Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hi. My Name is Sheryl; and I'm a Count-aholic.

(Posted on myspace 10/16/05. All of this still applies except the smoking. I only smoked for a very brief period in my life. Oh yeah, and the driving- I gave that up too)

I like counting things. A lot. Some of you know this- I count when I walk. I count to my age and then start again. I'm 34 now. And I started this when I was EIGHT. So I've pretty much been counting for 26 years straight. Everytime you see me, I'm counting and you don't even know it. I like my even years better, because it means I always get to start on my right foot; and for some reason I find this comforting. But on the odd years, the start bounces between the left and right foot. Of course with each birthday there's a 2 or 3 week adjustment period when I sometimes forget to count to the new number, but by mid-September I'm right on track.

Honestly, I cannot stop. And I can't imagine not doing it. I wouldn't know how. I even keep track of what number I stop on when I get into my car, and continue on the next number when I get out. I have conversations with you while walking, but I'm still counting in the background. It doesn't stop, ever.

I count puffs when I smoke. Even if I'm walking. So then I'm keeping track of two numbers at once.

I count how many times I change lanes when I drive to work and compare it to the number of minutes it took me to get there. I average 1 lane change per minute.

And in meetings, I find myself counting random things. First, obviously, the number of people in the room. Then I like to do a man:woman ratio. Then I like to do a glasses:non glasses ratio. Needless to say, I miss most of what is going on in the meeting.

I count when I'm getting tattooed. But I don't have a limit, I just count into the thousands.

I used to sit in front of my job on break and count the first hundred cars that passed on the street and simultaneously count the number of Volkswagens that were in that hundred, to get the 100% of VW's.

When talking to people, certain sentences they say stick out in my head and I keep repeating them, and then I count the number of letters on a visual picture of my fingers in my head. I start on my right pinky and usually count the sentence out 5 times, unless the total number of letters in the sentence is divisible by 5, and then I only have to do it once (because if it's divisible by 5, it starts on the right pinky and ends on the left pinky or right thumb, which is "OK". If it is not divisible by 5, it doesn't end on one of the "OK" fingers, I have to re-count the sentence 4 more times until it ends on one of the "OK" fingers). I am especially prone to this behavior when fighting with someone. If I'm silent, it's because I'm counting the numbers of letters in your sentences to avoid hearing what you're telling me.

I can't imagine this ever stopping, and I'm not even sure I want it to. I love numbers anyway, and I'm pretty unconscious of these rituals as they're happening, so I wouldn't say it interferes with my life.

There's probably a lot more stuff I count but that's all I can think of right now.

I count. Therefore I am.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wisconsin Files (or "Why I will never go back to Wisconsin"), Part 2

So day 2- time for some fun. We had breakfast at a "Classic 50's Denny's" and were off to the fabulous touristy area know as the "World Famous Dells" (the postcard says so)

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Then my husband mentions these World War 2 amphibious trucks that they do tours on. He tells me they 'go in the water'. I try to explain to him that I'm afraid of water (We had only known each other a year when we took this trip). But he loves all things World War 2 and was really excited about this idea, so I give in and agree to go.

Big mistake.

We board this thing in the forest- it looked like a cross between a mid sized school bus with a boat type of front attached. Here's a pic from their website:

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It held at least 20 tourists. Most of which are of course families. Mid western "normal" families with kids. White, huge, plain & ugly. You know the type. Then there's me and Tony, covered in tattoos, looking 'rockin' and obviously not from around here. They put us in the last row. No surprise.

So this truck starts driving through the forest. (Note: I also have a *bit* of an issue with being a passenger in any vehicle. I tend to freak out at anything the driver is doing. This includes barking orders at the driver, screaming, yelling, crying, covering my face, you know, totally normal stuff. This is also why I always drive and try not to fly EVER.) So we are driving through this forest, bouncing all over the place in this truck. And it's not like flat open road. I'm talking hills, sharp, steep turns, it's terrifying. Most likely, I had my eyes closed, but I was being quiet, just waiting for it to end.

Then the trees start to clear. And you can see the water. The water we are about to DRIVE INTO. Now, I had pictured a tiny lake or something, I don't know. But I do have a fear of natural bodies of water. Not to mention a fear of driving my car off a bridge/into water. So when this truck started driving TOWARDS THE WATER ON PURPOSE, I just lost it. I knew it was going to happen when I got on the truck, but I didn't know it would be this scary.

I start screaming. SCREAM-ING. Crying. Hysterical. Making a scene in the back of the boat. "F*ck you! Get out of the water! I want to go back!!!!!" My husband, totally Mr Cool all the time, has me in a headlock, telling me to 'Shut up and be cool!' Of course all the families on the boat are horrified. But say nothing. And here we are. On a truck. In the middle of this very large natural body of water. I'm surprised I didn't faint. Somehow, after a few minutes I calmed down enough to stop screaming. I just cried and hid inside my shirt so I couldn't see what was going on.

Eventually, we get back on land and I can't wait to get to my car.

We drive through the woods, more hairpin turns and cliffs we're just inches from tumbling over. I think we're heading out and I can put this behind me. But it was not to be. Suddenly we are presented with the water in front of us again! And the driver says over the loud speaker

driver: "Who wants to go back in the water?"
kids: 'YEAH!!!!!'
me, screaming: "NO, you mother &*^%$#, no!!!!"
driver, ignoring me of course: "Do you want to go in fast or slow"
kid: "FAST!!!!!"
me: "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"
driver: "The people up front are gonna get really wet!" and he proceeds to race into the water again, "But not as wet as the people in the BACK!"

And with that he hits the accelerator and zooms into the water. At first nothing, just the horrible feeling of floating and waiting to sink... Then a TIDAL WAVE OVER THE BACK OF THE BOAT and onto us!!!!!

I jump up- "YOU &*^%$# &*^%$#!!! I WANT TO GO BACK NOW!!!!!" I'm livid. I'm cursing again, crying, and absolutely soaked. Eff this guy and these effing families. Eff them all. They don't care. They just don't care. And at this point I've embarrassed my poor husband who wanted nothing more than to enjoy this historical adventure.

Eventually we made it back to the car. I could feel everyone watching me as I get off the truck. I'm absolutely soaked in filthy water and absolutely pissed. As we're walking off, some women who are waiting in line for the next tour are like "How was it?" I said "It sucks and the driver's a f*cking asshole!"

You asked the wrong lady, honey.

Here is a page from my scrapbook regarding the Wisconsin Ducks-
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My husband learned a very important lesson that day. He tried explaining this to other people, when they attempted to talk me into something: "If Sheryl tells you she doesn't want to do something, don't try talking her into it. You'll think you've won, but soon realize how badly you've lost".

He's a smart & wonderful man and deserves a medal for putting up with me as long as he did.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Wisconsin Files (or "Why I will never go back to Wisconsin"), Part 1

(originally posted on myspace 07/07/05)

Most of my friends know of my extreme hatred for Wisconsin, and why I vowed I would never return... This is what occurred on a road trip to Wisconsin with my (ex) husband in the summer of 2000. Enjoy!

The ride there was uneventful enough. We make it to Wisconsin, had reservations at a motel, checked in, then went on to do our sight seeing.

The first place we stopped was a "junk as art" place (I can't remember what it was called). Basically it was a lot of rusty metal things put together to look like other stuff. It was out doors and I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Not fun. But I was ok.

Next stop- House on the Rock. Fun I suppose, but the gaudiest, most ugly thing I've ever seen in my life and it felt like it would never end. It was collection upon collection of random things, accentuated by its horrific 70's flair. And it was so damn huge, it took hours to walk through. If you've never heard of or been to this place, look at this:

House on the Rock
Finally, it was time for dinner. I'm vegetarian, and don't eat any mammals or fish, so this limits my choices of food, even in NY. But in Wisconsin, finding a decent restaurant became an impossible task. The city we were in was very small and surrounded by farms. There were hardly any eating establishments at all. We actually found a 'vegetarian restaurant' but it was after 6pm and they were closed. We keep driving around. We find a bar that serves food. This 'bar' was just like many other buildings outside of a real city- a square building with wood paneling inside and no personality. I have a serious hang up about wood paneling. It depresses me and I hate to be around it, but I'm hungry.
So we get a menu from the bar, and of course I'm limited to things like 'fries' and well... 'fries'. There's no selection. I'm standing there deciding what to do when an old man walks up to the bar, stands next to me, and orders FROG LEGS (wait, it gets better) through his CANCER KAZOO!

Needless to say, I turned around and walked out.

We continue driving. And I'm hungry. And cranky. Finally I decide we can't stay in this city. There is literally nowhere to eat and when we wake up tomorrow, we're gonna have to drive to another city anyway, so why not drive to another city tonight, since we obviously have to drive a while to find somewhere to eat. Makes perfect sense. We just gotta get our stuff from the motel (which is also a square building with wood paneling, by the way).

We get there and explain to the old German guy running it that we decided we aren't spending the night after all, and want a refund. He refuses to give us a refund for the night on such short notice. All we did was *check in* and put our bags in the room, mind you... I try explaining nicely that we can't stay in this city, and remind him about the big 'craft show' going on in their city this weekend (seriously, every room in the city was booked because of this thing- And I'm talking about middle aged mid western housewife crafts). But he flat out refuses to credit my account and even tells me I'll never find another room, because everything is booked.

I'm effing pissed. PISSED!!!!

We go back to the room to grab our stuff, and I'm just enraged. I call him from the room to curse him out and tell him how much this city sucks and that if I had to live here, I would kill myself. (Yes, I actually said that, and yes, I really meant it.)

My husband went back to the main desk and told the innkeeper we 'may be back' (I didn't want him making double the room rate by renting it to someone else, but I knew we wouldn't be back) Somehow my ethnicity came up and the German guy made some mention about Germany and Italy in WW2. I wasn't there to hear this, but my husband told me later. I was waiting in my car, about to have a heart attack from anger...

We left, without the refund, but I kept the room key. We drove to Madison, Wisconsin- about an hour- and keep in mind I'm still hungry, now reallllllly hungry. We stop at the first place we saw which was a TGIFridays. It was the best crappy meal I've ever had.

We found a very over priced hotel for the night and went to sleep. I had no idea the next day would be WORSE...
(this was posted as another installment in another blog, but I am putting it here with part 1)

OK after writing part 1, I decided it needed some photo accompaniment. So I went to the basement, dug out the 'Vacation 2000' scrapbook and scanned some pics- These pics correspond to the part 1 story, above:

Wisconsin welcomes you! (uh huh, sure they do)
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Did I mention the town was small? This was the town hall:
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The 'metal junk as art' place: (I don't have the name written in my scrapbook either)
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House on the Rock- From the outside:
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Did I mention there were rooms of instruments that play themselves? Yes, many, many rooms. Here's a pic of an orchestra (mannequins) playing instruments:
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I suppose there's nothing bad about a tiara collection:
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The last room featured a giant carousel and the ceiling was covered in badly haired/made up Charlie's Angels looking mannequins:
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To be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brokeback Will: Gay or Straight?

I'll start with William saying things that make him appear straight:

1) First of all, I like to listen to him on the phone, because it's rarely ever professional- I once overheard him talking to an ex-employee, Jacob, who I've never been a fan of. William's end of the conversation went like this:

"You should see Sheryl now (since I lose weight) - she's a real piece of ass!"

"Yeah, she still has her tattoos..." (Jacob is an a-hole. Seriously...)

2) I also heard him soliciting several female co-workers- telling them he needs a new girlfriend and wanted to send them his "girlfriend application". Shockingly, no one was interested.

3) I found out that a few years ago William was BUSTED for (I shit you not) having sex in his office!! How did I not learn this until now?? She was hot too- this older woman. She was 47 and gorgeous and he was 25. Damn, damn, damn. Go William!! The good thing is if he wasn't fired for that, I'm feeling pretty damn secure for being late and taking long lunches occasionally.

4) I heard him explaining to one of the guys that there is a girl with a sexy walk in the hospital, and used me as a reference point. He said "You know how you can watch Sheryl walk and know that she loves sex? Kinda like that..." (aw, he's so sweet!)

So maybe he's straight after all? I don't know- here are some recent events that challenge his adament claims of hetero-ness:

1) I learned about a pet William owns. Keep in mind, he is a single guy who lives alone. Not only does he have a cat (that's cute, in my book) but he also has a BUNNY. As in a real live fuzzy bunny rabbit. What grown man (he's 32) owns a freaking rabbit?!?!

2) We were talking about one of the managers who is never around. And William said he was going to "make his ass come" (implying come to the office). That's a direct quote- and one that I did not let him live down once it escaped his lips.

3) On the same day he called another male co-worker gay for wearing a nice button down lavender colored shirt, he admitted that "sometimes on a hot day, a guy just likes to enjoy a daiquiri". That's right a fruity girl drink- and he thought nothing wrong with this statement. I told him that I won't even drink that crap! And a poll took place immediately- I queried 10 people on which is gayer: A man in a pink/ lavender shirt or a man who admits drinking a daiquiri on a hot day. 9 to 1 the response was what I knew would be the result: The daiquiri is gayer, William!!!!

4) He was deliriously excited this week to tell me that he found out the Spice Girls would soon be touring. When I responded less than enthusiastically, he was sure to call them all out by name - as if THAT would get me excited... Needless to say, it did not.

We may never know the true orientation of my dear, sweet co-worker but I would like to mention a few other things-

1) Despite his laziness and general inability to do what is expected of him, he managed to earn a hearty 2% raise this year. However, the word "unreliable" was peppered throughout his review (I would kill to have read it in its entirety!)

2) We work on the 5th floor. The main floor is the 1st floor. Therefore, there are 4 floors in between (and 4 flights of stairs from the lobby to our office). Yet, when William arrives panting and out of breath because the elevator is not working (as usual), and I ask him how many flights he has walked, he tells me FIVE. I am unable to get him to understand that there are indeed only 4...

3) He's doing something right to someone because on occasion he gets these amazing fruit baskets that include chocolate covered strawberries. And unlike me, he SHARES his food. I love William!!

Gay or straight- Best. Office-mate. Ever.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brokeback Will and the Donut

(originally posted on myspace 02/08/07)

I've mentioned my sweet, but unmotivated co-worker, William -aka Brokeback Will. Well, yesterday he came back to the office from a meeting with a very sad tale...

Apparently, at his meeting, someone had brought Dunkin Donuts- a rare and wonderful treat in the hospital. He went into nearly pornographic detail about how much he loves Boston Cremes and it turned out he was lucky enough to snatch up the last one. As he told me this, I could see on his face how happy he must have been. But there was also a hint of sadness in the way he was retelling the story. I would soon understand why...

He goes on to tell me how he put his donut on a plate and was so looking forward to eating it. He walked up the auditorium style seating, sat down, and it was finally time to eat his coveted baked good.

Except that he couldn't find it.

He checked the floor, under his seat the seats next to him- everywhere. He thought he was losing his mind, but he couldn't find his donut. Needless to say, being the fat bastard he is (he's not really, but he is food obsessed), he missed the whole meeting because his mind was too busy trying to figure out what happened to his prized Boston Creme.

At the end of the meeting, he stood up to leave.

And felt something... odd...

It was the weight of a Boston Creme donut affixed to his ass.

That's right, he SAT ON THE DONUT!!!

And then he turned around, lifted his untucked shirt, and showed me the stain it left. I exploded with laughter! It was so funny, but touching and sad. I wish he would have let me take a picture of the stain (I did ask, but he refused).

A few other departments found about his little mishap and called to share their condolences. But the funniest was when he went into the elevator last night and saw this-

One of the women downstairs put that in there for him. I laughed all over again. Poor, sweet William.

I think I'm going to stop by Dunkin Donuts on the way to work tomorrow for my gay office boyfriend...

(Morning After Blog Note: I did stop at DD for him and ordered two - one with sprinkles, one without. They threw in a free third donut! I put them on his desk and am waiting for him to return from whereever he is. I'm gonna tell him the donut fairy brought them...)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yes, I heard you sneeze; and No, I'm not blessing you

(originally posted on myspace 06/15/06)

I decided earlier this year I am no longer doling out "God Bless Yous" just because someone within earshot of me sneezed. I'm not the freaking pope and I'm not even religious, so I don't know how I got roped into saying this.

I started this vicious campaign at work in January - by acknowledging I heard the sneeze, but saying to the sneezer "I don't bless people anymore, I don't believe in it". Now they know not to expect a "bless you". But sometimes I remind them by saying "I heard you sneeze, but you know how I feel about that...".

I did slip once, recently, and accidentally blessed my office mate William (we call him "Brokeback Will", even though he isn't gay. I swear it's endlessly entertaining). Anywho, as soon as I realized I let a "bless you" slip, I quickly and verbally retracted it. This unnerved him greatly; but I refused to give it back.

Of course my campaign of anti-blessing terror quickly spread to anyone I was in contact with, including friends and family, with a brief explanation about the origins of this nonsense. None of them even seemed surprised by my bless you boycott. I guess everyone is used to my quirks by now.

Why do I feel so strongly, you ask? Simply because I learned of its origins. And I am mad at myself for being a sheep up to this point, programmed to "bless" people, like that even means anything. There are multiple theories surrounding the origins, but they all point to religion and superstition - 2 things I have no belief in ("I'm a science person!" - Lainy likes when I say that).

Anyway, here are some explanations of the origins (courtesy of Wikipedia.com)


There are many theories regarding the origin of this custom.
One traditional explanation for the custom is that it began literally as a blessing. Pope Gregory I the Great (540-604 CE) ascended to the Papacy just in time for the start of the bubonic plague in 590 CE (his successor succumbed to it). To combat the plague, Gregory ordered litanies, processions and unceasing prayer for God's intercession. When someone sneezed (seen as the initial onset of the plague), they were immediately blessed ("God bless you!") in the hope that they would not actually develop the disease. Sneezing while alone necessitated saying "Bless me."
Not relevant to any papal directive, the phrase bless you or god bless you in Greek literature predates the ascention of Gregory.
"Bless you, my dear!" he said, and "bless you, bless you!" at the second and third sneeze. -- Apuleius, The Golden Ass, 150 CE
Dick cannot blow his nose whene'er he pleases, His nose so long is, and his arm so short; Nor ever cries, God bless me! when he sneezes - He cannot hear so distant a report. -- Greek Anthology, c. 500 CE


Other theories are based on superstitions and urban legends about sneezing and what a sneeze entails. Some well known superstitions that may have contributed to bringing bless you into common use are:
  • The heart stops when you sneeze (it doesn't), and the phrase bless you is meant to ensure the return of life or to encourage your heart to continue beating.
  • A sneeze is the expulsion of some sort of evil, and the phrase is meant to ward off the evil's re-entry.
  • Your soul can be thrown from your body when you sneeze, and saying bless you prevents your soul from being stolen by Satan or some evil spirit. Thus, bless you or God bless you is used as a sort of shield against evil.
  • A sneeze is good luck and saying "bless you" is no more than recognition of the sneezer's luckiness.
Alternatively, it may be possible that the phrase began rather uninterestingly as a response for an event that wasn't well understood at the time.
Another urban legend states that you cannot open your eyes while you sneeze, or if you manage to your eyes will pop out. This is, as stated, nothing more than an urban legend.

Modern use

In many English-speaking countries, the German equivalent, gesundheit (which roughly translated means "good health!") is proffered after sneezing.
In some parts of Australia, the expression is also used when a person belches or breaks wind; this usage is primarily an indication that the blesser has not been offended by the gaseous expulsions of the blessed.


  1. Opie, Iona, and Moira Tatum. A Dictionary of Superstitions. Oxford University Press; Oxford, 1992. ISBN 0-19-282916-5
  2. Snopes Urban Legends - Bless You!

So sneeze all you want, but don't expect me to say anything. Except possibly "That's disgusting!", "Settle down!" or "You're soooooo good looking!" ;)

My Gay Work Boyfriend who is neither gay, nor my boyfriend

(originally posted on myspace 06/22/06)

My co-worker William is so cute. He's 31, from Equador and very handsome. He claims he's straight, but we call him "Brokeback Will"- a name he earned pretty much simply by seeing the movie, but swearing he didn't know what it was about (uh huh...). But the name has stuck and it's appropriate, because I swear he's like my gay roommate. I talk to him about all sorts of girly things, and assault him with details about my sex life, which he doesn't seem to mind (or he's just being polite and letting me talk, I'm not sure which).

Yesterday I was wearing a new skirt and when I walked in, I stopped at his desk, turned around, and demanded he look at how incredible my ass looked in it. (It really does!) He agreed- but less because he thinks my ass looks good, and more because he knows he should just agree with me. And I even made him adjust my bra straps once, just so I didn't have to take it off to do it myself. But there's no sexual tension. He really is like a gay room mate and I'm so glad I got stuck with him (as opposed to any of the other 3 analysts they could have sent).

I can tell him: "William, I have PMS today, you will hear me crying at some point and probably cursing and screaming a lot"

"OK," he replies from the other side of the cubicle.

And if I'm quiet for too long at my desk, he'll say:
"Hey Sheryl? Are you ok? It's so quiet back there." (he's used to me talking to myself outloud- something I do wayyyy too much. Especially when problem solving.)

me: "Yeah I'm just *fill-in-the-blank*, but thanks for asking!"

He listens to internet radio and knows which songs I like! He'll say "Hey that song you like is on" and turn it up so I can hear it. How cute is that? He knows my songs!

We both talk about how fat we are and what we should be doing about it. (He's really not fat but wants to lose 30 pounds). He'll say he's fat, but 2 minutes later get a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll and tell me that instead, he will find a girl who likes fat guys.

We go for coffee breaks, and sometimes lunch, and incessantly talk shit about all the co-workers we don't like. It's so refreshing!

Of course he knows I won't bless him when he sneezes - the campaign of terror started with him, actually. And today when he sneezed, he waited, then he giggled and said "Thank You"- allowing enough time for my "god bless you" that never came.

He even knows me so well now, that he can tell if I've been laid the night before (pleasant Sheryl!) or if I need to get laid (bitchy, grouchy Sheryl). I can pretty much walk in the door, and he knows by the look on my face "Ewwww you had sex!"

In fact, this past Monday, I was in a surprisingly good mood (which I attribute to how much fun I had with Dave Harrison this weekend) and he said "You got laid this weekend, didn't you?" I was like "No! I just had a really good weekend!"

The funny part is, he prefers bitchy Sheryl. He has actually said, several times, "I don't like it when you're happy, it just isn't you." haha, isn't he adorable!?

He's really sweet. I don't often share space well with anyone (my ex husband seriously deserves an award for living with me as long as he did) but I genuinely like working with William and miss him when he's not there. He's the best office mate ever. And I tell him that all the time.