So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.


World's Most Beautiful Child

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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Like a drifter I was born to walk alone

My officemate has left the building. He took a new job at another company and today was his last day. He is fantabulous and fun and a very nice guy even if he talks too loud on the phone so I sometimes can't hear myself think. My office is already too empty and too quiet.

Good luck, my friend. And just for you, Go Terps!

(And by the way, I have just designated today Whitesnake Wednesday. This is my little authoritarian regime so I can do that sort of thing with impunity.)

Authoritarian Regime, and Other Stories

AUTHORITARIAN REGIME

I have decided to institute an authoritarian regime. I think I am well suited to this job because I really like to make new rules but don't always like to follow them. You may call me either Dear Leader or Mistress Beth. It is entirely your choice, because that is the kind of open and understanding benevolent dictator that I am. Now, for my first proclamation:

New Rules for Concert-Goers

1. Shut. Thefuck. Up. If you are not interested in the concert, don't go to the concert. If you go to the concert, sit quietly and watch the show. You may make occasional, relevant comments to your neighbors. You may not spend 4 hours talking about what Lauren said to Jessica and whether or not Jessica was the one who told Taylor about it.

2. Do not leave your beer bottles and other random trash on the lawn. I mean people, please. There are trash cans right behind you. Don't be an asshole.

3. When leaving the parking lot, try not to hit any other cars. If you do hit another car, try even harder not to hit a second car within 60 seconds. Once you have driven your car into two other perfectly innocent cars it may be time to realize you are being a teensy little bit too aggressive and maybe, I don't know, CHILL.

4. If you have an unfortunate hair loss condition resulting in a bald spot that is not so much a bald spot but is really a bald stripe down one side of your head, you should wear a hat. Or at least not sit directly in front of me. And also, get rid of the mullet because it isn't fooling anybody.

5. Rufus Wainwright and Guster should form a new band together. Because Oh. My. Dude. That was incredible. Also, Rufus Wainwright should come sit over here with me and maybe let me lick him just a little bit.


OTHER STORIES

1. Cats do not understand tough love.

2. If you are wearing sunglasses and have another pair of sunglasses on top of your head so you will remember to take them back out to your car, you should remove at least one pair of sunglasses before going in to work.

3. It occurred to me last night that every guy I ever dated was a musician (in order they were guitar, voice/sax, voice/guitar, sax, anything with strings). (Yes, there were only 5. I started dating my husband when I was 18.)

4. As a corollary to the above, there is nothing sexier to me than a guy who is a musician. Case in point, I like the firemen and all, but did I marry a fireman? Nope. I married a rock star.

5. If the shirt you are wearing is so tight that you cannot button the last button, maybe you should consider a different shirt.

6. Sign language for "giving the finger" is actually giving the finger.

Smells like teen spirit

First, apparently I have Nirvana on the brain today. Must be the side effect of the early morning Lithium.

Anyway, I am going to a concert tonight with three performers that my mother has never heard of. It made me flash back to my rebellious teenage years when the absolute best way to convince me that something was cool was to tell me that my mother had never heard of it. It also made me wonder what my (theoretical) kids will listen to when they want to rebel against me. I'm betting on country.

Here's the show.

Topless?

Ok people, I cannot think of a single good reason to take your shirt off in the middle of the bathroom at work. No wait, I thought of one. If your shirt is on fire you can take it off in the middle of the bathroom, or anywhere else for that matter. Short of that, either use a stall or just keep your clothes on while you are on company property.

That's ok, I shaved my head

Today was grunge day at the gym (they play videos) - nothing like a little Lithium at 5:30 in the morning.

Why

Why did they have to put peanut M&Ms in the vending machines?

And why didn't somebody come tell me? They could have been there for weeks and I just haven't noticed.

Another strange thing I saw yesterday

Yesterday, I saw the same car with the same vanity plate twice. I saw it in two different places, several miles and 5 hours apart. This wouldn't be all that remarkable, except for what the vanity plate said.

CLVNIST

Predestination, anyone?

Two strange things I saw today

1) A sign behind a charity thrift shop reading "Donations after 3:00 will hurt the homeless." I can't quite figure out how that works, unless the homeless sleep behind the thrift shop where people leave donations and are maybe getting squished under bags of donated clothes.

2) A Buddhist monk in unlaced combat boots loading plywood into the back of a pick-up truck. The plywood was in the middle of the road and I couldn't quite tell whether it was the monk's plywood or whether he was doing a good deed by moving it out of the road and scoring some plywood to boot.

My Exciting Evening!

Last night, after only 3 trips to the hardware store and a bare minimum of cursing, we installed our brand spankin' new dishwasher. Well ok, my husband installed the dishwasher. My main contribution was to stand next to him wearing rubber-soled shoes in case he was electrocuted and I had to kick him away from the wires. (I am very happy that he was not electrocuted, but maybe just a teensy bit sorry that I didn't get to kick him because as long as we have been together I'm sure he has done something that deserves a little kicking, I just can't think of anything right now.) I also read the instructions and told him what he was doing wrong. Needless to say, he was very grateful for my vital contributions to this project. To celebrate the new dishwasher, I did something that I have never once done in my entire life. I put dishes in the dishwasher without rinsing them first. This goes against everything I was ever taught as a child and may prove to be my next step on the path to hell, but I like to live on the edge.

Two Questions

1) Why does the recorded customer service lady tell me to enter my account number one number at a time? Is there another way to do it that I'm missing?

2) Who thinks that grown-up adult people who are not professional athletes or professional frat boys need to participate in a high-five line at work? However, wouldn't that be a cool replacement for the receiving line at a wedding?

I have probably just been staring at this spreadsheet for too long...

But "Lick-Wilmerding High School" cracked my ass up. Say it!

Lick-Wilmerding!

Lick-Wilmerding!

Ok, I'm done.

Um, what?

I love the toys you get in gumball machines and have a large collection of useless crap because of it. But these sort of disturbed me. One of them is a guy chained to a pole. Please, buy the whole set for your 6-year old so he can work towards his dream of joining a street gang.

Tuesday Morning, 5 AM

This morning, I got up at 5:00 and went to the gym.

Wait, I need to say that again because I can't quite believe it myself.

This morning, I got up at 5:00 and went to the gym.

I am not a morning person. I'm not really a before-noon person. When I was managing a team a few years ago I had a rule that nobody could ask me questions before 10:00 and hard questions had to wait until after lunch. So I am shocked that I voluntarily got up before sunrise this morning and then voluntarily left the house rather than thinking better of it and crawling back into bed. I did win a bet with my husband by doing it - when I told him my plan last night he was, well, incredulous to put it politely.

I have this theory that by going to the gym in the morning I will be able to do all these grand things - like run errands after work or go for coffee with a friend or cook a decent dinner. Or even just sit on the deck in the sun and watch the cats kill any bug that is foolish enough to come within claw range. The only problem is that I am having a hard time fighting the urge to take a little nap on my laptop.

A friend just pointed out that between last night and this morning I went to the gym twice within 12 hours. I think that makes me hate me a little bit.

BTW: Now I have "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM" stuck in my head.

Call me Donna

I've mentioned before that I am jonesing for a baby. This has had a rather strange impact on my behavior. Somehow, I have decided that there are certain things that I need to be able to do if I am going to be somebody's mother. First, I took up knitting. I'm not sure why I think that knitting is critical to being maternal as neither my mother or grandmother have ever knit a thing. My latest effort is learning to make pancakes. No, pancakes are not very hard to make, but it was not something I had never done. One thing my mother did do was make big family breakfasts on the weekends and I would like to do the same. So last Sunday I made pancakes for my husband and announced that it was a new tradition. At least until I got bored anyway. Yesterday we had brunch with my parents and didn't want to have a big breakfast beforehand, so instead of pancakes for breakfast we had pancakes for dinner. Hey, I need the practice.

The new man in my life

I have to confess, I have a new man in my life. I think I am madly in love with this guy, and I don't even know his first name. You may have heard of him actually, it's Mr. Clean.

My house was previously the home of two of the great crayon artists of the 20th century. We have crayon on the walls, the doors, even the cabinets. So a few days ago I gave in to the advertising and bought this. And the silly thing actually works. No more crayon, no more scuff marks, no more fingerprints. I'm going to buy 10 more and do the whole house. Unless of course my new boyfriend Mr. Clean can come through with some free samples.

Duh

Earlier today, in a store, I noticed a stroller sitting unattended. I assumed it was empty. Nope - it contained one honest to goodness genuine infant. Looking around, I noticed that the child's mother was off looking at dishes. 20 feet away. With her back turned. Does this woman not watch the news? If that baby had been cuter I would have taken it myself.

Fun things to do when you can't sleep

Practice your time zones. (When it is 4:00 AM in Washington DC it is 5:00 PM in Tokyo. When it is 4:00 AM in Washington DC it is10:00 AM in Paris. When it is 4:00 AM in Washington DC it is 10:00 PM (the previous day) in Hawaii. If I lived in Hawaii, I would still have plenty of time left to sleep.)

Wake your husband up and suggest moving to Hawaii.

See how many of the School House Rock songs you can remember.

Listen to your husband snore.

Try to remember (in order) every guy you have ever had a crush on.

Listen to the cats snore.

Count firemen jumping over a fence. Sheep schmeep.

Wait, one more thing

Ok, really two more things.

Thing One - My house is less than a mile from the fire station. This is far and away one of the best decisions I have ever made, because I? Have a major fireman fetish.

Thing Two - Do you know what they do over at the fire station on nice sunny warm Saturdays? They wash the firetrucks. See Thing One.

By the way...

Is there anyone else who can't sleep because they have that Tequila song stuck in their head?


Yeah, I didn't think so.

What technology has done for me

The main thing that technology has done for me is, it has enabled me to be a jerk to anyone at any time.

See, the thing about email and im and text messaging is that there is so little context. You never know how the person on the other end is going to take what you say. Of course, you never know how the other person is going to take what you in actual conversation eiither, but your odds are better. You can indicate sacasm or humor by your tone or voice or expression. I am having a hard time learning that you can't just email someone exactly what you would say to them in person, because without the audible or visual cues of conversation they are a lot more likely to miss what you are trying to say.

I have learned the hard way that I cannot say anything more complicated than "good morning" to my husband over email or im. We have had far too many arguments over things that were misinterpreteted in text that would have been nothing in live conversation. This is the person I have spent the majority of my time with for the last 11 years and we still can't avoid misunderstandings.

Anyway, I had this problem earlier today. I was trying to be funny but wound up being a jerk. I am planning to hold a big finger L up to my forehead for the rest of the night as penance.

Anyone have any advice on how to avoid being an accidental asshat?

San Diego, CA 92121

Today, I have been doing two things at work.

1) Forwarding emails
2) Looking up zip codes

San Antonio, TX 75024

I am forwarding emails because the woman who usually forwards the emails is out of the office. I do get some satisfaction from the fact that when I took over as the resident forwarder last Wednesday my colleague was 2 days behind in the forwarding of the email and I am completely caught up. But since it I is only a matter of looking something up, hitting forward and typing a name, the satisfaction is very, very minor. Uber minor.

Palo Alto, CA 94306

I am looking up zip codes because - well because apparently looking up zip codes is now my job. I was given a very long list and I have to find the zip codes. I used to have a real job, really I did. I did important things. I had a lot of responsibility. I really liked it. Now I look up zip codes. This is honestly through no fault of my own, just one of the things that happens when you work where I work. I would really prefer that I had done something that had gotten me where I am, because then I could at least tell myself that I am sitting here looking up zip codes because I screwed up or mouthed off to the wrong person or whatever. But no, nothing like that.

Culver City, CA 90230

Ah, but here is where it gets really sad. I am doing all of my own work and covering for two other people who are out of the office and I still do not have enough to do to keep me busy all day. This afternoon has already been about 4 days long. So, what do you do when you have a job that is a waste of your time and rotting your brain, but is also comfortable, convenient, and very well compensated?

San Jose, CA 95124

Rare Tropical Disease

I have had a pain in my back since Friday morning. Thanks to my vivid imagination and detailed internet research, I have determined that this pain is due to one of the following things:

Appendicitis
Liver Disease
Ectopic Pregnancy
Kidney Failure
Rare Tropical Disease

It cannot possibly have been caused by sleeping funny Thursday night. I know this because I am not even 30 and I go to the gym so I clearly cannot be in pain just from sleeping funny. I simply won't allow it.

P.S.

One of the books on the list below just happens to be one of my all-time favorites. It is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It is a truly amazing book. I have only read it once and want to read it again, but I am saving it hoping that when I do re-read it I can recapture the experience of reading it for the first time.. It is beautiful and amazing and at one point made me sob for hours.

I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read this book.

Damn

How many damn times do I have to hit my damn head on the damn hook in the damn ladies room before I damn well remember that the damn thing is there?

Ouch dammit

Jumping on the Bandwagon

This is everywhere today, but I saw it first over at Mir's place. The fun part of this for me was being reminded of some of the really wonderful books I have read that I hadn't thought of in a while.

The other fun part was that when I saw this list I could tell immediately which three books had been added by my husband.

Continue reading "Jumping on the Bandwagon" »

Humility

At one point (ages and ages ago), I fancied myself a poet. So, largely for my own amusement (or is that debasement), here is something I wrote.

Dated 2/21/93

Flint kisses off steel in the darkness
and lightning flashes from a 50 cent piece of plastic
like the hand of god reaching down to blind us
then life returns to cracks of light from the bathroom
and yellow street lamps filtering through the window.
You lie on your stomach, bent at the waist and propped on your elbows
with the blanket pooled around your casual hips
and your face lingering at the edge of your cigarette's glow
there is no world beyond it's fire.


And from roughy the same vintage, I wrote this right after the first time my boyfriend-now-husband kissed me:

Running up the lawn and into the building
up to the room which is only a
literal definition of home
sneaking in quietly, trying not to
wake sleeping strangers
going through the nightly rituals of
preparing myself for god
and finally climbing between purple sheets
rolling on my side to face sleep
cheeks still hot and
heart still pounding from his kiss.

I took this very seriously at the time, now it cracks me up.

I give up

I started off writing about the deep personal problems I have with pants.

Then I tried writing about the argument I had with my husband last night about how I am supposed to psychically know what he wants and volunteer to do it to spare him from having to actually express what he wants himself.

Then I was going to write about my trip to see Larry Rotter and the Whoosie-Whatsis.

But everything was lousy. I am trying all of these topics because I don't want to write about my job. But I am very focused on how crappy my job is at the moment so it is hard to write about anything else. I have decided to take a lunch break and hope that when I get back the job will less suckalicious or at least something amusing will happen to me while I'm out.

Dear Coworker, Part II

Dear Coworker,

Earlier today, you sent me a request which was missing two pieces of information. I replied with an email clearly indicating which two pieces of information you had neglected to provide, and requesting that you provide the missing data so I could complete your request.

Would you please explain to me why you replied to my email with an answer to only one of my questions? While you are at it, would you please explain why this happens all the damn time? Are people really incapable of reading two sentences, retaining the substance of each sentence, and then responding to two separate but related questions in a single email? Perhaps you could address each question individually? For example, you could type your response to the first question, and then review my email again to refresh your memory regarding the second point I asked you to address.

I am just trying to be helpful here and spare you the pain and embarassment of being known far and wide as a doofus.

Warmest Regards,
Beth

Dear Coworker

Dear Coworker,

If you are going to take the time to look me up on the corporate messaging system to send me an IM to ask me for my phone number, wouldn't it be just as easy to look me up on the corporate directory and get my phone number yourself?

On a related note, if you then call me to ask me who you should call to solve the problem that you are too lazy to resolve on your own, and I tell you who to call, look their number up yourself. Don't ask me if I have their number so I can look it up and read it to you.

I am not your personal assistant, and I have a very bad attitude to boot.

Warmest Regards,
Beth

Ohm

I just got back from yoga, which I love because I am made for it. I may have almost no athletic ability and be a world-class clutz, but I sure am bendy.

Omaha Beach

Last fall I visited Omaha Beach. Standing at the top and looking down to the ocean, I could imagine the American invasion on D-Day. I could imagine all those young men looking up to the embankments and knowing they would never make it to the top of the hill. I am in awe of the courage it took to land at Normandy.

Bittersweet

We finally replaced a 12 year old office chair today. The old one was so rickety that most of the time when you sat down in it the seat dropped eight inches and you spilled your coffee/juice/wine/vodka into the keyboard. The new chair was on sale ($40 off, god I love sales) and smells wonderfully of leather. But the old one was personally reupholstered by yours truly (and in the area of way t.m.i. the site of more than one shin-dig with the hubby) so I am sorry to see it go. I am hoping that someone will see it on the corner waiting for the garbage dudes and adopt it as their own.

Tomorrow I hope to replace the 11 year old dishwasher, to which I have no personal attachment.

Working 9 to 5

Well, I am still gainfully employeed, but I think I will go get bombed anyway. It just seems like the thing to do.

Happy RIF Day

Where I work, a lot of people are losing their jobs today. It's the economy, stupid, and all that. I can't quite decide whether I want them to show up with boxes for me or not. It would be nice to have the summer off....

And now I know what I would do!

i'm in gryffindor!

be sorted @ nimbo.net

So here's what I'm thinking about if I get fired today.

I brought my lunch. Should I stick around and eat it while I clean out my desk? Take it with me when I leave? Leave it to rot in the fridge as a memory of me? Take it to the bar and share it with everyone else who got fired while we get bombed?

I have an extra power cord for my laptop at home. Will I have to return it? If I don't return it, will they send the sheriff to get it? Will he be cute?

Should I send my boss the only copy of the critically important spreadsheet that is on my laptop and nowhere else? Or just delete it?

Should I turn in the project I am working on today before I go? And if so, should I change all the data first?

How am I going to get my mini Zen rock garden home without spilling all the sand? Especially once I am bombed when it will be much harder to hold the thing level.

By the way

Would whoever keeps getting shoe prints on the toilet seats around here please, you know, stop?

Intruder Alert!

My house makes a lot of noises, and sometimes when I am home alone I get a little carried away and become convinced that the noises mean someone is in the house. This morning, I started paying too much attention to the house sounds, and then I noticed that my cat was looking at something under the bed. (Under the bed! Oh no! There someone under my bed!) So I did what any independent woman would do - I grabbed my hairdryer and prepared to fight for my life. Turns out there was nobody under the bed. Or in the closet. Or under the desk, behind the door, in the kitchen, living room, basement, or bathroom. In fact, the only thing I did see was a couple of neighborhood kids laughing at the crazy lady running around her house half naked brandishing a hair dryer.

These are a few of my favorite things

Just a few of my favorite sites to pass the time.

Brandon Bird

Disturbing Auctions

CatPrin

Story People

One way that blogging is better than real life

I really want an IP Deny function in my real life. Annoying? Denied. Insulting? Denied. Can't figure out how to replace your gas cap while I am behind you in line? Denied. You no longer exist for me. Poof.

Melonhead

As I have mentioned, lately my biological clock has been ticking like a freaking time bomb and giving me the uncontrollable urge to procreate. So I find myself making mental lists of reasons why I should and should not have a baby. For example: Pro - baby eyelashes. Con - baby poop. Last night, I had a startling and disturbing realization that changed the entire equation.

I have a great big melon head.

I got it from my father, who also has a great big melon head and who apparently comes from a long line of melonheaded people. I have been melonheaded since birth. In fact, my mother had to have a cesarean entirely because of my freakishly large head. As if the idea of childbirth isn't scary enough, I now have to deal with the very real possibility that I will be giving birth to a Talosian.

I am so getting a puppy instead.