Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The T: Morning Madness

It takes 12 minutes for me to get to work on the train. Sweet, right? Yes, it is.

What's not sweet is the rush hour crowd of commuters. Usually, I handle it pretty well -- I just plug my earphones in, start up Final Fantasy III on my iPhone, and I am off to a magical place where fearsome beasts will get the pwning they richly deserve, at least after I level up and buy expensive equipment.

This morning was special, though. Not special as in "needs consideration due to developmental disabilities," but special as in "you deserve my foot in your ass." I first became aware of unpleasantness when a young lady nearby started loudly declaring into her cell phone, "This kid is embarrassing. He won't do what I say." Please note that I hear this through my headphones that are trumpeting RPG battle music (bumbumbum BUMBUM bumbumbumbumbum BUMBUM buh-buh-BUUUUUM), and the kid in question is a little five-year-old, who appears to be guilty of... wait for it... walking around. The little reprobate! The woman, who was clearly not his mother, seemed utterly furious with him, and was declaring said fact for the benefit of everyone within a twenty-foot radius.

Okay, fine, maybe the kid was annoying on the way to the train station. Whatever. I focused on my game, got into the insanely crowded train, and kept playing. Then, her overweight friend, who was also towing along a little kid (a sweet little girl in corn rows, awwww widdle Bo Derek), started playing her game -- without earphones. So I had Angry Birds music overwhelming my Final Fantasy. By an adult, who should know better. Okay, no problem.

And then the train lurched, as it sometimes does, and I stumbled back into Ms. Fat Angry Birds, who. Shoved. Me. Shoved me! This was my reaction:

"Hmpf."

And this is how I really felt inside:

"If I had a cannonball in my bag I would drop it on your
foot and then headbutt you as you double over in pain
and then I will eat your faaaaace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Maybe I shouldn't have watched Resident Evil the night before. Or maybe horrible rude people shouldn't be horrible and rude. That's it, next time I'm going to have my Bose QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones instead of my dinky little iPhone earphones.

Who wants to buy me Bose QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dietary Moments of Note

This post is dedicated to Ms. B.B.S., of New York, since I ripped the title from a gmail chat with her.

Yesterday my stomach acids led a revolution against me. The sneaky buggers enlisted the aid of my proteases, and together they scooped up some hapless chyme and went on a roaring rampage back up into my esophagus, screaming, "Freeedooooom!!!" and making me go pale and clammy during a closed-door conference call in my boss' office. Desperate for a displacement activity, I drew this little gem in my notepad:

This means: 

In the past 14 hours, I consumed four glasses of red wine, three baked giant pork ribs, a deep-fried chicken drumstick, a deep-fried mystery item, and lots of leafy greens. Then I had two full glasses of water. 

The next day, I had my usual breakfast (cereal with blueberries and almonds, French press coffee, and a glass of water), and my usual snack (banana and tea).

Then I barfed.

After I was released back into the wild (cubicle), I called my mommy to ask her what to eat, since I felt like barfing, but needed something to not pass out. She told me I could have bland food, like crackers. I schlepped to the vending machine downstairs and bought what must be the tiniest bag of Wheat Thins in the known universe. The Wheat Thins were delicious and salty. They were my only meal of the day, until I got back home and polished off a whole thing of sinigang, or at least what my brother hadn't demolished by then.

Which brings us to today. My ambitious plan of creating soft tacos in the office didn't quite pan out as I intended in the deliciousness factor, because the soft taco shells were too floury. Nice try, Whole Foods. But no. And after lunch, I had the delightful task of analyzing potential client profiles, and I looked up a whole bunch of terms that I didn't know, like serum lipase and valproic acid and excoriation. The mind boggles. My favorite so far is ileostomy, and I should've known not to look it up while snacking because ick ick ick. In hindsight, the words leading up to it ("bag must be emptied," "bowel accidents," etc) should have been red flags, but if my mom...can...deal with it! So...can...I!! This...is...healthcare!!!!

"Take their temperatures, men!"
The SpartaCare health plan features incredibly dedicated Direct Service Providers.
I sure hope that thermometer goes under an armpit or the tongue.

Well, I saved one last taco for a snack. I hope it stays down.

And so the eating saga continues...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Movie Review: Hugo (2011)

Hugo is amazing. I went in there expecting it to be all about the boy (the eponymous Hugo Cabret) but actually 'twas about movies! Specifically, old movies, the magic of making movies, movies as expressions of human dreams, and other film-centered themes. I also thought that Hugo was the name of the automaton who does a slo-mo flying thing in the trailers, but actually it's just a MacGuffin. Read about MacGuffins here. I repeat: Hugo is the boy, not the machine.

The lead, Asphalt Butterface (real name: Asa Butterfield) did a good job with the role, although I do suggest a drinking game called, "How many times does Hugo flare his nostrils?" when you have the movie on DVD or streaming. Seriously, I know you're compensating for sparse eyebrows, kid, but you could be the Jack Nicholson of nostrils if you're not careful. Speaking of, I had to stop myself from yelling, "She's a vampire!" whenever Chloe Moretz's character skipped closer to Hugo, and you should see Let Me In if you don't know what I'm talking about, because adolescent vampires are the new thing, dontcherknow.

Other things of note: the movie soundtrack is practically its own character--it's alive and vibrant and perfectly in sync with on screen events. I'm in love with it. The 3D experience is excellent, too. And, you can amuse yourself by naming the Harry Potter cast members. And no, Christopher Lee is not a Harry Potter cast member; he is Saruman from Lord of the Rings. Get your epic fantasies right, geez.

Bottom line: Hugo gets my two thumbs up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nantucket!

(to the beat of 80's rap)

We ate a bunch of turkey
And the next day we went
To ride up on the ferry
It cost a couple cents.

We got down to Nantucket
And walked around a bit
Something about a bucket
So we sat down to eat.

He had his usual chowder
He thinks it tastes divine
I had bisque something-or-other
I'm sure it tasted fine.

Nantucket is a pretty place
With lots of scenery
And tourist traps in every space
For people just like me!

The day was freakish; yes it was!
The sun beat down like hell
And the fun sights in store for us
Included this golden bell.

We went down to the beach to see
The lighthouse, small and cute
We danced around, we frolicked, and we
Did our photo shoot!


 And lo, the sunset did come down
And the tree got all lit up
We rode the ferry back to town
I tried not to throw up*

*I have motion sickness.

All in all, I have to say
I had some grand ol' times
But next time that I go away
I'll do it with no rhymes.

Whew!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sign Language, etc.

Update, 08/20/2015: Apparently the chart below is wrong! Read post below with many grains of salt. 

I think I'd like to learn American Sign Language (ASL). It functions as its own language, with rules for grammar, punctuation, sentence order, etc. ASL tends to be essential in my industry -- I've seen proposals that list direct service providers "fluent in ASL," usually linked to our strengths-based approach/diversity. Diversity is good. Just ask Mother Nature:

Hi, I'm Mother Nature, in my guise as a tiny plant. A tiny plant, by the way, that will  help researchers design new crops to help meet increasing demands for food, biofuels, industrial materials, and new medicines. Read all about it here.

Moving on: diversity is good. Because I say so. And also because -- and I specifically mean biodiversity here -- diversity promotes healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and/or recover from disasters. Think about it. We live in the Century of the Anchovy, after all. We're way past the Century of the Fruitbat.

I'm Mother Nature and I approve this message.


Thank you, Mama Nature, I'm sure you include humans in the set of all things that are biodiverse. Oh hey, I just made up a new word.

Back to the topic at hand. The first step to learning ASL is to memorize the questions, in this handy little chart:


Okay, did you memorize it? Me too. Wasn't it educational, informative, and potentially useful for the future?

Then I had a flash of insight: perhaps my deaf kitty can also benefit from my new language skill! Below is my Sheba Sign Language (SSL) chart:


I'll try this out on her when she's not ignoring me. Then I shall document the results for science.

Almost Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twilight Cured My Cold

...or it may have been the copious amounts of ginger tea, green tea, water, aspirin, and comfort food that I steadily consumed yesterday. I was like an eating/drinking machine at work. But let's go back to the beginning.

It all started this weekend. I was still giggling in delight from having a new job. I went running twice in the strangely balmy November weather. I was in the pink of health. Similarly, Sheba showed signs of kitty strength -- as opposed to when she sneezed in everyone's face on a regular basis. Per our weekend tradition, she and I went to Boyfriend's house and girlishly twirled around. For a change, Oscar looked on without hissing.

Oscar secretly wants to join in.
Meanwhile, Boyfriend had been sneezing all week, and I have no idea where he would have gotten the cold virus, since he doesn't have a girlfriend who goes into the subway every day and comes into contact with stranger germs, and then touches everything in his apartment. Oh wait, he does. But it might have been someone else, is all I'm saying. So anyway, he finally succumbed, and spent Saturday on the couch, feeble and coughing, as Sheba and I cavorted and demanded food and attention. This was after he somehow ended up cooking dinner for two the night before, despite my energetic volunteering to cook. Hey, the beers won't drink themselves, and I only have two hands, am I painting a clear picture?

I can only do handstands in comics.
He appeared on the road to recovery on Sunday, and continued to steadfastly refuse my smooch attempts as a health precaution. Well, it failed! I spent Monday at work looking like this:

Situation not helped at all by Aunt Flow's visit.
So while he spent Monday gambling with his siblings (who ganged up on me last night by texting me messages with atrociously bad grammar), I decided to honor the Friday opening of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 by watching the first movie in the series. And omg, it was delicious. Deliciously cheesy and campy. I'd only seen it once, on DVD, and my old roommates and I spent so much time making fun of it that I don't really remember the plot and dialogue. Having watched Twilight solo, I can tell you that it has therapeutic properties. My sinuses cleared up after I laughed so hard at the horrible CGI, the teenage awkwardness, the expression of painful constipation on  RPat's face, and KStew's seizures, I mean dramatic exhalations. Have you seen a Stephenie Meyer vampire in sunlight? The way he builds up the big reveal, I was sort of hoping he would have a tail, or develop a super deformed outer shell that protects his undead skin from those pesky UV rays. No, he sparkles like a diamond. In sunlight. Hello?

[Insert rant about how Twilight ruined vampires by turning them into weaksauce cautionary tales about the dangers of premarital sex. Cite powerful examples of vampires from previous films, including Interview with a Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Nosferatu, films that portray vampires as lonely, conflicted creatures with great capacity for evil. Argue that vampires represent violence, desire, the loss of innocence, and blood lust, rather than Those Who Fight for Tofu.]

[Insert counterargument about how totally hot Rob Pattinson is so none of that matters.]

[Win.]

The main character in Twilight is called Blandy McBoringpants, nickname Bella, and her vampire beau is Everton Repressedsen, aka Edward. But you know who makes Twilight totally worth it? This man:

He sports a daddy mustache in the film, but boy is he a cutie when he shaves it off. Billy Burke's low-key performance as the main character's father is so charming, so manly in a quiet, sweet way. AND he's a musician.

...Where was I? Oh, yes. I feel better today, and can only conclude that Twilight cured my cold. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my resiliency, heroic immune system, consumption of medicine and healthy food and drinks, or the warm cat parked on my chest the whole night. No, it was Twilight. Team Edward forever!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To: Save Candles

Let's say you like candles because they smell nice, or because you don't want to kill house guests and pets when you pass gas. Great. But after they burn for a little while, candles tend to look like this:
The wick's self-preservation instincts in action.

But despair not! You can still get mileage out of those precious Yankee Candles. You will need the following items:
  • pot
  • butcher's twine
  • tongs
  • round cookie cutter(s)

Step 1: Boil water in a pot
Unless your name is Akane Tendo, there's no way you'll mess this up.

Step 2: Put the candle(s) in the boiling water.
The candles will float, but to ensure that they don't smoosh against the super heated metal and cause the glass to crack, you can put cookie cutters under them to keep them in place. In the picture below, the top candle is not cooperating. 
"I shall float freeeeeeeee!" 

Step 3: Remove from water
Use tongs, and be very, very careful. For the ladies: your man can help during this step.

Step 4: Combine the melted wax into one container.
A normal person would put down one candle, and then use the tongs to pour out the wax from the other candle. In this picture, Boyfriend is using his super power (weak nerve endings in fingers) to handle the hot glass. 

 Step 5: Suspend new wick.
First, dip the butcher's twine into the wax. Then tie it to something to suspend it above the glass. When it cools, cut it into an appropriate length.

The end result:
A candle with a new lease on life! <3
"Is this edible? No? Then take it away."

This blog post brought to you by Rabid Recyclers Inc.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Feel Fat

I know what you're thinking: "Based on the title, I'm in for an insightful and incredibly deep blog post!"

You are wrong!

I was a fat, happy baby. Now I am distinctly less happy, partly because I conform to society's desire for me to not be fat. Dammit. In the Philippines, a sleek body is easily achieved; no matter how many tropical fruits and deep fried meat dishes you shovel down your gut, you're gonna sweat it out, either by cursing vigorously at the traffic or the economic state of the country, by standing under the sun for more than two seconds, or by worrying about the next natural disaster that will force you to paddle down a main street. Because our bodies are roughly 70% water, constantly losing that water via sweat glands makes you thin! It's science.

By contrast, the US poses a difficult challenge for aspiring bikini models like myself. It gets bloody cold up here, which makes your blood move sluggishly throughout your body, which in turn causes your proteins to produce amino acids that bind with fat cells. There's also moon phases to consider, because when the moon is full its gravitational pull is stronger than usual, which has a negative effect on neuroplasticity, thereby compelling the ingestion of all food items, and creating a constant craving for sweets and/or buttered movie popcorn. Again, it's all science.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I have a big project at work and it's stressing me out and I keep stuffing my face and sitting down instead of moving around and drinking too many beers and oh my God it's making me FAT! If only I had a weapon to combat this trend, like, say, mental discipline! If only!

Oh, the humanity! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fun with Acronyms

I may not have mentioned that although I despised my old boss and his assistant, I adored my old coworkers. One in particular was almost at my level of Witty and Clever (just a few more years, my child!). There were times when we would exchange droll witticisms for thirty minutes straight, or throughout the day, to distract ourselves from the crushing reality that we worked at BOOBS.

Happily, my fellow denizens in cubicle land show signs of similar awesomeness. And by awesomeness, I mean their cackling appreciation of my random brain farts. They're especially tickled by my dubbing our department, acronym PSG, as the Popular & Sexy Group. (Actual name: Public Strategy Group) Now I'm inspired to come up with pretend names for the other groups, like Gentle Lovers for GL (General Ledger).

Speaking of acronyms, I have a nine-page guide to essential acronyms. Nine. Pages. Of acronyms. Specialized jargon is apparently one of the pillars of this industry. Good thing Mama is a nurse, so some of this stuff sounds halfway familiar, like EKG, ENT, PKU, GERD, and OMG. Just kidding on that last one.

One day I will figure out how to have an entire conversation entirely in acronyms, or failing that, in interwebz speak, which comes pretty close. And when that day comes, the English language shall achieve another glorious pinnacle of evolution. Or the exact opposite. watevs u kno wat i mn?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Monday Night Sake Bomb

sapporo da: a haiku

wa ga sapporo
nonde yo nonde
hebereke da.

(I am Sapporo.
Drink, drink.
You're dead drunk!)

Note: In Japanese, "nonde" is three syllables: "noh"-"n"-"de." Thus, my haiku works.


Here are some fun facts:

  • The Sapporo can is super strong because if its shape and its corrugated-ness. Do not crush on your forehead.
  • One super can contains 22 oz of 5.2% alcohol.
  • I weigh 51 kg and spent 1.5 hours consuming 2 full cans of Sapporo, with 2 shot glasses of sake.
  • The percentage of my body that can absorb alcohol is around 0.65.
  • That means: my blood alcohol level last night was 0.144%, waaay above the 0.08% legal limit.
  • Obviously, the legal limit should be raised. 
  • Or, I should realize that one sake bomb is enough for me, given my pathetic lightweight drinking ability.

Now, when one is drunk, one must do something stupid, or at least ill-advised. Encouraged by the alkihol coursing merrily through my system, I finally wrote a response to someone from my old company who had asked me what the hell was going on that made me leave. Fortunately, three of my friends were on gchat, and they graciously agreed to proofread despite the late hour. One recommended that I "release a manifesto" (too much work), another said that my email was "boom boom boom to-the-point," and the last one said "dayom u are very eloquent." Thank you, ladies. U r all awesome.

To distract myself from the niggling fear that the email would make the rounds and reach evil management, I watched The Daily Show with Leyma Gbowee as guest. You know, the Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner who kicks ass. Woman was big and strong and proud and articulate and a HERO. I wanna be her when I grow up. She talked about being angry, about pouring water into an angry container and having that water become shaped like anger. Roar!, shouted my soul. Fight injustice!, cried my heart. Get me back in bed!, wept my body.

First things first. I'm now nursing a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, black as night and bitter as my soul, because holy Lord, when I woke up I wished I hadn't. I have consumed a jelly donut, which ordinarily I would ignore, even if offered for free. I feel a little better.

Now to cry at my desk. I mean that literally. I'm reading heartbreaking stuff here, and it's my job. Waaaahhhhhh. In a good way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lessons Learned: an Attempt at Objectivity

I complained endlessly about my old boss and my old company, but now that I think about it, I learned a heckuva lot while being slow-roasted on the altar of office drama and managerial incompetence. Here's my top three list:

1. Remember details. Specifically, details about people. This is important because everyone has something they can help you with, from minor stuff like telling you where certain files are located, to absolutely crucial stuff, like revealing where to get knee-high boots that look good and are waterproof and won't break your bank. I remember people's names by visualizing the letters across their foreheads. Also, I inherited the Nosy Gene from my mom, so I listen aggressively to everyday chatter, and file information away for future conversations where I incidentally bring up something I need.

Example: "Hi [name], did you have a great time at [location]? I bet your [item] really worked out for you. By the way, I don't have a trash can in my cubicle for some reason. Can you help me out?"

Of course, your motives for remembering details shouldn't always be utterly selfish, else you are a big jerk.

2. Be professional. Your job is your job. You get paid to do it. In every situation in the workplace (except in the kitchen!), the question in the back of your mind should be, "How will I/we get the job done?" At BOOBS, some people ignored the big picture and took their work very personally, in a negative way, i.e. showing loyalty to the boss by backbiting coworkers, or by waging email wars to show that they were being super keen at their work. In my admittedly limited experience, a true professional's considerations of his/her most efficient contribution to the task at hand dictates his/her decision trees and actions.

3. Be careful. Double-check every email you send out. In one classic example, my old boss wrote an email listing his accomplishments in the company, and asked if a position was still open at one of our funders. Problem is, he sent it to one of our managers, who had the same first name as the funder's president. Whoops! Keep it classy, old boss.

*

Gosh, I was hoping to write something positive. It's like I'm going through a bad breakup, where I wrestle with my angels ("Living well is the best revenge.") and demons ("Blow the whistle on CEO's corrupt activities questionable actions!"). I'll stick to the former.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kitty Tales

The wall is actually brown. Weird, huh?
Sheba and Oscar are starting to get along. His incidents of hissy fits have diminished dramatically, and his hiss-to-ignore ratio has started to even out. Sheba, like Ghandi before her, has serenely ignored the threats of violence and advocated her position through peaceful means, e.g. cluelessly wandering around. Today I caught Oscar making a swipe at her, but it was probably just for show, since he missed her face by a couple of inches.

This is clearly a case of territorial aggression, which Sheba has previously demonstrated. You wouldn't think the sweet little fur ball had it in her, but a neighborhood cat once followed me into my old apartment, and Sheba hissed with such venom that it scampered back outside. Since this is Oscar's territory, she isn't upset -- he is. But one day, they shall be found curled up against each other. And on that day, there shall be much cooing. And afterwards, a framed photograph.

I'm not a cat lady at all, I swear.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Office Monkey

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Slightly related: I hope I'm not wrong about my company having Casual Fridays. Otherwise... I'll have to describe my outfit as Executive Cowgirl.


I came in this morning to ghost cubicle land. The lights were off, the blinds on my sun roof were shut, and no one was in sight. Obviously, this was the perfect opportunity for me to release the office monkey / professional acrobat that stirs in my soul. Yesterday I discovered the long, thin tool that would attach to the stub on the overhead blinds, so I could turn the sucker and open the blinds. Armed with that, I grabbed a stepladder from the supply room, propped it against the side of my cubicle, and discovered to my chagrin that the opener thingie attached to the blinds was missing a little metal hook. I climbed back down and affixed a paper clip to the end of my tool. No go.

I did what any hero would do: I risked life and limb to get the job done. I clambered onto the narrow top of the cubicle, wobbled into a standing position, and manually opened the damn blinds. Now I have sweet, sweet sunlight pouring in.

Just look at that beautiful blue sky.

Kids, don't try this at home. Or in the office, for that matter. If you do, make sure absolutely no one else is around to tell you you're a moron, or help you if you come crashing down. Remember: Dignity Before Safety!*

Also slightly unrelated: I learned a new word yesterday: recidivism. It means a relapse. Today's new vocab word is oneiric, which means dream-like. It's so mysterious that Google spell check has the red underline of doom under it.

*technically, Dignity comes before Safety in the dictionary. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Girl Moment

My girl moment occurred early yesterday, when I excitedly texted Boyfriend that we had officially been going out for six months. His response was witty and noncommittal. I suggested we go to dinner. Again, he responded in a very blasé manner. I was devastated. I stomped off to work, fuming at the insensitivity of the male of the species. How could he not know that this was important?

(I assure you, dear reader, six months is important. Why, entire lifetimes of countless insects have gone by in that time!)

I encountered my buddy on gchat and together we decided that I was overreacting. I made reservations at Oleana, left early to vote (rah rah Cambridge City Council rah rah), and called Boyfriend afterwards to remind him to come over soon. "I'm on my way to your place right now," he said, sounding slightly out of breath. I figured he was climbing stairs. A few minutes later, I discovered my door unlocked, and walked in expecting to see my brother, who occasionally stops by to say hi to Sheba and/or to raid my cupboard. But it was Boyfriend!!!! He was going to surprise me with roses. But my ninja skills barely gave him enough time to get into my apartment. My kitty burglar alarm was too sleepy to meow insistently at him, which would have given away his true location instantly.

Tee-hee-hee

Conclusion: Oleana is delicious. Also, men? Will surprise you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Well, Gee!

The Good News: A group of my coworkers from this floor trooped past me and motioned with their mugs that it was tea time. They invited me along, too! I am now one of the cool kids!

The Bad News: The coffee from Mr. Handsome Silvercakes is crap. My French pressed Whole Foods blend is far superior (nose in air). Fortunately, the green tea is passable.

The Sad News: No admin privileges on my work machine, and I am far too ladylike to haxx0r it so I can use executable files and watch streaming videos. Also, I don't know how to haxx0r this. Yet.

The Awesome News: I'm still here! Ahhh, it's like a dream... (happy dance)

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm. So. Happy.

Checklist for first day at new job:

Show up on time. = YES
Come in with fly unzipped. = YES
Wear giant obnoxious grin. = YES
Meet new people. Forget their names. = YES
Obsessively organize new workspace. = YES
Space out as people tell you important stuff. = YES
Have serious email and phone problems. = YES
Get assigned a project due next day. = YES
Receive materials from HR. Forget to take home. = YES
Thank God for new job. = YES1000

On this day, the First Day of New Job, I woke up at my usual time, did my stretches while Sheba meowed piteously for affection, and scooted over to Red Line it to my new home away from home. As expected, I have a cubicle, right outside my new boss' office. I barely had time to take a breath before I was taken around to meet a bunch of people on floors 1, 5, and 6, got shut in an office for a conference call, and had to deal with the phone and the email server deciding they hate me. In the middle of it all, I got a pile of reading material for a proposal ("Due tomorrow at noon," I'm told, at 4 pm), and finally the nice HR person traded my completed personnel forms for informational stuff about the company and my benefits. Which I left on my desk during a space cadet moment, because I was thinking about food. Specifically, KFC.

"Oh, crap" moment: As I was shaking hands, people were like, "Oh, I read your bio!" Turns out my new boss has been talking me up, and my bio had my nerd credentials. Apparently everyone thinks I will be a wunderkind writer for the company. I was c*ck-blocked from coasting by on low expectations! Dagnabbit!

"I heart you, boss" moment: I'm invited to a leadership seminar at the Liberty Hotel! Not because I'm management, but because my boss thinks it'll help me do my job. And I get to go into the field to get exposure! (happy hop)

"Hallelujah" moment: Just look at the beauty below.

"Eat your heart out, Keurig."
Are you counting this? No less than 27 varieties of coffee and tea. For free. I am now retiring my French press during the weekdays, because why spend my time and money on coffee when Mr. Handsome Silvercakes (I have named the machine thus) can satisfy all my caffeine needs?

The office kitchen is a beauty. Several cute little round tables and chairs, two microwaves, two toaster ovens, a toaster, a GIANT fridge, and two vending machines. Woo hoo!!! And their water coolers are connected directly to the pipes, meaning no having to upturn 5-gallon bottles and causing floods.

...I mean, obviously the kitchen is the most important space in any office. Apart from the bathroom. Have I told you that the ladies' rooms on my floors have ENORMOUS full-length mirrors (around 7 feet high and 6 feet wide)?

(intense happy dance)

I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Girl vs Nature

It's like something out of Jurassic Park, innit?
This morning I had some time to kill, so I decided to attack the mold growing on the brim and bottom of the clay pot on my kumquat. I figured it probably wasn't healthy for my cat, whose food bowl is right beside the plant. Aren't I the kindest mommy? ("Maybe you should put the food bowl somewhere else," you say, reasonably. "Shut up," I reply.)

The Google led me to various forums where helpless ordinary folk like myself submitted themselves to their more knowledgeable peers. Now, the point of reading these forums is to find something that resonates with your soul. So when my eyes found the word, "vinegar," I knew this was it. Vinegar is like nature's elixir--you can cook with it, dip food in it, and clean stuff with it! One day I shall invent a recipe for vinegar and banana cake. Don't lie; I know the idea intrigues you.

I poured my tiny remaining amount of Datu Puti* vinegar (note to self: buy new bottle in Chinatown) into a spray bottle, diluted it a bit with water, armed myself with a tiny used toothbrush and a roll of paper towels, put on my pink rubber gloves, and got to work. First I tipped the 40-lb plant to get rid of all the water at its base. Then I went to town on the pot. Spray, scrub scrub scrub, wipe wipe wipe. All this took about 15 minutes, and yes I was late for work as usual, who cares? IT'S MY LAST DAY.

Sheba watched me sleepily from the bed as I saved her life from mold. That's gratitude for you.

*Datu Puti: a tribal leader from Borneo who came before the Spanish colonization. Now a brand of vinegar. Lucky man.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Me: Computer Mini-Genius

Attention, attention: I HAXX0RED A POWERBOOK G4!!! I is smart!!!

"I was haxx0red and I liked it."

Yes, this is a saga of much irony. You see, a few months ago, I waged battle against our Account Manager for ownership of an abandoned office PowerBook G4. My intentions were noble: I wanted to stick a webcam on it, install Skype, and give it to my mom on her birthday. Hers were dark indeed: she wanted it for her husband. What! you gasp, surely you of the pure heart won this battle! ...Alas, no. I conceded my defeat gracefully, and forgot all about the device.

But Life amuses itself by various means. Today, she (our Account Manager, not Life) came in and asked me to reset the administrator password on the machine. Graciously, I acquiesced and proceeded to haxx0r the living sh*t out of that sucker of a password. And yes, the password clue was a big giant hint, and all I had to do was persist with every single phrase combination I could think of, but the point is I HAXX0RED IT. Like a BOSS. Someone get me a gold medal, I am just that good.

I know my dear readers who are actually IT people are shaking their heads at the pathetic level of my accomplishment, but hey -- baby steps. One day I will haxx0r the world!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Faceless Employee: The Fog

Tiny pre-comic ramble:

I have a  vivid memory of my parents oohing and aahing over some drawings I did when I was about four or five. I think the drawings had people in them, and possibly a princess and a castle were involved. My parental units had constructive comments, notably that I did a good job with drawing the people's eyebrows to express anger.

Being praised as a kid does wonders for the ol' self-esteem, dunnit?




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