Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I want to write a blog post about how I'm feeling frenzied.

But that wouldn't be funny or witty, and honestly I wouldn't want to read it if I were a visitor to a blog... so I'm not going to write it.

Instead, I'm going to make up a story.

One evening, in the not-too-terribly-distant past, Our Heroine embarked upon a grueling journey.

She departed from the safe cocoon of conditioned air at her Place of Gainful Employment and trudged wearily out into the city air.

The humidity was so thick that the air was pungent with the smell of warm salt water and overheated bodies.

"Ick," thought Our Heronie to herself.

Then she said "Ick" out loud, just for whomever might be listening.

Indulging in a hearty sigh, she walked slowly towards her chariot, treading sweatily through the thick, moist air.

She collapsed into her carriage and dumped her parcels upon the seat beside her.

"Double Ick," she announced with a grimace, for the conditions inside were doubly sticky from outside the confines of her transport.

With haste, Our Heroine spurred her horses to life and roared towards home.

As the wind rushed into the open windows, the stickiness began to abate.

Our Heroine was not appeased.

"Methinks," she thought, "that a frosty beverage is in order."

With absolutely no ado whatsoever, she headed directly to Ye Olde Departmente Store for supplies therefore.

Her provisions sought and collected, she again made haste to her chariot and again departed homeward.

With anticipation, she sped quickly to her destination.

(But not so quickly as to catch the eye of the local patrol. She's not foolish, after all.)

Having arrived at her domicile, Our Heroine lost no time in making the preparations for her refreshment.

One, two, three went the mint leaves into the glass.

Mash, mash, mash went the muddler against the leaves.

Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle went the sugar over the mint.

Splish, splash, splish went the soda and the rum.

Shake, shake, shake went the concoction in the shaker.

Ka-BOOM! Went the agitated soda, spraying sticky sugar-mint water all around the kitchen.

And so did Sunny learn her lesson about vehement beverage-making after a long, grueling day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

On the Fly

I'm a pretty speedy learner.

It helped me a lot when I was a student, because I needed to supplement the attention my own teachers gave me with attention of my own, as they rarely had time to assist me if my fellow students (who weren't gifted and talented) needed assistance.

Survival of the fittest - I had to be a self-taught learner.

As such, I try to muddle through situations if I have even the slightest understanding of what needs to happen.

Now, on occasion, this can backfire with remarkable power and explusions of light.

For instance, when trying to learn how to cook, it's entirely possible that I set a plethora of paper towels (and one ill-fated cotton dish rag) on fire in the kitchen, and them dumped them into the sink and turned on the faucet because I hadn't any idea how to quell the flames.

But on other occasions, I can look pretty clever.

For instance, those occasions where I teach myself basic HTML in order to get my blog posts out to the masses.

It takes time, for sure... time that's in short order these days, with the impending Two Week Vacation on the horizon.

But at least I don't feel like I'm neglecting you further.

Today is Three Days to Vacation, ReaderFriends! Let's see what fun we can find!

For Everything Else...

Remember those old "Priceless" MasterCard commercials that started back in the late '90s?

They were pretty cute.

It would list some series of expensive items, followed by some monetarily invalid statement about how whatever facet of life was more important than money. The closing statement was "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard."

This statement came to mind this morning.

The Receptionist's first husband died this morning. It left her feeling very shaken and very upset, although it's a death that has been anticipated for quite some time.

(On a side note, here's hoping that it kicks her in the pants to start being more healthy. She's older than he was, and is in poor health herself.)

So I spent more time than expected covering the front desk today.

Unfortunately, life doesn't come to a stop just because there's a ringing phone to answer. Also on the docket today has been an incredible amount of fixation over the miles-long to do list that's scrolling through my brain.

I have a vacation eeking upon on me, and have been absolutely swamped with moving and with family time lately, so vacation preparations have fallen to the wayside. It's got me pretty frazzled. Also high on the frazzling spectrum**1 was the phone call I received from an irate vendor this morning claiming a repossession charge against us.

The situation unfolded in a frustrating fashion, and before we hung up the phone I had told the woman "Do you think I'm just going to whip out my personal credit card and take care of this here? That's not how it works, honey." She stammered as though I had slapped her.

Admittedly, I felt bad after... but not bad enough to appologize. After all, there wouldn't be any discussion of repossession if she could get invoices to us in a timely fashion in the first place.

Nonetheless, I had a busy mind as I sat here waiting for the phone to ring and the other shoe to drop.

But, as I sat, one of the more mild mannered EngineerFriends approached my desk. I braced myself for a request that I wouldn't really have time to handle. He leaned on the counter, looking down at his hands and the three dollars he held in them.

"I found these upstairs," he said. "I don't think they're mine, so I wanted to bring them down and ask that you find their rightful owner."

Now, we should note again that this man is an Engineer. Three dollars' worth of his time is an insanely short series of seconds. Three dollars of my time is nothing to spit at, either... but, nonetheless, I penned a note to the masses:

"An undisclosed**2 amount of money was just turned over to Lost and Found. If you’re (legitimately) missing some greenery from your pocket, please let either myself or [Receptionist] know before 4:00 p.m. today.

"If not claimed by 4:00 p.m., this will be turned over as a donation to the next Bagel Friday and a hearty Thank You will be issued to the anonymous contributor.

"Engineer's Time to Turn Over $3 to Lost & Found: $10

"Administrator's Time to Write Note to Masses about Lost Money: $5

Administrator's Time to Field E-mails and Phone Calls about Bogus Lost Money: $15

Restoring Faith in Humanity or Finding Out That an EngineerFriend Cares About Doing the Right Thing: Priceless

**1 Note To Self: Create a "Frazzling Spectrum." It will become the new standard upon which workdays are based, and will singlehandedly lift you from the doldrums of corporate life by shooting you to superstardom. Reserve your date with Ellen now.

**2 If I told them straight up how much had been turned over, everyone would show up claiming it's theirs. Human nature - although it's dishonest, it's not unexpected. So we combat it straightaway.

Technical Difficulties

It appears that Blogger is rife with technical difficulties, ReaderFriends. The past week's worth of posts are not posted.

I am working to rectify this as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day Job

It's no secret that I love to write.

But what I do often keep secret is the genre that I most adore: I would love nothing more than to write for children.

The inspiration that strikes me day-to-day is typically snarky, somewhat negative and a little down-ing. So I take my Sunshine, twist the thoughts around and try to put something a little more positive out into the ether.

This morning, as I meandered into the office, I thought about the everyday happenings that happened as I drove in.

And I thought about how any one scenario I faced having been changed would have completely altered my day.

For instance: What if I hit every green light on the strip instead of sitting at a series of reds? There may have been a parade up ahead with dancing elephants instead of just the boring commuters I saw.

Or: What if I had remembered my work badge on my first walk up to the office instead of having to walk back to my car and get it? Would I have gotten some cool prize like a free doughnut or something from a vendor that I just missed for my forgetfulness?

This train of thought lead me to consider a new writing series: The Almost Truth. Or perhaps One Little Change. Where I take some boring, mundane facet of my day, twist one tiny detail and imagine where that might take me.

I told you that story, to lead in to this story.

I love My Milk Toof by Inhae Lee (www.mymilktoof.blogspot.com). Her wit and whimsy are constantly entertaining to me, with enough clever wordplay and funny shenanigans to keep adults entertained while still offering storylines that could easily and happily be shared with children.

As I was reading her most recent post, a co-worker walked up behind me and asked what I was "pinning." I told him that I was in fact reading a picture book, and he peered over my shoulder to see what the excitement might be.

After declaring it an odd piece of work (admittedly, first glance can create that opinion when you think about reading stories based upon the big adventures of little teeth...), co-worker said "You should write one. Maybe about a couple of eyeballs."

I said "Great idea! 'Greeny and Bluey are the best of buddies, despite their outward differences.' It's not creepy at all."

He said "No, really. I bet you could write children's books."

Co-worker, I hate to tell you that nothing would make me happier. But my corporate lifestyle just doesn't provide the fodder for a children's writing career that a body might think.

But, I thought, it wouldn't take much to make the interesting stuff happen.

What One Little Change would it take to change my life?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Get In The Spirit

It's almost Independence Day, American ReaderFriends!

(And non-American ReaderFriends. It's just as much Independence Day if you don't live in America, but it probably isn't so high on your radar.)

The time of parades and barbeques is upon us.

I've written before (http://lackadaisychain.blogspot.com/2011/07/holiday-celebrations.html) about my fourth-of-July shenanigans with my Mumma, and this year is no exception.

Except that, this year, I had the theme well in advance, and still wasn't able to come up with anything.

See, the theme that was chosen is "Christmas Spirit in July."


That's right - I said barf.

I abhor the Christmas in July theme. I feel as though Independence Day is a big deal, and although I do love me some Christmas magic, I think Halloween through New Years is enough time to devote to that holiday.

So my heart wasn't really in it, which is frustrating - I had a librarian counting on me, who happens to be my maternal unit (so there was a heavy possibility of guilt).

It was Sunday, as I was elbow-deep in cleaning the kitchen windows at my home before I came up with a suitable idea for our float.

(I'm sorry... I can't tell you what it is. Not yet. We have to get through the parade first.)

So yesterday I printed out the paper goods I would need, and last evening I sat down with my scissors (and, admittedly, a stiff drink...) and got to work.

I only got through one out of four signs before my hands cramped and Boyfriend of Amazingness was sick of turning up the television volume because my snippery was being too loud. But I'm hopeful.

However, more than just paper goes into making a suitable float.

Since there's a Christmas theme, we had to figure out what we would be giving to the children along the sides of the road. It's difficult to embrace a Christmas theme without being giving, so backing out on the treats (like we typically do) just wasn't an option.

My suggestion was home made Christmas cookies. My sister and I are both capable bakers, so whipping up a couple hundred baked goods wouldn't have been a tremendous undertaking. It just requires time... which we don't have.

As I was panicking about that particular situation this morning, my mother pointed out Halloween Syndrome:

Parades are a busy place. Parents aren't prone to keeping a close eye upon their children, so they can get overwhelmed if anything but pre-packaged goods show up in their treat bags. So... most of the cookies would have been rejected or discarded.

And that would have been a saddening, upsetting waste.

A short discussion led us to realize that we could solve this situation easily, and so that's taken care of. But there's still more to do.

Should we decorate the truck with popcorn strings? It's a fun idea, but they take forever to make. It's just not practical. And what if a bird eats them? There might be poop, and poop simply isn't festive.

Should we decorate with real ornaments? They're authentic enough, but tend towards being fragile and, again, aren't practical. What if one breaks, and all the Christmas magic gets away? I cannot have that responsibility on my shoulders.

What should we choose as a song? Having music blasting is part of the parade experience, but it's difficult to find one that appropriately fits with our twist on the theme. I can't just willy-nilly say "Yup, we're grooving to Jingle Bells this year!" This must be duly considered, and the perfect song selected with great care.

There's so much should-ing going on in my brain, it's getting pretty crowded in there. I think I need some cookies just to settle my thoughts.

And then some cookies to calm my nerves.

And then some extra cookies and probably a drink to get me through the next 36 hours.

I think I'm currently accepting happy Christmas wishes, my ReaderFriends - I need all the help I can get!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cooked Through

Although it doesn't photograph in the slightest (despite my best efforts of photography), I've got one hell of a sunburn.

I managed to avoid it last year, but some time between late June and mid-July I totally and completely fry my forehead.

My sister would say it's because my forehead is so prodigiously huge that the sun can't help but burn it out of spite that my forehead is the bigger, brighter object.**1

I say it's because I'm so fair-skinned that I can't help but cook like a lobster in a pot.

I think one of the worst parts is that I burned some of my scalp and just along my hair line. That skin is so tender that I think it's already starting to peel.

But worse, even, than that... is that I just had super-salty, super-cajun-y fries... and then scratched my already-peeling-but-still-totally-burnt-and-really-sore forehead with my salty-cajuny fingernails

There's a very real possibility that my skin is going to pop like a stepped-on blueberry peel right off.


**1 This is from the same sister who calls me Bubble Butt.