Saturday, April 22, 2017

TV Roundup

We've been watching a lot of TV lately, and enjoying relatively little of it. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is finally reaching the end of an interminable season; you know things are bad when they're still fighting about something that happened in episode two in the season finale. Real Housewives of New York is back, and so far okay. My litmus test for these is whether they feel like they're forty-five minutes long or approximately sixteen hours long, and in this case I haven't yet found myself checking the time on my phone every three minutes.

I think we've got one episode left of Feud, which I really wanted to like but have ended up mainly being bored with. The acting is good, despite the fact that I spend a lot of time wanting to punch Susan Sarandon in real life, but I don't feel like that much actually happens. And there's lots of speechifying; I have a hard time believing that people in the sixties spent this much time commenting on the role of women in their society. I am happy to see Sally Draper doing something with her life, though.

We're also working our way through Legion. It started pretty strong for me, but then it just got super weird and hard to follow. I can really only handle two or three different realities, max. I like Aubrey Plaza and I'm always happy to see Designing Women working in general, but there's something about Dan Stevens I find relatively offputting, and mainly I just feel lost (not to be confused with Lost). We'll see.

Oh, and Southern Charm. Too early to tell on that one. No screaming catfights at Confederate-themed galas just yet, but there's still lots of time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Amateur Easter Bunny

We had quite the little holiday soiree this past Sunday. My mom was in town, and we invited my sister and my friend Liz and their families over. So there was lots of drinking and foolishness, but this time with children present. My mother actually insisted that I be in charge of the Easter egg hunt, which devolved into me chucking plastic eggs into the bushes one at a time while my nephew was tracking down the previous chuckee. I'll admit that it wasn't exactly on an epic scale, but it certainly was efficient.

We also set up our rooftop for the first time this year, invoking the ancient custom of dragging disgusting rain-soaked tarps down three flights of stairs to the garage while swearing freely. Since we have a full summer with the roof this year, we're planning to get umbrellas and lighting and outdoor rugs and plants and everything. So far we just have two empty pots to go with our furniture, though. I would blame this on it only being April, but we will likely remain lazy for many months yet.

The weather was so nice that I also went for a run, to the extent that's what you call running out to the lake, desperately looking for a bathroom, remembering they're all closed up through Memorial Day, and staggering back home in a panic. This is why people should never get drunk and go running. The only reason, mind you.  

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Party in the USA

Ian and I are thinking of having a little party this summer in honor of our recent marriage. And by "party," I mean we want lots of our friends to get drunk and eat fried foods in a nice outdoor space. But this is surprisingly hard to set up. Our own place would be great for it, except we really don't want to have to cook or clean up afterwards. Also our neighbors would probably murder us in our sleep. There's a great place just a block away from us, but it's where we caught the norovirus, and we told a lot of people about that, so they'd probably be a little leery of attending a function there. And we're opposed to doing it at any sort of reception hall or hotel, because that feels too much like an actual wedding, and we don't want anyone asking us to do a dollar dance or make a speech about the transplendent river of our love. So we've found a couple of decent restaurants in the area with roof spaces, and we are checking them out.

Which brings me to Courtney. Courtney is the event planner for one of these places, and we have had a lively email interchange with her. She seems wholly incapable of remembering anything we tell her for more than a few minutes, leading to lots of interesting conversations where we explain repeatedly that Asian tacos do not really represent our personal style and that we are not interested in hiring their trance-music DJ for the evening. When Ian first told her this was for a post-wedding party, she told him she could not wait to meet his wife. And then when we first met her in person, there happened to be some random sixtysomething female standing near us, which Courtney immediately assumed was that wife. Suffice it to say we had some 'splainin to do.

Anyway, we're closing in on it. And God willing, I will drink generic brand vodka drinks in the sun once more.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Telephone Hour

There are very few drawbacks to my firm's recent office move. If there is one, however, it's how close my office now is to approximately a dozen admins and library staff, all of whom I feel must be watching me eating my sandwich and dropping mayonnaise everywhere through the glass walls of my new space. And because there is literally two feet between my office and the nearest cubicle, I am generally quite careful to close the door when I'm on the phone or in a meeting, since no one really needs to hear me ordering ear medication for my dog. That does not, however, prevent my secretary (who is the boss of me) from demonstratively marching over and shutting my door any time I don't manage to get it done myself.

The first time this happened, she waited until I was off the phone and reprimanded me, adding insult to injury by referring to me as "Mr. Jay." I was so caught of guard that I found myself making excuses, noting that I had not been expecting the phone to ring and that my phone cord did not reach all the way to the door. The result of this, of course, was that my secretary ordered me a wireless headset. Her convenience is of course paramount.

The other day, though, she tried her door shutting maneuver on a relatively senior partner, which did not go nearly as well for her. I'm not sure she'd ever before been forced to consider that she might not be at the very top of our office org chart. Not that this will change anything, of course. I'm still living in fear of her calling me out again for leaning on her credenza or not saying "hello" to her in a cheerful enough tone of voice.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Babysitters Club

Last weekend Ian and I babysat for our nephew Jack while my sister went to a work event. It did not go what one would call well. Jack is going through a phase of extreme attachment to his mother, and also apparently decided not to sleep at all the night before. So the minute he got in the door, he was clinging to her like a Real Housewife to a grudge over an offhand comment at a dinner party. Every time she put him down, he started screaming, like a Real Housewife at anything. And when she left, he literally choked on his own rage, crying and screaming until he threw up on me. It was a scene unlikely to be featured in an ad for The Honest Company any time soon.

We decided the only thing to do was to put him down for a nap, with the help of his beloved white noise YouTube videos. There was a catch, however, in that he wanted to actually watch the videos, and every time I pulled my phone back to rest my arm, he started screaming again. Luckily, Ian set me up with a selfie stick, so I could just hold the stick on my lap and do other things while Jack alternated between drifting off to sleep and awaking with a start and screaming "mommy!" I crushed a lot of candy that day, my friends. But eventually he did go to sleep, and when he woke up, he was utterly cheerful.

At least until his mother got back, at which point he acted like I was trying to force him to watch home videos of my community theatre production of Brigadoon or something. Mom is still number one. But we made it several hours without fatality or injury, which I understand from the parents I know is about the best one can hope for.

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.

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