Wednesday, August 30, 2006


** WARNING: Part of this post has an EXTREME GROSS FACTOR. I'll warn you when it's about to hit so that the sensitive among you can avert your eyes. ***

Yes, indeedy, this post has a theme -- bathrooms. A few things happened recently that involved bathrooms, so I decided to go with the flow of synchronicity and mention them all in one post.

So, sit tight (haha) and here goes ;o)

Our old office building has a one-seater bathroom. So, if it was occupied, you waited in the hallway for it to be vacant again.

Now, I know everyone knows one of these people -- the kind who just can't find something nice to say. Ever. A complete sourpuss about anything going on. Well, I saw our resident Sourpuss waiting outside the bathroom one day. I try to introduce sunshine into this person's worls as often as possible, hoping it'll get through. She makes it tough sometimes.

Sourpuss: "I'll be so glad when we don't have to stand around in the hall anymore, waiting to pee."

Me (seeing a prime sunshine opportunity): "Won't that be nice? The pictures look great, with all that pretty tile and such. And there will be plenty of stalls for everyone."

Sourpuss: "Yeah, but it won't be private anymore, will it?"

Dang. Clouds over my sunshine again!

** WARNING: THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE GROSS FACTOR PART! If you're squeamish, skip to the next break. **

We have a beautiful, brand new bathroom at the new building. I'd post a picture so you can see how beautiful it is, but....that's just creepy. We are so appreciative of this building and the details (like pretty bathrooms) that give us such a wonderful place to work.

Well, most of us are. One of us is just dowright nasty.

I entered the beautiful bathroom the other day. I opened a stall and something caught my eye. The lovely tile wall was smeared with (**WARNING! GROSS FACTOR IMMINENT!**) blood. You could almost make out the handprint of whoever put it there. A could hurl just remembering it.

But the point is -- WTF is WRONG with some people?!?!

Switch from the nastiest of nasty to the proper.

Even bathrooms have etiquette. There are unspoken rules of community bathroom behavior. Things like, even if you can see through the gaps by the door, don't look. Knock on doors, don't try to open them. If there's no toilet paper in a stall, warn the woman about to enter it. Don't let you toddler peek under the walls.

And when the bathroom isn't crowded, respect some sort of perimeter of person space.

So, we have two rows of stalls now. I can't recall if it's eight or ten stalls, but there are plenty! I'm in the last one at the end of the row. The rest of the place is empty.

Now, if you were the next person entering the bathroom, which stall would you choose?

Or, more to the point, which stall would you NOT choose?

That's right -- you don't go for the one right next to the occupied one. Someone needs to inform the person who entered the stall right next to me.


(Or maybe it's just me and my chronic territorialism! But that's another blog.....)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


A couple of pictures of the Fishbowl window, to accompany the last couple of blogs.

I apologize for the quality, or lack thereof. The yellowish lighting is what happens when you snap a photo with your cell phone, in a mustard-brown room with flourescent lighting.

Note that in the second picture, you can see from my window straight into the Fishbowl office across the hall.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Empire Strikes Back

I've lost a battle in the Fishbowl Wars.


We all got an email from the Big BIG Boss today. We have groups touring our building starting tomorrow. So, among many other things, she said our windows had to be paper-, plastic-, and cardboard-free. Our "suite" is full of the plastic-wielding Fishbowl Warriors. Dang.

The Little Boss said we could hold our retreat until tomorrow, before the tours. We settled on a time to retreat in unison. And when to begin the charge again.

Then, the Big BIG Boss saw the Little Boss. And the order came down to retreat immediately.

It was tough on some of the Warriors. One had to leave to compose himself. (Then again, he always has to leave to compose himself.)

So, the battle was lost, but there's still hope for the War. They are still saying the mini-blinds are on the way. Could be propaganda, though. We'll see.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Things that make you go....dang.

(Wow, two blogs in two days. I'm on a roll!)

A little note, in typical "Blogget Jones" fashion: I'm proud of myself for spending five days out of town, eating out constantly, and not gaining a single pound! I'm even happier to say that I've lost three this week. WooHoo!


My birthday is around the corner. In four days, I'll be 38. My mother seems to think I've reached the point where birthdays should bother me. She keeps saying things like, "You're on the downslide to 40!" WTF?! "Downslide"?! I don't think so.

Heck, they say women don't even hit their sexual peak until their forties. If that isn't something to look forward to, then I sure don't know what is!

However, it has made me think about where I'm headed with the second half of my life. Before I turn out the light at the end of the day, I snuggle into my cozy (if maddeningly empty) bed and take a look around. I see my books, my momentos, the kitchy little gifts from my kids, my pictures, my makeshift curtains, the box of my dog's ashes that still brings a lump to my throat when I see. All the things I surround myself with. And I wonder, what becomes of it all when I'm gone from this earth? Who will care that it was here and why I put it there? It seems so important when we're living it. I imagine being no more and it stings.

I suppose what bothers me is that I tend to be the person that people forget. Example:

They'll say, "We'll call you when we're headed to lunch," and when they see me hours later, they realize they never did. The worst is getting stood up for dates. It's happened twice since I was divorced. One guy turned out to be married and the other was just irresponsible. But why did I deserve the short end, in their estimation?

I work hard at the office to make sure my contribution isn't forgotten. When I work on a project, I make my presence known. I work doubly hard to make a positive impression that people think of when they see the work done. Hopefully, it'll actually pay off someday.

The other thing that bothers me is the realization that much of my life has been lived for other people. The first independent decision I could make was which college to attend. I stayed close to home because my parents could barely handle me going across town, so leaving the city entirely would have turned them to rubble. I got married while in college. When I graduated, I stayed home with my son (a decision I will never regret). We followed my husband's career, even when it took me somewhere against my will.

We came back home when living in the pit he'd dug for us became nearly a life-and-death situation. I eventually made an independent decision to get a divorce -- but only when the situation hurt my kids.

There's a lot I put up with from him for my own sake, and I still occasionally deal with feeling unworthy of positive attention because of it. That was my bad decision to not put my foot down sooner, but I've not stopped since.

Even now, I live where I do and keep my job because it's what's best for my family. I see bigger and better jobs out there in my field, but I don't apply. Moving just isn't a good idea right now, or for a few years to come.

So, I travel when I can and experience other parts of this country. Someday, I'll see Ireland and walk in my ancestors' footsteps. I've slowly taken a little control over my job duties and become the one who does research, attends conferences, and makes those contacts.

But I don't like doing it all alone. I've made a committment to my kids, but it's hard. I want to love again and be loved. I might not be in a hurry for it, but I still dream of it. I'm still lonely without it.

When I love, I do so with everything I have to give. I yearn for someone who can reciprocate that kind of passion. I thought I had that a few years ago, but repeated betrayal put a damper on it. That particular man still wants to marry me....but he also has one eye on what's walking by. That makes me feel wonderful, lemme-tell-ya. I don't want a lifetime of feeling not quite good enough.

Somewhere, there's someone who can be as about me as I am about him. He and I will have great times together! Someday. As I said, I'm not in a hurry. And, hey, I still have that sexual peak to look forward to. There's just gotta be something in that for me!

The last 38 years have gone by too quickly. How much more time do I have to make my mark on this world? I have a story to tell and I'd better get to telling it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Cliff's Notes version

So, here's a rundown of recent events. I'll blog as much as I can to get caught up!

Peter Pan? Where are you?
My kids are growing up. My son is a high school football/baseball player. He's wondering about playig in college. COLLEGE?!?! It occurs to me that in four years, he's gonna be itching to live on his own. He'll go away somewhere, most likely. My daughter, as much as she loves her brother, has just figured out that she'll have her high school years as, in effect, an only child in the house. I really don't think she means to have that cheese grin on her face about it.

She's in Junior High now. I asked her to sort out her closet so we knew what to get for school. When I saw three large trash bags full of clothes she wasnts to get right of, I asked her if all that really didn't fit anymore. "It's not that, Mom. It's just that so much of it was so....5th grade." Oh good gracious. Adolescence, here we come.

What has 20 years done?
I am happy to say that the Lubbock High School Class of 1986 seems to be a largely successful bunch. However, we've lost seven of our compadres, and that stung. The planning process brought out the ugly side of a lot of people -- those who saw it as a chance to gain power over old classmates. Oh, for Pete's sake. Someone actually managed to turn it into a political process. And get this -- they continue to. They are already jockeying for control of the 25th reunion.

One surprise -- I got a letter of reference from this experience. After working together on the planning, our Class President (now a lawyer) proclaimed that "If you need a CEO of anything, [Blogget} is the one for the job!" Cool. Oh, wait, it was the 80s, so that's...totally awesome!

I saw many people I didn't know I missed, until that night. We'll keep track better through our new Web site and through email conversations that are ongoing as we speak. It was a surprise to see what professions we *really* ended up in, and how much we have in common still. And I love the silly things we talk about now -- like how much it hurts to step on Thomas the Tank Engine with bare feet and how much we've had the tunes from High School Musical drilled into our heads.

Something to remember for the 25th -- this group doesn't need icebreaker games.

Did we see this coming?
My ex called the other day. Background, for those just tuning in: he was divorced for the second time in November from a lovely troll of a woman. He started dating a nice woman (really, I'm serious!) not long after that. They've told the kids over and over that they aren't talking about marriage, not interested in that any time soon. That's daughter is freaky about him getting married at all. Even to me -- she really does not want us back together. (Whew)

So, he called, as he does nearly every day. Guess what? Yep -- they are getting married. In November. He told me about how he proposed. One of those big, public spectacles. I hate that. Puts the poor woman in a terrible spot. But I digress.... I had to break it to the kids.

My son shrugged and said, "Saw that coming." His dad had looked for rings when he took the kids school shopping. Nice.

My daughter cried for an hour. She knows how the last one worked out. A wicked stepmother and bratty half-sister to compete for Daddy's attention, to boot. Can we blame her for not wanting to risk that again?

THIS is why I promised them I wouldn't marry before they are grown. His life is about flux and chaos. Mine has to be their rock, their security. They have to come home to stability and reliability. Sure, I'd like to have someone to wake up to, but that will wait. No one is going to need me as much as they do, until they have lives of their own.

Some people have asked how *I* am handling the news. It's fine with me. There's no shock or surprise. She's a nice lady and my kids deserve a stepmom who likes them. And this means that the subject of us getting back together won't come up. I've had those awkward conversations, where he says, "I still love you, you know." He disappointed that feeling out of me a long time ago, so what can I say that isn't hurtful? I don't like to be hurtful, but I have to be honest.

They want me at the wedding. Wife #2 is being told to stay away.

It's War
It's becoming known as the Fishbowl Wars. See, my office moved into brand new, swanky digs this week. It's been a highly anticipated move and I LOVE my new office. The only thing is, there's this window. It's not an outside window...I don't rank one of those. It's a big ol' window into the hallway. Everyone tromping up and down the hall gets to rubberneck at what I'm doing in my office.

The Fishbowl.

As I was unpacking, it dawned on me that I didn't like this at all. Bending over to reach into a box, I realized passersby got a good peek down my shirt. Bending the other way, the window framed my backside. Nope, didn't like it at all.

A coworker and I took the plastic from our chairs and taped it into the windows, creating our own crude version of sheers. Apparently, the interior designer (who I now learned initially thought our offices didn't need blinds like everyone else's) didn't care for our handiwork. She was seen making angry faces and gesturing at our windows, from the hallway.

I hear blinds are on the way. I hope so because, truth be told, I don't much care for the look of plastic, either.

There's more, but it's past my bedtime. I'll catch up soon. Teaser: Nickelback ROCKS...again.

Love to you all,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Things to come....

So much has happened lately....but it's been too busy to blog it! Here's the short version. I'll write a longer version later:

* My kids start new schools today. Junior High and High School. I'm just not ready for that yet!

* My 20-year reunion was last weekend. Wow. Someone said I looked just like I did in high school. Guess who's my new best friend? ::wink::

* I moved into a brand new office space today. Moving is always a trauma, but these digs are pretty swanky!

* I took some vacation time with my son last week. This is the dichotomy part: we visited historical sites that dealt with our own family history. Then, we jammed at a rock concert.

More later!

Blogget Jones