Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Spend a Day with Moist Rub

I awoke this morning to the sound of my daughter’s foot smacking me in the face. Maybe it wasn’t the sound of it as much as it was the slap I felt. She knows I get scared at night when it rains, so she sacrifices her comfortable solo slumber to sleep in my bed in order to soothe my fears. I believe she uses her body to keep time during the night, as she constantly rotates in bed like the second hand of a clock.

After hygienically preparing myself for a day’s exhibition, I entreated the boy to do the same. If I don’t instruct him to do this, he has no problem oozing his bodily effects on those who share the day with him. Come to think of it, I don’t have a problem doing that, either, if it didn’t make me feel so icky. Yes, I’m man enough to admit to an aversion to ickiness. By this time, the daughter had dressed, having showered the night before, and requested a hearty bowl of Fruit Loops for breakfast. I donned my chef’s hat and went to work in the kitchen, not only preparing breakfast, but three healthy lunches - peanut butter and jelly in a ziplock bag (no bread - I was out), beer nuts and a half eaten an apple split three ways. By the time I fed the dogs, ex-Mrs. Rub had arrived to take the kids to school, and I departed, with a breakfast of a single banana in hand.

Traffic was average as I switched partners on the radio dial dance floor - sports radio, Howard Stern, NPR and any tolerable music I could find. I heard nothing worth remembering. Before I knew it, I was at work; ten minutes late. My boss was happy to see that I was early.

As usual, I docked my laptop, unlocked my desk and braved my phone messages - all personal. That’s a good start. There is nothing worse than having a client or co-worker harassing you from the voice mail grave before you even have a chance to check your personal email or your fantasy football message boards, which I proceeded to do after I logged into the network . Some people are so inconsiderate. Normally, I like to spend about an hour and a half getting my personal chores out of the way before I delve into work, but today I had to conduct a training session at nine am regarding some new system magic we’re moving in at month end. My company has streamlined itself out of a training staff. Luckily, they chose me to fill the void.

I’m not much of a trainer. It’s not that I don’t have patience for ignorant people, I just don’t have patience for ignorant people. The only reason they are ignorant is because I hadn’t yet told them what not to be ignorant about. And, the only way I can unignorantate them is by putting up with their ignorance until I can train them, and I don’t have the patience for that. I don’t mind, for the most part, the actual presentation of the training. It’s the preparation that brains me. In order to train a group of people, or multiple groups of people, it helps to write down what you know in an organized, meaningful and comprehensive manner. Seeing that usually, by the time training is required, the programmer hasn’t finished programming and changing the design specifications to accommodate his incompetence, it’s difficult to be comprehensive. After the new programming is moved into production, I make it a habit to ask the programming staff, "So, how does it really work?" In the training session I’d rather give them the basics and let them figure out the rest, as in, "Hey, we have some new system functionality moving in this weekend. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be on vacation next week." This is the way I’d prefer to train since it is also how I learn - give me the skeleton and I’ll figure out where the spleen goes. And, if I happen to connect the sigmoid colon to the lung, you can bet your reversed flow circulatory system I’ll learn to never do that again. The worst part of training people, especially people you work with, is some of them like to use training sessions as bitchfests for all the other stuff that is messed up in the workplace (which will soon include this new stuff I’m telling you about). They don’t realize that if the technology worked the way it was intended, the company wouldn’t need half the employees, and they’d probably get rid of the whiners first. They realize it now, because I told them that. In fact, that is how I now start all of my training sessions, and then I throw head cheese at them to keep them on their toes. The company might want to train me in tact.

After the training session, I was famished. Breakfast bananas aren’t as filling as they appear. I dragged my brittle body to the vending machine only to find a holocaustic sign affixed to it: Out of Order. First, a one and a half percent raise, and now this! And Mother Teresa thought she had it rough. Actually, I have no idea what Mother Teresa thought, although I assume, once in a while, she thought, "golly, I need to go to the bathroom". Which is what I was thinking, but not before running out to 7-11 to buy a Coke and two 99 cent bags of barbecued Jays potato chips. After scarfing them down, I really had to go to the bathroom to read Sid’s last installment of the new television season. I recommend reading Sid’s work in the bathroom. It’ll give you an entire new appreciation for his work, especially if you have one of those "loud" people sitting next to you. They’re not as bad as the "splashers". And, nothing’s worse than those few that seem like they’re bowling in there - look out. How did I get on the bathroom subject? Thanks a lot Mother Teresa!

To build a bridge to the oasis that is lunch, I fended off a vendor, two clients and a project manager by giving them portions of what they needed. I’ll finish them off later. Or maybe tomorrow. You can’t give people everything they want immediately. It’s like feeding a stray cat - it’ll keep them coming back for more and telling its friends and, all of a sudden, you’re running a tabby half-way house, and your dogs have hired a lawyer.

Finally, lunch - the only reason I go to work. It’s no different than high school. All morning you long for lunch, and when you get to it, you cling to it like a bag of peanut butter and jelly, beer nuts and a third of a half eaten apple. I spent my lunch hour and fifteen minutes parked at a park watching the Canadian Geese walk around as if they owned the place. These geese have no fear of unarmed, non-charging humans. They come up to your car looking for handouts. They are the vagrants of nature. I tell them I have no cash, only credit cards. Suspiciously, they waddle away. I don’t think these geese can tell by sight what is food and what is a rock. They’ll pick up just about anything in their bill. If it tastes good, they eat it. If not, they drop it so the next goose can do the same thing. They don’t like onions, that’s for sure.

I awoke from my lunchtime nap disoriented, but oriented enough to know I had to conduct another training session at 2:30. I raced back to the office, hurdled over some cubicle walls, trampled Agatha, our token octegenarian, and made it to the training room in time to turn on the projector before the first trainee arrived. I arrived in time because my next training session wasn’t until 2:30 - TOMORROW. I guess I was more disoriented than I thought. Skillfully, I waited a half hour before I figured it out. This was a valuable waste of time. The art of wasting time effectively is not covered in most time management tutorials. Maybe there’s a book opportunity there. I’ll do that later.

When I returned to my office, I retrieved a voice message from Larry. You know Larry, right? He asked me to call him back, so I did. He told me he’d stop by the office in the morning to drop off the disk with the test data on it. He couldn’t have told me that in the voice mail? He had to make me call him back? What about voice mail etiquette? If you have information to give somebody, leave it all on the voice mail. If you need to discuss the information with somebody, then, and only then, do you ask that person to call you back. It’s the first thing they teach you when you get a phone. I think he was just lonely. He’s a sensitive dude, that Larry. I hear he makes his own pillows out of lint.

To bide my time until the end of the work day, I consoled a programmer, mushed around a database, took a few walks around the office and helped my boss reset her AOL email password so her husband could no longer read her emails. (I don’t’ know what’s going on there, and I don’t want to know.) Just like Fred Flinstone at the sound of the time-to-go-home horn, I slid down my dinosaur and jumped into my car at 4:30.

The rain was a bastard today, a bastard that transformed my usual 40 minute drive into an hour long drive. But, I didn’t mind. Frank Black helped me along the way. He helped me so much, at one point I realized I wasn’t paying attention to the road and almost slid off a cliff, which surprised me since the nearest cliff to me is in the Isle of Wight. If you’ve never gotten lost in a Frank Black album, I recommend it. But use an older album. He’s become an emulsion in his work with the Catholics. It happens to most of us with age. I’m an emulsion of crushed spirit and societal badgering, as you can tell by this essay. But, I try to make it work for me.

When I arrived home I was greeted by the boy and ex-Mrs. Rub, who were hanging out waiting to pick up the daughter from CCD. For those non-believers out there, CCD is Catholic schooling for children lucky enough not to have to go to a Catholic school, but unlucky enough to have at least one parent believing the Catholic religion is an important myth to understand. I lost religion in the divorce. But, I got to keep my guitar. They were sheltering at my house since it is closer to the church than ex-Mrs. Rub’s abode is. She was nice enough to buy me a Quarter Pounder value meal for dinner. I think she’s trying to kill me slowly since she knows I haven’t taken her out of my will yet, and she’s looking forward to getting the hundred and twenty-nine dollars I have saved in my bank account. I guess I’ll start my diet tomorrow. I was also greeted by the sight of some torn up dry wall. The dogs were on a mouse hunting expedition today. It was only a temporary piece of dry wall I put up until I get around to redoing the entire wall. Does seven years count as temporary? Is there a statute of limitations on temporariness?

I cleaned up the dry wall mess, and the boy and ex-Mrs. Rub left. While preparing to continue writing one of the three blog articles I’ve been working on, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It’s easy to catch a glimpse of yourself when you stand naked in front of a full length mirror plucking the gray hairs from your body with your teeth (the chest hairs are killers). I’m not concerned with the appearance of the gray hairs. You don’t need to see those to tell I’m old - my pants pulled up over my bellybutton give that away. I don’t like they way they feel against my skin. They’re abrasive. I think gray hairs are made out of molted cat tongues. So, I noticed I’ve put on a little bit of weight over the past twenty years. I decided to positively procrastinate the writing by working out, which is something I hadn’t done for two months. Positive procrastination is how I accomplish most things in life. I play two or more tasks against one another, and choose the least arduous to execute, while avoiding the others. This works out well, since I am able to accomplish something, while still satisfying my blowing-off instinct. It took me about two hours to clear off the dirty clothes, unused sporting equipment, beer cans and hamburger wrappers from my weight bench. I was wiped out after that. I sat down to rest at my computer, and this essay was magically typed out on the screen. So I pasted it to Leper Pop. I think the dogs wrote it to get me to forgive them for destroying my wall. Now, I’ll go to bed and do it all again tomorrow. Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, was no joke.


Jules said...

Moist, I love unignorantate and I'm going to have to add it to my vocabulary. Ah, the joys of training newbies.

You mentioned writing a book about effective time wasting strategies. I think the reason that nobody's written one is that we are already all experts on the matter. I'd buy your book, though.

As usual, you have brought joy and light into my life. I'm so glad that your daughter managed to wake you up. We've been trying for several days now, but apparently we aren't loud enough. Or our feet didn't reach far enough. =)

AMAI said...

What a jolly blog! I loved it!! I mean, I'm sad to hear you're no longer with Mrs Rub but clearly your life is the stuff of sitcoms. Good thing you're writing this stuff down - it's basically a sitcom waiting to happen.

PB&J in a bag without bread - ha!

Totally agree about voice-mail etiquette.

Sid F'er said...

I can't stop listening to Western Star.

keysunset said...

LOL! I, too, am so glad your daughter woke you up, Moist.

I laughed so hard I cried and had to go put wet laundry in the dryer to sober up enough to read the rest of the essay. Wet laundry, and the idea that eventually I WILL have to fold it, iron some of it, and then watch my family shove it off of their beds, onto the floor of their bedrooms, and back into the hamper, unworn, is enough to sober anybody up.

Now to get out some Frank Black! My theme song in spring/summer 1995 while I was dealing with a brain tumor was "Headache." I haven't listened to Frank in recent months. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...


Moist, if you are not seeing anyone, I will take up the job of plucking your gray hairs. Or just the chest hairs, I don't know if you enjoy plucking the others but teething at your chest cannot be good for your neck.

Jules said...

For the record, let it be noted that I was the first to declare my love for MR, back on the Sept. 18 blog. So I'm first in line to pluck gray hairs from his chest. ;-)

Maybe we can reach a compromise, anon. One of us can be the official hair-plucker, the other can make sure that he eats a more substantial breakfast than one measly banana. Who's going to volunteer to make sure he doesn't run out of bread?

Leper Hopeful said...

One day these posts are going to be shown on know, after Moist and him commune of ladies become a full-blown cult ;)

P-Geo said...

If I may offer a little advice on the gray hairs. It's best to ignore the gray hairs on your nads.

Um ... a friend of mine ... let's call him George ... used a pair of surgically sharp sissors to remove a few of those troublesome hairs from his nether-region.

Did you ever stop to wonder how sensitive your nads are? ... once you cut them with a pair of sissors - you can stop pondering that question.... they also bleed a lot.

Also, forgo the band-aid on the nads... while it may help stop the bleending ... once you pull it off and take the rest of your nad hair with it ... you're about ready to call 911.

Jules said...

Oh, dear. Um, I thought we were just talking about chest hair.

keysunset said...

LOL!!! Moist, I don't know how YOU take these comments, but between you and Sid and the wonderful posts from your readers, I have been ROTFLMAO!!

Thanks so much!!!

CPA said...

Very entertaining.

Village Idiot said...

Moist, your day varies little from mine in basic content. "Good morning Mary Sunshine" may come in the form of the cat, yakking up a hair ball, on the pillow next to my head. The cat actually sitting ON my head.

Or perhaps the cat thinking yet again that "a foot is a toy"...which I swore did not exist. Until a visit to the local pet supply store proved me wrong. Yes, a bare foot in a rubber form, ideal for chewing and attacking.

No ex-wife to show up, but I do enjoy the household sporting events, such as Olympic Freestyle Litter Flinging and Loudest Noise Made Knocking Over Houseplant.

No job, but ignorant people abound. Just watching those pricey SUV's slow down during our road resurfacing, so they don't drive off the cliff. The "cliff" being a 2" edge of pavement to the lower pavement yet to be filled.

No geese, yet plenty of raccoons and skunks. They do know food from a rock. They also understand the idea of toting off the bag of food, even if your house keys are in it.

Software application problems here as well. The company who makes the boards contacts the company who is using the boards who then contacts the host of the board who then contacts me for details.

It's sooo important to make sure everyone is included in the process. Otherwise, like you say, they wouldn't need half their employees.

Consider the grey hairs "highlights" and think of all the money you're saving by not having your chest hair accented with subtle bleached areas to mimic the look of the sun's effect if you lay in the sun under a cyclone fence after the ozone layer is completely obliterated.

Remember that our ancestors had dirt floors and there's no shame in having one now. A leaf-blower does wonders around the house too.

Just remember, when your dreams aren't coming true, lower your standards. If you are completely satisfied with what you have and your life as it is, you'll not want for more. And you can relax.

Moist Rub said...

I know you ladies are merely settling for me because you think you can't have Marty. That's understandable. I know my place in this world. Also, if I may modify the famous Groucho Marx line, I would never take a wife that would have someone like me as a husband.

Village Idiot said...

Moist, when will ever you learn?

Women take a husband as a project, hoping they'll change.

Men take a wife, hoping they won't change.

Alas, one side doesn't, the other side does.

I'd never take a husband who wasn't my best friend. But I'd never marry my best friend because it would ruin the friendship.

Jules said...

* I know you ladies are merely settling for me because you think you can't have Marty.*

Okay, maybe that's true. Then again, could Marty make us laugh so hard we snort? (Purely hypothetical. Never happened. Really.) Give me a man of humor over a rock god any day.

Village Idiot said...

Hear, hear, Jules!

Funny and smart. Smart and funny. Guy's gotta be both. Bonus points if he's a car mechanic, computer geek, masseur, chiropractor, or good cook.

Marty IS cute, but Marty would be gone at night. Has women throwing underwear at him. Or throwing themselves at him.

I think the best way to judge a guy at this point in my life is to ask him how long he's had his car, what kind of car, and if it's leased or owned (and in the latter case, paid for).

If the guy has a leased car that he couldn't afford to buy and trades them in every year or two, he isn't going to make a good husband.

If the guy has an old wreck that he babies and will go to the ends of the earth (or Fremont) to find the RIGHT emblem or fender for, and keeps it running like a dream, then that's the guy to marry.

If he pays to belong to the club that allows members to have an exotic car a few times a year, that's not Mr. Right.

If he has a totally cherry Pacer or Datsun B-210 or Renault Le Car, my interest is raised.

If he has a hybrid, then I'm almost aroused.

Jules, I was going to try to email you, but do I have to sign up on your site to do that or what?

Jules said...

VI - I think you do need to be a member to send messages on that site. I'm going to try something creative with this comment, though. Let's see if it works...

Jules said...

Hmm. Nope. Didn't work. Scratch "creative" and insert "mind-numbingly stupid."

mind-numbingly stupid said...


keysunset said...

Moist said * I know you ladies are merely settling for me because you think you can't have Marty.*

No I don't THINK I can't have Mah-tee, I KNOW I can't have Marty. However, just because I can't have something, like Marty or Moist, don't mean I can't appreciate having them around! :-D

Thanks for this blog! I'm having a blast!

Now to work whilst humming "Trees."

Aunt Nina said...

Anonymous said...

Moist, if you are not seeing anyone, I will take up the job of plucking your gray hairs. Or just the chest hairs, I don't know if you enjoy plucking the others but teething at your chest cannot be good for your neck.

Jules said...
For the record, let it be noted that I was the first to declare my love for MR, back on the Sept. 18 blog. So I'm first in line to pluck gray hairs from his chest. ;-)

Uh................ no offence, but this is making me queasy....please stop. Please.

Village Idiot said...

KeySunset, you have a better chance of having Marty than a whole lot of other people, like people in Zimbabwe that don't have televisions.

You have a better chance than people that don't post anywhere. You have a better chance than people that don't post here. You have a better chance, I think, than people who post mostly about his butt and giggle. Or post raunchy comments.

Maybe I'm wrong there, I don't know the way to a guy's heart. Assuming they have one. They seem to like that kind of thing. I know nothing for sure.

I think the odds on the California Lottery are like 1 in 81 million. But someone eventually wins. And you can have my chance, because I don't want Marty. So that reduces your odds to 1 in 80,999,999. Much better.

Somewhere in one of your comments you might pierce Marty's heart with Cupid's dart. He'll say "Wow! That's exactly the way I feel, I must meet this person!"

You may not want to make it your ONLY hope, but never dismiss a scant chance. Because it's still a chance.

Jules, Moist has my email address.


Jules said...

Andree - I think the link actually worked somehow, because someone emailed me. A mysterious someone who didn't give me any clues to their identity... hmmmmmm.... Anyway, give it a try. I'm afraid to ask Moist for anything, for fear he'll think I'm actually stalking him.

Speaking of which... Please don't be sickened, Nina. All in good fun! I guess I've succumbed to the rampant exaggeration of my generation; if I want people to believe how much I enjoy something, I feel that I have to overstate my affection for it.

Hence, "This blog was very funny and I've been waiting for it for days, so I greatly appreciate it and admire the talent of the person who wrote it" becomes "I think I'm in love with you, Moist."

Being a sister, however, I can understand the sentiment. I hate it when the unworthy masses are fawning all over my little brothers. And fawn they do, for my little brothers are teenage gods. Witty, gentlemanly gods. So, in the name of sisterhood, I will refrain from becoming part of Moist's cyber-harem. Girl power! Rock on! Let's burn our bras!

Village Idiot said...

Jules said:
*Hence, "This blog was very funny and I've been waiting for it for days, so I greatly appreciate it and admire the talent of the person who wrote it" becomes "I think I'm in love with you, Moist."*

Oh, geez, what an eye-opener. So I'm not in love with Moist either? Or the guy at the auto shop? Or the guy at the grocery store? Or the guy that let me cross the street in the pedestrian crosswalk?

I must remember not to equate love with good grocery bagging skills.

But if the guy is on his knees in tears, proclaiming undying love, does that count? Do I have to love him? What if he calls my mom and cries a lot? That just creeps me out.

That worthless psych degree counts for nothing. And that minor in Human Sexuality? I'll NEVER have sex again.


Bruce Jenner said...

VI-"That worthless psych degree counts for nothing. And that minor in Human Sexuality? I'll NEVER have sex again."

That's why I made the switch to Kangaroo Copulation. It's more pertinent to my daily life as a reclusive pole vaulter.

mehgs said...

Aunt Nina, I love it when you post here! Your comments are as funny as Moist and Sid's.

I'm afraid I have nothing of value to add to the kangaroo copulation discussion though.

Jules said...

*I must remember not to equate love with good grocery bagging skills.*

I dunno, Andree, good grocery bagging skills are as hard to find these days as a man who cooks. Maybe you shouldn't be too quick to dismiss the bagger.

Village Idiot said...

Jules, this is who used to bag my groceries:


Village Idiot said...

And for some reason "bag my groceries" is beginning to sound very naughty.

Yes, it's a new term, you heard it here first. Every woman wants a man with "good grocery bagging skills".

And it can be used as "he can bag my groceries anytime."

Andree (how do we edit our own posts?)

just linda said...

This was great. All of it.

Thanks for the laughs. I sure did need them.

Wish I had something more to say...alas, it's past my bedtime, so off I go.

Jules said...

Wow, Andree. You let him slip away? Was he lousy with cars?

Village Idiot said...

Jules, I was married and he was in high school. If I'd known he was going on to be a soap star, I would have taken a lot of pictures. And treasured my Farmer's Market grocery bags. Could have sold 'em on eBay.

He can change his first name but he'll always be Mauricio to me.


Aunt Nina said...

mehgs said...
Aunt Nina, I love it when you post here! Your comments are as funny as Moist and Sid's.

Aww.......thanks. That's much nicer than having Europeans shouting 'bullocks' at me for no good reason.

Jules- It's just that if any of my relatives want people to pluck things from their person in a way that the Savanna Baboons do while grooming each other on a cliff in Tanzania, it's none of my business. And I'd rather not have that kind of indelible mental picture in my memory, if possible.

I'm not burning any bras, if that's alright. I'm no hippy. Even as a wee child, I remember thinking that the mom on "One Day At A Time" looked odd jiggling all over the place all of the time. Was their wardrobe budget that small that they couldn't afford undergarments for everybody or was it a ploy to attract more male viewers? Either way, as a child, it made no sense to me....

Sid F'er said...

It was a way to attract more male viewers... but you were staring at the wrong chest.

Guys were watching Barbara Cooper

Aunt Nina said...

I wasn't staring, thank you. It was impossible not to notice.

It's like if Snider walked around with only Speedos under his tool belt instead of pants, Sid. You wouldn't like what you saw, but you couldn't avoid seeing it.

Devious D said...

Aunt Nina, Talk about indelible mental pictures. Thanks a lot. Gotta go scrub my brain.

MR, welcome back to the world of the living.

Aunt Nina said...

Oh, you didn't like that one? It puts that show in a whole new perspective, huh? Why was the mom comfortable with the super letting himself into their apartment all of the time when it was only her and her two teenage daughters living there, anyway? Seems creepy.
By the way, scrubbing won't help.