Friday, July 29, 2005

It's like working inside a medicine cabinet

My newish personal office has several floor-to-ceiling windows that abut a second-floor walkway (note to certain readers, and you know who you are: please, no "huh huh, you said 'a butt'" comments.) People walk past my office all day but never look in because the windows are tinted one-way. In fact, they're reflective, which means that several times a week, a person will stop, stare into my office and begin fixing his hair.

With the great power of one-way vision comes great responsibility, which I soon plan to exploit by banging on the glass during the next impromptu grooming session.
Thursday, July 28, 2005


I do like me the crazies. Not the physically menacing crazies like my ex-student worker (who was chasing me in a dream the other night dressed as the dancing Six Flags pitchman), but rather the erudite paranoids, the well-heeled schizophrenics, the drunk elderly -- the type of crazies who really have something to say.

I have no idea how, but I got on this one crazy guy's mass emailing list. He sends out long missives at least once a week detailing some perceived wrongdoing committed against him, be it at the individual or institutional level, then ends every email with the reminder that he made the dean's list while a student at the University of Arizona some 20 years ago.

His latest campaign is against the police department of Upland, Calif., which he claims has been harassing him for reasons never explained. This was his most recent email:



I could spend hours unpacking this deliciousness, but what I'm most intrigued by is this "complex reading material" he speaks of. What could it be? Stock tip sheets? Baseball box scores? Freakonomics?

I'm going to take a guess and say that it's off-track-betting-related.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Grasping at straws here

Yesterday the LA Times devoted some 3,000 words to proving what a quick glance at his haircut would tell you a lot more quickly: John Roberts is an elephantine bore.

About two-thirds of the way through the article, however, something occurred to me: Roberts may well be the world's oldest virgin. He's a Roman Catholic; his complete lack of a social life was mentioned repeatedly throughout the article; he was well into his 40s when he met his equally religious wife on a blind date; and, well, his kids are adopted.

Perhaps a Supreme Court seat can be denied on the grounds that the nominee is just too lame?
Monday, July 25, 2005

Noises off

Come summer, we essentially live in a commune. The apartment complexes in our neighborhood are butt-to-butt and of a pre-AC era; as such, everyone has their windows open and we hear everything: phone conversations, roommate conversations, pet conversations; coffee-grinding, water-boiling, Foreman-Grilling; arguments, makeups and, um, baby-making.

The other set of noises we most often hear are of a sports fandom nature. The couple in the upstairs front apartment? Huge football fans. The single guy with the German Shepherd across the way? Likely a bookie, given the sheer number of sports events he watches and screams at night and day.

Me, I'm starting to worry that my neighbors think I have Tourette's. All of my sports noises vary between the "yesyesyesyesyesyesyesYES" or "nonononononononoNO" variety, with a few "dropitdropitdropitdropitdropitdropitdropitdropit"s thrown in.

Then we have tonight's blusterous tic, bellowed at the end of the first Red Sox extra-innings game of the season: "CatchitcatchitcatchitcatchitcatchitFUCKwhy'dyouoverplayitfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckFUCKfuck Ican'tbelievewelosttoTampaBayfuckfuckfuckgrrrfuckarghohwellIguessIshouldeatsomedinner."
Friday, July 22, 2005

I only have 250MB's worth of Inbox space, you know

NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, California Democrats, Human Rights Campaign, Environment California?

I love you all, I swear. That's why I keep giving you money. (Although actually, Tobacco-Free, I think I got on your email list because I was too cheap to subscribe to Salon Premium and had to watch your ad one day.) But ever since Bush announced Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, you've been inundating me with emails that essentially say the same thing: "We don't exactly know where Roberts stands on [our issue], so email your senators and urge them to find out more!"

My eyes are starting to cross. Can't you all gather under the MoveOn umbrella for a little while and consolidate your efforts?

Or maybe you could take your cue from the ASPCA and email me pictures of puppies instead. I like puppies.
Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fucking emoticons

There is just no good way to convey cheeriness in an email without resorting to stupid smiley faces, but boy does that run counter to everything I hold dear about the written word. I'll take !!! over :) any day.

I'm trying to compose an email right now that strikes an innocuous "How ya doing? Haven't talked to you in a while" chord, but it keeps coming out flat and detached. So I relented a little and tried a smiley face followed by a parenthetical apology for using the smiley face, but it made me sound like a snarky, backpedalling dum-dum. I'm stuck.

UPDATE: Okay, I may have it: I've put the smiley face in parentheses. But no... now we've got this action going on and it just looks like I fell on the keyboard: (:))

Maybe I'll just stay out of touch with this person for a while longer.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mom, dad, put down your dukes

I thought I wasn’t allowed to watch the original “Dukes of Hazzard” because it objectified women. That’s what I remember being told. But I brought this up with my dad the other day -- “Hey dad, remember how you wouldn’t let me watch ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ because you said it insulted women? That was great” -- and he replied somewhat thunderously, “Well, that. But also because it was stupid.”

Meantime, I was having a perfectly pleasant email exchange with my mom the other day when out of the blue she sent me a message about Jessica Simpson-as-Daisy Duke that began “I saw a clip of that 40-year-old-looking trollop doing the car…”

Uh, did our family unfairly miss out on “DoH” residuals or something? Such choler...
Monday, July 18, 2005

Wicked sophistimacated

The hubby and I did battle for the most misguided sense of smell this weekend:

Him: "Wow, the fresh air totally smells like balloons."

Me: "Doesn't this wine smell like kitty litter?"
Thursday, July 14, 2005

You know whom I find to be hackneyed, lewd, slovenly, a tad Aryan and almost comically unloved by the camera even when cast opposite bloated simians?

Owen Wilson.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What would Scooter the talking baseball say?

Tim McCarver on Dontrelle Willis during the All-Star Game:

“There’s just such personality that shines through from Dontrelle Willis by the way he wears his hat. (Pause.) I guess if Gershwin were to write that song that he wrote about 75 years ago today, it would be about Dontrelle, ‘The way you wear your cap, the way you kick your knee….’”

Tim, Tim, Tim. You almost had it. You almost made the connection. I mean, God, what member of the crucial 13-to-18-year-old demographic doesn’t reference Gershwin tunes when describing his or her favorite African-American baseball player?

But any teen today could tell you that Gershwin wrote "They Can't Take That Away from Me" in 1937 -- 68 years ago, Tim, not 75. Sheesh.

Also, I’m not sure Gershwin did most of his composing during the All-Star Break, as the “today” component of your comment would suggest, but I’ll defer to you on that one.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Can't find my performance agreement

Dammit, I always do this. I hide items that I don't want other people to see and then can't find them myself.

This is how my stuffed frog Froggy ended up in the freezer for nine months when I was 5.

L.A., what good are you?

Over the past few years, I've had some pretty great celebrity sightings. A pregnant Julia Roberts (black-clad, dour). The entire cast of "Six Feet Under" (aloof, noshing). A poodle-haired Chloe Sevigny (apoplectic). Hugh Hefner and six of his girlfriends (apocalyptic).

Lately though, the spottings have gone steadily downhill. Weird Al Yankovic showed up at my local farmer's market. Andy Dick moved in nearby and has become a neighborhood fixture/virus. And then, in Nordstrom last week, I practically bumped into two of Demi Moore's kids -- Rumer and the little one, Dig Dug or whatever. They sported about eight pounds of makeup apiece and were bratting out with a nanny-type figure, imploring her to buy a baby-blue Marc Jacobs bag because "it will SO go with everything."

I've officially hit the star-spotting skids. In the coming weeks, look for my updates on Ann Jillian, Taco, and the fat guy on the Jim Belushi show who isn't Jim Belushi.
Monday, July 11, 2005

Boss hog

It seems like one of the surefire ways to write a bestseller these days is to dash off a roman a clef about a horrific former employer. Someone recently suggested I do the same thing. I’m game, but the problem is, whom do I choose? Do I go with the Log Cabin Republican who, when innocuously asked about his weekend one Monday, replied, “Oh, Palm Springs is the best. Have you ever been there? You drink and then you fuck, and then you drink some more and you fuck some more…”? Do I write about the neurotic divorcee who refused to let me take a day off to spend time with my visiting sister on the grounds that we were in a “crucial time” (we weren’t, except in that misguided, pre-IPO, pre-2000 dot-com way) and then, a couple of months later, abruptly left for St. Petersburg for several weeks to meet up with his 17-year-old female “pen pal” whom he later described with a lascivious smirk as “very mature for her age… not like the 17-year-olds here.”? Or do I focus on the raging alcoholic with the Carrot Top coif and the Chewbacca vocals who held our first meeting in a bar at 2 in the afternoon and, while ripped to the rafters, spilled as many company secrets as she could slur out, including the fact that she and others were looking to fire me?

Maybe instead I submit a special boss-themed Index to Harper's and let the money roll in that way:

Since 1993, number of companies I’ve worked for: 5

Since 1993, number of direct supervisors I’ve had: 22

Number of bosses I’ve seen promoted: 1

Number of bosses I’ve seen quit: 2

Number of bosses I’ve seen fired: 5

Number of bosses known to have slept with an employee: 4

Number of bosses known to have cheated on their wives with an employee: 3

Number of bosses who, upon seeing that I had tidied up the corporate kitchen, commented, “I guess your college degree is good for something after all”: 1

Number of bosses who once commented “I guess your college degree is good for something after all” who hold a college degree: 0

Number of bosses with a Harvard MBA: 1

Number of bosses with a Harvard MBA who would jump up and down on the desks on a Friday afternoon and then run around asking if we planned to get high over the weekend: 1

Number of bosses with a Harvard MBA who ran a multimillion-dollar start-up into the ground: 1

Number of bosses who have been unsuccessfully sued (not by me) for sexual harassment: 2

Number of bosses unsuccessfully sued for sexual harassment described in my opening paragraph: 0
Friday, July 08, 2005

Low-grade baby fever

Afternoon props to my best bud Stace, who, despite being a happy, glowy expectant mother, manages to keep the whole pending baby thing firmly in perspective. Witness the email I received this morning:

"How are you? Any exciting plans this weekend? We'll be painting the baby's room this weekend. Fucking whoopee."
Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oy, Canada

I visited our Northern neighbors this weekend for a very charming, very touching wedding. I was a bit of an enigma at the event, however, due to the fact that I am A. not Canadian; B. not Jewish; and C. not a procreator. So it goes.

My equivocal status did allow me to sit back in amused anonymity and watch as the middle-aged ladies flirted shamelessly with the Catch of the Day: my Jewish (though not Canadian) husband. I should have raffled off dances with the gent -- we could have recouped our trip expenses that way.

How to lose friends and alienate editors

I got a call this morning from a longtime TV and film director who pitched his life story as an article idea. Here was his angle:

"And I made a student film that got me a contract at Warner Bros., just like George Lucas. But now he's a billionaire, and I'm only a millionaire!"

There is truly no end to the world's injustices. Look for the front-page story this fall.