Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How many MDs does it take to change a lightbulb?

Apparently none. You just have your PA call over two guys who get paid $40 an hour to change them all for you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Eagle Lugging a Deer Head Causes Outage

Jan 29, 9:53 PM (ET)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - About 10,000 Juneau residents briefly lost power after a bald eagle lugging a deer head crashed into transmission lines.

"You have to live in Alaska to have this kind of outage scenario," said Gayle Wood, an Alaska Electric Light & Power spokeswoman. "This is the story of the overly ambitious eagle who evidently found a deer head in the landfill."

The bird, weighed down by the deer head, apparently failed to clear the transmission lines, she said. A repair crew found the eagle dead, the deer head nearby.

The power was out for less than 45 minutes Sunday.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What's worth reading right now?

Don't let the smiles fool you. Book clubs are serious business.

I'm officially starting a book club. I think there are a variety of motivations behind it. First, I like to read. Second, I think it will be a way to feel somewhat cultural and intellectual while still sitting around with friends and drinking. Third...well there isn't really a third reason. However, starting a book club requires having at least a few books that I want to read. I know these books are out there but I don't really have any pinging on my radar right now. Currently I'm trading back and forth between The Memory Keeper's Daughter and a Noam Chomsky book. Please Please leave me some comments with books that you guys have read or have wanted to read lately. I'm sure Alex will say something crass but I'm hoping the rest of you can help a sistah out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Can you make me an eye doctor appointment?"

I know, I know...This is not an odd request to make to one's personal assistant. However, it is a little odd to call your assistant and leave her a five minute message about which office to call, that you know your regular optometrist's office is closed, and a description of the reason you need an appointment in the next two hours, all when you know she is driving to Boston to deliver a table to an antique store for you while you sit in your office with full internet and phone access. Wouldn't it be a little easier to just make the call yourself?

Who goes on vacation with their parents anymore?

It's interesting that you should ask. I do. Apparently I'm one of the only people that does.

In fact, I went on two vacations in two months with my family. What did I learn? A few things actually. First of all, I'm waayyyy too old for Disney least I'm too old to be at Disney World with my parents and my little brother. (sidenote: Everyone tells me that I should start referring to LJ as my "younger" brother instead of "little" brother since he has 4 inches and about 90 lbs on me.) We spent five days booking it around Mickey town, eating our faces off, and generally getting on eachother's nerves. We all agreed that maybe, after 20 years of going on the same vacation, it might be time to try something new.

Lesson #2 came on January 3rd when Dad took my older brother Jay and I to West Palm Beach for the annual Silver Sailfish Derby. I had higher expectations for this trip since fishing is something I like to do, there was competition involved, and I had a formidable drinking ally in brother Jay. Most of my hopes for vacation bliss were dashed when we hit 6-8 foot seas and raging winds off the coast of Florida. There were no fish, I was seasick, and the bar at our hotel closed at ten. I came away with the understanding that voluntarily getting the bejesus kicked out of me for two days is no longer something I really like to do. Just look at what a toll it took on Jay... If you're wondering why there are no pictures of me that's because I was lying on the deck for most of the two days I "fished."

We did all clean up enough to attend the banquet at the very la ti da Sailfish Club in Palm Beach with cocktails and shrimp as far as the eye could see. The Sarge actually does clean up pretty nice. Too bad they don't give out a plaque for best looking crew.

Overall, I learned that I like my family. We get along better now than when my siblings and I were in our angsty teenager phases. However, vacations at this point in my life should be taken with my friends. These are people who don't have high expectations of me when I'm on vacation. These people won't expect me to get up before 7 to hit the parks before the crowds or to get the boat going so we can pick up bait. Best of all, none of my friends would consistently ask me if I really think having one more Jack and Coke is a good idea. Of course it's a good idea Dad, I'm on vacation and you're driving.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What is an Alcohawk?

No, it's not a tipsy bird of prey.

Well my friends, it's several things. It's the latest must-have that I was sent to find. It's the newest gadget in Bossman's arsenal. It's a pocket breathalyzer.

How do you go about obtaining an (to be recited like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story") Alcohawk ABI Professional Grade BAC Breath Screener? Actually, they are readily available at The Sharper Image. Somebody thought it would be "fun" to have one around and specified that I should pay cash so that it didn't pop up on the grid and become flagged by the Man. Whatever you say.

Jeri Ann has astutely hypothesized that he's going to bring it to parties because he is so totally "that guy." I'll keep you updated...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Can you guess where I just was?

(Most of my day was spent dealing with yet another car issue so I dredged up this little gem from August.)

No ideas?


Ok...I'll tell you. I was in Fabric Hell. In case you didn't know, Fabric Hell is located in North Providence. Fabric Hell is an old mill building, where they used to make the stock for Fabric Hell and apparently much of their current wares are left over from when the mill shut down in the 60s. At least that was the conclusion I nimbly jumped to looking at rows and rows of printed polyester fabrics. Color combinations that will haunt my dreams for years to come exist in this place.

Let me give you a sample of the clientele at Fabric Hell (commonly known as Lorraine Fabric to the unsuspecting mortal ((that's right...not JoAnn...Lorraine))). There was an elderly woman who added at least a foot to her normal height with a signature grayish blue bouffant confection on the top of her head. Most people would opt for heels. She opted for white semi-translucent jelly shoes. It must have been casual Tueaday at Fabric Hell. Apparently, to shop at FH your wardrobe needs to consist of pieces at least 20 years old. What was bouffant-jelly shoes purchasing? I'm so glad you asked. She was picking out peach colored lace in order to accent the collar of a hum-drum peach blouse she had purchased on sale. I got to hear all about this while I waited behind her in line.

Then there was Theresa. I think Theresa was an angel sent by the Big Guy to watch over me during my time in FH since she expertly expidited the time I had to spend there. Theresa was the picture of color coordination in her pink ensemble. Everything matched right down to her underwear. How do I know this you ask? Because the slightest hint of undergarment (3 inches max) was visible above the waistline of her threadbare terrycloth lounge pants. When you find pants that fit that well you don't just get rid of them without a fight. That's Theresa's motto. Anyway, Theresa works the back cutting table in a haven of designer upholstery fabrics that have been unfairly sentenced to an eternity amongst cheap fabrics and clients with even cheaper taste, never to be purchased and loved.

I was lucky enough to end up in FH because Bossman has decided to drape his pedestals in black fabric before placing his precious buddhas on top. Needless to say, someone recommended Lorraine's and I unwittingly went. Like a lamb to the slaughter. I do have to say, the outside world looks much better after having risen up out of a place like that.

FH is nowhere near this nice.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Can you pick me up a cool New Year's hat?"

Me: "What do you mean by a cool New Year's hat?"
Bossman: "You know, a New Year's hat that's cool...not one made out of paper or plastic."

This is the request made to me before Bossman went on vacation for Christmas. A number of questions obviously popped into my head... "What does this really mean?" "Who invests in a party hat?" "Where the hell am I going to find this?"

Luckily I had the very supportive Cecilia Kiely in town to go on this mission with me. Ultimately, I bought a felt party hat, a Happy New Year tiara, and a pair of cardboard 2007 glasses. With the help of my trusty friend and trusty glue gun, I concocted a one of a kind New Year's party hat. Here I am doing my best to infuse it with some cool.

I came back to work post holiday to find it sitting on my desk with all the decoration ripped off. Was this a diss or a drunken, post ball-drop faux paus? One may never know...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Helen M. Waite in charge of the Inquiry Department. If you'd like to make an inquiry, then go to Helen Waite.

Have you ever noticed that a version of this joke (usually involving the complaint dept.) is always featured prominently on rustic signs in kitschy family style restaurants and general stores? In my experience I've run across them in places with names like "The Roadkill Cafe" (one of the Sarge's favorites) or "Dick's Last Resort" where the staff (whom you pay to serve you) take great pleasure in verbally abusing and belittling their guests both to their faces and behind their backs.

Stick with me...I'm getting to the point.

Let's all be honest about one thing. I call myself a personal assistant/event planner but we all know that's just so my parents don't begin to regret spending all that money to put me through school. In reality, I'm a glorified servant. My boss comes to me everyday with requests and inquiries concerning making his life that much easier. What would you do if you had someone to fufill your every whim and research all the various and sundry articles, people, places, gadgets, etc. that popped up on your radar? More importantly, what would it look like if that person started a blog to document all of those inquiries?

I realize that it may become difficult to populate a whole blog with the silly things that I do as a part of my job so, right from jumpstreet, I'm going to widen the scope to include requests and inquiries from my friends and family and general inquiries made to you, the readers.

We can debate the semantics of "inquiry" vs. "request" later.