Friday, May 29, 2009


I received our employee newsletter yesterday in the mail and apparently I have done something worthy of being recognized.

Some highlights:
Great example of American exceptionalism
Exemplify the American can-do attitude
Demonstrates how we Americans are masters of our own lives
Worthy of emmulation

Yup, that's me...100%.

Last week when I went to the bathroom, there was a postcard of a very hot, half-naked man taped to my door. Someone had found it in a paper bin and decided I might enjoy it. I wasn't offended by it and it actually made me laugh. When my boss saw it, he asked for me to give it to him. I told him I wanted to take it home with me but he insisted I give it to him. I just figured maybe he wanted to take it home with him. Turns out he wanted to keep it to show the guys that it was considered sexual harassment. So John stops by my office on his way out the door yesterday afternoon to say goodbye. He told me that bossman says he can't tell me he loves me anymore but he's allowed to say "have a lovely day." So now he says that everytime he sees me.

Most of the time the Spanish guy brings in comics and points to words and I explain what they are and what they mean. Or at least I try to. Yesterday he brought in People magazine and had it opened to a wedding picture of Spencer and Heidi from "The Hills". He was pointing at Heidi and I was looking at him really strangely wondering why he wanted to know about those two. I tell him it's Heidi and he then returns my strange look. He points again and I try to explain that they are on a tv show. I even sound out her name, Hei-di. He then takes his finger and draws an imaginary X over her head and stabs his finger at her body. I then finally realize he's asking what the dress she's wearing is called. Wedding Gown. Whoops. That's why Jeannette calls me Genius.

An employee was fired/quit because he can't take the heat. He told us that he couldn't come in to work the past couple of days because he got too hot on Wednesday. It hasn't even reached 90 yet and that's when things really get bad out in the plant. So he's gone. Which means I get to start the hiring insanity to replace him. I'm sure a couple of good stories will stem from that. I didn't have it in me today so I'm waiting for Monday.

Last night, Howard had his first soccer game of the season. They won 14-1 so I would say it was a success. They only had 1 sub for this game and Howard and two other guys pretty much rotated being on the break. Next week there won't be any subs because a couple guys can't make it so it should be interesting to see how that goes. It was funny to watch how everyone went from being energetic and lively at the beginning of the game to completely lethargic and uncaring by the end. But what can I really say about that, I was standing on the sidelines the whole time.

I have no idea what's in store for this weekend. We went out last night after the game to our favorite bar to celebrate a little and get to know the rest of his soccer team. I didn't realize until we got there that it was karaoke night. Everyone and their mother was there. It ended up being a fantastic time though I'm paying for it today due to the lack of sleep. I guess it's time to realize I'm no longer 22 at least not on a Thursday night anway...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's the New Monday...

Which just means more randomness.

Surprisingly, our weekend was pretty tame. We went to the bar on Friday after work and met up with some friends. One of the guys had his foot run over by a car earlier in the week so we had a good time making fun of him for that. Luckily his foot didn't break but he had to get 9 stitches to close it up. He showed us pictures that he had taken with his phone. They were extremely nasty. I told him to send them to my phone so I could use them to diet. Whenever I'm hungry, I can just look at the pictures and lose my appetite. The pounds will just fall off!

The guy who called me out as the Mega Touch Girl from the bar was also there. He had to been to my work earlier in the day to drop off some paper. I wasn't in when he got here so one of the employees punched in his weight for the scale ticket. I didn't notice that he had also punched in "Jailers" in the description section of the ticket where I would normally put "Paper". When the guy from the bar comes here, he sometimes brings inmates from the jail to help him unload but he doesn't work for the jail. So he comes up to me and asks me what is up with the jailer description to which I have no response for because I have no idea what he's talking about until he pulls it out of his pocket. We got a good laugh. And I didn't play any Mega Touch. Well, I didn't put any money in at least.

Saturday, we went over to the soccer fields and ran around for a bit. Howard joined a soccer league so he's trying to get back in shape. And hopefully getting me in shape as well in the process. He might have his first game tonight. I'm hoping it's Thursday though because I really want to get home and make sure my house is still in tact but I don't want to miss the first game either.

Sunday, it was raining and the bbq we were planning on going to at 1 pm was pushed back to 5 pm. We went to Outback for lunch and ordered a heart attack. I had a free coupon for that stupid Bloomin Onion that was about to expire at the end of the month so we obviously had to use it. Why do they taste so good? I didn't feel so bad when a couple sat down next to us and also ordered one. I also felt a lot better when they finished theirs and we didn't. The chick even put more salt on it.

We went to the bbq and we were by far, the youngest ones there. The guy closest to our age was 37. But old people sure know how to throw down. The lady that was hosting the party was drinking water when I got there or so I thought. Until I saw her open a new bottle of water, take a swig and then pour vodka into it. Her husband had all sorts of different liquors and one of his hobbies is coming up with new shots. I had to bow out after 2. Thank goodness I wasn't driving. The house was amazing though. Not amazing like my sorority sister Eve's new house but amazing because of how it was decorated inside and out. I told her that when we finally buy a place out here, I want her to help me decorate.

On the way to the bbq, we passed a "house" that was in shambles. Howard pointed it out but I didn't get a good look because I was looking at the woman outside of the house. We learned later that the woman lives alone in this "house". It's not a house, well at least not by normal standards. It's built with stuff. It has dirt floors, no power or water or plumbing. There is a cadillac inside the house and a truck outside holding up the left wall. It's made with pallets and sticks and anything she can find. If something falls off and there is a hole, she finds something else to cover the whole and nails it in place. The roof is caving in. She gathers sticks everyday and burns them in a little grill to make food. And she's happy. Waves to the neighbors as they drive by. I wanted to get a picture so bad but I just couldn't do it. I didn't feel like it was right. But that won't stop me from driving a little slower past it next time to get a better look.

I arrived at work this morning to find that my office had flooded over the weekend which was pleasant. I also found out that the truck driver that works for us was robbed sometime over the weekend while he was at the lake. He came home to find his safe busted open and over $50K missing. Why he had $50K+ in a safe, I don't know. It's actually his step-sons money that he has been saving for over 10 years. He must not believe in banks...Nothing else in the house was touched so the person obviously knew what they were after and where it was which means it was someone they know. Sucks...

Animal Lover

Itchie brought me a box one day this past winter. When I peered into the box, I saw two tiny kittens. My heart melted. He told me that they had found them in a trailer they were taking paper off of. There had been another one but Billy Bob had run over it with the forklift by accident. I have never had a cat though and I have no idea how to take care of them plus I knew there was no way Howard would let me keep them. I called a local veterinarian and asked what I should do with them. She informed me that the kittens were newborns and no one would take them. She suggested I put them back where they were found. I told her that was impossible as that trailer was now being loaded with insulation to be sent out. She basically told me there was nothing she could do and said to try and find them a home. I asked around to see if anyone here was willing to take them but only Billy Bob said he would and I didn't trust him. I then called the animal shelter and they told me to bring them in. When I got there, the lady at the counter told me they were too small and she couldn't take them. I couldn't help but start crying. It was freezing and raining outside and I couldn't picture leaving them outside to freeze to death. Enter Liz. Liz was a volunteer there and just happened to be nearby. She saw me crying and came over to see what was wrong. She then offered to take them home with her. I ended up having to pay $40 for them to be taken in by her since I wasn't a resident of the county. She had to drive me to the ATM because for some reason, I still couldn't stop crying. On the way, I discovered she was a groomer and she also boards dogs occasionally. I got her card and ended up taking Jack to her a couple weeks later. She gave him the works and didn't charge me a dime since I had had to pay for the kittens to be "adopted". While I was there the two kitties each found a place on top of my shoes and hung on while I walked around. Too cute!

During the ice storm, Howard and I were outside grilling in the freezing cold just so we could have a hot meal. A dog wandered up to us and started hanging around our front door. We brought it some food and water but the dog was so well-groomed and mannered, we figured it belonged to someone so we left it alone. The next morning, he was still outside our door. Howard was at work and I was off since we still didn't have power at my office. Howard had told me that under no circumstance was I allowed to let the dog in. I don't listen very well. I let the dog inside and he found a place on the carpet and passed out for 24 hours. Howard couldn't help but feel bad for him so he let me keep him. We thought he was about 3 years old at first but the following morning when his energy returned, we realized that he was about 3 months old. I took his picture and posted signs at the grocery store, gas station, laundromat and other places around town. A woman called and said she was not the owner but she had seen the dog around and wanted to take him in but we beat her to it. She told Howard she had a large, fenced-in backyard and a playful 2 year pitbull. She said she would put up her own signs around town in case he did have an owner. We decided that it would be best if "Jake", as we started calling him, had room to run and grow so we let her have him. I noticed my signs were pulled down but new ones never went up in their place...Can't say that I blame her.

Last night, I saw a dog outside roaming around. Later on, I saw him again and I called him over. He was way too skinny so I got some food and water but he only seemed interested in the water. Howard came outside and took one look at him and said, "He's mine." So now we have another dog in the house. Jack isn't too fond of "No Name" yet. He pretty much has stayed in his corner as if to say, this is my bed, don't touch it. We are guessing he's still a puppy and I have no idea what the house will look like this afternoon when I get home from work. He slept as soon as we let him in last night and didn't wake up until this morning. I made Howard sleep on the couch just to make sure he didn't wake up and start tearing the place up in the middle of the night. He's about the same size of Jack right now, just a little more muscular. Ideas for a name?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hiring Humor

Part of my job is to hire new employees whenever there is an opening. Luckily, there has been little turnover lately so I haven't had to go through the long process much but here are some things that have happened in the past.

If I decide to hire someone, I have to give them a drug test. The test is a plastic handle with a sponge attached to the end. They have to put the sponge in their mouth and salivate on it for 3--4 minutes. I've taken one and the sponge tastes really bad so most times they try to give it back to me after a minute or so but I make them continue. Once it's wet enough, I have to take the handle and push the sponge down into a container and then use the container to squeeze three drops onto a testing strip. Sounds easy enough, but when there is spit involved, it's gross.

I gave Billy Bob the test when I first hired him. When he gave the sponge back to me, it was yellow and covered in brown specs. I gagged in his face. I'm actually gagging now writing about it. Absolutely disgusting. I wanted to unhire him just for that but he passed the test and I couldn't. Everytime I see him, I think of that sponge and now I will occasionally ask him if he brushed his teeth lately.

Speaking of the drug test, it doesn't work. One guy basically told me in so many words, he was going to fail. But he passed and he couldn't have been more surprised. Employees have told me that a lot of the people hired shouldn't have passed the test and they know for a fact they were on drugs at the time. I've told my bosses we need to get a different test but they don't seem to care. A urine test would probably be the way to go but if they go that route, I'm giving up my hiring responsibility. I'll even take a pay cut.

I was testing another guy one day when he told me he would pass with flying colors because he had been clean for 18 years. I glanced at his tax forms and saw that his birthdate made him 22. I told him I thought it was really impressive that he kicked the habit at 4 years old. He didn't get it.

Before I hire anyone, they have to fill out an application. I got one back that had the first name listed as "Hot" and the middle name listed as "Rod". He swore it was his real name...

One of the questions on the application is "Have you worked for us before?" I hired a truck driver on the premise that he had not worked for us in the past. He was actually a pretty decent driver and human being. It was working out well. Until I was going through old files and saw his name on a folder. Turns out he had worked for us before and was fired for stealing from the company. Apparently he was using our account at the gas station to fill up friend's trucks with diesel in exchange for cash. Refired.

We had some mexicans working for us not too long ago and they were by far, the best workers we've had. One worked for us for over a year before HR ran his SSN through the database and it came back with a different name. So I had him in my office and I was trying to figure out why his SSN came back as someone else. Using what little spanish I know I was able to get him to admit that his ID and Social Security card were fake and he had paid someone in Tennessee $250 for it. I seriously wanted to cry. We had to let 4 of them go at one time. Every one of them was illegal. We have one left and he's asked me to teach him English. Every day I teach him a new word. He came to me one day and asked for "glove". I told him it was a "pair of gloves". A week later, he interrupted me while I was eating my lunch and I was annoyed until I realized he had said he needed "a pair of gloves." Made me feel so good :)

Here is a little collection of some samples from applications:

Reason for leaving last job: The owner died so I decided to quit.

Have you been convicted of a felony?: I got into an argument with my girlfriend and took off in her car and she pressed charges on me.

Additional Information/Other Qualifications: Care animal rours a litlo pigs.

Reason for leaving last job: Went on vacation, got stuck in New Jersey.

Describe any specialized training, certifications, apprenticeship, skills and extra-curricular activities: I got skills.

Reason for leaving last job: I got incarcenated.

Reason for leaving job: Quit, did not like manual labor - (The employer listed for this job was us...and he was reapplying for manual labor...)

Have you been convicted of a felony? Trafficing in marijuana, DUI, Domestic Assault, Possession of Ilegal Firearm, Aggravated Assualt, Conspriacy.

Reason for leaving: Prison.

Reason for leaving: I have problems with people (but one of his special training attributes listed is "good working with others".

Have you been convicted of a felony? Before I was 21, I got in a few brushes with the law.

Reason for leaving: Me and the owner got into a argument, he threatened to hit me in the head with a pipe wrench.

Have you been convicted of a felony? Meth.

Reason for leaving: My mental health.

Work Performed: Catching chickens.

Have you been convicted of a felony? Buglary 3 times.

Have you been convicted of a felony? I reduced people's property taxes on vehicles.

Have you been convicted of a felony? DUI, DUI, DUI

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


My mom pointed out to me this afternoon that my blog makes me look like a lush due to all the references to alcohol and the bars. Last night, Howard and I sat at home, watched tv, made dinner and didn't drink. You know what happened? Nothing worth posting about, that's what! So if all my blogs mention the bar, that's because interesting things happen when people are drinking. I'm not really the lush my blog makes me out to be, I promise ;)

Another John Gem

A couple of months ago, our truck driver, Reilly, lost his cell phone one night when he came to pick up a trailer around 3 am. He didn't know for sure if it had fell off his belt in our parking lot but he thought there was a good chance it had. When he arrived in my office the next morning, he told me about his cell phone and not being able to find it. I thought maybe it had dropped down between the seats in his semi so I grabbed my cell and we went outside to his truck to call his phone. We didn't find it but I told him I would keep an eye out and see if anyone else had found it. We asked all the employees but no one had seen it.

Itchie and Reilly end up seeing each other later that night and Reilly tells him he lost his phone. Itchie protests that he must have had it earlier because he heard it ringing in my office while Itchie was outside my door at his desk. Reilly's ring tone is a police siren so it's hard to mistake. The next morning Itchie tells me this story and it took me a second to put it together but I then realize that John was in my office when Reilly and I went outside to call his phone.

So Itchie point blank asks John if he has the phone and he says no. Itchie tells him that we are going to call the police and that scares him. It wouldn't be the first time they showed up here for him (the last time it happened, he asked me to bail him out with petty cash). He says he had the phone but he already gave it to someone else to sell. So I tell John to call that person and get the phone back right away. So he calls some girl and another employee takes him to get the phone. He brings it to me and asks if Reilly is going to pay him $20 for it. What? I explain to him that he found the phone on our property and that he was to turn it into me right away because it did not belong to him. He tells me, "Well the least he could do is buy a brother a cheeseburger, I could have got $40 for that phone".

I decide not to tell Reilly who had the phone because I don't want to cause any drama. But Reilly was able to figure it out on his own. He turned his phone on, called the last number that was dialed and asked the girl who answered the phone if she knew anyone that worked here. Of course she said yes and told Reilly it was John. I couldn't believe that John really thought he was owed something for turning something in that wasn't rightfully his. Funny thing is Reilly said he would have given him some money had he gotten his phone back right away. Maybe he'll learn the next time.

My boss actually dropped his money clip not too long ago somewhere in the plant and though we looked everywhere for it, someone must have already found it. We can't exactly strip search everyone to see who has an extra $150 on them and it wasn't like offering a cash reward of $20 would make someone give up $150 so we had to let that one go.

Wacky Wednesday

Yesterday I learned that the maintenance guy that I highly respect and admire for his hard-work and amazing dedication to his job might not be all he's cracked up to be. "Mike" is a 45ish, black, married man who appreciates how hard I work and in my opinion, is NOTHING like some of the guys that work here (like John and Billy Bob from a prior post). Mike has been married for approximately 15 years and to my knowledge, loves his wife dearly or that's what he's always told me. He has been known to put on a pimp suit (he has one in every color, I've seen pictures!) and go to the club near his house on Saturday nights to flirt with the young ladies but his wife is OK with this and sometimes goes with him. He drinks a coke in a clear glass so everyone thinks he's having a jack and coke. He's been sober for over 20 years. So then why is he hanging out with John on weekends now?

John spends his money on booze, drugs and whatever girl wants a bang for a buck. I gave him his paycheck for $258.00 Friday afternoon when he left work and by 10 pm on Saturday night, he was out of money. Mike lives over 30 minutes away from where John hangs out. And if he doesn't drink, the only thing I can figure is he's going out there for drugs or women. I can't even decide which one makes me feel better. Neither. They both upset me.

Today, Mike was in my office when a car pulled up front. It was a young girl from the local high school coming in to drop off some paper. I looked at Mike staring at her and told him to stop drooling and close his mouth. He says to me, "But I'm a man!" I took this as the opening to ask him about hanging out with John. He said "When Mama ain't giving it to me at home, sometimes you have to go elsewhere." Oh, the disappointment.

I just don't get people. Cheating is so wrong. There is a server at the bar we go to who was talking to this 67 year old guy sitting next to us on Saturday and Howard couldn't help but overhear their conversation. It went something like this:

Customer: Did you have a good night last night?
Ho-bag: Yeah, I stayed up until about 4:30 am because the husband is out of town.
Customer: Well who were you hanging out with then?
Ho-bag: Some guy, I don't think you know him.
Customer: Did you have a good time?
Ho-bag: Twice!

I really didn't like the girl to begin with but that was enough to make me despise her.

On a lighter note :) We might be meeting up in Bristol this weekend with Ashley and Jason for some camping and good times! I know I said I wouldn't ever go camping again but I've all but forgotten about those tick bites and besides, Ashley is worth a little pain. Last time we went, we got a cabin and had a great time so I'm really hoping it works out this weekend!

Read at Your Own Risk

This story happened about a year ago. It's crazy, may be offensive due to some words but I'm writing about it anyway because it happened and it's real. All names have been changed because these people were SCARY.

One Saturday afternoon, Howard and I went out to Paducah to get some beer. While we were out there, since it's quite a drive, he suggested we stop at a little bar and have a beer before heading back. So we go to one place where we have been before and it's closed. I suggest we try another place that just opened. We pull into the parking lot and the windows are all blacked out and the place has several motorcycles parked out front. We walk up to the door and I pull the front door open, just as Howard points out the sign on it, "No Colors Allowed". We should have turned around right then and gone back to the car but I was already half inside.

We make our way into the dim, smoky bar and take a seat on the side of the bar near the door. As we are walking to the bar stools, a guy across the bar yells out to Howard, "Where did you get that visor? Tiger Woods?" I still to this day have no idea what he meant by that. The bartender, a petite, 35ish chick brings us two Bud Lights and introduces herself to us. When she turns away, Howard says, "One beer and we are out of here". But as we are finishing, guy from across the bar tells the bartender (let's call her Trixi) to buy us a round on him. We attempt to turn it down but Trixi tells us no one turns down a drink from Bubba. Howard and I are keeping our eyes down and talking to no one trying to avoid any possible eye contact or communication with anyone in the bar. Then comes another round from Bubba who then invites us to come sit on "his" side of the bar. We are afraid at this point to do anything wrong so we slowly make our way over there.

Above is my rendition of the bar so you can see how we were trapped in a corner once we reached the other side of the bar. Mind you, Bubba is no small guy and we had to squeeze past him to get there. Moving on. OK, so now Trixi is showing the crowd her new tattoo that is basically so low on her stomach, she's not leaving much to the imagination. She then asks us if we are offended by nudity. I just shake my head because I'm thinking it's 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon and we will be long gone before any craziness goes down.

I'm staring at the napkin in front of me trying to melt into the wall when Howard nudges me and points to the end of the bar. I almost lose it. Cletus has Brandine's boob in his mouth and she's holding it with two hands. Picture two very massive people. What in the hell is going on? I spin my head around to stare at the wall while trying to close my mouth from shock. This isn't normal. I ask Howard if we mistakenly went to Stephanie's, the strip club. All of a sudden, Bubba tells Trixie he wants to "suck some t*tt*". I'm expecting her to laugh and say no or even possibly get angry, but not Trixi. Her response was, "Which one?" Both! So she gets up on her knees on the bar and pulls her shirt down and he goes at it. I really hate my life at this point. I'm pinching Howard and telling him we have to go RIGHT NOW. When Bubba gets done, he knocks over his beer and Brandine yells out, "Bubba you knocked over your beer last night after sucking my t*tt*es. You're cut off!" To which he responds "Cut me off from beer, but not t*tt*es". Is this some sort of orgy party? Because I want no freakin part in it. Howard and I are finally able to pay and make our way past Bubba when Afroman's "Because I Got High" comes on the jukebox. He yells out "Who the f*&# put this n#gg*$ sh*t on?" I have no idea what happened after that because I was sprinting to the car faster than Usain Bolt.

Seriously, I am scarred for life from this experience. Needless to say, we will never, EVER go back there again. After talking to some people we know, we learned that 1.) the sign out front apparently refers to biker colors and colors are not allowed because too many biker fights happen...yeah, right and 2.) Trixi and other bartenders can be found bartending naked except for high heels on most Friday and Saturday nights. Too bad, we didn't stick around for that...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Adorable Nieces!!

No one would have ever thought the baby of the family would be the first to have children but he surprised us all with two beautiful little girls, Brooke Nicole and Paige Noelle. Here are a couple of recent pics of them :)


Sisters :)

I just hope they are as close as my brother and I were growing up!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Boredom = Random Blogging

I'm extremely bored at work...

This man just came into my office because he was lost and looking for the poultry plant which he has an interview at today. The joint I work at isn't classy but if someone came in for an interview dressed like he was, I would have sent them packing. He had on a ratty, bright orange sweatshirt and warm up pants with holes in them. My boss was outside in the yard and when he saw this guy come in, he hurriedly told Itchie to get in my office to make sure I was ok. Yeah, that bad.

Speaking of this not so classy place I work at, not too long ago I finally had a lock installed on the women's bathroom. Between finding a syringe on the shelf and a pornographic picture in my trash can, I had had about enough. Not to mention that John uses the sink as his personal shower since he doesn't have water in his trailer and the countless times they have clogged it because they feel the need to use a whole roll of TP. Since that beautiful lock installation day, the maintenance guy has cleaned my bathroom and somehow gotten it to smell like a flower shop. It's like my own personal haven now. If I could get a phone line back there, I'd probably make it my office. The guys have all begged to be able to use it and have called it unfair that I get my own. I call it sweet, sweet victory. Now they are forced to use the bathroom they have succeeded in making worse than a sewer.

I went to Subway for lunch today and this morbidly obese man was in front of me in line. I am thinking he's there to become the next Jared and I'm silently cheering him on. Until he orders. A footlong BLT. Not a big deal at first. But then he asks for extra bacon. Subway artist adds 2 more bacon strips. He responds "MORE". This goes on until he has, no joke, like 25 bacon strips. He then asks for mayo. She asked if he wanted regular or lite. I almost wanted to answer for him. I should have. He said regular. So she puts the standard two swipes of mayo on and then I hear "MORE" again. Actually like 6 more times because once he had a river on one side of the bread, he asked for the same on the other side. I was contemplating leaving without my sandwich because I had lost my appetite. He then says he doesn't need a drink but instead needs 2 bags of chips and 4 cookies. Oh my lord. Gross.

I drove past this barn that was smoking today and it reminded me of something that happened last year. As I was driving to Paducah to meet Howard one day after work, I drove past a barn that looked like it was on fire. Smoke was pouring out of the roof and holes in the wooden slats. Instantly I was alarmed thinking poor cows and horses were going to burn to death. I used GPS on my phone to find the nearest fire station and called them. In a panic, I start to explain to her where I am and how this barn was about to burn down. She asks me a couple of questions about the location and the color of the barn and then calmly tells me that they are smoking tobacco in there. I reply that no way does smoking cigarettes cause that much smoke. She tells me I must not be from around here and that she meant they were hanging actual tobacco and smoking it to dry it out. I still don't believe her so I hang up and call the local police department. I get pretty much the same response but the woman who answered the phone took the time to explain the process of how tobacco becomes the tobacco you get in a cigarette. The lightbulb finally goes off and I get it. I'm such a genius sometimes.

hajhajhajhajhaj (Love you Amanda!)

Update on the Wing Challenge & the Weekend

So at last count, they are something like 16 for 16 now. The new record is 1 minute and 43 seconds. WTF? Thankfully, Michael and Jeannette are working hard to send me a bottle of the Flatliner sauce so I can make them taste what real hot sauce is all about. Now that I think about it, maybe they should send me the Szechaun sauce as well so I can have them try and recreate it. Yummm!

In other news, Howard woke me up Saturday morning with breakfast in bed and tickets to the WPBA Great Lakes Classic at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, IN for June 17-19th. Very random but considering his unhealthy obsession with Allison Fisher, the Duchess of Doom, it makes perfect sense. The semi-finals and finals will be broadcast on ESPN at some point.

That's going to be us in the background!!

Other than that, the weekend was pretty quiet. We did participate in a drawing for the Preakness on Saturday. I didn't pull the winner though. I got Musket Man and came in 3rd. Howard came in last though so that was great. I was actually rooting for Rachel Alexandra anyway because she's a chick and my middle name happens to be Alexandra. Girl power!

On Sunday we went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch. We sat down at the bar and I ordered a coke and Howard ordered a Bud Light. The bartender told us they were changing the Bud Light keg and it would be a minute. So he went to get my coke and came back and placed it down in front of Howard. Then after about 10 minutes, he came over to take our order. I ordered a Caesar Salad and Howard ordered a House Salad and we asked for bread. 15 minutes later when he finally brought the Bud Light, we asked about the bread. Oh, right, the bread. And then he tells us he doesn't know what he did with our order so we have to order again. (He wrote our order on a napkin the first time and tossed it in the trash right after.) He also refills my coke for me. Our salads finally come out and my drink is empty again. He asks me if I want some more water. Dude, come on! I say no and he walks away before I can order a beer. He then disappears and another chick gets behind the bar. She asks me if I want a beer and I tell her yes and then she goes to talk to someone else and never gets me the beer. Howard looks at me and says "How bad do you want to leave right now?" Holy frustration. We left right after that.

Our friends Matt and Ivy invited us to a festival this weekend in Salem, MO but I'm not too sure I want to go. For one, the website says "no dogs" about 17 times and I don't feel like trying to find a petsitter or putting lil Jack in a kennel for the weekend. Two, the name of the festival is "Schwagstock" and that just conjures up all sorts of images I don't think I feel like dealing with. And three, it costs $70/person on top of paying $25 for a parking fee. Throw in paying for food and standing in lines to take a shower in a filthy stall and I just talked myself completely out of it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Hot Wing Challenge

One of the things I miss most about VA is my second home, Buffalo Wing Factory or "The Spot" as Matt, Jeannette and I prefer to call it. Nothing beats dollar beers and a kids portion of extra-crispy, all shank Szechaun wings with a plate of celery and extra chunky bleu cheese. BWF is home of the Flatliner. You need to sign a waiver to eat those wings. I have many memories of watching idiots attempt to scarf down a plate of these wings and most of them end in hilarity. Like the guy who ate 3 and then went to the bathroom to throw up. I never found out if he threw up or not but I know he used the bathroom without washing his hands. He came out crying and told his girlfriend they had to leave. AWESOME.

So imagine my excitement when I found out the bar we go to here was starting the "Hot Wing Challenge". 10 Firehouse wings in 10 minutes. They said they were getting the sauce in on Thursday (yesterday) so Howard and I went up there after work to watch two guys we know attempt the challenge. Before they could even start, three guys at a table behind us ordered them. The whole bar had turned to watch them. I had visions of blood, sweat and tears and pure agony. Yep, no such luck. All three of them finished in under 10 minutes. I think I saw a bead of sweat on a forehead. One guy did it in 4 minutes and 24 seconds. What kind of challenge is it when everyone wins? I wanted to see FAILURE. Another guy decides he wants a go at it. He takes his time, comes in under 10 minutes and licks his fingers when he's done. So now they've given out 4 plates of free wings and 4 t-shirts. I hope they realize this isn't going to be good for business. The two guys we were with also give it a go and surprise, surprise, they finish as well, one coming in at 4 minutes and 15 seconds.

So I talked to the manager and told her all about this glorious place back home where there is a waiver and only 8 names on the Wall of Flame because it's nearly impossible to do. She thinks maybe they should change the time limit to 5 minutes instead of 10. As nicely as possible, I let her know that she would be making it more of an eating contest rather then about the wings themselves. Make it hotter. It's simple. Otherwise a lot of people are going to be eating for free. Hell, I might even try it to get a free meal.

Jeannette and I at "The Spot"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeannette!!


Who would have thought that the two of us would ever become the friends we are today? No one. In fact, I think some people are still surprised. Our shared hatred of one another blossomed into this amazing friendship in just a short period of time. We owe this wonderful phenomenon to our mutual addiction to Glory Days and beer (and the fact that no one else wanted to hang out with either of us on a random Tuesday night). The years we lived together on Gable provided some of my most cherished (and hysterical) memories. I love you like a sister and miss you more than you know. I wish I could be there with you tonight to celebrate. Drink a Buttery Nipple (or 28) for me!

Love you,


PS. Happy Birthday to you too Michael!!! (make sure to buy Netty the Buttery Nipples for me and throw in a couple for yourself, and yes, I know, I owe you a ton when I come home in August).

PPS. Relax Mom, a Buttery Nipple is just a mild shooter. You should try one. You'd like it!

Jeannette & Michael

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sob Stories

I wish someone could explain to me what it is about me that says "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me your life sob story, I can't wait to hear ALL about it."

Today, I was sitting at my desk when a truck driver who was waiting for us to unload his trailer came in to my office and sat down. I was really busy. Or I was really busy pretending to be busy by typing away on G-Chat to Amanda and Heather. That didn't stop him. He proceeds to tell me how long he's been driving a truck and how hard it is on him and his family. And how his truck needs a lot of work but he cannot afford it because business is so slow. Thankfully, he didn't start crying because I didn't have any tissues.

Usually I'm a very nice person and I genuinely like helping people. (I blame my mom.) For instance, during the ice storm, I was at the grocery store trying to find something good to eat from what little they had left. There was no power in the store and people were using flashlights to make their way around. I overheard a man asking a store employee if he could just plug his phone into their generator for a couple of minutes so he could call his son and make sure he was ok. The employee said no. He argued that his wife worked there and he just needed a minute or two. I walked over and asked to see his phone and told him I had a car charger that would work for it. So we went on out to my car and I let him charge his phone for 15 minutes. See, I'm a nice person.

But you have to draw the line somewhere...

About two months ago, I was sitting in the laundromat (aka my personal nightmare) engrossed in a Grisham novel. A woman walks up to me and asks me what I'm reading. I show her. She says "I'm going to be in a wheelchair in less than a year". What? Where did that come from? Why are you telling me this? She goes on to tell me how her whole life has sucked. She's broke. Only has $32 to her name. Her son died in October from cancer at 23. She wouldn't have any luck if she didn't have bad luck. I feel really bad for her at this point but what am I supposed to do? So I let her talk, maybe she just needs to vent. In the meantime her husband goes outside to start their car. He comes back in and says that the car won't start. Or at least that is what I gathered because I couldn't understand a word that came out of his mouth. Think Boomhauer times 10. He walks down the road to True Value to get a part but comes back empty handed because True Value's closed. At this point, the woman is hysterically crying. Out of nowhere she points to me and tells her husband that I will drive him to Auto Zone. I'll do what?? So he goes out to my car and waits for me. I haven't even said anything at this point. I'm in total shock. She tells me that if he tries anything, I have her permission to slap him.

So against my better judgment, I get in the car with this guy I've never met before. To make things worse, it was "Tater Day" (more on that another time) and the streets of Benton were filled with people, making a 5 minutes trip take about 15 minutes one way. He starts talking about how I may have seen him on tv or something along those lines. All I can think is whether it was on Cops or America's Most Wanted. Then I start wondering if this was all an elaborate scheme to steal my clothes. Anyhow, I got back in one piece and my clothes were still where I left them. Normally I take the time to fold all of the clothes when they are done drying but not that day. I threw them in the baskets, went straight home, stormed upstairs past Howard and bought a washer/dryer online from Home Depot.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Update

Saturday, we went to get Howard's car worked on in Paducah. We walked over to the bar next door to kill some time while we were waiting. We hadn't been there in a while so I was catching up with the bartender when she told me what she thought was a really juicy piece of gossip. Except I already knew the gossip. It was soooo last week. I ended up giving her more information then she had previously known. Just another reminder how small this town really is. I just hope none of the gossip is ever about me. Not that there is anything to say about me...I'm perfect ;)

Howard was talking to his best friend later that afternoon about the Wii and downloading old school games onto it. I took this as a challenge to get our Wii hooked up to the Internet before he got off the phone. It only took me about 15 minutes. We started looking at all the games you could get and we were getting really excited. And then I realized that we are nerds. We ended up buying a couple and while we were in the middle of playing one, our power went off. For no reason. It was a clear night. No wind, no rain, no clouds. It stayed off for about 45 minutes. I called the power company and they had no explanation, just that they were working on it. It brought back some very vivid memories of the ice storm though.

We watched Saturday Night Live later on that night once we got power back. Howard has always disliked Justin Timberlake. But after J.T. hosted the show, he had a change of heart. He thought the song he did with the love of my life, Andy Sandberg and the liposuction song were great. I think it was very painful for him to admit he liked him. He even made me rewind them a couple of times to replay them.

I really don't have much to say about Sunday. We are nerds so we acted like nerds and played some dumb video game most of the day. At least we can be nerdy together! I wish I could have been home with my mom on her special day but I haven't made enough money to buy my own private jet yet. Maybe next year.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday Night Flood

After I posted the blog yesterday morning about the weather, Howard called me at work to tell me we were having the biggest thunderstorm in a decade. Hail and 80+ mph winds. YAY! It looked like it was midnight at noon. The storms lasted about 3 hours and then it was sunny again so I figured no big deal.

Last night when I went to take Jack out at about 10 pm, my neighbor told me the area was flooding. He pointed down the street where a bunch of people were outside and even from a distance at 10 pm, I could tell they were standing in water. Only one problem. They were on the road. The water was coming up from a creek in the back of the 4 townhouses at the end of our street.

So Howard and I walked down there and helped them push their cars out. Well he helped, I stood along the side of the road splashing about in the water. But at least they knew where the side of the road ended so they wouldn't push their car off it. After all their cars were safe and they were going back inside, I decided it would be a great idea to go get my camera.

Howard didn't want to come back down there with me which I'm grateful for now. I was trying to get close to this fire hydrant so I could take a picture of it covered in water when my feet slipped out and I fell straight onto my back into the water. I looked around and saw no one and then started laughing at myself. I was only able to do this because miraculously, I had raised my hand with the camera up into the air and it hadn't gotten wet. At that point, I was done with picture taking though.

I walked down there this morning with Jack and most of the water had receded back into the creek so hopefully none of the houses were damaged.

Friday, May 8, 2009

KY Weather

So on top of Western KY just being a strange place to live, they also have some very strange weather. Sometime early this morning, I was awakened by what I thought was a bomb exploding in our bedroom. It was only thunder but it sounded like a million M16s going off on our roof. It lasted about an hour and was pretty fun to listen to but it reminded me of how odd the weather can be here.

Last February, Howard experienced a tornado while he was away for work and staying at a hotel about 2 hours from here. It went right through the hotel across the street from where he and his co-worker were staying. They took these pictures the next morning.

Power lines, trees and a dumpster in the middle of the road.

The tornado went directly through the middle of this house.

Then early one morning in April of last year, I woke up when I started shaking in my bed. It was around 4 am so I was dazed but I felt like the room was moving. I laid there for a while wondering if it was all a dream and eventually went back to bed. I heard on the radio later that morning while driving to work that we had had an earthquake.

In September of last year Hurricane Ike struck and though we were not hit by the actual hurricane, the hurricane winds were pretty severe. On the morning of my birthday I was walking Jack when I heard a crack and half a tree came crashing down 50 feet from us. There was debris flying all over the place and I swear Jack got air at one point. One of the windows on the retirement home across the street had been blown out and glass was all over the road. I spent that birthday inside in the relative safety watching football. Who am I kidding, I would have spent my birthday like that despite the storm.

But the worst was this past January. The 2009 Ice Storm. I still have nightmares about it. But that might just be brain damage from the 2 ft. chunk of ice that fell off a power line right onto my noggin. We didn't have power for 4 days. I couldn't work for a week because my office didn't have power either. And we were lucky. I know people who went a month without power. This happened in late January and they are still now, in May, clearing debris from this storm.

Downed power line in Paducah.An annihilated tree.
Right hand lane of I-24 (70 mph road).
Tree on house.

So we've got a tornado, earthquake, hurricane winds and an ice storm. I wonder what will happen next...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's Happenings

Thinking of titles sucks...

I had my tick bite check up this afternoon and I'm all clear!! The antibiotics worked really well and he was astonished how fast they cleared up. So no lancing for me. I have to keep an eye out though because apparently I can get other infections from just touching the area that was infected and then touching somewhere else on my body.

Billy Bob (from my previous post) brought me flowers today. How sweet! Who cares if they are made from paper, bent and dirty and obviously found in one of the paper recycling trailers at the plant. It's the thought that counts...

A guy from a neighboring county's recycling center came by today to drop off some paper. It was his first time here. He walked in and I was telling him the process he needed to go through, when he suddenly interrupted me to tell me I look familiar. I politely shook my head because I get that a lot around here, usually followed by the question, "What high school did you go to?" Instead he says, "Do you go to Nick's?" Some random guy recognizes me from the bar I frequent that is 30 miles away from here. To make it worse, he says "Yeah, you're the Mega Touch girl!" So what if I'm slightly addicted to the Mega Touch game. It goes good with Bud Light. But to be recognized as the Mega Touch girl from Nick's...not cool.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Random KY Experiences (that did not happen in cultured Louisville or Lexington)

A few random experiences that have made me extremely grateful my parents raised me in PA and VA:

About a month after I first started this job last January, my boss hired a young guy to build us a dust collecting box for our lab. Basic carpentry skills was all that was needed. He was about 22 years old and extremely cute. He had all his teeth! So one day when he was on his break, he sat down in my office and we had a conversation. It went like this:

Young Guy: So where are you from?
Me: Right outside of D.C.
Young Guy: mean in California?
Me: No, that's the O.C., I mean Washington, D.C.
Young Guy: ........
Me: You know, our nation's capital?
Young Guy: What's a nation?
Me: (getting up and pointing at the huge map on the wall) It's right here, it's the capital of the United States
Young Guy: Oh, well I'm not a geology major
Me: Yep, you sure aren't

Howard and I were looking for a place to eat in downtown Paducah one afternoon. We drove by a little restaurant that had a blackboard sign out front advertising their specials. For $2.95 you could have a Grilled Chesse! We don't say cheese anymore now, we only say chesse. We are trying to fit in.

One of my employees called in sick not too long ago. He told me he had a mind grain. I said "You mean a migraine?" He says "No, a MIND GRAIN, it's like when you have a really bad headache" and then laughed at me.

The local newspaper, The Paducah Sun, has articles that have typo after typo and some of the stories just end in the middle of a sentence. I was reading a very interesting article about Tony Stewart (Nascar) in the paper one day and in mid-sentence, the story stopped. No big deal, I will find the ending somewhere else in the paper. Nope, nowhere. Howard and I scoured the paper from front to back and top to bottom. I should probably go apply to be the editor there.

At Paducah's Friday's restaurant, they have the NTN game where you get a little blue box and answer questions shown on the TV. We were sitting next to a guy playing when a question about Les Miserables came up. He looked utterly puzzled and yelled out "What the hell is less miserables?" OK, OK so maybe not everyone knows how it's pronounced, but we still found it rather humerous.

I could go on and on and on. A realtor that Howard met while searching for a house when he first moved here said it best. "We don't focus much on readin and writin in these parts". Sad thing is, I am getting used to it and starting not to notice these things anymore...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Another Day at the Office...

I went back and forth on whether to post about this story but Heather talked me into it. I won't use the real names of the people involved though.

Crazy things happen where I work. These things are pretty much what inspired me to start this blog. Like the goat that was running wild through the plant and the farmer and his son trying to catch it. That was priceless. Or the day an employee walked out, went and got wasted then came back threatening to kill us all. He came to work the next day and had no recollection of the prior day. That obviously was his last day of employment.

But today might take the cake. On Friday afternoon, we let the crew go early around 1:30 pm. Most of the guys who work here use their entire week's paycheck on alcohol. John and Billy Bob are no exception. As soon as they got off, they got in Billy Bob's truck and headed to the liquor store. John is a 40ish yr. old, black man with about 3 teeth. Billy Bob is 25 yrs. old and looks like he's 50 due to what I can only assume was/is a really bad meth addiction.

Side note: One day I walked into the breakroom and John and Billy Bob were arguing about who has less teeth. These are the kind of people I deal with daily.

So John and Billy Bob take their liquor and go to some woman's house that John knows. They proceed to get wasted. Some random guy starts calling John the "N" word and telling John he's going to fight him. So John goes outside to fight him, gets his hand cut open by the knife in random dude's hand, swipes random dude's feet out and pummels him. John told me this morning in vivid detail how he almost killed the guy (stomping his face and choking him).

Billy Bob pulls John from random dude and they leave. They then find what I am going to call an extremely loose woman (ok, crack whore) on the side of the road and she lets them take her to an abandoned house. Use your imagination here (or don't) because I almost threw up my breakfast thinking about this. Billy Bob has his turn first, then while John is in the house with her, Billy Bob leaves him there and takes off. Billy Bob crashes into a ditch and receives his 5th DUI.

Cut to this morning in the breakroom which is how I know all of this. They start screaming at each other. Billy Bob says he's going to shoot John and John threatens to stomp Billy Bob's face in like he did to the other guy. Billy Bob starts crying and tells us he has to leave.

I swear I couldn't make this stuff up. Don't show this to my mom. She might fly out here and kidnap me to take me back home. I did ask about the guy that was beaten and was told that he is recovering and John has since apologized. He has not pressed charges because this "happens all the time". Yep, just another day in the office.

Small Town Life

Although I had been visiting Howard out here for over a year before I actually made the move out here, he and I both barely knew anyone. We were relatively anonymous when going out. A little over a year later and that has changed dramatically. We can't go anywhere without knowing someone now. It freaks me out. I lived in Sterling/Herndon for 11 years and I could go to Giant and not see a single soul that I recognized. Definitely not the case here. Take Saturday for instance. We were standing in line at Bluegrass Downs to place bets on the KY Derby. Up walks this old guy Bob (who totally looks like my Dad 20 years from now) and a guy that works in Howard's building. Then the lady who serves beer there recognizes us and asks why we aren't coming in to watch the races today. We then head over to Nick's Sports Bar where we know the bartenders. I expect to know the bartenders but what I don't expect is to know every single person they are gossiping about. Even the Subway lady knows my name and what sandwich I'm going to order.

I've learned a valuable lesson in regards to living in a very small town. Keep your mouth shut! One day I was at the laundromat minding my own business when an older woman comes up to me and points outside to a woman in her car passed out. She had one leg out the door and her head was thrown back to the side of the head rest. She had on a winter jogging suit and it was 85 degrees outside. You could see the sweat pouring off of her. The old woman tells me that she has been like that since before her and her husband arrived over an hour ago. She goes outside and tries to wake the lady up but she can't so she calls 911. The police arrive and bang on the woman's hood until she finally comes to. She has a hearing aid falling out of her ear and you can tell she has no idea where she is or what's going on. Turns out she had taken a bunch of painkillers. They pulled bottle after bottle out of her car. EMS arrives and she is carted off but not before walking straight into a vending machine.

Fast forward to about 4 months later when I'm again, sitting in the laundromat when a truck driver I know from work comes in. See, very small town. About a month later the truck driver is in my office and we are talking about how we hate the laundromat. I remember the crazy lady story and begin to tell him about it. It went something like this. "Oh, this one time, I was there on a Friday afternoon and this crazy lady was passed out in her car all doped up on painkillers-". He cuts me off and says "That crazy lady is my girlfriend." For some strange reason he still likes me and calls me sunshine but I've never been more embarrased in my life. Lesson learned.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Update on the Tickers

Wednesday I called the doctor to make an appointment to see her about my tick situation. I called the only doctor I have seen since moving here so they know me pretty well. I was explaining my problem to the woman who answered the phone and she began laughing at me. She then transfers me to the nurse, Sandy and I leave a message. Sandy calls me back and when I tell her that I don't have anyone to help me remove and check for the ticks because Howard is out of town, she says "Don't you have a mother?" Seriously, would I be calling you if I had my mom around to help me? What if I didn't have a mother? What if I had just lost her? I was floored. She tells me to come in sometime after 1 pm but says they are really busy and I might have to wait a while. OK, fine. So I get there about 2:30 and there is no one in the waiting room and she sees me within 2 minutes (riiiight, extremely busy). She tells me to strip from the waist down, and as I try to protest that I have them EVERYWHERE, she rudely tells me "I'm a doctor, not a tick remover" and leaves the room. I thought about walking out right then but I needed the help so I sucked it up and did what she said. So she checks me out and we find that all the ticks have fallen off. I ask her about one I have that looks infected because it's black and has a raised red rash around it. She says to get some Benadryl and that should make it go away.

So the next morning, the rash has doubled in size and spread and the black bite is even bigger. I freak out. I don't know whether to go to another doctor or a hospital. So I go to work instead. I know, real smart. But my internet wasn't working at home so I couldn't look up any other doctors. I call my mom on my way to work and get my dad instead who patiently tells me in so many words I am an idiot and to go take care of myself. 'Nuff said. Once I got to work and looked up doctors in the area that take my insurance, I picked the first one on the list. At this point, I'm figuring all doctors in Kentucky are quacks and this will probably be another waste of my time but I'll give it a shot. I lucked out. He's awesome. I love him. He spent 1 hour and 15 minutes going over every teeny tiny possible thing that could ever happen to me due to this tick bite. So the short of it is, the bite has to open on its own and all the nastiness inside has to drain out by next Thursday or he's going to have to lance it open for me. YAY. I'm on some very strong antibiotics in the meantime to reduce the swelling and the pressure on it. I feel soooo much better just knowing that I have someone that knows what he's doing and who took the time to answer every question and concern I had. I'm not looking forward to getting my leg cut open and I hope it doesn't come to that. But if it does, at least I have a capable doc doing it.

On a positive note, the doctor said I can't wear tight pants for a week, so I'm wearing sweat pants to work today! Does it get any better than that?

PS. Much thanks to Heather, Amanda and Rockett for talking me through my freak outs the last couple of days and not getting grossed out when I sent them a picture of the monstrosity growing on my leg. Ya'll are the best :)