- 6:00 PM – Leave Baltimore
- 6:04 PM – Ask if we’re there yet
- 6:05 PM – Announce that we’re flying everywhere from now on
- 6:06 PM – Weep tears of boredom
- 6:07 PM – Miko sedates me so he can listen to the entire Glee anthology in peace
- 3:00 AM – Arrive at Kiki’s, get 6 hours of sleep to last for the entire weekend.
- 9:45 AM – Leave for Bourbon Trail – commence drinking
- 12:00 PM – Fully buzzed, expect to feel this way until Sunday, 5/6
- 6:00 PM – Jaclyn and Pete arrive in Louisville
- 7:00 PM – drinks with Chris (TBD)
- 10:00 PM – play with my nephew puppy, Jasper, feed him many treats, teach him the joy of a power hour
- 10:30 AM – Molly and Rory meet us, Jaclyn has a hat party to decide which she’ll wear. Molly is bringing 1, Kiki has 2, MadonnaMama offered 1, Michele perhaps… (I hide in the corner and try them all on as well)
- 10:34 AM – Drink Mimosa
- 10:37 AM – Refill Mimosa
- 11:15 AM – Leave for Churchill Downs
- 11:18 AM – Pray that it stays sunny for the rest of the day
- 6:30 PM – Leave Oaks
- 8:00 PM – Dinner, The Blind Pig
- 10:30 PM – Oaks Party in Old Louisville
- 10:45 – Brunch, North End Cafe Highlands
- 12:00 – 2:00 – help Kiki get drunk enough to have a good time at her own party
- 2:00 – teach MadonnaMama how to bet
- 2:01 – give up on being a teacher
- 3:15 reenact the lesbian fight circa 2011
- 8:00 AM – Command DaddyW to take us to breakfast (but in a soft voice)
- 1:00 PM – sadly leave for Baltimore and begin making our paper chain for next year!
I just ended my third week of the big boy job. It’s going great so far! I’m learning lots of new things every day. Of course I’m getting my feet wet in the important parts of my job, like the logistics of fundraising and alumni affairs as well as dealing with students, yadda yadda yadda. But, I think, the most important parts of the job I’m learning are the things I need to know about everyone in the office. The unwritten rules.
I know who takes smoke breaks (because they go right outside my door). I know when the cool kids go to lunch once a week and have it hidden on their calenders as the “Hour of Awesome” so that everyone else in the office questions what it is and why they aren’t involved. Luckily, I’ve already been invited into this secret society. I’ve learned that I need to brush up on my rhetoric and semantics in order to have word battles with one lady in the office who likes to challenge me on my word choice. She hasn’t met my alter ego, “Thesaurus Rex” yet. I’ve learned that many people were opposed to the creation of my position in general, therefore they automatically don’t like me. This, my friends, will not do. I make it my mission to make a new person like me every single day. I have successfully completed one mission so far by sharing an interest in Showtime television.
I work with about 45 students throughout the week. They work 2 shifts per week, normally in rotations of 10-12 students. The math is tricky, but it adds up, somehow. In order to keep them motivated for their task of calling alumni for the phonathon, we have purchased a large amount of merchandise from the bookstore to bribe them with nightly incentives. For instance, someone with the highest number of gifts in one night might receive a logo’d water bottle or a t-shirt. Or, if I’m feeling frisky, the person who talks to the grumpiest alum might get the prize that night. It’s really up to my discretion… and that, may be my new favorite thing. “AND YOU GET A CAR! AND YOU GET A CAR!”
Which brings me to my main point. These 45 students, who range anywhere in age from 17-22, have been getting trophies all their lives for simply participating in all of their activities. I have decided that I’m going to bring them back to 3rd grade and start giving them gold stars for things. If one student sprays lysol on the headsets at the end of the night, they’ll get a gold star on the chart. If another pushes in the chairs, he’ll get a gold star. If someone else compliments me by asking, “Is this your real job or is it part of a club your in?” She’ll get a gold star because I took it to mean I still looked young enough to be in college.
Luckily I get to spend my last few days of ‘funemployment’ with the huge sigh of relief that I’ve landed a reason to get up and shower next Monday morning… and then continue to do so regularly. I’m going to be a contributing member of society, complete with a retirement plan, health care, and earning a paycheck only to see it all go down the drain to things that aren’t any fun.
Throughout the past 3 months of living in Baltimore, I’ve interviewed at a number of different places and been discouraged for quite some time when I didn’t get anywhere. I grew superstitious and believe that my interviewing skills relied completely on my tie/sock combination. Once I mastered the perfect stripe-to-argyle ratio, they would surely hand me my business cards on the spot.
Being unemployed gives someone a great deal of time to be introspective. I was constantly looking at the things I could have done differently; what should I change for the next one? Clearly, I wasn’t getting anywhere because my socks were too distracting. They weren’t ready for me to really be me. But then again, do I want to work somewhere that can’t handle all of me?
This was a constant inner turmoil.
I like to think that my panache and style translate into my work. I’m creative, outgoing, neat & orderly, and a risk-taker. Obviously, any potential employer should inspect my sartorial choices to and read between the lines to see what I’m delivering. No standard interview questions necessary.
In addition to my sock/tie conundrum, I believed that I had to keep a constant. I was doing a science experiment and seeing whether my suit, shoes, and shirt had anything to do with the outcome.
I always wore a blue shirt (except for my first failed interviews where I wore white and I learned my lesson). I always wore the same brown shoes. I always alternated between the same navy and gray suits (I also own only a navy and gray suit…).
I had found my groove, it seemed for the last couple of interviews with the school that hired me. I knew blue was it. I couldn’t compromise myself and tone down my socks though, I was going to get it regardless.
All of my superstitious ways had worked. I got the job solely based on my wardrobe choices.
(Disclaimer — This is fictional. Although I am a bit superstitious, I got the job because of my winning smile, obviously)
I remember when MadonnaMama took me to see Home Alone in theaters. I was 5 years old. We came out and I proudly proclaimed that I had “laughed my head off!” To think of all the antics Macaulay Culkin pulled while his family was away probably had me scheming for weeks and weeks as I quietly played with my Legos and Hot Wheels, coming up with convoluted plans to make my family disappear. Then I could drink all the grape soda I wanted and wouldn’t have to ask for permission to have a Little Debbie. Oh, the life I would lead.
This week, Miko has been traveling for work and I’ve found myself home alone for real. Before we moved to Baltimore, he would frequently travel for work, leaving me home to take care of the estate (or just take the trash out). Now, his new position has him traveling less often, so I’ve gotten out of the routine.
I read an article yesterday about the things people do when they find themselves “Suddenly Single” and their secret habits when their spouse/partner/roommate/family members leave them alone in their home. What kinds of things do they do that no one knows about? It got me thinking… I know I’m quirky and weird, but surely I don’t do anything differently. Not me, never.
As I went about my day yesterday, I found myself piling dishes in the sink (something that would not fly when Miko’s here… but only because I’m super neat and clean… we’re talking Danny Tanner syndrome); I didn’t bother to:
- take a shower or put on clean clothes because that just seemed silly (I did brush my teeth, I’m not an animal);
- I left a trail of mess behind me: papers, cords, blankets, crumbs, cups, and mysterious stamps.
- No need to eat at regular times, or have “normal” meals. When Miko’s here I try to eat dinner around the same time every night, but why bother when I have this sudden sense of freedom?
- Sleeping in the bed is clearly out of the question. Couch, yes please.
I also tend to arrange and rearrange things. Yesterday I decided I didn’t like how the shelves in the bathroom looked, so I emptied them and by the time I was finished putting everything back in place, they looked just like they did when I started. I moved plants, spent a great deal of time adjusting things shoved into the top shelves of the closet, and paraded around the entire time lip-synching for my life.
I wouldn’t do most of these things if Miko were home, I guess they’re embarrassing. I would keep dishes out of the sink, pick up after myself, have general hygiene, and not worry about the shelves, but I guess it’s good to escape the everyday and let loose. Since Miko comes home today, I’ve taken a shower, made the bed (from 2 nights ago), cleaned up the Wrath of Coco, emptied the sink, and started being a regular person again. Until next time, quirks.
Also, yesterday… I got a job offer.
The approach of Labor Day may mean a relaxing three-day weekend, a bar-b-Que with your closest friends and family, or, according to many on Facebook, the coming of fall. I have always assumed that Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer, the time when families closed their pools and sometimes started turning off the A/C at night. To think that the morning after Labor Day, coffee shops have taken the liberty of peddling their pumpkin spiced lattes and images of colored leaves started showing up everywhere online makes me feel older and older every year.
Maybe I’ll change my “preferred name” on all my resumes to Pop-Pop and start acting like the grumpy old man I’ve seemed to become.
Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas: they’ve all become placeholders for the next holiday. Whenever another holiday approaches, the next one is up for grabs for Wal-Mart to start selling kitsch for us to spend our paychecks.
(That’s about all the soap boxing I have in me.)
To honor the speeding of time that retail giants have decided to peddle their clientele, I’ve decided to start creating an all-holiday all-the-time extravaganza. Maybe I’ll charge admission (Hello Career Opportunity!).
- I’ll have Valentine’s Lane. A tiny Cupid will shoot heart-shaped arrows at star-crossed lovers as they gaze out over the skyline mural.
- Halloweenville will obviously be a haunted house in my laundry room since the hot water heater sometimes lets off a little steam. I did retain some things from my business degree and will have to cut overhead where I can.
- I can fulfill all the needs of my holiday friends by serving a Thanksgiving buffet, complete with a Shoney’s style sneeze guard and can-shaped cranberry sauce.
- All winter holidays will be covered with “Decemberland.” Of course I don’t want to offend any of my clientele. Hanukah, Kwanza, and Christmas will be presented in an educational format with a slide projector and crossword puzzles. Then, of course, this winter wonderland will be complete with a crawl-through igloo, seventeen singing and waving plastic Santas, two Rudolphs (better than one), and a partridge in a pear tree.
- As guests leave, the Easter Bunny will give them a going away gift. Candy and a coupon for $2.00 off their next return (with a valid RC can).
Come one, come all to Coco’s Holiday-Fun-Time-Land
*some ideas may have been borrowed from Holiday World
Everybody always talks about the weather.
It should come as no surprise that yesterday the East Coast was shaken up with the earthquake that was heard ’round Twitter. I think I read that there were something like 5,500 Tweets per second within the first minute of the quake. Of course, I may be making those numbers up, but you can certainly get that it was astronomical and unheard of just a few years ago.
Of course, I digress. I want to talk about the weather.
Who ever heard of an earthquake in Maryland? No one, that’s who. Yesterday when the ground quivered, I was taking the trash out (which involves me walking halfway around the block to the alley behind the building to get to the dumpster… I digress again). By the time I emerged from my sanitation disposal and rejoined humanity, everyone had fled their buildings.
I am not exaggerating. The streets were flooded with conference-callers escaping from their offices, late-lunchers wiping their mustardy-mouths with paper napkins as they shoved the last bits of their hot dogs in before the Apocalypse, and confused shop-goers who didn’t know whether to leave their merchandise inside or if earthquake protocol called for a free-for-all.
Meanwhile, I didn’t understand what was happening. A lady stared at me and screamed with horror, “WAS THAT AN EARTHQUAKE?!?!?!?!” I shrugged and walked along, minding my own business. I guess I could have lied and added to the hysteria. I did try to remember earthquake drills from elementary school so I could shout them out and direct the masses on the sidewalk in case things got really out of hand.
Stop. Drop. Roll.
That’s right, isn’t it?
This was my third earthquake. So, I’m really an old pro at them. I experienced the first two in Kentucky, but I didn’t feel them either. Maybe I should see a doctor. I might have “shake-walk.” It’s new, I just read about it.
As I wait anxiously for my phone to ring with those fateful words coming from the other end of the line, “YOU’RE HIRED!” I have discovered the top 10 most sure-fire ways to not get a phone call:
- Stare at the telephone non-stop for hours on end. This is a sure-fire way to get a headache, become delirious, and get eyes so dry that Ben Stein wouldn’t be able to scrounge up enough Clear Eyes in the world.
- Check for missed calls every 2 minutes. It isn’t necessary to leave the phone in one room, and get so worked up in 2 minutes with anxiety that it might be turned off or on silent that I have to run back and check it .. just to make sure.
- Distract myself with household chores. Because that’s just ridiculous.
- Pace the 45 feet of the apartment front to back (yes, I did just measure) with periodic pit stops to check for missed calls, emails, text messages, SOS signals, magical phone faxes, telegrams, or Morse code signals.
- Curse Blackberry for making phones that don’t deliver calls.
- Yell non-stop for hours on end.
- Do interpretive “ring” dances.
- Have a staring contest with the phone. I always win because the phone screen turns off after only a few seconds. But in the end, I don’t feel like much of a winner.
- From an unfortunate (and expensive) past experience, phones won’t ring after walking into the ocean with them in your pocket. But that is neither here nor there and doesn’t pertain to this situation… I hope.
- Desperation. Perhaps when I stop being desperate, I’ll get flooded with offers.
In the meantime, I’ll likely continue doing this do-si-do with my telephone. Someday soon, I hopefully won’t have to.