Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Would you care for a free meat package?

What would you do if a friend offered you some meat, for free? What if they asked you on the phone? And what if they were a total stranger, calling you up at random and asking if you were interested in receiving a free meat package?

Ugh. If you think it’s embarrassing enough to receive that call, imagine being the one doing the calling!

I wish I could remember what “company” it was, but one of us (my mom or me) had found the job in the paper, and I have to drive to… I want to say somewhere near Elmhurst, and I was in college and needed a summer job, and it was freaking hot as a roasting oven outside and just as moist, and I had gotten all dressed up in a skirt and blouse and heels, thinking I should look my best despite the strange job description. This was 1993, not the time of the GPS, and by the time I finally found the place I was ready to just turn around.

The sketchy “office” was in a house-like building, but it was definitely a place of business. Four or five cheap metal desks adorned the room with old-fashioned stenographer chairs tucked under. Discount carpeting abounded. I remember enough windows, but I was getting a weird feeling about the place. There was an adjoining room that I assumed was the boss’ office. I seem to remember a window in the connecting wall, but I could be architecturalizing.

Anyway, the job was this: Cold call people to offer them a free meat package and attempt to enroll them in a monthly meat delivery. No cost to them. They could keep the meat if not interested in the monthly package.

I can’t make this stuff up.

So he interviewed me, and looked me up and down a few times, and tried me out for a few hours. I forget the hourly wage, but it was pretty low… maybe six bucks an hour, plus commission on the meat? I got a couple of people to accept “free meat packages” but wasn’t sure I wanted to continue working there. For one thing, the area was borderline dangerous and although I was young, I wasn’t particularly stupid. I wanted to ask for my twenty bucks but I also wanted to get the hell out of there. So I hung around a few minutes, sorta hoping he would offer it to me (that wasn’t going to happen), and then said to myself , “fuck it” and took off.

Later, my parents asked me what had happened and I explained as best I could. They didn’t understand why I left without claiming my wages, but I am sure I made the right decision. Who came up with the idea of free meat packages, anyway? The whole thing still makes me shudder.

Aaanyway, I have no idea why this popped into my head, it just did. Worst “job” ever! And my family still jokes about it. Oh, free meat package, I am wary of you…

Mousie, redux

Well, I never!

Something told me to check on the kitties before bed late last night after my relaxing shower. So I did. I saw Butchie drifting in dreamland on the chenille pillow on the leather chair, but where was Twinkie? I checked his favorite hiding spots – the acid green microfiber cube under my desk, the corner of the red sofa, behind the potted ficus, even the basement stairs. Finally I saw him, shadowy in the kitchen, staring silently at the narrow spacelet between the refrigerator and cabinet. He didn’t turn around as I entered and switched on the light, worrying about a water bug or spider with the cat food and water dishes at my slippered tootsies.

But all I saw was a small fluff of cat hair. I stood, motionless and mute. Twinkie sat, motionless and mute. I have never seen him so silent. Nary a meow nor a tail twitch graced his feline form. Then he twitched his whiskers, pulled back his ears, and got low. His head swiveled and he leaned ever so slightly forward, tensing his hind legs for the pounce.*

I still figured it was a small bug, and I was very tired, having watched Dancing with the Stars at my friends’ house, buying gas on the way home, and just taken that shower. It was almost midnight. I was about to say “forget it” and turn around and go to bed when suddenly, a brown MOUSE ran out from under the fridge! I peeped and it saw me and ran back under the refrigerator. I grabbed the garbage can, pulled out the bag, and held it upside down, waiting for the MOUSE to show its ugly self again and trap it.

But I waited in vain. Eventually I went to bed and shivered in my bedsheets, imagining I heard mice in my mattress and tiny creatures in my clothes… but not before frantically texting Vitamin N about the terrifying ordeal I had endured with Twinkie:

oh my god N I just saw a mouse in my kitchen
A brown one. I'm terrified! How will I sleep knowing there is a mouse terrorizing Twinkie? :-(
it went back under the refrigerator
Something told me too check inn the cats and I did and where was Twinkie? I finally found him in the kitchen starting at the space between the fridge and drive. But there was nothing there but a dust kitty
So I stood there Quietly and it came out and saw me and Twinkie and it ran back under
What a bold mouse. I'm calling the exterminator in the morning
I don't get it. My house is totally clean
especially my kitchen

In the morning, she saw me and laughed. And none of my coworkers seemed surprised! Turns out they all had them.

“Oh, it’s just a field mouse.” Well, if it’s in a house, it’s now a house mouse now, amiright? “Peanut butter in a trap will do it.” But then I will have to remove the trap with a dead mouse within. “Wasn’t it cute? ” No, it was certainly not cute. “Just put away the cat food at night, and it will probably move on.” But what if Big B and Little T get hungry? And "probably" isn't enough of a guarantee anyway.  “Mice only come out at night anyway.” But how is that any better? And my personal favorite, “Better get a cat!” Oh, rilly? Screw you, coworker!

So tonight I get to go to Target yet again and pick up traps. Add my special Teddie pb to them, and slide them into the space I found Twinkie staring into. I am so not looking forward to this…

*It was shades of Maxie Paxie. If he were alive, Max would have definitely gotten that mouse. I miss him!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Secret Pisser strikes again

I think Butch is sick again.  But the only proof I have is occasional pissing on the bed (twice in the last 2.5 weeks, but nothing before that), and more bathing than I remember when he was younger.  Is he sick, or does he have kitty dementia, or is he just getting old?  He's been sweet and not acting strangely in any other ways.  I tried palpating his tummy/liver area to see if anything was swollen, but I couldn't feel anything unusual.  He just kept purring.  Now I'm sad, and I have to lock them out of the bedroom again, so no nighttime kitty heating pads or musical purring tonight.  Sigh.  Watching pets decline sucks!

UPDATE: He has also been spending a lot of time in the bathtub.  Sitting in it, walking in it, and playing peekaboo using the shower curtain.  Wtf?

Apps! Apps! Apps!

I'm a little app hound now. A-rooooo!

Three I have been messing around with (yup, all free):

AudioBooks. I've taken to listening to books during my commute. I'm going the science fiction route. I find it keeps me calmer than just being stuck in traffic, and I don't get all bent out of shape because of idiots on the road. In just 3.5 commuting days, I'm almost finished with chapter 12 of the The Coming Race by Edward George Bulwer Lytton, having never gotten to the print copy. I'm at the point where the linguistics are being explained, and it's a good thing I only hear it in half hour increments, because this part is long and drawn out. Darn his multisyllabic writing style! No one better get on my bad side, or I just might abuse my vril...

Jango. It's a music service similar to Pandora, but better (in my 'umble opinion). It features unlimited skips and only ONE ad a day. Take that, Pandora! And you can customize faster than Pandora. Listen from your computer, too, natch. The one down side is that you are asked to rate new artists' music -- thumbs up, or thumbs down to control their airtime. If I feel it's thumbs down, I'll just close the box since I don't consider myself qualified to grant someone else airtime. But I did find one song I liked from some unknown, and rated it favorably.

And finally, Thinking Space. Mind mapping! This is such as awesome tool and I use it to organize writing thoughts. I am actually thinking of buying this program! It's really slick, pretty, and useful. Your maps are saved on your sd card, but they have a Cloud server that can synch your maps. Use FreeMind on your computer to revise, if you prefer.

Find them in the Android Market.  More to come.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gloat? That's a negative, you

To me, it feels like this “Osama is dead” thing dropped out of the clear blue sky. Like a house! By a tornado. “Ding dong! The witch is dead.” Really? Ew. Thanks, memes.  How about growing the fuck up and realizing that we still have miles to go before we sleep?

I find it repulsive that Americans celebrated in the streets when the megalomaniac known as Osama bin Laden was killed. Ok, we got him, that's really great… but we’re also not uncivilized. CNN has stated that Washington told our military, “No gloating”. And I really believe that no soldier would disobey an order from Washington (at least, in public).

And if our military, the toughest, proudest, and most compassionate military there is, can manage to contain gloat, then our civilians (despite any differences) should manage to contain theirs too…