7:45 AM B.C. (Before Coffee)


So…this was a morning…

I walked in to work – shocker, I know.


Plunked stuff down where I usually plunk it, took a breath, then organized for the morning of work.

Looked at my backpack, and saw that the side pocket where I slide my coffee cup was empty.




Oh…the HORROR!!!!


No coffee & cream in the AM?  How am I gonna function the entire work day if


That stuff a couple of months ago when I gave up coffee – yea – total fail there.


Then I turned to start my computer, steeling myself to a long and torturous, non-caffeinated day, and found my coffee cup sitting on the desk, where I’d just plunked it a minute before.


I don’t remember taking the cup out of its sleeve.

Yes…I’m less than a month away from the big one (Five-Oh…) and not really looking forward to it…but this C.R.S. stuff REALLY sucks.

How long before I wander aimlessly into a room, then forget why I went there?

A Walk on the Wild -Powder Room- side…

I’ve pretty much solidified my walking route home…when I get to walk, that is.  We’ve had a lot of wet weather so far this summer.  Last week, I got 2 clear days to walk – the remainder of the week had rolling storms consigning me to watching the world through streaky windshield wipers.  This week was a bit better…but I think my demon-weather summoning fat cells are continuing their spell work.

On the (not) plus (-size anymore) side – I had to make another journey to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul for smaller pants – the 16’s finally got to the point of ‘I don’t need to unbutton the fly to take them off.’  I stocked up on some funky shirts while I was there.  I may actually LIKE going clothing shopping again.  Three cheeses for Ketosis!!!

Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!

Some of my more dirt-minded (NOT dirtY-minded…watch the difference :D) co-workers have started to lament on the status of their gardens.  Vegetable gardens all over the area are starting to look pretty sad with all the moisture coming down.  Plants need sunshine as well as water, and they’re starting to REALLY need a few hot, sunny days.

I hope things turn around, for Erica’s Garden’s Sake.  Cucumbers should be cherished!


Today’s walk started out pretty normal.  Some sunshine peeking through the clouds, a bit of a breeze, a selection of my favorite tunes queued up on my iPod.

Through the industrial leg.  Check.

Past the Greenspace.  Check.

Homage given to the Fox River….Check.

It’s that witchy thing, where I bow to the river.  Just go with it…

Down into Bethesda Park….check.

Now wait a minute…what’s THAT?


No…not that.  THAT…


There…on the light post…





It can’t be…but it is…

That innocent little cup from work…the one that broke containment a couple of months ago…is now stalking me on my walking route!


Goodbye Darkness, my old friend…


I haven’t had a drop of anything caffeinated since the fascinating brush with the new pain chart last week won me an all-expenses-NOT-paid trip to the ER via ambulance last week.  It was a hard decision.


I had been drinking the occasional energy drink on the weekends, because I wanted something sweet and cold, instead of hot. (Not that big a deal – they’re loaded with chemical stimulants, anyway…)






The Diet Coke is now officially history.  (ditto – chemical shit-storm, anyone?)







But the coffee & cream in the AM?


Gawd, I miss my coffee…





Oddly enough, it’s not missed nearly as much when I walk as when I drive in to work.  The fresh air, exercise, and sunshine must be fully waking me up so I don’t NEED  my coffee in those mornings…but when I end up having to drive in to work, I feel my ass just a-draggin all day long.


I have to wave valiantly to you, my dark, hot, creamy & sweet (thanks to some Torani syrups) lover…but the romance is over.  Maybe you and Catherine’s Clothing Stores can get together?


Now what am I gonna do with my funny coffee cup collection?



Powder Room Mystery – the Panic is REAL

I just went to the restroom at work again.


Nope…he’s not on the sink anymore:


He’s not in the lounge, either:


I wandered about the office – he’s not ANYWHERE.  I even checked in with the guy in the corner office:


I think the guy in the corner office is kinda an airhead


The only thing I can think is…the cup…has…ESCAPED.


Do you hear me, folks?  The cup has broken containment – he’s loose upon the world!




Public Enemy #1

The Continuing Mystery of Powder Room Mayhem…

I went to the bathroom at work this morning.

Well, when ya gotta go…

And the little cup was no longer in the stall.



He’s now on the sink.  The sucker is MOBILE!

**sentience in plastics?  Is this how you get Skynet???**

I feel as if someone in this odd, work/potty relationship has either dodged a bullet, or just  witnessed the beginning of the end of the Human species…and I’m not sure if I should be excited, or terrified.

At least I’ll be in the right place if I get the shit scared outta me.


Mystery in the Powder Room

As most of us spend 8+ hours/5 days per week at a job that’s not attached to our home, most business locations feature restroom facilities – unless your employer requires you to be male and outdoorsy, in which case there are plenty of trees to choose from.

just stay away from electric fences…


For a little better than a week now in my employer’s bathroom – this has been sitting on top of the toilet paper in the stall I frequent:




Given that 420 was less than 2 weeks ago, and this was a popular meme on Facebook at the same time – it’s not hard to connect a few dots and visualize this little cup having a purpose other than what it was created for…


The company I work for is a large-scale food manufacturer, and this is one of our sample containers.  Now…how it got from the shop floor, across the warehouse floor, up the stairs, and into the business office’s ladies room is one mystery – and the reason it hasn’t vanished is a second, bonus mystery.

Personally, I just find it hysterical.  Any time I’ve needed a laugh in the past week, I just go potty.


***Official Disclaimer***

Although I haven’t personally indulged in botanical recreation for a long…LONG time, I have no trouble supporting those who do.  With all the atrocities committed by one human on another human in this world, we could all do a lot worse than absorbing a chemical substance who’s only side effects are calmness, relaxedness, and a penchant for crunchy, salty snacks.

And – if you believe the hype – a potential cure for some cancers.

So…blaze on, my friends, if you so desire – we need all the relaxed, calm, ‘I need Potato Chips!’ people this world can give us.



My Stuff – Flash Fiction

Greg at Almost Iowa offered up a challenge on his post the other day…pick an object, and write an essay or a bit of flash fiction about it.

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Greg…ya had me at Flash Fiction 😀

Sooooo…live and in living color, straight from my work desk to your screen…I present you with:


The Smurf and the Wookie…

…A love story

A story by Peyton

A very long time ago, in an office far, far away, a little girl sat, eating her happy meal, trying very hard not to look at the toy.  It was brown and horrible-looking, and, worst of all…it was the toy given to the boys at McDonalds, not the girls.

But Mommy had promised to fix it after work, IF she was good…so she ruthlessly shoved a few more french fries into her mouth, and tried very hard not to look at the boring plastic shape.


“Maybe,” she thought, chewing through her last bite of hamburger, “the nice lady by the front phones will talk to me?”  So, looking carefully around the cubicle wall for Mommy, she darted across the hall and up to the front desk, boring brown plastic shape still clutched firmly in a fistful of ketchup-stained fries.

Today, the nice lady was in Daddy’s office with Mommy, talking about boring things.


On the nice lady’s desk, perched proudly next to the plastic cup of paper-clips, a little form in blue and white.

“Well…that Smurf is a LOT prettier than this old brown thing…”

So, up on the nice lady’s chair she went…

The Smurf and the Wookie had a glorious time that Wednesday afternoon at Mommy’s office – they danced on the nice lady’s desk, they played hide & seek in the file cabinet, they squished the french fries because they were really, REALLY big worms.  AND…the best part was when the smurf tied the Wookie in a big chain of paper clips.

After all that – the little girl decided the Wookie couldn’t go home with her and leave his best play-friend behind… (and, besides, Mommy said she’d fix it, so she was getting a new toy!)  With the logic of youth, the Wookie had to stay, happy and proud to be on the nice lady’s desk with his buddy the Smurf.

And the nice lady said she could play with the both of them anytime she had to come with Mommy to the office.



To this day, the Smurf and the Wookie hang out on my desk, smelling slightly of that epic, long ago french fry/gigantic worm ketchup-smothered battle.

They’re still best buddies.

toys at the bar



Thank (Insert Supernatural Figure of your Choosing) it’s FRIDAY!

Today is Friday.  For millions of people in the states, that means the end of the workweek, and the appreciation of 2 whole days in the immediate future where you don’t have to sell your labors to continue to be warm, fed, sheltered, entertained, and amused.

Granted, we still have to get through the final day of the workweek – but, hey…who doesn’t slack a little on the nine to fiver when Friday afternoon rolls around?

maxresdefaultI did, briefly, have a genuine 9-5+paid lunch!  I also got two ‘breaks’ within the day, but those were assigned to run to the post office (one to pick up mail, one to drop off mail…) so they don’t count.  A ‘break’ from work, in my mind, means I have time for a snack and a book.  Driving my car to the middle of the village to do the mail is NOT a break…it’s a task.

This particular nine to fiver was office ‘manager’ for a small Real Estate firm.  Unlike most management positions – I had nobody who answered to me – everyone answered to the Broker/owner of the firm.  I had a title, and a list of ‘things’ to manage, but I think you’ll agree the title was pretty much name only.

Still…the title would have looked impressive on a resume if I’d decided to list the position on it.

It was one of the two jobs where I got soundly fired.  It really sucks when personal ethics get in the way of job performance…

See – the broker in this small firm had a daughter.  The daughter was one of the agents at the firm.  The daughter, like many other young women in this country, had a couple of kids, was a single mom, struggled to make ends meet, and accepted county assistance available to her.

So, in Early October, when the Broker announced daughter would be getting no additional commission checks in the year (to stay below income caps on child-care assistance) and instead would have all daughter’s commissions paid out to HER, instead – well…I couldn’t stay silent.

Silence, in this case, could quickly morph into accessory to fraud.

Yes, I will fully admit, I handled the situation badly.  I was bald and harsh in my refusal to alter any upcoming payroll/commission records.  I did, in fact, use the term ‘cooking the books.’

Predictably, I got rank and file.  I got the ‘How DARE you’s,’ and the ‘Where do YOU come off telling ME how to run MY business?’  I got yelled at until the Broker was an amusing shade of purple.

And I got the demand to clean out the desk.

The funny part?  After the personal stuff was packed in the car and I was on my way home as an unemployed person (oh…the shame?) – I stopped at the Temp Agency I’d worked through before this job, and let them know I was, once again, available for work.


They put me in a position THAT AFTERNOON.  Granted, it was on a shop floor.  Very physical labor pounding the warp out of engine parts.  The Temp Agent said “I figured you needed something to burn off some of that aggravation.”



Fired in the AM – at a new job by noon…banging away at metal while imagining a very specific set of faces within the mottled surfaces.




Whilst I Sit on Hold…

Firework multicolor

Origami ‘firework’ interactive toy.

I really have no idea where this post is going.  Seriously.  It’s just a little thing about life in the offices of Corporate America…whatever comes out of my head.  I hope it’s enjoyable…

Like a lot of other folk, I hold a full-time job, meaning for 40 hours out of the week, I leave my home, go to this big building, and sit in a large room with a dozen other ladies.  We do have cubicle walls to segregate this large room into littler ‘rooms’ which only cut line-of-sight.  The walls do nothing to contain sounds, smells, or launched projectiles.

I can neither confirm nor deny my involvement in projectile launchings…

My cubicle is a little space within this big room, one of the smallest such spaces in the larger office.  It’s barely big enough for my desk, chair, a couple of filing cabinets.  Don’t take the wrong idea away from this, though…I’ve been offered larger working spaces in my tenure with my company, and I’ve turned them down.  I like my LITTLE cubicle area, and refuse to leave it for larger pastures.

Everyone in the office gets to pin personal stuff amongst all the accoutrements of business life on their personal cubicle walls…well…personal stuff within reason.  I’m certain that having nudes or horror movie posters or other not-appropriate-for-a-business-culture images on the walls would result in a quick removal of both the image and the display-er…but at least they don’t dictate the exact size/composition/color scheme/personal message of stuff that people are allowed to use to brighten their work spaces.

Unfortunately, I see a time coming when even these little displays of personality will be abolished from the greater office environments in this country, as more workers appear on the scene with gigantic chips on their shoulders determined to wreck this privilege for the rest of us.

But, I digress…

My personal stuff on the walls?  To be honest – there’s not much on the walls.  A few coloring sheets & a crepe-paper heart lovingly crafted by my youngest (when he was 8) and a glass dragon I picked up at some tourist trap about a dozen years ago.  Nothing else covers up the ugly beige fabric.


Yes…this is REALLY my desk.

I keep all the personal magic on my desk.  There’s the obligatory photograph of the kids (which is probably a good 12 years old now…), a Wookie, a smurf, and an angry birds pencil topper.  I’ve got a beanie baby constructed from red M&M fabric, and a pen topped with a guy with a huge, cheesy grin and crazy hair.  I’ve got a copy of the SQO’s band’s last CD (of which I designed the cover art-work) and I’ve got a plaster head which could be yawning or screaming in agony (there are days where arguments can be advanced for both versions…)


tessellation ball

And I’ve got origami….LOTS of origami.

I spend a lot of time on the phone at work.  In today’s business world, if you are going to be working on the phones, you are going to, sooner or later, end up on hold.  The length of this hold is directly proportional to the importance of the title of the person you are trying to reach.

If they have certain initials after their names (CEO, CFO, COO, WTF, LOL, etc…) you might as well write off the entire afternoon.

Although arguments can also be framed the other way – those who are so underpaid and overworked that they are too tired to care about anything except how close it is to quitting time also take their time answering the phone.

So…..work the phones = time on your hands listening to muzak or dead air.  What does one do when they have a receiver plastered to their ear without a voice on the other end to interact with?

Some people doodle on the desk blotter when they’re waiting, some people do a quick search on the ‘net, others drum their fingers on the desk, fiddle with pens, or just scratch at places that beg to be scratched.  Not me, though…

Like THAT’S a shocker…

I fold origami things. Birds, flowers, crabs, balls, boxes, tessellations – whatever origami pattern is firmly fixed in my head at the time I hear ‘please hold…’  I don’t bring my expensive origami papers to work, but I use the scrap paper that any office generates, cut down to 4″ squares.

I was once in the phone queue for a very large box-store retailer for 4 origami cranes, 2 lilies, one box, and serious inroads into a tessellation pattern.

By the time I’m ready to retire, I should have at least 1000 cranes folded, which, according to this Japanese legend, means I get one wish to come true.

I’m sure I’ll figure out what to wish for one day, waiting for someone to talk to me…


crane folded from a security envelope