My (former) life as the crab

Musings about life after Crabby Office Lady

4th of July July 4, 2012

Filed under: Annik,Daily dramas,General musings — Annik @ 5:26 pm
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Whew — been a while since I posted. Been busy detoxing from MSFT (after more than 13 years, it takes a while) and in Mexico getting pickled in tequila. Both things delightful. I haven’t felt so good since July 2010 when I was forced onto another team with a rotten manager. (By the way, anyone read the Vanity Fair article about Microsoft’s “lost decade” and “cannibalistic culture?”  I certainly felt all hollowed out the past 18 months, barely a bag of bones and stuffing.) I think it’s really true–it’s beaurocratic BS and management pitfalls that are preventing the company from reaching its fullest potential. We truly spend 1/3 of each year writing about what we did or didn’t do in perf. previews.

(And in the wise words of Forest Gump: That is all I have to say about that.”)

No fireworks in ALL counties in Colorado this year due to the wildfire danger, the wildfires themselves, and the general heat and dryness of the area. I can’t remember a summer this hot and I also haven’t heard a single rogue firecracker go off. That is unusual but maybe people are getting the message and also, here in Denver, showing some respect.

Bamboo (our hairy white Great Pyrenees/Akita/Yorkie mix) has had to be inside all day and night, getting her walks in the early mornings. Can’t even walk her at night–the temp doesn’t seem to drop until after 9 or 10.

Job hunt slowly entering the consciousness…resemu ready…search engines joined…getting ideas….getting hits…gotta start actively working on it next week when B is at camp.

Entire clan at the Zejuatanejo airportMexico was great fun and it took a while to come down from it. My folks celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking all the kids and grandkids (14 of us in all) to Club Med Ixtapa for a week. Although this is not the normal crew I’d want to spend a week at the beach with, everyone had a good time and was pretty civil to each other, (A couple of minor scuffles at the airport but we were all tired and and wanting to be home so I don’t count that.)

But I have to say: I do get awfully tired of the grandma’s blatant favoritism toward the grandkids. It’s so ingrained in her that I know doesn’t realize it. But what is odd is that she wasn’t the fave in her family and so she knows how much it hurts. It’s started to affect my daughter’s feelings about her (though I haven’t chimed in at all. I’ve just watched and listened.) Just so much doting and helicoptering and constant chattering about how this one is “her prince” and this one “never complains” and this one is just “just like her mother–loves everything, is happy with everything.”  The thing is, I adore these children–they are great kids and you can’t help but love them. They’re beautiful kids who are smart, affectionate, funny. I love them so much. But the constant hovering of Granny is driving me mad and making my daughter feel very left out. I’d tell B to approach her grandma but Mom acts always so very irritated with me as a general rule (and has since I was a teenager) and in our family, we NEVER “talk things out” so I can’t exactly tell my kid to try that approach with her grandma whom she loves so much. B knows she’s loved; she just feels second (or fourth) best.

So I’m not sure what to do. I’d talk to my sister but I have a feeling it would put some sort of bad blood between us and I don’t want that. We communicate but not on a particularly deep level. I love and admire her too, even though I wonder about her choices sometimes. But she’s a great mom and daughter and seems happy with her life. And it is HER life; not mine–her choices not mine.

B told me as we were buying mattresses earlier this week and  trying them all out, one by one and then hopping back and forth between our favorites: “I’m so glad I have a happy mother.” That is the best compliment someone could give me. That when they’re with me, I seem happy. And I AM happy when I’m with B. The world is better through her eyes.

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Infidelity in the workplace: Believe me sexybacks, we all know June 13, 2012

P.S. Rob A. + Becca R.: Who doesn’t know (Double that: Who isn’t completely grossed out?) Hey MRS. Robinson: Remember the sweet present I sent your second child? Apparently not. God, I love that Karma charge card: Play now…pay later.

P.P.S. JeRe and Bon Vivant (see previous post): Again: Did you think we didn’t all know? Really? Las Vegas etc.? I was 1400 miles away and even I knew.

Ew. I mean. Ew.

(And J.R.: All that makeup and work done to your face? Like we wouldn’t notice?? Your smile is still tight and mean-spirited. Nothing can smooth that away. What happened to you? You used to be so…nice (well…sorta). And at the MVP Summit 2010? You couldn’t even DEIGN to talk to me because what, you were “getting into character” to talk to….Mister Excel?

If you want to be actors, J.R, D.T., L.B…..GO BE ACTORS. No one wants to see videos of geeks talking about their geekdom.  EW. AGAIN.

No idea who these people are - just an awkward company party

 

Anna Quindlen on her 50s May 10, 2012

Annik - 10th birthdayFirst lines of her new book Lots of Candles and Plenty of Cake:

” It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life – from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again.”

I think I am starting to get that. I remember who I was as a kid–I remember beign my most powerfulas a kid at age 11-12, before puberty came on. And then I didn’t know who I was. And yes, like Anna, I created someone I thought I wanted to be–should be, tried to be. And now that I’m inching toward 50, I think I’m back to feeling powerful about the real me, about who I am. I’m certainly not 11 or 12 again, but I am feeling powerful about what I want to say and how I want to say it.

This week’s “events” have certainly crystallized that. And while they’ve casued several sleepless nights, filled with dark thoughts and anxeity-driven roanings about the house, I can’t help but feel there is someting more in motin here and if I follow it, it’ll follow me.

I wonder if a fellow columnist like Anna Quindlen would dain to talk to me about this. Maybe I should just read her book.

THis is entirely surprising to me.

 

Grammar drives me crazy… March 16, 2012

But this in particular:

I hear people talk–on the radio, on TV, on the streets, even at work–who are (I’ve, in the recent past assumed–maybe correctly, maybe not) obviously not particularly educated,  and who don’t spend their time reading, much less writing or considering grammar (just conjecture, of course). This is the one that keeps throwing itself on my mercy

People say (in various contexts)

  • “What he must have WENT through…”

To me that sounds wrong. Just WRONG. I’m not a grammarian so I don’t know the rule for this, but to me, what sounds right is

  • “What he must have GONE through…”

Tyler ClementiI’m using this example because I just heard one of the lawyers on NPR–not sure he was  for the defense (Dharun Ravi who was found guilty of a hate crime, among other things) or the prosecution (for that sweet, gay, violin-playing, bridge-jumping-to his death Tyler Clementi) say “What he must’ve went though” and I thought to myself, “Hm. Self. THis guy is a LAWYER and you aren’t. Maybe it’s YOU who is sounding like an uneducated, McDonald’s-eatin’-3x-a-week-Jersey-Shore-fan. Oof. That’d be bad. I’d better check my resume.

Am I wrong?  Could it be? After all these years of trying to write correctly and working with great editors and copy editors? (Note that at this moment, my job entails NOT having real editors or even copy editors–RAMONA WE MISS YOU– just…well I can’t say or I’d get into trouble and I need this job, as dull and boring and mind/soul numbing as it is. Maybe another time when I’ve moved on (and boy, that time is coming–offers have started to pour, oddly enough; unfortunately they’re in Seattle, Austin, Singapore…). Another topic for another day (and maybe in another location–maybe another continent).

So, what say you, blog readers? I’m going to post my question to Grammar Girl and see what she has to say –if she hasn’t already addressed this. If she has, I’ll post it here. For the 5 of you. Haha.

– Annik (aka Queen Shannikwa, aka Crabby, aka Mommy, aka The Older Human Who Gives Us 4-Month-old-Rats Fatty Sunflower Seeds during the day).

C’mon: Talk to me. Anna? Fran? you’re two fo the smartest people I know. Ask Ryan Warner (whom we met Monday –he’s dreamy, gay, not gay). What’s  his take on “went” and “gone”

Okay, it’s the weekend, Bian has a  friend over and we’re all making pizza and watching Ponyo. So I’m gone for the weekend. Or…I went. Or I done gone and went. Or I done went and am gone. Huh. English is tricky. I do both Iyengar and Bikram Yoga so I’m pretty sure Sanskrit is trickier.

 

Meeting the voice of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me March 12, 2012

Filed under: Daily dramas,General musings,Uncategorized — Annik @ 5:53 pm

We just met Carl Kasell today (& Ryan Warner whom I used to not like so much on the air but took a u-turn on that a couple of years ago). If you don’t know who Ryan is, well, okay—I’ve a feeling that maybe one day you will. That boy is going places. He makes what seems to be, at first listen, boring topics–fracking, beetles, Hickenlooper’s budget–and makes them interesting and accessible. That is some feat, Ryan. And we have friends in common– the “Frannas”–and he was as cute and professional and amazing as can be. He is someone I’d like to know.

But back to dreamy Carl. That almost-78-year-old has skin like a 25-year-old…and I told him so. (I hope he didn’t think I was flirting with him. That’s kinda skeezie.) But if you don’t know who CARL KASELL is, well, I think y’all need some educatin’ (he’s originally from North Carolina). He was charming and adorable and took a photo with us and  told ME PERSONALLY a story about how his dad told him to keep working into old age. AND I wrote a limerick for him . (Those of you who DO know who Carl is will understand this limerick):

Limerick for Carl Kasell:

For 5 years I have been my most scheming,
I’ve been clever, yet humble, not screaming,
Is it just not my fate
To get on Wait Wait
Must I go to my grave still teeming?

Yet perhaps you can offer a tip…
Just a whisper, a slip of the lip…
No one need know,
How I got on the show,
Or why the Kasell I continue to worship.

Then again I suppose this is crass,
And illustrates my chutzpah and sass,
But hey, it can’t hurt
To try to subvert
The rules from the very top brass.

With utmost respect and regard,

Annik Stahl, Denver, Colorado

—   Avid NPR and “Wait Wait” listener (and of course, Carl Kasell fan) and personal trainer of a budding NPR fan.

Denver, Colorado

— 720.352.7639 (just in case—from these words to God’s ears— a producer from Wait Wait wanted to call…)

I wonder if he liked it. I wonder if I’ll get on the show. I wonder if I’m Pollyanna. AND in case you’re a fan of the show, Carl told us that he individualizes each and every winner’s message that he makes on his or her home answering machine. My God! The possibilities! Limericaks! Singing! Yiddish! Cursing! The people who don’t win on that show sound so blase about it; I’d frankly die if I didn’t win  and threaten to …

Well never mind. This is the web and I’d better be, uh, nice. I mean, it’s not North Korea, but still. Did you read this story about a guy on Facebook who wrote some nasty things about his wife–he called her “evil and vindictive”– on Facebook and was ordered by the judge to APOLOGIZE or go to jail??! Has anyone heard of First Amendment Rights? WTF?

(I’d call my blog WTF? if there weren’t already a show called that. )

 

P.S. Neither Carl nor Ryan asked me what I did for a living. I cold have told them I hada Master’s in Journalism and that I was the former- (said with clenched teeth) Microsoft Crabby Offfice Lady. I guess I just let my limerick speak for itself.

 

Quote of the week January 27, 2012

Filed under: Annik,General musings,Writing — Annik @ 1:50 pm
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Grunnion“Here are grunnions at their best.” — The late James Beard

 

Title of this blog? January 20, 2012

Crabby Office Lady with a thought bubbleNo one has ever asked me why I named this blog what I did: My Life as the Crab. I wonder why not. Not “a” crab but “THE Crab.”

Maybe clicking on the image will give you a clue…