Monday, December 26, 2011

Exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something...

In case you were wondering,  I'm now employed, at yet another Large Corporation.  Almost gainfully.  I started about a week after my last post. 

I'm still considered a contractor, but now I'm in a situation that's called "contract to hire".  How exciting.  What exactly does that mean, you may ask?  I have no bloody idea, I may answer, but I'm keeping my nose clean, my mind open, and my fingers crossed, hoping that I may leverage my, charm and good looks, along with my kick-ass project management skills, into a full time, permanent gig.  We shall see.

Actually, at this point I have finished the planning portion of the project I have been given to manage and am now in full swing project-doing.  The project-doing phase has required me to move down from the shiny, cushy, corporate HQ office tower to a satellite call center, located close enough to my apartment that I can walk to work.  Although my commute is much improved, I'm having trouble adjusting from the professional, corporate culture to which I have become accustomed, to the elementary school level environment of the call center. 

I've been handed a crack team of ladies, or maybe a team of crack ladies, who are actually doing the work-work.  They have all been plucked from the mundane obscurity of the giant call center just for my project, and are considered the cream of the call center crop.  My role involves assigning tasks, doing the analysis as the project moves along, and to my surprise, a large degree of coaching, babysitting and mentoring. 

Basically it's 12 young women, all under the age of 25, and me, stuffed into a room together.  It's noisy, and frequently unprofessional and ridiculous in ways that I never considered possible before last month.  Every day I feel like I'm running a daycare.  I shouldn't have to ask you not to read the newspaper while you're at work, but on the other hand I don't need you to tell me every time you go to the ladies room to pee either. 

I'd like to strike some kind of balance where people use their own common sense to decide what is the right way to behave in a professional setting, but I'm beginning to come unravelled as I discover what has become the new norm among this next generation of working adults. 

There is a young woman (not the newspaper reader) who arrives every morning swaddled in a fleece blanket with Elvis on it.  It might be a snuggie.  Do they make snuggies with Elvis on them?  Whatever you want to call it, she wears it all day, every day.  Why?  Why?  All I can think of is that old adage "dress for the job you want, not the job you have".  What kind of career path does a fleece blankie prepare you for? 

Anyhoo... after a month of working with these young women I have discovered that I'm not only an old farty-fart who is out of touch with popular culture, I'm also a workaholic crank with a sour disposition and little patience for trifflin' bullshit.  Yeah.  It's a revelation.

You see... when I'm at work, call me cuckoo, but I WORK.  As in to work.  I agreed when I took the job that Large Corporation will pay a certain amount of money in exchange for me coming in every day and performing a particular service, so that's pretty much what I do.  I don't paint my nails or read magazines or call my stupid boyfriend or text my 10 best friends or balance my checkbook or shop online for boots.  It's not called lazy-ass-entitled-spoiled-motherfuckering, it's called WORK.

In an effort to bring some kind of order to the madness I've laid down some simple ground rules, in addition to the company policies they are required to follow.

1.  Shut up.

2.  Keep it down.

3.  Quiet please.

4.  Please shut the fuck up.

5.  Do your work.  There is work that needs to be done and a strict timeline in which to do it, so DO IT and button your damn lips.  Unless you have a question, in which case you should ask the question.  Then do your work while shutting up.

Now that I've said all that (this is the part where I get all high and mighty), let me also say to Large Corporations everywhere: When it comes to labor, you get what you pay for. 

When you treat people like shit, they will act shitty.  The young women who were chosen to work with me on this project are bright and capable and I have to remind them of this every goddamn day because they don't seem to ever get any other positive messages from the management of the company.  In addition to the real work that I have to do, I have to take time out of every day to perform like a flippin' cheerleader in order to get them all motivated and acting like they give even the slightest crap about themselves and the work they are doing.

If you give people incentives and spend the money on proper training programs and make them feel important and valuable, then your employees might actually become important and valuable to your organization.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bonus Fact

Fact:  I would rather rake out my own left eye with a pickle fork than see the new Footloose movie.

Miami Facts

Miami does have a certain mystique about him, I'll give him that.  But that's it.  I'm not going to give him anything else.  He's been here as a house guest for eleven days as of this morning and I feel as though I have nothing left to give.  And yet... he's got that certain something...
He's not quite like that guy from the Dos Equis ads, The Most Interesting Man In the World, about whom Miami said, with not just a little disdain in his tone, and I quote, "Didja know dat guy is in actualities a Jew?", even though MDH and I tried several times to explain to him that The Most Interesting Man In the World is fact not a real person, and that perhaps the actor portraying him in the ads may in fact be of Jewish persuasion, but regardless of the actors religion or ethnic origins it is not important because IT'S A FUCKING BEER CAMPAIGN!!

Anyhoo... in order to turn this shit sack of a situation into a bowl of rose petals, I've decided to once again post my observations about my most intriguing brother in law here on my blog (i.e.. free therapy) in the hopes that my pain will become humor. As some of you may already know, all four of my brothers in law are crass and comically misogynistic in their own ways, but Miami wears the crown... or takes off his shirt.  So below are some things randomly observed and experienced during Miami's still happening recent home invasion visit.

Fact:  About 5 minutes after arriving in our home, 11 long, long days ago, he made a cell phone call and it went down something like this:

Miami:  Yeh.  I made it.  I'm here.  I'm calling you to tell you.  You happy now?
Muffled Girly Female Voice: (Gushing from Miami's Phone)  AWWEEE Mwhah Mwah Goo Mwah
Miami:  So dats it.  I'm here.  I'm gonna hang up now and visit with my family.  I'll maybe call you later. (Non committal).
Muffled Girly Female Voice: (Pouty) AWWright.  AWWlove you!
Miami:  Yeh.  Gotta go.  Bye.
Miami:  (To MDH and me) Bagh!  Married chicks, so needy.

Fact:  Miami remembers everyone's birthday and anniversary that he knows and will call them promptly at 6:30am on the big day.  Tuesday was the birthday of my brother in law Las Vegas's ex-wife Geena.

Miami:  Bagh!* I called Geena dis mornin' to wish hers a happy birthday, but she mustnawta been home.
Me:  At 6:30?
Miami:  Yeh, dats when I call everyone.

Fact:  Miami is one of the reasons we don't have a home phone anymore.

Fact:  I went into the guest room, which is also MDH's office and closet, to retrieve a copy of a bill the day after Miami's arrival, while MDH and Miami were out a nearby bar watching the Patriots game, and discovered snapshots of two very different slutty looking women boldly scotch taped to the wall over the desk.  My first reaction was to assume that one of them was Muffled Girly Female Voice, but with Miami one does not assume anything.

Fact:  I have never to this moment asked who these women are, but did ask MDH to please explain to Miami why we don't scotch tape, or otherwise semi-permanently affix anything, including snap shots of strange, slutty women to the walls of other people's homes, no matter how long one intends to stay.

Fact:  One afternoon last week Miami doused himself in baby oil and went down to the pool for about 2 and a half hours using a moth eaten, weather beaten, pilly old blanket instead of one of the plush and generously portioned beach towels I laid out for him to use for the pool.

Fact:  I was not offended that he didn't use our beach towels, but did find his preference odd.

Fact:  Yesterday morning as Miami was passing through the living room he stopped, chugged two Coors Tall Boys within the span of 10 minutes as told me all about the new Ken Burns series on PBS called "Prohibition" and wondered if I'd had a chance to catch any of it while I was visiting my parents in Florida over the weekend.  Apparently it's a great series.

Fact:  It was 8:30 am.

Fact:  Also yesterday morning Miami called me out to the balcony and introduced me to a fifty-ish looking neighborlady that I have sometimes seen walking her adorable little toy terrier around the apartment complex. Jackie has an expensive looking haircut, nails that look professionally done and even though she is usually wearing a velour warm up suit (designer label) or some outfit of a similar nature, she is always fully made up, bedecked in sparkly jewelry and pink flip-flops with a little kitten heel.  Miami had somehow struck up a conversation with her from our 2nd floor balcony during a smoke break and discovered that she's an IT recruiter for a large healthcare company who works from her home and discussed with her in graphic detail, well... me... and the fact that I'm "a real smart cookie" and am looking for a job in healthcare IT.

Fact:  She took her dog back to her apartment and came by again a few minutes later and gave me her card and asked me to email her a copy of my resume.

Fact:  I'd no sooner walked upstairs after she gave me her card and Miami came over and took it from me, mumbling something about how he was going to email her his resume too.  He's an out of work construction foreman and in no way looking for a job in healthcare IT.

Fact:  He'd apparently emailed back and forth with Jackie all day and when I came downstairs at around 3pm I noticed he was gone and he didn't come back until MDH came home from work, well after 5pm.  When he came home MDH asked him where he'd been and he said hanging out over at Jackie's place with a couple of the other neighbors trying to network to find a job. 
MDH:  Wearing that?
Miami:  Yeh.  It was casual.
MDH:  Were other people wearing shirts?
Miami:  I dunno.  I do not pay attention to such trivial details.

Fact:  I scoured the guest room bathroom including the bathtub and shower the day prior to Miami's arrival.  It was spotless.  And white.  Very white.  I haven't cleaned it since because MDH won't let me, and it's driving me crazy because for some reason the bottom of the tub is black.  Serious Black.  Rimmed with gray streaks.  How does this happen when the only person currently bathing in it lays around my guest room all day?

Fact:  I realize that that last sentence is in fact a question and not a fact.

Fact:  Six months ago Miami called MDH and asked him to loan him $8000 because he found a 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Coral Gables being advertised in the paper for $8000.  It never occurred to him that it was a misprint or a rip off.  We didn't loan him the money.

Fact:  Two years ago when Miami was also out of work he called MDH and asked him to buy him a plane ticket to Costa Rica because he had found construction work there.  The company would pay for his room and board while he worked, but he had to pay to fly himself there.  MDH bought him the ticket.

Fact:  The day after Miami was supposed to arrive in Costa Rica he called MDH and asked him to wire him some money because he hadn't counted on the airline charging him to bring all his stuff with him (4 Rubbermaid totes filled with all of Miami's worldly possessions, such as coffee brewer, toaster, blankets, pillows, etc..).  He'd missed his original flight over the totes, so MDH rebooked it for him, with a fee and loaned him the money to pay for all of the totes.

Fact:  Miami called MDH 2 days after arriving in Costa Rica upon realizing the whole thing was a scam** and begged MDH to buy him a ticket home.  And all of his totes.

Fact:  Miami seems to really have taken a shine to our cat Turtle.  He clicks and tuts at him and Turtle piles onto his lap without waiting to be invited and proudly allows Miami to pet him behind the ears.  The other night Miami asked MDH if he could brush the cat.  MDH told him no, but could not explain why.

Fact:  I would have let Miami brush the cat, but stayed out of it and didn't press the issue.

Fact:  The day I left for Florida Miami wasted no time making himself more at home in my absence by helping himself to our collection of red wines (only the Italian ones) and whipping up 2 pounds of baked ziti in my kitchen.

Fact:  Two pounds is a buttload of pasta so I fully expected some leftover baked ziti when I returned home, but the only traces of it were a missing ball of prova, a significant dent in my chunk of 18 month aged parm and the cemented bips of carbon and char that won't seem to budge from my good lasagna pan.  Oh yes let's not forget the rust spots on my good knives that were run through the dishwasher.

New Fact:  MDH paid Miami a few hundred bucks to leave today and he is now gone.  He left during the course of my writing this post.  I heard them early this morning in the guest room quietly mumbling out a negotiation so that I wouldn't hear, and then mere seconds after the mumbling stopped Miami came out of the room with a stack of beat up cardboard boxes and blankets (which I can only assume were his belongings) and began trekking them out to his car.

*"Bagh!"  Is the noise that Miami and also MDH's brother Knucklehead often make when starting a conversation or reacting to new information.

**Miami told a tale of being placed into a room with 4 other men who explained to him that they were slave labor and had never been paid because the company charged them exorbitant rent and took it out of their paychecks so none of them had been able to feed themselves and be able to afford a ticket home.  It was like something stolen from a Charles Dickens nightmare.  So basically Miami sold himself into slavery, but is lucky enough to have a brother who is able to bail him out of this constant, ridiculous bullshit.  My hand to God this shit is true, or at least it's true that this is the story that Miami told us.  With Miami you never can be sure.  It's that mystique.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

There Will Be Rum

I'm leaving very early tomorrow morning to visit my parents in Florida.  Alone.  MDH will be busy here with work and keeping Miami out of trouble, which as you will read below shouldn't be too difficult as the man doesn't appear to be up to much.

So yes, Miami is still here.  The real mystery is will he be here when I get home next week. 

Although I don't have much to complain about*, it has been a little weird being home all day while he's here all day also.  Except it's like he's not really here, except that he is.  He mostly has been staying in the guest room and I've mostly been doing what I normally do.  I ask him if he wants to join me when I go out to run errands and he usually says no.  I ask him if he wants something to eat when I eat and he says no.  I keep trying to engage him to join us in whatever it is we are doing, but he always says no.

When he first arrived I noticed that he didn't eat anything for breakfast or lunch, but he would have dinner with us if I cooked something, and not only eat everything I put in front of him, but also rave about how great it tasted.  Then he stopped having dinner with us too - so I wondered, is he eating anything??  Then Tuesday afternoon I opened up the microwave to defrost some meat for dinner and, much to my surprise, there was a 12" meatball sub in there.  I have no idea where it came from, when Miami might have left the apartment to go out and get it, or how long it had been lurking in my microwave.  I defrosted the meat and put the sub back where I found it.

So... yeah... there's a tiny, furtive, half naked brown man who has taken over a section of our apartment like a little chainsmoking vole**.  He comes out of his room (Wait.  See what I did there?  I called it his room.  It's not his room.  It's my guest room... anyhoo) and goes immediately to the balcony to smoke, occasionally he'll mumble something that I don't understand, but then he's gone so quickly that I don't have time to ask him to repeat what he said and frankly I don't really give a shit.

*Now instead of washing the paper plates he's apparently just putting the ones he uses back on the stack of unused paper plates.  The other day I grabbed a paper plate off the top of the stack and it was dotted with olive oil and bread crumbs from what appeared to be yet another submarine sandwich.

**MDH apparently told Miami to "stay outta her way", referring to me, while he was here with me and MDH was at work all day.  Miami was apparently also told that he was not allowed to consume any alcoholic beverages while MDH is not at home.***

***Ugh.  It explains a lot and makes me feel queasy and all the more happy to be skee-daddling off to my folks house in Florida for a few days.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Miami Vice Day 3

So far so good.  My brother in law Miami arrived Friday afternoon with very little drama or fanfare.  He has a designated smoking spot on the covered and smaller of our two balconies and an entire guest suite to himself and he seems to be pretty content.  Ten days has been announced as the length of the visit, after which time I'm not sure what is happening.  He will either move on to stay with MDH's other brother Las Vegas or visit his son Phoenix, currently doing time in Arizona.

Over the years I've never really spent more than a few hours with Miami and I talk to him on the phone occasionally, so I honestly don't know the man.  Here is what I am learning:

Miami is very self contained.  He brought his own ashtray, an enormous coffee mug that he fills up with slightly more than half of the 12 cup pots of coffee I have been brewing, and a 32" flat screen HD TV, which he wasted no time in hooking up to the cable outlet in our guest room.  All of this is fine with me, much to my surprise.  It's MDH that is running around apoplectic and constantly apologizing to me for what he perceives to be Miami behaving inappropriately.  Yes, that's a lot of coffee, but we can make more.  It's fine.

Yes, the covered balcony and parts nearby, are currently reeking powerfully of cigarette smoke and ashtray.  Also, the guest room has a strong essence of old-man-who-smokes-a-lot emanating from Miami's clothes, luggage and assorted belongings.  It totally stinks, but the smell will dissipate eventually and all of the linens will be washed.  In bleach.  That's how I roll anyway.  Not a biggie.

Yes, Miami has a propensity for walking around shirtless while wearing tiny shorts and rinsing off paper plates and putting them in the dish drainer, which is weird right?  I probably should have separated that last sentence into two sentences, but I didn't so I'll just clarify that his wearing tiny shorts is unrelated to the washing paper plates thing.  I mean, he doesn't specifically strip down to tiny shorts in order to perform the washing of paper plates.   Anyhoo... we all have strange habits and quirks.  He apparently thinks it's weird that I use paper plates.*

Miami often talks like a character from a 1950's gangster film, which I find quite charming.  He said that Phoenix "wood-na got picked up if some stoolie had-na dropped a dime on 'im".  He called me "dollface" the other day and I nearly swooned.

So it's day three and I'm here to report that there is nothing to report.

*The paper plates are a new thing.  The kitchen in this apartment is so tiny that I only unpacked the bare minimum of dinnerware when we moved in, so we only have 4 place settings.  It's weird to me too, but I sure as hell am not going to wash and reuse paper plates.  Miami washes them and sticks them in the drainer and as soon as he walks away I put them into the recycle bin.**

**OK.  That's a lie.  I put them in the trash.  We don't have recycling here and I haven't figured out yet where to take the recycling.  Or for that matter where the fuck to put it while it's accumulating.  This place is tiny and I barely have enough room for the things I want to keep, let alone the shit I want to throw away.  Sue me.***

***I have become an environmental terrorist and feel really weird and guilty about not recycling.  I used to love recycling in the Tundra.  It made me feel good, but the Tundra made it easy to recycle as it was just part of the city trash collection.  Also we had lots of space for the recycling bins.  Here they collect the trash twice a week, but no recycling.  I'll figure it out eventually, but until then I have recycling shame.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You Complete(ly Annoy) Me

I don't know why I insist on watching any romantic comedies made after whatever year When Harry Met Sally came out*.  Don't they all mostly suck?  They meet cute, one or both parties carry out some ridiculous lie  or humiliating bet and most of the story and supposed-to-be-hilarious stunts are all based on support and cover up of the ridiculous lie or humiliating bet.  There's usually some kind of lip synced into a hair brush dance number performed in pajamas or underpants and a convoluted "hey I was only lying to you all this time and making both of us look like idiots because I really, really love you and isn't that the most important message in this movie?" 

The pivotal moment of the modern American romantic comedy says, "Hey, I'm not a jackass, you're the jackass if you can't forgive me for loving you so much.  Aren't we both douchbags who deserve each other?" 

As often as not there's a separation period where they show the guy disheveled and living amongst pizza boxes and beer can pyramids, and the girl is doing her best to carry on with her life amongst vignettes of her in pajama pants (again with the pajama pant shame), shoveling ice cream into her sad mouth, or of her wistfully eyeing the PDA's of other couples while moping around Central Park.

I know the drill and yet whenever MDH is out of town damn if I'm not getting my fill of horrible romantic comedies on cable.  It's like a disease.  They always make me mad and yet here I am again bitching this time about the drivel I just watched called "Something Borrowed".  Maybe I should just avoid any movie with Kate Hudson in it (except she was so freaking awesome in Nine!).

I indulged in a desperately needed cleanse of my psyche afterwards by watching a fine documentary film called Bill Cunningham New York.  You should watch it if you get the chance.

In other news:

  • Apartment life kind of rocks.  If something breaks I make a call and someone comes to fix it.  Like, that same day!  Not even that - if a light bulb goes out someone will come and change it.  To take it one step further I called maintenance to have them remove the dark freckly pool of dead bugs at the bottom of one our ceiling light fixtures - and they actually came and took care of it!!  Schweet.
  • As cool as it is to have an entire fleet of maintenance workers and grounds keepers at my beck and call there is a downside to apartment living in the form of annoying neighbors.  In particular some douchbag with the noisiest truck I've ever heard that he seemingly rumbles around the apartment complex in wide circles (puffed with pride at the sound of his loud, loud big man machine, no doubt massaging his very tiny cock the whole while ) stopping periodically under our dining  room window (because it's near the security gate) and then revving the engine several times before peeling out to terrorize the larger world with his horrible tranportation choice.  We literally have to pause the TV and stop all conversation and then peel the cat off the ceiling after the inevitable engine rev.  We know his schedule as if we lived next to a train station.  I loathe this person.
  • A week or so ago some of my family came to visit in form of my crazy aunt Libby, her daughter (who is my cousin, but I refer to her as "my sister" quite a bit on this blog) and her daughter (who is my second cousin but I refer to always as my niece and she has always called me Aunt Lady).  Aunt Libby is the one that came down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast in her housecoat (she called it a "dressing gown". I don't care what you call it, housecoat, dressing gown... inappropriate.) and no dentures in.  Anyhoo... we had a lovely visit.  We worked out when would be the best time for their visit and planned fun things to do while they were here.  It was glorious and I couldn't have asked for a better visit.
  • In two days my brother in law Miami is coming to stay with us "for awhile".  I don't know much more than that.  It's all news to me because I just found out a few days ago that he's coming.  I don't know exactly when he will arrive and he has not been forthcoming with the exact date of his departure.  "For awhile" is all I've been told.  I'm frightened.  MDH is frightened.  Miami is a goodfella type who will ruin my life for the duration of his stay.  He got angry when MDH told him he had to smoke outside and I consider this a bad start.  Best case scenario - he'll dominate the TV and I'll miss the last few episodes of Project Runway.  Worst case scenario - he will be here for weeks and weeks and bring well dressed criminals and prostitutes into my home and they will smoke cigarettes together in my guest room and I will have to burn my 600 thread count Egyptian cotton bedsheets.  Worst-worst case scenario - someone will get stabbed and I will have to burn my fancy guest towels and somehow I will end up in prison because nothing, nothing is ever Miami's fault.
Please note that this post does not contain the word "fuck" or many other of my most favorite swear words and swear word combinations.  It was not intentional, which makes the absence of these words all the more intriguing, no?
*There are some that I really like, like for instance Fever Pitch with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.  I don't know that it's technically a good movie necessarily, but that doesn't stop me from watching it every time it's on.  I also loved 500 Days of Summer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blobby, Misshapened Freak Puffs

I really hate it when MDH goes to bed before me.

Oh I realize that MDH is a grown ass man, who can make decisions for himself and frankly do pretty much whatever the fuck he wants, up to and including going to bed at whatever time he damn well pleases... but still, it bugs the shit out of me when he goes to bed before I'm ready. I like us to go to bed at the same time. That's how we usually do it.

Actually I like to get up there just a scant few minutes before he does. I turn on the over head light and then turn on our individual bedside lamps and then go back and turn off the overhead light. If it's a day that I haven't made the bed then I'll take a moment to straighten out the sheets, fluff up the pillows and even up the blanket distribution. Nobody asks me to do this, it's just nice, so I do it.

On nights when MDH goes to bed before me he just plops his ass right into the bed. Plop.

There is no preparation.

There is no consideration.

He doesn't turn the light on for me or fluff up or straighten anything. This is leading me to think that perhaps I should stop going up there before him and preparing things for us, because obviously he doesn't appreciate it. Perhaps maybe he's never even noticed that I do all that nice stuff at all. And if he doesn't notice or appreciate it then why should I continue to do it?

Here is why I will continue to do it... because it's much easier than the alternative, which I will now describe:

When I'm ready to go to bed I arrive upstairs to a very, very dark bedroom. You see, we now live on the surface of the sun* and have installed both blinds and blackout curtains over the windows in order to keep our bedroom from becoming a pizza oven and that we not burn to death.

We're talking dangerous dark, like smash your face into a door frame and stub your toe and scream in blood curdling pain kind of dark, so I like to flip on the overhead light before I walk over to my side of the bed to turn on my bedside lamp. The flipping on of the overhead light causes MDH wake up slightly and moan in agony at the bright light in his face.

He does this even without the overhead light, after I have groped my way slowly across the room. The instant I snap on my bedside lamp the moaning and whining begins.

It is at this point, when the light comes on that I notice the complete fucked-up-ed-ness of the pillows and covers. Basically, he is spread eagled in the middle of the bed, somehow clutching every corner of the blanket and now untucked sheets and desperately clinging to my pillows** like a drowning man to a life raft.

You sleeping motherfucker.

Now is the time that I must attempt to shove him back over to his side of the bed (an enormous king-sized bed, mind you) whilst simultaneously prying him loose from my pillows and unclenching the blankets*** and sheets from his grasp. He is a large, large man, who all the while is whining and groaning like a large, large infant and I want to bash his head in.

My research concludes that the length of time that has passed between when he chose to go to bed and when I chose to join him there is directly proportionate to the degree to which the bed is fucked up and decibel of sleepy whining and moaning that occurs.

UPDATE: As Veg so rightly pointed out in the comments, having a made bed beforehand actually prevents this particular rage of mine from occcuring. Yesterday I did not make the bed. So I am most definitely, at least partly to blame.

I'd also like to just make sure we all understand that the going to bed at different times and MDH whining and hogging all of the bedding is actually a pretty rare thing around here. The bed is usually made and we usually go to bed at the same time. Yesterday was a rare non-made bed day and an even more rare unbalanced bedtimes. Rare as it is, apparently it still makes me fly into a fit.


**I am a diva and I have 4 pillows and I use them all. Furthermore, they are not just any pillows, they cost ... well never mind how much they cost... they are fancy pants, extra firm goose down pillows. They are glorious and they are mine(!). The reason I have 4 is because I originally bought 2 for me and 2 for MDH, but he balked at the price and insisted he didn't like them. I told him fine, go pick out your own damn pillows. So he went to K-Mart and picked out his own from the $5 bin, and was rather smug about it. I now use all 4 of the fancy pants pillows. I make myself a little nest and it's wonderful. I sleep like an angel. Anyhoo... MDH prefers to use the $5 foam poly pillows that are so stiff they could stand up by themselves if they weren't so misshapen due to their being made from a horrible space age polymer by 3 year old Sri-Lankans. They're like... old beat up sofa cushions jammed into 600 thread count pillowcases. It's weird, and yet MDH refuses to acknowledge the clear and marked difference between the obvious quality of my lush and pliable goose down dream givers and his blobby, misshapen freak puffs. He even talks smack about my pillows and yet I have busted him multiple times hogging them when I have failed to separate them on the bed properly.

***You are correct, we don't have need of a lot of blankets on the surface of the sun. This summer we are only using one light weight quilt, but it is still of the utmost importance that it remain evenly distributed on the bed and not be hogged.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wears a Diaper/Eats Dryer Sheets

The title of this post is actually the description in our cable TV listing of one episode of a series I have never watched, and likely never will, called My Crazy Addiction or some such, but for some reason, when I came across the phrase it struck a chord.

Oh, don't you worry about me! Although I am still jobless, bored and lonely, and now have the added benefit of being in a strange city where I don't know anyone but my husband and my OBGYN (my new BFF), I'm not currently wearing a diaper or eating dryer sheets for jollies, but sometimes I feel I might snap and these are areas of madness I fear I might wander into. Probably not. I can't even watch a show about it, so I feel I'm pretty safe.

Anyhoo... I have some questions about this particular episode of the program. Mind you, I don't feel strongly enough about my questions to actually watch the program, so I decided to type it all out and throw it out into the ether and see how she flies.

First of all I have to make many assumptions by choosing to not actually watch the show, like for instance I assume that I'm deriving for more joy from the program by merely wondering what the fuck is up with these people than I would by actually watching the show and finding out for sure what the fuck is up with these people.

Conveniently, that point brings me to the next assumption, because when I say "these people", I am assuming the program is about two separate people, one a diaper wearer and one a dryer sheet eater. Also, grammatically speaking, the slash helps along that theory. Although I've been known to simultaneously abuse and neglect my comma privileges in my own writing I will assume if the show is about one person who has the duel misfortune of being both addicted to wearing diapers and snacking on Bounce there would be a comma and not a slash. I hope to high heaven it's not the same person.

I also assume, as mentioned above, that these people are getting some kind of jollies from respectively, hopefully separately, wearing diapers and eating dryer sheets. I mean, there wouldn't be much of show if the person wearing diapers had to wear them due to some physical problem involving incontinence, or being a toddler. That would just be cruel, so I assume they are choosing this... um... diaper wearing lifestyle.

Unlike wearing a diaper, in my mind it's a no brainer to assume that the person eating dryer sheets is doing so of their own free will, since unlike wearing a diaper there is not a physical, bodily reason a person would need to cram a dryer sheet into their pie hole (typically meant for PIE!) and chow down.

The next assumption is a little more serious. I'm going to assume that there is some portion of the population who does not appear on this program, who are suffering in silence with their own weird addiction. They are watching this show and thinking, "I am am not alone!", and subsequently finding some comfort in that, and maybe even as a direct result of this epiphany deciding to seek help.

My last assumption is tied pretty tightly to the previous assumption. Because I need to continue to believe in the greater good in humanity, I'm going to assume that at some point during the course of this program there is some kind of intervention involving psychiatric evaluations and therapy and that these poor people are setting on a course to getting some real help.

So those are my assumptions. Here are my questions:

1. Are the diapers disposable or cloth? I am a terrible person because I find myself secretly hoping they are disposable because although cloth diapers are environmentally friendly and all, disposable diapers make a little crunch-crunch noise and I find that hilarious.

2. Is the diaper wearer actually shitting him or her self? That sounds damn uncomfortable.

(Oopsie! I before I type the next question I have to add in the assumption that the diaper wearer is single! What better way to keep an intimate relationship at bay, right?)

2.a. If the diaper wearer is shitting him or her self, does that person have a roommate? If so, I would be far more interested in a show about the diaper wearers roommate*.

3. Are the dryer sheets scented or unscented? Unlike the diaper question I have no leanings for the answer one way or the other, but I do feel that chewing on an unscented dryer sheet would be my personal preference, as I perceive the scented ones probably just taste like soap.

4. Who is watching this show and do they come away from their viewing experience enlightened or ashamed?

*Even if the diaper wearer isn't shitting in the diaper it would still be interesting to get the roommates take on whether or not they know they live with a diaper wearer. Like my roommate is so weird, why does he/she always make a crunch-crunch noise when he/she walks or sits down? I assume if the diaper wearer is actually shitting in the diaper then the roommate most likely knows about the diapers.
Now, if the diaper wear is only pissing in the diaper, then that's a whole 'nother blog post for me and I'm done with this topic, so it'll be have to be left for the sages to ponder.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello Walls

My post surgical confinement is at it's end (insert Hallelujah Chorus here). Yes. I still have 3 more weeks of official recovery and take 'er easy time, but my doctor has given me the thumbs up to start driving again today. Sadly though, in a cruel twist of fate, I'm unable to sprint out the door, scramble into my beloved VW and get the fuck out of Dodge, as MDH has decided to drive my car to work today (insert trombone wah-wha-wah here), a fact I didn't discover until he had already gone.

When I called him he said, "my car is there, take my car if you want to go out". But that is clearly a trap. And if it isn't a trap, then it was certainly insincere. He doesn't really want me to drive his car.

You see, last month MDH traded in his 12 year old rusty shitbox for a brand new fancy pants car with all the bells and whistles. I haven't driven it yet.

I'm not sure I ever want to drive it.

It's too shiny and fancy, and he's waaaay too much in love with it, and I'm far too likely to leave a smudge or fingerprint and soil it's pristine perfection. Seriously, the first week he had it I crossed my legs in the passenger seat and barely grazed the tip of my sandal on the glove box and he got this sour puss on his face and wiped the "soiled" area with a hanky. Or, the area that he perceived to be soiled, as my sandal left no mark.


Worse yet, the new car is parked ever so delicately in our teeny-weeny, narrow apartment garage, and it's not like you can just back straight out, oh no-no. There's a security gate right next to it and the neighbors car behind it and flower beds and a fire hydrant. No. It's an art to get that thing out of the garage so it's not the smartest choice for my first outing after not driving for over 3 weeks.

I can wait.

Meanwhile I have plenty to keep me busy indoors (the TV won't watch itself now will it?).

In other news, while I was busy indoors recovering from my surgery, a horrible, noisy little bird family has made themselves at home in the upper corner of one of our terraces. The good terrace. It's small, but it's the one that is fully covered and gets the most shade. It's the one that I like to sit on in the morning while I have coffee. Or used to.

These little squatters know their shit because this is a prime real estate location. I'd like to use that space myself, except now it's a bloody mess of twigs, leaves, branches and general nest construction material (i.e. small bits of garbage) scattered all over the floor and two hysterical, squawking birds dive bomb my face anytime I try to sit down and enjoy my coffee out there.

And, oh yes, let's not forget the bird shit that's now super glued to all my patio furniture. It's infuriating. I really hate birds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Uterus Schmooterus - Boy Readers Beware - this post is about lady business

What better way to dive right into living in a new city and state, where you don't know another living soul besides your husband, than to test out the waters of the local health care community and have open abdominal surgery requiring a six week recovery? Am I right or am I right? In other words ... my uterus was riddled with giant fibroids which were making me quite sick and uncomfortable so I had the fucking thing yanked. Don't mess with me, I'll have you physically removed.

So yeah, that's my way of telling you that as of Friday morning before last I have no uterus.

I am entirely sans womb.

How weird is that shit?

So yeah, I had a hysterectomy. It's not so hard to type this information out loud here in my blog to semi and total strangers, but for some reason I have been unable to tell to many other people about this, including anyone in my family, except my parents.

Perhaps because it remotely involves my pu-say and intimately involves my baby making organs that are frankly no body's business but my own and MDH's. It also might require me to discuss the problems that led up to the hysterectomy that involve intimate details about my horrific menstrual cycles that I'm not keen to spill out to just anyone (in person).

Adding to the complication of the explanation is the look I see in people's eyes when I know they are taking a sharp, but silent intake of breath as they realize that hysterectomy = forever barren, and then having to explain that MDH and I are fine with that and decided not to make babies long before my uterus decided to fill itself to capacity with demonic fibroids.

I gotta say though, I was amazed, ah-mazed, during my hospital stay, at the number of hospital workers, nurses, phlebotomists, the lady that brought me my lunch, the man who took my blood sample at 2am, who would either ask me if I have kids, or how many kids do I have, which I would imagine is probably not the best question to ask a woman who has just had a fucking hysterectomy.

Anyhoo... here are the facts... some of them may be gross and may be extra gross for some of my more testosterone laden readers, in other words boys, there will be blood:

  • I've been having increasingly miserable periods for almost 2 years and it began to peak right around the time that we started planning our move in late March.

  • By the middle of May I was pretty much having the worst day of my period every day, including headaches, horrifying cramps that no amount of Extra Strength Tylenol would cure, and lost so much blood that I became anemic and so weak that I could barely move without getting dizzy.

  • I scheduled the hysterectomy the day my new doctor in Texas saw me the first week of June.

  • He said my uterus was swollen to the size of someone 16 weeks pregnant. (Which explains my inability to fit into many of my clothes no matter how much I dieted)

  • The surgery normally takes 1 hour, but mine took 3 because the fibroids apparently staged a coup and fought back or something.

  • After my surgery he told me my uterus weighed 496 grams. A normal one weighs about 70 grams.

  • I decided to keep my ovaries and cervix as these items are all healthy and in working order, even though my doctor wanted to remove them "as a precaution against future complications". Whatever dude, keep your mitts off my egg basket, it still has some good years left in it.

  • I spent 3 nights in the hospital and was so miserable in so many ways that I voluntarily gave up every shred of my dignity to the nurses and hospital staff in exchange for ice chips and hot tea.

  • Oddly, the things that caused me the most discomfort had nothing to do with my surgery or incision. Who knew that having a breathing tube jammed down your throat for 3 hours would cause me to have the most torturous case of cotton mouth for 2 days? And that having a catheter poking into my bladder, rather than giving the one feeling of relief from urination, actually gives one the painful sensation of having to piss out an entire nights keg party the next morning.

  • Speaking of discomfort unrelated to my actual surgery - I now have permanent (semi-permanent) burn marks in the shape of two tubes going all the way down my abdomen from some stuff they dripped into me. It looks like two bright red antennae are coming out of my pubes, which is just delightful. They also burned and itched for several days until I was conscious enough remove some bandaging, realize what was going on and apply some Benedryl cream to them. I have to assume these tubes contained some kind of latex product - because that it what it looks like when my skin comes into contact with latex - it burns whatever shape onto my skin - so like if I were to put on a latex glove - it would burn the shape of a glove onto my hand because I'M ALLERGIC TO LATEX!! It was all over my chart, they gave me a special safety orange wristband thingy that spelled out "LATEX ALLERGY" in large bold lettering and I told every single person I came into contact with throughout the entire process, whether they asked me or not, "I'm allergic to Latex".

Here is the good news - I feel better already. Better enough to walk up to the 3rd floor of our apartment to my office this morning and sit upright and type for a few hours. I'm not ready for a Zoomba class, shit I'm not even allowed to drive a car yet, but there are no more cramps, no more bleeding, no more worries about OD-ing on Tylenol.

Also, bonus, as of today I have officially lost 12 pounds since I was last weighed the morning of my surgery. Granted, a clear liquid diet for 5 days followed by being too nauseous and weak to eat much of anything is probably not the best diet plan, but that is what happened and I plan to not let my suffering go to waste and remain on this weight loss trajectory, only maybe at a slightly more realistic pace.

Recovering from a large abdominal incision right above my no-no area aside, I would go so far as to say I feel great. It's a very similar recovery process to having a C-Section, no heavy lifting, no repetitive bending and I have to wear this glamorous stretchy binder with a Velcro fastener across my midsection for the next 6 weeks. The binder is kind of like wearing noisy Spanx, but also kind of like wearing a bulky mini-skirt made from diapers, and the best part is that MDH gets to help me put it on after I bathe. What a treat for him, I'm sure.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Much Ado About Litter

It's a done deal. We live in Texas now and I find Texas to be way more Texas-y than I imagined it would be. I mean, I see people who wear ten gallon hats to social events and even though I live in a suburb of Dallas, about 3 blocks from here is a large herd of Longhorn steer. Go 3 blocks in the other direction and you will find large bronze statuary of cowboys riding wild-maned broncos and roping* calves. Please notice in this particular photo, the cowpoke is watching intently** as his horse grazes gently in the parking lot of a mall.

It's weird right?

Mostly though, what has been weird is the fact that MDH and I have been living in a hotel for the past two weeks. With our cat of course, who spent the first week hiding under the bed most of the day after his first encounter with the hotel maid and her very noisy sweeper. He's finally settled in now and is almost back to normal... just in time for us to move again this weekend into our new apartment.

Speaking of the cat - I would just like to take a moment to mention how much fun it isn't to have a litterbox in your living room, which is 3 feet from your bed when you live in a 400 sqft extended stay hotel. Having a litterbox in the living room of a 400 sqft extended stay hotel room goes a long way to making 400 sqft seem as small as a phone booth. A very smelly phone booth.

The litterbox used to be in the basement of our old house and I guess I took for granted that I would never be woken up in the middle of the night by the horrifying stench created when our cat takes a giant shit 3 feet from our bed. It's not Turtle's fault. He's a complete gentleman and does exactly as he is supposed to do, exactly where he is supposed to do it and is quite tidy, but the proximity of his shit box has caused me to decide that our next cat will be toilet trained. I've seen it on YouTube, so I know it's possible.

Anyhoo... other than the whole litterbox thing, living in the hotel hasn't been nearly as bad as I'd imagined. We have a little kitchen (which, not to beat this close proximity to cat shit thing into the ground, but is also 3 feet from the litterbox) where I have been able to prepare simple, elegant meals of microwaved burritos and toast. Delightful!

Needless to say... we're ready to move into our new apartment which, prior to living in the hotel, we worried would be too small, but now seems like a 1200 sqft mansion.

We had a little scare earlier this week with the apartment management company. I missed their call, as I was at that very moment registering my car for Texas plates, to the address and apartment number that we signed a lease for several weeks ago, telling me that the asshole who currently lives in the apartment that we signed the lease for several weeks ago... um... well... he didn't ever actually move out of the apartment. The apartment complex has given us another apartment of the same floorplan to move into, but I was and still am a little bit livid. I set up electrical service, ordered new checks and registered my vehicle, which now has to all be redone.

It makes me wonder though - is this guy a dick or just an idiot? Either way I plan to make his life miserable by requesting home visits to that address from Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.*** Do you think Dominos would deliver a pizza with ex-lax on it?

*People - I originally typed "raping" by accident and laughed so hard I had to run and change my underpants.

**Probably watching to make sure that his nice horsey doesn't choke on a plastic shopping bag or disposable diaper.

*** I wouldn't really ever do that. Not because it's mean, but mainly because he has apologized and agreed to bring me whatever mail of ours that gets sent to that address, and I really need him to do that. I changed the mail forwarding again of course, but there are sure to be some stragglers. So instead of sending him Mormons or leaving flaming bags of my poo on his porch****, I will smile sweetly and thank him for bringing me our mail, while secretly I quietly curse him until such time as I'm able to get over it or all the mail is correctly forwarded, whichever comes first.

****I don't have a dog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does this fat make my fat look fat?

Has it come to this, really? I'm afraid so. One post per month or less is all I'm able to squeeze of my brain these days. Never mind that in addition to feeling bad about never posting on my own blog, I also feel like a huge shithead for not reading your blogs as regularly as I once was able, and I never seem to find the time to comment on any of them either, which, when you think about is all we really want as we sit here typing, isn't it? Comments. That was at one time how I measured my success as a blogger - the number of comments and weekly visitors. Now I think it's pretty damn miraculous when I'm able to remember my password to log on.

Anyhoo... I was thinking today about possible blog post topics and have decided that a good old reliable numbered list is the way to go. I've been really busy lately and will share with you lessons learned during some of my various adventures, in no particular order:

1. I have very little in common with women who describe experiences having to do with their uteruses (uter-i? - is there a plural for uterus? anyone?), childbirth, menopause, or a particularly rough menstrual cycle as their "journey".


Stop it. A four Pamprin cramp day does not qualify as a "journey". Also, I don't care how long you were in labor or how much you sweat in your sleep - stop saying "journey".

2. Speaking of "Journey" - I do not care for 80's Night. A few weeks ago MDH and I went out on a Saturday night with our friend Rachel and her new-ish husband Dave to something here in town referred to as "Mega-Eighties!" Which is the name of the band that plays 80's covers regularly at the giant nightclub we paid $10 per person to enter. The expansive nightclub features rock hard, concrete floors and bathrooms with no stall doors. Already not my cup of tea. (I'm a snob with sore feet who likes to pee out my cocktails behind closed doors, get over it.)

I'll admit there were some amusing things going on, such as grown women wearing "mall bangs", leg warmers and t-shirts with the neck cut out in an exaggerated "bateau" style, a la Jennifer Beales in Flashdance and men sporting mullet wigs and folded bandanna headbands, a la Loverboy. Cute. I get it. The hairstyles and fashion of the 80's were silly.

Before the band came on there was a DJ playing top 40 hits from the 80's and soon MDH and I collectively remembered that we despised this shitty music back then so why the fuck would we want to experience it again now? Frankly, the thick cloud of pot smoke and the acid induced haze I used to live under didn't really dissipate until well into 1993, so I didn't recognize most of the music anyway.

At this point the tone shifted for MDH and me. We went from being mildly confident, middle aged people to the wildly freakish outsiders we had once been. I, a pale and lonely Smiths worshiping, goth chick and he a pogo-ing, crowd surfing, skate punk. Standing still in the background while watching everyone around us having fun and dancing maniacally to Like a Prayer and Uptown Girl reminded us that we never belonged in this scene, and never wanted to.

We stuck around a little longer when the band finally came on, and also out of respect for Rachel and Dave, 'cause we love them, but I drew the line when the band started belting out a Poison medley and we bugged the fuck out immediately for home where we cleansed our ear holes with Siouxie and the Banshees, the Clash and a little Buzzcocks.

80's Night = Big not again

3. I had something seriously cute and funny planned for #3, but can no longer remember what it was as MDH has just called me from San Francisco, where he is in the middle of a corporate team building thingy, to inform me that he has finally been promoted and that we are moving to Texas. Like now. As in he starts work on Monday. What the fuck? Finally we leave the Tundra. We were only supposed to be here for 2 years and we have been here for 6 years. I suppose now I will have to switch seasons and start bitching about how hot the summers are. Hurray!!!! (I think).
4. Restaurant Impossible is exactly like Kitchen Nightmares, but with less screaming and cursing.
5. 3D is overrated.
6. I have finally learned, after all this time, how to use the shuttle service to get around Large Corporation. I used it all winter to whisk me straight to the door of my building like a 15 passenger magic carpet. I cannot express how great it has been to avoid trudging through the snow on my (literally) 10 minute trek through the Tundra from parking space to desk. You call and they come pick you up. It's awesome.
7. I have turned into a lazy, fat piece of fudge since learning how to use the shuttle service at Large Corporation. At first I vowed only to use it on wet, snowy days when the temperature dipped below 30. Or on days when my ankle was bugging me. Now all it takes is a hangnail and a bit of fog and I'm totally riding that motherfucker with all the other old ladies and fatties.
8. Oh shit - we have to sell this house, pack and move.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Tell If A Movie Will Suck

Yes, I'm really going to totally ignore the fact that I haven't posted on this blog for 4 months and hop right in to what I hope will be a riveting entry for all 8 of you out there who still keep popping in from time to time. Surprise for you, eh? You've been checking in faithfully and disappointed for so long and lo and behold today is your day. A new fucking post. Just for you. Seriously. It's just for you, you're the only one left still visiting.

It being awards season and the Oscar's fast upon us, I have been thinking about movies a lot lately and then this post was inspired when I saw a horrible and rather sad commericial for the new movie with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in it. Here goes:

Here’s how I decide based television commercials, whether or not I think I movie is going to suck donkey balls.

1. The movie stars, Adam Sandler*, Tim Alan**, John Travolta***, Robin Williams**** or Tom Cruise*****. Or any combination of those five people. My advice? Don’t waste your money to see this first run in a theater. Wait until 5 or 6 years from now and see it on a night when you happen to be hammered, high, unable to sleep or any combination of those 3 things, and it happens to be on TBS during a time when it happens that you cannot find the remote and are unable to change the channel, so technically it is the only thing on TV. Or… you could get your lazy ass up off the sofa, walk across the room and turn off the goddamn TV using a combination of your index finger and the power button, since the only thing on is this shitty movie with badly dubbed out curse words on TBS, who seem to have a knack for cutting to commercial in the middle of a goddamn sentence or constantly throwing animated graphics advertising some shitty Tyler Perry produced sit-com that take up the entire fucking screen and have just covered up the fucking subtitles I was trying to read. Motherfucking TBS. Motherfucking subtitles. Motherfucking Tyler Perry. What was I talking about?

2. The commercial starts off with the words “Critics are raving!” and then the screen is peppered with ambiguous, one word quotes in tiny lettering that could be construed in many ways (“Unbelievable!”, “Powerful!”, “Hypnotic!”) jump quickly on and off the screen like tiny fleas, by movie critics no one has ever heard of from publications that can’t possibly be real. Yeah – this one is probably sucking pretty hard.

3. The commercial shows as many quick edited crotch hits, cleavage shots and plot irrelevant shenanigans as possible (fart noises, yowling cats, growling dogs, close ups of crying baby faces, references to vaginas, penises or poop). The absence of any information hinting at any kind of critical review is palpable and only made more so by the tagline at the end that says “Now Playing Everywhere!” which is either the only positive sounding thing that can be said for the film or perhaps it’s actually a cryptic warning or cry for help. It’s playing. Everywhere. Be careful.

*I like Adam Sandler and think his movies often have pretty funny things going on in them, but that doesn’t mean that his movies don’t suck. I often put his movies in the category of “sucks but will probably see it anyway on DVD”.

**Tim Allen gets a gimme for being the voice of Buzz Lightyear, but otherwise I can’t think of one thing I have ever seen him in that was funny to me at all. I think he’s a hack – sue me.

***I know, I know, everyone loves John Fucking Travolta, and he also gets a gimme for Pulp Fiction, but what have you done for us lately John Travolta? I’m sure he’s a lovely human soul, but he irritates me with his stupid giant plane and his poor movie role choices. Outside of Pulp Fiction (and Get Shorty) his movies smack of desperation to me and I always envision him in that stupid get up he wore in the L.Ron Hubbard movie. If that’s not enough for me to find his movies lame I have two words for you – Old Dogs.

****I almost feel bad about this one, cause I really do love Robin Williams, nanoo, nanoo and all that, but his roles in the past 10 years have been so hit or miss that I choose miss most of the time, unless I hear otherwise good reviews. And do I have to say it again? Old Dogs.

*****If it stars Tom Cruise I refuse to see it at all (almost ever). Below is an alphabetical listing (it’s short) of the people for which I have longstanding boycotts of their bodies of work:

1. Tom Arnold – I think he might be mildly retarded and only sometimes funny by accident. More often I think he’s an untalented, pompous boob. But whatever. He’s so seldom in anything I’m remotely interested in that my hatred of his stupid face is really a non issue.

2. Tom Cruise – I’m not sure he’s fully human. I think he’s an overblown, pompous asshole. Even though he’s managed to weasel himself into cameos in a couple of movies I have seen in the last 10 years or so, and therefore subjected me to accidentally having to see him once or twice, I still cannot honestly say that the last movie I saw him in was A Few Good Men. However, I CAN say that I have not chosen to see him intentionally in anything since The Firm, except A Few Good Men and that was only because my friend Dan had free tickets for a sneak preview, which, by the way, we both thought sucked donkey balls, even though the commercials claimed that real critics, that people had actually heard of, were raving. We were appalled when it was nominated for an Oscar for best film and relieved when it didn’t win. Anyhoo… these days he really only ever does about one film a year – so my hatred of him is no biggie and my purposeful avoidance of seeing him is easily maintained.