chemaccino good, but not good for you

Friday, June 27, 2003
Rain: Good or Bad?
It's raining outside right now - the receptionist paged us all to let us know so we could raise our car windows. Outside, it is still so warm and super-humid, but there are these big raindrops plopping down that cool me right off. Summer rain is so great. It feels so nice. But this is not the time! There's a softball game tonight!
What I want to do in summer rainshowers I can't blog about,
because my mother has this url and might look at the site one day.

Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill to Taste Some K-Cup Coffees
Today: Green Mountain French Roast

Jill: how do you take it?
Jack: i take it black
Jill: like my heart.
Jill: sugar?
Jack: nope
Jill: straight, eh?
Jill: ok. here goes.
Jill: Our very darkest roast. A continental tradition that's smoky and sweet
Jack: It's not smoky, and not sweet.
Jack: It's surprisingly intense, and has a Starbuckian quality to it.
Jill: Roger that.
Jack: but the taste is undesirable.
Jill: I would say that it is dark, and I would contend that yes, it is smoky.
Jack: i get the hint of burning logs. I'm not sure that's supposed to happen.
Jill: that's the smoky!
Jack: i guess so. i expected a different kind of smoky.
Jill: it does have a 'bux -y quality.
Jack: it's a bux knockoff, and poorly done in my opinion.
Jack: it suffers in its intensity.
Jill: I do not dislike it.
Jill: would we have to refer to this quality, and thus, the coffee, as "buxom"?
Jack: I'm getting used to it, slowly.
Jack: buxom as in playboy centerfold, but not buxom as in future-wife material.
Jill: It tastes as though it was meant to be stronger; as though the k-cup medium has forced it to be more watery than it is meant to be.
Jack: it's still on my tongue.
Jill: I meant buxom as is similar to Starbucks.
Jack: ohhhh.
Jill: do you concur with my watered-down notion?
Jack: yeah, it's watered, but it seems like the acid is still there in all its churny churny glory.
Jill: It seems smooth to me, not acidy
Jill: It's gone from Way Too Hot to lukewarm! It skipped over being the right temperature!
Jack: Cools too quickly. Falls over and dies.
Jill: oooh, ooooooh, the caffeine just hit.
Jill: I feel floaty.

Thursday, June 26, 2003
TV Commercials are insulting
I don't watch a whole lot of television, but when I do, there are lots of commercials, and I often find these commercials to be insulting towards adult men and women. A few other women have written in their blogs about some of these commercials, but it's much more far-reaching than just J.C. Penney's and McDonalds. Here are a few of the general themes which particularly irk me:

Man-child and Woman-mother-substitute Shopping Together
Think Circuit City or Best Buy. Here we see what appear to be two adults, a man and a woman, who appear to be of the similar age. But lo! Suddenly, the man has become 8 years old, out of control as he bows to the gadgetry power of the store advertised. The woman sighs a boys-will-be-boys sigh, and smiles as she drags him out of the store.
Insulting to men, who are characterized as unable to handle themselves as adults in stores. To women, who are, apparently, in charge of making men grow up. I'd thank you to not have to take on that responsibility; I have enough trouble growing up myself.

Slim, Beautiful Woman with Slouchy, Underdressed/Overweight Man
She's wearing the latest from the department store windows, he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt. As seen in commercials for beer, phones, etc., as well as many sitcoms.
Insulting because these ads (and shows) seem to reinforce a culture of men expecting to not have to take care of their appearance, as though women aren't going to notice or care whether or not he's a slob. Not fair to men or women.

She can do it all with grace and ease
Brains, beauty, and leisure time. Total fantasy.
This blog entry at pickle juice illustrates the point better than I could.

How dare she shop and leave me with the baby?
The JC Penney ads. Dad is disappointed/overwhelmed at being "stuck with" the kids while Mom indulges in shopping.
Insulting to women who are essentially being told that children are your responsibility, which you are callously shirking in the name of a pleasurable pastime (assuming, of course that shopping is so totally fun, which is debatable). Men should be outraged. The men in these commercials seem unhappy at the prospect of caring for their own children, and unable to even handle the task. Excellent discussions about this are already happening with BeerMary and Christine.

I think my overall point is that television commercials tend to depict women as the ones responsible for making sure we all act like adults, and men as thoughtless id-driven slobs who only take responsibility when forced.
That's what I would term a "bullshit paradigm".
This may explain why I don't bother with watching television much anymore.

People are strange
Somebody recently visited this page through a search engine by typing this:
removing staples from skin when no doctor is around
I have never had to perform this surgery because, as you know, staples are my bitches. They fear me and would never, ever harm me and live to serve me. I wish I could say the same for staplers. My current desktop stapler is a cheap piece of shit that jams every time it has to staple more than 3 sheets together. Luckily, I have figured out how to use my super-awesome Swingline Staple Remover to remove the mangled staple corpses from the stapler when it jams.

I have grown accustomed to having this Swingline Staple Remover with me for my staple-removing needs, and I wonder if perhaps, for my next admin assignment, I should buy myself one of these bad boys and bring it with me every day, much like I have begun to do with the headphones. It may be more to drag to and fro, but it could be worth it if there are staples to bend to my will.

These shoes were made for punishment
A Thousand Petty Gripes
...and that's just what they're doing. I am wearing Bad Shoes today. They didn't use to be so bad, back when I bought them... in 1998... I chose them this morning because they are black and dressy-but-not-too-dressy -- just right for corporate casual with a black skirt. It's so hot today that I decided to go sans hose, and show off my fresh shave, and I thought these shoes would be pretty good with bare legs - just some powder in the toes and we're good to go, right? Well, right. and wrong.

Reasons These Shoes Are No Good:
+ The backs are cutting into my Achilles' tendon a bit. If this job included more walking, I would need adhesive bandages.
+ They make little fart noises when I walk, unless I'm very careful. This could happen with any shoe worn without hose, I guess, but still. Shoe Farts. No good. The left makes a high-pitched squeak-fart, and the right makes a lower-pitched sound. It's a demented harmonic rhythm as I walk.
+ The fabric seems to be getting brittle with age, and the crease above my toes is cracking a bit and creating a hot spot. Again, good thing there's not much walking.
+ Did I mention the shoe farts?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
In the letter, Mueller thanked them for developing the lessons that have directly helped catch pedophiles, despite their "busy 8th grade schedule."
From the Washington Post, found on Buttafly.

I don't know about you, but I honestly think it's really cool that the FBI is getting lessons about how to be a 14-year-old girl on-line from real 14-year-old girls. I suggest you read the entire article; at the end, there's a jab at George Clooney.

Important Decision
The dictaphone machine thingy here has the kind of headphones the go all the way into your ear, like padded earbuds. They plug ya. I don't like that - sticking earphones in my ear has always been uncomfortable for me. So, a while back when I started working here, I brought in my own headphones. I would take them home with me each night, then I decided that was silly, so I just left them here. But now, with the job winding down, I think I should start keeping them close at hand. It would be awkward to have to have the temp company pick them up and mail them to me or something.
So. Now I will be taking them all around with me.
That is so lame.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
I went to the fish market today...
I went to get a second cup of Dark Magic (TM), and discovered, to my dismay, that the cafeteria totally reeks of fish. It's like a fish market in there, except all the fish and vendors are invisible and can only detected by the reek of fish. I'm glad my cube doesn't (yet) smell fishy. I think that would be worse than the cedar chip stink.

So glad I'm not the only one
This brief note came from a friend who also works in an office.
To her I say, thanks for writing. Also, my condolences.

I got a new (additional) boss on Monday. Today he asked me to create a form for him. I asked whether he'd prefer I do it in Excel or Word. He replied, "Oh, I always keep everything in 'My Documents.'"

Monday, June 23, 2003
Fun with words
Ever notice that if you say the words "case law" in your head a few times, it kind of becomes "cole slaw"? That totally just happened to me, and now these file tabs I'm making crack me up. Seriously. You don't have to say it out loud, just in your head. Go ahead, try it. Case law case law case law cole slaw.
Hey, it's a lot more harmless than some of my previous word fun.

Rocket Science

HIM: Are we out of letterhead envelopes?
ME: Yes, we are.
HIM: How come?
ME: Because we had to use some, and then there weren't any left.

(The order will arrive at the end of the week.)

There's one in every office.
Today I explore a few of the different types of co-workers one can encounter in a typical office. The bigger the office, the more likely that you'll have a representative of each. Which do you have where you work?

Jokerman There might be a few of these around, and they are invariably male. They think they are funny, and they think you think they are funny, even if you don't laugh. These men make very weak jokes, on par with "working hard, or hardly working?" You'd roll your eyes if you weren't so deathly afraid that one day you actually will find his jokes funny.

Looks-Pregnant Lady This is the woman who, when one first arrives in an office, one wonders when she's going on maternity leave. Three months later, you figure it out and thank your personal God that you never touched her belly or made any comments about it. Or, if you did, you've learned your lesson, I hope. Please never do that to someone you don't know very well.

Very Bad Teeth You try not to stare and you try to look like you aren't trying not to stare. These folks usually work in Accounting or some other behind-the-scenes job. Why not just get braces? There has got to be a story as to why they don't get braces. After all, they have a good job, right? They can probably afford it.

Incredibly Fat Man He also works some behind-the-scenes job, possibly with computers. Sometimes, you might wonder how he fits down all the cube hallways. The fun fact about the Fat Man is that either he does not think he's so very fat, or, if he does, he probably makes all kinds of inappropriate, uncomfortable jokes about it. For example, this one place I worked, I bought myself a bag of Cheez-Its one afternoon, and on my way back to my cube, the resident Fat Man remarked to me that I shouldn't eat them, because they'll make me gain weight. I suppose that's meant to be self-depricating, but it came out pure obnoxious. I could have killed him. I would have, too, if only I had had my harpoon with me.

The Pissah (That's "pisser" with a thick New England accent) This is basically the office equivalent of a 70-year-old diner waitress. You should be so lucky as to have a pissah in your office. Usually a woman, she has been around for a while, (probably in the same position for years), has everyone figured out, and occasionally you will be blessed with one of her scathing-yet-dead-on insights about another co-worker -- a comment that is true, funny, and yet somehow, not cruel at all when she says it, but if you repeat what she said to someone else, you'll come off as a total bitch. She usually works in a position where she's the reason the office operates at all -- she's probably the office manager, or supply manager, or in charge of purchasing.

Chronic Illness Person It's not so much that this person has (or thinks s/he has) an illness of some kind. That's not nearly special enough. The Chronic Illness Person feels the need to constantly update everyone about how the illness is going. Everyone else stopped asking "how are you?" long ago, but you're still going to hear the latest about the arthritis/lower-back-pain/hypoglycemia/surgery-recovery/cough-that-won't-go-away.

The Walking Dead Chances are, if you're over 25, you've been one of these. These are the people who have given notice and have a last day coming up in a few weeks and have their minds on everything else but their job. They are thinking about the next thing: new-job/school/wedding/relocation, etc. The only motivation to do any work at all is so that they don't screw up the reference they'll be getting from their boss. Talking to the Walking Dead can be alternatively inspiring or annoying, and will rarely help you enjoy your job.

Friday, June 20, 2003
Cloudy Attitude, Chance of Blog
A Thousand Petty Gripes

Oops, they did it again: I got the call last night. They don't need me in the office today. My blogging has been spotty recently because once or twice a week, I don't work at the office - I go out and do work I actually enjoy: adventure teambuilding with youth. So that has contributed to the spotty blogging, but has also contributed to my annoyance at these last-minute work cancellations. I mean, I'm not there every day to begin with. And they need me even less?

Pimp Wars: So, it seems this assignment is winding down for me, since 32 hours is too much for them. So I'm looking to get a new assignment, and this means, of course, talking with a rival agency. This is totally kosher in the world of temping, as long as you don't screw the company currently pimping you. "Sarah" at the other agency asked how it was going, and I told her about how there doesn't seem to be much work for me, because of these last-minute cancellations which are difficult because I don't have time to plan other work for those days. She said, and I quote, "Oh, those cancellations bother you?" Umm, yes, they do, duh. Like, who would not be bothered? Anyone who would not be bothered probably does not really need to whore themselves out in the first place. Sarah did suggest that I call her as soon as I get these last-minute cancellations, and maybe she can find me a one-day gig so I can still work. Then I will serve two masters.
Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa...

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Blasts from the Past
Here are some updates on issues that have come up in previous posts. I know you are all relieved that there is follow-up.

+ The Hello Kitty oddity has vanished from its former home near the reception area. Where has it gone? The world may never know.

+ The latest replacement temp was in here on Friday and possibly Thursday. What the hell is that about, since they did not need me on Wednesday? Something's rotten in the state of Office Pimp.

+ Dark Magic is still the k-cup coffee of choice. In response to my post, one person admitted that Dark Magic is the only reason she doesn't call in sick to work. This morning I was thinking about having a cup of Dark Magic, only when I thought of it, I thought of it as "Dark Victory", which would also be a good name for it. This led to thoughts about the Bette Davis movie of the same name. Dark Victory was a great movie, one of what I consider the superlative Bette Davis films in which the characters are people, not anthopomorphised ideas or ideals. This particular picture was very controversial, because the whole premise is that Davis' character is dying and does die at the end of the movie. The studio thought it would be too depressing. The beauty of this type of Davis movie is that she's not some lovely perfect saint who's tragically perishing -- she's a real person who has trouble taking the news gracefully. Two other Davis films with wonderful multifaceted characters with a range of human flaws rarely seen in current mainstram Hollywood dreck are All About Eve and Now, Voyager.

+ My paperclip supply is still dwindling, but at a slower rate -- probably because there has been less work to do lately. I am still investigating the possible leads as to where they disappear. to.

Saturday, June 14, 2003
Truth, Beauty, Justice
Somebody found this website through a search engine by typing in the keywords
working with a bitchy supervisor
Considering that nowhere before on this blog have I used the words "bitchy" or "supervisor", I am totally impressed that I came up in that search. Thanks, Google or MSN, whichever of you sent that person. It's.... it's like they know me.

Wait... shouldn't that freak me out?

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Last Minute Lameness
A Thousand Petty Gripes

On my answering machine when I got home from work on Tuesday:

Hi, this is Lisa* with Office Pimp, [the client] called and said that they won't need you tomorrow, in addition to the days you'll be gone on Thursday, Friday and Monday.

I found this hard to believe, so Wednesday morning I called the temp company to find out what the deal was, and, indeed, I am not needed for the rest of the week. Which was expected for those other three days, when I am working elsewhere, but this whole don't-need-you-tomorrow thing feels bogus to me. I mean, Lisa said, and I know, that "that's the nature of temp work" but it seems like if you work at a place steadily for over three months, they owe you a little more notice than the night before. Hell, the temp company wants me to give a full two weeks' notice if (when) I decide to leave this position.

This all just made me feel like the cheap disposable admin whore that I am. But don't cry for me; I spent yesterday afternoon playing video games and going bowling. Of course I would have rather used the day to make some money to pay for little things like rent, but on that kind of notice, it just wasn't going to happen.

*Names changed to protect Just in case.

Monday, June 09, 2003
Good vs Bad
I pressed the wrong button on the vending machine and now I have to eat potato chips. I find all potato chips to be greasy and disgusting. I know, I know, I'm a freak, you can say it, but it won't make me change my mind or feel better about having to eat these salty oil slabs instead of the desired Chex Mix.
There's a new k-cup coffee flavor in town (town = the cafeteria), which I have heard much about in the past. It's a Green Mountain blend called "Dark Magic" and it exceeds expectations, even, dare I say, living up to its name. Dark Magic, indeed.

To make myself feel better about the potato chip situation, I made myself a second cup of Dark Magic this afternoon, and added a packet of Swiss Miss. What will happen when the pure little Swiss girl is exposed to these evil superpowers? Will the sweet little Swiss Miss turn corrupt? Will she now blend her powers of chocolatey goodness with this new Dark Magic to become a psychotic-yet-delicious Destroyer of Worlds? Will the additional strength of the caffeine bean cause her to be utterly unstoppable as she wreaks havoc across the countryside? Will my consumption of this double-strength beverage make me her zombie slave?
Let's find out.

The Wet-Ones® Government Conspiracy

From the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security website:
Basic Supplies
Flashlight and extra batteries
Battery powered radio and extra batteries
Plastic garbage bags, ties and toilet paper for personal sanitation
First aid kit
Map of the area for evacuation or for locating shelters
A whistle to signal for help
Moist towelettes

I think maybe the Department of Homeland Security has some kind of sweetheart deal with the moist towelette industry. Why else would they be an essential component of a 9-item (plus extra batteries) emergency supply kit? Is anyone else disturbed by this?

[update: June 10, 1:28PM]
Apparently, pre-moistened, disposable towelettes are really big with politicians, and I'm waaaay behind on this story. In addition to the U.S. Government's interest in moist towelettes, other governments are also fans. See this link at Little Green Footballs' Arafat Baby Wipe Mystery for more info.

Long Walk Off A Short Pier 1

One time Cheers' star Kirstie Alley is fat and happy at 200 pounds ...Kirstie, who loves to eat ...[is] also devoting herself to the campaign against hooking kids on psychotropic drugs like Ritalin.
from The London Free Press

...does this mean she won't be doing any more ads for Pier 1 Imports? I was just starting to get used to her freaky face (what is going on there? botox? bad facelift? too-tight ponytails?) in those bizarre TV commercials. And I'm all for minimizing children's use of prescription drugs, but wouldn't her time be better spent devoting herself to helping find out why the kids need or are prescribed the drugs?
At least she has a hobby. Eat a pint of Cherry Garcia for me, Kirstie.

Friday, June 06, 2003
Still Nothing To Do Here
....but they are happy I am back.
The replacement temp had nothing to do except some filing.
I have done some "retroactive stalking" about this woman who took my useless temp job for two days, and I learned Ever So Much about her, mostly because she signed into AIM while she was here, and her Buddy Info included a link to her blog.

She just finished sophomore year at UMich, is living at home for the summer, and will soon be starting a job at a local Panera. She did not do much web-surfing while she was here; apparently, she was satiated by the BBC homepage. She honestly believes that she has a shot at Harvard Law School, and her parents tease her about her weight.
Interesting note: they had her in here at 9am. What is that about? Did she leave early? Why can't I come in at 9am? I think Office Pimp scammed even more time from the client.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
I'm going to be out of this office for the next two days, and Office Pimp is sending someone else in my stead for Wednesday and Thursday. I swear, they run such a damn racket. I have not had a whit, a quantum, of work to do since 1:15pm today. Well, not any work for them, anyway. I keep myself busy. I pay my bills, search for jobs, apply to jobs, consider calling places where I once interviewed for a job but didn't get that job but maybe they have an opening by now? but ultimately decide it's been too soon since the last time I made one of those phone calls, browse websites, IM with friends... there's always something to do, no matter how unproductive. What's funny about it all is that right now, as I type this, I must seem very industrious to anyone walking by, typing so sincerely. If I were instead reading a book, they'd probably be a bit concerned. But as long as I'm working on the computer, all is well. How long has it been since I've had anything to do?
Oh, but by all means, don't let two days pile up, you sucker-client! Pay us to send someone there absolutely every day!

Brunching is dead. Long Live Brunching!
I'm going to, as they say, "geek-out" for a post here. I was sad to find that the (relatively) long-standing had closed its proverbial doors. Lately, I popped over to their site to see what kind of gravestone they had made of their front page. But Lo! Those things which once made them great are not dead! There are still Ratings, and the Self-Made Critic is still at large. It's a pleasure and a relief to see these features persevere. Here, for those of you who are not yet familiar with the Self-Made Critic, is an excerpt from his review/interpretation of The Matrix Reloaded:

"You are The One. But not The One. The One who is not The One, but is Another One. But you are that One who is The One who is The Other One who is, in fact, The One. All is lost."

Monday, June 02, 2003
A.J. Brown in Durham, North Carolina, ...was visited at her home by Secret Service agents and local police. The agents were looking for a poster on the wall of the young woman’s house that an anonymous snitch had reported as “anti-American.”

You know what's really neat-o about The United States of America, this country I live in? All the freedom and rights we get.
Oh, wait, I must be thinking of some other country.
Click here to read the rest of the article while I rush home during my lunch break and rip down all wall-hangings which might possibly be considered anti-American.

[update: 4:31pm]
I didn't take anything down, just tidied up the place a bit and readied the coffeemaker. It'd be nice to have some company.