Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dontcha feel like a little hula?

The good news is that my heart is now no longer two sizes too small. It's Thursday night before a three-day weekend, and my heart is exploding.

Superproductive day at work? Check.
Desperately needed haircut that smells like a cute man because my stylist was out of her usual girl gel? Check.
Wonderful boyfriend en route with dinner? Check.

Piddlyass crap at work is still falling apart. But really, none of it is earth-shatteringly important. And, My Favorite Miss America of All Time made me laugh out loud today. Seriously, people. Look at this talent and tell me that she didn't deserve to win. Ain't nobody's hips who deserve scholarship money more than Miss Michigan.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My heart is two sizes too small.

So, I just booked a beach-front condo. Mr. eHarmony and I are taking a fabulous long weekend in just 16 short days.

So, why do I feel like this?

I'm grouchy. Work is pissing me off for no good reason. Foxie Doxie rolls in something disgusting every single damn night, and so help me god, I don't want to give him a bath every 24 hours. It's too damn hot here to breathe. And, to add insult to injury ... I am almost out of roasted garlic Triscuits.

I know.

Today, I wrote a colleague that my frustration was finally exceeding my saint-like patience and that he should picture Mother Teresa, but with my face Photoshopped over hers.

I hope he knows I was kidding. Sort of.

I'm coming to the painful conclusion that there is no such thing as a slower time in my job. There's busy and superbusy.

That's ok. The hitch is that I need to decide for once and for all whether or not I'm going to let superbusy devour my soul. Or, if I'm going to own that I can be happy no matter what - even if it means giving up the self-serving fits of Grinchdom.

I do think that I'm way mellower about the entire thing that I was even a few months ago. I'm all growing and shit. But completely letting go of any pretense that I have control or that work is in any way the important part of my existence? Scaaaaaary.

Is it ok to start tomorrow? Will there be roasted garlic Triscuits?

Monday, August 27, 2007

And a very happy Monday to you, too.

So, the New Random Mail Guy approached my desk this morning, a basket of yellow daisies in his hand.

“Excuse me, are you Cha Cha?”

I eye the flowers. I am instantly thrilled and taken aback. “Yes.”

New Random Mail Guy eyes me with disdain. “These aren’t for you. They’re for Karen and she isn’t at her desk. Will you sign for them?”

Dear New Random Mail Guy,

You suck ass.

Cha Cha

Sunday, August 19, 2007

At last!

So, I've finally embraced my inner juvenile delinquent.

I snuck beer into the movies.


Mr. eHarmony and I went to see Superbad on Friday night. It was us and 200 19-year-old kids. I had two bottles of really, really nice beer wrapped in dishtowels in my purse. We even remembered the bottle opener. It was great - although it probably would have been more fitting if it had been Hamm's or Schlitz or another beer of the people.

And, you can't tell me we were the only folks there with illicit beverages. Towards the end of the movie - which is, by the way, superfantastic - some of the guys in back started yelling at the screen. Because movies tend to be interactive like that when you're drunk.

So, that was great fun and a bit liberating. Which brings me to the other bit o' liberation of the weekend.

No, I didn't go braless. I came to a scary realization.

I'm a pretty darn positive person, but I tend to be guarded about myself. Ask me how I am? I respond "Ok." Ask a more pressing question? I give a short answer that will suffice and then ask a question about you. It's a defensive mechanism. I don't want to open myself up for scrutiny and hurt. This is totally messed up logic, but it's honest.

I need to give up my inner Debbie Downer - that teensy voice in my head that's just positive that this good thing isn't going to last, that at work, they will figure out in short order that I'm a total poseur, that Mr. eHarmony will tire of me in mere days, that the glue that's holding together my precious reality isn't waterproof after all and will soon disintegrate into a wet, gloppy mess.

I need to give it up.

Nothing is as terrifying as allowing yourself to be truly happy. Nothing is as daunting as getting everything you ever dreamed of.

Drinking beer at the movies is probably a pretty good start.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One downside to the English degree.

An editor who works for me sent me an e-mail today, apologizing for taking two hours to respond to a message. Her reason? She's at her parents' home, providing respite care for her Alzheimer's-addled father while her mother takes a few much-needed days away. And her father had a psychotic episode, pulling the editor's hair, punching her and threatening her with a knife.

She wrote me that she realized that her English degree didn't leave her properly equipped to deal with the situation. And so, her father was committed. And she was sorry it had taken a few extra hours to respond to my e-mail, but what could she do to help?

Despite my own personal actions to the contrary, I know that nothing we do at Corporate Behemoth is anywhere near as important as our personal lives. This is especially true in times of crisis, or when we are truly, deeply needed.

What do we do that's truly important?

It's a quiet day working from home, so I'm allowing myself to bask in this question just a bit. I'm hoping it will provide a bit of clarity in my ongoing battle with workaholism.

Things I've done that are truly important:
  • I've physically cared for family members when they needed the help.
  • I've rescued an abused and abandoned animal.
  • I've made a child feel important.
  • I've been a good friend, even when it wasn't convenient.
  • I've attempted to introduce humor into not-so-humorous situations.
  • I've been kind to strangers.
  • I've held my tongue, even when I really, really, really didn't want to.

Not a comprehensive list, but not bad. And note to self: working, and Corporate Behemoth, its subsidiaries and clients are nowhere to be found on this list. Not that I don't do good things for them ... but because they aren't important.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I think I like Monday.

So, I'm home sick today. I've been coughing for the better part of five days, and last night I morphed from Normal Cha Cha into Cha Cha the Asthmatic Freak. I spent two hours at the doctor this morning and now have more prescription meds than Lindsey Lohan ... although mine were acquired legally.

So, there's that. I do enjoy breathing. But I'm a little disgruntled.

While enjoying a frosty brew with my brother on his deck Saturday night, I was devoured by giant Iowa mosquitoes. They are cousins of Minnesota mosquitoes, so not quite the size of sanitation trucks. But close.

And now my legs are covered with giant red welts. Itchy, puffy welts. Because I am sexy like that. Wheezy and welty like that.

According to my pal Google, there aren't any sites like Because if there were, I would probably be able to pay off my mortgage by selling photos of my legs.

Friday, August 10, 2007

When it's enough.

I'm fighting several battles at work. Elbowing my tiny team's way to the big kids' table. Bending over backwards to accommodate a contractor whom I pretty much want to drop-kick. And editing myself silly.

And now? Now it's 2:40 on Friday afternoon, and in a few hours I'm supposed to be three hours away for a friend's birthday dinner. Because I am a fucking nice person. Dammit.

I just got off the phone with my coworker, Complainy Complainerson. And in the midst of her tirade, a beautiful bit of peace enveloped my tired little soul.

I'm leaving early. And I'm making a pilgrimage. To what my mom and I have determined is truly Mecca - the shoe room at Von Maur.

And the rest of you shoe-hatin', tirade-havin' freaks? Y'all have a nice weekend, m'kay?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Own it, Rupert. Own it!

So, Mr. eHarmony continues to amaze and delight me with his freakish music and pop culture tastes. This man will actually sit and watch Time Life informercials with me - not just willingly, but with quite a bit of enthusiasm.

During a recent viewing of the fantastic Classic Soft Rock infomercial - with your hosts, Air Supply - Mr. eHarmony about lost his mind over a clip of Gino Vanelli singing "Living inside myself."

"Wow! If it was dark enough, I'd totally get on him!"

I shot my drink through my nose. I now know what's wrong with him - and why I've never seen his basement. It's a shrine to Gino Vanelli. And Mr. Vanelli may or may not be held captive in the crawlspace.

The other great thing about our shared love of cheesy soft rock is that it's led to the cultivation of The Rupert Holmes Philosophy of Life.

Mr. Pina Colada is a really talented dude - several hit songs, hit plays and movie scripts. If you watch clips of him in his American Bandstand heyday, he's not a heartthrob. He looks like the guy at the shoe store. And his name is Rupert.


But the ladies flock to Rupert. Why?

Because he owns it.

Rupert's live performances showcase his confidence and his sense of humor. He goes all out! And that's why he's successful!

Which leads us to The Rupert Holmes Philosophy of Life: Own it, baby! You can pull off anything with a little confidence and a twinkle in your eye. Folks are too busy being jealous of your guts to even begin to think that you're a dork.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Come down off the ledge.

In the last three hours, I've talked two folks down off the work overload ledge.

Yeah, I know: it's like the blind leading the blind.

I don't know if it's the sudden, completely oppressive heat, a long summer with no real vacations, or just the hidden epidemic of corporate America. But this work burnout business is nasty.

What is it about our work-obsessed culture that makes us truly believe that any of this matters? I drag myself onto the elevator at Corporate Behemoth at 5:45 and see that all of its occupants are dragging their laptops home - myself included. Surely we're not all that important.

No matter how much I may try to kid myself, I'm not that important. And the work we do at Corporate Behemoth has nothing to do with cancer or firefighting - if we fuck up, no one dies.

So why do we internalize the idea that the work is very, very important - important enough to trump family and hobbies and joy in general? You can't tell me that folks schlepping their laptops home at night have evenings of joy ahead of them.

I have been guilty of working instead of having a life. I'm working on this. But I can't help but wonder if we, collectively, focus on the work and build up its import so that it makes for a better excuse. I'm not wasting my life doing a series of meaningless tasks - I'm doing something important!

I like my job a lot. I enjoy the tasks that I have to complete. I'm lucky. And I'm lucky that usually I realize that my job is a means to an end. Usually.

And then there are days when I realize I need to take my own advice.

I told my brother to go get a milkshake so that he could incorporate some type of joy into his afternoon. And I told my coworker to schedule a two-hour meeting with herself this afternoon at a nail salon. They were both giddy that someone gave them permission to be kind to themselves.

Why do we need permission? And why am I still slumped over in this cube?

Monday, August 6, 2007

I like Monday.

Ah, pork tenderloin - how I love you so!

This weekend, Mr. eHarmony borrowed his dad's SUV and trailer and we drove to Iowa to fetch some furniture. My grandparents' bedroom set has been in storage since my grandpa passed away last summer. I've been without a dresser for three long, rumpled years. It was a match made in heaven.

Saturday morning, Mr. eHarmony and my parents drove an hour and a half to meet my uncle and get into the storage unit. The bedroom furniture was in the way back of the unit, of course.

And, it rained.

And then, it started to pour. We were all soaked and trying in vain to keep the furniture dry. Finally, we gave up and my uncle took us out for lunch.

He introduced the place by saying that they get a lot of lunch traffic from construction because pool is free when you buy lunch.

Considering that my uncle's house looks like a sorority house, this cracks my shit up. I love him so.

Well, the restaurant and the food did not disappoint. Seriously. I devoured the best breaded pork tenderloin sandwich I've ever had in my entire life. And I lived in Iowa for 18 years, so that's really saying something.

It was juicy but not greasy; filling but not heavy. I felt like doing a celebratory dance after polishing off this bit o' heaven. I washed it down with a Miller Lite and felt rejuvenated.

And then the skies cleared and we were able to load the rest of the furniture in cool comfort - nothing short of a miracle in August. I think it was the sandwich's doing.