Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'd like three four-inch sandwiches, please

Brett and I attempted to use a discount card that we had purchased from the local high school at Subway the other night. The discount was "Buy one 6-inch sandwich and a 32-ounce drink and receive one 6-inch sandwich FREE." I thought that since we were both pretty hungry, we might be able to buy more and save more, so I asked the girl behind the counter...

Me: I know this is for a 6-inch sub, but if we bought two drinks, could we use it for two footlongs instead?

Her: No. It has to be a 6-inch sandwich.

Me: I gotcha. That makes since because if we did that we'd essentially be using the card twice in one visit.

Her: --

Me: So, anyway, we'll get a footlong ham and cheese and one six-inch pastrami...and a 32-ounce drink.

Her: And what would you like your other 6-inch sub to be?

Me: Huh? Nothing. Just one footlong and one 6-inch.

Her: You can't do that. They both have to be 6-inch subs.

Me: Well, I'm getting at footlong, part of which is the first 6-inch sub, and then the second 6-inch sub is free. I'm still paying for at least one (actually two) 6-inch sandwiches.

Her: You can't do that. They both have to be 6-inch subs.

Me: *blink* *blink* But I am buying 6-inch subs...

Her: You need to buy two 6-inch subs.

Me: I am. I am buying three 6-inch subs...

Her: You can't do that. The discount is only good two 6-inch subs.

Me: So, I can't buy more than two? I don't want an additional discount. I just want one free 6-inch sub. Just call it three 6-inch subs instead of a footlong and a 6-inch.

Her: --

Me: *deep breath* Okay, how about I buy a footlong for me and a footlong for my husband and, of course, a drink. Will I have enough sandwich credits then?

Her: It has to be 6-inch subs.

Me: Mine is a footlong so just ignore that. Imagine that he is getting two 6-inch sandwiches. They are just the same kind of sandwich. And they are on the same piece of bread. You can cut them apart and wrap them separately if that makes you feel better.

Her: You still need two 6-inch subs.

Brett finally steps in...

Brett: Okay, my wife will have a footlong ham and cheese and I'll have a 6-inch pastrami and a 6-inch Reuben.

Her: *beaming* Great! What kind of bread would you like?

I can't tell if she was just not very bright or if she knew that she could scam us into buying another six inches of sandwich by playing dumb. Either way, our discounted dinner turned out to be over $13. For that money, we could have bought two whole pizzas with the same discount card and probably had leftovers the next day. It certainly would have been less hassle.

And another thing I hate about Subway, while I'm on the topic, do they just assume that we all eat there enough that they don't show which meats come on each sandwich on the menu? I mean, Meatball Marinara and Ham and Cheese are easy enough, but am I really supposed to know what comes on a Coldcut Combo or a Spicy Italian Sub? Are these sandwiches so common that they need no introduction? Would it kill them to give me a heads-up so I can make a decision without holding up the line?

I'm just sayin...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now for the weekend not-an-update with Andrea

Last week, I was talking with my boss and he said that his wife keeps asking for updates on my pregnancy. (For those of you who don't know, or don't know me, I'm pregnant. Great, now it's no longer a secret.) Anyway, he said his wife asks about it every night and his response is always the same:

"I dunno."

"How can you NOT know?!" she cries. "This is a big deal! I need details!"

"Well, honey...I'm a guy."

I told him to reassure her that everything was normal as far and I knew and not to feel too bad on not having any details for her.

There aren't any.

The doctors tell me everything looks normal (even though I will be officially "old-fart" age in terms of giving birth by the time the baby is born next March), all my test results have been satisfactory, and I feel fine.

But for those who really, REALLY want something juicy...I still can't brush my teeth without gagging. Should make for a fun dentist appointment next week.

Oh, and she's a girl. Please let me know if you would like us to consider naming her after you or someone you know.

Sorry I'm so boring. *sniff*

At the bank

There was a sign on the door of my bank yesterday:

Happy Halloween!

Please leave masks outside.

Great sign. Tactful and to the point. It would have been so easy to muddle the issue with "In light of the fact that we were recently robbed, for the safety of our customers and employees...blah blah blah..."

I wonder if facepaint is okay, though.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dilemma, parts 1 and 2

Workplace dilemma, part 1:

People at work often greet me with, "Hi, how are you today?" I reply, "Fine, thank you."

I know the socially acceptable response is, "Fine, how are you?" But I don't want to feed the how-are-you-as-a-greeting machine, so I simply answer the question. It has led to an awkward pause on more than one occasion, though.

Am I wrong for failing to observe this nicety?

Workplace dilemma, part 2:

A certain co-worker starts all of her phone conversations with me, "Sorry to bother you, but..." When she has to call more than once in a day, she starts with, "I know I'm being a pest, but..."

She pauses and waits for me to reassure her that she's neither a bother nor a pest. I never do. I usually just say nothing and wait for her to get to the point.

Whether or not she is bothering me is irrelevant. The damage is done. She's already pestered me. Also, I don't really believe she's sorry. If she was, wouldn't she stop calling me?

Should I cut her some slack?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love may transform me to an oyster


Does anyone else out there think John Mayer always looks kind of clammy? Sleepy and clammy?

Kind of like he was sleeping inside an oyster and having a cold-sweat nightmare, but then was suddenly jolted awake when someone slapped him across the face with a dead fish?

It's just me, isn't it? I promise, this has nothing to do with the fact the I've never met a John Mayer song I liked.

Bonus points for naming the movie from whence the title of this post cometh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Office

Recently, Brett's cousin became convinced that we would be the kind of people who love "The Office" and insisted we borrow season 1 and season 2 from his collection. He was right. We are totally hooked, as is, to my understanding, most of the rest of America.

It has come to my attention, however, that there are a few naysayers out there. The most common complaint I've heard (okay, it was hearsay from ONE person, but still) is that Michael is way too over-the-top. The show is not realistic because no one would ever act like that.

Untrue. I am here to bear witness to this fact. I worked for Michael for a brief time, only his name was Rick back then.

I'll give only one example to support my claim, but I think it should be sufficient. *Warning! The following material may not be appropriate for young children and for those who are squeamish about body parts/functions.*

This scene from "The Office" was actually one of the deleted scenes. Deleted, mind you, probably because it was too much for TV.

Pam is eating her lunch and reading a book. Michael approaches her and begins to small talk. Even though he is clearly interrupting her break, she humors him a little which encourages him to stay and chat more. He peers over her shoulder and asks about the book she's reading. She replies and an awkward pause follows. Michael fills in the dead air by saying:

"Yup. Had a big scare this morning." Pam responds by nodding politely but uninterestedly. Michael continues:

"Yup. Big, big scare....probably took a few years off my life. Yup, it wasn't good. Found a lump. You know...down there." Michael gestures toward his groin. He pauses dramatically. Pam lowers her head and begins to cover her eyes. "I was totally freaking out. Just freaking out. Wow. My life flashed before my eyes. Just think about... well, you know... what would happen if... well, you don't need to worry about that but, wow... I was really sweating it. Yup... Oh, it turned out to be nothing, but phew! Can you imagine? It's scary to think about..."

Of course, the comedy is that Michael is sharing way too much personal information with someone, his employee even, completely oblivious to the fact that she's uncomfortable and he is being completely inappropriate.

Compare the following situation:

Andrea is at work one afternoon when the power goes out. Computers are down, phones are down, and there's almost no light. Being the only one in the office, she opens the doors to some of the exterior offices which lets a small amount of sunshine in. About 10 minutes later, the power revives and a few minutes after that her boss comes charging in.

"Good thing the power came back on. I hadn't realized how dark this office is when the power's off. I was about ready to go home." she jokes with her boss.

"Dark? You think it's dark in here? I was in the bathroom when the power went off. It's pitch black in there."

"Uhhh...yeah. I can imagine," Andrea replies, treading lightly. She's not really interested in exactly where in the bathrooming process her boss was when the power went off. She's afraid he's going to tell her anyway.

"Yeah, it's pretty funny. I'll tell you, because it's just the two of us and I know you can keep a secret..."

Andrea cringes. Rick continues.

"So, I was in the bathroom and well, I'm of a certain age where doctors start checking for various illnesses and diseases by using stool samples. So, I was actually trying to collect my sample when the power went out. It was soooo dark! *chuckle chuckle* Anyway, I've got the collection stuff all ready and I don't want to loose my opportunity..."

Andrea lowers her face and covers her eyes, just like Pam. Rick charges on:

"Actually, you've probably never had to do this, but basically you collect the stool on a piece of cloth, then there's this little scooper that you use to take the samples to send to the lab. Aaaaanyway, I'm standing there, all of a sudden in the pitch black, all ready to collect my sample and I don't know when I'll get another chance, so I pull out my cell phone, open it up and set it on the counter, just for a little light. And when I'm right in the middle of things, someone calls and the ringer makes the phone vibrate right off the counter, because I've got my hands full and can't answer it. Then, when it hits the floor, the battery pops off, so I'm in the pitch black again. But now, I'm crawling around with the scooper in one hand, trying to find my phone and the battery with the other. Hahaha! I'm glad the power came on when it did, because I might have been in there all day. I finally found the battery and it was clear over on the other side of the bathroom, under one of the urinals..."

Andrea is wishing the power would go off again so that she can escape under the cover of darkness.

"Anyway, pretty funny story, huh? Just don't tell anyone. It's way too embarrassing! Hahaha!"

Mercifully, the story ends when the office door opens and another employee enters. Rick accosts him in the doorway.

"Hey Keith! Want to hear a funny story? This happened just now when I was in the bathroom and the power went out. See, I was trying to collect a stool sample for..."

Too over-the-top to be true? Not even. I was there. It just wasn't as funny as "The Office."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Darn kids! Turn that racket down!

I was out toodling around this afternoon, running some errands for the office. The glorious weather inspired me to pull out a CD that Brett made for me a couple of years ago which is filled with rap, dance and hip-hop music. It's not always what I am in the mood for, but today it was perfect.

One of my favorite songs came on just as I was pulling up to a stoplight. ("Yeah!" by Usher. Ok? Don't judge me.) I cranked it up and the bass started thumping.

"BOOM! BOOM! Ba-BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BA-BA-BA-BOOM!" The windows of my car were almost rattling and I was feelin' da power.

An elderly man and woman were in the car next to me, waiting at the stoplight with their windows down. (My windows were up, thank you very much.) As soon as the song, and specifically the BOOM-ing, started, the woman's face contorted and looked as if she had just caught a whiff of something very, very rotten. She turned her crusty-face to her husband and he began twisting around every-which-way in his seat, obviously to locate the car from whence this unholy sound was emanating.

"BOOM! BOOM! Ba-BOOM!" My stereo thumped on and on.

After making a quick survey of the surrounding cars, any of which could have been producing the offending noise, the man turned and stared directly at me with a look of annoyance on his face. I stared back, displaying my innocent blue eyes and distinctly pregnant belly as prominently as possible. His gaze immediately softened and he rolled his eyes at me as if to say, "Kids these days! You must be as annoyed at this racket as I am..." I nodded sympathetically and lifted my hands in a "But what can you do?" gesture. The light turned green and we both drove on.

Poor guy. He had no idea that he was trying to commiserate with Chill Cool Li'l Puffy Snoop Platypus herself. At least, that's what they call me in da 'hood.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

With our powers combined

Thanks to my awesome husband, I am now the proud owner of this awesome shirt. Jealous yet?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Three years ago we purchased a gazebo for our patio. In addition to giving us some shady, bug-free outdoor living space, we hoped it would protect our dining room from the harsh afternoon sun. We bought a couple of patio chairs, added an old end table, and hung a basket full of trailing flowers at the peak of the roof. We planned to add a two-person swing when our funds permitted. It was a lovely little sitting area.

One morning I awoke at my customary hour and stumbled out to the kitchen for some water. Something was different. I couldn't put my finger on it. I turned around slowly in place. No, the dishes were still piled in the sink in their typical state of unwash. The garbage can was still stacked to the top. Junk mail and empty cereal boxes still littered the dining room table. What was different?

I peaked out the sliding door onto the patio. Hmmm... patio chairs were still there as was the end table. I noted that one of our potted plants had been knocked over by the windstorm that began the night before and was still furiously blowing around the house. "I'd better move those plants so they don't get totally destroyed," I thought.

My bathrobe began to flap around my ankles as I stepped out of the house and looked up at the steel-gray sky. The wind chilled my bones and I mused, "Looks like it's going to rain today...look at those clouds...they're so big and black and OH MY GOSH! Sweet mother of a badger! WHERE IS MY GAZEBO!"

My gazebo was gone. Disappeared without a trace. Vanished like the fine morning mist. Where it had stood, there was... nothing. Just open sky. Sky that I should not have been able to see due to the fact that my gazebo should have been covering me.

"What the... Who the heck would steal a gazebo?" I tiptoed around the back of the house, wary that the gazebo thief might still be lurking in the backyard. He would have accomplices, I was sure and I wasn't sure if I could fight off two or three wanton criminals in my bathrobe with my hair whipping around in my face.

The backyard was empty, though. No hardened criminals. No gazebo.

"Maybe there's a clue out front...maybe I'll find some tire tracks or bloodstains or something," I thought.

Yeah. There was a big clue out front in the form of a mass of twisted aluminum which I surmised must have once been my stately gazebo. Apparently, the wind during the night had been sufficient to lift my 10'x10' gazebo completely off the patio, carry it over a 6-foot redwood fence, and twist it almost inside-out before smashing it down in the middle of my front lawn.

I reacted like any normal person would. "Brett! Brett! Wake up! We've got to get this gazebo off the front lawn before the neighbors see! Hurry! Oh gosh. I wonder how long it's been out there. People have probably been driving by all morning and laughing. Ack! Help me!"

Together, Brett and I wrestled apart the mangled posts and rods until we could remove the corpse to a more suitable resting place, in the backyard, away from the prying eyes of the neighbors.

I guess the ropes and stakes that were provided (which we promptly discarded) when we purchased the gazebo were actually supposed to help anchor it to the ground on windy days. Who knew?

The next summer, when the sun began to scorch our dining room again, my mom called and told us that she'd found a similar gazebo on sale. She was going to buy one for herself and she wanted to know if we wanted one, as well. Being older and wiser to the care and feeding of gazebos, we felt that we were responsible enough to try again, so we agreed.

The new gazebo had an extra vent at the top which seemed to be a bonus feature. We pondered this vent and promptly concluded that the lack of this vent on our other gazebo was what led to its early demise. Surely, a gazebo with a vented top would not be carried away in a windstorm, but we were not about to take chances. After completing the assembly, we weighted down each side with weights borrowed from Brett's dumbbell collection. No way this gazebo would be blowing away. Not with a vented top and 40 pounds of metal on each corner.

We enjoyed the new gazebo all summer and in the fall, when the winds started to blow, we congratulated ourselves that our patio decor had remained intact.

Intact, that is, until one beautiful day the next spring when birds sang to a clear blue sky and not even a gentle breeze ruffled the budding trees, I arrived home and found the gazebo collapsed in a heap on the patio. This time, there was no explanation. It was as if the gazebo had simply given up the will to live and crumbled to the ground. Disgusted and unwiling to give this second traitor-gazebo a proper burial, we dragged it to the corner of the yard where it remains to this day, unwept, unhonored, and unsung.

The next summer, we purchased a super-UV blocking screen door for the sliding glass door. It worked almost better than either gazebo for keeping the sun out and the house cool. I was done with gazebos forever, I thought.

On Labor Day, Brett returned from the sporting goods store with a new swimming suit, several pairs of shorts, and ... a gazebo. This was a different type of gazebo, though. Instead of being like a room with decorative supports and mosquito-netting walls, this was just a sun shade. It was made to be portable and could be set up and taken down fairly easily. Brett said it was on sale (50% off) and he could use it at some of his DJ events. We set it up on the patio where its forefathers had stood during the summers before. Since it provided a nice, shady spot for the dogs to rest while we were gone, we left it there.

Yesterday, as in the Octobers of yore, the wind began to blow. I mentioned to Brett that we should lower the gazebo, and maybe put it away, just in case, ha ha. I didn't really think it would blow away since it was quite a bit heavier that either of the other two and the wind wasn't really that strong. We were both running late for work, so we left it up... just for a few hours.

That night when I got home, the gazebo was gone, presumably packed up and put in storage for the winter. I told Brett I appreciated it and asked if he'd had any trouble taking it down by himself.

He was very, very quiet.

"Well..." he began eventually.

"Oh, ha ha ha. Very funny. Don't try to act like this one blew away, too. I'm too smart to fall for that."

He was very, very quiet.

"I didn't have time before work..." he started again.

"I know. We were both running late. You're not saying... No, you're kidding. I can see it in your eyes. You're kidding. You're kidding, right? RIGHT?"

"It was in the rosebushes when I got home."



More silence.

I thought if I acted like I believed his little tale, that he'd come clean with the truth. "Okay. So it was in the rosebushes. Was it broken?" I said, waiting for him to break into a smile.

"Just a little. I think we can fix it," he replied solemnly.

"NO FREAKING WAY! You're not kidding, are you?"

"No. I'm serious."

I'm beginning to think we are just not supposed to have a gazebo on our patio. Really. I'm not kidding. I'm just now BEGINNING to think that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You can't get there from here

On Saturday, when Brett and I were in Roseville setting up for a homecoming dance at their local high school, he asked if I would run to the Radio Shack to pick up some cables for him.

Roseville is not my town. Most of the time when I try to find anything in Roseville, I get lost. Even if I have been to my intended destination a thousand times before, I will probably get lost. Knowing this, and knowing we were short on time, I resolved to call the Radio Shack and have them give me directions to their store.

The following took place between 11:03 and 11:04 am.

Me: Hi. I need to get directions to your store. I'm at Roseville High School right now. Can you tell me how to get there.

Radio Shack Employee: I don't know where Roseville High School is.

Me: Oh. Well, I'm just off Highway 80 at the Eureka exit.

RSE: Hmmm... well, we're next to Big Lots.

Me: I don't know where that is. I'm not from around here.

RSE: Big Lots is in the Harding Plaza. You know, where Random Store #1 and Random Store #2 are. We're right next to Random Store #3.

Me: I'm sorry. I don't know where any of those stores are. Maybe you can just tell me how to get there from Highway 80.

RSE: From 80? Well, uhhhhhh...

Me: If I'm on 80, what exit should I take?

RSE: Uhhhhhh... Douglas?

Me: Great. So, after I take the Douglas exit, which way should I turn?

RSE: Uhhhhhhh... I don't know. I, uhhhhh... don't drive that way.

Me: *patient sigh* Okay. When you drive to work, which roads do you take?

RSE: Uhhhhhh... I don't know.

Me: You don't know?

RSE: Well, uhhhh, it's just... we're next to Big Lots. Just go into the Big Lots parking lot and we're right there.

Me: I'm sorry. That doesn't help me at all. I don't live around here, so I don't know where that store is.

RSE: *suddenly excited* Oh! Oh! I know! Do you have internet? I can give you the address and you can get a map... just go to It's totally cool and will give you a free map. You can even put in the address of the place you're coming from and it will give you directions and everything. That would probably work great for you.

Me: *gritting teeth* No. I do not have internet access right now. If I DID, I would NOT have needed to call YOUR STORE FOR DIRECTIONS.

RSE: Oh, yeah. Tee hee. Silly me.

So, who a) doesn't know where the high school in their town in located, b) can't give a customer any useful directions on how to get to their store from a major freeway, c) can't even tell someone how she gets to work in the morning?

There are really two kinds of direction-givers in the world: Dead Reckoners and Landmark Navigators. A Dead Reckoners will actually give you directions to get to your destination. "Take the Douglas exit. Turn right at the light. Turn right at the second street. Go down one mile and it will be on the left." A Landmark Navigator flails around, throwing out places she thinks you might recognize and then says, "Oh, you do know where the Wal-Mart is? Well, we're right next to Wal-Mart." Of course, this approach is completely useless if the person receiving the "directions" is not familiar with your landmarks.

In the interest of time, I terminated the conversation with Radio Shack #1 Employee and proceeded to call Radio Shack #2.

Me: Hi. I'm at Roseville High School and would like to get directions to your store.

RSE2: I don't know where Roseville High School is.

Me: Okay. I'm on Highway 80 coming from Sacramento toward Roseville. What exit do I take?

RSE2: Oh, okay. You, uhhhhh, take the Highway 65 exit then go to the Pleasant Grove exit, turn left and we are in the first strip mall.

Me: Thank you! Now just to clarify, when I take Highway 65, I'll be going north, right?

RSE2: Uhhhh....

Me: Like, in the direction I would go to get to the mall?

RSE2: The mall? No way! We're not near the mall AT ALL. It's the exit after Galleria Boulevard.

Now, as previously mentioned, I get all turned around and lost a lot in Roseville. But the one thing I do know in that the GALLERIA MALL is on GALLERIA BOULEVARD.

I drove out there and found the Radio Shack. I also found that I could see Galleria Mall from their parking lot. But, dude, if it makes you feel better to think that you are not near the mall AT ALL, whatevah.

Friday, October 3, 2008

3:26 am

Last night, the night before, and the night before that, I woke up at exactly 3:26 am.

That must be the maximum limit for my bladder.

Either that, or the island is trying to tell me something...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Does that come with curly fries?

Brett took the dogs to work with him today. He left them in the car while he went in to disable the store alarm. We he returned, he saw that, in the few moments without adult supervision, Sammie had chewed up some of the papers that Brett had left in the back seat.

There were a lot of papers for Sammie to choose from: online map printouts, receipts from recent oil changes, old church programs and newsletters, lots of junk mail.

Amid all these tempting options, Sammie chose to chew up the Arby's coupons that Brett was going to use for lunch.

You know, the coupons with pictures of roast beef sandwiches on them.

I'm thinking we might need to start feeding Sammie more often.