An Open Letter to Fun Bosses

Dear Employer,

First of all, I want to thank you for the blessing it has been to work for you. Really, your jokes are of the finest quality. Since you make so many of them, I often get the hiccups from fake laughing at them every day.  In fact, I fake laugh so much during the day that I go home and can’t fake or real laugh at anything.  My giggle quota has been met by noon, Monday through Friday.  One word of advice, this is more of a general statement to all bosses, not you. Actually not you at all, because I need this job, but you might want to write your jokes down so that you can keep from repeating them.  I know, I know, you’re super fun and sometimes being fun fogs our memories, but really, I don’t want to hear the joke about the fax machine again. “Just the fax ma’am, just the fax.”

It’s not just my eternal unhappiness that you have bestowed on me in the workplace and in my home life.  That I could deal with.  Your idea of “fun” and my idea of “fun” are vastly different. I have no desire to go fishing with you, or to have Bud Lights in the office at 4pm on a Friday; I definitely don’t want to meet your kids. Ever. My idea of fun would the take the mandated Sad Hour at 4:00 on Fridays off and let me go home so that I can cry into a $4.00 bottle of wine without pants on.

Remember that time you made us all go fishing?  We had to get there at 6:00 in the morning and it wasn’t until we were 10 miles into the sound, nauseated, cold, and wet from the spray, that you told us that we were going to be having bureaucratic fun all day.  The highlight of the trip is when you told us all that we each had to catch a fish. Or we were fired.  You laughed, we laughed, you weren’t joking.

Also, are you married? I really don’t know. You wear a wedding ring but there is an endless carousel of young, busty women who you have lunch with.  Some of them even become your assistant. If they are assisting you with your dick, its probably a good idea to stop paying them.

Speaking of your dick, I am not lovely, darling, sweet, or special.  In fact, none of the women in the office are and there has been talk of buying a case of mace and placing it in conspicuous locations throughout the office for when you feel the need to stand closely to any of us.

I hear you drink champagne! Cheap champagne. During the week. At night. In public. Alone. You may be like “wow, you are such a good employee, working until all hours of the night JUST FOR ME,” but that doesn’t give you license to call me at midnight just to drunkenly talk shit about my coworkers.

A brief word about workload, Foursquare does not push ads to your phone.  You did not read it on Mashable (because that’s where you get all your tech news), I don’t know where the fuck you read it because you didn’t send me a link.  But its cool, you’re such a fun boss, I don’t mind spending hours on end Googling every permutation of “foursquare pushed ads” with you sitting behind me and telling me where to click.

Also, Drupal is cool.  Good lookin’ out.

Well boss, the purpose of this is just to tell you what an outstanding employer and human being you are. Thank you for employing me.

Grocery Store Altercation

You know when you’re in line at the grocery store? You’re waiting, moderately annoyed, thinking about all the other shit you would rather be doing like water skiing, working, shooting yourself in the foot. The stores try to make this less shitty by trying to get you to impulsively buy gum, soda, candy and magazines.

I usually cruise through a magazine in the checkout. It’s kind of a break for me.

Not today.

On my weekly shopping trip, I was only mildy incensed when I got to the checkout so I thought I would catch up on my reading while the woman in front of me had all 200 of her canned goods double-bagged individually in paper bags.

I was reading through real simple when I notice a bitch in a baby tee and a braided belt in my peripheral vision. She was trying to steal magazine time.

When you’re checking out you’re at the counter. Next in line gets magazine time. Third in line gets to duck other shoppers as they go by. It’s the rule.

This bitch was trying to cut in line. She was invading my personal space and forcing to read faster, clench my butt and breath a little more shallowly.

So I looked at her.

She looked at me.

I raised my eyebrows.

She stared at me.

I went back to reading and she went back to crowding me.

If the cashier had not of pulled my cart forward at that moment there would have been a physical altercation.

Do not fuck with my magazine time, #3.

The only one you’re hurting is yourself.

For the last 5 years I have been trying to force yoga.  I have been high-strung, Type A since the day I was born and from what I understand, yoga has a calming effect. So on and off I have been attending yoga classes trying to find my center or chi or whatever the fuck else.

Being that its new years, I have made a (was silent, but no longer silent) vow to myself to “relax”. So I bought some aromatherapy bullshit, soft socks, tea and an Apple TV… Feeling “relaxed” (and apparently fearless) I enrolled in a yoga class that is near our new favorite place in Herndon.

When we lived in Hilton Head there was a yoga place that I liked, it was in a nice smelling room with hard wood floors and pretty symbols all over the walls painted in metallic paint.

I felt like I was going to be walking into the Northern Virginia version of this yoga studio in attending this studio.  So I find their website, sign up online, make my online payment and I am ready to roll.

For the next three hours I try to figure out how to get my money back without looking like an asshole.

5:15 rolls around and its time to walk over for my 6:00 class (Type A, remember?).

I walk the 10 steps to the door, climb the stairs (my heart rate skyrockets) and i walk down the hall to the studio breathing heavily.  I followed my nose.  The smell of a yoga studio is distinct — dirty feet and pachouli.

I walk in and im talking to the forest nymph, Stream, about my enrollment.  He gives me a mat and a towel and I buy a water.  I asked why I need a towel, I didnt really sweat in my other yoga classes so I didnt expect anything different in this class.

Stream then informs me that this is a hot yoga class.  Ahh yes…hot yoga, my FAV!

Stream then tells me that they heat the room up to 95 degrees with 60% humidity. Oh, and the class is 90 minutes HAVE FUN IN THERE!

Being overly punctual I decide to get in the room and pick my place.  I chose by the windows hoping their contractor cut corners and there would be little gaps between the drywall and the window panes.

It was 5:43 and I already had swass.

Swass: sweaty – ass. swass. used in a sentence: I had swass at hot yoga before it even started.

I made a friend, I dont remember her name though because it had too many syllables.  She was nice, weighed 87 pounds soaking wet and practiced yoga everyday.

We chatted while everyone else filtered in and got their spots.

The instructor walked in and began class.

We started the class with three ohms. if you dont know what an ohm is, its the sound that nobody wants to hear when you exhale. Keep that shit to yourself.

We start with down dog…about 5 minutes into our first iteration of down dog, I lost feeling in my hands and realized I need a pedicure in the worst way.

She then made us fly through like 9 sun salutations at lighting speed.  I had a sweaty ass, sweat in my eye, snot running down my face and my feet were beginning to slip on the mat sealing my fate of a broken nose.

At this point I noticed the bare chested, white, middle-aged man sweating profusely behind me. Our bodies brushed not once, but 5 times. I can still imagine the caress of his calloused feet on my hand, the puddle of sweat that my hair absorbed from the floor and his fish-belly white, except for the exceptional amount of hair, chest.

She then had everyone stand in mountain pose, take a deep breath and levitate.

I tried to keep up except for those 5 minutes I laid face down on my mat in a puddle of sweat.

We neared the end of class because she started telling us to do shit laying down. Dead bug, happy baby and other shit that I wasnt listening to because I was drowning.

She had us slip into pidgin pose, at this point i started to giggle. audibly. and started tapping my foot because…why not? I couldnt contain myself any longer. At this point our dear instruction announced to the class to “not fidget” and to “clear our minds”. this did not help.

Our last pose was an inversion which, you know what? pretty much sucked.

We ended by laying on our backs and pretended we were dead which i did very well.

Things I have learned from yoga today:

  • get a pedicure, you’re not an animal
  • Yoga gives you a flat ass
  • Stream is a shitty name for a boy
  • I have to do laundry now because I cant wear these yoga pants again tomorrow
  • I paid $20 to sit in a hot room with strangers

Bloods or Crips?

I didn’t realized I lived in the hood until today.

I always kind of suspected it but it became clear today.

On my running trail there are a lot of loiterers. Typically I am the only white person out there. All jokes aside, I really am not racist.

No matter how many times I pass the same group of young males leering at me, I never get comfortable.

So today, on my run, I was rocking out to David Guetta (don’t judge me.  I dont judge you to your face, do not judge me) having a good time when I notice a young man on a bike.  I have my little wave and smile that says “I enjoy running from nothing” prepared when I notice that he is not sharing the path. So to accommodate i shift a little further to the right, hes on a bike and probably needs more room to move around than I do. He gets closer to my side of the path.  Then I realize that he is targeting me. He flys past me within 6 inches of my left arm and calls me a bitch.

Now keep in mind, I am not bothering anyone.  I was minding my own business on the right side of the path running along listening to bad dance music. I never did anything to him that would evoke such a reaction. In fact, I was overly accommodating.

Perhaps it was the way my shoes match oh, so perfectly to my iPod nano or maybe it was the kick ass kitten I have on my shirt that pissed him off. Or maybe it was the fact that my running shoes cost more than his bike, knock off ed hardy shirt and gold plated chain combined.  Ok, that was a little bitchy.  But it’s only actually bitchy if it isn’t true.

Since I had to come to a complete halt in order to save my own life I had to get back into my rhythm when I got back on the path. Going out I passed my neighbor.  His mom is missing teeth and his dad is very tall.  He calls his momma a “fucking bitch” in the parking lot. Coming back in i was tempted to ask if they saw the assailant. But then I realized…what would I say?

So I rehearsed in my head what I would say to this troubled young man.  Would I tell him that I forgot my anti-psychotics this morning and I will find his mother? Would I tell him that I understand he is upset because I am white but I cant help it and he needs to get over it? Would I use one of the sticks on the ground and whoop his little ass? Maybe I would treat him to a trip to Barnes and Noble where he could buy a book and educate himself on the proper way to share a bike path or the acceptable ways to address a woman in public? Or would i simply engage him in a staring contest because I would be too scared to actually say something.  So I practiced my evil eye behind my mirrored aviators the whole way back in.

Now that I have my look down, I hope we meet again but this time I will Tonya Harding his ass.

My $78 meeting

It all started at 9:30 this morning.

I had a meeting in DC.  Still being somewhat new to the area, I am not familiar with all of the neighborhoods in DC yet so I am not sure the most effective route to go when I have to go in most of the time. Typically @jaredwsmith goes with me but since we had the new cleaning lady coming today he stayed home.

Sidebar: this is our 3rd cleaning lady.  the first on never did the inside of the microwave and she insisted on doing my laundry.  The result was a shit ton of stuff ruined because it didnt belong in the washing machine. The second one didn’t show up…twice then presented a lame excuse as to why and expected to still have a job.  So now we have Stacey. End sidebar.

So off i go to the vienna metro station which is at the scariest road i have ever been on.  I arrive promptly at 10:00 am. Then the trouble starts.  its a little known fact that if you arrive to Vienna after 8am, you will not be parking anywhere legal.  I forgot this fact this morning.  I was hoping that it was a myth.  It is not. Whats worse is the only way to get out of the parking garage is $4.50 on your metro card.  I have $3.50 on mine. So i circled the parking lot for 15 minutes looking for a spot and I couldnt leave because I wouldnt be able to get out.  I was literally trapped in a concrete fortress.

So what does any desperate-to-be-on-time person do? Invents a parking spot! I found a cozy little place on the sidewalk that would accommodate my volkwagen beetle nicely and pulled right in.  Concerned and looking for approval, I call my mother who tells me I am going to get towed.  She never supports my semi-illegal things. Late and stressed, I leave my car and head into the metro station.  I fill up my card with $20 and get on the train.

I have the metro system down pretty well.  I dont like the long escalators but the rest of it is ok.

This is when the trouble starts.

Let me take a moment to discuss Google Maps. Nothing says “lost” like a kid walking in circles looking at their iPhone. This was me.  I was begging to be mugged or converted to a religion i had never heard of.

I find a bus stop. Albeit, not MY bus stop but a bus stop where I promptly get on a bus and tell the bus driver I am looking for D6.  She kicks me off the bus and tells me to cross the street. I realized later that she meant while there was no traffic. I hop across the street but ask for directions from strangers on two occasions. Once was a nice lady who told me to walk down the block and another a guy in a hard hat smoking a cigarette who actually didnt say anything just shook his head and went back to his phone.  If that is how all construction workers communicate that would explain why things never get done.

I find bus stop number two. On the sign it says “D6”. and I wait. and wait. and wait.  I met a friend in the interim.  Martha.  A nice african american woman in her late 50’s she was also waiting on D6.  But like all good things in life, there is an expiration date. That expiration date was as soon as we got on the bus.  she didnt want to sit next to me. Google transit said the ride is only supposed to be 24 minutes.  apparently they werent ever on this particular bus because every single asshole on this bus wanted to get off not at a stop. I found them to be selfish and lazy.

I had a red sticky note on my puppy notebook telling me what stop to get off at.  so as soon as we got on Macarthur street, i jumped for joy.  Remember how I said the other bus patrons were lazy?  I felt I needed to set and example and get off at the stop 1.4 miles early.

Thanks google maps for brightening my day yet again.

Hot, late, hungry and hoofing it up a hill with a 30 pound purse on my shoulder I call the person I am supposed to be meeting with.  His secretary tells me no problem and she would let him know.

I get to the top of the hill and the road is no more.  I have to go left or right.  I go left.  New rule: if you look at google maps and it looks like you go right, go left.

I pick a direction and go about a block, realize its incorrect and head back. Keep in mind I have already gone a mile.  Luckily, not in heels.

Next thing I know, i am surrounded by houses and the german embassy.  At this point I give up.  I call @jaredwsmith to tell him im canceling my meeting and he says he will come get me.

At this point I call the office back. She tells me she will tell him but isnt that weird..I am not on his schedule for the day.

So I am tired, hot, sweaty, tired, hungry and almost out of money on my metro card and im not even on this guys schedule for the day.

I call @jaredwsmith back. He says he will take a cab to vienna to get my car so I dont get towed. The bright side: my car was still there, the down side: I had a $50 ticket on it.

So at this point we have spent the following to travel 21 miles for a meeting that never was:

  • $50 ticket
  • $22 cab fare
  • $5 metro fare

That one time in Roanoke

After a long weekend in Hilton Head, we are driving back to Reston VA.  We got a late start leaving this morning and made a detour in Charlotte (@lemursmanlemurs).  We finally got on i-77 North to head home around 8pm.

Things are going swimmingly until the 3 cokes I had with dinner hit my bladder around 11:15.  Jared, being the gentleman he is, finds the nearest rest location for me to eliminate my bladder contents.

After a death defying dash across 6 lanes of traffic in the pissing rain he locates a Pilot station.

He pulls into a parking spot and grabs ahold of maggie so she doesnt follow me into this dark, moderately populated rest stop.

I hop out into the icy, wet outdoors and proclaim “holy shit im fucking cold!’.  Much to my dismay, @jaredwsmith was already on to looking at his phone and over me getting out of the car.  Luckily the blonde with dark roots smoking a cigarette in the next car noticed.

My best defense mechanism that I have is to smile big and raise my voice an octave when I feel threatened. so with a big ass smile sounding like Ke$ha, I walk into this pilot station.  Lets do this.

I saunter up to the counter and ask Vi if I may use the restroom.  (tip: as somebody whose father made her go on annual treks from Minnesota all up and down the eastern seaboard, always ask, never assume, that the restroom is free or even located in the building.) She nod’s yes, I smile and shout “thank you” almost too enthusiastically, startled she points to the back corner, nods and mumbles “back there”.

It’s one of those restrooms.  The one where you can’t pick the cleanest one, just the one that is less filthy than the rest.  After creating my ass-to-seat barrier i do what i came here for. Just then, I hear the door open and close.  I am already on high-alert with Vi, the blonde and the fact that there are 10 semi’s parked out back. Just because this gas station has a subway in it doesn’t mean its safe for a lone female to wander at almost midnight alone. I decided to hide out in the stall for a few minutes.  What’s a little inhalation of industrial cleaner and fecal material?  When I am sure the coast is clear, I flush the toilet with my big toe and do the cootie dance all the way out of the stall.

Before I left @jaredwsmith and I made a pact to drink a shit-ton of red bull and finish the drive jacked up on sugar and caffeine.  I buy him a liter of red bull and a hershey’s bar, i got a normal-sized-person red bull and chewy sweetarts.  I also found a random magnet from South Dakota (where I went to college) that I had to purchase because if I made it out of here unscathed I needed something on my fridge to commemorate it. I ventured up to Vi.

Once again, i have my “i dont belong here” smile on when I approach the counter and put my soon-to-be-mine belongings in front of her.  When in doubt, talk about dogs and weather.  I mentioned how balls cold it was outside, she nodded, I told her how happy my dogs must be because they wear sweaters all year, she nodded, I mentioned how stupid it was to keep a bin on knifes under the counter at a shady gas station. She paused, gave me my total and the stink eye.

I handed her the $20 my mom stuck in my pocket before we left and giggled nervously. All I could smell was burning hot dogs, while she counted out my changes all I thought about was that smell seeping into my hair and how I might have to burn it off when I get home…

I got my $8.00 back and scampered out the door back to @jaredwsmith who was still playing on his phone next to the blonde who was still smoking.

an ode to traffic

I am finishing up at the ukelele festival (its a thing) with @jaredwsmith.  He just got his new fancy pants camera and decided to take pictures of every blade of grass and bug in our path. naturally, we hit prime-time ukelele traffic when trying to exit the parking garage.

So as i sit in my car with the lights off and the windows down (im unemployed, i cant just throw money away on air conditioning) I write a small haiku reflecting on my experience.

It goes like this:

An Ode to Traffic

My Car Oh So Red
Everyone in garage wishin’ they was tipsy
I have to pee now

Bewbies for all

Today is national “go topless day”. This is the one day a year that protests all around the country are held to spread the word about gender eqaility.  Because apparently voting isnt enough for my gender.  Now we want to be able to walk around half naked.

Look, its not sexy for the 90% of the male species to do it, so its probably not favorable for grandma to do it.

I understand, as a proud boob owner, bras are uncomfortable sometimes, but that is where there are thousands of brands, cuts and styles.  Wear a PE bra for crying out out.

According to the website, www.GoTopless.org,  women should think about their topless rights in case they would like to garden free-balling, or perhaps are vain enough to not want tan lines. Because that is definitely something that a strong, free thinking, independent woman should be thinking about – tan lines. For those of us who aren’t fans of showing off our goods per se, we can buy shirts with illustrated nipples, or perhaps an iphone case when said shirt is in the washer. Everyone needs to know exactly how you feel about boobs at all times.

Their brand illustrates a young woman’s breasts and all of their photography features bresticles that belong to an 18 year old.  Do we want to see a 65 year old woman gardening in her front yard with boobs that she could fashion into a belt? Call me narrow minded, but I say, with a fair amount of accuracy, that nobody would like to see Aunt Linda’s lovely lady lumps, even Uncle Tom.

As I write this, in Washington DC, between the hours of 2-4 pm, it is legal to go topless in public.  I don’t need a demonstration to scare small children with parts of my body that have never seen direct sunlight – I can get to jail all by myself, thank you.