Kohler Trumps Santa – A Young Boy’s Christmas Wish Comes True

Meet Dustin Kruse – a little boy who loves toilets! His mom sent a letter to Kohler explaining his passion and they invited him and his parents to tour their design center. The video above shows him happily moving from toilet to toilet, flushing to his hearts content and loving every single minute of it.
Dustin doesn’t have any reasonable explanation about why he’s fascinated with toilets, he just loves them. I can relate. I don’t know exactly what it is about toilets that I find them so interesting, but I just do. No explanation necessary. I also appreciated that his mom didn’t talk about Dustin being strange or weird. She genuinely seemed amused that toilets make him so happy.
I wonder what he’ll think about this video when he grows up and looks back on his childhood obsession?
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Scents and Insensibility

I told a random guy at work today that he smelled good.  Of course, I apologized beforehand telling him that I was about to say something that most would deem ‘inappropriate’ in a work environment, but I said it anyways.
The nice thing is he smiled and thanked me.  Then he told me that one time it wasn’t the first time someone had randomly complimented him.  One time he was on a beach and a woman walked up to him to tell him he had ‘nice toes’.    Now THAT was way more inappropriate, don’t you think?
I have heard of guys having a foot fetish, but never from the opposite sex.  Who knows? Maybe she just liked his feet.  Regardless, I achieved my daily goal of talking to one complete stranger today at work and this is the thanks I get for trying to expand my conversational horizons. 
Maybe next time I keep should keep my nose out of a stranger’s business!

High Up On The Mountain Top

When I first started at my current job, I didn’t really give much consideration to the limited parking and consequences of the high altitude of where I would be working five days a week. (For those of you who don’t know, my corporate office is located on a big old man-made mountain in Framingham, MA.)  I didn’t bat an eyelash when I was told by Human Resources that I would have to use the company shuttle bus three months out of the year – February, June & October – due to limited parking on The Mountain.  No biggie.  However, after working in this building for the past four years I’ve come to the conclusion that they should have warned me about the weather on The Mountain instead of the parking.
Let me explain.
I’m a creature of habit. I park on the right side of our building in nearly the same parking space every day.  This means that at the beginning or end of my day , I leave the office and could potentially face exaggerated weather conditions due to the elevation on The Mountain. It might take the form of walking against whipping wind or severe sheets of rain.  Occasionally there’s a thunderstorm.  I’m a sturdy girl and unfortunately carry lots of extra bulk on my 5’2 frame.  But that wind has nearly knocked me off balance on more than one occasion. I am also not one of those people who is content to stand in the lobby hoping for a break in the weather. I’m decisive and often find myself pushing past the smart people waiting comfortably inside the building. I take my life into my own hands by pressing on towards the right side of the building in a mad purposeful dash to my car.  (So far I haven’t been struck by lightning.  I urge you to keep your fingers crossed for me to continue my safety streak with Mother Nature.  Thank you very much.)
But yesterday I had a little epiphany while walking our Beagle Minnie in the neighborhood and freezing my ass off.  I finally came to the conclusion that it’s more important to be warm and toasty than it is to look good in my Winter coat and crochet hat.  I knew my return to work was happening, whether I liked it or not, and I inwardly groaned thinking about how cold it was going to be on The Mountain this Winter.  After walking against the wind  yesterday, feeling my skin prickle in pain as the force of the biting below zero wind chill factor hit my face, I decided it was time to bust out my black bank robbery-inspired ski mask and go for it in the name of comfort.  No longer will I wear my crochet hat to match my Winter Hunter Green coat. I resolved to not be a victim this Winter to coordinating accessories.  It was finally time to embrace the fact that it’s not practical dressing cute in sub-zero temperatures.  It was also time to go in a different direction.
This morning I parked directly in front of the building where it seems a good portion of our population parks each day. I managed to get in the third row and about 20 parking spaces away from the entrance.  Sure it’s a bit of a longer walk than if I had parked in my normal parking space to the right of the building, but the benefit of parking front and center is that there is much less chance of being blown away by the currents of whipping wind.  I bundled up as tightly as possible and made my way in a steady path to the main entrance without feeling like the wind was going to knock me down.  I didn’t have to brace my body for anything…I just had to walk.
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  I can’t guarantee that I won’t turn right like a trained monkey and head towards my old parking space at the end of my work day. But what I do know for sure is that for these remaining Winter months, I’m putting on my knit black ski mask and fashion be damned.
I’ll worry later about how I’m going to avoid being hit by lightning.

How I Spent My Time During Shutdown

Every year for the past four years I’ve had the benefit of not working during the week of Christmas which is such an amazing bonus with my job.  I was so looking forward to shutdown this year because I had all these plans to get all this stuff done and once again things didn’t go as planned.
So here are the highlights:

  • I came down with a really bad cold 4 days before Christmas. Hooray! Even the Niquil didn’t make me feel all that better this time around. WTF?
  • Received some great news about my Father-In-Law George on Christmas Eve.  His second bout of lung cancer is in remission and he was able to stop chemo treatments.  We all figured he was going to get good news from his doctor because what kind of scrooge would set up a doctor’s appointment the day before Christmas to give bad news?
  • Santa (aka the amazing thoughtful Spencer) surprised me with a pair of Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a pimped out Keurig coffee maker. This fancy smancy version brews iced coffee and is programmable.  I feel guilty about wasting coffee so I’ve held off setting it up because I’ve got a bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee to use.
  • Dropped my new HP Laptop on my foot today and caused myself a nasty bloody wound.
  • Set up my pink Hello Kitty Christmas Tree a few days ago.  Yea, I know Christmas is over.  But I’ve got this grand plan to keep (2) trees up until Spring.  Here’s my plan:  Hello Kitty tree in the living room with pink lights and a Valentine’s Day tree in the spare room.  I bought a whole bunch of 50% off red ornaments, red lights and a red bow with LED lights for the topper and it looks awesome…in theory since I haven’t set it up yet.
  • Got to see Sherlock Holmes with Ginny and enjoyed a 6oz steak at The Outback.  Movie was great, but I think there should be a steak minimum of 8oz.  My steak looked like a hockey puck and was smaller than the loaded baked potato.
  • Achieved Level 25 on Farmville which equates to alot of time on Facebook planting and harvesting crops and organizing my brown and white chickens.  If you’re a fellow farmer, I still want Pomegranate Trees.
  • Our beagle Minnie had a whopping 14 teeth extracted and 2 benign lumps removed on December 28th.  I was a nervous wreck the entire four plus hours she was in surgery, but she came out good.  I spent the following day fretting over her health, but it turned out she didn’t move off her bed for 24 hours because of the residual effects of the anethesia.
  • We watched Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory on DVD and Season 32 of Saturday Night Live on the Roku player.

I’m sure I did a bunch of other stuff, but right now it escapes me.  What I do know is I’m done counting on my fingers how many days left I have being on vacation.  It’s Saturday night and my break is over.  One more day and then it’s back to the usual five day workweek.  But this time I’m going back looking forward to seeing my coworkers and thinking about the possibility of doing all that other stuff that’s going to fix up my life.

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday Fashion Faux Pas

Working on the fourth floor of an office building is usually a pain because you’re either huffing it up the stairs or taking the elevator to get to your office. There aren’t many advantages to being on the fourth floor of a six story building…except for today.

Turns out the fourth floor places me in the perfect position of looking outside the windows (in the back of the building) to spy on people as they walk through the parking lot. Most days the only action we see is a traffic back-up from California Ave to Route 9 or a deer snacking on some shrubs in our meticulous landscaping. But today was special.

“Look at this man. He’s wearing a white shirt, a white pair of pants, white socks and black sandals!” cried Tricia. “Kim, you’ve got to see this.”

I immediately jumped up and rushed to the back window to see for myself. ( Yes, I have a big problem with men wearing sandals and tube socks in warm weather. And he was dressed all in white. Doesn’t the dude know it’s only acceptable to wear white after Memorial Day? He couldn’t wait 22 more days?)

His shape was rather ambiguous so I grabbed a pair of binoculars and checked him out up close because I was having difficulty believing a man would dress all in white.

[You might be wondering why I have binoculars at work? I swear it wasn’t for any nefarious stalker-like purpose. My friend Sue’s daughter went to daycare down the road from our office and she used to use them to see her playing on the swings or in the sandbox. She was the stalker, not me. I just enabled better viewing.]

I focused the lenses and sure enough he was adorned in white –even his beard was white which answered my question of gender. I think it’s pretty brave of a man to dress all in white, but it’s even braver to go out in public with black sandals on looking like a fugly hot mess. Framingham isn’t Miami Beach. This is not Miami Vice. No linen suits are allowed. This guy should have been wearing an unassuming pair of beige chinos and a nice polo shirt if he wanted to celebrate the warm weather.

I Dunno. Maybe it’s me, but I think that’s how men in New England roll.

Ashes to Ashes

Have you seen those ceramic jars usually found in greeting card stores that have cute sayings written on them?  Stuff like “Girls Night Out” fund or “Saving for a Harley Davidson” or “Bingo Night”

I was at my car dealership recently and as I was checking out with the cashier, I noticed she had a jar on her desk that read “Ashes of Problem Customers”  I was taken aback by this little jar because I love my dealership so much because they provide top notch customer service and have great attention to detail like always washing my car when I bring it in for an oil change or service.  How could they allow this jar to be displayed with the person who is supposed to be the ‘face’ of their business?

Shame on management for not immediately removing this jar.  And I suppose shame on me for not having the balls to tell the lady how offensive her jar is to me as a repeat customer of this dealership.  So blogging about it is my own little passive-aggressive way of making my point known:

If you interact face to face with customers, you should NEVER have  derogatory ANYTHING in plain site where a customer can see it.

Believe me, I know customers can be a pain in the ass.  I worked in retail far too long to appreciate how dumb and irritating the general public can be—especially  when something doesn’t go their way.  I keenly recall wearing an awful button from my days at Lechmere that read, ‘The Customer Is You!” to demonstrate that our retail establishment was all about catering to our valued customers.  Mind you, I hated every minute of wearing the button because it made me feel like a second-class citizen in the land of retail.  But I wore my flair because I knew if it wasn’t for the customers, I wouldn’t have a job that allowed me to go bring home a minimum wage paycheck that would later be blown at Newbury Comics.

Now that I’m a full fledged adult who can spend her money anywhere on anything, I find myself being exceptionally particular to the retail establishments that get my business.  I realize that little jar shouldn’t be that much of a big deal to me, but it bothers me only because the message it is sending directly conflicts with the overall positive experience I always get at my dealership.  Maybe next time I see the jar, I’ll have the nerve to speak up and tell the cashier how deeply it offends me.  But then again, I can also see myself walking away with a self-satisfied grin on my dopey face while the cashier reaches into her pocket and adds another quarter to her “Ashes of Problem Customers” jar.

Maybe I should just keep my big mouth shut.