Friday, August 28, 2009

A Sad, Sad Day

Today at the Inn is a sad day. Tears flow with a never ending saline roar.

Why? Why this sadness?

Could it be that Team Egypt is leaving?

Oh yeah, did I mention it was someone else's sadness? Oh, sorry about that. I only know that it's sad because they tell me it is.

Heard so far from 3 of the men: "We'll miss you."

That's nice. At least you haven't offered to call me up from the home country to chat about old times. Whereas Teams Afghanistan and Iraq had just a few quirky guests, Team Egypt has taken "quirky" to a whole new level:

A) Large-Angry-Man verbally "jumps" my manager on her way to her office with the obstreperous argument of "I need a refrigerator because I am an old man." (also known as the AARP Argument.) Man then takes ≈ 1 bread loaf up to room before leaving for the day from our breakfast buffet. Leads into my next point:

B) The dictionary describes "Breakfast" as "the first meal of the day; morning meal" and a hotel, or "inn" as "a commercial establishment offering lodging to travelers and sometimes to permanent residents". So. A hotel breakfast is NOT food for the entire stay, eg the lodger is not entitled to make him or herself a sack lunch from the breakfast. Our breakfast bill will no doubt decrease starting tomorrow.

C) A release of our obligation (not!!) to have the word "bar" be synonymous with "juice bar". I guess they don't drink. Good for them. But I pity our bartenders and the necessity of giving all their main screwdriver ingredient up for non-screwdriver drinks.

D) How nice to no longer have to heat up Woman-who-keeps-weird-food-in-our-refrigerator's roommate's single packaged turkey drumstick up every evening. I didn't even know you could buy those singly. Now I know all too well.

E) New problem: Man-whose-key-never-works apparently left his red scarf "to dry" in our pool area. Now it is gone. And he is ever-so-anxious to get it back. He is certain that our night security man has done something nefarious with it. I'm sorry...if you leave something out in a public area and expect no one to take're rather naive, oi? Kinda like putting a sign on it that says "don't steal me".

They leave at 11:45 tonight. (yay!) As I have tomorrow off, I won't be able to enjoy their absence until Sunday, but I'll milk it for all it's worth.
Hey all :)

I was a guest blogger at my sister's site today. Check it out!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the things people say

Never mind "Kids say the darndest things...."

People do.

You know, those little phrases that pop out of conversations to burrow in your brain. Or when someone just says something to you, completely random and unrelated. Maybe you can think of a time or two. In case you can't, I'll give you some of mine:

"Even when I'm home I don't have a life."
-Woman in her 50s

Said to me from the hotel lobby
"My shoelace is untied"

Putah Creek Cafe (*north* end of the table)
"Just stick a knife in it"
-Right after a random pause had silenced the *south* part of the table

Husband to Wife
H: "you always have to contradict me"
W: "I was just trying to reassure you"

"Hook Up Horns...not to be confused with Hooker Horns"

Man walks into the bar, says to strangers:
"Great! Can I bond with you guys?"
Sits down and removes shoes

It's possible you find all these comments perfectly normal. If so, I'll stop writing this blog and just link to yours every day instead.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Fuller In-Basket

Email is a funny thing. A scary thing, but funny.

Email is great because if you want, you can always get mail. You can have that warm gushy feeling of "somebody loves me. Loves ME!" every time you log in, if you want. A few useful tips are:

1. Every site you visit, look for somewhere to enter your email address. There's usually a spot.

2. Sign up for facebook and make sure to turn the "email notification" on for everything. If you have even 10 friends (albeit fb junkies) you'll recieve mail every 10 minutes or so.

3. Open an account with Amazon, World Market, or AllPosters. I can guarentee you 3 emails a day if you do this, sometimes more!

4. Post it on CraigsList as a place to go for free sex. I haven't done this one myself, but I can imagine it would bring the desired result. Hmm..that actually might be a fun experiment. Tune in later for results >:D

But see, even if you never give your email out to anyone, you can still get emails. I know this because I have gotten 2 this week.

Subject line: Thelma has sent you an ecard!

Um. I don't know anyone named Thelma. Is this spam or something? Don't recognize her address...

So I go the the happy ecard site, Where I am greeted by flashing wiggling letters vertically spelling out "Bernie!!!!!" with his various shining attributes spelled out horizontally with the letters of his name. (He is bright, remarkable, outstanding, terrific, helpful, exceptional and reliable!! I need to find this man and marry him, apparently) At the bottom, I received a personal message, copied and pasted here for your reading pleasure:

Hi Bern

Hope your day is filled with everything special to you.
I know getting a card on time from me will be at the top


PS the checks in the mail


Okay. Time to parse this baby.

If "Bern" is his nickname, wouldn't it be cuter to spell it "Burn"? Like Burn Gorman? Yes, I thought so too.

And after this lovely ecard, what else could he possibly need on his special day? Well, apparently, a list. Bern keeps one, at the top of which is written "receive card from Thelma...ON TIME". Or is that her list? I'm confused.

Thelma signs with love, good, good. But oh! A check's in the mail! Why couldn't I have gotten in on THAT part of the misdirection? It sounds exciting. Then, to remind us WHO the bestest best timly card and money giving sister she is, she signs it again. Thanks Thelma.

Today I got another email that I believe was missent. It is a pricing and vocab clarification memo for a lodge community.

The strange thing is, I don't have a normal last name, like "Brown" or "Doe". It's rather unusual. In fact, when I do an Internet search on first AND last, I am supposedly the only one out there. My email account is the first letter of my first name, and my last name entire. Some one evidently put 2 and 5 together and got 0. That is, zero emails to the intended target/victim/recipient.

I'm really excited to see what else I'll get. That's right, I'm not saying a word.

I'm sorry Bernie didn't get his ecard though. His birthday was probably ruined. And he sounds like such a great guy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

On the Subject of Cats

I like cats. I will even go so far to say that I LOVE cats.

The other side of the coin is not so lovely. Cats hate me. It's really not fair. All I want to do is love them! Below, I shall use incidents from the past to prove that I love cats.

A) Playing games with them
Mel had a cat that had lovely fuzzy long black and white fur. Our side pasture flooded out, so the only thing "dry" was a big mound of DG jutting up from the center. Enter...the island!! Pan (short for Panchromatic) happened by and I...*ahem* we...wondered what would happen if we put him out there. In a scientific sort of way, we performed the experiment. He swam back. (so cute!!) So we put him out there again. He swam out again. (so wet!!) When we put him back a third time, I think he figured it out.

B) Helping hone their hunting skills
My roommate is fostering some kittens. I was sitting, watching the really shy one play in a blanket, so I moved my foot around under the blanket to help him practice hunting. He overshot the blanket and ended up putting a bloody scratch in one of my little toes. *sniff* And I was only trying to help!!

C) Giving them baths
Same kitten litter as before, different kitten. The bath water was warm and nice and rather full. Little Isis was poking her nose into the tub area--she was obviously curious about the whole thing! I thought back....couldn't remember the last time she had a bath, so thought to help her out. **Sploosh** Aaaand...wet cat! (aaw, so cute!) You'd a thought she'd a thanked me, but no. Ungrateful feline.

D) Cuddling them
I love having kitties sit on my lap. I like picking them up. My flatmate has a bipolar cat (not kidding--she was abused as a kitten), so some of her signals are "apparently" off. There I was, walking through the hallway, and the cat gets up and meows at me. She looks longingly into my eyes. As far as I could tell, we were a go. So. I picked her up. She starts hissing and meowing bloody murder. Flatmate calls from room "What are you doing to my cat!!??"
Me: "Nothing!!" (do best to put cat down without bloodletting, cat continues to wail)
Her: (emerges) Mindy! what did she do?"
Me: She wanted me to pick her I did
Her: She looks like she does, but she's lying.
So much for love and affection

So I am afraid to get a cat when anyone else is present, because then it might love them instead of me. Like it's supposed to.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ask Not, Unless You Wish to be Told

Hi! (grin) How are you?

Hello (smile) I'm good. And you?

Doin' Great!

Warning! Warning!

Has this ever happened to you? People asking the "how are you" question without really wanting to know how you are. It has become a substitute for the simple hello. Is it a reflection of (what I feel) is our culture's shallowness? Are people asking because they want the appearance of caring or wanting to know how you are? Or are they too caught in the perpetual web of the question-greeting?

I realize my power of rhetoric is quite sad, but I'm curious on your thoughts.

The afore-mentioned Iraqi group had a few members that used the phrase "how are you" in place of "hi" or "hello". Ie, they didn't wait for a response or even seem to expect one. For them, it took the function of a greeting.

But when my boss walks by and says "Hi Redgirl, how are you?" I doubt she wants to know that a car cut me off on the way to work and I'm still shaking from a near-death experience. (bike rider, remember. Being cut off has different connotations for us)

Then there's the answer provided. Below I list some of the acceptable answers to the question:

Bordering on Giddy with happiness

As you can see...once you've used up the staid responses, you either start repeating yourself, or you have to start treading uncharted territory. Then, if you really weren't "blissfully happy with a chance of showers", you might be called upon to explain why you have achieved this level of happiness. Then you have to get into the "well, I'm expecting the email results of my 5 children's paternity tests because my husband says that if any of them aren't his then he is going to divorce me, fake his death, and move to Cambodia" kind of thing. And whose boss is really going to be receptive to things like that? (I know, that dang rhetoric keeps rearing its ugly head)

So...we have the challenge to avoid answering the question without appearing to do so. I offer the following:

Them: Hi! How are you doing?
Me: Hello! It's a lovely day!

Or you can just stop after "hello".

My problem at this point is this:

Them: Hi! How are you doing?
Me: (opens mouth about to answer truthfully with unnecessary information, then realizes she doesn't REALLY care how I'm doing, she just wants the normal "peachy keen!" type answer. frantically tries to decide if she will use the "unrelated question" approach or the "lie with a positive word" approach. Chooses to say "great")

Too late. Door has closed behind person of unnecessary greeting. Greet-ee sits with mouth open like a guppy. Small gnat flies inside mouth. Chew. Swallow. Repeat. Writes blog entry to get it out of system.

Standing in de Nile

I promised you all an update on the Egyptian contingent, and the time has come to deliver.

As I have no idea how to pronounce most of the names, I have begun labeling them with appropriate monikers.

We have:

1) Lady-who-keeps-weird-food-in-our-refrigerator

2) Man-of-incessant-and-too-cheerful-greetings

3) Young-man-whose-key-never-works

4) Man-who-is-always-chatting-online

Some of these descriptions match more than one person...I've learned that making eye contact is a Bad Idea. It just encourages more conversation or ... other things.

Young-man-whose-key-never-works was an enigma for quite a while. He always smiles (fine) but his key never works (as his name describes). I'm always having to reset it. I found out yesterday the reason why. He hadn't thought to tell me that he is sharing the room with another person. So when one of their keys stops working, they would bring it up. I would double check that they were in the room, then replace the key set, rather than adding to it. (general practice) This would mean that the other key would stop working, so the two men would constantly be coming up, getting their key redone, but in the process, voiding out the other person's key.

As for Guest Number Four, he has been known to kick other people off the computer in order to chat with the famfam. Inexorably, John Smith or Betty Brown will come along to check their email or print a boarding pass, and will take a seat on the nearby couch/bench thingy. Computer use is governed by a number of behaviors:

1) I'll just keep checking back and see if they're done with it later (not too serious mode)

2) I'll wait until they're done (patient mode)

3) I'll hover, that way they know someones there (passive aggressive mode #1)

4) I'll ask them how long they're going to be (passive aggressive mode #2)

5) I'll say "Are you going to be on much longer?" in impatient tones (aggressive mode)

The only 2 that work on GN4 are 4 and 5. If the person starts setting themselves up for failure with 1-3, I have to decide whether or not to take action. Because word has been passed down from on high that they can't spend more than 10 minutes on the computer, I wait until 10 minutes have passed, then it usually goes something like this:

Me: Sir? SIR? Excuse me, SIR!!

Him: (looks up) yes?

Me: Do you mind if this guest checks their email?

Him: Oh...sorry....sorry...only...One minute! Sorry...

Me: Don't worry about it.. reason to be sorry...

Incessant-greetings-man is annoying. In order to not get into conversations with them I try to avoid extended greetings such as:

How are you today?
Oh, I'm good. How are you?
Good...veeerry good.

Often I'll just give a quick smile of acknowledgement and look down, as though I'm very busy. (And I AM busy....with my webcomic) Incessant greetings man, however, does not like this. He feels it is his DUTY to teach me to be more friendly, to him in specific. After this incomplete (to him) greeting, he will try to get the extended one by asking me how I am. I will just smile and ignore him. He will then come up to the actual desk and repeats his question, then tries to give me a weird sort of lecture on how to exchange pleasantries. Uggh.


I go to my aforementioned male coworker for tips. ('re a guy....) His advice? Just tell them you're busy, they'll understand.
UnderSTAND? Giving personal details about my life was not in the job description. Otherwise, it is the shallow sort of greeting that we in the world have come to expect. (Future blog topic...stay tuned) Either way, I rebel!
He then gave his personal commentary on the situation. That if he squinted really hard, I was "kinda cute" and that they had probably heard all sorts of things about "American Women".


With this in mind, the following happened later that day:
2 of the men came up with large purses. They wanted to know if they were leather. (how would I know? Feminine intuition? I've never been a purse-as-more-than-a-place-to-put-your-wallet-when-they-don't-give-you-pockets kinda girl)
Me: they usually have tags that will tell you....(begins to touch one of the purses, looking inside for a tag)

Man: Cause I want leather, I like to please the ladies...

Me: (drops purse like hot potato) aaahh...well, I don't see tags, so I can't tell

Other Man: what about mine?

Me: I don't know, I can't tell

Other Man: but leather for the ladies...!

Man: She doesn't know!

(They leave)

Me: (in my head) I don't think being leather would make any difference with those purses....

Ok, stay tuned, I've got a lot of backlog to post :)

Trolls: rAr

Lifeshighway makes a very interesting point in the comments section of my last post on the subject of trolls. My attention was piqued. A troll? Do I want one? What advantages are there to have one?

Well, of course I want one! It would provide endless amusement for not only myself, but also you, dear readers. A troll is the mark of distinction, the hide one stretches out on the hunting lodge wall. (like Beorn :P)The most opulent gem on the crown of bloggyness! On this subject, I have composed a haiku:

Come, oh snobby troll
Drop your inciting drivel
Come and be laughed at

Aaah, the imagery. Submit your own haiku for extra points!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Hey all!

My sister just directed my attention to the fact that anonymous users couldn't leave comments. This was not my intention, believe me :)
I have set it up so readers can remain anonymous now, so feel free to drop your few cents in.
Additionally, I am far more likely to post if I know people are reading, and comments are one way I can know. 'Till the next post!! (Tonight maybe??)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Today's post is brought to you courtesy of J.R., who has "encouraged" me to update, and update soon. Also from a certain sister who swore my last post sounded like I was going to go and hang myself in a tiny dark room.

I agonized over the title to this post.

Contenders were the following:

"It's Not My Fault You Don't Know How to Read a Map"

"I Know Everything, Try Me"

"Fig Jam" (translation for this phrase to be found later in post)

"U Draw Gud"

"Foreign Folk"

"Gimme, Lazy Office Worker"

Maybe these shall be chapters!!! (yay) So, without further ado....

Chapter 1: U Draw Gud

I was bar tending one particular night, the night following the request of "stout" by certain unsuspecting parties. I had poured a total of 10 drinks in 2 hours...a man had 2 Fat Tyres, his wife 2 Merlots and 1 water, another Man 2 Fat Tyres, his son, 2 Cokes, and a random guy, a Coke. Total tips? <>Him: You draw really good
Me: uh...thanks....

Him: How old are you?

Me: Guess

Him: 20!

Me: Hint, you have to be 21 to serve alcohol

(blah blah...he turned out to be 12. TWELVE. geeze...)

His dad gets a call, son clamors to talk to person before father hangs up.

Him: Frankie....wuts UUUUPPP!" (like...stage version. little poser. )

He proceeds to talk about hunting and deer tags. Dad comments to me "Maybe I should just leave him with you"

Me: I could easily file that under "Valet Charges" and post it to your room.

Dad drags reluctant son from bar.

Chapter 2: Foreign Folk

The Inn has a new foreign contingent! Please make welcome....Teeeeaaamm....Egypt!!

It's not all pyramids and fun though, folks. On becoming aware of the new contenders for creepy, I asked my male co-worker if I needed to be on my guard. He replied "not at all...they are very nice and won't bother you at all." I only mention he was male because it either seems that females always get the short end of the foreign stick, or that his Creep-O-meter was really low on batteries. (Stay tuned for the post entitled: Creep-O-Meters: how to know when YOU need to upgrade!!) Current fixation? Wanting to use the computer we have to chat with family members over in Egypt.

This wouldn't be TOO dreadful, except that, as non-English (very much) speakers, I am thinking our keyboard baffles them. This is the only way I can account for the 5 WPM speed with which they seem to type. Which is sad for those who are trying to print boarding passes :(

Forget people needing the's just sad all around. Even more saddening? Accuracy is prob at around 3.5 WPM. Updates to come, I guarantee.

Chapter 3: Fig Jam

Oooookay. Those with strong frailness of ears, skip to the next chapter. This phrase given lovingly to me by some extremely lovely Aussies that stayed for one of those 750 mile bike rides (completed in 90 hours). Yup, crazy to the extend of my dear sister, mentioned in the prologue. Anyway. They were describing a certain member of the riding collective, and said (cue accent!) "He's quite Fig Jam".

Me, as usual, wanting to know everything asks "What's Fig Jam?"


F*** I'm Good Just Ask Me.



One of those things that sticks in your mind...a delightful little insult, though rarely used.

Chapter 4: It's Not My Fault You Don't Know How to Read a Map

As described. Seriously. If I say "turn left at F street" and then you turn right, don't proceed to blame it on me.

Chapter 5: I Know Everything, Try Me

It's surprising the amount of things that a hotel desk clerk is "supposed" to know. Some things perhaps I should. Some things, I can look up. But other things? Really?

See if you can label some of the following:
1) Where is a good place to eat around here?
2) Do you know if "Discoveries" is still an open business in town?

3) Is a trip to Tahoe or Yosemite more worth while?

4) What's there to do/a good place to eat in Sacramento? (hint: hotel is NOT in Sacramento, not even in one of the outlying areas)

5) Where do the girls go?

6) How early should I get to the airport?

7) How crowded will the airport be at 5:30 tomorrow morning?

8) How long will it take to get through customs? (the airport in question is not really local...don't know why I should know...)

9) What classes should my daughter take at (local university)?

10) What apartments are good in town for my son?

11) Any good bars around here? (see Tips From RedGirl on this subject)

12) Where can I find a furniture store?

Chapter 6: Gimme, Lazy Office Worker

I volunteer at a homeless shelter. When people want to make appointment to pick up food at the food closet, they have to call same-day for an apt. For some reason, I was just jotting down all the calls that came in one particular day. I probably made seven of these, on the paper pad, just noting down the name, what they had called for, and if they had gotten an apt and what time. Also present were various doodles of food items. (potatoes, live chickens, pears, etc) Almost before then end of my shift, I get a call from someone at the closet. Someone had misplaced their list, so they needed the info again. Usually, the apts are scattered in the files under the name of the a series of over 40 binders. Once we make the apts, we don't keep track. There's no reason we should have to. In a demanding tone...tell us, Jeanie!

Jeanie: I need all the food appointments you made today.

Me: ALL of them?

Jeanie: Yes, all of them. Did you make one for 1:30?

Me: Yes, for John Smith

Jeanie: How many people?

Me: Let me pull the file. (2 adults, 2 children)

Jeanie: Next?

Me: One at 1:45

Jeanie: What??!! Who made that? That's awfully close together!!

Me: Well, that was the time we were given (eg, not my fault lady)

Jeanie: And for 2pm??

Me: We didn't make one for 2pm

Jeanie: Well SOMEone did!!

Me: possible another agency...? My next one is at 2:45...

Jeanie: Who was it! How many people?!

Me: One moment (goes to pull file)

Jeanie: (yells) I NEED this inforMAtion!

Me: Ma'am, I am currently retrieving the information (recall my automatic habit of using words with more syllables when confronted to give myself more time to think)

I understand. She was stressed because one of her people made a mistake.

But fie!

I will not take that sitting down!

Next time I shall stand up when I talk to her. And then we shall see the difference!

Hmmm...Talk about a long random post. Just b/c something has chapters doesn't mean the plot makes sense. That's for all the novelists out there :P