Monday, February 28, 2005

and the Oscar goes to... the seizure guy!

I’m mentally preparing myself for the 4 to 8 inches of snow we’re supposed to get before the end of the day today. So far it’s only raining, but that makes for an icy mess when it starts to actually snow. Since I have to drive 40 miles round trip to get to my new job, the weather has become a much greater concern in the past few weeks. Especially since I drive a little beater car with bald tires. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll be able to afford new tires, but probably by then it will be 70 degrees and sunny.

Did anyone else feel totally annoyed by the Ocsars? I don’t know why I bother watching award shows. If they’re not strewn with sexed-up teenybopper crap, they’re full of pretentious assholes who know they’re better than anyone else and can’t help showing it. Hey, that’s my job, ok? But seriously, if I would have had to seen Beyonce sing one more time I would have strangled someone. It was really silly of me to watch it, considering I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated for the big categories, besides Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I have no intention of ever seeing Million Dollar Baby. I know how it ends, and it’s a real downer. Unless I sink into a deep depression, I’ll probably never see it. Some people told me that Ray was really good, but the people I trust with movies (Greg and Starr) said it was so terrible that they couldn’t even watch the whole thing. I do want to see the Aviator and Hotel Rwanda when they come out on DVD, but I really want to see Finding Neverland.

What an incredibly boring and uneventful weekend. The only thing we did was go to a funeral. It was probably the strangest funeral I’ve ever been to. Not only was the place so packed you couldn’t move, the brother of the kid who died had a seizure on the front porch of the funeral home. I’ve never seen so much drama all at once. He got carted off by an ambulance. It gave everyone a good scare, but he’s fine. And there was a Baptist minister that did the sermon, and he kept talking about Hell and Satan, which I thought was completely inappropriate, considering that the kid that died wasn’t exactly a saint. While the sermon was going on, people were letting their children do whatever they wanted, which was just disrespectful and rude. So I left there feeling emotionally drained and very irritated, and when we finally got home I slept on the couch for 3 hours.

The snow has begun. Wish me luck on my drive for the next couple of days. Sorry I sound so blah for a Monday. Here’s a stupid joke to make up for it.

One day George W. Bush and Dick Cheney walk into a diner. A waitress walks up to them and asks if she can take their order. Bush leans close to her and says, "Honey, can I have a quickie?" The waitress is appalled and yells at the President about women's rights and storms away. Cheney then says to Bush, "George, its pronounced 'quiche'."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Office Space

First of all, let me say I really like my new job. It’s fun, it’s challenging, I get to do internet related stuff, like rack my brain about how to make a message pop up using HTML on a page after you click a button, I get to write creative stuff about the company and about the products we sell, I can drink coffee all day and play on the internet when I need a break, and I get my first paycheck on Friday.

However, the building that we work out of is kind of gross. It’s basically a warehouse with offices added on. We have a print shop and bindery to manufacture our products, which is cool because I’m a big fan of the printing industry (I used to be a graphic designer for a print shop). The building itself is pretty old. The outside of it is just plain ugly. There’s just no way to make it look nice, and that’s fine, since I’m not sitting outside all day. Honestly, I’ve never had an office job that was in a new building. They’ve always been in old, run down places… except for a temp job I had once for a week, but that doesn’t count.

Any way, I’ve heard rumors of mice. I don’t have a problem with mice, because at least they’re furry and cute. If we were infested with spiders or cockroaches, that would be a different story.

Just now, when I was getting my coffee, I opened one of the drawers in our kitchen (yes, we at least have a kitchen), and inside there was a bag of microwave popcorn that was just torn to shreds. By itty bitty teeth. Naturally, I was freaked out because that’s where I was getting my packet of Equal from for my coffee, and I know that the bag of popcorn wasn’t shredded yesterday when I was in the same drawer. So I went for the jar of plain old sugar in the next drawer down. How the hell did that mouse get in the top drawer?

Oh well. The lady in accounting found mouse poop on her desk the other day. At least I don’t have crap in my office. I can live harmoniously with the meeses as long as they refrain from pooping on my stuff.

Speaking of mice, did you know that M. Night Shyamalan wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little? I didn’t. I wish he would have made it scary. It would have been more interesting.

Oh, and is there some kind of unwritten rule in offices about the gross coffee spoon? When I worked at the newspaper years ago, we had a gross coffee spoon. I don’t know if anyone ever washed it or anything. It just sat all day with in a little sticky puddle with semi-dry beige liquid in it. The same thing goes on here. Every time I get my coffee, I’m faced with this disgusting thing. And people actually use it! Numerous people! How fucking sick. I have my own spoon, thank you very much.

Hey, if anyone has any clue about HTML, drop me an email. What we’re trying to do is create a message that pops up on the page after you click on a submit button. Any ideas on an easy way to do that is appreciated.

Off to get more coffee… without mouse poop or disgusting spoons.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The “E” Stands for “Enemy”

I’m having a week chock full of revelations, and it’s only Tuesday. Yesterday I found out that the Princess Bride was actually written, not abridged, by William Goldman, and there’s no such person as S. Morgenstern. Color me stupid, but I had no idea. Goldman is a genius, he had me completely fooled. All this crazy shit about abridgements and what he was leaving out from Morgenstern’s original text and that he had a fat son and whatever. Amazing. I can’t believe I bought it. If you haven’t read it forget I just said all of that.

I also just came to the realization that I have a former enemy working with me at the teeny tiny company I work for. At least, I think she used to be my enemy… apparently I never gave it much thought… Anyway, she’s the sister-in-law of my asshole ex-boyfriend, you know, the guy that tried to control every aspect of my life down to the clothes I was allowed to wear (big baggy clothes) and the people I was allowed to hang out with (nobody). Jerk-face. Anyway, I’ve dubbed this girl “the unfriendly girl,” because she is the only person in the office who just doesn’t talk to me. She ignored me for 3 days last week until I jumped in front of her and said, “Hi! I don’t think I’ve met you yet,” and even then I got an unenthusiastic response. So this morning I was looking at the company directory, and I noticed that her last name was familiar. After racking my brain for a minute I discovered why I knew her last name, since her sister is now married to my asshole ex-boyfriend, who dated her sister before I did, and when I dumped his sorry ass went running back to her and impregnated her right away.

However, I remember the girl I work with because when I was dating Mr. Asshole, she tried numerous attempts to get him to break up with me so that her sister could get back together with him. I don’t remember what those attempts were exactly, there were so many problems with so many different girls while I was dating him that nothing in particular sticks out, so it must not have been anything creative… like the girl that continually vandalized my car until my brother slashed her tires. Sweet, huh? Oh, to be 20 again and have a 16 year old girl chasing your boyfriend.

But this could be why this girl is unfriendly with me, don’t you think? I never did anything to her, but she sure tried to pull some shit on me. Well, the jokes on her, since she’s stuck with my ex as her brother-in-law. Oh, it makes me giggle a little. But it’s just amazing how many enemies I have that I’m not even aware of. Girls have always hated me. I mean, I was never a super-friendly person, I’m naturally shy. SHY, people! Get me drunk and then I’m friendly. There’s an amazing number of people over the years that once I charmed them with my great sense of humor and wonderful personality, said, “you know, I always thought you were such a bitch.” Wha-huh? Yep. Me. A bitch. And I can be, but I don’t try to be a bitch to people I don’t know unless they give me good reason to be.

Oh well, I’m just going to continue to be nice. It’s not like she cost me anything. In fact she was probably a push in the right direction to get rid of him. She wouldn’t be the first girl involved in our break up somehow that I’m friendly with. I spent the last couple weekends hanging out with the girl that moved in with him when he moved out of state (and yes, we were still dating, and no, we haven’t brought him up yet… but I’m waiting for it). So it’s nothing new. Or I could just acknowledge that I know who she is and get it out in the open to let her know it doesn’t bother me. That would be the adult thing to do, right?

I’m really rambling now. It’s a slow day. I like my new job a lot, but my boss doesn’t give me a whole lot of direction. He gives me an assignment and gives me like 3 days to do it when it’s something that will take me 20 minutes. I think he thinks he’s breaking me in slowly. I’ll just let him think whatever he wants for now because once he susses out what a smarty pantz I am I probably won’t have much free time.

On to hopefully more meaningful revelations…

Monday, February 21, 2005

Strange Days

I had a strange weekend. It was very emotionally mixed.

I found out on Friday after work that a kid I’ve known for 15 years was killed in an apartment fire. He was 18 years old. His dad lives next door to my camp, so I saw him almost every time I was there. When Ryan and I started dating, he came around more, and got to really like Ryan. Ryan and I kept a close watch on him, knowing he had a tendency to get himself into trouble out of sheer boredom. If you lived in the middle of nowhere, you might do the same thing. He could be annoying, but I enjoyed picking on him, and I think he liked the attention. I’m going to miss not having him around sneaking our beers this summer. He was a notorious alcohol thief. But I’ll miss him anyway.

Needless to say, after that, Friday was kind of a crappy day for me, although I did what I could to keep my mind occupied. We watched Bill Maher (which was awesome for a change, although I love him so I don’t care that the last season of his show sucked) and after that we watched the Grudge. Holy shit. So far, nobody I know has admitted to being as afraid of this movie as I am. Am I that much of a pussy? I never want to see it again. My heart was literally pounding during some parts. After it was over I made Ryan come with me to put my pajamas on, which I ‘m sure he enjoyed. I fell asleep on the couch for fear of going into the bedroom by myself. I was still thinking about it last night as I tried to fall asleep. So I didn’t sleep very well. No more scary movies for me for a while. That’s why I wasn’t allowed to watch scary stuff when I was a kid. I wouldn’t sleep for a month after.

Saturday we went to see Constantine. I’m still not sure what I thought… it was good but it could have been so much better. The story is great, it just wasn’t done as well as it could have been. Then we had a fun night of drinking and dancing and all sorts of fun.

It’s nice to have weekends off.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Flurries, schmurries

I luckily averted being involved in a 10 car pile up this morning. The lovely Pittsburgh news said “flurries, no accumulation, and you should have no problems on your morning commute.” Liars. All of them. I got on the highway, and about a half mile into it all I saw were break lights in front of me, and cars and trucks all over the place. So naturally I applied my breaks, and slid sideways on the “flurry-covered” road. I got straightened out and my car finally stopped, just 5 feet short of another car. I sat in the middle of the highway while a wrecked car blocked two lanes for about 10 minutes. The roads were extremely icy, but they didn’t look bad. It was all very deceiving. I feel all hoodwinked and swindled. So thank you, Channel 11, for fucking up my morning commute. Flurries my ass. More like gigantic golf ball sized snowflakes.

I really am in a good mood today. Seriously.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Real Job

What is a real job exactly? I hate to call it that. My old job was a real job too. Real sucky. But I worked hard. I think my new job is going to be just fine. If I can learn all that I need to know in order to do it successfully. But that should take no time at all. I’m pretty quick. It’s so nice and quiet. I have my own office (which is in need of some work, it’s very drab), I have internet access (so I can sneak-blog, but not yet!), and I can listen to music. Everyone seems pretty friendly and nice, which is important to me, since I made so many friends at my old job that I’m going to miss. But that’s the only thing I’ll miss about Target.

And I don’t have to deal with the public, which makes my life so much better. Plus I can sit all day, which may contribute to a bit of weight gain, but I can deal with that. As long as all my new pants still fit. And now I really have to learn how to knit, because I have a whole hour for lunch. After a half hour today I started to get antsy. I’m reading the Princess Bride, but I want it to last a while, since I really like it, so I started pacing the break room. Old habits die hard. Like walking 9 miles a day through a department store.

My last day of work at Target was great. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day. I went out with some people from work and drank beer and had dinner, and I got a gift from my boss and a card from everyone, and lots of hugs. I haven’t had that many hugs in one day since my wedding. So that was cool. It’s nice to know that I’ll be missed.

My newest vice: Chess. My husband taught me how to play last week. I can’t believe I’ve gone through life never knowing how to play this game, because I could just sit and play all day.

This weekend will be my third weekend off in a row in I don’t know how long. I don’t know what to do with myself.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Save the Last Dance...

Tomorrow is my last day of work. How exciting. I know that it’s time to get out of retail when sweet little old ladies who call and ask me the price of every single vitamin that we have in stock make me want to murder someone.

Here’s a good one. An old lady called me a last week and asked me if we had a DVD that she saw advertised on television (and no, it wasn’t "3," thank god, even though we do have it in stock now). She said, "it’s a man singing. The song is "Save the Last Dance for Me." So I of course asked who the artist was. "I don’t know his name. I only know the song. But it said it was available at Target." I hate that phrase. If there is one thing I’m happy that I’ll never have to hear again, it’s "but it said it was available at Target." (That and "do you work here?" I get that all the time. No, I’m wearing red and khaki because I think it’s a good color combination. Oh, and this name badge? Oh, they just gave it to me because I love to shop here. I’m praying that someone will ask me that tomorrow, because I’m going to tell them "yes, but in a few hours ask me again." )

But anyway, back to the old lady. Since I didn’t have much to go on, I just went and looked at our music DVDs. Ok, Aerosmith, no… Pearl Jam, no… Metallica, no… No Doubt, no… Blink 182…. I’m thinking that I’m out of luck. I’m just about to tell her so when I spy Harry Connick Jr. I grab it, and what do you know? The very first song is Save the Last Dance for Me. So I tell her that I think I have it and who it is. She says she’ll send someone in to pick it up. A few hours later, another woman comes in and buys it for her.

The next night, I’m at home watching tv, and a man singing this song comes on during a commercial. Then it says, "available at Target, February 8th." His name is Michael Buble. Whoops. I haven’t heard back from the woman yet, but being that his DVD wasn’t released until Tuesday, what can she expect? At least I tried. And that’s all I can do. It’s still kind of funny though. I hope she’s developed a liking for Harry Connick Jr.

What the hell am I going to bitch about once I’m an ex-Target employee???

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Stories

Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of wild rodents. But today, instead of paying homage to my squirrel friends, I have to give respect to another fat, friendly, but not quite as nimble creature. The groundhog.

February 2nd is the day we find out how much longer winter is going to last. From a groundhog that’s been alive for about a gazillion years. Punxsutawney Phil, King of the Groundhogs, Father of all Marmota, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators (yeah, I didn’t make up his title), predicted today that there will be 6 more weeks of winter.

Although I went to school only an hour or so away from good old Punxy, I have never been to a Groundhog day event. But I find the whole thing fascinating, so it’s time for another E-Lo history lesson. We haven’t had one in a while.

The first time Groundhog Day was held was on February 2, 1887, on Gobbler’s Knob. Phil has been around for 119 years. He supposedly gets his longevity from drinking a secret groundhog punch every summer that gives him 7 more years of life. That’s what the Inner Circle says anyway.

So who is this Inner Circle? Well, it’s a group of men who organize the event every year, and take care of Phil. There are no women in the Inner Circle. But I guess women can’t wear tuxedos and top hats. That’s just silly. Speaking of silly, all the men in the inner circle have an important title, like Fog Spinner, or Big Flake Maker, or Burrow Master. I personally would want to be Lightening Bolt Thrower, but I have a cursed vagina, so I don’t think it can happen. It’s nice to dream though.

Anyway, this whole tradition stems, much like any American tradition, from pagan roots. The legend comes from the Roman Candlemas day, which was associated with weather and winter. If Candlemas day was a sunny day, "second winter" would begin. If it was a cloudy or rainy day, that was a sign that spring would begin early. When the Romans brought this tradition to Northern Europe, the Germans decided that on a sunny day the hedgehog would see his shadow, therefore predicting a long winter.

When the Germans came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, they carried this belief with them. Since there were a shortage of wild hedgehogs in PA, they concluded that the groundhog was the best replacement. So if the sun appeared on February 2, the groundhog would see his shadow and burrow back underground to spend 6 more weeks. Thus began the tradition of Groundhog Day.

And I’ve never even seen the movie the whole way through.

My favorite groundhog history fact: During prohibition, Phil threatened with 60 weeks of winter if he wasn’t allowed a drink. That wascally gwoundhawg.

These little buggers run wild around here. Here’s my own funny groundhog story:

Once at my old apartment, I saw something hanging from underneath my car. We had lots of stray cats there, so when I saw movement I was afraid that a cat had crawled up into my engine. As I got closer, two groundhogs emerged from the undercarriage of my car, and bolted as fast as groundhogs can. I was so afraid that there were going to be little groundhog babies living in my car.

Luckily, no groundhogs or cats were harmed that day.