Friday, November 30


I would venture to guess that the average populace would say that the opposite of “productive” is “unproductive,” but I think that “unproductive” is just the absence of productivity—the complete opposite of “productive” should be negative productivity, or, shall we say, “deproductivity.”

See, if you’d spent almost 13 hours working on a freelance job and then, after 2 additional hours, when you went to save it, something went horribly wrong and there was an error when you tried to open it again, and then you spent another twenty minutes in a harried panic trying every possible thing you could think of to recover the file (praying the whole time), only to learn that it had been corrupted beyond recognition, and one brief Google search was all you needed to discover that your case was essentially hopeless, but then you realized that there was an older version (saved at about 10 hours in) on another jump drive (praise all that is good and right), you would do the simple math equation

15 (total hours worked) – 10 (hours of work for which you still have something to show) = 5 (hours of work lost)

to learn that in just a few brief seconds of you had an amazing 5 hours of deproductivity, and it would've been better if you'd just done something else last night, like stay home and take a relaxing bath.

Thursday, November 29

As seen in Working Mother magazine: Oros the Organic Baby Mountain Goat. ($27.00)
I'm not kidding.

Tuesday, November 20

Wednesday, November 14

Breaking and entering?

Yesterday morning the Relief Society president called to tell me that Parry, the deaf woman who I visit teach, was in the hospital. I agreed to go visit her later that afternoon on my way to the high school to tutor.

Naturally, I whiled away at least an hour in frivolity, then left to visit Parry with just enough time for a ten to fifteen minute visit. After all, my communication abilities with the deaf are limited at best, and you can only ask how someone is doing and then nod as if you understand their answer so many times.

Parry was happy to see me and gave me some interaction between text messages to her daughter. I managed to understand that she felt better than she did the night before and that she wasn't sure when she was going home. At some point I became aware that she was worried about draining the battery on her cell phone and that she wanted me to go back to her apartment to collect it. I was worried about time and tried to politely decline, saying I had to work, and could she wait until this evening? But she was very persuasively adamant that she needed it right now, and she doesn't live too far away, and I just didn't know how to tactfully say no. (Literally.)

So off I go. As I'm walking out the door she stops me to add some important information---her apartment number. I'm glad she remembered to tell me that she had moved apartments since I last visited her...

Good thing it's a short drive to the apartment, because I'm in a hurry. As I go to put the key in the lock, I'm stopped by what sounds like the high-pitched frequency of a television on inside. Strange. Could her also-deaf husband be home? I "ring" the "doorbell"---a button connected to a solitary bulb on the floor of the living room. No response. I've got to get going. I open the door. The TV is on, no volume, closed-captions going. I peek my head around the door. No lights on, that I can see, and I can't hear anything. The place is kind of messy, and who's going to think to turn off the TV when you're headed to the hospital? It was probably left on by accident. Besides, what could I do? It's not like I can call out, "Hey, is anybody home?" I step gingerly inside the apartment. I think I hear something in the other room, but isn't that just the sound of a dog collar outside...or do they have a dog...? There's no time for this. I decide to make a break for the phone charger. I head for the outlet, only to find that there are approximately fourteen different small black cords plugged in and tangled all over the place. Wait --- definitely just heard a sound from the other room. Panic. No phone charger in sight---it's probably behind the couch---and there's a whole room between me and the front door. Decide to head back out the door and try again to enter the socially acceptable way. I hear more noise coming from the bedroom. A wrapping-up-an-activity-and-heading-for-the-living-room sort of noise. Footsteps. Too much distance between me and the front door. All I can think is, "Please have clothes on please have clothes on pleasehaveclotheson--"

And then we met---it took a minute for a (thankfully) fully-clothed Bruce to see me, but I was keenly aware of him, having been tipped off by my auditory advantage--and he made an eek sound, and I made an eek sound, and I frantically tried to gesticulate that I had a key, and your wife gave it to me, and she wanted her---her---this thing, this cell phone thing, the thing that plugs into the wall, and I'm sorry for showing up in your living room in the middle of the day, but she gave me a key, see, and---where's the cell phone charger?

I told Parry about it when I got back, and she thought it was hilarious. And I was a good 20 minutes late to tutoring.

Monday, November 12

For future reference

As I handed over my CURRENT, wrinkled, potato-peel-stained coupon, I learned that Bed Bath & Beyond accepts even their "expired" ones. How ironic.

Saturday, November 10

Just in case

I'm a pack rat because you just never know.

Take today, for example: My mom wants me to send her some long-handled measuring spoons (apparently those are hard to come by in Italy, even though containers are tall). I told her I knew just the kind if she was willing to pay $10, and luckily for both of us, Bed Bath & Beyond was (sorta) on the way home. I found what I was looking for after scanning 10-foot walls of kitchen gadgets and was happily driving away when I saw a gentleman walking through the parking lot with his BB&B 20%-Off Coupon in hand. A coupon that looked hauntingly familiar.

Rewind to yesterday afternoon. I, like most of you, received yet another of that very same coupon for 20% off any single item at Bed Bath & Beyond. Usually I've dutifully filed these coupons away in my coupon folder --- just in case I happen to want another household gadget, just in case Bed Bath & Beyond happens to carry the cheapest version of said household gadget, just in case I consciously decide to make a non-food purchase requiring a trip to a store I never visit. You know --- just in case.

Yesterday was different. Yesterday I was a new woman. Yesterday I released myself from just-in-case-you-never-know-ness. Yesterday I thought, "I never go to Bed Bath & Beyond, and I'm going to throw this away." Unprecedented.

Well, you can guess the rest---after realizing I paid too much for something, I came home, checked to see if any of my old coupons hadn't expired (they all had), dug yesterday's coupon out of the garbage, cleaned off the potato peelings, and I'm headed back to BB&B to get my mom's two bucks back. It's a matter of principle. (And a personality quirk that should be the subject of another post.)

As for throwing away coupons (and other items that might possibly be useful in the future), this is exactly why I don't do it.

Friday, November 9

Psychosomatic salivation!

Ever wonder how just thinking about popping a sour treat can make those parotid glands cringe?

Tuesday, November 6

A tale as old

So I'm tutoring twice a week at a high school here in town.­ (Side note: This high school is huge.­ The first time I saw it, I thought, "What large governing body convenes here?") It's a city-­wide program sponsored by the local university, and it's pretty small at my particular school.­ Thus there is very poor communication, and sometimes there is confusion about the room where we're supposed to meet.­ Such was the case today.­

At this high school, they are also extremely strict about having kids out in the halls.­ If you're in the hall after the bell rings, they waste no time or tact in shuffling you off to class.­ Same with after school: you have six minutes to get to wherever you're going, and don't worry, because the hall monitor with the megaphone will do a countdown for you in case you lose track of time.

­Anyway, due to the scheduling conflict, which came to my attention when I arrived during the last class break of the day, I was instructed to wait outside the room until someone could resolve the issue for me.­ So I sat on a bench with my laptop and sweater in hand.­ A few minutes after class started, two hall monitors and a police officer approached me and said in a tone that left no doubt as to who was the authority figure here, "What're you still doing out here?"

Normally I'm pretty forgiving about such misunderstandings, but something about this situation triggered my Sassy Switch, and I replied, in a tone leaving no doubt as to who had made the faux pas here, "I'm a tutor waiting for someone to get me a room.­"

At which point the hall monitor said, "Oh.­ Right.­ I'm just going to walk away now.­.­.­"

And then we were both adults, so I could reply friendlily, "I'm a lot older than I look.­" And, not wanting to deny the men their chance to shine, I added, "But I could still give you some attitude, if you'd like.­" The officer assured me that I wouldn't like the results of doing that, and then they were distracted by a radio call of a fight in the girls' restroom, which happened to be just on the other side of the hall.­

Of course, they couldn't actually go IN the girls' restroom, and those clever girls had turned on the hand dryers.­.­.­ So the bashful hall monitor motioned for me to come investigate! I was spared any violence, however, when a ninth-­grader exited the room and reported that there wasn't actually anyone else in there---false alarm.

Sunday, November 4


It's when you frequently find yourself mentally writing posts before you even have a blog that you know the blogosphere is calling to you.

The problem with starting a blog so late is that all the clever domains are taken. I guess I should have expected that all the words that mean "long-winded," "rambling," "verbose," and---unfortunately---"many-syllabic" naturally lend themselves to to a blog domain, and that I was much too late in the game to claim one for my own. My irritation increased as I visited each of the domains that I wanted to use only to find that they were several years old and much-neglected. Oh well, to my delighted surprise the ol' nickname standby was available, and I got a punny title out of the exploration. (Punny title subject to change. If you're raising a confused eyebrow, see here:

Anyway, blogosphere, here I come.

Saturday, November 3

Dear Void,

I have succumbed.