January 28, 2015

So this just happened....

On Sunday, I took my knife, my sword and my staff, along with my jump rope, out to the dead end cul de sac by my house.  Surrounded by trees, and partially filled with a tractor and a sand pile, it is the perfect hiding place for me to be outside so that I can practice my weapons for my upcoming 4th degree black belt test.

I was out there for an hour, and I admit, I got into it.  Motley Crue in my ears (yes, whatever, I don't care.  You're a hipster wanna be who loves Sam Smith and all his melody-stealing tunes.  I am a child of the late 80s.  Crue kicks Smith's ass. Just sayin'), some sunshine, no snow or rain, and WEAPONS!  Save for an annoying tow truck driver who came down to turn around (and quickly drive away when he saw my face), I was alone.  I loved it.

Turns out I wasn't alone.

So Monday night I get home; DC to suburb commute SUCKED.  Snowing, icy, I hit a HUGE pothole on the stupid bridge crossing into Rosslyn - it took me 95 minutes, I was tired and worried about my car.  I was in a mood.  I get to the steps of my building right at the same time that the son of one of my neighbors does.  I have met him before.  He is a senior in high school, plays linebacker and I am not kidding - HE IS HUGE!  This coming from a football player's kid - I mean, I know huge, and this kid is HUGE!  I think people see him and regularly get out of his way.

So there we are, arriving at same time.  I stop, I sort of fake smile (I know, but at least I am admitting it) and say "after you".  He says 'no ma'am - please go right ahead."  He steps aside - sort of far to the side.  I note this, but am too tired.  I think to myself, how nice that this young man is so polite.  So I say thank you and tell him it is so nice that he is so polite and that I appreciate that.  He stares at me in all seriousness and says the following:

"Ma'am.  I appreciate that you think I'm being polite.  But the truth is, I saw you yesterday down in the cul de sac, doing stuff that looked like maybe karate?  You had a knife.  And a sword.  A really big sword.  I don't know who you are exactly, but I will step away from you when I see you - well, probably forever, ma'am.  Just letting you know."

Gotta dig it.  :)

January 23, 2015

Best Hang Up Ever

Holy crap, but it's almost February! Where is my life going?  Not sure at the moment - all I do is work. Seriously, the world is filled with REALLY STUPID, EVIL PEOPLE and as a result, folks like me get to work really long hours.  Am I bitching? Nope. I would not trade my career for all the tea in... well, you get it. 

So work, work, work.  I'm tired, I don't sleep very well, my voice is always raspy and I have to take a lot of vitamins.  And, sadly, I'm missing out on some social opportunities.  BUT - every now and again, along the way something fun happens, like it did last Friday, that makes ALL the long hours and the missed events worth it, if only for a brief moment in time.

Without saying all the types of things I shouldn't say (so bear with me as you read this, because it might seem like it's in code), last week a visiting dignitary came to visit one of the places where I work.  As a result of that visit, my agency principal came to visit too.  I am VERY lucky - I have met my agency principal on several occasions now, and what I do ensures that those in my group have a bit more regular exposure than most in my organization.  So it is an honor that I treat with respect, because I know that so many other really hard-working folks will never get the chance. 

That said, I did not KNOW he was coming too.  I knew the other guy was, I didn't know MY guy was.  So I was not prepared......

So there I am, waiting for the arrival.  On a Friday.  LATE in the day.  As in - it's now dark outside.  But there I sat because there is always more work to do.  As we deal with different types of information, there are different methods available to us to talk to one another, and wouldn't you know it, my immediate boss, who is a verifiable pain in the ass, decides to call and 'chat' about something stupid. Par for course.  He chose a method that required specific hardware be employed.   It's a process.  It's more involved than just picking up a phone.  Fine.  I get it all working and there I am, starting this conversation.  Suddenly, behind me, I 'feel' before I see, about 20 people and I hear one of the principals at the location where I was sitting start to introduce me and tell the "man" what it was I did for them.... 

My first reaction - annoyance, because I thought "who the hell is walking around at this time of the day on a Friday afternoon?"  So I start to stand up and turn around prepared to do the fake and insincere "how nice to meet you" thing and it is then that I see him.  THE MAN.   AND, as if he weren't enough,  all of his immediate underlings - AKA, THE BRASS of my agency. 


I immediately dislodge the hardware I'm using, which looks a bit funny, because I did so almost in a jerk-fashion, I was so startled.  The 'man' says so politely 'my gosh, I'm so sorry, you're actually WORKING!'  Why yes sir, that's what we do.  But he was so polite and nice and was actually listening to what the other person was saying about me, that I fully engaged and left my immediate boss saying "hello? hello? hello?" over and over again.   Which everyone around me could now hear.  I totally ignore him, of course, because I am on display in front of the brass.  It is GOOD for me that they are seeing me here late, and working, and it is amazing for me that I am being introduced like I matter - LOL. I can't mess this up.   The 'man' continues to engage after seeing a tag with my nickname on it, and he continues to state that he's heard of me - good things (thank God!).  He then asks me about my father, whose football card is on my board.  We are chatting.  People are listening. I am so excited!  Best part though - absolute BEST part - is that you can still hear the pain in the ass saying "hello? What is happening? Hello?"

The 'man' asks "Do you need to get that?"  I reply "No sir I do not, but if you will standby for just a moment...."

I pick up the device and say ever so sweetly...."the 'man' and the 'other man' (insert titles) are here at the moment, so you will understand that I need to hang up on you now.  Goodbye".  And I disconnected.

Everyone starts laughing.  The 'man" says to me "was that your immediate boss?" (again, insert chain of command title). I reply, yes sir it was.  And he says "I bet you've been waiting your entire career to hang up on a boss, haven't you?"

And I reply, without missing a beat, "why yes sir, I have. That one in particular. Thank you SO MUCH for providing me with the  most awesome opportunity to do so."

He laughed. I made the 'man' laugh.  He was still chuckling as they all walked away, and one of the Brass turned around and winked.

Rock on.


December 9, 2014

Jingle Poop

I fell into an exhausted sleep.  Rest was a commodity in short supply lately, so I prayed I'd be able to get a few good hours.  I was awakened sometime later from slumber by a rather violent rustling noise.  Shit. There's someone in my house.  Where is my weapon? Can I get to it before the rustling gets to me?

The rustling is more violent and seems closer.  Wait a minute, I think.  Who is that?  A bear?  For gosh sakes, I'm thinking, you're not exactly QUIET!  I can HEAR you!  As I lay there, I forget that there is an intruder and what complications this might bring to me, and instead think "this person is a dumbass". 

The rustling is now at the door of my bedroom.  I can lie still attempting to focus no longer.  I jump up out of bed and immediately fall over.   Way to go, Ace.  The bad guy must be getting a kick out of the goober who can't stand up.  I bound back up, hands in fighting stance, ready to go - ready to defend myself no matter what.  It takes me a split second to focus, but focus I do.  And there is no bad guy in front of me. 

But there is Squirrel.  My 21-pound Maine Coon cat.

And he's there with his newest toy - a piece of his own poop that he has wrestled out of his litter box, and which he has now been skidding around all over my entire place, on the hardwood floors.

Squirrel is looking at me with that look that cats get; dog people, you will know what I am talking about. It is that look that tells you, without doubt, that cats ABSOLUTELY know what a total loser you are, that they are indeed better than you, that they KNOW this and that in all honesty, it is they who are the victim for having to put up with you at all.  That is the look I am now getting, as I stand there in my pajamas, hair wild, mental state still not quite right, as my cat with his Christmas piece of poop toy stares me down.  I try to stare back.  

It is in that moment that I think "and this is your life...."

Good God, how sad.

Squirrel tires of the standoff, and bats his piece of poop under my bed, where he proceeds for the next hour to play with it.  I am too tired to get down on my hands and knees so I get back into bed and proceed to lay there, wide-awake again, for 2 hours.  I lay there listening to skidding Christmas poop and my cat having a marvelous time.  Finally, around 4am, he tires of his game and I drift back off to sleep only to be jolted back to reality two hours later by the dreaded alarm clock.

I amble out into the living room, and find Squirrel sound asleep, next to his poop.  I hate to admit it, but he looked a little bit like a fat, furry angel.  Needless to say, I did not.

Damn Jingle Poop.