Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The first time I heard it was from my brother-in-law.  We were sitting outside on Memorial Day too many years ago talking about clothes or body functions or something when he received "TMI". 
"Too Much Information"

Well, I hate that our entire culture is absorbed in TMI.

I know it's happened to you: 

Your cell phone rings.
You fish around in your pocket for it, but your hands are full.
Cause you ran into the store for only two items--no need for a cart.

So the phone is ringing.
A lovely tone chosen specifically by you to bring you enjoyment.
But on it's third ring the lovely tone is brining sour looks from other shoppers.

You juggle the 9 items you've managed to pick up before you reach the second item that was on your list.  You squeeze your hand into your pocket -- those five (fifty!) pounds make it difficult to wrap your fingers around the phone

And the phone stops ringing. 

The other shoppers are relieved, but do not accept that apologetic look on your face.

You take your time extracting your hand from your pocket, careful not to drop any of your items. 
And why rush:  they'll leave a message,
or you'll call them back.
Everyone has caller ID now, right?

The phone comes out.
No voicemail is left.
You put the phone back in your pocket and head for the check out.

With a sigh you unload your arms and check your call log.


It's a number you don't recognize.
But they didn't leave a message.

So, of course, it was a wrong number.
Of course it is.

You pay for your products.
Take your bag to the car, get in and buckle up (where you immediately realize that you forgot the 2nd item on your list when the phone rang but you're too exhausted to haul yourself out of the car and back into the store.  You can live without another roll of toilet paper for one more night...right?).

You check your phone one more time.
Just in case the voicemail was delayed in delivery.
To be safe, because you don't want to fiddle with your phone while you're driving.

And there it is.
The number you don't know,
but that somehow now seems a bit familiar.

Maybe someone from work?
Or school?
Or a friend of your child?
Your sister's work?

Seriously, it really looks familiar now.
Can't be because you saw the number way back when your hands were full of spur of the moment product choices.

And you can't help it.
You press call.

Hello.  This is me, returning a call to this number.
No. I don't know who you are.
Yes. I know you didn't leave a message.
But maybe I know you.
Or maybe you know me.
A wrong number?
A random act of dialing?

Well, that's TMI.
Because back in the day we could leave our homes and return hours later.  If a call came in while you were gone, the caller would leave a message if it was important.  Otherwise, the recipient was none-the-wiser about the calls.

But not now.  Now there's TMI.

No more prank phone calls.
No more "is your refrigerator running?"
No more "do you have Prince Albert in a can?"
No more "This is Pizza Hut confirming your order of 18 pizzas to be delivered in the next 20 minutes."

And that makes me sad.

Staying Late

Working past 5 can be a habit.
And for others, it's a self-imposed punishment.

Things at work are particularly busy right now.  We have a huge event in Washington, D.C., next week so many people are overworked, overloaded, and burned out.  I get that.

But just this afternoon, at 5:08, this gal was complaining--COMPLAINING about "staying late" to work on a project for which the VP decided to wait on until tomorrow.

She went on and on, "I worked over for this?  I worked over and you're gonna do that!?"



Seriously?  You're going to complain about 8 minutes when you just took a day of vacation at the beginning of the week, and enjoyed lunch each day since?


Get real.

Timing is Everything

I've had weird sleeping habits for as long as I can remember.  For many, many, many years I slept about four hours a night.  And I felt great.

Then came 40.

And suddenly, I require a lot more sleep to feel rested.
But my internal night-clock doesn't understand and so I find myself waking up at 2:12am and 3:40 in the morning.  It doesn't help that my beloved husband comes home around 2:15 for lunch and I can't resist spending some time with him.  Besides...he rubs my feet.

So, here's the time line:
Hubby is up at 9:30pm to get ready for work.  Leaves at 9:50.
Son goes to bed at 10.
I go to bed at 10:15, but tiptoe back to the living room to watch tv til 11:30.
Then I go to bed.

2:12am, I wake up.
2:20 I drag my still-awake self out to the living room to await my husband's arrival.
We visit for about 30 minutes, then he heads back to work.
By then, I'm wide awake and I spend some time on work stuff.  E-mail mostly.
Then I'm stressed so I spend some time watching tv.

By 5:00am I'm back in bed, and have my alarm set for 6:30. In the summer, I'd hit doze every 9 minutes and finally drag myself out of bed at 8:00.  Work starts at 8:30 in the summer.
I arrive around 9. (Though I justify this because I leave the office about 45 minutes - 1 hour later than other staffers.)

But summer is over.  In fact, yesterday was the first day of school.

My son is excited - and so are we - at the possibilities for greatness this year:  For a teacher that inspires, and instills the importance of reading into my son's life.  For a newly updated playground with really cool four square sections on the pavement.

And so we go to bed, miraculously, by 10:45 we're all tucked in.
At 1:45am, my husband gets up.
At 3:40 I wake up.
At 5:40 my son wakes up.
We know this is not good.
But we can't help it:
  There's GREATNESS awaiting us in the morning, right?
But I insist on pretending to be in control and therefore make us go to bed.
So, at 6:15am, the three of us get INTO ONE BED, and I turn off my 6:30am alarm.  I can see Kent on the other side of the bed double-checking his alarm.  He set it before we went to bed the first time for 6:45.

And there we are: three sardines, sleepy and sick from lack of sleep, in bed with thirty blissful minutes of sleep to look forward to before the alarm sounds and the GREAT DAY OFFICIALLY STARTS.

I doze off, and the alarm goes off.
We hit the floor running.
Everyone's (amazingly) in a good mood.

There's even time for toast.
Because it's only 7:00.


It's not 7:00--it's 7:15.
Because my husband RESET HIS ALARM without telling me!  And it's fifteen minutes later than it's supposed to be.


The BUS runs at SEVEN FIFTEEN!!!!

So, there we were:  toast in hand, looking through the still-closed curtain when the bus goes by.

Kent and I trudge back to the bedroom to get officially dressed while I ask him over and over and over "what were you thinking?"

It's the first day of school.
The first day of greatness.
The first day of fourth grade.
And you choose to change the alarm without consulting the rest of the family?


We missed the bus,
had to drive to school.
The back doors to the school were locked.
But George looked great.

And isn't that what's really important? 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Turn it Down

I am super-sensitive to noise.
There's this guy in the office near me who sighs and sniffs and reads to himself all day.  He has an unhealthy fondness for Speakerphone, and recently purchased an iPhone but obviously doesn't know how to turn off the audible notification of new messages feature.
Add to this his booming baritone voice and penchant towards schmoozing and what you've got is noise.
Noise NoisE NOISE.

This morning most folks are out of the office for one reason or another so I turn on my music.  I'm listening to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  It's loud enough to hear from my chair, but not loud enough to hear over my printer.
And the Baritone asks me to turn it down.

An End Note:
Just now he turned on a video to watch so I asked him to turn the volume down.  He got up and shut his door.
I feel justified.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time Passes Slowly


Just as Kathleen says in You've Got Mail: "When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life does."  One of my favorite "sayings" came from a book I read as a child.  It actually is some lyrics of a Bob Dylan song:

Time passes slowly up here in the mountains,
We sit beside bridges and walk beside fountains.
We watch little fishes as they float up the stream.
Time passes slowly when you're lost in a dream.

When I get home, I'm going to download that song since I've never heard of it.

Anyway--I digress.

There's this gal in my office who has been bustling around here all day.  Frantically working to get some literature packed up.  Because it ships out on the 7th.

I, too, have literature that will be shipping out along with her stuff on the 7th.  But I'm not panicking.  Because September 7th is next Friday.
Instead, I'm trying to organize marketing efforts for an event I have in October.

I'm sitting at my computer composing a lengthy email outlining the seminar needs and topic for the October event when Bustling Gal stops by to show my this nifty shipping tube she purchased for the umbrellas.  It's cool.  And then she informs me that the lot of the literature will ship out on Tuesday.  And just before I start going off on her because someone changed the date reality hits me:  The 7th is not next Friday.  It's Tuesday.




Cause I though I had over a week to get my stuff around.
But by Tuesday?  Seriously?


I'm in serious trouble.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Give me some time.

There's this chick who works in another department who uses the statistics from my seminars for proposal writing (fund raising) purposes.

And - without fail - she will request information on a program BEFORE I have time to complete follow-up.

Seriously.  Give me a minute to breathe.


According to policy, we get an hour lunch and two fifteen minute breaks.
But they repurposed our break room so there's no where to steal away for a break.

So I choose a moment to de-stress by heading over to my blog.
Only to have whathisname walk by and I can tell by the way his gait falters that he's seen my screen and thinks I'm goofing off.

Maybe I need to put out a sign:  "I'm on a break."

There must be a way to update blogs by email.  If I could take a break without feeling guilty maybe I could figure it out.


Do Over

I spend time creating a blog, and then wish I could easily go back and change the layout. 
Ditto for:

--my furniture
--my office files
--my outfit this morning
--my shoes today
--my hair today
--what I packed for lunch.

I have a training meeting this afternoon where I need to show some students how to set up a display.  Think lots of bending and reaching and stretching. 
And guess what I'm wearing?

You got it, Sis, a too-low-cut shirt. 
And a purple bra.

It's gonna be fun.....

To the End

I spend all this time composing a thorough email.  Poring over details and proofing my work. Making sure I haven't overlooked anything, so that the reader need only to read the message to have all the information they need to do their job, or to move forward on a project.

The receiver opens the email.
Then promptly sends you a reply asking the very questions that are already answered IN YOUR ORIGINAL message.  Obviously, they didn't read it.