Pretending to be my dog….

It has been quite crazy these last two weeks. I needed it to be so much less crazy. My coping skills are nearly broken… and my patience left mid week.  It has been a roller coaster ride, that spat me out finally in my front yard, on my back, staring into the sky next to my dog.  But to just review this recent ride:

Week before last was the end of the school year for  West Sound Academy. Students taking final exams, international students saying good bye, and then graduation for the class of 2011.  I’m so proud of those wonderful young people.

And then I start to plummet down. My own kids had their last week of school. When I wanted to celebrate with them I couldn’t. I wanted to just relax, and couldn’t. I was racing to get report cards edited, complete the final transcripts, so much work to do! My two international students were packing to go back to their families. I wanted to hang out with them, and couldn’t. Philipp’s mom even came to stay with us for a few days. What little time I could squeeze in to be with her left us both wishing we had MORE TIME. And then yesterday they were gone. Fred left for China this morning. I’ve been cheated out of the moments that were supposed to be filled with joy and reflection of the last year.

I’ve hit the bottom and I’m exhausted.

I noticed my old dog lying in the front yard.  There are tufts of her fur everywhere because she is constantly shedding. I start to walk around her, and pick up the fur.

She’s awake, but has her eyes closed, just chilling out. I want THAT. So I lie on the ground next to her. She checks me out and gives me a few kisses. I try to imagine what she might be thinking, and it occurs to me that she is probably not thinking at all. She’s just blinking.

I think, “I’m gonna try this.”  On my back staring up through the branches of a tree and into the sky beyond.  It’s cloudy. Quiet. All I can hear is bird chatter and my son sweeping his hand through his bin of Legos in his room. I can hear an airplane. That’s all. Birds, Legos, and an airplane. I blink.. like my dog,  totally wishing I was really a dog and this was the extent of my existence.

My old girl Leica… she will be 15 in August. that is 105! I look over at her, blinking, shedding, chilling.  Shedding. That’s what I was doing…. picking up fur in the front yard.  So.. I give up the sweet fantasy and decide to finish the task, and resume peopleish type things.

But I can’t get off the ground. Seriously. My back seizes up as I try to just roll over. It’s awkward.. I’m wincing in pain, trying to get on all fours so I can somehow pull myself to my feet.  She’s blinking… still, at 105.  I’m 40, slowly trying to stand up and hoping none of my neighbors chose this moment for an evening stroll.

So… I totally enjoyed pretending to be her. But my body is not used to being still, and not on the ground.. so it looks like I’m stuck in peoplehood for now.  Here is a darling video my husband put together of our old girl last summer.. doing her doggy chill out thing.  What  a life.

dog dayz from gman on Vimeo.


4.28 minutes of musical bliss

Today was another one of those working at warp speed days.  No.. better than that, ludicrous speed.  You know, kind of like this:


Yep.  That fast.  I was a phone answerin, spreadsheet fixin, bee sting nursin, copy machine NINJA today.  No joke.  So when it got to the end of my work day, and when I say the end, I mean an hour later than I was supposed to leave, I was exhausted.

My drive home was the only wind down time I was going to get so I forced myself into a mental escape by listening to an incredible new song.  My friend Dave, made of better than sunshine, sent me an itunes gift, Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap.  It is so………..*searching for words*…………gasp, the perfect escape song for me.  So, me and Imogen are singing loud and proud.. sunroof open, speeding down my windy wooded road home.  I start to see the ominous orange ‘road construction ahead signs.’  And. I’m. Stopped.  By a dude, with a stop sign, and I even have to wait for a pilot car.  I’m the first car in the line-up, so I know I’m going to be a while.  I realize that Imogen and I have the Honda practically levitating so I turn her down just as the song restarts.  Yeah, had it on repeat, can’t get enough.  But then Construction dude looks at me…and gives me the international sign for “hey….turn that up!”

I smirk, at this dude’s ‘playing it cool’ move and crank it so loud my review mirror nearly launches itself off the windshield.  This guy was not playing it cool though.  He WAS cool.  He knew the song, loved the song, I could tell.  Watching him mouth the words, and anticipate the highs and lows of the song with his head moving just a touch, or shifting his feet.  Every now and then he would smile at me.. and I was equally enjoying the song.  4.28 minutes of shared muscial bliss with a stranger.  How cool is that?

But then our 4.28 minutes were over.  Song ended.  I panicked and stopped it from repeating so as not to look like a song obsessed dork.  But how do you follow THAT song?!  Impossible, so I decided to fake a phone call to kill a bit more time until the pilot car arrived.  Whew.. it was on it’s way.

I drove by Construction Dude, rolled down the window and yelled, “That was awesome!”  As soon as it left my lips I realized that I was embarrassed by my choice of words.  As though I were about to flop back on my pillow and have a cigarette, really.  He said, “I love that song!”  I wish I’d said something like that.

And now for you….the song that brought on a unique, blissful, musical moment in my day:


Hide and Seek, by Imogen Heap. You can’t get embed with this song, you have to go to her.  Just like a woman.

Thanks again Dave, for the song, and somehow not knowing just what I need.  Check out Dave’s Blog on Sustainable Seafood. He is funny AND smart.

Gravity wins again!

So… as usual…at my desk, minding my bidness (daydreaming and whatnot) when our handsome landscaper man walks up and says:

“Here Lisa, I brought these flowers for you…they smell as sweet as you look!”

Well, actually, that is not how it all played out, but remember.. I was mid-daydream when he walked up to my desk and said:

“I was just pruning some of the bushes and trees outside and brought up these cuttings in case anyone would like to take some home. They smell kinda nice.”

Me:  “ME! ME! ME!”

Him:  “You can share them, you know.”

Me: “Can, but not going to.” *so smug*

I loves me mah flowers.  Right?  I got this large scent organ in my nose and all….

So, not too much later at the end of the day, I walk around to be sure our buildings are locked up. Handsome landscaper man was out on the riding lawn mower with his straw hat on…mowing a particular area in a LOOP PATTERN.  This is important information for you.

As I am walking.. in my cute little blue dress and strappy wedge heels.. I see him and offer up a casual wave, he waves from the mower.  I check the door. Locked.  I turn to strut my stuff back to the office just as handsome landscaper man is facing me on “the loop.”  We exchange smiles (no need to over do the whole waving bit) and he makes his turn.  All the while, I’m still pretending he actually GAVE me flowers and ‘aren’t I just the cutest thing in the dress and sandals.’

Then it happens. My left heel slips off the wedge, and I see concrete coming at me FAST!  Hit my right knee and right wrist.  Then I just laid there for a sec to be sure I didn’t break something this time.   No bodily injuries but my ego is surely bruised.  And suddenly I am back to reality:  I could hear the mower and realized he would be turning the loop and facing my direction any moment!  I scrambled up.. and glanced his way to see…..yes… his back was still to me.  Whew! I walk away giggling and rubbing my ouchy wrist.  That was almost humiliating.

In my defense, my left leg and foot can not be relied upon for stability right now.  I had an MRI last week.. still suffering with the sciatica and my leg and foot are, well, numb.  So.. I know.. why in all my brilliance do I slip my compromised foot into 2 inch heels?  

Because they are cute.  With my dress.  That’s why.

Bathroom Etiquette

I have some serious pet peeves when it comes to the bathroom.  SERIOUS!  The first thing that annoys me, and I must fix it immediately, is improperly installed toilet paper.  

So… which of the following is the correct way to install your TP?

a.  With paper roll dispensing sheets from the top

b.  With paper roll dispensing sheets from underneath

c.  It doesn’t matter, both ways are fine.




C. WRONG AND LAZY!  It’s a wonder you don’t use the sink for your business!  

Here’s an instructional video to help  you get this simple task right:

The second item is the much debated, seat up vs. seat down.  Three times today I found the seat UP in our faculty bathroom.  Once.. there was unflushed pee! 

I was PISSED (giggling)!  So I typed up this note and taped it at eye level for those who stand to pee:

seat up!

Now.. I caught a lot of flack from some men friends about this.  Why should the women get special treatment.. and blah blah blah whatever….(grrrrr!)

To validate the rule LAW that the seat should always be put down, I searched to vault of all truths.. the internets.  Here’s what I found at The International Center for Bathroom Etiquette:

We get asked this question all of the time:

Should I leave the seat up, or put the seat down?

Sometimes it’s at work, sometimes it’s at home, but our answer (with a few small exceptions) is always the same…

Leave the seat down!

Listen, this isn’t about logic, or statistics, or minimizing global effort or anything other than etiquette and doing what’s right. It’s right to leave the seat down, because women prefer it that way. It’s right to leave the seat down because it’s simply the nice thing to do. Oh, and you know how you say it’s so easy for women to put the seat down before they go? While it’s just as easy for men to put the seat down after they go. You get to pee while standing up. Women don’t, so grant them this one small courtesy!

But what about those exceptions I was talking about? While there’s really only one. If you live alone, and never entertain female company, go ahead and leave the seat up. Otherwise, be a real man and leave it down.

Okay, I lied – maybe there are two exceptions. Rick brings up the case where a toilet is going to be used exclusively by men, even if only temporarily. Say your buddy is having a fantasy football draft, there’s 15 guys in the house, no women, and a ton of beer. There’s going to be a lot of peeing, and a lot of bathroom usage, and not a lot of reason to keep putting the seat down only to have the next guy lift it back up, or even worse, pee all over it.

Finally, Andrew reminds me of the following very important consideration:

I notice that your site has a page about seat position, but fails to take hygiene into account; any bathroom with a toothbrush less than 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) away from the toilet seat should not only have the seat down, but the cover as well. Admittedly, this method isn’t convenient for anybody, as whoever uses it will have to lift something, but otherwise, think about the germs that are mixed into the air and spread to your toothbrush the moment you flush.

This is good advice for anybody flushing a toilet in their home!

In MY house…. MY house.. we keep the lid down.  We don’t even keep our toothbrushes out, but the lid is always down.  I NEVER have to put the seat down at home.  My boys are well trained.  Now if I can only get my co-manworkers to get it right.  

Thanks ICBE!  Check out their other great bathroom etiquette tips.  Are you doing #1 and #2 in a mannerly fashion?  Are you?

The Nose Knows III

The Nose Knows.. has now become a trilogy.  It’s a powerful nose, smells both the good and the bad.   Here’s what my nostrils happened upon TODAY:

Sitting at my desk, minding my bidness  (daydreaming and whatnot), I actually see it before I smell it, a rarity in itself.  Greenish streaky smear on the floor behind my desk.  Here’s my approach:

Step 1:  Blame someone else for stepping in some kind of crap and bringin’ it to my personal space.  Then.. reluctantly.. get paper towels and wipe up whilst dry heaving. Stinky shit. Seriously. Done.

*Still smells poo*

Step 2:  Discovers that the poo is in fact on my OWN shoe, and after an embarrassed hop/walk to the ‘Lu’ I clean and sanitize my shoe and self, whilst dry heaving. Done.

*Still smells poo*

Step 3:  Irritated, I see that I have missed a terd on my OTHER shoe. Get myself back to the ‘Lu’ and remedy my situation.  Return to my desk with a can of Febreeze from the ‘Lu’ and spray the …well.. the whole floor, and the lobby for good measure.  Cause co-worker to struggle with breathing, however temporary.  Done.

*Still smells poo*

Step 4:  After mouthing a furious W-T-F!?!? I look for the still remaining stink. Oh, Mother of Pearl, it is ON. MY. CHAIR!!!  I roll my chair back and realize that each time I sat back down and put my feet on the legs/casters of my chair.. I was smearing the shit EVERYWHERE!  It was even, you know, (dry heaving now) up thar…in the wheel mechanism.  I can’t get to that with a paper towel and disinfectant! So pissed beyond measure, I wheel my shit seat outside and spray it full force  with our garden hose.  My laughing co-workers look on.. from inside the lobby.  I dry of my seat.. disinfect again, the chair and myself, and resume my serious work.

*no more smells*

I hardly EVER get a chance to go outside!  I went out, like, once.. to give a message to a kid.. and blammo!  I step in poo!  And what un-Godly creature made this poo?  It was like goose poo, but we don’t have geese, so I am thinking it was the Ring Necked Pheasant that’s been hanging around campus.  I’m going to be watching my step very carefully from now on!


Again… the nose knows!

I TOLD you I had an extra large scent organ.  Remember? Well it is one strong sniffer, and today it detected the ….ugh…. one of the most…undesirable scents of all. DEATH.

I’m sitting at my desk, minding my bidness like always. Daydreaming working on spreadsheets and what not.  I smell something.  It is definitely faint, but unpleasant.  I check my garbage can.  Nothing.. was just emptied last night. What could it be?  No… it couldn’t be…….me?  Pit check: no.  Shoe check: clean.  Shirt check: fresh.  Breath: like roses (some people are just lucky that way).  No idea…but the rankness is still there.

I’m a busy girl, don’t have time to investigate because I have daydreaming spreadsheets to work on.  I carry on with my work.

But that nose of mine.  I mean, that  NOSE!  It won’t let go of the smell.  So then I try to distract nose.  Someone who knows of my weakness for men’s cologne left smelly magazine ad on my desk To. Taunt. Me.  I press it to my face trying to distract nose from the stench.  Well, it worked for a while, but my brain went off into la la land as  is the affect of  men’s cologne.  It’s like trying to distract a hyper kid by giving them a chocolate cup cake.  Bad idea.

The cursor on my screen was in the same cell for like, 15 minutes.

This just won’t do.. so I decide to investigate a bit more.  I’m under my desk, moving the garbage can.. nothing.. and empty tub, nothing.. a rolling filing thingy…no, but then, I see…small.. black pellets on the floor.

That *%$#@ mouse is back!  We have a mouse problem in my building.  It has been trying to get into my chocolate stash without success.  It has pooped on my desk.  It has friends.  They have pooped in our kitchen both upstairs and downstairs.  Each morning I check the traps, dispose of what I find and disinfect everything and more before anyone else arrives. I am not squemish. I hate these little MFers.

Then I see it.  It is dangling from the frame of my rolling filing thingy, obviously got its legs caught and crapped itself a big pile on the floor below while it died.  I let out a pathetic girlish scream that is so unlike me.


And I ran away shaking my hands wailing “Dead Mouse! Dead Mouse!” like a complete idiot.

It was the smell, I’m sure that put me over the edge and turned me into a freak.  I mean, I was right there in close range smelling its poo and dead mouse.  A wonderful friend at work disposed of dead mouse while I walked outside for fresh air coupled with cologne sample shoved to my nose.

I go back in, grab the Clorox spray, paper towels and the Febreeze from the bathroom.  I clean up the poo and the rest of the floor around my desk.. and roller filer thingy.  Febreeze under my desk, and then.. for kicks…the whole lobby.

Ahhh, much better.  Now about that spreadsheet… ugh.


My boss donated a new coffee maker at work.  Bless his heart. 12 cupper.  The kind that you just press a button and it fills your cup.  No more leaky carafes.  Its all good right?

Then, he’s like, “but Lisa, let me show you how much coffee to use.  This new coffee maker doesn’t require as much grounds.”  He shows me an ittty bitty little scooper.  Like….. a teaspoon size people.  “You only need three scoops.”

Now I am kind.  And I am respectful. But I am not stupid and I am dang serious about my drink.  I throw my hands to my hips, cock my head sideways and respond, “oh…..really?”  Him, “Really.”

So now, hands off hips, with open palms to him, “okay, you make this pot.”  Open palms saying ‘I can not be held responsible for the faculty freak out when they see this.’

So, here’s what I heard and saw:

One teacher, “uh…. Lisa?  Did you make this?”  Me, “Nope.  Boss did.”

Another teacher, “Lisa, the coffee is REALLY weak this morning.” Me, “yep, I know.  Wadnt’ me.”

Another teacher raised their mug at me and screwed up their face in disappointment.”This is NOT coffee.”

Me, “yeah…not in WASHINGTON STATE it isn’t!”  And then I get going, get the giggles about this ridiculous should-be-illegal coffee.  It comes out of the coffee maker in a faint shade of brown that would not even equate to lipton ice tea.  I like strong coffee.  It hits me, and I blurt out, “This is like the Coors light of coffee!  Its like a light beer for crying out loud!”  As I am nearly falling out of my chair having totally amused myself, my co-worker shushes me.  Oh yeah… I work at a school, maybe not so much the jokes about beer huh?

So, guess I’ll be hitting the drive thru latte stand on my way in to work now.