesn’t have my personal touch of humor and sentiment.)  

I also dug around in their clearance section and found some Beagle embroidered hand towels that I bought for the newly painted bathroom.

I remember this feather wreath I thought I would buy as an Easter decoration a while back, but Jillian thought it was too tacky and thus perfect for me.  Well, months later Home Goods has had one in pale green that would have looked perfect hanging on my bathroom wall for a mere $14, but I didn’t buy it because we tend to use a lot of baby powder post shower and I wasn’t sure if the powder particles would float around and attach themselves to the wreath.

I lurked around in their children’s décor section and found two blue throw pillows each saying ‘Jacob’ and ‘Edward’….  I left them alone, but took a picture of them on my cell phone for posterity to show all my Twilight buddies!

As I was checking out, I grabbed a box of Mini Liquorice Allsorts by McKeever Danlee for $1.99 as my impulse buy.  (The back of the box said they were a product of South Africa and may contain Gluten. ) I cracked open the box upon returning to the office and they were delicious. I’ve never had mini Allsorts.  Weird.

My First Pomegranate Sighting of the Season!

Spotted at Stop & Shop in Hudson, MA 8/31/10

Jul 11, 2010

Wildlife Preserves

Wildlife Preserves - Picture Is Unrelated - WTF Pictures and Videos

Sometimes I come across stuff online and I'm desperate to share it with other like-minded individuals. Sadly I don't think a lot of people get my sense of humor. This is a perfect example of something that makes me want to smile so wide my skin cracks from the pressure of my happiness. I simply love my weird shit.

Jun 30, 2010

Finally - A Bit of Levity

I've got my IMAX ticket to see Eclipse Thursday at 4:30pm in Natick. This has been a long week of work and Edward is my reward!

Jun 5, 2010

Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) & Robert Pattinson 2010 MTV Movie Awards Video

May 27, 2010

Super Creep

Our Beagle Minnie does one hell of a job creeping up on you and I've come to expect her stealth way of getting her point across.

I walk down our hallway on the way to the bedroom to change clothes.  Minnie is nestled all snug and comfortable in her doggy bed rolling her big sad eyes up at me as she sees me approach and bang a right into the bedroom.  I open the closet doors and turn around.

Bam!  There she is lying like a flat pancake smack in the middle of the entrance to our bedroom.  She's flopped herself down 50% perfectly inside the bedroom and 50% outside the hallway.  She's trying to tell me something.

I know what she wants.  She wants to be taken for a walk around the neighborhood which we affectionately call 'the round'. I turn my back on her to grab something out of my closet and no sooner do I turn around to find her flopping on the floor about a 1/3 closer to me.  She's trying to get my attention.  I imagine she believes she is being subtle and I won't notice that just a fraction of a second ago she was 75% away from me in the hallway/bedroom area.  I know what she's up to, but I've decided to make her work for her walk.

I don't make eye contact with her.  I pull out a top and begin to change knowing that at any moment she will have decided upon two actions:  (1) move just a little bit closer to really bring home her point or (2) jump up on my thigh to do her magnificent long arching back stretch which clearly indicates she's worn me down and will be taken on a walk.

Most of the time I don't mind her creeping up on me. It's kind of cute most days.  Spencer and I hardly ever stumble over her or step on her tail when she moves unexpectedly closer to one of us to get our attention.  She does one hell of a job getting her point across that she needs something and isn't afraid to put herself in the way of an occasional misstep.  She's just a dog who knows what she really, really wants.

Today is really no different except this time I had every intention of taking her for a walk.  It's nearly 1:30pm and I'm on vacation today. I'm still walking around in my nightgown with a full belly of coffee and a loose plan on how I'm going to plan the rest of my free time.

Thanks to Minnie's steady creeping up on me, I know the first thing I have to do is take her on the walk.  She's worked marginally to get my attention this time and in a way I'm bummed out that she decided to pass on the thigh jump and stretch routine.  Today she's opted to position herself into a nest of warm pillows on my side of the bed and stare at me as I write this blog as if to say, "C'mon. You can write about me all you want later today, but take care of me first."

Who am I not to oblige?

May 23, 2010

How To Sit Down

May 1, 2010

Perfection (Box)

DSC_0045, originally uploaded by iamchief.

I was right. All those little pieces popped up if you ran out of time.


DSC_0047, originally uploaded by iamchief.

I haven't seen this game for years. I had forgotten what it looked like. All I remember was that stupid timer ticking and then if you didn't get all the shapes put in place, the buzzer would ring (I think) and all the little different shaped pieces would pop out.

This game freaked me out. They should have called it Pressure. This is the closest thing to child abuse that my parents bought me for Christmas.

Apr 24, 2010

Muppets wedding cupcakes

Muppets wedding cupcakes: "I first saw these Muppets cupcakes on Flickr so I didn't realize they were from a Muppets wedding (!!) until I visited the Facebook page of the UK's Cupcake Occasions, based in Caydon, Nr Ipswich, . Wow! Wedding cupcakes are really a time when you can express yourself and make your event memorable, and Cupcake Occasions have totally done that here; click here for a wonderful photo of the bride reacting to her cupcake tower.

muppets cupcakes3

muppet cupcakes 2

Cupcake Occasions
07910 962745
amanda at

Apr 17, 2010

Google Voice Strikes Out Again

My co-worker and very good friend Patty left me a voice mail yesterday because her husband had taken ill and she was at the hospital.  This is my Google Voice translation of the voice mail she left me:

Hey Kimma, It's Gary 130 on. Hi Kim and was gonna call you on work phone, but ha. I'm at thehospital right now, so there's A. at that was going on. Let you know marketing on the phone 3today. What's going on. It's probably in the on this morning, the mobile hospital in has been admittedto just care will be here this morning. Yeah think he has we have. Well, it looks like doublepneumonia and blood infection. Excellent. Yeah evening so hi. I'll catch up with you. Bye. 

the funniest commercial

Apr 4, 2010

Stand By Easter

Beagle Works Hard For The...Treat.

Feb 28, 2010

Minnie's Teeth

Teeth, originally uploaded by indietoy.

Our Beagle Minnie had oral surgery on 12/28/09. We were expecting her to have 3 teeth removed, her remaining teeth scraped and cleaned and a benign lump removed from her backside.
Instead she had 14 teeth removed after a thorough review of her x-rays and mouth.

Most people ask me if she has any teeth left? I didn't know that dogs had 42 teeth and that there are 8 teeth that do most of the work in their mouth. Fortunately for Minnie, she only had to have one of those big performers removed.

Our vet Dr. Friend worked on Minnie for over four hours and did a fantastic job. I was on edge the whole time Minnie was in surgery because she has a heart mumur and I really didn't know just how bad her teeth had become in the six years that we've had her.

Let me step back a little bit:

A few years ago we were told that she was developing Gingervitis and a dental cleaning was recommended. But because of the heart murmur, she had to have additional blood work done and an Echocardiogram performed to make sure she would be OK using anethesia. Spencer and I decided at the time that it wasn't worth taking a chance that she wouldn't pull through the operation just to have her teeth cleaned. At the time, we thought this was a sound decision. I kept thinking, 'How would I feel if she died on the table just to get her teeth cleaned?"

Flash forward to November of this past year. During Minnie's yearly exam the Vet noticed that there had been much progression in the decay of her teeth. Some teeth were simply missing, her gums were infected and there was a distinct possibility that the infection could get into her blood stream and travel to her heart if left unchecked.

In the end, we made the right decision and I regret that I didn't heed the vet's advice years earlier. I didn't know how much pain she had been in with such a rotting mouth. She had bad breath and was just our happy and lazy Beagle. But after the surgery and the time it took her gums to heal, she is still the same disposition but she looks so much happier. She runs in short bursts now. She's more alert and engaged in every movement around her.

Spencer has begun brushing her teeth every morning with flavored chicken toothpaste and she looks forward to having her teeth brushed because he's made it fun for her. We have a calendar hanging up and each day a big old "X" get maked to track our progress.

If you have a dog and dental cleaning is a suggested preventative measure to maintaining her health then you should do it if you can afford the care. If I had Minnie's teeth cleaned years ago, maybe she wouldn't have lost so many teeth and suffered in silence for so long.

Font Design Humor

Meatheads Do Exist

wtf photos videos
see more WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated

Feb 20, 2010

Carryout Video by Timbaland & Timberlake

New Timberlake & Timbaland!

This is the best song on Shock Value II and I'm a bit disappointed in the video. Considering the suggestive theme of the song, I would have liked them to have done more than dance around with models. But there is Justin making a bow tie look sexy and a chick having a pair of Dr Dre Beats headphones placed on her at the end of the video. I'll take what I can get.

Feb 17, 2010

Dust In The Wind-Beaker Style

Seriously...what is up with The Muppets lately? Something HUGE is about to go down because I'm seeing way too much hip & cool content bursting out of the Jim Henson Studios.

Feb 5, 2010

Welcome To Boston-Justin Timberlake

Jan 26, 2010

Cat Man Do

Cat Man Do Take 2

I used to think it was totally embarrassing to go out in public with my mom sometimes because she'd have all these little stuffed animals and toys attached to her red walker. I bought her a basket that attached onto the walker to hold all her stuff-like her Wurther's Original Candy, her Chapsticks, pens and crayons, notepads, tissues and Bingo chips. I even went so far as to buy her one of those Arrooogahhh horns that she could use while walking the halls of the Autumn Village Nursing Home. The basket was a brilliant idea because it offered portability-I simply had to unhook the basket off of her walker whenever we went into a store like a CVS or a Wal-Mart and store it in the trunk of my car.

After looking at this 'person' having stuffed cats glued to her head and back, I've come to realize I really didn't have anything at all to be embarrassed about with my mom. Who knew?

This is another shining example of why People of Wal-Mart is one of my favorite sites on the whole wide world web.

Justin Timberlake wins Harvard’s Hasty Pudding award

Justin Timberlake wins Harvard’s Hasty Pudding award

I'm 40 years old now. I'm not supposed to be getting this excited over JT, but I can't help myself. He's coming to Boston on February 5th to accept his Hasty Pudding award and I'm wondering if I should play hookie from work that day to see my dreamboat?

Let's think about this a bit. He's going to be in the same state as me, experiencing the same weather system as me, be at an address that I could drive to and be plastered all over the local papers. He'll probably do a great morning interview with Matty in the Morning on KISS 108. He'll be someplace fab for a steak dinner and steamed veggies to celebrate his award. Or BBQ ribs. Maybe he'll tip back a pint at that Cheers bar?

Ummm. I think I need to stop thinking about him being like 30 miles away from me. After all, I'm 40 freakin' years old!!

Jan 24, 2010

The Vermont Country Store

We received a $25 gift certificate to The Vermont Country Store two years ago from my in-laws.  I've held on to the gift certificate all this time because we fully expected to take a day trip up to Vermont one weekend to visit the store.  But other things got in the way and we never got the chance to visit.

I receive their catalog throughout the year and I always love browsing the pages because they've got such a wide assortment of things from the past. Their tag line is "Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-To-Find."  I bought my silver retro tinsel Christmas Tree a few years ago from them with one of those color wheels and a watch that required winding rather than batteries to operate.

I've come close to buying a few things online, but hesitated because their website couldn't process my paper gift certificate as they've since come out with the standard gift cards that are website friendly and easy to use.  But once I saw that they were selling their own knock-off version of one of my favorite shampoos from the 70's...I had to call their customer service department and see if I could still use my old gift certificate by placing a telephone order.  (I can't even begin to recall the last time I placed a telephone order with a company, can you?)

It turns out all I needed to do was ask.  I called customer service and placed my order for 2 bottles of their Country Herbal Shampoo which is their version of the discontinued Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo made by The Proctor and Gamble company.  (They also sell other retro shampoo's such as Lemon Up, Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific and Body On Tap.)

A few days after placing my order, I received my bottles of Country Herbal Shampoo.  I eagerly unscrewed the top and took a great big sniff and guess what?  The smell was magnificent. It took me back to precious buried childhood memories of my mother lathering up my hair with her green shampoo in the bathtub. That scent made me feel five years old again.

I don't use the Country Herbal Shampoo every day because I'm trying to make the two bottles last for as long as possible.  But I'm grateful to The Vermont Country Store that they honored my 2 year old paper gift certificate without any hassles and provided me with a pleasant customer service experience during the holidays.

I may not be able to visit their store for a while, but I can't wait to see what other cool stuff they'll find to remind me of what my life used to be like as a kid growing up in the 70's.

Google Voice

I was lucky enough to snag an invite to Google Voice about two months ago.  I signed up and linked my cell phone number to my Google Voice account so that any messages left on my cell would be transcribed and emailed to me from Google.  Not only does it transcribe the message, there's also a nifty little play button so I can actually hear the message as well.  Good thing they added this feature because Google Voice didn't do such a good job with my first voice mail:

"Hey Kimma, It's Barry it's yes, good morning. It's about 20 Bates and let you know i'm money. Heylate patio, so if you don't wanna wait some coffee. We'll meet that's fine of the couple of years. Reallybefore 8:30, but but he completely my, my mother was because of the hospital buzz that those are.Ohh til about o'clock this morning but so If, a, you don't wanna leave that's okay. I'll see you bye. "

Essentially the voice mail should have said this:

Hi Kim, it's Patty.  It's umm Thursday morning, about twenty to eight and I just wanted to let you know I'm running late late today. if you don't want to wait for coffee for me that's fine. I'll probably be in before 8:30 (yawn)...I was up pretty late. My mother was taken to the hospital last night. I was up till about 2 o'clock this morning.But ummm like I said, if you don't want to wait, that's OK.  I'll see ya. Bye.

Needless to say, Google Voice did a pretty poor job translating my voice mail, but Patty and I got a really good laugh over it.

And now I call my friend Barry as a joke instead of her real name.  Thanks Google Voice.

Jan 9, 2010

Two Worlds Collide

It's Kismet

Now that I can watch network television again (Why Thank You…DIRECTV), I’m able to DVR all airings of The Big Bang Theory. Sure I have Season 1 & 2 on DVD (Why Thank You…sister-in-law Katie), but my husband Spencer and I love this show so much that we can easily watch any previously viewed episode and always find something to laugh about together.

Last night we watched the episode called The Friendship Algorithm in which Sheldon Cooper devotes himself to becoming friends with the much loathed colleague Barry Kripke. Sheldon has heard that Kripke only lets his friends have access to The Open Science Grid computer on campus and Sheldon wants to have access to it. After repeated attempts to befriend Kripke, he decides to visit a bookstore to find a book on the subject of making friends. It becomes quickly apparent that there aren’t any books available other than within the children’s section. He finds a book called ‘Stu the Cockatoo is New at the Zoo” and proceeds to extrapolate a flowchart he aptly titles The Friendship Algorithm.

I absolutely LOVE this chart. I started laughing as soon as the scene began. So much so that I had to pause the DVR and once again tell Spencer how much I LOVE Sheldon and how much I LOVE this show and simply LOVE his flowchart. Spencer walks out of the living room only to return with a little surprise present. He hands it to me and surprise surprise…it’s a t-shirt with the image of The Friendship Algorithm!!!!! How cool. Maybe he was holding on to it as part of my birthday present, but I was so glad he didn’t wait. What perfect timing. After profusely thanking him, I went into our bedroom and pulled out a t-shirt that I had bought him also depicting a classic scene from the show: Rock…Paper…Scissors…Lizard…Spock.

In retelling this gift exchange to my friend Jillian over lunch this afternoon, she once again told me that Spencer and I were made for each other. It’s a wonderful compliment to my marriage, but I take it with a grain of salt because she’s single and bitter. This is coming from a woman who takes a personal day on Valentine’s Day so she doesn’t have to put up with the pukefest of chocolates and roses that are annually delivered to people who work alongside her in the office. Yea, I’d say she’s a bit jaded.

But in all seriousness, I know how lucky I am to be married to Spencer. This upcoming August is our 20th Wedding Anniversary which means we’ve been together for 24 years as I met him when I was a young lass of 16 and he was 21. He knew me before I knew how to drive. He knew me before I learned about a whole bunch of things.

He really does get me and it’s so weird sometimes for me to actually process that the life we’ve formed together is kismet.

Jan 4, 2010

High Up On The Mountain Top

When I first started at my current job, I didn’t really give much consideration to the limited parking and consequences of the high altitude of where I would be working five days a week. (For those of you who don’t know, my corporate office is located on a big old man-made mountain in Framingham, MA.)  I didn’t bat an eyelash when I was told by Human Resources that I would have to use the company shuttle bus three months out of the year – February, June & October – due to limited parking on The Mountain.  No biggie.  However, after working in this building for the past four years I’ve come to the conclusion that they should have warned me about the weather on The Mountain instead of the parking.

Let me explain.

I’m a creature of habit. I park on the right side of our building in nearly the same parking space every day.  This means that at the beginning or end of my day , I leave the office and could potentially face exaggerated weather conditions due to the elevation on The Mountain. It might take the form of walking against whipping wind or severe sheets of rain.  Occasionally there’s a thunderstorm.  I’m a sturdy girl and unfortunately carry lots of extra bulk on my 5’2 frame.  But that wind has nearly knocked me off balance on more than one occasion. I am also not one of those people who is content to stand in the lobby hoping for a break in the weather. I’m decisive and often find myself pushing past the smart people waiting comfortably inside the building. I take my life into my own hands by pressing on towards the right side of the building in a mad purposeful dash to my car.  (So far I haven’t been struck by lightning.  I urge you to keep your fingers crossed for me to continue my safety streak with Mother Nature.  Thank you very much.)

But yesterday I had a little epiphany while walking our Beagle Minnie in the neighborhood and freezing my ass off.  I finally came to the conclusion that it’s more important to be warm and toasty than it is to look good in my Winter coat and crochet hat.  I knew my return to work was happening, whether I liked it or not, and I inwardly groaned thinking about how cold it was going to be on The Mountain this Winter.  After walking against the wind  yesterday, feeling my skin prickle in pain as the force of the biting below zero wind chill factor hit my face, I decided it was time to bust out my black bank robbery-inspired ski mask and go for it in the name of comfort.  No longer will I wear my crochet hat to match my Winter Hunter Green coat. I resolved to not be a victim this Winter to coordinating accessories.  It was finally time to embrace the fact that it’s not practical dressing cute in sub-zero temperatures.  It was also time to go in a different direction.

This morning I parked directly in front of the building where it seems a good portion of our population parks each day. I managed to get in the third row and about 20 parking spaces away from the entrance.  Sure it’s a bit of a longer walk than if I had parked in my normal parking space to the right of the building, but the benefit of parking front and center is that there is much less chance of being blown away by the currents of whipping wind.  I bundled up as tightly as possible and made my way in a steady path to the main entrance without feeling like the wind was going to knock me down.  I didn’t have to brace my body for anything…I just had to walk.

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  I can’t guarantee that I won’t turn right like a trained monkey and head towards my old parking space at the end of my work day. But what I do know for sure is that for these remaining Winter months, I’m putting on my knit black ski mask and fashion be damned.

I’ll worry later about how I’m going to avoid being hit by lightning.

Jan 2, 2010

How I Spent My Time During Shutdown

Every year for the past four years I've had the benefit of not working during the week of Christmas which is such an amazing bonus with my job.  I was so looking forward to shutdown this year because I had all these plans to get all this stuff done and once again things didn't go as planned.

So here are the highlights:

  • I came down with a really bad cold 4 days before Christmas. Hooray! Even the Niquil didn't make me feel all that better this time around. WTF?
  • Received some great news about my Father-In-Law George on Christmas Eve.  His second bout of lung cancer is in remission and he was able to stop chemo treatments.  We all figured he was going to get good news from his doctor because what kind of scrooge would set up a doctor's appointment the day before Christmas to give bad news?
  • Santa (aka the amazing thoughtful Spencer) surprised me with a pair of Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a pimped out Keurig coffee maker. This fancy smancy version brews iced coffee and is programmable.  I feel guilty about wasting coffee so I've held off setting it up because I've got a bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee to use.
  • Dropped my new HP Laptop on my foot today and caused myself a nasty bloody wound.
  • Set up my pink Hello Kitty Christmas Tree a few days ago.  Yea, I know Christmas is over.  But I've got this grand plan to keep (2) trees up until Spring.  Here's my plan:  Hello Kitty tree in the living room with pink lights and a Valentine's Day tree in the spare room.  I bought a whole bunch of 50% off red ornaments, red lights and a red bow with LED lights for the topper and it looks theory since I haven't set it up yet.
  • Got to see Sherlock Holmes with Ginny and enjoyed a 6oz steak at The Outback.  Movie was great, but I think there should be a steak minimum of 8oz.  My steak looked like a hockey puck and was smaller than the loaded baked potato.
  • Achieved Level 25 on Farmville which equates to alot of time on Facebook planting and harvesting crops and organizing my brown and white chickens.  If you're a fellow farmer, I still want Pomegranate Trees.
  • Our beagle Minnie had a whopping 14 teeth extracted and 2 benign lumps removed on December 28th.  I was a nervous wreck the entire four plus hours she was in surgery, but she came out good.  I spent the following day fretting over her health, but it turned out she didn't move off her bed for 24 hours because of the residual effects of the anethesia.
  • We watched Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory on DVD and Season 32 of Saturday Night Live on the Roku player.
I'm sure I did a bunch of other stuff, but right now it escapes me.  What I do know is I'm done counting on my fingers how many days left I have being on vacation.  It's Saturday night and my break is over.  One more day and then it's back to the usual five day workweek.  But this time I'm going back looking forward to seeing my coworkers and thinking about the possibility of doing all that other stuff that's going to fix up my life.

Happy New Year everyone!