So the Office is doing this Biggest Loser type competition (only they are obnoxiously calling it Biggest Winner instead, true story) and almost 50% of our site is participating. Not being one to be left behind, and despite never in my life ever having to lose any weight, I decided to get on board.

Millions of people reading this blog (true story) probably just threw up in their mouths right now. “never in my life ever having to lose any weight” they may be asking themselves with several exclamation points and question marks and maybe even some stuff that looks like this: $@#&%!  You horrible bitch, how dare your complain, they are thinking.  They may even say I am making a mockery of something that a lot of other people may be taking seriously and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve your health through frivolous office programs so just STFU you skinny biznatch!

And here comes the disclaimer: For those of you who have been playing along since, oh 1993 you’ll remember that I have a HORRIBLE INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISORDER AND HAVE NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER OVER THE FOLLOWING: my ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients like a normal person, when and how often I visit the ladies room, whether or not a particular food is going to make my stomach explode, and, among a number of other things, whether or not I gain or lose weight.

Why bother then?  Well the program promises to offer an exercise routine (I hate exercising but still should do it to keep my heart in good shape and help prevent the inevitable osteoporosis) as well as nutritional information (never hurts to get a reminder).  Also, Matthew is considering making more improvements towards the healthy, so maybe I can pass along what I learn.

So anyway. In order to join the program, you have to go in and meet with the health counselor (yeah, we have one in our office two days a week, wtf) and she takes your measurements.  Not surprisingly, my weight, BMI and hip to waist ratio are all in good shape, but today apparently my blood pressure, which is typically on point at 120/80 was super duper high.  I blame this on a number of things causing stress in my life these days (none of which are ready for primetime) and have now fostered much resentment for the actual, PHYSICAL trouble they are causing me.  I resent you, problems!!

Needless to say, with the exception of a hopefully lower BP, not a whole lot is probably going to change for me as a result of this little program.  I don’t foresee any of these types of pictures making their rounds any time soon.

This is real.

This is real.

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Let’s face it, we all like a lot of things that are actually sort of inappropriate. Take, for instance, things like Papa John’s Tuscan Six Cheese Pizza, Family Guy and unprotected casual sex.  We laugh a jokes that are racist, bigoted or otherwise just in poor taste and then feel guilty about it afterward (if you’re like me, you also make a vow not to repeat the joke in order to make up for thinking it was funny for a second).

The “Mad Men” I’m talking about here is of course the AMC Emmy Nominated series about a 1960s advertising agency (this is not a “why do women always go for the bad guy” diatribe).  If you’ve ever watched it or read a review of it or even heard of it, you probably know my conflict here: overt sexism. The series is rife with it; secretaries (that’s what they were called back then!) are sexually harassed, sexuality is used as a weapon by both men and women, and cheating, beating and berating your wife is seen as a milestone in every relationship.

The excuse? That’s the point. Part of the draw of the show, I think, is to see how times they are a changin’ since 1960s Manhattan.  No longer do secretaries administrative assistants worry about what their boss thinks about what they are wearing or who in the office is the most advantageous to sleep with.  No longer do our male co-workers ogle us from the other side of a one-way mirror.  We do not have nicknames like hun and we don’t feel forced to cover for indiscretions in our boss’ personal life.  I don’t keep a fifth of whiskey in my drawer because I know that’s what Mr. Draper prefers.  Best of all, my administrative colleagues and I don’t face a glass ceiling and have just as much opportunity as our male equivalents.

What’s unfortunate here, is that to a large extent, none of that is actually true.  I am not Post-Fem enough to think that that these things don’t happen, at least to some extent, on a regular basis.  While none of my male (or female for that matter) co-workers have ever gone so far as to make me feel uncomfortable in the office, there is still a lot of this happening in offices all around the country. The thought of that glass ceiling pressing down on us is not only very real, it’s stifling, and very much exists.

A large percentage of this may be due to the actual nature of the job. It is the role of the executive assistant to do for the executive what he or she doesn’t have the time to do or learn how to do for themselves. By that very description, we aren’t meant to move on, but to stay forever to make them feel better about their day and handle the stuff only we know how to handle. Like reminding them to eat or go home for instance.

These details of the job haven’t changed, and to some extent, neither has the environment.  Watching something like Mad Men on TV reminds us that on the one hand, things have changed for the better and thanks to things like the Lilly Ledbetter Act, it’s being addressed by the right people.  On the other hand, standing at the photocopier, pencil behind ear, bosses coffee in hand, I sometimes feel very close to my sisters from the 60s.

I know, it must be like two months at this point, I have no excuse. Things have been going on and I haven’t been telling you about them. I know this severely stunts your day.  Not only that, it’s August and work is slower than latex paint on a radiator (??), so why don’t I jot a few things down during the day?

Like I said, no excuse. I go through these phases.  So. To catch you up on the one or two mildly interesting things that are going on, I will combine them into one post with short descriptions. Please post questions in the comments.

First, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the basement. Or the light at the end of the stage one tunnel at least. We have installed new floor in the living/kitchen area and thusly designated a living vs. kitchen area in the main room. All we have left to do is buy doors for the closet and laundry area, touch up paint in the bedroom, tile the bedroom floor and hallway and um yeah CLEAN.  Stage one complete, we rent it out to some poor homeless Howard University student content with no kitchen, stash away that money and then spend it all at Ikea for a proper kitchen area. Done and done.

Take heed, that is not wood or laminate wood floor but the inexpensive, resilient cousin, vinyl!

Take heed, that is not wood or laminate wood floor but the inexpensive, resilient cousin, vinyl!

The second thing that happened is that Javier’s face nearly exploded!

No more walks to Rock Creek Park for you mister!

No more walks to Rock Creek Park for you mister!

Fortunately some ice and 3/8 of a benadryl brought the swelling down. I would have liked to have a heart attack when I first noticed his face (the bloating came on rather suddenly after a walk) the poor lamb. My first thought was, “Oh my god, he got in a fight with the rat” and my second thought was, “Oh my god, he ate a hypodermic needle off the sidewalk.”

The third and somewhat less interesting thing is that we got tomatoes.  On the plants ok. My own tomatoes that I sowed into the earth with love finally came to fruition like seven months later.  And promptly got blossom end rot.  We’re watering less and crossing our fingers more that the next round takes a bit better.  Now if only I can get the peppers to bloom too.

The maters in happier times.

The 'maters in happier times.

Finally, I leave you with the happy news that we still have three dogs, which should come as no surprise to anyone. And as I like to fill this blog with as many cute pictures of chihuahuas as I can, I leave you with the following regal gentleman.

Yeah. Hes in the toy box.

Yeah. He's in the toy box.

Well, that’s not really what this is about, but I did want to try to use the poll function and I am considering doing the following:

Buying an iPhone.

Follwoing are arguments for:

  • I love and have always loved nifty phones. This one is perhaps one of the niftiest, arguably.
  • Matt has an iPhone, therefore I want one too.
  • But going beyond that, switching to AT&T could provide us with valuable monthly savings via some sort of family plan.
  • I can probably afford to buy an iPhone in no less than six weeks of saving the dinero.

Following are arguments against:

  • My contract with Verizon isn’t up until like 2023. True story. There will totally be some sort of penalty fee.
  • What if I can’t keep my phone number, because that possibility exists. When I was toying with this idea initially, I plugged my number into the AT&T site and it said it wouldn’t port.  Of course normally there are ways around these things, but what if the number I’ve had since 1999 (true story) is suddenly no longer mine. It’s like my identity. It’s like my other middle name. (Then again, I could switch to a cool 202 number.)
  • If I’m going to be saving money for something, shouldn’t it be like tile, or paint, or a cleaning lady?  I mean, I want a Mexican to spend 3 days cleaning our house with a toothbrush as much as I want an iPhone I think.
  • Matt doesn’t get very good reception on his iPhone.  Then again, he also drops it in the toilet an average of once a week.

So there you have it, fair readers.  Pls halp!

In the hopes that this ends my long-standing blogging freeze, I am responding to the tags.  The many, many tags.  The tags that continue to haunt me.  And to kill two boring-ass birds with one stone, I’m blogging both tags: the God Awful 25 Random Things You May or May Not Have Already Known And Still Don’t Care Either Way and The Bucket I’ve Got Nothing Else to Do List.  Here goes.

25 Random Things

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. (Ed. I’m fucking tagging all of you who tagged me, just so you can feel the pain of the TAG.)

  1. My favorite secret to tell people is about my crooked finger.  Also a good way to break akward silences.
  2. I have a crooked finger, thanks to my younger brother and a doctor never telling me I would need to do stretches with it so the tendons wouldn’t tighten up. It grosses people out for some reason, but it’s all I’ve known and I love it.
  3. I have trouble remembering from what context/time period in my life I know people from.  This stems from knowing too many people on a casual basis and living in roughly the same place for about 15 years.  Facebook gives me anxiety because of this.  Take heart, I do not accept friend requests unless I can remember the context from which I knew you.
  4. I love turkey clubs, sour candy and have a seasonal addiction to candy canes and conversation hearts.
  5. Ginger is supposed to soothe your stomach and aid in digestion but it makes me absolutely nauseus. Except the pickled ginger you get with sushi, which I’m fine with.
  6. I’ve had the same cell phone number ever since I ever had a cell phone.
  7. I don’t understand the difference between ASP/AMP/WAMP.
  8. My brother lives in Philadelphia and doesn’t respond to my emails or phone calls.  I like him anyway.
  9. I read blogs at work. Frequently. It’s my compensation for not having time for a lunch break.  Do you hear that co-workers?!?!?
  10. I never really cared for chihuahuas until I met Javi and now I can’t get enough. Even of the bloated-head bulgy-eyed ones.
  11. I don’t think I even KNOW 25 things about myself.
  12. One day I might adopt a kid. And seriously no, it is not because I want someone else to do the laundry.
  13. I’m not getting married until EVERY PERSON is allowed to do the same.  So just chill.
  14. I have an annoying habit of starting a book, liking it, but stopping it for a while, reading something new, picking it back up, stopping it…
  15. I played second base and pitcher in softball and I wasn’t very good.
  16. I was better at acting and singing, but not a superstar. I always played the motherly characters: the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Dracula’s mom, etc.
  17. Shows I bet you didn’t know I DVR: This Old House, Rock of Love Bus, 48 Hours Mystery, Medium.
  18. I’ve been listening to a lot of Tegan and Sara lately.  Evidently a shortage of lesbian rock I needed to overcome.
  19. I feel guilty for not volunteering enough for Barack, even though he won.  I also feel guilty for not volunteering enough, period.
  20. I do NOT feel guilty for watching the inauguration from my couch even though I was within walking distance of being there.
  21. One day I want to have visited all of the countries in South America.  I had better get started.
  22. I hope that Matthew will quit smoking and biting his nails.  Also, I want him to get an iPhone.
  23. I wear pink things because it is the only clothes color I can tolerate besides black.
  24. My favorite flowers are poppies.  No reason besides them looking great in a big huge field.
  25. I know how to cross stitch and I am not beyond making you silly crafts.
The Bucket List.
The Bucket List. Place an X by all the things you’ve done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends (including me).
Things you have done during your lifetime:
(X) Gone on a blind date (I think so?)
(X) Skipped school
() Watched someone die
() Been to Canada
() Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida (and seriously, screw THAT)
() Been to Hawaii (and seriously, screw THAT)
(X) Been on a plane
( ) Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost (now, for instance)
(X) Gone to Washington, DC (in a way)
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
() Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons (I had an operation!)
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only (if candy and chips count as a meal, then I’ve done it)
() Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch (was not aware this was possible)
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
(X) Made prank phone calls
() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
() Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere (deviated septum)
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain-naked
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
( ) Hiked the Grand Canyon
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
() Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
() Gone snowmobiling
( ) Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(X) Seen the Statue of Liberty (from like Brooklyn though)
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
() Been on a cruise (damn house buying)
(X) Traveled by train
(X)Traveled by bus
(X) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
( ) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
(X) Been to Disneyland/World (OMG)
( ) Been in a rain forest
( ) Seen whales in the ocean
( ) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( )Walked through a volcano
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
() Been water-skiing
() Been snow-skiing
( ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game
( X) Been to a National Football League game

Hello internet, long time no write.

I don’t know precisely what is going to happen here. A container for my rants and raves, possibly. A documentation of buying a house? Hilarious pictures of chihuahuas? Links to things other people have done well? A scratch pad of writing exercises? Notes on books I’m reading?

I don’t really make New Years resolutions, not because I have a problem with them, but it has never been one of those traditions I found particularly interesting or useful.  I guess it’s just not how I roll.  But the truth is, I am turning 30 later this year and the abstract period in my life is coming to a close.  Yeah, I’m always going to be someone without a real career or a traditional adulthood (marriage, house, baby, scrapbooks, PTA) but it is just about time to become the kick ass adult my parents and grandmother have been waiting on me to become.  I’m in a long-term relationship (more on my thoughts about marriage later), I own dogs, I’m getting ready to buy a house (more on that too, obviously), I have a 401K.

Things are as they should be, it seems, and while everything is far, far, FAR from being perfect, I’m deciding to be ok with it all and roll with what comes.  I suppose that’s my goal here – to talk with you and work out exactly what it is I should and should not freak out about.  Most likely I will freak out. Often. Everything will be urgent and dire and you will think to yourselves, wtf Horn.  It’s ok. I’ll work it out.

(And now for those hilarious pictures of chihuahuas I promised.)