Thursday, October 28, 2004


no, not the song by michelle shocked. I noticed some store is advertising a "fog machine" for halloween. I wonder if it's the same kind of fog the chief saw at the asylum in "one flew over the cuckoo's nest"? He talked about how the orderlies would start cranking up the fog when the inmates got frisky. As the fog crept through the ductwork in the building delicate tendrils would reach out into the room, growing larger and larger until there was no place for anyone to move and they were frozen into place. Then the orderlies could come in and pick up the stiffs and put them back into their cages. At least that's how I remember the story. That stuff would be handy at work when the customers get too lively for us. But it might not work this week. This heavy humidity is already too thick to move through. Creepy clammy fingers that won't leave you alone. Your clothes feel wet. The car seats feel wet. You have to take a shower to dry off.

I noticed you have to buy the fog juice separately.......

Friday, October 22, 2004

shop class

I didn’t want to wake up in the whitepine lumber aisle at Home Deppo still wearing pajamas but I had such a small window of opportunity that I had to move when I could. I thought a cup of strong chai tea was all I had time for before that thunderstorm was gonna hit. I didn’t want to be loading lumber into the back of my wagon during a downpour. That can get a mite uncomfortable especially if you’re dodging lightning bolts at the same time. You know you’re driving into it when you can barely see the approaching vehicles on the opposite side of the freeway even though they have all got their headlamps on but it's night at ten a.m.

After I barely woke there was the incident with the Spanish-speaking checkout thing in the self service line. I laid my stuff out before checking which language it was set on and when espanol came out the speakers I thought “I can do this” and I did until the very end when I hit “debit” instead of “credit” because I couldn’t tell which was which and the thing kept yelling obscenities at me until an employee came over & got me out of the loop. Now my boards are home, safe & dry and ready to be made into toothpicks.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


I got a letter from God. Which is odd because I haven’t believed for a long time. I’ve never been a full-fledged atheist, just a non-believer. But there it was in the blur of time that occurs after most of the worker bees have rushed out of the the building and away to sit in traffic on the freeway and only I am left there working – in black and white, in the women’s restroom - a letter from God. To me. I knew it was to me because it was entirely relevant to my personal situation. It must be from watching “Joan of Arcadia” and its idea of God as “everyman” (or anybody). On the other hand, this letter was nothing like those characters on television.

I got a letter from Buddha.

Monday, October 18, 2004


The Cowboys lost yesterday and I made it home safely. I am grateful. During football season I have to plan my drive to work to avoid as many of the most rabid fans that I possibly can. Texas Stadium lies where 114 and 183 split from one another and then cross Loop 12 and these freeways are how you gain access to the stadium’s parking. The game started at 3 pm and the weather was warm and smoggy, so I figured the tailgaters would be there in full force by noon. It’s a scene you don’t want to be involved in if you are “through” traffic. Scalpers lined up on the shoulder of the freeway for a mile and traffic tangled for at least a mile more as the people in the right two lanes haggle for the overpriced tickets. It’s illegal to re-sell tickets within, I don’t know, a hundred feet or so of the stadium, but apparently not illegal to bring 60-mile-an-hour traffic to a standstill.

I was lucky. I passed the stadium about 11:15 am and saw only one scalper. I could tell I got through just in time. Another 15 minutes and it would’ve taken me 20 minutes to make a 30-second drive by.

At least it’s a stream of cars going in to park. After the game the it’s a flood, always some accidents, probably caused by drunks. Especially at night people see the left-turn lanes as their way to a quick drive through at the stoplights. Eeek. I met a passel of them on a bridge on my way home. Narrowly avoided a head-on at 20 mpg. I had to quote Red Forman: “dumbasses.” After 8 hours confined in that dome who wouldn’t want to hurry up and get home? I passed the dome at 11:15, drove more miles to work, did my 8-hour shift and a spot of overtime and drove back only to find at 8:30 pm there was still a backlog of vehicles trying to get onto the freeway. They had been sitting longer than I had and had had to pay for the privilege. And unbeknownst to me, the ‘Boys had lost, so mostly they were not happy campers.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

lies all lies

Originally uploaded by Fifi LePew.
I hate it when the makeup artists don't do those last-minute touchups on the Neiman Marcus models right before a fashion photo shoot. "oh, well," they say, "not to worry, they can airbrush that out." Too true, you cheapos, and fortunately for your lazy ass we "airbrushers" are extremely good at what we do and take a lot of pride in doing it even though all but the most famous of our clan get paid a pittance for our expertise.

It's all lies, people. Those models in the clothing catalogs don't look like that. The clothing doesn't fit like that. It's partly saftey-pinned and scotch-taped into place and mostly manipulated by Photoshop to get that perfect fit. Don't expect it to be wrinkle-free or to hang on you just so.

The ample flu vaccine supply is also a lie. Or maybe this should be titled "just how dumb is our government?"

Seriously, if I had a dime for every tattoo, zit, wrinkle, eye bag, extruding collarbone, bony knuckle, bunion, popped-out vein, and excess body hair that I've removed I could probably retire comfortably tomorrow. Throw in a dollar for every anorexic woman that required removal of another 5 or 10 pounds and I could retire in style.

Monday, October 04, 2004

No sir, you don't fight that kind of terror with a head of lettuce!

It's a little disconcerting to come to work after 2 days off and find a long-time co-worker has been fired, or in this case "asked to resign." The name plaque on the cubicle now blank. And the essence of his persona as well. The Monty Python slogans. The blue pilates ball he sat on. The disarrayed books spread about the work area. The pictures of a daughter and her crayon art on the walls. The photo of him posing proudly with some semi-well known female entertainer. The music cd's jammed wall-to-wall inside the overhead cabinet. All gone. It would take longer to make him disappear if he had died.

It also pointed out to me how unobservant people are. There are two of us who end our weekend on Saturday night and begin our work week on Sunday. Employee One had been at the office since 8 a.m. and hadn't noticed anything. I clocked in around noon and immediately wondered at the absence of the big blue ball as I passed his cubicle on the way to mine. "Employee One!" I shouted. "Where's D's ball?" Then the black unlettered name plate stared at me. And then the rest.

We two are sad. Maybe some others at work are, too. D was a good guy til his bitter divorce about 2 years ago. Since then he's been self-destructing. Drinking too much. Late for work. Really late for work. Searching for young blond women in the internet personals on company time. Volatile on occasion. He was given a number of warnings and had made two "formal" commitments in writing promising to do better. I guess his chances ran out. I would like to be supportive but he hasn't been my friend for a long time. I don't know how it happened. Maybe he associated my behavior with his ex-wife's.

I wonder about the legality and/or morality about asking someone to resign as opposed to firing them. It's happened before. It almost happened to me.