Thursday, June 7, 2012

I am an idiot

I am an idiot.  I managed to fall and sprain my ankle stepping through a door I've walked through thousands of times before. 

It's Saturday, roughly 4pm.  We're getting ready to head off to a birthday party for an old and ear friend of mine.  The night before I baked 6 dozen mini cornbread muffins (I know you're shocked that I baked, but I can't really only make cornbread, and it's my own recipe).  The birthday boy request my hot pink bathing suit, and despite the fact that I think I look like a beached whale in a bathing suit, I'd decided I'd put on my XL big girl panties and just get over it.  I'd even found one of the sarongs he gave me all those years ago (1999) that matched the suit.  (hey, if I'm going to look like a beached whale, at least I can tastefully cover up the worst bits when out of the water)

I'm packed and ready to roll, Ed's taking care of some last minute stuff.  He suggests that we encourage the dogs to go potty before we crate them for the evening.  So I decide to take care of it.  "Who wants to go potty?  Let's go potty!" as I head for the back yard.  Cue two large black dogs racing each other for the dog door.  I step into the garage - no problem.  I open the door to the back yard - no problem.  I step through the door - problem. 

I honestly have no idea what happened, other than the obvious.  Somehow, I stepped funny and my right foot supinated and turned under me and down I went.  I heard some lovely pops and felt searing pain.  I started screaming.  Mr Empathetic (*sarcasm*) comes out.  "What's wrong!?"  And it pretty much went down hill from there.  (like it's not obvious I've done something to my foot considering I'm clutching it and crying/screaming)

It's the same ankle I dislocated when I was 14.  I've had problems with it ever since. 

I was furious that we missed the party.  Angry at myself.  I'm still angry. 

I'm on the mend, and thanks to my local BFF who is also a medic, I'm mending quickly. He came by that night to look at it.  He yelled at me for not doing enough for it, and then iced it (god damn that was cold!) and wrapped it (he's not that gentle). I swear, neither of the men in my life are very empathetic.  He took me to the Dr on Monday, and the Dr was amused that I have my own personal medic.  He stopped by last night and looked at it again.  He's pleased with my progress. 

Still, I'm an idiot.  And I hate my ankle.

Conversations with Co-Workers

Seems like I've been having a lot of strange conversations with co-workers lately.  I take it as a good sign - I try not to let too much of my weirdness show around people with whom I'm not particularly close.

Since I've been a casualty of my own clumsiness and not driving (but that's another post), the Office Mama's been driving me in this week.  We've talked about:
  •  high end sex toy shops (I love Tulip in Chicago)
  • vaj-dazzlers.  According to RK, it's apparently "a thing" now to decorate your lady bits with body sequins.  Luckily, he and most of the others who commented find it absurd (I prefer a more understated and elegant aesthetic.  If less is more, then none is most.).  

Some of the stranger conversations in the office with Mr Coffee and JB have included:
  • the vaj-dazzler (it's just too funny to not make fun of!)
  • mispronounced words, like "ax a qwershchun", "kerger" (cougar), and windoos (windows)
  • the Boondocks and its social commentary
  • in depth discussions of race relations
  • political history
  • why Texas is so f-ed up
  • current politics
  • the War on Women (and my comment to Mr Coffee that the last time I checked, there were no politicians in my hooha)
  • religion (and how I dodged a bullet when asked "And where do you attend services?"  You'd be so proud of me!  I didn't say "I left the church for a myriad of political and personal reasons, namely the constant spewing of hate from people who claim to follow the teachings of a man who preached love."  Instead, I deflected with "My family attends XYZ now."
  • body art, and my collection of it and burning desire for more (no, I've not dropped my pants at the office to show some of it off)
  • my father (who worked here before I started)
  • the complexities of my strange and twisting family tree
  • sex ("People like to mate." - JB)
  • coffee accoutrements and the virtues of French Press
  • gossiping about a certain Tea Party member here
  • who's going to babysit for me once Mini-Leah or Mini-Ed is created
  • more sex
  • and other "taboo" topics that I can't really recall right now
I've also pointed out some unfortunate stains to Mr Coffee, warned him to XYZ, and sewn a button back on his shirt (while he was wearing it).  

Some days, I'm convinced we're all going to hell.  At least I'll be there with some good friends.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mrs. Council Member?

I have been mistaken for my boss's wife several times now.  I'm thoroughly amused by it.  The last time was at a LGBT oriented Gala. 

Did I mention my boss is gay?  Yeah.  He was on the cover of a local LGBT magazine shortly after he was elected.  First gay man elected to this city's council. 

And I definitely do NOT look like a 40-something Argentinian man who resembles a teddy bear.  Though he is absolutely adorable. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hidden Talents

I discovered a new talent today.  Apparently, I am very capable of splashing my eye with coffee (okay, it's milk with coffee in it) from my klean kanteen bottle (with the squirty top off). 

I have been advised  by a scientist acquaintance that the base quality of the milk neutralized the acid in the coffee, hence no sting.  But the artificial sweetener might harbor some bacteria that could cause an eye infection in a few days. 

Oh joy. 

On an unrelated note - I may be driving to San Antonio solo tomorrow afternoon.  The husband was supposed to join me for a weekend trip to my sister's, but he is feeling under the weather and would make a very poor travel companion.  My father has gone "Jewish Mother" on me (his words) and is a little freaked out that I would make the 3 hours trip alone.  I've sat in Chicago traffic longer than that.  I reassured him I'd check my tire pressure before leaving, get a full tank of gas, call him upon leaving and arriving, and that my GPS marked all the gas stations and I have road side assistance through my insurance and Toyota.  I told him that by being a Jewish Mother (we are not Jewish), he raised me right so he didn't have to worry, but that I knew he would anyway. 

I should note that my mother offered to caravan with me, as she and a friend are going to San An to see her brother the same evening.  But I'd rather make the trip on my own schedule instead.  A little solo time and independence does the soul good. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

A evening with the Japanese Consul General

On Wednesday, I had the distinct honor of attending a reception at the home of our Japanese Consul General remembering the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and celebrating Japan's success in reconstruction.

First there was a ceremonial part of the evening, remembering and honoring the lives lost and the people who gave of themselves to help orphans and the reconstruction process. There were proclamations and plaques and a moment of silence. Then the Consul General shifted the tone to focus on Japan’s success in rebuilding its industries and reaffirming its relationships in the US. The mood of determined and hopeful, yet festive.

The sake, white wine, and food was imported from Japan. The Consul General was particularly proud of the sake (it was excellent). He’s a very gracious and funny gentleman, quick to smile and laugh at a good joke. He was very impressed and pleased that I greeted him in Japanese. His wife is equally gracious and warm; she was disappointed to learn that Ed had stayed home. I’m planning on writing a note thanking them for their hospitality.

Everyone was very friendly and seemed appreciative that I made the effort to say "good evening," "how do you do," and "pleased to meet" you in Japanese. That's about the extent of my Japanese.  A few who are Japanese-Americans and I joked at how we speak “menu” very well. I suspect their families have similar stories and histories with the detention camps as my in-laws (no one brought those up – not the reason for the evening).

We were sent home with a folk art doll that is proudly displayed at the office. It’s supposed to be good for mental and physical health.

I also got to meet some Japanese community contacts. We’re planning on attending Japan-Fest next weekend.

 A local County Commissioner, the Consul General, my boss, and me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's not that hard

My boss is an elected official.  His name is not hard.  It's not unusual.  If you want me to take your call or email seriously, the bare minimum you can do is spell and pronounce his name correctly.  And if in doubt, you can always just call him by his position (ex:  Chairman, Congress Woman, Council Member, etc) or ask for clarification.

And I understand that my last name is not exactly easy.  You may call me Leah, Ms Leah, or Ms MaidenName if Ms Maid-MarriedName is too hard.  Heck, if you can pronounce my married name, I'll even respond to Ms MarriedName.  Ma'am is also fine.  I don't particularly care for Miss or Mrs, but I won't correct you.  I will correct you if you call me only by my last name (either of them) as I'm not in the military or in law enforcement.

But my name is NOT Missy, Young Lady, Baby, Little Girl, You Stupid B-word, or anything else that initializes or disrespects me.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gandmothers can be really sneaky sometimes

Many of you may remember the fiasco with my grandmother (via my bio-Pops) when I got married just over a year ago.  She left me a voice mail the week before the wedding saying she couldn't make it because 1) the cows at the ranch needed to be fed and 2) there were some cousins from my deceased grandfather's side of the family that happened to be in town and wanted to see the ranch.

I was pretty upset.  I'm the eldest granddaughter, and she'd just attended another granddaughter's wedding that summer, so I felt pretty snubbed.  I also knew that cows and cousins were pretty lame excuses for skipping a wedding and I suspect other motives, possibly including but not limited to:  it was a civil ceremony (the Cap'n atheist and I'm sorta agnostic/atheist/Buddhist), it was a 2nd marriage for both of us, my grandmother's extremely Catholic, the Cap'n half Japanese, it was a Pirate themed wedding & we encouraged costumes, and/or we'd been living together for several years.  This was 1/1/2011.  I'm also a fair bit disappointed with my bio-Pops and family for not telling her how cruddy it was to skip a wedding.  (you'd think she'd be happy that we were finally getting married and not "living in sin" anymore)

I skipped the family Christmas celebration this last year mostly to avoid her (I've been angry for a long time), though also because my sister from my adoptive side was in town with her family. 

Yesterday we attended a vow renewal for my Aunt MM and Uncle SM that celebrated their 25th anniversary.  I knew she'd be there, and I didn't want to cause a stink and detract in any from the party, so I talked to some of my FB gurus and decided that general avoidance was my best course of action. 

Even though she sat right in front of me, I managed to avoid her during the mass.  I also managed to avoid her though lunch - right up until the very end.  She cornered me and hugged me.  It was brief, so I just let it go and gave her a quick hug back.  Then, as the Cap'n and I were leaving, we encountered her again and she gave me another hug good bye, only she held on and started crying because she missed my grandfather so much.  (Frankly, I don't know why.  He was a class A abusive jerk.)

So I'm a big softie and I hugged her back and told her I loved her and that I was glad I saw her.  Am I still upset at the snub?  Absolutely.  But ya know what?  She'll never understand why what she did was so hurtful.  I'm 31, she's late 70's.  She's not going to change, and I have better things to do with my life than hold a grudge against an old lady. 

But she was sneaky with those hugs.   ;) 

I thought y'all might like the update.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pink Cadawac

I have the itch to buy a house.  I know it probably won't happen this year, but looking at real estate now is prompting us to take a good look at our finances and credit ratings to start getting our stuff in order.

I found a house that we both really like.  Assuming we could get approved for a down payment loan and a mortgage, it's an incredible value.  It needs a lot of cosmetic work, and we have no idea what problems an inspection would reveal.  We have a huge crush on this house - I feel like a 14 year old girl and his house is "that boy" - you know the one.  The one with the perfect hair and the dreamy eyes.  Yeah.  Him.

(Leebee drifts off into La La Land for a moment............)

The house is on a street named "Cadawac."  Thanks to Lindsay, I know have Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac" stuck in my head, as sung by Elmer Fudd:

I wuv you for your pink Cadawac
Cwushed vewlvet seats
Widing in the back
Oozing down the stweet
Waving to the goils
Feewin' out of sight
Spendin' aw my money
On a Satuhday night
Honey I just wonder what you do der in back
Of your pink Cadawac
Pink Cadawac

(cue saxophones!)

Houston - the biggest small town in the world

Yet again, I find my life in Houston tends to overlap in weird and wonderful ways that I least expect.  A brief story of my latest "small world" experience.

I've been at my new office for nearly 2 months now.  I love it here.  My coworkers are AMAZING people and I have never had so much fun working.  We're still playing the "getting to know you" game and one colleague, "Mark", and I find that our lives have a lot of overlap, but we only recently met.  Turns out that he's friends with many of my old classmates from Jr High (his step-brother and I were classmates).  Last night, at a Rodeo event with the boss, I ran into an old classmate - one of the few whom I remember with fondness and am genuinely happy to run into (he looks great BTW!).  Turns out Mark knows him too and has a similarly complementary opinion of him.

Disney was right - it IS a small world after all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Family Drama: Do I add to it?

I found the Xmas card & check from my biological-paternal-grandmother last night.
She got my new last name wrong and left out the "MaidenName-" and only listed me as my husband's last name.  I didn't stop being a member of my adoptive family when I got married, thank you very much. 
I'm sorely tempted to just mail it back to her with a note saying "You went to K's wedding, but couldn't bother to come to my wedding over some stupid cows.  Apparently, I'm not a real grandchild or member of this family. I'm not interested in having a relationship with someone who treats me like that."

But sending a letter like that would really hurt my Pops and probably cause a HUGE argument with other family members.  However, why didn't any of them stand up for me and tell their mother/grandmother that she was being really petty and that it's incredibly hurtful to snub a grandchild like that.  

She missed my first wedding in 2005, but it was back in Chicago and my grandfather was too ill to travel and she wouldn't travel without him - I think she made the right choice then.  But it also made it all the more important to me that she attend this one - it was local for her, and grandfather had passed several years ago.  (And gosh darnit, I travelled for his funeral right after having orthopedic surgery on my arm!  Stitches, bandages, vicodin and all!)

She's also my only living grandparent who acknowledges me.   My Mom's father died before I was born and her mom passed before I moved back to Texas.  I had no relationship with Dad's father, who died c. 1996, and his mother passed shortly after my Ex-Husband and I split (her last message to me, via Dad, was "Leah's going to be OK.", and gosh darnit, I won't prove her wrong!).  My biological mother parents refuse to meet me or even acknowledge me (F*** them!  I'm a neat person and I don't need them!).

So with that in mind, why on earth am I letting this even bother me?  To be honest, I don't know.  Maybe I miss my Granny R and I'm trying to find a replacement.  IG will never be Granny R.  They're vastly different people. 

I know, I know.  I should take this to a therapist.  Maybe when the new insurance kicks in.  Counting the days to April.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Definitely a hatchet moiderer...

Sherwood Forest Faire opening weekend 2012:  A Tale of Terror

I went camping this last weekend with Ed and 2 friends, Ally & Ross, for the opening weekend of the Sherwood Forest Faire.
It's Friday night and we're settled in, freezing our butts off from lack of fire because we don't have a raised fire pit and in-ground fires aren't allowed.  So we all go to bed fairly early (well, early for a festival).  At about 3am, a neighboring set of tents that set up some time after we went to bed starts yelling "Gimme a dollar!" sporadically.  This continues until about 7am.  Meanwhile, campers from those tents are wondering around the camp grounds, and several tripped over our tent, specifically the corner by our heads.  By now, Ed is thoroughly pissed off and ready to tackle someone.  Somehow (a miracle, I’m sure), I manage to get him to put away the 9mm and soothe him back to sleep, though the “Gimme a dollar!” crap continues.  Ally later said she was commenting to Ross that Ed must have been pissed and was surprised we didn’t hear her.  Ally also deduced from their conversation that they were probably underage, drinking, and high on shrooms and that the “Gimme a dollar!” yelling was a rudimentary mating call (that we later found out worked, much to our disappointment). 

We manage to sleep a wee bit before finally dragging ourselves out from our tent to get ready for opening day.  It’s about 9 or 10am, when someone shouts “Gimme a dollar!”  Ed snaps, grabs the hatchet, and storms over to the offending tents and starts yelling at the first face he sees.  (Meanwhile, Ross is a few steps behind Ed hoping he doesn’t have to get involved in a fight, and Ally and I are hiding in our campsite and I’m trying not to hyperventilate.)  To be honest, I don’t really recall exactly what was said, but I know that Ed yelled at them about all the yelling and tripping over our tent and that they were being giant assholes to all the neighboring campers. 

Later that afternoon (after we retired early from the faire, missing a show we really wanted to see, because we were all too friggin tired from lack of sleep), the camper Ed yelled at stopped by our site to apologize.  He said his name was Road Kill, they call themselves the Bum Camp (hence, “Gimme a dollar!”), this was their first Ren Faire, and they’d heard that faires were basically non-stop parties.  Ed had scared him half to death, and he was telling his camp mates about the incident (some didn’t believe him about the angry man with the hatchet) and encouraging them to keep the noise down.  Some had moved to another part of the campground already.  Ally talked to Road Kill some, explained camp site etiquette (basically, be good neighbors even if there are no set quiet hours and follow the tone of the camp ground – if everyone around you is quiet, it’s best to not yell and shout and trip over tents). 

For the rest of the weekend, Ed was known as “Angry Ax Man.”  At least Saturday night was quiet.
Ah, but all was not well in the Bum Camp!  Apparently, Road Kill was harshing on someone’s groove by trying to get them to be good neighbors and not get kicked out of the camp site.  He was nearly abandoned at the camp site with no way to get back to Houston, but managed to find a ride.  Two of him comrades, Tommy and Bat Man(?) were not so lucky and came to our campsite to 1) make nice and 2) beg for a ride. 

Though our car was full to bursting, we could have asked Ross & Ally to carry some of our gear in their truck to make room in our back seat.  But since Ed didn’t offer it up, I figured he was still pissed and was not interested being that generous.  Ross and Ally, being much more forgiving than Ed, let them ride in the back of their truck all the way from Paige (just east of Austin) back to Houston in the cold.  To their credit, Tommy and Bat Man helped break camp and change a flat on Ross’ truck. 

I can only hope that Tommy, Road Kill, and Bat Man take Ally’s suggestion to re-evaluate their friends.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Parental Professionalism

As my career advances (yay!), I now find myself essentially in the same "industry" as my father - politics.  After resigning from my year and half in Low-Income Housing, I worked for my local county's Democratic Party.  My Dad, a long time liberal and Democrat, was elated!  Finally, the progeny has stopped resisting her fate and has acquiesced to her birthright! 

Okay, so it's not like there were trumpeting cherubim and singing seraphim, but officially getting into politics was a BFD for my Dad. 

I accepted that position knowing that it was temporary.  I was Interim Office Head Honcho for the remainder of the (elected) Party Chair's term, and he resigned in December (planned).  Basically, I was office manager for the HQ office. 

Now, I am working for a long time friend and newly elected official.  Those of you who know me will know who that is, but since he's 1) elected, 2) a dear friend, and 3) my brother from another mother, I won't list his name or seat here in this blog.  So you won't see me dishing any dirt here.

The funniest thing about my new job is that Dad was here.  Dad worked for an elected official who was term limited (same level of gov't, different seat than my boss).  So on Dec 29th, Dad moved out of his office, and on Dec 30th, I moved into my office - same building, same floor, just a different spot.  Many of my new colleagues are Dad's old colleague.  So we are now colleagues.  Weird.  At least Dad was well liked and respected, and thanks to his good reputation, I essentially have some built-in allies and friends already.  He loves to call us up, give us "grief", and generally tease us.  He loves his new job (in the private sector, but still heavily involved in politics though he vows he's not going to do any campaign work this year), but I think he misses the hubbub of government. 

So it's good to be my Dad's daughter and his colleague.  Now, why did I spend so long resisting this????