Tuesday, June 28, 2005

If Only

I wish my "supervisor" were a former gym teacher instead of a former Air Force Guy. (For more hilarious and mostly irrelevant comics like this, see toothpastefordinner.com.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Parenthetical Expressions and Things that Make You Go Hmm

The guy in my office who seems too young to wear Hawaiian shirts every Friday and who says, "Have a good evening" to no one in particular every day at 1:57 pm is cooking his lunch. At 10:37 am. He has been here since 5:00. WHY??

I, on the other hand, couldn't bring myself to get in much before the crack of 10. And even at that, no one has noticed, no one has called, no one is looking for me. Excuse me-- what's my motivation? Really, I don’t even know this girl who dresses up for herself to play solitaire and read all day. (Well, okay, I know the girl who dresses up for herself. But the solitaire thing is definitely new.) Waiting to hear back from prospective new opportunities has become my hobby. And quite frankly, I had previously been under the impression that I was fabulous enough not to have to wait this long. Never fear, that theory has since been debunked.

So, while the last shreds of my integrity and pride feel like they are withering away at the office, I think about all of the things I could be doing with this time. For example, packing. This weekend I am supposed to move to a very small apartment, and I have neither packed nor downsized sufficiently for this endeavor. Evidently, that’s what Tuesday and Thursday are for. Might have to do this thing in stages. (Incidentally, if any of the crickets would like to assist on Saturday, I know The Boy and I would be much obliged. Well, mainly The Boy would be much obliged. Let’s be honest, if we have everyone operating under their gifts and callings, I’ll probably be supervising, making tea and prematurely hanging pictures.)

The big triumph of the week is that I finally hit this weekend! Granted, I waited until the final game of the season to find my “power,” but isn’t that what some would call “clutch?” Unfortunately, my fake success in softball has inspired my mom to introduce and refer to me as Rally Monkey. Which isn’t really the most appropriate or flattering nickname. Especially considering the “hit” was due in very large part to a poor play by the third baseman. Ahh, technicalities.

I leave you with one last random thought. This weekend I watched The Jacket. I don't necessarily recommend it, but one line still has me laughing: "The four horsemen of the apocalypse are coming today, and they're not bringing flowers, and so it's really hard to get organized." Makes me laugh just thinking about it. Much like this line from the now-irrelevant Late, Late Show host, Craig Kilborn: "The preceding segment was brought to you by the Forest for the Trees-- Come see us." And, I don't care who you are, if you don't find that funny, I suggest this be your last visit.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Taking Steps Toward Sanity

After an uneventful weekend, I am no tanner than I was when I left my cube on Friday, and I lost my fantastic $6 shades in a cab downtown. Or on a table. I mean, honestly, if I knew where I left them, they probably wouldn't be lost.

Back from a phenomenal interview this morning in Chantilly (The Boy feels it's his calling to sing the first six words of "Chantilly Lace" every time I say that word, and now I find that I hesitate before saying or even typing it. Talk about a conditioned response.). I'm forced to re-evaluate the priorities again as it turns out that this job might be a lateral move financially. Which, let's be honest, has never left anyone jumping for joy. But it was the first time I've been excited about anything, professionally or otherwise here lately, so it was nice to feel normal again. The Boy said, "Oh there you are! I've missed you!" Tell me about it. I missed myself. So I think I've got another sit down next week, but it's yet to be scheduled. Needless to say, I have not yet begun stockpiling my eggs, but I spent three hours in a car this morning in D.C. traffic and didn't even feel the need to complain. And that's not nothing.

The wedding dress accidentally sold on eBay for $32 and I had to tell the "buyer" that wouldn't fly. She was pretty irritated and I found myself typing, "As I'm sure you can understand, an unfortunate circumstance led to my having the unused wedding gown in the first place, and I refuse to add insult to injury by selling it for $30." But I guess that would really be adding insult to insult? I'm pretty sure I'll be getting negative feedback on that...transaction. Guess it's time to find a new eBay screenname?

Do crickets appreciate poetry? (Aside from Tara, a.k.a "Jiminy," whom I think should now be referred to only as "The Fan.") Outraged by the horrendous poetry I have seen highlighted by MSN in their blogs of the week, I feel compelled to post here occasionally. Not because I honestly believe anyone wants to read it. Just because I realize that unless I put mine out there and give anybody the opportunity to read it, it seems a little disingenuous to complain about poor writers with guts. So today, a little poem. And it doesn't have to rhyme, so don't you feed me a line.

Seeking Hallelujah

Uninspired revelation today
from a back porch boy's book of rhymes
and thinking back, that girl inside
who thinks but does not do
meant to send him a letter to tell him
she knows what's missing.
I wish she'd written it

so I could read it now.
But what can be done
if I know what's missing
and where to find it
but it's still not here
and I still don't try?
And it's still not here.
I cry in my bathtub
that isn't metaphorical,
as if divinity waits there and bubbles
can rinse away more than dirt.
But I emerge gaining only
scents of coconut, lime and cilantro
and wrinkles on my hands,
the day's mascara lost.
Suds collect at the drain where
I didn't find my hallelujah
that isn't really missing,
but really isn't here.
© 2005 Christina H.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Is Six Flags Hiring?

I have mentioned this in jest before, but now I think I'm finished joking. If there were such a thing as talent scouts for rollercoaster designers, and there should be, they would be beating down my door. While some shun predictability and routine as boring and unbearable, and I usually count myself among them, I can't handle chronic instability in certain key areas. For example, I would not tolerate a fickle landlord. If he responded to each rent check with a "maybe we'll do this again next month," sure my bed would always be made and my neighbor wouldn't have to grudgingly (and half-heartedly at best, I might add) cut my lawn, but I'd live in constant fear of becoming homeless, which trumps tidy bed linens as a priority, in my opinion. Another example? I would not tolerate a noncommittal significant other. I have never given any indication toward the contrary: Boys looking for a good time, or at least a way to pass it, never needed apply here. I think dear ol' Dad put it best when he said, "She's very committed. To the point where she's terrifying to anyone less committed than she is." (Granted, sometimes that commitment is focused on being non-committal, but regardless, I give it all I've got even when that's nothing.)

What am I getting at? If I wouldn't put up with non-negotiables like those above being so negotiable, why is it that I am still with an employer that can't make up its mind? That wasn't rhetorical, really, WHY? Contrary to public opinion, I don't read some combination of Bill Simmons and three different advice columnists and Paul Shirley's blog every day just because I love the artform. I don't enjoy receiving a "free" paycheck. It's like the girl who is so far removed from remembering or understanding what a healthy relationship looks like that she gets really excited about things that shouldn't seem remarkable. I have heard these words, verbatim, "I mean, we're really good together. He doesn't hit me or yell at me. Just yesterday he called and he hadn't even told me he would!" Except, of course, in my case it's not a romantic relationship, it's a job. I walk out of there breathing a sigh of relief that they asked me to come back tomorrow. Except today they asked me to come back tomorrow, but as an HR Generalist. Sure, no problem! Just let me run home and get my hat. All of this after a horrendous trip to Alexandria (by the way, a word on Alexandria. If you happen to find yourself there by accident, rent a kayak, have a great time, it's pretty. But certainly not worth the potholes on 295 the other-kind-of-holes on 495 or the trip across the bridge to get there on purpose.) and a pointless interview and half-a-day off work to find out my big-shot opportunity was just a big shot in the dark. I can't handle this, honestly. There are activities and mental exercises that it would behoove us all to practice every day. Worrying about the near future and re-organizing these types of priorities shouldn't have to happen every day.

PS-- The new Foo Fighters cd-- In Your Honor-- dropped today. And it's really good.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Applause is the Preferred Expression of Joy

No, really. The Principal of my brother's school informed me this afternoon of the above rule about joyful expressions. So, of course, this can only mean that, when the time came to express my joy, I screamed so loud my throat still hurts and waved my arms much like the sign of distress in Team America. I can't believe my baby brother has graduated from high school. Nor can I believe how proud I am of that kid. Seriously...I think I may need to mellow in intensity before I am allowed to have children (although, let's be honest. I'm not sure the standard for childbearing/rearing is too stringent these days). Honestly though, when I zoom out and think what I must look like when I'm cheering for Danny or calling a little girl who upset Sarah a horrible name...to my mother...I just am not sure I'm ready for primetime. I can just see it now. "Mrs. Billy's Mom, while we appreciate your...dedication...we really need you to refrain from making the opposing team's players cry. In fact, I think you should probably leave the soccer field immediately, never to return. Isn't there a Mr. Billy's Dad who could...represent the family? Don't you have errands you need to run?" Or, "Mrs. Billy's Mom, it isn't really appropriate to put Billy's kindergarten partner in a choke hold, just because he made fun of your son." The more I think about it, unless they come up with some sort of Uber-Extreme Parenting Challenge reality competition on Spike, I'm not sure my parenting efforts would be accepted/appreciated by the mainstream. I really better work on, you know, all of that.

In other news, I'm sad to return to "work" tomorrow, but should be hearing back about a phone interview I had on Friday. And also, The Boy returns tomorrow! Which is, of course, very happy news. Don't worry, I'm not going to morph from PsychoPreMom into ObnoxiousCurrentGirlfriend, however, this different countries thing? Not so much. Somehow he could reach me at random times (and I don't think he's too anxious to see how much he'll end up paying Verizon for the privilege), but our telepathy headphones didn't seem to span the distance either, so he always called when I was unavailable, and every time I tried to call I got a "Your Call Cannot Be Completed as Dialed" with a Spanish accent. (That's preferable to the message he occasionally gets, which is apparently completely in Spanish.) Of course I'm looking forward to seeing him, but also I think I'm just looking forward to our conversations NOT going like this:
Me: So what did you do today?
Him: OH, it was AWESOME, I wish you had been here! I went to this fabulous beach and this guy Frank was our personal concierge and I snorkeled and got to feed plantains to tropical fish and I saw a barracuda and played tennis for a couple of hours and had a volleyball tournament with these guys from London and now I'm smoking a Cuban! How was your day?
Me: I sat at my desk. I read the news and no one has mentioned my job disappearing today. At lunchtime I walked with those ladies from the fifth floor. I did pilates. I ate rice for dinner. I cleaned the guest room.

Sure, all respectable things and not really a bad day. But in comparison? I've got nothing. So now? I hate to go and leave this pretty sight. You've been great.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hugh Grant and A.O. Scott, Jr.

In Kohl's today, after another day of clockwatching at "work," I was shopping in the junior's department. (Because I still can, and I'm too cheap/"financially burdened" to buy nice, expensive clothes. And, yes, I realize I have no obligation to explain any of this. Onward.) The two high school girls working in the section are yelling to each other across the rounders about movies. One of them mentions Spanglish, and the other asks how it was.
Me: Fabulous! It does such a great job portraying the many ways we misunderstand each other and what it really means to communicate, on various levels.
Girl #1: Ugh, it was so stupid. Definitely not like, you know, a normal Adam Sandler movie.
Me: Right, because those are the epitome of thought-provoking.
Girl #2: Oh, sounds like it was along the same lines as Punch Drunk Love.
[Neither girl speaks because only one of them has heard of this film and clearly neither has seen it]
Girl # 1: Right, whatever. But, you know, like it was totally some of, you know, MY relationships to a tee.
Girl # 2: (Tries to look pensive as she hangs capris)
Me: (Giggling, tries to figure out how she's going to manage this one)
Girl # 1: Well, like, Adam Sandler is like this totally hot shot chef, and he's got this trophy wife...but actually she's really a psycho. I mean, like really. So, you know.
Me: (Fakes a cough to play off the chuckling)*
* - Everything marked "Me" in that paragraph occurred silently EXCEPT for the laughing.

The brightest part of today is that I got some serious fabulousness for cheap. A couple peasant skirts and tanks and capris...crickets probably don't care much for couture, but I'm pretty stoked.

Came home and ate Freschetta pizza and ice cream with Edes while watching Bridget Jones. See what happens when The Boy leaves the country? I act like a collegiate spinster. Again. And it's kind of fun. I'd love to tarry longer, but I think Hugh Grant is beckoning me to come to bed. Love, Actually it is. Adieu, to you and you and you. (My, isn't that optimistic?)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Regarding My Floating Head

So, I'm not terribly gifted in the technical realm. The picture was supposed to go elsewhere, and I can't figure out how to move it, so hopefully my abilities will improve. More tomorrow, but for now, I just put clean sheets on my bed and sprayed them with linen mist or whatever it's called and I can't manage to come up with anything coherent as long as I'm thinking about my fresh clean sheets. So, I bid you, the crickets, adieu. (Think if I just open my window and yell, "ADIEU" the real crickets and frogs would shut up? I know in a few weeks I'll be longing to trade sirens and jackhammers and crazy people for crickets and frogs, but right now they're pretty annoying.)

It's me, It's me. Posted by Hello

Well-Dressed Skeleton in the Closet Needs a New Home

One of the great benefits of writing a blog no one knows about (ergo, no one reads) is that it's perfectly acceptable to take a little time off. In this case, quite a bit of time off, but as I predicted, I did not receive any letters of sadness or scorn, so I feel confident that it's just me and the crickets here. And this is absolutely the only place where that is true.

Amber sent my digital camera back to me after I had left it in Richmond at her one-year-old daughter's (Addison) party. I was sorting through drawers and closets, not entirely ready to delve into the commitment of packing (I also received my new lease today), and I came upon something in my closet I should have exorcised years ago. And I wish I were being metaphorical. Let's assess the situation: I am in a fabulously exciting and serious 9-month relationship that will result in blissfully ever after. What would be the most appropriate thing for one to do, in my position? Exactly. Sell the unused wedding dress in the closet. So I hung the dress on the bathroom door and took pictures with little contrast to speak of. [Also, and this just begs to be said-- the dress is gorgeous. I had forgotten how stunning it was. It's tiny; I don't know anyone who would be able to fit into it, including myself, but it's just beautiful. I would buy it. You know, if some part in the back of my mind didn't believe it was cursed. And if it weren't already mine.] With not a little residual humiliation, I managed to write the ad header, "Gorgeous, Brand New Size 2 Wedding Gown, Never Been Worn" without any self-loathing, lingering doubts or attempts to defenestrate myself. (You have no idea how long I've been waiting to use that word in a situation that didn't seem forced. What an accomplishment.)

So I posted my ad and almost immediately got a scamming reply and another denying all scamming, although the format and verbiage might as well be lifted right from the warnings on craigslist. A note to aspiring scammers: Be aware of what others are saying about you, because really, episodes like this are not only unsuccessful, but rather embarrassing. I actually feel for this person who is trying to scam me. Also because she's a deplorable speller, but that's an entirely different thing.

The boy is in the Dominican Republic and is it a little bit forgivable that I felt better when I read that it would thunderstorm there? He keeps calling several times a day, usually for only 2-4 minutes at a time. This morning at 4 it was to say that he loves me and misses me and wants me to be involved in everything. But I think that call was a bit lubricated. Today we bumped the time allowance up to 8 minutes or so. I asked if it stormed last night and he asked if I had checked the weather. "Aww," he said, "You looove me!" And it's not that I believe in the old adage, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," quite the opposite, really, I think it makes the heart forgetful or delusional at best. But in this case, I think it's making me realize that I'm in it even more than I have admitted so far. I have been surprised by my feeling on it. But then I have overheated, overpriced flashbacks of the rum-soaked Bahamas where even the chicken tasted like rum, and I can balance it all out a bit.

Okay, so this has actually been fun and, since I write multiple e-mails about all the same things daily anyway, blogging it is.
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