Category Archives: Random stories

Bite me, hippies

That’s the last time I go for a jog without my Pop Pop.

Yesterday I went for a walk / jog with Rowdi. I like to change up my route every day, but there are parts of my route that I usually see. I was on my way home, had gone out as far as I was going to. I was jogging down the street, and about five houses in front of me, a car backed out of a driveway. No big, cars leave houses and go to other places all the time. But my shin splints happened to flare at that moment, so I stopped and started walking.

Now, it took this car forEVER to back out and straighten up so it could drive down the street (it would be driving away from me). Then when it got straight, it just sat there for a second.

I’m a paranoid runner. I do have my iPod or my Kindle going, but I never turn them loud, and I am very aware of my surroundings. I know where every person is, every car, moving or stationary. And I always have my gun. . . except yesterday. Yesterday I decided to leave the Pop Pop at home so I could run without the extra weight bouncing around at waist level–I have a bulged disc right there, and I don’t like to aggravate it. I figured I have a big pit bull mix with me, so if someone tries to attack me, she’ll jump to my rescue. Of course, I didn’t figure cars into the mix.

So I gave this car a few seconds to back out, watching the whole time, naturally. It crawled. When it straightened out to go down the street, I kept walking toward it, waiting for it to pull away from me. I was still three houses away. The car just sat there. I could see a creepy old hippie inside with long, white hair. He was watching me in the side-view mirror. So I watched him. As I got closer, I saw his wife sitting next to him. Same long, white hair, but she was turned around and looking back, watching me. Both of them looked as if they felt superior.

I kept walking and watching them, and they stayed until I was well past the car and their house. When I passed them, I took my earbuds out so I could listen for a car door to open. My mind was anxious and well on its way to pissed off, but I kept my body relaxed so Rowdi wouldn’t feed off my energy and become anxious herself–I didn’t need the distraction.

I can be passive-aggressive, yes, but I also get aggressive-aggressive now and then, and I had to really hold myself back from it at this point. When I passed the hippies’ car, I turned and looked at them, hoping to make eye contact so I could glare properly. The man turned his head, pretending he hadn’t been watching me. The woman looked down. I wanted to run up, slam my fist against the driver’s window, and tell them exactly what I thought of them. I was angry by this point. At them for car-stalking me and at myself for leaving the house without my Pop Pop.

When I was well past them and they hadn’t started to move, I kept walking, but I turned around and looked at them again with a glare that said, “Get going, unwashed pigs.” When I turned back around and wasn’t watching them anymore, they finally started to move. Slowly. They drove by as slowly as they could, and my anger escalated to near rage. I seriously wanted to beat the hippies down, I was so pissed. You don’t do that if you’re a decent human being. You don’t car-stalk a girl and her dog, try to intimidate the girl or make her think you’re getting ready to do something to her. You just don’t do that unless you are evil.

They got well past me, passed an intersection, and then got close to the next intersection, at crawling speed. I was coming upon the intersection they’d passed when they stopped their car, about ten feet before the stop sign. I’ve gotta tell you, this is when I started calling them very bad names in my head, words I don’t even want to admit to knowing. And the things I was telling them to do in my head–let’s just say there was lots of apologizing to the Lord after that. I was so so so ragey.

I had to make a decision–turn down the street they had passed and let them out of my sight but don’t give them a clue as to where I’m going, or keep going straight toward them. I chose to keep going straight, because they’re freaking hippies, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I’m afraid of a smelly hippie. And apparently, that’s all they wanted to know. Whether I was turning or going straight. Because they finally went to the end of the block and turned the corner, and when I got to the end of the block, they weren’t lurking around the turn.

I’m about to take Rowdi for a walk. I usually don’t let her pee in other people’s yards, because her urine kills anything green, but today she pees on hippie grass.

Deeply Rooted part 3: Deeply Rooted with a Vengeance

Part 1.
Part 2: Rickrolled.

I was still getting over the realization that what I thought was a root canal was actually two cavity fillings when the dentist asked me if I had experience with rubber dams. I resisted the urge to snap that it was too personal a question and instead went with the truthful “What’s that?” See, the rubber dam doesn’t look as dangerous and menacing as it is–it looks a little harmless, even. Just a little green piece of rubber. But it’s really a piece of Satan himself, cut into a cute little square and stuck in your mouth. I was still chomping on the bite plate, so he just gently placed this miniature demon across my mouth, wrapped a little piece of it around my tooth, and tightened it. So the tooth was sealed off from moisture, and my mouth was sealed off from breathing. Nothing anxiety-inducing about that at all. I grabbed the nitrous mask, just to ensure myself that it was still there, and I still had access to oxygen, drunken oxygen or not. I calmed down a little and waited for him to start.

The doc cranked the music back up and got to work. He drilled, I tensed. He stopped drilling, I tried to pay attention to the music. Rick Astley came on, I tried to pay attention to the drill. He drilled again, I filled myself with visions of chocolate and Jackson Rathbone (separately). After several long minutes of his drilling and my self-distracting, he stopped drilling. I concentrated on filling my brain with sweet, sweet nitrous.

Then he got out these long, pin-thin spikes that looked a little like stick pins with big plastic anchors on the ends. Mother of Thor, what was he planning to do with those. My eyes got big, and he asked if I was okay. “Ot ih at?!” “These are little files that go down in the tooth and clean out the pulp.” “Oh-ay.” What else was I gonna say? Unless I wanted to drunken-swagger to my desk downstairs with an open tooth, I was kind of at the guy’s mercy. Rascal Flatts came on, and I grabbed hold of their little ditty and clung to it as my lifeline. Then they ended, and I got Rick Astley again. I listened to him, trying with all my might to forget that the jerks and pulls around my general lower jaw area were the doctor pushing metal sticks inside my tooth.

He kept filing inside the tooth. And kept on. And on. After a good half hour (at least), he told me it normally didn’t take so long, but I had a pulp stone that just didn’t want to give. I looked that up later, and ew. He worked on the pulp stone forever and ever. And ever. I nearly cried in relief when he told me he was through the stone. Thank God. And then he kept digging, because you know, there was still pulp below where the stone had been. At one point, he called for the special stick-files, gold-plated or something. And long. He told me he’d never had to get those files out, that he’d never done a root canal with such a deep root.

And then… I felt him digging. Not just that general tug-tug-tug on my jaw and tooth that is the norm, thanks to the glory of lidocaine. No, I felt actual pain in my tooth.

My eyes must have become saucers, because the doc asked if I was okay. “I elt at,” I said calmly. Or at least I thought it was calmly–what do I know? I was drunk on nitrous. “Oh, okay,” he responded, as calmly. But I saw it in his eyes. The significant “oh crap” look he gave his assistant. She handed him the injector-contraption, you know the one–it looks like it might have come from Mars or some other non-Earth planet. So he numbed me again and waited a few minutes and then resumed the dig. Thankfully, I felt nothing from that point forward.

Until… Well, if you’ve ever held your mouth open for two hours, you know that eventually it starts to really hurt. Not so much the jaw, but every muscle in your head, neck, and shoulder just clenches and tenses, and you get tired. Really tired. And everything starts to hurt, and suddenly you have a massive tension headache and are praying for Bridget, your wonderful massage therapist, to come fix you. And when she doesn’t come, you kind of start to panic.

Which is exactly what I did. I panicked the panic of a woman who knows she’ll never get to close her mouth again, and she’ll always be in horrific pain. And when my panic mechanism kicked in, so did my detachment mechanism. I removed my brain from the rest of me and just drifted. Hazy.

I probably looked stoned, and the doc noticed. “Are you okay?” he asked in a tone that was surprisingly not patronizing–something I’d only rarely experienced with doctors. I nodded. He waited. “Are you sure?” I waited. Then I slowly shook my head. He stopped working. I thanked God for his compassion.

He sat there for a minute, just looking at me, and I could tell his eyes were on my face, but I couldn’t meet them. The waterworks started, and I just dripped silently for a few moments. And then, since I’m a girl, I started sobbing, and I didn’t stop for a few minutes.

And then the dentist did pretty much the worst thing he could have done in my panicpalooza: he took away my nitrous. He said it so nicely, too. “I’m going to pump in some oxygen, clear your head of the nitrous for a few minutes.” I nodded, detached. “O-ay.” Still sobbing.

He waited a few minutes before he started back up again. And then everything got worse, because I was sobbing and lying completely horizontal, and now I had mucus gathering in the back of my throat, on account of the sobbing. So I couldn’t close my mouth, it was a great effort to swallow, and I had mucus sitting on the back of my throat. Which made the panic increase exponentially because I felt like I was suffocating, choking on my own snot.

And he never gave back the nitrous. Pretty much the worst thing he could have done for me at that point.

When he was all done (finally!) he asked if I thought that maybe I just got overwhelmed from the nitrous. I vehemently disagreed with his presupposition and told him (around the bite plate that was still in my mouth) that I had a horrific tension headache from keeping my mouth open for two hours. I resisted the urge to punch him for effect.

So after two hours, the root canal, which was supposed to last a half hour, was finally over. The doc told me that it was the most difficult one-tooth canal he’s ever done. Well, I should hope so.

I’ll tell y’all–by the end of the appointment, I had decided to never, ever complain about the speculum-and-steel-mascara-brush treatment I get at the gynecologist’s office, because compared to a root canal, a pap is cake. And I’ve decided that my official stance on all those friends who told me root canals were no big deal is that they are dead to me.

Deeply rooted part 2: Rickrolled

Part 1.

The dentist had sent the mask I’d used for the nitrous with me since I was coming back two days later, so I brought that when I came back for my root canal. I was upbeat, not worried at all about the procedure, because most people I’d talked to had said that it wasn’t a big deal. Which reminds me–making mental note to banish several friends.

The doc got started on me right away. When he had given me the nitrous on Tuesday, I had felt it within a few seconds from my head to my toes. This time when he got me started on it, I didn’t feel anything. I told him I didn’t feel disconnected from my body, so he turned it up, and it took several minutes before my toes started feeling funny. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of nitrous oxide, you know that when your toes feel far away from you and your body feels like it’s morphed into a sack of bricks, you’re good to go. The feeling from the nitrous wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been on Tuesday, which was a big ol’ bummer for a girl with dentaphobia. Okay, I know that probably means something like “fear of teeth” but you know what? Teeth make you go to the dentist, so maybe I have that too.

I got as relaxed as the funny gas would make me, though not relaxed enough, in my opinion, because I just didn’t feel giggly, and giggly means kinda drunk, and kinda drunk means maybe I won’t remember this root canal when it’s all over. I’ll just get up from the dentist’s chair, give the nice ladies at the front of the office some money, stumble downstairs to my desk at work, and ask my coworkers how I got there.

The doc tried to numb my mouth, top and bottom, and just for good measure, he gave me two shots on the top, which I thought was a little strange, since my root canal would be done on the bottom. He put that horrible bite plate in my mouth to keep it open, the bite plate that will be the subject of all my nightmares for the rest of my life. He started drilling, and I settled myself in, thinking about how I could make a billion dollars easily if I could patent a design for a dentist’s drill that doesn’t sound like a dentist’s drill. There’s something about hearing that high-pitched squeal coming at your face that makes you feel like you’re in the chair of Orin Scrivello, DDS. Not a good place to be.

While I was making plans for my new invention–a dentist’s drill that sounds like lollipops frolicking with kittens on a river bank at Christmas–I suddenly heard something terrifying. The doc had his iPod playing on speakers near my head, and the music changed to a sinister, bone-chilling tune.

“Wha id dis howwibah nyusic?”

He didn’t even have to consult his gibberish-to-English dictionary; he knew what I was asking. “This?” I can’t overstate the amount of excitement in his voice. He might have peed his pants, he was so happy to tell me what’s on his iPod. “It’s Rick Astley! Gotta have my Rick Astley on there!”

“I’b beeg wickwolled id da dendis chaiw?”

The dentist worked a little while longer, and then his assistant used the dryer on my teeth. I thought, Wow! Other than the Rickrolling, root canals aren’t bad at all! After a few more minutes, they didn’t sit me up but instead asked if I was still comfortable. Yes, I was, and they were glad, because they were getting ready to start the root canal.

Say what?

“Um, what’s that you just did to me?” I had better control now that the bite plate was the only thing in my mouth.

“Oh, I filled two more of your cavities. Since your insurance is running out, we want to get as much done today as we can. We’ll still have one more tooth to fill and the other half of your cleaning after this, but you can wait a couple of weeks for that.” My mental note corrected the time period to a couple of years.

To be concluded…

Deeply rooted, part 1

I went to the dentist two weeks ago.

Have I ever told y’all about my intense tooth-doctor fear? Oh yes. I am the world’s biggest baby at the dentist, and there is no binkie big enough to calm me down. Well, maybe if you dip it in whiskey like a good mom. Okay, fine, just give me the bottle, and maybe I’ll make it through.

Maybe.

I went in for a cleaning and to be chided for never flossing, and that appointment lasted three hours. Let me repeat, in case you missed it: I cannot deal with going to the dentist, and I was there for three hours, and that was the first of oh, about four appointments. I nearly weep just thinking about it.

I am not ashamed to tell you that I had not been to the dentist in four years, and the only reason I went now is because Frank made me. No, really. He went to them Monday for a cleaning, because our dental insurance was running out at the end of the week, and we might as well take advantage in the very last week of coverage. While he was there, he had lots of time for telling the dental staff about my cowardice, because the power went out in the entire building (I can vouch, because I worked in the same building). So Frank’s mouth was numbed up (they went ahead and did his filling while he was there since the insurance was running out), and the power was out, and they couldn’t do anything with his mouth, so they went and got him Starbucks coffee (he sent me a cellphone picture), and he asked them if they could get me in that week. Unacceptable behavior, yes, and he is sleeping in Rowdi’s dog crate forevermore. So they called me to make an appointment. As my bad luck would have it, I was able to get in the next day.

I have the most sensitive teeth in the Pacific Northwest and possibly all of the United States, and that is no exaggeration. The hygienist was only able to make it through the first half of my cleaning. And while she was scraping tartar and I was feeling every scrape and cringing in pain, she was saying, “I’m still on the tartar, so you shouldn’t feel that.” Um, yeah, well I do.

Oh, but let me back up. I haven’t had x-rays in four years, so it was clearly time. The x-rays themselves took close to an hour due to my shiny, strong gag reflex; at least we know it works, right? And the hygienist didn’t think to numb the back of my throat until halfway through. So there was a lot of gagging. And pain.

As I said, the hygienist got through the first half of my cleaning, and then it was time for me to see the dentist. I moved over to his chair and got to listen to her tell the doctor that my teeth are very sensitive. “I think some of it is the anticipation, but some of it is sensitivity.” Um, I’m right here. You should at least wait until I’m gone before you start telling the doctor that it’s all in my head.

He looked over all my x-rays and was concerned about two of my teeth, which looked like they had infections under the teeth. He put some dry ice or something on the tip of several teeth, one at a time, with the direction that I signal him when I could feel the cold. Well, considering that my teeth are incredibly sensitive to cold, most of the time he didn’t even have the cold on my tooth for more than a second before I was yelling at him, or signaling, you really couldn’t tell much difference between the two. When he touched the cold hell to one of the possibly infected teeth, I told him in certain terms and motions that I could feel that. And then he touched the other tooth. And touched it. And touched it. And finally said, “You can’t feel that?” “Nope.” So he tried again for a while and then sighed. “That’s not good.” “What? What does it mean?” “That tooth is dead.”

It’s a little disconcerting to hear the doctor say that your tooth is dead. A part of you has died, literally, and it is never coming back. It made me feel old and mortal and cling to my vampire stories a little more closely. I’m currently looking into being vamped and considering, for the first time ever, zombiehood.

After telling me my tooth is dead, the dentist told me about the rest of my teeth. Two cavities on the top, one on the bottom, two additional gumline cavities on the bottom, and one tooth requiring a root canal. And then he said, “So we need to do a little work, but everything looks good, you have great teeth!” Um, dude, you just told me I need five fillings and a root canal, and I have great teeth? I guess since most of them still do their primary job of chewing food, he wanted to accentuate the positive.

Since I was already there, and he had time, and I was on my last week of insurance, he went ahead and filled two cavities right then. The nitrous made me giggle, I didn’t have much pain the rest of the day, and I was okay. But my root canal was scheduled for two days later on Thursday.

To be continued…

Wrong button

So I have my Bible on my Kindle–I don’t even carry the big giant copy to church or Bible study with me anymore, because I have a Bible that fits in my purse. I can highlight it, take notes in it, search it, etc. Until there’s a Kindle version of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible (also wouldn’t mind a Nelson Study Bible), I’m happy with it. Oh, and it was free (I see they’re now charging $7.99 for it).

Yesterday morning, we were sitting in Bible class after worship, studying Revelation. I had my Kindle open to the passage we were studying, and I decided I wanted to make the font bigger. To increase the font size, you push the font button and then use the little clicker to scroll to the size you want. However, you use the same font button to turn on text-to-speech. Instead of scrolling to the sides, you scroll down and then click the clicker.

You can see where this is going. I went to make the font bigger, and I turned on text-to-speech instead (kind of a reflexive action, since I do this all the time and I hardly ever change the font size).

I realized what I had done before Spike even started talking.

And I panicked.

I know, because I do this all the time, that to turn it off, you simply hit the font button again, scroll down, and click. So naturally my first panicky instinct was to hit the power switch and try to turn it off. The screen saver came on, and of course, it read to me anyway.

“Sorry! Sorry! I tried to change the font size! Sorry!” Everyone was laughing, I was fumbling to turn it back on, then go to the font window. The preacher teaches the class, and he had to stop down and wait for me to turn it off. (He, too, was laughing at me.)

Did I mention that the last time I’d used text-to-speech, I was washing dishes and had it turned all the way up? But of course.

[Related: Serenity finally got her Kindle. Here's her review.]

Really?

I had my afternoon off Thursday. After work, I went to Jake’s Place (I’m confused by the website, because they’re on Fairview, and I’ve never heard of the street that the site lists) in Meridian because I have been on a serious Chebe kick lately, making flatbread and such, and I needed it like crack. Not that I ever needed crack, but you hear me. But I had forgotten to order some from Chebe’s website, so I picked it up at Jake’s. I got two packages of Chebe and a bag of Bob’s Red Mill’s wheat-free biscuit and baking mix (I use it for breading in fried foods). Anyway, I got to the counter to check out, and I wasn’t paying attention. When the owner handed me the receipt to sign, I looked at it and noticed that it was $1.30. Immediately, I scorned myself with a very sarcastic, very out-loud, “Really?” Like, “Really, SarahK? You gave over your debit card for $1.30? Don’t you know it costs that much per transaction?” I was embarrassed at the fact that I did that, and the owner looked at me, nodding politely with the face that says, “Yes, that’s really the price. Is there a problem?” I said, “I’m sorry, I just… um… I can’t believe I…” And then it hit me. What? $1.30 for what should have been over $10? So I showed her the slip. “It says $1.30.” We realized that it should have been $13.01. “I’m sorry. I was saying really to myself, because I thought I gave you my debit card for $1.30, and I hope you didn’t think I was saying it to you.” We had a good laugh, but I still felt bad, because she had to run my card again for the additional $11.71.

I made my menu for next week and went grocery shopping. I had also intended to get my oil changed, get an eye exam, and get something to wear to a wedding we’re going to today. Apparently, five hours isn’t as many as it seems. It takes me a couple of hours to do the menu and the grocery list (I don’t know why — probably because I like to have something new every week and like to browse recipes for inspiration). I did learn that 4:00 on Thursday afternoons is a fantastic time to grocery shop at Wal-Mart. I guess that’s because the kids have just gotten out of school, so the moms with the loud kids are not there. I had only one person in front of me in the checkout line, and I was in and out within an hour. Considering that checkout is usually a good ten or twenty minutes, I call that a shopping win.

What’s up with Wal-Mart’s produce? On any given day, there is a good chance they won’t have some kind of staple produce. Thursday? No limes, no lemons. Weird. It’s usually no Italian parsley. I prefer to get my produce at Fred Meyer anyway, since it’s so much nicer and since they have a bigger selection of organic produce. Plus it gives me an excuse to check out their growing gluten-free section.

Oh. Almost forgot this part. So Wal-Mart was out of the wild Alaskan salmon steaks that I buy. But I had salmon on the menu two or three times this week (making a concerted effort to get more fish into our diet, and having the grill helps a ton, because the grilled salmon I made a couple of weeks ago was awesome). So when I was at Fred Meyer, I went to their frozen fish section — no go. They had wild salmon, but they didn’t have the kind with skin on. The skin is important, because Frank and I agree that the kind without skin doesn’t taste as good as the other. On I went to the butcher slash fish guy. He had wild Alaskan salmon, skin on. Fillets, right? So I requested two fillets. The fish guy looked at me. “Two?” said he. “Yes, two,” replied I. “These are pretty big…” “Oh, that’s fine. It’s for more than one meal.” “Okay, I just wanted to make sure you know how big they are.” “Yes, that’s fine. It’s going to be at least three meals.” He stared at me again as he put one fillet on the scale. “See, that’s three pounds right there. Do you still want the other?” “Yes, please.” Hahahaha. I left there with six pounds of salmon for $45. Holy. I kept my brave face and pretended that it was exactly my intention. I got it home and cut it up into individual meals and put each one in the freezer… SEVEN meals. At least I won’t have to buy salmon for three weeks.

After I got the groceries unloaded (and the salmon portioned) I had just enough time to get to my massage. I got there in time for my appointment, and one of the owners was at the front desk. He looked confused and asked whom I was there to see. I told him, and he said she wasn’t in. He looked at the schedule, and she was at an event downtown. She has also changed her schedule. She no longer works evenings, period. Days only. And while I do have Thursday afternoons off now, I was so annoyed that not only had I been erased off the calendar (yes, erased) without even a phone message, but that my therapist of three months, every two weeks without fail, didn’t even bother to tell me that she was changing her schedule, I went ahead and switched therapists. I picked another one that George had recommended, and I see her Monday evening. I hope she’s good.

So it turned out to be a semi-productive okay afternoon off. I’m looking forward to a better one this coming Thursday. I’m thinking if I can get my menu done this weekend, then I’ll be able to get the grocery shopping, get the oil changed, get the eye exam, and maybe even find a file cabinet. Do y’all know how hard it is to find a decent-looking one that is also functional and has more than one file drawer? Don’t give me two small drawers and one file drawer — it’s called a file cabinet, not a junk cabinet.

Party girl

We had a party at Big Boss’s house Friday night. It was for all of the people who report to Big Boss. We ate dinner (including these super-yummy Amaretti cookies that Elle made and some awful, chalk-tasting things that I made). The theme was Italian, so I brought cajun seafood pasta for Frank and myself. Well, it was at least pasta, even if it wasn’t Italian! I also made a flatbread from Chebe‘s bread mix. That was good, though a little chewier than I like, but that’s Chebe. I mixed fresh basil, thyme, and parsley into the bread before I baked it. After I baked it, I topped it with olive oil, fresh garlic, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, fresh parsley, slices of tomato, and a sprinkling of shredded parmesan; heated it all up again until the cheese was melted. I shall do that one again.

After dinner Big Boss started up RockBand on the X-Box 360, and he and Frank got the Wii set up for people to play Mario Kart. And RockBand? It’s my new favorite thing. Also my new favorite thing? Children. Big boss has five daughters, and they are so well-behaved. I think I’ll have a bunch of babies and send them over to his house so he and his wife can train them. When they’re perfectly charming and respectful like these kids, they can come home. One of his girls, the second youngest, had me telling Frank by the end of the evening that I would like to have one of them, please. I almost stole her and kept her as my new pet. Yes, she’s even cuter than Piper Palin.

The next Guitar Hero is supposed to have drums and singing and all that, so I can’t wait. The drums were loads of fun Friday night. Made me miss high school.

Weirdness

Elle and I went shopping last night, because as I mentioned, we needed jeans. We bought some stuff at the mall (I actually found two pairs of jeans at the same store, the second store we visited!). We came in at Dillards, and on the way out, Elle needed to stop by the Jessica Simpson table of shoes. Biggest collection of stripper/streetwalker shoes I’ve ever seen. I actually think Jessica Simpson bought the Brightly Colored Patent Leather Factory by mistake and then said, “Hey, what can I make with all this shiny rainbow material?” Nah, who am I kidding? She bought the Brightly Colored Patent Leather Factory on purpose. There were some cute shoes on the Jessica Simpson table (there is something so wrong with that phrase, yes?), but Elle looked at a pair that would have projected the wrong… profession had she worn them. Being her friend, I was forced to step in.

ELLE: These are cute.
SARAHK: They’re stripper shoes.
ELLE: No they’re not, they’re cute! Now these [picking up a different pair] are stripper shoes.
SARAHK: You’re right. [Pointing at the first pair] Those are hooker, these are stripper.
SHOE SALES GIRL: Can I help you with anything?

I looked around, and Shoe Sales Girl was trying to keep her composure. She laughed, then stopped. Then she cracked up again. I laughed and said, “Um. Sorry.” She kept laughing and said, “I’m just going to pretend I can’t hear you.” That was fun.

Then went over to the outlets to find some tops; we were on a mission. They had just closed, so the mission FAILed. So we headed downtown to eat at P.F. Chang’s. That’s when the weirdness began.

We parked in the garage that’s in the same building as Chang’s, and when I rolled down my window to take the ticket, Elle said, “It smells like band-aids.” And it did. The whole garage smelled of band-aids. I can’t remember my reply, but it was something to the effect of, “Maybe someone has a giant boo-boo.”

We got into Chang’s, and as we sat there waiting for our table, there was a sudden parade of… we don’t know what. At least ten girls, all wearing black hoo-hah dresses and Jessica Simpson shoes (if you know what I’m saying, and you do), came parading out. I was confused, because the girls had apparently been dining at Chang’s, and they huddled up right in front of the hostess stand. They looked like they were waiting on the check or something, but doesn’t that come to your table? Yes, it does. Maybe they were out of toothpicks, and the girls really needed to take care of some stuck food. I don’t know. Anyway, they hung out in their little lady of the night huddle (the big gathering before they go out and look for customers?), so Elle and I got to really watch them. One of them had vines tattooed on the tops of her feet, and may I just say OW? We sat there debating why they were all dressed similarly (yet not identically); we went through the options of bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner (rehearsal for a striptease, maybe), they were on their way to a benefit… We came up empty. The bachelorette party thing was the likeliest, except that they had a couple of guys who seemed to be with them.

Shortly after the Hoo-Hah Parade finally got their toothpicks and left, another parade of overdressed girls came in. They weren’t all in matching black dresses, but they were dressed up, and — the weirdest part — one of the girls in that group also had vines tattooed on the tops of her feet. And this wasn’t the same girl, not the same group of girls either.

We sat on the patio for dinner. While we were eating our gluten-free lettuce wraps, a couple of cyclists rode by. They were wearing weirdness. Like the helmets from biohazard suits or something over their heads. Silver and shimmery with windows where the faces are.

Then we started seeing more people out in the square, and everyone was dressed up. Everyone except us. And this is Boise, very laid back, very casual, people don’t just dress up to go out to Elle said, “Apparently there was a memo.”

A few minutes later, I was telling Elle that I think Michael Phelps may have won his 7th gold, because his sister was going like this. I raised my arm in a giant fist pump. Right then, these three black dudes walked by (I’ve seen at least seven since we moved to Boise in December), which is great, because since the mall was so stinking hot, I was sporting huge pit stains, and they probably got a nice glimpse. Anyway, they said something to us, but neither of us could figure out what they said. One of them said something, and they just kept walking.

I won’t even tell y’all what we saw in the parking garage elevator on the way back to the car. Y’all don’t want to know.

It was the strangest evening.

dont worry. we called a toe truck.

Warning: This post contains graphic descriptions of a most heinous act of bloody stupidity. Do not read this while you are eating.

So last night I got mad at Frank because I wanted to play Wii golf and he’s bored with Wii golf, and I was of the opinion that he should just be thrilled that I wanted to play anything at all since I don’t even like video games. Anyway, I decided to act like a big baby to get my point across, instead of just telling him, because as y’all know, I’m a woman, and we don’t act rationally when we’re mad. So we were playing Wii bowling and I just sat on the couch and threw the ball rather than actually getting up and trying. Then Frank realized I was mad and apologized after he realized I was mad that he wasn’t just happy I wanted to play anything, blah blah blah. Well, I was completely retarded and instead of accepting his apology, I told him that I didn’t want to play anything with him.

So I got up and went over to the stairs, at the bottom of which there was a bookcase waiting to go upstairs. So I grabbed the bookcase and started dragging it up the stairs, even though it was heavy-ish. I kept dragging it, waiting for him to come help me, but not asking him to, because as was previously stated, I was crazy angry that he didn’t appreciate my willingness to play any game at all with him. Of course, he was saying things like (lazily), “Do you want some help?” because I was acting like a total child. And because of that whole child thing, I was like, “No! I don’t want your help!” Because you’re a dumbstoopidhead!

So when I got to the middle landing of the stairs, I shifted the bookcase to get it in front of the top half of the stairs so I could drag it straight up. But as I moved it over, my left big toe didn’t get out of the way in time, and I dropped that bookcase right on top of my toe. Boy, that hurt like a son of a gun. So this was when Frank said, “Do you need to go sit in a corner until you calm down?” or something patronizing like that. And then I looked down at my toe. The whole top part of the toe was bloody. Which, of course, made it hurt even more. So I said, “No! I don’t need to sit in a corner, because I just smashed my toe!” And I walked gingerly up the stairs to get to the master bathroom, lifting my poor beleaguered toe up so as not to drip blood on the rented carpet (that method didn’t work).

I got to the bathroom and shut the door most of the way so Frank wouldn’t hear me crying, because if he heard me crying, how could I be angry with him later for not hearing me cry and coming to my rescue? And as I dripped blood all over the tile (and I mean ALL over the tile), I realized just how much my toe hurt. Like. The. Dickens. And I just started wailing. I pretty much had no control over that. I tried not to be loud, but that apparently didn’t work, because when I started yelping like a chihuahua, I heard Rowdi start barking. And she was wooo-wooo-woooing loudly and apparently running halfway up the stairs (the other half having been blocked by the bookcase) to alert Daddy that Timmy was in much pain in the well. Of course, we’re spraying Rowdi in the face with the water bottle any time she barks so we can break her of that nasty habit (nothing else works), so while I was yip-yapping in the bathroom, Frank was dutifully stopping the dog from barking, not hearing my pain.

I soaked many wads of toilet paper with blood until I realized my toe was never going to stop bleeding, and I was going to bleed out, right there on the loverly tile in the bathroom — what a way to go. At least Frank would be comforted by my term life insurance.

I hadn’t unpacked the band-aids yet, but I knew they were in an opened box right next to the bathroom door, so I crawled over and grabbed the band-aids and pre-soaked alcohol swabs. I cleaned my toe several times with the alcohol swabs, but the reality was I was going to die from a toe bleed which just would not stop. Oh, plus the alcohol just made me yelp louder, because holy crap, y’all. Thank goodness they weren’t peroxide swabs, or I would have died from the pain of cleaning my toe.

Here lies SarahK.
Died from sheer pain trying to clean her toe.
Survived by a husband who knew she was crazy.
And a wet-faced barking dog.

It was hard (still is) to determine just how bad my toe was/is doing. I thought I had gashes on the bottom of the toe, but apparently that was just alcohol pain that engulfed my entire toe. I had a profusely bleeding gash on the front of the toe, between the nail and the knuckle — that sucker was all purple and just wouldn’t stop gushing. There was the slash between the big toe and second toe that bled but stopped quickly, and I noticed today that the continuance of the slash goes diagonally down the top of my foot for almost two inches. And then there’s the nail. I probably won’t know for a few days whether I’m going to lose part of the nail. Nor will I know if I kinda cut off the tip of my toe or not. See, there’s a big ol’ skin bubble (yummy!) on the top of the toe, connected to the smashed-in nail, and every time I try to move the skin to see if the tip of the toe is just held on by skin or a little bit of toe meat (muscle, I guess?), the pain is too excruciating to bear, so I give up and put the band-aid back on.

I bandaged up my foot and stopped crying long enough that I could walk down and check the carpet for a blood trail (there is one), and I saw Rowdi lying on the middle landing behind the bookcase, looking utterly worried. I sat down and petted her for a minute and talked loudly (for Frank’s benefit) about how at least she tried to help me (I was now angry at the fact that Frank hadn’t put on his super-sonic hearing and discerned that I was sobbing and wailing in the bathroom upstairs). But then she started sniffing at my toe, and since I was afraid she might bite it off because pit bull mixes love the taste of human flesh, I pulled back from her and went upstairs. Frank said something, I don’t remember what, and I just yelled at him that my toe had been smashed to bits and he didn’t care if I died. Or something like that. Then I went back to the bathroom and decided I should get in the shower.

I heard Frank following me upstairs, so I locked the bathroom door. Again, I wanted to be able to unleash my full wrath on him as a ghost later (since I would shortly be dying). I gingerly pulled off all the bandages (there were four) and was just about to undress when I heard Frank outside the bathroom door saying something. “What?” said I in my pained yet still fuming voice. I still couldn’t hear what he was saying, so I opened the door and then turned around for the shower. I got neckid (believe me, if you’re picturing this, it wasn’t sexy, as I was covered in tears and half of my own blood, so make that little adjustment in your heads — better yet, don’t picture anything but my nasty toe) and got in the shower while big dumbstoopidhead started talking to me. I don’t remember any specifics except that I was crying and telling him how he should have listened to the bad barking dog to see if I was okay and how come he didn’t even bother to check on me knowing how upset I was and after I’d said I’d smashed my toe. He said something about figuring it was best to just let me simmah down before he tried to talk to me. And I was like, I’m not a dog who you just walk and run around in circles until she works out all her energy and aggression and why do you think I’m a dog and you’re such a butthead and go away go away go away and no Guitar Hero tonight or tomorrow! (I rethought my position on all of the above, and he’s actually playing GH right now.)

Pain does not make me more coherent, nor does it make my crazy dissipate. So then as I sat on the floor in the shower, waiting for the blood and the pain to stop, Frank brought in the big guns — Minerva. He started holding her by her front paws and making her dance for me, and then tap on the glass, then asked if I wanted Minerva to come in with me. Somewhere along in there, my toe stopped bleeding quite so copiously, and I finally got out of the shower. Of course, that was peppered throughout with, “Go away! Go away! You leave me alone!” though the intensity of my insistences quickly subsided to become vain repetitions of, “Go away. You go. Leave me alone…” It’s the dancing kitty thing — I’m a sucker for it!

Anyway, after I was out of the shower, we apologized to each other. He for not realizing he was being selfish before I went crazy (he tried to do this while I was in the shower, but I didn’t listen), and me for going crazy and smashing my toe in a fit of outrageous stupidity. I bandaged up my toe again, this time with only three bandages, and we got dressed for bed. My crazy had tired Frank out so much that he didn’t even want to read a comic book before going to sleep. I was fine for reading half a chapter of Harry Potter OTP, though.

My toe is not much better today. I’m down to two bandages, but the bleeding starts back up every time I take them off, and the nail/skin part still hurts too badly to try to figure out if the big piggy is just barely hanging on.

wRitErsbLock emailed me this morning, and in my reply to her, I said that I had smashed my toe to bits. “Why?” “Because I was mad at Frank.” Who, by the way, finished moving the bookcase into the reading room while I was in the shower. When I thanked him for doing that, he was like, “Of course I finished moving it. It’s not heavy.” RARR. Try dropping it on your toe and see if you feel the same way.

I slept several hours this afternoon in the chair in the reading room. I think all the blood loss and dehydration from crying really wiped out all of my energy. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to ever wear a left shoe again.

oversugared, oversexed

After I went to Publix the other night, I stopped by Walgreens to pick up some meds. I wasn’t sure if the prescriptions would be ready yet, because I was early, and I needed to pick up some other things, so I went inside.

I’ll tell you about everything I bought later, but first let me tell you about the pharmacy. They were incredibly busy, and I was third in line when I got there (if you don’t count the million bajillion people who utilized the drive-thru during my lengthy stay). They were working on my prescriptions, so I turned around to take a seat — with all of my future purchases in hand. Lo and behold, the shiatsu massaging chair (Homedics, like mine) was available. Ooh, now with heat! I was all in.

If you are related to me or get uncomfortable with certain things that can be purchased at the pharmacy, I warn you: look away now.
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tuit

I worked at a lumber company when I was in college, and one day one of the salesmen brought something over to my desk. It was a smooth, round, wooden disc. Very small, fit in the palm of my hand. The word “TUIT” was stamped onto it. I asked Randy, “What’s this?” He said, “It’s a round tuit.” “A what?” “A round tuit. You finally got a round tuit.” HAHAHAHA, I love puns. I went around for days saying, “I finally got a round tuit!”

Too bad I lost it.

I want my ten dollars!

We did some grocery shopping at Wal-Mart after church today. I answered the question asked by the scanner (Was your store clean today? Why, yes it was, because I’m at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, not the regular Wal-Mart that smells like vomit in the meat section) and then scanned my debit card. I generally watch the prices go by, but I glanced away to put my debit card back in my wallet. As my eyes were leaving the screen, I thought I saw something go by that was over $17. I started looking through the bags we already had back in the cart, and all that was there were 2.25 pounds of ground beef, a pound of tilapia (I had specifically noted the price was supposed to be $4.98), and the Halloween candy (both bags under $6). I was confused.

I puzzled over this for a minute or so, and the cashier was in her own little world, so I figured I must have bought something that I didn’t realize was expensive. And it was highly possible that it had said $7.97 and not $17.97. Frank told me to check the receipt, and I said, “Well, I will, but I don’t have that yet.” Before I knew it, the bags were in the cart, and I did have the receipt. We got out of the way so the next customers could check out, and I saw that it was, indeed, $17.97, and the item in question was the 2.25 pounds of ground beef. Whoa. Nuh-uh. I told Frank, “When we were at Wild OatsWhole Foods, I didn’t buy the lean organic beef, because it was $5.39 a pound. There is no way that non-organic lean beef at Wal-Mart is over $7 per pound.” He agreed and said, “Did we buy Magic Beef?” There was no price per pound or total price on the package, only weight. So Frank went back to check the prices (very nice of him to volunteer). While he was gone, I calculated it by hand, rounding up to $18. That would make it $8 per pound!

Frank came back and told me that it was $7.88 for the entire package of beef, but he thinks we were charged that much per pound. I told him my calculations agreed. So we went over to customer service. I explained everything to the kid working the customer service desk. He scanned the bar code and got $17.97. So he called a manager (bless his heart, he looked like he had no idea if that was the proper price for beef–the look on his face was a little priceless). The manager came up, and he scanned the item for her and didn’t say anything else. So I explained to her that I thought we were being charged per pound when the entire package should be $7.88, and the price per pound was more in the $3 range. She looked at the beef and said she knew that had to be the wrong price, because the giant six pound packs of beef are around $16. And then she told the kid to refund the whole price and charge me the correct price. You know what he said to her? “Such-and-such told me we weren’t doing that anymore.” I was amused. I said, “Not doing what? Fixing errors?” with a cross between amusement and bemusement on my face. The manager said to the kid, very nicely, “Well, I’m telling you that we *are* doing it, because it’s the right thing to do. We do the right thing.” I was still amused/bemused and joked that if I had to pay that much for non-organic beef, I didn’t want any of the groceries. They knew I was joking, but, you know, I wasn’t–I wanted my ten dollars!

They finally got it all sorted out and gave us our money back. I just hope they fixed their prices for everyone else.

I’m pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever been overcharged on a single grocery item. And yes, I do see the time we spent getting our refund as just a little bit of punishment for the free stuff I got from Amazon by being a dufus.

working

I didn’t really like working outside the home. In fact, at times I hated it. Of course, I was going through a lot of my health problems when I was working, which made the simplest work very difficult for me (on gluten, my concentration skills are practically nonexistent — not good for an auditor). I loved my one job in “industry,” as we accountants call it, but my jobs in public were not my idea of fun work. Except around the end of busy season at one of the firms. Ok, around the end of our first busy season of the year. For some reason, auditors had busy season during tax season and again during governmental and non-profit season (which started about a day after tax season), but tax peeps didn’t have the same problem.

Anyway, on tax day, after the last tax returns were out (I did no taxes until the last firm I worked for, so the auditors just kinda waited for the signal that it was ok to leave), this firm did a casino night (another one I worked for had casino night around Christmas). I loved it, because I don’t gamble on principle, so this was my only chance to play the casino games that I otherwise would not get to play. I shunned the poker tables — not my thing. I played blackjack some and roulette for about thirty seconds, but once I discovered the craps table, no other game could keep my attention. And the craps table was always the table with the fun people. We would hunker down there all night. The greatest part was that we were not gambling real money, so I could actually play. The people with the most money at the end of the night won the top prizes, but everyone went home with a prize no matter how much you had. It was so much fun. I’ll never do it in “real life,” but I loved playing when there was no money involved.

Electric Boogaloo

Ok, y’all, I need a teeny break. Not a long one, because, um, I don’t have the time for a long one! Just a little break. Or a breakdance.

Do y’all remember the movie Breakin’? Does that date me, tell you how old I am? I wanted to learn how to breakdance so badly! My brother could actually do it to an extent, and I was so envious of his abilities! He could do a number of moves, including the backspin, and I would try. My backspin usually went like this: 1) Get no momentum. 2) Slide haphazardly onto my back, making sure to rough up my skin in the process. 3) Try to bounce around sideways on my back to see if I could get the momentum started that way, because that’s logical, right? 4) Give up and go watch Footloose. The dancing in that movie was so white, right up my alley. Of course, I didn’t have an abandoned warehouse to practice in, and I knew I’d just fall on my head if I tried to swing around the clothesline poles in the back yard, so I mainly just watched and snapped my fingers.

Back to breakdancing. There is an actual breakdancing site for all of us uncoordinated dancing nightmares. There’s even a breakdance video you can buy that will teach you a lot of basic moves! If only we’d had the internet back then, I could have shown up my brother. And I could have hurt myself a lot less.

hockey fever

Whenever Tammi starts talking about how much she loves her Direct TV (and how lost she was without it when she first moved to Paradise), I get to reminisce about the year the Stars won the Stanley Cup. Why should direct satellite TV make me think of hockey, you ask? Because see, I watched the Stanley Cup playoffs that year with a huge group of people… at the house of some of my dearest friends… and they had a DirecTV satellite dish. And any time I think of that room, any time I’ve been in that room, I think of watching the Stars win the Cup with twenty-five other people, me listening to Ralph Strangis and Darryl Reaugh on my walkman so I wouldn’t have to listen to the lousily biased ABC sportscasters. I also think of CSI and Tivo, because they’re the first people I ever knew to have an actual brand-name Tivo, and the first Tivo’d show I watched with them was CSI. Funny how memories are triggered. I love that room. Good times.

I may have told y’all this story before, but I love it, so you can hear it again. Game Six was so tense, and they were in triple overtime. I had made my star-shaped cookies, iced green and gold with the players’ names and numbers (they were awesome cookies, btw). We were all well fed. And we were on the edge of our seats / floor spaces – we were all just plastered to the TV in the wee hours of the morning. Well, Perry’s TV, like I said, was hooked up to satellite, so I was getting the commentary in my ears about a second before we saw it on the TV. I would start screaming and whooping, and everyone else would just follow my lead, because they knew that meant something good was about to happen. I tried to hold it in so they could feel it when they saw it, but sometimes it was just too much to handle. Such as… when Brett Hull tipped in the winning puck, the goal that won the cup (and Buffalo Sabres fans still can’t quit whining about that legal goal). I just couldn’t handle it. I heard Ralphie yell, “THEY SCOOORRRRE!!!” and I was off the floor, practically in the air, screaming my head off. And the men turned to look at my face to see if it was real, and their eyes got huge, and they turned back to the TV just in time to see the puck cross the goal line and all the Stars pour out of the bench onto the ice.

We celebrated (and I cried like the girl that I am) for such a long time.

You don’t get many moments like that. When it’s your team, and your friends are loving life just as much as you are.

Man, I love hockey. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for hockey?

my first time

When I was a junior in high school and until sophomore year in college, I had the opportunity to spend one day a week (and then two days a week after about a year) at the house of this wonderful old couple in Fort Worth’s “old money” area. I *lived* for going to their house each week. Not so much because of the mansion — and it was one, I’ll tell you about it in a minute — but because of why I was there. I was there for my love of music, there with other youngsters like me, and it was my first major socialization outside of school and church. I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything on Earth.

Okay, so this mansion had two sun rooms (one called the back porch, one called the sun room), a formal dining room, a formal living room with baby grand piano (drool), a sitting room with a case of figurines and very expensive trinkets, an elevator, a fully finished basement with even more storage than a couple of packrats like us could use, and I don’t even know what was upstairs. I went up there a couple of times for fittings, but I saw only one of the “smaller” bedrooms, which was at least as big as our current master bedroom. I went to the office one time, and I saw one of the upstairs bathrooms. The master suite? No idea, but I know it took up half of the upper floor.

And then there was the kitchen. Ohhhhh, the kitchen. This was my first time, ever, to see a pot rack hanging over the cooktop island. My first time to actually see a kitchen island, and this island was about twice the size of the ones that come standard today. There were at least two commercial refrigerators, because the owners hosted parties quite often, not to mention all of us kids (there were musical kids in there three days a week during the school year). I’d never seen a fridge with glass doors outside a convenience store before (oh, and these were stainless steel with glass doors). The closest I’ve ever come to that again was several years later when I worked for a Fortune 500 company that I saw one outside a convenience store again (at that job, they provided free cokes for all of the employees, so the break room walls were lined with commercial refrigeration, but those were your standard refrigerators — not the beautiful stainless steel ones). The cabinets in the kitchen — I can’t remember the color, maybe light green? — were painted, and that might have been my first time to see non-white painted cabinets. I don’t remember anything about the countertops. The bar leading to the nook (oh yeah, there was also a nook) was a big hangout spot for us kids (middle school through college age) during breaks — they provided snacks and cokes for each rehearsal. I’m pretty sure they even had one of those commercial ice machines due to the volume of ice they needed for their parties. It was an amazing kitchen. I’d never seen anything like it.

I still think about the house now and then. I used to drive by it after work sometimes on days when I knew there were rehearsals going on, just so I could remember that time in my life. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. And I hope our hypothetical children have something like that to remember more than ten years afterward.

tell me about the roaches, George

Did I ever tell y’all about the cockroaches? I have to have mentioned it on my blog at some point, but probably not in detail. When we were living in the east Fort Worth rent house I grew up in from age six to age seventeen, we had the most awful infestation of cockroaches. Palmetto roaches. The ones that love moisture. The ones that fly. I shudder to think of it, and to this day, I still cannot step on any roach for fear that I’ll hear that horrific pop that they make when you squish them. Even at the ripe old age of thirty-one, I still check my shoes before I put them on to make sure I won’t have a six-legged freak squiggling between my toes (that’s why I love Crocs – they have peep holes). Oh yeah, it happened. I had a captain’s bed with my sister, and once we broke it down and had two separate beds? I remember having to check under the comforter before I got in and also check between the mattress and the wooden side rails to make sure no creatures were there.

Lest you think my mom was just like, “Yeah, so deal with it, yo,” that’s not how it was. We couldn’t afford to call the hifalutin’ Dallas pest control people and have them take care of things – shoot, we couldn’t have afforded Billy Bob’s Squashery down the block (had there been one). So we were constantly putting out the Roach Pruf, I think it was called, basically boric acid with sugar mixed in. There were just too many of them – they were an unstoppable force. We kept the lights on at all times before bed time, because they always scurried away when the lights were on; at night, if we went into a room that wasn’t illuminated, we would flick the light switch on — careful to touch it with a sleeve or a stick — go back into the room we’d come from, and wait a few minutes for them to hide). I preferred they stay out of sight, except when they were lurking on the shower ceiling (and dropping on my head or right in front of my feet), behind shampoo bottles, inside the toilet paper roll, in the overflow drain in the bathroom sink… We weren’t dirty people, and neither were most of the other people on the block (whose houses were also infested). The exterminator was at one elderly lady’s house down the street every single month. And I do think it was criminal that the landlords never once had the place exterminated the entire eleven years we lived there, but if I’m being honest, all the pest control Fort Worth could muster would not have helped. It was just a bad place to have a neighborhood, I guess. Everyone always blamed the sewer system, and I have no idea if that was the problem. All I know is it left me with heightened awareness of my surroundings (never know when those atomic bugs are going to drop from the ceiling, crawl up the back of the couch behind you, or take off in flight – and they do chase and follow, the evil little water lovers).

That has got to be a racket, though, exterminating my old neighborhood for creepy-crawly things. To have a nasty pest control Dallas, Fort Worth, and the mid-cities has to be a lovely deal for the exterminating business. Especially a pest that everyone is so embarrassed to harbor.

Ack. The more I talk about it, the more I am convinced that the desert is the place for me. That was one thing that I was having a hard time coming to grips with: the possibility of cockroaches. I’ve looked at all the cockroach maps somewhat recently, and I am happy to know that they don’t care much for the desert. Sure, there are spiders and scorpions in the desert, but no bug more evil than the brownish-black, winged, flat, disgusting creatures that liked invading my childhood space.

Sweet dreams, y’all. Hahaha.

about that handsy client

Lest you all thought that I was being groped or worse by one of my clients when I mentioned it the other day, let me clarify.

That was kind of a funny situation. The man was about eighty years old, and I mentioned to one of the partners that he was calling me terms of endearment and always touching my shoulder and whatever – I was just talking about it in passing with her when she came around in the morning to see how I was doing, laughing it off, the GOB was due to drop dead any day, let him call me sugar if he wants to. Whatever. Well, she apparently told the other partners in a partner meeting, and the head of the audit department called me into his office. Very somber and serious. I thought I was in trouble for something (in fact, a few months later when he fired me, he did have the same facial expression and soft tone, haha). And then he said that he’d heard about the way the client was acting and asked if I would like him to speak to the client about the situation, and he wanted to be very clear that the firm did not tolerate sexual harassment. He said he would personally take it up with the client to make me more comfortable. I said, ah, no, that’s okay. He’s just a good ol’ boy; it doesn’t really bother me. He’s not tried to grope me or anything, and he doesn’t make lewd or suggestive comments. It’s cool. Well, my boss looked worried. And I did what I always do in semi-funny uncomfortable situations. I blurted out what I was thinking. “Oh, don’t worry. I’m not gonna sue you or anything. Really. It’s fine.” The next day, he called me into his office to tell me that he’d gone ahead and talked to GOB anyway. He was a good boss, and this was the first experience I’d had with this kind of situation, so it was pretty cool that my boss was sticking up for me. Covering his own butt or not.

audit nightmare

When I was an auditor, I had a lot of great audit clients – people I liked working with to get the audit done. Easy clients, difficult clients – as long as the people were nice and got me what I needed when I asked for it, I liked them. I also audited a lot of Class A jerks. People who made no secret of the fact that they hated you, felt they were above the audit process, and thought they were most definitely smarter than you. And then there were the audits where the people just did not have it together. Their bookkeeping hadn’t been properly done or checked all year (reportable conditions for sure, sometimes material weaknesses), and the audit, which we always scheduled in advance, was always delayed. And I had to find something else to do while my client got their act together. What irked me most about that was that we always called the week before to make sure they would be ready for us. They said yes, of course, and we showed up only to find that they didn’t even have a trial balance ready. I shudder to remember it.

One of my worst clients was a company that specialized in employee leasing services (by the way, that link is not to the company I audited – I would never ever name a company I actually audited). The CFO was a complete pig. I was a girl, so naturally, I was an idiot in his eyes. One of those, you see. This was *not* the same client who tried to get handsy with me and called me babe and darlin’ all the time. This guy was just a ginormous jerk. I’ll save the handsy client for another post.

Okay, so the employee leasing guy was something else. He told us that everything was ready before we got out there, of course, and when we arrived, we had a trial balance that was out of balance, the federal wage reports didn’t reconcile to *anything*, and several of the supporting schedules were missing. Did I mention this was one of my clients farthest from the office? I drove all the way out there for the first day, and we had hardly anything to work on (I was used to this by then, so I had another client’s files with me so I could work on those in my spare time). Sure, my staff had plenty to do, but all of the items I was budgeted to work on were either not ready or incomplete.

Of course, we told Mr. Pig that the TB didn’t balance, and I thought he was going to throw stuff. Dude, it’s your trial balance. Not mine. And no matter how many different ways we tried to make sense of the wage reports, we just couldn’t (and it wasn’t just me, the senior – the manager and two other staff members, including the smartest person I ever trained, arguably smarter than me, were completely stumped). The 941s didn’t reconcile to the out-of-balance TB, the payroll and benefits accounts… they didn’t even reconcile to the schedules that the client said supported the numbers! By the way, I always thought that was a stupid test. You’re comparing payroll expenses per the trial balance (something prepared by the company) to the federal wage reports, also prepared by the company. This was supposed to be a good test, because the theory behind the test was that the federal reports would surely be accurate, because they will most definitely make sure their 941s are correct. Nobody would ever file incorrectly with the feds. Ooooookay. And this was not the only firm I worked for that did this stupid test! It’s in a lot of audit programs.

Anyway, we kept pushing the client. He kept yelling at us and his employees. I was steamed, because he was yelling at my staff, yelling at me… I already had one man making my life suck, I was so over this guy. We actually had to have a big client / auditor meeting about the 941s. Since they were an employee leasing company, their biggest expense was… dun dun dunnnnn… payroll! And there was nothing to support it. The 941s didn’t work, we had exception after exception in our controls tests for payroll, which meant we kept having to broaden our testing scope. It was a beating. And what’s scary is these people also offered payroll services to other companies, so if their own books were this hosed, you know their clients’ books had problems. So in our client / auditor meeting, the head of the audit department came along with the manager and a tax partner (yeah, we were going to do their taxes, too – so glad that didn’t fall on me). I didn’t really care to be in there, but I knew more about the situation than the partner or the manager, so they wanted me in there. Fantastic. Mr. Pig addressed only the partners and the manager. The men. The partners and manager would ask me questions, I would respond, and the client would not speak to me. He would answer my responses but make every effort to indicate that he was speaking only to the men and not to the stupid little girl. By the end of the meeting, my feelings were all over my face, as I had had quite enough of him, and the partners and managers were looking at me like, “Please don’t explode. We’ll buy you good lunch if you just hold it in until we get back to the audit room. Please?” Funny thing was, my big boss, the head of audit, was having almost as hard a time as I was keeping a passive face. I did, by the way. I waited to get back to the audit room before exploding, and I looked at my bosses with that, “See? He’s a horrible man! Told ya!” look on my face. And they did buy lunch that day.

I don’t even remember how we resolved the whole situation, and I can’t remember if we gave them an opinion or a disclaimer. Everything is fuzzy (I don’t even remember the name of the company or the name of the CFO) except the way the client treated everyone. That and the fact that Sarah H and I had good Indian food nearby during the course of the audit, and I also introduced Sarah H to Vietnamese food. Oh! And I do remember that they worked out pretty early on that Mr. Pig was going to pay 100% of our billing. There would be no write-offs. That made me so happy.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that I’m no longer an auditor?

artful business communications

When I was sorting paperwork yesterday, I came across a project I did for my business communications class in college. Good grief, y’all, I laugh any time I come across my college papers. I’ll write more about the speeches I’ve found later – wow, was I ever that dumb? Seriously, I don’t know how I managed to get an accounting degree without actually having a brain in my head.

Anyway, about the project I did for business communications. It was a group project (can’t tell y’all how much I hated group projects, but y’all know I don’t like people, especially stupid people, so the level of my loathing for group work probably wouldn’t surprise you). This group was actually one of the better groups I worked with in college, and we had to come up with a fictional company, make brochures for said fictional company, and prepare a speech explaining the company’s mission or something boring like that.

I am so not an ideas person. If someone else comes up with the idea, I can usually run with it, but my brain practically freezes when someone just says, “Create a company,” or something equally vast. Okay, I’ll create a company. In my company, we never have to do stupid group projects. Done! Gimme an A. So I left the ideas up to the other two people in my group, and then I was all in with both feet.

I remember that one of the girls worked for one of those companies that did legal credit repair for people with bad credit, and it was actually a non-profit, so people without a lot of money (such as… people who need to erase bad credit, like me after my divorce) could use their services. I’m thinking they even offered the service for free, but I’m not sure. The girl said, hey, let’s just do the company I work for and give it a new name. Done! Okay, so we gave the company the most generic company name possible. We all wrote up the brochure and speech together, and I came up with the most generic-looking brochure possible on the computer (could not even tell you what program I used – probably Word or AmiPro – do y’all remember that? Haha, I am OLD!). Oh goodness. I found the brochure and just laughed at myself. I couldn’t make myself read the speech – I was afraid of what I would see. Probably something elementary like, “Come to our office. We will help with your bad credit repair. Thank you for listening!”

Yikes. I’m a much better writer today than I was back then. Now I’ve learned the sophisticated art of sarcasm. I know y’all are just squealing with delight over my alleged improvement.

never go up against a SarahK when talking is on the line!

I was walking through the mall yesterday, looking for shoes, because I’ve lost two pairs of shoes in the past two weeks. Also, I was sad and needed a break from being sad, so I decided to go look at other weirdos and shoes. K? K.

So I was on my way to the last store, Macy’s, and one of those annoying salesmen at a kiosk (sorry if you are one, but this one was truly annoying, you’ll see why) started talking to me.

ANNOYING ONE: Excuse me, ma’am. [MA'AM? He's going down!] What does your shirt say?
SARAHK: Oh. Failure is not an option. NASA.
ANNOYING ONE: You know what? I agree! Failure is not an option. That’s why I’m sure you’re going to sign up for this phone with me today. [Have I mentioned I'm still walking? And what a retard, trying to use that line on me to sell a phone. He probably has no idea where it even comes from.]
SARAHK: That’s alright. Thanks.
ANNOYING ONE: I see you have a phone there. [You are so observant, dufusface. Is it the phone peeking out of my pocket or the earbuds in my ears connected to that phone that gave it away? Do they give you that shirt and tie when they sign you up to sell phones, or did you buy it with your first paycheck? Oh yeah. By this point I was annoyed, because I'd already said that's alright, thanks, and he was still persisting. Let me shop in peace. I hate shopping as it is, so don't make it any worse for me than it already is. I'll cry right in your face. RIGHT IN IT!]
SARAHK: Yep. [Still walking.]
ANNOYING ONE: What kind of service do you have?
SARAHK: Good service, thanks. [Evil company, but good service.]
ANNOYING ONE: Oh, then you must have T-Mobile! [Are we really doing this? Fine. I'll do the talk war. You asked for it.]
SARAHK: Actually, Cingular. I hate them. I used to have T-Mobile, and I LOVED T-Mobile.
ANNOYING ONE: Yeah, Cingular. The service isn’t very good… [Like he's trying to relate to me or something. You think you can see into my brain, little buddy?]
SARAHK: No, the service is fine. But AT&T bought them, so as soon as our contract is up, we will be going back to T-Mobile, it’s just that we can’t do anything until our contract is up. [Starting to walk off again.]
ANNOYING ONE: Oh, yeah, with AT&T, they’re always changing the plans… [Um, no, not this time, though that is part of the reason I swore I'd never do business with AT&T again back in 1997. Good try, though.]
SARAHK: Actually, I just hate AT&T, because they’re evil. But we switched to Cingular because we needed a family plan and could get a company discount, but as soon as our contract is up, we’re going back to T-Mobile.
ANNOYING ONE: [Nodding, starting to blow me off, finally registering that I keep saying "when our contract is up."]
SARAHK: Because really, I LOVED T-Mobile, never really had any complaints about T-Mobile, and I can’t wait to get back to T-Mobile… [He has now fully turned away, nodded smugly with that "yeah, whatever" look on his face, because he knows he is not earning a commission off me today, and I am *relishing* this, so I'm sticking around. Suddenly, I'm a little less sad.] …And actually, when I had to cancel with T-Mobile, the girl asked me if there was anything they could change to keep me, and I told her really, no, because I’ve been very happy, it’s just the whole company discount thing, and… [I trailed off as I walked off toward Macy's.]

SUCKA!

And that’s how it’s done, kids.

SarahK: Big Fat Chicken

I went to take a bunch of stuff to storage this afternoon, and I got to the building I needed to enter. Parked, got out of the car, headed toward the back so I could unload my stuff…

BIG FAT GIANT NASTY PUTRID (DEAD) PALMETTO BUG / COCKROACH THE SIZE OF A JAPANESE TITANUS GIGANTEUS BEETLE! RIGHT! IN! MY! PATH! (If I’da had my camera, y’all would be appalled, APPALLED right now and jumping back from your computer screens in sheer terror.) UPDATE: (Just so y’all know, it was almost three inches long and about an INCH FAT.)

So what did I do? I got back in the car, of course. Quickly. Locked the doors, because you know those monstrously giant dead palmetto bugs, they’re really good at working those door handles. Seatbelted up, turned the car back on, drove around a building to get pretty much back to the same spot, except one building behind where I had started. Because see, I can go in the next building (we’re in air conditioned storage), walk through a corridor, open a door, walk through two more corridors and end up at my unit. Sure, it’s a bit farther, but there are no BIG FAT GIANT NASTY PUTRID (DEAD) PALMETTO BUGS / COCKROACHES THE SIZE OF TITANUS GIGANTEUS BEETLES! RIGHT! IN! MY! PATH! if I take that route. So it was a no-brainer for SarahK: Big Fat Chicken.

Oh, get this, ladies. I’m sure y’all can relate. It’s so funny, because Frank and I are both total slobs. But closets? I want those totally organized, or I get really stressed out. Storage units? You should see how awesomely I have organized this thing. So yesterday I sent Frank over there with a 2-drawer file cabinet. Short little thing, doesn’t take up much space. I opened the unit today, and there it was, looking like he’d just haphazardly tossed it on top of our kitchen table legs. And there was all this unused floor space (because of my awesome organizational skills). But the file cabinet was teetering haphazardly. I rolled my eyes and moved it to a better spot.

Frank *says* it must have fallen when he picked up some boxes, because he’s sure he put it on solid ground. (Yeah.)

So when I was leaving, I had to shut the main door that I was using (not the easy access door, but the door *away* from the BIG FAT GIANT NASTY PUTRID (DEAD) PALMETTO BUG / COCKROACH THE SIZE OF A TITANUS GIGANTEUS BEETLE! RIGHT! IN! MY! PATH!). Well. The little rope that holds the door open? Had a visitor. A little spider had decided to take up residence right where I would have had to grab the rope to take it off the door handle. So I spent the next two or three minutes using my foot, grabbing the rope at weird spots, nudging the door, and practically holding my leg over my head trying to get the stupid rope to let go of the door handle so I did not have to go anywhere near that dumb spider. And I’m perfectly fine with spiders. They used to crawl on my walls when I lived in Amarillo and had my window cracked for the swamp cooler, and I just got used to them. I’m fine seeing them. But I’m not okay with them being near my hands, and it is definitely Frank’s job to handle up on them when they’re in the house.

And you know what? I’m sure the manager was watching me on the surveillance cameras the whole time and laughing his butt off at me.

UPDATE: Patriot Xeno pointed out in the comments that I had my terminology wrong. See, I went to camp in West Texas where we saw every possible kind of beetle imaginable, and “they” always just told us that these beetles of all varieties were Japanese beetles. So anyway, now I’ve been schooled, in the comments (not in email where I would have preferred, *ahem*, and I’m pretty sure at least the body structure I was trying to convey.

Serenity: Part II

SARAHK: I was about to call you a liar. Then I changed my mind and decided to say that you and I have different perceptions of “hot” and “medium”.
SERENITY: This salsa is hot.
SARAHK: It’s definitely medium.
***

SERENITY [right after seeing a HeadOn commercial]: I was thinking about getting some of that HeadOn, but I don’t know how to use it.
***

SERENITY: Frank, you don’t care that Sarah just tried to kill me?
SARAHK: I don’t know what she’s complaining about. I have like fifty more pounds to carry than she does, and the gun. [So I'd momentarily forgotten about her shattered ankle and severely injured spine. I'm a retard who never claimed to be a good friend to anyone.]
SERENITY: I didn’t know we were gonna go climb Mount Everest.
SARAHK: Yeah, because Florida has any hills.
SERENITY: Ok, I didn’t know we were gonna hike to the other end of the state.
***

SARAHK [pointing to the mushrooms]: Do you eat fungus?
SERENITY: Yes, I eat mushrooms.
SARAHK: Good, I use those a lot when I cook.
SERENITY: But not when you put it that way. Do I eat fungus.
SARAHK: Well, I have a friend who won’t eat mushrooms because they’re fungus.
***

SARAHK[to Serenity after Serenity comes out of her room following a super-long SarahK-stupidity-induced nap]: Hey.
SERENITY: Mumble.
SARAHK: My head hurts.
SERENITY: Mumble.
SARAHK: Isn’t that the first thing you wanted to hear when you woke up? Great sentence structure.
SERENITY: I actually wish you would have knocked on my door and woken me to tell me that.
***

SARAHK [we've just finished rifling through all my new Chebe mixes]: Yeah, and I can use this bread mix to make my communion crackers for church. Because I can’t have the regular church crackers because they have wheat in them, I’ll have to make my own. But this package even has instructions for making crackers.
SERENITY [amused]: You have to bring in your own body of Christ?
SARAHK: Yep. I did it the three months I was gluten-free before.
FRANK J.: Yeah, and they were like “our Jesus isn’t good enough for you?”.
***

SERENITY: That’s one thing you’re gonna miss about Florida is all the birds.
SARAHK: Yeah, but Austin has bats.
SERENITY: Yeah, that’s better.
SARAHK: There’s a whole bridge that they live under. So we can get rabies there. You can’t get that in Florida.
***

SERENITY: We should cage ‘em more often, I agree with that. But not for the shark’s sake. But cage humans, yes.
SARAHK: Definitely.
SERENITY: Hippies and liberals to start.
***

SARAHK: Now what’s to keep that shark from jumping over the top and into the shark cage?
SERENITY: It’s more concerned with the food they’re tossing out in front of it. It’s not really paying attention to the human.
SARAHK: But that doesn’t answer my question of what keeps the shark from jumping into the cage.
MELANIE ON TV: Blah blah blah the shark isn’t looking to cause any trouble.
SERENITY: See?
SARAHK: Suuuuure. You tell yourself that when it’s eating your face.
***

SERENITY [after seeing me eye her funny for chopping her Neiman Marcus cake into tiny pieces]: It’s cooling.
SARAHK:
SERENITY: It’ll cool faster!
SARAHK: [I love messing with people.]
SERENITY: What?
SARAHK: You don’t have to answer to me.
SERENITY: I’m not answering to anybody. I’m just telling you.
SARAHK:
SERENITY:
SARAHK: It’s better in big bites.
SERENITY: I’m savoring.
***

SERENITY: Don’t blog that. I’m just not going to say anything tomorrow.
SARAHK [laughing]: Yes you are. And only the private stuff is private now, because you told people that I tried to kill you.
***

SERENITY [to Frank J.]: Have you ever noticed that when she [SarahK] gets aggravated, she gets really southern?
SARAHK [amused]: I know. I do, he tells me all the time.

We had been talking about crappy corporations such as AT&T and the Bank of the Northern Hemisphere. They are evil, by the way.
***

You know what Serenity says a lot? “Will you let me finish my story?” You’d think I was an interruptor or something.
***

We were at Publix shopping for foodstuffs, and I had picked up one of those super-wonderful Dole honey golden pineapples. The cashier started chatting to us about the pineapple, and Serenity and I were chatting back. I didn’t know at the time, but Serenity said that the dumb sacker girl (not dumb because she’s a sacker–dumb because she needs a smack upside the head) had said immediately upon hearing the cashier start chatting us up, “She’ll talk to you for hours.” What a brat. Serenity completely ignored her after hearing that. I might have said something. Because this is one of my very favorite cashiers, just one of the nicest ladies you will ever meet. She’s older, has grandchildren, loves to talk to me about the food I buy. Asks me about ingredients I’m buying, what I’m planning to make with them. I love food people. Anyway. At one point, I did get to zing the girl (she can’t be over 17) whose mama didn’t raise her to respect her elders. I don’t remember how the subject came up, but she said something about “Mexicans.” Mind you, this woman has some kind of Asian heritage, I can’t remember which, we’ve talked about it before. I think Chinese. She wasn’t saying anything negative, she just happened to mention Mexicans. Little Brat Sacker Girl said, “Why did they have to be Mexicans?” I just rolled my eyes and looked at her. “Because they’re from Mexico.”

Kids are stupid.
***

SERENITY: What’s this shooting game called?
FRANK J.: Call of Duty 3.
SERENITY: And are there people shooting back at me?
FRANK J.: Yeah.
SERENITY: Ah! Then they will die!
FRANK J.: Nazis, even.
SERENITY: Oh. Then they will really die.
***

SERENITY: Ok. Let’s shoot some Nazis.
***

said the preacher

This morning, we had a guest preacher, an older feller. I think he lives in Oahu or somewhere like that and is currently travelling around Florida with his daughter. Anyway. Frank was doing the Scripture reading in worship this morning, and he asked our regular preacher, Brother A, Alcazar’s dad, which Scripture he should read. He said, “Oh, you’ll need to go ask Brother D, he’s gonna be preaching this morning.”

Frank didn’t recognize the name. “Brother D? Who is that?”

Brother A said, “He’s, uh, wearing a beige jacket. Light-skinned brother?” Hahahaha. He could have said, “The only other white man in the building besides you.” Frank and I found it amusing. We would have done the same thing. “Oh, the guy in the bright purple suit with matching purple shoes. He’s also black? Maybe you spotted him?” Nobody wants to note the race that might single someone else out from everyone in a group, so we all go to the clothes first, because hey, they picked those clothes out. Or accessories! “She has giant triangular earrings with flashing lights on them. Also she’s the only Asian in the room.” Or with me, they say, “The blonde woman,” rather than “the white woman.”

So during the sermon, which started out being about baptism, went to how the children are our best assets, somehow got to guns, went back to the children, and then ended up back at baptism… here’s what the preacher said:

BROTHER D: Now girls. One day, you’re gonna grow up. And some boy is gonna try to tell you that one thing is the most important thing in the world.
ALL THE SISTERS IN THE CONGREGATION: Uhhhh huh. Amen.
BROTHER D: Well, lemme tell ya something. You better run! You better get a gun!

Everyone laughed. I was vigorously nodding, as I could see lots of heads turning in my direction. Kisha and I made eye contact. So I said, loudly enough for Kisha, a row in front of me, to hear, “Amen!” She had a giggle fit.

BROTHER D: Just do whatever you have to do. You get away from him. He’s no good.

At the end of the sermon, he told the congregation that we are all family. And then he sang it. I tell no lies, peeps, he sang. “We. Are. Fa-mi-ly… I got all my sistas and me.” I covered my face in shame and did my nervous embarrassed giggle for all white people and felt like I should make a public apology. Oh, everyone roared with laughter. Because they were all thinking, “White people are crazy.”

I was just so amused by the gun talk. I’ve never before heard guns in a sermon, that I can recall. So after worship, when we were milling around in the corridor thingy, I gave the nice preacher man a pat on the back.

SARAHK: Hey, I appreciated the gun talk this morning! I’ve never heard a preacher preach about carrying guns. I like that.
BROTHER D: Well, yeah! We should preach it more. Jesus himself said [Brother D really said this, y'all, I tell no lies], when his apostles said we have two swords, Jesus said one is enough.
SARAHK: Well, I don’t like the idea of having only one gun, but I do like sermons about guns.

And Alcazar’s dad was standing there just looking at me like, “I let my son go to their house. What was I thinking?”

I had no idea what Brother D was talking about. I looked it up. He was talking about this.

Luke 22:36-38

36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.

37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: “And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”

38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Brother D may have been recalling (from rote) a different translation. This is the NKJV.

Anyway, it was a fun day at church!

i sleep with my manager – UPDATED to add the part that i forgot about

The other night I was at Publix, and I was in a hurry. It was twenty minutes to closing, so I was on a mission. I flew down the aisles. Flew! I can do that when I know I have to get through fast. So there I was, flying. Glided down the pasta aisle… Strange, a bald man in his early forties, clearly a professional, clearly just glanced at my gigantic wedding ring, just winked flirtatiously at me. Jerk! Seriously, I hate it when men flirt with me. As I walked up toward the cashier, one of the little Publix checker boys was walking by and smiled at me like I was the prettiest woman he’d ever seen.

Yeah, I was wearing my painting pants and a workout tshirt. I looked haaaaawt.

Anyway, I got to checkout, and the manager was actually sacking groceries for the customer in front of me. I didn’t know it was the manager at the time; I was paying attention only to my cart full of groceries that I was now quickly emptying onto the belt. I hate making stores stay open past closing for me, so I had a goal to be out before 9 p.m. When the customer in front of me left, the manager walked off behind him and out the front door to the parking lot. The cashier girl, who looked to me like she was in her early twenties, mumbled something under her breath after the manager walked away. She was still smiling, but mumbling all the same.

Cashier Girl greeted me and then said something about The Manager. Then she said, “Well, nobody likes their manager, right?”

I just smiled, because I really had no idea what she was talking about. I was thinking about my groceries and the great sale on the Bounty Select-a-Size paper towels Publix was having and the strange flirty looks I was getting from men in my paint clothes. In fact, I had just finished examining myself to make sure I wasn’t sporting gobs of food down the front of my clothes or anything like that, because what was the big deal about me that night? So when Cashier Girl asked about liking managers, I had barely heard her and only smiled.

Then Cashier Girl asked me, “So do you like your manager?”

Now I was scanning my debit card, and she looked old enough to be watching comedies on NBC, and I have been eating gluten, so I wasn’t thinking straight (yes, I’m blaming the evil gluten)… So I replied.

“Well, I’m a housewife, so I’m sleeping with my manager…”

No response.

“So yeah, I like him pretty well.” I smiled and made eye contact, loading the cart with the groceries she was bagging, no manager around to do it for her. She smiled back. UPDATE: I forgot this part. After she smiled back, I said, “But in general, it is not a good idea to sleep with your manager.” She said, “No, I wouldn’t think so.”

“Well, what about when you were working? Did you like your managers then?”

“Some of them, yes. Some of them, no. Depended on the boss.” I liked my managers at the place here in Melbourne. And in Fort Worth at the accounting firm.

“I think I’d like that job, being a housewife. My mom is a housewife.” Your mom. Oh precious. “And now she’s a housemom. She has a seven-month-old baby now and stays home with her. I think I would love to do that when I have kids.”

“Yeah, me too. I love being a housewife and plan to stay home with the kids when we have them.”

“My mom actually waited seventeen years after me before having my little sister.”

That took a minute to settle in. Then I thought, Oh my NO! She’s seventeen. I made a sex joke to a seventeen-year-old!

I’m going straight to hell.

because i figured it’s not your business, officer

So yesterday afternoon, I was driving home from Wal-Mart with my groceries. Went looking for lingerie, came home with groceries instead. Typical. Note to self: Target for lingerie, Wal-Mart for groceries.

Driving down a road that should have a 50 mph speed limit, I was going somewhere around 40-ish. I wasn’t really paying attention to my speed until I saw a police car parked next to a canal bridge, the nose of the car pointing right out to the street, which meant the officer must be lying in wait for speeders. I tapped my brakes slightly and then looked down at my speedometer. 37-ish. Which means I was probably going faster than that since I hit my brakes and then looked at the speedometer, duh, but that fact didn’t register with me until I was on my way home later. But 37-ish. Then I looked up for speed limit signs. THIRTY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IT’S A FOUR-WIDE-LANES ROAD! By this time I was passing the police car, so I didn’t hit my brakes any more, I just took my foot off the gas pedal until I got down to 35. I’m not one of those dufuses who sees a cop and starts going at or under the speed limit. I’ve had too many cops pass me for going too slow, so I stopped that madness long ago. I’ll go 5mph over if I’m being stalked by the brass. (I love calling it that. The brass. I got that from CSI. And y’all nodded your heads, because you watch CSI, too.) So I slowed and kept eating my Doritos (I was hungry and had eaten only two Larabars for lunch, so the Fiery Habanero Doritos didn’t make it out of the Wal-Mart parking lot), watching in the rearview mirror for the police stalker.

Aaaaaaand the police car turned onto the street from its parking spot next to the bridge and started following me. Fantastic. I kept looking at my speedometer, still hovering at 35-ish, and I was still not going to slow to 30, because any cop who will pull you over for going 35 will also pull you over for going 30 and is a complete jerkface. And I kept watching the rearview mirror. And the lights went on, and I pulled over onto a side street. Lovely.

I put the Doritos in the passenger floorboard so I wouldn’t look like a total pig. Who eats Doritos in the car? Out of the big bag? Or for breakfast at 8:30, for that matter? Not that I did that today. Ahem. I also took a look around to make sure everything was in order. Straightened my water bottle in the water bottle holder. Put the car in park. Turned off the car. Thought about how a ticket is not in our budget. But whatever, I like cops, they’re not paid enough, insert usual pleasantries here.

I was watching in the rearview mirror when the officer got out of her car. Ah lousy luck, she’s a girl. I say that, but the two previous times I’ve been pulled over by girl cops, I’ve not gotten tickets.

She got to the door and knocked on my window. From this point forward, my thoughts that were only in my head will be in italics. If it’s not in italics, I actually said it out loud.

SARAHK: I have to open the door.
GIRL COP: Ok. Your window doesn’t work?
SARAHK: No.
GIRL COP: Well, I pulled you over for going 41 in a 30.
SARAHK: Nuh-uh! Oh. My thing said 37, but that’s still speeding, so… ok. I was speeding. If you’re being technical.
GIRL COP [looking at me a little askance, not sure if I'm being ornery, which I'm not -- out loud]: I… probably clocked you before you saw me.
SARAHK [looking straight ahead, mouth closed]: I’m just gonna shut up now.
GIRL COP [glancing into the back seat]: Just coming home from the grocery store?
SARAHK: Oh. Yes. Would you like a bag of Doritos, officer? A nice red pear? Why is she asking about my groceries? Maybe she’s letting me know that she realizes I don’t want to sit with my frozen food for too long? It’s a friendly gesture? What? Or she notices I can’t afford to fix my car window and I shop at Wal-Mart for groceries? So I can’t afford a ticket? I hope she’s focused on that, because a ticket is not in the budget. Colonoscopy Friday has taken all the padding out of the budget this week.
GIRL COP: Can I see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance?
SARAHK: Sure. Ok, purse. Opening driver’s license pocket. No gun there. Here’s my driver’s license. Glove box, no gun there, ok to open that. Here’s my registration. Opening driver’s license pocket of purse again… looking for insurance card… I know my insurance card is in here somewhere.
GIRL COP: Do you also have a cracked windshield? How long have you had that?
SARAHK [looking at the windshield, then her, then grinning]: Um… well… a rock hit it quite some time ago and it’s just been…
GIRL COP: You know, if you have insurance, full coverage, the insurance company will pay twice a year to replace your windshield.
SARAHK:Yes, well I dropped the comp coverage on my car a few months back… Oh, um, is it… illegal to drive with a cracked windshield?
GIRL COP [grinning!]: Yes. Plus it’s unsafe. If something hit you, then…
SARAHK: Yeah. [I made the motion of my head getting chopped off and thought about the big black semi that almost hit me on 2/26/2007.]
GIRL COP: Exactly.
SARAHK: Oh! Here’s the insurance card. [I handed her the card and then realized it was the one that starts in a few weeks right after I handed it to her.] Oh. I think I gave you the wrong card. [Looking for the current card...]
GIRL COP: Yes, this one isn’t effective yet and is for a Hyundai.
SARAHK: It doesn’t have both cars? I thought all the cards had both cars on there. [Now frantically looking for the current card.] Oh. Maybe the current card is in the other pocket. With my gun. Eek!
GIRL COP: I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m not going to give you a ticket for the speeding.
SARAHK: Thank you.
GIRL COP: But the insurance…
SARAHK: Actually, I might have the current card in this pocket of my purse. But there’s a gun in there.
GIRL COP: Okay…
SARAHK: So… I just didn’t want you to think I was pulling a gun on you if I open the pocket.
GIRL COP: Yeah, that would be good information to have. You probably should have told me you had that.
SARAHK: Well, it’s not your business, officer. I’m a law abiding citizen, I have a permit for it, I’m not going to use it on you, and unless there’s a chance you’re going to see it and think I’m possibly attacking you, I have no reason nor requirement to tell you about it. Oh. Well, I know I’m not required to tell you about it, so… [Note: I said this very politely and sheepishly. But my thoughts were not polite and sheepish.]
GIRL COP: Uh… Ok, well, go ahead and open the pocket, but don’t pull the gun out, ok? Is this the only gun you have in the car?
SARAHK: Ok. Yes, it is.
GIRL COP: I’m going to take the gun out and away, and then you can find your card. And then when we’re all done, I’ll give it back to you. Ok?
SARAHK: As long as you use proper gun safety, officer. Mmmhmm.

BTW, she looked nervous now. Like I was a shifty criminal. I mean, I did tell her about the gun. Maybe she thought it was booby-trapped. But it’s a revolver, a double-action one that was not cocked if she looked at the hammer. She was still friendly, though. I find that the girl cops in our town are (that’s twice I’ve been pulled over by girl cops in our town, and twice they’ve been very friendly, so statistically that’s 100%). She took the gun out of my purse and held onto it, pointing it down at the pavement.

SARAHK: I have a permit for that, by the way. Why is she not asking for my permit? The gun isn’t just in my car. It’s in my purse. I guess technically it’s in my car, I wasn’t carrying it outside the car, but it’s not in a separate, locked compartment in the car. It’s in a purse. I’m pretty sure I need a permit to have it like that. Why doesn’t she want my permit? Do you want to see it? Why am I volunteering stuff? Sarah, just shut up. She’ll ask for whatever she wants. Yep, here’s the insurance card. I thought there was a chance it might be in this pocket, but I didn’t want to open it, because I didn’t want you to think I was pulling a gun on you or something. Oh, just stop with the nervous talking thing, SarahK.

I handed her the insurance card, she said yes to the permit.

GIRL COP: Ok, I’m going to go back to my car, run your license and the serial number on the gun, and I’ll be back in a minute.
SARAHK: Ok. Where are you taking my precious Pop-Pop? I gave it to you so I wasn’t holding it while I was digging around it in my purse. I didn’t say you could have it.
GIRL COP: None of the windows roll down?
SARAHK: The passenger windows do, just the driver side window is broken.
GIRL COP: Ok, you can roll down the passenger window and I’ll come back on that side. That way you don’t have to sit here with your door open.
SARAHK: Ok, thanks. Especially since we’re on this unknown street in a semi-sketchy neighborhood, and you just took my gun away.

Girl Cop went away for a while, and I sat, sat, sat… Girl Cop finally came back, passenger side.

GIRL COP: Ok, here’s your license, registration, insurance back.
SARAHK: Thanks. Where’s my Pop-Pop? There it is. I see it. The finish had better not be marred! ;-)
GIRL COP: Ok, I’m going to put this on the floorboard here, and after I clear you, you can pick it up and put it back in your purse. Are you law enforcement?
SARAHK: No.

Am I law enforcement? Don’t you think I would have mentioned that? I guess not if I was undercover or something, but why the question? I wonder if she asked that because I didn’t volunteer the fact that I had a weapon? Before I took my concealed carry class, I had always heard from my Texas carrying friends that if you’re pulled over, you present your driver’s license and your concealed weapons permit to the officer. But when I took my class, the instructor, who was excellent, told us that it is not a requirement to tell an officer in a routine traffic stop if you have a weapon. And the Florida Statutes just state that you have to present your license to the officer if the officer demands to see it (so I was being nice when I volunteered my permit):

The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is in actual possession of a concealed weapon or firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.

– F.S. 790.06 (1)

GIRL COP: Ok, well in the future, we need to know. Because if we’re sitting there with someone with a loaded firearm, that’s information we need to have. [Still friendly.]
SARAHK: Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry, I should have told you up front. Not your business. You only need to know that I have a gun if I’m planning to use it on you or have a mental condition that would cause me to snap and start waving it in your face for no reason, such as having PMS. ;-) So what’s the problem. If I were a criminal, my telling you about the gun wouldn’t help you anyway, because I would probably tell you about it when I was about to try to use it on you. I only told you just now for my own protection, not yours. My telling you only helps you to know that a law-abiding citizen who is not planning to harm you is carrying a weapon. I just didn’t think about it until I was looking for the insurance card. Which is true.
GIRL COP: No problem. Take care. Slow down driving home.
SARAHK: Ok. Sorry about that. The fast driving, not the concealing of the gun. It’s not your business. I shouldn’t even be required to have a permit to carry one. But that’s another blog post about inalienable rights.

She was nice, though, so when I was thinking in italics in my head, I wasn’t thinking with my acidic sarcastic tone. I was using my polite sarcastic debate tone. So if y’all read that in the acid tone, you need to go back and read it again.

When I called Frank on the way home, driving 35-ish, I told him I can’t wait for him to draw a comic of the incident. :-D

baseball

hey, cool! i just found my Ruben Sierra baseball. i was a freshman in high school (90-91), and i went to the Texas Rangers game with my dad (and this is an unimportant detail, but my freshman bf). the Rangers played the Seattle Mariners. and i think they were my dad’s boss’s tickets, and we were behind the 3rd base dugout, and Sierra hit a foul popup that bounced once in front of the dugout and then into my hands.

i wish i’d been brave enough to go over and ask for an autograph. i was a big chicken.

anyway. you can see on the ball where the bat struck, and it is an official ball and all that. i guess i’ll put it with the puck i got from a Stars game.

visit from the pereiras

Hey, y’all remember that time when Jim & Rachel came to visit us, & I got all stressed out and out of my head cleaning the house and whatnot, and I made jambalaya, and Rachel had to stop and use a Wal-Mart bathroom on the way home after getting waylaid by a high school homecoming parade? Well, I finally have pictures from the momentous weekend.

Our friends arrived bearing gifts! Rachel knew I would be depressed without a Christmas tree of my own, so she brought me one that would require minimal upkeep. It was exactly what I needed, and it inspired me to actually decorate for Christmas. I’m so glad I did.

J&R were immediately attacked by our pack of wild animals. Rowdi had to be a part of every activity, so she was always underfoot.

Except when she was pinning Rachel down.

And of course, when Jim & Rachel tried to blog on Saturday, Minerva made sure they new she was there so they could give her affection instead. This is what kitties do.

Now with Sydney, it was more the other way around. I think Rachel was deliberately annoying Miss Bristow.

When I was cooking dinner Friday night, Rachel was trying to get ice for her Coke. After seeing the disgusting solid liquid from our freezer that passes for ice in Brevard County, Rachel opted out and decided to use it only to ice down her cans. Of Coke, Harvey.

But Rachel loved the jambalaya, so she blew me kisses. Even though dinner wasn’t served until 11:30. And we didn’t go to bed until 2:30 or so. And that’s before we even had the Dubya-2!

Saturday we played pool.

And even though it was Jim’s turn during karaoke here, it appears that Rachel was taking over and singing anyway. Typical! ;-) Actually, this was probably the audience participation part of “Man of Constant Sorrow.” We all sing along during that.

We had a great weekend.

W-2

Thanksgiving night, I was sitting at my dad’s computer in his super-cool office cubby, and I heard Spidade discussing gaming systems with Sizzle or Marshall (it’s inconsequential — what’s important is that we laugh at my dad here).

SPIDADE: Well, you know, the Dubya-2 has been much more highly anticipated than the Playstation 3. All the Dubya-2s sold out within minutes everywhere they were sold!

I almost fell out of my chair. It’s like he said it on purpose just to give me blogfodder. Of course, Frank has been pounding me over the head with the glories and wonders of the “Wheeeeee!” for about a year now, so I’m well-versed in the gaming systems.

Naturally, I had to run into the kitchen, where Spidade was sitting at the nook table, so I could make fun of him before anyone else. But it was hard to do so, because I was doubled over, holding my stomach, laughing. Frank had not heard the exchange, and I wondered why he wasn’t giggle-fitting with me.

SARAHK: Um, Spidade, did you just call it the Dubya-2???
SARAHK AND SIZZLE IN UNISON: It’s called the Wheeee!
FRANK J.: Oh, did he just call the Wii the Dubya-2? [finally giggling]
SPIDADE [giggling at himself]: Oh, well, is that what it’s called? Anyway, that’s the one everyone wants. Nobody really cared about the Playstation 3 this year, did they?
SARAHK AND SIZZLE: No, you’re right, Dad. Everybody wants the Wii.
SARAHK: I can’t believe I know that.

See, Spidade is a voracious reader. He reads the newspaper, the internet, he probably reads the subtitles and the ticker on the TV news rather than listen. So our correction of his pronunciation was most likely the first time he ever heard the name spoken aloud. What’s important is that if it came up in the NYT crossword puzzle, Spidade could fill it in.

Anyway, it’s become a running joke in our household. Frank keeps saying things like, “Make sure you keep checking the online stores for the Dubya-2!”

Egyptian queen

Yesterday morning at church, there was a guest preacher, because our preacher is on an Alaskan cruise with his family (yes, I’m envious!). The guest preacher was great, and he told a little story. Now, I don’t know if this is true (I assume it is), but it was hilarious.

He was at the mall with his wife, and they were shopping with another couple. The women were in front talking, and the men were about 5 feet behind them talking. A group of guys cut in between the men and the women and were obviously unaware that the husbands were behind them. They were watching these fine ladies, and finally one of the guys worked up his nerve. He moved forward and spoke to the preacher’s wife. “Mmm mmm mmm, you sure are pretty, you beautiful, black Egyptian queen.”

Preacher walked up quickly and said, “Yeah, well I’m Pharaoh.”

::Applause:: ::Laughter:: ::Tears of Laughter::

It took the congregation a long time to recover.

here’s how today went

Drama Queen
Curvaceous
The Blood Debacle
Supermovie
Dinner for Two

Drama Queen – She gets it from me, I guess… We dropped Rowdi at the dog spa this morning, and she whined the entire time in the car. She’s never whined in the car, and I’m thinking she must have really needed to poo. When we got there, there’s where you park, and there’s where the dogs go in the gate to get to the ponds and all the other doggies. The two spots are about .2 miles apart. She, like always, was throwing a fit. The difference today was that we had the Gentle Leader on her instead of the choke chain. So I never felt much on my end, and she was flipping out on hers. She would wave her head from side to side trying to throw off the Gentle Leader. And every time she threw a fit, I made her sit and wait even longer. One day, she’ll learn that she gets there much faster if she walks calmly beside me. Drama Queen.

Curvaceous… Went to Curves. Did 3 circuits. That’s 4 days this week, 3 circuits on 3 days, 2.5 circuits on Monday. Good SarahK.

The Blood Debacle… So they brought the blood mobile to the neighborhood next to ours today. We got the notice yesterday, so we’re expecting that everyone else in the Community got theirs yesterday too. On a holiday weekend, no less. Last minute + holiday weekend = poor turnout. The good thing was, we didn’t have to wait at all. They were prepared to leave in 5 minutes when we showed up, because they’d been there for 2.5 hours, and we were the 3rd and 4th people to show up.

So I questioned them about needle size (holy moly, 16 gauge??? are you kidding? when I gave myself hormone shots, those needles were 29!!! 16 is gigantic!!!). Asked how much blood they take. Read every single word of the info sheet. Forgot we went on a cruise to the Caribbean in December. This is important later. I guess since we weren’t required to have passports, I didn’t remember that the Caribbean is actually out of the country. It didn’t pop into my head.

They took Frank into his interview room, and he answered all of his questions. He was good to go and able to donate.

They took me into mine. Of course, I had answered yes to a lot of screening questions. Growth hormone injections are actually on the list as a questionable item, but I was still ok since they’re synthetic. Then the question, “Are you under a doctor’s care?”. Um, yeah. “What for?” “Well, I have chronic migraines. And epilepsy. And a tumor in my pituitary gland. And I don’t produce growth hormone.” “When was your last seizure?” “This morning.” “You can’t donate.” Turns out that they don’t want to risk sending epileptics into convulsions, so even if you’ve never had a convulsion or lost consciousness in a seizure, epileptics cannot donate unless it’s been 6 months since their last seizure. That makes sense to me, because the last thing I want to do is convulse with a needle stuck in a very important artery or vein. So I can’t donate until the epilepsy is under control. For those of you who don’t know, you’re considered to have epilepsy if you’ve had more than one seizure. The good news is, I can go to any of the blood labs here and pay $10 for a blood typing and find out my blood type. I just want to know.

So then Frank came out, I told him epilepsy is bad, and he said, “I guess you’ll never know your blood type,” and laughed at me. So he was lying back in the donating chair, and he said, “I can’t believe I forgot about the cruise when the questionnaire asked if I’d been out of the country.” Well, the girl had asked him just in case he forgot, and he remembered the cruise. But he forgot that instead of going to Cozumel, hurricane Wilma diverted our cruise to Costa Maya. So we were talking, and my interviewer asked, “Where did you go?” I said, “Caribbean… Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Mexico…” “Where in Mexico?” “Costa Maya.” She quickly ran over to Frank’s tubes and clamped his tube off so he was no longer giving blood. Turns out, Costa Maya is a malaria area (say that 3 times fast), and he can’t donate blood until January.

The horrible part is, not only did they stay half an hour extra to get 2 donors who couldn’t donate, they also might get in trouble for even starting the procedure on someone who was in a malaria area. And it’s not their fault. Frank told the girl in his interview that he went to Cozumel, and it was only in our conversation that they found out about Costa Maya. We felt sooo bad.

And it’s worse, because Frank’s O-, a universal donor, so his blood’s kinda important. Well, we tried.

Supermovie… We saw Superman. Loved it. Though I prefer Tom Welling and Erica Durance (Clark and Lois from Smallville) to the ones in the movie. All the time, I kept thinking, “Man that guy looks and sounds exactly like Tom Cruise. Except he’s not a nutjob. Well, maybe he is, but I don’t know that yet.” It was disturbing. He should look like someone less wacko. He’s too glib, you know.

Dinner for Two… We had a really nice dinner out tonight, at Continental Flambe, which is a wonderful restaurant that has been recommended by our waiter on the Disney cruise and also by my massage therapist. And since we were there for a special occasion, they brought us this complimentary fruity champagne drink before dessert. Can’t be rude, you know. So Frank decided to make a toast.

FRANK J.: Here’s to one year, and one year more.
SARAHK: ROFLMPTO.

My funny hubby. He only foresees 1 year more.

It was a loverly dinner. I had seafood chowder, a brie crepe with apple butter (can’t even describe how good it was), the beef tenderloins Diane, and the creme brulee. Frank had seafood chowder, fettuccine w/ spicy curried chicken, filet mignon, and triple chocolate cheesecake.

We tried to go walking through downtown Melbourne after dinner, but on a scale of 1 to 10, my shoes were 2 on the comfort scale, plus I was having seizures where my toes were burning. So it wasn’t a long walk. Frank brought me home, and finally I’m out of that wretched girdle.

Now it’s time for bowchickabowwow. ‘Night!