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.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Golden Globes Wrap-Up 2017

Well, the Golden Globes happened. I kind of watched them, but I had a fair amount to drink and we kind of talked over long stretches, so it's all a bit fuzzy. I remember that Meryl Streep won an award and wore her bathroom tiles. She very delicately criticized our future president without mentioning his name, because of course he always responds so reasonably to things. And Ryan Gosling won something? I feel like I remember him looking ill at ease for some reason.

I was happy that Viola Davis won. She seems really nice, like someone who would be friends with my mom. And I like that she's not afraid to snot it up on camera when she cries. I also had good feelings about La La Land generally, because I like it when people sing for no reason. It bothered me a little that the director looked like he should be writing a term paper for his Freshman seminar, but pretty much everyone is younger than me now.

I haven't seen Moonlight, but I support its right to exist. I've heard good things, but don't really feel like it's crying out to be seen on the big screen. Journeys through adolescence generally come across ok on my flatscreen.

And the fashions? Yeah, I mostly didn't even notice them. Viola's dress was a bit... colorful. I think Emma Stone looked good? Pretty much guessing on that one.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Days of Future Past

So big news first -- they're selling Crystal Pepsi at the Jewel near my house. It tastes pretty much the same as it did back when we were all watching Channel One in our Hammer pants. Which is to say not fantastic, but nostalgia is in and of itself a refreshing treat.

My new job is also a sort of a throwback. I'm back at a big firm, with all the free lunches and big piles of documents that entails. Lots of nice, vaguely attractive people who are always super busy. And a big office with an actual view, rather than a wall separating me from a food court. It's good! I'm sure it will have its moments, but let's savor the now.

And if all of that wasn't retro enough for you, tonight I'm watching The Artist with my mom. And since she's kind of a talker, it's not actually a silent movie. But it still beats going outside, since it's all of two degrees out. Even the dog is peeing in record breaking time just so she doesn't have to stay there.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Bad Touch

I went for a massage yesterday, which naturally resulted in one of the most stressful hours of my entire life. I decided to try a new place, since my old place is much farther away now and, to be frank, occasionally somewhat skeezy. Things got off to a bad start when I couldn't get any of the lockers to open and eventually decided just to pile my clothes in a corner. They got worse when my massage therapist looked at the two medications listed on my introductory form and said, and I quote "dude, you got a lot of shit going on here." She then spent the next hour telling me I "needed to get off my meds" (which are for my skin and anxiety, by the way), and that I could do it if I would just learn to breathe deeply and relax. She repeatedly yelled at me for not relaxing, which obviously makes a person relax, and accused me of lying when I denied having pain in my upper back, because I did not. She said she could tell I was lying because she has a certification in reflexology and asked me to evaluated my (nonexistent) pain on a scale of one to ten (I said two). She then insisted that I wasn't breathing deeply enough to decrease my pain and that she would just keep pressing her fingers into my back (which actually did kind of hurt, to be fair), until I had reduced my pain through appropriate breathing. So that was fun. To top things off, she ended what was supposed to be a seventy-five minute massage after fifty-five minutes, which I certainly did not complain about since I was desperate to get away from her. And then she told me I should come back every couple of weeks so she could really get me to relax. Obviously, I am opting for visits on a bi-daily basis instead.

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