2004-01-20 - 1:34 p.m.

You know that show, The Surreal Life?

The one where they put a bunch of Z list "celebrities" in a house and watch them combust, or whatever? Maybe they make them learn to race cockroaches or something, I don't know, I've never watched it.

The point is, that what they should do if they want to call a show the Surreal Life is follow me around for a day.

I didn't have my cell phone on all weekend except the one time I turned it on to check for the message I expected from Splink.

Driving to work this morning...

wait. break. time out...

Have you noticed how squirrels aren't all that bright this year? I feed the birds and the squirrels in my back yard every morning. This morning I was chucking out the usual mix, cookies (peanut butter, molasses and oatmeal), raisin bread, suet, seed and grapes. No french fries this morning. French fries are only on sat-mon mornings. Anyway, I started with the bread. My squirrel went to each piece of bread, ran to it with abandon, sniffed it and then ran to the next one. I know what he wants. I know what he's waiting for. He's looking for the grapes. I get the grapes and I chuck one near him. He runs near it but not to it. I chuck another one. He can't find that one either. He found every damn piece of bread but he can't find the grapes I'm bouncing off his head. When he finally did find the grapes he started burying them in the snow, digging a hole, planting the grape and then lovingly patting the snow back over it. So cute.

What was I saying?

Oh right. Time in.

So I'm driving to work and I turn on my phone and I have 2 messages. I listen. One is splink. The other is a pop star whom I know, but not well. He is not what I would consider a friend. If you mentioned my name to him he would not recognize it unless you said it next to someone elses. If he saw me alone in person he'd be hard pressed to figure out where he knows me from.

The message says that he got my name from a few people. That he needs a stage doctor and would I consider giving him a call to discuss how I work.

What? What the hell. I call the most likely culprit and wake J right the heck up.

No. J didn't give him my number or discuss this with him in any way.

Interesting. I've not called him back yet, I don't know where he is and hate to call pop stars too early unless they've pissed me off.

So anywhooo. I continue my way to work, certain that this a job I would not take but laughing at how odd it is to be offered such a job when I'm heading off to a far lower paying job.

I begin to plan my day in my head and realize that I will be arriving at the lab at the exact same time as the people for whom I've scheduled a tour this morning. I cannot remember their names. I blame this on the snot. I'm not generally good with names but I am usually pretty good with business names. Rats. Then I realize that we are expecting a tour of a prospective student and his family (father and grandfather) and I am wearing a shirt that says "I'm Begging You Please Shut Up!"

Not a great first impression.

Maybe they won't notice the shirt when the flem starts dripping off them.

I do arrive at exactly the same time as they do. I still cannot remember their names so I say "Hi! you must be the tour! Let me get Dobie for you!" all perky like, while holding my coat over my shirt. I don't introduce myself, it doesn't even occur to me. I am just scurrying away like a frightened bunny.

Two of my students are waiting to pounce on me and ask me junk. I barely make it to my desk carrying...oh yeah...I'm carrying a giant plastic bag with 6 cans of assorted food products (spaghetti, ravioli etc) for my food drawer, 5 video tapes, 1 dvd, and a giant subbag of candy for my desk. I mean, this candy bag for the desk alone weighs at least 15 pounds.

In the hand not carrying the giant bag I have my cd player (my computer has a cd player, why I insist on carrying this one in and out every day is a mystery), my zippy case of cd's, a big bottle of water, my coat (I cannot wear a coat for more than a second) and ...and...I can't remember, oh, right, and my purse which refuses to stay on my shoulder.

I dump everything on the desk and immediately take out an envelope of stuff that I have to bring to main campus later. I try to sit in my chair, but Dr. Joe has, as usual left a number of notes and things on my chair.

Now this kills me. I have a box outside my office for anything that people want me to read or attend to. I have an entire desk for people to leave things on, but Joe will insist on leaving things on my chair.

It's an annoyance but a forgivable one, considering all the bad habits I've broken him of in the past.

I take the pile of urgent junk off of my chair, place it on my desk and sit.

There are still two students in my doorway.

One, "Sharkgirl" asks if when I have some time I could help her with a flow sheet. I would love to. I really would. That was NOT sarcasm. I enjoy that kind of thing. I try to read the stuff from my chair and Sharkgirl continues asking questions about the Flowsheet while my other student "Supermom" just dives right in with questions. I don't remember what they were. I just remember looking up and moaning. She laughed and agreed to give me a minute.

I tried to read The Evil Dr.'s note, couldn't really put all of my brain power into diciphering his secret alphabet and went back to Supermom's problem. I answered Supermom's problem and found that Sharkgirl was still sitting across from me. I asked Sharkgirl for like, a second and a half.

I call the KOI because I'm supposed to go to his office today to order some fish food that Dobie has been up my butt about for weeks. The KOI wants to put it off because, well because it would mean staying at work 30 seconds after his class ended and that's against his moral fiber.

The KOI and I then got into a big fight because he doesn't think anything is important unless it makes him look like a hero. Seriously, it was long and drawn out but that's the way it shakes out and I'm so sick of him it makes me want to vomit.

Then we discussed laundry folding for like, 20 minutes.

I also had put a call into The Evil Dr. because his notes, even once I read them, still did not make sense.

The KOI relented about the thing that wasn't all about him and did the least he could do and then sent it to me to makes sure it was written in something akin to english.

Here's the best part, modified to protect his identity(ish).

"...Dr. KOI works with invertebrates, specifically Mollusks..."

only he spelled Mollusks wrong.


I then get to start working on the flow sheet with Sharkgirl who has decided that my ME time is over. Sharkgirl is completely unprepared for this conversation. Sharkgirl barely passed her one course in her major so far and is talking about a double major and a double minor. Slow down sweety, if you keep flunking stuff you'll go right to Ph.D.

While I'm talking to her I get the call from the Evil One. The evil one and I comiserate about the sorry state of our health. He clarifies some of the notes, and then adds that he had hoped to invite me to the VERY IMPORTANT meeting he'll be attending on the south shore tomorrow.

This is just...unspeakable. If you know where Dr. Joe and I have been, you will see how far this is that we've come. How much trust and respect is implied in this invitation. I am touched. I'd not have gone because I feel like dog doo, but I'm touched. As it turns out he tells me, he cannot invite me because the KOI has invited himself.

When the KOI calls me back later I can not stop myself from dropping this on him. I couch it of course, but I let him know. He is satisfyingly freaked out. He offers to bow out because he doesn't want to "compete with me". I tell him there is no competition. He asks who's winning and I tell him that he has no love of things subtle.

This is better than saying, "Sing that part a little slower, and could we get the damn lights off that side of the stage." ???

Uh. Okay.

Now it's getting fuzzy.

I know that my head is a mess and my eyes can't see and I should probably eat. I don't feel like eating any of the food I've brought and know that I have 2 packets of Lipton Cup O Soup (aka Lipton cup of 3 crunchy noodles and some pepper)in my desk. I don't want to dirty a tupperware dish for this...I look and see my lovely mug bought for me for CHRISTMAS by Splink (It's one of those pottery mugs and it says "I Am The Queen") I realize that I drank airborne out of it last week and had no minions to clean it so perhaps I should give it a wash.

I wash it with probably a little more dish soap than really was called for and then go to their webside to see if I can use it in the microwave or have to begin that whole dance of heating the water in 47 paper cups and then pouring them into a mug. Nope, YAY pottery people, it can go in the microwave.

I put in both packets because one packet is just plain silly and then eyeball the water. I notice some foaming on the top of the mug.

Are they putting surficants into Cup O Soup these days? Did I buy cup o suds by mistake?


I heat it. I take it out of the microwave and there is a goodly sized foam on the top. I taste the foam.

Hmmm. Perhaps I didn't really rinse this mug.

I take the mug to the trash to dump its contents. Maybe not. Lots of liquid. I'll dump it in the lab sink...oh, Dobie's using that...I'll pour it down the toilet.

Only when I get into the ladies room I go immediately to the sink and dump it there. This is one of those sinks with the little circle of little circles so that nothing can go down but liquid. So now I have to wait until all the liquid is gone and then scoop out all of the noodles (amazing how they multiply when you no longer want to eat them, maybe it's the soap).


Right. So then I come back to the office and I've got a message on my phone. Only it's a text message and I don't think I actually even HAVE text messaging. I can see who it's from and have options to reply, or forward, but cannot read the thing.

I call Boobs2 (who is strictly speaking Boobs1, but she left and lost rank) and tell her Voice Mail that I couldn't get her Text Message. Thank goodness we have all this technology to make our lives easier.

Boobs2 (previously known as Boobs1) calls me back later and says that she wanted to tell me this:

"The baby's walking!"

Boobs2 (previously known as Boobs1) does not have a baby. Some time ago she met a guy she didn't like much and HE had a baby and she just sort of usurped it I suppose and now they're like this family thing.

Any rate I love Boobs2 (previously known as Boobs1) and am happy to hear from her. We chat and laugh like only the two of us can. At one point Dobie comes in to ask if the screaching he heard was me.

It was. Boobs2(blahblahblah) and I can really wind each other up. We get into this stream of consciousness thing that I've never really had anyone else get and we just lose it.

Anyway, Boobs2 (you know the rest) tells me how she thinks I can get my text messages. Now, I love 2. 2 is a big favorite, but she's not the brightest bulb and I had to show her how to change the ring on her phone. I didn't hold out much hope. Still I said, send me another message and we'll give it a shot.

Guess what? I have text messaging.


Okay, time me go sit in comfy chair now.

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