Corporate Peon: August 2004

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Better This, Beotch!

As I watched TV today, something about the commercials struck me as odd. Without fail, every single commercial was for some way of 'bettering' one's life. Institute of Design; Culinary Arts School; Get Your GED Online; How to Pay for College - Free CD, Just Call Now!

What was it, I wondered, that made advertisers assume that the ideal time to encourage people to reach for the stars was during back-to-back episodes of Extreme Dating? Why did those ads have to run at 2 in the afternoon?

I thought of the typical stereotype that advertisers have. Just cuz I was home on the couch, watching trashy TV, in my pajamas, eating a crappy lunch, well into the twilight of day, doesn't mean that I need to 'better' myself.



Monday, August 30, 2004


I'm pretty content right now. I am healthier than I've been in ages, both due to successful surgery, some weight loss, and some home-care and home-cooking. I have a nice, clean apartment with some damn nice couches in it; I have a great family, including a sister who is great and has a great hubby and two pretty good doggies. I have a car that is running, for now (knock wood). I have a job that paid me while I needed time off, and that is there waiting for me to return to it. I have food in the fridge and money in the bank. I got a pedicure today. Sure, things could be better - when can't they? But I need to take more time to stop and smell the roses and realize that things are pretty damn good as they are. Now if only Blogger/AOL would let me make paragraphs out of this goddamn post...Be well, everyone!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Anti-Beatdown Post

So, we all know that the Beatdown blog exists. Here's my thought: Let's start an anti-beatdown blog. One where we go to say 'yay!' for the good things that we find. For instance: the man in my apartment building who held the door open for me today. My hands were full, and he waited at least 30 seconds for me to reach the door. I don't know him from Adam; he doesn't know me from Eve. And yet, that little bitty kindness was appreciated.

Whadaya think? We got enough good things happening to us to blog about?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Momma, I'm Goin' Home!

Yes. It's true. After 5 weeks of living with my parents, I will return - for good - to my nice clean apartment. While it's been good being here - I recuperated quite nicely, thank you - it will be SO good to be home. Where I can roam naked and smoke cigarettes and sleep all day and eat junk food. You know, the true meaning of 'quality time' alone. Until work on Friday, that is. dum dum dummmmmmmm

Friday, August 27, 2004

Happy Thoughts!

I get my new couches today! YEAH! They are red and lovely and one is a sleeper sofa so I can finally have guests stay overnight and not feel bad about them sleeping on my raggedy ole couch! And I can finally have people over and not be embarrassed that there's not enough places for them to sit!

That, of course, means I get to see my apartment, my lovely own apartment that I've been absent from for 5 weeks. Hi, apartment! (waving furiously across the state line)

AND, I get my books for my new class that starts Tuesday. 20 more weeks of class to go!

AND, I have my last (hopefully) post-op checkup with Doc.

AND, I will take my parents to lunch at a cute little place I like.

AND, I get to check my mail for the missing paycheck that did not get forwarded up here.

I'm so excited...and I just can't hiiiiiiiiiide it...I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Nepotism at its best


Please take a minute to browse the site below. If you would be so kind as to link this site from your blog, or to spread the word to your friends that this site exists, or even to purchase something that tickles your fancy - I'd be ever so grateful.

This is my dad's new project, something that's kept him busy and engaged and out of his recliner for the past several weeks. He's a great man who truly believes that good can overcome evil, and he's doing his part to make sure that holds true on November 2nd.



My Very Own List Goddamnit!

In the spirit of so's a list of my own:

1. I love grapes. No, I mean it, I really l-o-v-e grapes. Green or red, it doesn't matter, just seedless they shall be. I eat about a pound a day.

I remember a particular episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse:

PW: I love fruit salad
Chairy: Then why don't you marry it?
PW: Ok, I will hehehehehehehheheheh

And then a marriage ensued, between PW and a bowl of fruit salad with a veil on it.

The end.

2. I made fun of Anderson Cooper last night for talking about the following story: Christian camp counselors killed in California. Liked the use of alliteration, just found it a bit cheesy for CNN.

3. My bed now has yellow sheets on it. Yellow sheets look cheerful.

4. I am going to have my mom trim my hair because I'm embarrassed to go to a professional who would make fun of my home hairlighting job.

5. The last two CDs I purchased were a Les Mis soundtrack and the soundtrack to '13 Going on 30.' Nothing like rocking out to 80s music.

6. I refused to buy a CD player for my car when I first got it b/c I was broke. Then, when I had money, I felt sure that the car would die at any moment, so I still refused. 5 years later, I still have no CD player and the car is chugging away. Of course, now I'm even more certain that the car will die at any moment.

7. I just finished 'Oryx and Crake' by Margaret Atwood. For some reason, I thought Atwood had died a long time ago. The book was slightly freakish in a scary futuristic kind of way. And I did NOT like the ending. I prefer to have every loose end all tied up neatly.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Greece, Part 3

It was a hot day. They all were, actually, during my stay in Athens, and this was no exception.

I got lost on my way to the Parthenon. No worry, I spent the day productively. Went to the Monastriki flea market; made my way to the Parliament building; purely by chance, caught the changing of the guard. Saw a bike race, right past the Parliament building, in what looks like the same route the Olympic riders took.

Finally made my tired way up to the Acropolis. Let me tell you - it's a long way up. A long, long way up. Have I mentioned yet that it was hot?

There's a trail that leads to steps that leads to a few restaurants; a school; and basically, up. Once you climb all those steps you're not there yet.

You still need to walk up a hill. A dirty, dusty, dry hill. The entrance to the Acropolis is not far from the spine of the hill; but of course, you need to walk alllll the way up the hill to purchase tickets. And, in my case, a cold drink. And to rest.

Then. Back down the hill. And down the steps I had already walked down when I didn't realize the tickets couldn't be purchased there.

And there...there, on the dirty, dry, dusty trail that leads to some of the older, more fabulous ruins in this land - was a baby turtle. S-l-o-w-l-y crossing the path.

It was amazing, this juxtaposition. That something full of life could be found in this ruinous place; in this ancient town; among the dirt, the rocks, the bare patches of thirsty grass.

I have a picture of that turtle. It doesn't look like much, but I know what it means.

Friday, August 20, 2004

In Search of Advice

I'm faced with a dilemna. I'd like your opinions and advice. I've thrown this scenario by select friends and family; while I appreciate their input, I'd like to hear from some more objective people. I'll try to make this succinct.

I currently live in a midwestern suburb. It's a nice place to be, if not d-u-l-l for twenty-something, single folk like myself. I'm not comfortable, nor close enough, to the nearest big city to take advantage of it easily.

I have a great job. It challenges me and rewards me and I do well at it. I'm respected, well-known and well-liked, and I have every belief that I will move up in the ranks there. I've been there for just over 4 years; I vest at 5.

I have no social life. Strike that - I have little social life. No significant other to speak of; no close girlfriends to hang with; no real friends in the area. It's a hard area to be in: the social scene for folks in my situation is nil, and I think most people of my situation choose to move into the city and take advantage of it there. That's not a valid option for me.

I make good money for someone my age; I have a nice apt. I will probably not be able to afford a house in my area for a good number of years. Not the end of the world, but ultimately, I'd like to get out of the apt situal.

My sister and her hubby - both very close to me - live 2.5 hours away, in a very large, hip, happenin' college town. There are affordable houses; lots of jobs; and perhaps most importantly, a large number of active, involved, friendly twenty-something professionals.

There is also a company in sister's town that is of the same industry that I work in. The chances of me getting a job there and leveraging my past 4 yrs experience is good.

So. After I vest with my current company (shortly before which I'll have earned my master's degree), do I move to my sister's town?

Do I give up a good job - no, a career - a known entity - in the hope - not the promise, but the hope of finding a social life? For the hope of finding friends, making a social circle, perhaps finding a man I can be with long-term? Is it worth it to risk my professional self? Is it cruel to punish my social self?

I need help with this one.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The 'rents

Being at my parents' house for 5 weeks has taught me a lot about them.

Mom often unintentionally cracks me up. Like today, when she said I "knew what side my butter was breaded on." She comes out with things like that often. "I slay me!" she'll chortle.

Dad calls her "old lady." She doesn't answer to that, but does call him "old man."

Dad likes to nap in his black leather chair: head back, glasses off, mouth open, pillow on his head. He claims the pillow is to block the light, but I think it's for comic relief.

They've both lost a lot of weight during the past year (thank you, Atkins). Dad has skinny white chicken legs. Mom calls him "hunky," which is strange. Dad calls her "cute."

Mom is a talented quilter.

Dad helps out in the kitchen now: he's the official "pan fairy," which I like to rename as the "pot fairy" just 'cuz that's more fun for me. He still can't find shit in the fridge if it's staring right at him.

They're both very proud of me. I shrug that off; it's embarrassing, but it also makes me glad.

I bought mom a secret 'thank-you' surprise for being my nurse these past few weeks. Dad doesn't get anything; it makes him happy that I'll thank mom. Dad is like me, not good with thanks and gifts and stuff. Would rather have it go unnoticed. I'll thank him with a card and he'll be good with that.


Dad is retired. He's been that way for, oh, 5 years now?

He's never slept well, that I remember. Up and down all night; stressed to the gills. Elaborate dreams that make no sense to the rest of us. He used to have sleep apnea that kept him up; now I think it's the stress of a failing market

Last week, dad dove - DOVE - out of bed. While sleeping. He landed on his knees on the floor. It's a wonder he didn't break anything (his bones aren't exactly young). It's a miracle that the dog wasn't sleeping on dad's side of the bed.

A few days later, I heard a loud CRASH while in my bed downstairs. It was dark, around 4am - I figured I must have been dreaming and went back to sleep.

Dad had swept the lamp off the night table. Onto the floor. While sleeping. Swept the damn thing off hard enough to shatter the glass lampshade into lots of leetle pieces.

He's also broken two glasses in a week, one even as I type. Mom now calls him Crash.

Yep. Strange, strange father I have. I'm a lot like him, though I have yet to develop angry sleeping habits.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Yay for Purple Bloggies!

My schmancy new look was created by B. Diddy James. Thank him and pass him your spare change on your way through these hallowed halls.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Olympic Men

Blaine Wilson is yummyyy. And the Hamm boys are from the same town where I went to college. Six degrees, and all that.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Greece, Part 2

I am in the fortunate position of making more money than I need. So I blew some of it last year on a vacation. Alone. To Greece. For 2 weeks.

I was still pretty heart-broken and down about a break-up that occurred a few months prior; I needed to do something for myself, to prove that I was still sufficient, independent, capable, etc etc. I chose Greece mainly b/c airfare was cheaper there than it was to Australia.

I had my first moment of panic while in the boarding line - what the hell was I thinking? I shy away from public transportation in my own city; what made me think I could navigate a foreign country? Theoretically, I could just stay home for 2 one would know...Luckily, I overcame that and forced myself onto the plane.

I'm not the storyteller I would need to be to convey the awesome-ness of being in Greece. Alone. For two weeks. There were lonely times and fun times; hot times and yummy food.

I remember lying in my twin bed in my over-priced room in Mykonos, bawling, writing in my journal with the window open and the breeze gushing in and the sound of the nightclubs pouring in with it.

There was a day tour in Santorini, where I met two Australian kids my age, who I spent the day with. There was the beautiful sunset, appreciated more by the HUNDREDS of huge steps - uphill - that had to be climbed to get there. Each step required about 3 human steps to climb. Water never tasted so good.

There was the smug American/Columbian guy in the Athens hostel, who was pompous and supercilious and rude.

There was my second moment of panic, stepping off the ferry in Mykonos, at night, with throngs of people waving hotel/camping signs, and no idea where I was going to stay that night. The next day, there were pelicans on the streets, wandering with the tourists in the shopping district.

My first topless beach.

The two women, also guests, in my hotel/hostel in Santorini, who offered me a piece of fruit, cold water, and a clean glass when I arrived.

I have a great picture of an old, weathered fisherman, clad in a yellow rain poncho, fishing on a rock behind some stores. The water was beautiful but fierce; he waved at me and motioned me over, but I was content to stay in the shallows and watch.

Getting a drink in Crete with an Australian girl I just met; having her at my side, helping me decide which $35 silk rug I wanted to purchase.

Walking off my final ferry, back in Athens, but at the other side of the port, and having another moment of panic - am I in the right city? I have a plane to catch!

Coming home, beautifully tan, sick of my clothes and living out of a suitcase for 2 weeks; showering back in my apt; climbing into bed, after the requisite phone calls to the 'rents and the sister; 'napping' for 12 hours straight, resting in the comfort of my own bed, my own town, my own space. Knowing that I did it all myself: paid for it with my money from my job; my planning; my courage; knowing that even without R in my life, I could be okay, I could see beauty, I could rejoice. That was priceless.

Good times, as they say. I want to go back, again, do it elsewhere. And I will.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What Am I?

Saw this on too many blogs not to take, and if I were smarter, I'd add the picture. But I'm not. So I won't.

The Wild Rose - Random Brutal Love Dreamer (RBLDf) Colorful, but unpicked. You are The Wild Rose. Prone to bouts of cynicism, sarcasm, and thorns, you excite a certain kind of man. Hoping to gather you up, he flirts and winks and asks you out, ultimately professing his love. Then you make him bleed. Why? Because you're the rare, independent, self-sufficient kind of woman who does want love, but not from a weakling.

You don't seem to take yourself too seriously, and that's refreshing. You aren't uptight; you don't over-plan. Romance-wise, sex isn't a top priority--a true relationship would be preferable. For your age, you haven't had a lot of bonafide love experience, though, and this kind of gets to core of the issue. You're very selective.

The problem is them, not you, right? You have lofty standards that few measure up to. You're out there all right, but not to be picked up by just anyone.

ALWAYS AVOID: The Bachelor
CONSIDER: The Vapor Trail.
My opposite is The Dirty Little Secret, who is also the Deliberate Gentle Sex Master. Sounds more fun than being a rose, though it does have some accuracies in it.


That's the cost of my 2-day hospital stay.


It will be interesting (re: painful) to see how much insurance covers. Blood-sucking bastards (says the insurance employee).

Monday, August 09, 2004


I realized I started a series of posts that I have yet to continue. I'm not sure I want to continue delving into my past relationships; for the most part, they sucked, and for the most part, I got hurt. What fun is that? Instead, I'd like to tell you about my solo trip to Greece last year, part of self-inflicted recovery from the latest heart-breaking, but the computer is not letting me start new paragraphs for some reason, and that's pissing me off and detracting from the beauty that was my adventure. I'll clue you all in later. :)

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Dyeing to Know

When I was little, my sister - 3 yrs older - used to bribe me. "If you let me do your hair, I'll play Barbies with you." Of course, I was game. Having my hair 'done' consisted of a comb, some clips, and some time having Sister play with it. Not too unbearable. Sister has always wanted to dye my hair.

At almost every visit, for no apparent reason, she would say "Let's dye your hair." Now, I'm one of those low-maintenance girls who don't dye / highlight / lowlight their hair. I barely get it cut every 8 weeks.

But, yesterday, while bored and housebound, I bought in to the plan. We went to Target, where a highlighting kit was selected and purchased. And today, she highlighted my hair. (Pause for sad remembrance).

My hair used to be dark brown, and quite nice. Now, it feels wonderful, but it looks...skunky. I have definite roots of about 1". I have highlighted 'blotches' throughout. It's skunky and striped and not good at all. And of course, I didn't rage or yell, for a) what's done is done, and b) I didn't want Sis feeling badly. I'm just glad that I have 3+weeks until I return to work. I'm thinking about dying my whole hair to cover up the highlights. That's what I get for being risky!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Hee hee

Ah, order. Leave it to me to fuck up the order of posts. HA!


I've been reading some multi-posts lately that have inspired me to write my own. As you know, if you're a regular here, I'm not currently working and am spending a lot (i.e., TOO MUCH) time being introspective and sad. Thought expunging some thoughts and memories from my mind might be cathartic.

Bear with, please.


First, there was Ben

Ben was actually my second boyfriend, but I'm saving details of #1 until later, for he reappeared in my life in a big way.

Ben lived across the hall from me during my last year in college. I didn't actually see him until the start of second semester. He was a year younger than I. We met through some mutual friends - and it was strange how quickly he and his roommates, and me and mine, became intermingled, for we had spent the better part of the school year on different planes.

I was normally attracted to men around 5'8", brown haired, light eyed, and a bit stocky. Ben was 5'5, blonde, beautiful blue eyes, and...round. Rotund. Completely.

He wasn't the type of boyfriend to give compliments easily or often. He made fun of the slang I used, for as an English major, he felt I should know better. He flustered me in many ways - he kvetched about my driving, so of course I wanted to prove I was a good driver, which of course put so much pressure on me that I would leave the emergency brake on while I drove, or I would hit the curb as I parked, all things he would use as proof of his superiority.

He would tell me things like, "I thought about buying you flowers today." He never bought me flowers, but I was supposed to appreciate the fact that he thought about it. And for a time, I did appreciate that.

It was a decent relationship, as far as they go, for the first couple months. Ben didn't celebrate my birthday at all - no card, no dinner, no...nothing. There were certain things Ben didn't do - it wasn't his style, he said, to give cards or flowers or cunninglingus. I pushed for those things, but it wasn't worth the arguments that followed.

Graduation came shortly after, and he was 'too sick' to appear. Being the good girlfriend, I took time out of the festivities to drive to his house and see how he was. I got there just in time to catch him leaving to play basketball with his roommates. They sensed an eruption and gave us some time to talk.

Ben said he had been feeling poorly but was better now. I invited him to the local college bar, where celebrations were going on, but he said he was playing ball with his roommates, and if he bailed, they'd be short a player. I left, frustrated.

That night, at the bar, a friend of Ben's, Andy, flirted with me. There was a definite attraction there. Andy made comments about how 'if he was my boyfriend....' He walked me to my car, a risky move. We kissed. I felt flattered, and appreciated, and desired.

The next day or two, I drove out of state to visit my high school girlfriends. I told them what happened and asked for advice. I felt it was only fair to tell Ben of the kiss when I got back to town.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


I'm going to attempt to do Mom justice, though this is a rapidly written post as she is taking me to Kohls at 11. They have wheelchairs and I'll get out a bit - yeah!

I usually don't feel I identify much with Mom. She's pretty straight-laced: doesn't drink, a result of an alcoholic father. Never even thought of doing drugs; was shocked to learn I wasn't a virgin at 25. (That's when she found out, not when I lost it, lest I look like the late-bloomer I was.) She's a devout Catholic, anti-gay and pro-life. We don't always have much in common.

Yet sometimes...she cracks me up. Like last night, when she began telling me of the tortures she used to inflict on her younger brother, my uncle Steven. Now, I've seen Stevie maybe 1 in the past 18 yrs? He's not an integral part of the family.

Well, apparently, when he was a little boy, his mom - my grandma - would tell him he was so cute she could eat him up. So my mother, in her infinite mischieviousness (not a word?), plopped her 2yr old brother in a big, ole baking pan. She salted him. She peppered him. All the while telling him she was going to cook him up! And while she's telling me this, she's laughing like a little kid with the giggles. I swear, it was the cutest thing. I don't often see the impish-ness in my mom; it was great to get a glimpse.

She also told me about a Halloween where she dressed Stevie up like Aunt Jaminia (sp?) - the syrup lady. Now, this was in the early 50s - not too much for excitement. But she put gold hoop earrings on the boy; bright lipstick; a turban; and blackface. Then, when she heard her mom coming, she stuck Stevie in the closet and played dumb.

Ah, to know my mom back then.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Still Here.

I've been MIA lately for a few reasons. I've been a bit depressed, and with that comes loneliness, which feeds the depression...I wonder what it takes, what kind of person you have to be to find someone to love you for life. To commit to you, to be in love with you, to support you and desire you. I haven't had that - I came close, once - and the memories of that one time that slipped away are continuously with me.

The dissention among Bloggers lately has upset me. How can we expect to get along, if we can't even get along online, in anonymity?

I'm bored. I hurt sometimes. I think I'm going to have an ugly, ugly scar, that further sinks me down beneath the realms of healthy self-esteem. I'm lonely. That seems to be the one stable thing.

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