Please Sign Here (I Have a Package for You)

I’m a delivery addict. I have other kinds of addictions, too, but this is the most appropriate one to blog about.

I want to blame it on Amazon Prime for making it soooo darn easy to tap my phone screen and get a “prize,” but I’m sure there are millions of Prime members who know how to control themselves. Instead, I’m going to blame it on Mr. Rogers. That sweet, kind, warm, gentle man never got overly excited by anything.

…EXCEPT when Mr. McFeeley rang the bell.

Oh my! Such a thrill when Mr. McFeeley would briskly enter the Rogers’s home with his latest speedy delivery! What did Mr. McFeeley have in his box today? A penny whistle? A turtle? Tickets to the Red Sox? (I don’t think he ever delivered Red Sox tickets, but I didn’t see every episode, so I don’t know for sure.)

Seeing those packages arrive, delivered by such an efficient and professional postal carrier really got my motor running. I wanted a speedy delivery, too.

I’ve taken to online-ordering every single thing that I don’t want to carry home from the grocery store. That includes multi-packs of Charmin, cases of sparkling water, a pack of gum, and more organizational supplies than I’ll bet you knew existed. (I really really want to be an organized person. So far, however, the organizational supplies generally sit in a corner mocking me.) The best thing to get delivered to your house, though, is kitty litter. That stuff weighs a ton. It’s a virtual miracle – practically magic — that they’ll just drop it at my door.

I’ve taken it too far, though.

Now, I’m tying my level of happiness to the package waiting on the steps. God forbid there’s nothing there. It sends me into a depressive spiral.

The other day I was on Facebook, and I came across an ad for an interactive video chat, treat dispenser, aromatherapy, game, and pet-to-parent messaging system.

PetChatz
(I added the link in case, unlike me, you don’t have to start a GoFundMe page in order to purchase these.)

I can’t honestly figure out if I want this as badly as I think I want it. I mean, really, how fun would it be to have your pets call you at work so you can dispense a treat for them? Right? I did share it with my daughters, because I love to have them revel in my total craziness.

I sent them the picture above with the caption “MUST HAVE.”

The eldest wrote back and said, “Hahahahaha.”

The youngest (and only one left living at home with me) wrote and said, “Oh my God. This is too much. But I’m sure that Mom will have an Amazon Prime box arrive within 2 business days with this in it.”

I laughed out loud at my desk. All by myself. She knows me really well.

I should end this post with some kind of lesson about “going minimalist” or “not needing things to make you happy” or “getting control of your spending before it controls you,” but I’m not ready. And, after all, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. √

The Mouse Jiggler: Working From Home

This morning I woke up and part of my tooth had fallen off in the night. This is clearly not something that happens to a young person, so I’m pretty certain that I must either be old or have some fatal enamel-related disease.

I immediately called the dentist to try to schedule an appointment, but they were fully booked today and tomorrow, out of the office Monday and Tuesday, and would have to call me back when they have an opening. This is disturbing to me. I’m not a vain person — really — but this is not okay. It’s a work-from-home day.

I love that we live in a time where working from home is an option for so many people. I sell headsets for a living, so I know that more and more companies are going with a computer-based telephone system like Skype for Business. This allows people to log into their virtual office in virtually any location with WiFi.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of benefits to working in our office. There’s a free fitness center downstairs (if you’re so inclined), a nice break room with free coffee and cold brew, and access to colleagues who have answers to any problems you encounter. It’s a 50-minute commute for me, though, and I’m loathe to do it on a daily basis. Additionally, there are numerous distractions in the office. My biggest distraction of late is Darrell. He’s like a little hyper puppy: really cute and sometimes really annoying.

So, working from home has a lot of advantages: no commute, no distractions, no Darrell. It does, however, come with its own set of challenges. First of all, the refrigerator is never more than 10 feet away. Secondly, I have a cat who loves to play fetch (for real), and he doesn’t like to be ignored when he drops his fake mouse at my feet. Finally, bed. Oh my… how nice it is to take an afternoon snooze. It just feels so decadent and delicious!

But how, you ask, could one get away with a little nigh-night mid workday? Mouse Jiggler. There are a bunch of apps that you can download that will continuously move your mouse, so it appears that you’re online and working furiously. (You can also buy a physical mouse jiggler on Amazon.)

My friend, Chad, told me about the mouse jiggler three years ago.

“Chad! What were you doing online at 6:00am?”

“I just threw my mouse jiggler on and hopped in the shower. Needed to get my full eight hours in before I leave the office at 2.”

I know. It’s not right. It’s like fraud or theft or espionage or something, but here’s how I see it. If I weren’t napping at home with my mouse jiggler on, I’d be walking to Dunkin’ Donuts with Darrell to buy scratch tickets. In the end, the nap is going to benefit me, my customers, my colleagues, my cat, and my world. I’m going to be a happier, healthier person because of it! The scratch ticket’s not getting me anywhere except maybe debtor’s prison.

I don’t often jeopardize my job…but when I do, I do it with Mouse Jiggler. (I think that’s an ad for something, but I can’t remember what.)

The dentist never returned my call, so it looks like tomorrow’s another work-from-home day!

 

5 Things I Would Do With $1,000,000 (musings on a Wednesday afternoon)

At about 3:30 every day, I start fantasizing about what I would do if I won the lottery. I’m not talking about a piddly $100 winner. I’ve won a couple of those on scratch tickets in the past. I immediately “reinvest” my winnings and, up until this point, my portfolio hasn’t done very well. I’m talking about the big money… the REAL prize… ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

It may surprise you that I’ve done the actual research on this. I went to the Massachusetts Lottery website and found that they don’t give you the million bucks outright. You can get the full million if you agree to $50K per year for 20 years. If you want the cash payout right now, you’re going to get $650,000 and owe a whooooooole bunch of tax. My very-wise stockbroker boyfriend says you’d end up with a final total of about $450,000.

That’s neither here nor there, though. I’m taking the cash and running. Sadly, it’s not enough to live off of for the rest of my life, so I’ll have to keep my job. I would love (LOVE) to grab my purse and saunter out the door, but I know better than to burn any bridges.

  1. Immediately pay a massage therapist to just follow me around for a year. Whenever I have a little twinge in my shoulder or neck, I’m going to just point. He’ll be right there and he’ll be ON IT. (He will also be fabulously good-looking. Probably best if he’s gay, to make the aforementioned boyfriend happier.) I’m figuring this will set me back $70K. $380K remaining.
  2. I’m headed to the American Legion Post 21 in Concord, NH. I’m going to plop down $5,000, which will be enough money to buy everyone in the place drinks for a month. $375K remaining.
  3. Here’s one that’s just practical, but I can’t ignore it. I’m going to put some money down on a house so I can QUIT throwing money at landlords. It’s not going to be extravagant, but it’s going to be near a beach… close enough to hear the ocean. A condo will be fine, so I can up and go on vacation, and someone else will shovel the driveway. I don’t need to pay for the whole kit and kaboodle; I’ll just put $95K down. $280K remaining.
  4. “Kids, get your passports! We’re going to Paris!” I did a study abroad in Paris in 1987, and I had no money. Thank goodness for crepe stands, or I wouldn’t have eaten dinner very often. Walking up the Champs Elysee, I would linger in front of the beautiful people at the beautiful boutiques or the beautiful cafes and imagine what it would be like to come back WITH CASH. We’re totally doing it. 10 days. Pack your bags. I’m not holding back on this trip… I’m guessing $60K to do it right. $220K remaining.
  5. I know you’re hoping I’ll say something charitable here… I WANT to say something charitable… There are so many worthy charities out there like this and this and this!! I just…well… it’s not part of the fantasy.  Please understand and don’t judge me. I’m throwing one hell of an outstanding, amazing, phenomenal, 3-day party at a spectacular beach venue with a fantastic band and fabulous food. We’re going to party late into the evening (at age 52, I’m talking at LEAST 10pm), get up, and do it all over again… twice. I figure another $200K for that…which leaves $20-stinking-K remaining, which I will invest with my stockbroker boyfriend and hope that he can magically rebuild it to $1,000,000 — quickly!!

Listen to “If I Had $1,000,000” by Barenaked Ladies here

No Air

I took my 17 year old for a methocholine challenge today. The kid’s had a cough for… I don’t know — 3 years? We’ve been to doctor after doctor. She was tested for allergies; and, even though everything (ev-er-y-thing) came back  negative, our primary care physician said, “Do you have horse-hair plaster in your apartment? Maybe it’s that.”

No, Dr… No horse-hair plaster…

I switched primary care physicians and am now seeing a very smart man who looks uncannily like Dexter. This is oddly reasurring, as I always thought Dexter was pretty freakin’ smart. Dr. Dexter is the one who suggested the methocholine challenge.  It’s a test where they give you enough poison to send your lungs into paralysis and then measure how long it takes you to recover.

In case you were thinking this is an easy thing to watch — your daughter unable to breathe — let me set you straight.

I kept asking her if she was okay. Finally she looked at me and asked, “Are YOU okay?”

The procedure was a success. By “success,” I mean she was unable to recover normally. She was getting less than 40% of the air that usually fills her lungs. That means she’s definitely asthmatic, which is a serious bummer, but at least we can finally treat her.

The pulmonology nurse gave her some Albuterol, and before long she recovered.

Meanwhile, her mom is sitting at her desk trying to fight back tears and wondering why there is so little air in this office…