Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why don't you pick up a teddy bear to go with your feeling of despair

I have to fill about 30 positions by Friday so I've been spending my days interviewing people and reading resumes and sometimes I come across some funny things. Here are two:

1.) I guy put down that he use to work at the LA County Coroners the gift shop. Exactly who would be looking to buy a gift at the coroner's office? "I'm sorry that you had to come down to identify the remains of your murdered husband but would you like to buy a commemorative shot glass while you're here?"

2.) FYI: You should never send a picture with a resume. It says more about your ego than you would want a prospective employer to know. But I love it when people send pictures because I know right away that I don't need to call them, and it also gives me a good laugh, because I have yet to see an even remotely professional looking picture. Like today - a girl sent in her resume and attached a picture to it of her in a lacy red lingerie top with a whole lot of cleavage. I showed it to Chiquita and she asked, "Is she applying for the streetwalker position?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The price of staying well groomed

You know how sometimes you run out of things all at once? Things like shampoo and soap and mascara and toilet paper and party favors and laundry detergent and razors? It always happens at the same time, like it's a conspiracy between the shampoo/soap/mascara/toilet paper/party favors/laundry detergent/razor makers of the world. So you head down to Target. You think that you should go to Wal-Mart because it would be cheaper but you can't bring yourself to go back to Wal-Mart after the last time you were there. The time when the lady in line ahead of you left her shopping cart to run and get some Christmas lights that were on sale and the checker refused to let you go ahead of her so you all just had to stand there staring at the checker dust her register while you waited 5 minutes for the lady to come back with the lights, which ended up not being on sale so she threw a fit. No, you can't go back to Wal-Mart. So you head down to Target and you load up your basket and maybe you find a cute pair of brown pants that you've been needing and you possibly got the latest US Weekly. And when they ring you up your grand total was $15,097.42.

It is times like these that you pray your Wealthy Benefactor will get his act together so you can shave your legs without having to put your kidney up on craigslist.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have a sinus infection. And by that I mean I have the contents of two 1lb bags of jumbo marshmallows stuffed up my nose. Does anyone else leak when they have sinus infections? I seem to be leaking all over my head. I feel drips in the deep recesses of my ears. I can't wear my contacts because whatever is coming out of my eyes is making them all blurry. I have to stuff tissue up my nose at night. This is probably all too much for you. It's actually too much for me but I'm hoping that other people know what I'm talking about and they can give me sound advice as to what to do.* Or at least bring me cookies to make me feel better.

But I'm not really here to write about what's seeping out of my head. This sinus infection reminded me of a DOC STORY! (At Liz's fantastic Beatnik Poetry Birthday Jubilee Hannah, who appreciates a good story, said to me, "I'm happy you got a new job but I'm DEVASTATED that you're not working for the Doc anymore." Me too, Hannah. Me too.)

We had a patient who had a sinus infection and she came in for diathermy. I've mentioned diathermy before, right? I think when I mentioned that the Doc recommended raw bacon for my chest cold. It's a heat therapy. You put these two paddles over whichever spot needs treatment and it's suppose to burn the bacterial right out of your body. Up until that point I had only ever done diathermy on wonky spleens or livers or lungs. I didn't know how you could do it for sinuses because the paddles were quite large and hot. But the Doc assured me that it could be done. So she called me into the room where the patient was lying on the table with one of the paddles on her chest. The other paddle was on the chair.

The Doc instructed me to sit down on the paddle and put my fingers on the patients forehead. I didn't really want to because those paddles get really hot, but I was always up for anything when it came to the Doc so I did. Then she turned the machine on and told me to move my fingers over the forehead and the energy from the diathermy machine would flow through my body and into the patent's head, thus killing the infection. And she left with a no means should I cross my fingers because it would cause the energy to spark and I could do serious damage to the patent's brain. I thought about saying, "Like on Ghostbusters?" but I knew that she wouldn't get it.

As you could imagine, I was a little skeptical. And throughout the session I kept asking the patient if she felt anything at all coming through my fingers and she said no. Which lead me to believe that the only thing getting diathermy that day was my butt.

*If you don't have a suggestion as to what to do about the leakage you could channel the Doc and tell me what you think she would say.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gary the CPA

Some things about Gary the CPA that are important to know besides not asking about his ex-wife, because trust me, he will bring it up all on his own:

1.) About 3 times a day Gary will stand up from his desk, walk over to his window, and floss his teeth. And it's not just casual flossing, it's vigorous gum-splitting flossing, with very loud teeth sucking. When he's done he takes one good stretch and goes back to his desk.

2.) He loves golf and will occasionally work on his putting when he's not flossing. Sometimes for hours.

3.) Come to think of it, I've never actually seen him do work. He's in here all the time but when he's at his desk he's always on the phone talking about movies or his son will be in talking to him about movies or he's in the break room watching a movie.

4.) Do not get stuck in the break room with Gary. Maybe this is just me. I'm very protective of my lunch break. When I'm on it I like to eat my lunch and read my book in complete silence. I don't like to talk to people. Especially now that I have to talk to people all day long. (Knights of Columbus! You would not believe the amount of talking this job requires.) But there is no silence with Gary in the break room. There is talking. About him. And movies. And his cousins. I nearly faked a stroke yesterday just to get some peace.

5.) Speaking about those cousins...Gary is related to every black person in America. Especially the famous ones. Like, for instance, his cousin is Tyra Banks' step-dad (Don't think I won't use this to my benefit. Hello ANTM photo shoot!), and his cousin produces movies with Tyler Perry. And his cousin's daughter is on the Young and the Restless. And who was that playing the piano at his cousin's funeral? Little Richard, who happened to be the father of his cousins ex-daughter-in-law.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Move over Aretha

If I gave out awards to people for being awesome I would give one to my friend Becky who sent me this picture.

I think I'm totally pulling it off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Hats

Have I told you how much I love Inauguration Day? This should come as no surprise because there's loads of pomp and large groups of people waving flags and a parade. If you threw in a Slurpee machine and a good book I'd pray for it to be Inauguration Day every day.

Here's one of the things I especially loved about today's: all the funny hats.

Like, for instance, the one on Antonin Scalia:

John Paul Stevens' is pretty awesome too. George HW Bush wore one like that only it was grey, and about twice the size and the side-flaps were down. He looked like he had 2 furry bunnies strapped to his cheeks. It made me want to hug him.
You may have noticed the guy on the stand sitting right by the door wearing a red fedora. I'm going to come right out and say it was a bad choice. Black, grey, brown, plaid...fine. But red is kind of a pansy color for a fedora.
Speaking of fedoras, don't you think men should start wearing them again? And not just old men, but guys over 30? I think they're classy.
And how about Aretha Franklin's hat?
I wanted to shout "God Bless America!" for many reasons today, but that hat topped the list.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who Doubted!?

I forgot to mention this but I got a message from Amanda last night reminding me.

I'm almost positive that one of you doubted the swami hat and now your doubt has caused Fate to issue us all a swift kick to the head. About 2 hours after I predicted that Renee Zellwegger would ruin a movie that I would want to see I saw a commercial for a new movie she's starring in with none other than Harry Connick Jr. HARRY! That really got me where it hurt. Because I'm pretty sure she hasn't loved him as long as I have. Nor was she there that night at the Hollywood Bowl when I nearly swooned while he was playing Caravan on his piano. And she certainly doesn't have Amanda's nail marks permanently embedded in her leg from said show at the Bowl. What I'm saying is that I've invested a lot in my love for him and she should not be allowed to go and ruin a movie that I would, under normal circumstances, endure a crowded movie theater with all those obnoxious movie goers to see. It's one thing for her to do a movie with Colin Firth, or George Clooney, or Ewan McGregor. But Harry Connick Jr. should be off limits to squishy faced actresses who sound both like a 5 year old and a drunk.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

She works hard for her money

A few observations on the new job:

1.) Chiquita is wonderful. She's helpful and patient and she gets the joke. And she loves me. How do I know? Because every time I do something right she says, "Ooooh! I just love you!" Which makes me feel great, but also makes me wonder if she had retarded chimps working here before me because it's not rocket science.

2.) This place is a field of landmines for my allergies. Where the Doc had air filters and a strict fragrance-free policy, Chiquita has stock in the Yankee Candle Company. The pillows on the couch in the breakroom are covered in what looks like white muppet fur and the building is surrounded by eucalyptus trees. The skin around my mouth and nose have been tingling for 2 days.

3.) Speaking of landmines - do not ask Gary the CPA about his ex-wife! It's just me and Chiquita in the business but Gary the CPA rents out one of our offices. He is very much a CPA. I asked him what he does for fun and he said "I work." But Chiquita asked him if his ex was excited about their daughter's upcoming wedding and he said, "Why would I talk to that woman?" And then he went off about how he spent 30 years of his life making her happy and now she has everything and "If you think that I'm ever going to speaking to her after she took my RENTAL PROPERTY...!!!" And then his head exploded.

4.) The break room - minus the muppet pillows - is the nicest I've ever been in. Considering that my previous break room was my desk and the one at the school district was a kitchen with sticky chairs and a fridge that perpetually smelled like sour milk and rotten carrots, my expectations were not high. But Knights of Columbus, this one is like a Fortress of Solitude. There's a new, comfy couch with a foot rest, a tv, a nice table and cushy chairs. And I can shut the door. I have to say that it is very fitting for a Woman of Elegant Leisure forced to work hard for her money.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Behold the Craftiness

Because Flo the Benevolent Apartment Manager won't let us paint our walls I've been forced to come up with some creative ways to cover the eggshell white.

Behold the craftiness:

Or rather, my dad's craftiness. I've wanted screens for ages but do you know how much they cost? Somewhere between a personal shredder and a stealth bomber. So we just made them.
I came up with the idea, Dad constructed the frame and then we attached the material. Here's a close-up of the fabric.
Don't get to use to the fabric. It's a filler. I have big plans for it. Big plans that involve me figuring out how to applique.
Dad also made me this:
Lovely, huh?
Dear Flo,
Paint is off the list, but you've never said anything about the number of holes we can put in the wall. I'm shooting for the record.
Love, Rachel

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Before my unemployment paperwork could even be processed.

Let me tell you about yesterday:

I ate breakfast in my jim-jams while watching an old movie. I organized my desk. I got a job. I went to the temple and then out to dinner with some friends from the ward.

Um, did you miss that? I got a job! In a week! I'll be the HR specialist at an employment agency. What experience do I have in HR? About as much experience as I had pulling ears for a loony chiropractor. Which means plenty of stories to follow.

And I will give you a little taste of what is in store. My boss's name is Chiquita. CHIQUITA!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't Doubt the Swami Hat!

Instead of doing a year in review or sharing my resolutions with you, I am going to put on my swami hat and make predictions for 2009. (And now all of you are picturing me in a swami hat and giggling. I live to bring joy.) To be helpful I will break them down into categories.

1.) The team with the prettiest jerseys will win the Super Bowl.
2.) I will duck and scream like a girl when a foul ball comes flying at my head at my first baseball game of the season.
3.) I will eat my weight in Dodger Dogs but will not get sick because the two main ingredients are 100% beef and magic.
4.) The basketball season will last 18 months this year, just to annoy me.
5.) I will talk people's ears off about how much I love tennis and no one will care.
6.) I will once again not learn what off sides means in football.

1.) Someone from the south will win the Miss America Pageant. She will mention the war in Iraq, animal rescue organizations, and her mom all in the same sentence during her interview.
2.) I will watch more tv than I should, but, because I'm 80, some of that will be PBS, which counts as negative minutes.
3.) Renee Zellwegger will be in a movie that I will want to see and she will ruin it for me.
4.) Brittny Spears will be on 72% of all magazine covers this year. And 90% of US Weekly covers.

TYRA BANKS (because she deserves her own category)
1.) One of the photo shoots for America's Next Top Model will be in a Dumpster
2.) Tyra will wear a dress made out of recycled grocery bags, cinched at the waste, to the Daytime Emmy's.
3.) Tyra will speak only in Pig Latin during one of her shows.

1.) I will not read Wuthering Heights
2.) I will buy more felt than I need to and I will make something funny out of it. But hold up for a sec. Did I tell you that I went to Michael's the other day and left with spending just 52 cents? Can you believe that? Because I barely can. I just needed embroidery floss. But I walked by the felt section and the yarn section and I left with just my floss. It was a Christmas Miracle! It was also a Christmas Budget, which, now, I'm very grateful for because of my current Avoiding Poverty and Possibly Debtors Prison Budget.
3.) I will meet my Wealthy Benefactor and he will buy me a Slurpee machine. What, you don't believe it? Are you really going to doubt the swami hat?

Friday, January 2, 2009

One More

I was talking to my bishop a few weeks ago and he asked about my job and wondered if it was a good one and I said, "Well, it's alright. If anything it always keeps me in a steady supply of fantastic stories to tell." He said that he never thought of that as a perk to a job. I had to admit that it's one of the very first things I look for.

One of the saddest aspects of not working for the Doc anymore is the loss of all those wonderful stories. Because, let's be honest here, that was the best part of the job. Every day I came across something fantastic. I pulled on legs and ears and arms and heads and the Doc was a treasure trove of wacky medical remedies. But it's not just me who loses out on them. It's you. And that makes me sad.

But don't despair! Because I have one more.

Some background: The Doc is a borderline diabetic so she would check her blood sugar level every morning and then report it to me and Lisa when she came in. I'm not sure why she would tell us. Maybe it was her way of telling us whether or not it would be okay to shove a Snickers bar into her mouth. On Monday we had the following conversation:

Doc: My blood sugar was 80 this morning. Isn't that wonderful!
Me: Yep.
Doc: I've had apples in my fridge for 6 months that I've been too afraid to eat but I brought one for lunch because I think my body can handle the sugar today.
Me: You've had apples in your fridge for 6 months?
Doc: Yes.
Me: And now you're not afraid to eat them?
Doc: Of course.
Me: After 6 months?
Doc: There's nothing wrong with them. They just get sweeter and a little withered.
Me: ???
Doc: Clearly you weren't raised in a family that cold-stored their fruit.
Me: No, I was not raised to eat old, rotten apples.

Maybe my standard for fruit is too high. Maybe I've been living high on the hog for too long and think it's okay to toss out a 50 cent piece of fruit after oh, a month or so. Was I the crazy one in this conversation or was the Doc? I can't actually use the Doc as a good measure in this because she has also been known to leave cheese out on the counter for 12 hours every single day and I'm pretty sure the bacteria has gone to her head. And I don't like cold apples so I'm not about to test this one out. So if you think it's okay to eat 6 month old apples please let me know.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The bad news: I was laid-off on Tuesday. Doc told me first thing in the morning and I got my last check and headed home.

The good news: I feel okay about it. Really. This was never meant to be a long-term job. I'm not looking forward to the job search again and I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for the things I'm accustomed to as an Elegant Woman of Leisure, like breakfast, but I genuinely feel that things are going to be okay. Sure, I cried a bit that day. And by crying I mean I cried until there was no moisture left in my eyes. You should not be alarmed by this. Crying is how I deal with things. I have also been known to cry over frizzy hair. But now I'm fine and will continue to be so. And how do I know I will be fine? I was driving home that morning, in tears, and I noticed one of those traffic meter signals on the other side of the freeway. On the front, facing the line of cars, were the usual green and red lights. And on the back, facing no one, was another red light which was clearly there to tell you that if you were already driving into on-coming traffic, by no means are you allowed to get off. And I thought to myself, there will always be funny thing to laugh at. See, totally fine.

But did I mention I have an Etsy shop?