fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
.i. cinderella complex

On my way into work today, my shoe came off as I was going up the outside cement steps to my building, which would be annoying anytime, but was made particularly wretched because (1) it was raining, (2) my forward momentum was unstoppable and so I stomped right down on the dirty concrete with my knee-highed foot, and (3) there were two people hot on my heels who saw it happen.

I am familiar with embarrassing moments like this one, and the truth is that most of the time other people are pretty cool about it. If you face up to your embarrassment with a rueful smile, like, "Not a foot in a puddle AGAIN!" then people are usually all "Ha ha! It happens to the best of us!"

Sadly, the people behind me were the kind who, in moments like this, respond with blank looks that say, "Wow. Lame explosion. So glad I'm nothing like her!"

And so that kind of stunk. And then. AND THEN. I made it worse by waving my hand in a dramatic way and announcing, "Don't worry, I've got it!" before hopping down a step to put my shoe back on. Why? Why did I say that? Did I expect one of them to snatch up my two-year-old Target brown flat and place it on my foot? DID I? Some small part of me must have!

.ii. tetanus tales

While I was at Target yesterday buying Enchanted on DVD (I tried to resist but lasted only one day), my brother called my cell phone. He told me this story that started with a night out at a bar and ended with him tripping over a bike rack while running across his yard, and was followed up by asking me when he'd last gotten a tetanus shot. I informed him that I do not carry his medical records on my person, and so he would be best off calling his doctor.

Tonight he called to check in at home and I ended up on the phone with him. He told me he'd found out that he was up do date on his tetanus shot, and I said, "Oh, so you talked to the doctor?"

My mother's ears, honed by her protective instincts, picked up this statement from across the room. "What? Is Jimmy okay? Is something wrong?"

"Is it okay if I tell her?" I asked him, because I had been under strict orders not to tell her the day before because he knew she would freak out.

"Yeah, go ahead," my brother said at the same time my mother said, "TELL ME WHAT?"

"Jimmy tripped over a bike rack and cut up his leg, and he called me yesterday to find out if he was up to date on his tetanus."

My mother said, "Well, I have no idea if he is!"

And then I said (and I feel kind of bad about this after the fact), "Well, he's been feeling kind of weird, like, when he bites into something, sometimes he can't open his mouth back up."

"Tell her I've been having muscle spasms," Jimmy piped in over the phone.

"And he's been having muscle spasms," I said.

"Oh my God!" my mother said.

"What's that, Jim?" I said into the phone, "And you've got a fever?"

"He needs to go to a doctor! Is there on call down there in Texas? He needs to go to on call!"

And then I told her that we were kidding, and she almost threw the meatloaf she was mixing together right at my head.

.iii. scout status

The last time I updated I think I was all in a tizzy over my little cat Scout. I am happy to report that she's doing better, though not fully recovered. We're giving her pain medication and her leg seems to be getting better by the day. So that's good!
fearlesstemp: (pick self up)
.i. uncertainty principle

Yesterday at work, I was laughing at something my brother said and my father's secretary said, "Your laugh is so infectious, it makes me want to laugh. I was telling my kids that I want to tape record it and bring it home and play it for them!"

Kind of weird! But in the neighborhood of a compliment! So I stopped guffawing like an idiot and said, "Wow, thanks."

And then I thought about it for a minute, and remembered how once when I was temping, a coworker came in wearing shoes so hideous that I actually found myself staring at them for so long that said coworker caught on, and I covered by giving her a compliment on them (I totally felt like Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls). Was my father's secretary doing the SAME THING? I had been laughing for a while when she asked me.

So then I asked my brother if I laughed like our aunt Amy, a wonderful woman who has a nasal honk of a laugh.

And my brother said, "Yeah, kinda."

The horror I felt at this must have been written all over my face, because then he backtracked, all, "Well, not completely, just a little. Mainly the beginning, like, the 'ha!' part."

And so ever since, I haven't been able to laugh properly! Because whenever I do, part of me is all, "Wait, what do I sound like? A high-pitched foghorn stuck on rapid repeat? Or a normal person?"

I know I have an obnoxiously loud sneeze! Are none of my uncontrolled reflexes unoffensive?

.ii. austin, we have a ljagu

Peeps, my brother is moving to Texas. TEXAS! I KNOW! SO FAR AWAY! A bunch of his friends from college are moving down there, and he's tagging along, and I'm glad for him, happy he'll have an adventure, relieved he'll be escaping the MyLastName Law Firm.

But what if he finds a nice Texan girl and stays there forever? Who will help me move or carry heavy things or run ridiculous errands for my father instead of me?

I will miss him. He makes me laugh more than anyone else I know, and we're pretty much two peas in a pod. But I'm glad he's going, because I think it will make him happy. Also, before I got my new job, I was becoming obsessed with the fear that neither of us would ever leave our childhood home and we would end up like Matthew and Marilla, having to adopt an orphan in our middle age to give our lives meaning. OUR NAMES EVEN START WITH THE SAME INITIAL! SCARY!

But now Jimmy's moving to Texas! And I have a job! Our lives will almost definitely not follow the trajectory of Anne of Green Gables supporting characters!

ANYWAY. If anyone has any advice for Jimmy, aka LJAGU, aka Little Jimmy All Grown Up, it'd be appreciated. I know Kate is down there and I think there might be others familiar with the area, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice or helpful hints about Austin.

.iii. awesome things

I read the Sweet Valley High books as a kid, and the Sagas were my favorite - specifically, the family sagas, the huge book that would trace the twins' ancestors back a few generations. The books were terrible and sometimes offensive and yet I LOVED THEM. A friend from college once gave me the two versions of the Wakefields of Sweet Valley, and MAN, that gift made my birthday.

The other day I found a link to someone doing a review of the Wakefields of Sweet Valley - !!!! I found it awesomely hilarious, and am linking part one here and part two here.

Key plot points: Being separated at Ellis Island! Running away to the circus! Going to speakeasies and speaking in unintelligible slang! Teenagers working for the French Resistance! Hippies!

Another awesome thing I'm into lately is the cable channel A&E, specifically The First 48, which tracks homicide detectives as they try to solve a murder case. Apparently if detectives don't have a suspect in the first 48 hours, the chances of solving the crime go down by 50% or something. I don't know, the point is, the show is ADDICTIVE. Typically each hour tracks two murders and you get to see how the cops look at the crime scene, talk to witnesses, work with CSI and forensics, interrogate suspects, etc.

Totally unexpectedly, YouTube has a clip, AND it features my favorite Detective, Sgt. Mason! She's awesome. She always arrives at the crime scenes fully done-up, hair, nails, high-heeled shoes. And she's a great detective. She's hilarious in this clip.

And I think that's it!
fearlesstemp: (eggs basket oh)
Setting a good example is very important! Which is why it was so awesome this morning, when T., the guy my Dad hired to take over my responsibilities in the office so I could go down to half-time, walked over to my desk with a question, and found me:

(1) peeling off the top of a yogurt,

(2) with two romance novels on my desk,

(3) waiting for my internet connection to come live so I could attempt to check my e-mail on the slow-ass dialup my Dad still insists upon, and

(4) singing "Carry on my wayward soooo-oooon" under my breath.

GREATNESS.

I jumped out of my chair, stammering out, "You see, it was on the radio when I was driving in, and you know how songs produced by bands named after locations get in your head? Right?"

To which T. responded by giving me a blank stare and an eventual, "What?"

In my defense, the two books were not to be read, but to be packaged and mailed out to someone! And I had to eat yogurt because breakfast is the most important meal of the day (though not important enough to get me out of bed twenty minutes earlier so I could eat it at home).

Whatever! This week T. was an hour late because his battery died after leaving the hazards on his car all night, and last week my father had to sit at the office until almost 7PM because T. got to his front door before realizing he'd left his house/office keys in his desk at work. His spaciness fits in well with the office dynamic, though really we do need someone with a mind like a steel trap to watch over us all.

Sadly, no one has yet stepped up to the task. LJAGU's latest foray into spaciness happened last Friday, when he was in a minor car accident caused by "rain and leaves" (his explanation) or "jamming out to classic rock at insane volumes" (my suspicion). He ran into a curb and messed up a wheel and as a result, we are sharing a car! Sharing a car, sharing a job. Usually the car handoff isn't too complicated, but today I needed it while he was working so I could go to the dermatologist, and spent a good portion of today just carting his butt around. He owes me, man! Between this and filing his taxes, he owes me big! Assuming, of course, he doesn't get arrested for tax fraud due to me messing up his taxes, in which case I think we'll be just about even.

Speaking of the dermatologist! I totally should have gone into that line of work. My dermatologist spends approx. 12 minutes with me every time I go, and has a line of exam rooms in back full of patients - I have to figure he bills 5-6 patients and hour and must be making massive amounts of money. Those twelve minutes have cured my acne, though, which I hadn't thought possible a couple of months ago. I no longer look like a bumpy-faced mutant!

What I look like now is a spotted alien, due to the scarring. Dr. Speedy gave me these foil packets of bleach I'm supposed to use nightly on my skin - it's supposed to bleach out the redness gradually. For some reason, even though I bleach my mustache, this is kind of freaking me out. I keep having visions of the bleach, like, bleaching my skin copy-paper white, or burning through my skin while I'm sleeping and leaving gross gaping holes. I know this is crazy. I know it is!

Still, I'm waiting until tomorrow to get started on it. My special relationship with concealer can last one more day.

Aaaand, that's about it. The only other item of note is my obsession with Friday Night Lights, which is SO TOTALLY AWESOME, OMG. I suspect I may expand upon this in greater detail later. You are forewarned!
fearlesstemp: (saunders on phone)
I don't know if it's because I grow so attached to the Mets announcers over the regular season (I still really miss Fran Healy), but I can't stand the Fox announcers, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in particular. It is a sentiment shared by my family, and getting ready to watch the ALCS, my brother and I had the following convo:

LittleJimmyAllGrownUp: Joe Buck should be FIRED.

FearlessTemp: Joe Buck should be fired out of a CANNON.

LJAGU: Joe Buck should be fired out of a cannon AIMED AT TIM MCCARVER.

FT: You win.

I am rooting for Oakland in the ALCS, half because I loved the book Moneyball, half because Detroit has too many pitchers I don't want the Mets to meet.
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
Conversation with the brother, earlier tonight, in the midst of our hunt for a book for him to borrow out of my collection.

Self: How about this one?

Jimmy: I don't know.

Self: It's pretty good.

Jimmy: I don't know. Does it have robots?

Self: I don't think so.

Jimmy: Or ninjas? Or - ooh! You know what would be cool? NINJA ROBOTS.

For some reason, that cracked my shit up. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
I have somehow managed to lose my cell phone and my house keys, complicating my life and leading to sure disaster. The cell phone loss is particularly tragic because I lost it just after finding it; I had misplaced it earlier this week, couldn't find it for a day, then remembered where it was (in my father's car!) and called my number to find it wedged under a seat. I happily hoisted it in triumph in our smelly garage, and then shut it off so I could charge it in the kitchen - but somehow the phone never made it to the charger just ten feet from the garage. Where did the phone go? Where? Did it vaporize? I have already made my brother lift a lot of heavy furniture for me to look under, but no luck. I now fear having to enter the scariest place of all - my bedroom - to find it. I've been attempting to clean my room all week, but keep giving up after forty minutes or so, when I realize what a lost cause it is. I am destined to be messy and unorganized, I think.

How much do people really change? Will I ever regularly put things where I can find them? Will I ever know where all of my important life possessions are? The other day, I drove my brother to a car dealership to pick up my mother's car, and in the course of our journey, I made a lot of characteristic errors, like losing one of my brand new leather gloves at the gas station, accidentally running up on the curb (which caused me to lay on the horn, also by accident) outside a restaurant, and dropping my car keys into such a spot under the seat that I had to get out of the car and practically lie down in order to reach them. All of this done amidst the wreckage of the last few months of my life, handily symbolized by the interior of my car, which is littered with Diet Pepsi cans, candy wrappers, books, papers, and receipts.

My brother laughed, watched me fishing for my keys, and made a few choice comments on how gross my car was. To have a male college student who will readily admit to going days without showering call something of yours gross - now that is a moment that can stop a girl in her tracks. In my case, in my fishing.

"Shut up," I said.

He just laughed and watched me go back to picking through the disgusting mess under my seat to find my keys. After offering him a Chewy bar I found under there, which he turned down, I found the keys and got back in the car, put the keys in the ignition and looked at my brother in triumph.

"It must be exhausting being you," he said.

And you know, it kind of is. I really believe that my life would be so much easier, so much less taxing, if I threw things away and remembered where things were (like my cell phone and keys). I've spent much mental and physical energy (more mental than physical, because I am lazy) on this lost-keys-and-phone crisis, mental and physical energy that could have been better spent thinking through a solution to our problems in the middle east, or exercising off the eighty-three pounds of potatoes I ate over the holidays. But no, I had to spend them walking myself back through the past few days - could my keys be in my bathrobe? I have been spending a lot of time in my bathrobe this week. There's no earthly reason for my keys to be in my bathrobe, but it's never good to look for an earthly reason when one is trying to piece through my past actions.

Speaking of keys: Earlier this week, I was involved in another key-related crisis that led to my mother's car finding its way to the dealership. I was going out, again with my brother (we are the dream team; putting us together on a task is the best way to ensure disaster – example, The LeBra Incident), this time to the bookstore, and was well onto the highway when I realized my mother's car was running on fumes. Why were we in my mother's car? There's a good reason for that. The reason is: My brother and I were lazy. My mother's car lives in the garage, while my brother's car and my car live at the end of the driveway, which is steep and snow-covered. Also, neither of our cars has a CD player (though my brother's does have a CB radio, which is entertaining, but not the same). So we borrowed my mother’s car.

We ended up at a busy Sunoco, where I turned the car off and filled up the tank (almost fell while walking backwards from the pump to the car’s tank, but stayed upright). My brother washed the car’s windows with the squeegee. All good things. And then I got back into the car, put the key in the ignition and – nothing. It would not turn. It would not budge. I jiggled, I messed with the steering wheel, I messed with the gearshift, I swore, I hit things, I used brute force, I made my brother do all of these things, I begged the gas station attendant for help, and in the end, yes, we were towed. After an hour of sitting parked at Pump 4, after making phone calls to friends and family for advice, after a good old-fashioned shrieking fit from the mom unit, after all of that – the car was towed to the garage, where it would have $600 of work done on its steering column. Not that I’m happy about my car costing my mother that kind of money, but it was kind of gratifying to hear that it was a common problem on the part of Fords of that year, and not the result, as she initially accused, of my brute force when turning the car off.

Because really, if a car’s ignition is that sensitive – we’re not talking about Lou Ferigno here, we’re talking me, Jess Who Last Exercised In June 2005 – it’s faulty.

I could edit this rambling heap of junk into something worthy of human consumption, but that would require time, and right now my parents are offering me a free dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. My 25-year-old social life is so exciting that this is probably my best offer for the evening, and so I am off. Will try to post before the new year, but if I don’t – happy new year to all, and to all, a good night.
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
Question of the day:

How cold is it lately? So cold that:

(a) car locks freeze
(b) Diet Coke cans explode
(c) temps in knee-length skirts seriously consider immolation
(d) pleather car accessories cease to function
(e) all of the above

If you answered (e), give yourself a gold star! I'm guessing that you, too, have spent time in a cruel wintry climate, where the day sometimes greets you with a car whose lock won't turn and whose interior is coated - yes, coated - with frozen patches of Diet Coke. Perhaps you, too, are equally forgetful about checking the weather and doing your laundry so that you always end up wearing the worst possible clothes combination for the day (a knee length skirt and tights isn't really the best ensemble for crawling across one's Diet Coke encrusted front seat, trying desperately to jar open the driver's side door from within - but is there a best ensemble for that?).

As for the pleather car accessories: I will get to that later.

So, did you know that when someone says a soda can exploded they really, seriously meant that it exploded? Because I didn't! I know I once left a soda in the freezer and forgot about it, which annoyed my mother to no end because she ended up cleaning it up, but I didn't really grasp what it meant. I thought exploding meant bursting at the seams in the gentlest way, foaming up and over like a glass of soda poured too generously. I did not picture the carnage I found in my car this morning. My gearshift, the emergency brake, the dashboard - all coated with icy Diet Coke. I had to use my ice scraper to turn on the radio because the entire display was covered by one particularly stubborn patch.

Cans seriously explode! Like grenades! With aspartame! It's crazy!

I was, of course, already running heinously late for work, which meant I could undertake no real cleanup. I grabbed some napkins from the house before leaving and while driving to work, the heat on full-blast, I dabbed at frozen patches and threw napkins over places where I thought the stuff would melt or, as the case may be, drip from above.

The strange thing was that I got in my car at the end of the day expecting to see/smell the effects, huge stains and stale sweet stench, but nothing! Or just about nothing - only one or two places where puddles had formed. Other than that, the car looked the same, which begs the question: Is the car already so saturated by Diet Coke that one exploding can is but a drop in the bucket? This is possible. I've been drinking a can a day on my way to work for the past two and a half years. To think of the amount that's already evaporated and made its way into the upholstery - but does Diet Coke even evaporate? Is it part of the circle of life?

Either way, I certainly spill enough that the evaporation could be a non-issue.

And now we get to the pleather car accessories: My big gift from my Dad this year, if it can be called a gift since it was really owed to me anyway, was a car bra (or, to use the manufacturer's term, a "LeBra") to cover up the damage to my front end. I was crazy mega excited about this until about 7:45PM tonight, when my brother and I decided to try to put it on.

"Should we put the car in the garage?" Said I, Wise Elder Sister.

"Nah," said Jimmy, Somewhat-Less-Wise Younger Brother.

I chose not to fight him on this because while I am Wise Elder Sister, I am also Lazy Elder Sister and I didn't feel like playing musical chairs with the cars.

"Should we use the directions?" said I, Wise Elder Sister.

"Nah," said Jimmy. "There are pictures on the box. Just prop it open and we'll use that."

I again agreed. My Wise Elder Sister status grows shakier by each turn of this tale.

Ten minutes later I was kneeling in the snow, pulling as hard as I could to get the bra to stretch over the front end while my brother pulled and pulled on the end to secure the last set of clips. He pulled and pulled and pulled so hard, in fact, that the end of the Le Bra RIPPED OFF IN HIS HAND, propelling him backwards in a manner that would have been comical had he fallen over, but was in fact horrifying because he stayed on his feet and WE BROKE THE LEBRA.

"Oh," he said when he found his footing.

"Huh," I said when I saw the frayed edges.

"Maybe it'll still work," he said.

This prompted another ten desperate minutes of us trying to figure out a way to get the rest of the LeBra attached in a manner that would not lead to it flying off of the front end and blocking the windshield a la that really funny scene in Tommy Boy - and I know I'm not the only one out here who knows exactly to what I am referring.

(Or maybe I am.)

We would have been at it for longer, but a parental (Mom) came to inspect what was taking so long.

"Why is it all frayed like that?" she said.

"Uh," the brother said.

"Hmm," I said.

"Oh my God, YOU BROKE IT," she said.

After that, my mother kept poking her head outside, saying things like, "It says right here not to put it on unless it's 70 degrees or you're in an enclosed space!"

Which was very helpful at that point.

And then she poked her head out and said, "Your father says to grab the receipt - he left it in the box. You can see if you can bring it back tomorrow."

In the box. Which we propped open in the subfreezing wind to better see the pictures. My brother and I almost toppled each other racing for the box which was, of course, empty.

Oh, the awesomeness! It was SO AWESOME.

For the next five minutes we searched the snowy front lawn. For the five minutes after that we performed experiments, dropping receipts from our wallets at the spot where the receipt was last spotted, in the hopes of detecting some route it might have taken. This sounds clever but was not very helpful because my brother and I are - now this may come as a shock to you guys after hearing the preceding adventures - not the most attentive of individuals, and we would naturally take a moment while tracking the new receipt's irregular progress to talk to each other, only to look up and see oh my goodness! A receipt! Blowing in the distance! So exciting!

And then we'd run it down and realize it was the Sunoco receipt we'd dropped a minute before.

The best part was how this was all followed up with dinner, which was spent with both parents looking from one of us to the other, trying to figure out how they produced such wonders.

"The best part is, this was a team effort," I said. "It took two of us to do this."

Tomorrow: The exchange adventure. Will my brother be able to come up with a convincing enough lie? Or tell the truth sympathetically enough that we earn an exchange?

Stay tuned!
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
How can Groundhog Day only get two and a half stars? I checked the info-on-demand thing on my aunt's digital cable while I was watching the movie, and that's what the info-on-demand Gods had given it. How is that possible? How?

It's one of the greatest movies ever! At least I think so. And does anything matter but what I, personally, think? An emphatic "No!" is the correct answer to that question.

(I say this all in good fun, of course; other things matter too. Can't think of any right now, but that's just the kind of mood I'm in. I'm sure I'll think of something tomorrow.)

It was very necessary that I saw this movie tonight, since I was feeling all torn up inside after finishing The Poisonwood Bible today. Groundhog Day and The Poisonwood Bible both made me cry today, but they were different kinds of crying, and it's good that Groundhog Day came second and at the tail end of the day. I loved The Poisonwood Bible and everything, but I've gotta tell you, and I don't think I'm spoiling those who haven't read it yet – a book about missionaries and postcolonial Africa? Not going to be happy go lucky!

Other notes: House- and pet-sitting continues on. Sprout the kitty woke me up several times before my alarm this morning. It is a testament to my animal-loving nature that I did not maim, kill, or bear any ill-will towards him, since waking up before my designated wake-up time is one of my least favorite things to do. Especially on a Saturday, when having an alarm set at all seems cruel. But I had to be up to let the dog out, and so I had to set an alarm; I've been known to sleep for thirteen hours at a time after a long week, and this week was definitely a long one, what with smelly attorneys and dogs flipping out and my grandfather having surgery (he's doing okay now) and my car being towed (details below). Leaving the dog in the house for thirteen hours could only lead to messes I would have to clean up.

When my cats want to wake me up, they usually sit on my head. I get used to that after a minute and generally go right back to sleep, but Sprout was more determined and also more polite. Sprout sat quietly next to me, and patted me on the cheek with his paw until I woke up, blearily waved my hand in the general direction of his head in an attempt to pet him, and then rolled over. Two minutes later, just as I was drifting off, he'd do it again: Sit there, stare at me, and pat pat pat until I opened up my eyes.

I did this four or five times and then finally just scooped him up in my arms and put him under the covers with me, giving him a big old hug. This freaked him out, as I knew it would (cats only like so much personal attention), and he promptly stalked away to the foot of the bed, where he slept at a dignified distance until I woke up for good two hours later.

Frankie the dog continues to be the height of adorableness, even if he did tear through the contents of my bag tonight. I, being the super-observant dogsitter I am, did not notice until he plopped down three feet in front of me and started chewing on my bottle of ibuprofen. Thank God he didn't get it open or break the bottle. All I ask of this trip is that I don't kill the pets or break a major appliance.


Note: Bringing Up Baby is on now and the info-on-demand people have given it only three and a half stars, which is also sheer madness, because if there ever was a four-star comedy, this would be it. Oh, it's the great phone conversation about the leopard! Everyone should see this movie if only for this scene, and also the part in the jail when Katharine Hepburn pretends to be a gun moll, and also the part where Cary Grant wears a women's robe and jumps up saying, "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!"

Okay, you should just see the whole thing. "There are only two things I have to do today: Finish my brontosaurus and get married at three o'clock."

How can you not love a movie with that line? And this exchange, which I think I've quoted before:

[David discovers the leopard in Susan's bathroom.]
David: Susan, you have to get out of this apartment!
Susan: I can't, I have a lease.

Sheer greatness.

Yesterday I got out of work at 4:15. I was so excited I almost danced out of the office, and then down the street, around the corner and down three blocks more, when I stopped where I'd left my car that morning.

It wasn't there.

and so begins the towing experience )

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February 2009

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