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Archive for June, 2006

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More bars in more places

Ah, the power of advertising…

As soon as these folks lined up for the picture I said, “Hey, you look like a Cingular commercial.” I like those commercials. They’re like a grown up version of Where’s Waldo? No matter how many times you’ve seen one, you’re convinced you missed something the last time you saw it. For Nathan and me, it’s like a game show. “Oh the cabs! The dogs! The sushi! The window!” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Cingular has their little “raising the bar” logo hidden in everyday things in all their commercials. Tractors clearing a field, row houses in San Francisco, a family on the beach, glasses on a bar…

Anyway, that’s Nathan, his brothers and their parents. From left to right is Roman, Dirk, Nathan, Darwin and Pam. I really have to hand it to my mother-in-law for keeping it together all those years because I’ve heard some horror stories that would make any parent cringe. Apple pie stains on the ceiling and using gasoline and a lighter to take paint off a bicycle are just two of the more prominent tales of the Noah boys’ childhood. Thank God I have a girl.

Of course Dirk had to point out that his daughter was part of the gang of junior thugs out in the yard molesting a garden snake, so I may not be as safe as I think.

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Lovely Ladybug

A couple of weeks ago we had Autumn’s 6-month pictures taken. This photo shoot went much better than her 3-month shoot. We didn’t have to wake her and managed to get some good smiles out of her. We went to Target. Much, much cheaper than Sadie’s and they let you download the pics if you sign up for their “Smile Station.”

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Happy anniversary, hon!

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My dad takes off on a road trip out west every year and is usually gone for over two weeks. He just returned from his latest trip yesterday and stopped by our house on his way back home. He missed Autumn and wanted to see her before he crashed for the evening.

He scooped Autumn up in his arms and sat down with her on the couch. Autumn has this annoying habit of only wanting to look at you if she’s in someone else’s arms and skillfully avoids eye contact by pretending to be enthralled with the lint on your shirt. I don’t know if it’s a baby thing or if she’s already developed issues with intimacy, but my dad had a heck of a time coaxing a smile out of her.

“Don’t you remember me?” he asked.

Autumn looked up at him with a blank, stoned look that may have had more to do with the 6 oz of formula she had just guzzled down than a failure to recognize her grandpa.

When she looked at me, I clapped and said, “Yay!” She loves when I do this and smiled at me, but the moment she looked up at my dad she dialed the smile back down to a benign look of disinterest. Dad turned her around so that she was facing him, but she craned her neck back in a motion most often seen performed by circus folk. She wanted to see what was playing on the TV rather than pay attention to her grandpa.

“Well, I guess she comes by that naturally,” he said. He sounded a bit sad and I did feel bad for him, but at the same time I have had entire conversations with my father during which half the time I had to ask, “Dad, are you listening to me?” because the TV was on at the same time.

As he was leaving, my dad stopped halfway down the stairs that lead to our garage and tried one more time to get Autumn to smile by playing peek-a-boo. That did the trick and she FINALLY gave him what he wanted by bursting into a wee smile that lasted all of two seconds.

It’s tough to compete with the TV.

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The tampon dispenser in the ladies’ bathroom at work has been broken for I don’t know how long and they’re finally replacing it. I noticed today that some of the wall surrounding the dispenser had been cut away in preparation for the dispenser’s removal. Later on this sign was put up to alert us as to what was going on:

In case you can’t read that, let’s get a closer look:

Since our entire staff is composed of women, we all got a big kick out of it. Word spread throughout the office rather quickly and we took turns visiting the bathroom and giggling like a bunch of junior high schoolgirls.

I’m betting someone on the facilities staff will be referring to a thesaurus before the next big project.

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Nathan and I love the movie Office Space, one reason being that it was directed by Mike Judge, the creator of “Beavis and Butthead.” We were big “B&B” fans back in the day, but we were also poor and stupid and had to cancel our cable because we had to eat and pay rent and stuff. We were cut off from The Great Cornholio as a consequence and were horrified when Mike Judge finally decided to end the series to concentrate on “King of the Hill.”

Another reason we like Office Space is because we both work in an office and the thought of taking a hated piece of hardware into a field and smashing it to smithereens with a baseball bat gets us all tingly. I’d choose the telephone and I’m pretty sure Nathan would do the same. We both spend a lot of time on the phone every day, quite often talking to the most unpleasant people ever put on this planet.

At one point in Office Space, the main character Peter discusses with his office friends how unhappy he is with his job but that he doesn’t know what else he would do. In high school he never had an answer when his guidance counselor asked him what he would do if he had a million dollars, the idea being that whatever he enjoyed doing was his path to a fulfilling career.

Now that we have Autumn, I started thinking that it would be nice if she could see one or both of her parents doing something they enjoy. Wouldn’t it be lovely to leave for work and actually look forward to the job? Instead of being berated by kindergarten teachers with attitude problems or business partners who copy the whole corporation on private emails and are incensed that you can’t help them retract the message, wouldn’t it be nice to come home happy and fulfilled?

So last night as we were getting ready for bed I asked Nathan what he would do if he had a million dollars or more and didn’t have to work. True to form, his first answer was a smart one. “Sleep,” he said.

“I’m serious,” I said. “I want a serious answer.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Read a lot, I guess.”

Yeah, I suppose I really don’t know the answer to that question either.

Can you really be in your mid thirties and still not know what you want to do when you grow up? I mean I have a degree in English, but so far that has only served as a useful tool to irritate my husband. I constantly correct his grammar and it drives him nuts, though he’s proven to be very patient and hasn’t killed me in my sleep yet.

At different times in my life I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian, a teacher, an actress, a film maker, a computer programmer, a photographer, a web designer and a writer. Right now I’m looking at trying to pull together a few of the things I like to do the best and see if I can’t make a business out of it. I doubt many people would hire me to sit on their couch, eat their food and mess up their house, so I guess I’m feeling a bit lost. At least I can take comfort in the knowledge that I’m not alone.

So how will this aimlessness affect Autumn? Will she grow up thinking she needs to do just enough to get by or will she have the courage to take the risks her parents have avoided? Having a child has created a whole new set of dreams. Instead of wondering what I’m going to do with my life, I’m now wondering what she’ll end up doing with hers and also wondering if how I’m living my life now will affect her life when she’s an adult. I have now doubt it will.

Cripes, that’s a lot of pressure.

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