Tuesday, August 31, 2004

happy birthday, Alex!

I think you are the cutest thing in the whole wide world, especially when you eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast.
How did I get to be so lucky?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I'm wicked smahhht

Last night Alex and I were channel surfing, looking for something good to watch (yes, we were sitting at home on a Saturday night not using TiVo to our advantage). Alex happened to land and stay on Jeopardy. I did not look up from the magazine I was flipping through, but was pretty impressed with myself because I could answer all sorts of questions. It wasn't until after I correctly answered the incredibly easy final Jeopardy question that I glanced up to see some 12 year old kids behind the podiums.

That's right. I can beat a 12 year old at Jeopardy.

happy birthday, Wil!

Friday, August 27, 2004


I'm not sure if it's because it's finally sunny and warm out, or if it's the fact that I've been doing a job I never thought I would be doing for about a year now, but whatever it is I'm just not into this whole "work" thing I'm supposed to be doing.

I'm guessing part of the reason for my disdain is that from the time I started kindergarten until the time I left undergrad it became pretty apparent to me that the months of June through August are meant for slacking. Sure, I had summer jobs, but the beauty of those jobs was the knowledge of no matter how bad it was I would be leaving in September. And for the most part the summer jobs I took opened the door to all sorts non-work kind of situations. Top ranking jobs: handing out flyers, pressing a button while opening doors to start a tour and slinging desserts with Lisa. Lowest ranking job: assembly nerd at an aerosol can factory on the evening shift. but that's a whole other story.

After undergrad I was faced with the harsh reality of watching summer pass me by while I toiled at real jobs with no end in sight. Being forced stick with one job for more than a year sadly may have been a deciding factor in my plunging into serious debt by attending grad school. Was it worth it to have my summers free again? You bet. Grad school presented me with the best summer job ever; I got shipped off to the Sundance Theatre Lab where I worked on a kick ass project, had free housing on a mountain side, was served three square meals a day and only had to work every other day.

and then grad school ended.

I shouldn't complain about any of the jobs I've had over the past four years(although that doesn't stop me), but there's something about my current job that makes me want to play hooky on a daily basis. Today I woke up and sun was shining and breeze was blowing and when I got into my car and sat there for a good 15 minutes staring out of the sunroof, thinking about how I could get out of coming into work. But here I am, freezing in my overly air conditioned, fluorescent lit cubicle, with memories of my parents saying "you don't know how easy you have it, just waaaait."

I can't believe it's come to this...

Monday, August 16, 2004

it's not okay

Today I strayed from my usual lunch plans, I wasn't hungry because for some mysterious reason I spent all day yesterday eating as if I had been stranded on a foodless island for three months. Instead of eating lunch today I ran errands and the following occurrences all fall under the category of:

it's not okay

*that size 7 acrylic knitting needles only come in pink at the store I went to

*to have Halloween decorations and candy displayed in the middle of August

*for me to have gone into a Big K

*that We Built This City was playing in the Big K

*for the screeching alarm to go off in the Big K and the only woman who has the power to turn it off is too busy stocking shelves

*that any schmo can pick up a ladle and serve up a helping of Signature Soups smack dab in the middle of a Safeway supermarket

*there are vats in Safeway labeled "Cravin' Crab & Sweet Corn Chowder" and "Stompin' Steakhouse"

I should have just gone to Vietnamese with everyone else, and remained sheltered from the wilds of San Mateo.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

stay classy

I hate to say it, but Anchorman beat the pants off of Dodgeball.

I know I'm behind the times on this movie news, but sometimes I just have to wait until a movie comes to the Parkway. Because then we're talking about 5 bucks to get in and a pitcher o' beer with the flick. Can't be beat when you're a tightwad like me.

Steve Carell is brilliant, and I would see the movie again just for the cameos... and this song.

Friday, August 13, 2004

favorite lyrics of the day (vol. 2)

from Jesus Walks, Kayne West

Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
Cuz we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers is role models, we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis... that's the way I need Jesus

say it ain't so

Justin's quitting the band?

awww, man! I just finished learning the moves for Bye Bye Bye so I could dance up a storm on their next tour.

Actually, I thought they broke up in 2002.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

be it ever so humble

If I were to click my heels like Dorothy and repeat "there's no place like home" I'm not sure if I would end up where I live now, or where I go to visit my family. There's no place like either of those places, and I don't really feel like I belong in one more than the other. I had a good trip to Boston in June and I'm about to go again because I really miss being there, but it's also kind of relaxing to be in my own space, with Alex, far away from everyone.

Last time I went to Boston I only had six days to reacquaint myself with the people (and places) who had a hand in molding me into this adult I'm supposed to be. In those six days I had the chance to see my old digs, hang with my family and spend some quality time with my bestest friend.

My Mom's house was the first stop, I did a lot of visiting with aunts, uncles, cousins and I even got a little face time with the grand matriarch, Nana. But the best visits included those with my sister and nephew. Oh, how I miss them.

Look at that face! How can I live across the country from that guy?

The time with Mom, however, proved to be a little more stressful than I had imagined. It's not that she intentionally says or does things to rub me the wrong way, but she's my Mom. And you know how moms can be. The most exasperating part was getting from point A to point B. My Mom didn't learn how to drive until she was in her mid fifties and she is a bit of a nervous driver. (Now here's the part where you picture a 4'10" woman with BluBlockers in a very large Grand Marquis.) Her driving is a little on the slow side for my taste, but I give her some credit, because when you're nervous it's probably best to take your time. Although I do think that coming to a complete stop before turning may be a little excessive. She did take a particularly quick corner one day, but she gave me plenty of warning by informing me that we were about to "book it", so I was good and ready when we hit that speedy 7 miles an hour.

Mom is too nervous to risk leaving the surface streets though, which leaves the highway driving up to me... and Mom with the fake brake on the passenger's side. It takes a little getting used to a Grand Marquis, so I admit I wasn't the smoothest driver when it came to the stop signs and traffic lights, but cut me some slack, that's a lot of car to stop! Mom eventually eased up on the fake brake, but every turn or lane change I took was accompanied by a deep breath being gasped in through clenched teeth as if I was jabbing her with a burning hot poker. These wincing inhales were paired up with a firm grasp on the "oh shit" handle over the window of the passenger's side. Sometimes I was lucky enough to only get the door handle grab, a little more subtle. One time I actually got a double handle grab, that's the left hand reaching over to the door handle and the right hand reaching up to handle over the window. *please note: this type of grab should only be attempted by a professional pessimist* Often when switching lanes I was told that I was "a gutsy little devil" and asked if I was "aware of the merge." But there was one shining moment when she did compliment both me and my sister on our driving (while I was not driving). I know I shouldn't take the whole thing too personally, but I don't remember her freaking out in the car with my Dad. Is it me? Is it?

I'm going back to Boston at the end of next week to help Lisa out with some more wedding stuff, but I don't think I'll have time to see Mom again. Maybe I'll practice a little bit of the slow driving while I'm out there so I'll be ready for my trip in October... when I get to drive Mom to New Hampshire. A whole hour of fake brake, I can't wait. There's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

why I quit my last job

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the last week of my old job. I would be lying if I said that I was devastated to leave that job. There are certainly some people I miss working with, but there are also some people I'm glad I don't ever have to deal with again, and the work itself... not so much the fun.

Perhaps it was because I extended myself more than I should have, maybe it was because I answered my work administered cell phone every time it rang, no matter what time it was, but after almost two years of being a company manager I couldn't bear the thought of booking another flight, prepping another apartment or listening to one more upset actor. I started to crack at the end of May and finally by August I was on my way out. I was so eager to leave at that point that I didn't even have another job lined up and only two months of rent saved. Probably not the best idea in the Bay Area, but I felt like I had no other choice.

The last show I worked on was one with "stars". It was important for me to keep these stars happy, that was part of my job. I was to accomplish star bliss by being extremely pleasant, insanely attentive and upholding all of the commitments made by others, many of which I was not aware of. Most of these promises were made by the Super Powerful Ultimate Director (SPUD) of the company.

The first time I was aware of these clandestine deals was when I booked some business class plane tickets instead of first class. Even though I had the executed contracts in my hands, stating what I could and couldn't do or buy, I received some angry calls from managers in L.A. about my "out of line" purchases and was told that I was violating verbal agreements which were made by the SPUD just yesterday. I was asked more than once if I knew who I was dealing with. I think I had a pretty good idea. These people weren't even in town yet and I had knots in my stomach anticipating what else could possibly go wrong.

Then the best part came, I had the pleasure of picking up cast members at the airport. It was a joy to be driving a filthy company car around and hear of all the promised wonders I was to provide for these stars; the special meals, the tours of the city and the comp tickets I had for them for other shows on their afternoon off. Granted, this was all part of my job and I had no problem fulfilling (or at least delegating) these requests, but it would have been nice if SPUD, who promised all these things, had let me know the specifics or even just said "hey, I promised all these people so much stuff I don't even know what I said, so good luck!" I ended up looking like a bobblehead on these rides with the stars, smiling and nodding while driving, taking mental notes of what I needed to do. Sleep was lost on these days, rage persisted, so to avoid a break down I had my intern take over for a few airport runs. He too became miffed with the entire experience. He liked to take his own pristine car to the airport and came back steaming one time because one of the cast members, who seemed to have brief bouts with narcolepsy, ate a crumbly muffin while dozing off in the front seat of his new car.

The show ran for eight weeks, with the cast changing every two weeks, so every other week held new and wonderful surprises for me. Upon each arrival I could expect the unexpected and nothing was out of the realm of possibility. I think the worst incident was being obliged to find soul food in Berkeley at 10:00pm on Sunday night, or maybe it was the time I had to find comfortable quarters and a watchful eye for a dog who had just had hip surgery and was on a fair amount of pain killers.

The 12 - 16 hour days I worked during the rehearsal and run of this show were wearing me down. I was officially miserable. Something had to be done. I talked to my boss, who was the coolest boss I've ever had, and she said she would see what they could do to compensate me. She told me she would talk to the SPUD and let me know what they come up with.

The next day I was called into the SPUD's office.

The SPUD thanked me for all my hard work over the last few months and assured me that I was doing a bang up job. I sat there patiently while she told me how lucky I was to work with such stars and what a privilege it was for me to be able to get up close and personal with each and every one. I did my usual routine of nodding and smiling, just like in the car, waiting for some sort of bonus or a mention of some extra vacation time to fly my way, just something more than words. I had enough of the words, I wanted more. And more is what I got.

As the SPUD got to the end of her speech she informed me she wanted to give me something to show her gratitude. SPUD rolled her chair over to her purse and pulled out her personal checkbook. As she carefully wrote on a check and handed it to me she was proud to announce that she found out my wedding anniversary had recently passed and she knew Alex and I were going camping for the weekend. This personal check from SPUD was to say thank you for everything. This personal check from SPUD was to be used to buy a nice bottle of champagne for my anniversary getaway. This personal check from SPUD had a note that said "happy anniversary". This personal check from SPUD was for the amount of $25.00.

I wasn't sure what to do. The whole series of events simultaneously confused, irritated and amused me. I thanked SPUD and left. I told my boss about it and she chuckled told me that wasn't what she had in mind or discussed with SPUD in terms of compensation, but what could we do? I shoved the check in my pocket and went home for the day. I thought about framing the check and putting it above my desk, but then decided to cash it and buy a case of beer and some beef jerky.

A few days later I was sitting at my desk and SPUD came into the office with her son, as she often did on Friday afternoons, to check in with everyone. SPUD seemed surprised to see me at my desk and asked why I wasn't on my anniversary camping trip. I explained that I would be leaving after work that day. SPUD looked out the window at the gloomy cloud cover and the following dialogue took place:

SPUD: Too bad you'll have such shitty weather.
me: We're actually going a little further south, so I think it should be okay.
SPUD: Oh, well, if it does rain you can just stay in your tent and fuck all weekend!
me: what?
SPUD: Well, it's true! Tell Alex I said that's a direct order!

As if this exchange was not unfortunate enough, please keep in mind that there were about seven other people milling around the office to witness it, one of them being SPUD's son.

And that, my friends, was the straw that broke this camel's back, and when I decided I would quit my job.
At least I got a case of beer out of it.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Yep, that's me. I've emerged as the full fledged moron I knew lurked within for so many years.

This weekend opened the door to two experiences for me, one overpriced, one free, which both allow me to not only feel like a moron, but look like one, too.

Saturday was an expensive haircut that ended in the horror of looking in the mirror to find a spectacular mullet... on my very own head. I guess the hairdresser was stressed out about her sick dog, but that was no reason to cut all my bangs off, was it? This haircut had me running home to put my MGD in a beer koozie, sit in my busted up lawn chair in my dirt yard and daydream about NASCAR.

Sunday was a 20 minute bike ride, which actually turned into a 20 mile bike ride, without sunscreen. Luckily I was only out between the hours of 11 - 2, so I wasted no time making sure I got as crispy as possible. Sure this one was a freebie, but I assure you, I'm paying for it today. My once pasty Irish arms are now an amazing hue of purple, emitting heat strong enough to cook a frozen bag of peas used to ease the pain.

So if you see me walking down the street and you pretend you don't know who I am, I'll understand, because I don't even want to be seen with this moron.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

worst movie ever

I am sorry to report that I contributed to the opening weekend of this piece of garbage.