Seven Ways to Waste Your Friday Afternoon

Do you work at a mind numbing office job? Did the excitement of last weekend’s three days off make the four day work week drag on longer than overtime in Hell?

Good news! There is hope on the horizon. No. You are not going to start working from home and setting your own crazy schedule. Then, you’d be me and have no reason to read this.

One of the most entertaining things about beating the Friday “I wanna leave” blues is to entertain yourself with a little creativity. Of course, too much creativity could give you a permanent vacation.

(1) Organize Your Life Your desk. Your computer files. Read through each email you have saved since 2006.

(2) Talk to a co-worker. Make sure you approach the situation with an, “I need your help on this project” kind of attitude. After your initial questioning is done, linger a few minutes –or an hour — longer. If a supervisor comes by, revert back to your original question.

(3) Linger around the break room. You aren’t lingering. You’re cleaning up. Why aren’t you working? Someone had to get rid of the science projects in the fridge.

(4) Write random email to your co-workers. Make the subject lines are work related, but the content might look more like a random collection of puzzles and bad jokes.

(5) Call for an impromptu meeting If you are in a management position, instead of a cog, this works better. Call for a meeting that really has no point. You know everyone else is likely to be planning their weekend already, so it really doesn’t matter what you say. Just so long as it’s in an authoritative, monotone voice. Channel Ben Stein and you’re set.

(6) Schedule a business lunch Not only do you get out of the office and get to eat, the company is picking up the tab. You also look like you’re doing something important.

(7)Facebook or blog Unless it’s blocked, we all know you’re Facebooking during business hours anyhow. Your boss is probably Facebooking more than you are. That’s why he’s passed his workload onto you, after all.
The problem will be convincing the powers-that-be that you are actually conducting research, in order to tweak the marketing strategy of your company. Especially challenging if marketing is not your department and you know someone will expect to see the finished product.

Or, maybe you plan on actually working. An odd concept, but doable. Just smile and think that you get to sleep in tomorrow. Unless, you have that dreaded overtime. Then, we’ll talk later.

Published in: on September 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Labor Day!

Hope all you hard working folks out there are getting some much needed rest today. For any mothers giving birth today, enjoy the day. The reward is worth it.

Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Five Things Not to Do With Your Three Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day weekend!

It’s Friday afternoon and a fabulous three day weekend lies ahead. This includes a weekend of fun in the sun, barbecuing, and hanging out with friends.
I hope you will all have fun, too, but avoid making the following stupid mistakes that can muck up your weekend plans.

(1) Do not start a forest fire. According to this press release for last Spring’s Arizona Wildfire Awareness Week, over half of the wildfires in Arizona are caused by people.
This means the other half are caused by lightning and squirrels not putting their cigarettes out before going to bed.
As much as we enjoyed the wet weather last winter, the sun makes all that lush greenery into tinderbox fodder come summer.
I for one, hate changing plans because a forest is closed or a friend’s house is in danger of being burned down. Especially, when it can all be avoided by taking an extra five minutes to make sure fires are put out. If you aren’t sure, put your hand into the coals. If you burn yourself, you can be thankful that it was just your hand and not the whole forest.

(2) Do not start a brawl over a football game. Whether your Mercedes Benz was dinged by a football before the Rose Bowl or you just didn’t like someone else’s football team, it can hardly be worth the hassle of going to jail and not being able to see anymore football games, in person, for a long time.
Just remember, even if the other guy is a complete idiot, you can wake up the next morning knowing you’ll have a good day — outside of prison — and the other guy is still an idiot.

(3) Stay away from all social media, while drinking. As a friend of mine says, “If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen.” The statement works best if you also leave no evidence. If you must drink so much that you aren’t going to remember anything about your fabulous night out, at least make sure there is also no physical evidence left behind.
It’s easier to convince everyone in the bar that they must have been more drunk than you, when they thought they saw you doing a strip tease on the bar, than it would be if someone uploads video to Facebook or you tweet: Am I drunk. Going to dance for the cute bartender now.
It’s funny for the rest of us, but you might be hearing about it for a much a longer time.
On second thought, just avoid getting drunk. The story will continue to follow you, anyway.

(4) Do not call the police if you feel you were ripped off during an illegal transaction. We’ve all heard about the news articles about the scholars who decide to call the police when they find out the drugs they bought aren’t worth what they paid for. Or, this 26 year old Einstein, who was not satisfied that the escort he called for did not look like the picture in her advertisement. If you already paid for it, it’s over. Meanwhile, the police, the reporter, and anyone who reads that article is now laughing at you.

(5) Do not become a candidate for the Darwin Award This one should go without saying. If something seems like a fun idea, but, “If this doesn’t work out, I might….” Stop! Walk away! Go back to sleep. You don’t want to be that lamebrain who got his fifteen minutes of fame by dying in such a ludicrous way that his friends won’t admit to knowing him.
Your last words should not be, “I just wanna pet the tiger.”

Have a great weekend! See you Monday. Hopefully!

Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Arizona Rant

Guess what, folks! I’m famous! I was mentioned in an article written by Sure, I wasn’t mentioned by name, but the thought was there. I am one of those old, angry white people who caused Arizona’s “Worst state” listing. What’s Don’t worry. I don’t know who they are, either, and won’t remember them much past the time it takes to write this blog. But, that’s because the heat is obviously cooking my brain, as we speak. This is why I am so angry, after all. It has nothing to do with the stupidity of people who have nothing better to write about. At least I have an excuse.

The other given reasons are SB1070, Jan Brewer, and Joe Arpaio. I am now going to write an article about why the U.S. must be the worst country. After all, our economy is in the tank and our government leaders are more interested in playing games and one-upping each other, than showing any leadership quality. Thank God, the endearing qualities of a country or a state aren’t solely based on the ridiculous antics of its government. Otherwise, much of Europe would be screwed.

I am an Arizona native. Except for the heat of the centralized “Easy Bake Oven” I cannot imagine living anywhere else. While I have known people who have gone, many come back saying they just couldn’t stay away. As a nature lover, this is the place I want to be able to spend my days. Even the article gave Arizona credit for that.

But, what is the problem with Arizona? That’s easy. Out-of-staters. I’m not necessarily speaking of snowflakes…er…birds….either. Granted they don’t know how to keep up with traffic (although, you would think after a few years of snowbirding that would be figured out), they congest our golf courses, public events, and make our summer discounts go away. In reality, I have met a number of wonderful snowbirds. Some I even miss during the summer time.

The ones I am speaking of are those who escape from another state, then spend their time complaining about what’s wrong with mine. Just like any family member, I can pick on it, but if you do, you’re dealing with me. It never makes sense. Why be here if you hate it so much? You’re just taking up my golf course space and taking my summer discount rates, without appreciation.

As for this amazing team of wanna-be investigative reporters, the least worst state? Of course, the state they are located in – New York. Why? Because, they embrace gay rights. That’s what I would base my whole criteria on. Never mind New York City’s bad traffic, bad attitude, high crime rate, being the headquarters for the United Nations and that it smells funny. After all, if people are going to have such a limited view of what Arizona is, I can easily return the favor.

This angry, old white person is now signing out to fry an egg on my driveway or start soup in my pool for tonight’s dinner. Keep cool. Summer can’t last forever.

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm  Comments (3)  
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Smoking Hot Dogs!

Hot dogs can kill you! That was the finding of a report released a couple of weeks ago by a group of “let’s promote the vegan life-style” doctors. No agenda there. I am sure they just have our best interests at heart and are really worried that some of us might be smoking a few packs of hot dogs a day. Why else would they claim hot dogs are as deadly as smoking cigarettes?

If you are vegetarian, vegan, or have a diet that says you are only allowed to eat dirt during certain cycles of the moon, bon apetit. Just don’t tell me what I am allowed to eat or try to make me feel guilty, because a cute animal ended up on my plate.

Did you ever once ask anyone what they thought of those cute teeny baby vegetables? The tiny ears of corn, baby carrots, etc.? Those are also living creatures. Plants have feelings, too!!

That’s what I want to see. Instead of ad campaigns telling people why they should feel guilty for eating meat, I want to see one against the cruel practice of eating vegetables. Have you ever heard the screams of a potato when it’s in the microwave? That is not a happy whistle. It’s the same sound a bunny makes when it’s scared for its life. Only the sound is coming from a potato.

If we are only supposed to be worried about cute and cuddly animals and don’t really care about the feelings of the plants, then what are you doing taking food out of these innocent animals’ mouths? They can’t just walk their tails down to the corner grocery store and pick up their own produce. Because of health code violations, many of them are not employable, so have no money to join produce co-ops. They have to go by their wits and what they can find. Even if you have a garden of your own, if you don’t invite them to partake in the fruits of your labor, you’re just part of the problem.

Offended yet? A bit too silly and extreme? That’s how I see “Meat is cruel” ads and studies, like the above. Seriously, who really eats a hot dog a day? It’s summer. I believe I ate a hot dog last week. One, out of the whole summer. Maybe it will increase my chances of cancer. Maybe waking up in the morning and breathing too deeply will also increase the chances of cancer.

I had a lovely aunt who died a couple of years ago, at the age of 96, from bladder cancer. Did she sit down and make a laundry list of what may have caused it? No. If she had not died because of that, she would have eventually died of something else down the road. She was 96 years old, after all. The fact is, we are all eventually going to die from something.

We can moan, complain, feel guilty and worry ourselves sick about every little morsel or we can enjoy our food and being alive today. If you enjoy eating only vegetables or dirt, do so. If you’re a scientist, who has something worthy to share, I would like to hear it. Just don’t expect my world to stop because of what your studies found. Within a year, you’ll be telling me to light those smokies up, because they are better than dark chocolate.

Meanwhile, I know me and I know my body. Which means, I could really go for a steak about now. But, maybe I’ll just settle for a hot dog, instead.

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Meeting of the FOFU

A mutiny has begun in our community. Don’t worry. I don’t live in Quartzsite. It’s not at that level. Recently a secret group called FOFU (Flying Old Farts United) started meeting to air their grievances about Community leaders, past, present, and future. This spilled over to anyone who had ever been within eyesight of one of the Country Clubbers and may have accidentally smiled in their direction. They even yelled at one of their own for things he might do in the future if he ever became one of Them.

Their first meeting took place in the middle of a busy intersection. After causing a traffic jam, two fender benders, and police intervention, they decided they would move their secret group to the corner bar. Signs were posted up everywhere. We even got little reminder notices on our front doors.

For some reason, they were still surprised when half the community showed up. The other half complained about 8 pm being too late to go out and asked for updates on how the meeting went.

It didn’t go as expected.. Barney, who missed his calling as a bard in a former life, pulled out his book of sonnets and would read them dramatically, according to the theme of the discussion. My brother, Jack, became irate anytime someone bellowed into his ear, “Help us, Jack! You’re our only hope.” Chuck, the bouncer, gave a moving speech about how inspired he was that hippies had enough brain cells to remember what they were protesting, since the rest of us still can’t figure it out.

By midnight, most of the Old Farts were passed out and the meeting wasn’t nearly as much fun as we thought it would be. We decided to take the rest of the party– I mean meeting – to Jack’s house. He even promised not to kick me out, if I would stop stealing danishes from his cupboard and strapping them to my head.

I don’t think I’ll be going to the next meeting. I waited all night and not one of those Old Farts has ever flown. Although, one did make good distance when Chuck kicked him out of the bar.

Tomorrow, we’ll talking about the hazards of smoking hot dogs.

Published in: on August 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Adela’s Favorite Restaurants

This morning, I awoke hungry. But, I am often hungry, so this is nothing new. The best way to get me to go some place is to offer me a meal. Why else do you think so many churches offer coffee and donuts after their services?

Long, long ago I was born. Yes, there were cars. No. They did not need to be cranked up to start. The hospital I was born in was Phoenix General Hospital, located at 19 Ave. and Indian School Rd, in Phoenix, Arizona. Late in the last century, it was torn down and replaced by a strip mall.

By sheer irony, the place I have found the best prime rib is not at a Vegas buffet, but at this location. The restaurant: My Mother’s. Not, MY mother. Most likely someone’s mother. But, I have no relation to the restaurant, whatsoever. Except as someone who enjoys good food.

It’s has an old fashioned ambiance, plays crooner music, and everything on the menu is absolutely delicious. Mr. Greene always insists on the especially large Grandfather’s cut of prime rib — grilled. He thinks it’s nearly as good as the prime rib I make, and I don’t have to heat up the house to make it in the summer. Lasagna, pot roast, open faced turkey sandwiches, pizza, huge loaves of my favorite bread they won’t give me the recipe for, and exquisite cream pies.

My Mother's Restaurant

When we lived within the restaurant’s delivery boundaries, we never had to leave the house to go out for a special meal. They even managed to deliver that prime rib.

Now, as I go onto my second favorite restaurant, I will tell you a short story.

Don Jose's 36th Street and Thomas Rd.

A few years ago, I got into a fight with a good friend. To console myself, my plan was to grab some chips and hot sauce from Don Jose’s Mexican Restaurant (located about 36 street and Indian School Rd.). When I saw the fence around it and the For Lease sign, I promptly burst into tears. Then, had to pull to the side of the road to keep from crashing into oncoming traffic, who wouldn’t have been as understanding.

Here it is, three years later, and the restaurant is re-opened. The food tastes the same. The prices are no different. They still play K0Y radio. Even the booth are still slightly awkward to sit in. But, it’s worth it to have enchiladas, chimichangas, huevos rancheros, or much of the usual Tex-Mex flavor that isn’t fancy, experimental, or costs more than prime rib.

It was one of my daddy’s favorite restaurants when he lived in the neighborhood, in 1967, and has become a place my children enjoy, as well. Although, for the life of me, I cannot understand why my daughter still insists on ordering a hamburger and fries in a Mexican restaurant.

While I drool over the thought, I will now just deal with trying to make some caramel coffee. It’s not as good as a chimi or a steak, but maybe if I close my eyes, I can pretend it’s a pie from My Mother’s Restaurant.

Gone Fishin’

Every year, about this time, Don Jose’s Mexican Restaurant (located about 36th street and Thomas Rd. in Phoenix, AZ, for those who are curious) would close down for about two weeks. In the window would be a sign that read, “Gone Fishing”.

Now, I couldn’t blame the owner for it. It’s the middle of July, after all. Who wouldn’t want a vacation away from tripping over those idiots who are constantly trying to fry eggs on the sidewalk? I can only hope he was smart enough to go fishing someplace that the fish weren’t jumping out of the water already fried up.

Next time, I will do my first promotion of why it was always a great disappointment to see that sign. But, for now, I will mention: I hate fishing.

It’s true. I did write on my facebook page that I had Gone Fishing last week, but that doesn’t mean I like it. You can only hear, “Shhhh! Be quiet. You don’t want to disturb the fish” so many times before you want to stick your head in the water and yell, “Get over it, Fish!” Of course, that plan doesn’t work very well when you get nasty, fish poop water in your mouth and nose.

The idea of fishing is always attractive. Especially with stories of Huckleberry Finn and the thought of lazing on a raft. Or, the stories of kids playing hooky just to sit under a cool shade tree, while casting a line. You cannot tell me that any kid on earth would keep perfectly still and quiet, so as not to disrupt the thoughts of a fish. Even Jesus Christ, himself, was friends with fishermen. He was smart enough to tell his disciples to leave their nets behind. Which proves even the Son of God didn’t want to waste time sitting around waiting for a fish.

What is so dad-gummed important underwater that fish would be disturbed by the noises us drylanders make, anyhow? How do we know the fish hear us? They don’t even have ears. Are they holding meetings underwater? Is that where all our think tanks come from? The bottom of a lake or riverbed? It would make the most sense. We never actually see anyone involved in these think tanks and they don’t seem to have any ideas that make sense to human beings.

So, for another year, I have fulfilled my obligations. The dust has been dusted and the fish gut smell has been washed out of my hair (I only had to rinse and repeat fifteen times this go round). The rest of the year’s fishing will be done from the cool, air conditioned comfort of my own living room.

Meanwhile, I’ll be eating steak.

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (2)  
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Desert Firecrackers

My daddy used to say the desert heat of Arizona must fry people’s brains. Of course, he was speaking of how when Easterners came out here they seemed to forget how to cook. But, this stands out in other areas. Especially, politically. Then, again, I think it’s a requirement to have your brain fried, in order to be a modern-day politician, no matter which state you may call home.

Today’s topic is about Arizona’s most stupid recent law. Before the anti-gun and anti-SB1070 people get into their hootin’ and hollerin’ thinking ‘even that old broad gets it’, I’m not even touching those topics anymore than I would touch a fellow with open, oozing sores.

In my opinion, the most stupid recent law is making it legal for private citizens to shoot off fireworks.

As far back as I could remember fireworks had been completely illegal to buy and use in Arizona. People from out of state would sometimes voice feeling sorry for us that we couldn’t have the fun of personally causing explosions. Honestly, I never felt too terrible about it.

Perhaps it has something to do with being scared of fireworks for half my life. Then, again, as a child I was scared of anything that was too much for my fragile senses. This included cold pool water and the sound of sirens.

I quickly got over the fear of swimming and have since learned how to hold in the urge to cry whenever I hear the shriek of a siren. Fireworks? I now find them fascinating. The way I got over that fear was the first 4th of July celebration I ever attended with Mr. Greene. We stood under a palm tree and he kissed me throughout the whole fireworks demonstration. I have never been scared of fireworks again.

So, this last winter Arizona was hit by this foreign substance that makes many people run outside and dance around like they’re Gene Kelly. Rain. Yes. By golly! We saw rain. Gobs of it, too. Rain leads to plant growth. So the rumor goes. When the summer sun smiles too much on those pretty green plants, they soon turn to brown. This makes Arizona into a not-so-happy giant tinder box.

You can’t even let a match look at the dry and now thirsty shrubbery without it burning a few thousand acres. Yet, we have tents set up in every grocery store parking lot selling things that go *KABOOM*.

When the local university can’t even put on a fireworks display without stopping abruptly because they set the mountain on fire — Again, how are we supposed to expect a private citizen to safely set these off in their backyards?

Mr. Greene says this is really a great source of revenue for the state. First, the state gets the local sales tax from the sale of the fireworks. Then, there is the money for the fines when people shoot them off, since most of the cities in Arizona have said, “You can buy them. You just can’t use them in most of the state.” It’s almost better than the lottery. But, at least with the lottery you have a chance to win. Plus, you don’t run the risk of burning anything down.

Published in: on June 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why I Don’t Keep Plants

Yesterday I was reading the blog,of a dear little girl I know when I noted her enthusiasm for growing plants. Not only was she enthusiastic, but she was successful. I have seen these plants on her patio and they were truly alive and … growing. In Arizona. In the summer time. Outside.

This is something that absolutely amazes me. I love plants, but I fear them. Mostly because I know the plant that happily shows up in my home today is going to be gasping its last by next week. Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how good you are at performing CPR, when a plant is breathing its last there is no saving it.

My sad lot with indoor plants began when my father died. The local grocery store he frequented considered him such a loyal customer and were saddened that they would be missing his charm –and his grocery bill– so much, that they had two cashiers attend his funeral. They also brought a plant. A beautiful Croton plant. Every time I left the house, that poor plant suffered. So, did the dog’s conscience, once I got home.

Of course, dogs always suffer from a guilty conscience, even when they are perfectly innocent. You know how I know this? Because, I later caught the damn cat digging out the plant. Even after caught in the act, that cat was still pointing at the dog, and the dog was hiding in the corner saying, “I’m sorry. I have problems. I can’t help myself. I’ll never do it, again. I’ll even go to therapy. Just, PLEEEEASE, don’t be mad at me.”

My favorite plants are the Lucky Bamboo plants. Which isn’t always so lucky for the bamboo. For many months I had a lovely bamboo in my guest bathroom that continued to grow and grow and grow. Apparently, it preferred a dirty bathroom to a clean one, because as soon as I went in with a bottle of bleach, it immediately keeled over in shock.

Then, there was Charlie. I have probably named half a dozen plants Charlie. But, this one was a willow looking thing that did beautifully in the bathroom. It would happily take a shower with Mr. Greene, every morning. It didn’t even go into shock at the sight of a clean bathroom, but it did more than weep when the season changed from Summer to Autumn. Which was odd, because the rest of us were rejoicing. After the plants first experience with seasonal depression, there was no bringing it back. No matter where I moved it in the house or how often I tried to get Mr. Greene to sing to it, I still had to say, “Goodbye, Charlie”.

Before you think I kill everything I come in contact with. (And, no, it’s not my fault that my children once .thought that the fresh daffodil bulbs I once bought should be put into a salad) , a few hardy plants have greatly flourished. A little too well. When I was in my 20s, I decided to give myself a lovely treat of planting some annuals that had been taunting me, every time I went to the local nursery.

Would you believe it? Those things actually grew and flourished. Even the plant my then, little girl, accidentally pulled out just said, “Not a problem,” replanted itself, and continued to grow. Not only did I have a garden for the first time, my children had playmates, as those flowers and the basil took over the yard. The plants that weren’t chasing my children around the yard, while playing Tag, were creating their own jungle scene.

That was a very lovely Autumn, but, I have no wish of ever using a machete to try to find a  lost little people, in the future. Now, you know, why, as much as I want to, I refuse to keep plants of my own.

Happy growing!!

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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