So I've been very "vocal" about the jacked-up old house we used to work in. But I haven't mentioned much about the swanky new space, which is awe and then some. I have my own office with brand new furniture and a window out into the hallway (though sadly no windows to the outdoors). But I thank my lucky stars for what we ended up with. It's really amazing. No more stench vent. No more weird sound tunnels. No more everything creaking.

And right now, we don't have the full space. We had kicked out some folks for this space, but one department had to stay behind until their new space is built. We were concerned upon moving in that these folks would hate us. I mean, we're a loud bunch. We have 18-20 year olds busting in with their cell phones and their sometimes less than courteous manners. These people never make a peep over there.

But they've been awesome. We did a formal breakfast meeting this week with introductions, and they are all really hilarious. Well, except for a few sour apples. I'm thinking of this woman I can only refer to as Scowlella. She has this permanent frowny face and doesn't make eye contact. I think she needs sex. But then, that's my mental solution for anyone who's fussy.

And speaking of which, one of our "neighbors" has this smoking husband I like to call Hottie McHotterson. This man is sexay! He has nicely defined arms, perfectly tanned, great smile, sideburns (and I love a good sideburn), and today he was wearing this t-shirt tucked in behind his belt, board shorts, and sweet little Keen shoes. I was praying right then for a show called "Husband Swap." But then, I don't have a husband, so let's just call it "Husband Snag."

Then of course he spoke, and if I hadn't known better, his mannerisms and speech softly whispered "gay" into my ear. Damn these hot ambiguously straight men!

He's usually in our shared break room for lunch, and today we had this nice chat. they were telling me how great Keen brand shoes are and he says, "I can let you use mine for a while. Are you a 10.5?" For you, sweetie, I'll be anything you want. But much like Cinderella's wicked step-sisters, my foot was too big. "No, I'm an 11.5." But for you, I'll be anything you want...

Then home today, I noticed my not-yet-legal teen boy neighbor running down the street shirtless. Here we go again. Totally not fair. He runs into his house, and then I see him going in the opposite direction shirtless, underwear exposed, skateboarding. Today has been pure torture! Yeah, I know, call the police on the homo pedophile, right?

Certainly a break at my favorite coffee house will provide a needed respite from alluring men. And right into the den of estrogen I go. And no Barista Boy in sight, thankfully.

But instead I'm sitting, as I type, next to this table of 10 angry cheerleader moms arguing about fund raising for their precious lovelies. From what I gather, there could be an inevitable showdown between them and the skanky football moms. Take out your earrings, ladies, and get the Vaseline. It's time to take it to the streets, old-school. Cranky booster betches. This one mom, the outspoken ringleader I'm calling Momzilla, is a bossy sort. These women need sex.

But that's my answer to everything...

An Inner View Through An Interview

So why aren't interviews called inner-views? Why, when you get to know a person's thoughts, cares, interests, fears, and all that crap?

Who makes these rules, anyway?

Anyway, today I had a big interview for an Assistant Director position in my office. Army's moving on up (only on his hopes right now, but perhaps in reality very soon)!

It's a great position, and I'm really jazzed about it. But today didn't start off so auspicious...

The Swarm

Apparently, today is one of the worst days ever for pollen count. Like 1.21 jigawatts!! of volume in the air. I heard there was even a warning! Good lord! Thank god for my generic Claritin, or as I like to call it, Generitin. But even that didn't fully come through as my nasal passage bouncer. I had to down some immediate relief stuff and take some ibuprofen for the pressure headache. So I ended up a pill head with a throbbing alien in my forehead trying to hatch from the larvae beneath my skull.

I just imagine the air thick with tiny yellow tennis balls invading my airspace and landing on the surface of my insides and outs. Curse you, pollen! Curse you, I say!

The Punisher

I knew that when I got up early and my head was soupy, today would be trouble. So it came to no surprise as I was cautiously speeding to work that Punishment Light was up to its usual antics. Sticks and stones, Punishment Light. You shall not have your day of victory!

Still, I felt completely out of sorts and beat down for my afternoon interview. Perhaps time was on my side...

The Karoshi

The Japanese have a term for death from overwork. That was my morning. I was fussy and fuzzy, and here come the students. And the projects in between. And the notes from the previous day. And the emails piled in the inbox. If this was my pre-test to handling stress, boy was I failing.

Lunch out of the office with a little sody pop helped. I finished up a project and headed home for my impending interview.

The Sun Not Suiting Me

Let's just say that men don't have many options for business wear in the summer. Women have skirts, cute tops, and accessorization. Men just have hot suits with piled-on layers topped off with a noose... er, tie. Mind you, I looked stunning in my suit with my new Express for Men shirt and tie. But it was a sweat tent inside. Thankfully my drug cocktail of pills and sody had cleared my head! Merciless sun, curse you, too!!

The Inner View

With the exception of a few questions, I rocked out the interview! I had a scenario in which I need to make a decision between two candidates, and my reasoning for person B was solid. My mock
presentation was creative and engaging. And my answers came out as I had pretty much wanted them to. I get nervous being put on the spot, but it helped that I knew all these people and they knew what a rock star I am.

It's hard to interview with JP the British Boss because he has a poker face during interviews. I remember that from way back when I got my current job. He gives almost no feedback. Before and afterward, he's his regular jovial and talkative self. But in this venue, it's hardcore JP, Wales Hold 'Em style.

The To Be Continued...

So now comes the wait. But only for a week. It's out of my hands, and I did the best I could. On the way back home, Punishment Light stopped me again, but it couldn't keep me down. My tie was loose, my top button undone, and one of my favorite Radiohead songs had just released itself from Andrew's speakers. The song is called "Let Down." But I'm not expecting one of those next week...

Sign Language

As you travel around the world or your neighborhood, surely you've run across an odd or out of place sign before. Signs are everywhere. I shared a few of my found favorites a while back.

So naturally, I love it when I was referred to a couple of hilarious websites by my co-worker crew member, S-Dub. There's something about the generic airline safety brochure drawings and the WWII-era poster style that gives me the tingles. But of course, the captions hold the humor!

Check them out:
Safe Now
Air Toons

I dare you to try to not laugh your ass off! It can't be done. Shout-out and mad props to Dub for her sweet hook-ups : )

Oh yeah, and now for a shameless plug of a little creative sign I came up with...

I'm Not an Addict... Maybe That's a Lie.

Who would have thought I could ever find a simple little board game that I love so much more than Settlers of Catan?

And then I met Carcassonne. I was at a mall game store looking for something like Settlers but a bit different. I asked the guy if he had suggestions, and he pointed me to this little blue box flanked by many smaller, similar boxes -- the collection of its add-ons.

My eyes locked, and at first, it wasn't all fireworks and dazzle. I checked out what junk it held in its trunk. I read over the back captions and checked out the pictures. Like a deceiving singles add on, I was unconvinced. Even the praise of Store Guy did little to sway me. He was like a good friend desperate to have his odd friend be shown a good time. And then Store Guy made a sweet offer: if I didn't like the game, I could bring it back. It was like I could erase it all if we had a bad date. Store Guy was a good game pimp. I slapped down my cash.

Like any good date, Carcassonne came with instructions. This is how I work. Don't do this with me. If only boy dates were so easy. Still, though. The instructions left me skeptical of a promised good time. Fortunately, I had reinforcements to play with me. Vick (Army mom), Lola (the grand ma-ma), and Egg (the step-daddy-o) indulged me due to their past Settlers enjoyment.

And then something magical. The game rocked! It's relatively basic in its design, but like any good game, the strategy is in the nuances. And the add-ons (which I've since laid down fistfuls of cash to procure) help to build larger maps, add new strategies, and insert other rules and impending chaos. The nice thing is that you build the map as you play, so it will never look the same twice. It's always fun to see how it will come together.

Guinness World Record for largest Carcassonne game

Everyone who plays is skeptical at first. Only after a game does it get under your skin. And like any good drug, it gets better with each use. Now I'm a fiend for this game! I just can't get enough. I even drove Pops to buy up the whole shebang himself. I've got my friends and family hooked on Carcassonne's sweet love. My next victim will be the lovely Gouda herself! Mwuhahaha!!!

If you are looking for a fun game, check it out. If you love Settlers, I guarantee you'll love this game just as much, if not more. Highly recommended.

Dr. Lovebrarian

It's time to share another of my free therapy sessions with Dr. Lovebrarian.

So The Lovebrarian has managed a hook-up --> long distance segue with Sports Illustrated Guy. She met SI Guy in the most random way, and now they are "love" partners. And for her, it's the best scenario -- he lives a little over two hours away, so there's no clingy factor. It's just enough attention to be sweet and to carry on a regular single life during the week.

Which got me thinking... perhaps I've been approaching this dating thing from the wrong angle. We're socialized to believe that long distance relationships are difficult and rarely work out. But let's face it, for independent coots like me, sometimes you just want your space. I need to take a nod from my human resources background and attack this issue like a job search. Do we need to conduct a local, regional, or national search to find the right applicant pool? I've been doing the local thing, but clearly I need a regional search.

Plus it totally lends itself to expiration dating. Things get boring or just fizzle, you can blame it on the space between. I like the idea of a time stamped relationship. Maintain until freshness date. Promptly dispose : )

So SI Guy has this total librarian fantasy thing, in which The Lovebrarian is considering to cast herself. We came up with the cheesy lines like "do you know what the fine is for an overdue book, bad boy?" or "shame on you for forgetting your Dewey decimal system." LOL -- I pioneered the idea of an edible body stamp with the script "FINE" on it. My imagination is tweaked...

My two favorite Lovebrarian quotes this evening:

1) Matter-of-factly spoken: "I mean, I don't want an STD."

2) Regarding the kooky roomie's man: "And her boyfriend is on our couch watching America's Funniest Home Videos... and he was actually laughing at it."

I LOVE it when people get offended by the most inane details! That's a brain-share moment.

In a less common bout of serious talk, we explored the topic of spending money and materialism. We both agreed that spending money on experiences is more enjoyable to us than getting the latest and greatest thing. If you think about it, what is more memorable to you? A beautiful or exciting vacation, or that brand new iPod?" Now granted, I love my iPod, but when I reminisce about my favorite times, they don't involve hanging out with the little silver guy.

And in a way, spending money on experiences is a kind of savings account. An investment in the future. The Lovebrarian shared that when her grandmother was 101 years old, she couldn't see well, couldn't walk, and had trouble hearing. She told The Lovebrarian the only thing she had left were her memories. At that point, the objects we collect mean very little. But the peak moments of our lives have power. And when we're all old and gray, the most solid part of memory and cognitive function is long-term, episodic memory. An investment, indeed.

This is one way our society needs a course-correct. For birthdays, I take my friend or family member out to their favorite restaurant, and we have an excellent meal. To me, that's worth more than any thing I could buy for them.

So I guess what they say is true. You can't buy me love. But at least I can enjoy a free moment with The Lovebrarian.