Velvet in Dupont

Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

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FINALLY THE TRUTH!

The title is a line from my favorite movie, Almost Famous.

Anyway, BJ sent me a link today, but I see that it’s made Yahoo’s Homepage, which means, in my world, it is offically news. I’ll edit with my comments, in italics.

Greenspan denies blame for crisis, admits ‘flaw’

WASHINGTON Badgered by lawmakers, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the nation’s economic crisis was his fault on Thursday but conceded the meltdown had revealed a flaw in a lifetime of economic thinking and left him in a “state of shocked disbelief.” Deny deny deny. Doesn’t change the truth. And why the fuck did it take so long for this to land on people’s radar?

Greenspan, who stepped down in 2006, called the banking and housing chaos a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami” that led to a breakdown in how the free market system functions. And he warned that things would get worse before they get better, with rising unemployment and no stabilization in housing prices for “many months.” No no buddy. This isn’t a once in a century tsunami. YOU are the once in a century tsunami. And your century is almost over. Please die.

Gloomy economic reports backed him up. New jobless claims soared to just under 500,000 for last week, and Goldman Sachs, Chrysler and Xerox all said they were cutting thousands more workers. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials bounced erratically all day before finishing up 172 points after a two-day drop of nearly 750.

The financial crisis even prompted the Republican Greenspan, a staunch believer in free markets, to propose that government consider tougher regulations, including requiring financial firms that package mortgages into securities to keep a portion as a check on quality. If he was a staunch believer in free markets, hmm, why all the interest rate cuts? Why not let those “free markets” be free?

He said other regulatory changes should be considered, too, in such areas as fraud. Oh good. Let’s blame this on the banks. Yes, you had nothing to do with it.

Also looking for solutions, another banking regulator told Congress the government was working on a loan-guarantee plan that could help many homeowners escape foreclosure as part of the $700 billion bailout legislation. That plan is being discussed by the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, who is pushing the idea.

Greenspan’s interrogation by the House Oversight Committee was a far cry from his 18 1/2 years as Fed chairman, when he presided over the longest economic boom in the country’s history. He was viewed as a free-market icon on Wall Street and held in respect bordering on awe by most members of Congress. Well, most of Congress is fucking stupid then. Because if none of those bastards could see that by making the dollar cheaper and cheaper and cheaper that the free market was going to respond, in kind, by bringing the idea of get-rich-quick to predators, then all of Congress should be shot.

Not now. At an often contentious four-hour hearing, Greenspan, former Treasury Secretary John Snow and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox were repeatedly accused by Democrats on the committee of pursuing an anti-regulation agenda that set the stage for the biggest financial crisis in 70 years. It’s a little late Demmies. Maybe when all those people pulling down $30K a year were getting half million dollar houses, maybe you should have said something other than “Everyone deserves the American dream.” No. They don’t. Not if they can’t afford it.

“The list of regulatory mistakes and misjudgments is long,” panel chairman Henry Waxman declared.

Greenspan, 82, acknowledged under questioning that he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks, operating in their own self-interest, would do what was necessary to protect their shareholders and institutions. Greenspan called that “a flaw in the model … that defines how the world works.” No no no no no. All sarcasm aside, this is wrong. When you have the power to make a decision that has several hundred levels of execution of which you have no control over, you have a MORAL OBLIGATION to not set it into motion until you do your due diligence. Everyone knew the banks were really stretching it to give anyone and everyone a fucking loan. We all knew it when our newspaper delivery boy was buying a five bedroom house in Leesburg. Okay? EVERYONE KNEW. And it’s not EVERYONE’S job to protect the economy from destruction. It’s the people’s job who are in the decision making positions.

He acknowledged that he had also been wrong in rejecting fears that the five-year housing boom was turning into an unsustainable speculative bubble that could harm the economy when it burst. Greenspan maintained during that period that home prices were unlikely to post a significant decline nationally because housing was a local market. Well, housing WAS a local market. But banks are a national market. Seems like a contradiction to me.

He said Thursday that he held to that belief because until the current housing slump there had never been such a significant decline in prices nationwide. He said the current financial crisis had “turned out to be much broader than anything that I could have imagined.” Right, and this makes you an idiot. But more important than that, it makes everyone who hung on your every word an idiot as well. Because the world followed your every move like little lemmings, waiting for you to pronounce the word of God. And everyone was hanging on the financial equivalent of smoke in mirrors.

Greenspan’s much-anticipated appearance before the House panel came as the Senate Banking Committee held its own hearing on what the government is doing now to get out of the mess.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari, who is overseeing the $700 billion financial rescue effort that passed Congress on Oct. 3, said the administration was not only working to get federal purchases of bank stock started quickly but also the program to mop up troubled mortgage-related assets. He also said the government was working to make sure that directives in the legislation to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure were being addressed.

Kashkari said the plan could include setting standards that banks should follow for reworking mortgages to make them more affordable. He said the administration was considering a recommendation to provide government loan guarantees to cover the reworked mortgages to make the program more attractive to banks. This isn’t fair, this isn’t fair and again, this isn’t fair.

“We are passionate about doing everything we can to avoid preventable foreclosures,” Kashkari told the committee. Stop fucking with the market people. Let them get foreclosed on. Let them file bankruptcy. And let the rest of us who saved our money scoop up houses at rock bottom prices so in 10 years, we can sell them for a windfall. There’s your free market economy boys.

The FDIC’s Bair told the same Senate panel that the government needs to do more to help tens of thousands of people avoid foreclosure.

She said the FDIC was working “closely and creatively” with the Treasury Department to come up with a plan.

Greenspan was asked to defend a variety of actions he took as Federal Reserve chairman resisting recommendations to use the Fed’s powers to crack down on subprime mortgages, for one. And opposing efforts to impose regulations on derivatives, the complex financial instruments that include credit default swaps, which have also figured prominently in the current crisis.

He said that outside of credit default swaps, the bulk of financial derivatives had not caused major problems. He said the boom in subprime lending occurred because of the huge demand for investment opportunities in a global economy, and he blamed the crash on a failure by investors to properly assess the risks from such mortgages, which went to borrowers with weak credit. The bulk of financial derivatives has not caused major problems? Have you ever heard of a domino effect?

As for firms that package mortgages into securities, he said, “As much as I would prefer it otherwise, in this financial environment I see no choice but to require that all securitizers retain a meaningful part of the securities they issue.”

On the billions of dollars of losses suffered by financial institutions because of their investments in subprime mortgages, Greenspan said he had been shocked by the failure of banking officials to protect their shareholders from their bad loan decisions.

“A critical pillar to market competition and free markets did break down,” Greenspan said. “I still do not fully understand why it happened.” The only reason all of this is happening is because people are greedy. And you can’t change the greedy, me me me feeling we have in the U.S. Everyone thinks they DESERVE a big house and nice cars and flat panel TV’s. If people did things like our grandparents, saved up before buying, this world would be much different than the one we have which lives on credit.

SEC Chairman Cox told the House panel that “somewhere in this terrible mess, laws were broken.” And Snow said that lawmakers should have responded more quickly to his pleas for stronger regulation for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were taken over by the government last month.

In the meantime, Kashkari, the Treasury official overseeing the bailout program, said there has been much progress, resulting in “numerous signs of improvement in our markets and in the confidence in our financial institutions.” Still, he cautioned, “the markets remain fragile.” Ya think? Gas prices are dropping several times in one day at local gas stations.

Doggie Adoption Sunday!

Holly and the Homeward Bound Crew are coming up here with doggies this weekend!

Sunday October 26, 2008 at the PetSmart in Potomac Yard, 3351 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22305. Their phone is (703) 739-4844.

They are bringing about 30 dogs ranging in age from 9 weeks to 3 years. All dogs are spayed/neutered, current to age on vaccines, dewormed, heartworm negative and started on monthly flea and tick preventative.

The adoption fee is $250, cash only.

All animals can be viewed on homeward.petfinder.com.

They also desperately need volunteers! Please email homeward@ellijay.com and let them know if you can volunteer.   This is where I’ll be because despite my type-A, “take no shit from no one” personality, Holly has been bossing me around like her little bitch ever since we waited tables in that sports bar in Connecticut in 1998 and she was running my food and fell on her ass. Apparently that was my fault, because I watched her fall and didn’t offer to help because I was very very busy talking to some beast of a man with a shaved head and a ton of tattoos. (Hello? It was Connecticut in the late 90’s. What did you expect?) I didn’t get a tip from that table, and Holly had fish sticks in her hair and we took it next door to the Villa where we battled it out until some drunkard fell off his barstool, but on the way down said, “You two should wrestle it out. I’ll get the blender and make some jello!”

See you there, bitches.

the way you can’t say no too many long lines in a row

as much a part of me as i was a part of you, for 11 years. food was eh. sleep was an elusive, precious commodity. sleep was for the weak. with you i am anything but weak. you were never where you were supposed to be. you were always lost in the shuffle of hats and cars and bottles of whiskey. i sometimes found you alone and in the strangest of places. i took you everywhere. i took you places you shouldn’t have gone. i took you places you expressly were not allowed. i cannot believe all the places you used to go. to work. to therapy. on airplanes to dallas and los angeles. to a club in new york city where you were spotted as you gripped my hand and my hand gripped you. on a company cruise. to the house of a person so famous and so unaware of what was going on that socks would be knocked off. you almost took me to the hospital. twice. you ended a relationship for me by hardening my emotions. you helped me drive all night to go get my things. i used you to enable me to destroy things and people and relationships. you brought people in my life who I didn’t need. you took people from my life i probably did need. you taught me not to need anyone. you controlled me enough to make decisions that sent other people to their lowest low, to their breaking point, to the point where they too turned to relatives of yours for consolation, to a point where my actions because of you realigned someone else’s life in a totally different manner.

sometimes i think about you and wonder how you are, but i don’t wonder enough to call. i see enough of you evident in others. i hear enough about you in bathroom stalls. i speak enough about you through stories.

there was a time i couldn’t envision a life without you.

naturally we swim to the surface, but not until we’ve reached the thud on the bottom. the point where we say that was fun, or maybe not so fun, but i’m done. you can hear the thud.

that thud was eighteen months ago from today, in Santa Monica, where I asked myself, what the hell am i doing? and then i answered…nothing, anymore.

The Smartest Thing You Did Was Take a Chance With Me

Take a forgotten horseshoe crab shell, a spare set of house keys and no particular plans for Monday other than retrieving that horseshoe crab shell, and you’ll find out that your man is running rampant in your life for a few brief moments…chatting with your dog walker, eating lunch at a neighbor’s restaurant, and using your makeup.

Fortunately he only used my MAC eyeliner to write me a note:

 

Variety Hour Part Five

Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m okay, just got wrapped up in life and life got wrapped up in me and “update my blog” hasn’t been near the top of my list, despite the fact that I’ve been way busy, but not too busy to still find the humor in things.

Because I’m feeling very ADD these past few weeks, interested in so much but not invested enough in one topic for a complete post, I bring back my one-time series, the Velvet Variety Hour!

Earlier (and funnier) installments can be found here. And here. And here. And here.

The Bailout
Cut the fucking shit already. Let’s lay some blame where it belongs. Alan Greenspan anyone? Greedy investors? Stupid homebuyers? Add all three to my list, but mostly that first moron because the homebuyers are too dumb to know any better, or in the case of the investor, too selfish to care. It’s not like I never voiced my Greenspan hatred here. And here. And I knew this was coming, though, I can’t say that I would have predicted this “soft landing” for three years, then a major crash as ARM after ARM readjusted and kicked people out of their homes. What a mess.

Anyway, is it foolish to point out again, a “self-correcting” economy? And would it be worth anything to say, “Hmm, maybe you, Greenspan, should have not cheapened the value of our dollar with rate cut after rate cut?” And would it fall on deaf ears to say: Fuck the bailout. Fuck it. Throw caution to the wind, suck up the imminent depression that would follow, and let the economy shake out and recorrect itself. We should have sucked down a recession after September 11th, but oh no, a fake war and the interest rate decline just prolonged the inevitable.

The truth is easier to swallow when it comes with a dose of hilarity.

My favorite part is where he says none of this will work and the government will throw more money at the problem. Yup. Your tax dollars at work. Complain to your Representative. Oh, wait, not if you live in DC.

The Election
Christ on a stick, is it not November yet? From day one of this crap, the only thing I have wanted is the one who will fix the economy. Neither of these mofo’s can do that. The wheels fell off the bus of the two party system a long time ago. Now what? Is it possible to “deregister” to vote? Can I sell my vote on ebay? There is certainly a lot of election paraphernalia on ebay, but no one is selling a vote yet. Hmm. Wonder why.

I can’t help but watch the Katie Couric / Sarah Palin interviews that have divebombed the internet. I told Mr. X, to me, there is nothing funnier than two women dueling it out, fighting tooth and nail to validate their recent promotion. Couric is just lobbing questions over the net that she hopes will prove she can hack it in places that aren’t the cushy, warm and fuzzy morning set of NBC and Palin is trying desperately to prove she’s worthy of the VP Nominee.

Work
Aah work. How you continue to be a hilarious source of comedic relief for me. Policies continue to be invented because people can’t seem to understand simple things like “working from home is not allowed in our company” or “wearing a miniskirt with a slit up to your pubes is inappropriate.” Now we have a sign in sheet. The sign in sheet is manned by the newly-hired receptionist. The other morning I was attempting to sign in when I was distracted by a flash of skin and satin. I looked up in horror to find that Ms. Newly-Hired was wearing a satin “I’m going clubbin” style halter top. Break out the strobe light I was so distracted that I dropped the pen. Yikes. It makes me miss our last receptionist – the one who got the New York Yankees tattoo and the Y was actually IN FRONT of the N, instead of just being one giant logo. Ha.

Ms. Newly-Hired called in sick today because her car got towed last night. Or something else equally unbelievable. She actually reminds me of someone else I used to work with – you know that person, right? The one who always has a story. Anyway, when we all started poking around her desk we uncovered a tornado of disaster, not the least of which is that she stuffed all our vendor’s checks in window envelopes, without the address showing in the window. I begged them not to fire her because she’s so comical. Someone aptly said, “She’s so…stupid.”

Facebook
Oh Facebook, how I love thee. When my BFF from kindergarten told me I had to join, I was reluctant. But then she sent me a link to my 3rd grade boyfriend and I was hooked. I have spent the last few weeks swimming through a sea of familiar, comfortable, and happy, remembering times when friendships were easy and you could take them at face value instead of wondering what people’s agendas were or which personality was going to emerge from their crazy-toychest. I used to wander through life with the same innocent take on friendships that I learned in elementary school, which was, 99% of people were nice. Once I got to DC I learned the hard way, after befriending crackpot after crackpot that you really have to be careful who you are friends with. Most people I’ve come in contact with seem to have “issues” that require medicine cocktails and shit, I’m tired of being around people when their dosages are screwed up and they use that as an excuse for being an asshole. Over it.

Hot Yoga
It is official. I think I might be addicted to hot yoga. There’s something so satisfying about getting your body to a point where it is so limber that you can push one hip from behind and the other from the front and hear about 40 cracks in unison. Granted, my bones crack like I’m 80 years old, but that shit feels good.

Sammy & Thora
The Sammy & Thora tattoo is in full force with the artist. I’m very excited. I had the perfect place for it, the middle of my back, but Mr. X mumbled something about having to be the one who sees it most and until I come up with an alternative, that’s where it’s going.

Weekend!
Mr. X and I are on our way out to the beach tomorrow to see the very beginnings of the house that is being built. For us. So I don’t have to waste away in DC on the weekends anymore. Yay!

You Don’t Even Know What It Is That You’re Fighting For

Today I laughed and cried.

Driving to  the Vortex  and hearing the September 11th stories on NPR made me cry and cry and cry. It seems like longer than seven years. As I said to K this morning, time is a fascinating thing. Seven years ago, I still had two years left in a relationship, had several to follow, had not yet started grad school, and never knew of a Mr. X in my future. What a difference a day makes? Try seven years. I’m in a much better place. I’m not sure if our country is but our naivety was ripe for a shakedown.

There was a cat fight at work today of epic proportions. I texted as such to Mr. X. He texted back, “Were you involved?” No, because, duh, nothing I could be involved in could ever be described as a “cat fight.” Then he texted back and said, “If no one’s car got stolen in the end, then it wasn’t you.” True true. Ruining lives is fun.

One of the members involved in said cat fight had to, gasp, actually do some work. Some people had their car towed for one reason or another and they came in to our office. Meow Mix spent 20 minutes in a very heated debate with them explaining why their car was towed. It went on and on. And on. AND ON.

The People: “It was only there for 72 hours!”

Meow Mix: “It wasn’t 72 hours. It was there for three full days!!!”

Stupid people can make me laugh for 10 minutes straight.

Because Sammy and Thora Don’t Want to Hear My One Liners About the RNC Anymore…

Here’s what was going through my head.

  • I love you Rudy Giuliani.
  • Blech. Thanks for mentioning religion as the core of Palin’s small town.
  • That was like a stab in my ribcage.
  • Sarah Palin is hottttt.
  • Mr. Sarah Palin is hottttt.
  • Mr. X and I are hotter.
  • Can you people with your Sharpie-written signs try harder next time?
  • I recommend Kinkos. Wait. Are they still in business?
  • Palin will help “special needs” kids.
  • Is a pregnant daughter considered “special needs?”
  • Palin’s parents are here.
  • Reminds me of my parents who would be sitting there talking to each other the whole time, asking when the guy was gonna come by with the coffee and snack cart.
  • Thanks a lot mom and dad, I’m the VP nominee and you still don’t listen to me.
  • There’s a lot of cowboy hats there.
  • Mmmm…cowboy hats….
  • I wonder what hair products Palin uses. Her hair looks shiny.
  • God damned it, why won’t they show the pregnant daughter’s belly?
  • That’s really fucking annoying.
  • How far is Alaska? Mapquest!!!
  • Fuck. AL is the abbreviation for ‘bama, not Alaska.
  • 3,620 miles from Dupont Circle.
  • 82 hours of driving.
  • OH shit, that’s only to Juneau. (Juneau took me three tries to get it spelled right.)
  • Um, hello! It’s another 755 miles to Anchorage!
  • What are they chanting? I can’t understand these hillbillies.
  • Why do I live in DC?
  • Oh, because I got kicked out of Atlanta.
  • And I stole that car in Texas so I can’t go back there.
  • Oops. Bet that’d come out when I get elected for VP.
  • And the drinking…
  • And the drugs…
  • “In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And there are some candidates, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”
  • D’oh. Snap! She got them there!
  • I need her speechwriter on my payroll.
  • I don’t have a payroll.
  • I bet her haircut costs more than John Edwards.
  • Hey, there’s a leprechaun here!
  • Oh wait, that’s just Cindy McCain in a really bad color dress.
  • Damn it. I walked out of the room to get a snack and I missed something and now some old guy is crying. Whaddi miss?
  • Was Sarah Palin even alive when McCain was taken hostage?
  • Was Cindy McCain even alive when her future husband was taken hostage?
  • I think Palin’s daughter just jetted out.
  • Someone nudged her and said, “Pregnancy is great birth control! Y’all can’t get pregnant again!”
  • Stupid hillbillies.
  • Palin’s done.
  • Hey! The Cat in the Hat is here!
  • Oh, wait. That’s just the bottom part of the American Flag.
  • OH MY GOD THERE’S THE PREGNANT DAUGHTER!
  • Some guy with white hair just came out to kiss the family one by one.
  • Richard Dawson is here!
  • Oh, wait. It’s just John McCain.

Those Were the Best Days of My Life

Driving to work Monday, I heard an acoustic version of Summer of 69 that I had never heard before. Hearing this totally pure and organic version of its former self, almost (almost) sent a tear roll down my cheek it was just that good. I always liked the original version, but the acoustic version is unbelievable.

Monday night, I was laying in bed, wondering why I had not yet fallen asleep. It was well after midnight and suddenly this thought popped into my head: Years ago, Mr. X and I had some email exchanges that I recall, though not in detail. I wonder if we were to read them now, would they show any evidence of where we’ve ended up? It’s too bad I don’t have them anymore.

Or do I?

I jumped out of bed, fired up the laptop and started combing through my email. I’ve had my main email account for just about 10 years now and I thought there was no way in hell I’d have saved any of these emails, especially since I never could have known the importance and significance they would hold for me, right now, at 12:30 a.m. on a Monday night / Tuesday morning, a little over a year into the best relationship of my life.

When I found an email from October 2000 from the lady from whom I adopted my Sammy dog, I knew I had Oprah’s chances in a Supermarket Sweep that I would find at least one Mr. X email.

“Velvet, I located the information for Tippy…” [that was Sammy’s ‘shelter’ name]

Sigh. I cannot imagine my life without this little dog…the dog who has mysteriously managed to procure a subscription to “Cruising World” magazine. Then I found an email where I placed an ad in the Macon Telegraph in April, 2004 because Thora had run away from the home where my ex was living.

“Black mutt in Bolingbroke, ran off Thursday night during storm. One blue eye, one brown, answers to Thora.”

I never really wanted dogs, but they have taken such a hold of my heart that I can’t imagine life without them. That pet chinchilla was fun, but the dogs are way better.

Then I found the folder that contained a variety of emails, at the very bottom of which I found what I was looking for. Not all of the emails, but emails where he was my boss, and I was his employee and we were discussing work related issues, punctuated by brief asides of a more personal, though not intimate, nature.

From August, 2004, there’s an email where I complained to Mr. X about how we were all being treated at work with our workspaces and he jumped to our department’s defense and ripped some new assholes. There’s another email from later that month where he went head to head with our poor excuse for a Division President, and made the idiot look like, well, an idiot. I started forwarding these emails and then Mr. X called, asking why I was still awake and laughing at how all of this is coming back to him, things he had long forgotten. I said, “You know, it’s the forceful, in-control person in these emails who I fell in love with.”

The original relationship was good. But this? This relationship blows everything else away. I loved my job, but sometimes you have to trade something you love to get something you love more.

I Don’t Know Why You Gotta Be Angry All the Time

I know all of you two of you are dying for the update of what happened in New York. Let’s just say that one half of Team Gloom and Doom was their usual self and the other half of Gloom and Doom was also their usual self. Let me rewind a tiny bit.

Friday I had planned to leave work a little early. Then someone decided at 10:45 a.m. to call a mandatory meeting for noon with the requisite meeting request. I replied and said that I was leaving early and would not make this meeting. Friday we were getting off work at 2:00, but the last time I went to New York on a 2:00 Friday I sat in major traffic the entire way. So this time I decided my internal goal was noon to get out of the office.

At five minutes to 12, someone said that they overheard I would have to crank out six Proposals for new business. I’ve never even done this before, and considering that two other people are responsible for Proposals, I had to ask “why me?” The answer came back that one of the two is totally inefficient and the other one is running circles around the inefficient one and so therefore I got the prize (of more work.) Then that person said, “Pick up your stuff, and walk out right now.”

I’ve never done something so bold before but my weekend was in serious jeopardy. So I did it. I shut off the computer and left. My logic here was this: If they can allow the aforementioned inefficients continue to keep their jobs, and there are more than one of them, then I’ve got to be allowed one tiny indiscretion. As I stood at the elevator, I saw the food for that 12:00 meeting coming in, and I could hear the craziness of the office behind me. But, I left.

Mr. X was not prepared for my Houdini-like escape artistry and was not ready when I was. So I lollygagged around for a bit, then harassed with several back to back phone calls and texts. Finally I just drove to his house and stalked him in his driveway until he came outside.

It took several extra hours to get to NY as there were breakdowns and traffic everywhere. When we finally got there I needed several drinks. We went around the corner to a Greek restaurant (go figure) and ate and drank, and then the bartender sent us with her high recommendations to a very specific intersection in the Village. We followed her advice and meandered around several bars before I practically fell asleep and we took off back to the hotel.

I. Am. Lame. And I never said I wasn’t.

Saturday morning we got up and promptly went off to Bloomingdales (it’s like no other store in the world) where I bought a pair of deeply discounted hooker shoes and Mr. X helped. Then we went over to my brothers where we met up with Gloom and Doom. Everything actually went fine, Gloom and Doom were surprisingly chipper and in good moods. Mr. X and my dad did a lot of talking. And somewhere in between that talking, we went to lunch.

My brother has a friend from high school who was married for 15 years and is getting divorced. My mom says, “Velvet, did you hear about Elton and Kiki?” I said, “Oh yeah, that they are getting divorced?”

And there’s my mom, as usual, stabbing her ketchup-laden french fry with her fork while simultaneously stabbing me in the heart, saying, “Yup, fifteen years down the drain.” Opinionated? Yes. But opinionated doesn’t cover the adjectives I’d use here considering that Mr. X is completing a divorce and that she knows this!

This is standard-bitchy with my mom. You just never know what you’re going to get, but you know you’ll get her nasty opinions, without a care for how anyone else may feel sitting in her presence and she’ll think she’s right. If you were to even bother calling her on it and say, “What’s the alternative? Stay with someone for 50 years who makes you miserable just so you can say you didn’t get divorced?” she’ll keep going, putting her foot in her mouth even further and making herself look like more of an asshole, lashing out at anyone in her path.

Yeah, I know she’s from that generation and we’re from this generation, but again, here we have it. I don’t believe in voicing nasty opinions that take a direct shot at someone who your daughter said she’s blissfully, madly, deeply in love with. Nor do I do believe in staying with someone who makes you miserable just to say that you didn’t get divorced, or to borrow her famous line, to say you didn’t quit. Divorce is a pretty big deal, and I’m sure these friends of my brothers didn’t just randomly decide without a second thought to get divorced just like Mr. X didn’t wake up one day and decide that today he wanted sausage with his eggs and also, he’d like to get a divorce. So I’m not sure what makes the Gloom part of Gloom and Doom think she’s such an expert because she and my father have bickered for 44 consecutive years now. What a claim to fame.

So it’s been two days since that bullshit and for some reason, I’m madder about it now than I was on Saturday.

There’s more eating and drinking, drinking and eating, walking around the city and discussions of returning and then there’s a drive home. Somewhere around Delaware I said, “You know, the last time I was driving through here, you and I started that x-rated texting spree.” He said, “I remember that. That was fun!”

So we started texting each other, yes, even while sitting next to each other, and then it got slightly heated and we just couldn’t wait to get home so we could rip each other’s clothes off. It was a long 2 1/2 hours from the Delaware border. Very long.

Working Too Hard Can Give You a Heart Attack ack ack ack ack ack

I no longer know what to think about the Vortex. During the week I’m fine, I just plug along, call the stupid people stupid, and do my thing. But then Sunday comes and I’m misery with a side of suicidal at the thought of having to go back. So clearly, I’m kidding myself. The last job I had that made me so miserable that I woke up on Sunday mornings with gloom and dread, I ended up walking out of. That was fun. Fuck you, Rich’s Buying Office! Buying shoes ain’t that fun when you have an idiot for a boss!

It’s exceptionally formal here at the Vortex. I’ve had an ankle tattoo since I was 21, having proclaimed that day, “I’ll never work in an office that’s so stuffy that I couldn’t have this tattoo showing.” I’ve never actually had to eat those words…until maybe now. The other girl and I who have visible tats feel weird when they are exposed. Girls here weren’t even allowed to wear pants until just a few years ago. Pantyhose all summer long was also a requirement. One can still see the last vestiges of this dress code among the masses: Suntan Pantyhose. Formal. Stuffy. Zipped up. Working Girl. 1980’s. Two steps away from shoulder pads. Err…make that one step. Someone just walked by my office in culottes.

Anyway, I’m not sure what act of God or revisions to the workplace policy manual it would require for the people at the Vortex to understand that the workplace is not an acceptable place for personal hygiene and grooming.

Someone came into my office with dandruff all over her shirt to ask where a budget was located. As I turned to my computer to show her the super secret drive to which I only obtained access a few days prior but that she’s had access to for a year, she brushed all the dandruff, originally on her shirt, all over my desk.

Later the same day, the guy in the office next to me was having an extra loud personal conversation while clipping his nails. He clips his nails at least three times a week, always while on the phone. I was so stunned the first time it happened that I had to text one of my co-workers who was home that day. “Here’s what you’re missing by not being at the office…”

I fear that these things will eventually just become normal to me so that instead of cringing and saying, “He’s cutting his nails!” I’ll say, “Did anyone see my waxing strips?”

While lamenting my woes to Mr. X, and discussing my hatred of Sundays for the impending gloom of Monday, we had the following exchange:

Mr. X: If it ruins your Sunday, it could start to ruin your Saturday. Then your Friday. Then what? Then it becomes my problem.
Me: I know but hello, recession, not a whole hell of a lot I can do right now.
Mr. X: Well you’ll have to figure something out. How long have you been there? A year?
Me: A year? Try four months!!! It feels like a fucking year!!

Mr. X and I are off to see the Wizard, I mean, Mommy, this weekend where we’ll enjoy 48 straight hours of her begging me to move back to New York and me saying “But I can’t” and not really being sure anymore, exactly why I can’t.

Homeward Bound Needs a Hand

In an effort to keep your attention pointed toward things that matter when it comes to animals, I’m plugging Homeward Bound again. Actually, Holly came up with a great idea and since I’m all about helping animal groups WHO CARE SELFLESSLY (cough, Friendship, cough, stupid WHS blog) here you go.

Dogs available for adoption live at their kennel if there aren’t any foster homes available. You know, much like children in an orphanage. What? It’s true! Anyway, so the dogs cannot have toys and treats because they are pack animals and will become aggressive. They only get a towel to sleep on. Trust me, I thought this was mean, but it’s what the group has to do to ensure everyone’s safety – dog and human.

So they have found an alternative to the towel. They are getting the dogs real beds. Well, they look more like cots, but still. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. A bed would be optimal, but if you cannot afford the $48 – $52 for it, then click the donate button on their website.

Doggie beds sold here. Any size will work. Select “Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc – Ellijay, GA” in the drop down box.

As always, the doggies thank you!

It’s Not How I Planned It, I Got a Key to the Door But it Just Won’t Open

There are intense feelings of satisfaction and of accomplishment in finding my own way, physically and figuratively.

I know there are zillions of GPS fans out there. Spare me. The only person I’ve ever met who hated the GPS as much as I, was the checkout girl at Dupont Italian Market. Though, she had actually owned one and had specific complaints with its performance, or lack thereof. I just hate the idea of a machine telling me where to go and what to do. I’d end up ripping it out of my car, telling it to fuck off, and throwing it out the window.

“Fuck you! YOU turn left!”

My brother was going to buy me a GPS for Speedracer but I said no. I like the challenge of finding places on my own. Besides, having worked for Developers who develop land on unnamed dirt roads, most of what I would have needed from a GPS wouldn’t have been available. Some of the best “directions” I’ve received could never have come from a GPS.

“Make the second left into the property where there’s a big wagon wheel over the entrance. Now, the guy is in jail, but his wife still lives there. He met her through a Russian mail-order catalog. Just drive by her and if she comes to the front door with a gun, just wave and drive faster. I have an easement over her property so she has to let you pass. All the way in the back of the property you will see a huge pile of tires. Don’t get out of your car, there are a lot of snakes back there. Just wait for the guy there, and he’ll come and tell you what to do.”

I’m so glad I don’t work for him anymore.

Today I didn’t feel like doing any work. I consulted Yahoo’s homepage for news. Then I read this. My favorite part: “A GPS is not a substitute for common sense.” Gee, ya think? I know plenty of people for whom it is. In fact, I know plenty of people who live their life by a GPS of some sort.

“I have to finish grad school by 26, then I need to be married by 28 so I can have four kids exactly two years apart before I turn 35.”  

Sunday I was having a selfish, “me-day” where I blew everyone off to sulk in my bed about nothing in particular. Well, okay, maybe the whole job thing has burned me out already, but that’s a story for another day. When I was finally fit for human interaction again, Mr. X and I were on the phone discussing some plans we have for this weekend and next. He said something that just means so much and in the spirit of finding one’s way, I wanted to share.

“I realized how cool it is that we got to know each other for five years before anything happened.”

It was his way of saying that he knows this is a once in a lifetime deal. Well, that’s my interpretation. I also think it speaks so much to his personality, mine, and ours together. It might have taken us a little longer to get where we are, but it was well worth the journey.

So this weekend and next, we’re off, to take peeks into various parts of our future. I think we’ve decided where we’re going, but not exactly how we’re going to get there. The getting there part changes daily, especially with me, whose unpredictable reactions generated this text from the man: “Baby, you are all over the place.”

I wouldn’t trade it for any GPS no matter what.

What Have You Done For Me Lately, Part Deux

It’s “What has Velvet learned about dating” week over here and we’ve got our next installment. You might want to grab a snack because we’re going to be here for a few minutes and you’re going to participate in the class discussion. Ready?

This is exponentially more important in D.C. because people are in love with their jobs here for some stupid reason.

A man’s profession is very very important in decoding how he will treat you. Let’s take a look at some various professions and what you can determine from each.

  1. Lawyer
    Likes to argue. Will never let you win an argument. Will resort to confusing justifications to trick you into believing he is right. Compromise is not a word he knows well because any sort of compromise means that he lost. Losing is not in his nature.
  2. Salesman
    Look, this ain’t no Willy Loman type of salesman to which I’m referring. His title will be something important sounding like “Pharmaceutical Consultant,” “East Coast Account Executive” or “Surgery Specialist.” Sounds important but really isn’t. Basically if his title can be dumbed down to being in his car all day gathering road rage while he “calls on” clients, and his clients are doctors to whom he brings lunches and other goodies, then he’s a salesman. And a salesman, ladies, will tell you anything you want to hear just to get what he wants. For him, it’s all about making the sale. And goodwill won’t last long with him – it’s always going to be “Yeah, well what have you done for me lately?”
  3. Entrepreneur
    La Zipcode had an email from a man on match who “owned his own business.” Listen up: This is not necessarily a claim to fame. Do not pursue this man because you think he has endless supplies of money and vacation time to take you to Paris. The man who owns his own business (and works alone) most likely does so because he hates working with, for and beside others. He cannot get along well with people, and thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Thinking you are smarter than everyone else is much different from thinking other people are stupid. Other people are stupid, I agree that that’s true. But most of us are not so arrogant that we actually believe we’re the supreme of the smarts. There is a giant exception to this rule. If he has employees, and he treats them well (i.e., does not refer to them as a “stupid son of a bitch” daily) then you’re okay. Starting your own business isn’t necessarily a sign of antisocial behaviors if you employ and play nice with others. But if he has no employees? Get out of there faster than Britney turned white trash.
  4. Cop
    Good lord do I even need to go here? Cops are arrogant assholes on major power trips. Bossy and self-important, you’ll never have any fun in this relationship because it will always be about his job job job. His job will always take precedence over yours because sitting in the cruiser eating a powdered, strawberry filled while watching the Picadilly Cafeteria across the street for any suspicious activity from the Blue Hairs is way more demanding than anything you could possibly spend your day doing. The only upside here is that he has handcuffs, but it’s not enough of an upside when you can buy pretty much anything you might want, here.
  5. Military, ex-Military
    Run. Run as fast as you can. These dudes are fucking scary. They like order, routine, and think nothing of waking up at 4 a.m. and expecting you to as well. Something happens to our boys when they enter the military – they get that training to hunt and kill and it makes something in their head snap. Laid-back military refugees are hard to find. Most of them are wound tighter than the rubber bands around Star Jones’ stomach.

What professions did I miss?

Why don’t you take a bathroom break and when we come back I’ll finish it up.

Online Dating:

Men describe themselves as better looking than they usually are. Women describe themselves as worse looking than they usually are. To us, “a few extra pounds” means just that: five extra pounds. If we were 10 extra pounds, we would, in the spirit of honesty, describe ourselves as curvy. Men? Yeah. Anywhere from 5’2 98 lbs to 6’5 550 lbs they think is “average.”

The premise of online dating is that you answer a bunch of questions for both yourself as well as your potential mate, spin the wheel and start bidding. These websites seem to be set up for failure. If I took the people in my life who were great boyfriends, fun to be around and passed my sniff test, most of them would not fit into the little prescribed box of qualities I would select.

My first boyfriend was a smoker. I would “never” date a smoker. But I did. For six years. Mr. X has been married before. While this doesn’t necessarily rule someone out for me, there’s clearly baggage there that I’d rather not deal with. But in both cases, it just worked out to become a wonderful relationship. If I used an online questionnaire to weed people out, I would have never met the loves of my life. So you have to think outside the box, and you have to test and jump out of your comfort zone.

Since these sites continue to include generic profile questions, I would like to make a suggestion to them. The world would be much happier if they included a section on teeth with a picture of his chompers required. I would like for this section to include information about the color of teeth, as well as how straight they are. There are a lot of bad teeth online. Just sayin!

In fact, all online dating questionnaires should be destroyed. In their place, I’d like to suggest the following:

1) Please submit a letter of recommendation from your dentist with full dental impressions.
2) Who is your last ex-girlfriend and what is her phone number so she can be called in as a reference? Yes, I think you’re lying when you say she was crazy.
3) What is your propensity to be psycho, scale of 1-10; 10 being the most psycho? (Add 4 to his answer.)
4) How big is your penis? If you lied about the above and I get far enough with you to find out otherwise, you will live to regret it. So now is your last chance. How big is your penis?
5) Do you have any gifts that keep on giving?
6)Do you now or have you ever lived in a trailer park?

Any others?

Those questions would save a lot of women, a lot of heartache. Myself included. Though, as I said to Mr. X the other night:

“I would take 20 more bad relationships to get to this one again.”

And he said, “Well, lucky for us, you don’t have to.”

Good luck girls!

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

This post has been sitting in my drafts since December 2006. Considering I’m a “think-it-say-it” kind of girl, I’m not sure why I never posted this. But the advent of several friends suddenly joining match.com encouraged me to dust this off and finish it up. Hopefully you will reap the benefits of the extra 19 months this was aged.

Consider it a farewell to dating post or something like that. It’s about what I have learned from dating.

Oh, make your jokes. I know you will say that I’ve learned nothing. But you’re wrong. I have been taking notes.

What I’ve Learned About Dating:

Disclaimer: It’s very important to stereotype. Stereotyping can save you a lot of grief in the long run because the only thing standing between a dead on, snap-judgment first impression and giving someone a second chance is just two drinks.

Here we go. Pay attention.

1) Men tell you who they are within 5 minutes of meeting them. Don’t talk too much. You might miss it, and you’ll spend the rest of your relationship trying to figure out what he already told you. In the beginning of any contact, the guard is down. As soon as you say a few things to pique his interest, his guard starts slowly going up. The more charming you are, the less he will be his true self. And what he chooses to say in those first few minutes is crucial. Is he talking about his dying cat, ex-girlfriend, porn? Pay attention. It will help and or save you later. Trust me.

What’s tricky here is that this works in the reverse too – before you realize you are interested in him, you might tell him about that clit piercing. I’d recommend you pretend your other lips are pierced (closed) and don’t say a word. Smile and nod.

2) Chemistry is a tricky, elusive, thing. You will have chemistry with people who are good for you and people who are not. It is very very important to make wise decisions here. Otherwise you’ll find yourself ripping off your clothes in the front seat of a Lexus with some guy who looks like Vanilla Ice and only when you are looking for your bra do you realize there’s a babyseat in the back. Um. Not that that ever happened to me or anything.

3) Dating is a numbers game. What did your Grandma say? You have to kiss many frogs to get a prince? Yeah, that. Get out there and meet potential mates as often as you can. Because you just never know from around which corner the next love of your life is going to emerge. I guarantee you that if you went out on 50 dates this year, no less than two of those guys would become something important in your life. Are they good odds? No. They’re not. But is there a guarantee? Yes. Because there is no way you could date 50 men who meet your minimum requirement to even get to date 1, and not find someone worthwhile.

4) The balance of power becomes warped if you accept favors from men. If he’s a man you don’t want to date and he did some work for you or did you a favor, pay him for it. If he won’t give you a dollar amount, figure one out. But don’t let the payment be in the form of a date. Only American dollars work here. I used to fall for this. Some mongoloid would show up and hang a few pictures and then I’d find myself out on the pity-payback date. If he is a man you do want to date, thank him however you see fit, (a little cocksucking never hurt anyone) but if he constantly brings it up or tries to make you feel forever indebted to him, then fork over some cash (or swallow.)

More tomorrow.

There Ain’t Much You Can Do When They Just Lay it At Your Feet

I was at the gym this evening, getting reacquainted with my old friend, the treadmill. I was dreading this. A six week break from running is fine. But when you cut that break short   from its original estimated duration of somewhere between ten weeks and two years because of a culinary disaster that included beer, pizza and a Chocolate Dirt Cake – not good. It’s all fun and games until you’re booking two side-by-side seats on an airline. One-way. For yourself.   Because you are the supreme fattest. And I’m so glad I decided to go back to the gym tonight, because I got that extra boost of a workout when I had to kayak home. Where the hell did that rain come from?

There go another pair of $100 running shoes by the way.

Anyway, it was my plan to regale you with more stories of how ridiculously in love I am. Stories of Mr. X and I, doing crosswords, looking at condos, making out by the sweltering kitchen in the basement of a restaurant. Then I thought better of that. I’m sort of even making myself vomit now. I mean, really. You don’t have to be disgusted with me because believe me. I am disgusted with myself.

Instead, I will share with you an email, in which Sixes takes a hit from the King of the Dog Park. This is, by far, my most favoritest of all group emails received in 2008.

King of the Dog Park, begins an email to the following cast of characters:

Sixes
E
Velvet
The Hostess
The Rockstar
The Stoic

King of the Dog Park, housesitting a mere block away from his real home and feeling very left out of the loop for some reason, begins the chain: I was stood up by a 21 year old Mexican last night. Remember “McDonald’s Boy?”   I’m not answering his calls ever again. Well, unless he calls a second time. V, how are the dogs? Are we doing a commando attack this week?

Velvet: Sammy and Thora had solid poop this morning! It seems that perhaps that bag of food I got in Fairfax was bad. That confirms it for me: Everything outside the city sucks. Not sure about the attack but definitely there must be a way to ruin lives. Ruining lives is fun.

Might I pause for an interlude and some clarification ~ The King of the Dog Park is housesitting. And his backyard and a certain ex of mine who decided to move a block away from me face each other. As in, the King literally sleeps under 25 feet from that lunatic.

E: Glad to hear the kids are better. Bumping into you know who is inevitable. Let’s spend our time figuring out how to find fresh meat for the King.

Sixes: Mmm. Meat.

Rockstar: It’s a good thing you left us all of your contact information. Like the other side of the street is in another world!

King: Oh, I was too tired for the 21 year old anyway.   And the 1700 block of this street is way different than the 1600 block, okay?

Velvet: I have to monitor someone’s email at work and the shit I just read burned my brain. Must process. Back in a few.

King: This should be good. It takes a lot to burn your brain. Now, “McDonald’s Boy” just called. He apologized for last night and said time slipped away from him. Well, this is what he would have said if he spoke English.   Now I feel stupid, bragging to the Rockstar about all the ass I was getting….

Sixes: All you people who are getting laid non-stop can kiss my fat ass.

King:   Not everyone is getting laid…..Let me see, E is getting laid, Velvet is getting laid, The Hostess is probably getting laid, The Rockstar is getting laid, I’m getting laid, and yes, I believe The Stoic is getting laid.

Oh, I’m sorry, I guess everyone but you is getting laid…..

Velvet:   I’m printing this and hanging it on my office door.

Better Than I Was, More Than I Am, And All of This Happened By Taking Your Hand; Who I Am Now Is Who I Wanted to Be, And Now That We’re Together, I’m Stronger Than Ever

Right now I’m staring down the neck of a Corona that I anticipate to be the first in a series of several which I will ingest this evening. Why am I breaking my long-held rule of drinking during the week when I’m not off of work tomorrow?

Because an hour ago I got home from work to find Sammy had vomited all over my kitchen. While I was cleaning that up, Sammy decided to spray diarrhea all over the carpeted hallway of my building. In front of the video cameras. The halls smell like shit, I’m sure my neighbors will notice and I’m the only one on the floor with dogs.

And half an hour before that I plunked down another $650 on to my credit card as I picked Thora up from the vet because her evil stomach sickness came back.

And 45 minutes before that I asked our IT department to put spyware on someone’s computer so we can figure out if she’s illegally sending files to someone outside our company.

And two hours before that I had just returned to my office after a blissful hour lunch with Mr. X, one of the only lunches I’ve ever taken out of the office in my four months of working at the Vortex, to find that “everyone” was looking for me. No, really. They said everyone. In the hour I was gone they fired someone and several hundred calls started pouring in because someone mailed a letter with a mistake – a mistake I didn’t know about and wasn’t a part of, mind you, but I had to listen to the fallout from some of it anyway.

And two hours before that I had finished dropping off 72 boxes of files (no, really, it was 72) with a couple interns and some “labor” as they called the poor underpaid guys, to some plush attorney’s office at Tyson’s.

And 10 minutes before that I was driving one of the trucks up 495 and ran over part of one of our boxes which fell off another truck.

And two hours before that I was in an overheated file room compiling all these boxes, inventorying content and loading them on to a truck three trucks. I was also complaining. Let’s not forget that. I’m very good at complaining. See: blog archives.

And one hour before that I was driving to work this morning wishing I didn’t have to go.

And one hour before that, E and I were watching in horror as Thora shit a stream of blood from her ass. (Look, I know it’s gross. But you know what you’re gonna get over here at Velvet in Dupont, so don’t act like it caught you off guard.)

And two hours before that, (we’re at 5:00 a.m. for those of you in the back) E woke up and ate the rest of my Flips.

And five minutes before that, E cleaned up Thora’s vomit that occurred at 4:50 a.m. while I slept and dreamed about a life bartending again.

And five hours before that I wondered as I showered, if this crushing stress will ever lift so that everything in my body that has liquefied could somehow unliquefy and I could be normal again.

And a day prior to that I found out I had to pack the aforementioned 72 boxes. In a dress. Not pack the boxes in a dress. I was wearing a dress. A $200 dress. And heels. And I had to go to a storage facility which was filled with bees and not air-conditioned. On July fucking 16th when average temperatures hover near 100 degrees.

And a day prior to that I found out that I’m so far behind with work because of other work dumped on me with the very thinly veiled excuse “You’re the only one who won’t fuck this up,” that almost everyone in the entire division is at a standstill until I can somehow figure out how to grow a siamese twin, separate myself from her, have her grow a twin, those two separate and then all three of us can plug away at this work until it gets done.

And a day prior to that, I realized that I still have his number, but decided not to go see Dr. Feelgood.

And a day and 15 minutes prior to that I thought, “Wow. It would be really nice if Dr. Feelgood could give me some SpecialK. (And not the cereal.) I wonder if I still have his number…”

And three days before that my mother sent me some email that insinuated I was a homewrecker. Let’s get this straight, okay? No one can “steal” anyone else’s husband. If you don’t believe me, ask Denise Richards when she really socked it to that tabloid journalist who printed lies about her. It is impossible to steal someone who doesn’t want to be stolen. Besides, I honestly had nothing to do with it. I had another boyfriend at the time. Not a very good one, mind you, but one who kept my mind off any sort of husband-stealing activities. Those of you who know me can just go ahead and admit for the rest that I’m inherently too lazy to steal mail from my neighbor, much less go through the motions of “stealing” a husband.

And a day before that I had the “incident” at Friendship Animal Hospital.

So there you have it. The events of the last two weeks that have resulted in my having to medicate with alcohol. I’ll see you when the sun comes up. Maybe.

But…

a year ago tonight, someone Mr. X and I used to work with called me and told me that Mr. X and I were the subject of a very racy rumor. So I texted him: “Hey…did you hear that you and I have been sleeping together for years, apparently? I wish someone had told us. I’d like to know how it was.”

So begins the texting. It started slow and awkward, but each text crossed the line a little more and then a little more. Each of us too chicken to pick up the phone, we had a “conversation” that lasted from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m.

I’m not sure at what point in the last 365 days that I “knew,” but I just knew.

And I’ve never looked back since.

Friendship Animal Hospital is the Worst

My tolerance for idiots is at an all time low. Could it be the unbelievable amounts of work that land on my desk each day? This crushing grind of work resulted in a most unpleasant middle-of-the-night exchange with my newest “Most Despised Business in Washington D.C.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, pet owners of all ages, I present to you, Friendship Animal Hospital: A Case Study in Complete Incompetence and Price Gouging!

Details details. Thora was sick. Sick as in, crapping blood and vomiting blood. When Mr. X said, “You’re going to have to break down and call the vet,” I decided maybe he was right. I had been trying to not call the vet for every little thing, but Thora was even yacking up water. So I went to Friendship Animal Hospital at 11:00 p.m. one night last week.

They deemed Thora a “serious emergency” and took her in right away for vitals and some other tests. The tech was very communicative and came out to tell me she was definitely sick (duh) and the doctor would call me after he saw Thora.

12:15 a.m.: The doctor comes out. He looks to be about 14 years old. I hate when vets are younger than me. He asks all the same questions I answered at the front desk AND with the tech. Doesn’t anyone talk to anyone else here? I’ve told this story three times already. Then, he starts telling me that she needs to be on blah blah iv fluids, blah blah, has to stay overnight, blah…then a vet tech bursts into the room.

12:17 a.m.:”Doctor. We have a dog that just went under and we need you.”

12:17 6 seconds a.m.: The doctor says he’ll be back in a minute and rushes out. Time passes. Lots of time.

12:20 a.m.: Texting the hostess. “Fuckers left me in the room.”

12:25 a.m.: Texting anyone: “I think Thora’s gonna die.”

12:30 a.m. Thinks to self: Where the fuck is he? Vet tech number 6 comes out and says the doctor is going to be five more minutes. I said, “Well, he told me Thora needs to stay so I should just go home and get some sleep.”

12:33 a.m.: Thinks to self, Why couldn’t E be here this week so that she could have come with me and bitched them out?

12:35 a.m.: Really pissed. I meander out to the desk and ask to leave. She asks for a deposit. I said, “Well, uh, you have my dog, but okay, I’ll give you whatever you want.” She goes to find out exactly how much they will be raping me for and returns.

12:38 44 seconds, a.m.: “He said he needs to speak with you.”

I protested. I said, “It’s coming up on 1:00 a.m., I need to go home. If Thora isn’t coming, let me go home already and get some sleep!”

At this point, my lack of sleep and my irritation combined to form in my mind an incompetence diagnosis for this place. Everyone I know who brought their dogs here ended up having the dog die anyway. They can’t diagnose anything properly, they just charge the hell out of you until the dog can crawl out of there, dead or alive. I know this. I knew this going in. But I was desperate.

12:45 a.m.: The doctor finally comes out. Might I mention here that there were 6 techs who had put this dog under and it somehow went awry, forcing the doctor to stop his schpeel with me when he was 99% of the way done to go fix what the idiots in the back screwed up? I’m all for prioritizing dog emergencies, but why do I have to suffer at the hands of other’s incompetence? Why are they letting techs put dogs under? Why are there 6 techs back there and they all fucked it up somehow? Why won’t the stupid doctor let me go home and just call me on those things they call telephones?

So he apologizes and I turn into a bitch. I couldn’t believe that they had practically just killed a fucking dog right in front of me, I wanted Thora out of there pronto.

I said I wanted to take my dog home. He says he “highly recommends she stay” overnight. Fighting ensues. As much as I have no confidence in their hospital right now, I can’t let Thora die. Then he returns to get me an estimate for her to stay two nights. Yeah. When he came back with that fucking paper I almost punched him in the face. $1300. ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Uh, yeah, okay. I could fly to Dubai for that kind of money. Asshole. I laughed in his face and said, “For a stomach virus? Give me a break. What are you planning on doing to her for all that money?”

He said something about IV Fluids and how imperative it is that she get re-hydrated then I almost really punched him in the face. Then I said, “So, how much fluid have you put in her now?”

(Let’s do the time. The time was approximately 12:55 a.m. I tell you this so that you’ll know at exactly what hour you realized you wanted to punch him in the face too.)

“We haven’t given her any fluids, yet. We’ll do that when you leave.”

“She’s been here two hours and you say she’s extremely dehydrated and you have yet to give her fluids? What are you waiting for?”

If I wasn’t so concerned that Thora could have died, I would not have left her there. But I did. I get to the front to pay my deposit. The clerk asks if I was okay. She shouldn’t have asked.

1:07 a.m. “NO AS A MATTER OF FACT, I’M NOT OKAY! You guys are notorious for this. You take the dogs in, you charge a boatload of money and then you can’t even come up with a diagnosis and most of my friend’s dogs all died anyway.”

She says, I kid you not: “We don’t kill that many dogs, well, we don’t kill any, we hardly, well this is a good hospital.”

(In my head I started counting the dogs who came here, got a bullshit diagnosis and either died or got better in spite of their encounter with Friendship.)

Yeah. Okay. I said, “I learned my lesson. I will not be coming back here. It was rude of you to keep me waiting when I already knew my dog needed to stay here. It was wrong of you to not give her fluids when she’s been here 2 hours. It’s crap that this bill is going to be $1300 for a stomach flu and the funniest part is you won’t let me go home and I have a job I have to go to in the morning so I can pay your damned bill!!!!”

She goes, again, kid you not: “Oh, you have a job, so it’s gonna be like that.”

I inform her that I’m coming at 7 a.m. to get Thora and she is to be ready because I can’t screw around for an hour. She tells me it takes an hour to check her out, we argue some more and I make her get the doctor. He comes out and I tell him that Thora is to be ready at 7 a.m. He says okay. I leave and say my only vocal swear of the evening, “This is bullshit” as I’m going out the door.

7 a.m. rolls around pretty damn fast when you think your dog is dying at the hands of high school aged incompetents.

I walk in at 7 on the dot and the same bitch who gave me lip the night before is giving me the stare-down from the back room. Some other girl checks me out, asks if I need the records for my vet, I say yes and she hands me a few papers. I left. Thora seems okay, but maybe just happy to see me and happy to not be in a cage anymore.

8:30 a.m.: When I got to work, I’d planned on faxing those papers to my vet. That is, until I read them. They talk about what a bitch I am, and though it is written in ebonics, I can understand the gist of what she is saying. Her version is that I was a cursing cunt and she was perfect and spouted hospital policy to me. Lies lies lies. Someone’s nose is growing on Brandywine.

8:40 a.m.: I called the hospital and left a message in the Manager’s voicemail.

9:05 a.m.: The manager called back. I told her the entire story. Then I said, “And the front desk actually wrote a bunch of lies about me and printed it and gave it to me. So not only will I never come to your hospital again, but I’m telling everyone I know not to.” She was nice and apologetic, but who cares? They deserve a boycott. Or just to come up in some google searches about what a horrible hospital they are.

I’d like to think I’m helping that along…one post at a time.

Updates I found on Yelp from Michelle’s suggestion:

City Paper Article

“According to DCRA records, Friendship has been quite prolific in racking up complaints. When the newly constituted veterinary board met in November 2003, there were eight complaints waiting for its review. Of the eight complaints, five involved veterinarians at Friendship, which is a high-volume clinic. An investigation in 2001 also found eight people practicing veterinary medicine at Friendship without a license. Glassman is quick to mention that there were “mitigating circumstances,” pointing out that the board concluded that those offenses weren’t actionable ones.”

Article illustrates all the claims against Friendship, then the DCRA review board which was disbanded until 2003, then reconvened with full members. One of their board members, a Jay Merker, was a vet with Collins Animal Hospital and had received several complaints against him as well. All in all, the article says that the district’s animal services are horrible.

“In the seven times that the board has met since 2003, Merker’s name has come up four times. Chris Runde, chair of the Maryland vet board, can’t think of any sitting Maryland board member who has drawn a consumer complaint. Says Runde: “That would be an uncomfortable situation.”

Unfortunately, in D.C., it’s a relatively common one, too. And when Merker is named in a complaint, it forces the board into an interesting bureaucratic dance.”

I Just Can’t Think About You As a Friend

The Velvet in Dupont Summer Vocabulary List

  • Annoying – When Mr. X leaves you by yourself to go get a cup of coffee and you’re standing around with your thumb up your ass and your ex-boyfriend walks by and acts like outside the pet store a block from where you live would be the last place he’d expect to see you, and has a conversation with you.
  • Predictable – When your ex-boyfriend emails you after the encounter to say that it was good to see you, that it wasn’t awkward at all, and that “the dogs look good.” (Do dogs ever look different? Do they ever have a bad hair day? I mean, really.)
  • Stupid – That you respond to this email because you find it mystifying that your ex-boyfriend would even be in your neighborhood and you sort of want to know why. You also decide to mention that you are happy he ran off so quickly as you were waiting on someone, knowing that will encourage him to write back to tell you that he probably replaced you seven minutes after emailing two of your closest friends asking them if they could “talk some sense into you.”
  • Newsworthy – When you mention to a friend that you bumped into said ex, a person she despises, and you casually say, “WTF was he doing over here?”
  • Uncomfortable – That he replies and says he “lives around the corner,” and that he is now a “we” too, as if being a “we” is the be-all, end-all to a successful life.
  • Sad – That you know his need to not be alone trumps his ability to ever recognize any genuine feelings for another.
  • Shocking – That you live around the corner, and now he claims he lives around the corner, so what gives?
  • Crafty – That your friend manipulates google and finds out that he bought a house with his girlfriend.
  • Unbe-fucking-lievable – That the address of that house is exactly 1.5 blocks away from you.
  • Irritating – That he saw fit to buy a house this close to where you live.
  • Coincidental – That it doesn’t take very long for him to cross your path again, at a red light, where he rolls down the window.
  • Creepy – The smile on his face from ear to ear.
  • Obligation – Despite the fact that you are in the midst of an x-rated text with Mr. X, you feel like this is your chance to say something about what you know.
  • Grey Poupon Commercial – Where you speak to the person next to you at the red light to ask them a question.
  • “Ya-got-me” shrug – What he does when you say, “So I guess you live in my neighborhood now.”
  • Rolling Up Window – What you do after you say your part.
  • Sorry – What you feel for his girlfriend now.
  • Consolation – What you and Mr. X have, in each other, as each of you deal with your issues with exes.
  • Peace – What you have in your life now, that you didn’t have during that time.
  • Trash – The place where you can finally put your anxiety meds.
  • A lie – What you wrote about here, because you knew that if you didn’t write otherwise, that you would really hear the shit.
  • Compromise – What you had to do to your creative outlet in order to keep peace in a relationship.
  • Drama – Something you no longer know anything about.
  • A revelation to longtime readers – That a couple days after you wrote the above link, the two of you broke up because he threw a pile of dirt at you. That he used his key to come into your house. That you threatened, for the only time ever in your life, to call the cops. That you drove cross-country and back to finally break the tie.
  • Weak – That you actually questioned your decision half way to Phoenix.
  • Confirmation – That your original decision to leave was in fact, correct.
  • Obvious -That you know that he has been checking this since your pet store encounter to see if you write about him.
  • Satisfaction – That you are in love, really in love, and that you were probably in love with Mr. X for most of the relationship prior, that you used to think about Mr. X when you were having sex with the prior and that the ex knows that you know what he did in moving to your neighborhood, and that it’s someone else’s problem now.

This Race is for Rats

I understand that my work dramas have become a source of entertainment for you. I’ll have you know though, that I am currently shifting my mood to the darkside. Yes, I’ve decided that this place is just the right combination of hilarious and dysfunctional that it might be a place I can call…home.

Let’s review my last five days at the Vortex.

Wednesday we found out that through an acquisition our company will quintuple. But we’re only hiring a couple more people. Yay.

Thursday I got to work and saw this in the parking lot.

 

You didn’t need anything else from me on Thursday, did you?

Friday I received a phone call 5 minutes before I was going to leave saying that “this, this and this” need to be finished before you go. Christ.

Monday I had to return 45 phone calls being directed to me now because of some other drama, each call taking between 10 and 12 minutes and each call being the same exact conversation. In addition, I received an email that “this and this” (unrelated to Friday’s “this and this”) needed to be done by close of business Monday. The “this and this” will take approximately 4 days to complete. There were 6 hours left in the workday when I received this email. I responded: “It’s nice to have dreams.”

Tuesday a meeting was held in the conference room next to my office. I distinctly heard someone tell the person who reports to them to do something. Then I distinctly heard that person throw everything down and proclaim, “NO! I’M NOT DOING IT! IT’S NOT MY JOB!!!” Then she stormed out of the office. I’m still unclear as to her current employment status.

Friday Goes to the Dogs

Yesterday I received a letter soliciting donations from one Washington Humane Society. Do you know what I did with that letter? The same thing I do with all their solicitations. I ripped it in half and threw it in the trash.

You may be scratching your chin right now and saying to yourself, “But you love animals! You have two doggies who are the loves of your life.” And you would be right. However. There’s always a however with me. I never tie this up in two short paragraphs, do I?

However. Last fall when my wonderful friend Holly from Homeward Bound came to D.C. from Atlanta with an animal caravan, there was one dog left which I kept with me to find it a home. A lady had been very interested, but was afraid to separate the dog from her brother. I kept the dog in the hopes of finding this lady, which I eventually did.

However. In the interim of finding that lady, I emailed the chick writing the Washington Humane Blog asking if she would be so kind as to post the dogs profile to help me find it a home.

She said no.

No I’m not kidding.

She fucking said no.

Why? Because she “only blogs about dogs currently in their shelter.”

Okay, so, you work for a rescue group, but you are still self-serving for your own agenda? You can find justification in telling me to go fly a kite, that my foster dog doesn’t count? What if I just dropped it off at your shelter? Then would you blog about it? Christ.

Then I clicked on their crap in the live feed and saw this. So you can’t post about a foster dog who needs a home because you “don’t handle dogs not in your shelter” but you can post about your CO-WORKER’S lost dog and yet that somehow qualifies under your rule structure?

Give me a break lady. Seriously. Take the Wash Humane name off of it and just make it a personal blog. Then you can blog on wherever the wind blows. But once you purport to be doing the mission of Washington Humane, then all your public actions must follow suit.

Hypocrite.

All the While You Were in Front of Me I Never Realized

My week shaped up a little better and ended with a nice long weekend with my favorites: Mr. X and my doggies.

It amazes me that I wrote a dating blog for so many years. Where did I find the energy? In the spirit of finding the right formula for weeding the weeds and finding the good ones, I subjected myself to all sorts of challenges: Going on as many first dates as possible but no seconds. Giving everyone a second chance. Not ruling someone out on a prescribed list of qualities I want. Ruling them out for having qualities I didn’t want. Thinking of all the approaches, all the iterations, all the advice, all the drama, it tires me. Especially when I can tell anyone who asks, that from where I sit…

All the cliches about finding love are true.

1) Be Yourself
I knew Mr. X for four years before we ever took a step in the romantic direction. Hindsight being 20/20, I often wish I could take back some of the stories I told him about my escapades with other men. But, I know that it’s the stories and their content which shaped me into who I am, and who I am is a person who he wants to be with, so did I really make a mistake in being myself?

My parents routinely tortured my brothers and I to “go to church.” There’s no way that my ideal man is at church on a Sunday morning. He’s either sleeping, or he’s working out, but I know he is not at church. And if I met him at church, you know what he would say to me once I tricked him into believing hangovers were a better way to spend Sunday mornings? “My mother wonders why don’t we go to church anymore.” Yeah. That’s a problem. Because MY mother taught me that church was a place to poach a husband. And my dad taught me that it’s a place to get free coffee. It would be a bad idea to pick someone up there, because they would always think I was religious in some way.

2) You don’t “find” love. It finds you – when you are least expecting it
Sure, there are some of you out there who put a profile up on Match or JDate and found the love of your life. You were looking and you found it. This applies to most of my friends, as a matter of fact, who are currently in love. Consider yourself really really lucky. I met my first love in a chat room. In 1997. So I’m not unconvinced it can happen, but as with everything, online life has become much more complicated. Everyone’s got their own agenda and you really have to wonder how people are successful at all in finding each other. Chalk it up to timing.

After the end of a trainwreck of a relationship, one of my best friends said, “Why don’t you take a break from dating for 6 months? I don’t want to hear anything about anyone for 6 months, can you do that?” Sure. I agreed. Hell, that was easy, I was off the hook. I was trading in my heels and lip gloss for flip flops and hoodies. That was a challenge I was more than happy to accept. I had my answer ready to anyone who asked, “I’m just not dating right now.” So easy! Why didn’t I think of that before?

One month later, I heard from an old friend who heard a rumor about me. A juicy rumor of which Mr. X and I were the subjects. I texted him to ask if he too heard this rumor. We hadn’t spoken in a while. He hadn’t heard the rumor. But the texting opened the door. It would have been easy to clarify the source of this rumor and close the door. But the door stayed open. I don’t know why, but it did. I didn’t slam it. Neither did he. And when the conversation turned from “Why do people think this” to “Maybe people think this for a reason” to “So is there something here we need to explore?” then there was a lot more that needed to be discussed.

3) Fall in love with your best friend
I already mentioned that I knew Mr. X for four years before we ever discussed “us” in any romantic context. But it isn’t just about knowing someone, it’s about knowing them. Hot Neighbor asked me how Mr. X and I were able to shift into a passionate place after being in the “friend zone” for so long. I don’t know how we could not have done this, by the time we ripped each other’s clothes off it seemed so normal.

Dating just somehow lends itself to people being either too guarded or too open. I tended toward the former in my years of dating, but I definitely heard there were plenty of the latter. {“I can’t wait to have kids” is not an acceptable statement on a first date. Or a second. Or a third. Yes, really!}

I knew things about Mr. X before he recognized them and admitted them to himself. He knows things about me that I haven’t said out loud to anyone, ever. When I point something out that he hasn’t admitted yet he says, “Get out of my head!” When he does the same to me I say, “Damn you!” We learned those things about each other long before anyone was trying to make a “good impression.”

I love when he swims around in my head and I rather love doing the backstroke inside his.

Patsy doesn’t know this but G-man told me a similar story at their rehearsal dinner. He said Patsy was the girl he just wanted to talk to about everything all the time. She was his best friend. He was hers. Now they is hitched, having babies for welfare dollars and living in Texas dagnabbit. Sorry. I went a little far with that. They are not on welfare, but they are not averse to eating at Babe’s Chicken House.

4) You “just know.”
You do. You have to be really good at listening to your instincts, but you should “just know.” (Unless you’re that person who “just knows” with everyone who trots along.)

If you wonder, then it isn’t right.

If you think, “If only he would…” it isn’t right.

If you say, “I love her, but…” then it isn’t right.

If you say, “This person makes my heart sing. They make me feel alive, better, and happier. Life without them would suck. When I see them, when they put their arms around me, when I kiss them, I feel like everything is just going to be all right,” then you know.

~~~~~

The thing is, you can listen to other people’s best advice on how to find the person you are supposed to be with. You can listen to all the tips, tricks, strategies. You can get set up on dates. You can set yourself up on dates. But you know what? All the stuff that make the cliches are founded in truth. For really good reasons.

Which cliches did I miss?

I’m Waiting For the Sun to Set Cause Yesterday Ain’t Over Yet

I had a really bad week last week. (I actually wrote that sentence before it even reached the bottom.)

I had the kind of week where you have to take a Klonnie every night because you can’t cope with your life. I knew this would happen, because two weeks ago I actually heard myself say, out loud, “I love my life right now.” (After I said it out loud, I heard my mother screaming “TOUVLO!” from Connecticut, which means, “idiot” in Greek because I knew I jinxed myself.)

So it’s why I didn’t write. I can’t write when I’m really miserable. I know, I’m the opposite of most of you and Hemingway. You are more creative when miserable.

Monday was a disaster followed by a Tuesday, a disaster of more epic proportions, mostly because my Monday at 5:00 went something like this: “Drop everything, this needs to be done right away.” This is not the first time this has happened at the Vortex. I always hope it will be the last, but now, it’s happened enough that I need to have a conversation about it. Damn it. I hate having to point out the obvious: When you routinely wait until the last minute to dump something on me of this level of complication, be prepared for mistakes. And because of the kind of work, these mistakes could end up following us for a couple years.

Then, as has also happened several times, the work dumped on me was not dumped with its details in their entirety. Nope. They were uncovered during the day like a treasure hunt, changing everything and making me start from scratch. The only break I took was a phone call from the vet to thankfully tell me that Thora’s tumor wasn’t cancer. Christ, finally something goes okay. So my deadline came and the only thing I accomplished was wasting an entire fucking day and getting nowhere. I put my name in the upper right hand corner and turned that puppy in. Fuck.

Even though the deadline was at 5, I ended up working until 10 because I’m the only one who knew something and had to run a meeting. Did I mention that during my 14 hour day I also had to hold my emotional shit together because Mr. X and I were engrossed in a drama of “All My Children” proportions and I just needed a good cry.

And wait, when I came in a few hours late the next day to make up for that ridiculous 14 hour day I pulled, I had emails asking for stuff “first thing.” It’s time to count my gray hairs. If unemployment wasn’t at 10% I’d go get another less stressful, more organized job. (Liars keep saying 5.8% unemployment but don’t forget that some people burn through those 26 weeks and still have no job. And by “some people,” I mean me and those like me who know working is for the birds.)

So when a tornado hit my office and the power went out across the area, leaving several co-workers stuck in the elevator, I was so burned out I had no problem going home to my de facto new roommate, E. I love that E cooks for me and walks the dogs. I don’t love that E spilled balsamic vinegar all over my freshly shampooed car mats. There was always some reason to not get my car detailed. Summer brings beach and sand and dogs. Fall brings leaves. Winter brings sand from snowplows, it was always something. Sucking it up and getting the car de-dog-haired took four years of warming up and was such a big deal and all it takes is one E and one shoddy tupperware container away from destruction.

After I kicked her out of my car, I drove to work and promptly took my car mat to the sink at work and washed it. Someone walked in and said, “What the hell is that?” And I said, with that tone like everyone should be doing it and I’m starting the trend, “I’m just cleaning my car mat.” When someone later asked why the office smelled, I said, “Oh, because I put my car mat on the a/c vent.” In my disoriented and stressed state, it never occurred to me that any of what I was saying was, well, ridiculous.

I tried to keep my head up for the rest of the week but barely made it. When I got home on Friday I had big plans for running and working out and all I did was medicate and lay in bed. From Friday at 4:00 until now, Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. It was too hot to do anything. You would think that not leaving the house would mean nothing else bad happened.

You would be wrong.

I lost my emotional shit again over a misunderstood text message and a phone being turned off and just when that resolved itself and I thought I could finally send this week packing into the past, my mom called. My uncle died Saturday night.

Fuck. Me. To. Tears.

Well. You wanted me to write. I told you it wasn’t good.

I’m Too Young For Growing Up Just Yet

As we left my building one night, I said, There’s my homeless boyfriend. Mr. X and I gave him some money. He looked sad. Perhaps it was because I was on the arm of a man and the last two times I saw Dredlocks he asked me out. Or perhaps it was because it was raining and he’s homeless.

Regardless, there’s nothing like saying youve arrived when you go down to your front door and find a homeless guy trying to call you from the callbox – with the help of one of your neighbors. I wondered which of the two had truly lost their mind the homeless man asking me out and telling me he needed a warm place to stay for the night or my god damned neighbor who told him my last name and how to dial my number. This city is too liberal, even for me.

So Mr. X said to me, You know, it would be nice if you could point to some decent looking guy under 80 years old who has asked you out. It would make me feel a little better than the processional of wheelchairs and canes hovering around your front door for a date.

Its true. Within a span of 10 days, Id been asked out by three men, all over 65 years old. My mom wanted me to post about the Congressman, but I’m nothing if not against the D.C. Machine. Let’s just say I royally fucked up some serious rules of avoiding the unsolicited “well now I owe you one so let’s go to dinner.” I did this guy a favor, not knowing he was a Congressman and not particularly caring, and he used my favor to up the ante and push for dinner. I promptly sent the link for his website off to 17 of my closest friends. Patsy texted back, “FUCK. I was NOT prepared for THAT!”

Mr. X just wants one of my suitors to be young and attractive so it can validate his attraction to moi, but that hasn’t happened. I have been considering wearing a medic alert bracelet decoy ring to ward off these advances but instead, despite the fact that I’m very lucky in the wrinkle department for 35 years old, I just decided to try to look younger.

I went to the Dermatologist and said, “Why is this happening?” I pointed to several parts of my body including lines around my mouth and my C cups (D Cups if you believe that whore from Nordstrom) that you can now find down near my knees thanks to years of running with an improper sports bra. The Derm put on his mask and said, “Honey. You need a plastic surgeon.”

Great. Just fucking great.

So now every day my mom and I have the same conversation.

Mom: Honey, please, before you get your tits lifted, can you check into some of those really good expensive bras.
Me: Would you stop?   Helium and a crane couldn’t save me now.
Mom: Why do you want to go under the knife?
Me: Well mom, when you watch as much porn as I do, tits on the collarbone start to look normal. And I’m going to stop telling you shit because now you’re going to send me every fucking newspaper article on the matter.
Mom: Oh, I will NOT.
Me: LIAR!

I’m not sure what’s worse: That she actually underlines crap in those newspaper clippings with a red pen, as if I’m too stupid to find the main points of the article, or that my mom is younger than the average age of men who asked me out that painful week.

Friday Friday Friday

It’s no secret that the summer holiday weekends bring a quiet calm upon the city. I love when all the yuppies get in their SUV’s and go to the beach. It’s really the only time D.C. is somewhat tolerable. The rest of the time, I’m torturing Mr. X to move to Brooklyn. (When I think Brooklyn, I’m talking about the Brooklyn with guidos, gold chains, and the best pizza not the Brooklyn overrun with… wait… SUV’s and yuppies who eat couscous and summer in the Hamptons. Ick.)

So what am I doing this weekend? No one cares. The more important question is “What are YOU doing this weekend?”

Friday
Rock & Roll Hotel
9 p.m.

The Jones

And, tell them at the door that that’s who you’re there to see, bitches.

Written up by Met Blogs as the “next big thing.”

Wednesday

Tuesday came and went and there’s no Sixes. I don’t know what to say. She’s unreliable. And a whore. And she’s currently trying really hard to not let her current beau know as such. So we won’t be seeing her for a while.

Today I’m going to provide for you a live-blogging stream of my work-related bitching. Check back if you care to see how my day is going.

11:14 a.m.:
The bathroom currently smells like someone cooked a flounder, then took a shit on it. This a twice-daily occurrence. Someone needs a colonoscopy, STAT.

12:24 p.m.:
I just informed someone that seeing as how my company wrote a contract on misrepresented terms, he may want to consult a lawyer, but the client is still, technically, legally, HIS. He said, “Oh NO! I don’t want them anymore. They are yours!” “Again, sir, you probably want to call your attorney because this appears to be one giant mess.”

3:59 p.m.:
I just spied like the 5th pair of NUDE SUNTAN pantyhose here in the building. Jesus christ. That is not cool.

You Had A Busy Day Today

In honor of the rain that won’t quit, I break my previous rule about not posting from work to, yes, you guessed it, post from work.

My fRienDs, By vElveT in dUpoNt

Thursday evening started a whirlwind victory tour celebration for E’s birthday. A milestone birthday? No. Just a regular old, run of the mill, 24. 23. (Yes, I maintain friendships with “preteens” but they are only limited to a select few.) E’s boyfriend, the Black Market Wholesaler (don’t buy a laptop on CL because BMW is the seller and it’s usually just a Georgetown yuppie’s rehabbed laptop that he cleaned some dust out the keyboard, then relisted for twice the price – a capitalistic business plan of which I approve, however, I’ll continue to get my laptops the old fashioned way: by wearing short skirts and asking Mr. X to haggle a reduced price for me,) tricked us into joining the celebration.

BMW sent this totally flattering email about how Mr. X and I are the only couple he could potentially tolerate for a 30 course dinner, so did we want to join them for E’s birthday but it’s a big surprise. How on earth could I say no to that? All I had to manage was to keep my mouth shut. Not easy. But I did it.

Anyway, 1 sea urchin, 1 olive oil ball, 1 “organized ceasar salad” (because all the ceasars you’ve been eating are a “disorganized mess,”) 1 deconstructed philly cheese steak, some cotton candy, 25 other non-descript courses and several thousands of dollars later, Mr. X and I joked that maybe we should stop and pick up some mozzarella sticks on the way home.

Sixes came down Saturday morning for the continuation of E’s three day celebration. (Seriously, who are you? Miley Cyrus?) Sixes asked about the Hostess and her boyfriend, perennially caught up in a sea of “we’re broken up” / “we’re back together.” The conversation went something like this:

Me: They just have too many rules and I don’t think they can get beyond their rules.
Sixes: What do you mean? The Hockey Player and I don’t have any rules and Ohmygod did I tell you how cute it is when he..
Me: SIXES! Enough!
Sixes: What? Do I talk about him a lot?
Me: Yessssss! (Trying to show exasperation in my tone.)
Sixes: Well, it’s this version of me or the other version and you didn’t like that cracked out whore very much.
Me: Okay. I’ll take this version. Anyway, The Hostess makes these nutty rules that I just laugh at her for. They’ve gotten back together and broken up so many times that even when she’s crying, I think I’m just laughing and that’s really not a very good friend. But seriously, she’ll say, ‘Okay, well we decided not to talk but that didn’t work because we missed each other so we decided to just instant message only but then we started talking about getting back together so I had to get off IM and so we started to text but then we couldn’t say everything we wanted in texts and he got mad so he said we shouldn’t talk at all so then we stopped, but then I saw him at the dog park and then when everyone went home we made out but no, we’re totally not back together and I swear we’re not talking for the whole month of May unless it rains for exactly 2 hours and 4 minutes before 11 a.m. on Tuesday, then we’ll talk but only by IM and only if he’s flossed his teeth and not for more than a minute and 16 seconds because we realize that at a minute and 17 seconds that we start to fight so that’s what we decided.’
Sixes: Oh. My. God. So this is what I’ve been missing?
Me: Yeah, so now they are broken up.

Sixes and I napped (by nap, I mean, Sixes napped and I watched Forensic Files) and then we went to E’s next birthday celebration. After we ordered some $100 worth of wine and morsels of cheese, we decided to make our money work harder for us and we went Annie’s where I ordered my favorite: steak fries and BBQ sauce. While Sixes and I were eating, and decompressing, because if you think that catching a vision of E sauntering around in short shorts, stilettos and a push up bra doesn’t burn a “porn star” image in your head that you’re hard pressed to get rid of well, you’re wrong. All of a sudden I see something hilarious:

The Hostess.

Her “boyfriend” /ex-boyfriend.

And all the dogs in tow.

Sneaking down the alley to the Hostesses house.

I scream out to the entire restaurant: “OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE HOSTESS AND HER BOYFRIEND!” Never ones to not be pot-stirring assholes, Sixes and I promptly texted her, “So, what are you doing?” She replied that she was just hanging out and asked what we were doing.

“Oh, not much. These french fries at Annie’s are goooood.”

“Damn it! You saw us!”

“Yes, just get back together already and Sixes said we should just go pick out bridesmaids dresses tomorrow since she’s in town.”

The End.

I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was, But I’m As Good Once, As I Ever Was

I hate to make Wednesday the standard bitch-about-work day, but by Wednesday I’m ready for the weekend because of some work related trauma. I could entertain with stories about how some woman ended up on the other end of my phone this week and said she lived “at the condoms.” Or I could outline an illicit behind-the-scenes affair between co-workers that someone sniffed out and ran to inform me of. Or I could go on and on and on about how I called a Developer to ask how many units they would be building and they refused to answer.

“D’as none yo’ bidness.”

I know me a shady Developer or two. Hell, I worked for one. Heh.
But I think that today, due to events of the past weekend I’d like to speak to Mr. X, in a 4-part series of e-cards.

Well Another Crazy Day, You’ll Drink the Night Away Part 2

Work continues to be nothing short of a disaster. Obviously it would be in my best interests to not discuss work, but I’ve already put my two alternatives on to the scales of justice:

Keeping my job and behaving on the blog vs. entertaining you with these priceless gems.

Your entertainment won. You’re welcome.

The Vortex, as my place of employment is now called, will hopefully not win the battle for the takeover of my soul. I don’t even try to go out to lunch anymore. The one day I want to leave on time for a class at the gym, it’s nothing short of a battle to get the hell out of there. And by battle, I mean, some asshole is always showing up as I’m shutting down my computer to ask for something they had all day to ask for.

I’ve created this handy situational/statement analysis from The Vortex with my commentary. The item in quotes is something someone else said this week.

1) “We are in a ‘housing crisis.’ The industry is crashing down so we’re going to continue to have these sort of problems.”

Okay. People, please. Can we please stop fucking calling it a “housing crisis?” To me, the word crisis should be reserved for things which truly are a crisis. Examples would be the tsunami, global warming, my hair during high humidity. “Crisis” is not a catchall to describe the legions of stupid people who couldn’t understand that no matter how many raises they got at Arby’s, it was never going to bridge the income gap required to make the “new” payments when the interest rate jumped. So for that fact alone, let’s never call it a “housing crisis” again. You can call it a “stupidity crisis” if you want. That’s much more applicable. The mass amounts of stupid people running around signing documents without reading or understanding them, getting foreclosed on, and getting kicked out of their house does not a crisis make.

2) “Oh, I was up all night because last night a guy at one of our properties was smoking a cigarette and burned one of the buildings down. He’s not gonna make it.”

Ask me what the accelerator was. Ask me!!! It was the guy’s OXYGEN TANK he was toting around with him while he lit up. Bwahahahahahaha!

3) “Oh, while you were at the fire, I was at another property where there was a flood.”

Ask me what caused the flood. Ask me! Two men were fighting over a woman neither of them are dating. One pulled out a gun and shot the other. The bullet went through his lung and into a toilet tank. The toilet tank exploded and the water flooded into several units below.

4) I was told to attend a meeting in D.C. with a coworker. I was told several times to attend this meeting, with the coworker. I repeat myself because I want to make sure you understand, this meeting was confirmed several times. At the follow up meeting in the office, my coworker and I were reprimanded for attending this meeting. “You should have just asked a courier to retrieve that information.” Yeesh.

5) “You know, when Stacy first started here, she was inundated from day one. All I’ve seen her replacement do is organize stacks of paper and not really do any work. Where did all that work go that Stacy used to do?”

Me. Have you seen my desk? Which brings me to my next item…

6) “They really like clean desks around here. We’ve been told to keep our desks clear.” To which I responded, “Have you seen my desk?” They said, “Yeah, I’m sure you’ll get the talking to.”

They are obsessed with filing there. They file things every 5 seconds.

7) “What time did you get here? I was here at twenty of but I waited at that light for 10 minutes. Bob got here at 7:00. No, I think Randall was first, he was in at 6:40.” “Well I was working from home from 5:30 this morning.” “Did she ask you what time you got in? She’s so crazy. She likes to keep track.” “Didn’t you know you were supposed to go to the other office and tell them you were here?”

I heard all that while I was waiting for my interview, actually. I thought it odd that people were obsessed with what time they all get to work. Then I found out they have a roster and they actually write the time that you arrive. Oh. My. God. I wonder if I should ask for a hall pass and try to pass a note to Ryan like in 8th grade.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I raided my medicine cabinet to shake out some pills to get me through. I’ve got Lorazepam, Klonopin, Dicyclomine and several other anti-anxiety formulations that may or may not have expired several years ago. I think these little bottles of pills are my only chance of survival, otherwise, as I said to Mr. X, “It can only get better or worse. And if it gets worse, I’ll have a decision to make.”

Sail On Down the Line, About Half a Mile or So, And I Don’t Really Want to Know Where You’re Going

It’s disturbing when the past comes back to shake you or slap you around a little. Worse is when the past has the last word.

This weekend I had several encounters with my past, or, more accurately my past had several encounters with me.

Friday Mr. X and I walked into a restaurant and the three glasses of wine I had didn’t prevent me from recognizing my high school’s best friend’s sister who was sitting at another table. An odd coincidence considering that they still live in Connecticut, I haven’t seen them in at least 10 years and this would be the last place I would expect to bump into anyone from Dupont, much less Connecticut.

I spent the rest of my weekend in a variety of ways, the least interesting of which was watching an episode of Keeping up with the Fake Eyelashes and Ten Coats of Mascara Kardashians while at the gym. On this particular episode, one of the sisters is having a fight with her boyfriend because he lied to her about something I couldn’t quite understand from the scrambled closed captioning, and I didn’t want to plug in and listen to it because their voices make me ill. Anyway the one beastly sister keeps encouraging the other sister to dump her boyfriend who she’s clearly in love with and still is unsure what really happened – if it was a misunderstanding or an outright lie. The discouragement from the beastly sister reminded me of a friend I once had who was unhappily single and who constantly encouraged me to end my relationship with my then-boyfriend no matter how big or small the issue at hand. Eventually I learned to stop telling her the details of our issues. More importantly I learned that maybe that friend wanted me to be single more for her own selfish reasons than because it was the right thing for me, and she probably wasn’t really a friend at all. It’s easy for people who aren’t happy with their own life to encourage you to make decisions that will ensure your misery too.

Taking Thora and Sammy to the dog beach, I grabbed a backpack I haven’t used in years. It is my dog beach backpack. It’s nylon and I had crumpled it into a drawer and was trying to form it back to it’s original shape when I realized there was something in the lining. A little detective work and I realized it was paper inside the zip pocket which I haven’t used, well, ever. I opened the pocket and found an index card. Having never used an index card in my life, I flipped it over and realized on the back, there was a note written to me. The writer had designed it into a coupon and wrote some pretty descriptive, sexual things for which I could redeem this coupon.

I can only imagine how long this has been in there – I’m guessing two years. How he managed to get the last word with a note I was meant to read, and apparently redeem, years ago is creepy.

Cooking a soup I reached for the basil from the spice rack. I used the last of it and before tossing the bottle into the recycling bin I took a quick look to see what kind I had bought. Not that there are so many spice brands but I was curious. Kroger brand basil. Who buys Kroger brand spice? Me I suppose. Me in 1999 or 2000 in Atlanta.

The jeans to end all jeans, the ones that I love, the ones that are comfortable and look great even on a fat day, the ones I paid $200 for, are dead. Mr. X pointed out a hole in the crotch when I jumped in his lap this weekend. That Mr. X. Always on the lookout for new holes to stick things…anyway, I guess I can kiss those jeans goodbye as well. Not as happy about that one, but as for the exes and such, firmly rooted in the past is where they belong.

Bye Bye Pope. We Hardly Knew Ye.

Dear Pope:

Wassup? Thanks for coming to say hi! I really appreciated that you orchestrated this visit to bestow your prayers on D.C. There is no hope for us though, so I hope you don’t feel your visit was in vain. I mean, come on. You met with GW. Did you really think that we stand a chance of becoming anything other than selfish “yeah, and so how does this affect my life” kind of Americans?

I appreciate the traffic jams, the Pope decoys, the erections the police get when they get to block off streets, “direct” traffic and let you through. No, really. It’s not an inconvenience at all. See, none of us really want to get to work today, because none of us want to earn our dollar so that we can share it with GW and the likes of his posse.

Though, I should point out. I did handle this “almost” encounter with you way better than I handled my encounter with the last pope.

Rome. 2004. Pitstop and I were making our way through Italy and as we are known to do, stumbled into something just seconds before a life changing event was about to happen. Because we spoke no Italian, we didn’t know that the day we chose to go to the Vatican was the day Pope John Paul whatever was going to be there.

The sea was angry that day Anticipation ran high until the Pope, he finally did arrive! Well, everyone climbed onto their chairs to watch the Pope be wheeled down the aisle and Pitstop and I made the “error” of stepping on someone’s plastic folding cafeteria chair. That someone happened to be an evil German. Let it be said now: I hate Germans. Anyway, he started screaming at us to “clean this” and I told him to fuck off. Mr. X thinks that is what did that Pope in. He died shortly thereafter.

So new Pope, Benedict, be happy that you didn’t come close to me while on your visit. But thanks for coming!

 

“I am the best Pope evah! Whose that girl fighting with the German?”

*That’s the German’s head by the way.

Hawking the Trivial Tryst Again

It’s no secret that Velvet was born as a dating blog. While two years of disastrously covering my dates proved to be a nightmare, I can still appreciate events that encourage the manfolk and womenfolk to mingle.   My friends have put together an event called Trivial Tryst.

“Trivial Tryst is a stray distant stepchild of the now obsolete 90’s sociology experiment that was Speed Dating. The event aims to take the good aspects, such as meeting several like minded people in a short period of time, while eliminating the stress of forced conversations and the painful onset of ‘dead air.'”

Check this link for more details and to sign up. I have the inside scoop. There are more guys signed up right now than girls…to which I say, “Fucking finally. Fuck you D.C. and your ‘seven girls for every guy’ bullshit.”

I have another inside scoop. I heard the boys are mostly rugby players. That’s all.

Well Another Crazy Day, You’ll Drink the Night Away

Well, against my better judgment, I’ve taken a job.

See, when your beloved (for more ways than one) place of employment goes bankrupt, and you burn through your severance, unemployment, and savings, it’s sort of time to go back to work even though you have no desire. It’s even worse when your lover is also unemployed and loving it, and enticing you to spend the day in bed more often than once in a lifetime. Though, I think it’s safe to say that I milked being unemployed for a long time. I passed up a few offers when the money or the job wasn’t right. Then it came time to get serious and just when I did that, I stumbled upon three opportunities. None were exactly what I wanted, so I had to suck it up and make the best choice I could with the information I had.

During the interview process with the company I chose, a few things raised my eyebrow. And I know what you’ll say. You’ll say, “Why the hell did you take this job when you are so well versed with a corporate-bullshit-o-meter?” It’s a valid question and here’s my answer: Because the money was too good to pass up.

But here’s another answer: Now I’m sitting here, halfway through a bottle of wine on a school night when I am a stickler about drinking, or rather, not drinking, during the week. It’s work, dogs, workout, sleep, work, dogs, workout, sleep from Sunday night to Thursday night. No fun during the week is what I need to do to ensure I actually wake up when that annoying alarm sounds off for the 11 millionth time. So why have I broken my rule and why am I sitting here, half in the bag, on a Tuesday?

Here we go. I interviewed with all parties on one day. After the interview they made a soft offer but the salary they tossed out wasn’t right and I said flat out, “No.” Keep in mind, I was a woman without a job. Technically I had zero negotiating power. But I wasn’t going to trade in my temporary job which was pretty laid back and easy, and close to home, for something that wasn’t close to right.

The offer letter arrived via email later that night with a better package but still not quite right. So began a long painful dance of back and forth negotiations. If I told you where I started, and what I ended up with, you would call me a liar, then you would call me for all your negotiating needs. Then I would refer you to Mr. X because he’s where I learned my diabolical method of negotiations. Once we agreed on it all, I said, “Okay, so you want to call my references?”

“No. We don’t need to. We did the background check.”

I’m sorry, but has anyone ever heard of this? How on earth does a company not check your references? I smell a Dupont sized Rat. So, I asked them to reconfirm some of the added issues in writing and they said they couldn’t because I don’t know what their reason was but it violated some policy. Now, has anyone ever heard of this? Christ, someone rip my tits off. I figured I had nothing to lose by taking the stupid job and if they decided to lie to me then I’d just quit.

In my first week of work, I was asked no less than a dozen times something to the effect of, “Wow, you came back today?” and “Are you overwhelmed yet?” and “Are you ready to jump out the window?” On my first day, I found out that my counterpart had quit in the time between when I accepted the offer and the day I started. They fired someone my fourth day at work. Then when my counterpart was training me she said, “My first week here they fired three people.” Yeah. That’s a little scary. Then she said, “I’m the third person in a year who has had my job and I didn’t make it four months.” They fired someone again yesterday.

So what the hell is going on there? I don’t know, but I guess I’m finding out. The place is like a fucking Vortex. You try to go to lunch and you get sucked into a meeting. You try to leave to go home and oops, you’re there for another two hours. No matter that I never want to leave for lunch. No matter that only one day a week I like to leave on time to make it to a class at my gym. It doesn’t matter. See, you get sucked into the Vortex, and you can’t get out.

One painful day at a time.

If I make it 15 months, I can re-qualify for unemployment.

In any case, I’ll try to find joy in the small things. Like how our VP is on a mission to crack some teeth by constantly jamming hand into mouth and grabbing at whatever’s ripe for the picking. Or how someone yawned all day, then suddenly “came alive” right after a suspicious white powder showed up on the floor of the bathroom stall. Or how people have major meltdowns at the rate of one per three hours. Or how I have to pop like 12 heartburn pills to get through the day. Or how I had to spend the better part of a day reviewing a document which is a listing of property uses. It included the following text:

“The parcel may not be used for any adult entertainment establishment, adult book store or establishment selling, renting or exhibiting pornographic materials or any drug related paraphernalia. As used herein, an “adult entertainment establishment, adult book store or establishment selling, renting, or exhibiting pornographic materials” entertainment establishment, adult shall include, without limitation, a store displaying for sale or exhibit books, magazines or other publications containing any combination of photographs, drawings or sketches of a sexual nature which are not primarily scientific or educational (collectively, “Sex Magazines”) (it being acknowledged, however, that “Playboy,” “Playgirl,” and “Penthouse” are not deemed to be Sex Magazines. ) ”

What I find most exciting about all this is that I haven’t had blog-worthy work drama since I’ve had a blog. Yeah. Exciting. Joy. I hear I66 is having a way better time at work…having to pick up the pieces of my once delightfully funny and relatively low-stress job. I did leave him some gems of entertainment though. Tell the story I66! Tell the story!!!

Two Consecutive Saturday Nights

At the Host Stand
Restaurant A: “Is your whole party here? We can’t seat you if your whole party isn’t here so I’m just going to stand here and make you wait until he comes back from the bathroom.”
Restaurant B: “Oh, you’re the ‘X’ party. Welcome. We have your table right over here.”

Taking the Drink Order
Restaurant A: “We have frozen margaritas out of the machines.”
Restaurant B: “Would you like to see a wine list or shall I make a recommendation?”

Ordering Food
Restaurant A: “No, we can’t substitute shrimp for scallops. There are no substitutions. If you make me substitute then the price goes from $12.95 to like, $22.”
Restaurant B: “We can do whatever you want. No, really. We can do whatever you want. You just tell me and I’ll make it happen.”

Clientele:
Restaurant A:
Bebe Customers from P.G. County who think wearing sunglasses when it’s 10:00 at night, spending the entire dinner with your friends on your cell phone talking to other people, pushing your chair out in the aisle so others can’t get by, and running your waiter ragged qualifies as classy.
Restaurant B: Arrived in a Mercedes, never been on the metro, owns places in Georgetown, Bethesda, and Dubai, their children went to Georgetown and are heads of surgery at GW, Hopkins, Jackson Memorial, their grandchildren go to Georgetown and have not-so-secret profiles on Late Night Shots.

Cleanliness
Restaurant A: I would have preferred to know that dirty long snot was at the bottom of our chip basket prior to my stuffing my face with the chips.


Restaurant B: Came by with the crumb cleaner between courses. Refolded my napkin when I went to the ladies room.

Dessert
Restaurant A: “Fuck this place. Let’s leave.”
Restaurant B: They called it cake, but I swear it was ice cream.

Waiter? The check!
Restaurant A: Split it four ways? Sure.
Restaurant B: I couldn’t say for sure. Mr. X paid. I do know that the bottle of “recommended” wine was more than my television. I suppose it’s worth it to actually look at the wine list. I don’t know why I’m complaining though, I didn’t pay. Well, not in cash anyway. I paid it off throughout the duration of the evening.

Answer Key
Restaurant A:   Lauriol Plaza. I really really really hate Lauriol with it’s ordinary food and rude staff, the combination of which forms zero basis for their lines and crowds. But because Pennsyltuckey’s only resource for Mexican food is Taco Bell, Sixes, who was in town this weekend, picked Lauriol. She was happy with it and that’s all that counts.
Restaurant B: Il Mulino. Mr. X picked it. We toyed with other restaurants but he wanted to try Il Mulino because someone we know recommended the one in New York. He was happy with it and that’s all that counts.

Tourist Hunting Guide

Who would have thought a bunch of blooming Cherry Blossoms (some of which smell oddly like sperm*) would draw thousands of tourists to D.C. Every year I’m shocked these trees lure the common folk, but they do. After spending way too long navigating lower 14th Street trying to get the hell out of the city, I decided to create the…

Handy Reference Guide for Spotting and Avoiding Tourists

Use this easy checklist to determine if you are about to get sucked into the tourist vortex – a time suckage of the worst proportions, the tourist will delay traffic, ask stupid questions and stop to point at buildings most of us have come to despise as the places that have sucked out our souls one painful day at a time (White House anyone? The Capitol?)

  • Is there more than 1 child per adult? (It’s too expensive here in the city to have more than 1 kid.)
  • Do they walk around in wonderment, with smiles on their faces? (No one smiles here. D.C. is worse than N.Y. in that aspect.)
  • Do they all stop like they slammed into an invisible “mime’s wall” when the opposing light turns yellow and they want to cross the street? (I prefer tourists in Vegas who chance it and usually get run over. Survival of the fittest.)
  • Can you see at least three inches of black roots in otherwise bleached hair? Do they overcompensate for the lack of updated color by…
  • spending 3 hours curling and flat-ironing into a perfect Laura-Bush-esque bouffant? (Natives know we can’t fight the humidity here so we don’t even try.)
  • Speaking of bushes, if you get this far with a tourist, do they know what a Brazilian is? (Ask Sixes. She recently requested a Brazilian in Pennsyltuckey and they said, “Where are you going that you’ll need that?” Sixes emailed “E” and I to lament her woe, and E expertly replied, “Honey you’re in the country now. You’ll have to forgive her. She’s used to girls hacking away at their pubes with a lawnmower.”)
  • Are they wearing sneakers to any place that is not a muddy dog park? (Nikes are not proper outerwear.)
  • Did you spot scrunchies? (They still make these?)
  • Did they show up at a $100 a plate restaurant in their Wranglers and college sweatshirt?
  • Can you overhear talk of how “wonderful” D.C. is and how maybe they will go home and dial up to the internet to see if there are any jobs here?
  • Are you following an out-of-area plated car driving around Dupont Circle right now, missing their turn over and over and over??? (I’m beeping my horn at you and you have no clue that I’m considering macing you in the face.)
  • Is Old Ebbitt Grill suddenly jam-packed with people in the aforementioned Wranglers, college sweats, scrunchies and hats announcing their place of employment or hometown ball team?


What To Do if One Approaches You

  • Back away slowly. They are likely to ask directions and you don’t want to be sucked into that mess of explaining L’enfant and the illogic behind the design of our city.
  • Tell them they won’t like it here because law abiding citizens aren’t allowed to carry guns, but hoodlums and thugs can get away with murder, literally.
  • Tell them our justice system doesn’t resemble any of the following TV shows: Hill Street Blues, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, and that our law enforcement mostly sit around eating donuts.
  • DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT! You might end up hearing about how great Wisconsin is and how the next time you leave D.C. you should go out and visit and stay with them on their air mattress.
  • Stay strong. It’s almost over. Sorry to inform though that soon, the interns will be here. Sixes will have to do an intern-avoidance post. Wait. Forget that. She doesn’t avoid anything young, innocent, and in pants.


*Re: Trees smelling like Sperm. If you don’t believe me, I urge you to walk from U Street to T Street, down 17th, on the east side of the street. If it doesn’t remind you of the last time a guy came all over your face, then it’s been way too long since you’ve been laid.

Just Outside Jersey Past the Palisades

Christ. Well. It happened again.

The rumbling you heard Thursday was not, in fact, a tornado, earthquake, thunderstorm or any other natural disaster. It was my parents, a.k.a. Gloom and Doom, crossing the 14th Street Bridge and trying to drive the straight line to my condo. They didn’t quite make it. Not sure how “drive straight up 14th Street” resulted in a left turn and several rotaries, but it did. At least they didn’t repeat a “Nantucket, 1978,” when my dad made a highway out of a bike path.

After several minutes of my mother screaming that they were lost, and me responding with “Ya just gotta tell me where you are and this time I need something more descriptive than ‘Facing a building,'” they finally pulled into my garage.

You know, when I looked at that SUV, it naively registered in my mind as the jam-packed vehicle of two people who just spent the winter in Florida. But never once did it say, “Everything inside is coming into your condo!” But it did. The doors opened and out of all orifices poured every possible piece of crap that one collects while wintering in Palm Beach. New pillows, new bath towels, chip clips, magazines, catalogs, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, more fucking tissues, more catalogs, coupons and an invitation for some event going on at the Greek Church on the Upper East Side of NYC right at that very moment in time. Except that we’re in D.C.

Me: Mom, why do you have this invitation?
Gloom: Well, we wanted your brother to go so he could meet a nice girl with a mustache, but he didn’t.
Me: The party is over now anyway. Why do you keep these things?
Gloom: It’s not me, it’s your father.
Doom: It’s not me, it’s your mother! I’m going back to the car to get more stuff.
Me: You guys need help. You’re like those homeless people who have the shopping carts and carry around all the crap they don’t need. It’s not the Great Depression anymore. You don’t have to stock up! How many fucking boxes of tissues did you bring?
Gloom: The last time we were here you didn’t have any.
Me: Yeah, and you bought me 27 boxes!
Gloom: Oh. How many boxes are left?
Me: 26!!!
Gloom: Well what have you been blowing your nose on?
Me: It’s anyone’s guess.
Gloom: It’s not me, it’s your father. He sees a sale and he can’t help himself.
Me: Oh no. It’s you too. It’s definitely you too. You send me more God damned newspaper articles with that fucking red underline and I’ve asked you to stop.
Gloom: Well I underline it so you don’t have to read it all.
Me: THEN JUST READ IT TO ME OVER THE PHONE!!! If you guys keep doing this shit, you’re not going to be allowed back.

I took a Klonopin and went to bed. Actually, no I didn’t. They were in my bed. I went to couch.

Friday afternoon, my oldest brother called from NY to check on Gloom and Doom. After all these years he needs a better name than oldest brother. I need to think on that. I have a few names, but none he would appreciate. Anyway, the prior evening, he and I were on the phone, simultaneously anticipating the arrival of family members: me expecting our parents and he expecting our elusive brother. Oddly enough, both arrivals were Thursday night. Even more oddly, both departures were Saturday morning. We placed bets as to which of these dueling visits would fare better. I would like to state for the record, I won. I can see how you wouldn’t think that but our brother is a gem. And by “gem,” I mean, well, you’ll see.

So, the phone call Friday. Oldest was mad because he got stuck at work and Older was at his apartment waiting for him to come home and play. Just like the good old days. Oldest wanted to blow work off to go hang with Older who is so famous that none of us ever see him. Yeah. Well, it’s a tricky combination of famous and selfish. Long story. Anyway, after I spoke to Oldest on Friday afternoon, I handed my mom the phone. She hung up after several minutes of whispering and the following occurred:

Gloom: He wants to leave work early but his boss called a meeting and now he’s really mad.
Me: Why doesn’t he just say his brother is in town, he hasn’t seen him in four years and he has to go?
Gloom: Well, I told him to just say he’s going to the bathroom and he’ll be right back and then just leave.
Me: You really have no idea of what it’s like to have a job, do you?

Gloom and Doom hauled ass out of my place at the crack of crack on Saturday morning because all the Greeks need their taxes done so my dad had to get home and start sorting out their papers, explaining that supplies to make Baklava can’t be passed off as an itemized deduction, that you can’t deduct part of your house as an office just because you bring your toolbox inside at night and that plumber’s crack is not a disability.

I’ll Be Back For More…At Your Door

Hour the first. Clothes ripped off, heat cranked and a bed becomes re-occupied. Talking. Giggling. Laughing at the rest of you who went to work this ordinary Tuesday. A Tuesday unlike any other, except that he and I both tossed responsibility out the window in exchange for an indulgence in emotional and physical intimacy.

Hour the second. Talk. Giggle. Dive under the covers for some NC-17 brand of fun. Wait. Better make it X.

Hour the third. Buzzing cell phones. Unselfishly checked in with people who needed each of us. Called back the ones I wanted to. Didn’t call the rest.

Hour the fourth. “Hi Mom. Yeah, I’m enjoying my day off. What am I doing? No, I’m not sleeping, exactly. I’ve been up for a while. How are you and dad? Uh huh. Charleston, huh? So, uh, how soon before you’re in D.C.? Oh. Good. I mean, err, yeah, Thursday’s fine. Well. Drive safe. No I don’t have any plans for today.”

Hour the fifth. Basmati rice, peas and potatoes paneer and spiced lentils. Unidentifiable dessert. Half price Easter chocolate at Target. Whose idea was it to get out of bed? Mine? Damn. Let’s go back. Dueling cell conversations, he on his with work, me on mine with work. Patsy in labor.

Hour the sixth. He wonders if he’ll miss me when I’m gone later. I think so. His cock ain’t gonna suck itself.

Hour the seventh. How good does that feel? Do you want me to keep going? Turn this way. There. Much better.

Hour the eighth. TV on. Forensic Files. Can someone go get Sammy and Thora? I’m not going home anytime soon. Patsy had a C-Section.

Hour the ninth. Wonder to self, “What has Sixes been up to with the blog today?” Envision her in a Marie Antoinette outfit screaming, “Let them eat cake.” Not sure why this is the image to pop into my head. Positive that “E” is assisting in the revolution. I think there was a virgin sacrifice.

Hour the tenth. Zzzzzzz…

The eleventh hour. Turn over. Move your leg up here. Where’d that pillow go? I want to put it under you. Don’t stop, don’t ever stop.

Hour the twelfth. Pretend we’re on that lie detector show. Okay, you’re hooked up. Now I get to ask you any questions I want. Ready?

Lucky thirteenth hour. Pass the half price chocolate since it’s obvious we’re not going to dinner. Ipod and Marilyn Manson. American Idol. Paula Abdul is a trainwreck.

Hour the fourteenth. Where’s my bra? Please kick me out of bed. My dogs hate me. Call me when you’re home.

What’s that they say about home is where the heart is? I’m home. I’ve been home all day.

D.C. Cops Suck Ass Part 10: Who’s Guarding the Brain Trust?

A few weeks ago when my friend E was in her car accident, she waited over an hour for a cop to arrive. I found this incredibly fascinating because at the exact moment E was waiting, just two blocks away a convention of police officers were holding court in front of the 7-11 on 17th Street. Their convention time lasted from 4:45 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.

After the “redistricting” where they pulled the cops from the station at 17th & V and now dispatch them out of the 3rd district, I noticed all of a sudden that all prior bad cop behavior had ceased. No more harassing people at the dog park, no more blocking the roads, no more eating donuts, no more smoking in uniform. Except for their one buffoon, most of the rest seemed to shape up. Whether they issued the directive, “Beware, there is a nasty bitch around 17th Street who patrols the neighborhood with her camera and publishes your evidence of laziness and wasting of taxpayer money online” or if the changing of the guard did the trick, I’ll never know. But since the redistricting, it has been really nice to see the lazy bastards have stopped patronizing 7-11 for the duration of their entire shift.

I knew it wouldn’t last.

A riddle and some pictures for you.

How many cop cars does it take to park illegally for a meeting of the minds?

 

 

If you guessed four, you’re RIGHT!

And a follow up…how many cops does it take from those cars to stand around talking on a crisp Saturday night when just 40 feet away some of the biggest drug deals in Dupont are in progress?

Six!

Awesome!

I’m not anti-drug. I don’t give a shit what people do. But when I have to step around a guy snorting meth in the street and when I’ve told two of your boys that all the Bartenders from the Child Harold are now tending bar at a SPECIFIC LOCAL BAR on R Street, and that the crowd has changed significantly, I would think that oh, maybe you might do something about it.

“I’ll take a book of matches please.”

And my other issue? If you are holding us up to your laws, then you should obey them yourself. When you are obviously not working on police business during a shift, you shouldn’t be parking illegally and blocking roads. If any civilian did this, you would ticket them faster than it would take you to suck down a bear claw. So why is it okay for you boys?

Of course I realize, this is minor compared to the assholes we used to have in this neighborhood. I suppose I should be counting my blessings. They traded in all the ugly cops we used to have for some cute ones who even Sixes would fuck.

Save Annie!

My friend Holly, rescuer extraordinaire of all things dog, has had trauma at her house. Sammy’s girlfriend is in trouble!

There was a dog fight between a foster dog and Sammy’s girlfriend Annie, who is now at the vet in ICU!!! Annie’s neck was ripped open, her back was ripped open and the wounds are so bad the vet is giving her a 50/50 chance to live. Annie is at East Paulding County Animal Hospital and you can confirm by (770) 445-7300. (Sammy is a refugee of Paulding County too.)

If you can donate even $5, $10 or more, please send via paypal to luv2befun@aol.com.

 

I Spend My Time…Thinking About You…And It’s Almost Driving Me Wild

Friday I had big plans (to go to the gym) but narcoleptically (the red line indicates thats a made up word) fell asleep around 7:00. When my mom called at 9:00 from the Palm Beach Mall to ask me something about god knows what, I could barely form my mouth into words. It’s times like these that having those furballs o’ love is a pain in the ass. I put on my sweats and took them on a very short walk.

When I left my building, I had to maneuver around a guy who was snorting coke or meth right out of a piece of folded paper. Right in public. Right in front of my building. I promptly texted all my drug friends: “It’s official. You don’t have to hide in seedy bar bathrooms anymore snorting off the back of the porcelain bus. Coke is OUT OF THE CLOSET! Snort in public!”

Then I crawled back into bed. I can’t recall when I’ve been this lame. Wait. Sure I can. It was last week when I realized I knew all the words to a country song that starts out with the line, I had a one night stand with my best friends baby sister.

Mr. X had made mention earlier in the week of forgotten opera tickets he was in possession of, but I had plans with a friend. I said, “Didn’t you read ‘The Rules,’ bitch? You’re supposed to ask me like months ahead of time.” Then he said, “That doesn’t apply to the easy girls like you.” Oh yeah. Anyway, I sent telepathic messages to my friend to cancel and she did, so I texted Mr. X with the news: “I’m all yours tonight.” He was at Great Falls walking around thinking about how wonderful I am. He won’t admit it, but he was.

He texted back: “This reminds me of something.”

Insert: Gushing Waterfall

He’s speaking of what goes on between my legs when he’s in the same room with me. Hey. That’s not my fault.

So, just because my mom shops at the Palm Beach Mall doesn’t mean I’m part of the opera set. Usually you can find me falling off a barstool at some dive. But we got dressed all fancy and by fancy, I mean I found a place to wear my shoes!

If you have never been to an opera at the Kennedy Center, let me explain what youre missing: It looks like the Upper East Side threw up in there, with a Palm Beach side dish, a Greenwich Connecticut dipping sauce and the Hamptons for dessert. Its as snooty as it gets. Its email address is hoity@hoitytoity.com. Its domain name is blueblood.com. Okay. I’m done. Wait. No I’m not. It’s pearls and Chanel suits. It’s standing around in the front rows staring backward at everyone else coming in so that you can call out to someone you might know and so everyone will see you have front row seats. It’s first names like Henderson and Claire. Now I’m done.

I spent the better portion of the second act masturbating Mr. X through his pants. He used his Playbill to disguise this fact from the Countess sitting to his left. Classy.

We made our exit and discussed some dinner. The rain prompted his suggestion that I change my clothes. No sense in ruining a perfectly good silk DVF and hooker shoes.

When it comes to eating out, I go to the same three places over and over. Mr. X says that you have to try something new every time you eat out. I think thats a good theory. So instead of the regular sushi place, we went to another one. At the restaurant, Mr. X was wishing for the owner to come over and talk to us. Thats his thing. He likes to talk to the owners to find out everything there is to know. In this case, there wasn’t a lot to know but it was funny anyway. The owner sat down and started telling us story after story. His first story was about a waiter he fired for talking too long to the customers. Then in an ironic twist, his next 148 stories included how he got his name from I’mmigration, how the Chef sucked so he closed down for a week, how his dad was killed in Pol Pot, how we should drink his special martini, how he dyes his hair with “ladies dye” from CVS and that you can catch it at two for $10 on sale. Our favorite story was by far the one about a customer he kept saying looked like a hairy cretin. We just assumed that this was his way of saying the customer was an ugly monster.

At the end as we were trying to escape, he said, Yeah, that one wook wike hairy cretin. You know. She wun for Pwesident.

Boy. I thought calling her a manipulative bitch was bad. Before he told one of his last stories before we ran out the door, he turned to each of us and said, “You Jew?” The Asians have a whole new take on hate.

When we got back to my place, the following conversation:

Mr. X: What time is it?
Me: 11:53.
Mr. X: Really? The restaurant closed an hour ago.
Me: Yeah, and we were held hostage by that guy’s stories for almost an hour.

Anyway, he’s a funny little man (the restaurant manager, not Mr. X) so you should go to his restaurant. It’s on 18th and Willard, across from Regent Thai and just north of the much-despised-by-the-locals, Lauriol Plaza.

I Know That You Hear Me, But I’m Not Sure You’re Listening

Might I restate for the record: I do not like leaving the house.

It isn’t personal, it’s just that bad things happen when I leave my house. See, but then your lover calls you and he wants to actually, gasp, leave the house this weekend (how dare you!?!) and next thing you know, you’re walking around in the rain, jockeying lines at a few choice restaurants, finally settling on the restaurant with no customers. You know that restaurant, right? There are plenty of them in D.C., dangling on the edge of bankruptcy yet somehow making ends meet year after painfully slow year.

So, you eat delicious food in between conversation of how good you look and how you look somehow different tonight (uh, yeah, that’s cause you’re, like, in love with me) and then you giggle over things only the two of you find funny as you make your way home, arm in arm, still in the pouring rain, where you fire up the DVD player for a hilarious movie you’ve been quoting lines from to your lover for months. Then you cap off the night by having very destructive sex which somehow results in your contour leg pillow (shut up I have back problems) flying off the bed straight toward your heirloom china (read: Ikea glass you bought in 1997) which rolls off the nightstand oh so very slowly before it hits the floor taking the precious raspberry Crystal LightTM with it, and smashing all over your fluffy sherpa rugs (fake, uh, hello, PETA member here) into thousands of shards which either of you could have easily prevented had you chose to dis-en-fornicate.

That’s okay though, because now you can cross “cleaned up broken glass while naked with cum dripping out of you” off your list of things to do, right?

The rest of your weekend blurs into a blur of a blur as it chugs along.

There was a stop at Home Depot where you took on another home improvement challenge because your dogs keep slipping on your bamboo wood floors and you are tired of the vet and med bills related to their arthritis so you just cave and buy wall to wall carpeting and plan to cover up the most beautiful part of your home for your mutts. Don’t forget there was also a hardware purchase for your ailing sliding door which your dogs also managed to royally fuck up in their fury to get out the door fastest to bark at whatever dog might be down on the street barking back. You spit and swore at the door (and the dogs) until you got it repaired and back on the track, hoping you never have to come home from work to the sight of that door dangling over your balcony again.

There was an unbelievable coup at the shoe store (and no, I don’t normally wear my jeans like that:)

 

And then, an unbelievable sighting of something so blatant that it warranted screeching on the brakes, parking the car, and tracking someone in your stilettos with a redhead at your side, while you record evidence of someone else’s someone else on your camera phone so you can show another someone else who needs to know, exactly what they need to know.

Then, for a variety of reasons, the rest of your weekend, becomes what you always joked it would:

 

I don’t charge for my services, though. You may think that I get my payment from the satisfaction of helping friends with their problems. No. Not really. I just enjoy that “a-ha” moment where they tell me I was right.

Mmm hmm you know that’s right.

I Bet You Think This Song is About You Don’t You Don’t You

My hilarious friend Kerrie bought me a hilarious present. In November. In San Francisco. Amazingly enough, despite the number of times we’ve seen each other since then, the gift never made it into my hands. Until, that is, two weeks ago.

She got me a book. But not just any book, oh no.

This is the BESTEST PRESENT EVER!

“Odd Velvet” was added to the Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky and Elle magazine pile of things I need to read. But it didn’t stay there for long. Brimming over with excitement at the fact that someone finally wrote my biography, I cracked that puppy open and settled in for hours seconds of reading.

Naturally they began by explaining the origin of my name:

That’s funny. That’s nothing like the day of my birth at all. The way my mom tells it, she woke up and got my oldest brother off to first grade, then alerted my dad, who was at work, that she was going into labor. My dad, in a seemingly ridiculous moment to most but completely understandable to my family only, saw fit to stop at the bank first. For some reason he had my older brother with him – a very mischievous three year old with a full head of bushy 70’s Greek hair, red corduroy overalls and a penchant for eating his own poop. As my dad was checking on his fortune and belatedly mentally calculating the cost of yet another child, my brother ran up the spiral staircase of the bank, shredded a few hundred deposit slips and threw them over the balcony, showering my father and the tellers. My father, always excellent in a crisis, said, “Gotta go. Wife’s in labor.”

Unlike Mr. Smith when he goes to Washington, no one has ever been stupid enough to let me speak for two days. Though, they did allow me to say my lines when I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in our standing-backyard-only, much adored, Nursery School Production.

There was nothing old and dark about our house. In fact, when I was in first grade, my parents, expert schedulers of construction projects, decided to pull an entire wall off the back of our house to build a glassed in porch. In January. In Connecticut. During a season of blizzards. I can recall eating that cream of wheat crap every morning with a big sheet separating my polyester pajamaed, seven year old body, from several pedophile construction workers and the elements of a 1980 Connecticut winter.

This is turning out to be nothing like my life story at all. Now I know how Tom Cruise feels about those “unauthorized biographies.” Wait. No I don’t.

HA! My parents never asked anyone politely in the house. In fact, I can recall several confrontations with our white trash neighbors that resulted in “Stay off our property or I’ll have you arrested” declarations. Christ, who wrote this book? And I know what you are thinking. “White Trash” and “Connecticut” is as oxy of a moron as they make ’em. Yup. You’re correct if you are using the 2008 Connecticut as your barometer. But we’re talking 1984 Connecticut. It was a totally different animal back then. It was pre-Stew Leonard’s tax evasion scandal. We were still innocent. And we didn’t have nearly as many New Yorkers.

Ok. Last page. Usually the last page is the foreshadowing of things to come. Ooh. Can’t wait.

Hey. That is NOT a riding crop. It’s my jump rope. Yes. My jump rope.

I Just Wanted You To Comfort Me, When I Called You Late Last Night You See…

I was awake for several seconds before I would succumb to opening my eyes. I hate waking up in the middle of the night. It irritates me in that way that fingers on a blackboard irritate the world. And if the day’s Crystal Light inventory made it through my bladder and chose the middle of the night to come out, I’m even more irritated. Putting a foot on the floor mid-slumber is more painful to me than running 5 miles mid-day.

I braced myself and opened my eyes to confront the clock.

3:37 a.m.

Damn.

3:37 a.m. is a lonely place to be. I never enjoy waking up at hours like these. I always hope the race to fall back asleep is won sooner rather than later.

No such luck. This was not one of those “awake for 3 minutes and right back to sleep” nights. No, this was “the last 4 hours were more like a nap, and so now that you’re rested, let’s talk.”

I don’t want to get up. I want to lay here in the warm bed with the dogs and…wait. Where are the dogs?

It is unseasonably warm outside. Thora, understanding the simple law of “heat rises,” chose her bed on the floor instead of mine. Sammy is where he always is, in his bed guarding a harem of bones he’s collected over the years, bones he moves from room to room with a diligence so impressive you would think he was being paid for it.

When I rolled over and looked at them, Thora stared at me. She whimpered to come up on the bed. I called her up. She turned three circles and lay back down with a sigh, a sigh that said, “I was sleeping and I heard your eyes open so now I’m awake and you don’t have to be alone and if you want to talk, well, go ahead.”

Sweet Thora. She’s so in sync with me. Or I am with her.

{Cue middle of the night, brain vomit…}

Speaking of being in sync, I wonder what he’s doing. I wonder if he’s awake. If he is, I wonder if he’s watching TV. Or reading. Or working. No, he’s probably sleeping. Hey, wait, he didn’t call me back last night. Let me check the phone. Maybe I slept through it. I’ve been known to sleep through things before. I’ve been known to sleep through things recently.

I clicked my light on my cell. 4:19 a.m. How have 40 minutes gone by? No missed calls or unread texts. That’s odd. Usually there’s some sort of goodnight call. Am I losing my touch? Did the time away together cure him of wanting to see me for a while? Have I lost my appeal?

The middle of the night is lonely for sure, but it can also prey on the most vulnerable parts of your self-conscious.

The night, stealing my precious sleep hours, continues. The night will steal an hour from me this weekend in Daylight Savings. I don’t want to lose any more time than I have to.

Buzzzzzzzz.

Out loud I say, “What the fuck!?!” On the phone it says “1 new text.” I rarely get middle of the night texts. I’ve never received a middle of the night text when I was laying awake, willing someone, anyone, to call me so I didn’t have to be alone anymore.

I opened the text. 4:29 a.m.

From him: “The fire alarms just went off. Well that was fun.”

From me: “I’ve been up since 3:30. Can’t sleep. Looks like you are up too.”

If someone is thinking about you at the exact moment you are thinking about them, were you ever really alone?

This Day Seems Made For You and Me

I sent the kids to the neighbor’s and snuck out of town this weekend. I envisioned snapping hundreds of pictures to provide a photo tour of my weekend, but the camera never came out of my bag. Somehow, I just didn’t feel like sharing…funny, considering my life has always been an open book. Though, someone once said to me with regard to the plethora of men in my life and their respective place on this blog, “If you really loved him, you wouldn’t even want to share the details.”

Truer words were never spoken.

I will say that my one goal for the weekend, besides the obvious, was to lay in a hammock with him and read Hemingway. That goal was achieved two hours before the one picture to mark the weekend was taken.

He took this from the wrap-around balcony of room 305…the room to which every hotel employee we came in contact with said, “OH, 305!! You’re gonna LOVE that room.”

We did.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Making Our Initial Descent Into the White Trash Airport

Well, I’m sort of pissed off at you guys. Yes, all of you.

If you are going to do something, for everyone’s sake, do it right.

Exactly ten years ago, I started waxing what was then, a closely cropped bush. When I learned of a place that actually, gasp, did the elusive Brazilian, I ran off in search of the eternal four weeks of hair free bliss. Back then, there were very few places who did this. Maybe a handful in the country. I was well before the trend on living life pube-free.

The first time I went for a Brazilian, she tried to leave a “Landing Strip.” Oh, hells no Kotobuki, you’re taking all that hair off and you’re taking it off now. She protested, I gave her $20 and she finally saw fit to wax it all. There’s nothing like throwing money at a Vietnamese nail tech to help her change her mind. (Sorry, was that insensitive? Well, suck it! I’m telling a story!) It took several years for this trend to come full swing and it was clearly MY bitching at various salons up and down the eastern seaboard helped push this trend along. You’re welcome.

Now. I’ve noticed something that disturbs me quite a bit. I think that right now it is just a west coast trend. But I’m seeing it everywhere. Avert your eyes if you scare easily.

 

What is this? A backlash to the Brazilian? Let’s take a closer, grainier look.

 

All right. I have a few questions. When a guy with a landing strip is eating out a girl with a landing strip, what happens? Are there sparks? Is it like rubbing two sticks together? Will there be a fire? Can I rub my hands in front of it because it’s cold outside!! Wait, I got a little carried away with that last one.

This is the part where I explain why I’m mad at you all. CUBE and I started working on salons country-wide over ten years ago to make sure you all could one day enjoy the Brazilian Bikini Wax. And yes, I mean “you all.” A Brazilian is just as much for the girls as it is for the guys. So our work was done and she went on a trip and I took a tiny break to have a little sex and look for a new job and we left you all to watch the store. And what did you do? Most of you fell asleep and at least two of you were smoking pot in the back alley cause I can still smell it, (!!) and now this landing strip for men is suddenly spreading like the wave from L.A. to the east coast.

Put your foot down people. Make it stop at the Mississippi. Do not allow it to penetrate our turf! (Heh. I said “penetrate.”) By my calculations, I66 is the furthest west, so we need you to saddle up boy. Patsy is on the other side of the Mississippi but Texas and trends don’t go in the same sentence, much less the same state, so while my money would be on her to stop this shit, she won’t have a chance to intercept it. Fight the guy’s landing strip. Fight it.

Thank you. That is all.

*For more examples of “male landing strips,” please watch The Millionaire Matchmaker and check out, oh, any of her clients.

You Took My Body and Played to Win

Some simple math to start things off.

1 Lorazepam + 1 Klonopin + 1 joint = I’m so sorry I blacked out at your bachelorette party and I don’t remember a fucking thing. No, I don’t remember that either.

1 set of car keys + 3 Texas sized “medium” beers = We stole some chick’s car for a joyride.

1 returned, joyridden vehicle, reparked across the street + 1 bag of Chex Mix + a Big Gulp + Patsy = Damn fine entertainment.

You will need to recall “order of operations” for this next one.

1 “almost” three year old blog whose writer prefers the rating XXX + (1 friend – any morals whatsoever) + increased searches for said friend both on google and in the Velvet search box = A Brand New Weekly Column from Sixes and Sevens!

Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, you will come cum to love Tuesdays. Sixes and Sevens, formerly known as BIGGER BITCH THAN YOU, is going to begin her column here, called C U Next Tuesday! We’re very excited about this new column here at the Velvet in Dupont Headquarters. (Site of HQ: My bed.) We ran this by our Board of Directors (that’s really just me) and they gave it the okay. Then we finalized the details with our marketing department (also just me) and they felt this was the way to address our nationwide focus group findings: MORE SMUT. Finally, we consulted the Finance Department (also me.) They felt that with the recent dip in the economy they could not budget any additional funds for this endeavor. Then we all laughed hysterically since everyone knows Sixes and Sevens puts her sex life on display for free.

Exxxcellent Smithers.

Kicking In Chairs and Knocking Down Tables

I always hated having friends over in high school. My parents really commandeered the living areas of our house and didn’t yield to my friends and our headbanger aqua-netted hair. I longed for the day I would have a place of my own.

I went from my parents house to living with a cracked out roommate, to living with a boyfriend until I was 30 to being on my oh my fucking god Jenna Jameson is on Celebrity Apprentice right now looking like a skanky meth addict. Fuck. Hold on.

Okay. I’m back. Anyway, when I was finally living alone, I carefully planned out a design theme, then spent years and thousands debating the purchase and ultimate placement of each piece of furniture. I mixed vintage Heywood Wakefield with modern stuff from Scan and Pier 1 and oh my fucking god Trace Adkins is in danger of being fired off Celebrity Apprentice and I want him to win! Hold on.

Phew. He’s safe.

Shit. Where was I? Right. My prized mid-50’s Heywood Wakefield coffee table and ballerina lamp.

 

Anyway, the point of this is to tell you that even though I don’t live with another human, the dogs have fucking taken over. I want my place how I want it and I can’t because these little assholes are so demanding. First, it started with just having to keep the couch and chair covered with a sheet because they like to lounge there during the day. Then I had to cover my down comforter with a stupid sheet too. Then I realized that my beautiful bamboo floors were not safe for aging doggies, so I bought two area rugs and covered most of my living room. I had to move all the furniture out of the way and my living room has become a freaking wrestling ring. Sammy’s perennial base of operations has been that orange rug. I don’t get it.

In this corner, weighing in at 44 pounds is Thora the Princess of Dupont. And in this corner, weighing in at 37 pounds is Sammy the Stray Dog of Georgia!!!

One night last week I folded a magazine to something I wanted to read, put it on my bed and I come back to see this:

 

 

Mommy! The Radar Magazine Fashion issue is to die for!

And God forbid I try to cook anything or put anything edible on the kitchen counter.

 

Get it Sammy! Jump on those counters. I’m Sweet Thora, I would never do anything bad.

My beautiful 50’s mod stuff is now awash in dog hair, slobber, paw prints and marrow bone juice. Yeah. Somewhere in the last few months, I just gave up. It used to be important to me to have nice furniture. But I made my list of priorities and the dogs ranked higher. It’s more important to me that they are happy and healthy and comfortable as they age. Besides, it isn’t worth the fight. There’s two of them. There’s only one of me.

And after that award winning blowjob I administered the other night, I’m fucking tired.

An exciting change in the Velvet format, coming next week. Prepare your I.T. departments. I plan this will get me blocked from all your workplaces from one end of the beltway to the other.

Happy Weekend! Velvet outtttt.

Once Upon a Time There Were Three Little Girls Who Went to the Police Academy…

Ugh. I have no idea why my brain is suddenly and consistently on childhood-rewind, but anyway.

I keep thinking about this drink my brothers and I used to be obsessed with in the 70’s. It was a milk / Yoo Hoo drink that came in a can. It was in the refrigerater section where you would buy regular milk and cheese. You shook the can and it was this thick like pudding milkshake. I called my brother to ask him if he remembered the name of the drink and all of a sudden, we’re back in the 70’s, watching Charlies Angels and drinking orange juice that came out of the freezer and was, yes, “concentrated” – hence the “not from concentrate” disclaimer on OJ now. I think they can stop with the “not from concentrate.” No one even knows or cares what that means anymore.

In my search for this drink, I stumbled across the following.

Enjoy the biggest timewaster ever.

Click “Tick Tock Toys.” I’m obsessed with the retro food packaging section.

And if anyone remembers that milk drink, can you tell me? I think it starts with an “F.” If I-66 was in his 30’s, my money would be on him. I think Cube and possibly Hammer are going to be my best bets. Help me! It’s driving me crazy!!!

Anatomy of an Interview; Part Deux

Well well well. I’m so happy to hear some of you actually used my first round of wisdom in your interviews. Well done. But, there’s more.

6) Whose Attitude is Worse? Bitchy Blogger or Soon-To-Be Supervisor?
I’m a cut to the chase kind of girl. Most people are more politically correct than I am. When someone’s snark and ‘tude matches mine, awesome. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s very good for business, and exceptionally good for MY business, but I digress. When someone turns the corner from snarky to downright evil, then spank my ass and call me concerned. Okay, don’t call me concerned, but jesus, cut a girl some love and do the spanking anyway, please?

It doesn’t matter what someone else has in their backyard: It has no effect on my backyard. This is very important for people to realize. Keeping up with the Joneses is a fallacy. This rule applies to many types of situations. If I get wind of a writing contest, I forward it to other bloggers even though I may intend on entering myself. Know why? Because whether they win or not has zero effect on how good of a writer I may or may not be. How many houses one builder is selling has zero impact on how good another builder is at building and selling houses. Everyone has core competencies, and if they are all the same, then what the fuck is the point of a free market economy? We could all just become communists if we wanted to be the same.

The Duck Hunter, who you met in installment one, said he was “relishing the housing downturn because now all the people who wouldn’t talk to him before are now running to him for his commercial real estate business,” I thought, “Bittttter.” Then I thought, “Run!” It doesn’t matter what is going on with other people’s businesses. It doesn’t. Put your head down and do your best. Unless they are unethically stealing your customers or best practices, don’t worry. And even then…jesus. Do something about it instead of crying like a little bitch.

Lesson: If you can smell emotions are running a business, do some running of your own. As in, “Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just run.”

7) Did You Just…Did I Hear My Own…What the Hell Did You Say?
I have a gem. It’s the “thing” I like to say in an interview and it’s pretty clever but really applicable to my experience and industry only. You should have a gem, something to say that’s a thinly veiled disguise for how much of a team player you are or that you will suck anyone’s cock for the right price. Wait, maybe not that last one. So you drop this gem in a first interview and you are met with smiles and clapping hands and, “Amen sister!” (No no, they really said that.) You think, “Great. I done good, ma!”

So then you go to the second interview. They ask the same question, but then before you can relaunch your “gem” answer, they repeat, almost verbatim, except for adding the part in front “Well I personally always believed,” then trot off with your original answer word for word for word. Hello? What? What did you just say? You burgled my idea. And now you are passing it off as your own! And you didn’t give me credit! THIEF! This one was easy. Cheri O’Teri as Judge Judy just said NEXT!

Lesson: If they steal your implants they’ll never give you credit for being the one who came up with the D-chest idea in the first place. Oh come on. Not all the lessons can be so literal.

8) Come Here Often?

You have to listen to people. You really do. There is no amount of research or ass kissing that you can do to learn more than what you will by what people tell you. I had two interviews with the company who burgled my “gem” of an idea above. At the first interview, I liked the people and was gung ho for the second interview. But in the first interview, there was mention of a business plan rewrite based on some outside bullshit. Then at the second interview, there was mention again of the business plan rewrite based on other, different outside bullshit. What? WHAT? Do you bitches have any idea what you are doing? You keep rewriting your business plan every time you get a piece of information that is from some flunky artist-cum-pornstar-cum-researcher who declares May 4th, 2010 the day the real estate market rebounds? I am not opposed to a constant review of the roadmap for your business, shit, I have a roadmap for my own life and I try to operate with that in mind, but I don’t rewrite it every day based on what the UPS lady says or on what my 7th grade best friend posted on her Myspace page.

Do you know people who canvass for opinions? I do. I’m related to one. It is nothing short of infuriating. But working for one is really really bad.

Canvassing for opinions and acting on every single one means the boss will never get anything done. And if the boss never gets anything done, then I’ll never get anything done. And if I never get anything done, and I spend a year working for that boss, not getting anything done, WTF am I going to put after all those empty bullet marks on my resume with their shitty company name as the header? Christ.

Lesson: Companies do not rewrite business plans on a monthly, weekly or God Forbid, daily basis. If they do stupid things like this that violate everything you learned in kindergarden, consult your intuition and get out of there.

9) The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
I got a phone call from a national company with a headquarters out west somewhere. Several painful emails lacked any punctuation. (“hi my name is chris from x company and i wanted to know if you could do a phone interview with me tell me when would be a good time to talk then i’ll refer you to the local human resources contact he will call you to set up the in person interview also what is a good number to reach you on”) We did the phone interview. It went rather well and they scheduled me to go in to the local office to meet the person doing the hiring. Then I get an email that it’s on hold. Whatever. Then I get a phone call from the local office HR dude, who scheduled an in-person interview later that week. Then I got another phone call that it was changed to a phone interview because they wanted me to get through the screening process before I came on site. Sigh. Do you people have any idea what you are doing? As some crazy drunken Irish guy I used to work with would say, “The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Hey, is this someone’s beer or can I finish it?” Wait, scratch that part about the beer. Just the hands. That’s what I meant.

Lesson: If they are disorganized from the start, they will never be organized. This isn’t a good sign, only because it wasn’t just one blip in the process, it was hurdle after hurdle of stupidity.

10) Bend Over
I don’t get it. I really don’t. I know that interviewing and such has changed quite a bit over the years. I have heard that credit checks and background checks as well as “googling” are more common than ever, used to eliminate people out of the interviewing game. This is why I blog as “Velvet” and not as my real name, Persephone Eleni Athena Eros Pappadopolous.

Recently, I met with a recruiter who seemed wonderful, and very well may be, and has an interesting job on deck which she feels I would be perfectly suited for. (Don’t all recruiters think this? Yeah. Anyway.) So she emails me after the interview and says that I’ll have to fill out all these forms because this “big banker” won’t interview anyone without the paperwork. I look through it and discover they want to run credit and a background check. Now, despite how crazy my life has been, I have never been arrested and have impeccable credit. 811 baby. 811. So I don’t give a shit if people want to search my anal cavity for christsake, I have nothing to hide. But, I don’t like the idea that these people want to run all this info BEFORE they even lay their eyes on me. According to the recruiter, they don’t want to pursue a candidate only to find out that they don’t meet their qualifications. So I reluctantly agree, only because the job market is really unbelievably bad right now, and it’s been two weeks. I emailed the recruiter, and she can’t get in touch with anyone at said company. Uh. Hello? Isn’t that like, your job? So then I say, “This is why I did not feel comfortable giving you my okay to run all these these tests which I feel violate my privacy. There is obviously nothing in my background, so they have run the information for nothing, really.” She responded with something I read as “blah blah blah” and that was that.

Lesson: I don’t know. You guys tell me. My personal jury is still out on this one, I don’t know what to do. If you want a job, you might have to do things in this economy that you wouldn’t normally do in better times. This one is open for debate. I know that I’m pissed off about this, and won’t agree to do it again without an offer of employment or being very far along in the process. What do you all think though?

11) Where’s Waldo?
This is one of my favorites. I showed up for an interview and the person who was interviewing me decided not to come to work that day. And they never bothered to call me to tell me not to come. Then they had the nerve (via phone while laying in bed) to tell the receptionist to interview me and to send samples of my best work. Yeah, right lady. Like I’m going to send you a complicated and probably confidential budget I made and stole from my last job when you can’t even be bothered to get out of bed.

Lesson: Over your career you will amass a small (or large) portfolio of really good work. Don’t give it to people unless you are really far along in the game, like about to get a job offer. I hear this all the time – people have to do these mass presentations at the culmination of their interview process to tell the prospective company how to reorganize their business. Then they don’t hire the candidate, but guess whose ideas they use? It’s gray-area but legal, and very difficult to prove anyway unless you managed to patent some of your processes behind your idea. And I don’t recommend trying to work with the Patent Office on anything. They suck.

I hope that’s all I have. I’ve taken a temporary position that could amount to more, were it not in the ghetto. No, no, really, it is in the ghetto. I have five predecessors from the past two years, and all five of my predecessors were mugged at work. So we’ll see how it works out. I’m doing friends of mine in the industry a favor, and you know that all construction is now in unsavory neighborhoods. They understand that once I feel compromised, I’m quitting and they’ll have to put me somewhere else. It’s actually so bad, my mommy said she would pay me the same amount of money to stay home. It’s not a bad offer, really. Mommy doesn’t run credit checks. At least, not the last time I worked for the Mommy Corporation, which was from my day of birth to 18 years 22 years 24 years 30 years oh, hell. Who am I kidding? I am still an employee of the Mommy Corporation. Aren’t we all?

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