The Chronicles of a Witty Observer

Archive for January, 2011

…but liquor is quicker! (A Personal Entry)

Nostalgia is a silly little thing, isn’t it?

Physically extinct reminders, both wanted and unwanted, of our childhoods and distant pasts reflect on our simpler views of the world at the time. We call the various forms of these reminders nostalgia, and I have yet to meet someone who was able to resist its allure in one form or another.

And man, does it come in many forms.

Music, movies, television shows, fashion and clothing, world events, cars, celebrities, technology, even slang and verbal communication are all various manifestations of nostalgia. And these are just a few of the more general terms I could use. I suppose not all topics are to be treated equally by everyone. There might be a song that triggers a memory for one person that has no meaning for another, or a film where one person could recite every line from the time they were five (Beauty and the Beast for Yours Truly) and the second person hasn’t even seen. Nostalgia is as individual as people are. It comes to and affects people in different ways.

For me, it’s candy.

I’m pretty sure this is why I was moderately overweight from the fifth grade until about six months ago. I was truly a connoisseur of ninety-nine-cent confections in my day (adjusted for inflation). No chocolate bar was left unturned during my youth. It didn’t help that a simple fifteen-minute walk through the neighborhood from my house led me directly to a Kinney’s, where there was relatively cheap and unlimited access to a whole aisle of both seasonal and year-round candies. Hell, I only needed to cross one busy street to get there!

Not only does the smell, taste, and mere idea of the Ghost of Candies Past guide me back to those golden years of not caring about my weight (and they really were golden years to me, it meant one less worrisome burden that I had to carry then that I carry now), but the candy itself triggers memories whenever I eat them…if I can find them, of course. A lot of these treats are now either extinct entirely or can only be found on exotic candy sites that ship from India.

One of my personal favorites was the strawberry Charleston Chew. It was one of those candy bars I got at Kinney’s. Afraid of my mother’s scornful taunts that I didn’t need the extra calories (however true they were), I would refuse to take my kid purse and instead put the money in a pocket. I’d go out under the ruse of going for a walk (looking back, Mumsie must have known what I was doing all along) and start my journey in the hot summer sun.

I didn’t care that it was hot as I wandered through the woods behind the nearby school that led me into the other side of the neighborhood. I knew the prize at the end was always worth it. And damn, that Charleston Chew never failed me. For a dollar left over from my ‘paycheck’ mowing my Grandmum’s lawn, my taste buds were given the cheap-but-delicious satisfaction they’d been waiting for all week.

Fuck. Yes.

On the way home, after I emerged from the woods behind the school, I’d divert from my usual path to swing in the twilight on the playground, greedily chewing away the minutes until I had to go home to another one of my mother’s attempts to drop a few pounds off my sister and I (usually grilled chicken salad).

Those were the days.

Fortunately, Charleston Chews still exist, even the strawberry ones. So occasionally, I can still find a Kinney’s and relive those carefree summer days again. They remain to this day one of my all-time favorite candy bars.

Unfortunately, like many forms of nostalgia, many of my old favorites are now extinct and condemned to Vh1’s I Heart the 90s Part Deux.

Take, for example, the Wonder Ball.

The whuh?

The Wonder Ball. Bitches.

This candy was too awesome for words, especially to a ten-year-old mind like mine. For those who can’t remember the days of Wonder Balls, or never heard of them to begin with, imagine this: combining two of the best things to happen to children in the late 90s (Nestle and Disney) into a 2oz spherical masterpiece in shiny foil paper. This confection had the equivalent of about two Hershey kisses-worth of chocolate, but it wasn’t even the chocolate that made the candy epic. It was the fact that peeling away the thin chocolate shell revealed a foam ball you popped apart, which, in turn, revealed a small Disney figurine. And these figurines could be of absolutely ANY Disney character past or present.

This was not the Wonder Ball. This was the predecessor, the Magic Ball.

However, due to the combined effort of grown-ups who are too stupid to tell their children not to swallow the plastic thing inside their candy, as well as the grown-ups who get off on taking the happiness away from small children, the Magic Ball was declared a hazard and taken off the market. It was replaced a few years later by the Wonder Ball, which, instead of a Disney-figure inside the thin candy shell, contained a few Disney-shaped Sweet-Tarts and a Disney Sticker inside the box.

Despite the fact that it contained the same net amount of candy as a fun-sized Snickers Bar, it was still awesome. It was the only thing I wanted when the family went for Sunday-afternoon grocery shopping. I would pit my mother against my grandmother when I went to stay with the latter on some weekends, and convince her to let me have a treat from the Wegmans even if Mum wouldn’t allow it (and Grandmumsie always took my side, bless her).

And screw the candy! It was that damned sticker I wanted!

I collected the stickers like nobody’s business and stuck them to my door (much to my parents’ anger…at least I lived in the basement where few would see my acts of pre-vandalism). I think at the peak of my infatuation with the Wonder Ball, I had about 50 or 60 different stickers on that door. One of the best parts was that repeat stickers nearly never happened. I think I only had one or two sets of repeats total. I grouped them by film and had an ongoing contest to see which Disney movie had the most stickers. The winner always suspiciously kept changing to be the most recent Disney movie to come out (what a surprise, yes?).

Then, woe came in 2004, the summer I turned fifteen (Jesus, really?). Some douchebag snooty small-name company bought out the Wonder Ball brand name from Nestle. And put the Wonder Ball permanently out of production. Fuckers.
Instead of blubbering senselessly and wondering why someone would bother buying a brand just to stop it from being enjoyed world-over, I found around that time my candy tastes matured. I still bought strawberry Charleston Chews and some of my other old favorites. But I was becoming a fan of Riesen truffles (my new personal favorite), Godiva, and Lyndt. The days of cheaply processed sugar lay behind me, and I became a woman that summer…at least in the taste-buds department.

*Reverent Sigh*

Nowadays, my waistline means more to me than sugar comas (sadly), and I haven’t touched a strawberry Charleston Chew or Riesen since entering college nearly four years ago. Willy Wonka would be so ashamed.

Maybe one day I’ll find my passion for candy once again, and I’ll stumble upon a Charleston Chew or bag of Riesens, or even a packet of Gushers! Then I’ll walk out of the woods behind the old elementary school, another mission successfully completed, and sit on that swing set, chewing away the minutes before going home to a grilled chicken salad my mother made for dinner.


A (Very, Very, Extremely, Painfully) Reluctant Review

I am not reviewing this of my own free will. An unnamed source, who WILL be receiving a lovely little package filled with rabid ferrets from me at a later date, insisted I review this film and compare it to the book.

Blasphemy, I say. It was in only one case in my entire life I enjoyed a film version better than a book, and both were bland enough I hardly remember either of them (The Princess Diaries). However, I accept this challenge halfway…seeing as I have NOT read the book version of Cheaper by the Dozen. I did, however, watch the film version for this very purpose, and after I finished, I cried a little, realizing I could’ve been watching Torchwood instead. Or even just reading a book. It would’ve been guaranteed to be an hour and a half better spent.

I honestly believe that she who wants me to review this is attempting to get a third-wave-feminist/Nostalgia-Critic-esque rant out of me. And by the Goddess, is she going to get one hell of a rant.

This movie managed to take the sentimentality out a family film, and replace it with more kid-humor and more evidence that Steve Martin needs to apologize to Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Madeline Kahn for sinking so far from his glory days on SNL. You know, back when he was genuinely funny and didn’t have a string of forced physical humor to vomit onto a camera lens.

Not to mention, for a film that is supposed to appeal to all ages, the stereotypes are as thick as Sarah Palin’s skull, the portrayal of female characters are either derivative of 1950s feminism (aka ANTI-feminism), or 1980’s Shes-A-Yuppie-Ergo-She’s-a-Bitch mentality. Take either one, they’re both abundant in this flick and both are equally as insulting.

I haven’t even gotten into detail regarding this review.

A brief synopsis for those of you who are stupid enough not to guess it from the title and genre of the film itself: Steven Martin and Bonnie Hunt meet in college, both want big families regardless of living in middle-class America during the age of overpopulation and orphans in Asia being more abundant than water rats (disclaimer: I don’t know if this is really true) so they start popping ‘em out and move to the country. The wife, having the vagina, quits her job as an editor for The Chicago Tribune to be a full-time Stepford Wife/Mother, and the husband gets a job as a high school football coach to support their growing collection of brats.

Okay, first big problem: wouldn’t being a goddamned editor for the famous Tribune make more money than being a high school football coach? Can you even support a family of 14 in the huge house they live in on that kind of salary!?
Maybe they use food stamps or send the kids out to panhandle on weekends, I don’t know.

Anyways, the husband gets an even better job as a college football coach (closer, but I’m still not seeing where it could work, guys) and moves the family back to suburbia, where they somehow find a house that rivals a castle in size, can somehow afford it, and move in. Suddenly, the wife, who’s been writing this book about why she should’ve had the tubes ties after two her large, silly family, gets it published and must leave the husband alone with the kids while she goes on a book tour.

So, the vagina-bearing authority figure has a career again, guys. That means chaos and frozen dinners will ensue until further notice.

And that essentially takes up the hour of film we have left at this point.  Seriously, the father has NO parental skills whatsoever. As befitting a Nickelodeon-endorsed movie, kids are hanging off the rooftops, attempts to cook result in explosions, loads of butt/toilet humor, and very little in the way of sanity to stop them are all we see.

So, where to begin?

First off, you get to know NONE of the children beyond their shells and stereotypes, and each child has one. You have the yuppie oldest daughter who’s more interested in her boyfriend than her family, the moody teenager, the pretentious teenager, the tomboy/criminal mastermind, the shy nerd who doesn’t fit in with everyone else, the skater, the dumbass, the smart-ass, the puh-wecious pair of twins, and then the rest don’t do or say much other than stand/run around in the background. None of minors have souls, personalities, depth, or motivation.

I cannot stand this and you know it (ref: my reviews of Battle Royale/The Hunger Games). I may in the minority, but I still like to believe that one doesn’t have to be 18 to have depth. I hate how American media assumes that children and teenagers are essentially whiny, mopey brats with no worldly awareness whatsoever. They days of John Hughes, Home Alone, and The Breakfast Club really are over, and it saddens me to think that forevermore children will be played out to be the imbeciles you see in Cheaper By the Dozen.

Secondly, Steve Martin. I loved him in SNL and such films as The Jerk and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. But you just want to weep at the lows he sinks to in this movie. He sinks to potty humor, for Christ’s sake. Steve Martin is a wit. His Christmas Wish from SNL is still one of my favorite monologues. Why is he tripping over bad child actors and getting to say such masterful lines as ‘Why did you soak his underwear in meat?’ I can’t go on with this, it makes me depressed.

Probably the worst thing of all in this movie, beyond the bad writing, sub-par acting, and the annoying premise, is the message. It is possibly the most backwards message I’ve seen since I watched that documentary on the Westboro Baptist Church. The message of the movie is: the woman’s place is in the home as a mother and live-in sammich maker.

Seriously, watch the damn thing. It’s about as obvious as Tim Curry playing a villain. Bonnie Hunt quits her job to have lots of babies, loves it to death, gets a career, hates the career, and things at home fall apart because the father/husband is so painfully incompetent as raising a family, large as it is.

I mean, yes, 12 kids is a lot. I don’t think I could do a good job either. But it isn’t an impossible task to control twelve kids. The average teacher, male or female, can keep twice that many in line on any given day and be just fine. But nope. The mother has to come home and realize her place, and life goes back to normal. In this day and age, such a message in a family-friendly film, or in any film is just not acceptable…unless you’re Kirk Cameron. Then you can blame Jesus-induced zealous stupidity.

This film basically assumes children are animals to be tamed, women are meant to be in the kitchen, and men are just idiots in general. This is low even for a children’s movie.

There, I want my twenty bucks, You-Know-Who-You-Are!

The View from the Cubicle: Part III (The Lunch Hour)

Mean Girls is not the best film I’ve ever seen, and its’ humor has worn off for me over the five years since its release. But I’m afraid I must make a reference to it when beginning to discuss the typical lunch hour in The Corp’s universe-with-a-universe.

If you’ve seen the film, remember the scene where the different cliques sat in the lunchroom, and how each one had its own language and exclusivist philosophy? You don’t think you’d find that in the adult world, especially in a business, would you? Well, The Corp has it, perhaps even worse so than the movie.

The lunchroom is pretty small itself, but there are still three small clusters of chairs and tables, allowing for some moderate clique-ing to occur. As with the popular girls in Mean Girls, the ‘best table’ is occupied by the pretty young executive assistants, who are not only the most physically attractive but also possibly the most anorexic. Meat, dairy, and anything that isn’t organic and full of chlorophyll and vitamin C is the enemy, and if you take out a sandwich with anything but hummus inside, you will be asked how often you go to the gym, no exceptions. Needless to say they are all a size 8 or under. If you try to sit with them, they glare at you, and their neatly-lined eyes stare deep into your soul and make your heart burst into a mushroom cloud of terror. This is hardly an exaggeration, by the way. They did give me a death glare when I attempted to sit with them.

The young men are allowed to sit with them, even though they receive not smiles but eye rolls when they take out their roast beef subs and bags of chips. But if they are young and handsome, I suppose the ill-conceived mating rituals of the beautiful people are not to be wasted, even during a work day.

The second table is more often than not occupied by the older women, whom I call with affection ‘The Old Maids.’ No, they are not maids by any means. Most aren’t even over 50. It is more a statement concerning their gossip-y mannerisms and lighthearted chatter that reminds me of the dratted Pick-a-Little Ladies from The Music Man. From what I gather, the ladies who sit here don’t have children, are divorced, or lack in the family department by some other means. They only have each other and their perpetually running squawk boxes to keep them going. They are amusing, though. But it is too tiring to attempt to dive into their conversation at any given point.

The third table is the most mellow, the most abundant in food, and also the most accepting. This is the table I have been welcomed to sit at, and this table is filled by the 30-something women with families. But it’s a much more diverse table than that. These ladies also have their share of office gossip, but their conversation always somehow route around back to their children. I, of course, cannot participate when the topic comes to antics of one’s offspring, but somehow I am integrated into the course of conversation once again when the tide of silly things my three-year-old-does ebbs once again. It usually lasts a few minutes at most.

Older men eat in their offices, not willing to take any of this shit.

Another interesting thing to note is the dynamic of food choices in the lunchroom at these three tables. Table A (the beautifully mean anorexics), as I mentioned before, lives off of rabbit food and complains how being 110 ponds is somehow fat.

Table B (The Pseudo-Old Maids) aren’t always overweight, but they will eat Lean Cuisines and salads as well, sometimes adding a pudding cup or bag of chips into the mix.

Table C (everyone else in the room) will practically have a potluck going. Lady One will bring wheat thins and carrots along with her leftovers from last night, Lady Two will come bearing wafer cookies, Lady Three will have a bag of ten-or-so Clementine oranges to pass. It’s a veritable picnic, and everyone gets their share. For everyone’s base lunch that they keep for themselves, it’s usually a standard sandwich or leftovers from last night’s family meal.

The hour goes by quickly and without much event. The groups generally stay to themselves, only to interact awkwardly when the battle for the microwave begins.

Believe it or not, there is nothing much to say regarding the daily battle for the microwave. It’s pretty normal, a first-come-first-serve basis. The awkwardness when a 250-lb Pick-A-Little skids in front of a bitchy anorexic to microwave a Lean Cuisine, and subsequent snickers from the anorexics is the closest you get to clashing.

Alas, would I were able to bring my loyal readers more from the lunchroom, but this is all I have to offer for today. For lunch time is over, and it is time to get back to the cubicle.

The View from the Cubicle: Part II (The Pre-Lunch Slump)

The morning is a busy, yet somewhat solemn time in The Corp’s HR Wing.

Energy is naturally low, though this doesn’t hinder most of the employees from doing their job. But there is an almost depressing tone to the atmosphere. The day is long, and it has barely begun.

After that first hour where little is going on, output slowly slopes to a morning climax by about 10:30. During these hours the only social interaction goes on between some of those who rank above us proletariat cubicle-hermits, like the heads of the departments, who will sneak into each other’s private offices to gossip and sample each other’s candy dishes in a way similar to kids sneaking into each other’s bedrooms after their parents go to sleep to listen to the radio and watch TV (I never did this, I promise).

Speaking of, you can always tell what kind of executive you’re dealing with simply by looking in their candy dish. A pretty porcelain bowl holding hard candies probably belongs to a woman, older, kindly but serious. A plainer bowl with lemonheads or fireballs will inevitably be a male’s, probably younger and ‘hip’, or if it is a female executive’s, she will be pretty lax. Fun-sized brand-name candy bars mean the executive is also relatively easygoing, but will mean business when something serious comes up. Lack of a candy dish means the executive is either very stern, or very skinny.

You can also tell who’s been working at The Corp longer by what they wear as they walk around throughout the day. Men pretty much dress all the same: slacks (either khaki or black), business shoes, and dress shirts (white or blue, with a few exceptions), and whether or not they wear a tie is a 50-50 event for the day. Those who wear ties more often than not are more likely to be veterans of The Corp.

Young women wear grays, neutral tones, and blacks, usually with black slacks more often than skirts. The older the woman gets, the more colorful her shirts get without losing the professional edge. Lots of floral and paisley prints can be seen on the matronly women in each department. I suppose this is what is referred to as ‘corporate casual’ but I can hardly take a woman seriously if her shirt looks like it would have a 3D image pop out if I crossed my eyes.

Yet this would be the mark of a woman who has been with the company a long time and feels comfortable flaunting her rather unfortunate fashion choices. She is to be respected.

As lunch hour draws nearer, time slows. Workloads decrease slightly. The prospect of the half-way point of the day gets exciting. Motivation drops and more social conversations erupt throughout the room. Notably, the executives retreat to their own desks and begin making phone calls or doing their own business. Most have the later lunch hour of 1-2PM, so they aren’t as chatting now as the rest of us worker-bees.

It’s almost as if the employees are just waking up mentally, and the energy increases in the room. This isn’t to say most don’t like working, and most have had a 15-minute break in the hour between 10-11AM. More and more of the lower-ranked employees choose this time to file, as they are finally motivated to get onto their feet.

The dynamics in the wing are much different than two hours ago. It’s as if the day begins here at 11AM. Ironic how the time of day that promises a rest from work gets people willing to work, as well as spreads the energy that motivates the tired to wake up and work.

Maybe it’s just one of the great mysteries of life.

The View from the Cubicle: Part I (The First Hour)

Before I even take you into the mysterious realm beyond the front desk of The Corp, I must submit my first evidence that proves the existence of a hierarchy in the system: the parking lot.

Of course, you have the parking-space system first and foremost, and parking in a reserved spot  results in banishment to the nether regions of the Lucky Seven Deli across the street. Two rows, separated by an island of grass, line the south side of the building. The front row is strictly for visitors and executives (as well as their assistants). The back is for…everyone else. The center sections of both rows are for the highest in command, as they provide the most direct route to the front door. The further out you get, the lower on the totem pole you are.

It should be noted right now, that these rules are simple how it is done. It isn’t like they’re in the handbooks or anything. They just…are.

It goes without saying that the corner is my spot. I am the lowly intern, the serf, the proletariat on whose back the company rests.

But even more telling than the parking spot is the parked car itself. The lowest-ranked have the crappiest cars, which makes sense, as the lowest-ranked are the lowest-paid. My old beater of a vehicle (affectionately named The Puma) is also the only car in the entire lot with bumper stickers (‘Practice Compassion’ and ‘Crazy Cat Lady’). Bumper stickers must be undignified.

The best cars, though, are not belonging to the executives or their assistants, but the ‘young professionals’ who answer the phones in human resources. The execs have nice, small, conservative cars, or family-mobiles like Station Wagons. The ‘young pros’ are still cocky enough to want something flashy, but make just enough to be able to afford them, not to mention they have no children to cart around.

The walk from the lot to the front door is perilous in winter, to say the least. At least here in New York State. This is why the center spots are so coveted. With women in their black heels and men in their dress shoes, an icy parking lot is more dangerous than licking a light socket. Well, ok, maybe not more dangerous than licking a light socket. More like doing a shot of Tide. Ok, maybe not that either…

…it’s still dangerous.

Between trying to stay balanced while walking on ice in four-inch stilettos, while looking out for skidding cars trying to nab the centermost parking space available to their caste, hopefully it’s a little easier to imagine why the parking system is so anal and uptight. The adventure, which would take about forty or fifty seconds from my parking spot at the edge of the lot on a clear summer’s morning, takes nothing short of two minutes on a day like this. Of course, on this particular day I was lucky. No ice, just a light dusting of snow, enough to be slippery but not enough to freeze your toes inside your shoes.

Through wind and ice and snow I walk, holding onto my lunchbox and purse, finally making it step-by-step to the front door, where I am greeted by a blast of warmth and a beacon of hope coming from the front desk. The receptionist, Kathy *, is the unsung heroine of my story here at The Corp. Ever cheerful, ever endearing, and always ready with a greeting and a bowl of spearmint Lifesavers, Kathy is my first reminder in the morning that life in a cubicle or behind a desk doesn’t have to rob you of your pride or happiness. But more on her later.

From the way things are locked and hidden away within the building, you’d think The Corp was hiding the Hope Diamond somewhere within its walls. As a temp, I have no ID badge, and an ID badge is what one needs to scan into the system in order to access entrance to any of the suites. I, being in Customer Service/Human Resources, have my setup in that wing. Kathy can let me in from her desk. All suites are connected through a hallway in the back, so logically, once you’re in one wing, you have access to anywhere in the building for all of business hours. But often as I sit covering for Kathy during her breaks, I notice people taking the time to cross in front of the front desk, and dig out their ID badge to re-scan themselves into the other side merely to relay a message or deliver a file.

Maybe it makes them feel important. At least it must make them feel superior to me.

The Corp’s business hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday. One hour longer than your standard. However, even arriving ten minutes late, you see that not one person in the HR Wing is working. No phone calls. No typing checks into the system. It’s as if the more standard 9-5 mentality pulses through the cubicles, sucking all the early-morning motivation out of the room. The employees take the first hour as a pre-work break.

They can all be found hovering around the pool of liquid ambrosia known as the Keurig Coffeemaker. It should be noted that if you don’t drink, coffee, tea, cocoa, or some sort of hot beverage at this time and yet insist on staying in the break room, you might as well be wearing a chinchilla on your head.

The conversation waxes and wanes as all conversations between groups do, and oftentimes there is no one discernable conversation. This is one of the few times good acquaintances can talk, so many times four or five conversations may be going on at once in the break room at this hour. No one sits. They need to be ready for a quick getaway should the boss-man come walking in and accuse the nearest person of laziness.

There are only two topics of conversation whether there is one group or fifteen: weather and sports.

If you attempt to bring up a topic that is in any way personal, like home life, children, what you did last night, or your plans for the weekend, you are suitably ignored, and the rest of your party will more than likely switch the topic. Sports and weather are safe, general topics. At 8:15 in the morning, no one gives a hell about anything personal about anyone. Even themselves. This unspoken rule is vital if you don’t want to be shunned by your co-workers and subsequently gossiped about during lunch.

A typical conversation around the Keurig in the first hour may go as thusly (an actual example I’ve overheard):

Man: So, did you see the Giants’ game last night?
Woman: Yeah, can’t believe the Eagles pulled it off. They were behind and everything!
Man: Michael Vick’s back, man. Eli should not have let that go.
Woman: Shame. He looked so good in September.
Man: I know.

Vague. Short. A monkey could contribute. Very typical. It’s all most of their brains are willing to cope with until they can get a rhythm of sorts going and get blood pumping to their social perception centers.

And with this, another day working for The Corp begins.

One last note: no executives are to be seen until their standard entrance time of 10:20AM. No one argues or thinks twice.

*Names throughout this mini-series will be changed for the sake of anonymity.

The View from The Cubicle: Introduction

There should be an entire science devoted to office life. And that’s not sarcasm, I totally mean it.

As a full-time intern for the month of January for what will remain an unnamed corporation, I have witnessed a lot of little strange happenings in my three-weeks thus far. What will I see in my three weeks to come? Let’s fine out together, shall we?

I’m well aware this sounds like a boring parody of the feature article in a  National Geographic. When people think ‘cubicle’ they will sooner picture a solitary hold in Shawshank before the generous space I use in my day-to-day operations for the company (which will henceforth be referred to as ‘The Corp’ for the sake of anonymity and the fact that I can’t afford to have them upset with me if I say something off-color).

But, in reality, the sociology behind the desk and around the Keurig (because water-coolers are SO passe) are almost as in-depth as the sociology of a school or a public space. It’s amazing the cliques that form, the conversations that go on, and the unsaid rules that apply in both dress and manner. The plethora of cutthroat employees and militant executives runs rampant…and I’m here to give you the official untold story of the standard office experience.

I’ve lived it, and now you must suffer alongside me.

I’m dividing this mini-series into several posts, to be divided by the ‘four quarters’ of the day:

A: The First Hour
B: The Pre-Lunch Slump
C: Lunchtime/Early Afternoon
D: The Last Hour

So strap yourself to your awesome swively-chair and hang on to your timesheets, kids! It’s going to be one fascinating ride. This I promise.

Six Witty Observations: On-The-Way-To-Work Edition

1. Waking Up. Closing your eyes and waking up to your alarm should be two distinctly separate activities, divided by an interval of five hours or more. Today, they seemed to be apart by mere seconds. Hello grogginess, thy name is 6:30 AM (to the tune of Wilson Phillip’s ‘Hold On’ in all it’s ironic glory).

2. Passports. Apparently, I need the proper travel visas in order to make a left out of my driveway. School buses, cars, trucks, even a crazy punk riding a bicycle wouldn’t allow me to leave my own house for a solid six minutes (I kept track, amazing as it was in my grogginess). I think my papers expired last week when I went to pick up milk.

3. Traffic Lights. The New York State Traffic Authority is accusing me of being a communist sympathizer, and I know this because every single stop light from home to work turned a bright red as soon as they saw me coming. I think I’m being watched.

4. Weather Conditions. Mother Nature is a hard ass in Central New York. Her windy tufts of dandruff swirling slowly about the road apparently tempt drivers to not only speed up, but poorly parallel-park on the sides of narrow back roads, rendering a two-way exchange on said road nearly impossible. But that’s silly. Mother Nature would do nothing to hurt us…like allowing these insane jerks to live. She’s simply attempting to speed up the process of natural selection.

5. Time Travel. My car officially out-awesomed the TARDIS. When I left my car in the parking lot at my workplace, it was 7:58. When I entered the building after a walk of approximately 15 seconds, it was already 8:09. How DID I do it?

Which, when combined, brings me to…

6. I left the house 10 minutes early, yet arrived at work 10 minutes late. Well, fuck me.

There will be a longer, more meaningful post soon. Sorry I haven’t updated in so long. I’m planning something great for when I stop being lazy and write it.