March 31, 2010

Opening Morning

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

Parking Level 3
A new play

The time: This morning
The place: An underground parking garage

A young woman is parking her car.  It's dirty, as though she hadn't washed it in months, took it on a camping trip recently, and then continued to neglect its appearance.  She thinks she is singing the right words to some late 70's rock song on the only radio station that comes through in the underground structure.  She is not*.  She finishes straightening her parking job.  It is still not straight.  She is bad at parking.  She turns off her engine.

A man approaches the parking attendant.  He has a close-cropped haircut and wears a long sleeved tee shirt with the same of some place or event written on it.  He is not wearing it ironically.  He hands the parking attendant his keys.

The woman spots the man.  They know each other, work on the same television show.  She waves, approaches, and then freezes in the middle of the aisle, panic-stricken.  Is there anything that she and this coworker can talk about as they wait for the elevator up to their offices?  What about in the elevator?  As they walk to long corridor toward their respective desks?  If she can think of one question to ask this man, or one interesting thing that she herself can share to fill the journey to the second floor with some life, then she can proceed.  Her mind is blank.  She is unprepared for this mission.  It cannot but fail.  She must retreat.

Slapping her palm to her forehead in a gesture that can only be read as, "Oh no!  How stupid!  I completely forgot that thing in my car!" she makes an about face and returns to her vehicle where she sits on the driver's seat and showily runs her hand over the passenger's side searching for that missing invisible thing that called for her return. 

The man leaves the valet stand.  She waits, hears the faint ding of the elevator, slowly regathers her things, and, with a sigh that releases the weight of the world, makes the long journey upstairs safely.  Alone.

The End

*Production Note:  "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross would be a fine choice for this song, as the woman only recently realized that the lyrics are probably not "And I've got such a long way to go/To make it to the corner of Mexico."  Border.  That would be border.  Not corner.

Wardrobe note:  The young woman is wearing a flannel shirt that she thinks is feminine enough because it has purple in it, but a coworker later greets her with, "Good morning, Paul Bunyan."

A Little Help from Our Friends

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

Hey friends! I need your help! We've got another prank up our sleeves, but we need some suggestions. Our newest idea was born because oftentimes the guys next door can hear the music we're listening to and will comment on our choices. Sometimes it's complimentary and they want to know the name of the song we're listening to so they can download it ("Sleepless" by The Decemberists and "I Stand Corrected" by Vampire Weekend if you're curious. Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.); sometimes they're making fun of us, especially if it's 80's Monday.

Today one of them came over to mock us for listening to Counting Crow's "Omaha" and as soon he left my officemate exclaimed "I know our next prank! We're going to Noriega them!"

For anyone who may not know, the US used hard rock music and the Howard Stern Show to get Noriega to come out of hiding when we invaded Panama in 1989. Now, we're not trying to get the guys next door to come out of hiding, but we do plan to play the absolute worst music we can think of as loudly as we can to make them crazy and undermine them in any of their professional endeavors. Here's what's on the lineup so far:

Milli Vanilli: Blame it on the Rain
Snow: Informer (A Licky Boom Boom Down)
The Proclaimers: I Would Walk 500 Miles
Billy Ray Cyrus: Achy Breaky Heart
Bobby McFarin: Don't Worry, Be Happy

But we need more! Please, readers, what are some of the worst songs you can think of? We want to get these guys good!

March 30, 2010

The Doppel Gang

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

Today, a student came bounding into our office with his iPhone, so excited to show us something. That something was a picture of a girl who he said looks "just like" me. Who was it? 1970's era Linda Ronstadt. This student is a big Linda Ronstadt fan and apparently her photo shows up on his iPhone whenever he plays her music. (Yes, he's gay.) The picture he showed me is below:

Not bad, right? I don't really think she looks too much like me, and think that if we didn't have similar bangs and weren't both inclined to smirk, there'd be no similarity at all, but she's cute, so I'm fine with it.

I, too, was a fan of Ronstadt's music when I was a kid and realized that she must be quite a bit older these days and wondered if she's aged well. My officemate jumped on her computer to find an image of present-day Ronstadt and laughed loud and uncontrollably at what she found:

She really should have stuck with the smirk.

Ctrl + C, Ctrl + My Head Just Exploded

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

We just had a quick meeting in my office.  The big boss came in for a chat that was kind and measured, but carried this subtext:

"Hey, you three assistants, your entire job can pretty much be boiled down to seven menial tasks that rotate among you.  Today the copy and paste task was a failure."

Whose turn was it to copy and paste today?  Why, mine of course.  And how come I might I be particularly inclined to do a better job at picking the things that I copy and paste?  Why, because in December- following another serious copy and paste gaffe on my part- there was major overhaul of the entire copy and paste system that was negotiated during an emergency staff-wide meeting.  Why didn't they teach copy and paste in college??  If they couldn't offer copy and paste, why not at least a mind-reading elective?!  How could I ever have expected to successfully participate in the work force when I can't even intuit exactly what other people want copied and pasted?!  Oh wasted studies!  Money!  Life!

Additionally, I devoted a good deal of time the other night to making a real grody mess of a bug bite on my face to the end that I now look as though I have scabies, and so it's not as though I wanted to be here today anyway.  Cruel world.

March 29, 2010

Head of the Class

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

Yesterday I took an HTML class for work, something I'll be doing for the next five Mondays in a row. Presumably, come May, I'll be able to spruce the hell out of this blog with my extensive programming knowledge, but for now I can tell you that <> means paragraph and HTML is apparently "white-space insensitive."

I'm more or less ambivalent to learning HTML. I recognize it as a useful skill and was fine with it when my boss told me she thought I should take the class, especially since I get to miss work to do so. What I really enjoy is being a student again. Not because I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, but because I really love affirmations and being better than other people. When I am in a class, be it computer or Zumba, I feel unnaturally compelled to the best. I am 100% sure that this is because I am an only child, and was thus the de facto best at everything in my household during all my formative years.

But here's the thing: I am not the best at a lot of stuff. Not at Zumba, and certainly not at HTML. Also, if there's one thing I cannot do, it's listen to someone give a set of linear instructions and then follow them, another trait I attribute to being an only child. I like to do things when I like to do them, how I like to do them, and in the order I like to them. This approach does not set me up for success in this class, where the teacher loves to say things like:

"Download Firefox Firebug but do not restart your browser until you've installed the Web Developer add-on. Then bring up TextMate with basics.html and put it into preview mode by simultaneously pressing ctrl + option + command + P." Meanwhile, I'm playing solitaire and Googling "24 hour brownie delivery".

So I've developed a new goal: to not be the worst. It's one that serves me well in my athletic endeavors; sure I'd love to PR or place in my age group, but as long as I'm not dead last, I consider myself successful. Luckily for me, there's a 40-year-old mom in my class who asks the instructor to repeat almost everything, giving me the opportunity to roll my eyes at the other young, tech-saavy people in the class, while secretly scrambling to catch up during his slower, more condescending set of instructions.

Some people, when unable to reach their goals, try harder. I just change my goals.

This Is No Aerosmith Song

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

The other night- after we had taped our show and I had worked for 12 hours- I got into the elevator to go to my car, but realized I didn't have my ID badge to scan.  Without it, the elevator wouldn't let me access the level my car was parked on.  There was another woman in the elevator.  She would not swipe her badge for me. This is my open letter to her:

Dear Lady in the Elevator,

You almost had me at first, when you pretended you couldn't hear me- me, the only other person in a small elevator with you- asking if you would please swipe your badge for me.  And for a second, after you cocked your head in surprise that I was talking to you- you, the only other person in a small elevator- I could have sworn you said that you didn't have a badge either, which is so weird since you were able to light up the button for another restricted floor.  But I think I got your point pretty clearly when you threw your arms in the air, ran furiously out of the elevator, and yelled that I had to go to the lobby for help.  Point taken.  You and your shoulder bag are really super rule-sticklers for elevator and parking level access in corporate America.  And why wouldn't you be?  I mean, if you loosened the reins on that then what next?  Passing out your PIN and copies of your Social Security card?  Leaving the window to your child's bedroom open at night and cutting your own phone lines?  A slippery slope indeed.

But ya know what, Lady in the Elevator?  I'm not mad.  I totally get where you're coming from, because after I waited for the elevator to go all the way down and then back up again (as I've mentioned, they really are shockingly slow) to take me into the lobby where I then had to walk to the security desk and bother a security guard as he slept in front of six blaring televisions, I got to thinking.  I got to thinking about all the treasures that you were protecting on Parking Level 3 by refusing to let me down there without my credentials.  There are cement columns I could have really thrown stuff at pretty hard; there are florescent lights that I could look at, or even break with my Starbucks travel mug if I were able to hurl it ten feet in the air; and there are up to several other vehicles- none of which I had the keys to- that I probably would have broken into just for ducks rather than getting into my own car which had Party in the USA cued up and ready for the drive home.  Just because that's what I'm into.  So I guess it just hurt to really be seen as I am, and that's really about me, Lady in the Elevator, not you.

Until we meet again and I hit Door Close but you make it in the elevator anyway and I pretend I didn't mean to/don't know who you are,

Oakland is Proud

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

I am moving even slower than usual today. Why? Because yesterday I ran a half marathon. It was the Inaugural Oakland Running Festival. I learned about said festival when I was at the Runner's Expo for another local half marathon, because I'm dumb like that.

But not as dumb as the guy in the story I'm about to tell. When I was at the expo and saw the booth for the Oakland Running Festival, I thought 1) that would be cool! and 2) ooh, free water bottles! In order to get said free water bottle, you had to put your name on the email list to stay updated on the festival. Done.

The guy in front of me looked up when he was signing his name to ask the young girl at the booth "why is it called Inaugural?" The girl responded, "'" It's hard to convey via text that the timidity in her voice was not because she didn't know the answer, but she was trying hard not to sound condescending and seemed to hope that maybe she misunderstood the guy's question.

So anyway, yesterday's run was not that well-organized, but even though it was a little crazy and chaotic, the 13.1 miles was totally worth it for one reason: MR. COOPER WAS THERE! Yes from "Hanging with Mr. Cooper." Remember at the end of the opening credits, it said "Oakland is Proud"? Well it did. And Mark Cooper showed up to show his continuing pride in Oakland and us runners, both at the start AND the finish line. I even fist bumped him when I finished. And then promptly started cramping.

March 26, 2010

Business as Casual

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

It's Friday!  A lot of people dress down on Fridays, but not me.  I'm wearing my very best tee shirt.  Oh, I'm sorry- My very best sleep tee shirt.  It goes with a ton of my pajama bottoms, and boy is it comfy, so naturally a work wear gem.  Also it's neon yellow. 

I got it as a hand-me-down from a friend, and it always seemed too big, but it says that it's my size so I wear it.  Today that mystery was solved when I realized that it's a men's tee shirt.  I realized that before I went to the office, but obviously was not inspired enough by this revelation to, say, change.  And so far all is well.  No one has called me sir, and no one has asked if I'm here for the slumber party going on in the lobby (oh my god- what if there were a slumber party going on in the lobby?!) so I would have to rank this as a banner Friday.  Aw heck- A banner any day.

Power to the people

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

I am once again not at work. Why you ask? Today is Cesar Chavez Day. We do not celebrate Columbus Day at the university, and we get Cesar Chavez Day off instead. I'm pissed about it in October, but stoked in March.

So after having a cookie and Diet Coke for breakfast, I decided to do a little research to supplement my existing knowledge of this great Californian and humanitarian. Here is what I already knew: 1. He was Mexican-American 2. He did important stuff with labor, and farming 3. He marched from somewhere to somewhere really far from his starting point 4. We get his birthday off.

It was a good start but I felt like there was more, so I headed straight to Wikipedia for the undisputed facts. Please enjoy the following pieces of information:

-He was vegan
-There is a portrait of him in the National Gallery in DC
-In 1988, he fasted for 36 days to protest pesticide use
-His middle name was Estrada

Additionally, he and Dolores Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association, which would later become the more well-known United Farm Workers (UFW). He was a community organizer who encouraged Mexican-Americans to vote and is attributed with improving conditions for union laborers all over the state and country. His efforts to support the grape pickers of Delano, CA attracted national attention, including the support of Robert F. Kennedy. He marched from Delano (near Fresno/Bakersfield) all the way to the state capitol in in 1965. He died in 1993 and was posthumously awarded the US Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.

Truly a man worth celebrating. Which is why I am totally going to Chevy's today.

March 25, 2010

Mission Unnoticed

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

Today is a big day around my office.  We shoot our show on Thursdays, and that means that everyone is assigned more tasks/tasks that are actually pressing.  It will, however, shock me if we are able to successfully make a TV show mere hours from now for one big reason:  Against all edicts, office policy, and team-workiness... I left the building today for an hour and a half.  We are discouraged from leaving even for lunch on a slow day, but today- on the day of busy days- I had an appointment that I had to make and- without permission- I went for it. 

I thought up a cover story for if I was seen on my way out, holding my purse, and closing in on the elevator.  "Oh," I would say, "I'm just running across the street to Baja Fresh for pick up.  I'll be back in five minutes."  Genius.

I worked out a cover story for if someone got in the elevator with me and saw that I had pressed the button for the parking level.  "Oh," I would say, "I forgot my phone in my car.  Just going down to grab it.  I'll be back in two minutes."  Inspired.

I slaved over a cover story for if I was seen exiting from/returning to the parking garage, essentially caught red-handed.  "Oh," I would say, probably sniffling or hunching my posture awkwardly, "I had to go pick up a prescription.  I'll be back/it only took ten minutes."  Fool proof.

All that planning, all that tangled web-weaving, all those nerves racing... I used none of those excuses.  And not because I cleverly avoided high traffic corridors or wore a clever disguise; not because I was able to geniusly conduct all business from/erase all traces of using my iPhone.  No.  I was not called upon to use any of these excuses and have my lying pants burst into flame because no one noticed.  Not even a little.  So what a relief!  What a victory!  What a devastating commentary on my zero-impact totally-expendable-contribution to this production!  At least there are free cupcakes today.  I would eat all of them, but their absence would not go unnoticed.   

Spring Prank

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

My officemate and I are basically the only ones in the whole building today, so we took advantage of the situation and decided to prank our next door neighbors yet again. This time we decided to dress up their little office couch like a hotel bed, complete with lacy bedsheet, tiny shampoos and soaps, and chocolates (well, M&Ms). Why? The answer is three-fold.

1. We're bored.
2. We like to say that they're in love, so making their office into a romantic suite seemed like a hilarious way to beat that dead horse.
3. We have the key to their office.

Though each gentleman has his own desk, they like to sit together on the couch and work on their laptops. We've already mocked them once by dressing up like them (plaid shirt, boots and ballcap for one; blazer, jeans and sneakers for the other) and working on laptops on our office couch for a full day. Another time, we hid their dart board ind sent them an audio ransom note demanding a plate of homemade cookies in exchange for its safe return. That prank was actually inspired by something K and I did in the dorms. Maybe we'll tell you about it someday...

March 24, 2010

Twin Triplicate

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

Twice before there have been days when two of my coworkers dressed exactly the same.  Today, the third time such a thing has happened, there are three of them dressed the same.  I know that there are only two people in the picture, but the third was not available to be photographed, which is to say that he was available at his desk all day but he already thinks I'm kind of weird and so I didn't want to ask him to be in a picture without his head in case that would somehow make him find me weirder.  But he was dressed the same.  Trust me.  I write a blog.

Because I'm not good at math, I will skip any predictions that involve four people dressing twin squared the same on the fourth quadruple blah blah match day, and go with a simpler more viable guess: I think that my coworkers are dressing the same because they are searching among them for a uniform that they can all agree on in color, fit, and style because they are forming a small army.  Or a softball team.  Or having a pajama party.  In any case I vote for green.

Battle: Lunchbag

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

When I was a kid I used to watch "Cheers" with my mom because, as an elementary schooler, I really responded to bar humor.  I don't know.  Anyway, one of the standout moments of television hilarity from all of my youth (and I'm including "Mash", "Roseanne", AND "America's Funniest Home Videos") was in that bar where everyone knows your name.  Carla showed up to work late, and Becky (whom I certainly accepted, but never felt could replace Diane) taught Carla a little trick to help with punctuality: Set your watch half an hour ahead.  Carla- that sassy spitfire- seemed surprisingly on board.  From my memory- which is totally reliable 20 years later and not at all clouded by the passage of time or the usage of alcohol- their exchange went like this:

Carla: Oh.  So if I set my watch an hour ahead that would be twice as good, right?
Becky: That's a great idea, Carla!

Carla changes her watch

Carla: Well look at that- It's time for my lunch break!

Carla Exits, Rebecca is speechless, third-grade me cracks the eff up

I don't bring this up because I want to leave work as soon as I get here (let me clarify- I want to leave work as soon as I get here, but that's not why I bring this up).  No.  I was thinking about Carla Tortelli and her early lunch break because lately from the minute I get to work all I can think about is eating my lunch.  And my snacks.  And potentially some really delicious stuff from the vending machine.  And maybe something that someone is kind enough to put on the table by the microwave to share with the office.  Because I am a child.

I basically spend the whole day playing both the role of Augustus Gloop and his mother (had she been an actual responsible mother, the kind who says, "You can have that left over burrito once you've done two things for work and Facebook doesn't count).  Yes, as a grown-up who hasn't even counted as a "recent college graduate" for years, I have to set a schedule for when I can eat whatever food I bring from home/find around the office because if I didn't I would eat it all at once, ten minutes after my breakfast, with no relationship to actual hunger, but seemingly just because I can, and it's here, and I would certainly always rather be unwrapping a Cinnabon bar (put it int he microwave for seven seconds, you'll thank me) than typing an e-mail to a coworker, and can easily picture a world in which I catapult myself to a crazy sugar high and then am discovered sleeping it off under my desk.  So yeah.  If I stop thinking of work as a life-sucking fun-drain, I can always think of it as that thing I do to earn more/space out the consumption of roasted salted almonds from my drawer.  Success.

S's Anatomy, part deux

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

So I saw the dean for the first time since I went home early on Thursday with my nasty headache. Our exchange went thusly:

Dean: S! You're back!
S: Yep! Hi!
Dean: I thought you weren't coming in all week.
S: Nope, I' today.
Dean: Well good. Are you feeling better?
S: I am, thanks for asking. I'm glad I went home on Thursday, that was good advice.
Dean: Well you looked like death warmed over that day; it wasn't hard advice to give.
S: Wow, thanks.

Telling me I looked like shit at the time wasn't enough for this man, oh no, he needed to remind me of how bad I looked when he saw me again a week later. This a man who didn't remember my name for like 2 months, but apparently has a photographic memory for terrible, sickly-looking faces. So glad to be in the office today.

Leaving on a jet plane

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

I'm back at work to get caught up on some administrative stuff I'm behind on without students and other folk to distract me with their "questions" and their "needs" all day. I'm really freaking tired though, and constantly second-guessing my promise to be in the office today. Why, you ask? Well last night I drove back to my place from my parents' house and brought my dad with me because he had an early flight to catch and I live much closer to the airport than he does.

He crashed on my futon and woke me up at the ripe ole hour of 4:00am to bring him to the airport. I dropped him off, came back home and went to sleep for another few hours and I've been dragging ever since, which I expected, but I'm a little bitter because of the phone conversation that took place around 8:30AM today.

Dad: Hey, are you awake?
S: Yes, my neighbors decided to start using loud power tools around 8:00 this morning.
Dad: I'm sorry. Guess where I am?
S: Denver?
Dad: Nope, [other local airport about 45 minutes from airport where I dropped him off].
S: Why?
Dad: My flight was canceled, so they put me on another flight leaving out of [other airport] that leaves at 3:00pm.
S: Hahaha, that's funny, because if your flight hadn't been canceled, and you were just originally on this flight, you wouldn't have needed me to drive to the wrong airport at 4:00am and I wouldn't be greasy-haired and barely awake at work today, getting nothing done on a day I had set aside to get things done! Hahahaha.
Dad: Riiiiight, well anyway, I'm in the United terminal, can you tell me what's good to eat here?
S: Yes. The Crab Pot. Great clam chowder.

And....scene! I know nothing that happened was my dad's fault, but I continue to feel bitter towards him, the relatives he's going to visit, and the airline industry as a whole for my sleepiness.

March 23, 2010

Roll Call

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 lot of people between my desk and the ladies' room on my floor, and given how much coffee I drink to not pass out from boredom- I'm sorry- to stay as perky as my usual Miss-Teen-California-type self, I see them all quite often.  As Ross Geller famously (well, famously if you watched "Friends"... And continue to watch it most nights of the week in reruns... And give, I don't know, "The Best of Friends" DVD's to people for holiday gifts- S, you liked that, right??) did with the undergrads in his lecture course, I have taken to naming my second floor compatriots in a really superficial and completely useless way.  The cast of characters is: Skinny Waist Blonde (she really is remarkably small in the middle), Funny Boots (they are crazy and huge and tasseled, but I'm thinking that, as winter leaves us, she will stop wearing them and then be totally without identity.  I mean- for me), Kelly Cutrone (at least once a week I genuinely mistake this woman sitting at her desk near mine for her reali-celeb-doppelganger), Greasy Sloucher (ya know?), Newsie (the hats, ooooh the hats.  Also sometimes suspenders!), and Curly Glasses (she once straightened her hair and blew.  my.  mind.  God help me if she ever gets contacts).  Sometimes I like to think of what they might call me in my own game.  Loud Sigher? (I don't know, it just feels good.)  Sleepy Chilly? (If I'm not yawning or freezing I'm not really myself.)  Clutzo?  (I feel majorly accomplished if I make it through the gauntlet of stationary filing cabinets and nailed down desks without bumping something so hard it turns into a giant bruise.)  Bootsy?  (A friend of mine gave me a pair of boots that didn't fit her/are way cooler than anything  I own like six months ago and once I got more than one compliment on them it seems I made the choice to wear them *most* days.)  Hungover?  (Well... Fair enough).  Yeah.  Curly Glasses would totally go with one of those.  Bitch.

Vacation, all I ever wanted

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

My officemate always tells me not to check my email when I'm away from the office, but I always do it against my better judgment. 99% of the time, there is nothing that can't wait until I'm back in the office. And when there is an emergency, my time off is spoiled because I'm emailing/on the phone trying to solve whatever problem has arisen in my absence.

Today, when I checked my email, there were no unforseen problems, just run of the mill type inquiries that can definitely wait until I'm back, but my day is nonetheless spoiled by an email from a denied applicant's father, calling me a racist.

Apparently, there is no way his son could have been denied admission to our program unless there was a clerical error or blatant discrimination going on, and either way, that's my fault. He points out that his son got admitted to a program that is, in his eyes, superior to ours, proving once and for all that his son is perfect and we are jerks.

So though I am drafting a polite and professional response to send back, I will write to you what I would really like to say to this man.

Dear Mr. Jackass,

Your son is now considered an adult in the eyes of the US government, our university, and people who can sell pornography, if not alcohol. It is no longer appropriate to write letters on his behalf. I know you think your son is a beauitful and unique snowflake, but the truth is he's just not good enough for us. I'm glad he's good enough for other programs and I hope he does great there, because we took a nice, long look at his qualifications compared to those of other applicants and decided we didn't want him. Deal with it.

And finally, I don't actually think that you think we're racists, but instead think that you're trying to scare me into offering your son admission into program lest you decide to sue or otherwise "expose" us for our discriminatory practices, but the joke's on you asshole because Prop 209 doesn't allow us to take race into consideration when making admissions decisions. You say you hope we make our decisions based solely upon qualifications, well we do, and that's what kept your son from getting admitted. Sorry.

Get over yourself,

March 22, 2010

Spring break, woo!

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

First of all, let's get real, how damn catchy is that Lady Gaga/Beyonce song? I CRAVE it. "Stop calling, stop calling, I don't wanna talk anymore..." I appreciate both the beat and the message. I am also sorry this post is so late; I am officially on spring break and therefore constantly down at Senor Tadpoles getting drinks made in my mouth while trying my hardest to get on Girls with Low Self-Esteem.

Right now I'm visiting my parents in another undisclosed location and had an altercation with the lady at the local deli that has inspired me to write my second open letter to the incompetent, annoying, entitled, or otherwise unpleasant people of the world:

Dear Safeway Deli Counter Lady,

I understand that working at the Safeway deli counter is not the most glamorous or desirable job, but it is, in fact, your job, so you might consider getting slightly better at it. And not looking at me like I'm absolutely insane when I order a sandwich from you. I'm sure you have the soul of an artist and were put on this planet to do beautiful things, but you're here at Safeway to make sandwiches.

Your sincerely,

PS: Damn it, woman, I said NO MAYO!

Monday Monday

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

I know a lot of people complain far and Facebook-wide about Mondays.  And I do understand it.  I get it.  On Friday I was able to get a 49 point word in my Scrabble game.  Today?  Monday?  18 points.  Can't get higher to save my life.  I mean- I have six vowels and a V, right?  Rough.  And last week on, for example, Thursday, we got two boxes of Sprinkles cupcakes delivered to my office.  Beginning of the week bummer?  Just pound cake in the break room, and like two or three people who were in there "cooking their lunches" and "filling up their coffee cups" for so long that I wasn't even able to take the giant/multiple pieces I wanted.  Monday No-fun-day on that one.  And- by the way- If one sweet treat horror wasn't enough, last week I had at least 12 more Thin Mints in the bottom drawer of my desk.  New work week starts today, and all of a sudden the ones I ate last week are still gone?  Harsh.  And on top of all that, the beginning of the week means taking a lot of time away from actual work to try to get people to ask me what I did over the weekend.  Which- ask me!- was preeeeetty fun.  If only Monday were different somehow, I could have had my nose to the grindstone instead of self-servingly manipulating casual workplace conversation.  If only.  If only Monday could be less... Monday.  And if only the grindstone could be my couch.

March 19, 2010

End of the Weak

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

There's not a ton going on at my office today IT'S ALMOST THE WEEKEND.  We have a short production meeting I'M GOING CAMPING! to discuss a few special shows we're doing I REALLY LOVE CAMPING! and there are a few sort of house-keeping tasks I GET TO LEAVE EARLY! that I always do at the end of the week AT 3 O'CLOCK! that have to be done.  After that I'M ALREADY PACKED! I just have to THE CAR IS READY TO GO! write a few e-mails I'M GETTING PICKED UP RIGHT FROM MY OFFICE! to get things in order AND GOING STRAIGHT OUT OF TOWN! IT'S GOING TO BE GLORIOUS BECAUSE I AM NOT CAMPING AT MY DESK! for next week. And that's about I CANNOT EVEN CONCENTRATE ON ANYTHING I SHOULD BE DOING BECAUSE NOT SITTING HERE FOR TWO DAYS IS THE MOST EXCITING THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE AND I'M INCLUDING OLYMPIANS AND SPELLING BEE CHAMPIONS! all.

Pretty productive

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

For those of you looking to not do any work today, may I recommend Redbook's Your Virtual Makeover? Redbook's website often features awesome/terrifying advice like "put a scrunchie around your man's junk*" or exciting interactive features like "Vote for America's Hottest Husband" and today they knocked it out of the park with this gem of a timewaster.

Ever wondered how you'd look if you were a black woman with Ashley Tisdale hair? Wonder no longer friends, I did the dirty work for you. Hope everyone has a pretty, productive Friday!

*That is probably not exactly the wording they used, but it is a piece of advice they doled out. Knowing Redbook, they probably said "manhood" instead of junk.

S's Anatomy

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

First, let me apologize to our reader(s?) for my absence. K took it like a champ, like I knew she would, but for anyone hoping to kill 45 seconds of work day time with a pointless anecdote, I'm sorry to have disappointed.

As K mentioned, I went home sick yesterday. Despite what you might think, I don't actually like staying home sick and generally fight it as much as possible. I'd been stuffy and slightly feverish all week, but nothing to warrant staying home as far as I could tell. Yesterday morning started off fine, I actually even fit a run in before work (though I did go to work an hour late, but oh well). I thought I had kicked the damn thing once and for all and was feeling good.

Until about 11:00am when the sinus headache reared its ugly head. I told my officemate I was going to walk across the street to our beloved corner market for some overpriced Sudafed and asked if she wanted anything. As I was leaving the market, I ran into our dean who saw the Sudafed, asked if I was feeling sick and told me to just go home. I said oh, no, it wasn't that bad, I was just doing this as precautionary measure. I am young, healthy, and strong, not to worry.

I popped two pills with some cranberry Kombucha (god do I love the crap out of some Kombucha), and was sure I'd be back in top form in no time. But instead the pain grew so intense I felt like I had to reach through it to access my brain. I was trying to write a letter to our central admissions system requesting exceptional admission for one of our international students (riveting stuff, I know, but stay with me) and when I looked at the screen to see what I had typed so far: "Dear Mauumill". Now to the best of my knowledge, there's no one working in that office named Mauumill, and it definitely wasn't the name of the person I was trying address. I finally gave in that my headache was rendering me useless(er) and told my officemate I was going home.

I was supposed to speak at the faculty meeting yesterday, so I went to find the dean to tell him that I couldn't. "Hey, [Dean], I am going to take your advice and just go home. I'm really not feeling well."

His response was one of the following:

1. "Okay S, get some rest, I hope you feel better."
2. "You poor thing, take all the time you need."
3. "HA! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD you to go home and you didn't listen! Well yes, leave now, you look terrible."

March 18, 2010

Desperately Lost

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

S is home sick today, so I'm strangely feeling the pressure to work doubly hard at my office.  And- believe me- I am.  First of all, I spent a lot of time with my coworker finding every "Lost" character's equivalent on "Real Housewives of New York City".  Oh- And my coworker is not a woman, should his extensive working knowledge of the Real Housewives character catalog have you thrown.  Here's what we came up with- follow me this far: Jacob is Jill Zarin!

Jill is kind of the leader of some sort of people... And she has lived on an island- Manhattan, you guys!- for some amount of time that I do not know and could look up, but can't imagine I will... And she... Has touched people!  On the shoulder or arm or whatever.  It's all clear.  And LuAnn is Locke and Bethenny is Ben for obvious reasons (their names start with the same letters).

After I got that tough assignment out of the way, I peeled the label off a small container that once held feta cheese that I appropriated as a Tupperware to bring my sandwich.  Then it was time to eat dinner.

So, S, I've got you covered.  The collective American workforce will never know they were one short today.  Not with me around.

March 17, 2010

St. Guiness' Day

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

I have a dog.  He is the cutest dog in America.

He had to go to the vet today unexpectedly.  So I came to work at 10:30, played my word in my ongoing Scrabble game with my coworker, and then left my office (I would have told my boss, but the most valuable workers' absences are never noticed, so I just pretended I was going to the bathroom and then ran to the elevator) to go home to pick the dog up.  When I got back to my office around 1 o'clock, I ran into three of my coworkers making good on our morning's genius idea: They were leaving to drink beer!  For St. Patrick's Day!  Because that makes it fully OK!  I mean- Two of them were wearing green shirts... and they're boys.  If participating in the color scheme of a holiday doesn't entitle a man to day-drink I don't know what does.  And I, too, felt entitled, having already logged a solid thirty minutes of desk time already for the day.  So we all set off across the street to a very famous Irish bar: Marie Callender's.

The beer on the right is my (first) Guiness.  The beer on the left is my coworker's.  He ordered a Corona, and then quickly added that he wanted the bartender to put green dye in it.  Because just drinking a Corona in the middle of a Wednesday would have been inappropriate.  This was a necessary and passionate celebration of snakes or clovers or recorder-like flutes or something.  Anyway, we drank until we all rushed back to get our things in order to go to a 3 o'clock meeting.  I got my things all in order.  If you consider my things to be giggling and not contributing.  And now I am sleeping.

The candyman can't

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

We know that the end of the school year is a busy time for our students, especially those who are preparing to graduate. In an effort to provide all kinds of support, we keep a stash of chocolate in our office for stress-eating. The students are mostly appreciative of this, but lately they've gotten a little too accustomed to getting their sweet fix from our office. Here are quotes from grown adults in regards to our office candy or lack thereof:

"The candy's gone already?"

"You mean there aren't any Reese's left?"

"One time you guys had like Nerds and Laffy Taffy--do you have any of that?"

"Ugh-just M&Ms?"

"I promised Matt a Snickers, but you only have Milky Way."

Which leads me to the first in what I believe will be a series of open letters to people who upset me. Without further adieu:

Dear students in our building,

Believe it or not, it is not our job to supply you with any type of sugar at all, let alone what you happen to be craving at the moment. Here is how you should approach taking candy from our office.

1. Come in.
2. Say hi.
3. Take a piece of candy.*
4. Say "thank you."
5. Get the hell out.

Loving regards,

*If we do not have the kind of candy of you were in the mood for, we could not care less. Take your second favorite or walk your ass across the street to the market and buy it.

March 16, 2010

Game Time Woot

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

I know.  I know.  Is it a bird?  No.  A plane?  That's dumb.  No!  It's a beach ball that appeared in our office that we played, um, beach ball with!  Well, we played beach ball for a while, and then we played hit each other in the head if we were looking at our computers.  Abandoning the game to do actual work had to have consequences.

Legally Speaking

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 certain industry standards and practices that go in to keeping television shows appropriate, legally sound, and in this case classy.  This image is a real e-mail from a few weeks back that was sent from someone in our legal department to the executive producer of the show I work on.  I was CC'ed.  I'm sorry- Let me say that again.  This is a REAL E-MAIL that was sent from someone who went to LAW SCHOOL which costs about a SCRILLION dollars these days (and I should know because I looked at my friends' LSAT study books before, and when I was twenty- two I even told one or two of my parents' friends that I was totally considering becoming a lawyer... Which was true!) to someone who is the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER of a television show that is successful enough that it has filmed more seasons than, say, MODELS INC. which was undeniably RIVETING and indisputably AHEAD OF ITS TIME.  And I was CC'ed on this e-mail as a part of keeping me informed about critical changes to our final product.  Like saying "pootytang."

Ties that bind

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

Our department often gets visitors from other countries. Sometimes it's exciting, but mostly it's not. In fact, yesterday, I had no idea we even had a visiting delegation from Vietnam in the building until our dean walked into our office and handed me a tie. That tie up there. "Here, it's from the delegation from Vietnam." "For me?" "Well they gave me three. I gave two to [the guys in the office next to ours] and you get the third." "Thanks....why?" "I have enough ties. Give it to your dad or something."

I relayed this odd interaction to my friend M who asked "Who does he think you are? Diane Keaton? Lisa Bonet? Paula Poundstone?" When I told her that I would not like to be any of said women, she wisely replied, "One of those people did Lenny Kravitz, my friend." And Lenny Kravitz is one handsome man.

March 15, 2010

Day of rest

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


I need to find a place to go to sleep, like, now.

True story: back when I was an intern I knew of all the rooms with locked doors in my building where I could go for surreptitious naps. Once someone knocked on the door of a storage closet where I was catching up on some Z's and said "why is this locked?" I had a story all ready to go "well when I'm in here looking for binders on the bottom shelf, I'm always worried someone will open the door and smack me in the head, so I lock the door to make sure that doesn't happen." "Oh, that's funny, this guy I know used to go into storage closets and sleep." "Hahahaha he did?! He would SLEEP in a CLOSET? Hahahaha that is the CRAZIEST thing I have ever HEARD! Well I am just going to take these binders with me to the wheelchair accessible single-stall bathroom on the 7th floor for the next 20 minutes or so, I'll catch you later."


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'm someone who likes chatting and pals and being social and stuff, and I share my immediate office with three guys, two of whom I speak to (See: The Muppets Take My Office) and no girls, the following things are already true of my Monday:

- I have told the one story I know about March Madness (A girl I know won the whole pool by picking which jersey color she preferred in each game!  Funny, right guys?  That means I can join this conversation, right guys?  Haaa haaa, guu-uuys!)

- I tried to make a series of lewd jokes about a man named Jim Wildonger who was on a show I was watching at my desk.

- I alerted everyone to what I thought was two attractive women holding hands walking through the courtyard.  It was one attractive woman and her preteen daughter.

Wake Up, San Francisco

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

The days immediately following Spring Forward are rough. I'm less than delightful on a full night of sleep, so when you rob me of an hour, it really gets ugly. Literally. Here's how this morning went (each time marks another hit of the snooze button):

7:30: "Just ten more minutes"

7:40: "I don't need to straighten my hair"

7:50: "Or blow dry my hair"

8:00: "I bet I could get away with pulling my hair back and just putting on lots of deodorant. No shower!"

8:10: "Okay, so you'll get up, put on clothes, brush your teeth, and drink your coffee on your walk to work."

8:20: "Drive to work."

8:30: "Hey, it's S. I'm going to be in late this morning. See you around 9:30."

And so it was. I am not only here at work unshowered, but I also forewent my usual morning walk in favor of driving and paying a ridiculous amount of money for a daily parking pass, and still managed to be half an hour late. That Employee of the Month certificate should be showing up anyday.

March 12, 2010

Make Another Choice. A Less Dumb One.

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

S mentioned in her post about ridiculous coffee-mongering college students that "make another choice" is a phrase that I introduced to her.  I started saying that at my last job because- before I joined the respectable and noble ranks of television production whores- I was throwing my life away, frivolously shaping the future of America working as a preschool teacher.  And in that kind of setting, saying, "Stop licking that ketchup from someone else's lunch off the ground!  You are grossing me out so bad- What is wrong with you?!" or telling a child something like, "But if you hit the other children they will like you less than they already do, and being an outcast at four years old is not a good look, so shape up or wear cooler shirts or something," wasn't totally within our positive language guidelines as educators.  Instead we employed "Make another choice," and it's very close cousin, "That is not a choice."  And these expressions have served me well outside of the world of toddlers.  They can even be used with the kids' inferiors: People working in the entertainment industry.

For example:  "I would like half regular mustard, and half the red mustard that comes on the other turkey sandwich, but not on this one because they're out of it, but you should just ask, and then I would like to send you to walk three blocks with a 20 dollar bill for a lunch that will cost 20 dollars and 19 cents, and have you say sorry and that you will walk back with two dimes right away."  And that gets a big old "make another choice".

Or:  "I would like to have you do the job that I am supposed to all afternoon, and then have you tell me exactly all the things I would know if I had done it so that I can present them to the boss and the staff at our meeting as if I actually did do them, OK?"  A "that is not a choice" classic.

Such great expressions!  So easy!  So useful!  So something I would never ever say and fear that even writing this notion down in a totally kidding way (haha, right, coworkers from whom I work very hard to hide this blog but can't imagine I am totally successful because secretly maybe I don't even really care?) will get me fired!

Keep not falling on my head

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

It's raining today. It's raining pretty hard. Now I'm not thrilled about this, but I was prepared for it, because I look at the weather online every day before getting ready for work, at least during this time of the year when Northern California weather can be a little unpredictable. I saw that rain was predicted for the day, so I, like many, many others wore a rain coat today and brought an umbrella to work. Reasonable, no?

I get to work and a colleague is wearing suede. Not the wisest choice for rainy weather, but hey, it's her life. She stops me by the arm and says "how did you know it was going to rain today?" "Um, I looked at the weather report online and it said it would probably rain today, and then, this morning, when I left my house, it was raining." "How did I miss the rain? I mean, I wore SUEDE today."

You did, honey. You really did. I don't know how to help people who can't figure out when it's raining, so I mock them anonymously instead.

Chopin broccoli

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

One of the things I actually do like about working for a university is the use of student facilities, particularly the workout center. The campus gym is easily the nicest facility in town, and it has the benefit of being very close to where I work, and my membership is pretty cheap (but not free, as some people think).

What I don't like about working out at the campus gym is that I am there with lots of fit, lithe, young undergrads. They prance around in the short shorts, showing off their cellulite-free legs and concave stomachs and I send them hate daggers from the elliptical machine where good lord, I've only been on for 7:34?

I've also found that a lot of said undergrads do not have a sense of humor. Case in point, this morning I went into the locker room and the attendant was no older than 19, reading a large text book at the desk, and listening to a lovely piece of classical music. As she scanned my ID card, I said, "this is beautiful, what is it?" She replied, "[something] by Chopin." Before heading into the locker room, I faux-pompously declared, "I believe that's pronounced 'Choppin'." She looked at me like I was the dumbest person she had ever seen and said, "No, it's Chopin. I know. I'm a music major." She's clearly not a Facetiousness Major.

March 11, 2010

Noise Violated

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

Two of my office mates just staged an experiment to see how much noise they could make using items in our immediate office.  Until one of the many people within earshot came to our doorway to tell them to stop, there were golf clubs being banged on lamps, desk drawers slamming, and feet stomping.  Also one 27-year-old crying at what her life has come to.

And the Bargain Deli Platter Goes To...

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

The TV show I work for is somewhere between a real small potatoes show, and a regular small potatoes show, so last night when we were graced with a special guest who was a 2010 Oscar nominated performer, no one was more surprised or delighted than our staff.  The word came down straight from the top: Spiff up the Green Room!  Pull out all the stops!  Spare no expense!  Show this actor that we know who they are and we respect them!  TAKE THIS SMALL BILL AND GET THEM A HORMEL PEPPERONI AND CHEESE TRAY FROM RALPH'S FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS GLAMOUR!

And so it was:

And so it remained completely un-eaten.  Until about 11 p.m. when two of my coworkers and I went to tidy up, discovered it, turned on Real Housewives of New York, kicked up our feet on the dressing room coffee table, and went to town. 

There was also classy fruit:

And Shamrock cookies.  They were not available for blog photography.  Because we ate them all.

Your mom

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

A friend from grad school forwarded me a link to another burgeoning blog that promises to provide plenty of workday distractions once it's up and running. Check it out and if you have something awesome to contribute, please do, because I cannot wait to see what other people's crazy moms think constitutes an appropriate gift.

What a feeling

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

Back in our halcyon days, K and I did a little volunteering at a summer camp. Said camp had a lot of silly traditions, many of which I found unbearable, but there was one that I absolutely loved called Rock N Roll Breakfast.

When it was time for the kids to finish their breakfast and clear the table, one of the staff members would put on some bad 80s music and everyone who was so inclined would dance around the dining hall, clearing plates and wiping tables like they were in some sort of terrible cleaning product commercial. If a classic such as "Livin' a Prayer" or "Don't Stop Believing" was played, cleaning could be abandoned altogether in favor of some serious lip syncing and conga line action. I always found that Rock N Roll Breakfast could energize me in a way that my 3 cups of bad coffee never did and decided to employ the same technique in my own life when I found myself dragging in the morning before work.

And boy was I dragging this morning. In addition to working on Sunday for our big event, I also had long hours Monday-Wednesday, making sure our special guests had everything they needed while they were visiting. The event, I'm happy to say, was a complete success, but I am still wiped from it all, so to get myself amped for this morning's 9:00am meeting with our graphic designer, I had to pull out the big guns: Lionel Richie.

Please enjoy:

Lionel Richie - Dancing On The Ceiling
Uploaded by jpdc11. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

March 10, 2010

Day Won

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

Boy is this a day.  Yes.  This day is Wednesday.  And boy have I done stuff.  Yes.  Some stuff has totally been done.  I remember a few hours ago when I listened to some people I work with have a meeting that I was also physically present for.  I also remember when I almost did one thing for my job, but then tried to do something else at the same time so didn't really do either at all.  And at some point a phone rang.  (Not mine.)

But I did concentrate my energy in a single place for three minutes and fifteen seconds.  That is not an endorsement of this video, just a window into the one thing that captured my unbroken attention: People playing buckets, then wearing the buckets on their heads, then taking the buckets off their heads and playing them again.  I give you this:

I second that emotion

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

So I just read K's post about workplace urinating and I have to say A-men, or whatever the secular equivalent would be, especially to item #1 (no pun intended). The restrooms in our building are locked, and only faculty, staff, and graduate students have a key. You would think, with such a limited amount of people, all of whom are most likely reasonably intelligent and very familiar with the mechanics of bathroom use, that the bathrooms would not get super disgusting, and yet they always do.

I have been known to walk into a stall and yell "Who in this godforsaken hell hole finds it so damn hard to flush?" (This is why I am known around the office as "Sunshine" btw). But seriously, who? I will grant whoever these people are that our toilets are slightly on the older side and do require a second or two of handle-holding-down to complete the transaction, but that it is all. It is not a difficult thing to do, and yet it appears that very few of my colleagues are willing to do it.

Additionally, and like K, I am also vain and like to spend time each day examining myself in our bathroom's full-length mirror. While I suppose it is technically not the fault of the rest of the bathroom-key-holding-community that they come into the bathroom with ninja-quality stealthness and bust me in my ass evaluating activities, I don't think it would KILL them to announce themselves so I could pretend to be drying my hands or something.

March 9, 2010

L M N O...

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

I have to admit something that, as a woman, I feel I shouldn't.  But I will.  Here in front of blog and everyone.  Sometimes... I have to pee.  At work even.  And holy wow can that be a problem.  Here are the top three reasons, in no particular order, that I resent having a bladder at the office:

1) You would think, as I work in an office with people who are responsible enough to, say, work in an office, that the ladies who use the bathroom could figure out how to not be disgusting.  Not since my college dorm community bathrooms has gingerly tapping a stall door with the tip of my foot to see if there's nastiness that I should run from and burn from my mind seemed reasonable.  When, first thing in the morning, I encounter the end result of some grown woman or another's decision to not cooperate with the automatic flush function, I begin an unparalleled desire to be a robot-human who never needed to visit this grody, windowless room.

2)  I don't know how men roll, but ladies love making smiling eye contact as they hold the bathroom door for each other or when they brush blouses at the sink.  Gross.  "Hey, you're about to go do something weirdly private in this same public bathroom I just did something weirdly private in.  Good morning!  I love your lip gloss!"  No.

3)  Staff-wide meetings are already painful enough, but boy am I vain, and boy do I not make any money, and so boy do I drink a lot of water in hopes that that old-fashioned wisdom about hydrating keeping your skin looking young is true. Today, about 10 minutes into an hour-and-a-half long meeting, I wished that I had the ugliest most raisin-like face anyone had ever seen because the way that I needed to/was too embarrassed to get out of that conference room before my bladder exploded like a really well-aimed, terrifically far-thrown water balloon was unbelievable.  As I sat there, willing death, I thought about how no one in all the months I've worked here has EVER gotten up from one of these meetings to go to the bathroom, and how maybe I could just pee in my seat and by a Passover miracle no one would notice, or maybe I could fake choking and get up as if on a desperate quest for water (I ultimately thought that aggressive coughing would not work in my favor biologically), or maybe I should try to rewrite the day's history and convince myself I had not had liters of water to drink at all, and that this was all mental and completely fixable.  Not surprisingly, none of these options panned out, and the thought of being the first person in the history of staff meetings to have a bodily need was too humiliating to do anything but sit there tortured.  So when the meeting ended, and I had my hand ON THE HANDLE of the door, and my boss remembered something else he wanted us all to come in and sit back down for, I became certain that I was Glenn Beck in a former life to deserve all this agony.

...And these are the reasons that I am in favor of machines running the world.  I see no other way.

Wedded Miss

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

 This morning I woke up for work and felt the love in air and the joy in my heart as I sprang out of bed, excitement and delight still coursing through me from last night's Bachelor wedding SPECTACULAR.  The moving way that Molly's jet puffed hair was plastered to her reptilian face with pouring  rain that- of course- we have yet to invent something to block from people's heads- especially brides- as it gushes from the sky; the noble choice to stop filming Bachelor Jason's five-year-old son after he shot the first half of the two-hour wedding epic, some other post-season specials after final roses and such, and that brief entire season of The Bachelor where he was televised meeting the all the reali-tarts his dad was dry humping; the inclusion of the newlyweds' most best closest friends who just happened to have appeared on previous seasons of their same franchise show, and who they also happen to not really have met before they all got sauced in the airport on the way there... It all filled me with romance and optimism.  And wine.  It filled me with a lot of wine.

But alas, I couldn't sit around in my own personal sunlight listening to the birds chirp and watching them sew me a dress all morning.  No.  It was time to go to work.  And work... Well... It sure is half over for the day.  Yup.  Oh also I took a lunch break.  Shaboom. 

Darndest things

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

My officemate has two kids. They're both girls, aged 5 and 1. The one-year-old is just generally adorable in the way that babies are, but the five-year-old is, in my mom's words, "a pistol." She is precocious and hilarious and one of my favorite kids ever.

At a New Year's Brunch at our boss's house, she overhead someone talking about New Year's Resolutions and asked me what they were. I explained them to her and asked if she could think of any for herself. She said, "No....but I can think of some for you!" Here they are:

1. Don't drink so much beer (Full disclosure: I was drinking a beer at the time she said this. It was not yet noon.)
2. Eat healthy foods.
3. Don't fill up on beer so that you can't eat healthy foods.
4. Don't be nasty.
5. Don't say no, say no thank you.

Genius, no? So on Sunday at our office social gathering thing, my officemate's husband came with the kids for a little while and the older daughter came over to where I was sitting and wanted to play with my iPhone. The following conversation resulted:

Child: Can I send an email to my mom?
S: Sure.
Child: Can I send an email to a stranger?
S: I don't know....
Child: Do you know any strangers?
S: Well if I know them, they're not strangers. But I guess they would be strangers to you. Does that make sense?
......long pause.....
Child: Just drink your beer.

March 8, 2010

Oscar Grouch

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

If I weren’t still a little hung over from the Oscars (earlier I took a teeny nap on my down vest as it hung on the back of my chair, like this sweet sleeping Oscar picture) I would come up with a really hi-larious awards list of my own for my office/coworkers.  Like… Best Snack Brought For Sharing or Best Achievement in Not Being Annoying While You Did Your Job.  But that sounds like quite a bit of work.  And thinking.  And consciousness.

But I don’t want it to seem as though I wasn’t on top of my game as far as getting my actual work done.  Today I: Won online Scrabble against my coworker, made more than one person look at pictures of my dog from the weekend (one of him sleeping next to a champagne glass during the Oscars which I shoved in people’s faces until I felt that they had “Awwwww”ed sufficiently), played another game of Scrabble, debated whether or not Anne Frank: Werewolf Hunter is a valid book idea, hypothetically cast Anne Frank: Werewolf Hunter for the movie adaptation, and ate two brownies.  Pretty much ready for my honorary Good Job! Oscar.  Any day.

The best part of waking up

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

Here is a conversation I just had with a student:

Student: I never got my fellowship letter. I asked you to mail it to two addresses so I wouldn't miss it.
S: I know you asked me, but I didn't say yes. Asking somebody to do something for you doesn't actually obligate them to do it.

There's a lot of research about the entitlement of the "millennial" generation, and while I encounter exceptions to those rules every day, I have to say, people in their late teens and early twenties are entitled in a way I cannot fathom. Por ejemplo, this morning we had coffee and pastries available for 30 minutes prior to guest speaker event. People were supposed to grab coffee and something to eat and then grab a seat before the panel began.

About 30 minutes into the panel, there's a knock on the door. We let the late-comers in, but instead of sheepishly taking seats in the back, they walk in front the audience, including someone videotaping our event, to get some coffee and scones, and then LEFT. I was blown away by the rudeness, and when I confronted them later to tell them it wasn't cool, their response was "but we wanted coffee." I told them coffee was available before the panel began, but they claimed that time was "too early" and they wanted coffee to bring to their 10:00am class.

"The next time you think your desire for coffee is so important you have the right to intrude on an event with important guest speakers and a 60 person audience, I want you think of how pissed I am right now and make another choice*."

The next time they saw me after that lecture, they both ducked like I was about to throw something at them. Mission accomplished.

*K taught me the phrase "make another choice." Maybe she can devote a post to why someday.

March 7, 2010

Everybody's working on the weekend

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

I have to work today. It is Sunday. Yes, in addition to the exorbitant salaries and heaps of prestige, university administration can, at least in my case, come with occasional weekend working. In fairness, most of today's work is just looking nice and being friendly at social events, but that's not the same as looking like crap and being cranky at Target, which is how I usually fill my Sundays.

Working on a Sunday is my WTF for the week. Please enjoy yours:

March 5, 2010

Double Twin Twins

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

The guy in the foreground in the green tee shirt and jeans who is matching the guy in the background in the green tee shirt and jeans is the same guy who was wearing the red tee shirt and jeans when someone else was.  I am coming to question his affection for tee shirts, jeans, and Christmas.  I am also questioning what he must think I'm doing with the pictures I keep taking of him with his head cut off.


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

It seems as though no one is my office today is getting much done, but I have absolutely no idea why.

That's a lie.  This is the recycling container in our office.  This is why:

Yesterday one of my coworkers and I were given the illustrious college-degree-required task of going to Ralph's and buying alcohol and candy for some special celebrity guests that were coming to tape our show.  At first we were at least excited for the out of office field trip time, but I disappointed us both with my extreme alcohol and candy efficiency once we got to the store (it was almost as though I was overly familiar with those particular aisles thanks to years of experience frequently buying alcohol and candy and consuming too much of it each day.  Weird!)

But- No one was disappointed when the celebrity guests left some Ralph's club savings beer behind.  What could we do after 13 hours in the office, but go upstairs and drink until it was nearly time to come back?  Thanks, nameless non-beer-drinking semi-famous people.

I don't wanna wait

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

So it's Anything Goes Friday, where we play whatever music we feel like. My officemate and I were in meetings all morning, so our wonderful workstudy students (undergraduates who help us in our office to offset the cost of tuition) decided to take it upon themselves to decide the theme for the day. They have chosen "Terrible 90s Alt-Rock." To achieve this theme, they have created a 3rd Eye Blind Pandora Station. Said station features the following:

A live version of "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis

"Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows

"Barely Breathing" by....someone. You know the song" "I am barely breathing/And I can't find the air/Don't know who I'm kidding/Imagining you care..." Duncan Sheik! I'm pretty sure that's right. I know I could easily look it up, but I will not.

"Black Balloon" by the Goo Goo Dolls

"Push" by Matchbox 20

"Absolutely" by Nine Days ("This is the story of a girl/Who cried a river and drowned the whole world")

And of course, that 3rd Eye Blind classic, "Semi-Charmed Life".

This station could easily be renamed "Songs Featured on Dawson's Creek".

Business as usual

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

So first of all, that strike was b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Not that I participated, no, I watched TV, went for a run, met a friend for lunch, and took no less than 4 naps in a show of solidarity. But apparently people went nuts. I live about a mile from campus and could hear helicopters overhead all day; I saw on the news that people took over a major a highway. Now generally, I assume that one day of chanting with signs does not do any good, but apparently now Gov. Kindergarten Cop wants to create a constitutional amendment saying that our K-12 schools and universities cannot receive less funding than our prisons. I applaud the sentiment, but am pretty horrified that that sentence ever needed to be uttered. I bet somewhere Gray Davis is having a beer and thinking "suckas!"

Anyway, today, I volunteered to help out our dean's assistant with errands in preparation of a big event that our department is having this weekend. Why? My answer is three fold. 1) I will take any chance I get to get out of the office. 2) Among other places, she is going to Costco. HOT DOG FOR LUNCH Y'ALL. 3) I fancy myself pretty strong, so I like taking opportunities to nonchalantly show off how many flats of Hansens I can lift.