Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.

12.31.2004

Happy New Year!

Ok, it's a little early perhaps, but Happy New Year all the same!

I hope each of you enjoys a blissful, satisfying 2005.

There will be little hoopla surrounding this evening for me. G. Monkey and I are going to hang out at her house, and avoid the amateurs clogging up downtown. I made ├ęclairs to go with the lemon bars, and we'll make some s'mores in her fireplace, a bit of popcorn, and some hot chocolate or coffee, and ring in the new year with a bit of the Marx Brothers and perhaps some Law and Order episodes on DVD. Oh, the exciting life I lead! Hee! Sounds like a fantastic night, though, and I can't wait.

This time last year, I was stuck working a double- the bank, and at Outback. I had to work later than anticipated, and didn't get home till after 11:00, just in time to change my clothes, and catch a bit of Dick Clark. At midnight, my roommate and her crazy boyfriend and I drank a toast, and they did the 12 grapes. We stepped out into our backyard, as someone set off a fantastic display of fireworks. As this year ends, I'm 1500 miles away from where I started, a little crazier, and a bit more grounded too. I wonder where I'll be a year from today, and I hope it will be good.

I'm not excessively superstitious, but I do have my January 1 traditions. I don't make resolutions, at least not for New Years. However, I do think that whatever you're doing on New Years day directly influences what you'll do the rest of the year. I try to spend the day doing things that make me happiest. I'll make something, (food or craft) and wear new clothes, and take a trip to Baltimore to boot. And I'll definitely be eating pork and sauerkraut. I skipped that the past two years, and well... it's not nice to defy PA Dutchie tradition. I may do a tiny bit of work, something I can easily accomplish, and do well. We'll see how it goes.
...lets just hope this sore throat I'm working on decides to vanish by morning. I don't want to spend 2005 hacking and wheezing.


Again, I hope all of you have a happy new year, and if you celebrate tonight, don't drink and drive, and watch out for the idiots that did. (Yes, I'm your mother. Put a sweater on, it's cold outside.)



12.30.2004

Bar None!

Ok, the lemon squares? Absolutely delicious, and almost identical to ones my boss brought from a local gourmet deli when she was wooing me. Damned tasty.
And, because I love you all. Here's the recipe. (with some minor variations, because 1. I don't have a microplane grater, 2. I hate using the food processor, 3. I didn't have heavy cream on hand.)

Taken from the Cooks Illustrated book Baking Illustrated (which I highly recommend purchasing a copy of. It is well worth it.

Do not fear the amount of egg yolks in here. You only live once. Save the egg whites for breakfast for the next few days, and call it even.

Crust:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 10X (confectioners) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

Lemon Filling

7 egg yolks (from large eggs) PLUS two whole large eggs (minus shells!)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup of finely grated zest (or less, or even much less if you have little patience and no microplane grater to make it easy to do. trust me, you won't die.)
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk, because that's what I had)

Prep the pan:
Spray a 9" square pan with cooking spray. If you are befuddled like I am, over who in the name of god has a 9" square pan, you can put it in a 9" pie plate, which is what I did. If you use a square pan, line with parchment or foil use 2 pieces, each a little longer than the pan, so they'll stick up over the edges, so it's easier to get the bars out. If you use a pie pan, be sure it's deepish, and you should be able to line it with just one sheet. Spray the foil or parchment with more cooking spray.

Make the crust:

Sure, you can use the food processor, but why haul it out for 30 seconds? Mix the flour, sugar and salt together well in a bowl with a whisk. Using your cheese grater (spray it with cooking spray first) grate the butter (straight out of the fridge, don't soften it first) on the big holes, directly into the flour. Using a pastry cutter, a couple of forks, or your fingers, mix the butter into the flour till it looks like really coarse cornmeal. Pour the crumbly bits into the prepared pan, press firmly into one flat layer (don't go up the sides), and refrigerate a few moments to firm up the butter. Bake at 350 (325 if you use glass) for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling (WHICH MUST GO ONTO A WARM CRUST!)

The filling

In a medium non-reactive (non-aluminum) bowl whisk together your eggs and yolks until combined (about 5 sec), add the sugar and whisk again for another 5 seconds or so. Then add the lemon juice and zest, whisking about another 5 seconds. Put the lot into a nonreactive saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce just starts to thicken, and is 170 degrees on your instant read thermometer. Take it off the heat, and stir in the butter chunks until they disappear, then add the milk/cream. By now, your crust is done, or nearly so.

Again. MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE FILLING ON A WARM CRUST or it will slide right the hell off, and that would be disgusting.

Pour the filling onto the warm crust, and pop it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes. You'll know it's done when the center 3 inches or so are set, but jiggly. they'll finish baking out of the oven. (the marvel of heat transfer!) cool the bars until they're about room temperature then remove them from the pan (by lifting up the foil- handy, eh?) cut into squares using a thin sharp knife (wipe it off after every cut, and it'll cut cleanly) Top with confectioner's sugar and enjoy. :)

I'm keeping these in the fridge, because of all of the egg in there. Wicked tasty.

:)



Bake-tastic!

Today I am making Lemon Bars from the Cook's Illustrated baking book.
I'm pretty sure other baked goods will be assembled today and tomorrow as well. No reason, just that having 2 days off with nobody in the house seemed like a good excuse to clean, and bake lots.

I'm also going to whip up my black bean and corn salad too (now, with more couscous!)

1 can goya black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 small can corn or mexicorn (anything but creamed!)
1-2 ribs of celery roughly chopped
1-2 carrots roughly chopped
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh if they're around
1/2-1 green pepper seeded and roughly chopped
Pickled banana peppers are really good in here too
Onion, diced, if you must

Mix all of the above ingredients together. If this looks like enough for you, swell! You can skip the couscous. If you like to pad this out, and eat it for a few days (like I usually do) make a batch of couscous (I tend to make a cup or a cup and a half)using whatever manner floats your boat. To top it all off use your favorite southwesterny viniagrette or...

The juice of 1/2-1 lime
a good teaspoon or so of Cumin
a pinch of red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce depending on your masochistic tendencies
red wine vinegar
olive oil
salt & Pepper

Mix together the spices & lime juice with your red wine- I like a very vinegar-y salad, so I use probably a good 1/2-3/4 cup to significantly less olive oil, but that's just me. Stream in the olive oil, and pour over the veggies and couscous.

It gets better with time, and is great for lunch. If you need to have meat, it'd probably be really tasty with chicken or steak done fajita style, but I usually don't bother with that.

A Lemon Bar update when I have one.


12.29.2004

Bad Job Theater, Part Two

First- a housekeeping note- the spiffy blog that I read this morning and served as inspiration for Bad Job Theater is Thoughts From The Hold Music and it is well worth the look-see. Thanks for the shout-out, and MAN, when will TN update? I'm getting petulant and whiny too. No Fug Blog, no Tomato Nation, and my favorite shows on TWOP are pretty much over for the season. (All hail Miss Ali!)

Secondly. For the ranting I do about my current boss being flighty, difficult to track down, perpetually late, and usually slack when it comes to providing stuff I need to do my job, the woman can really pick out a Holiday gift. I didn't expect one, because you don't expect stuff from your boss, but damned if she didn't present me with one totally bitchin' pink ipod mini. Now I can listen to that instead of lugging my entire CD library to work. I was flabbergasted by her generosity. I'll hold off on the pepper spray for a little while longer. (Yes, I can be bought.)

On... to Bad Job Theater. Walgreens Style.

Walgreens may try to tell you that with the aid of their stores, your life can get just a little bit closer to "perfect". However, if you work in their stores, you can blow perfect right out your damned ass. I was a pharmacy tech for five months at a Walgreens in Florida. This job actually ties the DMV as being the worst job ever. Imagine if you will, having to deal with angry, sick people all day long, most of whom either don't speak English, or left their brains back on the mainland when they embarked on vacation, or are military and bitchy because TriCare bumped their copay from 0 to 3.00.

On a slow day we served an average of 300 prescriptions on day shift alone. At the first of the month, when medicaid and medicare refills got churned out, we could easily surpass that. That's one prescription every two minutes. That's a shitload of people. And nobody ever wanted to wait. And they alllll thought they were the most important person in the store. Here, go ahead and bitch because we're taking too long, let me just shove some random drug into a bottle and fork it over to you. I hope it kills you, Bossy McShorttemper.

My favorite guy was on medicaid, and HIV positive. We had a lot of clients like that, and did what we could for them. One guy was always completely nasty every time he came in. One Saturday the phones were ringing off the hook, and the pharmacist and I were the only ones on. We were knee-deep in prescriptions and this guy throws a temper tantrum at the registers, wanting his shit. He started yelling about "With all the money we pay you for drugs, you sure as hell could hire more staff" and on and on and on. I apologized for his delay, and told him I'd be right with him. When I got his pills, they were covered by medicaid. As I scanned them out for him, I said "Thank you ever so much for your patience sir, and here are your medications, which you do not actually pay for! Have a pleasant afternoon!" in the most disgustingly sweet voice I could muster. He shut up and left.

When customers weren't screaming at you, coughing or hacking in your face, or trying to weasel extra painkillers out of you (we had a lot of those too) the job did have perks. If you waited on someone really hot, you could find out right away if they had any kind of communicable funk. Otherwise the job kinda sucked. Did I mention the perpetual screaming? And the "I'm not paying THAT" people? (It's obscene what drugs cost in this country, but that's a rant for another day.)

Oh, well, there was one other bright point. It did give me the idea for a totally fabulous band. An all-pharmacist/pharm tech funk band named "Wally and the Ketaconazoles". So named, because Ketaconazole is what they give you when you've got the funk. (Be it yeastie, or otherwise, it's funk) Maybe you just had to be there.


Anyway, despite my quasi-medical background, I did not have the patience for the job. Again, with the screaming. And the slip of a keystroke could kill someone. I don't like working with that degree of accuracy. When the bank job opened up, I took it in a heartbeat. (Gee, daytime hours, great benefits, no weekends, and I get to sit on my butt and surf the net in the drive up all day? No, no, don't let me!)


Bad Job Theater

I read someone else's blog today, and it reminded me of one of the crappiest places I ever worked.

"The DMV"

(Why it's in quotation marks will be revealed momentarily.)

This got me thinking about other horrendous jobs I've had. And yes, I have worked a lot of different places. Sometimes simultaneously, sometimes not. Behold- I give you....

The Crappy Job List

(in no particular order)

1. "The DMV" (full story to come)
2. Walgreens Pharmacy Tech
3. The Little Nonprofit That Could (rob you of your dignity)
4. TJ Maxx
5. the Bird-in-Hand Restaurant
6. Nova Data Entry


Walgreens and the "DMV" get their own stories, as they were heinous. You all know about #3 by now. TJ Maxx bit it because it was my first job out of high school, and since I had a brain they knew they could use me everywhere. And they did. That's the first of only two places I've ever walked out before the end of a shift. The Bird In Hand Restaurant sucked because I was a busser, and that's always a shit job. Plus we made flat minimum wage, and never ever got tipped out by the servers. Also, can you say "tourist trap"? I knew you could.

Nova... Nova gets its own paragraph. I worked there part time because I could type quickly, listen to Bill Hicks, and make some quick cash in between jobs. And my mom worked there, she sort of guilted me into it. The work itself wasn't horrible, but people, if you're going to fill out a survey card at a store, or sign up to get coupons and things, do us all a favor- PRINT LEGIBLY. I don't have time to decipher your scrawl. The main reason that place sucked was because the mail processing area was adjacent to the data entry area and the breakroom. ALL of the mail processors smoked, like chimneys, in the mail and break areas. Which gave me migraines. Often. Blah.

OK. That said...

"THE DMV"

It's in quotes, because I merely worked for the call center, which wasn't even in the same county as the main DMV offices. (They're about 45 miles away) I lasted there 3 months after training (which was a month), and it was one of the crappiest jobs ever. I don't do well in an environment where people bitch at me all day long (retail? No problem. Food service? No problem. Cube where someone screams at me? Fuck off.) and despite the reassurances of the HR lead? Irates were a large portion of our call load.

Some of my favorite callers:

The woman who had been busted for DUI, and lost her license for a year called and said her welfare officer told her she could get a commercial license, so she could drive truck, even if she had a DUI. Yeah, because if you can't handle driving a car without being liquored up, I really want you on the road in an 18 wheeler. Um. No.

The woman who called to schedule a driving exam for her son. Nimrod. Yes, his given name.

Every caller from Philadelphia and Bucks County who couldn't figure out why they couldn't renew their license until they paid their parking tickets, and screamed at me because of it.

People who didn't understand that the DMV will not just "take your word for it" that you haven't been driving. If you lose your license due to suspension, you must send it to Harrisburg to start the suspension. If you don't, your suspension won't officially start until you do. No amount of "but I haven't been driving", and "I'm goin to come down there and get you" is going to change that fact. Sorry. Bitching at me won't do any good.

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret too. When you're talking to someone in a call center, and they ask to put you on hold... if you don't hear hold music... you're not ACTUALLY on hold, and they can still hear everything YOU say, while being able to say anything they want about you. So.. saying "this bitch doesn't know what she's fucking doing" or "This dumb operator believes I'm actually Freddy" are probably not really wise ideas. The first one is going to lose you any good will you had built up during the conversation, and the last one is going to get you busted.

And another thing. I know other people have said it, and nobody here reading this is guilty, but for the love of god, even if you've had the world's worst day, and you know the DMV (or Dell, or whoever) fucked you over, it's not a good idea to ever take it out on the person who answers the phone. When you treat them like a moron, you lose any chance you may have had to get them to "go beyond the call of duty" for you. They're going to get you off the phone as quickly as possible, and if you're a real ass, they're going to shuttle you off into the VRU and pray they never answer your call again.

Tomorrow (or maybe later) Walgreens.

12.28.2004

Maybe it's not so bad...

Ok, so I don't have heat in the office at all. (Unless you count the highly ineffectual space heater, which I don't.) I tried to work today with the aforementioned highly ineffectual space heater, and lasted exactly one and one half hours before I could no longer feel my feet. So I went home to work, and it took me nearly all day to get warmed back up. (Because our furnace isn't workin' so swell either.)

On the upside, I let the bosslady know that even when I do get my computer back, there's no way I can work out there until the heat's fixed. She called today, and said I can take Thurs/Fri off, while she's out of town and they're fixing the heater! Whee! I'd have happily stayed home and worked still, but I'll just as happily stay home and nest and read. Maybe I'll even spend the music gift card Odie (official brother of Special Sauce) and Pappa Sauce got me. Wheee!

Note: It's not a good idea to read a book about people freezing to death on the prairie, in the middle of horrendous blizzards, when you're trying to warm up.

G. Monkey called me tonight. Apparently she's officially the head of the Journal committee for the Little Nonprofit that Could (make me want to claw out my own eyes). She has enlisted John, the graphic design god responsible for the last issue, and a guy named Monty (a design demi-god) to help out, and asked if I wanted to participate too. After extracting a promise that I'd never have to deal directly with FBD, I agreed. I know John and Monkey have big plans for this journal (which is truly a piece of art, and not at all stuffy) including seeing it marketed in a broader geographic area, soliciting better advertising, and eventually taking it not just quarterly, but national. If it gets to that point, it will indeed be a powerhouse... and will need staff. Paid staff.

Sheesh, if I could get paid, and actually make a living, working on something as beautiful and rewarding as the journal, I'd probably crap myself with glee.

Of course, with my luck, it will collapse under the heavy hand of FBD, who will veto every suggestion, and naysay/mismanage it into oblivion.

And yes, I'm probably stupid getting involved with this again, but honestly, the Journal was the best part of the job (which you didn't hear a whole lot about, because it didn't give me anything to bitch about). It's something to look forward to, at least. Maybe.

12.27.2004

Book Orgy

Whee!

Mamma Sauce gave me a Borders giftcard for the holidays. This is like giving a crack addict a gift certificate to his dealer. I've been relatively well behaved in recent months, trying not to spend money on things like books, when I need sweaters and warm clothing. Tonight, all bets were off.

I was remarkably restrained, however, because I did decide to wait for the new Joe Queenan and PJ O'Rourke books to come out in paperback, or hit costco.

The literary (ish) goodness I hauled home:

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin- Looks very interesting, saw it on the Borders website. It's about a freak blizzard that took place in 1888, the day started out as unseasonably warm, and by nightfall it had killed more than 100 children who were trying to get home from school. Plenty of family histories in there, and it sounds quite perfect.

Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison- I am an Ellison junkie. I shall not repent. I loathe most science fiction, but darn near worship the literary ground Ellison walks on. His essays and nonfiction are some of the best in existence. This is a reissue, and I can't wait to dig in!

Fluke by Christopher Moore- I loved Bloodsucking Fiends, and Coyote Blue back in the day, and then stopped reading Moore. I was brought back into the fold with Lamb, and Fluke should be no exception. Also, Mr. Moore is a very polite, personable writer, who actually did respond when emailed by a very dorky fan, way back in the day. Fluke's all about a a man, and his whale, and a cryptic painted "Bite Me" written on said whale's fluke. Ah... haven't we all lived that story?

Fierce Pajamas A New Yorker Anthology- The worst thing about not working for the Former Benevolent Dictator? I can't steal her copies of the New Yorker from the mailbox before she got to them. (She never read them anyway)This one wasn't a difficult purchase- hmm.. funny stuff. From the New Yorker. Yehah!

Best American Essays 2004 and Best American Short Stories 2004 by everyone and anyone- I love these collections, they make the ultimate bedtime reading. I can read a story or two before nodding off, and life is good. I was tempted to pick up the Best Non-Required Reading, but Dave Eggers seriously pisses me off. (And yes, I wish I was around when he spoke for the Little Nonprofit That Could (make you want to die) because I would have told him I loved him at Might, but You Shall Know Our Velocity is the first book I ever wanted to hurl at a wall, run through a shredder, boil in acid, and possibly dump into a volcano. This is, of course, to say nothing of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Suckitude. You think I'd learn.) Where was I? Oh. Essays. Short Stories. Good deal AND they're buy one, get one 1/2 off.

Magazines... I can't go into Borders without picking up the new issues of Bitch and Bust. For the feminist in me. Sometimes they make me giggle, because they do take themselves soooooooooooooooooo seriously, and get really wrapped up in ways that the testicular-americans try to keep ovarian-americans down (often finding things that don't exist) but they're a hell of a lot more relevant than Ms. is. (Or was, as I haven't read it in about 3 years because it wasn't angry enough.)

I also snagged the New Yorker because it's the winter fic issue. Believe it or not, I really did miss the New Yorker down in the wilds of Florida. Our lone, shitty bookstore rarely got issues. Don't move there unless you've got a subscription. Seriously.

Ahh... These lovely little packages should keep me occupied for a little while. Books. Glorious, wonderful, brand-new books. Is it really wrong that I want to put them all on my bed and roll around naked on them?

Is it really wrong that I've just told you that?

Um. Nevermind that last thing... about the rolling.


Yarr!

Dear Bosslady,

If you yell at me that I should call you more often, because you're not usually near your computer and I email you too much, it would help if you'd turn your phone on, or perhaps be at home.

Just saying.

And if you're not going to be at home or available during a normal workday, when I'm stuck working from my house, maybe you should drop me an email and let me know? Because if I call your house, and your cell phone repeatedly, and you don't answer, then I begin to feel pretty frustrated and unimportant. Just saying.

Thanks for listening, Bosslady. I'll go back to working now, but I do need some input from you every once in a while, so I know I'm doing what you want done, and can have some semblance of pride in my job. Otherwise, it makes it very easy to begin perusing the want ads.

Sincerely,

Sauce

PS- Where are the check copies I've been asking for since early November?

PPS- My insurance is supposed to start in February, think you can get me the paperwork now, so that takes place when it's supposed to? It'd be swell to be able to go to the doctor to see if they have a name for what's wrong with me, and maybe even get my migraine meds refilled. Thanks.

12.26.2004

Merry and Bright

Yo ho ho, and eggnog filled with rum.

Hope Christmas was all it was chracked up to be, for all of you who celebrate it. Mamma Sauce had to work 3-8:30, so we celebrated early. I was impressed that Odie (official brother of Special Sauce) took my hint, and I'm the proud owner of the Nirvana box set. Mmm. Flannely, time-machine-like goodness.

Football Ranting:

Boy, do I hate the Ravens. And it's a darned good thing that the swell Bawlmur fella I have taken a fancy just happens to like the Eagles more than the Ravens, or I'd have to seriously rethink this whole thing. On a whole, I think the Eagles chomp it, and their fans are obnoxious dicks. The Ravens, however, are evil incarnate, injured Roethlisberger, and generally make my teeth itch on principle. Their fans aren't total jerks though.

Yes. Roethlisberger left the game with a rib injury today, but the team still managed to win. Take that, stupid Ravens. Purple uniforms? Puh-leez.

Congrats to Peyton Manning for breaking Marino's single-season record. I still say domed stadiums are for wusses, but hella playin' there Peyton.

Work Ranting:

So, apparently, the reason the heater hasn't been working very well at my office is that it caught fire at some point. When, I have no idea, I just figured it had always been ass. Oh, and the melty plastic smell, that I attributed to the fact that it shouldn't be running all the time... that was apparently propane. Who knew? So, that explains the headaches and nausea I'd been experiencing. Heh. Luckily, it's being fixed during the week I'm stuck at home because my PC doesn't work. (I took it in to be fixed and it should be ready Tuesday.)

Holy Holiday Partying Batman:

Wow. I haven't had that much fun in a while. We had enough food to feed an army, including Rachael Ray's Christmas Pasta (search the food network website "christmas pasta" you'll find it). Holy cow- it makes a lot, it tastes delicious, and if you're lazy, like me, try this:

Make the recipe a couple of hours before your party, or even the morning of- I used a little extra meat, because of the packaging of the products. I also couldn't find meatloaf mix, and used plain extra-lean ground beef to no ill effect.

When you get to the point that the recipe instructs you to simmer for 15 minutes, throw it into your crock pot. Set it on low, and let it go until you're ready to serve. Egads, it was tasty. Everyone loved it, and like I said, it feeds an army.

We played some Christmas Mad Libs, by subbing out words from "T'was the Night Before Christmas". Lets just say our friends are quite sick, twisted, and demented. We had a blast.

If you're having some friends over for New Years, I humbly present my 2 favorite appetizer recipes. They're easy as hell, and quite tasty.

World's Easiest Appetizer

Vodka Soaked Tomatoes

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 skewer
1 cup good vodka (nothing you wouldn't drink)
coarse salt and black pepper

Poke holes into the tomatoes with a skewer. Cover with 1 cup of vodka. Soak for an hour or more. Mix the pepper and salt together. Drain off most of the vodka, serve with toothpicks, and encourage guests to dip the tomatoes into the salt mixture and eat. Tasty!

Also, do not throw out the vodka! We used it to make wicked tasty bloody marys.

Pita Triangles with Tappenade

1 package pitas (preferably pocketless, but any will do)
1 package cherry tomatoes, or several roma tomatoes (Small Dice)
1 container hummus (any flavor)
1 small container Kalamata olives, diced
1 clove garlic minced (or dried garlic)
Salt and pepper to taste


Combine the tomatoes, olives, garlic, salt and pepper, set aside. (The pieces should be chunkier than salsa, but not so large you can't manage them easily) refrigerate for an hour or so to blend the flavors.

Cut the pitas into triangles, and toast in the oven. Allow to cool, then spread with a dollop of hummus (2 sheiks cracked chile pepper is the bomb). Arrange on your serving plate, and then top each wedge with a spoonful of the olive and tomato mixture. (That can be made with feta instead of olives, if your friends are anti-olive) serve relatively quickly, because the tomatoes will make the pita soggy.

Whee.

No ranting today, but I will have some more recipes as we get closer to New Year's.

12.23.2004

Dear Santa

Yes, today's a two-fer.

Dear Santa,

Yes, I know I'm rather old to be writing to you, but you've almost always come through for me in the past. I never asked for any of the hard stuff, like a pony or a corvette, so I think I have some points coming to me, right? I don't want a lot this Christmas, I know I'm pretty damned lucky as it is. I may gripe a lot, but I have a job, and a roof over my head. I have warm clothing, and good friends. I'm broke as usual, but I'm still better off than some, and I'm thankful for what I have.

I'm writing to you, not just on my behalf. As I said, I've got it pretty good. There are a lot of people though, that don't have it so well. A lot of families with someone they love fighting in the Middle East. A lot of those families won't get to see that husband, wife, brother, sister, mother, father, son or daughter again. Maybe it's selfish, Santa, but I'd love for them to all come home and be the people they once were. I know asking for world peace is trite, but Santa, could you work on that for me?

And the poverty, Santa. Too many people here are having to decide between food, medicine and rent. Too many people are without homes and jobs- not because they're lazy or shiftless, but because they're mentally ill, or because they're chronically underemployed, or because they got sick and couldn't afford it. Too many kids grow up in situations where the parents who are supposed to protect them, are the very people causing them the most harm. Can we work on this, Santa, please?

I know there are other things, Santa, but you're a busy guy, and I know someone else has probably asked about them. I know I've placed a pretty tall order, but I didn't complain when I didn't get the EZ Bake oven, so I think you sorta owe me one.

Thanks, Santa-

Special Sauce

Obligatory Good Wishes

Let me post this early, before something pisses me off and completely drains my good will toward my fellow man.

MWN, Barry, and the three other people who may read this- I hope the end of December brings you happiness, mirth, and a chance to indulge in the holiday celebrations of your choosing.

I doubt if I'll post tomorrow, although you never know. In the spirit of Christmas, I present- Christmas Memory Theater.


When we still lived in DuBois, I was always the first person up. Usually about 5:00 in the morning, and it always seemed so cool, creeping down the stairs, and trying not to wake my parents up, to see what Santa had left in my stocking (more on that, in a moment). It always amazed me too, that without fail, Granddad would show up not more than 15 minutes after I was awake. I think he was excited too, and drove out there in the ice and snow just to see our faces as we opened gifts.

I still get a stocking, and did even when I lived in Florida. Back then, Santa relied on the USPS and sewed the top shut. Under pain of death, I wasn't allowed to open it until Christmas Morning. And despite my insatiable need to snoop, I always did wait with that. I've been using the same stocking since the dawn of time. my mom made it, out of an old velvet dress she had. It's Burgundy, with an appliqued victorian girl on the front, and it's the coolest stocking ever. (Even though I have a "hog" size stocking too, it's the little velvet one with the hanging loop almost coming off that I love best.) Odie (Official Brother of Special Sauce) has one out of red corduroy with an appliqued reindeer and his name on it, but... it is not nearly as swell as mine.


One of the things I remember very well is the little deli container of candy we'd get in Sunday School. Our church was tiny, and each year, someone gave all of us kids a little half-pound size container of neat candies at Christmas and Easter. I can remember being sprawled out on the living room floor, after walking home from Sunday school, watching Ma and Pa kettle on TV, and examining the ever-so-tasty candy.

My family's not huge on tradition, but there are a few things I can count on every year. We will always get to open one "fun" present on Christmas Eve. Usually a board game or something to do- this is a hold over from when my brother and I were intensely annoying kids, and simply could NOT WAIT for Christmas morning. We don't have an excuse now, but do it anyway. We can also always count on the same breakfast- baked oatmeal, ham and egg casserole, and cinnamon rolls. I get everything ready the night before, and put it in the oven early Christmas Morning so we can nibble all day until... THE CHRISTMAS LASAGNA is ready. Sure, Odie (Official Brother of Special Sauce) gets a ham from work. You still must have... THE CHRISTMAS LASAGNA or you will surely lose a limb in some sort of freak accident if you don't eat...THE CHRISTMAS LASAGNA on Christmas day.


I used to do my Dad's shopping for him too, but he has discovered, in recent years, that he's not half bad at picking out stuff my mom likes. Now I just wrap the gifts for him. (Don't ask how he managed to survive when I lived 1500 miles away, because I haven't a clue. Although I suspect professionals were involved, or everyone got stuff wrapped in black garbage bags with bows stuck on the top.)

Last, but not least, my favorite Christmas Memory of all time.

One year, I had left the obligatory note out for Santa, accompanied by cookies and a carrot. I went to bed, and was sooooooooo excited I couldn't sleep. I listened very very hard, and could swear I heard bells jingling, just like the kind that would be on a reindeer harness. I didn't dare get out of bed till the next morning, and when I did- there was a note from Santa! He thanked me for the cookies, and Rudolph even left a hoof print for me. Of course, Santa's writing had the slightest of resemblances to my mother's, and looked suspiciously like the Easter Bunny's, upon closer examination, but it was total magic for me.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it-

Sauce.




12.22.2004

Whaaa?

Monday it was a zillion degrees below zero.
Tuesday it was still chilly, but the snot wouldn't freeze inside your nose.
Today it was freakin' balmy- nearly 50 degrees.
Tomorrow we expect Rain, which will freeze on roadways in the afternoon.
Friday we expect locusts, frogs, and possibly blood from the skies.

I'll keep you posted.

Today I worked from home.

There is something to be said about rolling out of bed, and starting work without having to worry about pesky things like showering or putting on non-pajama attire (granted, I could go to work in my PJs at the office, if I really wanted to). Although it was a bit difficult to keep track of time spent working- it did all work out in the end.

If BossLady doesn't get the CPU down the twisty stairs of doom, I will be working from home for a longer time than I thought. Heh.

I left Bosslady a list of things I needed from her, so I can do my job tomorrow. They're not difficult. She needs to move the CPU so I can take it to the shop, sign several checks, and finish 2 items for mailing. If it's done, I'll be impressed as shit.

WeeHah.

Other news: Is it groundhog day yet?

More later.

Sauce.

12.21.2004

Pitchin' a Bitch

Egads.

OK. (And yes, all blog entries must begin with "OK".)

It was warmer today. And by warmer, I mean "My contacts didn't freeze to my eyeballs the nanosecond I walked outside".

My computer is still deceased. I am throwing myself upon the mercy of the ever-so-lovely gentlemen at the Cyber Warehouse tomorrow. The general consensus is that it's either a motherboard, ram or hard drive issue. I'm hoping for ram or motherboard, because I have no backups. (The damn CD ROM drive won't recognize a blank disc to write to- and hadn't for the past few weeks, so I've got nothin'.)

Bosslady is driving me batshit crazy.

Again. Like her. Like her mission. Think she's swell. She's not malicious, she's just scattered. But it's Driving. Me. Nuts.

F'rinstance.

Don't make me lie to the web guys (who are the smartest, swellest, nicest webdudes around) and tell them we have an article coming out in the paper over the weekend, directing people to our site, because you want them to rush your job. I hate lying to people, and frankly, we're not their only client. Also. Don't go out of town for two days, without telling me, and then bitch because I approved the changes so they'd be finished, and tell me you don't like them.

And don't call me at 8:30 at night, to ask me how to fix things on the site. Tell me what you want, and I will do it, but I may have been doing something (otherwise known as having a life) when you called, and don't have time to walk you through every single change, when I could just do it myself when I have time.

And if you ask me for a To Do list, and tell me you'll do the things on it over the weekend, I'm going to expect that you did them. But if you tell me that you looked at it, but that's it, then I'm going to be really cranky. Especially if you expected me to have everything done in 2 days (with no computer, therefore no list, and having to drive to the goddamn capitol building) and get snitty when I tell you that I haven't. Because when you do that, I reserve the right to get righteously angry on your ass. And where are the copies of checks I need to set up Quickbooks, you know- the ones I've been asking for since the first week of November. Slacker. I think those are a little higher priority than reprints of an article that came out last May.

Maybe I'm just being a surly little bitch, but frankly, I'm really starting to miss having a job, with a boss who knows what they're doing, with clear expectations of my duties, with real sick and vacation time, real live medical benefits, and co-workers. Maybe I'm just overreacting, but egads, this is starting to chafe a bit. At least at the little nonprofit that could (make you take back things you never stole) the resources were there that if something wasn't completed by FBD, I could do it myself. Here, I can't. And then the accountant calls me (in his obnoxious, condescending tone) and makes me feel like an asshole because stuff isn't done. I am not in a position where I can sit my boss down, and say "LOOK. You need to do this, and do it now." I'm also not in a position where I can start job hunting either. I haven't been there very long, and I can't even imagine how ungodly unbearable it would be to give her 2 weeks notice. (Not that she'd have difficulty finding someone to do my job- a monkey could do it- it's the dealing with her for 2 weeks.)

Anyway.

Welcome to Frustrationland. Population, Me.

Fie.






12.20.2004

It gets worse.

OK. Scroll down and read this morning's post. Go ahead. I'll wait.




Good. So you know it's hinty-bazillion degrees below zero today. And I was in total cocoon mode for work today. The final layer count was wool socks, wool clogs, long underwear, jeans, long sleeved shirt, sweater, pullover, mittens, before I had to go home. To put on a skirt. Yeah. A skirt. And ouchy shoes. To go to the Capitol. Which is 43 miles away.

And I call, to get directions, and totally make it there without incident. However, I find an open spot a block and a half away. Now, in the summertime, a block and a half is nothing, however, when it is hinty-bazillion degrees below, that block and a half, coupled with the 4.9 trillion steps outside make for shredded lung meat. (Lung. It's what's for dinner.) Picture if you will, Sicily, 1919. Wait. Wrong imagery.

Picture if you will, me. Trotting up the capitol steps, in a skirt, ouchy shoes, gigantic pink mittens, and a tinselly Christmas Tree. The Security guards were amused, and let me walk through the metal detector with it. so I could have had a bomb or a gun in my pocket, and it wouldn't have mattered, because I was spreading christmas cheer! And death! So, I trot this stupid tree up the steps in the rotunda, and finally arrive (wheezing) at my destination. The Lieutenant Governor's office. Where the security guard lets me BARELY fork said tree, card and tree skirt in the door, before I am shooed back out again.

That's right. I got dressed up, drove 43 miles, hiked a block and a half plus steps in the subzero cold, got laughed at by security for .4 seconds of face time. FIE! I wore mascara for this! So I drove home, picked up lunch for my ma and I, ate with her at the codger corral, and headed back to work (still wearing the ouchy, dangerous shoes). Only to find my PC still doesn't work, and it's still none-too-warm in my office. (With the heat cranked up to high, and the blower on full blast, it's putting out the thermal equivalent of an EZ Bake Oven.)

This is the point where I said "to hell with this" and came home. And did some work. I've decided to take the rest of the day (all 2.5 hours I would have had left) as "work at home" time. (I did actually do work too!) It's also prime laundry time.

Did I mention it's warm in my house?
Well, not like sauna warm, but warm enough that I don't have to wear long underwear and mittens.

Bah!

Whiny Freezing Snittage.

OK. Guess what the temperature is here in Amishville.

8 degrees, boys and girls. And while this may not be too cold for people living in Canada, or perhaps Antarctica, it's pretty fucking cold for this girl.

Oh, and the wind chill? Negative Eleven.

Go ahead, roll that off your tongue. What it means is you're going to go out to your car, and you're going to have to use a crowbar to get your driver's side door open, because it rained Sunday, and that has frozen solid. It also means you're going to have to let your car warm up for a looooooong time. And scrape ice pellets off your windshield. While your cheeks freeze, because the adorable pink, velvet-trimmed scarf you found is not big enough to wrap around your entire head. And your big pink polar fleece mittens will render you incapable of changing radio stations, lanes, or doing anything other than steer like a 90 year old. (But they do keep your hands warm, so you won't be snapping off digits like book matches once you get to work.

Oh, and when you get to work (attired in wool socks, sweater clogs, long underwear, jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt and sweater) you will immediately reach for your backup pullover, and contemplate burning bulk mail to keep warm, since your heater seems to be on the fritz, and it is approximately 30 degrees in the office.

Now, if I have any readers in places like Boston, Buffalo and Minnesota, I know- you have it much worse than I do. You have one week of spring, in the middle of August, and the rest of the year is approximiately 86 degrees below zero. Bite me. I just had two winters where "cold" was 40 degrees (which is really chilly if you don't have heat). I'm not used to this crap.

BRR!

Off to slaughter a chicken and hope the heater works.


Edited to add: Also, your office will be so cold that your computer will stop working, and your boss will call you to ask if you will deliver a cute, shiny, metallic Christmas tree (which will undoubtedly not pass through security) to the Lieutenant Governor's office, causing you to have to go back OUT into the cold, and change out of your cocoon like outfit, into something quasi-presentable (which means a skirt, because you own no nice pants)and you will freeze to death on the drive up.

HATE.


12.19.2004

Wake me when it's Groundhog day.

Actually, being a citizen of the great state of Pennsylvania, I enjoy Groundhog day, and have actually been to the Groundhog Zoo in Punxsuatawney. One of these years, I will actually go there on February 2, and partake in the drunken revelry (and really, is there any better kind). Mmm. Groundhog.

Anyway.

On to the holiday suckitude.

1. I am about sick of people kvetching about businesses using a generic "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas". There was a big snitty article in our local paper about this topic today, and it's something that's making national waves, up to and including a boycott of such stores by one group. I'm only going to say this once, so listen closely.

1. There are actual non-Christians out there. Many of them even live in the United States! (Gasp!)

2. There are people who celebrate holidays other than Christmas.

3. These other holidays also happen to fall during the month of December, or near to it.

4. These other holiday celebrating peoples generally do not have a sign on their foreheads that says "I am not a Christmas Celebrating Individual".

5. In order to wish a pleasant greeting to all persons celebrating a holiday during these winter months without reciting the entire litany of Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwaanza, Solstice, Yak Shaving Day, and so forth, it's simplest to just say "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings".

6. Instead of being upset, simply take the greeting- Happy Holidays, for instance, and apply it to your particular holiday. There. Wasn't that simple?

Now, I hope that was easily understood. Nobody's trying to take Christmas away. You can still put your nativity scene on your lawn, wear your angel pins, and sing "Oh, Holy Night". In fact, I encourage you to, if that's how you feel your faith is best expressed. Writing snitty letters to the editor and generally being rude to your fellow human beings is probably not what Jesus had in mind for His birthday. Whatever happened to "Peace on Earth, good will toward Man"? (and wo-man, but hey).

There. This concludes the culturally sensitive portion of the blogging. I now bring you to the hate-filled ranting, already in progress.

I hate the mall and everyone in it. Especially Santa.

Yeah, you. You fat bastard.

See, I've had it in for Santa ever since I was six. See, despite what you read here in this blog, I'm a shy person. Always have been. I don't turn into a mouthy evil beast until I am behind a computer screen, or know someone very well. Well. When I was six, I lost one of my front teeth. Not both. Just one. Typical. And, of course, when I get my chance to sit on the fat dude's red furry lap, he thinks it will be "cute" to force me to sing "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" (directly causing me to write a new song, years later, titled "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth, Buried in Santa's Jugular"). Did I mention this was in the middle of the mall? In front of approximately the entire town? Um. Yeah. So, thanks DuBois Mall Santa 1983, it's all your fault.

But I digress. I hate my local mall for one reason. Ambling.
Seriously. If you are window shopping, for the love of Pete, get your nose up to that window, and leave an aisle somewhere for those of us who need to powerwalk from Lane Bryant down to Suncoast, of I am coming through there throwing elbows, and kneecapping people who will not move. The trip would have been slightly more tolerable, had I been able to find what I was looking for. As it was, I ended up with a pink skirt (instead of black pants), which was only 11.00 (and that was a Christmas Miracle.) I still have to find a sparkly black top to go with it. I also ended up finding (and paying a hell of a lot more than they were worth) the gloves and scarf my mother wanted. However, I could have probably found that stuff, or something similar elsewhere, and saved the mental scarring.

Although, it could be fun to go there Christmas Eve, and do "Full Contact Mall Walking".

hee


On a June Cleaver note, I made "festive chocolate pretzels" which are really neither festive, nor very pretzely, but someone saw them in the paper and just had to have them, and Wilbur Bud Blossom Cookies. Wilbur Bud Blossoms are just like regular peanut blossoms, but infinitely better, because they use Wilbur Buds instead of Hershey Kisses. (Allow me to illuminate. Wilbur Buds are like Hershey kisses, but they are infinitely smoother, come in milk and dark varieties, and are made locally- so they're available in the bulk section of nearly every grocery store. It is physically impossible to eat Hershey Kisses after one eats Wilbur Buds. They're that good.) That was about the extent of my domesticity today. Yesterday, the Tree went up, and I wrapped my gifts. I just need to finish G. Monkey's (and Mr. G. Monkey's, and Monkeydog's) stockings, and I'll be officially ready.

Freakin' Amazing.

I leave you with this story, sure to warm the cockles of your frostbitten hearts (or something like that).

I can't remember if it was the same year or not, it probably was... Around Christmastime, we hauled out the gigantic hot-oil popcorn popper. You know the type, perhaps, pour oil into the bottom, dump in the popcorn, and put the big dome on top. The whole thing would get really hot, but when everything was done, you could turn it all over, and eat right out of the dome, if you were so inclined. Anyway... I was an inquisitive child, and watching the popcorn pop was right up there with catching the Muppet Show. So I was reeeeeeeeal close. Did I mention the dome gets hot too? Really, really hot? Flesh-Searingly hot?

Yeah. Dumb me gets too close, and my nose gets onto the un-be-lieve-a-bly hot popcorn popper dome. I wind up burning the tip of it, and having an attractive heart-shaped red scarry thing in all the Christmas pictures that year.

Did I mention my parents love to bring this up every time we make popcorn? Luckily, microwaves don't get that hot. Heh.

12.17.2004

Oh no they di-in't!

Sorry, I've been saying that a lot lately, and it amuses me greatly.

Is it really vindictive that our print rep and I have decided to start a "Dead Pool" for the Little Nonprofit That Could (make me want to gouge out my own eardrums)? Because, um. Yeah. We decided we should take bets on how long it'll last into the new year. The later it goes into the year, the higher the odds will be.

And yeah, I know I spend a lot of time on my former place of employment, but it's one of those train-wreck type things that just begs to be prodded at on a semi-regular basis.

The graphic design dude thinks it'll be gone by mid-year, I'm thinking no later than summer (and certainly not making it to the "gala" "planned" for October) I think once the "board of directors" (which has, until now, not had to work with FBD on an ongoing basis) gets down-n-dirty with FBD, they're going to run screaming, as if their heads were on fire. Heh.

In other news:

Note to movie producers. Cartoons do not translate well to live-action movies. Garfield? Well, it sucks as a strip, and it really sucked as a movie.
Fat Albert? Hey hey hey! The only time that was acceptable as live action was the infamous "Behind the Music" that SNL did. Big budget Fat Albert Movie? Not so much.

Also. Trailer for Tim Burton's Willie Wonka? Disturbingly delightful. I will actually plunk down cash to see this. (Although nothing- I repeat nothing will top the original.)

I also got a really nice indirect compliment about the columns I've been engineering for my boss. (I get a rough concept, and make it sparkle with my dazzling wit and mad writing skillz.) One of the people who read today's missives said that they were "newspaper caliber" which, granted, our local newspaper eats it bigtime, but I liked the sentiment.

I'm still in a pretty decent mood. It's Friday, my hair was semi-cooperative, I seem to have found good Sushi in Amish country (and I won't have to sell an ovary to get it), and I didn't freeze to death today. (Although, I should be bitchy, because I wore pantyhose for the first time in months today.)

I will probably be in a humor most foul tomorrow, though. I am going to brave the mall. On the last Saturday before Christmas. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! But it's the only place that has a store where I *know* I am going to find the nice black pants (skinny, but not too clingy, stretchy but with a good body, and easily hemmed) and possibly a cute top to wear to Boss-Lady's Christmas Eve drop in. (And maybe some bras, if they're on clearance. Say what you will, but if you're a bit top heavy, Lane Bryant makes the absolute *best* bras that not only fit, and make the girls do gravity-defying tricks, but don't look like they were made with I-Beams and concrete reinforcements. Usually the rest of their clothing is out of my budget, but I do love my biannual bra bonanza.) (sorry menfolk, you probably didn't need to know that much about my underthings)

Anyway, all that to say, braving the mall, finishing my Christmas shopping, and finding a tree should put me in an unbelievably bad mood tomorrow, so brace yourselves for full bore rant.

Until then.





12.16.2004

Holy Alton Brown, Batman!

Today's post is not going to be even remotely crabby. Just a warning. (I know, some of you find it hard to believe that I do have a pleasant piece of cartilage in my body, but I do. Tomorrow I'll go back to being the totally obnoxious bitch you all know and love.)


This started out as a pretty decent day. I got the heat to work in my office (but wore my long underwear just to be safe) and by the end of the day, I was actually almost too warm. (I know!) I worked an hour late, and didn't even mind, and listened to really good old radio programs as I worked. My hair even cooperated without the ceramic iron today. In all, not a bad deal.



And then I got home.

And what do I spy as I walk through our cluttered sun porch? A box. From Amazon.com. With MY name on it. This is a major surprise, because I haven't ordered anything from them this year. I am perplexed. I am positive it's not actually for me. (I mean, why would it be?) I ask my brother if he ordered anything, and he said he did- so I told him to open it- thinking it was just a glitch. Lo and behold- it wasn't. He hands me this pretty little pale green parcel and tells me it really is mine.

Ok, at this point, my mind is racing- who in the name of all that is holy bothered to send me something from Amazon? It couldn't be FBD, because she doesn't have my address (and wouldn't send me something anyway), couldn't be G. Monkey, couldn't be current boss. (Mind you, all of this stuff is going through my mind as I'm trying to rip of the 7 inch thick shrinkwrap they use.) Finally I get to the card, which reads

"To: June Cleaver
From:Capitalist Pig
As requested... and with the ulterior motive of getting to stuff my face the next time I cross the pond... Have a happy & a merry and all that."

And I proceed to pass out.

The Capitalist Pig is my (not so evil, for now, but I reserve the right to change the evilness level as I see fit) Libertarian friend from Norway (who has impeccable taste in music, if not politics). We met approximately 4.5 billion years ago, in a chatroom, and have mercilessly tormented each other ever since. He enjoys pointing out what he calls my "latent Republican tendencies" toward sewing, knitting and baking, while ridiculing my pants-wetting liberalness. I enjoy calling him a Reagan-loving capitalist bastard. It's a good thing.

Of course, I never actually expected anyone to buy me anything I've wheedled about (and I do not expect it now either) on this blog- the fact that people read it is enough, honest. But when I tore off the pretty green wrapping paper (saving the real, fabric ribbon!) and saw my very own copy of "I'm Just Here For More Food" I nearly passed out again.

I am an elated, and very thankful Sauce today. I'm even going to bake cookies from the book, and NOT poison them, to send to my Norwegian Capitalist, and attempt to thank him properly. (and lest you worry, he's known my address for years, and has not-as yet- tried to kill me, Huzzah.) And yes, Aton, you did manage to make my black, shrivelled little heart swell some today. It's the nicest surprise I've had in a very long time. (And if my email didn't get through to you, please let me know)

Now, ya Republican Infidel, ya could leave a comment in here every once in a while. Memphis Word Nerd won't bite, I swear.

This ends the sweet, and exuberant portion of today's posting. Tune in tomorrow when the psychotic ranting begins anew.

(and THANK YOU!!!)

12.15.2004

Can I get a side order of boiling lye with that?

So, here's how I spent my day today. And by day, I mean the portion of Wednesday where I wasn't huddled under a blanket thinking sweet thoughts about hot sand between my toes, warm stone massages, and roaring fires. Yes, the part of Wednesday where I was actually getting work done. (Which lasted till 2:00 when hypothermia and nausea won out.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. I spent today being a spammer.

Yeah. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Actually, a warm and fuzzy feeling would have been welcome. No, I spent my morning looking up names of local city council members, county comissioners, random media contacts, school superintendents and other people tangentially known by my employer, and sending them a heartstrings-tugging email trying to induce them to visit our website.

It wouldn't be bad if it was coming from my boss's email box, she could get the eyerolls and the "for the love of god, don't send me any more emails" emails. As it is, I've sent this thing to nearly 300 people. And I'll get to clog their inboxes every week! Hoooooorah!

Well, maybe not this week, if I don't get a message to send out.
I still feel dirty. Pass the boiling lye.

Warning- very non pc verbiage ahead.

Would it be terribly wrong to just send people the link to our website, accompanied by the following text? "Look. We want to help crippled folks, old people and maybe even puppies too. If you don't want to help, you're a heartless bastard, and you deserve whatever you get. Visit the site, or risk being smited. Have a nice day." It would be a lot less manipulative than the crap I'm using.

This is probably why I'd never make it in advertising.


Funny Extra Crazy Former Bosslady Stories.

G. Monkey called our former benevolent dictator yesterday, to discuss the cover for the next issue of the literary journal (she ever-so-foolishly volunteered to assemble). And G. didn't specify exactly what part of the conversation this entailed, but I'd like to think it came immediately after "hello".

"I don't know you."

pause. Insert visual of G. Monkey going- "bitch Craaaazy!" in her mind)

"But I wish I did."

I can imagine a lot of eyerolling, and G. Monkey trying her damndest not to say "You worked in the office with me for four years! Four of my most productive career years! By myself! In the office with you! You could have taken that opportunity to 'get to know me' then! And paid me! Psycho!"

I really wish I could have heard this conversation, or the one where Former Benevolent Dictator called a museum in Brussels. At closing time. And kept them on the phone for 25 minutes trying to get a picture of a painting. Did I mention she called Brussels? And the museum staff didn't speak English? Because they were in Brussels? And FBD thought that if she used English words with a French Accent they would magically understand what she meant? Yeah. And G. Monkey's sitting in the conference room all "call them back tomorrow." "Yo, get someone to translate what you want, and call them back tomorrow." CALL THEM BACK TOMORROW WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING! Hee.

In more gloating news (because I can, damnit) The Little Nonprofit That Could (drive you out of your ever-lovin' mind) is supposed to move into Hell's Half Acre sometime within the next two weeks, and every time I drive by it (it's on a main thoroughfare downtown, it's not like I'm stalking) there's NOTHING happening. No construction. No painting. No sign out front. Nothing. I'm betting the color scheme drove the workmen out of their minds. (Seriously, aqua, mint, and beige in a former school built in 1820? Who does that? I mean, other than FBD, who is a loon.)
I can only hope that one of the following things happened:

1. The evil demons that live in the basement (dude, there were freaky bloody spots on the walls that not even killz would cover up) have wrought havoc on the workers and their equipment.
2. The paint caused retinal damage a work stoppage (because seriously- you're going to take the advice of the person who's doing your linens- which will be on display rarely, over the people who will actually work in the house, and know something about historic palettes?)
3. (and the most likely scenario coupled with 4) The crews have discovered that FBD is craaaaaaaaaaaaazy, and refuse to work for her.
4. The skeevy, overpriced general contractor she hired is being a slimebag, and making sure things take twice as long as contracted, so he can make even more money.

Ah. Tis the season to gloat over other people's misery.

This is probably why I get coal in my stocking, and am generally labeled as unpleasant, and not fun to be around.

Heh.

Dear Santa

Dear Mr. Claus,

I know I stopped writing to you long ago, but please, would you hook a girl up? All I really want for Christmas is a ceramic heater, a roaring bonfire, long underwear, footie pajamas, electric socks, big wooly mittens, polartek clothing, a big pot of soup, a steaming tanker truck of coffee, a heated office chair, earmuffs, a hot toddy, some cinnamon red-hots, a hot water bottle, some wool sweaters, A really hot Baltimorean, a big fuzzy blanket, a wrap, a lap robe, a quilt, and the feeling back in my feet and fingertips. If it wouldn't be too much, I'd love heat in the bathroom downstairs too, or something to chisel myself off the seat with.

Oh, and could I have that today, instead of having to wait until Christmas? And, um, could you deliver those to my office?

Thanks so much. I've been "good" all year.

Sincerely,
Special Sauce

edited to add: Dear Santa, while you're at it, can I have some dramamine and gingerale too, or perhaps the ability to just keep my lunch down? Thanks ever so much.


12.14.2004

Super-crab-a-freakin-pissed-off-extra-angry-postin'

Yeah, Mary Poppins, you can bite my butt.

OK.

I have this job. See? And I don't do a whole lot right now, so I shouldn't bitch a lot, right? Well. I gotta bitch. Just a bit.

I love the mission of our organization. I think that the waiting lists that exist for MH/MR care in my state are ridiculous (thousands in crisis situations, yet the past year's budget only allowed for just under 400 new individuals to be helped), and I think that the fact that individuals with disabilities (and no MH/MR issues) aren't even included in these figures is a brand of disturbing that I can't even begin to describe. It's frustrating, because there's so much that needs to be done, and not enough resources (people, physical plant and funding) to help everyone who needs it.

But that's not the reason for my ranting.

No.

Today, I am going to kvetch about my boss. She is a very passionate, very devoted woman. She loves her family more than anything, and she's dedicated to her kids in a way that I wish my parents would have been when I was growing up. Then again, having a doctor in the family will afford you some luxuries. I don't fault her for that- it's where her priorities are, and that's all swell. However, the woman can't respect a timeframe to save her life.

Example. Friday we scheduled a meeting for this morning (Tuesday) at 9:00 AM to discuss strategic planning, board recruitment, and other things that would generally give me both things to do, and structure for the organization. I prepared a bunch of stuff from various websites, and my own experience, and put together handouts on how to select a nonprofit board, what committee duties are, and all that good stuff.

So here's how my day went...
7:30. Get to work
9:00. No boss (who needs a pseudonym)
10:00. No boss. No phonecall.
10:45. Phonecall. Boss is finishing writing notes on letters for bulk mailing. Will deliver letters at lunchtime so I can take them to post office "on my lunch break". (Note. Sauce has "taken a lunch break" exactly once, in six weeks. Special Sauce brown bags it, and eats at her desk.)
11:00. eat lunch at desk.
12:00. Boss comes with mailing, her christmas cards, and a holy host of complaints about the mailing list (which she says is incomplete. However, *I* wouldn't have known that when I printed the thing out, since the document said "Fancy Schmancy Fundraiser MASTER LIST". I kinda assumed the thing was right.
1:00. I finish sealing the envelopes that boss didn't bother with and take the entire thing to the post office, navigating the evil spiral staircase with trays of mail. (And the tall shoes, and I didn't fall!)
2:00. Return from post office. Wait. Retype entire email list.
3:15. Get 15 minute meeting with boss before she realizes she hasn't washed child's jersey for sports event this evening.
3:45. Go home.


OK. I like my boss as a person, but as a boss, she is sucking it pretty hard. She's busy, I'll grant her, but I can't figure out WHAT she's doing. This is her job- she doesn't work anywhere else. She has cleaning ladies. She has someone who cooks for her. She has a handydude. She has 2 full time aides for her daughter (who is disabled). The only thing she doesn't have is a kid with a driver's license so that she doesn't have to run all over creation and back for her kids.

It wouldn't normally piss me off so much, but damnit, it's really impeding MY ability to get anything substantive done. As much as I'd enjoy just surfing the internets all day, and pull a paycheck, I don't feel right about doing it. I've done about all I can do as far as research goes, I need some freakin' GUIDANCE. I don't need to be micromanaged, but I would like some direction, and the tools I need to do my job properly. That means, if I ask for check copies, I'd like them in the same month I asked for them. If I ask for paperwork to be filled out, sometime the same week would be nice. ARGH.

Yes, I'm having a bad day. This only compounds it. And apparently I'm low-girl on the totem pole for boy-o, and don't rate an email. (Even a "hey, we emailed constantly, and had some interesting chemistry, and I enjoyed our gymnastics, but I'm gonna split because I found someone closer to my zip code" would have been appreciated. Fuck it.


edited to add- received a voicemail last night, and apparently he has been sick, and at home, without internet access. So, he's not a total dick, but that's the way my mind works.

12.13.2004

What Floats my Boat?

This does. Classic radio shows, with a holiday theme. Burns and Allen? Check. The plot to overthrow Christmas? Check. Bing Crosby? Check. LOVE!

Now, it still doesn't sate my creepy desire to hear some old skool Christmas hymns. (Yeah, the creepy non-church-going part of me is horrified, but I really want to bust out with some "O Come All Ye Faithful".) Then again, Christmas Hymns were always the best part of Christmas Eve services anyway. (OK, and the live nativity, because being an angel wearing a parka under your bedsheet is really cool.) Go figure.

Helped G. Monkey decorate her upstairs this weekend- that was swell. We had a good time swingin' to some classy Christmas tunes, and rigged up a really cool swag for her gigantic archway. (The architectural feature, not the cookie.) We've decided to have a Christmas Eve-Eve potluck too, and I know exactly what I'm going to whip up.


Rachael Ray's Christmas Pasta Oh yeah, Just go look at the recipe. I'll wait. For those of you who won't click- it's got Pancetta, Hot Sausage, Meatloaf Mix and all manner of other delightful meatage in it. I made a version of it yesterday, without the variety of meat (had only hamburger, and no wine) and it was still tasty, so I know the REAL recipe will be even better. And, since it's the day BEFORE Christmas eve, I'm golden.

I may even make the fudge in her recipe, although I have an idea percolating in my brain for something with caramel and walnuts that I want to try.


If you need a present for the foodie in your life, I will shill once more-

Anything published by the folks at Cook's Illustrated is a good thing. Trust me.

Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food is on my Christmas Wish List, and I'm sure it's on the list of any other food-geek-obsessed person on your shopping list too. The first book- "I'm Just Here for the Food" was awesome, and has the best meatloaf recipe ever in it. It is worth it just for this alone, but Alton doesn't stop there. He also includes kitchen gadgets you can get from the hardware store, that do double duty and save you an arm and a leg. :) (Wow! Worst. Sentence Structure. Ever!)


Remember, I'm not on the payroll, but I probably would keep Alton or Christopher (from Cooks) in a Mayonnaise Jar in my basement (right next to Mr. Belvedere- and bonus points to anyone who catches THAT reference) if I were permitted.

Sauce Out.

12.10.2004

Do Over!

No seriously. I want a do over.

I should have known this day was going to eat it, when Evil (official eldest feline of Special Sauce) decided to wake me up at 2, 3:30, 4:00 and 5:00 AM. (She has this little trick of finding whatever piece of paper, plastic baggie, or clotheshanger that will submit to her willing little claws, and pick at it until I wake up and pet her. Sounds minor, but Sweet Fancy Elvis it's annoying.)

It was raining and my gas tank was practically empty, but I had enough time to stop and get gas, AND coffee (where they replaced my beloved holiday spice blend with Caramel Delight. I'm happy to report Caramel Delight is even better than holiday spice, so chalk ONE good point up). Double bonus, I get to work early.

Unfortunately, when it rains, the yard becomes a sodden, disgusting mess. Generally, to avoid messing up the boss's lawn, and my shoes, and probably my outfit (knowing my propensity towards falling), I tend to walk across her deck, and onto the sidewalk leading to the cabana when it's raining, instead of cutting across the yard. This morning, however, the dogs were out.

I may or may not have mentioned previously that my boss has three demonic Papillion dogs. One almost tolerates me, one barks in my general direction, and one hates EVERYBODY. Now, normally, one would think "tiny dog- no big deal". Well, you would be wrong. I must have accidentally sprayed my jeans with Mutton Scented Febreeze. Two of the dogs just barked their asses off at me, but the third, Mike Tyson, decided to bite me. Often. HARD. And it doesn't register that he's biting me. I mean it does- in the "Ouch, what the fuck was that?" sense, but not that "Yo, Sauce, pick up the pace, and get out of leash range, dumbass" sort of sense. Once I finally get out of dog-range, I realize the little bastard has bitten my calf (right below the back of my knee) but good. All the while, my boss is yelling "Oh god, I'm so sorry! Don't walk through there next time!" and I'm reassuring her I'm fine, but let me tell ya- that hurt like a bastard all day! Broke the skin, THROUGH my jeans.

So I think, at this point, it can't get any worse, right?

HA!

I put up with the minor nuisances of rain, and forgetting that downtown traffic, on a Market Friday, before Christmas is kind of like rush hour in Los Angeles. And G. Monkey's street was closed so I was late getting to go to lunch with her. And the restaurant we wanted to go to is apparently closed on Fridays now. So... we go to the diner of... the incredibly s-l-o-w service on the corner. Where I have a tasty tuna melt, and got to wear my neighbor's iced tea all over my leg.

Did I mention we had to keep running out to feed the meter, in the pouring rain, because the only spot I could find had a 30 minute limit, and it would have been just my luck to get a damned ticket?

So I go to Office Max (when will I learn?) to pick up our indicia stamps so I can finish the mailing I've been working on all week. The good news is that they're cheaper than I thought they would be. The bad news is that they refuse to take my Temp check. Luckily, I had enough petty cash to cover.

On the way back to the office, my odometer rolled over. Whee!

Did I mention it's pouring down rain, and my car now smells like wet dog?

I get back to work, and slog across the yard. The evil yapping bastards aren't out, but I'm not taking any chances. I manage to work for about 45 minutes, when I start to feel really sick to my stomach. I can't tell if it was the grotty iced tea, coupled with the coffee and the weather giving me a migraine, or if I got a bad tuna melt. Either way, Things were not swell in Sauceland.

So, good employee that I am, I pack up half the mailing (packed in two, three-foot trays), and one indicia stamp, and gingerly wind my way down the world's narrowest spiral staircase. I made it to the car (in the pouring damned rain) without incident, and age approximately 30 years waiting to turn onto the main road. Mercifully, I got home without hoarking.

I get home, and perhaps things are looking up a bit. I decide to snag a gatorade out of the downstairs fridge, to settle my stomach a tad. (Don't know why, but it works.) I make it 2/3 the way down on my feet, and go the rest of the way on my ass. Yep, I capped my day off by falling down the damn stairs. (And yes, I do fall down a lot. And not in a "my boyfriend beats me" kind of way. I'm either going to break an ankle or my neck one of these days.) Did I mention that I was barefoot at this point, so it's not like I can even blame my shoes, and there was nothing on the floor? I've decided to just stay down here, until such time as it's officially Saturday, or I am granted a Do-Over for Friday.

Just to recap for you-

1 mauling
1 fall down the stairs
1 iced tea all over my pants
1 decade aged at each of 3 intersections
1 mystery ailment which had better not impede my weekend plans (if I make any)
1 set of hellacious bruises
1 hundred thousand miles on my car
1 supremely ass-like day.

Here's hoping tomorrow is just a bit better.




12.09.2004

Holiday Newsletter-

Dear friends and family,

What a hectic year it has been for me! As most of you know, I moved back to Pennsylvania from Florida, and don't regret that one little bit. I mean, who can put up with sunshine all the time? And being able to sit on the beach on New Year's Day? God, that's overrated. Going out whenever I want, and having a great time? Bah! Give me a chance to freeze my ass off, scrape my windshield even in the summer time, and get treated like quasimodo any day of the week!

Some of you may have also heard that I was working for a swell little nonprofit literary organization. Unfortunately, I stopped working there in November, because my boss and I didn't share the same opinion on what constituted a "paycheck". Also, she was an insane harpy whose only life goal was to make me miserable! hee! She almost succeeded, but I'm ok with that now! I hear She's moving the office into Hell's Half Acre sometime at the end of the month, and I can't wait to never set foot into the building! I hear it's painted in perfectly lovely shades of seafoam, mint, and aqua- just perfect for a building listed on the historic register! All of the slave labor I did went down the shitter! I hope it burns to the ground!

I'm happy to say I've got a perfectly wonderful job now, and I get to set my own hours, and decide my own tasks! I've also got a crushing load of debt to pay off, and no real chance of ever getting that done without picking up a side job of either whoring myself out or selling my internal organs! Although organ harvesting's out, because I still have no health insurance! Crap!! At this rate, I may never move out of my parent's house, and will most likely die a bitter lonely woman!

In other news, I've read all of your poorly spelled, gramatically incorrect, exclamation-point-laden missives about how wonderful Muffy, Dirk, and Boopsie are doing! I've endured your countless cheery tales of how the gosh-darned dog stole the turkey carcass right off the serving plate at Thanksgiving and wore it on his snout for the rest of the evening! I've even put on a happy face, as I've read about the hardship you had to endure when you had to have a hangnail surgically removed, and now you're dealing with the heartbreak of Psoriasis! And after I threw up, I managed to put together this little holiday letter to send to all of you, so pardon the vomit stains, will you!

Oh, but where are my manners! I sincerely wish each and every one of you a happy holiday, and an ultra-festive new year. Please enjoy one of the delicious cookies I've enclosed with this letter. No! That's not bitter almond you smell! Dig in!

Sincerely,

Special Sauce

Y'know...

Dear Boss Lady,

Thanks for giving me a job. I really like getting a paycheck, and you're not as evil as the last Benevolent Dictator I worked for. However, I have a teensy complaint. Well, maybe two or three teensy complaints, but they're minor, honest. I want to stress that you're a really swell person, so I just need to say this so it doesn't blow up on me later.

You know that mailing you wanted to send out during the first week of December? The 1500 piece one? If you want me to just do it, say so, 'cause I don't mind. I've got enough time that I can probably slam it out in one day, if I don't work on anything else. But, when you tell me your kids are going to do it, well, I think of other things I need to work on, and I do them instead. Then, when I come in the morning after you swear that someone's going to work on stuff, and it hasn't been touched, I get a little frustrated, but I know how busy you and your family are. When I come in the third time after you've sworn they'd be finished, I get a little angry, because I could have had this done by now.

Also, while I don't mind being alone out here, I hate being told "I'm coming out to talk with you today" and never seeing you at all. This is a minor deal, but lets stop pretending. You're incredibly busy (by choice or by force, I won't say) and I'm in your employ. You don't have to come out in person and delegate tasks, but it would be nice if you'd email me, or call me and let me know exactly what you want me to do, or I will spend my day making the website look pretty, and trying to research things that I think might be important, only to find out they're not what you want at all. This can be quite frustrating.

Also, I've politely asked for the items I need to do my job (i.e. set up QuickBooks) for a month now. Short of the use of duct tape and a staple gun to pin you into one place for an hour, I don't know how else to obtain the check copies I need. Also, I'm all for saving money, and filling out our tax forms ourselves (read:myself) but I have no background financial information, and I can't complete 90% of the paperwork. In this case, it may be in your best interest to actually pay someone to do this. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. For now, however, you are impeding my job, and it's making me a little cranky.

To sum up, I'm a very bright girl, but this isn't my organization, it's yours. I need to know what you want me to do, so I can do it for you. I also need the tools to do my job properly and I need them in a timely fashion. I shouldn't have to remind you 15 times that I need something, and I would hope that you expect the same from me.

Sincerely,

Special Sauce
Employee of Every Month

12.08.2004

Another episode of... Ex Boyfriend Theatre

Ok, I had a really long thing about Stalker Tony all written out- my first felon, and all. But decided it really isn't funny when it's written out. Sorry. Although I will give this much advice-

1. Beware any dude who says he's a poet. Be doubly warned if he's been "published" in one of those "1000 best poems" volumes that come out every other week.

2. If someone threatens to throw themselves off the Mallory Square Pier if you won't go see them, go ahead and let them. It's only 3 feet to the water.

3. Ask for a handwriting sample. If he writes like Charles Manson, chances are, he's probably got a swastika carved SOMEWHERE on his skull.

4. If he keeps calling your voicemail long after you've told him to get bent, just so he can "hear your voice", it's time to change your phone number.

5. If you live in the Keys, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office Website is the cheapest thrill you can get on the internet. You never know who you'll find in there. It's great for screening potential dates too.

With that said... This concludes the trip down ex-boyfriend lane. For now, anyway.


Ooo, but I will leave you with this parting tale.

Picture if you will, Sicily, 1919. Wait. Wrong intro. Let me start again.


Picture if you will, a young Sauce- Short brown hair, bangs, and the biggest red glasses this side of Sally Jessy Raphael. It was a heady time we like to call the late 1980s, and I was... in Like. Yes, my little awkward self had caught the fancy of a young lad named Robbie. Robbie actually did pass me a note which read "Would you go out with me? YES NO" and gave me space to circle my answer. Of course, I did what any self-respecting seventh grader would do. I circled Yes, and I was a lucky lass!

Dear sweet Robbie lived in my development, a few units up the street. He had a penchant for stealing his grandmother's knick-knacks to give me- tokens of his love. During the spring evenings, we'd hold hands as we strolled down the field, and sit on the banks of the wastewater treatment plant (yeah, I know) and look for tadpoles (it wasn't a full on station, just a building, and a little stream- what did I know?) and talk. Oh, what a glorious time.

I can't remember why we broke up, but it probably had something to do with the fact that he liked to kill rabbits. (And was henceforth referred to in my house as "Robbie the Rabbit") ah... sweet romance.

Gag.


Otherwise, I have nothing funny to report.

Donald Rumsfeld is making me ill. I'd like to see HIM go over and fight this goddamn war without the equipment he needs, and see how he enjoys it.



12.07.2004

Spirit of Exes Past

Ok, because I had so much fun with yesterday's story, I'll share a new one. Well, an old one, made new, because I heard the christmas song "Frosty the Cokehead" and damn if it didn't bring back some memories.

Please note. Special Sauce does not partake of illicit narcotics. Special Sauce could pass a drug test any day of the week. Special Sauce would rather have a beer than smoke a joint, but she doesn't mind what other people do. Special Sauce is not, nor was she ever a cokehead.

Lest I sound like some shrill bitch who lives to make fun of her exes, let me reassure you. I'm not shrill (much), I'm only a bitch when people are stupid, and what fun are exes if you can't make fun of them? Besides, this one likes to tell people he's the reason I moved away from Key West. He's got a few jabs comin' to him.

Now, on to Roooooooob. No, I haven't changed his name. I won't use his last name, but lets just say it's a type of tank. He's not innocent, and if I were a total bitch, I'd turn him in on an outstanding warrant. Instead, I'll just make fun of him. Hee!


Rob started out as a fairly interesting boyfriend, although he too had the freaky snaggly teeth, and a penchant for cigars. (Boys, if you're going to smoke those turds, for the love of god, invest in some brush ups, a tiny bottle of listerine, and a spool of dental floss and carry them with you at all times, because kissing you after you smoke one of those damn things is kind of like licking out a litterbox.) Sure he had an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek, and lived in the hotel he worked at. And he'd make me feel like I wasn't cool enough to be dating him (yet he owned, and wore a straw kangol that made him look like he was wearing a Longaberger basket on his head), and did I mention he owned (and wore in public) a speedo? Um. Yeah. Oh. And his near encyclopedic knowledge of showtunes and his penchant for shaving bits that shouldn't necessarily be shaved probably should have tipped me off that all was not right in Robville.

Anyway. Stupid me decides it would be a jolly thing to invite Roooooob over to Thanksgiving dinner at our apartment. My roommate and I had no family down there, and since our respective mates didn't have family nearby, we thought it'd be a fun afternoon. Mistake 1- inviting Rob. Mistake 2- not telling him to shove it when he said he wouldn't come, because he doesn't "do" holidays. Mistake 3- insisting he come, or I would be "very disappointed". He came. Grudgingly.

Due to a timing glitch, our cocktail hour was extended for an extra hour and a half, wile the turkey finished cooking, and we were all rather rosy by the time we got to eat. Rob seemed to be making extra trips to the bathroom, which didn't phase me much at first- hell, we were all going a bit extra thanks to the wine. What I didn't know, until a bit later, is that he was going to the bathroom to snort coke.
Mistake number 4- Not telling him to fuck off when he was doing coke in my house. After dinner, my roommate and I cleaned up as Rob and "other dude" hung out on the porch and drank more. Then Rob and I watched TV in my room while my roommate and her mate got into a screaming match over something Mate said to Rob on the porch. And I found out about the coke. And I told him he was a fucking moron.

Good rule of thumb, illegal narcotics tend to make your Thanksgiving a bit icky. They also apparently cloud your date's judgement even if she hasn't partaken, because again- didn't dump him on the spot. Probably thought it made him a "wild guy" or something.

We still dated, and Christmas came along. I wasn't allowed to buy anything for Rob for Christmas- good, since his dealer probably didn't offer gift certificates- but he was adamant about getting me a gift. Little known fact about coke, apparently it makes you a really shitty shopper. Far be it for me to belittle ANY gift someone thinks to give me, but you do NOT buy your girlfriend blockbuster gift cards for Christmas. If she gives good, uncomplaining head, and surprises you with breakfast on her way in to work when you're finishing up the third shift, and lets you watch Star Trek when she would really rather gouge out her own eyes, she is worth a pair of earrings, damnit! Maybe a bracelet- no gemstones, just silver! A Sweater! A Skein of nice yarn! A Sarong! Something you know she'll like, because you know her tastes! The woman who puts up with your shit does not get blockbuster gift cards. The guy who delivers your paper gets blockbuster gift cards. Your mailman gets blockbuster gift cards. The woman who knows what your penis is named does. NOT. Get. Blockbuster. Freaking. Gift. Cards.

(Rob Junior. And now you don't have to get blockbuster gift cards either!)

Heh, and I was actually upset when a few weeks later he gave me the "I need some space to figure out if I need Special Sauce in my life" chat, which really means "there's a cute girl down at Express, and I'd like to get into her pants, but if I dupe you into dumping me, I can look like the sensitive dumped guy and get great rebound sex".

Again, maybe you had to be there. Truth be told, the Sauce is not a grudge holding girl. I do laugh about it now, and I also realize I was insane for the six months we dated. I hope the girl from Express was better suited for him, and they're happy doing whatever it is they're doing. I also hope he doesn't buy her any blockbuster gift cards for Christmas.






Just wait till I tell y'all about Stalker Tony someday. My first Felon.

(now you know why I'm willing to drive an hour and a half to spend some time with a really normal guy, whom I will still say nothing else about, lest I jinx things.)


Today's list:

knitted uteruses? HATE. (Although I may knit G. Monkey an ovary for christmas.)
K-Mart's wool socks? LOVE.
Sleeping all night:LOVE LOVE LOVE
lack of direction: Hate
Short attention spans: hate.


12.06.2004

Caution, Bad Taste Ahead

Heh. Yeah. But it's funny bad taste, or perhaps you really just needed to be there. OK. As you may or may not know, yours truly loathes bars about 75% of the time. I don't have the cash flow to take classes, and everyone G. Monkey knows is married or in a penal colony. So, in times of trouble, I've turned to the internet to meet dudes. Guys. Shining speciments of the opposite sex, if you will. It's not embarassing, and actually, it's kind of nice to meet people before you see them. Levels the playing field, so to speak. I've met 4 people so far. 2 never emailed me again, 1 seems to be a very decent fellow (and I'll say nothing more so I don't jinx the thing) and one... well... how shall I begin.

I just want to start this off by saying, as a short, wide girl, I'm not as concerned about the looks end of things. Generally speaking, I dig thick guys with short hair and sweet eyes, (Ben Roethlisberger- call me!)but I'm not one of those diva girls who gives the rest of us a bad rap. I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea (wait, I'm not?), so I'm a bit more flexible than some. Height especially isn't a big issue for me. Generally speaking (as a girl with height issues and a very tall shoe collection) most people are taller than me, but if not, no biggie. I had to take my shoes off to dance with my homecoming date, and he was the sweetest guy on the planet. (Oh, how I miss him.)

Anyway. To sum up that big ol' preface, if a guy's shorter than me, I don't really care, lest I get emails from the Little People of America, I am NOT sizeist.

That said.

Our correspondence started amiably enough, he noticed my profile at a singles board for liberal folk and dropped me a line. I thought he seemed rather swell, and told him so. He (we'll call him Bob)had a zany sense of humor and was a pop-culture hound. Bob and I spent more than a few telephone calls debating the relative merits of Saturday Night Live seasons, classic Mustangs, and eventually made plans for our first meeting.

(Alarm bells should have rung at this point, because 1. Bob shared the same first name as a particularly odious person from my past, and that's bound to be no good. 2. Our conversations were perennially shallow, although without actually meeting someone, I can let that slide.)

Toward the end of one of our last emails, he asked if I had read his profile. Sure I had. No photo, but everything else seemed normal enough. The height read 4'11", but I figured he just never filled in anything and that was the default. Big whoop. Even if he was shorter than me, well... see above.

Fast forward to the night of our date. I am, of course, wearing a pair of my really tall shoes, because they make my calves look swell, and I was wearing a shorter skirt. Now, when I say "Tall Shoes" I mean they probably made me maaaaaaybe 5'5" instead of 5'2". Instantly I spot Bob, as he presently has a fabulous view of my (also fabulous) breasts, as they are practically poking him in the eyes. Boy, would I have given anything for stumpy, tree-trunk-looking calves at this point. I feel like a total ass, and I am towering over this guy. This guy who is about to lose an eye if I get jostled in the lobby of the restaurant, and who is trying to give me a white rose.

(Side note. Guys. About the flowers... Because, honestly, we won't die without'em, and generally speaking, on a first date they won't increase your chances of getting laid, but if you DO bring them, remember:
Roses say "I have no imagination", Carnations say "I'm cheap", Lillies and Mums arranged in a horseshoe or wreath say "I just stole these from a funeral" and a single rose still in its gas station cellophane says "I have no imagination AND no forethought.")

Finally we get seated, and my rose and I finally feel a little more comfortable in our booth. Bob and I begin chatting again, still superficially, and every time I attempt to steer the conversation toward something a bit deeper I am thwarted. (If a girl asks you "Oh, you visited Pittsburgh often when you were in school? Where did you go to college?" she's trying to draw you out. Answering "Ohio" does none of us any good.) Also, a disturbing trend has started. Bob likes to clink glasses. A lot. As in "Cheers" without the "cheers" before it. And bump fists. With me. A lot.

This is the point where I notice Bob has really scary teeth. Not Renaissance Faire bad, but a hybrid of English and candy corn. I can't. Stop. Staring. Even after fist bumps numbers 90 and 91, the teeth, they mesmerize.

By now we've finished our dinners, and our waitress is looking to get rid of us. Understandable. I worked at that restaurant, and weekends are packed. Wanting to evaluate further, we decide to go for coffee. I drive, because I know where I'm going, and I'm fairly certain that Bob doesn't have an axe in his pants by this point. We kick back with our beverages, and talk some more, bump fists and tap cups a few more times, and eventually it's 11:00. By this point, I know that I need to go home, and Bob needs to get back to his place (he lives rather far away). So we hop in my car, and I drive through the city back to his car.

The fact that we drove through the city is kind of important. The area that surrounds us is mostly agricultural, and it's not uncommon to whiff some organic fertilizer out in the 'burbs, but downtown, one never smells anything so funky. Well, never, except in my car that night. Yes. Bob (to his credit, silently)ripped one in my car. Didn't apologize. Didn't blame a dog, didn't try to pass it off on me, didn't. Crack. A. Window.

Now, I would rather have my head explode in a shower of brain and bone than fart in someone's car on a first date. If it was absolutely unavoidable, I'd sure as hell apologize too, but not my snaggletoothed little friend. Boy didn't even turn RED!
That was the last straw. Vapid conversation? Fine. Shorter than me? Fine. Snaggly "Tim Curry as 'It'" teeth? Fine. Farting in my car? Not fine. Not fine at all.

Now. Once we finally got back to his car (a very tiny, bright colored clown-car looking car, I might add- because at this point, it's just icing on the comedy cake) he decides it's hand-holding time. I valiantly try to telepath "get out of my car, get out of my car, getoutofmycargetoutofmycargetout!" to no avail. I know what he wants. He wants... the goodnight kiss. He is not getting the goodnight kiss. Frankly, if the fart was rank, imagine what the breath is like in a mouth with those snaggly teeth? He had to settle for the goodnight hug, where he stole a goodnight peck on the cheek.

I went home, endured many "wee" jokes, and cashed in some dating karma by never seeing him again...

The Moral of the Story:

If you're short, you can't be shallow, and for god's sake, brush your teeth!




Maybe this is a horrible story, and makes me sound like a totally vapid bitch. I swear I'm not. C'mon, I dated Rooooooooooob, the speedo wearing, cokehead, egomaniac, self-esteem destroyer. I earned some "wow, I so don't need THAT" points.

Heh.



In other news-

Ben Roethlisberger. Love.
McHenry beer. Love.
Driving to Baltimore. Love.
Decent guys. LOVE.
Shopping. Hate.
Cold. Hate.
Only running into people you know when you look like ass. Hate.


My office was so cold this morning, I thought my sinuses would claw their way out of my skull. It took until 1:00 till my feet were no longer painfully cold, and were merely "chilly". My legs were blocks of ice until nearly 11:45. This is what I get when I forget to wear long underwear to work on Monday. (I leave the heat on during weeknights, but the cheap in me cannot in good conscience leave it on over the weekend when there's nobody else in the cabana. I pay dearly with hypothermia on Monday, unless my boss remembers to turn the heat on sometime Sunday night.)

On that note.