The Way Things Are



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I get nervous. Twitchy.
2006-08-11, 1:56 p.m.

LG spent the night with his friend Lou last night, and then LG’s friend Billy is spending the night at our house (with LG there, of course, silly) tonight. I just got a call from LG, on his very own cell phone that his dad got him, and he said “Can Lou spend the night with me tonight when Billy’s over?”

What in the world was he thinking? He must really be in the throes of puberty, because what a set of balls it takes to ask that. Apparently, he’s grown some. I said – what do you think? – NO, I can only handle one extra kid at a time unless it’s a birthday. I hate it when DW and I are outnumbered. I get nervous. Twitchy.

Anyway, I told LG “Tell Lou I said BIG HUG.” Thus endeth any desire Lou had to spend the night at our house ever again, I reckon.

****

(Warning: I wrote the next piece yesterday, which means it already happened, and it was fun, despite the lack of spit buckets.)

Tonight, we’re going to a wine-tasting thing. In fact, neither DW nor I really know what to call it other than “wine thing”. What it is, is well, shit, a wine-tasting thing. Our financial services guy periodically has a social event, usually involving wine, and invites all of his clients. So this evening, he’s hosting a wine thing, wherein a wine-thing expert will talk to us about wine, and I guess tell us what it means when you hold a glass of wine up to the light to see what’s going on in there, and smell it and swill it around in your mouth.

I really, really, REALLY hope there are spit buckets available.

Ha. That reminds me. When I was in Denver taking my class, we did a class dinner at Rodizio’s, and for the 12 of us at the table, we ordered 3 bottles of wine. We elected the man sitting next to me – Jim – to taste the wine, and I very helpfully offered to get him a spit bucket. He very tactfully declined.

And allow me to digress a bit and tell you about my class. We were housed in a Residence Inn DOWNTOWN, the DOWNTOWN part being a big, fat lie, which featured spotty wireless internet service, plus DATA PORTS on the telephones! Data ports! For dial-up! How helpful.

So there we were, kind of stuck in a weird, not-downtown neighborhood in Denver, with virtually no internet. I did learn a lot, though, despite my best efforts not to. The classes I have been taking over the past 3 years or so have taught me lots and lots of isolated little bits of information and skills. But I never really figured out how to use my knowledge on the job.

How was I supposed to sit down at my desk in the morning, and use my mad skilz? This class was the final class to take, and it forced us to sit in class all day, working on case studies. Real live properties with real live problems, and what do you do to solve these problems?

It was painful at first, as electricity forged its way through my stiff and clumpy brain material (think Silly Putty), tunneling little pathways to connect the little outposts of various bits of information and mad skilz. At one point, I felt I was in so far over my head, I contemplated calling the airline (because I couldn’t get online to their website) and seeing if I could just flee. Just take off. Go home. Throw in the proverbial towel, and give it up.

I’m really glad I didn’t do that, because as painful and frightening as the learning process is for me, I eventually do learn – I CAN BE TAUGHT – and so I guess this is why my head’s really not into my journal here anymore. My head’s into my work. GASP. I know, I’m the most shockedest of all of us.

Next thing you know, I’ll be contributing more to conference calls then just cracking inappropriate jokes when the conversation lags. I still know – I just KNOW – that people in the biddens deep, deep down really do love me for that. “Get Laura on the call – she makes the funniest jokes!”

****

Wednesday was Peaches’ last day on the job, so we had a going-away lunch for her at her favorite restaurant, and gave her one of these to hold all her social worky school crap. Books, laptop, empathy, Starbucks card.

I was discussing with my sister EB what in the world would be a good gift for Peaches, and we drifted over to Peaches’ educational aspirations.

Me: She wants to finish her Master’s, and then go on to get her PhD. And then eventually teach at a university.

EB: PhD? What a dumbass!

Anyway, we got her a fancy, expensive bag, and I informed the folks in the office that while it may seem extravagant, it really represents only about $42 per year of employment. They wanted to know what they might get for just one year employment, and I said “Target giftcard.”

****

This is why we don’t have a chest freezer. Gol-durn teenagers. You just can’t trust them. That’s part of the reason I get nervous when we’re outnumbered. What if they kill us and take over? I muse to myself. A chest freezer just makes it that much easier for them to think they can get away with it.

Now this is a cool story. It’s on the front page of today’s paper, right under some story about some terrorist plot or other being thwarted. Thwart thwart thwart.

My favorite part is ol’ Lloyd Pope’s quote: “I ain’t with that superstitious stuff. There’s no crying Mary here.” I really hope someday that I can be quoted saying something even half so pragmatic.

****

We got these new stamps at work, and I was thinking they are just the most unprofessional-looking postage ever invented. But I have grown to like them, because they remind me of something good.

I asked my Admin-Lady, “These stamps crack me up. Have you ever seen the movie Time Bandits?”

“Oh, I LLLLOOOOVE that movie. That is one of my very favorite movies!”

“Me too!!! OK, when you look at this one (second from the top), do you think ‘He can turn BEANS into PEAS!!!’?”

“YEEEESSS!!!”

We had a moment of shrieking hilarity thinking of our favorite movie of 1981, and possibly my very favorite of all the years. I hear it’s showing on The Movie Channel or Showtime a lot lately. You should give it a try. “Don’t touch that! It’s Evil!” Poof.

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