Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stuffing Your Stocking (an email love story)

From December 2007, a little preface is in order:

Ty and I decided to use commuter mugs instead of paper cups when we go out for coffee. You know, integrity as a green building professional and all. I wanted to get him a mug for Christmas but he was very picky (Ty? Picky? No!) about which mugs would be acceptable for a Raider fan/ex rugby player to be seen holding. Never mind they would be filled with white chocolate mochas and whip cream – no one could actually see the foof inside.

Also of note: Ty had recently sworn off caffeine entirely and was a little bitter about it.

I have painstakingly re-pasted all of these in order so you can read down, not up.

-----Original Message-----

From: Juliana R. Tadano []

Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 11:03 AM

To: Ty Tadano

Subject: RFI - stuffing your stocking

Dear Picky But Lovable Christmas Client,

Santa would like to bring you a new coffee mug for your stocking this

year. Santa respects that you would like as manly a mug as possible.

Can you please convey your manly factor on the following choices?

If none of these choices are appealing, please provide specifications

or models you would accept.

Santa also respects your thriftiness (although it has put you

dangerously close to getting on the naughty list at times) and so

would like a prompt response, as all of the choices below are on sale

this weekend only. :)


Chief Operating Elf

Department of Picky Clients

Disclaimer: For those clients who are caffeine impaired, offered mugs

may also hold decaffeinated coffee, tea, warm or cool water, gatorade,

or other beverage of choice. Please note that soda will cause cup and

client to spontaneously explode and should not be used with gift mugs.

On Dec 14, 2007 11:33 AM, Ty Tadano wrote:

Dear Chief Operating Elf,

As a direct employee of the jolly old, and all knowing, Mr. Santa

Claus, he should have told you that I am not fond of any mug that has

"Starbucks" prominently displayed on it. While I will likely continue

to be a patron of Starbucks, I do not like advertising for them.

Perhaps Mr. Clause is too busy to relay such details at this time of


However, my thriftiness, as you have noted, also makes me wonder why

Santa would want to purchase a new mug, when there is a nice, brand

new, stainless steel mug already residing in the Tadano cupboard.

Granted, it may have "Starbucks" on it, but the thriftiness usually

wins out over picky tendencies I may or may not have.

That all said, the Concord tumbler model is the most appealing to me.

Another related gift idea for picky clients such as myself would be a

stainless steel water bottle, with screw on/off cap. The "suck" type

lids are not favored.

Best of luck to you this Christmas season. I hope your picky clients

can loosen up a bit.


Client #1

-----Original Message-----

From: Juliana R. Tadano []

Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 11:56 AM

To: Ty Tadano

Subject: Re: RFI - stuffing your stocking

We here at the North Pole love it when you sub-arctic folk think you

know more than us. It really ups the jolly level around here to laugh at you.

Said nice new mug in the Tadano cupboard was already rejected by yourself, and has been claimed by said Chief Operating Elf. Do not under any circumstances claim said mug for yourself. You are not worthy of it as you do not appreciate its niceness and tried to regift it - a felony offense here at the North Pole. That behavior did indeed land you on the Naughty List, and your recent delivery of just-because tulips is all that got you off that list and back into gift receiving status.

Secondly, ALL commuter mugs of any quality (ie. will not crack and break as photo mugs do) have someone's logo on them. The good news is the logo generally wears off - see Stainless Steel Eddie Bauer mug in your cupboard as evidence. If you want a gift with no brand name in this day and age, your lump of coal is waiting.

The mugs below were chosen based on: stainless steel is manly and

subtle. Double wall insulation works at keeping things warm/cold,

handles (where offered) provide help with bike trips to work, bottoms

fit in car cupholders, and the containers are not plastic or in 3 pieces which will come apart as your WYA mug did. Any mug lacking in logo is a)hard to find and b) shitty cheap and will fall apart.

We do offer a new waiver and right of responsibility form this year.

If you (or any other PBL Clients) wish to fill your own stocking, I can

forward this form which removes all responsibility and liability from

Santa and his associates for filling your stocking. In addition, you

agree to fill your stocking as long as there are children of influential age in your household or visiting on Christmas Day.

However, this is a one-time offer, and you cannot reinstate said

services once the contract is signed. In addition, by not signing said

contract, you agree to appreciate and utilize all gifts from this

Christmas forward without negativity, guilt trip, or ungratefulness.

You are permitted to give positive, gentle, and constructive feedback on stocking stuffers received or not received for future Christmas use

- if accompanied by a back rub, 10 compliments, and a box of good

chocolate. Santa and Associates reserve the right to still be pissed off and angry upon receipt of said advice.

Please let me know what you would like do this year in regards to the

Transfer of Stocking Stuffing Responsibility Form.

-COE, Dept. of PBLC's

On Dec 14, 2007 12:18 PM, Ty Tadano wrote:

Tempting, however, I do not wish to sign the transfer of stocking

stuffer responsibility form. Thanks for extending the offer though.

Very thoughtful of you.

Please note that the Concord Tumbler mug was the preferred style out of

the three sent.

I plan to obtain a beverage holder for my bike once the commute

increases, therefore, a traditional handle is not necessary. Also,

since I am no longer partaking of coffee, I may not be traveling with

the mug by bike at all. Of primary importance are manliness and the

ability to fit in a car cupholder. I agree that stainless steel is a

very manly finish in coffee mugs.

Thanks for your hard work up at the North pole this (and every) year. I think I am speaking for all my fellow PBLC's when I say that you are

much appreciated.

Client #1

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Juliana R. Tadano

Date: Dec 14, 2007 12:23 PM

Subject: Re: RFI - stuffing your stocking

To: Ty Tadano

Noted, noted, noted and noted.

You continue to be our most difficult, vexing, frustrating,

impossible, and lovable client, this year and every year.

I will now bang my elf head on my elf workbench in a most jolly way.


That Other Half of the Species…

This was started in Sept 2006 and never finished. But its still worth reading I think. But I am a bit biased...

That Other Half of the Species…

I find men endlessly entertaining…as much as I try to minimize the differences between the sexes (well, its not that I minimize the differences, I just tend to think that our shared humanity is much larger and more implicating than the differences based on hormones and genitalia)….anyhow, there are some things men do that I don’t understand!

Case in Point #1:

Last night over a birthday dinner, we played Apples to Apples. The game involves a judge, who chooses an adjective card, and the rest of the players, who offer a noun card for the judge to choose as the best fit for his adjective. For example, if your adjective card is “Explosive” the noun cards might include “Volcano,” “Chili,” “Rush Limbaugh,” “Exorcism,” and the random cards from folks who had nothing good to offer, like “Betsy Ross,” “Apples,” and “Milwaukee.” Whoever’s card is chosen by the judge gets a point, and a new round starts with a new judge and a new adjective card.

The problem is, for men, there are “trump cards.” Basically, no matter what the adjective, these cards represent something so revered in male culture that the card wins by default of being cool (where, in this case, cool means really nerdy in an 10 year old boy sort of way). The fact that there are trump cards alone says so much about men…but then, what qualifies as a trump card says so, so much more.

Last night’s trump cards included:


-The GodFather (which was never actually played, but was agreed upon as being THE trump card if it was indeed in the deck).

-Exorcism (beat my submission of “Tidal Wave” for “Refreshing” – I am disgruntled!)

To women, I would bet a large amount of money, Ninjas, The Godfather, and Exorcism mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. Okay, maybe they cause a little bit of annoyance, but that’s it. But to men, these are magic words. They conjure up another, forgotten world, where superman undies, cereal, video games, and smelly squishy things thrown at each other constituted the best in life.

So therefore, a good communal game of Apples to Apples (which is one of the few games I will play because its more about hilarity and wittiness than competition or embaressing antics) gets reduced to a boys club - where the grown men basically split off, grunt and giggle over horse heads in bed and black masks and throwing stars, and leave the game to go build a fort with "no girls allowed" painted on the outside.
Which I guess would be fine, except girls don't have trump cards. We are fair, we are relational. If we could, we would choose every card. Even the lame ones that don't fit - like "slippery" and "barbara thatcher". We spend all this time hemming and hawing over which cards we can legitimately discount without hurting anyone's feelings. Which makes us about as lame as the boys with their trump cards, now that I think about it.