Tragedy with a Capital T

When I moved to San Francisco 10 years ago, I got myself a nifty, green, 32-oz. Nalgene water bottle. It was shiny and glorious.

At first, I was very careful with it. I protected it and became agitated when it got scratched. Over time, and after a few nasty spills off my bike and down a hill, I gave up the ridiculous quest to maintain this utilitarian object in pristine condition. I let it get a nice patina. I still took care of it, mind you, but with less obsessiveness.

Today, when I filled it to the brim with water, the cap strap cracked and the top connector-button-thing popped off. It was a single motion, really. The weight of the water just became too much for the poor thing.

Being attached to this particular bottle, I went to the Nalgene website to look for a new cap (I know they sell replacement parts). So I arrive at the site only to find all kinds of information about how they're converting to BPA-free plastic.

They aren't recalling anything, but they are changing over in response to customer demand and a study by Canadian scientists suggesting that BPAs may do bad things to our bodies.

Honestly, I'm not that concerned with having used the bottle for 10 years, but now that I know this stuff, combined with the fact that the bottle has sustained a mortal wound has led me to the conclusion that it's time to say goodbye.

It is a sad day. It's not like anyone died or anything, however, a memorial for my bottle will be held tonight. Matt and I will bid a fond adieu to my beloved bottle and then responsibly recycle it. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in my bottle's name (Fred) to the charity of your choice.

On a happier note, I've already picked Fred's BPA-free replacement. I nearly went with this one, but it doesn't have any kind of connector system for the cap and I really like that feature of the Nalgene. My new bottle's name is Ted. While he'll never be the same as Fred, I'm hoping we can become close. You know, develop a bond.

I'll always love Fred, though. We went through a lot together.

Sayonara, Fred. I always remember the good times.



There's a woman in my office (we'll call her Mary) who has an ongoing medical condition. She and I work pretty closely and on the days that she isn't in the office, I get an email from her saying she won't be in.

I don't ask for more information. We aren't friends and I figure if she wanted me to know more, she'd tell me.

Another woman (hereinafter known as Ruth), a 'friend' of Mary's, came in this morning and when Mary wasn't at her desk she came directly to mine.

"Where's Mary?"

Now, Ruth knows Mary's situation. She knows that Mary needs to take days off more often than most people do. She knows it's related to Mary's condition.

"She's out today," I said.

"Well what's wrong?"

"I don't know. She just emailed and said she wouldn't be in in today."

"Did she tell Cary?(HR bitch)"

"I don't know," I said, trying to maintain my patience.

"You should make sure," Ruth told me.


"They need to know."

"I'm sure she took care of it," I said, hoping that would put an end to it.

"Did she say she would call later?"

SWEET JESUS, SHUT UP - only I restrained myself - with much effort. "No."

"Do you know if she was going to the doctor?"


"She should be going."

"Yeah, I don't know," I said, shrugging to punctuate my point that I was in the dark.

"The treatments are really hard on her," Ruth said, lowering her voice.

I nodded.

"Did she say if she'd be in tomorrow?"


"She didn't say or no she won't be in?"

At this point I think it should be abundantly clear that I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING and I should be left alone.

"I don't know if she'll be here tomorrow."

"Because I have some vitamins for her." Among other things, Ruth sells dietary supplements and makeup on the side. I've never bought anything, but it hasn't been easy not to.

"Well, she'll be back eventually." I started to type again.

Now it should be noted that in the course of this interrogation, I never turned to look at this woman. I was making notes on some paperwork and continued to do that the whole time until the end when I started an email to a consultant.

"Maybe I should go see if I got an email from her."

Seriously? You just stood at my desk for 7 minutes asking me question after question that I have no answers to and now you're going to see if she sent you an email? Fuck, man.

She went to her desk. I thought I was safe. In a few minutes, though, she called me and said, "I still don't have an email from Mary. Can you forward me the one she sent you?"

Again - Seriously? It's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. FUCK OFF.

"Sorry. I already deleted it."

"So it should be in your deleted items in your Outlook."

"Nope. I empty my trash every time. It's gone."

"Oh. Well do you know who else got copied on it?"


"I'll ask Paul."

I hung up.

Jesus Tapdancing Christ on a Rye Crisp!