Sunday, December 20, 2009

All About Priority

Norine was a small woman, petite and dressed to run even though it was cold out. Her demeanor was perky...that annoying kind of perky that makes you want to start yanking ponytails while cackling "I just killed a cute little puppy".

Ever so luckily, I was at the right hand computer that day. This may not mean much to you, but the right hand computer is the one who's counter top is partially obscured by some fake snowy pine branches and other Christmas paraphernalia. This means that when a guest...Norine...comes up to take on a receptionist in an intense battle of verbal skillz, she'll go to the computer on the left, where sat my illustrious co-worker. This co-worker is different than "greengirl" who dealt with spoon man in happy naivete. This is the battle-hardened warrior of the front desk. With steel for her eyes, we'll call her graygirl.

Norine's perkiness soon revealed itself as in reality a forced cheeriness designed to get her what she wanted.

Namely, a different room.

"When I checked in, you told me that first floor was all that was available then, and I still don't like it. I'm not comfortable there" she said. Obvious in her statement was that she checked in before official check in time, and even when told it would have to be first floor, went ahead and checked in. Now you want to complain about it? Get in line, Norine, get in line.

Graygirl: I can check, but I'll need to see if housekeeping has time to clean your room

Norine: What?! I just put my stuff on the bed! I didn't do anything!

Graygirl: Nonetheless, I'll need to check.

Norine: *grumbles and complains*

While Graygirl is checking with housekeeping, Norine does something that annoying people do but don't seem to realize. (or if they do, they don't care) She continues to make her case for moving rooms while Graygirl is trying to do something about it.

It's like she doesn't trust that it won't get done unless she constantly affirms the fact she deserves it.

Which actually doesn't do anything but make her annoying.

Sample from the bombarding verbiage:

"Well, there's people that haven't checked in yet, can't I have one of their room? After all, we're all part of the same group so we should have equal priority."

"And I'm with the people who are paying for the rooms, so I should have priority over them!"

It was like she had just learned the word priority and somehow got points for every time she managed to use it in a sentence.

And if I may remind you Norine, you didn't seem to care when you checked in...

"I'm not comfortable on the first floor"

This statement in it of itself isn't the issue, it's that she neglected to continue. In my experience, if people aren't comfortable to the point they need to move, they aren't hesitant in the least in telling you why. In fact, they fall over themselves telling you why because it's so important to them. It's kind of like the "where do the girls go?" man. First I'll need to finish his story though.

When we left off, I was wiping my hand increasingly on my pants to get the feel of clammy off.

The next day, he comes up the the front desk.

Him: My room smells like paint...did you just paint in there? I need to move.

Me: We did paint rather recently for our renovations. I can definitely move you, and I apologize for the smell. (I begin to make keys for him)

Him: Oh! Well, I don't need to switch now...maybe tomorrow morning...

Me: ??!! Okay...

It's obvious what was happening here. Any ideas class? Ah, the young lady in the back!

"He was just trying to see if you remembered."

Exactly. If the paint was enough of a problem that he "needed" to move, he would need to do it right away--not wait a day or too. He must have been trying to gauge my reaction, and I hopefully convinced him it was all a symptom of his boozy, liver-failure-inducing mind.

Point being, it's not hard for me to figure out if your words are being used for purposes other that what is explicitly stated.

And a self important sham has no priority.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...check out my good friend


b/c not only should you look at the comments and see what i posted, you should read her blog!!

new one tomorrow, of course

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today's Scenario

Today's scenario: you are warm and cozy in a tasty-soft bed...and the alarm clock rings. Never mind you set it for a quarter to six and went to sleep murmuring "I WILL get up when my alarm goes off", you reach out and bap it. Now the little feet will's where something magical occurs. Snooze.

Some people only wake up once a day. I woke up over 6 times this morning. Imagine what the can do to someones psyche! So when I finally DID get up (6:20) and had to leave (6:30), I still had time to throw on my clothes and walk the mile to my destination. My point? Timed sleeping in. I have yet to discuss this concept with my roommate, but I'm sure she'll be fine with it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Please Don't Put That in Your Mouth

The day after Thanksgiving, it was like magic. Wreaths tacked onto walls, fake poinsettia trees set out, garlands hung, then falling, then hung again....

For the love of it all, please wait until at least December before hanging anything!

The one decoration I do greet with open arms every year is what replaces our little pebble bowl.

The pebble bowl is...hard to describe. (lemme go find a pic I think I have on facebook) Ok, here you go:
Kinda small, I know, but the best I could do. It is a green leaf shaped dish with little gray/black polished pebbles in it. Kind of attractive in a quirky sort of way.

When Christmas comes, the pebble dish is replaced by the bowl of small ornaments. It looks similar to this ... though the ornaments are smaller than these.
Here's what happens:

Person walks by. Little bowl of bright red things catches their eye. There's that little hitch in their stride as they pause to see if they are....edible.

Yup, that's right.

They look surprisingly like little chocolates. Upon occasion, someone will actually pick one up. It's rather hilarious.

Conversation heard today:

Man: (exhibits action described above) Oh! I thought they were chocolates!
Daughter: Me too! Every time I walk by, I think they are and I check....
Me: (Smiles while thinking success!!)

When one of the owners was in putting all the decorations up, she was going to put the little bowl of multi-colored bead strings on the table in front of reception, but I convinced her to put the ornaments there instead--leaving out personal gratification (and downright glee) as a justifiable reason. Instead, I used the following example:

There I was, MMOB** and a mother and her daughter were passing through the lobby. The daughter proceeds to pick up the little ornaments and begin hanging them by their little wires on her backpack. "Ma'am?" I say, polite in that little way I have, "Ma'am? Your daughter seems to be taking the little ornaments."

She turns and gets a load of little Jenny decimating the ornament population. "Jenny!" she says, with mild enthusiasm, "Don't take those!" She turns back to the desk in time to miss completely Jenny's absolute rejection of her words evidenced by the theft of another ornament. "She's still taking them" I say apologetically to the mother who's child obviously never listens.

MOJ (mother of Jenny) goes and drags Jenny away from the temptations. She makes as if to leave.

One problem though.

"M'am?" I say, "I'll need those back." I point to the 6 or so ornaments dangling from the mesh pocket of her backpack. MOJ bend to try to take them off, but Jenny has crimped those wire hanger-thingys down pretty good. She manages to get one of them off, then looks up at me. "They're stuck. Can't she just..."

Me: Let me see what I can do (I start prying them off. I know what she wanted me to say: Oh, she can just keep them. U-uh)

I finally get them all off and back in their dish where they belong. About 10 minutes later, Jenny comes back. She saunters over to the dish, and then turns to check if I'm watching her. She sees that I am, but still starts to take one. I walk over. "You can't take that" I say. "Why not?" she asks. She honestly seems to have no idea. "They're not yours. It would be stealing." She looks at me uncomprehendingly (she's about 6 or 7) and starts to reach for it again. "No." I say. She puts it back and leaves.


And just to finish this off, I (just now!!) saw some guy do the walk-by...and then actually pick one up and then almost trip over his own feet in an effort to return it when he realized it wasn't chocolate.

Then the quick look to see if anybody noticed.

This is a message for all of you. Ready?

Someone always notices.

And they're laughing at you.

**Minding My Own Business

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Card For the Season

It’s that time of year when Americans everywhere dig deep into their card boxes for their address book to address their 2 boxes of brand new sparkly assorted design Christmas cards. And discover…yup, 3 boxes from previous years. Now there are 5 boxes lined up, enough cards that if all sent will cost almost $50 in postage, besides the fact that, in order to use them all in time before next year, each house listed in said address book will receive roughly 3.5 cards.

So…the smart and parsimonious person will think (roughly) “I will send cards to everyone, and just not buy new cards next year, and then send the same cards out. But, because I am smart, I will make a list of who received what card so that they don’t get the same one next year. Brilliant!!”

Uh huh. Brilliant deduction Sherlock. Brilliant that is, except that when it come to anything involving a time span longer than our next paycheck, we notoriously have the brain of a goldfish. Oh look…a wall, I’ll turn around…oh look, a wall, I’ll turn around….

And after going through the address book and realizing that Aunt Skanky died 3 years ago and so can’t possibly live at 145 Walters, writing a personalized note on the first 5 cards and then abandoning it on the rest from writers cramp, and then suddenly recognizing the fact that the puppy-dog-in-the-stocking- card looks so familiar because that’s the only design you sent last year, you come to a startling conclusion. If you have the brain of a goldfish, it came from somewhere. In fact, it’s likely genetic. Which means there is a strong chance that if you can’t remember what you sent, they won’t either. Cheers!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pumpkin Post


In yesterday's post, I hearkened back to a year ago when I wa
xed eloquently (and rather whine-ily and self righteously) about people who leave their pumpkins out to melt in progressively drooping and moldy stages throughout the year.

Today, I have come to 'fess up. I threw stones...because I had not yet committed my pumpkin crime. Now I submit myself to be pelted with seeds and other innards in my contriteness.

This is Larry.
I bought Larry at the local pumpkin patch (Safeway).
I defaced and carved into Larry, removing his innards and a face that (likely) mirrored the sadistic look on mine while eviscerating him.

But hey. Pumpkins don't have feelings, right? Even ones named Larry.

I took it inside because I was having a thought.


Would she fit? I mean, here's this pumpkin...and a was the most natural and normal thing in the world!!

And she liked it. Uhuh *noddnodd* She would have stayed in there had I let her. Look how happy she is!

And yup, Larry looked amazing on our little patch of gravel outside the front door.

And lit, Larry was even more lovely!


Time passed.

A lot of time.

Like, in pumpkin years, a lifetime.

To put it bluntly, Larry had died when no one was really paying attention, and the gnats had started to spring forth from his moldy pulp. The gnats would swarm the passerby. (my advice? Breathe out dear roomies!)

I didn't want to believe that Larry had died. We had become so close in those...few....days?

Or more possibly, once I admitted he was dead, I would have to actually do work to get rid of him. (One can only recall the Christmas tree...I rest my case)

Sooo...I avoided the slow splooshy spreading of his gourd-corpse.

And this isn't the worst he got, I am ashamed to say. He was *wince* kinda *wince* one with the stones.

But hey! That poor plant needed fertilization, by golly! I was only doing my environmentally friendly green recycling Al Gore tree hugging thing.

At least that's what I told my roomies.

And now you.

Other than that, my lips are sealed. In fact... here.

These are my lips, completely sealed from telling the tru--

*ahem* From repeating filthy lies perpetrated by the roommate who actually used a shovel that fateful day. So here's a shout out to you...Thanks Em!

So I'd like to late have you left out/left up holiday decorations?


Below is something I wrote last year around this time. This was before I had created my blog. After you have read this, you will be prepared for tomorrow's post...

(hang on...vroom!! Back in time!!)

I’d like to start with a question…when was Halloween? (and you all say…why, it was the 31st of October!) And then I say…what day is it today? (and YOU say…well, it’s November 26th.) Very good! That puts almost a month between the official jack-o-lantern day and today.

So I simply MUST ask the question…why do I still enjoy the *pleasure* of viewing these timeless orange gourds where ‘ere I walk? It would indeed be a pleasure…if they still had some semblance of the happy shape we love and adore, but they have been transformed into piles of black and orange *moving* sludge. And I do say moving, because a rotting pumpkin seems to breed its OWN little swarm of insects, no matter what Fransesco Redi says.

There are two ways to get to my apartment door. About three doors down, there is the stealth pumpkin. You cannot see this pumpkin until it is too late to hold your breath…it sits in a recessed doorway. The exhibitionist pumpkin sits at the very end of the walk on the corner, so a person can enjoy it for their entire journey. It might have been more than one pumpkin at one point, but now it sits like burnt squash on a bed of leaves. Yum! The trick here is to breathe normally until you think you’re in range, then stop. But it changes daily…so beware.

Route number two goes by people’s patio walls. There is only one here, but so disturbing I try not to look. This pumpkin began on the 6-foot high wall of the patio…perfect to watch collapse on itself at eye level. Until one day, it wasn’t there anymore. I was happy. There was actually a smile on my face. Until I passed the edge and saw the streak of pumpkin blood slimed down the side of the wall with a yucky pumpkin splat on the ground.

I don’t understand. Is it laziness? Possibly. (I have waited too late at times and had to use a shovel) Is it interest, so that one can post a video like the link I have below? (nope…there’s at most 5 on YouTube, and there are more pumpkins than that) Or it might me, that in this world of concrete, postage stamp lawns, and a sincere desire to be GREEN, people want their own little compost heap. Now they can say “I’m doing my part for the environment.” I’m sorry to break it to you folks…it’s concrete. It won’t go anywhere.

Here you can watch a pumpkin melt :P

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In a Pot

To begins today's post, I must first ask for the forgiveness of my little sister.


I'm sorry.

Ooookaaay. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on with it.

I was reading the Reader's Digest for the current year, and there was an article called "What Mall Santas Don't Want You to Know". In the article, one Santa shared that, when bouncing sticky toddlers on their velveteen laps taking gift requests that boys were direct. "I want a pogo stick and a remote control airplane." The girls, on the other hand, had a need to explain:

"I want pony 'cause ponies are just so gosh darn cute! And then we could go for rides in the country with my frilly white nightgown flowing majestically behind me and I would call him Twitterpat, and he would be mine. And he would be my Twitterpat."

With this in mind, I post a portion of the Lorlor's recently released Christmas list:

  • house plant (must survive on little sun/water, be VERY hard to kill .... like if the Terminator was a house plant...)

  • stickers(you CAN'T go wrong with stickers)

  • front bike light (I have a Bell brand one, but don't feel like it does a very good job... maybe because I dropped it and put it back together with Elmer's glue)

  • pot (medium to large, a good size for making soup and the lot)

Although it's true "you can't go wrong with stickers", I find the explanation of the front bike light akin to the little girl wondering why the frog she dunked in boiling water to kill the germs isn't moving.

Then I see pot.

She wants pot!

My poor leetle seester I send off to college and she's already past alcohol and into drugs! And she wants a medium to large amou--

Oh. Wait. Cooking pot. Heh heh heh. Then I look back up at the top of the list. She wants a houseplant. Presumably in a pot. Weeds are plants. Weeds are called pot. And I assume you could make pot soup... (in a pot...)


Not that I have all sorts of experience with that noble substance. (Reduces nausea! Cures Headaches! Fixes Insomnia! It's Like Magic! Oh. And it can get you fired from your job too...)

There I was, sitting outside a movie theater waiting for my roommate (minding my own business...duh) and this dude came up a bit behind me. I turned around to keep him in sight; you can never be too careful you know.

He smiled at me and the following happened:

Him: Are those dreadlocks?

Me: No....just curly hair that isn't particularly styled...(ie, I wasn't concerned with being presentable and had just patted at it till it resembled less horns and more general confusion)

Him: Oh. I was hoping they were dreadlocks.

Me: (smile. silence.)

Him: 'Cause if they were dreadlocks, I figured you would know where I could get some weed.

Me: (confused. silence.)

Him: Do you know where I could get some weed?

Me: No...sorry....(not entirely sure why I apologized....maybe my hotel persona wanting to help someone get what they wanted..)

Him: Oh, ok. Thanks anyway.

So, gentle beings, does anyone have the idea behind the "dreadlocks for weed" campaign? Is this just a stereotype, or does it actually have basis in fact?

I was actually hoping someone would offer me some. I have hoped for this all my life. My dream, if you will.

Why you ask?

Fourth Grade. When all young children receive beautiful red pencils that say "Don't Do Drugs!" to be whittled down to the even more alluring "Do Drugs!".

I want to make Mrs. Morris proud and say "No!"

Talk about indoctrination :D

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bartering For Tips

I always enjoy bartending. The people you meet….the drinks you mix…the money you make…from tips.

I’m pretty good at chatting with people; they tend to like me. This comes in very handy when it comes to getting paid in (almost) direct proportion to how well you can chat someone up. This might sound to some a little unsavory, but consider:

The drinks are free; they aren’t paying for them anyway.

Our normal cliental aren’t ones to drink alone. They want someone to chat with, to make them feel more comfortable. That is where I come in.

Tipping is really the payment for non-corporeal services. Every time you go to a restaurant, get your hair cut, or get a drink at the bar, you pay set rates for the product you get. The tip is to pay for the thoughtfulness of the server going beyond what they had to; giving you that smile, the bartender remembering you to actually see if you want something else. The hairdresser for letting you talk about your life and acting like she’s actually interested.

But here’s the thing with me. As long as you’re not an incredible boor, I am interested.

At least, I want to know more. I have figured this is just a basic quest for knowledge. I like to know things, to find things out. This is why all these stories exist in the first place. Recall the conversation I had with the coworker upon the conclusion of the artist? (you come to my room and I paint you reeel good). I’ll refresh your memory: “RedGirl, you’ve got to stop getting into conversations with these people. One day, it's going to get you into trouble.”

I will admit she had a point, but where’s the fun in safety like that? That’s right, not a whole lot. Plus, I've already seen the trouble that comes, and in most instances, is tot-ally worth it. The point is, people can tell that I really am interested. They don’t realize why I’m interested (ie, not in them personally, but stuff people have to tell me in general), just that I am. This means my harvest is rife with juicy personal details.

But every now and again, I get someone I don’t know what to do with.

Let’s call her Lorna.

Lorna is an older woman with skinny bird legs, but with enough up top to weigh normally for her height. Upon this woman, put eye-searingly short pink shorts. Now place in sun for 50ish years and let bake to a golden brown. Yes folks, she makes the person who invented tanning wants to put a legal limit on the darkest you can get and still apply that adjective to yourself.

Not only did she bring up the two “death topics” (religion and politics) in a badgering fashion with my only other tipping person, but she had a tendency to ignore the current line of conversations with a completely random question. You need an example you say? Of course I will oblige you!

Current conversation is with the man about his sons and where they were attending various colleges and how they were considering the college where I live. At the smallest possible lull (more of a pause to draw breath, really), she says in a loud voice straight at him “What do you think of the bill the senate passed last week?”

Man: Pretends to watch the football game on TV and therefore *didn’t* hear what she said.

Lorna: swivels head to me, making it clear the question is now all mine.

Me: doesn’t want to get into that, makes some weak laughter. “heh heh….well, I know I should read the news more. I’m afraid I don’t know anything about that.” Unspoken…and I don’t want you to tell me about it either...

Fast forward to the next evening. I am again doing double duty--bar and front desk. As I pour her the *first* drink, she yanks out a plastic bag and sets it on the bar. Out of the bag, Lorna pulls a small tray-like object with tall sides. It is filled with vegetables and covered with plastic wrap.

Lorna: I want you to have this.

Me:'s lovely!

Lorna: I thought the colors were pretty. I got them from the (local organic grocery store) for you.

Me: Thank you...what kinds of peppers are those? (trying to think of think)

Lorna: Oh I don't know. I just picked them for the colors.

Then she pulls out another bag. This one is from Borders.

Lorna: I bought some books on their bargain rack. Look at this cookbook! (hands me cookbook)

Me: (I take it, leaf through it trying to think of something nice to say) It has some nice lamb recipes...

Lorna: Do you want it?

Me: (aack!) Well, I--

Lorna: Oh, take it. I want you to have it!

Me: I couldn't (I'm not a fan of "southern cooking" in general...too much fried food)

Lorna: I insist!

Me: Okaay...

So. Point here. I (as is my usual custom) tell the story around the workplace. One person's response "Maybe you'll get a fruit basket tonight! Hahahaha!"

Yeah. Thanks.

But that did bring to mind the thought of putting out a list of what acceptable tender is for tipping. So far, my list includes:

Pounds of Whole Bean coffee (no flavored please, French Roast preferred)
Coupons for free taxi rides
Border's Gift card
Folding chair
Thick homemade quilt
Vodo Bunny
Actual MONEY

We shall see I suppose.