Warning: 12 year-old boys at work

It started here.   And as is always the case, plumbed the depths of molten-core stupidity within a few minutes.  i love these crazy bastards…
cramnitram:  Bad news.  How long can you survive on beer alone?  Long enough to get scurvy!

daisyfae:  Drinking only Blue Moon, with substantial slices of orange, could certainly delay scurvy.  More experimentation.  We need science, damn it!
ninjaneer:  But then Blue Moon ups the prevalence of the trots and subsequent dehydration……question is, does this constitute a reasonable trade-off?
RN:  Not to mention if your drinking Blue Moon then you have a high probability of being gay, giving you a statistically higher chance of dying from AIDS. Beer alone is ‘iffy’, but Busch and Ring Dings probably has all you need. 
ninjaneer:  I would have to concur with this assessment.  I, myself, stick with Bourbons and the occasional Tennessee Sour Mash.  Beer drinkers have always struck me as slightly effeminate, and frankly, unable to carry on serious barroom discourse through their constant preening, primping and giggling. 
daisyfae:  RN, your use of the words “busch” and “ring dings”, amidst your obvious homophobia, are a bit much.  Tone it down, please.  I’m trying to work here…
ninjaneer: A sure sign of Living in Lifestyle Denial if I ever saw it.  Classic Textbook……
RJak:  I have to agree with RN.  Blue Moon is the VW Jetta of beers.  It is socially acceptable for women but for guys it leads one to ask “Is he …?”  And if a guy drinks a Blue Moon with orange slices – question answered. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
RN: It gets even worse, did you know Ring Dings are a product rip off of Ding Dongs?  
ninjaneer:  ….and how does this all relate to Dong Rings
cramnitram:  Dong rings are just a bigger version, except in your case, ninjaneer.
RN:  It relates via the mysterious yogis in the Kentucky mountains who live on nothing but bourbon, the movie was “Lord of the Dongs”
TC: ….as the ninjaneer always used to say……’Dong Rings before Ding Dongs….never sicker…..Ding Dongs before Dong Rings…..’  uh….I can’t remember the rest. 
RN:  Ding Dongs were made by Hostess I think and Ring Dings was something I can’t remember.  Same crappy cylindrical black cake with crème in the middle
ninjaneer:  I’m not a big fan of Dong Rings…..but when she insists – think radiator hose clamp…..
RN:  …and “Ding Dongs” changed name to “King Dons” for a while, then back to “Ding Dongs”.  I know all that, and you say I am not a MAN?

daisyfae:  “Ring Dings” (by Drakes) were the original chocolate sponge-cake hockey puck, and they sued Hostess for infringement when “Ding Dongs” were introduced.  The “King Dons” name was a negotiated solution.  Hostess, however, bought Drakes in 1998, returning the name to “Ding Dongs”.  I have finally proven that the internet is good for something other than porn.

ninjaneer:  I’d like a minute for rebuttal…..
daisyfae:  yeah, but you’ll have to explain to the guys in bio-environmental health what all that stuff is on your monitor.
TC:  you mean that dribble on the floor?
RN:  “Don King’s Dong Ring”
ninjaneer:  ten times, really fast!


A series of messages exchanged with a friend today, helping pass the hours as we both slogged through work stuff.  We kinda sorta almost briefly dated, but it quickly became clear that he likes small, attractive and normal women and i prefer men who are a little bitter, very twisted and somewhat broken we were both looking for different things. 

We remained friends, and spent more than a few happy hours commiserating about our troubles with persons harbouring opposing genitalia.

Our conversations included a lot of questions, ball-busting and throwing of the bullshit flag as necessary.  These kind of friends are invaluable.  Having an honest broker, representing a completely different point of view, who questions “Why?” can do wonders for your thought processes if you are drilling down to the center of your beliefs. 

Well, up until the point you want to slap him…

An attractive, intense and relatively conservative man, he spent a portion of his career in the cockpit of military jets as a weapons system officer.  Fairly messy divorce, with the ex-wife moving his kids to the east coast.  He left town a couple of years ago to get a job on out there, closer to his three teenaged children.

HotStuff:  Hey, daisyfae!  How goes it?

daisyfae:  Life is good!  How are things out east?

HotStuff:  Pretty good!  Building a house, closer to where the kids are.  Haven’t missed the associated yard work for the past four years, so it will be an adjustment.  How’s your collection of boy toys coming along?  Do you have a complete set?

daisyfae:  Entertaining, to say the least.  Two new ones since we last talked.  One?  About 60 miles east, and the other lives about 60 miles south!

HotStuff:  You don’t like those boys too close, do you?  Same town does have advantages, though.

daisyfae:  i get cranky when they get too close.  They get all up in my bidness and want to actually get to know me…  That’s when it stops being fun – for everyone involved.  Geography is my friend!  You still seeing that gal who works back here?

HotStuff:  Yes.  And we’re reaching a decision point soon.  The distance is making it tough.

daisyfae:  Committment is hard, but apparently can be worth the effort. So i’ve been told.   i hope it works out for you!

HotStuff:  Too bad I can’t wargame this…

daisyfae:  You can flow chart it.  Analysis of Alternatives.  Eventually, you can at least identify the options you can’t live with, and perhaps a few paths that get you closer to where you want to be.  But that relationship crap is smelly – people are the worst kind of unknowns.

HotStuff:  You aren’t serious, are you?  Flow charting won’t work with relationships.  It just gives you an excuse to get out.  It is only as good as your assumptions, so really all you end up doing is picking your answer and rationalizing it with science.

daisyfae:  i usually just work through a range of “best case”, “worst case” and “probable case” scenarios.  Until i get bored, or realize “Nah, i really don’t want to do that…” and quit.   You’re right, though.  It just provides pretense of logic.

HotStuff:  Wargaming. That’s far more rigorous!  Now, I just need to look up the parameters for a standard woman…

For better, for worse.

“You’ve got to promise me that if anything happens to me, you’ll look out for her.”

These words were spoken by TK, my sister’s partner for over five years.  We were motoring back from Elliot Key in their boat, after a relaxing day on the water.  T was snoozing on the rear bench seat, while TK and i sat in the wheelhouse and talked, watching the Miami skyline sparkle at twilight.

i had made a weekend trip to attend the surprise 50th birthday party TK held for T last August.  After a gorgeous day on the water, with T sleeping and the wind noise drowning out our voices, TK and i had a chance to discuss T’s life-long battle with bipolar disorder.

daisyfae: i promised my Dad that i’d take care of her, and the others.  So i’m in it with you, for as long as you two are together.

TK:  I’m in it forever!  I want to grow old with her.  She’s perfect for me, and I can’t imagine life without her!  I’ve read up on bipolar, and read some of the books written by partners of people with bipolar.  Pretty sure I won’t be able to do this alone if it gets rough.

daisyfae:  Menopause and bipolar are a particularly tricky combination – and she just turned fifty!  Make sure she pays close attention to her hormones. 

TK:  I’ll do whatever it takes.  It’ll help to know you’ve got my back.

daisyfae:  She has had a tendency to lose her balance about every 3-5 years.  It’s been awhile, so i’m wondering if she’s due for some serious trouble.

And here we are nine months later.  i think the current situation counts as “serious trouble”.  T called Mom at midnight last Tuesday, talking rapid-fire, and obviously under a lot of stress.  Mom called to get me engaged… and after some calls to T, and TK from the road earlier this week, it was pretty obvious that T might be headed for hospitalization.  Which should be avoided if at all possible, as there would be potentially damaging professional implications if it becomes necessary.

Sitting in an airport Wednesday night, i was on the phone with T as i waited for my delayed flight* to board.  She was at home with TK, and was screaming into the phone about the horrible things TK had been doing in regard to the sale of their current house, and the renovations on their future home. 

If you’ve ever dealt with someone in the throes of a full-blown breakdown**, then you may know what this sounds like. 

My sister, T, is brilliant.  She is gifted with words.  When the brain chemistry goes awry?  She has the ability to cut you to the very molecules of your soul with her words.  The more she loves you?  The worse she can stab you, as she knows where to place the dagger with surgical precision.

i listened as she dished a vile stew of acidic words.  Tearing TK apart.  i listened as a door slammed in the background as TK couldn’t take any more of it and walked out.  A thousand miles away, and i could do nothing, except sit in a quiet corner of an airport and try to convince my sister that the most important thing she could do right now is sleep.


More phone calls yesterday, and today.  T’s therapist is involved.  Exchanging text messages, offering whatever help i can provide.  Offering to fly down there if it would help.  And a long talk with TK tonight.  Wondering if she can get past the words.  Wondering how they can work it out.  Wondering if T could possibly still love her in light of all that anger. 

i reminded her that T’s been through these times before.  She will get it behind her again and move forward.  The words are her primary defense mechanism when she feels like everything is collapsing around her.  There can be healing – as evidenced by the fact that i’m still engaged after being on the receiving end of her verbal switch blade several times.

Then the text a few minutes ago…

TK:  I love T so much.  If I could do anything to go back in time and fix it, I would.  Life without her would be meaningless.  I knew when I met her that she was and is perfect for me.  I don’t want to lose her.

We should all be so lucky as to know that kind of love…

Oh, and by the way?  They are forbidden by law from marrying.  As you can clearly see, it would denigrate the foundation of society if we ever allowed legalization of same-sex marriage amongst such wanton, promiscuous and amoral homosexuals.


* i know you are as stunned as i am that i had another fucked up flight this week…..

** Hell, just pull up some of the recent videos of Charlie Sheen.  That’s what it looks like, folks.

Letting the days go by…

Over the past five days, i’ve done all of the following things, not in any particular order:

– Sang with a rock and roll band in a redneck bar.  Got invited back.

– Laughed my fool ass off at the funniest Broadway musical ever created.

– Was enthralled, and mildly aroused, by the brutal grace of the sport known as flat-track women’s roller derby.

– Connected with a man i met when i was 10 years old, over a gourmet meal he prepared for me, watching the full moon rise over the East River.

– Spent an undeniably wonderful evening celebrating my brother-in-laws retirement… with my family.

– Nearly gotten “Taxi Face” from being slammed into the plexiglass divider in a NYC cab en route from La Guardia airport.

– Carried an empty cat-carrier through a bar saying “Stand back! Lion cub!”

– Shared contraband liquor with local politicians at a formal fundraising luncheon.

– Failed to recognize my own brother, as he’d shaved his head of the artificially darkened scraggy pony tail, and had bought some new glasses…

– Cast votes in my homeowners association annual election via text message to my ‘proxy’.

– Finessed a solution to a  potentially deal-breaking barrier to a collaboration between universities, industry and government research organizations.

– Drank hot sake with a hot date while eating a $10 piece of raw fish.

– Talked to my dog over the phone.

– Harassed people doing a television shoot by saying “Excuse me, are you somebody?”

– Drooled on my shirt while sleeping on an airplane.

– Fought with a hot date over who got to order “edamame” because we both like saying it.

– Talked to my Mom about budding family disturbance while looking out on Times Square through the same window used by Dick Clark’s cryogenically preserved head on New Year’s Eve.

– Saw a mummy.

– Packed for a roadtrip in less than an hour.

– Watched some B-list pop stars dance to their new release in the executive lounge of a NYC bar.  At 4:00pm in the afternoon.

– Talked my sister’s partner off a ledge as she deals with her first serious bipolar disorder breakdown. 

– Wrote a blog post that will be read by a couple hundred people or so from around the world… while eating lunch and swilling a couple pints of beer in a fake Irish pub, waiting the start of my next Broadway show…

And the question remains:  How did a bedraggled, snot-nosed loser of a kid from a virtual trailer park in the midwestern United States ever land this gig?

“How did i get here?”

– David Byrne

Runaway Brain

During the monthly happy hour with my Breast Cancer Broads, my phone rang vibrated.  “RESTRICTED”, according to caller ID.  i ignored it, and continued on yakking with my friends.  About 10 minutes later, it went off again.  Unrecognizable series of numbers, never mind that i was with friends, so again i let it go to voice mail. 

Of course, no message alert tweaked me later.  Continuing with the festivities, i didn’t give it much thought.

The third time it went off, i was starting to get annoyed.  “C’mon!”, i thought, “Either leave a message or stop bothering me!”

Right around the same time, the thought dropped into my brain like a cartoon anvil: “Oh, shit!  That was from London!  Where my daughter is curently living!  SHIT!*”

Immediate distraction.  Racing thoughts.  We were finishing up our gathering, so i excused myself and raced home to check e-mail.  Mind was going a mile a minute.   “It’s almost midnight there.  If she was just calling to say ‘hi’, she’d have left a message.  Why was it showing ‘restricted’, then a number? Hospital?  What if she’s in the hospital after getting hit by a car because she didn’t look left when crossing a street or if she had an anxiety attack or was mugged of wants to come home because she hates school or she’sbeenabuctedbyaliens…”

You get the idea.

Rushing into my bedroom and lighting up the laptop.  No e-mail.  i quickly dug up the phone number for her mobile phone in London and called from the landline at home.  Went to voicemail almost immediately.  Leaving a “What’s up?” message – while trying to sound calm – i then sat back to catch my breath.

Mind continues to work…

“OK.  i can’t really do much even if something is wrong.  Bob** is there, and has her back.  Should i send him an e-mail?  No, it’s midnight there.  What the hell difference does it make whether i find out what’s up now or later?  Christ, it’s been another twenty minutes!  She’s fine – this is the kid who survived a bar fight in a Turkish brothel in Istanbul.  What happened? Did she get ejected from the program for some weird administrative problem?  Airfare is about a grand, but i could get there tomorrow night if i have to but why the fuck hasn’t she called back by now?”

Again, you get the idea…

Although it seemed like hours, my phone rang about five minutes later.  It was The Girl.

The Girl:  Hey, Ma.

daisyfae: What’s up?

The Girl:  I’m just doing some laundry and thought it would be easier to call than send you an e-mail tonight… Got your e-mail about sending a package, and would love it if you could find a battery charger for my camera.

daisyfae [finally breathing normally again]: Damn good to hear that!  i was pretty worried – once i realized it was you calling, i sort of freaked out.  Why did it take so long for you to call again? i was starting to lose it…

The Girl:  I got talking with this really neat French student down in the laundry room…

daisyfae:  ….

Check out the Disney short feature here.  Mickey discovers ‘shrooms…

* In case you’re wondering why i didn’t call her back?  i don’t have international calling enabled on my mobile.  i already provide my arm and leg when i fill up a car with gas, so there’s no need to provide the other appendages to the phone company for a service i rarely use…

** He’s an instructor at the school she is attending.  He’s also known her since she was born.  In fact, we recently started the rumor within his family that she is his “love child” from our youthful [ahem] entanglements.  And by the way folks, he’s not a ‘gold star gay’.

Multi-Task Hero

One of my favorite people at work is KM.  She is the Organizational Development (OD) specialist for a >1,000 person organization that consists primarily of scientists and engineers.  She should get combat pay for dealing with introverted, communicationally-challenged and surprisingly emotionally needy humans on a daily basis.

We bonded fairly early after my arrival in the new shop about two years ago.  Every now and then she would stop by my office just to say “Fuck” because it was a safe place for her to say it.  We have provided mutual respite care for each other when the corporate “You’ve Got To Be Shitting Me?” factor reaches alert levels…

One of the reasons she’s my hero is that she is not only a professional management consultant, but she’s an engaged wife/mother and citizen of the community around her.  Oh, and she decided to start pursuing her PhD this year on top of everything else she takes on… 

We agreed a few months ago that i would be her “Boot In The Ass, B.I.T.A”, checking in with her periodically to watch the stress levels, provide a source of non-judgmental “how’s that working for you?” reflection, and gossip about the nerd-force assess other environmental factors affecting her ability to juggle all of it.

Today was B.I.T.A. Session Number One.

i got to her office around 3:00pm.  She apologized up front…

OD Goddess:   Between the time I pinged you, and the time you got here, I got sucked into an interactive chat session.  A woman at the front office needs to unload some back story about this website development activity we’ve both worked…

daisyfae:  Hey, i can come back later if you need to focus on it… no worries…

OD Goddess:  Oh, no.  I just need to give her a virtual “head nod” every now and then.

She then turned to the computer screen, and typed “Gotcha!” in the chat window.  From there?  She started to give me the status update of her coursework. 

We continued our conversation, and she would periodically disengage for a microsecond, catch up on the chat history, and type “Wow!” or “Oh, Lordy!  Not again!” and then without missing a beat, go on to re-address her current playing field – at work, school and home.  As she laid out her circumstances, we talked about what she really needed from me as “B.I.T.A. Counselor”.  And she continued to provide encouragement to the stressed-out colleague uploading a painful bureaucratic experience.

By the end of the conversation, she needed to re-engage her virtual colleague, and we’d covered the turf necessary.  She laughed as she said “And the next time we’re on chat, you’re going to wonder who the hell is in my office, and what I’m REALLY doing!”

With her ability to multi-task? i suggested there could be a second career for her working sex-chat rooms.  And we could sit together, yak, drink beer and eat chocolate while it was all going down…


My plan is working.  It is now “Day 4” of “Operation Attrition”. 

The Girl has been in London since Tuesday, and the refrigerator is beginning to get a bit lean…  Most of the fresh stuff is winnowed down.  Just a few lumps of fresh-ish pineapple and melon in the plastic buckets, and some not-quite-ready-to-wilt green stuff in the crisper.

i’ve made a dent in the yogurt, tortillas and spreadable cheeses.  Oh, and the open bottles of wine?  That’s being cleared tonight.  By the end of the weekend?  The visible shelf space will exceed that which is occupied.

In the freezer quadrant, i’ve made a dent in some of the frozen vegetarian meal-like-substances.  It’s only been four days, and i’ve focused on bashing my way through the fresh stuff.  Before it gets fuzzy.

i love it when a plan comes together…

The Girl will be studying in London for another month.  For the past two years, i have avoided grocery shopping, which i despise.  Her contribution, as a citizen of the household, has been to take on the responsibility for stocking the fridge, freezer and pantry*.  It’s worked out well.

It is time to clean out the fridge.  Rotate stock in the pantry.  Yes, this is my excuse.  THIS is the reason i shall be able to avoid going to the grocery store for the entire month.

Not that she’s going to feel guilty when she comes home and finds the cupboards bare.  Or my sunken cheeks, pleading eyes and potentially** shriveled carcass… Passive aggressive much?

image found here

* i still buy beer, wine and booze as needed…. Priorities, folks…

** Sadly, i could wander the desert for a month, subsisting on cactus fluids, rodent hulls and scorpion meat and STILL not be emaciated.  The joys of being a chubby…

Surreal vs Absurd

 “This is so fucking surreal!”  Words uttered by my daughter very early this morning…

Somewhere around 2:00 am, i pulled my car onto the shoulder of an interstate highway, just in front of a police car with the lights flashing.  Checking for traffic, i walked back towards the flashing lights.  First my daughter appeared through the blinding lights, followed by the silhouette of the officer.

daisyfae:  You’re ok!

The Girl [noticing my outfit under the black leather trench coat]:  Jesus, Mom!  Where were you?

daisyfae:  Fundraiser… A costume party!  Raising money to renovate the canoe club.

Officer Snarky:  We have a “canoe club”?  Seriously?

daisyfae:  Christ!  i took off the feather boa and General’s hat! 

In the meantime, Studly McRocklegs has inspected the damage on the car. 

Studly:  Do you want to see this?

Walking over, i notice fur everywhere.  As if it had snowed deer fur.

daisyfae:  Damn!  This could have been a lot worse.  Where’s Bambi?

The Girl points to a large tan lump on the edge of the grassy median strip.

daisyfae:  Sucks to be him…

We unload her gear into my car, Officer Snarky returns to his vehicle, saying he’s just going to fill out paperwork, update his facebook status, call a few friends, while we wait for the tow truck. 

The Girl:  This happens every time i’m about to leave the country*!  It’s a jinx!

daisyfae:  You’ve never been at fault in any of these accidents.  Nothing you can do to avoid a suicidal deer, either. 

After the tow truck arrives, and starts to haul the car onto the flatbed, we head back to my car. 

Studly [to The Girl]:  Do you want to ride up front, or in the back seat with the Djembe drum and hula hoop?

The Girl: I’m a vegetarian!  I don’t kill things!

We got home, and somewhere toward sleep around 4:00am.  She had to be at work at 6:00am.  i drove. 

Just another Saturday night.  And what is the difference between surrealism and absurdism?  Does it matter?

* For three trips overseas, she’s ended up involved in some sort of car accident within a week of her departure.  In this case?  i was really looking forward to having access to a non-shitmobile while she studies in London for a month.  My guess is that the car will be in the body shop for most of that time…