17.12.07

You Have No Idea What I'm Saying...

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The guy at the counter was rushed. Probably he was ready to go home. It seems reasonable that it was the end of his shift, seeing as it was right around 6P. I have no quarrel with you getting the fuck out of work the very moment your shift is done. Especially when your shitty job entails listening to customers specify exactly what variety, flavor, and temperature they want their stupid coffee. I would flee as soon as humanly possible, myself.

Now, it should be noted in bold, block letters that I DO NOT DRINK COFFEE. I seldom step foot into any of the 7000 chain coffee stores in a 2 mile radius of my house. When I do go in, I am always accompanied by a regular coffee drinker who knows how and what to order. Always until today. Today I went in to pick up a coffee as a favor to Wilbur who was running behind and needed the caffeine following a 3 martini and a Long Island Tea lunch and then coming home and sleeping it off for a few hours.

I stepped up to the counter and said, I want a large, plain coffee with room for cream. The guy said, "Tall." I just sort of shrugged. "What kind?" he asked. "Just coffee. It doesn't matter." You'd have thought I'd actually hit him in the face. When he recovered, he listed some stuff off and I said, "Pick one." "That's not how we do it here." He was starting to get red. I was bumping shoulders with rage, myself. He started to list them off again. I told him to stop. "Look, I just want some coffee. I don't care what kind. Just put some regular, non-decaf coffee in the biggest cup you have and give it to me." No doubt the manager smelled the blood in the water and intervened. "What's the problem, ma'am?" "No problem. I think we're just having a miscommunication. I just want a large, plain coffee with room for cream." "Ooooh," she said sort of nodding. "No problem, I'll get it for you." She then shrieked something entirely different over her shoulder. "We just use different lingo, that's probably what was confusing you." First of all, "lingo?" And second, I wasn't confused by the menu, just by the guy who didn't understand how to translate a large plain coffee into Starbuckese. I'm fairly sure it's just a dialect of English. It should be no problem. I just took Wilbur's coffee and left.

14.12.07

Fuck Me at the 7 Eleven

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"Hey baby. Can you pickup? (pause) Hey. (pause) Nothing, just standing in line then going home. D'ya wanna come fuck me? (pause) C'mon, please? (pause) So come over when she leaves. (squeal) YAY! I'm getting wet just thinking about sucking your cock. (pause) 'Kay. Laters."

The Girl: aged 18-22, blonde, plumpish - carrying the freshman 14. Average looking. Wearing very small, baby blue shorts with her sorority letters on the ass, camel toe, beige Uggs, pink t-shirt, multi-colored scarf & big white cardigan. The Phone: Motorola Rockr - pink & sparkley.

I love LA. Seriously.

12.12.07

Ungifted

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Not everyone has a gift for writing. Just like not everyone has a gift for cooking, or functioning as a productive member of society. It's okay if you don't know how to write. It's also okay to be earnest and try your hardest. But once you've done a couple of workshops and graduated college, your dearth of skill should be properly acknowledged and you should stop writing.
Now, I don't mean stop writing all together. I do mean stop blogging. If you have no gift - let it lie. And, at the very least, run a spell check over your post before you stick it up there for the whole world to see.

10.11.07

Thames Cut His Hair (And We Care)

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We all know them. Those idiots we went to high school with, who, 15 years later, still seem like teenagers - in the worst way. Well, one of mine went as far as to post a bulletin on myspace to let everyone know that he was cutting his hair. In case someone was really attached to his mane. But he assures us that it's all for a good cause: Locks of Love. Well thank god for that. If he were just cutting it to look less like an asshole, I'd have been upset.

30.7.07

Pottermania

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I admit it. I've read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I read it the day it was released. I love those damn books.

It happened by accident. I was one of those people who disdained the adults who carried around Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when it was first published 10 years ago. All I could think was, "It's kids' book, you sad, simple idiots." I refused to even pick it up.

Then there was this road trip with my sister and her kids. They were little. 5 and 7 years old. So we passed the time by reading them the damn Harry Potter books in the car. We started with the first one. I was rolling my eyes and hoping not to be too bored with the book. This was the summer that The Prisoner of Azkaban was published.

By the middle of the first book, I was hooked. We finished all three of the books by the time we came to the end of the road. I was miffed that the rest of the books weren't ready for my immediate consumption. I still kind of feel like books that are published in series should be published in two or three book blocks. But I managed to live with the suspense for a year and then went and bought The Goblet of Fire.

I only thought a year was too long. By the time Order of the Phoenix arrived in book stores, I was so put out that JK Rowling took more than a year to get a book out that I almost didn't buy it. I mean the nerve. But I did. And I read it in one sitting. I still divorced myself from the 'mania', though by not buying the books the moment they were published. I waited some months. I was casual about it. Until the Deathly Hallows.

I ordered it on Amazon almost as soon as it became available. I had guaranteed delivery on the 21st. I made no plans for the weekend so I could read the book. I was afraid that if I waited around I'd encounter spoilers. Dear god, how did this happen? I hate that I love them, but I love them, anyway. I was swept up in Pottermania. Oh, the shame. Not to diminish the quality of the books. They're good, but I'm still ashamed.

Hello, my name is Dorothy and I'm a Potterholic.

19.7.07

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

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One decade ago today, my marriage officially ended. It was, and remains, one of the best days of my life. This sounds callous. However, had you been married to my ex-husband, you, too, would have been overjoyed about the day you were officially un-married to him. I won't go into detail about why he turned out to be so unsuitable as a husband, I will merely say that in the latter days of our marriage it would have left me more happy than sad if he'd been sucked into space and never heard from again.

Sadly, I couldn't accomplish never hearing from him again even after the gavel dropped on what was never wedded bliss. This makes only the second year (and it's not over yet) that I've not heard a word from him. I wanted him to leave me alone - hence the divorce. But he couldn't let it lie.

Initially, he called all the time. He called late at night, early in the morning, in the evening. Always acting like we had something to talk about. I stopped answering the phone. Then he'd leave messages asking where I was. Finally, I told him I didn't want to talk to him (because apparently he couldn't take a hint) and to stop calling. So he stopped. But we lived in the same city and we went to a lot of the same places, so I'd see him. He even went so far as to say to a guy I was dating, "So you're dating my wife."

That's bordering on frightening. Fortunately, my beau was very smart and cool-headed and could reply, "She's not your wife anymore," and walk away. But this kind of thing kept happening. And then a book off of my Amazon wishlist arrived at my door. I might have done something about that, but then I moved 2000 miles away. To San Francisco. Safe.

Or so I thought. But somehow he tracked me down. Again he called. Not all the time anymore, but enough to be irritating. Always, he would work in the question of why I hated him so much before I could get off the phone. I never bothered to answer. The fact was, and still is, that I don't hate him. I don't like him. But I don't hate him.

Then, MacWorld. He was in town for the expo, just thought he'd drop by and see if I was around. I was dismayed beyond words to pick up my phone to find him on the other end of the intercom. I told him that his behavior was inappropriate and that he needed to leave me alone. Then I hung up. He buzzed two times in a row before he left. Or maybe he waited outside for a while, I don't know. By the time I walked out my door again, he wasn't there.

After that came the longest period of silence to that point. I thought I was finally rid of him. I moved again. But we ended up in the same place again. I knew he was there, but if he didn't know I was there it wouldn't matter.

Apparently, he found out. I don't know how. He said he'd "heard" I was in town. Not from anyone I know. So I got some calls. I told him if he ever called me again I'd blow a rape whistle into the phone. It worked.

Or did it? The last time I actually saw him was on the front stoop of my apartment building about five years ago. He "was walking by" my building. I don't know how he knew it was my building. Creepy. I let loose on him. I called him names, among them was "infantile asshole" and "pushy motherfucker", and told him that if he ever showed up again, I would call the police.

Since then I've gotten a couple of calls a year until a couple of years ago. The last message he left me (on my cell phone, to which he magically had the number) said (among other things), "You don't have to be afraid to talk to me anymore. I'm married again." WTF? Maybe he's figured out how it's supposed to be done, finally.

I can say this though, he's given me the best 10th-anniversary-of-our-divorce gift ever by not calling.

23.4.07

Captain Incompetent and the Organizationally Impaired

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I have a new job. Not a career move. A job. Working for a disaster area of a company whose name and area of business will remain unnamed for the sake of discretion and me keeping my non-career job.

Today was my first day. I have to admit, I should have seen it coming when, in the interview, the person interviewing me, we'll call her - Fran - took a call for 10 minutes while I sat in the room able to hear both sides of the conversation perfectly because the cell phone Fran was on had the volume turned up to 'embarrassingly audible'. She then - in the same interview - asked me the same question about 4 times and told me she had me confused with someone else. If you're new or independently wealthy (and thus have never had an interview), it's not a particularly good sign when someone like Fran tells you they have you confused with someone else. I never expeced to hear from them again.

So you can imagine my surprise when, not 24 hours later, they asked me to come in for a second interview. This time I met with a "higher up" - we'll call him Pete. Pete is not a native of the United States. He is, to be unspecific, European. He speaks a Romance language and is very hard to read. My meeting with Pete was quite nearly physically painful. I again left with no expectation that they would want me.

Two days later they made me an offer (which I should have shoved back in their faces, but I digress) which I accepted. I was shocked they hired me. I really needed the job. They wanted me to start right away. And by right away I mean in the middle of the week. I said that I couldn't start until today. Even through it all, I never expected to walk into the office today and NOT HAVE A DESK. But there you have it. I was deskless. And computerless. In today's modern office that basically means I was useless.

Fran was apologetic. I don't know what they would have done if I had started five days earlier. I'd have been really fucked. Anyway, while I was awaiting the guy who was to assemble my desk, Fran gave me some "busy work." Again, if you've never worked in an office, this is the kind of thing that makes you want to jam pencils under your fingernails because the pain would offset the most tedious thing in the world.

My busy work consisted of this: Fran walked me into her disaster area of an office where there was not one single filing cabinet and her "filing system" consisted of piles, and by piles I mean wads, of paper everywhere. She then proceeded to pick up several wads from here and there and hand them to me. In no order at all - not even oriented in the same direction. "Separate these by what you see," she said to me. What I saw was a goddamned coffee-stained, crumpled shambles. But I accepted the mess and took it to the empty office adjacent to hers.

Once I had made tidy piles of the papers, some of which had nothing to identify what they were, she told me to make files. By this time my desk was at least assembled. I went to the supply area. Here I should mention that the supplies are kept in an open area in the shop. Right - also, we have a shop where tools are kept and some carpentry work is done. So the supplies are in boxes and stacks in this area. And they're covered in dust. And not just any dust. Industrial dust. Sawdust. Drywall dust. Disgusting dust. Anyway, I rooted through the troughs and piles until I located hanging folders and regular file folders. I took them back and made files.

Fran emerged from her sty to tell me to put the files in my filing cabinet since these would be the beginnings of the master files. She didn't even look at them. For all I know they're totally incorrectly filed. What she did look at, though, was the size of the folders. Legal. "What is that?" she asked in a tone of voice that was so irritating that I nearly jammed the pen in my hand into her brain through her nose. I didn't know what she was talking about so I said, "What?" "That," she said, pointing to files. I looked at her. I think she may be impaired. Clearly they're files. And it's more than one, so can we please use the plural form of the noun? What are those? "You'll have to change them," she said. Like I knew what the fuck she meant. So I said, "What are you talking about?" "We don't use legal. We use letter." "Well there aren't any letter sized folders in the back." "Yes there are. I used them." And she started towards the supply area. Before she got through the door, though, Mark, the receptionist said, "We're out. They sent the wrong size in the last order." "Well, you're going to have to order some. We can't have legal files." So I got a little annoyed and said, "I'm pretty sure I can do that another time. I think there are more important things I could be learning." "You have to have attention to detail for this job or it won't work out," she said.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL? Like keeping heaps of papers scattered about your office floor is an attention to detail? I didn't reply. What could I say? I was literally struck dumb by the sheer idiocy of it. Fortunately, my computer arrived just then and gave us a new focus. Unfortunately this meant that she would wheel her desk chair out to my desk and literally watch me over my shoulder as she gave me things to do. Here I must put in my two cents as far as the computer/network goes. It could only be slower if we actually typed information onto paper and mailed it where it was going. Even the cursor doesn't keep up with typing speed. WTF? Even my crappy word processor from the '80s could do that. And then she asked me, "Why are you typing so slow?" Finally she got an "important call" and went somewhere to talk. This left me the rest of the day (45 minutes) to finish the new computer-related tasks she had left in new wads on my desk. I can only say that it's a good thing crumpled paper takes up more room than smooth and it was no problem to finish in plenty of time. Which I did. And then I left at exactly 5:00. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow. I'm still not entirely convinced of that, though.

19.4.07

Hollandaise is the Food of Love

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I love food. I love it more than I should. It's not a minor fling. It's not infatuation. It's true love. And not only do I love food. It loves me back. Know how I can tell? Because it stays with me - on my thighs and ass. And as much as I don't love that it's so clingy, I still love it and will never give it up. Not as long as butter and hollandaise exist, anyway.

16.3.07

Lounging Around on Death's Doorstep

It began with a cough. Not my own cough. It was Juan's cough that kicked the flu festivities into action.

J: (cough)

D: Are you alright?

J: (COUGH) Yeah. I just have this tickle.

I JUST HAVE THIS TICKLE. And then he proceeded to hack maleficent microbes all over me for the rest of the evening.

I have succumbed. I'm fairly sure that my expiration is coming anon. In the meantime, I will lie in bed and nap between doses of Mucinex, Advil, Zicam, and Chloraseptic. Damn those little germy bastards! Damn them to hell!! (It is important to note that I would be screaming this last sentiment while shaking my fist to the sky, only my throat is far too sore and I don't have the strength to hold my arm up for that long.)

10.3.07

Monumentally Memorable

Wilbur came in the door and flopped, with all of his crap, on the couch. After a moment, he noticed the new piece of furniture. It's a tea cart. Antique. Pretty cool. But I'm not sure where it should really go.

"What's that?" he asked - and rather peevishly.

I explained the situation.

"Is that where you're going to leave it?" he asked in that tone of voice that makes me want to squeeze all of the air out of his body and leave him crumpled on the floor.

"For now. I'm just not sure where to put it."

"Well it looks kind of... weird." Again in a rather snotty tone of voice.

Now, I don't disagree. It looks weird. It needs to find a home. The thing that makes this incident so particularly perturbing is that Wilbur, as his name might suggest, is something of pig. And what's funny about it is that this is the thing that offends his aesthetic sensibilities when his piles of shit cover surface after surface in our apartment. I'm pretty sure, that, left to his own resources, he could allow things to be left in random places FOREVER.

For example, last MAY, I gave him a decorative wood box that then sat in our dining area - on the floor no less - for about seven months. SEVEN MONTHS.

Now I know the question here is, why the fuck didn't I do anything about it. Well the answer to that is two-fold. First, I don't feel like it's accomplishing anything to point out the obvious by saying, "That box I gave you is still sitting on the floor." He's not blind. Second, I don't ever want to feel like I'm cleaning up after him.

When we first moved in together, I often felt that way and I was annoyed with him all the time. Now that I've decided to just leave it alone, things are much better. Hence, sometimes shit is lying around in messy little pig piles for months.

So with these conditions ever-present in our domicile, you can imagine why it's so hilarious that the temporary position of a tea cart irks him. Hilarious and puzzling.

Brought to You By the Letter P

Evidently, P is a big letter in my vocabulary. My post titles seem to mostly start with P. I don't know if it's because I look at the list and see all the Ps or if I just really like P. It's a funny letter. Parfait, pickle, penis, pedant... All funny words. Sadly, the titles of my posts tend to be funnier than the content. Maybe I should try to move on to a new letter in hopes that the disparity between title and content will be less glaring. I'm going to think about switching to M.

Pernicious Personality Problems

I'm not a person who cares what other people think. About anything mostly. Okay, there was apparently a time when I was really little - between 2 and 4 - when someone thought I was a boy and I was quite vexed by this. I don't actually remember the incident. At any rate, that was quite a long time ago. At this point in my life I don't care, but I also don't operate under the dilusion that anyone is giving me much thought.

What's interesting to me is that I seem to have some really insecure people in my life. People who don't take a breath without wondering if someone thought it was too loud. And further, will someone hate them for breathing too loudly? Beyond the trivial, though, is the more insidious, "do they think I'm cool?"

This is a question that I find perplexing beyond almost anything. What's the target demographic on that one? Who could make them feel cool? And what's cool? I know we all know, but we all have a different idea. One thing we can all agree on, though, is that if you're trying to be cool and/or impress someone, you are not cool, nor will you impress anyone.

I have a close friend, or I guess it's more correct to say that I know someone who was once my close friend, who has fallen prey to this coolness disease. As a result, I can almost not stand her anymore. Over the last few years she's regressed to what can only be called an adolescent state of mind. Conversation with her is nearly impossible. Her range of interests seem to include shopping and celebrity gossip and little else.

In the past few months she's been adapting her personality to try to fit the new people she spends time with, spouting "facts" like, "You could be eating cloned eggs and not know it." I haven't heard her have an opinion in the last couple of years, either. She's happy to tell me what some other person thinks, though. "Jane says that I should get a job at Blah, Inc."

I've actively ended more than a few friendships in my life. And all evidence is pointing to the fact that I may have to do it again.

1.3.07

Peeved

People who are bad houseguests are some of the most irritating people in the world.

Here's a list of WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN STAYING AT MY HOUSE:

1) Under no circumstances should you go through my medicine cabinet. I realize that this is something that many people do, and I further realize that many people would never notice that you did so. I am, what we will call, particular. My medicine cabinet is in a very specific order, down to the directions the labels on things face. It's tidy and I know what it looks like. If someone sticks their giant fist in there and moves stuff around, I know about it.

2) Don't steal presription drugs from my roommate. Tacky. And... illegal.

3) When you are told that five days is too long for you to stay, don't lie and say you're staying two days and then end up staying five. It's childish. And inconsiderate.

4) Don't make a giant mess in the living room.

5) Don't feel compelled to talk when you have nothing interesting or informed to say.

6) Hair stuck with ejaculate to my shower curtain is uacceptable. And just disgusting.

7) Never call me at midnight to ask me to pick you up from somewhere I'm not.

8) Avoid telling me stories back to me that I told you as if they were your own.

And finally...

9) Refrain from complaining about everything.

Follow this guide and we'll get along very well and have a great time. Otherwise, well, go elsewhere.

6.2.07

Purloined

I really hate when people borrow my things without asking. Particularly books. I admit that I'm persnickety about my books. But they are, in fact, my books.

I came home the other day to find one of my books missing from its place on the shelf. I knew who the culprit was, but that knowledge did little for me. Just because we share a space doesn't mean you get to use everything in that space at your leisure. I don't take things from other people without asking - or at the very least letting them know (this last part goes with a longstanding homestead act that is specific to my sisters and me).

The biggest problem, though, is that I know that the borrower of this book has, most likely, taken this book into the bathroom. I don't want to think about this horrifying fact, but it is the key reason I wouldn't want this person to borrow books. I suppose I should have this discussion with people when the first book is lent - to indicate the trend for the rest of the book-borrowing to come. I tend to forget that this is common practice, though (that people take books into the bathroom). It seems an odd and unsanitary habit to me, but then, I'm a germophobe.

Maybe to solve the problem I'll just let the book become a gift and I'll get a new, fresh copy. That really kills two birds with one stone, anyway. That way the book wasn't so much taken without asking as given and I get to maintain my certainty that the book was never proximate to poo. I'm a genius.

Picking

Wilbur sat across the livingroom tonight and said to me, "Why do you have that evil look on your face?" This is not the first time in the last few days that he's said this kind of thing. "Why are you looking at me like that?" has also been popular. The other thing he said tonight - in regard to a blog written by someone he went to college with (a poor excuse for writing with abject "who"/'whom" confusion among myriad other problems) - after I said it might get a comment from me was, "You're not going to be cruel are you?"

I don't know where this whole string of questions came from. Wilbur and I have known each other for 16 or 17 years. I have never willfully harmed Wilbur or anyone else. Sure, I've hurt Wilbur's feelings. It wasn't on purpose. I never thought, "Oh, how can I make Wilbur feel like shit today?" But Wilbur has been picking lately. Everything is a direct affront to Wilbur.

I know why he's cranky. I know he wants a cigarette. And he's done really well for the last two and a half weeks - sucking gross lozenges and taking anti-depressants to combat the urge. It's worthy of applause. So I attribute this latest round of pokes to a nicotine craving. Possibly he's in the mood for a fight. He has these moments every few years.

The last time this sort of thing happened, he was sure I had purposefully embarrassed him. Which is in the same vein as this latest round of things. Insults is, I guess, the real word for it. I find it tiresome. But I'm not going to get into a semantic arguement. And despite what Wilbur might believe, I have nothing more to say.

The Things I'm Not

I am many things. I'm often impatient. I'm willing to express my opinion (sometimes bluntly). I'm guarded about my feelings. I'm like an elephant with the things I remember (so much so that sometimes I pretend to forget things so I don't really freak people out). I'm decisive and I'm willing to live with my decisions.

I know that sometimes these things manifest themselves in ways that are unpleasant to other people. I might say something that they don't really want to hear or not say something they want to know. I may hurt someone's feelings. It's never intentional. Which is what leads me to what I am not.

I'm not going to lose sleep over the fact that someone may have had their feelings hurt by me in the course of life. Feelings get hurt. I am not here for anyone else's entertainment.

There are plenty of other things I'm not: sweet, perky, particularly affectionate - to name just a few (and I'm not looking for suggestions), but I am also not mean or cruel (the difference between the two is subtle but worth differentiation). I'm not plotting against people. I occasionally wish to tell someone what an idiot they are and occasionally do. Finally, I am not interested in ever explaining this again.

18.1.07

Procrastinator

There is a book I should be writing. It's languishing on my desktop behind this window. I am procrastinating. At this very moment I should be finding a way to get from one sentence to another, advancing my plot. Instead I do this. This work is unimportant, thus much easier and much more fun. There's a kind of adolescent pleasure in avoiding that which must be done.

I have always hated to do the necessary work. I have always put it off to the last possible moment - if I did it at all. In sixth grade I started putting off doing my homework. I would lie to my mother and say I was doing my homework while I read in my bedroom. Just before bed I would do one assignment - the one due first thing in the morning. Then I would systematically and surreptitiously do each assignment during the class immediately preceeding the time it was due.

By high school, I had given up homework. I had almost given up school entirely. I studied only the night before a test and then only very late at night. Then I mostly gave up studying. I never had any kind of educational discipline. This has carried over to my adult life. I don't want to do it. Not that I don't want to write the book, I just really wish there was some way that I could extract it from my head in some way other than typing one word after another.

17.1.07

Plyboo

Pretend if you will that these words are a conversation. Three people at a table, two talking back and forth for a few minutes. Things are all normal and then, from nowhere, "That's like plyboo," is interjected from the third member of the party. This is what the Romans called a non sequitur. We still call it that. It still means "it does not follow." I state now, in unequivocal terms, plyboo had nothing to do with the previous sentences spoken by any of us in the preceeding 17 years of acquaintence. I have never had a conversation wherein "That's like plyboo," would ever have followed. In general, I don't discuss wood. I particularly don't discuss plywood made from bamboo.

When queried as to the relavence of her remark, the offending party (and I was offended) replied that, in fact, it had nothing to do with what we had been discussing. Since this event, I have ben trying to figure out why a woman in her third decade of life would behave thus.

Was it a desperate attempt to redirect the conversation? And if so, is plyboo the way to go about it? Had her mind wandered? Had she spoken something out loud she hadn't meant to? Was it the product of an illicit substance? I don't know. Is it so much to ask that remarks be cogent? Is it really so much to ask?