Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I got your words of wisdom right here.

It's the end of May, and you know what that means: high school graduation.

When I graduated from high school, lo these 17 years ago, I was one of the speakers from my class. I know that I was supposed to speak for two minutes and only two minutes. I remember that I congratulated our golf team on winning the state championship the day before. And I vaguely remember some sort of "we're not all going to live next door to each other and have barbecues every Sunday" sort of comment. But other than that?

I don't remember much, other than being embarrassed that I was up there. Oh, and I had a hornet sting on my right palm. This meant that I couldn't shake anybody's hand and that I was doped to the gills on Benadryl. Good times.

But really, 17 years later, there's one thing I have really retained from high school graduation.

My umbrella.

This is not some sort of allegory about protecting yourself and making it through the rain - although that's a great Barry Manilow song. No, I'm talking about the actual physical umbrella that I received as a graduation gift.

I carried it in my backpack every single day of college. I only lost it once, leaving it in a classroom my freshman year. But because I attended a tiny little school that year, the umbrella was waiting patiently on the chalkboard ledge when I returned in hopes of retrieving it.

And now, that colorful but not outdated umbrella is in my car. The velcro on the little strap that holds it shut is long gone, as is the umbrella condom thing it came with. (Seriously - who puts their umbrella in a protective matching sheath after every use? Seriously.) But my colorful water repeller, she with the sturdy wooden handle and can-do attitude? Still kickin' it.

I truly think this is one of my greatest accomplishments since high school. And maybe someday I'll be asked to give a high school commencement speech and can show off my umbrella and discuss the importance of keeping your shit together.

Or maybe I'll skip the umbrella all together and instead spread the message about how going to college totally pays off. Because at college graduation? Instead of ham buns and sheet cake, there's beer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Obviously delirious.

In the midst of the layoffs and subsequent restructuring, my posse at Corporate Behemoth has been focusing on what's really important.


Men's pants. Or, what we're calling "Fashion Pants."
You know what I'm talking about. The types of pants that helped Bret Michaels become The Celebrity Apprentice.

Pants with flaps.

Pants that can only be successfully donned by a select few men. Men like Bret Michaels. Not men like those at Corporate Behemoth.

No hate to my coworkers. But Fashion Pants? They are a fickle denim mistress. And all you soft software types who are flexing your style muscles on casual Fridays with your six-year-old polo and your brand-new Fashion Pants?

Don't. Just don't.

My Guy, who is admittedly a professional computer nerd, has ruled on Fashion Pants. "No one who works in IT should wear Fashion Pants," he says. "In fact, Fashion Pants shouldn't come in any size over a 30-inch waist."

Then he got thoughtful. "I bet your brother could wear Fashion Pants."

Now, I once shopped for pants with Poochie and his legs are so long and his waist is so buff that he has to special order his pants. So, yeah, I bet he could get away with Fashion Pants.

Except that he has taste.

Photos courtesy of Macys.com.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today, the dachshunds made a new friend. That would be Craig the Exterminator.

Craig the Exterminator came to my house to rid it of a plague of ants. I had pretty much decided that the ants were carpenter ants, which do the same sort of damage as termites. Carpenter ants? You're pretty much fucked.

But Craig the Exterminator looked at my ants and announced them to be garden-variety pavement ants who just happened to build a nest in my wall. He sprayed. And the ants will die. And we'll all live happily ever after. Hurray!

But! When Craig the Exterminator first came in the house? Lil' Frankfurter took one look at him and melted. The two became fast friends. And when Foxie Doxie came on the scene? Foxie started barking ... then stopped a few feet short of Craig the Exterminator. Foxie looked him up and down ... and then sauntered over, jumped up and licked Craig the Exterminator's hand.

Guess who's a dog person? It does my heart good.

Having ants sucks. But it was awesome to get a professional's opinion on my newest reality show obsession: Billy the Exterminator.
This is Billy the Exterminator. Craig the Exterminator didn't have a soul patch or a multi-colored mullet.

The show follows a family of exterminators as they go about their business in Louisiana. They attack every type of varmint from pigeons to beavers to wasps and cockroaches. They relocate animals when they can. And what I really love about the show is that Billy is obviously really passionate about his job. You can tell he likes explaining to the camera what he's doing and why, and how certain animals operate. It's cool.

And Craig the Exterminator? He likes it too.

"Yeah, somebody told me I should watch that show. It's pretty accurate," he said. "But did you see that one episode with the roaches?"

At this point I involuntarily seized. "Ugh. Yeah. That was gross."

"Well," said Craig the Exterminator, "I once treated a house that was way worse than that. I thought it was carpeted, but really what I was walking on was linoleum covered in roaches."

At this point in the conversation, I passed out cold. But I'm pretty sure Craig the Exterminator told me that he actually changed his clothes in the driveway of that house because he didn't want the cockroach funk in his vehicle.

Now, bugs are gross. Whatever. But I feel like I really learned something new today. And that something is that extermination is really, really cool. And I don't ever want to do it. And that's why God invented reality teevee.

The End.
Image courtesy of aetv.com.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Workin' for the man every night and day.

For the last two days, I have been loitering about in Layoffland.

I don't even really know how to describe it. It's like the worst alternate reality ever, a combination of a totally ghetto version of Funkytown and It's a Small World After All.

Make sense? Good.

So, yesterday, Corporate Behemoth let the axe fall on folks on floors 17 through 8. And today was floors 7 through 3. All told, the carnage is estimated to be 200-300 people. And not just nameless, faceless people. They laid off the guy on my floor who is addicted to iced tea and makes the real deal - hot water and tea bags, then ice - several times a day. And the guy a floor up whose wife is very, very pregnant with their second child. And my friend a cube away who I just always want to hug because, well, she's just that nice.

And the rest of us? We spent the last two days standing around, hoping our phones don't ring and beckon us to a meeting with a VP and an HR representative. We're making lists of our fallen comrades. We're listening to the groans of "Oh, nooo ..." when internal gossip channels add someone else to the list. We're wondering how the hell we're going to do all the work that still needs to get done. And some of us are wondering what our jobs are now and just who we report to.

It is exhausting.

And without going into too much detail - because Lord help me, I am so sick of only talking about Layoffland for the last however many days - I can tell you one thing: Corporate Behemoth is handling this horribly.

Yes, I have a job and I am fortunate that I don't have to worry about rationing my yogurt purchases just yet. But it's becoming more and more apparent that shareholders are more important than anything else, and the people who do the work are viewed as a low-end commodity. And that hurts my heart.

Now, if you'll excuse me? I'm going to take to my bed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rainbow in the dark.

This weekend was my birthday. Yahoo!

My Guy treated me to a super fancypants dinner at a restaurant where the waiters have business cards. Who knew?

We saw a little road show by a little TV personality named Conan O'Brien.

My brother even remembered my birthday, even though he admitted that it took an e-mail from our mom and a face-to-face reminder from a family friend to make him remember. This is my brother who still hasn't given me the Snuggie he bought for my birthday last year, the Snuggie that he instead took on a multi-day bike trip to use in lieu of a sleeping bag. That brother.

And Alice made me this t-shirt, which I think I'm going to wear every day forever.

Yes. My birthday? She was very, very good to me.


(Because there's always a however.)


Now, my day is further tainted by the unfortunate passing of rock god Ronnie James Dio.


Now, I will always love me some Ronnie, mostly for a quote about him from one of those vh1 compilation shows. Wrestler Chris Jericho pointed out that 5'4" Ronnie had "the voice of a rock god coming from the body of Carla from Cheers."


But here's the really scary thing. I have an occasional premonition for ... you know ... sensing when people are crossing over.

I knew the exact moment my grandpa passed ... 500 miles away. That was beautiful and very emotional but very peaceful and lovely, too.

And that was my only premonition for, like, 15 years. Then, a few Christmases ago, I had this crazy feeling about your favorite president and mine, Gerald R. Ford. And then he died, like, the next day.

And this weekend? Out of the frickin' blue, I turned to My Guy on Saturday night and said, "I wonder how Ronnie James Dio is doing."

And he died the next morning.

I scare myself.

But mostly, I'm thankful for all of the friends who seemed to come out of the woodwork to wish me a nice day. I felt so rich! And special kudos to my cousin, who feels my pain about the whole cool-people-died-on-my-birthday thing.

"OK, if it'll make you feel any better ... Burl Ives died on my birthday. Have a holly jolly birthday!"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sleep deprived and depraved.

It's a rainy Saturday. And I woke up at freakin' 5 a.m. after a dream that can safely be called a nightmare.

I dreamed (dreamt?) that I got laid off. And the next day, I realized that I forgot to take the photos of my dogs from my desk. So, I went back to Corporate Behemoth - in my pajamas, of course - to try to coerce someone who still had a working badge to go back to my former desk and get my stuff.

And then? Then, I had to move in with Ex-Ex's bride-to-be and her kid.

Like I said? Nightmare.

But this is making me laugh.

Seriously. The dog's expressions just kill me. And haven't we all wanted something sooooo badly and loved something sooooo much?

Right now, as the axe is about to fall at Corporate Behemoth, I'm not quite sure what I want. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't involving living with my ex's fiancee.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh, dear. I've cut the dickens out of my hand.

It's been a long week.

I could write about the rumor mill at Corporate Behemoth, about all of the "The massive layoffs are going to be Friday. No, Monday. No, Tuesday and Thursday" comments. And I could chat it up about the clandestine spreadsheet being forwarded to and fro that will take your start date, your salary, and your accrued vacation and spit out the amount of your probable severance package. I could even casually mention that the word on the street is that between 40 and 50 percent of the people in my building will get the axe.

But I won't.

Instead? I'm going to write a book report.

Like most women in the United States, I saw Julie and Julia last summer. I loved it - found it very engaging and uplifting, and who could say a bad thing about Meryl Streep's performance?

Not me. Loooooved her.

But Julie and Julia was the first movie ever where people came up to me out of the blue and announced that a character made them think of me. Friends and coworkers and acquaintances all said, "OMG, Cha Cha. Julie in the movie is so funny and she's a writer and she just totally made me think of you! You have to see this movie!"

Flattering? Yes. Almost as much as that time in eighth grade when somebody told me that I looked like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. From behind. With my perm.

So, anyway. I loved the movie. And seeing as how I can't seem to listen to the radio in my car anymore, I am at the mercy of the public library for audio books of all sorts. Since their selection is sparse at best, I often listen to stuff that I wouldn't otherwise read. And so it was with Cleaving, Julie Powell's latest book.

Cleaving picks up where Julie and Julia left off. Our narrator is over having cooked up a storm, over having sold a book that got turned into a movie. She's now obsessed with learning the art of butchery. Good enough.

She's also obsessed with her lover. And she's still married. And her husband knows about the affair but she can't stop seeing the other dude. So her husband starts seeing another woman. And Julie doesn't blame him. And meanwhile she's learning how to take an entire beef carcass and turn it into, like, food.

And all the while I'm listening to this, I think, "I can't believe all those people thought that I was like Julie! I would never fuck around on my man!"

Which is probably a very narcissistic and superficial view of the book. Really, she was being incredibly brave and authentic by telling the part of her story that could be viewed as shameful. She was honest. She used writing the book as therapy. I feel like I should commend her for her self-awareness ... although it made me uncomfortable and felt self-indulgent.

But mostly? I thought Cleaving was a treatise on the dangers of marrying your high school sweetheart.

And so what did the library have for me after Cleaving? Well, Julie and Julia. Because while I saw the movie, I never read the book. And I wanted to see if the icky impression I had after Cleaving would remain after Julie and Julia. I was looking for my palate to be cleansed.

Did it work? Umm?

Julie and Julia is funny in a self-deprecating way. And I learned all about French cooking. But really? I didn't finish the book actually liking the author, which was a shock only in that after seeing the movie, I felt like we could be BFFs. Because in the movies, everybody could be your BFF - that's why they're called chick flicks.

But books? Well, they're a bit more complicated. Like life. And that's cool.

What have you been reading lately?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mea culpas and blogging with friends.

Alice called me at work today.

"I just got off the phone with Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. I asked if he'd read your blog about Bret and wasn't it funny? And he had. But he was upset."

"Huh? Why?"

"Well, he thinks you totally phoned it in when you called him 'KG' on your blog."


"Yeah. He was like, 'You're Alice and that's cool, but it's like when she got to my name? It's like she didn't even TRY! And Jake's name is cool, but KG? Like, I'm not even worth the effort!"

"Oh, nooo ..."

"Yeah. Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm is really bummed. He wants to be called 'Rocco.'"

Now, in my defense, the first time I wrote about Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm, it was after a three-hour happy hour. He'd gotten me drunk ... how was I supposed to come up with a clever name after that?

And Rocco? Rocco is Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm's dog. The luckiest dog in the universe, as Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm saved him up from the pound and certain death and promptly took him to Coach, where they picked out a new leather collar more fitting for Rocco's new lifestyle.

So, basically? Our Mutual Friend Who Broke The News of Bret Michaels' Brain Aneurysm is awesome. And any non-awesome moniker simply Will. Not. Do. I will totally refer to him as Rocco and have actually gone back and changed all references to him to Rocco.

Rocco? I'm sorry.

And this has nothing to do with the fact that last week Rocco left me a voicemail that I will save forever and dip in bronze:

Hey Cha Cha. It's Rocco. My God, you are so funny. I swear to God, of all those bloggers that end up becoming famous because of their blogs and end up writing books and shit? They're just poseurs compared to you. That's what you should be doing. I feel like you need to just drop this Corporate Behemoth act ...

Sometimes? Sometimes, you just need to hear that. Thanks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Making the world a better place, one skank at a time.

For the first time ever, I ran out and bought a People magazine the day it hit the newsstand.


So, Bret.

First of all, I am so, so happy that you are going to be OK. Alice and I were in the car with our friend Rocco when he was messing with his phone and all, "OMG, Bret Michaels had an aneurysm!" And we were all, "You're lying. That's the meanest joke ever. Shut up." Because you and I have a long history, what with Poison and your tasteful dating shows. And now, thanks to Celebrity Apprentice, Alice has announced that you are on Her List.

But Rocco wasn't playing a mean joke. He was telling the truth. And Alice and I rushed back to her house and searched for any news we could find. Sadly, E! News was our best source, and they weren't saying much. And we had to endure Ryan Seacrest. Which tells you how much we were worried about you.

So, now you're rehabbing it up and expected to make a full recovery. And you told People that your kids kept you alive because you didn't want them to face a future without a dad. And then my heart melted just a bit.

You also aluded to possibly getting married to the mom of your daughters and your current girlfriend.


Now, at first, I was all, "WHAT? You mean you didn't find true love on Rock of Love Bus with Taya, the Penthouse Pet / adult entertainer who obviously saw the show as a career move and whose real name is Laurie?
Color me shocked.
So, super awesome for you if this experience gives you a new lease on life and helps you figure out the life you really want to live. We should all be so lucky to have that kind of clarity and purpose.


What does this mean for the future of your career in television? I'm guessing that if you're married, any show where you search for your ladylove is sort of, umm, out. I like the idea of a "Leave it to Bret"-style show where you showcase your family life. What is it like to have a non-Ozzy rocker dad? You could show us. However, if you're heebed out about having your kids on the teevee? Well, dude, I totally commend you.

So, all signs point to one true future for you: Slut Rehab with Bret Michaels.

Because if you don't have a dating show anymore, then there are going to be tons of unemployed skanks. Women who would have otherwise found a livelihood catfighting for your affections will have nowhere to turn, nowhere to go. And who knows sluts better than anyone?

That's you, Bret. It's your calling - nay, your duty - to help these skanks turn their lives around. Hopefully it won't take a brain aneurysm to straighten them out and get them out of their Frederick's of Hollywood tube dresses and into clothes that are more appropriate for, well, not being a whore. You can make it happen, and by putting it all on TV, you'll be doing outreach for the skanks that you can't help personally.

Think about it. Feel better. And call me. We can make this happen!
Images courtesy of people.com and vh1.com.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I attended a little blogger meet-up.

Ever feel like you just did not put your best foot forward, and anybody who came in contact with you was worse for it?

Yeah, that would be tonight.

I did not physically assault any of the fabulous bloggers in attendance. I didn't even verbally accost them. I was just ... off. This was a great opportunity to meet other bloggers! And talk about blogging! And the future of social media! And the importance of community and telling our stories!

And I just sort of sat there.


Yes, please read my blog. It's almost as exciting as my real-life, three-dimensional persona. You know, the one who just sits there? Scintillating.

So, I've been trying to put my finger on why, exactly, I felt out of sorts.

I have cramps and pretty much want to sever my body at the waist.

I arrived at said blogger gathering immediately after crying to my therapist about how scared I am about the possibility of being laid off.

My cute new shoes hurt the top of my left foot.

At lunch, I ran my hand through my Chipotle bowl and so have guacamole caked into my ring, which is undoubtedly attracting bugs, maggots, and drunken Cinco de Mayo revelers.

Allergies are partially to blame for my recent rash of headaches, and drinking even than one beer tonight impacted the delicate balance of pressure in my sinus cavity and possibly cut off the circulation to my brain.


So, at least I have solid reasons for being slightly less engaging than usual. So maybe I was mute. But at least I was wearing cute shoes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A glamorous life.

Last night, I went to Fabulous Gala. I'm sure it sounds like all I do is go to black-tie events, but trust me, I'm more dog-hair-encrusted sweatpants than formal gowns. I just go to two fancypants events each year, and they happen to be back-to-back.


So, last night's event? Designed and populated by the fabulous gays. The food? Divine. The people? Gorgeous. The decor? Breathtaking.

At this event, it's my goal to just not look too schleppy. So, basically, I show some cleavage and try to wear cute shoes and call it good.

And I think I did OK. Two guys in the elevator commented on my shoes. The gays looked approvingly at my plunging neckline. The valet flirted with me. I felt marginally fabulous.

And then I got home. I walked in the door and thought, "Why does my house smell like eggs?"

There is nothing that brings you crashing down to Earth quite like the realization that your dog has had explosive diarrhea.

I let Lil' Frankfurter and a green-looking Foxie Doxie outside. I took off my shoes, which were suddenly not at all appropriate. I struggled for three minutes to get the zipper on my dress. Then, I changed into some grubby clothes.

You know how when you're taking care of a kid in cloth diapers, you swish the diapers around in the toilet?

Yeah. I did that with all of the bedding from Foxie's kennel. And since he's a dachshund and they love to burrow? He had four blankets in his kennel. Four blankets that had all been ... well, let's just say yuckified.

I cleaned. I made Foxie rice to calm his sensitive tummy. I gave him a bath. I did laundry. I cleaned his kennel and the space around his kennel and the bathroom. I washed my hands about 12 times in the hottest water I could stand.

Finally, I changed into my jammies and cuddled up to poor Foxie, who was shaking and ashamed. He melted into me. And really? That was the highlight of my evening.