An asshole walks into a union building….

There were two guys next to me shooting the shit while they waited for their number to come up for interviews. I could tell one was a nervous talker. I recognized him from the test in October, and I remember now speaking to him on the way out of the building. He was kind of a dick, but I didn’t take it personally. He still sounded like a dick. I watched the rain pissing down the windows and hoped neither of them would talk to me, since I was reviewing my answers. People were filing in and out in about 10 minutes.

He was talking to a guy who was in PCC–pointer/caulker/cleaner. SHIT I AM SITTING NEXT TO A POINTER CAULKER CLEANER my brain went, unhelpfully. The jackassy guy said he was a working as a line cook.

When the PCC dude got called in, the other guy turned to me.

“You here for inside wireman?” he asked.

“Yup.” I decided to head him off at any and all passes. “Did I see you here for the test in October? You look familiar.”

“I was here, how did you score?” Oh, okay. This is what we’re doing.

“I passed,” I said, and shrugged. My first instinct is to be super close-mouthed. I always hear my paranoid stepfather’s voice in my head at times like these: Don’t Tell Them Anything They Don’t Need to Know. I didn’t get a perfect score, but I scored respectably, well above the bar required for the position I want. “The person at the bottom of the class in law school can still be a lawyer, right?”

“Cs still means degrees,” he bantered back. These kind of guys bring out the smarmy in me. I was quiet.

Fortunately a sleepy-looking guy in scrubby clothes came in and slotted himself between us. He had just gotten off work. First a PCCer, now a graveyard shift worker! This was not looking good.

Mr. Smarmy was called in. I chit chatted with the new guy and he told me he hadn’t made it through the algebra section of the testing, which surprised me. He was nice and I liked him immediately, and I told him about some other opportunities I was pursuing, like sheet metal. Now I am kicking myself for not asking him what he’s doing to see if I might want to get a foot in there.

He told me he’d looked into ferry work, which tops out around 100K as captain, if you make it that far. I was looking into that a couple of months ago. We talked about how working nights makes you feel like you’re in a weird bubble and that dates have no meaning. I hope they take him.

I’m not supposed to talk about the actual interview content, but I will say I think I was as prepared as I could be and didn’t really stumble over any of the questions. I sat before seven people, one of whom was a woman. I feel good about it but also argh at the same time. I get to call on Tuesday to see if I made the cut or if I need to make a backup plan. I am tired of backup plans, but I will march on.

Banner Depressing; But I hate Fiddling with WordPress So Much

My banner! So innocious. I have to think some kind of update happened. YUK PEOPLE. The font is even different. I’m playing with Squarespace a lot, poorly (podcast), but when I think of porting I, Asshole over there it terrifies me. I cant believe I used to handwrite html (also poorly) for my Diaryland diary. I so just want a place I can wordbarf now. NO CODE PLZ. NO FUCKING WIDGETS.

I feel like everything’s on hold til after tomorrow anyway (interview). Pete said he would drive me if I am vomiting, since Strudel was supposedly vomiting yesterday.

I feel for kids, I really do. On one hand they can never choose their days off. On the other, they get like HALF THE YEAR OFF. That choice thing is a big one, though.

I’m out today to get a collared shirt that fits from Goodwill, I hope, the mall as a last resort. My lucky underwear (yes I get emotionally attached to my unders) is clean.

Today I am also practicing interview questions. I am trying to remind myself this is really the sanity test, which I am super good at. I am also trying to remind myself that a trade is a training program and they are looking for aptitude and not all the experience in the world…though I am sure they wouldn’t balk at taking some working electricians. I had a realization recently that if I could just interview for a living for a while, I would, which is pretty sick probably.

I just shit on Goethe’s parade a few minutes ago by making her drop a chickadee she was about to bring in and release, so she could murder it in a leisurely fashion in the house. She’s gone all Dexter since she lost a bunch of her teeth. They all look like this. The chickadee lay on the ground, twitching a little, but looked alert. I picked it up and held it in my hand. I tested out its little legs, and they hung limp. I thought it was just stunned since it was lifting its head a little.

Laura came by with her bock bock gang and stuck her beak into my business as always. She usually looks like this, with her tail flat. She saw the minuscule bird in my hand and made a fluffy display at it until she looked like a disgruntled hand turkey. I think turkeys are fascinating (problem number two after wanting to be interviewed for a living), are obviously smarter (except when faced with a harmless chickadee), and I am tempted to let my chook flock dwindle down and replace them with all turkeys!

Sometimes Laura gets on the fence, greatly concerning the neighbors (“Oh my god, is that…a TURKEY?”) and I push her down to back inside the pen. She saw me coming the other day and got down on her own! A chicken who is awake is pretty much on the verge of stomping on the chooky panic button all the time and it would be a coin toss what they would do if one saw you coming. Fly up? Scream? Go left? Go right? AHHH PANIC! Sometimes I have to grab a chicken that’s gotten out or hasn’t gone to bed properly and Laura puffs up at that, too. Very protective of her brooderbox chums.

So the chickadee kept breathing and looking around. I was feeling more confident it was about to take off when Goethe, foiled, trotted by. The chickadee saw her and exploded out of my hand. I am starting to suspect I am releasing the same bird over and over again.

I have been lazy about photographing the basement because changes are slow and incremental right now. It is hard for Pete to work 40 hours and fill in the last of the insulation and drywall, but it’s coming along. I was thinking about how I lived in a house flip/remodel in Crown Hill for three years and how I joked about it “ending my marriage” over ten years ago. I vowed to NEVER AGAIN live in the perma-remodel.

Well, guess what. It is a lot easier when you like the person you’re living in it with, and it’s slow but eating up a smaller portion (or none) of your living space. I think we were smart to have the basement bathroom done, since that was plumbing, tile, etc, and it was tight sharing one full-sized but smallish bathroom with the girls and all of their stuff and all of our stuff. Waiting for this bedroom isn’t nearly as bad, because we are still in what will be the smallest bedroom/office space, but at least we have a closing door.

So Pete is finishing the drywall and I am committed to doing the mudding, priming, and painting. Originally he said he would finish it all when I was sicker, but as I’ve gotten better I’ve been jumping in more. He’s less comfortable than I am with the finishing work, so it makes sense to tag out, since I will be home, I hope waiting for a call about my first union job in the next few weeks!

Came to a fork in the road, picked it up

I was getting to that point where I was really trying to figure out my next move, since I don’t really know what’s coming next. Another tech contract, keep looking for a manufacturing gig, what? Feeling a little silly about having quit my job a week ago as reality set back in, but extremely relieved at the same time.

Then I get an email, and assumed it was spam. NOPE. Invitation to interview at the electricians’. Thank god, I was getting increasingly pathetic. I mean, who doesn’t like being in their robe at 3 in the afternoon? But still.

So I am going to review everything I know about interviewing, interviewing for a trade, and interviewing for them. I think I can get picked up. I need to make sure I have the right outfit that fits. I’ve seen the dudes there on interview day literally in three-piece suits. It’s hard because anything that formal on the lady side gets pretty feminine usually. I’ll figure something out.

I’m hoping I will out on a job next month or February, or at least on the list. In the meantime, I have paid for all xmas presents already with my ill-gotten tech gains. When I came home last week and told the girls I’d quit, one of the first things Franny said was, “Are we going to be able to have…Christmas?” YES YOU GOOSE. That’s the news.

Flying the Coop

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.” –Samuel Beckett

I thiiiink I might be getting sick? Maybe? I haven’t been sick in over a year. I have these run-ins with sore throats or swollen glands (attractive) for maybe half a day and then I sleep it off. I woke up with a sore throat and a headache but it seems to be subsiding.

I was lying in bed kind of babying my headache when Strudel returned from school a few minutes after setting out.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Olive’s over on the next block.” One of our pullets had jailbroken and was wandering around after being let out of the coop this morning. I threw on pants and my coat and we went out together.

I looked up and down the street, figuring she’d be close to home, possibly trying to get back in. We acquired Roger Sterling because some little pullets had gotten lost in the neighborhood and she had probably been attracted to the sounds of my chickens, and was running up and down outside of the fence. The nice thing about chickens is even if they run off, they usually go “OH SHIT” and want back in immediately.

We looked around the back of the fence where the neighbor’s disused carport butts up against our property. The carport was brown, the fence was brown, there were brown pine needles everywhere. Olive is a classic easter egger and is brown, brown, brown. Strudel and her sharp eyes spotted Olive perched in the shadows of the carport, motionless.

We cornered her, and this is where I am relieved I bothered hand-raising chickens this summer. We were able to pick her up very easily, unlike more recent pullets that we’ve gotten half-grown from the feed store. I was too tired to hand raise chickens since I got the batch that had all the Todds in it in…2011? This was my first batch of day-old since we bought this house, for sure.

I really do feel nigh-indestructible now. I remember when the sore throat twinge was a little heads up that I was going down, and might be a snot factory for two weeks. This is better. I have to imagine my white blood cells are armed to the teeth at all times. (Because that is how science works.)

Sitting around, sort of, waiting to hear about a job. I am doing things like editing DNS entries to get the little podcast home set up, and I’ve taken the dogs on a long walk. I dunked their feet in the kitchen sink when I came home, which made Horace panic. I thought it would be simpler and use less water than the tub, but I forget that Horace hates any and all change, so he flicked dirty water everywhere.

Anyway, I am maybe feeling cheerier than I was on Thanksgiving. I keep reminding myself that I’m working towards being happier, not just what pays the most in the short run. Though I may be submitting myself back to a technical contract sometime this week if this job doesn’t pan out.

A Note Upon His Desk, P.S.

“There’s only one thing more boring than listening to other people’s dreams, and that’s listening to their problems.”

Sue Townsend/Adrian Mole

Ok remember last time on I, Asshole when there was little bitch whining? What, that was ALL the posts? Wow, you are cheeky, aren’t you? WHAT IS THE POINT IF NO DRAMZ?

Here is a thing that happened. I walked into work on Tuesday expecting a normal day, and got a fuckton of work piled on. “This is going to take all day,” I told my co-temp. How wrong I was; it was much more than a normal day. My boss left us, without clear instructions on how to finish. Over thirteen hours later, after helping my co-temp, I left, and left my badge on my boss’s desk, after cleaning the scant belongings out of my own desk.

The next day I talked to my recruiter, whom I’ve known since ’09, since I like to do-si-do between FTE work and contracts. “Well, it’s too bad you didn’t give notice,” he said. “You’re blacklisted with Amazon now.” I was worked over thirteen hours and have a black mark now for walking out. “Are you interested in X Other Company?” he asked. “Everything pays more than Amazon.”

NEAT. So I slept in after my walk off, and prepped some fangsgiving.

WHAT HAPPENED THO? The usual, a motherfucking car wreck.

“MA’AM were you involved in this accident?”

“No, I just live here. I heard the crash but I didn’t see anything.”

“Okay.”

PRIUS SHEARED OFF MY ICE CREAM BUSH. FUCK.

I have to say, learn to take a left across my street. Any street. It’s the same thing, over and over. I hear the crunch crash and I think to myself “Christ I hope I won’t have to see PETE performing CPR on someone’s lifeless body again. The son of a physician with a conscience…yes, he is going to run out and deal with someone’s ragdoll body. The die is cast once the crash happens. Apparently the neighbors have a first aid kit for this street. FUCK.

I heard the crash so loudly because we were in the backyard preparing to walk the dogs, since my food was prepped and it was very sunny. We left the scene and the dogs flushed a really beautiful speckled, but mostly white, pigeon from the bushes. When we came back I saw a hawk on the ground where it was with what looked like insulation or something…it was the pigeon exploded. Dreams of getting shot in the chest on my birthday and then death pigeons on Thanksgiving. I am getting weird(er).

I spatchcocked the turkey. Franny said, let’s give it a bikini tanline.

This means…wow…I cooked it for 80 minutes. So nice. I’m not sure about the tan lines. Franny said I should tell everyone it was a FAIL since I posted the pre-cooked turkey on Twitter. I think there’s no failures on the internet, only “so, that happened”s.

Anyway, we had a nice time.

I made my special dairy-free potatoes, which involves nutritional yeast, broth, and a lot of salt and pepper. I made “stuffing” out of rice and quinoa, and a lot of spices. I made two types of cranberry sauce. The turkey was VERY juicy.

Pete made a weird fruitcake that was “Jamaican” out of Moosewood. Rum, pineapples, molasses. I’m not going to explain this shit to you.

We’re watching Jessica Jones now, and I’m really excited to see some Marvel repulp that actually applies to me. I mean I will watch angsty dudes but I like to see women too. I love Krysten Ritter and I love hard-boiled, so it’s working for me. I too had SPECIAL ISSUES and used to be a peeping tom. The road not taken.

Waiting to hear on work tomorrow or Monday. What’s it like to be having the longest midlife crisis ever? What’s it like to feel like a crashing failure at this point? Line up and I will give interviews for a donkey ride or a coffee.

I know you’re hanging on tittyhooks but since I have souped out of my job like a little bitch I have time to finish getting the first podcast up tomorrow and apparently we are recording #2 as well. So. Stay tuned. Thanks for glancing awkwardly and acting like this is working.

“I see you’ve managed to get your shirt off”

You know those Victorian corsets with all the boning, but not in the good way, that would squish women and girls to the nth degree? Where does the fat go? I will tell you, but you probably already know. It displaces.

So like the poor lady’s maid assigned to tighten said corset, I’m struggling a little right now after going back indoors. I felt really good this summer, strong and like I was getting stronger every week, literally. Like it was easy for me to build muscle and my lungs were huge. The first three weeks I started I thought I was getting sick by every Friday. Sore throat, fatigue, aches, lymph nodes rising on the back of my head and neck. Fuzzy brain and memory leaks. I’d be a dead ducky on Saturday and then on Sunday I’d be refreshed again and would cram ten hours worth of chores and errands into about six.


Cod pie

I think…I figured it out. The minute I walk in to my building I’m hit with fragrance and my face starts to dump. I sneeze and scratch my face all day. People are covered in corn-based deodorants, lotions, perfumes, aftershaves, laundry detergents. I think being around adhesives, industrial lubricants, dirt, and welding fumes actually agrees with me more. I’m going to die of something. It’s probably going to be my colon shredding and bleeding out like other members of my family have gone, but I think I want to feel good and spin the wheel with construction in the meantime.

I have to tell you though, it’s shaking my confidence. Corn makes me so weak. How can I go back onto a jobsite and lift buckets and rebar and do math and whatnot? I’m trying to remember that I’m going to be really sore at first but I’m probably going to feel great and be able to think super clearly in about a week. I’m still hanging out waiting to hear if I have interviews with anyone. In the meantime I have the best temp job I can get in terms of hours and pay. I’ve found some temp warehouse work which pays similarly, and is calling to me, but it cuts off a bit sooner and it looks like there’s some graveyard shifts. I’m weighing the advantages.


“I’m her mother.”

Desk jobs are comfortable in that you’re warm and dry but I don’t feel comfortable being forgetful by the end of the week, feeling my anxiety rise for no reason, and having physical symptoms. I’m having trouble explaining to some people why I want to leave these types of offices forever. I guess I don’t have to explain it to anyone.


“No she isn’t.” PS I Derp You

There is an interesting side effect when I get ill again, but not too ill to function. The corset squeezes and the fat displaces and it makes my wheels spin creatively. I read that the flu virus can make you more gregarious. I think my brain gets kind of frantic when my immune system goes off–“we’re dying here, make something!”

I’ve been kicking around doing something fictionalized with Samuel Pepys diary for almost five years now–kind of a story that takes place in that world. I thought it might lend itself to a podcast, sort of a “17th century mecha dystopian London meets Night Vale” thing (what’s that you say? Kevin Costner’s Waterworld?). But I realized I don’t want to work alone right now, so I wrangled a cohost to podcast with. And it will have NOTHING to do with Samuel Pepys, don’t worry. I’ve got a domain locked down and recording equipment on the way.

I’m excited. I need a carrot. I need to continue perusing my ridiculous hobbies. I will link when the first one drops, which I’m hoping will be around Thanksgiving, and put it in the sidebar, etc, but as usual I won’t really push it and see if it finds an audience. If nothing else it will be fun times with my cohost and a chance to dick around with Squarespace, which I’ve been wanting to do since my site’s design is STALE as hell.

Halloween!


A nerd with cheap custom fangs.

Me: We’re going to be seeing a lot of these fangs, aren’t we?

Franny: YEP GET READY FOR FANGS IN CHRISTMAS PHOTOS NOW, MOTHER.

Franny is switched on permanent Owen Meany capslock right now.

P. birthday cuppycakes: Orange cream with pecans.

“Bonus” Franny birthday. I forgot about this batch because I probably shouldn’t be driving two cameras at once.

Read my fax! You’re fired!!

Two nights ago I dreamt I heard a noise in my sideyard and I walked to my kitchen window to look out. There was an old-fashioned black car parked there with the deepest tinted windows. I heard a pop from the car and my kitchen screen split, and a bullet went into my chest.

I slumped and P. was behind me, holding me up under my arms.

“I’m dying,” I said.

“I’ll call an ambulance.” He is always very calm when someone is dying or really hurt. Then I got lightheaded and woke up.

After I woke up, I realized it was a hearse. Then I remembered it was my birthday. THANKS BRAIN. This does not bode well at all, does it?

Last night I watched Back to the Future 2 with the girls, as many people did last night, I think. The opening credits played as the DeLorean flew through clouds.

“This was like, the best moment of my young life when these credits rolled,” I explained.

“I couldn’t even follow this movie the first time I saw it,” Strudel confessed.

“It’s convoluted as fuck,” I said.

P. popped in and out of the room as he made cookies. “I always forget that most of this movie is Marty fucking things up.”

Franny had her own observations. There was a scene where Marty returns to what he thinks is his home, but it belongs to a different family and is in a run-down and crimey neighborhood in a dark 1985 timeline that he returns to. He slipped into his window to discover an African-American family living there.

“Mom, so that’s actually racist,” Franny said. “Now that the neighborhood’s bad, there’s a black family in his house.”

“That’s true,” I said. “The director made the choice to put that family in there to show how upside down everything is in this 1985.”

Later we noticed when Marty was tailing Biff, the antagonist, Biff lived at his grandmother’s house, who had a lawn jockey in her yard, which was framed by the camera as we were shown the obligatory “keep off lawn” sign. The viewers were meant to understand these were bad, backwards people.

I still enjoyed it. I always do. It was a happy childhood memory.

In Other News: Bothering P on chat, who actually has things to do unlike me

I sent him the link to this image, which I think is an internet golden oldie at this point.

Presently:

Outlook hates my name.

More Corn Dramz

When I mentioned “troubleshooting myself” in the above chat, I was being kind of silly but I really did figure something out this month. When I started work I didn’t bring a mug right away, but wanted some tea. I always bring a mug, just like how I always bring a bag, and always retick my mattress with sheared pubes and lentils. It’s just what you do in Seattle.

After many years of working in the same corporate veal-fattening pens with the same pretty okay corporate tea offerings, I thought the English breakfast was making me ill now. I was disappointed. My face broke out and burned, I got very tired, my lungs got “smaller” and congested. My joints hurt. And I was so crabby I could laser someone in half with a single glare.

I started having my crazy thoughts. “Maybe I can just GROW MY OWN TEA.” (wat) “Maybe I can just whittle down to one basic meal template of rice, chicken, and broccoli three times a day like I’m a dog. SJ Chow.” (No)

“I think there’s something going on with the teabags or something,” I complained to P. I stopped drinking tea for a few days and completely improved. Then I brought a mug in yesterday and cautiously experimented on myself. No effects but +5 to Caffeinated.

Then I fell down the rathole…okay International Paper Company, what are your cups coated with? Surprise, a polymer made from dextrose (corn). Don’t worry, gentle citizen, it’s inert and safe for allergy sufferers. Okay. I feel much better now.

I want to also tell you a story about how Franny asked me last night if I think she should be participating in more “teen activities” and all the outrageous high school stories she’s been telling me lately, but I think that will have to wait til the weekend! Happy Thursday?

Assholes what do they know do they know anything let’s find out

“And so I rose in good temper, finding a good chimneypiece made in my upper dining-room chamber, and the diningroom wainscoat in a good forwardness, at which I am glad, and then to the office, where by T. Hater I found all things to my mind, and so we sat at the office till noon, and then at home to dinner with my wife.”

SAMUEL, you don’t even know! This is pretty much my exact day here. Okay, there was no new chimneypiece, but we did talk about having our first fire this weekend. And I painted the wainscot a long time ago. BUT I am out of here at 12:45 as they’ve been working me 9-10 hour days and I’m running out of time on my clock. I will be home to dinner with my wife, who made me garlicky eggs for breakfast.

News news news! I got an email yesterday letting me know I passed the electrician test and was actually above the bar needed for the branch I want to go in. Based on my test scores alone, I can choose any route. The scoring is weird, so roughly speaking, I got a ‘B.’ What a great feeling! Hard work has paid off, but I believe it would simply not be possible for me a year ago to study and retain math on and off for months. I am supposed to hear if I get an interview in 2-3 weeks. I wonder what happened with the woman sitting next to me who was visibly squirming and groaning through the whole thing.

What a long process. I left my FTE position of 3+ years on Halloween 2014, and I’ve been working toward this change since then. It’s been discouraging and tiring at times, but I think I’m most of the way through this marathon. I am so excited to have a math class once a week, and to be walking around working and moving on the other days.

I’m dicking around with my new camera that was a graduation present this summer. I wanted to embed some pics but my photo service is acting up. I will have to be content with linking to my flickr for now. I’m not great at this camera yet! Blurry shots! I don’t really give a shit with my little point and shoot, but I want to take better pictures with this one.

Otherwise I am just kind of living! It’s nice not be be gripped by paranoia or despair or just pain at random times. When you don’t have to manage pain constantly, it’s freaky how much space you have for other things. Everything feels consistent and often very boring. I feel like it took me about a year for my body to really open up and have some kind of foundation for hard work or going for a longish run. I struggled to exercise for years–my lungs always felt too small and my back/joints always hurt somewhere. Now I just glide along and if I go slow enough I feel like I could run forever.

This, of course, adds to my confidence in being able to do more, like a major career change on the doorstep of 40. Ha! Samuel Pepys always inspires me. I need to push on a little farther in my progress, meaning secure an apprenticeship, but then I am thinking about getting back to writing. For my own pleasure, as usual.

I thank God I have no crosses, but only much business to trouble my mind with. In all other things as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me, and if my house were done that I could diligently follow my business, I would not doubt to do God, and the King, and myself good service. And all I do impute almost wholly to my late temperance, since my making of my vowes against wine and plays, which keeps me most happily and contentfully to my business; which God continue!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUILD SOME DOG STAIRS?

It actually has to be some dog stairs

I keep realizing I’m not capturing things from this summer in anything resembling a timely fashion. This was my final project in shop class. When I get paid I will carpet them. I’m feeling…berber. EH? These are going at the foot of the bed when they’re done so the spaniels don’t have to go all DB Cooper on me every time they have to go pee.

In case you have a sharp eye, you will see the jigsaw hole I cut was wonky. I was down to the last five minutes of time! Whoops. I am also reminded that I need to get rid of my liquor decanters, since we don’t really drink brown liquor anymore.

Todd Chavez has displaced their old home. My new hobby of aquarium-keeping has replaced the old hobby of despair and malnutrition. Anyone need some cut crystal decanters? Also, don’t get me wrong. I still like some wine or vodka sometimes, which seems pretty safe as long as I don’t go for the super cheap stuff.

P. got soap on himself while doing the dishes, and then stripped off, and THEN went out to give the bees a little fall snack of heavy syrup. Naturally he just threw his beecoat on. He thinks he has invented Topless Beekeeping and wants me to start the website. N-O. But I had to snap him.

“Har har,” he said, as I papped him.

So here’s me and my face, which will be 38 in a couple of weeks. WHAT HOW DID THAT HAPPEN.

For fun, here is me ten years ago, at 27:

On this day in history I went to the electrician’s union and took the math and reading test. Reading test–very easy, of course, and I was the first one finished. Algebra test–I dunno! I think I got a majority of them. But ENOUGH? I will let you know in two weeks. I am allowed to call then and inquire about results. I think a letter will be coming and there are interviews next month and in December.

There were three ladies in the room, out of maybe 60 people, and one of them sat next to me. Which was cool. She started talking about her kids immediately, which was also nice. I like people who are like that, though we were told this summer to keep being a mother a secret. She was going for limited energy, which is stuff like data comm and alarm systems. I’m signed up for indoor wireman, which pays very well but I will not be swinging from cherry pickers at 2 a.m. in a power outage. I didn’t get a chance to speak to the other lady.

I saw the new members of the Ladies Hammer Club filing into the building, which is housed with the electrical union. They looked harassed and tired in their exercise clothes and I wanted to talk to them but they looked so serious, which is the same as I was.

Here are some things I was told this summer.

1. “There is one ‘hen’ per jobsite, so watch out. Wait no, not really. But actually yeah kind of.” What we should watch out for, I am not sure.

2. “If there is a gossipy man on the site and he is trying to bend your ear, you will be the one fired for being the distraction, not him, so get rid of him ASAP.”

3. “Your pants are all too tight.” To be fair, that day most of us were wearing pants that were too tight. I pulled a page out of the Americorps workers’ books, who usually showed up to Habitat for Humanity in the those really stretchy lady jeans that are more like denim-colored leggings but do not cross the line into jeggings. Boy howdy are those nice to work in, though. What I finally ended up doing was buying enormous bib overalls. ZOOP! Gender vanish!

4. “This one guy wouldn’t leave me alone about my hair when it was down this summer, so I had to you know, corner him, and deal with him privately.” There followed meaningful jaw-clenching. I imagine this guy’s remains are entombed in a column of the new 520 somewhere. “Now I wear it up every day even though it’s brittle (sigh).”

5. “Sometimes guys will whine that they are special and should have a key to the female portajohns for some weird reason. HELL. NO.”

6. “DO NOT date on the job site. Whatever you do, don’t marry an ironworker. Don’t ask me how I know that.”

7. “Females.” I am no longer a woman, chick, lady, or girl, but a female. Females can be trouble, but the union needs females, so that’s lucky for me. Females cannot expect special treatment on a jobsite. They have to work harder and faster. Don’t let that 26-year-old white knight lift things for you. Help females out when you can, but look out and know a lot of them will try to stick the knife in your back.

8. DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR KIDS. OR YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. OR ANYTHING THAT IS NOT THE JOB. DO NOT REMIND ANYONE YOU ARE A FEMALE. You may give 5 minutes to how the Seahawks are doing.

9. “What is the sounds of two turtles fucking?” ?? BONK *Get bonked hard with riddler’s hard hat*

I am going downtown to work tomorrow until Xmas, thank god, shoveling consumer goods into the maw of capitalist desire. I mean, I’ll be doing marketing again. More number-crunchy and less copywritey this time. HOORAY MONEY. And waiting for that call. That call for the scrappy, oldish, last chance, eight-of-nine-lives female to go to work. C’mon, phone. Do your ring thing.

Snore Club

No I will not wear the cone of shame

This week we are focusing on things like multiplying binomials and solving inequalities in systems of equations. Have you flashed back to tenth grade yet? FOILing?? I woke up in the middle of the night last night a few times and I was kept awake by the idea that maybe I should be reviewing volume. WHAT IF THERE IS A VOLUME QUESTION? I think I was supposed to go through this 20+ years ago with the SATs but I never bothered paying for them. Too busy buying Boone’s Farm (sangria flavor, because that’s the classy one).


Post apple picking in August

I don’t think I felt this way ramping up to the GREs either. If you have seen the melodramatic, snot-silently-running-into-your-mouth fest that is Les Miz! then you know there is a super maudlin scene where a bunch of children in pirate shirts are all Morrisseying about how they need to pour one last one out for their homies, etc, before the next morning’s last stand, where they will be bayonetted into curly frites. That was my run-up to the math portion of the GRE in 2002; the freedom fighters were unprofessional and doomed, but had to make a good showing so historians wouldn’t call them little bitches later.


Stepping stones I made at the cement masons union way back in July

Now, I actually have a shot, because stuff is staying in my head now. I get what everyone meant about math building on itself. I have that crazy hoover-it-all-up cokehead feeling like the more I cram in the better because it’s only 30 questions! If I miss just one or two I actually know how to calculate that percent now! AGGH.

On the positive side of things I am getting a lot of rest right now. I think I had a successful in-person yesterday for a temp holiday gig, after a good phone interview with them. I have a better feeling about going back to tech now for a short time. Mostly because I feel like it’s going to be A SHORT TIME. And a paycheck to boot. They told me they want someone “yesterday” but I am hoping that means Tuesday (the day after my exam) so I can take full advantage of this time to obsess and lick my hot spots.


Dinner Doge would like more gravy plz

Of course I am focused on other things right now, also, like making sure the girls are transitioning back into school smoothly. Franny has an analytical writing class that’s based on the films of Hitchcock and Kurosowa. She is also taking bio and geometry, as well as her usual Japanese and art. She is about to turn 15 in less than two weeks and very shyly asked if Boyfriend, Neo, could come over for dinner and cake. Hell yes, as long as he takes the bus home later. It’s a Friday and what is happening is yoga pants.

Strudel is having a VERY good fifth grade year so far and is over the moon in her advanced program. She can now also hoover in and retain all the information now, like me, but better, because her brain is new and spongy. Her teacher is very organized and enthusiastic, and apparently has the whole class enraptured. We hear that her terrible teacher from the third grade, who told the dead bunny story and screamed at people most of the time, now has a classroom monitor. There is justice, albeit slow justice. I hope the angry emails I wrote from when I was sick in bed are stuck to her file like glue, along with the other parent complaints.

A turkey sleeping in my armpit who is much larger now: