Tag Archives: work

the power of christ compells you

10 Mar

Welcome to the March 10 version of “sounds to lunch by,” featuring the dulcet tones of rigorous vomiting.

Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t give you much warning there, did I? My bad… But honestly? I didn’t get one either. All’s fair in love and blogs.

Unfortunately, just as most of us in Evanston Cube Farmville were unwrapping our sandwiches around noon today (hey, what do you know — I have peanut butter again today!) the girl who sits in the cube kitty-corner from mine began puking. Into her garbage can. For three solid minutes.

But, Ang! Three minutes? Really? Everyone knows that you’re given to exaggeration… That can’t possibly be true…

People, we’re talking Exorcist-level yarfing, six feet from my chair. Trust me when I say it was three minutes. It lasted long enough for damn near every coworker in our wing to finally meander over to check on her, or to bring her water, or to gawk awkwardly, or — my personal favorite — to comment that at least she had a “bag of vomit” to deal with instead of a messy workstation.

What the fucking fuck? Who says that? And hey — more soup, anyone?

Don’t get me wrong, I feel *terrible* for her. There is nothing more miserable in this world than throwing up. It’s absolutely unholy. And to have to do it in public, AT WORK… Yes, please, pile some public embarrassment onto my moment(s) of otherwise feeling like total crap!

Poor girl. I’m genuinely mortified on her behalf.

Of course, that didn’t stop the rest of us from quickly crossing ourselves, slathering on the hand sanitizer so frequently we acquired a collective contact high, meeting in the kitchen for shots of Airborne, and audibly muttering, “Sweet Jesus, thank you for not seating me near any social pukers.”

(Okay, that last one was just me.)

Excerpted IM exchange, two hours later:

Dude who sits next to Linda Blair: do you think we’d be hurling right now if we caught the bug?

Me: doubt it. dunno how long flu takes to incubate, but probs longer than 2 hrs.

DWSNTLB: uggggggh. i don’t want to be here now. i’m scared.

Me: i can’t get the sound out of my head.

DWSNTLB: right? it sounded like she was dying.

Me: i feel bad saying this, but… i know. it sounded like she was being turned inside out. or birthing an alien. one of those.

DWSNTLB: airborne?

Me: airborne.

I am working inside a Petri dish. Send hazmat suits. And priests. Priests wearing hazmat suits!

Note: Invoking Linda Blair & The Exorcist represents the most terrifying imagery Cirque Management can fathom, thanks to a babysitter-forced viewing around age 7. In fact, the film so thoroughly scarred Management that locating any link more visceral than IMDB was impossible, due to violent shaking. Now stop reading this post and go take your vitamins. With a priest.


baby (it don’t take) einstein

28 Jan

Sometimes I really regret the decision to not have kids.

It kind of sneaks up on me; I’m sailing along fine, and then — BAM! I’m reeling. Sucker-punched by the feeling that I’m missing out on something really important.

Mostly, I find that this sense of loss tends to overwhelm me when I’m reminded of the critical and hard-won life lessons that I won’t be able to share with future offspring. Things no child should have to learn on her own. Things like:

Someday, when you’re older and you have a job that no one understands, you might find yourself sitting around a speakerphone with your colleagues one night during a conference call with China. [No, not the whole country. Just a few individuals. We don’t name specific clients, dear — now hush. Mother’s telling a story.] Anyway, should this come to pass, promise me that you’ll never, ever, under any circumstances choose that moment to catch up on the @MayorEmanuel Twitter feed. Don’t do it! Not even for a second! Not even if it’s late! Not even when they’re hashing out timeline details and you have nothing to contribute! Do you hear me, child? JUST. SAY. NO.

Because if I *did* have tiny, young minds to mold, I could take those children on my knee and tell them, firsthand, how badly Diet Coke burns when you choke it into your nasal passages. And how long the insides of your cheeks take to heal when you bite them to prevent an errant snort-laugh. And how mightily you’ll struggle for the rest of the call not to refer to your clients as Quaxelrod & Hambone.

My voice would ring with sincerity, my eyes would brim with brave, unshed tears — and, lo! Those children would be changed. Wiser. Far better equipped for the world’s minefields of satirical hilarity. Even now, I weep for the heart-to-hearts we’ll never have. . .

On the other hand, it saves me from having to deal with DCFS three times a week when I get reported for sending my kids to school in t-shirts that read: “MOTHERFUCKING WINNING THE MOTHERFUCKING FUTURE!”

So, there’s that.

break room: 8am monday

3 May

My part-time job is better than your part-time job.

keg dregs

breaking through

29 Apr

[Note: I’m not even getting riled about the ridonkulous reffing and outcome of a certain sporting event earlier this evening. Because it didn’t happen. Game 1 is Sunday night and the rules of this series are simply that the Wings have to win 4 of 6 games compared to the 3 of 6 the Sharks must win to clinch. Because Bettman’s Band of Asshat Zebras screwed Detroit over yet again, and I’m not dignifying it with anger. Or a response. I’m not. Really. . . Asshats.]

Anyway. An amazing thing happened today.

If you’ve been reading recently, you know that I’ve been slugging it out with the damned Weight Watchers scale, and said scale has essentially kicked me, beaten me, taunted me and done everything short of Tyson-ing my ear. But I told the scale to kiss my ever-so-slowly-diminishing ass and worked every good decision possible this week. . . I tracked points. I hit the gym numerous times. I ordered the salad. I packed my own lunch.

And at the end of the Week O’ Reckoning? I finally hit the 15-pound milestone I’ve been struggling with for so long.

Freaking. Yay. Me.

I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t an overwhelming relief to step on the scale and see that 1 + 1 = 2 this week, instead of Pi (or pie) or whatever the bloody hell it’s been totaling lately. Work + smart choices = results, and it felt damn good. Thank god all is right with the world again.

But believe it or not, that wasn’t the amazing part. The “are you sitting down?” moment came earlier today, when I still didn’t know what numbers would flash at me tonight. I’ve picked up a temporary admin job with Time Out Chicago, and one of the benefits of working a part-time gig for some really cool people is that they’ve been flexible enough to let me set my own hours. In fact, many of the staff members regularly work a 10a-6p shift, so starting later in the day — basically the holy grail of office schedules for someone as allergic to mornings as I am — would be completely and totally okay.

Under normal circumstances, I’d have wished for the agility to turn a cartwheel over this news. But rather than plot my post-rush-hour commute and leisurely wake-up times, do you know what I did? I began figuring out which days I could shift my schedule UP by a few hours to be able to make a 5:30 or 6:30 evening water aerobics class.

Did everyone get that? My friends have to rock/paper/scissors to see who gets stuck waking my lazy ass up during group weekends and I just voluntarily suggested coming in at 8am two days a week. Not because that’s when the job starts, but because it was my own insane idea. Sure, that might not sound early to most people, but I’ve been sleeping college student (or vampire bat) hours for 18 months now. Agreeing to come in at 8 is the equivalent of a normal person taking on a 2am start to her day. . .

All because I didn’t want to give up my workouts.

The fact is I’ve become a total water aerobics slut in these past few weeks — my favorite class being Aqua Blast (higher-intensity cardio and more dynamic movements for 60 minutes), but Aqua Mix (same time, more emphasis on strength training and targeted movements) offers a nice bit of variety on Mondays. Honestly, I never thought I’d enjoy exercise — it’s been a nemesis for as long as I can remember, and I can’t put this feeling to words any better than I did in a recent FGG post:

Exercise and I have never been good friends. Like many fat girls I’ve met over the years, my gym class experiences were always a torment, and I gravitated toward friends who were more likely to pass time playing cards or watching 90210 reruns than starting a pick-up game of basketball or soccer. Between the sweat, the beet-red face, and the fact that every movement was a struggle, most workouts I’ve tackled as an adult have been faced with gritted teeth and an eagle eye on the clock’s second hand. So when I skeptically accompanied a new weight-loss friend to her fitness center several years ago, I expected to grind through my guest-pass meetings with both treadmill and trainer before scampering back to the safety of my couch – or at least my Tae-Bo videos and closed blinds.

The minute we walked into Galter Life Center, however, the smell of pool chlorine greeted me like an old friend. As a direct result of my Pavlovian response to water of any kind, I walked out of the gym that day with a membership contract and began working out regularly. But for some reason, I never set foot in the pool – the very thing that sold me on joining — until last Friday. Years after previously abandoning my membership and gaining back the weight I’d lost, I put every fear and excuse aside and joined my best friend in the pool for my first-ever water aerobics class . . . and it was love at first splash.

– April 8, 2010

So the girl who adores sleep and hates to exercise — who could happily hit the snooze button for 3 hours at a time and who used to cry the night before the school’s P.E. semester started — that girl just chose the gym over sleep. Fitness over forty winks, and swimming over slumber. For those of you keeping score, this may indeed be a sign of the apocalypse.

So there it is. I didn’t think anything would make me feel better than finally passing that elusive 15-pound marker, but damned if this didn’t do it. The crazy thing is, I do believe I used to hang out with this gym-rat girl and her wacky priorities — and I’ve missed her.

whatever gets you through the night

29 Mar

Possible new goal-slash-gimmick for April: Every blog post title references either a song title or lyric. I seem to be trucking full-steam down that road without intending to do so — might as well make it official.

Anyway, no searing social commentary today… just a round-up of the things that have caused me to smile or (*gasp!*) break a giggle in the past 24. Enjoy!

  • Via Chicagoist: The Sesame Street Yip Yips do Lady Gaga. This? This is awesome.
  • Also awesome, also Muppet-related: Bert and Ernie pull through to beat out that bitch, Elmo, in the Muppet Madness Tournament. Sesame Street purist, reporting for duty!
  • Several hours of spinning the Indigos, Imogen Heap, John Lennon and Liz Phair on the iTunes.
  • Finally, finally getting my grubby, rent-owing hands on the paycheck for the boatload of TOC Volunteer Issue copy I wrote last December.
  • Vegan chocolate cake, via the monkeylicious L-Bags.
  • My awesome editor taking the Tues/Thurs FGG posts for me this week while I assemble the editorial calendar and catch up elsewhere.
  • The fact that I have now used “awesome” four separate times in this post and don’t give a damn.

left shoulder: "strength"

And most importantly:

  • The fierce love and sound advice (even while delivered mid-snooze) from amazing friends.
  • Remembering that I put the damn tattoo on my shoulder for a reason.

What’s been YOUR secret weapon for today’s final Manic March Monday?

i love today

23 Mar

Seriously, a day that includes all of the following? Can it get much better?

  • Waking up knowing Obama would be signing Health Care Reform today
  • Gorgeous sunshine and 60-degree temperatures
  • Yummy lunch meeting with friend-slash-client, whom I haven’t seen in years
  • Realizing (happily) that after years of thinking I disliked Panera, I was mistaken and actually *enjoy* eating there. (Must have confused them with Corner Bakery, which has nothing for me that doesn’t fall in the “breads and pastries” category. SMRT.)
  • Discovering that I actually enjoyed adding a bit of Asian sesame vinaigrette to my salad. (That’s two new dressings and an appetizer I’ve liked in the past two weeks. Who is this bold and daring girl, and where is Baroness Von PickyEater?)
  • Driving to and from said meeting on said gorgeous day in said gorgeous weather, with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up
  • Deciding to get an impromptu haircut on the way home
  • Feeling light and springy and sassy with said new haircut
  • Writing (atop my new lap desk — no more burned dog smell!) with the windows open and happy street noises coming in
  • Intermittent snuggles and shoelace playtime with the Diva
  • Being grateful for the millionth time this month not to have a desk job with traditional hours
  • Taking the ridiculous, shot-out-of-a-cannon-in-the-fresh-air dogger for a nice long walk before dinner
  • Clean clothes right out of the dryer
  • Episodes of “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” on RCN On Demand
  • A generous friend who shares with me the luxuries of said washer/dryer and RCN On Demand
  • Going to sleep (flanked in the guest bed by said dogger) knowing tomorrow promises another sunny day, Bacon/Bro Breakfast, Wolf Pack Wednesday, and a delayed viewing of Richard Alpert’s (long awaited!) backstory

Right now, life feels very, very good.

isn’t it ironic (non-alanis version)

18 Mar

Paying gigs are fantastic. I’m still on cloud nine that people are willing to pay me good money to write and edit… and that I’m not currently living in a cardboard box under the Foster Avenue/LSD overpass.

The only slight problem is that, between the association work I’m doing and the deadlines for FGG, my time for self-indulgent blogging has pretty much been zero. Which of course means this is when the anvil of inspiration has thunked me on the head and there are 7 or 8 posts I’m suddenly dying to write. Seriously, the writer’s block gods have a funky sense of humor.

I promise to have some hi-larious tidbits to share over the next week; in the meantime, though, try this on for size:

ANG: “I’m writing about spring cleaning your closet this week.”

KATIE: “Nice. Are you gonna take your own advice?”

ANG: “Touché. And probably not.”

Folks, some people were made to live out of neatly organized and color-coordinated closets that would make Martha Stewart proud. Others are destined to keep their clean clothes in the over-sized IKEA tote that serves as a laundry bag. It takes diff’rent strokes to move the world, yes it does.