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    Why MENSA isn’t holding a spot open for me

    October 31, 2006

    I went and tried out for Jeopardy last night.

    I actually was not aware that they were even holding tryouts where I live until my husband happened to mention it and told me he thought I should go and try out.

    We will sometimes play along at home and more often than not I do pretty well on knowing the answers (thank you higher education). Playing at home is alot more relaxed and when the pressure is on and something really big is riding on my knowing some random bit of trivia–well the odds are good that I will blow it.

    I left work early to go stand outside in line for almost 2 hours to make sure that I got a spot with all the other Jeopardy Hopefulls. Fortunately it was a beautiful day (almost the end of October and it was in the mid-70’s). Also fortunate for me, I ended up standing next to a gentleman who although having a PhD in Engineering, was actually fun to talk to (sorry to any Engineers who read this and may be offended…its just that most engineer’s that I have known tend to be…somewhat socially retarded. Seems to come with the field).

    Once the auditions officially ‘opened’ at 5pm, things went pretty quickly. I moved up in line and got to the room where they were handing out the pre-determining test. 10 questions, 5 minute time limit.

    Immediately I could answer seven of the ten questions (“The occipital is one of 206 in the human body” What is a bone? Ding ding ding I think we have a winner). The other three questions that I couldn’t think of the answers for didn’t fare so well and I left them blank. Unfortunately, by leaving the three questions blank, I nixed any chance of being invited back for the really ‘real’ Jeopardy audition being held the next day.

    Of course, on the walk back to where I had parked my car, I could immediately come up with the answer to one of the three questions I couldn’t think of–the question was “This rhyme form is named after a town in Ireland”–What is a Limerick?!!! Where was that answer hiding in my grey matter only 5 minutes previously?

    Its nice to know that I won’t have to worry about about any invitations from MENSA cluttering up my mailbox in the near future.

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    Weekend by the numbers

    October 30, 2006

    minutes late leaving for sister-in-law’s house: 20

    minutes 1 hour and 15 minute trip to sister-in-law’s house took me: 60

    times during trip I wish I had a)time to stop and b)my camera: 8

    dead animals on side of road passed along the way: 11

    small children under the age of 8 at niece & nephew’s birthday party: 10

    times I felt panic at having to have a party just like that for Owen in 5 years: 20

    people Owen charmed by being so good at said party: 30

    total minutes I spent holding Owen during two hour party: 10

    total minutes Owen spent being held by someone else: 110

    minutes spent during return trip home worrying about deer on the highway: 20

    minutes spent trying to get Owen to sleep upon arriving home and after he had slept the whole way home: 60

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    Reason # 541,971 that I am glad I only have 16 more days of working here

    October 26, 2006

    The morning didn’t start off all that badly—any worse than any other morning where I have to get up and actually go to work anyway.

    10 AM hit and lo and behold it was time to head upstairs with my black ‘magic bag’ to pump for Owen (for bottles that he won’t even take from his father in the hours that I am away so that he is so hungry that by the time I get home he immediately wants the boob NOW and attacks my chest with all the delicacy of a rabid badger).

    I shut the door to the only single and semi-private bathroom in the entire building (I have no problem pumping, but it really isn’t something I want to share with anyone and everyone who might wander in and out of the women’s bathroom. Besides, anyone who isn’t familiar with the sound of an electric/battery powered breast pump might um…get the wrong idea about what exactly it is that I’m doing in stall #3 and in my building it isn’t that hard to identify everyone by their shoes. So yeah) and proceed to hook everything up, undo my clothes and find my happy place (la la la…think of the boy…la la la…look anywhere but in the mirror…la la la) and then Houston, we have letdown and I am 2 minutes down, eight to go.

    When all of a sudden the building’s fire alarm goes off.

    Oh crap (which is close to what I immediately thought).

    What to do? Stay in the bathroom and continue to pump like I didn’t hear the alarm? Sounds like a good idea…until I hear the building’s safety manager say to someone else “The fire’s downstairs” several times and in a rather urgent tone. Crap, it would just figure that the one time I disobey the fire alarm, it would be the time that it involves a real fire. So I proceed to carefully stuff everything back in my bag (because I will be coming back and finishing up so that I am not in pain and two sizes bigger for the remaining two hours before I can get home and feed Owen at lunch thankyouverymuch) and do my front up (it was either disassemble everything or do up my shirt…hmmm…tough call there) and then head to the front door to go outside. I then remember the temperature has really dropped this week and I don’t have a jacket since I don’t exactly layer up for all possible weather conditions when I head upstairs to pump.

    I manage to make it outside (think warm thoughts think warm thoughts) and then notice, right as I join the rest of my co-workers from inside the building, that one of the pump things (um…I don’t know what it’s called…the uh…part that goes directly on the boob, okay?) is trying to escape from outside the top of the bag. I stuff it back in, silently praying that no one notices my distress or that I notice anyone noticing my distress, and wait for the all clear sign to head back in the building.

    It ended up being a false alarm after all—they wanted to make sure we knew how to react if we thought it was a real fire, so that’s why the safety manager was telling everyone that there was a fire downstairs.

    Sure, I know how to react when I think its a real fire, but how do I relax when its time to head upstairs now?