A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Bank…

Ron: “I wouldn’t light that cigarette.”
Jen: “Why not?”
Ron: “Because if you roll down the window, someone could drive by and spash you with icy slush.”
Jen: *eyeroll*…”Whatev.”

…3 seconds later…


Jen: “AAARGH!!”
Ron: “I told you.”
Jen: “Shut up, asshole!”
Ron: “Aren’t you going to close the window?”
Jen: “Duh, no, what are the odds of that happening again?”

…3 seconds later…


Jen: “AAAARRGH!!!” *sputtering, slush in mouth*
Ron: “You’re a retard.”
Jen: “Shut UP, Ron!!”
Ron: “Fine, I’ll move over to the right lane so no cars come by on your side.”
Jen: “thanks.”

…3 seconds later…

*SPLOOOOSH*…DRIVERS side, across the windsheild, through my open window.

Jen: “AAAARRRRRGHHH!! Seriously! How is that even possible?!?”
Ron: *Laughing*… I love being right!”
Jen: “FINE, I’ll put it out. Shut up Ron.”

…1 minute later…

Ron: “Hey, can you light me a cigarette?”. *mutters under his breath*..”I’ll need your window open instead of mine. Safety reasons”.


Jen’s Bitchin Bloody Marys

Bloody Mary mix
Lemon juice

Fill a glass 3/4 with ice. It’s funnier if you have a novelty glass…I chose one that was given to me as a gift that says “Crazy Bitch”. Thanks Debbie O’Reilly!

Fill glass with 1 1/2 parts vodka and 2 1/2 parts Bloody Mary mix. Assuming all beverage containers = 4 parts.

Also, I use Mr. And Mrs. T’s mix, because I pity the fool who doesn’t like my bloody marys. Yeah, I know it’s not the same guy. I don’t care. I still like to say it as I’m making them.

Take a butter knife and get a smidge of prepared horseradish and drop it on in. Check the expiration date. I had horseradish that expires in July, and horseradish that expired when Bush was in office. I…think I used the right one. Shit.

Squeeze in juice from a wedge of lemon, and about four shakes of Worcestershire. Add a dash or two of pepper.

Drop in a few small olives. If you’re using Kroger brand olives, you might have to poke around in the jar to find olives whose basic molecular structure has not been seriously compromised. The ratio of good to bad olives in my jar was 14 bad olives to every 1 salvagable olive.

Stir, enjoy. Toast me when you taste how awesome it is.

Maddie James

On Friday, January 14, 2011, a friend’s only child, Madeleine James, was in school, enjoying her kindergarten lessons at St. Anne’s and playing on the playground with all of her friends.

Two days later, on Sunday morning, January 16th, her parents were told Maddie was going to die.

They had noticed that Maddie was more tired than usual since returning to school after the holiday break, and her balance appeared a little off. But, in general, Maddie remained the happy, spirited, funny, and bright little girl she had always been.

Saturday, January 15th, her mom took her out, and noticed something wasn’t right. She just felt it. She took her into Kids Doc, a weekend urgent care clinic, and with the go ahead from their pediatrician, they were sent to the emergency room at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). She called Collie, Maddie’s father, and he met her at the hospital immediately. Maddie had a CT scan that night.

Maddie was diagnosed with a malignant, inoperable brain tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. Located on the brain stem where the spinal cord meets the brain, it is the most feared pediatric brain tumor. There is no cure, and, after nearly a century of study, modern medicine has only been able to stretch life expectancy after diagnosis a matter of weeks. Their incredible medical team prepared her parents for the rapid progression of the disease, with deterioration in her ability to walk appearing within weeks followed by a steady loss of motor control throughout the body. Their only solace was that it was a disease that did not typically cause significant pain.

But nothing could change the fact that the survival rate was 0%.

A mere 8 weeks later, on March 13th at 9pm, Maddie gently passed away, with her parents at her side, with no pain and no fear.  Her father Collie posted the following on their Caringbridge website:

“Dear Family and Friends,

It is with great sadness that Kajsa and I have to inform you that our dear, sweet Maddie has passed away and is now an angel in Heaven.  She died at 9 pm on Sunday evening, March 13, 2011.  Kajsa sang her the night night songs she has sung to her since birth and kissed her on the cheek, and Maddie took her last breath.  We were right beside her.

While we hoped we would have more time with her, we are grateful that she died peacefully in her sleep at home.  She experienced no pain and no fear.  For that, we are eternally grateful.  We will miss her with all our heart and soul, but feel so privileged to have had the incredible honor of being this amazing girl’s parents.  She was the most beautiful, funny, intelligent and warm-hearted person we have ever known. “

While still in the hospital, Maddie’s parents came to the conclusion that there were two things they could control; making sure the precious time they had left with Maddie was lived to the fullest and making sure that they did something to properly honor her. To somehow make something positive out of this.

Maddie had a passionate love of the ocean.  One of Maddie’s favorite places in this world is the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. This past summer, she attended their Sea Camp, and it was the best week ever. She would get a name tag every morning at check-in, and to this day, every single name tag she received is stuck to her bedroom wall.

At her memorial this weekend, Maddie’s ashes will be spread at sea. Her soul will be at peace, surrounded by all the animals and natural beauty she so loves.

Maddie’s parents, Collie and Kajsa, are passionate about memorializing their daughter in a way that is worthy of their very special little girl. A place where they, and everyone who loves her, can go and remember her. A place where other children and their families can visit and make memories and learn about the ocean and its preservation.

The Ocean Institute  is in the final phase of a $4M Capital Campaign to create exciting new ocean-side programs and facilities that will complement their Ocean Education Center. To be built right “on the water”, the planned Seaside Learning Center will introduce thousands of K-12 students and public visitors to current and emerging issues in oceanography, environmental science and maritime history.

A series of learning stations have been carefully designed for the Seaside Learning Center to provide immersion-style education. For example:

  • The Ocean Science Dock will offer a number of science-related learning stations including a biodiversity lab containing aquariums brimming with sea life, and Oceanographic Technology Lab with an underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), and a white sea bass grow-out pen. It will provide ample mooring for two of their education vessels, R/V Sea Explorer and Spirit of Dana Point, with additional space for visiting ships.
  • The Maritime History Pier will highlight the progression of scientific thinking about our ocean environment from the early 1600’s to today. Learning stations will give students an opportunity to experience scientific discovery as they experiment with historically-authentic equipment. Activities will include hoisting long boasts with davits, using a boom crane, working a capstan, and raising sail with a block and tackle system.

The Seaside Learning Center project is shovel-ready and all permits are in place. All that is missing are the necessary funds. Depending upon success with fundraising, building is planned for summer/fall 2011.

The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center would be possible with a donation of $1,000,000. They realize this is a huge number and have no idea if they can get anywhere near it. But in three weeks, they have raised over $200K, so I believe in my heart that they can.  There are other naming opportunities in a lower donation range, but they have decided to reach for the stars (or maybe sea stars in this case) and try and raise as much money as possible. They will do whatever they can with the funds raised to make sure Maddie’s name lives on in perpetuity at The Center.

They need your help.

Please donate $1, $10, $100, $1000, to help memorialize this precious child.

  • Maddie’s parents have started an amazing foundation to honor Maddie and her immense love of the ocean. You can learn all about The Maddie James Foundation here, as well as Collie and Kajsa’s hopes of creating The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center here. If you feel so inclined, please help them reach their goal by making a tax deductible donation here.
  • Visit Maddie’s CaringBridge page. Read about the special moments she has experienced.
  • Send Maddie and her family all of the prayers and positive thoughts you can muster. They need them more than you will ever know.

Soccer Practice

Soccer practice rained out. I’m a little
concerned that the team won’t be ready, practice-wise, for their first game.
Oh wait…no I’m not…they’re five. I’m a little concerned that I will
forget to bring Jello Shots to the first game…..

Follow Up to Jen’s Guide To Bathroom Etiquette While You’re At Work

In reference to the earlier note I wrote about the Asian woman who constantly defiles our work bathroom and must eat cyanide dumplings stuffed with rancid goat…. well, there’s a new issue.

(See former note here)

The bathrooms here are really junky and filthy as it is. It’s a manufacturing plant, not Mary Kay. We’re lucky we have toilets and not just holes in the ground. Anyway, even if you didn’t “use” the restroom, you’d probably wash your hands after being in there. As it stands, HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD WASH THEIR HANDS AFTER USING THE BATHROOM ANYWAY, and in our minds, (me and my co-worker Angela), people shouldn’t have to be reminded of this fundamental hygiene factoid.

Well, a few months ago, Angela started freaking out because there was a woman who would walk right out of the stall and out the door…no handwashing. Turns out, to make matters worse, it’s the Asian nightmare mentioned above with the monstrous gastrointestinal disorder. Keep in mind, Angela and I wash our hands, then use the paper towels to open the bathroom door to leave. Which especially if people aren’t washing their hands…I can’t imagine what diseases party on that handle.

So, Angela took it into her own hands and made TWO signs that read “In order to ensure the health of the staff, as well as guests, please remember to WASH YOUR HANDS!”, one on the mirror, and one on the door.

Today, as I was walking into the bathroom, Gastro Godzilla was walking out of a stall. She blew right by me and went out the door. When I reported this to Angela, she flipped out, and is now pursuing HR to have a chat with this disease-ridden fecal atrocity. And so the point to my story is….WOW, wouldn’t that be an embarassing conversation to have, if you were the HR rep who had to instigate it?

To Be Continued…

Jen’s Guide to Bathroom Etiquette While You’re At Work

I work in a 50-year-old structure where aircraft structures are manufactured and assembled and shipped out on railcars. This is not the nicest bathroom I’ve ever been in. However, the entire restroom experience would be greatly improved if the Union Women of Branch 483 would just adhere to a couple of guidelines.

1. The bathroom door is not a portal that turns you into an animal when you walk through it.

There is no reason to turn into an orangutan on crack when you enter these bathrooms. I’m pretty sure you don’t piss all over the seat or drop used toilet paper on your bathroom floors at home. When I throw something in the trash can, really, I didn’t need to see the exact level of bloodflow in your most recent tampon. Flush it or at least wrap it up. Act like a human being, for Christ’s sake.

2. Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should”.

Yes, at sometime in our lives, we are all overcome by the necessity to drop wolf bait in public. That doesn’t mean you should explosively pass gas and moan in pleasure when there are other women in the bathroom. It’s not that busy a building, and it’s mostly full of men. If you can’t save your toilet atrocities for when you get home, at the very least try to have some consideration that there are other people standing in the room.

3. Have the sense to read your situation, and the situation of others

In regards to the previous women, if you walk into the bathroom at the same time as another woman, and you enter the stall at the same time as this woman, and you do your thing and flush and wash your hands, and that woman hasn’t moved or made a sound, it means that’s she’s trying not to be the dirty bitch referenced above and really is waiting for some privacy. Don’t call someone on your cell phone or use that moment to touch up your makeup in the bathroom mirror. Get the hell out of there before the bomb(s) drop. Save yourself.

4. I am horrified by your potential diet.

Yes, asian woman from engineering, I’m talking to you. Not only do you feel the need to share the previous night’s meal with us, but you seriously must be eating Cyanide Dumplings stuffed with Rancid Goat. If you’re so regular that “I” know that I can’t enter the bathroom after 10:15am, than surely there must be something you can do to adjust the timeframes of your bowel movements so that the unholy contents of your colon are released in your own home and not here in a bathroom that other employees need to use. At the very least, since when do asians regularly eat dead bodies and rotting fish? For the love of God, at least go to a doctor and make sure that you aren’t dying from some putrid flesh-eating abdominal disorder. I mean Jesus Christ, one time I walked in there and the flesh melted off of my face like the Nazi’s did in Indiana Jones when the Ark of the Covenant was opened.

These are my top four Bathroom Etiquette While You’re At Work points. Please, live them.