Monday, February 26, 2007

I Am Not So Much Filled With Sunshine And Light, These Days

I am officially Unamused. Not so much by any one particular thing, but by life in general which has apparently conspired to make me angry and hate-filled. I… don’t know people. It’s just how it is. I think I terrified Peanut the other night when I very calmly explained my personal policy regarding what is basically my two current positions on life: either I can like and respect something, or I need to make you bleed. I don’t know where the polarity comes from, but, hi! I am all of a sudden angry and bloodthirsty! I am fun to be around! I swear!

Although I do have some ideas of where the anger comes from. (“Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear…”) (Sigh. Am crazy. But bonus points if you know where that quote is from.) For example, lets look at the fun in my life these days.

Law School: So I have a class with a professor who is absolutely batshit crazy in the good way. I’m not sure if I can explain what that means exactly, but he is tough and funny and pushes you and all in all it turns out enjoyable. And since most professors have pretty much realized that the Socratic method is stupid for night students (“Why didn’t you do the reading?”- “I was on-call at the hospital.”, or “I’m sorry, my doctoral thesis was due”, or, “My wife gave birth.” Seriously people, I am not one of these amazingly over-achievey type people, but they are out there, and in my classes.) we are usually “on call” for a day, wherein we are totally grilled about every little thing that day but then it is over and we can go back to surfing the internet. … Not that I do that, of course.

So I am on call tonight, and I spent all weekend doing reading and notetaking, and it appears that in my seemingly infinite stupidity I managed to pick the most complex, difficult, stupid subject in the world to be on call for. I knew I was in trouble when last class we hit a particularly complex issue and the professor said, “Yeah, this is almost as bad as what we are doing next week”. Then I opened the book and the first paragraph basically said, “We like to encourage law students to attempt to find a cohesive theory which makes sense of this, but we’re telling you upfront that one doesn’t actually exist. So really, just bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.” (I may be paraphrasing there.) So I am not looking forward to tonight even a little, tiny amount.


Oh, god.

Ok, first of all, I am really glad that my particular office is not engaged in something critical, like disaster response or keeping track of nuclear weapons or something, because that would require someone other than me to actually show up. Which… no one did. Because yesterday water fell from the sky, and we must all stay home and pay homage to the weather god so he doesn’t drop rocks on us or something next time. I don’t know, but it’s 36 degrees and hasn’t snowed in almost 24 hours, and I am just not feeling your “snow day”, people.

(See how empathetic and loving I am feeling towards my fellow man these days? Shut up. I hate everything.)

My boss is here for relatively few hours, and I have something that absolutely has to be done because it is a requirement from outside the agency. This report is my actual responsibility, and getting it done has been compromised by the following:

I don’t have access to the system I need access to,
Which is broken, anyway.

See how good my day has been?

So I am trying to get this thing accomplished, which is also problematic because then it needs approval, and everyone who needs to approve it is very important and they must spend much time analyzing every detail, no matter how many times I try to explain to them that the sum total of the changes I made amounts to: The Date. It says 2007 now, ok? No, I am not entirely 100% sure that the Roman Calendar was correct, and no, the fact that it is now the Year of the Pig does not need to be reflected in this, and could you PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SIGN IT, because it needs to be in the system by Friday and the system apparently only works .3% of the time. Sob.

This is made even worse by the fact that I hit print, and went to the printer, and the printer freaked right the fuck out, and every possible light was blinking and I swear to god it said: “EMO. Bad Communication.”

Y’all? My office equipment just went emo on me. You know what? I don’t like emo people, let alone office equipment, and to be honest there just aren’t enough people here for me to send my printer to therapy. Office equipment should not need interventions, is all I am saying.

Then I have this incredibly enlightening conversation with my boss:

Boss: "Put this on the website where the other one is."

Me: "The other one is not there."

Boss: "Is."

Me: "Isn't."

Boss: "IS."

Me: "Isn't. Look, I BUILT THE GODDAMN SITE. Is NOT. But, I could put it in HR's section."

Boss: "Wait! I have an idea! Put it in HR's section! Then we don't have to worry about whether it was there before."

Me: "Once again, your brilliance and independent thinking disarms me. Now resend it to me because the first version was all twisty."


Me: "This version is all twisty too."

Boss: (exasperated). "How twisty is it?"

(Proceed to all hang out over Boss’s computer and discuss relative "twistyness" of said document.)

So to sum up:

Tonight: On call for subject that by its own admission defies sense.
Report: Finally put together, being nitpicked by office.
Office Equipment: Cutting so it can feel.
Document: Posted. (Is still twisty.)

I need wine. And maybe a sledgehammer.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Still Not a Grown Up!

You know, one would think that the whole, “changing careers and moving to Texas” thing might indicate some movement towards, I don’t know, maturity? I mean, I will now have to wear suits and heeled shoes to work, and am probably going to have to actually drive myself to work every day. Which I have avoided for years, not just because I hate to drive but also because that makes it extremely difficult to go to happy hour after work and drink until you forget your name. But I digress.

The point is, career change, move, serious relationship, and y’all? I am digressing.

I am thrilled that we have had Weather, and that Weather has caused the cancellation of things work and school related, mainly because I have all sorts of things that need to get done in order for myself to function in the world. Unfortunately, the juxtaposition of work and school means that basic, simple necessities do not ever get done because all day long I am trapped in buildings where all I can do is surf the internet.

Take clothing, for example. All week I have looked like a model for a losing designer on Project Runway because the dry cleaner is holding all of my clothing hostage. (Well, perhaps they have a reason to, seeing as how I have neither gone to pick up the laundry nor paid them for the laundry.) But see, here is the problem. As I grow older and (in theory) more mature, I have bought clothing that reflects a capable, professional attitude. Unfortunately, that clothing cannot be washed by me. So finally, by taking a day off of work two weeks ago, I managed to do laundry, and fill a basket with roughly 90% of what I own to be taken to the cleaners around the corner. This clothing would probably have sat in the basket, mocking me, for weeks had I not had a fortuitous bout with stupidity, in which I brought the wrong textbooks to the Jokers and rather than go home at lunch to get the right books (it was SEVEN DEGREES, PEOPLE) I just skipped class altogether. However, it was not a total loss, in that I did force myself to carry the armful of laundry across the apartment complex IN the seven degree weather and give it to the nice cleaner. (Also, the dry cleaner is next to the store that sells wine.)

That was over a week ago.

Of course, Joker and I forgot to get the clothing on Saturday, so I have been forced to wear… interesting outfits all week. For example, in the last three days I have sported:

Pants with a high waist and front pleats. (No, I do not have even the faintest idea why I own these).

Pants that are 6 sizes too big and make me appear to be playing dress up in my mothers pajamas,

and, my personal favorite,

Pants that I thought were JUST FINE, thanks, until I looked down at work and saw the GIANT HOLE IN THE CROTCH.

Classy, I know.

Or take yesterday. Again, we got out of work early, so having some time on my hands, I decided to stop at the store to procure some food. Lately the Joker and I have been trying that a little, making dinner instead of eating things with names like “popcorn chicken” and “cheesy bites.” See? Adult! However, I was having trouble putting together meal options, and then it occurred to me- most adults do not do the bulk of their food shopping at Rite Aid.


However, the other thing that I did manage to do yesterday is finally clean the bathroom. Now, I am maybe a little anal when it comes to the bathroom, in that I am very big on the disinfectant. I mean, my room? I hardly eat in there, so I am not worried about disinfecting it, although I do like to vacuum it once in awhile. But the bathroom? Things happen in there, things which are by nature… icky. So I try to make sure that pretty much every square inch of my bathroom is covered in bleach at least every few weeks (with spot cleaning in between.) To the extent that in the 4 or so months I have been living there, I have actually bleached out the toilet seat. But, hey, clean!

So the other day I was thinking about Thursday, and how I have no class and the Joker is not coming over and my paper will finally be finished. And I thought, self, that sounds like a great night for a relaxing bubble bath with some nice champagne and a girly novel. And then I looked at the bathroom and thought, GAH! Because there was no way in hell I could relax in a room in that state of… well, it wasn’t a pretty state. So when I came home yesterday I changed into clothes I could not ruin with bleach and about 30 minutes, one rag, one new toilet scrubber, one knocked off sink bottom (oops), and about half a bottle of cleaner later, my bathroom was bubble bath worthy.

So I may be a fashion reject with no who grocery shops at a drug store, but at least I have a clean bathroom.


Ok. So it’s Valentine’s Day. This is a sore subject for a lot of people, everything from the rejection of a corporate consumerist holiday to feelings of inadequacy or sadness if you do not have a partner. I don’t know about any of that. I have never really cared one way or another about Valentine’s Day, except that there is chocolate and- single or in pairs- it’s a damn good excuse to drink champagne. And I am always a fan of a damn good excuse to drink champagne.

However, I do have to say that I very much look forward to getting dressed up and eating out with the Joker at our favorite restaurant tonight, and coming home to curl up in bed to our favorite TV shows. And I will enjoy my presents, because, well, first of all, who doesn’t like presents? (I, for one? Like presents). But not because it’s Valentine’s Day and I have gifts and plans to prove to everyone that I am worth something. Instead, because every gift the Joker gives me is something that reaffirms that he is listening, that he knows me, that he thinks about me and cares. It’s not a “Valentine’s” day gift, or even a Christmas gift or anniversary gift, it is a gift from him to me, that reflects both our personalities and just happens to be exchanged on a given day.

Further proof that while the day doesn’t matter, the guy sure does.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's Another Saturday Night...

And I don't give a damn if I got money or not, because there is work. However, there is something to be said for many of your friends being in grad school at once.

Joker: "Work on your paper."

Me: "Yeah, I know, blah blah direct action, blah blah unrecognized tribes... I think I'll gchat Wave. Hi, Wave!" (Note, Kate and I are now official bridesmaids in Wave's wedding. There is taffeta involved. Kate, Wave, and I? Probably going to cause trouble But good trouble.)

Wave: "Hello!"

Me: "I am grumpy and feeling bitchy and want to be needlessly snarky."

Wave: "Awesome, oh Friend Who Is Wearing Taffeta. Who do you want me to cattily snark on?"

Wave and I: (catty snarking.)

Me: "I feel better. Also, kind of "Mean Girls." But I have to work on a paper."

Wave: "Me too."

Joker: "Are you working on your paper?"

Me: "What? Paper? Yes, yes am working on paper!"

WitchHunter: "Can you do me a huge favor and proofread my paper that I am also working on for grad school?"

Me: (Work! That is not mine! That I can do instead of mine without feeling like big procrastinating failure! YAY!) "Of course."

Me: (reads paper, discusses paper.).

Joker: "Um, maybe you should.... paper?"

Me: "Yeah, yeah." (typey typey typey.)

PC's Glurb: "It is Saturday night. I am in law school. I'm working."

Me: "I hear you, pal."

Phone: "Ring!"

Me: (yay! The PHONE! Anything is better than me, my computer, and my research all alone on Joker's bed."

S: "Hi! You know that paper I am working on? I have some questions."

Me: (Yes! More work that is not my work that I get to do, which is awesome because this paper has been assigned since last semster and I have been thinking about it for six months and frankly I am bored to tears with it.) "Yes! Ask away!"

S and I: "Babble babble, informed consent, babble babble coersion, babble babble true material fact."

WitchHunter: (Comes in paper in hand.) (Listens to S's and my conversation for a second.) "I'll be back." (leaves.)

S and I: (Finally agree on various things that are 'Outside the scope of this paper.')

Me: (Go to WitchHunter's room.)

WitchHunter and I: (Discuss proper AP citation method. Play on internet. Discover Dirty Ren Faire.)


WitchHunter and I to Joker: "Ha! We are giving up on our papers and going to Dirty Ren Faire in Jersey. See you tomorrow."

Joker: "You can't go see (apparently incredibly hot girl that I don't know) without me!"

WitchHunter: "Wait... You KNEW about this???"

Joker: "Um... yeah?"

WitchHunter and I: (defeated). (Hating Joker a little bit.") "Fine."

Me: "Sigh." (typey typey typey.)

So, yeah. I have been working on a paper all night, and somehow that has turned into the most social evening I've had in awhile.

Viva la grad school!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Cheddar Bay Biscuits?" "Endless Shrimps!"

So there are a variety of things that I probably should write about, including a diatribe on the fact that it was 7 degrees here yesterday, and “7” is not an appropriate number of degrees, ever. But first I have to talk about last Thursday and the joy that is Red Lobster.

Now, there are two kinds of people in this world. Take this mini quiz to determine what kind of person you are:

You just read the sentence above. Did you:

A. Think to yourself, or maybe actually yell out loud, “Red Lobster! I LOVE Red Lobster!” Or,

B. Think, “Seriously? Red Lobster? Isn’t she in Washington DC, a city in which actual seafood restaurants exist?”

Because these are the two kinds of people in this world- those with an unrelenting and utterly nonsensical love for Red Lobster, and… well, everyone else. It’s actually a strange cultural phenomenon. It’s one of things that no one really talks about and rarely comes up into conversation, but as soon as it does inevitably one person in the room will look at you with this gleam in their eye and go, “Cheddar bay biscuits?” and you will answer, “Endless shrimp!” and I am telling you, a lifelong friendship will be born. Two summers ago at the beach house I ended up permanent beer pong partner and sleep arrangement sharer (we slept, on average, 5 to a bed, not because there weren’t enough beds, but clearly because we didn’t have enough brain cells) with a guy based solely on our mutual love of the Lobster. This Christmas, Wonderful Kate brought E and I along to her work Christmas party, and somehow Red Lobster came into conversation and while the rest of the table engaged in a perfectly legitimate conversation about where people were from and where they went to school, the girl next to me and I had a 25 minute conversation about shrimp that ended in hugging. Hugging, y’all. And I bet that there are at least a few of you who are reading this entry while surreptitiously googling the nearest Red Lobster and discretely calling others like us. As for the rest of you? Sigh. You’re missing out.

A is a Red Lobster person, just like I am. And even with the startling number of things we have in common, it still took us over two years to discover this shared passion and even then we were a little incredulous. “Really? You like Red Lobster? I mean, like it, or LIKE like it??” (Yes, we treat the Lobster much like a fifth grade crush.) “No, I LIKE like it. I love it!” “Cheddar Bay biscuits?” “Endless Shrimps!” And a new tradition began.

Given the fact that I live within walking distance of a Red Lobster, and go out to eat all the time, the sheer amount of ceremony that goes into a Red Lobster night with me and A is astonishing, (unless, of course, you are a Red Lobster person, and then you understand.) It starts a week in advance, someone saying, “We need to hang out. I think shrimps are in order.” “Endless shrimps??” “….Of course! Are there any other kind?” And we pick a date usually about a week in advance.

But oh, it doesn’t stop there. The entire week leading up to the Red Lobster night is a flurry of shrimp related activity. There are “number of hours until shrimps” countdowns. We go online and peruse the menu and discuss our options. We debate the merits of seafood fondue over king crab legs. We accuse everyone and every thing of stealing our shrimps. (“But that’s ok, because they are ENDLESS!”) Each day is a little sadder because it is not Shrimp Day. Seriously, y’all. We try to do this once a month, most likely because we would not be able to handle any more than that.

Last Thursday was a scheduled Shrimps Night, and the Peanut was having a bad day, and the Peanut? Also TOTALLY a Red Lobster person. So the three of us met for endless shrimps and a nice dose of alcohol.

And… ok. It’s the Red Lobster. If we want fine dining, we go to restaurant week. Part of the love of the Lobster has to do with its kitsch, we are aware of that. We don’t expect world class service.


I would suggest to Red Lobster that even it might do a little better if it refrained from throwing food onto its customers, a situation we observed not once, but twice, before we got our salads. Which is also a tad deceptive, because it took a good 30 minutes before we got our salads, a situation that would not have been nearly so bad if our alcohol had at least arrived. But no, it was a good thirty minutes of sitting at a table, with nothing at ALL, including cheddar bay biscuits, just watching the slapstick comedy routine of the waiters throwing food on the customers. Honestly? It was fabulous.

Our waitress was actually very sweet, and once we got our food everything was fine. We drank and ate ourselves stupid, which is totally the point of Red Lobster.

I can’t wait until next month.