THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

I have an in-person interview on Friday with multiple people. Never has one person had so many interviews for a short-term contract that doesn’t pay that well. Sadly, that’s probably not true though. If I get this it will spit me out on the other side in June, which is slightly into Farmer’s Market season. Hollerrrr!

I noticed I was using all caps again for my title and I went to change it, and then I was like, Hey, this is my blog, I’ll do what I want.

So briefly* I will mention that I went to a fancy restaurant with regular, gluten-free, and vegan menus on Thursday. In my dreamland this is ideal, because I am kind of like a vegan…who eats meat. So if restaurants are geared up to leave the dairy out anyway, but are willing to serve meaty dishes as well, I am good to go. I had a nice talk with the server who is very used to the Care and Feeding of the Modern Seattleite and she walked me through everything. It was just like at home: meat and veg! That I did not chop myself. Natch I got glutened and hit the bathroom as soon as I came home, and kept hitting it for a couple of days.

P. had a day of fallout after I did. He was SUPER CRABBY on Saturday, which was bad timing because I was out all day and he was with the girls. I refer to him and me as Captain(s) Asshole now on those bad days. My bad day was Friday, which was better because I was alone and forced myself to take a walk with the pooches, which helped. But by Friday night I had drunk the house dry (not very much, actually, I think half a bottle of wine and a can of cider…) and was rolling around in bed DYING for a baguette with brie and jam smeared on. I could see it my head, like those cartoons where they are starving and suddenly someone looks like a walking, talking, ham.

What the fuck is this shit. I get glutened, and I want more of what is poisoning me. WHY, BODY, WHY?? In the past I would have just gone for it, and then passed out and woke up with a terrible headache. Instead I made myself some socca and spread jam on them, kind of like a crepe layer cake. I yelled at P. as he attempted to straighten the quilts around me so I would be warm and comfortable. I am lucky he didn’t “accidentally” put the pillow over my face.

So Saturday was my business class and I was nervous because I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to pay the best attention. But I was really focused throughout it and it answered a lot of little nagging questions I had. It was nice to talk to someone who has actually rented space in commercial kitchens and could answer my questions about that–namely, is it possible to do gluten free preparation in a shared space? The answer is that I am going to have to buy my own equipment, which is not going to break me. We’re talking things like immersion blenders, funnels, and bowls.

Most of the students appeared to be over 30. There was a guy sitting in front of me who was an oddball. He came back from one of the breaks and this wave of booze smell came with him, and after lunch he fell asleep for a while at his table. Seeing people sleep in class took me back to my 8 a.m. class days in community college, but obviously this guy had something else going on.

I’ve done a lot of the research on my own. I understand that I will need various licenses, that for my product I will need dedicated kitchen space outside my home that’s been approved by the health department, I know mostly what supplies I’ll need, so the teacher didn’t drop any unexpected bombs on me. It was nice to have some dots connected by someone who has run a business like this in Seattle.

But I left the class and felt kind of deflated. I thought, oh, I’m just tired, I’ll feel better tomorrow. But I didn’t. I felt anxiety, was sure I would fail at having this tiny business–why bother starting? This is after a few weeks of doing research, taking frank looks at the administrative parts of this challenge as well as working on dressing recipes two to three times a week. Okay, I know that isn’t a very long time, but this is also after 15+ years of knowing I want to work for myself someday (having an inn or B&B).

The voice in my head came back, the one that comes back when I am feeling ill. It said, “You’re a lazy person and you can’t really expect to set goals like this.” And I was exhausted. I slept for a long time on Sunday and Monday, and my body hurt a little again. My “tennis elbow” which was improving, felt worse again. I didn’t want to run errands or talk to people. I imagined myself telling my sister that I had changed my mind about this venture and seeing the look on her face. (She is very excited for me, thinks this makes a lot of sense, and has even offered to help me fill bottles on her one day off.)

I walked Strudel to her before school yoga class this morning, since I had to sign releases and meet the teachers, and on the way home my head finally started to clear. This isn’t me, I thought. Well, it was for a long time, unfortunately, but if I am eating right I have sick amounts of energy and can make plans from start to finish. I bet…thought the slowest, thickest person ever….I am still having fallout from gluten. I last got hit on November 17 and I had to call off work and had a really hard week. It takes me about six days to come back to “normal”–happy, experiencing a normal amount of worry about real problems, but feeling like I have the power to accomplish things.

SO FUCK THIS SHIT I am not quitting ANYTHING. I am going to the Man again with my hand out and will take their filthy lucre so I can make my own business. I will feel better. And next time we have a date night, Captain and Mr. Asshole have resolved to eat at home and then go out for drinks or to a bookstore AFTER we eat.

* Did not happen, forgot what else I was going to write about instead.

Lush: For a Day or a Lifetime

A couple of nights ago on the bus I was at the nadir or apogee of being completely out of it (considering how you rate these things), I’d just started my period and my brain felt soft and soupy. One of those nights where I came home and took my thermos out of my bag and put it on the counter, and then tried to do it again a few minutes later, and wondered how I’d forgotten my thermos at work.

I didn’t expect to be alone on the bus; I’d forgotten that P. had a haircut so I left my book and mp3 player at home. As always it was crowded at first, and as it lurched on to my hinterlands, we were all able to disperse and get a proper amount of West Coast space bubble between everyone.

I moved to one of the high seats in the very back and center and stopped focusing on my cramps and tiredness. I stopped being cross that there was nothing to do but think, and remembered that’s a thing I like to do, even if I’m not always great at it. It was cooler in the back. The windows were closed, but the vent in the back was ruffling my hair slightly. I looked straight ahead out the front window and pretended I was traveling on some kind of crappy, noisy litter or flying carpet. I wondered where I (and my teeth) would end up if we stopped suddenly.

It made me think of all the time I spent riding the bus back and forth downtown six years ago, when I was working holiday retail. I had come to the hard decision of picking up some kind of retail work after a few months of looking for a 9-5 contract. I’d been freelance editing and writing, working for our preschool to cover tuition, and I had my tiny writing gig at Blogher, but it wasn’t really the same as 40 hours a week at a tech gig, or even something like retail or coffee, which is at least steady.

No one in the tech world was biting, and I was getting increasingly desperate. I got home from a trip to Fred Meyer and flipped over the receipt and glanced at it without thinking about it. “WE’RE HIRING FOR THE HOLIDAYS!” it announced, among the ads and coupons for local restaurants. I could do that, I thought. I hadn’t worked retail for over ten years, but it comes right back, I figured. Like a herpes outbreak.

I tried to be sensible about it and apply to places where I actually would appreciate a discount, which is why a department store like Fred Meyer made sense. Of course I was scouring craigslist at the time, and widened my net to include the retail help wanted section.

I saw Lush was hiring for Christmas. They noted they were having an open house in the store, bring resume. I quickly scrubbed my master’s degree off my resume and put on something kooky–loud jewelry, red Fluevogs, blue velvet blazer. I had been a customer there for over ten years, when I could afford it, way back to when they were Canada-only. This would be perfect. At least I could be surrounded by smells I enjoyed, and maybe score some discounted lotion and some free broken bath bombs.

I went downtown, clutching my resume, not expecting much. I figured I was five or ten years out of the age range they were looking for. I walked in and got verbally accosted by the shrill and peppy woman who was the assistant manager, Janelle. She was in full-bore weekend mode, which I would get to know well. This involved, in part, shouting at everyone who walked in, and smearing stuff on people. I’m pretty sure she was smearing a cocoa butter bar on a hapless customer when I met her, a popular trick she used to brighten up aged tattoos.

Janelle was one of those people with no volume control, which helps in a shouty profession like Lush’s desired brand of pushy, in-your-face retail. She had a hooked beak of a nose and no real chin to speak of, giving not only the obvious first impression of a bird, but after working for her for a while and seeing how she would go for days without washing her greasy hair, she looked more like a heron who had been caught in an oil spill.

I also met the top dog: the store manager, Lisa, who was able to carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice, much to my relief. As a company, Lush is known for its sometimes extreme activist stances and funding fringe groups, like people who chain themselves to whales and whatnot. As a dabbler in nihilism, I knew my philosophy didn’t really line up with that face of the corporation, but I knew we had capitalism in common, so the marriage could probably stick. Lisa lavishly complimented my leather shoes when we met, so I was a little surprised later that she had somehow decided I was a fellow vegan, and amused when I found out it affected her decision to hire me.

I got a call back later from Janelle that was so loud I remember holding the phone away from my head. I forced myself to match her level of enthusiasm to accept the job loudly and gleefully. It’s just for Christmas, I told myself. Christmas, downtown. At one of the busiest malls in the city. It was better than wearing a Fred Meyer polo and nametag, if not as practical.

We were told to report somewhere for orientation, for which we would be paid. Janelle gave me the time, and the date, and a name: “The Moore.” I knew it as a music venue, which I thought was an odd place to hold an orientation, but the economy was in the pooper and maybe they were renting space during the day? I met another girl there, Gina, hanging around outside the door, and guessed she was a Lush temp as well because of her confused look and adherence to the dress code of black and/or white, which was already being enforced. She and I conferred and were both confused, and tried knocking on various doors and looking for signs.

A few minutes later I got a phone call. It was Janelle. “WHERE ARE YOU?” I cringed in pain and held the phone away from my ear, so it was effectively a conference call.

“I’m outside the Moore Theatre,” I said.

“Me too!” my new friend said.

“Gina is too,” I added.

“WELL GET OVER TO THE MOORE HOTEL, YOU SILLYS! GEEZ! WE’RE WAITING FOR YOU TO START!”

Having rarely stayed in a hotel in my own city, I actually had never noticed the Moore Hotel existed and was relieved to see it was catty corner from the theatre. As Gina and I were hurrying across the street, I realized was one of those moments, when, if I was younger I would have felt stupid for days and probably would have fallen all over myself trying to apologize, but I knew this wasn’t really my mistake. I think it also set up how I felt about the job in my time there, and set up my attitude about jobs like this in the future: I was going to hit the due diligence mark, but I wasn’t going to get too wrapped up in the job itself, either.

I walked into a room of about 15 women, as I recall, all in the proscribed black or white clothes. Mostly black, because what kind of moron wears white to work retail, let alone in a shop that is full of brightly-colored hunks of beauty potions that would explode when dropped or stared at too hard, or melt if exposed to the sun? I vaguely recall Janelle saying something awkward and shamey to we derelicts when we walked in, and Gina looked chagrined, but I thought that if Janelle could manage her way out of a tatty, repurposed bath bomb bag, she probably would have just started the orientation. I noted that Lisa the store manager was nowhere in sight, so we were at the mercy of Janelle.

We were informed about the structure of our day. For the first part, we would learn about the many products Lush offers, with an emphasis on limited edition Christmas product and gift boxes. We were hired right after Halloween, so we were to learn the theme for that year which tied back to Halloween (and moving leftover Halloween product). This year’s theme was: SUUUUPERNATURAL, Janelle intoned dramatically, writing it on the white board in the room.

It somehow reminded me of what I imagined summer camp was like when the crappy counselor was left in charge for the evening while the cool teens went off and got drunk: “Ghost stories, kids. SPOOOOOKY!” There is nothing like a watching a power-mad person finally getting that juicy leadership opportunity they so desperately crave, and then being captive audience to an entire day of their grandiose over confidence. I knew that we could expect a day of watching lines Janelle had practiced in the shower falling flat.

Of course I had worked Christmas retail in the past (Best Buy, Tower) as well as at Safeway as a checker during the holiday rush. I knew little enraged customers more than clueless holiday help who cannot answer basic questions about products or know where anything is, so I tried to really commit what Janelle was emphasizing to memory. The top enragers for customers were 1. waiting. For anything and 2. being told that something was out of stock. Dealing with bumbling holiday temps was often a precursor to a full-blown customer tantrum, because first they had to deal with a 19-year-old girl going, “Do we have face lotions…ummm…” before being told that the lotion they want is out of stock and then being made to wait in line to buy a second or third choice.

Once I got the basic product lines breakdown, it was pretty easy to think about how to sell the product. Lush follows the typical conventions of the world of product fragrancing, and you could chuck all the products into bins in your mind. The olfactory experience of walking past or into a Lush store is a lot like that of a perfume truck crashing into a whorehouse, but there are distinct categories. There’s my favorite world, which is citrus anything, especially bergamot. There’s kind of weird-fruity beyond citrus, like blackberry or apple. I thought of these products as being targeted at children and someone who never met a Katy Perry perfume they didn’t like. There’s the floral categories–rose, jasmine. There’s the foodie/vanilla/chocolate/honey products. Then there were “green” or herby-spicy concoctions that were meant to smell like you’d been rolling around in the woods making out with Stevie Nicks (SPOOOOOKY). These herby scents were especially emphasized in my Supernatural holiday season.

You can break all these categories down into further patterns. If rose is involved, you can be pretty sure that they are going to add some citrus or carnation to it, too. If there is jasmine, either vetiver or or ylang ylang will probably be involved. And so on. In spite of their we’re-so-wacky image, Lush usually sticks with the tried and true combinations, which is just good business sense. It’s incredibly convenient for me, too, because after working there and smelling, and smelling, and SMELLING vials of essential oils and all the products over and over again, it’s pretty easy for me to eyeball a “new” product via the site and immediately know whether or not I will like it.

This was just one facet of how we were expected to sell products. The other major facet was the benefits of the healthy and natural ingredients. It was distasteful to witness some of the regular staff selling products with purported anti-aging benefits with a touch of the “let us save you from disfiguring wrinkles” fear-mongering. I believe that sunscreens (which Lush products do not contain) delay the aging process and do cool things like reduce skin cancer, but beyond that wrinkles are inevitable, of course.

I avoided this tack all together, and even had some women try to suss out my beliefs about “anti-aging creams,” which I thought was interesting. I never once had anyone walk off in a huff after I said things like, “aging is inevitable, but this cream could make your skin type feel nicest on the long, drying march to the grave.” It always seemed like a test, and as soon as these rare individuals twigged to the fact that I wasn’t going to try to scare them into buying something with a bunch of anti-feminist claptrap they warmed to me and seemed to trust my opinions and recommendations more. It was a funny dance.

There was also a lot of beneficial factoid stuff we were supposed to spout about the ingredients of every product. Janelle recommended we memorize three facts about every product. A tall order in a store with dozens of product lines, with anywhere from two to thirty products in each line! But I had always been interested in fragrances and perfumes, and was actually looking forward to learning about essential oils and principles of fragrance composition, thereby sewing another badge on my World’s Dilettante-iest Dilettante sash.

The afternoon after lunch was spent focusing on gift boxes, roleplaying various customer needs scenarios, and being quizzed on products, scent families, etc. Then we were all given our individual first week schedules. There is no commission at Lush, but it was strongly implied that capable (meaning high-selling) and flexible workers would get more hours as the season wore on. Then it hit us, as we looked around the room at the new colleagues were had gotten to know that day: theoretically, there were slots available for all of us to work, but some of us would get more hours than others.

In the weeks before Thanksgiving, we lost some girls right away. I say “girls” because that is what most of us were: very young, and we were working in such a feminine environment. We pedaled flowery products that looked like cakes and hearts or bears or what have you. 99.9% of customers who walked in were women. We were always addressed as “girls” by Janelle, who was twenty-five to my thirty-one. I think the only people in their 30s were me and one other woman who thought everything was pretty much bullshit as well, but wanted to make a little extra cash over the holiday and score some cheaper Christmas presents. I rarely worked with her, because unlike me, she had a real-deal day job and was only available at night.

So, as I said, we began losing some girls right away. They couldn’t handle the high-pressure sales tactic style that was expected of us, or the kooky singing or dancing or yelling or endless product demo offers. We were constantly pushed by management to offer little impromptu hand treatments to anyone and everyone who walked in the store, and some girls shied away from that. There were some who had bad attitudes or problems or could not hide their contempt for Janelle, which was the death knell for any temporary clerk there.

Lush was at the end of the mall, sticking out into the public plaza adjoining the mall, and was always full of shoppers, protesters, proselytizers, hobos, criminals, police on horses and bikes, horse-drawn carriages, nut vendors, and assorted other rabble. The store really did jut far out like some kind of verruca of a weird architectural afterthought on the building itself, and was basically a glass-walled box on three sides and was nicknamed “the fishbowl.”

Occasionally men were attracted by the display of girls in tanktops and aprons, dancing around in the fishbowl like fools to Off the Wall or Lady Gaga. The ladies’ club atmosphere in the store would change very abruptly and clerks would try to dodge men who we all knew had no interest in actually buying anything. They used us as a captive audience to mack on. There was one guy who claimed to have xray glasses and could see us naked, and would chortle over the bath bombs and how they looked like “tittays.” Other men who showed up, thankfully, were either gay, and so were part of our clubhouse vibe since they were just there to smell good and feel nice, or they were husbands/partners and had been indoctrinated or resigned to coming along.

We were told over and over again than men were repelled by Lush because they had a stronger sense of smell than women, which never sounded right to me, and seems isn’t true anyway. I always thought it was, to oversimplify things, that women are socialized to fragrance their person, their home, their clothes, and have been sold things via fragrance for many years. Imagine these stock photos/ads with all men. Oh, I did that. Here’s men enjoying smells. Women enjoy the smell of cleanliness (which should really be the absence of smells but that is a rant for another day), fruit, flowers, food, babies. I think men are supposed to enjoy smelling meat, brandy, and pussy. Lush does not sell those things, and is indeed very PETA-friendly, so I think meat is out and maybe even pussy unless it’s being humanely sourced.

One night when we were closed, doors locked, I realized were were still a captive display even after hours when a man walked up to our doors that opened to the plaza and exhaled the most enormous lungful of pot smoke that I think I have ever known to come out of a human into the crack where the doors met. Was that harassment? Intended as a gift? A response to the fumes that were emanating from the store? I was irritated and hoped it wouldn’t make me sleepy, since I still had about an hour before I could even make for the bus.

There was a barista who worked across the way who liked to come in when the youngest, bosomy-iest girls on staff were working. He had what seemed to be a legitimate phobia of glitter, which is an ingredient in many Lush products. When we were slammed and I found myself alone on the floor, while watching him attempt to cadge an arm massage from one of the other clerks, I would approach them both, slathering a shimmer bar on my forearms casually. He always fled with a nauseated look on his face. I got to know him better when I picked up hours at his shop as well, in an attempt to patch together forty hours, and he confessed that glitter really made him feel like he was going to vomit.

The mall itself was a funny community, and I missed it when I left. There was a Waldo who walked through the mall regularly. There were bomb threats and fights and shoplifters being hauled out by bike cops. My barista friend would keep me in the loop about who was sleeping with whom, and what a creep the Rosetta Stone kiosk guy was. Sometimes he would take me to spend my paltry barista tips drinking at PF Changs, or I would stop at the Buckaroo on the way home, my children long asleep after my late hours, and spend my money on one beer.

In the food court, the bubble tea people got to know me because I would come for half price, day old banh mi on Sundays, which I also loved, because I would treat myself to free street parking instead of the horrors of the bus. They knew me at McDonald’s, too, because this was the only time in my adult life where I was that desperately in need of cheap quick calories. At first I often packed a healthy and thrifty lunch, but it would sit in the jumbled morass of the one closet in the store where we were allowed to keep our coats and bags, and by the time my break rolled around, everything tasted like perfume, which made it really hard to choke down. Far better to spend a dollar on a burger, which my body would rip through after standing for eight hours. Like the kids I worked with, sometimes I just said “fuck it” and had a bubble tea for lunch.

When I was really getting into the groove of working there, I remember being in the aisle popping and locking to Justin Timberlake or something when a group of ladies walked in. That thing happened where you are glancing at someone right before the moment of recognition and it happens slowly, because you are both out of context for each other. Then we had it, at the same time: library school. She had tried to help me get into the PhD program a few years before, and I knew she had dropped out of it herself since then, but was working as an information professional somewhere. People who did not think I was a chucklehead assbiscuit in library school seemed to think I had some kind of bright future somewhere (still waiting on that one, ha ha) so I wasn’t to surprised to see her look of total confusion as she took in my apron and my sick dance moves.

“SJ…what are you DOING here?” This was said politely but with a sense of genuine bewilderment, as if she had caught me clandestinely smearing myself with feces.

“I’m working,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. She literally turned kind of red and did sort of an awkward lurch-step backwards out of the store again, without so much as a “goodbye” or “I’m sorry.” Her friends followed her. It was like a Victorian novel, and not only was I smearing myself with feces, but I was doing that while being a disgraced heiress who was now a three-penny upright in an alley.

In order to avoid reminders like these that I once had had a promising future as a corporate drone, I aggressively lobbied for day shifts. A side benefit of this was that I now had ample opportunity to work with the regular, non-seasonal staff. I was known as a go-getter who could connect with people, was a hard worker, and could move a lot of product. All of the clerks liked me and a few decided to take me under their wing, which of course involved talking much smack about the other regular clerks.

My favorite clerk quickly became Aoife, who confounded some things I thought I knew about people. First, she was an African-American woman with an Irish name that was challenging for many Americans to spell, let alone pronounce. She was a single mother who spoke in a particular accent that I had previously associated with African Americans from the South. If I had to guess, I would have assumed she was from Georgia. Nope–Alaska. Something else unexpected, since a common American stereotype/belief is that there are no black people in Alaska. When I met her and she told me she was from Alaska, she said, “Yes, that Alaska. The state.”

Janelle and Aoife hated each other. Janelle told me Aoife kept a gun in her bag in the terror pit that was our personal belongs closet. Somehow I managed to tactfully ask Janelle what her opinion was on why Aoife carried a gun and Janelle looked at me meaningfully and said something like, “You know–ALAAASKA.” (Spoooky.) Whoever came in to work would stack their coat and bag in the closet, and by the time your shift had ended, of course a bunch of ladies had put their stuff on top of yours, so you had to fish your stuff out from the bottom, which would send everyone else’s belongings flying and shifting! Woe betide you if you’d forgotten to zip your bag all the way. Every time I had to get my things after clocking out, I thought of Aoife’s alleged gun shifting around in there and I hoped the alleged safety was on.

Aoife told me that Janelle had bipolar, and was on and off her meds, which she said explained a lot of her erratic moodiness and various states of hygiene competence. “That girl just smell sometimes,” she told me flatly, and I could not disagree with her. Janelle usually stank of old pot smoke or hair grease, which seemed to conflict with her forcing me to listen in great detail what bath she had indulged in the night before, using about seven different products. If only she would dunk her head. Janelle would prescribe me various baths and send me away with homework and a promise to give her a full report about exactly what bathing with an Avobath bomb AND a Sunny Side bubble bar was like.

The mall was a clusterfuck and my bus stop and bus was downright dangerous sometimes, but there was something that was working for me about the job, and it had one huge advantage over other, theoretical future jobs: I actually had it and knew how to perform my duties. I was surrounded by mostly women and the two delightful gay men on staff all day. I had whole weeks where I rarely interacted with any men at all, beyond P., which was exactly what I needed then. I would come home and rub balms and face masks all over myself and just relax and smell good, which was nice.

But the downsides (besides the customers, ho ho)…I took a LOT of inappropriate boundary crossing from Janelle, from hearing about her sex life and her finances. She touched me a lot, too. She was fascinated by my breasts too, and asked if she could touch them. They are fine boobs, but really, they are just boobs, not made out of powdered unicorn horn or anything. Aoife told me out of the blue that she thought Janelle “had a thing” for me. I prayed that “the thing” was a raise and some defective product. I don’t think she was into me.

One day I was working the register and she was admiring my chest tattoos, which, fine. “YOU NEED MORE!” she declared, and began drawing on me with a Sharpie to create a piece in the middle of my breastbone that would link the two flowers. It sort of looked like a constipated sun. I couldn’t really run off the floor and scrub this off in the bathroom, so I endured questions from customers about why I had let an uncoordinated child draw on my body with magic markers. It was ironic to me because I knew she fancied herself an artist and had previously worked as a sign painter, which I didn’t know was even an actual job anymore.

Janelle took credit for this masterpiece every time, and I think the customers saw the “dear god, help me” look in my eyes, but Janelle thought we were bonding, I think. She implied that the young girls were twits (they weren’t really twits, just young) and the older girls were trying to backstab her for her job (they were) and I was the only one who “got her.” It takes me a ridiculously long time to tell a person I like what I am thinking or feeling, or anything beyond the barest thumbnail of what my life is like (I think a nicer way to put this is to say I am a bit “guarded”) so it occurred to me that she, a real freakazoid, probably knew next to nothing about me, really. I just spent hours listening to her ramble inappropriately while keeping a poker face, something I learned from dealing with my mother.

I was still relentlessly applying for jobs anywhere, everywhere else. I had a promising phone interview for a taxonomy contract at Nordstrom that went nowhere, and a few other false starts. Christmas was right around the corner and I knew that we remaining clerks (there were fewer than half of us left) would be cut loose and let out to wander the world looking for the next horrible retail gig, unmoisturized and no longer smelling of ginger or lilies. I had heard a rumor that sometimes really good temp clerks would be invited to stay on and convert to permanent, but I have had my dick pulled with that one in almost every temp job I’ve ever had. It’s usually just something they tell you to entice you to behave, like “Santa is watching” or “the IRS still has enough funding to do audits.”

One night shortly after Christmas I closed with Janelle and after the last of the earlier-shift clerks had left (it was usually just two of us after seven or so, a key holder and a little minion like me, who was expected to do most of the stocking and cleaning). It seemed that most of my compatriots had been given their last week of shifts and would be cut loose before New Year’s Day. I had not been given mine. Janelle locked the doors and turned up the music. She seemed a little shakier than usual, but I knew she routinely stayed up for days at a time, so I figured she and her boyfriend had just been up on another one of their sprees, which would involve another horrifying story about his Burner friends or insinuations about polyamory while I just swept the floor going, “Uh hah. Interesting.” (Not pictured: My soul dying just a tiny bit more while the outside of me earns $9.25 an hour.)

But no! Tonight she was excited! She had very exciting news!! “WE’D LIKE YOU TO STAY ON AFTER CHRISTMAS!” All I had to do was sign the paperwork. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was not the end, that I could find a different job that paid better and didn’t involve doing the electric slide while wearing a blueberry face mask, but I still felt my chest collapsing a little. The store manager would discuss it with me during my next day shift and would have the papers.

Sign away I did. Later that day, I kid you not, I was cornered by two dogs, one off leash while I was jogging through Greenlake, and the other in the store itself, and I had a panic attack. This was when I developed my temporary dog phobia: the day I signed on at Lush. Of course I think it was more complex than that, and would not have developed if I also wasn’t experiencing escalating health problems (anxiety related to malnutrition, etc.), but it was interesting timing.

Things got very rote after the holiday madness died down, and there was surprisingly low turnover at that store, so I was the new kid for the rest of my tenure there. The other clerks were very welcoming, and even the ones I couldn’t read well confessed that they were very happy I’d been picked and voted for me. I stayed three more months at the standard 30 or so hours a week so they didn’t have to provide benefits, and then in March I found a tech contract that more than doubled what I’d been making at Lush. I hung on to a few evening shifts, just to keep my hand in and keep in touch with a group that had been a mini, temporary, very dysfunctional family during a very difficult period, but eventually it was all too much, working more than forty hours a week, and I gave my notice.

Every time I go into a Lush store and am assaulted by the rabid employees and I see the trepidation and desperation in their eyes I am reminded of my time there, as I gently tell them, “It’s okay, I used to work here. I know the deal.” The really jesusy ones push on anyway, “WELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR NEW SPRING LINE?” and remind me of the “pep talks” from the managers (“WE NEED TO MOVE 6K BY NOON LADIES!!!!”). The normal ones look relieved and say, “Oh, okay, have fun then” and leave me be. And I am relieved that I get to leave without clocking out, covered in stale sweat and glitter and regretting all my choices that led up to this point.

The Plan of a House The Body in Bed

MAN I am dead I tells you. I’m okay with starting a new job this week, really I am. I like money. What I didn’t expect is to walk for a half hour to pick up my girls every night. This is totally great, but in addition to waking up at 6 and keeping up on yoga, I am just tired. I’ll catch up.

The stressful thing is starting a new job and having summer camp end two weeks before school starts. I forgot about this bullshit. What to do now?


Goethe decides I am done with yoga.


Mère takes a bath. She was under the weather for a couple of days and I was worried about her. She slept smooshed up against my ribs last night which she never does–usually she’s between my feet. This is better than that sick cat who hides under the porch, how sad is that?


Goethe LOOOOVES her mother. Mère finds her daughter annoying. I find all of this hilarious.

I uhhhh drunkenly syndicated my blog on Kindle. I guess my point in telling you this is that it’s so easy a person who has consumed half a bottle of rosé and a small glass of whiskey can do it. Jennyalice told me to do it this weekend when I was in San Diego, and as it turns out she’s a pretty good boss. “Drink more mai tais,” she said. “Wear my underwear,” she said, handing me a spotted pair with a proper butt part since I packed drunk. I have always wondered what it’s like to pack drunk. Here is the answer: hot pink bandeau bra with silver zebra stripes, bikini top (note lack of actual for real bras) and assorted XXX-tra fancy thongs. Apparently I thought Squid‘s mom’s house was some kind of porno set.

Anyway, I hope the syndicating will be worthwhile to someone, since sometimes I write long and sometimes I write short, and I hope the average of that feels like value. I’ll have the link up when I get it. Apparently they have to look at my blog and assess its value and make sure it’s a really real thing or something. I’m still going to finish my first date series, don’t worry.

Also, this is kind of funny, ha ha, I signed a book contract for the Victorian cookbook in San Diego. Remember that? There’s more to it, and also less to it, but suffice it to say that I have a manuscript due January 5th, 2012.

Meet a Giant Fish

And NOW it’s done.

And now I am also sad, my current year-long work contract has been terminated. I really enjoyed this one. It was a business decision…they cut down from 13 to one taxonomist in the past four months. It was a good run, and now off I go to look for more work. I think I’m going to wait until mid-August to start, since I am going to San Diego for Blogher in early August and I have an eagerly-anticipated houseguest in the second/third week.

Fly Like a Rat: Liveblog for No Good Reason

6:23 a.m. HELLO. Welcome to Liveblog* ’10…Electric…Bonobo Pen. (???) Expect more of that type of massacring of the English language as the day commences, because those four hours of sleep I got last night simply FLEW by. BOY I thought I was free-associating yesterday? Just wait. Seriously, though, I am very excited to wrap up this contract, which has been good to me. Very good. When I am at work, I don’t even walk: muscular, beleaguered hamsters act as a gentle live palanquin. Don’t even question that. The Seattle tech scene is all about the hamster palanquin. This group was especially dedicated, however.

Sitting here thinking about my day I feel pretty good. I am going to be optimistic because I had several moderate head injuries in high school and say that I may even get through my to-do list. HA HA HA! JUST KIDDING! Or am I? BRB commuting, see you in a couple of hours.

8:37 a.m.: I’ve Got Fangs, You’ve Got Rabies Well HELLOOOO there. It’s pretty quiet here this morning. Last night I was out til 12:30 at live music with Ruby. We saw Quintron and Miss Pussycat, which is an outfit out of New Orleans. Ruby wanted to see some shows on her return from the Midwest–she even went to Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin, which is allegedly the largest water park in the U.S. I believe it, as the Wisconsin Dells are a tourist trap of delightfully epic proportions. I have a story about Noah’s Ark, which I will tell later.

The verdict on the show: not so good. Once I saw it was a possible show we could go to, I went to the googamachine and hunted up some videos to see how they were. They looked awesome live–kind of some hybrid of The Cramps, the B-52s, and Boss Hog. I was in. The show started with a puppet show which was adorable and well done, and about as simple as a kids’-style puppet show with an adult twist should be. There was jungle animals and magic and policemen getting beheaded.

Then the music started. It was like a switch flipped and every former frat boy shoved to the front of the stage. Elbows were flying and the ladies who were up front quickly fled to the fringes, except for this small chick who was obviously tripping balls and kept sitting down. Shirts flew off and white men were getting sweaty. CROWDSURFING started. Seriously? Crowdsurfing? The music was danceable and had a great beat, and it was nice to see Seattle audiences enthusiastic for once, but ock, no, bad touch. The hipsters who hung on to the edges were doing their little skippity hipster girl dances, via the spirit of undead Calvin Johnson. We kind of gave up a few songs in and called it a night.

“I am embarrassed for white people right now,” Ruby said.

However, I still like their music. Ok, back to work.

9:54 a.m. Dr. Dre “Still”: Woo it is Bastille Day! I don’t know about storming castles today, but I like the pattern forming here. I quit my last job on my birthday last fall. That was pretty ace. I had a funny thing when Ruby and I went out to dinner before the ugh-fated show last night. We were back at Quinn’s, which I cannot seem to stay away from lately.

We were seated and our server approached. “Do you have…a blog?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I said, my face burning. “I mean, noooo.”

“I cannot take you anywhere,” Ruby said.

Later I asked him if he would indulge me and tell me how he’d heard of me. It turns out a friend of his was a reader and passed my link on. “This is when I lived in Toronto,” he said.

“HOLD THE PHONE ARE YOU CANADIAN AND ARE YOU SINGLE,” I said, licking my finger and smoothing my eyebrows. This is how goddam suave I am. I should write one of them pick up artists books. Chapter One: “TAKE OFF PANTS NOW Y/Y.” Aggggh. I get into trouble when people know about the blog because I feel like that is a disclaimer. “Oh, so you KNOW I am an asshole already. My work is done here, we can just skip to the break up part.”

“NO and NO,” he said quickly. Ruby was rolling her eyes so hard I thought she was going to pass out.

“Ah,” I said. “I have a thing for Canadians. You are safe.” He humored me by looking relieved, in spite of the fact that he could not have possibly believed for one second he was ever unsafe. Was I even drunk at this point? No, I was not. I have no excuse. Later I was drunkish and I told him he looked like a cuter version of Crispin Glover. WHAT who was THAT LADY. It was like liquid cheese was coming out of my pores. I was a delicious human nacho fountain. Rudy was audibly tsking. At least she is never bored when we are out.

Lesson: if you ever encounter me and are Canadian, lie and say you are not.

11:23 a.m. Dan Savage Lovecast:

Over the past few months, my desk has gotten increasingly pinker where my left wrist rests. Whoops. I’m like the love child of King Midas and Strawberry Shortcake. Pink Creep!



12:15 p.m. Pete Rock, “I Got A Love”:

I just had a run in with my boss. “Can you do X, Y, and Z?” Yes, I already did. because I know how you roll and I am just that awesome. She invited me for a drink, which would be fun, but I knew everyone else on my team is out of town, so I had already made plans for tonight. They are talking about creating a position here with me in mind, which sounds nice and is very flattering, but sometimes these things do not get off the ground.

1:35 p.m. GETTIN ANTSY HERE. “Expert Chef”

HEY I just had what P. likes to call Crap by the Pound, which is buffet that gets weighed after. Then you have to have that reckoning moment where you say, am I really going to eat 47 pounds of Spaicy Tofu? Yes, yes I am. I had to go and have food down here one more time though. I also had a nice 15 minute conversation with my copyeditor and you will be pleased to know that we solved the whole world’s problems.

I was going to tell you about Noah’s Ark. Sorry, this story is going to be the razorblade in the apple that is my fluff today. But it will be short. When I was wee, my grandparents had a farm in Wisconsin, near the Dells, and we would spend time in the middle of nowhere in the woods doing things like hunting for asparagus and also time in town doing things like looking for the totally most bitchen gold-plated Eyetalian horn at the mall. (That was more the younger relatives.)

One summer we were planning on going whole hog and taking the entire pack of wild Italians to Noah’s Ark. The baby oil would flow! The white bathing suits would be rocked! And then there was me, the little whitey stepchild who was along for the ride…until I did or said something that pissed off my stepfather. We rolled into our parking spot, which seemed so far away from the park the waterslides looked like plastic piping.

“She’s staying here,” he said. “All day, in the car alone, as a lesson.” I was six.

I think about leaving my girls alone in a car outside of a waterpark for five or six hours while I went in to have fun, and my stomach just twists. I still remember that as one of the longest days of my life–I have rarely felt so completely alone. He doesn’t know it, but he taught me a lot about parenting, and that I would rather be loved than feared, though sometimes you need to choose what you will call on.

3:21 pm. It’s that bad place, you know? That ZZZZZ place. Oh, and Mos Def “Ms. Fat Booty”

I am on my last task. Switching to twitter after I leave, as is my custom after work to make a flurry of twoots fly out of my twoottwat and then I will try to update one more time later. Ok, be back drunker, ilu.

*******

*All content comes from a timed release feed, outsourced from Romania, and is not actually live, nor is it created by the author, and especially not today on the clock. LOOK IT’S THAT JESUS-BUGGERING ELVIS-WIG ELEPHANT I LIKE SO MUCH.

TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY

DEAR FUCKERS,

I can has new jerb, telecommuting from home. I LOVE TELECOMMUTING, I EAT ALL THE BLUEBERRIES. I think I am starting at the end of the month. And I am looking at houses like mad! Looks like moving this summer for the first time in four years. So I am a little AGGGH and OMG and WHOA at the moment. But I aen’t ded. How you doin. I have new pictures up on Flickr and I am only slightly fatter, uglier, and older than the blog you married nine years ago.

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”

Lately I am all about work work work. With this new blog project on the horizon I am excited that my second job is ending pretty shortly after the holidays. At first I was berating myself for being so freaking tired all the time, but I realized there is a difference between last year at this time and this year. This year I am working forty hours doing techy stuff and creative-ish writing (well, original, anyway. Until it is poems about unicorns and corndogs I feel I will not have achieved my dreams), plus I am working 10-15 hours a week doing sales. Last year I was cobbling together forty or so hours a week working this same holiday job, coffee, and doing a little writing on the side. My schedule was odd then–I often wasn’t expected in until eleven or later, so I could run after getting the girls off to school in the morning. I miss that. Now I leave in the dark and get home in the dark, sometimes eleven or later.

Someone asked me recently why I was doing this and I wonder. I replied it was because I need a steady exposure to degenerates and weirdos or else I feel like my brain is stagnating. Yet with all this work I barely have time or energy to write about the degenerates and weirdos, so I tell myself I am going through one of those phases where I am collecting ideas, people, and stories again. I also tell myself I am making a little extra holiday money, and getting a discount on products I like and things my friends like. This is partly true.

There is another little slice, though. I have this nagging voice in the back of my head that chimes in with “lazy, lazy, lazy” when I am only working one job at a max of forty hours. I was raised by a workaholic with a job and a side business who worked sixty hours a week without complaint (we were the ones who complained since this schedule made him borderline psychotic). Is he happy now? Does he sit on his pile of money and celebrate? No, apparently he is miserably unhappy and in terrible, foolish debt. My stepfather is not the most self-analytical person I have ever met, to say the least, so I wonder what he was thinking. His father did it too, and was also miserable. Why live like this? I get tastes of this life and ask myself that. Pride. The illusion of getting ahead, though life is just as short if you take weekends off or not. Ultimately, what else is there to do with yourself, if not stay busy? Why is it so hard for me to be happy when I’m happy?

I am thinking about this today because I am transitioning out of my current temporary job, though I don’t know when, exactly. On Monday my replacement came on and now I am back to looking for work in case they decide to cut me abruptly, because you never know.

P. and I were talking resumes. He is an excellent second person to look at mine most of the time. He brought up the fact that he usually drops the “library” from his “library and information science” degree on his resume now. We argued about this one a bit. I felt as if he was implying I should drop it too. Some people say leaving the l-word on hurts your chances of getting employed in a tech capacity. Others say that people recognize that librarians receive a considerable amount of tech training anyway, and the field is attracting people who have the skills and interest coming in.

It stung a little, and I wasn’t sure why. I am always careful to tell people that while I am a librarian by training, I have never worked as one. Why is it so easy for him to drop it, and not me? I offended him back by saying I was not ready to let go of the idea that I had a professional degree, which lead to more discussion about what IS an information scientist, and could you tell that to people and they would just get it? No. People have a picture of what a librarian is. The profession is almost as old as books. There are professional organizations and guilds for librarians, OK, I countered. He rattled off a bunch of organizations that are specifically for IS folks.

We did not come to any real conclusions except to say that librarianship is gold leaf you can lay over your tech skills, I guess, and some people hate that Rococo shit. Where is librarianship? Is it stuck in a crack in Plato’s cave somewhere?

Them Chickens Is Ash and I’m Lotion

DO NOT use these elevators. However, there is no indication that the numbers actually relate to the elevators the sign hangs next to. These signs are not on every floor. Additionally, the only elevators that open are the possibly-taboo elevators.

I could not resist the potential of the taboo elevators. What was in them? Doubloons? Narnia? $240 worth of pudding? An elevator operator saying, “ROOM FOR ONE MORE!”?

I stepped onto one of the verboten elevators and a panel hung menacingly from its hairlike wires. It did not go. I stepped into the next, illegal elevator that opened: it was perfectly well-behaved and lurched up to my floor and I dropped my item off.

On the return, finally, finally, the one of the non-taboo elevators opened and I stepped into it. It smells like electrical fire smoke. The stairs smell like solvent.

Without our daily tiny mindfuck, do we forget we are little cogs and begin to aspire to other things?

OOH Bitch That Ain’t Fair Give That Horsie Back His Hair

Hey. Heeeeey. Sexy man on my vending machine. Baby, I like the way you eat that potato chip. I can see all the way back there. Kind of wish I had a dick to cram in there, but I could probably find something else in a pinch. Man, do you still have your tonsils? That’s pretty hot. I have mine in a jar at MAH CRIB. Yes, for reals. Do I look like the type of person who would just say I have my tonsils in a jar at MAH CRIB if that was untrue? That hurts, baby.

Yes, I know snacking is an important personal decision, or at least that’s that the sign next to your sexy head says. I still don’t want to pay two bone for a bag of peanuts with a weird sweet coating. You know, when I squint my eyes, you look kind of like my geometry teacher. Sort of like that, or one of my aunts. I really like your ethnic ambiguity. Feeling included is making me want to eat potato chips. Also not feeling like anyone else is excluded. That is making me want salty snacks as well. You sort of look like the dude version of a Bratz doll. What kind of accent would you have? HEY, you’re not a digital composite, are you? I think you might be.

That’s okay, I’m open-minded.

IN OTHER NEWS: Could I Please Have a Look at the Lyrics?

On Saturday I went to the Symphony. I had heard the Seattle Symphony was like totes casual, like we just need to keep it real and hear some damn music, there’s no time for peacocking. FALSE. Seattleites are lazy as hell with disgusting personal habits. I dressed up, but MY BADS it was Final Fantasy, so there were people there in costumes. Can people not contain their appalling personal problems for one night? No, they cannot. Bonus: I discovered that not only are they still manufacturing tuxedo-print shirts, a wall of unholy neckbeards wearing them can sashay toward you as you are innocently on your way to the bathroom. The composer was there with a giant fish and there was a huge screen behind the musicians. It was still pretty cool though, when you closed your eyes.

I am going to a wedding this weekend (not mine FTW) and Hazel is coming and sleeping at my house. I am her date. I didn’t see her for months and now twice in a summer. It’s amazing what a difference having a little extra money and not working constantly and odd hours makes. Also I am getting close to fleeing the country with my shiny new passport for a weekend with Franny. How happy I am to be traveling with her again so soon. She is back from her dad’s now after a two-week sojourn so I will probably be writing more now. I was sort of at loose ends without the routine she makes for me.

The conversation recap from breakfast was Franny recounting sacking up and asking her stepmother why she is not allowed to say “butt” when she’s there. Of course the butt-deprivation resulted in an acapella duet to butts and vulvas, and how awesome they are. It would be an overstatement to say I enjoy this. Let’s say I feel benignly toward this. Strudel is struggling with this as well. She wants to use the proper names for her body parts, and in her summer program these words are known as “bathroom words.” On one hand, I don’t like to hear the proper names for things referred to this way, on the other hand, Feral Dwarf, do you have to talk about your VULVA constantly? Do we need to hear that it likes the quesadillas? Does it need 27 sonnets and an epic? Why can’t my children rebel by aspiring to get an MBA?

So what we are working on now is APPROPRIATENESS. Yes, yes, my very existence is ironical now. I think Strudel is probably going to grow up to be one of those menstrual blood artists or something. I will come to her openings.

Things I cannot stop with today: 1. Shakira’s new single, She-Wolf, GOD HELP ME. LOOK at this PREVIEW. She is a Hooters girl up to her NECK and is in a cage. SO MUCH AWESOME. 2. The last Girl Talk album. 3. Seattle has awesome hiphop, even if people are slobs. 4. Also Tony’s Bitch Track.

“What you need is a fatty-boom-batty blunt, and I guarantee you’ll be seeing a sailboat, an ocean, and maybe even some of those big-titted mermaids doing some of that lesbian shit”

On Saturday I went back to The Mall. Yes, that mall, my home-away-from-home and/or prison for five long months this winter. One thing that’s important for you to know, if you haven’t figured out already, is that I am a person at odds with myself. I wrestle with where I’ve come from and what my life is like as an adult. Every choice I’ve made has either involved me trying to improve myself, often to the point of putting on airs, like my decision to take le Fronch in le eighth grade instead of Spanish, which was a gateway drug to snobbier things; or it’s been a decision that has involved me tearing myself down back to where I think I belong, which is wearing a tube top to the monster truck rally while balancing a Solo full of SoCo on my giant pregnant belly. I dunno.

So when I was younger and first entered the horrifying world of work I made every attempt to find something dignified, or at least hip, to do. I wedged myself into the record store rat track early, and did not leave until halfway through college. I felt relieved and smug about the fact that I had avoided the mall morass that so many of my friends had gotten into, which left them glazed-looking, overly-chilled from the air conditioning, and smelling vaguely of corn dogs. And bitter about the entire human race. Very, VERY bitter. Because who doesn’t go to the mall? Especially in the middle of winter when it is pouring and the economy is utterly going to hell in the backseat of a Volkswagen?

Lesson: there is no uniting factor about who goes to the mall. The most specific thing you can say about a person who walks through the doors into the cool Muzak is that they are human beings. Probably. Other places I had worked in the past collected people with common interests. Record stores: music. Coffee houses: paying too much money to get fatter. Evictress: deadbeats. University writing tutor: weepy ESL students. You get what I’m saying here.

I had looked for professional work for about three months this summer and I was getting interviews but no offers. The closest I came was second-runner up for a company that did insurance-related stuff, which I was both relieved and disappointed not to get, since it looked like a dead-end, albeit a really comfortable one in an office downtown with plushy leather chairs, bookshelves, grandfather clocks, and potted palms. I spent more and more time on Craigslist and got increasingly farther from what I wanted to be doing category-wise: into part time and the dreaded “Misc,” which is like the job equivalent of “???” in the personals (“M seeks ? who enjoys rubbing and popping balloons, being submerged in mac-n-cheese, and Strap on Saturday“).

(On second thought this sounds kind of awesome. Email me at this domain.)

BUT I DIGRESS. Veering off into the other categories on ye olde CL led me off into exciting holiday retail opportunities. Here was a store I had shopped at for years that did not seem totally evil, and well, if it was at the crazy ghetto mall downtown, that would probably lend itself to some really great writing material later, right? I was sure if they offered me a job I would bounce out of there, having scored some rad professional gig by Christmas, tops. RIGHT? Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.

It was cosmetics work and I jumped into it with both feet and developed a sort of a persona and look to cope with what horrors were in store. Sasha Fierce: Mall Edition. Basically I was a busted-ass version of a MAC girl with doorknocker earrings. I did interviews and copious amounts of running and sleeping on my days off.

I was also lucky enough to face my fears and snobbery on one of my very first days at work. I was outfitted in my apron and my slut warpaint when someone I worked closely with in library school (but had lost touch with after) walked in and we came face-to-face. The last time I had seen her, she was attempting to help me launch myself into the PhD program at my school. (Ah, remember that? Ass zits FTW Y/Y?) 

“SJ!” she said, looking confused. “What are you…doing here?”

This was it. I had to own it. Where could I go, anyway? There was no hiding.

“I WORK here. Crazy, huh?”

“Wow, great,” she replied. “Okay, well, see you around.” She literally started backing out slowly with one of her besties whom I recognized from grad school as well, who was standing in the doorway looking sort of perplexed at me, like I was a bug. “Take care….”

My face burned. Six years of school. I had done…things. I was a published writer, MAAAAN. People recognized me on the street and addressed me as “Asshole.” (Okay, dubious pride over the last point.) What was I doing there? I was a thirty-one-year old mallbitch who worked closing and weekend shifts and rarely saw her children. I was supposed to be lecturing someone on hidden penises in Rococco clouds or working in an art library somewhere. I should have at least married a more ballin’ drug dealer. Left turn at Albuquerque and all that. There was a lot of OH GOD OH GOD what have I done, apply booze, rinse, repeat.

That was kind of a hinge for me. I stepped out of my notion of what I should be doing and into the reality of what I was doing. The “worst” had happened: I had been spotted at the most tragic mall in Seattle in an apron, not even allowed to work the register yet, and survived. Something else happened over time, too. I came to see the mall for what it was: its own little society, with a complex social system and hierarchy. Instead of just skimming the surface I got sucked in and became part of it. More on that later.

In Other News: Tell Your Bitch to BE COOL

I will spray you with some boring truefax before I get out of here. As usual, my blog sitch is hosed. I am working on upgrading WP and closing all comments, so you should be on the comment approval tip the first time through. Also I got this hilarz craigslist computer as a gift and it is popping and locking on me. I think I need moar ramz and am hoping I can pry them out of Hester Prynne’s corpse.

googleeyes

Googley eyes and fringe by MOI.