Archive for April, 2005
Nothing elicits silly panic and concern more than someone riding in your car for the first time. After all, you learn so many things about a person by getting into their car and watching them drive – is anything more revealing? You learn about aggression levels, stress tolerance, cleanliness and – perhaps most revealing of all – music preferences.
I have failed the test more times than I care to admit, and yet I NEVER LEARN. Countless friends, acquaintances and coworkers over the years have gotten into my car and sat down on piles of papers, CDs and change strewn around from a mad search for toll money, begging off my pleas for forgiveness with, “No no! It’s fine! No worries!” But I see their horrified faces. Early Depeche Mode or worse, Erasure, screams from the speakers. And yet, the trend continues. Messy car. Bad music. Unconscious screams of, “Holy Christ, you are fucking ASSHOLE. MOTHERFUCKEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR!” while I gesture wildly with one or more middle fingers and cut across four lanes.
My boss, whom I really do love most of the time, has a wholly unreliable car – because of him, I will never buy an Audi, no sirree bob – that is perpetually in the shop. A few months ago, after discovering that the Audi dealership is on my way home, he asked me to drive him to the shop to pick up his car. Thinking of the Pigpen-worthy state of my car, I managed to warble a mildly enthusiastic, “S..s..sure!” and proceeded to run into the parking lot at lunchtime to clean it out. I managed to collect the most egregious of items into a box and shove it into the trunk. When the end of the day rolled around, I was able to escort him to my vehicle with at least a marginal level of confidence.
I did a quick floor check to see if there was anything glaring and opened the door for him. What I didn’t see was the fluffy white tampon that had escaped from its protective applicator and been poofed and floofed by its recent life of freedom, resting on the passenger seat like a fresh white bunny.
“Um, I think this is yours.” He laughed nervously. Meanwhile, I died a thousand deaths.
I had to redeem myself. Today, he asked me for a ride again. Since Abe made me clean my car last week AND vacuum it, let me tell you how confident I was in this ride.
We got in the car, and he immediately zoned in on the few CDs sitting on my dashboard.
“Cat Stevens, eh? Oh God.”
I didn’t know that Cat Stevens was THAT dorky until I was pointed to this article. Actually, *I* know the lyrics to ‘Peace Train’ thankyouverymuch.
I started up the car and immediately realized an even larger, more massive oversight. The CD player was on. Loudly. I had made a mix CD for my friend Sand and made a copy for myself*.
Track 9 reverberated throughout the car, bass cranking through the roof, while the boy band crooned:
“Oh A-OH! She’s my COOOVER GIIIIRRRRL”
“Is that…? It can’t be. Wait. Is that NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK?”
I am ruined.
*Sand, it’s coming. I’ve just got to mail it!
April 30th, 2005
My sister called my husband this afternoon with some strange questions.
“Was Jonnikertraveling American Airlines out of Logan today?”
“Um, no. Why?”
“No reason. Okay that’s not true. I read an article on Boston.com about a massive security breach and terminal shutdown caused by some wayward, dopey unidentified woman who accidentally went the wrong way and got lost and I was pretty sure, to be honest, that it was Jonniker. It’s just so…her.”
Abe heartily agreed. I’m glad I’m so well thought of.
April 25th, 2005
Yesterday kicked off the beginning of centipede season at Hrmph Headquarters. Every April, around this time, our home is suddenly awash with these creatures. Yeah. They really are that big.
I’ve finally accepted that they aren’t going to eat my feet and hands and I can now kill them without crying, screaming and generally freaking out. Last night, however, I freaked out. I decided to shower before bed to wash off the SCREAMIN’ alert scent I’d been wearing earlier in the day – which was Guerlain Pamplelune for those interested in that sort of thing. Pamplelune is lovely, but it is definitely a daytime scent – mostly because it’s like a honkin’ fresh squeeze of grapefruit screaming in your face, “WAKE UP! THE PAMPLELUNE HAS ARRIVED!” Not exactly soothing. I’d be laying all night, awake, dreaming of grapefruit groves and cereal.
I wear glasses, so I can’t really see much of the time in the shower, plus I’d lit some candles and dimmed the lights, so there wasn’t much seeing going on. I finished showering and dried off, soothed, relaxed and ready for bed.
*insert creepy horror-movie music here*
As I was toweling off, the little pervcat, Cappy got up from his spot where he was watching me shower and became extraordinarily interested in the bathtub. I saw some movement near the far end, put my glasses on and peeked in.
Jesus Christ, I had company. I had just showered with THREE CENTIPEDES. They had somehow managed to all hover just outside of the spray on the far end of the tub, waiting for me to get out so they could dance around victoriously. Like vultures. Little vultures with LEGS. Lots and lots and lots of legs. I immediately turned on the water and began Operation Drown Centipede, cackling manaically and yelling at them, “You wanna FUCK WITH ME? I will DROWN YOUR ASS!”
Kimora would be proud.
April 23rd, 2005
More tomorrow. Are the cable Gods conspiring against me? We’ll see after tonight, won’t we? In other words, I’ve SPENT THE WHOLE NIGHT TRYING TO GET ON TO THE STUPID INTERWEB.
Comcast, I hate you as much as Julia Mae. And that’s a whole lot.
April 14th, 2005
“You know, I just figured out who you look like with that haircut…who was that serial killer Charlize Theron played in Monster?”
April 10th, 2005
Well, sorry for going silent. Starting on Monday, my arm went a little numb, tingly and hurt like hell, and didn’t improve until Friday morning. Typing kind of sucked. Well, it was painful actually, so I was trying not to do it any more than was absolutely necessary. My work certainly suffered, since I would type, then rest, then type, then rest.
Most of the time, I rested. Wouldn’t you?
My company makes voice recognition software, so I fully expected to have to use it for the rest of my life to deal with what I assumed was repetitive strain injury or carpel tunnel. Mind you, I was less than thrilled with this, since I hate the idea of people listening to every. blasted. word. I. type.
I’d be stuck in my office, headset on, like Julie from Time Life. Remember Julie? I’m pretty sure all she said was, “Certainly, sir!” as some C celebrity like Sally Struthers hawked the latest wares. I wonder if I could say anything other than “Certainly, sir!”
So, I went to the doctor yesterday, and discovered that it’s three pinched nerves and a slipped disc. And there ain’t nothing we can do about it except shift my typing position and wait for relief.
April 9th, 2005
Update on the hair:
Trish and I chatted this morning. After expressing my utter displeasure and discomfort to Call Me Trish (“I think the dead calm of my voice belies just how traumatized I actually am, Tricia,”) she actually said:
“I’m so glad you called. I thought it was just me that it wasn’t working for.”
Um, right. So let’s get this straight. SHE KNEW IT WAS BAD AND SHE LET ME LEAVE.
*dies slow, painful death*
April 5th, 2005
There are two words that make anyone who’s had her hair cut in the last 20 years quiver with fear – “mullet” and “bangs.” Today, I am the proud owner of both.
A few weeks ago, my hairdresser Erin moved on to greener pastures from the Aveda salon I’d been frequenting for the last four years. Seedier pastures, actually, for she’s taken up a post in Revere, an ‘up and coming’ area of Boston. The area of Revere where she moved…not so up and coming. So, after much debate that involved weighing the pros and cons of being held up at gunpoint while visiting my hair salon vs. trying out a new stylist, I decided to stay with my current salon, taking them up on the promise that the owner would be taking care of me. Nice!
Not so much.
I arrived on Saturday with high hopes – a new stylist was just the ticket my long, tired, semi-flat hair needed. I’d spent the last nine months growing it long, and it was finally at a point where I could add some layers and perk it up. Visions of extra-long layers and Teri Hatcher body flashed before my excited eyes. Yippee!
“Call me Trish” greeted me with a half-smile, while a dozen skinny teenage vo-tech beauty school students gathered around me like the Brides of Dracula. The color went well enough – I get my hair done a solid dark shade, no highlights. For chrissake, I could do that with Nice N’ Easy, but I’m afraid I’ll screw it up (hello, Cosmic Nerf Bat, nice to meet you).
As the color was sinking in, Trish came over with a brilliant idea. Mind you, she’d seen my hair for all of five minutes and had asked me no questions.
“I want to do A BOB. A modern bob. I want to take your hair up in the back to your hairline, then long and piece-y in the front. I haven’t done it on anyone yet and I’m DYING to try it out.”
Try it out. These words alone should have sent me running, but I had faith. She owned the salon. All would be well.
I demurred, noting that I’d had some form of bob or another for the last 15 years. I am Bobbed Out. At nearly 30, this is the first time I’ve had long hair since I was sixteen and I wasn’t giving it up that easily.
Tricia didn’t take it well, and shouted,
“You bitch! I was DYING to try out the bob. Fine. Be that way. No bob. Okay – well, as long as you’ll let me do fun things, I will be your stylist. I’ve got a lot of other great ideas in mind that will let you keep your length.”
Good. I could have done without the ‘bitch’ part, but she struck me as one of those women who wished to be hipper than she was, and used crass, brash remarks to disarm her audience and try to bond with them as the cool, sisterly older woman. It wasn’t working on me. A teeny yet powerful force of a thing, she was in her mid-forties, cursed like a truckdriver, and in the time that I was there pre-scissor hell, could be heard saying such things as,
“I’m so fucking GOOD at this. Doesn’t she look beautiful? I AM SO GREAT! I mean, I’ve been cutting hair for 24 years, I should be a fuckin’ master. And I am.”
I was getting more trepidatious, but hey – the people coming out of those chairs looked good, even if it wasn’t my style. I put my eggs in her 24 years of experience, as it wasn’t that much longer that I’d been alive.
After the shampoo, I reluctantly plopped myself in her chair, ready for her to be “so fucking good” on my hair, too. She never addressed me directly, but rather, was using my head to teach her audience of young sycophantic teenagers who hovered around me like bees,
“Ladies, today, I am going to give Joan-A the JULIA MAE. Have you seen the Julia Mae? It’s the hippest new haircut coming out of Aveda. I just learned it last week, and here we go!”
I interjected – “Um, what is the Julia Mae?”
“Long layers, lots of body – TRUST ME, it’ll be gorgeous.”
I’m aware right now that I am an idiot who should have gotten up out of the chair right then and there. But I trusted her. I know I know I know. OKAY? I KNOW.
Several snips and a few moments later, she was making a line near the front part of my hair – a line that looked mysteriously like bangs. I need to point out here that I wear glasses – strong ones – that need to be removed during haircuts so I am relying on literal blind faith.
“Uh, are you giving me bangs? I’m not sure I want bangs.” No response.
“Now ladies, you’ll see that I’m making the fringe – its fringe, Joan-iker, not bangs, not to worry – a little less than the Julia Mae calls for. For that, Joan-iker will be grateful.”
I must now admit that though this statement confused me at the time – I actually am grateful, otherwise things would be much worse. Granted, I’d be a helluva a lot MORE grateful if I didn’t have them to begin with, but let’s not get hung up in the past. Instead of fringe looking a lot like bangs, the fringe would have been a strip of hair that started in the middle of my scalp and GOD KNOWS WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED THEN.
Another snip and I suddenly couldn’t see. I sensed bangs. BANGS.
She continued to snip, and finally, the unveiling happened.
My God. I had the heaviest line of bangs I’ve ever seen. Scooby Doo’s comrade Velma had wispy bangs compared to these babies. And that wasn’t the worst part. She’d layered my hair to the point that there was a fair amount of serious business going on in the front – and a raging party going on in the back.
While the front of my hair was ready to go to work and get some shit done, the back was cracking open Milwaukee’s Best and firing up the F150 for some NASCAR.
I composed myself enough to pay (YES I KNOW) and get out of there, and immediately called my sister for emergency assistance. She wasn’t home, so I went home to my husband and when I walked in was greeted with,
“Um, is that a wig, honey? What happened?”
I started sobbing. Fortunately for Abe’s constitution, my sister called and I insisted on descending on her home that very minute for assistance. Her reaction was startlingly similar,
“Oh my God, it looks like a wig.”
My eight year old nephew, Marco, was standing by, snickering. Ann asked him what he thought of Auntie’s hair,
“Seriously, it looks really bad. Really really bad. Auntie, can you get it fixed? Just have them put the hair back!”
Julia Mae, whoever you are, I SO FUCKING HATE YOU.
April 4th, 2005
I got a haircut. A mullet.
You read that right. An accidental mullet, but a clear mullet nonetheless. It’s some kind of karmic punishment for making fun of them in an earlier thread. Next thing you know I’ll be forced to attend a concert full of embittered teenage oboists who throw tomatoes at me while they play Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in A Minor. JUST KEEP IT COMING WORLD.
I’m trying to write about it, but it’s more difficult than I thought. I’m pissed. It’s only HAIR after all, but it’s easy to say that when you don’t have a head full of bobby pins holding your misguided tresses into some sort of bun-like shape on the back of your head that more resembles a mangled starfish than a hairstyle.
I’m trying. Bear with me. It’s a good one.
April 3rd, 2005
Today went something like this:
Wake up, late as usual. Stare at alarm clock in horror. Turn it off. Smack head down on pillow. Fall asleep without net, aka alarm clock, and wake up full hour later, frantic. Run out of bed. Fall down as got up too quickly to allow legs to function.
Stumble into shower. Collapse on floor shower, exhausted. Wake up only when freezing cold water jolts self awake from hot water running out. Clean self in freezing water.
Slap make up on face. Flee. Drive. Get stuck behind large bus at traffic light. Wait through two cycles. Honk furiously. Honk furiously. Honk furiously. Scream at bus. Wait for bus to move. Scream more. Honk. Watch line of cars form behind car. Honk. Realize bus is pulled over on the side of the road, not actually in traffic. Feel hot sting of humilation as cars drive around own car, screaming, honking and waving middle fingers. Well up at own idiocy.
Arrive at work. Push papers. Read email about coworker having baby. Cry uncontrollably at joy of miracle of birth.
Push more papers. Have conference call. On conference call, boss does not say thank you. Determine boss is selfish, unfeeling asshole who does not appreciate hard work and wants to fire self. Throw papers. Get angry. Consider quitting on the spot. Start to dial phone to go off on boss…ooh…find banana in purse. Eat banana, distracting self from career suicide.
Push more papers. Get another call from boss. Boss sounds friendly and says, “Thanks,” at close of call. Weep at kindness of boss and benevolence of universe.
Have lunch with husband, who looks cute today. Get choked up at adorable sight of him. Become overwhelmed with love and hug him in public. Order lunch. Waiter brings wrong salad. Throw fit. Blame husband for all that is wrong with the world.
Return to work. Push more papers. Computer crashes. Lose control. Excuse self to bathroom and sob, furiously pulling toilet paper to muffle tears. Make microwave popcorn to console self. Burn the shit out of said popcorn, stinking up entire office. Slink back to own office, avoiding curious coworkers popping out of offices like prairie dogs in commercial asking, “Is that popcorn? Who burned it? GROSS!”
Hide evidence of burnt popcorn in Lo Mein Bathroom.
Leave to go home. Manage to avoid tears in car. Eat large dinner with large amounts of ketchup and salt. Crave and obtain ice cream. Inhale.
Watch Survivor. Cry uncontrollably at joy of winners of reward challenge who suffer so. Cry again at unfairness of immunity challenge.
Pray for period.
April 1st, 2005