Friday, March 31, 2006

Cake, It's Not Just A Band

Old Boss:

Happy Birthday!!!

Now you can throw that fake id away!!

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!




I am a fabulous 26 today. Please note that I will be 26 next year as well. I’m thinking in 2009 I’ll move up to 27.

Old Boss:

Now that you determine the feasibility of programs and programming…What fraction is that? 26 after 26 years, then 26 after 27 years, then 26 after 29 years? Ummmm…..


I feel like it would be kind of improper to share that information with you. I mean, of course I know the answer but we should really be more cognizant of company security. We can’t have just everybody running around with that kind of answer.

Old Boss:

Robin: Hi! What’s your name?

Fence: Hi! My name is Fence

Robin: Fence, nice to meet you!

Fence: Nice to meet you too! Now that you’re a <job title deleted, dur>, I’m sure that you need to move to the other side. Here is a gate for you to walk very easily to the other side so that you can take a new stance on issues!

Robin: Why that is so very nice of you, Fence! Of course, I need to be on the other side.


Today is my birthday and truly, it could not be going any better. I think the conglomeration of previous bad birthdays has given me new appreciation for the ones that run smoothly. Today I’ve had comments and text messages and voicemails and emails ALL ABOUT ME AND MY BIRTHDAY and I just can’t tell you the kind of happy little glow I get each time. It’s ridiculous and juvenile and possibly even a bit self-centered but it’s the bestest feeling in the whole entire world when someone actually yells HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOOKER across the parking lot. Also, I’d like to add that the random trivia found on MSN this morning indicates that “the Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, officially opened on this date in 1889.” My birthday is so cool that even the EIFFEL TOWER gets to celebrate. I don’t care if you think me cheesy but I’ve stood under it’s giant legs and it’s so unbelievably marvelous and stunning it makes you kind of understand how Tom Cruise would want to proclaim his undying *cough* love for his *cough* soulmate Katie Holmes. On this day there will be no judging of his strange Dianetics-induced antics. Tomorrow, though, game on bitch.

I also have to send out a little thank you to my Mom’s womb-area for a) baking me long enough b) being just so damn eager to spit me out into the cold harsh world it forced me to visit a whole 6 weeks early. I think this was God’s way of telling me that my early arrival on this most auspicious of days was going to be my one and only shot at getting somewhere, anywhere early- much less on time. Hopefully neither my mother nor her womb find this blog (and seriously, the chances are slim as she has yet to grasp what the ‘desktop’ is) but if she does I hope she gets far enough to read this next part:

Dear Mom,

I love you more than anything in this whole entire world, including my cats and you know how much I love my cats. I’m not really referring to Llama as he is the devil incarnate but maybe I love him just a little bit. I’m really talking about Oscar and Thomas, rest in peace, and Cleo, the worlds fattest furball who still insists on rolling in the dusty patches in your driveway so he ends up looking kind of brownish-grey but you and I both remember the time when he was just a youngun and smelled like baby powder for many years in a row. This was obviously before he discovered the dusty patches but I digress. This is not about cats, this is about you and how damn cool you are and how if I’d been given the option to choose anybody else, any other mother in this whole entire world, I would still choose you. You make my life complete in that way no one else can because no one else carried me around for nine months minus six weeks and ate lots of pickles and bell peppers. Raw ones, not cooked, because we both like that crunch. Thank you for making me go to dance practice when I wanted to quit so I could stay home and watch Punky Brewster (even though I told you it was because I hated dance class and my tights made me itch) because you KNEW with your strange mom-radar that I was totally lying and just wanted to look at Punky’s bedroom again, the one with the cool bed. Thanks for driving me all over town as a kid so I got to do as many things as humanly possible even though I’m absolutely positive you’d have rather been lying on the couch reading a book. Thanks for letting me play with your hair when we visited Jolene’s house and thanks for letting me pretend I was a grownup with you guys, even though Jolene may have thought I ran my mouth incessantly and you probably didn’t get to talk about all the adult things you wanted to talk about because I was sitting RIGHT THERE, right beside your legs, refusing to leave because I was too old to play with my snotty younger brother and Jolene’s snotty sons. I always sort of blamed her for not having girls for me to play with until that one special day when I realized that you don’t actually get to pick that kind of stuff. Also, thanks for always leaving me voicemails that start with “Hi sweetie” because I secretly like it and I don’t even mind when you call me that in public.



Thursday, March 30, 2006

You Don't Have To Be Bruce Willis To Make A Decision

This afternoon I had lunch with two friends of mine.  Actually, one is my Actual Friend and the other is the Special Friend of the Actual Friend.  It’s not that I don’t like the Special Friend, it’s just that I can’t ever REALLY befriend people who ooze wishiwashiness. Though we (and by ‘we’ I mean humanity, collectively) are certainly entitled to moments of indecision, I’m a firm believer that those moments of indecision need to be few and far between.  It’s okay to straddle the fence for a brief period of time about whether or not you should go through with an upcoming wedding.  It is not, however, okay to straddle the fence about the upcoming wedding ALL THE WAY THROUGH the wedding and post-wedding and post-post-wedding.  I’m using this as an example, obviously.  The same applies to choosing a restaurant for lunch.  Don’t agonize over the Wendy’s/Burger King decision all the way through the drive to the Wendy’s/Burger King and through the Wendy’s/Burger King meal and then AFTER the Wendy’s/Burger King meal.  This makes you a douche and it’s best if you just not talk. 

We didn’t have any blatant displays of wishiwashiness at the lunch table today but I still know that it lingers not far under the surface which is why I have to refer to him as Her Special Friend and not My Actual Friend.  Obviously this is like the world’s longest discussion about who I ate lunch with today but I totally don’t care and you can drink my pureed toe jam.

My point is that today I totally had validation for the obscene amount of money I spent at Target last week.  As a side note, I swear that Target has a homing beacon that draws all females within a 30 mile radius inside its automatic glass doors to peruse its overpriced crap.  It’s a pull that someone with double X chromosomes just can’t resist, much like men and their random Y chromosome can’t resist the pull of the Gander Mountain superstore.  But it’s true; the local Target has received a strangely large chunk of my paycheck in the last 10 days. 

As for the validation, which I swear I’m getting to, it all started when I laid my sunglasses, phone and ID badge on the lunchroom table.  I ate my meal, an edible though not memorable frozen meal containing chicken and broccoli and what someone is trying desperately to market as ‘cheese.’  After we’re done eating I gather all my trash together and reach for my sunglasses ONLY TO HAVE A GINORMOUS CHUNK FALL OFF.  I don’t actually know what you call that part of the sunglasses and I’m too lazy and disinterested to google it.  But the WHOLE SIDE, the side that is necessary to keep them resting peacefully perched on your nose and ears just plum fell off. 

So now, as I sit at my desk an hour later, I’ve made peace with the excessive dollars that have made their way into the Target coffer.  Because Target provided me with new sunglasses even when I felt mildly guilty for purchasing new ones when I so obviously had a functional and unscratched and unbroken pair.  But The Fates have picked today to smile on me and now I just have to find a way of justifying the $17 I spent on eye-wrinkle cream.  Thankfully, I no longer have to justify the $25 I spent on wee little dog outfits that I repurposed as cat outfits.  Brittany was with me so I think I might be able to blame it on her, much like I blamed Monday’s ingestion of Paradise Pie on her.  But I returned the outfits the next day because I just cannot allow people into my house to later be greeted by my two Demonspawn who are sporting a tracksuit with ‘woof’ emblazoned on the back and pink ruffled dress with embroidered bunnies. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blame Latvia

Right now I can hear the gentle constant drone of the cooled air rushing through the air conditioning vents above the cubicles and truly, it’s one of the most pleasant sounds I’ve ever heard. In one fell swoop it’s reminded me that not only is it sunny and beautiful outside but it’s a stunning 71 degrees- a temperature so perfect even the miserly wanks of the world will agree, albeit grudgingly, that spring is most definitely here to stay. At least until summer knocks it out of the ballpark with a giant metal bat so it can trundle into the scenery with gallons of oppressive and lung-constricting heat.

I know, it’s just an air conditioner. But one has to understand that Corporate America will wait until the last possible moment to switch on the good ol’ AC—so the sound I hear is an indication that the Higher Ups have pooled their collective wills to dictate that spring will stay in residence because god forfuckingbid they turn the heat back on should a random frosty front decide to hop on through.

This kind of weather makes me forget that I spend roughly thirty dollars a month on Claritin in an effort to control the hellish misery induced by that dusting of yellowness on my shiny black car. Which makes it unshiny and ultimately ends up pissing me off. It also makes me forget that, should I forget my daily dose, my jaw and neck and upper arms and eyebrows and ears will itch uncontrollably, kind of like it’s doing now because YES MY FRIENDS I forgot to take my Claritin. They’ll turn red and hot to the touch, especially my ear lobes. I’ve thought many times today how much I’d love to find a way to strap ice cubes to my ears. They have strap-on genitalia, why can’t They have strap-on cooling devices? I should clarify this by saying that They should make every effort possible to make these strap-on cooling devices as unobtrusive as possible because I can just see some giant marketing douche, probably the same marketing douche that came up with those cereal and “milk” bars, pushing an idea for cooling ear muffs and scarves. Because nothing says cool like wearing ear muffs in the office. Save for starting a booger collection under the armrest on your chair and laughing hysterically at your coworkers when they inadvertently steal your chair out of your office and end up with their palms embedded in your biological smathering of nose goo.

I’ve had like six cups of coffee in the last hour and holy catpoop I have to pee so bad I just seriously considered the advantages of high cubicle walls and multiple trashcans.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My New Lotion Smells Like Oranges

Right now I can feel the collective Rock of Food, similar to the Rock of Gibraltar, sitting immobile and sullen in my lower intestinal track. I know, tasty. Run off and eat your dinner now, kiddos! It’s just that in six days I’ve spent copious amounts of time in booths or tables with a nice cloth napkin spread over my thighs to catch the inevitable barrage of things I drop on myself. It started Thursday with the trip to Jasmine’s, a nice sushi/tasty food/bar at the edge of town that even now, with the 46lbs I’ve gained in 6 days glaring at me, makes my mouth water buckets of spit. I was treating myself, you see. I’d been eating so well, keeping such close watch of my checkbook that I thought What The Hell! I’ll spend a twenty on a delicious lunch this week. But then I got to work the next day and looked in my Outlook calendar- I’d scheduled a lunch with coworkers! No biggie, the girls are fun and I’ll order something healthy and cheap. And so I ordered the Jalapeno Grilled Tilapia from Johnny Carino’s. Which sounds deceptively healthy. Fish! Grilled with vegetables! That’s like 2.3 calories! But then it was placed in front of me and the fish, oh the beautifully seasoned fish, was placed daintily on top of a heaping pile of angel hair pasta tossed in a yummy cream sauce with chopped bits of jalapeño and spinach. And, not wanting to be wasteful, I ate every last drop. If I hadn’t been surrounded by a table full of female coworkers I would have licked the last scraps of sauce from the edges of the bowl that I’d been unable to sop up with giant chucks of fresh bread.

Six hours later and I’m sitting in another restaurant, this time it’s Buffalo Grill, and I’m devouring an excellently grilled bacon cheeseburger and fries like I’ve never eaten before in my life. So I go home, resolving to spend my weekend cleaning and eating my leftover frozen dinners.

But then I get bored.

I send Brittany off on her adventure with a waive and a smile, secretly knowing that it’s entirely possible I may have to google a Certain Someone and drive cross country to break Certain Someone’s knees. I use this expression a lot, the threat to break someone’s knees. I threatened to break my brother’s knees when he drove his car into a ditch and disappeared, only to turn up in the county jail. I want to make it clear that I don’t use this expression in vain. I will actually break someone’s knees should they happen to piss me off enough. Or, in this case, hurt a friend enough. Because breaking someone’s knees sends a certain message, much more so than threatening to kick someone’s ass. You can kick someone’s ass and chalk it up to horseplay. But there’s no getting around broken knees. That person meant business.

So after I watched her drive off into the sunset I called Amanda, who desperately wanted some cheese dip. And me, being the self-sacrificing friend that I am, acquiesced to her crazy demands for the liquid cheese. And upon penalty of death I might have eaten some, okay, a lot of that cheese dip. BUT IT WAS FROM SENOR TEQUILAS AND YOU JUST CAN’T BEAT THE DELICIOUSNESS OF THEIR WHITE CHEESE DIP.

Then Sunday I went to work. I came home. I made a frozen dinner. Yay for me! But then the Dollar Movies were calling and I mean, My God, you can’t beat watching a movie for a dollar. So Amanda and Kara and I threw ourselves into Kara’s slightly unstable vehicle (made unstable by her frightening driving habits) and swung through Wendy’s to get a spicy chicken sandwich, lettuce only, fries and a Mix-n-Frosty. I had to get the Mix-n-Frosty because HELLO! You get to add things, like butterfingers or oreos, into your frosty! Nothing could possibly be more delicious! Except maybe smuggling it inside the theater at the bottom of your purse and eating it in the cold dark anonymity of the movie theater.

Then Monday came along. I’d gone grocery shopping the night before in an attempt to curb my eating-out but NO! My plan was defeated by the same Fun Lunch Girls who insisted I go to The Purple Cow. Where I ate a cobb salad that had all the nutritional value of a bucket of raw bacon.
Then dinner with Brittany at Chili’s where I ingested Southwestern Eggrolls, the most delicious invention ever because who REALLY wants to eat an eggroll full of cabbage and strange pork pieces when they could eat eggrolls filled with chicken and spiciness?? I know. And then I ate some Paradise Pie. But Brittany made me.

After Monday comes Tuesday, unless you’re a cast member in The Godfather and then it might come after Saturday or whenever The Godfather wills it to be. I got up early, made my healthy turkey wrap and ran out the door. But at 10:30am my phone rang, another co-worker in need of relationship advice- how was I to turn that down?! I was needed in a time of female turmoil! And there’s only one place to conduct female relationship squabble- Fu-Lin’s! So I had the Kung Pao Beef with an eggroll and wonton soup and I must say that the wonton soup was especially good today but let’s be honest- it’s just a bit of liquid trying to work its way down through the solid rock of food that has taken up residence in my body. This is not to imply that I’m having trouble expelling the food because EW. I would never talk about that. I would, however, talk about warts or ulcer-induced vomiting but I draw the line at personal poopage. Because it’s not that it’s ACTUALLY sitting in my stomach it’s just that I can feel the ACTUAL four chins that are just waiting to burst out from underneath my jawline thanks to the sixty thousand calories I’ve ingested recently.

I would make a joke *here* about bulimia but that would probably be in bad taste.

*Addition: I do not actually HAVE bulimia, BRITTANY, GIRL WHO IS TRYING TO DISTRACT ME FROM HITTING HER OVER THE HEAD IN HOPES OF KNOCKING SENSE IN THERE, the ulcers make mi estomaga muy sensitivo, yo, and there is sometimes vomiting when it is unhappy with what I’ve decided to put in it. THIS DOES NOT EQUAL BULIMIA. It does, however, mean that I can have a very uncomfortable fifteen minutes hovering over your bathroom toilet.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Genie In A Bottle Got Rubbed The Right Way

There will be future discussions, I’m sure, about how much I like my new job. Because not only do I like it, I love it so damn much I want to wrap it in a furry blanket and kiss it’s cold wet nose. Let’s not forget that a scant couple of months ago I was seriously considering offering my skills up for the Toilet Paper Roll Changing Specialist position because I’d rather spend my day inside a mirrored and linoleumed environment changing half-empty toilet paper rolls than participate in one more second of the fiery hell of being an Ass Wiping Specialist. And though I deemed my previous job title an “Ass Wiper” please know that it had nothing whatsoever to do with what happens in a bathroom. Which makes it all the more revolting because the Ass Wiping was happening in a non-sterile and open floor plan environment. So it might be possible that I’m a bit overly enthralled with my new job because in comparison to the stomach-churning work from a mere 10 days ago THIS PLACE IS LIKE THE FLUFFY CLOUD WHERE THE CAREBEARS LIVE.

And what’s really great is that, though I’m only two floors down from my previous cubicle, the walls are so thick and fireproof that you can’t even hear the incessant screaming and wailing as each employee takes his turn on the roasting spit, hoping that this might be the day when he doesn’t have to go home and toss his smelly smoke infested clothing in the bin whilst scraping the burned rotting flesh off his abdomen.

Topic Change:

Today on lunch I went to The Purple Cow and tried to convince the manager that because I was wearing purple velvet shoes I should get a free purple milkshake because obviously I’m the most loyal customer ever. He didn’t so much buy into my theory but that’s okay. I left my gum under the table.


Back to original topic, sort of:

People in my new job wear lots of man-loafers and dress pants. Not just pressed khakis, which are the bare minimum a male can get away with, but ACTUAL dress pants. With belts, even. And they say things like “We had the in-laws over this weekend…” and “When the electrician came last week….” and “I tried out this new fertilizer on my azaleas…” It’s a whole ‘nother world down here. And GOD HELP ME but I just got that damn Aladdin song stuck in my head. The one where they sing to each other on the flying rug. Don’t judge me; I spend a lot of time with children under the age of four. I won’t lie to you either, I sometimes sing that song in my kitchen while I’m waiting for my 96 cent Michelina’s Lean Gourmet to cook it’s required three minutes and thirty seconds in the microwave.

My kitchen has great acoustics.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Early Yet, Said the Crow to the Owl

So, yes. 

A bit overwhelmed.


I sat in my car Monday morning and agonized over making the right decision. 


Because, you see, though there is normally a ‘bail’ option, it’s much easier just to NOT CHOOSE a certain path. 

Less heartache.  And headache. 


Obviously I got out of my car.  And went to work.  On my brand new floor in my brand new office with my brand new boss. 

And it seems okay.  Maybe even more than okay. 

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Push Pins

I have a tiny scar on the inside of my elbow from ‘donating’ plasma a handful of times my freshman year in college. The ‘donations’ were concurrent with a lesson learned in ‘overdraft charges.’

I can remember every outfit from every first day from every year of school- even kindergarten.

The week before 5th grade my mother gave me $100 dollars for my back to school shopping. In the world of a 10-year-old this was an amount that had to be stretched to the last possible cent. So I purchased black shorts, purple shorts and orange shorts followed by an orange shirt with purple polka dots, a black shirt with purple stripes, a purple shirt with orange polka dots, an orange shirt with black ribbing around the neck and arms and finally a bright red shirt just for shits and giggles. Then, on the chalkboard easel in my bedroom, I meticulously detailed the combinations of outfits for each school day in September. My idol was Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All.

I don’t hold much stock in matching. Today, for instance, I am wearing pink shoes, grey pants, a blue tank top over a white one, a brown cardigan shrug and black bracelets.

I am not nearly as obsessed with clothes as the last few paragraphs indicate.

I put off doing laundry until the last possible minute.

I eat a lot of ramen noodles- not only because I don’t have gobs of money but because I genuinely like them.

I don’t know how to salsa dance but I imitate it in my living room at least twice a week.

I thought the bad first impression I give was a talent I only recently acquired. Recent as in the past 8 years. But upon further dwellage, I learned that I’ve always given a bad first impression. I remember meeting my best friend Constance in 7th grade, the year that all the elementary schools emptied into the large middle school across town. She was in my History class, along with a host of other guys and girls that would later flow in and out of my friend circle. That same year, while lying sprawled on the carpet of my bedroom and discussing the trivialities of life, she informed me that she thought I was a snobbish bitch that first day in History. She soothed my poor childish ego by following that statement up with reassurances that she later came to find me funny and nice and sweet and smart- not at all snobbish or bitchy.

I either ignore or befriend the boys I crush on. Because I am so undeniably mature.

I abhor people who wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.

I have roughly 25 nail files, which I rarely use.

I wish they made room fresheners that smelled like Pledge. Pledge is my favorite smell in the whole wide world.

I love public transportation.

I wish I had enough money to live on top of a mountain in a house made of recycled products with solar panels and windmills and a large cistern wrapped in shiny copper. In my fantasy land I’d ride my zip line bucket to the village below for supplies and books. In the real world I’d drive my hybrid to the base of the mountain for supplies and books. Because zip lines are fun going down, not so much on the uphill.

I’m usually just a bit on the sleepy side.

I prefer desktops over laptops.

I get in eating ruts. For the past seven nights I have pulled out a large four tortilla, sprinkled it with cheese, dabbed a bit of picante sauce in the middle and nuked until bubbly. I have rolled it up, dropped it on a plate, grabbed a cup of yogurt and a spoon and sat in my favorite yellow chair to eat in front of mindless television drivel.

I have been told that what you read here doesn’t coincide with my real life persona. That I’m ‘harder’ in person, with a general attitude of devil-may-care—to throw in an overused cliché. I’ve had others reassure me that that’s simply not true. Whatever it is that makes me different in person, I’m working on it. I swear.

I Like Blue Pens

I’ve got that lightly crunchy feeling between my teeth, thanks to my toothpaste happy dental hygienist. Every time I close my mouth the miniscule sand-like pieces grind together, making strange echoing noises inside my head. Though I will give her credit for being reasonable with the tooth-scraping device, bless her.

After today’s trip to El Dentisto I’ve decided there’s no point in finding a mouth doctor you like because really, WHO CARES. The past three times I’ve been to the dentist I’ve sat in the automatic chair for 40 minutes while some abominably perky 23-year-old scrapes my teeth, takes x-rays and shoves the spit-sucker into corners of my mouth I haven’t seen in, well, ever. Senor Denisto usually rolls in as the Perky Hygienist is making my next appointment on their super-efficient touch screens located in every little room. Glad to see my insurance dollars are going to a good cause. Now, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of Senor Dentisto because he’s a tasty and delicious morsel, far above the normal cut of Mouth Gougers I’ve ever met. Hell, he’s a tasty and delicious morsel PERIOD. And it doesn’t hurt his cause that he always makes a crack about my five thousand bracelets and pointy shoes. But I do find it quite sad that he spends less than 30 seconds taking one of the pointy teeth-pickers and poking it at my teeth, only to announce with a great big toothy smile that my teeth are perfect, thanks for stopping by. I mean, I secretly love that he tells me my teeth are perfect because I have an unhealthy obsession with teeth in general. But 30 seconds? This is all I get for being poked and prodded and scraped for 40 minutes? I at least want him to slap my x-rays up on the screen and spend a few minutes looking at them in front of me, if only to give me the impression that Dentisto’s are just as involved in my mouth-health as those perky girls in black and pink scrubs.

And then I ruined my nice clean teeth by eating a baconeggandcheesemcgriddle from McDonald’s. AND IT WAS DELCIOUS.

Then I went to Old Navy because I still had an hour before I could feasibly show up for work. Wouldn’t want to get them thinking that I could come in EARLY. You might remember the last time I went to Old Navy- I woke up one morning and realized I had nothing clean to wear and promptly shuffled my pajama-ed self into my car, across town and into the warehouse environment where they pump steady streams of over-dj’d pop music. I picked up a pair of grey pants and a black sweater and changed in the car, where I was totally busted out by a 12-year old kid who was completely creeped out by the Lady With No Pants On. Today I had clean clothes but I really just wasn’t that keen on wearing them.

So I bought new ones.

And then drove to work, parked in the very back parking lot, whipped off my shirt and attempted to pull on
the tank top I’d carefully arranged for quick dressing. Naturally, there was nothing quick about it. My head got stuck in the arm hole while I flashed WHAT I THOUGHT was an empty rear parking lot. But I could never be that lucky. To the guy in the green SUV: THANKS AND YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY TOO, JACKASS.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Turning My Hay Into Gold Thread

In four days I start my new job, the big snazzy one with a cubicle literally 4 times as large as the one I sit in now along with actual barriers between me and the world, barriers taller than even the above average man, barriers that reach just shy of the ceiling. I will have a new, flat screen computer with top of the line software and hardware. I will work on projects that influence the company culture, generate new business and streamline existing processes. It seems daunting when I truly sit down and think about it—but deep down I know it will be okay. I can learn relatively anything, relatively fast. They liked me enough to hire me above all other applicants and I have to trust their judgment.

Here’s where the problem fits in:
There is no plan involved. I get a better job with better pay BUT THERE IS NO PLAN. I don’t have a track outlined in my head about where I want to go next, what job I want next, what office I want next. When I planned on going to radiology school there was a definite, outlined and subcategorized PLAN. I would attend school- check. Find a job with the traveling health services- check. Spend 6 months in each place before leaving for a new locale- check. Two years later determine a location I’d like to stay in- check. Buy a home- check.

I think what frustrates me more than anything about my current situation is the lack of change. I spent an hour on craigslist today looking at apartments in Amsterdam, thinking how desperately I want to pack up and leave, clean out my savings and spend three months in a run-down studio apartment, eating ramen noodles and making friends. THAT is what makes my heart go a-flutter. How do I get there? I could teach English as a second language, maybe…. if you forget about my heaping pile of credit card debt I’m required to pay each month along with the 17-grand I still owe on the Honda. How do I do it? Am I transferring some genetic need for companionship into the need to pack up and leave? Or am I just predisposed to flightiness, the need for constant change, even though I claim to hate it.

It’s just… today I sat at my desk and thought about the time I spent in the Netherlands and I missed the slice of bread I had for breakfast each morning, nine days straight, slathered in butter and covered in chocolate sprinkles. Like you and I go to McDonalds and expect our packet of grape jelly with our sausage biscuits, the Dutch expect their packets of chocolate sprinkles. And not the generic brown sprinkles found in the U.S.- these are the most delicious chocolate sprinkles ever to be found or tasted. I missed getting on the train in Alcala’ and riding the 30 minutes into Madrid. I missed being able to see the Sacre Coeur from my hostel window. I missed the walk to the university in Spain, the flip flops on my feet sticking to the hot pavement, passing the plaza and the allure of the bakery at the end of row, ordering croissant con queso y jamon, sin jamon por favor. Si’, solo queso because the guy behind the counter could never quite believe I only wanted the ham and cheese sandwich with cheese only, please. The Gap store in Paris I ducked into during a rainstorm, only to be met with the first stacks of clothing above a size 4 I’d been able to find since arriving, speculating that the French kept all their chubby people boarded up in sheds for fear of letting the tourists see the true effects of fresh cheese and gallons of wine. I even missed traveling with Kasi, the undisputed Travel Nazi of the Western Hemisphere.

And I’m sad because I thought I was a grown-up then.
And I’m sad because I thought being grown-up was always going to be like that, traveling with friends and laughing at street vendors and getting stomach cramps on 11-hour flights.
But I’m happy I’ve found a place that lets me pay my bills, live in a nice apartment, visit my friends who insist on living 30 miles away.
And I’m happy I found a venue to vent and write and write and vent.
But I miss parts of that life, when I thought I was a grown-up.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I've Lost My Nail File

I should probably apologize for the last post because which one of you really wants to read about bloody beating hearts? That silence I hear is everyone pinning their mouths together and making eye contact with their neighbor, silently pleading to be released from the wrath of the girl who previously just seemed A Bit On The Funny Side But Turned Out To Be A Prime Candidate For A 9x6 Cell.

Don’t cry for me, Argentina! ß said in contralto Madonnavoice.

This morning I had chocolate pudding for breakfast not because it looked tantalizing in it’s see-through container and not because it seemed like a grrrreat (Tony the Tiger!) way to start my day but because pouring a bowl of cereal just seemed like too godamned much trouble. Standing in front of the refrigerator I thought I’m a fucking adult and I can eat what I please. In fact, this realization was somewhat of an epiphany for me and one I’ve seen in others as well. Most notably was Spring Break during my freshman year at college. I woke up in the beachfront condo I was sharing with five other females and wandered into the living room, only to be greeted by my college roommate sitting cross-legged on the pull-out couchbed, eating Pringles and Corona. I expressed extreme disgust with her breakfast (of champion!) choices wherein she informed me that she was a grown ass woman and could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Though I’ll have to split hairs with her on being a grown ass woman at the ripe old age of 19, I do kind of have to agree with her, even if I still find her chosen combination of breakfast foods revolting. As a side note I might add that later in the afternoon, after falling asleep on the balcony post-consumption of roughly 12 Coronas and 2 cans of Pringles, she woke up to the vicious dive bombing attacks of two dozen sea gulls. I watched her spring from her plastic chair, legs tangled in her giant beach towel and run head first into the sliding glass door while screaming “THEY THINK I’M BREAD! THEY THINK I’M BREAD!”

She was rather pale.

My chocolate pudding wasn't really all it could be (get an edge on life, in the army!) but it was infinitely less time consuming than reaching inside the cabinet, pulling out a bowl, reaching inside another cabinet, dragging out the cereal, opening the box AND LET'S NOT FORGET A POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO PAPER CUTS VIA THE DANGEROUS CARDBOARD, pouring out the cereal, getting the milk, opening the milk...GAH. Even now it makes me tired.

So I thought about how one could make cereal more efficient while I was eating my prepackaged chocolate pudding and realized, shit, somebody has already had this dream, to make the cereal easy for all. But they ended up at the wrong conclusion, which would be those cereal-n-milk bars they sell next to the granola bars in the grocery. I’d like to have a word with the advertising mammoth who decided that the correct marketing ploy would be to show commercials with the graphically enhanced ACTUAL milk transforming into the “milk” that is found between the layers of the cereal bar. This is not only unappetizing but it makes me want to not buy the regular cereal as well, in fear that some of that “milk” may have contaminated the cereal dispensers at the plant. Blech.

Monday, March 13, 2006

You Can Bypass This One If You Want

I wish there was a funny way to say I wasn’t sleeping, that I looked upon the sleeplessness as an exercise in self-awareness or that I found it endearing in a neurotic or mildly wacky kind of way. As in, “That girl looks like she’s not sleeping, WHAT A CHARACTER, THAT ONE.” or “Though obviously lacking in the REM category, BET SHE’S A TOTAL LAUGH.”

I’ve held off mentioning anything that might intimate my lack of voluntary and horizontal slumber because really, who wants to read about the bleary-eyed girl who sits at her desk, hallucinating tiny spiders marching in a line against the cubicle wall. In my vast and uber intelligent opinion, folks want to read about small men who live in trees (David the Gnome!) and make lamps out of human skin or perhaps Rodents Of Unusual Size who live in fanciful forests made of licorice and lollipops and swim in rivers of chocolate with pretty red beating hearts in lieu of shiny maraschino cherries. Obviously I’m exaggerating the scariness that the sleeplessness has wrought upon my aching body OR AM I. In truth I got out of bed this morning, quite intent on avoiding the bloody beating hearts adorning my wooden floor. And even though, logically, I can tell you that THERE ARE NO BLOODY BEATING HEARTS ON MY WOODEN FLOOR, in the haze of my sleep-deprived waking coma I was most certainly afraid of stepping on one. And slipping to my death. Because I am eternally afraid of slipping. On flat ground, on stairs, on linoleum TAKE YOUR PICK. But rest assured that those bloody beating hearts were a detriment to my health by way of ending up ass first on the unrelenting oak of my floor.

Before you submit suggestions please know that I have tried every single godamned one of them. Earplugs, chamomile tea, yoga, nasty ass warm milk, exercise, reading, not reading, television, no television I HAVE TRIED THEM ALL. I have waking dreams at weird times of the day, most involving subjects that normal people do not entertain. There’s no time frame for the night drama that I can pin down, either. It didn’t start with Matthew’s incarceration for drunk jogging, nor did it start with my campaign for My Mother To Get A Fucking Divorce. Please note that I can never remember sleeping WELL, but I can’t remember when the actual NOT SLEEPING went into full effect.

All I can tell you is that the NOT SLEEPING is in full swing for the ??? month in a row, much to the chagrin of my burning eye holes.

And so, as a final touch, to everyone who has ever bitched me out for leaving a party early because I was tired or declined an invitation to a night out because I was tired or gave me the look that implied that I am a sorry ass individual indeed because I so blatantly throw away my chances to meet and greet with the opposite sex because I was tired: BACK OFF. 1) I really am that tired 2) I REALLY AM THAT TIRED and 3) Did you read the second paragraph? Did you? Because if you did then it should be perfectly clear that I most certainly do not need to fucking meet and greet with the opposite sex. If people with herpes can be kind enough to bag it up to prevent the floodgates from opening on their oozing genital sores, passing it onto the unsuspecting world at large then I can be kind enough to prevent the world from having to interact with my neurotic sleep deprived eccentricities.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Hats Off, Gloves On

I totally just got put in the BEST FUCKING MOOD.


God Bless whoever put the Jack Johnson ‘Upside Down’ song on their answering machine.  GOD BLESS YOU WITH MANY RICHES, MY FRIEND.


Because normally I have to listen to Nelly or 50cent or some other rapper who I totally couldn’t recognize if they slapped me in the face.  Or slow R&B songs.  WHICH I HATE.  Or Mariah Carey.  WHOM I ALSO HATE. 


Oh, but you with the Jack Johnson, BLESS YOU.


And even though it’s totally unrelated and makes no sense, hearing that song made me think that I wanted to go by the Flyleaf album today on lunch.  Which should seem totally normal to YOU because normal, regular everyday people do such things as buy CD’s.  But I have a problem with shelling out cash for CD’s when I hear them on the radio and hearing only one song guarantees NADA as far as me actually liking the entire CD.  So I normally wait… and wait… and wait… until I forget that I even wanted the CD to begin with. 




*medium sized happy dance because sitting in cubicle*

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bette Midler (sp?) Would be So Proud.

This company is notorious for it’s gossip mongering, just like any company where the employees have to sit in cubicles and pretend to be interested when really they're slowly bleeding out from intestinal ulcers.

Earlier this week I finally lost my patience with one of our more annoying employees. He mistakenly assumes that not only do we want to hear him talk to customers on the phone at decibel fucking five hundred, but he wants to stand up and do it as well. Because it’s not annoying enough to HEAR him, he wants us to SEE him as well. He’s also a big fan of sports, spouting off scores and personal opinions about everything from baseball to hockey to professional ping pong.

I imagine that he goes home to his internet dating website and scours the scads of females for his next victim.

Oh, and his voice is so high I doubt his nuts have dropped.

So Monday night he was, as usual, standing up at his desk and volunteering the information that he didn’t think people should be allowed to vote if they commit a felony. REALLY? THIS IS WHAT YOU THINK? WOW, TELL US MORE ABOUT HOW YOU SKIPPED THAT DAY IN CIVICS CLASS. He also made sure to tell us that he thought people convicted of a felony should be beaten with golf clubs.

And on Monday night I’d had it. I’d had the strangest set of seven days ever in my life history. I’d gotten a promotion- HIGH! Some motherfucker gouged my bumper- LOW! It’s going to cost 500 dollars- VERY LOW! Oh wait, it’s a non-moving hit and run, you’re deductible is only 200 dollars for that one- HIGH! Your brother is missing- LOW! He may be dead- UNBELIEVABLE LOW! Wait, he’s alive- HIGH! He’s been in jail- LOW! Brother hung up on you because of an incurable amount of stupidity- VERY LOW!

So really, my outburst was justified.

I slammed my hand on my desk, pointed my finger in witch-like fashion and told him to SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE FUCK UP. Then I turned around to my computer screen to continue my phone call. With a customer that I had placed on hold, obviously.

So far I’ve been congratulated by no less than seven people. I also received the following exchange of emails that I thought I’d share:

J: Word on the street is that you put the smack down on Monday. Is this true?

Robin: Holy crap. Word travels fast around here. Uh, yeah so apparently I lost all good sense and told Chatty-Pants over here to sit down and shut the f* up. Good times.


Robin: He was standing up, per usual, ranting about something involving beating people with golf clubs and why felons shouldn’t vote… and I just couldn’t take it.

J: Did you ever know, that you’re my hero?

Robin: And you’re the wind beneath my wings.

He Makes Me Tired

As it turns out, my dearest brother had quite the little adventure. 

After a night of heavy drinking he hailed a cab (one of the total FIVE cabs that reside in that mid-size Texan town) back to the hotel where he planned on crashing for the night.  The hotel is owned by the family of one of his drinking buddies, a boy who once dated a close friend of mine in high school.  They broke up fairly quickly but in the circle of life that is small town America, he became friends with my younger brother a few years later.  I hold no ill will against him.  He’s just a regular guy whose maturity I question at times.  Though I will maintain that when life and the material objects it can hold are bestowed upon you, daily and with much pomp and circumstance, it changes your perception of responsibility.

Translation: His daddy’s got money.     

So Matthew takes his cab, crammed full of his equally drunk friends, back to the hotel.  He walks in the room and falls asleep on the bed. 


The first time we heard Matthew’s version of events, he claimed he’d not been drinking that heavily and had stopped by midnight.  At 4:30am he decided to head over to his friend Robert’s house and on the way came across a kamikaze giant black dog who decided to run across the highway, directly in front of his car. 

Personally, I called Bullshit as soon as Dad related that version. 

The second version, and one more likely to have happened because IT’S HAPPENED BEFORE, is that Matthew collapsed on the hotel bed only to wake up in a ditch some time later.  Meaning he blacked out but was still physically able to function.  And got in a car.  And drove it.  Straight into a godamn ditch.


So after waking up nose first in a ditch (the car, not his actual person) he decides the following:

1)       He will ignore his cell phone sitting on the passenger seat beside him and not make any calls to any one single person that might possibly be able to remove his ignorant ass from the ditch.

2)       He leaves his guitar, DVD player and stereo on the back seat.

3)       He ignores the seven dollars in quarters resting in his console.  Because that would mean one could use a pay phone later.  But that takes effort.

4)       He exits the vehicle, leaving it unlocked. 

5)       Then, ignoring the open and well-lit gas station a quarter of a mile away, proceeds to jog, yes, JOG, down a deserted highway at 4:30am. 


You can only imagine the kind of forethought that had to go into this little escapade.

Matthew gets roughly two miles (TWO MILES!) down the road.  His destination was my parent’s house, roughly eight miles (EIGHT MILES!) away.  About that time, the county popo notices a scraggly white boy running down the side of the road.  Obviously curious as to why ANYONE, much less a booted and scraggly ass white boy, would be running sans running clothes and oh, in the wee small hours of the morning, he turns on his pretty flashy blue lights and comes to a stop in front of him.

One sobriety test later and Matthew is firmly placed on the side of the vehicle partition that you really don’t want to be on.  The side without door locks and window controls. 

Bummer, huh?

He’s placed in a cell.  A cell in the jail. 



At 2pm he’s allowed to make a phone call.  And of course he calls his buddy, the one with the hotel in his pocket. But all to no avail. 

Voicemail’s a bitch, ain’t it.

At 5:30pm his buddy shows up.  Matthew is released.  But does his father get a phone call? His sister? His mother? Nope.  They drive across town to see about the car, left in the ditch.  BUT LO AND BEHOLD his shit is gone.  They call the police, thinking it’s been stolen or towed away, not yet aware that my father picked it up at 7:30am.  The police have nothing on their impound lots but take his information.  He then goes back to the hotel.  Showers.  Changes clothes.  Probably scratches his ass once or twice. 




So I find out my brother is alive.  Good deal.  I’m ready for him to head back to Little Rock so I can break his fucking knees. 

I get a phone call on Sunday evening, it’s Matthew.  Mid-way through the conversation he makes a joke about jail, telling me how much it sucked.  I inform him I have not one ounce of sympathy and that I’d have left his ass in there.  He immediately gets defensive, telling me he did everything right, he took a cab, he didn’t drive, it wasn’t HIS fault, he had NO INTENTION of getting in his car and putting it in a ditch.  HE DID EVERYTHING RIGHT AND HE DOESN’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME BITCH. *click


Yep. I got hung up on.  Because it’s not his fault, is it?

Monday, March 06, 2006


They always say when you lose someone you’ll feel it.  That the connection of blood-bound souls disintegrates into the ether, leaving you with a strange sense of loss, even when you know of nothing wrong. 

This is what They say. 

I’m not sure how much of it I believe, how much of anything I believe.  All I can tell you is how much it can hurt, how much it can feel like your insides are stuck on the spin cycle, how you heart beats so fast you think it may rise through your throat and land on the table.  Every façade we hold together, keeping the world at bay, crumbles and lands beneath your toes.  You hold the phone in your clutches, glancing at the screen, thinking you’ve missed the ring tone, anticipating The Phone Call, dreading it, thinking that this time it’s it.  They’ve found him.  He’s gone. 

You’re afraid to ask for help, afraid that it means it’s real.  Asking for help in the form of someone, anyone to hold you up, knowing they can’t fix it, knowing they can’t make it better or hurt less, but secure in the knowledge that they’ll hold you so close and you can bury your head in the curve of their neck, needing that second of protection, whispering “Where is he?”



My father awoke to a phone call from the police department, asking if he was the owner of a white sedan, confirming the license plate, advising it was found unoccupied in a ditch on a highway outside of town. 

My father’s response:  “My son drives that car.”

Repeated attempts to reach my brother’s cell phone, repeated voicemails growing steadily angrier. 

My father picked up the car, still drivable but lodged in the red clay mud found across Texas.  He pulled the car out of the ditch and drove it home. 

Three hours later my phone rings, my father asking, calmly at first, if I know where Matthew is. 

“He’s down there with you guys.”  A pause.  “Isn’t he?”

I hear the story about the car.  The airbags didn’t deploy.  There’s no blood in on the seats.  But it was unlocked, his DVD player, stereo and prized guitar sitting in the back seat. 

We rant and rave.  About how stupid he is, how he’s let his drinking get out of control.  He can’t just have one, we say, in total agreement.  Something is wrong. 

An hour later my father gets in his truck and drives around town, looking for signs of Matthew or his friends.  The parking lot of Fat Jack’s- empty.  His friend Robert’s house- deserted. This is all our combined knowledge allows us to check. 

I call information, looking for the parents of the kids I know he’s with.  I say kids, but I mean men.  They are 23 years old.  A group of boys teetering on the brink of adulthood, unwilling to cross over.  I make dozens of phone calls; in a Texas town of 80,000 thousand people there are a lot of last names to check.  Hoping someone will answer, be willing to track down their son, give out his cell number, something, anything. 

Hours pass.  When I run out of names I call my father.  Still nothing. 

My insides begin to ache.  The tears fall down.  I’m no longer just mad, I’m mad and worried.  Sick with the thoughts of What If, knowing he’s been gone too long.  There’s no explanation, reasonable or not. 

Another hour.  Two.  It’s dark outside.  I’ve turned off the lights because the thought of brightness hurts in that space behind my eyes, making me cradle my head in my hands as I shed what I feel is like the billionth tear.  I haven’t cried this much, this long, I think, ever.  I’m tired, exhausted with worry and grief, preparing for The Phone Call.  He’ll never grow up, I think.  He’ll never find his way.  Selfishly, I think I can’t make that Phone Call to my mother, working in West Texas for the week.  She doesn’t deserve this.  I can’t handle this. 

Brittany and Baker show up, banging on the front door.  Brittany throws her body against mine as soon as she’s inside the door.  She’s the first person I’ve touched in days, that moment being the first time I realized how much I need it.  I bury my face in her neck because I can’t think, my arms are too heavy, this weight too much.   

“Where is he?”

“Baby, I don’t know.”

I call my father again; he pulls out the yearbook, goes through every name.  Hoping something rings a bell, gives us another last name to look up.  We call more numbers in the vain hope someone knows something.  Something that will make this better.

We talk through the names we know, the places we know he frequents, hoping that we’ll trigger a memory, a name.  His ex-girlfriend.  Dad can find her parents house, he thinks.  We can get her number in Dallas from them, get numbers for all of his friends from her.  We have a plan.  Something to do. 

Fifteen minutes later my phone rings again.  It hasn’t been long enough for him to get across town.  This is it, I can tell.  It’s over.  I lean against my bed in the back of my apartment, my legs unable to carry my full weight. 

“They found him.”

I can’t breathe, I try to ask questions but my throat closes up.

My father takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out. 


“He’s in jail.”    

Friday, March 03, 2006

People Breed And Don't Ask Me For Permission

There’s this weird fried thing they serve in the company cafeteria on Fridays.  It goes by the name of Chicken Cordon Bleu but LET ME ASSURE YOU it’s like no other Chicken Cordon Bleu you have ever seen. 

For starters, it’s just a puffy fried rectangle the color off-season oranges.  Inside is a strange collection of processed chicken, a very pink slice of ham and lots of oozing strange velveeta-esque white cheese.  Typically, I like neither processed chicken, ham of any kind (pink or not) or velveeta.  Unless that velveeta comes in the form of rotel dip AND THEN GAME ON, BITCH.  So basically what I’m telling you is that every single ingredient involved in the cafeteria’s Chicken Cordon Bleu is, generally speaking, quite repugnant. 

But when combined and fried to golden crispy perfection it is the tastiest confection this side of the Mississippi river.  I allow myself only one of these a month because even though I’ve never seen the box these things inevitably come in and can’t truly state the amount of artery clogging fat or ass popping calories involved in one of these little suckers, I can confidently state that after years of Nutrition Facts readings that the count is probably pretty fucking high.  And I rationalize that I don’t eat corndogs or hotdogs or anything ending in ‘dog’ and therefore I’m entitled to a super-processed snack now and again. 

Today I decided I was definitely due a treat, seeing as how I’d snagged a promotion with a 30% increase in pay and because some ball-less twat rear-ended my car outside my apartment building, leaving me to discover their crime bright and early the next morning, something I will discuss later.  Possibly from jail.  Because I figure that since my bumper is getting fixed on Monday, that gives me two days to find out who did it and ram the ever loving SHIT out of their vehicle.  I have a sneaky suspicion about who the culprit is and I think they’re about to be missing a front bumper come Sunday morning.  But I digress.

I deserved a treat, dammit.

So I purchased my fried perfection of processed-ness and happily meandered over to an empty lunchroom booth by the window.  Behind me were three women steadily eating their lunches of tuna salad, tuna salad and oh, tuna salad.  OH THE SMELL. 

In these types of situations you’re hard pressed not to overhear at least snippets of other people’s conversations.  I mean, come on.  You’re roughly 8 inches from another person’s head and we’re just supposed to politely pretend that WE CAN’T HEAR THEM?     

“Did you know Arthur’s eye just swoll right up?”

“Really? It just swoll up?”

“Yep. The doctor said it might be infected and to come back Monday if it was still swoll shut and they’d do an x-ray.”

“Hells no.  If that was me Idda told him to do the x-ray right fucking then.  I ain’t walking round nowhere with my eye swoll shut up like that.  And you mean it was completely swoll shut?”

“Yep.  Just swoll right up.”

“Did you get my email the other day about that girl that had an infected eye?”

“The one that had the bug crawl in it.”

“Yep, that’s the one.”

“Naw girl, it wasn’t no bug.”

“Yes it was, I was the one that sent it.”

“It wasn’t no bug, gurl, it was a maggot.”

“A maggot?!”

“Yep. A maggot.  Just crawled right in while she was sleeping and got her eye all infected and it swoll right up.  They had to dig around in thar to get it out.  It was having them little baby maggots under her eyelid.”

“A maggot?!”

“And they almost didn’t get all of ‘em because you know them baby maggots are so tiny and all.”


By the last sentence I’d had enough.  I packed up my half-eaten Chicken Cordon Bleu, stood up, thanked the ladies for their delicious lunchtime stories and headed back up to my desk, my much anticipated Chicken Cordon Bleu resting at the bottom of the lunchroom trashcan. 



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Red Sky At Night, Sailors Delight

Yesterday morning I woke up to the sun shining around the edges of my brown curtains.  The little cat, Lilly, was sleeping in a tightly curled ball tucked against my ankle.  The fat one, Llama, was perched regally on the windowsill, his nose peaking out from behind the curtains as soon as I showed the first signs of consciousness.  Nothing about the morning was any different from any other morning that I’ve opened my eyes to but I can tell you, I can promise you, that something was different.  Whatever that extra sense may be, however it manifests itself inside your particular existence, I knew this day was different.

I’d felt the beginnings of a Tingle the afternoon before- but I’d been unable to place it.  If I’m honest, I knew what it was but I was too timid to commit myself into believing such a shift of power could have occurred.  But by yesterday morning it had grown stronger, persistent in it’s attempt to force my acknowledgement. 

But I waited. 

I showered and dressed, pulling my wet hair into a pony tail.  I was anxious.  Anxious and almost dreading the confirmation of what I was feeling. 

So I drove to work. 

The closer I got, the stronger the feeling.

The elevator was crowded, the collection of colognes and perfumes almost visibly hovering in the air above me.  Through the door, across the floor, shoes softly landing on the carpeting.  The phone at my desk, red light glowing steadily from the bottom right hand corner. 

My hand was light, not heavy, not like you’d think it would be.  It felt like I was trying to manipulate cotton candy into a semblance of dexterity. 

And in thirty seconds my life changed, presenting me with a choice that impacts me far greater than most will realize.  It’s a promotion, some will say.  Better pay.  Much better pay.  Better hours.  More responsibility.  An actual career path. 

But until that moment when I picked up the phone, that particular path wasn’t even an option for me.  Until that moment I had only one option- now I’ve been presented with two. 

I can stay here, cash a bigger paycheck and work on meaningful projects.

I can leave here, cash a loan check and learn the ins and outs of a new career. 

I know which one is better.  I know which one I’ll choose.  Sometimes those aren’t the same. 

But if you’re lucky, they are.