Posts tagged ‘WODB’

There are always options…

4 April, 2011 | | 3 Comments

I try not to complain as a rule, particularly in the office, because in the first place no one wants to hear it, and in the second, well, I really don’t have much to complain about.  Except today, when I was asked how my weekend was, and I had to confess that while it was very very good in the general, there were some specifics that I could have lived without. 

For example, finding out that that noise the car’s making will require some work, and oh by the way it’s unlikely to pass inspection without it, and oh by the way the quote for fixing it exeeds the current value of the car.  

For example, finding out that the Human Tape Recorder came back from a 3-day camp extolling the virtues of her new soul-mate, who’s name is Tom.  Good news bad news!   Good news, Tom’s a horse, and not some 16-yr-old boy with a mullet and a motorbike.  Bad news, murmurs of repeats of the weekend, more riding, and the word ‘lessons’ might have crept in there.

And then it hit me, as I complained to my buddy in the office:  Car needs to be replaced, Kid wants more time with Tom the stallion…   Pimp my saddle, I need to see a man about a horse!  I don’t need to see his teeth, just kick the spurs and let’s trot to the office.  

Mind you, the first time he calls me Wilbur, I’m gonna shoot him.

You’re as Cold as Ice

7 February, 2011 | | 1 Comment

I think I need to go double check the fine print on my freezer.  It’s supposed to keep things cold, yes.  Frozen, even.  And technically, it meets those specifications.

I bring my lunch to work, to ensure consistent quality instead of taking my chances with the local fare.  (Also, because I’m a Big Ugly Cheap Man Doll.)  And so in the morning, I go downstairs to the Great Ice Box and pull out a frozen something for lunch.  Luckily, they’re labeled (bringing a frozen Tupperware box of chicken stock for lunch can be off-putting).  This morning, for example, I brought a container marked Gumbo.

(I digress here to mention that why yes, I am the envy of my office when I eat lunch.)

Heating my lunch in the office microwave, however, is an exercise in patience.  I can heat water in this thing in under 45 seconds – it’s a reasonably powerful microwave.   (It can kill cockroaches – it’s that good.)   But the Gumbo – and anything else I bring in, including, say, chicken stock – takes 10 minutes or longer.  I stop and stir in the middle of it, I scrape around the edges – and the food spins around in the microwave.  Sometimes the Zip-top of the “microwave and dishwasher safe” plastic box starts to melt.  The food, though, having been frozen to a standard not usually seen outside Class 4 bio-hazard facilities, stays cool.

I’m worried that I accidentally sold my soul to the freezer.  Come to think of it, I did cut myself putting it in – could it have considered that to be a blood pact between us?  The food’s been getting colder and I’ve been feeling more and more tired in the past few months… 

Yeah, I’d better check the fine print on the manual.

A Short List of Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Have Pneumonia

1 December, 2010 | | 1 Comment

I started this Pneumonia list yesterday and realized I’m taking so many meds that I needed to just leave off and talk about that.  Today, though, is different.  Today I want to leave the world a better place, in case I don’t see tomorrow.  I want to leave a trail of more than breadcrumbs, should you, dear reader, ever have to follow in these unfortunate footsteps – I want to leave a trail of light bulbs, of knowledge, of something that will light your path in the darkness.  Or something like that.  Anyway, I leave you two lists. 

Things you should do when you have pneumonia: 

  1. Take your medicine.  All of it.  I think I’ve covered that well enough already.
  2. Use your Neti-Pot.  I don’t care if you don’t like it, ya big baby.  Yes, I know it’s like an enema for your nose.  Just stick it in there and squeeze.  Some people snort tear gas and pepper spray for this, all you have to use is salt water.  Quit complaining.
  3. Go back to bed.  You can’t walk with all those meds in you anyway.
  4. Get up again, since you can’t sleep with all those meds in you either.  Leviquin is like an old girlfriend – knocks me down on the bed and has its way with me for about 20 minutes, then keeps me awake for several hours.  Why am I taking an antibiotic that wants to talk about its feelings? 
  5. Stay home and organize your stuff.  Wait, what?  Do you really think you’re going to remember where the hell you put that when these meds wear off?  You’re out of your mind.  This is a bad idea.
  6. Read.  Catch up on your backlog of books and New Yorkers.  Maybe then you can declutter around here when you’re well.
  7. Write a letter to your grandmother.  She won’t mind that the letter doesn’t make any sense because you’re trying to write while you’re too high to die, you don’t make all that much sense anyway, and she likes hearing from you. 
  8. Stay in touch with the office.  But only enough that they remember you’re not there.  The email you don’t read is the only one you need to worry about.
  9. Shut up.  No, yeah, stop talking.  First, you sound like crap.  Second, all you’re doing is moaning or whining, no one wants to hear it. 
  10. Finish your holiday letter.  Hey, you’re funny when you’re sick!
  11. Make a list of all the things you should and shouldn’t do when you have pneumonia.  Gosh, you’re a hoot, aren’t you?  Another shot of Tussionex?  Why yes, don’t mind if I do! 

 Things you should NOT do when you have pneumonia:

  1. Two words:  River Dance!
  2. Creative writing.  Let loose your personal demons and write that poem you’ve been thinking about.  Really.  See what your friends Leviquin, Tussionex, and Benzonatate have to say, because it’s not like you’re driving the bus right now anyway.
  3. Catch up on reading Hyperbole and a Half.  Particularly this one.  No one with respiratory problems should be allowed to look at her website.  It should come with warning labels.  I’ve never needed an inhaler so badly in my life.
  4. Go into the office.  These people already have a bad case of Do Not Want, and they sure as hell DNW your diseased, germ-ridden, bacteria-shedding body contaminating the keyboard next to them.  Besides, no one likes to share a cubicle with a guy who talks about antibiotics and the state of his colon.
  5. Practice your acceptance speech.  “I’d like to thank the Academy…”
  6. Marathon training.  Not the best time to start that new exercise program. 
  7. Try out pick up lines on your significant other.  Wheezing is sexy!
  8. Go pick up the kids.  Sure.  The school won’t mind if you break quarantine. 
  9. Yard work.  Because you know you’re so all about raking in the first place, right?  Let’s be real, you wouldn’t be outside if you were healthy, either. 
  10. More Beer.


I sincerely hope you never have occasion to need either list, but if you do, now you know.

National Coming Out Day, Big Ugly Style

11 October, 2010 | | 4 Comments

It has been pointed out to me – and thousands of others on Facebook – that today is National Coming Out Day.  I’ve seen dozens of status updates stating that people I know are “coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality because it’s 2010 and only five states plus DC recognize that love, not gender, is what matters in a marriage” or things much to that effect.

I’m always conflicted about things like this.  I would love to be able to post something on the order of “I empathize with this group because I know how they feel” – but of course, I don’t.  Let’s be honest – if for no better reason than because I’m known for absolute objectivity – I am a Big, Ugly, Heterosexual, Middle-Class, White Man Doll living in Middle Class America.  I don’t think I’ve experienced negative discrimination of any sort in my life.  Doors open at my knock, and it’s not all because of the hat. 

So saying that I understand the feeling of being a minority feels disingenuous.  I can, however, empathize with feelings that I do understand, namely anxiety.  (That I am not always a calm person may not come as a shock to long-time readers…) 

Let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, I worked with a pretty girl 10 years my senior who used to tell me about her boyfriend, John.  After we’d been working together for several months, she asked if I could come over to her condo one morning and help her move some furniture to her truck, in exchange for which help I was promised breakfast.  Never being one to turn down free food, I cheerfully agreed.  I arrived in the pouring rain, and we determined that truck and futon were not destined to meet that morning.  She made breakfast nonetheless, something yummy plus a grapefruit, and we made small talk for a while.  After a moment’s pause in the conversation, she asked, “So, do you like to be shocked before breakfast or after?”

Mouth full of grapefruit, I explained that during breakfast was fine.  She then said, eyes looking anywhere but at me, that everything she’d told me about her boyfriend John was true, except for the minor detail of his name.  It wasn’t John.  It was Marie. 

“OK,” I remember saying, “when do we get to the shocking part?  You’re going to have to try a lot harder to shock me.”  She thought it was the books on her shelf that had given her away, and I told her that actually it was the Patrick Nagel prints on the walls that were a bigger clue.  Then I remember her wrapping her arms around my neck and saying, “I’m so glad you’re one of the cool ones.”

And it dawned on me that she had not been sure of my reaction.  This competent, self-possessed, smart, funny, beautiful woman had been anxious and worried about what reaction she would get from me at this “revelation.”

And that sucks.

That she had not been comfortable “coming out” at work was her business, and since her lifestyle had nothing to do with her job, it made perfect sense – straight people shouldn’t talk about their sexual preferences in the office either, unless they work in the porn industry.  It’s not relevant in a professional setting. 

But realizing that she was nervous about telling me she was gay made me think about how many times that conversation might have gone badly, for her and anyone else having that conversation with a friend.  Since then, I’ve tried to make sure I wear my liberal tendencies a little more loudly on my sleeve – to let gay friends, who haven’t yet decided to tell me, know in advance how I’ll react.  Life’s hard enough.  Having to be anxious about telling a friend something important?  That sucks.  And to this day I’m glad she told me – she’s become a life-long friend.

So that’s why I’m joining the ranks of “straight allies” and posting this.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m about 93 percent attracted to women, 5 percent attracted to men, 2 percent attracted to goats and sheep, and 100 percent attracted to SOBUMD.  There was only one time I’ve been disappointed to learn a friend was a lesbian, and the only reason I was disappointed was because it dramatically reduced my chances of sleeping with her.  (Because, as we know, it’s all about the Hey Hey.) 

But the rest?  The questions of who’s having Hey Hey with whom?  Doesn’t matter. 

In the workplace, there are two kinds of people:  professionals and non- professionals.  I know professionals who clean floors in my office, and I know non- professionals in high-power white-collar jobs.  Gender and sexual preference are no more important than religion and skin color in getting the job done.   Easy for me to say, of course, but that’s how I work with people and that’s how I hire. 

Outside the workplace, there are still two kinds of people:  happy and not.  As long as people are working toward happy, gender sexuality religion race money weight nothing else matters.   Teaching this lesson to our kids is one of the most important challenges SOBUMD and I face – not only to let them know that it’s OK to be whoever they grow up to be, but to make damn sure they know that it’s OK for other people to grow up to be who they are. 

After all, life’s hard enough.

Wisdom of the BUMD

20 July, 2009 | | No Comment

When life hands you shit, grow something organic. Then sell it at a premium.