29 August 2008

Stop pandering to me.

When I heard about John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate earlier today, I couldn't help feeling that it was straight-up pandering to women -- especially the bitter and angry Hilary Clinton supporters.

But I've had my feminist undies in a bunch all week, so I checked in with some friends on a message board and The Boy I Currently like to see if it was all in my head. Nope. Not in my head.

As the day has gone on (thanks also to watching CNN at the gym), I've gone from feeling like the McCain camp is pandering to women to be being offended and fucking angry about this.

Do they really think women in this country are all vacuous ninnies who will vote for Palin simply because we all have vaginas? She's a social conservative. She's against gay marriage. She'd be bad for health care. She is being investigated for shenanigans surrounding the firing of her former brother-in-law, who was a state trooper, and is involved in a custody battle with her sister. And of course, she's anti-choice.

Not only is she anti-choice, she's in an organization called "Feminists for Life." How the fuck can she call herself a feminist when she's anti-choice? Feminism is all about choice -- not the least of which is the right to choose to make a private, medical decision with her doctor to terminate a pregnancy.

And how dare she get up on that stage, with her Michelle Bachman-esque Oh-it's-election-night-I-thought-it-was-prom updo and compare herself to Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton. What is the point of breaking the glass ceiling if you're not going to do what's good for women?

Do I even need to mention the fact that McCain has slammed Obama for his lack of experience and now chooses someone who has been governor of a freak state for all of two years? Man, fuck you.

Bah. I've had enough of being pissed off for one day. It's time to sit on the deck and drink.

Do not be ashamed.

Dear Fellow Trader Joe's Wine Shop Patron,

I heard you loudly and sarcastically exclaiming about how your box of beer and wine is "all for me, too." Honey, you do not need to be ashamed.

There is nothing wrong with stocking up on affordable wine and beer for the long holiday weekend. Besides, clearly it wasn't all just for you. Obviously, you are an excellent hostess or a really kick-ass guest. This is a quality many people are lacking in their circle of friends.

I just wanted you to know that it's okay. Shit, I buy several bottles of wine from TJ's every week. I might even go back and get more tomorrow. It is a holiday weekend, after all. What if a lot of people show up on Sunday to drink on the deck with me? What if random people show up throughout the weekend for deck drinking? I cannot run out of alcohol.

Embrace your booziness, sister.

(Drunkenly) Yours in Christ,
Jess

27 August 2008

What does subverting feminism taste like?

I'd say it tastes like a chocolate stout cupcake with cream cheese icing.

Oh, and it is delicious.

Why couldn't I have stayed in bed today?

The first drops of rain around 6:00 this morning woke me up. When the thunder and lightning started, I wanted nothing more than to just lay there and listen.

But no. I had to get up and come to work. And of course, things haven't gotten any better. I took on a project that is turning out to be hateful and difficult and I'm not getting any fucking help I need from one of the "experts" or the "library." I only volunteered to do the work because I didn't have a damn thing to do the rest of this week. Of course, an hour later, I could have had plenty of less hateful things to do that would have kept me busy through the end of the week. Why didn't I wait?

As better as things have been, especially as it relates to work, things still aren't right with me. While I hate my job today, the last couple of weeks I've really turned to hating myself. The training I went through totally annihilated my self-confidence and self-esteem. I generally have some issues with insecurity in ... well, in my life. But they're all sky-high now and the work-related confidence and self-esteem erosion didn't take long to seep into my outside-work life as well.

I believe I've recently mentioned that I feel bad about working for a corporation. My mini-enviro kick has been my penance for no longer doing work that benefits people's lives, not company coffers. When my family was in town this weekend the subject of my new job came up. A lot. I tried to keep things as superficial as possible, but I was not always successful.

One particular conversation with one of my aunts, my sister and a cousin surrounded around the fact that I don't at all like the fact that I'm no longer working in the public or nonprofit sector. When I said that "No, I really do feel bad about what I'm doing," my sister rolled her eyes (sometimes I really want to slap the shit out of her) and my aunt said, "I had no idea you were that passionate about it."

Really? I mean, yeah, I decided to go to grad school and get my master's in nonprofit management because it really is a glamours, highly-paid sector of the economy, but I'm not about the money.

Meanwhile, it seems like everyone around me is bettering themselves in some fashion while I sit here working in a job I hate, getting paid the same amount I've been making for the last several years, being broke because of my stupid car and just generally sucking at life.

My sister is applying for a job that could double her salary. The World's Worst Wing Woman is in her second year of law school and was offered a fancy-pants summer gig at a huge firm next summer. Sweetness got a new and improved job. KayGee got her job kicked up a notch. The Future Mrs. Dirk got a promotion and a big, fat raise and is suddenly a major social butterfly. My brother is running the Twin Cities marathon.

Even The Boy I Currently Like, who has been pretty set in his ways/comfortable with his life as it has been/resistant to change, is looking for a new, "respectable" apartment and is *gasp* talking about quitting smoking. It's getting easier to make plans with him. And yesterday, instead of just canceling on me because he had the opportunity to look at a few apartments all in one shot, asked if we could reschedule and if rescheduling wasn't possible for me, was willing to work the apartment viewings into his work day so he could still come over. This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but well, it is.

With all that going on, I feel like I'm in a rut. Except I'm not, exactly. I've had a rather tumultuous year on the employment (and unemployment) front. I still haven't been here for three months. Jesus. Why can't I just be okay with settling into my job and my schedule and my life the way it will be for the near future?

I need a day off. Or a drink. Or yoga. Or all three! At least I can get two of the three knocked out tonight and the third is coming up on the horizon. I'm so spending all weekend on my deck with a fucking drink in my hand.

25 August 2008

"18 million cracks in the glass ceiling."

Michelle Obama on Hillary Clinton's campaign in her speech last night.

Following her speech, the band plays Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." Nice. Then, her husband pops up via satellite and says, "Isn't she cute?" Awesome.

Am I the only one to have noticed that? Should I not be annoyed? I must be pulling from the Feminist Undies section of my lingerie drawer this week, because I feel like this is my second feminist-panties-in-a-bunch post in as many days.

I wonder what will set me off tonight, on this 88th anniversary of women getting the vote?

He's okay!

Back in June, I was a bit worried because I hadn't seen a regular that I always used to see on my walks around Lake Calhoun.

Not to worry, though. I saw him this evening. Whew. It's a bit weird that it would be such a relief. I stopped worrying quite as much when Muffy said she saw him, but it really does help to see with my own eyes.

Oddly enough, I thought I saw him early on my walk. But when that guy got closer, I realized he looked more like a gay Ron Gardenhire.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to watching the DNC coverage and alternately feeling terribly inspired and being all weepy. Actually, they kinda go together.

When is a cupcake not a cupcake?

What a silly question, right? What could a cupcake possibly ever be besides a delicious treat? Okay, maybe if it contains raisins or something one could argue said cupcake is dancing dangerously close to muffinland. But would you possibly think a cupcake could be a symbol for domestic subversiveness? Me neither.

We would be wrong, however. I'm not going to go into a lengthy rehash of the article or the Jezebel post about said article. Long story short -- there's a movement across the pond that has younger women embracing the '50s housewife culture as either ironic or empowering and people have their panties in a bunch about it.

Am I now supposed to feel bad because I enjoy cooking and baking? I'm not doing it ironically. I really enjoy baking because it relaxes me. It is very methodical; the measurements must be precise and you often have to do things in a very specific order. After I bake the same recipes a few times, I know it from memory and I can often just do it in a trance. Baking takes my mind off things that are stressing me out. I can just zone out to the rhythm of the kitchen.

And you know what? I get to eat the delicious results and more often than not I share them with my friends and family. Now I'm supposed to feel like a bad feminist because I enjoy this?

Should I feel weird about making dinner tomorrow night for The Boy I Currently Like? Must it be noted that the dinner is also for me? Christ. He's coming over after work and I'll have been at work all day and you know what? People need to eat dinner. Sure, we could order food and then there's no stigma about me cooking (just about who is paying, I suppose). And we do that sometimes. Quite frankly, I prefer to make dinner because it's cheaper and it's healthier. I certainly don't do it because I feel I have to or because he expects it. That's when it stops being enjoyable. Been there, done that, don't want to go there again.

If these ironic/empowered new generation of '50s housewife-lifestyle lovers want to wear frilly dresses and have tea parties, they can go right the fuck ahead. I was under the impression that feminism was all about women being able to choose what they wanted to do or not do. That doesn't mean I have to like that they're doing it in an ironic and possibly mocking fashion -- glamorizing what was actually a really hard existence for a lot of women. It doesn't mean I have to feel like I'm taking my femininity back in the kitchen. They can do what they want and people can read into it what that they want, as well.

Me? I'm going to cook and bake because I need to eat and I sometimes like a sweet treat. I'm going to cook and bake because I like to be a good hostess when people come over to my (not-always-that-clean-because-I-am-not-good-at-the-cleaning-part-of-domestic-goddessry) apartment. I'm going to cook and bake because it's better for me and it's cheaper. And I'm going to cook and bake because I like doing nice things for other people. And if you think that makes me a bad feminist, you can go fuck yourself while I stuff my face with cupcakes.

24 August 2008

Just what I needed?

Going home is usually rather stressful for me. My mom is a lunatic, my siblings are constantly at each other's throats (I get in on that shit, too) ... you know, family shit.

But this weekend just seemed different. Maybe it was just because I'd been under so much fucking stress lately it was nice to go and have people cook for me and kinda take care of me. I had people around me all weekend who I love dearly and who I know love me back.

Highlights:
    Beautiful weather.
    Being able to see the stars.
    Laughing until I cried more times than I can count.
    Going for a long walk with the dog.
    Eating entirely too much good food.
    My aunt telling me my complexion looked lovely (then I must have done an excellent job covering up all my zits. Thanks!).
    Free booze.
    Hugs, hugs and more hugs.
    Watching the wind ripple through the fields.
    Mom telling someone I was "quite the good cook."
    Wrestling with my nephew.
    Everyone telling me how great I looked, despite the fact that I felt totally gross.
    Not having to talk about my job too much.
    Sitting on the couch, watching baseball with a buzz and rubbing the dog's belly as she laid next to me.
    Hearing new and old family stories. Oh, and family gossip.
    Coming home with steaks, pork chops, a ton of herbs (enough basil to make pesto), apples I picked with my family from our own trees (and they are organic to boot!), potatoes, carrots, onions, cucumbers, green beans, oatmeal raisin cookies and green peppers. Oh, and new sandals.

I'm exhausted and I've been cooking and doing laundry since I got home. But dammit -- I had a good weekend. I might just be able to face the week.

21 August 2008

North Dakota Man Couldn't Care Less About Britney Spears, Jamie Lynn Spears or Ron Paul.

I agree, North Dakota man. I agree.

Are y'all getting these Britney Spears-and-other-stupid-whore-I-mean-starlet-related spam e-mails, too? I don't know why, but they are cracking me the fuck up. I suppose this is at least in part because the subject lines tend to be spelled and punctuated correctly. Seriously, so many people say "I could care less," which isn't really what they mean. So that subject line sent me over the fucking edge.

Man, it is sad what I will accept with proper spelling and grammar.

There have been more over the past couple of days, but I unfortunately deleted a lot of them. Still, I do have a sampling:

Britney Spears' New Hair Extensions Are Lindsay Lohan's Pubes
Britney sues vagina for divorce
Letterman Interviews Paris Hilton's Vagina
Britney stalker sues for distress


And unrelated, but it made me giggle:

Does your Mr. Winkie need upgrading? Our offer will interest you.

For the record, I have yet to open any of these.

Moving on, I think I'm mostly out of my funk. I think it's because I mentally slapped myself in the face and said, "Shape up!" Or it's because work has slowed down a bit? Who knows? I'm just glad I am feeling better.

Though, my brain isn't working quite the way I want it to yet. I'm still having weird dreams and being completely forgetful of real-life stuff. I'm still reading things into people's comments that most likely aren't there. I nearly forgot the Future Mrs. Dirk's birthday yesterday. I forgot to RSVP to my cousin's wedding. I had no idea it was almost the fucking end of August.

Last night, I packed up my gym bag because I had this grand plan to take my car to get checked (the place that did my tranny wants to check the fluid levels to make sure everything is going okay) after work and then hit the gym on the way home, so as to minimize my driving and leave plenty of time for the other shit I have to do tonight.

I threw my clothes and monstrous sport bra into my gym bag and thought and thought, but I couldn't think of anything else I needed. But it felt like I was forgetting something. The same thing happened this morning when I picked up my bag to head out the door. There was something I should be taking with me, but what? I had clothes and shoes. That's all I need.

Of course, I realized a couple of hours later that I didn't bring my contacts. I loathe working out in my glasses. But! I am not going to be a baby. I will suck it up and wear my glasses while at the gym. It won't kill me. The old Jess might have gone home and put in her contacts and messed up the grand plan. The older Jess might have skipped working out at all.

Okay, the current Jess might also skip working out if the car check-up takes too long. I have a Family Drinking Weekend starting tomorrow, so I have to pack and do some baking tonight. While I'm not thrilled knowing I will have to talk about my job with the family, it's a small price to pay to get to spend time with the fam -- eight of my dad's nine siblings will be home. It's usually the best we can do outside of a wedding. And we certainly won't get that crowd for my cousin's commitment ceremony next summer.

20 August 2008

Dear Back Neighbor,

So, I heard the shower turn on in your bathroom this morning, followed really closely by some interesting noises. Sure, we've all gotten it on in the shower before, but you usually build up to moans like that. Maybe you guys started before you got in the shower? Maybe he's ridiculously sensitive in the morning? I don't know.

I must admit I was not-so-secretly delighted to think that maybe I wasn't that neighbor anymore. Or at least, I wasn't the only that neighbor in the building. You know, if you've never heard your neighbors having sex, you're most likely the neighbor everyone hears? Yeah, I never hear my neighbors.

Did I just hear footsteps? So, you and your boyfriend aren't in the shower together? Sure, we've all gotten it on with ourselves in the shower, but are you really going to be that loud when your girlfriend is in the same apartment? If I can hear you through the wall, I'm sure she can hear you, what with being in the same apartment and possibly in the next room. That's kind of rude. Unless you're into that kind of thing, I guess.

Uh oh. Wait. I'm rummaging through my eye shadow box, trying to decide what to wear today (Honesty and Dark Edge, same as every fucking weekday ... why do I even bother?), and from this angle -- facing the wall our bathrooms share -- I get a much different perspective on the sound.

Your boyfriend is blowing his nose. Or farting, I suppose. But I'm pretty sure he's blowing his nose. Seriously, with my back to the wall, it sounds like moaning. I heard him sneeze several times and blow his nose again, and facing the mirror? Still sounds like porn-style moaning.

I apologize for the confusion. And I'm sorry that you weren't having as much fun as I thought you were having. Oh, and sorry for being that neighbor.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

19 August 2008

The Key Cadillac Girl just won't go away.

Back in February, I wrote about The Key Cadillac Girl (the day after my birthday!). I was a little surprised at the time about the response I got, because I wasn't sure if I was fixating on that billboard because I tend to do shit like that (mild case of OCD?) or because it really was annoying.

God, looking at it now, all these months later ... I'm still embarrassed for her. Honestly. That billboard was SO. LAME. And the subsequent TV ads have been no better. I was hoping to see the baseball-themed one again before writing this post, but I had no such luck. The copy is cringe-worthy. Good Lord. That copywriter should be ashamed of him or herself. I wonder if they hire an agency or do it in-house? I certainly hope it's the latter and they're not really paying someone to make those spots.

And The Key Cadillac Girl herself has gone from not irritating me too much to irritating the crap out of me. Her haircut and Lauren button-down in the baseball-themed ad scream 40-year-old Suburban Soccer Mom. And her stance with that bat? It is not sexy. It is not comfortable. It is not natural. It is awkward as fucking hell. That, combined with her horrible Daunte-getting-his-roll-on dance moves, leads me to believe she's not the most coordinated thing ever. Poor lass.

So, the post generated a good bit of interest initially. But the hits just keep on comin', y'all. People are directed here on a weekly basis searching for either the Key Cadillac Girl specifically, or some variation of "cadillac girl." I suspect the more generic queries are on the women in the national Cadillac ads (speaking of those ads ... did you seen the one first one with a guy, who just happened to be Dusty Donovan? Wait -- they just killed him off this year? Dammit. If that had happened during my Brief Period of Unemployment, I might have seen it!)

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that I often get hits from Key Cadillac's IP address. I sometimes wonder if it's her Googling herself (which is totally healthy and completely natural, by the way) or their marketing/advertising people looking around to see what people are saying about the dealership. On the one hand, if she read this or the previous post, I would feel a little bad. On the other hand, you're on a fucking billboard and in commercials. You set yourself up for this shit, sister. It's not like I don't think people are constantly talking shit about me on a regular basis (mild case of paranoia?). Or, you know, they might be if anyone gave two shits about me and my big mouth.

And I love the fact that people are still commenting on that post six months after I wrote it (kinda like the Lolcats haters). She certainly seems to generate some strong feelings.

18 August 2008

Timberwolves unveil new unis.

My opinion? A resounding meh.

Photo by Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune.

I suppose they could have been worse. They're mildly better than the previous version, but not really by much. There seems to be too much white space or something. I really can't put my finger on it, but something is missing. Not that I want a busy uniform or anything, but do you really want something so blah and nondescript?

The picture on the Wolves' site had me a little excited, thinking they were going back to the original royal blue. But the picture above and the bit at the bottom of the press release indicate they're staying with that lame slate blue. Haven't we all realized the folly of trendy colors yet? Long gone is the teal and purple of the former Charlotte Hornets. Though, it's not like their current colors are all that great. And the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Rays still sport questionable color schemes. Oh, and the Rockies, too. And the Jags. Just say no to teal, people. Probably best to leave purple alone while we're at it. The Queens can keep it, I suppose. But really, the rest of you should switch that shit up.

Okay, maybe we haven't learned. But we should, dammit. You want something classic and timeless, dammit.

Back to the Wolves, if you're going to do something new to commemorate the 20th year of the franchise (wait -- 20 years? I've given 20 years of my life to this fucking team? Damn you McHale and Taylor!), maybe hearken back to the original unis? Okay, so they did that with the "Wolves" on the front of the home jersey, I guess. Still, I've never liked this lettering style.

*sigh* I long for the innocent days of the early franchise. Oh, Pooh Richardson, where have you gone? Tony Campbell? Tyrone Corbin? Wait, I know where you are. And I get a little smile on my face when I see you on the sidelines.

17 August 2008

Remember a time when you were really, really happy.

Um, what if I can't think of anything?

Man, I really, really suck at life. I finally made it to a yoga mini-retreat this morning. It was pretty good. I was hoping for more challenging poses and whatnot, but she focused more on adjusting our various basic poses. I suppose she can't get too crazy when there were people there who had only done yoga for a few months.

It's not like it wasn't helpful or anything. The adjustments were great. Well, she only made one on me, but having my hips pushed back while in Downward Facing Dog was most excellent. Turns out my heels totally can absolutely touch the ground. Go figure.

It was really nice to be outside, too. We were in the Russian Yogi's backyard out in the suburbs. She lives on a little lake. Aside from the next-door neighbor using power tools and the fucking cargo planes flying overhead, it was really peaceful. I had a grasshopper on my calf and didn't even realize it until the girl next to me told me so.

But back to me sucking at life. During Savasana, Russian Yogi was trying to get us nice and relaxed and focusing on good things. So, she told us to remember a time when we were really, really happy. And I couldn't think of a goddamn thing. Not even a time recently when I was pretty happy. I settled for sitting out on the deck on a lovely evening after yoga, drinking a glass of wine. Which always makes me very content.

I'm trying so hard not to think about work, but I was already dreading it yesterday. My tension headache was around in full force all day and I felt absolutely fucking drained, despite eight hours of good sleep Friday night and what is usually an energizing Saturday morning yoga class. I was looking forward to going to bed at like 1:00 yesterday afternoon.

The World's Worst Wing Woman came over for a bit on the spur-of-the-moment and we talked a lot about my work situation. She apparently wasn't aware that I hate my job, so I had to explain it all to her. I felt a little less stressed talking about it, but not all that much. And I momentarily felt better after yoga this morning, but I was crying in the shower an hour ago, so that didn't really take, I guess.

It is going to get better, though. It fucking has to get better, right? I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I am talking like everyone else there about how much I love the place and the work I do.

Except, of course, I was crying today because I am no longer doing work that makes me feel good. I made a choice a while ago to have a life and a job -- not a job that is my life. That being said, my jobs for the last 10 years or so have generally been jobs that helped to make someone's life better. The work I do now is pretty much just to help other people make money. I thought I could handle it, but it makes me feel icky and dirty. Maybe that's why I got on this public transportation/reusable bags/mini-enviro kick. It's like penance (always a Catholic!).

Bah. I'm going to go to the Herkimer in bit and get Sunday drunk and try to stop dwelling on this shit for a while.

16 August 2008

Holy shit. It's here!

So, I'm sitting here, wasting time while waiting for my hair to dry and I'm flipping through channels because I do not want to watch whatever men's gymnastics bullshit is on the Olympics and the Twins game doesn't start for almost an hour.

I'm going up the channels in the guide and ... wait. Big Ten Tonight? What the hell is that? What channel is this? Oh shit!

It's the Big Ten Network!

Just the other night I was wondering when they'd be adding it. I mean, college football is starting soon and, um, y'all said that it would be on in time for the start of football. I know the Gophers suck, but I still want to watch them, dammit.

It must have just been added, because I was fucking around and kept hitting channel 27 a few days ago and there was nothing there. And The Boy was scrolling through the guide and we were looking at something that was on FSN and I didn't see it then. That was just Thursday night.

'Bout damn time, you assholes. You still suck, Comcast.

14 August 2008

Bah.

Jesus. How bad are things when I can't even have a lovely evening with The Boy I Currently like?

Okay, wait. It's not like I had a bad time. It was lovely. But I couldn't even be happy or much fun. Fuck. I barely said anything for the longest time after he got here.

He knows I've been having a bad time lately. I mentioned my crying and biting/scratching/clawing myself in the bathroom tonight. Ooops. I try not to dump too much shit on him. I really try not to dump too much shit on anyone. I'd rather not talk about this job at all. Mostly because it often makes me cry and I hate crying in front of people. Thank Jebus for writing a blog, right? Well, I suppose I dump a lot of shit on y'all. But you don't have to read, do you? Still, I apologize.

Anyway. I feel like an ass for being quiet and not ... myself, I guess. Particularly because The Boy was especially sweet tonight. I'm pretty sure he's never told me the dinner I made was delicious. Several times. Then again, considering some of the dinners I've made (corn dogs and tots, anyone?), maybe he's never actually had an occasion. Though, I do recall him rather enjoying the corn dogs and tots.

Man, fuck this shit. I need to go to bed. Is tomorrow really Friday? Last night felt like Thursday and I felt terribly cheated to realize it was only Wednesday. If I can get through tomorrow ...

Thursday's deliciousness.

Since I can't drink at work ...

Photo by Anja Niedringhaus, Associated Press

13 August 2008

It turns out there are benefits to having the Republicans come to town.

I know, I know -- I am as surprised as you are. But you can't tell me the annual union picnic on Labor Day would ever have turned into Take Back Labor Day if the Republican National Convention (aka OMGWTFGOPBBQ08 -- thanks Brandi) wasn't coming to town.

Holy shit! Mos Def! Atmosphere! Steve Earle! Allison Moorer! Lupe Fiasco! Billy Bragg! Tom Morello. (I'm not totes excited about Morello and friends, but shit, who cares?) That is a bad-ass line-up, y'all. And the tickets are only $10. Oh, we have ours. I'm going with KayGee, The Prison Librarian, Macho Man and The Wife. Music. Outdoors. Hopefully beer. Supporting labor. I LOVE IT.

Oh, you're shocked aren't you? You're shocked that a bleeding heart liberal like me would be a union supporter. It's true. I am. However, I'm not just talking out my ass about it -- I've been in a union. I suppose that's why I know about the annual picnic. And that is why people keep looking at me like I'm on crack when I talk about the Labor Day picnic. I almost went one year. Anyway, I've been in a union. I went to meetings. I voted on a contract and I thought that was so. fucking. cool. Then again, I'm the girl who was totally fucking stoked to get called to jury duty.

I cannot understand why anyone wouldn't be on board with: health care for all; the freedom to join unions, wages that can support families and secure retirement. The horror!

So, thanks Republicans, for coming to town and giving me the opportunity to see Mos Def.

Also, one of the event features just tickles the shit out of me:

In addition to the Labor Day concert, the festival will include a You Tube station, a fully equipped blogger lounge, a children’s area, and a large audience-participation art project.


Awesome!

Wednesday treat.

Mmmmmmmmmmm ... sports porn.

Photo by Nick Laham, Getty Images

12 August 2008

How can you not tell?

Wait. Perhaps the better question is: How can you stand to be around yourself?

There was a guy at the gym tonight who smelled so fucking bad. It was the sweaty, unwashed, been-working-in-the-hot-sun-all-day kind of stank. His stench was so strong it made me cough.

I just do not understand how one gets to that point. Whenever I smell some stank-ass person, I always freak out and think it's me. Clearly, I am probably not ever going to become one of those people who can't smell their own funk. I notice mine early and remedy the situation as quickly as possible. God, if I forget to put on deodorant, my increasing stinkiness is all I can think about until I get my hands on some deodorant.

The guy at the gym was probably six feet away from me at first, so I only got wafts of his disgustingness when he was moving air around. Unfortunately, he was on a butterfly-type machine, so there was plenty of air rushing past his reeking pits. I thought maybe if I went way down and did my triceps, he would be done and gone by the time I moved back down to do lat pulldowns and the chest press. And he was. But his stench remained.

How bad do you have to stink to drive someone away from the gym? I might be the wrong person to use as an example here, because I apparently have a fairly sensitive nose. That always seems a bit odd to me, as I am congested so often. But it is true. The World's Worst Wing Woman has noticed it. Before The Boy I Currently Like and I met, he said something about my nose being intimidating. And he's a boy, so he can get a wee bit stinky. But I don't mind his brand of manly stinkiness. In fact, I quite like it.

Maybe there's a threshold that must be crossed. I still like that humid, sweaty smell the gym sometimes gets when it's raining or in the winter that reminds me of the way the little gym would smell during and after wrestling practice.

StankAss McReekypants, though ... God, he was so awful. I coughed. I had to breathe through my towel. I had to cut my workout short. And what's even more confusing was this -- Stinky was walking around, chatting with a variety of my fellow gymgoers. I cannot understand how anyone could stand to be withing 20 feet of that guy, much less close enough to have a conversation with him.

Gross. Take a fucking shower, asshole.

11 August 2008

Everything's coming up Milhouse?

Um, not exactly. But I did get my car back today and my mom can stop worrying about that. I do have to take it back in late next week so they can check the fluid levels and everything. I'm going home next weekend, though, so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

Also today, I found out I have completed my training at the new job. They did not get me to quit. I beat them! The Original Trainer gave me a hearty congratulations. My boss said he'd heard nothing but rave reviews of my work. The Trainer said the same thing.

I don't know why, but I either just don't believe them or it doesn't matter. Normally, I'll be proud of a job well done. But so often when they tell me that something I wrote was interesting or fun to read or just really well-done, I feel like they're just feeding me a line of shit. Perhaps its the nature of the work. It is hard for me to fathom that something would be interesting to read if I thought it was painful or boring to write. I made a discussion of the financial services industry interesting to read? Oh, come on. Don't fucking patronize me. Please.

Today was the first time I had a lengthy discussion with my boss since my first couple of days. He asked the same thing everyone not in the New York office has asked me -- "Are you okay? Is everything okay? Do you like this job?" Let me tell you -- I have become quite the diplomat in answering that question. It seems like they want me to succeed. He wants to put me on projects or questions that I find interesting. He wants to utilize my talents (what they are at this job, I'm not entirely sure). The guy who was doing my training last week e-mailed today to ask if I liked working there. He made sure to let me know he was there to be a sounding board or whatever I needed because he "would love to see me succeed at Company X."

I just don't know.

My sister came to pick me up to take me to the shop to get my car and I was telling her the bit about the training being over. Apparently my mom is worried about me. She keeps saying shit like, "Have you talked to your sister? I don't think she likes this job. I don't think it's what she expected. I don't think she's happy."

You know what, lady? I'm not happy. Quite frankly, I thought I was being pretty honest with everyone outside my job that I don't really like my job right now. I was trying to explain to my sister why I have been having such a hard time with it and it kind of ended up sounding like I don't like it because this training has been so fucking hard.

That actually is a big part of it. I don't like it because it is hard. I realize how lame (or shallow or ... whatever) that sounds. But I cannot escape the fact that it is true. I feel like I've never had to work so hard in my life at something. School came easy to me. I didn't even work that hard in grad school, for fuck's sake. I've picked up everything at every job I've ever had pretty damn easily. And here I am, showing up to a job that makes me feel like I'm a moron every. fucking. day. I look at the people around me and I know I'm not working with a bunch of fucking rocket scientists. So why is this so hard for me?

So yeah. I'm not exactly happy. I don't love my job. I don't even think I like my job. At this point, I hope to get to the point where I don't hate it.

But it's time to watch Michael Phelps. Also, fuck these full-body suits!

10 August 2008

I have no title for this post.

After staring at the screen for five minutes, I'm just not going to bother with one. So there.

Yesterday was most excellent. I needed a day full of fun and people being nice to me. The block party was fun -- plenty of delicious Summit and pizza. I didn't have a brat and I'm regretting it a bit. But not too much, since I have plenty in my freezer. Plus, there's another block party coming up in a month or so.

The post party and several other times we were over here to pee and have snacks and free drinks were delightful. There ended up being about 10 people over here afterward. We picked up several people along the night, I guess. Mrs. Dirk's peanut butter cups were delicious. Though, I didn't have one. How did that happen? My chipotle honey roasted almonds were a huge hit. We took some over to the block party and I sent all that remained home with the last person to leave. That was dumb. Or not, 'cause I totally would have eaten them and there are already blondies and olive cheese bread left. I guess it's probably for the best.

Last night was the second night in a row where I've had people over and wanted them to leave, dammit, because I wanted to go to bed. Last night it was a friend of a friend. Well, I guess he's an acquaintance now. I'll talk to him when I see him out and I've even hung out with him at shows. I don't think he stayed that much longer (I was pretty drunk, so I have no idea what time it even was) after everyone had left, but it seemed like forever. A couple of years ago, when I was still trying to decide if I thought he was cute or not, I might not have been complaining in my head.

Today I am totally being lazy (does doing laundry and cooking count as being lazy?) and watching the Olympics. I actually left the TV on yesterday so we could watch whenever we came back over. We're not getting enough shots of Michael Phelps's body, dammit. I do not want to hear him talk and I don't care if I see his face. I just want to see that torso. Lord have fucking mercy. It is a thing of beauty. And what's with the men's beach volleyball uniforms? The women parade around with their asses hanging out of their bikini bottoms and the men have to wear shirts? THAT'S BULLSHIT.

08 August 2008

Rock 'em, block 'em.

Oh, it's finally here -- The Pizza Luce Block Party. Well, it's tomorrow. It's almost here, I guess. And thank you, Jesus. I wasn't sure I'd make it through this week. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I have made it.

Car drama is still ongoing. Well, it's being fixed at the moment. I ended up getting it done in the metro, which means shelling out another $500, but there was a chance I might not get it home. Oh well. It'll all be over soon.

So, I'm carless and it feels alright. I took the bus to and from work today. Then when I got home, I walked to the grocery store and toted my party supplies home in my reusable (one of which is also made from recycled rice bags from Asia, made by disadvantaged and disabled women in Cambodia) shopping bags. You're wondering, aren't you? You're wondering if it hurts to be so good to Mother Earth. And I'll tell you, it hurts so good. It hurts so good to be such a good person.

(Seriously, I'm not that much of a narcissist. I mean, obviously I am to a certain degree. I have a blog, don't I?)

I had to get supplies for tomorrow, so I can provide yummy snacks for my friends. Sure, we'll eat pizza and brats at Luce. But what if it rains? We'll need sustenance while we're over here peeing, too. And after the Block Party's over? I can't go to the Country Bar anymore after last year. And quite frankly, that's about as far as I'm willing to go.

Shit. Macho Man is on his way over to hang out. Guess I gotta go.

Come to the block party, bitches!

06 August 2008

When does it become a pattern?

After my shitty day yesterday, all I wanted to do was sleep. And sleep I did, until my phone rang at 2:21 a.m. When I say "rang," well, my ringtone is an angry cat. I try to mostly leave my phone on vibrate because that ring is loud and annoying as hell. But it cracks me up to no fucking end. Except for when it wakes me up at 2:21 a.m. on a school night.

Now, this late-night phone call (from an unknown number) could be ignored if I hadn't also received another late-night call just a couple of weekends ago. Again from an unknown number.

Something about this seems all too familiar. This has Booty Call Matt written all over it. Fuck. It's funny he should pop up now, just a few weeks after The Boy I Currently like made some crack out him and me being dirty or perverted or something.

Before that first call a couple of weeks ago, he hadn't called for probably six months. I haven't spoken to him since December or somewhere around there. And it'll be a year next month since I last saw him. Damn if he isn't fucking persistent.

I never did officially end things with Booty Call Matt, but the last time I saw him was about three weeks before I met The Boy. In fact, I asked The Boy out just a couple of days after the last time I saw Booty Call Matt. Maybe if I hadn't stopped seeing him until The Boy and I decided we weren't sleeping with other people ... wait. The Boy and I might not have even gotten to that point if I had waited to stop seeing Booty Call Matt. I think not having him to fall back on, so to speak, has made me try harder (try at all, quite frankly) with The Boy.

So anyway, I never actually told Matt I was done with him. I have my reasons for this. When I tried to do it before, I was with Whatshisfuckingface. The phone call where I told Matt I couldn't see him any longer was 45 minutes of him begging -- "Just let me come over one last time. I just want to see you one last time. What am I going to do without my favorite Uptown girl? *gag* I just want to kiss you one last time. I just want to say goodbye." It ended with him just showing up at my house. Well, that's not exactly how it ended. Because it never ended. I didn't stop seeing him.

That experience is the reason I opted for just trying to ignore him this time around. It took a long time for him to stop calling -- like five months. There were many 10-30 call nights in the first couple of months. Thankfully, he never just showed up at my place. I was pretty surprised because he'd been pulling that shit for months. But the calls tapered off. I suppose I should have known he might crop up again at some point.

I think enough time has passed that I can actually have the "Dude, it's over," conversation with him now. I'm not going to be giving in to his begging or anything this time around. Besides, I don't see him pulling that shit after all these months. Then again, I kinda figured I'd heard the last of him a while ago. We had our fun for three fucking (ha!) years, but that thing ran it's course. People knew me as the girl who managed to have a (somewhat) healthy and (somewhat) normal casual relationship for three years. That's not something you want to be known for, no matter how awesome people think it is. And quite frankly, aside from the occasional clinginess, the occasional psycho/stalking moments and the one time he slept here, it was pretty awesome. But I outgrew it.

Of course, if he doesn't call at a decent hour, I'll just keep on ignoring him. I will only break up a booty call relationship that ended a year ago for me before bar time, thankyouverymuch.

Search term of the day.

It came in very early -- around 2:30 this morning. However, I doubt anything will top it. Thank you, AOL user, for making my day by Googling:

does jerious norwood like big titties

Anyone who has read Mr. Norwood's comments here must no the answer to that question is a resounding, "NO!" and "How dare you and blah blah blah."

(Feigning righteous indignation is so tough.)

05 August 2008

Jessica's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I wish I could move to Australia.

Work was very stressful and infuriating. I wanted to throw my fucking computer out the window and scream obscenities at the top of my lungs while kicking down cubicle walls.

I managed to make it through, though. My trainer this week isn't nearly as hovering and nit-picky as The Original Trainer was. Everything was fine today; everyone liked my work. You can't tell me everything has changed in a matter of days. I wish I'd been working with this guy before. Actually, I was supposed to work with him my second week.

The Boy said he can't hang out this week, which I was expecting. He's been such a busy worker bee for the last couple of weeks. He worked late last night, I have yoga tomorrow night and dinner plans on Thursday, then he's probably going camping. The chances of everything coming together tonight were slim. However, it's disappointing nonetheless. And I'm in such a shit mood I can't even respond to an e-mail, lest I accidentally say something mean or sarcastic. Sometimes it's just better for me to keep my fucking trap shut. Or keep my fingers off the keyboard. Whatever.

I opted to hang around work a bit longer so I could try the shortest bus trip home after work. Epic. Fail. The bus driver decided to leave five minutes late (he was just sitting at the Mall of America transit center ... it's not like he was behind schedule or anything), which made us get to my stop 10 minutes late, and five minutes after my bus left. So I had to sit there and wait A HALF HOUR. Guess I won't be choosing that option again. Fucking asshole.

Then I was going to just fucking skip working out because I was so late, but no. I rushed into the house to change and grab something to eat so I didn't pass out and headed out to my car. I did get the ol' girl to move. It took about 15 minutes. I was just sitting there, absentmindedly shifting gears when it lurched forward. Thank God there was no one in front of me.

Of course, at one busy intersection it wouldn't move until I dropped it into first. That made me freak out, so I just said fuck it to the gym and stopped at Trader Joe's. It was fine starting it up again there and getting out of my parking space. But driving at all caused me far more fucking anxiety than just letting it sit there would have.

(If I switch to the Y, I think I could walk there just as quickly as I can drive to or from Bally. WHY AM I NOT A MEMBER OF THE Y? I will be soon, no worries there. Though, my bus to work stops right. in. front. of the Richfield Bally. So much shit to haul to work ... but pretty convenient nonetheless. And the bus ride home is the same as walking to the Y or driving to St. Louis Park ... Decisions, decisions.)


Called home to ask my mom something and I guess my dad is going to call me sometime soon here because he did some checking to see how much it would cost to get my tranny fixed at home and it's less than the $2,000 to $3,000 they threw out at the shop on Saturday. This is good news. It's also not really news, because I figured that would be the case.

But then mom told me that Fredder isn't doing well. It's been up and down for the last several months, but my dad stopped at the house to see him today and he's using a walker. Mom said it probably won't be long now and that she hoped we'd at least come home for the wake.

That was the last straw. I managed to keep it together while I got off the phone with mom, but I've been bawling for the last half hour. My eyes are red and puffy and I cannot breathe. I gotta get myself together for when dad calls.

Need more wine.

(Also, of course I'll go home for the wake. I'll fucking work an extra day or something if I have to so I can go to the wake and funeral. He's like family.)

Tomorrow's a new day, right? Olympics (Michael Phelps, yum!) start Friday and party is Saturday. I just have to make it until the weekend and maybe I'll be okay.

04 August 2008

Dammit, black dress pants. Didn't you get the memo?

Aren't freshly-laundered clothes supposed to be a little tight? Or at least, not a size bigger than they were a week ago? After all the car drama this weekend (it's not over yet, of course), I have placed the household on a strict, no-fun, no-frills budget. (In case you're wondering, wine is an essential ... but we're going to be drinking mostly Two-Buck-Chuck for a while. No more $6.49 extravagances. And by we, I mean me.)

It seems my black dress pants did not get the memo about the budgetary lockdown. Clothes are certainly a frill. So, it would stand to reason of course, that my black dress pants seemed so extra-roomy today. Honestly. I kept thinking my zipper was down all day because there is so much extra space in these damn pants. Oh well. They're work clothes. I am not trying to impress anyone there. Even with my baggy pants, I dress better than most of them. I suppose I'll be wearing my skirts more now. Also, they're dress pants. I'm sure I can shrink them by washing them in hot water and drying them, right? There is plenty of room in the legs, so I'm safe with trying to shrink them.

I hope.

Side note: Have you ever known anyone to complain so damn much about the side effects of losing weight? What the fuck is wrong with me? Other than I hate shopping and spending money on clothes, I mean.

Other things of note:

I didn't realize how fucking guilty I felt about driving every day for work. God, I felt so much better on the bus and LRT today. It just feels right. That is so sad, isn't it? It'll only be a matter of days before my lack of guilt transforms into self-righteousness about energy policy and whatnot. Oh, who am I kidding? That'll probably kick in full bore tomorrow.

Plus, I haven't had many good bus stories for a while. I've only been getting honked at and hollered at while waiting for a bus to take me to a drinking location. Oh, and there was the guy who made kissy noises at me and Girl Shawn on the 4th of July.

Walking around Lake Calhoun today I saw a guy I've seen several times before. I remember him because of his tattoo -- it looks like a piece of broccoli. But it can't be a broccoli floret, can it? Hey, I like broccoli as much as the next person, but not enough to get its likeness tattooed on my shoulder. Maybe it's a tree? If you can't determine what it is, though, it's a pretty shitty tattoo. My fiduciary difficulties are going to put my tattoo on ice for a while. And I was just getting ready to talk to my artist about a design. DAMMIT.

I also saw a guy wearing the most hideous tie-dyed Lithuania basketball t-shirt. Okay, I get the Lithuania basketball t-shirt. I even kinda get the tie-dye. What I don't get is the combination of the two.

My unfocused anxiety from earlier today is gone. I've got something of a plan with the car. I've gone to and from work on public transportation and realized it's no more difficult than most of my other trips. And it doesn't take much longer to go more than nine miles than it did to go about five to my old job. It is a bigger pain in the ass getting home. Of course. But I realized today that it won't be the end of the world to have to wait a half hour for the next easy route home. Shit. I've been staying late most days, anyway. Is it that big of a deal if I get home at 5:35 or 5:55? Not really.

03 August 2008

Nesting.

What the fuck is it about August that throws me into nesting mode? You'd think it would happen in the fall or winter (and it does). But I have been all about HOME this weekend.

I would attribute it to the whole car thing (and the completely related I'm-now-broke thing) if I didn't recall feeling this way in years past right around the beginning of August. Is there something about the angle of the sun? A change in the air? Just the calendar? That one year I lived at 31st and Hennepin during the Uptown Art Fair?

Perhaps it is just after two months of constant summer going I hit a hugely anti-social wall. Well, not necessarily anti-social. I thought about inviting Future Mrs. Dirk and World's Worst Wing Woman over last night either before they went out or instead of them going out. It seemed like a lovely night for deck drinking. Plus, Saturday is the Pizza Luce Block Party and I am all kinds of excited about it and having my before-during-and-after party.

So, it's not me being anti-social. I very strongly considered meeting those girls out for a drink last night, despite my car anxiety and impending fiduciary difficulties. But I wanted to stay home. I baked a cake yesterday. My apartment was freshly cleaned and I had done laundry. I was moved to organize shelves and do some rearranging of kitchen cupboards and I even added a few more too-big clothing items to my Goodwill bag. I am thoroughly enjoying my clean, good-smelling apartment. Shit. I even slept got eight hours of sleep last night. I've watched baseball (Twins are in first place!), basketball and football today (I cannot believe they're cutting away from the game to show Brett Favre arriving at the airport in Green Bay. *rolleyes*).

I can't explain it, but I certainly don't mind it. I don't want to go out, but I am more than happy to entertain people here. I want to cook and bake. I want to organize. I don't so much want to clean, but I kind of have to do that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to look for more recipes for appetizers to make for Saturday.

02 August 2008

Going carless.

Last summer, I discussed my dilemma about what I'm going to do when the Achieva finally dies. And wouldn't you know it, here I am really facing the issue.

My transmission is failing. I barely got up in time to go to yoga today and I hopped in the car, started her up and ... it wouldn't move after I put it in gear. Um, well, that's not right. So no yoga. I walked around the lake instead. Quite frankly, I think a five-mile walk (second day in a row, by the way) is a bit of a better workout than yoga, anyway.

So I finally got around to having my car towed and while I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't be something really expensive, somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice was saying, "It's the tranny!" I don't know much about cars, but dammit if I'm not good about guessing what horrible thing is about to befall my transportation.

The Achieva is at the shop right now, having her transmission flushed and replenished with new fluids and a filter and all that. Hopefully it will buy me some time. "Maybe a day, maybe a week. Maybe five years." HA! Five years. I wish. Regardless, I am not at a place where I have money around for a down payment on a new car. Nor can I afford a car payment plus high-as-fuck gas prices. If I could get the tranny replaced somewhere near home, it would be cheaper. If it goes on my dad's fleet bill, I would have time to pay it off. That's the only option that involves me keeping the ol' girl. And quite frankly, I don't think it's the most terrible idea ever, but I am guessing the 'rents won't agree with me.

So really, I am finally at the place where I'm going to be going carless. And it's not going be easy. It wouldn't be a big deal if I never had a car or only had a car for a while. But I've been driving since I was 15. The only time I didn't have a car was my freshman year of college. I got by then, but I had a bike and my life was mostly on campus. That's not so much the case now, but a huge portion of my life is in Minneapolis and in my neighborhood.

I'll probably switch my gym membership from Bally to the YWCA, because it's closer. The 21 bus runs every 10 or 15 minutes, so if I decided to bus instead of walk (hello, winter!) it wouldn't add horrible amounts of time to my schedule. I have no problem going often enough to get my health insurance to knock off almost half the monthly price, which makes the monthly membership identical to my cheap-ass Bally membership.

I'll almost certainly sign up for Hour Car. That will allow me to still head out to the 'burbs to babysit my nephew (which, now that I think about it, won't be something I need to do much longer) or go to his football games or go to family stuff.

Busing to work will be the norm again. I was on the bus heading downtown the other night to go to the Twins game and I decided that when it stopped being disgustingly hot, I would start taking the bus to work again. It's strange, but I kinda miss it. Driving to work is the suck. It's like when I used to work retail -- I hated it a lot of the time, but I'll be damned if I don't still miss it from time to time. Even all these years later.

Breaking all of this to my family won't be fun. They freaked out last year when I started talking about ditching my car and going all public transportation, augmented by Hour Car. And I suppose renting a car if I have to go home for a weekend or something. However, I have to do what is right for me. It's my life, right? Hey, if you want to buy me a car, I won't say no. And I'm sorry I've failed you by not having plenty of money around for when this kind of thing happens. Yeah, I've made some poor financial decisions in my day, but Jesus, I've been unemployed this year and my student loan payments are not cheap. Fucking graduate school.

I don't want to have this discussion with my family. They will make me feel like shit and a failure and all that. Oh what fun! However, this does give me a really good reason to maybe look for a new job ... one closer to home and slightly more public transportation friendly? Though, I think my commute will be pretty close to what it was when I was busing to my old job.

Bah. Today hasn't been the most fun day ever.

01 August 2008

Famous last words.

I am not going to do anything this weekend. I'm serious. I said the same thing early last week, but by Wednesday I was booked up. But not this week. It's Friday afternoon and I have zero plans.

Sure, it's summer and there is a ton of stuff to do. Yes, I will have plenty of opportunities to stock up on my alone time in the winter. But I wouldn't mind a little downtime right now. Next weekend is the Irish Fair and Pizza Luce Block Party. I can't remember the last weekend night I stayed home. Or if I was home, that I didn't have people over. I didn't even sleep in my own bed last weekend. And it's not like I went away for the weekend or anything.

And okay, it's not like I'm just going to lay on my couch and do absolutely nothing this weekend. I'm going to go to the gym. Hopefully I will wake up in time to make it to yoga tomorrow. I'm loathe to set an alarm on the weekends and sometimes I wake up just 10 minutes later than I need to and miss class. Boo! I'm also going to clean and probably try a couple of new recipes (because it so makes sense to cook when it's hot as balls out there). I'm going to watch baseball. Tomorrow night, I'm going to watch baseball and football! (Mmmmmm ... Matt Leinart.) I'm going to clear the Shark Week shows off my DVR and I'm going to play Wii.

I will not be having impromptu parties. Nor will I be engaging in any late-night shenanigans with The Boy. I won't be going for any "Hey, let's have a happy hour drink and come home eight hours later drunk and broke," activities either.

I will be drinking, though. There are some things a girl just needs to do.