To Dream, Perchance to Caffeinate

Blurgh. I thought three weeks without coffee would allow me to pooh-pooh my addiction right in the face, but it seems these days I just reminisce nostalgically about my former BFF (yes, as in holding hands with giant takeaway cup frolicking through a field), and about how much more alert I would be if I could just have one teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy sip. The very idea of it is like a sweet melody gently massaging my ears.

I mean, I’m all for naps (for example, I voted yes on Prop ZZzzZz), but a 24-hour zombie dreamstate is a bit much, even for me.

Coffee cups make for great moments of reflection.
photo courtesy of Flickr and Gunjan Karun

On a more life-sustaining note, every day this week has been a reason to celebrate some occasion in the office, whether it be a farewell party or a holiday potluck or a gift basket arriving fortuitously and perkily, and today, a birthday!

It really doesn’t get old. I can’t imagine this getting old. I just can’t. I know there was that Seinfeld episode where Elaine got sick of office cake, but I often yearn for superficial conversation and forced camaraderie right in the middle of the day, and it happens just like clockwork.

***

I was most recently advised to joke around with the negative voices in my head, i.e., the ones who disparage everything I do.

I’m going to try it out on paper first. I named my voice Negativitina. Yeah, don’t worry, she thought it was dumb too.

Negativitina: You are doing a horrible job. Everybody hates you. Please give up immediately.
Me: Oh, Tina! You put the T in tease! I swear, it’s just all sunshine and candy rain with you. Hee heee hooo hohooooo!

I’m thinking that I might have to come up with better burns. At this point, I’m trying to tame a phoenix with a squeaky toy. I should go read some YouTube comments. That will pwn the n00b right out of me.

***

In conclusion, Gchat conversations that are NEVER OK look a little something like this:

Oh but there’s more…

All in a Day’s Smirk

Yesterday, I was incomprehensibly rude to somebody but I only realized it in retrospect. So now I am wearing my remorseful hindsight goggles. I had to walk with someone for a few minutes because we were both going the same way to our respective cars. So I tried overloading my brain with stuff to talk about so as not to have an awkward convo on the way over there.

What ended up happening was I kept interrupting him when he was making small talk with vast overly personal stories that left no room for another person’s input or even reaction.

In case you thought that was bad, then I got to my car first and instead of offering to drive him to his car, I said “Well, see you later!” and then glibly hopped in my vehicle and zoomed away. Once I had driven for about 5 blocks I caught sight of him still trudging steadily onward toward his car. I am the worst!

Not to mention I had a 20-minute ride home and he had an hour-plus drive.

Oh well. I wonder if there are yield signs in purgatory. You thought I’d say hell! How dare all (two) of you.

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Also there is one lone Smartie lying in the middle of the hallway outside my office. I can’t even take a picture of it, the sight is so sad. Darkest omen of Halloween I’ve ever seen…

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I figured out today that I am an office whisperer. When I pass someone in the hallway at work, I smile and usually immediately lower my eyes toward ground. That’s standard procedure. No biggie.

But today, I realized when I do actually say something to them, in the form of a greeting or a “how do you do,” I always whisper it. So as not to anger the productivity gods, I would imagine.

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My coworkers practically called me a genius today after coming up with our department theme costume for this year’s office Halloween costume contest.

It is a fairly simplistic, as-yet-confidential idea but they acted like I just pondered the theory of relativity while inventing electricity.

We then spent a nice inordinate amount of time coordinating how best to execute this group costume. I, and I think I speak for everybody, was thrilled.

I never really understand group costumes…or I never get them right away…

Here are some examples (in that last one, I think a woman is wearing blackface, but I’m not sure):

photo courtesy of Flickr and bradleyolin


photos courtey of Flickr and RBerteig

Let Me Just Put on My Introspectacles for a Minute Here…

My afternoon meal today was a straight-up callback-to-smellementary-school (remember the first time you smelled BO in 3rd or 4th grade? I do. How about farts? No? Nothing? I don’t mean your own!) cafeteria lunch. The entree was slimy noodles, liquified tomato paste, and faux-ground round, and you had to peel back plastic and nuke sufficiently to get to it. I feel proud and slightly self-conscious, but mostly proud. I ate it by myself in an empty room without looking up…just like old times!

An all-ages treat!
photo courtesy of Flickr and foundphotoslj

***

I realized this inconclusive characteristic about myself today. Whenever someone makes eye contact with me in a hallway coming the other way, I routinely grin but I try to hold the smile and then fade it slowly (on my own time because I’m considerate) after we’ve passed each other.

Otherwise you get the compulsory flash-smile that suddenly shifts into the default grimace-frown, which reeks of fake boobiness (people being fake boobies, not real fake breasts. On second thought, real fake breasts sounds weird but you know what I mean). Also holding the smile makes you feel weirdly better about yourself and your honorable intentions with the world that day.

I also realized I immediately look at the ground after making eye contact with people as if to reacquaint myself with my position in the world. The way peasants would look down in the presence of royalty! I’m a real toegazer. And I don’t even paint my toenails so it’s not for aesthetic reasons. My toes are functional but they’re not supermodels.

I’m going to try to look up instead from now on…at the sky! And wink at some stars or clouds. For your information, we have some inside jokes, the sky and I. I think the ground and I have even more though, but here’s to deepening friendships with inanimate objects. In my new attempts at social climbing, the sky will be the limit (literally)! I’m afraid people might think I’m rolling my eyes though. Ah well, one must make sacrifices for self-esteem!

***

My sister is here for one night AND one night only (on loan from the other side of the world)! She has a long list of demands, and requires me to play the part of the earnest chauffeur all around and around we go. Hopefully, on the way, there will be some catch-up time. Between Barnes & Borders and Java the Hut, perhaps we can squeeze in a few cheek kisses and head pats. Best Buy is so unromantic for familial reunions. Oh, you need another plastic seat cover? Let me wrap it up in my current life journeys.

This is pure delight (there are seven other parts to watch if you need more):

(Via Will)

And forgive me because I might not say it everyday but love you and miss you, Alice.

Connect the Dots & Thank Your Lucky Stars

I think I’m figuring out the importance of connections. I think the reason I miss Alice so much is not because we were so very very close, but because she was one of those people who made you happy just knowing that she was out there in the world. The little messages I got from her bespoke a connection and impact far deeper than even she might have realized. She represented so much good and contentment for me, and it’s hard to even acknowledge that that little light is no longer burning.

(Why doesn’t she get to do all the things the rest of us get to do? Even down to the miniscule effort of tying a shoe?)

But going to Massachusetts this past weekend showed me how much she meant to so many people, and in a way, it was truly comforting and peaceful. Because in that way, I learned how parts of Alice are still very much alive.

It’s strange how just one little conversation with another human being can be enough sometimes to convince you that everything will be ok. And not even someone you know particularly well. I conversed with the IT guy today who came to replace Ol’ Faithful (he actually called the compo that, which begs the question…does he read my inane story-rambles?! As Cathy would say, Ack!!! Maybe we just operate on similar wavelengths. Ladyfingers crossed) and I asked him about his weekend. And it was really swell to listen to hear him talk about it. It was genuinely so nice because he went ahead and told me all about it. It made me happy.

I need to do that more often.

In silly news, I saw a man in full pajamas at a rest stop yesterday driving the I-95 north-to-south corridor, and I realized he must be doing something right. We all could learn from him!

Behold the stylish cut and everyday comfort of los pijamas! This is not actually the Pajama Man, for the record.
photo courtesy of Flickr and kballard

Gimme a Break (Room)!

The items that are up for grabs in our office kitchen are getting weirder and weirder.

Today when I entered said kitchen to peel an old, dried up orange, this is the sight that met my eyes (but did not meet them halfway―to be fair to reality):

  • An empty plastic container that, at the prime of its life, used to be full of Biscotti. However the lid was screwed on tight as if to say, “The goodies are gone, but the vessel is still ripe for the pillaging!
  • A basket containing one unopened 6-pack of regular-size Hershey milk chocolate bars, one pint of Half & Half, and some sort of a cleaning/cooking rag. Offensive.
  • Three supersized Pixy Stix. Nobody should consume anything of this size at work. Especially if said item is just concentrated sugar.
  • A small blue bucket full of raw peanuts (still in shells). No. Unacceptable.
  • Sad proof below…

    Giant Pixy Stik up-close:

    Giant Pixy Stik in all its glory: O rly, coworkers?! I know it’s finally Friday, but sheesh. Dropping red flags like these right before the weekend is just unnecessarily cruel.

    Anyway, it’s time to eat my geriatric citrus snack.

    UPDATE!!! The basket with the Half & Half and chocolate were actually not up for the taking! They were just part of a fondue assembly kit, and the basket has since been replaced with a tray of delectable strawberries and raspberries escorted by a earthernware pot of still-warm chocolate goo.

    The raw peanut bucket, however, still remains untouched. (Where did it even come from? Someone’s fever dream that happened to take place at an absurdist baseball game between Team Accounting and Team Sales?)