Coffee Table Declarations
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
For those of you who are not familiar with it, Scattergories is a game where you get a list of random things such as "things you'd eat at a picnic" or "famous authors" and someone rolls the many-sided dice with letters on it and whatever it lands on, you have to list things that are in each random category on your list but the things can only start with the designated letter. There's also a timer so you have to do it fast.

I went to my parents' house on Easter and the three of us ended up playing Scattergories. We had the most fun with "O". I was impressed with myself for listing "outer space" as "things found in science fiction movies". But my mom got the same answer which means neither of us got the point. One of the categories on the list was "things found in the White House". I thought it was obvious enough and answered "oval office" (for two points because of the two "O"s) but once again my mom and I were thinking alike and we didn't get any points.

I was telling this whole story to a friend I work with who also loves to play Scattergories. I was telling her how strange it was that my mom and I kept answering the same. Then I asked her "What would you say for 'things found in the White House' and it has to start with 'O'?" She replied nonchalantly and without hesitation, "oral sex". Now see? That would've been a unique enough answer to get me a point. Why didn't I think of that?
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sometimes the way my mind works is so amusing. I don't know if things like this happen to other people or if this will even impress anyone else the way it impressed me, but here goes. And keep in mind that I didn't think about this at all, it just popped into my mind fully formed.

Remember in Back to the Future when Michael J. Fox keeps looking at the picture of his brother that's disappearing and remember how towards the end when he's playing the guitar and his parents are dancing together at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, he whips out the picture and sees that his brother is coming back? And you know how at that moment he realizes that the course of things has been changed, that the space time continuum has been altered and he knows that now things are going to continue on the right path toward the future?

Well there you go. That's my analogy for something that recently occurred. Something that had nothing to do with time travel, disappearing photography, or Michael J. Fox. And yet it is so apropos. Instead of simply understanding what I was feeling as, "recent developments have put things back on the right path", my mind comes up with an elaborate Back to the Future analogy which then brings me around to the realization that, "Hmmm... Back to the Future... Enchantment Under the Sea... oh, I get it! Recent developments have put things back on the right path!" Does anyone else think like this?
Thursday, March 24, 2005
After a night of feeling like the rug had just been pulled out from under me, I woke up the next morning with a thought so obvious, I don't know why I didn't think it sooner. My thought was - C and M don't want to get an apartment? That's fine. I can get my unique 70's pad that they didn't even like! I felt a drive and determination and most of all, a renewed faith in the universe to provide. I carefully focused my intentions on my plan.

I got to work and emailed the realtor telling him C and M had bailed, and that I wanted that apartment he'd shown us. I said I was confident I could find two other people to share it with and what did I need to do to get that place? Then I immediately posted an ad about the apartment and what I was looking for and I politely asked the universe or any higher power who may have been listening to help. Within an hour there was a response to my post from a girl who we'll call G. She was great - funny, friendly, and answered all the questions right.

G and I emailed back and forth for a couple of days and we planned to meet and the realtor agreed to join us in order to show us the apartment. We even had some good potentials for our third person, one of which I arranged to meet us for the evening's apartment showing. I felt nervous and excited - everything was working out great... too great.

The morning of the meeting I got an email from the realtor which said the apartment was gone. The landlord had accepted new tenants just the night before. I felt sick. My beautiful swinging 70's apartment was gone. Filled with shock and disbelief, I emailed the girls I was meeting that evening with the bad news. I told them if they didn't want to meet I would understand. Even as I typed I was getting more responses to the ad about the place. I felt like I had been misrepresented myself all over the internet.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
And now for another apartment update. Mostly because, well, who hasn't been waiting with baited breath for an apartment update? I'm so far behind in my updates because I just can't write at the speed of life so let me take you back in time to where we last left off from this compelling and drawn out story.

I had found that hip 70's pad and the two young ladies who were my intended roommates-to-be did not share my enthusiasm for it's groovy swinging vibe. Fortunately, the three of us saw another apartment we all liked and could agree on. It had two levels with bedrooms and a bath upstairs plus another bathroom downstairs, and it had nooks. Nooks! There were two of them; on the first level the nook was about half the size of a regular room and could be designated a study, a library, a computer room, a guest bedroom, or what have you. The upstairs nook was much like an oversized closet but plenty big enough for a computer desk, a comfy arm chair, or an oversized closet.

I explained to C and M, (the two potential roommates for those of you playing along at home), that I needed a commitment from them that this was definately going to happen. If I told my landlord I was moving out then that would be it, no going back. I'd be living in my car if plans fell through. They promised to let me know for sure the next day. I was worried a bit about M, the one who was completely overwhelmed about school, work, and whatnot, and had expressed that this wasn't the best time for her to move. I didn't want to burn any bridges until I had something definate lined up.

Late the next night C called to tell me her decision. I was shocked when she said that she wasn't ready to move in with someone she didn't know (or out from her boyfriend's place). I didn't know what to say so I sat there in the dark, holding the phone to my ear and saying "o.k." eight thousand times. I couldn't believe it. We had spent a week and a half together riding around and looking at apartments. We had been having a great time together and she seemed to be all for getting an apartment. And what about the fate that had delivered us to the office of the realtor I had been emailing with? What about that?

I hung up the phone feeling like I had just been broken up with. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and telling myself, "she'll change her mind, she'll be back." If I had started playing the Cure or Morrissey it would've just completed the picture of how I was feeling. But don't feel bad for me because there is (of course) more to this story!
Friday, March 18, 2005
When I walked in this morning there was a giant inflatable rabbit sitting at my desk. And by sitting, I mean he was propped just so between my desk and chair, facing the computer and answering the telephone. This prompted me to remark, "see, even a giant inflatable rabbit can do my job."

* * * * *

Now why don't you all go over and visit my new friend Flavia! She has just started her own blog so please stop by and say hello! Flavia was my Great International Secret Blog Exchange gift package sender! She sent me an awesome package full of goodies from Australia. There were toys, chocolates, candles, a postcard, and the very best of all, a koala in a can!! I was happy to let him out of the can in which he traveled around the world. He was glad to breath in the fresh air again, even though he found himself in a strange country. He immediately settled right in and began to get acclimated to his new surroundings. Thanks Flavia!!
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I got the weirdest phone call last night before I left work... the caller knew it was me, saying my name, and then told me to guess who he was. I guessed something and I can't be sure what transpired but now I'm just hoping it was not the person I guessed. All I know was that a lot of whispering went on and I wasn't sure what was being said or even who I was speaking to. It was all very confusing and I ended up hanging up.

My point is that answering the phones is a pain in the neck for (among other reasons) the very fact that you become a captive audience. You can't not answer - it's your job. You can't disguise your voice - it's already out there. It's not like when bill collectors used to call and I would politely tell them I was not there at the moment and could I take a message? Now I have the blissful invention known as caller ID at home and I never get stuck talking to someone I don't want to talk to.

But at work, people can find me and I don't like it. Not just strange whisperers, but coworkers that need my help, or sales people asking 20 questions, or wrong numbers, or prank callers, I have to deal with it all. It must be karmic retribution for all those times I avoided bill collectors by "forgetting" to give myself the message.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
I'd just like to say hello to my new friend Vivi. Recently Vivi and Tracey organized the Great International Secret Blog Exchange and it was a blast! Vivi was chosen at random to be my recipient and I sent her some Boston memorabilia as well as some things she requested. You can read about it here. I also just recieved my awesome gift package from a sweet girl in Australia! I will be writing all about that in more detail this week so stay tuned.
Friday, March 11, 2005
My mother's powers of mental recall are astounding. Last night she told me that she ran into an old friend of mine at the library. As everyone knows, my mom works at the library. Apparently a young lady came in and my mom must have recognized the name on her library card or something, because acting on instinct, my mom asked her if she grew up in (same-town-I-grew-up-in) and if she had gone to (same-elementary-school-I-went-to). When both questions were answered in the affirmative my mom told her "you knew my daughter", which resulted in much cheerful reminiscing of our friendship and ended with my mom getting her business card and promising her that I would send her an email. My mom was truly enthusiastic about the whole thing asking me, "do you want me to tell you what her email address is so you can email her tomorrow?" to which I replied, "that's o.k., I don't have to email her tomorrow" and my mother protested, "but she seemed so happy that she'd be hearing from you!"

O.K., first of all? I was friends with this girl for several months in the fifth grade. Granted that friendships at that age can be really intense - I went to her house almost every day, we had many slumber parties, etc. However, that was literally and figuratively, twenty years ago. How my mom recovered this information from deeply hidden vault in her brain, I'll never know. What I remember is that this girl and I were really into barbies, mad libs, and stickers.

And here's where the story takes a dramatic turn for the ugly. In fifth grade we periodically got to order books and whatnot from a little catalog that was sent home with us after school. I don't know the exact details, but they aren't important in this case. The thing that is important is that I happily ordered a page of stickers that looked like stamps with little faces and words on them called, I think, Lickety Stickers, or something. I was so excited to get my lickety stickers. They seemed like so very many stickers to have at one time - a whole page! Of small stamp-like stickers!

Finally the longed for day came to pass when my lickety stickers arrived. I looked at them briefly and then tenderly put them in my backpack to take home and enjoy later to their full lickety stickerness. And then sometime after recess I noticed something terrible. My lickety stickers were gone. They weren't in my backpack any more and I was so upset. It was heartbreaking really. I told the teacher but we couldn't find them. Of course I told my dearest-sticker-loving friend how sad I was and she was ever so understanding.

The lickety stickers were never found. Several days later, I was sleeping over at that friend's house and casually flipping through her sticker book (a large photo album full of stickers). There, on one page, was a whole sheet of lickety stickers that I hadn't noticed before. I asked her sister (who happened to be in the room at that time but my friend wasn't) if it was possible my friend had stolen my lickety stickers. The sister replied, "oh yeah, she does that all the time." She does that all the time! When my friend returned to the room I confronted her - "are these MY lickety stickers?" She assured me they were hers but I wasn't buying it. I think I may have right then and there called my mom to pick me up.

After that night I stopped speaking to her. A couple weeks later, a girl had brought in a huge, fabulous sticker book to show the class. She started to cry when later in the day the book went missing. I discreetly asked the teacher if I could go to the coatroom for a moment where I then, acting on a hunch, took a sneak peak into Sticker Stealer's backpack. Sure enough, there was the prized sticker book belonging to the other girl. I was able to explain the whole thing to the teacher without causing a big to-do and the other girl was eternally grateful to me. I was so happy I saved someone else from the trauma I had experienced but even that heroism wasn't enough to bring back my lickety stickers.

And this Sticker Stealing girl is the very same girl my mom ran into last night who seemed thrilled by the idea of getting back in touch. I gently reminded my mom that I believe she had stolen some lickety stickers from me two decades ago and my mom said, "really? She mentioned something about how SHE had given some of her stickers to YOU." She what?? Are you even kidding me?

So my question for you is this, what do I do? My mom was so pleased with herself and I simply can't let her down by not emailing this girl. Especially because my mom might run into her again and that would be embarrassing. But silly as it sounds, I'm still a little angry. Is it worth holding a grudge for twenty years over stickers? Or is she now a fine upstanding citizen who deserves a chance? And if we do get together to catch up on old times, how can I be sure my valuables will be protected?
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Can't talk right now I'm off to either:

A. sign a lease on a new apartment,


B. not sign a lease and shatter someone's hopes and dreams.

I hate this kind of quandry but see, it all depends on the parking situation. If it costs extra then it's really not even worth the trouble for me to move because I won't be saving much and I won't have a porch or even a dishwasher. But if the parking is free, then I will be living in a two level in walkable distance to restaurants! Restaurants are a huge priority when deciding where to live. I'm writing so fast, I hope this made sense!
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I'd like to tell you a little story about a spider I encountered today.

I went into the ladies room after drinking two cups of coffee and plenty of water. I was just about to sit down when I noticed something dark on the white wall above. I had to squint to be sure, since it was a little distance away from me and I'm a bit nearsighted (which, when you think about it, could make a person all the more vulnerable to encountering a spider unaware). Indeed it was a spider. The large brown kind of spider that used to torment me in my first apartment which was in an old house.

Nervously, I proceeded to drop my pants, keeping one eye on the wall the whole time. Then I quickly got the heck out of the bathroom (after washing my hands of course, spiders are no excuse for neglecting good hygiene. Well, at long as they are nowhere near the sink that is.)

I sent an email to one of my coworkers, a guy who is always good natured and willing to lend a hand when needed. I asked how he would feel about killing a rather large spider in the ladies room. He responded by accepting the mission right away and gathering the necessary supplies (some paper towels, a lady to check that the ladies room was empty, etc.)

About five minutes later he returned to my desk and assured me, "the arachnid has been eradicated". Thank goodness because I was prepared to never use that bathroom again.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Oh but there's more. Isn't there always more? Here is Part 3 and I promise you that someday when I have a place to live, I will stop writing about apartments and roommates and realtors and get back to the more interesting mundanities of life.

The realtor showed us a few places and one of them was what can only be deemed a swinging 70's pad. I can't exactly explain why. Was it the pink lighting in the entry way giving off the vibe that we were about to enter a swinging nightclub? Was it the rectangular cut outs in the wall designed exclusively for plants to be hung? Was it the cavernous size of the roller-rink remniscent living room? Or was it the round shape of the bedrooms? The funky chandelier hanging in the dining room? The bathroom's bright orange toilet and matching bidet? It was all of that and more. And I fell in love with it. It was cute and quirky, but I am cute and quirky, so I felt that the apartment loved me right back. We were made for each other. Heck, we were both created in the 70's. I imagined myself living there and it felt so right. Groovy man, far out.

Wait... hear that? It's the scratching sound that happens when the needle is pulled rapidly across a disco record and the music stops. The other two girls did not like the apartment. They wanted something more modern. That should've raised a red flag right there. I mean, if you can't love the fabulousness of an offbeat apartment then you and I might not be a good roommate match after all. To be continued...
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
And now for part 2. I wasn't terribly distressed by my roommate's news because our lease is up at the end of this month and I had always planned on finding a less expensive apartment at that time. However, I hate the whole idea of moving into an apartment that people already live in. I've done it before and I felt like a permanent house guest.

So, I posted an ad on the infamous craigslist where I have always had good luck before. My ad invited one or two people to apartment search with me. I got an email from a girl who sounded great - we'll call her C. C and I arranged to meet for coffee and chat and she also knew another girl, M, who might be interested. The backstory is that both girls are grad students, one is currently living with a boyfriend who she recently broke up with and so she seemed eager to get a place, and the other is living with a relative and relies only on public transportation to get around so a place was needed that would be convenient to navigate from and boyfriend-free.

I met C for coffee and she was great - cute, sweet, and talkative. Then I got to meet M and liked her as well. The three of us were laughing within minutes. There was a mutual agreement all around that we would be a great group of roommates.

And then, fate stepped in. Not once, but twice. (The first was how C found me to begin with. It turns out I had posted my ad in the wrong section where she was posting at that same moment in time. She saw my ad and it sounded almost word for word like her ad and that's why she got in touch.)

The weekend was spent running around like crazy ladies. I had emailed one realtor about three ads he had posted. He said we could call him on Saturday after 5 and he would show us the places. We saw several places in the afternoon, none of which matched what we needed. Around 4:30, M had to leave so C suggested that she and I go to the area we wanted to live (sort of an urban neighborhood with lots of cafes, shops, and realty offices) and just walk into a realty office and ask for help. I remembered seeing a realty office on the main street so we went there. We arrived and tried the door, but it was locked. Then we noticed the place was empty except for one guy sitting at a computer. Although they were closed, he let us in anyway and we told him we needed help. We all sat down to talk about apartments, when suddenly he asked me if I had been looking for apartments online and emailing with a realtor. He was the realtor.

Fated instance number two. HE was the realtor that I had been emailing with about seeing the three places after 5! We all looked at our watches and realized it was 5:05. Is anyone else getting chills here? Of all the realty offices in all the world, we had to walk into his. Do you ever feel like the important events of your life are being orchestrated from someplace else? I knew that it was a very good sign for me from the universe, because as we all know, there are no coincidences.
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