Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Am I subconsciously stalking a supermodel's toes?

Another strange dream last week.

This time, I’m in bed with my husband. We just made love and his head is on my lap as we fall asleep. With his head still on my lap and my hand stroking his hair he tells me that Stephanie Seymour has moved into our building and that he’s in love with her. Yes, this is the same Stephanie Seymour my husband said had dangling toes.He says that they’ve spent some time together and have a lot in common and that he never thought he’d connect with someone so easily.

I ask if he’s in love with her and if he’s done something stupid and he says he spent the night with her last night.

I push him off my lap and ask him if he’s crazy and he says he’s in love with her and that he’s really sorry and that he couldn’t help it. I meekly slapped him and he grinned and repeated he’s in love with her and that he never meant to hurt me.

Thoughts of what to do next flashed like lightning bolts. Do I kick him out? What do to with his stuff? What about the dogs? Could I knock down the shared wall between his closet and mine and make a walk in shoe closet? Would I have to see them together since she’s in the building? How the hell do you fight with a Victoria’s Secret model?

I felt dizzy with thoughts and emotions. I woke up screaming and in a sweat.

L: What’s the matter, baby?
pg: I had a nightmare you cheated on me with Stephanie Seymour and said you were leaving me for her.
L: Go back to bed. I wouldn’t be that foolish and stupid.
pg: Lrudlrick, if you ever leave me, just don’t cheat on me before you leave.
L: Go to bed. It was a dream…………. Wait, is that the chick with the dangling toes? Why the hell would I cheat on you with her? She’s probably got some weird virus from her toes scraping around on Manhattan streets. Do you want me to get some weird virus?
pg: I can’t sleep now. All I can do is think about Stephanie Seymour’s dirty toes. I’m going to the kitchen.

Related tags: ,

T-shirt #78 to make: Free Mary Jane!

We spent Sunday picnicking in the park. As we munched on rice, veggies and ribs, P-man and Z-girl attempted to chase squirrels. Luckily for the squirrels the slack of their leash protected them from the hungry eyes of P-man and Z-girl. Z-girl is a silent stalker. She stares intently at her prey as if she could will them to come within paw reach of her. P-man’s approach involves a lot of begging to be released to snatch the fat squirrels that reside in the city.

The squirrels taunt them with their tail flicks and pauses midway up a tree. If squirrels could laugh, these squirrels were wetting themselves.

Lrudlrick invented a delicious concoction of iced tea and Grey Goose that left us in a nice buzz. The thunderstorms that hit towards nightfall didn’t phase us as we let the effects of a cool beverage and even cooler winds engulf us.

The last week I’ve been so preoccupied that I failed to realize that this whole evaluation thing at work has changed my outlook to the worse. I think the evaluation left me in a state where I felt constantly judged by others. I wound up feeling like a high school kid last week wanting to be liked by the other kids.

It got me down a bit. I spent all last week working my butt off in the hopes of being accepted that I failed to realize that by trying to hard, I was making it worse for myself internally.

Funny thing is the evaluation was a positive evaluation. Why would I become so self critical of myself over a positive evaluation? Because I’m a freaking’ obsessive compulsive, that’s why. That and I am my mother’s daughter. I have to make a conscious effort to stop overanalyzing things lest I desire to become my mom.

The overanalyzing left me in a state where I didn’t want to write or share my thoughts. That can’t be good. If you’re constantly wondering what people are going to think, you’ll eventually wind up in a mental institution. One week left me down and cranky. I can only imagine what it’s like for those who feel that way every week.

Needing a pick me up and realizing it’s been a while since I treated myself to another pair of shoes, I bought two pairs of espadrilles. I also found an unbelievably gorgeous pair of brown Mary Janes that unfortunately did not make it home with me. The lady said it was store policy to not sell mismatched sets.

“But you can’t find its sisters and I’m willing to take the mismatched set. They’re only a half size off from each other.”

“I’m sorry ma’am.”

“Well, what do you do with the mismatched sets?”

“We send them back to the merchandiser.”

“So there’s a shoe limbo? Perfectly good shoes are left to rot in some bin somewhere? How cruel and unusual is that? What did those shoes do to you?”

At this time, Lrudlrick is completely embarrassed is pushing me towards the register. The lady next to me is chuckling and the girl next to her is giving me the sympathetic ‘been there, girl’ look.

As we made our way back to the car I told Lrudlrick, “Call me cynical but maybe she just wanted those shoes for herself. Those shoes were awesome.” “Honey, I knew you’d say that and I honestly don’t think her feet are your size. I checked.” “Well. Maybe I should go back tomorrow and see if they’re on her feet.” “You want to go back, we’ll go back.”

That’s my husband realizing that I have what I term, shoe brain. Shoe brain is when rational thought is paralyzed by a display of shoes. It’s usually temporary but can gain longevity if the display table also has a sign that says ‘SALE’.

This is a plea to anyone who works at Franco Sarto. Somewhere in Franco Sarto’s factory is a bin of mismatched shoes. If you work at Franco Sarto’s and have access to this bin, I will gladly pay you to free those brown Mary Janes that deserve a good home. Email me.

Free Mary Jane!

Related tags: ,

Monday, May 22, 2006

Must buy shoes to match checkered coat

You ever feel like you’re in limbo with everyone?

You need to get stuff finalized but someone is holding out?

I’m having that kind of day.

I need an answer for several items at work but I still work within the confines of the committee system so I must wait.

I need a confirmation from my husband on dates in June for a possible rafting trip but he’s on an important project and can’t be bothered.

I need my brother to install the wireless network software on my mom’s pc so she can surf but it’s a low priority on his to do list.

The old Pantrygirl would be going nuts now trying to figure out why everything moves at a bureaucratic pace. The new Pantrygirl is still annoyed but realizes that there is no need to develop a heart attack over these petty items.

Still, sitting in limbo sucks.

I’d offer some pithy story about my brother and I as kids today but I’m not feeling it. I know I said I’d try to be more diligent and put more of my childhood down for prosperity. Mainly so my husband can use them for future sanity hearings. I’m just not feeling nostalgic.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the effects of ‘The Enabler’. ‘The Enabler’ is the disease that strikes my family and my company periodically. Somehow I usually get trapped in the unenviable title of ‘Ms. Reality’. My mom calls it being rude. My husband calls it being honest. I call it the short end of the stick. I see how things will go but yet ‘The Enablers’ don’t want to rock the boat. I’m the devil that rocks the boat.

Why let something that is ultimately harmful continue when you can nip it in the bud now and get on with one’s life?

I’m not saying I have the answers but I know that what currently is doesn’t work. We need to revisit the solution and make adjustments.

It’s like the old corporate mentality, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

The problem with that is that it is broken but people are resilient and find workarounds to the process.

One of the good things about my new job is that there is fresh blood. Sure the pipe pumps water but why not fix those cracks and leaks instead of just plumber’s taping them? We know we still work in a bureaucratic system but with perseverance and a lot of nagging, we work together to get the job done.

I know the fear is that by pulling that duct tape, a flood will ensue. I’m not saying it’s pretty. Heck, it’s a lot of hard work. I never said it was easy. I just can’t enable. That’s not me.

I’m probably talking out of my ass but tell me one instance where enabling a person/process has lead to less heartache and pain?

Related tags: ,

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lrudlrick gets Fun Day and I get conference room retreats

I had my ‘yearly’ evaluation and things seemed good. I hate evaluations that start with a self evaluation. The thing about self evaluations is that it’s hard not to check ‘Awesome!’ on every item. I’m not tooting my own horn but who really says, “I’m mediocre’?

Self evaluations to me are like report cards for kindergarten kids.

Listening skills.
Reading comprehension.
Writing skills.
Participates actively in events.
Accepts responsibilities.
Leads well.
Follows rules.
Plays well with others.

Mind you, the only below average score I ever received was in kindergarten. It was for naptime. Jennifer was making faces at me during naptime and I giggled. Once! Can you believe it! Next thing I know I get marked on my permanent record ‘Needs improvement’ in the naptime category.

I guess that’s why I can sleep anywhere at anytime now. I had to prove Sr. Clair wrong. I can nap and I can ‘exceed expectations’ with said naps!

Most tell me that they had the goals section of a self eval. I don’t mind listing goals. We all have goals of some sort, even if it’s simply get through a day without embarrassing oneself.

This year my goals are pretty lofty but I guess I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In my opinion you shouldn’t feel pressured to accomplish your goals within the 12 months b/w your next eval. The effort to reach your goal must be evaluated. In this day and age, company turnaround is high. With turnaround, especially in executive positions, company goals and focuses shift. Your goal may need to be altered with these shifts. Don’t be afraid to state a lofty goal because you may not accomplish it within 12 months.

Also, remember it may be your evaluation but that doesn’t mean you don’t ask questions. Ask your boss what are the goals for your department this year? What does he/she see will be the focus for the coming year? How does he/she see your role in these goals?

Even if you work all day staring into a computer for 12 hours, you don’t work in a silo. The worst thing you can do at your evaluation is to be silent. Ask. Respond. Your boss probably dislikes these as much as you do. No one likes being lumped into categories. The current system of employee evaluations is flawed. Many are being to change this process but until it becomes the norm, we still need to go through the process. The more you make it interactive, the more comfortable and more informative it will be and the less it will be about check boxes.

That’s just my two cents. Take it if you will.

In addition to my new department having yearly self evaluations, apparently we also have performance retreats. Anonymous nominations are accepted during the next two week and winners will have the chance to participate in a 4 day retreat at the beautiful 1st floor conference room where we will brainstorm for 8 hours on performance enhancing techniques. I picture this similar to the "Women in the Workplace' Seminar in ‘The Office(US)’.

The last retreat I had the honor of attending focused on time management. The concept of retreats are good in theory but I always find less than half who attend these retreats take anything valuable away with them. What did I take away from the last retreat I attended? ‘To eat the frog first.’ Of course, this meant for months afterwards, fellow retreaters found ways to incorporate this phrase in practical jokes and office antics. The most memorable involved gummy frogs scattered throughout the office. BTW, if you’re looking for gummy frogs, you’re best bet is asking for a special request order from your local mall’s candy store or FAO Schwartz.

Related tags:

I look like a chinese albino

Sorry for the unannounced weeklong sabbatical. I wasn’t planning it. On Monday, my eyes decided that dry, itching and burning was going to be a good look for me. When I tell you they were dry and itchy, I’m being kind to spare you the imagery.

I thought it was allergies. Every magazine has reference to how this year is the worse allergy season than the year before. My allergies haven’t hit me yet so maybe I was just getting a one two punch.

I spent the day fending off the ‘Man, you’re eyes are red’ statements from co-workers. Geez, thanks for noting it. I had no idea until you told me.

Then on Tuesday, I woke up weeping. Not just weeping; I was seeping. I looked like I was watching a 24 hour marathon of Lifetime Channel Movies for Women. You know the kind; my husband forget to bring home eggs. I think he’s cheating on me.

I called in sick and went to my ophthalmologist who put me on corticosteroids. “You shouldn’t have waiting until it got this severe. I can’t tell if it’s allergies or a bacterial infection.” “Wait. I didn’t wait. This happened overnight.” “You look. You look.”
“I look like I’ve been watching Lifetime, the weeping network.” “Yes! That’s it.” “Thanks, Doc. Can I have my prescription?” “Here and treat this like it’s contagious. Go to work but you’ll have a few days before your cosmetically pleasing.”

I’m not sure what the hell I was supposed to take from that last line. Cosmetically pleasing? Thanks for the confidence booster. It’s not like I was feeling a bit self conscious about the red, puffy weeping eyes. Why don’t you just tell me to put a brown paper bag on my face.

I went home and spent the day with warm compresses on my eyes to reduce the swelling and to dilate my vessels.

The next I went to work and instead of having a day where I could just hide out in my office, it was City Harvest’s Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger day. As always I volunteered to be the company captain which meant I had to go around and campaign for donations.

I’m not sure if the weeping helped my cause but for a person who has only been in her new department for 5 months, I have already tallied $350 worth of donations. I have to pick up a few more donations from our downtown offices on Tuesday.

As for my eyes, the corticosteroids are doing their job. The swelling has substantially reduced, the redness is gone and the weeping has slowed to an occasional tear. I had my follow up on Friday and he’s weaning me off of it. If by next Friday, all symptoms have not disappeared, he’s going to guinea pig me and put my on something else.

Related tags: ,

Friday, May 12, 2006

Parent-proofing PC: Long distance telephone support

Successfully used phrases when talking to PC phobic parents:

‘when your computer is on, there should be a blue or green light in the front of the box’

‘look for a cord that’s not connected to anything’

‘square thingy with 2 spinny thingies on either end’

‘black cord with three slit like holes’

‘cord with a giant telephone cord end’

‘your TV (monitor) must be connected to the box (tower) in order to see what’s inside’

‘no, the TV doesn’t get it’s juice from the box. There is another cord in the back of the monitor that needs to be plugged into the power strip.’

‘hold the button down until the whirring sound stops. That means it’s asleep.’

‘the TV screen will go black when you turn off your box. That’s normal.’

‘no, the keyboard works like a typewriter. You don’t have to press the shift key for the number 2.’

‘the ‘Enter’ key is your carriage return lever’

‘the thin black cords with flat rectangle ends can go in anyone of those slots. It doesn’t matter the order.’

Related tags: , , , ,

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Another weird dream

Another weird dream last night this time it involved my water bottle.

Yesterday, I filled my water bottle with Cranberry Juice and water. I had nearly finished it but fell asleep before I could.

This is where my dream starts. I woke up like I normally do and got ready for work. No matter how early I wake up I always seem to be rushing out the door and just as I was making my way towards the front door I turned back.

Why don’t I grab my water bottle and finish the last of the cranberry juice on the bus. I opened my refrigerator door and the entire bottom shelf was crimson red. Unlike my real life fridge, my bottom rack had a lip to catch spills on all four sides. I lifted up my water bottle and it had a little dent and a half inch gash inside the dent. Miraculously it was still full but the crimson red water must have come from the bottle. Still nothing was spilling from the gash.

I woke up as I dropped my work bag and gently lifted the bottom rack to drain it in the sink.

Related tags:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This week's 24: A test of suspension of disbelief

First, Heller is alive! I’ll believe it when I see it. Not that I don’t want him to be alive. He is my top dog sugar daddy. I just find the only reason to keep him alive is 1. He’s Bill Devine. 2. He’s the new president but even that’s shady because he’s only 6th in line of succession. 3. He’s flippin’ Bill Devine.

Slimey Miles has the balls to threaten Scarecrow? I love the use of the word ‘allegiance’. His brown nosing capability is just sickening. Sadly, in my short time in the workforce, I’ve seen my share of Slimey Miles.

All of sudden, Bierko’s back? Why transport him? Why show him at all? 1. He’s Julian Sands. 2. He’s Julian Sands. 3. To reinforce the notion that CTU security sucks. It’s called a background check. Put Chloe in charge of all background checks and CTU would be tighter than a can of cranberry jelly.

Sure, the plane stopped just in time to avoid wing clippage. Co-pilot, Shweaty McSweat Sweat probably wet his pants but he’s got a great story to tell at cocktail parties.

No one saw Jack cross the road nor did they see the black SUV driving Northbound during martial law? I’d believe it if his invisibility hoodie was up but it wasn’t.

The President of the United States would never take the chicken shit way out. So he wasn’t elected but still, it’s a bad move. If all he did the last 18 months was for the sake of this country, he should realize blowing one’s brains out after a chigger of Johnny Walker Black is not going to do the US any good.

Also, I find it highly improbably that Weezie would blow his brains out. He would point fingers at everyone before he let the fallout be on himself. Who is this Graham guy and why is controlling everything. Is he ‘The Man’ that we all want to stick it to?

The Jack Bauer I know would not take 15 minutes to make out with Audrey, post slicing. Sorry, that's not my Jack. Bring the real Jack back.

Aaron is alive! It’s like ‘24’ this week was a cast reunion. All we needed was Tony back from the dead. I’m glad Aaron is alive but the torturing of Aaron was unnecessary. The man just saved your maniac depressive wife’s tookus. Maybe you should be thankful. Wait, on second thought…

Enjoy more Jack Bauer related thoughts at:

Related Tags:

Don't you hate it when you dream about work?

Weird dream last night.
All work related.

I was in my office in a good mood that the stalking would soon cease. I was even having an interesting chat with Steven and enjoying myself when he opens his desk drawer, pulls out a copy of The Purpose Driven Life and proceeds to ask me my thoughts on spying. I’ve never read the book but I’m gathering spying is not a chapter.

Then I run to Michele’s room and close the door. I’m not sure why I’d run there seeing that we aren’t close and have never really worked together since 2000. She’s on the phone and so I quietly leave her office.

There were other strange oddities that I can’t recall now but I remember wanting to stay asleep to see the outcome.

Related tags:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Seeking celebrity spokeperson for dogs with allergies

Z-girl is allergic to everything under the sun. She’s had atopic dermatitis, which essentially means she had a rash. Of course for dogs, a rash means their hair falls out in the areas where there is a rash.

The doctor put her on steroids but we stopped that because we feared liver damage. Then they put her on this medication that came in the form of a horse pill and $ figure that made our bank account smaller. Lrudlrick was tired of shelling out the $$ for the pills because they only treated the symptoms which meant it would be a maintenance drug. So instead we tried twice weekly baths with thick goopy medicated shampoo.

That started working. We were relieved until her eye started getting goopy. She had this dark ring around her right eye and she started looking like Petey.

Then her ears started to smell, really smell. So we started cleaning them twice a week but they still were a bit funky.

Then she developed a reverse sneeze and a cough.

It has gotten to the point now that the doctor has put her on as Dr. House would say, “broad spectrum antibiotics” and a restricted diet.

Personally, I don’t think it’s her diet since it’s been the same forever. Because of P-man’s ACL rupture, we used to feed them Eukanuba Senior Plus with Glucosamine & Chondroitin. They loved that stuff. Now we have to pay an additional $10 for Eukanuba Response FP, which is for dogs with skin conditions. These are the main ingredients: Potato, Herring Meal, Catfish, Animal Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Digest. Mmm. Tasty.

So now every morning and every evening, my husband does the Z-girl ritual:

Ear cleaning BID
Panalog ointment applied in the ear BID
Eye cleaning BID
Neobacimyx-H applied to the eye TID
Clavamox 375 mg 2 tab orally BID
Hydroxyzin 5g 1 tab orally BID
Triaminic Cough and Sore Throat 2 tsp orally PRN

Oh and P-man gets Cosequin DS 1 cap orally OD

One of my kitchen counters has now become a pharmacy of meds and cotton balls for the dogs. With all these meds and ailments, would you believe our veterinarian said that Z-girl’s allergies are nothing compared to some cases he’s seen?

Poor Z-girl has been pretty comfortable with it all though. It’s now become routine. She no longer shivers in the bathtub. She jumps in all by herself. I guess it’s more like a spa treatment for her now. She lies patiently as we clean out her ears and eyes and even waits patiently as we gag in disgust at the icky stuff coming out of her ear.

I just wish we knew what she was allergic too. We thought the tests were conclusive about pollen and ragweed. This all started after we moved by the park. I read somewhere that it may still be pollen and ragweed and that the body is just simply reacting to the stimulants in other ways. We attack the skin rash and it moves to the ears. We attack the ears and it moves to the eye. We attack the eye and she develops sneezing and coughing.

The doctor said we now have to wait. See what is working and slowly remove each antibiotic and determine what is the primary stimulant to her histamine buildup.

As long as he doesn’t put my dog in the MRI of doom, I’ll follow his orders.

Anyone else have a dog allergic to the world?

L: Haha. ‘This food is specially formulated for dogs that are allergic to food.’ – Lrudlrick reading the brochure on dog food allergies.

Related tags:

Happy Jack Bauer Appreciation Day

Happy Jack Bauer Appreciation Day, everyone! I present to you the top five reasons my life is better with Jack around:

1. Diligence regained.
It takes dedication and heart to ensure my Monday nights are free from distraction.
2. Appreciation for girl geeks rises exponentially.
Ok, I know it isn’t Chloe appreciation day but without Jack, the world would not have met Chloe and the hundreds of Chloe’s out there. We may be crabby and bitchy but us computer geeks get the job done. Oh, and we also know where you’ve been surfing and we find you sick and repulsive.
3. Displaced aggression prevents Pantrygirl from going postal at work.
I’ll admit it; I love when Jack tortures someone. When Jack goes Special Ops, Pantrygirl gets giddy with excitement. Some days I wish I had the right to knock someone unconscious. Haven’t we all been in circumstances where a good chop to the back of the neck would free us of undue stress? How about the chance to shoot your boss in the back of the head? Ok, I like my boss so I’d never do that but I’m sure there are people out there who would. Disclaimer: Pantrygirl does not endorse such things in real life.
4. Cool gadgets.
So I’m never going to buy the Jack Bauer watch but I do have his Treos and the laptop they use. Although I’m pretty sure, I’m going to change my ringtone now that Logan is using it. Damn you Logan! It’s was the only decent ringtone in the preset menu. I'm also happy to see denim jackets, hoodies and tan leather jackets are coming back into style. Now, if only I can get my husband to use a man purse.
5. Perspective.
My day, no matter how bad it is, could never be as bad as a Jack Bauer day. A pilfered cupcake is nothing compared to having your wife kidnapped, raped and then killed or your daughter attacked by a cougar and a psycho employer.
6. Recognition of moles in office increased.
Ok, I said 5 but I have to make note that the guidelines noted at Blogs4Bauer only solidify my suspicions that I may have a Logan sider in my office.

Lrudlrick's 5 things learned from Jack Bauer:
1. Need a seat on the bus? Elbow person in face, pull out gun.
2. Need a seat on the subway? Elbow in face, pull out gun.
3. Need a seat on a plane? Elbow in face, pull out gun.
4. Need a seat at a restaurant? Tip maitre'de then elbow in face, pull out gun.
5. Skip the line at Starbucks? Elbow in face, pull out gun, drink coffee and do it again for fun.

Read more about Jack Bauer Appreciation Day at: Blogs4Bauer.

Related tags: ,

Monday, May 08, 2006

Anyone have a piece of bread?

Everyday, I get more and more miffed about my predicament and how I’m too much of a pacifist to do anything about it.
Today’s yolk breaking incident was the camera I placed to validate the claims others have about ‘Steven’ was moved to face me. Can you believe it? I can’t say who did it. Was it ‘Steven’? Was it the cleaning staff?
I put it in another location and if he asks me about it I’ll tell him the truth. I was given the camera by the vendor to test and I’m periodically testing it.

I know I put this upon myself. When my boss asked me to request a move, I should have but I knew there was no place for me to be moved and I was repeatedly told the situation would clear itself soon because of a reorg. I’m such a chicken when it comes to confrontation.

Add to this the fact I need to call my mother to see if the issues that she called me about yesterday afternoon were resolved. In short, my mother is complaining about the accountant I recommended to her. I generally don’t like to recommend anything or anyone to my mom since she always finds a flaw in said object or person. However, she seemed desperate so two years ago I referred her to my accountant. Ever since, I’ve heard nothing but complaints about the lack of response.

pg: Mom, it’s the weekend. There’s nothing we can do now. Call him at 10am on Monday and we’ll take it from there.

M: I just thought you might have another number or something.

pg: No, same number and when we call someone usually picks up.

M: Well the only reason I went back to him was because you told me about him.

I know people who feel confident and network their personal and professional lives. I’m not one of those people. I try to keep personal and professional separate. Heck, I try to keep personal separate.

I seldom make referrals in my personal life because of my experiences with my mother. It’s not that I don’t find a person’s work to be good, it’s that my friends or acquaintances have never been good enough for her. The disappointment is awful.

L: Don't take it personal. Everything is about drama for her. Until you realize that's the way it is with her and you stop questionning it, it's always going to nag you.

I also feel my mother gets a little too close to people she shouldn’t. An accountant is an accountant. You shouldn’t call him after hours or during holidays unless he’s your best friend from college. Dually my mother shouldn’t call him after hours or during holidays and feel she can because she’s my mother.

I think it stems from her mentality that your job is who you are and so you are on call 24/7. She treats me the same way. I’m her daughter so she can call me whenever for however long because that’s my duty. So when Lrudlrick told her to stop calling me for hour long conversations while I was working, she got insulted and it those became, my husband versus my mother.

At the same time when she calls me she talks to me as if I’m an ancillary service to her. “Well I don’t mean to bother you and waste your time. I appreciate you took the time to take my call.” “Mom, you talk to me like I’m a service to you. Is that what you think of me or are you just mad at me?”

So what was my point of this morning’s rant? Oh yes, my yolks been broken. I’m just a sunny side mess. I don’t want to be in the office, my mother is mad at me again You’d think I’d be used to it by now., my brother is miffed because of comments made that he didn’t want to hear and my husband is miffed that he’s reminded once again how our dreams of our life and a family together have been busted.

Don’t think I’m depressed or down. I’m not. I’m just having a messy yolk day and I’m sure by lunch, I’ll feel better. Every day can’t be a sunny side day, I suppose but sometimes, I wish I was the one bursting my yolk. At least I wouldn’t feel like I was just along for the ride.

By the time I was ready to publish this post, my computer suffered a crippling attack of spyware which lead to an afternoon and evening spent cleaning the crap out of my pc. On the bright side, as of 4:38pm the following afternoon, I think it's fixed.

Related tags: , , ,

Sunday, May 07, 2006

You got me going in circles(oh round and round i go)

I have recollections of my grandfather telling my mother who would sometimes spend all day in bed, “Why are you still in bed? Get out and do something. You’re so lazy.” My mother in return would cry uncontrollably, ”I’m sick, can’t you see that?”

“Clinical depression is currently the leading cause of disability in the US as well as other countries, and is expected to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide (after heart disease) by the year 2020, according to the World Health Organization[4].” -- answers.com

I recently realized my mother has always suffered from depression, large bouts of depression. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I didn’t know what depression was. I just thought my mother was in a bad mood because of something I did. In the 90’s, I denied it. Why would my mother who has 2 kids, a big home and the freedom to do whatever she pleased be depressed. There are people out there in horrible predicaments that aren’t depressed. Then she had her accident and its as if Pandora’s box was opened.

I’ve only recently admitted that the depression she was diagnosed with after the accident has always existed. Why? I guess one reason is because I now know that I didn’t inflict the depression. A lot of my relationship with my mother was based on people telling me how much I hurt my mother. My actions or words always seemed to sting my mother. “Can’t you see how you’re killing her?”

Now the only guilt I have is not that I may have inflicted her depression but that my husband now has to endure her mood swings and the likelihood that we will have to care for her in her old age. I haven’t told this to my husband but that is one of the reasons why I doubt we’ll ever start a family. I’m not hurt or bitter about this but it’s a discussion for another day.

The dilemma I find myself at is always the same. Why do we always have to walk on eggshells for her? Even if it means we need to clean up the cracked shells she sometimes leaves in her wake?

Why is it ok for everyone, my father, my stepfather, my brother and I to be choked by depression’s noose?

There are a lot of things my mother does because she thinks she’s doing the right thing. There are a lot of things my mother does because it’s the easy way of doing things. There are a lot of things my mother does because she just doesn’t realize how it effects others.

She means well a lot of times but it doesn’t make it easier when things go sour and the stagehands need to come in and clean the set.

How do explain to your mother that her illness grips us just as hard as it grips her? How do you explain that without spiraling her down another well of darkness?

It’s a vicious circle. She sees her children’s despair and doesn’t know how to react. Instead of asking us what is going on and how we feel, she assumes and makes decisions she feels will make us feel better, mostly monetary objects she can’t afford.

We find out after the fact and the next thing you know we’re paying for things we didn’t want but we can’t say anything or mom will get offended.

Sadly, even if my mother could change and ask us what’s going on, we are caught in a web where we can’t. I’ve tried and that only made our relationship worse.

So what is the answer? I don’t have one. I think millions of people are in the same predicament as my brother and I find ourselves.

How do we continue to grow personally while continuing our responsibilities given to us by blood? How do you avoid the bitterness and the anger? How do you avoid stunting? How do you avoid spreading the burden to others?

I’m not trying to justify it or rationalize it. I’m not trying to find the answers to why or why me. I find those questions foolish and selfish. Whatever I may feel is minute to what my mother must feel.

I just wish I was stronger and more financially capable so that this illness wouldn’t affect anymore than it already has.

Related tags:

Friday, May 05, 2006

PantryMutha: The Happy Apple

Click photo to see more of semarr's flickr slideshow.

Muthafunga and I are 6 years apart in age but from the moment he was able to walk in that rickety walker, yes the kind that were recalled because kids would tip over and hit their giant craniums on ceramic floor tiling my brother and I still found a way to get into a boatload of mischief.

Sure, I was pretty protective of my brother. In school and outdoors I felt I had to play the big sister but when we were home alone, we were the same age, trying different things and attempting to get away with it.

Oddly enough, a lot of my memories center around objects. I suppose this all stems from the apple incident.

My mother had just allowed me to hold my brother for the first time. Since he was a hefty squirmer, I was only allowed to hold him while sitting on my grandfather’s soft as a baby bottom leather recliner. Even on that giant chair, I couldn’t really keep a hold of my wiggly little brother. In between photos, my mother would run back and catch my brother before I dropped him.

Notice the giant cranium my brother had. When he was old enough to run around in the walker of death, he looked like the spitting image of Boss Hogg from Dukes of Hazzard. I’d scan a photo but it’s in my brother’s baby album in my mom’s house but trust me when I say he looked like Boss Hogg. Also notice my Pixie haircut. Back in 70’s and early 80’s I had the Crystal Gayle hairdo. That was until someone decided to spread lice at school. That was the end of Crystal Gayle for me and the beginning of the Kathy Rigby and soon after the Dorothy Hamill. If I didn’t know better, I would swear my mother wanted me to be a gymnast. I didn't start growing my hair long again until 6th grade to non-parochial school folk junior high.

Well soon after that photo was taken, my mom put my brother down for a nap at which time, I decided to prove to my mom that I was a good kid who cleaned up not just her toys but her brother’s toys.

With my brother asleep, my mom went to the kitchen to help my grandmother prepare dinner. Grandma was cleaning and cutting up fish. I remember this distinctly because of the Chinese cleaver my grandmother used to emphasis her irate words to me later on.

There was this toy apple called ironically Happy Apple. It is a pretty large roly-poly toy. According to the description at this old toy, it measures 6 inches high and 4.5 inches wide. If anyone knows of the toy and knows the exact weight, I’d love to have that info. For a small child, that thing was pretty heavy. Back then, toys weren’t sanitized for safety. It didn’t have rubber encasing the apple. It didn’t fold onto itself if punched. It was solid hard plastic.

The image to the right, borrowed from schwartz- omalley .com, shows the size of the Happy Apple compared to a baby’s head. Well in my fervor to clean up, I hoisted this sucker into the crib forgetting my brother was napping in said crib. The sound of the jingling apple hitting my brother’s noggin was loud and distinct. Do you remember the sound a log would make on the head of Wil E. Coyote as it pounded him into the ground? That's what it sounded like, a mix between a pop and a loud tongue flick.

At the very moment the apple made contact with my brother’s head, I had an image of my second grade teacher, Sr. Rosario telling me, “Remember, a baby’s head is really soft. It takes time to harden into the tough skull you have. Be very careful or you could hurt him.” I think I screamed before my brother let out his wail. In fact, I probably screamed louder than my brother. I ran over to my mother and grandmother who was also screaming but in Chinese. “Why are you screaming like that, little pearl! You nearly caused me to chop my fingers off!” Little Pearl was my nickname in Chinese. It could also be interpreted as Little Pig but my mother swears she meant the later.

I think I blurted out something about nuns, apples and dented skulls and how really sorry I was and that I didn’t mean to hurt my brother.

To this day my mother says that I made more of a fuss than my brother did. In fact, she is right to say I was probably more fussy than my brother in all aspects. Personally, I don’t recall. I was so caught up in my own fear and anxiety it was completely possible my brother slept through it and I woke him up with my feeble and frazzled attempts to check his skull. Weeks after, I would occasionally check on him while sleeping to make sure his head wasn’t dented in. Even at that early age, I knew a dented head would lead to a lifetime of guilt.

Muthafunga, you probably don’t remember any of this but honestly, it scared the bejesus out of me. I guess parochial school and Chinese parents can lay the guilt on thick even at that early age.

I’m not sure if mom still has that apple in the attic but if you want a memento, I can try to win it on ebay.

Related tags: , ,

Someone light a match please

Dear neighbor who is cooking the cabbage:

I’m not one to complain. In fact, I like that I live in a building filled with people who enjoy cooking but it’s been over an hour now. I need to ask you to kindly finish cooking whatever it is you are making.

You are making my apartment smell like dog farts. Yes, trust me when I say dogs fart. Seriously, even the dogs are alarmed by the wafting scent of sulfur that periodically drift into our living room. Put a lid on it, will you? Are you using enough water?

I like cabbage but this is getting to be unbearable. All I keep doing is staring at my dog with suspicion. The dogs stare right back offended at my presumption.


Related tags:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ponch just picked up my package!

Eric Estrada not only is the spokesperson for Hot Springs Village but he just came by and picked up my UPS packages.

Related tags: , ,

Back to cooking with gas...

With my Lenten sacrifice over and my mind on when if ever I will get my scores back, I've been hunkering myself down in the kitchen.

I’m on a kick. I want to know what makes a recipe a prize winning recipe. For the past two days I have made prize winning recipes without any alterations to the instructions.

So far, I’m not impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken kabobs and Swedish meatballs were good but not great. The kabobs were a bit too earthy for my husband and the meatballs were bland.

L: “Why didn’t you just use your recipe?”
pg: “Because, I wanted to know what makes it a prize winning meatball.” L: “This is your new thing, isn’t it? Why mess with what you have that works?”

One of my big problems is that many of these recipes call for ingredients that are sponsor products. I’m not a big pre-packaged fan. I’m not a snob I just feel like I can make a perfectly yummy waffle and I don’t need to buy them frozen. Plus, I love measuring and mixing ingredients. The kitchen is my playroom.

Tonight, I’m giving Lrudlrick a break and making a simple salmon and pancetta angel hair pasta. It’s the quickie meal I make when I’m tired and want something yummy and satisfying.

I think the winners of the cooking competitions are all good recipes but it boils down to the judges’ tastes and preference. It’s all subjective. What is prize winning one day is not the next.

Take the kabobs. The liked the earthiness and thought it would be great in a pita with a dollop of sour cream. Lrudlrick, thought the cumin and cilantro overpowered the chicken.

I guess for me the true judge is my husband. If my notoriously finicky husband can devour a dish I prepare, I’m doing ok. Still, a cool blue ribbon would be nice.

At least I’m back in the kitchen and the flour is flying.

Related tags: ,

No Aaron and No Heller make Pantrygirl go something something

Did I watch '24'? Yes?
Did I give my full attention to '24'? Not really. I’ve been pre-occupied.

First, I’ve been living in the kitchen for the last few days. Second, my mother in law just returned from Orlando hunting for places to retire. She called right in the middle of ‘24’ and I lost my momentum. Third, Z-girl caught a cold, aka kennel cough.

So now aside from her allergies that have led to dermatitis, an ear infection and an eye infection, she has this hacking cough that makes her sound like she’s weaning herself off of a pack a day addiction. It started off on Saturday with non stop reverse sneezes. A reverse sneeze sounds like the dog has something in his/her throat. Then it started sounding like she swallowed one of her hedgehog toys. The sound can only be described as a low honking sound, like a goose. Then on Sunday it was non-stop coughing like she had phlegm. So now she’s on Triaminic Cough and Sore Throat formula. You’d think she’d like the grape flavor but apparently she doesn’t. We’re back to the dropper method.

I thought pooches were supposed to be cheaper than children but Z-girl’s medical costs keep climbing. P-man is voluntarily staying away from her for good reason. The allergies aren’t contagious but the kennel cough is. She has approximately 5 more days before it should completely leave her system.

Funny thing is she had her vaccinations and meds when she was younger. I did some research and found that dogs can catch it again and not just at a kennel. It’s airborne so who knows where she could have picked it up.

I’m just thankful P-man didn’t catch it too.

So sorry if the last two week’s ‘24’ talk has been minimal. If you are interested in ‘24’ commentary, check out:

I did like the shout out from Dr. House during this week’s 2 part episode. Well done, Dr. House. I knew there was a reason I watch you aside from reveling in your crass interpersonal skills.

As for this week’s episode, I felt it was a bit slow moving and predictable. I still don’t know who the Bluetooth baddies are. I’m not sure where Wayne was hiding at Buchanan’s. I’ve all but forgotten about Audrey and Bierko.

Chloe has inspired me to buy a taser though and Bill Buchanan is my new ‘24’ sugar daddy. Sorry Heller but now that you’ve gone bye bye, I need to move on.

Buchanan calling out Slimey Miles for the kiss ass that he is made me smile and in the words of my brother “Think Logan is projecting a little?”

Last question, how long have they been listening to Chloe and Karen’s conversations? Who clued them in? Tell Miles triggered something with his call to Novick. It would figure he would inadvertently lead the Bluetooth baddies to Jack and co.

Next week, we see how the president thinks he could get away with blowing up an international flight filled with diplomats from Germany, France and Great Britain.

Lastly, Blogs4Bauer reminds everyone that May 9th is Jack Bauer Appreciation Day. Send him a ’Your Day’ Bouquet or pick yourself up a nifty man bag or dark hoodie.

Related Tags: ,

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pinched Pies. Swiped Cupcakes. What's the world coming to?

Ok, I just have to vent. I made these cherry blossom cupcakes for my husband’s office to thank them for taste testing pie. Lrudlrick forgot to bring them and instead took my keys but that’s another story which I will admit is my fault.

So I brought them to my office.

I would need an industrial size kitchen to make enough for my department staff so I individually went around giving them to the support staff. I left the container with 4 remaining cupcakes in my office and left the door open figuring I’m running back and forth. I just got back and a cupcake is missing! Now I’m 1 short for the IT team and I’m pretty miffed about the whole thing.

Sure I could give ‘Stephen’s’ cupcake to IT but I’m trying do be more Christian like plus I really don’t want anything remotely resembling guilt to come b/w the creepy relationship we have already.

So now I’m really pissed. A kind gesture of a cupcake turned into a reinforcement agent for my cynicism. I really don’t want to be cynical. I don’t want to go back to college girl Pantrygirl, the girl who wore doc marts and hated the establishment.

Damn you cupcake thief. I hope you choke on a walnut. Wait, strike that. You’ll probably sue me. Enjoy that cupcake for it shall be the last in a long while. {{Curls lower lip and shakes fist in air.}}

Related tags: ,

Monday, May 01, 2006

At least the urine wasn't green.

For Easter I was planning to make half a ham and some lamb. If you’ve been following my mother called me the day of Easter dinner and said she bought chicken and duck so I scratched the ham. Wow that a lot of meat.

Anyway, when we got back from Florida, I told my husband to be prepared for a week of ham because, well, I have a side of ham and I seriously need to cook it before it goes bad. See, I’d freeze it but we live in an apartment and my freezer is only so big. I want a separate freezer doodad but Lrudlrick and the rest of my friends and family think I’m nuts. Let’s see who thinks I’m nuts when homemade ice cream can be made.

So began what I can only describe to you as the great ham escapades of 2006. Every meal, and I mean every, had ham. Breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners all had ham. If it wasn’t the main component, it was a side. Ham pockets, Ham quiche, Ham stir fry. By Saturday, I honestly thought I’d finish the ham. I have a shank end left that I too sick of ham to even look at. I was about to make ham balls (I know this sounds disgusting but I’m running out of ideas. when Lrudlrick said, “I don’t think I can have anymore ham.” Full quote removed to save the innocent.

So I have a shank end left which is small enough to stick in our freezer because in all honesty, we’re both hammed out. I don’t think either of us can have ham again until at least Christmas.

Related tags:

Words to Live By

"Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them." -- Matthew 13:15

Related tags:

From nothing to why I will pay extra to fly JetBlue...

Am I a cynic?
Have I become jaded?
Why do I feel like Corporate America has infiltrated my life? To be honest, I’m probably just noticing it.
L: Don’t think going to Europe is going to help. It’s only a matter of time before it happens in Europe.
Now, I’m not saying I’m going to do a Johnny Depp and live my days in some provincial town. I love America but I’m just getting tired of the politics that surrounds everything. It’s who you know. It’s who likes you. It’s making nice and playing the game. I don’t want to play the game.

My husband works in market research so if anyone should realize how much we get played, it’s me but I guess I just didn’t want to believe it.

Lrudlrick once told me about how Budweiser kept sponsoring local events in P.R. just to get brand recognition going. Apparently in less than a year of doing this, the kids in P.R. knew Bud

Oh, I also learned last week that if I were to become a parent, my fears of being selfish would be untrue. It’s a long story that involves watching a family of 6, where the kids were all under 8, and the process that took place getting ready to go to Disney World. In short, I’m guessing if the time comes, I’ll do what I have to do especially when someone depends on me.

Before I ramble any further, I should finish my pie adventure.
Well, after the contest and the whole pro/amateur debate, we went home to pack. Lrudlrick was and still is extremely irate about the whole thing. Personally, I think if anyone should be miffed, it should be me but I’m not going to cry over eaten pie. Still, when Lrudlrick gets his mind set on something you know how stubborn he becomes. He’s contemplating contacting corporate sponsors. I told him to do what his conscience tells him to.

I agree that professionals/commercials should not be part of a home cook competition. It is clearly stated in the rules.

Anyway, we were pretty happy to head home, especially since we get homesick fairly quickly. It’s hard for the lungs to adjust to clean air and our ears to the lack of noise pollution.

The only thing we had to deal with when we got home was picking up our pooches, bathing our pooches and ordering pizza.

That’s what we thought. Apparently, Orlando International Airport is the worst airport for check in. Because of the craziness of our initial flight, I wanted to be sure that we got to the airport early enough to handle any crises. I used the excuse that if we got there early there might be a slight chance we’d get an earlier flight home. Lrudlrick bit and we were at the rental car drop off 2.5 hours before departure.

When we got to the check in area, it looked like the definition of chaos. There were no lines but massive crowds of people. We tried self check in but that was even worse. Somehow we got to a self check in kiosk where I decided with the chaos around us, we should check both of luggage, not just the kitchen bag. This proved to be a wrong move. After we self checked in, a lady screamed out our name and threw two luggage tags at us and told us to go to luggage check in. We asked her where that was as people shoved past us to get to the newly freed kiosk. She pointed her finger behind us and circled it. What the heck does that mean? Was she a witch trying to make a sign magically appear?

Anyway, there wasn’t a sign to luggage check in but there was a long line behind us with a people dragging luggage so we hopped on. Luggage check in consists of a person telling you to put your luggage behind a rope and leave. Seriously, leave. I kindly told the guy I wasn’t leaving until I saw him put my luggage in the giant contraption. He looked perturbed but hey, they say never to leave your bags unattended.

We then went in search of our gate. Now there is a reason why MCO has a hotel built into their airport facilities. Our line to get past security to get to the gates reached past the front door. At MCO, international flight security is not separated from domestic flight security check in. So we stood online for 35-40 minutes. It was like a line to a Disney ride without the ride afterwards.

By the time we got to our gate, we had enough time to hear them begin boarding our flight. Here is a warning to all who fly out of MCO, get there at least 3 hours in advance, especially if you have kids. It took us 2.5 hours from car rental drop off. There were some people who missed their flights completely.

The flight was less embarrassing. This time the attendants were smart and did the actual live presentation. The co-pilot was obviously new because he was very young and seemed to hesitate when speaking still it was much more relaxing. Especially since we asked for the emergency exit seats which added extra leg room.

With the chaos at MCO and the cattiness of pie over, we stepped off our plane happy to be home. The plan was simple, Lrudlrick would take the Air Train to Howard Beach to pick up our car. I’d run to the baggage claim to pick up our bags and meet him outside of arrivals.

We both bee lined to the bathroom and as I was washing my hands I realized Lrudlrick was missing a key to his plan, the actual key to the car and the ticket to pay for parking. He had given them to me so he wouldn’t lose them. I call him frantically on his cell and by the third call he realized he was missing the keys. He met me at the baggage claim area. For those interested, Delta’s baggage claim area smells like a mix between high school gym locker room and wet dog. Anyway, we watched as every bag known to man went through, even one bag that exploded sending kids shoes and shirts everywhere. We even watched as a 70 year old man walloped a 9 year old girl with a bag that could have fit 2 of her inside. Lrudlrick had to move the little girl’s older brother out of the way when the 70 year old swung his second body bag towards him.

We eventually found our rolling luggage with the kitchen supplies but our duffel with our dirty clothes was missing. To the left of the claim area, an attendant started lining up luggage that was unclaimed. It looked to be a car full of luggage. That’s when Lrudlrick and I realized that Delta must have switched luggage carts. We went to the baggage agent and reported our bag missing. He said he couldn’t find it on the next flight but that he would register the bag as a delayed bag. He’d have it delivered to our house when it arrived in NYC.

That was it for my husband. I think I literally heard something snap in his brain. I know something is truly wrong when Lrudlrick goes silent. In silence, we went to the Air Train without our dirty laundry.

pg: I’m sorry I dragged you through this craziness.
L: Don’t be. I had fun and you needed an assistant. Just next time, we’re flying out of LaGuardia. We didn’t have these problems with JetBlue.
pg: We flew out of JFK for JetBlue.
L: We did?
pg: Yes.
L: Ok, next time, we fly out of Newark.

Lrudlrick was right; the air train is slow and we were the last stop on the train. We chuckled a bit as a man tried to roll two extra large rolling carts by pushing them rather than pulling them. When he tried to push them off the train, the wheels got caught and he went flying. Cell phone, travel maps and what not flew everywhere. The polite person that I am not, Lrudlrick, told him to drag them behind him. Ok, I try to be but that was just bloody funny.

We get to the car and if you thought nothing else could go wrong, our ticket didn’t have a time stamp so they computer couldn’t read it. We held up the check out line while the supervisor was called and peppered us with questions on when we parked the car.

We made it to the kennel, picked up the pooches. As Lrudlrick walked them, I went inside to settle up and told the young kid that I was here to settle P and Z’s visit. The young black kid turned sheet white and said he gave them to a man that said he was their owner. I laughed and said you checked his name, right? “Yes” Don’t have a heart attack, that’s my husband. I’m here to pick up their toys and stuff. He laughed and right away gave me a summary of their stay and yada yada. We drove home with the windows wide open to avoid choking to death in kennel smell.

With the baths and parking, we finally settled in around 9ish.

Our bag finally arrived. Your guess is as good as ours. Although I think it was one of the bags used in the scene in Liar, Liar. Well, it arrived at midnight the next day. Yes, midnight. With the bag was a letter of apology and paid UPS label to send it to their luggage repair company. Personally, I don’t see how they are going to fix this but we’ll find out. They may be better off sending me a check of a new bag. If they stick patches on it like my mom did on my jeans when I was a kid, I’m going to be rather miffed. Even better, if it comes back with patches that say ‘Delta’ on it, I’m ebay-ing the damn thing.

Day 4 total drinks: 5

Related tags: , , , ,