Friday, August 31, 2007

My brother is getting married in two days.

I somehow can't really wrap my mind around it. It doesn't feel like we're old enough for that yet, though I know we are. And I can't...I don't know what. I'm so overwhelmed, but in a good way. It's like the love going into this wedding and the creation of this new family is so great that I've been living in it's shelter for the last week, and I haven't even really been doing very much. But the silliest things are making me cry. I hemmed my dress and cried. I tried the dress on and cried. I bought a card and cried. I'm signing the card and crying. It's just...

I love my brother. A lot. I'm not sure that I communicate that to him very well, but I do. And to see him this happy and this excited and taking this step in his say that I'm happy for him sounds so cliche and small and insignificant. So I cry. And I laugh and smile as the tears stream down my face. And I'm guessing I will continue to do so for at least two more days.

I love you and I'm so happy for you.

I love you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm going to be a mess at my brother's wedding. I finished hemming my dress today, so of course I had to put it on and I must say, I clean up good. But of course, the whole time I'm working on the dress, I'm thinking about what a huge day it is for my brother and how excited he is and how happy he is and I just kept crying. I know I'm going to be a mess at the wedding. I know I am. But you know what? I think that's okay. I bet he cries at mine, too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This one is going to be long and rambly.

My brother is getting married next weekend. Every time I say that or think that or write that, I start to cry. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am for him and how much Kleenex I'm going to have to bring with me. I will be the bridesmaid whose makeup doesn't last more than ten minutes. He is such a wonderful person and he has found a wonderful woman and they both really want to be doing this. Not just getting married, but sharing their lives together. Moreso than the wedding, they are looking forward to a lifetime together and that is so wonderful. So wonderful. I'm crying again. I'm so happy for you guys and so excited for next weekend!

And I start my new job tomorrow. I'm happy to have some sort of stability again. To have health benefits. Yes, I'll have to buy more office clothes, but I can handle that. I'll be able to afford it.

You guys know I'm not a liar, right? Not about important things, anyway. You know that if I love someone, I tell them. You know that if I'm upset, I'll talk to the person I'm upset with. You know that in general, I am a very honest, straightforward person and that I don't manipulate other people into doing things for me. I just don't. You know I'm happy being single. You know I'm dysfunctional in a relationship. You know that I'm a loving, caring person who does everything she can to not hurt other people or animals, right? Because I also know these things to be true, but they have come into question as of late. I just wanted to check and make sure I'm not sending out messages that I'm not intending to send. I'd tell you if there was something important that I had to tell you.

Speaking of which, I'm getting more and more excited for my Elbo Room gig. I was out promoting this weekend. I played an art fair and another sammich shop and got some new fans. Though one guy at the sammich shop told me to sing through my sinuses, not my throat, and I thought that was kind of strange. I always thought that breath support should come from the diaphragm and move unhindered through an open and relaxed throat to be shaped by the lips, teeth, and tongue. I don't want to sing through my nose. I try really hard not to. I do, sometimes, get throaty, but that's a stylistic choice I employ for certain songs (Bobby McGee, for instance). But then these two other lovely gentlemen tipped me two dollar coins. Not only was it nice to get a tip, it was nice to get two gold coins. I love the dollar coins. They feel European to me. I do have some problems with the design, but on principle, I love the dollar coins. I wish more people used them.

And I'm in the middle of this strange sickness wherein I have to watch every Gilmore Girls episode that I own. I'm being very non-productive, though the upshot is that I know it will end when this season does because I'm on the last season of episodes that I own. I better finish soon because I have a lot of things to do that just aren't getting done.

My mom told me once that she pictures me ending up with a guy like Luke from the Gilmore Girls. I do really like his characters. But I think I need to hibernate for a while, dating-wise. While I am over the moon that my brother is so happy, I think that for me, dating is way more trouble than it is worth. Especially for someone like me who doesn't play games or manipulate one's partner. People don't know how to handle that. I'm in a relationship with someone who is being honest with me? Can't be. She must be lying about being honest. Which means up is down and socks are to be worn on the hands and purple really is a fruit. Yeah, I'm good with not having to put up with any of that crap.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My old college roommate found me. Yay! I'd wondered what hapened to him. Of course, MySpace is being silly at the moment and won't let me log in, so I can't read the message he sent. But it's good to know he's still around, you know? Man, between him and my high school friend, I don't have anyone left to miss. Well, not true. I guess I could start wondering about all of the boys I had crushes on in elementary school and junior high. And/Or, maybe if I put it out to the universe that I wonder how Moby is and what he's been up to, he'll contact me. Tee hee. Wouldn't that be cool? Sadly, though, I can't really wonder where he is or what he's been up to because I read his online journal with almost frightening regularity and as we all know, I'm really bad at lying. Oh well.

Hi, college roommate. Memonade?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rant time.

If you know someone is coming into your workplace, possibly for a very long time, don't wait until the end of day four to make some sort of human contact and then act surprised that the person isn't staying.

I like the rain. I really do. But when it rains every day for a month, that gets a little old. And today was particularly bad. It felt hurricaney. So of course, I had to go out in it.

If you let people know that you don't trust them, you will find them not trustworthy.

I know I'm a vegan and I'm supposed to love all living things, but I hate fruit flies. Seriously.

I think that's about all I can say without getting into trouble, so I'm going to stop for now. Let's just say it's not been a good week. I am looking forward to starting my new job on Monday, though. Hooray for financial stability! And good timing, too. My TV is crapping out, my printer only prints yellow, and I think it's almost time to redress the frets on my guitar. Yay.

Enjoy your evening.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So I'm not normally a big advocate of high heel shoes because they are normally just about the most uncomfortable thing one can wear (right up there with thongs and garter belts and corsets), but I have to admit, they're sexy. I recently bought myself two pairs of heels that I can wear to work -- just classic looking pumps, a black pair and a brown pair, and I caught a look at myself sideways in the mirror today wearing the brown pair and I have to say, it was kind of hot. Something about a classic pump...

Okay, I'm stopping now.

Oh! Except, I got a job. I start Monday. Hooray!

Monday, August 20, 2007

So we got it. My band has this really big show coming up. Well, kind of big. It's at a venue whose name is recognized amongst people who know the music scene in Chicago, but it's on a Tuesday night. That's kind of how they work. You have to pay your dues by bringing x number of audience members to a weeknight show in order to get a slot on a weekend, and if you bring x number of people to the weekend show, you get a better weekend slot the next time and so on and so forth. And in this case x does not equal x. But my band gets to play this venue and I'm so excited about it, I can hardly tell you. It's one of those kind of surreal things. But I'm also kind of scared that we won't get enough people to come. I know a lot of people, and I know a lot of people who will say that they will come, but who will actually not show up at the last minute for whatever reason. And most of the time, I let that slide and say no biggie, just come next time, knowing they won't come then either. But this time, I really need everyone to show up. For real. Even if they show up early in the night and tell the door guy they are there to see me play and leave before I actually play so they can get home before bedtime -- I just need the door number at the end of the night to be big. I need all of these people that I know to not think, "It's okay if I don't go because she knows a lot of other people who wll go," because if everyone thinks that, nobody will show up and I'll be up the proverbial creek.

So please mark it down on your calendars. September 25th. I'm playing a show at the Elbo Room and I'd really love it if you were there.

It's really odd to give dating advice to the person you once considered the love of your life. Especially if that advice is to date someone who isn't you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So a friend of mine is a really amazing artist and he had his first show last night. Of course, I had to go. And of course, I couldn't help but compare the entire evening to an episode of Sex and the City. Somehow, they're always going to gallery openings on that show. Granted, this was at a bar, not a gallery, but still. The people on TV dress better, but the drama is still there in real life. And I felt very old and not hip. I think it was good in that I did a bit of networking and hopefully the next time they do this whole art show thing, my band will get to play.

And I found myself wanting the 23 year old who wishes he was a Brit pop star, wearing jeans from Trainspotting, being too cool for everything in general. Of course, I didn't want to talk to him, or even hear him talk, I just wanted to make out for ten minutes in hte back room and walk away, to leave him in his 23-year-old anguish. I'd be just another example of everything that is wrong with the world and why he is completely justified in hating it and I'd be okay with that. If I saw him again at another opening, I'd just walk past as if we'd never seen each other before and that would be fine.

But of course, none of this actually happened. Instead, I danced like an idiot in shoes that were not made for dancing and he chatted up another girl. Or she chatted him up. Either way, there was no making out for me last night. Just some pseudo-inappropriate dancing with cute young gay boys. It was fun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

There is a semi-famous scene from a movie wherein Jim Carrey asks the driver of a vehicle in which he is also riding if the driver would like to hear the most annoying sound in the world, and then proceeds to yell very loudly. I would like, if I may, to take issue with this scene for just a moment and propose that there is an even more annoying sound than Jim Carrey yelling:

A smoke detector whose battery has decided to die at three o'clock on a Friday morning.

I know that there are those who would say that a smoke detector itself makes a really annoying noise, and they would get no argument from me. However, when a smoke detector goes off, it is a constant noise, that usually only lasts until the smoke is cleared. When the detector's battery is dying, it is a series of chirps, spaced at some unknown interval, ranging anywhere from 30 seconds apart to one minute apart, that continue until the battery is changed. It's like Chinese water torture. And I know that there are those who would argue that the battery deciding to die at, say, eight o'clock in the morning on a Saturday after a long night of drinking would be very annoying as well. Once again, I would have to agree. However, on a Saturday morning, one could simply disconnect the battery and go back to bed, making a mental note to change the battery out later in the day when the hangover lightens up enough to allow one to stand on a chair or stepstool without fear of falling off. On a Friday morning, one is most likely trying very hard to get that last ten minutes of sleep before one has to wake up and go to work, and the smoke detector seems to know this, sending out yet another obnoxious chirp just as one starts to drift back to dreamland. It's worse than the snooze button, because one never knows when it might chirp again.

This morning, I just dealt with it until I absolutely had to get out of bed. At which point, I changed out the battery and went on with my day. Hooray. At least I know the thing works.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So I don't know what it is about multi-line phones, but they either don't ring at all, or all of the lines ring at the same time, usually with calls from people who have no idea who they have reached or who they need to talk to. Except for the last caller, who happens to the President's wife or something and she gets so annoyed with the wait time that she's snippy on the phone. And she has every right to be. I would be, too.

No, this scenario did not actually happen today. There were bursts of seventeen calls all at once, followed by periods of deafening silence, but nobody was really snippy with me, and I think I only put one person into the wrong voice mailbox. It was a telemarketer anyway, so with any luck, he didn't actually leave a message, or the person getting the message tuned out as soon as the company name was mentioned and didn't even notice that the message should have gone to someone else. In my defense, they have very similar names.

But anyway, such is the life of a temp. I would like to offer some advice to regular office staff who has to work with temporary employees, to make the transition a little easier.

1. Introduce yourself. Even if someone else introduced the temp to you in the 8 am office tour, introduce yourself again later in the day. Just like at a party, the temp most likely did not remember the 47 names thrown at him/her in a six minute time span. He or she is focused on remembering the name of his/her contact at the company, and maybe the President's name. Along with the names of the President's family and other important potential callers. I know it sounds awful, but the temp will probably not be able to match up faces and names for sixteen various sales staff personnel. So as you walk past the temp's desk, say hi and don't be ashamed to reintroduce yourself. Especially if you want to get your mail.

2. Be patient. Yes, we all hate phone calls from telemarkters, but some of them are tricky bastards, and some of them just might share the same first name as your spouse, so when the temp calls you saying, "I have John on the line for you," please understand that the temp doesn't know that you don't know this particular John. Admit it; you probably know six or eight other people named John, several of whom you would like to receive a call from. But the temp doesn't know that you don't actually work with John from AB Company, so cut him/her some slack. Just say, "Would you please put them in my voicemail?" or something to that effect. Growling is not necessary.

3. Don't be afraid of your temp. Yes, there are plenty of inept office workers out there who somehow manage to get $12/hour to sit on their asses playing online games. But staring at the new temp as if he/she is an animal in the zoo is not the way to treat even those kinds of temps. If nothing has exploded in the office by lunch time, it's probably safe to assume that your temp is an actual person with actual thoughts and feelings and who wouldn't be horribly offended by even some silly small talk like, "Man, it's a scorcher out there," or "How about them Cubbies?" You just might get to know a really interesting person.

4. Don't dismiss your temp. Again, there are plenty of idiot temps out there. But there are some good ones, too. Go ahead and give them things to do, even if it is just photocopying. That is your number one way to weed out the good ones from the bad ones, and it will give your temp something to do beyond staring at his or her own hands. Temps not utilized become lazy. They begin to expect slack days at the office and are then put out by project work. But if you put your temp to work, you help hone his or her skills at the same time that you lighten your own work load.

So I hope that after our little talk here, you are a little better prepared to work with your temp. Remember, you are doing just that -- working with your temp, not around your temp, not in the general direction of your temp, but with your temp. Love your temp and your temp will love you. Don't love your temp, and he or she will tell the agency about it.

I'm just sayin'.

(Disclaimer: Aside from the rather quiet day today, I'm kind of enjoying this assignment. Please don't fire me.)
I'm turning into a whole bed sleeper. See, for a long time there, I had a full size mattress, which was nice, but in some ways, still felt kind of limiting as far as lateral movement ability. A full size is certainly enough room for two people, but when you put a cat in the middle of the bed, well, you kind of learn to sleep on one side. And then I upgraded to a queen size bed, which, in many ways, feels very luxurious. But I was so used to sleeping on the one side that I continued to sleep just on the one side. Mostly, my cat was happy about it because his side was now bigger.

But lately, I've been sleeping on both sides, or even in the middle. Maybe it is because the side I sleep on isn't very near the fan in my room. Yes, I could move the fan, but there are only two outlets in my room, so my options are pretty limited. Plus, it's easier to just roll over into the breeze. Or maybe part of it is because I rotated my mattress after about a year of having it, so secretly, my body is craving the divots it already made on the other side. I don't think I'm looking for a person who isn't there because let's face it, the number of nights wherein the other half of my bed has been occupied versus the number wherein it's just me and Owen is laughable at best. Maybe I'm just coming to terms with my independence.

Either way, I'm also turning into one of those people who can sleep anywhere but in her own bed. I fall asleep on my couch all of the time, but as soon as I get up to go to bed, I'm wide awake. Exhausted, but wide awake. As is evidenced by me blogging at two o'clock in the morning on a Tuesday. Does this count as insomnia? And I know people tell you that if you're having problems sleeping at night, you shouldn't nap and you shouldn't drink caffeine and so on and so forth, but drinking or not drinking caffeine doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference and when you're lucky to get two hours of sleep a night, if the sandman comes at three in the afternoon, it's really hard to turn him away, you know?

Or maybe my body is just telling me that it's time to go back to Australia.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

They were right -- looking for a job is a full time job.

So a couple of things kind of blew up in my face and I panicked last week. The long and the short of it is that I do have temp work next week (yay!) and I also have about seven people out there looking for jobs for me. I know, I know, I'm probably going to have to turn things down because of conflicts, but you know what? I'd rather have to turn things down than sit on my ass waiting for something to turn up.

I also came to an interesting realization last week -- recruiters really don't have any loyalty to the people they place. Recruiters are interested in placing people with businesses who will give them lots of money for said person, and come back to them again later for more people so they can get more money. It's not a bad thing -- it's the nature of the business. If I was a recruiter, I'd be the same way. If my loyalties lay with the people I placed, I'd do business once every five years or so when someone wanted to change fields. If my loyalties lie with the companies, I'm in business all of the time. It makes sense. But, it means that my loyalties can be questionable. Do I owe it to one recruiter to work solely with him/her? Or do I owe it to myself to keep my options open to find the best possible job for me? I hate to say it because it sounds selfish, but I think I have to go with the latter. Which is why I don't feel bad about the fact that I signed up with several different recruiters. It increases my chances of finding the right position. And they all know I'm working with other people. And I really hate to say this one, but it means maybe they'll work a little harder to place me because if someone else places me, someone else gets the commission.

Man, I sound awful, don't I? And it's really funny because I spent time with my mom on Friday and she said that one of the really nice things about spending time with me is that I don't have an agenda for anyone. I'm not manipulative. I just kind of accept people and go with the flow, you know? And here I am, manipulating people into helping me find a job. But really, it's good for them, too, if they find me one. I'm a good employee, so they should get a good commission for me.

Sweet jebus. Just put me up on an auction block. White female with six-plus years of experience in an office environment, good grasp of the English language, good with numbers, good sense of humor, prefers comfortable shoes. We'll start the bidding at eighty camels. Do I hear eighty camels anyone?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

So the hot weather is hard on Owen partially because, well, he's covered in fur, but also because it's harder for he and I to spend quality time together. Neither one of us really wants to touch the other one because it's just too stinkin' hot and sticky. If I pick him up, I'm suddenly wearing a fur coat, too, for at least forty-five minutes after I've put him down.

But today, right now, it isn't quite as stinkin' hot out. Probably because it's raining. And I'm sitting in front of a fan at my computer. So Owen climbed into my lap for some quality mom time. And even though both of my feet are so asleep now that they hurt, I'm going to let him stay here as long as he wants. Because I could use some quality Owen time, too.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So Barry Bonds is the new home run king. I'm sorry, but that just sounds wrong.

I know, I know, in America, we're supposedly innocent until proven guilty, and there has never been any conclusive evidence presented showing that he used anything he wasn't supposed to. Aside from the drastic body shape changes in a very short amount of time. But that doesn't prove anything. And I know a lot of people are unhappy that he now holds the record because he doesn't have a reputation for being the nicest of people. I don't know him personally, nor did I ever meet Hank Aaron, so I can't say who behaved well and who behaved badly. All I know is that it seems to me that the last year or two of Mr. Bonds' career have been for the exclusive purpose of breaking Mr. Aaron's record. He comes up to the plate a couple of times a game, and is taken out in the fifth because he can't play a full game anymore. And honestly, that bothers me. Anyone could break that record given enough time. I'm sorry; I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think there should be an asterisk next to his name in the record books, indicating if not the suspicion of misconduct, then the fact that his hand was held as he was walked very gingerly across the finish line.

Yes, I know it is hard to hit home runs. I'm not saying I could do it. But I'm kind of annoyed that he was coddled into breaking a record when he really peaked several years ago and his career probably should have ended a season or two ago.

I think I'm mostly now rooting for A-Rod. I know, I know, again, an unpopular opinion, but he is a year and a half ahead of Mr. Bonds in the home run race and he seems like a sightly nicer person. Or perhaps just a smidge more honest. Even though he is a Yankee.
If you have some good energy to spare, I could use some today. Please keep your fingers crossed that this last job comes through.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I hate the Mets. I know, I know, there are a lot of great Met fans out there, and there have been a lot of really great players who have come from the Mets, but I could never ever be a Mets fan. I'm sorry. Your team is an adjective that does nothing but cause pain in Chicago.

On another note, my feet are all kinds of ripped up. Why do we do this? And by "we," I mean women. We buy all these really cute but totally impractical shoes that give us blisters and tear chunks of skin our of our ankles, all in the name of looking cute and girly and trying to pick up men who I can pretty much guarantee aren't looking at our feet. If they are looking at our shoes, they're not the sort of men who are likely to be picking us up, if you know what I mean. And we put Band-Aids and Neosporin on the injuries, lance the blisters, and do it all over again the next day at work so that we can look "professional." I'm sorry, but I'm a lot more productive on days when I'm not worried about how many toes I'm going to lose use of by the end of the day. I just am. Call me crazy.

But in the name of being cute and girly, I wore my camoflauge espadrilles to my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party last night and while they felt fine for most of the evening, by the time I was getting out of the cab at my front door, my fourth toe on my left foot had started a mutiny that spread to the area of the foot that can only really be described as bunyon country. What else are you going to call it? That really big knuckle that connects your big toe to the rest of your foot, that can kind of stick out a little on dainty feet (which I guess I have, though with all of the skin peeling off of them in various places right now, you'd never notice). I don't know what that is actually called, but that particular area on both of my feet joined in the mutiny by the time I got home so that today, I didn't really leave my apartment, largely because I didn't want to have to deal with shoes.

*sigh* And we think foot binding is crazy.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

So the lost high school friend has been found. Still alive. Still maudlin. But oh so good to read his typed words. Thank you to my other high school friend for finding him.

Thing is, what will I write about now?
So I just watched a movie wherein the great, romantic line at the end that wins the girl is "Bullshit."

Are we, as a society, that jaded or lackadaisical that "bullshit" is now romantic? Come on, people. I'm the queen of the cynics and I don't find that romantic. Not even with the backstory.

I knew I wasn't going to like this movie, but I got it from Netflix, so it was almost free, and I wanted to watch it sooner as opposed to later so I can start watching horror movies in preparation for the play I'm in now. I'm not even going to tell you the name of the film, because it's really not worth watching. Aside from the fact that it made me realize that I really need to be with a Cubs fan. Or at the very least, a baseball guy who I can train to love the Cubs as much as I do. Maybe through positive reinforcement? Or something. I don't know. Yes, I had some wine while I watched the movie. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made it through the film.

It also made me realize, though, that it can't be just any old Cubs fan. I'm sitting there watching this romantic comedy, remembering how much fun it is to kiss somebody, and how nice it is to have someone to think about. But it can't be just anyone. It's all about where the romance comes from, and I don't mean the difference between it coming from the heart versus the desire to get laid. I mean I've received love letters from exactly the wrong person in the past and yes, it is always nice to hear that you are loved, but when it's not the person you are in love with who is making that confession, it almost hurts more. I had a guy who likes to cook, and loved to cook for me. I've had guys who made the grandiose romantic gestures. But when they really only work if the girl is as nuts about the guy as the guy is about the girl. If Debra Winger had said to Richard Gere, "Dude, I'm working," it just wouldn't have worked, you know?

I'm not exactly sure what I'm getting at. I know that I'm single and I'm okay with that situation until I find someone I want to make grandiose romantic gestures for. Because then I'm assuming I won't mind so much when he makes them for me.

Side note: it makes a lot more sense that I'm such a Moby fan when you consider how much I used to love Information Society.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Happy August, everybody.