Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I didn't post yesterday.

As part of our adventures in trying to get knocked up, I had dye shot through my ladyparts yesterday. You know, to make sure everything is there where it's supposed to be and that my innards contain actual ladybits and not that monster from "Alien."

This little beaute of a medical adventure is called an HSG. I'm not totally sure what that stands for, so I'm going to say it's short for holyshitgirl. As in, "Holyshitgirl, that was the most horrendous thing ever in the history of horrendous things."

I wasn't exactly sure I wanted to be doing this in the first place. And the hospital didn't have a record of my appointment, so I had to talk to a bunch of different people, and it gave me hope that just maybe they wouldn't be able to fit me in - so I'd escape!

Except that they did fit me in. And they shot me full of air and iodine and it hurt so badly that I shuddered in shock and started crying. And then I couldn't stop crying, and my ears got soggy. Then, the doctor informed me that he was trying to be gentle, but didn't get enough oomph or whatever, so he had to start over.

It was about this time that I began focusing on the bolt in the ceiling. That bolt was my best friend in the whole world. No one understood me like the bolt. We'd get through this, Bolty and me!

I did some yoga breathing. I kept crying. I realized that I was white-knuckling the neckline of my hospital gown with both hands, just because I needed something to hold on to, to brace myself. Finally, the nightmare was done. I got dressed, was shocked at how little the 4 preventative ibuprofen I'd taken had helped, and hightailed it outta there.

To add insult to injury, I had to pay to park in the hospital garage. By the time I made it to the garage attendent, I was full-on crying. But I somehow managed to have exact change, and I figured that I wasn't the only person who left the hospital garage crying - either from sad hospital stuff or the $2.75 hourly rate in a town of free garages.

I've been in pain since yesterday, despite the ibuprofen, wine, and stash of Thin Mints. And mostly? Mostly, I'm wondering what the fuck we're doing.


I've never been the woman who thinks she has to experience pregnancy and childbirth in order to be fulfilled as a woman or person or whatever. I don't think I'm any genetic prize, and I'm not some thoroughbred horse, anyway, so it doesn't matter. And there are kids who need homes.

And really? I don't want to get poked and proded like yet another dehumanized, upper-middle-class, waited-too-long science experiment just so we can have biological kids. I realize my current outlook is colored by my experience yesterday, but really? This whole infertility escapade seems like total bullshit.

So, yeah. I'm processing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is it just me? This is weird, right?

I'm meeting some interesting characters at Mega Corporate Behemoth. Case in point: Oblivious Coworker.

I've had all of these conversations with OC. I'm not even kidding.

Me, admiring the hydrangeas on OC's desk: These are lovely! We just planted a hydrangea.
OC: Did you plant a blue one?
Me: Yeah.
OC: You know, I saw a house with blue hydrangeas out front, and it just looked weird.
Me: Uh?


OC: So, with this project, we need to OHMIGOD, what is that? Is that your lunch bag?
Me: Uh? Yeah?
OC: OHMIGOD, how old is that?
Me: Uh? A year or 2? It's just a reusable Whole Foods bag ...
OC: OHMIGOD, it's just so beaten down!


OC: I need a writer's opinion on something, and you'll just have to do.
Me, a professional writer: OHMIGOD. Gee, OK!
OC: Geez, don't get so huffy. Anyway ...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

!Viva la introvert!

I had the good, good fortune of hosting (hostessing?) the lovely Mrs. G. on her roadrip. If you aren’t familiar with Derfwad Manor, I suggest you check it out - its proprietress is a wickedly funny, talented, amazing woman.

So, you’re taking kind of a risk when you invite an Internet friend to stay at your house. What if she’s crazy, and this road trip is just a way to feed her kleptomaniacal desires? And we’ll wake up to find she’s taken all of our furniture, sort of like The Grinch? Or what if she’s mean, or smells bad, or wants us to join her cult, which would require us to shave our heads, even though I’ve spent the last, oh, 5 years trying to grow out my tresses?

Well, none of those were the case with Mrs. G. She is hilarious and kind, and joked that she worried we heard her search for toilet paper and thought she was going through our bathroom stuff. And double kudos that she laughed when My Guy responded, “Oh, we weren’t worried. The web cam will pick all that up.”

So, Mrs. G. and I visited a ton, and ate a ton, and went antiquing. Then, we headed to a party given in Mrs. G.’s honor. And there were more kind, funny, amazing women there, too! And they brought delicious foodstuffs.

I brought a salad. And stains from said salad down the front of my dress. And my sparkling, but occasionally shy, personality.

Everybody was so nice! And I felt stretched by meeting 8 whole new people! Because I am more introverted than I like to admit!

I felt like I filled my quota for social interaction. That’s not a statement on the company at all - in fact, I’m embarrassed to even admit it. But really?

I’m so tired. I’m tired of doing new things and going new places and meeting new people. Many of the constants in my life 2 months ago are basically gone, and I guess I’m overwhelmed. Sort of like when Foxie Doxie gets overwhelmed and hides under the blankets on our bed.

Except, instead of finding someplace at the hostess’s house to hide, I stayed at the party. And I hope the other guests didn’t think I was a freak. I guess staying at the party and being on the quiet side was far less freaky than, oh, say, hiding under the covers in the master bedroom of someone I’d just met. So, kudos to me, right?

It takes a lot of energy and bravery to push our boundaries. Mrs. G. is doing a fine job of it right now. It will be my turn … later. And that’s OK.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Love me, love my gut.

I think we can all agree that there's nothing more horrendous than hearing about someone else's dietary issues. So, I'll make this as long, complicated, and hideously boring as possible.

I've stopped eating gluten. When one of the various and sundry ladydoctors told me that I probably had polycystic ovarian syndrome, I started trying to figure out if I could keep such craziness at bay by, you know, eating more rutabagas or something. Or, any rutabagas.

Funny, but it seems that lots of folks have issues with wheat.

Considering that I ate Frosted Mini-Wheats for breakfast every morning, and wheat germ on my yogurt every lunch, I thought about cutting those out. So, I did. And I also stopped eating bread and pasta and sweet jeeeeeezus, there is gluten in everything.

So, I'm eating quinoa and gluten-free pretzels. And lots of apples. And some other stuff, too. I haven't given up beer, but c'mon - let's not be totally crazy. But here's the thing: I can tell when I've splurged and had some beer or (gasp!) eaten part of a bun. My gut gets all unhappy and knotty.

Plus? I've lost 5 pounds.

I know, right?

I wouldn't go so far as to say I have a wheat allergy or anything like that. But I will say that I feel better without the mass quantities of wheat in my diet. Considering that my family were wheat farmers, and my sweet grandpa even had wheat in the flower arrangement on his casket? I feel sort of guilty.

But mostly? Mostly, I need to come up with a great, folksy name for "I feel better when I don't eat wheat." Because I'm jealous of people who have diabetes, who can simply say, "Oh, I've got the sugar." Or, if they're being really descriptive and technical, "I gots the sugarbeeties."

Here are some options:
  • Glutenapathy
  • Glutenoma
  • The wheaties
  • Glutosis
  • Wheatbeeties
  • Grainophobia

Help a gluten-free girl out. I'm looking for something that says, "Gee, she's down-home, even though she will be a giant pain to feed. Her folksiness makes her dietary restrictions totally worth it!" What do you suggest?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leadership material.

The cool thing about being the newbie contractor is that you are detached from everything ... and everyone. So, you notice ... stuff.

Case in point?

On my first day, some random woman came to my cube. "Welcome, Cha Cha! I'm Jan!"

I thought it was nice that this random coworker stopped by to introduce herself. "Oh, nice to meet you, Jan," I said. "Where do you sit?"

And with what I thought was a friendly conversation-starter, my new coworker positively recoiled.

"I ... am your DIRECTOR," she said. "I sit in that big office waaaay over there." She gestured.

"Oh, great," I said ... and watched her waltz away.

OK. Somebody takes the corporate hierarchy pretty seriously.

Yesterday, a new contractor joined the team. Jan welcomed her, too. I overheard the whole thing.

"Welcome, New Contractor. I'm Jan!"

"Oh, nice to meet you," the newbie said.

And then there was ... an awkward silence. That went on. And on. And on. In my fantasy, Jan the Director was waiting for the newbie to grovel or genuflect. But newbie? Just sat there.

Finally, Jan couldn't take any more overt disrespect. "OK," she said. And walked away.

I think it's impossible to make it to senior leadership in a corporate environment unless you're literally insane. Amiright?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sometimes? You gotta own who you are.

I'm not going to be able to walk tomorrow. Tonight, My Guy and I walked to a park and shot hoops.

I don't know about you, but I am 100% certain that the free-throw line has been moved farther away from the hoop than when I was a young whippersnapper, hatin' my way through all things phys ed.

Seriously. The hoop was so. Far. Away.

But, much like the time My Guy held a little impromptu clinic and taught my entire family how to successfully catch a football, I learned some stuff tonight. He gave me some pointers on pushing off with my right hand, and just using my left hand to balance the ball, blah blah blah. Basic jock stuff.

We ran around. I looked like an idiot. It was fun. I felt mildly athletic-like.

In the middle of playing, I mentioned that my brother and Mrs. Poochie drove to northern Minnesota, ran a half marathon, and car camped this weekend. The catch was that they forgot mosquito repellent.

Have you ever been to Duluth? It is lovely. But the mosquitoes are unionized, and are all the size of trash trucks.

My Guy laughed. And then he really, really laughed.

"Ohmigod," he said. "What if I told you that we were going to drive many, many hours? Then stay at a Travelodge? Then run many, many miles? And then camp? With no mosquito spray?"

He doubled over laughing.

"What," I said / asked, attempting a meager swagger.

"That is hilarious! It's the ultimate never-gonna-happen vacation for you, my pretty princess," he said, choking a bit on his own hilarity.

I was dribbling a little better than a 10-year-old. I was sweaty, and pretending like I shoot hoops all the time, and that running and being all athletic was just, you know, how I roll.

I thought about it. I wanted to give My Guy a hard time, but I couldn't even pretend.

"Well, first of all," I said, "I don't stay in no Travelodge."

And then he collapsed laughing, and I had to carry him home. Or, actually, I should have carried him home, but I could have broken a nail. And it was hot. And I needed time to apply a clarifying mask to my delicate, never-going-camping face.

*I have stayed in Travelodges - I don't mean to hate. But keep in mind that I was raised by a woman who considers staying at a Holiday Inn "roughing it."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watching Muppets with me? Life-changing.

Yesterday, I mentioned one of the worst days of my life. Much like yoga, a good blog requires the opposite action to keep things balanced and lubricated. So, let’s get our WD-40 on, and I’ll tell you about my friend Leeza and her kids.

When I hosted book club recently, Leeza reported that her kids were thrilled to learn that it was book club night … because they think every book club is hosted at their house, which translates into a variety of yummy snacks at their disposal. They have not quite mastered the theory of mom-goes-somewhere-else-and-that’s-where-book-club-is-meeting.

This particular evening, Leeza explained that book club was at my house. The 2 younger kids looked at her blankly. Cha Cha who?

The oldest fulfilled her obligation as The Oldest Kid and quickly took charge. “Oh, you know Cha Cha,” she said. “She babysat us, like, 2 years ago? And we watched The Muppets Take Manhattan. And it was one of the best nights of my life!”


While I'm pretty sure the "best night of my life" had more to do with Kermit & Co. than with me, I'm gonna take it as basically the best compliment ever.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My dog, my self.

Foxie Doxie loves this time of year. 
There’s just so much to do. I’m pretty sure his mental to-do list looks like this:
  • Go outside. Patrol fence line for several hours. Ensure perimeter is secure.
  • Bark at birds, random noises, people walking down the street, and air.
  • Recline on hot, sun-baked concrete. Pant.
  • Refuse to go inside.
  • Secure perimeter. Bark. Attempt to tunnel under fence.
  • Finally go inside. Refuse to let humans wipe paws.
  • Pee someplace in the house. Humans can find it later. Or much later.
  • Accompany humans on walk. Lose shit.

It’s that last one that’s really on my nerves.

See, Foxie has lived with me for 9 years. Or 10. I forget. Anyway, he was completely insane that first week, and my sweet, late Dr. Vet thought that a little sniparoo in the crotchal region would calm him down. But it didn’t.

That first year or 2, I managed to walk him by himself, and targeted times and routes that limited his exposure to other dogs. That way, I limited him screaming like a banshee. My attempts at training were not successful, so I practiced avoidance instead.

But then, I left Ex-Ex, and moved with 2 dogs into an apartment. If you’ve never lived in an apartment with dogs, I have to say … I don’t recommend it. Basically, it sucked.

I walked Geriatric Poodle and Foxie Doxie 3 times a day. And it was on 1 of those walks that I experienced my post-break-up rock bottom.

I’d lived in my apartment for about a week. It was freezing, and it had snowed. And I had not yet learned that I needed to abandon the retractable leashes for the shorter, I-am-the-alpha-and-you-walk-where-I-say-you-can-walk style.

Foxie saw a guy walking a husky on the other side of the street. A husky-breed dog, not a solidly build boy who has to shop in that special section of the JCPenney’s boys department.

That was all it took for my otherwise mild-mannered doxie to lose his shit - screaming, barking … and pulling.

It was icy. He ran to the end of his retractable leash, then proceeded to pull me and Geriatric Poodle down the sidewalk.

I yelled. It did no good. The guy on the other side of the street stopped, probably to enjoy the spectacle. I ended up with Foxie’s very long leash wrapped around my legs and a nearby fire hydrant.

Geriatric Poodle was nonplussed. I was on the verge of tears. Foxie was foaming at the mouth.

The guy across the street looked at us. “Do you need some help?”

I imagine he was trying to be kind, but I was emotionally frail. And so, I simply said, “No. No, just leave me here to die!”

So he did.

I unorigamied the leash and drug my little dachshund shithead back to the apartment. And then I cried. It was one of the worst days of my life.

Now, all that to say … we, collectively, as a dog and a doggie mama, must have come so far since that time. Except we haven’t.

I have Dog Whisperered the crap out of this dog. He is crate trained. He is affectionate and doesn’t mind baths. He lets me administer eye drops like it’s a walk in the park.

Except those walks in the park? Are still horrendous.

My Guy and I have basically decided that Foxie is just … special. And going to be crazy forever. So, we try to avoid other dogs whenever there’s a leash involved. We hide him behind parked cars. We make him sit mid-walk just to pull it together already.

But I’m still afraid that our neighbors catch one note of his scream and think someone is being disemboweled.

We’re good people. We try. A lot.
Foxie’s a pain in the ass, but he’s still my baby. My baby with a couple of screws not even loose, but completely missing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The job that kept me in college.

I thought it would be nice to take a break from bitching about my gig at Mega Corporate Behemoth. I mean, it could be so much worse. I've had worse jobs.

I had a job where a new coworker took me out to lunch, then commented later in the day, "I get the feeling you don't realize I'm your new boss."

Uh, no, I didn't.

I had a job where my boss - a rather lecherous man who drank beer out of his coffee mug - gave me a shoulder massage and invited me to come over and use his hot tub.

Uh, no, I didn't.

But really? The worst?

Don't hate me, but ... I was a telemarketer.

It was the summer after my freshman year of college. I was supposed to go to summer school, but up and decided that a) I hated my degree program; and b) oh, I hated my college. So, I ended up back in my hometown, where all the summer jobs were long-since claimed.

A friend and I applied at the call center. The manager almost didn't hire me because he said I was too nice. I should have taken this as a sign, but, uh, no, I didn't.

The training class was filled with women who didn't know any of the state postal abbreviations but obviously knew their way around a Toni Home Perm. One woman in particular said she was excited to work there because she had her eye on a double-wide.

Our job was to call people with Conoco credit cards and offer them life insurance. I was terrified. It was only after I was faced with picking up the phone that I remembered that I hate making cold calls of any sort. And this place was old-school, so we had real phones ... real phones that had been abused and were occasionally very difficult to hear.

My very first call? I made a sale. It was almost too easy! I gave my spiel, and the woman said, "Well, I expect we'd better sign up." I couldn't believe it! And my supervisor couldn't either - she let me go get a pop. Except that after this taste of sweet, sweet success, I couldn't wait to get back on the phone and be my usual overachieving self.

That sale was the only sale of my 6-hour shift.

It was 1 of 3 sales from my 30-hour work week. And yes, that averages to 1 sale every 10 hours. Ten hours of people telling me to go to hell, followed by 1 elderly or non-English speaker who said yes.

It was horrible. I felt terrible. I got reprimanded for being too nice.

As a former theatre major, I tried to have fun with it. I made most of my calls with a southern accent as I tried to channel my inner Julia Sugarbaker. That only lasted so long.

One guy gave me hope that maybe I was just in the wrong kind of phone solicitation. After he told me no and was moving to hang up, I heard him tell his friend, "Dang, she sounded hot!"

I visited with a man from Muskogee, Oklahoma, about country music and Merle Haggard. He was lonely. I guess I was, too.

I knew that I couldn't continue living Where Dreams Go To Die. I mean, all of my coworkers had basically given up on life. And, because I'm a bit of a brat? I had trouble respecting my supervisor with the torn pants that were safety-pinned together - even if he was wearing a leather tie.

I got a new job going door-to-door for the city directory. It also sucked, but not really. I just verified who lived where, and was at the pool by 4:00 every afternoon. I was, however, the first person in the history of ever who gave a full 2-weeks notice at a telemarketing job.

Yes. I did. Because that job sucked, but I do have a little something called class.

Also? I'm stubborn as hell.

What was your worst job ever?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Destined to date dudes?

Remember when I asked for dating questions? My mailbag overfloweth!

Dear Cha Cha,

I spent my 20s working hard and making myself into a fun, mostly successful, well-rounded lady. Now that I’m in my 30s, it looks like most guys my age spent their 20s acting like they are still in college. How can I make a relationship work with these dynamics?

Dating Diva

Oh, Diva. You can’t.

You know how in your favorite movie and mine, “Say Anything,” how Lili Taylor’s character set John Cusack straight? She told him, “The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.”

It was good advice, and it holds up. It also applies to those folks looking to be in an honest-to-God / Allah / Buddha / Oprah relationship with a human of the male persuasion. The world is full of guys. Date a man. Don’t date a guy.

The tricky thing here is that yes, the world is full of guys. And yes, they get in the way, and make it harder to find the men. And men don’t all look like the Marlboro Man or the guy on Brawny paper towels. Some of them look like My Guy, with his silly logoed t-shirts and goofy grin. But he’s a man. He’s responsible and respectful. He’s comfortable in his own skin, and if he says he’s going to do something, he does it.

That’s what you’re looking for. Your job - if you’re looking for more than a good time or somebody to be in your fantasy football league - is to politely pass by the guys and find the men.

Like you, men are busy working hard and being well-rounded. I guess you could loiter about corporate parking lots to identify age-appropriate men who leave late, but not too late. Or go to the gym really early, when all the men work out before work. But really? I think you’ll get more sleep and avoid looking like a stalker if you just keep being your well-rounded self, but in some larger arenas. Expand your circle while you expand your comfort zone.

Join a sports league where you’ll meet new people. Commit to online dating. Volunteer. It’s all stereotypical advice, but stereotypes exist for a reason - there’s a kernel of truth. But what nobody tells you is that’s all about math.

Trust me. I was a Mathlete.

You can’t sub for 1 game of dodgeball and then proclaim that there are no eligible men in the league. Likewise, you can’t look at your eHarmony matches for free and then say you’ve tried online dating. You’ve gotta commit for months. A longer window of time will increase your sample size. It will introduce you to a larger pool of people - prospective dates, or a woman who’d love to set you up with her eligible man-brother, or whatever.

The more people you know, the larger your sample size. The larger your sample size, the greater probability that somebody will stick. To you. And you’ll stick right back.

There’s also some more complex equation that illustrates the importance of talking. Make small talk with the cute man-dodgeball-player. Or shoot an e-mail to the funny man-online-dating-profile-haver. I only took Math 10 in college, and I’m pretty sure this equation is calculus. But you know it’s there, and it’s true. Like gravity.

Dating takes tenacity. Be a woman, and stick with it. Somewhere, a man is wondering when he’s going to stop meeting chicks and get to date a woman like you.

I’m not a licensed anything, but I know stuff. Ask me questions in the comments, or at noodleroux (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shut yo' mouth!

It’s day 6 of my new gig at Mega Corporate Behemoth. Day 5 was great … the team went out for lunch, and I got to know some of my new coworkers. Also, I learned how to do some of my actual job. Wins all around!

But today? Well, it was quiet. Really quiet. And I was looking for ways to entertain myself. So, I tried to see if I could go all day without speaking to any of my teammates. Not because I’m anti-social or mean. Because I am bored.

See, most of the team sits in this area of sort-of open cubes. You know, those nice desks by the windows, with all the natural light?

Right. And I sit way far away from that. You know, those shitty grey cubes against the wall? The ones filled with everybody else’s broken chairs, old keyboard trays, and team softball trophies?

Yeah. Couple my leper-colony location with a team full of writer and designer folks who generally plug into their headphones and become one with their laptops, and this wasn’t such a challenging game after all.

I went 8 hours without talking to anyone.

While I have introvert tendencies, this was a new world record for me. But mostly? Mostly, it makes me wonder why I washed my hair today. And also if this gig could suck my soul dry.

Did I mention I’m bored?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It gets better.

Day 2 at Mega Corporate Behemoth and I still don't have a badge. And yesterday's security guard didn't leave a note for today's security guard, so today's security guard had to start all over again getting me a temporary tag so that I could be escorted around the building today.

Like a dog.

And the badge people had no record of a request for my badge. So I can look forward to a few more mornings of waiting in the lobby for my manager to come fetch me. Because I cannot be left unattended. Or I might steal some office supplies.

Except there are no office supplies.

I was told, "Yeah, good luck finding any office supplies. Just go ahead and plan on making a trip to OfficeMax."

So, yeah. But today was actually better than yesterday. I have a computer. I wiped down my cube with antibacterial wipes. And I managed to smile and make conversation with one of my new cube mates when she told me she'd switched from Chipotle burritos to bowls. "With the bowls, I can get 3 meals out of it instead of just 2 with the burritos!"

Umm ... I can down a Chipotle bowl in 5 minutes - 3 if I'm super hungry or hormonal.

I smiled and talked about the fat content of their tortillas. Then I ran back to my desk and texted My Guy. His response gave me faith in my sanity, my marriage, and the world in general.

"She's bad at life."

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's a new day!

Today was my first day at my new Mega Corporate Behemoth gig.

I have no badge. No computer. My cube was so dirty and grungy that it can best be described as Threat Level: Midnight.

Seriously. There was DNA in that grime. I spent an hour scrubbing with only the toughest office cleaning supplies: paper towels, water, and prayer.

I'm trusting that tomorrow will be better. And less boring.

Oh, for the love. Please.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Let's talk about dating. Dating, when you don't get carded a lot. Because you're an adult.

It seems that the people are desperate for snarky dating advice for the grown-up set. My posts about dating as, you know, an adult get about a gajillion more hits than my typical posts about dog poo and me being dumb.

I'm not saying that I'm an expert on dating in your 30s, but I did manage to come out of it sort of sane. Or, so completely messed up that it's entertaining. Whichever.

Soo ... what dating-as-a-grown-up topics can I expound upon for your reading pleasure? Online dating? Courting with kids? Moving forward after a rocky past? Gimme questions and I'll attempt to address them with wit, kindness, and creativity.

Spill it, readers. Post queries here, or shoot me an e-mail at noodleroux (at) yahoo (dot) com.