Thursday, September 24, 2009


Do you think this might be one of the reasons Baby Boomers roll their eyes at Gen Y in the office? I don't know, it just hit me as a possibility. It's not the most professional thing in the world, per se . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Black Cats and Pumpkin Seeds

It's September 23rd. Do you know what that means?? Halloween is one month and some change away!

It's my 4th favorite holiday behind Christmas, my birthday and Thanksgiving. I'm just crazy for it. I actually get jealous of small children and little people because it's socially acceptable to trick-or-treat when you're 3'-4' tall. Soooo not fair. In fact, I think I'll plan a Halloween event catered to adults: "Trick or Treat! Give Me Something Good To Drink". I'm envisioning something like a BBQ cook-off with actual spook houses, not just tents. . a little Halloween subdivision for adults. . we'll get all the major beer, liquor and candy companies to sponsor a house. . in a field somewhere, lots of decorations, low lights. . costume-loving-grown-ups will go from house to house socializing with other costume-loving-grown-ups. . maybe some live music. . a couple outdoor scary movies. . . I'm onto something, here aren't I??

Until that dream becomes a reality, I'll settle for house parties, with the exception of this year (I'll be showering my sister and her buddahbelly with baby gifts in another state). I usually start thinking about my costume around July. It's that important. You have one chance to knock 'em dead... or sometimes 2 or 3 chances... I've been known to have multiple personalities, I mean, costumes in one year. When else is it okay for normal adults to be bi-polar, schizophrenic hussies in public? It isn't.

Now I have my frustrations about the Halloween system, too. I love creative costumes (I still have the stuff in my closet to be "Party in My Pants" - XXXXL sweatpants, put the waistband around a hoola hoop, held up by suspenders, with loads of small balloons, confetti and streamers stuffed in and overflowing, hand out real invitations that say 'You've been invited to the Party in My Pants'... I think that's a 10.0 on the Costume Richter scale), but have you noticed that ANYTHING is a costume these days if you just add "sexy" to it? Sexy Frankenstein, Sexy Lunch Lady, Sexy Tax Collector. Sex sells. I'll admit, I've fallen victim to this bandwagon a couple times, but for the record, each year I vow to wear something with more fabric than the last year as a part of my maturation process. At least I've identified the problem. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Just in case you're struggling with ideas, here are a few of my faves.

Pocahontas with a Football Player and Top Gun.....

Bubble Bath with Sloppy Joe.....

Tinkerbell with a Saloon Hussy.....

Husband/Wife Team of Chinese Gymnasts.... haha!

Bi-Partisan (Republican in the front, Democrat in the back) with a Christmas Tree.....

And since my move to sales, I also get to attend a work Halloween party in Austin every year. This was last year's Masquerade Ball...

This was my pick for GREATEST COSTUME EVER. Oompa Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They actually handmade these costumes!

This year, our theme is A Tribute To The Silver Screens... I'm going as Carmen Miranda! Not only is she in the punchline of my favorite clean joke, she dances with fruit on her head. Could it be any more perfect? Here's my FABULOUS hat...

That is all.

The Morning I Counted My Chickens

The first 2.5 hours of my day led me to believe it would be a magical one... but don't count your chickens before they hatch.

My alarm went off at 6:38am. Since we heard the news of some female runner getting robbed a few blocks away, these days my roommate and I meet in the living room at 6:45am for our pre-sunrise runs. Often times I wonder if the mere addition of 1 female truly deters a mugging attempt, but there's something about false security in numbers that I cling to. But let's be honest, even running together, K and I would be screwed if someone actually did approach us. Not too long ago we posed the "what if" to eachother on a whim... what if someone attacked us right now, should we stay together or split up?? Roommate was of the Stay Together variety. I subscribe to a different mentality: the I Love You and All, but You Go One Way, I'll Go the Other, Then We Have a 50/50 Chance of Surviving This Craziness. Given our polar opposite views, I see an attack going something like this.........

scary man that hasn't bathed or eaten in days, jumps out at us... we both scream at the top of our lungs, mine being volumes louder than hers thanks to genetics... I take off in the opposite direction with my best 40 yard dash stride, only to feel the undeniable force of K's tug on my shirt... and suddenly I'm running like I do in my dreams... expending incredible amounts of energy, but not going anywhere because I have another woman stuck to me screaming STAY TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER... I'm batting at her hand as if to say, I LOVE YOU AND ALL, BUT YOU GO ONE WAY, I'LL GO THE OTHER, THEN WE HAVE A 50/50 CHANCE OF SURVIVING THIS CRAZINESS, but what really comes out is LET GO, B!TCH........ you can imagine how the rest pans out. So maybe running with Roomate isn't so much "safe", but fun.

This was supposed to be about my magical morning. Ok.

So I get up without a single snooze, completely rested and ready rumble. I was in the living room by 6:44am, at which point K is usually up n' at 'em, feeding Bear and what not... but all I heard were crickets. Could it be? Could my totally reliable, organized, early riser roommate have slept in after we discussed meeting for a morning run??? I attributed her slumber to a Bachelorette weekend in Vegas, but nonetheless, already felt uber-accomplished that I was exercising when she wasn't... since it's usually the other way around. The run was fabulous. A cool breeze and a soft headwind. The sun rising earlier than usual so I didn't have to spend 30 minutes exhausting my Fight or Flight options in hypothetical attack situations. New music on my iPod. Life is good. I ran through the gates at my complex just in time to feel one single droplet on my skin. I beat the rain! I am accomplished, I am fit and I outsmarted Mother Nature. Magical morning?? I thought so. So I headed to the weight room to pump some iron, like a cherry on my morning sundae (by the way, in 1998 my dad helped me learn the Table of Elements with his corny word associations "Iron - feeeeeel the burn - Fe" I just can't shake it). . .

That's when I realized I counted my chickens too quickly.

Roommate was on the treadmill. I deducted a tally from my Magical Morning Point System.

After I did some weights and crunches, I realized I was 15 minutes late for my morning routine. This wouldn't have happened if the complex had replaced the clock after the weight room renovation. Either way, I deducted another tally for poor time management.

As I exited the weight room, God opened the heavens and poured his love on me. In the form of rain. So I sprinted across the complex, only to trip at a puddle in front of a distinguished business man. Shame on me for having an imaginary point system. -2 for that crap.

I rushed into the shower, rushed through my make-up, rushed through my hair, but worse -- I rushed through my outfit selection. I chose the Express slacks with pink and purple pin stripes. They were supercool 4 years ago, but there's something about how busy they are that turns me off these days. Like I'm a business version of a Candy Striper or something. But they didn't have to be ironed and I needed something form-fitting for my site visit (don't judge) and, HELLO, I was late! Thanks to the pastel pinstripes, I deducted another tally from my Magical Morning Point System.

By this point, it was pouring cats and dogs (which is a pretty sick analogy if you think about it, but it's common, so I use it). Then. THEN. I got to work and realized I left my umbrella in my trunk. I could have gotten it at home under the COVERED PARKING, but no, when I'm late, my brain shuts off. So in the parking lot at work, I decide to crawl through my secret fold-down-backseat into my trunk to get my umbrella . . . my Candy Striper @ss in the air . . . can't see a thing . . . grabbing cleats and baskets and FedEx slips? I don't know. But not one. single. umbrella. -8 points.

I ran through cats and dogs to the door. Down the long terrazo floor hallway, slipping and sliding into my office. A soaking wet Corporate Candy Striper ready to start her day.

Never never count your chickens before they hatch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm An Addict

I need you to know about an addiction of mine, and just so we're clear... an addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

All addicts have a story, you know. A gateway drug. The beginning of the end.

For me, it started in 1991 with an ex-real-estate mogul with the mostest, my grandma's twin. Are you picturing a Century 21 billboard with a larger than life glamour shot of a high-maintenance woman looking over her shoulder in some ridiculous position, yet her smile still says, this is the most comfortable position I have ever been in ?? Yep, that's Aunt J, with a big red lipstick smile, short n' sassy auburn hair and reading glasses. (and she also had this fascinating silver necklace with a roof that opened on a mini-hinge that she'd let us play with all the time ... it had 2 silver chairs and a table inside that were freely floating about the 1 ... is that weird? ...)

It was one cold afternoon in 1991 on Uncle J's back porch that I had a deep conversation with her (as deep as an 8 year old can get anyway), about how important it is to have nice nails and its reflection on your femininity and class. She proceeded to tell me that she paid her granddaughters $100 to stop biting their nails. Um excuse me? They were paid to grow nice nails, people. Now why couldn't the stork have put me in her direct lineage?? So I took matters into my own hands -pun intended- and said something like well, I bite my nails too which I didn't but I want to stop, Aunt J. Now it's not quite clear whether we actually shook on it, but my 8 year old brain just knew we verbally committed to a $100 transaction pending long, strong nails at the next family reunion. Something must have been lost in translation because she never paid up.... but she did create a monster.... a nail monster.

My name is Smartash and I am an addict. I am addicted to Nail Upkeep.

Clippers, hand lotions galore, cuticle tools, clear polish with vitamins for added strength... but the fairest of them all? The Nail File. Nails are body art. Like tattoos. 10 little masterpieces right there on your phalanges. Without the Nail File, sculpting soft, smooth, precise edges would be virtually impossible, and without soft, smooth, precise edges, you will never bring people back-scratching pleasure or have a pretty engagement ring picture... can you imagine a life without those things?? and don't pull the acrylics card on me here. Au natural is where it's at.

I file as a study break, during lunch breaks, while bathing, reading a magazine. Every chance I get, I will file. If I get a snag, I can't focus on anything else until I get my hands on 1 of my 7 nail files strategically placed along my life's path (in my car, in my purse, at my desk, in my bathroom, everywhere). If I have a blonde moment and forget a file, I will swipe my injured nail back and forth as quickly as possible on the closest textured surface to hold me over until I'm reunited with my Knight In Shining Emery Board.

So, you know what I wish for you? I wish that through the lense of my passion, you see how important nail upkeep should be to you and yours. Share the message, my friends.

And you know what I wish for me? I wish I would pay the same attention to my feet.

In other news, I drove the company car to San Antonio this weekend... not the coolest of cars, but it was still brand new. I was supposed to return it to security upon arrival to work on Tuesday morning. Instead, I took it shopping during lunch and returned it at 3pm. I'm just sayin. It's important that I confess that to someone.