Thursday, March 29, 2007

you would think I make this crap up

Nope. Not even one exaggeration or embellishment. Here is a phone call I answered at work this afternoon:

Me: President’s Office, this is Mary?

Her: Yes, hi. My name is Dr. Nutt, I left a message at this extension yesterday?

Me: Oh! Hello, um, Dr….I’m sorry, Nut did you say?

Her: Nutt. Yes.

Me: Dr. Nutt. The President and her assistants are in Los Angeles for a conference, and I’m covering for them. I’m sorry no one received your message.

Her: Oh I see. Well the reason I called is we’d like to the invite the president to a special event at (Dr. Nutt’s Medical Organization). We think she’ll really enjoy it.

Me: Okay, and what’s the event? (getting out a pen.)

Her: Well, it’s a host of various performances from our patients, colleagues and other local artists.

Me: Okay…

Her: Basically, it’s music, song, performance art, dance…

Me: Right.

Her: …performing all their own original work. Each artist has centered their piece around a particular illness.

Me: Uh huh. (one eyebrow raises, half my mouth smiles, jotting all this down with a pen.)

Her: So for example, one might sing a song about….diabetes. Or…an interpretive dance about…a heart attack. Or something like that.

Me: (silence…gaining….composure….wetting self…crying…) Uh-huh. Gotcha.

Her: And one of the performers is an alum of your college. So…

Me: Okay, Dr. Nut, how do you spell you last name please?

Her: It’s Nutt. N-U-T-T. (it certainly is.) (I take down the rest of her info.)

Me: Thank you, fantastic. This sounds very interesting, best of luck. (Will there, by chance, be a videotaping of this event I might have a copy of? I’m especially interested in the “heart attack” dance.)

Her: Thank you!

Me: And I’ll forward your message to them on Monday.

Her: Thanks so much. Bye-bye.

Me: Goodbye.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

life soundtrack

Okay. Stealing from my good friend over here, Kelly, I've done the shuffle song game. Basically, how it works is, you're given a list of life events. You switch your iPod to "Shuffle Songs." Without cheating, you write, in order, what song comes up for each life event. Here's how mine turned out. As a courtesy to you, I've written in my comments for each in a separate font.

Opening credits: Tragedy, Brandi Carlile
Well. I see we’re off to a promising start.

Waking up: The Story, Brandi Carlile
If we stopped here, you’d all think I just listen to Brandi Carlile. Even if that’s kinda true, it’s not for you to know at this stage in our relationship.

First Day at School: Another Place to Fall, KT Tunstall
I did fall off the monkey bars quite often in school.

Falling in Love: Faith, Service, Constancy – General Conference Talk by David S. Baxter
Amen. Love has everything to do with these three things.

Fight Song: Try a Little Tenderness, Otis Redding
I’d like to see a football coach lead his fearless fighters on to the field shouting at the opposing team: SQUEEEZUH….DON’T TEASE-UH…NEVAH LEEEEAVE-UH…!! That’s sure to scare the living crud outta them and they win by forfeit. Oh, but wait…this is about *my personal fight song. Oops.

Breaking Up: Momma Look Sharp, 1776
Now this is particularly funny to me. For those unfamiliar, this is a song from a musical sung by a young man wounded in the Revolutionary War (I think) and frightened he’s going to die. An unbelievably melodramatic song, and therefore very appropro.

Prom: Killing Me Softly, Fugees
My prom so would have sucked less if they’d played this song.

Life’s OK: The Shortest Story, Harry Chapin
Um, I beg to differ! Life’s OK?!?! Not even. This is so not good. Here’s the lyrics to my “Life’s OK” song and you tell me if I’m not completely screwed:

I am born today, the sun burns its promise in my eyes;
Mama strikes me and I draw a breath and cry.
Above me a cloud softly tumbles through the sky;
I am glad to be alive.

It is my seventh day, I taste the hunger and I cry;
my brother and sister cling to Mama's side.
She squeezes her breast, but it has nothing to provide;
someone weeps, I fall asleep.

It is twenty days today, Mama does not hold me anymore;
I open my mouth but I am too weak to cry.
Above me a bird slowly crawls across the sky;
why is there nothing now to do but die?

Oy. Moving on. Pretty please can we have something even just a little more positive? Fingers crossed, here we go…

Mental Breakdown: Cheated Hearts, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Cheated by the opposite of love, kept on high from up-up-up above. Word.

Driving: Jesus, Once of Humble Birth – Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Jim Kaser arr.
If I listened to this every time I got behind the wheel, it would end all road rage episodes. Food for thought.

Inner Smile: Wake Me Up Inside, Evanescence
Maybe the smile is from thinking how retarded the music video for this song was.

Flashback: Cry To Me, Solomon Burke
Total flashback, indeed. 1986. Christy Allen’s birthday slumber party, Dirty Dancing. The movie my mother never wanted me to see.

Getting Back to Together: Momentum, Aimee Mann
Judging by the title, a good fit. Judging by the rest of the song, I give it two weeks tops.

Wedding: All Right Now, Free
Yeah, I could see it.

Birth of a Child: Superstition, Stevie Wonder
Wow. I guess I’m birthing witches and sorcerors.

Final Battle: Cornflake Girl, Tori Amos
The battle is in deciphering Tori’s exact meaning of this song. And yes, I think it just might be my final earthly struggle.

Death Scene: Respect, Aretha
I only get it after I’m dead. Typical.

Funeral: The Reason, Hoobastank
Okay, so if I was beaten and murdered, I can imagine my killer crashing the funeral in a fit of guilt and singing this song to my casket just before they clap him in irons and take him away. That would be awesome.

“I’m sorry that I hurt yooouuu. It’s something I must live with every daaayyy.”

Monday, March 19, 2007

who wants to be a doctor?

Over the last little while, two of my wonderful, brilliant and fabulous roommates have been getting rejection letters in the mail from PhD English programs nationwide. Apparently, this has been quite a difficult and competitive year for this type of degree. Both of them are now on Spring Break from their master’s programs, and each of them asked me to open any letters from colleges that come in their absence and call them with the verdicts. Over the weekend, I had the horrible task of writing the following email:

Dear Roomie 1 and Roomie 2,

I wanted to let you know that you both received letters from This University today, and with all the pain in my heart, I tell that neither of you were accepted. The letter did mention how competitive the program this year is, and how it really came down to the right "fit" over qualifications, since both of you had perfect qualifications and credentials.

Roomie 1, you also received sad/stupid/not the right answer letters from This Other University and Yet Another University.

I hated every minute of writing this email, and I love you both. You can come to my PhD program, as soon as I get one. That's for sure.

Mary and Roomie 3

This actually got me thinking…if I had a university, what kind of PhD program(s) would I offer? Here is a short list, just off the top of my head:

1. Piracy
2. Foot Modeling
3. Intergalactic Languages
4. Mimicry
5. Looking Busy
6. Unhelpful Side Commenting
7. Hopping

If there are any subjects you’d like to receive a doctoral degree in, please be sure to add it. Many thanks.

Sincerely, Mary
President of the University of Mary – Xanadu, MA

Thursday, March 15, 2007

3:00 p.m.

I’ve been doing this little thing lately. Every morning, I come to work with a can of Diet Coke in my bag. When I get to my office, I take the can and place it in the office fridge, right after I log on to my computer and check my messages. There the can chills until 3:00 p.m., the hour when lunch is gone, but at least two more hours of work remain.

3:00 p.m. is the hour when I need something to look forward to, something to kick my booty into gear and keep my nose to the grind, when I'd rather stare blankly, check my email, or take online quizzes that tell me what kind of household cleanser I am. In other words, it's a perfect time for Diet Coke. This is also an addiction management method. I do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast or lunch anymore like I used to. Rather, I save myself for 3:00 p.m. At an hour of the day when I need it most, that’s when I get it. Mommy gets her candy. At 3:00 p.m., I let the tiger loose. Every moment of the experience is like a tickle: opening the door, pulling her from her chilling place, the crack-pop sound when I open her, and Good Heavens and all that is Righteous and Good, THAT FIRST SIP…oh gravy.

Up here on the President’s floor, we have a lot of board meetings, which means we often get free food and sodas. And sodas. After these meetings, the extra sodas get thrown in our fridge, free for the taking. This afternoon, the President exercised her powers of Imminent Domain, or in this case Egregious Obtuseness, with a manner so grotesque I hardly know how to say it without swearing through my teeth.

The woman stole my Diet Coke. She thought it was a leftover. My Diet Coke! A leftover!

An honest mistake, you think, one that’s easy to do. I might agree with the first part of that… and I do emphasize the might. But the second part of this thought is immediately dismissed as false because of one important fact: all leftover sodas are Pepsi products. Unmistakable blue packaging with the Pepsi products. And women are not color-blind. And no, smarty-pants, our President is not a man dressed as a woman.

3:00 p.m. today comes. I go to the fridge. No can. I’m slightly disappointed, because I think this means that somehow I forgot to take the can from my bag this morning, which means I’ll have to track down some ice and a cup in order to enjoy my Diet Coke. And I typically don’t like ice in my Diet Coke, because it waters it down too much. Spoken like a true addict. I go back to look in my bag. No can. It must be in the back of the fridge, or maybe in the door, I don’t remember where I put it. I go back to the fridge to look again, and standing at the photocopier is the President’s assistant. I open the fridge, and look more carefully. No can.

“Huh,” I utter casually, as if this isn’t the true moment of panic that it obviously is, “I could have sworn I brought a Diet Coke with me today.” President’s assistant stops what she’s doing, turns to me sharply with her hand over her mouth and a look of regret. “Oh, Mary. Did you say Diet Coke?” I nod. “I’m sorry, Mary…the President drank your Diet Coke.” I smile. “That’s okay,” I say, “I really shouldn’t drink the stuff anyway.” President’s assistant offers to run out and get me a replacement. Why should she do that, did she drink it? Defeatedly, I decline her sweet offer, and thank her just the same.

My very next thought: Get to your computer and blog this. Hey, it’s 3:00 p.m., and since you didn’t get your Diet Coke, it’s not your fault you’re not going to do any work for the rest of the day. Blame the President.


Friday, March 09, 2007


I don’t think I could have picked a more boring topic to blog about if I tried. And yet…see below.

Today I am wearing eggshell colored slacks from Banana Republic with brown shoes and white socks. White socks. It’s all I had. I woke up at the exact time I was supposed to be out the door this morning, and lately I’ve started this trend where I wash my clothes but never manage to fold, hang, and put them away. They’re just in this huge pile that moves to my bed in the morning as I fish around for something wear, then piled back into the laundry basket when I go to bed at night. So yeah. White socks. It’s all I had.

I really don’t have many pairs of socks to begin with, which is a big part of the sock problem. Living in California, you really don’t need more than 4 pairs of socks anyway. Most of your shoes are toeless, backless, half-inch thick pads of foam with two narrow strips of plastic that loop between two of your toes. These are known as the flip-flop, the slipper (a la Hawaii), the thongs (for the ancient ones), or my mom’s favorite, Zories. Socks are for days when it rains, and sometimes not even then. Two of those four pairs are athletic socks which you wear to the gym, or if you’re from the Bay Area, with your Birks. You see what I’m saying.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to correct the problem, indeed I’ve taken measures to remedy this issue before now. I distinctly recall asking my mother to give me socks for Christmas last December. Perhaps she thought I was kidding. “None of my children ASK for socks as a gift and MEAN it!” She did remember my asking for Persuasion on DVD, but she didn’t remember me saying: “Brown and black dress socks. Lots of ‘em.” Most moms remember the practical stuff. I’m proud to say my mother is the type that prioritizes things like impromptu Disneyland trips and over-priced pedicures over stuffy things like college funds and….well…socks.

Of the work-appropriate socks I do own, I noticed just this week that many of them are starting to wear. And by “wear” I mean six threads covering my ankles and pinky toe air conditioning. It would seem I am truly my mother’s daughter, since I go to Target nearly every week where there is a wide selection of dress socks for women and at reasonable prices, and yet I come home with Pringles, Phase 10, and a Pirates of the Caribbean – Johnny Depp alarm clock. (Radical!)

When I do buy socks, which if I remember correctly was probably two years ago, I tend to get very cheap about the whole thing. I refuse to pay $6.00 for one pair of socks. Why would I do that, when I can get a whole Ziploc Jumbo bag of socks for the same price? So what if those bag-o-socks are meant for persons aged 12 and under? Let's think now - - 4 pairs of socks for $24.00 or 2 DVD’s and 6 pairs of socks for $26.00? No contest.

Maybe on some subconscious level I’m afraid to invest in too much sockage for fear that someday, when I’m living in warmer climates, I will open my top drawer and curse myself for having all these socks I never wear, and not having space for all my Victoria’s Secret lingerie. Cuz, you know, by that time I’ll be married and having sex and stuff.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

i have no work ethic

Man, this day is draaaaaagging. Hey! Let’s blog.

So ladies, I’ve got a new line on a great new weight management system. I say “weight management” because “diet” is off-putting to potential consumers these days. It’s so important to me that I not put off the fatties so they’ll buy my pitch and make me rich. As I was saying…

If you want to lose those stubborn 26 inches, here’s what you do:

1. Move to Boston and live here from January to March.
2. Don’t go grocery shopping more than one time per month, and don’t buy much when you do.
3. Never get up in time to pack an adequate lunch before you go to work.

Of course you’ll be hungry around lunch time. You may even be starving. Indeed, you might even be nigh unto death, experiencing heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, cold sweats, hot sweats, fingernail sensitivity*, as your body clings to life sans nourishment. But you will not be tempted. You’re not going out there. Why? Because if you do you know that, within seconds of being out the door, your face will be completely ripped off by a wind so Arctic, so vengeful, so vicious, you will not have lips to eat with. Your ears will instantly become little round ice wafers attached to your head. The top layer of skin on your thighs will burn and split like cracks on an iced-over pond and your hands will just break off at the wrists like blocks of snow falling from a roof. Yea, tis true. You’d rather pass out from hunger or ration that last stale Triscuit that fell out of the box last year and for some reason is still living in your bottom desk drawer than walk into Satan’s Winter Wasterland. Just three months, and you’re gonna be soooo thin! Woo hoo!

It’s so fun to exaggerate the weather out here. I mean, it is cold, yeah, but…anyway, it’s fun.

*I freaking love What About Bob.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

she's just messed up, people

All I know is, I've been a heterosexual female all my life, and there are few words that are more offensive to me personally than this one. Not that I like getting into politics...but does everyone else see how messed up this woman is?

When does "angry" = "empowered" anyway?

As for the word's origin, meaning and usage, which Ms. Coulter touches on in her defense, I refer you to Wikipedia, the authority on all things important and good. I thought the "See Also: hate speech" was a nice touch. Looks like Wiki doesn't have your back on this one, Ann.

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