Friday, April 29, 2005

Pink. Purse.

I violated several of my personal rules and bought a pink purse. I’m going to try to keep calling it a bag because I’m against the word ‘purse,’ for reasons based on principles.

They had a “Mother’s Day” boutique downstairs where I work and someone was selling bags. Colors included red, light blue, black, light green and pink. The right bag — large enough to carry my many notebooks and at-a-glance calendar, with structural integrity (so it stands by itself instead of crumpling into a heap like the bag I’ve been using) — happened to be pink. Faux leather*. I had to snatch it up right then before any of the other women in the building got it. This particular purse was highly sought for, another lady was even eyeing it while I was making up my mind, while it was in my hands. The saleswoman told me she could get a red one in that style in a few weeks, if I wanted her to. But on the chance that she couldn’t get a red one any time soon, I bought the pink one (falling into her sales trap? Probably).

Riding up to the 4th floor with my new bag, another woman said something about my purse. I told her it’s a bag, and said I usually don’t buy pink things. “Oh, it’s not pink,” she said, gaining favor in my eyes. “It’s rose.”

I laughed and got off the elevator. Then I took it with me to show Stoker, when I picked him up for lunch.

“Nikki, it’s definitely mauve. It’s not pink at all. As anyone can see, it’s very much a deep mauve,” he said, looking it over while we were stuck in traffic.

“You’re only saying it’s not pink so I keep it,” I said.

“It’s mauve. And I think you should keep it.”

“It’s against everything I believe. You don’t think the red would be better?”

“No,” he said. “I’d hate the red. I like seeing you with a pink purse.”

“Now you’re calling it pink. And it’s not a purse. It’s a bag,” I said.

“I’m calling it a purse because you’re not a bag lady.” Funny. So I gave in. I have a pink purse. When did I become so feminine? I don’t know**. But the world is better with a pink pur…bag by my side.

*I’m sick of asterisks in my posts, too, but faux leather? Who are they kidding. Faux, for those of you who don’t know, means false or fake. So, false leather. Why mix up the English and French? Why not faux cuir? And I don’t even know if ‘cuir’ means leather, but my free online translation says it does (I’ve taken several years of French, but my studies never took me deep into textiles and materials). Or just call it what it is, fake leather.

**Stupid asterisks. But seriously, folks, I’ve been avoiding having a bag like this ever since I graduated from high school. It’s so hard. You have no idea how difficult it is to deny the purse. All my friends have purses. My sisters (all 4 of them) have purses. Why can’t I just be one of those girls who delights in all things feminine? Lipstick, high heels, skirts, painted fingernails. But who am I kidding, the purse is taking me over. I look at it sitting there on my desk, all mauve and rose, and I admire it. It looks back at me, as if to say in a dark, convincing voice: “Hello, Nicole. Don’t you love my shiny buckle latch? Don’t you love my faux leather and perfectly arched handles? What about my strong, structural integrity AND this perfect posture? Look at that, standing perfectly straight and beautiful. I’m the perfect purse. And I’m all yours….or…. maybe you’re all mine. Think about that.” And I do, think of it. And I keep looking at the bag. And I am smitten. Damn.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Spring. M.ward.

I just saw a flash of lighting out my window, in the clouds over the Wasatch Mountains. I’ve heard that for Navajo’s the first strike of lightning signifies the beginning of spring. To me this seems more accurate than the lunar or solar calendar. More applicable. More in tune with what’s happening on earth, more able to adapt to the vagaries of inexplicable atmospheric changes. Similarly, the first snowfall indicates the beginning of winter. My college mentor (though not by academic appointment), Barre Toelken, taught me this. He speaks Navajo. His first wife was Navajo. She died at a young age in a snowstorm while out with the sheep, trapped in a box canyon.

Anyway, I don’t know that much about it and there’s nothing more annoying than some Caucasian fool who thinks they’re an expert on Native Americans. Except Barre, who is Caucasian, but doesn’t walk around like a cocky rooster (if he’s cocky, his long life has taught him how to hide it). He’s an academic (and real life) expert on Navajos. I mentioned Barre because I spent roughly 8 years studying with him and he always told me and his other students when he had received the call from his adopted family in southern Utah, informing him of lightning or snow. Aside from that freak snow/hail storm with lightning in January, this is my first thunderstorm of 2005. And now there’s thunder and it sounds like it’s being broadcast to me through a tin can. If only I worked somewhere else, where I could at least OPEN the window. *Sigh*, I guess I’ll have to throw my computer monitor through it.

The other night, Stoker and I went to the M.Ward show. Remind me of why I go to shows? Always the one to romanticize things, I build up how great seeing so and so will be. Then I get there and resent everyone and their body odor, their huge head or afro blocking my view and their stupid clothes. It didn’t help that M.Ward sat down the entire time. Had this been In the Venue* and not the famous/infamous Kilby Court garage, sitting the whole time with his head tilted down (in an LA Dodgers baseball hat no less), tilted down wouldn’t have been a problem. Sure, it’s a cool spot, but only when there’s 30 of you. Any more than that and it’s like being trapped in a closet with your entire high school class breathing down your neck. And Kilby attracts people I don’t know or like. You hear with your ears, not your eyes, is what you’re thinking. Not true. Deaf people hear with their eyes. And I’m partially deaf**. So I needed to see him to know what was going on. If I just wanted to hear the music, I would have stayed at home or in my car and listened. With my ears, not my eyes.

The good that came of it was that I discovered Norfolk and Western (just call me Lewis. Or Clark. Or that Indian girl they took with them, what was her name? Pocohontas? Sasquatch? No, that’s big foot, hmmmm. Lucky for me I have the internet and can look it up in a matter of seconds). And they’re really good. So I’m sharing. See the link on my sidebar.

Also, for my diehard friends and fans, I’ve put an imix on itunes***, under Aries327. Originally there were 21 songs, but itunes didn’t support all the music. So if you’re truly desperate to have the whole thing, email me and I’ll send you the rest of the songs. I’d be happy to do it. Truly.


*Who thought that name up? It’s so annoying, “I’m going to a show tonight.” “Oh yeah, where at?” “It’s In the Venue.” After a long pause. “It’s in what venue?” “That’s the venue, In the Venue.” Annoying, for more reasons than because it's a name that begins with a preposition and all that. I shake my fist at the owners of In the Venue.
**No I’m not.
***I’m addicted to itunes. Stupid itunes, it doesn’t even know what it stupid does (see the Simpsons, when Lisa gets on the wrong bus the day of her science fair. I think).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

On My Mind

a) I miss my hetero-soulmate, Christy Baugh. For any of you who know her, you’ll know why I miss her. She’s fun, easy-going, hilarious and uniquely adorable. So. . . all things opposite of me. Because I’m not easy-going, fun, or hilarious. Definitely not, by any means. Anyway, CBG (as I sometimes call her) lives in Logan. I miss Logan too. If you don’t know, Logan is in northern Utah in the valley of the cache. Cache Valley. Going north, the towns come at you like this: Logan, Smithfield, Richmond, the border, Franklin ID, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Preston ID. With smaller towns (populations of 100 and stuff, so not even worth mentioning) in between. Lewiston might be in between Richmond and Idaho. And Cove. Not sure about that and I’m not going to look it up. The point I was trying to make is that it’s the area where the great Napoleon Dynamite was filmed. And watching Napoleon Dynamite makes me yearn for Cache Valley. I watched Napoleon Dynamite on Sunday night. I miss Christy Baugh and Logan. I lived in Logan for 8 years because that’s how long it took me to finish my undergraduate and master’s degrees. I could be a doctor. But I’m not. I’m nothing. No, I’m something. But I’m not rich.

I’ve known Christy Baugh for four years. She’s great. Really. She’s got style. And no, I’m not a lesbian.

b) I’ve been looking at the Eels’ website*. There’s a link on it to something called Amber’s Guesthouse. It’s funny. Supposedly Amber is E’s mistress. She answers his fan mail. I don’t know if anyone who visits or writes to her believes it. But I don’t. I think E is actually answering it and has created this whole Amber thing as a joke. Have you heard of E and the Eels**? You know what they say, “no press is bad press.” Or “bad press is good press.” Anyway, visit the link to E disguised as Amber (this is my hunch and not in fact, a fact. Don’t go telling E, Nicole said there is no Amber. I don’t want him mad at me). Also, if you’re not an Eels fan, check them out. Their new album came out today and as soon as I blow this joint, I’m going to purchase it.

c) Guilty pleasure: Maroon 5. How can I help it? And how can I not be annoyed with the term “guilty pleasure?” I used it anyway, but honestly I think it’s one of those over-used expressions and I have just contributed to its overuse. More accurately, Maroon 5 is a hidden shame. Don’t tell a soul I like some of their songs. I do. I appreciate the funk/soul beats and rhythms and chords they use. In a way, we should all be grateful for their influence. I think listeners have been turned on to some of the funk/soul music such as old Stevie Wonder and Shuggie Otis—stuff that has slipped through the cracks. Another cliché expression.

d) Have you heard Kalai? He’s a real hit among some locals. But that doesn’t do him justice. His second album, Six Strings and the Rainy Day Man is phenomenal. Pure phenomenal. His bass player is an ex-studio musician who played with bands like Fleetwood Mac (that’s all I know, there could be and probably is, more). I’m listening to him and coincidentally, Maroon 5. Here’s a link to Kalai's site if you haven’t heard him yet.

e) Stoker bought a digital recorder. Did I tell you this? He’s been playing on it, recording stuff. And he’s amazing. That boy never ceases to amaze me. In July we’re moving to Tempe, AZ so he can go to a school for recording engineering. I'm 100% sure he’ll be the next Brian Eno. I always tell him (because I’m so damn positive), “Shoot for the moon, if you don’t make it, you’ll be among the stars.” Aside from its completely inaccurate portrayal of our solar system and the rest of the universe, it’s quite the pep-talkie expression. He finds it completely uninspiring. But he finds me completely inspiring.

*Stoker and I have actually argued over whether it’s wrong to say ‘the Eels’ because the band is just Eels. I say it’s sort of an English grammatical rule to use an article before their name and he says no.
**Never name your band something like that without an article in it already. It’s too annoying. People will insert their own article so you might as well just include it in the title. It’s not like a store will alphabetize it under “the” because who does that? Yes, Music Match does that. But they’re fools.

Monday, April 25, 2005

An Hour in Someone Else's Shoes (or, Photos.Wedding Dress.)

In an email to Stoker*:

The pictures went okay. I'm sooooo glad I'm not a model. What annoying work that would be. You know how we (as in anyone who’s not a model) look at models in advertisements for clothing and in catalogs and whatnot and think, "What shallow looking people." Or we think that sometimes, anyway. Well, if you’ve ever been the subject of a photo-shoot, that idea feels rather accurate and reinforced by the whole process of modeling and posing. I’d stand there in a position I thought the photographer wanted, feeling retarded, and then she'd leave her camera to come over and move my arms around and turn me and tilt my head and change the way I was holding the flowers and fluff my dress up. It was so bothersome and boring. The whole process wasn't great fun by any means, not to mention completely devoid of anything that could stimulate my brain (aside from the gorgeous landscape. But how long can I think about the landscape?). Then I'd start thinking things like, "Boy, I feel like a retard." Which led to, "Crap, don't think that, it'll show in my face or eyes."

So, what I mean is that standing there modeling, you're really like a puppet. They tell you how to hold your hands and arms and move you around like a claymation doll. So then you even feel like a puppet. Like you have no will of your own. And it was hard for me to let her control how I was doing things like holding the flowers. She'd start moving my arms and I'd feel them resisting and then I'd realize, "Oh, relax." But it was difficult. I didn't want to relax and let her move me around like I was an inanimate object.

And, not in the email to Stoker: The very fact that I just stood there while she moved me and directed me in how to stand…..well, it just serves my purpose. My purpose being to back up the argument that models are rather shallow people. How could any thinking (and I mean thinking, not thinking. The difference in my voice, if you could hear it, being the emphasis on the first thinking to imply that a person is given to deep thoughts of an analytical, critical and sometimes philosophical nature) person endure hours of that kind of work? While perhaps being rather light on the intellectual side, I will endorse the idea that models are probably very, very patient people. Able to take orders. And I don’t know, maybe the experienced ones really know what they’re doing and so they don’t have a photographer telling them how to stand, where to put their hands, whether or not they need to tilt their chin up, or down. I couldn’t do it. That’s all I know.

*Edited and altered to some degree. Much of the sappy stuff and sexual references removed. Joke. There were no sexual references. What do you take me for, anyway? Some bawdy, bar-room comedian?

Friday, April 22, 2005


A poem, by Big Poppa E -- I found him about 5 years ago. Tried to have my stupid Arts and Lectures people bring him in. But they were stupid and not cultured enough to realize the cutting edge culture of Poetry Slamming. It never happened. Something I read today made me think of this great poem. Thanks to Big Poppa E for sending me a copy of this. I tried to keep the original formatting, but some of it may have been lost through emailing. Sorry about that.


I want someone
to have a crush on me
for a change

to notice
when I don’t come to class
and wonder if I’m okay

to get nervous
when I enter the cafe,
to fumble
with her papers
and books,
to pick at her clothing
and check her reflection
in salt shakers and napkin holders

to catch her breath
when she sees me from across campus,
tug on her best friend’s collar
and point with her eyes
and whisper loudly,
"There he is...
Big Poppa E!"

to run around the block
as quickly
and nonchalantly
as she can
just to walk past me
make eye contact
and smile

to look into my big brown eyes
(such long lashes!)

from across the room
and think, "Yes..."
to look at my full kissing lips
and think, "Oh yes..."

to hear my voice
and imagine
how her name
would sound
if I said it
if I whispered it
if I...

"Oh yes..."

I want someone
to make up nicknames for me
to talk about me in code
"I saw Backpack Boy today
in the library
in the Romantic Lit. section...
I saw Steel-Toed Boots Boy
talking to some girl (some girl!)
in the bookstore today..."

I want someone
to go straight home
every night
and check her answering machine
just in case
just in case
and check the phone cord
and check the battery
and check the tape
and make sure the goddamned blinking light
isn’t burned out
just in case

I want someone to say,
"You’re wrong about him
because you don’t know him
the way I know him,"
because she can just tell
that I’m a good person
must be
a good person
gotta be
a good person
because I write poetry about my mom and my cats
and because she likes me so much
for some reason
some unexplainable psychic supernatural reaction
to me


I want someone
to mark her calendar
"He talked to me today"

to wonder
what I would smell like
after a long warm sleep
under a down comforter

to close her eyes
and picture
what our kids would look like
to write silly wretched wonderful
about me
for a change


Big Poppa E

Thursday, April 21, 2005


If you liked/saw Garden State, you probably heard and liked the Remy Zero song featured in it. I discovered them several years ago when the movie Crazy/Beautiful came out and I bought the soundtrack for one song: “Shattered.” Anyway, “Shattered” is an excellent song, filled with a gut-wrenching reverence for love. Cinjin Tate’s voice has an inherent ability to make any experience seem epic. He could be singing about going to the store for a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a stick of buttah* and it would sound like the most poignant moment in the history of the world.

What disappointed me was how Zach Braff, the director of Garden State, took my favorite song** “Fair” and cut it up to fit an inappropriate moment. Because as I remember it, they’re sitting in front of the fire in that big house and maybe they get up for a second and dance around (kind of stupidly) or something. I just remember that it was anti-climatic and somewhat contrived (putting aside that all films are contrived. They shouldn’t feel contrived). Anyway, a song bottled with that much yearning, that much angst over losing love should be reserved for something greater. And especially it shouldn’t be cut and spliced like it was. If it’s going to be cut and spliced, attach it to something amazing.

This isn’t to say that I think Garden State sucks. It’s fine. Especially in comparison with the other films that came out in 2004. However. It aspired to be more than it was. If you enjoyed Garden State, a film I found to be more delicate and exploratory surrounding the topic of twenty-something’s in love is one that came out several years ago called All the Real Girls. It’s a very good show. And incidentally, “Fair” would have been more fitted to this indie-film.

The real point of all this is to point out how excellent Remy Zero is. But they broke up. From their remains a band called Spartan Fidelity has risen, made up of the brothers Cinjin and Shelby Tate. Yes, they’re brothers but not like the Partridge Family and nothing whatsoever like the Bee Gees and their hair (the first tape I ever owned was 1987’s E.S.P.). And I want to tell you that as far as I’ve been concerned, the real force behind Remy Zero was Cinjin’s voice and songwriting.

Anyway, listen to Spartan Fidelity ("Okay."). I'm recommending them to you. So go ahead. Listen ("I will."). I’ve been thoroughly swept away by several songs from their album Excava-11. So do it ("Fine, I will. You're the queen. Everything you say is amazing."). Simply follow the link on my sidebar for a free download of “Broken Drum.” ("Everything you listen to is amazing. Whatever it is, it must be great. Because you're great.")


*And if you get this reference, you obviously spent too much time watching public television as a child.
**The churning emotions and instruments of “Fair” snuff out “Shattered.” That percussion. That guitar. It makes my heart hemorrhage. Can a heart hemorrhage? It kills me. That line where he says, “All my words were bound to fail / I know you won’t fail.” It’s blinding.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blessed Brown Bananas

I have two extremely ripe bananas on my desk. I’m considering eating one. Mostly because with each second that passes, the yellow fades to brown. They look diseased and I’d say that if I don’t eat both of them pronto, my entire cubicle (a.k.a. cage) will begin to smell like a banana boat stuck in the doldrums.

Once, I actually found a bunch of black, shriveled bananas behind my computer monitor. Someone from my department had hidden them. I accused just about everybody and no one would admit to the crime. So now I look upon everyone with suspicion. And instead of getting a fresh bunch to put behind someone else’s computer monitor, I took the shriveled ones and hid them in my neighbor’s cubicle. Apparently I work with a bunch of jokers here and I’m just not joker material (if I was, I would have realized a shriveled bunch of bananas wouldn’t achieve the proper sense of hilarity. Then I would have stolen a fresh bunch from the break room on Monday morning to hide in a coworker’s cubicle). If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll remember that no one gets my sense of humor, anyway.

So. The bananas. I don’t even really like them. But they were going bad in my mother’s pantry and I felt like it would be criminal to just to let them waste away like that in defeat of the banana’s higher calling, which is to feed me and provide me with sustenance. Blessed sustenance. So I brought two of them to work.

There’s also an apple on my desk. It’s been there since last week. I like bananas more than apples. But as you can see, I prefer pineapple. And I mean that. As far as I’m concerned, cottage cheese (of the low-fat variety) and pineapple is the breakfast of the gods. When I say gods, I mean Zeus and that lot of Greek gods who reside on gorgeous Mount Olympus, which I happen to have a great view of right outside my office window. I’m not kidding, either. Currently Olympus has a few feathery clouds crowding around it and has received a light dusting of snow. It’s been raining down here in the valley of the mortals and so I guess right now, we’ve got it better than the gods because at least it’s not snowing.

I keep eyeing the bananas. Like they’re my enemy. Like the smell is bothering me. Like I wish I hadn’t brought them to work because if I don’t eat them, I’ll feel enormously guilty. If you know me at all, you’ll know I have a deeply ingrained sense of guilt. I feel guilt for everything. For feeling annoyed at traffic. For not eating all my food at restaurants. For not recycling. For driving a car instead of riding my bike to work. For not wanting to eat the bananas. If only this guilt were balanced by an equally congratulatory feeling when I do something great, like eating a healthy dinner instead of a cheeseburger at the Dairy Queen, like when I refrain from flipping another driver off, or for recycling the rejected papers from the office printer instead of lazily throwing them in my own personal trash can. If only.

So. I’ll let you know how the bananas go down. And in case you’re wondering, the pineapple and cottage cheese this morning was divine, as was the sun momentarily shining through the clouds as it rose over blessed Mount Olympus.

p.s. My sister just came into my cubicle and asked me, as she pointed in disgust at the bananas, “You’re not going to eat those, are you?”

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Post of Explanation. A Legend, if You Will.

Some of you may be wondering about the stuff on my sidebar. First of all, let me explain that I don't really think that I'm a genius. That's a joke. I mean, come on. How many certifiable geniuses are there? If it was so easy to be a genius, then maybe the IQ test would be easier. Then we'd all be geniuses. I don't know what I'm saying anymore (see? Not a genius).

On that note of genius testing, let me explain that I have actually taken a real IQ test. Not one of those ridiculous Tickle web site IQ tests. I don't know how accurate those are, but they're sort of fun. And real IQ tests are in no way fun. More than anything, they're aggravating. My sister, bless her heart, sat me down one weekend during the semester of her graduate studies in which she practiced giving IQ tests (or something like that). Basically she forced me to take the test in order to help her out. And it was horrible, I tell you. Torture. It took many, many, many hours. It consisted of several organize-the-blocks moments and fill-in-the-missing-word tests, and do-this-ridiculous puzzle-even-though-there-are-no-right-answers tests. Near the end of the test (which, clearly consisted of a lot of small tests), I was so fatigued and mentally exhausted and annoyed that I started to purposely give the wrong answers. How’s that for a top-notch intelligence quotient?

And now, because she wasn’t a full-fledged psychologist at the time, she refuses to tell me my score. I refuse to go through another real test just to find out. But, I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere near genius.

Back to the blog. My use of genius is ironic. So don’t get all huffy and offended with me. Either you want to read through my archives, or you don’t.

The sidebar headline about loving me and loving this, is simply to direct you, my reader, to pages I’ve enjoyed in the past and am currently enjoying. My Space Cowboy, for any of you who don’t know, is my one and only Stoker. The man of my dreams in the flesh. And yes, Stoker is his real (first) name. Hence the space cowboy reference, ala Steve Miller, uh, “I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, I’m a midnight Stoker…” you know. Inside joke...Stoker rhymes with probably don’t get it. Never mind. The important thing is that I do. Get it. That is.

Plus there are other links there. Ward-o-matic is some guy in Atlanta or somewhere like that. He does graffiti art, animation and whatnot. Very cool stuff. And Imaginary Mind is actually the first blog I ever read. From North Carolina, I think she does computer stuff and her layout is great. Anyway, she’s pretty damn funny and if you don’t catch her on a funny day, then she’s usually informative in a very clever way (a poem? Or a rap? Not on purpose). I also catch that intern in NY blog, but I didn’t put a link to his blog on this because I have a rule of fives. Just kidding. There's no rule. I just haven’t felt like including him. And Gersh is some writer in NY who is sometimes hilarious. Sometimes not. Usually I disagree with his political opinions, but that’s the beauty of it.

Soul Candy. Self-explanatory. I update it fairly often. If not daily, then weekly.

Dream neighborhood. Self-explanatory. Now go watch the Season 1 episodes of Arrested Development. (Season 2? Hasn’t lived up to the expectations created by Season 1. So no, stick with Season 1).

"Give Me Some Privacy": Things Not to Do in the Workplace Bathroom

Finally. The post you’ve all been waiting for.

But first. A warning for the sensitive reader. See below.*

And now.

Allow me to explain a few things. At home, some activities in the bathroom are completely acceptable. That’s why we put the toilet and the shower in the same room. My contention is that the rules at home don’t apply at work. Am I right, or am I right? If I'm right, then by all means, read on. If I'm not, by all means, stop reading.

So I’ve compiled a short list of things I’ve noticed happening that break the unwritten, social rules of public bathroom use:

1. Make-up application**

Now, I don’t wear make-up. Generally. There was a brief stint of insanity during my 18th year which extended to my 22nd year. But I grew out of it when I realized the futility of putting on base, blush, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner and etc. Every single day. Just wasn’t worth the time and effort. So I stopped. In my defense, the company I kept heavily influenced me. It was this boyfriend I had. Anyway. It was stupid.

Years after him I looked in the mirror and realized I’m beautiful without it. How valuable is that? To be able to say, “Hell, I don’t need it.” Not that my self-esteem is based on whether a man wants me or not, but I’m still desired by men and without any make-up EVER (see How Stoker Proposed). The point of this is that I don’t have it in me to empathize with the girls and their spread of make-up on the bathroom counter. Get up earlier to put it on, or just forget about it. OR, you could even take a mirror with you to your desk, so that I can eliminate my bowels in peace, and if not by myself, at least with other women who are also eliminating their bowels (and would most likely prefer to do it in peace, but simply don’t have the courage to post a blog entry about it. Or don't even know what a blog is).

2. Teeth brushing

Again, there are things we do at home, in our bathrooms, that we probably shouldn’t do in public bathrooms. Being the sole proprietor of your home equals the peace of mind knowing that your bathroom is clean. This means your toothbrush is also kept relatively clean (and even then, I’ve heard tell that you kick up a cloud of germs when you flush without putting the toilet lid down, which hovers over and coats the head of your toothbrush, standing there innocently in its little cup. True? Not true? I don’t know, but that’s what I heard).

That’s why it’s okay to brush your teeth in the (potentially) dirtiest part of your home. The bathroom at work is not clean. You don’t know if the last woman who took care of business and flushed got anything on her hand before she touched the handle of the toilet or sink faucet -- which you just touched to turn on the water, and then you touched your toothpaste to squeeze the tube, and then you put the toothbrush in your mouth and began brushing with the (potentially) dirty hand holding the toothbrush which is now in your mouth, and as you hold it, germs are multiplying by the thousands, crawling up your toothbrush, LOOK YOU CAN SEE THEM!!! AND NOW THEY’RE IN YOUR MOUTH!!!!! Disgusting. This story ends in the resolution that it’s the exact same thing as having licked the toilet seat.

You might as well do that and save me the embarrassment of having to poop while you’re out there brushing your teeth.

3. Cleaning your pet fish’s bowl out

Uh, I have no idea what this person was thinking when they brought a fish to work. But they did. And while it seems cute, what isn’t cute is me having to (again) poop while someone is just outside the stall, rinsing out a fish bowl, cleaning the little rocks and marbles, refilling the bowl, putting in some drops of water purifier, rinsing the cleaning tools and putting the fish back in. All while other women and I enter the bathroom, immediately uncomfortable with our intentions of using it for the bathroom’s sole purpose, defecation. Uh, should I leave? Should I stay and, to hell with it, stink up the air? Or is that rude? Maybe I should wait. I don’t know. I don’t know.

4. Reuniting with friends from other departments

So maybe you do happen to run into Barbara from downstairs (what are you doing up here? Ha ha, don’t you guys have a bathroom on your floor? Well, it’s so good to run into you!). I can empathize with running into old friends. But can you empathize with my performance anxiety? Can you? Because when you stand in front of the sink or by the paper towel dispenser and chat away, I can hear you and I can’t bear the thought of adding my symphony of body noises to your conversation. It’s psychologically impossible. I’ll be forced to sit, waiting, waiting until you take your delightful reunion outside.

That’s what halls and break rooms are for, conversations.

And also, break rooms are for cleaning out fish bowls and brushing your teeth. Same with eating or filling your water bottle.

In summation, anything that’s not directly related to urination and bowel movements should be taken to the break room or your desk. I didn’t make these rules up. They willed themselves into existence out of sheer propriety. The workplace bathroom is not your private sanctuary, powder room or vanity table. It’s dirty (but not visible-dirty like with towels strewn about and whatnot), it usually stinks, and your best bet is to take care of your business and get the hell out of there. For my sake as much as yours.

* Sensitive readers, be warned. This post will contain references to the bathroom and biological processes that occur there, namely urination and defecation (or, as some of my less sensitive readers like to call it, “pooping”). My attempt isn’t to achieve hilarity through "potty humor." It’s to point out the inappropriateness of some of the bathroom activities happening in my workplace, public bathroom.

** Not necessarily applicable to men’s bathrooms. Necessarily. But still possible.

Monday, April 18, 2005


On British Sea Power’s song “North Hanging Rock,” for the film I’ll direct someday.

Thanks : )

Internal Monologue

Sunday. April 17, 2005. Sitting in Stoker’s green Mazda 626 (a very popular car, you might have seen several of the same model on a freeway near you). Listening to Cake. “Rock n’Roll Lifestyle” begins. Stoker asks me if I’ve heard this song before. Not knowing what the song is (but not because I don’t necessarily not know the song, it’s just too quiet and a diesel engine is idling nearby), I say no. Then I say, “Well, what’s it called?”

“Rock n’Roll Lifestyle,” he says.

“Oh, yes, actually I have heard this song. I like it,” I reply.

“Me too. It’s cool.” Listen.

“Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzzi?*
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?”

I laugh. It’s funny. The shiny cd collection is ironic. It’s just full of irony and satire because you know, here I am, listening to a cd and it’s their cd and Stoker had to buy it and you know, he was in his parents income tax bracket when he bought it. Hilarious. Although, I don’t wear leather jackets these days. I feel pretty good about having left that trend in high school, after mine was stolen right out of my locker. Never felt any pressure to replace it.

“Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.”

Ha, ha, ha. This is really funny. And satirical. I mean, how many times have I called Bryan what’s-his-name and asked him to get me into a show for free so I can write a concert review of the show, and I’ve only just heard of the band. Just so I can go to the show. Yeah, I mean, then I’ll listen to their music and ‘get into them’ right before the show so I look like a huge fan. Funny.

“And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirt
That proves you were there, That you heard of them first?”

Heh, heh. Starting to feel uncomfortable about this criticism that’s so obviously directed at me (or am I simply paranoid?). I mean, just because I buy the t-shirt at the show because I was there and I want to show off that I was there and I want everyone to know I heard of the band before everyone else. . . I mean, that’s not annoying. Is it? Or necessarily bad. Is it? I mean, come on, at least I don’t order band shirts off their web sites. Right? Right?

“How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?”

Oh good. It’s not about me. Because I have never bought a chunk of anyone’s guitar (I think that’s a Catholic thing, like collecting relics, you know. Not to insult the Catholic’s, I think they’re great). Nor do I endorse ruthlessly smashing guitars at shows. I think that’s disgusting. A guitar is a beautiful instrument.

“And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.”

That’s right, I agree. How long will the workers keep it up? I mean, really, how long? And luckily, my soda cans are only red and white because I drink Coke, the choice of a new generation (wait no, that's Pepsi, right?). I mean, Coke is always refreshing. That’s why I drink it. And while image is nothing, Sprite is everything. That’s the un-cola, the one I drink when I’m not feeling up to the heaviness of Coke. You know what I mean? I mean, patriotism is one thing, and favoritism is another, and I favor Coke.

"Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.”

Feeling really, really good about this song because I realize now it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I have no tattoos and we’ve already established that I’m anti-leather clothes (except for shoes and belts, in general). Plus, as far as I know, my liver is in tip-top shape – and I have no idea, really, what he’s referencing when he says, “youthful magic moments.” What’s he talking about? Mushrooms? LSD? Pure drunken revelry? Raving? I have no idea. Whatever it is, I’m not into it. New components don’t sound like a bad idea, though. A little nip, a little tuck, some Botox. I might be down with that when I start to look like aging leather.

“How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?”

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. It's not about me. Oooh, yeah, rock’n’roll lifestyle. Rock’n’roll lifestyle. Yeah.

“Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.”

Interesting. Very good song. Very good. Chaos won’t convert them. So true, so true. If only the people who are really like this song would listen. You know? I mean, it would really, really make a difference. It would. If only.

p.s. they’re finally washing my windows. Cleaning that oily film off and now it's like I don't even have a window. Finally. But sadly, it’s about to rain. Ironic. Ironic Monday, you might say. Just another.

*What is a Moto Guzzi? An expensive stereo? A watch, like a Rolex, you say. No, it’s a motorcycle.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Surcharge My Ass

I wanted to go to a show tonight. This band, Phoenix is playing. Some of you may have heard of them. A bunch of French young men who’ve gotten together to play what the young folks like to call the “rock n’roll.” Though I’ve heard some young people call it “electronic,” which I assume is like the rock n’roll. I have no idea why I’m talking like that. Forgive me. I have what I like to call a “minor migraine.” So I took about a million little brown pills, what I like to call Ibuprofen, to assuage the burning upper back pain and that fabulous dull headache. No really. I’m sorry, I’ll stop with the whole “I like to call it,” ‘they like to call it” bit.

So I go to the good ole’ Smith’s to buy some tickets. Advertised price on the website: $12 in advance, $15 day of show*. When I get there, I pull out my debit card, already to pay, knowing what I’m getting myself into and what to expect as far as price goes. I say to the girl in the spirit of hustle or be hustled, hoping she’ll sell them to me for $12 instead of stupid $15, “So what, how much are they anyway? $12?”

She says she doesn’t know, but looks it up on her ancient computer (so it could be wrong, really, because it’s so old and decrepit).

“Okay, actually it’s going to be $22.75.” She turns, looking a little frightened, because honestly, I’m ripped. I AM RIPPED. I work-out like, 3 times a week or something. Plus, she too realizes how absurd this price is.

“$22.75?!” I repeat, stupidly, like an annoying old lady with poor hearing, clutching her hat, gloves and handbag in arthritic hands, all hunched over. You can imagine me yelling something like, “Speak up, young lady!” But I don’t. In reality I look large and threatening. It’s my demeanor. I really project when I’m angry. “Are you serious? I just looked on your website and they were advertised for $12.”

“Did you look today? They sometimes go up the day of the show.” She’s projecting too, but projecting the innocent little Bambi deer-look. I almost feel bad for being so annoyed. And honestly, I haven’t been that rude. It’s not like I told her to go to hell and punched her out or something.

“Yes I looked today. Just a few minutes ago.”

To make a long, stupid story short. The price difference was because of the SURCHARGE. She explained that there was a $7.75 surcharge. So I told her "surcharge my ass" and "go to hell" and then I left. I don’t LOVE Phoenix, the band, that much. I like them. But not $22.75 much. I’d have to get two tickets, too, because I was obviously going to take my lover, Stoker**, with me. Also, it’s not like I have no experience with surcharges on concert tickets. I used to have to explain them when I worked at the Graywhale and we were a Ticketmaster outlet. But $7.75 is OUTRAGEOUS.

I’m telling you this hilarious, sad story because I’m calling for swift and sudden change in the concert ticket industry. How many shows can a person go to a month or a year if every ticket is already between $12 and $30 in addition to a surcharge? Like two, or something (and I’m not talking the $100 ticket prices for acts like Bob Dylan and David Bowie. These are small, indie-type acts. It’s a joke, not to mention, absurd). Most kids are in college anyway and we’re already dumping thousands of dollars into our music addictions. I have news for you, I am not made of money. Money does not grow on trees. My parents are not ATM machines. Stoker is not an ATM machine. My credit union’s ATM machine is not an ATM machine. I mean, does not give away free money. So I say someone should make one of those free online petitions to require that ticket outlets start listing the damn ticket prices with the surcharge already added in. No more of this false advertising.

*A $3 increase just because IT’S THE DAY OF THE SHOW? What? Why? Whose idea is this? Who do I have to speak to to get some service around here? I mean really people. Do they do this to increase sales so people will buy their tickets way in advance so the show is more likely to sell out? What’s going on? And speaking of, I’d say hours before the show should be considered ‘in advance.’ So whose definition of ‘advance’ are we going by, anyway?

**And yes, he’s afraid of my muscles.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Arrested Development

Who knows if they'll read it?

But I thought you might want to:


Dear Fox Big-wigs or Lowly-interns,

I love Arrested Development. I've heard from several, concerned friends that there's a chance the show will be taken off the air. I hope this doesn't happen, but if it does, please find a way to keep the Bluth family alive.

I rarely watch television, except while working out at the gym after work and those are usually Friends reruns. So, I think it speaks highly of your show that I try to always tune in on Sunday nights. Or I watch the Season One dvd's during the weekdays when I'm unwinding, after a long, draining workday, with my equally television-show discriminating fiance (which is to say, I've allowed Arrested Development to enter my "sacred circle" of friends) . I've never been a big fan of television and while what prevails on it is (what I would call) the crap known as reality shows, the humor and character development of Arrested Development is the proverbial breath of fresh air. Ron Howard's steady narration is television-land's last vestige of hope, the anchor amidst the raucous winds of shock-crime-law-and-order-CSI-cutting-people's-guts-out-one-hour-dramas (did you get that? Kind of long and grueling, but then, that's how those shows feel).

So please continue your most intense efforts to keep the Bluths on the air. They kill me, even though you had Buster's hand bit off by a seal. What?

Your most sincere fan,


p.s. "I punish thee!"


Sign the save Arrested Development petition even if you don't watch it. What have you got to lose? Nothing. And you're doing me a favor.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Haven’t been feeling very clever. Yesterday was rough. Today is better. I’m wearing a pink shirt and I don’t know what happened with that. I’ve always been in the school of thought that pink sucks. My mom gave me this shirt and I guess I’m just too old to hate pink. Pink has won me over.

What hasn’t won me over and never will, is the whole color-coded by gender thing. I refuse to join in the Barbie culture of pink is for girls (see the Barbie aisle at your local Wal-Mart. You DO have a Wal-Mart, don’t you?) and blue is for boys. That’s just a bunch of crap and who thought that up in the first place anyway? Growing up I rejected this stereotype. Imagine me, as an adorable little girl aware of gender-based stereotypes already, at 6-years old, battling them left and right in my simple small way.

At the Rafter as a little girl, with my mother (an old department store, now gone the way of all the earth):
“Oh, Nikki, try this blouse on, it’s cute.”
“Mooooom, its PINK. And I hate blouses.”
“You don’t hate blouses OR pink.”
“Yes I do. Pink is for girls.”
“You ARE a girl.”

Minor detail.

Now I think just the opposite. I mean about pink. But not on me, although I’ve received many compliments on how I look in this blouse. Er, shirt.*

About the pink. I think it looks very good on men in the right context. Isn’t that funny? We have this color that’s supposed to be all feminine and we use it that way—socializing children from their very first moments on earth that girls dig pinks and pastels and soft/warm colors; boys like dark, cold/hard colors like blue. But then, oddly enough, when a grown man wears something pink it makes him seem more masculine and comfortable with his sexuality.

Anyway, if you go to my flickr site, I have a picture there of me in my pink shirt (along with one of Michael Jackson because I don’t know any other way of putting pictures on my blog). Actually, I have my green sweater on with my pink shirt underneath. I was wearing my J Crew clothes that day, along with Stoker who was in his Gap "outfit" (you can't say outfit when it's about a man. Only girls where outfits. Men wear a suit or a combination of a shirt and pants, but never, NEVER an outfit). In our defense I must say that I’m actually a jeans and t-shirt kind of person, as is Stoker. But when I scored a desk job 8 months ago (score?), I was forced to wear ‘nice’ clothes. Since then I’ve been working on increasing my wardrobe to include ‘nice’ clothes, because as we all know, jeans and t-shirts are not ‘nice.’ Wearing them is the equivalent of wearing your most worn out shirt and sweats. At least in the business world. Please note the heavy use of sarcasm to convey my opinion that jeans and t-shirts are the clothes of the gods, the modern day parallel for ambrosia, nectar and togas.

Thank you.

*I'll give you something to think about. Think about how English attempts to be a gender-specific language, but fails miserably at my fingertips. With words like blouse, panties, purse and etc. Which all actually mean shirt, underwear and bag. I reject the use of all these so-called feminine words. Stoker is hell-bent on getting me to admit that what I have is a purse and not a bag. He’s always trying to trick me into saying “My purse.” But it’s not a purse. It’s a bag, and it actually looks better on him than on me, which merely proves my point.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Reunited: After 20 Years, I Rediscover William Shatner


So last night, while in my old town Logan (Utah), I stopped by my old haunt. Graywhale CD. While there, I purchased Fiona Apple’s Tidal for my lover (Stoker) and William Shatner’s album Has Been, for me.

I heard Has Been when it came out. It struck me, but I didn’t buy it. I heard it again on iTunes because I’m obsessed with that place—when they had Spaced Out! The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner on their home page (I want to get that too, some day). Anyhoo, haven’t been able to get the song “I can’t get behind that” out of my head. So I bought. And I love.

What’s depressing about that, you ask. I’ll tell you what’s depressing about that. It’s depressing because I think it’s damn good, and I want to tell good ole’ William that I think so. I want to be able to call William up and say, “William, I know you received some criticism and some people* made fun of you, but I want to tell you, maybe I am part of the ‘common people’** but I think it’s brilliant.” I’d like to be able to do that.

I’d also like to tell him that I really appreciate that he’s doing something. As you may know, because I told you, the title of his album is Has Been. But I don’t think he’s a has-been and maybe he’s just playing with that, capitalizing on the culture surrounding the idea that William Shatner is warshed up (yes, I said warshed, as in “y’alls need to get in thuh tub and warsh yuhselfs.”***). Since his days with Star Trek, he’s gotten a lot of criticism, you know, things like “Well, I heard William was a big jerk on the set, stealing lines and stuff all the time,” and etc. I don’t know if that’s true. But I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and say to hell with it. He’s doing something.

That’s my point. What I can’t get behind, is the jerks on stupid American Idol who suck and suddenly, one day the world is like “this guy is a superstar.” You know, because what can they do but stand on a stage and try to sing like annoying Mariah Carey? They sing songs someone else wrote, to music someone else composed, to instruments they can’t play. And here’s William Shatner talking (yes, not singing, because apparently he’s not like that) to music composed by Ben Folds. But here’s the tip of the point I’m trying to slowly make (brevity is the soul of wit), William Shatner is talking (because he’s not singing) from the heart. It’s real. And I love it.

William Shatner****, if you're reading, out there, somewhere in the cosmos of cyberspace, I want to tell you that Has Been defies expectations. It's poignant, moving, fun and I love it. I LOVE IT.

** Though I really don’t think so, I think I’m extraordinary
***I have no idea if that’s a dialect anywhere except in my own head
****My first big crush as a 5 or 6 year old [wow, that’s super young to be thinking about being in love] [I know], catching every TJ Hooker episode. But alas, no longer

Some Terms of Existence

I don’t want to:

1) write stupid reviews of other people’s books

2) write articles for magazines or newspapers where I’m forced to love/hate someone else’s work and resort to terms like “hip,” “trendy,” “self-deprecating,” or “clever” to describe them or their work

3) spend the rest of my life sitting in a piece of parceled space like a toy in a tidy package being told that the work I’ve produced isn’t good enough or what they were “looking for,” as though my job is to read their mind (or understand the poor terms they’ve outlined in their very brief “creative brief”) and know exactly what they’re “looking for.” Or maybe this is my job and I just don’t realize it

4) pander to musicians, authors, directors or actors or any other "artist" in writing, or even with my vocal cords, just to get in good with them. They should be pandering to me, is the way I see it

5) compete with other writers or scholars for the rest of my life, constantly wondering if I’ll get that much needed promotion or appointment to some seat as a dean of some college or board somewhere at some point in my life, secretly hating everyone because they’re a threat to my career

6) sell my work or creations for less than they’re worth out of fear of never "amounting to anything"

7) tell other people I think they’re work sucks or isn’t quite “what they could produce if they just put their mind to it”

8) gaze out of an office window wishing I was outside during the spring, summer, winter or fall every weekday for the rest of my life (I guess you could say, at least I have a window, but this seems to gloss over the true tragedy of it)

9) stick with the status quo, like the government does with everything now (i.e. switch to a consumption tax, it’s a BETTER IDEA), out of fear that change will be too disruptive or scary or I might not know where I’ll end up. Change is good, is healthy for my brain, heart and soul

10) grow more and more afraid of new things


Thursday, April 07, 2005

4th Floor Windows

I wish I could open my window and ask the window/building cleaners (yes, they're actually cleaning the building too, washing the red brick and everything) if they could please do my window again. They cleaned it yesterday. And for some reason, today they did the windows ABOVE it. The cleaning fluid has coated my window and now it's like looking out from inside a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Greasy.

I can see them out there now. I wonder if they know sign language...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


You thought this post was going to be about body parts, or potentially the use of sex appeal in advertising. Well it’s not about either, though I have much to say on the subject of both. It’s about the band I’m listening to right this minute. And I’d put a link on my blog sidebar under what I’m listening to, but that’s too much trouble.

I tell you what, though. I’ve been into "King" since last spring. So I thought I’d do a tribute to Belly of the early 90’s, now disbanded. Though their first album, "Star," was the big hit, "King" has me hooked. And according to, this is the album that bombed, like hypercolor shirts did when everyone realized they were stupid (what a concept, a shirt that changes color when exposed to heat). Unlike hypercolor shirts, "King" doesn’t have the excuse of being a stupid album. In fact, I’d say it was the audience that miserably failed the intelligence test (good job to the few out there who got it and kept their "King" albums). I don’t remember what happened because I was only 16 and extremely misled by pop radio stations. Besides, everyone evolves at a different pace or, to be unexpectedly cliché, marches to the beat of their own drum and I was hearing and evolving to the drums of Chicago’s "Greatest Hits, 1982-1989," and the likes. Embarrassing to admit now, but that was the truth for then (not embarrassing: very early Chicago).

So anyway. Lucky for me there are souls who are more misled than I am (now) and while working at the before-mentioned Graywhale cd store (see Sense of Humor: some have it…) my superior (but only in rank. Joke) Bryan, pulled a $5.99 used copy of "King" off the shelf and said, “Have you ever heard this?”

I said, “No.”

And he said, “It’s really good. My friend, Jesse [or Jason, or Bill or something], loves this band. He got me into them. Try them out.”

So I did, try them out, that is. (I don’t know what else it could have been but felt like saying that anyway because I think adding ‘that is’ to anything is extremely funny. Or stupid, I don’t know.) Yeah, I tried them out and at the time thought, they’re kind of cool. Besides, I found one in our store for $3.99, which meant like $1.00 for me because of employee discount and therefore I bought. (I left ‘it’ out on purpose.)

I listened to it during the spring of that year, and before I went to Prague with Matt (the mathematician) and got all weirded out by Isaac (just suddenly, one day I didn’t trust him) I blasted it through my sweet Tacoma stereo driving up to southern Idaho to ride horses in Eden (not really Eden, but a very beautiful area which I liked to call Eden). This was before Stoker.

This story has gone on way too long. The point is, I’ll always associate it with spring/summer music. And the lonely time before Stoker and after arm-band-tattooed-Isaac, because I listened to it a lot before Stoker and after Isaac (self-explanatory really, but I’ve a tendency to over-explain. Do forgive). And I didn’t think it was a great album, then. I listened to it because it was new to me and different from the shoe-gazing emo music (to steal an ‘industry’ description) I’d been listening to for months and months. Sitting at work lately, listening to it very, very often, because I’ve been too lazy to change what’s playing—you know, all the energy it takes to move my arm a foot to my right, grasp the mouse and drag the arrow across the screen and click the little button—I’ve come to realize that it is, after all a great album.

Album favorites: all of them.
Album highlights: probably all of them, at different times, depending on my mood.
Album first-loves: “Seal my Fate” and “King.”

Album favorite lines: from “King” – "Now, I see, you lay your perfect body, down by me..."
From "Untitled and Unsung" -- "I want your pearly little hand in my hair, we make a strange and furious pair..."
From "Now They'll Sleep" -- "You know the breath my shape will take before I let it out..."

Most played song on the album: “Super-Connected.”

What to do if this album doesn’t strike you as excellent at first: Give it time. If you have a cd-player in your car, take all the other albums out. Leave only "King" at your disposal for your listening pleasure. When tempted to take it out, don’t. Turn it up. Continue listening. Learn the words. Sing along. Let the magic eat you alive and enjoy it. How many albums get better with each listening? Not the likes of Maroon 5 (though, admittedly, I like some of their songs). Why? Because it doesn’t have endurance. It lacks, like so many people these days, staying power.

Tomorrow: “10 things NOT to do in the bathroom at work.”*

*I’m building you up. Creating anticipation. Making promises I might not keep.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sense of Humor: Some people have it....

Nobody at work gets my sense of humor. I’ve puzzled about this for some time and have decided that the only explanation is that its so cryptic and developed (and also that I’m so intelligent). Or it might be that I mainly sit in my cubicle and refrain, for the most part, from talking to anyone for longer than one minute. In the space of one minute, how could there be any time to discuss anything other than the weather? Unlike farmers, though, the weather is less consequential to corporate business types like my co-workers and me. Co-workers schmo-workers. We’re hardly co-anything, me just recently 27 and most of them 35+. So anyway, I guess there are several reasons no one gets my delightfully sarcastic sense of humor, age being one of them. Here’s an example of how I fail miserably to connect with them:

Returning from lunch, Linda* passes me on her way out of our boss’s office. And she says over her shoulder what is mostly likely intended for our boss, but could have very well been directed at me since we’re facing each other and even make direct eye-contact, “Alright, good work!”

To which I reply, “Thank you.” She breezes by in her usual efficient, brisk walk. She says nothing. In fact, I almost think not a soul has noticed my casual wittiness until I hear Bob shout from his office.

“She was talking to me!” And this is followed by small, inconsequential half-banter, with me delivering the entire half of the banter.

But you see, this is how it always is. I might mutter a smart remark from within the confines of my cubicle and everyone around me largely ignores it. Five or six other people surround me, all within earshot, and I can’t even banter with them. In any other environment, my tongue-in-cheek ‘thank-you’ would have gotten a round of applause, followed by a snide-remark in return. I.E.:

“Alright, good work!” Said over the shoulder, obviously meant for someone else.

“Thank you.” Followed by much laughter.

“Ha, good work. Work is like the f-word to you, something you’ve never done.” Followed by more laughter, and this is obviously my fantasy job as a construction worker** since nobody here EVER says the f-word (or maybe they do, just not around me).

Taking off my white glove (you didn't realize I was wearing gloves, did you), I reply by inserting a recently materialized brick into the glove, and then proceed to slap my co-worker's face several times with the brick-heavy glove, in manner of Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny. When I'm done, I shake the brick-remains out into a small pile at my feet. . . .

But, you get the idea.

And actually, I did have a job like this. The cd store in Logan. Graywhale. Where everything was always a joke and I was teased over everything, from my secret love for pop music to being a lesbian (which I’m not, but that didn’t stop my male co-workers. They were all male and fantasists). And actually, if I think about it a lot and am honest, I prefer the job where no one gets my sense of humor and there’s a thin pretense of respecting each other. I prefer that over the job where everything’s a joke.

But seriously. Can’t there be an in-between? If there is, sign me up.

Tomorrow,"10 things the bathroom at work is NOT intended for."

Obviously names have been changed to protect me from losing my job over writing blog entries about work.
**Construction worker?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Niagara Falls

While being tempted to write about something sobering (realistic/unrealistic expectations in people), I settle on telling you about Niagara Falls lady.

I first noticed her about a month after I began working here. I didn’t actually see her face for several weeks, that’s why I started calling her Niagara Falls lady (she could have been anyone). At risk of being disgusting, I tell you that she drew my attention immediately for her efficient ability to simply and seemingly open a trap door beneath her bladder and unload high volumes of urine all at once. The gushing noises coming from her bathroom stall are unlike anything I’ve ever heard before (even louder and more impressive—in a gross way—than the sound of a man urinating into a toilet). It’s intimidating. For myself, I’ve usually just begun and have barely made a dent in my own full bladder and she’s all done (most often she’s come into the bathroom after me). Maybe this is too much information, but I tell you what, I’ve seriously wondered if she’s not an alien in disguise.

It wasn’t for several months until I pieced it all together: Niagara Falls lady is this scary looking woman who moves quickly, efficiently, always in a hurry. Very businesslike. She actually looks like she might be an alien disguised as a woman. Pale skin and hair. Dark, eerie eyes. Tall. I’ve never spoken to her, and though I know her name, I’ll never tell. She may be the nicest person in the workplace, for all I know. The first time I saw her, I thought it would be fitting if she was, in fact, the Niagara Falls lady. Well she was. And I’ve created this impossible history for her, as well as a new name. Sometimes I dread going to the ladies' room. She might come in. When she does, I always suspect her from the quick, high-heeled step, click-click-click-click-click. A brief pause. Maybe an unzipping sound. And then, let the floodgates unloose their burden!


Friday, April 01, 2005

Speak Up

Today I read an article the in Deseret News about how the ACLU and other organizations are protesting the web page posted by Health and Human Services about teens and sexuality. They say the article preaches values, focusing on abstinence. The government can’t teach values, they say.

So I’m really opinionated about it. I loathe the ACLU. Anyway, I figured I’d go to this website to see how it taught values. Through a series of links, I found the site directed towards teens and their sexual health (link). Under the heading “Related Issues,” are links for “Abstinence” and then “Birth Control.” I went to both of these sights to read what was so offensive to the ACLU and the homosexual alliances.

First of all, I feel pretty bleak about America. My outlook for our country is dismal, and if history is any indicator for what will happen to us, then I’m certain we’re in for a major crumble. Or tumble. Like Humpty Dumpty, sitting upon a wall. It doesn’t help that no one in any station of authority can (or will) take a stand for strict morals without being attacked by the ACLU or the media or anyone. The only guy who doesn’t care what you say about him, who dares to call it like he sees it is Mike Savage. While I don't always agree with him, I respect that he's not swayed by popular opinion or harsh criticism.

Personally, the things I read on the HHS’s website were refreshing. I agree that the only foolproof, guaranteed way to not get pregnant or not contract an STD is through abstinence. Because of the human tendency to err. You can always make a mistake even after taking every precaution, and as a teenager, do you want to risk it? I don’t think so. Live young. Live without a care or worry about pregnancy or STD’s. What a way to rush old age, with heavy concerns like that on your mind ("Am I pregnant?" or "Do I have HIV?"). And aside from the risk for pregnancy, teenagers are not mentally equipped to deal with the ramifications of being sexual. (See National Geographic’s cover story on the brain.) It’s huge. And everyone knows that relationships are complicated beyond comprehension by the smallest kiss, let alone sex.

Anyway, I’m not saying teenagers shouldn’t be taught about birth control methods other than abstinence, nor does the HHS web site. It’s still instructive and explicit. Go visit the site, read about the controversy and speak up with your opinion. Be heard. If you don’t have children, like I don’t, it still matters. Someday you might have kids and think about what you’d want them to know. Think about what you’d want for them, what you’d want to do. You were a teenagers once, think about what you wanted to know and what you wanted people to say to you. You may disagree with me. Whatever. Just think about it. All of us are still teenagers within, looking for beliefs to cling to.