Friday, July 31, 2015

Hang in there!

Last night, I was fixing dinner and my husband came in said, "Guess what we've got?"

Well, turns out there was a bat in the house.  I put down my knife and went into the front room, hanging on the front door frame was a bat about the size of a golf ball - maybe in between a golf ball and a ping pong ball - but elongated, as they are.

It appeared to be sleeping.  We discussed it for a minute, and I decided I'd get the step ladder, put on a garden glove and re-home it outside.

So, that's what I did.  Matt held Piper on a leash and watched.

It weighed nothing - I scooped it off the door frame and laid it gently it in the ivy in front of the house.

It woke up, looked at me, opened its tiny mouth, showing me tiny little fangs and it hissed.

It was adorable.  I went out a few minutes later and it was gone with the wind.

I looked it up,  and what we had was a silver haired bat:

Not our actual bat.


We still have no idea how it got in, but we both agree that we wouldn't mind having a pet bat.

I also think that I could fashion Piper a pair of bat wings for Halloween:


Muahahahahaha!

ae

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's Weird

I finally went to see Trainwreck last night.

For one, I went because if I didn't go, crazy people who shoot strangers in movie theaters win.

Don't let the crazy people win.


I didn't get shot, QED.

The movie, starring my favorite star, Amy Schumer, was a comedy.  And as such, I wept openly several times.  Don't worry, I cried at Bridesmaids.  And Office Space, once.

That is to say, I LOVED Trainwreck.  It's not the best movie ever, but it is the perfect movie for me, right now.

It dislodged a lot of feelings.  So many feelings.

Her father dies in the movie.  Her eulogy is just so... it's so heartbreakingly, achingly perfect.  Her relationship with her sister feels so real.  Her journey with the doctor gives such hope.

Like I said - lots of feelings.

I needed that.

ae


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Double Cross

So, my company does a lot of philanthropic activities.  It's a good, good thing.  We build a house with Habitat for Humanity each year, we do a huge fundraiser for ALS, we do fun runs and walks through out the year, serve meals at the shelter, and so on and so on.  There's something for everyone.

Once a quarter, we get the Red Cross to bring a bloodmobile to the office and those who choose to, donate.

Na na na na na na na na BLOOD BAGS!


I've only been here twice when the bloodmobile is, so I did my part.  I also go to the donation center in Nashville.  Since I got an IUD and the electric pressure cooker, my iron levels are stellar.  STELLAR.  Go greens!  Go no menstrual cycle!

So I donate, much as I have since I was 17.

But every time a bloodmobile e mail goes out, I get to hear one of my colleagues complain bitterly, loudly, frequently, petulantly. 

He hates the Red Cross, because they won't let him donate.  Why?  Because he's a sexually active gay male.

Now, do I think that's 100% fair?  No.  But I don't think everything they do is totally fair and PC.  But it's a high risk group, so they cut them out of the equation. 

I don't like it, but I don't have to like it. I know people who were excluded for a ton of reasons - that's just one of many.

So, I get it - he feels hurt and left out.  I get it.

But the Red Cross does SO MANY good things.

In addition to gathering and maintaining a safe blood supply, they teach CPR, and Life Guarding, and Babysitting classes.  They offer disaster relief.

So, I feel bad that my colleague feels disenfranchised.  But not so bad that I'll quit giving.

I really want to ask him if he would ever take a blood donation if he needed one during surgery or after an accident.  I bet he would.

Maybe I'm insensitive.  Maybe he's too sensitive?

I don't know - this has just been bothering me. 

ae

Monday, July 27, 2015

Parcheesi

Things are... quiet.

A little TOO quiet.

Not really though.  Work is work.  I have a week in office, and I'll use that, mostly to work on my goals for the quarter - lots of documentation.

Fun!

Went to the zoo yesterday.  The ring tailed lemurs were cute.  There was a tapir lounging  in his swimming hole.

Some months old clouded leopard cubs frolicked.

We watched an elephant spray herself with water.

And then, there were some kangaroos:


These little hoppy mofos were hot, and so over it. 

So let sleeping roos lie.

On Saturday, we went boating.



I got sunburned, I relaxed and swam all day, and it was awesome.

So, I need a few more weekends like this one.

ae

Friday, July 24, 2015

Flock Together

Two stories about birds.  One silly, one sad.

I'll tell them chronologically.

Last weekend, I went on a walk around a Nature Center at a local park.  It features a "bird blind".

Basically, they have a cluster of bird feeders behind a rustic wall, and the wall has slats that you can watch the birds through:


So I had a little giggle thinking that there is probably some bird perv out there peeking through the wall and jerking off while watching chickadees.  Leave it to me to take something wholesome and go blue.  It's what I do.

And that's the happy story.

The sad one is that my dog is a killer.

Last night, I let Piper out the back door - it was about 10PM, and dark.  She went off to the side, and I heard a squeak, and she came running around the side of the yard with something in her mouth.

The something was a cardinal fledgling.

I jerked her into the house, where she was frenzied.  I calmed her down and went out to dispose of the remains.  I felt terrible, as you will.

I brought her back out to do her business, and she basically sniffed around looking for prey.

So, that isn't ideal.

But she's a dog.  She didn't do it to be evil.

This is the face of a killer.  Guilty!


I still feel bad.

ae

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pennies from Heaven


     
Here’s the thing.  California, or at least, the parts of it I’ve seen, are quite beautiful.

Hello, beautiful.

 
I wouldn’t have intuited that.  I thought it was kind of busy, crazy and weird.

And it is.  But there fauna, and especially the flora – it’s magnificent. I’m leaving in about an hour.

I started planning two fantasy vacations here at the at the airport.  One to Cooperstown, NY.  One to Jamaica.  I have a lot of varying fantasies.  What can I say?

Neither look too promising for this year, unless I somehow fall into a huge pile of money.  And time.

But mostly money.

I would love a vacation.  Or a weekend at a spa.  Or…

Something.  I’m feeling the doldrums in a big way.

I have a layover in Las Vegas.  I have $20 dedicated for slots.  Any money I win goes directly to the Allison Everett self-care fund.

Wish me luck.

No WHAMMIES!!!

ae

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kettles, Mittens...

Yesterday, I got to California.  Anaheim, to be precise.

The rental counter gave me a Yaris.  The Yaris is what took the place of the Echo.  Echos were awesome.  The Yaris...

I named mine:



I call it Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.  It's not that bad.  It's small, the whole thing is one big blind spot, and it has no pick up.  It also doesn't have a keyfob for locking, and the windows are not electric.  In almost every way, it's similar to the Echo (although mine was a 4 Door).

But after months of big nicer cars, this one was ... lackluster.

Anyway.

I got to the hotel, and got to my room, and relaxed for a few minutes, then I went to supper.

I ended up at Jagerhaus - Anaheim's finest German restaurant.  It's a tiny, plain hole in the wall in a nondescript strip of storefronts near the freeway exit.  Nothing special to look at.

Until they bring the food:


I don't really do veal, so this is chicken pounded thin, breaded and fried with red cabbage and potato pancakes.  In Texas, this would be chicken fried chicken.

After supper, I hit up Walgreen's for deodorant.  I left mine in Atlanta, I believe. 

I was wandering down the greeting card aisle when something caught my eye and stopped me dead in my tracks:


Dad gave me this exact birthday card about 30 years ago, give or take.  It so captures the essence of my rapport with him that I hung onto it.  It delights me.

Naturally, I bought a few of them... why?  Who knows.  But I have them.

Great day with customers.  Tomorrow I head home.

Monday I'm out again.

Tired y'all.  Real tired.

ae


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Days are numb, red.

So, I went to the University of Georgia.  I wasn't a terrible student.  As and Bs for the most part.  Four Cs in my career there - Statistics, Econ, Weather/Climate, and Playwriting.  That last one was an 8AM class the last quarter of my senior year.  I was dating this guy who was also in the class, and we'd often sleep in and skip it together.  I'm not proud of that, I'm just saying.

I enjoyed my time at UGA pretty well.  At least, in the classroom.  I was socially inept - and even though I was in a sorority, women's glee club, and a j-school society, I felt awkward quite often. 

In retrospect, I had more fun than I realized at the time.  If only I had just enjoyed it.

Anyway - two thoughts coming out of my time in Athens, GA.

1.  I've been thinking a lot about my job situation, and the bad feedback from last week.  And I started thinking about Dr. Wenthe.  She taught an intro to advertising class, and it was so compelling that I very nearly changed to an Advertising major.  Her class was just fascinating.  She also used a lot of New Yorker Cartoons.  I really liked her.  The one thing I took away from college and use nearly daily is a concept that she explained as The Law of the Unattainable Triad.

You've likely heard of this concept.  It's not new, and you may call it something else.

Basically, in business - the ideal is that you want something Good, Fast and Cheap.  But you can only have two, at the expense of the third.



I was thinking of this in terms of my lack of training situation.  They want me ramped up Good, Fast and Cheap.

They went for Fast and Cheap.  Which means I'm not Good.

If they want to get me Good, and they want to keep it Cheap... it's going to take some time.

But we need you NOW.  You need to be Good and Fast.  Well, that's not going to be Cheap.

But, but...

Sorry, don't blame me - take it up with Dr. Wenthe.


2.   So, the mascot at UGA is the Bulldog.  There is a dude in a mascot suit who attends the games known as Hairy Dawg.  There is also a live bulldog, named Uga. (pronounced ug' uh).  Since the lifespan of the average bulldog is roughly a decade, we've been through a few Ugas. We're on the 9th one, or Uga IX.  



Here's what you need to understand about bulldogs.  They are super cute.  They are also genetic disasters.

Fun fact - bulldogs have huge heads.  They also have little bitty narrow hips.  So that means that puppies are typically delivered caesarian.  By a human.  They also have a hard time mating, so there's some human intervention.

Also, bulldogs are brachycephalic - which is a fancy word for flat-faced.  They have a short muzzle, and a squished-in face.  And it makes it hella hard for them to breathe.  It also makes them heat-intolerant.

Which, I don't know if you've been to football games in Athens, GA in August, September and even October... but it gets kind of hot.  To wit, Uga has an air conditioned dog house on the sidelines, and generally they supply him with lots of ice to lie down on.





I'd love to tell you it took effort to find this picture.



Anyway, the final thing I'll share is that the Uga line is kept in circulation by a family in Savannah, and I'm sure they're lovely people, but the fact is, they want this all-white, male bulldog  - and that requires a lot of human intervention.  I'm not saying they're horribly inbred, but I am saying we whipped through Ugas 6-8 in less than a decade.

Number nine has a fair amount of brindle.  He's about to turn 11, so they found his replacement - a grandson:



His name is Que.  He's cute as hell, and appears to be pretty much all-white.

The implications of that are staggering from a racial perspective, I realize as I am typing this.  Hold that thought for another day.

The fact is, bulldogs have been bred to the point where they can't survive without human intervention.  Take a gander at this:


1900, 1960, Today. 

That is cray cray.

So anyway, that's all I really had to share today.

ae

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pedicurephilia

Let me start by saying, I don't think pedophilia is funny.  But like a lot of things I find too horrible to fathom, occasionally, I have to laugh.  For example, the Pedosmile Quiz. Just trust me.

This is not going to be a lengthy treatise on Subway.  I don't know what Jared Vogel did or didn't do - I don't really care.  He has given me a creepy vibe for years, but whatever.  Occasionally, I want a tuna salad sandwich in a hurry.

What I'm actually going to tell you about is the weirdest quasi-pedicure I've ever had.

Last Monday, I got home from Atlanta and had an appointment with my therapist, but I had a little time to kill - so I ended up attempting to get a pedicure.

I should start by saying, I love getting pedis, and I have a place in Nashville that I really like.  Clean, well managed, plenty of polish colors, good chairs.  The staff is pleasant, efficient and effective.  It's my go-to.  Now, it's in a part of town that can be a total pain in the ass to get to, but since it's also near the only Trader Joe's in Nashville, I generally roll the two things together.

Anyway, I was not in that part of town, so I went to this place near my therapist.  I was cutting it close, but my feet were trashed, so I thought... OK.

Well, the place was kind of deserted.  The color options were sparse, but I found a good OPI shade of red and walked back to the pedicure chairs.  There was a small "sitting room" to the right of the pedicure stations.  Two armchairs and a table on an area rug.  The table held a lamp and several copies of books by Lee Iacocca.  I mean, obviously.

In each of the chairs there two or three throw pillows.  I don't require loads and loads of cushioning, so I moved them and sat down.

I faced a big screen TV, where they were showing a loop of cute puppy videos from an online feed.  Within a few minutes, that loop ended and it showed on a root menu that up next was cute kitten videos - and then after 30 minutes of that, clips of  "extremely obese people".  I hoped I'd be out of there before that that started.

Anyway, my nail tech was... OK.  She did put some callus remover on my heels.

The decor of the place was odd.  Lots of pillows and stuffed animals.  Lots of Steinmart-grade wine themed art.  Weird.

About 20 minutes in, a woman and two young girls walked in  I'm guessing they were like 9 and 11.  The whole staff, who appeared out of nowhere just went nuts over the little girls - bringing them lollipops and stuffed animals and doting on them to a point where it was just weird.

I was running out of time, so I ended up leaving before they could paint my toenails.  I'm not dogging them - they were just a little slow.  I paid and tipped well.

But there was this vaguely "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" vibe that seemed...excessive.

Maurice, you dirty dog.


Cut to Saturday AM.  I needed to finish up the nail regimen so I went to my usual place, where there were hundreds of colors to pick from (OPI Big Hair, Big Nails), and no creepy stuffed animal piles.

I was sitting next to a boyfriend/girlfriend who were getting their pedis on together.  He was a big tough dude.  That's all good, though.

They fixed me up in no time and I was good to go.


Albino legs.



That's all.  I just really wanted to get my description of that place in writing, in case I ever have to give a deposition.

ae




Sunday, July 12, 2015

odds/ends

So, then.  A few odds and ends...

1. We have this squirrel that hangs out in the back yard. It is extremely red coated. It drives Piper nuts.

2. I went to two parties this weekend. They were both fun. There were pigs in blankets.

3. Went to Trader Joe's today. Bought lots of snacky stuff. Like cheddar bacon popcorn...


4.  Back to work tomorrow.

Pretty dull. But at least there is bacon popcorn.

ae

Friday, July 10, 2015

Asking for a Friend

Some of you hate crowdfunding, some of you love it...

There was that dude who raised $55,000 to make potato salad.  Which seemed kind of lame, although, he did end up making not only potato salad, but a sizable donation to a Fight Hunger org.

I personally gave a little money to the Levar Burton/Reading Rainbow campaign (along with lots of other people) and became immediately inundated with email.  I unsubscribed, and haven't really thought about it since.

Until now.

I have a friend, and my friend has a dream.  A dream of barbecue. In Maine.

This is Andrew: 

He calls this "Grillers in the Mist", which I find rather amusing.

He lives in Skowhegan, Maine.  We met through work, and when I went to Skowhegan, he cooked hamburgers for me.  On a Big Green Egg.  I made potato salad, sans Kickstarter.  See what we did there, a little symmetry? 

Anyway, Andrew is a great cook, and he wants to outfit a mobile kitchen.  But like most of us, his independent wealth covers more basic needs like food, shelter, clothing.

So, if you want to support my friend in his quest to bring barbecue to Maine, you can support his Kickstarter campaign - here.

And if you don't, then OK.   I'll post again without solicitation soon.

ae

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Thick and thin

I don't handle criticism well.

Who does, really?

I got a steaming dumptruck full of it today from a contentious customer.


BEEP...BEEP...BEEP:  You suck.

The kind that makes you cry in a bathroom stall. Multiple times*.  The kind that makes your stomach hurt.

The kind that makes you wonder if you had an out-of-body experience during the training where you did things that they're claiming and you simply cannot remember.

Some of the critique is spot-on.  I don't actually know anything about their business.  I don't really know the software that well.  That's the criticism I take as intended.  And it's good that the customer is backing me up on something I've been telling my boss from day ONE.

It's the "you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny" stuff that unhinges me. 

And coming off of vacation to get the word that you are deficient... it's not exactly the way to start off a week.  Especially knowing that you'll have to go and do this thing which you have been told you suck at again.  And then again and again.

The boss doesn't seem to mind/believe the character assassination accusations.  He knows me.   But they clearly do not.  Nope.

Anyway, the good news is, I never have to go back again.  And I never will.

The other good news is that even if these people don't like me, lots of other people do.  In fact, 20 minutes after getting gut-punched with this horrible Allison-hating email, a real live customer told a conference call full of people, "We have this really good trainer on the phone so feel free to ask lots of questions - she really knows the software".

Different customer, different software - obviously.  Same me.

And I like me.  Which matters.

Sorry, Hilary - I didn't buy the rights.




And I'll learn, and I'll cry a little more.

Then I'll move on.

ae





*Like at least twice while writing this.