Price Check in Fiction

I tell everyone that the Library is a great resource for the rich, the poor and the people in the middle. I’ve been poor and in the middle but not rich, but I’m sure that rich people can use the Library too.

When I lived in Salt Lake they had just remodeled the Downtown Library. And let me tell you, it was impressive! It was like 6 stories high, self-check outs as well as stand-in-line check outs, a great music and movie section and so much more! It really was a great resource. We loved it. When I moved to Las Vegas, I missed it like I miss friends in Texas. I still have my card (with no fines of course) and I refuse to throw it out. Maybe one day while visiting SLC I can go and check out a book on candles, the history of television, or a great movie. I can’t do that if I throw out my card. So to keep the tradition of going to the Library a few times a week, I got a card here.

It’s so different here. The branch by me is very small and smelly. Probably because it is so hot here. The outside drop-off bins only take books. All others will melt. There is a security guard posted at the main door. And the lines are always long. However, I can still reserve items online and then I get an e-mail when they are ready. SLC did that too! So there is still hope.

This week I was picking up Season 5 of the Sopranos. Good timing too because it was a long weekend and I had time. So I was standing in line, following the sign that said to be patient, yes, I was patient. I was also noticing how very familiar standing in line at the Library and standing in line at the grocery store are the same. For example:

The lines are long: No matter what line you get in at the grocery store, it seems to be the longest. Well at this library, there is only one line, and it’s always long.

You use a card to pay/checkout: Unless you are still using checks or cash (I don’t think I remember what cash looks like) you are using a card. Same at the Library. Unless you have a fine so you will have to use your checkbook or pay it with cash.

Kids are running wild: Remember when you had to be quiet at the Library? I do. How come today’s kids don’t? They are running around picking up every bright colored book asking if they can check it out. Half the time, not even noticing Fabio on the cover with a woman in a bikini on a mountain top. “Please, it looks funny!” At the grocery store, they put candy and goodies at the check out stand so parents can have one last struggle with their kids. And by this point in the shopping experience, they are worn down, so the kids get their treats, atlast! At the Library, while I was waiting patiently, more so than the kids infront of me, they have a wall that has comics on it. It’s also has a sign that says “Check me out!” It’s not candy but it’s the same concept.

Fines are just as much as frozen corndogs: If you play it right, you will never owe anything to the Library. That can be a great thing. But if you are lazy and really bad with dates, then you might owing the Library more than you expected. From my day at Friendswood Public Library where I did get a fine of $.10 for missing two days, to paying $1.00 for missing 2 days. It’s a sad day when your fine will be bigger than the price of the book. Don’t let it happen to you.

See, the Library is just like the grocery store. Oh snap, Sopranos Season 5 is due soon. I better get moving or else I might have to take back my frozen corndogs to pay my fine.

More SPF Please

In the movie Spinal Tap, there is a scene that my husband and I refer to all the time. “Why don’t you just make 10 louder?” “But this one goes to eleven.” Doesn’t make sense unless you’ve seen it. Go see it. When I first saw the movie I questioned my husband, “How come I’ve never heard of this band?” He just laughed at me.

But Nigel wasn’t that far off on the obsession of making things greater than they need to be. The idea of a guitar amp being “one louder” is so crazy. Let’s make everything better by just enough to make it useless. An amp that goes to eleven,a calendar as big as your desk, a PDA that doubles as a cell phone (and a cell phone in your pocket) and chapstick with SPF 18.

Nowadays, everyone is making chapstick or lipgloss. Blistex is still around and so is ChapStick. I know cause I own both brands in like 15 different sizes, flavors and colors. But other companies are starting to make lip stuff too. Companies you wouldn’t think would venture out to the lip world. But they are pioneers in their industry. Who am I talking about? Coffee makers ofcourse!

Well, I only know of one coffee maker so that last claim is just my observation. Consult your local coffee makers to find out if they are part of my claim. Then report back to me.

Some of my co-workers went off to Minnesota for a meeting with Caribou Coffee (CC). Upon their arrival back to the office they brought some little CC gifts. Things like chocolate covered coffee beans, oh they are good but loaded with carbs. Watch out for those! And chapstick called “Lip Stuff.” Well they are quick and to the point with the name eh? I got one tube of “Lip Stuff” and while reading it I noticed that it has SPF 18. Wait, 18? This seemed like an odd number. So I pulled out all my other chapsticks. I generally carry 3 or 4 in my purse. I read each one. “ChapStick Vanilla Mint has SPF 15 and Blistex Pro has 15 and my other Blistex, DCT, has 30.” So why an SPF 18? This tube has 3 more SPF’s than my other two so it must be better. What’s the point? So I started thinking, if I need maximum protection, I’ll choose the DCT, SPF 30. If I don’t care as much, SPF 15. And if I care enough but I’m too lazy to open the jar of DCT, then I could go for the 18.

That could have been my thought process but it seemed to complicated. I’ve decided to just go on flavor. Vanilla Mint today or just regular mint? Three more SPF’s isn’t going to make it better, the minty flavor is. A PDA as a cell phone isn’t all that great when you have cell phone in your pocket. A calendar as big as your desk is useless when you have your computer on it. And Nigel, one extra number on your amp isn’t going to make you any louder. But Marty DiBergi couldn’t get that through to him either.

Min Pin Files

It’s amazing how your life changes when you decide to do something adult and responsible. No I’m not having a baby. Well you could call her my baby. Her name is Scully and she’s my Miniature Pincher. Since the day I got her, I felt like her mom. I have to love her, feed her, bathe her, and on and on and on. Phew if I knew it was this tough she’d only get a bath once a month! She’s really just like a baby. A very black, tan and hairy one with big ears, a mother’s love.

While in Minnesota I realized how much she really has changed our lives. Good, bad, it doesn’t matter. She’s changed it. Sometimes we even revolve our time around her. We know we are crazy so you don’t have to say it. During the day one of us heads home to let her out and we both make sure that she’s only been in her crate for 4 hours. It’s insane.

Justin loves to talk to her likes she’s our roommate. “Did you eat your dinner? Did you make this mess? Quit stealing my chapstick! Give me back my socks!” I assume she knows what he’s talking about cause she just looks at him with a blank stare, like all mooching roommates do.

We put her back in doggie obedience school. As parents we think she failed. You never want to have your children fail, but we were positive she did when the only thing we got was an award of attendance. Scully had perfect attendance, but with bad grades. So we enrolled her again. The instructor remembered her probably because she was the class clown/terror/barker/jumper/yipper. You name it, Scully did it. But this time around we noticed something. She paid attention and she wasn’t the class annoyance. So she finally passed and on her birthday too! So we gave her ice cream and sang happy birthday for her. She loved it (she told me so).

Right now, she’s as happy as she can be. Running around with her love bear, Cletis. Actually he’s a cat, but she hates cats so we call him a bear. She’s been with him since the day I got her and I would hate to disappoint her by telling her he’s a cat. Could you imagine her reaction! “What the F—! Cletis has been a cat this whole time? I hate you for lying to me! Your the worst parent ever!” Well, that might be a bit harsh. She might just give me the silent treatment and poop in the living room.

So, while on vacation the time was ours and we really didn’t know what to do. But our old habits came back and we were without dog. It was great for about 4 days. And then we started missing her. We missed how much she loved us and how annoying she is in the morning, jumping on you to wake you up. We missed her zooming through the house with Cletis her love bear or Froggy her gay tutu wearing frog. We missed her excitement of seeing us when we walked in the door, like she’s been waiting all day but decided to shred up the couch pillows until our arrival. Like child’s artwork, she’s always got something to show us but we can’t put it on the fridge.

Our little family is back together and she was very happy to see us when we picked her up. Now we are all back into her routine and it seems normal. Even Cletis is happy to be home.

The Way I See It…Thanks Starbucks

Starbucks is a way of life for some. Don’t be mad but I do visit my local Starbucks… frequently. Mostly because I am too lazy to grind my ordered coffee beans, pack them into the thingy, brew, and then steam my milk. Seems like too much work. So the American laziness came out when our company moved and there is a Starbucks on the way to work. So I stop.

Don’t worry my friends things are about to change. After my visit to Minnesota, I brought home some coffee beans. Beans that I cannot get out here, unless I order online and have them shipped, then yes I can get them out here. But that’s no fun. So while in the land of 10,000 beers, er I mean lakes, I picked up a bag of Caribou Coffee beans. If you have a subscription of Consumer Reports you would have read about their coffee. If you don’t, then you’ll just have to believe me.

These beans smell so good and amazingly taste good too. Wow, for the first time, coffee that tastes like it smells! It’s a whole new morning for me. So now the bad news. I have to clean out my espresso maker, grind my beans, pack them into the little thingy, brew and steam my milk. So the way I see it (opinions on Starbucks cups) it might give me a sense of accomplishment if and when I ever brew my own latte. The way Starbucks sees it, they might be seeing me just as much. But I’ll try not to let that happen. Oh, the challenge is on!

Chit to the Chat

In certain situations we tend to chit chat. So what do we chit chat about? Oh lots of stuff. It can vary to the easiest the weather, or to how you are doing, all the way to whom you are doing.

I was at the orthodontist the other day getting an adjustment. Actually, there isn’t any adjustments made, just a different color put on. But that day, major adjustments were done. So after my rubber bands were taken off, I sat there reclined waiting for the Ortho to come around. This one assistant was there when I had my braces put on and I hadn’t seen her since. I don’t know everyone’s name there, so let’s call her Sara. With the blonde hair and facial mask, she looks like a Sara. So Sara looks at me and says, “How have you been?” “Good, I see there are lots of new faces here.” “Yes there are.” So I think, should I introduce myself, they all know my name so that would be dumb. But I don’t know their names. This seems a little unfair.

“I like what you’ve done to your hair” she said. “Thanks.” and Ortho showed up in the nick of time with more wire to stick in my mouth. This chit chat was unusual because they never talk to me there. It’s usually just the Ortho talking to me and assistants like Sara asking me what color I would like. So in this case the chit chat was a nice change. Heck, these people are seeing me for another year, they should get to know me!

Chit chat at work is different. Most of the time it’s to A) learn something about your co-workers or B) get out of doing what is killing you at the time. B seems to be my reason for it. But sometimes it can go too far. Like today. I’m sitting in my office editing and one of the fellow ladies said that she’s “shacking up with her husband this weekend.” Um, ok. Gross. And she used the term “shacking up” which just showed her age even more. That kind of chit chat is unacceptable in my book. I don’t want to know of older people “shacking up” married or not. In our office that would have created a “hostile work environment” or an “unwelcomed comment.” I learned that in Diversity Training. And I plan to use these comments to the fullest extent of the office law! I should have gone to her and said, “Your comment about shacking up was an unwelcomed comment.” But I don’t have balls.

Don’t forget the chit chat that you weren’t meant to hear. This is generally the best. Let’s say you are walking to the water cooler and there is a office right by it. A conversation about someone is going on. And it’s good chat. So you take your time, milling around the cooler taking sips of your water getting all the chat you can take until someone notices you. Or you are in your office and people are talking outside of it. Naturally your ears perk up if you are not involved with what you are doing. And remember I’m always under the “B” category so I tend to listen and look right at them. Maybe I shouldn’t make it so obvious. I’ll try to remember that for next time.

I should introduce some new chit chat topics. But it’s too hard to come up with some ahead of time. I guess spur-of-the-moment chit chat is the best. But honestly, I don’t want to hear about you shacking up.

Ode to Halloween

I really like Halloween. My husband does too. This is the only time of year where we can dress up and have fun (I know it’s cliche). And we usually find a great party to go too. Since it’s only August and no parties have been named, we have already picked out our costumes in preperation for a potential gathering.

Now before I tell you what they are, don’t pee your pants, I want to explain the thought process behind the selections:

Justin always finds some crazy character to be. I’m still waiting for him to ask me to make a Batman suit, I’m really surprised it hasn’t come up yet. So this year was no different in picking his. He wanted to be a character that you really wouldn’t know about unless you lived in our world. The geek world. Last year he was Strong Bad, the comical, flash annimation character made famous by reading his e-mails. So I made him a mask that looked like Strong Bad and he had red boxing gloves and he was a hit at the geek party we went to. He took the gloves off to eat, but didn’t take the mask off. Let’s just say, his mouth was dirty.

So this year when Napolean Dynamite came out Halloween popped in his head. “I’m going to be him for Halloween!” “Napolean?” “NO! Rex Qwan Doo.” Oh geez! But actually it will be much easier to make that costume than the Strong Bad one, oh the pain! So over the 4th of July weekend, we went to the material store and bought striped and starred material, shooting glasses, and a bandana. I had to find a pattern for the pants. They are parachute pants and yes, they still make a pattern. Look out Rex Qwan, Justin is going to teach you a lesson in Qwan Dooing!

My costume idea is always based on something completely different. I choose whatever I wanted to be when I was a kid. This year, I’ve departed from that school of thought. Last year I was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Nothing fancy, but I did make it. Justin even ordered me the Gryffindor patches for my cape. GEEK I know, but it was fun. So this year, with my marathon training, my legs are shaping up. And by October 31, they should be hot. With that in mind, I’ve decided to be an adult version of the St. Pauli Girl. And so people know why I’m dressed like a bar maiden, I’ll walk around with a six pack of the beer. I’ll be like the beer fairy, handing out cool frosty beverages. I’m sure to be a hit, if not, the beer will be. Rex Qwan Doo has a new lady in town, St. Pauli Girl.

Scully, my min-pin, has been a witch for 2 years. But since she’s an adult now (just graduated dog obedience!) we are dressing her up as a horse. She’s really excited. She’s been practicing her naying and she’s getting pretty good!

So there you have it. I hope you figure out what you are going to be. You only have 2 months left! Hurry up or all the good costumes will be gone.

Land of 10,000 Beers

My husband and I are heading to Minnesota on Friday to attend his 10 year High School reunion. Should be interesting because it seems everyone in Minnesota drinks. Beer is the drink of choice everywhere. However, it’s not like Wisconsin where you have a bar selling Blue Ribbon every block. And I mean EVERY block. Especially in the small towns, more bars than people!

A few months back I started training for the Las Vegas Marathon and now Justin runs with me. I’m not sure, but I think he wants to get rid the belly, the product of too much beer. He’s doing a great job (keep it up justy!) so I’m sure his belly will be gone, but I don’t think by Friday. To perpetuate the drinking problem, his parents called us a couple of days ago to ask what kind of beer we wanted in the house. Justin named off a bunch of different ones. So yesterday they called to tell us they got about 5 different kinds. Um, ok. I know I’ll be on vacation, but I don’t want every night to be a drinking contest with the fam.

Everytime we go home to Minnesota it’s like a High School/College reunion. Justin is in touch with most of his old classmates. We fly in, hang out and guess what, drink beer. So I assume the reunion won’t be that different. Just more bellies to look at. Now I’m painting a pretty bad picture of my husband, but he’s not over weight at all, just has this little belly that I assume all men have.

Here is my predicted run down of my vacation in Minnesota:
Plane lands, change, off to the reunion, drink beer.
Next morning, get up, drive to Wisconsin, drink beer.
Go to the Dells, drink beer all day (get dehydrated).
Probably go shopping and have beer at lunch and dinner.

See a pattern. I will be there for more than a week and I’m guess that I will probably consume 2 cases of beer while there. Holy crap, that’s a lot of beer. I hope I’m up to it.