The Makings of a Shut-In

Blog posts may be a bit sparse for the next month…

OK, just kidding. I am, however, planning on spending a lot of time away from my kitchen and the computer during the month of September because all out favorite shows are coming out DVD. Oh, my goodness am I excited!

First up we’ve got House, M.D., which both Wes and I love with the fiery passion a million tiny little suns. Then we’re looking forward to catching up with our favorite genetic mutations on Heroes. After that we’ll spend some time watching Vic Mackey kick bottoms and take names (and hopefully kill Shane) on The Shield. We’ll follow that up with some lighter fare in the form of shenanigans with our buddies in Entourage and the bumblings of the Dunder Mifflin crew on The Office. We’ll cap off our super-September with the latest offerings from the romantically deficient budding young surgeons of Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s obvious why I’m excited, yes? Christmas done come early, ladies and gents!

Workweek Capers

Things that have happened to me this week:

  • My shoelace caught in the rolly wheels of my office chair at work, thus necessitating a ninja-like move from my chair to the floor, the up-ending of my chair in the middle of the office, and the extricating of said shoelace from the clutches of the wheel whilst my co-workers laughed uproariously and did nothing to help.
  • I ordered a Hot Wheels birthday cake. For a co-worker. Who’s turning 20.
  • I was hung up on by no less than two very evil women. Both of whom owe the company I work for vast sums of money. Cue much gnashing of teeth.
  • I nearly rear-ended a van with a bumper sticker that read, “Don’t hydrogenate me. Ban transfats!” I may have then launched into a rant to Wes about how people should stop creating stupid bans and take their grubby paws off my french fries. If I want to stuff my face with french fries and then do 400 crunches every night to work it off, that’s my business. I’m forthwith creating a ban against stupid bans. I’m going to call it, “The coalition for people who would ask for your help if they wanted it.”
  • I learned that tuna noddle casserole is gross. It’s the first time I haven’t finished my dinner since I was three.
  • I told someone, “Have fun at chemo!” It may go down in the record books as one of the dumbest things I’ve ever said.

All I can say is that it’s a really good thing that Monday is Labor Day. I am officially fried. What’s happened with you this week?

Wrinkly and Wealthy…?

It is my dear hope to someday grow old and wrinkly with Wes. The first time we discussed the prospect of growing old together was during a phone conversation deep in the bowels of the night. Back during the nadir of our relationship, every conversation took place between the hours of 1Am and 4AM (Wes was very into the bar scene at the time and had no time to talk to his cute-yet-underage-girlfriend outside the earliest hours of the dawn.)

I asked Wes what he envisioned for himself in the rosy years of old age and he replied that he imagined living with me in a large farm house in Ireland, the walls of which were decorated with pictures of our kids and grand kids. There may have also been a dog involved, he wasn’t sure.

As of now, we have no immediate plans to move to Ireland but would probably jump if the chance presented itself. We both fancy beer and rain more than is good for us, I wot.

Anyway, our plans for old age have never progressed further than that initial discussion. As a young person, I find it very difficult to imagine being old. As of now, I have so much to look forward to that it’s difficult to imagine a life where all those future things are deep in the past.

I was thinking about retirement today, though, and think that we’d probably better start planning for that now while we can still afford to. After all, I reckon that by the time we’re old enough to be thinking about retirement it’ll be too late to start planning for it.

It’s just so hard to put away money that we could be using now and setting it aside for use in 40+ years. Even if we only put aside $30 each every month from now until retirement, that’s still $60 a month that could be spent on pretty shoes, or a date, or a roll of cheese.

I’ve heard from many sources (none of which I can currently remember) that it’s prudent to start saving for retirement right around now. I can’t think of anyone my age who’s saving for retirement already, though. The vast majority of the people I know are too busy just trying to pay for groceries.

As for you and your house, are you storing away enough money to guarantee you a lake view in the old folks’ home or are you pretty sure you’re going to wind up living in your kids’ garage?

Google Stalking

I ran into a moral quandary at work today. I’ve written here before about my almost preternatural commitment to getting people to pay up. It’s a gift that I use joyfully and it has never gotten me into trouble until now. Enter today’s little problem:

A woman orders personalized water bottles for a wedding. She types in an invalid credit card number. We ship the product before realizing the invalid payment info. We call her, she stalls for time, then ceases to answer our calls entirely. We call from a cell phone, just in case she’s screening, and what do you know? She picks up immediately. She proceeds to explain that, because we shipped the product to her before getting payment, she doesn’t have to pay us. She then hangs up.

The amount she owes us is too small to justify taking her to court, and submitting her account to collections isn’t a viable option at this point (it’s expensive.) What to do?

I do some Google stalking and find out some amazing things about her. I know the names of some of her friends, I know her favorite band, I know the name of the church she goes to (yep, this class-act thief goes to a church in the good ol’ Bible belt!) and I can call five of her co-workers directly.

Google is a stalker’s new best friend.

My moral quandary lies in what I should or shouldn’t do with this information. Obviously, she is a terrible person who sees nothing wrong with stealing. Do her friends need to know what kind of person she is? Do I owe it to the people with whom she does business to warn them that, if they do business with her, they may never get their share of the money? Do I need to alert her pastor to the status of this particular wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Even though all this information is just floating around on the Internet, do I (meaning my company) have the right to use it against her?

My sense of morality is really gray on this issue. It seems that the line between craziness and doing my job has just gotten really blurry.

Flubbing Out

I kid you not, Mondays always kick the stuffing out of me. It’s only 3 in the afternoon and I already feel like a deflated tire. Sure, I can keep rolling about on my rims but eventually I’m going to just start flubbing out all over the place and someone’s going to have to carry the whole mess to the nearest tire store, complaining all the way about the unreliability of Erika tires.

There’s something about that awful transition from weekends (where the mornings start at 10AM-ish, the bed times are flexible, and the work consists of goofing off) to Mondays (where the mornings start at 6AM, the bed times are 10PM sharp or I will cut you, and the work consists of, well, exactly what I’m doing now) that exhausts me utterly.

The good thing is that I had a splendid weekend so I feel like I have a lot of good experiences to bolster me through this rocky day. Wes and I had the opportunity to hang out with our nieces on Saturday and we all had a blast together. They have the most awesome doctor toys and I think I was rescucitated no less than four times, had no less than five puppet-babies via C-section, broke my hand and had it repaired through my neck, and caught and subsequently recovered from the flu. It was a busy night. I also may have inadvertantly taught my niece what an enema is (she asked and would not be distracted until she knew the truth. In the interest of full disclosure, her aunt may have proclaimed that the toy hypodermic needle looked more like an enema than a needle, thus prompting the whole discussion, but let’s not go there), but I think I made up for it by teaching her how to tie a bow.

We also watched The Other Boleyn Girl (which I thoroughly enjoyed and Wes felt pretty meh about) and The Crow (which we’ve both always loved. If you talk to either of us in the near future, expect to hear “What in the crap?!” quite a bit until we forget about it again.)

In conclusion, perhaps the most exciting thing about this weekend is that the germ for a book has been planted in my mind and I’ve started fleshing out the story more and more. Wes has been encouraging me to write a book for some time but I’ve never felt as though I had a story to tell. Generally, unless you are very good or very popular, most people frown on authors who write books that have no discernable point.

At this point, I can’t conceive of writing it seeing as how I’m running three different blogs at the moment. Who knows, though? If I can make the story vibrant enough in my mind, I bet it’ll come out whether I want it to or not. If that happens, I may just have to stop sleeping entirely. When Wes find me curled into the fetal position at 4AM muttering and typing on the puppy’s head, he may regret his decision to encourage me to write a book.