Sunday, December 28, 2008

I am the Human Washing Machine

What I have

This is what I have. A 1974 Maytag Washing Machine. I bought it off of a lady on Craigslist and I am grateful to have it. With that said, I will also tell you that I am so sick and tired of having second hand washers and dryers!

Today I was walking past the laundry room and I heard a sound much like a small babbling brook. For just a second I thought, "Oh that sounds relaxing." Then reality checked itself in and I realized that what I was really hearing was the water gushing from the split cold water hose. Oh lovely.

I turned the spigots off and decided to worry about it later, since I was on my way out the door wearing rain gear and boots to take the dogs to the dog park. All four of them. Oh, the fun we had in all the puddles, then the rinse off. And when we got home I decided what better time for baths! They are half wet and I am wearing rubber pants. Yay!

So when bath time was over I then decided to tackle the washer. What I figured was that I could just take the hot water hose off, and put it on the cold side and just wash in cold until I could get a new hose. Wrong. Here is a lesson learned. A 1974 Maytag washing machine, or possibly all washing machines, must have both hoses attached to the machine in order to work correctly. I learned this when I tried to run the washer on the cold hose only with no hot hose at all, and instead of filling up the tub with water, I only added another inch or so of water onto my floor. It came out the hot water hole in the back of the washer. ARGH!!!

Well, since I only had the one good hose, I figured I was screwed on even "jimmy rigging" a load to wash, when I remembered the three foot hose I have outside connected to my five line spigot for filling watering cans and such. Yeah, that just might work...or not. It wasn't until I got the hose connected to the spigot in the house that I realized it had the wrong end to connect to the washer. Double ARGH!!!

So I am now the washing machine cyborg. I manually turn the spigot on while holding the hose into the washer tub while it fills, then turn the water off when full, after it has washed, listen carefully for it to drain, so I can run in there and fill the tub again for the rinse cycle. Triple ARGH!

I no longer feel the least bit guilty for not going to the gym today. And I found the washer I want in my stocking next year. The Dyson 2009. Oh yeah baby. Come to momma.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Back due to popular demand. With tiny edits.

I originally wrote this a few years back. Enjoy....again.

'Twas a few nights before Christmas, when in my crazy house
All my creatures were stirring, chasing a stuffed toy mouse;

The stockings were piled up in a heap on the chair,
In the hopes that maybe I would hang them with care;

The teenager was nestled all snug in his bed,
He was supposed to be sleeping, but playing Nintendo instead;

And papa in his boxers, and I in my flannels,
Wishing he would stop yapping, and that I had more T.V. channels;

When out in the living room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter;

Away through the kitchen I flew like a flash,
Flipped on the light switch and just had to gasp;

The glare of lights on the side of the newly fallen tree,
Gave the look of daylight on the scattered ornaments everywhere I could see;

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
One of my dogs chewing on the head of a tiny reindeer;

With a flip of the tongue, all wet and so slick,
I knew in a moment that the rest of the ornament would go down just as quick;

More rapid than eagles, her cohorts they came,
As I tried to whistle and call them back by name;

Here Mazzy, here Daisy, here Harpo, here J,
Stop Nikki, stop Wurther, stop Fitz, stupid cats, your just getting in the way!

Get in the kitchen! Get away from the tree!
Now, come here right now! Lets go outside to go pee!

With paws slipping and sliding on the slick hardwood floor,
Like a furry tornado they raced for the door;

So out to the backyard they ran and they flew,
To sniff at the grass and perhaps something else to chew;

And then I heard a sharp tinkling coming from the living room,
The meowing and hissing filled me with doom;

As I called in the dogs and was turning around,
The cats screeched out of the living room with a jump and a bound;

They were covered in tinsel from head to foot,
And their fur was all wet from the water in the stand I had put;

A bundle of lights were all wadded up behind them,
dragged into the kitchen; lighting up their hind ends.

Their eyes--how they narrowed! The hisses were scary!
Their fur was standing upright, the lights an unwanted load to carry!

Their little mouths were drawn back in a hiss,
The tails of each of one of them, doing nothing but swish, swish;

The end strand of lights was held tight in Wurther's teeth,
and a piece of the tree encircled Fitz like a wreath;

Nikki was pissed, and howled insistently,
Since he still couldn't untangle himself from the tree;

Mazzy thought it was a game, and began to jump,
Grabbed the strand of lights, and her tail wagged with a thump;

With a gleeful look in her eye and a twist of her head,
What I foresaw filled me with much dread;

She made not a sound, just went right to work,
looked me right in the eye, and pulled the lights with a jerk;

The tree came the rest of the way down, hitting her on the nose,
she howled and jumped back, up onto the couch she arose;

I sprang into action and tried to call the pets with a whistle,
But they all shot under the bed, flying like a missile;

As I heard my husband exclaim as he took in the sight,
"What happened to the tree?! Didn't we put it in the stand right?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Odd Snippets of Christmas Memory

I was just sitting here thinking about life in general during this Christmas season. I was thinking about how sometimes without even trying, holiday memories are stuck in your brain forever, good or bad.

For instance, when I was (I think) 7 or 8 years old, we went to Idaho for a wedding during Christmas. I have no idea who was getting married; as a child of that age, who really cared anyway? But I remember that I got to wear a very frilly purple dress, pantyhose, and grown up shoes to the wedding. I think I got to wear those particular shoes because I didn't have any dress shoes and my feet were already in size 7 or 8 in ladies, so they were borrowed. (Thank God my feet stopped growing at size 10 finally.) I remember thinking that I was a princess. (Sometimes life doesn't change much does it? Except I am now a queen according to my husband. But I digress.))

Anyway, one of the very few memories I have of my cousin Roseanna as a child was that she took me riding in the snow on her horse during that same trip. I'd never been on a horse before. The closest thing to a horse I'd ever even seen in real life was a Holstein cow back in Minnesota. I have small pieces of time that seep through my memory, like when you channel surf while watching television. It's there for a second or two, then gone. I recall having to stand on a bucket to get up on the horse. I know that I was so excited to be riding that I almost hyperventilated. I remember thinking that Roseanna was the coolest person on Earth that day.

Then we were riding. Roseanna in the saddle, me behind her, hanging on for dear life. We walked for a while, then it started snowing pretty hard and Roseanna thought we should get back fairly quickly before we couldn't see anymore. So we turned around, she told me to "Hang on!" and we were off, galloping back to the barn through the fields.

I have never, ever in my life afterwards, felt the same as I did that day on the back of that horse. The snow stinging my eyes. The wind streaming my hair. Holding on to my cousin, trusting that as long as I held on, she would get me safely back to the house. It was terrific. Then she yelled, "Duck!"

I had my eyes closed to the wind, huddled behind Roseanna; I didn't know why I had to duck, but I did. Unfortunately I raised my head up too soon and got smacked in the head so hard by a tree branch that both of us almost fell to the ground.

Well, obviously I don't remember much after that. Just walking in the door of the house with blood pouring down my face, and the horrific look on every one's faces. Every one talking at once, my brothers laughing, and impressed with the blood, my older sisters trying to look disinterested and bored with the whole thing.

But I think that one reason why that incident was pounded into my memory (pun intended), is that I still have a scar, just under my left eyebrow; and every time I notice it I remember how I got it all over again. Blood or not, it was still one of the coolest things I have ever done.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Payback's a Bitch

I am pretty sure that even if it has never been said aloud, my mother and my first husband's mom (I.O.) had to have thought it. Over and over in their heads: "I hope she has a kid just like her when she gets older." Or something along those lines.

Thinking back to those days, I will acknowledge a few things about my young self.

When I was ten, I thought I knew everything and that I was perfect.
When I was fourteen, I decided that I wanted ten dogs and no children.
When I was fifteen I met my future mother-in-law. I thought she was old fashioned and she thought I said "fuck" way too much.
When I was seventeen, I got married because I still thought I knew everything.
I also got pregnant. So much for my ten dogs.

So now it is the time of truth.

When my son was ten, he thought he knew everything and that he was perfect.
When he was fourteen, he decided he liked being an only child, and didn't ever want any dogs.
When he was fifteen, he started dating what I am sure is going to be my future daughter-in-law. She thinks I'm cool. I think she whines too much. I think she is not good enough for my son. Nothing personal. I'm sure she will get better with age, I did.
He is now seventeen. He still thinks he knows everything. I do not offer advice unless asked for. Which he will only do as a last resort. He thinks he's an adult. I think he's my baby.

Well, I think that I am living as close as it could get to my mom's and I.O.'s wish. Ugh.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Everyone needs a little bit of exorsism now and then...

Igo te absolvo in nomine Patris, et Filiii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.


I've had to listen to a lot of screaming kids while working in a grocery store, but this one incident drove me, and nearly everyone in the store over the edge.

This morning we were all working like good little Retail Slaves when we hear the faint cries of a child. Over the course of a half an hour, the cries grew louder into screams as the shopper got closer to us. I wasn't sure if it was a human baby or some sort of escaped zoo animal. It sounded like a fox with smoker's lung being strangled.

Apparently this wonderful mother had brought in a screaming baby and completely ignored the kid who has been screaming from produce, where they came in, all the way to the other end of the store in the freezer department.

I'd had enough of the kid's wailing and was reaching for the phone to make a page over the PA:

"Will the child of Linda Blair please report to the front for an exorcism. Thank you," when suddenly, the kid shuts up.

I found out later, that as a manager was heading over to slap them both (I wish), the mother finally turns to the kid and says "If you don't calm down, you're not getting out of the cart." and the kid shuts up instantly.

This woman knew she could shut the kid up by saying this, but chose to drag it out and torture everyone around her this entire time! WHY WOULD SHE DO THIS? Clearly this woman is pure evil, and if I ever see her or her little hell spawn of a child again, I will chase them out of the store with holy water.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What is that, a train?


As she removed the pillow she was using to cover her ears she thought, "What am I doing?" Carefully placing the pillow over her husbands snoring face, she thought how much easier that was. Soon she was able to sleep peacefully; although maybe not as "peacefully" as her husband.

Gawd, what am I doing up at this stupid hour on a Sunday? YAWN!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love my country.

Despite what some may think. I love my country. I especially love the Armed Forces that are doing what they need to do. But this video is really really nice. Yummy USMC!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just thinkin'

I was just thinking about Bush and his administration....and if I may quote Janet Evonovitch, "Those fuckers."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help me win this house!!! Seriously folks...

I still need people to vote. It really is easy.

I am going to win a free house, and I need your help. To win this house, I need to get as many people as possible to Digg my story on (a popular website for people to vote for popular stories). This is my once in a life time opportunity to own my own house FREE AND CLEAR (or receive $100,000 cash).

This is a real contest and this is important to me. Just click on this link below:

Vote For JustMeKimberly's Story CLICK HERE CLICK HERE!!!

Please click on the “green thumbs up” to vote for me (you can find this right next to my story). The story with the highest vote will win the house or the cash.

For more information, come to

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Something to chuckle over...

Sorry I have not posted for a while, been a lot going on personally. I will update at another time when I'm not feeling so crappy. So in the mean time I am giving you this:

Your Welcome.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Is Ralph Nader Serious?

I can't believe that Ralph Nader just referred to Obama as "Uncle Tom"!!!

Ralph Nader questioned in a live interview with Shepard Smith on FoxNews "...whether he's (Barrack Obama), going to be Uncle Sam for the people of this country, or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations." In regard to Senator Obama being elected the first African American President of the United States.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Not So Exciting Adventures of Super Sonja and Her Blankie, Otherwise Known as Super Juan

A messed up dream I had, mixing reality with cartoon and um...80's rap? (This Story is best read out loud in your best imitation of the voice over guy (William Conrad) from the Rock and Bullwinkle show.)

In a land, not so very far away...just over the hill really, wandered a poor, lost girl, named Kimberly. She really had to potty.

She wandered far and wide, wide and far, but to no avail, she still could not find a toilet.

Soon it was late, our heroine had climbed over hill and dale and rock and river, crossing her legs the whole time. She did not know what to do, and her bladder was near to bursting.

When all of a sudden she heard a cussing coming from the woods in front of her. Bursting through the trees, appeared a tall, lanky blond woman.

"Never fear. Super Sonja is here." she announced, feet braced apart with her hands on her hips. She had a very colorful Mexican type blanket draped over her shoulder.

"Super who?," asked the ever dubious Kimberly, who was trying to look unafraid while standing with her legs crossed and the whites of her eyeballs slowly turning yellow.

Shaking her blonde hair out of her eyes and picking shrubbery from her shirt the woman said, "I am Super Sonja. And this," gesturing to her blanket thing, "is Super Juan. We are hear to save you."

"How did you know I needed saving? I just need to pee."

"Yes, I know. I have the special ability to detect when a fellow woman has to tinkle. And also when she shows the aversion to peeing in the woods. Some super heroes can fly, or freeze things using only their eyeballs, I however detect bladder spasms. Such is life." she explains with a shrug. "So you want my help or not?"

"Yes!" Kimberly cried. She no longer cared how crazy this situation was. She was getting desperate.

Calmly Super Sonja explained to Kimberly what she needed to do to pee in the woods safely. She handed her a mag-lite flashlight, steered her towards some choice shrubbery, and told her to do her business while she stood guard over her.

Suddenly while Kimberly was in mid-stream, there was a crashing from the bushes to her left. A ginormous opossum leaped out at Kimberly, gnashing teeth and standing on it's hind legs! Kimberly screamed . She waved her flashlight at it, but to no avail. Apparently opossums have an immunity to women with there pants down around their ankles.

Just as quickly though there came a blur of color through the air, and Kimberly was soon enveloped by Super Juan. The opossum could not fight such a formidable foe and hightailed it through the woods whence it came.

Standing and pulling her pants up with one hand, still clutching the flashlight and Super Juan with the other, Kimberly turned towards her savior. "Thank you so much Super Sonja! How will I ever repay you?"

While arranging Super Juan back onto her shoulder, she says," Don't thank me, thank Super Juan. And just remember this:

The 'S' is for super, and the 'U' is for unique
The 'P' is for perfection and you know that we are freaks
The 'E' is for exotic, and the 'R' is for raps
So tell those nosy people just to stay the hell back.

The end.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Way Cool

Some friends of our are doing a show tonight. Shelley has an amazing vocal range and Cal is the Jazzy/Beat Box Master.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lions And Tigers and....Bunnies?

Attack rabbit

I have been feeling a little bit of Empty Nest Syndrome since my son spends about 99% of his time with his girlfriend now. I had to alleviate it some how. I adopted a bunny. A 2lb bunny from the local humane society. Her name is Bijou and is very cool. She even will walk on a leash. Well, kinda. More like hops around, but it's still cool.

There are some weird things about rabbits that were unknown to me until recently. One of them being that bunny's do not like it when you fuck with their shit. They like to move their food dish where they like it. Don't try to move it. And if they have toys in their cage, then they don't like you touching them. I informed my husband of this before I went to work this morning.

I also asked him to put Bijou on her little leash (I showed him how) and to walk around the yard a bit with her. He called me when I got home to let me know that he was unable to do this small favor. Why? I asked.

Him: "It's crazy! I don't think bunny likes me. I went in there to get her and her food dish was in the wrong corner, so I went to put it back and she charged me! She was all gnashing teeth, and claws and shit!"

Me: "I told you not to mess with her stuff. Just reach in and pick her up the way I showed you."

Him: "She almost killed me!"

Me: "She's two pounds, babe."

Him: "Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I didn't walk her. I gotta go."

Well, that's great. By the way, did I mention that the husband says that since I got a bunny, he gets a frog? He has a whole set up already. All he needs is the frog. He's been going out into the back yard for three nights now trying to catch a little Pacific Tree Frog. He hears it singing but just can't find it.

He says that if he can't find it, then he wants to get a poison dart frog. Huh? OOOkaayyy.....whatever you say honey. Good luck on the frog hunt.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ewe Were My Bitch of the Day

Some people are just stupid bitches. There I said it, my friend Mandy would be proud.

Today we were slammed at work. And I mean
slammed! I worked 8-5 today and starting at 11 am we just starting getting hit. I know it's game day for the local college and a bunch of other things going on, but jeez....did all the other stores close at once and re-route traffic to us?!?! I, alone did about $2000 more than a usual Saturday.

So the Bitch in question: Scenario is this....all six check stands have at least ten sheep (#9) waiting in line. Some with one or two things, some with several items, but everyone is being patient and polite for the most part.

I'm getting ready to ring up some things for a couple that I would say had been waiting for about ten minutes. The Bitch walks up to the front end of my check stand (where the bagger would normally stand), waves two $1 bills in one hand and a candle that we have on display in the other and says, "Just put the penny in the Red Cross jar." and turns to go.

Me: "Excuse me?"

Bitch: "I don't
need my penny." Talking to me like I'm mentally challenged or something.

Me: "Ma'am, you need to get in line just like everyone else." I gestured to the 15 sheep in my line.

Bitch: "I was already in line. I paid for my stuff,
now I want this." She waves the candle in front of my face just in case I didn't see it the first time.

Me: "I understand that, but you need to get back in line in order to pay."

Bitch that is thick as a brick: "I was already in line. Just take my money. It's a $1.99 in case you didn't know."

Me: "Ma'am, I am going to help these people," I gestured to the still patient couple, "if you would like to buy the candle, you're going to have to get back in line somewhere." I turned to help the other people while Thick Bitch stood there with her mouth open.

She then threw the candle down with a huff, and left. Whatever. Oh yeah....well...


(By the way, for those of you who think I should of just rang up her item to get her out of there, or thought I over reacted....If I had let her do it..."she only had one item", especially as busy as we were, than whose to say I shouldn't let the other sheep with just one thing do the same? do you know how many sheep come through our lines with just one case of beer, or just one case of water? I couldn't help imagining after letting her do it, the stampede that would of followed.)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm pooped.

Been cleaning yesterday and today. Ugh. I braved my son's room today. It was not as bad one might think, but there were some things that made me go mmmm.

  • A money bag from a bank dated 1991 filled with knitting needles and crochet hooks.
  • 46 plug thingies that seem to go to some kind of video game.
  • 9 different controllers for several game systems.
  • A t-shirt that fit him when he was five, that he wants to keep for some reason or another.
  • Highlighter pens that he insisted he needed last year for school still in the package.
  • #2 Pencils...same story as above.
  • A very nice wood and glass chess set that I've no idea from where it came.
  • Antique 22 Winchester rifle that I forgot he had.
  • The $2 bills that he was keeping "Safe" for us two years ago, but forgot where he had put them.
  • A Super Nintendo.
  • Gross things that I closed my eyes and threw in a bag.
I'm still not done, I gave up for today. Tomorrow I am going to try to get it done even if I have to put on a HAZMAT suit and possibly be hypnotised later to block out my memory of whatever I might find. I know he's 17, but he's still my baby.

hazmat Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Under Construction

I am doing some updating, rearanging blah blah blah. So bear with me a little. Most people do their cleaning in the spring, I do mine in fall. Making my list checking it twice.

Furnace cleaned....CHECK.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Different People I Love at the Grocery

Many of these overlap (some are four or five of these sadly), but they are distinctly different in certain ways.

1. The Starer

No, not at you, they stare at the screen. Intently. Beady eyes shifting with every single thing, you ring through. The instant something comes up not right (in their opinion), the facial expression changes. Just a twitch, or a quick intake of breath. At this point, I usually slow down a bit, to give their mouth time to catch up with their brain. Some just point it out, but for most it's the facial expression. So usually about 5 or 10 more things ring through before they say something along the lines of, "I thought that soup was on sale?" OK, no problem. Price check. Thankfully my store is small, so these do not take all that much time. "Well sir, as it says in the ad and on the shelf tag, it's only the first two that are 99 cents, after that they are 2/$3." He hands the bag back to me so I can dig them out of the bottom saying, "I don't want them then. Seems like false advertising to me." Sometimes if you just look at them with no comment you can tell when they realize just how stupid that sounded.

2. The Robot

Kind of like The Starer, this person will not do anything until you've done something. They stand in place until you look at them, then they just shove their hand out with their debit/credit card. I let them know they have to do it themselves on the machine that is right in front of them. Then they will stand in place and not move until the order is complete, then will pay. Strangely, they do this even after I let them know they can run their card anytime. We are timed on ring-ups per minute and the timer doesn't stop until I hit total and the card clears. So when they ignore my friendly prompt to run their card while I'm ringing and bagging it slows me down.

(Side bar: Not bagging your own stuff when there's no bagger is perfectly excusable if you're old, handicapped, with a child, whatever. I just hate the perfectly able bodied people who just stand there. And they always say something like, "Don't you guys have more baggers?", "No bagger today huh?". Sometimes I just want to say, "Well, yes I do have a bagger, glad you mentioned it." grinning while I hand them a bag.

The Bad Budget er

This person will come with a decent amount of stuff, and say they only have $50 or something to spend. The total comes to $50 about a quarter of the way through their stuff, forcing everything else they bought to be set aside as a "go-back", (Interestingly, this is what my bagger/courtesy clerks are doing when not bagging.) Seriously if you only have $50 why the hell did you pick out all that stuff? Come on. Pay a little attention to the price tags.

4. The Fussy Bagger

OK, I would consider myself a pretty good bagger. I don't put things that shouldn't be together together. Like hot deli stuff with your ice cream. But I just hate it when customers "undo" my bagging. I bag your stuff and pass it over and they take stuff out. I mean if they ask for certain things together, that's fine. But don't unpack bags. If you want your stuff a certain way, bag your own! Seriously.

5. I Bring My Own Bags, Therefore I'm a Better Person Than You

About 75% of our customers bring their own bags. And I think this is essentially what's going through their heads. Now, there are a lot of people who use their own bags who aren't like this, and good for them, but far too many are. This one lady the other day had one bag at the front of her order for cold (one of those insulated bags). I and my bagger had no idea that she had a few more bags down the line underneath some things. So I pass the first bag down to the bagger and the customer a few seconds later was ranting on. "What's wrong with him, I gave him that bag for cold stuff". She actually said that to me as if the bagger couldn't hear her, and he could definitely hear it. What he was doing was placing the cold things in the bag and the other things in paper. She neglected to notice this. And somehow we're supposed to be psychic and know that you have more bags hidden under your tampon box.

6. I'm In A Bad Mood and I'm Gonna Take It Out On You

You notice there's always customers who just seem to be in a bad mood from the start? As in nothing pisses them off but they just are annoyed? I sorry you're having a bad day, but if I'm having a bad day, do I throw all your groceries around? Nothing ever satisfies them. The store is too cold, too hot, overhead music too loud, not loud enough, couldn't find whatever it was they originally came in for and it's my fault, the lines too long, I'm slow, the prices are too high,

7. The World Is My Garbage Can

It never ceases to amaze me that in a store where most of my customers are Green, granola eating, bike riding, save the planet people, how much they expect others to pick up after you. Sorry, the world is not your garbage can, and neither is our store. We have plenty of garbage cans in the store. Also if you don't want something, give it to me, don't leave it on top of the magazines. At the end of the day I always find tons of stuff there, and often it's the used to be fresh sushi. Seriously what is wrong with people? Or when we have samples, we find little sample cups in the most interesting places. And if you don't want your receipt, tell me and I will recycle it for you. Don't just take it, look at it, and then leave it on the counter. I have a few people who can't even take the time to open their mouths to tell me that much. They just cringe and make a face when I try to hand them their receipt, then walk away. Seriously. Weird I know.

8. I'm Right and I Know It

The customer who will not back down from their original statement about a price no matter what. The other day I was ringing up a guys stuff and when I got to the lemons they rang up 99cents each. They were organic large. His face twitches and eventually he says, "Those lemons were 3/$1. The sign right above them said so." (For the record we are required to check the produce department every day for price change and new produce) I say, "Sir, these are large organic, the 3/$1 lemons are considered baby lemons and are non organic." Him: "The sign said 3/$1." Me: "I'm sure it did, but not for these." Fortunately we were not busy, so I closed off my register and offered to walk back to produce with him so he could show me what he was talking about. When we stood in front of the lemons, he didn't say anything for a moment then, "Someone much have switched the signs around. You should report this to you manager." He ended up buying the lemons anyway. What's really sad when you think about this story is that it took me 25 minutes of my paid time with this guy, start to finish, for $2.98 cents of produce to be sold. This will be the same guy that complains about the "high" prices. Sigh...

9. People Who Don't Understand Lines

I don't understand some customers. I have seen customers walk by two empty lanes and then go wait in line at another empty register. Actually she walked by the two, then turned around, looked down both, walked by again, and waited in line. She was also later to inform us how much of a hurry she was in. Or people who will wait behind four people when there's one or no one in the line right next to them. Or people with two items who wait behind huge orders. That's like tailgating a truck going 50 on the interstate. There's something called an express lane, the lane next to you. I call this the Sheep Mentality. They blindly follow the other sheep. I am the Shepherdess. "Sir, sir, I'm open over here." That's a good sheepy, sheepy.

10. The I Know I Have More Than Ten Items But There Is No One Behind Me

You know who you are. There is no one behind you because every one else obeys the rule and is standing in line with the rest of the sheep. One or two items over is fine. But 34 items? Lady thanks for pissing off the two customers with two things that walked up behind you. I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last week my friend Melanie, the hubby and I went mushroom hunting for the first time this season. Melanie had never slayed the 'shroom before so she was on a learning curve so to speak. Anyhow without going into any huge detail, I am attaching a slide show of some super cool fungi that we found, and if you want to know what any of them are just leave a comment and I will give you any info you might want.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shaking my head...

The other day when I came out of the gym, I found my parking space a little crowded. I drove my truck that day. These pictures are proof that some people are just plain stupid. Even after taking these pictures and knowing that it was there, I still almost hit the thing. By the way, no the parking lot was not full.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I really need to tell this story of how wonderful, giving, and charitable my husband can be. You might want to go get a hankie. Go ahead, I'll wait.

If I am to tell this story, then I must start at the beginning. I'll try to keep it short.

Back in 2004, My friend and once Mother-in-law, was making a ceramic flower pot. I admired her work and told her so. A few weeks later, low and behold she gave it to me as a gift. I might have hinted around outrageously for a bit, but hey whatever works. Right? On the bottom of the pot, in dark purple paint it said, "To Kimberly, Love I.O.". (you might have seen some of her comments on the blog.)

Now zipping ahead in time, a month or so ago the plant I had in the pot died. Well, it was dead, and I got tired of looking at it, so I threw it in the compost pile. (Don't worry I.O. this would mostlynever happen to you. No really, I promise!)

I cleaned out the pot and was taking it back to the laundry room until I could figure out what else I could put in it, when for some reason or another I was distracted or interrupted. I set it down on an antique-ish trunk that we have in our foyer. And there it sat. That said trunk is also the catch-all for things to be donated to the local thrift store. Things get piled onto it and when the pile gets big enough to warrant a trip to the thrift store, it goes.

Let's zip a bit into the future now from that unfortunate place in time when I was interrupted in my original task. Oh, let's say Wednesday of last week. While I was out.

Mmm...remember where my flower pot was? Yeah. I know, this probably wont end well. I didn't really know until later. Later, uh as in today.

My darling husband decided to take the stuff to the thrift store while I out. I neglected to notice. At all. Today while we were at the Dollar Store, I was looking at some ceramic flower pots. And he stops and says, "Oh, I hope you didn't want that flowery, pot thing that was sitting on the trunk."

"What?", I asked while slowly turning to face him.

"Um, well....I uh...." he says while his eyes darting back and forth. I'm pretty sure he was looking for the nearest exit.

"You what?" I asked quietly again.

"Uh...I might of taken it to the thrift store with the other stuff that was sitting on the trunk." Then he starts babbling, almost as if the faster he talked, the faster he could back out of his screw up. "I-was-just-trying-to- help. Trying-to-get-the- stuff-gone-like-you-like. How-was-I-supposed-to-know-you-wanted-to-keep-it? It-was-near-the-giveaway-pile." He pauses to take a much needed breath.

"Did you look at the bottom of it? No? Well, where is it now?" I asked, my voice remaining calm.

"Right down the road."

"OK, let's go."

To make a long story short, we found it. They gave it back to me after I explained to the two women working what happened and I flipped over the pot and pointed to the inscription while saying, "I am Kimberly, I.O. is my friend that made this for me. He," I said while pointing my finger at my hubby who was looking at the floor, "donated it to you without checking with me first." They just kept looking over at my husband who wouldn't look them in the eye, then looking at me with sympathy, chuckling and shaking there heads.

By the way, might want to think of starting a new business. They were asking $5.99 for it!

Did you need the hankie? Probably not, unless it's because of laughter.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Sometimes I like to butt into Kimberly's blog. So, I thought I would share some quotes that people have said to me over the course of 8 years as a volunteer firefighter. All of these quotes are true and out of the mouth of adults that were involved in motor vehicle accidents, house fires, general medical calls and water rescues.

"I am not wearing any underwear. Oh my God! My mom told me this was going to happen!"

"Why did I pull out in front of that car?"

"Are you an angel?"

"Can I fly in a helicopter?"

"I only had one beer. I don't feel a thing, but I think I may have just pissed myself."

"Wow, that fire is hot!"

"Can you hurry? I am going to be late for work!"

"If that guy in the other truck is okay, I am gonna kill him."

"I didn't realize how slippery the ice was."

"Will you marry me?"

"I didn't know they let girls drive fire trucks."

"I would get out but it appears there is a metal rod from my car in my leg. Sorry about that."

"I was burning the soles of my shoes to see what would happen."

"My scrotum is swelled to the size of basketball, do you wanna look at it?"

"It wouldn't start. I didn't know it was illegal to set fire to my car, geez."

"Helllooooo stupid rescue person! I did have a f****** life jacket, I was sitting on it."

And finally...

"Oh your VOLUNTEER, where are the real firefighters?"

For everyone's information volunteer firefighters have to go through the same national, state and OSHA training standards as professional firefighters. We have the exact same certification.,,

Look it up, and be safe!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Are you 1 of 8? I am.

So I took this quiz....some how....I am not really that surprised. Well, shit.

Your results:
You are Will Riker

Will Riker
Geordi LaForge
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Deanna Troi
Beverly Crusher
Mr. Scott
Jean-Luc Picard
Mr. Sulu
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

Monday, September 01, 2008

Is That Fall I Smell?

So here we are again, the start of so many, new, fresh and exciting things. Should we list the oh, so very exciting things? OK you asked for it....

Here we have the NFL football season starting up. I, of course am a HUGE Minnesota Vikings fan. Is there any other team I could possibly root for? Maybe, do you think that maybe this year....gasp....should I say it aloud? Shhhhh....Superbowl?

I must say also, it is not the coolest thing, that I work every, single you think that maybe I could get Sunday off for religious reasons? The Church of *Skol? NFL of Latter Day Saints? Viking Church of the Holy Hail Mary Play? The Temple of the Onside Kick, The Chapel of I Can't Believe He Actually Made That? The Holy Trinity of the First Down, Touchdown, Three Point field Goal? No? Well, crap. I guess I am stuck recording it "On Demand" then.

It is also the week of the first day of school. YAY! My son is off of the couch! He is focused! (Hey a mother can dream can't she?) He has goals...Still dreaming, I know. Anyway, the Junior in high school now seems to have more priorities that the Sophomore of yesteryear. Car, Girlfriend, And hark! Can I say grades?!?! About time!

Did you know that it cost an average of about $500 per kid just to start the school year? And my kid alone is a bit more, since he wears a size 15 shoe! Price them, I bet you. UGH!

Also, my work is a little more busy since I work near the campus of the University of Oregon. The Students are slowly filing in and the parents of the freshman are coming in to stock up and shop for their "babies" starting school. They have no idea that it will never end. (Evil laugh .. .hahahahhaha!)

Well, I will leave it at that for now, more later I'm sure.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Was That The Finger?

So some of you might know that I am a fairly new rider of a 150cc motor scooter. Lately I've been riding it to work a lot since gas is around the same price as a small used Toyota. It gets around 95 miles to the gallon so I'm pretty pleased with it. So far I've put almost 1500 miles on it, just riding around town and once or twice out to my Mom's house in "Stickville."

I have learned a few things they don't teach you in the Motorcycle riding class that my partner in crime Sonja and I took a few years back.

When I first starting riding in town I noticed this thing I will call "The Wave".

Those of you who ride motorcycles or scooters will know exactly what I'm talking about here. Those of you who don't - will hopefully learn something.

I'm referring to that secret "wave" that oncoming bikers may or may not flash each other as they pass on the highway. Oh sure, it seems customary enough - two fellow riders politely saying "hi" to each other as they approach... but is it? Is it really that simple? Actually it's not.

I've been riding my scooter a lot like I said above and I've been paying attention. And if you think you're going to get a salutation from just any biker coming your way, then you're wrong. Believe it or not, there are some very subliminal and undocumented rules regarding this situation - and I'm going to share them with you now.

Here's how it works:

First of all, we'll need to establish some terminology to make this tutorial easier to follow.

The person initiating the wave will hereof be referred to as the "initiator". The other person will then automatically be known as the "receiver," and if he responds to the wave, will also be known as the "replier." Note that any reference to said replier assumes he is also the receiver and therefore will not also be referred to as the receiver because otherwise he would have to be known as the receiver and the replier - which just doesn't make any sense. Right? Still with me? Good.

Next, to avoid any unnecessary political or grammar faux pas, all motorcyclists from this point on will be referred to as "riders" and all persons shall be referred to in the female context, just to make it easier.

OK, now on to the tutorial...

Equity and the Odds of Engagement
The odds of receiving a wave from an oncoming biker are first and foremost governed by the "laws of equity." This means that the more things you have in common with her the better chance she will engage as either the initiator or the replier.

There are basically three categories in the laws of equity:

1. Brand equity. This means that if you both are riding the same brand of bike, the odds of a wave transaction are increased.
2. Style equity. If you both are riding the same "type" of bike, such as chopper, rocket, touring motorcycle, or a bitchin' little scooter with tiny pink flames, then your odds are increased as well.
3. Helmet equity. If you both are either wearing a bucket helmet (also known as a brain bucket...ewww) or a full face helmet - odds increased again.

To further illustrate this concept:
IF you both are riding hard tail Harleys and wearing bucket helmets, the odds of a hand gesture between the two of you are VERY high. Conversely, the odds of a full face helmeted hard tail rider waving to a bucket helmeted Suzuki rocket rider are almost next to none.

The Big Five
When a fellow biker is approaching, her left arm and hand will tell the story. Whether she is the initiator or the replier, the signals are the same. Following are the five main hand gestures you may encounter:

1. The Nothing - This is the "default" hand position of most cross-encounters. Simply leaving her left hand on the handle bar can mean anything from "not paying attention to the fact you're approaching" to "I see you but I'm not interested in exchanging a greeting" - to the harsher, "I see you but since we don't enjoy any 'equity,' I'm not going to acknowledge your existence." Of course since no words are ever exchanged to clarify, all the rider can do is simply speculate.

2. The Two-finger Flip - The most casual AND most common acknowledgement. Left hand still on the hand grip, but the index and middle fingers raised briefly. This one simply says "dude, how's it going?" Most of the time the receiver will respond just out of courtesy. Of course the whole issue of who goes first really boils down to nothing more than a game of "greeting chicken" - or whoever is in the better mood at time.

3. The Big One - This is the granddaddy of all greetings. Left hand down off of the handlebar and out to the side. Fingers may either show a "peace" sign or be spread open palm side out. Here, the initiator is sending a clear signal that she acknowledges you. Not replying to this blatant plea for hospitality may be considered rude - and could possibly be interpreted as a strong message of inequity. (This is the one I've noticed most in my area.)

4. The Dis - Left hand down and resting on the thigh. This could be viewed as a request to treat the opposing party as a hostile witness - ESPECIALLY if it is moved there while
you are approaching. Dating back to the days when rival motorcycle gangs roamed the streets, this signal indicated disrespect to the other rider(s) and was clearly meant as negative and often times led to confrontation. Today, however, the old cultural significance has been lost, and could simply just mean your arm is tired and resting on your leg.

5. The Geek - Left hand raised high in the air as if to say, "Hi mom!" This one is specifically reserved for the new rider, who is "SO excited to be one of the gang!" Also may be seen being used by Moped or scooter riders. Recommendation: Just don't. (I HAVE NEVER EVER DONE THAT!) Ever.

Personally, I dig it most when I get The Big One. We pass, then I watch them do a double take in my side mirror as they wonder just what they waved at.

So there they are. All the secrets behind those mysterious motorcycle hand greetings revealed (not to be confused with the standard hand "turn" signals). So the next time you approach an oncoming rider, take note. She could be sending you a very intentional message!

Or not.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

beeeeeeeep.........yes, ladies and gentleman my computer was dead. D E A D. I had to poke it with a stick to make sure but that is why you have not heard from me in a while.

Thanks to my friend Tim, my computer guru extraordinaire, we are alive again and stay tuned. There will be a new post soon. Tim is a god.

Friday, July 11, 2008

OMG is this an actual post?!?

Ok, Ok, so I have not posted in a coon's age. Mmm....what exactly is a coon's age? Ah well anyway I digress.

Sorry folks but I honestly just didn't feel like posting. There it is in black and white. So now I get to play catch up. Or maybe it's you that are catching up.

I have been working, working, working. And just plain trying to get things done in my life. Lately my garden, home life have held no appeal for me. I've been hankering to just get out of the house, away from everyone, and just be me for a while. So last week or so ago, I went camping. Just me and my dog Harpo. And I think I just might do it again today. I don't have to be back at work until Sunday.

Anyway, I wanted to post some pictures from my last camp/hike trip and maybe a few others for shits and giggles and just say hi. Sorry if the door slams on my way out. Later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Love My Job...

Me: “Ma’am, you forgot the rest of your change.”

Tourist: “Oh! I guess I did, unless you were paying me in pesos.”

Me: “Excuse me?” (WTF? We are a little far north of the border? Hello?!?)

Tourist: “Pesos. The money in Mexico.”

Me: “I know what a peso is, ma’am, but I’m not Mexican.”

Tourist: “Puerto Rican?”

Me: “Not even close.”

Tourist: “Cuban?”

Me: “No.”

Tourist: “What are you, then?”

Me: “I’m Native American, German and Irish."

Tourist: “So am I.” (Uhhhhh.....okay......)

Me: “No, Native like the people here before white people.”

Tourist: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You don’t know about Natives? Indians?”

Tourist: “Oh, you mean the people John Wayne killed off.”

Me: “Just take your change.” Like I said "oh My Gawd!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here is a clue. The sports bra that actually doesn't squish your boobs down to look like lumpy pancakes, is not the best thing to wear over your severe sunburn. Especially at work when you are on camera and in public so every person within a 50 yd radius is wondering why you are squirming so much.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I know that I have not posted for a, um sorry.

The teenager is doing much better, and gaining weight at a steady clip. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

This morning I approached my desk ready to open email and what not and it became apparent that it was not going to happen anytime soon. No Internet. None. Nada. I thought I was going to start hyperventilating.

At first I tried all the cords. Everything seemed fine. We have Qwest Internet, so I wanted to check the phone jack. In order to do that the simplest way, I had to hook up our spare phone.

In order to do that, I had to get it out of the deep recesses of my husband's "man room". Sigh... As I mentally psyched myself up for that challenge I put on the garden gloves and grabbed a wooden spoon to use as a possible weapon for anything that might be alive in the shadows of the unknown. I slowly creaked open the door, swatting at the dusty Tibetan Prayer Flags
he has hanging over the doorway. (Did I mention my hubby is somewhat of a hippy?) After peering around the door, I inched my way inside, leaving the door open for a possible avenue of escape. Stretching out my arm, my grip on the wooden spoon tight, I prodded at the stack of newspapers piled high on his desk. Nothing that might of been nesting in there rushed out at me gnashing it's teeth to protect it's young, so I took a deep breath, grabbed the phone, rushed out and slammed the door behind me. Whew. I hate that room.

Suffice it to say, I do not make it a habit to enter this domain. This is where he reads his periodicals (Discover Mag., National Geographic, The daily newspaper). This is where he smokes his nasty cigarettes and the occasional cigar. This is where he sprays his anti-fungal foot spray after every shower, before he puts his shoes on and goes to work. This is not a place I voluntarily hang out in. The Man Room.

This is our emergency phone. In case the power goes out and our cordless won't work. It is a vintage Baltimore Colts football helmet, mounted on a trophy-like plaque and made into a phone. You now know why it is stored where it is. When he first got this as a gift he wanted to (gasp) put it in the kitchen. Ugh.

I then had to crawl underneath the kitchen table to get to the phone jack. Lovely. Did I mention this is my dog Daisy's favorite place to sleep? I'm not the best house keeper in the world, so it was kinda fuzzy down there. Anyhoo, it's clean now. And the line was fine.

I just had to do it though. I had to do the dreaded. Call Qwest. Or should I just say India? I have nothing against Indians. Let me just get that said right now. What I hate is when I call a technical help line, and I am already irritated or annoyed because I have tried every avenue I can think of to fix whatever problem I have, I then have to speak with a person I have a hard time understanding. Beyond frustrating.

But I was pleased to speak with someone who spoke slow enough that I could understand. And even though the woman's tone was robotic in the beginning (everyone reading this knows what I am talking about if you have ever called a tech support line), apparently my Prozac must of kicked in somewhere between the Muzak renditions of "Born in The U.S.A." and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while I was on hold, because towards the end of the call we were joking around about how she makes her son do all the crawling-around-under-the-table-cord-plugging-in-stuff.

Obviously my Internet has been fixed or you wouldn't be reading this. I won't go into the longer story of all the troubleshooting I had to do, but let's just say it was a lot. I'm just glad it's done and the helmet phone can go back to it's rightful place...buried underneath piles of junk on my husbands desk.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is that my kid?

Here I am finally. It's been a harrowing few weeks. And there is much to tell, spew forth yada yada yada.

My son, was admitted to the hospital on May 6 with his case of mono. Interestingly not the first hospital where we went to the ER the day before, (the place where they gave him IV fluids, and 4 Ibuprofen and sent him on his way), but the other smaller hospital across the river. After 4.5 days on IV fluids, and other meds, we brought him home on the afternoon of the 10Th. He is finally able to eat solid foods, and believe me, we are shoveling it into him. Having a six foot tall kid go from 140lbs. to 110lbs. is scary.

He is feeling much better, and actually went to school yesterday on his own accord. But here comes some of the interesting stuff.

His grandmother (IO) and I have both noted a difference in him. For the better. Not that he was bad before.....but, well you know what I mean.

She thinks maybe he had a "near death experience" or something. Why? Well, he actually talks to her now. No longer is he the master of grunting one syllable responses in person and on the phone. He does have a vocabulary after all. And it includes the words thank you and please. What happened to my boy?!?

Where he used to assume that his parents were dorks and he knew it all, now he thinks...well, um OK, he still thinks that we are dorks and he knows everything, but he no longer lords it over us. He now just quietly accepts his superiority without rubbing our faces in it. He's actually generous. Wow. I had to sit down for a minute there.

Anyone who has a teenage boy or even just a teenager knows what I'm getting at here. I'm not complaining either. But I am just going to enjoy it while it lasts, because somehow I don't think it will. Oh well.

Oh and he decided to cut his hair. YAY! My son has eyes again!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

I am woman. I am strong. I am so tired.

Telling title, don't you think? Today is day eight of my child's battle with mononucleosis. AKA: mono. We've been to Urgent Care once, the Emergency Room once, his regular Doctor once, and the day after tomorrow we will be seeing an ear, nose and throat guy. Ugh. Thank goodness for health insurance, or I would have to sell a kidney to pay for all this stuff.

What started out as what I thought was a nasty cold, it has progressed into the worst case of mono the docs have ever seen. Oh gee yippee skippy. And now he has ruptured a tonsil or something along those lines. When he spewed the blood all over his room, I freaked a little and we took the trip to the ER. Nice people, got in right away. Except when I first came in and asked for help getting my son out of the car, and they just pointed to the wheel chairs that were lined up on the wall and continued their conversation. Uhhh? Gee thanks for your concern. Then they saw him and started to move a wee bit faster.

So I guess the reason I am writing this and airing my dirty laundry is that I had no idea that mono could be this bad; so I am here to testify. There will be some links if anyone is curious, but I want to let you know about some of the really weird shit I didn't know about mono.
  • It is called the "kissing disease". That's a myth though. It can be spread the same way a common cold is. Although it is not as contagious as a cold.
  • Most people get it when they are very young and don't know they have it or the symptoms are mild enough that they think they have a cold. Then over the years they will develop an immunity for it.
  • When you get mono, you have it forever; the symptoms just fade away. And even when you are feeling better you can be contagious for up to 18 months.
Those are just a few things that come to my tired mind right now. Heed my words though: Mono is serious business, it enlarges the spleen and it could rupture if movement isn't checked. It can be spread through sharing drinks, coughing, sneezing and yes kissing.

Infectious Mononucleosis - Symptoms

University of Maryland Medical center

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Again I am amazed over and over again....

This world we live in is quickly becoming paperless when it comes to money. We get our paychecks deposited electronically, then we pay our bills on line. We make our day to day purchases with our debit cards. Or we pay by credit, which in turn we pay electronically anyway. Even people with no jobs or low paying and living on some kind of assistance get their government money/food stamps via electronic transfer. We would be screwed if someday something happened that kept us from our electronic "money".

Well, I got to witness first hand that very thing, although on a much smaller scale and with less catastrophic results at my work on Friday and Saturday.

Without going into a big spiel on class distinction, I need to say that the customers that come into my store and that live in the neighborhood are mostly a bit well to do. If I were to guess, I would say that about 90% of them pay for their groceries or whatever with credit/debit cards and never carry more than a few dollars cash.

Around 2:30 pm on Friday all of a sudden our credit/debit machines stopped working. Completely without warning. Also our check machine (the thingee that sucks your check in to see if you are who you say you are) stopped doing it's thing. Oh goody.

We made announcements over the PA system about the problem. We were excepting checks even though we couldn't check any info on them, and we of course, would gladly take your cash. We also put signs up in front of both doors as you would walk in. Big signs. Here is what happened.

  • Some people just left their carts full of groceries (even perishable items) in the isles and walked out.
  • Some continued to shop and when they got to the checkout stand, asked if they could write us an IOU, since they are regulars. (Isn't that a check?) And were pissed that "we" had wasted "their" time.
  • I had a guy that came to my hem, I mean the "express line" and wanted to use his debit card to get cash back on his tiny purchase so he could pay us cash for the rest of his groceries. Uh, no. What part of, "Machines not working AT ALL", do you not understand?
  • I watched people walk in the door, stop, look right at the sign, shop for 20-30 minutes (we were doing the announcements every ten) then be surprised/angry/upset that we couldn't take their cards as payment.
Every day I work here I think to myself that this is a great place to study human behavior. Every day I get surprised, dumbfounded or am proven right. Sometimes I feel I don't even have the right words to do justice to what I see and hear everyday.

*Little side note: Often our customers are new age/hippy, save the planet/green people and use not only their own canvas shopping bags made from recycled materials and/or hemp, but also use their own containers for bulk items such as flour, sugar or pasta. (We also carry bulk shampoo and conditioner which I think is pretty cool.) We weigh the container to get the tared weight before it's filled so you don't get charged for the weight of the container.

Scene: Well-to-do thirty something man, sporting very expensive bike helmet/rain gear/backpack. Very in shape, granola eater type. Walks up to my line with just a plastic Tupperware type container.

Me: "Hello, how are you doing today?"

Granola-Eater: "Fine thanks."

He hands me his container. It's filled with raisins. I note that the tare is already written on it with black Sharpie marker. I go through all the appropriate cashier motions.

Me: "That will me $6.07. Will that be debit or credit?"

With a look of sudden dismay, "I forgot my wallet. Um, what do we do?"

Me: "Well you could leave it here, and you could come right back with your wallet.

He shakes his head to indicate that that is not acceptable. Apparently he's afraid I'm going to mess with his raisins.

Me: "
OK, then I can give you your container back, but I have to throw the raisins away since they were in your personal container, and you can come back later. "

Granola-Eater: "
OK." He shrugs and hands me his container. I toss the contents in the trash because I have to. He walks away without a care in the world.

My comment is this: What a self absorbed, wannabe, save the planet, granola, raisin-
wasting ass hole! (Said with a snotty, nose in the air tone: "I'm going to save the planet. I recycle. I use tote bags instead of plastic or paper. I ride my bike instead of drive. I reuse my own container for my raisins so I make my ecological footprint smaller.") Don't mind the hungry people that would of appreciated those raisins (or even a fraction of them) that you so carelessly tossed in the trash without being paid for. Fucker.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Instructions are your friends....

(Referring to the payment terminal)

Customer: “It’s not working. Whats wrong with it?”

Me: “What does it say?”

Customer: “It says, ‘Please slide card’.”

Me: “Well, then slide your card.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(She slides her card. It works.)

Customer: “Hey it worked!”

Customer, staring at credit card machine: “I don’t know what to do. What does it want me to do?”

Me: “What does the screen say?”

Customer: “Press the green button.”

Me: “Then…well…maybe you should press that green button there.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Paper or Plastic? Well...its not really plastic its made from corn starch. Honest to God!

Bags easily entertain cats, and when living in poverty, they can be used as a bathing suit. I use them at work for their functional and intended purpose, to hold groceries. Did you know people are sensitive when it comes to having their groceries bagged? True story. Bagging groceries even has it’s own terminology. Like customers at Starbucks, requesting “with room” or “no room”, “double” or “quad”, “skinny”, “wet” or “dry”, “light”, “venti”, “tall”, or “grande”, customers at the grocery stores ask for double, no bag, paper in plastic, double paper in triple plastic, etc. Surprisingly, the customer has a lot of demands for their food goods. Here’s a list of the things people have special requests and instructions for when placing items into bags:
  1. Type: Paper, Plastic, His/Her Own Bag, or No Bag
  2. Distribution of Weight
  3. Number of Bags Used
  4. Placement of Items in Bags

Now lets examine each one of these items in the list.


There are 3 types: Plastic bags

Most people don’t care what you bag their groceries in. Plastic is basically the default. Why? It’s the most convenient (paper bags and tote bags are more tedious to fill because they don’t like to cooperate, making them more time consuming). It’s also cheaper for the store to buy, so next time your courtesy clerk or cashier does not ask you, “Paper or plastic” don’t reprimand them and tell them it’s their job to ask you. It’s not their job. Often times, employers discourage their employees from asking, “Paper or plastic” because it cost the store more money to buy paper bags. (Although on a side note, I personally am required to ask what type of bag. It's in my job description. Sure of it.)

If you didn’t know, there is actually a hierarchy of bags. If plastic was a social standing, it would be working class. It’s on the bottom of the ranking system. Why? Because plastic is bad on the environment. It degrades slowly. It has toxins in it. It’s bad news bears. I’m pretty sure the use of one plastic bag harms 2 baby dolphins and Kola Bear. (Another side note: Our bags are supposedly made out of a corn starch polymer that degrades in about three months, unlike the plastic bags that take tens of thousands of years. I did notice though that the bag says "degradable" not bio-degradable. I'm not sure but I think that is a big difference.)

Paper is middle class. Paper can be recycled. So, by requesting paper, you’re a better person. You’re saving the world, unlike those plastic folks.

Tote bags, or any bag (that’s not paper or plastic) brought in by a customer is upper class. They don’t kill Kola bears and they save the trees. They’re reusable. People who use tote bags often think they deserve a medal or a unicorn sticker, or something like a pat on the back, but they often don’t get those kind of awards. They don’t get awards at all. However, they do get to leave the store feeling like a hero.

No Bag is not actually a type of bag, but it is an option, and it is on the hierarchy scale. Nothing is being used, but the hands of the customer, so it’s a big deal. No Bag is a millionaire. And people who don’t use bags are right up there with Mother Teresa and 9/11 Firefighters.

2. Distribution of Weight

Sometimes people want their bags to be light or packed full. God forbid you, the bagger, make the mistake of not reading their mind. If a bag is too heavy, you’re insensitive. Even though 3 soup cans seems fairly light to you, obviously, it’s not. If a bag is not packed full, to the point where the bag is bound to split open from the bottom, then you are an idiot for not filling it. Just cause the bag is already filled with a 12 case of beer, and half a gallon of milk, does not mean you can’t squeeze in 7 more containers of yogurt. I love it when the customer says, "Just fill it up, no matter how heavy." It never occurs to them that they are not the only one lifting the bag."

3. Number of Bags Used

Sometimes there are special requests: Only 2 bags, or fit it all in one bag. Sometimes, items need to go in a paper bag and then inside a plastic, which may seem like a contradiction. After all, aren’t the people who request paper trying to save the environment? They want to be able to recycle it, right? But, by throwing it inside the plastic (because they need those handles), isn’t it more wasteful and worse than just asking for plastic? Yes, it is. You know how in social classes, when someone falls in onc class, such as working class, but they think they’re in another class, like middle class (because everyone claims they’re middle class)? Well, that’s what Paper in Plastic is. Paper is involved, so it appears to be in the middle on the hierarchy of bags, but it’s not. It’s on the bottom, the low bottom. It’s poverty. Those paper bags probably won’t even be recycled. They’re just gonna be used as trashcans.

4. Placement of Items in Bags

Sometimes, you (the bagger) think you know what you’re doing, but then you’re reminded of how stupid you are for not bagging certain items together, or bagging them separately. I understand canned foods should not be placed on bread. I’m aware that placing eggs at the bottom of the bag is a bad idea. And I always ask customers beforehand if they would like their Windex bagged separately from their food (some don’t mind because they want to conserve the number of bags), but why does a magazine have to go in its own bag if I’m able to sandwich it between 2 boxes of cereal? Why does a gallon of milk (or anything with handles) need to be placed in a bag? Is it really the end of the world if I stick the one and only refrigerated item, in a bag with non-refrigerated items?

Well, enough on that subject. It's amazing to me sometimes how in an eight hour day, I have nothing better to do than to think about this shit. Sigh...

Plastic bags by the numbers

180 million

Roughly the number of plastic shopping bags distributed in San Francisco each year.

2 to 3 cents

Amount each bag costs markets, compared with anywhere from 5 to 10 cents for a biodegradable bag.

4 trillion to 5 trillion

Number of nondegradable plastic bags used worldwide annually.

430,000 gallons

Amount of oil needed to produce 100 million nondegradable plastic bags.

Source: S.F. Department of the Environment; Worldwatch Institute

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pretty much sums it up...

Here’s a conversation I had with an asshole—I mean customer yesterday, at work.

SCENE: At the cash register. I was finishing a transaction with a woman who could not even muster up a response to my friendly greet. Apparently, reciting the words, “I’m good” or “I feel like shit” takes a lot of work when asked, “How are you today?” When people ignore me, after I make a friendly gesture, I want to say, “Look lady/sir, it’s not my choice to say hello to you. I can tell by your demeanor that you’ve got a stick up your ass and that, whatever grief the world has set upon you today, you plan to take it out on me. Believe it or not, I’m required to say “hello” to you and ask you about your day, the day that I don’t give two shits about, because there is this slight possibility you may be a “secret shopper” and god forbid I receive a “no on greet”, on the shop. Failing a shop is worse than being a worthless employee. Hard work is actually secondary at my job. As long as you kiss ass you’re on your way to retail success.

A man stood behind the pleasant woman.

Asshole: Those are on sale (He pointed to his fruit punch and orange Gatorades.)
Me: (I tried to ignore him because he was being rude by not waiting his turn). Okay
Woman: (She looked at me perplexed. She was unable to think sensibly.)
Me: (I wondered: 1. Is she a moron who can’t figure out which way to slide her debit card, 2. Is she annoyed by the asshole behind her, who keeps rambling on about Gatorade?, or 3. Is she trying to figure out if I’m a boy or a girl?)
Asshole: They say 10 for 10. They’re a dollar each. Does it matter if they’re different ones? Is this one (he held up the orange flavor) the same? Is it also 10 for $10?
Me: I don’t know. I’ll scan it and find out in just a moment.
Asshole: (He staired at me blankly. He was shocked I didn’t know the price.)
Me: I don’t know. I don’t know the price off the top of my head.

SIDENOTE: Do people actually expect us to memorize the price of every item in the store? Do they know how many items are on each shelf? There are like, 7 or 8 aisles, not counting departments. And I’m supposed to know every price? Do they know every week we have price changes? Which, by the way, while I’m on the topic of price changes, let me inform you on something. When you go into a store, and don’t see a price tag for an item, please don’t assume the employees are ganging up against you, deliberately taking the tag off the shelf because the item is so astronomically overpriced we’re just afraid to inform you of the real price because we’re worried you’ll leave and never come back again, or because it’s apart of our sleazy scheme to try and trick you into buying something you can’t afford. Why, as an employee of a greedy corporation, would I care to deceive customers about the price of a product? I don’t even care if you shop at my place of work. I don’t even shop there. If a tag is missing it’s because the scan coordinator never got around to hanging up a new tag because they have a million items to get to in the course of 8 hours. Or, maybe the tag just fell off the shelf.

SCENE: The woman left. The asshole stepped up.

Asshole: Do those ring up as 10 for 10?
Me: (I wanted to say: Give me just one damn minute to scan it and we’ll find out together.)
Asshole: I’ll go back and switch it if the orange one isn’t 10 for 10.
Me: (I scanned the fruit punch flavored Gatorade. It rung up as $1.69.) That one isn’t on sale.
Asshole: Oh, that one is the fruit punch. I’ll go back and get another cherry. The cherry is 10 for $10. It says so on the tag. It says it.
Me: (I scanned the cherry flavored Gatorade.) That one isn’t on sale either. It’s also $1.69. (I wasn’t surprised.)
Asshole: (He was visibly distressed). The sign said 10 for 10. (His voice raised) That’s supposed to be one dollar!

I was prepared for his accusations about false advertising, the “computer” (register) “ringing it up wrong”, or some other bogus bullshit indictment that he couldn’t back up with valid support.

Clearly, at this point, it’s already my fault. I think the growing line of people behind him blamed me too, because you know, the customer is always right and all that horse shit. Even though I work at the store and…well—whatever, they’re always right. They’re geniuses. What do I know?

Me: (I was exhausted and already over it) I’ll be right back. I’m gonna go check the price.
Asshole: (He babbled on some more about 10 for 10 and Gatorade. I couldn’t make out his words. He started to trail off. He began to shift his body with discomfort. Soon he’d express his rage and fury with long, exaggerated sighs and immature insults. If there were no consequences of getting kicked out of the store, he probably would have broke some shit. People like him don’t really care about making a scene. I personally would be embarrassed, but they’re so cocky, and sure of themselves they don’t mind being loud, opinionated, and boisterous in front of others. It’s incomprehensible for them to think how silly it is to overact over something as minute as Gatorade. The price difference was 69 cents. 69 cents! Why did it have to turn into a mini non-carbonated sports drink crisis?

I took a jaunt to the juice aisle where I found the Gatorade. In my head, I was hoping he was wrong because I love proving assholes wrong. Yep, there it was, the Gatorade he selected. The tag, which was directly under the product read: $1.69. Exactly what I suspected. A foot to the left were two tags that said 10 for $10. The tags were underneath the Gatorade G2. G2 is the key word here. It’s a different kind of Gatorade and a different size. The Gatorade G2 was not even remotely close to the regular Gatorade. (Sometimes) I can understand when people mistake the price for products when they sit next to each other, but those drinks were far apart. He was either a complete dumb shit or he was trying to scam me.

I grabbed the G2 for proof that I didn’t make it up. I always need something tangible. I know customers. They won’t believe me unless I present them with a visual. 99% of the time they still don’t believe me because they’re stubborn and can’t admit they’re wrong. You wouldn’t believe how much denial people go into when I show them the tag. I take them to the aisle and point. I say, “Look, right here, see it? You want to touch it and make sure it’s real?” They’re still baffled. Their mind is a roller coaster of mixed emotions. I’m sure they’re thinking, “What? I’m wrong? That can’t be! I’m always right. I’m a human being. I’m incapable of fault. I think an extraterrestrial snuck in here and changed the tags. It’s the only solid explanation I’m able to form. I’m just…I’m just flabbergasted. If Robert Stack was still alive I’d submit this paranormal phenomena to Unsolved Mysteries.”

I walked back to the register, but for the sake of the story, pretend I’m skipping with a big swirly lollipop in my hand, wearing pig tales and a little bo-peep dress, happy and blissful in my defeat of the Asshole.

I appeared back to my check stand, hair windblown from the mini jog, and slightly winded because I don’t exercise enough.

Me: (I was confident and in high spirits) The sign for those say $1.69. All of the Gatorades are $1.69. You were looking at the Gatorade G2, which is 10 for $10. (I showed him the G2 like one of Barker’s Beauties, showing off an appliance, on The Price Is Right.)

Asshole: (He was slightly bewildered and exasperated) No, those said 10 for 10. They say so right on the tag, in the back.
Me: No, the tag for the Gatorade says $1.69. The tag that says 10 for $10 is for the Gatorade G2, which is this (I held up the drink again).
Asshole: (He shook his head. I could tell he hated being wrong and was trying so hard to think of some excuse to prove he was right) I saw it on the tag. It said $1.00 each.
Me: No, it doesn’t. Do you want me to take you to the aisle, and show you on the shelf where it says $1.69? They’re not even next to each other. It clearly says $1.69 for these Gatorades (I moved my hand in a circlular motion above the Gatorades that he assured me cost a buck) and these Gatorade G2s are 10 for $10. I’ll go show you if you want, and point out where the price is. The tags are right under the product.
Asshole: (He knew he lost the battle). Take ‘em off. This is ridiculous. (I was surprised he didn’t say, “I’m never shopping here again.” Just because he didn’t know how to act like a civilized adult and accept the fact that he, the customer, was wrong and I, the employee, was right.)
Me: (I voided his Gatorades) The total is $…..
Asshole: (He was pissed off and infuriated) What?! Why didn’t you put the others (Gatorade G2) on there?
Me: Because you didn’t tell me to. Do you want those?
Asshole: Yeah, I want those. If I can’t have the other ones.
Me: Well, you never told me to add them on. You just told me to take off the others.
Asshole: (He walked away from the check stand) I’m gonna pick up my other two.
Me: Make sure you get the right ones. The regular Gatorades aren’t on sale.

I wanted to send the courtesy clerk to spy on him because I didn’t trust him.