April 18, 2005
Assorted Stuff


The further I move into (hold on: I'm actually  going to say it)  ...  middle age  ...  the more ludicrous and embarrassing and old-lady-like my various physical maladies seem to become. 

I am forty-seven years old, for instance, and I have just spent the third weekend in a row -- THE THIRD WEEKEND IN A ROW --   utterly and completely incapacitated by an ingrown toenail. Not your basic run-of-the-mill ingrown toenail, either, but one of those bloated, inflamed, "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" horrors that turn bright crimson and blow up to the size of a corndog and ooze green goo out both sides of the nail, like bookends of puss. And yes, I went to see a doctor about it, the very moment I realized that this wasn't going to be one of my standard ingrowns, the kind I've been getting since sixth grade, but was in fact rapidly turning into A Potentially Serious Medical Problem. David dragged me to the local urgent care facility on a Saturday morning, a couple of weekends ago (see: no paid time off left at work),  where I was assigned one of Kaiser's typical Doogie Howser clones. He sat on the other side of the examination room for the entire thirty second 'appointment,' never actually looking at the toenail in question. At one point Dr. Doogie strapped on a purple rubber glove and sort of waved his hand in the general direction of my foot, for a bazillionth of a second, but that was only to illustrate his point that I need to "let it grow out naturally." (As opposed to my usual method of ripping the fudking nail out with my TEETH, I guess.) Then he stripped the rubber glove off and dropped it into the trash, distastefully, like it had just been infected with the SARS virus from across the room, and he wrote me a couple of scrips, and told me to go home and "soak" my foot for thirty minutes every other hour. And that was it.  I asked him whether he thought I needed to see a specialist, and he just sort of shrugged and said "What for?" 


Two weeks (and $67.85 worth of useless antibiotics, topical unguents, foot soak stuff and in-name-only "painkillers") later, the toe is actually MORE INFECTED NOW than it was when I started out.  I can't stand on it and I can't walk on it and the slightest amount of pressure -- from, say, a bedsheet, or a nylon knee-hi, or a gentle puff of air from the open window above the bed -- sends me straight through the ceiling, shrieking in agony. So I've basically wasted another entire weekend with my foot propped up on a pillow, doused liberally with bright orange topical anesthetic, while David brings me food and magazines and plastic dishpans filled with warm water and epsom salts. Which is fine -- far be it from me to complain about being waited on hand and (hideously/cripplingly infected) foot -- but this morning I had to get up and put on shoes again, since they sort of frown on the whole Britney Spears/white trash/barefoot *look* at The Dirt Company front desk, and I'm going to have to hobble around the office in obvious pain all day again.  If anyone asks me why I'm still limping, I'll be forced to lie some more and say that I sprained my ankle hiking across the top of Mount Diablo or something, because I'll be damned if I want all of those young vigorous geotech types to know that I'm hobbling around because of an infected toenail. They already think I'm a pathetic gimpy middle-aged wuss as it is.  (See: chronic ear infections/accompanying hearing loss, insomnia, lactose intolerance, broken ribs, weird lumpy thing in my breast, depression, heartburn, paper cuts, arthritis, high blood pressure, broken molars, yeast infections, missing eyelashes, middle-aged acne, PMS, PMDD, perimenopause, tragic Bad Hair Days.)

It's going to be a long week.

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There is no such thing as The Perfect Weekend.  The best that one can hope for is an extra couple hours of sleep, a Togo's #10 on Dutch Crunch (hold the jalapenos) and phone calls from  two out of three of your adult children. (Hi Kacie! Hi Kyle! Your ponies are on the way!)

Wasting the other five days of the week looking forward to a perfect weekend is ... well ... a waste.

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"The Bachelor" is SO OVER for me.  It ended the moment Jenn Schefft revealed her true Prom-Queen-Runner-Up colors and blew off not one but two perfectly not-completely-sucky marriage proposals in a single episode. (And yes, she WAS supposed to accept at least one of them just to make *me* happy.)  I was so disgusted with the finale, as a matter of fact, that I made up my mind then and there that I wasn't going to watch the next installment of "Bachelor" at all.  I don't think David believed me when I made this sweeping pronouncement -- I've pretty much said the exact same thing after every single Most Dramatic Final Rose Ceremony Ever, since the show first began -- but so far I've stuck to my guns on this one. I keep hearing that this is going to be the final season of "The Bachelor" anyway -- sagging ratings and all that -- so I figure I'm not missing much.  Whoever the new Bachelor picks will be pawning her engagement ring by October, anyway.

The other reality show I abhor right now, by the way, is "Nanny 911." I suspect this is due to the fact that there are no small children in my life at the moment: I simply can't identify with the noise, the mess, the smell, the fighting, the sneaky public nose-picking.  (Oh wait. Yes I can: that pretty much describes The Dirt Company.) Week after week, it's the same tired formula: rotten kids, frantic Mom, uninvolved Dad. The rottenest of the rotten kids makes snarky comments to the camera, all about how much he hates the nanny. The nanny rolls her eyes and throws up her hands in despair: Can This Family Be Saved? Mom and Dad make disparaging remarks about each other, stopping just short of asking for a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  And then, magically, in the final fifteen minutes of the show, Dad suddenly has an epiphany about what a loathesome uncooperative poop he's been, and Mom has a change of heart about calling her children "ungrateful little s**theads," and the whole family suddenly decides that they LOVE the nanny, that she is the BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THIS FAMILY, and they all stand around weeping when the taxi comes to pick her up and take her off to her next nanny assignment, blah blah blah. Happy endings all around.


On the other hand, "Survivor: Palau" is turning out to be the best non-All-Star-Survivor since the golden days of Rob Cesternino and his scheming gonads on "Survivor: Amazon." And even *I* am finding American Idol moderately entertaining this time around, after a couple seasons of comparing it (not-so-favorably) to a Sunset Junior High School "Talent" Show. So I have plenty of reality TV to keep me entertained, while I'm laying around in the evenings with my stoopid foot propped up on a goddamn PILLOW.

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It's coming up on Performance Review time again at The Dirt Company, and once again I've been unable to come up with a feasible-yet-non-job-threatening way to wiggle out of it. The performance review is my least favorite thing about working. I hate it more than getting up at 5:15 a.m. every morning ... more than uncomfortable shoes and dowdy "power suits" ... more than interminable bi-monthly Staff Meetings that go on and on forever and ever and ever ... more, in fact, than getting up at 5:15 a.m. and dowdy power suits and interminable Staff Meetings combined.  I've seriously thought about going to JoAnne and telling her that I'm not interested in the miniscule token "payraise" ... that I'll happily forego that extra .0005 cents per hour altogether, if they'll just excuse me from the humiliation of the review process. Wouldn't you think that would be an offer they couldn't refuse?  I mean, with all the extra money they'd be saving on my "pay raise," they could finally afford to spring for that new toaster oven for the office kitchen.


In other Dirt-Company-related news  ...  it looks as though we may finally be getting an actual honest-to-goodness Office Manager soon. It's been more than two years since the wildly popular Scott defected in order to join a rival engineering firm across town ... followed by the  disaster that was Ted Dirby... and since that time we've pretty much been a rudderless ship, here in the Oakland office. Corporate loans us A Suit once or twice a month -- some or another lesser management stiff to fly in for the day and exude useless *authority vibes* for a few hours -- but it's not the same thing as having someone here on-site, four hours a day, three and a half days a week (your typical Office Manager's "schedule").  But a couple of weeks ago they brought in a likely candidate for interview  --  another "Scott," which could be a good sign -- and now we're hearing whispers that he may actually get the job. We're cautiously optimistic, especially since he showed up for his interview in grubby jeans and an ancient Land's End ski parka, and -- I swear to god I'm not making this up -- his T-shirt was on backwards. You could see the little garment tag when he took his seat at the conference room table for his "group interview."  I don't know about you, but to me this bodes extremely well. If nothing else, it says I pay absolutely no attention to detail ... so why should you? Always a helpful quality in an Office Manager.

Stay tuned.

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My guestbook has actually been more interesting, in recent day/weeks/months/years, than my "Internet journal." I seriously need to do something about this.

Want to hear about my ingrown toenail some more?

I suck.

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