Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I presume she treats her husband better than us menial lawn jockeys.

I got a voice mail from the headmaster's wife last night, with her periodic list of little, annoying wishes that we were going to do anyway. (Actually, it was half of a voice mail, so I'm going to have to call her back and find out what I might have missed because, even though she tends to ramble on for five minutes, saying what could take me less than one, she might have said something after being cut off which I might actually need to hear.)

To start off her message, she said she wasn't sure when we'd be in her yard this week.

Wednesday. She knows this. We mow her yard every effing Wednesday. We have mowed her yard every goshdarn effing Wednesday for the two years and two months which I have been here, and the crew always did it on Wednesday's before that!

Is she forgetful? Is she stupid? Is she just effing around with me to watch me turn red and emit steam from my ears?

(Sorry for the swearing, but, as you know, blatant, repetitive stupidity is sure to cheese me off.)

Dude, where's my yard?

I've been helping Thing One with the final stages of fixing up her house before the Royal Visit. (After much rescheduling, her mom is finally moving to The Noog to join her. Thing One's daughter and two granddaughters will be accompanying her for a week-long visit.) We rebuilt the porch railings and have spent much time tidying the yard (picking up fallen branches, broken bricks, broken glassware, alcohol bottles, carpet remnants, etc. and cutting weeds off the chain link fences). The yard is now so bare, it looks much bigger. At least, Thing One seems to think so. What I see when I look at it is the absence of grass. We need to find some grass seed for shaded areas then hope for the return of rain. (It hasn't rained for a month, which seems more like the climate I left behind in New Mexico, and certainly doesn't match the abundance of precipitation from my first year in The Noog.)

I was pondering: since Thing One's family is flying in, can I refer to the plane as "Air Force One"?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Imponderable Question of the Universe #99

If Adolf Hitler could have a girlfriend, why am I still single?

This isn't a cream puff. It's a cannoli with chocolate chips.

I had an unexpected (though pleasant) visit yesterday from the "Area Support Manager" for my company. In other words, he's the guy who travels around and visits all the grounds managers in the warm-season turf part of the country. I'll admit to a bit of pride that he made many of the same observations I have (so I'm not crazy, deluded, or just plain wrong). The reason his visit was so pleasant, though, was because he gave me some good tips (whereas Skippy's boss spouts negativity when he visits and then asks, "What can I do to help you?").

My favorite part of the visit was at lunch, when the manager said, "Oh, I knew within five minutes of meeting [Froggy], when he acted put out about opening the door to let me in and calling you on the phone to tell you I was here, that he's an a--h---."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Canary in the Coal Mine

Several months ago (about half a year, probably), I submitted a work order request that sometimes there was hot water in the showers in the coaches' locker room, and sometimes there wasn't. Froggy made noises like he'd have his plumber fix it, and the problem went away (at least as far as I experienced). The other day, the swimming coach said the problem is again (or still) occurring. Yesterday, one of the middle school teachers asked me, "Is there any hot water?" and I replied, "There is right now." But, of course, Froggy doesn't listen to me.

Yesterday (and please note that I didn't really want to post this whine, but it's my time of the month, so I'm going to), I found out that Froggy brought in a company to cut out part of a concrete wall in our old shop, as a remodel for Miss Kitty's crew to move in. While I was picking up a can of wasp spray from our chemical room, I saw Skippy fingering the light switch to our former tool room, and I said, "Oh, that never worked right." I didn't add, "even though I put in two work order requests to fix it," because I thought I'd sound snarky. That tells me how highly I rate here, though, that Miss Kitty can have a wall taken out, but I can't even get a light switch fixed.

The filling in this cream puff, though, is what Elmer Fudd found out from one of Miss Kitty's crew supervisors. The reason the wall was taken out was so her crew wouldn't have to walk outside between their break room and the offices/bathrooms. Apparently, my crew isn't that special.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven.

I had occasion to see an obese couple. "Boy, are they big!" I thought. Then I told myself to be more positive. "There goes 800 pounds of love."

Monday, August 22, 2011

I can't write poetry this good when I'm awake.

"Back in the saddle again."

Oops, wrong song.

School is back in session, and we're back to the work schedule that allows me to work out before heading to the office. It felt nice to be back in my comfort zone, especially after "hell week" (last minute preparations before the students' return).

This morning, I woke up with this (original) song in my head.
Up and down Manhattan,
Inside and outside the town,
I have a key to a Joshua Tree, and
It plays the best music around.

It was kind of barbershop quartet in tempo but Mills Brothers in harmonies. (If you think I was born in the wrong era, you're not the first to think that.)

The best news is that I can go and spend money again! For just over a week, I couldn't find my credit card nor my ATM card. They weren't in the drawer where I normally keep them. They weren't under the drawer. They weren't in or under the other drawer, either. They weren't behind or under the cabinet. They weren't in my car. They weren't in or under the sofa. They weren't at the last store I had a receipt for.

I called both companies, but the cards hadn't been used since my last receipt. That pointed toward them being lost and not stolen. Maybe the last store threw them out, without realizing it. Maybe I threw them out without realizing it.

Where did I finally find them? In my gym bag, of course. Doesn't everybody keep them there? Grocery store, here I come!

I still can't find my smallest, reusable, grocery bag, though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My job is making me fat(ter).

For the past couple of weeks, I haven't worked out. The start of the school year is approaching, so I've been working longer to help with that (and certain administrators think their pet projects are even more important and must be done absolutely-right-now). On top of that, we officially moved office and shop last Wednesday, so I've stayed late to resort things so we can move around and find many of the necessities. I spent most of Saturday and at least half of Sunday in my own office, sorting and cleaning and arranging and decorating, so it looks like a pretty nice place after all. And Skippy's boss will be visiting today, and he's always negative, so I know he'll think I'm not having my crew do enough to prepare for the students' return. Sounds like a workout is exactly what I shouldn't be missing right now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.

Some of my poison ivy rash started diminishing on Friday, about a week after it appeared. (It's not gone, though.) Other bumps started emerging on Sunday, but they aren't as itchy. The ones on my palms periodically give me fits, and I'm starting to think the rash on my waist (thanks to the constant irritation and humidity) never will go away.

I have an interesting other itching experience to tell you about. On Saturday, when Thing One and I were plant shopping from the clearance remnants at a major retail chain (she bought more than I did, so hush), I felt as if several insects were suddenly biting or stinging my right thigh. I didn't see anything (well, as much as I could see without adjusting my shorts to an indecent level for public view), and the feeling went away after a few minutes. Yesterday evening, I was repotting some of the plants I had bought, and I felt the stinging again. It was in the same area on the same leg, but I was wearing different underpants and shorts than on Saturday, and I wasn't wearing a shirt, shoes, or socks, so I know the clothing didn't contribute to the episode. I wonder if it was one of the plants. I wonder if it was one particular plant (which I can't name right now, since I don't remember what the tag said). I wonder if I would feel any differently if I wore pants when working with that plant. I wonder if the plant doesn't realize that I'm Cap'n Chlorophyll and I mean it no harm.

Friday, August 05, 2011

You wouldn't have opened the door if you knew I had brought these puns with me.

Thing One is looking for house numbers to put above her front steps. I suggested some nice tile ones with hummingbirds, to bring a bit of New Mexico flavor but still be suitable for the architecture. If she can find a matching doorbell, her front entrance sure will be a humdinger.

Thinking of the ex-mouse I created this morning, I wondered if there are any rodent-shaped door knockers. I'll know I have guests when I hear their rat-a-tat.

Anyone for mouse kibble?

We were clearing some junk out of our new (to us) shop storage building this morning, when I said, "I'm glad there wasn't a rat under there," at which point a mouse started scurrying around my feet. (No, I didn't scream. Surprisingly, I made very little noise at all.) "Oh, wait. There's a mouse," I said, as I tried to dodge it and it tried to dodge my feet.

"And now you've killed it," my employee informed me.

One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

Starting last July, I implemented the policy that I would buy my employees one pair of safety shoes per year, in the months of the anniversaries of their hire dates. To make it look less that it benefits me more than them, I skipped myself in July. That means my first pair of company-paid shoes should be arriving shortly. I intended to replace the shoes I bought back when I was still in New Mexico. I noticed the other day, though, that the pair I bought myself here two years ago is coming apart (the sole of my right shoe is separating from the upper part). Aargh! Now do I replace just the falling-apart pair, or do I spend my own money on getting rid of the ill-fitting and older (but not falling apart) pair, too?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

By George, I think I've got it!

Well, no, not the poison ivy rash. You already know about that. And, no, I don't even mean the new bumps that have appeared on my palms, since I last blogged about it. I'm speaking of a way I can survive without washing my hands yet still be able to eat and read. You can feed me and read to me. What do you think? Um, no, I'm still going to rub the anti-itch gel on myself -- unless you're very nice to me. ;)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


It was another interrupted night, but at least I wasn't woken up by sirens or my bed cracking.

I asked Thing One to stop by to help me move my king size mattress, so I could inspect my bed. Nothing appeared cracked or broken. Nothing was loose. Nothing wiggled inappropriately. I have no idea why my bed made that noise the night before. We replaced the mattress, made the bed, and I slept without any further suspicion of damage.

I dreamt that I was here at work, trying to remember the name of a teacher. It kept eluding me, and I wished I had a yearbook handy, so I could look her up. How useful, I thought, to have all the staff members photographs in one place. Don't know what the point is of having all those children's photos in the front of the book, though.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Least

When I arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, I saw a tiny (2" diameter) flowerpot containing a dead plant on the front porch, next to my (live) ones. The tag calls it a Balfouriana Aralia (correct botanical name, if you care, in the link).

Perhaps someone saw my gardening prowess and thought they'd contribute a gift, but then I didn't water it and it died. Perhaps, but since it wasn't there the day before, I know it wasn't lack of water on my part which killed it.

Perhaps someone knows of my horticultural prowess and thought I could save it. Perhaps, but I'm not Dr. Fronkensteen, and I can't revive dead tissue. (The other question is who hates me enough to give me a dead plant as a gift?)

Speaking of Frankenstein ("Nice blend, Fozzie. Thank you, Fozzie."), Thing One and I ate breakfast at Aretha Frankenstein's on Sunday morning. (We got there just before the crowd, and they actually had a second cook arrive, so the interminable wait for one's food suddenly became much more terminable.) I like the Polish eggs, and the omelettes are good, but I decided to try something different. I ordered the Elephants Gerald ("Our Belgian waffle topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, Pecans in Syrup, and dusted with Cinnamon"). I had wondered why they chose such a strange and inappropriate name for a Belgian waffle with pecans, until I spoke my order to the waiter.

Still don't get it? Try saying it out loud.

Still don't get it? God, you're younger than I thought! (sigh)

Another Sleepless Night

For the fourth night in a row, I slept poorly.

At one point, I woke up from a dream that was turning into a nightmare. I had said something about Thing One to E.G., a girl I grew up with and haven't seen nor heard from since high school graduation. (Where does my subconscious drag these ideas from?) Thing One was angry with me and said, "You should've told her Azalea Sauce," then produced a bottle of something that looked like one of the orangey hot sauces but with a texture like ketchup and poured it onto a potted azalea.

Another time I woke up, the two poison ivy bumps on my hip were itching like mad, and I so wanted to scratch, but I wouldn't, and after who knows how long, I compromised and rubbed the area, and that calmed me enough to fall asleep again.

Then I dreamt I was visiting my friend Robomarkov and his wife Scribe Ari (and their children, and their cats, and....) They were playing me a computer story they had made, with fantastic drawings and music (she is a talented artist, and he is a computer wiz -- or is that "whiz"? -- well, whichever one doesn't mean "urinate"). It was a story about how I had phoned them, but the younger child didn't pass along the message to mama. One of the cats (in a big, floopy hat like you'd expect from medieval stories like "Puss in Boots"), though, knew the message was important, and this story was how he (or she) got the message to Robomarkov and Scribe Ari. I realized that the male narrator's voice was not Robomarkov's, so I asked him who was reading. "It's a magnet," he said, from which I inferred that the story was originally on a refrigerator magnet and then had been marketed as a whole line of products, including this computerized story.

Then I was awakened by a loud crack, and my bed shifted. I had the usual thoughts one has when one's bed appears to have broken in the middle of the night. "I wasn't even moving. I'm alone in bed, so you know I wasn't doing that. Demmit, it's a brand new bed! But is it any better to break an old bed? What if it's an antique or has sentimental value? Either way, you have to spend money on a new bed, unless, of course, it's still under warranty..."

I managed to fall asleep again (though I had debated staying up and reading, since it was just an hour before my alarm was set to go off, but it shows how tired I was that I fell asleep). When I got up and switched on the light, I lifted my mattress to look. The legs appeared okay. The brace in the middle appeared okay. The slats didn't look cracked. The bed wasn't tilted. What happened? I'm going to ask Thing One if she'd mind dropping by this evening to help me move the mattress and see if we can find anything broken.

I'm okay. I only appear diseased.

I knew exactly when I did it last Wednesday. It happened at the headmaster's house. You know how it is. You're pulling weeds, and you get in the groove: pull, pull, pull, and then... oops!

I didn't get back to the shop in enough time to wash the poison ivy from my hand. On Friday morning, I saw the first few bumps rising (and itching). On Saturday, there were more. (I tell myself not to scratch the poison ivy bumps, but their itches are so like regular itches, I usually forget.) On Sunday, there were more. In fact, there are a couple more this morning that weren't there yesterday.

I now have poison ivy rash on the inside of my left wrist, the inside of my left thumb, my left hip, my right shoulder, the (entire) inside of my right forearm, the back of my right hand, one on my left jaw, and one on the left side of my neck. (Yes, those two make it fun to shave in the morning.) The good news is that the one just on my right eye socket seems to have migrated down to below my eye. Yay.

It's really odd, trying to wash my hands and feeling bumps that normally aren't there. Then, am I allowed to dry my hands, or will the towel break open the bumps and spread the rash? Is my cotton towel at home any better than the paper towels at work, or vice versa? Maybe I should stop washing my hands at all. That would have the added benefit that I'd lose weight by not eating. After all, I wash my hands before fixing or eating food, and if I don't wash my hands after going to the bathroom, ick! I couldn't get any work done, since I don't want to contaminate my keyboard, my utility cart's steering wheel, or anything else with my germs, so I might as well just stay home, right? Oh, wait. Would I be allowed to touch my books with those hands? Maybe I'll still wash my hands and let them air dry.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A day late, and however-much-a-cup-of-coffee-costs-these-days short

One national donut chain mailed me a postcard for "a free medium beverage*". Since I don't drink coffee (or any of its variations), I brought the card in to work for Thing One to use. Or, I thought I had. I didn't find it in my gym bag. I didn't find it at home. I found it just a few minutes ago, on the ballfield I cross on the way to work every morning. (I saw it and wondered what the chance was that someone else received one of those cards and happened to drop it there. I guess "slim to none" is the answer.)

Wouldn't you know it? The coupon expired yesterday.

* A note to the chain management: Since you're supposedly a donut store, why don't you send me a coupon for a free donut?