23 May 2005
It Ends With The Beginning or The Six Month Theory
Six months. Six months has become my personal time frame for large, long-term life decisions. Scarily, the six months seems to roll around without me marking a calendar or even taking note of the time passage until the life change has occurred. Six months I told myself was the time I was going to take to see if me and an ex would be able to make a go of it living together. Six months later I knew it wasn't to be for us, and on the cusp of the six months my mother died. Six months later I got a job offer I had previously declined due to the need for me to deal with the loss. Six months ago was the last time I had spoken to one of my dearest friend, a friend who had become so integrated into my life that we ultimately found one another bickering like old ladies, the end of our friendship feels like more of a divorce because our closeness. Six months ago a man entered my life from my past and swept me off my feet, Six months later I am faced with those two damn roads Robert Plant told me I could chose. Six months ago I left my old job, seeking respect, experience and more money. I got all three, but yet I was ultimately in a dead-end situation with highly niche job skills not applicable outside of certain arenas. Six months later I am going back to where I left, more money, hopefully respect as I was recruited by someone who thought highly of me. I will be not only getting more job skills applicable to various businesses, but I will get an office with a window. This window is what has made me happy all weekend. The promise of a window that when I am sitting there busting my ass I can look outside and remind myself that there is more to come, and perhaps it will be six months down the road. I hope in six months it will be sunny, and not rainy. If I get their tomorrow and there is no window, I will at least amuse myself with the memory of an old boss who wore a modified Flock of Seagulls hairdo and stirrup pants. Flock Of Bitch told a group of temps who were corralled in a closet sized office, with no phone, that they could make that office "their home." Yes. "You can do whatever you want together, in fact you can paint a picture of a window to hang up." So if this tale of the promise of a window was in fact a falsehood, l won't paint a fucking window, or even a mountain scene, because perhaps in six months I will.
22 May 2005
Panty Hose + Googly Eyes = Big Surprise!
So I was googling (Google(tm)ing?), for those things that were popular in the 70s and early 80s. This thing was basically a minature pom-pom with googly eyes and sort of Hang-Ten (tm) logo looking feet. Sometimes these puff balls would have a ribbon emblazoned with an encouraging line "Reach For the Stars," or "Best Student." People would have them on their desks, the more daring on their shoulder or next to their koala ben clip on their label. I want to say they were sold as "Warm Fuzzies."
I had a friend who sold them in her "store."
Her store was her school desk.
I never did find an image of this crap of yore, but upon my futile quest I happened upon the most wonderful undiscovered craft.
Perfect for the thrifty green thumb, pantyhose plants!
12 May 2005
Stalking The Lizard
I hate touchy feely stuff: self-help books, "Ziggy," figurines of babies and angels, inspirational posters, and anything of the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" ilk. Generally, I am not a cantankerous old broad, a jaded 36. In fact, I find that I am not bitchy enough, to my own detriment. Regardless, I have my moments where I just want to fucking strangle anyone within spitting distance. I'll give the finger to any schmuck who merely drives a mile below the speed limit in front of me. I'll scowl at children. I'll bite your head off. There is a fine line between me and a maniac, and you are damn lucky I am on the right side of the line. It is often on days like this that I am pleasantly surprised by something that just seems to melt the tension off my shoulders like a hot stone massage, something that if interpreted in a certain way could be of the inspirational schlock that I abhor.
Yesterday my pleasant surprise came in the form of a lizard. See this lizard has been hanging outside my office for the past month, laying his belly on the hot bricks surrounding a office park foliage display of ivy. Most of the time when I'd try to get close to the lizard, he would slither away into the greenery. Yesterday I am not sure if he was just loving the 85 degree weather, or just loved me. I decided he loved me. I was able to get pretty close with my camera phone. Say what you will about camera phones, they are perfect for moments like this. This damn lizard, a male broadhead skink at that, made my day. Perhaps I'll print these photos onto a puffy paint sweatshirt. Hmmmm....
3 May 2005
When Memories Attack
"You can't go home again" Thomas Wolfe
"There is this old Indian legend, yeah, if you ever live in Asheville, you'll always come back." Some stoner chick girl I knew 9th grade.
It so happens that I am now dating my first childhood crush. My crush never left town. I did. Town being Weaverville, NC which is north of Asheville. North Buncombe County if you will. A world cradled in the Great Smokey Mountains in Western North Carolina. The story of the crush and I reuniting after 17 years is another tale, but as our relationship progresses, I have found myself over the course of the last several months revisiting my old haunts. Coming face to face with memories I had either shelved, purposefully forgotten, and maybe just plain old forgot.
It is not uncommon for one to feel out of sorts seeing that world went on without them. My hometown,(well I spent my first 10 years in NY, but for all intensive purposes this is my hometown-- full of firsts from kisses to beer, from bra to braces) was once a small city sheltered from most of what went on over the other side of the mountains. Beautiful, often-small minded, and quite a boring place to grow up in the 1980s unless you made fun for yourself. Now my hometown is chock full of trustifarians and wealthy retirees. Trees mowed down, stores up. Progress perhaps, these things are expected.
I've done several drive-bys the the house in which I grew up. A small three bedroom ranch on a cul-de-sac, a carport, and a nice wooded back yard. The first time I drove by the house, my crush stopped so I could look. I broke out in tears. Too many memories to handle, both good and bad. My mother, God may she rest in peace, memories of my mother. Memories of me being a pain-in-the ass teenager, memories of us moving in, memories of me sulking in my room listening to Blondie and reading “Mad.'" The second drive-by was equally unsuccessful. The current residents were mowing the lawn and I didn't have the nerve for once in my life to ask if I could just walk around their yard and People were hanging out in the cul de sac, a dog chased my car. I am not sure what I will solve by standing in that yard, but I think it will be cathartic. I need to do it. I need to do it private. I need to exorcise the peeping-tom who has caused me a lifetime of anxiety of looking out the window. I need to go back to see my mother, to see my father—though we speak every day, to see my sister who is now a mother herself. I need to visit myself.
My last visit to Weaverville this past weekend, I found myself in the Asheville Mall. Another old friend who I've reunited with was having a baby shower. I was determined to make it to Target, so I could get the gift, paper, card in one stop. I found myself impatient in the traffic that was never there. I decided to go to the local department store - Belk. The store where I got my first training bra. The store where I got my first makeup, Ivey's, is no longer. They have enlarged and remodeled the mall, but yet it still has pretty much the same layout as it did the last time I visited in 1987. As I wandered around looking for the Hallmark store, I found myself on a ramp. This ramp was sort of my hang-out, meeting place, I don't know what you'd call it. I looked up, and there I was 11 years old with Colette, a friend I was enchanted with and who got me in lots of trouble. We were across the ramp in the World Bazaar buying stickers, on the other side of the ramp in B.Dalton having purposefully raunchy conversations to upset passing eavesdroppers. There I was across the ramp in the Limited, or was it Brooks? Trying on clothes, battling with my mother about my weight, and how I'd love to be that slim person I was then. There I was on that ramp, hand bandaged from getting it slammed in the door, another family drama, confronting my first love as I walked with his other girlfriend. There I was.
Here I am.
29 April 2005
Witness To My Own Most Embarrassing Moment
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I've never really been able to answer that question. I've been humiliated, embarrassed, laughed at, picked-on, goofed up, fucked up, hell thousands of times. Was it the time when I dropped a whole six-pack of beer bottles in the gas station when I was underage? Getting my hair caught in a fan? The plumber pulling a pair of panties out of my clogged toilet? I can go on for hours, but none were so bad that I could not stand back at laugh at myself. Sure I have done things I was ultimately ashamed off, things that were embarrassing on a more moral level, but embarrassment of the type where I just look like an asshole, well those are a dime a dozen.
But two days ago, I went to see the Black Crowes at a local venue. A good friend bought me a ticket for my birthday last month. He and I got a tad loaded. We hadn't hung out one-on-one in eons, and we were having a wonderful time. As we entered the venue, the security guard asked to look in my purse, I handed it over obligingly, rolling my bloodshot eyes. I had nothing to hide, save a bunch of pens pilfered from the office and way to many tubes of lip gloss. The guard dug around and came out with my keys.
"You can't take these in there." Oh shit. I forgot, a friend who is a chemical supply salesman had given me a promo knife and put it on my keychain last week. It wasn't a cute mini Swiss-Army knife, no, it was a goddamned blade--jagged and menacing in its little yellow case. I don't know why I found it embarrassing other than I felt like a total criminal. I was always intrigued by the gang girls on talk shows who bragged how they carried razors under their tongues, but the closest thing I've ever carried as a weapon was Mace and some tweezers. Here I am being busted for having a knife! I pulled my friend out of the line, I couldn't get the damn thing off my keychain. I went back in line. I thought they might give it back to me after the show, but no, they tossed into the trash.
After we got in, I thought that they'd probably dig my poor little knife out of the trash after the show. The knife would then be placed in a glass covered case with other knives, pipes, bongs, and then assorted pills with nicknames no one has used since 1974 "goofballs" and "reds." My knife would then be toted around to schools and county fairs by the police to show the kids all the stuff that they took from the "bad guys." Growing up, I always sort of had a sick fascination with those displays and enjoyed the days we got shuttled to the auditorium to hear some cop propaganda. My enjoyment came out of a movie fiasco. I was a 11 year old girl scout and we were in a gym watching an anti-drug movie, but this movie was more of a documentary. The last thing that we saw, and they only thing that sticks out in my mind is this guy was on Angel Dust, and then he bit his girlfriend's breast off! Yes, he bit her boob off! The scout leader yanked the movie off the reel, and the cop apologized for bringing the wrong movie.
I really didn't need that knife to cut anyone or gut a rabbit. In fact I have so much stuff on my keychain I was once told it would ruin my ignition switch from the weight. The reason why I needed that knife along with all my other knickknacks and key tchotches was that I can never find my keys in the abyss of my purse. Having a bunch of doodads dangling from my keys was intended for me to keep track of them, not to kill.
All that said, I do believe I witnessed my most embarrassing moment. More so than the time I was carrying my laundry into my apartment, and my pants which were too big, fell down around my ankles, or the time I worked all day with my skirt inside out, or the time....
27 April 2005
Spongecrotch Cumpants--The Today Sponge Is Back!
filed: current affairs
I have waited for two days to write about the Today contraceptive sponge being re-approved by the FDA to be sold in the United States. The reason for my delay was not laziness, nor was it that I decided to clean my keyboard by removing each individual key and ultimately rendering the letter “Y” useless. Actually what cause the postponement of my public cry of joy was the realization that it was going to be impossible to not make a reference to “Seinfeld.” I thought about how Elaine's stockpile of sponges was now going to look outdated as Jerry's cordless phone. The sad realization that most of my partners were never “Spongeworthy” between the first broadcasting of that episode until now almost squelched my excitement. Hell, most of them were not worthy of even seeing my naked ass (just a few gems here and there).
Besides “Seinfeld,” my only other experience with the Today Sponge was not my own. One of my many roommates in college, lets call her Latiquah, swore by the sponge. That was until she had sex with her old high-school English teacher, a man that she had obsessed about for months. Apparently she was unable to remove said sponge, and spent an hour locked in his bathroom attempting to remove it. Her nervousness and the teacher's knocking on the door did not help her loosen her pelvic muscles enough for its removal. If I recall correctly, she was ultimately able to get the pesky thing out. Last time I saw her several years back, she was a bona fide lesbian with a rat-tail and a boyfriend who was in Canada getting a sex-change operation. I guess all worrying about birth control had gotten her.
Allendale Pharmaceuticals expects the Today sponge to be available in the US this upcoming summer. It was originally taken off the market due to contamination at the plant. As a pharmaceutical industry employee myself, I did a little reading and it appears that really the only problems one would have is if they are sensitive to Nonoxyl-9, a very common spermicide that is often in condoms and lube, while not uncommon, its not that big of a problem to keep it off the market.
In any case, this is a wonderful new option for women, such as myself ,who are unable to use any kind of hormonal contraceptive. It also will be a great back-up method with a condom. What I find most wonderful that it is a portable, inexpensive, safe birth-control method. A method which allows the woman to be in control. In clinical trials the efficacy was similar to the diaphragm and the female condom (I've never known anyone to use one of those. Anyone? Anyone?) Basically, it will work great, unless there is user error.
So if there are any Elaine's out there, perhaps living off their Y2K food supply, its ok to use up your stockpile. Fuck away sister, fuck away!
24 April 2005
Do you have friends who just refuse to switch from Internet Explorer to the highly superior Firefox? Perhaps you can lure them with Firefoxporn, free porn galleries only viewable via the Firefox browser. If they still won't switch, you might want to reevaluate your friendship.
19 April 2005
He wore a belted sweater that hung over his shoulders, his long fingers tapped the air like there were piano keys, and for some reason there was a bunch of glitter on his gray face. "Looks like you might have to take the introductory math class, but we'll see how your placement exam goes." This advisor was even more like Mr. Garrison on "South Park" than my 10th grade drama teacher, I even looked around for a puppet. He pried me for my SAT scores. After 17 years, I am lucky I remember where I put my keys on a daily basis. "Hmm, honestly I don't recall my math score." Somehow, all those years later I still manage to recall my mother putting me on the mailing list of the local junior college, Blanton's, to make her point about my shitty grades. She was good at making points, like hiding my clothes in her trunk when I didn't clean my room. Lost brain cells aside, I do remember the day of my SATs. My mulleted crush passed out in the hall from his pre-test bong hits, but yet scored a perfect 1500. That made me adore him more.
Between getting lost en route, a financial aid office manned by pamphlet wielding Mary Kay rejects (little did they know one of my past embarrassments was getting the police called on my ass when a certain branch of the University of North Carolina would not release my check because it was not Tuesday between 1:05 and 1:06pm..) Most importantly, finding out I was going have to meet my eternal nemesis MATH head-on made me nauseated and the thought of going back to school quickly lost its appeal. Driving back to my office, and getting lost once again, I decided that I would, if anything, go to the community college that was a county over, but ultimately closer to my home and work. I also decided that, hell, if I am going to be paying for it this time around, why not just look at some of the colleges that are available online.
Learning online is not entirely new to me. I took the first class that was offered online by the above mentioned community hellhole. It was during the days of dial-up. It was also during the last season of "Seinfeld." Just like I managed to sneak a magazine behind my notebook in high school, I managed to watch George and Jerry, and join my class in our weekly, and oh so revolutionary chat room. Initially, I was ahead of the game, I managed to toss in a few bon mots that got the ball rolling. Soon enough, I got busted. Not unlike like my teenage self finally hearing my name "Jessica, Jessica," across many a real time class room waking me up from my "Hit Parader." I withdrew and that last "Seinfeld" episode was really a disappointment.
Back at my office, I Googled away, trying my damnedest to avoid the schools that have made pop-up blockers a viable business. Once I found a few that had the degrees and programs that I was looking for, I whispered the names to myself in my cube. "If I saw St. Caspian Seasnake University of Omaha on a resume, would I want to hire this person?" Nope. "University of the Ultra Dynasty of Wales" Nope. Obviously I am full of shit, but I thought to myself, how would I explain to a potential employer that my degree was from Oregon, but I've never been there .I am certain if I went that far west I would get beat up by some overzealous DIY Suicide Girl for using commercial feminine hygiene products.
Accreditation. If I am going to get that lousy piece of paper so I don't have to be a glorified secretary for the rest of my life, I want to make sure that my degree is actually bonafide. Sheepskin. A real diploma. I'd hang it in front of my toilet so everyone who came to my house would have no choice but to look at it. Well, maybe I'd make a copy to hang behind it for the fellas. One of the ladies at the nail salon I frequent is a college student--at a mail order bible college in California. Poor thing has to inhale toxic fumes all day in the name of me looking trashy, I really didn't want to burst her bubble. "So you are going to be a professional Bible Banger?" (Note to self: If I ever find out that a co-worker gets a promotion and they graduated from an unaccredited college kick them.). In fact I almost hoped off an exam table when I saw my new General Practitioner got his pre-Med degree from "Bob Jones University." I was scared I'd go in for a sore throat and end up getting my foot amputated. Having a doctor who has a questionable degree does have its benefits. Figuring that he's never had an illicit buzz before, I got him to increase the dosage of a certain popular anti-anxiety drug (that you can get from Canada!) without a wink.
I do know a few people who attend the colleges that flood my junk mail folder. One woman I know is getting ready to graduate with an accounting degree, and has already had a nice job promotion. She has done this all while dealing with two kids, two mergers, an ugly mafiaesque divorce, and a fiancé' in Iraq. Not too shabby. I have seen her text books, and class syllabus. Her school stressors are no different from the stressors that land based students have. She has deadlines, exams, and big annoying projects. They take your money, but that does not ensure you can pass. Well, I take that back, my boyfriend just informed me otherwise. Perhaps I will get write my thesis on "The Male Mind, Why It Is Always Right. Always."
Of this moment, I am not too sure where I will next crack open my fresh composition book, its going to depend a lot on the almighty bank gods and the calloused palm of the government. Chances are I will have to take on that bitch Math wherever I go. I did find one school that will give me a degree without having to know my multiplication tables. Does anyone know if the University of Switzerland-Minneapolis is accredited?