Archive for December, 2008

A List Of My New Year’s Resolutions And What Will Realistically Result From Said Resolutions

December 31, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: Lose 15 pounds.

Predicted Outcome: Over the course of the year, my secret love of cheese will be too strong for me to repress and consequently, I will consume vast wheels of Gouda. Ounce by ounce, I will in fact gain 15 pounds until my thighs are the diameter of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

New Year’s Resolution: Develop a taste for cheap vodka. Or learn to filter it. Thus, saving money because crap vodka is tons more bank account friendly than Grey Goose.

Predicted Outcome: A liver transplant will become an immediate necessity instead of a theoretical possibility. I will be stuck with hefty co-pays and outrageous health insurance deductibles, thereby eradicating any savings I might otherwise have achieved.

New Year’s Resolution: No longer surf the interwebs while at the Place of Lawyerly Things and devote time saved to becoming a model employee.

Predicted Outcome: I will continue with the current No Working On Friday schedule. And maybe expand this demanding schedule, because everybody knows Thursday is the new Friday.

New Year’s Resolution: Learn Chinese.

Predicted Outcome: I will order lots of Chinese food.

New Year’s Resolution: Meet Chuck Norris.

Predicted Outcome: Get all episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger from Netflicks and watch incessantly. Maybe practice my roundhouse kick. Hi-ya!

New Year’s Resolution: Think of a password other than “password.”

Predicted Outcome: Start using “password2.”

New Year’s Resolution: Stop making fun of people on the Metro.

Predicted Outcome: Such wishful thinking.

New Year’s Resolution: Perform a Service to Humanity and burn eCrush’s madras pants.

Predicted Outcome: He will most likely replace the pants with a wardrobe item equally as offensive and emasculating, which I will likewise have to publicly make fun of and covertly steal. This in turn will begin a vicious cycle of wardrobe confiscation that will only end when all madras fabrics are banned from the earth.

New Year’s Resolution: Remove all Miley Cyrus songs from my iPod.

Predicted Outcome: I will download Jonas Brothers, Selma Gomez or similar up and coming D-Rock in an effort to fill the teenbop void. I will continue to put this music on my “Music of Shame” playlist, which is actually what I renamed my Top 25 Most Played.

New Year’s Resolution: Put Bionic Kitty on a diet.

Predicted Outcome: She will eat my couch in protest. It will sorta be like Ghandi’s hunger strike, but in reverse.

New Year’s Resolution: Engage in random acts of kindness. Like no more drunk dialing, drunk texting, or drunk yelling.

Predicted Outcome: I will substitute drunk mooning, drunk boob flashing or drunk Insulting A Metro Employee and eventually be arrested for my rowdy behavior. It’ll make great blog fodder. And because I engage in “post now, think later” blog posting, my mother will read it. I’ll then receive a phone call in which she will repeatedly threatened to enroll me in Betty Ford, AA, or Promises.

New Year’s Resolution: Move from NoVA to the District.

Predicted Outcome: This will actually happen. In fact, it’ll usher in the Golden Age of My Social Life, which I will fondly refer to as the Ascendancy of Glory when I reminisce about it during my kid-rearing years.

New Year’s Resolution: Travel more.

Predicted Outcome: Hello, Maryland.

At Home Dentistry, Or, It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

December 30, 2008

eCrush is on a perpetual crusade against plaque. He’s so hyper-vigilant about oral care that on his Personal Hierarchy of Evil, I’m pretty sure cavities rank above Darth Vader. As a result, eCrush has slowly built up a tooth decay prevention arsenal. My medicine cabinet now contains two types of floss, prescription mouthwash I suspect eCrush acquired on the dental black market, whitening strips, fancy toothpaste which costs $9 a tube, and a toothbrush that needs electricity to work properly. Compared to his Mouth Shrine, my classic Oral-B is pathetic.

On Sunday night, as we were brushing our teeth, eCrush offered to let me use his swanky toothbrush.

eCrush (sort of like a playground drug pusher): Wanna try?

Me (all raised eyebrow): Ewie! No way. It’s got your germs on it. Sharing a toothbrush is a relationship line I won’t cross.

eCrush (shrugging as he put his toothbrush away): Better my germs than gingivitis.

Me (after a thoughtful pause wherein I seriously weighed the pros and cons of having dentures by age 33): Give me that!

After two minutes with eCrush’s Mach 9 SuperTurbo Whirly Gig Plaque Elimination Machine, I rinsed, looked toward the mirror and smiled pretty. But the reflection wasn’t the picture of oral perfection that I expected. Amidst all the twinkle and sparkle was my chipped front tooth, glaring like a big neon sign flashing “Dental Problem.” The Unfortunate Skittle Incident that caused the chip was months ago, but I’ve yet to get it fixed. And standing there, I couldn’t help but focus on it, all flawed and taunty.

While I admit that looking like JoBethBob and Bubba’s dental love child is not my idea of a good time, what are my other options? A good dentist is DC’s version of the Loch Ness monster: it may or may not be out there, but either way, a hell of a lot of people are looking. Trust me, I know. Dentists who are Metro accessible, believe in the copious use of calming drugs, and who take dental plans are closely guarded secrets around here. And when you find one, they are usually too busy capping the teeth of Congresspeople to accept new patients. That’s left me with months of chipped tooth glory.

So, there I was, smiling at the bathroom mirror, annoyed that one Skittle had so easily ruined the perfection that a lifetime dedication to flossing and two rounds of braces had created. I was cursing my front tooth, wondering where my mouth ranked on the Hick Scale, when I got an idea: I could fix my tooth. I mean, who needs a dentist when there’s a perfectly good manicure set, complete with nail file, just under the sink?

Seven Loyal Readers, this is your Public Service Announcement:

DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME DENTISTRY!

After I got the nail file angled into my mouth so that I could smooth the chip without sawing off my tonsils, I started to rub. There were a few wee flakes of tooth grit and then the most awful, squeamish feeling in the world engulfed my tooth. It was exactly like fingernails on a chalkboard. Except in my mouth. And then, suddenly, the Most Horrific Pain Ever radiated from my tooth into my entire head. I swear I felt it in my ear drum hairs. I only made it through half a swipe with the nail file before the pain had me hyperventilating on the floor. eCrush heard me whimpering and come in to investigate.

eCrush (at a loss): By all that is holy, what are you doing?

Me (still clutching the front of my mouth): Trying to file my tooth.

eCrush (clearly questioning how I came from a supposedly evolved gene pool): WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? YOU DO NOT HAVE A DENTAL DEGREE! YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY! AND APPARENTLY A DUMBASS!

Me (whiny): But I hate this chip and don’t want to look like Bubba and JoBethBob’s spawn anymore.

eCrush (in that self-righteous voice he gets): Well, filing your own tooth is something their inbred second cousin would do.

Me (still in agony): I realize that. Now.

And yeah, I still need a dentist.

A Few Holiday Highlights

December 29, 2008

This year Little Sister was in charge of our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner. And the fact that I lived to tell about it indicates that she not only got the skinny-with-large-boobs gene and the genius-IQ gene, but the I-can-cook-like-Julia-Child gene. I must be destined to win the Mega Millions or maybe I’m going to achieve reality show fame. Because those are the only two things the Universe can give me to make up for the genetic shortchanging.

*******

In an attempt at jollying up Chez Apartment, I outlined my floor-to-ceiling windows with holiday twinkle lights. Bionic Kitty ate 14 of the bulbs and I suspect she mildly electrocuted herself. But she has yet to die. That cat is freaking immortal.

*******

I don’t understand why, despite repeated requests, nobody gave me the Unicorn. Please note, I will happily accept late gift submissions. Also, my birthday is in May, Webbernets. On the upside, I received 6 bottles of champagne from various clients. New Year’s will be bright and merry, followed by a brief stint in rehab.

*******

A few days ago, District McFly* and I went on a spree of holiday festiveness. We saw carolers, checked out the (strangely troll-filled) train display at Union Station and picked up some last minute gifts. Everything was going well and we were appropriately merry and Yule-ish until we set off for the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse.

As we approached the Capitol, there was a tree, pimped out in bulbs and lights. Yet it had a Charlie Brownish feel to it. I turned to District McFly and asked if the pathetic fir was the National Christmas Tree. We looked at each other, and agreed: that was not the tree, because if it represented the best Congress could buy this year, then the economy was in worse shape than we thought. We walked some more, trying to figure out where the Ellipse was in relation to the Capitol Building. All the while, we attempted to suppress any tourist vibes we might be giving off. But after 15 minutes or so, no tree, no Ellipse, nothing. Finally, I decided to suck it up and asked the only other person in the area who wasn’t carrying a map and thus, was most likely to know where the tree was stashed. He informed us that the Ellipse is actually the front lawn of the White House.

Oh.

Despite four years of combined DC-residency, District McFly and I are still apparently unable to locate major national landmarks. I thought the Ellipse was near the Capitol and since I had unknowingly been appointed Holiday Excursion Guide, we had headed there. When I pointed out that I’ve only lived in DC for a year, and consequently can claim Landmark Stupidity, District McFly was all, “But I thought you knew where it was, Benevolent Leader,” and I responded, “Yeah, but you’ve lived here longer! You should have the Sightseeing Map programmed into your brain by now.” While we clearly share the innate ability to locate bars, vegetarian restaurants, and all-locations with favorable single men ratios, any other sense of direction or tourist-site awareness eludes us.

Eventually, we made our way to the Ellipse. And on the way, we took a montage of pictures. All of me and various trees, which I intend to use next year, when I get crafty and make holiday cards. The caption will be, “So NOT the National Christmas Tree.”

*District McFly asked me to explain a key aspect of name. McFly’s essentially short for My Carbon Footprint is Littler than Yours.

Today’s Metro: The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer, Is Singing Loud For All To Hear

December 23, 2008

Somewhere between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom, I thought I heard bits and pieces of Silent Night. At first, I figured Diet Coke deprivation was leading to bizarre musical-Schizophrenia-like experiences. And then, as it continued, I began to wonder if my iPod had become possessed by DJ Jazzy Jeff and was consequently blending Christmas hymns with Trains to Brazil. As the Metro pulled into the station, my playlist ended. And there it was again: a lone voice, sort of reedy, proclaiming that Christ, the savior, was being born. I took off my headphones and looked around.

Through the Commutership and 84 people lugging over sized suitcases on their way to BWI, I saw a short, older Asian priest holding a Bible to his chest. I’d located The Metro Caroler. And oddly enough, I wasn’t weirded out like I am by the other religious nutsos who ride the Metro. I mean, the Guy With The Big Abortion Signs or the Woman Who Spreads The Gospel Of Jehovah’s Love Dust? Strange and annoying in a Pee-Wee-Herman-on-every-channel sort of way. But there was a peace about The Metro Caroler. He had a certain contentment and self-assurance that even the hostile stares of the Commutership couldn’t shake. Suddenly, while I was watching him engage in his Metro Singing Solo, I got this peculiar urge to channel my inner Mariah Carey and join in. Seems his special brand of whacky is contagious.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one infected. A few seconds after the doors closed, at the chorus, another voice weakly joined the The Metro Caroler. And another one. And then like six more. Until suddenly, it was as if Metro Magic had morphed us into an off-key version of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Voices were signing Silent Night from all corners of the train car. We got through one round of the hymn before the Metro arrived at Farragut West. There, the doors opened and the train car emptied, leaving The Metro Caroler once again singing alone. But on the escalator, I heard a woman humming Silent Night and I couldn’t help thinking that maybe, The Metro Caroler was sort of DC’s version of Cindy Lou Who.

The Mexican Standoff With My Cats, or The Blog Post That Crowns Me Crazy Cat Lady

December 22, 2008

It seems I have brand loyal cats that refuse to poop in anything besides Fresh Step litter. And since I just bought five bags of Tidy Cat, this is a problem.

It never occurred to me that switching brands would be a big deal. I mean, litter is just little clay bits chemically enhanced to achieve magical clumping action. What could be so different from one type to another? As long as it was changed regularly, I assumed the cats wouldn’t care. So when I noticed Tidy Cat was on sale for half the price of Fresh Step, I stocked up. These are tough economic times and I figured cheap litter would be the feline contribution to the Household Booze Fund Fiscal Responsibility Savings Plan.

But apparently, my pets have delicate poop sensibilities. They will not go in the damn Tidy Cat. And by not go, I mean the two of them stand in front of the closet where the litter box is stashed, all, “Holy Moses, you expect us to go in that? It’s one step above generic. It’s like the Payless of the litter world. This is not a knockoff household!” Hours pass and they stand vigilantly. The darn things have got the tenacity of Norma Rae, but even more righteous because their poo facilities are at stake. And just to prove their dedication to The Cause, when the cats can’t hold it any more, they tinkle and turd DIRECTLY OUTSIDE THE CLOSET. ON THE WHITE CARPET. It’s the feline version of giving me The Bird.

So this is where the Mexican Standoff part comes in. Because I insist on using that Tidy Cat. I totally understand why, during my formative years, my mom adopted the mantra, “Your (fill in the blank) is perfectly fine. I paid good money for that and you’re going to use it. So? Deal.” Yup. I’ve become the economic version of my mother. Except over cat litter and not hot pink stirrup pants. As far as I know, the Tidy Cat gets the job done and is perfectly acceptable for feline bums to utilize. There’s nothing wrong with it per se. My particular pair are just brand snobs. Well, life’s tough kittens, and we don’t always get the hot pink stirrup pants designer litter we want.

As a result of this shit storm, I’ve spent the last week cleaning up cat poop and drowning my hallway in Febreeze, Lysol Anti-Bac and various smelly Glade products. Because no matter what, even if that Tidy Cat remains virginal and pee-free ‘til kingdom come, I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY MY CATS.

That is all.

The Reign of the Redhead

December 22, 2008

When I was born, I had red hair. It was a legacy from my grandmother, who apparently was Maureen O’Hara-esque during her youth. But at some point, my red became blond and stayed that way. Until this weekend. I’m not sure exactly what possessed me. Maybe it’s my love of the redheaded sexratary on Mad Men. Or it could be the affinity I feel for Ginger Spice. I might also blame it on an adverse reaction to stress. But whatever. The end result is this:

Carrot Top

Carrot Top

I’m told it looks good, but I sorta worry I resemble the Toad from Super Mario Kart.

A Textadextrous Relationship

December 19, 2008

A friend has been engaged in one of those relationships that defies the bounds of common sense and emotional well-being. You know, the kind that’s so epically heart-wrenching it makes Romeo and Juliet look like amateurs. But, being of Generation Crackberry, she’s conducting her version mainly via text message. To wit:

To: me@ourlitigatorsarebetterthanyourlitigators.com

From: stella@cartoonbirdsbraidmyhaireachmorning.com

Re: So much for a communication moratorium with Mr. Oates

Holy shit. My cell phone bill shows 1397 text messages last month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To: stella@cartoonbirdsbraidmyhaireachmorning.com

From: me@ourlitigatorsarebetterthanyourlitigators.com

Re: Verizon hates you!

I’ve sat here for at least four minutes trying to find words. There are none.

Wait, I take that back. I am articulate again.

First, must we revisit the concept of communication moratorium?

Second, how about we translate that number into man hours? Let’s say 1,000 of those texts were to Mr. Oates. And erring on the side of ultra, ultra, ultra conservatism, let’s assume each text took one minute to compose. But who are we kidding? That sort of verbal parlay, the utter masterpiece that was each text response, can’t be accomplished in a mere 60 seconds. We’ll give each one 90.

Now you gotta double everything because you were actually responding to incoming texts as well.

And from that number, add a third of the total time to account for the recent introduction of gChatting into your relationship.

Plus, maybe throw in an additional fourth for various other forms of communication like the miscellaneous email and sporadic lunch dates and goggle-eye-making.

So now, I want you to take that whopping big number and square it. That will account for hours outlaid in general emotional anguish, cry time, and the over analysis of all aspects of the relationship.

I don’t do math. That’s why I’m Lawyerly. But even my number challenged mind knows it all adds up to A HELL OF A FREAKING LOT of time spent on cyber communication. In the future, please honor Alexander Graham Bell and pick up the phone. It takes less time and spares you from early onset carpal tunnel.

The Animal Crackers In This Tub Must Be Really Horny

December 19, 2008

Found another one. This time, they’re fornicating across species lines. It’s like The Island of Dr. Moreau as lived out in cookie form.

Mounting the Cow

Mystery Animal Mounting What Appears To Be A Cow

Explain This One To Little Suzy: a pictorial

December 17, 2008

Trader Joe’s Animal Crackers just provided my laugh for the day. Bless them.

This is all one cracker.

The birds, the bees, and the animal crackers.

How I Ensure Job Security In A Tough Economic Climate

December 16, 2008

Office morale in a Lawyerly Place can sometimes be touch and go. But with a constant influx of alcohol and cheese on toothpicks, the grumbles can be kept to a minimum. Because attorneys? They heart vodka. My current Place of Lawyerly Things has realized this and engages in preventive mood boosting. Around the end of each quarter, there is a highly recommended if you value your job mid-day social hour. It’s generally themed, painful, and light on munchies but heavy on wine. This experience is not to be confused with the annual Holiday Party, which is Thursday, or other required socializing like client events, woe-is-me-meals with the fresh meat new associate lunches and sucker summer associate events. Anyhoodles, today is one of those special social hour days.

Since I like a regular paycheck, and because year-end bonuses loom, I figured it would be good to make an appearance at this afternoon’s event. Plus, give me few drinks and I’d be doing some afternoon drunk lawyering. What’s not to love about that? Dutifully, I went to the office atrium, grabbed some cubed cheddar and a plastic wine glass.

It is also important to know that I am wearing my Sweet-Baby-Jesus-you’re-really-bloated-and-possibly-gestating-a-whale-pants. These slacks are about a size and a half too big. I bought them after a night of debauchery, when my dignity required I go to work in a different outfit but I didn’t have enough time to go home and grab clothes. This was the only option Ann Taylor had that was short enough and well, wide enough, to not raise every workplace eyebrow. I generally only break these pants out after the holidays but before I reintroduce myself to the elliptical machine. When I wear them, I constantly walk around with one hand holding up the extra fabric and when I stand, if I take a hand off my hip, I must ensure I’m in a low gravity zone or else they gently slide down to my ankles. And that’s on fat days. These pants are only seeing daylight today because I really, really need to pick up from the dry cleaners and everything else is past the point of a good Febreezing.

OK, so back to today’s social hour: I had sampled the Harris Teeter hors d’oeuvres, had my attendance noted by Big Boss and was gossiping discussing pressing client matters with Pregnant Colleague. My hands were full. Literally. One was hitching up my oversized pants. The other was in charge of maintaining sanity, which meant grabbing at all nearby bottles of wine and transporting them directly to my mouth. That’s when Pregnant Colleague dropped a napkin and without thinking, without recalling why I’ve had one hand anchored at my waist all day, I let go of my pants and reached down to get it. It took about two seconds for my pants to reach my ankles and my Wonder Woman undies to be seen by half the Lawyerly Litigation Team.

As I was bent over, ass up, I thought maybe just this one time, in the spirit of the holiday season, the Universe would spare me total public humiliation. I prayed my Lawyerly Colleagues would be so deep into their plastic cups they wouldn’t notice. Or that my ass would be blocked by seven months of preggers belly and that my mortification would be kept between Pregnant Colleague and me. But no such luck. Half the Lawyerly Place Personnel saw my adult Underoos and seconds later, the other half got an email about it thanks to the wonders of the Crackberry. Walking to the elevator bank was arguably the most embarrassing professional moment of my life. And for me, that’s saying a lot.

I’ve spent the last two hours hunkered down in my office, trying to compose a mature and sensible resignation letter that does not include phrases like “sorry for flashing the Managing Partner with my lard ass.” Except just now, there was a knock on my door and Wonder Admin brought in a bottle of Settle Ponti Toscano Oreno wine. Google says this is stuff. But the best part was the note attached:

If you didn’t work so hard, we’d keep you around just for the laughs.

Big Boss

My year-end bonus? Totally going to be spent on grown up underwear.