Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Cheer...

So people ask me about my holiday.

I tell them the truth. It was a mixed bag.

My mom was in Alabama visiting relatives, but my work schedule prevented me from going. So that kind of sucked. I did go to my dad's though.

I had fun with my family, I ate a grand traditional Christmas dinner, I got good gifts, I got to bake cookies, I got to watch my nephews have Christmas morning. And on the other end of the spectrum, I was constantly cajoled as to the whereabouts of my older brother.

Some of you may recall that my brother and I have a strange relationship... Though the more I hear about other people's siblings, I'm beginning to think it's not as strange as I originally thought. Basically, I talk to my family. I attend family events, I enjoy being around most of them most of the time. I see my brother on the rare occasion that my father comes into town and wants to take us out for beers on a night that my brother doesn't work. In the last 12 months, I'd say this has happened roughly two or three times. This is the ONLY time I see him. EVER. And for as much as he has a phone, he does not use it. He does not call me, or my mom, or anyone else in the family for that matter.

This is fine by me. Really, I am ok with not hanging out with my brother. I mean he's a funny guy and all, but we've had our rifts in the past, and he's not really got a good record of apologizing when he's in the wrong, or keeping promises to people whom should matter most.

Despite the fact that I'm ok with not seeing my brother most of the time, there are a few times when it becomes a problem. Take, for example, the holidays.

I show up.
I engage in hugs, kisses, normal familial greetings.
We sit to chat shortly after my arrival.
"So have you heard from your brother?"
"UMM, NO."
"Oh. He never calls. We just didn't know if he was coming."
"Well, he doesn't call me either. I don't ever see him, so I don't know any more than you do."
"Oh. So what's his problem?"
"I don't know. If I knew how to miraculously get people to return phone calls and show up when they were supposed to, my job would be a cake walk, and I'd be billing well above where I am currently."

As much as this seems trivial, when you take it, and then repeat it like a thousand times over the course of three days, not only does it downgrade the effort you take to show up for events, because you get to take a backseat to the person who didn't show up, it also just grates on your nerves because you're the responsible one and you're being held accountable for the fuck up, even though the fuck up is not under your watch or realm of responsibility. You are essentially being asked to answer for something over which you lack any kind of control or influence. It's bogus.

I hope your holiday was good though!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It ain't good.

Ok, so I picked up a case which should have more than made up on my hours. The problem? Someone won't return my phone calls in order for me to set up the visits that were requested by the case manager. This is a BIG problem. Because I can't take other cases on in order to make up for the lost hours on the off chance that this person decides all of a sudden that they want to see their kids. This hits me in the wallet HARD. This is in addition to the fact that my hours have been down for the last three weeks anyway due to case closures and short coverage coming in.

Add to that the fact that I have to go to the dentist tomorrow and well, my week is just looking LOVELY.

I got a new supervisor at work, and he sympathizes with my plight noting that my current case load "kinda sucks" and "is full of nothing but doozies" at the moment. I like that I've got a supervisor who has only met with me once and can already see how bad my work life sucks at the moment. It reaffirms my belief that things on my caseload can't get a whole lot worse. (There is alllllllways room for deterioration, but I figure that at this particular moment in time, the margin is slim.)

As for the family, my mom is supposed to take my grandfather to see some relatives down south, but we don't know what's going to happen there because in the reaches of my southern roots, my uncle's sister choked the other day and is currently laying in a coma with very little visible brain activity. This woman had only one daughter with her first husband, a gentleman who is currently in another hospital dying of terminal cancer. I don't envy that young lady at all. I mean it's the holidays and both of her parents are at death's door, and she is split between two hospitals with no sibling-support system. So that puts things into perspective.

My aunt put things into perspective by noting that the first Christmas was spent by a woman who left town nine months pregnant, amidst rumors about her virtues, with only lil ol' Joseph (a carpenter, not a doctor or midwife) to assist with her delivery. She ended up in a barn with some smelly animals because there was no place to stay. There is some mad king killing all the other babies around, and wouldn't you know it, but some random-ass traveling kings and shepherds start showing up all unwashed wanting to hang out with her newborn. So who are we to want or expect things to go smoothly during the holidays when it starts on a note like that?

Monday, December 17, 2007

I blame Jesus...

So, my apartment is a wreck (a VERY SERIOUS problem for a compulsive cleaner such as myself).

My hours at work were still down, but they were admittedly recovering this week, but seeing as I am still below what I should be billing, I've got some extra time on my hands. And yet, I have been totally incapable of getting anything done.

Why?

Well, I blame Jesus.

This whole "Jesus was born, let's throw parties and be silly and cold!" thing throws me for a loop and it just puts a big crimp in my normal functioning.

I mean really, I made room in my apartment for a Christmas tree, I have the gifts I purchased for others all nicely wrapped and huddled under said tree. I have all the wrapping supplies, scissors, tags, bags, fancy paper, tissue, ribbons, and bows all sitting out so that they are handy when I need them. I have taken time out of my schedule to bake cookies and make other confections for my friends and loved ones. (Don't get me wrong, I love to bake for people, but I'm just noting it takes a toll on my schedule.)

I've got laundry that needs to be put away since I've already washed, dried, and folded it. I've got my dishes done, but they are resting comfortably in the confines of the dishwasher. I've got a bathroom to clean, and even though it isn't what many people would regard as dirty, I find it totally disgusting because I haven't given it the stem to stern bleaching and scrubbing treatment that I am used to. I haven't run the vacuum in probably two weeks, which is bothersome for me considering I have a pretty regimented cleaning routine which involves vacuuming on a pretty frequent basis for the sake of my sanity.

[Important side note: When you go into some of the filthy disgusting homes I go into every day, the need for clean just really skyrockets in value. I try not to judge my clientèle, but when the odor of your home prompts retching from those unfortunate enough to have to enter, you have no right to judge those who must enter in the way they feel they must clean their own homes. And the friends and readers of the cleaner should not judge either!]

I mean don't get me wrong, I do get some enjoyment out of my cleaning habit. I get some gratification from eliminating spots on my mirrors and having everything in its place. I enjoy the almost hotel-like atmosphere (sans need to run a blacklight over any bedding) created by having everything fastidiously and meticulously straightened and managed. I like knowing where to find things. I like that clean smell. I LOVE when others come into my home and note that it smells pleasant and/or clean. I like leaving my house in the morning with the knowledge that if I were brutally murdered or something, that if someone had to come into my house, they would be able to navigate without difficulty, they would be able to find suitable clothing to dress me in for my funeral, and they would not have to worry whether or not it was soiled. Furthermore, they will not judge me harshly as a slob after my unfortunate demise. (I feel it important to note, that when visiting friends or loved ones, I don't judge them by the cleanliness of their homes. I am willing to overlook most messes most of the time, because I know I am strange in my extreme cleaning and home maintenance regimen.)

But anyway, back to my point. Jesus and his impending birthday have thrown all of this off, and it makes me uneasy! Even when I am relaxing, my mom notes that I am "busy" because there is always something that I feel needs to be handled. And having all this running around to do, all the shopping, shipping, baking, wrapping, and whatnot only adds to my busy-ness, and it makes me bonkers to come home from work at the end of the day, feeling tired and grubby, wanting only a shower and sleep, but knowing that I have things that need to be done. My recent travels have only added to my scattered living.

Mind you, Christmas is only a week away, and I refuse to believe that it's possible that is is coming up so rapidly, or that we are a mere 2 weeks from starting a new year. Albeit the new year will bring with it a close to the seemingly unending presidential reign and all the trappings of more than twenty candidates running a two year campaign. So there are things to look forward to.

I don't know where I'm going with all of this, other than further illustrating my totally off the charts neuroses, and scattered brain activity, but it is what it is.

MEH.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A feedback post...

Ok, so I have a thing that I often do when talking to my friends. Whether it fits into a current conversation, or it is just a random tangent, I pose seemingly bizarre opinion questions.

Since we're all friends here, I thought I would pose a question to you!

What is the best piece of advice your mother ever gave you?

(If your mother was not available to provide you with advice, for any reason, then substitute an alternate maternal-type figure.)

Example actual responses include:

"Don't listen to everyone else, do what you want, and make yourself happy doing it."

"Meatloaf and pasta salad are always better when eaten the next day as leftovers."

"Always pee before leaving, and even if you don't feel like you have to go, TRY."

Now let's add your mom's words of wisdom!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Al Gore is onto something...

I freely admit, I am as guilty as the next person of polluting the environment. But I try to do my part. I recycle, I try to be as minimally wasteful as possible, I can't afford a hybrid car, but if I could, I would totally get one. [Especially since I spend so much time driving around (apparently "recklessly") to see clients and to get kids to and from visits.]

But I think that Al Gore (inventor of the internet!) is onto something with all that global warming nonsense! I mean I live in the Midwest. We regularly have white Christmases, and I'm no stranger to the blustery weather we know as winter. But I would like to note that it is a mere two weeks from Christmas, and I didn't even wear a jacket or sweatshirt today.

Why?

Because it was over 60 frickin degrees out today!

SIXTY DEGREES! IN DECEMBER!

THAT'S INSANE!


Ok, that is all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I just can't deal...

At the moment I am all bummed out.

I know that lately, (aside from recent brushes with the law) I have been fantastically boring. I wholly own that I am a giant black hole for all things interesting at the moment. It's as if all the interesting things going on in the universe come within a certain striking distance of me and BAM they suddenly disappear into oblivion because I suck that hard right now. I'd apologize for my suckiness, but (A) I'm not sorry for sucking, because it wasn't intentional, it just kind of happened, and (B) well, there is no (B) I just felt like making this sentence particularly complex for the diagramming nazis out there.

Anyway, I think it goes without saying that I had an immensely good time when I was back in Chicago. (Aside from those last 24 hours or so.) And I think that as a result I am even more depressed about the state of affairs which constitutes my life at the moment. There have been plenty of people at my office who asked about my vacation and upon my return, and when I talked about it, they recalled the fact that they knew I once lived there, and then they ask why the hell I left my world behind.

I never have an answer for them other than to say it wasn't my choice. And being in an office where we are all essentially paid to dig into the more painful parts of people's pasts to obtain useful information, they always want to know more. I know the tricks. I throw them a bone noting that I went through a long period of unemployment and it depleted my bank balance and my options and then I call it a day for that conversation. I don't tend to go into the really low points for a few reasons, I mean we as social workers get enough sad stories through the course of our days on the job, so I try to limit telling sad tales of my own. Furthermore, most of these people don't know me well enough for me to go spilling my life story in the workplace... In fact, NONE of them know me well enough to get into all of that, even outside the workplace. I haven't even told any of them about this blog, so really they don't have any insight beyond what I am willing to give them, and since I am that defensive type who holds most people at arms length for my own self preservation until they have proven their worthiness, I'm just not getting into it with them, and as a result, I'm a little worse for wear.

By that same token, I have very few people who I can REALLY talk to. And that kind of sucks. Especially in times like this.

The fact is that going back into Chicago really opened up a great expanse of personal issues that I had placed on a back burner and refused to deal with for a while. On my final day in the city, I had an emotional chat with Anthony where things boiled up and I remembered exactly how much I put into that back burner pot. And coming home, I have no one to really address those issues with. I have kept so much concealed from everyone here, and I have admittedly shut everyone here out from that aspect of my life and as a result, I am in a very lonely place.

Essentially, I'm in one of those places where I just need a friend who is ok with listening to me become a blubbering idiot for a few hours and drink heavily with me. I need a friend, and I don't know who to turn to.

Don't go off the deep end, thinking that if I don't find someone to talk to that I will be a danger to myself or others. I won't. But I am just giving you all a fair warning that if I don't find someone who I can really open up to, it's going to take me a little while longer to work through these issues. And so it's unlikely that I'm going to get over this funk in a huge hurry. Sorry guys.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Damn the man! Save the empire! (A long recap.)

Ok, maybe two of the people who read this actually know where the title came from... And that's alright. Just know that if you didn't get it, that those few people out there who did know are just a little bit cooler than you. (I still love you either way.)

Ok, so let's have a chat about the turd sandwich which so delightfully capped off my vacation. In fact let's get into a recap of the whole thing.

Saturday morning I got up, got my crap together, paid my rent before leaving, and took off for the city. Things were going well enough for the first hour and a half. At which point, the sleet started. Now it should be noted that I don't care about driving in unfavorable conditions. I am ok with driving in snow, ice, rain, whatever. My problem comes in the form of everyone on the road who IS intimidated by these things. The fact is that if the roads have been properly salted, there is no reason for you to drive 12 miles an hour. However, there is also no reason to drive 70 like it's a clear sunny day. Visibility is lowered, and the precipitation on the roadways should cause you to slow down a little bit, or at least not try to cut across three lanes of traffic and cut people off when you know that their stopping distance is going to be greater than usual. So I drove through an ice storm to get to Chicago, because I was NOT turning back on account of the weather. It just WAS. NOT. HAPPENING. During the drive I talked to Alana who informed me that she was going to the Bears game on Sunday and that as a result she planned to be really hungover on Monday. We made plans to get together on Tuesday.

So I got there in one piece. I got to hang out with Face and Turkey. We had our Christmas on Sunday morning and we went shopping. It was a really good time. (Turkey recently proposed to Face, and although I told him already, I think it deserves to be commemorated in text that he did VERY WELL with the ring selection.) Sunday night I went to stay with Anthony. We talked, we caught each other up about the events of our lives lately, and we went to bed. Monday morning Anthony had to go to a rehearsal of the show he is producing, so he went off to work, and I went off to shop. I visited my friend Harsh at work, and then ordered takeout from my favorite Thai place and had a pleasant evening in. Tuesday Anthony had another rehearsal to go to so we did brunch, he went on his merry way, I did a little shopping and then proceeded up to the old alma mater to argue with them. The lady I needed to speak to was out of the office so I was forced to change my plans and schedule a trip back to campus to pick a fight on Wednesday before I left town. Midday on Tuesday it began to snow. Tuesday evening I got a call from Alana indicating that she was too concerned about the road conditions as a result of the continuing snow to drive into the city. (She's in the burbs.) Knowing that I drove through an ice storm to get there I was upset. I was very disappointed, but I also understood where she was coming from... It's bad enough to drive with all the idiots in unfavorable conditions as it is, but when you factor in alcohol which would have been consumed at the bar, it was not fair to ask her to compromise herself to come in and see me, because a cab fare out to the burbs would have been ridiculous.

So that I was kind of bummed out that I didn't get to see one of the people I really wanted to see, and I didn't get to go to my old haunts and drink my face off. So I stayed in and read a book, and watched the snow fall on the city (Anthony has a nice view), and watched some televised sports action. (It was a nice way to spend an evening in the city, and it was my vacation after all.) When Anthony returned home from rehearsals, we hashed out ideas for our trademark, and basically I think we both really realized how much we missed each other.

Wednesday morning came and we had breakfast at the Jewish deli/diner near Anthony's. We said our goodbyes and we parted ways. He went off to work, and I went back up to campus to fight with those bitches. After two hours of arguing and accomplishing nothing, and being fed up with having idiots talk to me as though I was even more of a simpleton than they were, I was ready to kill someone with my bare hands, so instead, I noted that it was once again snowing quite heavily and that I had to go before I got snowed in. I left, and they are still under the impression that I owe them money. This further upset me.

So I am headed home at this point. I'm driving along in the snowy mess. I get about an hour and a half outside the city and the snow has stopped. The roads are clear. I wholly admit that being pissed off about the finish of my trip, and generally distracted as a result, I was cruising along well over the speed limit. I got pulled over. The police officer was a dick. (Much more so than he needed to be anyway.)

(I read this dialogue section over after typing it up, and trust me when I tell you that his asshole-ish-ness does not really translate well into the text... So you need to imagine his end of the dialogue with a snotty power-tripper type of delivery, and add in long awkward pauses. Basically, he wanted to make it obvious that he was enjoying the knowledge that he was being a dick.)

Police: "Ma'am do you know how fast you were going?"
Liz: "No."
P: "You were going 95 in a 60."
L: "EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!? I'm sorry, there is just no way!"
P: "Yes ma'am you were, and you're trying to tell me that you didn't know you were going 95 in this little car? ... License and registration."
L: "No officer, I genuinely don't think I was going that fast." (Handed over license and registration)
P: "So, where are you headed in such a hurry?"
L: "I'm headed home sir."
P: "And where is that?"
L: "[Name of city redacted]"
P: "Yeah, but where are you going?"
L: "Umm, the east side?"
P: "No, where exactly are you going?"
L: "Sir, you have my license, my address is on there. I'm going home. I'm driving to [address redacted]."
P: "Yeah... Hmmm... All right. Stay in the car ma'am."
(Mind you, I know he kinda has to say that, but we were on a well traveled highway in the middle of barren Indiana farm country at this point, in December. I don't know where the hell else he thought I was going to go.)
He runs my license and registration and comes back with a ticket in hand.
P: "You know what you were doing was a misdemeanor, by all rights, I could take you to jail right now."
L: "Um, no, I was not aware of that. I'd like to avoid jail if at all possible."
P: "Yeah, well, going 95 in a 60 is considered reckless driving. I could just take you to jail right now."
L: "I'd really like to avoid jail, sir."
P: "Well, here's your summons. You need to sign here at the bottom. Signing does not admit guilt, it just indicates that you know you have to appear in court. If you don't want to sign, then we go straight to jail right now."
L: "Ok. I fully intend to sign, but before I do, I have one question. Do I have to appear in court here, or since I am a resident of this state, is it possible to appear in a court where I am more local?"
P: "You're going to have to appear here ma'am. So you can sign or it's off to jail."
L: (Signs summons/ticket, and mentally noted the repetitive mention of going to jail... I was very uncomfortable, even by the standards of being handed a ticket for something you didn't do. Oh... and who goes to jail for speeding? Running over a small child while speeding, maybe, crashing into a house or another car, or something ok, selling speed, yeah, you're going to the hoosegow. But speeding as an imprisonable offense?) "Ok. Thank you officer."
P: "Slow it down ma'am."
L: "Thank you officer. Have a nice day."

Now while I wholly own that I was speeding, there is NO WAY IN HELL that I was going 95. My car is not new, and he's got 132,000 miles on him. His days of going 95 are long gone. If I were to go 95 in my vehicle, that car would shudder so hard that the wheels would fall off. If my car were capable of going 95, believe me, I would be aware of the speed I was going. Now, I would admit to 80 in a 60. I would readily admit that I was going well over the posted limit. I would own that. And I think that 80 in a 60 is much closer to the reality of the situation. The fact is that I think this guy was probably having a shitty day, his wife probably yelled at him before he left for work, and after letting that ruin his day, he decided to ruin mine. I am also guessing that he is trying to boost his numbers to meet the end of the year ticket quota, so there's that.

This shit sandwich of a 24 hour period just kind of nicely bookended an otherwise pleasant vacation.

On the whole, I had a good time, and I found that I missed the city and all of my city friends more than ever, and I found it really easy to fall back into my old rhythm. It made me kind of sad. But at the same time, I was really happy that I haven't lost my foothold there. And it made me really anxious to get back sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

... And we're back.

The trip was interesting to say the least.

Very little of it went according to plan, and the last 24 hours have been a total debacle. I don't want to get into that portion of the trip, because it makes me want to cry... In the grand scheme of things, the events are not such a big deal, because after all, I'm not living in Darfur, I haven't been sold as an indentured sex slave on the black market, I am not terminally ill, and I still have all my teeth, but for me it was a bad day to finish out what was supposed to be a great trip, so it was a real bummer of a comedown.

The fact is, I did get to see most of the friends I wanted to see. I got to hang out with my friends known as "Face" and "Turkey." I got to spend time with Anthony. I got to eat in some of the restaurants in which I've missed eating, I got to shop at some of the stores in which I've missed shopping. And let me assure you that the friends, the food, and the shopping were all VERY VERY good.

Considering I make a social worker's wage, I spent WAYYYY too much money, but I got REALLY great stuff. Here's a general list:

1 pair of earrings (all mine.)
1 pair of shoes (Christmas gift from Turkey and Face)
1 glass bud vase (gift for someone else)
1 purse (gift for someone else)
2 ornaments (1 as a gift for someone else)
1 Buddha head (all mine.)
1 sculptural hand (all mine.)
2 suction cup bud vases (possible gifts for others.)
2 candlesticks (gifts for someone else)
1 key chain (possibly a gift, possibly mine)
1 glass lantern (it is WAY cooler than you might think it sounds)
10 replica antique Chinese coins (for use in artwork and such)

... and

quite simply the most incredible door mat EVER.
(UNEQUIVOCALLY MINE ALL MINE.)
(When you see the picture coming soon, try to control your envy.)

I'll give you a better recap when I've had a chance to absorb the suckage of my last 24 hours so that it doesn't taint the positive parts of the trip.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I'm out like the fat kid in dodgeball!

Well, the one benefit of having nothing to do all day is that you have more than enough time to work on your paperwork. So obviously I got everything done, in early, and still had tons of time to yammer on to my coworkers about my excitement to get to a place where things make some semblance of sense.

That's right kids, I'm northward bound. I'm going to Chicago and I don't anticipate returning until Wednesday evening. This of course will have no impact on you, as I plan on taking my computer to the second city, and after I finish my shopping, I fully intend to kick back at my old corner coffee shop and update you on my trip as it unfolds. The pictures will have to wait until I return home though, because I'm not taking up the charging base and USB cables and crap required to post pictures immediately. You understand, I'm sure.



Lizzle's inappropriate remark of the day:

(We were talking about killing people and hiding bodies.)
Liz: "My roommate in college was friends with a guy who had an older brother that killed a guy and just buried him in their back yard."
Jennie: "Nobody noticed the disturbed ground with all the animals sniffing the decomposition?"
Liz: "Nope... guess not."
Brian: "Eh, it's possible that there were no animals sniffing around." (Brian then went roughly 10 feet away to his office.)
Liz: "Clearly Brian's dog is not a digger."
Jennie: "Umm... Brian's dog just died."
Liz: "Really?"
Jennie: "Yeah, like two weeks ago... It had cancer or something."
Liz: "Shit. That makes me the asshole again..."
Jennie: "Yeah, well you didn't know... Just don't go mentioning the name 'Otis' because it upsets him."
Liz: "Clearly I've already crossed the line of upsetting people... I might as well just go desecrate the fresh grave at this point... Maybe just go take a whiz on it or something. I mean I'm already the jerk here."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

VERY VERY BUSY BEING VERY VERY SALTY...

Yeah, so you all have been around long enough to know that when the Lizzle isn't happy, NOBODY is happy. And let me just say that at the moment, the Lizzle is super salty. And I don't think I have to tell you that super salty is FARRRRRR from happy.

Let's get through this quickly so that I can get back to ruminating on my saltiness.

Ok, so for some reason, upon closing out my biggest daytime case, NO NEW DAYTIME cases are coming in... which means I sit on my ass ALLLLL DAYYYYY. And then I work for a few hours in the evenings. This sounds kind of nice in theory... You can sleep in, you can run errands all day, you can sit on your ass watching daytime television because you're salaried... But then there are the resulting problems. One - The supervisory staff gets pissy because you're getting paid a full salary but you're underbilling. (They really don't like this.) Two - It comes back to haunt you come payday because you're not getting compensated for bonus hours you're ordinarily working. THIS BLOWS.

Then there are my other cases. One case is a juvenile mentoring. The problem is that she doesn't want a juvenile mentor, so when I show up, she shuts down. This makes it hard to pad your sagging hours by extending mentoring appointments. THIS BLOWS.

Another case is a dirty house. I go in, I tell them to clean up, I point out what it is they need to do because they are too stupid or to lazy to do it, I leave. This case is in no way pleasant. I am currently waiting to hear if it is also going to close... While it would be nice to not have to go in there every day, the loss of the case would also hit my hours hard. THIS BLOWS.

Another case requires me to drive to another county to supervise visitation. Unlike other visits, for some stupid reason, I am not allowed to bill for my drive time. This ALSO impacts my hours. THIS ALSO BLOWS.

Then there is the HR department. The last time I took a couple of days off, I got a sheet of paper indicating how many vacation days I had left. I scheduled my Chicago trip based on this information. I got the approval for my Chicago trip time and it indicates that I have NO vacation time left... and in fact that I am "overdrawn" one day, and thus will not be compensated for my time off... THIS REALLY BLOWS. Sure it's probably a clerical error, and if I go in and talk to the HR lady, it will probably be an easy fix, but if it's not an easy fix then I am shit out of luck and I have no vacation left...WHICH WOULD REALLY REALLY BLOW... Plus, I don't like going in and arguing with HR... They have control over the personnel files... I don't like to tangle with someone who has control over my personnel file when my hours are in the toilet.

To top it all off, do you kids remember how I told you about fighting about a bogus loan charge from my institution of higher education, and how I won and they dropped the bill? Yeah, well, they've decided to renege on their end of the deal and they seem to think that I owe them money again. This displeases the Lizzle. So when I go to Chicago I will be forced to spend a portion of my (apparently non-paid) vacation time arguing with these asshats trying to get them to realize that I am right and that they are wrong... Just like I did a few months ago. Clearly it was time well spent the first time around.

The combination of all these factors has the Lizzle really simmering just below a rolling boil in her saltiness. It is not a good scene. It really isn't.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Meet "model employee" Lizzle... and "Daddy Issue" Lizzle...

Just like Barbie, I have a definite basic model, but with every life change, and every so often the occasional perfectly selected outfit, I get the chance to fill various other roles. I would hardly say that I should be in any regard a role-model for the formative young minds of the world's youth like Barbie has supposedly been over the years. But then again, among a boat load of other jobs, Barbie has also been an astronaut, a dentist, a paleontologist, a stewardess, a pilot, an Olympic gymnast, a skater in the ice capades, a veterinarian, a movie producer, a WNBA player, and she's been in the military, meanwhile the Lizzle graduated from college with a few jobs on the resume, floundered in a lousy job market for a while, and then out of necessity and the desire to actually use the degree I paid so dearly for, became a social worker. Personally, I think that Barbie must have spent a fortune on her education because it costs a whole lot of money to switch majors that often! (I just picked the one that most suited me, and I stuck with it all four years... But what do I know?)

Anyway, in recent weeks I've been modeled on what one would call a "model employee" I've been appropriately dressed as always of course, but I've kept up with my paperwork throughout the week, I've had my paperwork turned in early or (at worst) on time, I've answered every call and every question from every case worker and supervisor, I've taken coverage on cases when other workers weren't available, I've billed well over what I am expected to bill, and if my weekly meetings with my supervisor are anything to go by, I've served my clients flawlessly. I'm not trying to over inflate your perception of me, and I'm not trying to over-inflate my ego, because in all honesty, I have NO CLUE as to how I've managed to do this. If you've known me for very long, you know that organization has never been my strongest suit. Procrastination is where I excel in spades, it's been that way for YEARS. (Dear god, please don't say that this is an indication of growing up, because I don't wanna be a grown up! And I sure as hell don't want to be a "model employee" cog in the conformist machine as a grown up!)

I blame a sag in my social calendar lately. Less time out boozing with my friends, and with friends doing dumb things like getting married and/or having babies, I've had fewer opportunities to do any proper boozing. We won't even touch my love life because that sag is taking on epic, near-mythic proportions... But then again, I'm content to suffer the extended love life sag at the moment because I would never forgive myself if I found a guy, got comfortable, and ended up trapped in this midwestern wasteland of suburbia forever.

Things are picking up now that the holidays are in full swing. A few holiday parties, family get-togethers, and the overall improved mood and demeanor of folks greatly improves things. The impending trip to Chicago is also bound to provide certain liquor fueled entertainment, and is bound to take some kind of toll on the perfection at work. I mean my monthly reports which so often become the bane of my existence will have to be turned in BEFORE I go to Chicago. Which means I'm going to have to work on them this week instead of on the night before they are due (when I will most assuredly be drinking in one of my favorite old haunts where I pray the managers, owners, and/or bartenders will still remember my name.)



In other news, now that we are properly past the forgotten holiday of Thanksgiving, I bought and set up my Christmas tree. It is four feet of glorious, silver, cheese-tastic, Christmas tchotchke hotness, and despite being cheap and garish, I love it.

And in a final unrelated note, I would like to take a few moments to address something which has bothered me and quite frankly been proverbially "stuck in my craw." My father, with whom I've had a somewhat exasperating and turbulent relationship over the years, recently visited my apartment for the first time since I moved in, despite many previous trips into town. After giving it a quick once over, he noted it "looked nice" and departed. He was inside for a total of less than five minutes, including some time in the bathroom. He did not take particular note of any of the decor details, didn't note the furniture which is (in all honesty and not at all debatably) nicer than the stuff in his house, and he did not even mention the rather prominent items which he should have recognized, largely because he owned a few of them when he was still married to my mother.

Being a man, I attributed his lack of interest to the typical male response to any mention of "decor," (which is a general malaise or disinterest,) but knowing my father, and how he has always thought of himself as having taste (despite most evidence to the contrary,) I was kind of bitter at the overall lack of response. And when I visited his home for Thanksgiving, and the venture into my home came up in conversation, his only response was, "It was nice... And it was just neat as a pin!" To which I had no choice but to respond with, "Umm, now would be a REALLY GOOD time to stop sounding like my apartment being clean was something of a shocking surprise!" An awkward silence followed. The subject was changed. And while I'm not using this forum to hash out my "daddy issues" I think you more observant readers can now see, based solely on these seemingly inconsequential remarks, some of the deep under current which provides the unstable foundation for our often adversarial relationship. It just bothered me... I mean the only time my dad ever sees me is when we grab a drink at a bar when he is in town, or when I go to visit him at his house and I'm living out of my luggage... This should in no way be a representative sample as to whether or not I should be living in filth. I went through a messy phase in high school, but since my first semester at college, I've been a cleaner, and well, after four years of college and a couple more years since graduation, that cleaning habit hasn't changed. I'm not really going anywhere with this bit, but it just really rubbed me the wrong way for a while, and I couldn't write about it before since I was sans computer, so I decided to just run with it for a little while now.

Feel free to resume your "Cyber Monday" at this point.

That is all.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In the immortal words of Elton John...

"Oh the bitch is back! Stone cold sober as a matter of fact!"

How lovely to see you all here!

And by "you all," I mean the paltry few of you who haven't quite given up hope of my return. I salute you in your faith and fortitude.

So much has happened since I last posted for you fine folks... Of course, nothing of much interest happened to me because aside from work, I am living the spectacularly boring life of a relative recluse here.

Here are the bullet points to catch you up in a hurry:

  • My best friend in this neck of the woods had herself a beautiful baby boy. Caden Matthew weighed in at 6 lbs 11oz.
  • One of my very best friends (one remaining in Chicago) got engaged. So now I'm on a diet timeline... Because you've gotta look good at your best friend's wedding.
  • I went to my dad's house for Thanksgiving. I saw my eldest sister get WILDLY intoxicated on a concoction containing Mountain Dew and copious amounts of vodka among other ingredients. She was HIGHLY inappropriate, and it was HIGHLY amusing.
  • I am currently planning a trip to Chicago. For those of you who are arbitrarily tracking this sort of thing, yes, this will be my first trip back to the city since my shameful departure. And trust me when I tell you that bawling in defeat while attempting to pilot a u-haul on the by-ways in and around Chicago is shameful, and is not pleasant or easy. I look forward to the opportunity to redeem myself, my driving prowess, and quite frankly, to drive around looking hot, instead of driving around looking like a hot mess.
  • I obviously got my computer back, and much to my dismay, they didn't really fix it. Fortunately the IT guy in my office provided me with a few helpful answers which didn't take three weeks nor the loss of my computer.
  • I made a grown man cry the other day. Apparently my technique for closing a case is so good that I can elicit tears from a relative stranger who knows little if anything about the case... It's not every day that I make a grown man cry, so I thought it warranted a mention.
That pretty much brings you up to speed. It's good to be back.

Questions, comments, observations?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Miss me yet?

So the computer has been in the shop for about a week now. I anticipate another week going by before I get it back, and I'm hoping that's all there is to it, but judging by past experiences, that won't be the case.

I miss reading and commenting on all your blogs, and I'm hoping that I'll only be absent for the next 7 days, but since I'm at the mercy of the geek squad, I know that nothing is assured.

Please know that I'm not ignoring you in an intentional or malicious manner. I'm only posting now because I'm at my office avoiding a client who may or may not still be out in the parking lot waiting to yell at me... I just love my clients.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monthly reports make me want to gouge my eyes out with a dull object...

It's once again time for the monthly reports to be turned in. This means I stress out for a couple of days, and stare at computerized paperwork until my eyes bleed. It also means that my Dr. Pepper intake goes through the frickin' roof. (It's one of those stress-related indulgences.) I mean I can keep my intake in check most days, but when it comes to monthly reports, I am not at all responsible for my massive Dr. Pepper-related caloric intake. It gets kind of ridonk.

In unrelated news, I was very pleased with myself and my shopping prowess (another stress-related indulgence) this weekend. I found, much to my surprise that a local retail establishment had 100% cashmere sweaters at bargain basement prices. And being a person who LOVES finding what would otherwise be considered a totally unnecessary luxury-type item, on sale during the peak of my retail-therapy stress spending, well, I indulged. Twice. And when I showed my mom the fruits of my endeavor, her first comment was, "Oh, that's really pretty... And it makes your bazoombas look incredible!" You really can't argue with reasoning like that.

In other news, since I don't post QOTDs like I should anymore, I'm going to try to bolster the morale here by more frequently quoting myself in a feature known as, "Lizzle's inappropriate remarks" ...We're opening with a killer.

My mom and were driving along, and when I made a comment about her driving, she threatened to kick me out and make me walk home.

Mom: "You can get out here and walk home. It'll take you until dark!"
Liz: "No it won't! I only live right over there! And besides, I could totally hitch a ride home and pay the guy off with a blowjob... It wouldn't even have to be a very good one, because I'm not going very far! [Skip about two beats while my mother was nearly soiling herself with laughter] ...God, I can't believe I just said that... And that I said it to my mom of all people. I really am the most inappropriate person in the world!"

[I published a post I'd neglected to finish last week. You can see it below.]

Thursday, November 01, 2007

[GASP!]

Ok, so the National Enquirer broke a story the other day stating that Dog the Bounty Hunter was a total racist. (Shocker.) I got my news from D-listed, but since Michael K. lists sources, I know where it came from and that he's not just making stuff up.

Ordinarily I am not one to buy into the level of tabloid reporting done over at the National Enquirer, but since they had audio to back it up, and that the story itself was not totally far fetched made it an easy sell. I mean it's not like they were pitching up a meatball like, "OJ Simpson DNA Found in Berlin; Remorseful OJ Admits Responsibility for WWII Holocaust" -- I mean yeah, OJ is responsible for a couple of deaths, but not 10 million.

Anyway, back to Dog...

While I don't watch that mess, I am familiar with his program, and I think we all know even with the TV on mute and rapidly-formed opinions based on sight alone, the odds were going to be pretty strong that something as trashy and backward as racism would be something for which that ol' Dog would totally be a plausible fit. (I hope that sentence made sense... I'm not going to go and diagram it to make sure its all grammatically correct... You get the idea that basically Dog is an easy sell as a racist.) When it comes to a description, I think one of my favorite midget pan-Asians, (yes, Elaine, I have more than one favorite midget pan-Asians) Elaine, said it best, "You know, when I see a grown man wearing a homemade sleeveless shirt, two arm bands, and fingerless leather gloves, with long flowing blond pompadour slash mullet hair, I think to myself, 'Good heavens, what a wonderful man, apparently he is too busy saving puppies, building houses for the homeless and walking elderly people across to the street to worry about what he looks like.'"

Anyway, based on the news of this racial tirade, I got to thinking about race issues in my office. There was a recent firing based on some racially charged remarks, so there are issues going on there... As for me, I'm not going to pull out the "I'm not a racist! I have black friends!" card, because while my own circle of friends and even my family is a veritable rainbow and really seems to run the gamut of ideologies as well, I also know that there are some racist and otherwise prejudiced assholes in that mix too, so there really is no genuine accounting for it. I know plenty of people who have "friends" or significant others of varying races who, despite their claims, are still WILDLY racist. I give the statement of having black friends as an indication of not being racist about as much weight as saying, "No, I am not racist! Last week, I totally watched a movie starring Morgan Freeman! And I really like that Jamie Foxx guy..." You see just how pithy and pathetic such a remark like that is when it's boiled down to the bullshit it really is.

The fact is that while I don't think I'm a racist, someone out there might disagree with me, but that's not the issue. The thing is that I am very firm in my belief that there are more than 6 BILLION people on this planet. And while I haven't met the overwhelming majority of them, I feel safe in my assessment that there are plenty of awesome people out there, and there are plenty of trashy folks who embrace backward ideologies due to upbringing, background, generalization of bad experiences, and nine times out of ten, flat-out ignorance. The fact is that both the awesome ones AND the trashy ones come in ALL colors, creeds, shapes, and sizes. All people are capable of racism and general ugliness, and I might be wildly inappropriate in many ways, but I frown on displays of that kind of hateful behavior. There really is no excuse!

ANNNNNYYYYYWAYYYY.... Enough seriousness, let's move on with the program.

So, one of the more enjoyable things about my work week is getting to go to lunch with some of my coworkers after the weekly staff meeting. (It's pretty much the only reason I drag my tired ass out of bed early enough to sit in that lame, boring-ass meeting.) There is a rotating group of folks who head out to lunch at assorted restaurants and kibitz about our cases, our lives in general, and whatever else you can dream up. Well over the course of the last several weeks, the rotating group has shifted somewhat. And for the last month, I have found myself to be the lone caucasian at the table. Now, this couldn't matter less to me, and it sure as hell doesn't seem to matter to anyone else at the table, but in fact was always someone else at the table who has pointed this fact out every week.

But this week we had our lunch at a Cracker Barrel because Tarita wanted, "...something with a mess of gravy on it!" In case you've lived in a cave without modern technological communications tools like Osama bin Laden, you've probably heard that Cracker Barrel was fairly recently accused of racism. I would track down an article detailing all of this, but either you know of what I speak, or you can just hustle your ass over to google and track one of those articles down for yourself.

So, since this law suit emerged, the folks over at Cracker Barrel have tried to add a certain degree of "ethnicity" to their setup. This includes not only merchandise in the store area, as well as memorabilia on the walls in the dining area. Well in our little group of roughly 8, where I was the lone pale face, we found that we were seated under a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We had a giggle about that, and a few other things, at which point Sheree mentioned, "Well, you know, Liz, we had to bring you along so that they wouldn't think we were going to bust up the place and stage a rally." High comedy.

We then ordered our meal, and I was ridiculed for not ordering corn bread... I had enough carbohydrates on the way without adding to it with corn bread, but just trust me when I tell you that I will tear the shit out of some frickin' corn bread! My friends, co-workers, and compatriots understood this point. Once the food came out, despite my order being somewhere toward the beginning, and the server starting with Ms. Carolyn who was directly next to me, I was the last person served at the table. This prompted me to ask my tablemates, "Guys, was I just a victim of discrimination? I mean I was the last person served at this table! I am betting it's because I'm white! I bet they did something to my food too! And they are probably having me towed from the parking lot as we sit here!" This got a healthy laugh, and then Tarita noted, " OH WAIT! They better not be towing you from the parking lot! You rode with me! And if my car isn't out there when we're done, they're going to have another lawsuit on their hands!"

I know that racism is an incredibly deplorable thing, and that it is no laughing matter on the whole, but when you get intelligent people together who all share a sharp wit and an awesome sense of humor about life, sometimes you just can't help but laugh. We're all good at laughing. And as it was stated by Natalie Portman in Garden State, "If you can't laugh, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you want it to be."

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Ok, not to toot my own horn here, (Oh who are we kidding, blogging is all about tooting one's own horn!) but I gotta say that I'm a bit of a pumpkin carving badass!

The pumpkin I carved at Kirsten's ("haunted tree" and stars) stayed at her house. In an effort to be festive at home as well, I carved a home pumpkin too!

This year for the home pumpkin, I decided on a pirate ship, complete with a Jolly Roger skull and cross bones on the main sail! I also put stars all around the rest of the outside on this one too because I really like the idea of carving the whole pumpkin rather than just one side.

Trust me when I tell you that the pictures don't do it justice!





Monday, October 29, 2007

Light posting...

I know that I haven't posted anything in a week.

I would tell you that I'm sorry, but I don't want to lie to you, I'm not sorry.

The fact is that I'm lazy. And as a lazy person I like to spend my spare time snoozing at home because that is a free activity, which allows me to save my money to do more important things later, like drinking and buying pretty things to put in the apartment where I snooze.

Furthermore, posting is probably going to remain light for the next couple of weeks, because I have monthly reports coming up and I also need to take my computer to have it serviced... And we all know that takes FORRRR-EVVVV- VERRRRR.

Yeah, that's really it for now... If you're really jonesin' for a Lizzle fix, just go to the archives, click around and find some posts from back in my heyday... Some of the quotes back in the day were really fantastic!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let's dish... Vacation edition!

So you all know I took a little time off to visit the only roommate that I've ever lived with and continued to be friends with beyond the timing and living constraints of a lease.

I called up Kirsten (also known as "The Admiral") a few weeks ago, and told her I needed a mental health break, and I had some vacation days to burn, so I was willing to spend them to come to see her if she was willing to have me as a guest. She was more than willing to put me up and put up with me for an extended weekend, and actually quite excited at the prospect, so off I went!

First off, let me just say that a three day work week was EXACTLY what I needed... And when you follow a three day work week with three days of drinking your face off, you're really doing quite well.

It should be noted that one week prior to my arrival, The Admiral and her boyfriend of two years ended their relationship... The timing of my trip was unintentionally fortuitous. But upon my arrival, it became quite clear that Kirsten was not in need of a shoulder to cry on, or anything of that nature... No. She had already rebounded, and was on top of her game in peak condition. I can honestly say that I've never seen her so happy or healthy looking. It made me feel good to see her feeling so good. The timing was fortuitous for reasons other than consolation.

We had a little chat over beers to bring each other up to speed, and then we were off to dinner and then out to the bar.

Kirsten prepared me for what was to come... A bar that smelled of "hobo sweat and stale beer" but was otherwise awesome because one could get an adult beverage for two dollars which was roughly 20 oz, and almost entirely liquor... Mind you, we are not talking about QUALITY liquor, but the quantities for the money certainly got the job done.

And of course, here are the pictures.


Kara told Kirsten something which caused a look of utter disbelief... Hell if I know what it was, I was too busy pounding down my liquor-riffic drink.


Kara was all smiles as she told her story though...


Tricia on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with any of it.


You can tell we are no longer on the first round at this point... Though with the strength of those beverages, the first round was really the equivalent of 4-5 rounds.


Kirsten has not had enough to drink to be ready, willing, or able to properly pose for a picture, so I took a picture of her waving me off, because that's what I do.


After we'd been around for a while, the crazies began showing up... And despite the fact that this was not the weekend that people get dressed up in Halloween costumes, a few of the nut jobs decided to go ahead and give their costumes a test run I suppose... It started out easily enough with a simple guy in a chicken costume.


And it didn't escape our attention when the power ranger began adjusting the drum kit...


And (ATTENTION ELAINE!!!) Elvis is not dead! I saw him this past weekend, and while he's seen better days, he still had all his moves... And an impressive swath of chest hair... And a SERIOUSLY impressive rack. (I mean really... His were totally bigger than mine!)


Kirsten and Kara are so kind to pose for us.


Kirsten's coworker Lara had herself a fancy new tattoo, so we took a picture of it... Because really, who doesn't love pictures of fancy new tattoos?


We really don't know why, but Ted (right) was busy all night trying to hump a few of his male cohorts, despite SUPPOSEDLY being a heterosexual male... I don't know if he was afraid we'd judge him for just coming out or something, but really, we judge him WAY more harshly for humping guys without reason.


No, I don't think Kirsten and Flav are actually making out here, (they are close to it though and they did do their fair share of that, but we'll get to that stuff later...) I just really wanted to post this picture because it features Kirsten's tattoo of a lion fighting a unicorn, which made me inexplicably happy.


God... They are cute, though.


At a certain point we had to stage an intervention. Flav actually had to pull Ted aside and tell him to stop humping his friends... So sad, but as we can see Ted is unfazed.


And really it's not a real night out until Spiderman shows up.


Or Cookie Monster...


Or a guy dressed as a banana...


Oh wait, we nearly missed another superhero! And this was arguably one of my favorite pictures from the weekend... Because we didn't know Robin, he just kind of sat down at the end of our table, and didn't look too pleased when I took his picture... But I mean, I can understand why he'd be kind of bitter... I mean he's a superhero, and he's just trying to sit down and have a quiet drink, and here is the paparazzi hounding his every move.


Saturday was game day. After having a really uncomfortable run in with Kirsten's ex, we were off for more alcohol and some serious sports. Ohio State won, of course, at one point I came face to face with the devil, and I refused to acknowledge her presence, and then we played some utterly ridiculous drinking game which was a combination of beer pong and flip cup which had way too many rules and way too many players, which inevitably resulted in most of us sobering up during the course of events, and when you're playing a drinking game, that's REALLY NOT THE GOAL.

After a while, we took off to meet up with Travis and Nikki. Travis is a standup comic, and Nikki is a dancing fool... That about covers it. Nikki started her dancing shortly after our arrival, and kept it up all night.


She even danced in a phone booth... That takes dedication and serious commitment to the art and craft of the dance!


We did note this pimped out taxi... Complete with rims.


Upon entering the bar, Kirsten was utterly horrified at a truly horrendous Latino gentleman on the dance floor who thought he would show off all his moves... I think you get a good mental picture of this guy just by seeing The Admiral's reaction to seeing his moves.


Nikki kept up her dance-tastic assault on the world, and on Travis in particular.


Nikki was totally ok with launching her dance-assault on the whole world... She was not going to be limited to only dancing with people and animals! She needed to hit up the inanimate objects too! A wall does the trick!


Travis has made the wrong move by suggesting that Nikki no longer dances with the wall... Nikki is displeased.


And so Nikki relaunches her dance assault on Travis... Poor Travis!


And after all that, she's still got the fire! The utter intensity! Can't you see it in her eyes?


God, they really are obnoxiously adorable, aren't they? Kirsten and Flav somehow managed to escape Nikki's dance attack!


Meanwhile Nikki found an inanimate object she had not danced with yet... So it's time to shake her money maker with a poster now!


Kirsten and Flav the morning after... I felt like a paparazzo taking pictures of people in otherwise private moments, but hell, I was already the third wheel, I was already there, so now they have a cute picture of themselves from that first weekend of obnoxious cuteness.


The Admiral and I rounded out our weekend with a couple of traditional 40 oz bottles of malt liquor, a bottle of red wine (we're classy like that!) and some pumpkin carving while watching "Hocus Pocus" and the Cleveland Indians' playoff collapse.

For the record, I had quite possibly the world's most perfect pumpkin... I mean really, it couldn't have been more perfect if Martha Stewart had genetically engineered, planted, cultivated, fertilized, and hand-selected this pumpkin herself... It was almost perfectly round, had no surface deformities or imperfections, and was the easiest pumpkin to scrape out that I've ever seen.


Aside from having a slightly elongated top half, Kirsten's pumpkin was also pretty damned sweet! (As shown, complete with delicate modeling hand!)


I carved one side with a "haunted tree" from the patterns we had, and pretty much the entire remaining circumference was carved with elegant stars. (Hand carved stars shown here.) Please note Kirsten's pretty kitty looking on over there in the chair, admiring the perfection of my pumpkin!


Oh, and there's the "haunted tree." It took me less than an inning to carve it... Don't ask me how that's possible, as I was really inebriated when I did it, but yeah, seriously, less than an inning.


That took us into Monday... Kirsten took off work to hang out since I had Monday off anyway, and so we jacked around, played some bocce in her front yard, and before the late afternoon storms got to rolling in, I took my leave of my friend... We pledged that we would make it happen again sooner rather than later. I have a feeling that if her new boy toy doesn't monopolize her completely for the next year, it's totally going to happen!

But I know what you really came here for... The quotes! (And we've got some gems!)

Kirsten: (While reminiscing about our college days when another roommate brought a rotted pumpkin into the dorm room and left it sit for approximately 1.5 months) "Dude! We couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from... We thought some creature had crawled in and died somewhere in the heating ducts! It smelled like a dirty diaper full of shrimp and some sumo wrestlers having sex in a butcher shop."

Kara: "The great thing about drinking like that the day before the game is that now I'm so dehydrated that no matter how much I drink during the game, I won't have to pee until like 4:30... That's like HALFTIME! EASY!"

Kirsten: "Man, you're either really REALLY drunk, or just randomly awesome... I mean you were just sitting all alone out in the middle of the back yard cackling at something."

Kirsten: (While watching "Trading Spaces") "If you think about it, they only spend $1000 on everything... So you know it's not great quality stuff. Especially not the stuff they craft themselves. --So yeah, congratulations, you got yourself a room full of crap!"

Nikki: "So in all those pictures, I noted very few of you... So you're just sitting here chronicling everyone else's drunken stupidity, and you get out cleanly. That's kind of awesome... I totally love you for that!"

Kirsten: "Hey, can I see your ring? It's AWESOME! I love it! But I couldn't ever wear it."
Liz: "Why the hell not?"
Kirsten: "Because when I put it on, I feel too much like a wizard!"

Kirsten: "Well, he's half black, and half Italian... So you know he's packin! I mean it's just genetics. He HAS TO BE!"
Liz: "There really is no doubt."
Kirsten: "I mean I kept my panties on, so I don't know anything for sure... I'm actually kind of proud of myself for keeping them on, because usually I get a few drinks in me, and WHOOPS! There I go sluttin' it up."
Liz: "Yeah, but you didn't slut it up on this one, you're becoming a grown up!"
Kirsten: "I gotta admit that I'm very curious about what he's packin' though."
Liz: "Well you know he's bringin' the heat... So when you kids get married, he'll just be standing up at the front of the church smiling, and his huge cock can walk you down the aisle."

Kirsten: "Yeah [Kirsten's ex] was just standing there blubbering, and he said something stupid... and to make matters worse, he said it wrong, so he was just looking incredibly dumb, and I couldn't resist bringing out the verbal red pen and despite his pathetic tears, I corrected him. I'm a grammar nazi, what can I say... I felt kind of bad, but I just couldn't resist."

Kirsten: (While watching the Indians' collapse in games 6 and 7 of the AL playoffs) "I am seething with rage right now... I'm an anger parfait! I mean I feel like my whole body is made out of fire right now!"

Liz: "You know what? Out of sheer tradition, we are going to need some forties to go with this wine."
Kirsten: "Oh shit yes! We're classy like that!"

Liz: "This pumpkin is so perfect, I must say, I'm just a little bit aroused."
Kirsten: "After seeing how easily you were able to scrape it out, I gotta tell you, I'm a little bit aroused by your pumpkin too."

Liz: "Hey! Look! One of the seeds in my pumpkin has already started to sprout! It's like it just germinated in it's own awesomeness!"
Kirsten: "And you hacked it open... Oh my god, your pumpkin was totally pregnant."
Liz: "Did I just inadvertently abort this pumpkin?"
Kirsten: "Well, you didn't know she was knocked up... Maybe you were just responsible for a miscarriage... (Two beats later) ...Good god, we really are the most inappropriate people!"

(While discussing a really obnoxiously persistent guy who tried to pick me up at the bar)
Kirsten: "Yeah, he just wouldn't stop... I stayed at the table to see what you would do. I mean I know you well enough to know that when you're not feeling a guy you feel absolutely no remorse about getting totally inappropriate."
Liz: "He could have immensely improved his chances by at least buying me a drink, but he didn't do that... So I had to fend him off."
Kirsten: "I just had to know how you were going to keep him from dragging you on the dance floor."
Liz: "Well, despite everything else I said, I think I missed an opportunity. I mean he really wanted me to dance, and I dance, just not with him."
Kirsten: "What do you mean you missed an opportunity?"
Liz: "Well, despite all the other inappropriate things I said, I should have told him that I don't dance because I'm really sensitive and self conscious about having a fake leg... But then he would have wanted to see it, or smell the inside of it or something... Even without a fake leg, I just attract those kinds of freaks."
Kirsten: "OH MY GOD! A FAKE LEG!!! Why did you not use that? I think that would have been the best thing I would ever have heard in a bar... Though in retrospect, since you mention it now, that's got to be one of the best things I've ever heard outside the bar."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Peace out, sluts!

I'm on vacation until Tuesday. Don't expect posts until at least Tuesday night.

The post upon my return should have some serious QOTDs though, because I'm going to visit the admiral!

You sluts be good while I'm gone. (Don't give each other crabs! I'm not taking you to the pharmacy like last time!)

Peace out!

~Liz~

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Knock knock...

Is anyone home?

I am so shocked that I got ZERO COMMENTS on that last post!

I'm convinced that through some publishing error, that I was the only one able to see the fact that anything had been written, and that everyone else who stopped by only saw the post about my birthday presents from a couple days ago, rather than the youtube clip and the radiohead review I posted yesterday.

It has happened before, I've caught it a few times while checking for comments from computers outside my home. I don't know why it happens, but I really hope that this is what happened rather than the alternative. (The alternative being that you all came by, saw what I posted, thought I was an absolute idiot and out of pity decided not to call me out on it... It's either that, or you've all just stopped reading because I am that pathetic right now... The alternatives are totally plausible, but I choose to believe that it's not the case.)

I'm hoping that this post sticks, and that you're able to enjoy the youtube clip and radiohead review posts if or when they show up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Obscenely amusing...

Try to watch this video without your jaw dropping... Try to watch it without laughing... Try to watch it and then not want to watch it again to catch the words of the little song...

I bet you can't do it! This is point blank the most incredible youtube clip EVER!
(Totally safe for work despite providing obscene amounts of amusement.)




Don't miss the Radiohead "In Rainbows" review in the post below...

Monday, October 15, 2007

You asked for it...


In my last post I mentioned that I recently received the newest release from Radiohead. I had a couple of requests for reviews of the album... Well with the twitch of my nose, and a few swift keystrokes from my fingers, ABRACADABRA! ALAKAZAM! Your wish is granted. Congrats.

I could take the lazy man's approach and merely repost other people's reviews of the album, but I love you, (and Radiohead,) too much to leave it at that.

I will start off by noting that this album, like previous Radiohead releases, has all the band's hallmarks. But it is decidedly different at the same time... There is a little bit of techno-synth, but not in the high doses you may have come to expect. Instead, they've ramped up the mournfully bluesy guitar riffs and delicate piano playing, and used the techno-tones much more sparingly. Of course you still get Thom Yorke's oftentimes almost eerily simple and bare vocals and the full spectrum of lush musical accompaniment sometimes running the gamut and eventually paring down to ultra-simplified vocal track laid over a simple drum beat.

You also get an interesting mix of upbeat and slower tracks that you should expect as a Radiohead fan. Never a band to issue a predictable album "In Rainbows" opens with some very up tempo numbers, then they scale it back with a couple of slower tracks. They keep you guessing by toying with the tempo on the fourth track "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi." You find yourself wanting to pay just a little closer attention to catch the changes in beat over the course of this undulating, yet totally cohesive track.

At this point, I would like to note that my brother was totally right when he handed me my copy of the disk. Track five, "All I Need" is decidedly the black-widow-style-killer track. It is one of those tracks which insidiously gets into your psyche, tells you that it loves you, makes you believe it, and then totally ends you before you even know what's going on! You're going to find yourself with this track on single-track repeat for a while... I promise you.

The middle tracks of the album slow things down, but headed into the final tracks things speed up somewhat on "Jigsaw falling into place" with simple vocals over a toe-tapping beat that ropes in and refocuses your attention all over again. And the final track "Videotape" keeps it simple with a slower beat, pared down instrumentation, and soft vocals, cleansing the musical palate, leaving you with a satiated sense of completion.

On the whole, "In Rainbows" as an album is a rib-sticking meal of an album, comprised of tunes both intense and delicate, both sweet and savory. The only complaint I would lodge with the house on this one is that after going so long without hearing from Radiohead, this album, at ten tracks which clock in at just over 42 minutes, while satisfying, just made me wish there was more left on the table so that I could gorge myself with more. But that's why you just put it on album-repeat and let it keep on spinning after the first listen... You just want to have more.

In all, I think the album adheres to the Nick Hornby/Rob Gordon (High Fidelity) maxim of album composition... "The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don't wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules..."

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Check it out for yourself, download it for whatever price you're willing to pay at www.inrainbows.com. You won't regret taking the time to give this worthy album a good listen.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Birthday presents...

I met up with my dad, my brother, and what is essentially my sister in-law last night.

They wanted to get together to celebrate my birthday.

My dad did well with my birthday gift this year. He bought me dinner, he bought all the drinks for the evening, and he gave me a card with a little cash in it... A winner all around in my book.

My brother showed up a little late, and brought in my gift. He handed me a box which contained a little tabletop fountain, and he gave me a CD.

I thanked them accordingly, and noted that I was excited about the CD. (It was the new Radiohead album.) Which prompted the following conversation:

Lizzle: "Oh awesome! This is the new one!"
Brother: "Yeah, I thought you might like it!"
Lizzle: "This is the one causing all the fuss because they are letting the fans choose the price and then download it!"
Brother: "Yeah, I got to choose the price, and the price I chose was FREE."
Lizzle: "It's nice to know I mean that much to you."
Brother: "Yeah well, if it makes you feel any better about it, the price I chose for my own copy was FREE too... So I think of you as an equal."
Lizzle: "Well that means a lot! Thanks.
Brother: "Don't mention it... Oh, by the way, track five... AWESOME. ...TRACK FIVE!"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another year older...

So yesterday was my birthday...

It was one of those birthdays which passed relatively uneventfully.

I did have a little time spent in reflection on the day, and it was kind of a mixed bag. I thought about my place in life at the moment... I hate the city where I live, but I love my apartment. I like my job but hate my cases. So on the whole, I am claiming little victories instead of being joyful about the big picture.

It was one of those birthdays where I thought about the changes that come with the new number... My insurance is lower now than it was in years past, but I again realized I lost a part of my childhood when I came to the realization that I have three kinds of insurance and as a result I have a multi-line discount. Whether I feel like it or not, I am slowly becoming a grownup.

About a week ago I resolved a debt which came as a result of my many months of unemployment... Once again, reminding me of my transition into responsible adulthood. I know that 60% of Americans are in debt, and yeah, I've still got my student loans to pay off, but that aside, I am now financially solvent. My credit record is still a wreck as a result of that long stint of unemployment, but I'm working on it... The fact that I care about what is on my credit report is another indicator to me that I'm losing my childhood.

When I was a kid my biggest concerns were things like spelling homework or what color I was going to use on whatever it was that I was painting in art class. Back then, I spent my time worried about making it out to play at the park, or making it to soccer practice on time so I didn't have to run extra laps. Now it's been replaced with, "Did I mail my payments for my electricity, and my cell phone? I don't want to get late fees or a shutoff notice." or "Do I need to go to the grocery tonight, or do I have enough nutritious stuff to get me through one more day, or will I get stuck eating whatever crap that's left in the fridge?" or "Where's my skillet? Is it clean or did I forget to run the dishwasher?"

I don't think I have to tell any of you that I am not excited about the prospect of being an adult. I mean yeah, there are certain parts of adulthood that I'm all for, like driving, and being able to order a drink without being carded, and being able to afford the things I want without having to ask someone else for the money because 30 hours a week of lifeguarding after school and on weekends didn't leave me with enough money once I paid for car insurance and gas. But I miss the days when I had no bigger concern than what color my prom dress was going to be.

I drive past the local universities and see the undergrads walking around, laughing without a care in the world... Part of me pities them because they have no idea what awaits them, and part of me admittedly envies them because of the carefree attitude that comes with no real immediate expenses (student loans are a wonder when you're still in school!) and that delayed collision with the real world, and as a direct result, the delay of the realization of how shitty the real world can be.

I mean, if someone were to come into my home now, without any knowledge of the circumstances which have shaped my current position, one would think that I'm doing well for myself, and that I live pretty high on the hog... and in the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am doing pretty well for myself. Things certainly have been, and could be a whole lot worse. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not living in a drug-ridden, slum of an apartment complex on the state dole either. I don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay for my next meal or whether or not I'm going to be able to make rent next month. I know that from the company founder on down, they love me at my office, and that as a result I have a whole lot of job security. No, it's not totally the life that I wanted for myself at this point, but it could always be worse, so there's no real use in complaining... Well, there's a use in it, because it does make me feel a little better, but again, in the grand scheme of things, I know it doesn't really do any good.

For those of you who are interested in the events of the birthday proper, I spent much of it cursing my clients because they frustrate the ever-living shit out of me, and they test my patience almost every waking moment of the day. The rest of it was spent fielding a few birthday calls and well wishes, and I rounded it out by meeting up with one of my friends (who shares my birthday) at the bar for a couple of rounds, where she complained that she had a shitty birthday too.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better...

Monday, October 08, 2007

A message from under the rock...

Apparently I have been living under a rock all my life because I only now found out about my latest diversion.

I was talking to Kirsten about my impending trip and other things and we got to talking about websites we use to divert attention from just how pathetic our existences tend to be.

I sent her over to the highly comical www.blackpeopleloveus.com

Kirsten's response: "Oh my god! This is AWESOME! This is one of those open-a -bottle -of -wine- and -make- a -night- of- it-websites!"

She then informed me about an INCREDIBLE webtastic diversion known as www.prisonpenpals.com

Since then I have been gorging myself on missives from prisoners across the globe. Such high comedy! Of course many of them are "not guilty" and are "attacking their convictions." Which I assume is jail-speak for seeking an appeal. And it is utterly hilarious when they are incarcerated for capital murder in Texas... I mean really... If you're in jail for CAPITAL MURDER IN TEXAS, I think your appeal is probably not going anywhere... Oh, and NEITHER ARE YOU! You're not getting out! You're in the express lane to the gas chamber!

Perhaps it's cruel of me to laugh at the missives of people who are sitting in the can just waiting for their turn in the electric chair, or however it is that Texas is bumping off the criminal population these days, but really, go read some of those ads, I GUARANTEE you'll be laughing too.

There are some more run of the mill felons there too... Arsonists, cannabis growers, weapons related felons, parole violators... You know, "lesser felons."

This ad absolutely had me soiling myself with laughter... I mean I gotta give the guy points for directness, but he just totally skipped the getting-to-know-you pleasantries and pointed out, (Note: this is a direct quote!) "I'm in search of a sex slave to participate in all my wild & sexual fantasies. So let's have a wet & wild time. What do you say?"

Sorry guy, I'm going to have to say no. Nothing against you for trying to get yours, but I think I'll pass. I am all for pursuing a non-traditional sex life if that's your thing, but I don't think I am going to venture out and start up a dominant-submissive "slave" fantasy with a convicted felon. That's a little too non-traditional and risky even for me. I mean, talk about begging for trouble...

The ads from the ladies are a riot too! There are too many good ones to pick one to show you here, but just trust me when I say you HAVE to check them out!

I hope I've opened your eyes to a new time-waster! Now if you'll forgive me, I've got to get back and search for my one true love... my diamond in the rough... Oh who the hell am I kidding, I just want to get back to laughing at these folks!