Thursday, March 29, 2012

Not a fungusy armpit in sight

Remember that one job I had where angry parents would call me up just to say mean things to me because their hoodlum child got in trouble for bringing a gun to school?  Or that other job where I had the daily struggle of making sure there was enough money in the bank account so the IRS wouldn't close the place down?  Or that one job where I had to pull on people's ears all day and once had to ultra-sound a fungusy spot on a man's armpit?

Well, today at my new job I spent the majority of the time chatting with the students and eating taco salad.  I finished the day with a round of ping-pong.

I feel like I should be high-fiving people all day long.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ruby is the new poster diva for Scared Straight

We have had a rash of car break-ins lately.  A few weeks ago Mr. & Mrs. Next Door had their window busted and her purse stolen and this morning Mr. & Mrs. Somewhere on the Other Side had theirs meddled with.  Both times the alarms went off around 6:30am followed by the pitter-patter of hooligan feet.  It is infuriating.

Naturally, I don't keep anything of value in my car.  If someone really wants to take something I suppose they could jimmy the trunk where they will find 1.)  a semi-flat dodge ball, 2.)  a beach chair, 3.) a denim blanket that is literally too heavy to carry long distance, 4.) an emergency bag that holds a ratty pair of sneakers, an even rattier pair of flip-flops, a roll of toilet paper, a flash light with dead batteries, an old fleece pull-over that has camp fire ember holes burned into it and food that is so old it would kill them.

Now, I don't have an alarm on my car but I do have a very serious and effective theft deterrent.

Ruby St. Germaine.  The wee lounge singer and former headliner of my car - now a scorned woman, a possible heroin addict, and practitioner of black magic - living under reduced circumstances in my cup holder.  I guarantee one look through my window into the glazed and sooty face of Ruby would turn any derelict youth from a life of crime.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And suddenly I'm 12

Being at my parents house while my place is being de-bugged has caused some weird flashbacks.  Such as driving to Mt. SAC and trying to figure out which of the 30 alternate routes to take.  Or eating breakfast with my dad while reading the newspaper, just like every morning before seminary. (Dear Early Morning Seminary Graduates, Can you BELIEVE that we did that?  And can you believe that we didn't get a statue erected in the foyer of the church for making it through?  It seems like a gross oversight. Let's rally!  Love, Rachel)

Or how about this one - Camille is taking piano lessons from Carolyn, who was my piano teacher decades ago.  And she's playing out of the same books I learned from.  So they had a lesson last night and Camille was playing "Estralita" and Carolyn was telling the exact same story about how she couldn't play that song to save her life and how she hated her teacher for forcing her to learn it and this lead to other stories and suddenly I'm 12 and in Carolyn's living room and she's sitting on the floor knitting a sweater and I'm squirming on the piano bench because of course I didn't practice, I never practiced (hence the organ debacle every 3rd Sunday in my ward) and she eventually says, "Okay, honey, next week.  Now come on back and help me cut my hair."  True story.  I would hold the mirror up so she could see the back of her head while trimming.  Some of my favorite early teen memories involve piano lessons with Carolyn, mostly because hair cutting was not our only form of hijinx. And she accomplished what she set out to do, which was to teach me how to play in church. I actually can't imagine learning the piano any other way.  No recitals and lots of gabbing in between songs.  Oh, and she knitted me a sweater for learning Estralita in one week.  Camille reminded her of this and asked if she could expect one and she said, "Honey, I'm old and don't care anymore."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Winged Crawly Things Revisited

I know you're looking at those cellophane bags peaking over the chair tops and thinking, "Ooh!  Gift baskets!  I hope they're filled with Toblerone."

But what you should really be thinking is, "Ooh, termites!"  Because those bags hold all of our consumable products. Sadly, no Toblerone. 

Remember that incident last summer where winged creatures invaded my bedroom?  You were all right.  They were, in fact, termites and it seems as if the entire complex is under attack.  The whole building is being tented tomorrow and Katie and I are decamping to Chino to stay at the old homestead for two days. 

In other news, doesn't my overnight bag look like an angry monster plotting to eat my face in the middle of the night?

Or maybe does he resemble 70s rocker Meatloaf?  I don't actually know which would be worse, having my face eaten off or waking up to "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That.)"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do you have any calves you need rustling?

I picked three things off of my Life To-Do List to accomplish this year.  The first one was to memorize the world capitals.  Check.

The second was to learn how to lasso.  And guess what - Check!  I went to a hoe-down themed church activity last night (which goes to show how easy it is to forget St. Patrick's Day when it's non-drinkers planning a party) and there was a place where you could practice lassoing things.  I am happy to report that I am a natural at it.  I got the horns on my first try and every single time after that.  I also learned the proper way to hold the rope and also the terms for each part of the rope, which I immediately forgot but feel that that information would be irrelevant when you have a rogue calf that needs rustling.  Now I need to move on to trick lassoing.  I want to be able to spin one around and jump through it.  Like Steve Martin in Three Amigos.

The last on my list:  Fly in a bi-plane.  I'm thinking August.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ugly Baby Bangs

My bangs complex has escalated.  Do you know how long I have had these bangs?  Since May.  That's nine months.  And yet I am not exaggerating when I say that at least once a week, but usually more, people who see me on the regular, certainly multiple times since May, say something about my bangs.  As in, "Hey, you have bangs."  Kind of like the same way I say, "Hey, it's a baby!" when I see a baby who isn't that cute and don't know what to say.  Which has led me to believe that I have Ugly Baby Bangs.  And the only cure for both is to just let them grow out of it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Got a meeting in the ladies room

I went out to dinner last night with Emsy and we were there for five hours. Because we only see each other just a few times a year there is generally a lot of catching up and arm flapping to do, and in the case of last night, recapping entire episodes of "The West Wing".  Five hours with lots of water refills naturally lead to a bathroom break so I excused myself and headed into the loo where I found 1.) a woman having a difficult time breathing, 2.) a man comforting her while on the phone with 911 and 3.) her sister in hysterics. I mean, HYESTERICS. How, exactly does one take care of business under those conditions?  I'll tell you, one does not.  So I put my arm around the wailing sister and lead her over to the sink and away from the gasping woman and tried to calm her down by saying positive and soothing things. Which would have been a noble thing to do if I were not so fixated on the fact that there would be no peeing in my immediate future.  Especially after a whole lot of dreamy EMTs came strutting into the Ladies a minute later.

And now I feel a bit like a jerk for only thinking, "But I really have to peeeeeee!!!!" while the poor woman was fighting for life.*  But, really, I did.  And you would think that during an emergency situation such as this that urge would disappear, but I can testify that it does not.  I am happy to report that the EMTs were not only cute but also efficient and they had her strapped to oxygen and a guerney in under five minutes and we all could rejoice.

*Okay, she was actually standing, which I took to be a very positive sign, and other than not being able to speak and having difficulty getting air into her, she seemed like she would weather the storm.  In fact, she looked and sounded exactly like my old co-worker Sheila when she had severe acid reflux which, in a freak incident, went down her wind pipe, and who, once she had recovered her voice, said, "I'm so embarassed you called 911 because I burped."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Follow them to the edge of the desert

Camille and I made our annual trip out to the desert for our day of tennis.  You know how you look forward to Christmas morning, or your birthday, or maybe the Fourth of July?  That's how excited we get about this event.  We look forward to it all year long.  We're giddy the whole drive out.  We scour the schedule and plan our day, which matches we're going to see, how many frozen lemonades we're going to get, important stuff like that.  There weren't too many players this year that we wanted to see so we opted to go to the smaller courts for really great seats.

Check out how close we got.

That is not zoomed in, my friends.  I'm actually that close to Juan Monaco doing his best impression of a man being shot.  Or, maybe he's just serving.  Either way, we were that close. Close enough to see the fuzz on the ball as it went whizzing by our heads.  Close enough to say encouraging words to the players as they passed by like, "Great return," or "Keep it up," or "Those shorts are rather flattering on you." Close enough to hear all the Spanish curse words.  And, in the case of his opponent, Nicolas Mahut, the French ones too.  After the match we were making our way to the exit and Monaco, who had just won, was leaving out of the same one, so we high fived him.  Because clearly we're best friends now.  I complimented his shorts, didn't I?

The rest of the day was filled with other great matches, lots of sunshine, lounging in Adirondack chairs while watching the Djokovic match on the big screen outside the stadium, imagining budding romances between the ball boys and ball girls, trying to win a free trip to Dubai for wearing that Fly Emirates hat (I don't know, I think it makes my head look oddly shaped), and counting the number of middle-aged women who came wearing tennis dresses just in case Rodger Federer needed a mixed doubles partner.


Only slightly off were you taught to remember the spelling difference between desert and dessert?  I was taught that dessert has 2 S's because you want more of it.  But nearly everyone else I have polled has come up with a different way.  And now I'm curious.


A million imaginary points and a unicorn to the first person who gets the title reference.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A brief conversation between me and Costco

Me: Gah! I feel like at any moment all those pallets of potato chips are going to come crashing down on me! How come the only soda you sell in a 2 liter bottle is Coke?!  How come you don't have signs on your aisles??!  Am I just suppsed to guess where everything is?  How come there are no workers around to ask a simple question like where are the other beverages besides Coke?!  Why can't I pay for these 8 pizzas with my Costco card?!  Are you serious that it's cash only?! Who carries around $90 in cash?!  Is that a five gallon vat of mayonnaise?  DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY BUY THAT MUCH MAYONNAISE?!  Are you in cahoots with Wal-mart? Because I thought that Wal-mart was Satan's store but now I think you may be making a play for that title.

Costco: Are you talking to me, loser?

Monday, March 5, 2012

If that doesn't impress them I can always tell my Wayne Newton anecdote

The secretary that I am replacing has been there for ages.  In fact, she came when I was a student there, lo these many years ago.  And she is beloved.  We're all sad to see her go.  Which makes me very grateful that if I can't win these kids over with my humor and charm I always have my nun chuck skills to fall back on.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I also did jazz hands when I remembered what the capital of Palau is

Remember how I was memorizing the world capitols because unemployment was making me dumb?  It has not helped.  I'm still incredibly addled.  I can barely string together a sentence.  Just now I was trying to come up with a good analogy as to how dumb I'm feeling and I can't even manage that.

So I'm happy to report two things:

1.)  I have completed memorizing all the world capitals.  I mean, ALL OF THEM.  Go ahead and quiz me.  Except that because I'm so dumb right now I may not be able to recall it when you do.  But I still think you should try.  In addition to the 197 official countries, I have memorized 20 more that happened to be on the website I used.  None of those extra ones have made me any smarter but it does show that my nerditude knows no bounds.

And now for the big news:

2.)  I got a job.  A JOB.  A real job that pays money.  Money which I will use to go crazy and buy groceries and stamps.  Oh, the grociers and stamps that I will buy!  (Note: I hope that when you read that it includes a visual in your head of me shimmying and doing jazz hands. Also, I would follow it up with several toe touches and a running split kick with a confetti gun going off behind me. Donny and Marie are singing in the back ground. They are wearing matching lavendar jump suits with lots of sequins.)(Just to be on the safe side, all visuals of me should be exactly like this.)(Also, if you're going to visualize me, please make sure my bangs look good.)(That is all.) I've known for over a month now that I had it but I didn't write about it because it was so far in the future. I still had a whole month of worring about buying groceries and stamps.  I didn't want to jinx it.  Even writing about it now feels a little like I'm running the risk still.  But I start on Monday and I'm thrilled.  I'll be the secretary at the Mt. SAC Institute of Religion.  Which may need some explaining to those who aren't locals and/or not Mormon.  Mt. SAC is a junior college and Institutes of Religion are facilities usually adjacent to the college that are run by the church for college age kids where they can take religious classes and play ping pong and eat junk food and hang out. I actually went to Mt. SAC and the institute.  I know it well.  When I was interviewing for it I was told that one of my primary responsibilities would be to sit around and talk with the students.  I will refrain from talking to much about my vast knowledge of world capitals.