Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Saving Possums

A while back a friend of mine called me with some exciting news - she had just saved a baby possum and was going to move to Africa to look after baby wild animals because it was obviously her forte.* Apparently it was found playing dead in the courtyard which is their forte.  She sent me multiple videos depicting their short life together:
  • The caring and nurturing she was providing - a warm comfortable 1000 thread count towel, a sushi water dish and organic arugula to snack on. Because everyone knows that possums like arugula but only if it's organic. Pesticides are a concern to them.  If you listen closely you can hear her tell him that everything will be ok.  He seemed much comforted by that.
  • She was a little concerned about some of his symptoms which is why you should always go straight to WebMD.  Note: there is no WebMD for possums but strongly feel that they are much the same as people.  After careful diagnosis, she determined that the shaking was caused by Parkinsons although later revised to shock and after an evaluation, she found that he was autistic.
  • She provided a social environment and chance to meet new friends when she took him on an outing to the nextdoor neighbors doggie birthday party.  In a shoebox.
  • She almost talked him off the ledge.  Although I don't really condone the tone of voice she used and her method was somewhat unorthodox.  She should have told him what he had to live for.
  • The daring escape by the possum off her two story balcony captured shakily on camera as she followed its progress to almost certain death. But without actually jumping off to save it. What was not included was the relaxing glass of wine to settle her nerves - it's possible the possum had a sip or two for liquid courage before making a break for it...if you listen closely, you can hear her expression of concern.
  • The scuttling around in the bushes as it tried to walk off what was likely two broken legs**
If you look closely, you can see him smiling his thanks for the arugula and a promise to back and visit in the Winter.

The whole debacle was worthy of a Humanitarian Award for Sort-of Life-Saving Efforts of a Possum. Which comes with a shiny medal and a bottle of wine. Probably need the medal back*** but keep the wine.

For those wondering where the possum is now, he was last seen by her neighbor, legging it down the street.  No joke, this neighbor has close ties to both a possum rescue group and a possum taxidermist.  As of today's date, it's uncertain who got there first...
 Video/Photo Credit goes to Schmelissa Schmeale**** 

 *Most of that was a lie.  Except for the baby possum part but it didn't sound as interesting without Africa...
**Possibly four but am not familiar with American possums and how they land when trying to commit suicide off a balcony.  Also are the front two leg things, arms?  Or are they all legs?  Going to stick with legs since have seen very few possums walking upright.
***It's my half-marathon one but doubles for a lot of other things.  Is also a good way for me to get in the fact that I did a half marathon...
****Not her real name.  If you would like to hire her as videographer please contact me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Awkward Snot.

Have you ever had a professional meeting with someone who is sniffling a bit, playing around with their nose? They give a quick swipe with their hand and end up with a large piece of snot now streaked across their upper lip and partially stuck in their mustache*?

I had one of those meetings last Tuesday. I was in fear that (a) he wouldn't notice and it would just sit there for the duration of the meeting and/or (b) he would realize and try and surreptiously remove it knowing that we both knew and both pretending that everything was cool.

My worst case scenario - both of these things happened. So now I have no idea what was said in the first half of the meeting as I was so focused on not looking at the booger or accidentally referring to it in a sentence "It's s'not that we don't want to do the deal...it's just that you're not seeing the booger picture..."

Then he gave it another wipe and it dawned on him as I tried to pretend I hadn't noticed and was looking at my computer screen. The downside of that is I'm not sure where he put it so I spent the remainder of the meeting, trying to see if it was somewhere on the chair, in his hand or possibly packed away in his briefcase to eat or dispose of later.

It wasn't a very effective meeting, I hope I didn't agree to anything.

*Not a full-blown mustache, one of those trendy stubbly/shadowy looks. For the record, they are equally as effective at capturing snot.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Like I said in yesterday's post, I had a friend from Portland come and visit last weekend and as we were reminiscing, he reminded me how we used to go to a different place every Friday with another friend to test out the Happy Hours. Which is a very good idea and if anyone in LA wants to do that, call me. As we thought about the places we'd been to, we both recalled with great regret that we never went to a place across the street from the bar we were sitting in - Tub n' Tan. Take this as a lesson from me not to let opportunities slip by. If only we had gone tanning and then hot tubbing. Or hot tubbing and tanning. There didn't seem to be a particular order, I just know it was dodgy shifty and if there's one thing I know, you should always do dodgy shifty stuff. Not shifty dodgy stuff though because that's just dangerous.

Now I'm wondering if there are a lot of other things that could be combined with tanning. There is a place here in LA that combines spinning/pilates with tanning. Which seems very tame unless it's simultaneous. Does anyone have any interest in opening the folllowing with me - all of which will be required to be done simultaneously*:

  1. Tanning/Smoothie bar (Tan n' Taste)
  2. Tanning/ice cream bar (Tan n' Ice)
  3. Tanning/Twerking studio (Twerk n' Tan)
*I see absolutely no logistical problems with any of these whatsoever

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Confusion - When You Read Something That Doesn't Actually Say That

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to have a good friend from Portland come and visit me. He's an old room mate and probably the perfect guest because he agrees with everything I say and makes very little mess. I'm seriously considering moving him in and Albert out.

Before he arrived, he texted me about a store near me that he was very excited to visit. Apparently he has grand ideas about being a Warlock or Wizard and had found a place called Black Arts Magic. Which was weird because I walk up and down that street all the time and I've never seen it*. Probably because it's actually called Blick Art Materials. For art supplies. A clear case of (a) wanting something to be something else really badly and (b) reading the first letter and guessing the rest...

*I wasn't closing myself off to the thought that it was a bit like Platform 9 3/4. Maybe I needed to run at a brick wall and then I'd find myself magically in the store. But I was going to wait for him and have him run at the brick wall first...not only does he agree with everything, he will also do what he's told. Which often turns out badly for him. Sorry Schmad Schmeier...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jobs I Have Had - Last One

Promise.  Mostly because I am not intending on having any more jobs because of winning the lottery.  Soon.

Desktop publishing - when I lived in London I had one of the greatest jobs ever.  Except for the time when I had no job which was a great job but it meant a lot of just rice and nothing else.  No job is only good when it comes with a lot of money.  

Basically I got to go to work from midnight to 6am, sit with a bunch of Kiwis and Aussies, shoot the shit and play around on PowerPoint creating presentations all night long.  PowerPoint is my favorite - if I had to vote on Word, Excel or PowerPoint* I would pick PowerPoint every time.  Excel can suck it.  Stupid formulas and calculations and pivot tables that no one really knows what they mean. Probably.

Every night I would be picked up from my house and driven to work out at Canary Wharf in a fancy car.  I preferred Jags, but a Bentley now and again is nice. We all hated it when we got the stretch limo - in my neighborhood, it looked very out of place and I think my neighbors all thought I was a hooker.  Which if it had paid as well as DTP and there was less smacking around of faces, skanky heels and dresses requiring a corset, I might very well have considered**.  At the end of the shift, you had to take the tube home - think it was so we didn't get too uppity...

Sometimes there was leftover food in the conference rooms from earlier.  How's that for job perks - free food and a fancy car ride.  Sounds like kindergarten!

Probably a good opportunity to showcase my Desktop Publishing Skills.  I don't know if you can tell but this is actually three separate pictures and I've seamlessly superimposed a limo pic with me in the back into a London setting. I am available for hire.

Then I moved to Australia and shit got responsible.  My advice, stay irresponsible for as long as you can, it's a slippery slope once you start out being all reliable and stuff.  I ended up at a Telco as a Project Manager.  I managed the shit out of their projects.  And all without knowing what I was doing.  I mean I can use a phone but that's about it...

Clearly that didn't work out so I quit, worked for a month on the JPMorgan Trading floor but it was very loud and angry and there were no donuts so I made my to 'Merica.  Land of opportunity.

Land of opportunity wouldn't even give me a waitressing job despite years of experience.  I guess they put down and pick up plates differently in this country.  Probably something to do with the equator and time zones...

Eventually a consulting company took a chance on me and stuck me in as a Sourcing Manager at Freightliner.  At the time, I wondered what a Sourcing Manager did***.  Freightliner is owned by Daimler and you do not get a free truck when you join which is a bit mingy and I feel I was mis-informed.  If you're wondering how exciting it was to work for a truck company, I can tell you.  Not very.
Another example of my skillset although as I mentioned, no free trucks so this is also an example of my imagination at work...

*Although why that would ever come up, I have no idea...
**Creative license, Mum, creative license.  No need for concern 
***Am getting very close to nailing this. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jobs I Have Had - Part 3

Have you ever picked ragwort? In New Zealand it's considered a noxious weed and farmers are obliged by law to remove it from their farms. Some of them use helicopters to spray it and knock it out in one sweep. Some are cheap. And use student labor. I thought it would a lovely day in the sun, working on my tan, picking a few pretty yellow flowers. No one said anything about a harness and being lowered over a cliff to pull it out by the root. Or being mobbed by sheep wanting a poisonous snack*

Actually, for that matter:
ASB Bank - I got paid slightly more than some of the other tellers because I had a degree. So that endeared them to me straightaway. Whose idea was it to tell everyone the salary rules? I had to wear a uniform which I actually didn't mind because making a decision about what to wear in the morning is where my day starts to go downhill. They were pretty strict about piercings and tattoos and all the women had to cover them up with band-aids. What looks worse, a tattoo you can see just a hint of under an ugly white bank blouse or 20 plus band-aids crawling up your neck and across your chest?

Have you ever had training on how to deal with a bank robbery?  Have you ever had to use it?  Why, yes and yes.  Training did not include hiding under your desk but I've always been big on improvising.  And look at me?  Alive.  Although in New Zealand, they don't really use guns, just very demanding, gruff voices so you know you better hand it over.  And may as well give them your colleagues handbag and wedding ring as well**

I wish I had a picture of myself in my uniform.  I look very smart and intelligent even.  I would totally give me money.  Plus as you know I have always had advanced math skills.  I can do long division.  Without a calculator.***

*Sheep. Not known for their intelligence.

**That'll teach her to bitch about my salary.  Of $26,000.  That's a year.  It's a wonder I had any shoes at all...
***Pretty sure my answers are correct about 40% of the time and when I learn how to do it on a calculator, I'll know for sure.  Then once I learn percentages, I'll be able to tell you if my estimate is right.  And then once I learn how to do statistics, I'll be able to...well you get the idea.  But not fractions, I think fractions might be my limit.  Luckily no one needs them.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Very Important Point.

I forget where I heard this quote but it came up recently when a fireman I met* tried to explain how amazing he was.

"Remember, fireman, your job could be done by rain..."

*Actually not true but I could see no other way of working this quote in to anything.  And if I can't use this quote then all I have a is a blog post that starts and ends with "The".