August 20, 2010

Casual Friday the 13th

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I've briefly mentioned before that people in this office don't care how they look, myself included. Because of the outreach aspect of my job, I do sometimes have to care how I look, namely when I am out in the field recruiting for our program.

I've also cared yesterday and today, because it's Orientation. I'm showered, I'm wearing my makeup and clothes I did not pull off the floor of my bedroom this morning, as well as somewhat uncomfortable shoes with pointy toes. I may or may not be wearing a blazer. Officemate stepped it up somewhat, but she is of the "eff you if you don't like the way I'm dressed; I'm good at my job" disposition, so she's not as fancy-professional as she could be.

My boss tries to look nice, but for various reasons, always looks disheveled. Hair a mess, makeup apparently applied by a fourteen-year-old in the dark, shoes that in no way go with what she's wearing. It's par for the course. I know I've mentioned the red sweatshirt with the saxophone player she wore at my interview before, and while today's outfit is better than that, I don't think it necessarily conveys the level of put-together professionalism someone in her position should display.

Despite this, she really cares about how other things look. She has more than once lectured me about my appearance; and I really had to choke back laughter during that talk, because despite my lack of effort in that area, I can't explain how much bigger fish she has to fry in our department, and like I said, I think I do know how and when to step it up.

Today, she's upset because there aren't tablecloths to put on the tables before we put boxes of pizza and cans of soda on top of them. Never mind that our whole damn department seems to be imploding and I've come the closest I've ever come to saying "I quit" and walking out the door in the middle of the day, no, it's the lack of tablecloths that's the problem.

But I am not writing to complain about my boss. Oh no, I am writing to congratulate my colleague, who said to me after hearing the tablecloth lecture (why the admissions coordinator is responsible for procuring of tablecloths is beyond me), "for someone who doesn't brush her hair, she sure cares a lot about aesthetics."

If same sex marriage were legal in this state (booooooooooooooooooooooo, jerks), I would have proposed right then and there.

August 17, 2010

Bad Ride

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...
Forgive me, dear friends, for my absence (is something I've been saying here a lot lately).  Here's the thing:

When I was 19, my parents were getting divorced and I was living abroad in a country where I was legally allowed to drink.   This did not go well for anyone, certainly not me.  For Thanksgiving that year, my abroad group gathered, I contributed peanut butter and banana sandwiches to the potluck, and then drank my weight in wine and Desperados (for those not classy enough to have experienced Desperados personally, they are beer with tequila in them and also what someone told me, "all the bums who live in the metro station drink").  After that I tried to make out with a boy in my group who most certainly did not like making out with girls, not even at parties, got lost, and the whole event climaxed with me getting punched in the face by a taxi driver.  Seriously- Black eye punched in the face.  I made it home, and all ended well enough.  But the thing about that story is that I've been waiting for coming up on 10 years for it to join the ranks of other goofy stories of drunken debauchery, and it's never quite made the transition.  It was just too upsetting at the time to make the leap to silly anecdote.  And that pretty much sums up what's been going on at my office this last week.  Like, if that cab driver applied for my immediate boss' position, with the odds stacked that he would once again punch me in the face, I would welcome the change.  I hold out hope that soon enough I can resume tossing off the yuck of this office, but until then I'm asking for any leads on where I can get a Desperado and a good ice pack stateside.

Super Tuesday

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Everyone is really bugging the shit out of me today. I know that's got to be a shock. I've been here an hour and I already think I'm either going to go home or on a murderous rampage by lunch, and this point, I can't decide which is preferable. Here's who I'm hating today:

Annoying workstudy: bitch is always singing and humming to herself. Even when I put on music. She also stands uncomfortably close to me when she's asking a question and does that nervous laugh thing after everything she says. Good workstudy hates her too. It's awesome.
Incoming students: One of them sent me an email with the phrase "please advise." I cannot explain how much I hate this phrase. I'm always tempted to advise them to eff themselves, but instead I directed this gentleman to an email Officemate sent last weekend containing the exact information he swears is not available anywhere. I have special prejudice against "please advise" because my supervisor at my internship used it all the time, essentially as code for "what the hell is this?" My friend B says it's code for "here, you deal with this shit." Either way, it's silly office-jargon and I do not care for it. I told my Dean that I hate that phrase a lot and he sent me an email with the subject heading "Advise This." He is the best.

Boss: Is at a Dr.'s appointment but keeps calling me to ask me to tell the cleaning crew who's here to do stuff; even though she was here this morning and was supposed to give them assignments. She keeps mentioning she got here at 7:30am today like she deserves some kind of prize. I'm tempted to remind her that I was here all summer and haven't taken like 30 hours of sick leave in the past two weeks, but I don't think that will benefit me in any real way.

On the plus side, I'm wearing new shoes! They're super cute. I keep looking down at them, the one bright spot in this day so far. Until lunchtime, that is.

August 12, 2010

Tyra Mail

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I'm working from home today and it's awesome for the following reasons:

1. I am not work
2. I am still in my pajamas
3. I've been listening to Ambrosia's Biggest Part of Me on repeat for like 20 minutes, something discouraged in my office. (I really like it when he says "Make a wish, baby...")
4. America's Next Top Model reruns are on Bravo

I don't think K and I have ever appropriately documented our love of Top Model on this blog, but god do we love it. This is the cycle where they go to Brazil, with that girl Allison who has big ole eyes and loves bloody noses.

What? You don't know what I'm talking about? You don't like that show; it's fixed and looks stupid and Tyra annoys you? Go to hell. It's incredible. Back before I moved up to this undisclosed Bay Area location, K and I and two other folk would get together to watch ANTM on a weekly, drink wine and analyze the show and its contestants. It was the closest thing to a religion we had.

So excuse me, everyone, I have to go pray.

August 11, 2010

Upright Position

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I've constructed an inflatable slide from my second story window and filled the office mini-fridge with beer.  Get me a PA system, friends; I want to do this thing.

If yesterday was the day that Jenny the HPOA took over the internet with her dramatic "I quit," and today is the day we learned she faked it, then let us raise our glasses even higher, our voices even louder to Steven Slater whose F you was as real as it gets.  To you, sir.  You are a vision, and an inspiration, and if you need to know where to get Munchies Mix now, you let me know. 

August 10, 2010

Hero Squad

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I don't have much to say at the moment; everything is kind of regular around here. There's work to do, work I don't hate, and while apparently our graduate students are incapable of reading an email entitled "Registration Instructions" and call me to ask for information that is clearly and readily available in said email, their banality has yet to make for an interesting story, except for the one student who called me to verify information that he already knew. When I told him that yes, his understanding of our course registration process was indeed accurate, he replied "See, I don't really need your help at all; you're just a crutch." Waste my time and demean me? Kudos to you sir.

Anyway, things are kind of humming along here in a normal way, with no pranks or exciting events---wait!! My boss is throwing a "watch slides from my long vacation" party this week. She sent out an email inviting everyone in the office to attend and closed it out with the phrase "please feel free to wear safari attire." Oh I will feel free. I will feel so free. Generally this office is so discouraging about my beloved pith helmet and khaki separates, but this Thursday, I can live my Jumanji dreams with her blessing! So magnanimous.

Okay what was I talking about? Oh yeah, this. This girl is my new hero. (And really is a pretty serious HPOA in my opinion, even with the glasses.)

August 9, 2010

Apples to Mondays

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

This is a picture of one of the tables in the courtyard outside my building.  For whatever reason, in response to some rotten Granny Smith or Fuji or Gala, a person- presumably a professional person of some description- decided to permanently carve "F*ck Apples" into a table using an instrument of some kind, their force of will to share this message, and probably their other hand to cover up what they were doing.  Amazing.  And in the spirit of totally juvenile dislike, I say the same thing to Monday today...except I don't carve it in a table.  I do, however, use my force of will to figure out a way of sharing it that isn't just saying, "F*ck Mondays," and I do use my body to cover my computer as I type so that no one I work with realizes that not only am I not doing my job, but more than that I'm complaining about it while not performing it.  I may have better luck just carving tables.

August 5, 2010

Don't Stab Me Bro

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Today, for a brief and glorious moment, my office mates and I left the building to go across the street.  One of my office mates, M, had a friend who was shooting an episode of NCIS-CSI-L+O: LA (none of us really knew or asked) and he told M that M should come to set and get some of the catered lunch.  Because on set catered food is usually real tasty, M told our other office mate B that he should come, and because I don't like anything good or free and delicious to happen without me, I invited myself along, too.  I pretended to give them an out if they wanted to go alone, but I think that as I put my lunch of leftovers back in the fridge it was clear that I was getting me some set food.

So we headed across the street, stealthily avoiding a (noble but annoying) Greenpeace volunteer on the way, and were trying to figure out where exactly M's friend was in the throng of extras and crew people and general outdoor shoot chaos.  As we stood scanning the crowd, a super grungy, brown-toothed homeless man came running at us.  He was wearing a filthy trench coat and a beanie in pretty hot L.A. summer weather, and he was shaking a giant cup at us yelling for a quarter.  I felt terrified.  I was sure that I was about to get all kinds of cut up right there on Wilshire Blvd., and that when I finally got out of the hospital and managed enough strength to return to work my immediate boss would say something like, "You know, you guys never checked in with me before you went across the street to get stabbed or whatever it was you were doing."

But the homeless guy ran right past me and grabbed M.  Not that either of the men that I was with attempted to shield me with their body or throw a block of any  kind when it looked as though the crazy might have been coming right towards me in my pastel cardigan.  (They have, accordingly, been added to the growing list of people who would be of no use to me in a bar fight.)  Anyway, the insane homeless man was holding and shaking M.  Oh.  Right.  Because he was M's friend, and he was just playing a homeless guy for money.  On TV.  He introduced himself all around, and I had met him before, but forgave him for forgetting because I was feeling generous of spirit after that whole threat of imminent shanking passed.  Then he ran back to where he was taping because I guess that some people get a job and then commit to doing it/well even, and we all decided to go back to our office.  Not sated, but also not stabbed.  A fair draw.

August 4, 2010


From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

My day began with a 3+ hour training session run by the central admissions office. As longtime readers know, I hate the central admissions office. Graduate admissions is a constant battle between the department and the university proper and the university always seems to win, because they were here before me and they'll be here long after I leave (please please please let that time be soon). Suffice it to say, I was not looking forward to this training.

But lo and behold, it was actually good. Interactive, informative, dare I say: enjoyable. I LEARNED things. Things I didn't know before! I can't tell you how rare that is for training sessions like this. In the ~4 years I've been working in higher education administration, I've attended several institutionalized trainings, which usually go like this.

Pick up your packet.
Grab coffee and muffin.
Spill coffee (okay that might just be me).
Read the things in your packet while you wait for the speaker to begin.
Doze off/space out/doodle while the speaker reiterates everything you just read in the packet.
Q&A, in which people ask extremely specific questions that apply only to their jobs/situations. Speaker answers a minimum of 2 follow-up questions before suggesting that the questioner contact him/her personally.
Sneak out before the thing is over because you can't take another second.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did leave this training early, but mostly because I was anxious about getting things done in the office, and not because I was bored out of my skull. Progress!

Meeting with admissions people from departments all over campus was first depressing, then gratifying. If I was not the youngest person in the room, I was easily the second-youngest, and most of the people were old, short, overweight and poorly dressed. Not kidding. Dudes had long hair, women were wearing tennis shoes and homemade shawls. It was not a pretty sight. Good god, let me get out of here before I become one of them, I said to myself.

But then the commiserating started. As I texted to my friend M, we have many differences, but one key similarity: we all hate the applicants. We complained about dumb applicants, bitchy applicants, applicants who need to have things reconfirmed four or five times. International applicants, non-California residents, reapplicants....we all hate them all. It was life-affirming. So enjoyable was the work-related commiseration, I was almost tempted to tell these people about this blog, but then remembered that for the sake of keeping my job until I finally fulfill my dream of becoming of a trophy wife and living out my days in my Infinity Pool, I need to prevent my place of employment from knowing my true feelings.

The joy of commiseration was so great, I really want to extend to you all (both?). Would you like to anonymously guest-post-bitch about your jobs? It's fun, I swear.

August 3, 2010

Art Imitating Life/Pants

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

 As I've shared before, I not only torture myself at my every day job, but also drive around Hollywood during moments that I can sneak away from my desk and audition for various inane commercials.  Today I tried out for a spot for a communications company where my lines were hilarious guesses at what DSL- which they were cleverly knocking- might actually stand for.  I thought about suggesting what I'd always heard it stood for, but that's less about the internet and more about, say, Angelina Jolie.  Well, I guess there's a reason people look her up on the internet...

Anyway, I had to dress "business casual" for my audition this morning, which meant that I, along with every other girl there who looked creepily like me as we were all auditioning for the same part, wore a bold-colored blouse with buttons and a ruffle of some sort tucked into either slacks or a pencil skirt.  Seriously.  Every girl in that room.

The audition went regular/fine/who can tell?, but the miserable part was going to my real office and actual desk job afterward, because I was embarrassingly overdressed.  Quality of office wear and height of success have an inverse relationship in entertainment, so who wants to suggest that there so unimportant that they've got to dress up in the kind of trousers and high heels I was rocking all day?  No one.  But I bet at my pretend office in the commercial, where everyone dresses up and dresses well, no one would tell me to go to hell or to blow them as my two office mates just did, and who wants to work somewhere where you never get that kind of love?  Again, I'd say, the answer is no one.  Or at least not me.  Or at least not me unless someone offered me any kind of other job doing anything at all anywhere in the world.

August 2, 2010

Time Flies

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I went away to the East Coast this past weekend, and after I flew overnight on Thursday (sleeping for 2 hours of a 4 hour flight to Chicago, pinching myself into consciousness for a 2 hour layover, and then dozing on a 2 hour flight to Boston) I went to lunch in Providence on Friday and stayed up until 2:30 p.m. and then napped to the Kourtney and Khloe and their ridiculous shenanigans (although I do think that Scott is real-life Patrick Bateman and no one is taking it seriously enough) after which I saw 2 plays and then stayed out late for drinks and then repeated that the next day when I saw 3 plays and had even more drinks and didn't go to bed until 4 in the morning, but didn't get to sleep it off because the day after that I got up early to hang out with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old who are the cutest of buttons, but children nonetheless and then this morning I got up at 3:45 a.m. Providence time- which was 12:45 a.m. L.A. time- and L.A. was where I was headed to go directly to my office which was particularly horrifying because after I'd been up for 2 hours, I saw on Facebook that one of my office mates hadn't even gone to bed for the night and I knew that I was so effed that I couldn't concentrate on work all day and wasn't even sure I could post more than a single sentence on the blog, and for those keeping track: I didn't.

July 30, 2010

You've Got a Frenemy in Me

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Be forewarned: this post has nothing to do with my job. I'm still way too over it to discuss it.

I've been listening to a This American Life about frenemies; stories of the friends you hate to love, love to hate, and for one reason or another, just can't quit (even if you wish you knew how). There's stories about women who became frenemies after dating the same dude, sister frenemies, and even the invention of the word "frenemy" which apparently can be attributed all the way back to the Bhagavad Gita.

When talking about portmanteaus like frenemy, Ira Glass consulted a woman from the Oxford English Dictionary who shares my disdain for people who believe that they've "invented" words simply by combining two other ones. Por ejemplo, "linner." It's like brunch, but I'm sure you can figure out which two meals it's between. A girl in my junior high thought that her family invented the word, and she thought it was actually a good word. But that's not my favorite example. My favorite example is much more recent and ridiculous. I'm talking about how Sarah Palin recently likened herself to Shakespeare in defense of using the word "refudiate."

If she'd only used it once, I'd cut her slack; who amongst us hasn't been thinking of two words to use and instead of choosing one, creates a new hybrid? Remember on Mean Girls when LiLo's character starts to say "great" and then decides to say "cool" and it comes out "grool"? We've all been there. But then Palin also used "refudiate" on her Twitter feed and could not attribute such an action to tongue-tiedness, and decided to call upon W's infamous "misunderestimate" and Obama's nonsensical "wee-wee'd up" and claim that she's just participating in word creation in the great tradition of the Bard.

But of course, the Prez was just using seriously dorky (and in my opinion, totally non-presidential) slang to describe people with ants in their pants (way more presidential), and we all know what mastery of the English language Bush II possessed. And in fairness to my old 7th grade English classmate, she was 12 at the time. But I still remember thinking she sucked, not only for believing she invented a word that is clearly not difficult to invent, but also being proud of it. "It's like, between lunch and dinner!!" If I had had my shit together at the time, I would have said something like "wow, that's really lad. That's like, between lame and sad." But because I wanted to be invited to her birthday party, I laughed. And frenemyship had begun.

July 29, 2010

Assignment: Asinine

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Remiss indeed, S.  For my part, I've definitely not been extra liking my job, but I've almost reached a point where I'm not extra hating it either.  I'm sort of extra busy at it, but also extra apathetic.

See, recently the higher ups at our show have been worried about our ratings/competition/continuing relevancy, which has meant a whole lot of ideas/policies/procedures that we are all told are super important for a week until they are either forgotten about or ignored to death by the writing staff, and then abandoned.  For my nervous-disposition part, I do frantic research for every new task our staff is given as I imagine our meetings turning into- I almost said that one serious drama where Holland Taylor is the law school professor, and then I remembered that in fact it's "Legally Blonde"- a classroom where we will all learn our lessons in preparedness by the harsh hand of the Socratic method.  I worry about each new assignment or requested contribution all the way until the meeting where our presentations are due, and the big bosses ask if everyone thought about what they were supposed to think about, and are satisfied with a room full people silently nodding.  Sigh.  All that time I wasted when I could have been coming up with clever Facebook statuses.  But now at least I've learned my lesson: Waste my time blogging and complaining about my job rather than waste my time doing it.  That's the stuff of Aesop, friends. 

July 28, 2010

Not My Job

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Well K and I have been quite remiss in posting these past two days. It's either because we've been extra-loving our jobs or extra-hating them. You decide. (Hint: it's always extra-hating.) I don't feel like getting into why my job's been lame lately, so instead I will regale you with things I've found online that I like a lot. It's like Follow Friday except it's Wednesday night and we're not Twitter.

Why isn't Joshua Jackson my boyfriend yet? I'll see you all at Pacey-Con 2011.

Which do you prefer: early Ian McEwan or late Ian McEwan? Defend your choice. (Ahem-hem)

Sweet Valley High in the future: Liz is living in some kind of dystopian Sex and the City; Jessica's still whoring it up.

If I could learn to dance like Janelle Monae, I wouldn't need any of y'all.

Finally, a classic.

July 26, 2010

Thanks, Mel

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Sometimes, like the moms I used to nanny for who would call me at 8 o'clock in the morning because they had been up since 5:30 and had lost all sense of what time girls in their early twenties- me- might arise on any given morning, I feel as though I no longer have a clear sense of the world outside my own office world.  We focus a lot on pop culture for our show, so last weekend when I was at a bachelorette party and one of the very smart and nice girls said, "Is it true that that Heidi girl from The Hills had a lot of plastic surgery?  I thought I saw that on Yahoo..." I had to stop myself from naming- off the top of my head- every procedure that that girl Heidi had, and also refrained from adding details like what high school I know her creepy TV husband Spencer went to.  I often forget that just because every man, woman, and intern on our show can detail things like what time Lindsay Lohan arrived at court last week (six minutes late, you guys!) and what she ate for dinner her first night in jail (well, actually, some news outlets reported that it was turkey tetrazzini while others called it a turkey casserole), that's not something that people with real jobs necessarily follow or take any interest in.

All of this is to say that I have no idea whether anyone else has listened to the recordings of Mel Gibson yelling at his baby mama.  In my office, for example, once we've all staggered into work for the morning, if there's a new tape, we play it from the big TV/computer in our office and invite people in to join us as we listen to it in its entirety.  Then we quote it all day to each other, and if you haven't listened at all, you can get a sense here of some of the more delightful material from the earlier tapes.  So when I ask office mate for a stapler and he says no because I look like a bitch in heat and he's going to burn my house down, and I find it disturbingly hilarious, I become slightly concerned that by the time I leave here I will have lost any sense of appropriate communication among colleagues.  When telling someone that I will put them in a f*cking rose garden seems like a good answer to whether or not I want to go buy lunch with them, I think I need an HR check.  Or a new job.  Where I might be given some slack for yelling profanities.  And then laughing at my own inappropriate joke.

Status Update

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Quick Facebook check-in. Show of hands: working friends, who's pissed that it's Monday? Pathetic friends, who got soooo drunk last weekend? Bay Area friends, who still cannot believe that the weather is cold and overcast?

There are so few things I can count on in this world, but people posting the same kind of Facebook status updates on a Monday morning never lets me down. Let's anonymously mock some of my favorites, shall we?

Girl from my high school:
Heading to work right now... Man what a crazy weekend... Happy Birthday SB I love you girl... We rocked it this weekend xoxo

Translation: My life isn't sad! Sure I'm almost 28 and probably still live with my parents and have completed like 18 credits at my local community college, but I like my life this way because I can go out and PARTY with all my BEST FRIENDS weekend after weekend...oh crap I'm late for my shift at Kohl's.

Friend's little sister:
driving home from sf.. adam lambert blew my mind into a mess of glitter and strobe lights.. that man is beyond amazing, works his vocals to DEATH and his makeup is on point...I'm jealous :)

Translation: I have terrible taste in everything and don't believe in capitalizing.

Childhood friend/repeat FB oversharer:
Why cant the person I heart ever heart me back!!?? How does this happen to everyone else??!! grrrrr ♥

Translation: I have no filter, the emotional maturity of a 15 year old, and probably need therapy.

I know you're probably wondering who slipped Extra Bitch into my coffee this morning, and you're justified. My boss is just bringing the suck SO BAD now that she's back that it's beyond frustrating. She took three days off last week because she was sick, came in late today and just started undoing everything we did this summer, complaining about every decision we made and generally just being the worst. Officemate and I have already contemplating getting drunk to make the day bearable and it's 11:30AM. Oh, and it's Monday and the sun isn't out.

July 23, 2010

Full of Something

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

We have two interns in my office these days, and they are both absolutely delightful, shockingly professional, and female which means that now I can talk about dresses and make-up at work sometimes.  They aren't required to come in on Fridays, but they both usually do.  Today, however, one of them texted the other right before our morning meeting to say that she ate too much at breakfast, was in a food coma, and wouldn't be coming in.  Because her Friday attendance isn't mandatory, this was completely acceptable.  And wow am I jealous.  I would love to call in full some day.  Or call in over it.  Maybe I could just e-mail some morning and say that I'm too sleepy/disinterested/my dog is just too adorable to part with for the day.  I'd also enjoy calling in hung over or because my hair was just not cooperating or to say that I would rather be waiting in line at the DMV than volunteering my soul for slaughter by sitting mindlessly at my grubby (that part's my fault) desk all day.  Although I guess having to go to the DMV is a valid excuse.  I will save it for a day when my hair isn't cooperating.

Good Grief

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

When I travel for work, I infinitely prefer to travel by myself. I'm an only child, and my theory is there are two kinds of only children: ones who love to be alone and ones who can't be alone. I definitely fall into the "love to be alone" category. I lived in a studio for a year in college and people would ask if I got lonely. "Au contraire," I would reply, "sometimes, when I'm out with other people, I fantasize about coming home to my empty apartment." I currently live alone and frequently have the same fantasies, even if I'm out having a great time with my friends.

When I lived abroad, I spent a lot of time alone, which was hard a lot of the time, but also great. I traveled by myself a good deal, and as such, really enjoy being able to walk around a new city alone, taking in the sites and sounds and stopping to check out a shop or museum without having to ask anyone if it sounds good to them.

This is just a lengthy preamble to me complaining about the student that my boss made me take with me on this trip. I didn't want to bring her. I didn't want to bring anyone, but I really didn't want to bring her. She was supposed to come with me on the this trip last year but was beyond wishy washy about committing to a flight time, also didn't want to have to pay up front for the hotel room (we reimburse), and at flaked basically at the last minute. I was over her, but my boss insisted we invite her again.

She was an hour late yesterday, slept through our dinner meet-up, and proceeded to ask me the following questions this morning at breakfast:

1. How does the Super Shuttle know what time to pick us up? (I said that when you book the shuttle, you're supposed to arrange a time to get picked up...she was shocked.)

2. Do we need to check in for our flight today or did we check in for both flights Wednesday?

3. (After I ordered a breakfast item called "The Twos") What is that? I saw it on the menu but didn't know what it was.

4. (After I told her to read the description on the menu which read "2 cakes, 2 eggs, 2 bacon or sausage.") What are cakes? How do you know if you'll get bacon or sausage? Do they surprise you?

July 22, 2010

Non-Post Post

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I forgot to post yesterday!  But if I had remembered, it would have been about my grody boss sitting next to me at our staff meeting biting her dirty finger nails.  It would have been hilarious.

Moving on.  I have been sitting in a dark edit bay killing my eyes reading a magazine for the last four hours, certain that at any minute I would be finished "supervising" the editor whose shoulder I look over and whose skills far exceed mine.  I squinted through some great articles on such topics as Tom Cruise and senility, and imagined myself returning to my desk in the bright afternoon to write a great post about... Something.  How I accidentally burped in front of a lot of my coworkers?  How I am embroiled in a heated e-mail battle with some techie people on the other side of the builing whom I've never met?  Comic Con?  All I know is that is would have been amazing.  Or just OK.  Either way.  But I'm still in the bay.  And now dinner's here.  Which means it's almost time to not eat it because I have to go unstack 70 chairs in the studio or go to Starbuck's and return with 28 drinks for people.  So this is it.  I'm sorry, I love you, good night, friends.

July 21, 2010


From an unnamed hotel room in the Twin Cities...

Yes, you read right. I'm in Minnesota. And if I wasn't already not wearing pants*, this place would have charmed them right off of me. It's green, it's clean, it's other things that rhyme with green. People are friendly and there are sculptures of Peanuts characters everywhere. It makes me feel right at home, as my hometown is also littered with Peanuts memorabilia. Apparently I just go wherever Charles Schulz goes.

The conference doesn't officially start until tomorrow, so I don't have much to report, work-wise, but I will tell you about my new love interest. He's 3, and his name is Aaron. I met him on the plane. He was sitting in front of me and stood up on his seat and turned around to say "how are you?" but he hasn't totally mastered enunciation yet, so it came out like "howyou?" but I knew what he was getting at. He then asked me for me name and proudly announced that "I Aaron."

At that point, his mom made him turn around and leave me to read my book, but the connection was just too strong. He kept sneaking a peek, and finally made his move when he offered me one of his cookies. I thanked him and went to grab it, he regaled me with a full course of "Happy Birthday," which his mom says is currently his favorite song. I've never felt so special.

The course of true love never did run smooth, though. He was also flirting with the lady in the seat next to me, a Minnesota native who complained that "these airplane seats just get smaller and smaller!" She decided to regale me with information about why Minnesota is superior to the Bay Area and attempted to monopolize Aaron's attention, but the battle and the war were won when he offered me the cookie and serenade. "They always go for the pretty young things!" she said with a laugh, but I knew she was crying on the inside.

Tragically, our romance was cut short as it turned out that Aaron's family was catching a connecting flight to Memphis, and I was deplaning in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I don't know if our paths will ever cross again, but I've got a cookie in my belly and a song in my heart for the rest of my life.

*I'm wearing a dress.

July 20, 2010

Bad Dream

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

There are a few things in this hard knock life that make me truly happy.  In an effort to streamline this post, I will ignore the ones- like my dog and Ben and Jerry's Phish Food- that don't relate to this particular story, and focus on two that came into direct painful conflict last night: My early bed time and bad television.  After a dumb day at work, I take great pleasure in relaxing with some insane Housewives or Top Models, and then turning the lights out before any Lettermans or Lenos get in the mix.  So imagine my profound dilemma last night when my friend L, who always comes over to watch The Bachelorette on Mondays, was running super late.  Like, we weren't even going to take off for Tahiti to meet up with Ali and the tooltestants until 10:30... P.M.!  But we had to do it.  In the end I thought it was the brave choice, and one that- even after a sleepy and yawning day- I do not regret.

What I do regret, however, is that my two office mates have now both seen "Inception," and spent all day playing this gong or drum or whatever the eff it is noise from the movie over and over for effect.  They played it while they told stories, and while they watched various muted commercials, and YouTube videos, and anything that they could find that they thought would look and sound funny with that dramatic percussive soundtrack.  And hey, I haven't seen the movie, so maybe that particular noise is super profound and I should shut up and drive straight to the movie theater and change, yes, my entire world view, but more specifically my feelings about a boom noise for minutes on end in my office on a day when all I want to do is sleep and, with my eyes peacefully closed, go back over the Bachelorette episode from last night to see if there weren't any clues I missed about how it all ends.  Although, if I were a betting woman, I'd put my money on me driving straight home, saying something cranky, and immediately passing out instead.

Stay Classy

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I knew it! I knew my boss was going to be able to go right back to sucking as soon as she returned to the office! Man, when she brings the suck, she really brings it.

So she was about 2 hours late yesterday because she took her cat to the vet. Then we went out to lunch to "celebrate" her return. I mentioned to her that everything is ready for the conference she's attending next week in San Diego (the one she said I couldn't go to because it's "important that [she] be there." It was all I could do not to say "bitch, no one is aware of your 'importance' besides you."); we just need to book her flight and how about we do that after lunch?

She replied that she doesn't want to go because she doesn't want to leave her cat alone overnight so soon after her getting so sick and can't I just go? I'm already going to Minneapolis this week, a trip she decided she didn't want to go on minutes before she left for her 9-week vacation. I told her I thought that two trips in the course of a week was too many for me and she said "Well, then I guess our office doesn't need to be represented. We have a good enough relationship with this organization anyway."

A) She said it super bitchy.
B) We already paid the $800 registration fee to attend, as well as reserved a hotel room.

San Diego, here I come. Look who's important enough now!

ADDENDUM: Victory is mine! I don't have to go anymore! We conned a very sweet student who views the conference as a "networking opportunity" and a free trip to sunny San Diego and is actually HAPPY about going! HAPPY. Bless her sweet, dumb little heart.

July 19, 2010

The Tweet Smell of Success

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I've been at my job for the better part of a year.  The only responsibilities I've gained over these last many months are either completely menial or slightly important but stupid and the result of my immediate boss' laziness/power trips.  I technically make less money than when I started last summer, and more than having not been promoted, I have been explicitly asked to not show initiative or work outside my pay grade.

But... Leno Jokes, the mock Twitter account that my coworkers and I started in March and kept up with for all of three days, has one hundred seventy-eight followers!  One hundred seventy-eight!  That means that one hundred people decided to follow it, and then so did seventy-eight more.  Monetary and professional advancement be damned.  I've found all the success I can handle.  If nothing else comes of my time at this job and, listen, I'm pretty sure that nothing will, at least I will always have Twitter.  And bad jokes.  And one of those one hundred seventy-seven Leno Jokes followers as a part of my blog readership, right Mom?

Summertime Blues

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Some amongst you might say it's only July 19, but for me, summer is over. Why? Our boss is back today. I just got a voicemail from her saying that she is taking her cat to the vet but plans to be in ASAP. Booooooooooo. Where did those glorious two months go? Honestly, when she left, I kind of thought she'd be gone forever. I really did not plan for this let-down of her returning. Back to inane emails with the instructions "please advise." Back to her thinking it's okay to call my cell phone as I'm driving home from work after working an extra 2.5 hours that day. Back to events that are well attended and running beautifully and her pulling me aside to ask why there aren't flowers on the table, because flowers on the table are "always a nice touch."

It seems like everyone is a bad mood this morning. The reception area got painted over the weekend and when I went up to make a copy, I told the front desk ladies that it looks great, which it does.

"Looks great up here!"
"You don't think so?"
"It's just paint."

I mean, yeah, it is just paint, but what were they expecting if not a fresh coat of paint? It's not like the painter promised to remodel the room and install a Jacuzzi; he said he was going to paint it the color they chose.

Maybe she was hoping he'd leave flowers on her desk. That would be a nice touch.

July 15, 2010

End of Days

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I keep thinking that today is Friday.  Let me stop you here- It's not.  The reason that I think that it's Friday, however, is the best reason to think that it's Friday, which is that I don't have work tomorrow.

But here's the thing about the last work day of the week be it Thursday or Friday or- for one glorious Thanksgiving week in November- Wednesday:  There is actually absolutely nothing to do.  Nothing.  I show up and wait around for the one person responsible for getting our show ready to air to get our show ready to air, and then I go home.  It sounds kind of glamorous, I'm sure, looking at everyone I've ever known's Facebook pictures, watching an hour of the worst movie ever called "Black Cougar" that is a sort of modern day Pinocchio revenge tale with my coworkers because some weirdo sent it to our office, and seeing how long I can wait to go into the break room to take a free bagel (it's ten minutes, that's how long).  But, while it is pleasant to not have anything to do at the office, I would so much rather be at home with nothing to do.  Or on the beach with nothing to do.  Or maybe even asleep.  Oh, the simple dreams of someone who hates their job...

July 14, 2010

Bizarro World

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...
Today I had something that I have not had in a very long time, and honestly wasn't sure I even could have anymore. Mind out of the gutter, pervs, it's not that. It's a positive interaction with a prospective student.

A large portion of my job consists of meeting with prospective students, in person or on the phone, so naturally, I don't like it anymore. Usually, I find their questions to be completely inane. Generally, the undertone of my most of my conversations with prospective students is "how will you get me admitted to your program with full funding? No, I don't care that I'm unqualified."

So I didn't have high hopes for my 11:00am appointment. But lo and behold, this young man was on time, articulate, full of interesting questions, engaging, well-dressed...I really could not have been more pleased with our meeting and now am completely committed to getting him enrolled in our program if it's the last thing I do.

Now I'm wondering if I'm living in Bizarro Office. I'm liking prospective students, so does that mean I'll start hating Officemate? Will the upstairs fridge start sneaking food from me? Will I... return phone calls?

July 13, 2010

Refrigeration Investigation

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Most days I eat my lunch and all my snacks so soon after arriving at my office that I don't bother to put anything in the little dorm-style mini-fridge that my coworkers use.  Today, though, I brought a real lot of food from home because I didn't know what I would be hungry for (and felt panicked at the idea of not have a particular snack or lunch item that I wanted over the course of the day), so I didn't feel too nervous about putting 20 feet between my desk and one of my many snacks, my yogurt.  When I went to put my yogurt, bottom left, into the fridge, I was struck by what a very yogurt-laden, Trader Joe's heavy, yuppy little group it was joining.  We're not a big staff, but we are a very white staff, and somehow I feel that that goes some distance to explaining the five low-fat yogurts we called our own today.  And the sliced celery sticks and Trader Joe's salad aren't in a category too far removed.

There is, however, one food item from a different sort of group.  If you look just under the freezer section (which, incidentally, I've not tried using on this particular freezer because of how burned I was when- with my college roommate- I gathered up some Ben and Jerry's money only to have the whole container melt after I overestimated a similar freezer's freezing capabilities) there is a corn dog in a bag.  I love corn dogs as much as the next guy as long as I'm standing next to a guy that loves corn dogs, so I'm not confused about why the corn dog is there, but why it's been there so long.  There's ice growing on it.  Eat that corn dog, person who brought that corn dog to the office!  Come on!  You can't just leave a corn dog in a bag in a tiny refrigerator with a bunch of yogurt and a) expect it to maintain its corn dog goodness or b) be there much longer because, for my part, I really love and want to eat corn dogs.  I also want to know which vaguely snobby, pseudo-healthy person who uses this refrigerator is responsible for cleaning it, because...umm...eww. 

Note: In studying this picture after I posted it, I noticed that the yogurt on the bottom right was exactly same same as mine on the bottom left.  So I returned to the refrigerator and confirmed- based on my Sharpied initials on the yogurt on the bottom right- that two of the five yogurts are my personal property.  If I didn't think before that this blog could change lives, my own included, I just got back a yogurt I didn't know I lost, so it can.  It has.

Spray Fan

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Last Friday was a particularly annoying day at work.  All the usual annoying things happened, and then I tried to book a flight online.  Maybe I never tried to go somewhere so far (the East Coast) for such a brief period (2 days), but it seemed pretty impossible to wade through Kayak and JetBlue and finally United to get travel times that would actually put me on the ground for the days I needed without flying and being laid over for equally as long.  Once I found my highly specific flights, I entered all my personal and billing information to book them.  I hit Enter.  United told me there was an error.  Then it told me that five more times, and- because I really needed those particular flights, and they were only pulled up on my work computer, and it was Friday afternoon and almost time to go as far away from my desk as I could for as long as I could- it became clear that I was going to have to step back in time and book my flights over the phone.  All was going well with the innocuous-bordering-on-pleasant computer voice system; I had the flights I needed, had listened to all the baggage and cancellation policies, and all I needed to do was enter my frequent flyer number by speaking it aloud.  But the computer couldn't understand me.  It couldn't understand me three times in a row, which meant that I was transferred to a real live person who was real live hard to understand, and I got to start all over again requesting the particular flights and listening to policies and wishing I could throw my phone through the window.  I couldn't.  It's a very strong window.

I did finally get my flight booked, but all of that frustrating back story was to explain why- when I heard that someone was giving free spray tans in the second floor bathroom across the building- I asked no questions other than, "Do I still have time?!" before I ran there.  When I got to the bathroom, there was a small tent-type thing, a woman with a spraying machine, and a girl I kind of know who works down the hall from me who let me borrow her bathing suit top to go with the paper thong I was given to wear as bottoms.  Interestingly, in a mathematical way, they were out of paper bras, but not paper underwear.  A puzzle.  Anyway, I took off all my clothes and put on a hairnet in the handicapped stall, as I felt that getting naked in a public bathroom with the threat of both colleagues and strangers walking in was totally worth it if it meant turning my stupid afternoon into a slightly less stupid, way more tan one.  And I was right.  When I, pretty naked with my eyes closed against the (harmful?) spray, finally got around to asking why exactly this was happening at my place of work and for free, someone said it was because the spray tan company really wanted to get their name out into the world.  Then I asked what the name of their company was three times and no on answered me.  Or it's possible that, with my new found tan awesomeness, I just didn't think that it was important for me to listen. 

Job Slobs Slobs

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Hey, sorry K and I have been blog slackers lately! At least one of you has mentioned missing our posts which is actually more surprising than anything else, but for those of you who might actually enjoy reading this blog and keep it in your "not work" online circulation repertoire, I know we're not holding up our end of the bargain lately, and I apologize. I haven't confirmed this with K, but I'm going to attribute our lack of posts to the following.

1) Laziness.
2) Not having anything to write about.

I don't want K to sue me for libel, so I will speak for myself when I say my own laziness befuddles and inspires me. I can not get something done like you would not believe. I went to Portland back in February, and before I left I noticed that a button on my winter coat was loose. I figured I could either sew it on myself, ask a craftier friend to sew it for me, or take it to an alterations place. Instead, I just wore a different jacket on my trip and the button is dangling by the proverbial thread in my closet right this very minute.

Also, my job's pretty basic right now. Sure, people are doing stupid things left and right, but they don't seem like the right stupid things for some reason. Also, while my posts might indicate something strongly to the contrary, I usually like my job. Well, I like Officemate, the Dean, and a good 70% of our students, which is enough for me most days. So sometimes, complaining about it nonstop doesn't feel great. Most times it does though.

Anyway, my boss is back next week and I am sure she will drive me right up the wall and back to the computer to vent to you on the regs.

July 8, 2010


From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Well today I had to say an unexpected goodbye. The girl who works at our little local market is moving away. She is very nice, but I am not terribly sad about her departure. I'm sure her replacement will be able to sell me kombucha tea and Kudos bars just as effectively.

But then men in my general vicinity must be beside themselves. Dudes LOVE this girl. She is very pretty. She's Asian, tall and thin with flawless skin and shiny hair, and the kicker: Rivers Cuomo glasses. She looks better in those black hipster glasses than anyone else I have ever seen or ever will see. I'd be jealous of the way men are putty in her hands if I wasn't so amused. If I am ever in the market in the presence of man, I know I will have to watch him try to flirt awkwardly with the poor girl, who clearly had no interest in being hit on, as well as not the world's best understanding of English.

Today was no exception. I was holding my Pomegranate White Tea and mini-Toblerone anxiously while he tried to chat her up. I caught the tail end of their conversation. I'm guessing she said that she is moving back to her home country shortly.

Guy: Well I'll have to come back soon to say a proper goodbye (translation: try to make out with you).
Girl: Actually, today is my last day.
Guy: Oh no! And you go back to Viet--nam?
Girl: South Korea.
Guy: Oh....yeah. Well it's been great getting to know you, I'll miss you around here (goes in for hug)
Girl: (goes in for handshake, accepts awkward side hug instead) Yes, goodbye.

Our goodbye was less awkward and one sided. I told her it had been nice seeing her everyday and she said she liked to see what beverage/treat combination I got each afternoon (I like to mix it up: my only rule is that I cannot get soda or a full-sized candy bar); I wished her a safe journey home and promised not to tell any of the men who work in my building that today was her last day. She smiled the smile of true relief that only a girl who is constantly bombarded with unwanted male attention must be capable of feeling and thanked me. Bitch.

Week Gone By

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

To answer your question that you didn't ask, more than likely because you don't care, I have no idea what I've been up to this week that has stopped me from Slobbing.  Monday was a day off to celebrate my independence from my boss, and our country's from England.  Tuesday there was the thing where we had to move back the furniture that the people who painted our office over the weekend left in the middle of the room, and Wednesday was our intern's 18th birthday, so I had to eat cake... All of which is to say: Nevermind.  That sounds like a packed week.

The break neck pace of life continues today.  Here are the highlights so far:

Because of a recent lapse in security in my building, I now have to remember to carry my employee badge with me every time I need to go through the doors that lead to the bathroom.  This means that every time I need to get to the bathroom, I have to walk to the security doors, remember that they're shut, walk back to my desk, get my badge, then go back to the security doors, and finally get to the bathroom.  This is annoying, but also one way to pass time in the day.

I have a bunch of rubber bands in my desk drawer, and my office mate chose one of them stretch out all day yesterday so that all day today he could hold it up like a carnival attraction and yell that it is the "biggest rubber band in the world."  He's kidding (kind of) but that doesn't mean he'll stop any time soon.  Again, kind of annoying, also something to pay attention to that isn't work.  Draw. 

Nine work hours to fill until the end of the day.  Stay tuned.  Maybe someone will get in the wrong elevator or find a quarter in their pocket from their birth year.  That would be just the sort of craziness and insanity that this day it heading towards.

July 7, 2010

Lame/Not Lame

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

It's time for a new game I've invented: Lame or Not Lame! (Not to be confused with Herpes or Not Herpes, a game my friends and I invented last night over sushi.)

Not lame: My annoying landords are going out of town for a month!

Not lame/mostly neutral: They asked me to water their plants.

Lame: To this end, I have received no less than 4 plant-watering/mail taking in phone calls and one 15 minute plant watering tutorial. "Oh, the hose is over there..." As my friend M says, "white people with money are the worst."

Speaking of M...

Not lame: She's moved back to the Bay Area from New York!

Lame: Most of yesterday. I may or may not have participated in a conversation where I said/whined "I'm either the Content Editor of this website, or I'm not!"

Not lame/cutest ever: Officemate's hilarious/adorable almost-6-year old daughter is in the office today! Apparently last night she wanted to play dress up with her 2 year old sister and the theme of the dress up was "Mommy and S." The older girl wanted to be Mommy and have Officemate dress the little one up as me.

Lame/insulting: To that end, Officemate put the little one in a huge pair of jeans and put a sports bra over her head and pulled it down so far that it held up the jeans because "you like to wear tank tops."

Not lame/vindicating: The 6 y.o. saw this ensemble and declared in my defense "that's not how S dresses!"

Lame: I've been playing phone tag with this woman in Oklahoma for the past two days who doesn't seem to know about time differences seeing as how this morning's voicemail was time-stamped at 7:08am.

Not lame: Germany v. Spain today at 11:30PST (that would be 1:30 your time, Oklahoma lady). Let's get this done, Deutschland!

July 2, 2010

Home Work

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I'm writing this from home today, because, while I did go to work for a solid 3 hours, I forgot to post while I was there.  I hope that my boss is so distracted by the DVD's that I forgot to order and the time card that I forgot to fill out that she hardly notices that I didn't write a thing about my deep dislike of her on company time today.  Fingers crossed!

I won't be writing from work on Monday either, because we have the day off!  Never has Independence Day felt so appropriately named.  I will check with no one when I want to go somewhere for more than two minutes, and I probably won't even CC anyone on my e-mails so that they can make certain that I'm doing them right.  Pursuit of happiness indeed.  Until Tuesday.  Happy 4th!

July 1, 2010

Wall Art

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Somehow the sun, my blinds, and the hideously nineties era design of my office building came together a few days ago to form this heart-shaped light spot on the wall just above my desk.  The weird thing about that is, and I know that I don't talk about this very often, I hate my job.  So this heart seems... Out of place.  At best.

Today I did enjoy the morning bagels in the break room, and I was pleased by the afternoon cupcake delivery.  But not even the evening pastry box made me feel that I love anything here enough to deserve a miracle from the combined efforts of nature and industry to emblazon a heart on my desk wall.  It's like if Jesus appeared in my French Toast.  I'm not the right audience for that.  Although, a heart on my French Toast... Or my bacon... Perhaps my morning coffee... That would be appropriate.  That would be love. 

Fast Food Nation

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Well yesterday was quite a drive. 10 hours in the car with my dad, from Vegas to the Bay Area. At least the drive from Colorado to Vegas was mostly beautiful. The drive from Vegas to San Francisco is mostly Bakersfield.

My dad's a pretty healthy eater, and while he wasn't willing to drive around looking for Farmer's Markets or vegan restaurants, we tried to do better than McDonald's while on the road. Quizno's and Rubio's both offer healthy menu options and became our road trip staples. They also became fodder for two of my funnier conversations on the trip.

At Rubio's:

S: I'd like a fish taco.
Rubio's girl: You mean our world famous fish taco?

No, I want your underground fish taco that no one's heard of. Also, I know Rubio's is a pretty popular chain, and I do like their fish tacos, but I feel pretty confident when I say that they are not actually world famous. I am in currently in the process of asking every person in the world if s/he has heard of Rubio's fish taco. I'll get back to you sometime before I die.

At Quizno's:

S (on her phone from the car): Could I have your exact street address please?
Quinzo's girl: Yes.
S: Will you tell me what it is?
Quizno's girl: Oh yeah sure, it's (paper ruffling) XXXX. Are you coming in?
S: Yes, we're nearby, but are just having trouble finding you.
Quizno's girl: Oh yeah, we're not actually visible from the street.

And why would you be really, Quizno's? You definitely want to maintain that aura of mystique and exclusivity that you're so known for. Well, you're doing a heckuva job because my dad and I were at your store for half an hour at lunch time and saw no other patrons. Way to keep it old school.

I'd like to say that now that I'm back in my unnamed Bay Area university, I'm surrounded with a higher level of employee competence than I experienced on the road, but everyone who's read this blog (Hi, K's mom!) knows that I'd be lying.

June 30, 2010

Office Birthday Part II

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Today at work, the birthday fun continues.  We finished the last of the birthday beer, and this picture is of my bottom desk drawer where we chose to store some of the empty cans rather than putting them in the recycling out in the open.  And yet, the recycling will always be out in the open, so I'm not sure exactly what the end game is here as far as not leaving me with a desk full of empties until I somehow miraculously no longer work at this office.  Maybe we'll rent an incinerator.  There have been worse ideas.  And if my boss falls in after the beer cans just because I push her, then so be it.  All in the name of party clean up. 

There is also a small bottle of Milagro tequila on the erstwhile-birthday-boy's desk that we all look at and joke about drinking all day except that none of us really does because it's probably more fun to joke about/role play what might happen if you pounded tequila at work than it actually would be to pound tequila at work. 

There is also still ice cream cake in the freezer, and 2 bite cupcakes in my office that I have done my damnedest to make last for three bites.  It fills the time.

June 29, 2010


From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Wondering where I was Friday and Monday?  I didn't think so, which is good.  Because I have no real answer.  Moving on...

This picture may have you asking yourself, "Ooh- What sort of hot espresso beverage is that?  A latte?  Cappuccino?"  Well if that's what you're wondering, you're naive, my friend (Mom).  You see, twenty-nine years ago today one of my office mates went and got himself born, and I personally could think of no better way to celebrate his life and its achievements than putting some real cheap but passably drinkable Trader Joe's beer into a coffee mug and having its foam mimic the froth of the sort of drink that is actually acceptable to consume in the workplace.  Other friends and colleagues contributed balloons and cupcakes, cookies and cards to the celebration, but because I didn't know what my coworker wanted gift-wise, and also because I am cheap and like to drink beer, I brought some six packs to share as we worked today.  If there's a more personal or sentimental way to say, "Happy day closer to death," than a drink that makes the man of the hour slur his words at a staff meeting, then I would like to know what it is.  So Happy Birthday, Office Mate, and may you forget that you asked me to store some of the beers in my desk drawer.

Bright Light City

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

So I couldn't write yesterday because I was in a car with my father for over 12 hours. Yes, you read that right. 12 hours, 4 states, and 2 of Utah's finest fast food bathrooms (Arby's and Wendy's).

The drive was gorgeous, though. We started off in Colorado Springs after a great weekend of revisiting places I've been, but have no memory of: the hospital where I was born, the two houses we lived in, the Coco's restaurant where I apparently threw the most embarrassing fit of my entire childhood....good times.

My cousin is a coach at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, so he gave us a pretty cool tour of their athletic facility. Damn impressive. He's either lived abroad or on the East Coast my whole life, so I don't know him very well, but he's a cool guy. He went to college in the South and has worked in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Texas since graduating, so he's got a pretty serious accent despite growing up in Germany and Rhode Island. He also says things like "holy smokes" and "I tell you what." Solid.

Anyway, we got up at 4am yesterday and watched the sunrise over the Rockies--totally gorgeous. We saw Vail and other fancy ski towns that I can't even afford to look at, as well as the most deserty type beauty of Utah and Arizona before entering the desolate, soulless hell hole that is Nevada.

This is my 8th time in Vegas, and four of those times occurred before I turned 21. Yay for having family in Sin City. Anyway, I'm happy to be here, but it doesn't hold the level of excitement and appeal I think it does for others. We had a great dinner with my cousin, her husband and their sassy as hell 12-year-old son last night. Darling lamb guessed that I was 23. I love him.

So Pops and I are off to check out the newest hotels on the Strip and get his 10,000 steps on the pedometer he never takes off these days. I don't know if I'll be able to post tomorrow because we're driving back to the Bay Area, so please let me share with you the things I've learned from being in the car all day with my dad.

1. The only music we can agree on is: the Beatles, ABBA, and Johnny Cash
2. My dad will only eat at Subway if he is ABSOLUTELY sure there's not a Quizno's nearby
3. I am not allowed to put my feet on the dashboard

Next time I write, I'll be back at my undisclosed Bay Area location. I can't wait.

June 25, 2010

Sports Center

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Holy cow, what a game! After the conference concluded yesterday, I got a freaking amazing Greek salad at one of Denver's many fine eateries and headed out to Coors Field for the big showdown. Colorado had beaten Boston in the previous two games, so many enthusiastic Rockies fans showed up at the game holding brooms, ready for the sweep.

Pops and I were sitting in the "Rock Pile" which are bleachers that are almost as high as the second tier of stadium seats and have great views not just of the field, but the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains as well. The temperature was great and we were ready for some baseball.

I won't bore you with the play by play, but it really was one of the most exciting games I've seen. Lots of big home runs, a couple hilarious errors, an extra inning. But in the end, Pedroia and the Red Sox prevailed, much to the delight of the 25,000+ Red Sox fans* in attendance.

I don't know if Red Sox Nation just shows up in full force everywhere, or if there's an especially large contingent here in Denver, but good god there were a ton of Boston fans everywhere. I couldn't believe it. There was just as much "let's go, Red Sox...clap clap, CLAPCLAPCLAP" as there was the same cheer with "Rockies" to the point that I couldn't tell which side was cheering when. That was fine with me, because I like clapping and didn't really care too much who won.

Today the conference is DEAD. So dead and super boring and I don't even have any Nutter Butters. The only saving grace is that one of the exhibitors is geniusly showing World Cup soccer at their booth. My colleague from the East Coast university (the gay man who one lady thought had a crush on me) and I watched Portugal v. Brazil: Colonial Grudgematch 2010, and now are just killing time until Spain v. Chile: Get Your Shit Together, Europe/I Actually Have No Beef with You, Chile.

I'm really doing the lord's work for my school at this event. Stellar use of funding.

*Figure according to my dad.

June 24, 2010

Off Day/Day Off

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Because I thought that yesterday was Thursday pretty much all day, it has given me great and profound joy to realize (multiple times with no diminishing surprise) that today is in fact Thursday, not Friday as it seems, and that I have tomorrow, Friday, off!

I really don't know how to spin that to match my generally wildly negative and complaining approach.  I'm completely at a loss for how I might make that someone else's annoying fault or a miserable burden that I have to bear.  Or how I might, as I so often do, treat it with cold dismissal as unimportant or demeaning or useless.  But remembering I have an extra day in my life, and that it's a day off... Well that's really a tough one to put into my (whining) voice.  I'll keep working on it.  Stay tuned.

Rocky Mountain High

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Guys, you'll never believe it: Denver is NICE. Like really quite nice. My expectations were super low and I have been very impressed. It's got a big long pedestrian walkway street like 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. There's lots of healthy eating options, cool breweries, live music, and the most amazing performing arts complex I have ever seen. Pops and I are going to try to get half-price tickets to a live version of Young Frankenstein for this Friday night. And let's not forget the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in the background. I am so pleasantly surprised.

The conference itself is pretty standard; I could do these in my sleep. My dad asked yesterday if I was nervous and I totally laughed. These things are all exactly the same and I've been doing about 8-10 a year for two years now, so it would be pretty sad if I were nervous. Since the conference isn't teaching me anything new, I try to learn things on my own when I can. So far I've learned:

-The Denver Post is a pretty decent paper
-People in elevators say stupid things sometimes
-The Hyatt Denver gym is the nicest I've ever seen
-Nutter Butters taste GREAT dipped in coffee
-It's hard to watch TV on Mountain Time

I'm here until 5:00pm (Mountain Time) and then back to the hotel for a quick change and the Rockies game. If people's choice of apparel is any indication, these Denver folk LOVE the Rockies. How will the fans stack up against Red Sox nation? I'll let you know tomorrow.

June 23, 2010

Chump Day

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Ah, Wednesday, we meet again.  I rarely think of you when you're not here, harbor no dread of you as I do with your colleague Monday, associate you with no joy as I do with your cohort Friday.  But maybe that's how you got me, Wednesday.  Maybe you've been lying in wait all these years so that toady, in my 27th year, you would rear your ugly day head and show me that you are a force, a terror, that I've been wrong to ignore you all this time.  Let's review, Wednesday, what we've already been through in my five waking hours with you.

- I got up early to move my car out of the driveway so that I could move my boyfriend's car in.  It's street cleaning day, and my boyfriend's out of town, so I thought I would try to get things in order before the construction guys working in the back house- who block me in every day- got in my way.  But their truck was already there, directly in my car's path out of the driveway.  They, however, were nowhere to be found, and I could do not one thing with either car.  You got off to a quick start, Wednesday.  Bold.

- Because of a number of crazy scheduling things that have to do with the out-of-town boyfriend, work starting an hour early (well, we'll get to that, right Wednesday?), a friend taking my dog for the day because I'll be gone forever, and my desire that my dog not destroy her house- It was imperative that I go to the dog park this morning, but also necessary that I be dressed in my work clothes when I went there, rather than my usual grubby morning-walk clothes.  So of course I rushed to the dog park, and it was closed.  Closed.  Men were working in it, and I was at a complete loss to do anything active in my dumb office flats except let my dog loose on a baseball field and hope that he would chase after a bird and then, at some tired point, agree to come back to me.

- Since I chased the dog through that baseball field in an effort to tire him, when I dropped him at my friend's house he thought, I guess, that we were still playing that game and ran away from me over and over again when I needed to bring him inside.  Also I almost fell when I finally did catch him, which is only important in that I looked stupid which was annoying.

- After rushing to work to do a quick assignment I didn't know how to do before our meeting an hour earlier than we usually meet, I sat at my desk for an hour waiting for the meeting to start.  At least that gave me a chance to take the slowest elevator on earth back down to the parking garage to get my lunch that I left in my car.

- When the meeting was finally over, I dashed to the break room to get the morning bagels that they always put out on Thursdays.  Because, as our show usually tapes on Thursdays, but this week is taping today, Wednesday, I got confused.  And thought it was Thursday.  Bagel day.  I was starving, and there were no bagels because today is... well... I think you know.

On the Road Again

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

NB: Due to my location's crappy free wifi, I am unable to load a picture at this time. I appreciate your strength, resilience and support and apologize for what I am sure is the biggest disappointment you've endured today.

I am writing to you today from the beautiful Oakland International Airport, fondly known as OAK. I am here waiting to catch a flight to Denver for a weeklong conference/father-daughter roadtrip.

Here's what's up: I was born in Colorado Springs (really? We're fascinated. Tell us more!), but moved to California when I was 2 and have not been back since. When I told my dad that I had a conference in Denver he came up with an amazing scheme to reunite me with my Rocky Mountain Roots. Itinerary goes a little something like this:

6/21: Dad leaves Bay Area by car.
6/23: S leaves Bay Area by plane. Dad arrives in Denver in time to pick S up from airport and bring her to conference hotel so she can check in and set up.
6/24: S goes to conference. Dad does who knows what until 7:30pm when S and Dad reunite for Rockies v. Red Sox.
6/25: More conference for S, more who knows what for Dad.
6/26: Depart Denver for Colorado Springs. Meet up with cousin and his wife for ice cream. Do nostalgia tour of hometown.
6/27: Take train to Pike's Peak. More nostalgia.
6/28: Depart CO Springs for Las Vegas. Yes, friends, I am DRIVING with my DAD from COLORADO SPRINGS to LAS VEGAS. Voluntarily.
6/29: Hang out on strip, visit with another cousin and her family (actual reason for Vegas trip; we are not gambling addicts).
6/30: Drive back to Bay Area.

Growing up, my dad and I took lots of driving trips. Sometimes day trips up to Mendocino or down to Monterey; sometimes longer trips up to Seattle to visit yet another relative (Catholics have mad big families, y'all). My mom never came because she doesn't like the car, being away from home, and sometimes, my dad and me. We haven't taken a long road trip in just about 5 years so I guess we're due for one, though I am little terrified of what we're going to do with all that time in the car together.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to post tomorrow and Friday, because if last year's version of this conference was any indication, I'll be spending a lot of time trying to look busy in front on my computer, but I don't know what my internet access will be like on the road. Never fear, I will regale you with stories from what I'm calling Father/Daughter Roadtrip Adventure Extravaganza 2010 when I return if not right from the road.

Wish me luck.