Saturday, March 18, 2017

Movin' On Up

My work recently moved to the Willis Tower, or Sears Tower, for those of you who have trouble letting go of our corduroyed past. This was sort of a concern for me, as I haven't been known to be the best with heights. In fact, when my mom convinced us to take her to the Signature Room at the top of the Hancock, I spent most of our visit feeling like I was going to pass out. And also eating french fries, but that's another matter. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm down with seeing three states or whatever the deal is, but I'm less enthused about picturing my own untimely death from plunging into the awning of the Cheesecake Factory below. Rationally, I know there's no way I'm going to fall out, but emotionally it feels like I should maybe be packing a parachute and/or zipline.

But anyway, it's turned out to be pretty great! I've gotten used to the height pretty quickly, and don't even mind having to switch elevators midway to get up there. My view is downright spectacular, and the design of the office is actually quite pretty. Oh, and there's a gym for the building tenants that has some of the softest towels I have ever encountered. And I'm not even a towel person; I've always been more of a sheets person myself.

I do sometimes find myself feeling like it's maybe not worth the effort to venture outside during the day, but I'm guessing that may have been part of the plan. What's a little social engineering among friends?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Better Off Wed

Ian and I got married yesterday. It was a glamorous affair, conducted in the basement of City Hall, where there was a constant sound of running water for some reason and everyone else in the room looked like they were getting ready for a Quinceanera. Our parents were there, because they insisted, along with a judge who had some sort of open wound on his face and made no secret of his intense desire to get started with his weekend. Afterwards, we were offered the opportunity to take photos in a non-descript, windowless office with two flags and a motivational poster with an eagle on it. And then we all went back to our place for Olive Garden catering, which cost next to nothing and will end up feeding us for an entire weekend. It was amazing!

No really, it was amazing. We both really wanted it to be casual and low key. We've been together for so long that making a big deal out of it just seemed wrong. For fuck's sake, we spend the majority of our time together in sweatpants watching Murder, She Wrote and eating Lay's Do Me a Flavor contest potato chips; getting dressed up and making big speeches about our transcendent love would just seem like fake news.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Pump it Up

I'm not going to sugarcoat this: I've started watching Vanderpump Rules. There was a time when I swore off all things housewife-related, viewing them as a sign of the downfall of civilization. Then I realized that civilization is toast no matter what, so we might as well enjoy laughing at rich drunk old ladies. It started with New York, because I really thought Countess Luann had a future as a singles artist, and soon expanded into Beverly Hills, because I remember Eileen Davidson from when she was playing six characters (including a man) and rocking a Mariah Carey perm on Days of Our Lives in the nineties. Then I found myself dipping into Atlanta occasionally because, well, those women have better one liners than your average episode of Kevin Can Wait. And now, well, Vanderpump.

It's insane. It's legitimately insane. All fucking and fighting, basically. There's a lot of time spent in a dirty alley behind the restaurant where everyone smokes and screams at each other. This is a workplace where the phrase "can I talk to you for a minute" is always a terrifying harbringer of things to come. And Lisa Vanderpump, who has to be in her sixties judging by the amount of gauze they put over the camera when they film her, presides over staff meetings where she resolved disputes about who is a ghetto-ass bitch and who is a slut. You know, business stuff.

Jax is possibly the worst person in the world, and yet he somehow plays it off as charming. I'm pretty sure Stassi is genuinely evil incarnate, and yet also somehow my spirit animal. Tom is kind of gross and sweaty, Kristin looks like a cartoon seahorse, and Katie never should have done that to her hair. That about covers it. Oh, and Ariana. I'm only on season two, so she's only just entered our lives, but already I think I love her. Clearly, I am a sick person.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Another Sequel No One Wanted

Friday morning, Ian woke me up forty-five minutes early.

"Hey, I need to talk to you about something," he said.

I thought perhaps he had some tragic disease or had been caught watching Little Women: Atlanta again.

"Did you leave any cash out that she might have eaten? Because I found this in the closet."

Indeed he was washing off a wad of chewed up $20 bills.

"Uh, no," I said. "I mean, I think I pretty well learned that lesson last time."

"Cause I don't know what's going on here. If she got more cash somehow or something."

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's still from the last time around. It could take a while to make it through the digestive system. But regardless, I'm pretty sure we can throw it away."

"I just don't know what's happening here."

"She ate cash and she's pooping it out. I don't think it's complicated."

So the takeaway here is that Ian thinks cash pooping is worth waking me up for, whereas I would prefer to not get up early for anything short of a fire. Also that twenties don't digest as smoothly as little dogs might hope. Karma's a bitch, and so is Aubrey.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Care Dot Com

I went over to help my sister with my nephew tonight. It was fun but so exhausting. I seriously don't know how people who actually have kids do it; my limit is about two hours before I need to lie down with a cold compress on my head. When I get there, he immediately greets me with a book he wants me to read with him, which he follows with another and another. I know I should be happy that he wants to read rather than watch TV, but after about the third time through Hop on Pop I find myself thinking that Disney Junior is looking pretty damn educational. And his favorite book is supposed to be sung to the tune of "My Darling Clementine," although it actually doesn't scan correctly for that matter, and it gets old super quick.

When we're not reading, we're running, or he's asking to be lifted or swung around in circles, which is surprisingly effective cardio. And there's lots of babbling -- we're very hot on numbers 1 to 10 right now, as well as animals and colors. He is a strangely thrilling conversationalist, even if he does refer to Ian as "Ita" for some reason. Of course, Aubrey is the one he really wants to talk about all the time, even though she is also the only one who has growled at him. Someone alert Ryan Murphy; this is a feud for the ages.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Assisted Living

My new assistant is kind of fascinating. She is perhaps the bossiest person I have ever met; she spent my first week on the job telling me how I should set up my office, what office supplies I should want, how I should enter my time, and where I should go for lunch. She is obsessed with the hot breakfast our office cafeteria serves on Thursdays; she refers to it as "bacon day" and emails me about it on a bi-weekly basis. She likes to pop into my office to "chat" without regard to whether I'm on the phone or halfway into a $5 footlong or hosting a meeting with the prime minister of Bulgaria. Last week she spent twenty minutes telling me stories about her cats. And she is vehemently opposed to our upcoming office move, as though that accomplishes anything. She primarily seems to be upset that her new cubicle space won't have a shelf. I try to commiserate, but I frankly have no idea what she is talking about.

A few weeks ago, after striding into my office unannounced to look at protesters in the plaza below, she exclaimed "Geez, I guess they don't have anything better to do. I mean, he won, support him." And last week she popped in and asked, without preamble, "are you a popcorn guy? Like a guy who likes really good popcorn?" I had to admit that I was not.

She does know how to format a Word doc like nobody's business, though, I have to give her that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Expensive Tastes

Aubrey literally ate $100 in cash yesterday.

I had left it out for the cleaning lady, who isn't coming until next week, but I never really have cash, so when I happened to be by an ATM, I picked it up. And left it on my bedside table for the week. Where it was grabbed, torn up, and partially digested by a naughty beagle. I'm pretty sure it's no longer legal tender when you can't even find all the parts of Jackson's face any more.

I was furious, of course, but Aubs is kind of going through a rough time lately, as we are trying to cut back on her meds. The vet is nervous about them for long term use and wants to see how she does with less. I think we have our answer. Why she couldn't just tear up the two-month-old Entertainment Weekly on my nightstand, I'll never know.

Anyway, lessons learned. Expensive ones. I can think of better ways to spend $100, but I guess the lady is worth it.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Happy Day

I turned 39 yesterday! Well, maybe that's not a exclamation point type of sentence, but it is certainly true. It was a relatively quiet, pleasant day, complete with baked potato soup, Vanderpump Rules, and good friends bearing alcohol. I did have to work a bit, but I actually didn't mind, since I like the case and the people involved. Plus I knew I had today to do pretty much nothing, since the Super Bowl is kind of a non event for us. Last year I slept through it, waking only briefly to watch the BeyoncĂ© part of the halftime show. I stand by my choice.

It's been a great year! I have a new house that I love, which is only slightly covered in beagle urine. I have a new job that seems great so far and actually provides paper towels in the bathroom. And I impulse bought a garment bag and a box of hangers on Amazon so I could get over the free shipping limit. Could life possibly get better?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A Worse Way to Spend Tuesday Night Than Watching Real Housewives

Apparently, Ian and I both got norovirus. I say apparently because we haven't been to the doctor, but our symptoms corresponded pretty much exactly with those listed on the internet. Which is, of course, the ultimate medical authority. And by "our symptoms," I mean a full evening of vomiting and pooping. As in, I lost count of my vomits after fifteen. And you know how usually you feel better after you throw up? Not with this one -- it just started the countdown to the next round. I never slept more than fifteen minutes straight all night long. And I didn't manage to find a barf-appropriate vessel every time, so there was a lot of disgusting cleaning up that figured in. I won't even mention how our classy little Aubrey decided to handle this, but let's just say it wasn't helpful. So there I was, showering filth off myself at four in the morning, gently sobbing, and praying that my stomach was finally empty. Truly fun times.

The good news is that, two days later, we both feel relatively okay. I managed some toast at lunch and a full-on sandwich at dinner. I'm sure everyone at work will be very impressed with those accomplishments when I finally return there.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Welcome to the Gun Show

We saw Gloria this past Thursday at the Goodman. If you're planning to see it, stop reading now, because there are definitely going to be some spoilers. Also maybe think about going to see a nice Neil Simon play instead; they're much easier on the nerves.

I'll admit I didn't do any advance preparation for my Gloria journey. Generally I enjoy the surprises that theater brings, and I do much of my serious reading about shows in the program during intermission while I'm waiting endlessly to pee. And maybe I should have been more serious about the warning that "gunshot effects" would be used during the show. I kind of figured that would just be the sound of gunfire offstage like, in a war or something. But no. The first act of Gloria ends with a mass shooting at an office, as in you actually see three people getting shot. You know, just like in Eugene O'Neill.

I'm not great with violence. I have watched entire sequences of The Wire from the kitchen. But this one really fucked with me. I fully considered leaving before the second act, only to sit for another forty-five minutes in tense silence as the surviving characters attempted to cash in on their experience. Because the media is exploitative, you see. And people will do anything to make buck. But given that I can think of several distinct episodes of Murder, She Wrote that put these points across more efficiently and without showing an intern taking two to the chest, I didn't exactly have the best time.

I am fully willing to assume that this one is just me. The reviews have generally been strong, I think. But to me, making exploitation one of the themes of your play doesn't make the act of depicting mass murder on stage and less exploitative. So we came home and watched Top Chef as a palate cleanse. When Padma Lakshmi seems calm and pleasant, you know you're in trouble.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This is Unlikely to Serve as the Basis for a Maid In Manhattan Reboot

So earlier this week at 10:30 PM there was a knock on my front door. My plan was to stay very still in the kitchen and hope the person would go away, but then there was a second knock. And since Ian was down in the garage for some reason, I couldn't just stonewall until he decided to deal with it. So I opened the door, and there was our former maid.

Now, I should explain that we did not fire our maid; the cleaning service just changed us to a different one when we had to change which day was cleaning day. But there was a lot of drama about getting the keys from the old maid to the new maid; we were, in fact, told that our old maid was clinging to life in a hospital somewhere, clutching our keys close to her breast such that they could not be returned.

Thus, my surprise when she was standing outside my our door, looking quite well and holding a Digiorno pizza. She gave me the keys, apologized for taking so long, but explained that she had "been busy" with the holidays, etc. No mention of a near death experience. She handed me the pizza (plain cheese) and said she loved working for us and was going to try to get reassigned to us. Which is great, because I am dying to redistribute keys again. I think I'll just start handing them to strangers on the street. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dead Zone

We finally saw Deadpool last night. We've reached a stage in our lives where we rarely go to movies in theaters and then sometimes remember to tape them off HBO ten months later, all right? It's not that exciting, but it does save a lot of money on popcorn, okay?

Anyway, it was fine. I kind of feel like everyone was acting like it's the best thing ever, but I just thought it was okay. I've always found Ryan Reynolds exhausting, like that guy from your high school who's always making jokes but has like a 15% hit rate with them. I feel like he is just desperate for everyone to know HE'S NOT JUST GOODLOOKING, when in fact there are models in ShopKo ads with better faces and less cloying personalities. And this movie was the perfect vehicle for him, in that it tried way too hard to jazz up a plot that really could have been summarized in about three sentences. There were some laughs, and some good action, but when it was over I immediately wondered where the hell two hours had gone. Such is life, I suppose.

Also, Morena Baccarin? I refuse to admit that is happening. She's like Ashely Judd, but without the colorful family drama and intense plastic surgery rumors.

We also tried to tape Batman v. Superman, but it somehow cut off the first hour of the movie, which we took as an omen. The lord works in mysterious ways.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dry Spell

The other day I decided to stop by the dry cleaner after work to pick up my dress shirts. I was running a bit low on clean ones and thought rocking a tube top with my suit jacket might look weird. But I was in a hurry, because my dog is crazy and I thought she might burn the house down if I made her wait too long for dinner. Unfortunately, she was not the only crazy one.

When I got inside, there was a young lady standing at the counter, sighing heavily. You see, she wanted to pick up dry cleaning for her friend, but did not have the ticket, the number, or even a description of the items to be picked up. Apparently, she felt that the dry cleaner should have just let her jump behind the counter and take whatever looked good to her.

Anyway, that disaster was averted via text message, which is odd because text messages are usually the source of disaster. But with the number in hand, the clothes were obtained. That, however, was not the end of things.

When the woman's clothes arrived, along with her bill, she suddenly became surprised to find she was in a dry cleaner's. She never wanted the coat dry cleaned, you see. She merely wanted the zipper fixed. She told them that she would bring it back for dry cleaning at the end of the season. Didn't the ticket say that? No? Well, it was wrong. Also, how could the zipper cost that much? They told her it would be half that. Well, it was a different person. What did the ticket say? Well, it was wrong.

I was aging rapidly. But after only about ten more minutes of haggling, the woman agreed to pay for her broken zipper in exchange for the dry cleaning being comped. And then I executed my own transaction in two minutes flat and got out of there. And the house was still standing. Sometimes, she is in fact a good dog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bah Humbug

Every year I look forward to Christmas. I can't wait to get the tree up, bask in the glow of ridiculous Hallmark movies starring people who do nothing else for the rest of the year, and enjoy hearing (and judging) what all my friends and relatives are up to in their holiday cards. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Or the most holly jolly, depending on who you believe.

And then by about the second week of January I kind of just want to burn everything down. Maybe it's the pressure of keeping the dog from eating all of the ornaments, or the clutter from displaying cards from people I haven't seen in person in years, or the insanity that results from seeing Ice Sculpture Christmas sixteen times, but I'm ready to forget the holiday. And so we left everything up until my mom went back to Quincy, so as not to make her sad, but now it is coming down with maximum prejudice. We will probably be finding tinsel in our laundry for several months straight.

I'm sure I'll be back in the spirit by next November. After all, I'd hate to be haunted by three chronologically-ordered ghosts.

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