Monthly Archives: July 2007

Sad face with a dash of OMG and some rank smells

Two of my friends are moving to another state tomorrow. Sad face, indeed.

Luckily, I was able to have two slumber parties with them, plus a brunch at a local diner and a run to Home Depot.

They are leaving, which sucks, but the silver lining is that I get to spend Halloween in New England!  This is something I have wanted to do ever since I was a child [aka ever since I saw the movies “Mr. Boogedy” and “Hocus Pocus”].

In other news, I have a j.i. Friday.  It will be 3 hours long and I am excited beyond belief at the prospect of making enough to not starve myself at the end of the month.

The hallways in the lower part of our building [aka where I work] have flooded.  It is rank and disgusting and they have YET to pull the carpet up.  I feel like walking out there and saying, “Hey, buddy. The fans are NOT working. Go ahead and rip that shit out and give our noses a break!”

Nasty beyond belief.  It smells like a swamp down here, only minus the pluff mud smell and plus a rotting body or two.

I’m going to go vomit now.

Back up off me, Bible-T-shirt girl!

There is a girl at nightwork who is becoming increasingly irritating. I kind of want to call her “bible t-shirt girl” because she wears those Christian t-shirts, but then it might sound like I’m anti-Bible and I’m totally not.

I just don’t need a t-shirt to tell everyone what I believe, I guess.

Okay, she’s Bible T-shirt Girl.

Anywho, BTSG sometimes sits catty-cornered from me [is that another Southernism?] and she can see every move I make.

And she does. She watches me. I know this because, despite being legally blind without vision correction, I have extremely good peripheral vision when wearing my contacts.

We worked a Saturday shift last weekend, and it was catty-corner time. BTSG stared at me constantly, and tried to engage me in conversation every chance she got. I had my headphones on, but apparently she doesn’t get that hint.

I made a big show of turning off my mp3 player every time she spoke to me, but she only kind of got that hint.

She was running her mouth so much that a guy I barely talk to sent me an email that said the following: “Good luck getting her to stop talking.”

Yeah, it was THAT bad.

BTSG starts asking me about my duties at, like it’s any of her business, and I responded. Then she pried some more and I gave her the “you’re pushing it” look.

It got to the point where she kind of understood the headphone thing, so if I had to get up to use the bathroom [which happened often, small bladder and such] I’d basically race back to my desk to put my earbuds in before she could being speaking.

She kind of caught on, and would start talking before I even sat down.

Dammit!

I started employing the “my music is on so I can’t hear you” technique, and kept my eyes glued to my monitor at all times. This almost didn’t work, because BTSG started “Pssss!”-ing at me [seriously, now] to ask me something about a coworker, but I persevered and she stopped.

She DID, however, start grabbing her shoulder, making that “I’m in pain so I’m drawing in breathe loudly, sounding like a snake, so you’ll look at me” noise and staring at me. I duly ignored her and she eventually quit [apparently she fell off a horse a couple weeks ago].

Eventually, after sitting around on her cell phone after we’d all finished working, she left.

A coworker and I were discussing BTSG’s odd behavior and I said, “S, I feel like the mean girl in High School or something.”

S replied, “Um, no. She’s just THAT GIRL.”

Very true.

Coworker/supervisor also regaled me with a story of BTSG talking on her cell phone constantly one shift [we have a pretty strict “stay off the phone when you’re supposed to be working” policy]. CW/S approached BTSG and said, “How do you feel about leaving around 6:30?” (They were scheduled to get off at 7 but CW/S had all her stuff done). BTSG replied, “Well, I really need the hours.”

….

It’s thirty freaking minutes!

BTSG then proceeded to stay on her cellphone for the remainder of her shift. Because she REALLY needed to get paid for thirty minutes of talking on the phone.

So, last night, I had the small bit of luck to have a partition between BTSG and myself. This almost had an even worse effect, because she constantly stood up to look at me, knock on the top of the partition [it’s low] and ask me questions about something I don’t even do anymore.

Once, when she actually asked help from someone whose job it is to answer her questions, she had the girl come to her desk and they both stood. BTSG gave me the creepiest “I’m standing here looking at you with a half-grin on my face because I want you to pay attention to me and I’m trying to look seductive” look.

Brrrr. I get the chills just thinking about it.

I mean, if BTSG likes girls, I don’t care; I have plenty of lesbian friends. But THEY don’t give me creepy looks and stalk me at work.

But I digress.

Then, of course, trainer girl called me over to get my opinion. I LIKE trainer girl, so I went. For her sake only, not for BTSG’s.

After a small span of non-question-asking bliss, BTSG stood up and knocked on the partition again. WHILE I was in “furiously typing and doing my thing”-mode.

Again, I made it obvious that I had to stop my music and stop working because of her interruption.

“I have this thing in…”

I cut her off. “Can you please ask L or one of the other XXXXs? I’m not XXXXXing; I’m doing XXXXXX.”

Bitch, please.

So I get this “I’m mad but I’m torn because I think you might go off on me if I argue” look from BTSG and she goes to ask trainer girl because L  had to *gasp* go to the bathroom! Like she couldn’t make a five minute phone call to wait for L  to return?

Anyway, as soon as nice trainer girl finished helping her, BTSG goes over to our comment box and grabs a slip of paper. Veeeerrrrry deliberately.

She brings it back to her desk and, from what I could tell, wrote on it forEVer.

I immediately went to CW/S and told her, “I think there will be a written complaint about me in the comment box.”

She knew exactly who I was talking about, because BTSG was so deliberate.

CW/S immediately went to talk to whomever empties the box and explained it to them, probably with a lot of eyerolling.

BTSG left me alone for the rest of the night [thank God!] but when she got ready to leave, she walked, very purposefully, over to the comment box and slipped her comment in. (I wonder if she wrote “Thefreshcracker won’t be my friend or do my job for me.” At least, I hope that’s how it comes across, because I’m not about getting in trouble because of some lameass who has a weird crush on me.)

She turned around and walked back to her desk, watching me.

I simply sat there with a huge grin on my face, peacefully doing my job.

Our Southern accent: it’s different than you think.

I live in the South. I was born here, raised here, I’ll probably always live here. I have a Southern accent.

But not a country one. Or a redneck one. There’s a difference.

Sometimes, I can almost understand the people who think that all people from “down here” are morons.

(However, I still can’t get why they all think we still talk like Scarlett O’Hara, but I guess we have movies to thank for perpetuating that little piece of incorrectness. [Ok, so like one in maybe two hundred people still say “Pahk the cah,” or “You owe a dollah” but that’s really rare]).

Besides the fact that the media always chooses the most inbred, missing-toothed, unwashed, backwoods hick to interview (leading some folks “up there” to believe we’re ALL just like Bubba and his fourteen kids), some people here choose not to enunciate, or, sometimes add syllables to words. And sometimes, they combine syllables.

Several syllables.

The word “wasn’t” should be pronounced “wazz-ent” but I know three people who say “wawnt” instead.

WHAT? I didn’t hear that until I came to college and some guy was talking about his roomate not being the guilty culprit of some college prank saying, “It wawnt Mickey.”

First: the guy had a roommate named Mickey [he was from Delaware]
Second: I had no idea what this kid meant until I thought about it for a bit.

I mean, my dad is from the Mountains of NC and HE doesn’t say that! Well, he does pronounce dance “daynce” but it’s cute.

Me? I combine syllables, but only so I can get my point across faster. Once, when I was in Mexico, I asked someone if they accompanied a friend to an event we were discussing by saying, “Did you go together?”

Apparently, it came out like “Djoogotogether?” One of our hosts, Choche [real name: Rodrigo, who, if I could speak fluent Spanish -or he English-, would totally have been my boyfriend] went around saying “djoogotogether” in a singsong voice for about an hour because he had never heard anyone speak like that.

Where do you think “Y’ALL” comes from? We may enjoy a “slower” pace of life down here, but talking is a BIG deal and we have to get as much out as fast as we can.

Just the other night, I was talking to a coworker at nightwork and we had about a twenty word exchange that I doubt anyone living outside the southeast would’ve understood.

I think it went something like this:

Me: “Leighannyouwantmeetadoth’miscellaneousqueue?”

Leighann: “Yeahcausether’reawholeottanationaldatabases.”

Me: “Okayjustlemmefinishupmanualinterventionandi’llgetrightonit.”

But we got each other juuustt fine (I probably said “manual” like “manyul”, but still). Granted, her accent is a lot thicker than mine, but I’ve been around enough people from different towns to understand the drawls.

I have a friend who lives in Rhode Island that just does not understand what I’m talking about sometimes.

Example-

Me: “For real, Jay, she totally showed her butt at the counselor’s office.”
Jay: “WHAT?! She pulled her pants down in front of them?!?!”

For you non-Southerners, “she totally showed her butt [or tail, or ass]” simply means “she acted like a total bitch”.

Jay also gets a kick out of the way I pronounce things like “syrup” and “pecan”. To me, it’s “suhr-up” and “PEcahn” when talking about a tree or actual nut, but “peCAHN” when talking about butter pecan ice cream.

Once, when we went to breakfast at my favorite local diner, I ate my pancakes like they were going bad by the second. After I was finished, I commented, “Man, I really dogged those pancakes.”

Jay thought I meant I was talking bad about them and he just didn’t hear me. “No, dude, I meant ‘dogging’ like “eating really quickly.”

Also, a toboggan is NOT a sled; rather, it is a knit hat that one wears in the wintertime to keep one’s head, ears, and forehead warm. You may know it as a “beanie” or a “turque” (I had to wikipedia for that last one). Sometimes pronounced “TOEboggan” by various southern folk.

Ever hear of pine straw? No? Oh, everyone else just calls it “pine needles”.

To you, is a wreck only a huge ten-car pilup catastrophe with multiple deaths? Not to us. A mere fender-bender is just called a wreck, (a huge, huge horribly-awful car mishap is still also called a wreck). An accident is something involving pee and your pants.

Keeping kids = babysitting. I once asked my friend Lynn, in front of her straight-from-New-Hampshire girlfriend, if she was keeping her brother that night while their parents went out. SFNHG looked at me like I was insane.

“Yunna go?” = “Do you want to come with me?” Try saying it. See how much quicker that is?

Someday soon, I’m going to make a voice post of me reading from a book, just so you can see what a true Southerner sounds like.

*Y’ant me to?

And what about this: almost every singer I’ve ever listened to has put some kind of southern twist on their words. Rob Thomas says “lahk” and “maht” for “like” and “might” but the man does not have a speaking voice that is anything remotely southern. The same can be said for George Michael (sometimes), Jakob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and countless others.

*”Do y’all want me to?”

Things that bother me. v2.0

People who don’t use turn signals.
Now, I’m not being very ridiculous with this one.  I don’t know how many times, in my fits of road rage, I’ve shouted, “Nice signal, jackass!”. Like they can even hear me with my windows [and theirs] rolled up.  This non-use of a very purposeful tool bothers me even more when the heinous act is committed by someone with whom I’m riding.  Sometimes, I even pantomime flicking on a turn signal, just because it bothers me THAT BAD when the person driving doesn’t do it and I feel like I have to make up for their mistake.

Worms on the sidewalk
Oh yes, even the dead ones.  Worms on the sidewalk are also part of a different list than “what bothers me” called “things that make me want to vomit.”  I’ve always thought “ew” when stepping over/around them, but now I shiver a little each time I pass one.  It’s all thanks in part to my parents, who revealed to me that the weird smell after a rain in their part of the state is from worms.  I have no idea if they were completely joking or not, but what they said stuck, and now I breathe through my mouth anytime I’m outside post-rain.

The fact that vending machines don’t take cards.
Except the ones on my local college campus, that is.  I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve REALLY wanted some of those Elfkin shortbread cookies [or whatever, they’re Keebler] or a pack of skittles, and I just don’t have a dollar bill or 80 cents.  Wait, what’s even WORSE is if I don’t have a dollar bill, but I do have 80 cents, but twenty cents of it is in pennies! Maybe that should bother me, too: vending machines don’t take pennies!  Cards would still be more convenient than if I had a huge supplies of quarters, nickels, and dimes, though.  Does anyone remember that commercial a few years ago that shows a girl go up to a vending machine, punch a few numbers on her cell phone, and VOILA! a drink comes out?  When is THAT going to happen?

My handwriting
Seriously.  It’s not even funny anymore.  For nightwork, I have to sometimes send off handwritten requests.  I wonder if they can even read the names I write.  Do they think nightwork is illegally employing first-graders to do their faxes for them?  My hand cramped up after just a few sentences, and I had to go extra slow in an attempt to make my writing legible.  I think I get it from my dad.
Example:
 See?

Eyebrow piercings
No explanation necessary.

Um, that’s all for now.

I’m going to ask you about your weekend so I can tell you about mine. In detail.

Lady Criesalot just came into my office.  And hovered.  WHILE I was in the process of combining honey and peanut butter to have peanut butter honey toast for lunch. (Long story short, if you want a sandwich at lunch now, you have to buy some four dollar piece of crap from the cafeteria instead of being able to make your own delicious cheese sandwich and I already got the bread before I realized they’d confiscated the sandwich makings.)

Anywho, as I’m fervently mixing up my concoction [complete with furrowed brow], LC is standing directly in front of my desk, asking about my weekend.

Or, as I like to put it, “Baiting me to open up the floodgates of her ultra-detailed and rather boring soliloquy about HER weekend.”

It is almost all I can do not to stop her and say, “Look. I understand that you’re going to miss athlete boy, I really do, but I really don’t want to hear a super-detailed version of what you did this weekend, complete with verbatim dialogue.”

But, she’d probably start whispering, crying, and doing the pouting baby face thing again.

I seriously think I spoke for about twenty seconds about my weekend before she launched into her diatribe.

She seems to have a lot of friends, so I’m wondering why she doesn’t just call them and regale THEM with the details.

Her listening skills also leave something to be desired.  When I say, “I’m not in a super great mood because I worked until ten pm last night and I’m way tired,” but I’m smiling and laughing and generally acting okay, then I don’t mean “OH MY DEAR LORD THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIIIIIIIIIFE!”

But she departs my office with, “Well, I hope your day gets better!”

It seems I either need to buy Lady Criesalot a hearing aid, or a crash course in not thinking histrionic behavior is something we all display.

p.s. I ate skittles the other day and one fell out of my hand and landed here:

skittletrash.jpg

Since it’s technically in the NO TRASH ZONE [aka just in the knot I made so the bag would stay put, but not necessarily near anything dirty], would it be completely disgusting of me to eat it?

I mean, come on, it’s an ORANGE skittle.  If it were lemon or grape, I’d say leave it.  If it were strawberry, I wouldn’t even be asking because it would already be in my mouth.

But ORANGE.  It ranks up there with lime: not my most favorite, but not easily discarded like lemon or grape.

What to do?

In honor of my friend’s birthday, I present a masterpiece.

Today is my friend Katie’s birthday and, in keeping with the Zelda spirit, I made her a little something:

katie-birthday.jpg

(click for full-size)

A short one about a shorty. Wait, about TWO shorties.

This morning, a student came into my office to see me.

It was a female.

And she looked EXACTLY like a way prettier, less busted version of Fergie.

Also, one of my students got mugged this weekend. Not fun.

I’m seriously no more than three to five years older than some of these people but I feel all motherly about them.  Even though there was nothing I could do, I had her call me after she picked up her new keys just so I could hear her tell me that she was okay.

p.s. I saw “Knocked Up” yesterday and it was hilarious. Especially the “Gabe Ruth” line.

This has been the longest day of my life.

My brother sent me the best one-liner email ever today (of something we both hate, just because he knew it’d make me laugh):

My lip gloss is poppin’, my lip gloss is cooooo”

notice the phonetic accuracy. he is a veritable genius.

In other news, my sister [who, incidentally, is exactly 31 years and one day old today] just got news that she got a new job.

Halle-freakin’-llujah!

She had been doing case management for mental health and doing really well at it, but hating it at the same time.

Driving all over hell and half of the state to get to clients’ houses, doing paperwork of her own [but only AFTER fixing the paperwork of other caseworkers who constantly fuck it up], and having a screaming banshee from hell as a state-level supervisor.

With this new job, she will be able to go to school [she’s getting her second master’s. smartie] AND work AND get benefits.

So far this year, she’s gotten engaged, gotten a new job, and gotten accepted into a prestigous university.

It’s about damn time something good happened to her.

I swear I’m not insensitive, but this is just ridiculous.

I have decided to dub the girl who works in another department -but very close to me- Lady Criesalot.

She is a relatively sweet girl [although, sometimes, the sorority-girl-snob in her rears its ugly head, and sometimes she just acts like a complete cheeseball] of about 23, but she cries. At work. A lot. And usually in front of me.

Come to think of it, every single time she cries, it’s about a guy.

At first, it was her insanely tall and very goofy-looking boyfriend. Then, the athlete guy she began dating once ITAVG-LBF dumped her after two and a half years of dating.

Then, it was her dad, because he was being a jerk on the phone.

And countless other times, it’s been her rehashing her relationship with ITAVG-LBF.

A lot.

Yesterday morning, it was because athlete-boy is leaving.

I went into Lady Criesalot’s office to get help with untangling my fresh-from-the-shower hair from the hair elastic I had in it.

As I was turned from LC with her hands all in my hair, I asked, “Are you okay? Your eyes are red.”

She pauses, then whispers, “yeah”.  I knew she was about to cry.

Because she always talks in whispers when she’s on the verge of tears.  Not to mention, her lips turn down in what looks like a mock pouty-lip child’s face, but she’s really doing it.

The first time she did it, I almost laughed because I seriously thought she was joking.

This morning, she came into my office saying, “Do I smell like smoke?” as she began to come around to my side of my desk.

I absolutely abhor cigarette smoke in even the smallest amount, and she was about to come stick herself in my face so I could get a whiff of it.

I said, “Um, I don’t want to smell it.” (Was that mean?)

She left my office after that.

I wonder where she went.

Probably sitting in her office, whispering and crying.

Let me tell you something about that little-known fourth law of thermodynamics.

This, this right here, explains the working environment of both my full-time [day] and my part-time [night] jobs, hereafter referred to as “daywork” and “nightwork”:
Toothpaste For Dinner
toothpastefordinner.com

It is currently about 89 degrees outside right now.  The heat index is probably 95.  Yesterday it hit 100 degrees, so the heat index was around 105-106.

So why am I sitting here with my heater on high? And why was it on high YESTERDAY DURING THE HEAT WAVE?

Because it is approximately 60 degrees in our bloc of offices right now.

We are in a basement [complete with mold and funky smells and construction noises] that happens to be preparing to contain our company’s servers.  They installed a new chiller [to accompany the high-powered one we already had] to make sure the servers don’t melt, crash, or otherwise fuck up our network.

Tonight, at night work, it will be about 90 degrees in the office. I’m not kidding.  Nightwork is in an old building that used to be a mill and has super high ceilings [like 100 feet. I’m not lying.] 

They even moved the server there to another part of the office [to the side that is updated aka actually has A/C that works and doesn’t have soaring ceilings].

It is still roasting.

We have fans going constantly, which dries out my contacts and makes me have to squint at my monitors.

They are not large monitors, and our linux-based system makes everything seem so tiny.

Therefore, I am hot, then cold, then hot, then hotter. With a headache. Everyday.

I can’t believe I haven’t gotten pneumonia from going between the two temperature extremes. 

And, according to the powers that be at nightwork when questioned about the A/C, “It IS fixed.”

*cough cough*