Office Noir: Secretaria Dim Wittus


English: A desk in an office.

English: A desk in an office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shallow End of the Office

A recycled and revised post from May 2009

Warning: For those with short attention spans, listen to the fake person reading the post (by clicking on the “listen now” icon) while doing something else, like having a life.

Secretaria stared at her “to-do” list until the words grew hazy. Unfortunately, for Secretaria, “to dos” often turned into “to don’ts,” a much longer list.

If success were predicated on whoever had the longest “to-don’t” list, Secretaria would surely have been the Guinness Book winner in the category. That’s why she grew her hair long. She dreamed of holding that title one day, too. Her nails were another story since they always broke and never grew back fast enough after filing, despite the rarity of such an occurrence.

Flipping through the left-tabbed, right-tabbed, center-tabbed manila folders to find a missing file was a tormenting task. Hearing the click, click, click of hanging folders, as she flipped through each one, made her head hurt.

Secretaria’s head hurt a lot, especially when it came to dictation. She could barely read her regular handwriting. The squiggly words she had learned in secretarial school became lost in translation and looked more like doodles on her steno pad. She now regretted texting during dictational studies and graduating at the bottom of her class. Since the future was now, Secretaria ignored what she didn’t learn in secretarial school and surreptitiously taped her boss’s dictation sessions with a tiny tape recorder she often couldn’t find.

Because of Secretaria’s many blunders, her boss, Mr. Grouchy, always lectured her on her bad work habits and was usually upset with her. If Secretaria’s father weren’t the CEO of Blah, Blah, Blah Marketing, Inc., Mr. Grouchy would have fired her the first time she put his Blackberry in the fridge. “I didn’t want it to spoil,” she had argued.

Mr. Grouchy’s face turned red, as the vein in his forehead throbbed to the beat of the Alice Cooper song that played on his IPod. He just dismissed Secretaria with a wave of his hand and went out for a Martini lunch even though it was barely 10 a.m.

Secretaria went back to her desk and stared at the dark computer screen that was a whole lot of nothing to look at. She thought the monitor was a paperweight until the gal who sat at the desk next to her, Wilma the Wonderful, told her otherwise.

“You’ve got to turn it on,” Wilma barked. “The button. Press the button on the hard drive.”

Secretaria blushed and looked away. She’d read about hard drives before in x-rated magazines. She accidentally read such a magazine at a bookstore while looking for the winning bookmark in the “You find it. You keep it” book giveaway promo.

Poor Secretaria just stared at Wilma blankly and said, “I’m not that kind of girl.”

A frustrated Wilma jumped up and pressed the button on Secretaria’s hard drive. “Got a cigarette?” she snapped and went back to her desk.

Secretaria’s face lit up with the computer screen. “Wow a computer and a paperweight, too.” It made her day. She even stuck her head into Mr. Grouchy’s office, before she left work, to say good-bye.

He popped an olive into his mouth and said, “You’re still here?” Unbeknown to Secretaria, Mr. Grouchy had been holding secret dictation sessions with Letta the secretary on the first floor. After Secretaria left for the day at 5 p.m., Letta from the first floor would climb the stairs to Mr. Grouchy’s office on the third floor. In secretarial school, Letta got an “A” in dictation and graduated at the top of her class.

The next day Mr. Grouchy called Secretaria from the road to have her bring department stationery down to Letta, so she could send out his letters. Secretaria left Mr. Grouchy on hold while she tried to figure out the correct usage of the word stationary, as she sat motionless at her desk.

Secretaria became more confused when Wilma simultaneously asked her for a piece of stationery, to which Secretaria replied, “I can’t move. I accidentally put myself on hold while I was on the phone with Mr. Grouchy. What’s his real name, anyway?”

“It’s Grouchee. He’s French,” said Wilma. “He’s only been Grouchy since you started.”

Secretaria ignored Wilma the Wonderful and stuck another pink message slip beneath the paperweight monitor on her desk. Then, Secretaria did what she always did best. She lost all track of time while gazing mindlessly at the clock on the wall. When her eyes finally focused on the numbers, she realized that it was the next morning, which oddly made her quite happy. At least she would be on time to work today.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Adopt an indie artist! They’re housebroken and well-behaved.


I’d like to help promote indie artists by “adopting” them or promoting them on my blog by posting a video, mentioning an upcoming event, and then placing their picture with a link in the sidebar for a week. To start things rolling, this week I’m adopting Elza, an award-winning songwriter, who performs a spicy blend of blues, jazz, and folk-rock a.k.a. Acoustic Soul.”

Elza will be performing Fri, Apr. 9 – 6:30-9:00 PM in Ridgefield, CT at the Cutting Board Cafe in the dingy dark outer world that can only be found with night vision goggles or artificial intelligent back seat drivers. I hope all of you tri-state music and endorphin junkies will head for the hills into the CT boonies, or the Ozark of the east, where streetlights and sewers are a rare commodity and deer are regarded as vermin instead of Disney characters, and stop by the Cutting Board Cafe to see Elza perform. She has toured extensively and has shared the stage with such icons as Grammy Award Winner, Charlie Colin of Train, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Martin Sexton, and Catie Curtis.

If you can’t make it to Ridgefield, CT from, let’s say, Long Beach, CA or Venice, Italy, enjoy the video of Elza’s gritty hard-core club performance. No Blue Ray or HD quality technological perfection here. This is off the rack and heart-on-the-sleeve stuff. No martinis or champagne. Only beer and wine and an occasional scotch or Margarita with salt.

If you’d like to join me in promoting or adopting an indie artist every Tuesday, please copy the below picture with link and place it in your sidebar for a week to help get the word out and then recommend an artist that you’d like to help promote, and I’ll place the picture and link in my sidebar for a week and also post the video.

Let me know what you think of my “Adopt an Indie Artist” idea, as long as it doesn’t involve going to hell before my planned departure date or the use of really, really bad language. And please, don’t throw eggs. I bruise easily.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Exercising poor judgment while working out.

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.Image via Wikipedia

Want to Exercise? Pick Your Poison.

Sweat by Jog, Gym, or Treadmill?

(previously posted in 2007; revised and repackaged)


There is something glamorous about jogging in a Moxie Skirt and Fizz Tank Top until you run for sixty-seconds, then stumble into your neighbor’s yard gasping for breath, falling onto their newly-paved driveway, leaving a CSI body outline there after EMS certified masons extract you from the tar. An unsightly stain of sweat and tar now indelibly marks your tank top and pride with a Rorschach like blotch that signifies “failure.”

For me, jogging is too damn hard and undependable, as it is intrinsically affected by whether the weather is perfect or not. I’m a perfectionist. Perfection is a myth. Jogging is a mythstake.


Gyms are self-contained rubber rooms impervious to outside weather conditions and stimulating conversation. I love human contact as much as the next person but would rather not pay for the sadistic spewing of empty words, while under the influence of endorphins, when my heart is about to explode.

In addition to the expense of joining a gym (or la de dah health club), I refuse to get in shape next to people with toned hard bodies, who, I’m convinced, work out in a secret gym in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming, to get in shape before joining a gym . . . to get in shape.

While those hard-bodied people can wear stylish form-fitting workout clothes, I have to wear flabby gal clothes with fancy flap traps to hide a sagging stomach and drooping butt. I worry every time I lift my arms that the fat folds hidden inside the trap will unravel and deck the gal next to me doing 195 mph on her stationary bike.

And why, may I ask, isn’t there a gym cop handing out speeding tickets to overachievers?

No. Gyms are too stressful. Besides, I’d rather not have to smell other people’s sweat.


I already have enough stress from the treadmill that glares at me from the family room, a technological marvel that is accessible, as well as evil, since it eliminates the need for any human contact at all. It glares at me because lately I’ve been avoiding it. After only exercising for a month or two, I started skipping days, then weeks, and finally skipping past the treadmill completely and heading straight for the couch where I routinely exercise my thumb on the remote.

I’m officially on an exercise hiatus while I reevaluate my pudgy doctor’s advice to “shape up or die!


Frankly, both my doctor and working out scares me. Stretching and straining muscles is masochistic. In fact, I believe that exercising is more like exorcising and that its only purpose is to keep the mind in shape by working out limitless creative ways in order to avoid the harmful effects of exercising.

How do you tread on the mill – on foot or on wheel?

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Metamucil Club.

Old People SignImage by rileyroxx via Flickr


No elderly were harmed in the creation of this blog post.

On my lunch hour,15-minutes removed, I raced over to the library for some much-needed quiet, or so I thought, since library’s are supposed to be quiet, right? Well, not this one. You see, I stumbled into a gathering of seventy-somethings blathering loudly at a library meet up where they discussed the addendum to their condo bylaws, in addition to hanging out at the corner pizzeria in the old days during the Jurassic period.

Okay. I’ll give the “one foot in the grave gang” the benefit of the doubt and factor in hard of hearing as a reason for the high decibel vocal effusions. However, since the library does have wireless, I think the elders should have used email as a means of communication rather than their high screechy voices or just met at Starbuck’s in the first place, which is loud anyway. I once had a writer’s meeting there at night which is apparently the time they like to do their vacuuming.

Perhaps I should have stayed in my car and tried different laptop positions. Now, now, before your thoughts to turn to sludge, the front seat is cramped with car essentials: steering wheel, center console, and dashboard, which makes maneuvering difficult. Car manufacturers would consider a laptop a non-essential item; I would have to strongly disagree and suggest that they indulge our laptop obsession by improving its accessibility in the car whenever it’s stationary. I’m talking about the car.

In fact, I wish that one of the geniuses who invented GPS would find a way to develop an adjustable swivel laptop holder that fits onto the console for times when supposedly quiet public institutions, or institution like places where they hot wire your brain, undergo hostile granny takeovers. Blue hair as far as the eye can see or squint, depending upon your age and/or eyesight.

At least the grannies minds are sharp enough to carry on heated debates on the positive and negative effects of using assorted pizza toppings and that the grannies, as well as the grampies, can still drive to the library without ending up inside a mall atrium trying to find a parking space behind the counter at the Sharper Image store. Oh, that only happens in Florida where all roads lead to sidewalk valet parking and hanging dimpled chads.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Happy 101, a precursor to Happy 102 for credit.

A belated posting of the Happy 101 Award from Sally Lee by the Sea. Thank you so much for including me in your list of ten. I’m deeply touched by the gesture. Please stop by Sally Lee by the Sea, filled with Sally’s passion for life and all things by the sea. Her comfortable beauty will inspire and enlighten your world.

Another thank you to James at Zeitheist and Vault of Stories, two really cool dark and quirky blogs. James is a wonderful writer and is working on a speculative fiction novel. James also handed me the Happy 101 Award. Thank you, James.

One more thank you to Reforming Geek, who recently gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award. I feel that I wasn’t effusive enough in describing the delight and happy, warm fuzzy feeling I get every time I read her wonderful, quirky blog. Please get on your board and surf on over to Reforming Geek’s place and feel the love, as well as the spine tingling chills from her Evil Twin, who gets into all sorts of trouble. Dark. Very Dark and yet belly laugh funny until it hurts. Just like Evil Twin intended.

My Happy 101 List (cliff note version)

And warmth, 71.0 degrees. No dandelions, crab grass, or any genus of weed. No bugs, i.e., mosquitoes, gnats, or flies, or foul odors wafting over from the neighbor’s yard. Just happy odors like flowers, cut grass, and morning dew, not doo.

My husband and son, especially when things go The Brady way and not the Weeds way or the Six Feet Under dark, messy conversationally moanful way.

Dog park days of summer
When my mutts run with other free range pups in a fenced in park with guards posted at check points packing 38-caliber cookies and DOA (dropped on arrival) doody bags.

Rain in moderation
No floating houses or ten-foot water walls cascading over my deer masticating, buffet vegetable garden.

And off I go: Zoom, zoom, zoom, past prickly bushes that just miss scratching the paint off my car, down the drive way into bumper-to-bumper traffic, where drivers sleep or stick their rubber necks out the window to view wreckage from a daily crash on the side of the highway.

Saturdays and Sundays
Quiet time in the Brady household when Jan isn’t pulling Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’s hair, and Mike isn’t too pensive and professorial rambling about the differences between good and evil and why Satan is hot and God is not.

My Mom and Dad
Chatting on the phone about them and not me. Me talk gets messy. They talk is happy and about tennis and golf, not Tiger’s immoral golf, but moral golf with shiny clubs and clean bright balls, and things not golf related like early bird dinners and Wednesday matinees.

Funny, scary, quirky, not boring when your finger hovers over the eject button during the opening credits.

Happy, not whiny, but red or white winy, laughing, not crying, unless laughing until crying.

Writing, writing, writing
Blogging writing and story writing that is weird and wacky, funny, dark, and moody but always a surprise to my readers and me.

Dog licking my face
As long as I know where his/her tongue has been.

My blogger ten list to whom I bestow the Happy 101 Award

The Screaming Me-Me
Stir-Fry Awesomeness
I Do Things So You Don’t Have To
Man Over Board
Unscripted Life (back at you)
Speaking From The Crib
Quirky Loon
Dog in The Water Pipe

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]




Follow on Bloglovin

Mayura Badge

Northeast Bloggers Network