“What the F*ck?” Wednesday

This is what everything in my office looked like after returning from my spa retreat. (At least two rolls of packing tape gave their lives for this prank.)

If it was Stephen, the person I post-it noted a few weeks ago, I would consider that office karma. But this work was perpetrated by other coworkers. Envious coworkers who wanted to spa. (Coworkers for whom I even brought back spa products!! WTF???)

So, now IT’S ON.

What should I do to retaliate? If you give me a usable idea, you will be rewarded.

— The B.S. Cafe is now serving REVENGE.

Potty Monkey

When you become a parent, the days of going into a bathroom alone are pretty much over. And now that Anabella is almost potty trained, she finds the bathroom to be a place where everyone is welcome.

The scene: I’m in the bathroom doing my business, but then the door quickly swings wide open …

Anabella: MOMMY! You’re going POTTY!

Me: Yes, I am. I’ll be out in a minute.

Anabella: (Completely ignoring me) Are you going peepee and poopoo, mommy?

Me: (Completely ignoring Anabella)

Anabella: You’re going peepee and poopoo in the POTTY! You get a prize, mommy!

Me: Umm, okay. Thanks.

Anabella: (very serious face) I have to see it first.

Me: I don’t think that’s necessary. I don’t really need a prize.

Anabella: Are you done? Let me see! Don’t flush, mommy! (practically pushing me off the toilet)

Me: (Feeling like I’ve been transported into the movie Freaky Friday) Okay, you can flush for me. (Head to sink to wash hands and regain self respect.)

Anabella: Good job, mommy. You did it! (pauses) OOOH, STINKY! (flushes toilet)

Me: (Wondering what I did to deserve this.)

Anabella: Come on, mommy! Let’s go get your prize! (Starts to run toward kitchen, but then stops abruptly. Turns to me with another very serious look on her face.) You only get ONE prize, mommy.

And here it is. My prize for not pooping my pants.

So clearly it’s time to reconsider my potty-training tactics. While I would like to believe that Anabella was just being an excited three-year-old child, I think she was actually teaching me a lesson in bathroom dignity for all people, big and small.

But then again, I don’t lie about pooping to get stickers.

The B.S. Cafe is now serving a healthy portion of role reversal with a side of TP.

Feeling Hopeful

We watched President Obama’s inauguration here at work today and I came back to my desk feeling hopeful. I wasn’t worrying about today or tomorrow or all the little things that usually fill up my mind … I was only thinking that perhaps this is the person who can truly make a difference. A difference that will be evident to my children and to their children. I was hopeful that the things that bother me about our country and our world … the BIG things … might actually change.

And it made me think of my grandfather, who used to tell me stories about World War II, or the first trip to the moon, or the other incredible events that he witnessed long before I was born. I imagined my grandchild sitting next to me while I talk about where I was when the first black president took office. And wouldn’t it be incredible if that child’s world was so different from ours, that he or she didn’t even understand why that was momentous?

Times are definitely troubled, and unfortunately, it’s my job to read about it every day. But I will hang on to this renewed feeling of hope, because as some great person once said “without hope, there is only despair.” And even if President Obama doesn’t manage to do all the great things that people are expecting, at the very least he gave us back our vision of better things to come. He has inspired an entire country and made us think about where we have been, and where we are going.

It will be interesting to see just how much one man can do.

Second-annual mommy’s retreat/great escape

Halle and I have managed to pull off another great escape to Lake Austin Spa. In fact, I just returned to my room after an 80-minute massage. Ah. Two more days of eating, boozing, spa-ing and relaxing.

Check out their website if you want to get properly envious.


— The B.S Cafe is now serving foot rubs and large glasses of Pinot Grigio.

“What the F*ck?” Wednesday – Quit growing up already!

I know people warned me … I should have been prepared, but I feel as though my babies have morphed into little people in the blink of an eye. Anabella is acting like a big sister all the time, and asking real people questions like “How was work today, mommy?” Scarlett is climbing into and sitting in chairs … unassisted. WTF? When did all this happen?

Seriously, just last week Anabella wasn’t doing anything but scribbling with crayons. Now she is making faces … faces with expressions and the correct amount of eyes and everything.

The picture below is me. WTF? I know I could stand to lose some pounds around the middle — and possibly get a tan — but do I really look like a big egg with chicken legs and red hair?

Now this picture of Dan seems right on target. Menacing look … check. Green like the Incredible Hulk … check. Horns … check. Just put some arms and legs on him, and it’s practically a photo.

— The B.S. Cafe is now serving unflattering caricatures.

Bored Rhonda strikes

This is what happens when I get bored and/or ancy. (Luckily for my corworkers it doesn’t happen too often). The best part of this prank, besides the hour of giggling while post-it-noting everything in sight, was the email I received the next day from the victim.

I will preface this by saying that 1.) like many corporations, our help desk is located in India. And just about everyone here would rather stab themselves in the eye than call the help desk, 2.) we still Lotus Notes as our email system, and 3.) if you’ve never called a corporate help desk, you will not find this at all funny and should move on to your next blog.

I love working with creative people ….

BEGIN CALL 2008-12-19 0747
S.PATEL: Thank you for calling AIG Technical Support. Can I get your Name and ID please?
CALLER: Stephen Bedford, U38PS08
S.PATEL: Thank you very much for that Mr. Culford. For verification purposes, what was the name of your mother’s first cat?
CALLER: Uh, hold on a minute. Let me look that up. Sunshine
S.PATEL: Thank you very much for that Mr… Steve. How can I help you
CALLER: My computer is covered in post-it notes
S.PATEL: I see. You want to post something to a drive?
CALLER: No. My computer, my keyboard, my mouse, everything is covered in post-it notes.
S.PATEL: I see. Please hold on for one moment
S.PATEL: I see. I need to transfer you to our Notes group. Please hold.
CALLER: No. Not the Notes group! Not Lotus Notes, post-it notes. My entire workstation is covered in post-it notes.
S.PATEL: I see. Have you tried to re-boot the system?
CALLER: It was off when this happened.
S.PATEL: I am understanding you correctly that something bad happened to your computer while you were away?
CALLER: Yes. I was out of the office for the afternoon picking up my child from school.
S.PATEL: We need to file a security report for this malicious activity. What is your location?
CALLER: AT-35. But I don’t think it is malicious.
S.PATEL: Are you able to use your computer?
CALLER: Well, no. Not without removing the post-its.
S.PATEL: So something has been installed onto your computer that must be removed prior to you being able to work, is that correct?
CALLER: Er, yes.
S.PATEL: Please hold while I speak with my director. This is quite serious Mr… Laford.
S.PATEL: Mr….I have been informed that nothing is wrong.
S.PATEL: A security patch was installed last night. You should have received a notification of this. Nothing is wrong.
CALLER: Uh, ok.
S.PATEL: Thank you for your call. Is there anything else I can help you with?
CALLER: No. I guess all is good. Thank you.
S.PATEL: Good bye.

Enjoy the Ride

She’s at it again.

Anabella got her little hands on a very large tube of toothpaste and went to town … the carpet, the mirrors, the bathroom floor, the side of my bed, the bathroom scale … nothing was safe. We’re not even sure when she had time to do it.

So as one of my new year’s resolutions, I am choosing to view these incidents in a new way. Instead of cussing, wishing she would get past this phase quickly, and being pissed because I have no clue how to get toothpaste out of carpet, I’m going to think “Wow! She sure is creative.” or “I’m glad Anabella enjoys finding new ways to express herself.”

I’m going to laugh and enjoy the ride.

And I’m going to remind myself that the Toothpaste Ride is a LOT more fun than the Poop Ride.

— The B.S. Cafe is now serving minty-fresh breath.