Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm sorry

I know it's been a week, or almost. It certainly will be before I post again, because I'll be out all weekend.

I'm sorry! I miss you guys!

And I've worked really hard; don't I get any sympathy for that? I don't? What?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Related Rant

On a totally unrelated note, the asshole engineer that I liked (hey, can I help how I'm made?) is MARRIED. And does not wear a FUCKING RING. So when he (A*hole) and my friend, E, came up to my desk to eat the last of my cookies, (hey, I offered them to them) and they were telling me some story about some girlfriend of their friend's who was coming on to A*hole, and he had mentioned some girl's name, I said, "Wait, don't you have a girlfriend?" and he goes, "No, I have a wife! I'm married!"

WAY TO MENTION YOUR WIFE BEFORE THIS, YOU ASS. Way to wear a ring. Way to talk about going out with E and the boys on the weekends and never mention a little woman at home.

Way to go, indeed.

Yeah, I'm single.

And I'm at home on a Friday night. I'm failing miserably at screenprinting. I'll just stick to building planes from now on. I'm drinking Sparks and about to smoke a cigarette and go to bed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Okay, I admit it. I like being political.

And this is no different. First, an important site: Know Thy Neighbor.. is publishing online all names and addresses of the extremists that are trying to pass an amendment that would add anti-family (read: anti SAME-SEX family) language to the Massachussetts Constitution. (Side note: I think KnowThyNeighbor has done a brilliant thing by refusing to play up the 'same-sex' label, referring to them simply as 'families'.)

In addition, this super sweet and nice girl has come up with a fabulous idea. I don't know if I can do it, myself. I'm wrestling with my demons. I want to send money, but I don't want those haters to get the cuddly equality teddy bear! What if he or she burns it?

Don't know what I'm talking about? Read the post. It'll knock your socks off. I will never be that nice in this world or in the next.

UPDATE: I am that nice, or at least I can play a person that nice on The Internets. I donated $50 to HRC on behalf of signer #14, Lura L. Mineau. And while I was there I signed the Million for Marriage petition. And sent out emails about it. B----- should never let me get this bored!

You didn't think I had forgotten, did you?

I hope M.Thom kept the faith. :)

The Tag.

Ten years ago... I was 14. I was a freshman in high school, I was in the middle of swim season, I was the skinniest and cutest I would ever be in my life, and when I wasn't swimming five hours a day, I was playing the flute. In fact, I probably spent 15 hours playing the flute in a week: three hours every Saturday, flute collegium practice for two hours on Sunday, lessons for an hour on Monday, one hour for band ever day, one hour of practice every day (HA!)...I love Saturday morning symphony practice best of all. We used to get breakfast at Grounds for Coffee before practice. Before Tacoma's downtown was cool. And I was at church a lot, I think, hanging out with youth group kids, all of whom were older than I was. I played in the handbell choir on Wednesday nights and spent all Sunday at church, for service and Youth Group later. On the weekends we spent a lot of time watching So I Married an Axe Murderer and hanging out, and it was a good time. I remember life being very, very simple. I don't remember any boys.

Five years ago... I was 19. I had just started my sophomore year of college and pledged a sorority. I didn't know it, but my life was about to become a lot less simple. Although my rebellion had showed itself somewhat in high school--I snuck out a few times, cut class, yelled at my parents, and picked up a smoking habit--it wasn't really until sophomore year that I shook off my church, my parents, and my schooling. I was about to get a studly, bartending, alcoholic boyfriend who would relieve me of my virginity and teach me the beauty of alcohol. I was about to flunk out of college. But I didn't know it yet.

One year ago... Hell, I was 23. I was old already! I was waiting, I wasn't, I was about to get fired for the second time in three months, from a receptionist job at a legal office run by a crazy woman. In fact, I might have been fired one year ago today? I was being pursued by TheBoy and my feelings for him were pretty ambivalent. I was desperate for another job and broke, and I was sure I wasn't ever going to amount to anything.

Five Snacks...

    1. CHEESE!
    2.Soy crisps
    3. Spinach out of the bag
    4. Hard boiled eggs
    5. Almond butter.

Five Songs I Know All The Words To:
    1. Wish I by Jem
    2. Cowboy by Kid Rock
    3. any Sublime song
    5. countless church hymns
    5. Garbage's entire self-titled CD.

Five Things I Would Do with $100 Million:
    1. Pay off my Jeep and student loans!
    2. Pay off parents' house.
    3. Quit Job.
    4. Buy Ducati and learn how to ride it.
    5. Live in D.C.

Five Places to Run Away To:
    1. Borders/Barnes.
    2. My current house.
    3. Bed.
    4. Seattle.
    5. Grandma's house in Puyallup.

Five Things I Would Never Wear:
    1. Plastic earrings.
    2. A Perm.
    3. Navy blue anything.
    4. Tassels.
    5. Shoulder Pads.

Five Favorite TV Shows:
    1. Gilmore Girls!
    2. Buffy
    3. Jeeves and Wooster
    4. Alias
    5. Law and Order, SVU

Five Biggest Joys:
    1. When the kids I'm tutoring "get it". When they love the books I pick out for them. When they remember what I said. (Okay, that was a lot of things.)
    2. Titan.
    3. Talking to t-town girl and LongtimeFriend.
    4. Roommate.
    5. A sense of accomplishing goals.

Five Favorite Toys:
    1. Laptop!
    2. Wireless Internet!
    3. Blogger!
    4. Cell Phone!
    5. Headphones.

Five People to Pass This On To:
    1. Ramblin' Girl
    2. KIWI!
    3. Dewey
    4. Ms. Pan
    5. Shananigans.

If you've already been tagged, let me know, and I'll tag someone else--I haven't been reading blogs as closely the past few days and may have missed someone's tag already done. And t-town, I didn't tag you because you thumb your nose at them. So THERE.


Monday, September 19, 2005

TheBoy is gone.

I've written posts like this before. But they've been different. The emphasis has been on being single. On MY state. Or, in some instances, they've been more reflective.

Today, the title is different. It's not about me. It's about him, in some ways. It's about something he had to do. It's about a turn his life had to take. It's about me, having already found my path, at least my current one, and me needing to stick to it. It's about us making choices. He and I making separate choices. It's about me crying my eyes out, but not around him. It's about me not wanting to burden him, because burdening someone with your feelings is like asking a favor of them, and I didn't want to ask favors or even show him I was upset all weekend because I was so full of anger that he wasn't spending every second with me. It's about feeling like strangers. It's about uncomfortableness, his arm not fitting around me quite the way it did. About the couch suddenly being too small, and hard in the wrong places. It's about being twitchy and uncomfortable as I watched him pack. It's about chain-smoking and drinking coffee.

It's about stilettos and lingerie. It's about me shaving. Yes, that. Yes, I said it. Which was, yes, a going-away present for him, but more like a return to my roots (HA!) for me. It's about him not being able to enjoy it the way he wanted because he was leaving in 14 hours and had too much to think about. It's about our vulnerabilities showing themselves and us suddenly feeling like one person as we had our "moment". The moment I was waiting for, when the song came on the radio and we held each other.

It's about going out later with our friends and enjoying ourselves. It's about taking a walk to the end of the dock (it's nice to live on the water) and making our goodbye short and sweet. It's about me pulling over in the car on the way home because I was just crying that hard. It's about me blinking back tears now.

It's ALSO about me taking something I had done for him and owning it, since he didn't. (Yes, I'm talking about that.) I hadn't done it in a long time, but it's sort of like riding a bike. It's about me going to work this morning. It's about me working hard today. It's about me looking forward to tutoring tonight, and about me thinking ahead to my weekends and looking forward to maybe screenprinting more t-shirts and spending more time at Borders.

It's not about me being single.

Okay, yes it is. And that's a good thing, too.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

George Bush Thinks?

Brought to you courtesy of one million sources, I'm sure, but here it is from me, from The Stranger.

The Stranger has funny commentary, too. Yes, it's real; Reuters took it during a public meeting.

Doesn't he know if he has to potty?

This must be "blog about work" week.

The Bouncer did it, although he does it often. Dewey did it. And so will I.

Interesting facts I learned about work yesterday:

    1. The ratio of men to women, overall, is 25:1.
(And y'all thought I was just exaggerating!)
    2. In management, it's almost 50:1.
    3. 45% of women who work for B abuse alcohol.
    4. 65% of men do.

And then there was this fascinating conversation I had with a fellow engineer yesterday. Note: this was a guy I sort of liked, until this.

I was talking to this guy, A*hole, (now known as Married Aerospace Engineer, or MAE, although I didn't know he was married at the time) who's funny, sarcastic, and blunt, and knows his shit, so I've gone down there a few times to pick his brain. I like him, and so of course I was teasing him about being a stereotypical engineer--zero tolerance for stupid people, and I mentioned "retail therapy" and he didn't know what it was, so I was teasing him about having little to no contact with women. At first I was enjoying myself, but then he began to annoy me. First, he was extremely talkative, talking on and on and not letting me get a word in edgewise, which works for awhile--I'm used to picking his brain, after all, which requires him doing most of the talking--but becomes monotonous not long after. Second, he was swearing--a LOT. Using the f-word gratuitously. Like, instead of saying "stupid people", he'd say, "f*ing stupid people". Over and over. And then he made a joke equalizing beauty and stupidity, saying that he tries to aim for beautiful and dumb women. I turned around like I was going to walk out, and he said, "Oh, I'm just kidding," and I turned back.

And then I began to complain about SWE, how women who belong to SWE usually have mustaches--really, they attract the ugliest women I've ever seen--and he took that thought and ran with it, saying that women who make it high up in Boeing are either beautiful women who do exactly what they are told, or "ugly butch women with huge f*ing biceps, who know that they'll never have a man to support them, so they have to work hard."

I was silent throughout this whole exchange, and then I said, perfectly calmly, "Wow. It's like talking to a caveman." To which he said, "You know, a lot of women say that to me, but they come down and talk to me anyway," and I said, "Hm." And just turned around and left.

Now that I think about it, I was perfectly justified, but I could have handled it better, like saying, "Well, those of us who are more evolved find it instructive to occasionally see what not to do," or, "Oh? And how's that working for you?" before leaving. Who knows. He called after me, "Bye!" but I was damned if I was going to say anything.

See how pleasant my work can be? Nothing better than working constantly with arrogant, egotistical, male engineers.

Note: I was talking to TheBoy's sister, who's in town for his going away party (sniff!) and she's pretty high up in the Air Force, so a lot of our experiences overlap or are related. I was joking around, saying that the problem with surrounding myself with men is that when I start being annoyed by a typical manly trait, I'm constantly annoyed by the same trait, and she contradicted me and said it wasn't fair to generalize like that--we're encouraging men not to generalize about us, so we shouldn't generalize about them. And she mentioned at some time other in the conversation that the ratio of men to women in the Air Force is 6:1.

Ha. Ha. Ha. If I had just six men around me, maybe I could get to know them as individuals, too. When I'm outnumbered 25:1, I'm in no danger of them generalizing me--if you only see one woman every three days, it's hard to get a large enough sample size to support a generalization--and my only defense is generalizing about them. Trying to get to know each man on a personal basis would completely drain my energy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gilmore Girls Rules My School.

Crazy Aunt Purl says it all. WWLGD?

Extra, Extra, Extra! Read all about it!

Brand new blog! Linny is awesome! She's a warrior!

And she records her experiences in the Spinster War Diaries. Check her out over in Blogs I Love.

Okay, so she's a dating warrior. Not a traditional one. No offense meant to those who are actually fighting for our country.

Monday, September 12, 2005

In which I show off my criminal tendencies to my van pool.

So, after this weekend, I'm feeling bitchy and really damn cynical, bordering on nihilistic. And I skated into work this morning with no security badge OR wallet, so no ID to prove who I was either, and although I could have convinced the guards I was who I am by giving my employee ID number and social security, I just didn't want to talk to anyone. Neither did I want to make the van drop me off at the guard station so I could argue with them and then walk all the way in.

So what did I do? I convinced everyone in the van to break company rules by not giving me away as I faked it. Some background: in the case of vanpools, one security guard checks that the van has a parking pass and looks at the driver's badge, while another security guard comes around to the sliding door, opens it, and looks in as everyone holds their badge up. Some of the guys on the van, being typical arrogant asshole engineers and former fighter jet pilots, joke about how the rent-a-cops don't do their jobs, as of course is the fate of all rent-a-cops everywhere. This morning we tested it. Everyone in the van knew I didn't have my badge, and everyone also knew (because we talked about it at length) that I also happened to have a temporary badge from some time ago. This temp badge looks NOTHING like a real badge. It's just a white piece of paper with my name and employee ID number on it, in a plastic sleeve, with a big red date (in gigantic letters) stamped across the front. You get these on the days you forget your badge--assuming you have your wallet and can convince the guards you are who you say you are--and you're supposed to turn them in at the end of the day. Ha.

I made it into a bet. Everyone in the van was in on it. I was sure one of them would lose their nerve at the last minute and blurt out to the guard that I was trying to get in without my badge--engineers REALLY don't like breaking rules, except for the occassional rebel like me. I had a partner in crime, fortunately, or else I probably wouldn't have been able to convince the entire van by myself--I mean, you could feel the stiff disapproval in the air. However, one of the van regulars is one of the few engineering avericks--he's one of the ex-fighter-pilots and he's also cynical and anti-rules, especially stupid ones, and he was totally on my side and all hyped up about it. The security guard comes to the door, opens it, and looks in. I barely hold up my plastic-covered white slip. Everyone in the van holds their breath. The guard nods. "Thank you very much," he says. Before the door even slams shut, my partner in crime in the shotgun seat turns around and gives me his fist in celebration, and I'm frozen in my seat, giving him a withering glance. "Just hold it right there," I said, smiling. He's totally confused, but he waits as the van drive past the security guards and turns the corner. Only then did I respond to his fist, but I took the opportunity to educate him, and the entire van. "Apparently you've never led a life of crime! You always want to wait until AFTER you've moved out of earshot and line-of-sight to celebrate."

Partner in Crime blew off the advice. "They weren't paying attention anyway," he scoffed. I wasn't so sure. In any case, I stand by my advice, although I'm a little wary of the consequences of showing my criminal mind--excuse, I mean, my "healthy disregard for the rules" to the entire vanpool!

Oh well.

In which everything is illuminated, and I prove I like lists.

I have so many things to write about and I'm not sure where to begin.

The really long comment on SheWalks' blog about my breasts?

  • The long conversation I had with a conservative, right-wing engineer from Iowa? About politics and gay rights?

  • The long conversations I keep having with women engineers, ABOUT women engineers? The fact that I hate SWE? (Society of Women Engineers)?

  • How I found a young sub-set of SWE that's awesome and that we're going to run--literally, run, with no help--a shadowing program?

  • How overjoyed I was to find girls like me--locally!--that I cried on the way home and then talked nonstop at TheBoy until he told me he'd just see me later? (He hates to talk on the phone. But more on that later.)

  • The long conversations I have had, ad nasueaum, with everyone around me, about the strike, and if OUR union is going to strike, and if we do what'll happen, and whether IAM is right or wrong, and the role that health care plays in everything, and Holy Shit, did you hear about Katrina? How health care costs are dragging down the country, and really, involved in everything?

    Or maybe I should skip all that and talk about the trouble I got into this weekend, which involved:

  • live music from a blind musician,

  • serious drunkenness at a bar

  • a small miscommunication between TheBoy and I which turned out okay but is another chip in the crumbling foundation

  • a shotgun wedding in which the bride, six months pregnant and practically bursting her cheap torquoise satin gown, cried all the way through the ceremony and the reception was at a casino. (How do I know people like this? The groom was one of TheBoy's friends.)

  • And since all those things just get us up to Saturday afternoon, also the weekend included:

  • long walk with t-town girl, probably one of the highlights of my weekend,

  • retail therapy

  • looking totally hot and going out with a bunch of B----- kids and their friends to Pioneer Square, starting at Howl at the Moon

  • slicing my hand open on the top of a chipped beer bottle much later while dancing with an adorable MS code monkey at Tiki Bob's

  • bleeding like crazy because with all the alcohol I had been drinking, I wasn't clotting--fortunately it's just Aarwenn luck that one of the people I was partying with was a medical professional

  • getting the card of the adorable MS code monkey, who felt terrible and bought me a shot

  • making another guy (also not TheBoy) mad because I danced with that nice MS code monkey, although of course he couldn't say anything

  • me sweet-talking that mad boy into having afterhours at his place anyway

  • staying there (platonically!) but next time, it won't be

  • waking up late in a panic in mill creek after falling asleep at 4:30 am

  • rushing to church in straight from being out all night, smelling of smoke and alcohol and in tight-ass jeans and five-inch stilletos

  • running out of the worst church service ever--I thought about calling my choir director to quit

  • running home to stare at the wall for a second and recharge, but having no time for a shower--remember, still in club clothes from the night before, I just changed my shoes

  • running out to buy a baby shower gift and dropping it off at the baby shower, also filled with church women, and me still in my cat's eye makeup

  • running to Federal Way to tutor

  • running home

  • sitting on my ass for all of three hours

  • going out to shoot pool with hot ex

  • learning that the man that TheBoy thinks is his best friend has still not forgiven him for shit TheBoy pulled on him last summer, and is NOT his best friend under any circumstances

  • not exercising self control

  • going to sleep at eleven.

    And then this morning I convinced everyone in my van pool to become criminals with me. Next post.

  • Friday, September 09, 2005

    On another note entirely...

    One of my new friends gave me shortbread. With cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on the top. It's wonderful. :)

    In which I rant about Uptight Squares and ask an etiquette question.

    And this wasn't even what I was planning to rant about. I was planning to rant about A Girl I Hate, honestly I was, but after thinking about it a lot this morning I've realized I don't hate her anymore. My hate has dimmed and spread into general contempt for that entire lifestyle--the "get married early, be an uptight square" kind of lifestyle. Yes, when she didn't invite me to her wedding it hurt, because everyone else was invited, even a mutual friend of ours that she didn't know as well. (And I wish she had told me face to face so that I wasn't surprised. She told Mutual Friend flat-out that she only wanted to invite the people she really liked, which really hurt, and I wish she had told me we weren't friends anymore in person.) Yes, I was even more mad because Mutual Friend took his girlfriend, even though she wasn't invited, and Girl I Used To Hate didn't care, which makes me see red because if you're going to be an uptight square, you might as well do it CORRECTLY (Etiquette books, anyone?) and also it should have been ME at that wedding with Mutual Friend as my date. I fumed for a long time and hoped that Girl I Hate would die a horrible death.

    Still with me? This is on my mind now because there was just a wedding, again. With the college friends, and sorority sisters, of which Girl I Used To Hate is one. And she was Matron of Honor at the wedding. I like the girl and guy who had the wedding, but they are so connected to a general pattern of Excluding Aarwenn--for example, the guy is my Big Brother in a fraternity, except his other little sisters hated me and routinely planned Family Dinners to which I was not invited, therefore effectively banishing me from the family, and Big Brother NEVER STOOD UP FOR ME, EVEN THOUGH I ENCOURAGED HIM TO DATE THE GIRL WHO IS NOW HIS WIFE, and of course Girl is very close to Girl I Used To Hate, and also GIUTH's Little Sister told me I was invited to HER wedding and then took it back...

    So it's disconcerting to be told over and over again by Girl and Guy that they wanted me at their wedding, blah blah blah, lots of emails...and then I never got an invitation.

    Girl reassured me that I was on their list of people to invite, but they knew I couldn't come (true, I had another wedding on the same day) and so they never sent me one...but I'm still in their database!!! Gee, thanks so much.

    So, the question is: Do I still owe them a present?

    And how can I be mad at uptight squares who have no etiquette? Isn't that hypocritical?

    No. Etiquette is a set of tools for dealing with any social situation. Etiquette is a foundation of pleases and thankyous so that incredibly dirty things can happen--married boss has sex with hostess' boyfriend in coat closet, maybe--and the party still goes on. It's a microcosm for life--if you have tools to deal, you can handle a problem, even a big problem, and you work through it and keep going, because you know how to work through a problem. You have the tools. Etiquette is like that.

    Uptight squares, on the other hand, don't have that foundation--what they have instead is intolerance. When ugly situations arise, or curveballs are thrown, they stiffen up and ignore it, because they don't know how to deal. (Yes, I'm aware I'm not really making sense--I'm ranting.) They don't accept flaws or snags. Problems can throw them for a loop. Black sheep of the family are disowned. Or swept under the rug. Sometimes problems are completely ignored.

    I feel slightly better knowing that there are some chinks in the armor of the uptight squares that I know--that I comforted Girl I Used To Hate through long nights of hysterical crying over her would-be fiance, for example. I know other Uptight Square couples who have secret infidelities. Uptight Squares may act perfect, and willful blind ignorance may work for them. Fine. I prefer my messy, neurosis-driven friends, with whom I acutally TALK, honestly, about problems. I'm sad that Girl I Used To Hate and I can't be like that. But I'm happy with my etiquette and my tools to fix both trivial and deeper problems--and anyone I count among my friends is, too.

    And speaking of tools? What do you think? Do I owe Girl and Guy a wedding present? I think yes.

    In which I ramble, try to prove I have tolerance, and end up proving the opposite.

    I have learned how to hold my tongue! I can do that now!

    Well, sort of.

    For example, it's well known that I'm a health nut, both on this blog and here in Real Life at the office. And through some management changes that happened this week, I now have both an immediate manager and HIS manager in town, in the office, not more than a few yards away from my desk. And this is fine, although management changes always shake everyone up a little, and because I'm a people-pleaser, I really want the new manager to like me, and so I'm on my toes, trying to do the right thing all the time, for at least the first few weeks.

    And so when the Big Manager brings the New Immediate Manager out to lunch, and Mentor goes, AND Lead Engineer goes, and Lead Engineer NEVER goes out to lunch, and they invite me, I decide that it would be a good thing if I go, too. (The Other Woman in the office didn't feel like going, apparently, which tells me why her career here at B----- has been so checkered. Turning down lunch with two managers and Lead Engineer? All card-carrying members of the B----- Gentlemen's Network? And then complain on a weekly basis that you feel "shut-out" of office decisions? And are surprised when your budget is cut? Are you STUPID? But I digress.)

    So here we are at lunch, four men and a lady (ha!). Two Managers, Lead, Mentor, and me. I'm a little nervous, but I'm trying not to show it. Trying to get to know the New Manager. The rest of the guys all get pizza, chips, fried fish, etc. I get a big salad. (Hey--if I eat carbs at lunch I fall asleep, okay? I'm sorry to perpetuate stereotypes, but damn me if I'm going to get a slice of pizza when I want a salad just to BREAK a stereotype. That's just as ridiculous.)

    Big Manager looks at my plate. Spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cottage cheese. "Baa-a-a-a-a-a-a," he says.

    I've worked with Big Manager for my whole career so far, and I feel comfortable with him, so I shoot back, "Lead Engineer is eating vegetables too--why don't you make fun of him? I don't look at your plate and say, 'Oink, Oink,' do I?"

    Everyone laughs. Big Manager looks down at his plate, confused. "I'm not eating pork, I'm eating fish!"

    And, y'all, here's the key: I didn't jump in to explain the joke. I said to myself, Self, it's not important if other people think you made a dumb joke. YOU know that you were funny. If the other guys got it, they'll know that you were, too. You'll only insult Big Manager more if you explain the joke, hammering home that you called him a pig AND that he was too dumb to get the joke the first time.

    And so I said, "Oh yes, you're right." And kept eating my spinach.

    There's a very old guy who has also moved in to sit next to me. He's old (did I mention that?) and Hawaiian and reminds me a lot of the teacher from the Karate Kid, except so far I am NOT impressed with his actual brains--he was sure that IAM wasn't going to strike, for example. HA. He likes to ask me how to map network drives--wait, beg pardon, he didn't actually ask ME, he asked MENTOR. A man who was at that moment running late for a meeting, and this old, slow, blinking Hawaiian guy asked him how to map a network drive. I offer to help, instead, shooing Mentor out the door. Old Hawaiian looks at me. "You can do that?" he says.

    It was clear to me that he thought that mapping network drives is something that only skilled people can do, a learned technique, and that only old experienced guys like Mentor could do such a thing. It never occurred to him that since I was younger, I would automatically have more computer skills than Mentor.

    In fact, I have very little patience with old people in general. Slow blinking ones are more irritating than others, but what's annoying is they don't understand that in today's world, they may have engineering experience, but their very age counts AGAINST them. Or at least it does with me. They are slow to understand that computer skills are linked to age because, once they realize that, what does that make them? Archaic and useless? Yes, it does. And no one wants to realize that their very age--something they cannot change--is a large black mark against them.

    This is why B----- annoys me--they value age and experience, not skill. They value tradition, not innovation. They may SAY they do, but they don't. They have retained all their old engineers all these years, and fired only the new engineers in the layoffs, and so now all these 65 year-olds are begging to retire, and B----- is facing a real brain drain. (I think it's high time, but I am concerened that there's no middle generation to take up the load--there's barely anyone between 50 and 25.)

    If they had only fired some of their old engineers earlier! They could have saved money--new engineers demand a lot lower salaries--and kept the knowledge flowing, but now they're stuck, and unions haven't helped. Our union requires this thing called a retention index assigned to each person, which is based 85% on seniority, so the more senior you are, the less likely you are to get fired. And that's a union thing that B----- can't change.

    Anyway. But this Old Hawaiian was gone for lunch one day and because he doesn't know how to set up his voice mail, when his office phone rang 25 times. And then whoever it was tried him on his cell phone, because it clearly wasn't a business call (the Old Hawaiian works less than I do) and his cell phone rang--with a very loud annoying musical ditty--another 14 times. Because Old People have absolutely no cell phone etiquette whatsoever. And never ever think of turning their damn phones on mute. (I would DIE if my cell phone went off at the office.) And when he returned, this is what I said:

    "Hey, would you like me to help you set up your voicemail on your office phone?"

    And he said sure. And we went on.

    Later on, I was getting lunch, and a cubemate stopped me in the hallway. "I just want you to know," he said, "that you were so polite and deserve a medal. I would have beaten both phones to a bloody pulp."

    So I'm improving! Really! And I made friends, as has been previously mentioned, but the REALLY cool thing is that it turns out that THEY have friends who WORK ON MY STUFF! I made my own business contacts! On my own! With no hand-holding! Now I have toys! It's awesome.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    I laughed so hard that snot came out my nose.

    Over these 1974 Weight Watchers cards.

    In other news, the party was a smashing success. Several games of beer pong were completely demolished. Apparently some people's tolerances were, too. We all found it odd that although Roommate comes from a more backwater area than I do and several of his gigantic countrified friends came (one had chops and a handlebar mustache, at 26) that it was MY friends who caused the most trouble. My ashtray was dropped and broken by one--sad, but what can you do? Another one drank himself belligerent and maudlin, caused a ruckus, and then fell asleep outside his car, on the ground, on rough gravel. A quote:

    "He's passed out in a pool of his own vomit."
    "Is he okay?"
    "Yeah, he's fine."

    Hey, we've all seen worse.

    I fell asleep with all my clothes on while we still had guests in the house. I do that a lot.

    Also, my proactiv came very quickly, but I didn't start using it until yesterday, my mailman has a crush on me and it's annoying, and I went to Bumbershoot and saw Aqueduct, Brazilian Girls, and Mudhoney. Aqueduct was pretty boring, Brazilian Girls and Mudhoney were AWESOME. Woo!

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    I made friends today!

    WOO HOO!

    And they're not even interns! They're not leaving! Or already gone! (And if they were, it would be very hard to befriend them anyway.)

    They're real, full-time workers, and they work HERE at MY SITE, and even better they work in MY BUILDING! And they were excited about meeting me! And they're cool! WOO!

    And better yet, we've decided to schedule weekly lunches. So we're all hanging out every Wednesday, at 11:30, every week. Rock on. I'm really, really hyped up--meeting new people, especially other hyper engineers who speak my language, is exciting, and we all fed off each other until we were literally shouting over each other in the cafeteria.

    And for anyone local, yes, I will probably be crossing picket lines to go to work tomorrow. Things are awfully tense around here. And yes, gas is about to skyrocket and New Orleans is hell on earth. What else is there to do but shout and laugh?

    And also donate to the Red Cross, of course, which I did. And then I'll donate again tomorrow when B-----'s Community Fund swings into action and starts to match our donations. There are some perks to working at a big company. And then there's the blodd drive a week from today. And y'all better know I'm donating to THAT.

    An Old Post I Like

    In a hurry last night between walking Titan to Proctor with mom, running over to New House to get the keys (!) and introduce Titan to Figaro, Monica's cat (!!) and running out to Federal Way by 7 pm for Tutoring (which went SMASHINGLY...)

    I dropped by Stadium Thriftway. I got a huge iced mocha breve, my drink from high school, and a rosemary roll.

    I'm almost over the waves of nostalgia that come with drinking iced mocha breves, although I suspect I'll never quite be over them.

    But the rosemary roll...I didn't eat it until just a few minutes ago, as the Mom of the kids I tutor fed me last night, so I saved the roll for this morning.

    As I heated it up in the cheap office microwave, I was overwhelmed by the smell of warm rosemary, and thought about the time in my life last year--about nine months ago--when I was working for a lawyer, and basically living the life of every pissed-off administrative assistant under the sun. Peruse the Best of Craigslist for more hysterical administrative assistant rants than you can shake a stick at. Like I said, the job wasn't great, but it was summer--I worked there from late June through late September--and it was GORGEOUS outside, sunny and perfect, and I had broken up with Chris and enjoying being single (and having boys all over the place) and enoying the location--I could walk to work through the park every day, which I did, and often stopped at Stadium Thriftway for those mochas. And jo-jos, when I was still drunk or hungover, and Naked Juices or Odwalla Juices, and what I called Credit Card Cheeses--little individually wrapped credit-card-shaped slices of Tillamook Cheese, and all kinds of other treasures, especially the dip sample bins. My journal entries are full of memes and party talk--I was making just enough money to pay bills and drink heavily, (see: jo-jos) and I wasn't working more than six hours a day.

    And even though I was broke and writing columns and short stories that were going nowhere and being turned down for, not to mention being stuck on a freezing-cold Alaskan cruise for a week with my extended family, I was happy. A lot happier that I had been the previous spring, when I was a sad, sad little girl, with no money and drum lessons I couldn't afford and a boyfriend who wasn't right for me and no sense of direction. But not as happy as I was just last winter when I loved my job, I had disposable income for the first time in a year, I was part of the service community in Pioneer Square, I gave in and fell in love with TheBoy, and B----- said they would hire me.

    Sigh. I love the smell of warm nostalgia in the afternoon.