Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Wow with the excitement

I had the most exciting Saturday.

First, while working in the backyard (turns out most of the pretty things I have growing are weeds) I let my older kitty, Cairo, hang out. I'm trying to train him to stay in the yard. I have friends who have done so successfully. Though Cairo is difficult to train to do anything, since he has a brain the size of a walnut.

Anyhoo, when my back was turned, a neighborhood cat that I hate had entered the yard and the two of them got into a fight. Hissing. Growling. Scratching. Biting. I got them separated and Cairo retreated to the daylilies. Which kind of made him look like a cute little jungle cat. Still pissed off, he was NOT AT ALL interested in being picked up and taken inside.

Then, my lawnmower blew up when I was mowing the lawn! Well, not blew up, exactly. But huge puffs of smoke wafted out and then it died. Leaving my lawn with one strip down the center ... ala Brazilian bikini wax.

BUT THEN ... M1 and I went out to eat a small, but good, Chinese buffet. Where I helped myself to some cheese sticks (ya know, the kind you can buy in the frozen food section of Sam's Club) and when I pulled up one of the sticks with some tongs, all of its cheese innards stuck to the bottom of the pan.

There at the restaurant, I back-talked the hunk of melted cheese ... "Oh no you didn't!" as I pulled it up off the bottom of the pan. What the hell is wrong with me?

It was after we'd finished eating that the excitement came. There were only four tables filled at the restaurant. I had a view of all of them, M1 had his back to most. And we were sitting there talking, complaining about how overcooked our fortune cookies were and how lame-ass the fortunes within have become ... when I looked over and saw this kid choking.

He was sitting with his parents in a booth against the window. Probably 12 or 13 years old. And I just called out "Oh my God, he's choking!" At which point his dad yanked him out of the booth and his mom is crying "Can you breathe, honey? Can you breathe?" No breaths. No gasps. No choking sounds. Just a panicked little kid starting to lose his color.

One of the tables was a group of about six high school students. At some point during the commotion. They all got up, walked over to the cash register and paid their bill. What the hell is wrong with them? We couldn't believe they weren't even waiting to see whether or not the kid would live.

A woman from another booth jumped up and ran over as she yelled at the waitress and owner who were also crowded around ... "Call 911!"

I had already fished my cell out of my purse and dialed, and M1 told them as much. We just sat in our booth and he said "we're calling" while I relayed the info to the dispatch operator. After what seemed like an awful lot of stomach thrusts, eventually the dad was able to dislodge, um, the pile of partially chewed food goo. And some vomity/choking sounds ensued.

At that point I went to the mother and asked if she still wanted a medic. She said no, he was okay. He's breathing. So I told the dispatcher to cancel the medic. Even if he didn't end up needing one, it's better to have them on the way then to call them five minutes too late.

They wiped off the booth. The kid slid back in. Picked up his fork ... and immediately began shoveling in the sweet and sour. Ugh.

After that, I couldn't even finish my overcooked fortune cookie with its lame-ass fortune hidden within. Guess fortune chose to smile on someone else this time.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kitty MIA

When I went home for lunch yesterday, I discovered that I'd left my back door open all night long. Fortunately, my screen door latches tightly. But I was still worried because I hadn't seen Quirkie.

Quirkie is my shy little meek kitty. She's V. sweet and oh-so-cute-and-cuddly, but she's rarely seen when others are around. I spent about 40 minutes looking for her and came up with nothing.

She's a good hider. She rarely makes any noise. The recently installed cat flap means there are a gazillion dark areas of the basement where she could be hanging out.

I was trying not to over-react. When I first moved into my house last July, I had lost my other kitty, Cairo, for about three days. I KNEW he had run away. Turns out, he was only "lost" in the basement.

When I got back to work, I left a message for LISBF. Somehow, even though he has his spiffy new cell phone, he's not instantly accessible at all times...

LISBF got to my house at about 7:30pm, when I was still out. He called to give me the good news:

LCN: QUIRKIE?

LISBF: Quirkie's here.

LCN: Where was she?

LISBF: Under the dining table. I haven't questioned her yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Speaking of naughty phone calls to LISBF...

LISBF's place of work issued him a cell phone last week. It's V. fancy and V. heavy. Takes pictures, videos, weighs down bodies in the river ... pretty much all the standard features you could get on a phone nowadays.

He spent all weekend tinkering with it. Trying it out. He doesn't have a personal cell, so this will be great for moi! No longer will I have to try three different extensions to try and track him down. Or send a page and hope that he'll get around to answering it by the end of the day.

LISBF should now be accessible AT ANY TIME.

On Monday, I thought I'd test it out. I dialed his number, and after about three rings, he picked up.

I told him that I couldn't BELIEVE I'd missed my V. important meeting. Blah blah blah. He stuck to his usual vague responses. "Yep. That's too bad. Uh, huh. Oh, nothing. Okay, that sounds good."

And I'm sure everyone remembers how I respond to THAT.

After he hung up, a co-worker leaned over and said "You might want to learn how to turn down the volume on your personal calls."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

From La Chat Noir's Inbox

-----Original Message-----
From: Nice, if a little dumb, HR guy
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:56 AM
To: Office
Subject: Office Building

Just a heads up to everyone: We have reached a verbal agreement with [local business tycoon] to purchase the [former furniture building nearby]. We hope to have a signed agreement today or early tomorrow. You might see some people around today taking pictures of our building so they can get it on the market ASAP. I will keep everyone posted as everything happens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Um ... I guess this means we're moving?

So long, my Very Own OfficeTM ... Hello! Cubicle City!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Space cadet

I missed a really important meeting this morning. A meeting that I scheduled. It just completely slipped my mind.

Apparently someone else from my team was 20 minutes late. How are these people we're meeting with supposed to take us seriously if we don't even show up for the meeting? They won't.

I won't go into the fact that if I had been the person at the meeting, and someone else was a no show, I'd conduct the meeting without that person. EVEN IF they were the one to schedule said meeting. Afterward, I'd call and say "Dude, where the hell were you?" rather than call said person at 9:35am when the meeting was scheduled for 9am. Thus drawing attention to the fact that said person totally forgot about a really important meeting. An important meeting that they scheduled. So that they can show up right as the important people who remembered the meeting are leaving. Because they have busy schedules and can't be expected to sit around waiting for someone who arrives at a meeting nearly an hour late.

The last time I remember thinking about this meeting was Friday night. I didn't remember yesterday, when I was packing my clothes for LISBFs house ... did I mention that I am wearing totally inappropriate meeting attire? With tattoos showing? At least I did manage to shower this morning ...

I'm normally very reliable. But this is the second time in three weeks that I've totally spaced a meeting.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

This just in...

Friend at lunch: I'm so jealous you went to Star Wars last night.

LCN: It was fun.

FAL: What did you think of the movie?

LCN: It was fine. Whole lotta sci-fi. And who knew a swordfight could go on that long...

FAL: You mean light sabres.

LCN: What?

FAL: They don't have swords. They have light sabres.

LCN: Right... Um, I saw a wookiee...

My stalker was at Star Wars

The Ms, this guy Steve from improv, and I went out to see the midnight showing of Star Wars last night. It was fun. I saw a wookiee. I napped through most of the movie. Have I mentioned I haven't seen any of the episodes?

We arrived about 11pm, and they were already seating our theater, so we got some nice seats. And about 11:40, I spotted my stalker walking up the side aisle. He slide into the row in front of us, sitting directly in front of the Ms.

I recognized him right away, even though I haven't seen him in seven years.

I was raised in Wyoming and attended college at a large university in the midwest. I moved out of my parents' house one week after high school graduation and I've never lived there since. Not even for a summer. I was living several states away in a place where I didn't know anyone else. I eventually made some friends living in the dorm. Emily, from Hong Kong, introduced me to the world of chat rooms.

I had no idea chatting online was something people really did. I thought it was a weird made-up subculture sometimes referred to in movies. The only home computer I had ever known was a Commodore 64. So all-night computer labs with lightning fast internet connections were a novelty to me. I would hit a lab after dinner and stay there till well past midnight, chatting online. And that's where I met my stalker.

I "met" several people online who attended my university or other nearby schools. I viewed it as a great way to meet people. And I revealed too much about myself. My name, where I lived, classes I was enrolled in, activities I was involved in ... and pretty soon, my stalker knew my schedule.

He would wait for me outside of class ... call me all the time ... drop by my dorm unannounced. He thought we had made a connection and he wanted me to be his girlfriend.

He may very well be a nice guy, just socially awkward and incredibly lonely. He's tall, like 6'6" or so. Medium build with broad shoulders. Dark, greasy hair that he slicks back. Rough skin. Bad teeth. Kind of what you would expect your stalker to look like.

He never physically harmed me. He never threatened me. The scariest thing he ever did was track me down to the small, experimental black box theater late one Sunday night. I had been recruited to be the light board op for the first play of the season. The lighting designer was a guy named Mike who was working in the light lab when I came around to explore the theater facilities before classes had even started. Mike was the first person I met at school.

So Mike and I were alone in this tiny theater that's rather hard to search out if you've never been there before. When all of the sudden, a door opens. And there's my stalker, standing in the doorway.

"I just had to see you today," he said.

I froze. I was shocked, scared, embarrassed... Mike could tell something was amiss. So he just told my stalker, "I think you need to leave."

After that, I filed a complaint with the campus police. I never saw him again. Until last night.

I know he saw me, too.

The guys were talking movies, when M2 said "You guys! [LCN] hasn't seen that yet!" At the mention of my name, my stalker turned around and looked right at me. My name is rather uncommon and very memorable. He knew it was me.

He kept shooting glances at me. Kept jumping into their conversation. At one point, M2 even leaned forward and talked with him for a few minutes. The whole while, I never met his gaze.

Like I said, I napped through the movie, so I was pretty sleepy when it finally ended (I mean HOW LONG can a sword fight go on, really?) and I didn't give my stalker a second thought. By the time I remembered him, he was gone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Keep your boob in your blouse

As you might recall, I recently took on a second job as director of a local coalition against sexual assault. Part of the gig is attending project directors meetings for the organization that funds most of our grants.

I've already noticed that babies are also part of the gig. There has been at least one baby present at every meeting I've attended since April 1. There have been ugly babies. There have been noisy babies. There have been distracting and disruptive babies. There have even been babies that are FAR TOO OLD to still be referred to as babies.

Background info: I'm not so much into the babies.

So there I am, sitting at this project directors meeting, when I glance over and see that one of the attendees has whipped out her boob and is just feeding the baby (Dakota? Sylvan? Griffin?) at the table.

Let me clear up a few points ... It's a meeting of about a dozen people. We're all sitting around a table. There is a mix of men and women. No blanket was used. Boob and baby were in full view of everyone present. Lunch was catered. Some of us were trying to eat.

I lean liberal in just about everything. But I am not on board with public breastfeeding. Especially when said boob is on display for all to see. Not to mention the audible suckling.

That goes for all evacuation of bodily fluids in public. I don't want to see you spit. I don't want to see you pee. And I don't want to see you breastfeed.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Everybody loves Elongated Man, aka the post I almost posted

Editor's note: I had written a probably too lengthy post that started out about M1's birthday festivities and then evolved into a rant session about M2's girlie. As you all know, M2 is the only person I know IRL that knows about this blog. Darn not-quite-complete anonymity. So, in lieu of the whole big long post (AS IF you all want to hear me bitch about her eighth grade behavior) I give you, the beginning, the middle and the end.

THE BEGINNING

M1's birthday was on Saturday. We celebrated Friday night with bowling and food afterward at a wing joint. M2 and I had a cake made with M1's favorite superhero, Elongated Man. It went over BIG TIME. We brought Elongated Man color-coordinated tableware, a balloon with his name on it and of course, presents. According to M1, I brought the Best.Gift.Ever and the Funniest.Card.Ever.

But not everyone was having fun. The Ms and I can get into Musketeers mode and lock other people out sometimes, so I made a conscious effort to be inclusionary. But M2's girlie would not have it. She was obstinate and difficult and downright bitchy. Background reminder: M1 has been friends with girlie LONG before anyone even knew M2. So she was actually invited as a friend and not just somebody's girlfriend, even though that's how she acted.

THE MIDDLE

This is where I listed all her catty, boorish offenses ...
She was also among a pair that was complaining all night about how much the evening's events were going to end up costing her. Um, $2 shoe rental, $3 per game, and $10 for food at the wing joint after. Background info: When girlie had HER birthday party earlier this year, she invited everyone out to dinner at THE MOST EXPENSIVE RESTAURANT IN TOWN. We're talking a minimum of $30 a plate, people. Hello, Pot? This is Kettle ...

Miss Manners would say that if you can't afford to bowl two games, sit out the second. Or sit out both and just cheer others on. If you can't afford a late dinner at the wing joint, have something to eat before the party (we started at 7) and just order a coke. If you truly can't afford to watch other people bowl (free) and order a coke at the wing joint ($1.49) then you should politely decline the party invitation and send your best wishes.

La Chat Noir would say that partygoers who DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO BRING A CARD for the birthday boy and DIDN'T CHIP IN ANY MONEY for his bowling, drinks or dinner, have no business standing around bitching about how much how much cheaper it would have been had we gone to the shady bowling alley on the other side of town.

THE END

At one point in the evening, M2 used a naughty word (whore) and M1 said to girlie, "We're corrupting your boyfriend." She cockily asserted that she's corrupted him way more than M1 or I ever could.

Because ever since she's broken up our band (a la Yoko), it's become a competition for M2. Who gets to spend time with him. Who loves him more. Who knows him best. Who has made a bigger impact on his life.

Showing unordinary restraint, I did not utter the thought that ran through my head: Oh, honey, you're sex for now ... we're friends for life.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Reality check

As you may recall, I watch entirely too much TV.

I haven't been keeping up on The Apprentice this season, but when I've caught an episode or two, I have to say I've been pulling for Tana. She's smart, sassy and actually nice. I was thrilled to see her vying for the top spot last night.

I only caught the last 20 minutes or so, and I was behind my favorite M.I.L.F. the entire way, until she started to defend herself in the board room.

She went on and on about how she got her education "from the street" (the theme this season was Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts) and how she's fought for everything she's ever achieved because she didn't finish college and she learned "on the street."

Um, yo home girl! You sell Mary Kay. And you live in Iowa.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Because I don't know what words mean

The Ms are constantly teasing me that I don't know what words mean. I often use the wrong word, or transpose letters, or make up my own version of a word (i.e. apprehensious). But I usually don't realize I'm in the wrong. I pretty much always think I'm right.

Often, it's M1 who catches the slip-up. I always explain myself by stating that "When I think of that word, I think of ..." and M1 always replies, "Okay, but you'd be WRONG."

One of the more famous misuses was haberdashery. I thought they grew herbs. Turns out, they make hats.

This morning, I was giving LISBF a ride into work so that his kid could have the car for the day. And I was telling him about some new clothes I ordered from Eddie Bauer. I like ordering online because then I can earn miles toward my frequent flier account. And if he's ever shopping with online realtors, he should tell me, so that I can get miles.

Blink. Blink.

LISBF: Why would I ever shop with an online realtor?

LCN: Not just a realtor who sells houses, but other realtors, too. There are ALL SORTS of realtors whose sites count toward my mileage account.

Blink. Blink.

LCN: OH! I mean RETAILER!

LISBF: I couldn't figure out why you thought I'd be interested in buying property online.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

That'd be the secret code

LIBSF works in a place where he doesn't have his Very Own OfficeTM, per se. There is an office, and he has his own extension with VM, but it's not a private place where he can shut the door and know no one will walk in on him. Because several workers use "the" office.

So if we're talking on the phone, and he says "Okay, that sounds good." It's code for "somebody just walked in and I should get off the phone."

We didn't specifically ever define it, I just notice that's what he says. He's not much of a phone talker anyway, so when I hear "Okay, that sounds good" we've maybe only been talking a couple of minutes.

Since I DO have my Very Own OfficeTM, when I hear the words "Okay, that sounds good" I respond with something like "Remember when I was sucking your dick last night?"

And that's pretty much when he says "Gotta go, bye!" and hangs up.

Ah, the perks of having my Very Own OfficeTM.

Fun with the cat flap

LISBF installed a cat flap in the door to my basement this weekend.

Since I've moved into my house, I've been keeping the catbox in the corner of the kitchen. GROSS. I have wanted to move it to the basement, but was not interested in just leaving the basement door propped open all the time.

I have a 1931 bungalow with natural woodwork, and a large part of me struggled with the decision to cut into a nice, old wood door. My mother had suggested I buy a cheap door and install it, and cut through that. My response: Just what I've always wanted, to live in a house with a cheap door!

But I decided to go through with it. I was a tad concerned the kitties might have difficulty jumping through a flap to steps on the other side. But they seem to have adapted nicely, now that we've "trained" them.

Training consisted of me sitting on the landing to the basement steps, and LISBF on the other side of the door in the kitchen. We took turns shoving the kitties back and forth a few times. Then, we'd hold open the flap for them to go through themselves.

Much like the cat in the photo, Kitten One looks like he's barely squeezing through. Kitten Two put up more of a fight, she was NOT interested in going through that hole. But by the end of the evening, we had witnessed both kittens coming back from the basement all on their own.

Yeah! For how quickly kittens can be potty trained to adapt.

Monday, May 09, 2005

WTF?

On Saturday, I ran into an acquaintance that I haven't seen in a long while.

"I've been wanting to see you!" He said. "I hear you're pregnant!"

Um, WTF?

Nope.

Give me a second to pound my chest and get my heart beating again...

"I could have sworn Becky told me LCN is pregnant," he said. "Is there another LCN?"

Yeah. She used to work at the center, but doesn't anymore. And she's due in July.

"So you're not pregnant?"

Nope. But I will accept gifts.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

He's the best!

M2 just dropped by my office to surprise me with Soft Batch cookies.

w00t!

Wearing thin in the peeing place

Yesterday, while taking a pee in the bathroom located right next door to my office, I glanced down and noticed my jeans were getting THIN.

This was especially disheartening cause I had specifically chosen to wear my second favorite pair of jeans yesterday when I noticed how worn my favorite pair has become. Now, I'll soon be out my two favorite pairs of jeans. And beyond that, I only have jeans suitable for yard work.

To complicate matters, the style of my favorite jeans has been discontinued. So, I set out to find some on eBay. Where I proceeded to place bids on four pairs of jeans. Four pairs of jeans that I may or may not like. Owned and worn by other individuals.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Until recently, I had never considered turning to eBay for clothes. But a few weeks ago, M2's girlie said she bought her jeans on eBay. So I figured, why not.

Last night, I was telling LISBF about my jean spending...

LCN: Today, while I was peeing, I noticed my jeans were wearing thin.

LISBF: Wearing thin? Where? In the peeing place?

LCN: Yeah. So, I bought a bunch of pairs on eBay.

LISBF: Um, okay ... but if you start buying underwear on eBay, we're going to have a problem.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It's all in the chest

This morning I was pulled over by a county sheriff because I rolled through stop signs at two separate intersections. They are probably 3-4 miles apart. He was trailing me the whole time and I never noticed his unmarked car.

I was already a little late to work, so this made me even later. Although it also provided a plausible excuse. So once I was enroute again, I placed a call to the boss.

When we convened for the company meeting this morning. The president opened things up with "So, LCN, heard you had a little trouble coming into work this morning."

Apparently everyone already knew I'd been pulled over. What they didn't know was that I got off with a warning. And this is the sixth time in a row I've escaped without a ticket.

T-pot, a petite sales rep, wanted to know what I do to get out of tickets.

"Easy," I said. "It's all in the chest."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hey, you! Dismount!

I had just pulled out of my driveway this morning, when I noticed two cats humping on top of a car parked across the street from my house.

Now I am a responsible pet owner. I have taken Bob Barker's advice to heart. And it dismays me when I see folks who let their cats run around outside when they still have their bits.

So I rolled down the window and started honking my horn.

"Hey!" BEEP! BEEP! "Cut that out!" BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! "We don't need any more cats!" BEEP! BEEP! ... BEEP!

Boy cat jumped off and they both kind of cowered on the top of the car, looking sheepish.

Hey, I do what I can.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Let me tell you about the time ...

The Ms and I were running around town Saturday afternoon when they wanted to stop at video store so M1 could buy a previously viewed copy of Sideways. I told them that I would run next door to the gourmet kitchen store and look for one of those gadgets that slips around a pop tab to make it easier to open.

SIDE NOTE: We had been in Bed Bath and Beyond earlier and I had looked for the pop tab gadget without success. While in line, M1 asked why I didn't just use my thumb. He even mimed a DEMONSTRATION of how HE would slip his thumb under the tab and pry it up. I gave him my best do-I-look-stupid-to-you? look and said ... I DO open them with my hands. I'm shopping for my disabled friend. OUCH! So then he felt like shit. HA HA!

So ... I walk into this gourmet kitchen store that is run by a Middle Eastern man and his American wife, who wears traditional Middle-Eastern women's attire. The robe looking thing and head cover. On weekends, wifey is usually working alone. When I opened the door, a chime sounded, yet no one came around to ask if I needed help finding anything.

I found the gadget wall and located my pop tab opener. $1.89. What a deal. So I'm clutching it as I walk toward the open door to the office area in back.

Hello? ... HELLO?

Just as I'm about to stick my head around the corner in the office ... it hits me. The owner is dead in the back room. The killer could still be inside the store. And I need to get the HELL out of there.

This is how my mind works.

I enter freakout mode as I make a beeline for the front door. All the while I'm afraid I'll be shot in the back ... seriously. I was panicked. I carelessly tossed the $1.89 pop tab gadget at the counter as I left. I just HAD to go next door, get the Ms and have them come check out the back room for me.

You know, cause they're boys and gunfire wouldn't hurt them.

As I fly through the door outside, a voice behind me on the sidewalk asks, cheerfully, "Can I help you find something?"

I turned around to see Mrs. Middle-Eastern store owner. Smiling the big, broad smile she has every time I go in that store.

"I ... um ... I thought you were dead."

Turns out she had just gone next door to the cafe for a coffee.

Now that I think about it, that seems like a totally reasonable explanation.