Thursday, March 29, 2007

Waiting For Your Call Baby Night and Day

It's become apparent that job hunting is like dating. The vulnerability of making yourself available, sending out your resume to strangers you meet online, all the vital statistics of your professional self. You check your email, keep your phone on your desk, waiting for it to ring. Hoping someone, anyone, finds you worthy of a meeting.

Finally! Someone calls. You talk about yourself, wondering how much of your true crazy to let out at once. You try not to sound bitter about employers who've hurt you, try to let the past be water under the bridge. What do these people want to hear? Will they use me? Take good care of me? They say they'll be in touch again for an in-person meeting. You don't hold your breath.

Then, miracle of miracles, they call you back. They want to meet you! You eagerly say yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Then begins the worry. Will they like you? What should you wear? What says "I am a professional" and "I am a cool young woman" at the same time? Don't swear. For the love of God, don't swear. Calm down. Brush your teeth. Don't eat the poppy seed bagel on your way to meet them.

You're excited by all the potential in this new place. Four kinds of coffee! Televisions playing CNBC and a stock ticker. Men in suits. A cute receptionist who tells you to hang your coat. Leather chairs. You feel excited and intimidated. Once the first person you meet with shows up and shakes your hand, you feel at ease. You remember you don't need this job, you want this job. You meet with everyone, and they seem to like you, which puts you at ease further. You leave the strange office, feeling good, hoping you'll see each other again. You send an email, thanking them for meeting with you.

A week later, they call. They like you, but they also like someone else. Your heart begins to break. You listen to sad songs. You talk to them again, telling them how much you liked them, hearing the words and knowing that they're true. Your heart races. You hope they pick you. They say they'll call tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes, and you sit by the phone, mentally begging for it to ring. You open and close the phone on the half-hour, thinking that maybe it went right to voicemail. You think about the various problems the call could raise. Maybe they'll just break your heart right away and say they like someone prettier, someone with better clothes, someone more skilled than you. Noon comes. No call. One-thirty comes, and they say they're calling your references. Will they give you the money you need? Will the benefits be good? Where will you live? Where will you buy khakis for business-casual? You try to tell yourself you're Zen.

Finally, the phone rings. They like you. They offer you everything you wanted. Good benefits. Decent pay. Room to grow. A laptop. Business cards. Four flavors of coffee. A team to manage. You say yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Then you realize your have to break the heart of the one you're with. You go to them with tears in your eyes, knowing that this will hurt them, even though it's what's best for you. They congratulate you, which makes the tears come up more in your eyes. One of your coworkers holds it together until you leave the room, then you hear her sobbing. "But I'm so happy for you," she says, "I'm just being selfish." You cry more. But they're happy for you, knowing it's not them, it's you and your needs that need to be met. They know you still cherish what you had with them.

So, yes, I've got a new job. No, I am not leaving because Kristen is leaving. I don't want to get into it too much, but I'll be doing editing for a technology company. I'm glad to be moving up in the world, but I'm sad to leave the good people I work with behind.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Boss Don't Mind If You Act the Fool

I don't like to talk about work on this blog. I've heard too many stories of people being shitcanned after talking smack about their boss and having those words work their way back to the smackee. It's not professional, I understand. But when I read this article, I have to talk a little about my experience in the workplace as a child of the '80s in a professional setting.

I guess the title "Corporate Curmudgeon" should have warned me I may not like what Dale Dauten had to say about people my age when they show up to work.

The work ethic is dead. Younger generations in the workforce have killed it off. If you're under 30, "work" has a different meaning than it did -- for the younger employee, work is something to do with your hands while chatting on your cellphone . . . unless it's something to do with your mouth while text messaging....
And it's nobody's fault but ours, the boomers. We're the ones who were squealing with delight if the kid drew an egg. We were the ones who said, "Johnny tried, and that's what counts." And that's why these misguided Johnnies show up and give working a try, then wonder where they find the counter where success is handed out. They see "work ethic" as "show up and shut up," and no wonder they want no part of it.

Okay. First of all, Dauten's comment that everyone under the age of thirty doesn't understand what work is is quite the carpet statement. Not everyone under the age of thirty thinks life is a scene out of Risky Business. I know that work isn't a place where I am celebrated for just being me. Nor do I sit on the phone and chat all day. Do I check my personal email? You bet. Do I read and write blogs while I'm on the clock? Yep. That's the modern-day equivalent of standing around the water cooler for ten minutes and talking about what was on TV last night or a game. If I sat at my desk working away for all eight hours, my eyeballs would fall out. Taking a short break from one's work has been proven to increase efficiency in employees. Yet even with these goof-off moments, I get my work done. I get good reviews from my supervisors. My work gets done better when I take five minutes to email someone about Idol or our plans for Friday that if my nose is to the grindstone for seven hours.

My Mom taught me that getting my work done is important. But I was also taught that if you've been a good employee for a company, they should do right by you as well. In recent years, due to the lackluster economy, companies are taking their employees for granted. In the past, people worked for a company for their entire professional careers. This was good for the employee, since they knew the company well and could expect the company to try to help them out. It was good for employers to keep the same people on board so workers could understand the company and they wouldn't have to train someone new every few years. My friends' experience has been that unless they go out and get a new job, they won't get ahead. Companies won't promote them, won't give them raises to pay the bills, chip away at healthcare and other benefits until any raise they get is negated by high co-pays. Of course, companies aren't doing this to screw with their employees-- benefits are expensive-- but the result is low morale. My friends aren't snobs. All they want is a nice apartment of their own, clothes, an occasional vacation or meal out. These things are harder to come by as money gets tighter. After being brought up hearing that if you work hard and act professionally, it's hard to deal with the idea that you're only going to be at a company for a few years until you move on to try and get ahead. It's hard to put forth a ton of effort for your job when you can barely pay your bills, never mind save money. It's exhausting. I don't know if a lack of work ethic is my generation's problem. Perhaps we suffer from unmet expectations.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday, I'm in Love

Do you ever get mad? I mean, of course you get mad. But the kind of mad where you can't even pinpoint the source of your deep-seated anger, thus your anger ends up coming out in alarming levels in situations that don't really call for it? The T is where this usually happens to me. Somebody doesn't get up for an old lady, some bitch with a huge bag keeps nudging me in the small of my back with her ginormous suitcase, this guy won't move his hand a fraction of an inch to give me a better position to not go flying during an abrupt stop. While these things are annoying, my mind will immediately start flinging profanities around my skull, and I desperately try to harness the Force and send the offending person flying through the window and be shredded to death by the broken glass.

This is one of those things that isn't normal, right?

I think I have it figured out, though. I can't do what I want right now, and it's pissing me off. I don't mean this in the Paris Hilton, Veruca Salt way of wanting everything my way, but just one thing my way would be nice. A nice apartment I can afford. A new computer. Maybe winning a car or a large sum of money. Paying of my credit cards. A nice haircut. None of these things are possible right now. I did get my tax return, and aside from $100 of that money, I've got to hang onto it until I figure out the apartment situation. (Andraste, thanks for the offer. Right now, I'm staying put in the free living until they give me the boot, which should be June 1.) The sensation of being stymied in every way is just hugely frustrating to me. I feel like a college kid, scrimping for every little thing, but I'm 25. Things should not be this hard for me. I'm well-educated. I'm smart. I'm pretty. I'm talented. Dammit, something's gotta go my way.

I may take $100 of my earmarked fun money and buy Lily Allen's CD this weekend. I can not get enough of the song "Smile." Any song that embraces schadenfreude so fully is okay in my book. Also good is the song "Knock 'Em Out" because I too hate sketchy guys in bars, who seem to be the only kind of guys I meet. A little sketch to my men is fine, but if you've got gray hair and a tan line where your wedding band was until an hour and four beers ago, I don't want to talk to you.

Also on my to-do with money list: buy a new pair of nice jeans. I have this problem where I'll buy a pair of jeans at the Gap. I try them on, I'm not sure in the store, so I get them home and wind up loving them. Like an asshole, I don't go back to the store right away to buy another pair or two, and then the Gap discontinues them. The pair I have is about two years old, and I love them. They're kind of a trouser jean with a crease down my shin, hug the ass firmly but not too tightly, skim the leg, and fall at the perfect length for either flats or heels. Does the Gap make them anymore? No, no they do not. I'm not a terrorist, but I'd like to send them a clear message about their practices. "Dear Gap, Please bring back the flare curvy whatever-the-fuck you sold two years ago that make my ass look nice. I tire of trying on your jeans with the eight-inch-long zipper-cock and uncanny ability to fall directly on the fattest part of my tummy pooch. Die in a fire. Love, Amy."

So, in short, I need a beer. So much for quitting drinking after St. Patrick's Day. Have a good first weekend of spring, y'all.

We Do Need Some Birth Control

I hope Congress has a real good explanation for this nonsense.

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug companies to provide deep discounts to colleges....

The change is the result of a chain reaction started by a 2005 deficit-reduction bill that focused on Medicaid, the main federal health insurance program for the poor. College health officials say they had little idea the bill would affect them.

Before the change, pharmaceutical companies typically sold drugs at deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including colleges. With contraceptives, one motivation was attracting customers who would stay with their products for years.

Now a student who was paying $10 for birth control is now paying $22 a month, which, for those of you keeping track, is more than double what they paid a couple of months ago. It doesn't sound like a lot of money, but when you multiply that out (finds calculator), students are paying $144 a year more than they did last year. I don't know if you remember college, but money isn't flowing as freely as keg beer. $144 is half a textbook. Maybe that money comes out of rent. Maybe it just gets piled on the credit card these girls got offered at orientation. In any case, this most basic and easy of medicines is becoming a luxury.

Not all college girls are taking the pill to avoid pregnancy. Some girls need the pill to ease heavy periods, symptoms of endometriosis, or even for acne control. The pill is not just a contraceptive. Also, not every pill has a generic. When I began my foray into birth control pills out of college (I am the one woman in the history of the world who didn't get laid on a regular basis in college) I tried the generic Ortho. Unfortunately, I broke out like crazy. For a person who hardly ever had acne, it was pretty traumatic. My doctor then had me try Yasmin.

"It's expensive," she said, "but maybe it won't work either."

Of course, Yasmin works like a charm. (Look, ma, no babies!) My pharmacist told me that the likelihood of a generic Yasmin isn't very good for at least another five years. My company's insurance, which gets crappier by the year, charged me $20/month last year, which jumped to $30/month this year. Luckily, I participate in the mail-order program, so it ends up costing me $60 for three months' supply, but it ain't cheap. But I remember that the good thing about the pill is that I don't have cramps that knock me over or long, gross periods.

I just don't understand how there is so much government pork that NBC Nightly News can have a weekly feature describing the myriad wastes of money the federal government allows, but college girls can't have affordable birth control? Come on, Congress. I expect better of you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Today is a great day. It's the first day of spring, despite my freezing my balls off this morning, and Dunkin Donuts has chosen to celebrate by giving away iced coffee.

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I plan to leave my office every hour on the hour to venture to a different Dunkin' Donuts. I figure this will work for about three hours, at which time I will be scampering through the doors like a squirrel on crack, balance on the line-forming tape, land in front of the bewildered worker to request my free 160z. of glory, at which point they will divine that I may have already had an iced coffee at another location and kick me out.

Whatever. I'm still stoked.

Monday, March 19, 2007

You Are Coming to a Sad Realization, Deny or Allow?

I need a new computer. Desperately.

It's been coming to my attention slowly. I got my precious iBook in 2001, during a "carpe diem" fit of spending after 9/11. I fell in love with it immediately. I loved iTunes even before the iPod. I loved how quickly it downloaded music. I loved OS X. Aside from a battery issue early in its life, it's been very good to me.

Over the past few years, however, it's become apparent my baby can't keep up with my ever-growing computing needs. After a near-death experience with my hard drive, I've had it on suicide watch. The battery barely holds a charge anymore. Blogger is a bitch on Safari, but Firefox hates my slow computer. If I try to run Safari, iTunes, and LimeWire simultaneously, the swirling beach ball shows up and my computer crashes. On Friday, I was downloading music while watching TV with my brother. I updated iTunes as well, and when I plugged my iPod in again, I was greeted with a message informing me that my USB outlets are too slow, thus making updating my iPod with my computer like trying to shove a watermelon through a thimble. Great.

My digital camera is also problematic on my laptop. When I try to upload the pictures to Photobucket, it never works because my computer can't process the data fast enough. I even lowered the resolution on my beautiful 7-megapixel camera to help it along. No luck. Even the 2 megs don't load. What fun is a digital camera if I can't upload the pictures of my drunk friends to pester them on MySpace?

So this is what I want. A new baby to love and cuddle. One with fast USB ports, a fast processor, a cool new magnetic power cable, and everything I need. Say hello to the object of my desire:

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Look! I'd be smarter and faster! And I'd have a cute baby in a pirate hat! Or something. But look how hot that thing is. I'd stick with the classic white, of course. But the screen is bigger. It's faster. Drunk uploads ahoy! I need that bad boy.

For now, I'm hanging on to my money to pay my Visa bill off and move myself into a new place. But if my beloved compy dies, I'm going to have to sack up and get a loan for some of the cost of a new laptop. My friend Jen also had this problem with her Mac laptop, but she compromised and bought a new desktop, which is about $300 less than the Mac Book. She uses her slow-ass laptop for sitting in front of the TV and web surfing, which is one of my primary leisure activities. So that is feasible as well.

If anybody has any connections at Apple, give me a yell. Hell, I'd even be interested in a less inefficient older laptop if the price were right. Or the fine folks at Apple can give me a freebie and I will make this blog-template Apple-happy so fast my readership won't know what hit them.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


As much as I don't like having to come home to take care of my Mom, it's been nice to be away from Boston for a while. These two weeks have gone by fast, though I'm not sure how that happened. I feel like I sit around all day, cooking or doing laundry, then go to bed and get up and do it again. I know I have been busy-- yesterday I had to drive to Providence to pick up a hard copy of the prescription for my Mom's painkillers because CVS won't fill a pain medication from a faxed copy, which nobody told us until my Mom called yesterday-- but it's a different busy here. I've barely had any social interaction for the past two weeks. I did go to my old high school, which was actually kind of fun. I saw my old math teacher, whose kids I used to babysit when they were nine and seven. Now they are eighteen and sixteen. After I saw my math teacher, I wandered the hallways, looking into classrooms. I went into the auditorium where I spent most of my high school evenings and got choked up. It still smelled the same-- the smell of paint and fresh wood for sets. After my friend and I had dinner, I went to see my friend Amanda. Her friend Amy's staying with her for a while, so we headed up to a garage that Amy used to work at to hang with some mechanics, which was a great time. There were half-repaired cars everywhere that we had an impromptu photo shoot with. I got nice and drunk, then sobered up a little and headed home.

But now that I've got to run my final errands around here and start packing to head back to Boston, I realize I didn't get as much done as I wanted. I need to make a change in my life, and this is the best time. I don't have a lease, I don't have a family holding me to Boston, and I guess I've got the post-college itch. I'm not satisfied with my work, I'm not satisfied that I'm not writing more, I'm not satisfied that I have no money. I just feel worn down with how things are for me now. I'd hoped to make some kind of progress while I had two weeks without the 9-5 grind, but I feel just as stuck in the mud as I did a month ago. The people I babysit for are going to want me out of their house soon, and that means I'm going to have to commit to another apartment. Because I've got no new avenue for money I'm going to have to live in another roommate situation to afford anything, which I'd hoped to avoid. I loved living alone, but I know I can't afford it without a freelance gig or a retail gig, and I don't want to go back to retail. I'm twenty-five, almost twenty-six. I shouldn't need to live in a commune to be able to also afford food. Something's got to give.

Since yesterday, I've been really bummed out. I don't know why. I guess it's time to put my head down and run hard back into my life.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ready to Back Down

While I was perusing Media Bistro this evening, I came across this article from the New York Times. This may be old news-- my Mom has the TV on QVC for 90% of our waking hours. Some of the stuff is starting to look good. Send help.

Anyway. The article I found says that Democrats are shunning a debate that was to be held by Fox News for the 2008 Presidential race.

But the reasons given for the cancellation — anger over comments about Barack Obama made the night before by Fox News chairman Roger Ailes — give short shrift to an ongoing online campaign by activists at and by influential blogs like the Daily Kos to have candidates shun the Fox News Channel, which they accuse of being too conservative and too closely allied to the Republican Party. Fox News, which vehemently denies the charges of bias made by its critics, sees itself as the wounded bystander in a Democrat-versus-Democrat battle. ... One of the liberal antagonists to Fox, Matt Stoller, of the blog MyDD, said on Saturday, “The goal is not to get Democrats not to appear on Fox News.” Rather, he said, “the problem comes in validating Fox News as a legitimate news source.”

Now, I'm all about bashing Fox News. Don't get me wrong. When I see the doughy face of Hannity and/or Colmes, I develop hives. It is not my bag, just like the Colbert Report is not going to be the show of choice for a dyed-in-the-wool redstater. That's fine. God or Darwin or whomever made us all different so we don't die in a hail of meteors. Clearly, the Republicans have the keys to the fallout shelters, so some human life form will make it.

However, all that being said, Fox News is a news source, and not just because it has "news" in its name. Actual thinking human beings watch that channel to get news. It's true. I personally don't know any of these people, but what we liberals need to realize is that the world doesn't end in New York. In bars and restaurants and homes all across this country, people watch Fox News. Do most of the viewers watch it because Fox embraces their biases? Of course. But by ignoring Fox, the Democrats shut out voters who could potentially change their minds. Most voters are mad as hell with the Republicans because President Bush is running the party into the doldrums with his ill-advised plans. If a Democrat (God please, any one will do, send Kucinich if need be) gets into these homes and makes a point, a little cockroach of thought hatches in a voter's brain and maybe, just maybe, the cockroach will fall out of that voter's ear and push the lever for a Democrat next November.

I'm an optimist. I like to believe the best of humans, despite overwhelming evidence we're nothing but ill-mannered monkeys with nuclear weapons. I just want the political party I generally align myself with to grow a pair and fight on the enemy's turf. It would be like Martin Luther King Jr. organizing a bus boycott in New York City-- it doesn't do much to make you look strong if you're not risking anything.

To sum up: Sack up. Thanks.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Jersey Ain't the Only State That Loves Its Malls

Today, it finally got warm out. Looking out of my Mom's living room window onto the field showed the first signs of spring. The grass was dewy in the rising sun, so bright it was almost blinding. It was still cool outside when I went to get the newspaper, but by the time I went shopping I finally got to roll the windows down and drive. Of course, today the radio wasn't playing any great music, which was too bad.

Everyone else must have gotten spring fever and went to the beaches or the bike paths, because Target was dead. It was great to go and take my time, browsing through the aisles of clothes and various dodads. I bought myself a raincoat that properly fits and a couple of flouncy skirts for when the weather gets nice. After Target, I remembered some cute shoes I saw in a Kohl's ad, so I decided to go there. I didn't catch any evidence of the shoes, but I did pick up a pocketbook for half off (a cheapie, but they can't all be pocketbooks from Italy) and some bras. Of course, once I got home I realized I'd picked up a 36B instead of my newly minted 34B, so I'll have to go back.

While I was at Kohl's, I stopped inside the Rhode Island Mall. If you grew up or spent time in Rhode Island in the 1980s and early 90s, you know that the Rhode Island Mall used to be the cool mall. I would go with my Mom to stop at Sears and buy an applicance or some back-to-school clothes, but we always stopped at the pet store on the way out. This was the old-school puppy/kitten mill pet stores with actual pets in them. I'd fall in love with a bunny or a cute collie puppy and my Mom would drag me out. I honestly don't remember much about the Warwick Mall until they installed the carousel. After that, we all went to the Warwick Mall and the Rhode Island Mall fell by the wayside. Between the Warwick Mall's newfound cache and the Providence Place Mall, Rhode Island Mall has fallen upon some hard times. How hard?

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Yeah. About that hard. All the stores I could fit in my frame are now closed. Times are so hard, the Rhode Island Mall is featured on (which is an awesome website). Check out the picture there of the Rhode Island Mall back in its heyday. It makes me very sad to see.

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This was the "Peter-Pan" elevator. As kids, my brother and I would fling ourselves against the glass wall like bugs against a biker's teeth to watch as we ascended. "We can fly! We can fly!" We'd yell. Hey, it was big shakes for us hick kids.

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Thank God the Silver Dragon is still open. I didn't go in because I wanted to hit Building 19 (shut up), but I was sure it had closed. This store was my jam in high school. I think my Mom may have allowed me to buy my Tarot deck there and I bought countless gothy necklaces and overpriced gauzy hippie shirts there. My friends Nick and Shell and I would go there all the time so they could stock up on their pentacles and whatnot.

Yes, I was that kid. Thanks for asking.

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Come on. Garbage bags over the windows of Saturday Matinee? Depressing. There's something about empty spaces I find both moving and terribly disturbing. It feels almost like the public shouldn't be admitted to this empty building. The mall Newport Creamery? Gone. Food court? Vanished. Auntie Anne's pretzels? The Warwick Mall now has two.

I hope to get around to photographing the old KMart plaza a couple of towns over this week as well. I guess it depends on when my brother's around. A plan for me to stop by my old high school alma mater may also pan out. I was supposed to drink up and see my old drama club's musical today, but my friend couldn't make it. Back in my drama days, it was all about the public domain works. We did a lot of Shakespeare and Arthur Miller plays. Now they charge $10 a ticket (absurd!) and do musicals where the rights must be paid. Fascinating. However, my friend wants me to meet her at my old school (where she works). Expect more trauma-filled rants from that experience.

To finish, I'd like to leave you with a chicken/egg scenario.
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Which came first, the crib or the liquor? This sign may be one of my favorite things about the Ocean State. No lie.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Reflections on Songs and Men

Something about being home makes me reflective. Maybe it's the boredom. I can't really go off for too long since my brother has stuff he needs to do and my Mom, who just came home today, can't be left alone in case she needs to get up or down stairs. But when I go out to do errands I like to go by myself so I can listen to the radio and sing along without anybody judging me for my questionable song preferences. I love cheesy pop songs that remind me of certain times of my life. I wish it weren't bone-chillingly cold so I could roll the windows down and feel the wind in my hair while I sing. The quiet control of moving so quickly, alone, is wonderful and something I don't really get when I'm driving in Boston.

The song that pop radio is most enamoured with right now is DAUGHTRY's "It's Not Over." It's early in the game, but Chris Daughtry's association with American Idol has become secondary to his fame, much like Kelly Clarkson. His album is actually good, without the caveat "...for an American Idol album." "It's Not Over" is a great radio pop-rock song. My favorite line is "a part of me is dead and in the ground/ this love is killing me because you're the only one..." It speaks to me because a part of me is in fact dead and in the ground (my dad), but it also works on all the guys I've dated who I've had to metaphorically bury.

Right now, guys I've dated are on my mind. Being home reminds me of the first time I was in love, and when I hear "Once in a Lifetime" while driving down a certain stretch of road, I remember the night I lost my virginity, the sun just beginning to set later at night, the sky turning purple as he drove me back to my car. Just hearing the words "and you may say to yourself, my God, what have I done?!" comforted me in that moment when I wasn't sure. Wasn't sure if I was any good, wasn't sure if I looked okay or if I made the right noises, wasn't sure if anything would change between us, wasn't sure if I'd manage to avoid getting pregnant. That guy managed to manipulate me into more sex, but I eventually realized I was worth more than his shit and kicked him out of my life. I was so scared I shook when I told him I hated how he treated me, and that he could never make it right. My God, what have I done? But I haven't spoken to him since. Sadly, it's one of the proudest accomplishments of my life to have not given him another chance.

The next guy was years later, and was my first actual relationship. I loved being with him. I loved that he would drop me off at work in the morning. The mid-day text messages made me happy. We looked great together-- a cute couple. We had a spark between us and I'm a sucker for a spark. Unfortunately, sparks also cause fights. We should probably have only dated for six months, but we went on and off for nearly a year and a half. He was my boyfriend. Then he dumped me. Then we got drunk at a party and started play-fighting. Then we started talking. Then started with the clandestine sex. Then our friends caught on, but we weren't dating. After a blowout fight, we began dating. Another big fight, then we broke up. During the time while he was debating whether our latest fight was surmountable, I was listening to Nine Inch Nails' album "With Teeth" incessantly. The song "Every Day is Exactly the Same" was on rotation in my head. The words "there is no love here/ and there is no pain" turned into worn stones in my mind as we eventaully got together to formally break it off. I tried to stay away from him, but we kept seeing each other. Right before I left for Italy last year, we had sex again. While in Italy, I hauled my ass all over Venice, trying to find a small glass parrot to bring back to him because I said I would. The only glass parrots I found were huge, so I just took a picture to show him. I hoped it would be enough. For a man I wasn't dating. I sucked a year ago.

I came back from Italy a year ago yesterday. A year ago today, I found out what my whatever had done right before I left. The day before he had sex with me, he'd gotten one of my good friends so hammered she couldn't even type words, then basically date-raped her. She described it to me as her "not saying no enough, I guess." He told her how now when we talked about his sexual activities she'd have a basis of comparison. Horrible, horrible things. My friend told me what happened, in tears, telling me that she understood if I didn't want to be her friend anymore. Since she came to me first, and was so upset and guilty about what had happened while he had been turned on by it and failed to mention it, she proved her friendship to me.

When I confronted him, he never said "I'm sorry." He made excuses, he told me that he didn't cheat on me (which wasn't the issue), told me that she was asking for it, basically. Finally, I got to yell at him, not concerned with being an adult or being polite, but just read him the riot act. Aside from a voicemail he left on my phone, I haven't spoken to him or heard from him since. After I told our mutual friends what had happened, he lost all his friends. I'm a firm believer in karma doing my dirty work, so just being my ex sucks more than anything I could do to him. Again, it's another proud moment for me to not have given in on checking his MySpace or reading his blog, not even once. My friends didn't think I'd cut him dead since I put up with so much from him, but that was it.

Having said that, Carrie Underwood's song "Before He Cheats" is the catharsis I want without any of the potential lawsuits. I'm not much of a country fan, nor a Carrie Underwood fan, but the nastiness in her voice in that song is amazing. The snarl when she describes bashing out her date-raping ex's headlights is perfect. I love a woman done wrong song. It's been on my iPod for over a month, but I sang along loudly last night after I got a call from my friend, saying that the elevator doors in her office building opened up, and date-raping douchebag was waiting outside. She froze, then when he tried to talk to her she booked it out of the elevators and called me. I don't know how she handled it. Over the course of this year, the knots in my stomach when I see a car like his or a haircut and build like his have faded. Occasionally, I think I see him and a panic rises up in me for some reason. If I actually saw him, I'd either a) kick him in the dick, b) puke or c) just be numb. Ideally, I'd like to look smoking hot (I've lost weight since we broke up) and just keep my cool around him, to not even acknowledge his existence on this planet. I could do that, then find his car and take a Louisville Slugger to both headlights.

There have been other guys, and they all have their songs. This summer's fling ruined "Closer" for me for a while, which I've since gotten over. Some songs just can't be sullied by a man. The Shins playing at the Local after a hot Scotsman grabbed my ass, told me how cute I was, then ran off after his friend and didn't come back.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Vicodin, Take Me Away!

There is nothing worse on this earth than a hospital waiting room. Why should the patients have all the drugs? I'd have gladly taken some Vicodin off somebody's hands to take the edge off the sheer boredom and torture of sitting in a tiny room all day. There was one family with the girl who fancies herself a bombshell in the tradition of a Maxim model but is actually a very horsy girl in furry boots. There were many, many adults with fanny packs on. There was a doubly annoying combination of Mario Lopez and Kelly Ripa. Martha Stewart has a very fake gossip voice. Vicodin, please, take me away!

All this is to say, my Mom is fine was sleeping well when I left the hospital tonight. She was joking about her hair and my quest to find a hot doctor. (It's pointless. Every single hot doctor has already got a ring. My Mom's resident? Hot. Smokin' hot. And this is not some gold-digging, student-loan-paid-in-full rose-colored hot. He'd be hot even if he were a broke publisher. Hot.) I hope that she continues to be in a good mood tomorrow.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. I promise I'll say something mean about somebody soon. Maybe the hot doctor's wife. Dang.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Nobody Expects a Swiss Invasion!

My God, this would make a brilliant Monty Python skit.

"Where are we?"

"Um." (turning and rustling of map)

"We're still in Switzerland, right?"

"Well it's dark, I can't very well see, can I?"

(Pass sign reading "Welcome to Liechtenstein.")


There's something inherently funny about Liechtenstein. It's my favorite teeny tiny country. Liechtenstein. Lich-ten-stein. Hilarity!

Can you imagine if Mexican or Canadian troops stumbled across a desolate patch of border and the US government found out? We'd be bombing the shit out of our invaders within the hour.

Fatal Attraction to Cuteness

Friday. WHOO.

Yesterday I went to H&M against my better judgment to check out the spring clothes situation. I got my bonus from work this week, which I expected to be in the realm of $800, but after cuts from the company and the government taking it's greedy portion (hope those kids in Iraq like those bombs!), I only get to see $600. While most of it is going toward my sizable credit card bill, a girl can't dress in last season's clothes alone. I'm going out with a couple friends tonight and felt like dressing nicely, so I treated myself to a shirt dress. I look vaguely like I'm about to go on safari, but on the whole I look like an actual grown-up instead of my usual skater-punk self. Since most people in my office don't get gussied up for work I generally don't bother, but I do feel better when I look more put-together. As much as I'd love to buy myself an entire wardrobe of fine young woman's clothing, it's not in the cards until a freelance gig or a new job shows up. Or someone nominates me for What Not to Wear. Hint hint.

Tomorrow evening I head down to Rhode Island to care for my Mom after her back surgery. She's been given an all-clear from her oral surgeon and her back surgeon, so unless another tooth decides to get infected, she should be on her way to feeling better soon. At this point, it's become old hat. I sit in the hospital waiting room with my grandfather and brother, watching horrible daytime TV until the surgeon comes out and says she's okay (I hope). It would be one thing if I thought this would be it for a while, but after three major arthritis-related surgeries in three years (or so) I just feel like we're resetting the clock before she needs more surgery. I think when she's recovered from this latest round, I'm going to pressure her into seeing an arthritis specialist or something. She's so young to have to deal with all this. I also hope she loses some weight to take the pressure off her bones a little, but she's an adult and I can't make her. She's trying, but the pain makes her not want to move, which makes her weight loss minimal, which makes her pain worse, and it's a horrible spiral.

Baby and I have a whole routine worked out about this. She's got quite a vocabulary for someone who's only nearly three, but her mind is still young.

"What's you Mom's name?"

I tell her.

"Is she going to the doctor?"


"For her tooth?"

"No, she's done with that. Now she's going to get her back fixed."

"Oh. Her back?" Baby reaches behind her and grabs her own back.

So have a lovely weekend, dear readers. Missives from the Ocean State will begin next week.

It's Hard Out Here for a Mormon

Mitt Romney has had a crappy week. Early this week, his campaign forgot to empty their recycle bins and a PowerPoint presentation outlining his whole campaign plan was widely reported on. As the kids say, "Whoopsie."

As the Globe reported:

The plan, for instance, indicates that Romney will define himself in part by focusing on and highlighting enemies and adversaries, such common political targets as "jihadism," the "Washington establishment," and taxes, but also Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "European-style socialism," and, specifically, France.

Something about that last bit just makes me giggle. What has France done to Mitt Romney that he just can't abide it? Do the French harbor al-Qaeda in barrels of wine? Is Mitt lactose-intolerant and can't bear to think of all the excellent formage he's missing out on at the hands of the fey French? Perhaps Mitt is a fan of the Muppets and hates the idea of Kermit's legs being snapped off for food. I mean, Jaques Chirac is perhaps the most fun name in politics to say aside from Tommy Thompson. I don't see what's wrong with France.

Today it's being reported that students at Regent College don't want Romney to speak at their school since his Mormonism clashes with the evangelical Christian background of the school. Now I wouldn't want Mitt Romney to speak at my commencement either, but that's because he's near the top of my political fecal roster. I don't see what the big whoop about his religious background is, but that's because I don't see what the big whoop about anybody's religious background is. If Romney's going to fail, which I think he will, I want him to fail on his own demerits and conspicuous political opportunism and not because his great-grandfather had two wives.