Monday, September 28, 2009

Valerie's Thoughts on Other People's Random Thoughts

A friend posted this list of "thoughts from people in their 20's and 30's" on Facebook. I'm not sure why the age is relevant, but it was kind of an interesting read. I am reposting portions of it (it was really quite long) here, because it will provide you all with entertainment while requiring a minimum of thought on my part.

Some of these thoughts are strikingly similar to mine. Some of them I just find funny. Some of them, I think are dumb.  I will, of course, provide Galorious commentary on all of these so you know how things should be.

Also, I should mention that a commenter to the original post posited that these quotes probably came from, which I visited, and it seems like a worthwhile site to visit again.

Without further ado, some ruminations.

-I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
Actually, I use this line, so I have a vested interest in defending it. I was trying to think of a good extension to the fire analogy, but I'll just tell it straight: Why spend money on something that you don't need and at best tastes awful, at midway makes a fool out of you, and at worst kills you?

-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
I personally like to do a little hop-skip, then execute the 180, then change my mind and veer back in the direction I was going, then turn again, oscillate for a fraction of a second, and then head back.

-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
Yeah, but why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

Me too. Someone should start a poll. Do you get in the shower first, or do you run the water first?

-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
I can! My life is boring and depressing, but I almost always get enough sleep.

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
That's why you just don't bother having a collection. I mean, how many times do you really want to watch one movie anyway? Just rent it once or twice if you have to.

- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
For me it means I'm going to machine wash it anyway. So far this hasn't been a problem.

-When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
Really? I'm always flattered when someone mentions something about me they've found on the Internet. First, it means I'm notorious! Second, it means they're probably not a psycho, loser, or both.

- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
I never have a problem with cyclists. Pedal power to the people! I just wish I was a little less wussy, so I could actually ride my bike places...

-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
not know what time it is.

-the other day, one of my friends 4 year old kids asked me "What would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

Gosh! I wish someone would ask me what would happen if I ran over a ninja!

-It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
Really. Who has the patience to sit through a video when you can find exactly the information you want just scanning through words?

-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
Ours has one! Suckas!

This has been another worthless use of your time. Thanks for reading, and tune in next week for Valerie's Thoughts on Something Else That's Not Worth Thinking About!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

When an irresistible force such as you, meets an old implacable object such as jeans

Actually, I didn't have that many insights on the publishing process; I just watched a designer move things around on a page, testing all sorts of layouts. But she did it really fast. Right align! Left align! Up at the top of the page! Down at the bottom! When I move things around on a page, I am not nearly so efficient.

But while we're on the topic of work, let me talk about an interesting subject that's kind of related to the dynamics of big companies. It has to do with Casual Friday. Now, I've always been under the impression that if you have Casual Friday in your workplace, you are allowed to wear anything that you'd wear to, say, a casual dining restaurant. You know, something that's clean and won't make the other diners lose their appetite. But in the last place I worked, on Friday, you were allowed to wear "jeans" - that was the only article of clothing that was expressly permitted - as long as you kept up a "professional" appearance. I took this to mean that nothing in my large collection of peasant skirts and sundresses would be appropriate. Nor would any of the cute and clean-cut but rather fun T-shirts that I like to wear on occasion. I decided that on Casual Friday, you had to wear basically the same thing on top that you always wear, but you were allowed to wear jeans on the bottom.

Jeans! How is that a privilege? It took me fourteen years of life before I would willingly put on jeans, and then it was only because I was tired of being the pariah who wore stretch pants and T-shirts. When I work at the grocery store, spending my day climbing into the back of the truck, or dragging around big tubs of moldy cheese awash in rancid milk, I wear jeans! Jeans are what you wear when you need durability (and, sometimes, social acceptance)--not relaxation! They are only comfortable if you are standing up. When you sit down (which you do a lot in an office) jeans become tight in all sorts of uncomfortable places. Whenever I get home from a day at the store or an outing on which I wore jeans, the first thing I do is take them off. If it's late, I switch to pajama pants. If the day is still young, I change into a skirt--the exact same thing that I would wear on a non-casual day!

Bah. I reject the tyranny of this so-called Casual Friday! How fortunate that no more temporary jobs have yet turned up and I've got a bit of freelance work to keep me busy for a while--I can spend all day working in my pajamas!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Office

I might have escaped from Pachelbel's Canon at my dad's wedding, but I was not so lucky today. One of the people in my office had it playing softly at his desk. Just loud enough so I could hear it. All day.

It could have been traumatic, but since there was nothing going on to get emotional about, I managed to survive. And I will never have that particular musical experience again, because my temporary gig at that office is over. My time of indenture is up. I am, at least for the present, back to moping around at home, feeling directionless, rather than scrambling constantly from one workplace to another, feeling overwhelmed. (Note to self: No moping! You have piles and piles of stuff that you promised you would do as soon as you had a few free minutes. Do it! Do it!)

Regardless of whether I'll actually be in another office in the near future, my last day at this one is an occasion for contemplating more of the mysteries and wonders of office life.

For example, email. How on earth did office workers survive in the days before email? Did they have to actually walk over to each other's offices? I tried that. No one is ever there. Or did they use those things I've heard of called "inter-office memos?" It sounds so tedious, all this mucking about with carbon paper and correction fluid! I can't imagine that anyone ever got any work done in an inefficient environment like that!

I guess maybe they made up for their communicative inefficiencies by going overboard on job-role efficiency. One thing that really freaks me out about office work is that it's so compartmentalized. As one half of a two-employee organization, I am used to being the "do-everything girl." I write, I edit, I design, I communicate with the public, I communicate with the vendors, I keep the basic financial records, I manage the contacts database, I coordinate mailings, I procure, I distribute, I create the content for the website, I upload the content to the website, I create the architecture for the website. And I do it on a part-time basis. At a bigger organization, a job description like that is inconceivable. It seems, at a big organization, that you have a few specialized tasks to do, and if you need something else done, you don't learn how to do it yourself--you pass it off to someone else and let them work their magic. How oppressive, and dull, and conducive to growing brain plaques!

In just two weeks, I have learned a lot about the dynamics of a big company, which were hitherto unknown to me. I have listened to people's conversations about resumes they received, and gained valuable insight into the hiring process. I have seen real paid designers in action, watched drafts get edited, and gained some insight into the publishing process. I have bored you to tears. Let's stop.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aaaaarrrrrrgh! And I mean that in a good way.

Congratulations to my dad and Jackie, who got married today in the most fun wedding I've ever been to!

Who gets married in a biology classroom because that's where they met?
Who has their reception at the zoo, where they provide the most adorable cookies shaped like penguins and seals you've ever seen?
Who gets married on Talk Like a Pirate Day and gives all their guests treasure chests and gold coins?

Ahoy, that's who!

When I grow up, I want my wedding to be just like my dad's! Uh, well, actually, I want my wedding to be just as original as my dad's! Which means I want my wedding to be nothing like my dad's! Whatever--the point is, I was surprised to find that I had a good time.

Being perennially single, I tend to take it personally when people around me get married, and I was a little skeptical about the enjoyability of attending a wedding by myself. But I was fortunately spared from a depressing excess of romance, in that the wedding itself was intentionally a little bit silly, and Pachelbel's Canon was absent from the program.

All in all, it was pure fun! I was seated at a table with lots of strangers who did not terrify me but were actually fun, plus my brother, who - when he was not stabbing me with cocktail swords or hanging desiccated chicken kebobs from the centerpiece - was also pretty fun, plus a former co-worker who is always fun! And the cookies were fun!

And now I'm done!

P.S. OK. I'm not quite done. Did I mention that the server accidentally skipped over me in the distribution of champagne, thereby allowing me to be my usual teetotaling self without having to draw any attention to it!? And that I went home with a purse full of chocolate coins!? Wow! What a perfect night!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I finally joined the real world.

I am officially working as a temp now, helping keep up the website of an organization in DC. It is the first time I've really been to work outside of the food industry or environmental advocacy field. Even though they are officially a nonprofit, they are a professional membership organization, and consequently are bigger, more formal, and relatively well funded compared to what I'm used to. They take up three floors of their office building, and they even have their own IT department--how novel! I feel so corporate!

After being there a week, I have all sorts of things to say about working in an office.

One thing I conveniently forgot in my two years of working from home is that office buildings are always cold--even when it's a hundred degrees outside. Last time I worked in an office, I had a wool sarape pretty much permanently attached to me. This time, though, growing more and more tired of being a slave to temperature, I am bravely wearing what I think I ought to be able to wear, and thus spending all day fighting off the goosebumps and nursing cups of tea. Ha! Take that, you fascist air conditioner! I may become addicted to caffeine, but I refuse to let you dictate what I wear!

Speaking of what I wear, I am finding the office dress code to be quite a challenge. Spending the last five years cultivating my quasi-hippie wardrobe has left me pretty unprepared for a business-casual environment. I estimate I can last a maximum of another week and a half before I have to start repeating outfits. I might be able to stretch it a few more weeks if I give in to my desire to be warm and break out the winter clothes. But after that, repeating outfits will become inevitable, and with that will come depression and a feeling of stagnation.

One of the things that I'm counting on to save me from feeling stagnant is the fact that I am just a temporary worker. My first day, it made me feel kind of inferior. When people called me a temp, I felt like they were saying, "You don't belong here, and don't you forget it!" But after my first experience in the lunchroom (see previous entry), my disillusionment with the area (I was spoiled by having my first job in DC be at Dupont Circle, a social hub of the city), and my only lukewarm interest in the work, I learned to be quite pleased to be just a temp. Now when people introduce me as such, I feel relieved and re-energized. I'm like, "That's right! You don't own me! I'm not your slave! I'm more like your indentured servant!" It's kind of fun! If I can get more temporary engagements, I could have a string of new jobs, work in a string of new places, meet a string of new people (if any of them deign to meet me), and never get bored. Temping seems like something I might want to pursue for a while.

I have lots more to say about working in an office, but I seem to have recovered my long rambling style and should probably stop now and save it for another day. I'm off to enjoy my first weekend that actually is a weekend for me, rather than just another day identical to the rest of the week! I'm going to continue fighting the good fight by going out to the Veg Fest in short sleeves despite the 68-degree, looking-like-rain weather.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I think I must be misinformed about common courtesy.

If you worked in an office, and you saw a new person eating alone at lunch, you would invite them over to your table, right? You would at least introduce yourself, right?

I give up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


All my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they're...

Blogging sure is easier if you just repeat what other people said. I'll try to write something slightly more original, but it's not going to be easy. I have all these thoughts flying around in my head, but none of them want to land long enough for me to actually say anything about them. And you know me, I like my posts long. If I can't ramble on for at least 6 or 7 long, wordy paragraphs, I probably won't bother with the topic at all. But I'll try.

Here are some things that gave me pause yesterday. I didn't get to write about them then, because I was even more flighty than my thoughts, and plus I had to run errands and go to choir practice.

Yesterday I saw an abundance of crossing guards. Do you think they like their jobs? Are they, like a lot of cops, drunk on their sense of power? Or do they really feel embarrassed and superfluous and guilty because they are pretty much the sole reason that cars are lined up for blocks on all sides of their 4-way stop?

Yesterday, I was speaking with a recruiter, and she mentioned that someone wanted to interview me. I said, "Oh, that's so delightful!" She said, "I love the way you put things!" I thought, if people got chosen for positions based on their quirky mannerisms, I'd be a senior executive by now! But alas, I have to rely on my good looks instead. Ha ha ha ha ha! No wonder I don't have a full time job.

Yesterday, I was kind of punchy because of all these interesting things that kept happening. Today, I'm trying to bring back the feeling, which is why I'm saying ridiculous things and pretending they're funny!

That's all I have to say about yesterday. Only five paragraphs (not counting this one or the plagiarism that constituted the first paragraph), and not very long and wordy. I'm slipping.