Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Bubble Girl responds!

I got a lot of thought-provoking comments on my last post, It's not easy being clean, that I simply must respond to.  Here goes:


Spero Alexio says:  "How about if someone gives you a dirty look?"
-- I figure surely it was meant for someone in my general direction, not me.

SA continues:  "How about having a boyfriend who won't clean up his act?"
-- Been there, done that.  They're long gone.  See my response to DuggleBogey below.


Ray Denzel says:  "hmm, loons in a cute way!"
-- Ray, cute is what I'm all about.  You should see my shoe collection.

Angela Perry says: "I go into a meltdown when people put bread directly on the counter to make a sandwich. You and Neil are not loons, you are the norm. :)"
-- Angela, I can only wish we were the norm. Unfortunately, we are rare birds people. Keep smiling!

Dawn says:  "When ever the grandkids come over and bring there ipads, I promptly wipe them down because, I can't stand the millions of finger prints all over."
-- If I were queen, Dawn, every kid would be wiped down several times a day; they're walking balls of germs that leave fingerprints on everything. Wait, were you talking about the iPads?


Mike Dennis says:  "Funny post, Linda. Especially the part about the hand towel vs dish towel."
-- Um, that post was totally serious.  What the hell is so funny about wiping slimy old bacon grease from your hands and then using the same towel to dry a pan that you just cooked bacon in?.

MD continues:  "Given the fact that you take great care to avoid germs on hand towels, napkins, food counters, etc, and that most people (myself included) do not take anywhere near that degree of care, why are the rest of us not paying any real consequences?  In other words, we're all presumably risking our health by these less-than-sanitary practices, and yet we live to tell about it. Why is that?"
--  Well, Mike, you're about my age, and I can tell you right now that in 50 years you, in fact, will be dead.  Yup, it will all catch up with you. Who's gonna be wishing he hadn't dried the dishes with a hand towel then? Huh?


Tara Crowley says:  "The things that I adhere to are: bathroom sponges are for bathroom ONLY, dish towels are for dishes ONLY ,and...I think that's it. I even share lip balm (yuck)."
--  I was with you until the lip balm.  God help you.


Meliss says: "i'm sort of the opposite of a germaphobe. i think all the germs build immunities. not that i invite them, but i just don't really pay attention. bread and cookies on counters and tables don't bother me."
-- Meliss, I beg of you, get some help.  And P.S try using the Shift key once in a while.

Meliss continues:  "i am grossed out, however, when people blow their noses and put the tissue on the table. or take food out of their mouths and put it on their plates. olive pits aren't a fave either."
-- maybe there's hope for you after all...

Julie says:  "I don't even think about half that stuff. I unwrap my silverware and set it down on the table, I admit it. It has never dawned on me to worry that someone who cooked a potluck dish in their own kitchen may have petted their dog."
-- I love you, but if you invite me to your house, I guarantee I'll stop at a drive-thru on the way over.  Because I'm sure that anyone working in the kitchen at McDonald's got that job because they passed a comprehensive hygiene test.

Julie continues:  "Don't you worry about whether the guy in the back room has sneezed over your food? Or picked his nose and then handled your burger? Eating out isn't all that different than a potluck!"
-- See my response above.

Coach says:  " :) "
-- I could say, WTF is that supposed to mean?  But I'll take it that you're smiling because finally somebody said something that made an iota of sense. Finally someone is standing up for germaphobes everywhere shouting, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore! The next time you put your silverware right on the filthy table that was just wiped down with the disgusting all-purpose rag, don't be surprised if we stand up and knock your filthy friggin' table over all dramatically like we're in last scene in an episode of Guiding Light."  That's what you meant, right, Coach?


Mimi says: "'creating our sterile eating field'...yup, that's me too and I thought I was the only one in the world!"
-- Thankfully, Mimi, there's at least three of us. 


DuggleBogey says:  "Did the guy who ate the cookie live to tell the tale?  If so, you have your answer..."
-- Yes, my old boyfriend who placed a cookie on a filthy patio table that birds walk all over did, in fact, live to tell the tale. And he tells it often.  And he's Irish, so every time he tells it, it gets a little more colorful.  But guess what?  He also had to have his hip replaced. Who's the one who had to spend a two days in the hospital?  Huh?  Not me!  Draw your own conclusions, DuggleBogey.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's not easy being clean

My friend Neil was one of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago.  Both of us had forced ourselves to go to a stupid networking event on the Strip; I was hoping to make some contacts that would eventually lead to a job (oh, what a terrible time I had finding a job here) and Neil had been dragged there by a friend.  In my book I describe how our eyes met as we "winced in unison as a man rifled through a bowl of mixed nuts right after he coughed in his hand, and then the two of us talked for twenty minutes about how we'd rather starve than eat bar nuts left open to mass contamination." Neil and I are both germaphobes and I'm the first to admit we're as nutty as the day is long.

Neil moved up to Portland, Oregon, several years ago but was in town last week so we got together for lunch at Sean Patrick's Irish Pub on West Flamingo, which immediately earned our seal of approval.  "Look at this, Linda," Neil said, pleased to see the utensils wrapped in a napkin and then placed on a second napkin. "We can unwrap our knives and forks and then safely put them on the other napkin."

I nodded. "How about those people who put their silverware right on the table?" 

"The table that's just been gone over with the 'all-purpose rag...'" he added. We both shuddered.

Although the restaurant had done a great job creating our sterile eating field, Neil asked the waitress for a few more napkins, which he used to pick up the ketchup for his potatoes, totally a la What About Bob?

Neil and I hadn't seen each other in ages and had a ton of catching up to do. And by "catching up," I mean we had a full agenda, sharing our pet peeves (for the umpteenth time in our 10-year friendship) and every single unsanitary practice we'd witnessed since we last got together.

The other day I went through the drive-through at Jack-in-the-Box and the guy was really nice, but when he gave me my food, the nail on his pinky finger was really long.  Like he was growing it out. It was disgusting. The only way I could eat my food was to think that he never touched it.  Only the people in the back. People who had just washed their hands...

"Pot luck." Are there any words more horrifying? I can't eat from just anybody's kitchen. What if they have cats that walk around their kitchen counters?  What if they have a dog and pet it and then touch the food they're making? No, if I have to go to a pot luck, I eat only what I brought. Or something that I'm sure is from a store...

How about people who blow their nose in their napkin and then put it right on the table?  Or even on their plate, so now the waitress has to deal with that...

How about people who make a sandwich and place the bread right on the counter? Not on a plate, not on a cutting board, not on a napkin or paper towel...

"I once saw someone put a cookie down right on the table," Neil said, "and then eat it."

I one upped him. "That's nothing, I once dated a guy who put a cookie on an outside patio table and then eat it. An outside patio table that birds could walk on.  I saw with my own eyes. Needless to say, we didn't last."

Then I told Neil how I periodically catch Mike drying a pan with a hand towel. "A hand towel!  It's like he doesn't even know there's a difference between a hand towel and a dish towel. You can't dry dishes with a hand towel that everyone's been wiping their hands on."

Neil shook his head.  "That's grounds for divorce."

Oh, we went on and on. And then yesterday I got an email from Neil telling me he was at a  celebration where the birthday girl kept licking her fingers as she cut the cake, contaminating the adjoining pieces. "Linda, we were sitting right in front of the serving table and this was happening blatantly right up in my face to the point that I had to get up, go away and watch from afar," he wrote.

Yep, birthday parties can be a nightmare, especially the whole blowing out the candles bit.  I was brought up right. On her birthday, my grandmother would extinguish the candles by waving a paper plate over the cake, a practice adopted by my entire family. Yes, you can come to a birthday of anyone in my family and not have to worry about drops of saliva in the frosting. I try to get other people to do the same when it's their birthday; some will humor me. Others won't. And that is when I pass on the cake.

I should say that my grandmother used to keep her vacuum cleaner in a plastic bag so it wouldn't get dirty.  She was my hero.

What do you think? Are Neil and I loons or what?  Are you a germ freak, too? 

Friday, July 19, 2013

FREE download this weekend!

I'll be back with a proper post later, but in the meantime go download my book, Bastard Husband: A Love Story, for FREE!  The promotion starts today and runs through Sunday.  These promos always translate to real sales for me, so don't feel bad about getting it for free. And if you haven't read it yet, what the hell are you waiting for?  It's brilliant!

Monday, July 15, 2013

What am I missing?

Sorry if you already saw this on my Facebook post yesterday.  This is a real live ad that was in the Kohl's flyer in yesterday's newspaper.

Warning, kids:  Never accept mustache rides from strangers.

I live with an 8-year-old girl half the time and I swear she's never once asked for a T-shirt proclaiming her love for mustaches. Yet, when I showed her the Kohl's ad, she laughed and said, "That's so cool!"


I have a feeling that in 50 years when she's post-menopausal, she's not gonna be loving mustaches too much...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

All work and no play is making me dull as hell

I hate, hate, hate that I haven't posted in over a week.  I can see on my Statcounter app that you're all still checking in, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.  The truth is, I've had no time to post and I'm not doing anything interesting enough to write about. 

Well, that's not quite true.  I have a couple of posts in my head that I've love to share, but there are just some things you can't put in writing for all the world to see without it someday coming back to bite you in the ass.  But I can say that Mike and I saw two shows this week; one was fun as hell and the other was just... awful.

The good one I can talk about.  Wednesday night we saw The Rising, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. You know me and tribute bands.  Maybe you think they're queer and goofy, but unless I'm actually at a Springsteen show, where else am I gonna hear "Thunder Road" live?  It was so much fun.  At one time I caught myself literally jumping for joy. I wish I had taken a picture of the cute outfit I wore that night--my sexy biker jeans that are cut peek-a-boo style down the side with an authentic black and white tie-dye T-shirt.  From Kohl's. I could have posted that photo on Facebook and even those of you in friggin' Edmonton and Maple Ridge up in Canada could have heard my kids' groans of embarrassment. Yes, jumping for joy in that outfit.  Too bad you missed it.

For reasons of diplomacy--which has never been my strong suit--I can't really go into the other show we saw. Look, I'm the first to admit that no one knocks it out of the park every night, but this was a seasoned performer who should have had, um, an act. It was like he was thinking, "I'm so well-known and beloved that just being in the same room as me, enjoying my presence in the flesh, should be entertainment enough. Therefore, I'm going to deliver a rambling stream of consciousness while you sink along with me in the realization that you've just wasted two hours of your life you can never get back."  Enough said.

What else have I been up to? Not a whole lot.  Just working my ass off, but I can't complain--I love my job and every one of my clients. I've also been working on another book that will be called something like Love Your Stinkin' Job... or Find Another One.  I don't have a real title yet.  It will be a humorous guide to framing your current job in a way that will make you happy or getting the hell out and finding a job that you will be happy in.  I see it as a blend of funny, work-related anecdotes and other crap from my brain as well as practical advice on topics related to the workplace and conducting a job search.  It's gonna be cool.

Also, I've been putting together a "leading with laughter" type of workshop and another one that uses humor as a way to build teams.  "Leading with laughter" is a phrase that's already overused and there are a bunch of other companies out there offering that type of program, but not like what I have in mind. I went to a session once with a "humor expert" who just dissected the hell out of humor to the point where nothing was funny anymore.  Believe me, my program will be fun and funny.

So that's what I've been up to.  Couldn't be more boring, right?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Giving thanks on the Fourth of July

The deaths of the 19 firefighters killed while battling the Yarnell wildfires outside of Prescott, Arizona, have left us all with a heavy heart. Of these 19 heroes, 14 of them were in their 20s.

I can't help but think of my 19-year-old nephew, Cameron, my sister Lori's son.  He's following in his father's footsteps; my brother-in-law Russ has been a volunteer fireman for many years now and is the assistant chief in his district. 

Cameron belongs a neighboring district that allowed him to join a year earlier, when he was only 15, though he provides assistance in his father's district as well. When Cam turned 18, he was so happy to finally be interior qualified, meaning he was able to do fire attack from inside burning buildings.  He's now a lieutenant.

Here is with upon his return from Long Beach, NY, after a 72-hour tour to help out with hurricane relief downstate.

Every time I go back to Albany, I stay at Lori and Russ' house.  At least a couple of times during my visit, I'll hear the sirens go off in the middle of the night.  While my sleep will be disrupted for just a moment, Russ, Cameron, or both of them will spring from their warm beds and head to the firehouse--regardless of how cold and snowy or rainy it is--and sometimes they'll be out for hours at a time.  And then they'll go to work or school the next day on half a night's sleep.

Look at this kid's face.

Nineteen men--most of whom were just a few years older than Cameron--lost their lives this week protecting the lives and property of others.  These are true heroes, serving the public along with teachers, nurses, policemen (yes, even the bloody ticket-happy Henderson police), aides in the nursing homes, workers in group homes for disabled people and court-placed youth, our soldiers, and other service-oriented professions.  And let's not forget every volunteer on earth.  

I know it's the Fourth of July, but today I give thanks.