Thursday, December 29, 2005

and then I found five dollars

Was it rude not to invite my co-workers to my New Year's Party? I thought about it, but I don't really think it would be their kind of party. My friends and I are still on the cusp of post-college life. I think I can use that as an excuse for at least another two years. We still think playing beer pong is fun. Honestly, I don't think any of us would know what to do at a party if there weren't drinking games and beer pong.

That's not really true. I mean, yeah, I take my own disposable cups and ping pong balls to parties but I don't make people play.

I hope you know that's not true, either.

I think I'm getting a cold. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that it was 55 degrees yesterday and today when I walked outside I was surprised to note that my car was covered in snow. Thanks, Ohio. Now go fuck yourself.

I should probably also mention that I took some cold medicine earlier and it made me feel really weird. I'm not taking it again (at least not before work) but I'm pretty sure it was just generic Advil cold and sinus. Do they put something weird in generic medicine? The only other stuff I had were these generic Dayquil tablets, but those are what my mom took before she had her "episode," so I didn't really want to risk it. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop buying generic medicine. Or that something is wrong with me and I should go to the doctor. But I hate the doctor, so no.

Last night, I went to collect my parent's karaoke machine for Saturday, because my friends and I just aren't quite loud enough on our own. My neighbors, the ones who were there when I locked myself in the mailroom and the ones who see me take my garbage out wearing penguin pajama pants, probably wondered why someone was singing an off-key version of Hit Me Baby, One More Time last night. That was me. Sorry. 867-5309? Guilty!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

poster child no longer

For as long as I can remember, I have been ruled by self-doubt. That scared, little voice in my head governing everything I do. You can't do that, what if you mess up. You're going to look so stupid. What if you can't do this? They're all gonna laugh at you! I am the poster child for low self-esteem.

The one thing I've always felt the surest about is my writing. You know how everyone is good at at least one thing? Writing has always been the thing I'm good at. It was always my story that was chosen to be read aloud to the class. The best compliments I have ever received have been about my writing. Maybe they weren't the best, but they felt like the best because they meant the most. And you guys? You guys make me feel good about my writing, too. Every comment you leave warms my cold, dead heart. Seriously. You have no idea.

And yet, I still don't write. I make excuses for not even trying to get published. I don't know what to write, I don't know who to send it to, it's not like anyone would ever publish my crap anyway. That's the thing, though. I'll never know unless I actually write something and SEND it. So, right now, I am putting my New Year's resolution here, in print, for all the world (or the 30 of you who read this) to see. I will try at least three times this year to get something published. It doesn't have to actually BE published, I'm not expecting that at all, but this is the big step. The one I am having the most trouble making. And hopefully I won't fall flat on my face.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yankee Swap is like Machiavelli meets . . . Christmas

Last week at our office Christmas party we had a Secret Santa gift exchange. Except it wasn't really Secret Santa because we didn't choose names out of a hat (or a mug or a bowl or what-have-you) we just brought random gifts. There was a dollar maximum but anything under that was FAIR GAME. I could have brought a pair of windshield wipers and an old boot and possibly some margarita salt but I didn't bring any of those things. That doesn't matter. That isn't the point of the story.

Just kidding. I don't have a point.

Anyway, at this Christmas party, we exchanged said gifts. Only instead of Secret Santa we called it White Elephant. But because I had seen The Office that week I kept calling it Yankee Swap even though people just gave me those weird, sideways glances that silently say, "I would rather eat my own arm than ask you what you're talking about." It's OK. I'm used to it. Jim is right, though. It really should be called "Nasty Christmas," because Yankee Swap is mean. Ok. So, I was number two so I had the worst position except for one other person. That person had number one. Duh. I chose a new gift even though she had gotten this really cool light thing (it must have made quite an impression because I don't remember what it was) because I didn't want to be mean. Anyway, my gift was this obviously-from-Target-but-I-didn't-care-because-I-love-Target-see-earlier-entry coffee cup and saucer, with cookies and candy and coffee inside. And since I am addicted to coffee I almost opened the bag and started snorting it but I contained myself, in case anyone ended up stealing my gift. Although, now that I think about it, sticking my nose in the coffee might have ensured that no one would take it.

Things were going along smoothly. I was quietly holding my gift, trying to blend into the scenery so no one would take it. The next few people, too nice to steal other's treasures, chose new gifts. Then it was Esther's turn. Her name is not really Esther. I could see her eyeing my precious coffee set. She stood up, walked over, and snatched it out of my lap. NOOOOOOOOO! I was devastated, and then I realized I got to open another present. So I did. Suckers. This gift was even better. A basket of bath salts and lotion and a DVD copy of Steel Magnolias. Oh my god! If there is anything I love more than coffee it is southern belles and melodrama!

Unfortunately, I did not get to hold onto my gift because someone stole that, too. But since the present I had brought was the only one left to chose, I got to steal back the coffee set. Take that, bitches! I did not say that, but I'm surprised I didn't because I had had a lot of wine that night.

The end.

Friday, July 11th, 1997 10:22 PM

My dad and I used to fight a lot. I mean A LOT. I think this started when I was in junior high and lasted through most of high school. Most of the fights were about stupid things. I didn't clean well enough, I wanted to stay out later than usual, blah blah teenage angst.

On the date above, I wrote the following words. They're really quite beautiful. No editing has been done.

Today I baby-sat Billy and Danny all day. Aunt Brenda wanted to go to the hospital. Grandpa is there because of his stomach (he'll be fine! *whew*) and she didn't want Grandma to be alone. My dad is being such a jerk. I waited an hour to get on the internet and then he says that no one else could get on tonight. It was not fair. And I had email to answer. It was only ten o'clock, just because Mindy was a brat no one could get on. We went out to dinner (Chili's) and I stuffed myself. Plus I drank 3 huge glasses of Coke, so I had to pee really bad by the time we got home. Dad told me I was being a trashmouth tonight. (Just because as we were leaving the hospital, I picked up a glove and asked if I could have a prophylactic*) Well, and I said a few other things. (I just guessed what song was gonna be on the radio. Weirdness.)
I really need to talk to Erica. She's been gone all week and got back tonight. But no, dad has to be a major dickwad! (How's that for a trashmouth, you fuckerhead fartass!**) Sorry, better go now!

Yeah. I'm pretty sure it's the best thing I've ever written.

*I think it's safe to say that I did not know any connotations of the word "prophylactic" other than rubber glove. So naive.

**Sorry, dad! Love you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm pretty sure the drugs are still in my system

I think Target pumps some kind of secret drug into their stores. The minute I walk into a Target, I enter some sort of fugue state, drifting through the aisles with mouth agape and glazed eyes, picking up knick-knacks and mindlessly throwing them into a cart. Picture frame? Oh, I need that. Another candle? Can’t have enough of those. Cat toys? Phoebe deserves it. Three dollar plunger? It must have super poo-suction. It all goes in the cart. Because I cannot go into Target and get just a basket, oh no, not even if I just go in for merely a birthday card. It’s as if my hands have magnetic powers, but only in Target, and the cart just flies right to them. Like Magneto. I always thought it would be funny if that was spelled “Magneato,” like, “Hey, he has magnetic powers! Neato! No, MAGneato.” Heh. Nerd alert.

I don’t know what it is about Target, but I can lose hours in that store. I went in yesterday to look for a movie. I walked directly to the DVD section (without grabbing a cart OR a basket, hurrah!) and, even though they didn’t have the movie I was looking for I was there for an HOUR. I didn’t buy anything but I have no idea where that time went. I don’t have any memories of looking at anything in particular. Where did that hour go? Did a Target employee sneak up behind me and inject me with something, then drag me to a back room where my eyes were taped open and I was forced to watch Target commercials over and over? Is this the seedy underbelly of Target? The Target Mafia? Are all of those bulls eyes are some kind of subliminal mind control?

I don’t know. But I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'll cry if I want to

I am having a New Year's party and you are all invited. That's right, I just invited the whole internet to my apartment.

I think I am just super paranoid that no one will come to my party, even though I know that's not the case, or that my party will suck and everyone will leave early. Which would so never happen because I am fun! I swear! Not dancing on the table topless fun, but let's laugh and sing and dance on the floor tops ON fun! I will not go crazy and start crying because everyone messed up my apartment like the hostess did at one party I went to. Also, I am always one of the last people to go to bed/pass out so I will not start cleaning up while people are still hanging out and having fun in "hint, hint, GET OUT NOW" fashion.

Aside from last year, every time any of us has tried to plan some sort of party for the New Year, plans fell through. We'd get tentative RSVPs and then people would back out at the last minute because, I don't know, something more fun had come up? Again, I must mention how fun I am so why are you backing out, like HELLO WHO DOES THAT. Oh, everyone, OK.

So. See you all December 31st. Don't be offended if you try to touch Phoebe and she bites you and hides under my bed. That is just her way. Don't be offended if I make fun of you or spill my drink on you. That is just my way. Party. Foul.

verdict? no one cares

I vaguely remembered making some New Year's Resolutions back in January, so I thought now would be a good time to see how I did on those. Heh.

Write for AT LEAST one hour every day, and blogging doesn't count.
Um. Yeah. I'm gonna say I was unsuccessful with this one. Once again, I tried to do Nanowrimo and, once again, I failed.

Exercise in some way every day, even if it's not for very long and it's done while watching reruns of Friends.
I did a little better with this one. I did not exercise every day, but I was more careful with what I eat and I think I weigh about 20 pounds less now than I did last January, so whoohoo!

Watch less TV. For instance, do not sit in front of TV, channel surf, and then settle for watching Blind Date because nothing else is on. Turn the TV off and then open a book, or go work on numbers 1 and 2 (heh, that sounds bad).
Well, I don't have cable anymore so that kind of takes the fun out of channel surfing. However, I have gotten a lot more use out of my DVDs so this one is probably a wash.

Get dressed immediately after showering (and, of course, drying off) instead of sitting around in various stages of undress checking e-mail or writing in blog. This starts tomorrow, obviously, as I am currently writing this in my bathrobe.
Heh. If you could see me right now you'd know that I failed miserably with this one.

Job search for at least one hour a day OR send out two resumes a day.
I now have a job, which I've had for almost a year, but I think it may be time to take up this resolution again. Sigh.

Take fewer pictures of the dog with digital camera.
Easy, because I no longer live with said dog. Phoebe, on the other hand.

Stop drinking so many caffeinated beverages. Just because I have a Starbucks gift card DOES NOT mean I have to consume as many caramel macchiatos as I can within 24 hours. I'm drinking my third cup of coffee right now.

Be nicer to my sister, unless she throws water on me again.
Again, easy, because I no longer live with her.

Feed fish every day. And also change his water more than once every two months.
Ok. I have a confession to make. Fish is dead. He died a few months ago. I would like to say it was probably NOT due to neglect on my part, but I'd be lying.

Drink more water.
I drink so much water that I think my coworkers think I have some kind of problem. Why else would I need to go to the bathroom every five minutes and yet keep filling my water bottle?

Go to bed and get up earlier so I don't go into shock once I finally get a job.
I'm getting really bored with this. I think you probably are, too. Anyway, I don't do this even though I have a job.

To go along with number 11, stop staying up late trying to finish the last 100 pages of a book. When the chapter ends, put the book down and go to sleep because staying up until 4 AM because "the book was just TOO GOOD TO PUT DOWN" is probably not an acceptable excuse for missing work.
Although I've never used that excuse to miss work, it doesn't mean I COULDN'T have.

Travel to a state I've never been to before. It's probably easier to list the states I HAVE been to, so any states other than the following will count: California, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio (obviously), Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, West Virginia, Regular Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Any other state is up for grabs, so if you live in one of the states NOT on that list, all I can say is WATCH OUT.
Wow, I don't think I went anywhere new this year. I couldn't afford it. That is just too sad for words. Except these words. The ones I am saying right now. Who would like to take me on vacation? I will let you pay for my room, food, and airfare, but I will pay for my own drinks. Believe me, you're getting off easy.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dear John Krasinski

I know you're on a hit show and all right now, and that's great, I'm totally happy for you, but I really think you should move to Ohio and be my new boyfriend.


PS: You can bring Steve Carell, if you really want, but he has to sleep on the couch and tell me stories about working on The Daily Show.

over the river

Yesterday, we went to my grandmother's house (condo, whatever) to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side of the family. Or as I call it, the loud side of the family.

You have to speak up to be heard at these gatherings. Rather than take turns speaking, we prefer to talk over each other so that eventually everyone is talking and you can only pick up bits and pieces of conversations. This makes it difficult to play a game like Scene It, especially when half the people playing have had more to drink than to eat.

I would just like to point out that the first game of Scene It we played, even though my team lost, there were VERY SPECIFIC REASONS. Shut up, I am not being a sore loser! The first couple of rolls we weren't sure of the rules and my team didn't get to keep going as long as we kept answering questions correctly. Which we WOULD HAVE because this is a game where all of my obsessive movie watching pays off. ALSO. My team was the only team that consisted of only ONE adult and I don't even know if that adult COUNTS as an adult because it was me.

The second game, however, when we actually knew the rules and the teams were a little more evenly distributed . . . we totally dominated, even though we were screwed out of one answer because we said "oven mitt" as opposed to "RED oven mitt," like who is the sore loser now, MOM? Hee. I think this game will probably be added to the list of games my family can no longer play (along with Trivial Pursuit) because people (ok, me) took it too seriously.

And another thing, Uncle John, The Royal Tenenbaums IS NOT a horrible movie, it is awesome.

Friday, December 16, 2005

don't wrap angry

If I were going to tell a story tonight, it would start out, "I have this friend, see," but I'm not really in the mood for stories. Also, I'm not sure who reads this on a regular basis and I don't want make a big deal out of nothing or to hurt anyone's feelings, even though my feelings right now are just the tiniest bit bruised. Maybe not even bruised. Just a little tender.

So instead of storytelling tonight, I drank some wine, pretended I wasn't angry, and wrapped Christmas presents. And I'm just not sure that's a good combination.

word salad

I don't know if anyone has really noticed, but I've been kind of MIA recently and it isn't because I don't love you all, oh no. It's because I've been really, super busy but not, of course, with anything that exciting.

Last night, we had our office Christmas party at a co-worker's house. Sometimes I forget that everyone I work with is older than me, by at least five years, and all but one of them have kids. I am always surprised to be reminded of this, such as last night when they started talking about horrifying things that happen when you give birth. Tearing and pooping and cutting, oh my! The more I hear about the birthing process, the more I start thinking about adoption. I really do not want a room full of people staring at my hooha for hours and hours.

Hmm. What else happened this week? Oh, well, the construction workers cut through our cable at work, so we were without internet for a couple of days. You may be thinking, "oh, boohoo, Jennie couldn't check her e-mail every five seconds, poor baby," but SHUT UP RIGHT NOW because the software we use is all web based so we were screwed like a whore with twelve kids who's broke at Christmastime.

I also met a ginormous lawyer the other day. Not fat ginormous, but tall ginormous. He was sitting down when I met him so I didn't think there was anything abnormal about him, except his weird facial hair, but when he stood up I was all, "Holy shit, you are twice as tall as me! Nice bellybutton! I could stand on your palm and do back flips like that dog on the TV! You know the one! Did I make that up? Sometimes I do that! Oh my land, you are the tallest man I have ever seen close up!" And although I am very short and even a regular tall person towers over me, still I could not believe how tall this giant man was. I swear he had to duck when he walked out the door. I feel I must add that he was not my lawyer. I have not done anything illegal. That anyone else knows about.

ANYWAY. I also learned how to tie my scarf so it looks all neat and sophisticated when you put on your coat. You may not think this is a big accomplishment, but after wondering for so long how women do that I'm pretty happy to have finally figured it out. Ok. I didn't figure it out. Someone told me. But I don't care because my scarf looks awesome. I kind of want to wear it everywhere I go. But I won't. Unless it's cold. Then I will. I don't want to get frostbite of, you know, the neck or something.

Friday, December 09, 2005

baby, it's cold outside

Last night, because of all the snow that was dumped on Ohio, it took me 40 minutes to get home. Which is not a long time, but it normally takes me less than 10 minutes. I LOVE driving 20 mph. You know, I've never really had a chance to enjoy the scenery on the route home. The magnificent parking lots! Apartment complexes! Walmart! Beautiful. Really, though, I was only worried about one thing. By the time I got home and made dinner, I almost missed the beginning of Survivor! The horror!

Despite being a major inconvenience and sometimes causing catastrophic patio cover incidents, I usually enjoy the snow. At least for the first couple of weeks. Right now, it still looks all bright and pretty but I'm sure by January I'll be complaining EVERY DAY that I had to clean my car off/wear two coats/treat my frostbite.

I definitely need to invest in a pair of good snow boots, especially judging by the half-assed job my apartment complex did of clearing the place of snow. I know there are only a few maintenance workers and I'm sure it sucks to have to spend the majority of your morning shoveling heavy snow off of a zillion walkways but I don't even think they're trying. Why else would they pile snow right in front of the door, causing it to open only halfway and creating an interesting obstacle to try and hurdle? Also, I think they intentionally piled snow around my car so when I tried to clean it off without soaking my jeans up to the knee (remember that I'm very short), I was defeated each and every time.

Actually, I'm feeling pretty damp at the moment. My driver's side door wouldn't open this morning, so I had to get in on the passenger side, after cleaning my car off, and in the process of swinging myself over the cupholder (holding my precious coffee) and under the steering wheel, I pretty much got snow all over the driver's seat. Also, I think I may be wearing the world's most unflattering sweater today. It's a pretty color, but kind of shapeless and also it has all these weird lumps in it (besides my lady lumps). I just didn't care this morning. I may have gotten the sweater off of the closet floor. It's not dirty, I'm just too lazy to put things away when they fall off of shelves.

This is why I need to keep an extra set of clothing at work.

Well, that, and naptime accidents.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

how I have never set myself on fire, I do not know

I've always considered myself a fairly intelligent person. I said fairly, so back off. I was REALLY intelligent back in high school when I could ace tests without studying and also without paying attention in class. Back then, I used most of my classes as a time to do homework for OTHER classes so my evenings would be free to read Stephen King and watch crap TV.

Maybe I missed the day they taught us to balance a checkbook*. I'm really good at writing expenses in my checkbook if I'm actually writing a check, because the checkbook is RIGHT THERE in front of me as opposed to where it usually is which is . . . I don't know because I can never find it when I need it. If I use my debit card, on the other hand, I'm not quite as good. Ok, I downright suck. Usually my statement is a big surprise, rather than a refreshing validation that I am a responsible adult. "Oh, I forgot I went to the movies and spent . . . seventeen dollars?! WTF?! It's a good thing they take credit card because I never have that kind of cash."

Sometimes I'll remember that I haven't written anything in my checkbook in a while and I try and round up all the rogue receipts in my possession. Most of the time, my wallet is full of more receipts than cash but somehow these nomadic slips of paper find their way all over my apartment. They're on the kitchen table, under my desk, stuck to the fridge with notes written on them, or, best of all, used as bookmarks in LIBRARY BOOKS. Brilliant.

For the past couple of days, I have been very careful with both my spending and my record keeping because, as I don't get paid until Friday and I'm running low on funds, I would like to avoid overdrawing my account and having to pay my bank exorbitant amounts of money. I have been driving myself nuts because the balance carefully (ha!) recorded in my checkbook does not match the amount on my online statement. Luckily, the bank is saying I have more money than I thought. But instead of doing what I'd normally do, which is rush out and spend the extra money, I've been going over and over my checkbook and statements, trying to find my mistake. Has one of my checks gone uncashed? Of course not. Maybe the bank doesn't have a record of all the money I spent at Target? Nope, all there.

Ten minutes ago, while flipping through the pages of my checkbook for the bajillionth time, the answer jumped out, waved, and punched me in the face and sweet, sweet clarity rushed over me. I had recorded two expenses twice. I didn't do it once, oh no, that might have been too easy to catch. I did it twice.

Oh, also I forgot to record spending $2.99 at Kroger. Who charges $2.99 at Kroger?

Is this a bad time to mention that in high school I used to forget to cash my paychecks until weeks, sometimes months, later? I'm not kidding. In fact, I seem to remember finding a library paycheck during the second semester of my freshman year of college, a full six months after I'd quit that job.

So. I think I need to get married so someone else can be responsible for the finances. Who's good with numbers?

*For the record, I don't think they taught us this in school. Instead, I took Calculus. Which, you know, I totally use all the time.

down with the god squad

I was all disappointed last night when That Team I Hate on The Amazing Race made the final three, but then I realized that the finale probably wouldn't be very exciting if I didn't have someone to root against.

When your team consists of a widow and her three children who were left fatherless in a freak racetrack accident, you have quite a few built-in sympathy points before you even begin, so you know they really had to WORK for me to hate them so, so much.