Monday, January 30, 2006

Alive and Kickin'


I'm somewhere in the great State of Louisiana for the next two weeks. I arrived on Friday and have spent the better part of six hours on various phone calls with multiple help desks resolving a multitude of technology issues. Slowly but surely I'm catching up on all y'alls (the plural of y'all is "all y'alls") blogs. I can give you a brief bullet point update on the last few days:

1. I'd like to give a shout out to God for giving the brains to the person who invented books on tape. It is the must have item for the 10 hour drive.

2. Only tourists drive the speed limit in Louisiana.

3. I'm not sure how I will control the food issue thingy with all this fabulous food.

4. The people here are reallllly nice and I picked up the accent in my first three minutes inside the state line.

5. My parents drove 8 hours to come have dinner with me. They spent the night in a hotel and drove home the next day. In my family, that is perfectly normal. My mother brought me a stack of magazines and my sister sent a bunch of sample size lotions/make up products. MY FAMILY ROCKS!

6. I drove across the Lake Ponchatrain Bridge!!! It is like 23 miles long. It is wild. It feels like you are driving across an ocean or something. Here's a picture I took while driving:

7. The Man is coming in this weekend to spend some time with me - we'll probably eat like tics on a hog. Lovely. We might try our luck at power ball and a few slot machines.

I'll write more later, but my eyes are so tired they are burning.

PS - I guess I shouldn't quit my day job. Look at that picture. But, hey, I took it while driving. Safety first !

Saturday, January 28, 2006

So Sorry

I'm out of town on business. Connectivity issues are huge. Will post as soon as issues are corrected. Thanks!

Shrinking Violet

Monday, January 23, 2006

Benevolent Dictator of the Universe

In yesterday's "PARADE" magazine, they gave their opinion as to the Top 20 Dictators on Earth. The usual suspects were lined up and their heinous acts against humanity were recounted. I read the list with the usual horror until I got to Number 8. From Turkmenistan comes Saparmurat Niyazov. And yes, he is hideous. Yes, he has fired 15,000 health care workers and replaced most of them with untrained military conscripts. And, yes, he has closed all the hospitals and libraries outside the capital. BUT, he has also outlawed LIP-SYNCHING!!! And frankly, that is a despot I can support!

If I were dictator, I would, at my whim, dismiss all parking laws. You see, when it comes to parking, I am at my most immature. Tantrums come easily to me when putting the car between those two lines. Parking meters make me see red and restricted parking makes me scream "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!""

When it comes to parking, I am always right. Even when I'm wrong. I AM ALWAYS RIGHT - DO YOU HEAR ME. Today, for example, I had to use a parking garage. The posted speed is 15 mph. That is an appropriate speed to prevent accidents. But this ASSHOLE in a giant truck rode my bumper up SIX levels because he was in SUCH A BIG HURRY. It slowed me to 7 mph because I am just that immature when it comes to parking.

When leaving, there were several blank spaces just feet away from me. But NOOOOOO, the vulture had to have MY space. And his car was stopped DIRECTLY BEHIND MINE. He motions to me "COME ON OUT". And I'm all like "YOU FREAK - I CAN'T PULL OUT IN THAT LIMITED AMOUNT OF SPACE." And he's all like "SURE YOU CAN". Then, I have to spend the next 10 minutes going back and forth inching out of the space so I can clear the car next to me and his at the same time. ALL WHILE THERE IS A BLANK SPACE FIVE FEET AWAY. AAAAAND SO HE DOESN'T HAVE TO GIVE MY SPACE TO THE CAR BEHIND HIM.

Then a woman comes around the corner clearly going at least twice the posted speed while talking on her cell and drinking from her Supersized BurgerKing beverage. Damn near takes off my front end. By now I'm channeling Mr. Niyazov and planning the execution of everyone that I hate in the parking garage.

If you were dictator - what would you do?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Multiple Personality Disorder

Dear Internet,

My company called for volunteers to go to help out our offices in another state. My boss came to me and asked if I would be willing to go for two weeks. A simple question for most people.....but in Shrinking Violet's brain....a violent storm is a brewing....let's look in...

SV's Pre-Counseling Knee Jerk Reaction in Her Head: "Volunteer??? Of course!!! Help out!!! Of course!!! Take on More Burden??? Of course...because I'm your go-to is my favorite thing....martyr one better....look at the scars I've already amassed from flinging myself on others problems....I've spent my LIFE giving up so others can be happier...I'm a PRO at it..IT IS HOW I DEFINE MY OWN SELF WORTH"

SV's Pre-Alanon Brain: "ARE YOU KIDDING???? Who will keep my husband sober and taking his bipolar meds???? Who will make sure he is happy and on the right track? Who will make sure the Earth spins correctly?"

Boss: You can take The Man and The Dog with you.

SV's Pre-Alanon Brain: "THAT'S IT!!! We'll rent a hotel that takes dogs. We'll drive two cars. We'll endure extra expense that we cannot afford. That way, I can monitor the Man and keep him sober and make sure he takes his meds and keep him happy happy happy."

Boss: Or you can go by yourself and treat it like a little respite.

SV's Post-Alanon Brain: "Two weeks away from the mildly retarded dog...SWEET!!! Sign me UP!......Two weeks with out another WWII retrospective on the History Channel...I'M THERE!....TWO WEEKS WITH A THERMOSTAT SET AT ABOVE ARCTIC TEMPERATURES? WHERE DO I SIGN???"

SV's Normal Brain: "I know the first night will be great. The rest of the time, I'll miss the hell out of the dog and the man. If you really need me to go, I'll go. Otherwise, I'll stay."

Actual words spoken by SV: "I'll let you know on Monday".

Here's a picture of part of the Man's Winter Harvest:

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fat and Happy?

As you know, I have blogged and commented a lot about my love/obsession of food. For the past, oh, year, I guess, it has been getting worse. MUCH WORSE. I joke about it...mostly because it is damn funny. And partly because I didn't know much else what to do. I mean, things were getting wayyyyyyyyy/wwwwweeeiiggghhhh out of hand.

Almost five months ago I stopped smoking. I was very cautious at first and lost about six pounds. But, then, it came all roaring back with the requisite ten pound addition. Then things got really weird. Can I just say "secret eating" and leave it at that?? This rapid addition to my size has rendered my closet useless with the exception of three pair of pants. Black, blue, and blue jean.

So, I went back to my psychiatrist (whom I lovingly refer to as my shrink) for some tuneup work. We reviewed the food thing. She has placed me on Topamax. This drug started off as an anticonvulsant. It was later found to help cluster headaches, bipolars, food disorders, etc., in few years it will probably be found to cure herpes and jock itch. Well, the nickname of this drug is Dopamax. It can cause side effects that include forgetfullness, sleepiness, etc. Today I've been in this post-turkey dinner kind of haze. Quite nice. Especially since I didn't have to eat an entire dutch oven full of turkey and corn bread dressing to get this feeling.

The night time binges have stopped. The other night I spilled some fabulous sauce on my shirt and I didn't even try to suck it off the fabric. But, I think that is the placebo effect right now. I'm not even up to the therapeutic dose right now. I cried last night about how much I wanted a cookie even though I didn't want a cookie (sick I know!). The long and short of it is that I don't know where the roller coaster is going to take me and apparently, some days I won't know why I'm even on the roller coaster. But I'll keep you all posted.

In the mean time, I'll post a picture of challah bread. I finally made this (completely by hand) at Thanksgiving. Yum!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fun with Tags

Okay, I'll jump in and do the lastest meme as outlined on Wordgirl's blog. I'll stick with the five as I like that number better than four.

Five Jobs I've Had:

1. Working for a United States Senator - fascinating. Makes all the government classes make sense.

2. Sales at a classic rock radio station - not as much fun as you'd think.

3. Part-time at an independent video store - this was just when the first Blockbuster was going up. It was probably my favorite job.

4. Submarine sandwich place - DELICIOUS!

5. Market research company - lost my voice twice interviewing Mary Kay representatives. Also interviewed doctor's about their opinions of potato chips.

Five Movies I'd Watch Over and Over

1. Rear Window

2. The Shadow of the Thin Man

3. Heathers

4. Blazing Saddles

5. Babette's Feast

Five Places I've Lived: This is too much for my anonymity clause. I will tell you about my neighbors:

1. Mafia don's granddaughter
2. High school football player who moved to a better district to play more. He was 16 and lived in an apartment by himself!
3. Next to a guy and girl that would hurl bicycles and vacuum cleaner parts at each other when they argued.
4. Two white guys that insisted you take your shoes off prior to entering their home.
5. A guy who has "changed his name" and is "running from his family". It took me two seconds on the internet to figure out who he really was.

Five Shows I Love to Watch:

2. Law & Order Criminal Intent
3. Dominic Dunne's "Power, Priviledge & Justice"
4. Will & Grace
5. The Closer

Five Websites I visit Daily:

1. WordGirl - quality writing
2. Google Earth
3. Dooce
4. Wells Fargo
5. A socialites life

Five of My Favorite Foods:

1. Mac n Cheese
2. Spaghetti
3. Any kind of casserole
4. Chicken enchiladas
5. Shrimp

Five Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:

1. At the beach, reading a book with some shrimp and a glass of fat bastard.
2. With the Man, at our old deer lease, reading a book with some spaghetti and a glass of fat bastard.
3. With my childhood friend in Orlando, discussing life over enchiladas and a glass of fat bastard.
4. With family doing genealogy research in a foreign country, hopefully they have mac n' cheese.
5. On the couch, with the Man, watching a new episode of Gilmore Girls, with a casserole that has some kind of cheese and breadcrumbs on top and a glass of fat bastard.

Pay it forward!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Vaya Con Dios Part II

Well, our fabulous friend Joe passed away. Jane is holding up well considering the loss and exhaustion. The Man and I drove yesterday to Joe's hometown for the viewing. The funeral and wake are to start in a few hours.

Joe would have been pleased at the turnout last night. He would have loved to have seen his friends laughing and smiling. And we were all laughing and smiling. I think this is The Man's first Protestant funeral. But no matter, mercifully, green bean casserole transcends religion and race.

Rest in peace my dear friend Joe.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Supremely Disgusted

Well, I found out today that my name is being "run up the flag pole" for a position within our company but in a different city. This is a uniquely political time in our company, so my work will be considered as much as my personality, team player-ness, etc. That is fine. They will review my time at the company and mull over each and every mistake. That is fine. That is their right. I'm okay with it, no matter what the decision. But, God knows I don't want to be judged by something I said 15 years ago when I first joined the ranks.

Thank God I'm not being nominated for the Supreme Court. I don't care which side of the aisle you vote, what the Senate does to ALL Supreme Court nominees is disgusting and reprehensible. Can you imagine being called on to defend something you said in college??? At 18 years of age I didn't remotely understand the effect that taxation and Gross National Product would have on my future, much less screaming "DON'T BOGART THAT JOINT" in a crowded room.

I can hear it now.....

Senate - Shrinking Violet, did you once call for the assassination of all snarky cafeteria workers at your college dining hall??

SV- Ummmm, maybe. I'm not sure. If it was that time that was the end of the semester and I was still drunk from the night before, there is a possibility.

Senate - Did you once refer to a University police officer as Barney Fife?

SV - he was TOWING my car THE DAY BEFORE GRADUATION!!!! And he wasn't allowed to carry a gun!!! What else would you call him??

Senate - Have you no respect for law enforcement? We see here you had in excess of 50 parking tickets while you were in college. Do you think we should just overlook such egregious behavior? SUCH HUBRIS????

SV - ummmm...yeah...I mean, I paid for the tickets. So, it's all water under the bridge, right? I mean, I got my degree so we're all sympatico....right?

Senate - SV your history is a disgrace to the robe. Consider yourself Borked.

SV - assholes....I didn't want your freakin' robe anyway. Freaks...Hey...Wordgirl...where's my bottle of Fat Bastard???

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Noblesse Oblige

Wow, has it been that many days since I posted? Time flies when you work in Corporate Servitude. That's right folks....tonight's rant is about my job.

I'll start with a little bit of backstory about how I was raised. I was raised by a man who had very specific ideas about how "management" should behave. My Dad worked in a government capacity and he taught me many things that are still with me to this day. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Bosses should NEVER accept birthday gifts from subordinates. It is wrong. If you want to get a card, that is fine. But no subordinate should ever have to spend his/her hard earned money on a boss. Noblesse oblige....look it up.

2. Since his income was provided for by the tax-payer, he said that the vehicle he drove should never raise an eyebrow. For years, they drove the crap American cars that were so prevelant in the 70s.

3. Bosses should never bring their kids stuff to the office to sell. You know, girl scout cookies, wrapping paper, fund-raiser stuff. He thought it was wrong because it made subordinates feel pressure to spend money they couldn't afford to spend. Plus, he believes that the kid should be the one doing the selling, not the parent.

4. You are not going to like everyone in life, and not everyone's gonna like you. Save yourself some tears and get over it now (I was 9 when he told me this).

In 2006, my payscale has changed dramatically. Additionally, my health insurance costs increased dramatically. So, you can imagine my scorn when I found out our CEO bought a Hummer. And, this Ass actually drives it to work. It is wrong on SOOOOOOOO many levels. First off, are you REALLY that insecure???? I mean a Hummer just SCREAMS "LOOK AT ME!!!!!" What, are you trying to prove you are more successful than your brother or your inattentive father??? Why not just splay open your personal psycho-drama in front of everyone??? What's next? HAIRPLUGS????

Ya know, if you wanna have a house in the Hamptons and tootle around in your Hummer, knock yourself out. But if you want to lead "your troops" in corporate America, I suggest you pull your head out of your ass and buy something just a smidge less conspicuous.

And now, a vocabulary lesson for all the CEOs and Upper Management types out there:

nouveau riche

Learn 'em! You might end up being a pretty darn good leader.

Yours in the Bond of Servitude

Shrinking Violet

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Strange Little Things

Okay, I'm going to post five strange things about myself. The list of my quirks is so large, culling only five items proved to be a task. Being who I am, I'd like to find the funniest things. And I have to have at least one really gross thing. I don't know what "meme" is though. Where did the term come from? If you know, please advise. And without further delay, my weirdness:

1. Live television makes me so anxiety ridden that I must turn it off. I can barely watch the Oscars. I prefer to watch the Olympic after I know the outcome of the events. I can handle Saturday Night Live and that is about it. Other than that, I will start pacing and get all hot flashy and then completely wig out.

2. I have to smell paper. I will be the one at Barnes & Noble smelling each book and magazine. My enjoyment of a magazine relies on content, imagery and SMELL. It pisses me off when a magazine doesn't smell the right way. Also, if I have nasal congestion and can't smell the magazine, I just have to put it down and look at it later. The Man and The Kid have a great time busting me when they see me sneaking a smell of something.

3. I will pick or pop any zit, scab, cyst, tumor, boil, blood blister and lesion. I will pick other people if they give me half a chance. I can locate something on skin that may not have a zit now, but it will be a zit in 10 years and I have to GET IT OUT NOW. It would be great to work in a dermatologist's office.

4. I don't like it when other people have arguments or conflicts in front of me...unless I'm involved. And no, it's not because I don't like conflict. It's because I think most people suck at arguing/debating. And I can do it better.

5. All the blinds in the house have to be positioned in the same way. If the blinds in the bedroom are open but lowered, then, all the ones in the den half to be the same way. I am utterly distracted if one of the little blind slats is stuck to another and not hanging symmetrically. It doesn't matter if I'm in the room or not, just knowing that they are not identical disturbs me.

This list goes on and on...but a friend of my is a counselor and she says there is a strong pattern of OCD type tendencies in my quirks. Looking at the above, I'd have to say she is correct!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Vaya Con Dios

On Friday, December 29, we got a voice mail from Joe. It said to please call as soon as we could. I hung up the phone and looked at the Man. He said cautiously "what is it?" I told him it was Joe. I said "this is it. this is the call. you have to call him back now." The Man couldn't do it. Instead, he called Joe the next morning. Joe said "Brother, I'm going into Hospice on Monday." I do not know the rest of the conversation. The Man couldn't stop sobbing long enough to tell me. But, he didn't have to...

On Tuesday, we packed our bags and drove like bats outta hell to my SIL's house. She lives in the same city as Joe and Jane. Jane, Joe's wife, asked if we could visit on Wednesday. Of course we can. Wednesday morning, we drank a truckload of Starbuck's and went. We didn't know what to expect. Jane said "the tumors are everywhere and he won't be able to carry on a conversation."

We arrived to a beautiful facility. Each room is very large and homey. There is an eight foot window seat in his room, along with a wing-back chair and a love seat. There are large book cases and a beautiful amoire. Joe is sleeping. He opens his eyes and he is startled to see me. He says in a barely audible voice "Where is the Man?" I tell him he's outside smoking. He smiles and says something I don't understand. Jane says "he wants to know if you are smoking". I said, "no, not today." He said "how long?" Joe knows that I have quit smoking a million times. He smiles when I say "four months". His eyes shut and he goes wherever the morphine takes him.

We stayed all night. It was horrific and beautiful. I got to say the things that I needed to say to him. The Man got to stand by his best friend during the worst of times. Jane got to take a nap. The doctor put Ritalin in Joe's IV so he could stay alert enough to watch his team in the Rose Bowl. He didn't get to see much, but he got to see his team win in the final two minutes of the game. He smiled. I can't blog about the rest of it. Not right now. But I will.

I will probably post my five strange things tomorrow. I will need comic relief for sure! See you then.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back Before You Know It...

Shrinking Violet was called out of town and will be back on Thursday. See you then.

Monday, January 02, 2006

I'm Cranky

It is January 2, 2006, and I'd like to be able to write some upbeat blog about how nifty everything is and that I've made a very deep and meanful list of resolutions that I will keep no matter what. But, ya know what? I'M CRANKY. I'M CROSS. Like a 4 year old that hasn't had a nap in three days. Yeah, it is that level of CRANKY.

So, let's review what could possibly be generating the crankiness.

First off, I haven't had a cigarette in four months. The crankiness comes and goes with this one.

I'm tired. And, I just bought the office coffee in 1/2 decaff. (altogether now: WHAT WAS I THINKING?).

I am 30 pounds overweight. That is deserving of a 10-part blog.

My house is FILTHY. And for someone who has what my shrink describes as OCD-tendencies, the FILTH is driving me batty.

I lost my biggest client and the Comrades at the Central office (I mean home office) have changed my payment/compensation structure.

Well, I think that covers it. Oh, wait, I need a vacation too.

So, every night God hears something like this: "Can't you cut me some slack on the weight thing? I mean, I've done everything else you've told me and I haven't complained about the hard work. Bipolar AND alcoholic . I mean seriously. Plus, I QUIT SMOKING. Doesn't that mean anything? Can't you just make the weightloss a miracle type thing. MY LIFE IS HARD. Can't weightloss be easy for me????"

And what I hear back is the following: "Hard life? Are you joking me? Let me know when you live in Afghanistan and get back to me."
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