Friday, October 31, 2003

S'Been Awhile

Yeah, I'm too lazy to blog. Or too busy. Or something.

I've got different stuff to do at work. It sucks pretty much equally with what I was doing before, but causes less stress on the wrists. So they feel almost normal. Or, I can open cans and doorknobs again. Not always without wincing, but it can at least be accomplished.

There are about 27 parties this weekend that I'd like to go to. Obviously, I cannot be in all these places at once. So some people are going to be disappointed with me. That sucks.

It is absolutely gorgeous out. I love Fridays, my day off. It's really the only day I see the inside of my apartment during the daylight. I like it--the sunlight filtering through the windows, the orange and yellow treetops far below, the fluffy white clouds in the crystal blue sky...

It occurs to me that I just said I loved my apartment and described instead what's outside of it. Hmm. Methinks I should get out more.

Got a big week and weekend coming up. Ooh, how I love bigness. Really I do. And I mean that in as nondirty a way as possible.

I'm thinking that I should wear my St. Pauli Girl/Renaissance Beer Wench costume, complete with lace-up corset, every day. Sitting down would be nearly impossible, but isn't it worth it for gravity-defying cleavage? Really, isn't it?!?

I will be wearing said get-up again for my boys in Just Another Victim, who'll be headlining a big Halloween fest at the Kirkland Cafe tonight. They sound better and better every time I hear them. Or maybe it's just that I've learned the words to their songs and can sing along now.

Ooh, I've been gone so long that now my good friend and fellow redhead RW has a site! Check out the Netho link. It rocks, much like Kip Winger.

And that's it, for today...

Monday, October 20, 2003

Krispy Kreme - 1 Redpanda - 0

The marketing gurus at Krispy Kreme are evil geniuses, I tell you. Evil! Geniuses!

Friday afternoon, after a particularly annoying job interview experience, I decided that I needed the comfort of a warm, melt-in-your mouth sweet and gooey KK donut. Seeing as how I'd parked right near one, it was no trouble at all to swing by and grab one. Mmmm.

The place was nearly deserted, and I'm against drive-thrus on general principle, so I parked and sauntered in in my pinstiped suit, high heels clicking against the shiny linoleum. I clicked right up to the display case and gazed thoughtfully up at the menu. This was my mistake. Really, there was no need to look at the menu. I already knew I wanted a single glazed donut. The menu-looking was just for show, so no one knew that I had a Donut Plan. It was my pride; my hubris, really; that sank me.

You see, during that short time of menu gazing, a Krispy Kreme employee walked up to me and shoved a warm gooey donut wrapped in a napkin into my hand. "Sample, miss?" she asked with a too-big smile.

Well, now that I had the thing I had come in for; what was I to do? Say "thank you!" and saunter back out? Walk back to the counter with my mouth full of donut and order a single donut? How humiliating! Clearly, the only thing that could be done at this point was to order a dozen. Anything else would make me appear ungrateful for the donut offering bestowed upon me.

So that's exactly what I ordered. Let's review, shall we?

Donuts Desired by Redpanda: 1
Donuts Consumed by Redpanda While Waiting to Order Single Donut: 1
Donuts Subsequently Ordered by Redpanda out of Guilt and a Feeling of Obligation Brought on by Free Donut: 12

Staggering numbers, no?

Bastards. I ended up banging on my neighbors' doors and pleading with them to take some donuts off my hands before I singlehandedly consumed the entire dozen.

Bastards. Evil bastards.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

They're Dropping Like Flies

Chriz's Fingers is no more.

With that news, I wonder how I'll know that Chriz is actually still alive. Because really, aside from Mike saying he's seen him in the hallway; or Sean saying he got an IM, I have no evidence of that fact.

Which is, when you think about it, more than a little sad.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

A Sweet Life

The previous residents of my first Boston apartment were a sweet hippie/yuppie couple. They had 2 small, clean dogs that they'd walk together in the evenings. They had moved out of the apartment to buy a condo down the street. He had a gentle European accent, and rode a bicycle to work to help save the environment. She had flame red hair and was never seen without a hat and sunglasses. "What a nice life they must have.", my then-roommate said wistfully about them one day. I'm certain that they did have one, the very best kind of life. At the time, I was more than a little envious.

Now, somehow, I have a similarly nice life.

I'm still not exactly sure how it happened. I suppose it's been a kind of gradual thing. But thinking about it, it certainly did.

I'm sitting here thinking about tonight. "We" have a standing date on Thursday nights. We usually end up in Davis Square, eating huge yummy cheap burritos at Anna's Taqueria. Afterwards, we'll head over to the Somerville Theater to catch an indie flick. Or grab a latte at the counter-culture hip coffeehouse/pool hall Diesel. We walk hand in hand down the cobblestoney brick streets, chatting away.

And that's just tonight.

At home, there' s the new futon to finish assembling. We bought it last weekend for the guest room/office. We still have to finish hanging art on the walls. And choose a wine rack.

On weekends, I wake up first and start coffee. Sometimes, I make oven apple pancakes. We sip and talk about the world and our place in it, the latest Palahniuk novel, our careers.

If we sleep too late, the cat comes in and stands on us insistently, little paws digging into full bladders.

Weekday evenings, I usually throw together something for dinner. Sean is always endlessly appreciative. While I stir, he makes salad, opens wine, washes dishes, sets up the coffeemaker for me. I experiment a lot. Sometimes it's good (last nights' gooey banana-caramel cake), sometimes it's not (microwaved green beans). He usually thanks me anyway.

We bicker endlessly about politics.

He makes me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. So loud that I snort. So much that I can barely stand it.

Most of my friends who live far away are planning visits. Making plans, booking flights. They email me all the time. We talk on the phone. We miss each other.

I've pretty much convinced Fady to move out here.

We pile into the car for excursions to Maine to get lobster, and end up at Seafood Festivals in Gloucester instead. On the way there, we talk about what kind of dog we want to get, one day when we get a dog. On the way back, we stop to catch a movie.

I hate my job. But the guy I share an address with says You'll do better...It's just temporary...Go back to school if you want to...It will be Ok... Hell, he says that on the days I can't muster any more optimism.

I'm going home for Thanksgiving. My family will hug and fawn and laugh and talk so loud it will all become a giant jumble. My mom will somehow have the biggest wine glass, just like every previous year. And they've already said they'll miss Sean. Hell, I'll miss Sean!

My friend who's planning a trip out here in November just e-mailed me to ask if we could go to my favorite sushi place while she's out here. It's Shino Express, on Newbury St. My favorite cafe/bookstore, Trident, isn't too far from there.

My favorite place to people-watch: Harvard Square.
My favorite bookstore: Brookline Booksmith.
My favorite Mexican joint/place for margaritas: Border Cafe.
My favorite place to shop for clothes: Downtown Crossing - H& M, etc...
My favorite place for Asian food: Fusion Cafe
My favorite place to find my center again: Forest Hills Cemetary
My favorite bar: Charlie's Kitchen
My favorite place to take out-of-towners: The Freedom Trail
My favorite Clam Chowdah: Purple Shamrock

I have a thousand "favorites", a thousand things I love and can have, and can do. A thousand things that make up a small life. A small, sweet life. And somehow, the contentment is gradually falling over me. Wrapping around and draping like a toga, spilling onto the floor in excess.

How did it happen? When?

Who knows? I'm just happy that it did.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


As I may have mentioned to some of your, it's "Customer Service Appreciation Week" around here. Ironic in and of itself, since we are instructed to refer to our customers as "members". Kind of like they call you "Associates" when you work at Wal-mart, so you'll gain a sense of ownership in the company. (Actually, come to think of it, we have a lot in common with Wal-mart...) This is to distract our "members" so they won't notice that, in reality, we are a money-grubbing HMO that cares more about lining its pockets than about getting them adequate health care.

But, I digress.

It's "Customer Service Appreciaton Week" here. So we get to take part in all sorts of fun activities! Friday is Crazy Hat Day. Yesterday was Dessert Day. Today is Chinese Food Day. I can't make this shit up.

Every day, there's a little game for us to participate in. The winner of each game will get a prize! Probably a company logo'ed beach towel, umbrella, or tote bag. Yay! The games all explicitly state that they are "for associates (See! Ownership! Just like Wal-mart!) to enjoy during our breaks, lunch period, or at home". This is a direct quote. Which I, of course, pointedly ignore.

The funny thing about these "games" is that they were clearly designed by someone who has no clue about the world-famous interweb and what it can do to help you accomplish speedy research. Yesterday, I had Googled myself to a completed set of trivia questions in 4 minutes flat. Today, it took me half that to all the definitions for the seemingly-obscure vocab words we had been provided with.

The sad part, or should I say the saddest part, is that while I do this; I can hear the people around me calling friends to help. This makes me want to weep into my company-logo'ed beach towel.

But dammit, I'm going to get me an umbrella.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The Monkey Wrench

As anyone who has had the pleasure of reading a few posts on my blog knows, I am engaged in a perpetual job search. I've been trying fruitlessly to ditch my cubicle monkey gig and work in my actual field for some time now. I send out resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter. Or, more appropriately, I scour the internet for leads that would allow me to send out resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter. Usually, my search leaves me more or less empty-handed. But still, I perservere.

Well, now that's all coming to a screeching halt. Or, more appropriately, I'm contemplating throwing in the towel. For now.

First, there's the self-debate I'm engaged in about whether or not I should go back to school for another 3 years or so. This idea fills me with silmutaneous dread and elation. I love school. But it's always been so easy. And the field I'm contemplating would be HARD with a capital "HAR".
But anyway. A new job would make it a helluva lot harder to quit when it's necessary to do so. So that in and of itself has caused me to debate staying here for the time being...

But that's not even the "real" reason. Not anymore.

Damn carpal tunnel. It's worsening. At first, it was this minor annoyance. Then, after I had been diagnosed, I kind of wore it as my badge of martyrdom. See what this horrid job has done to me? Then it kept getting worse. Now I'm scared. After awhile, you forget that you used to be able to open your own jars, to turn the key in the door without wincing, to have nice handwriting. Then you suddenly remember one day and say to yourself: fuck. Fuck.

All the physical therapy, the occupational therapy; it helps to a point. But at the end of the day, it's more than a little frustrating to be told to "watch your salt", and "avoid carrying plastic bags" and "don't use spray bottles". Yeah. Because that's how I got here. It wasn't the 8+ hours a day of keyboarding and mousing that I'm still doing every damn day.

So, long story short, now I'm going for EMG's and they're talking about cortsone shots. And half-time work schedules.
That's a damn fine idea, if you ask me. But it makes it difficult to envision seeking gainful employ elsewhere. "Sure, I'd love to accept this wonderful position! By the way, did I mention that I'm only supposed to work 4 hours a day? Because of my last job? That's not a problem, is it?"


So now, the job that bogs me down, that's reshaped me into someone bitter and loathesome (some days, anyway...) has sucked me in a shade deeper.

I'm beginning to feel as if the Man is winning.

Monday, October 06, 2003


It's cold out. Nippy. Nipply. Chilly. Downright cold. And it's too damn early for that, if you ask me.

I moved to Cleveland just a hair over 5 years ago. People said it would be "cold". I flipped my hair at them and replied: "I like cold weather!"

I have never lived that down. Especially when I moved from Cleveland to anything-but-balmy Boston.

You see, I have realized something since then. I do like cold weather. Maryland cold weather. In Maryland, save for a scant few REALLY cold days, "cold weather" = around 36 degrees. It usually gets to be that way in December, and is that way off and on through February. Brr! So cold! So nice to bundle up in your heavy coats!

Well, it's only the beginning of October. And when I wake up in the morning, it's 37 degrees. And I wear my light fall coats. So maybe I'm slowly becoming hardier.

But please, don't ask me not to complain incessantly all winter long. That's a New England pasttime I instantly adopted when I moved here 2 years ago.

And, for the love of God, don't remind me that "I like cold weather". It's a good way to get something pinched.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Product Placement, Anyone?

I don't know if any of you have caught Bravo's reality show "The Restaurant", but since it's flanked on either side by "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", chances are you may have. And it's just crap-tacular. Actually, Sean doesn't like to watch it with me, because it makes me just irate. Guess it brings back too many memories of my days waiting tables...

But, I digress. First of all, let's just ignore the fact that, by virtue of being what it is (a reality show about a guy opening a restaurant in New York City); it really is nothing more than a giant commerical for said restaurant in and of itself. Hell, we don't even need to talk about what an obviously shitty, clusterfuck of a restaurant it is. Let's just talk about product placement.

In the intro to the show alone, you can count about 6 different product placements. And it doesn't exactly improve during the program itself. And it's NOT, I mean NOT subtle. I mean, unless you really believe that an upscale NYC restaurant sells assloads of Coors Light and needs a free American Express "OPEN" sign for its door. Yeah. Subtle as a dump truck. Then the "actual" commercials are more infomercial in nature. ("You too can fry fish and beans at the same time!!!" That's an actual quote.) This is because, after the amount of product placement in the show, there are no regular advertisers left in the world.

Last night's episode was the coup de gras. While sitting in front of a computer monitor and frowning at a sheet of figures, the owner of Rocco's (let's just call him "Rocco") stated into the phone: "I'm bleeding money. Just hemorrhaging it. What am I going to do? I'll get a loan from American Express Open to bridge the gap."

You would think it was a comedy show, the way Sean and I cackled.

My beef is this: if that much is staged, are we really to believe anything in this joke of a show is not? C'mon, one of the "waiters" was clearly the same guy that had just been remade in the preceding episode of "Queer Eye". C'mon, people!

This is why I hate reality television. And television. And people on television. And fuzzy puppies. And...