Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Secretary Files: A Treasure Trove

A lady in my office recently retired. She'd been working with this establishment for a good 30 years. She is smart, capable and shrewd. She has amazing, age-defying skin. And she has a beehive hairstyle. I'm not making this up. You know how sometimes people are really averse to change and they keep the same hairstyle for decades? Maybe it's the hairstyle they wore when they were happiest or felt the prettiest or maybe they're just scared to try something new. You see this phenomenon often with '80s hair, but '60s? Not quite as common. In any case, she has a full blown beehive and she's had it for most, if not all of her adult life.

Apparently her tightly woven connection to the past goes beyond her hair. As she was cleaning out her office, which she occupied for more years than I know, she would bring out boxes of office supplies that she'd uncovered from the deepest, darkest corners of her desk drawers. I was to go through the boxes and decide what to keep and what to toss. I didn't realize that I'd be delving into a smorgasbord of historical office supply artifacts.

A date stamp. Let's take a closer look shall we?

Notice the earliest year on that second to top line there. It says "1979" in case you couldn't see it. What the?! That date stamp is 6 years older than me! It was in first grade learning to read when I was born! Weird!

Paper clips. Oh wait! I'm sorry. Gem clips. Whatever, dude.

These are General's Kwik-Rite (that's a play on "quick write" if I'm not mistaken) fine tip markers. The felt tips have long since dried up and turned to dust, but I gather from the bullet points that they were once exceptional pens. Mae thae wrest inn piece.

This is my personal favorite. Solid head thumb tacks. Check out that catch phrase! "A good head for safety"! That's good advertising for you. Clever, compelling and concerned. That little white oval on the side says "Money Back Guaranteed If Not Satisfied". That really shows how confident they are in their product. I know how hellaciously picky people can be about their thumb tacks. Hold on. Let's zoom in on the top left. This is the best part.

I can't say exactly how old this box is by looking at this picture, but I'm going to go with really old. Like the '50s old. How does a box of thumb tacks survive this long? I think the quality of the product combined with the adorableness of this fabulously curvy, big-hatted, tight-jumpered girl-under-a-thumb-tack clip art saved it from being thrown away for generations. It has survived through moves and personnel changes and who knows what else! I plan to keep it in my desk drawer until the next person comes along, and hopefully they'll see its merits as well. Long live the thumb tack girl!

Finally, I give you this awesome gigantic paper clip! Oh wait! I'm sorry. Gem clip. I have no idea how old it is. Probably not old at all. It's just big and cool! It's depicted here with a pen to show scale. You could clip a book with this thing!

It was hard to see a person I had worked with and grown rather fond of leave. But finding these treasures made it a little sweeter.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm a Criminal

A couple weeks back I got pulled over on the freeway for my window tint. Apparently it's illegal in the great state of Utah. Who knew? I was issued the dreaded fix-it ticket! This was officially the first time I'd ever found myself on the wrong side of the law. I didn't like it. It wasn't thrilling. I didn't feel adventurous or bad to the bone. I felt annoyed.

I bought my car about a year ago from a used car dealership. It just came with the tint on it already. No one ever said a word to me that it might be against the rules. One time I locked my keys in my car (which I do far more often than I'd like to admit) and a guy at my office called one of his police officer buddies to come down and help me out. He unlocked my car for me without saying a word about the tint situation. Even just a friendly little hint would have been nice. I could have taken care of the problem
before I became a menace to society.

Did you know that peeling off window tint is the worst thing in the world? The adhesive radiates toxic death fumes that give you instant headache and nausea. By the time I had scraped away the last of it with rubbing alcohol and a razor blade I'm pretty sure blood was issuing from my ears and nose. And eyeballs. I'M NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING! Plus it made my car smell like sweaty armpit for days!

Finally this morning, after chasing down the last highway patrolman in the UHP parking lot to sign off on my ticket and going through security at the Orem Justice Court, my violation has been dismissed and I find myself on the right side of the law once more. It's good to be back!

Only until January 19th though. That's when my driver's license expires.

I should probably get on that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inexplicable Movie Crush

Wind in His Hair

Is it his intense jaw line and no-nonsense demeanor?

His beautiful bronze skin and flowing black hair?

His deeply emotional and powerful monologue at the end of
Dances with Wolves that makes me cry every time?

"Dances with Wolves! I am Wind in His Hair! Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"

I can't say for sure. All I know is I like him. I like him a lot.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Universe: Altered

Have you ever believed something so deeply and surely that you never even questioned that it could possibly be wrong? It never even occurred to you to doubt what you knew to be true? And then when you found out you were abysmally mistaken, your whole world turned into a blur and spun around you until it came to a dramatic stop and zoomed in on your ridiculous shameful face?

Am I going too fast? Is this making any sense? Let me explain.

The above scenario has happened to me 3 notable times in my life.

The first time was when I was probably a young teen. For years I had been ushered around in a van with my momma listening to the sweet, soft rock sounds of Air Supply. Oh, how I loved their breathtaking, romantic ballads! They were so passionate and sweeping! They must have been so in love! Like Sonny and Cher, Captain and Tenille, Beauty and the Beast. These people knew how to be in love. "All Out of Love", "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", "Even the Nights Are Better". His straightforward, masculine crooning the perfect foil for her bombastic alto voice. I asked my mom, "So, are they married?" Then it happened. She answered, "Lace, they're both men." We did not at that point get into any discussion about other potential explanations for two men singing love songs together. All I knew was that the tall, lean woman with brunette feathered hair I had pictured for all those years was a short dude with a blonde afro. Then came the spinning and the jaw-dropping and the embarrassment.

The second was much more recent and life-altering. Oddly enough it has to do with another music duo, the legendary Simon and Garfunkel. I was raised on them. The album cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is burned into my psyche. For some reason- I have no idea why- I had it in my head that Paul Simon was the tall curly one and Art Garfunkel was the short, dark one. I lived with this grossly erroneous belief for my entire life. I think I just thought that "Garfunkel" was a short person name. Doesn't his voice sound like a short voice? I don't know. But that's what I wholly believed, and I was never challenged because they were seen as a unit. They were just Simon and Garfunkel, not individuals. Well, maybe 5 or 6 years ago I was in the mood to listen to "You Can Call Me Al" from Paul's solo days. I knew my dad had a hits collection of his somewhere, so I commenced digging. Then I saw it.

Thick black eyebrows. No blonde curls poofing out from under the fedora. "Paul Simon" written in bold along the side. And just like that my vision started to blur. My pulse quickened. The room around me was spinning. I felt like I'd been hit in the stomach. My world was turned on its head. I truly had a pit in my stomach for days after. Something I'd had no doubt about for at least a decade was pure falsehood.

But that could never happen with something as consistent and commonplace as a holiday song, right? All those carols are so ingrained from childhood, one couldn't possibly misunderstand so tragically. There I was. Just over a week ago. It was Christmas Eve. My sister and I were seated at the piano singing Christmas songs. We're cool and hardcore like that. She flipped the page of the songbook in front of us. "Sleigh Ride"! That's a fun one! She played and I sang along glancing down at the words occasionally even though I obviously knew all the words by heart. "Come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you! Let's take that..." My eyes found our place on the page. I read the words there. "Let's take that road before us..." I stopped. That was not what I was about to sing!

"Oh my gosh!" I shouted at my sister and she stopped playing. "Are those the words?!?" She read them, then looked at me baffled and confused. "Uh, yes..." she answered. "Oh my gosh!!!" I shouted again with a guffaw of astonishment. I dropped my face in my hands and shook my head. "What?!" she asked. "What did you THINK it said?"

I couldn't believe it! How could I have been wrong about this? Have I not heard this song 100 times every winter since my birth?!? Have I not sung along to it since I could talk?!? Why?!?

"I thought it said 'Let's take that ropey forest'!" I laugh-cried into my hands. She burst into laughter. I tried to explain what I pictured in my head to make those lyrics make sense. There's a snowy path that winds and loops like a rope all around in a forest. I know it's stretch, but I thought that's what the words were, so I made it fit. Oh the humiliation! I have a feeling I will struggle for the rest of my life to get the words right, or at least to not articulate the "t" of "forest" so as to avoid the mockery of family and loved ones.

There you go. Aren't you glad to see that my earth-shattering experiences are pretty much limited to soft rock and holiday tunes and not politics and religion and life decisions? Just keeping it simple. It's what I do best!