Monday, November 29, 2004

Going Brooklyn on their Ass

I want href="">Joan of Arcadia to do an episode where Joan comes to New York and encounters all the street preachers and subway evangelists and quiet, firm, bell ringing Jehovah's Witnesses. I want her to greet the experience with a mixture of, "I AM NOT ALONE!" and "No, nuh no, THAT is not what it's like to talk to the Big G." Because Joan? Joan would not put up with the yelling and the berating and the threatening. I can see her saying, "I'm sorry, what? Did you say that God gave you answers? Yeah right."

Politics aren't emotional

"The only good thing that happened this year was the Red Sox winning the World Series and even then Curt Schilling shilling for Bush wrecked it."

"It all depends who you voted for."

In that second questions were backed up against my soft palate. ("Why would you do that? You need your health insurance, do you know what he's doing to those drugs? This is about the war isn't it? You can think whatever you want about the start of it but he's doing it BADLY!") A flood of emotion and none of them good. I swallowed. Then swallowed again.

"Are you trying to pick a fight with me? Am I supposed to let you do that or can we just let it go?"

"Start a fight? Politics aren't emotional. We can let it go. It's gone."

It wasn't gone. I lay awake and tried to think of something else.

Politics are emotional for me. Very.

But I've made this pact to start discussion, to find out, to do what needs to be done to get information out and convince people. I couldn't even speak to him. All I wanted to do was get off the phone.

So much for starting discussion.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Heading out

Walking the dog this morning I saw a young gentleman head out his front gate as fast as his little bow legs would carry him. Seriously, he's either got HUGE balls or he's the last working cowboy in Brooklyn. SO bow legged. But the point of interest was his backpack, stuffed to bursting. He's clearly traveling for his turkey this year.

As the Cowboy passed another house a young lady came out of the gate. On one shoulder she balanced the straps of a classic monogrammed L.L. Bean tote and one of those painfully preppy paisley weekender bags. The poor woman was bent over like a palm tree in a hurricane but it wasn't slowing her down one whit as she power jay walked to catch the bus.

The Exodus has begun. 37 million travelers across the US between now and Sunday despite the high cost of all kinds of travel. At least that's what Dave Price tells me.

Me? I'm staying right here. After I volunteer tomorrow I might not even get on a subway until Monday morning.

Travel safely, my friends, and wear elastic waist pants.

Monday, November 22, 2004

You will, too

If Dooce says so it must be true.


Some people call it the thrill of the throw.

Some people call it the terror of the toss.

Some people call it having a home you aren't embarrassed to have people see.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Technical GENIUS

I drop the remote a lot. I lie on the couch with it on my stomach and forget. I put it on the couch arm and a cat knocks it off. I butterfinger it off the couch, a table and hard on to the floor. It's a failing.

Friday night I broke it. The cable button was permanently lit and the only thing other buttons would do is turn that light off. Not ALL the buttons did that but that was the only action the whole machine would perform.

It's not easy to get to the place to get a replacement. So I thought I'd try to fix it. I clicked the top back into place. I slapped it gently against my palm. There was something plastic rattling around in there. I slammed it a little harder against the couch cushions. Nothing.

Also, nothing to lose.

So I dropped it again.

That thing is still rattling in there but everything works!

Saturday, November 20, 2004


This is what I'm trying to do.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Outlaw

I broke the law on Friday. Yep, I'm a rebel. I went to the park in the pouring rain in the middle of a work day when absolutely no one was around and for about 5 minutes...I let my dog off the leash. It was well outside the parameters of off leash hours people, but did that stop me? No. I flouted the laws of my beloved city for the good of my precious pooch.

Now, I told you that to tell you this, as they say on the Blue Collar Comedy tour.

This week someone called me honest and it pissed me off.

I know, it sounds crazy but the implication was that I am the sort of person who is blindly, hurtfully, even foolishly honest. And, clearly, I'm still not over it.

Last Monday was the beginning of a good week. The Big Cheese was away, the Big Cheese of Secretaries was on vacation so there was time to relax and slowly clear my desk of all the stuff that hadn't been done that could oh so easily get me in trouble. I luxuriated in the day and I spent probably half an hour counting up the vacation days left and dotting them around the calendar between now and December 31st. I had 12 days left. I could barely fit them in around the Cheese's days in the office and trying to be fair to my co-workers. I was only going to work one 5 day week between the 15th of November and my birthday in January. It gave me strength to move forward. I'd been saving those days in case I had a chance to perform my show this fall. I wanted to have them to use so I could make it in this job through bonus time while still doing what I love. And, though the performing hadn't panned out, these days were providing me with great joy now. But, since I consider the #2 in command, Big Mistake (BM), a friend I wanted to run them by her to make sure they didn't interfere with her plans.

I sent BM a message asking if the days looked OK with her. She fired back a quick note saying they were fine and wishing me well.

My week continued on bliss of not having to be at work much at all 'cause DAMN I HATE MY JOB!

On Wednesday morning I was working outside of the office. I was hurrying because I had to train someone back at the office by 11 and I had some other things I needed to do. The phone rang and it was the Big Cheese of Secretaries. That's weird. I mean, she's on vacation and didn't bring a Blackberry. I've got to have made some enormous sort of mistake if she's calling me from vacation while I'm outside the office. As you can tell the BCoS is a force to be reckoned with, not someone one feels safe or comfortable around, not someone, frankly, that I trust.

Turns out that BM has resigned.

Turns out BM left the BCoS a message to that effect on Monday night.

You know, the day that I asked her about my vacation days.

Now, I'm sad about the fact that my vacation days are probably lost now. And I'm sad about the fact that there's going to be back breaking work until we find someone to take this job. Last time we did this I about had a breakdown. It sucked hard. I'm also sad about the fact that this is going to make me feel bad about ditching this job altogether in January. I wanted there to be easy all signs point north stuff going on in January so I could feel great about leaving this damnable job. Instead I've got another 4 years of Bush, some health problems and the prospect of leaving a supervisor in the lurch, something I've endeavored never to do.

So, I felt betrayed by her lying and foolish for trusting her and furious about all of it. I thought we were a team, working together to shield us both from the wrath from above. Apparently I was the only one who felt this way.

When confronted with the possibility of having sent me a heads up e-mail after she'd left her message for the BCoS on Monday BM stood on the high ground of "Proper Business Protocol". She said on 2 separate occasions, "I couldn't tell you. You would have told her." and "You would have told her. You're an honest person."

I'm not an honest person! I'm an outlaw! I let my dog off the leash during on leash long as there's absolutely no one around and she stays very close to me and I watch her every little nanosecond.

Yeah, yeah, I know, honest isn't bad. But it's awful if you use it without tempering it. It's not an absolute. I think of honesty like crossing the street. Yes, there's a light that lets you know if you have the right of way but you have to look both ways despite having the right of way because cars might be turning or stopped in the box or bikes not following the rules of the road or any number of other hazards.

In the case of choosing who to be loyal to when faced with the resignation of anyone in BM's job so far I've got a perfect record of staying loyal to the #2 job and not the BCoS. And I'm batting .500 on getting any return on that. Whoever we hire next could be the tie breaker I guess.

A significant number of people told me, "Don't take it personally, it's just business." It's interesting, I've worked in a number of businesses since I started working when I was 16 and I don't think I want to work in a business where the strictest of business protocol is the norm, not basic human interaction. Maybe that's the sign I'm looking for that it's OK to move on.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

T. Edward the Onboard Bear

In case you haven't noticed I'm a staunch supporter of the importance of non-relations in the lives of kids. Could be an only child thing. Could be just weird parents. I don't know, I don't question. Just know that I'm trying like hell to uphold the tradition.

When I was born my dad was the band director for the local high school. No shortage of babysitters in a situation like that. I could tell you so many stories about what it's like to grow up with legions of teenage brothers and sisters who dote on you. But I won't because it'd surely come across as creepy.

Two of my babysitters bought me a teddy bear. I don't know how kids get attached to certain toys and not others, there's probably a study out there somewhere with a theory and I bet it's a bunch of crap. This teddy bear, a tall, stiff panda, became my favorite. Despite the fact that my family named everything I refused to name the bear. He was just bear.

He still is.

My dad can't stand that. He tried everything to get me to slap a name on my teddy bear. But I couldn't do it. He's just Bear, it's all he has to be. PapaKizz has contented himself with naming Bear T. Edward the Onboard Bear and religiously uses the name whenever my Bear is referred to. I have steadfastly refused to take up the name. We agree to disagree and pretend not to notice the other's glaring error.

The name comes from the fact that Bear has accompanied me to many different states and on at least one trip to the UK. Until I was probably 12 I took Bear everywhere I stayed longer than a day at school. He rode in the car, he slept in the bed, he sat outside and watched me play, he even came to New York to do sightseeing back when King Tut was staying at the Met. And I'll admit it, even now, on a particularly bad day or night (November 3, 2004 anyone?) I'll curl up with my Bear.

On Saturday my 3 year old friend, Alita, stopped by. We were just dropping off the pooch. While I was peeing she wandered into my bedroom and emerged with Bear. Glommed onto him might be more accurate. She insisted that he come with us to the diner for lunch and everything. It took all I had as the cool pseudo-aunt not to scream and grab Bear and hug him tightly to me when she laid him out on the grimy floor of the diner and almost let waitpeople stomp all over him. I think I was remarkably restrained.

As we walked home, though, I had to resort to the old saw, "Bear has to come home with me. If you take him home what will you play with when you visit me?"

Through the green film of consuming possessive jealousy I'm really glad that she loves him. It's fun to share him with her. And it makes me feel less guilty about neglecting my traveling companion.

Plus, now I've got an excuse to bring him out to eat again!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I don't know

As I said earlier, I know what my grandfather wouldn't want me to do.

The problem. The problem I couldn't quite get to as I wrote earlier. The problem is that I don't know what he would want me to do.

And he isn't here to ask.

And that is the reason, one of the many reasons, that I miss him today.

I'm in need of a little direction, a path even slightly hopeful, some tools to deal with the tools who keep calling me at work and leaving nasty messages for my boss since "we" lost and "they" won.

Perhaps it's better that he isn't here to ask. In the days after 9/11 my dad said to me,"I'm glad Robbie isn't here to see this." I'd been thinking the same thing. And, as much as I'd like his help I think I'd be ashamed to have to have him see what's going on today.

I'm ashamed anyway. It's disgraceful.

Ringing the bell

I missed my grandfather a lot yesterday. I miss him more today as I watch the returns.

I think that happens especially when adult responsibilities come up. For instance watching this election swing in a direction that honestly frightens me.

My grandfather was a politician for some of his life. He served on the ethics committee of the NH State Legislature as well. I can't really think of anyone better for such a job. He was a strong proponent of doing the right thing in all sectors of your life.

All day yesterday I thought of a picture of him. It's not an event I attended, I wasn't even born. My step-uncle told this story at Robbie's funeral. One year he took ORUncle to the town hall with him on election day. On election day Robbie's position was behind the ballot box. Apparently that box has a crank on it to enter the ballot and when you turn the crank a bell rings. ORUncle remembers standing beside Robbie and watching him greet each voter by name and ring the bell with their ballot.

That picture helped me to be hopeful all day yesterday. Except that the man who did that is from another era and he isn't alive any longer. Voting, and politics aren't quite so simple.

He was not a man who would scream and rage at the outcome of the election. He would want me to face the next challenge, to realize that despite this loss we should take the opportunity to become more involved in the politics of our country.

Me? I'm at the screaming and raging stage. I want to get on one of those get out the vote buses and head around to the houses of people who voted for Bush and yell at them at the top of my lungs. HOW? HOW CAN YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA? HOW CAN YOU FEEL SAFER?

The uncharitable person inside me asks these people who feel unsafe when was the last time someone flew a fucking plane into part of their home town? For me? It was just over 3 years ago and George Fucking Bush makes me feel far less safe. It is my considered opinion that anyone who is goddamned SANE would feel the same way.

I could go on about Supreme Court justices being appointed, about being a woman in a country run by a party that demeans and devalues them, about spending money that will no doubt be paid back with what should be my social security. But my arguments would be emotional and not well crafted. My plan of attack for survival in the next four years is completely unformulated. So, check back with me in a couple of days. After I've stopped crying.

And if you voted for Bush? It's probably best to stay away longer.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Worse than the Cola Wars

So, I'm walking to Staples today and I pass a poster on a phone booth. It was advertising what is apparently the only place in New York City where one can purchase Yamaha pianos.

This phone booth was directly out front of the Steinway store.