Monthly Archives: May 2003

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When I got to work this morning, there was a bag of McGriddles on my desk. CK came in to my office and said I could have the bag if I admitted to taking artistic license with the events surrounding her birthday dinner. Otherwise, no free breakfast for me. I told her I�d write anything she said, so long as she didn�t repossess the McGriddles.

Thus, here is my statement, written under extreme duress:

On CK�s birthday, we only went to the alternative-food restaurant. There were no scenes made, and we had a pleasant, relaxing evening.

Now I must get back to my breakfast sandwich and all its syrupy goodness.

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Yesterday was CK�s birthday, so we went out to eat after work. We were going to walk to her favorite restaurant and try the new McGriddles, but we found out that they were only served during breakfast hours. CK got irate and went off on the minimum-wage clerk. After CK tore up the counter, the manager came out and asked us to leave.

We walked back to her car and drove to an actual sit-down restaurant that is within walking distance from work. It is run by what the Almighty Cthulhu would call �damn dirty hippies�, because they serve alternative cuisine. It was International Night with Asian food as the feature, so we both ordered the chicken pad thai. I got a blackberry iced tea, because that seemed a girly thing to do. After we got the bill, I commented that we shouldn�t have to pay $13.95 for pad thai that we could�ve bought for $5.95 at Mr. Wok�s Bangkok House. CK assured me that this pad thai was better and worth the extra bling.

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I went to a potluck supper last night. Some people say potlucks are gross, because all the food is suspect�you never know the conditions of the kitchen where the food was prepared. I have always pooh-pooh�ed his notion, because I have never had occasion to distrust potluck food. Last night changed all that.

The food was split up so that some people brought dessert, some people brought side dishes and some people brought salads. The fried chicken and canned soft drinks were provided free of charge. As I was standing in line, I noticed that the �salads� people had brought were obviously just Dole Salad Bags poured into Tupperware. I decided I should take some of the one salad that someone had taken time to make, so I scooped out some fresh greens with sliced purple onion and diced green peppers. I made my way down the line, adding a piece of fried chicken, some fruit salad, a bit of strawberry fluff and slice of chocolate meringue pie.

I was sitting at a long table, enjoying the company of others, and finishing my salad when I looked at my plate and saw a baby slug making its way through my pie. It stopped on the edge of the plate and looked around. Though I am certain it crawled out of the salad, everything on my plate was now questionable. I wasn�t sure what else it had slithered over, so I just quietly walked the entire plate over to the trash can. I returned to the food table and got another plate, but I couldn�t get this lump out of the back of my throat. Nothing looked worth eating. I had visions of slugs in my mouth and just put the empty plate back. I left early and walked home very slowly, as if I were a snail.

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It was Movie Rental Night yesterday, so I got the Ewan McGregor film, Brassed Off. I thought it was a comedy about a brass band, and that McGregor’s character joins after losing his job. The box had a picture of him and a young woman, so I thought it would be a fun, lighthearted feature.

Instead, I sat through a politically-charged film that railed against the Tory-controlled Thatcher government in the UK. The characters were coal miners whose coal pits were being shut down as a part of a systematic government plan to put them out of work for reasons I didn’t quite catch. Of course, I could Google up this bit of historical information, if I were interested. The McGregor character was already part of the Colliery Brass Band and the point was that if the mine shut down, the Band would fold up; something the director couldn’t bear. While there is some good music, it seemed the whole point about the band trying to play their way into local contests was a side show, compared with the political commentary. McGregor was in the film only to provide a “young man” for the young woman who “came back to her hometown” (which worked until he found out she was working for management). Her character AND his were completely irrelevant. Viewers could have found out another way that the coal mine had been scheduled for termination two years prior, so it didn’t matter if the workers voted to put the mine under review or to close.

I may or may not have watched the film anyway, had i known it was a political rant. I just feel cheated on my McGregor Viewing Time because it totalled only about 15 minutes, and only in brief scenes. At least in Eye of the Beholder, 85-90% of the film features just him on the screen. On the cool side, I found out that this film is where the quote that’s before Chumbawamba’s Tubthumper (“I thought it mattered; I thought that music mattered; but does it? Bullocks! Not compared to how people matter!”) came from.

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Each morning when I get in to work, KIA follows me in to my office and doesn�t give me a chance to even get settled before she starts in with some problem. The �problem� is always easily fixable, and then she stands here ranting until it is time for The Boss to get in.

This morning, I am stuck with having to listen to KIA about how her brother looks so much like Ewan McGregor, that she thinks her entire family must be related to Ewan McGregor, because she’s three-quarters English and when her uncle came back from WWII, the government was so concerned about brainwashing that they had him spend time in England because he had relatives there, as they are in the House of Lords and they have cousins in Ireland and Scotland that…..oh, wait…I stopped listening at this point….

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I told CK my CRF story and she said that I am avoidant, just like my Personality Disorder Test said. This may explain why no one ever drops in for a visit…yet, if it were possible, I would live somewhere so far out that I wouldn’t have to see anyone at all, unless I wanted to. Then I’d drive in to town and overhear the hushed whispers about the Crazy Old Woman that just comes to town for groceries and to pay for her broadband internet access.

One time I had some work done at the house and the workman left his ladder outside. The ladder stayed out there for weeks, so I finally brought it in and put it in the front hallway. It was a nice six-foot fiberglass ladder that came in handy when I needed to change light bulbs. Anyway, one night, the workman showed up and said I still owed him money for the work he’d done. I told him I had the cancelled checks. Then I realized the drunken bastard was tanked out of his skull and was just going to keep standing on my porch. I told him we were squared up on the money, and that he needed to get his ladder. He insisted I owed him $600 (twice the amount of the work that had been done), and he barged in to the front hallway. He swerved a bit and I told him to get out of the house; that I’d bring his ladder to him outside. He refused to leave. I told him he needed to leave the house and just come back in the daytime. He wouldn’t budge.

Meanwhile, I considered the placement of the handgun and regretted having put it, unloaded, in a locked cabinet in the kitchen. The bullets were in a separate location. I went to the kitchen, got that large kitchen knife and the cordless phone. I walked back to the front hallway and told my ex-workman that I was only going to ask him once more to leave and then I was going to call the police. He said he was staying put and that I didn’t scare him.

I dialed 911 and waited for the answer. Finally, someone picked up and said, “911-what is your emergency” I said, “There is a man in my house and he will not leave.” Without missing a beat, the 911 lady said, “Is he kin to ya?” I told her no, he wasn’t “kin” to me and asked what difference that made. She said it made a difference to the officers as to whether they were dealing with a “true” intruder or “just” a domestic violence situation. I told her I could have already been attacked by this time and asked if she could please send an officer. I half-expected her to ask me to put him on the phone, as they probably knew each other and might strike up a conversation.

The officer came and led my ex-workman away. He was to be charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Then they passed his car and the officer noticed there was a child inside. The officer asked if the boy was his, and the asshat said he was babysitting his nephew. The officer asked where the parents were and was told they were at work. Incredibly, the officer apologized to me and said he couldn’t take the man in, because the local facilities didn’t have any accommodations for juveniles. Instead, he escorted the man back to his house! He let him drive home while the cop car kept watch so he could get home safely!

Thus, I learned that I live in one of the smallest towns ever; and that if you intend to commit a crime, take along a kid.

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I was in the kitchen frying up some potatoes and onions when there came a knock on the door tonight. No one ever drops in for a visit, so I almost didn’t answer the door. I turned off the electric skillet and went to see who it was. It turned out to be a Christian Religious Fanactic who wanted me to fill out a survey. I told him I wasn’t interested, and he said that’s why I needed to take the survey. I took the paper with the purple mimeograph printing, thanked him, shut the door, and walked back to the kitchen. There was another knock at the door. I went back to the hall and looked out the window. CRF was still standing on my porch. I opened the door and he asked if he could have his paper back. I told him no. He said he’d call the police and have me charged with theft. I told him to let the police come and charge him with trespassing, since he was on my property in an uninvited state. Again, I shut the door and walked back to the kitchen. Again, there was a knock at the door. This time I got a potato and held it in my left hand…in my right hand I held the largest kitchen knife I own. I walked back to the front door and opened it. CRF was still there, and apparently, he wasn’t expecting this reaction. I reminded him that he was trespassing and told him it would be in his best interest to get off my porch and out of my yard right now. He stammered, “Are you threatening me?” I asked him why he was still standing there on my porch, and stepped forward to open the screen door. He backed up and said he couldn’t leave without his paper. I dropped the potato, gripped the knife tightly and reached inside the house. Without taking my eyes off of him, I got his paper from the basket inside the door, handed it to him and told him he’d better not return to my house or he’d find himself praying for salvation and mercy like he’d never prayed before. He scuttled away, muttering about the unrepentant and unsaved and how he was just trying to do God’s Work, etc.

I think he found my lack of faith disturbing.

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Last night at work, I was waiting for a vendor web site to load, but it was wrecked. Since it was ten after five, and my �work hours� end at five (no matter that I generally stay later, but I digress), I turned on iTunes to listen to a fifteen-minute short story audio book. Less than two minutes later, The Boss got up and walked past my desk. He wandered out the door and seemed like he was looking for something on the fax machine. He walked back to the door and said, �It sounds like you�re listening to Spanish there��, which was true, because the voice was kind of garbled and I had the volume turned fairly low. I nodded my head and smiled��Haha, yes, it does sound like that��, I agreed. He kept standing there and finally asked, �Well, what ARE you listening to?� I answered, �Audio book.� He demanded to know if I �listened to those things during works hours�. I told him it was after work hours. Incredibly, his next sentence was, �You�d just better back up the Defensive Train because I was just asking a reasonable question�. I replied that I wasn�t being defensive and that it wasn�t the sort of question I think he should be asking me. He asked why he shouldn�t ask, as it is his �job� to be The Boss and know these things. I told him that I couldn�t listen to them �during work hours� because I wouldn�t be able to devote any attention to them, plus the blasted overhead fan blowers run constantly and I�d have to crank the volume to ludicrous levels. He seemed genuinely relieved to hear this!

I didn�t want to risk the possibility of having someone talk to me in my office, even if it is only a disembodied voice emanating from my speakers, so I transferred the 10MB book in mp3 format to the SD card on my demo handheld. I listened to it on the drive home.

Today he has been no happier or any less stressed out. I don�t dare engage him in conversation. I just wait until he says something to me.