chemaccino good, but not good for you

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Some call it orgy week
What is going around? So many of us illin'.
The winners for Bad Christmas are the Adams, who my heart goes out to. Oh, and also to everyone anywhere near the Indian Ocean, obviously, and also to our troops overseas, because if I don't say that then you'll assume I'm some kind of military-hating hippie.
If I'm so military-hating, then why do I do most of my financial business with usaa? Riddle me that, Nightwing*.

I'll go right on and say it: I had a very nice Christmas. There was no misery, no suffering, no big fights.

I don't usually blog about day-to-day happy stuff, because it tends to be pretty boring. Really. Think about all the books and movies and tv shows people watch - without suffering or setbacks (this is called "conflict"), there's really not much to pay attention to. This is why "Happily ever after" is the END of a fairy tale. Nobody wants to hear about it.
Happy news on the blogs of strangers isn't just uninteresting, it kind of grates at the reader. Why should I be happy for you? we wonder. And we probably feel a twinge of jealousy that this person is getting what s/he wants. Of course, this is different when it's a blog you've been reading for a while, and you've already read about that person's struggles. THEN you might feel like s/he finally deserves a little happiness.

Anyway, if you're new and strange to this blog, skip the rest of this post because it won't make you feel good.
For the rest of you, I bring you:

Good News From Christmas 2004

My sister and her boyfriend like the books I got them. (I used some of Styro's recommendations.)

We only had heinous, soul-crushing traffic on one leg of our journey.

Beau likes the bathrobe I gave him.

I like the watch he gave me.

Nobody had to sell their hair.

Beau's mother had a red-and-white oven mitt hanging with the boys' stockings as my stocking, and a Madeline doll poking out the top, which she said reminded her of me, which I thought was very sweet.

Beau's grandmother gave me perfume for the second year in a row, and I'm totally not taking it as a hint that I smell bad. Also, this year's came in a really cool carrying case. But I like last year's scent better.

My parents' kitchen remodeling is finished. (Except for the paint, which will probably not happen in his lifetime.)

Christmas morning, Mom burned the tops of the cinnamon rolls, but nobody could really taste it.

Mom also burned the bacon, but there was lots more and she made another batch.

The twinset my mother gave me fits perfectly.

The tea kettle I gave my parents is PERFECT because it matches their new kitchen and works on their new flat-top stove.

I received the handheld beater of my dreams.

My 15-year-old cousin grew 8" in 6 months and it didn't hurt a bit. (I know because I asked.)

His older brother heard back early action from a safety school, which is nice because now he gets the comfort of KNOWING he'll go to college.

Nobody fought; not at Beau's on Christmas Eve, and not at my parents' on Christmas day.

Dad thinks Beau's iPod is adequately cool, and this helped us all escape the awful Christmas CD my father usually plays all day on Christmas.

*You're no Batman.

Monday, December 27, 2004
Crazy Italian Girlfriend
In my family when I was growing up, my mother would blame her temper flare-ups on her mother's side of the family; the Italian side. Fair or not, this is how I've been taught to think about it. I suppose that it probably is fair after all, since Mom's father was Irish, and he was the parent who was trusted with punishing the children. Imagine the disfigurements if her mother had gotten a chance.

Anyway, so this apple tried to get far from the tree, what with a low-key WASPy dad, and loads of peaceful conflict-resolution training. It all falls to pieces, though, when it's a few days after Christmas, and I'm home sick and the apartment is a disaster-area. I feel like the apartment is always a disaster area, but it's particularly bad after a holiday weekend trip and after Beau has begun a messy project of speaker installation which is stalled (and all over the floor) until he can get some speaker wire. I'm sick. I'm weak. I should do nothing more than nap or read or watch tv. But I cannot relax when there is crap all over the place like this. I found a soup spoon stuck to a fabric placemat. I don't use soup spoons. Why stuck, Beau? What the hell is that?

So I cannot rest and I am compelled to tidy up. As I do, staggering around the apartment ferrying empty wine glasses and bits of curling ribbon and other effluvia to more permanent resting places (sink, trash, etc.), I become somewhat enraged. Not necessarily for good reason, since half (okay, a third) of this mess was made by me in the first place, but I just get this overwhelming sense that I now have to clean up after a man who acts like a child, and takes as much responsibility for his mess. Again, this is unfair, because as I stagger around cleaning up, Beau is hard at work shoveling the driveway and digging out our cars. But to my mind, that does not excuse sticky spoons left out overnight on the dining room table, or large speaker boxes discarded in the middle of a room just right for tripping over.

And then, THEN I start with the rage fantasies. That's when I imagine what other horrors he will perpetrate upon his return. Oh, I know he won't help me clean. He'll just insist that I try to ignore it, and he'll leave everything the way it is, and go off on some errands. Then he'll come back, (I'll still be cleaning up) and he'll get on the computer. After surfing around for a while, he'll get tired of refreshing Instapundit, and decide to install the Nerf basketball hoop his parents gave him for Christmas. He'll ask my opinion:
Should I put it up in the kitchen, like we had it at home when I was a kid, or should I put it up in the office?

And I will turn to him, eyes blazing with the fire of generations of Italian foremothers, and slowly explain to him.

If you think you are going to install a basketball hoop anywhere in this apartment that you keep such a craphole, I promise you this:
As soon as you leave the house, I will take it down, ignite the hoop and the ball, and use the fumes of burning Nerf and plastic to bring about the sweet release of death.

(The moral of the story is that we all turn into our mothers eventually.)

Thursday, December 23, 2004
And to all a good night
Merry Christmas, ho ho ho!
Beau's excited about his new bathrobe, and I'm excited about my half-hour therapeautic massage at a place near my new job.
We're both excited about the Travel Warmer/Cooler that plugs into the car AC thing. I got it for Beau, but I'm still excited. Diet Cokes that always stay cold! Or warm, if that's your pleasure. You freak.

Anyway, we're off on our Chrismas parental pilgramage. pilgramige? ege?
Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Kelly's Redemption
I now officially am a fan of Kelly Perdue, winner of this season of Trump's circus. Why? Why am I officially a fan? Because he knows math. Because he doesn't use awful and incorrect cliches. Because I almost started to cry with happiness when I read a quote I never thought I would read from a reality show contestant:

The 37-year-old successfully navigated the interview by winning 12 tasks, taking calculated risks and "giving it 100 percent."

from this cnn article.
Doesn't that make you love him? Who actually says "100 percent" anymore? I just adore that. He gave all he could, and without bullshit exaggeration. Now I have a little crush on him.

Saturday, December 18, 2004
I Hate Raj
You know that Trump-laden show that's been sucking air over on NBC? Sucky. Anyway, the finale was boring and predictable and only served as a reminder that I Hate Raj. Those freaky lips and that annoying voice, ugh. Yuck. And seriously, why would people think that we still care about Assorama? If she gets any more screen time, the terrorists win.

Friday, December 17, 2004
And Sometimes Y
So, apparently it's a requirement that Tyra's Chosen Ones have a name that starts with a vowel. I can't argue with this "cycle's" decision; (1) I've missed half the episodes, and (2) Amanda lost. I had liked Yaya, but apparently, Yaya was haughty and unlikeable. Maybe she'll go into business with Julie and they'll become fashion moguls.

America's Next Top Mogul - it has a ring to it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004
O p e n L e t t e r s

Dear Tyra,
I keep missing your show because I have stuff to do and I end up doing said stuff on Wednesday nights. But I've been following along via website articles, and I'm very upset that Amanda is still in the running. First of all, she's blind. Second of all, she's a hosebeast. I hope she spontaneously combusts in the next episode.

Dear Trump,
Boring. Obvious. And I do feel sorry for you that even though you are down to the final two, the best of the group this season, they are neither of them impressive, charismatic, or even likable.

Dear JJ Abrams,
Sorry I don't watch Lost; I hear it's pretty good. Also, please make Alias better than it was last season, because I kind of got the sense that Garner was getting some watersports training with the theme from Jaws playing in the background. If you know what I mean.

Dear Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max,
Screw you guys for not carrying the At-A-Glance 2005 Full Color Monthly/Weekly calendar for planner size 5.5"x8.5". I had to order it directly from the company. You know, not everyone can afford or even wants an electronic organizer. They break, they have expensive accessories, the screens are small and often hard to read, and it is difficult to browse the events more than one day at a time. Also, they are not colorful and you can't add personal touches like doodles or stickers.

Dear At-A-Glance,
You folks are the best ever. You are so much better than the competition. I mean, Day-Runner and Day-Timer are a bunch of idiots: who wants the date printed at the bottom of the box on the monthly calendar? When I bought Day-Timer Coastlines two-page-per-month back in 2001, I had to re-write the numbers into the top-left corner of the boxes on every page, because it's too confusing having them in the bottom-right. You folks understand me, and I love your product and I'll never go back to those confusing bastards.
Also, what is going on with Franklin-Covey? I mean, what is their racket, charging $40 for weekly calendar pages? I was amazed that I could pay less than $20 including shipping for my fabulous 2005 pages from you folks. And the subtle new re-design for 2005, with the shading for the to-do part of the weekly pages? Gorgeous. I swear that if you stop making these for 2006, I will cry heartily.
Thanks again!

Dear Target,
While I could create a blog dedicated to all the good things about you, and keep it updated on a regular basis, you have let me down in two particular and acute ways in the past week.
First of all, your store-brand women's razor blades are terrible. I may just throw out the other four and buy some Gillette, that's how bad they are. Second, when I call about an item, and you say you can put it on hold for me to pick up later that day, and I give you my name to put the hold under, I expect that when I or my proxy arrive in the store a few hours later, that item will be available for pickup. The item should not, as it was when Beau arrived to buy it, have already been sold to whoever ignored the "Reserved" post-it you put on it while it was kept on the shelf. I am seriously considering writing to management to be reimbursed for the mileage cost of his having to drive the fifteen miles upstate to the next Target to get the item from them.

Regards to all,
The Adminho

Thursday, December 09, 2004
Situation: Normal
So, my job is supposed to become permanent. I am supposed to go from temp to real employee. Of course, the devil is in the details. The temp company told me right before Thanksgiving that I'd be starting as an employee on Dec. 2. But when I came back from Thanksgiving, I was told that I'd be starting as an employee on Jan. 3.
Fine, whatever, I figured, I'm still working everday.

But THEN I got The Closer Email: the email from the temp agency saying, hey, tell us how you liked our work for you! This email only comes when you have finished a job. So I got a little nervous. I checked my paycheck to make sure I had gotten paid for the entire week and not just through the 2nd, and that turned out okay, so I figured I was off the hook, but I thought I'd check in with the temp agency, just in case. Murphy's Law and all.

I was able to catch the temp woman on my drive home, and she was somwhere between surprised and confused. She said she had sent a final package to them making the Dec. 2 date official, and that the January thing is news to her. She promised to re-open the job order so I can get paid for this week, and she'll try to sort it out first thing on Monday (she is out-of-town tomorrow).

Nothing about my job situation is ever easy, so I am unsurprised by this latest snag. But I damn well better get paid.

I'd like to report a kidnapping!
I just got home, and Beau promised he'd be home when I got home, and I was all excited because we bought our tree together at lunch and we were going to set it up tonight and oooh la la exciting tree-setting-up evening. But he's not here. And neither is the tree. I suspect they have run off together, or perhaps (horrors!) he is holding the tree ransom in a broken-down shack, where it is lying trapped in its own netting on a dusty floor in a too-dry room, while Beau taunts it by holding a bowl of sugar-water just inches from its oh-so-thirsty trunk.

I expect the ransom demand phone call any time now.

Thursday, December 02, 2004
Trump's Panties
Someone's gotta say it, so I'll be the one to say it:
I see London!
I see France!
I see Ivana in her underpants!

Thanks for letting me be the one to say it. Of course, the best part of all was that the other team still beat her team. By a LOT! In yo' FACE, you skanky ho!

In contrast, Jennifer and Sandy seemed capable of reinventing their relationship, which impressed me. I was freaked out a little by how Sandy seemed to suddenly really like Jennifer. Maybe that woman is a fembot with super mind control powers. What? It could be true. And am I the only one, or were we all expecting to see them make out with each other in the M-azing van? That truly would be M-azing. And hot.

I think Kevin is goners. I mean, have you seen him sweat? It's so gross! Oh, also, he has been disappointing as a leader and as a creative force. He'd be a great upper-middle manager, though.

And I still think it's Kelly's show, and everyone else is just supporting characters. Though who knows what could happen if Jennifer uses her super mind control powers?