Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Saturday, my best friend (female) is getting married.

I will have been married 6 years.

There needs to be something creative happening from me.

Time …

My mom turns 59 on Friday.

My latest second cousin came to us on Wednesday.

Another dear friend is having a baby in November.

I'm scared of swine flu.

Honeymoon is in Belize.

I want to go to Paris.

Getting a new roof is so, I don't know, NOT GOING TO PARIS.

I love the heat-detection cameras at Narita airport — can I have a portable one to blast at anyone I suspect of having a fever?

And, now you're telling me that the starlings, pigeons, zebra mussels, kudzu vine, jumping carp, etc. are somehow going to be fixed by making my avians illegal? Come back to me when there are swarms of Australian budgies plaguing our farms … or when everyone has to get rid of their dogs …

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Discovery-new second:
you can beat up two eggs in a big coffee cup,
and microwave them for about a minute-45 —
the end result is a fluffy thing like what goes in an
Egg McMuffin (and no mess or gadgets!);
I'm in no condition to drive
and so no Wendy's Fresquit (sic / sp?) for me …
Ketchup, fresh-ground pepper and a cholesterol- and potassium-rich meal
are alright.
Thus barketh the dogs.  Robins have stopped finally.
Milo says hi.
Finally met Elijah Gowin (Peter).
Starlings and crows; people are upset about art school evolution.
No one likes change; liberal arts are where it was once at.
Oh, no,
she has discovered Amazon.com video-on-demand is compatible with Mac
(terrible resolution though it may be, it does not ask for anything and feeds you when you ask it).

Oh, no, flu

Chickens, pigs, and people — yeah, we're gonna make sure we pick a winner …


100 years is not that long.  Darn it, my immune system is not that great.  There is this woman somewhere in the vicinity of our section who coughs and coughs and coughs … she should have died by now, so it's not fun-time swine-flu, but it does make me think … ugh, humans.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


(Review magazine online; the unofficial word is "there is always too much to do and see in KC, so get with it.")


… I did it again … ?

Anyone have any power-napping tips that won't leave me sleeping through three automatic alarm snooze-cycles?

PS, our time-sheets are part of what is performance-evaluated. Good gracious, I'm missing .4 hours tonight … gone like a lost math-sheep.  Requesting border collie assistance.  Will pay in lamb chops.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is I

(common parlance says "this is me, so"):

This is T., World War III Fighting Ace
pretending that it's not at all nearing 5 a.m.,
that I'm not at all incapacitated by lack and addition,
that I'm really going to feel as motivated as I did 9 hours ago …
that it's not at all only a matter of my wanting to do what I can't,
wanting to do what seems better in relief than as reality staring me in the face … 

Wanting instead really right now just to watch Cabaret again, am I.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

19 hours

For those of you mailing in your dear taxes, there are about 19 hours left in the Central Time Zone where you may avoid penalty just by receiving the right date on your mail.

People like me know "a lot" about stamps and dates and made-up rules.

This year — which strikes me as rather late, considering that some of the protesters' issues (deficit spending … passing huge-ass bills with far-reaching consequences without reading them) came about during a time when I did not stop paying my taxes nor go protest an institution that "conspiracy theorists" consider unConstitutional — people are gathering about for Tea Parties.

Taxation without adequate representation may have been the founding argument, but the practice did not go away with King George. I was not in support of my country's budget surplus' being spent 100 times over* to fight a war and dictator equal to many others in the world but who happened to be easy (ha ha) to link figuratively to an act of war perpetrated by another nation and by other kind of nation for reasons of revenge, money or something else.

Anyway, a few of my 7 p.m. colleagues are still stamping away, taking advantage of the 2 hours' nightly overtime offered … Friday all day … no, thank you. Though I may be wasting valuable work or sleep time by blogging, heaven save those of us such as myself who are not sure whether their accountants are going to make the deadline, I just can't spend more time there.

I think it would be $18 an hour.

It is tempting. It is half-sinful and indulgent, in fact — but only because of the fact that it is certain. If someone says there is work, there is work; and they always pay for it, and they do it with direct-deposit.

It is a well-known fact that choices made out of avoidance or as ways to run away from something else are fatally flawed. There is a little bit of narcotic effect in having accrued 8 hours of vacation time and established a retirement fund, however miniscule … health insurance would be on the horizon, perhaps next tax season — our department is some kind of "career track" one, for some unfathomable (to me) reason, and so those of us who are "fully successful" and make our quotas and keep our 97% "high quality" accuracy are in line to be recalled automatically for January.

I have other things to do.  They are creative, less secure, more fulfilling.

The chatty — professed shy — conservative is in a nearby department, having shifted Sunday to a higher-paying (but temp-status and shorter-lasting) position. The remainder of us, including the 16 people recalled after that fortnight of furlough, are starting to show true colors of pettiness.

Let the record show that it took 4.5 weeks and the pressure of a full set of desks and the anticipatory tension of peak season (there were a million pieces of mail in the organizational inbox today, so to speak) to get people contriving against one another.

In the hallway, while we were all waiting around for a computer tech who did not show (had the wrong time down or something; no, managers don't call in advance, but apparently there is really less planning and accountability going on than touted), I listened to a couple of women from the back-from-layoff set say mean things about a number of people at their desk (behind our set, so I kind-of know who they were calling names about … at this point, I don't remember what they said, only that they expressed exasperation for having "crazy at this end (of the desk) and crazy at the other one").  Yeah, some of the people have weird personalities or low IQs, but the fact that there is a need to take sides and not live-and-let-live baffles me. It's only full-time for 5 months of the year!

When the fellow who is very competent and has been there longer than I have, probably years, did not know how to follow directions on a computer screen for taking the survey (when we went back down later**), I was back to my old community college computer lab support instructor mode. He talks fast and said he has a third-grade education more than once. He repeats other things and seems to be in his 40s but looks from far away like he must have in his 20s.

I digress, but later, the whole crew got a stern talking-to at another meeting to discuss the way some people, "you know who you are; if you don't, you have nothing to worry about," have been hoarding trucks (of work to stamp and file) or using other strategies such as holding them for others or signaling to friends when certain ones are up for grabs or going on break after delivering a finished truck of work to the end-center in order to wait for someone else to take the next to-do-truck in line — that happens to be full of 2,900 pieces (instead of the usual 1,450 for 1040s), or prior-years chunky with attached envelopes proving postmarks by which to calculate penalties, or exceedingly-itemized returns that can be up to three inches thick each and require the splitting of buckets and other physical wonders.***

It's funny; I am one of those people who was "breaking the rules" by going off to the restroom after delivering a truck, but I do it only because it is more efficient / forms a circuit instead of a path of retraced steps. The same trucks are ready and waiting when I return 4 minutes later. And, I thought it was a bad idea to take a truck and then leave it sitting there by your desk while you are not working it. Funny, yes? Personally, even though CC complained about prior years, EZs (not as easy as he thought, even though they are flat and consistent and require no manual flipping of stamper numbers between file-sets), and everything else, in fact, besides smallish 1040s, I find all trucks to present equal challenges.  (They are all fine, and they all suck.)

My main thought at any time is: oh, variety.

Anyway, I think that with the departure of CC, who, for all his flaws, is really just a lonely and sincere guy from Chiagoland who started life as a government employee, got used to fun with a private-sector set of gigs (after being screwed by the union, I was narrated) and who likes his boat and other aspects of his newer-life (50s) lifestyle, I must stick to the rules of my father. Dad gets so little credit, and I have already quoted him to both CC and other-John, who was back today, too: "I've already violated the rule about 'never discuss politics, religion, or money at work.'"

After the fact.

Obviously, I have no such rules about this place (blog).

Anyway, now, to be frank, now that the man who literally said, "Would you like a Squishee with that," in an Indian accent 4 times in 4 weeks as I bowed and shook my head while saying, "no, no, no," (instead of "hey, would you say that to someone who is Indian? … then, see, it's inappropriate;" yes, I know; it was on my "next time he does it" list) is gone, I am only flanked by people whose accent**** I can't quite get.  We have other things in common, and I shall concentrate on those.

I am still, with all my co-workers in the place where people are afraid of germs and never shake hands, as with everyone else on the planet, only an approximation of myself and thus most of the time an embarrassing speaker of silliness and blushing hand-gestures … the fact that someone who's known me less than a month said something that I've heard from loved ones of years says plenty.

The fact that many have already said things referring to my smile, gait (speed), socks, spunk, or speak-to-easiness is something else and kind-of gross and depressing.

*Statistic made up for figurative reasons. Literal calculation is yours to make by looking up the war-spending ticker and comparing it to the original surplus left to George W.

**The survey ended up getting us a free hour on our time sheets (administrative hours are not counted against our production time in figuring the quotas), all because of incompetence. PS, I kind-of miss teaching things that I know well, like English or how to use a computer to perform basic academic tasks.

***Wonders include but are not limited to: lifting more than 500 pages of paper in one (girl!) hand, over the head or below the waist or anywhere in between; flexing triceps and other assorted arm muscles approximately 5,000 times a day, 5 days a week (alternating arms because that's how I am — weak and seeking balance), wielding a metal tool that weighs about 1 pound over and over and over and over, pushing paper-full trucks (metal carts of 29 buckets each) around, dealing with ubiquitous pop and chip and candy and donut and Lunchables and burrito machines and a food-service cafeteria that serves chicken strips until midnight, avoiding being tempted by a smoking area in the coolest part of the no-public-access outdoor space, and figuring out who is not my enemy (including the ones who talk about how you have to watch your back in this place).

****Really it is only a matter of unfamiliar tonal value-range added to my hearing and people's projection. I think, as I do with CC's inability to understand Indian telecommunication and account customer service workers being a matter of exposure and familiarity, that my failure to get more than 85% to 90% of what some people are talking about may have something to do with ear training. It is something I've already talked about re: riding the bus. I don't understand it. Apparently, we are drifting further apart. I can handle the replacement of "they" for "their," and most of my childhood, my mom had to keep correcting me out of saying the convenient "ain't" that I now I hear all the time, but the fact that I can't even repeat to you (remember at all) the phonemes floating around my head all night long and always just a little bit out of earshot (white people are soooo much screechier, aren't we?) is disturbing to me. This is one of the reasons I am t/here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


FB says

: whole wheat tortilla (made in Kansas, lower in fat and whatnot than L'il Guy, who makes good, if too-salty chips in KCMO),
non-fat refried beans (yes, from a can, didn't you see that post last last year?),
habaƱero sauce,
quartered grape tomatoes,
some appenzeller cheese, which was the only cheese left in the house

= that's what 4 a.m. break-non-fasts are made of!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Be careful

… especially if you are an orange cat.

This is that day Garfield echews.

And if you are Milo, you just never know when "they" are going to feed you.

First Friday walk

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How did that Travelocity gnome know to insert MCI to PAR automatically?

I don't like being spied on.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"no, no, please"
has about as much effect as
"yes, yes, please."

if it's going to happen
there is no reason to invoke the voice.
No, that's not what anyone wants to hear!

Where is thine press secretary*?

(This is why they don't let the president blog on his own / everyone needs an editor ….)

I feel like "Elaine," eating the stale Windsor cake … I had Italian (imported and tackily still partially frozen / I don't care / I expect it of the place where ex-cop/owner-man challenged me on the freezer-burned-ness of the breadcrumbs on my something-parmesan many years ago) cheesecake (at this tacky but still in-business place with outdoor seating where D. and I like to go).

Usually, I cringe and then force down mandatory post-dinner desserts.

But what is dinneresque about Romaine lettuce, a few Kalamatas, very good dressing (on the side of which I ate very little), some salami, proscuitto or whatever it is called that I have racistly decided not to learn at this time (like Republican desk-neighbor, who makes fun of Indian "sub-continent" accents by repeating them in cartoon voices), three slices of lame, pale "tomato," and some grated parmesean cheese (real, not dusty)?

My point is that I am still undernourished, my dear friend has emphysema, and I that can prove the former with photographs I took tonight (as a non-radiologist / they are of me … need $ to share : )

So, after a week of Zingers, brownies, commercial chocolate candy, chili, hot dogs (1.5), chips, a half-grapefruit, a few apples, 30 oz. or more of diet Dr. Pepper death-water, and things I have e-mailed to some of you … la chica at this hour is unable to translate.

Might I say that I avoided donuts, (extra and "Rotel") cheese, and high fructose corn syrup soda pop throughout the week-of-spirit.

I had sour cream, though.

*It's a budgie.
If I can throw a cat,
I can kill a dog.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Season to season,
Day into night rowing back again in predictable units
Afloat expectations inspired by hope
Instead of experience:
Living is constructed of
Patterns that become tiresome weary tracks where
Trains of intention derail.

Every day, eating feels urgent.
Every day, sleep is essential.
Every day, teeth are cleaned, and though sometimes there is bleeding,
Gnawing and bleary vision,
Wishing for variation, vigorous embracing
Of the now is impotent against
Season to season.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009


— leave exploded coffee in the microwave, so that when you open the door, it spills out (yeah, i cleaned it up) …

— drop dozens of paper towels on the floor in the bathroom and think nothing of it (yeah, i frequently pick those up, too) …

— have no idea how to use a divided trash can with clearly-marked "cans only," "plastic only," "trash only" holes (no way am i going to start that losing battle) …

— will back into your car, leave a significant dent and feet of scratches to show they kept on keeping on, etc. without claiming responsibility (in a parking garage that is mostly EMPTY space) … (o.k., so maybe it wasn't "they" who did this one … we'll never know, though physics seems to indicate it might have been some other evil entity in Westport … do i really have the kind of patience, energy, connections to ask for surveillance tapes?  when will Big Brother work FOR me?)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I wonder what it would cost to hire someone to cook for me like this.

I've always wanted a live pianist or cellist to play in my home for several hours a day as well.

I also want a few goats and chickens.

It would have been nice to live near the ocean, but, you know — global warming (and other threats to important coastal places) — so I guess I can stay here or somewhere like here.

My government-job desk neighbor is always offering unsolicited food and advice.  He's a lonely person, I've decided; he opened up to me without request, later / recently commenting that he never does such things, that there's (sigh) "something about you."

Yes, I get it, and I said so:  "I'm one of those people people talk to."  Cheer cheer.

I do not like his take-over of my thoughts, both at desk — 8 hours, mind you — and later on during mental download.  Bleh.  I had to state explicitly the other day, after my "I just need some alone-time" from before did not have a lasting effect, that it was absurd to spend lunch together when we already spend 8 hours that way.  Good God.  I know his wife is ailing, but apparently she can still cook lasagna (I am not being obscene), and he's a moral and evidently insecure person who used to be a gymnast in school and recently has taken up scuba diving.

He likes his boat.

He is "not an animal person."

He is generally estranged from his siblings, and his children (three, I think) are generally successful and happy people he likes.  He thinks about art now because of me, he said.

Anyway, I'm hungry.  Awake and hungry.  I would have eaten again by now.

Today (yesterday) we ate at McCoy's for $38 (includes tip) … I had a "small" "bistro" salad (it was good) and some buffalo chili and a corn muffin.  Two beers tinged with raspberry and served at some freakish room temperature.  The outdoor dining air was colder.  I took the cheese and tortilla strips off the chili, because they were obnoxious.  I scoffed at the "spicy" notation on the menu.  Yes, spicy compared to a raw tomato perhaps.  It was good; I've had it before.  The place where I was hoping to get replacement earrings has been gone for some time now, apparently (get out much?), and the pet store on 39th was closed 50 minutes before we arrived.  We went into the ___ (how does one describe a place where they sell odd jewelry, RPG dice, some chain mail and swords, belly dancing clothes, and incense from Tibet, which we bought?) and had a nice little time instead.

There isn't very much to eat in the house that does not require 40 minutes of cooking (or is not grilled cheese.  I had an episode with the loaf of bread; there is irreparable damage.  Please send bread-pudding recipes that work with soft — not the fake whitened kind — whole wheat bread), so I'm left to fantasize about food I could never conceive and which looks too laborious to execute.  Thank you, bloggers of food.

It reminds me of the time I read an entire book on cheese while waiting to be picked up the usual three hours after high school let out.  Why aren't there vending machines in or restaurants around libraries?  I probably didn't have any money anyway.  That library is where I learned about abortion regrets, cocaine, LSD, and sailing terms.  Those are the only books I recall from that setting and time.

Public libraries freak me out.  I prefer university ones.  There is much more privacy.  And the range of ages is (was) closer to one's own:  no kids running around, no old people, etc.  During the two semesters I was recently back in school, my life (and status) made going into the university library such a non-priority that, to this day, I still have not done it at all.  (Note that it is immediately adjacent to the art building!)

I suppose I shall when it becomes necessary for the advancement of my (I can't help but laugh) degree.  I'm probably afraid of the way things are mostly online in special databases … journals are so 1990, like the card catalog was so 1890.  Also, although I was carded twice this weekend, I am older than the average college student.  I don't quite belong there.  We wear different clothes.  Besides, they only asked for my I.D. because A) it was a flirtation method on the grocery-checker's part, and B) because liquor control had been doing little check-ins lately in Westport.  Admittedly, I'm a little worried about the checker's photographic memory.  What if I don't want to share my address with people?  Is that a drinking penalty of some sort?  I heard cigarette taxes went up $1 a pack around here (get out much?).

The girls at work didn't agree that it would be easy for someone to memorize (or write down) SS#s and names or addresses from the tax forms we each swore we would not compromise.  They let us work there at least a week before our background check materials were completely processed.  I suppose the fingerprints had been FBI-cleared already, but opportunity creates a thief, even the kind without a record.

Note: I am not stealing anything from any taxpayer.  I respect the job, back-numbing as it is.  I don't have any intention to steal any identity information or even an understanding of how it is useful.  Also, I'm not as evil as all that; I don't believe in randomly picking people to hurt who have done nothing against me.  For those who have, I let it go and know there is no satisfaction in revenge.  However, if some checker-guy starts showing up around here, I will have to respond.


Feed me, someone.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

True or False

(You have a 50% chance … )

"Has not bought sugar for months.

"Sees 'sugar' for $1.89 a pound and chooses it over the C&H at $1.99 a pound … 

"Eventually hurls useless impulse product out back door to see if opossums give a rat's ___; then, apparently hurls an orange (desiccated and useless but for to harass dog) that went south of the sucre … in case (more than) 'nothing really matters …'"


Now I treat it

– like a seashell, but before
I used it as a rock.

Thursday, April 02, 2009



I have my contentions

… but one is not supposed to speak ill of the dead.

It is enough that the visitation was on April Fool's Day and that I was not able to attend.

Born on Veteran's Day, she once was on my side. Then, like so many others, I must have done something wrong. She was powerful. She was independent. She was a friend of Kay Barnes and Deb Hermann and many others. Seventy-four is not all that old. Anyway, I hope I am as useful when I'm 64 and beyond, for I did admire her, but I would do things differently if given the chance:

Ruthanne Harper, 74, Kansas City, Mo., passed away Sunday, March 29, 2009.

Visitation will begin with the rosary at 5 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, at Passantino Bros. Funeral Home, 2117 Independence Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri (64124).

Family and friends will gather on Thursday morning, April 2, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 318 Benton Boulevard, where the Mass of Christian burial will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Floral Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to St. Anthony Parish (64124) or Crossroads Hospice (9237 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114).

Ruthanne was born November 11, 1934, in Kansas City, Missouri, and spent her entire life in Kansas City. She worked for AT&T during her adult life, rising to the level of district manager before her retirement in 1989. She was a member of St. Anthony's Parish. While her community was always important to Ruthanne, it was following her retirement she was able to devote her energy full-time to civic and charitable affairs. Kansas City was Ruthanne's true love, and she worked tirelessly for her hometown. She volunteered in many capacities, using her remarkable intelligence, insight and imagination for the betterment of our community. Ruthanne formerly lived in a Queen Anne-style house on Gladstone Boulevard, just blocks from her childhood home, and she proudly proclaimed herself an "urbanite."

She served in leadership roles in Old Northeast, Inc., and in the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association. She was instrumental in having Cliff Drive designated a Missouri Scenic Byway and in the restoration and preservation of the historic drive. She was deeply involved in the Kansas City Museum, a Kansas City institution near and dear to her heart. When she relocated to the Northland, that area became an additional beneficiary of her deeply-rooted sense of community and involvement. Ruthanne was also appointed to several terms on the Kansas City Neighborhood and Tourist Development Committee and the Public Improvements Advisory Committee, where she devoted countless hours to serving the city she loved. A founding member of the Kessler Society, she served as secretary for the society and is credited with supervising an extensive historical documentation of the city's boulevards and parks. Ruthanne was also extremely politically active, and many relied on her acute instincts and acumen, seeking her advice on many subjects.

She was a member of the political clubs Forward Kansas City and The Citizens Association, and was very active in both groups. In addition to her devotion to the city she loved and the causes she championed, Ruthanne was a loyal and generous friend to many in Kansas City. Her wit and intelligence were legendary, and her sharp mind and strong opinions were highly prized. Ruthanne valued directness and appreciated it in others. When Ruthanne spoke, people listened, for they knew her words were laden with honesty, sincerity and knowledge, spoken with integrity, and always delivered with the kindest of intentions.

Her love of life was matched by the love she felt for her pets, most recently her beloved dog, Muffin, whom she spoiled shamelessly and from whom she received much joy. Ruthanne was preceded in death by her father and mother, Herbert and Mary (Chennault) Harper. She is survived by siblings Marguerite Manning and James Bond Perleth, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins, and many cherished friends. (Arrangements: Passantino Bros. Funeral Home, 816-471-2844.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Oh, the performance

Blisters, paper-cuts, shredded cuticles and a back-pain issue perplexing in its persistence — a refusal to wear gloves coupled with a drive to be faster than my neighbor mean that I am kicking through 517 to 600 1040s an hour, depending on what hand is in charge of what function (and how tired I am). I have to switch every night. They laid off 16 people on Sunday. Everyone is e-filing. This industry, too, shall soon feel the crunch of "no paper no more."

So, go out and celebrate my exceeding of Operation Quarterly Numerical Performance Standards for Employees — I'm efficient enough to be better than "surviving" (level 2) and dropping in between levels 3 and 4.

All this is surely helping me cope with the accumulating sense that all other items are slipping away. It is true, even today, that other job is still receiving 25 hours of my time. That leaves 100 hours a week to eat, sleep, bathe, communicate and do anything else that is necessary to survive.

We are predicting eventual explosions of volcanic scale, though a recent complication from mad-woman hormones seems to have left no victims. I mean, really, if I were looking to escape, I'd run off in that 530i that he just left a key on the table for. (It's not ours.)

PS: have seen spouse for a total of 30 seconds today, not including six lines of dialogue with stairs in between at 4 a.m. We seem to be involved in too many things. Hmm, now that I've read a review (long live reviews!), that car doesn't seem fun to drive at all.