Tag Archives: Humor

Inter-Office Peace Treaties

13 Aug


I’m taking a break from voicemails for a bit here.

…Also, there’s this huge-giant spider in the bathroom that is too big to kill.  It’ like Aragog from “Harry Potter.”

…Ok, maybe not quite as big as Aragog, but big enough that it is winning the turf war. 

I’m thinking of putting a post-it on the door as warning for the WHS Pimp in the morning…but I dunno what to write on it that doesn’t make me sound like a total “girl”…and thus get me made fun of.

I mean, if I put something like, “WARNING: Arachnid of death, enter at own risk,” I’d never hear the end of it.  But if I wrote something like, “Enter with boots on and please kill me” that might send a mixed message.

…For instance, what if it decides to move out in the middle of the night, to wherever it came from.  Then in the morning, maybe WHS Pimp comes in and finds nothing behind the door…but leaves it open…and I just assume he took care of it, but forget about the post-it…then close the door to go pee at some point, and look like I’m inviting permissive homicide to any and all who walk by.

…And WORSE, what if its still in there with me, at the same time?

These are the kind of things I think about, you guys.

…Especially when my bladder is full of an entire pot of coffee and “freak-bug” in there, won’t let me pee.


…Maybe we could hold like a negotiation for a momentary peace treaty…which lasts just long enough for me to do my business.  I tell him, I promise not to go near him with any large, heavy, squish-inducing object, and he promises to stay within my eyeline the whole time, and not move an inch. 

…Then, (of course), by morning, WHS Pimp can artfully announce an instant ban on all inter-office peace treaties, and kill him dead with his steel-toed boot.  And maybe wipe the creepy guts and leg-appendage-pieces off the wall as well.

Call me just another crazy Politician, but that whole thing sounds really good to me.  It’s like a really violent, version of “good cop/bad cop.”

…Or, you know…Europe. In the thirties…


45 Cents

17 Jul


I really need it to have been payday, yesterday.

…The sad truth is that I’ve been on the grace period for my car loan payments since Monday, am just this side of tampon rationing, have stolen the travel sized toothpaste out of my theatre kit for real-life use, and my current capital worth is about 45 cents. In nickels.

…Luckily, I’m stocked up on TP and food.

As an actor, one learns (eventually) that this is the kind of life you should expect, NOT just as you struggle through your College student years…but, FOREVER.

…And because I don’t have a credit card, dealing in cash-only means never having that cushion of an ER fund to dip into, like normal people do.  When I say I have 45 cents, believe me: I have 45 cents.  And that is all.

…So, I’ll stretch that ’til Friday, at which time  I’ll need to pay all my bills but the rent, get Harriet’s oil changed, get a wedding present for Earnest, and purchase dairy, veg, and toiletries to make me human again.

…Till then: I’m just a poser…who jingles when she walks.


Ship Edge & Pea Gavel

27 Jun


So, a reprieve to the day.  About fifteen minutes in all, where the entire office just hydrogen-exploded with laughter, after snorfling giggles as quietly as possible through a series of phone calls with a new customer.

…We will call her “Helen.”

“Helen” is one of 21 new contract-customers whom I called for bookings today.  One of the 14 I Ieft voicemails for, with the usual schpiel of info about requirements and ya-de-ya-duh…and one of the 9 who have since called me back. 

…But apparently “Helen” didn’t know why she was calling, or whom, or for what, or really much of anything. 

To be fair, “Helen” is of the elder generation…possibly beyond the generation you would think of as the eldest, now living on the planet.  If she was 110, I wouldn’t be surprised.  If she was on the Mayflower, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. 

…And though I haven’t the slightest idea how a person with severe mobility issues, and self-proclaimed near blind and deafness could or would, go out alone into the world and purchase one of our products, she did.  Then promptly forgot all about it.  Until she remembered it again.  Then forgot again.  Necessitating several conversations tag-teamed by the WHS Pimp and myself, ending in tears of total gut-wrenching laughter.

…We did try to be professionals about it.  And we managed, on the phone.  Sort of. But that is all.

Here is an approximate run down of the scene:

WHS Pimp: (On phone) [Blah-blah,] this is [who-de-ha]…and how can I help you?

“Helen”: (On phone, screaming so loud that I can hear every word even from my office.) WHAT?! WHAT?

WHS Pimp: Hello, this is [blah-blah], how can I help you?









“Helen”: WHAT?! WHAT?!




Helen”: WHAT? WHEN?


“Helen”: WHAT???!!


(WHS Pimp puts phone on hold.)

WHS Pimp: Uh. Yeah.  We have a screamer.  She doesn’t hear well, and seems really confused.  You’ll have to talk slow. And loud.

Me: Yeah.


“Helen:” WHAT?!? WHAT?!?




“Helen”: (Apparently to herself. Or her invisible friend.) –WELL, I JUST DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T HEAR THEM! WHY DON’T THEY SPEAK UP?  WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? WHAT?!


(WHS Pimp begins to giggle.)






Me: (Veins popping out on neck.) OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


(WHS Pimp giggles harder. We begin the process of confirmation and build dates. It is a longer process for having to scream and re-scream every sentence of it. Finally:)


“Helen”: WHAT?




“Helen”: THE WHAT?


“Helen”: 14TH.


“Helen”: WHEN?


“Helen”:  TODAY?


“Helen”: 14, JULY.



Me: 10th.  10th.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.





“Helen:” YES.



(WHS Pimp snickers louder.)


“Helen”: YES.

(WHS Pimp snorkles.)


“Helen”: –SHIP EDGE?!



(Whs Pimp starts getting tummy giggles.)

Me: NO, “DRIP.” “DRIP” EDGE.  “D” AS IN “DOG.”

“Helen”: WHAT?! 

Me:  “DOG!” “DOG!”

“Helen”:  WHAT?! DOG?!?






“Helen”: WHAT?!




“Helen:” : …TO DO WHAT, NOW?



(She promptly hangs up.  WHS pimp busts a gut.  I glare at him.)

Me: Thanks for that.

(About thirty seconds later, the phone rings.)

WHS Pimp:  [Blah-blah] this is [Who-de-ha], how can I help you?


Me: (With a grin.) Ahhh…sweet, sweet karma.  The instant fast-food gratification kind….



(A near carbon copy of the identical conversation I just had, takes place.  The longer it goes, the harder I giggle…eventually necessitating a bathroom visit so as to not literally mess myself with laughter.  By the time I return, we are at:)


“Helen”: WITH WHAT?


“Helen”: –WHAT?!

(I immediately start snickering again.)


“Helen”: T-GAVEL? WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: NO, “PEA.” “PEA!” PEA GRA–


(I laugh harder. WHS Pimp with quivering voice tries *not* to.)



(I am crying and holding onto the desk, open-mouth drooling on it, freely. No sound at this point is even coming out.  I am sincerely glad I have already peed. “Peed.”  “P”…as in “Piss myself silly”…)

“Helen”: P-GAVEL?!?



(I whoop a belly laugh.  WHS Pimp smiles and shakes his head.)


WHS Pimp & Me:  THE 10TH!



(He hangs up. We totally bust a gut, crying all over ourselves.)

WHS Pimp: I bet she calls every day until the day we build it, wondering who the fuck we are and what we want from her.

Me: No takers.  Too easy.

(Long pause as we calm to silence.  Staring into the depressing abyss, after the one bright spot of our day.)

Me: You know? I’ll prob’ly end up just exactly like that. And this is just karma having a good premonition fuck with me right now.

WHS Pimp: …Yep.

The End.



2 May


(Or: The Importance of Being a Shop Dog)

We have had several Shop Dogs in our past, builder-owned buddies who wander about the yard from time to time as their peoples turn in paperwork, build yard models, and load up for new jobs the following day. 

…The Shop Dog responsibilities are varied, depending on their particular personality, including help with painting, yard-mousing, quality-control checking all the load-ups, general supervising of builds, tail-chasing, announcing new arrivals and container loads, eating free biscuits from the mailman, and taking breaks (Boss style) by falling asleep mid-day.

I think you will agree, these are all terribly important jobs that need to be tended to, and we’ve been without a Shop Dog for some time now, since one of our main Builder Bunnies moved on to greener pastures.

…But now, we have Izzy.

(Aka: Isabella von Vandersnoot.)

The WHS Pimp’s spotted new buddy.

She is joining us now as a full-time installation, because of anxiety issues stemming with being alone at home.

…A terribly quiet and polite species of animalia, she has added “Doorman” to her new job title listing…as she likes to open them, frequently…for any and all in need, and we don’t even know how she manages to do it. 

…Also, she has replaced the vacuum cleaner for “bits and pieces of foodage” clean-up, and (I’m told) will wildly announce any visitors we have, though I’ve yet to hear even so much as a whimper from her since she first arrived yesterday…including the announcing of myself and the mailman…so the jury is still out on that.

…Meanwhile, as she makes her rounds, familiarizing herself with the new job-digs, and monitoring her person to make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing…I very occasionally will only remember her existence from time to time, as she calmly opens the office door, and jingles (her collar tags) from one office to the other…eventually, coming back through again. 

I am usually adverse to working with other women in an office environment, but I think Iz n’ I are gonna get along just fine.

…Though I AM a little jealous of her.

…As she is currently taking siesta in the back office, and I am about to turn back to more ongoing paperwork hell.


…Such is life.


Reportus Maximus

5 Apr


Our newest contract seller is a paper-working Drama Queen. 

…At least twice per day, I am instigating report updates for their accounts at a Corporate level, which no one actually reads or ever even looks at.  That is, unless a customer gets pissed off for some reason, and then the entire fleet goes to work in a mass email-sending frenzy that would equal those in the final planning stages of D-Day, had all the generals in all the countries involved, shared a cloud network system.

…Everyone starts yelling, tagging everyone else, but no one reads what the others have responded, so you end up answering the same question ten times…the same question that would have been answered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well, had any of them seen fit to read the multiple reports they are constantly forcing us to run, compute, and send in.

Why everyone in this company gets off on sheer fucking panic, is totally beyond me.

…They must though.  Otherwise, why in the hell do they insist on doing this to themselves?

One or two slight changes, actually OPENING original emails sent, answering questions the first time instead of the 26th…these are all simple, simple solutions that would make their lives infinitely easier. 

…But then, we are talking about Corporate here.  The people who sell something for two weeks on the main market before the final manufacturing blue prints have even been stamped, let ALONE, the product assembled for shipping in the warehouse. 

…These are the same people who have an Accounts Department for a National Company, which doesn’t actually DO “accounts” they just “facilitate” them…a word that no one seems to be able to define clearly, least of all, the Accounts Department.

…These are the same people who spend entire weeks in Vegas at a Corporate Convention, getting pissed out of their minds and trying to figure out how to write off a stripper on their expense account.

…The same people who will spend $10 to Fedex a single check on next-day Saturday delivery, for three weeks running, because the sorting office keeps putting it in the wrong branch’s fucking envelope, but will NOT allow you to purchase a Bic ballpoint pen from Staples, because it is a costly name-brand.

…I don’t understand these people, and have long since given up even trying to.

All I know is that it is Friday, the paychecks have just come in, and as I complete sorting them against the 18th report this week, and updating my 19th, all I can say is:

“You have me for five more hours, assholes. Only just five. So get those final last-minutes emails out of your systems now, so I can finish babysitting you for the week and get on to more important matters. Like reading, and buying new show underwear.”


Pant Wars

6 Mar


Ladies, get together with me on this:

Much like when they decided to go “universal” with cellphone chargers…allowing for ONE, standard connection needed for ONE standard of Droid phone and ONE standard (now erroneous) of the iPhones…so that instead of having to schlep and save 45 different chords, one could simply arrive at ones destination with, “hey, anyone have a charger…my phone is dying,” and one would readily be supplied with it; Much like this, I would like to argue for the same system to be implemented to pants.

…Pants, specifically…I don’t need to go all Nazi on every version of every clothing line from here to Europe…but surely…SURELY we could get together on some kind of universal pant-sizing.

…Because, as any woman will tell you: purchasing a single pair of those bastards takes far too much work, requiring us to get naked in a dressing room far too many times, in far too many departments of the store, with far too many brand-to-size-ratio differences, and often makes us far too depressed in the end to buy anything at all.

Ever since the skinny-pant revolution, I’ve been on pant-purchasing strike.

…On the off-chance that I find a decent pair of boot-cut that also fit over and thus balance out my thigh’s and butt, but don’t have me hula-hooping the waist…I buy the FUCK out of those bastards.  3…5…however many pairs I can manage financially at the time.  Because (for those new here), I’m a Latina, who is forever buying too-long shirts to cover my butt-crack popping out of low-rise jeans…even when I’m standing up.  And the skinny-jeans (aka “denim leggings” for those of us who lived through the 80’s the first time), are a fantastical and disgusting joke on a body build with any curve at all.

…Which is why I’d flatly refused to buy any more pants at all. Because, thanks to whatever “fashion” sets as the “new thing,” is what every one of us is harbored with. Whether our body type flatly refuses to conform or not. Listen: I’m still dealing with the last one, where belt loops and the top buttons end at somewhere five inches below your belly button, requiring belt-cinching hugging the bejesus out of halfway around your butt, squeezing for all it’s worth, just to stay up…while producing a mass of muffin top that looks like you’re wearing an inner tube under your shirt.

…I’ll be damned if I lower myself to the legging phase.

…Despite all that, though…I found myself having to face reality the other day, while staring in my closet.

Due to weight loss, (and general usage), of the line-up of pants before me, only three of them were ones I could actually physically wear at the moment. And did you know, there are 7 days to the week? That doesn’t add up. Something was gonna have to be done. And so, I girded my loins, and with a gigantic, melodramatic sigh, made way for the mall.

…Perhaps if I had been gifted the girl-shopping gene, I wouldn’t have hated the process so much. But I somehow doubt it. No sooner was I in the store, facing said pantage, than I realized: I had no fucking idea what size I was even looking for. I hadn’t purchased pants since well before the elections…and this was therefore going to require math to even come up with a doable guesstimate…not because of the time-lapse, but because of the amount of weight I had gained, and lost since that point in time.

…And after that, it was dealing with literal size label differences. This one is a 10, that one is a 32 x 31…and after that: the brand name game.

Everyone knows that “this” brand runs small, “that” one runs big…I’ve never actually physically gotten the brand right there over my thighs no matter WHAT size I’ve ever picked…and don’t even get me started about how the style of “straight leg,” “boot cut,” “flair,” “relaxed fit,” “skinny,” “petite, ” “curvy” and “regulars” do to the overall size adjustments as well.

…The long and short of it, had me naked three times in three different dressing room sections of the store, trying on up to five size ranges, ending in only uber frustration.

Tell me how it is that I wore a size 10 that was too big, into the store, but couldn’t even button that one label’s size 12’s? How does my inseam length change no matter WHAT pair of pants I put on…thus making me walk like a penguin with this one, and dragging 3 inches of pant below my feet with another? Why do they assume that “curvy fit” means your ass, hips and waist all equal one another in a cylindrical tube, so that in order to get something that doesn’t sausage or suck the life out of one part, leaves all the others with enough excess material (once belted), to accordion around you…feeling like a waist-version of an Elizabethan ruffle collar…or a tutu? Do they really still not understand how ethnic bodies of a certain robustness work in the clothing industry? I mean, pull one of my people off the assembly line, and fit it to fit her…it’s really not that difficult, you guys. It’s not like we’re exactly the minority anymore…neither in heft nor curve. We’re kinda everywhere…go to a Mall, I swear it to you!

…Anyway…roughly an hour in, I just gave up. I was tired. Tired of wandering around flipping through denim and Dockers. Tired of looking at my naked, dimpled skin staring back at me from the horror-lights of the dressing rooms. Tired of graduating in sizes after all the work I’ve done to lose this damn weight. I was just plain, “tired.” Period.

…So I stopped.

Three pairs of pants were just gonna have to do me. I’d made it work this long, I’d have to just keep at it until such time as I finally lose enough to downgrade from the current “tweener” size of not fitting into anything quite right, and my next-size-down wardrobe I have just hanging there, waiting for me to fit back into it again.

Enough is enough.

…And yet, this morning, as I ruffled through the same closet, looking at the same set-up as I always do: I picked out (due to curiosity and the desperate need for some variety) one of my other pairs on a hanger.

…I held them up.

…I gauged the width, and my current frame.

…I looked at the label at the waste, shrugged, and gave it a shot anyway.

…And the fucker buttoned and zipped.

Just like that.

A size 8.

What the hell, you guys?!

…Even with delirious cravings I’ve managed to smack down for the past three weeks, there is just no way, with monthly water gain, I lost up to 4 pant sizes in 4 days. It’s scientifically impossible. I know it didn’t happen.

…And this is all to say:

Dear pant-makers of the world,

Get your shit together. Get organized. Get some kind of through-line system going. Then please, get it out there into the fucking mass-market so we can finally, finally, FINALLY know what the hell size we are wearing!



Loud & Joyeous

22 Nov


I come from a large family.

…Holidays in our house meant no less than 27 people…with just the one side of Mom’s gene pool, and their immediate families. 

…Kids had their own tables and counter seating arrangements, because there just wasn’t room at the main one for all.  Even with the extender put in, and the extra leg props pushing the main table out, well into the living room…with chairs brought in from the patio and stacks in the garage, we would still sometimes have to squeeze in standing-room-only spaces.

…The kitchen would be stifling before ten A.M. with turkey-cooking and general capacity…with Mom and the aunts stirring things on the stove and fresh baked pies and side dishes arriving more and more by the moment. Two refrigerators full of fixings yet to be cooked and baked…cousins running around, playing games outside, wrapped in layers of coats and scarves, so our red, flushed faces glowed as our breath panted out in clouds of white in the crisp fall air.

In time, all the men, arguing over football plays in the living room, with beers-in-hand, could be heard in bear-like booms of laughter and anxious defeat.  Babies suckling from the newest Moms as they conduct instructions to their sisters, buzzing about in recipe over-drive.  Gram, being everywhere at once, completely in her element…someone losing the stuffing ingredients again, and scouts sent through the house to look in overnight suitcases, and diaper bags to find them. 

…An infusion of noise as the kids break in to thaw out a bit, shoo’d from the kitchen by their mothers.  Infants laid down to nap. New shifts in the kitchen as seating places are being set, and food comes to final bake and boil and plate. Gramps seated at the table’s end, watching all the work, with wry commentaries he gets a kick out of, and to act as official taste-tester on certain sauces and the rutabagas.

…And everywhere, in every room of the house, for all of the day long…loud, loud conversations taking place…only magnified as the day grows longer, by heat and wine and food…excitement, and general people-excess.

…So loud at times, with the men screaming at the TV screen, play-by-play, of the women laughing and telling jokes while cooking, of babies chattering,  the cousins “Haloo-ing” to one another, in hide-and-seek places up and down the hallways…that a moment of solitary in the bathroom during pee breaks, would make your ears ring with it’s silence. 

It felt so removed, those moments. 

…Like a wormhole where you were on one side and everyone else, at the other end…faintly heard in the distance, in gregarious employments, you were only annoyed that mere natural bodily function, was making you miss out on. 

Holidays with our family always made me feel badly for all those three and four-people families. Small, quiet, respectful, classy people…in their formal go-to-chapel best…Holidays like the kind they have in romantic comedy movies.  None of which we are an example of.  We were more of the family Griswold, “National Lampoon” stream, without a doubt…with all the curiosities, eccentricities, dramas and ridiculiousnesses that go with it.  Ask me then, or now: I never in a million years would have changed that, for anything.

As time has passed, spreading our family’s large number, like seeds on the wind, to new corners of the world…some to new corners now, in Heaven…Holidays seem to be more a time of reflection and thankfulness than they ever were before.  Because I can spend a quiet Holiday feast with four people today with the memories and history of those other’s behind it.

…Sometimes, a little sadly, yes.  Because I miss that loud, brazen, bellowing, laughing, arguing, baby-crawling, cousin-playing, surrounding of the truly peculiar breed of humanity that I hail from.  All those frustrating, brilliant, weird bastards, who I love more than anything, and miss like nothing else of bestness, on earth.

On quiet Holidays like today…which I am still so thankful for…I can’t help but remember those we once had in the past.  For all the world, I could swear eight or nine times today…faintly in the distance of my childhood, I could hear it all again.  A wormhole to our family past.  And I wish, more than anything, I could rejoin it, even just one more time…even just for a moment…in all it’s loud, joyous, wonderfulness…with all the people who are of my people, and who I belong to.

…Then, I remember: I can. In memory.  Any time I want to.

…And I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for that, and them, and even (reluctantly), the fact that time has passed and things have been forced to change.

The BFF is home again…even for just a little bit, back in her place at my stove, and me at my place at table: chopping and prepping as we gossip and sing and play on. Last night, after hours of loud joking, and shopping, and laughing, and winking insults, and spur-of-the-moment hugs…(just because we can), because we are here together now…was a many-moment deja vu.

…Later plating and feasting, The Fella and Marty adding to the family, by-turn, as the clock struck further into the night…squealing loud peals of delights over newly uncorked wine, and homemade eats…with everyone telling stories at once, and nobody listening, and bad jokes being played on one another, a tattling of the most embarrassing of stories we have to share…with the TV blaring in the background, and spontaneous bursts of laughter….with new infusions of energy and more friend arrivals as the night went on…well into the early hours of this morning.

…This loudness of epic proportions!

…So persistent and present! So joyous, and irreverent! And so…”my family.”

I realized, the coming of full circle, not once but many, many times across the night.

…Which, to me, is sorta like a wink from above, by those who’ve gone on before, and know me best.

A long story to say: I hope you and yours…be they family of your blood and bones, or of your soul and spirit…had a happy Holiday today.

…Cuz I know me and mine did 🙂


The Lady Market, In The Lobby

14 Nov


Boss has been online for the bulk of the morning in the Lobby, shopping on The Lady Market.

…This is where he sits with his laptop, scrolling his dating site of choice, and from time to time calling me or the WHS Pimp over to grade the women on a “should I, or shouldn’t I” basis. 

I don’t play the game, usually yelling from my desk, “I’m too busy doing your job right now!  P.S. I need some coffee!”

…And so he’ll go away and find some, plop it on my desk with whatever other offerings to buy my silence, that he can come up with (today: mini cinnamon rolls), then go back to his “work.”

In that time he’s also managed to dodge having to put out a contractor fire, because of a sorta fake conference call. “Sorta,” in that he DOES have a conference call, but he screwed the dates up and it actually happens tomorrow…but he was logged in on a dead air call (put on mute) for twenty minutes, while he Lady shopped, before he decided to confirm the date on his calendar.  I (of course) knew none of this for quite some time, and continued plowing through contracts and pay reports and answering phones for several hours, before taking a break to go pee for three seconds.

(I pass by him in the lobby, seeing him playing with his new iPad.)

Me: Wait.  Aren’t you on a conference call still?  It was set for like four hours.

Boss: Oh, yeah.  That’s tomorrow, I guess.

Me: Wait.  So how long were you on-air before  you figured that out?

Boss: Like twenty minutes.  I dunno.

Me:  But you’ve been off since then?

Boss:  Yuh.  I wonder what our app allowance is gonna be?

Me: …So you could have been answering calls, at least…

Boss: –They have this new band-mix one I could totally use for my gigs.

Me: Isn’t that thing bugged? 

Boss: Yeah.  But I can disable it.

Me: The bugging was the whole point.  If you go off grid, they’ll just yell at you to get it fixed.

Boss:  They gotta catch me first.

Me: I need you to get phones.

Boss:  But not (enter name of Contractor here.)  I’m hiding from him. 

Me: How long?

Boss:  Told him is was a training day.

Me:  We’ve never had a day of training in this place, in the History of ever. For anything.

Boss:  Yeah, but he doesn’t know that.

(I look at his new mess in the lobby, of scattered crap everywhere, and him sitting huddled over an iPad trying to decode it, as his laptop, open just to the right of him, is set on a collection of women’s headshots.)

Me: …You wanna bet.


…Meanwhile, some of you may be asking yourselves, “Why the lobby?”

…Some of you may be asking yourselves any NUMBER of questions, actually…believe me, I am well acquainted with them all. I can’t answer every one you come up with…cuz in five years time working with this man, I still don’t understand him fully. But this is one question that I can answer.

…He has set up shop in the lobby for two reasons:

1) Two weeks ago, his swivel chair broke and he fell to the floor…so moved into the lobby where the chairs are better, but too big to fit at his desk, while we waited for the new one I ordered him to arrive.

2) Last week, his new chair arrived, but his desk was so messy that he decided he’d just keep camping out in the lobby every day. Mostly because, every day after he leaves, I clean the lobby out, by putting all his shit back on his desk, which he occasionally shifts around in piles on his desk and floor, that he never does anything with, thus the piles grow, and he’d rather just not deal with it.

…I am not kidding.

This is what his office looks like today:

This is what my desk looks like today:

…These were taken at the beginning of my self-proclaimed “break”…which happened, directly after I got out of the bathroom, and he called me over to show me this new YouTube video.

…My “break” was all of ten minutes, and I was well into typing today’s post, before he declared that “since the conference is tomorrow,” and he has, “this new iPad thing he needs to figure out, with new software and everything,” that he was just going to, “take off to one of the vendor sites to test it all out,” and maybe, “not come back again, until tomorrow.”

…”If that was okay?”

I told him to knock himself out, and went on with my typing.

…And so it goes.

Morning reports completed, I sit here and tap on the keys in between phone rings, and rearrange the schedule as customer’s continually realize that next week is Thanksgiving, and they need to change their booking dates, cuz they’ll be at Aunt Pearl’s all week n’ things.

…And I’ll listen to their entire family life history, as they explain it all to me in mind-numbing detail…as if I give a shit…and I will “uh huh,” and “okay,” and “no problem,” and “Yep,” my way through the rest of the day.

…An annoyance, but better than one of the other worse kind of days. So, I’ll take it.


The Idiot & The Holiday

12 Nov


A true story:

(Phone buzzes, and I pick it up.)

Boss Text: So, you’re not here.  Are you taking today off?

My text: Yes.  Everyone is.

Boss Text: Why?

My Text: B/c it’s Vet’s Day.

Boss Text: No isn’t.

My Text: Yes. Is.

Boss Text: That was yesterday.

My Text: Observe on following Mon = Today.

Boss Text: We who? The Co.?

My Text: The Nation.

Boss Text: But not Co.

My Text: Yes.  Us too.  Look on sched.  Been posted over three weeks. And in email. And reminders on Fri for Mon alerts. See where it says “Holiday” in everyone’s boxes?

Boss Text: Thought meant day off for non-staff.

My Text: That’s not even a thing we do. “Holiday” is self explanatory.

Boss Text:  I didn’t know.

My Text: Am not coming in.

Boss Text: You can take day off.

My Text: I know. It’s a Holiday.

Boss Text: Well, am not gonna argue it.  Just want know where everyone was.  I guess see you tomorrow.

(No response.)

Boss Text: You will be in, right?


… Just your average Monday of shit I have to deal with, even on a Monday when I’m not supposed to have to deal with it.

So thank you again, Boss…for continuing to provide constant idiocy in all you do.

In Other News: A little nesting and clean.  Spanish rice-making, friend IM-ing and script reviewing.  Walk to the market for incidentals, some coffee, some laundry sorting, some Ma hanging. A good day.  As days go. 

…Back to the mindless drivel tomorrow. 


If Music Be…Play On

10 Nov


Resting up for tonight’s performance. 

…Never quite got the extra punch of nerves like I usually do for Opening.  Kept waiting for it, but the ghost that visits us all, must have duped someone else in the cast on accident.  A smooth run, nothing of real consequence to note, or a moment that stood out any more than I thought it would.

Now: we are Open. 

Our greatest challenge is to keep up the energy,  (whether or not our audiences seem to understand the story that is happening before them), and to keep our eyes on the prize with consistency, intent, and joy.

…Based on our first two audiences, there is a very unfortunate pattern of wide-eyed blinking going on through much of the first half….wherein their brains do their best at processing what we are giving them, and they try to make some sense of it. 

It has been a long time since I last did a Shakespeare, and that was a drama…so obviously the “comedy” requires more of their participation.  And my mind is just blown with the truth we were told at the beginning: that we should expect very little feedback until well of 20-30 minutes into the show, as it takes that long for the audience to wrap their head around the lingo, period, and story plot.

…And I vehemently disagreed with this, based on the clarity of the performances being given up there…

…Until last night completely confirmed what Preview first handed to us.

Our comedy, which we have worked so hard on, is being blanketed with very thick quilts of silence as we struggle in our task not to over-sell or out-shout these moments to get SOME sort of response from the seating sections.  Quite deflating, actually, to just plug on in blind faith that at some point, it WILL click with them, they WILL suddenly have the (apparent) necessary breathrough of communication, and we WON’T look like idiots throughout the WHOLE of the performance.  Only one-quarter of it.

Here is where I struggle to concept the situation we find ourselves in:

Shakespeare is not new. 

…It is often done here…many times over…by many of our companies, some of whom specifically perform it solely.  Every season.  And someone fills those seats…time, after time, after time. And one presumes they are the same patrons who frequent other productions.  Enough, and at such a rate, as to keep the tickets selling, and the theatre’s continuing to mount more and more productions.  And I know that “math” has never been my particular forte, but even to ME, these audience reactions (or lack of) are not adding up.

…Which brings up another thought, based on a debate with The BFF (a highly educated, yet TOTAL anti-Shakespearean), on the relevance and necessity of keeping his works running in the theatres and classrooms. 

MY stance was that he (and ALL of the classics) will ALWAYS be relevant because they are about the human condition, and humanity never, fucking, changes. You will always relate to it because, sex and anger and love and despair and joy and pain, is like music to humanity’s bones…in that it has no language barrier, it has no class distinction, or rules, or regulations…it just IS and WILL BE, and we all understand it, because it is part of being human.

…HER stance was that they are dead stories, in un-relatable languages,  that are only done now because people think is it “the fashion” and want to appear smarter, so only go along with it because of a kind of glorified, “look at me: attending Shakespeare,” deal.

I cringe at the thought.

I can’t believe it.

…And if I don’t believe it, but am showed instances like these past two nights…how do I explain it?

How do they not understand? 

…They live these very lives themselves. 

…Is it an instance of trying to learn “Italian” in order to understand the “words” of the Opera they are watching? Do they not realize that the music itself and the emotion behind it, tells the story, and that if you surrender to it, it will carry you through and usher you where you need to go?  Is it because they have been taught not to “trust” it?  Is it because they were once told, “this is too far above you, you will never understand, it is for smarter people than you?”

…Because aside from the fact he was directly commissioned by the Queen of England to write his pieces, Shakespeare (a very modern man of his time) wrote his works primarily to and for the “Groundlings”…the stall owners…the pub keepers, the butchers and hayseed planters and brick layers and every “common” man out on the street.  These stories are THEIR stories, written for THEM.  Most of whom could neither read nor write.  And this language the plays were written in, was not a contemporary of their own, it was a heightened language even at the time.  It was (and is) poetry

…It is music.

…And they understood it, because Shakespeare was one of the most amazing composers in all of human existence.  The tune is pure: if you just listen.

…But how do you tell that to an audience, with furrowed brows facing you, whispering to one another in their seats: “What’s happening?  Who is this?  Why, that? I don’t understand…” 

Patience and it will come. 

Listen and we will tell you. 

We are doing the work FOR you. 

Just breathe. 

Don’t fight the words. 

Trust us. 

…We have this great, great thing to share with you…it’s been toured around the planet twice over-plus, the existence of this country.  If is was a bad “tune” it would have hit the top 40, and gone extinct a looooong time ago.  But it is still here!  Which means its a really GOOD fucking song.  You’ll like it.  I promise. 

Please, just come to the theatre and listen

The music will do the rest.


A Disgruntled Player


I’ll Auto-Pay Your Face!

5 Nov


This new everything digital world really blows, a lot of the time.  And where it blows most is when your money is involved.

…’Member when it was bill-paying time, and you’d sit down with your check book and balance everything, and categorize all the bills in date order, and start John Hancocking until your hand would start to cramp and the ink on your pen would go out?  And ‘member how then you’d send them all out into the world, where based on postage times and then check holding, you knew you could easily buy yourself a grace-period of say 3-5 days, wherein even if the money wasn’t in your account now, it would be by then, and yet it wouldn’t be seen as a “late payment,” because the date on your check was within the window of time, and it wasn’t your problem that snail mail and lazy tellers were holding the money back from where it needed to be, cuz by that point, your job was already done?

…I fucking miss that.

…Now everything is automatic and instant.  There is no grace at all. In the period of time that you pop your tire, and need to buy a replacement NOW, (even being obviously unplanned and not in your budget), instant deduction is merciless.  Even the 75 cent candy bar at the gas station, comes out of your account before you’ve even opened the foil on the wrapper.

…And they try to sell this “automatic” world of deductions to us, like it’s a GOOD thing.  Like we will never have to worry about anything ever again, simply because our money is in their hands, and we can feel free to go whole months at a time without so much as seeing a literal penny of it. 

…Money is now, just a code of numbers to our banks and bill services.  It is nothing tangible and what little control we once had if it, is almost completely depleted now with the advent of “Automatic Bill Pay.”

I fucking HATE it.

…First of all…I don’t have student loans or a credit card, and yet I am so fixed on my income that I need to have total control of every dime at all times.  I do not live in a financial world wherein you can just suck pockets of money from my account anytime between the 1st and the 5th, or 15th and 22nd at random, for amounts that constantly change due to service use, and/or emergency non-budgeted needs…like a popped tire, for instance.

…I cannot have you just deducting things at your whim.  And I tell the bill-people this…because you HAVE to tell them it now, or–in keeping with the theme–they automatically enroll you in it.

I was put on hold for 54 minutes this morning to fight about just this, after checking my account balance.  Finally getting a human person, their mind was blown that I was upset for having to wait so long, and that they were moving my money without permission.

…$50, now gone.

Me: Who said you could auto-deduct the $50?

Them: Its automated process now. We just do.

Me: Not my money, you don’t. I already had this conversation last month, with some other guy at your location. You should listen to the recording of the conversation –that I know you have due to the fact you declared you were doing it at the beginning of this one.

Them: Well, we sent you a contract in the mail stating the terms agreed on in the conversation.

Me: Right, and nowhere on there did it say “automatic.” In fact I was very specific on that.

Them: Only twice at the beginning, of your recording, but at the end when he said–

Me: –Twice. Twice I stated it. So stop the auto-pay.

Them: …But in the letter we sent you, we indicated that the payments would be set up in this way.

Me: Which disregards my entire conversation with him?

Them: Per the terms in the letter–

Me: –Look, I didn’t sign any letter agreement–

Them: You don’t need to sign it. It is a paper copy of the original agreement made.

Me: It is not, or it would say that I distinctly mentioned it TWICE in the phone call NOT to auto-pay. Under ANY circumstance. My authorization was verbal then, and it’s verbal now…and recorded. Take the auto-pay off now!

Them: There’s no need to get upset ma’am…

Me: No?! You don’t think so?

Them: We can rearrange the agreement.

Me: We can put the agreement back where it was before you “rearranged” it to begin with, in that when the bill is due: I will pay it, with the several options of payment method allowed to me — up to and including a check –and not at any time involving you, sucking the money out of my account without my authorization. You got all that?

Them: Cancelling auto-payment. Yes.

…Look. I know it’s this chick’s job, on behalf of her company, to suck us all dry and stupid once a month with “procedure” and “contract negotiations.” I get that. But it doesn’t mean that knowledge will keep me from being pissed off about it, and — yes — even taking it out on her, because she happens to be good at being conniving. If she wants a pat on the back for her talents in this, she should look to her boss.

…I am going to take it personally when it is made personal, and I won’t feel even a little bit bad about being a dick to people, when it seems to be the only way to communicate with them. And I gotta say, what really is not helping them (in this world of “automated absolutely everything”) is being put on hold for nearly an hour by a machine, so you’ve been stewing already, and are pissed off ten times what you were before you even called to begin with, before a live human actually picks up the phone.

This is my statement to the financial world as a whole:

If you touch my shit without permission: I go all Lorena Bobbitt on you. That happens to be MY “automated process.” M’kay?


Cracking The Code

23 Oct


This one fucking monologue…

…I gotta figure it out. 

So far have tried 11 different ways, and so far have found 11 ways how NOT to do it.  It’s killin’ me. It starts my second Act, and is all high hysterics and ridiculousness, but not quite farce…which is really fucking difficult to gauge, not least of which because everyone on stage just looks at me with egg on their face watching it like a freak show, and it is the total opposite to my natural style of humor. 

…I am dry and bitchy, by nature. (hello, have we met?)  If you exaggerate that, you get dryer and bitchier.  “Hysteria,” is this whole other deal.

We do things to challenge us as performers, so I’ve done my fair share of farce and comedy, and though I’m not horrible at it, it ain’t exactly my forte.  So, the information I get outta rehearsals like last night’s, is that: “It didn’t work. Again.” 

…Now, I don’t always know WHY it didn’t work, in fact, most times I don’t at all…but I know when it does, and it has nothing to do with the reaction from the house right now…because this many weeks in, people never laugh at anything anymore, anyway. Cuz shit is only funny the first 20 or 30 times you try it.  After that, you’re kinda “over it.”  You just have to sorta trust it’s still funny, and go with it, until previews and things.

…Only I know it isn’t working.  I can feel it.  But I don’t know “why,” or what the answer is to MAKE it.

Here is how I look at comedy: Comedy is to timing, as Fosse is to a choreography. 

…That dude was fucking intricate.  One half millimeter of a finger arch and you were out of sync.  It’s like “this,” not “This.”  Specificity is the KEY. 

Comedy is like that

…One hair of a beat is the difference between HILARIOUS, and absolute crickets.  I don’t know why, but it is a fact.  Which is why Comedians don’t get NEARLY the credit they should, for an artform where one breath in the wrong place screws the entire joke up…but some chick blubbering in a corner, with snot running all down her face, will win the Oscar.  Every. Single. Time. 

…The snot isn’t “timed.”  I can almost guarantee you that anyone playing a rape victim, or watching a loved one die, would be able to work themselves up to that level of disturbed ugliness, with very little imagination and timing involved.  Drama is all on your own clock, at the viewer’s expense.  Comedy is all on the VIEWER’S time, with phantom rule books of how long to hold, turn, smile, nod, grin, hiccup, slip, fall, smack, pop, bash, wink, slobber, flash, burp, squash, run, jump, or shriek, at any given time with constantly changing table-ratios of balance, depending on which order they fall in, at what point in the scene, which characters are involved, and if the audience is sleepy, bored, restless, horny, infectious, or has indigestion. 

…It’s like the most intricate math formula ever.

It’s ALL of that, (aka: reading the room) PLUS, just knowing what works and what doesn’t…when to “play” it big and when to play it “straight,” (which is also funny, but a different kind.)

…I KNOW funny when I see it.  And I can figure out most the time, when I DO it…both while throwing it away, and doing it on purpose.  But so far, top of my second act, all I know is:  It isn’t working. 

We open in 18 days. 

So that is really starting to bother me.

…And I’m not goaling for a milk-sop fest of feedback, here.  I don’t need hysterics from them.  All I need is to complete the take without feeling like a giant scene-deflating asshole, or freak other-worldly alien, directly ending into a set change. 

So far, I have not once accomplished this. 

…And I’ve totally done it in legit, no-holds-barred, hysterics at least twice…so it isn’t that I ain’t willing to “commit.”

I need another way to look at it.

…But I don’t know what.

…Time to hit the books (aka: the DVD collection) and fish out some instances that someone used, at some point, sometime, to help me figure this out.  There IS a way to make it work.  People have only managed it for several hundred freakin’ years is all.  And if THEY can do it, I can do it!  And I can do it MY way!  I just need some quiet time, in an open space not shared amongst apartment dwellings, where I can beat the shit out of it, at full vocal level, until it knows it’s place. 

And I need to not panic that I WON’T find it in time, cuz that just is NOT fucking helping me right now.


Why Yes, And Thank You

18 Oct


I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when a friend from Russia reads these posts.  Just to see that massive landmass all shaded, indicating readership coverage.  It sorta makes me feel like a mini Dictator to watch SWAL’s words take over the globe.  Either that or the History Channel’s maps they put up charting how plagues have spread across the world, and the total devastation they leave behind.

…Which is basically the same thing, when you think about it.

I am nothing more than a word dictating disease.


…I need to work on some more metaphors and similes, I think.

In Other News: I am on day 4 of a self-inflicted booze abstinence. I think I pulled something last time I made trips out to the recycling bins, and decided that there is really no need for me to consume more than one can carry, in one trip, over the course of two week’s time. Sure, I’m not the only one swilling at my house, but even if you cut those arm loads in half, there is still a whole lotta rotting grape going on in the “me,” on a consistent basis. I thought it was time to scale it back a bit. And by a bit, I mean cold turkey for now…firstly to make sure I can (and haven’t catered to my family habit of turning accidental drunkard), second: to drop some weight off, and third: because I am perpetually broke right now, and something had to go.

…So far, so good.

…Of course I haven’t really fed the beast by enticing myself either…with things like pasta and steak and pub hang time, which are the usual catalysts for gross amounts of boozing intake. But I’m pretty confident that I still could withhold even then. After all, I do have a full bar set-up in my living room, (with all the fixins.) And I do pass by it multiple times per day. And there are two bottles of red still corked and flirting with me from the corner pocket there. And I haven’t considered even tasting them, right now.

…Don’t feel any different physically, haven’t begun to lose any weight as yet (which could totally be Mrs. Johnson’s fault, as she waits just there in the wings.) All I know is: I know it ain’t “essential” to me, which is good. And I’m sure I’ll miss it at one point, which is fine. And eventually I’ll pour me out a glass and enjoy the hell out of it, like always. So be it.

And Also: My Horoscope (which I don’t really believe in, only this one app I use is like freakishly accurate 95% of the time) yesterday said that I have some really cool things coming my way, and that if I just accept the gift of them instead of balking it, almost everything in my world will be coming up roses. I can only assume that this means one of you will be splitting your Lotto winnings with me, or gift me a house, or car, or a much needed vacation in the Bahamas. For which I am stating, right now and for the record:”Why yes, I will take this boat/car/house/vacation/million dollars that you are willing to give me. And thank you.”


A Special Breed Of Masochists

15 Oct


You guys, I’m being super side-tracked right now by writing my blog. 

…On the way home from rehearsal tonight, I got this bitchin’ hair design idea for the show, and was just standing in the bathroom makin’ hair topiaries when I realized what time it was and that I hadn’t written my post yet today. So I’m stopped mid-point, and look like a frizzy cross ‘tween Hagrid, Pippi Longstocking, and a Fraggle.

…If I were a more farcical character it would be fucking perfect.  But I’m not, and it isn’t.

…I stopped anyway, so that I could do my duty by my pledge to you: the readers, and me: the scribbler.

Let it be noted.

…Tonight’s rehearsal was more “selective” in it’s scene work (which I like), and required me to be a maniacal energy boost of ridiculous hysterics both coming and going.  Short boosts of fuel, as I provide throughout most of the show.  And (continuing on my current streak) I have had yet another “lift” added, mid a grand performance of hoisting in hurrahs…making my new goal (as per Mdm. Director): “to somehow finagle out of ever having to walk at all, throughout the entirety of the show.”

If hard work, dedication, and my co-actor’s backs can do it: IT SHALL BE DONE!

…Poor bastards.

Our Sir Toby is endlessly bench pressing me, at this point.  But then, he gets to grope me lots too, so I figure: that’s free second-basing at the very least, which is (I feel) pretty fair trade in the scheme of things. 

My boob kinda hurts from this one scene.

…Just the one boob, which is totally my fault, cuz I’m the one grabbin’ Sir Andrew’s hand and slapping myself with it for an extended grip of time.  Won’t be so bad once I have corset boning to help stave off the brunt of the abuse.  Apparently, Maria likes it rough.

(Totally innocent shrug.)

…Meanwhile: Hooray for rehearsal skirts, so I can begin playing again with the flow and mass of all that material below me.  Less Nancy-ish* (“Oliver” referencing), with my wenching this time. I don’t have the luxury of just hoisting it up to flash me knickers whenever I need to get it out of m’damn way. 

Being a girl on stage is so much work, you guys…you don’t even know.

…Sure, dudes have coats and things that run hot in the lights, and if anything “period” is being attempted, layers begin to incorporate about two out from that in certain specific instances playing “outside” or “per season.”  But I promise you that women win in this battle, and always will. Even if they play “whores.” I know, because I’ve played tons of ’em.  You’d be surprised how many clothes can be worn when you are “technically” naked.  Especially in period pieces.  Just layers and layers and layers of shit on top of other shit, on top of more

There’s a reason that women did almost nothing gregarious or sportish for centuries of time.  It wasn’t so much the “society rules.”  They physically just couldn’t. You try wrapping your head around wale boning poking into your boobs and crotch and hips, while sucking you in so tight you can’t breathe, then putting twelve layers of underwear between that and your top skirts and waistcoats, and boots…and all that hair…and hats, every day from age eleven or twelve until (merciful) death.  Then go out, hoisted sidesaddle, “riding to hounds” on weekends.  Or play a stationary game of lawn tennis.  Or consider “a turn about the room” equivalent exercise to thirty minutes on the cross trainer at the gym.

…No wonder they fucking fainted all the time.

It’s GREAT discipline, and helps build the hell out of a character though, so the suffering and sweating is totally worth it.

…Bruised boobs, aching backs, suffocating organs, stinging knap-hands, pinched shoes, gallons of sweat, et al. 

It takes a special kind of person to do this all willingly, for almost no pay at all. 

…We’re sorta masochistic freaks, really.

And you totally wanna be us, when you grow up.

Admit it.


Default Underwear & A Day Off

13 Oct


Here is a sweeping blanket statement of truth: I am not a procrastinator, unless it scares me, or has something to do with laundry.

I only go to Doctor offices when I feel like I am actually dieing. And I only do laundry once I’m down to nothing but hair dying towels and my default underwear.

…I’m just gonna let that  last sentence sit there for a bit, wide open, so you can have plenty of time to fill in the pause with every one-liner that I know you want to slap in there.  Because I care about you, is why I give you these opportunities of joy.  Remember that later, people…at Christmas and on my Birthday (for instance.)


…So the deal is: for the past…I dunno…seven or eight years, I haven’t lived in an apartment with its own washer and dryer.  Even though EVERY TIME I moved out of one place that didn’t provide those things, I swore up, down, and sideways…with booming voice and grand hand gestures, that I would: “…NEVER LIVE IN ANOTHER APARTMENT WITHOUT A DISHWASHER OR LAUNDRY CLOSET OF ITS OWN, SO HELP ME GOD!”

…And about a week later I’d be signing a lease without one or the other…except for my current place, where I’ve lived for five years now, which provides neither

Basically I was wooed by facial esthetics, like a giant whore, and didn’t give a shit about what was on the “inside.”  And this is what materialistic sunsabitches get, my friends…they get beauty with limited actual “functionality.”

…Anyway, this is all to show that the procrastination in the “laundry” instance, is not entirely my fault.  Not having my own facility makes it more difficult, because I keep odd hours with two jobs and don’t actually feel like standing in the toxic orange, badly lit, storefront laundrymat at 2 A.M. with some creepy toothless dude sitting one chair over from me, waiting til I’m done pairing up all my socks, before he rapes and kills me,  then stuffs my body into the turbo spinner where people clean all their sleeping bags and comforters.

…So I opt out of that.

…But then, I can’t exactly use the basement laundry room connected to our building either, cuz there are apartments just next door and we have cleaning curfew rules. And only three washers for the entire complex to share. Also, I never have quarters. And (I find) in a world where people depend on mass amounts of them for things like parking, and video games at pizza restaurants, and laundry…that people who HAVE all the quarters never want to SHARE them with you, and it becomes like a scavenger hunt, just to get enough out of the gas station, the grocery store, and the mini mart on the way home…to do one and a half fucking loads. And when I finally actually get around to doing laundry, I’m lookin’ at five loads minimum. How the hell does that even help me at all?

…So that’s out.

…Which leaves my Mom’s house.

….Yes. At 32 years of age, I am still doing laundry at my Mother’s.

I spend half an hour separating all my colors out across my entire front hallway, then pack them up in several giant IKEA bags, grab the soap and a book, and motor over to Ma’s, where I will spend (I kid you not) my ENTIRE day, just doing laundry. (And scavenging her food cupboards, like a High School babysitter.)

….Which means that I have to pick a total day off (from work AND theatre) in order to accomplish all this. And those days come roughly once per month, on average. And when they do, the last thing I wanna do is my fucking LAUNDRY.

…The long-story anecdote of which, I’ll now end by stating: Today is a day off. Entirely.

And I am not doing laundry.

…I’m going to play with “M” and “K.L.,” instead.

…So my default, uncomfortable-but-still-technically-functional-once-upon-a-time-bad-idea-buy-mostly-on-a-joke underwear are just gonna have to deal with it.

The end.


Austenian Thoughts, On A Holiday

15 Sep


I feel like I should work extra hard on today’s blog, on account of just breezing through it yesterday.

…I’m gonna do the weekly blog challenge, write up.  The one where you have to write in the style of a favorite author.  Only I’m gonna take it one further and do it while still narrating in the essay form.  And I want it to be a ridiculous juxtaposition. So I’m gonna pick a wildly opposite writing influence and run with it. In short: What would SWAL sound like if Jane Austen was penning it?

It would sound like this:


I cannot help but wish I had not lost the funds once supporting the allowance of a servant.  This morning, it was I who was left to set the tea to steep and pick the eggs.  A bothersome business, when all which you desire is to rest, uncorseted between the bed linens…stretching upon occasion at your leisure.

After breakfast, a walk about the grounds, perhaps. The day is still crisp, yet the sun is out, winking through the clouds now and then.  A piece of blue sky is surly somewhere to be found.  It would do me well, I think, to chase it.  I have only this and tomorrow for the remainder of my Holiday.  A Holiday vastly having depleted of its time. 

…Were I a Gentleman, none of such limitations would stand before me.

Of no profession, I would occupy myself between travels abroad for great lengths of time.  Not merely for the sake of “travel,” mind you, rather for the purpose of experiencing the finer opportunities afforded to one who establishes themselves in pockets of friends, old acquaintance and new.  A fortnight here or there, in country seats outside our own…a sail across seas tossed lightly in a variety of climates.

To picnic beneath an ancient tree whose seed pods float every now and then to rest on the very same blanket which I too use.

…Or a Tuscan sun, shining brightly…it’s heat soaking up into the terracotta roofing tiles, and piazza stones in the square.  English Manor gardens, manicured neatly into designs brought forth perhaps one hundred years before this.  Seedlings which once grew, as that one fallen from the picnicing tree, rising now to this magnificence…offset by fusias and lavenders and great bouquets of rhododendrons, reaching outwards in every direction.

I should like to touch a Grecian stone, entertain a Spanish siesta…walk an Irish rock and peat path, once again.

…If I were of another sex, in another time, with means to accomplish these efforts as my sole earthbound duty, I should be most exquisitely content.

However, it does seem that I am not any one of such things.

I must face, as I have done…with the absence of servants and coming end of Holiday leisure…that soon I must needs return to daily occupation. Of serving others in the stead of their serving me.  I must face the dawn’s early hour, and chill of dew’d air, to travel outward, taking reins of my own small carriage which will draw me swiftly toward the lot I must bare in life. 

…Questions, ever questions, and tasks will be demanded of me, and I shall complete them as is my duty.  But I shall not draw even the slightest rise of contentment at their accomplishments.  For my life seems often anything but the showing of an artistic effort when once completed.  In that, at no time may one gesture with affection at a day’s work-end, as one would toward even the simplest of paintings upon a wall:

“This, I have accomplished,” I may, with satisfaction, proclaim.  “This I have made.”

…A substantial object which once was a mere blank canvas, and now breathes color and light and atmos throughout your day-to-day lives. 

Should I need to wake every morning, endure ice chills in winter, fingers stiff with cold, hours of wakeful unrest, worry over color mix, or stroke placement… and ration my evening’s candlelight due to price of wax thought far less precious than a stock in canvas…I should do so willingly.  If such were my occupation for life, even a Holiday would take less precedence.

…Such is not the way of things, however.

No brush or pen stroke supports the means of which I live at present, and for that, I must acquiesce to find my living elsewhere.

…So too must you yourself, I fear.

…It was for such purpose, in which a “Holiday” was thence first bourne, I think. To give us rest and peace…and to dream.  For dreams too, are of high importance.  To aspire, in our heart and minds, toward a time and place wherein this is all but a means to something finer

Some call it Heaven. 

Some, another word or world wholly separate from this.

For me, I call it: “What can be, should we but strive hard enough to attain it.”

…An ideal which aides to sooth the burn of your contemporary circumstances, whatever they may be.

“This too shall pass,” quoth words in a promise we are all too familiar with.

…If only such application could include all, but the passing of Holidays…


And The Swedes Take Over The World

9 Sep


Yesterday, I stood in 375 square feet of space, masquerading as a real full apartment, in which everything from a bathroom to kitchen, to bedroom, to closet space was compacted on a grid-system of proficiency.

…The sign outside said, “walk into my living space,” and claims that a human actually exists in an exact replica of this area.

…I have 800 square feet, which I share with my two fish, and upon occasion…feel crowded. 

I am “proficient” as hell.

…Which just shows that there is always room for improvement.  Exhausting as that may sound.

IKEA is one of those places that I have to gird my loins to go and visit. There is so much stimulation to the creative sectors of my brain when I frequent all it’s million tiny room mock-ups, that I get hyper enthusiastic.  Somehow, even though the Mod 60’s thing really isn’t my deal, I end up wanting them all anyway.  Every room, every collection of goods, every little bookcase prop.  Why? I dunno.  Possibly because the color coordination and multi-use of every product, screams a challenge of maximum capabilities.  Maybe because I’m addicted to shelving and cabinetry.  Maybe because twelve bucks for a French Press, that costs fifty even at Target, is just too much goodness for my brain to take in.

This place spawns a cousin disease to my general, “I never knew I always wanted that” one…only this time I truly believe my entire life would change for the better if I had it…because all my OCD’s would completely disappear if I could live in something as slip-streamed and categorize-perfected.

…In my mind, as I walk the aisles, all I can see are the dozens of tiny alterations to my little apartment that would bump me into a high-tech, sheer-surface, spot-lit, rug-wielding, stainless steel, goddess.  I’m already practically there, but this would just seal the deal.  And who doesn’t want to run at that level?

Can you imagine what it would be like, to have zero wasted space?  Not a single undevoted centimeter…where everything has a home and convenient location, which tucks away inside of itself about fifty times, until its basically just negative entity? Where every shoes has it’s place on a tree in the closet, where every individual halogen light is focused precisely where you want it, off a steel lined track running the entirety of your room? Where the walls become secret hidden cabinets, which you can still hang shit on, with beds that grow out of other beds and sofas, so your one-bedroom apartment or dorm room can suddenly sleep ten people. You know…for all those times that you REALLY NEED to sleep ten people!

…This place gets me so undone with wonder and excitement, that I accidentally start mirroring the children, calling their parents to, “look at this thing! Oh, but look at that one too!” I simply cannot trust the visuals of whoever I am with to pick up the kind of subtleties that are the entire main focus on the display, and feel the need to walk them through it. I must describing in detail how “this thing” transformers into “that one,” like I’m an expert showcase salesman…because clearly they wouldn’t get the full sliding-swing action, if I didn’t really sell it for them. And I also have to explain why it works aesthetically, on a level far more pleasing than just to the eye:

“Cant you just FEEL how all the books are happy right now, with that certain kind of open wall-mount display on equal parallel planes, without all the box bulk of an actual case?”

“Lookit that lamp. I dunno when in the hell you’d have the reason to mount a giant glowing dandelion above your head…but if you just stand here for a second and think about the kind of room it would go in…it’s totally awesome. Right?”

“Here is why this kitchen layout is better than any other kind: floor to ceiling Lazy Suzans in that corner cabinet. No, just stop right now, you will never beat that.”

…And I also feel compelled to let them know that any time they wanna get rich and buy me shit, this is the place to do it, and here are some reasons why:

“‘Kay, look…this roll out drawer would save my life maybe…because my god, how long have I lived having to reach under my bed to get at things, then scrape the hell out of my arms, or slam my head on that fucking Hollywood frame?”

“…No wait, now picture my living room…but then add this to every wall. Instant James Bond high tech, am I right? Just, push this spot in the wall and, BAM cabinet materializes! Push that over there: a door! That there: a sunken wet bar! Tap here: my whole entertainment center folds out…!”

…And sometimes, I’m not so subtle about it:

“…If you wanted to get me this rug, that would be okay.”

“Maybe you could pick up that chair as an early Birthday present to me now…I mean, since we’re already here.”

“I bet if I had this pot and pan set, I’d be able to cook you a delicious dinner. The ones I have now are just holding me back, mostly cuz you deserve the very best.”

Yes. It is that ridiculous. Ask anyone whose ever gone with me.

…All I know is that in the end: the Swedes with their happy-go-luckiness and uber efficiency, are someday going to take over the world…and there will be nothing we can do about it.

…They will hook up with their handy-dandy equally efficient Swiss friends (with their compacted tools and weaponry), and dig themselves a little mountain fortress somewhere (prob’ly throughout the entire Swiss Alps in a collected switchback of mathematically precise grids.) And they will outfit every square inch of tunnel with IKEA themed, space-aged, 60’s-kick-back wonder…where every man, woman, and child, will live in their own customized pod of up to 375 square feet of perfected living space. (Built entirely by their Swiss Army-issued, fold out tool and weaponry knife.)

You guys, the secret is already out there…

…Like the masterminds that they are, they have hidden it in full fucking sight, inside every single one of their monster stores. They will do this all with a maximum of silent speed and efficiency, (if they haven’t already), and thus, out-last every apocalypse (be it zombie or otherwise) by doing so.

…And when it’s all over, the new world power of quiet, happy blond people with killer skiing skills, will emerge.

…And civilization will be saved.

…And that is the truth.


Linear Label Laws

2 Sep


What IS a “Linear Label Law,” one might ask? 

I didn’t invent it, I only named it.  Lots of fellow OCDers practice it religiously as well, and I thought that for their sake, I’d help spread the word a little, to the “normals.”  That way, if you find yourself stepping into a home which screams the obvious tell-signs, you can cooperate accordingly, and maybe not be a dick about it.

…The Linear Label Law is a two-part regulation regarding both height order and presentation, which specifies that everything within every cupboard, refrigerator, bookcase…or flat surface in general, obey the certain categorization requirements usually reserved for library shelving on the dewy decimal system.  Depending on the inclinations of said OCDer, some or all of the following must be categorized, either alphabetically, within their specified genre of existence, paired out occasionally by color or type, and/or height…but must ALWAYS (without exception) have their labels facing outward. Obeisance is required.


I’ve been a practitioner of this law for quite some time, but thankfully have never reached the stage where I feel the need to walk around correcting other people’s lack of implementation.  I can sit at a restaurant table and not become obsessed with categorizing the jams and jellies or putting all the sugar packets in order. I can visit a friend’s house and not become completely distracted by incorrect picture hanging alignment, or colors touching other colors in arrangements of things that would drive me totally bat-shit within the walls of my own home.  Basically, unless it belongs to me directly, I don’t feel responsible to “rescue” said items from whatever egregious error is taking place in their regards (like an upside down book on a shelf for instance.)  If it isn’t mine, the bastard is totally on its own.  And this, I suspect, is due in two parts to:

1) Working with men all day long who never put anything back or away, at any time, ever.

2) My Shrink once saying, “You could totally be worse right now…for instance what if you had this issue?”

…The first part, is like when obsessive compulsives have children. Working with Men is basically the same thing. Part of the OCD has to recede in these cases, otherwise you would worry yourself into impossible perfection-oblivion by never sleeping, eating or resting ever again.  The second part scared the shit out of me, mostly because I already had motor skill, speaking, sleeping, and anxiety issues to the extreme. The thought that I could be worse, damn near sent me into an episode right there in my Shrink’s office.

The long and short of it is: I may not be on a Grand Poobah scale of Linear Label Lawing, but it is still a taxing enterprise to keep up with, even if only in the confines of my own person, office, and home.

…This is helped (in no way) by the fact that there is something special about this law…(like the one about “No Parking” signs)…that makes people in the vicinity who know about it, immediately want to break it.

Almost nothing delights people more than to incorrectly file a contract to an entirely different category, turn the beans label facing backward, write in blue ink all over my desk calendar, swap the stapler home with the tape, move the milk to another shelf, stack the lobby brochures in all the wrong order, attack the cork board postings with thumbtacks like it was a shooting gallery…or put the short bottle in the back, on the bar.

…Most of the time, this is not done in the spirit of meanness…it is 85% of the time, just out of curiosity. Like a game, they wait for me to exit a room and then watch upon my return to see how long it takes me to sense the error through the very vibrations of the element changes in the air.

…Which is all done in karmic pay-back of course. 

I used to do this same exact thing to my Aunt, once. 

…With the ever patience of Job, she would return and carry on an entire conversation while readjusting every single alteration to a room that we had made.  It was fascinating.  How did she manage it?!  She must be a Wizard!  Or at the very least a clairvoyant!  How could one know the mere millimeters change in a picture frame angle, in which magazine was on top of the others…which order the books are in on the shelf, and that “this” do-hicky, goes on “that” do-hicky in natural grouping selection and presentation?

…It took me about a decade to figure it out.

…And then, it seemed that one day: I just knew.

And I can never “un-know” it ever again.

It can be exhausting, let me tell yuh.

…Hold that thought. I have to go fix the coaster stack on the table.  BRB…


A Letter To Mrs. Johnson

26 Aug


Mrs Johnson:

What kind of person says they’re gonna show up three days ago and then doesn’t until today, banging on the door at 5 A.M.?  I do have a “life” you know, and just hanging around for whenever is “convenient” for you isn’t in the job description that they handed me in that class they gave us in the fourth grade. You know, the one where all the boys went into Mr. T’s room and all the girls got sorted into Mrs. L’s?  Here is what they did tell us:

* She will come every month, 28 days from her last visit.
* She will be a messy, uncomfortable, opinionated and often grumpy house guest.
* At time she’ll be downright unreasonable and emotional.
* Here’s all the stuff you need to have around when she visits.

…It took three years before you decided to show up at all.  Then one summer, right as I was changing into my swimming suit, BAM! there you were!  Instantly!  Like a very sick and twisted kind of Genie.

“What the eff?!” I thought.  “Oh God, I’m dieing!!!”

…This was only a momentary panic. A totally natural reaction for a hypercondriac who was also sure she had “caught” appendicitis from that one girl in school last year, might get accidental explosive bowel syndrome because people never wash their hands after pooping, choke to death at any moment while eating alone, or get gangrene from a paper cut.  I was so used to launching into immediate worst-case-scenario panic at moments like this, that I had (only for a second…or twelve) totally forgotten that little discussion from all those years ago. (Because dog and and kid years equal roughly the same until you turn 18… so that was like 21 years ago, in me-time.)

…But then I remembered.

…And I called my aunt in (at whose house I was, at the time.)  And was like, “Um. So.  Don’t tell anyone…but I’m either dieing of Cancer or I just started my period.” 

And she hugged me. 

For a second I kinda started to panic, like this was the beginning of “goodbye” or something…but then she gave me this odd smile-look when she was done, and started ruffling through the bathroom drawers to “hook me up” with some stuff…like my own personal period Pimp.

…What I didn’t know at the time was that the hug I thought was of pity at first, and then turned into some sorta mini-tribal moment of succession to womanhood…was actually just a hug of pity after all.  Cuz she knew what was ahead of me at the time, and I didn’t. 

It wasn’t so much the, “Oh!  You have achieved womanhood now, and your body has just this instant transitioned into a crazy self sustainable life force garden, where people can be made and grown and harvested, and the entire human race is now an intrinsic part of who you are and the magical capabilities you hold, with an awesome responsibility of our future, just south of your belly button.” 

…Later, I realized it was more like, “Oh, you poor little sunofabitch.  God I’m glad you at least made it to 13 before it happened to you.  With the women in your bloodline, this shit is just going to get unbearable…heaving up meals, rolled up in the fetal position for hours at a time, yelling at the burnt dinner, bursting into tears for no reason whatsoever.  And those’ll be the good months.  I better get you some drugs, pronto.”

She was at a vantage point, like a great Seer on a mountaintop, looking down at me in that little beginning valley being like, “Whelp.  Start trekin’ kid.  I wish I could tell you that once you climbed this hill you’d be done, but there’s like forty years more of ’em ahead.”

I am now on my nineteenth anniversary of that date, after climbing more fucking mountains than the Hobbits, each one a little more steeper than the last.  And I’m still less than halfway through.

…If only they put me in Mr. T’s room that one day, none of this shit wouldn’t have happened!  But it did

And I’m here now.

…So that is the little scenario story of “me,” Mrs. Johnson.  That is how I came into this gig…plopped into this valley with a tiny pack of supplies and told to “walk up.” Every month.  For maybe the rest of my life.  Because at the rate I’m going, surely I’ll bleed to death or my tubes will explode before I ever reach the end of this journey into Menopause.  Which I’m told is this whole hell of a lot of fun too, by the way.

…What I’m saying is: We came to an agreement nearly two decades ago, that like it or not, you will materialize like a fucked up kind of Mary Poppins just floating in on the wind every month.  I will put you up.  I will go along with all the daily demands and requirements that having you around insists upon (and they are never rad things like jumping into paintings or dancing on roof tops…more like puking into trash cans, drinking Pepto like a thing of orange juice, and popping more pills than an acid junky.) And at the end, you promise to eventually leave me the fuck alone, and go bother someone else.  What we DIDN’T agree on was you acting like some teenage floozy just popping up at random hours around dawn, three days late or more, greeting me with a solid punch to the ovaries when I open the door, and taking over my entire day when I had other things I had planned to do.

Mrs. Johnson: You are an asshole.  Just so we get that straight.

…And would it have killed you to stop somewhere and bring a thing of chocolate on the way?  I mean: really.


The Episode The BFF Wrote

25 Aug


The BFF decided to commandeer m’blog yesterday while visiting me at work. Because she brought me coffee, I let her. Then, because it sounded glamourous, I contracted her to be my Foreign Correspondent Guest Blogger when she to moves to L.A. next month. Because L.A. is foreign to everywhere that isn’t L.A. And because I can. Following is her first installment. I took the liberty of including Editor notes for her. She took the liberty of completely ignoring them. I claim Executive privileges by including them anyway:

Listen up bitches, It is I. The BFF, and I will be your author this morning for a very special installment of MY BFF’s* blog. (*Editor’s note: The double BFFing might get confusing. Maybe you should just call me The Diva. The BFF note: Maybe you should shut up and let me write this blog.)

We sit, bathed in dirty white fluorescent light.* (*Editor’s note: Nice detail. Very Noir. The BFF note: Yes. I know. That was the point.)

She, pouring over insanely large paychecks she will later be forced to hand over to assholes who will later return to complain that they were not quite insanely large enough. Or they will send their bitch wives to do it.* (*Editor’s note: I love you. The BFF: It’s mutual. Now stop interrupting me.)

Welcome to Friday morning! $17,557.00 today and counting.

I, having taken improper advantage of a car accident I was in yesterday to beg out of work today, sit across from her, hijacking her blog and making faces at her when she’s not looking.* (*Editor’s note: Bitch. The BFF note: I’m making another face at you right now. And a gesture to go with it. Guess which finger I’m using.)

Side note: The Diva’s* first urination of the day occurred at 11:01. (*Editor’s note: See, I told you it would work better. The BFF note: I will leave right now and take the coffee with me.) She has asked me to keep track of this. We have a special bond.

Also, she has asked that when I quote her directly, I do it so that she will seem about 20 pounds lighter and about 2 inches taller.* (*Editor’s note: Thank you. The BFF: Alright then.) Use your imaginations people.

To continue, It should be known that she and I know how to have fun.* (*Editor’s note: This is scientific fact. We did about forty studies to make sure. The BFF note: At least.) I mean, we do it right. Case in point-

She: “I’m gonna have one of those bread pizza things, and it’s gonna be awesome.”* (*Editor’s note: Most people won’t understand how this is relevant to the above statement about “having fun.” Explain in more detail maybe? The BFF note: If I have to explain how food is “awesome” to these people, they are reading the wrong fucking blog.)

We go on adventures, we play hooky, and we travel. We picnic, we movie watch, we antique.* (Editor’s note: Thank you. The BFF note: Yeah. Whatever.) We are young, and poor, and tied to jobs that require sitting at a desk all day, and we absolutely refuse to let any of those things get us down. Hence days like today. Should I be at work? Yes. Is lying wrong? Yes.

Me: (When reviewing my life choices) “I am a liar.”

She: “But only a little bit, and it’s not like you’re going all Bernie Maddoff.”

Me: “Yeah, but you can’t embezzle from a non-profit that helps the homeless…”

She: “Well you can….”

Us: “That’s the line!” –We say together in unison.* (*Editor’s note: It’s good to have one. The BFF: Yes. Editor’s note: Also, you really were in a car accident, and I’m not sure taking time off is the same as embezzling. The BFF: We’ll go with your logic. This time.)

She and I, we understand each other. I respect that all the bean cans in her cabinet must be organized with labels facing out,* (*Editor’s note: I appreciate that. The BFF: I’m here for you.) and she puts up with my loud voice, relentless quests for change, and incessant Louis Armstrong impressions.* (*Editor’s note: Do the Louis Armstrong turkey one! Do it! Do it! Ha! The BFF note: You’re welcome.) So it works.

“I’m gonna be super extravagant and go pee again,” she says. We live such privileged lives.* (* Editor’s note: Rock Stars only wish they were us right now. The BFF: Yep.)

And on a day like today, when work is too pointless,* (*Editor’s note: Right?! The BFF note: Pffftttt) and the sun is too bright and sunshiny,* (*Editor’s note: Still can’t find my fucking sunglasses. The BFF: I keep telling you – buy new ones!!) and the clock is ticking towards a time when the two of us will be much farther apart than a text message and a drunken stumble home, it is important to share meaningful friend time.* (*Editor’s note: I miss you already, like I would my big toe. The BFF: Thanks? Editor’s note: You know, like — not having you around throws me all outta balance and stuff. The BFF note: Oh. Can I maybe be a different anatomy piece? Cuz you hate your toes, and — Editor’s note: — It was a metaphor! The BFF note: Actually it was a “simile” but, anyway…)

“Don’t you wish your last name was Tamara Frisbee?” she says between sips of coffee.

“Yes, yes I do.” *


(*Editor’s note: You forgot to note that this was the part where I was working on the Open Order report, calling out funny customer names. People are gonna read that and be all, “where the hell did that come from?” The BFF note: Really? Cuz that would be so different from all the rest of your blogs, how? Editor’s note: Wow. When are you moving again? Can I buy you a one way ticket “now,” or do we have to wait…? The BFF note: You’ll miss me when I’m not around to fight with anymore. Editor’s note: I know. So shut up about it.)

(* Editor’s note: Wait. Was that the end? The end of the whole blog? The BFF note: I like to leave things in suspense. So my answer to that would be —)


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