Outside it's pouring rain (again). Inside the office it is really warm and quiet. Add to the mix the fact that I am so bored that I am seriously concerned that I could at any time, lapse into unconsciousness, and what do you end up with? Me physically sitting here at my desk, typing this entry, but mentally reclining on that couch over there near the fishtank, fast asleep.
And speaking of fish, I might add that two new fish arrived yesterday. One of them is a fire clown fish who looks like this and consequently, is my new best friend. The other is a cute, small fish whose job is to eat parasites from the other fishes in order to keep them healthy. Hey, as I told Pinky, it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.
¶ 1:55 PM
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Last night for the second time in a month, I had a dream about singing. And for the second time in a month, I woke up with the same feeling: I have to sing. I have always loved to sing. When I was little my parents would laugh because after they put me to bed they said they would hear me loudly singing every song I could think of (which really consisted mainly of Christmas carols). When I saw Annie for the first time I wanted desperately to be an actress so I could sing like that too. I spent hours sitting in front of the stereo and singing along with the soundtrack. I was always in the chorus at school, but too shy to persue any solo performances.
In my dream last night, I was singing in front of second rate celebrity judges, much like a contestant on American Idol (a show I cannot stand). For some reason I was singing this song (and by the way, you have no idea the hell I went through to find that link).
I feel like I'm supposed to do something, but what? I don't need to go on American Idol, or even become a famous singer. I'd just like to add a little more singing to my life, although it doesn't have to be that song in particular.
¶ 4:05 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
For the third straight day it is dark and gloomy and cold. I guess it's actually the fifth straight day but I wasn't even thinking about the weekend. It's making me feel lethargic and apathetic so today, just for fun, let's see how many shows we can think of whose main group of characters includes a professor. Off the top of my head, I can think of twoshows.
¶ 5:20 PM
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
I have become obsessed with Colonial House. This is the kind of reality show that should be prevalent, something educational. What's so amazing about it is watching what people went through and how they persevered and survived. It's pretty impressive when you think about it.
As far as living in Colonial House, it may be a lot of hard work, no bathrooms or showers, and no decent food, but the big problem for me would be the bugs. I don't even mind the flying ones so much, but all the crawly ones are the real problem. I could not fall asleep at night wondering if bugs were going to crawl on me. One of the greatest modern inventions is not television, microwave ovens, or the world wide web, it's window screens.
One thing I've always thought would be fun would be to go back in time to the 1600's and bring someone back to the present time. I used to think how fun it would be to show them all the stuff we have and all the things we can do easily.
But now I wonder if it wouldn't be sort of mean. Either the poor person would be scared to death, or they would get so used to living with all of these modern conveniences and then they'd have to go back to their own time. Maybe they'd bring something back with them, smuggled in their pocket. Something small but technological, like a cell phone or a palm pilot. That could seriously mess up the space-time continuum and I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. Well forget that idea.
¶ 4:29 PM
Monday, May 24, 2004
Announcing "about"!! Did you ever wish you knew just a little more about me? Well now you can! Just click the "about" link you see over on the right over there, and you will suddenly have access to a whole bunch of random trivia about me! More than you ever wanted to know in fact! Enjoy!
¶ 5:23 PM
Friday, May 21, 2004
I find that I have an amazing ability for rote memorization. I have been known to amuse my coworkers when they decide to try to test me and call out a name and I rapid-fire reply the extension number. Of course, they don't know everyone else's extension by heart so they probably wouldn't even know if I got it wrong. Sometimes I put myself to sleep at night by mentally reciting names and extension numbers.
Since I've taken on all of the travel arrangements for my company, I recently discovered that I seem to have memorized every three letter airport code in the continental United States. Kansas City? MCI. Chicago O'Hare? ORD. Greensboro North Carolina? GSO. Reagan National? DCA. I could go on, but I sense you get the idea.
While this is all very impressive, I'm at a loss to explain how my brain works because some things refuse to stick. We have six conference rooms here named after six local beaches. And every single time someone calls to be transferred into one of them, I have to look up the extension. I think it's interesting because somehow my brain must be associating numbers with people and as all the conference rooms are similar to me and have similar sounding names I guess I just don't have any way of remembering them.
I also think it's neat how I can have this ridiculous amount of truly inane information stored in my head but as soon as it's no longer needed, it disappears. For example, when I was 15 I worked at a grocery store and I had all the produce codes memorized so I could type them into the cash register. However I couldn't tell you today the code for peaches, apples, brussel sprouts, or acorn squash. Where did that information go? Is it still someplace hidden away in my brain accessible only through hypnosis? Or is it just simply gone? I know that someday I won't be able to recite extension numbers and airport codes either.
¶ 5:15 PM
Thursday, May 20, 2004
When I was little people used to sing this song to me. The people who sang it were always elderly and always said it was an old song they remembered. As the years went by I stopped hearing this song from kindly old strangers. I assumed that it was because the people who were old enough to remember the song were... no longer with us.
This morning an older coworker came by my desk and started singing that funny old song. In my excitement I told him that I didn't think anyone knew that song anymore and before long he was sharing stories with me about the good old days. I just wish someone was old enough to tell me the origins and time period of that song before no one remembers it.
¶ 10:52 AM
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Last night as we were eating dinner in front of the television, my roommate casually announced that on Monday she's getting a nose job. I nearly spit out my food. "Are you sure?" I asked, because, after all, it was the first I'd heard of it.
I have never known anyone who has undergone cosmetic surgery before. I mean sure, we all have our own insecurities but I just think it's kind of a big deal to permenantly modify your natural features. I am not against it per se, it just makes me a little uneasy, sort of like the idea of getting a tattoo - you know, yeah, sometimes you think it might be cool, but in the end, you're just not sure you could live with it when you're 70.
What's most surprising is that my roommate has always seemed so... confident. She is a former sorority girl who wears perfectly ironed pants and gets up early to straighten her hair. She makes her bed every morning before work. She has dinner parties for her parents who bring wine as a hostess gift. She has decorated our apartment in a way that one of my friends summed up perfectly when she said, "oh, you have a big girl place!", meaning our living room could be featured in one of those decorating magazines rather than looking like a dorm room. We've got the fake tree, the vase full of sticks, the matching throw pillows, the fresh flowers, and she has never once mentioned any dissatisfaction with her nose.
Besides after haphazardly seeing this one night while flipping through channels and having to literally cover my eyes, the idea of plastic surgery just makes me squeamish. I think I'll just stick with my own face, thanks.
¶ 4:35 PM
Monday, May 17, 2004
I got lunch from a Mexican place today. When I placed my order, the girl behind the counter asked for my name. It seems they have started a new practice of asking for people's names so that they don't have to just yell out a number. I told her my name and I heard her repeat it back to me clearly, "Katie". As I stood near the counter waiting to pick up my order, listening to the jaunty Mexican music playing loudly, I examined my receipt. On my printed receipt, there was my name, "Keiry". That's right, Keiry. I wondered how she could have mispelled it so badly when she repeated it so clearly.
A different girl was bringing orders to the counter and as she placed one down she looked at me and said, "Are you Rich?" I said no and thought about how funny that was that she asked me. Sure she was foreign and perhaps not so familiar with American names, but I don't think I look like a "Rich". I laughed a little to myself.
The next order was up and the girl put it on the counter and again looked at me. "Are you Steve?" she asked. Again, I answered in the negative. It's a good thing that I am confident of the fact that I look like a girl or I would've really been having an identity crisis. I found the whole thing quite amusing, but I wondered where my order was. I was getting very hungry.
Finally, she placed another order on the counter and said, "Keiry?" and I rushed up excitedly to get my food and replied, "Did you say Keiry? That's me!"
¶ 4:37 PM
Friday, May 14, 2004
The other day I had reason to matter-of-factly utter the following statement: "oh by the way, if there's ever a bug on me, don't say, 'there's a bug on you', just get the bug off me and then you can say 'there was a bug on you'." The phrase "there's a bug on you" must be one of the worst sentences to hear in the English language. I think we've all heard this once or twice and I know for me personally, the result is screaming and jumping up and down in order to shake (or scare) the bug off.
When interviewing potential roommates I have, in the past, been known to inquire how they feel about being woken up at random times during the night in order to kill a spider or to come home after a long day of work and dispose of a bug body that has been squished under a large book. After all, it's important that one of us can handle these unpleasant necessities of life.
¶ 8:25 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I wish I was a more technical person who knew how to add sections and fun things to this, my own little corner of the web. If I did, then I would add a section just for stories about the weird calls I get here at work. Instead I'll just keep posting them and you can either say "Oh goody! Another weird caller story!" or "Oh boy, not another weird caller story, will she stop writing about those already?!"
The phone rang. I answered, "Good morning, (name of company inserted here)" and the caller, a soft spoken man with a southern accent said, "hi, I have a question." I hesitantly replied, "um, o.k." wanting to sound noncommittal because you never know what the question may be and if I even know the answer.
He then explained that he had Windows 98 and he was trying to install it but he "did a stupid thing". He left the disc out on the floor and his wife didn't see it so she stepped on it by accident. At this point of his diatribe, I had to break in, "um, are you sure you're looking for (name of company inserted here)? Because we don't deal with hardware, we are a (company business inserted here and sorry for all the secrecy but you know how it is when you update your blog from work - big brother and all that) company." He insisted that yes, he had reached the right company and that he wanted to get a new disc even though he had the (something or other bunch of letters and numbers inserted here and not for secrecy, but because I had no idea what he was talking about.) I said, "I have no idea what you're talking about. We don't do anything like that here." and he apologized for bothering me and then hung up.
I'm not an oracle folks, I cannot solve all of life's problems and answer all existential questions. (Although wouldn't it be neat if I could? People could call me and say "what should I have for dinner tonight?" and I would pause and then say authoritatively, "spaghetti and meatballs." or they would ask, "what should I do about my deep seated fear of intimacy and contrasting need for companionship?" and I would say, "go shopping, you'll feel better.") What was he looking for from me, really? Confirmation that he's not stupid for leaving a disc on the floor? Reassurance that his wife should have watched her step? Validation for all of his inadequacies? I don't know but he definately had the wrong number.
¶ 11:34 AM
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Looks like I'm going to have to start bringing sunscreen to work. Surprisingly my supervisor has agreed to have the weekly department meeting outside at the picnic table. This meeting which has been since it's inception referred to (by me) as "the dreaded meeting" was dreaded because of a long ago traumatic meeting incident which has negatively colored all meetings since.
Previous to the commencement of the dreaded meetings, I had a blissful meeting-free life at this company thus far. Apparently I'm now important enough to be included in departmental meetings. In a desperate attempt to make the dreaded meeting more tolerable, I half jokingly asked, "can we meet outside?" and for once things went my way and it felt good.
Today was our first meeting outside and it was squelching hot and in the span of an hour and 15 minutes I have turned the golden red color of a fresh lobster. Now when people say, "what did you do at work today?" I can say, "oh you know, I worked on my tan."
¶ 4:57 PM
Monday, May 10, 2004
Today I was presented with a gold coin. Well, it's not really gold and it's not really a coin, but it is my company's version of a gold coin. At some undetermined time in the future people will be able to trade in their gold coins for some as yet unknown prizes.
I got my gold coin for figuring out how to do something in the new version of Word that we had all been struggling with. I have to confess that the only reason I figured it out was because my supervisor was urging me to call Microsoft to get help and I was resistant enough to that idea to just figure the darn thing out myself. Well, I guess frustration is the mother of invention... or something. In a way I feel a little guilty for recieving the gold coin - a supposed symbol of going above and beyond - because I was whining and complaining as much as anyone else. However, I added it to my gold coin collection, bringing my grand total up to two.
I wonder what the prizes are going to be. Somehow I envision it will be sort of like skeeball where you collect a million tickets and then get to choose between a rabbit's foot keychain and a plastic back scratcher. But you never know.
¶ 5:20 PM
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Here it is, the eve of the final episode of Friends. I haven't watched it very much this year but I do feel like it's the end of an era. After all, we used to gather in someone's room in college to watch it. That and 90210, Melrose Place, and of course Seinfeld. I shudder to think what college kids are watching in the dorms today. Where have all the good shows gone?
Speaking of college, I ran into someone from the distant past today. That's always a weird experience.
Additionally, a twenty-two year old coworker had some insightful and supportive things to say to me. I was impressed.
And finally, tonight is the book club. I don't know how I managed to do it, but I read twobooks in four weeks in preparation for tonight. They told me this could be my turn to choose the book for the month but I don't know if I'm ready for the responsibility. I love getting book recommendations though so if anyone has any ideas of books for my book club, please let me know. Maybe I'll collect ideas now and tell them I'll choose next month.
By the way, the main reason I'm going tonight is because of the comment regarding the synchronicity of hearing a song just after reading almost the same phrase in one of the book club books. I am a firm believer in synchronicity so I don't know why I didn't see it myself. Luckily it was pointed out to me - confirmation that I should stick with the book club. Thanks Smash!
¶ 4:55 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Ever since I started cooking I end up having to go grocery shopping every weekend. I have my own system. First, I select 2 or 3 dinner recipes for the week and then I make a list of the ingredients. Next, I go to the grocery store, mindful not to get more than can be carried into my apartment in one trip.
Sometimes I wish I didn't have to go every week, but things just don't stay fresh forever. My fridge too often feels like a graveyard for rotting vegetables. My roommate and I clean it out on a fairly regular basis but every now and then I pull something out of the back of the produce drawer that has become brown and liquidy. Now there is an episode of Fear Factor for you. Who is brave enough to eat the contents of my produce drawer?
I've been saying for years that food should be sold in portions which are just right for people who cook for one. I can't tell you how much food I end up throwing out because I only need a little and the rest goes bad. (If my mom was reading this she would be so mad at me right now, yikes!) Case in point - vegetables. If I'm making soup that calls for one stalk of celery, diced, why do I need to buy a whole bag? Likewise with carrots. And how about bread? Or eggs? And I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. In this day and age there are so many singles living in apartments on their own trying to cultivate a stable, domestic atmosphere. Why should we be forced to get take out every night? There is a whole demographic out there just waiting to be harvested.
When I was little and I'd ask my mom what was for dinner, I'd dread the nights her reply was "leftovers". "Left over what?" I'd ask. "Just leftovers," she'd say. And then I saw this movie and got really freaked out. Usually our leftovers were much more benign, but they did consist of a compilation of dinners-past in various states of freshness. Perhaps that's why to this day I have a lingering aversion to leftovers. I'll make a whole casserole and proudly tell my mom what I made and she'll say, "You're not going to end up throwing it out are you? You know, you could probably get several more meals out of those leftovers."
¶ 5:26 PM
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Have you ever gotten up from your desk, only to realize your foot has fallen asleep, and then you try to walk and you end up clomping down the hall off balance, feeling like you are going to fall over because your foot is reluctant to support your own weight? Just checking.
¶ 4:39 PM
Monday, May 03, 2004
This is so Junior High. There are a group of us girls here at work who order lunches together on Fridays, take people out for drinks when they are leaving the company, sign group birthday cards for each other, etc. I don't usually hang out with any of these girls outside of work, but only because everyone has their own thing going on (boyfriends, families, whatever). However, anytime I have a get together at my place or something going on, I always invite these girls.
This morning I found out that one of them had an open house Saturday at her new apartment. Someone asked me if I had gone. Well, that was the first I heard of it. I know for a fact that at least two girls out of the group had been invited and I wouldn't be surprised if the rest were as well. The girl who told me felt terrible and begged me not to say anything. She just assumed I would've been invited.
I don't know if this was deliberate or an oversight or what but either way I feel really insulted. Especially because I have invited this girl to things in the past. She and I have worked very closely together, confided in each other, and shared stories. So what do I do? Do I say something to her? Is there really any point? Do I have a party of my own and purposely invite everyone but her? Hey, I warned you up front that this was going to be juvenile. But be that as it may, my feelings are still hurt.
¶ 9:42 AM