raybear: (Default)
Dear co-worker,

If you are going to throw me under a bus, please be prepared for me to grab your ankle and drag you down with me.

Dear other co-worker,

Thank you for giving me a package of fruitini gum! And for the keeping the universe balanced.
raybear: (sword)
I walk into work and my officemate is freaking out. "They need you downstairs, there's a HUGE project, they need to know your skills, it's due by 8 am, they need to talk to you, blah blah blah." Ok. I log into e-mail, I see that there's a power point presentation project. I wander down to the 12th floor, and every person possibly involved is not at their desk. So I come back to my desk and see that there's an e-mail about a birthday party in the main conference room for one of the namesake partners. So while my officemate is freaking out about whether she will "have to work overtime, I didn't want you to be lambasted, they said they would be busting heads if it wasn't done by 8 am, blah blah blah", I'm getting smoked salmon and cotswald cheese and roast beef mini-sandwiches and pouring a glass of champagne while talking to the person about the project, who is eating a piece of cake. I don't understand false emergencies and making everything a Big Deal. I mean, I have anxiety issues, but damn. We work at a place that is feeding us snacks and champagne and cake and no one is bleeding. What's your damage, Heather?

Today I called a 24 hour nurse hotline (my doctor's office is closed on Thursday) and discussed my rash. Based on all these fun things like the size of the dots, whether they turned white when I pressed them, and the symmetry of the placement on my body, and the circumstances in which it appeared, she said it was strep rash. That my fever and swollen tonsils two weeks ago were probably had strep throat, and the bacteria in that causes strep rash in some people because of reactions to the toxins, something something. When I had strep throat when I was 13, I had a rash after that too, and she said that probably means my body is just predisposed to it. So, no West Nile Virus for me. But of course I hung up the phone and googled strep rash and do you know what it is? Scarlet fever. That is way more literary and awesome and makes me feel less freakish about my rash. Just please, no one try to burn my velveteen rabbit in the leaf pile tonight while I'm sleeping.

I always think I don't like carrot cake, and then I have a slice of good carrot cake and I realize, damn, I really like carrot cake.
raybear: (Default)
I was just having an inane conversation with a co-worker (who I like, in that generic co-worker way) about tip jars at the drive-thru window of fast food places and why drive-thru windows won't serve people who walk up and suddenly in the midst of some observation I make, she says, "yeah, that's gay."
I said, "well, I wouldn't call it THAT."
She of course says, "oh, I didn't mean it like that, I mean it like..."
and then I interrupted her before she could say the words 'stupid' or 'dumb' and said, "if you want to call something that's great and fabulous 'gay', I can get behind that. But not the other way."
"I didn't mean to offend you."
"I'm not offended, I'm just telling you that's not how I would use that word. It doesn't make sense to me the other way."

Then it got kinda awkward and I would have walked away except she was in my office. So instead I changed the subject to the work thing she initially came into talk about and she awkwardly said good night and I was like, sure, good night! And found the whole thing sort of hilarious. Except now, 10 minutes later, I'm realizing it also totally deflated my energy. What is wrong with people? I mean, use whatever language you want at home, I really couldn't give a fck, but given the millions of words available to us, how about in a work environment, we pick ones that have possibly a less problematic or loaded history? Is that really so hard? Apparently so.

Maybe I'm really just mad that she thinks I'm straight.
raybear: (Default)
Spending time at this office I have learned, through my purely anecdotal research of this somewhat representative sample of mainstream straight corporate midwest america, that the gap between men and women when it comes to hating their bodies is narrowing. Unfortunately, this is because men are the ones dropping, not because women are becoming more confident.

I just went to get a plate for dinner, and they ordered I think from Chili's, and its chicken tenders and mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. Jealous, I know. So I was the first one there, with this other guy SK, and we're pulling out the plates and utensils and kinda making jokes about the gravy and how heavy this meal is but perfect for a winter day, and then he looks at it and says "why don't they just apply it directly to my ass!?!" (SK is approximately 6 inches taller than me and 40 pounds lighter, not that it matters, but still.) I was so taken aback. Even though I hear comments like this ALL THE TIME, from the male attorneys at dinnertime, talking about carbs and diets and working out and getting fat and losing weight, etc. etc. ad nauseum. It almost occupies as much time and space in their conversation as sports. It makes me very sad. I mean, it makes me sad that anyone hates their body, and it makes me angry whan any person just parrots off whatever anti-fat sentiment is handy in their brain to express their fears of such, but something about hearing it from straight men's mouths, which up until recently was far less common, is a different kind of unsettling, because of what the broader implications are.
raybear: (sunglasses)
Guess who closed the office early because of snow and neglected to call me and say I didn't need to come in? Why, yes, it IS my place of employment! I'm mildly annoyed in a "I'm always the forgotten and overlooked worker" way, but for the most part I don't care because one, no work, no pay, and two, I was getting a little cabin feverish at home today so making the trip downtown didn't bother me. Especially since I anticipated such a closing and opted to wear baggy worn corduroy pants and snowboots, in lieu of legitimate business casual. I very quickly went from "Snow is delightful and beautiful and let me create a winter scene in my novel specifically so I can wax poetically about walking in it" to "AAARRARAAAARGHHHHHH The Shining makes so much sense now!!!!!!" I think I will go home early to drink heavily to dull the pain of monotony. I mean, enjoy a glass of wine as I gaze out the window at the lovely winter scenery. And by wine, I mean gin. And by window, I mean episodes of Friday Night Lights or Lost.

In the meantime, I will sit at work and eat leftover veggie pizza and research places in South Beach to visit on my vacation.
raybear: (scream)
So, I have a new office. Or rather, I have an office. A shared one. Though before I was in a cubicle, so I suppose its a move up? I wasn't sure, I thought I would feel claustrophobic without at least the illusion of a window nearby, but I think the warmth of the golden yellow wallpaper and the blonde wood desk makes up for the bleak grey and white of my previous desk. It all happened rather suddenly and quickly and now I'm here, in some newly created department with a newly created co-worker and hopefully not newly created work. They said is was mostly a title change, nothing else. We'll see. I suppose it would be fcked up more by the confusion and erraticness of it all, if I actually cared more about this job and my place in it. But since it really is about a place I sit for 5 hours a night and do some typing and I get paid, I just pick up my plant and go where they tell me, and instead focus on the minor things that are better. Like, now there's a radio. And now the only person who can see my monitor is me, not everyone who walks by, so I have utter privacy when playing Scrabulous. I mean, the semi-privacy didn't stop me before, but now I don't even have to sweat the alt-tabbing. Its still a bit discombobulating though. Its not like I loved where I was sitting before, I mean, anything here at all is guaranteed to be just kinda bleak in general. Its just that it was familiar. Now I have to figure out the best place to put my garbage can so I'm not constantly kicking or tripping over it when I get up.

The woman I'm sharing the office is with is a little...intense. Possibly high maintenance. She's already pulled some office-drama-talking, the stuff that I generally am happy to avoid because I'm not here. I already very much miss my cubicle-partner and told her that as she left today. But the office is huge, we're not all up on each other, and its only an hour a day, so I think I'll survive. She did compliment my cologne, which as you know, that's a soft spot.

Before I came to the rent-job, I spent most of my day getting intimately acquainted with my new lover, Scrivener. [livejournal.com profile] freakysparks introduced us, and while I'm still trying to get a handle on everything the program has to offer, I imported my messy collage of a novel draft and outline(s) and now I have made a perfectly organized, compartamentalized working manuscript, divided into chapters. I got so immersed in the project, I didn't even realize two and half hours had passed, but also, I can't believe I got the whole thing such working shape in only two and half hours. Right now I'm working on trial version (which is the full program, it just lasts 30 days), but as soon as its payday, I'm buying it. I've never really given much thought or interest in 'writing programs' because they didn't seem so much different from Word, but this one has me smitten. It really makes the whole tackling a giant manuscript-in-progress seem much more reasonable.

Hey, Second Class News just came on the radio. Its Friday, ya bastards.
raybear: (red)
At work tonight, an attorney gave me an e-mail with some changes he wanted me to redline and e-mail back to him. The document was, get this -- his son's essay on John Donne's Death Be Not Proud. For real? For real?!? I couldn't believe his old school blatant powerplay use of secretarial resources. I thought about refusing to do it, but it just seemed like too much effort and frankly I was mildly curious to read this high schooler's 5 paragraph essay (and what changes his lawyer father had recommended). There was a moment though when he tried to hustle me along, because I wasn't done soon enough for his liking, and I looked at him and said, "[The Greek] needed me to make edits on his real document" and he kinda backed off sheepishly and let me finish then thanked me profusely afterwards. I don't know, maybe I'm fooling myself into thinking that doing random isht like this banks up some credit with people. I do think I do win occasional currency, but its maybe not as much as I'd like. Too bad I already wrote my essay on "Why I Deserve a Holiday Bonus 2007" because that isht would totally have been in there.

now i will talk in detail about cologne )

Scents are the new wine for me. I haven't been buying or drinking much wine at all lately. Right now I'm indulging in a cocktail of whiskey and cream soda, bottles of which were left in our fridge from a guest and I'm not generally a fan but it makes for an excellent mixer with bourbon. The cocktail goes well with the bay rum/woody smell of my wrist that I keep sniffing. I do this out in public frequently and I wonder if people think I am talking into my wrist. 'Its the new bluetooth technology!'

Every year it is something, it seems, some tangible category of item to collect and fixate and research and experiment. For some reason, I like that at least this time, its something that will get used up. I used to be the opposite. I didn't like spending money on things that would disappear (e.g. food), I wanted large sturdy bulky things I could look at and feel were worth my hard-earned cash (or easily-squandered credit). Now I want to give away the 3 dimensional items in my house and subsist only on the thoughts and experiences conjured by the smells that lead to my distraction and imagination, which I suppose one could say wine served that same purpose as well.


Today I didn't do much and I had to tell myself again and again that it was okay. That I didn't have to either distract myself or necessarily be 'productive' to be a worthy human being. (Ugh, that word, I hate it some times.) I spent most of Sunday out of the house anyway, so some solitary lounging was probably necessary. Plus, you know, some other stuff. Walking from the office to the train tonight, I realized things are sitting in my gut, not in my chest, where they usually reside. For some reason, this seems like a good thing to me. Because it is different. Of course now I'm home and things sit heavy on my chest again, but then I smell my wrist and put myself to bed under the downy cover and listen to the ice storm pass over us in the night.
raybear: (chik-fil-a)
My favorite time to be in the car is the 12 o'clock hour, because the DJs at the chicago hip-hop stations actually play....hip-hop. Like random mixes of isht that makes me so unbelievably happy. Today I was at O'Hare to pick up [livejournal.com profile] wearemany and they wouldn't let me park, but they couldn't stop me from going 2 mph around the terminal until she got done picking up her luggage. In that time, they mashed Got Your Money into The Jump Off (which didn't totally work, but I liked the effort and I like both songs). They played The Choice is Yours. They also played G-Dep's Special Delivery which almost made me crash the car. And right when I pulled up to the curb, it was Ghost Showers.

Tonight at work they're serving pizza for dinner, including one with ham and pineapple and fresh mozzerella and I swear the pineapple 'pieces' are whole slices taken out of the can. When I walked out of the breakroom, I passed the mandatory poster of heimlich maneuver instructions. Underneath, someone had taped up a picture of this woman with a post-it note that said "OR! Get a Golden Retriever!" It made me laugh.

Day Two of the Three Week Writing Challenge is complete. I know its kinda random to mention it here, since I haven't explained what the challenge is, but it's intentional.
raybear: (Default)
Sometimes I think, I don't know, maybe I'm supposed to just be working a job that provides a modicum of satisfaction, in the way that solving a long division problem is like itching a scratch in a brain, and then I just go home and do things like sit on the couch and read books and watch movies and get caught up in pop culture phenomenons on television. Maybe that's it, that's okay. That's sort of the model. Oh, I forgot, I should have one hobby. With my father it was golf. With my mother it was sewing/small crafts (usually related to textiles). I woke up today and if I was writing my own horoscope I would say "today is a 3" but I don't think horoscopes ever go below a 6, because that would just be demoralizing. I don't know why today is 3, it just is. It took everything I could, namely tricking myself into only barely getting dressed, and going all the way up to Evanston and I drove very slowly and I found parking and after 45 minutes of copying, my body just stopped working. No more. Who cares about a deadline. Nope. I can fight it a little, but not much. I got back in the car and drove home. I don't really remember my afternoon. I think I swept the living room. And watched some porn and took a shower. Then I came to work and I'm immediately bombarded with projects, I think, this is why I hate working. But it levelled out. I forget, that I'm engaging with people when it is their final hour of the day, they are rushed, they are frantic, everything is pressing, but for me, I'm just ambling up to the plate. Then I have to work with this attorney who I dislike, because he is snotty and full of himself, but whatever, it's typing, who cares. I do it. He comes back and says "you do good work" with a tone that indicates he is both surprised and impressed enough to give a compliment because he doesn't do that often. And I think yes, the plight of the overeducated, the overqualified, I know, I do good work, everyone loves me, everybody loves Raymond and it just makes me feel a little numb when those moments happen. Not that it isn't genuine from them, because sadly, it is, their earnestness is near-deadly. And don't get me wrong, it would sure suck to go into a workplace everyday where everyone hated me. But, still, I derive no great satisfaction in it. And I hate that tone of someone who is shocked to learn that a smart person is working a crappy mindless job. Which leads me back to thinking that maybe I'm not supposed to, it's just about filling in the gaps and paying for a life, except I am one of the many fake low-middle class people/working class people (the category depends on which econmic bar chart you consult) who is tricked into thinking I have more when really I have credit lines and credit card debt and did you know that within the industry, people who pay off their monthly balance every month are called 'deadbeats' and that if you think you are getting lots of credit card offers now, just miss a couple payments and suddenly they will come pouring in even more. Borrowed time, borrowed money. And now I have more borrowed pages to edit so I must end this prematurely.
raybear: (scream)
I work around the corner from one of the friendliest, chattiest employees of this firm. This is not without its disadvantages. Actually, I'm not sure there really that many advantages. Mostly I just let it go, but sometimes on my way to my own desk, I just am not quite yet up for hearing "Happy Thursday!" or "Happy Friday!" or "Happy Wednesday!" or....you get the idea. She is exceedingly sweet, of course, but that doesn't really soften the blow when exceedingly problematic (or just straight up fcked up) things come out of her mouth. Mostly I am incredulously amused, say for example, when during the discussion about the Oscars, her opinion of The Departed was "everyone just got shot in the head!" or that she didn't see Pan's Labyrinth because it has subtitles and she doesn't like to read when watching a movie, or that she saw Little Miss Sunshine four times and loved it because "it had everything! the overweight kid, the cranky old guy, the homosexuals, the strained marriage! it had something everyone could connect to!" and when she said 'homosexuals' I think she sort of gestured towards me.

Yesterday I was less amused when she told a story about people on the Metra freaking out and calling the conductor, who in turn, called the police and bomb squad, because a man was on board, praying and chanting aloud. A man, who in her story, she called "an Arab" but pronounced "AY-rab", like rhymes with Ahab the fcking captain in Moby Dick. I nearly spit out my tea.
"Excuse me? An AY-rab?"
She quickly backpedaled and said, 'I'm sorry, I'm not ever politically correct!'
"It's not about being politically correct. It's about being accurate."
'Oh, ok, I mean...Arabian. He's Arabian.'

Um, I'm going to take a guess and say he probably wasn't Arabian.

At least the story was about how she was appalled at the behavior of the overreaction about a person simply trying to pray. In this place, I will take the tiniest of blessings available.

Which is why today, when she talked about going on vacation next week to south Florida, and described Key West as the place with lots of great boutiques, expensive but good restaurants, and 'gays', I almost deemed it progress. Except, I don't know. I kinda like the word homosexuals.

May 2010

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