Reckless in rules and chair mats

By Mir
November 21, 2006

First of all, Otto and I had already picked the category winners from yesterday’s post well before midnight. Because we’re wild like that. And because Otto had to get to bed because he needs to be up early. (I also have to be up early, but I have given up sleeping for Advent.) (What, you think that’s weird? Sometimes I give up guilt for Lent. But then I feel bad about it.)

Next, I believe one of the signs of the Apocalypse has come to pass, and it’s my civic duty to alert you to our collective impending doom.

Today I went out to a store, walked in, and bought an item that cost more than $10 for FULL PRICE.

I’m sorry I had to tell you this way. And believe me, I know. I was shocked, too.

A few months ago, the chair mat at my desk began to crack. The chair’s wheels sank into depressions in the straining plastic, and the more I tried to scoot myself right up to the desk, the more often a little wedge of plastic would *PLOINK* separate itself from the mat and flip to a nearby location. There it would lie in wait, pointy thingies (yes, that’s the technical term) aimed skyward. I would invariably step squarely on these scraps in my bare or stocking feet, cry out in anguish, hobble along my way, and then sit down at the SAME chair on the SAME crumbling mat and execute the SAME chair-scooting move that broke the LAST piece off and start the cycle all over again.

I’m not a very quick learner, apparently.

Anyway, today I’d had enough, or possibly there was just a brand spankin’ new office supply place that caught my eye. I marched right in there and bought myself a new chair mat. I really felt like I was living on the edge. Which is fine, provided that I no longer have to step on the edge and its little pointy thingies in my bare feet.

And yes, that WAS the pinnacle of my day. I spent several minutes just rolling my chair back and forth at the desk, because I could. It was very gratifying.

(No, I’m not stressed out. Why do you ask? Do you want a turn on my chair mat?)

So, the contest! I decided I really need two new categories, one temporary one for all the changes happening and about to happen, and another ongoing one for All Things Otto. But, fortunately for all of you? That means two winners.

Otto would like me to tell you all that he did not appreciate the multiple “It’s all Otto’s fault” suggestions. But we did wrestle with the choices, that one aside.

We were easily in agreement that Sheryl‘s “The Year of Living Changerously” suggestion was pure brilliance. Not only did it make us both laugh, but a year is right about right. A year from now, all of the changes that are currently overwhelming me merely in thought will be settled and done. And then we’ll be on to the next adventure.

For the Otto-centric category, there were a lot of really brilliant suggestions. This one was much harder to narrow down, but we got it down to two and then I let Otto make the final decision, because after all, he’s being a pretty good sport about all of this. (To wit: I’m not only writing about him for the world to see, I’m calling him OTTO. And he’s cool with that. So, he gets to pick.) And he picked Sophie‘s suggestion: “Ottomatic For The People.” Clever wordplay, geographic appropriateness—well done.

Thanks to everyone who played! Sophie and Sheryl, I’ll be contacting you about your prizes.


  1. Belinda

    Brilliant choices. And I repeat my previously-stated opinion about people with anagramatic names. You should ALL have them.

  2. Patricia

    YIPPIE. I win, kind of ;). For the record, because I care about these things….I need it noted that I was both the first to suggest two categories and the chick in charge of “It’s all Otto’s Fault” — (I was feeling smug, until I read he didn’t appreciate it — now, I’m just bummed.)
    So, since I have the record in front of me, I submit to the judges that it IS Otto’s fault — and that can still not be a bad thing. I blame my husband near daily for making me love him, for making my life nice, for leaving his socks on the floor — see I take the good with the bad — but blame, yep, he gets it all. I’m blameless, with a side of guilt.
    To wit, I’m sorry if I offended Mr. Mir, I mean Otto. But I’m pleased with the choices — congrats to the WINNERS!

  3. Gillian

    I always give up something I hate for Lent because ‘The Lord loveth a cheerful giver’.

  4. Lady M

    Excellent categories.

    I heard that the ideal thing to give up for Lent is watermelon. If you truly love watermelon, it would be a sad thing to not have . . . but of course it’s not watermelon season. Giving up guilt though, that totally trumps any other suggestion.

  5. InterstellarLass

    Doh! I missed the contest. How fun!

  6. Sophie

    I am truly honored. Thanks for picking my entry! I like your contests, and hey! now I’ve won one.

  7. Sheryl

    It was fun, thanks :o)

  8. Elizabeth

    Wait, “Otto” is an ANAGRAM??? Oh man, now I’m going to drive myself crazy trying to figure it out!

  9. Susan

    Sleep is SOOOOO overrated. Really.

    Now I have to lie down because I will need my strength for the apocalypse. Which is CLEARLY coming.

  10. Aimee

    Um… I certainly hope Otto’s not an anagram. I mean, a rose by any other word, and all that. SURE. But if it’s an anagram, wouldn’t his name have to be TOOT? or TOTO? or OOTT? or something like that? That would be… just weird.

  11. Otto

    Yes, my parents were HUGE “The Wizard of Oz” fans and named me after a mutt …

    And have you ever played Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” at the same time as “The Wizard of Oz?” Press play on the CD as the MGM lion roars for the third time – it is REALLY FREAKING WEIRD.

  12. Stephanie Chance

    Do you mean palindrome? Like I Palindrome I by They Might Be Giants?

  13. Jenn2

    Happy office chair sitting!

  14. Aimee

    Sorry, Otto! It’s not weird — Toto is a PERFECTLY LOVELY NAME for a grown man. Mir and Toto sittin’ in a tree…

  15. Ben

    Didn’t Toto have some hits back in the 70’s?

    The wild dogs cry out in the night
    As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
    I know that I must do whats right
    Sure as kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti
    I seek to cure whats deep inside, frightened of this thing that Ive become

    or how about hold the line?

    Its not in the words that you told me, girl
    Its not in the way you say youre mine, ooh
    Its not in the way that you came back to me
    Its not in the way that your love set me free
    Its not in the way you look or the things that you say that youll do


  16. karen

    So his name’s not actually Otto? What a relief…. I kept formulating comments in my head that were like, “Yes, he sounds great and all, but are you SURE? ‘Cause his name is OTTO!”

    Okay, I can sleep now. Whew.

  17. Bob

    I’m really curious about the whole idea of playing pink floyd at the same time as the wizard of oz. I mean, I’ve lived in a dorm before, so dispirate music/sounds/etc at the same time isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve raised kids, so many are the times I’ve tried to drown out winnie the pooh with the english beat – but where would someone be to hear these particular two at the same time, be paying attention to it, and then decide that the two go together, but ONLY if you start playing dark side of the moon after the third roar of the wizard of oz.

    I must be much more conservative than I thought I was. Or getting frikkin old.

  18. Ben

    Bob –

    Google “Dark Side of the Rainbow.”

    Or click here, I’ve done it for you.

    Somebody had a lot of time on their hands, but it sounds really cool. I wanna do it. Must get in the proper “mindset” first. (Is that what they call it now?)

  19. Liise

    OK this is the second time I have heard reference to Dark Side of the Rainbow in less than 2 weeks. How does an 80’s girl NOT KNOW about this phenomenon? How I ask?

  20. Lisa

    Curse you Otto! Now I am very curious about the Dark Side of the Rainbow!

    I was pretty sure we have copies of the movie and CD here but upon reviewing the websites have discovered that I have the wrong version of The Dark Side of the Moon. I have the 20th anniversary edition and the tracks were shortened on it. The original version or the 1994 reissue are recommended. If I wasn’t in the middle of marking exams and writing report cards (with a little break to read my favourite blog!) I’d be tempted to check it out anyway.

  21. Bob

    okay, so I’m (almost) the only one here with absolutely no pop-cultural cred here.

    I always knew I was an old codger, I’m just showin’ it more everyday.

  22. Daisy

    As long as he’s not the Otto from Airplane, the nickname is fine. I’m sure he’s much cuter — and he’s certainly not as full of hot air.

  23. daring one

    Good choices. Plane tickets?

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