Wednesday, February 23, 2005


...recovering from the Plague and catching up with the work backlog.

Ok, it was really only a bad cold but one that is lingering forever. One of the perks of working in the medical field - more bug strains more of the time. Of course with all that, work has piled up more than usual. I hate it when works gets in the way!!

You all stay healthy and I'll blog again soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Dreaded DMV

Back when I originally moved to East Jesus NC, I immediately broke the first rule of moving into another state. I did not register my vehicle in NC or get a NC driver’s license within 30 days. OK, so sue me. It was my way of hanging on to my roots. I didn’t particularly like the photo on my Maryland driver’s license but it was my way of not being homesick.

After 5 months of living there and one warning from a State Trooper, I made my way to the local DMV. I was warned that the female clerk at that location (it was East Jesus NC no other DMV in the vicinity) was evil. I was further instructed to not use my razor sharp wit to make my experience any easier. It’s this lady’s way or the highway. At first I didn’t believe the townies but after my employer’s wife was chased out of there due to the attempted use of razor sharp wit, I decided I would play the game as directed by the DMV Nazi.

It was also recommended that I go before her lunch break because she is much more pleasant in the mornings. Armed with all my advice, I entered the tiny DMV office. Sure enough the DMV Nazi was there with her omnipresent scowl. Luckily I was the only patron, I foolishly figured I’d be in and out of there quickly. Mistake number one. She loaded up her typewriter and began gathering my information. I have an unusually long and weird name (especially by East Jesus standards). I have mastered the perfect speed in which I recite the letters when someone asks how to spell it as they type it on a form. Even though I patiently waited while she pecked away on her keyboard, she was annoyed by the abnormality of my last name. When she asked my marital status, I could not resist the use of wit, I replied single, waiting on Mr. Smith. She actually grinned and looked me in the eye. That was a good thing because I figured she was going to kick my ass right out of there for that. Whew.

It’s now test time, by now there are 3 more victims/patrons patiently waiting. She placed the written test on the desk where she had me seated. The test was one page in length yet double sided, one in English the other side in Spanish. She gave me the exam with the Spanish side up. Mind you our entire exchange took place in English, I have no command of Spanish at all. Before she walked away from me I asked if I could take the test in English? She said with a name like mine she thought I was a Mexican. I told her I wasn’t and I took my test.

DMV Nazi was in full multi-task mode. She was registering another person for the exam, answering the phone, grading my exam and taking license photos. Thankfully I passed my exam. She took my photo and told me to have a seat in the waiting room till the picture was ready. It was close to lunchtime, I was getting worried. There were a total of 8 people in there with me. I was wondering if all of us would be dismissed at lunchtime or just the ones she had not gotten to yet. In the meantime, I hear her quietly repeating Mrs. Smith from the back and I kept looking around the room wondering why no one was responding. DMV Nazi finally came out to the waiting room with my license in hand. She said "Mrs. Smith, you have a wonderful day now, ya hear."

Monday, February 14, 2005


....the simple times? Back in elementary school where you had to decorate a shoe box with red construction paper with lots of hearts and stuff. Then you labored over the box of 100 generic valentine's greetings to figure out which one would win over Steven's heart? And you held your breath as each classmate dropped a valentine in your shoe box?

I want those days back....

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oh Yeah!!!

This post is for all my friends in NC who had no problems getting in my face any time my alma mater was beaten by Duke. I lived in NC for 9 years and believe you me they were not shy.

For all of you Duke fans, in NC and anywhere else, FEAR THE TURTLE!!!!! Not only did we beat you on your turf but the icing on the cake was beating you again here at home, in overtime.

Duke schmuke. Go TERPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Listen to that Inner Voice

What? You don't have voices in your head talking to you? How strange!

I have a very demanding job one that keeps me from taking a break for lunch. Generally I am working through lunch. It's just easier that way. Friday, I decided to join the girls for a well deserved break. We went out for lunch. Nothing fancy just out of the office. The company was good, food even better; ambiance - check plus. We got to our vehicle and I noticed that our driver was having some sort of dilemma. Her SUV's keyless entry gadget ( low tech gal - remember) was malfunctioning and her alarm was set.

So here we are, 5 intelligent women standing in front of her vehicle wondering what to do. Did I mention we are already pushing it for time? We should have already been back to work by now. We are literally 5 minutes from the office. One of the group was sure that if she used her key to get into the SUV and quickly started the ignition, surely the alarm would go off. Because I am low tech and don't have an alarm on my vehicle I was not part of the decision making process. We rapidly found out that our plan was not working. We are now in the car with the key in the ignition and the alarm BLARING! The owner is now on the phone with her husband. Another co-worker is on the phone with work. You'd think in the lunch rush of a metropolitan area someone would offer some assistance. No such luck. The husband tells us to look for some type of switch under the steering column that would turn off the alarm. Wrong, nothing.

Someone from work came and rescued us. He took the 4 of us back to work and took the owner to her house to grab the extra keyless entry gadget. The story goes on forever. The Reader's Digest version goes like this. The husband has the other keyless gadget and he is now on the way to the vehicle. The owner of the SUV and the rescuing co-worker are at 3 different stores in search of a new battery. The husband gets back to the vehicle and the alarm is no longer deafening. It turns out after some amount of time it goes off on it's own. Maybe 30 to 45 minutes.

Lessons learned from this adventure:

1) Vehicle owner will now make sure the first time the gadget malfunctions (it has been doing this for a week) she will promptly change the battery.

2) I will listen to my inner voice that warned me of how behind I was in my duties when asked to go out to lunch.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Size Really Does Matter

What do you buy your Father on special occasions? Clothes are usually top on the list. We all want our Parents to look good when they are out representing the Family in public, right? For as long as I can remember anytime my Father receives an article of clothing as a gift, he will hold it up against him and say it’s great thank you. However, we never notice him wearing it, EVER.

As he ages, my Father is becoming more vain. It becomes increasingly difficult to buy presents for him. We have tried to move away from clothes. We have purchased gift certificates for restaurants although he is a very picky eater and that isn’t the best gift. We once arranged for the yard to be taken care of for a season and he chased the kid away with all his meddling.

So this year for Christmas I bought my Dad a new coat. Similar to a parka but not as bulky. My Dad is cold in August so imagine how he gets through the winter months. A month or so before Christmas I had most of the Family over to my house for tea. I can’t remember why, but my Dad chose not to come - no big deal. I chose that time to show my Mom the coat. She thought it would fit fine; the only problem was the size. She asked me to bring her some scissors so that she could remove all the tags related to the size of the coat. You see if my Dad notices that the size is larger than what he perceives himself to be, the clothing will not be worn. Narcissism or denial; doesn’t matter if he saw the actual size label he would have tossed it aside after holding it up against him and thanking me.

Uncle Fun, my newest brother-in-law was very intrigued by all this. He figured we were exaggerating Dad’s behavior. I told him to watch Dad open up any clothing item. He will hold it up against himself, thank the person and then covertly search for the tag. Uncle Fun and I had a deal. C’mon Christmas!

Sure enough when Dad opened up the coat he performed as per usual. Uncle Fun and I were sitting next to each other. In our Family we each take turns opening up the gifts so we can a) see what kind of loot each one of us received and b) see if the receiver enjoyed the gift. We form a circle and go at it. After Dad opened up the coat and the entire time the next round of gifts were being opened; he was feverishly looking for a size tag. Uncle Fun was watching in wonderment. Every now and then he’d ask Dad what he was doing. My Father would then point out all the different interior pockets in the coat. It was hilarious. He would put the coat down only when it was his turn to open up his next gift then as soon as he was done, back to the search for the tag. Uncle Fun was giggling uncontrollably.

So you see, size really does matter.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Disappointing Thus Far...

As I sit here watching Super Bowl 39, I am disconcerted by the lack luster commercials.

Maybe the geriatric Beatle will flash us or something. (Shudder) On second thought, never mind.

Go Patriots!!!!

4th Quarter update. I enjoyed the halftime show as I am a big fan of Paul McCartney. The 2 teams obviously both belong at the Super Bowl. Commercials a bit better but not up to par.

Most memorable/my favorite commercial? Anheuser Bush's tribute to the Troops. Standing ovation from other passengers waiting for their flights as a handful of soldiers return home. I just might have to purchase some of that product tomorrow.

What were your favorites?