Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things I have learned this week.

1. When your boyfriend dumps you ... he stops calling. This occurred to me this morning as I was getting ready for work. Mr. Wonderful used to call me on his commute, which, even though I was often harried, I loved. He has stopped doing this. For some reason, this truly, deeply shocked me. I miss it.

2. When you decide on a school night to practice your Halloween makeup at 10:30 before you go to bed, you shouldn't assume that just because you are female and a former theatre major that you have any skill whatsoever when it comes to eyeliner. Especially if you haven't worn eyeliner since Halloween 1996. You will learn to appreciate that Amy Winehouse - while a mess in many ways - is truly skilled. At 10:40 on a school night is also not a good time to realize - only after pencilling in black goth eyebrows - that since you don't wear eye makeup, you don't have any eye makeup remover.

3. True love looks like vegetable chili. And also like roasted garlic pizza. My dear friend Leeza had me over for chili and an empathetic discussion that included no ex-boyfriend bashing. Just having someone prepare a hot meal for me felt so comforting. And tonight, after listening to me sob on the phone, Alice called back and announced that she and Jake were on their way over with dog, wine, and roasted garlic pizza - my favorite - en tow. All three friends offered kind words and deep, loving friendship. I am so, so humbled to have such wonderful people in my life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Working girl.

I was walking back to the office after lunch with my friend Dorothy. The sun was shining and it was a lovely afternoon. And I turned to her and exclaimed, "I came to work today! And I sat at my desk for three hours! I should totally get an award. And then go home."

Because yes, it does feel like a major accomplishment. I didn't get an award, and I stayed. I stayed late. I left at 6, which I am no longer classifying as normal, because I am attempting to have a healthy attitude about work. I stayed because there were things to do and ... it occurred to me that it didn't matter how late I stayed. I could stay all night. At least I would be doing something productive instead of skulking about my house in my bathrobe.

But I came home. I made a fried egg sandwich and ate it while reading Entertainment Weekly (subtitle: The magazine you read while you're doing something else!"). And I'm doing laundry.

These are things I know to be true:
  • Being alone is not reason to be a workaholic.

  • However I chose to spend my time is worthwhile.

  • I am worthwhile.

  • Work is not the only option.

  • I am so lonely I could spit.

But it's a weird lonely. It's a "please don't call me and expect me to talk to you" lonely. It's an introspective lonely, a lonely that pines away for one particular person. And it's also a "This is my very first day back at work and therefore my very first post-work night post-Mr. Wonderful" lonely.

I'm getting my Halloween costume ready - I'm going to be a tattoo artist. And I am making a list of things I want in my life. And I'm reading a book about work / life balance - a post-break-up gift from Mr. Wonderful (I know ... ).

So it's not like I'm in the fetal position, rocking and moaning. But I am ... sad. I'm just sad. One of my dear friends said today she's waiting for me to be mad. Not now. I was mad yesterday. And then it was gone, and I just missed him so much it hurt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I think you better call Tyrone.

Yesterday was a really rough day.

I came home. And much like a spaceship reentering Earth’s atmosphere, I felt like everything was on fire.

Oh, and my skin was peeled off my body.

I walked into my house to find Mr. Wonderful everywhere. I knew it would be bad, but I wasn’t prepared for how truly awful it would be.

Two photos on my nightstand. His clothes, both in a pile on the floor and in a drawer in my dresser. The valentines I gave him still in that dresser drawer. All of his toiletries still in the bathroom. A photo of the two of us on my fridge. Cards he gave me. A drawing his daughter The Ladybug made for me, complete with her careful spelling of a nickname no one will call me ever again. Stickers I bought for The Ladybug, and a children’s magazine I saved for her because it was called Ladybug. A case of Mr. Wonderful’s pop. His shoes. A pile of his hair where I trimmed his ‘do in the basement. The sense that he will be home any moment … and the bitter knowledge that no, he’s not coming back.

I can’t stop crying. And not pretty crying – crying where you suck in air in freakish gasps and then sob almost like an animal.

I am hurt so deeply. The man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with – who treated me poorly but in whom I still see the kind, loving man I fell in love with – has told me that he doesn’t want to be with me. But he wants to be friends because I’m so awesome. I’m so awesome that he doesn’t want to deal with my shit. But he wants to hang out.

And the lovely little girl that I loved? She probably won’t remember me. She won’t ever know that there was a woman who cared about her so deeply, and who was nervous but excited about becoming her stepmom. And maybe someday I’ll see her and recognize her, and she won’t give me a second glance.

So Mr. Wonderful, this is why I put all of your stuff in my shed and asked you to come get it at your earliest convenience. It’s a meager attempt at self preservation. And if you really love me as much as you say you do, you’ll understand.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Try once more, like you did before.

I've been hanging out with my brother Poochie. He took me to Dairy Queen. Obviously, he is an amazing person and loves me very much.

Despite his fun and understanding company, today has been a rough day. Geriatric Poodle doesn't know where the hell he is, so he barked until 2 a.m. this morning. And I woke up having dreamt about Mr. Wonderful.

I've been crying a good part of the day.

Poochie just left, and I'm headed back home tomorrow. I have pretty much sat on my ass for the last five days. I've watched enough TV to last me for a year. So far, I've experienced these stages of grief:
  • The eating too much homemade pumpkin bread stage

  • The "I just know we're going to get back together" stage

  • The "Well, maybe it would be a good idea to take a Tylenol PM" stage

  • The subsequent stoned out of my mind stage

  • The watching Celebrity Rehab and suddenly feeling a lot better about my life stage

  • The bubble bath and trashy magazine stage, including its substage seeing photos of stars without makeup and suddenly feeling a lot better about myself

I'm sick of lazing about, but I'm also terrified to go back to my real life - my real life with the giant, gaping hole / wound in it.

A dear friend just sent this to me, and I'm thinking now that it may be my theme song for the next few days.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The best of my blessings is you.

So, my parents' shih tzu refuses to take a dump in his own yard. He much prefers to do his business up the street, at the grassy traffic island where the neighborhood's mailboxes live.

Shih Tzu Magic is an older gent, and very set in his ways. He's also now unable to climb the hill to get to the traffic island. So, my mom bought a baby stroller at a garage sale, and she regularly pushes his girthy self up the hill so that he can literally take a load off.

The other day, she and I were walking out the door, headed to the antique shop. Shih Tzu Magic kept following us, and we finally picked up the clue phone and realized he really wanted to go up the street. It was chilly, so my mom just plopped him in the backseat, and we drove up the street.

I sat in the car as she walked the dog and tried to help in his quest to find just the right spot. And as I'm sitting in the car, the theme song from The Greatest American Hero came on the radio. Believe it or not! I'm walking on air! I never thought I could feel so free-he- he!

I found myself singing along. As you do.

My mom and Shih Tzu Magic crossed the street and she motioned for me to roll down the window. "Barry's in the CD player!"

So I hit CD on the stereo, only to be greeted by "Beautiful Music," one of Mr. Manilow's cheesier but oh-so-fabulous hits. I turned it up and kept the window down so my mom could listen while the dog finally - and joyfully - took a dump in the yard of an evil old neighbor lady who has been dead for three years but was sadly so mean that we still take joy whenever the dog shits in her yard.

That's when it hit me.

My heart is broken and things are so not turning out according to plan - my plan. But my sweet mama and I are singing to Barry Manilow while her shih tzu shits in the evil neighbor's yard - a task we drove him up the street to do.

Life is so, so sweet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Would you like cheese to go with that whine?

I'm at my parents' house in Iowa.

Yes, I'm 33 years old, and when my boyfriend dumped my sorry ass, I hightailed it to my parents' house. Shut. Up.

So, I'm eating. And I'm sleeping a lot. And technically, I'm now dogsitting, as my folks left today for a family reunion.

Wednesday was a bit of a blur of crying, napping and eating. Yesterday, however, I experienced great triumph.

I wore my contacts. I wore mascara. And I didn't cry at all, all day long.

Yeah, I know.

Today, I'm wearing my contacts, but I've already cried, so at least I don't feel like I have to be perfect for the rest of the day. I already fell off the wagon.

My brother Poochie was supposed to come today, to save me from being alone. But now he's not coming until tomorrow, and he has plans most of the day. This means that I have two days to deal with myself.

My parents have Crazy Sexy Cable, so I could conceivably do nothing but watch TV for the next 48 hours. But as my dad was showing me the 27 remote controls necessary to manage Crazy Sexy Cable, I burst out in tears. This is what frightens me.

No, not the remotes. No, I'm frightened by the free time. What am I going to do with myself when it's just me? What am I going to do when I come home from work and I have five hours to fill before bedtime and no one who wants to hang out with me? No one to make dinner for? No one to ask about my day?

I guess it starts now.

So, I'm writing. And I have the TV on for sound, but also to cover up the sound of Geriatric Poodle barking incessantly because, well, he can, and he doesn't know where he is. And I'm going to Wal-Mart later to find supplies for my Halloween costume, since Alice invited me to tag along to a party - I'm back to being the third wheel.


My dad said, "You're much more resilient than you know."

Which might have been code for "Don't get snot on the remote." But mostly ... I know he's right. It just sucks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well, I am growing out my hair.

My mom bought me a new hairdryer when I went off to college. It was black and a bit of a workhorse, but not in that "I spend way too much energy on my hair" sort of way.

One of my roommates had the exact same hairdryer, so I put a sticker of a dancing lobster from The Little Mermaid on mine so that we could tell them apart.

I have been out of college for 11 years and that hairdryer is still kicking. Except ... that I left it at my parents' house by mistake two years ago. I didn't realize this until I was back at my place the next morning and I had to use an oscillating fan to dry my hair before work. I bought myself a new, not as workhorse-ish hair dryer, and it's ok, but it lacks that certain somethingsomething - namely that it doesn't smell like smoke like the other one.

Continuing my rich history of receiving hair dryers as gifts, Mr. Wonderful bought me a hairdryer to keep at his house. It's the same model as the one I bought for my house. I thought this was a very sweet gesture, and it made me feel at home on those mornings when I attempted to look normal and not all "Dude, I totally shacked last night."

This spring, after only a few months in service, the hairdryer at Mr. Wonderful's house crapped out. No smoke, no noise, nothing. It was a chilly spring day, and I let the car heater dry my hair as I drove to Corporate Behemoth. Once there, I pulled my styling goop and can of hairspray out and finished my hair in the ladies' room.

That night, I went to Target and bought another of the exact same hairdryer. Got it back to Mr. Wonderful's only to find that the old one wasn't broken - we'd just tripped a breaker.

Because I'm lazy and hate returning stuff, I just kept the extra hairdryer in his linen closet, figuring that someday I will need it.

Now, I have three of the exact same hairdryer. Three hairdryers at my house. Because Mr. Wonderful and I broke up.

I left his house with three Target bags full of my stuff. It's like I never existed.

What the fuck am I going to do with three hairdryers? Even with my Raquel Welch wig-esque hair, I do not under any circumstances require the drying power of three hairdryers.

And more importantly, what the fuck am I going to do without my best friend?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In which I judge myself in a super annoying fashion.

Day four of the 29-day, 29 Gift challenge. Today's lucky recipient of a gift is ... Cha Cha! C'mon down!

I didn't win a lifetime supply of Jiffy Pop, and I didn't receive a new car.

No. Today I gave myself a break.

I don't have to fix it all right this moment. I don't have to know all the answers. I don't have to do anything but breathe.

So I talked to my boss about the nature of my burnout. Miraculously, I did so without tears. And I started planning for at least a few days away from the office in the coming weeks.

This is definitely the hardest give so far. I question the neediness of the recipient. Surely she's just lazy, or faking it, or what have you.

But upon further examination, no. No, the recipient of today's give needs a fucking break already. So let her have it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day three. And the wheels fall off.

Ok, not really. It just feels like it.

Today is the third day of my 29-day 29 Gifts campaign. Today, I should be able to say that I bought a complete stranger lunch, or I gave my time to a shelter or some such thing.

I didn't.

If I'm being charitable, I will say that today, I gave heartfelt thanks for the safe arrival of my dear friend's 10 pound, 10 ounce baby girl. I gave time to a friend. I gave a shit at work even though I really didn't want to.

And perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that I need to give myself some credit.

It's hard to be charitable, though, when you're exhausted. And when you're feeling bad about the biggest charitable opportunity you had in the last 24 hours. It was at a meeting where people with far more patience and a little less savvy than I organized a food drive, a food drive that I feel will be marginal at best. All I could think was, "Don't waste my time. Please, just let me write a check."

But really, sometimes that's plenty.

So maybe today, I should just give myself a break.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An important side note.

I am not so hot at replying to comments on this blog. Don't feel bad - I'm not replying to voicemails in the three-dimensional world, either.

That said, I must tell you all how very much I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement. Thank you for telling me it will all get better. Thank you for telling me to keep writing. Thank you for making me feel, well, better.

Just, you know, thank you.

Carry on.

That is so bananas.

Yesterday, while working from home, I edited a 62-page document. And because the doc was so huge, I edited it in front of the TV.

What was on the TV? Well, I stumbled upon The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo.

Rachel, for those of us who aren't fabulous, is the stylist to the stars. Her reality show is all about the stresses of finding the perfect dresses for A-list stars during awards season. How will Rachel ever find gowns worthy of an Oscar presenter? Can she really run a successful business with three hours of sleep, one bitchy assistant and one very green assistant?

I watched, uh, three episodes of this show yesterday, and the season finale is on my DVR right now. Let me tell you why.

I have finally found someone whose work / life balance is more fucked up than mine.

I know!

Rachel works all the time. She doesn't spend time with her husband. She skips her uncle's funeral to do a photo shoot.

I have finally found someone who makes me feel morally superior!

Ok, not really. But watching her show has given me some clarity about the price of work, and it's easier to pick out another person's shortcomings than your own ... but if you're paying attention, you can see yourself. Or at least I can see myself as a far less fabulous version of this workaholic.

I did nothing for the last hour I was at Corporate Behemoth today. I am finally realizing that I am truly, deeply burned out, and it isn't something that can be rectified by a three-day weekend. I need some major change. I just have to figure out what that is. Thanks to Rachel Zoe, I'm pretty sure it's not becoming a stylist to the stars.

For 29 Gifts, my gift today was making brownies for a meeting and then foisting most of the leftovers upon the meeting attendees. Everybody wins - people get brownies, and I don't have to live with the temptation of 2 /3 of a pan of brownies calling to me at all hours. Huzzah.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Give a little bit.

So, the funk is still funky. I'm tired of writing about how things are basically falling apart in my life, so I can only imagine how sick and tired all you three readers are of reading about it. I mean, sobbing in the parking lot of Duds 'n' Suds is way fun, but it's just not the sort of thing you can do every day.

It's called moderation, people.

I'm feeling a bit more in control at the moment, and am working very hard to set the pace for myself at work and in my personal life. I'm trying to kick the crap to the curb and focus on the really important stuff.

Or, kick the carp to the curb, as I initially typed. Damn you, carp! Get your fish-ass self outta here!


I have been hiding. I've been letting everybody go to voicemail. I have about a gazillion unanswered e-mails. I have been turned very much inward. And that's understandable ... but not exactly my long-term style choice.

I found a little somethingsomething that appeals to the Nice Girl in me who always tries to compliment strangers and tip very, very well. It's 29 Gifts - participants give 29 gifts in 29 days and report back on their experience. Put good things out into the universe and get many blessings in return.

Simple enough. I'm going to give it a go. And I'll report about it here. I'm hoping it will shake awake my inner Not Miserable Cha Cha.

Today's gift is with a thankful but heavy heart ... I made a memorial donation in honor of Michelle Mayer at Diary of a Dying Mom. She passed away this weekend, after a long struggle ... and a graceful lesson in what it means to truly be alive. I am richer for her life, and I am humbled by how she shared her experiences. I gave a small gift in honor of that, but really, she gave me a much, much greater gift.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I guess this is progress.

Two things made me laugh today:

  1. I love those stupid Swiffer ads that feature the mop and the broom pining away for the housewife to the tune of "Baby Come Back." I think that song is hilarious and wonderful, and the idea of a mop paying a mariachi band to play it to try to woo the housewife? Well, it about makes me pee my pants every time. Because yes, I am just that simple.
  2. I took my dogs for separate walks today. Geriatric Poodle's walk is more of a sniffing meander around the block that takes about half an hour. You can tell from his gait that he thinks he is hot shit, and that pleases me. Foxie Doxie's power walk entails a 12-pound dog screaming and pulling me. The screaming isn't like "OMG, someone is hurt." It's more of a "hearn hearn HEARN hearn" that makes you wonder, "OMG, what is she doing to that poor animal?" It's a subtle but important difference.

    Anyway, Foxie Doxie stopped to smell a tree. Evidently the scent was intense and definitely required a rebuttal - literally. He peed on the tree, then in a flash of movement turned around and pooped against the tree. Except the poo ricocheted off the tree and bounced about a foot away from the tree, almost hitting my shoe. This is what I think of your problems, mama.
Yeah. My people are a simple people. This is a start.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cha Cha’s guide to success.

I don’t like to brag, but I recently found myself sitting in my car outside of a Duds ‘n’ Suds laundromat, crying so hard that I couldn’t drive.

I know that you’re wondering, ‘How does she do it? What’s the secret of Cha Cha’s super fantastic life? And how can I get one?’

Gentle reader, I am here to share the secrets of my success. Get a pen or pencil, and prepare to be dazzled.

  1. Get waaaaaay too into your job. Derive your sense of self from your work. Skip social events to work.

  2. Try to date. Have the good fortune to find a truly amazing man. Attempt to build a lovely ménage a trois with you, your boyfriend, and your job. Watch the ensuing fun.
  3. Get burned out at work from being in firefighting mode for eight long, grueling months.

  4. Wonder why your relationship is suffering. Be genuinely surprised.

  5. Have random-ass and very real fights with boyfriend. Get so mad that you tell him he needs to find a drifter for you to kill.

  6. Realize you are in big, big trouble. Realize, too, that you have no idea how to right your ship.

  7. Burst into tears when your kind but clueless boss asks how it’s going. Mentally note that this is the worst day of your professional life.

  8. Realize that trying to please everyone but yourself has brought you to a very ugly place. Cry some more.

  9. Be genuinely surprised when the man you want to spend the rest of your life with tells you that he is on the verge of breaking up with you. Cry some more. Realize this probably isn’t making you more attractive to him, which makes you cry even more in that blubbery, blotchy, gasping for breath sort of way.

  10. Realize that you have no idea what would make you happy, but this ain’t it.

And there you have it. What can I say? I’m a giver. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I need to be alone with The Sandwich.

It was so unfair for me to promise to dish on the The World’s Best Sandwich on Monday … and then not even post at all.

I am so, so sorry, all of you three readers. I will personally make you The Sandwich to make up for it.

But the truth? The truth is that Monday at Corporate Behemoth made me think of nothing but the lolcat with the cat getting a bath and the caption “DO. NOT. WANT.”

I was exhausted. I was so exhausted that I went home and put on sweat pants.

Not yoga pants. Not cute fleece pants. Sweat pants. With the saggy ass and the elastic at the ankles.

I ate The Sandwich. Then I took a bath and realized that my water heater is on its very last legs. Then, I went to bed. At 10.

I haven’t been to bed by 10 p.m. since about the third grade.

If you have any swell ideas about non-Corporate Behemoth things that I should do for a living, please leave a comment.

In exchange, I offer you The World’s Best Sandwich.

Make yourself two slices of wheat bread toast. It’s important that it’s toast – you need the crunchiness that only toast can provide.

Then, get some Skippy Extra Crunchy peanut butter. Accept no substitutes. Must be Skippy. Must be Extra Crunchy. Trust me.

Put a thick layer of the peanut butter on one piece of toast. Then, pile on thick slices of tomato. The homegrown tomatoes that all of your neighbors are desperately trying to pawn off right now are ideal. This is truly the best time of year to be a vegetable mooch.

So, pile on those thick tomato slices and lick the juice off your wrist. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a very liberal application of black pepper.

Then, smear another healthy dose of peanut butter on the other piece of toast. If you like, you can also smoosh some red onion slices into the peanut butter, but this is optional.

Then, combine the two peanut-buttertastic pieces of toast to create your glorious sandwich. Go sit on your couch with a paper towel, the sandwich, and your remote control. Watch a DVRed episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter while you enjoy the delicious, juicy bounty that is a peanut butter and tomato sandwich.

The end.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rock the vote.

I am hard-core when it comes to a few things. I hate pickles and mustard. I fantasize about rear-ending cars with anti-choice bumperstickers. And I am constantly annoyed with e-mail forwards.

Yes, I am great fun at parties.

However, I received an e-mail forward that is timely, eye-opening, and TRUE.

Yeah, I know – I didn’t know they existed, either. I’m still waiting for all the bad luck that’s supposed to come my way since I have broken every chain letter I’ve ever received.

I checked it out on and even our dear Library of Congress. And even though I don’t want to believe it, I can’t deny it. And I’m humbled by it.

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women. Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized.

And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

In this day and age, it doesn’t take much courage to leave the house an hour early or take a different bus so you can vote. Get an absentee ballot and vote now. Make sure your elderly neighbors have a way to get to the polls. Don’t let the weather or a sick kid or a stupid work deadline get in your way.

Plan now. This is a priority. This is a privilege.

And now I’ll step off my soapbox and tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly-scheduled drivel. Next: I dish on the world’s best sandwich!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This post brought to you by exhaustion. And gratitude.

It’s been a very, very long week.

Mass explosions of work at Corporate Behemoth meant that if you had checked in on me at 1 a.m. Monday morning, 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, or pretty much any time between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., you would have found me attached to my laptop.

Mr. Wonderful and I have been Working Through Things. This is good. But this also means that I got to bed before 1:30 a.m. exactly one night this week.

And so, it’s finally Saturday. And I have to run various and sundry errands. And then I have to come home and finish painting my laundry room so that I can get crap like my ironing board out of my living room.

Side note: why do I own an ironing board? I last used it in 2000, back when a) I still valued ironing and b) I hadn’t yet discovered that getting shirts laundered is so worth the cost and c) I still wore anything besides t-shirts from Target.

T-shirts from Target are good. They are cheap and come in a plethora of colors. My mom says the v-neck is the most flattering neckline, but I need some crew neck ones to go with some round-neck sweaters. You know?


I’m trying to slow down. I’m trying to breathe. I’m trying to remember what’s what.

During my crazed marathon of work Thursday, I took a few minutes to surf a few of my favorite blogs. And one of them stopped me in my tracks.

Dear Michelle at Diary of a Dying Mom has been letting the good folks at hospice take care of her and help her manage her symptoms. And Thursday’s post brought about an honest but painful revelation.

It was a message about what’s really important, and it completely knocked me down. What’s important isn’t about content management, or comma placement, or busting your ass and making yourself physically ill in order to meet a ridiculous, irrational deadline. Strangely, it is also not about t-shirts from Target.

Do yourself a favor and visit Michelle. She will teach you a lot.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dispatch from Corporate Behemoth.

  • The head security guard at our front desk is an older gentleman who prides himself on learning the names of each and every employee at Corporate Behemoth. He says it’s a mind game that keeps him fresh. When I walk through the turnstiles to get on the elevator, he greets me with “Good morning, Cha Cha!”

    Except that sometimes he loses his touch.

    Lately, he’s been greeting me enthusiastically with “Good morning, Carlotta!”

    Considering that some of the IT guys are still calling me Gladys, this is cause for concern.

  • I have a coworker whom I like very much. He’s friendly, always up for answering random questions, and he reminds me of my dad.

    He reminds me of my dad, except that he greets my chest, not my face. I’m sure he would be mortified if he realized the extent of his blatant boobwatching, and I like him, and so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But if I didn’t like him? Dude, my face is UP HERE.

  • The worst thing possible has happened.

    Those of you who have worked in an office – any office – know what I’m talking about.

    My cubemate with the candy dish has moved jobs and therefore moved desks. There is no candy. No chocolate. No SweetTarts. Nothing. And right as all the good Halloween candy is coming out, too. I am bewildered and frightened, and have a very low blood sugar level.

  • Last week, I was in a meeting where a coworker said, “We’ve established that ‘a lot’ is ‘quite a bit.’”

    And everyone in the room nodded their heads in agreement.

    This is how I spend the precious days of my one and only life.

    But it’s tempered with comments like this one, from one of my Indian cohorts: “With him, I am on the open war, to be very frankly.”