Ordvan, the Trinity of Evil

My sister, whose blog is the first and last thing I read online everyday, posted a blog about nightmares.

Like Mary, I have very vivid dreams, complicated, confusing, and sometimes just downright evil.  Even as a small child I had such frightening dreams I can still remember them in detail.  One recurring dream I had when I was in kindergarten (5 years old). I dreamed I was walking down a path  through a forest, and came upon a run down shack. There was no glass in the two windows, and the front door was one of those dutch doors, where the top opens separately from the bottom.(Where the hell did I ever see dutch doors?) The top part of the door was open, and the inside of the shack was completely dark. I was about 20 feet away from it, when, slowly, a large stick appeared through the open door with a skull on the end of it.  I couldn’t see  whoever or whatever was holding the stick, but I watched in horror as the stick swung back and forth, the skull bobbling on the end.

I would also have this dream time and again: I would be standing in the middle of the highway that ran past our house, and looking down the highway where the business district was, there were no street lights, nothing, just darkness…not even darkness, more like a dead black space. I would wake up with such a feeling of total and utter despair. Pretty heavy for a 5 year old.

More recently, well, more like 15 years or so ago, I had a nightmare that I still don’t quite believe was a nightmare.  It was too damn real.

I was sound asleep when all of a sudden someone or something  jerked me up into a sitting position in my bed. I could feel the hands pulling me up by my shoulders. I looked around, nothing. Husband sleeping soundly next to me, bedroom door closed, nothing unusual. I laid back down, thinking THAT was weird, and went back to sleep.

Then, wham! I was on the floor beside the bed.  As hard as I hit the floor, I had a feeling I was pushed or thrown.  I got up, ready to give my husband hell for playing tricks on me, but he was still asleep, in the same position he was earlier. Now I was getting a little spooked, but I was so tired, I just got back into bed and fell right back asleep.

Next thing I knew something was dragging me by the feet across the bedroom floor and out the door. I didn’t remember being dragged from the bed, just woke up as I was being dragged. I didn’t scream, I wasn’t terrified, I just tried to keep myself from being dragged out of the room. Then bam! I was back in bed. You know how it is when you’re half asleep and trying to gather your thoughts? I closed my eyes, trying to figure out if I was dreaming or if this was real or if I was dreaming it was real or dreaming about dreaming …and a bright neon green evil demon head blasted in front of my eyes behind my closed eyelids and screamed ” I am Ordvan! Trinity of Evil! “ (sounds almost funny now, but it was pee-my-pants-horrifying at the time). Then it disappeared.

That was it.  I was really awake now.  I woke my husband, crying and shaking, and recounted the “dream” I just had.  Always the source of comfort, he shrunk down under the covers and said, “Good God! Now you’ve got me scared, too!”

I did some deep breathing and tried to relax and get back to sleep, since it was just a couple hours till sunup and work on the farm begins at the crack of dawn.  Then I saw something that woke me up completely: the bedroom door, which had been shut tight before we went to bed (to keep the cat out), was now wide open.

But it’s not.

snot

 

Ok, I’m only going to blog this once…I have a cold of monumental proportion.  What started out as a teensy cough has morphed into a sinus infection, sore throat, and bronchitis all rolled up into one big ball of used Kleenex.  Having diabetes and being married to a foreigner is child’s play compared to being this kind of sick.

For one thing, I can not stand to have anyone hovering over me when I’m feeling rotten. (So,obviously, I’m not a guy). Yes, get me a cup of tea and a full box of tissues, but then leave me the hell alone. I do NOT want you turning on the overhead light in the bedroom and asking me if you should turn off the light. I also do NOT want you to decide this is the right time to collect hangers out of the closet (imagine the sound of hangers being scraped across the closet bar. Exactly.) and proudly announce that you will be doing some ironing today.  Do NOT tune into CNBC on the tv, crank the sound up, and complain about the prices of crude oil, soy beans, or the value of the Euro.  I don’t want to talk about balancing the bank account. I don’t want to talk about anything at all. Don’t ask me if I want a toasted camembert cheese sandwich.  Just, go, away.

Oh, about this cold.  Where does all this mucus and phlegm come from? Is there a pocket somewhere inside the body that cultivates it and then, at an opportune time, like right before a job interview, that pocket of phlegm dumps into your lungs and creeps up into your sinuses?  I know they say you should double up on your liquid intake when you have a cold. This propaganda has to be  spread by cold medicine and tissue manufacturers, because the more water/tea/gatorade/ hot toddies you drink, the more mucus develops, until you finally decide a jar would be handier (and cheaper) than tissues.

And another thing: we all know to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze.  Back in the day, (like, when “Father Knows Best” was the most popular show on tv), the proper way to do this was to make a loose fist, then cough or sneeze  into that fist. Polite, and tidy, but anyone coming in contact with that hand is guaranteed a 7 day sniffle-fest. Now we are urged to cough or sneeze into the crook of the elbow, where’s there a lesser chance of spreading those cooties.  Hopefully you’re wearing long sleeves when this occurs.  I’m of two minds here.  It is better to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, sanitarily speaking. But what if the end product  of that cough or sneeze has visible chunks residue?  Using your hand gives you the opportunity to nonchalantly slide your hand into your pocket and wipe the phlegmage onto the pocket lining.  Not that I’ve ever done that, but I have a friend who knows someone who does.  Use the crook of your elbow, and you’ve got physical evidence that is visible to everyone around you, especially that lady at the perfume counter at Von Maur’s or that hot guy standing next to you in the elevator.

Ok, I think that’s quite enough about mucus. I think I need to dose up on benedryl and Mucinex, take a long hot bath, and go to bed. With a jar.

I’m giving back MY bonus

As  former Vice President and CEO of Amalgamated Oscillating Flywheels,Inc., I am giving my year-end bonus back after my company recieved a TARP bailout from the government.

After seeing the outpouring of utter disgust and hatred by the common people of the United States regarding the bonuses paid to Corporate bigwigs via taxes paid by said hard working simple folks, I realized that it would shine favorably upon my reputation to refuse the bonus I had received from my former place of employment. 

I was given the request to remove myself from my position at AOF, Inc sometime in February. As all phone calls were (and to my knowledge, still are) recorded at AOF, Inc, it came to someone’s attention in HR that I had, via a phone conversation with a customer (heretofore referred to as ‘simple common folk’ or SCF, for short), showed empathy and compassion for the particular SCF I was speaking with, claimed to ‘identify’ with said SCF’s inability to pay the invoice they had just received, and offered them the opportunity to opt for a payment arrangement (or, per AOFspeak, “Promise to Pay”).

I had alson, while knowing the conversation was being recorded for posterity and/or termination purposes, advised the SCF there were less expensive flywheels available to them that would serve the same telecommunication needs for the SCF, but at a much lower price.   Unbeknownst to me, this was an option we were to offer ONLY if SCF threatened to take their service elsewhere…which, according my calculations, is about 83% of the customers who call in with queries about their service and account.

Customer chose to order less expensive flywheel, extended his contract for an additional 2 years, and also ordered a variety of rectifiers, diodes, and 3G modifiers to go with the flywheel. All of which, upon completion of the transaction, entitiled me to a commission, which would be sent to me in the form of a bonus.

Just the other day I received my bonus, although I have been disassociated with AOF, Inc. since Feb. 11, 2009. Being a conscientious person and not wanting someone to paintball my house, I am returning the check for $00.38 to AOF immediately.

I feel so much better already.bonus1

I’m starting tomorrow…

From theonion.com

Spring-Cleaning Tips

 Winter is finally gone, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning.  Here are some tips to help you get your home spic-and-span:

 

Enlarge Image Spring-Cleaning TipsCouple cleaning the house

 

  • When choosing a household cleaner, set up two identical shower doors side by side. Wipe one with the leading brand and the other with the bargain brand. Examine the results and choose accordingly.
  • For fresh, disinfected air, pour Lysol into the humidifier.
  • Have you had it with the drudgery of constantly scrubbing that dirty kitchen floor? Boo-fucking-hoo, Toots.
  • To eliminate hours of needless scrubbing, spit your chew into an old beer can rather than directly onto the floor.
  • Once a week, tell yourself, “Man, I really gotta clean up this dump one of these days.”
  • Buy a set of latex gloves that come up past your elbows. Not for cleaning, though.
  • No amount of cleaning will change the fact that Dabney Coleman was in your home.
  • Keep a range-top burner on low flame at all times to eliminate airborne kitchen germs.
  • Jesus Christ, there’s a thing called shelves, you pig.
  • If you are female, don’t clean a thing. Cleaning promotes sexist stereotypes about women.
  • You can pay inflated supermarket prices for bleach, or be like Martha Stewart and synthesize your own from chlorine particles extracted from sea water.
  • Purchase a wet vac. Then, when your fishing buddies come over, you can say, “Look. I got me a wet vac.”
  • Don’t ever stop cleaning. Don’t ever do anything else. Make it the basis for your entire identity. If someone criticizes either your cleaning or your cleaning-based lifestyle, yell “Oh, this house!” and run off crying.

Ack-sense

Before I start, please let me state this: I am in no way so closed-minded that I judge a person by their accent.

I live in the Midwest, where, legend has it, people lack a distinctive accent. From what I’ve read and heard, radio and television newscasters are trained to speak like a Midwesterner, so as not to catagorize them as “Southerners”, “Minnesotans”, “Canadians”, “New Jersians”, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong from being from those parts of the world, but people tend to have a stereotypical idea of a person with accents from various parts of the country. Southerners=right-winged bible thumpers. Minnesotans=Scandanavian hotdish making Lutherans.  Canadians= eh? New Jersians=Loud rude gangsters. 

But I LOVE accents.  I love them so much I married one.  More on that, later.

If you’ve ever read ” The Story of English” or watched the PBS miniseries based on the book, you’d have learned where these accents originated.  Many of them are directly related to old-world country dialects, and many more from a melding of languages when our ancestors emigrated from Europe, co-mingled, procreated, and learned to speak the English Language in the accent of their heritages.  Over the course of the past several centuries, these dialects and their hybrids became regional accents.  Why midwesterners lack an “accent” is a mystery to me.  Many of us are from German and Eastern European backgrounds, and I know that with the onset of WWI (and again with WWII), people were encouraged, if not coerced, to learn to speak English without an accent that would give away their heritage (German? Nazi!).

One of my sisters married a Minnesotan.  They have lived in Oklahoma for 30 years. My sister has gained a bit of an Okie accent, just enough to show through when she gets really p.o.’d about something.  Her husband, however, still sounds like a pure Minnesotan.  Their children, born and raised in Oklahoma, had the Okie accent but lost it, even though they still live in Oklahoma. They say they taught themselves not to speak with an accent when they got older, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that.  I think the world is getting smaller, where people used to live in the same area, if not city, and spoke in the manner and custom of their neighborhoods and heritage, everyone is moving from one place in the country to another, more often, and becoming exposed to different dialects and accents.   And there is the influence of other countries as well; it’s nothing out of the ordinary for people to travel to, and spend any length of time in, foreign countries, where they can, and do, pick up a slight accent and lend a slight accent to anyone they spend a given amount of time with.

My husband was born in Berlin Germany to Polish parents who were relocated to Germany after WWII.  His childhood was spent behind the Berlin Wall, where, other than in the mandatory English classes he took in primary school, he learned English from the American soldiers stationed at a base near his home. (Guess what the first few words were they taught him? Yep. Nothing he’d learned in school).  His English was rudimentary at best when he met his first wife, an Irishwoman from Dublin. After marrying and moving to Dublin to spend the next 20 years, he learned Irish English, which, according to him, is the “purest” English spoken. So sayeth HIM.  I fell in love with the Irish accent long before I met him…before I’d even heard him speak.  But the first time we spoke, I was hooked. Even the words “Ah, that fookin’ eejit!” coming from his mouth made my heart melt. I’ve told him more than once that if he didn’t have that accent, he’d be dead by now. When he first moved to the States, I had to translate what he’d said to someone he would be speaking to, simply because of his thick accent.  Problem was, his “Oirish” accent also bore a bit of German accent, so a lot of people would mistakenly think he was from the Middle East.(again, nothing wrong with that.)

Perhaps it has been from living with him for almost 8 years, but I barely hear the accent.  I pray that it isn’t because he’s losing his accent.  I make a point of listening to his voice, every day, listening for that “hoog” instead of “hug”, ” heered” instead of “heard” or even “fookin’ eejit” instead of “f*cking idiot”.  Once in a while I can hear his German accent, especially after he gets off the phone with his sisters, one in the US and one in Germany, but both speaking German when they visit with him.

Like I said, I love accents.  I just wish I had one.

Somewhere out there…

I’m looking for a new job. Or just a job. Or, to be polite, “a place of employment”.  I know, there’s this thing called a recession going around, and Airborne or Tamaflu isn’t stopping it.  I  lost my last job as a customer service representative  for a cellular phone  company (‘can you hear me now’) because I had not met the company’s metrics for perfect customer care service.

I took (and still take) pride in my work as a  customer service rep.  I have always looked at situations from the customer’s point of view, simply because I have been in situations just like those that customers call in about.  Not able to pay their bills.  Not understanding the details of the bills.  Desperate not to have their lifeline, their only source to the outside world, including  family, dropped  because  of  unexplained charges and vague instructions on reading and deciphering a bill.

I can relate.  It’s as simple as that. I can’t, however, convince someone to change their services to something out of their budget range or add on features that they can’t afford.  I AM in their shoes.  I won’t attempt to sell something to someone who will not only fail to pay for those added features, but will also lose their shoes, as well as the shirt off their backs to pay for something I am required to offer them.

I want to be able to find employment in a  field where I know I can make a positive difference in someones life, where I know I have made their lives easier, even in a minute way.  But to be realistic, I need a job that provides good benefits, such as insurance, and gives me the opportunity to prove my worth, and work my way up the ladder.

I know there are places out there like that.  I know there are employers who can see the potential and abilities in someone like myself. I just wish they would see my resume on the 10 different jop search websites where my resume is posted.

What a wonderful world

First: Have you ever been to a flea market?  You know, the kind held in some large building that usually houses old sewage trucks or mangled carnival equipment and smells faintly of horse manure and rotting flesh?   The kind where booths are jam-packed with with a jumble of dusty, useless knick-knacks that someone, somewhere, during a meth high or after a skull fracture caused by a cement bar floor, decided to put a price tag on?  The kind where you can’t get past the booth filled with “buy-2-get-1-free”VCRs, in their original packaging because a woman  in a scooter chair is trying to decide whether she should move on to the next booth or to the restroom to change her colostomy bag?   The kind of flea market that sells toys and  kiddie trinkets so full of lead that the steel display table is sagging in the middle?  Where they sell solar-powered light up pictures of  The Last Supper, or Elvis, or Elvis at The Last Supper?

Second: Have you ever been in a bus depot?  Not the city mass transit (or mass transient) shelters, but a real bus depot, the kind with busses with dogs or arrows painted on the side?  The kind that can take you to any other bus depot in the country?  You know those depots.  They’re the ones with globs of phlegm, crushed cigarette butts, and dried blood drops on the floor…and that’s just in the entry. The kind of bus depot that is filled with hard plastic benches, scratched with gang signs, profanity, and an occasional “John 3:16”.  Benches filled with slouching, sleeping, obviously homeward or homeless bound people smelling like they just left a flea market?  Depots with people standing outside by the newspaper racks, smoking a cigarette butt they found on the ground or blowing snot rockets into the paths of passers-by who just want to get the hell away from being seen at a bus depot?

I have.

Against my better judgement (wait, I don’t even have good judgement; how dare I assume I have something better than something I haven’t?) I went shopping at Wally-world with my husband yesterday.  On a Saturday afternoon.  Maybe it was because I was over-tired (on-line job searching will do that to a middle-aged woman) or because I had taken a prescription drug that keeps me from having a panic attack every time I think of having to go online searching for a new job, but the moment we entered Wally-world, I felt that I had entered a building where the flea market and bus depot had converged. For some odd reason, I found it mildly amusing. That is, until the aisle blocked by the same woman at the flea market. She never did get her colostomy bag changed.