Thursday, November 29, 2012


At work, I have an extra seat by my desk that hangs out in the corner waiting for guests. It is a small wheeled stool shaped like a bongo drum, and so is affectionately known as a "bongo". There are two other bongos in the office. I keep one by my desk because I have a big open corner without any filing cabinets or tables in it.

The bongos are a little lower to the ground than most desk chairs. They aren't ideal for long chats, or working at one of the built-in desktops. However, they are superb for speedy, dangerous, across office travel (Traveling on a bongo is best done backwards, hence the danger).

When people come to chat with me, they might roll the bongo up to my desktop and sit next to me. It feels very conspiratorial and fun. Other people lean into the corner and sort of slouch down. I think they might be using it as a hiding place, which is also fun. I am glad they are relaxed enough in my cube to make themselves at home and position the bongo for their own personal comfort.

Some people come to chat and eschew the bongo altogether. They either lean on my short wall Charlie-Brown-and-Linus style, or they hover about in the open area behind my chair. These are the people with larger personal space bubbles, the over-caffeinated, or the uninitiated to the goodness that is a bongo.

A catalog of the people that come to chat with me, and their bongo-using habits:

Conspiratorial Bongo Sitters Corner Hiders Wall Leaners Hoverers
shammer, RPAT, Becky, NiBo jpak, HotRod, NK EBAR, DHIL, FFAR, JBON BREA, CGAT, CTAY, NK, Becky (when she mistakenly thinks our conversations will be brief)

When I use a bongo, say, at Becky's desk, I tend to kneel on it, so that I am high enough to use the desk behind her properly. And then when I want to move in closer to her computer, I pull myself around the corner without getting up. Occasionally I fall off the bongo in a slightly embarrassing way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gourd Carnage

Around Thanksgiving, everyone feels sympathy for turkeys, even if we still want to eat them. But let's not forget that it is also a rough time for gourds, a popular herbivorous Thanksgiving meal. Sensitive readers be advised, the carnage can be disturbing:

Eye gouging.
Total evisceration.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All Good Gourds Must Come to an End

He got the rot.
Rest in peace, little misunderstood mustachioed pumpkin guy!

*plays taps*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Self Motivation

For your reading pleasure, I have unearthed some poems that I wrote back in high school when I fancied myself a poet. Or maybe my English teacher required a certain number of points be acquired through "Self Motivation", and she scored original written works higher than the worksheets she provided, so I was lazy and used silly poetry to accomplish my Self Motivation requirements quicker. Also, she pretty much ate up whatever I wrote. Thought she was crazy at the time (she barked at my sister once--like, literally looked at her and said "woof"), but since then I've reflected on her encouragement many times and been quite grateful for it. Honest admirers of your work, even when you think they're crazy or your work is unworthy, are a treasure not to be slighted.

Without further ado:

Gus (a limerick)

There was a boy named Gus
Who went out to wait for the bus.
He got sprayed by a skunk
and, oh, how he stunk!
And that's why we didn't want him near us!

(a perfectly sensible thing to write about!)

A Think

As I sit alone and try to think,
I think of you and what you think.
I wonder what it is you think
and why you think the things you think.

Sometimes when wondering of what you think,
"What is thought of me?" I think.
I hope the thoughts of me you think
are like the thoughts of you I think.

Very special are the thoughts you think.
When you tell me your thoughts, you make me think.
Then I go off and have myself "a think".
I can only think of you.

As I sit alone and try to think,
I think of you and what you think.

(see? I was always like this!)


The wind was blowing the leaves.
They flew off the tree.
The leaves landed on the ground.

The sun is shining brightly.
The water sparkles.
Animals enjoying spring.

(lame sauce! but I got 8 points for it!)

Ode to the Stressed Out

Arise you stressed out worriers!
Forget your troubles for now!
The spring has come at least,
To wipe the pressures from your brow!

Behold the shining sun,
And the gentle breeze blowing.
See the flowers growing,
And the sweet blue river flowing.

So forget those things that leave you annoyed
Irritated, confused, and depressed
And head for the sunny fields
To look past the fact you're a mess.

(these last two were clearly written in spring, which indicates to me that the end of the year was fast approaching and I needed to get those Self Motivation points in!)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Emo Rachel Feels Misunderstood

I seem to have developed this intense panic over being misunderstood. The mere possibility of it sends me burbling into clarifications and palpitations, which only serve to further discourage understanding me at all!

Is being misunderstood really the worst possible thing that could be happening to me?

Generally, thankfully, to-date, my life has not hung in the balance due to an "understanding" of my thoughts, motivations, or intentions. If a friend doesn't understand me when I show him a pumpkin and say "I carved a new pumpkin today" and instead hears "I carved you a pumpkin today" and takes it, will he threaten my life when I try to explain what I actually said and take the pumpkin back? No! If I choose to let him keep the pumpkin without clarifying my original intent, will my husband murder me because I gave a gourd to another man? No! Okay, I get that, and I'm thankful that those are not the kinds of relationships in which I am involved.

But what about the longer term effects of that misunderstanding? Will my friend wonder why I carved him a pumpkin? Will he think I am nicer than I really am? Do I deserve to be thought of as nice if I didn't actually intend to be? Was I nice in the end anyway because I didn't make him give it back? And what of my other friends, will they be jealous that I did not carve pumpkins for them, and wonder if I like them less? If so, should I quick go carve a bunch of pumpkins and distribute them?

Or what if I write a blog post and I don't edit it enough--I don't do a good enough job explaining my thoughts, somebody reads it and thinks I'm a jerk? I mean, I might be a jerk sometimes, but I don't believe my heart is a jerk. My intentions are not jerky. Will my readers give me the benefit of the doubt? Have I given them enough reason to?

And put those two together: what if my friend reads this blog and thinks I'm a jerk because I didn't tell him about the pumpkin thing, didn't try to clarify enough?

I make light of my crippling panic by explaining it in a story about gourds, but the panic is real, as are the incoherent burblings and downward spiral of self-doubt that occur when the stakes are higher than autumnal decor. Being understood, itself, is a basic human desire, right? But why do I fear being misunderstood so much? It happens all the time! Communication is hard! Everyone has been guilty of failing to understand another, and everyone has been misunderstood. Consequences range from things getting overlooked, to relationships getting screwed up, to healthy limbs getting amputated. No amount of worry or panic or words heaped on a subject can prevent misunderstanding from inevitably happening.

Hmm, that seems like reason enough to panic, no? Or at least to practice vigilance against misunderstandings--by explaining the heck out of everything!


(because I don't want you to think I'm over being misunderstood just because I figured out it's a problem and blogged about it)

For the record*, I want you all to know that I am very happy that my friend has that pumpkin. After my cold heart became confused and worried about what just happened, I realized that it rather warmed my heart back up again that he liked it so much. He even gave it a mustache for Movember. I will post a picture of it on here soon, provided we are still friends after this latest communication fiasco in the long string of communication fiascoes that seemingly make up all of my relationships, and I don't find its remains smashed on my doorstep.

*I say that phrase a lot--I bet it's because I want to make sure you have a nice concise summary of what I'm thinking ;)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Peafowl Update

I have a little sad news to report on the Peafowl Watch. My sister writes:
The brother/son peacock that wandered off through the neighborhood wasn't seen again, and the poor guy who had his feathers ripped out was killed on the road. We've still got Mom, Dad, and one son, and they come around for bread and crackers together in the evenings. The Mom had some eggs a couple of times over the summer, but they didn't make it. The males lost all their pretty feathers (naturally) over the summer and are now growing all new ones, so that should be pretty. I call the one who comes to the step and peers in for snacks "Buddy" and the other two Mom and Dad.  The three of them are running around together now, and Buddy is always the one who comes to the step and gets me to throw food for everyone.
Previously, I had reported that it was the Dad who had his tail feathers ripped out by a dog, but now I'm not sure if it was one of the sons instead? My sister says her neighbor, their owner, might not be able to tell one from the other, either. Regardless, we're two peafowl down! I have high hopes for Buddy, though, as he sounds a little smarter than the others. Here's hoping the rest can all stay away from the road, dogs, and other mysterious disappearances!