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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1144906-Marking-time
Rated: GC · Book · Nonsense · #1144906
Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?
Fair Warning:

I've upped the rating on this blog. It is now set at GC.

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March 2, 2009 at 1:08pm
March 2, 2009 at 1:08pm
It is audience participation day here in Kay's blog to commemorate Dr. Seuss's birthday and to celebrate the final entry of my first blog. I'm giving out GPs to anyone who links to a Seuss inspired item or blog entry. It doesn't have to rhyme. It can be about the man, his work, or the dread you felt when your son or daughter asked you to read The Cat in the Hat for the 738th time in a month.

Really, it can be almost anything!

I'll wrap up this blog with one more silly rhyme
And then I'll be through with just Marking time
What happens next will be anyone's guess
perhaps I'll move forward, perhaps I'll regress.

But . . .

Today we'll have fun.
                   Yes, today is my day!
                                       I have nonsense to spout!
                                                           I have bongos to play!

(Perhaps I'll be like that McConaughey dude
And practice my bongos outside in the nude.)

Well maybe not yet. The ground's white with snow
And they're calling for wind chills of seven below!
March came in like a lion and will leave like a lamb
but this hardly compares with Green Eggs and Ham.

With a spring in my step and a beer in my hand
I realize this rhyme isn't going as planned
It's sad that I can't seem to end as I should
but I'm hoping the comments, at least, will be good. *Laugh*

Now, there are things I must do
and it's time to begin
because . . .
if not me, then who,
and if not now, then when?

February 27, 2009 at 9:03pm
February 27, 2009 at 9:03pm
I live in a University town, but it is a small university. One of, I believe, 34 schools in the state university system. The school is currently embroiled in a huge sex scandal, but they've also recently opened a planetarium. The planetarium recently started to offer monthly programs that are free, and open to the public.

I reserved tickets for my kids, my husband, my mother, my daughter's boyfriend, and both his parents. The planetarium isn't especially large, but it was very cool. They had two programs tonight. The first was about the winter sky and the constellations that are visible. I just wish it were a clear night so I could test out my abilities to identify stars. I'm really good at picking out Orion's belt though and all the stars discussed were discussed in relation to Orion.

It seems like I spend a lot of time admiring the winter sky. Maybe it's because they are so damn long! Maybe it's just because the hazy summer sky is never as brilliant. Maybe it is because my dog likes to take his time in searching out just the right patch of snow to pee on.

Speaking of snow and pee, the second program was about the search for water in space. That one made me a little dizzy as we went flying around the solar system exploring the different plants. It is pretty amazing though to think of the billions of other stars that could have solar systems that could have planets that could have life. Boggles the mind really.

This summer the planetarium is going to have special presentations in June to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. My mother was quite stunned to realize it will have been 40 years. Needless to say, we all want to go back! . . . to the planetarium that is. Not so much the moon. I get dizzy watching the projected images swirling overhead. I don't think I'm suited for space flight. *Laugh*
February 26, 2009 at 11:55pm
February 26, 2009 at 11:55pm
Go ahead, ask me about Confidentiality, Ethics, Sexual Harassment or any of that other crap. Seriously, I completed six on-line trainings for HR in the past two days. It is all because of the damn time studies we're completing this week in which we are required to write down everything we do. Unfortunately, it is a slow week and I ran out of legitimate things to do somewhere around lunch time yesterday. So today, I cleaned my office. I even assembled a "Quality Management" binder as the luscious fruit of my labor.

I was completely bored!

How bored? I was so bored that I was grateful to have a a two hour webinar/conference-call this afternoon. Speaking of which, don't you think people should figure out the mute-button thing. I could hear babies crying, dogs barking, potato chip bags rustling, and then, quite randomly someone shouted "FUCK!" in the middle of the archiving data discussion.

As slow as this week is, It is merely the calm before the storm. Things will get insanely busy soon. So, I decided to take advantage of the calm to put everything in order. Now my office looks like nobody works there. It is really stark looking when there aren't papers piled up on every available surface.

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to grab a couple of the empty paper boxes from the copy room and start packing up my personal items. I wonder how long it would take before the Boss-man asked questions.

Crap! What the hell am I going to do at work tomorrow? I could use the time to work on my Dr. Seuss tribute, but how would I fill out the time study?
February 25, 2009 at 2:13pm
February 25, 2009 at 2:13pm
Warning . . . I've been ruminating. My mind is has been moving at warp speed and that would be good except that it is only moving in circles. Truth is, I'm a bit agitated, and I'm going to tell you why, but I'm short on both time and patience at the moment so I'm just going to spew it out in a pseudo stream of consciousness.

*stream* Last night I watch the State of the Union address. I watched most of it anyway, and I've gotta say it irritated me some. Mostly it irritated me because there seems to be a disconnect in grasping what caused our current crisis. You can talk all you want about greed, speculation, and lack of regulation, but what I'm getting at is more along the lines of personal responsibility.

The cold hard truth of it is that our culture has shifted and we have become a bunch of rabid consumers who really don't know how to live within our means. And the government, and the media keep feeding the monster. They don't just feed it, because then it might just get fat and lazy, they poke at it with electric cattle prods to keep it in whipped up in a frenzy.

Because, if the monster isn't spending they call it "a lack of consumer confidence" and the market tanks and industry panics and the economy that was built on the back of that monster starts to crumble.

A local car dealer has decided to combat the recession by advertising that if you finance a new car through them, and you lose your income within one year, you can return the car with no penalty to your credit rating.

Anything to keep the monster moving. But the monster is slowing down because he's got this huge amount of consumer debt hanging around his neck, and things really aren't going so well for the monster.

Poor monster.

He would like to lay down somewhere quiet and hibernate . . . live off the fat of the land for a couple years until things turn around. Unfortunately, the bastards with the cattle prods won't leave him alone.

After all, we have an entire automotive industry to save. Because what the average family really needs in the midst of an economic crisis is yet another monthly car payment. BUY, BUY, BUY. We'll help! The checks are in the mail. The credit should be available soon. Buy a car, save a nation.

My thought though is that maybe instead of saving the auto industry, we should pour some money into mass transit infrastructure so that people would be less dependent on cars and the fossil fuels that keep them on the road. Building light rail systems would in fact create jobs.

Yeah, I could go on and on about that, but I'm seriously running out of time and I've got one more thing I need to spew. You see, medicaid needs to be reformed in a meaningful way too. This is what is griping me on a daily basis because I deal with medicaid and all the stupid initiatives that get pushed through in an effort to contain costs.

One of the recent initiatives involved spending millions of dollars to develop a tool and a process to assess the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. The idea is that we'll arrive at a point where "X" amount of need translates into "Y" amount of services and delivery will follow a very standardized, cost effective, managed care way of doing business. *Rolleyes*

In reviewing some of the assessments though, I've become very afraid for our system because the assessment reads something like this.

"Sue needs verbal and gestural prompts when using the bathroom more than once per day, but less than once per hour."

Now, there are a lot of things wrong with this picture, but allow me point out that Sue is both deaf and blind. It doesn't matter how much you wave your arms and holler "No Sue! Not there! That's the sink!" Sue's needs will not be met and Medicaid just wasted millions of your tax dollars. Worse yet, they are going to figure out they made a mistake and they are going to spend millions more trying to fix it. {e: /stream}

Time to go back to work and finish answering dumb ass survey questions.

Question: How will you use existing staff in order to implement the newly published guidelines?"

Answer: Abusively!
February 21, 2009 at 3:21pm
February 21, 2009 at 3:21pm
My blog is going to end very soon, and I've been trying to think of how to end it. I've come up with a plan, but once again, I'm going to bribe you all with GPs in hopes that you'll play along.

Dr. Seuss's birthday is coming up on March 2nd, and I've rather arbitrarily decided to time my final blog entry so it will fall on that day. This means I'll either be blogging a lot less, or I'll make room in this blog through the process of attrition. In any case, March 2nd is going to mark my final entry, and it'll be Seuss inspired.

It feels like a good way to end, and it continues a tradition of giving a nod to the Dr. on or around his birthday each year.

In 2007, it was "Invalid Entry

In 2008, it was "Invalid Entry

Anyway, those two entries are right up there among my favorites, and I had a lot of fun writing them. It's definitely the way I want to end this blog, BUT, I want all of you to play along too. I know, I know . . . it's silly, but it's also fun.

You don't have to do anything yet, but on March 2nd, if you post a blog entry that is either inspired by, or about Dr. Seuss or any of his books, and link to it in the comment section of my entry, I will reward your participation with random quantities of gift points.

Your inner child will thank you and so will I.

Just try not to over do it or you may end up like this . . .

I’ve turned my back on poetry,
And still it will not let me be.
These rhymes and couplets fill my brain,
And linger on like old rust stains.

I try my hand at writing prose,
And my frustration only grows.
Bedeviled by this wretched curse,
I cannot help but think in verse.

I blame it all on Mother Goose,
and her accomplice, Dr. Seuss.
The two of them, they marked me well,
and left me at the gates of hell.

Despite my efforts to persist,
I can’t complete my grocery list.
I close my eyes and heave a sigh,
because nothing rhymes with orange.

"Invalid Item

February 20, 2009 at 6:31pm
February 20, 2009 at 6:31pm
. . . Someone left a basket with an assortment of condoms in the lunch room at work. Rumor has it they were a gift from our Blue Cross/Blue Shield Wellness Coordinator in the spirit of National Condom Month? Week? Whatever. There they sat in the lunch room.

"I don't understand why they come in flavors," one gal commented.

"Well . . . sometimes when a woman loves a man, she will . . ."

"OKAY! Stop talking. That's not what I meant. I just don't know why anyone would use a condom for that."

"Well . . . sometimes when a man has loved lots of women . . . " *Laugh*

This lead to a fascinating discussion about the human papillomavirus which, in addition to causing cervical cancer has also been known to cause some nasty throat cancers. Not a good topic for the lunch room I might add.

Back to the assortment of condoms though . . . I saw some strawberry and a bunch of "hint o'mint" that seem like they'd be fun for Saint Patrick's Day. They also had the "extra snug" condoms and the "studded" condoms.

Fortunately, we don't start our time studies at work until next Monday because I'd hate like hell to have to record my time as "Spent 30 minutes analyzing the condom selection before selecting several to plant in coworkers desk drawer."

Also . . . "Took pictures of friends with the condoms using my personal cell phone and spent another 15 minutes figuring out how to send photos.

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Denise discovers a basket of condoms among the baskets of condiments

I'm reminded of the great fun we had doing the bar scavenger hunt when no one could find a condom for the win. Scary that they are more prevalent in the workplace than in the bar. We did finally find one. The cook had a banana flavored condom in his wallet. Frightening, but true.

Still on the topic of condoms and bananas, when I used to work at a rehab, we had a group of presenters come in to the facility to do a presentation on sexual wellness. One of the presenters was a woman and she taught all the ladies how to put a condom on a partner using her mouth - the point being that men are more agreeable to wearing a condom when it is applied thusly. It's an art that takes a bit of practice, so she had bananas, and encouraged everyone to give it a whirl . . .so to speak.

February 19, 2009 at 10:45pm
February 19, 2009 at 10:45pm
My sister-in-law, Taz tipped me off to this amazing event unfolding in Chicago.

That's right girls and boys, a Snuggie Pub Crawl. Can't you see it now? Dozens . . . no wait! HUNDREDS of Snuggie clad drunks stumbling from bar to bar, trailing the hem of their Snuggie through puddles of beer and . . . uh . . . we'll just leave it at beer.

I think the organizers of this event kind of missed the central concept behind the "blanket with sleeves." Let's face it, the Snuggie screams shut-in more loudly than any product since The Clapper. The back of the Snuggie hangs open like a hospital gown folks. It was designed to keep your front warm while your ass presses lovingly against the nurturing warmth of the overstuffed sofa cushions.

Perhaps a Virtual Pub Crawl would be more befitting the Snuggie crowd.
February 18, 2009 at 10:16pm
February 18, 2009 at 10:16pm
. . . I think I need a "Fuck It" list.

Life really is short and unpredictable, and I'm not convinced that it's worth it to chase experience for the sake of experience especially if the experience itself might hasten my inevitable demise. No, I'll skip the Bucket list, thank you anyway.

In terms of improving the quality of my daily life, I'd be ahead of the game to make a "Fuck it" list of all the things that I just fucking give up on. From here on out, I'm just gonna put all the hopeless crap on the list and move on. Life is too short to dwell on failure.


1. Fuck drawing. I can't draw worth a damn, and really, I'm okay with that. Besides, drawing poorly has an advantage. When I help Zack with his school projects, it really isn't too hard for the teachers to believe he did the work all by himself.

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Actual drawing by Kay

See that . . . you can totally tell it is a pig, and isn't that what really matters? That's how I explain it to my teammates when I play Pictionary in any case. "Dude, It's like . . . representational." Besides, stick figures are people too.

2. Fuck eye contact. Yeah that's weird I know, but I've got a very lazy eye, and it tends to drift off to the side when I am speaking to someone. It makes people kind of tense and paranoid as they continually glance over their shoulder trying to figure out what the hell is creeping up on them from the rear left.

If I try to control the focus of my left eye, I'll give myself a headache, and I can't process the questions they are asking or focus on what I'm saying if I'm thinking about what my eye is doing. Really, It is just easier for me to look at a pad of paper and pretend like I'm making notes as we talk. This goes over well at bars where I often make the excuse of scrawling limericks on bar napkins.

With bisexual alien twins
it's possible that everyone wins
With a he and a she,
one for you, one for me,
let the "sex attacks" finally begin.

(Blame partyof5 for that one)

3. Fuck catching up. If I missed it, I missed it. There are some things you have to catch up on - like bills and laundry - but not everything requires a response three weeks after the fact. It's about letting go.

4. Fuck being a mind reader. Should I know what you are thinking? Maybe. Should you know that I can't know for certain what you are thinking? Hell yeah.

5. Fuck shrinkage. I'm not talking about the male type of shrinkage that happens when the poor dears are exposed to the cold, I'm talking about the very female tendency to pull in or yield, in response to others pushing out.

Witness the back seat of a sedan with three adults crammed in. The female leans forward and turns her upper body to take up less shoulder room, she twines her legs together and in general takes up as little space as possible while the male or males back there with her sprawl an arm across the back of the seat and sit with knees spread apart.

Fuck that. Take up some space. Wrestle them for an armrest, damn it! "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." I won't let myself get squished down into some unobtrusive little blip physically, or metaphysically speaking.

. . . I'm sure there are a bunch I'm missing, but it'll have to wait til later. I've exceeded the limits of my own attention span.
February 16, 2009 at 3:13pm
February 16, 2009 at 3:13pm
Let me tell you a story. When I was somewhere between 10 or 13, I went camping with my parents and grandparents. I don't remember if my brothers were with us or not. I don't really remember my father being there, but I suppose he probably was. What I do remember is that it was the only fun I ever had with my grandparents.

We went up to Horsethief Reservoir in Idaho. My Grandparents had a camper which was good because I don't do tents. I have an irrational fear of being zippered up in a tent. It is one of the few phobias I have for which their doesn't seem to be a name. Some people would lump it in with claustrophobia, but I've got that too, and you'll just have to trust me that this one is different.

Anyway, it was a fun weekend. Grandpa tried to teach me how to cast, and I got the line stuck in the tree. He was uncharacteristically good-humored about it, and persisted in trying to teach me the basics of fishing though I really did my best work after the hook was baited, and the line was cast. In truth, I wasn't very good at waiting either, but I excelled at shrieking with excitement and falling into the lake when I got a bite.

I had fun with my Grandma too. She taught me to play gin rummy out on the picnic table, where we enjoyed watching the little chipmunks scurrying about. They were brazen little things. In fact, they were so brazen that my Grandmother got the idea to try catching one of them.

I have no idea why, or what she thought she'd do with after she caught it, but it seemed doable enough. All we needed was a plan . . . or failing that, A TRAP!

Inspiration struck as Grandma and I plowed through the last of a bag of Doritos. Grandma decided to leave plenty of crumbs in the bag and she laid the bag down on the ground. We stood on the steps of the camper and waited for something to happen.

Predictably, and chipmunk crawled inside the back for a free lunch and Grandma snuck up on it with all the stealth of an geriatric rhino and snatched up the Dorito bag thus capturing the chipmunk.

Now, I don't know if you've ever found yourself in a situation like this, but I have. I grew up with two older brothers who delighted in torturing me. I don't know exactly how they ever convinced me to crawl head first into a sleep bag, but they did, and then they upended it, along with me and sealed off my escape. I reacted a lot like any self respecting chipmunk would. I freaked out (and developed claustrophobia - which given the circumstances of my childhood probably wasn't an irrational fear at all.)

I don't know what my Grandmother expected would happen after she nabbed her chipmunk victim, but when it freaked out inside the bag, she was surprised. She started jumping and dancing around in a circle while shrieking and clutching desperately at the spastic Dorito bag. I tried yelling helpful suggestions like "Let it Go!" but these were probably not clear since I was convulsing with laughter and hiccups. Eventually she dropped the bag and the chipmunk scampered off. To this day, it remains one of the funniest damn things I've ever witnessed.

Why am I telling you this?

Well . . . yesterday we had to clean the hamsters cage. Since I'm still terrified of the little darling, I pressed my daughter into service again. Following some of the advice I've received, I handed her a dishtowel and told her to drop it on the hamster and then scoop it up again hamster and all.

Well, guess what the hamster did! Yeah, it freaked out. Kate dropped it on the floor and the hamster quickly took shelter under the dresser. It took awhile before Tony managed to capture and secure the hamster, but in the end, the cage was cleaned and Kate announced her plans for early retirement from the exciting world of hamster care leaving me to wonder what I've gotten myself into.
February 15, 2009 at 10:20am
February 15, 2009 at 10:20am
Scooby Doo has been one of the enduring cartoons of my childhood. It first aired in 1969, and has been recreated several times over the years. I believe it has endured because the formula is so damned appealing. None of the terrible,. scary things turn out to be real. It is all smoke and mirrors - an illusion.

What would any of us do without the shelter of our illusions?

Many people view illusions as negative, confusing them with delusions. Delusions are different though. Delusions are fixed false beliefs that a person continues to believe in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Delusions represent a severing of reality while illusions just dress it up a bit.

To be rid of your delusions is a positive step toward mental health, but if you shed your illusions, you become disillusioned . . . jaded . . . disappointed, and so forth. Not such a positive place to be really. Illusions take ambiguity and form it into something that feels substantial and real. Even if the illusion is a ghost, it will be less threatening than ambiguity.

For the past couple weeks I've been fixated on the concept that nothing is really as it seems. History is clearly a fabrication, but the present is no more certain. If something happens today, we'll have to wait until several weeks in the future to know what really happened because it will take that long to construct the story. The bigger the event, the more elaborate the construction, and longer it will take to get the "real story."

If it is a really big event, you can almost guarantee that a commission will be formed and they will arrive at one truth while the documentarians will arrive at a separate truth. And we already know that "separate but equal" doesn't work.

These ideas started rolling around my head during a trip to my mother-in-law's house. She lives down in the Lehigh Valley, and driving down from the mountains, I was amazed at the way the fog was hanging on the mountains.

Then it hit me . . . the mountains were in the wrong place.

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I took this picture through the car window after realizing that what I thought was a ridge of mountains was merely a thick bank of clouds. Weird, huh?

I guess life is all about adapting to the fact that the mountains are just a bank of clouds and the aliens are just people in rubber suits and glowing paint. Personally, I like to juggle multiple realities at once, that way if one of them isn't working out too well, I can just step into a different one for awhile. I think I learned this coping mechanism from observing the media.

Speaking of media and illusions, I'm particularly fond of this quote from software guru, Jerry Weinberg, circa 1985.

"It may look like a crisis, but it’s only the end of an illusion."

I think it sums up the nations financial situation quite well. Hell, it sums up my life pretty well. *Laugh*

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