July 31, 2003
Yesterday’s Little Toe: the Battle of the Bitches

I was headed toward a door on a secured floor of my office building with two colleagues. Three people I didn’t know were standing in the doorway, and one of them was leaning against the partly open door. They were in conversation, and as we approached none of them moved to get out of the way. I said, "Excuse me," and didn’t even use my deliberately snotty voice, although deep down I believe that people who stand around in doorways in high-traffic areas deserve the snotty voice.

One of them moved completely aside. The other took a half step. The woman leaning on the door looked at us, kept talking, and didn’t move.

The doorway was wide enough to get by without touching her, but the door wasn’t open very far, so after a brief pause I stepped forward, pushed it open, and walked through. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her stumble a bit and catch her balance, and according to my colleagues she shot me - or rather, my back - a very dirty look.

In retrospect, I’m not sure I would have done anything differently even if I had been well rested, but I included it in yesterday’s list in case she turns out to be Vice President in Charge of Firing My Ass Someday.

July 30, 2003
Bath Time Entertainment in the Regrettable Absence of a Rubber Ducky

I was in the bathtub, wiggling my right foot under the cool water coming out of the tap, thinking about not much more than how exhausted I am. Then I started to think about the social and political missteps I’ve made over the last few days because I’ve been so tired. I came up with five, and started assigning them to various wiggling toes according to relative egregiousness. I was just trying to figure out which one I’d put on my big toe when I suddenly remembered a sixth, and used that as an excuse to abandon the effort.

July 29, 2003
Welcome to Surly’s - how may I get you the hell out of here as soon as possible?

While standing in line for coffee this morning, I realized my ideal coffee joint would be a place called Surly’s, and it would cater to night people who are for whatever reason forced to be up and around in the morning, who don’t want to be exposed to the relentless cheeriness of the morning people, who want their coffee fast and with a bare minimum of social interaction.

D'ya think the patent on that business model is still available?

July 25, 2003
One More Thing I'll Probably Never Have a Reason to Say

"I can't believe we traveled so far into the future, and dug so deep into the earth, and all you want to do is sit around drinking beer with Morlocks."

July 24, 2003

Bad assumption #53,278: the motorcycle at the edge of my peripheral vision as I proceed to jaywalk isn’t under a cop, because the engine on a cop’s bike wouldn’t have such a rough idle.

July 23, 2003
Attention Must Be Paid

Today I realized that I spend an awful lot of time selling ideas, and even though I’m selling ideas rather than objects, I’m still in sales.

Note to self: use powers for good, not evil.

July 22, 2003
Ich möchte eine Spätzle Hex!

Okay, I don’t really want a Spätzle Wizard, because I don’t really want to make spätzle, but it does amuse me to say the word over and over again: spätzle, spätzle, spätzle!

July 21, 2003
The League of Expository Gentlemen

WARNING: May contain spoilers if you didn’t do your English homework in high school.

ALLAN QUARTERMAIN: How interesting that you seem to be indestructible.
DORIAN GRAY: Yes, I have a portrait - a picture, if you will - of myself that bears in my stead the ravages of time and also, apparently, bullets. But as the renowned African hunter whose son was killed in the course of one of your many exciting adventures, you must be very familiar with bullets.
ALLAN QUARTERMAIN: Yes, I am, much in the same way that Captain Nemo here is very familiar with the sea, having been twenty thousand leagues under it in his submarine called Nautilus.
CAPTAIN NEMO: Hi. I’m Sikh, which you may have already figured out from my complexion and mode of dress.
MINA HARKER: Isn’t anyone going to mention that I’m a vampire?

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but about forty-five minutes into it I did whisper to E, "If there was an LXG Drinking Game and we had to take a drink every time there was exposition, we’d be soooooo drunk now."

July 18, 2003
Adventures in Cat-sitting

“You’re becoming one of those women who narrate for their cats.”

“No, I always narrate. There just happen to be cats here.”

Plus, they’re not my cats.

July 16, 2003
Everything Happens While I’m Walking Home

Yet another item from yet another last night:

I saw the same balloon animal makin’ clown I spotted popping his unsold wares a few months back. He was in transit this time, bucket of balloons in one hand, stool in the other. The only thing noticeably different was very noticeably different – his face make-up was more reminiscent of Diane Ladd after her lipstick application freakout in Wild at Heart than Emmett Kelly. His face was almost completely covered in reddish orange paint, with a broad yellow oval outline around his mouth and another around both eyes.

This was the scary-ass clown the other scary-ass clowns go out of their way to avoid.

July 15, 2003
The Confusing Times in Which We Live

Last night I walked by the little French café not so far from my apartment. They had hired an accordionist to wander among the tables outside.

I couldn’t tell if I should interpret this as campy cool, campy sad, sincerely cool, or sincerely sad. If only he were wearing a beret – then I would have known for sure.

Hey, I just remembered yesterday was Bastille Day, so that must mean it was…

Damn. I still can’t tell.

July 14, 2003
Pardon Moi

I had a busy weekend, so today the best I can do is refer you to last year's Bastille Day entry.

July 10, 2003

I am wearing hair sticks today. I have securely fastened my hair in a twisty little bun using nothing but two sticks. I am disproportionately proud of this accomplishment.

This is what happened when I bought the sticks:

The Clerk gave me a credit slip and a pen. There was already a pen on the counter. It’s a black Papermate with a missing cap, just like the pen she gave me. I can’t help it: I hold the pens together, next to the hair sticks.

ME: Maybe I should save some money and just use pens.
THE CLERK: Heh heh.

I decide not to make a joke about going to the Mont Blanc store for hair accessories.

July 09, 2003
That's Some Cleavage

Today I am interested in the life cycle of plasmodiophorids. So many pretty words!

July 08, 2003
Classical Geek Week Continues

The convenience store in my office building carries - in addition to all the basic junk food - mass-market doodads designed to put some paradoxical version of individuality on corporate desks: Dilbert mugs and Beanie Babies and magnetic poetry kits and so on. I pass an aisle full of plush toys on my way to the soda case, and what do I see among the big-eyed bunnies but a mean looking three-headed dog.

Naturally, I go apeshit. Inside my head I’m hollering, "Cerberus! Here, boy! Who’s Mommy’s little hell hound? You are! Yes you are! Good dog, dog, dog!"

I grab it up and look around, hoping against the odds to find a whole Super Action Funtime Labors of Hercules toy series. They have Cerberus - maybe they have an Augean Stables play set (cattle sold separately, dung not included)!

That’s when I notice my beloved new pet is a piece of Harry Potter merchandising.

Life is so unfair.

July 07, 2003
Hector Smash!

And apparently, Brad Pitt is Achilles.

Also, be sure to check out the Oldest Working Man in Show Business.

July 03, 2003
Vale, TLM

In the split second before I’m about say "clean slate", I have the sudden intuition that "tabula rasa" will drive the tactless little man away from my desk sooner.

Gratuitous Latin: like pepper spray, but without all the screaming.

July 02, 2003
"I just don’t want to be having these dreams."

"Hey, have you ever been up programming for a long time, and when you finally go to bed you dream about programming?"

"This is more like when you haven’t programmed for a month, and you really, really want to program."

July 01, 2003
See, Now, This Is How I Know I’m a Geek

I came home late last night, and as I went through the deserted lobby to check my mail I noticed light pouring through the clear plexiglass doors of our mailboxes. Someone had not only left a light on; they’d also left the rear door to the boxes open, giving any interested spectator a glimpse of the room beyond.

I’ve wondered about what the room behind my mailbox looked like - the door to the room is right next to the bank of boxes, and it’s an intriguing door. Obviously original to the building (c. 1920), it’s relatively short and narrow, with a worn brass knob and a lock that cries out for one of those gangly old keys. Best of all, it’s inset with a full-length antique mirror with beveled edges. It’s the kind of door you’d send a kid through if you wanted to write a story with twitchy little waistcoat-wearing satyrs, or hookah-smoking caterpillars. If that kind of thing hadn’t already been done, I mean.

So naturally I had to peer through the boxes. I couldn’t see much more than a brightly lit, bare concrete wall. Disappointing, really, until I saw this note taped to the wall:

Hey Bub -

Take your rubberbands, pop cans, etc. with you when you leave.

Thanks : )

Except, of course, the smiley face wasn’t sideways.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the first thing I thought when I read it was, Wolverine is our new apartment manager. And he signs his notes with smiley faces. Huh.