Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Finally getting my sh*t together

Hey I just realized this is probably my last post before my trip!

Work has finally started to slow a bit (today anyway) and today was the first day I wasn't 100% cranky all day. It was Tracy's last day in Escrow-Land, silly silly girl has decided to go back to the lending world and be a star for them for a while. It's a smokin' deal for her and frankly I'm jealous. We'll miss her desperately, but you gotta support your staff and be happy for them when they move on to bigger and better things.

So after work we went over to Friday's and had a drink to send her off. I haven't had a drink all month (pinky pact, you know) and didn't tonight, which is good because I wouldn't have come home and done the laundry that is steaming up the apartment at this moment. It's a step in the right direction, because beyond getting the waxing and the coloring and the leg shaving, I haven't done shit to get ready for this trip.

So the weather has been shitty out too, Monday was treacherous enough to make me white-knuckle it all the way to work (ice), and other areas have seen some snow, but for the most part it's been cold and rainy and yick. I forget winter every year, I swear. I am always just shocked when it continues to be cold, dark and wet for weeks on end.

Oh, I got a cookie bouquet at work today, for my "five years" at First Am. Which kinda cracks me up since I started in like March or April of 2001. Granted I was gone for about a total of 20 months in the middle there, but bless their hearts, they did the math and sent me the bouquet. It's really the best company out there, I just wish Tracy would change her mind and stay. And I am not sucking up, Vicki and Alysa. Nobody else from work reads this but you, and maybe Bri, so shaddup. :)

Perhaps the next time you read this you will be enthralled with tales of boozy tomfoolery and crazy adventure on the high seas (it's about a 15 minute ferry ride to and from Cancun, and I think you can see the bottom of the sea all the way across, but you could call that "high". It's higher than me.). I will try to be true to my theory of living life like I am telling a story. In the meantime, happy February to you all!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Scenes from a Beaverton apartment

Yesterday morning I cleaned the fuck out of my apartment, and the bunnies were NONE TOO HAPPY about it. I am leaving at the end of the week and am no where near ready for it, so while the kits were recovering from the melee, I took care of some errands.
Lava in a very rare mellow momentOne of the purchases from the Petco (flipping racket) was a kitty-cat brush, I was thinking they might like a good brush down during snuggle-time. I took it out last night. Though the label says nothing about it being treated with kitty cat hallucinogenics, it HAD to be dipped in something. They didn't want to be brushed with it, they wanted to eat it. And they were going NUTS over it. I finally put it on the floor so they could get their groove on.I also purchased a water-er and feed-er so that when I am gone, Tom (who is going to keep an eye on them) won't have to come every single day if he doesn't want to. I am acclimating them to them sort of slowly, as the concern is they will just knock them over. Please note the towel around the water-er - they like to bat at the water before actually drinking it.The rest of the evening was spent trying to get a good shot of them so you can see their growth. I have one of those cameras that take for flipping ever to actually get the shot, so I have like 20 pictures of their backs and hind legs as they walk out of the shot. Anyway, I THINK this is Seca, who before the picture was taken was staring up at me for the longest time and then just grew bored with it.
So there you have it. This has pretty much become my life.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Guilt alleviated? Probably not

Well, they have that poor reporter up on Sylvan Hill again this morning.

It's 34 degrees out right now (that's 1 to my readers outside of the US), which means it isn't freezing. It's also not raining. The forecast calls for rain, but it isn't raining right NOW, it will probably start later in the day. So my morning companions at the Channel 12 newsdesk are scrambling: the lead story is snow, freezing rain and treacherous driving conditions. Except it hasn't rained in a week, so the ground is really dry, and though it has been in the 20s and 30s (you can do the Celsius conversion yourselves here) all week, generally speaking when the clouds roll in around here it means the temperatures rise. So as the anchorman and -woman bait us early risers with frightening lead-ins about wintry mixes and advise us to wrap our pipes and put socks on our pets and stay off the roads, the weatherman's segment is all about what would be happening IF it started to rain right now at ... 34 degrees. Not much, but I'm no meteorologist. And poor Marilyn Deutsch is trapped up there on the Sylvan overpass with nothing to do.

Didn't I hear something about a war going on a little while back?

So Thursday night I had one of those really vivid dreams where you are sure you are not dreaming (I even asked myself several times IN the dream if I was dreaming, and the answer each time was no) that was more like a nightmare but had a little subconscious message hidden away in there. I dreamed that I missed a whole week, and suddenly found myself in Mexico - not Isla, where I am going next Friday night, but Cancun, and VCI (which makes sense, been there plenty of times). I don't really know HOW I got there, I just found myself there. The problem with this was that once I realized I was there, I also realized a few things I missed along with that extra week: I didn't clean my apartment, I didn't buy more kibble, I still had my keys and didn't give them to Tracy (who is checking on the kits), I didn't have my passport. Apparently I had luggage, because that wasn't one of my dream-concerns, and I had no problem finding my way to the bar (that was the opening scene of my dream drama), and furthermore, I hadn't forgotten Mark, who was over there under a palapa taking a nap. Mark? Yep, Mark. Apparently I did forget that I am travelling with Dave and Marita.

Despite people from my past that often pop up in these kinds of dreams being peppered around the bar area (one in particular, Viki L., who was a roommate about 10 years ago, with whom I shared some beers and my lamentations of all the stuff I didn't do during this week that I missed), I was still convinced that this was not a dream (do you ever have dreams where you are, like, being chased by Big Foot or something and in the middle of your fear you think to yourself, hey, this might be a dream, and then you realize, well shoot, it IS a dream, so really, I don't have to run so hard, I'll wake up soon enough? I kept asking myself, this has GOT to be a dream, but the answer was the same - no, it's not, this is really happening. How can I trust my dreamself NOW?).

Being the problem solver that I am, I figured out how to handle the problem, and phoned my mom back in Beaverton. I told her, okay, so I missed a week and I still have my keys. I need to FedEx my keys to you, and then I need you to go into my apartment, get my passport, then call Tracy, and get the keys to her. Then I need you to FedEx my passport back to me so I can get back into the US next week. And while you're in my apartment, can you feed the cats and spruce up a bit so Tracy doesn't think I'm a slob?

Here's where the message comes in.

She answered, You know, you never call me, you never come by unless you have to, and now, you need me to do this stuff for you because you're in a jam. So no, I'm not going to help you. And then she hung up.

Woops. Hello, guilty conscience! Did you think I wouldn't listen to you without the panic of the crazy dream? Oh, right, probably not.

How did it end? I imagine I called someone else and had them do whatever and all that, frankly, the dream lost all vividness after the message was sent. Eventually I woke up and realized that I was in my own bed in Beaverton in January. But the message hasn't gone away. So you can imagine what I will probably do later on today (call my mom, duh). I won't tell you why it takes a vivid dream and the retelling of said dream over and over again to get me psyched up enough to make that call, that's a story for another day (or not. That's probably a story for a memoir). But be assured, somewhere between my Target run, thoroughly cleaning the apartment, pre-packing and tanning, I will phone my mother.

I know a sign when I get one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Ice Queen

So I was chatting with that Mexico Way today after having read her most recent post regarding her almost-5-year battle with getting gas. As long as I have known her she has had this issue, and it's not something that you can fix, like, by doing something different or learning past lessons or anything like that. It just is. When I lived there, I was lucky enough to have stationary tanks and a landlord who had it regularly filled. I don't know if she had to call them or check the tanks or if there was some sort of account, I just never had to deal with it. It was a non-event. I turned on the water in the shower, hot. In the kitchen, SCALDING hot (just remembering how hot that kitchen water was hurts my hands). Wanna make some noodle soup? Turn on the stove, light the flame and boil some water (starting to sound a little like Sandra Lee, aren't I?)! I think the whole time I lived there as a non-working year-and-change tourist I really didn't have THAT many issues - no water in the afternoons for a while or two, lost power during a rainstorm now and then, couple of falls up and down the stairs, nothing major.

My re-entry into the US, if you recall by reading the archives from February 2006 (because I am not linking to it), really was difficult because of PEOPLE, not necessarily stuff one has to deal with. Obviously moving from the US TO Mexico is a huge transition, but honestly, my biggest issues were more like what the hell is that thing squirming around under my shoe or OH MY HELL Jose is NOT coming down, quit yelling you have been yelling for him for 25 minutes already! Stuff like that. I didn't really miss much of the food aspects, I didn't have to go to work, I never had problems with taxistas (well, once I did, but that was really someone else's fault and my own irresponsibility for not knowing it cost more to have two destinations), I had money for the most part and any issues that came along didn't put me in any real harm's way. So the only thing with coming back to the US was the whole people-are-assholes-who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are thing. Oh, and geting a job and having to get up and shower at least 5 days a week. That was a challenge. No hammock hooks. That sucked too.

Anyway, getting back to the point (I guess) of this post was that in reading that MW's blog and then chatting with her, I told her I really didn't have those kinds of issues. Except then I thought about it for a minute and realized, I guess I kind of did.

The second time I moved back to Mexico, one of my jobs was to hang out and wait for the various deliveries that a restaurant-bar gets on a somewhat regular basis. The Pepsi guy, the beer guy, the liquor guy. I didn't know where ice came from until it became my job to order the liquor, the vegetables and the ice. One early afternoon we were dangerously low on ice, and Joe asked me to call them. I wrote down the two numbers on the ice freezer in the back and called from the land line by the bar. I called the first number and said to the guy that answered pretty much right away, in my crappy Spanish (but you know, how hard is it really?), I'm Joyce from My Place... the guy instantly hangs up. Okay. I have had plenty of people hang up on me because I have tried really long involved sentences in Spanish and, not having any kind of sing-song lilt to my voice, people have hung up on me out of exasperation at not understanding. Fine. But you know what? I'm calling YOU, I need something from YOU, that I am going to pay YOU for, so don't fucking hang up on me! I called back the same number, and no answer. It rang about 6 times, and I hung up and called the other number. No answer. I called the first number back and let it ring about 15 times, before I just laid the phone down and went and took care of some other things. When I came back the phone was still just ringing away on the other line. I imagined them across town staring at the phone and wondering when it would ever stop. I had time. I really didn't have anything more important to do. So finally I gave up (I think we had to run into town or something, imagine that), and told Joe yeah, figure something else out for ice because they clearly don't want our order. I think we considered picking some up from the supermarket or something on our daily run, but really, with no air conditioning in the van and with the way traffic is it really wasn't an option.

Later that afternoon, back at the restaurant, I spotted an ice truck in our lot delivering to the Oxxo next door, so I ran out and asked the guy if he had any I could buy from him. He told me, your order is coming tomorrow. I looked at him like he was nuts and said, ... how? I haven't placed an order. To which he explained, you said where you were calling from when you phoned, and we know how much you normally order. Your order will be delivered tomorrow.

Okay. So you can't say, Okay, thanks for your order, we'll deliver it tomorrow? You have to just hear the name of the bar and hang up? And then NEVER ANSWER THE PHONE AGAIN? What if it wasn't me calling? How do you survive on one order of ice per day? Is it, like, all the Oxxos in the city and My Place that is keeping you in business? Good Christ. I think at the time, however, I never really mentioned it to anyone, because by this time I was so firmly ensconced in the absolute pandemonium of working for a restaurant-bar in the hotel zone that nothing fazed me. I was beyond being amazed at how ridiculous this was. I was at the other end of the transition scale: I just took it and walked away.

So yeah, I guess I have had my issues like that MW and that Beckla and all you other kids down there. I just guess that it took them less time to beat me down to complete utter submission than it has you guys.

How I spent my day off

So today is a holiday and we have it off, so I arranged to meet one of the auction buyers out at the lender's office near Mall 205 so she could sign her papers. She was having issues with the property's completion, and she resolved them on Saturday, so I figured let's just get this one over with. Mall 205 is like 7000 miles away from me, over in SE Portland (I am in a SW suburb) (Portland is divided into SW, SE, NE and NW - East and West are divided by the Willamette River, and North and South by Burnside Road - or maybe it's Street. I can't remember). The appointment was for 10am and I was out of there by 11, and back on my way to Lincoln Tower to complete the send back. I'm that nice.

So I took the NOT through downtown Portland way back to the west side, and what I observed is that the difference between driving on the west side and driving on the east side is the east side people all tow stuff. Horse trailers, wrecked cars, empty flat bed trailers, two trailers hitched to each other full of balled trees, industrial trucks, tanker trucks, construction vehicles, landscapers. Every 2nd car was towing something. And not all of them were trucks, either. Probably every 3rd one was a four-door sedan. It was kind of windy so they were all over the dang road, and you know, it's easy to avoid one or two, but when just about every other car out there has something attached to its tail, it's hard to be safe. I couldn't get to the west side fast enough.

Anyway, I went to my office and took care of business and blew off tanning and instead went through the Taco Bell drive-thru for a Cheesey Gordita Crunch (just like mom used to make) because they have been advertised all weekend and I just felt I should try one. Lots of shell... you got your Gordita thick like a pita thing, then you got your regular hard taco shell situation, and then I think they may even throw in an extra flour tortilla just to fuck up your teeth, I'm not sure, I just really needed to work extra hard to find the meat. But you know, there's another thing I have done that I can finally mark off the list. So now, it's my day off, time to chill a little bit before the work week turns my insides into barbed wire and spaghetti sauce again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

End of the tunnel?

Angela wants to know why the link in my last post saved my life. Because it was flipping hilarious and I really needed to laugh my ass off after the week I had. I was sort of sitting in a fog after a really long telephone conversation with Marshy (there was a lot of rambling on my part) and as much as I wanted a drink, I was home sort of trying to mel. Kudos to Marshy, though, she has held fast to this whole no-drinking-for-a-month thing - when I left work I phoned her (since I have been deathly silent to my friends lately) and made a lame attempt to talk her into meeting me somewhere for a cocktail (which for me is beer and hasn't been "a" in some time. Let's just say that there is no having "a" beer or cocktail for me. Just doesn't happen. "A" means "a whole bunch"). But Marshy held strong and said no! Really I'm glad because once I was in my houseclothes and trying to mel I knew I didn't want to be out anywhere. Plus too I wouldn't have been able to read that link. So it's a good thing. I need to put up a link to that blog so you guys don't forget it (since I know you go to all my links pretty regularly. Don't you.). That blog is consistently funny EVERY TIME. I love it.

All right then. So the 18th has passed. Yesterday we had something like 54 files that needed to record, which in itself is pretty hilarious, simply because on like a busy escrow day, say, month end or something, you'll ask an officer how many she has going for the day - you know, one of those crazy busy months or something. You look at her sympathetically when she says, I have 13 going, you offer help if she has anything over 15. We had 54 going. I mean, it's almost unheard of for one day.

Truth be told, not all of them went. But the thing about that is you don't know which ones AREN't going, so you have to be prepared for all of them. There were a few that didn't have occupancy certs on them (a few, but that just means they'll go Tuesday or so), and I am not sure how many the girlies actually DID record, but let's just say it was crazy. It was way more than what is normally considered a lot.

At the same time, docs continued to come in and HUDs still needed to be reviewed and signings needed to be scheduled. It's not over by any stretch, but it isn't anywhere near the organized pandemonium that it has been for the last few weeks. Wednesday for instance was bad for me. I lost it a little bit and yelled and stormed out and all that. Turns out the next day people bought me stuff and did stuff for me and generally tiptoed around me (not Gloria's unit, but the other staff members), so it worked out, but I still felt guilty about it. It was just a lot of pressure and I think at that point I couldn't see the end of it. The only person who could was Gloria herself. I don't know how she does that, but she does, it works, and now the auction company wants to use us for all of their Oregon auctions no matter who the seller is. That's a compliment we all need.

You know, I am only talking about work right now because it has been the main focus of my life for the last month. I haven't done anything else. I won't be doing anything else until Friday, February 1 when Marshy (who will FINALLY be able to drink) takes me to the airport to go to Isla with Dave and Marita (you know, Marshy, Barbie can probably take me, so don't feel obligated if you have an opportunity to celebrate the success of your dry month!). Yes I have the kittens, and there is never a shortage of Stupid People Tricks that leave me reeling in wonderment that many of these people have survived this long given they way they crash through life, and I'm sure I can come up with some sort of a list like I haven't done in quite some time, and maybe I will even have time to get really deep and deliver some sort of introspective that makes me think I'm smart and you think I'm stoned. I have some running around to do today, and I am trying not to drink too much coffee in an effort to not have a panic attack, so perhaps my experiences today will inspire me to finally deliver to you something you actually WANT to read. I always have said, Live life like you are telling a story; I am ready for my story to resume.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Read this, please.

15 Minute Lunch. Go ahead. I'll meet you back here tomorrow.

I think it may have just saved my life this evening.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I had such high hopes...

So today when I woke up and turned on the TV news I found that we had some slippery weather out there. It must have gone below freezing over night, and though the forecast called for clear(er) skies, all the rain still left from the last, oh I don't know, 45 months or so that it has been incessantly raining froze. Of course this was breaking news but I guess I'll give Channel 12 that. People were like flipped over on the freeway and stuff.

I left at about 6:45, and just made my way along, the way you are supposed to when it's potentially icy out. The drive was fine, hit some ice on 5th but it was nothing horrid. I did have a guy decide to tailgate the fuck out of me, also on 5th, which just floors me because a) I was going the speed limit - not OVER the speed limit, just the speed limit, so chill, fucker and b) who wants to get to work so flipping fast? Who ARE you?! Anyway, some clown ran the red left turn signal coming east on Allen and turning onto Western, and since I happened to be car #1 at the left turn signal from Western to Allen, he came, I am not kidding you, within 1/2 an inch from my car. You know, while running a red light on potentially icy streets. Fuckhead. I really dislike people.

Got to work and the rest, you know, work work work. I was thinking today that I should tell you all about this, but now I'm not really sure why. Maybe there was something else. I can't really think what it would be.

Okay. I guess that's it. The kitties are giving me their mid-week cold shoulder right now (they get irritated when I cannot hang out with them all day. I think anyway. What the hell do I know, I am Bringer of the Kibble, and that's pretty much it. They probably don't even realize I'm here half the time.) so I guess I will go chill and watch American Idol. Though again, I am not sure why.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I suppose you are wondering

where I've been (that's beeeeen, like "Have you any idea where I've beeeen these last few hours?" A cookie for anyone who gets where that comes from, and Becky H, no fair because I know you know). I think you know I've either been at work or on the sofa more or less. You don't want to hear about this. You do not want to hear about how all I do is sit, staple-gunned to the computer for 10 hours every day, taking STUPID calls, working up and re-working up and then RE-working up files hour after hour after hour. Sure, sometimes I get to pee, but not very often. I don't recognize some of my coworkers because I have been trapped in my office all day. And you don't want to know that when I went to run my Saturday errands I had what I guess was some kind of panic attack in the car from the tanning salon to the supermarket, and seriously considered going home in between to mellow out for God's sake, but didn't because I HAD TO GO TO THE SUPERMARKET I'LL NEVER LEAVE THE APARTMENT AGAIN IF I DON'T GO TO THE SUPERMARKET (pant pant)(wipe sweat from brow)(pant pant). And you don't want to know how even after I got home from the supermarket and managed to get all the crap upstairs and put away that I was still feeling the panic attack and pretty much passed out on the sofa for a few hours. And you probably don't want to know that I didn't leave the apartment on Sunday, but that isn't TOO surprising. And how I felt like I should blog, but, you know, what have I done since the last post besides exactly what I just said?

NOTHING. But work.

The end of this week is the drop dead end of it all (in theory) and for me anyway because I go downtown and cover for someone else for a week. Plus we get Monday off. Sweet, another day to do much of nothing. The problem with the in-between all that and now is that there are roughly 60 more files that need loan docs that need to be worked up and scheduled and oh my hell.

I have a job and I thank God and everyone for that. Truly. I need a big fat cold beer and no shoes and a beach and some sun and some down time and then, maybe then, you will have something to read.

So, you know, look forward to February.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tired and uninspired

But you know, I gotta post.

NOTHING is new. I get up, I take a shower, I go to work. I come home, I have some dinner, I watch TV, I go to bed. Day in. Day out.

Work is busy. This auction stuff is supposed to all be closed by January 18, and we'll do it, it's the getting there that is exhausting. Jan-o noted today that the good news is, we all got over our sick (I mentioned earlier how we all got sick at the same time and Sarah D commented on how it sounded like a vacation in a TB ward). Imagine if we had all this work to do then! Now that it's so close to the drop-dead date it's nothing but work up files, sign files, send back files and fund files. Or try anyway. Mild issue with one of the lead banks, and frankly, they don't have a leg to stand on. But I can't really say much more about that. The bottom line is it's a long day and then a short night and the best news is this five day work week FLEW by. I can't believe it's Friday tomorrow.

So I am sure you are all (Marshy) dying to know about the pinky-pact-induced "situation". Yeah I ran out of cigarettes on Wednesday morning. I packed the stupid Commit lozenges that stranger gave me in an airport bar in Phoenix last year when I said "Cancun" and he heard "London". I had no cigarettes for the drive in, and none to smoke in the day. By I don't know, 11:30 there were three casualties (lately I have been a lot nicer than my pre-living-in-Cancun-the-first-time days. Back before I moved away seriously I was a raving bitch. I mean I was sometimes nice - 3pm on Fridays, to name a time-frame, but I was cranky, mean, bitter and snappy about 90% of the time. My defense is that I always pre-disclosed this to new people, like our revolving-door temp receptionists. Mostly they never remembered my pre-disclosing and complained. But, you know, management has always liked me, so...) and these were people who were not used to cranky-bitter-jaded Joyce. Well get over of it, it's just a job. By about 3pm seriously I was light headed and borderline crazed, complete with googley eyes and flailing arms. You think I'm kidding. I slugged down so much green tea I spent most of the afternoon in the bathroom, which caused voicemails (I hate voicemail, H A T E it), which made me even crazier and more flailingly googley. I would lose it and snap at my computer, then suck up to some customer on the phone, then storm off to the kitchen doling out random stink eyes to anyone I thought was looking at me funny. Bad. BAD.

Then I drove home. It was raining (hey, that's odd for JANUARY) and so seriously 30 minutes later I am 2 blocks from the office, and 40 minutes later I was still not even halfway home but I WAS right in front of a 7-11 so you can just IMAGINE what I bought when I yanked the wheel to the right and pulled in.

Okay, so in my defense, here is the deal - smoked a few last night, and two this morning, and none at work (until like 1:30 when I bummed one from Jan-o). I could have taken a Commit but to be honest I am terrified of those things. Gloria has been addicted to them for four years. Good Christ.

But really there isn't much of a defense. It's harder than CRAP to quit, and during this stressful auction time... okay I'll shut up. It has to be done, and I will continue to try. I promise. So everyone just GET OFF MY BACK! (See the mood swings??)

Okay there is nothing here. I am pretty much typing to type and filling the void and that's all I have for you. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week, and perhaps when I post next I will have something of value.

Peace out.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What's "ornge"?

Clearly anyone can have a cooking show. This chick Sandra Lee has a show called "Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee" and she drives me nuts. Her show basically covers recipes that you can make by buying pre-prepped and/or store-bought stuff and then artfully alter it so that it is your own. Who hasn't been dumping Tapatio into canned chili or Rosarita refried beans for the last 25 years? Essentially that's her gig. You'll get stuff like "buy a roasted chicken from your supermarket's deli, take it home, tear it apart and throw it on a platter - Voila! Homemade roast chicken!" Irritating. I am waiting for the day where she makes Mexican food and starts by saying "Go to your nearest Chi-Chis and get a burrito to go, add some Nacho Cheese Doritos, dump them on a earth-toned plate and voila! You just cooked some Mexican food!" I believe that will be the day that I put on my shoes, go to Gresham, buy an AK, come back, and shoot my TV.

I start my Saturdays early by swilling coffee (mmmmmm Dunkin Donuts coffee - sorry Heather) with the channel 12 news and then when that's over I switch to the Food network. For some reason this Sandra Lee chick is really popular. You know, because people THINK they are cooking. Her show airs like every other 1/2 hour. "Go to the supermarket, pick up some Pillsbury crescent rolls, take them home and follow the directions on the package - Voila! You have mastered French cuisine!"

I know I have to put some real clothes on and go do something productive but the weather is for shit and I'd rather just rip on this TV "chef". "Let's move on to cocktails: get your coat and purse, hail a cab to the bar, and order a margarita. Ta da! You're a seasoned mixologist!"

Oh yeah, the title of this post. She says "ornge". What's "ornge?" Not only is she not a chef, she's also some sort of poorly educated hillbilly. God she drives me nuts. "Get some Tang out of the cupboard, measure it into a pitcher, add water, and you have fresh, wholesome ornge juice!"

I like Ina Garten msyelf. She cooks. She doesn't make cake out of a box. She actually has spices in her cupboard. I can live with Rachel Ray, but that "Simply Delicioso" chick kinda bugs me too. Quit with the over-the-top enthusiasm. It's painful. For God's sake it's just a quiche. Same with this Sandra chick. She talks to us like we're 9. "Take some Cool Whip, put it on your Sara Lee frozen pie, and voila! Homemade dessert!" I'm gonna drive MYSELF nuts.

Okay. Go. Get out. It's daylight. Or at least change the channel.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Proof resolutions are for the sober.

Way back in the day, when I was in my 20s and living a carefree if not rather terrifying existence in sunny southern California, my roommates Maria, Valerie, Tiare and I threw a "Broken New Year's Resolutions" Party. I recommend it. We held it around the third weekend of January, and pinned a big piece of butcher paper to the wall and put colored markers in a bowl on a table next to it. Then when people came in, we encouraged them to write their own resolutions that had been broken already. We started the list with some pretty tame ones (stop eating chocolate, one foot on the floor at all times, stuff like that) and as the evening went on, and the beer and liquor flowed, things got a little funnier and a little crazier and then when it was all over we had a great souvenir to laugh over for years to come. It was a great party idea, and people really got into it. I cannot imagine where that butcher paper is now, destroyed most probably, but I would love to get a look at it again.

I have never been one for resolutions, before or since. So when Marsha sent me a Happy New Year email on Tuesday, you can imagine my surprise when she said, I haven't had a drink or any chocolate yet, how about you - have you had a cigarette yet?

I'm sorry.


Yeah so as it happens, the night we went out for Rhonda's birthday, apparently Mark, Marsha and I made some resolutions. Mark and Marsha were going to quit drinking for a month and go to the gym, and I was apparently going to quit smoking. Turns out there was even a pinky pact hanging out there. I don't even remember it (doesn't everyone block out completely insane, horrific events in their lives?). Which isn't surprising when you consider the amount of booze imbibed that evening. You know, and the complete disregard of food of any kind. After a really long 12 days of work.

I of course tried to weasel out of it by saying, surely there is some kind of clause in the pinky pact that says if you are completely hammered it doesn't count (and don't you just love the swearing off of booze when you are shit-faced? I mean, not WHILE you are drinking, but you know, for years afterward). I explained that I had already smoked considerably on Januarys 1 and 2. I told her I just bought a carton and I certainly wasn't wasting THAT. And then I said, the difference is that you and Mark can start drinking again on February 1 - what would I do, "get" to start smoking again? It doesn't work that way. If you quit, you quit. I was clearly getting the raw end of the deal.

I am not sure how many more email excuses I sent her before I realized she'd stopped answering me hours before.

You know, I want to quit smoking, I really do. I just don't have much success with it right now. It's a lot harder than quitting booze, let me tell you. So I plug along, and feel like a jerk, because they quit drinking and I haven't held up my end of the bargain. Well, Marsha anyway. Maybe Mark, I don't know. Surely there is a Becky out there that can answer me. I don't want to rat anyone out, I just don't want to be the only one that blew the pinky pact.

The pinky pact, by the way, I have no recollection of.