Category Archives: Work

Pollyanna tries to stay calm, people

And by “tries to stay calm” I mean, “restrains herself from throwing herself bodily on people and pummeling them until the cops arrive.”

Lyda here.

Humans get on my nerves.

  • What they do: Allowing their personal cell phone to ring on and on and on… while having extremely loud annoying music, sounds, or whistling as the ring tone.
  • What I hear: “I want everyone to think I’m popular. But I’m really so. very. lonely.”
  • Having very long and very loud personal phone conversations.
  • “Discretion? Isn’t that somewhere in Lithuania?”

Discretion is not in Lithuania. Everyone knows it’s in Santa Cruz. But I digress…

  • Caller: “Can I speak to George?” (call is transferred to George)
  • Less than one minute later: “Can I speak to George?” (call is transferred to George again)
  • Another minute later: “Can I speak to George?”
  • I am uncomfortable with new-fangled technology like voice messages and tetanus shots. Perhaps I can have my manservant bring George an illuminated manuscript.”
  • Voice message: “Hey, this is Jeff. Call me back.”
  • Dude, I am so stoned I don’t even realize I’m calling an office. Righteous!
  • “Hi, I’m returning a call. I don’t know who called me.”
  • “I’m bored. Let’s play Twenty Questions.”
  • “Hi, I got a missed call from this number?”
  • My life is so empty…

My response to all this? HULK SMASH. But only in my mind.

And one thing that usually rolls right off my back but right now is “pound these people into the dirt for me, Hulk”-able:

  • Misspelling my name in an email reply. It’s a small company. I have worked here almost five years. Plus, you are replying to an email I sent you that has my name at the bottom.
  • Reading. It’s a job skill I do not have.

And yes, by new Pollyanna decree, any phrase can be turned into an adjective by adding “-able” to it. As in:

Today I feel all “set the Zombie Army on them”-able.

Also, the spell check refuses to believe that “new-fangled” is a word. I’ll have to send an illuminated manuscript to that company.

I’ll have the zombies deliver it now. (That link is for Zombieland. See Zombieland. They aren’t paying me to say that or anything.)

Obviously these people in the movie don’t know that the zombies are just trying to deliver the manuscript. Stop shooting my zombies, people!

Maybe they need some caffeine. I’ll have the zombies bring some coffee mugs too.

There I go, digressing again…


Pollyanna and the Game of Thrones, office version

Lyda here. I was going to call this post “Pollyanna gets PWNED“.

This post contains no spoilers, in case you haven’t read the books or watched the series yet. Which you totally should do.

Have you read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin? My Brother the Professor calls him “Railroad”. It’s the first book of the Song of Fire and Ice series, and it’s awesome. My son The Sith Master loaned me the books, and I devoured them and can’t wait for the next one to come out. Write faster, please, Mr. Martin!

Have you seen the HBO series “Game of Thrones” which is based on the books? A coworker loaned me his DVDs of seasons 1 and 2. The series is awesome, and faithful to the books. As it should be, as the author is involved.

So – this co-worker and I decided we should play Game of Thrones in the office. Without the “cutting off body parts” component of the originals. Silly HR rules.

We named it “Game of Flags.” It’s basically Capture the Flag. We divided the office into four teams.  You have to get the other team’s flag to your workspace, take a picture of a teammate with it, and email it to the office.

The competition is getting brutal.

Friday I was guarding my team’s flag.

It was stolen twice.


I only had to guard the thing for two hours. How hard could that be? Very hard, apparently.

So I learned some things about myself.

  • I am a very bad loser. When I discovered the first theft, I acted like a toddler whose been awake for a month, ate all the Frosted Flakes in the store, and lost her toy. I was just lucky that there weren’t any managers around to witness my meltdown, and that my coworkers accepted my profuse apologies for behaving like an ass. I was calmer for the second theft, at least on the outside, although inside I was cursing.
  • I am still capable of embarrassing myself so much that I want to run away and never come back. (See previous.) One might think that one would outgrow such things. One would be wrong.
  • I hate competing. I didn’t like it as a child, and it still sucks. Possibly because I’m such a bad loser. Possibly because I always seem to lose. I never liked sports, spelling bees, or anything else that pitted me against the other kids. Instead, I was always rooting for my friends to do well. I hated it when the teacher called on someone who didn’t know the answer. I didn’t like being graded on a curve. Not because it wasn’t fair, but because I was the one who aced the test and ruined the curve for everyone else. Yes. That was me. Sorry.
  • I am far too trusting to be let out on the streets. I never suspected my coworkers of trickery. I probably need a keeper. Hopefully my keeper would have an awesome sense of direction, which would also solve my getting-lost problem.
  • I’m a terrible guard. Don’t hire me for that. You’ll only have yourself to blame when the crown jewels go missing.

Pollyanna versus the Money Monster

Lyda here.

Oh, that old Money Monster keeps growling at my door. I’ve been working on taming it for more than three years. It still growls at me, but the actual bites have gotten less.

Things were bad. Really bad. “Life completely fallen apart and losing everything” bad. I felt the Monster crushing me in his slavering jaws, and I surrendered all hope.

Fortunately, I have amazing friends and family. They didn’t let me spend the rest of my days curled up under a park bench.  They helped me, pulled me, pushed me, to deal with the immediate stuff. They were there for me every time I started to give in to the despair.

Once the immediate crisis was resolved, I still had to deal with the fallout. I just felt overwhelmed. I had to take one day at a time, slowly rebuilding my life from the ashes.

This book, Money Drunk, Money Sober, by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan, helped so much. I have been working my way through it over and over again. Every time I get flustered or frustrated, I just return to the book. I cannot recommend it enough. It should be required for everyone.

Even figuring out where to start rebuilding my financial life was scary. This article helped me. My favorite part is The Prioritizer. This works for anything, not just financial goals but life goals. It can help you prioritize organizing, what movie to see first, or anything else.

There are tips of all kinds at CNN Money: Money 101.

Making manageable realistic goals helped a lot. Baby steps. I’ve been paying off debt for three years. It continues to be a priority. Now that I have the debt-repayment in hand, I can focus on some other steps.

Like improving my credit score.

This week I went on Credit Karma and checked my credit score. You can do it on their website for free. You can also see and print out your three credit reports.

I can see that I’ve got some old stuff on my reports that should have been cleared, so my next step is to work on getting these items removed.

One step at a time.

I’ve made a lot of progress, but it feels like there’s still a long hard slog to get where I want to be.

But I know I can get there if I just keep moving. Slowly is okay. Pausing for a while is okay. Even moving back a bit once in a while is okay. Crawling under a park bench and staying forever is not an option.

One of these days, I will look that Money Monster in the eye and realize that it isn’t really a monster. It’s just a beast, and a beast can be tamed. A beast can become an ally. The Money Beast and I can work together.

One of these days…


Pollyanna and the Random Weirdness of Work – now with 50% more sex!

Lyda here.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Wednesday Random Weirdness post. So here goes:

The Random Weirdness of Work – now with 50% more SEX!

1.) Jobs that we’re glad are extinct (at least, we hope they are extinct).

“But, Dad, I don’t want to be a gong farmer.”

2.) Jobs that robots are going to take from us

A “gigantic vending machine for controlled substances” sounds like that guy you knew in college, y’all know the one I mean. Robot soldiers may still be a dream, but robots in combat have been a reality since WWII. But – I know it’s radical but hear me out – wouldn’t it be better to try to create robots who help us create peace?

Yeah, that’s just the crazy talkin’.

Be sure to read the bit about sexbots. That’s what he said!

3.) Jobs that are really weird

“Dad, I told you, I want to be a pig inseminator!”

Want to know about some weird jobs?

Some weird research? Some weird scientists?

How about some weird stuff about sex?

I thought y’all would go for that one.

Read this book. Wicked funny, and truly fascinating book on the strange bedfellows that science and sex have been over the years.

And you’ll learn some stuff about sex.

Pollyanna promises.

When Pollyannas Collide…

From the dusty archives of our Drafts folder:

This is what happens when the Pollyannas met up on Facebook late one night… The colors let you know which Pollyanna is which. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not us. Our families, silly.

Anna-Liza:     Hey there – are you really on right now? Or is it just a Facebook illusion?

Lyda:              Yes, I’m on.

I went and started a cooking project and now I have to stay up ’til I’m done.

How much longer are you going to be up?

Hoping less than half an hour. I have something simmering – have to check it once in a while. Then I can pour it in a jar and let it cool and go to bed.

Not too much longer, then.  Hey, I graduated.

I saw! Congratulations!

It’s kind of weird. It felt like this huge thing before it happened, and hardly anyone has even acknowledged it. I thought the people at work would all sign a card or something.

Wow. Nothing?  Although it’s not totally surprising, I guess.


Then again, there’s that whole karma around getting validation from outside.  Bleh. 

People keep asking me “What are you going to do now?” and the truth is I have no idea. I’d like to do something completely different, but I’m not sure what.

I’m hoping that, now that the kids are in school again, life will be less crazy and I can indulge myself with a call to you once in awhile again.

And, in re: “boring job,” you *must* read “Radical Homemakers.”

That would be awesome! I miss our long talks. I saw your note [on Facebook] about “Radical Homemakers.” Sounds interesting.

It’s a quick, but sort of intense, read. I think it will weirdly fit in with your studies.

My son the Sith Master thinks I should be a teacher and teach English so kids will learn to love books and reading and writing, instead of learning to hate it.  I don’t know though.

I have to do some posts on the blog…

God, I am not even sure when the last time I posted was. Blogging is another thing I want to get back into.

And I’ve started making these cute little stitch markers that my knitting group is “test driving” for me. If they work well, I’m thinking of selling them on Etsy.

Me too. I need to post about graduating, for one, and check off a big thing off my Bucket list. I did do this.

To jump around a little, one of the big reasons we like living in our own house is that we can garden a lot more extensively. We want to do an “urban homestead” kind of thing with a lot of edible landscaping.

Stitch markers – cool! I haven’t knitted in so long. It’s finally cool today, so I can think about dusting the needles off. I’m thinking I’ll just make a scarf with yarn I have, and then give it away to someone…

Maybe even backyard chickens eventually.  A scarf’s a good way to get back into knitting.

“Urban homestead” – I like it. Edible landscaping is a terrific idea.

You know those books about women’s knitting or quilting groups? I swear our knitting group could inspire one of those.

There you go, something else to do in your copious free time. And hey, while we’re at it, we really should write a book together too.

We’re growing pole beans on our front porch railing, and we’ve been getting really tasty green beans.

[about writing the book together] Yep.

Something with lots of sex in it. I’m not having any right now, so at least I can live vicariously by writing about it.


I can’t write well about sex – it always comes out too serious.

Or just stupid.

“Mmmmmmmm .. Mmmm … Mmmmmmm … ” Didn’t we make fun of some book like that way back when?

I know – comes out serious, stupid, or insipid when I write about it. Maybe together we can keep it fun and funny.

 “RRRRRRrrrrrrr …. VVVVVVVVVv”

Sorry. Got carried away there.

You are cracking me up!  “And she arched her back and screamed like a lioness…”

Do lionesses scream, exactly?

I’ve always wondered…

The scream thing annoys me. How many women actually scream when they orgasm?

Probably not so many.

Well, mountain lions scream, or so they say. I haven’t heard if they scream during sex, though. On the nature shows, the lioness always just looks bored during sex.

Yeah, she does. Lions seem a lot like this one guy I dated…

[On “How many women really scream during sex?”]  Good question. Probably less than men pretend they do. But is that because the women are worried about someone hearing, or are they thinking, “I’d scream, but it would be stupid”?

Or it’s just not a natural response.

Moaning, gasping … “Mmmm”ing … seem more real.

OMG, I think we should do a whole chapter of the book comparing old lovers to animals from the nature channel.


Names or aliases? I think names could cause problems…

Yeah, moaning, gasping is more real. I think Playboy started the screaming rumor, and some women just play along. Probably most women don’t even talk except to say “yes yes more more” but really, what else do you need to say?

Definitely aliases. We might want to visit Texas again someday.

[On what else women need to say during sex]  “Stop that”

“Get off me”

“I told you not to do that”

Hopefully followed by “do this instead,” or “let me be on top now.”

Yeah, but I wonder if men hear it after “stop that”. It would be a turn-off to hear her say “I hate when you do that”… or maybe not, what the hell do I know?

I think we have a blog post here.

I don’t think I’d say that during the act…

Well, “stop” if something hurt or was really unpleasant.

At least one! Hey, let’s just turn it into a knitting / quilting / urbanhomemaking / sex blog.

Isn’t it that already? Well, maybe the urban home thingy not as much.

I keep having this image of two very proper people explicitly discussing sexual acts over the tea and crumpets. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

Which is actually not a bad idea…  I mean, if you really need to give detailed feedback or suggest something complex, maybe it’s better to discuss away from bed.

The Radical Homemaker thing is about disengaging as much as possible from what the author calls the “extractive economy” and engaging in the creating of a “life-serving economy.” Backing off from consuming…

Yeah, I guess the urban home not so much, especially since I stopped writing about cleaning too.

And yes, discussing away from bed is probably best.

Wait; let’s go back to talking about sex.

Nothing like a serious discussion to kill the mood.

We should just copy and paste this chat to the blog.

True. Et voila!

And when discussing one’s partner’s technique, they might feel safer if they have their clothes on. Of course, the dinner table might not be the place either… not if there are knives on the table. Better to serve pasta…

Or gazpacho.

Yeah, hot soup would be a bad idea….

This one time, the bed collapsed. I thought that was pretty frickin’ hilarious. How can you not laugh when the damn bed collapses? The man in question, however, did not think it was funny. An important clue that this was not the guy for me.

So another chapter in the book = funny, embarrassing, weird moments in sex.

Hey, are you done cooking yet? And by that, I mean on the stove…

How could we not? I remember the bed collapsing story – still can’t believe he didn’t think it was funny. That happened in a production of Fiddler on the Roof I did makeup for – Tevye’s dream sequence. He ran and jumped into the bed, and it collapsed.

Yes, the jars are cooling now.

Oh wow. I bet everyone working the show still tells that story.

Cool. We can work on the post tomorrow. Or I should say “I can work on it tomorrow.” Since I’m not the one with two active kids at home…

Probably. “Tevye” is now a voice actor in CA. Works for Disney, done some good stuff.

And I’m babysitting AND Very Superior Husband is doing a weekend retreat up at the cabin.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into one of our theatrical classmates out here but hasn’t happened.

Speaking of sex… you could go jump in bed with your gorgeous husband now. But… don’t jump too hard.

And no I can’t – he’s at the cabin.

You see how I did that with the bed-collapsing reference? I’m so good.

Which is probably why I’m up late cooking.

[finally getting a clue] Oh. Well. He’s at the cabin and you aren’t?

[about the “I’m so good” thing] Yes! You are!

And he’s doing a retreat.

So you are herding the kidlets alone this weekend? Wish we could do it together. Damn I miss living in the same city as you. Stupid pointy mountains!

Pollyanna is upset – Zombie Army mobilizes

Lyda here.

Pollyanna has been annoyed before. She has even foamed at the mouth on occasion.

This time, Pollyanna is going completely berzerk.

I am judging one of my coworkers as being rude to one of my other coworkers. Coworker the first is a newbie and (another judgement) only interested in relationships that serve her own ends. Coworker the second is lovely and a good friend. And I’m fiercely protective of my friends.

Lovely Coworker went past my desk and seemed to be having a bad day. I didn’t pry, but I did talk to her a bit and let her know I noticed and I care and she is special to me. She came back later and gave me a hug for making her day a bit brighter.

Newbie happened to be passing. She ignored Lovely and talked to me as if Lovely wasn’t there. And then continued to be rude – my judgement – when Lovely made a joke about the ignoring. Then Newbie waltzed off, leaving Lovely and me stunned and staring at each other in amazement.

My Inner Kid says:  She’s not nice and she hurt my friend. I don’t want to play with her anymore.

My Inner Cynic says:  Now I know Newbie is only being nice to me because she needs my help at work.

The loving part of me says to Newbie:  Please really see my lovely and cherished friend. Please treat her well.

But right now, it is hard to hear them over my Inner Demon Warrior, who says: 

Newbie, you are on the list.

The Zombie Army is coming for you.

Pollyanna Caught in a Whirlwind

It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong… It is used. And one of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary and turn the unusual into the usual.
Because if this was not the case, then human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing big stupid grins, similar to those worn by certain remote tribesmen who occasionally get raided by the authorities and have the contents of their plastic greenhouses very seriously inspected.
  –    Terry Pratchett, “Small Gods”

Lyda here.

I got a spam message in my email with this title: “sked his tall aunt, the Ostrich,”.

I don’t think I know anyone whose aunt is an ostrich.

But that would be an interesting family tree.

Or savannah, as the case may be.

But I digress.

I’m crazy busy with school and homework and school projects (did I mention the projects? HUGE projects, lots of time required) and project team meetings, and work (did I mention my boss is on leave and I’m now half her and half me and wholly crazy?) which is why I haven’t posted lately and I hope you all will forgive me but I have to go now and prepare for two workshops I am facilitating on Monday for work, and also find time to eat and possibly shower.

How are y’all?