There she goes a-rambling

[edited to remove most work-related commentary. And there was much rejoicing.]
* * *

Meanwhile, the headless chicken dance at work is coming to an end. By some orbit-altering stroke of luck, I've managed to meet nearly all of the office-closing-early, need-it-by-Friday deadlines, and may not end up staying later than necessary. What a nice change that will be.

* * *

Leaving on time this afternoon will be a particularly groovy occurrence since I managed to harass my way into the massage school administrator's schedule today, in order to get my fourth and final practical evaluation out of the way. I guess the fourth evaluation is when the students prove to the administrator that they will be able to bring money into the school during internship. We'll see what I prove today. As long as it's not something like I'm a Big Doof With Sharp Elbows Who Tends to Fall on Top of the Greased Up Client Mid-Session, I'll do okay. Wish me luck, folks.

* * *

So anyway, lack of time, going out of town, internship around the corner. I haven't had a whole lot of chances to get online lately. However, jumping on for a few seconds here and there is enough time to notice the truly terrible dating page advertisements on MSN and Hotmail. I always think personal ad wording is a bit sad anyway, since by now we all know what the person's really selling. I know I'm not the only one who reads "voluptuous" as "overweight," "intellectual" as "nerdy" or "lacks social skills," etc.

[Here's where I clarify that I am not calling the people in the personal ads sad, just the transparent "code words" that seem to appear quite frequently.]

[Seriously. However you meet your significant other is cool.]

[Okay, some of the people in the personal ads do seem a little loser-ish.]

[But not the guy you met through match.com or eHarmony or whatever it's called. He's a rockstar. Really.]

So Hotmail and MSN show little personal ad blurbs on their home pages, you know, to draw you over to the matchmaking site. I think it would be a good idea to have someone helping these dateless people with their ads like the services that help with resumes. Or perhaps the Hotmail or MSN staffer picking the Single-of-the-Moment is just making bad choices. I have some examples from this week's pages, to prove my point. On Hotmail, there's a quick blurb from a female single:
"I’m a handful!" (read: "I'm a high-maintenance pain in the ass!")

The next one I saw from a male:
"He’s single and likes it. Is that okay?" (Dear sir: Grow a set. Why are you asking for approval? Also, why are you on a dating website if you like being single so much? Oh. Never mind.)

On MSN, it gets more fun because they offer a grab-ya line, and then the person gives more details:
I like pizza
"I’m not afraid of food fights..." (Is this supposed to be sexy? Or more like "I'm really a 12 year old?")

and also:
I’m very mysterious
"I’m your friendly neighborhood… man.” (What's with the hesitation? And also? I'm pretty sure you were supposed to register with the city before you moved into my neighborhood.)

So anyway. If they're just going to let anyone advertise on their dating pages, they should at least give the spotlight over to someone who can be simple and direct with what they're like or what they're looking for, no? If any men out there need a little help writing your blurb, I've come up with a highly effective one that you may borrow at any time (and spread the word, I may have to start charging for these pearls):

I enjoy picnics
"You bring the grub, I'll bring the chub."



If I've seemed a little MIA lately it's only because I've been so busy, plotting ways to do away with Boss Lady and make it look like a Tragic Accident, along with repeating (times a billion) everything I've ever explained to the Assistant, to the point that I could create the training handbook in my sleep. People, I spend more time correcting the mistakes she makes than the time she spends making those mistakes. And yet, I'm patient and professional to such an extreme that she probably has no clue I'm about to snap, grab her by the shoulders, ask her how on earth she's managed to bring her children safely into their teen years, and then ask her, ever so nicely, to please promise me that she will declare, right this instant, a moratorium on interrupting me, swearing in front of me, closing her eyes when she types (I can only guess this is the cause of some of the errors?) and breeding. Okay, that last one would just be a bonus.

Time to go dig the Boss trap, cover it with leaves and bait it with an ugly painting. I'll camouflage myself in French Country upholstery patterns and wait for the big ta-da behind the decorative (cord's missing) lamp. Maybe, after Boss Lady takes the plunge, I can throw the Assistant in with her.

Well, a girl can dream.


Don't stand so close to me

I was driving to work this morning- wait, that should read: I was stopping and going in the car this morning, wishing I had taken a cup of coffee along on the drive, then feeling glad that I hadn't, since my very full bladder probably couldn't take the pressure, then musing about this particular stretch of highway, how I'd been rear-ended three times right about here, and yet I keep driving this same route because it's just a little faster than the alternate, and boy, it's been a while since I've been hit...

You know what's coming, don't you? I was not so insightful.

BAM! My head slammed back into the head rest, the change drawer in the dash flew out, spilling coins into the car, the garage door opener fell down off the visor and hit me in the head, and my flip flop flopped off. "Son. of. a. BITCH" I muttered, and shakily maneuvered to the side of the road. The lady who rammed into me pulled over behind me and jumped out of her car before I had figured out how to unhook the seatbelt that had locked up around my sternum like a straightjacket. I stepped out of the car and winced at the twinge in my neck. Fabulous. The Rammer rushed toward me.

Ram-a-lot (grinning nervously): Your car looks fine!

Q (scrutinizing the Honda's bumper, rubbing my neck): Fuuuck.

Ram 'n Cheese: This isn't even my car! I work part-time delivering cars for a wholesaler! ("not very good at it, are you?" went the voice in my head) ARE YOU OKAY?!

Q: I guess so. It's probably a good idea to exchange information anyway, though.

(We retreat to our cars for a moment and meet back at the crime scene.)

We B Rammin': Here's my card so you can get in touch with me if there's any damage.

(I do a double take. She is a massage therapist. I tell her I am going to school for massage therapy and maybe, if I don't need to call her about my neck being broken, I can call her for some industry tips. She is glad to help. Anything to avoid a lawsuit, probably.)

Q: Where do you massage?

Viva la Ram: Uh, at a chiropractor's office, actually.

Q (grabbing my neck again): SCORE!!!

Ramma Jamma (laughs nervously): I can't believe I hit you. I swear I only looked down for like a second. I can't believe you're being so nice about this.

Q: Yes, well, I'm turning into a real pro at being rear-ended. But I'll call you if anything comes up, and I'll definitely contact you to pick your brain a bit about the massage thing.

Ramma Lamma Ding Dong: Sure thing! Seriously, if there's any damage to your car, or anything wrong with your neck, we'll take care of it, no problem. I'm an honest person, and fortunately I seem to run into a lot of other honest people.

Q: Literally, it seems.

(she wasn't as pleased with the joke as I was)

And, scene.


It's all about the box.

First off, an open memo to Monk: We must (MUST!) obtain more of those Oreo cookie ice cream sandwich things. They rocked my world a week ago... then brought it crashing down around me when I realized there were only four to a box and I'd been slow in protecting that box with my life.

Protect the box with your life. Sounds like something my parents tried to drill into me years ago.

Speaking of women's bits, Friday night I slogged through Dallas traffic to meet up with Monk (him, refreshed and relaxed, having been home, walked the dogs, changed clothes, etc.; me, still in my office outfit, sweaty and strung out from a week of too little sleep) at a private party for the gay and lesbian associates of four companies, and the people who support them. Or at least the people who enjoy being cornered at the sink of a unisex bathroom listening to an obnoxious young man sing his own interior designer merits- the same not-so-gentle-man who had just minutes before mocked me for the calorie count in my Newcastle, as well as complained "your boobs are messing up the lines of your shirt which is just, gah, so offensive to me, as a designer."

Okay, so "enjoyed" might not be the right word. Under the yellow glare of the bathroom lights, however, he decided we looked exactly alike (SQUEAL!), and then he looooved me.

Not sure what it is about me that attracts the ones who kick and compliment in the same breath, but I'm pretty sure I tolerated this nonsense because I was being served unlimited alcohol. For free. Even the tip was covered, people. Well, that and the fact that I would never hit a girl...

We went from the meet-and-greet to another bar with some friends and stayed about an hour past the point of avoiding hangovers and being productive the next day. Standing for hours on a patio being bombarded by so-so live music, while people pat you on the back for "being cool with" a lesbian hangout is tiring. Besides officially launching my love-ya-crazy-like-a-stalker boat towards Monk's unbelievably cool coworker, another highlight of the evening: If any of you watch The L Word, you'll know what I mean when I tell you I met a
Carmen. Same size, same style (and hey, isn't the actress from Euless, TX? Hmm). Not sure if she was hitting on me, talking to me to get to our friends, or feeling sorry for me. Although her efforts were wasted (our group being in the committed relationship camp, and feeling, by that point, quite happy), she was a very nice young lady. If the music hadn't been so distracting, I might have flirted a bit, just to see where she was heading. On the other hand, it's nice to keep it all a mystery, since it's hard to have complete faith in the intentions of ridiculously good-looking women. I'd be waiting to hear "just kidding!" or "just spotted someone more in my league!" or "can I just try on your hat for a sec?" And while I may have a fabulous sense of humor and modesty to spare, we all know where I stand on sharing.

Like those Oreo ice cream sandwiches. Seriously, Monk. Why must you help yourself to things around the house like you live there too and make my selfish heart crumble so? I now have no choice but to go out and restock times two. And this time? Stay away from my box.


Waiting to jump

All of this waiting is killing me. You'd think I wouldn't have time to worry about much outside of the moment these days, but unfortunately my brain did not get that memo. In a hurry but feeling stuck, driven and determined, but rooted so firmly to Limbo that I keep forgetting to breathe.

Every week in class I'm looking towards the next week when I will have yet another test under my belt, inching closer to the last day when the teachers will wish us well as we head into Dante's fourth and lesser known realm we call internship. I will spend evenings and weekends waiting for people to need massages so I can fulfill the hours necessary to then sit for the written part of the state board exam. Oh, but first I need to apply to take the test. And wait for the application to be processed, of course. After (hopefully) passing the written exam, I will wait to be told when I can travel down to Austin to take the practical exam. Then I will wait for those results. And wait for the actual license. AND wait for my inquiries, applications, business card handouts and networking to land me a job.

[edited to remove work-related commentary. And there was much rejoicing.]

Additionally, in the last week, I've waited for a telephone call that didn't happen, a weighty email that hasn't come, and disappointment to pass again.

Monk got in on the act when together we waited for a show of gratitude or at least an alluded-to case of beer, after spending two hours in the rain laying sod for Sister's sick husband on Saturday.

(No worries on that last one, though, we later spent some time waiting for the margaritas we'd made to do their thing, and they did come through for us. I love you, tequila!)

I am also, apparently, waiting to have an actual mental breakdown for whenever I can pencil in Actual Mental Breakdown Time on the ol' day planner. This new development was obvious this morning when I awoke fresh from a dream in which I had had a full blown, down the rabbit hole, screaming, crying, slobbering drunk, driving on the wrong side of the road, watching a dog hang himself, going to the pharmacist for the anti-crazy pills, changing outfits for the occasion of all the Crazy, self-enforced quarantine at a lake house Until I Can Act Like a Decent Human Being mental breakdown. I think it was nice of my psyche to explore the possibilities while I slept- this way I don't have to try to work it into my life.

Unless that was just a practice run and the real thing is headed my way. Great. Can't wait.


It's funny cuz it's sad. (or, What do you mean I'm not cool anymore?)

Biff and I got into a near-yelling match last night during our weekly telephone conversation. It started innocently enough, discussing the fact that we might be alone in our strong dislike for the The Wizard of Oz and E.T. Neither one of us has watched either film in its entirety more than once. We played armchair psychologist as we validated each other’s gut reactions and the phone line was positively glowing with the exchanging of all the love. We also decided that the Creep Out Factor of E.T., for me, must stem from my strange yet deeply-rooted frog phobia (tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that alien resembles a warped version of my arch-amphibian-nemesis), which was enlightening, to say the least.

So, love, validation, warm fuzzies all around, and then Biff had to go and bring up my fondness for The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Neverending Story, the only major (ugly, deranged) flaw in my otherwise brilliant being, according to her.

Q: Whoa, don’t be knocking The Dark Crystal. Or Labyrynth. OR The Neverending Story!

B: Are you kidding?! Those movies are the trifecta of fear!

Q: What’s wrong with The Neverending Story?

B: That giant flying dog thing? How does that not freak you out?!

Q: He was friendly! I always wanted a giant flying dog thing.

B: And don’t get me started on Labyrinth.

Q: Come on, think of the message of that movie! “You have no power over me!” It’s all about finding your backbone, taking control of your own destiny, destroying your insecurities, empowering yourself and owning your shit!

B: Oh please.

Q (a la Tom Cruise): Own your shit! OWN IT!

B: Okay, settle down. I must have missed the message of the movie, as I was too busy being CREEPED THE FUCK OUT.

[more debate followed about the three films; I let her have her points about The Dark Crystal, especially when we stepped on the landmines of my gelfling attraction and my tendency, after seeing the film, to hijack my great-grandmother’s crutches and go flying down the driveway, pretending to be a Landstrider
. However, my allegiance to the Goblin King and the karma of school bullies getting their due was solid.]

B: Just the idea of having The Dark Crystal in my house [the movie, not the huge giant rock itself, obviously] is freaking me out. You have issues.

Q: That’s beside the point. You obviously did not get these movies when you watched them, or you’d be singing a different tune right now.

B: You know, I don’t think I’ve seen any of the three all the way through, come to think of it.

Q: I think you need to watch them, then get back to me.

B: I think you need to go to hell.

Can you feel the love, people?


Too much information

My new assistant wants us to be friends. I want her to get back to work. I'm not sure how she still finds time for bonding with all the projects I've given her, but she does seem to have carved out a few minutes here and there throughout the day to share her life with me. It's not that I dislike her- heck, I barely know her (although, as I said, she's working very hard at changing that)- I simply prefer to keep my professional persona separate from my personal one (a.k.a. the real me).

My closed door and business-like attitude has not dissuaded her from reaching out, however. Besides cheerfully fitting in a moment of oversharing into every work-related conversation, she has taken to leaving me voicemail messages about the voicemail messages people have left me, drawling out her greeting, a summary of the call and saying something to the effect of "hope you're having a good day" even though she JUST. SAW ME.

Despite my best attempts at keeping her three arms' distance away from me at all times, I have already learned more than I care to about the woman, including the fact that she and her husband were contemplating separation as recently as two weeks ago, but have agreed to "give it another shot." This is the kind of thing she tosses at me casually, as though assuming I will reflexively reach out and grab the topic before it hits the ground. Most of the time it comes to rest at my feet as I swivel in my chair and return my focus to whatever task is at hand. Every now and then I acknowledge her statements with a "huh," or a blank look, or sometimes both. She hasn't been deterred.

Now she is attacking me with smiley-faced accusations like "have you noticed how much weight I've lost already?" or "you can't tell I colored my hair?!" as soon as I walk in the door. As much as I'd love to respond with "have you noticed I'm not your boyfriend? I'm not the one to ask about your hair," my work persona prevails.

But people, the forced familiarity is becoming even more unsettling. Yesterday morning, as I was driving the last ten minutes to the office, my assistant called my cell phone and said "I'm calling in sick." To which I replied "Really." Long pause, then she gaily guffawed "I'm just kidding! I just wanted to call and say hi!!!"