Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Home for Unpleasant Emotions

Am struck with thought that former panic, rage, frustration, and existential trauma caused by association with the copy machine has not disappeared, but rather found new home--meetings. Feel that have already been Broken Record on this topic, but, unfortunately, am compelled to go to many meetings and am thus unable to break unhealthful obsession with topic. Psychological studies have proven (am sure read brief article in Utne Reader citing real study) that meetings have extremely detrimental mental effects on attendees who do not care for meetings. Those who do care for meetings (first shock when reading article is realization that there are people who actually enjoy meetings) experience beneficial and lasting psychological effects. As look around room (These thoughts originally composed in head during meetin on Outreach), am alarmed that those who enjoy meetings seem to be the clear majority in this room--this based on theory enjoyment of meetings is in clear relation to amount of food brought. Last week the Contessa observed in stunned voice that sometimes when she goes to meetings she feels that people are getting ready to settle in to a bomb shelter. Woman next to me beings to peel a boiled egg. Egg smells strongly of sulphur and yolk is a bilious green. Man across the table begins to eat sandwich of peanut butter, bacon, and sliced apple. Gentleman leading the meeting is condescending toward the egg eater, who shakes salt out of paper packet onto her egg and says, Of course, she may be wrong (tone suggests she thinks nothing of the sort) but in her experience--close to fifteen years at this school--she's--actually what it reminds her of is when Jim Wexler was the president--who else remembers when the faculty went into revolt? Am excited by prospect of revolt of any sort, but egg eater drops topic for more prosaic line of discussion on Past Trends in fundraising. Draw passable Hedgehog.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Spend all last week avoiding working on book--this takes enormous amounts of energy. Crisis precipitated by email a week ago from editor who asks how edits are coming along and why don't I send her what I have on the 24th (today). Edits come to a screeching halt and every time think about book--also have severe pain in stomach, buzzing in ears, urge to stand up, and almost pathological fascination with window across street from office where grown man with batman curtain lives. All is brought to a head on Saturday when spring bursts gloriously forth. Take draft of book to the park--Jenny comes too. Do not put on any sunscreen because tell self that have been so long without sun that want to have sunburn (Wish granted.) Enjoy time in park very much (except, naturally, for unfortunate interlude when am crapped on by Bird). Sunday spend indoors madly changing words, sentences, paragraphs, and even font. Today send draft back to editor and feel have reentered world. Why does one procrastinate?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Another Fantasy

Cindy Stevens is away and as office is very quiet, decide to go to yoga at noon. Tell Oliver who says he hopes I have fun--he's got to wait for the copy machine repair man to come. Try to commiserate with Oliver. Say, The Xerox machine used to be the bane of my existence! Oliver gives me a blank look, Why? he asks. Why indeed. Walk briskly to yoga studio. After checking in and changing, put mat down at front of room, where through large windows can see building across the street. Have very clear mental image of Law & Order episode which starts in exactly the same way--people drifting in to large brightly painted room with wood floors, putting down mats, some people talking, some people stretching, some people (me) sitting and thinking, and then, Bang! the glass of the window shatters and some poor model has a sniper bullet in her head. Hairs on back of neck stand up and have to remind self that this scenario very unlikely and that, furthermore, should not be having such violent thoughts. Should instead Calm Mind. Class progresses very nicely, culminating in the lying down portion at end during which have conversation with Jenny--think that it is odd that she's been able to talk all along and hasn't ever bothered--Oh, she says, she was traumatized from the flooding--wake up with a jolt. Fervently hope that have not been snoring--nose still not all that it could be, allergy-wise. Only recount dull personal thoughts to show that was so self-involved all through class that did not notice owner of Sam the Goldendoodle sitting not two rows behind me. When get back to office, call the Contessa--feel that story best served by starting with detail about Oliver and the copy machine--the Contessa says to hurry it along, which do not care for and which makes me stretch out story even more, but eventually get to the sighting of the new dog owner. Tell her that it is a Sign. She says caustically that it is a sign he isn't straight.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good Attitude

Work becomes intolerable and decide to leave before ending up sending snippy email or worse. Tell Oliver that I am Taking a Walk Around the Block. He asks if I'm walking past the coffee place. No, I tell him, I'm not. He looks slightly stunned and am glad. But by time leave building, start to feel slight twinge of guilt and then don't pay attention while crossing street and end up stepping in large puddle of frigid dirty water. Suffer low point of day but as with all low points, this one signals that all else is on the upswing. Squashy walk takes me to Barney's, where purchase new socks, tell clerk the sad story of the puddle. He is very sympathetic and shows me the shoes. Try on three and end up buying boots that tell self will pay of out of tax refund. (Tax refund has, by now, taken on quality of the fishes and loaves.) Newly shod, walk back to office, do pass a coffee place, and buy Oliver the horrendous concoction he likes to drink. The woman making the drink give me a funny look as am ordering drink, but instead of taking it personally as normally would, put dollar bill in tip jar, which earns me a smile. Decide to have a good attitude all the time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring has Sprung?

This morning the Contessa calls and apologizes for being a (she uses the "b" word) yesterday. She says it is an explanation and not an excuse, but the Vice-Boss was in rare form yesterday, compelling the Contessa to make awkward phone calls to artists who had already been asked to come to an event to tell them that the event had been canceled for lack of funds. Lack of Funds, the Contessa explained, meaning the Vice-Boss forgot she had plans to go visit friends in Miami. Anyway, the Contessa says briskly, she's a miserable wretch who I should feel sorry for and should not let . Say did see Golden Doodle and owner in park this morning, but we didn't talk. Does the dog shed. Tell her emphatically, no--they are bred not to shed. She says that's good to know. Oh, she almost forgot the reason she called--do I want to go to the Matthew Brookshire concert at the Bitter End? Reply that do and hang up. Quick call to Dave secures his participation in outing As long as he the shoot (anti-smoking campaign) doesn't last too long and he hopes it won't. Am excited about evening, but can't stand waiting for satisfaction, so get two-tone from City Bakery Can't help saying Mm! out loud to self every time take sip.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Morning in the Park

In park this morning, Jenny makes friends with extremely large standard poodle, very drooly and galoomphy. Jenny and poodle chase each other around, bark, and seem to invite me to join in the fun. Do so for a bit, running around with both dogs. Jenny eventually sits down to scratch at what am going to pretend is not a flea, poodle sits at my feet and lets out a distinct burp. Have never heard a dog burp and astonished. Owner of poodle appears and says Oh Ace say excuse me. Owner is stylishly disheveled, wearing jeans, the kind of plaid shirt that have seen at Steven Alan and coveted--am not interested in man for self, naturally, even if he didn't seem straight. Look for clues to confirm straightness: wears no wedding ring, and has air of bachelorhood, though not of caddishness, so think immediately of the Contessa. (Later see with horror that have based all favorable impressions on his dog.) As is customary, names of dogs are exchanged, but not names of humans. Poodle--who turns out to be a mix of Golden Retriever and poodle, and who is still less than a year old--is named Sam. When get to work call up the Contessa and tell her that have met very nice man. What do you know about him? Tell her that he has a golden doodle. The Contessa says she is not in the mood for jokes this morning. Explain that Sam is a very nice dog and has she ever heard a dog burp? No she hasn't, she says frostily. Do not at all care for her attitude and say that have meeting to go to. So do I, replies the Contessa.

Monday, April 09, 2007


This weekend experience very odd mixture of ocurrences, namely: 3 mosquito bites (or spider, but do not wish to think about any other possibility), snow flurries, and the onset of spring allergies. This morning bites less itchy, sun is out, and have become sufficiently used to weepy eyes, scratchy throat and clogged nose that feel almost excited about going out into the world and (less happily) on to work. Peek at mirror before leaving deflates previous high spirits and feel that one would be best served to be like friend the leg model who doesn't have any mirrors in her house, not even in the bathroom. (Admirable position does lead to one Question: how would one manage to shave one's face? This naturally not a problem for the leg model...) Philosophical thoughts about mirrors carry self down elevator and outside and then are replaced by long train of thought involving renovation of facade of church cater corner from apartment building. Workers are very high up on turret using saws that produce a prodigious number of sparks, noise and a burning smell. Take care not to pass under scaffolding and tell self for the millionth time that should thank lucky stars for how lucky I am, job-wise. Gratefulness barely lasts until five minutes after arrival at work. Oliver comes into my office, frantic for once and become worried that somebody has died, but no, he has only sent the wrong letter to the duplicating department to be printed. All 3,000 copies have already been sent out, what are we going to do?! he asks. You must hate me. Do you hate me? Through tiresomely gritted teeth, tell him that do not hate him at all, we will find a solution. And we do find a solution--too tedious to put down here (even).

Friday, April 06, 2007

Break in Meetings

Yesterday take short break from marathon meeting schedule to go to dentist. Am actually looking forward to visit--receptionist very nice and calls one honey, hyegenist professional and not interested in chatting, gets right down to business, looking around mouth with little mirror. She says, You've done a very good job with brushing. Take opportunity to brag to her that I've been very good about flossing. We'll see, she said, plucking up a nasty looking hook off her tray. Further conversation hindered by unpleasant sounding scraping. Otherwise, am fairly comfortable. In fact, chair very comfortable and would have no trouble falling asleep. Close eyes to try it out. Original thought gives way to terrifying fantasy that fall asleep, mouth closes on tool and hook punctures tongue. Open eyes. After the scraping, hyegenist uses a tool with a thin, sharp stream of water that she shoots at the base of the teeth. When she is done, know what is coming next and look forward to getting teeth polished. Love word "polish" when used in connection with teeth, or actually in connection to anything. The hygenist says I don't know if you've had this done before--prepare to say that certainly have had my teeth polished...what is she trying to imply--but she produces a new attachment that she says contains baking powder and Is like a sandblaster for your teeth. She is not lying--sensation very odd and baking soda salty--but also feel that with all the coffee and wine, a good sandblasting is in order. When done, we finally return to the topic of flossing. She says, You are doing pretty well, but you could still do better. Reply in philosophical tone, Couldn't we all do better. The makes the hyegenist looked alarmed. She says she will send in the doctor.