Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reading in the Workplace

Dear Chick Working at Kind-of Local Coffee Place:

I picked up a sandwich and noticed you had a sign stating that your credit card machine wasn't working. I apologized and started to walk away when you told me you could run my card. Sweet! Add a muffin on to that then. I hand you my card and you swiped it. Then you stared at the computer. Stared long and hard and I knew... your credit card machine wasn't working.

You asked the girl behind you who stared at me and said "Yeah, the credit card machine is down. There's the sign," and pointed to what I had already read. Oh, I said, dejected.

I was fine.
Until your little friend said "Man, I wish people could read."

I kept walking. But just so you know, I wanted to turn around and rip you to pieces for not acknowledging your error in all of this. Don't you know the customer is always right? And if I tell you that the sign says your credit card machine is broken that it is, in all likelihood, broken? Instead you wasted my time and made me look like a complete idiot.

So in lieu of ripping you a new one, I formulated my email to Bob Kind-of Local Coffee Place in my head. An email in which I plan to ask him if his employees can read. And then click SEND.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Notes on Eating Out

As you saw in the last post, we're no strangers to eating out. We're great at coming up with reasons: someone had a great day, Elliot has been good, it's too hot to cook, we're out of gas in the grill, no food in the fridge, etc.

One place we've never been to in all of our years together?
Macaroni Grill.

In the beginning, Fred didn't want to go there because a girl he dated for like 3 weeks worked there. I can understand that, but it's been over 7 years and we still haven't gone. I'm guessing she doesn't still work there. Secretly? I'm not all that upset as it was the location of my first and last and absolutely awful blind date... so, you know... the place has sort of been wrecked for me too.

Lazlo's has always been our go-to place but that might have to change. A week ago, Fred ordered up a glass of their seasonal beer. This week (yes, we go at least once a week), he ordered the same beer but got something else. Politely telling the server, the manager came over and offered up a new pull. He got the same beer. Embarrassed, Fred realizes that what they are giving him is the same as the wrong one. By this point, we have every server (and that manager) checking on us every 5 minutes to make sure everything is good.

I can't believe we became those people.

(And, Fred still swears it was the wrong beer. Both times.)


Maybe we should give Macaroni Grill a whirl?

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Say PO-TAY-TOE; I Say Pa-whatthehell?

In effort to supplement our dinner of beef, I whipped up some fabulous potatoes. Sliced 3 potatoes into 24 wedges, dunked them olive oil and set them on a baking pan. Sprinkled with salt and pepper, they get tossed in the oven: 20 minutes, flip, 20 minutes, eat.

15 of the first 20 minutes go by and I can hear them sizzling from another room. Hmmm. Pretty sure they shouldn't be sizzling.

20 minutes goes and I pull the pan out of the oven, still sizzling. Spatula in hand, I start to flip them. Weird, I'm having to PRY them off of the baking sheet... and what the heck is on that potato?

Of course, it's flecks of baking pan. Awesome.

I dump out the ones that had silver sparkles (of death) and put the rest in the oven.

3 minutes into the second shift, I smell burning taters and write it off to the sizzling olive oil. 17 minutes into the shift, I am smelling BURNT taters and whip them out of the oven, cussing.

They fought the spatula, again.
The pan peeled off onto the potatoes, again.
I tossed the sparkly ones in the sink, again.

And then, we dined. On perfectly grilled steaks and ONE wedge.

Now do you see why we eat out so much?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Lady in the Purple Acadia:

Hi there! Remember me? Probably not, because I slammed on my brakes to AVOID hitting you the other night. But by then you were already back out of my lane and turning (fleeing?).

Here's the thing. Traffic is kind of heavy right now what with all of the major roads being torn up and replaced, college kids being back on campus and the kiddos back in school. I get that. And because I know I'll love the newly finished streets when they open, I am able to be patient and understanding.

Unlike you.

You seem to be one of those people that thinks that because you've been shuffled off onto my lowly street that you are superior to me and those around me. Knock, Knock. Who's there? Ewe. Ewe who? You drive like a jackass. And then - as if to spite me - you drive like a crazy spaz, spilling chili all over your backseat, right before you decide to cut me off.

I saw you over there. I was aware of you, hovering and driving all weird. But really, if you would've just bothered to put your signal on even for one tiny blink of a signal, I would've gladly slowed down and let you in. Because I'm nice. (Shut up.) But, nooooo. You butted your way in and I was left to hit the brakes to avoid hitting you.

And that's when I saw it.

Well, shit, I know you. I know you. With your giant purple Acadia that you "just happened" to buy one night and your dummy baseball stickers all over the back. (Also, you have yet to thank my husband for doing all the research on the Acadia seeing how you didn't even know what one was until you talked to me and then suddenly you owned one.) I even did a quick look over my shoulder - yep, it was you.

And that just makes it worse.

Because now? It's personal. You're not just some random idiot driver.
If you get a little present in the mail that resembles a book on How to Drive from the Nebraska DMV - no need to thank me. The entire city of Lincoln is already thanking me.

Anna Seckman

P.S. - I suppose this is one way to see if you ever read my blog...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Working It Out

When I want to do something, I usually want to do it right.

I follow the rules, instructions and even guidance from knowledgeable peers. I work my way through it ever so carefully, avoiding bombs and other pitfalls and try to say on the safe path to the finish line. Each decision opens a room full of more decisions and only your smarts will lead you through.

And then,


You accidentally click...


And you squint your eyes and mutter a cuss word.

And then Minesweeper gives you the unhappy face of death.

I hate that I love you, Minesweeper.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kindergarten (Memory) Round Up

It seems like a lot of people around me have a kid that's off to kindergarten this year, including my neice who now goes by the name of Belle due to the popularity of her name.

I have sweet memories of being the ONLY person that could get her to sleep when she was 2 months old and in the throes of the-real-deal-ain't-nothin-gonna-stop-her-cryin colic. It seemed that Auntie Anna's shoulder was just the place to be propped up on ... and sleep she did. She'd zonk out for a solid 20 minutes; bliss for her parents, no doubt.

And now Belle is old enough for Kindergarten.
And, I hope she doesn't have the same name confusion I did.

My first day of Kindergarten, I walked into a room full of desks and everyone's names written out on construction paper smiley faces. My name wasn't there.

Ann hadn't picked up her smiley face yet. Ms. Jicca told me I could use it and while I silently took it from her the internal dialogue was screaming that this wasn't my name and that Ann was going to come in and want her name and THEN WHAT?! To calm my fears, she came over and put an "a" at the end which - yes - did appear to be my name but I knew, just knew, that if Ann ever showed up, she'd be mad that I took her name tag and I'd be out of a desk

With no where else to go.

(In case you're wondering, Ann never did show up.)

Note to teachers: Double check your spelling.
Note to therapist: Root of anxiety issues? We'll discuss.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pop Quiz!

What is this?
A. A toy tornado
B. Grounds for getting a time out
C. Puppy and both Buzz Lightyears had a party
D. The dump

D. The dump.

We spend countless minutes-to-hours each day making a giant pile and adding more and more toys to "the dump" until the bullbozer (he's too cute to correct) moves it to a different area. Then the trash truck backs up and more is added to the dump.

The answer is also A., C.
And B. seeing how Fred was left to clean this one all up that night.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Special Guest: Negative Nancy

How is everyone on this fine, freaking hot Thursday? Freaking-fracking-melds the soles of my shoes to the asphalt as I try to walk across the street-hot Thursday, that is.

Heat + Humidity + Wind = NASTY

RibFest is in town. Can you feel my excitement? The sound of squealing pigs all morning (kidding)(maybe), the smell of charred flesh drizzled in sauce all afternoon and the sad, sad country crooner that has nothin' left but his dog and a gi'tar. I love that his music is so loud that my filing cabinet vibrates against my desk making the most annoying noise ever. I love walking 67 blocks out of my way just to get to work from my parking lot because entire streets are closed for this slaughterhouse on wheels. I love RibFest.

Did I mention it's hot? It's hot EVERY time RibFest is in town. Which is precisely why I'm boycotting PigFest this year.

Well, that, and the fact that I don't need a fried anything (oreos, peaches and funnel cakes are ready to go!) or to buy over-priced (yet amazingly awesome) food and sit in the heat to eat it on uncomfortable chairs and plastic covered tables. Plastic that sticks to sweaty arms. And then trudge back to work, sweaty, hot, sticky and full of grease.

Anyway. I'm not going this year. NOT.


Wait - what?
Did someone say something about lunch tomorrow?
I hear Porky & Beans is awesome!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

J'adore Livres

I love books.
Love, love, LOVE them.

This year, I started tracking my reads at Goodreads.com (I am AMSeckman and we should totally be Goodreads friends!) since the library completely failed me in this regard.

A while back, a co-worker turned me on to a rather funny blogger and I've been in love with Jen Lancaster ever since. Like, I want to BE her. Or, at a minimum, meet her some day. I digress... this same co-worker told me to read her books and this weekend I started Pretty in Plaid and I must say - J'adore!

(At this point, likely only this co-worker is laughing at my lame French. But that's because she's already read it. Of course, this assumes she even reads my idiotic blog.)

A biography told like I would tell it - everything slanted from only my point of view - and although I'm not far in, I find myself relating to a lot of it. I was literally laughing out loud while reading the bit about obtaining patches in Girl Scouts.

You can imagine Fred's annoyance driving through Iowa with me giggling every 3 minutes.

Digressing again, sorry.

But then it hit me. Qu'est-ce l'enfer?
(Busted, I totally English-to-French'ed that.)

Why, I'm pretty sure I'm still owed a patch! What's funny is that I can remember thinking every time we met that maybe this time would be the time when I would finally get my Caring for Kids Patch. I babysat my brains out! I remember going through the checklist in my book and my mom signing off on it.

I did the work, Bob Girl Scouts, now gimme my patch!
Oh, what's that? You don't think I sold enough cookies?
Well, you can take your cookies AND MY PATCH and shove it.

*sigh* I just love how books can bring back memories.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pictures are Worth 1,000 Words

Happy 6th Anniversary, Mr. Seckmans Say What.
I knew he'd marry me after I got him to dress up as Tin Man.
Just look at the love (or, possibly, humiliation) in his eyes!
I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Fred's Take

Being the cautious person that I am. Certain precautions are necessary to protect myself from the potential pitfalls of our marriage. In the off chance that Anna were to find my treasure, or that I would lose a large some of money from a wallet bet, I would find myself in need of leverage to ensure I could reclaim these treasured items. Thus the picture below:

One evening I was outside grilling while Anna was inside preparing the rest of our dinner. In a hurry to get a knife to check the steaks I stepped in the house and asked her to hand me a knife. While my arm was in the house reaching for the knife, I was looking outside watching the grill. Anna grabs the knife and (while not looking up from her project) hands it to me pointy end first. The result was the pictured puncturing of my hand. After finishing the grilling I quickly took a photo of the wound for documentation.

This will serve as proof of abuse in case I should ever need to take her to court to reclaim my vast treasure. Or at a minimum a good settlement from Jason Bourne.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rules of Marriage: All the Money in My Wallet

Because every marriage is built on infidelity and gold-digging, it only makes sense that a part of that structure would include gambling.

If memory serves, the Mr. started this one a long, long time ago by asking me to do something like drive to a gas station and get him a fountain pop. I said no. He said “I’ll give you all the money in my wallet!” and I was sold. Unlucky for him, I scored $10 for driving 4 blocks and back.

Back in the day when we had a bit more extra money (read: we just bought a new house and are back to eating Ramen Noodles and SPAM)(No, not really), these bets were more frequent and it was a literal crap shoot on whether or not you’d make any money off the deal.

Ha. Crap shoot. Get it? It’s a pun? ... Nevermind.

THAT, my friends, was the kicker. For all you knew – all the money in my wallet added up to exactly 0 dollars and 00 cents.

And yes, that has happened.
And yes, usually only to me.

Best one ever was when I begged for a back rub. Just a simple rub between the shoulder blades where all of my stress hangs out. 5 minutes was all I wanted and he just wouldn’t do it. I played my All the Money in My Wallet card and he agreed. Rubbed the back. And – much to my shock – made out like a bandit. I had something like $46.00 in my wallet that day.


My day will come. I’m hoping it’s the day when he’s moving his secret treasure (it’s just not safe to keep it in the same place forever) and really wants another fountain pop.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rules of Marriage: Secret Treasure

We stay with each other for one reason and one reason only: to find the other person's secret treasure. Banker Fred likely has his holed up in a mattress or buried in coffee cans in the yard. Me?

Wouldn't you like to know.

It's simple: Find it, keep it. And usually, it means you're outta here.

F: Hey! You're a gypsy! Your whole family is a caravan of gypsies; its the only explanation for how much you moved around.
A: Oh shut up. My mom just didn't want to vacuum.
F: Gypsy!
A: Man, once I find your treasure I'm out of here.


A: Whatcha doing?
F: Going running.
A: But it's like 5:30 a.m.; it's sleepy time.
F: Uh, no. I'm going running.
A: Fine, but when you get back you're going to stink. So you'll have to go immediately to the shower or else I'll punch you in the face.
F: I won't come back if I find your treasure.


F: I'm highly evolved.
A: What?
F: I don't have any wisdom teeth, never did.
A: That just means your a dummy.
F: Nope. More highly evolved than you.
A: Shut it.
F: My body is smart enough to know what it doesn't need. Your body just keeps it and spits it out later - tonsils, wisdom teeth, part of your nose and - apparently - your gall bladder.
A: ...
F: I'm evolved! EVOLVED!
A: ... I'm going to go outside and dig for your treasure.

Now that I've invested (almost) 6 years in this marriage, there better be more in his secret treasure than dumb old baseball cards and his coveted running watch.