Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day After

The vice-boss came in this morning with a nasty burn. "Wow," I said, "some burn." "That's what you get when you have three gin-and-tonics on an empty stomach and pass out on a deck chair," which cleared things up with bracing honesty, but lead to more questions. I kept them to myself. The vice-boss was all too willing to share details of her personal life (I'd found that out the hard way. Didn't want to know about the time she flashed Bill Clinton.) "Come into my office." I followed her in. "Shut the door." "What do you think about the New Man?" "He's fine," I said, sensing a trap. "Ri-ight, fine." She tapped her fingers on her desk. "I think the President's office sent him to spy on us." I'd thought the same thing, but when she said it like that it sounded paranoid. There was a knock on the door. The contessa poked her head in, she gave me a look of sympathy, "The New Man called to say he was stuck in Fire island." "Fire Island," the vice-boss said. "Interesting."

Friday, May 27, 2005


The outgoing university President gave us Workers the day off in appreciation for a "stressful and busy semester," so the Thirty-year-old secretary spent today lounging around in a state of late-Capitalist exhaustion. Spent the morning in bed reading the first third of Bleak House. Accidentally read the synopsis on the back which alleged that book was one of the first examples of a mystery. Had previously been very, very happy reading in bed (also happy making hot chocolate, toast with jam, potato chip bowl and consuming above to sustain self during lounging) and the mention of the word "mystery" made one feel suddenly guilty. Got out of bed. One ought to have been writing or at least going for a walk. It is a beautiful day in New York, one of the rare days when the sun is shining and it is neither humid nor freezing cold. Put on pants with intention of gong out into the World. Lost will. Instead, arranged cheddar cheese, cornichons, and crackers on plate, and settled self onto couch to fritter away the rest of the day with the wretched souls of Dickens's England (happily!) Felt that frittering was permitted, what with the Work that had to be done yesterday by decree of the New Man. Also tired from unfortunate scene yesterday in which the thirty-year-old secretary lost his head and Raised his Voice at the Water man even thought the Water man is a fellow Worker.

Note from Dixie

Dixie, by the way, is a man:

"Ever since the real estate people moved into the office next door, the
shared bathroom in the hall has been a disgrace.  There is never any toilet
paper, towels or soap, and someone has taken to plugging up the cracks in
the stall door with Post-it Notes.  Boris claims that last week he saw an
open phone book on the floor of the stall, its pages apparently ripped out
and used for TP."

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Last night as I was falling asleep I suddenly had the thought, What is sleeping for? What if I've forgotten how to sleep? Watched night turn to dawn before exhaustion took me down. When I got into the office, the New Man was already in his office. This morning he at least had the decency to have his door open so that nobody would be surprised. "Come in and sit down," he said. I sat in the chair closest to the door because on the back of the other chair he'd draped his Speedo inside out, displaying the the flesh colored liner. He caught me looking. I had a horrified look on my face--I felt it, my eyes wide open, mouth pulled down. "I swim in the mornings," he explianed "Me too," I said before I realized what I was saying. "Really?" "Oh yes, I love swimming." That part was true. "I've made a list of artists for you to research so we can decide who to have come to our lecture series. He pushed the list across the desk. One nice thing about the Boss was that he didn't expect anyone to do any real work. I picked up the list and flipped through it. "What kind of research do you want me to do?" "Oh, you know, bios, images, you know, I'm sure you've done this sort of thing before." I nodded and got up to leave. I shut the office door behind me and took the list out to my desk. The Contessa was just getting in. She put her purse in the bottom drawer of her desk and turned on her computer. "He's here already?" I nodded. "I don't think he's cute at all," I said. "He had his Speedo drying on a chair." I shuddered. "I don't think he's cute either. Anymore. I wonder what he looks like in his Speedo?" I stared at the hateful list. This was not difficult work. It might even be interesting work if I allowed it to be, but the sight of the list filled me with despair. "He seems divorced." the Contessa said, finishing up a conversation she'd apparently been having with herself. I opened up the internet. Was greeted by a headline about the melting of the permafrost. Read the article up until the part that said, "the methane trapped in the permafrost will be released, accelerating global warming." Quickly exited firefox. Mourned loss of crush. Romeo (the copy machine guy) came in. "Hi," the Contessa said, "the machine is jamming." Romeo nodded. "I brought you olives." He produced a jar. "I made them at home." The Contessa took the jar and set it on her desk. "I can't wait to try one," she said in a lying kind of way. Romeo waited, his hands behind his back. She opened the jar, took an olive out. She looked scared. She put the olive in her mouth and chewed. She got a thoughtful look on her face. "Delicious." She reached for another. Romeo beamed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Time and Volunteering

For volunteering, I put forth the option of the Ali Forney Center. The center takes care of gay and lesbian homeless kids in the city, and we both agreed that this would be a good place to start as we have often walked past said kids on Christopher street and really ought to do something. But what could we offer? We should offer our skills, the Contessa said firmly. What are our skills? I asked. You could teach them Word and Excel. (Don't I have any other skills?) What would you do? I asked. I'll teach a makeup workshop for the trannies. I hate to admit it, but the Contessa had pinpointed our strengths exactly. She couldn't type a letter if her life depended on it but she did know about wearing too much makeup. (question: why is it so hard to focus on the moment at hand? I am at work, getting paid to work but all I can think about is television, the end of the world, and Helping Others. While discussing above, I kept seeing the pile of expense reports on my desk, causing bile to come up, and finally had to hide expense reports in my "pending" file, which got put away in the desk, which enabled me to continue living outside the moment.) Now, at this point we'd done a lot of talking so it was quite a surprise when the door to the New Man's office opened. "When did you get here?" the Contessa blurted out. Had he been there all along? What had he heard? It was only at the very end of our morning chat that we'd gotten to anything even slightly worthy. The New Man was sitting in his office thinking we were nitwits. (How long had we talked about the Nick & Jessica? Years.) "I like to get an early start on the day." We gaped at him.

Silence and Noise

The Contessa seemed quiet this morning, pensive. "You know what is a terrible tv show?" she asked. "What?" "One Tree Hill." "Oh, I know." "Those are two hours of my life I'm not getting back" "Nope." Then the contessa gave her analysis of the show. She thinks it has to do with Manhood, i.e. the central question is "what is a man?" She gave examples of the male relationships in the show. Then she performed a neat intellectual trick, turning her analysis away from the Freudian, the killing of the father, etc. and concluding that the "Father" in the show is actually the patriachy. The show is feminist, but a low, debased sort of unconscious feminism. "Really?" I asked. The Contessa nodded. "But I don't know I haven't really been watching it." "Me neither." There was a silence. "Have you seen the ads for Nick and Jessica's Tour of Duty?" I asked. "Terrible. You'd think people weren't dying." The idea of the Le Mari et La Femme Simpson in Iraq enrages me, enraged me. I stewed in my chair. The weight of the world pressed down on me. Is this the end? "You know what we ought to do?" "Get coffee?" "We ought to volunteer."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Meeting

Am inordinately excited by donuts, which distracted me for the first few minutes of the meeting. Opened up box to discover four donuts, one for each of us, which seemed generous for the vice-boss. Imagined that the donuts were jelly filled and looked forward to first bite. Discovered that donut was filled with cream. "Cream," most certainly not real cream (question: what is it?) Caught thread of vice-boss's monologue even though hard to catch because she couldn't get her words out fast enough. It seemed that she was very excited about the prospect of a Greater Role in the University. I shared a look with the Contessa. The New Man doodled on his pad of legal paper. The New Man cleared his throat, we (we?) were going to start a brand new lecture series which he was going to be in charge of. Fine. The vice-boss was going to be in charge of the art collection for the school. She'd been given a budget, a large budget, by a certain donor, one of the trustees, and was charged with buying up more art. The vice-boss has lots of shoes and frequently returns to the office carrying bags of clothes and it was with the high of a life-long shopper that she delivered her news. She explained, We may have to go to Europe to buy art. We? The Contessa asked weakly. You and me, said the vice-boss. I will need an assistant when I'm travelling. The New Man turned to me, you are going to help me with the lecture series. His voice was rich and sincere. The Contessa reached for a donut and ate it mechanically.

All Will Be Revealed

Spent much of the morning discussing Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The Contessa and I wondered whether or not Tom gave Katie the herpes. Were just embarking on a fruitful exploration of Scientology and whether or not the church forces him to be with women, and whether he is gay or not, I think no, the Contessa thinks maybe, but really, who cares about Tom Cruise, why do we spend so much time talking about people we don't even know? There are other people in our lives who we are more interested in, i.e. the New Man. Who unfortunately arrived at the moment that I said his name out loud. (observation: have often noticed that the saying a of a person's name causes the person to appear--unless one wants the person to appear) The Contessa and I made rather dramatic shows of being busy. The Contessa pretended to answer the phone and I checked the toner in the printer. The New Man sat on the edge of the Contessa's desk. He wore a gray flannel suit and he smelled like soap. Says, How's it going this morning? It seems that you two Run the Show, how about you fill me in?
Felt no small amount of pride (I DO run the show!) and saw that the Contessa was similarly flattered. Our tete-a-tete shattered by the arrival of the vice-boss bearing a box of donuts, which meant that a meeting was on the horizon. Filled with dread.

The Saga of the Paper

The saga may be imagined for oneself--From Dixie, 31-year-old secretary:

the paper company now claims that our balance due is $0.00. this should
finally bring me much relief, but for some reason i fear that the saga is
not over yet. because they are liars.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Unable to follow up on sexual orientation and personal history (don't care about professional history) of New Man as forced to volunteer for Graduation on Friday. Volunteers required to wear green polyester robes. (question: Are all uniforms demeaning? Why?) (seperate paren: the robes had remarkable heat trapping qualities--would keep a spare in the car (if had car)in case of blizzard which forced me to pull over and wait out storm.) Job assignment at graduation was to stand on the street to guide parents and guests to the auditorium. Gave up trying to correct those congratulating me on my Big Day and began to say "thank you" to make it easier on everyone. The Contessa's job was to help an aged trustee. "That doesn't sound so bad," I said and got ready to tell her about the indignity of standing on a New York City street in a green robe. She gave me a dark look. "He knows a lot of very perverted jokes." The outgoing President gave a speech in which he drew heavily on his knowledge of the Star Wars movies. He ended with, "May the Force be with You."

Spent a tiring weekend avoiding working on the Murder Mystery by bingeing on the Home and Garden Network and purchasing pay per view movies, including Hotel Rwanda. Terrible dreams last night. Which is to say I was very glad to come into the office today sans uniform, etc. etc. etc. First call of the day, woman says in the tone of the perpetually put-upon, "finally I have a Real Person on the phone." Stifled impulse to answer in Robot voice.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

La Traviata

Went to lunch at La Traviata today to Celebrate the addition of a New Man to the Institute. He was sent to us by the Provost's office to be the acting vice-boss, which was evidently a surprise to the vice-boss because when she introduced the New Man to us, her very false smile kept slipping into a look of extreme panic. The New Man is extremely attractive and it wasn't immediately clear to either the Contessa or me whether he was straight or gay (we emailed about it furiously under the guise of doing work,) which meant that he was up for grabs. We walked over to the restaurant together. The Contessa and I walked in front and the vice-boss walked with the New Man behind us, her voice an octave higher than it usually is. I almost felt sorry for her. Previously, the vice-boss had to collect her receipts and turn them in whereas in her new elevated position, all she has to do is go to La Traviata and sign the chits. The boss treated La Traviata as his private dining room, which the Contessa and I took full advantage of.

The Contessa said, I'll have the artichoke and celery salad (she's told me before that she dreams of this salad) and a bowl of the bread soup. I ordered a pasta. So did the New Man. The vice boss ordered a big San Pellegrino and a Whole Lemon. The Contessa and I excused ourselves to go to the bathroom. Evidence inconclusive, but the Contessa felt sure that the New Man was Straight. I disagreed. Tense, whispered discussion. Found in the bathroom that my hair was a disaster. It looked fluffy. The addition of water didn't help. Now it just looked like I'd gotten it wet. The Contessa looked like she'd gone a bit overboard in the bathroom too, re makeup and hair grooming.

When we got back to the table, the vice-boss said in a bright tone "your salad came so we ate it!" "we?" the Contessa asked. "The New Man and I shared it!" The New Man had a dazed look, as though he'd been tricked into something, which he had. This put a pall on the rest of the meal.

"She ate my salad." The contessa repeated, back at the office, shaking her head. "Who does that?" Vice-boss's bad behavior the subject of discussion for the rest of the afternoon.

Jury Duty

The thirty-year-old secretary was called to jury duty yesterday. Was actually very excited to go. Excitement evaporated quickly. Developed an instant dislike toward fellow juror, a man in a straw fedora who sat down next to me. Feel strongly that weird hats on men indicate a bad personality. (Although writing this now, it seems that the only bad personality in evidence is my own.) The clerk in charge of the Jurors fancied himself a comedian. A harried young mother came in with a baby strapped to her back and a four year old walking next to a stroller, which the mother pushed. The clerk said into the microphone, "as you can see ladies and gentlemen, we've lowered the age for jury service." Clerk then told everyone to turn off cell phones and pagers. Said that since 9-11 he didn't know Who Was a Juror and Who Was a Terrorist and that because of this phones had to be turned off (?) and that if phones didn't get turned off that Homeland Security would get involved. Also claimed that last week he told a woman to turn her phone off, Woman said "you can go to hell." He said, "she is still a guest of the Federal Government." Find this story highly unlikely. But still made me feel that I am now living in a Police State. Feeling accentuated by the coldness of the room and the Short Film that we were compelled to watch. The film started with a shot of dirty Middle Ages people in cloaks and tunics dragging a man to the edge of a lake. They tie up his hands and legs and throw him in the water. This was a demonstration of Trial by Ordeal. The film then traced the history of the trial by jury. The film maintained that in Roman times, there was no jury, just a judge. This was illustrated with a drawing of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, carrying The Cross. Film also clips from Perry Mason. Decided film some sort of propaganda. Most other Jurors were chosen to go to the Vior Dires. But not me. Left in large cold room with 5 other Jurors. Felt panic about not having anything to eat. Saw somebody else go to vending machines which I'd convinced myself were only for the bailiffs. Bought and ate M&Ms too quickly. Read. Went to the bathroom many times. Began to get worried about frequency or urniation (maybe have a bladder infection? worse?)

Finally released for lunch. Coming back from lunch saw Animal wedged in wheel well of a car. At first thought that the animal was a squirrel, but much too big. Raccoon? Only then noticed 3 other people wondering the same sorts of things. Woman says, I think it is a Badger. Think a Badger is very, very unlikely. I Don't think so, I said. I think it is a raccoon. Its tail doesn't have Rings. Not all Raccoon's tails are Banded, I say with authority. (Is this true?) Couldn't stick around to see how things turned out because late to jury duty. In the very cold room had fantasy about the Raccoon jumping out from hiding place and Biting me. Would have to call clerk and say, sorry, in the hospital because bit by a raccoon.

Was released from Jury Duty early. Called in to the office. Which was a mistake. The vice-boss answered the phone. Thought that I would try to be somebody else but knew that I couldn't pull it off. Vice-boss said to come back to the office.

An Easy Day

From Lori:

“It’ll be an easy day. All you have to do is answer the phone.” Right. Easy. I’ve been told that one too many times to believe it. It’s never a quiet slow easy day. Today I’m working at non-profit organization. It’s the job of those who work here to care for others “less fortunate” than them. After a brief training I’m deserted at the desk to answer the phone in the seven hours that I will sit here, never stops ringing.

Dear Friends and Fellow Secretaries Write In

Dear Fritz:

I am at it again, trying to forestall the beginning of Coke drinking. I like to wait until at least 11:00, but here it is, 9:40, and I’m already dying. It’s just that free coke is one of the few pleasures of a position in the financial sector. As opposed to, say, actually understanding the industry you work in. These are the perks: matching 401(k)s, refrigerators stocked with refreshment, and leftover catered lunches. Sometimes you luck out and score some salmon; sometimes, you make do with a plate of pickles—which cause cancer, I’d like you to know. This I learned during one of my 47 interviews for the job. I can’t remember which one now, the day was a blur of sycophancy and vocabulary, and at the end of it I was headed home for the funeral of a cousin struck down by colon cancer. “You know you shouldn’t eat pickles, right?” my interviewer cautioned. “Or any pickled foods.” No, I told her, I did not know that. My poor cousin, he was crazy about pickles. Who isn’t? But more to the point, what kind of nut makes that connection for you? I still took the job, though. The money is too good to stand on principle.

It’s 10:30 now. Time for a drink.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Writing Books

I'm ready to start in on my Murder Mystery. I've only ever written the draft of one book. I made myself suffer through months of agony and boredom, churning the thing out. It was full of Ideas about the Environment and Poverty. Also about life and death. The characters gave long speeches. Most of the action took place in an airplane. This, as far as I knew, had never been done before (unless you count 'Passenger 57' or 'Airforce I', which I don't) When I finished, I was proud of my Novel.

I gave it to the Contessa to read. Two weeks later, the Contessa and I went out to lunch so we could talk about it. "I got the teensiest bit lost," she said to kick things off. "When?" "At the beginning." I wanted to maim her with a fork but I kept my hands to myself. "What else did you think?" It turned out that the Contessa thought there wasn't a point and that the boredom that I'd felt writing the book was shared by the Contessa when she read the book. At least, that's what I thought she was hinting at. But I wanted to be sure. After I promised her that she could tell me what she Really Thought, I Really Wanted to know, she said "It was a little dull." We didn't talk for the rest of the afternoon.

(While I am thinking lofty thoughts I am brought back to the present moment (highly overrated--daydreaming is much more pleasant) and reminded that am still a secretary. A well meaning but evil man just came in. He couldn't believe I was still working here. "Oh, you are like the family retainer!" he said cheerfully. Not a very nice way of putting things.)

Back to lofty thoughts: This is why I'm writing a Murder Mystery. A MM automatically has a point. There is a body. Somebody figures out how the person got killed and why. What could be more simple?

Panels and Panelists

Very, very unpleasant panel discussion last night sponsored by our Institute. All panelists brought slides. Each panelist read from published papers and refered to said slides. Each panelists thought that the other panelists were the most astute, delightful witty humans to ever walk this Earth. And said so at length. I started to feel murderous and wanted the Contessa to comisserate, so poked her in the side. The Contessa posesses the dubious skill of being able to sleep with her eyes open. I could tell she was at it again because she turned to me and said, "oh yes, the ostrich will be fine," in a speaking voice. "Wake up," I hissed. The vice-boss glared at us through the gloom of the slides.

When the event finally ended, the maintenence people had to escort our small audience downstairs through the empty building. The Contessa and I were compelled by the vice-boss to bring extra flyers back to the office (the vice-boss didn't like the Contessa's suggestion that we 'leave the flyers for students who might be interested') but the guard wouldn't let us up. Got hot. Said, "Our event ran late, you have to let us up." "Ok, now just calm down, sir, calm down." Wanted to say, oh I'm not un-calm yet. I am very calm. But realized that that wouldn't forward my case.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Fax Machine

Also making a grinding noise. Everything is broken. Read an AP story about the environmental degredation of the Puget Sound. The milk of the orcas in Puget Sound is so toxic that a mother orca's first calf usually dies. Eau d' vie is a terrible drink, worse than grappa. The boss called in today to check his messages. He sounded drugged, and NOT in a fun way. The vice-boss yelled at the Contessa today, wanting to know why the Contessa hadn't ordered more paper. The office was paperless. How could you run an office without paper? But the Contessa was hung over too, so she just took it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Copy Machine

The copy machine repairman came today, not the one with the shakes, but the one who has a crush on the Contessa. Romeo got so bad that for a couple of weeks he came in every few days to make sure the machine was running ok. He vacuumed the machine and cleaned the glass a couple of times a week. But we hadn't seen him for a couple of months. "Where have you been?" I asked him today. The contessa frowned at an honoraria payment form. She bit her lip in concentration "Yeah. Family stuff," he said. He lingered by the Contessa's desk. I willed him not to share the family stuff. "How have you been?" Romeo asked the contessa. "Me? Oh fine. Busy." "You got a haircut, it looks nice." The contessa blushed. When she came back from her haircut the week, before her eyes were red from crying. The haircut was very short, but not short like a pixie, which was what she was trying for. It was the teensiest bit poofy. She'd also dyed it blonde. "I look like a lesbian." "There's nothing wrong with looking like a lesbian." "But I look like a lesbian mom."

"I've replaced the bearings," the repairman said. "Thank you." The contessa smiled rigidly. The repairman leaned over her desk. The contessa sent me an email. The subject line was "h," the message said, "elp." The repairman "But the copy machine is still missing pins. I stuck the top of a ballpoint pen in the hole, but if it comes out you can just put it right back in." "Don't you have a meeting with mom?" I asked the contessa. "Oh shit,yes." She leapt up, grabbed her purse and ran out. Romeo nodded goodbye to me, but the fire was out of his eyes.

The contessa came back as I was finishing this up. "What are you doing? Are you writing about me? Don't write about me." "I'm not." I lied. "Just don't say something mean about my hair, Mr. Blog."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Good and the Bad

After the last post went out to get an iced coffee to celebrate our Canadian-American Secretary Alliance. We felt badly about drinking the coffee (the beans were picked by little children, our Friend Serge reminds us) from a plasic cup through a plastic straw and vowed to bring our own cup next time, but overall felt pretty great. When we got back to the office, we sensed that something was wrong. The Contessa looked pale. "Dad wants to talk to us," She said. "In his office." "You said it didn't matter if we took the wine." "It doesn't," she said. "Remember, we don't know anything about the missing wine, right?" Mom and Dad sat in the office, Dad behind his desk, Mom sitting on the couch . Mom sat on the edge of the cushion. She kept her back straight. Her hands were wrapped around each other. She was keeping something in. "We aren't getting laid off, are we?" the Contessa asked, in a jokey tone. "This isn't about you," Mom said. "I'm sick," Dad said. "What do you mean?" I asked. "What kind of sick?" "Lung cancer." The Contessa's lip wobbled. I know for a fact that when the Contessa hit a tight spot last year, and had to move out of her apartment, Dad loaned her five hundred dollars. Back then, she said, I love him. If he wasn't a gay man I'd have an affair with him." "But that's why you love him," I told her. "That's not true. I love him because he's sweet." But now we sat in that room and didn't say anything for a second. "Mom will be the acting director until I get better," Dad said. The contessa grabbed my knee.

New Friends

We are very excited to announce the first friend of the site, Victor Serge of
And your little dog too: Notes from a office worker, who dreams of revolution between the memos and mail-outs.

Monsieur Serge has a lovely site (if all goes well you should see his link to the right.) Though wethinks that this is not his actual picture. But this is the sort of connection we are looking for,and are very glad that our first friend is a Canadian. We love Canada.


We are rather ashamed of our spelling mistakes. Looking over the past few posts we discovered some very basic mistakes, i.e. web sight instead of site. oy! Bad secretary. Not the first time we've made mistakes like that. About a month ago the Contessa informed us that we were no longer allowed to put two spaces after the period. We had a few tense moments of arguing until she convinced us that she was right. We hate to be wrong.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Off The Wagon

I slipped. I started looking at the blogs and I ended up at a sight called rightnation.com Freaked me out.

Hello My Name Is

Introductions are in order. This is a blog about an office, the office I work in, which is an arts nonprofit attached to a university. We don't have any students, but we do put on events, raise money, and publish an annual journal. By we I mean me. Me and the Contessa of Poetry, who is the other secretary in the operation.

We are overseen by two bosses. The vice-boss is in charge of the events. Mostly what she does is go out to lunch to "plan" the events but I can't imagine what actually happens at these lunches, certainly no eating. She is very thin and wears Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses that show off her ribs. She has dark brown hair that she straightens. She keeps a supply of Ensure in her office but I've never seen her drink any of it. In fact, I've never seen her eat real food except for one time when she brought jerk chicken in to the office for her birthday. She said she didn't want a cake. She gnawed every bit of meat off the bones, including the sinew and connective tissue. So what does she eat at her lunches? In the old days she could have smoked, but that isn't ok now. Does she order a Pellegrino and a pat of butter? This is one mystery that must be solved.

Once, we had to go a "retreat" at her house in Amagansett (her husband works for Lazard Freres and there appears to be some family money.) We had the retreat to supposedly address "growing pains in the office," but really we had to go because the vice-boss caught the Contessa flipping her off. The Contessa tried to cover up, saying that she was flipping the computer off, because of something she'd read. The Contessa, for all of her charms, is a terrible liar.

Right before out jitney left to take us to Amagansett, I bought two Odwalla bars. The Contessa and I foolishly wolfed them down before we were even in Queens. We got to the house about noon. I brought coffee and chocolates as a hostess gift which, upon presentation, the vice-boss whisked away. The boss was already there, and we started right in on our trust building exercises. I was on the boss's team and the Contessa was on the vice-boss's team. The vice-boss seemed to have gotten her party games confused because we had to dress our partners up in toilet paper dresses. The boss seemed to enjoy wearing his toilet paper dress. "Not the first or last time I'll wear a dress," is how he put it. The contessa and the vice-boss got very competitive and tense, but there was no judge so the game was called a draw. Then we played pictionary. But we didn't get to eat anything, not even peanuts. We had cocktails before dinner. I've never eaten such a nourishing olive. Dinner was sushi at a loud place in East Hampton and we didn't order enough of it. When we got home, everyone went to bed. The contessa had the spins. I snuck out to the kitchen to see what was in the refrigerator. There was a jar of orange marmelade, some mustard and a bottle of Champagne. I brought (the Contessa and I were billeted in bunk beds in what used to be a kid's room) the marmelade and a spoon back to the bedroom and woke the Contessa up. One nice thing about marmelade is that it has the bits of orange rind in it.

We call the vice-boss Mom. Ergo, the boss is Dad. He and Mom are locked in a death-grip power struggle but it is only Mom who knows that they are at war. Dad is friendly, as big as Mom is skinny. He has a belly, and once he had shingles on his face. According to my research, it is not clear whether or not drinking makes rosacea worse but the boss has what I'd call an alcoholic's nose, very red, an an alcoholic's mouth, wide open.

I am keeping this journal to keep myself away from political (lefty) blogs. I agreed with what the blogs had to say, mostly, (despite the occasional egregious grammar mistake) but the hysterical tone of the blogs started to wear on me. Also, even on the lefty blogs there are inevitablly links that lead to the the websites of holocoaust denyers and the fag haters and worse. It got to be so it seemed to me that global warming would rise the seas tomorrow rather than in a few years and I just can't live that way. On the National Geographic channel I just saw a show about natural disasters. I kept waiting to feel the familiar feeling of panic, but it didn't come. Of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1944, a old man in Naples said, "we were sure that we would shortly experience a most horrible death," which was oddly comforting.

In the mornings, before I come to work, I work on my book, a murder mystery set in an archeological dig in Peru. I don't know if I can get away with calling the book "The Shining Path" or not. (What would the next in the series be, a murder mystery called "Al-Quaida"? Set in Afghanistan? Poor taste, but tempting. That Kite Runner book is VERY popular. )

The Xerox machine is making grinding noises and I've got to go call Konica Minolta. Maybe the technician with alcoholic shakes will come.

Oh,my name is Fritz.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Le Premier Post

Dear Readers,

It is Saturday and we are not at our desk at work today and thus don't have time to waste, but we couldn't help but get started on this new project. This is the initial post. There won't be much here because we need to think up what to say. So for now, bonjour, and we will see you on Monday.