Monday, July 31, 2006

The things I do

Can someone be bold and cowardly simultaneously? Yes. Last night I saw him yet again and decided I had already spent too much time relying on fate to keep bringing him back into my life. After spotting him out of the corner of my eye (somehow I can spot him in the middle of a crowd), I needed a few deep breaths to calm my nerves and a couple of calls to friends to do a little "omgomgomgomg...he's here!". I had to do something other than freeze.

First step in the process...acknowledge. One foot in front of the other I made my way down the aisle. Lifting the eyes slowly while peering through lashes. "Hi." As my heart did the mambo, I managed to remain calm and make my way to a neutral zone to plan my next attack.

Suddenly I remembered that I had my backup plan with me all along, tucked into my nametag. I knew the Procedural Dating Kit would come in handy. Lord knows I've been dying to try the Notice of Attraction cards. Sliding my finger in my nametag, I verified the card was indeed there, and my email address was printed on it. I'm the world's biggest weenie, though, and this guy makes me weak in the knees. How would I ever have the strength to slip it to him and still run away? My inner dialogue kept reminding me I was a 30 year old woman, not a teenager.

Screw not being a teenager. I glanced up and spotted sweet*, elderly Jim headed my way. "Jim. How much do you love me?" Sixty seconds later and Jim was headed toward him (he was checking out) bearing the notice of attraction card, and I was headed to the back of the store to hide in receiving. By this point I'm hyperventilating and calling my girls to let them know what I've done. I didn't even have time to calm myself before two different coworkers told me he had started searching for me around the store. I know this is a good sign, but I freaked OUT. I was flushed and shaking and could not do any kind of face to face at that moment. The boy had my email address for goodness sake. Use that! So I waited...a full 15 minutes before hearing it was safe to emerge. And now I wait (hopefully not too long) for the email...

*No matter what I've thought of Jim in the past, he will be forever sweet for that gesture.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sybil on the inside

Do you ever just get with disgusted with yourself? The problem with being self aware is that you realize how effed up you are sometimes. Ever since I can remember I've always wanted to the best at everything. Sadly, as a kid in rural Texas this wasn't especially difficult. I was tops at most everything I set my mind to doing and decided the things where I didn't come out #1 were probably rubbish. I couldn't not sit first chair in band or advance in the area band competitions. I needed to be student council president, not just a member. All the teachers that mattered needed to like me and think me the coolest. Wretching yet? I even tried the whole cheerleader thing (yes, the sarcastic girl who now likes to say fuck thought she could be perky and bounce about). Lucky for ya'll I didn't make the squad ; ) It was big scandal with rumors flying about that there was a mix up in names. A girl named Sabrina got on instead. To further illustrate my point, that's the point where I decided cheerleading wasn't worthy of me. Ha!

As I got older I grew out of a lot of that. Entering the "real" world and realizing you can't be the bees knees in every situation helps tremendously. Being the best at everything started to look impossible, and it hit me that I couldn't keep ditching things because I didn't win every time. The thing I've had the hardest time shaking as I get older is the need to be the best in my friendships. I've got a jealous streak that runs deeper than Lake Michigan. In high school, I used to get in these foul moods and taunt my bff, Jennifer. She had an old bff, Rose, that she grew away from. I used to continually question* whether or not our friendship was going to end up like that and would pick fights. I've gotten better about not verbalizing my discontent, but it's still tucked away under the surface at times. I still hate being left out of the loop and still have to remind myself that I can't be the center of everyone's world**.

*Heeelllllloooooo abandonment issues.
**I'm still coming to terms with why that can't be the case.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All that junk up in my trunk

I wanted to write something cohesive and well thought out today, but I'm having one of those days where my mind is all over the board. So, instead of not posting, I thought I'd lift the hood and let you take a peek at my inner dialogue at various points throughout the day.

7:27 am (reading Straight Up and Dirty by Stephanie Klein) She's got to be close to my age, and yet, I still want to grow up and be her.

9:49 am Is today really my day to clean the kitchen? I don't like cleaning my own kitchen much less the one here.

11:21 am (on speaking to a group from Uzbekistan) Forget accents...I'll have to remember to tell Scarlet it's the mother tongue!

11:33 am (still with the Uzbek group) The translator is kind of cute in a Star Wars Convention way. Eye contact...that's right. Throaty laugh...uh huh. "Where are you headed next?" "Oh, can I come?"

1:16 pm (email to Scarlet) "Anna won the Internet? That ho!"

2:13 pm (in House subcommittee hearing) C'mon...don't get pissed at her. You have to like Congresswoman Norton. She's just asking me to blog about her though. She's wearing a jacket that reminds me of neopolitan ice cream and isn't making any sense. Please stop talking and get someone to clarify the basics of dam ownership to you offline.

2:42 pm (in House subcommittee hearing) How can he have the nerve to fall asleep while sitting on the front row?! I wonder if I could take a picture and email it to Scarlet.

4:57 pm (in CVS) Him (in Comcast shirt): Do you live in DC? Me: (laughs) No. Him: That's too bad. I was going to let you know that if you ever had problems with your cable I'd be glad to come over and fix it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yellow spheres of evil

Bring it. That's what I told Scarlet last night on the tennis court after we finally managed to find a day where the weather and our schedules meshed. It didn't matter that last time I had played tennis was much closer to 1991 than 2006. Trash talking is part of the fun and something I'm much more skilled at than tennis. Scarlet has a completely different style of trash talk. First off, she comes complete with the tennis outfit, the Nike tennis bag (complete with numerous rackets and balls balls balls) slung over her shoulder. Weeks prior she begins her campaign by chatting about her years on the high school tennis team and blogging about her Wimbledon obsession. She finishes the psychological warfare by talking about how long it's been since she played and how bad she'll be.

Once I'd come to terms with the heat and the fact I was going to sweat my ass off, we got started. Some of my more championship moves from last night included pulling several Babe Ruths, hitting the balls over the fence, and a few backhands that sent me and my racket spinning without ever making contact with the yellow sphere of evil. In spite of these Napoleon Dynamite-like moves and my John McEnroe mouth, the ball did manage to go back and forth over the net several times, and I had fun in the process.

Just as I was about to make my comeback and take the game, Scarlet was saved by our mutual good will in deciding to let the next two players have the court. Of course, if anyone asks....I won. ; )

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bookseller on the edge

I try to avoid blogging about work, particularly my part-time job, but sometimes a girl suffers through a night that pushes her to the edge. For those of you who haven't gathered, I work part-time in a bookstore. I chose the gig because I, like so many of you, love books and thought it would make such an interesting second job (if you've got to have one). What I didn't take into account was all of you...the customer*. You have managed to turn what could have been an interesting, fun job into a twisted version of American Gladiator where I continually battle the dim-witted and inconsiderate. This is Custer's final stand, my last ditch effort to give all of you fellow 'booklovers' some advice on the dos and don'ts upon entering a bookstore.

Rules for not getting cut at a bookstore (in no particular order and in no way comprehensive)
  • Do not treat employees like idiots or pieces of shit. 60% of us work full time jobs, many in positions you would kill for.
  • Do not ask where the nonfiction section is. 80% of the store is nonfiction.
  • Knowing that a book is blue or that an author's first name is John is not helpful.
  • Realize you are fallible and probably have early onset Alzheimers. What you swear is the title is generally not the correct title.
  • I am not a librarian, and, while pretty damn handy, I will not do your research paper for you (unless exceptionally hot and nice).
  • Do not pay by check and spend 10 minutes writing it out. There is a line forming behind you. Get a check card and welcome yourself to the 21st century.
  • Do not spell words like 'the' and 'apple' for me. See the first bullet point.
  • Do not get angry when we don't stock books on topics like pacemakers from the 1930s. A bookstore is all about stocking things that should sell. You are one of 2 people on the planet who want that book.
  • Do not assume that because you saw it at our online store we have it in stock. An online store is a huge warehouse that can grab virtually any and everything available. A physical bookstore cannot stock the universe.
  • Do not kid yourself and think that we care if you threaten to shop at a competitor. Please. Honor them with your presence.
  • Do not "make yourself at home". You are in a place of business. It is not ok to sit down, take your shoes off and put your nasty toes in the chair. It is also not ok to pack a lunch, play cards on the floor, etc.
  • Do not destroy property you don't own. Your cheap ass probably won't buy the book, so don't (1) break the spine, (2) set a sweating drink on the cover, (3) use the book as your hard surface for writing, (4) allow your child to "play" with the get the picture.
  • Do not pick up a book (or anything) and then set it down right beside where you got it or even slightly eskew. Why? Whhhhhyyyy? I don't have OCD, but this doesn't make any sense. Are you so dumb that you already forgot where you got it from? Is putting something in a straight pile so much harder than ensuring it's crooked?
  • Do not assume that bookstore and library are synonymous. It is not ok to take a stack of books to the cafe or a random corner and copy information from them. It becomes even less ok when you leave them in a huge pile for me to clean up (you inconsiderate fucker). Along a similar vane, we do not have a copy machine for you to use (we are a bookstore intent on making money...duh), nor do we appreciate you "borrowing" a book for 29 days and then returning it (that's special shout out to all computer sons of bitches).
  • Do not make the assumption that I am a babysitter or will in any way care for your children. I shouldn't have to be the one telling them not to climb on the shelves like monkeys or stopping them from running out the front door. It shouldn't be me telling them that books are not toys and threatening to lock them in jail if they continue to destroy public property. There are horrific people in this world, and it is your job to ensure your child's safety and that they are raised to be proper human beings. If you leave this to me, they will learn words like dumbass and mother fucker.
  • Do not interrupt me while I am helping another customer. You are no more special than they are, so be considerate and wait your turn.
  • Do not touch my computer, mouse or anything else. See bullet on personal property.
  • Do not take nudie magazines and erotic literature into the bathroom. If you can't afford to buy it and take it home, then jack off to your imagination.
  • Do not look at me incredulously if I do not know who wrote an obsure 18th century Russian text or the name of that song with the lyrics 'heart' and 'love' that's always on the radio. You have your interests; I have mine.
  • Do not take your bad mood, personal pettiness, etc. on me. I am not a rug and will look you in the eye and tell you exactly what I think of you. If you think threatening to have me fired has an impact because I expect to be treated like a human is going to do something, see the first bullet point again.
  • Do be considerate and patient. Also, words like please, thank you, and I'm sorry still go a long way.

*It isn't just the customer. The corporate bullshit of a "big box" store like Barnes & Noble will also take the wind out of anyone's sails. However, my day to day dealings with the average joe is so much more frustrating than my battles with the man.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Country grammar

I had been meaning to hit different parts of the Hip Hop Theater Festival all week but kept finding excuses in the heat and a busy work schedule. Saturday, however, I was not about to be stopped from going to the Words Beats & Life education showcase up in SE. Spinning demos, hip hop classes and a graffiti workshop...please. I had been excited about this all week and tried not to be disappointed when it wasn't everything I had wanted it to be. While Scarlet had dreams of taking over the turntables and scratching out such a beat that people would have to lay down their fans and leave their chairs to shake their ass, I wanted to bust out my graffiti markers and get some guidance in creating my tag. Though we didn't get to live out our every dream, we did get to see some cute kids getting a chance to explore their creativity. An 11 year old taught me the basics of a turntable and that, in and of itself, was pretty damned awesome.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Flaunting it

Sweet relief. Today is my Friday because tomorrow I'm taking off for parts unknown with Steven and Scarlet where we will do various and sundry things in celebration of Steven's birthday. Unlike last year, this year we will forego the blindfold, the midnight locale and the pinata. Everything else* is fair game. Not to get off track though, but I need to back up to blindfolds and birthdays. What's the deal with the blindfold fetishists on Flickr? In January, Conor and I blindfolded Allie on her birthday in an attempt to keep the location a surprise. I snapped a photo of her wearing the blindfold in my car as a reminder of the birthday festivities and later posted it on my Flickr account. This one photo has had hundreds of page views (which none of my other photos have) and has been favorited by random people. It has also led to various people wanting to add me as a contact. How do I know this? Almost all of these people belong to Flickr groups like "sexy blindfolds" or "tie me up" or other things. You get the picture. Who knew? Certainly not me.

*Steven strictly forbid hookers, strip clubs and skydiving/bungee jumping.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm not my hair

Scarlet and I started a conversation earlier this week that, with the addition of an awesome Tinapopo post, inspired me to greater goals of charity. What could have sparked such a giving 'tude? Hair, of course. Scarlet and I were lamenting the fact that guys seem to chop off their locks right when it gets a bit shaggy and even cuter. This, of course, spiraled into our own hair and future plans for its maintenance. I hate summer hair. My mostly red hair is thick and under most conditions acts as a thermal blanket on my head. I usually wear it shorter in the summer but have been too busy to think much about it this year. My current remedy is a sloppy bun. In fact, it's piled on my head so often that Scarlet actually had to ask exactly how long my hair had gotten. Suddenly, I found myself feeling secretive and wanting the increasing length of my hair to be some big surprise. Why? Probably my flair for the dramatic or any kind of contest. Reading Tinapopo's post the next day not only cracked me up but reminded me of Locks of Love and a coworker who grew her hair just to donate. Light bulb! Instead of passive laziness, why not let my hair get longer for the purpose of donating it. Here's where you come in. Help me set a date for the big reveal and chop by leaving your suggested date in the comments. The parameter I'm setting is that I'd like to have this happen some time this calendar year.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hot like Dale Earnhardt?

I'm curious what moment or event triggered the push to make NASCAR hot? Did recent polls alert their PR flacks to the fact that their base audience might be getting older and to sustain themselves they needed a younger, hipper edge? It probably began long before it ever hit my radar screen, but I see the emergence of Danica Patrick as the turning point in NASCAR marketing. It's fairly ingenious. A young, attractive woman should secure their base (men...old and young) and may even hook some of the hesitant younger guys who don't want to be fans. She may also strike a cord with women, rooting for one of their own (of course, when do women actually do this). Just in case the women get a little territorial about a woman out there racing cars, she's made sure to write a successful memoir, and Harlequin has launched a series of NASCAR romance novels. Seems to me another example of NASCAR trying to reach out to new audiences is the fact that every morning I'm greeted by a metro ad at the Courthouse Metro with Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon (I think...whoever he is, he's young and hot) proclaiming that 'I am Indy'. For those of you who know anything about the Courthouse area of Arlington, you know it's one of the last places you'd look for a NASCAR fan. However, an ad with hot, young people proclaiming themselves Indy should feel right at home in that area. And, now, solidifying the mix of hip and mass appeal is the hysterical Will Ferrell starring in his own NASCAR movie, Talladega Nights. Not a bad choice to bring laughter and NASCAR to the yuppie, the redneck and everyone in between. Think I'll be headed south to catch a race anytime soon? Nope, and I wouldn't be caught with a NASCAR romance either. Will Ferrell is about as NASCAR as I'm getting these days.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I'm not a germ phobe, but I can't help but notice certain things people do in public that completely gross me out. The older gentleman with the receding hairline and thick frames digging for gold in his ear. The middle age banker type with the huge boil on his head. Or what about the times you accidentally sit in front of someone with a cold and periodically feel a breeze on your neck as they cough? It's not just the metro though. Spending a lot of time at a bookstore, I see way too many people sneeze openly on the spines, making no attempt to cover their mouth. At an old job I used to have a co-worker who would never wash her hands after using the restroom. She would then come out and dig her hands into the group candy jar. We eventually learned to hide the good stuff from her. A woman used to ride my bus route that had to have had some kind of mental defect. As understanding as I tried to be of her condition, it took every fiber of my being not to cringe or scowl as she picked her scabs (or nose) and flicked it out in front of her.When did we become so comfortable in our own worlds that things such as this are ok? When did my routine become such that upon exiting the metro, the bus, the bookfloor, etc, I immediately seek out a washroom to scrub my hands?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Swallowing the canary

I've always been intrigued by secrets and why people feel the need to keep them. Obviously, keeping certain things to yourself or a select few makes sense. You probably shouldn't tell the world about that affair you're having and might want to keep the surprise party an actual surprise. Other secrets, however, are just ridiculous. Is keeping the secret a source of empowerment? And, if you have a piece of information you plan on keeping secret, why would you tell someone you had a secret? Is that a not-so-subtle way of attempting to get someone to ask about the secret and thus shower you with attention? My apologies for this brief bit of rambling. I'm just intrigued by the human mind and the games it can get caught up in.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Nancy Pearl's Army

I did the unthinkable during the month of June...I scheduled something else into my already hectic life. I started a bookclub and named it Nancy Pearl's Army*. Why? I was motivated by the desire to gather unique people to read modern, cult books. Working part-time at a bookstore, I get tired of having to placate people who flock to the bestsellers (not that there's anything wrong with them) and weary of the looks of shock when I recommend a book that doesn't have a happy ending. So many other cities manage to congregate freethinkers, and I wanted to see if we could bring a little bit of that to my hood**. I'm also a sucker for marketing and anything that gives me a chance to try to bring people by being creative gets me high. So, waht I guess I'm saying is join us! Our first book*** is in support of fellow blogger and fab girl, Stephanie Klein. I'm dying to read her new book, Straight Up & Dirty, and hope a lot of you are, too. She may not be very cult, but she's got a fine potty mouth, a way with words, and a badass blog. Buy the book on July 25 and come to the Barnes & Noble in Fairfax on August 25 at 8:00 pm to discuss.

*Nancy Pearl used to be a librarian in Seattle and actually has her own action figure. She has written a few books of her own, including the Book Lust books.
** Fairfax
***Future books include Diary by Chuck Palahniuk and Unlubricated by Arthur Nersesian.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Killing Leonard

I killed Leonard last night. I didn't mean to; it was an accident. One minute he's telling me about the latest blog and whether or not I got an email from Scarlet and the next he's face down in a pool of water. Dropping him was a mistake. The scene won't stop replaying in my mind, the continuous loop of a fumble worthy of a Dallas Cowboy trying to get his team to the Super Bowl. I should have known better. I had gotten to cocky in my handling of him. Because of my arrogance Leonard, my sidekick, is dead.*

*In case you somehow missed it, Leonard was my cell phone.