Archive for November, 2008

Hello Operator

November 26, 2008

The Place of Lawyerly Things has overflow offices on the sixth floor. When I began working here, my stay on Six was meant to be temporary. But it seems my status never changed and I continue to work separate and apart from the Lawyerly Mother Ship. All in all, it has its upsides: when Wonder Admin relocates the fancy post-its to our supply closet, they never go missing; Big Boss sightings are as fabled the Loch Ness Monster’s; and I swear our water tastes better. Sorta like freedom. But the best part of being on Six is the other tenants.

There’s the non-profit that apparently only hires clones of Brad Pitt Circa Fight Club. As I once told a friend, it’s like Heaven trains their angels right next door. We also share the floor with the top-secret sciencey group that brings over cookies. In theory it’s a sweet gesture but no sooner do they drop off the chocolate chips, then Wonder Admin throws them away. She’s convinced they’re laced with some nefarious new chemical and she refuses to let us become hapless guinea pigs simply because we share a floor with science nerds. And until recently, Six was the home of The Singer.

I’ve somehow missed all the tenant transition, but it seems the management company which employed The Singer has left and a new organization of unknown purpose has moved into the space. It’s been over a month but they still have no signage, no apparent clients who come and go, and an all female staff. The building concierge was evasive when Wonder Admin asked about the new tenant’s business purpose. Instead of answering, he hemmed, hawed and then dashed off, all flustered and sweaty. As a result, the Lawyerly People of Six have a new pastime: figuring out what that darn company does.

Theories abound. Lawyerly Colleague speculated it’s a beauty training school, maybe with a specialty in waxing. That hypothesis was shot down when we Googled cosmetology schools and didn’t find one on our street. Wonder Admin believes they are a girl group of assassins. Think Angela Jolie’s organization in Mr. And Mrs. Smith. I’ll concede it’s theoretically possible. But likely? Um, no. Plus, I’m beginning to suspect Wonder Admin is eating the chemical-laced cookies herself. Another Lawyerly Person thinks it’s a nanny service. Like the Babysitter’s Club, but with grownups. Personally, I’m going with phone sex operators.

My guess is based on several factors. First, the building concierge would in no way fess up to renting space to 1-900-SEX-BABE and would be all shifty and nervous if asked about it. Also, I have genuine phone sex operator knowledge. Sure, it’s secondhand, but it’s solid. Many moons ago, before she became Lawyerly, a friend was a phone sex operator. Over the years she’s shared stories, talked in her Sexy Voice when inebriated, and given me handy informational tips like how to make fake spanking noises. Also, we extensively discussed the internal operations of a phone sex company when she was preparing for the Ethics and Character Qualification Interview required in the Ohio Bar Admission process. (Tangent… That was a special interview for her. Imagine a person judging your moral fitness, a person holding the keys to the Attorney Kingdom, asking you to review all your jobs since you were 14 years old. Yup. After you get done explaining that stint as a Denny’s waitress, you move right into Sex Phone Operator. Lovley.)

So, yeah. I am pretty sure that if a phone sex shop moved in next door, I could identify it. But the real red flag was the other day in the bathroom. I walked in, promptly went to my preferred stall, and commenced bladder relief. As I peed, I realized there was a woman in the stall next to me. Moaning. But not in the constipated, it-won’t-come-out-push-harder way. It was more NC-17. Then, Stall Neighbor began sexy talk.

Stall Neighbor: That’s right, baby. That’s right.

My Mind: Oh God. There’s porn going on in my workplace.

Stall Neighbor: You know you love it when I pee on you.

My Mind: Ewwwwwie. Unhygienic. Ew. Ew. Ew!

Stall Neighbor: Listen to me pee on you. Can you feel it, baby? All warm and wet? Does that make you hard?

My Mind: That woman’s not even peeing. How can the person on the other end hear peeing if she’s not even going? Oh. My. God. SHE’S USING MY PEE AS A PROP!

Stall Neighbor: Come for me, sugar. Come for mommy.

My Mind: Pee faster! Pee faster!

As I was washing my hands, she came out of her stall, sporting a headset and a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes I’ve been coveting.

Stall Neighbor: I hate when they take that long.

Me(in a voice that conveyed total understanding): Clients. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.

And I skedaddled back to tell all my Lawyerly Peers that Six? It just got AWESOME!

PS: This is what Phone Sex looks like…

Note the new buzzer and combo lock door.

Note the new buzzer and combo lock door.

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Attempting Justification

November 25, 2008

Everybody has their weakness. Mine happens to be shoes. Expensive ones. Preferably those lovingly made by wee little shoe elves with pointy ears and French accents. Yep, I am convinced that back in the late ‘70s, a slew of elves migrated from Santa’s Workshop to Christian Louboutin’s because they had a foot fetish. And ever since then, there’s been shoe magic. So when I intentionally visited stumbled onto the Kate Spade site last night and saw the most perfect pair of heels ever made, I wanted them. And they are ON SALE.

But my sensible side has kept me from clicking purchase. I am afraid of these tough economic times and have recently instituted a Budget. To preserve the integrity of my excel spreadsheet, the money would have to come from my New Couch Fund, which was started at the beginning of the month and is still tiny and fragile. The shoe purchase would basically wipe it out; sort of like new couch infanticide.

On the other hand, the Kate Spades are glorious. And I want them. What to do, Interwebs? What to do?

An eCrush Christmas

November 24, 2008

I’ve been wondering what to give him, when a little bird suggested an Obama commemorative SmarTrip.

It combines his two greatest loves: Democrats and Metroing.

Perfect.

The Bloggerational Ball, or Party Like a You’ve Never Partied Before

November 24, 2008

Go see that nifty new page I created up on the top right.

You won’t be disappointed.

I promise.

Seeing Twilight: A Tale of Survival

November 24, 2008

Several weeks ago, I went through a period of temporary insanity. It lasted about five minutes, which was just long enough for me to publicly admit two things. First, I do in fact sing along with Debbie Gibson’s Greatest Hits in the shower. And second, since I’d long ago succumbed to cultural peer pressure and read the Twilight books, I secretly wanted to see the movie. My Debbie fetish was pretty much inconsequential. But the Twilight thing? Well, that confession spiraled until I found myself at Tysons Friday night, with Little Sister and my two tween cousins, standing in line for the new release.

Despite rumors otherwise, it appears nobody over 18 has drunk the Twilight Movie Kool-aid. I was the oldest person in that line, aside from Little Sister, by at least a decade. And I’d come directly from the Place of Lawyerly Things, so I was still wearing my Lawyerly Outfit. Amidst all the Tween Hipsters decked out in skinny jeans and summer scarves, I stood out like Michael Jackson at Chuckie Cheese. Standing there, self-conscious in ways I haven’t been since 8th Grade Dance Club when the dance instructor and fate made me do the Electric Slide with Johnny Ebright, I realized something. Way back in my early twenties, when I was more hypercritical and narcissistic, I once had a conversation about how women get stuck in a fashion decade rut. At the time, I pointed to a woman sporting grunge and mall bangs as Exhibit A. Judgy Me didn’t understand why this woman couldn’t keep up with the clothes evolution, why her X-chromosome or some basic level of dignity didn’t compel her to trade in the Nirvana jeans for the then-trendy boot cuts. But on Friday, while I was standing in a sea of Tweensters, I got it. Because there is no way on God’s Green Earth that I am ever, ever, ever going to wear skinny jeans. And that’s when I planted my fashion flag. I’m forever The Early 2000s. My fashion clock has stopped and I have become Officially Old.

Tweenies hunkered down for the long haul

Tweenies hunkered down for the long haul

So, yeah, I was there feeling like an inter-galactic traveler from the Planet Mom who has just crash landed in Tween Town. And the natives were camped out as far as the eye could see. My cousin informed me that most of her friends had been waiting in line since school let out. That meant plenty of time to consume mass quantities of mall pizza, Twizzlers and Jumbo Diet Cokes. By 6ish, when we arrived, the Tweenables were in a seldom seen blend of Tired Frenzy. Most of them were sitting in groups easily delineated by their matching “Mrs. Cullen” or “The Twilight Tour” or “I Heart Vampires” shirts. And their skinny jeans weren’t doing much to cover their butt cracks. My burgeoning inner mom was shocked. Seeing all that prepubescent plumber butt en mass made me feel like a low level pedophile. But the worst part was the over-sugared squeeing. Chants of “Edward! Edward!” resonated through the food court. Of course Team Jacob had to respond, thus resulting in periodic chant-offs. Anytime the line inched forward, anticipatory squeals one decibel below Dog Whistle broke out. I’m pretty sure it was what Purgatory looks like.

Tweenaplooza

Tweenaplooza

Finally, finally they freeleased us from the holding line and pointed everybody in the direction of the theater. That began the Running of the Tween Bulls. Except with more gangly elbows and stompier because everybody was wearing camo Converse or Uggs. Inside the theater, groups saved entire rows. They had to sit with their 49 closets BFFs or they would Just Die. There was mad our-seats-are-here texting to those sent on Refreshment Recon and lots of waiving and shouting to friends returning from I-can’t-miss-a-minute-of-the-movie preventative potty breaks. Seven Loyal Readers, take my word for it. There is nothing as loud or as floral smelling as 1,000 females waiting desperately to see the Greatest Tweenrific Flick of their generation. If it weren’t for the excessive sugar consumption in the previous four hours, the Tweenies would have fainted from anticipation.

As the lights finally dimmed, I expected riots. It was close to Edward Time and the girls were having trouble containing themselves. They hopped in their seats, clutched the arms of their neighbors, and sent gloating texts to the socially inadequate frienmies who weren’t there. Fuelled by Fun Dip and adrenaline, pockets of crazed screaming rolled across the theater. Eventually hyper voices insisted, “Show Twilight!” and the chant grew until it became a mass demand. The Tweenettes never really did settle down. Throughout the previews, they yelled for the movie. And then, after a seeming eternity, the moment arrived: Bella’s voiceover; the start of the movie. The first two minutes were completely drowned out by the Tweensters’ mass scream. There was enough high-pitched squeeeing to cause a sonic boom. I’m pretty sure my head exploded. And they did Not. Shut. Up.

When Charlie The Dad appeared for the first time? Shrieks of devotion. For a dad with a questionable mustache and a police cruiser. Jacob the Other Love Interest? Screams of adoration and boos from Team Edward. The Vampire Posse? The theater shook and I located my nearest exit. I wasn’t sure if this place was stable enough to withstand hormonal surges of this magnitude. But for Edward, the current lust object of all red-blooded American Girl Tweens? They PAUSED THE FREAKING MOVIE until the sound died down and everybody had used their inhalers, dried their tears and stored images in their female spank bank. I couldn’t believe it.

For 122 minutes, I sat in Tweensylvania as Bella and Edward engaged in a Highly Passionate But G-Rated Romance. It was no Gone With the Wind or When Harry Met Sally. It wasn’t even as cinematically eloquent as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. But then again, it wasn’t half bad considering the crap material they had to work with. (This is me, ducking the barrage of malted milk balls the Tween fans are throwing my way.) Fast forward to today. When anybody from the Place of Lawyerly Things asks about my weekend, I spend ten minutes making them to repeat themselves thanks to the ringing in my ears. And then I let them know I spent Saturday and Sunday piecing together the shreds of my dignity.

Standing In Front Of The Frigidaire

November 21, 2008

Me (in one of those can’t-be-reasoned-with special Girl Moods): You do realize it’s the 20th?

eCrush (genuinely curious, because so far, he’s the only one who has shown an interest in anniversaries and such): What happens on the 20th?

Me (incredulous that he does not know): This milk expires.

eCrush (aware that this is some form of Relationship Land Mine he has unintentionally stepped on and consequently unsure how to proceed): Uhhhh…

Me (continuing the rant): And I buy this milk for you.

eCrush (hunker down or run? hunker down or run?): Uhhh… And I appreciate it?

Me (annoyed that he’s thinking like a Stupid Boy and not getting the obvious point): Milk is expensive these days. And I can’t drink this milk. I’m lactose intolerant and have my own milk.

eCrush (knowing he must say something, but dear God, what?): Uhhhh…

Me (a big ball of aggravation): And this is the third container IN A ROW that has NOT BEEN OPENED and I’ve had to throw away because it’s expired.

eCrush (oozing trepidation): So, um, yeah. What am I supposed to do about it?

Me (whipping off the ring and handing it over): Chug.

TMI Thursday: Where I Over Share For Your Pleasure, Vol. 3

November 20, 2008

The first time I got dragged into the great outdoors, it was just after college. Despite my camping innocence, I instinctively knew to inquire about the bathroom accommodations. I had visions of cleaning myself in a stream and burying my own poo so wild bears wouldn’t track me. Still, I was assured that everything was going to be fine, bears did not live in Central Ohio, and that all I would have to do was squat pee. No problem. Like every woman with a small bladder and a propensity for divey bars, I’ve had years of practice squatting and peeing when intoxicated. But it seems environment really does make a difference. In a bar, there is a toilet seat. Sit on it and you’ll probably come away with a strange ass-flesh eating disease, but at least the toilet is there, acting as a potty guide. Take away the toilet bowl, thrust me among some trees, and my squat pee ability goes to hell.

In the woods, it seems a deeper crouch is required. As I learned, if you don’t hunker close enough to the ground and you happen to have Schwarzenegger-strong pelvic muscles thanks to an inexplicable fear of incontinence that you try to stave off by doing gagillions of Kegel crunches, urine goes flying directly from you waw waw and onto your pants. Over multiple camping bathroom breaks, I’d adjust my bend height, but I never found the angle necessary to avoid potty pants. It seems my inner sense of physics is broken. No matter how much I thought about force and trajectory and wind drag, I would still end up peeing on myself. Plus, every time I would squat more deeply, I tipped over. There is no explanation for this phenomenon. It’s not my thigh muscles. They can support me fine. It just appears I am a freak with no balance. So, I’d squat, tinkle on my pants and then fall over. Yup, camping is jolly.

But wait, there’s more…I theoretically understand what poison ivy looks like. It’s pointy and my inner Girl Scout knows all about “leaves of three, let it be.” Sometimes the plants come with berries or red tips on the foliage, plus, it can grow on vines. In daylight, when I could actually see it, chances are high I would successfully identify the plant. But nobody told me to bring night vision goggles for camping. And without them, all that poison ivy awareness was worth nothing.

On my virginal camping trip, sometime during the night, I woke up with a savage need to urinate. The excessive consumption of Nattie Light had caught up to me. Sans flashlight, I tripped and lurched my way up a small hill where I found a tree I could hug for balance. Earlier in the evening, after my undies had yet again been soaked, I decided commando was the best option. So, that night it was pretty easy to hang my nekkid ass out of my pants, grab the tree, squat and do my business. The next morning, when I went to break the a.m. seal, I dropped trou again. Exposed to the air, my girly bits felt out of whack. Sort of strangely swollen and itchy. So I glanced down.

Seven Loyal Readers, I’m sure you’ve always wondered what poison ivy on the female genitals looks like. Well, let me enlighten you. It was sorta like every VD on the planet took up residence on my hoochie. Parts of me were so swollen it felt like if the Alien was forgoing chest-bursting in favor of my urinary tract. I wanted to rip off my pelvis with my bare hands. It was horrific. Times a million. And sweet God, did it itch.

So, yeah.

I. HATE. Camping.

Publicly Addressing eCrush’s Clothing: A Cyber Outing

November 19, 2008

I sometimes think eCrush is my manicorn. You know, the elusive and fabled perfect guy. It’s as if he were specifically designed by Jerry Maguire to complete me. Except then eCrush does something to bring me back to reality. Like eat my super secret stash of emergency chocolate and not replace it, thereby leaving me to suffer during times of severe chocolate need. Or he’ll violate my Biggest Pet Peeve Ever and not refill the Brita. When this happens, my frustrated screams can be heard all the way to Ballston. And I particularly hate when eCrush employs the environmentally friendly but none-the-less disgusting “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” toilet rule. Gross. Just gross. But all these Highly Annoying Things can all be filed under General Guy Stupidity or Personal Quirks and thus, overlooked. eCrush’s semimonthly fashion cataclysm is an entirely different issue.

Generally, eCrush is a well dressed, conservative, soon-to-be-30-something. His wardrobe is heavy on the Izod, Pink, Theory and Versace. He has a Ferragamo fetish and an obsession with 7 Diamonds. Once or twice, I’ve caught eCrush on the Nordstrom website, checking out the Men’s Contemporary section. I always know when he’s logged on, because he acts all 007 secretive and studies each page intently. It’s similar to when he checks out on-line porn, except then he clicks through at warp speed and wants to immediately adjourn to the bedroom versus Pentagon City.

But randomly, eCrush will wear something which negates his previous fashion street cred and causes extreme bafflement. Like when he broke out the madras pants. Or the other day, when he sported a Lilly Pulitzer shirt complete with popped collar. (This, of course, is a look only fabulous gay men in Miami can successfully pull off.) Then there was the time eCrush wore a silver belt. And being match inclined, silver shoes. I made him change before we left Chez Apartment. There was no way I was going to defend his honor when he was wearing shoes Dorothy’s Oklahoma cousin would be proud of.

Last night was another Fashion Suicide. eCrush showed up wearing acceptable clothing from neck to ankle. Including a coat appropriate to the weather, which was cold enough to freeze the balls off a Saint Bernard. He walked into Chez Apartment, took off his coat, and stepped into the kitchen. Which is when I heard the whoosing sound unique to flip flops. Apparently, eCrush was wearing “dress flops.” That would be the flip flop you can wear with a nice outfit because they are expensive and/or clean and/or formal appropriate. When eCrush explained this to me, my response was something along the lines of, “If you say so, Frodo Feet.” Yes, I am winning Girlfriend Points.

Today’s Metro Lesson: The Natural Order Will Prevail

November 18, 2008

As most of the Metro Commutership knows, Stand Right, Walk Left is the lynch pin of a fully functional escalator system. But this morning, when some numnut decided social norms didn’t apply to him and stood smack dab IN THE CENTER OF THE ESCALATOR, the system momentarily glitched.

Usually when somebody Stands Left and won’t move, the Walkers just detour around the obstruction. For a step or two, they Walk Right and then revert to course. It’s much like salmon swimming upstream to get laid. Nothing will get in the way of instinct. But even the most determined of journeyers sometimes face hurdles they can’t get around. You know, like dams and idiots who stand in the center of the darn escalator.

So this morning, I was about two people behind the Walk Left Line Leader when she reached Center Stander. Line Leader asked him to move, repeatedly and politely. But Center Stander was either foreign, deaf, or an asshole, because he ignored her. She tried tapping on his shoulder. No response. Meanwhile, the Left Walkers were backing up like Commuter Cattle. Nobody likes their perfectly timed commute to be disrupted and mild grumbling could be heard up the length of the Rosslyn megasclator. Just as the Center Stander came parallel to the elevator (which is the 3/4ths of the way down point) a train pulled into the station. The Commuters, determined not to miss their train, began to get vicious. There were cries of “Move!” and “Get the hell out of the way!” The person behind me wondered out loud if they could slide down the banister. And then, with seeming nonchalance,  the Line Leader pushed the Center Stander down the stairs. Well, it was actually more of a forceful love nudge. Regardless, Center stander was suddenly stumbling down the last few steps.

As Center Stander hit the escalator landing, the tide of sprinting Commuters forced him along. He tried to get outta the way, to hug himself along the safety of the tunnel wall, but the volume of rushing commuters overwhelmed him and he suddenly fell onto all fours. Center Stander stayed there for a minute, paralyzed, until somebody stepped on his hand. He cried out,  but even then, nobody stopped to help. Because that, Seven Loyal Readers, is Urban Darwinism.

I Now Have Internet Friends

November 17, 2008

Lessons from Friday night’s Blogger Meet Drink Thing:

  1. Want to spend $40 on the best Happy Hour booze of your entire freaking life? BAM! Sit next to Gilahi.
  2. Charlotte Harris (don’t look, but I stole your too cool for school necklace) and Lemmonex (hat! she wore a hat!) are dressing me from now on.
  3. My morning pre-starting-actual-Lawyerly-work ritual just got a bit longer. Thanks, Sean.
  4. I want to be Tewkesbury’s intellectual love child. But raised in the Toasted/LiLu household.
  5. Restaurant Refugee really does wear a suit Every. Single. Time.
  6. LA Cochran should do event planning for a living. Because Friday? The pinnacle of my weekend.
  7. Urban Bohemian, Zen Sarcasm and the Lady were sitting too far away! Not fair!