A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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The Distance from Clean to Dirty

Last Thursday, I headed right from work to my kids’ lacrosse practice  baseball practice  strength training what the fuck ever sports thing I needed to be at.

The following day, I was traveling to Boston for a conference to give a presentation. Since I didn’t have time to do it myself on the way home from work, I had asked my husband to pick up the dry cleaning, so I would have some fancy duds to take with me. Because this is what happens when he is in charge of doing the laundry:

Clean? Dirty? Who the hell knows.

Clean? Dirty? Who the hell knows.

He begrudgingly agreed to pick up the dry cleaning. But not without letting me know (repeatedly) how much it was a pain in the ass for him to break away from his work-at-home job and how it was going to cut into his lunch hour. (Editor’s note: This from a guy who sets his iPhone alarm to wake him up five minutes before our oldest needs to leave for the bus to yell from our bed “Alex, time to leave for the bus!”, who repeats this when it’s time for the youngest to catch the bus, and who takes conference calls from the bed if they occur before 10:00am. By 10:00am, I’ve been up for over 4 hours and at my job actually working for over 2 hours. Just sayin’.)

I mean … what was I thinking asking him to go to the dry cleaner, when that was going to screw up his afternoon nap  attempts to get past level 307 on Candy Crush all the intense work he’d be trying to schedule into his day? Cuz the dry cleaner is so far out of his way. All the way across the street from our development. Hell, it might as well be the same distance as from our washer to our dryer.

And you’ve seen how that can turn out.


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Clearly, It’s a Sign

My organization is getting ready to move into a new headquarters office, consolidating the workforce into one building from two buildings. In an effort to increase collaboration and synergy, there will be far more open space workstations than individual offices.

I’m all for that. I don’t so much need an office as much as I just need the paycheck, benefits, and time away from my family a chance to enhance my professional skills.

An important element of the transition to the new space is office etiquette rules for the open space environment. And one of the tools we will use to be respectful of personal space is availability cards:

New Cube Signs

I wish I’d had that “Available” card in my 20s

Of course, one of my (very funny and snarky) colleagues covertly created this set of signs, which she thinks will be much more useful:

I think I might use more than the others

I just might use these more than the official cards

Her signs got me to thinking about what my top availability status signs might be.  And after careful introspection … here they are:

Yeah, this is more like it

Yeah, this is more like it

And perhaps this system would work well for me at home also:

No sign of dinner. Anywhere.

Yep. No sign of dinner. Especially if it is up to me to make it.


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Beck’s in the City

Editor’s Note: With apologies to my very good pal Rebecca Henigin, who is truly the real Bex in the City. Well, in our case, Bex in the ‘ville.

A couple of Fridays ago, I travelled to NYC for a conference being held at Columbia University. When I was first approached about speaking at the event and asked if February 21 would be ok, I replied rather quickly, “Sure, I’m free that day.”

That decision will go down as another one of the (unfortunately not so rare) loser mom moments of my life. It never even occurred to me that February 21 was my son’s birthday.  

I decided that since I was totally going solo on this trip, I was going to embrace the City. I was going to soak up all the NYC I could, and live like the gals from Sex and the City – for at least 24 hours, anyway. I was going to embark on an adventure of swanky meals, fabulous frocks, and amazing street scenes…

Swanky meals: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda never seemed to cook at home. They were always trying out the most amazing spots.

For me, dressing up to eat means putting on a bra

For me, dressing up to go out to eat means putting on a bra

Since I’m a little more skanky than swanky, I was determined to eat at one of the places featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Until I heard the closest one to my hotel was at least 25 minutes away. The bellman also informed me I’d be lucky to grab a cab on a drizzly night like this. So rather than going to The Redhead, with it’s supposedly amazing homemade pretzels and beer cheese dipping sauce, I ended up at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, just around the corner from my hotel.  Their motto is “Put Some South in Yo’ Mouth”.

Tequila is from Mexico and that’s south, so this margarita counts. Right?

Definitely put all this in my mouth.

I definitely put all this in my mouth.

Fabulous frocks: The gals from Sex in the City were always so put together. Even when they weren’t put together.

This must be their casual wear

This must be their casual wear

Since my shopping radius was limited due the drizzle, this was the only place I found nearby that sort of would pass for fashion. For a hooker.

Do you have these in crotchless?

Do you have these in crotchless?

Amazing street scenes: Carrie and her friends took many strolls along the city streets, but this is my favorite street scene from the show:

Yep, this is more like me

Yep, this is more like me

The most amazing street scene for me was not in the street but actually in the subway. I’d never ridden the subway in NY. Even though I’m quite the expert at the DC Metro, the NY system is different. And that starts with the turnstiles you have to negotiate to get into the system once you’ve swiped your card.

“I’ve got this,” I thought to myself, as I swiped my card and pushed my luggage through the turnstile. And then as I tried to push myself through the turnstile, it wouldn’t budge. Because I had used my pass for my stupid-ass luggage, and not for my stupid ass.

I stood there, looking very “Carrie gets splashed by a bus” —  incredulous that this was happening to me. The evening rush hour New Yorkers barely acknowledged my plight other than to snark “you’re holding up the line.”  Since I was not about to give the city an additional $2.25 of my money to get the turnstile to move, I did what any level-headed individual would.  I crouched down on all fours and crawled on the floor, slithering to freedom.

As I whacked my head on the turnstile in my haste to get up off the floor, I was wondering if my company would pony up the bail money if I was locked up for turnstile jumping. Fortunately, no one chased me to the train platform screaming “Stop, criminal! You’re heading to jail, you scuzzy lawbreaker!”

Yes, Beck’s was in the City. But it was totally clear she belongs in the ‘burbs.


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Mad Scientist

Back in December…or maybe it was November…our oldest son came home and announced that he had a big science project due. He needed to come up with an idea for an experiment, get it approved by the teacher, conduct the experiment, record the results, and present the whole thing on a poster.

I took the news like any quick-thinking parent trying to get out of crap like this and said, “what a the perfect thing for you and your dad — the chemistry major — to work on together. Let me know how it goes.”

My husband found the experiment they were going to conduct on a website, and my son got approval from his teacher to proceed. Since the project was due February 10, there was plenty of time to ruminate about the experiment and how they would present the results.

The premise of my son’s experiment was this: which fruits have the most vitamin C? The experiment would have him determine this by dropping freshly-squeezed fruit juice into an iodine solution, and note how many drops it took to turn the iodine solution clear. The premise was that the quicker that happened, the more vitamin C in the fruit.

Or something like that. I was annoyed that lime juice was going to be wasted on some stupid middle school science experiment, when I could have mixed it with tequila to show how many drinks it takes to make mom begin slurring her words. I love that experiment.

They won't find my DNA on the limes. Maybe the tequila. Image © Dan Piraro

They won’t find my DNA on the limes. Maybe the tequila.
Image © Dan Piraro

So, my husband and Alex started the entire project early. And by early I mean right about noon on Sunday, February 9.

And here’s what we were able to observe during the experiment:

–>The amount of time you have to conduct your experiment is inversely proportional to the number of f-bombs dropped when it doesn’t go as planned.

–>It will take a husband approximately 4 minutes and 17 seconds to tell his son to “just go play the #@$%-ing xBox and let me do this so we can finish it faster.”

–>The more a wife asks “can I help?”, the more her husband barks back “no, I’ve got this, so just stop asking.”

–>Having a chemistry degree won’t stop you from bitching outloud at no one in particular: “this @#$%-ing sucks. Stupid ass iodine solution needs to be diluted more to make this @#$%-ing project work. That @#$%-ing website was totally @#$%-ing wrong. This @#$%-ing blows.”

–>Not having a chemistry degree makes hearing the bitching that much more enjoyable.

Which led me — if no one else — to conclude from this experiment, that:

–>My husband should have started this experiment sooner because these things are never problem-free the first time you try to do them. 

–>It will be at approximately the 4 minute and 17 second mark into the experiment when I will have to begin to resist the temptation to say, “I @#$%-ing told you that you should have started this earlier.”

–>When I stop asking “can I help?”, I immediately feel no remorse about focusing on HGTV and the House Hunters marathon.

–>Not having a chemistry degree won’t stop you from bitching outloud at your husband (in particular): “You know what really sucks? Not being able to hear why this couple is so dead-set against house #2, because of all the @#$%-ing bitching you are doing.”

–>Not having a chemistry degree still makes me smarter about the actual time it will take to conduct a kid’s science experiment, than the person who actually graduated from college with a chemistry degree.

And this whole experience leads me to one very important conclusion. There’s a damn good reason they call them mad scientists.


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Dear Punxsutawney Phil,

I’m going to skip the pleasantries and get right to it. Look…you fat, furry fucker…I am done with winter. D.O.N.E.

Fat. Furry. Fucker. Image (c) Keith Srakocic/AP

Fat. Furry. Fucker.
Image (c) Keith Srakocic/AP

People are going nuts, due to you seeing your shadow and predicting 6 more weeks of Winter. Here’s what your prognosticating has brought upon us:

Former pro players who show up for a boring big football game, dressed like they are the odds-on favorite musher for the next Ididorad.

 Did Joe think it was a good idea to skin his golden retriever? And then wear it? (c) AP Photo/Matt Slocum


Did Joe think it was a good idea to skin his golden retriever? Who’s gonna pull the sled now?
(c) AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Musical geniuses, who raid their girlfriend’s kloset.

This guy, who definitely borrowed his girlfriends coat. And boots.  Source: Bauer-Griffin Online

Is that Kim’s koat? Those are definitely her boots.
Source: Bauer-Griffin Online

Drivers who think they are auditioning for Fast & Furious 12: Sick Semi Spin-outs.

Yikes! AP Photo/Butch Dill

Yikes!
AP Photo/Butch Dill

Hoarders.

In reality, it should read tequila, limes, and salt. www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

In reality, it should read tequila, limes, and salt.
Credit: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Religious zealots.

I'm converting to Baptist ©2011-2014 Coricle

I’m Team Baptist
©2011-2014 Coricle

Skittish school administrators, who post messages like this a minimum of once a week on our county’s school system website :

Again?

Again?

Parents, who are starting to read messages on the county’s school system website this way:

Like parents don't know this is really the reason schools are closing

Like parents don’t know this is really the reason schools are closing

People who see ice here:

Instead of here:

Ice in Margarita

More ice in tequila. Less ice in trees.

Sincerely,

Lady who is dangerously low on tequila, limes, salt, bread, milk, toilet paper, and patience.  And not necessarily in that order.


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We’ve Reached Our Limit

My husband and I have smart phones. But evidently, they are not smart enough to …

–>Prevent rogue text messages from polluting my husband’s account after he
–>Signs up to receive text message tips for some stupid-ass online game he plays, which
–>Sends an unbelievable number of messages to your phone because it’s really a discussion board, sending a text every time someone posts a tip, a response, or comment
–>all of which will cost you A SHITLOAD OF OVERAGE MONEY

However, my smart phone — which is also the main line on the account — was smart enough to:

  1. Send me this e-mail at 8:39 am:

    Verizon email this early in the morning?  If only I hadn't been in a meeting and had seen it.

    Verizon email this early in the morning? If only I hadn’t been in a meeting and had seen it.

  2. Send me this text at 8:41 am:

    Damn, still in a meeting so I didn't see this either.

    Damn, still in a meeting so I didn’t see this either.

  3. Send me this e-mail at 10:37 am :

    Another e-mail...wait does that say over the limit?

    Um…does that say over the limit?

  4. Send me this text at 11:22 am:

    Jesus H,  we are over our limit on texts -- WTF?

    Jesus H, we are over our limit on texts — WTF?

All these love notes from the Verizon billing department (which was now busy planning cruises for their executives with all the overage charges we were racking up) prompted me to call my husband and inquire if:

–>the kids were messing with the phone (even though I knew they weren’t because they were in school. Right?)
–>because if they weren’t, Verizon has our account messed up with another family with text-obsessed teenagers
–>since we never even come close to our 250 texts per month limit
–>so somebody at Verizon most certainly done fucked up.

I got my husband on the phone (since we were over the limit on texts) and in a rather conciliatory voice, he let me know:

–>that he had signed up for some dumb-ass online game tips text service
–>and since that time, his phone had been blowing up
–>because it turns out that this was a message/discussion board
–>and every time his geeky game brethren posted something to the site, it came through as a text message to his phone

So, in effort to make sure I didn’t find out — my husband had:

–>freaked out and tried to stop the texts by blocking the number
–>and when that didn’t work, he tried calling Verizon and was told he couldn’t change account settings
–>because I’m the primary on the account, so he knew he was busted and couldn’t fix this without telling me
–>since Verizon wouldn’t let him do anything without my approval 

I do believe we’ll be enacting the Verizon protocol from now on. For all his decisions.

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