Tag Archives: work

big ups to my rodent friends

Today has been a very tragic day for me.

Basically, I grew up with five brothers.  It was pretty chill, except when I wanted to talk about flowers and princesses.  Enter my need for other friends.  So, after watching a number of Disney films, I decided that if I was nice enough to animals, they’d start speaking to me and become my friends…

sadly I am still working on this lifelong quest!  Apparently creatures are quite shy!

Sometimes my deep and enduring love for animals causes problems.

Like when I spent much of my free time during college collecting mouse traps around my dormitory and befriending the ‘pests’ – my friends quite enjoyed retelling these tales.  Once they got over their anger.

Also, LIKE TODAY.

I was at work when suddenly my coworker started screeching as though she’d taken a ninja star to the external jugular.  Accordingly, I ignored her.  Thus, she got up in my grill and explained that she’d seen a mouse and was pretty much grossly overreacting.  That said, I’m not going to lie, I am freakishly afraid of bugs, to the point where I actually moved house after seeing one because I became terrified of the place.  So yeah, I’ve got some crazy related to little unwanted houseguests (a term I coined/copyrighted in France because I didn’t know the word for mouse!  Terribly cleva, I know!) so I felt her pain.

However, I think mice are adorable and awesome little friends – but homegirl disagreed and wanted to get a mouse trap.  SO I offered to go, because I wanted to at the very least find a trap that would keep my new little buddy safe until we were reunited!

This is where things get really sad, so please be prepared with Kleenex…

when I got to the store, things took a very evil turn.  THERE WERE NO ‘HAVE A HEART’ TRAPS.  At this point, I felt I had a moral obligation to my coworker who was probably freaking out like a madwoman in my absence, and I knew going to another retail location would be unfair to her and her unnecessary anxiety.

SO, I HAD TO BETRAY THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.

Believe me friends, this gave me no joy, and I feel very guilty for this harsh backstabbing of my little mousey friend.

I really feel I had no choice but I would like to request that all who read this purchase the NON-HOMICIDAL traps if you find yourself dealing with some little animals in the future, AS A PERSONAL FAVOUR, SO THE COSMIC BALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE CAN BE RESTORED.

Thanks and have a great day!

x C

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Alternative Engineering

Article by Stephen Novella, M.D.

A new phenomenon is sweeping the country, gaining the attention of both consumers and manufacturers alike. Increasingly disenchanted with the cold metallic world of modern technology, people are looking closely at more natural alternatives. Collectively called Alternative Engineering (“Alt Eng”), a host of new and old methods are gaining scientific and journalistic respectability.

Alec Waterstone is one such self-styled alternative engineer. He has no degree or formal training in engineering, which, he explains, is an advantage: “My thinking is not limited by mathematics, logic, or any stodgy old mechanistic paradigm. I do not have to pay homage to the likes of Newton or other Western male pedagogues. My complete lack of training frees me to consider unique and innovative solutions to engineering problems, unfettered by the annoying constraints of “reality.”

Energy-Based Bridges

Alec’s latest project is a design for a 1200-foot non-suspension bridge. He claims the bridge will be able to span this distance without pylons or overhead suspension, and will be supported only by the ancient art of Feng Shui. “This wisdom, which is thousands of years old, is the art of channeling energy through design and form. This energy can be used to support a 1200-foot bridge, or even larger structures.” City planners are intrigued by these designs, because such bridges will cost less than half as much as conventionally designed bridges.

Alec is also quick to point out that ancient Chinese documents reveal absolutely no accounts of collapsing suspension bridges. His technique’s safety record is, he argues, unparalleled. “How else would it have survived all these years if it didn’t work?

Anthony Trellis, a professor of engineering at State-of-the Art University, claims that Alec’s designs run contrary to basic principles of physics and materials science. An exasperated Trellis commented, “A bridge based upon Waterstone’s designs simply could not stand. It would be unsafe in the extreme.”

But Alec is not perturbed by such criticism. “Of course professor Trellis does not like my designs, because they challenge his precious status quo and turn his world upside-down. But the protectionism of the old guard is starting to crumble, like one of their obsolete buildings,” he retorted at a recent symposium for progressive thinkers who agreed that those who fail to jump on the bandwagon will be left behind. His talk to a standing-room-only crowd also accused the American Society of Civil Engineers, the steel industry, and other “vested interests” of trying to suppress his views.

Skeptics have suggested that before we spend millions of taxpayer dollars on such projects, and subject American motorists to the unknown risks of driving over a Waterstone bridge, Waterstone’s basic principles should at least be tested to see whether they work. This is especially true since his designs seem to run contrary to conventional wisdom. But Waterstone responds:

I”m too busy designing bridges to jump through some skeptic’s hoops. They will never be satisfied, anyway. The American motorists should be free to decide for themselves if they wish to drive over one of my bridges. I respect their intelligence and ability to make smart decisions for themselves. They don’t need to be told by some bureaucrat, or professor in an ivory tower, which bridges are safe and which are not.

Professor Trellis and other naysayers argue that individuals should not have to be scientists or engineers in order to drive safely over our bridges. Regulations are not designed to limit freedom, but to provide a basic level of safety and protection for the public. This attitude, however, is increasingly being dismissed as overly paternalistic and protective.

Intuitive Cars

Civil engineers are not the only ones gravitating toward the ancient wisdom of pre-technological societies. The auto industry is also catching on. Natural Designs is a new car company based in Kansas. Its president and CEO, Andy Wily, received a degree in engineering from Harvard 20 years ago, but was fired from his subsequent teaching position after excessive drug use nearly destroyed his life. Now he has returned with a new company and a new philosophy that many consumers find appealing.

“I am advocating a mixture of the best of modern scientific engineering with the antiscientific and superstitious ideas of earlier times,” explains Wily. “I call this approach Integrative Engineering.”

What has this new approach created? Natural Design’s newest model sedan, the Millennium 2000, does not use air bags, or even seatbelts. “Seat belts are dangerous, and air bags are kid-killers,” complains Wily. So he has come up with something better. The interior of the Millennium 2000 is coated with a patented psychoactive material, called Natural Safe. “All a driver or passenger has to do is think safe thoughts, and this miraculous material will do the rest. In a crash, the material will gently repel any safe thinking person in the vehicle, leaving them free from injury,” Wily asserts.

When skeptics point to deaths or disability for Millennium 2000 passengers, Wily replies that the passengers clearly weren’t thinking as “safely” as they should have been. “Besides,” he adds, “the Millennium 2000 only goes 50 miles per hour on a good day with a happy wind behind it. If the motorists who were killed had been driving something developed by the International Automaker’s Cartel like a Ford or Chevy, they’d have been traveling much faster with an even greater chance of death. When Ford quits murdering thousands of people a year on our highways, then their complaints about us will look like something besides protecting market share. In fact, we have a study right here that shows that if everyone quit driving tomorrow, the death rate would go down in America! Until we can convince the American people of the millions killed needlessly by modern ‘automotive science’, Natural Safe remains the safest choice.”

Many consumers are convinced. Not to be outdone, GM and Ford both have started putting Natural Safe coatings in their cars. Amy Zinger, of Arkansas, survived a 40 mph head-on collision in one such vehicle. “I was wearing my seat belt, and the air bag did deploy, but I know it was the Natural Safe that saved my life,” she asserted recently. “Besides,” she points out, “If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it.” Motivated by such testimonials, more and more consumers are insisting on only buying cars treated with Natural Safe.

One problem faced by Natural Designs, however, is that outdated safety regulations, such as those requiring seatbelts, do not account for these new integrative designs. Recently, however, this has all changed. Senator Hackem, from Natural Design’s home state of Iowa, has pushed through legislation that will exempt manufacturers that use Alternative or Integrative principles from regulations designed to protect consumers. This was hailed as a great step forward.

Still, hard-headed skeptics will not go away. “All I’m asking for is a simple crash test” exclaimed noted skeptic, Perry DeAngelis. “If the stuff really works, heck, I’ll buy it.” Skeptics have been increasingly calling for such tests, arguing that testing should take place before implementation, especially when human lives are at stake.

But Wily explains why such tests won’t work. “Crash dummies are not people. The psychoactive material will therefore not respond to them. The fact is, these innovative designs cannot be subjected to the same testing and principles as traditional engineering. But consumers who drive our cars feel safer. How can you argue with that.”

Still, DeAngelis points to recent studies which seem to indicate that drivers of Wily’s cars are twice as likely to die in a crash as are drivers of conventional vehicles. But Wily merely scoffs, “What are you going to believe, numbers on a piece of paper, or people?”

Political Achievement

Despite the skeptics, Alternative Engineering seems here to stay. Wily has just been named chairman of the new Integrative Engineering Department at Zones University, where he hopes to train the next generation of engineers in his philosophy. Meanwhile, Senator Hackem has pushed through Congress a bill to create Center for Alternative Engineering. This new office will divert money being wasted on maintaining this country’s infrastructure and use it to study and promote alternative principles in engineering.

Finally, in what is characterized as a landmark coup in the making, the Canadian College of Rainbow-Coloured Integrative Engineering — after spending more than 100 years as a scientific pariah — is finalizing negotiations to become part prestigious Dork University. Despite howls of dismay from Dork’s math and science faculty and several Nobel laureates, Dork’s Senate has pushed onward with its plans for affiliation. The $25 million dollars that the Integrative Engineers have promised to give the University has not, according to Dork’s President, influenced the deal. The president characterized critics of Integrative Engineering as “crybabies” who espouse “long disproven misinformation” about Alternative Engineering.

____________

Dr. Novella is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine and an Associate Editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.

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looney tunes!

When I started this blog, it was principally to share the things I find amusing in my barista life!  I haven’t really been a barista very much lately due to travel etc. but I did get to work this week, so I wanted to share with you some of the crazies that were on the creep that day.  (If you couldn’t tell, weird/crazy people=my main source of amusement in life.)

There are a number of regulars whom we all know and talk about/become amused by.  Moreover, the environment of the coffeeshop where I work is very informal and has a bar where we, the employees, usually kick it; this also causes certain customers to post up at the bar with us (usually for hours) and hang out.  Sometimes this is cool, as I totally dig many of our customers.  Some of them, however, bother me in a variety of ways, from being plainly annoying to being a bit frightening.  Also,  I did not change their names for the purpose of this weblog, this is how my coworkers and I refer to each of these people–I don’t feel the need to change their names since their behaviour I am discussing is done in public and in view/earshot of many strangers.  Sue me.  (But, actually, please don’t.)

One of our regulars is ‘Wet Cappuccino Charles‘.  I’m not sure how to describe him really except to say that he quite possibly possesses the greatest degree of social ineptitude I have ever seen, and a lot of my coworkers compare him to “Dwight Shrute” from the US version of the televison programme “The Office”, whom I must say he resembles in both behaviour and appearance.  He is hilarious in the sense that he has no problem broadcasting his crazy opinions (he’s an intenselty right-wing conspiracy theorist type, and is extremely paranoid) and getting him fired up is always entertaining.

Anyway, he usually comes in several times per week and stays for hours because he is not employed–in fact, he is constantly inquiring as to whether we have any ‘temp work’ available.  He is honestly like a caricature!  Unfortunately he also frightens me a bit because he asked for my email address shortly after I made his acquaintance (and before I grasped the depth of his craziness), and I have a folder labeled just for him on my gmail account…in other words, he sends me about 10 emails each day.  Fun! Also, slightly alarming. :)

One of our new regulars is the ‘Klonopin Queen‘.  There are a number of people whom I suspect of being pill-poppers due to their dazed and confused facial expression and inability to converse at a normal rate, but homegirl takes the cake.  Not only is she dazed and confused all the time, but she also likes to hang out for hours, talk about how awesome klonopin has been for her (it has helped her handle her demon child) and also likes to PASS THEM OUT.  Like tic-tacs.  ‘One for you, one for you, one for you’ is what we say when one of us sees her coming.  Because that is what she does…sings along and passes out DRUGS like a deranged mother goose.

Another fun discovery upon my return to the coffee shoppe was that I have a new coworker, ‘Bipolar Bridget’. Bridget immediately revealed to me her psychiatric history and the fact that she’s no longer medicated (this much was obvious)–she then proceeded to do all sorts of cracked out shit, such as singing Disney songs at the top of her lungs (in the middle of a coffee shoppe…who does that?) and writing signs of ‘things she wanted to tell me’.  Example: she made a colorful and detailed sign that said “who are the backstabbers around here?” that was slightly violent in nature.  The crazy customers are bad enough, but now I must spend several hours with someone who is clearly under the influence of drugs OR extra, extra crazy.  Either way, she’s a looney tune.

The people I’ve met (and there are a lot more, those were just the ones that rolled up that DAY) are people I did not know existed.  I’m somewhat interested in humans/people in general, so from reading about them and you know, being alive, I thought I had a decent grasp of human behaviour–HOW WRONG I WAS.

And my mum said being a barista was a waste of time!

Anyway, back to work, have a great day blogheads! :) :) :)

xx Charlee

ps: sincerest apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors, I had to type this rather quickly because I have a deadline in a few hours!!! try not to let it upset you too much kids ;-)

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Then what? My boobs are too big?

True story–I once got dumped for loving the film from which this awesome line was taken (aka Legally Blonde). He just could not get over it.

Clearly, I do not think it is a brilliant film, but I think the message is important–kind of muffled by the fact that the main character fails to exhibit any clear sign of intelligence, but an important message nonetheless.  That is, that you should not judge a book by its cover.

My freshman year of college, I found out halfway through the year that the girls from my hall called me ‘Barbie’ behind my back.  It was very hurtful, especially when I heard some of the really malicious things they’d said.  In fact, it still upsets me…I didn’t do anything to them, and yes I enjoy the color pink, but to be so needlessly bitchy is just so wrong in my book.

My point is–I can relate to the character in that film, because I feel like I constantly have to deal with people’s incorrect premature assessments and after a while, it gets old. Like, REALLY FUCKING OLD.

What I mean is…people are constantly treating me like I’m dumb. This isn’t a projection either, because one half of the time, they’re verbally telling me that ‘it’s okay if I just don’t get it’ or something along those lines–and the other half of the time, they’re in utter shock (sometimes even telling me so) when they get a chance to see that their perceptions of me are wrong.

So I can’t figure out what it is that makes people get this impression of me.  Is it the fact that I’m actually rather dim?  Have people just been being nice to me? I don’t know…intelligence is such an odd thing, and there’s probably nothing more difficult than attempting to assess one’s own level of it.  However, I tend to think this is not the case based upon the only objective information I have, which would be testing I’ve had done by a psychologist…which indicated that I’m somewhat of a smarty.  So, granting that I’m reasonably intelligent (though we’ll never know for sure), what is it that makes people think otherwise?

I think part of it could be that I’m a bit goofy, and giggly, and as a friend so affectionately put it, ‘bubble-headed’–I don’t fancy myself an airhead, but I also don’t jump at every opportunity to showcase my intelligence.  Not saying I have this great degree of intelligence, as perhaps I’m really dense and unaware of it, but in my experience, people are generally rather eager to assert themselves in this manner.  It’s just not my thing.

Still, although not particularly serious, I don’t think my behaviour gives any indication that I’m dumb.

So what is it?

Well, I’m sorry to say it, but I think I’m slowly starting to believe that people judge books by their covers.  Maybe I am naive to have not realised it sooner?

There are many reasons why I think this, but I’ll give you one big example–I have always had the biggest problem with uber-intense math/science nerds (as in, science nerds that are +2 sds from the mean).  I say the word “nerds” in the nicest way possible because I am a total geekette and actually took offense to it when my lover questioned my nerdiness.  But that is not the point.   The point is, I’m making a generalization about my experiences with a particular group of people–a group of people whom I have found, on the whole, to be quite socially awkward, not especially attractive, and really, probably lacking in certain aspects of their lives.  This is not an analysis I made prematurely, or out of spite, as I have been dealing with these people for a long time, and I treat them as I would anyone else…and once I get to know them, most of them are really cool people.  HOWEVER, it is my belief that this particular sort of person so values their intelligence as being exceptional, and is so psychologically invested in it in terms of self-esteem, that coming upon someone who does not share their more negative traits, but does share their most valued trait, is just too much for them to handle.  Therefore, in accordance with the theory of cognitive dissonance, they decide that said person (i.e. me) could not possibly be as intellectually capable as they are.

Sexual frustration is not a pretty thing.

I’m working on a research project right now–because I was ASKED, mind you, not because I wanted to do it, because it is not in my area of expertise.  Nonetheless, I thought it would be fun–and it is.  Difficult, but fun.  However, a few of my colleagues are really not very nice to me and I don’t know how to deal with it–perhaps I am not 100% as qualified as they are (since some of them ARE pseudo-experts in this area) but the bottom line is, we’re all doing the same shit, meaning none of us are complete imbeciles.  Yet whenever I ask a question, their facial expressions and excessively simplistic explanation suggest that they think I’m completely clueless.  Just yesterday, I questioned a colleague’s (negative) analysis of something I’d done, only to have him look it over and tell me that I did indeed do it properly, and he was sorry because he’d ‘just assumed I had no idea what was going on’–you ASSUMED I had no idea what was going on?  Did you even LOOK AT my work?

MORAL OF THE STORY: DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, BLOGGA BUDDIES

Okay, rant over.  I’m just sick of people harshing my chill, you know?

xx Charlee

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f my life

Firstly, if you have missed out on the brilliance of this website, then I suggest you check out fmylife.com!  It is quite hilarious, and totally my sense of humour, as there is nothing I find more amusing that the absurdity of everyday life.

Secondly…my apologies for being a delinquent blogga.  I spent the majority of last week paying for my one day of freedom with extreme productivity and also dealt with a bit of an internal conflict regarding the concept of keeping a weblog.  But I’m chillin’ now…so it is all good.

Thirdly, the past week or so has been overflowing with manly misadventures so  I suppose I shall update you on what has gone down!

I made the rainbow cake (which will be a tale for another day) for Mason and he kind of freaked out…he made such a big deal out of it that I didn’t really know what to say or do.  I am generally immune to awkwardness, but I didn’t really think it was a huge deal, and he acted like I’d given him a kidney.  Marley told me this was because I was ‘clearly declaring my love for him, à la Napoleon Dynamite’ (in the film Napoleon’s sidekick with a poor grasp of the English language, Pedro, suggests that in order to ask a girl to a dance, Napoleon “bake her a cake or something”).  This left me feeling like a big dork, a sentiment that was only made worse the day after Mason’s party when my coworker Theresa commented that Mason ‘looked like he was going to cry’ when I gave him the cake.  Not exactly the reaction I was going for.

This strange situation was further compounded by the fact that I had to work Saturday night–I had volunteered to work on Valentine’s Day because I’m not the biggest fan of said cheesefest and especially of the behaviour it tends to induce in Mr. Martini, although I was no more interested in spending the “holiday” with any of the other men in my life right now.  Not to mention, I knew most of my coworkers were in relationships so I thought it would be nice if they could have the night off to recite poetry and listen to Sinatra.  See, I’m not entirely bitter!

However, Mason switched shifts with someone so that we could work together Saturday night…so that ‘my Valentine’s Day wouldn’t completely suck’.  I thought this was very sweet, and was quite excited that we’d be spending the evening together–even if it were to be spent at work.  After the cake incident, though, I was a bit weirded out about this, especially since he has a girlfriend–I imagine they are on the verge of breaking up, but nonetheless, I’m not trying to spend singles awareness day with someone who is not single…

Then there’s Mr. Martini, who spent the weekend here despite my numerous reminders that I would not be available on Saturday, and true to form, planned a super over-the-top date for Friday night.

Unfortunately, one of my very best friends was dumped by her EVIL boyfriend on Thursday.  Yup, you read that correctly.  Her boyfriend of five years broke up with her right before Valentine’s Day.  I cannot tell you how angry this makes me, but I am comforted by the fact that I know karma will come back to bite him in his sorry ass.

So, considering that my friend was feeling a bit psycho-crazy, I thought it best to not leave her alone Friday night…however, I also felt awful cancelling on Mr. Martini.  So, I told him what was up, and because he is so crazy awesome, he said that she could come along.  I also felt like getting her out and about and wined and dined would be good for her morale.  And my dear, sweet, Mr. Martini was so very cool about it and even got roses and chocolate for my friend.  How nice is that?  I was really happy that he was so nice about her crashing because we hadn’t seen each other in a while and I think he was looking forward to some intense romance…but, he was perfectly kind and understanding, he even listened to my friend moan throughout the entire evening and was totally sincerely sympathetic and comforting.  It made me appreciate him so much more, because I know he isn’t particularly fond of this friend and we haven’t been on the best terms, and the fact that he was so sweet about the whole thing was just incredibly endearing.

Blah blah blah, this entry is boring me…

To sum things up, Mason and I had fun making fun of the yucky couples on Valentine’s Day, and my girlfriend joined in, as she chilled at the coffee shoppe all night so she would not be ‘drowning in an ocean of tears’ as she so nonchalantly put it.  Then, the three of us went out and drank massive amounts of tequila and continued to have a number of laughs at the expense of Cupid et al.

However, tequila has long been an enemy of mine, something I conveniently forget all-too-often, and upon approaching Mr. Martini’s hotel, I felt the uncontrollable impulse to tell the cab driver I needed to get out.  It is true, I showed up at my (ex) lover’s hotel room at 2 am on Valentine’s Day, exceptionally intoxicated.  How tragic am I?

Mr. Martini was awake and seemed pleased to see me, although I do believe he was somewhat taken aback by my drunken state as I tend to be on my best behaviour in his presence.  I don’t recall much but I believe I went to sleep straightaway, presumably after confessing my undying love and devotion to him.  The next morning, I awoke quite late and probably looking somewhat reminiscent of roadkill, to an awesome champagne breakfast (I obviously skipped the bubbly) and Mr. Martini smirking at me and inquiring as to when we were going to ‘talk about last night’.  I believe I told him “never”, and left it at that–truthfully, I kind of wish that Mr. Martini had skipped the very sweet gesture of ordering breakfast because I was probably blushing throughout the meal and really, really just wanted to leave.

But it gets better.  I arrived at work yesterday to discover that Mason and my friend had spent the night together, ‘but nothing happened.’  My friend confirmed this supposed innocence, but  it’s kind of the latest turn-off in a string of unappealing actions for Mason–not least of all because I think it highly inappropriate for someone with a girlfriend to be sharing a bed with anyone…and certainly not my best friend who just had her heart broken.  Although he tells me “she said she just didn’t want to be alone” and he “felt bad”, to me this screams of shadiness.  Perhaps I am imagining it though…maybe they’re both just oddballs. In any case, it makes me think to myself, “fuck my life”.

So tonight I must face Mr. Martini…and I am really embarrassed because I unfortunately have very little recollection of the other night.  Boo!

…f my life. :)

I hope everyone out there in blogga-land had a fantastic Valentine’s Day, devoid of drunken debauchery and intoxicated impromptu sonnets!

xx Charlee

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i am a ‘BAMF’

Hah!  Not really.

I am indeed being a rebel by playing hooky today though.  Of course this is nothing new for me, but lately I’ve been quite responsible, and this morning as I was trying to fall asleep (at 5 am), I cringed at the thought that I had to work (at the coffee shop), go to two classes, get a project done for my other job, and somehow manage to bake a treat for Mason and obviously sex myself up for the festivities tonight.  It was simply too awful for me to bear the fact that my effort was going to be a waste,  because crazy tiredness (from extreme lack of sleep), and the brain burn resulting from contributing to society all day would have prevented from enjoying myself at the party, thereby killing my buzz.  Quite literally.

So I’m being naughty, and I couldn’t be happier about it!  It reminds me of the good old days…my stoned slacker days, as I fondly call them.

I blew off EVERYTHING, and even lied about it–this is something I have never done before, because for all of my neglect of responsibility, I am nothing if not honest.  Through all of college, through all of life, I have made it a point not to make excuses for my actions, especially bogus excuses.  However, it suddenly came to me not all that long ago that part of life in our society is bs-ing.  As I believe I have said before, my main purpose in life is keeping it real, so I had some trouble accepting this.  Even when I was always getting in trouble for not doing shit and my friends were claiming their grandmothers had died, I kept my mouth shut–but therein lies the problem.  It may sound silly that I really didn’t figure this out until recently, but apparently not saying anything gives the impression that you just don’t give a fuck.  People expect you to make excuses.  I’m not even going to get into how stupid this is, but I’m happy to say that I don’t feel bad at all about lying to my bosses or prof today, because I think in the end it’s less rude than not saying anything and I’m probably doing good in terms of their egos by making them think their nonsense is important to me.

(Side note: I can seriously rationalise anything.  It kind of freaks me out.)

Well I shall continue this later as I have to go prepare the rainbow cake (hooray! I am pumped!!) and get sexed up for the soiree this evening!

Hope everyone else is having an amazing day also!! :) :)

xx Charlee

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friday fun :)

From Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman:

“You can’t really learn much about a person based upon what kind of music they happen to like.  As a personality test, it doesn’t work even half the time.  However, there is at least one thing you can learn: The most wretched people in the world are those who tell you they like every kind of music ‘except country.’  People who say that are boorish and pretentious at the same time.  All it means is that they’ve managed to figure out the most rudimentary rule of pop sociology; they know that hipsters gauge the coolness of others by their espoused taste in sound, and they know that hipsters hate modern country music.  And they hate it because it speaks to normal people in a tangible, rational manner.  Hipsters hate it because they hate Midwesterners, and they hate Southerners, and they hate people with real jobs.”

Hope everyone has a great friday!

xx Charlee

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Naturally!

coffee stainSo, dearest weblog reader, I chose to solve my ethical dilemma via the old “have your cake and eat it too” strategy. I decided to reschedule hanging out with Mason for Friday and go out with Mr. Martini on Saturday.

It’s been terribly, and I do mean terribly, cold outside in my geographical region and I wanted to have a wing woman, naturally, so I decided to have Mason and Chad come to our place for dinner and drinks on Friday. All was going well, when Mason decided to tell me that he “was kind of hoping we could be alone” because he had something to tell me. Well, I didn’t know how to take that, but then he dropped the bomb on me that he didn’t know how to tell me but he had been wanting to quit for a while, but “then he realized we can still hang out outside of work”, and that this realization had led him to feel that there is no reason not to quit.

So, the one person at work who is not currently under the care of a psychiatrist nor in need of mental help is QUITTING! Leaving me with the psychos. Naturally.

I was clearly very excited to hear this news–but I must confess that I had the odd sensation (perhaps in part due to his tone of voice and demeanor) that I was being broken up with. He is my work lover (also known colloquially as “work spouse” or “work boyfriend“) and it did in some ways reflect “the talk” between soon to be ex-lovers.  Yes, I do on occasion want to have him as an actual lover, but he’s also the person at work whom I can always bitch to, gossip to, and whom I genuinely like–therefore, imagining work without him makes me frown.

Naturally, I’m quite upset over this recent development.

So now I am going to go eat my feelings and console myself with pizza (naturally).

-C

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elation, nonsense, and hooray for martin luther king junior :) (and obama)

Okay–first and foremost, I would just like to say I am ABSOLUTELY ELATED that this long-awaited day, January 19th, 2009 is finally here.  I think I’ve been looking forward to this date for 8 years!!! Bush is FINALLY peacing out!  I’m actually not much of a Bush-hater, but he obviously has struggled throughout the course of his term and to be frank, the very constitutionality of his term is not clear in my mind.

So I’m not going to talk politics but I cannot remember the last time I was this happy about the state of affairs in this country!

Anyway I am terribly sorry I have not written in the past few days,  particularly because they have been quite eventful!

Friday I went to a work party, where Sam and her boyfriend got into a fight.  I’m a fan of Sam’s boyfriend because he’s quite chill–not as swift as I might like but he’s cool enough.  Anyway, for some reason he and I began talking about politics–something I try quite hard to avoid in most situations, but the one exception to this rule for me is if I think someone is open to learning something that I am able to help them grasp…which was the case here, so I discarded my usual policy.  Of course, Sam is kind of crazy (and rather dim) so she kept making belligerant comments and trying to change the subject although her boyfriend (Callum) was listening rather intently.  So eventually he told her to take it easy or something like that, and she completely overreacted and stormed off…a few minutes later, Mason came to tell me that Sam was crying outside and angry with me.  Greatttt.  I went outside to see what was up, and long story short, she was being drunk and irrational…so it’s all good now.

So then Saturday I worked with Mason, and he said Marley (roomie) and I were “making everyone cry” to which I obviously asked him to elaborate, and he said that I had upset Sam and Marley had upset Chad.  To be perfectly honest I hadn’t been keeping too abreast of Marley and Chad’s situation so I didn’t have much to say on the subject, but later after discussing it with roomie, it turned out that she had decided she didn’t really fancy him after all–pretty standard for Marley, but that’s part of her charm…in my opinion anyway!  But apparently not those whom she loses affection for so quickly…

That night, Mr. Martini and I had a very relaxed night watching a documentary entitled “Resolved” about high school debating.  He and I always do the most random things together!  It was something we just saw and thought looked interesting so we viewed it, and it turned out there was a lot of racial context that one wouldn’t generally expect given the subject matter of the film–there was a team that challenged the way high school debating works in this country by saying it is exclusive and more or less racially discriminative.  I’m not sure how much I want to go into this concept because I’m a bit short on time, but given the date and current events and all, I will say that several of  the people I love most in the world, my best friends (and one of my former roommates) are black and I have spent a fair amount of time working in public schools where 99% of the faculty and students were African-American, so I feel that I have an understanding, or as much of one as any white person can have, of the challenges that they face and it is an issue closer to my heart than it is to most (white) peoples’.  That said, in this film, the team was not arguing the resolution they were given, but was instead arguing that the entire framework/institution of high school debating were racist; the documentary obviously did not show their entire argument, but something about it really didn’t sit well with me.  Last time I checked, the better way to get your point across would be to argue the resolution, and win, thereby instituting the so-called change they were working towards (assuming that their allegations of racism were indeed founded).  Not to mention–a lot of people, and probably me before I became familiar with the black community, believe that we live in a post-racial society.  So to “pull the race card” and completely skirt the issue that is meant to be debated is really illogical and uncalled for in my opinion–and furthermore, sets our society (and the black community) back several years.

I think in many ways that is what is so inspiring about Obama, and Martin Luther King Jr. before him.  Martin Luther King Junior did not play the victim, he was aggressive in his campaign for change, but in a way that was poised and so incredibly admirable–I don’t think there are many people, and certainly not myself, who could maintain such a calm and articulate manner in the face of an issue so inflammatory and passion-stirring as racism. Obama, on the other hand, took this to an entirely new level.  Politics aside, I don’t think I have ever been so inspired by someone as I am by Obama–and throughout the election, I was always the one telling friends and family that he was creepily subliminal and psychological in his speeches and that he came across as such an inspiring figure because of the tactics he used.  However, when he won, I was so incredibly emotional and elated that it became a night I will never forget.  He really is evidence that race is no longer an issue in this country–and though it has never been an issue in my eyes, I can say that I have experienced racial tension/discrimination first hand; but even so, to know that most of the country does indeed subscribe to the “post-racial” concept is so incredibly beautiful and amazing to me that it is one of the few things that truly leaves me speechless.

Obama affected change not by going over the history of the country or by listing his grievances–and to be perfectly honest, I think he would have been completely justified in doing either–but instead, he portrayed the world and the country as many of use see it and hope it actually is–and in so doing, taught us all a thing or two about the power of belief and coming together with others who share our beliefs.  Obama was not part of the political machine, he was (and is) part of the people.  He showed us that we can live in a country we’re proud of, that we can say “no” to the things we don’t accept or believe in, and that, more than anything, “yes, we can.”  His entire campaign was built upon the concept of change, but in so many ways, Obama himself is the change.  Or to quote him, the “change we can believe in.”

No matter what your political beliefs, we could all learn a lot from this man.

ANYWAY that got a bit lengthy, but I’m in a bit of a daze of Obama inaugural excitement, and to be sure, I’m not a Democrat, so I’m hardly one of the sheep I so despised throughout the campaign.  However, my emotions have really gotten the best of me today because I’ve been thinking about what tomorrow means to all of us, and how the world really is changing; and of what it will mean to so many of the young people I have worked with who have expressed feelings to me that I cannot imagine feeling and that I know will be replaced with a new worldview because of Barack Obama–America is indeed the land of opportunity, and anyone can do anything.  It isn’t all just lines of bullshit as so many of us may have suspected.

Viewing the film Saturday night, by the way, was accompanied by consumption of copious amounts of wine, and by the end, Mr. Martini and I were getting a little more lovey-dovey than we probably should have.  I blame the wine.  Alas, I spent the night in his bed, but we were not intimate–truthfully, I kind of wanted to be because I adore him and am physically in need of some loving, but I have an inner “flooz-o-meter” (n. the inner meter of the degree to which one is acting like a floozy) that prevented us from getting down.  C’est la vie.

I’m truly a bit frightened by the intensity of my feelings for him as well as the intensity of his future planning involving me, though.

Anyway this has taken much longer than I had hoped–I must get ready as we are having a dinner party tonight to celebrate Bush’s last night in office.  Hooray hooray hooray!

Hope everyone else takes a moment to give thanks this evening as well–whether or not you’re an Obama fan, so many lives lost is reason enough to be thankful that by this time tomorrow night, there will be a new sheriff in town. ;-)

xx Charlee

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nouveau riche (warning: rant)

Alright–let me preface this little rant by saying that I realise I was not put on this earth to judge and I try very, very hard not to be judgmental; and, generally speaking, I think I do a pretty damn good job of biting my tongue when it comes to commenting on the choices and tendencies of others.  Even when my friends are putting people down or passing judgment on them, I keep my mouth shut, because I know better than most that things are not always what they seem and all of us are human, and to comment on someone else’s life without knowing their full background, their private struggles, and their personal issues is really not something I feel it is okay to do.

That said, and I say this without any malice whatsoever, some people REALLY just evade my powers of understanding–case in point, the woman I am working with right now (yes I’m being naughty again and writing in my weblog from work!) who is probably the most obnoxious person I have ever met.  I referenced her in my first post–her name is Theresa, and ALL she talks about are material things and even the finances of other people!  It’s at times quite funny to me, but today, when I am hungover and had a very rough night, it is not funny, it is just annoying.

Let me add that she is terribly judgmental and I would not say this if that were not the case…

but homegirl is a HOT MESS my friends.  Firstly, she is the most ostentatious person I have ever met (and if you knew my background, you would understand what a bold statement that is.)  There are few things more important to me than “keeping it real”, and I suppose that is one of the main reasons why this woman grates on my nerves so awfully.  For one, I was raised to believe that it is the epitome of low-class and completely unacceptable to discuss someone’s financial situation in any capacity–it’s not something I would ever do, and if/when people around me do it, I become terribly uncomfortable–yet she takes no notice of my apparent discomfort I suppose, because she continues to make comments (and ask questions!!) of this nature.  In fact, “comments of this nature” are the ONLY comments she makes.  Apparently, her mother failed to teach her that having class means striving to make those around you feel comfortable.

Secondly, her mode of dress is beyond gauche and really offends my eyes.  I know that sounds terribly bitchy, but there is really no other way of putting it.  I mean, par example, diamonds are a girl’s best friend and all, and I have nothing against them, but she wears diamonds that are so large (I think her engagement ring is probably about 4-5 carats) that I would be embarrassed to wear them.

And I hate to “go there”, but I cannot understand how someone can be so ignorant and tragic with our country’s financial sector/economy being in such a state; not to mention the fact that there are much, much more worthy things to spend money on than material goods.  How about starving children?  I know that sounds kind of cliché, but there are people starving all over the world and a  rather small amount of American dollars could help a number of them.  Or for those who are not into international charity, there are many things that could be done in the United States–how about donating to one’s alma mater?  It seems as though one’s karma would be well-served to celebrate the success a university prepared them for by providing an endowed scholarship so a student can have that same chance, or building a new library so students can be that much more prepared for future success.

I don’t expect anyone to save the world, but it bothers me immensely that this woman (who, by the way, very much fits the “trophy wife” stereotype and the money that she supposedly has/is so obsessed with is not even her own) is so close-minded in her view of the world.  To be fair, I don’t know what sort of charitable donations her and her husband may make, but something tells me that her financial priority is not using her wealth for the greater good.

I’m sorry…I know I sound like an utter cow…but I have long been annoyed by the tendencies of “new money” and this woman really takes it to an entirely new level of tackiness.  If you met her, you’d agree.

Lest I act like a complete hypocrite, I must confess that I consider fashion to be art and therefore am an avid lover of Chanel, YSL, and other lesser known (but still absurdly overpriced) designers, I own some very overpriced art, and some of my handbags cost more than anyone should EVER spend on a handbag.  That said, I rarely adorn myself with visible labels, and with the economy being the way it is, I have stopped carrying my designer bags (although I found an AMAZING vintage one yesterday–will have to post a photo!) because it just seems wrong and shameful to be so materialistic when people are losing their jobs and homes.  I also try quite hard to “spread the wealth” even though I’m not exactly a wealthy person.

Over the past few months especially, I have become increasingly embarassed of my materialism–I know that American society is more or less defined by consumerism, but in the end, shoes cannot make me as happy as knowing that someone else has benefitted from my choices, and I really wish that Mrs. Tacky McTackster could see beyond the fact that she is now financially comfortable and do something other than celebrate it.

Anyway, this rant turned into a bit of a meditation on materialism and ostentation, but I’m glad I got it out–because I cannot stand this woman today.  Luckily, soon she shall be hopping into her overpriced automobile (god forbid she actually use her brain and purchase a hybrid) and walking her dripped-in-gold ass out of here.  Maybe she just needs a makeover?  Haha–of her appearance AND personality!

(Let me add one more time: this woman is NOT a nice person, I would never say such things about someone unless she were utterly unpleasant, inconsiderate, and judgemental.)

(rant over)

Hope everyone has a fab day!

xx Charlee

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