Monday, October 31, 2005


I spent hours after work on Thursday hemming and hanging sheets of black plastic. Combined with the artificial ceiling my coworkers had suspended over the row, these sheets were going to create a very dark narrow hallway for our coworkers' children to shiver down, trying to avoid flaming skulls, skeletal hands and inflated pumpkins and ghosts.

On Friday I walked around the office, capturing my handiwork on film. As I ducked into the dark and scary hallway, I saw John's wife and mother-in-law stopping to say hi. On second glance I realized that John's mother-in-law couldn't appreciate my efforts because her world is permanently enshrouded in darkness.

While she couldn't see our decorations, I wondered what she thought as she and her daughter squeezed through the hallway, hunching their shoulders to avoid hitting their head on the cardboard and plastic ceiling. The hallway is narrow enough that they couldn't walk side-by-side so she was forced to walk slightly behind her daughter, holding her arm for guidance. They must have weaved from one side of the hallway to the other as they moved to avoid the balloons and other decorations hanging along the walls. When they got past the obstacles to John's cubicle, his wife leaned into his cube to get his attention. Her mom edged around her body, feeling the plastic curtain slither along her arm as she tried to join the conversation.

Standing there observing their conversation gave me an entirely different perspective on the decorations I had labored over. I was instantly grateful for the ease that my sight gives me, but also intrigued imagining the completely different experience John's mother-in-law had in that dark hallway.

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Friday, October 28, 2005


What I said: The balloon exploded when I was writing on it.

What they heard: The balloon exploded when I was riding on it.

There’s a mental picture for you!  Happy Halloween!!

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Halloween 2004

I get lots of hits from my post about cubicle decorating last Halloween. Since it is that time again, I decided to post photos from last year so my office can be inspiration for other cube-dwellers faced with the same challenge.

Today I finally convinced a few of my "neighbors" that they want to participate this year so now we have to come up with a new theme and start our planning for this year's competition. Right now we're thinking of having spooky things to see and touch--cold noodles for brains, peeled grapes for eyeballs, witch's brew made of punch with dry ice. Suggestions happily taken!

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Power nap

Over the holiday season while I worked at the movie theater, we hired a college student to supplement our staff. One slow afternoon he asked me to wake him at the end of his half-hour break because he was going to take a power nap. A little over 30 minutes later, I sent one of our floor staff in to wake him. She came out of the break room and reported that he wasn’t in there. I thought maybe I’d misunderstood him and sent her to check the back rows of the movie theaters. No luck so the only place left to check was the projection booth. When she reported that he wasn’t up there either, I felt guilty and a little panicked. I walked into the break room to begin retracing our steps and noticed a pair of shoes sticking out from under the table, like the wicked witch’s shoes from under Dorothy’s house. I felt immediate relief and leaned under the table to wake him up. Apparently his power nap included the power to be a little invisible.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


Once my window was fixed, the first place I went was to a lunch meeting. What was the first thing I did when I got into my car? Open a window.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Monday morning I rushed out of the house, already at least 5 minutes late and worried that the soft snowflakes that had started falling overnight would slow my commute. Suddenly I stopped, my brain not comprehending what my feet apparently already knew—I shouldn’t step on the glass that was lying between my car and my roommate’s. I dragged my eyes away from the glass and realized it had come from the space where my car window used to be.

Tiptoeing closer, I tried not to disturb the glass beads glistening beneath my feet. Staring through the void that had held a window, the panic I’d been trying to contain began to rise up. Where was the sorority bag I kept right next to that door? Was it in my trunk? I rushed around the car, glancing in the other windows, barely registering that everything else seemed untouched. I opened the trunk and realized that the bag was gone.

After the police came and took my report, I felt numb. I finished my breakfast without tasting it, longing to stay and spend the rest of the day sitting immobile on my couch. Dutifully I got up and trudged outside, accepting my roommate’s help in trying to patch the new hole. Inwardly I flinched as we pushed the small pieces of glass left around the edge out of our way.

I felt fragile for the rest of the day--moving gently, avoiding speaking and doing my best to avoid making the calls that would make my car whole again. After all, if I didn't make the arrangements to have it fixed, that means it wasn't broken, right?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Everyone wants it

Last night my roommate and I caught up with each other as we had dinner together. He mentioned to me that it was Yom Kippur.

“Oh yeah. Have you gotten your forgiveness?” I asked.

He smiled and said, “Nope, I don’t need any.”

I laughed. “Oh, so you’re perfect?”

“No,” he replied, “I have Auto-Forgive©."

He's gonna make a million from this!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kiss mine

Me: Looks like I inherited some instant grits.
Roommate: What?
Me: Our roommate left them when he moved out.
Roommate: Oh, okay. Speaking of instant grits…

I laugh. My roommate looks at me questioningly.

Me: I just can’t wait to see what follows the phrase “Speaking of instant grits.”
Roommate: I went on a field study in Virginia, you know, for geology. Anyway, it was mostly people from rural Virginia on this field study. Sometimes when they wanted to insult each other, they would say, “Yo' momma makes instant grits.”

And that's what follows "Speaking of instant grits."


Monday, October 10, 2005

A good manager

This trip down memory lane sponsored by: The Rudeness of Strangers, Vol. 1 posted at TWM.

An irate patron came out of one of our movie theaters on a busy Saturday night and stomped up to the manager Jon.
Jon: Can I help you sir?
Patron: Yes, the man in front of me keeps standing up. I ask him to sit down, he sits down, and then he stands back up again!
Jon: I'm sorry about that sir--here are some free passes so you can come back and enjoy the movie some other time.

Then another man approaches Jon.
Patron 2: I'm the guy that was sitting in front of him. (Pointing at man angrily retreating back to his movie.)
Jon: Why don't you tell me what happened, sir?
Patron 2: Every time I sit down, he kicks me in the head! I stand up, turn around and ask him to stop kicking me. Then I sit down and he kicks me again!

Patron 2 also got free passes, along with our sincere apologies. We waiting until they were both gone before we started to laugh hysterically!


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oh! The humanity!

Deb at Smitten uses chocolate teddy bears for a cheesecake crust. Possibly the funniest flickr set ever!

P.S. If you don't laugh when you mouse over this pic, you're a little dead inside.


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