Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Lady is a Champe

It took me a few hours to come up with name of my Blog, but then as if it were Easter Saturday (if it’s Good Friday, is it Great Saturday?), my title resurrected from the dead. Only a select few will remember the original “Hygiene Chronicles”; a haphazard newsletter created (by me, of course) to catalog the events going on in the Education Department at FMI, my last job. (This is normally where I’d include a link to their web site, but their site sucks crap.)

Our department did educational conferences and like most companies, silos existed all over. As a over-achieving busybody, I took it upon myself to generate a slightly accurate, but hysterically funny recount of all that went on. My boss, Pat, shook her head in disbelief (as she did many times) at my adult A.D.D. (self-diagnosed). I, on the other, used this as just another way to express myself.

The dilemma came in naming this new publication. It had to be creative and yet serve an underlying function of celebrating underground things that happen at an office.

In addition to Pat, I also worked for a woman named Laura. I’d be polite in describing this woman as certifiable, but when have you known me to be polite. She was a freaking nut-case. In addition to wearing terrible shoes, faking hypoglycemic attacks and telling everyone she was this amazing actress, Laura had another well-documented habit; she never washed her hands after using the bathroom!

And commemorating this common fact; The Hygiene Chronicles was named.

Laura left FMI the next year. I’d like to think I had a hand in her removal because she never really spoke to me those last two weeks. Her departure was a legitimate quitting, but I’m pretty sure she only had two options going for her in those closed door sessions.

I saw her a few years later. With unwashed hair and pants tighter than they should be, Laura was doing her best to command attention at a street fair in Alexandria. As Larry & I were admiring some pottery at a nearby booth, a series of screams and cries arose from where she had been standing. Two dogs on leashes had entangled and Laura dramatically wound up in the midst of them and was now sobbing uncontrollably on the ground. She lay like a limp rag doll on the ground, her long hair draped over her face, wailing louder & louder as people began surrounding her and offering assistance.

I could just detect the smile beginning to form on her face as the sounds of ambulance sirens grew closer and closer.

All the while, I just wanted to shout, “Don’t touch her hands!”

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ticket, Tickets

Last night, Larry & I attended the third of 20 Nationals Baseball games for which we bought tickets. For somefriends, my attendance at the games seems comical since there is a belief that I know nothing of sports.

It’s true I know nothing of most sports. There would be no reason for me to watch unless Bernadette Peters was playing on one of the teams. I do love the fact my son has lesbian mothers because I don’t even know who’s playing in the Superbowl each year. And frankly, I don’t care.

However, the two sports I know and like watching (in person, not on TV) are baseball and hockey. I learned to play hockey freshmen year in college when my corridor decided to participate in intramurals. I wasn’t half bad and broke the stereotype that my people all are Brian Boitano’s. As for baseball, I never played, but I find the games easy to follow, the food is decadent to eat, and the people-watching is awesome. For these many reasons, I agreed to let Larry order tickets.

(This is one of the many things I pretend to sacrifice in order to get other items in trade. It is the emotional bank from which I withdraw when I want something. I really did like the idea of getting tickets, but pretending to sacrifice only helped solidify the purchase of a king-size bed!)

Anyway, last evening was our first “weeknight” game. This meant the debate of who drives home to get the dogs fed and pee’d. The answer, 99% of the time, is me! Yes, I get off work at 4:00, but the agony of having to drive from Tysons => Silver Spring and then ride metro from Silver Spring => RFK stadium is pretty painful for anyone, let alone someone who will turn it into a nasty-ass blog the next day.

Being a wonderful spouse, I laid out the tickets on the dresser as I depart for my 6:00 AM commute. Later than day, Larry leaves me a message and says, “Thanks for leaving the tickets out. That was smart. I’m guessing you’ll bring them to the game. Where should I meet you?”

Now, tt’s my habit to talk back to voice mails as if it were an answering service that somehow could repeat my communication. “Why couldn’t I have just met you at your seat?” I mutter. “Was it that hard to take your ticket with you?” The voice mail does not answer nor pass along my message. I am now forced to deliver the same conversation over the phone.

After receiving a toned-down version of the above, Larry indicates that taking the ticket with him would have been a good idea. He offers a distraction to remove the focus from him, “Gillian is coming to the game with us tonight.” I collect another EB (emotional bank) point and let him off the hook. I agree to call him as I arrive at the Stadium Metro stop.

As if channeling Dionne Warwick, I already know there will be a voice mail waiting. Similar to a SAT question on logic: Steve is to multitasking as what Larry is to impatience. Larry's voice mail doesn’t direct me to go anywhere, but rather to simply call him back.

The conversation goes something like this:
Larry: Are you here?
Steve: Of course, I’m calling you, right?
Larry: Good. We’re waiting outside. Gillian’s here too.
Steve: That I figured from the correct pronoun use. And where “outside” should I find you?
Larry: Just come down the stairs.
Steve: Babe, there are many sets of stairs. Be more specific.
Larry: To the right, Gate A. Gillian’s with me.
Steve: Unless Gillian has the ability to expand herself 10 times her own size, that is not going to won’t make me find you any quicker.
Larry: Huh?
Steve: Never mind. I’ll see you soon.

So lessons learned. I will pack him the ticket the night before, like a child’s lunch the day of field trip.

Why Start Blogging Today?

So last night I was at the Wash Nationals game with my friend Gillian (one of my gurus on technology who I squeeze for knowledge and then regurgitate to others as my own). She & I talk about all things iPod, WiFi and software. Gill tells me she's started a blog for her consulting group Then she asks me if I have a blog. I don't, of course, but realize that in less than 12 hours, I must begin one in order to preserve my perceived technological intellect.

So for many reasons, I begin mine today. This is will not take the place of my American Idol columns, but rather supplement them (with comments from all you folks who feel the need to respond to the columns as if they are discussion groups) as well as allow me to continue my rantings and ravings beyond the scope of Reality Television.

With luck, this will be a blessing for all. For you, a chance to truly get more wit from me. For Larry, another activity that occupies my time and costs less than a month's supply of Ritilan. And for me, the continued chance to do something I enjoy more than anything: creative writing!