Monday, March 2, 2015

Things I have Quit

  • Sin. Ok, not really. I would like to be a bit more sinful and then maybe I'd quit it. And by sinful, I mean bathing in a bath of chocolate and drinking it (Gluttony and Greed - honestly, I'm not sure there's a difference for me), lazing around all day and demanding that people (for the purpose of this exercise, let's call Albert, "people") wait on me hand and foot (Sloth*), feeling super proud of my one-eyed cat for not giving up in the face of extreme adversity** (Pride), cussing people out for their poor driving skills (Wrath), wishing that all the girls that have the mermaid long hair that I want will suddenly develop alopecia (Envy) and, well I can't describe the last one in case my Mum reads this.  Let's just think of it as the way I feel about cake - Lust.
  • Sugar. Think we all know this but it's a really good way to remind everyone how self-sacrificing I am, how virtuous I am and how dedicated. 47 days sugar-free. Basically I am better than everyone else. Please make it end soon...
  • Pottery class. I thought I was going to be really good at this. Unfortunately it was stupid.
  • Horse riding. Three times is enough in anyone's life. I have a way with animals. Just not horses.
  • Manners. F&^% off.
  • Potatoes. Because they're considered naughty on the Glycemic Index. Fries are totally fine though. And if you add something to your potato, you're golden. The GI is pretty clear that it's just plain potatoes. #Loophole
  • Using turn signal (indicator). No one else does in America. I just imagine where I think they are going and sometimes I am right. But mostly not. Tricky little bastards.
  • Ballet. But not because I'm terrible at it. For anyone who has seen me move gracefully through life, I think it's pretty obvious that I am very talented. I just quit cos.
  • Worrying***
  • Dating. Or more specifically trying to meet men. Let them come to me. "Release the hounds men!!"
  • Teaching Albert. Anything. He's made it pretty clear that it's his way or the highway. Plus he lets me live here so I try and keep the peace. 
 *Is it considered Sloth if you have a baby sloth, swathed in a blanket?  Cos, I've seen some of those on YouTube lately and I want one. Yes, I know - Greed.  
**He's disabled but you won't see him collecting a disability pension.  He works for a living.
He's a man of action - just look at the focus.

See?  Always on the go, this one.

***Don't be ridiculous. If I stop worrying about things then my OCDness and control issues might go away and I need them

Friday, February 27, 2015

Having A Mature Work Conversation.

Ever have a conversation that gets out of hand? Below is an actual conversation that I had with a pretty senior person* at work. For some context, I was following up with him on getting a contract signed for someone in his group. Not my group, his group. When I mentioned I was being harassed by the vendor to get it signed, he apparently didn't care and then things went downhill. Or depending on your point of view - into another realm of ridiculousness for which we might both be known for...

Me: You know this conversation is ridiculous, right? We’re on the same side…
Him: I'll join another side
Me: That’s ok, I’m not really into team spirit. I’m a lone wolf.
Him: Fine. We can start a wolf pack.
Me: I don’t want you in my wolf pack. We would fight over who was alpha wolf. I run alone
Him: Agreed. I'll be the alpha.
Me: You can’t be the alpha. You’re delicate. That doesn’t exactly scream alpha
Him: Confidence is a sign of an alpha
Me: Well I don’t want to be running behind my wolf leader and worried that he’s going to slip and break his delicate ankle. I’m starting my own pack. I will be alpha and Albert will be my 2IC
Him: Sounds like the lesser wolfpack
Me: Hardly, I have two in mine. You have one. And they’re delicate. I wouldn’t even bother fighting you myself, I’d just have Albert take you out
Him: I have 100 in mine already.
Me: Imaginary wolves don’t count.
Him: I also have Hulk Hogan
Me: He’s 61. That’s a winning team you’re building. I have The Rock.
Him: I have the Jonas Brothers and Bieber
Me: You should probably take Hansen while you’re at it. And your kPop girls
Him:OHHHH… Yes, and Girls Generation
Me: You might be good at what you do but you have no clue on how to build a wolf pack. As I envision it in my mind, you are all prancing and twirling down the street as wolves but dressed in ridiculous outfits. Bieber wolf has to stop and keep pulling up his pants, Hansen can’t say anything other than “MMmbop” and the Jonas brothers keep checking themselves out. All while their alpha wolf limps along delicately and gets distracted by k-pop wolves.
Him: You just can’t accept the truth that my wolf pack is better, stronger and more musically inclined than yours.
Me: Are you scared I’ll call you out by name? I’m totally writing this as a blog post.
Him: If you do I’ll sue you for slander and liable.
Me: See – this is why you are not the leader of a wolf pack. You would take it to court whereas we should probably just fight. But maybe you’re afraid…
Him: My wolfpack will also be better funded than your wolfpack. See how you now will need to subsidize my wolfpack?
Me: Wolves don’t need funds. They just need the occasional rabbit. God, you’re horrible at this. This is a great blog post.
Him: Rabbits are delicate
Me: Which is why wolves eat them. You should probably be the leader of a rabbit pack.
Him: Sad all your pathetic wolf pack can do is throw stones at the better wolf pack.
Me: We’re not throwing stones, we’re just gobbling up your rabbit pack. Wolves can’t throw stones.
Him: My wolves can. I have better wolves. 

Then I just cut him off.  You can't argue with someone who doesn't make sense.  As of today, I am the leader of the wolf pack.

 *Who would like to be known as my BFF but I will only let him be my work BFF and honestly that's not true either.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When Parties Get Out of Hand...That's University For You...

Dear Fire Department,

Sorry about all of this. It was an accident. Well, not so much an accident as some unclearly thought out actions and behaviors that seemed like a good idea at the time. It started off with one room mate dragging the couch out on to the deck so he could have a few beers in the sun on a Saturday afternoon. As I'm sure you can understand, beers and sun make you tired so it makes sense that he wouldn't want to get up and use the bathroom. Why wouldn't you just sit on a plastic shopping bag in the hopes that it would absorb whatever you released? And then why wouldn't you want to refine a design flaw, upon finding yourself sitting in your own pee, by attaching an external catheter*? Those catheters can fill up pretty quick when you're just drinking beer and the release valve is quite close to your leg so you probably want to refine it even further by removing the long hose from the dryer and releasing the valve into the hose so that it can drip off the deck. Probably want to patent the design at this point.

Let's face it, at this point, everything is starting to seem like a great idea - I'm sure you can understand that. And with great ideas, comes great crowds of friends all wanting to see the design and to hold your room mate to his promise of not leaving the couch until the beer runs out. Happened sooner than you would think. So with that out of the way, he got on with some weekend chores like mowing the lawns. I mean what good is a lawn mowing business if you can't take care of your own flat on the weekends. Just get that lawn mower up on the roof and turn it on. Not a lot of grass up there but seemed worth a look. After a while, who wouldn't want to get down? I fully condoned his idea of diving off to try and hit the wooden bed that someone had dragged out on to the concrete**. And then off we went to the hospital! But not without some on the spot triage from yours truly. Duct tape has many uses and it will stop bleeding from the chin almost immediately when you wrap it around chin and head. Also, you won't be able to see the wound if you go around enough times so who really knows if the bleeding is stopped. Not your problem at that stage.

It can be quite difficult to fill out paperwork when you're intoxicated and injured from a gutter cleaning accident.  Well, NZ's Accident Compensation Corporation does require you to provide the circumstances surrounding your injury and your occupation and if you've just said that your occupation is that of a gutter cleaner, stands to reason that your injuries would result from cleaning gutters.

It's possible that you might not have even paid us a visit if we had just gone home and sent our room mate to bed to rest up.  Unfortunately that just didn't happen.  On our return, the party was in full swing, apparently we hadn't been missed at all which is a little disconcerting since it was our house.

It's possible that in an attempt to draw attention to ourselves, we might have started a small, insignificant fire on the concrete.  I don't recall if it was for a BBQ but that seems logical.  At some point things got a little out of hand and a lot of stuff was thrown on the fire.  A lot of our stuff since people weren't really donating their things.  Just ours.  Including our microwave.  Have you ever seen a microwave burn?  What am I talking about, you're the Fire Department, you've seen everything burn.

To be honest, before you showed up and showed us the error of our ways, I thought that riding a bike through the flames and then on down the street with flaming tires was genius.  It looked like a circus act although I noticed none of you thought it was very clever.  Which is a shame because people were lining up to ride through the flames, down the driveway and then off into the neighborhood.  

Speaking of neighborhood, I suspect one of them called you because we didn't have any interest in dampening down the flames at that point.  BTW, thanks for dampening down the flames, it was probably time.  Beer can make that difficult to recognize.

Kind regards,

One of the party attendees***.

*The origin of this is uncertain but seems like something that would be lying around a student flat, even if no one was studying Nursing.
**In hindsight, removing the mattress was a poor decision although I don't think it would have helped since he bounced off the bed and hit the concrete anyway.

***Call me...

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Kirsten Police Handbook

You must believe nothing but the thoughts in your head. You have not misread the situation, "at face value" can only be applied to money and the way you have translated what someone is saying is correct because you can't possibly be wrong*.
  • When you receive a compliment, you must blush, deny it and respond with "I am a potato." It's important to be modest and also everyone is obviously lying when they say you look nice.
  • When you look in the mirror every morning, you must agree that you look a bit chunky that day but you've made the best of a bad situation with your outfit.
  • When the cat welcomes you home, it is actually because he loves you and not because he wants food. This is not the same for people.
  • When at first you think you look nice in something you must remind yourself that it's a trick of the light and probably a skinny mirror. And then you will feel more comfortable.
  • You're not having a bad hair day. You have bad hair.
  • When people laugh at your jokes, do not think you are funny. They are just bored
  • When you are commended on your attitude towards exercise, don't get ahead of yourself and try out for the Olympics. It's because they want you to continue as you are a long ways off from being fit. Also, the Javelin is never going to be "your thing".
  • When you are feeling competent at work, open up Excel and create a pivot table. That ought to fix that feeling.
  • You can admit that you have nice ankles but it gets a bit sketchy from there up.
  • Self-deprecation.  I've mastered it.  Now there's something to be proud of.  Good job, me.
*It's possible you are wrong. Just don't admit it. Have more therapy.

Friday, February 20, 2015


No one should be up at this time.  It's dark so it's clearly night time.  And the only benefit is that no one can see me making my sad little way to Boot Camp in the park or even better, attempting to work out.*  And let me be clear, I'm only going because the McFinlayson** in me saw a good deal.  $35 for 3, one hour sessions a week, for a month.  And the park is at the bottom of my street - it's almost illegal for me not to do this. I wish I'd never found it, then I wouldn't have been guilted into doing it.  It's pretty sad when you can't ignore your own feelings of guilt.  I mean who am I planning on turning myself in to if I don't do this?  The Kirsten Police*** are bad enough...

For the record, you can't move in this park without running into another boot camp, although most seem to be at a more reasonable hour.  As I finished and walked through back through the park on my way home the other day, I overheard an instructor telling his people that the butt was an amazing muscle.  And one of his participants in a low voice, responding with "not my butt".  See, everyone loves working out...

So far everyone seems very nice although I am avoiding making friends in case they are better than me.  I'm waiting for someone that I can beat to join.  Hope that happens before Daylight Savings, also known as Quitting Time, kicks in.  Although it's not really the place for making friends since you need to save all your breath for breathing.  

The first day is always the hardest.  Especially when the instructor shows up with scales and a ridiculous machine - that was obviously broken - that calculates your body fat.  Whoa.  I did not sign up for this.  I signed up for some gentle calisthenics, same laying down on our mats and taking a group nap and possibly meeting my next boyfriend.  Groupon, you have betrayed me.

So far I have done two weeks and have two to go.  Everyone keeps talking in hushed tones about the "long run" which is awfully mysterious and quite frankly sounds awful.  Two words that should never go together.  Since most fitness classes in LA cost about $25 an hour, I've already gotten my money's worth, so maybe I don't need to go back?  After all, look what happened in Stephen King's, "The Long Walk".  That was just walking and everyone died except the winner which based on my own assessment of my skills, I'm pretty sure would not be me****. 

*Obviously I'll have to quit once Daylight Savings starts.  It's either that or become a super athlete before then.  Quitting it is.
**Cheap Scot - love a good bargain.  Just prefer it to be unrelated to exercise...
***This is a new thing that I just thought of.  Think I will write a handbook detailing all the rules.  Basically you (and by you, I mean me) can't do anything without being berated.
****Be a different case if it was the Long Math.  Everyone knows how good I am at Math.  I would definitely win that.  As long as their was no Long Division.That's just made-up math.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When You Go To Dinner With Work People...

Try and behave. Recently I've had two work dinners - one with people that are business partners of mine within the organization and the other with my department and several of my colleagues from the NYC office.

The first turned out to be an excellent evening at a place in Los Angeles called Littlefork*. Despite not letting myself have any sugar**. They ordered the Apple Cider donuts with apple butter and salted caramel and I didn't even lick the tops when they weren't looking.

The second evening was with people I work with and see (mostly) on a daily basis. We went to Fogo de Chao in Beverley Hill, which is a Brazilian meat eating orgy type of place. While there is a salad bar there, most people just wait for the gaucho chefs to come around and carve hunks of different types of meat onto your plate. Which you eat until your arteries clog. After a while, I was starting to hear the pitiful bleating of sheep***, the guilt-inducing mooing of cows and the oinking of dead and dying pigs in my head.  But it's ok, I just kept eating until I couldn't hear them anymore.

After everyone had gorged themselves, we began socializing.  My CPO (Chief Procurement Officer and kind of a big deal) had just popped by our table when one of my colleagues (a lovely gentleman from Brazil, as a matter of fact) asked me a boomingly**** loud voice "Do you remember when you gave me the clap at Christmas?"  Do you know what it's like to be asked this in front of everyone you work with plus your boss and your bosses boss and basically almost the head of Comcast?  But it gets better because he followed it up with "My sons loved it so much that I gave the clap to one of them and then because the youngest was complaining that he didn't have the clap, I gave it to him as well.  So now we all have the clap in our house."  It's not often that I'm lost for words but this would do it for anyone I would think.  And then I got my words back.  "So, you have a double dose of the clap?"  

Yes, he said and I can't thank you enough...Brazilians are very polite.  Give them an STD and they thank you.  I know you're all thinking, why is she admitting this in such a public forum?  Look, if Fifty Shades of Grey can put it all out there and make money off of it, why can't I?

But, if I might explain...
Last year, at the Christmas department holiday party, we had a White Elephant gift exchange and for a short period of time, I was lucky enough to get "The Clapper".  Up until my colleague took it off my hands (the aforementioned Brazilian gentleman) and I ended up with a blanket which I much preferred.  When the actual meaning of what he had said was pointed out to him, he was mortified and kept shouting "undo, undo" at me which was equally amusing. 
Not an STD.  Annoying but does not result in burning pain...unless you overdo the clapping and end up with stinging palms...

*Ahem, Littlefork. Pretty decent plug for you given the large audience of two that reads my blog. Possibly you want to give me a free meal for me and my two readers? Or maybe return the $2.45 it cost me for a glass of soda water. Which is water with bubbles. Basically I paid $2.00 for bubbles. Should have just farted in my drink. I know, not ladylike but honestly, here I am, not drinking, not eating anything sweet and delicious and giving up all enjoyment only to be punished. Now I know how designated drivers feel...
**For those keeping track, I have now done 36 days and have 30 to go. Feel like this should have been one of those instances where I got sponsored to give up sugar. It's not too late - feel free to give freely to the blog. Don't worry about supportive messages, just send money.

***Surprising really since New Zealand is all about sheep and eating them.  Specifically lambs. 
****Luckily only our party of 20 or so people heard

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day

Technically I shouldn't be posting anything because I have the day off but since I'm down to three days a week, I'm feeling some Catholic guilt. Which is interesting since I'm not Catholic.

It's actually very generous of me since I don't get another day off until May 25th, Memorial Day. Please 'like" my act of generosity by donating to my blog.  Honestly, I haven't been able to buy a single pair of shoes with what I've made so far.

President's Day was originally meant to commemorate George Washington's birthday - despite never actually being on his birthday which I'm pretty sure is where the whole origin of "Birthday Month" started*. If I was a past or present President, I'd be pissed at being left out although I think nowadays, it's been opened up to include everyone.  I bet Lincoln is feeling a bit like an afterthought**.   

So I did some research because this blog is not just full of mindless twaddle, it's real journalism.  With a little bit of twaddle.  What the hell is twaddle anyway?  I should look that up.
noun: twaddle
  1. 1.
    trivial or foolish speech or writing; nonsense.
    "he dismissed the novel as self-indulgent twaddle"
verb: twaddle; 3rd person present: twaddles; past tense: twaddled; past participle: twaddled; gerund or present participle: twaddling
  1. 1.
    talk or write in a trivial or foolish way.
    "what is that old fellow twaddling about?"
Oh.  No, definitely not this blog.  Nothing self-indulgent about it.

Back to the research.  I wanted to find out about the typical traditions for President's Day.  There appears to be nothing.  So basically all the after thought presidents get a day in their honor where no one does anything to commemorate them and no one thinks about them at all.  They probably feel about as special as all those on my group Valentine's Day text.

FYI - If you really want to honor Washington, apparently some of his favorite foods were fish and pie. Maybe you could eat some.  If you're short on time consider combining the two...

How about we come up with a President's Day tradition?  I'm thinking something along the lines of an egg hunt followed by a turkey dinner, eaten around a decorated tree with gifts of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and roses, all whilst wearing a scary*** costume.  Any takers?

Just an FYI, when I am President, every day will be a holiday, only mean people will have to work and there will be cake for breakfast.

*I think I just solved for x.  Or y.
**I mean Zombie Lincoln because obviously he is dead.  Read up on your history, people, only the facts here on this blog. 
***Or slutty.  I know how some of you are - you love nothing more than to dress up like a slutty squirrel.