Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yes, ok. I shot the sheriff. But I did NOT shoot the deputy.

So, my blog used to be funny sometimes, way back when I first started it. Now I'm usually too tired to do anything but post random stuff that is funny to me and RR but not to pretty much anyone else on the planet. That's ok, though, because she's basically the only person that reads it. So I mostly write stuff for her amusement.

This really, really does not make my blog funny. RR and I have a long list of things that we find really hilarious that even we recognize is, objectively speaking, not even remotely amusing. I don't know if it's because we're sisters or because we've spent too much time together. I’m confident that none of the stuff on that list would make it into a successful comedy routine. This list includes things like accidentally saying words that don’t exist (like the time one of us tried to say "exactly" but we said "presaply" instead*); waving at trees as we drive past them, saying “hi, guys!”; and intentionally using a strong Texas accent when speaking french.

Another item on that list is reciting song lyrics as part of a conversation. I don’t mean quoting them as in “yeah, man, it’s like the song says . . . .” I mean acting like we are not quoting anything, just talking. We still crack up at remembering the time in high school that our friend came into the social studies office and declared with a straight face that life was a highway, and she wanted to drive it. All night long. Why this is so funny to us, I do not know.

The key component to making this funny (to us) is to make sure that you do not use the emphasis and cadence of the song as it is sung. You also have to put on a serious, “here’s a deep thought for you” face. Also, it’s really only funny if the person to whom you are speaking knows what you are doing and plays along.

Of course, we also think it’s funny to repeat back what the other person just said as though we had just thought of it. “I think we should put the pie crust in for 10 minutes instead of 12.” “Actually, you know what? I think we should just put it in for 10 minutes.” “That’s a really good idea, but I think 10 minutes would be better.” “Yeah, I see what you mean, but my suggestion would be to go with 10 minutes.” “Huh. I had not thought about that. Well, I have an idea, how about 10 minutes instead?”

We recognize that those conversations go on way longer than they should.

We also like to do the suspicious eyebrow raise back and forth at each other. But last night for some reason when I was doing this, I got a foot cramp, so just in case those two things are related, I might not be doing that anymore.

Also funny to me: when I try to go to the I'm Not Benny blog, about 90% of the time, I accidentally type "im not beeny." I like his blog because once he mentioned that he has large eyeballs, and though he may have been(y) joking, I could totally identify, as I wear the contact lens equivalent of granny panties.

Beeny. Cracks me up.

Sad, huh?

Not funny to me: carrying the conversation at the weekly work lunch that our work group takes.

I really thought I'd blogged about this before, but I can't find it. Anyway. So. Work lunch.

There are four of us in our work group: our boss and then three of us that report to her. We go to lunch together almost every week. The lunch is almost always at least--at least--two hours. There is no good reason for it to take that long, it just does.

These lunches are exhausting for me because I am an introvert, and I usually use my lunch break to get away from people so that I can make it through the afternoon. At some of my former jobs, I'd sometimes eat lunch in my car just to get a break. But on work group lunch days, not only do I not get a break, but I have to actively participate in the conversation. My two coworkers who are not my boss have told me, repeatedly, that when I'm not there, there isn't much talking. I was very surprised by this, but it did explain why when I can't make the lunch one day, they will almost always reschedule it for a day when I can be there.

We only spend a little bit of time talking about sustantive work stuff. Other than three recurring topics, I don't like to gossip about my coworkers (those topics are: "Further Proof That Coworker A Has Gone 'Round the Bend"; "Further Proof That Coworker B Is Sexist And Also Very Patronizing For Someone With Such A Tenuous Grasp Of The Law"; and "Coworker C: Why So Angry?"). And I don't want to talk about my private life, or anything about pop culture that might give insight into my likes or dislikes or what I do in my spare time (a/k/a private life) because I am a little bit protective of said private life. Perhaps irrationally so.

I've always been this way. Even back in the sixth grade, when I would get a letter from my pen pal, and my mom would ask me who I got a letter from, I was always so offended that she would intrude into something that didn't concern her. Because obviously the mother of a preteen doesn't need to know who her daughter is getting mail from.

It's not much different now. Ask me what I'm watching on t.v. right now. Answer: if it were any of your business, I would have already told you.

I recognize that I'm a little crazy about it. But it works the other way, too. I totally respect other people's privacy. When my boss said she'd be out of the office for a few days because she was having surgery, I did not ask what kind or if it was serious. She might have thought it was disinterest, but it was just me respecting her privacy---if she'd wanted me to know, she'd have told me. It was also a little bit disinterest. I'm kind of a cold person sometimes. But even if this had been my best friend telling me this, I would have just hoped that she'd tell me what kind of surgery. I wouldn't ask because that's information you give out to the people you want to have it.

But the upside of my privacy weirdness, if you have incriminating stuff that you don't want people to know about, when I come over, you can just leave it lying around. In fact, if I had to get something from your desk, and I saw that there was a document on your desk with the heading "Confession" and the subheading "To Be Sent To The Police After My Death," I wouldn't read it. Because I respect your privacy.

Also, I would probably realize that if I read it, I might have to take some sort of action, and in addition to being cold, I am lazy. But mostly, I would recognize that it's just none of my business.

So, anyway, I don't want to talk about my private life with my boss, who is a caring person that I'm quite fond of but who absolutely refuses to recognize boundaries, even when they are pointed out to her. Even when she hits them with her car, puts the car in reverse, and then backs over them. Thus, she is on a need-to-know basis with respect to my personal life.

To make a long story short (too late), due to a lack of safe conversation topics, I am aware that I neither start the conversation at lunch nor provide much material to keep it going. This left me baffled as to why they supposedly all sit there in silence when I'm not there. But when we went out to lunch the next time after they told me that, I realized why. I am the only one that consistently makes eye contact with our boss. I'm the only one that consistently acknowledges that someone is talking, the only one that consistently responds with appropriate facial expressions and vague comments. One of my other coworkers participates some, but only intermittently. I think she keeps her eye on me to figure out when I'm about to snap, and then she jumps in just long enough to give me a breather.

What the hell, y'all? Why am I the one that has to take the bullet? I guarantee you, I am NOT the person there that's the most interested in what is being talked about. Because we are usually talking about coworkers, my coworker's personal lives, or my boss's personal life, none of which I care about (see: cold, above). The other people in my group care, but I do not. And you know what else I recently realized? They always strategically sit so that I have to face her at lunch. They totally throw me under the bus on that. And they make me sit behind her in the car where, I kid you not, she spends more time looking at me than she does at the road. You know, to see if I'm paying attention to the conversation. I have taken to texting either RR or the coworker sitting next to me, just so that I can avoid eye contact on the drive. My boss is nice, really and truly, but I am an introvert, and I get tired from all the people interaction.

So anyway, weekly lunch day: NOT funny.

Also, work-related: a new low on the laziness. I actually avoided working on something the other day because it would have required me to roll my chair about half a foot and pick up a folder, and that seemed like too much effort. No problems with walking to the break room to get more coffee, though.

Ok, bedtime now.

*I SWEAR I have blogged about this incident, but I can't find it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Possibly I am overreacting, but I'm still sad about it

Yesterday started out on a bad note. Not that I really believe in signs or omens or anything like that, but when I walked out to go to work and found my car covered in (presumably) animal blood, I did kind of wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something.

So, I think some small animal met its untimely death on the top of my car. I didn’t notice it when I put my bag in the passenger side, but when I walked around to the driver’s side, I saw a sizeable pool of blood on the top of my car. Not person-sized, but definitely more than you’d see if maybe two animals got into a fight. Then I noticed that the windshield, hood, and side of my car had blood splatter all over them. It was disgusting, and for me, it was almost unbearably sad.

Obviously, I had to go get a car wash, although it almost seemed disrespectful to whatever it was that died. Driving the car . . . well, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to drive a car splattered with blood, but I wouldn’t recommend the experience. I couldn’t turn on my windshield wipers because I was afraid that, instead of cleaning the blood off the windshield, it would just smear it. Then I wouldn’t be able to see, plus I’d look like I’d been in some sort of hit and run accident. So I just had to peer through the blood pattern. I also didn’t want to drive too fast for fear of causing the blood on the top of the car to fly off and hit other vehicles on the road. Fortunately, the car wash wasn’t far.

The car wash experience wasn’t exactly cathartic. I went through one of those touchless/brushless car washes at the gas station. I don’t know how other people would feel watching blood wash down their windshield, but I felt pretty awful. I thought for sure that I was going to either cry or throw up in my car, but I managed to not do either. Of course, the car wash didn’t get all the spots off, so I still had to go use one of those scrubber/squeegee tools at the gas pump. The whole experience was just . . . it was gross, of course. But it was mostly just depressing. Heaping a final bit of indignity on the late whatever-it-was by scraping its remains off with a squeegee so I could go to work and get on with my life.

I wanted to find the humor in it because that’s how I normally deal with unpleasant situations. Even if I’m complaining, it’s usually really just an offer to others to laugh. That’s kind of the whole point of my blog. If I can make myself or other people laugh at a situation, then I don’t mind it, it’s not that bad. But I couldn’t laugh at this. I accept the whole cycle of life/food chain part of living in theory. I get it. But in practice, I’m just not that comfortable with violent death, be it a person, an animal, or even an insect. Don’t get me wrong, I will kill any bug that I think might kill me or that’s carrying disease (looking at you, evil roaches), but I still feel bad about it.

And then of course, all my food seemed disgusting to me after that because everything reminded me of the blood all over my car. It didn't help that I have OCD (ok, self-diagnosed, but . . . trust me), so all day, it's all I could think about and picture in my mind. Buckwheat muffins? Yep. Yogurt? Yep. Grapes? Yep. Tomatoes? Well, obviously. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the tomatoes.

I feel a little bit better about it today. I just keep telling myself that this really is just how life is, and we can’t all live to be really old and then slip away peacefully in our sleep. But I still don’t think I’ll get to the point where I can laugh about it.

Instead, I’m distracting myself by being irritated at a coworker who SAYS she had food allergies but then eats all the stuff that she says she can’t have. And then offers it to me. And then I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “No, I am ACTUALLY allergic to that, and since I don’t feel like stabbing myself with my epi pin today, I’m going to pass. And if you eat that donut in front of me, if you talk to me about eating that donut, if I can smell the sugar glaze on your breath, I SWEAR I WILL KILL YOU.” I find a little bit of irritation goes along way in distracting me from sad stuff. So that’s what I’m going with.

And I recognize that I'm talking about killing someone after whining about the sadness of some animal's demise. Whenever I threaten to kill someone (pretty much daily), whether out loud (other drivers on the road) or in my head (to my coworkers), to use one of my favorite lines from a t.v. show, "that is what is known as an 'empty threat.'" But it does make me feel better, so I don't know what that says about me.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I don't know where I was going with this

So, I didn’t want to work today. If any of my coworkers (a) knew about my blog and (b) read it, they would be responding to that comment with an eye roll and remark that I say that same thing every single day. They would be wrong. I say that almost every day.

But today it’s not just that the weather was nice (before the clouds and tornado-like winds blew in) and I’d rather be hanging out on a patio with my friends, sippin’ a tasty beverage. Today it’s not work in general, it’s the specific work that I had to do. It’s that my work required me to come up with a very basic explanation for a concept that I’ve already explained, thoroughly, in writing. So it was basically a “this concept for dummies” explanation, complicated by the fact that (a) the person I had to explain it to is higher up than me on the work ladder so deference was required and (b) the person is not actually a dummy (quite the opposite), and I didn’t want my explanation to make it seem like I think she is. I don’t know how to take an explanation of a concept, which I already thought was pretty clear, and make it even more basic in a way that does not come across as patronizing. So I spent two hours writing and rewriting two paragraphs. TWO HOURS. Then I took a break, and then I worked on it for another hour. Maybe if I had more coffee, I could better walk the line between enlightening and insulting. But for me, it was difficult.

So that was my morning. My afternoon wasn't much more productive.

So that was my day.

I wish I could say that I had an eventful weekend, but I didn’t. I went to a housewarming party for a friend of mine, and that was fun, but that was about all I did. RR bonded with a coworker’s girlfriend because they both name their plants. And this morning, that coworker brought me in some tomato plants from his girlfriend, so that was kind of awesome.

Yesterday, we went to my parents house for a little while, and I got to be the insensitive, terrible daughter who tells her parents that she won’t take vacation time to help move furniture out of her grandfather’s house. We’ve been planning to take a family vacation the last week of May, but we never got around to planning anything, and now my family wants to use that time to go clean out my grandfather’s house (he just moved into a nursing home). But I have work stuff going on that week that can’t be rescheduled, so I would have get people to cover for me on some stuff that no one wants to cover for me on, and I hate asking people to do stuff for me that I already know they don't want to do. I would do it if we were taking an actual family vacation, which we haven’t done in a long time, but this is something we could just do on a weekend, so I don't see why I should take vacation time for it.

Plus, and I didn’t get into this with them, but it does seem like whenever RR or I (or my brother for that matter) have time off from work, it becomes “help the family paint the living room,” “help the family put in new flooring,” “go on a road trip to visit family,” etc. It’s to the point where, if my mom asks one of us if we have [whatever the next upcoming holiday is] off from work, we are really tempted to lie and say we don’t. Because if we say yes, there’s at least an 80% chance that we’ll get conscripted into spending it doing something for a family member. And I kind of resent that it’s just a given that it’s my job to do this stuff, instead it just being a favor that I’m not actually obligated to do. And it bothers me that my family seems to feel not at all guilty about it.

Which is not to say that my family isn’t great, because it is, which is why I feel bad for having told my mom so bluntly that I just wasn’t taking vacation time. And now I’m annoyed because I know that I’m going to cave and end up going on that road trip to move furniture. This is why I want to move to another country. Stupid law school debt! If not for you, I could move to Taiwan, get some random job teaching English or cleaning houses or whatever, and marry Jerry Yan.

I kid! I would never marry someone who has better hair than I do. Or who was thinner than I am. Or someone who had been in a boy band. And he is all of those things.




But I would happily be the hair stylist to someone who has better hair than me, because I think that would make my job easy and thereby give me immense job satisfaction. Plus, being a hair stylist is a great excuse to do funky things to your hair, and being a lawyer is kind of the opposite of that. I just don’t see there ever being a time in my career where I could get away with dying my hair blue, and that just makes me sad.

Dear Jerry Yan [or anyone else with good hair and lots of disposable income],

I’m very accomplished with the blow dryer. Just ask what little hair I still have that has managed to stay attached to my scalp despite me attacking it daily with a round brush while I’m attempting to persuade it to be straight instead of curly. Also, the flat iron is my BFF. I do not actually know how to cut hair, as you can tell from looking at my bangs, which I tend to trim on my own rather than trek to the stylist because I am cheap and lazy, even though that makes my bangs look wonky.

So if you have need of someone to blow dry your hair but not actually cut it, and you are willing to compensate me highly for that service, you just give me a call. As an added incentive, I will tell you that I'm very good at listening to other's peoples woes with sympathy, an important skill for a hair stylist.

In fair warning I should tell you that, as my sister will confirm, if the hair stylin’ starts going awry, I have a tendency to just walk away and leave you to fend for yourself with a half-done hairdo that can’t really be salvaged into anything presentable. But one time in college I pulled myself out of bed even though I had the worst hangover ever [WORST.EVER] and managed to fix my friend's hair for a dance she was going to. I don't really drink anymore, so there wouldn't be the danger of me skipping work because of drink-induced vomiting, I'm just telling you that I can play through the pain, so to speak.

But please note that I don’t do shampoos.

impatient chick

On a side note, why is my hair getting so thin lately? I’m not THAT old.

I can see that this post isn’t going anywhere, so I’m just going to end it here.

*I'd like to give credit to whoever took these photos, but I have no idea who that was. But these pics came from JY's facebook page, if you want to see more pictures of awesome hair.