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.

June 22, 2010

Big Love

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

Ladies and gentleman, I have a new comedy girl crush. Sarah Haskins, you're out. Same with you, Maria Bamford. My new love interest is a Mormon New Yorker named Elna Baker.

I was actually exposed to Elna a little over two years ago by a guy I was dating at the time. We were talking about our shared love of This American Life, and he told me about the funniest segment he'd ever heard on that show about prissy Upper East Side moms, FAO Schwarz and some pretty blatant racism. He retold the story pretty well, but I wanted to hear the full version and found myself sitting in front my computer, engrossed in this funny woman's story. (You can hear it, and all the other stories I'll reference by clicking on her name.)

I passed the story on to a couple friends, but didn't think much about the woman herself, other than she had a nice voice and was very funny. Then yesterday, as I was listening to several Moth podcasts to keep one of the workstudies from talking to me, I came across that familiar voice and sly sense of humor. This time, she was talking about her 80lb weight loss and how she hoped it would change her role in her family. Because of that story, the other workstudy (whom I like talking to, but also enjoys listening to podcasts) and I keep saying to each other in deep voices "NO! I AM PRETTY NOW."

So the good workstudy and I decided to blow a goodly amount of time today finding every audio and video clip of Elna's that we could, and once we devoured those, moved on to written pieces like her Glamour article, "Yes I'm a 27-Year-Old Virgin."

If you had told me that the funny girl telling the TAL story was a Mormon when I first heard it, I would have had a hard time believing you. I knew a lot of Mormons growing up, and don't doubt that they can be funny, it's just that most Mormon women don't make it to stand-up comedy age still single and childless and working at FAO Schwarz. Elna's a different kind of Mormon than the ones I grew up with (all married except for one that we've always thought was gay) and I'm glad I've been exposed to her, not just for the laughs and wasted work hours, but also the reminder not to pigeon-hole people. Who knew not working could be so educational?

June 21, 2010

Hope in My Heart, A (Rhythmically Questionable) Poem in My Head

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

We're taping our show a day early this week, and now that I'm seven hours into my Monday, I'm already giddily thinking that maybe I'll get a glorious day off...

A poem on this theme:

This week is a quick week
So I want to shout-speak,
"Hooray, hooray
Maybe Friday
My world won't be so bleak!"

'Cause maybe I'll be off
Without a sick day cough
And free to spend
 My hours on end
With no boss there to scoff

Ask, and You Shall Be Mocked

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

A major portion of my job is answering questions. By email, in person, over the phone, I answer questions about our admissions criteria, application procedures, academic policies, course availability, etc. It's pretty hard to have a job in higher education administration without answering a lot of questions.

I like knowing things that other people don't. I like telling them what to do. It usually works out great. But sometimes their questions are so incredibly stupid that I cannot take any joy in having special knowledge. Usually I don't get bombarded with idiotic inquiries until our application deadline gets closer, but today has been an exception.

I had a 10:00am appointment with an international prospective student from Nepal. She arrived shortly after 10:00am and announced that she was looking for me. "I'm right here, you made it, have a seat." "I called on Thursday to meet with you but you said you didn't have time and didn't work on Fridays, so I should come at 10:00am on Monday." "Yep. And here you are. Have a seat." "You want me to sit in this chair?" "Please."

Now this part was fine; it's her first time in the US and I've worked with enough international students to know to make allowances for cultural differences. What followed though was evidence that while this student had done her research and knew a lot about our admissions requirements and costs, but was hoping that none of them would apply to her. "Do I really need to submit 3 work samples?" "Would I have to pay that money?" I tried my best not to be condescending as I assured her that no exceptions were made to either our admissions policies or our tuition, even for people who considered our university "a dream."

I also received an email from a prospective student asking if I could tell her her chances of being admitted to our program. I mean, technically they're about 1 in 5 because we admit around 20% of our applicants, but I think she meant that based on the 3 pieces of information about herself that she gave me, what chance did she stand in our applicant pool? I wrote back telling her that I am unable to speculate as to anyone's chances of being admitted and she wrote back wanting to know who could tell her if not me. It was all I could do not to just write back "Nostradamus".

Finally, I just responded to my least favorite kind of email, the super open-ended one. The phrasing may differ but the person is basically saying "do all my research for me." Today's came in the form of "can you tell me what information about your program is not on your website?" but most commonly comes as "is there anything else I need to know about your program?"

Yes. You're too dumb for it.

June 18, 2010


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

I didn't get to post anything yesterday, but not for lack of desire.  It was for lack of a minute to call my own, but while I didn't get to blog, here are some things that I did get to do:

- Sit in a dark editing bay for 5 hours "supervising" an editor who is completely self-sufficient and knows exactly what he is doing.  I do not know what he is doing...Which makes it hard for me to supervise.

- Play games on my iPhone, really the only option while sitting in a dark room with no real work to do.

- Learn, after my iPhone ran out of battery power, that the computer in that editing bay (which my coworker was using for actual work or something, because it's not enough to have one of us with no clue sit there and watch the editor do whatever it is he does, but instead two of us are required) is too old to charge an iPhone.

- Sit and stare into the dark.

- Eat my dinner that had gotten cold as I sat in the dark in under two minutes before I had to go sit in the dark some more while we taped our show.

I mean, I guess I could have written something at 11:30 p.m. when we finished up, but then I would have had to put in for all that overtime.  So instead I cut a few cupcakes on the community table in half to find the one I wanted to take home, and just called it a night.

Flip Side

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

In the spirit of camaraderie and bloggy cross-promotion, I'm just writing to plug the blog of my high school friend Jill. She has recently, cleverly, availed herself of working (K's and my only goal in life), and is blogging about her adventures in joblessness. I think it will complement our job-related bitching quite nicely. Read it and feel jealous. I know I will.


America! Kind of....

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

Even though it's my day off, I've been awake for 3 hours. Why? Because my two favorite teams in the World Cup, USA and Germany both played this morning. I'm not into MLS soccer, or even the European leagues, but when teams are playing for the glory of their country, I cannot say no. Also, if the World Cup happened more often than every four years, I probably wouldn't care as much. Who played in this year's Super Bowl?*

Anyway, I should have stayed asleep because that shizz was PATHETIC. Germany, who I have taking the whole damn thing in my World Cup Bracket, lost to Serbia. SERBIA. Do they even have running water in Serbia? Then, the main event, USA vs. Slovenia. After a pretty exciting tie with England (even though I thought the US played like shit in that game, and if our goalie wasn't the man and England's goalie didn't fuck up so royally, we would have lost like 3-0), I was expecting a swift victory that I could enjoy with waffles and Nutella. At least I enjoyed the waffles.

We were down 2-0 for a goodly portion of the game. That ain't right! SLOVENIA. A country full of people with the pale and sickly look that only Communism and no sunlight can achieve. As my friend A said, it was like the US "was afraid to see what happens if they kick the ball in the goal." And then, in the second half, my new boyfriend Landon Donovan kicked the most amazing goal I ever have seen. Seriously, even if you don't like soccer, look it up. It is bad ass. Then that semi-Albino Michael Bradley tied it up. We could have won if that idiot ref hadn't counted our 3rd goal offsides, but I can't get into why I hate that ref so much right now, because I'm all hopped up on Nutella.

*The Saints! That was a pretty great game actually. I made Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon that day.

June 17, 2010


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

So it's my turn to provide a drink for Thirsty Thursday, our weekly outdoor summer cocktail fest. Just like last year, I am making sangria, because I have easy access to cheap white wine and don't feel like coming up with anything else. Instead of just being happy that we have a weekly drinking ritual, other people in our office get really nervous that they might not like this Thursday's beverage usually around Tuesday and start hounding the person for details about their drink.

"I'm making sangria."
"Didn't you do that last year?"
"What fruit are you putting in it?"
"I don't know, probably peaches and limes...maybe melon?"
"Hmmm....I don't like peaches."
"You don't have to have any."
"Will you be bringing just regular wine for people who don't want sangria?"

Then today, as I was assembling said sangria in the staff kitchen, I received these 3 comments from three separate people who were bombarding the kitchen because there was a rumor spreading around the building that there were bagels and lox in the fridge. (There were.)

"Just peaches and limes? I thought sangria had like 5 different kinds of fruit in it."
"Why aren't you using red wine?"
"Is that going to be enough for everyone?"

It's free booze people. Come, have a drink, get back to your desk to make your emails even more riddled with typos than they currently are. I don't know if my colleagues' sense of entitlement is a reflection of our students' entitlement or vice versa, but what normal person looks a free drink in the mouth?

Lest I lump them all together, I just sent out an email reminding the crew that it was again Thursday and I hoped they were thirsty for sangria. I immediately got a reply from our HR lady and braced myself for her complaint and/or admonishment, but instead all it said was "Excellent." Indeed, ma'am. That is how you respond to the news that there is free alcohol for you. Cheers.

June 16, 2010

Pizza My Broken Heart

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

Last night, as so many of us do, I stayed at work two hours later than usual in anticipation of the arrival of one Eminem.  Yes, that Eminem.  That "Eight Mile" Slim Shady Eminem who was scheduled to shoot something for our show.  And- as is so often the case when you find yourself sitting on the floor because someone in the art department took away the only couch there was in the common area, waiting for Eminem, eating your third piece of extra greasy pizza because you were so hungry from being at work past your dinner time that you ate the first two slices too quickly to realize that they had actually made you beyond full- he didn't show.  Typical.  The big boss sent out an e-mail to the whole staff saying that Eminem apologized to the star of our show- who was not in the building or affected by the wait- and would be calling the star of our show- who, again, was not in the building eating pizza on the floor for lack of a couch- to apologize personally.  When the e-mail came in, I dusted myself off (no, literally, that floor is gross) and set to putting the leftover pizza away in the fridge.  There was the small but meaningful consolation that I would get to have free pizza for lunch the next day (today), and that I seemed nice for offering to be the one to put it away when really I was just keeping close tabs on it so that I could stake my claim for the pieces I wanted.

So imagine my absolute devastation when I, after not packing a lunch for myself, and with great pizza hope it my heart, arrived to find that someone had taken the ENTIRE box of assorted leftover pizza slices.  Someone went into the refrigerator in the break room between 9 o'clock last night and 10 o'clock this morning and thought to themselves, "Oh look- Here's an entire pizza that I didn't pay for that's been carefully saved.  I should probably take the whole thing and make sure that whomever it belongs to doesn't get any."  Who would do this?  What adult would steal a whole pizza from his or her own place of business?  Why didn't I do it myself?!

Loud and Clear

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

More on the joys of working in my building: we have some sort of alarm that likes to go off every now and then for no reason we can detect. It's not the smoke alarm, or a burglar alarm, or even one of those new-fangled carbon monoxide detectors (I know those aren't that new-fangled). When it goes off, it's a loud, high-pitched, continuous noise that makes everyone crazy. Kind of like the vuvuzelas people are so into blowing at the World Cup right now. (Btw: those are so annoying. I am all for embracing the traditions and cultures of the home country, but that sound makes me CRAZY).

Today, the alarm has been going off several times an hour from anywhere between a split-second to about 5 minutes. It's annoying no matter what. It started while I was out of the office, picking up a document from my favorite central admissions lady in the world, partially because I wanted to get outside for a little bit, but also because our workstudy students seem beyond lazy today and neither one them seemed to willing to do it.

Anyway, I came back to the lovely sound I know so well, and our two workstudy students sitting in our office, looking agonized.

"How long has this been going on?" I asked.
"A long time, almost since you left," one of them told me.
"Why didn't you shut the door?" I asked, shutting it myself.
"I don't know! Wow that makes it a lot better!" said the other, after my shutting the door drastically lessened the the volume of the sound.
"Well from now on, never hesitate to shut the door when that alarm goes off. It's the worst."

Really? Neither of them thought to shut the door? Our university kinds of prides itself on the quality of student it admits, but neither of them attempted to damped a sound by shutting a door.

I mean, I did take a quarter of "The Physics of Sound" in college, and probably have a truly superior understanding of how sound waves work, and even considered becoming a speech pathologist for like 2 weeks my junior year, but I think even small children know that when something outside is loud, closing the door makes it better.

Maybe tight, tiny short-shorts are cutting off the circulation to her brain. Or her ears.

June 15, 2010


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 my office is fairly unremarkable except for the fact that everyone is cranky out of their effing minds.  Rolling chairs have been pushed for effect, voices have been raised, and a lot of super terse one word e-mails have been sent.  In a way it's comforting because my fuse is short, too, today (despite having put myself to bed at 9:45 last night, I feel snippy and exhausted and have taken to bothering my already annoyed office mates in the middle of whatever they're doing to ask if they think I'm anemic.  They don't), so it's nice to not feel as though I'm the stand-out difficult one.  But boy- A staff wide meeting with a bunch of people who should be taking a time out was not delightful.

And now we're all waiting around, unsure if we are taping a part of our show tonight.  Usually we order food if we're going to be here late, but my immediate boss says that no one can order dinner until 7 (putting it on our desks in the 8 o'clock hour) since we may not have to stay.  So now everyone who couldn't even handle sitting around an office pleasantly enough is still sitting around an office waiting to find out of we are going to leap into rush-production-mode, or just have it called off after the dinner hour has passed.  In short, it's going to be a long night.  A long night of figuring out how to infuse the one remaining Cliff Bar in my desk with an entire bottle of wine.  Stay tuned.

Change of Heart...Attack?

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

So this one faculty member has the reputation of being a curmudgeon with the heart of gold; a dedicated teacher who genuinely cares about his students, but will harass and insult them incessantly regardless. He often comes into our office to mock us for having yet another meeting, to tell us we send out too many emails, or to blame us for something that is totally not our fault.

I find him alternately annoying and amusing. I know his bark is infinitely worse than his bite, and as someone who likes to pretend to be meaner than she actually is, I respect his game and try not to salt it. However, sometimes he's just a genuine asshole. When he's in a relatively good mood, we have a fun, joking relationship based on mutual insults. When he's being a prick I cannot stop myself from yelling "GET AWAY FROM ME YOU COLOSSAL JERK!" He never can tell if I'm kidding or serious when I have these little outbursts, which is probably for the best, because I always feel guilty after being so rude to someone who's the same age as my dad.

Anyway, he's recently been super nice and pleasant to work with: responding to emails without the slightest trace of snark or resentment, volunteering to complete tasks instead of whining about being asked, and even sticking up for me when another faculty member criticized my work. I really don't know what to make of it. I'm kind of afraid that he's dying. He's diabetic and smokes like a chimney, so it's not totally out of the question.

I'm also disappointed because, with him being nice to people these days, I am totally a front-runner for biggest jerk in the building. I'm totally more upset about this guy potentially dying of course, but seriously I can't think of anyone meaner than me if he's out of the running. I might have to start baking shit for people, or at least looking them in the eye when I pass them in the hallway.

June 14, 2010

Help Wanted

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

So, as I've shared, and as the subtext of every entry I've ever posted should suggest to you, I'm looking for a new job.  The problem with that is that the whole process makes me feel as though I have two annoying jobs: The one I have, and the search for the one I want.  And at least at the first job they pay me a shockingly small amount to get done what needs to get done.

I spent most of the weekend working on an assignment from the company that I want to go work for.  Super exciting.  Except when Monday comes (which it did today, for those not keeping track) and I feel as though I just banged my head against a wall all weekend trying to do a good job so I can get a new job so I can leave this dumb job (adjectives in italics, please).  I'm not even up to my usual 50% effort around here, and at this rate someone might notice.  I also have more work to do during the week on this hopeful-new-job-assignment, so I will be like one of those moms who works all day at an office and then goes to wait tables all night and then puts her baby in the freezer when it won't stop crying because she is so fried, only my baby will be my boss and the freezer will be a place of even lower esteem.

That's What We Said

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

I am once again at my desk while not one, but two workstudy students assemble IKEA furniture. We got the remaining furniture on another office field trip this morning and I'm "trophy-wifing it" as Officemate says, while one normally-dressed and one scantily-clad youngster put my office together for me. It's not a bad life.

It turns out that putting furniture together leads to some awesome "that's what she said" opportunities. Officemate and I are not at all above a workplace "that's what she said", but our workstudies are a little horrified our liberal use of the phrase. But come on, they're bringing it on themselves:

Upon seeing the completed filing cabinet:"Holy cow, this is huge!"

Trying to install drawers into filing cabinets: "I guess you just slide it in."

Handing the other one the hammer: "Allison*, wanna bang?"

Realizing the hammer is very large: "This thing barely fits in my hand!"

Trying to maneuver filing cabinet into corner of the room: "I just really don't think it will fit."

Realizing they need help moving the filing cabinet: "We're going to need 3 people to do it."

Come on! They're asking for it. And we are delivering. Then laughing like 12-year-olds while the not-much-older-than-12-year-olds roll their eyes and get back to work.

*Not her real name.

June 11, 2010

I Scream

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

Note: I totally thought I posted this yesterday. My bad, kids.

Today is Officemate's youngest daughter's 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday, little Officemate! Your current Jekyll and Hyde personality befuddles me, but it cannot be denied that you are damn cute.

Officemate took the day off to take her kids swimming in honor of little one's birthday and because the Bay Area seems to have gotten the memo that it's June and the weather is behaving accordingly, much to the extreme relief of people on Facebook.

The nice weather is awesome, of course, but it does not contribute to a productive workplace, as doing anything outside seems infinitely preferable to, I don't know figuring out how a student with a disability will be able to access our 100+ year old, totally in no way ADA-compliant building when she arrives this August.

We actually have more disabled people in our building than average, I would guess, but they can all walk by themselves, or with the assistance of a cane, or in one woman's case, the wall. (Seriously, watching her move makes me want to cry and thank some deity for my ambulatory body.) This student has some serious back problems that sometimes don't hinder her walking, but sometimes necessitate the use of a wheelchair.

Our building is one of the oldest on campus, and has multiple floors and lots of stairs and no elevator, so it's really kind of nightmare for someone with mobility issues, making me all the more impressed with my disabled coworkers who seem to navigate it expertly and without complaint. Anyway, for someone who uses a wheelchair to go from floor to floor, they have to leave out the one ADA compliant exit we have on each floor and go outside and around the building, up a pretty steep hill, to get in on the next level. I anticipate this being a nightmare for our student, and let's be honest, probably for me.

So that's why I'm not thinking about it and going to get ice cream.

June 10, 2010

I'll Take You Out

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

Sometimes my job world collides with someone else's job world, and sometimes that it adds to both our days in a fun commiserating-laughing-with-a-stranger kind of way.  And sometimes, like today, we are both worse off for the interaction.  And so, an open letter to the girl and the guy at the over-priced but super tasty Los Angeles hamburger place that we have ordered a staff-wide lunch from a disastrous three times:

Dear Girl and Guy at the Over-Priced But Super Tasty Los Angeles Hamburger Place,

Hey, your hamburgers are really good.  Like, very delicious, which is why- despite my warning cries- on the rare occasion that the star of our show comes into the office for more than an hour, he wants to order everyone's lunch from your restaurant.  Your tiny little pretentious hamburger restaurant.  I thought, naively, that after you refused to put cheese on a burger because it didn't come with cheese on your menu, and wouldn't substitute a turkey patty for a beef one in either of the two hamburgers that our star ordered last time, that my days of listening to you sigh on the phone when I called in a large order for pick up were over.  As did I think that my days of calling back and listening to you sigh once again when I listed off the many items that you forgot were also over.  Alas, I was wrong.

See, today our star popped into the office and suggested that we order from your restaurant, as if he had completely forgotten the incident a few weeks ago when he yelled at you through me after you refused to put lettuce- which you serve- on a burger- which you also serve- because you said that they cannot be served together.  With either no memory of the past, or a wide-eyed optimism that this time things would be different, he placed his order for two hamburgers that apparently- though they are on your menu- you don't serve anymore, and I knew that we were in for a lovely afternoon.  Me, you, and all the people I work with who are prone to fits of rage when such things as their non-dairy dressing on the side get screwed up. 

So after you told me that the kitchen was going to be "really pissed at you" when I finished telling you which burgers my company would like to exchange several hundred dollars for, I waited a few shocked minutes, and then headed over to pick up our food.  Remember when I got there and I asked if I could use an empty counter to take the food out and double check our order?  Remember how you looked at me as though I had just asked to use that counter space to drink the blood of your first born?  I do.  I also remember how you told me that you had already checked, as if pretentious burger place employees never make mistakes, and as if you and your cohorts in particular hadn't already wasted dozens of minutes of my time in return trips for forgotten items.

But, I have to say, that was one delicious burger that I wanted to punch you in the face over.  So thanks.  And stop being such an a-hole.

Somewhat yours,

June 9, 2010

Panic Elevator

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 that if you're in the entertainment industry and your name doesn't rhyme with Gleven Glielberg or Shmulia Doberts, you're going to have to do some seriously annoying, infuriatingly stupid work that you don't enjoy almost every day.  And I don't know, maybe Gleven and Shmulia do, too.  But it seems as if the wildly bothersome tasks have hit a peak around my office recently.  They alternate between banal and high stress, and are condescending so as to demonstrate zero faith in my abilities as often as they are way above my pay grade with full freedom to fail all alone.  In short, I'm not into it.

Enter this gem from some wonderfully prescient maintenance employee:

That's the elevator covered in padding.  I have to share an office with, as of today, four other people which makes throwing myself against the wall as I scream at full volume a slim possibility.  But an elevator- That I can commandeer.  That emergency Stop button can't just be for natural disasters and equipment malfunctions, and I know a young assistant who could sure use 10 minutes alone yelling at people who aren't there and whom she will never actually yell at and who might really enjoy punching a soft surface so that there's no later need to explain the scabbed knuckles.  I might even bring a book and a cup of coffee to wind down in there afterward, just to maximize the alone time.  And I'll probably pick my nose.  Just because I can.

Say Hello to Your Acquaintances

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

It's been awhile since I've done an open letter, and today I've been inspired to write 4. Without further adieu:

Dear IT guy,

I don't know what happened to you to make you such a crank. Is it because we all think your Russian wife is mail order? Is it because you have no discernible neck? I've worked with well-intentioned IT guys with no social skills before, but you are actively unpleasant. We know you love to tell us everything that we're doing wrong and complain about doing any work at all, but it's making us all hate you so bad. So bad.

What do I need to do to get you fired?


Dear friend with a new baby,

I'm happy for you. I really am. This is nothing personal, but I am hiding you on my Facebook news feed because I cannot read any more posts about your baby's sleeping/eating/pooping habits. I totally get that you're home alone all day and totally focused on your baby, but I need you to understand that no one else cares.


Dear phone repairman,

You cannot call me "sweetie." You just can't.


Dear 19 year old workstudy student,

You are young and cute. This office is casual. But for the love of God, those shorts are way too short. We won't be wondering if your legs get magically fat at your crotch if you wear shorts that are just an inch or two longer. We all get that you have a nice figure. We do not need to see your ass to be convinced of that fact.

In solidarity,

June 8, 2010

Morning After

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

You guys- Remember when you or your favorite early 90's evening soap opera queen Brenda Walsh lost your/their virginity and were totally sure that you somehow looked different after?  Thought that you were putting off such a glow that it was amazing that strangers didn't just stop you on the street to ask what glorious (well, whatever) event had recently passed?  Remember, guys?

Well, I hate to shatter any totally reasonable notions (especially given that I'm pretty sure that my mom makes up half of our readership), but I did not lose my virginity last night.  But I did go to DISNEYLAND!  With my gal pals!  Almost until closing!  On a Monday!  And I couldn't believe, as I walked around my office today, trying to tamp down the residual joy and delight enough that I could do things like pour my coffee and ride the elevator like a normal person and not one who might, say, throw her hands in the air and shriek, "Yaaaaay!" at the sight of a balloon with ears, that no one noticed.  No one.  No one said, "Hey- Are you recently returned from the happiest place on Earth?  Because you sure look like it!"  Nor did anyone say, with a furrowed brow, "Are you not wearing any make-up?" which was an improvement from earlier this week, but how today did no one feel compelled beyond reason to comment on my actually somewhat happy state?  It's almost as though a generally pleasant attitude is expected.  Well no one better expect that from me any other day.  This is some pixie dust shit, friends.

June 7, 2010

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

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

K and I have both recently mentioned my ability to tan easily. It's one of the few genetic gifts I've received. I mean, I know I'm very lucky to have a healthy body, but I don't have like naturally long legs or poreless skin or what have you. I've got my ability to tan and my long fingernails working for me, and against me I have greasy hair, big ole' feet, and blood that mosquitoes love.

Yes, I am a mosquito magnet. If one is around, it will bite me. After a week of camp in high school, a girl in my cabin was complaining about her 13 mosquito bites. I did a quick tally of my own body and replied "bitch, please, I have 13 bites on my left arm." It was true. I had 57 altogether, including four on my face.

That was my worst case ever, and while this weekend in Yosemite wasn't that bad, I still have about 8 large visible bites on my arms, 4 on my legs, and two huge ones at the bottom of my neck. I didn't want everyone at my office to make a big fuss over how eaten alive I was, so yesterday I wore a sweater and jeans to work to cover up all my owies and suffer in silence. However, yesterday was crazy hot and I was pretty uncomfortable in my cold-weather outfit. So today I decided to deal with the comments and come to work in a sundress.

I walked into my office (after voting, of course!), shoulders, arms, and legs bared, and braced myself for the barrage of concerned comments I was sure were coming my way.

"Hi, S!"
"Cute dress. It goes well with your 'I Voted' sticker."
"You left your water bottle here yesterday."

All the fussing, all the "oh, you poor thing" type comments, all the motherly admonishing about bug spray I was expecting....none of it came. No one has said anything. I've even done some melodramatic scratching to draw attention to my plight, but nada.

I've decided their lack of response must be due to their knowledge that I am not the type of person who likes to attract attention or sympathy, and not to due to a genuine lack of interest in me and my itchy burden. Right?

Mince Meet

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

Hey- Pretend it's Friday, OK?  And pretend that I wrote this then, and that I didn't forget to post for the second time in a week, and also that it's almost the weekend which is a super fun pretend for a Monday.

So "this morning" I realized that I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop with the follow-up-meeting-that-never-was with my two big bosses.  I had exhausted my supply of Rescue Remedy (which, incidentally, if anyone is in the market for a homeopathic anti-anxiety medicine that tastes deliciously like scotch, let me point you in the direction of dreams come true) and had reached the place where washing down hard core sedatives with a break room Diet Coke sounded reasonable.  Doubling over in fear, thinking I was being called to the chopping block every time my phone rang or a new e-mail came in was getting- go figure- hellishly exhausting.

Surprisingly though, no one had any Propofol just taking up space in their desk drawer, and I was struck with an incredible notion: I could call the meeting.  There the big boss was, just sitting in his office.  Here I was, just sitting in mine.  And here the power of movement was, at my full disposal to just walk on in there and say something like, "Hi, I thought I would follow up with you about our last meeting."  It was so simple!  It was so inspired!  It was so effing terrifying!

But with the wind of my office mates' breath saying, "Umm... Sure.  You could..." at my back, I walked around the corner and into the big boss' office and asked if he had a minute.  Here's the thing: He did.  So I sat down, and we chatted about what had happened since last we met, and then about some other general topics of conversation, and then we told each other to have a good weekend and I left.  It was totally painless, he was really helpful, and it gave me great closure.

But how could anything pleasant last forever?  How could anything pleasant last for longer than five minutes?  As quickly as I had felt relieved, I came to feel completely indignant.  What is the point of doing something vaguely adult and fairly mature if no one is going go blue in the face and nearly pass out praising and thanking you profusely?!  I mean, I took the initiative to have an actual conversation with my boss, and no one said, "You are so wonderful!" or "Thank you so much for being so great at communication and also for being so profoundly brave!"  Nothing.  As if I was just supposed to already be an adult just because I'm in my late twenties.  As though just being employed in a professional environment should make me professional.  I mean- If they all stop complimenting me for dressing myself and packing my own lunch every day next, we are going to have some serious problems.

Do It Yourself

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

Coming back to work on Mondays is never fun, but coming back after an amazing 3 day weekend in one of the most beautiful places on Earth is just painful. My long Yosemite weekend was a complete dream and I hated to leave.

Officemate isn't here today so I'm all alone in our newly painted office, watching a workstudy student assemble Ikea furniture. Our new office is really coming together and people have finally stopped commenting on how ugly they think the new yellow paint is (it looks great; they're crazy) and noting, enviously, that our office is coming together well and has the potential to become "the hippest place on campus."

My friend M is amused that I am sitting at my computer while my workstudy puts my office furniture together. "Personally, I don't know how you can stop yourself from jumping in. I love me an alan wrench." But that's the hierarchy of our office as far as I'm concerned. I'm my boss's bitch; these 19-22 year olds are mine. It's the office food chain. My boss is SUPER into maintaining the chain of command around here and will never do anything she doesn't feel is within her sphere of importance and I'm afraid that mentality is contagious.

Our dean, however, is the consummate populist and doesn't see things that way. He refuses to sit in the fancy dean's office, preferring the small, stuffy one he held for years as a professor. This morning, he came in and said "S, I got this email asking questions about our program for accreditation. I don't have time to respond; could I send it to you?" "Yes, you're the dean. You can just tell me what to do. Just forward me any emails you want me to handle." "Well that wouldn't be very nice of me!"

No, Dean, I guess it wouldn't. You're a good person. I gotta go pick up an alan wrench.

June 3, 2010

Just for the Spite of It

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

Something that S and I share is a true and meaningful passion for doing things out of spite.  In college when we had an obnoxious and also pale roommate who wished that she could be tan, S, with a freakish ability to tan quickly, set out to sun herself daily.  She had no deep personal desire to be more bronze, but if she could bother our roommate in the process of doing something pretty easy, then so she would.  For spite.  As for me, I have ordered food for spite, turned up the volume for spite, dressed fancy for spite, and pretended I was dumb for spite.  And those are just some of the more sophisticated approaches.  If something requires little effort, and turns out a medium spiteful reward, then that's usually where you can find me.

So you'd think that I'd be on board with this:

This is roughly half of the tapes currently taking up space in my office.  There are also as many DVD's.  My immediate boss ordered them to spite someone across the building- whom I believe she's never met- when that person couldn't accommodate my boss' request to get all this media in another way.  So it's not that we need these tapes, but boy did they make someone who has other things to do kind of annoyed.

Here's the problem, though, with this endeavor: You know who had to fill out about a bascrillion forms to get these tapes and DVD's?  Can you guess who has to walk across the building to pick up huge stacks of them and then carry those stacks back across the building?  And whose office are the crowding up again?  The answer to all of those questions is, "Definitely not my boss."  And some- small as it often is/should be- personal effort going into making someone else's life harder or less pleasant seems that it should be required, doesn't it?  If I had an office full of people to do my spiteful bidding, I could certainly get more of it done, but where's the pride?  Where's the joy?  Where's the sacrificial accidental sunburn or indigestion or blistered feet to balance the- hopefully bigger- problem you caused for someone else?  I mean, there have to be rules.  Otherwise it's just mean.  And lazy.  And yes if it were someone other than my immediate boss I wouldn't care one bit.  So spite that.

S'more What?

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...
First, a moment of silence for our fallen Golden Girl. Rue, you will be missed. Thank you for being a friend.

Okay, so I'm going to Yosemite tomorrow. I'm really excited about it; I haven't been since I was a kid. I remember it being really beautiful and impressive, but I was mostly pissed that my family "vacation" that year was just a buttload of hiking. My parents are super active and outdoorsy and love to hike. They wanted to instill that love of the outdoors in me by taking me hiking in some of California's most beautiful forests whenever they could. I guess their plan worked in the long run, because I love hiking now, but God did I hate it when I was younger. I whined, I complained, I dragged my feet. "Trees all look the same" I would say.

Anyway, I'm happy about it now and used my lunch break to do some pre-trip errands, including getting things for s'mores and going to the post office. I was standing in line with a basket full of chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers and the girl in front of me went "Oh my god are you making s'mores?" "Yeah, I am this weekend." "Oh my god, are you going camping?" "No, but I am going to Yosemite." "Oh my god that is so cool." "Thanks."

Yes, she really said "oh my god" before everything. A couple of seconds later she asked if I'd hold her spot while she ran and got something. I said sure and she took off with a thing of mint chip ice cream and came back with a different thing of mint chip ice cream. "Thanks...you're probably wondering why I just did that." "No, it's fine." "Well my boyfriend doesn't eat Safeway brand anything. He refuses." "Oh...." "And then I realized my mint chip was Safeway brand so I had to go get another one." "Cool."

I mean there's nothing wrong with her or our interaction, I was just surprised by how much she wanted to talk to a complete stranger in the supermarket line. Also, Safeway brand ice cream is delicious.

Anyway, after getting my Ohmygod s'mores stuff, I walked over to the post office to get an international postcard stamp. I lived in Germany for a year after college and am still in touch with my host family. They love California and Yosemite and I knew they'd like to get a postcard. "One postcard stamp for the EU please." "Just one?" "Yes, please, one that goes to Europe." "That'll be 28 cents." "For a stamp that goes to Europe?" "No this is domestic, you need to specify that you want an international one." "I did, I said 'EU'." "What does that mean?"

What does that mean? I know I might have a leg up on some European terms because I lived there for a year, but don't we all know what EU means at this point? Especially people who work in a post office, where people often go to send things to the very European Union to which I was referring.

"It means European Union." "Fine, that'll be 98 cents." "Oh my god, that's so cheap!"*

*I may not have actually said that.

Elephants Do a Lot of Things Better Than I Do

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 write a post yesterday.  Just plum forgot altogether until I paused the true crime show I was napping through to answer S's phone call so that we could chat about S'mores, and that somehow triggered the realization that I hadn't complained publicly about my gainful employment for more than 24 hours.

See, the miracle of yesterday was this: There is truly nothing to do at my office this week that we couldn't do next week.  We all came back from a shortened vacation for no reason that I can discern since we're not taping anything until next Thursday.  But, in a glorious turn of events, it seems as though the big boss actually realized how useless every single person's presence was yesterday, and at the end of a staff meeting at around 3:30, he said, "And if that's it then I suggest that you all get out of here as early as you possibly can today.  See ya."  Well from his lips to God's ears to my foot to the gas pedal.  Following that announcement I didn't even stick around long enough to even remember to eat the last of my snacks that I had put in the mini-fridge that morning.  My departure was that quick, my nap once I got home that freaking awesome, and my forgetfulness that deep in the face of being at my home in the daylight hours on a Wednesday.  And I would totally apologize.  If I felt bad about it. 

June 2, 2010

Don't Stand So Close to Me

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

There is literally nothing for me to write about anymore. My boss and her ridiculous antics are away in South Africa. The students and their cloying questions are gone until August. The guys next door aren't around. All of my best fodder has left the building. Officemate and I are shells of our former selves, sitting around, getting work done with no crazy shenanigans to keep us going.

Our office is currently getting painted so we're in the library with laptops, click-clicking away with no phone calls or random people stopping by to ask us for information that we make readily available in a multitude of forms. It's all very normal.

With no news on the office front, I ask this question instead: why isn't everyone on the same page with personal space? I get that personal space is a pretty American concept, as we have the luxury to actually demand space from those around us, but I live in America and am almost daily shocked by how up in your grill folks like to get.

Two examples from yesterday. 1) I went to Safeway to get some groceries around 9:30pm when the parking lot is pretty empty. I parked about 100 yards from the store with about 3 empty spaces next to me on either side. I come out maybe 2o minutes later and there's a car right next to mine. Why? Why people? You have so many other options!

2) I was at the gym yesterday, using the stationary bike. I love the gym in the summer because it's a university gym and most of the students are gone so I never have to wait for the machines I want. No, machines aplenty! This was the case yesterday and yet a dude came and sat down on the bike right next to mine. I gave him angry face and made passive aggressive sounds, but he didn't budge.

I'm trying to become a faster biker, so I was doing speed intervals and getting pretty sweaty and warm on the bike and did not appreciate someone else's body heat and potential sweat so close to my own. Given the choice, don't we all want to put a little distance between ourselves and strangers? Especially when they're sweaty?

"Maybe he thought you were cute!" you might be saying now. To this I say, no he didn't and I don't care. I do not get that sexy exercise glow that Cosmo swears will turn your guy on. I get beet red, I sweat like crazy, and I breathe really hard. I want the endorphins and I'm willing to do what I need to to get them. Also, he was not even mildly attractive and rode his exercise bike like some foppish Brit on the back of a tandem and I cannot stand for that.

Tomorrow we're supposed to go to IKEA to get our new office furniture. Hopefully I'll have a good field trip story to relay. Until then, back the hell off.

June 1, 2010

Back to the Blech

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

Today was my first day back at work after a week and a day away.  The week and the day were as glorious as you might imagine when I tell you that they were really glorious, and the return was as miserable as you might imagine when I tell you to read any blog post I've ever posted.  I tried to think of a good metaphor for how my vacation was like work... The obnoxiously persistent mosquitoes as my immediate boss, the constant threat of sunburn as her frightening wrath.  When I reached the point, though, of suggesting something about the dead tarantula I saw on the ground outside a Belizean cave being like my hopes and dreams it seemed the metaphor was getting too thin.  Or depressing.  Either way.

So, after wishing unsuccessfully that I forgot how to get to my office and could call in lost and get everyone worried that I had gone totally loopy a la Kelly Bensimon on Real Housewives which I caught up on after too long away, I made it to work this morning and checked my work e-mail for the first time to find that our network celebrated a big anniversary during the week that my coworkers and I were away.  In the spirit of celebration, each day there was some treat for everyone in the building.  You know, the building I wasn't in for once.  Free coffee, free ice cream, free cake; my e-mail cataloged the delight of the day for each day that I was away.  As a small consolation, however, there was a red, plastic, network anniversary commemorative cup waiting for me on my desk this morning.  And another e-mail in the midst of the daily treats one that asked all employees building-wide to please stop watering/dumping out plants in the bathroom sinks.  So at least I know it wasn't all fun while I was away.  (Incidentally- Doesn't everyone just get succulents and then never water them and then say that they're surprised when the plants die?  I can't be alone in this charade.)

Then this afternoon we had a long meeting where we all heard about doing better at stuff.  Where's my job where the assignment that we all have to do better at is longing to be back on a beers-before-noon-style vacation?  That I'm very good at.  Very.