The Things You See

I imagine other people see some strange things on their daily commutes.  But can anyone out there say they’ve seen two flying outhouses?  Not one, but TWO!  I can say that.  This morning on the bus ride up from the train station I spied two port-a-potties swinging from one of the construction cranes across from my block.  My first thought was that I was seeing things but the way my twisted brain works, I quickly wondered whether anyone was inside.  Wouldn’t that be an E-ticket ride?  (If you’re too young to know what an E-ticket ride is than go ask Uncle Google.)

On my walk down to the station in the afternoon I pass a few skyscrapers, a YMCA, an independent gym, as well as City Hall and one of the courthouses.  Not to mention one of the ubiquitous Starbucks (yes only one).  The courthouse borders sort of an alley and across the alley is a tiny park which is usually populated by a lot of homeless people.  And pigeons.  During the summer months the scent of burning marijuana often drifts out from the park’s inhabitants and I’ve been known to speculate just how slow I’d have to walk to get a contact high.  Then I found myself wondering about the pigeons flocking through the park after scraps.  On my walk to the train the other day the birds seemed particularly numerous – covering most of the sidewalk – and they hardly moved when I and the other pedestrians strode through.  So  what do you think?  Are they getting high?  Or are they hanging out waiting for the munchies to hit the humans so they can gather up what’s left?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Work Stations

Our work areas say a lot about us don’t they? Here’s a peek at one part of Janey’s work station.


So what does this say about me, hmm? For one thing, I am truly appreciated by the partner I’ve worked with for almost 17 years. That’s the “AWESOME” cubed card if you couldn’t guess.

Then there’s my off kilter humor – the coffee quip illustrates it nicely.  Plus I have quotes from a couple of my favorite writers prominently displayed so I recognize that I need to be inspired throughout my day – don’t we all?

Finally, my “Is this the life or what!” sign and the reminder to breathe in AND out reflect the daily struggle to function and remain as positive as possible.

Hmm, I like that – I may have to make a new sign for my cube wall.


Has a nice ring to it.

Double Your Fun!

Remember the old Wrigley’s Doublemint commercials?  No?  Okay, here’s a refresher because I’m a giver that way.

On one of the multitude of sites dedicated to lyrics I found the following posted.  While these don’t match the song track in the commercial above they were posted by someone who claimed to be one of the early Doublemint twins – for what that’s worth.

Double your pleasure,
Double your fun,
With Double good, Double good, Doublemint gum!
Double delicious,
Double smooth too.
Doublemint’s Double Delightful to chew.
So, Double your pleasure, Double your fun!
Get Double everything rolled into one.
Oh, Double your pleasure,
Double your fun,
With Double good, Double good, Doublemint gum!

Here’s where my analogy falls apart.  Everyone in those ads was always grinning like they were having the best time ever.  Double the fun!  Me, these days?  Not so much.  But there is a correlation of sorts.  Get comfy while I bring you up to date a bit.  Got popcorn?  On second thought, got bourbon?

A few months back I wrote about the upcoming changes at work, how we were going to a “shared services” model of secretarial support for some of our associates and others.  At least I think I wrote about it.  Let’s just pretend I did shall we?  Three of us staffers were approached with a request to join the Shared Services Team for the local office.  (The other two got the impression that it was either accept the request or start looking for another job.  That wasn’t my take and I’m not sure where they got that vibe, but that’s another whole can of worms we don’t need to address now.)  One secretary was already in place and had been providing coverage for all the first year associates for several months.  She would be our team lead.  Ultimately there would be a fifth secretary hired and between the five of us we would cover around 40 people.  Yeah, go ahead and gasp or gape or choke.  That’s entertainment!

We’ve been operating as a team for a few months now.  The first couple of months were a frakking nightmare.  One of us went on medical leave within days of the team starting.  That left three of us to cover everyone.  It was so busy I often forgot about lunch until well after noon when my stomach would finally realize I wasn’t on schedule and go on a rampage.  The local Powers That Be wracked their brains trying to figure out how to help us and finally recruited another secretary from the ranks to pitch in on team stuff as her regular workload allowed.  This helped some.  What helped more was that summer started.  With clients on vacation and some associates following suit things settled a bit.  Then our fourth returned from medical leave and the fifth was hired.  So of course the team inbox slowed to a crawl.  We’re still very slow but I expect that to change as summer winds to a close.

However, those first eight weeks took their toll.  We’d all been ill-prepared for and overwhelmed by the amount of work we faced each day.  People would see our faces as we passed in the halls and ask if we were okay.  Our stress levels were off the charts. Then, just a couple of weeks ago our lead, a firm veteran of 25+ years gave notice.  Maybe you can imagine the shockwaves that rocked our office.  I heard that one person even asked if they “got it” now.  “They” being our home office.  No, they did not get it.  The folks on the ground here better get it…this is the new deal.  This is the only deal.

And guess who gets to be the lead now?

If you guessed Janey give yourself a gold star!  Now if you’re a regular reader perhaps you remember that I was “promoted” late last year to be lead of my original group of secretaries.  So put one lead together with another lead and we get TWO leads!  Double the pleasure!  Double the fun!  Ahh, there it is.

Seriously, I’m going to be a double-lead at least until the HR people figure out who in my regular department might be able to handle taking on that responsibility.  Boy do I feel special!


624 Tiny Things to Write About

You’d think since I self identify as a writer that I would have ideas out the wazoo (technical term).  At least one of my favorite bloggers (Craig, I’m looking at you) seems to have a repository of material so large he will never run out things to write about.  Me?  Not so much.  I finally did finish my novel (after many, many years of letting it languish like a Victorian heroine) but I still haven’t found (made) the time for editing.  My brain is full of snippets of ideas, the beginnings of stories, vague character outlines, and the like.  But whenever I try to put them on “paper” they quickly peter out.  Enter the writing prompt.  I’ve followed a few here at WP and even wound up with a decent piece of fiction or two.  But last week I stumbled on a book of inspiration that I just had to share.

I don’t frequent brick and mortar bookstores much any more.  Not by choice, I love to read and I’d buy all my favorites in hard cover if not for that pesky moola requirement.  The public library is my friend both in its brick and mortar ideation and its online persona.  Last week however I decided it was time to get out of the office at lunch and I don’t mean to run errands.  I had a Barnes and Noble gift card from Christmas (or maybe from Mother’s Day) burning a hole in my wallet.  So I did a search for the downtown B&N, found it wasn’t prohibitively far away and headed for the bus stop.

An hour and a bit later I trudged back to the office with sore feet but holding a shopping bag and an icy java chip from the local iconic coffee place.  Sometimes it can be disappointing how little you can get for $25 these days and there were only three items in my bag, three GREAT items!  One was a fancy schmancy 3D birthday card for my sister-in-law’s birthday next week.  Then there was the Disappearing TARDIS mug.  Since I feel safe in saying you’ve probably all seen a version of the “Disappearing” beverage container I won’t share a photo of it here.  Should you not have a clue what I’m talking about let Uncle Google help you with that.

I’m writing about the last item in my shopping bag.  The “book of inspiration” as I described it above:

642 Things


There were multiple iterations of this book including titles such as 642 Tiny Things to Draw, 104 Things to Paint, 104 Things to Photograph, etc.  They were shelved in a corner along with the bound journals a lot of stores sell.  The journal with the TARDIS cover had caught my eye and I went over for a closer look.  After examining it my eye fell on the one you see here and I picked it up to skim through.  Now this was interesting.  Here, see if you agree:





And then there was this.

I can think of a few choice nicknames these days.





Some of the other prompts include:

  • Beefsteak tomatoes or cherry tomatoes? Why?
  • Describe your style today in two words.
  • Pick a state you’ve never been to. Explain why you’re moving there.
  • Frankenstein’s best actor acceptance speech.
  • The passenger safety instructions card for a stagecoach.

I’m keeping the book at my desk, within easy reach if I have a moment of boredom or things get slow.  (You can’t hear the maniacal laughter echoing in my head but trust me, it’s there.)  For now the book resides on my desk among my toys and near the Juicy Fruit so others can witness it and perhaps jot down a thought or three if they are so inclined.  Who after all could resist responding to this gem?

Write about the first moment you knew you could kiss well.


And my style today?  I’d have to say shabby chic.