Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- He does it at work too (this made me feel a little less special, but okay, moving on)
- He asks it because he asks a lot of me
- It's not like when someone asks you how you're doing and expects to hear "good" and move on with their life. He's totally okay with me assigning him a task if there's something to be done.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Okay, so someone is sitting at my desk helping me set something up on my computer. My cell phone vibrates. I read the display, "Unknown caller," and ignore it. 20 seconds later it vibrates again, quickly. They left a voicemail, great. A few minutes later it vibrates again, reminding me that I have a voicemail. Yup, I'm all over it, thanks.
My co-worker leaves and I listen to my voicemail. It's an automatic refill from Target. Like, yawn.
5 minutes later, my phone vibrates again. Could it be a text message? Excitement!
Except it's not. It's my phone telling me that I missed that call 10 minutes ago. I imagine my phone's bumbled justification for the delayed reminder:
"You know, like, 10 minutes ago when I vibrated? And then the person left a message, and I told you about it twice, and then you listened to it? Yeah, that was great. I just wanted to let you know that when that person called, you know, the person whose voicemail you just listened to? You didn't pick up. I vibrated, and I saw you looking at me, but then you didn't answer me, and it was all embarassing. Not for me! For the person whose phone call you screened. I know it was an auto-dialer, but machines have feelings too, you know? I don't want this to be all awkward, but I just wanted to bring it up again." *Sob*
Thursday, October 01, 2009
And then I gave myself a papercut
on my palm, between my thumb and pointer finger
with a MANILLA FOLDER.
I'm going to go put a giant bandaid on it so I don't pass out from looking at it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I'm guessing he's a fan of her fiction and not her nonfiction, notable among which is a little book called "The Virtue of Selfishness." Actually, it's more likely that he hasn't actually read Rand, and just thinks he'll sound interesting saying he likes her.
That sounds you hear is my eyes rolling, hard.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I assumed the headline was a bit of sensationalism on MSNBC's part. Anyone who hasn't heard "correlation does not imply causation" over and over again in the classroom could be fooled by this headline into believing that spanking causes low IQ. (The example we were always given is the strong positive correlation between murder rates and ice cream sales - both of which rise in the summer). That can't possibly be what the study concludes. Right?
Except that is exactly what the researcher is trying to say. He claims that he controlled for socioeconomic status and other factors in his study, and therefore that the lower IQ scores were actually caused by the spanking. Says the researcher, ""You can't say it proves it, but I think it rules out so many other alternatives; I am convinced that spanking does cause a slowdown in a child's development of mental abilities."
I'm pretty sure this researcher was "convinced" that spanking causes lower IQ before he ever started his experiment. He goes on to explain how he thinks spanking lowers IQ, something his study could not possibly have told him. Then I get stabby and have to close the window before I hurt my computer monitor.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"Copy Machine Usage is for Business Purpose's Only!"
I've read the sign like a dozen times, but today was the first time I noticed the inappropriate use of an apostrophe on this sign. This sign, which someone printed out on pink paper, laminated, and then hung in a professional setting. Duh, people.
As soon as I noticed this, I had the urge to run to my computer and print a sign reading:
"Apostrophe for Posessive Usage Only!"
Then I did a wikipedia search for the word "apostrophe" to make sure I wasn't missing any appropriate usages, because there's nothing worse than being all snotty and correcting someone and saying something incorrect in your correction.
Turns out I was missing two basics (in addition to lots of ridiculous particulars that no one would really hold against me): contractions (e.g. couldn't) and abbreviations (e.g. gov't). But my sign doesn't pack quite the same punch when it reads:
"Apostrophe for Possessive, Contraction, and Abbreviation Usages Only!"
Usages? Usage? I can't decide, so I guess I'm going to have to give the whole thing up.
Not that I would actually be brave enough to hang the sign, anyway. There could be cameras! I could be called into offices!
- White cake with whipped cream frosting and chocolate mousse filling. One piece at the little corporate cake gathering thing, and one later while I scanned those stupid double-sided phone bills.
- Something new and interesting (no, really!) to do at work: Reviewing resumes! (Quick tip to all job applicants ever: get yourself a nice, staid, firstname.lastname@example.org email address for job hunting, because seriously, people. The "quirky" "creative" address you give to your friends looks totally ridiculous on your resume.)
- I got an examiner newsletter suggesting that I write articles about exactly what I was planning on writing articles about this month. I'm a total genius, and I rock at this job, even if I did only make $1.86 yesterday. How much did you make for writing an article about 5 new sitcoms that are airing this fall? Yeah, that's what I thought.
- Getting exactly what I wanted for dinner. The Wii Fit board is going to weep on Saturday, but whatever, this is no time of the month for good choices.
- Listening to Josh Groban on the way to work. Rolling my windows down and positively blaring Josh Groban on the way home. (Suck it, guy blasting hip hop in the car next to me!) Singing along loudly to all the Italian songs and feeling all smugly superior about it.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Sunday started getting sketchy. I couldn't get certain parts of Breaking Dawn out of my head, and I started itching to read it for a third time. Michael and I went to breakfast, and then Michael went to work. I watched television or something for a couple of hours, and then I caved and read like 400 pages of Breaking Dawn.
Monday was just downright strange. Michael left for work early. I finished reading what I wanted to in Breaking Dawn (I lose interest when the action begins), and then I thought that maybe I should watch Twilight again. After ransacking the bookcases twice, I finally found it.
I'd heard the audio commentary was kind of ridiculous, so of course I decided to listen to it. I enjoyed it, but I didn't actually get to watch the movie, since they were talking over it, so I decided to watch the movie again. Or listen to it, really, since I also re-cleaned my kitchen (there were new dishes to be done, I needed to clean the counter and stove again, etc.)
When the movie ended, I played it again. I cleaned the living room (I even dusted!) and cleaned the bathroom. The movie ended again, and I played it again. I straightened our bedroom, and then there was nothing else to do, so I sat and watched the end of the movie. For the third time, not counting the first time with the commentary. I was kind of afraid to turn it off, I think, like I would have a panic attack if I didn't distract myself enough.
I teetered between distracted and downright miserable yesterday. I can't really believe I got so much done yesterday. Usually when I'm unhappy I just want to curl up and do nothing. I think the same thing that made me watch Twilight three or four times yesterday also made me spend the whole day cleaning. Like I needed to be busy with something so that I wouldn't be forced to think.
Michael was feeling pretty down when he got home, too, so we went out to dinner, and then to Target, where we bought the first season of Mad Men on DVD. We joked about being miserable, and I pretended to hyperventilate. We watched two episodes at home, and then it was time for bed. I read Infinite Jest before I went to sleep, instead of Twilight (which I had re-started before dinner), because really, my use of Stephanie Meyer's crack had been excessive enough.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Ever since seeing the trailer for “The Fourth Kind,” I can’t stop seeing the pixilated face of Dr. Abigail Tyler, and hearing her say “Someone… or something… came into my room… and took me away.”
For most of last night I had to sleep on my left side or my back, because I was just too freaked out to have my back to the bedroom door. I tucked my blanket around my body carefully, even though I was hot. I thought about how alien abductions only happen in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like there was going to be a spaceship hovering in the middle of town, right?
But I was still nervous, because I’ve watched all the UFO shows on television, and I know the scientific explanation for alien abduction: sleep paralysis, a state in which your mind has awoken but your body remains paralyzed. That would be reason enough for panic, but many people also have some horrifying hallucinations during the experience.
I feel about sleep paralysis the way my brother feels about killer asteroids. I wish I didn’t know it exists. Even when I can completely convince myself that I won’t be abducted by aliens (which is a tall enough order when you’re lying alone in the dark), I still have to worry about having the experience of being abducted. Does it even matter if it’s “really” happening if the experience is horrible enough?
I did fall asleep, eventually. I didn’t experience sleep paralysis, but I did have a really strange nightmare.
Here’s the premise: Michael Jackson is sleeping in a bed with a married couple. He may have been sleeping at the foot of the bed like a dog, I’m not sure. Later, the couple are telling someone (a documentarian?) about the noises that MJ made while he was sleeping. You see an image of him asleep and hear these strange, high-pitched noises. They play it back slower, and you hear him calling for his mothership, or something.
And then I woke up. Not in a cold sweat or anything, but kind of freaked out. Still seeing the sleeping face of Michael Jackson. I told Michael I had a nightmare, and he snuggled me. Then I told him I had to go pee, but I was afraid to leave the bedroom.
I expected him to pat me on the shoulder and tell me it would be okay, but he actually offered to come out with me. When you’re with someone for a long time, your displays of affection change. Instead of buying me flowers or jewelry, Michael waits in the living room while I pee so that Michael Jackson won’t get me.
The moment was ruined a little bit when we got back to our bedroom and Michael said, "Don’t worry, the real Michael Jackson will come down in his spaceship and kick his ass.” After a second I understood that he was making a South Park reference, but I still yelled at him. “That’s not funny! We don’t say the “s” word at night!”
Despite Michael's lapse in judgment, I did get back to sleep.
Friday, August 21, 2009
- Pour about 1-1/2 tbsp of cold water into a styrofoam cup
- Pour instant cocoa into the cup. Push the sides of the packet in gingerly, about 10 times, to make sure you get every last molecule of cocoa into the cup.
- Hold two 7" stir sticks as you would a whisk, and whip the cocoa into the water until they form a paste. Be sure to run the stir sticks along the edge of the cup, as you would with a spatula, so that no dry cocoa clings to the side of the cup.
- Fill the styrofoam cup to about 2/3rds full with hot water. You should see a chocolatey foam at the top.
- Holding the two stir sticks like a whisk again, whip the cocoa and water again, being sure that the stir sticks are scraping the bottom of the cup thoroughly, so as not to leave any super-chocolatey deposits there.
- Pour cold water into the hot chocolate until the temperature is as hot as it can be without being uncomfortably so. You should be able to take a sip, but not a swig, without burning yourself.
Since my desk is surrounded by cubicle walls, I took a field trip to a friend's desk to watch the clouds rolling over. These clouds are so thick and black and low that I'm kind of expecting death eaters to come flying out of them. Now that I'm back at my desk, I can hear the patter of rain on the ceiling.
The rain is something interesting to look at, something to listen to. It's a reason to be really glad you're in the building, because right now you're protected from being out in that. Instead of sitting quietly at their desks or making phone calls, everyone is talking about it. "I hope your windows are up!" Lots of laughs. I'm not really participating. I'm just sitting at my desk, glad for the storm that has made my day a little more interesting.
So, Jen and I were texting about Wegman's. When you can send and receive up to 1,500 text messages per month, you don't have to be picky about what topics warrant texts. (Stop judging me!)
Jen had said that she likes Wegman's, but that it can be annoying that they card everyone who buys beer (including her father). I texted back, "that's kinda hilarious, Stan getting carded."
Except "carded" was my phone's second guess. The first guess was "barded." Which totally made me picture William Shakespeare delivering a smackdown to some poor soul, exclaiming "You just got barded!" I'm seriously laughing out loud right now just thinking about it.
Then I got to wondering why my phone would come up with such an odd word. I mean, the past tense of the verb "bard?" Instead of "carded?" Is bard even a verb?
But it is, oh it is! The first definition dictionary.com gives me is too boring to share, but the second!
Cookery. to secure thin slices of fat or bacon to (a roast of meat or poultry) before cooking.
I still can't imagine having occasion to use this word more often than "carded," but I kind of wish that I did (mmm yummy bacon-wrapped meat mmm...).
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
When I was younger, I believed that…
- “telling time” meant knowing what the time was – like, psychically. I thought adults just knew what time it was. I don’t know what I thought all those clocks and watches were for.
- not being able to speak a language (e.g. I can’t speak Spanish) meant that you literally couldn’t make the words come out of your mouth. Learning to speak the language, in my mind, meant learning to make the words come out.
- you couldn’t die while you were inside, because your soul would bump its head on the ceiling on its way to heaven. (It occurs to me that I also apparently believed there was a heaven, and that, should I die, I would go there).
- even though every driver in the world seemed to manage their cars, I would need a car with the driver’s seat in the exact middle of the cab. I think there was one such model in production in the world, and I supposed that I would have to buy it.
- my dad could drive to any city in the continental US without a map or directions of any sort, using only road signs. I didn’t understand how he could talk to us and read all those super-important signs at the same time.
Things I believed about high school when I was in middle school, about college when I was in high school, and about the post-grad working world when I was in college:
- I would be thinner.
- I would have more friends.
- I wouldn’t do or be all the things I didn’t like about myself.
- I would finally be an adult.
- It would be much harder intellectually and much easier socially and emotionally than it actually was.
That first list makes me smile. How magical the world, and the adults in it, seemed when I was little!
The second list is a little angsty, but still amusing. You would think by college that I would have figured out that I've always looked forward to the next period in my life as the one in which I would be transformed, my problems solved. I had discovered that the world wasn't magical, but I still held out hope that time, and its influence on us, was.
Now that I've passed through all the milestones that I had been counting on to turn me into a normal person who has her shit together, and I am not at all a normal person, and my shit is wildly scattered, I know better.
It could be tempting to turn motherhood into that next phase of my life that I look forward to and trust to fix me. I have to be vigilent against thinking like that. The changes I hope for will have to come through effort, not this magical transformative property of time that has yet to pan out.
That's a big responsiblity, but liberating, in a way. I can't sit back and wait for my life to fall into order, but neither will I wake up one morning and find myself an unrecognizable Stepford wife. My life depends on my decisions. How scary. How great.
Monday, August 10, 2009
You see, this afternoon I was fucking hungry. Not just "hungry", not "really hungry", not
"freaking hungry", fucking hungry. And I texted Michael to tell him as much.
I fought my phone every step of the way, sure that it would protect my dignity from my darker intentions. No I don't want an e, I want an f. Not ft, fu. Not fu2 (because, again, seriously, why would I be trying to say that?), fuc. You get the picture.
Michael quickly realized that this was not a drive home from work, make dinner for an hour, then eat kind of night. This was a go to a restaurant to prime my hedonistic tendencies so that he could talk me into a Nintendo DS (on sale at Target!) kind of night.
Next I needed to text Jen to find out if she was in. To explain why I wanted to go out to dinner on a Monday night, I repeated again that I was fucking hungry, but this time I didn't fight. I just typed in "3825464," and what should come up?
My phone still doesn't know how to spell "defrosted," or "damn" (no, I don't mean "econ"), or "fuck" (no, not "dual"), but my phone can officially say "hell," "shit," and "fucking" without putting up a fight.
This was my great victory for the day. We're going to forget for a second how sad that means my life is.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
1. I wasn't at work! Thank you God!
Monday, July 20, 2009
And I wanted to add:
Yeah, and then your eyes got all scratchy and bloodshot
and your nose and throat and chest suddenly fill up
and it's kind of hard to breathe
and you can't help but sneeze, but you still try to stay as still as you can
and your right eye gets all purple and swollen and shiny
and when they say your name you think they're talking about you, not to you, because you're all disoriented, and they come running in thinking you're not breathing...
or maybe that's just me?
Yes, MRI's can be really scary, but yours sounds like it was pretty normal, so maybe you should quit your whining.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
One of the first emails I sent with my new married name was to someone named Jean-Philippe in Canada. He wrote back:
"Did someone give you a new name for Christmas?"
I replied: "Sort of. I got married on New Year's Eve."
His question was cute, it made me smile. It also gave me a really evil idea. JP doesn't know how old I am, and I was really tempted to write back, "I got a divorce. That's my maiden name. Thanks for rubbing it in."
Like what to name my netbook. You know, the one everyone I know is going in on for my birthday.
1. George. Because I will love him and hug him and ... call him George.
2. Giorgio. Because if I call him George, my mom will say "when you say George, all I can think of is your uncle George, and ew." It'll be a little in joke and won't work my mom's gag reflex.
3. Gigi. Because Giorgio is getting too masculine. Why couldn't the netbook be a girl? But wait, not Gigi, because I want to name my daughter Julia, and Gigi is actually a really really cute nickname for Julia (especially since one of my nicknames is Kiki). And if I name my computer Gigi, then I won't want to call my daughter Gigi, just like I can't name my son Gabriel because I named a cat Gabriel.
4. Sammy. Short for Samsung. Cute, simple, androgenous. I like it.
So actually, I spent the last hour of work 1) doing work, 2) naming my netbook and 3) nicknaming my as-yet-unconceived daughter. That's what I call productivity.
My birthday is still 3 months away, but I know exactly what I want. No need to create a wishlist, because I only want one little thing: a Samsung NC-10 netbook.
My laptop is currently unusable because of battery issues. Sure, I could solve that problem for $80, but my laptop would still be big, heavy, five years old, and weighed down with a ton of stuff I never use.
I've had a netbook revelation: I am the user for whom the netbook was invented. I want small, light, simple, and fast. Thanks to Google Docs, I can perform every function I want to with only a web browser. I'm a "coffeehouse user" as one reviewer put it, and the netbook is the perfect computer for me.
And the Samsung NC-10 is the perfect netbook for me. It's compact and light, but still sports a 10" screen. The keyboard is 92% of standard size and comfortably laid out. The battery life is great at 6+ hours.
Also, it matches my phone. Sold!P.S. The picture is a link, for your convenience. :)
Thursday, July 02, 2009
And then I saw this folder: Canada Rent.
To which I said: "Oh, oops!" And then laughed hysterically, because forgetting to pay the rent for our Canada locations is kind of more than an oops.
I'm sure you're really super important to our business, Canadians! I'll try hard not to get you evicted!
Love your site! The Daily Show recaps are brilliant, and I love love love the photo galleries of Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy! Your style section is where it's at.
But, umm, we need to talk. During my lunch today I innocently opened your site, and you hit me in the face with this headline: "Jobless Numbers 'Devestating,' Worse Than Expected." The thing is, sweetie, this is not what I come to you for. Unless you want to tell me about something ridiculous Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin did, I don't want "news."
I clicked away to the Style section, and you showed me three pictures: Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and Robert Gibbs with their "manbags," Obama and Bobby Flay grilling, and Hillary Clinton makin' it work with her arm cast. Yes, this is the light entertainment I was going for.
So I'll make you a deal. I'll start opening your website using this URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/style/ And you keep anything "devestating" away from me.
Love you to pieces!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The text message read: "Omg starving!"
My boss's request? Move the chips, cookies, and drinks from the conference room to the break room "so that people can eat them."
What's the opposite of FML?
I scoffed. I vowed that I would be completely done before she asked this afternoon.
Right now, I'm looking at line 314. Despite the cramps in my shoulder from sitting in the same position and hitting the same keys over and over for hours, I may not finish today.
But I saw something at lunch that tempered my disappointment. The receptionist is on line 84.
Okay, she probably had a ton more distractions than I did, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt, blah blah blah I win!
Friday, June 26, 2009
When I was about half-way done, it occurred to me that I probably looked really terribly attractive all hunched over this paper, eating the absolutely essential 1/10th of a muffin off of it. Luckily it's a Friday and it's summer, so there's nobody in the office to see me. I didn't even finish eating the stuck-on muffin bits, so unattractive was the mental image I had of myself.
So I have to ask, am I alone in finding myself in these situations? Half-way done doing something that suddenly seems totally gross or weird or ridiculous (e.g. stapling rolled-up tissues)? Do other people, like, think before they act, thereby avoiding these situations?
- Prepped other documents for copying (multi-tasking! And it only took me like 4 months to figure out this was a good idea!)
- Prepared, cooled by blowing on, and drank a cup of hot cocoa.
- Expressed faux-remorse that other people couldn't use the copier.
- Wrote a list of things I did while waiting for the copier.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The soup got everywhere. My arm, my shirt, my pants, the pillow. Except, miraculously, the couch.
To which I say "I win," because everything else I can toss in the wash.
Friday, June 19, 2009
When I'm done with a paper, it goes in the trash, and I mean right now. So a lot of times I find I need something that I just threw away, and I have to dig for it. This happened to me like five times one morning, and it finally occurred to me to be a little self-conscious about it. I mean, I'm just picking papers out of a container full of papers most of the time, but if every time you turn around you see someone digging in the trash, what do you think of that person?
Also, I can't deny that in a moment of desperation I may have dug in the trash can for the tissue I had already used to death and thrown out because there was just nothing else and what was I supposed to do? Drown? Stop judging me.
Okay, a few moments of desperation. Okay, like, at least a dozen moments of desperation.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I was going to follow it up with an ellipsis, to indicate that my "yay" was sarcastic.
I pushed "1" and my cell phone gave me an exclamation point. Because when I say "yay," just like when I saw "awesome," I usually finish the sentence up with an exclamation point.
I pressed "1" again, and my phone gave me "!." (And I asked, as I so often ask my cell phone, "Why would I be trying to say that?") One more time, and my sentence now ended "yay!.."
I had to delete this conflicting punctuation and fight my phone every step of the way. No, I don't want an exclamation point, I want a period. And no, I don't want a period followed by a comma (because seriously, why on earth would I ever want that?), I want a period followed by a period. And then another one.
I'm obviously not sarcastic enough in my text messages, if my phone isn't trained by now.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So my mom, being totally awesome, bought me a kitten. What better when you're feeling down, right?
Except the Vicodin they gave me made me depressed. And, like, kittens cost money. I apparently had a little trouble bonding with the kitten, and totally started crying about not loving the kitten enough. Not that I disliked the kitten, just that I didn't love her enough to warrant the money that my mom had spent. That's not even the craziest thing I've felt guilty about in my life, folks.
I tell you all that to tell you this: I'm not in love with the green pens, so much. Turns out they're still boring stick pens, even in green. And the green isn't very bright. Surprise surprise, considering each pen cost less than $.13.
But I've made progress, you see! I don't feel bad at all for not loving the green pens enough.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
It's the "I'm so sorry for what I'm about to do to you" look. And she should be.
I think I should get an honorary Mensa membership for the beautiful Word docs I make of the insanity.
Seriously, people. Eat the freaking cake.
Also, I seem to have broken the pen I've been using since my favorite pen died. The barrel is cracked, and so the bottom half of the pen is doing that annoying dislodging thing, where suddenly only a little bit of the tip is exposed.
First on my to-do list this afternoon: toss my second-favorite pen into the graveyard that is my wastebasket and see how pen #3 works out. (It's the wide-barrelled one that was annoying me yesterday, so this oughta be good).
And before I could even finish typing this entry, someone actually said to me, "I was in the break room, asking Maryann who brought the cake in..."
Monday, June 08, 2009
So I reached into my pen holder, took out my favorite pen, and took the cap off. Except the cap was still on. But I just... oh.
My favorite pen is dead. It was a Sharpie pen, and it was the first gift that I ever received, as official office supply bitch, from Office Depot. Sitting on my desk, it looks like I let a dog play with it. It was fun to chew on and wrote well. I loved it, it's gone, and I'm officially in mourning.
In fact, I'm so upset that I'm in mourning retroactively. I've decided that the demise of my beloved pen explains the funk I've been in all morning. Also the remarkable lack of any activity that might be characterized as "work."
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Not being able to go a single freaking page without having to get my ass off the couch and type some word into dictionary.com.
Here's the latest:
/-ˈnɒmənə/ Show Spelled [-nom-uh-nuh] Show IPA .
Remember that one for next time, kids.
So they split them in half, put them in italics, and stuck them at the end of the first two sections. Why not just leave them out? Because they're beautiful.
My new favorite quote comes from one of these italicized sections. It's about parents.
"When I am astonished or bewildered, it is they who make the weak ground firm beneath my soul."
Edward Cullen is beautiful and shiny, but not that beautiful.
In a moment of panic that the series that had become my raison d'être was ending, I had promised myself that I could just start again from the beginning. But when I finished the last book, as much as it hurt, I decided to let go.
I went online and looked up lists like Time's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time, looked the titles up on Wikipedia, and compiled a reading list for myself. A list of 80 novels that I read for a class but didn't appreciate (like Animal House, which fifth-grade me had no idea was about Communism), or had just never read before.
I had an epiphany in college, when they stopped having us read about Plato and started having us read Plato. It can be hard and confusing and boring, sure, but if you pull out a dictionary and re-read some sentences, the classics aren't impossible.
I had a second epiphany in my Russian literature class. The classics aren't classics because they're impenetrable and War and Peace long, but because they're great stories.
So I've been reading some great stories. The books I've read so far have been depressing and rewarding. In addition to sharing some laughs at my own idiocy and my status as low man on the corporate totem pole, I'll share thoughts on what I'm reading.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Once, the CFO's line was ringing. I was messing with a pile of papers on my desk and knocked the phone off its hook, effectively answering it. So I, very smoothly, hung it back up, because I was totally unprepared for that shit.
Today I attempted to hang my phone up and the result was the opposite of smooth. You know how when you're holding a fish, sometimes it wriggles out of your hands? And you try to catch it, and you kind of get your hands around it, and then it wriggles out again? And, like, lands in the pond? I did that with my phone. Which was totally not wriggling.
When I accepted that I had just totally lost control of the situation, I let it fall to my desk. When I was sure it was done moving, I picked it up and set it carefully on its hook. Then I just kind of shook my head and sighed.
If only I had that camera, I could have a million hits on Youtube by now.
Usually, the more words you add to a search, the fewer returns you get.
For example, when I type "HP" into the search, I get 904 results. When I type in "HP 88", I get 104 more-specific results.
If you type in something just completely non-sensical, you get no results. I put in "jk," and Office Depot returned nothing.
However, if you give Office Depot a special blend of stuff it recognizes ("HP 88"), and something totally non-sensical ("jk"), it will say "I don't know what the fuck you want - here's everything but the kitchen sink."
My search for "HP 88 jk" returned 1,178 results - more results than I got for just "HP." To which I say, "WTF, Office Depot?"
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
"Hey, that rhymes!"
Then, after five seconds:
"...'Cause it's the same word..."
And now I can't even remember what the two sentences we said were. I swear, being with Jen lowers my IQ a couple of standard deviations.
December 31st: Introduced by the DJ as Mrs. [husband's name] [new last name]
January 1st: Changed my name on Facebook in the hotel's business center (FACT: My frenemies from high school can still find me by typing in my old name. Huzzah!)
January 5th: Got a new gmail address (email@example.com) and forwarded the mail from my old gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
January 6th: Changed my signature in Outlook at work.
February 19th: Left work early to book it to the DMV (I didn't speed Mom, promise). My grandfather's wife, when booking the tickets for our trip to California, had asked which name she should put on my ticket. I answered, confidently, "My new name. My license will definitely have my new name by then." Cue epic fail. Only the photo center was open, so I brought my marriage license with me to California (asking my husband about 100 times during the trip "do you have the license?"). For the record, the folks at LAX care way more than the folks at PHL do.
And that concludes our timeline. Oh, did you notice a problem? Like, how I still introduce myself by my old name? Still sign my old name? Have changed nothing official, unless by official you mean Google rather than the government? How my old name still is my name?
Yeah, I should really get on that... except, what's that shiny thing over there?
Friday, May 29, 2009
I read what's on the screen, but I don't recognize it. I don't read this stuff, I just type it.
So I scroll to the bottom of the list and find that yes, two or three or five minutes ago, before I started thinking about what I'd make for dinner or the book I'm reading or the tone of that email I just received, I did enter that project.
I'm hoping it's just extreme boredom and not some slow mental decay that's causing me, more than once a day, to find myself staring at a corner of my screen, unaware of what I've just been doing or thinking.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This morning, a cake and a tray of cupcakes joined the brownies. And at least two dozen times today, I heard the question "who brought the cupcakes in?"
Here's the thing. I don't care who brought the cupcakes in. I don't work with anyone dirty enough that I wouldn't eat their cupcakes. But if I took a cupcake back to my desk, these women, dying for a cupcake, would ask me who brought them in. And I'd have to admit that I was willing to eat dirty cupcakes from unknown origins.
So I put a piece of cake in a styrofoam cup and took it to my desk. It was delicious.
Technically, he was fired because he did something wrong. But I can't deny the basic cause and effect that if I hadn't brought it to someone's attention (and if that person hadn't forwarded the matter to freaking everybody, including the Executive Vice President), he would not have been fired.
And that is a bummer. It was really fun researching the answers to all these little puzzles, until one came along to which I didn't want to know the answer.
Monday, May 25, 2009
and then I hit the "1" button to add some punctuation. And I was really just looking for a period, but the first thing my phone came up with was an exclamation point. And I realized that my phone had no idea what I was saying, but that when I end a sentence in the word "awesome," that must be the punctuation I usually choose.
Short story way longer than it had to be, the completed sentence read: It's going to be awesome!
Also, it makes me sad when I hit "111" and instead of bringing up a smiley face, a frowny face comes up first.
And then he wrote an article titled "Kill your RSS reader, and use my amazing system for browsing the web." And it is amazing, even though it made me feel dumb for not having an RSS reader yet.
RSS was always something that I saw at the end of articles and ignored. I knew RSS readers put all the stuff you wanted to read on one page, but I didn't know how exactly you could "sign up" for one, or if that was even the right terminology. I read a Wikipedia article that could not have been less helpful if it had tried, and kind of gave up for a while. Scrolling through pages looking for content was therapeutic, kinda.
Then, right after reading Farhad's article, I signed up for Google Reader, which he had oh so helpfully noted in his article. Was that so difficult, Wikipedia? Of course, he noted it while, umm, rendering it obsolete. In my defense, I have a crazy old version of IE on my computer at work that doesn't have tabs, so his amazing system would not work for me. (What? Shut up! I read stuff during lunch...)
But there was a bigger take-away point to the article than my finally getting an RSS reader or learning Farhad's amazing system (which totally sounds like a real estate get-rich-quick scheme, when I put it like that). Because Farhad just had to go and say this:
And that's pretty much how I spend my day—opening up a lot of tabs,
middle-mouse-clicking all of their pertinent links, and then going from tab to
tab in a never-ending quest for new news. I'm telling you, it's totally fun.
Farhad, you do not have to tell me, I know that's totally fun! And you get paid for it, and now I want to go all Freaky Friday on you. Because there aren't any job descriptions out there that go "Tab through the internet for 8 hours and then write something pithy about it." And that picture of you, from the beginning of this post? That was from a University website. And you have a book. And since there's no way I would qualify for your "totally fun" job, now I have to research body-snatching. Are you happy now?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
2:44: Recreate spreadsheet someone sent me. She thinks we have a credit and I think she’s wrong. Let’s fight about it.
2:47: Boring! Order business cards instead. I know how to use a fax machine!
2:58: Look for french onion soup on the cafeteria menu for next week (I ♥ sodium!) Search ends in disappointment.
3:12: I’m one incorrect login away from locking myself out of a program for which I’m the administrator. Remember I have a new password and type it in very carefully.
3:31: Paying bills: it’s more fun when it’s not your money.
3:49: OMG someone’s inane ringtone has been playing nonstop for like 15 minutes. Someone really wants to talk to someone.
3:50: The phone just made a noise that I can only guess means there’s a new voicemail. Does that mean it’s over?
3:51: No, no it does not.
4:02: It’s still ringing, and now it’s harshing my data entry mellow.
4:03: Panic. There is no scanning for today. If I can’t pretend that removing staples, scanning, renaming files, and moving them into a folder takes an hour, what will I do during that hour?
4:19: Work is falling out of the sky! I am so oppressed!
4:41: Did my left armrest just get lower?
4:43: The Controller & Treasurer just printed something to the printer behind me, collected it, and said “Yes!” Is that usually a more difficult process for him?
4:53: Read news articles about people killing people and look at the clock in the right-hand corner a few times per minute.