Monday, December 29, 2008

And you think YOUR Monday was bad?

Today didn't seem too unusual, nor too terribly awful. I woke up with a full and slightly hurting head from the Ohio Valley Plague, but it wasn't enough to keep me home. After two Day-Quil I was off to work.

The Spouse was nice enough to take me to lunch (since he's off this week) and I had returned to work afterwards with a full, happy belly.

It was a slow day, being the time between the December holidays, so I was just sitting in my chair, surfing the web (actually uploading photos to FaceBook) when from my left


I scream. Loud. My body tensed. I'm aware that something is on me, covering me. I open my eyes briefly to see a thick fog of dust. I blink and notice the cloud is dissipating and I stand up. Whatever is covering me slithers off. I look to my right and see male co-worker #1 walking away from me quickly. As I walk away from whatever just boomed I notice female co-worker on the floor in a combat crawl.

I'm still not aware of what has happened.

Male co-worker #2 comes up to me and asks, "Are you ok?" I do a quick mental inventory and note that I'm not in pain nor is my thinking muddled. I say yes and look to my left, where the boom came from.

There's a car in the window. Aimed right at me (or at least where I was sitting). The bumper is on the floor just inches from my desk. Two whole windows are gone, the metal frames badly bent. The corner column (including a shelf that held a lot of my stuff - candy dish, Chinese good fortune cat, clip art book, font books) is a disaster. The interior portion is gone. I mean GONE. The outside portion is missing about 1/3 of its bricks and cement. There're ducts and chunks of wall all over.

There are (summoning Carl Sagan) billions and billions of miniscule bits of glass everywhere. As far as 30 feet away.

My workstation is covered with shrapnel.

A couple of customer service folks come over to me to see if I'm ok. One of them says, "You better get to the bathroom. Your forehead is bleeding."

As they say this I'm aware of a warm, wet sensation on my left ankle. I look down and see multiple holes in my black hose one both feet and spot the blood on my left ankle.

"You might want to take that shirt off. You're covered in glass."

"Yeah, you'll want to take your hair down, too. You have glass in your hair."

I reach up and feel a bunch of small glass chunks on my carefully braided hair.

Fuck. What the hell just happened?

I shuffle off to the bathroom with one of the customer service gals. That's when I notice my shoes are full. Of glass. I have to dump them out on the floor before I can go anywhere.

She follows me into the bathroom and proceeds to groom me like a primate, picking off the larger, more visual chunks of glass from my head. I take off and discard my destroyed hose and take gander at my ankle. It looks like a pit bull chewed on it. Then I look in the mirror.

My forehead isn't that bad. I have about 4 or 5 very small cuts that are barely oozing blood. But I have a glittery hairstyle.

Someone had handed me an old workshirt to change into. My turtleneck and shawl are dusty with glass. My pants look awful. I roll up my pants legs to check for more wounds but don't see any more.

During this whole ordeal, I'm laughing. I'm shaken, hell, I'm freaked out, but I'm laughing. In a situaion like this, you haven't to make light of it somehow.

Once I get the old shirt on, I emerge from the bathroom to get see what the fuck just happened.

That's when I see my workstation.
Yeah, it's petty much covered with glass. But check this shit out. The iMac is still running!

But yeah, I was sitting right there. And you can see how close the car was.
See? There's the car. Now, like most people, I'm instantly picturing a drunk bastard, or some dingbat on a cellphone, or some moron strung out on drugs. But no, twas not the case. Male co-worker#2 ran out to check on the driver after checking on me. Apparently the poor bastard passed out behind the wheel. He claimed he remembers coughing real hard, and then he was in our building. Sounds like a stroke to me.

I sit down in a chair and someone brings me a paper towel for my bloody ankle. I'm dabbing my wound, cursing the whole time: "Fuck! Sonofabitch!"

You would cuss, too. Cars djust don't come flying thru your window every day. And it really starts to sink in how really fucking close this car was to mowing me down. If it had not been for the foot-and-a-half of concrete foundation around our building (which is 90% glass) I would be a lot flatter and not as pretty.

We were all walking around in a daze. People (even me) are pulling out their cell phones and taking pictures.

The police, fire and EMS were there in record time and they got that poor bastard strapped down to a gurney and hauled him outta there. They all interviewed me and my female co-worker (who whacked her bad knee on the way down to her combat crawl). I didn't need medical attention. Physically I was fine. My thinking was clear and I felt ok. I was pretty shaken, and I have a bloody ankle, but other than that I was all right.

I called the Spouse between interviews and told him the whole story. He must have said, "Holy Shit!!" a dozen times.

I get off the phone and now I wanna see the damage.
Hey, there's my workstation again, or what's left of it. See that pile of rubble on the floor? That's what hit me. There's a black chair left of center that has a black and white mass on it. That's my new hat and scarf (gift from Nicograph) and my coat, now buried under a mountain of glass.

My cell phone and iPod suvived. They found my keys, my tote bag and my purse. And one framed picture of the Spouse. I'm hoping the rest of my stuff is in there, somewhere.

I talked to a few more cops and EMTs, then filled out the workman's comp paperwork. After a comforting hug from several folks I packed up my glass-covered belonging to go home. Hell, might as well. It's not like I'm gonna get any work done today.

I have to call in tomorrow morning to see what the skinny is on me coming in. Our IT department is supposed to move our Macs to another area and set us up temporarily.

Every time I look at these photo, I get freaked out. I keep thinking how close that car was...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shitty gifts

A week ago friend Kim sent me this link of “10 Gifts We Don’t Want.” She specifically wanted me to see number 3.

Now of course me being the weird, spooky person that I am, I nearly drooled over this fine piece of furniture (if only I had an extra $3500 laying around). And I realize that only someone like me could really appreciate the beauty of a coffin couch. So I can understand why most of the general populace wouldn’t be too keen on having a comfy coffin couch in the their family room to lounge on while watching tv.

But out of curiosity I went thru the rest of the unwanted gifts according to MSN and was baffled. Ok, sure, the Fundies are completely stupid and the gold pills are just down right ridiculous, but some of the other things intrigued me...

First off, the Life Gem. I know, I know, once again we’re dealing with something of a morbid nature. But honestly, why plant beloved Aunt Matilda in some field somewhere you have to drive to to visit, in an expensive, decorative box you’ll never see again, where her decaying hull (along with thousands of others) takes up land that could be used for farmland, housing, parks or roads; or keep her cremains in an urn sitting on top of your entertainment center where it could possibly get knocked off by a small child or the family pet, thereby spilling all over the carpet (and you know that no amount of rug shampooing will get that out).

(gawd, that was a long sentence)

Why do either of those things when you can keep part of Auntie Matilda with you forever, and maybe even pass on to generations after you. Call me goofy, but I kinda like the idea of the Life Gem.

"Say, that's a beautiful ring. What kind of stone is that?"


Then there’s the wall vase in the shape of a hand. It reminds me of the hand hooks from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Apparently there’s a whole line of hand decor. How cool is that? If the hand-shaped wall doohickies are a little out of your budget there’s always the smaller and more affordable finger hooks.

But my favorite is the Poo Pourri. I read about this stuff earlier this month in BUST magazine and the gals there really liked it.

Now I know what you’re thinking... I can already hear the eeeews. But really, think about this; how many times have you been out in public, or even worse, at someone’s house, and you really REALLY have to hit the bathroom. Last night’s chili cheese dog is not sitting well and is ready to leave the building. A courtesy flush can only mask the noise, not the smell. That’s when having a handy-dandy bottle of Poo Pourri in your purse can save the day. You spritz this stuff about 4 times in the water of the crapper before going. It supposedly creates a barrier on the surface of the water to keep the offending odor down while adding a pleasant aroma.

What a brilliant idea! Do you know how many times I wish I’d had something like this in the past? Well, no more.

I found their website. I ordered some. A lot. So guess what some of you peeps are getting this year?

I kept one bottle for myself and I tried it out at work the other day. It was a morning after a dinner of some of the Spouse’s soon-to-be-world-famous chili. Yeah, I know that’s gross but we all poop so deal with it and bear with me...

Zowie. No stink. Nice lemony scent. Amazing. I'm impressed.

So, what would you rather get? A fruitcake, an inflatable fruitcake, squirrel underpants, a coffin couch or some Poo Pourri? Yeah, I thought so...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Have Yourself an Evil Little Christmas

The other day my co-worker (not the dog-kicking, wife-slapping one referred to in the last post, but a younger, geekier one - and I mean geekier in the best sense of the word) asked me if I had heard of the Krampus or Krampusnacht.

I said no.

He was shocked and said, "You?! You've never heard of Krampus, the Christmas Demon?"

*blink blink* "The Christmas Demon... ?"

At this point I thought he was yanking my chain but he continued, "Go on. Google it."

And I did.

How could I, Hollygoyle, Queen of Halloween, fan of all that is spooky, collector of dark things, NOT know about the Krampus?!

Do you have any idea what this does for me as far as Christmas goes? Not that I dislike Christmas. I don't actually. I honestly kinda like the holiday season. Since I'm non-religious the whole Jesus thing doesn't appeal to me, but I can dig Winter Solstice and I love New Year's Eve.

But this... to quote Keanu Reeves... "Whoa." Christmas with a big, furry, horned demon. This might actually make listening to my third and final co-worker's endless tirade of Christmas music (5 days a week, 8 hours a day, Thanksgiving thru Christmas) tolerable.

No, I'm sorry. Scratch that. THAT is a whole different circle of hell. There is no salvation from that, except deafness.

But back to our lovely Krampus. He is, in a sense, the alter-ego of Saint Nicholas and hunts down and torments bad little children. He lives in Austria and Hungary and December 5 is his day (or night I should say). He often carries bells or chains to frighten people and a large stick or broom to 'birch' the ladies with.

Birching is basically a spanking.

I am not making this up. Go google it yourself if you don't believe me.

I don't know about yall, but I wanna party with this guy.

Why is this not a big thing here in the States yet? I read somewhere in my Krampus research that it's a dying tradition since some politically correct zealots feel it might scar the children.

And Santa Claus doesn't? Good gravy, how many photos have you seen with some precious little crotch fruit wailing and leaking out all kinds of facial fluids while being held prisoner on some old white man's lap.

Think about it... some old bearded white guy flying a bunch of reindeer (who probably eat a lot of fiber - now THERE'S a visual for ya) all night long, lurking around your family room at night while you're asleep, eating your cookies and drinking your milk (or whatever you left on the table). That's creepy. That will scar children.

Fuck the children. If they're spoiled little snipes that are misbehaving anyway they deserve a good scarring for good ol' Krampus. Krampusnacht should be for us adults. Zowie, the fun you could have! It'd be like a Mardi Gras/Halloween for December! Forget showing your boobs for beads. Wiggle you butt for a good birching! My god, I can see the T-shirt now...
Ok, that's it. NEXT year we are definitely having Krampus Night at our house. It'll be huge. Everybody's invited. We'll whip up some Gluhwein (we add Glogg, cinnamon sticks and mulling spices to ours - damn tasty) and some Christmas Crawdads, put on some horns and start swatting each other on the rump with brooms.

Sounds like a party to me. Yall coming?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

From the oven, with love

So this co-worker and I have this running joke. Toward the end of the day, he’ll say, “Ya know, I think I’m gonna go home... kick the dog and smack the wife.”

To which I’ll reply, “Ya know, I think I’m gonna go home... kick the cat, smack the husband and say, ‘Bitch, fix me dinner.’”

Oh, don’t look at me like that. It’s a JOKE. We say this crap all the time. And our other co-workers giggle every time we do.

But, seriously, I would never kick the cat or smack to husband in order to get dinner. He loves being in the kitchen without me having to resort to violence. Seriously.

I tell, ya, there’s nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen fixing something tasty. Did I mention his sexy kitchen attire? His apron, chef and baker’s hats?

His chili is amazing. He makes a hearty chicken stew. His omelets are to die for. And he loves baking. (*eyes sparkles, eyelashes flutter*)

A few years ago I mentioned how much I loved gingerbread. This lit a fire in the Spouse’s heart that had us zipping over to a local cake and candy supply house looking for rolling pins, cookie cutters and a multitude of sprinkles.

In perusing the cookie cutters we found the traditional snowman and Christmas tree, star and reindeer. And then we found... the crawdad.

Now it could be a lobster. They both have the same shape, ya know. But considering it’s about 4 inches long, it leads one to think more of a crawdad.

We thought, why the hell not. It’s cute and different. We brought it home with the rest of our purchases and the Spouse got started baking what would soon be a much-desired traditional treat.

He found a damn skippy recipe for gingerbread cookies and the fever set in. Baking fever. And when the fever is on him, you can’t stop him. I don’t remember how many dozen he cranked out that first night. We had so many there was no way we were gonna eat them all. So we filled up a couple of food tubs each and took them to our respective places of employment.

And of course no one quite knew how to take the crawdad shaped cookies. That wasn’t a usual Christmas cookie design. We got some weird looks and a few questions. But that didn’t matter. Those cookies disappeared fast. Even the crawdads.

In years after, we stopped using the other cookie shapes. So now all gingerbread cookies that come out of our kitchen are crawdads. Christmas crawdads. And let me tell ya, these little gingerbread mudbugs are in high demand.

The week of Thanksgiving I already had a couple of co-workers ask, “Is your husband gonna make those Christmas crawdad cookies this year?”

And the good news is... yes! He’s already started. Last Wednesday night was “Ghost Hunters” night at our house and best friend Nicograph is always there. She happily got recruited into cookie decorating. The Spouse does the baking, I mix the icing and we all pitch in with sugar sprinkles, dragees and other colorful doo-dads to decorate those tasty bits of crawdad goodness.

I brought my usual food tub full of crawdads into work Monday. It was like watching a school of piranha skeletonize a cow.

But fret not, friends and neighbors, especially you local ones. The Spouse stocked up on all his ingredients before the Christmas baking droves swooped in at the grocery. There'll be plenty more crawdads coming soon.