Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Dumb things I do’


Posted by Lissa on June 21, 2012

Did you know that “while dicing jalapeños” is a really, really bad time to nick yourself?

You’re welcome.

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So angry I’m in tears.

Posted by Lissa on May 13, 2011

And unfortunately, the only person I have to be mad at is myself.

One of my manilla files that I REMEMBER having yesterday went missing. I tore apart my desk, the stacks of file folders, two offices and another desk before starting to page through our file cabinets one by one.

You know where it was?

In the file cart where it was supposed to be. Only I guess when I put it back yesterday I put it BETWEEN two hanging file folders instead of IN a folder. So it had fallen to the bottom and was lying underneath all the other folders.

Ever been immensely relieved and simultaneously FURIOUS at yourself? In my case, it results in suppressed tears. YMMV.

Happy Friday, all.

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Wow, Easter’s an actual holiday? Who knew?

Posted by Lissa on April 25, 2011

We went over to Mike’s parents’ house yesterday for a lovely Easter dinner. Our contribution was a baked-from-scratch chocolate triple-layer cake held together with homemade whipped cream and coated in homemade frosting.

Now, there are two ways this could have come about:

A) Lissa decided that she was FAR too good a baker to bring a STORE-BOUGHT birthday cake, that she would never deign to stoop so low, and did it all herself. Or …

B) She pulled up to an absolutely empty Publix parking lot Sunday morning and went, “Oh sh*t. Easter. Holiday. Oh CRAP!!”


I turned my cupboard inside out, sent Mike to Walmart for half and half and whipping cream, and made this:


How was your Easter? 🙂

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The “reset button” offered to the American business community

Posted by Lissa on November 4, 2010

This pool allegory over at Random Acts of Patriotism (h/t to Borepatch) inspires me to offer my own pool fable.  (Though I don’t expect to do so as well as ASM826!) I make no promise of truth nor falsity — this is a fairytale, y’all!


Once upon a time Lissa found herself a new homeowner.  She tried her best to learn about lawn maintenance, and pest control, and how to kill (or not kill) wolf spiders, and how to work a pressure washer.  She also tried to learn to take care of the pool, but was very grateful when a kind and nice neighborhood woman came over to give her a head’s up.

“Sorry, I don’t want to stick my nose in or anything, but I know you’re kind of new to this, so I wanted to let you know . . . that gurgly, sucking sound coming from your backyard?  That means the pool water is getting low and you need to add some more.”

“Oh!” I exclaimed. “I’m so embarrassed!  I (and my husband) are  just kind of inexperienced with this whole home ownership thing and I’ve certainly never had a pool to take care of — thank you SO much for the advice!”

“No problem,” she smiled.  “It’s not a big deal, you can restore the level fairly easily; you just don’t want it getting too low or the pump can get beat up some.”

The previous owners had left a bunch of stuff for us that they apparently didn’t need, including a short length of hose attached to a spigot at the front of the house.  I unscrewed it and ran to the back of the house looking for another spigot I could use.  Bingo!  There was a spigot clearly marked “HOSE” right next to the (currently quiet) pool pump assembly.  I deftly attached the hose and turned the dial.

Nothing . . .

I tried a few more times but, clearly, this spigot didn’t work.  With a sigh, I made a mental note to get a longer hose.

Bright and early the next day, I ran over to Home Depot to get a real garden hose.  With longer tube in hand, I used a spigot at the other side of the house and promptly sent a small, clear stream of water into the pool.

Yay me!!!

Unfortunately . . . for some reason . . . the pool didn’t seem to be filling.  In fact, the water level was DROPPING.  I couldn’t understand it at all!

That is, until Mike took a trip around the side of the house.

“Um, Lissa . . . ” he said in a concerned tone of voice.  “I think I know why the pool water is dropping . . . there’s water shooting out of pump assembly at about twice the rate you’re filling it.”

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. — Barack Obama, “Dreams of My Father.” [emphasis mine]

The End.


(Yeah.  The spigot marked “HOSE”?  That’s what you use if your pool gets too full.  And it only works while the pump is going, obviously.  So if you open it up while the pump is quiet, it will do nothing.  But if you leave that spigot open, the pump will merrily drain away the water the next time it turns on. Just so you know.)

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Why Oreos do not a breakfast make

Posted by Lissa on October 25, 2010

(I’ve got a story queued up about the snake that wandered into our screened porch.  However, since the last post went ridiculously crazy — 47 comments!!! I love you all!!!! — I have to tell a humiliating story about myself, to keep me humble.  It’s a LookingForLissa rule.)

A long, long time ago — otherwise known as the spring of 2004 — Mike and I were but humble workers and flirtatious friends at Ye Olde Financial Company.  These were the relaxed, golden days of my youth . . . wait, what the hell am I talking about?   These were the days when I used to work 3 PM to 11 PM at the Financial Company, and at least twice a week I was also working 6 AM to 12 PM at the coffee shop.  Halcyon my ASS!

Anyway, on this particular day we were both signed up to donate blood at the Ye Olde Financial Company-sponsored Red Cross Event.  If I remember correctly, Mike had never given blood before.  I, on the other hand — insert preening and suave nonchalance here — had given blood SEVERAL times back at college.

I held on to the record of accomplishment.  Somehow I neglected to hold on to the results, mental and physical, that always followed said blood donation.  More on that later.

So on this particular sunny spring day, I didn’t have to hit the coffee shop before work.  As such, I lingered in the sunshine, drinking an extra mug of coffee and helping myself to three or four Double-Stuf Oreos for breakfast.  Yeah, yeah, they were no breakfast chili, but I’m often not very hungry in the morning.  Calorie-wise, I figured they must equal an egg and a banana, no sweat.  I shower, groom myself, slip into a business-casual outfit and hie myself off to work.

The blood donation itself wasn’t bad; they actually found a vein without TOO much trouble (I have little-bitty roll-y veins) and it didn’t stop halfway (which is always particularly infuriating).  Like the others, I sat munching vanilla wafers and sipping juice to restore my blood sugar, and then went off to start my work day.

Because I’ve always felt a bit faint after donating blood, I made sure to come prepared: I brought a huge jug of Juicy-Juice (100% juice, y’all!) with me and sipped it as I sat at my desk.

*cue the ominous music*

Problem the First: I didn’t eat nearly enough food to squirt out a pint of blood.  I was pretty light-headed.

Problem the Second, which was rather more troublesome:  I never drink juice. Or regular soda.  Or other sugary beverages (unless you count wine).  So my blood sugar went from kinda low to ohmyfreakingGODWHATTHEBLOODYHELLISGOINGONYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I felt worse.  I drank more juice.

I felt worse.  I drank more juice.

(No, that’s not a double type.  I kept feeling worse, so I repeated the action that was undoubtedly making me feel worse.  What can I say, I’m a bloody idiot.)

My skin gradually turned the color of a cave-dwelling albino.  My hands grew clammy and damp.  I gave up and went to visit my supervisor.

“Boss,” I whispered, swaying slightly back and forth.  “I think I need to go home.”

He took one look at me and gasped.  “Are you gonna MAKE it home?  You’re like the color of paper!”

“I’ll be fine,” I said bravely.  “Heather will cover my work for the day and I’ll go home and everything will be fine.”

I weaved back to my desk and put a note into the work Chatroom that I was leaving for the day.  And then . . . as I stared at my computer screen . . . it suddenly did this:

(That’s the push-pull dolly shot made famous here.  It’s scary when it happens in real life!)

I held onto my desk with both hands as my monitor stayed still and the world around it suddenly zoomed away at 100 mph.

Oh crap I’m never gonna make it home.

I called my sister for help.

“Sister,” I whispered.  “Help me.”

“Lissa, what’s wrong?” she barked.  “What’s happening? What’s wrong?”

“Help me,” I pleaded.  “I’m . . . sick.  I . . . I can’t get . . . I have to go home.  Come get me.”


“I just . . . help me . . . ”

And with that, I hung up the phone.

Not on purpose!  I just kind of . . . blacked out.  I fainted.  For the first and only time in my life.  Apparently my poor sister was left screaming into an open line and imagining that I’d passed out under a bush somewhere.

Oh, and it gets MORE humiliating.  Yes, yes, it does.

Because I awoke from my passed-out state and promptly vomited three cups worth of Juicy Juice onto my desk.



Miraculously, no one witnessed me blacking out and then spewing.  I frantically cleaned up my desk with paper towels and 409, then called my sister back.

“Hi Big Sis.”

“WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?  You sound a lot better.”

“Oh, I feel a lot better.  I threw up on my desk.”

I made it home and administered chicken broth and saltines for the remainder of the day.

And the moral of the story is:

If you’re donating blood in the afternoon, eat steak and eggs for breakfast.

The End.

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One of the many reasons I love my husband . . .

Posted by Lissa on September 29, 2010

. . . is that he doesn’t indulge in “I told you so.”

We were in a hotel over the weekend for a Mike Work Conference Thing-y and took the opportunity to play in the gym.  We do have a little gym in our apartment building here — one of the many things I’m going to miss when we move — but it has very few weight machines.  Thus, when confronted with the richness of row after row of Nautilus, I dove right in.

I was pumping out leg curls on this machine —

— when Mike wandered over from the free weights.

“Honey, you want to be careful on that one, or you won’t be able to walk,” he said mildly.

“I’m fine!!” I puffed.  “Feels good!” I panted.

Jeez, I know how to lift weights! Does Mike think he married some namby-pamby, delicate, fragile little thing? Hell no! I had a temp job moving furniture, for heavens’ sake!

I pumped out another set to prove my point.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all see where this is going, do we not?


We finished our workout and stretching and walked up the stairs.  I admit to feeling a twinge of misgiving, seeing as how my legs didn’t quite RESPOND the way they normally do.  I took some Aleve and was relieved that everything seemed okay.

The day after (Monday) I was substantially sore.  I could *feel* what a mistake the machine, and in particular the last set of curls, had been.

And Tuesday?


I spent yesterday walking around like a 90 year old after two hip replacements. I spent more time easing myself into and out of chairs than Nomar before receiving a pitch. I was munching Aleve like they were Altoids.*  Every time I sat for longer than an hour it was almost impossible to get up again.  I was tottering around like a toddler with a full diaper.

Thank GOODNESS it’s better today.  *sigh*

And what lesson did we learn from this, boys and girls?



. . .why, what did you think I’d learned?

*No, not really. But I wanted to!!!

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Stereotypes and elitism

Posted by Lissa on July 16, 2010

These two posts by Borepatch and Jay G got me thinkin’ . . . (A dangerous pastime, I know . . .)  Only I’m going to approach it from the opposite end that Jay did. I could be wrong, but here’s what I think:

To most casual observers I come off as one of those “smart people”, one of those “elites.”  After all:

  • I went to a small, elite liberal arts college that often ranks in the top ten liberal arts colleges in America
  • I graduated said college cum laude, that is, with a 3.5
  • I attained said grade point average while doing very little homework (please note — I’m not proud of this.  It’s just a fact)
  • I’ve spent three weeks in London
  • I’ve sung in at least ten different languages
  • I’ve sung such fabulous works as Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Faure’s Requiem, Brahams’ Ein deutsches Requiem, and the full Messiah (and poor Mike had to listen to the whole Messiah – he really, really loves me)
  • My reading tastes are notoriously eclectic. Books that I’ve read at least ten times include everything from Stranger in a Strange Land to The Hunt for Red October to Atlas Shrugged to Jane Eyre.
  • I can make conversation with anyone.  ANYONE
  • I can speak in a British accent.  (Or cockney.  I can sort of do Irish or Scottish, but not well.)
  • I’m verbally “quick on my feet” (yes, that mixed metaphor was on purpose. Because it amused me)
  • I use words like “engender”, “unsolicited”, “therein” and “verisimilitude” on a regular basis.  I used the latter three in the last post

And yet . . . and yet . . . the older I get, the less smart I think I am.  A few of the reasons I don’t fit/deserve the stereotype of “smart person”:

  • I am profoundly historically ignorant.  I kind of know who Galileo and Copernicus were; I haven’t the foggiest idea when they lived.  500 AD?  1500 AD?  Something like that?  Anything prior to the 20th century is up-for-grabs in my brain.
  • I am profoundly Biblically ignorant.  No, I don’t think we all need to read, let alone believe, the Bible.  It’s just embarrassing that I don’t know any of the saints except Peter.  In fact, any knowledge of the Bible I have comes from playing a Soul Girl in Jesus Christ Superstar (back in college).
  • That thing about the British accent?  Well, I didn’t mention my moronic habit of adopting whatever accent I’m hearing.  It can be a Southern drawl, a Canadian quip, a prairie twang — if I’m hearing it, I’m speaking it.  That’s really fun when there’s a gathering of Ye Olde Liberal Arts College alums in London — ever heard a woman use “big ol’ ” and “y’all” in a British accent?  Yeah, didn’t think so.
  • I never learned proper grammar. I couldn’t diagram a sentence if my life depended on it.  I’m only familiar with present participle and pluperfect because of my years in Spanish class.
  • I cannot for the life of me remember names or faces.  Unless I’ve spoken with you five times or more, please assume that I don’t remember your name.
  • I’ve never read War and Peace. Or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Or The Moonstone, The Grapes of Wrath, The Jungle, Great Expectations, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Freakonomics, The Wealth of Nations, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and a whole host of others.
  • I’ve never changed a tire in my life.
  • I can’t sew, knit or crochet worth a damn.
  • I mostly cook from recipes.
  • I never understood calculus.  I got an A in the class by memorizing the types of problems and the subsequent steps to solve them.  It never made a lick of sense to me.
  • Ditto for chemistry.
  • And — oh yeah! I own and shoot guns.

Folks who’ve met me, please feel free to pop up and disagree — but I do think I’m a quick, and witty, conversationalist.  I’m usually the one to fill awkward silences and invite quiet group members to speak.  A lot of folks assume that, therefore, I’m a very intelligent person.

Verbal acuity and actual knowledge/intelligence are NOT the same thing.

Since we’re being all literary and usin’ them thar five-dollar SAT words, I’ll cap this post off with a Jabberwocky meme from Evyl Robot, Jennifer, Sarah and Christina.  Here’s my contribution:

And as in uffish thought she stood,
The Goblin-wock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the front-door wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! NOT through-and-through
My lil’ Siguette went snicker-snack!
The four nine-mil’s quite turned its head
And put him on his back.

Callooh callay, y’all. 🙂

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Polar bears and tanlines

Posted by Lissa on July 15, 2010

Did you know that polar bears like watermelons?

Mike, LilBro1, LilBro2 and I spent an afternoon at the Toronto Zoo.  Despite the fact that those meanies wouldn’t let me pet the ocelot, cuddle the red panda OR sneak the tree kangaroo into my purse, we had a fabulous time.  The polar bear tank was one of the major highlights — we walked by just as the keepers threw in their afternoon snacks.  One by one, the polar bears dove into the water and climbed out holding a watermelon in their jaws.

(We all know polar bears are big, but to see them moving about while nonchalantly holding an entire watermelon in their mouths — well, it’s a sight!)

The bears just RIPPED into those melons.  It was melon CARNAGE, baby.  It was also a nice demonstration of strength — they’d shove their noses into the hole and the rind would just flake away.  The red juice added a nice touch of carnivorous verisimilitude — without making any small children cry.  😉

It was so cool, in fact, that I easily ignored the zookeeper’s lecture on teh global warming and zomg zeh polar bears are starving to death and you people are ruining Mother Gaia! I rather expect that type of lecture in this setting, though I wish I could have sent them over to my friend Borepatch’s site.  (My mini-take on global warming? I think it’s a crock.  The earth has been much warmer and much cooler than it presently is.  There’s a big honkin’ fireball up there in the sky that is much more likely to have caused any temperature change — which is still unproved — than Man.  To assume that we are killing the earth smacks of ridiculous arrogance.  It was here LONG before we were.  It’ll be here long after we’re gone.  Oh, and it appears that polar bear populations are increasing, so I’m not losing sleep at night over the pretty aminals.  Just sayin’.)

Anyway.  We had a lovely, lovely time, and a nice day, and a lot of walking, and a bit of sun.  And therein lies the problem.

May I offer an unsolicited piece of advice, dear readers?  Yes?  Why thanks!  To wit:

When one plans to walk around for hours during a sunny afternoon, one should not pair a v-neck shirt with a lack of sunscreen:

V-neck = Area of Concern!

Yeah.  Awesome, huh?!?  I hope to hell it fades.  Otherwise I’m going to be playing with fake tanners and tanning booths.  ‘Cause that up there?  Super-sexy!

I’ve also got a nice sandal strap tanline across my ankle, but I find that less troubling:

Pride goeth before sunblock, y’all!

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Conversations in Strega (an Italian restaurant in the North End)

Posted by Lissa on March 25, 2010

LISSA: How do you say “Cheers!” in Italian?

MIKE: Salute?


MIKE: Noooooo, definitely not that one.

LISSA:  Why not?  They’re not the same?  They share the same freakin’ gods, for cryin’ out loud, just with different names!

MIKE:  That’s true!  And they’re both greasy!*

LISSA (thinking about other differences between the countries): Is there an Italian orthodox church?

MIKE: (says nothing, just goggles at me)

LISSA:  What?  Did I say that really loud?  Was that bad?

MIKE: Noooooooooooo, it’s not that!

LISSA:  What??

MIKE: Um, yes, there’s an Italian orthodox church.  The one with the Pope.

LISSA:  (hangs head in melodramatic shame while giggling madly)

I may have been baptized Catholic, but I’m clearly not up to date with my theology!

P.S. Strega?  Thumbs UP, y’all!  Delicious food, delicious drink, and the TV screens play The Godfather, Analyze That, and Scarface all at once!

*In case you’re wondering, that was a JOKE.  Mike’s got Italian ancestry and I’ve never once skimmed Crisco from his hair!  And Jay G doesn’t even HAVE hair!

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Why you should trust your instincts

Posted by Lissa on August 11, 2009

Especially if you carry a big purse and it will cost you NOTHING to do so.


So, last Friday my sister and L invited Mike and me out to dinner by the bay.  I remembered to grab my blazer, as it tends to get cool pretty quickly when the sun goes down.  I gave my makeup a last check and left the bathroom, pausing to glance down at the Crocs bag I carried to the bloggershoot.

Nah, don’t be silly, I told myself.  You don’t need the Off.  It really isn’t buggy around here, you’ll be in the middle of lots of people, and you have the Skin-So-Soft lotion in your purse if you really need bug repellent.

STUPID. Stupid stupid stupid.

The first inkling of trouble came when I was trying to identify flavors in my flight of mini-martinis.  As I tilted my head to read the drink descriptions, my sister abruptly head-smacked me.  Hard.

“Ow!” I complained, utterly confused.

“Omigod, there was a mosquito landing on your head, sorry!” she clarified, looking horrified.  Girl’s got good reflexes . . . . too good.  She saw the big fat bug about to suck my blood and smacked it instinctively, as quickly as she could.  Far too quickly to, you know, be gentle about it.

After we managed to stop laughing — which took a while! — I excused myself and ran to the Ladies’ room for anointing.   I briskly rubbed S-S-S lotion into my arms, my legs, my face, and combed it through my hair.  I even remembered to wash my hands afterward so my lobster wouldn’t taste of scented lotion.

Thirty minutes later I was spasmodically twitching in my seat like I was getting electric shocks.  I had a bite on my forearm (through my jacket), a bite on the underside of my thigh (through my skirt), and a bite on the sole of my foot.  Naturally, no  one else at my table — hell, in the entire restaurant — had any bloodsucker trouble whatsoever.

Why, o why, didn’t I throw the Off in my bag?  You’ve seen my purse, it’s large enough to smuggle puppies and small children.  It would have cost me nothing to bring it with me.  So why didn’t I?

Simple.  I’m an idiot.

On the upside, Mike looks awfully cute in a lobster bib:


P.S.  Before Jenny called to invite us, we stopped at a trendy little restaurant in Boston to have an after-work drink and some hors d’oeuvres.  (There are advantages to being DINK!)  I couldn’t get over the silverware — it was über-trendy, long, and slender.  It was also inefficient for spreading pesto.  And the knife completely looked like a murder weapon in the making.

(My hand is pictured for scale)

(My hand is pictured for scale)

What a strange thing to find in Boston, the land of the safety laws!

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