Tuesday, July 25, 2006

office space

so i recently had the most blatant 'office space' day. one of the Toms who runs my division came up to me with his "i [heart] my scottish terrier" coffee mug and said, "yyyyyeah, i'm going to have to ask you to go ahead and change cubicles by 1pm today."
and thus, on the eve of my 5th anniversary of working here, i got evicted and dumped into the shittiest cubicle on the planet, one which is impossibly no more than 40% of the meager space i've occupied for 1824 days of my budding career. simple extension of my limbs and i can touch
either of the two walls that make my corner. this corner which, until noon yesterday housed broken printers and frayed printer cables. i swear i'm going to burn this place to the fucking ground. at least i have my stapler. good ole stapler.
but to make matters worse, after moving in, i took a quick survey of my new neighbors and met yarmulke guy with the thick glasses and curlz who enthusiastically welcomed me to his "little patch of paradise!!" with some stale candies; someone who's known as "Ari G," some chick who's last name is Golberg and another lady with a suspiciously large nose, unibrow and sideburns. i
smell something fishy. gefilte fishy. i'm not even jewish! (ok, so i have a pretty jewish last name), but still, these assholes are segregating me.
once again, i will blame hezbollah.

Monday, July 24, 2006

virginia sunday

it was a sunday out in virginia, a rare occurence for carless me, but it was an adventure to the arlington drafthouse to see "thank you for smoking" which made my two sundays-in-a-row movie run quite a success. anyway, after a post-movie round of disc golf we stopped at the 7-11 on carlin springs, as usual, where they have a new asian guy working there who is unbelievably hilarious. i would go in, just so you can hear him say in his high funny voice "WHENEVER!" which i think is his version of "whatever."
so i was standing there, sifting through a washington post, trying to not to wrinkle it too much to have to pay for it, when i'm suddenly shocked, mouth agape, as i am learning from the reliable source that a good friend of mine is engaged to someone he met 4 weeks ago. totally weird.
meanwhile, asian guy is telling my friend "do it with a man, do it with a woman, whenever..." another customer walks in to buy cigarettes and asian guy goes "are you over 18?"
and the guy chortles, "i'm 34, dude!"
"jeez, i'm just askin'. curious you know. whenever!"

i guess that's just how it goes in virginia. the place is strange i tell you.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

they're all the same: crazy

so a friend of mine has been out of the loop this past week, likely due to non-stop back-to-back meetings (seriously, one meeting a month is plenty for me) and so she asks me, "[aurelgrooves], what's with all this lebanon/hezbollah stuff people keep talking about? i'm so embarassed i have no idea what's going on. will you please explain it to me?"
and so i figured the best way to convey the recents events of insanity that is destroying lives, cities and countries over there is to hit home with a western hemisphere metaphor.
so let's imagine there are these crazy people up in Canada, we'll call them Quebecois separatists. let's just say that one night, during their weekly pilgrimages to Plattsburgh, NY they had a few too many at the strip club and, i don't know, took a few roofied exotic dancers back across the border with them. okay, let's just say they took them as hostages in an attempt to bring attention to their cause: Quebec as a sovereign nation, free from the cripppling grip of the Canadian government (whatever).
so as soon as the strip club owner finds out, people start freaking and good old Dubya declares his right to defend his nation, because fuck, that's what nations do and decides to blow the shit out of Quebec City, Montreal and maybe Toronto for good measure, starting with airports, suburbs, civilian apartment buildings. next thing you know it's a full-out war, countries are evactuating their citizens quickly with little advance notice while the americans, well they take their sweet ass time. and Quebec City, which was once a vibrant edgy modern city plunges back to colonial war times. and so that's pretty much it. (and you should really stay tuned to the Daily Show to comprehend just how insane it is).
"thanks! i totally get it now!"
no problemo, that's what i'm here for.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

movie cures hangover

so usually, when really hungover on a sunday i'll wake up whoever is on the couch and go out for brunch, usually at asylum where we drink bloodys, buy hours of gangsta rap from the jukebox to offend other patrons and hope the re-buzz eliminates the headache. it often works like a charm. then, we'll either hit a friend's pool or play frisbee golf, but both of these ideas are active and require energy, motivation and a little craziness on a hot summer day. so yesterday, we determined a movie was the way to go.
we exited asylum to find some older tourists checking out the menu. "it's awesome, you should eat here" i said to their eager smiles, as i internally giggled at the f-bomb infested playlist i left in our wake. then, i got tackled by a stupidly tall friend who tried to wrestle my bag from me. a girl in a short skirt had to step over my sprawled body on the sidewalk and when she did, uttered the snottiest, "um, yeah. seriously?" whatever. we walked down to dupont circle, at which point i ordered my one pretty muscular friend to take his shirt off. because it's dupont afterall. and i enjoyed smacking him and attempting to induce my turkey-shaped hand imprints on all available skin space.
we arrived just in time to catch a scanner darkly.
my friends had wanted to see it last weekend, and insulted me repeatedly when i couldn't find the showtime because, duh, it wasn't out yet. anyway, i will say it is one of the finest movies i've seen in a long, long time. you take a handful of vonnegut and a handful near-futuristic conspiracy theory and a handfull of groovy animation and WHAM! smash it all together.
i was worried said animation would freak me out but it didn't. you could recognize the actors in this weird way, like hey, that's winona ryder, is she blonde? keanu reeves might just be hotter in animated form...i was loving the way he moved. and the dialogue was utterly fantastic. maybe because robert downey jr. and woody harrelson's characters who reminded me of myself and my dufus friends, who think physical violence (see: sidewalk wrestling) is funny, and we're always getting into weird illogical arguments for no other reason than to humour ourselves and offend others. e.g: the brunchtime topic of: is it ok to eat your own shit? what about someone else's?

afterwards my roommate, who didn't see the movie asked me and one male friend to define the plot in simple terms to test her hypothesis, the theory that: men and women interpret sci-fi movies completely differently, likely due to hormonal or innate brain differences. and after extensive experimentation (n=1) we concluded, it's true. my friend and i each explained what seemed like barely related movies and then got into a heated debate about what keanu was actually thinking, why everyone did what they did etc... it went on for a while and then i just ended it by performing my most extreme super awesome cannonball, soaking everyone in vicinity of the pool and ceasing all scanner darkly-related conversation, bitches. because all tense conversations can, and should be ended with cannonballs.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

double entendre

so one of the construction trucks at the columbia heights construction mess boasts a clever phrase on its side: "satisfaction guaranteed with every steel erection." hehe. what are they really trying to say?

the skeevy intern

yes, i have a 46 year old intern....i'm not being harsh when i describe him as a balding little troll with brown teeth. i was briefly introduced to him on his first day here and thankfully never saw him again until he apparently irked everyone with both his personality and his incompetence to the point that finally someone said "why don't you go down the hall and talk to aurelgrooves, maybe she can give you some work to do." thanks losers.
i offered several projects he could assist with to which he replied, "no offense, but that sounds kind of boring." listen dude, you're an intern. secondly, this is what we do. and fuck you for calling my work boring. and here's when i made it clear that i'm not too happy about it either, but it's part of life. you get a few months of fun work followed by a lot of months of boring crap and you just have to deal. welcome to life. welcome to government work. and welcome to me, grumpy. don't piss me off.
anyway, i finally got him to do something slightly less boring, and if he had any brains or cleverness, he would have found a shortcut like i usually do, finished the job in an hour and then sat back and read blogs all day. but no. he's truly an idiot. i'm now kicking myself for having given him this project because every two minutes he's in my cube asking, stupid questions he could answer himself if he had any capacity to learn...he asks in his nasally new jersey accent, "there's a box that comes up. should i click it?"
what does the box say
"it asks if i want to overwrite the existing file.
"well, i don't know, do you?!
and to avoid what will inevitably be a 12minute explanation for something really trivial, i get up, walk across the hall, down the stairs and zig zag through cubicles to find his computer displaying the lingering overwrite question box. i cancel and look through his files and there are about 150 of them, all named things like:
type filename here

i let out a big sigh, thinking about the 26 page manuscript i'm in the middle of finishing for a deadline in two hours, and simply can't find the energy to deal with this guy. i ask him to explain his strategy, what he's trying to do and why he's using this method when i'm confronted with his inability to start and end a sentence. like with nouns and verbs and stuff? no, he just talks jibberish in interwinding circles, interjecting phrases and can't seem to explain a single thought in his head...
were you a banker before or something? and decided to go back to grad school? my inner monologue is urgently questioning his career change.
finally, instead of trying to teach him, or letting him figure it out for himself, i run the thing, click here and there...voila.
he turns to me with this way-too-sincere leery "thank you."
totally grossed out, i turn to leave.
"no really, i have never seen anyone work so deftly and as fast as you."
uh thanks
"and can i say something, i mean, i'm happily married. i just want to re-iterate that. i'm happily married" something he has already stated several times, almost daily. he points to a picture of a woman whom i presume is his wife (poor woman) and then continues into a 15 minute string of compliments on my eyes.
"your eyes are just stunning. so green! i love it when you wear glasses. has anyone ever told you that" at this point, i'm shuddering and holding back the bile in my mouth trying to humour myself at the fact that he's using the classic french pickup line "t'as de beaux yeux, tu sais" (which i think comes from this movie) when i'm contemplating either dialing human resources to report this pervert or just escape into the sounds of the cubes surrounding me which are quite obivously suppressed laughs and giggles. i can recognize the snickers of the center fielder from my softball team whom i just want to whack with my notebook.
if this is sexual harassment, this is the most pathetic example. i would much rather be hit on by the hot guy in IT. nevertheless, HR is on my speed dial, and you know what, i'm going home and derive a plot to humiliate this guy. and at least the latinos who whistle at me on the street have a friggin' sense of humour.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the portrait gallery...is FREEZING

i went to the portrait gallery last week, apparently on the same day as Karl Rove was there. my stepfather knew the names of every president without even looking at the desciption "that's James Monroe!" like he had one of those presidential rulers in his pockets, while my mom would say "Ulysses Grant waz president?" i'm pretty sure we covered the whole place despite its size. my favorite tho was the modern stuff on the top floor. the william wegman exhibit was surprisingly clever, and not only pictures of dogs, though they were surely one of the hi-lites. i loved his sketches and plays on words, which reminded me a lot of the natalie dee cartoons i check out every day.
but what's up with the guards not letting anyone take pictures? i understand if flashes are prohibited...but i have seen a lot of pictures on the web, so were these hidden cameras carried by criminals or what? you may have seen a lot of shots of the intricate scaffolding of the unfinished glass roof though, which i guess is legal to capture. i spent almost a half hour at this window, i couldn't stay any longer however, because my fingers and toes were numb after my desperate search to find a thermostat to turn the senseless air conditioning down. i swear i could see my breath, save the ozone layer people! after reaching near hypothermia, we retreated from the encroaching glaciers to a cafe patio in the sun and 90 degree heat and humidity, ordering hot toddies to regain feeling in our limbs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

have you heard this yet?

my all time favorite group, zero 7 has released another stunning album:it features the usual suspects, plus jose gonzales, which surprised and enthralled me in the first track. a few months ago, i just happened to come across him on myspace, and the song of his that i adore is 'crosses,' which is remixed and featured at the end.

i listened to it all last week and couldn't stand to be interrupted so when my 45 year old skeevy intern (yes, someone unloaded the creep onto me, and it's obvious why) came in to bother me like he does every five minutes i perfected the universal sign for "i can't hear you!" which goes like this:

1) shake your head in a "no"

2) point to your blaring headphones

3) shrug and turn around

so this album is a wee bit different than the others, a really new sound which reminds me a bit of stereolab. each song is a little weird and unique, but blend wonderfully together for a really great album you should hear all the way thru. i left the CD in the stereo for my roommmate (we put little 3 CD mixes in for eachother, picking each one to play in order so when you press power, you always have a nice surprise in store - i picked zero 7 to go with madonna's 'music' adn rjd2 to finish off) but it turns out her favorite song is mine too: "pageant of the bizarre" which has a few different parts (the take a chance on me segment is excellent), we also just love the first lyrics, which perfectly describe both our lives:

It's never gonna be

Normal, you and me

What you're signing on for

Is a storm at sea

so true.

Monday, July 10, 2006

i have a drinking problem?

this weekend i went to 7 different bars and got kicked out of three. two incidents involved cake. in my face. there were mexican wrestling masks and frisbees. i lost my ATM card. if i piece together the fragments of my memory correctly, we were at a bar and one friend shows up out of nowhere with some birthday cake. my roommate smashes it into my face and deep into my ear and as i wipe my eyes, i see the innocent cake-bringer getting ushered out the door by a team of bouncers. i waved from inside as he tried to argue his case. the bartender then turns to me, "all of you need to clean up that mess and leave right now."
i respond, "i completely 100% agree with you....can i have 5 irish car bombs?" and that's the last time i saw my ATM card.
you know that verizon commercial, the one with the guy on the bus who says "you, turn up the music, and you, shake your junk!" well i also vaguely recall one of my friends who as often as possible leads me to such disaster shouting, "hey you! drink that shot, and you! make out with aurelgrooves." and that's how i ended my saturday nite lip wrestling some very, very young dude. the most eerie feeling was coming back the next day to inquire about my missing card and have all the bartenders and bouncers smile sleezily as they now know me, my name and what they think i'm all about...bad, bad alcohol. great, great, weekend...

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

who are they calling freaky?

yes, i saw my first DC july 4th fireworks from a ghetto rooftop in NE.
far more fascinating were the dudes blowing up huge firecrackers across the street...at a gas station. it was all very baghdad. nonetheless i'm very happy no one grabbed my shoulders and pretended to push me off the ledge to scare me, because i hate it when people do that, and because it was a rickety rooftop, and because my legs were dangling over the edge, and because i was pretty drunk.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

bad ideas: sake bombs and russial roulette

on friday nite, i was introduced to the sake bomb on perry's roofdeck. the whole idea is definitely good fodder next time i go out for sushi with my parents. i wholeheartedly approve of the methodology, the precarious balancing of the sake cup on the chopsticks over a beer, and a hulk smash of the table to drop it in, the fizzle, and the chugging. and the agility involved should be a safeguard against overdrinking - i.e. if you don't have the coordination to set the next shot up, then you're not drinking it. the ultimate 'check and balance.' what i had not anticipated however, was the brazen lack of fiscal responsibility that overwhelmed me, after three courses of sushi, enough beer bottles and sake to cover the table twice over, when i picked up the half-grand check for our table of six: me and 5 much wealthier-than-me gentlemen.

it seemed like the odds were definitely in my favor for a little credit card roulette.

as a waitress, i always wanted to choose someone's demise, this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to risk the game. think about it - there was only 1/6 chance that my card would actually get picked, and if it did, well, i'm the one cute, broke girl with all these guys in ties or linen shirts- clearly their chivalry would prevail and save me. so we threw the deck into someone's hat, called the waitress over and let the games begin...one by one...a male name was called. my blood pressure dropped as each dude stoop up and cheered, high fived the others. the waitress calmly pulled out everyone's card, ultimately being saved the arduous task of pronouncing my unpronounceable name. as she held up my bank of america debit card (that money is so gone!) to take to the register i looked desperately to my dinner mates who replied "well it was your idea to go out for a fancy dinner!" and the truth was spoken.
yes, as a matter of fact, it was my idea, after retrieving one of my friends at the airport in his suit, i suggested that we use his style to our advantage get some grub somewhere other than the asylum for once. i was my idea to match his stylin' and dress in heels and a fancy new necklace for a night out on the town. and dammit, it was my idea to play credit card roulette. i curse you, sake bombs!

BUT, like everything, there's the positive side. i take this to be an investment strategy, like how as a rule, i always buy the first round of drinks of the night and subsequently get the rest of my night's drinks paid for because "i bought the first round, remember?" guarantees at least the next six...which is a very economical plan. as such, i intend on working my debt out of each any everyone of them...with interest...for a good long time...(remember perry's? i need another maker's on the rocks...) and in the end, i will prevail. really.