Posted in Floridaborne, Humor

Not so special report: Why I missed my deadline…again.

Well, it’s July 4th and once again I missed my NWR reporting deadline.

.

Last Wednesday, I was busy moving into my new office.  

Yes, you read that right.

A real office with a window.

Think of offices as dominoes.  

One person retires permanently.  The only person who needs an office (me) doesn’t want that office.  What possible reason would I have for not wanting an office?

I found out months later that the office manager knows me so well she said, “We can’t put her in that office, she’ll freeze to death.”

And we all know that North Florida isn’t the land of the freeze and the home of the parade.  We’re the land of the free, the home of the brave, and we have a stand your ground law to prove it.

So I remained in the conference room in a corner with the office server to keep me company.  When you have tinnitus, the sounds of beeps and chirps are no worse than the sound of an air conditioner running.  And it’s a LOT warmer in there.

Did I mention that I loved being in the conference room and hadn’t asked to move?

 If you think of it in terms of office efficiency, no one can have a meeting in a conference room when it’s being used as an office.  It’s like trying to share secrets with your best friend while your mother is in the room. 

Next on the list of office dominoes:  Person loses office and ends up at the front desk.  

Why?  Because the phone system that was supposed to replace a receptionist only worked if the intent was to infuriate your customers to the point of road rage.   

There was an empty office near the entrance no one wanted, for a good reason. Another person is moved from her office into that office to serve as backup for front-desk duty  (since everyone who walked through the door and couldn’t find the receptionist looked there for help, anyway). 

That left one office open.   Since the newly vacated office was about 1 1/2 times the size of the Director’s office, and next to the Executive Director, I’d often wondered why she was still in a back office in the corner where the mailboxes had been set up.

Yes, the inter-office mailboxes have replaced the old water cooler.

angelsprings.com

Fast forward to last week.  The Director enters her office and starts sorting through papers.  Then she says she’s decided to move into the office next to the Executive Director.  

I was joking when I said, “Good. Now I can have an office.”

She looks up at me (as if I were psychic) and says, “That’s the plan.”

And that’s when I found out it had been a plan all along to provide me with an office that wouldn’t turn me into a human-shaped ice cube.

After I tell you what happened next, you might wonder why anyone would think I deserved an office.

With help, I brought in my desk from the conference room and arranged the office to (my idea of) perfection.  I sat at my desk, ready to work, and an arctic blast hit me wham-bam-thanky-mam in the head.  

I looked up….and shuddered.

My ideal spot was directly under an A/C vent that was open at full capacity.

I wasn’t about to dress like this in my own office…

So I took a bunch of these…

winda7.com

….secured them against my desk,  did this….

….had to use one of these to reach the ceiling and close the vents…

amazon.com

…and I lived to tell about it.

To add to this magnificent feet, feat, I have permission to close the door and open my window so that the balmy 90F air can come flowing into the office.

Nothing in life is better than this kind of freedom.

Posted in Floridaborne, Humor

MIRRORING MEMORIAL

shallow.jpg

****))))Special report((((****

To boldly glow where no ghost has glowed before.

“Harry!  Give me one of those low-fat organic berry surprise bars!”  I yelled out, straightening my perfect white t-shirt accessorized with green beads, a green belt and green shoes.

“Here ya go,” Harry said.

I glowered at him. “What the hell is this?”

“It’s that awful energy bar you love so much, but I don’t have to throw away what’s left over after you’ve only taken 2 bites.  You do want to save the environment, don’t you?” he snickered.

I took my 2 bites and held it carefully between perfectly coiffured nails, thankful his filthy hands didn’t want to touch me, either.  “Tell me again why I’m standing in Arlington Cemetery?”

“To pay your respects to those who died in battle.  You remember, the people who gave up their lives so that you could waste food and trash the constitution.”

“Hateful bastard,” I mumbled.  “Why were you assigned to me?”

“You claimed mental trauma sustained on the job after you saw a ghost,” Harry grumbled. “I’m the only person left who can survive you.”

“We’ll see about that,” I whispered.

He smiled amiably.  “This will take 5 minutes of your time and you’ll be at Dan’s barbecue extravaganza before everyone else has a chance to eat all the spare ribs.”

“He’s promised me a ride on his ATV so I can watch him run over snakes,” I said.  “That’s why I’m wearing $200 jeans instead of a $2000 dress.”

“He lives on undeveloped county roads,” Harry informed me. “Did you look it up to see if there’s an ordinance against terrorizing your neighborhood with those things?”

“Why would the illiterate savages who live there care?”  I asked.

“I live a few blocks from Dan,” he chuckled.  “You’ll be on air in 3…2…”

Holding the microphone with nails accented in forest green, I began my report. 

“I’m Shirley A. Moronass coming to you live from Arlington Cemetery.  Today we celebrate the sacrifices of men and women who gave their lives so that we may live free.”

I have to admit, the way I read the words off the teleprompter had most of my crew mesmerized.  Harry continued to record my fluff piece while the rest of the crew ran down the road as hard as their legs could carry them.

“Shirley,” a voice said behind me, followed by an ice-cold hand on my shoulder.  

I looked down where a hand should be, seeing only a white shirt.  “Harry?”

“He’s about 6 foot 2, grey hair…translucent,”  Harry said.

“Why do ghosts seem to haunt me?”  I whined.

“Because you can see us,” the ghost said.  “You’ve grown to be a shallow, shrill, shrew of a woman.”

“Who are you to…” I began, turning to face my accuser.  “Dad?”

“Dear God, even your dad doesn’t like you?”  Harry chuckled.

“He doesn’t know me,” I replied with great umbrage. “He died in the gulf war before I was born, leaving my mother to raise me and my 10-year-old brothers alone.”

“You had twin brothers?”

“Don’t remind me,” I said, rolling my eyes.  “They enlisted in the military at 18.”

“Unlike my ungrateful daughter, they served their country well,” the ghost said.

“They lived in the San Francisco’s Presidio as career military for 20 years.  They were middle-management bureaucrats working in food service.  I am a world-renown reporter!”

“Someone has to feed the troops.  It’s an honorable profession, one that doesn’t require being dressed like a prostitute.”

“I…don’t know if I can continue,’ Harry said, convulsing with laughter.  “I mean no disrespect.”

“None taken,” the ghost replied.

“I enlisted in 2005, sir,” Harry said.  

“I didn’t know you were in the military,” I said with just a hint of laughter.  “Were you in food service, too?”

 “Don’t be disrespectful,” Harry ordered. “I was one of the ground troops in Afghanistan.”

“He saved 2 men during a raid,” the ghost just had to say.

“May I ask your name, sir?”  Harry said, as if a ghost deserved his respect.

“Heeza Moronass,” he replied.  “Don’t ask, strange names are a family tradition and my wife loved all those old airplane movies.  Shirley, you remember?”

“That’s why my brothers changed their name to Sonofa Smith and Cuzeeza Smith!”

“So then…the name isn’t pronounced “Morehonest?”  Harry asked. “What does her middle initial stand for.”

“Another,” the ghost chuckled. 

“Shirley…Another…Moronass?”  Harry laughed.

By this time, the crew started meandering back.  After all, Harry and I weren’t dead from our encounter.

“I can’t stay,” the ghost said. “I have to remain vigilant and keep watching for the minions of evil.  It’s my job to run them off until I finish my penance.”

“You died in an attack,” I said.  “You were awarded a silver star for defending villagers against 4 terrorists.  You were buried here with a 21 gun salute, and my mother got a flag.  What could you possibly have to do penance for?”

The ghost hung down his head. “I was in a brothel in the midst of…shall we say…the deepest part of my pleasure when 4 men broke inside to kill the Americans.  Fortunately, I never went anywhere without a side arm.  The last one got a bullet through my head right after I’d fired the shot, but my shot took another minute to kill him.”

“How long do you have to serve penance.”

“Until Roger dies and takes my place.”

“When is the best time to visit you?”  I asked.

“Sunday morning around 9.”

“Good.  We’ll finish this conversation later,” I said, watching as his form dissipated into the air.  I yelled out to Harry, “Pack it up!  We have a barbecue to attend.”

“Some old lady terrifies you but that man doesn’t?”  Harry asked.

“He didn’t throw 2000 pounds of machinery into a tree, nor did he make me think I was sitting on a couch instead of rat poop,” I said.

“But he was your father…”

“…and my mother married the man who fought side-by-side with my father to defend a bunch of prostitutes while my mother was giving birth to me,” I said.  “Furthermore, the bullet that killed him was friendly fire.  But I suspect there’s more to it than that.   Mom and the bastard are living on the beach in a condo.  She took out an insurance policy on my father for a million dollars, and I found out later my step dad had taken one out on my father, too.”

“That can’t be the only reason you’re mad as hell,” Harry said.

Did it matter if he knew?  “I look more like my stepfather, Roger Smith.”

“You’re going after them with a vengeance,” Harry said.  “Better them than me.”

“Mom had one more daughter, a year after I was born.  I found out they left the bulk of their estate to her in their will.”

“What did they leave you?”  Harry asked.

“All the freestanding mirrors in the house,” I grumbled.  “By the time I’m through with them…”

“Tell me after it’s over with,” Harry said, rushing to the truck.

Posted in Floridaborne, Humor

Piled higher and deeper and in quadruplicate

Aaaarrrrguh!

It’s Wednesday?  Already?

 

sarcasm.jpg

 

***????SPECIAL REPORT????***

If this report were any more special you could buy it at McD’s.

And I’m not clowning around!

RonMcD.jpg
mcdonalds.wikia.com

 

 

Today’s  addition to the Nudge Wink reports is about working for government

Any government.

 I don’t care if it’s the USA, Canada, Russia, or Lower Sloboviya, there’s paperwork.

 

hand.jpg                                                 …and I need this filing done in an hour!

My cat and every government in the world have one thing in common:  The same mantra

nothing is impossible.jpg

 

After a month back on my job, it felt like this:

working.jpg

Just when I thought that paperwork and I had come to an understanding…

 

dino shirt.jpg
Supershirtguy.com

 

…I was presented with the horrible truth:

 

 

dino leash.jpg
123rf.com

 

 

The people at the non-profit organization are fantastic!

It started out simple enough.  Once upon a time there were groups of parents all over the USA who wanted to give their forgotten children something to do during the day.  They relied on volunteers, bake sales and donations to run their local non-profit organizations. 

Then the state of Florida said, “We will give you money.”

pixar's The Good Dinosaur.jpg

It wasn’t much, and often didn’t come in at a reliable time.  But a group of advocates worked very, very hard to get more money and have it doled out each month, not whenever a social worker got around to doing it.

So then the state of Florida said, “We will partner with the federal government and both of us will give you money.”

People from other states heard about Florida’s windfall.  They didn’t try to get this program in their state.  Noooo.  They flocked into Florida like a cloud of vultures to benefit from the money that was supposed to be used for Floridians. 

What was meant to help 5000 people IED’d into an explosion of need that threatened to kill the program and everyone associated with it.

Instead of the state saying, “You have to live here 10 years before you’re eligible for this program,” they said…

“Let there be forms,”

And there were forms.

Then they said, “Let there be rules and regulations.”

And there were enough rules and regulations to kill off the dinosaurs.

And behold, the plan to plan to do the plan was created.

I was hired to write over 200 of these a year, get them completed before the deadlines, and send them out in quadruplicate.

Oh, but it gets bitter better.

  1. LEVEL 1:  The government generates a program and puts paperwork into rule.  It means they make laws instead of congress, which is unconstitutional.
  2. LEVEL 2:  The government subcontracts with one giant agency to monitor the entire program.  The state monitors the monitors.
  3. LEVEL 3: For the next level under that, the government hires other subcontractors to oversee ALL the subcontractors who provide direct care services to the people who are receiving services.
  4. LEVEL toilet bowl (4):   Level 3 sends Level 4 the paperwork out of which 100+ different types of forms are generated.  
  5. Why 100+ different forms?  Because the F@#&*%$ government can’t get their act together and make the 10+ agencies — whose laws we have to follow– CONSOLIDATE THEIR PAPERWORK!

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Level 1, the state & feds

Level 2, monitors

Level 3 sub monitors

 

wikipedia toilet.jpg

 

<—I am here….level 4

 

 

I wish it were as simplistic, but this system puts the pyramid scheme to shame.

In the scheme of things it’s a lot more like this.

 

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ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com

 

I’m somewhere near the vanishing point…I think.

Subcontractors at level 3 who haven’t done their job right will walk into my office at times, and I’m supposed to do this:

sarcastic smile.jpg

They have learned to avoid me because my face will become indelibly paired with this:

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I know I shouldn’t be catty, but…some days I just can’t help being sar-cat-stick.

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Did I mention how hard it is to get 100 overworked, underpaid, and rarely appreciated people to get paperwork into the office at the right time…and how greatly it resembles trying to herd 100 terrified cats? 

It helps to be a professional nag armed with a healthy dose of OCD.  

The non-profit recently had an audit.  I just found out that my insistence on doing paperwork that my former boss said was unnecessary saved 2-months of payback.

I’ll be smiling about that for days.

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boredpanda.com

If you ever experience temporary insanity and think you can trust ANY government, always remember this truth:

gov sand meme.jpg

Really.

Posted in Floridaborne, Humor

How retirement is like eggplant

))))****SPECIAL RETORT****((((

So special, I had it coming.

For anyone in the blog-o-sphere who cares, I retired on December 1.

Oh…you already knew that?  Well excuse me for…

what was I saying?

BELCH.

Damn that Eggplant Parmesan!  Do you know how much cheese and spaghetti sauce it takes to hide the taste of grey vegetable matter?

I may be forgetful but…

    No, I don’t look like this       

I look like this hair.jpg 

And I can do this and this 

Just a wee bit of difference, wouldn’t you say?

Yes, I retired

For 2 months and 8 days.

There’s something about standing in a food line for 2 hours that screams, “This is not your finest moment!”

Eight eggplants, two cans of spaghetti sauce, a half gallon of almond milk, and a frozen chicken later, I’m looking at my sister-in-law, who has been doing the food line thing for years, and ask, “How do you cook eggplant?”

When you’re 20, you don’t consider the fact that you’ll be living on less than a 16-year-old  makes working in the fast food industry 20 hours a week.

…or that you’ll have to eat

**shudder**

eggplant!

It might’ve helped if I hadn’t cashed out my retirement plan for those Metallica tickets 25 years ago.

But, alas, I digest digress.

As fate would have it, the person taking my place did not inherit the clerical gene, nor was he well endowed with the over abundance of OCD required to keep a non-profit agency from being pay-backed into oblivion because a useless document was two days overdue.   

The phone call I received 2 months and 2 days into that financial hell called “retirement” went something like this:

World’s nicest boss, “Uh….would you…uh…do you think…could you come back to work for a few months until we can…”

Me (silently):

Then, after I finished my happy dance, I said, “Certainly.”

Will I be back at work for a month?  Seven?  The rest of my life?

I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be working for as long as they can stand to have me around.

The one good thing that came from retirement:  Writing!!!!

Unfortunately, it takes money to pay for editing.

Retirement might kill me yet, but I’d rather not have my books die with me.

Don’t be sad for the guy who tried his hand at becoming a useless bureaucrat.  He’s traveling around teaching people important stuff while I’m sitting at a desk doing this.

TASTES LIKE EGGPLANT

It’s called a win-win situation.  He gets to use his brain, I get to save money for editing and…

!!!!AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER EAT EGGPLANT AGAIN!!!!

Posted in Floridaborne, Humor, Special Report

Canada vs. the USA

 

****))))SPECIAL REPORT((((****

So special, it’s telling you what you already know.

<_><_><_><_>

Mandatory digression:

Well….I just returned home from my once-every-5-years physical.  Why the doctor’s office considers it rude to miss a physical for 4 years in a row, I’ll never know.  As punishment, they shredded my file 3 months ago and made me register as a new patient.

Filling out 20 forms with 8-font words must be the way they test your mental health.  If you can do it without having a melt-down in the waiting room, you’ve passed. 

They wanted to know my race, so I wrote: “Human.”  Then, on the 18th form, they wanted to know if I took illegal drugs or owned firearms, so I wrote:  “Are you crazy? What the hell does that have to do with a physical exam?” 

Age 13.jpg

Yeah, sure, I use bazookas as part of my upper body weight-lifting routine. That’s why I have huge muscles.

In case anyone out there is delusional enough to believe I lift anything but dogs...

 

 <–   This is me, at 13.  My upper arm strength hasn’t changed all that much.  

Canadians don’t have to worry about that sort of irrelevant nonsense; they’re too busy trying to survive their 9 month winters. 

<_><_><_><_>

In the USA, if someone robs a bank they yell:  Wallets!  Money!  Now, Mo%&$*#@^kers! 

In Canada, if someone robs a bank they say:  Your wallets and money, please.  So sorry.

Why would I believe that?  Look at the Vaulter Bandit, who chose a different bank to rob 4 times a year (on average).  In 2015, he disguised himself as a construction worker, chatted with bank security, robbed the bank at gunpoint and then said,  “Have a nice Mother’s Day,” to the employees.

If something like this happened in the US, the police wouldn’t have a nice thing to say about the  #%**$&^@d robber.  But not in Canada.

“He’s in relatively good shape. He can vault over the counter with ease. He’s very flexible.” 

I have to say that the women in Canada are tough.  The Vaulter Bandit left without any cash in 2011 when a female employee kicked him in the balls.

I have a theory:  There aren’t enough paved roads in Canada to allow a bank robber to escape anywhere meaningful.  Since the Vaulter Bandit has grey hair, he probably spent the winter in Palm Springs, California working out in a gym. That’s where most of the Canadian Snowbirds go.

He couldn’t come back to Florida and rob us, he was arrested and served time here. 

So what does he do when he can’t go south again?  He tries fleeing to Switzerland. They’re not as polite in Geneva as police are in Canada.  They actually arrested him.

People in Canada have to be polite to each other.  After all, that @$$hole next door might be one of the people helping you dig out of the snow in January.  That’s the way it was in Minnesota when I lived there, a state that might as well be part of Canada.

Hell!  Even your cats are different.

Here’s my proof.

kittens.jpeg

Canadian Cat

mindubiz.jpg

My cat

You want more proof?

I’ll begin with an up-to-date map of Canada to show why there aren’t enough paved roads for a robber to make a decent escape:

map-2006-pop-density-canada-sz01-en.gif

Canada only has 4% of their roads paved because…I mean…really?  Who wants to vacation with the Inuit’s?    

Even the homeless have their limits on where to travel, especially during the winter.  They only go to the parts of Canada where the snowbirds have abandoned their mountain homes for the winter.

Homeless people aren’t stupid, or they wouldn’t survive for long.  Yet it does seem strange that Kansas is preferable to Mexico.  Then again, with so many corn fields, they’ll never starve.

homeless.gif
from huffington post

But alas, I digress.

In the USA, all but 1% of the roads are paved.  The difference between paved and unpaved roads can be seen in these pictures:

The road in front of my house

P1050946.JPG

Contrast that with L.A. at Rush Hour

LArushhour.jpg

For your viewing pleasure, here is a Canadian road during a major event:

Canadian Polite 3.jpg

 

Looking at the big picture, I’d say that Los Angeles has as many miles of paved roadway as all of Canada.

digital-vector-maps.com.gif

Canadian politeness is legendary

Here in the USA, that attitude has traditionally been called “Milk toast.”

The USA is known for letting it all out.  Just ask our favorite irreverent American, Maxine:

A maze Maxine.jpgMaxine on winter.jpg

If that isn’t enough to convince you that most people in the USA aren’t the type to say “sorry” in a Mosh Pit:

polite canadian1.jpg

In the USA, most graffiti is…well…graphic.

(UNABLE TO POST PICTURES UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18)

But not in Canada

Canadian Polite 2.jpg

So there you have it:  The difference between the US and Canada:

People in the USA say it like it is and Canadians want to survive.

Posted in Floridaborne, Humor

Retiredment

You’ve probably heard that old cliché, “I’m a day late and a dollar short.”

Well, I just retired, so I’m 2 days late for my November post and now I’m short by 1/2 my income. 

It’s the second day, and I’m already wondering how I’m going to buy  groceries next month.  Not that I don’t have enough to buy $20 worth of groceries for the month, but I still worry.

My family, all of whom voted for Hillary Clinton, have questioned my sanity as of late. 

I’ve calculated that if I burn a parked car and then point my loaded clam-shell phone at the police, I’ll end up in jail.  The food there is better than a nursing home, and I’ll have more rights.

Just a thought.  I’m still working on completely stripping down my entire budget.

I just had another thought!  I could panhandle by threatening to strip right there on the street if I don’t get $20.  But then I’d end up in jail anyway.  Or under 72 hours of mental health scrutiny.  

I’m a writer…I can’t afford to have my mental health scrutinized.  

I want to live in the same retirement community this human is living in:

Since I’m not insanely rich, that will never be an option.

I have only one alternative:

Why did I retire in the first place?  I tell people it’s so I have more time to write.  

Really?  And how am I going to afford to get my books edited?

demotivators.com knows the truth:

I’m still with one, and another one died, but when I left 3 of my 5 husbands, this was my motto:  

P1050730.JPG

It’s the same thing with a job.  I’d rather know when it’s time to leave than to be told, “retire or be fired.”

Instead of a frown and a finger pointing at the door, I received a delicious cake, a nice party,  some fantastic comments about my work skills, and a gift that I can actually use.

Had I been able to wait, this is when I would’ve retired:

I live in Florida already, but frankly this unfortunate truism scares the hell out of me:

That’s what Northerners look like when they’re sitting on the beach in January.

This is what I look like when I’m sitting in a restaurant with the A/C turned up too high:

Yes, that’s me in the hat.

Anyone north of the Florida border is from “up north.”

I don’t want people to move here from up north!  They buy a lot, cut down all the trees, build houses with small windows, plant the trees they loved when they lived up north, and they complain bitterly when it’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and nothing they plant (whether trees or crappy ideas like “that’s not how we do it up north”) wants to live here.

This is Florida.  If you don’t have a lot full of trees and large windows surrounding your house, you’re going to be very, very uncomfortable.  If you didn’t listen to me when I told you this the first time, you’re stupid.  You can’t fix stupid and I don’t want to hear you complaining about your $500 a month A/C bill.  

Okay.  So now that I’ve gotten that rant out of my system, I’m ready to continue.

Perhaps I can take an online course in interior decorating.  I have such good ideas:

Here are my final thoughts about my impending ultra-poverty experience:

Either that, or I’ll be 106 years old, won’t be aware enough to know that I’m not an insanely rich writer living on an tropical island…

…and that ball of fiery rock will be the last thing I’m trying to see.

Until then, I’ll be haunting the bread outlets, standing in line with my friends for free food, and hoping that my 1992 Chevy will last long enough for an efficient cross-country mass transit system to be built.

That, by my calculations, will probably be completed 39 years from now, a year before the asteroid hits.