Monthly Archives: November 2008

We’ll be near the In-and-Out Burger

I have no exciting tales of Thanksgiving weirdness to share with you. I blame myself, of course, because I stayed home and ordered in from China Wok. Therefore, there will be no stories about car travel, drunken family members, dessicated dressing balls and/or awkward personal conversations in which I try to deflect attention away from myself.

In other news, I heard that K-Mart was bringing back Layaway for people who have maxxed out their credit cards and still want to buy things, but can’t pay all at once. Since the concept of saving has escaped their notice, these folks give the store a percentage deposit in cash, and then make bi-weekly payments over an eight-week period of time. If they don’t pay off the items in time, they forfeit the money they’ve paid and the store keeps the goods.

It’s so retro! I thought I’d give it a try, so I looked up the store locator online to find my local K-Mart. The closest one is 14 miles south of here. I clicked on their driving directions and found that this is the last step in one of eight it would take me to get there:


I love Southern California.


Is that your car out front?



Just an update for anyone who started reading my blog when I started writing it in 2003 and was starting to wonder… yes, I’m still driving the same 1994 Honda Accord.

Raised up carefully from infancy to geezerhood, this car has perservered through premium and regular unleaded; through road trips long and short; through melted crayons on the upholstery and unmended fender crash damage.

I dread the day when I have to buy a replacement car.

That’s What She Said – Part 1 of an occasional series

Otherwise known as: It’s Painfully Obvious That You’ve Been Watching The Office Non-stop


Dispatcher: Be careful when you’re servicing it.

Driver: 10-4.

Dispatcher: It’s very heavy and likely to slip out.

Me: That’s what she said.

They did not receive the money, you nitwit!

I had started to wonder why I was getting so many begging letters in the mail from charities around the country after I received a request from one with a made-up sounding name.

After I googled the name and found out it was a legitimate charity, I clicked through to another result at Nextmark.

Right there… the name… Next Mark… at least they’re honest. They could have been more honest and called it Names of Dupes Who Can Be Convinced To Donate To Your Cause Because They Already Gave To Someone Else.

But that wouldn’t encompass their entire set of mailing lists, I guess.

To start fooling everyone in to thinking I’ve really made it in the world, I discovered that I’m going to have to start shopping at Harry and David, since it’s known that “Harry and David catalog buyers don’t think twice about the cost of a quality gift.” That is SO ME!!

I was also saddened to discover that if I only I had shopped at The Vermont Country Store the past few years, I would already be able to be a homeowner.

Live and learn.

This is what I get for subscribing to People en Espanol.

All but one man died? There at Bitter Creek?

Even though the maintenance workers have turned on the Christmas lights that are permanently strung up at the top of our building, the Holiday Season never starts until the first two-pound box of See’s Candies gets dropped off by a random visitor.

The Holiday Season began today!

I can tell that the financial downturn has already taken its toll because only a one-pound box of assorted chocolates appeared on the counter.

If anyone ever wanted to eliminate the American workforce, all they’d have to do is have a large group of attractive people drop off poisoned candy in offices all over the country. No one ever questions why a box of chocolate appears. I guess this approach would only work with American terrorists, since they’d still be alive at the end of the day to see what kind of havoc they wreaked.

Unless they ate the almond-covered toffee truffle, of course.

I can get you a toe by 3 o’ clock this afternoon. With nail polish.

Tomorrow at 10 AM is the big earthquake drill that we’ve known about for weeks.

This morning, the boss told me to source and procure fifty miniature clocks on keychains that she could distribute to all staff tomorrow. The miniature clocks, preferably digital models with a solar panel, and maybe those kind that project the time on to a surface, but in no case should any of them cost more than one dollar each, would then be collected back from all the staff at the end of the day.

I asked why people couldn’t just check the time on their cell phones. She said that in an actual emergency, the cell phone towers might be down and then no one’s cell phone would work. I said the cell phone tower signal had no effect on a phone’s internal clock mechanism and she said, “I don’t want to hear what I don’t want to hear”.

I asked why we couldn’t tell people this afternoon that they were responsible for bringing a timepiece to work in the morning, but that suggestion was met with a stony silence.

All morning, I made these desperate phone calls to office supply houses, hardware stores, novelty shops, trophy engravers and just about everyone else in town in order to locate some tiny clocks. One of the staff called me around noon and said he’d located 40 miniature clocks on keychains at the 99-Cent Store. Although we’d be short by ten, I told him to go ahead and get them.

Those 40 miniature clocks on keychains turned out to be 31 mantel clocks. I didn’t even ask.

31 clocks playing Westminster chimes every quarter hour! In my office!!

I think I should call in sick tomorrow.

That’s the key to the City of Pasadena

One of the guys at work picked up a box of key tags at the locksmith’s shop and showed me the bill.

I swear if I ever want to buy $250 worth of keys and pay $100 cash for them, I’d go to this place. They write up the invoices by hand and the math is always wrong. When I ask about it, they say, “You get a discount”. I agree that we get a 10% discount, but the shoddy arithmetic ramps it up to about 75% off.

Printed on the box was the phrase, “Easily Identifies Keys!”

Excitedly, I plucked a key out of my desk drawer. No one knew which lock it opened, and now was our chance to find out!

I put the key next to one of the blank key tags and waited patiently for the answer to appear.


I sent back the box, as the tags are clearly defective.

You guys are dead in the water

If my blog were equipped with Smell-o-vision, I would bottle up the funky air in my office and share it with all my readers. I’m really surprised y’all can’t already smell it from where you’re sitting.

Here’s how slowly things get done at my workplace.

1) I notice a bubble on my wall, so I touch it. I discover it is filled with water and that the eighteen layers of latex paint on the wall are the only things that stand between me and a gusher.

2) I place a work order to have a plumber locate the water leak.

3) I wait a couple of days. The bubble enlarges.

4) I decline the plumber’s offer to let him “open it up and drain it”. I request that he locate the cause of the bubble. He accuses me of thinking the bubble will ooze pus if he lances it. He notes that “this carpet is saturated” and I explain that I don’t go around feeling the carpet with my hands. I just walk on it.

5) The next day, the plumber returns with a helper and a colonoscopy camera tube. They remove some ceiling tiles and locate the leak. Since the water is dripping from a pipe in the ceiling, well… that’s more work than they’re prepared to do.

6) Plumbing contractors are called in. They show up six days later at four in the morning to shut off the water to the entire building. They fix the leak, though. And manage to tear up some tiles on the other side of the wall.

7) ???

8 ) The boss wanders over and asks why I’ve moved my chair, desk, files and computer to a storage closet. I get up, walk over to my office and fling open the door. The smell of mold bowls her over. She announces that she will place a work order to have the carpet removed and linoleum put in.

9) I don’t hold my breath.