Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Will Attack You From The North

I just got Season 2 of The Office and my weekend is already planned out. I'm going to drink a big bottle of beer I found at Trader Joe's -- I don't want to say exactly which because I don't do endorsements, but I will tell you it has a popping cork -- and maybe order some pizza or just make egg scramble, and hope it rains, and put my galoshes on like Little Bear and stay in and snuggle with myself and the TV all day so I can forget work ever happened. That's the plan. My sane roommate is already on board. The other one has a test at 8:30 Saturday morning. That gives you some idea what goes on around here.

So where have I been lately? Well, for one thing, it's been absolute hell getting straight answers out of the editors as to why I'm going to the Hill and doing triple duty for no more money (or slack come edit day), so that's led me down the dark path of drinking after clockout and falling asleep on the couch, which then means I wake up with a backache like someone hit me with a shovel. Wednesday around 6:30 I went to Ted's Montana Grill down the street from work -- they sell buffalo burgers, which I am not in favor of, but they have other stuff too -- and I got, in this order, an Irish Car Bomb, a Tom Collins (I didn't even know what would be in it), and a fancy margarita. By the time we left I'd buttoned a second napkin into my work shirt like a bib because I spilled hot onion ring on myself and started giggling. The waitress seemed to think it was funny and I left a big tip.

I honestly couldn't tell you what I've done with my last few weekends. You know that feeling when you get home that you just want to unwind? I have literally never felt that, the way most people describe it, until a few weeks ago. I was talking with my bosom friend T about it and we agreed that it comes on strong and very suddenly and that's when you know you're really part of the working world. Except it's such a poo feeling that I want it to go away -- I miss feeling vital and ready for action after work. So I'm slowly laying siege to the problem and I'll have my mojo back in no time. Long story short, I haven't been in any frame of mind to write anything more complicated than a joke treasure map. Those sort of write themselves.

Oh, and gossip: T and I and our friend A -- never mind if you don't know the names, they can be letters to you -- decided we'd have a guys night in last Saturday and got together at T's house, which I admit is a nicely appointed pad, for dinner, booze, championship college football and the dice game from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which all sounds like even less fun than it is. That game, which you can buy at Target if you really want to, is genius in its simplicity. It's a mix of bluffing and telling the truth and trying to cheat, which I got reaaally good at after a while. We decided to spice it up by playing for dares rather than just prestige, which led to, among other things, a prank call to Stephanie (not from me -- I never lost), T swinging his shirt over his head while he sang "I'm a Little Teapot," and A eating off-brand Play-Doh he was clever enough to fashion into a red-and-orange hot dog with bun. Again, not the sort of evening that leaves you in a mood to go home and blog. In fact it tragically ended with hurt feelings and recriminations and vows that someone would not be invited back. It was the booze talking and there are no hurt feelings. I wasn't involved. I played video game baseball and lost.

Also T and I go to the park to throw the ol' pigskin around occasionally, and we ran into a Marine fresh back from Iraq the other day. He threw harder than us and I didn't drop a single pass. I am a very good wide receiver but can't put the right zip on the ball to make everyone "believe" in the huddle. Sad waste of talent.

And I've been listening to a CD a friend got me back in college, which I have since verified she doesn't even remember, that helps me get to sleep again at five o'clock in the morning. It's very pretty, and an interesting factoid is that one of the songs on this album, which I guarantee you've never heard of, is something I heard when I was about 13 hiking on a mountaintop with my mom. We couldn't figure out where it was coming from until we came around a bend and saw two girls sitting in a clearing, facing each other with their eyes closed, singing at the same time. On a mountaintop. This same song. True story. That's kind of why I have funny ideas about things sometimes.

I like to walk home from work sometimes at night, because the area around my house is very quiet when it's late. The other night, when I bought The Office, I walked to the mall near my place, for work and gymnasium reasons, around 8:30 in a light misty rain and ended up passing the big construction sites I see sometimes when I ride my bike in a certain direction. I walked behind them, to the side of the exposed, incomplete apartment buildings that no one can see from the street -- that no one can see period unless they walk along this back dirt road -- and in the rainy dark, because the lights were on in each of the unfinished units for some reason, they looked like these hulking, lit-up motherships just sitting there. It was the eeriest sight. I couldn't hear the traffic or see another living person; it was completely dark and a little wet and there were puddles in the muddy dirt road I had to avoid, and all along my way to the mall, which is weirdly accessible by this out-of-the-way route from work, I kept staring into these buildings where nobody was working. And to top it off, I had the song "Black Boys on Mopeds" by Sinead O'Connor stuck in my head, so I sang it out loud while I stared into these huge, half-lit, half-built buildings while this strange mist fell on my head. My ultimate destination turned out to be The Protector, playing at the mall movie theater, starring Tony Jaa of Ong Bak fame. If you haven't seen these movies, they are destined to become classics of the martial arts film genre and you have no reason to wait. The plot of The Protector is too silly for me to even explain -- a man spends almost two hours looking for his elephants -- but the fight scenes are so long and well done and well choreographed that it's a piece of genius nonetheless.

What else? When I'm not walking past this construction site I walk along the river, where there are often the loud cries of crickets and frogs at night, especially when it's rained during the day. I love it around here at night.

My sane roommate is moving out at the end of the month. We already had a process I won't detail -- it ended well, and that's all I'll say, although we didn't go with anyone's personal first choice for a replacement -- and things are settled with the new guy now, or will be soon enough. He's an army medic back from Iraq who has penetrating eyeballs and wants to be a policeman. Nice guy, though. Surprisingly laid back, considering. We turned down a few whoppers.

Most importantly I vacationed in Arizona a few weekends ago and was able to drink in the sun like the rare honey wine that it is. Stephanie and I spent a night at a very fancy resort of her choosing, well out of our normal situation price range, and generally carried on like schoolgirls for four days. Even with the tittering. We went to the zoo and saw the giraffes and the giant Burmese python and even the bald eagle, and I stole a small amount of sage because here you have to pay money for it which is, dare I say it, retarded. The monkey exhibit was closed but we watched this drama unfold as a turtle that lives in the monkey exhibit tried, like Hamlet, to decide whether he'd get out from under the water lilies and onto a nice warm rock or whether he wasn't just safer under there. Poor little guy was so confused.

Maybe an issues post when I'm up for it. Time to hit the bottle of cherry juice.


Blogger charvakan said...

Great update. You're too young to become an alcoholic. It sounds as though your employer is simply squeezing as much juice as they can get out of you. Once you own a business, you'll understand the logic in giving people as much work as they can do for as little money as possible. As a pleased factory owner said after a massive layoff, "It's like putting 300 more paychecks in my pocket!"

12:49 PM  
Anonymous mikeswanson said...

Well, if you moved to the big city to meet interesting people and have fun...uh, well maybe the fun part isn't panning out but a medic fresh from Iraq should be interesting to meet. I dunno bout live with. He must be touched in the head, and if he's not, he must've been touched in the head before entering the service. If you're looking for advice about the obviously shitty job that's killing you, I say quit when you've saved enough to live on for a year and go back if you must. I could fear for your sanity with so many defense-industry influences, but I have my own sanity to worry about. Oh, as for your evening that ended badly, "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

9:50 PM  

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