September 30, 2009

-image-more chattin’ with trace and sarahk

Sunday night. Be prepared for TMI. I would blame myself, but I blame sarahk instead. Before this part of the discussion, we were discussing whether it was “terd” or turd.”

“Deep” and “hard-hitting” is how I would describe our chats. Yup. Also: I punctuate badly or not at all during our chats because sarahk is always all, “HURRY UP! TYPE FASTER! I’M A DESPOT!” and I get performance anxiety and my fingers shrivel. It’s bad.

And where’s Bob Dole for THAT problem, I would like to know??

me: what are you doing now?
pretend this is twitter
sarahk: hahaha.
we’re watching dollhouse.
and i’m researching refrigerators so i can go ahead and order one already
but i wouldn’t tweet that!
me: is that not tweetable?
sarahk: but BSU’s football team is now #5 in all the polls, and I did tweet that.
me: i don’t understand anything anymore
sarahk: Nah, it’s too much like, “I got up this morning, ate eggs, took a nap, put on my shoes.”
people will unfollow you for turds like that.
me: oh, so there’s a standard for twitter information? it needs to be pithy?
hahahahaha, no turds.
this is why i couldn’t twitter. it’s all turds
sarahk: yes, pithy or informational.
me: but that IS informational — you’re getting a fridge
sarahk: because, i mean, Andy Levy follows me. And I don’t want him to go, “She’s so boring. I’ll unfollow her and get back thirty seconds every day.”
me: like if i were to twitter right now, i’d say my coccyx hurts.
okay — who is andy levy?? I am amish
sarahk: once the fridge is ordered and/or delivered, I will tweet that. but the research, no.
But see, a hurting coccyx is funny just because hello, random. and also, funny word.
me: well i could just say ass.
but it’s my ass crack. i’m having an ass crack problem and i’m concerned.
sarahk: Andy Levy is on Fox News on the show that comes on at 2 a.m. (midnight here, so you probably get it at 11). he does the halftime report and makes fun of the other guys on the show and corrects their mistakes. he’s funny.
ow, what is wrong with your crack?
me: oh, okay. i don’t have cable. hello. amish.
i don’t know. i hurt my ass crack. working out or something. i don’t know — it feels bruised.
sarahk: I would just like to repaste our last 2 lines:
“ow, what is wrong with your crack?
tracey: oh, okay. i don’t have cable. hello. amish.”
me: not that i’m sitting around rubbing my ass crack.
hahahahahaha, we’re still doing it. we don’t wait for the other person to finish. it’s funnier that way.
sarahk: Ow, I hate when that happens. I get that from working out sometimes too. What a pain in the… well, ass.
me: how do i fix my asscrack, sarahk??
sarahk: It IS funnier. I just love the juxtaposition. “What’s wrong with your crack?” “I don’t have cable. Amish.”
Basically, you have to rest it for a while.
don’t put pressure on it.
me: i can’t — i have to work out. i’m now obsessed. i’m down a whole size at least
and that’s really hard for me because my basal body temp is like 96. I don’t burn anything.
i was happy a couple of years ago when i almost died from a 104 fever and pneumonia because I lost ten pounds. hahahaha
sarahk: oh, good job!
Hahahahaha.
me: another juxtaposition — hahahaha
sarahk: hahaha
me: wer’e lame — i love us
sarahk: i love us too.

-image-call me, starbucks

(Disclaimer: Forgive me, Katie, dear Starbucks employee. This is not directed at you, of COURSE. I’m just opinionated about coffee issues. Uhm, as we all know.)

We’re at a Starbucks this morning. It’s a little crowded. The barista on bar steps in to help with the overflow and asks MB, “Can I start something for you?”

Good. Fine. This is standard coffeehouse practice when things are busy. At least give the appearance that we’re here for you, working for you, blahdie blahblah.

MB orders our two small coffees. He actually orders them as smalls because he refuses — REFUSES — to say “tall.” The barista corrects him, which is, uhm, annoying, kind of makes me want to smack him, but not part of this story.

MB pays and we stand there. We don’t have our coffees and we don’t have our money anymore, either. I’ve already discussed this backwards practice here.

Clearly, the barista who asked what he could start for us has started nothing for us. We wait several moments. One of us waits patiently; one of us does not. I leave you to decipher which is which.

Then MB says, “Oh, they’re doing a traveler for someone and they’ve run out of coffee.” So that’s the reason for the wait.

A “traveler” is basically a huge to-go container of coffee. (I don’t know what Starbucks calls them.) Offices order them for meetings, conferences, etc. They’re a pain in the bottom, I ain’t gonna lie, because of how much coffee they take to fill them. Still, there’s a way to manage the situation and not run out of coffee for the rest of your customers. Whenever we filled them at The Beanhouse or at my own coffeehouse, as we were decanting coffee into the traveler, we instantly started brewing on top of that. Pour and brew, pour and brew, or, yeah, you will be out of coffee for several minutes. Which is what happened today. It’s not the end of the world, obviously, but as a former coffeehouse mistress, I notice these little details. I can’t not notice them. And since Starbucks is this huge corporate entity, I guess I have higher expectations of their customer service or their ability to finesse a tricky situation.

Another problem: None of the baristas told us what was happening. We figured it out because we’ve been in that situation, but other customers were standing around not knowing what was happening.

To me, this is a no-no. My employees were taught to communicate if something had gone unexpectedly awry AND to offer another option. Not to communicate shows contempt for the customer. One may very well have contempt for the customer, but one must try to smile and hide it.

For instance, here’s a possible happier ending for our scenario today:

A barista steps in and speaks.

“I’m sorry, but we’ve run out of coffee for the moment and need to brew. Can I offer you an Americano instead, no extra charge?”

“What’s an Americano?” the customer might ask.

“Well, it’s espresso and hot water. So basically, you’re getting a really strong cup of coffee. I could add more water or leave more room for cream if you like.”

Ta-da. Options. Choices. People hate waiting because, well, we’re all big impatient babies. I am. But doing that soothes customer irritation, makes them feel cared for, and gives them a sense of control over the situation.

I mean, sure, we eventually got our coffee, but NOBODY soothed us. And we NEED us some soothing. Who will soothe us?? I WANT TO BE SOOTHED!!

Uhm.

Yeah.

So call me, Starbucks.

I’m just here to help, mmkay?

September 29, 2009

-image-church is getting weird

Stay tuned. I’m writing a post about this. Or trying to. There are reasons why I haven’t talked more about this lately. And if I have talked, to be honest, I’ve talked around many things. But now that some time has gone by, I feel that I can share more freely. It’s complicated and I really have to figure out a way to de-complicate the story in order to tell it. I have to pare it down to its essentials.

Which is kind of a laughable notion, but nonetheless, I will try.

September 27, 2009

-image-football girl with deep football thoughts

My new favorite Charger?

Wide receiver Legedu Naanee.

Why?

Please, pippa.

His name is LEG-a-doo Nah-NAY.

For three hours every Sunday for 16 weeks, I get to prance around the house saying, “LEG-a-doo Nah-NAY, LEG-a-doo Nah-NAY.”

Whether he does anything or not, I just like to say it. Come on. Say it with me now and just see how wonderful you feel:

LEG-a-doo Nah-NAY, LEG-a-doo Nah-NAY.

Nice, isn’t it? And, apparently, “Legedu” means “good is coming” in Nigerian. So, you know, maybe you’re at work, having a horrible day, and you start whispering LEG-a-doo, LEG-a-doo over and over and, suddenly, your boss gives you a raise and some admirer sends you flowers and you spontaneously lose 10 pounds. That ain’t bad, is it?

Why can’t I be named something cool like Legedu?

Tracey is just so prosaic. Also, I’m pretty sure in Greek it means here comes that girl I hate.

Nevertheless, you’ll thank me, peaches, when you all get those big fat raises.

See how sports apply to real life?

September 26, 2009

-image-quote

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness … We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving one’s heart began in this.

C.S. Lewis

September 25, 2009

-image-sign i saw at disneyland

I wish I’d taken a picture, but in the parking lot, a sign read:

Speed limit
14

Uhm, 14, Mickey? Not 10 or 15, but 14??

I’m sorry to tell you we were NOT driving 14 miles per hour. Clearly, I didn’t deserve to be at The Happiest Place on Earth.

-image-snippet

HE: It makes me feel necrotic and awful.

Yes. Necrotic AND awful.

September 24, 2009

-image-in these uncertain times ….

…. I think it’s important to smell like citrus.

My new favorites:

dovebodywash.jpg
Dove Energize Body Wash — grapefruit and lemongrass. Yum.

whitecitrus1.jpg
Bath and Bodyworks White Citrus Body Spray. Also yum.

Both of these are light and crisp and fresh. I haaate heavy pretentious fragrances or anything that makes you smell like you’re a filthy hippie trying to cover up your filth. (cough) Patchouli (cough).

And when I sprayed the White Citrus on Piper and Callie Sunday morning before Disneyland — they saw me doing it and wanted some — they both went “Ooooh.”

So there’s your endorsement, pippa.

You will smell like Ooooh.

September 22, 2009

-image-sunday in the park with … the bff

This past Sunday was Piper’s birthday and I was invited to go to Disneyland with her, her mother, and her BFF who I’ll call Callie.

How could I say no?

To get the whole extravaganza off on the right foot, Callie the BFF and Tee Tee had to spend the night Saturday night, naturally. I mean, there could be NO delay in hitting the road Sunday morning to get to Disneyland. Which, really, is only about 40 minutes away from my sister’s house. Still, we both needed to be nearby, at hand, on site so we could wake up, wake up, wake up, and hurry, get in the car!

Now this is not news, but I know my sister and I know my niece, so the X factor in this whole equation for me was the BFF Callie whom I had never met.

And I’m telling you — that girl was quirky. Precocious. I totally fell in love with her. She was a tiny blonde blue-eyed sprite who basically, at 8 years old, has decided she knows what’s what in the world. She was sweet as pie and opinionated as an old man. You wanted to smoosh her; you wanted to scold her. She was the yin to Piper’s yang. Or something. Piper is all sweetness and roundness. There are no angles in her personality, at least not yet. This girl was sweetness with an edge. And I wanted to take her home.

~ The minute Callie arrived, Piper swooped her up into her room where they hid out for a long time. When they finally came downstairs, Piper was beaming and pulling on something around her neck. So was Callie for that matter. “Look, Tee Tee! Callie got us matching necklaces.” Both necklaces were horses, but Callie’s said “Best” and Piper’s said “Friends.” And, okay, so I burst into tears from the sweetness.Whatevs. And, okay, the whole day at Disneyland whenever I looked down at their little necklaces, I teared up all over again. Again, please, I reiterate: Whatevs.

~ Then Piper blurted out, “And guess what else, Tee Tee? Callie got us matching robes for our sleepover!” See note related to whatevs above.

~ At dinner, in front of my two nephews and brother-in-law, Callie — who apparently is an only child — offered her opinion of boys. “Boys are lame. You can’t trust them.” She pointed at my nephews in turn. “I don’t trust you and I don’t trust you.” Then she looked at my BIL. “And I don’t even KNOW you.” (I’m sorry. I’m laughing just writing this because she is the CUTEST little thing saying these things.) She turned to me. “I trust you.” She’d known me for half an hour. “And I trust Piper’s mom. And Piper, of course.” Of course.

~ The nephews just laughed and tried to plead their case — they’re 15 and 18 now — but Callie would have none of it.

~ Piper and Callie had a list they kept referring to of “57 Things To Do Saturday Night.”

~ I don’t think they got to them all.

~ Near bedtime, they came down in their matching polka-dotted robes. I made them walk an imaginary catwalk which they both did very well. Really, a bit too well. Quite frankly, I’m still a little disturbed.

~ Then Callie plopped down next to me on the sofa, looked at me for a moment with that frank expression she has, and said, “Can I call you Tee Tee?” Once I’d swallowed the lump in my throat, I said, “Sure you can.”

~ And she did. She called me Tee Tee. Immediately.

“So, Tee Tee, the other day in class, Blueberry Logan burped and it was really gross.”

“Wait. Who’s Blueberry Logan?”

“He’s this boy in our class who’s just a tad annoying. His name is Logan.”

“Well, I didn’t figure his name was Blueberry. Why do you call him that?”

“‘Cause he’s round, like a blueberry.”

“Is he blue?”

“No. Just round.”

“Do you call him this to his face? I mean, does he know he’s Blueberry Logan?”

“Oh, no. I wouldn’t do that!

“Oh, well, no.

~ She told me how she picked out the necklaces. “Well, they had ones that were pandas and pandas are my favorite animal, but Piper likes horses, so I wanted to get her what she would like.”

“Oh, that is so sweet!” I said.

She looked at me.

“You’re a little creepy.”

“I am?”

“Well, your voice just went really high when you said that.”

“Hm. I guess it did. So that’s creepy?”

“A little bit.”

“Good to know.”

~ She then spent the remainder of our time together feeling bad, I guess, about calling me creepy because she kept reassuring me — quite randomly and out of the blue — that I was NOT creepy.

In line at the Matterhorn ride:

“Okay. So you are really not creepy.”

“It’s okay, Callie. It was kinda creepy.”

Picking out a stuffed animal at the Disney Emporium:

“Honestly, you’re really not creepy.”

“Callie, seriously, it’s okay.”

Washing her hands in the bathroom and yelling to me while I’m in the stall:

“Tee Tee? You’re not creepy, okay?!”

“Okay, Callie!”

~ On Saturday afternoon, I had arrived wearing jeans and an Indian-style tunic. Sunday morning, I wore jeans with a bohemian-looking dress over them. Callie sized me up. “I like your top,” she said.

“Thank you.”

“I liked the one you wore yesterday, too.”

“Thank you again.”

“You have nice tops.”

~ When I was a few minutes late getting out to the car, Callie grilled me. “I thought you knew we were leaving.”

“I did.”

“Well, what were you doing?”

“Standing in the hall doing nothing just to bug you.”

“No, seriously. What were you doing?”

“Well, Callie. I was in the bathroom.”

“Oh.”

“I mean, I could give you details.”

She started to laugh.

“No! No no no!!”

“Okay, then.”

~ We were at Disneyland for five seconds — I kid you not — I mean, we had just started walking down Main Street, when Callie said, “Walking is SO exhausting.”

My sister and I shared a glance over her head that said It’s gonna be a lonng day.

~ Callie didn’t want to go on Splash Mountain — she was a little afraid of some of the more roller coaster-y rides — so we sat at a little cafe and chatted while my sister and Piper went on the ride.

“Are you a vegetarian, Tee Tee?”

“No.”

“Me either. I like meat. I don’t like vegetarians.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah. Vegetarians could be, like, dying from a black widow spider bite and they’d still be all ‘Oooh, don’t hurt the black widow. I love the black widows. I want another black widow so I can pet it, ooooh.'”

“Hahahahaha.”

“You know, you’re kind of like a teenager.”

“Oh? How so?”

“Well, you kind of dress like a teenager.”

I wasn’t sure this was a compliment.

“Look, I’ll have you know, Crackie, I bought this in the grown-ups clothing section.”

“And you kind of talk like a teenager. I like that whole Crackie thing you do.”

“Well, yes, I AM young at heart.”

“Hey, what do you think — is this gross or cool?”

She started pushing a loose tooth out with her tongue until it was nearly parallel to the roof of her mouth.

“Well, you know, it’s cool but also gross, I ain’t gonna lie. And it makes me want to pull your tooth out right now.”

“NO!!”

“All right. Let’s talk about Blueberry Logan. Is he nice at all?”

“Well, sometimes, but he’s mostly annoying.”

I smelled a grade school crush.

“Uh-huh. Well, that’s a bummer.”

“Yeah. He likes to burp.”

“This from the girl who pokes her tooth out for me.”

“Yeah, hahahahaha.”

“Okay, so what’s your favorite fruit?”

“Uhm, well, peaches, I guess.”

“Ooh, I LOVE peaches. So that means — if there’s a Blueberry Logan — you could be Peaches Callie?”

“Guess what? I’m half Irish.”

Sometimes she switched streams quickly.

“Oh, so you could be Peaches O’Callie? Or maybe just Peaches. Can I call you Peaches?”

Obviously, I was dying to call her Peaches.

“Hahahahaha. Okay, Tee Tee.”

“Okay, Peaches.”

“Do you like dresses, Tee Tee?”

“Uhm, not much.”

“Me either.”

“Do you ever have to wear them, like at church or something?”

“Oh, I don’t go to church.”

“Oh, okay.”

“But I have one of those Children’s Bibles — you know those?

“I do.”

“Yeah. I check it out.”

“That’s cool.”

~ Waiting in line for that lame Jungle Cruise, she whispered to me, all subversively, “Tee Tee, do you know about the man with glass balls?”

Eh, there, Peaches?? Was this adorable 8 year old telling me an off-color joke? Frankly, I had to know. I had to pursue it. I mean, she wasn’t MY kid.

“Uhm, no.”

She whispered even closer to my ear.

“And I mean the balls he pees with.”

I wanted to tell her that a man peeing with those things would likely be in a 911 situation, but I just let it slide.

“Well, I didn’t think you meant basketballs.”

“No. See, he fell down a mountain.”

“Oh, really?”

“Uh-huh. Guess which mountain.”

“I literally have no idea.”

“Well, Mt. Everest.”

“Wow. Really? That’s a long fall — like 26,000 feet.”

“Yeah, I know. He fell for a whole DAY.”

“He DID?”

“Uh-huh.”

“And he was still alive at the bottom?”

“Yep. But he needed glass balls.”

She was not joking. She was, in a deadly serious way, simply imparting the facts about the dude who ended up with glass balls. I found myself thinking about how loud glass balls would be, clacking around in one’s pants, but I decided to keep this thought to myself. She was eight and knew too much already. I really hoped she hadn’t told Piper about the dude with glass balls. I didn’t want her to be scared. Or curious. About anything. EVER.

~ At lunch while she ate some chicken nuggets:

“Ooh, do you know I like broccoli with cheese?”

“I didn’t know that. I love broccoli, with or without cheese. How do you feel about green beans?”

“I love green beans.”

“So if you ever come to my house with Piper, we’ll have broccoli and cheese and green beans. How’s that sound?”

“Really good.”

“And we’ll do fun stuff like, oh, re-grout the bathroom tile –”

“I don’t even know what that is.”

“Well, see, you don’t know the fun you’re missing — and wax the cars and organize our DVDs alphabetically.”

“That does not sound fun.”

“But there will be green beans.”

“Okay.”

~ At one point during the day, Callie told my sister, “I think Piper is the sweetest kindest person I’ve ever known.” Sob. She’s right, you know.

~ On the way home from Disneyland, we saw a restaurant called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. This generated a brief discussion between my sister and me about Forest Gump. Callie chimed in.

“Forest Gump? I do NOT like that movie.”

I feel ya, dawg.

“It is totally inappropriate,” she said.

I asked her what was inappropriate about it and turns out, it was all those flashbacks. Did you know that? S’true. The flashbacks are what is wrong with Forest Gump. I’m glad I had this precious child come along to point that out for me. Finally.

~ Back at my sister’s house, as she packed her overnight things and prepared to go home, she said to me, “I had a really fun time with you, Tee Tee.”

“I did too, Callie.”

I really did.

What an adorable little kook.

September 21, 2009

-image-who’s a widdle whore?

So we’re at Saturday breakfast — part of our regular Saturday morning ritual. There is a man sitting alone at a table behind and to the left of ours. I am facing him; MB has his back to him. Occasionally, during our breakfast, I notice him glancing at me. I ignore it. He seems harmless. An apple-pie-and-ice-cream type.

When we’re done, MB gets up to pay the bill while I sit and sip those final drops of coffee. Suddenly, the man bolts from his seat, bounds up to me.

He speaks and I startle, almost spitting out my coffee.

“You look really familiar.”

For a split second I think Uh-oh. Do I know this guy? I have no clue who he is. AWKward.

He charges ahead, smiling.

“Do you have a video on YouTube?”

Uhm, what??

“Noo. What kind of video??”

I can’t help it. It just slips out because, well, my mind is basically screaming WHAT KIND OF VIDEO??

He doesn’t elaborate. He stares at the floor.

“Oh, well …. I saw this video yesterday and I thought — ”

“Uh, yeah, sorry, no.”

At that, he slinks back to his seat. MB approaches and I say, “We need to leave now.

“What’s wrong?”

“Shh. Just go.”

In the car I explain it all.

“You should have said, ‘Ooh, well, what part of it was your favorite?’ then you would have found out what kind of video it was.”

“Yeah, great.”

“Some nerve to approach you the minute the man you’re with gets up from his seat.”

“Maybe it was a How to Bowl a Strike video or something.”

“Yeah. I’m sure that’s why he marched up to you the minute I left.”

“He seemed so apple pie.”

“Those kind are the worst.”

“I don’t know what to think now that I’m some kind of whore.”

“The worst,” MB mutters.

“I’m a whore,” I mutter.

And we drive a bit in silence digesting this, my newfound whoredom.

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