chemaccino good, but not good for you

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Back next week. Maybe this weekend. Gotta mentwhore Thurs and Fri. Train the new girl.
To read more about mentwhoring, click here. OOOh, busy right now.

Is this considered dealing with man-children, or would one call it 'herding cats'?
An update on the conference call scheduling fiasco

-----Original Message-----
From: [the adminho]
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 1:02 PM
To: [those four dudes]
Subject: RE: Conference call RE: [blah blah subject]

Guy1 and Guy2,
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. Guy2, do you have any availability on Thursday? Guy1, would it be possible (if not preferable) to do this on Friday? Also, please let me know about your availability for Tuesday in case we can't make this work for this week.
[the adminho]
[adminho] - anytime before 2PM on Friday the 28th will work for me.
Hi [adminho]:
Guy3 and I will be available all day on Thursday. Friday is less preferable.

W I L L - Y O U - U N D E R S T A N D - M E - I F - I - T Y P E - V E R Y - S L O W L Y ?
For maximum effect, start at the bottom of the thread and work your way up. Am I a bitch? Maybe. Wanna make somethin' of it?

----- Resulting Message-----
From: [the adminho]
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 10:58 AM
To: [four men]
Subject: Conference call RE: [blah, blah subject]

In order to set up the conference call referenced below, as requested by [Lawyer1], I would like to get from each participant a short note or phone call outlining his availability for the call.
Please let me know your availability for this call for Thursday the 27th, Friday the 28th, and Tuesday the 1st. I will collate that information and set up the call for a mutually agreeable time, which I will send out in an email with the call-in information.

If you have an admin or secretary who handles your calendar, please forward this to him/her and/or reply to this email with forwarding information for me to follow up.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.
[the adminho]
Legal Secretary
[desk phone #]
[corp. email]

----Original Thread----

-----Original Message-----
From: [the adminho]
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 10:44 AM
To: [Lawyer1]
Subject: FW: [blah blah subject]

This is the conference call I mentioned.
I haven't heard back from anyone else re: availability. Would you like me to follow up and try to nail it down for some time this week?

-----Original Message-----
From: [one guy]
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 10:42 AM
To: [the adminho]
Cc: [another one of the guys]
Subject: RE:[blah blah subject]

I am available at any time on those days.

-----Original Message-----
From: [the adminho]
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 10:34 AM
To: [four men]
Subject: RE: [blah blah subject]

I am looking to set up the half-hour conference call referenced below, as requested by [Lawyer1].
Please let me know your availability for this Wednesday and Thursday (the 26th and 27th) between 9am-6pm Eastern Time for this call.
I can be reached by phone or email.
Thank you.

[the adminho]
Legal Secretary
[desk phone #]

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The best reality television is on PBS.
You know what I'm talking about if you've ever seen any of the "House" series like Manor House or Frontier House, or the current one, Colonial House. What makes these SO MUCH BETTER than any other reality shows is how earnest the people on them are. They aren't in it for money, they are in it for a better understanding of a particular era. My mom and I are really into Colonial House right now which has this INSANE real-life tragedy and drama in addition to the actual project, and last night, they brought a real-life efficiency expert into the village, under the guise of being a representative of The Company. He was amazing at showing how lazy and unresouceful they were, but he actually spoke in cliches. Like, he would ACTUALLY SAY these people need to think outside the box. ...They gotta work smarter, not harder. ...I gotta take control, but make them feel empowered. And he TOTALLY MEANT EVERY WORD.

My mom says Manor House is the best, because there was a real bitchiness to the class rift of The Family vs. The Servants. Is that available on Netflix, does anyone know?

UPDATE, Wednesday:
It's not on Netflix. I had who Betty calls "my special friend" look it up last night. That is not an improvement on "boyfriend", but what can you do?

How To Make Filing Someone Else's Extensive Expense Report More Interesting in a Few Easy Steps

1. When prompted to split out the hotel bill into its many various line items, see if perhaps you can split out each type of tax, instead of lumping them all together.
If there are multiple hotels, make a contest of which hotel has the most different kinds of taxes.
That one hotel that charges city, county, state, occupancy and service taxes just might win!!

2. Oh, sure, everyone knows it's fun to try to fit as many receipts on the specially-printed-out has-the-expense-report-ID total-waste-of-paper page as possible. As many as possible isn't extreme enough anymore. Rather, try to create artful geometric patterns. Remember: the clear tape counts, too!

3. Don't just clump expenses by type, putting all the taxi receipts together, then the meal receipts, etc. Tell a story with the expense report. Create a drama. Like any good mystery, leave a trail of subtle-yet-followable clues. Don't hit us over the head with it, but make it solvable. She went to a hotel. Then she took a cab, but to where? Ah! Here is a meal receipt for a Cinnabon at the airport! She must have taken the cab to the airport! Oh, yes, and here's her flight!

4. Fantasizing will make the hotel bill more interesting, but keep it SFW because, after all, you ARE at work. Those personal expenses from the honor bar/minifridge have to be listed even though they won't be reimbursed, but don't put "Jack Daniels" in the comment box, even if you are sure that's what he got. Rather, if you must write something in, choose a vague term like "snack".

Monday, May 24, 2004
Ew. I just got wished "Happy Monday". That's so gross. Ew. Who does that? Is that for real? It was so for real.
But now that I think about it, it is my last Monday here, so I guess it's a happy Monday after all. But I don't think that lady knew it was my last Monday.
Nobody goes around wishing each other "Happy Tuesday" on Tuesdays. And I think Tuesdays are worse than Mondays. Mondays mean a fresh, new week, one that might be full of good intentions and usually is free from mistakes. Tuesdays are still impossibly far from the next weekend, and by then, things are messed up and resolutions abandoned.
All the same, I'd rather not be wished a "Happy Monday". It's a little too Office Space for my liking.
Monday mornin' you gave me no warnin' of what was to be...

Friday, May 21, 2004
Food poisoning update: so far, so good. No pukey-pukey. Am I in the clear?

UPDATE, Monday:
I didn't get sick, but at one point, I think I actually felt the war waged against the badness inside. I must have some well-trained bacteria fighters, or whatever.
And no, I'm not going to tell the cafeteria or anything. I'm fighting enough battles right now. Car is in shop again (new problem) and new sunglasses were made incorrectly and have to be redone. On the good news front, I got a haircut that was even; not crooked like last time. I know it's sad that has to count as good news, but it seems like I should appreciate the hell out of anything that doesn't go wrong.

Bad Meat: The waiting is the hardest part
I guess it's gross-out week here at chemaccino.
At lunch today, I got 2/3 through my chicken wrap before I discovered that half the meat was completely uncooked. Not undercooked, thank you, but pink and gelatinous. Uncooked. Raw.
I'm currently living a life of fear. How long would the food poisoning take to strike me down? When will I know I'm in the clear? I have a three-hour drive after work tonight; will it get me before? during? after? Is my throat closing up? I feel sick.
Anyone with insight into the timing of food poisoning strike-downs, please comment and let me know how long it will take until I know whether I'm OK. I ate the chicken at 2:30pm.

Milk Duds look like little poops
Lawyer1 has this (crystal? cut-glass?) bowl on his desk that he keeps stocked with candy. In the past, there have been M&Ms, jellybeans, etc. Lately, it has been stocked with Milk Duds. And they look like poops. Poops kept in a crystal bowl.
How inviting.
It's things like this that make me wish I had a digital camera, because I would SO DEFINITELY sneak a picture of the poopbowl.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Oh Tin Man, I'll miss you most of all.
I've said a few times before that I like the Security Desk guys in this building, and I'll say it again. There are three of them, and they are absolutely the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion to my Dorothy.
Scarecrow is the supervisor, I think. He is always in a good mood, and once said that I'm a ray of sunshine. Awww, isn't that sweet? (If I focus on him, would he burn?)
Lion is new to the building, and is about to start training at the police academy, like, to be a Real Cop With A Gun.
Tin Man has the morning shift, and greets me with a smile every day. One Monday he had a really big smile, and when I asked him about his weekend, he told me he had proposed to his girlfriend. Isn't that the sweetest thing? He was a little too smiles-and-giggles for his BigBeefySecurityGuard persona.

I told Lion about my last day when I was on my way out last night, and this morning when I came in, Tin Man gave me a slightly sad look as he handed me my badge and said I heard the bad news, you're leaving us. We'll miss you. Now, in general, security guards tend to be a neutral part of a corporate office worker's job. They are a bit of a nuisance, since they keep asking to see your badge when you don't have it handy. But for me, they're my transition into and out of the work day. A force for good: a smile in the morning and a wave as I leave, and maybe some small talk every so often.
I just might miss them most of all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
A Valentine to my Once and Future Place of Residence
Sometimes I have to remind myself to be happy and excited for this upcoming move. I didn't want or mean to move until I had gotten myself financially stable, and now I'm leaving with more debt than ever, thanks to all this car bullshit.
But sometimes other things remind me.

I often mis-read words on signs that I glance at from the car. You know, they go by so quickly, you don't quite pick them up at first, and you work them out later. A sign that reads "Beer Crossing" at first glance you figure out a few seconds later was really "Deer Crossing". (Very disappointing, that one.)
I had that phenomenon happen last week with a license plate frame. I could not understand why someone would get a frame that just read, "Yankers".

My 5 questions from Erika. I had a feeling they might be kinda gross...

1. You are stuck in a dungeon. You have been there for over a year. The dungeon master has said he will let you out, but only if you make a choice. You must either eat a plate of scabs or a bowl of hair. Which do you choose to save your life?
This is a tough one, because I would totally go with the scabs, if they were assuredly disease-free. Hair, how long is the hair? My hair is long, so I'd choke on it. What if it's pubic hair? That might be easier to get down. But wouldn't I just cough it up, no matter what hair? I think I'll assume no diseases in the scabs and go with scabs.

2. If you had the chance to inhabit any planet in the universe, which would you choose? Why?
All my friends and family are here on this planet, so I'm partial. But if I had to go elsewhere, I'd choose Venus, because it looks colorful and nice. If I could choose a non-planet, I'd go with Io or Europa, whichever Jupiter moon is the one with all the ice. Ice-skating! Winter fun for all!

3. There is a huge, poisonous spider inside your house - do you kill it immediately, capture it and put it outside, or let it be?
If it were huge and hairy and meaty, like a tarantula, I'd probably try to catch and release. But if it were smaller and skinny and sneaky, like a black widow, it gets the business end of the nearest book or shoe. I'm torn about what to do about a brown recluse. The summer I lived on a farm, there was once a brown recluse hanging out on the wall of my shower, and I let her hang out there for the whole shower, and just let her be. But maybe now she would get the smashy-smashy.

4. You have just landed your dream job. You arrive to work on Monday and you find that Omarosa is your new boss. What do you do?
Eeeeewww! Gross! I'd hang in there. Hey, it's my dream job! Omarosa is probably not bad as a boss; it seems like she's just a shitty employee. But I'd start looking for another job, because I'd be afraid of the company suddenly folding, and I show up for work one morning and the locks are changed.

5. Would you rather have a lifetime of happiness or a lifetime supply of beer?
Easy. Happiness. Because that would include beer. If it excludes beer, then I'd still go with happiness, because I'd be happy, so I guess I wouldn't miss beer.

1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond to up to five of you; I'll ask you five questions.
3. You'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. You'll include this explanation.
5. You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
The New Location
This new location is worse than the old location. The best part about it is that I'm only here until the end of next week.
Before I get into anything else, let me first bitch about the INTENSE UNENDING MONITOR GLARE. Sure, there are lovely windows that overlook a tiny waterway, but they create insane glare. The only thing worse than trying to read a monitor with lots of glare on it is TRYING TO READ A MONITOR THROUGH AN ANTI-GLARE SCREEN. Yes, the screen finally came today, and is sucks balls. Donkey balls. That blue whale's father's balls. First of all, the screen is not as big as the monitor's screen, so I have to adjust the vertical and horizontal. Then, I have to turn the brightness up All The Way. Actually, I just put the screen on and when everything is black and white, it's not all that bad. Compared to glare. Either way, it kinda makes my eyes cross.
On to the rest.
Click here for the review I gave of my previous location here.

Food and Beverages:
Coffee: There's still a Filterfresh in this pantry, and people don't seem afraid it will break once a week like the one upstairs.
Soda: I have to nab one from the +2 machine when I go upstairs.
Food: I would have to go to the +2 vending machines.
Office Supplies:
Fax: There's no goddam fax machine convenient to me, so I have to go borrow one down the hall to send, AND everyone's faxes still come in on the machine we were all using upstairs. But it's a double-edged sword, because as soon as we DO get a fax, I'm going to have to order Lawyer1 and Travelawyer new stationery, because the fax number will be different.
Keyboard: There's no longer an under-the-table swing arm thingamabob. So the keyboard is too high, ergonomically speaking. Makes my left shoulder hurt to type much. Also, creates less desk space by having the keyboard and mouse out on it.
Stapler remover: I miss my boss-hog staple remover of ye oldene days. Staples are not really my bitches these days.
Space: I'm at the end of a small hallway that connects two main hallways. Anyone heading for the pantry will glance at my desk at the end of the hall, but please, people, don't wave. I can't see that far without my glasses, and my eyes are all crossed from this monitor.
Ladies' Bathroom:
Stalls: I got a little nervous when I went for the far-left stall and saw it was an automatic flusher. What? No manual? But the one next to it is manual. Weird.
Amenities: There's still a well-stocked "supply basket", but sadly, no full-length mirror.
Bonus: There IS, however, a private bathroom two doors down the hall. It's kind of big, which I don't really like. I always get a little nervous if I can't reach the door from the toilet, because what if the lock doesn't work? It's also poorly lit, so it's ...romantic? But it's very convenient.

Monday, May 17, 2004
More Mall Tales
Just the thought of explaining my new surroundings makes me tired. Also, there is so much to DO - suddenly, Lawyer1 has tons for me to tackle.
So instead, I'm going to tell you about my trip to the mall at lunch. I had to go on an errand for my MOM, OKAY?!? I don't know why I'm so defensive today but well, whatever.

Truly Outrageous
So I'm at Talbot's, picking up my mother's free t-shirt, and I'm waiting in line, and the woman behind the counter is talking with the cutomer ahead of me who is deciding whether to return something for store credit or wait until she can find the receipt. And the whole time, the clerk is playing with her left earlobe; fiddling with the earring there. Then it's my turn, and she rings it up, still touching and worrying that earring as much as possible. As I was leaving, I'm not sure about this, but I think I heard her muttering something ...I said Showtime, Synergy, what are you deaf? Showtime! Showtime!

Pharmacy Phun
I always enjoy seeing what people buy at pharmacy/general stores like Walgreens and CVS. People always buy little odds and ends; it's never a whole bunch of stuff that's MEANT to go together, and it's usually only about 5 or so items. So I like to think about what occasion can be built out on anyone's given shopping purchase. Imagine occasions calling for each of the lists of what people next to/ beside me bought:
LIST 1: tampons, cream hair remover, Diet Coke, tissues (Big date, not expected to go well?)
LIST 2: mascara, Astroglide, flashlight, Twizzlers, woman's razor (special night in?)
LIST 3: notebook, men's shave cream, Chap-Stick, gum (He likes to watch?)

What I meant to post on Friday but was too busy with the MOAT:
Bum a cig?

It starts out innocently enough. I mean, you don't smoke, you're not 'a smoker' by any means, but it's a party and other people are smoking, and after a few drinks, it seems like a good idea. And so, every so often at a party, after you've had a few, you bum a cigarette off someone. It's nice, the way the nicotine reacts with the alcohol. Especially because the alcohol helps you not mind how disgustingly disgusting smoking is. So it's not so bad.
It all changes the day (or night) you buy your own pack. You've been a mooch long enough, and it's time to give back. And you'll have to pick a brand. And spend money. And somehow, this is a huge stepping-stone.
Are you a smoker now? More than you were last week?

This is how it was for me at Macy's on Friday. I finally broke down. She talked me into it. She said, If you sign up, I can take off an additional 20% off right now, and that's on top of the 15% you'll have off when the bill comes. That's 35% off this purchase.* And after a little hemming and hawing, I finally did it. I signed up for the damned Macy's charge card, so I could save about $17. I've mooched off the brochures they keep and scan by the register long enough. Now I have the card.
Am I a shopper now? More than I was last week?

*I know, okay? I know it's actually a savings of 32%, because the 15% will only be off the already-reduced price, you smartasses. I know my percents. I've f*ing taught percents. 32% is still really good.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
If you were holding your breath, you'd be passed out by now
I've been spending the entire day down here on -2 waiting for the rest of the change to happen; for the phone lines for Travelawyer to be installed on my phone and the ones for Lawyer2 to be removed. Both Lawyer1 and Travelawyer are out today, so I'm all alone. I'm still at a desk in a hallway, but my partner-desk, the one next to mine with which I would share phone duties like I did with Daniela, is vacant. There's nobody sitting there, and nobody will be. And the offices for my two lawyers, which flank my desk, are empty, too. So there's little if any reason for anyone to walk down the hall by my desk. As Bjork would say, It's Oh So Quiet.

So, I've got another half-hour to sit around tonight before shit hits fan tomorrow and I have to take on the Madness Of Assisting Travelawyer. I will probably be very busy with the MOAT tomorrow, and I'm sure I'll have much to say when the storm has cleared. But for now I'm in the eye.
What I'm finding in this location is that for every plus there's a minus. I'm not sure about the vice-versa, since it's only Day 1.
Here's the so-far:

+ I have windows across the rear of my desk area that overlook a little harbor-canal.
- They cause terrible glare on the computer monitor, even when the blinds are as closed as possible, which is how they must be kept for me to see anything.

+ Having everything get moved means I get to set stuff up the way I like it.
- I have to re-set-up all of the filing system.

+ This quiet, secluded location means more privacy; perhaps I can watch Making Fiends and check out Homestar Runner right at my desk!
- The speakers on this computer barely let out any sound, even with the volume maxed out.

+ My closest neighbor is young and friendly and I like her already.
- I'm also just down the hall from the scary, over-perky Bobbsey Twins of HR.

+ The ladies upstairs say they miss me already.
- No more amusing myself with their wacky antics.

+ There's a private handicapped bathroom two doors down, ooo la la.
- There does not appear to be a candy or soda machine on this floor.

Just a hint of how it is today
Remember how I mentioned that today is moving day? So, my computer and phone were the first to go, which gave me no reasone to stay behind, since my job is answering the phone and using the computer. Anyhoo, I'll get to specifics later. Suffice it to say, I'm at the new desk, and one of the little supply drawers on the desk is sticky. Like, the wood and the drawerpull are sticky to the touch. Now, there were crumbs from chips and Chee-tos in the drawer, so the "how" question isn't that tough, but I haven't been able to remove the stickiness, which makes me think someone tried to remove a previous stickiness, and in doing so, used a cleaning agent that chemically reacted with the finish, creating a Permasticky Situation. Just like what would happen if one were to mix an epoxy incorrectly when, say, applying a finish to the top of a bar. Hypothetically. Not to mention names. *cough*Bo-Peep*cough*

In this case, tragically, I cannot simply cover the stickiness with a minifridge or a Schlitz girl, so I just need to find a way to NOT TOUCH THE STICKY when I reach for that drawer. I'm going to start by trying to make that drawer useless, so I don't need to open it.
Pretty sneaky, sis.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
And then I said, "That is one big ring!"
The boss of my bosses, the corner-office head lawyer dude, got a package today, a large box. And when he opened it, inside was a marginally smaller box. Still big, though. Like, big enough for a yellow lab puppy to be inside. Only, it didn't have air holes, and it was robin-egg blue, and it was tied up with a white satin bow, and we all know what that means, don't we. It means somebody bought him and his pregnant wife a Very Nice Gift Indeed.

I had no idea Tiff's sold puppies.

Tomorrow's the Big Day
Tomorrow is Moving Day, and Boss-Swapping Day. It will be madness. My new space is "quiet", but I'll tell the whole story tomorrow after the dust settles.
Betty and Marty are saying they're sad I'm leaving. Long faces, all. I assured them that if they need help with their computer, they can IM me; and I'll only be two floors away.
I'm Marty's hero today because I introduced her to, and she's psyched. I know Betty will miss our talks about diabetes. (This morning she asked what you have for breakfast, sweetie, and I said an English muffin or a Balance Bar. She was unimpressed.)
Anyway, so, they're very nice about being all sad-to-see-you-go-tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Where I am, and why I don't belong here
March. (April?) Unseasonably warm day. Weekend. Friend visiting. Let's go to the local town park and play a little tennis. You know, just hit a ball back and forth; enjoy the day.

Holy crap, they put in new tennis courts. Very nice, especially for a town park. On the court already is a middle-aged gentleman giving lessons to a nine-year-old girl.
After we've started hitting, he comes over, introduces himself, asks where we're from. I explain I live in town, friend visiting. He points out that our shoes aren't non-skid, and these are new courts, so if we could just ...not move around so much... that would be great, thanks. Also, next time, if we could wear non-skid sneakers.
I shit you not. The man told us not to move around so much.
As we were leaving (we stuck around until after HE left), I stopped by a little message-board kiosk set up on the side of the courts. It had only two postings.

One was the Guidelines For Court Use, which basically says that Members should expect to show their ID to staff whenever asked, children must give up courts to adults (with a few exceptions), non-skid shoes are requested, and tennis-white attire is encouraged.
Did I mention the part where this is the local town park? I feel like that's important here. Not that membership is terribly expensive, but you do have to OBTAIN it, and this explains why the guy (who turns out to be the "Tennis Pro") was grilling us about where we were from. And tennis whites? At the town park? Are you kidding?

The second posting was about lessons. It proclaimed:
Lessons For Everyone!
Moms! Dads!

That about covers it. That's everyone, allrighty. As soon as I leave, anyway.
So sorry for being such a heinous demographic abberation.

Monday, May 10, 2004
Not Just A Walk In The Park
When the weather is nice, I drive over to a local park at lunch to take a nice, long walk. I try to at least keep a pair of sneakers in my car for the occasion, if not a backup windbreaker and, lately, a t-shirt. But with the car madness of late, I am not always prepared.

Today, I didn't have a t-shirt available, so I would have to wear my ruffly blue satin shirt. And it was sunny, so I threw on my army-green fisherman hat.
As I entered the park, a middle-aged man called out to me, perhaps emboldened by the fact that he had a friend with him and I was alone,
Hey there, lady. Ooo, you look nice.
No, I don't, you ass. I look like a dipshit, and I know it.

There is all sorts of hilarity at the park, though, and most of it is NOT related to my various wardrobe malfunctions. Below is a brief list of some of this Park Madness, some of which is made into madness in my twisted twisted head:

Father playing game with two little girls, circa 4 and 6. Game consists of him throwing item (shoe, ball) into a tree, and they try to knock it out using yellow plastic shovels. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Discarded black eyepatch in the parking lot. Now that is funny.

Lots of the folks rollerblading on the "wheels-only" path don't wear any protective gear, and I always think to myself that if it were me going that fast, my fall would be spectacular and cause much damage to myself and others.

One time, there was a guy sitting quietly at a bench that overlooks a sharp drop to the water. Next to him and the bench was an empty wheelchair. I wondered this: Did he lift himself out of the wheelchair to sit on the bench, or did he dump someone out of the wheelchair into the water below?

A week later, and the eyepatch is still there. Still very funny.

Counting Message Books! Ah! Ah! Ahhh!
I just started another message book today. That means I'm on my third one.
Three! Three! Three message books! Ah! Ah! Ahhh!

I shouldn't laugh. But I will.
You guys, oh man, Marty asked me earlier how to put a CD into her computer - like, which side up. Now, I can understand her asking this question, if it's her first experience with CDs.
Fine, OK. But then later, just now, she was having trouble getting it to load, and Betty was trying to help her, but was stumped, and I kept hearing them talk about the A Drive, so I offered to help. I go over, and they just kept clicking on the A Drive, like that was going to work eventually. So I'm like, oh, you'll have to use the D Drive, see how it says Compact Disc? And Marty reaches down under the table to the CPU and ejects the CD and flips it over so that it is data-side-down/label-side-up, claiming that when she had tried it my way, it hadn't worked, so she was trying it this way. (Psst! That's because you were trying the A Drive. Why you doubt me?)
It's funny AND it's sad.

It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.
Why is everything all screwed up this week?
Sitemeter's screwed, but they didn't send ME an email, like they sent This Fish. Granted, she has, like, 10x the traffic. But still.
Blogger is an all-new interface (again) that is a step down from the multi-frame coolness of the past. How is no longer being able to see the current post and a few previous posts on one page a step forward? Also, if you thought it didn't work in Netscape before, well, just look at it now. And then run away to IE or something.
Oh, and if you think I'll just roll over and start using Blogger's new free commenting system, you're high. I'm going to wait for a few weeks at least.
In the Good News category (not to be confused with the Good News Bible, you know, the cheap one we used in CCD class?), I found out this morning that the AM security dude, Dan, proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. He was ALL smiles this morning - it was really cute. I do like those security dudes. Also, my mom gave me a travel mug that she received at a conference but she doesn't want and it matches my car. My car is not an easy color to match, so that's pretty cool. Except the mug is plastic, not steel, so its days are numbered. It will be fun while it lasts.

Friday, May 07, 2004
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but one way or the other, it was the times
It was the mid-1990s, and it was college. It was all of us living together, and it was not having cable on campus.
It was the new sitcom that threw together a bunch of young actors who had all been on previous failed sitcoms. It was Seinfeld getting better (or worse), and it was sometimes The Single Guy. It was Michael Crichton's new drama about a hospital; porn for the pre-meds among us.

It was Thursday night in the TV room, and we all piled in. We sat too many to a couch, and we fit up to 20 people in that little room. We talked only at commercials, under penalty of shuuuush! We came back, week after week, always with the unspoken TV room truce: our fights and squabbles left at the door like any family watching together.

Last night, when I tuned in, it was not to say goodbye to the show I had stopped watching years ago. It was to reach out, one last time, to the leather couches, the humid air, the camaraderie.
The friends.
This is not goodbye. We'll always have reruns, though I know it won't be the same.
See you at Campus Dance.

Thursday, May 06, 2004
With writers like these, who needs Friends?
I am so shocked and saddened by all of this. The link goes to a Metafilter thread that has links to a CNN article and a Smoking Gun copy of the Declaration. If you don't want/have time to click through, it's all about how a writer's assistant on "Friends" felt harrassed in her workplace, by several writers who constantly talked about masturbation, receiving oral sex, what women's body types they prefer, etc. Further, the CNN article and the Metafilter thread mention that these men admit to behaving this way but declare that it was necessary in the name of "creative necessity."

Now, I have a pretty healthy sense of humor and I generally think women are too uptight about talking about sexual things. I have at times had a reputation for a dirty, dirty mouth. But these men went so far over the line that I have to squint to see them. I had to stop reading the Declaration, because I got so upset imagining myself having to work in that environment, much less someone more sensitive than I am.

This is how our world works, and it makes me so sad sometimes.


Where do I begin?
Let me start with the victims. There are two victims: Betty and Lawyer1.

Betty was pissed off yesterday. Really pissed. I heard her muttering something about "different job", etc. I didn't know what was up, and then today, there was a temp at her desk, who told me that Betty would be out today and tomorrow. I suspected this might be related to the unhappiness of the previous day, but wasn't sure.

It all became clear in an email that went out to everyone in the department this morning. (Well, everyone but me, but Marty forwarded it to me, probably for being a good girl and fattening up on her goodies.)

The part that must have been the root of Betty's discontent is that there's in general a re-shuffling of lawyers and assistants. Particularly, Betty's main lawyer, who is in charge of a bunch of the other lawyers AND is orchestrating the shuffle, re-assigned himself to the assistant who is moving to the desk I currently occupy. Apparently, it's kind of an insult for your boss to re-assign himself to a different assistant. It does strike me as kind of a jerky thing to do. So. Betty won't be in until Monday.

Speaking of reassignments, Lawyer1 is being moved two floors down. That is FAR, because to get there, you have to walk to the center of the building to take the stairs or elevator, then walk back out to the side of the building on that floor. He's no longer going to be near his lawyer buddies, which is sad, because they like to talk about baseball and their kids, and now he can't. Also, he will be REALLY far from the Records Room, which is ridiculous, because he's constantly in and out of it. Right now, it's the next door down from his office.

Adding insult to the injury of the two-floor distance is that he will be sharing an assistant (Hello!) with the other lawyer moving to Level -2: Travelawyer. Travelawyer is a woman who is constantly traveling, and therefore, it doesn't really matter where you put her office, since she's only there 3-4 days of the month. But what's got Lawyer1 in a tizzy is that Travelawyer's constant travel scheduling is very demanding on an assistant, and he's afraid that the assistant who gets hired for the position will not be able to help him with the projects he's been putting off until someone gets hired permanently.

What about me?
I don't consider myself a victim here, since I'm leaving at the end of the month, and don't get me started about that, because I get really giggly and cute about it, and everyone vomits, and you have to call Janitorial Services to clean it all up. (Because of the boyfriend, and how we'll be together, eeee!) A week from today, my "office" (desk-in-the-hall) will be inhabited by a different assistant, who I will now be calling Ethel. I will be assisting Lawyer1 and Travelawyer and a NewHireLawyer. Marty will assist my current Lawyer2 and my paralegal, which is a SWEET trade for giving up Travelawyer, and she knows it, and she is psyched.

Ethel stopped by my desk to reschedule a conference call, and I gave her a little mini-tour of the desk area set-up and such. Apparently, she is going to be on vacation all next week, so she's missing the big moving day. That may cause some problems in the transfer of assistantship power, though it does make it easier for me, maybe. Ethel commented that perhaps this whole shuffling thing has not been well-thought-out. I'll say.

Does anyone win?
Well, Marty wins, because she has a substantially lighter workload. And the lawyer who always supplies the tequila for the lawyers' Friday after-work drink session in the conference room wins, because he's getting moved closer to his drinking buddies (into Lawyer1's office). And I suspect that in the long-term, Betty wins, because she is no longer working for a man who (apparently) doesn't value her. Then again, she's been given Tequilawyer in his stead, so maybe not so much.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
How you doin'?
So, I had to walk a second batch of after-pickup-time overnight mail down to the mailroom just now, and at an intersection on my way, I encounter ...well, I encounter a flashback. He's wearing khakis and a blue-and-white buttondown, pulled a bit tight across the chest, and he's got closely-cropped light-brown hair.

As we pass, our eyes meet, and he gives me the I-acknowledge-your-presence,-coworker smile. And for a moment -just a moment there- I was 18 again and thought to myself, He noticed me! Does he like me? Maybe he'll ask someone about me!

In the next moment, I snapped back to the here-and-now (just in time to not walk into a wall) and I wondered to myself, what was THAT? Am I going to be like this when I'm really old? Like, when I'm 75, will I get flashbacks just because some young whippersnapper's wearing a preppy outfit? And haven't I learned that guys like that are usually kind of (1) dumb or (2) assholes or (3) dull narcissists?

I have learned. But it's a now-involuntary response that built up over time. If he had been wearing a white baseball hat, I probably would have drooled.

The gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane
Here are the candy items Marty has given me in the past two days:
- a bag of gummi worms
- a bag of off-brand Twizzlers
- a handful of gumdrops
- a handful of jellybeans
- a handful (both days) of Combo's - pizza flavor
- a bag of Chex Mix - Caramel Crunch (freaky stuff, did not have much. yet.)
She also offered me some peanut M&Ms, but I declined (yuck, peanuts!). I'm starting to think maybe she's trying to fatten me up. I'm going to be really concerned if she invites me over "for dinner".
Oh, you have to see this new oven I just had installed. It's so spacious. A whole person could fit inside. Want to try? Go ahead; climb right in.

...and before the van's even stopped we're outside, twirling, listening to an old Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, just laughing in the sun, Carl Kasell lighting it up large. With the NPR tours, it's like, I can't even express it, it's just too big, spiritually, and nobody else understands.

I'm a nerd, I'm a nerd, I'm such a nerd, I know. I'm so not hip. Do people even SAY "hip" anymore? My father started getting Rolling Stone as some kind of cell phone promotion, and the only thing in it that makes any sense to me is the get your war on comic in each issue. Everything else in there just makes me kind of.... tired.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Please! No more whispering!
Since all of us receptionist/assistant types have our desks lining the side of the hallways, it's very difficult to have a private conversation. One way that Betty and Daniela and their Assistant Friends From Other Parts of the Building (AFFOPB) make their conversations private is by whispering, or talking really really quietly.
It drives me crazy.
Sometimes I think they must be talking about me, otherwise why would they need to whisper? Other times I think maybe there's some kind of office gossip going around and I'll never hear it and it will cause me to make some big office faux pas. And sometimes I am able to be a little self-reflexive about the whole thing and recognize that its just my middle-school defense mechanism kicking in.
Because, of course, in middle school they really were talking about me. Not that it was anything special; they were talking about everyone.

Monday, May 03, 2004
Gummy Yummy! Gummy Bad!
Oh, look! Treatses on our desk! Who gaves us the precious treatses?
You know it was Marty; she was talking about how she bought so much candy.
Ooo, gummi worms. Gummy yummy!
No! Gummi bad! Don't you remember how we ates too much in college?
Yeah; that shouldn't have been available with meal plan points...
Yesss! We hates snarfing gummi bear arms out our noses!
It was just the once!
...but yes, we hates it. We like Marty now, because she gives us candy.
No! We don't like Marty! She is still tardy! We had to answer her nassty phone lines three times before she arrived this morning.
Yes, but sometimes she gives us nice strong coffee she makes and keeps in a vaccuum carafe under her desk.
Yess, we loves coffee.
We loves how when she reaches under the desk to pour it, it sounds like she's peeing in her seat.

Yes, we loves that. That is our favorite amusement.