About a month or so ago, The Niece and I were playing in the backyard and I thought it'd be cool to introduce her to the grand childhood pasttime of making a pill bug curl up into a mini-armadillo ball. We hunkered down and peered into the grass in search of pill bugs.

In short order, one of those little insects was crawling toward us. I gently touched it's back and we watched as its survival instincts kicked in and it became a little pill bug ball. The Niece was fascinated by this and had to touch it herself. It was a close call but she didn't actually succeed in making pill bug paste.

It was then she decided that this particular pill bug's name was Harry. Nothing like anthropomorphizing itty bitty bugs, right?

After being rolled around the cement pad outside our back door, Harry figured out that he need to get the hell out of Dodge and trundled himself back to the grass. The Niece now had to find more pill bugs.

This is when we met Raspberry. And I'll have you know that I did not influence The Niece's choice of name for this bug at all. She must already associate blue with raspberry on her own (the blue raspberry Icees/candy/other things that are bad for you I've bought her on occasion I'm sure have nothing to do with it). Raspberry was a bit smarter than Harry and stayed in the grass where she (The Niece insisted Raspberry was a she) was safe(r) from poking and prodding. I had never seen a bright blue pill bug before so this was a new experience for both of us.

The Niece was in full pill bug mode by now. She found another one and proclaimed that its(her) name was Lipstick. Yes, Lipstick. The Niece is a girly-girl 3-year old who loves lipstick, all forms of make-up and all the glitteriness that goes with it. Hence, there is now a pill bug living in the backyard with the moniker Lipstick. Lipstick, however, is a shy pill bug and stayed in the safe zone in between the concrete pad and the yard. She dug herself under some loose grass and when encouraged (read: poked with a twig), just burrowed in deeper. You might say she's a tad anti-social.

We've since visited the pill bug enclave several times and added baby Owie to the fold. There's even been a pill bug family reunion at Nojoqui Falls a couple weeks ago. Considering my love of bugs (please note intense sarcasm), I am so thrilled that I fostered this love of pill bugs in my niece.

After my dad died, I developed this pervasive need to make sure the people I love know that I love them. Not too hard to figure out, right? This compulsion has metastasized into letting people know if they're doing a good job or they look good on a particular day or basically anything that might make someone's day a little brighter or cause them to feel that they matter.

Real life example - Shannon took The Niece to get her ears pierced the other weekend. We'd gone to see "Up" and stopped at Claire's after leaving the theater. The girl there was handling the busy store by herself. She was incredibly nice and professional, competently handling the many different customers and their requests with aplomb. So I told her I was impressed with her ability in running the store. I don't know if it made her day or if she's used to being complimented on her work efforts but I felt better for having said something and acknowledging her.

It's as though if I don't seize that one particular ephemeral opportunity to say a nice thing or let a person know I care, I'll never get that chance again. I have to reach out and grasp it, add my spin and then release it into the neverwhere, hoping that I've made the impact my heart so desperately needs to achieve. Perhaps my motivation is truly selfish in that regard. I do these things because they make me feel better about myself.

All I know is whenever I don't give in to this compulsive need, I flagellate myself with "what if" and "why didn't you say something". These repeated affirmations of love and caring have to be annoying to the people closest to me. To paraphrase James Taylor, "smother the people you love with love/show them the way that you feel". It's okay, Lil, we know you care now just back the fuck off!

Eh. I've totally lost control of this post and have no idea how to compose/re-arrange/detonate it so that it makes sense. These thoughts were tumbling around my brain and spewed themselves out into a blog entry. It is what it is, I suppose.
Labels: 5 comments | edit post
Over the weekend, The Nephew, The Niece and I took our two dogs for a walk. The dogs' names are Tofu and Betsey. The Nephew pushed The Niece in her stroller and I walked the two dogs.

Tofu is an older, more mature (at least when not in the presence of food or when you haven't been out of her sight for more than two nanoseconds) dog. Betsey is still in puppyhood, being only about two years old. Betsey kept trying to run around The 'Fu and would get their leashes entwined.

While separating their leashes for the trillionth time, I say to The Nephew, "you know that Bob Dylan song, 'Tangled Up in Blue'?"

He cautiously replies, "Yeah".

I then say (you can hear it already, can't you?), "Well, Betsey's song would be 'Tangled Up with 'Fu'".

Oddly enough, The Nephew didn't laugh but chose to look at me like I was mentally deranged. I mean really, that was pretty darned funny.

Okay, so at least I crack myself up, right? I've gotta make someone laugh.

Before I begin this well thought out and enlightening bullet list (which is not a cop out for a blog entry in any way, shape or form), I have to wonder if I spelled consciousness correctly. Excuse me while I consult spell check...okay, good on me. I hate when I look at a word and think, that's got to be wrong. Now, for the main event (which makes me think of the Barbara Streisand movie and I now hear Enough is Enough in my head, the duet she did with Donna Summer but oddly is not on The Main Event soundtrack - this is how my brain works):

  • We have a client whose first name is Tom and last name sort of but not really sounds like Dooley. Whenever I type him a letter or e-mail, the song Tom Dooley goes through my head -

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down
your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die

Not exactly a lighthearted thing to have going through one's brain but it is what it is.

  • While this is not universal, I am coming to the conclusion that extreme wealth is directly related to extreme arrogance, particularly in attorneys.
  • I am so freaking grateful to have secure, full-time employment. I really wish I could help those friends who don't.
  • Also, I'm beyond grateful to have big bosses at both jobs who are nice, friendly and appreciative. This is a rarity, in my experience, and it's those Big Bad Bosses who make me so appreciative now.
  • Thanks to my 2nd job, I now type "ok" as "okay" since most clients want it spelled out in that manner. This is not conducive to Twitter, however, and their 140 character limit.
  • I have so much filing to do, I'm thinking of arranging the towering stacks of file folders so that they at least have some aesthetic purpose as opposed to stressing me out, as they are now.
  • Still haven't put away the office supply order yet. Is it the 15th yet? Damn quarterly estimates. #!*%&@*$"#!*%
  • The phone will not stop ringing. I may end up speaking permanently in my telephone voice.
  • Is it 5 o'clock yet?

It's really not so bad (evidenced by there being time for me to squeeze out this lame-ass excuse of a blog entry) but this has been my day so far for what it's worth.

Labels: 2 comments | edit post
The office supply order came in today. To evidence how much of a geek I am, it always feels like Christmas to me when I open that delivery box and can unpack all of the goodies we’ve received.

I have always loved ordering office supplies. It was when I was working as an office manager at a brand-new-yet-to-be-opened nursing home that I experienced office supply nirvana. I was tasked with ordering all of the office supplies to get the facility set up. We had a contract with Viking Office Supplies (now owned by Office Depot) and since I didn’t have a catalog yet, I got to spend gloriously fun filled hours (yes, more than one hour) ordering the office supplies with the poor customer service person, telling him what I needed to order and him looking up the information in their database. While that in itself was nearly pure bliss, it didn’t hold a candle to the day the order arrived. My entire office was filled with boxes. Cardboard encased Valhalla. It was one of the single best moments of my professional life.

Currently there are no less than two drawers, three bags and a couple plastic storage containers full of office supplies at my house. Not just the usual stuff like sticky notes or pens but also stationery type things such as cool postcards or funky stationery. Going to an office supply store causes me to experience a contact high from all the paper products and cool scissors and rainbow hued pens. I am truly a geek of the lowest order.

While I’m perfectly content at the mega-stores like Staples, it is the small local stationery store where I am happiest. They always have the interesting office supplies like colored staples, strangely patterned paper and oddball greeting cards.

Alas, these stores have been slowly going by the wayside under the onslaught of the aforementioned mega-stores. It’s become increasingly difficult to find a smaller stationery store anymore. Time and time again, I am bereft when I drive by places where I used to find the most fascinating things only to see the signs changed or the doors shuttered. But I shall persevere. Someone has to seek out unique office supplies and keep office supply geekdom alive. Might as well be me.
It will be six years this July that I’ve been blogging. I started writing at Xanga back in July of 2003 because a friend of mine on a message board told me about it. It was like coming home. I had somewhere to write where I got feedback and was able to form friendships with so many of the other writers over there. It’s really more of an insular community, these people who know me there and whose blogs I’ve been reading for so long. The majority of people at Xanga now are much younger than I, a lot of times incapable of writing a coherent sentence or spelling words correctly (not that any of those things are mutually inclusive). I wrote there regularly for about three years and then life spun me into a 180 and I stopped writing for two years. Once I got my shit back together, I wandered back into my blog and lo and behold, many of my friends were still there. I’d checked in from time to time but not on any kind of regular basis. It’s a testament to our close-knit little community that many of them were still subscribed to me, even though I had been absent for so long. That’s the way it is with us there. We’ll stay subscribed to people who haven’t written in ages on the off chance they show up again. I’ve reconnected with a few people that way or found my way to their new digs elsewhere on the internet. I’m sure that’s not endemic to Xanga but it’s what I’ve known up until now.

So why am I starting a blog here at Blogger? I started using Google Reader last year because I found out there’s a whole lot of fascinating blogs outside of Xangaworld. As I’ve read these blogs over this past year and have now gotten confident enough to comment on some of them (it’s a big world out here and can be kind of intimidating at times), it’s just become something I wanted to do. My Xanga account has a content block on it so if you’re not a Xanga member, you can’t access my blog. That’s well and good for certain entries I write but it makes it difficult when I want to share my writing with the rest of the internet at large. Hence, this blog. I’m moving some of my older entries here that aren’t horrifically annoying (I’m leaving out the memes, the Andy Gibb photo essays, stuff like that).

My extremely well thought out plan (read: half-assed effort) is to cross post most of the entries I write both here and at Xanga. Anything else that’s goofy or stupid or basically acceptable only to those who know me (i.e., singing songs – which I do a LOT, writing bad haikus, work related ranting, etc), I think I’ll just keep over there. We’ll see how it goes. So for now, here’s me and the shit that floats around the toilet of my brain. Oooh, that was really bad imagery. Sorry.