Friday, August 26, 2016

OK - You Can Go Back to School Now!

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

OK you can go back to school now!
Oh crap - did I say that out loud?
For months, I've had no alone time,
One is company, but three's a crowd.

You guys ate your weight in Doritos,
And I tried hard to stock up on Lay's,
Plus those gross Little Debbie snack cakes,
I buy in bulk - and they're gone the next day.

There are zero cups in the cupboard,
They're spread through the rooms far and wide,
You fill them up with blue Gatorade,
Take one sip and then set them aside.

The house is a total disaster,
It looks like a big bomb went off,
But not your average explosion,
Rather, one made of shirts and flip-flops.

The PlayStation's nearly on fire,
You're on it from morning till night,
And though it's the middle of summer,
Your skin tone is Wonder-Bread White.

"There's nothing to do! I'm so bored!"
I hear it again and again,
That's funny - I see a lot that needs done,
Perhaps you need a suggestion.

I'd like to be able to relax,
Maybe sip coffee solo till nine,
And later on, if the day goes right,
I could open a nice box of wine.

Oh yes - couches, coffee and wine,
Those are three of my favorite things,
But thanks to your constant presence,
I haven't indulged since late spring.

I love you both - you're adorable,
I live my whole life for you,
It's just that you're always around here,
I'm not even alone when I poo.

So yeah. You can go back to school now,
You're cute, but you're making me crazy,
There on the couch with your phones in your hands,
Finding new ways to be lazy.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Don't Make Me Come Back From Vacation

(post copyright  2016, Dawn Weber)

Don't make me come back from vacation,
I don't want to! No, you can't force me,
To go back to life as I knew it,
All that stress, and pesky reality.

What's this thing you call an 'alarm clock?'
You have set it for 6 a.m.
It's clear that you have forgotten,
I prefer not to rise until ten.

You say I must go back to work now,
That I have to "bring home the big money,"
You're trying to make me start laughing,
But your joke isn't really that funny.

You tell me I'll need to wear pants,
Which are tight and scratchy and awful,
Who needs that kind of restriction?
Swimsuits are so much more comfortable.

And I'll have to get into a car,
Then drive for an hour in traffic,
For the past week it's only been bicycles,
Or walks on the beach in my bare feet.

At the office there'll be tasks to finish,
Things the boss-man will tell me to do,
But I much prefer doing quite nothing,
I bet that you feel that way, too.

Still, you're saying we can't drink at noon,
And we can't have a Mai Tai for lunch,
A beer even though it's a Tuesday,
Or a nice Bloody Mary for brunch.

At home we cannot buy fresh shrimp,
Or pick oranges right from the tree,
A world without citrus and shellfish?
That ain't no kind of life for me.

And there won't be any more napping
A time set aside just to snore,
But how can one get through the day,
Without sleeping from 2 until 4?

Now I realize I have a mortgage,
And bills which I really should pay,
But couldn't I live in a camper,
At that RV park right on the bay?

Please don't make me come back from vacation,
I promise you things will be just great,
If you go on ahead home without me,
I'll see you up there in a month or eight.

Friday, July 22, 2016

I'm Packing and It's Not What You Think

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

There are certain words you don't expect to hear together.

“Mm . . . nothing like a good McDonald’s picante sauce packet!”

Those are nine of them.

They came from the cubicle next door. Thinking I'd heard things, I peeked around the wall and saw that my co-worker, Tim, was indeed sucking on a picante sauce packet left over from his breakfast burrito.

You may remember Tim from years such as 2014: my worried-yet-affable, possible zombie co-worker who regularly shouts things like “My skin’s melting off!” and “I think my brain stem just snapped!” After that, nothing he says could really alarm me.

And considering we were at work, sauce packet snacks aren't exactly surprising. The office is a veritable wasteland of sad, rejected food, a place where leftovers go to die a moldy, forgotten death in the communal fridge.

Hey. I do it, too -- I admit it. I eat a lot of questionable things in the office, and no, sadly, that isn't a euphemism for anything. The list of foods -- if you can call them foods -- I’ve consumed in my soul-killing cubicle ranks as nothing short of pathetic. Soggy salad, last week’s donuts, Halloween candy from the Bush administration -- for shit’s sake, I've eaten fruit at work. Now that’s rock bottom.

It's all because I’m a packer.

Yes, as it was in elementary school, so it is now: there are two types of people in this world -- buyers and packers. Buyers tend to have money, while packers generally don't, and I'm a packer from way back-er.

My husband, on the other hand, under the impression that we are the Rockefellers, dines out every day. He is a buyer, and for this, I give him endless grief.

“Well, well, well,” I say, perusing the day’s receipts. “I see you ate lunch out again today.”

He glares at me over his glasses. “I did. What about it?”

“Still. Wendy’s again -- and you bought a large pop,” I say. “What are we, the Kardashians?”

He rolls his eyes. “I had a burger and small fries. That’s not exactly fancy.”

I beg to differ, dear. I beg to differ.

And with the $8.99 he spends at restaurants several days a week, I could purchase any number of depressing food items. Crackers, cans of soup, clumps of grass -- you name it.

Sometimes I wish I could bring myself to buy my meals each day. But it’s been 40 years, and I am too far gone. Inside, I’m still a poor kid from greater Youngstown, and the proverbial steel mill could close at any time as I sit with my soggy peanut butter sandwich in last year’s Scooby Doo lunch box, while the rich kids stroll by with trays full of hot pizza and those amazing chocolate peanut butter bars.

Bastard buyers.

I guess I just can't see spending a mortgage payment on lunch each month when there’s perfectly good leftover green Jello in the fridge from my colonoscopy three weeks ago. I mean, yum.

Once a poor packer kid, always a poor packer kid.

Still, I think fondly of the husband’s delicious Wendy’s burger and fries now as I dine on said Jello, yogurt, and an apple, all of which taste like poverty. Misery. 


In fact, pass that packet, Tim.

I am starving. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Who Gives a Sh*t? It's Friday

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

Alarm goes off at 6 a.m.,
You get up - 6:30,
Do you worry? No, you don't,
Who gives a shit? It's Friday.

Coffee, bathroom, brush your teeth,
Shower? If you have to,
More effort than it's probably worth,
And there will be no hairdo.

Grab some Dockers, put them back,
Pull on jeans instead,
They're lucky that you're wearing pants,
That you got out of bed.

Start the car up, back it out,
Drive on down the driveway,
Not much traffic on the road,
When you work on Friday.

You feel all alone out there,
Without jerks beside you,
Wish they were there. Wish you were home,
Or better yet - Oahu.

Slouch into your cubicle,
Look at all your email,
Depressing, so you close it out,
Proceed to paint your toenails.

Eleven a.m. is time for lunch,
Why? Because you said so,
When you work on Fridays,
That is just the way the day goes.

Slip back in at 1 p.m.,
Slide into your desk chair,
Sign onto email and IM,
As if you never left there.

Supervisor's making rounds,
Pretend to be real busy,
By shuffling papers at your desk,
And opening Word docs quickly.

Actively doing nothing,
Is an underrated skill set,
It helps to look annoyed and stressed,
While secretly surfing the internet.

The afternoon drags on and on,
Thank God for your smartphone,
Facebook, Twitter, Bejeweled Blitz,
Till you can finally go home.

Quitting time is 5 p.m.,
You leave your desk - 4:30,
Everyone's gone, even the boss,
They don't give a shit. It's Friday.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Get a Colonoscopy in 14 Anxiety-Ridden Steps

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

It happens to almost everyone eventually. You're going along living your life, dreaming your dreams and merrily walking around without ever having a tube inserted in your personal regions, when all of a sudden . . .


It's time for your first colonoscopy.

Yes, despite your best efforts to avoid such a situation, chances are you will one day find your brown eye staring down the business end of a colonoscope -- a long flexible tube with a small camera -- either due to your age or the fact that you're having GI problems. Here at the Center for Too Much Information (CTMI), we've put together a handy guide for women in the latter situation, as we, um, have a woman "friend" who had this experience. Read on:

  • Suffer painful symptoms for several weeks. Dread telling any doctors about it, because you think it will lead to medical staff poking around in your coal hole, although you will soon find out you're wrong about this. Be sure to begin worrying incessantly and imagining the worst.
  • Google your symptoms on WebMD, otherwise known as www.It' Obtain lots of information, all of which basically boils down to "Could be nothing. Could be cancer." Proceed to have nervous breakdown.
  • A month later at your annual OB/GYN appointment, discuss problems with physician. Although he used to briefly examine your rear prison purse in addition to your front lady garden, he tells you insurance companies no longer allow him to open the back door until after age 50. "It's probably nothing. You'll be fine," he says, recommending fiber and water (which you already consume) and sending you on your way.
  • Two months later, head to family doctor and tell her about ongoing problems. "It's probably nothing. You'll be fine," she says, also prescribing water and fiber (which again, you already consume). She doesn't examine area either. You're finding out that oddly, no one wants to look inside your butt, even when you're paying them.
  • Symptoms continue for several more months, so you make an appointment with a specialist, who is concerned enough to prescribe a colonoscopy. You are relieved that someone will finally be looking at your balloon knot. You are horrified that someone will finally be looking at your balloon knot. And snaking a hose all the way up your Hershey Highway.
  • As colonoscopy approaches, begin dreaming of snakes -- in doctor's offices, in toilets, in your underpants. For good measure, make repeated visits to WebMD/It' and continue to scare yourself silly. Chant It's probably nothing. You'll be fine until you fall asleep.
  • On day before procedure, limit diet to such satisfying items as water, tea and lemonade. Obtain can of chicken broth. This is your lunch. Later that afternoon, open giant prescription bottle of MoviPrep, a.k.a. Colon Blow. This is your dinner.
  • Gather fully charged iPad, ten-pack of toilet paper and a change of underwear. Sprint to bathroom and strap yourself to toilet, for it will be your new home. Over the next eight hours, you will excrete digested food from as far back as the Carter administration exiting your rear at speeds approaching the sound barrier. At times you think you will be done with your terrifying mission. But lo -- you will be wrong.
  • Around midnight, attempt to sleep. Note the word "attempt" here, because thanks to the fact that you can't eat, drink, or take any of your usual fun array of sleeping pills, you will be wide awake, starving and riddled with worry. Your partner's snoring keeps you up, so you head to the couch, where your growling stomach keeps you up. Seriously contemplate eating throw pillows.
  • Arrive at hospital the next morning and check in. Thanks to anxiety and eight hours of tossing and turning, you're half asleep, yet still conscious enough to be scared, well, shit-less. (See what we did there?)
  • Allow medical staff to prep you for procedure, and smile weakly at their attempts to cheer you up with poo-related humor. You're desperately trying to forget the fact that they'll soon be doing things to you that are almost illegal in several states, so you ask for anesthesia. The nurse obliges, but you feel nothing at first and tell her, "I don't think you gave me enough. I'm-really-nervous-so-you'll-probably-need-to-inject-more-'cause-I-don't-feel-a-thing-and . . . Zzzzz."
  • Wake up groggy and half-naked with faces all around you, as if you've slept through your first orgy. The doctor says everything looks fine, and you're suddenly very happy because of the great news, not to mention the awesome anesthesia. Despite your liaison with the pooper python, you feel no pain in your ass. In fact, you feel no pain at all.
  • Head into recovery area. A nurse checks your vitals and says that you have to pass a large amount of gas before she can let you go. You cheerfully oblige her request in front of God and everybody, because you know this is the quickest route to food. Also you are still high as a kite.
  • Giggle as spouse helps you dress and ties your shoes. As you haven't eaten since dinnertime two days ago, demand that he takes you to Taco Bell at once! and post-haste! He reminds you that you've recently drank 64 ounces of MoviPrep/Colon Blow. Hmm. Taco Bell . . . Colon Blow. Even in your purple haze, you realize this is not a wise combination, so he takes you to Bob Evans, where you consume everything on the breakfast menu. And the contents of the butter dish. With a spoon.

Well, there you have it, folks, a handy guide for your first trip down the old dirt road. You can see that a colonoscopy is a pain-free way to lose a  little weight and freak way the hell out about nothing, as well as a chance to get naked, sleep and fart.

In front of total strangers.

We at the Center for Too Much Information do not advise doing what our, um, "friend" did. Between the start of the problem and and the symptoms being waved off by two doctors, it was eight months before "she" found a specialist who took her concerns seriously. Remember, some insurance companies don't even require referrals for specialists -- hers did not. And as another dear friend once said, if something isn't right, get checked. It's probably nothing. You'll be fine.

Butt (see what we did there?) . . .

. . . it's better to know for sure.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ode to a Traffic Jam

(copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

I want to go home,
I'm feeling quite tragic,
Because just like always,
I am stuck in traffic.

Ten thousand people,
On the road tonight,
In front and behind me,
All ready to fight.

Guy up ahead goes,
Fifty-five in a 70,
Ticking everyone off -
Ain't nobody happy.

Texty McSwervy,
On my driver’s side,
Won't look up from his phone,
Almost hits me broadside.

The asshole behind me,
Rides right on my tail,
Causing me to think thoughts,
That would land me in jail.

Brake lights up ahead,
We slow to a stop,
Could be an accident,
I watch out for cops.

A backup this bad,
You think, “Wreck!” Or “Fire!”
But it usually turns out
To be just a flat tire.

A turtle strolls past me,
On the berm at my right,
I'm jealous ‘cause he is,
Almost home for the night.

The hub sends a text,
Asking where I am,
What can I say?
I'll get there when I can.

I'd rather be with him,
Sipping a beer,
But I'll be on I-70,
For the next 50 years.

Yeah my beer's probably warm,
And my dinner, it's cold,
While I sit in a Honda,
Getting nowhere - but old.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Long Live Mediocrity. And Turtles

(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)

I've recently become a decent person. I'm not quite sure how this happened.

I didn't mean to. My plan was to remain a mediocre person, filling my spare time with such strenuous activities as eating, sleeping and online shopping. I know this sounds lazy and self-involved. I'm OK with that.

But somehow, I've become the type of woman who occasionally volunteers at church, pitches in at school events, and makes meals for older folks. I've become the type of woman who sometimes helps people.

Please understand. I'm not bragging here. I've always stood back -- way back -- staring in wonderment at room mothers, shelter volunteers, soup kitchen workers and such who spend their free time caring for others. I want to tell these people, "Go home! Sit down! Open up a nice box of wine!"

But they're too busy being wonderful to listen.

I have no idea why I've been helping people lately. Aside from my family and friends, I don't even like people.

I blame the interstate and Donald Trump for that.

Animals are another story. Over the years, I've given countless dogs, cats, frogs, baby birds, etc., the benefit of my fumbling assistance, whether they wanted it or not. I have saved so many turtles by carrying them across the road that my husband calls me the Patron Saint of Turtles.

Now, If you're not very concerned about dogs, cats, frogs, baby birds, turtles on the road, etc., know this: you're not alone. And don't worry. I'm concerned enough for all of us.

I guess my new-found benevolence toward humans could be due to impending geezer-hood. It seems to me that as certain women age and move toward retirement, they spend more and more time volunteering. I'm retiring in 52 months and 11 days -- not that I'm keeping track. I have very big napping plans for the year 2020. I need to stop giving a shit real soon.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have with volunteering is exhaustion. Philanthropy -- and getting off the couch in general -- makes me tired, and constantly interferes with my dream of sitting around and sleeping. Also, it seems like helping others just leads to more helping of others. If I'm not careful, I'm going to end up as the ancient volunteer lady in the front lobby of every hospital who nods off and can't work the desk phone. That is not who I want to be.

I want to be the ancient lady who nods off in a hammock and can't work her own phone.

And when I retire on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 (at 5:30 p.m. -- not that I'm keeping track) I plan to go home, sit down, open up a nice box of wine, and only get up to carry the occasional turtle across the road.

It's good to have goals.