To The Thesaurus and Straight On To Dawn, Daybreak, Morn, Sunrise, Sunup

It’s that time of year again. A manager’s most favoritest season.

That’s right, performance review time.

Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yessity yes.

There is a bright side here. I have a fairly small team (which is usually a BAD thing given how hard we work) and a couple folks are new, so I only have to write four appraisals this year. Four is not bad, right?


Oh gad, then why can’t I bring myself to get them done? I am the very last manager under my Boss to get them done. Everyone else finished in August or early September. It’s, um, the third week of September and I have until September 30 to finish, so technically I am not late.

But EVERYONE else is done and my minions are starting to ask questions.

“Mommy? How ‘come little Johnny already got *his* performance review?”

“Bring Mommy a beer, son, and you might get a raise this year.”

Ok, I hearken back to the year where I had to write fifteen of the buggers. I think I had a fire up my tushie that year because I got them all done in record time.

These piddling little four reviews? I just can’t seem to finish.

Today I put the nose to the grindstone and knocked out two. I felt like I’d just endured a root canal with no novocaine. I needed a martini and a cigarette and I am not even done yet.

My brain hurts. And, as with every year, I have made liberal use of the the thesaurus.

There are only so many ways you can say the same thing. “You did a fine job this year. You didn’t piss me off. You also didn’t knock me out of my seat. You showed up to work most days. You didn’t make me have to have the “stinky, take a shower” talk with you. You are nice to your coworkers. You don’t eat odorous food in your cubicle. You wear shoes. Hell, I’m even kind of fond of you, but sorry kiddo, once again this year you landed on the fat part of the bell curve. Here’s your average rating and thanks for putting up with me as a manager.”

Hey, that’s pretty good. I should use that. It’s quite complimentary, really.

Meanwhile my UK Boss will look at the stats tomorrow and he’ll see I made progress but I’m not done yet. He will harass me again.

It’s a good thing he already finished my appraisal back in August, huh?

*snicker, snort*

Nooo image found on

Comic found on the Peter Anthony site.

The M Stands Accused

On or about the day of September 18 in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve, the defendant was seen both loitering and malingering in the hallway at my place of employ.

Slouching fetchingly on the top of a lateral file cabinet. The tramp.

And on said date, on or about 3:42pm, the defendant stands accused of calling out in a beckoning, sultry, irresistible manner.

So alluring was this siren call that no reasonable man or woman, especially woman, could be expected to maintain even a modicum of self-control in the face of such raw, base power.

As a result of the defendant’s irresponsible actions, the victim was thusly lured to the defendant and did partake of the goodies offered thereto.

And it was good.

However, the defendant now stands accused of gross misconduct, excessive deliciousness, and being the addictive combination of sugar, fat and salt.

The victim hereby claims damages to her waistline, thighs and double chin. And a big pile of guilt on her shoulders for all to see.

And so, you criminal, you plague of society, you vile tempter, how to you plead in the face of such strong allegations?

Peanut Butter M&M’s, you sneaky bastards!

Playing silent eh? We’ll see about that.

You and your little friends, you are going to be put away someplace for a very long time.

A very, very long time.

Git in mah bellay!

Image from Terribly Awesome.

Oh Let’s Let Her Lope Again

This exercise was so amazing for me and my old friend The Muse last week. It really helped break some of the rust off the creative pipes and since it was so much fun, let’s let The Muse play the Unconscious Mutterings free-association game again.

  1. Social ::

    A friend posted a link on Facebook essentially declaring that social media is over. Wait, there’s something ironic about that sentence. No matter, let’s press on.

    Personally, I’m pretty ready for all things social networking to stop being all anyone talks about. As if this is changing the world.

    Sure, something just as annoying will take it’s place, but maybe as “the book close(s) on Web 2.0” the internets will have grown up a bit. Stretched a bit. Maybe the next big thing will be something great, innovative and useful.

    Just don’t take away my lolcats. I beg you.

  2. Fairy tale ::

    It’s too early to discuss Christmas songs. Way too early.

    However, if we were going to discuss Christmas songs I’d tell you that I think it’s magic that a song entitled “Fairy Tale of New York” begins with the lines:

    “It was christmas eve babe/In the drunk tank”

    I mean really. Could that be any more perfect of the holiday season? I think not.

    A nod of thanks to my Rock Star cousin for turning me on to that tune many years ago when I was having a Very Dark Christmas.

  3. 0 ::

    Neither odd nor even, positive nor negative. Zero is the beginning, a place to start. Nothing and everything. Zen. Infinite.

    And a bunch of other woo-woo stuff.

    Null, nada, naught, nuh-uh, nope, zilch.

    Sort of beautiful in it’s perfection, really.

  4. Football ::

    I’m not much of a football fan, but I do idly keep track of the San Francisco 49ers. Last year I even took in my first NFL game, and it was awesome.

    That said, I think I’ve become too much of a baseball girl. I mean…162 games a season vs sixteen. Right? I think you can get by with a lot of luck over 16 games whereas you have to be mentally and physically disciplined to make it through 162.

    This is a weird time of the year where the end of baseball overlaps the beginning of football.

    Right now my San Francisco Giants are oh-so-very-close to making it into the postseason again and the 49ers have won their first two regular games.

    All in all, not a bad place to be.

    Who’s got it better than us?

    Why, I’m pretty sure the answer is: Nobody.

  5. Action::

    Lights, camera, action. Take action. Action Jackson. Action hero. Action games.

    Yeah. I got nothing here.


  6. Setting ::

    Sometimes, on a rough ol’ Monday like this, I think about going to my happy place. I have several, actually, but the one I’m thinking about today is the town of Half Moon Bay. It’s about a half hour drive away, it’s where I got married, and it’s the beach I visited just after moving to California.

    It holds a special place in my heart and features some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve watched that setting sun alone, with dear friends (and beers) and with my love.

    Here’s my favorite photo, taken (by me) near Miramar Beach, and even this cool photo doesn’t totally capture the quality of light. But it’s enough to help me escape gray cubicle walls, if only for a moment.

  7. Boomers ::

    Did you know that in Australia, an adult male kangaroo is called a Boomer? I didn’t either.

    I learned that seeking an alternative for this prompt that would let me write about something other than ol’ hippies.

    And I thank YOU, Wikipedia, you glorious repository of knowledge.

  8. Rough ::

    This morning, this glorious Monday morning, I woke up rough. Real rough. I remember the days where I could stay up all night drinking and carousing and then get approximately one and a half hours of sleep, wake up chipper, go to class, take detailed notes, get through the day and go out again.

    Now I stay up late on Sunday night watching a good movie and oh holy hell I’m a mess from the time the alarm goes off until I can go to bed early the next night.

    Time really does make fools of us all.

  9. Words ::

    “What are words for? When no one listens. What are words for, when no one listens at all?”

    Hello you beautiful Missing Persons.

    That was the very first non-rodeo related concert I attended. (If I include rodeo shows, my first concert was Freddy Fender. You can’t make this stuff up). My big brother took me to a show at the Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque. Bits of what I’m sure was asbestos fell from the ceiling during the show.

    I wanted to be Dale Bozzio so bad I couldn’t see straight. I still do.

  10. Account ::

    Longing to be Dale Bozzio, and Belinda Carlisle, and Terri Nunn and others like them – yeah, that accounts for a lot of my teenage years.

    Really, a lot of my life.

    I just read British comedienne Dawn French‘s memoir. Now there is a lady who is 100% comfortable in her own skin. And now instead of just admiring her, I want to be her too.

    I’m such a suggestible little girl.

Ok, well…back to work.

The Right Tool for Every Residence

This past weekend, I found myself kneeling by the side of my bathtub pouring extra super thick double maxx Liquid Plumr down the drain.

The thing didn’t even gurgle back at me it was so clogged up. Not that the drain on this sad ol’ tub ever worked that well to begin with. The strands of my luxurious mane are, sadly, more than it can take.

As I sat back on my heels waiting for that satisfying gurgle/sigh that pipe gives off when it’s cleared, I thought about how every damn place I’ve lived since the moment I set foot in the State of California has had plumbing issues.

Every. Single. One.

The first place where I unpacked my bags in Cali was in Sunnyvale. It was a cheery little eight unit building with a landlord so cheap he made Abe Lincoln on the penny squeak. He wasn’t a bad guy, he was just a massive tightwad.

My next door neighbors, two over tanned ex-hippies, came over to my place to welcome me to the building. They also presented me with a gift, saying, “Trust us, you’ll need it.”

This was the gift:

Isn’t she a beauty? Yes, I still have her some fifteen years later. This little black beauty has been my guardian. My savior. My favorite tool.

That plunger has unclogged toilets, sinks and disposers across the Greater Bay Area.

I thought of my old friend as I gazed into the drain of the sad, blocked bathtub that fills with water halfway up my shins when I take a shower. I wished old Black Beauty could step into service on this problem. She has a magic touch. Sadly I was unable to get her assistance on this one.

It took an entire bottle of the Plumr to finally get some movement in that damn drain. It’s ostensibly fixed, but still slow as molasses running in an uphill direction on a cold January day.

But the toilet, that flushes like a champion. That’s cuz Black Beauty is standing guard.
Yes. I wrote an entire blog post about a plunger.

Happy Friday.

As I’m sure everyone wants to rip off my photo of a plunger, I am obligated to tell you that it is Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license found in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone 4s, the Camera+ app, and love.

What Kind Of Fool Am I?

A big, huge, silly, ridiculous kind of fool.

Here’s the evidence: Let’s go back to Saturday evening in San Francisco. I’d just finished a nice dinner with friends where I had eaten trout almandine with a nice glass of light red to accompany. It wasn’t a heavy meal and I was pleasantly full but not stuffed.

After dinner we headed off into the late summer night towards the theatre to see a show, quickly crossing streets and heading toward Union Square.

All of the people in our party are tall and in reasonably good shape. I’m walking along and find myself falling well behind the pack. Not only bringing up the rear, but struggling to keep up.

My heart is beating in my ears and I feel like I can’t fight hard enough to catch my breath.

After a bit, The Good Man notices that I’m struggling and he drops back to check on me. I admonish him with, “You have to slow down!”

The Good Man is super tall and quite long legged so this is not the first time I’ve asked this of him in the course of our lives together.

He slows and I’m feeling frantic, winded, sweaty and anxious. And I am mad. At myself.

Can I really be this out of shape? Am I really this far gone?

I grouse to my husband, “I don’t understand! I’m working my ass off lately, I eat almost nothing during the day and we have decent dinners at home. I walk three to four miles several days a week but I can’t keep up with you? It’s not fair, I can’t believe I was stuck with this goddamn body!”

As we near the theatre, it’s crowded. People are pushing and shoving. At one point I can’t seem to find a bathroom and it’s six minutes to show time.

I’m. Freaking. Out.

So I cry. It’s humiliating to admit and I’m mortified that I did it in public, but I cried.

The Good Man did what a good man does and he talked me through it. He asked me if I wanted to go home. He petted my head and he was just there for me as I got myself together.

I sucked back up all my whinging, dried my eyes, and we went on with the night. It turned out really well after all my fuss and kerfuffle.

Back at home, a tiny voice called to me from the back part of my brain.

“Hey. Maybe you need to start using your daily inhaler again.”

“Nooo,” the obstinate part of my brain said. “I don’t want to admit I have asthma.”

“Just try it. If it doesn’t help then stop.”

“Oh fine!” I say, petulant and cranky. And so I hit my inhaler and then went to bed.

The next morning, I go again. The prescription says take two puffs twice a day. Sunday night, I take the next two, and again Monday morning.

At noon Monday, I head out for my regular three mile jaunt with my friend. She’s in awesome shape and lately I’ve been lagging behind her and hardly able to make the walk.

Today, I zoomed around the paths, no trouble keeping pace.

Goddamn it. It was just that easy.

My body just needed a little oxygen.

This on the heels of a recent encounter with my acupuncturist. I have been crying and whining about being *so* tired lately. My western doctors found no medical reason and so I’m visiting this guy to see if he can help.

We’ve tried some various herbs and remedies and finally last week he says, “have you ever had trouble with anemia?”

“Yes,” I reply, rolling my eyes because I don’t want to admit that I have struggled with anemia damn near all of my life.

“Do you take iron?”


“Um. I think you are anemic.”

“Oh fine!” I say.

So I am mad and I stomp to the store and I buy my regular iron supplement and I start taking it regularly and I’ll be damned if the ringing in my ears doesn’t stop and I sleep better and my digestion is better and I suddenly have enough energy to get through the day.

All I needed was iron.

Oxygen and iron.

What a genuine idiot I am.

And to think I gripe at The Good Man about overcomplicating things. Who is overcomplicating things now, eh?

Image found here