Breeding Like Fervent Rabbits

It’s a mystery I have yet to solve. At first, I thought the solution was simple, like in a movie; “Duh, the murderer is dude with the shiny black shoes and hair-piece!” But as week followed week, I realized a malevolence beyond my comprehension was the cause.

Every morning, they’re waiting as I unsuspectingly weave through the maze towards my cubicle. When I pass through the doorway, they greet me in their open and inviting way, expertly feigning innocence. They’re the masters of deception. They lull me into their siren song, convincing me to pluck one of them from the box and take a bite.

And how can I resist? Each one has the slight silken sheen of quality chocolate. Each one is formed into an irregularly perfect square that promises hand-made mastery. Under the color-stripping florescent lights, they gleam together in dark brown beauty. They sing promises of delectable sweetness.

But as soon as I take a bite, the spell shatters.

They’ve betrayed me. Instead of the wonderful See’s Candy-like succulence promised to me, they taste of plastic and staleness. As the rest of the day passes, I glare at the box accusingly each time I walk by. With every glare, I notice another chocolate has disappeared. By the end of the day, just as the accountants clear out in a mad dash for freedom, the now empty box of lying chocolates disappears into the garbage can.

Good riddance, I happily think to myself.

And yet, just as they inevitably deceive me into eating one of their tainted kind, the chocolates always reappear the next morning. There they are again, lined up in the white box that was thrown out the night before. Each one with the slight silken sheen of quality chocolate. Each one formed into an irregularly perfect square, gleaming in their dark brown beauty.

My only solution to this mysterious and sinister force is that the chocolates contain magical properties that allow their crumbs to breed together and create new, full-sized chocolates every night. Those full-sized chocolates then work together in moving the box from the trash to the conference table so they can continue their reign of terror the next morning.

I Avoid the Ladies’ Room Whenever Possible

In the women’s bathroom at work:

  • The stalls are 70’s orange.
  • There’s a dusty desk fan shoved in the corner of the handicapped stall.
  • The sinks are designed for midgets and also have a ledge immediately over them so that all non-midgets can’t see where the faucet is.
  • There’s three different types of signs in the bathroom: the one on the inside of every stall door, the one above the “sanitary box” in every stall and the one on the mirror. All three signs lecture users on various aspects of keeping the bathroom clean and go into extreme, disgusting detail on what keeping the bathroom clean means.
  • Taking into account the faded paper and peeling tape, a rough estimate on the approximate age for all of the signs in the bathroom would be somewhere between three and five years old.
  • There’s always a lingering, foul smell in the air after anyone over the age of thirty has used the bathroom within the past three hours. Almost everyone in the entire building is well beyond the age of thirty.
  • A milk carton has been chopped in half and placed under the middle sink to collect water that drips from the plumping.
  • There are a total of five different faucet handle styles for the three sinks.
  • A waiting room chair from the 60’s has been placed right next to the door for— well, for waiting, I imagine.


Had I been looking in a mirror this morning, this is the face I most likely would have seen when Tyler called to tell me that he made a mistake— his procedure is next Monday, not this Monday:

A classic Mindy face

A diet of only liquids and a bottle and a half of laxatives for nothing.

I Scream

Dear Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc.:

One sure sign that a product of yours is not up to my high quality standards is if I mine. When I mine your bucket of ice cream, I chisel my spoon deep in the the frozen mass of fat and sugar in search of the elusive chunks of gooey, goodness advertised in excess on the front of your package. If a product is particularly lacking in gooey, goodness, then what’s left after my mining exhibition is merely a carton full of bland, boring ice cream.

If I had wanted just ice cream, rather than ice cream packed with cookie dough and chocolate chips, then I would have bought a carton of plain ol’ ice cream. But I didn’t want just ice cream. I wanted the falsified depiction of vanilla ice cream packed with not only cookie dough, but also free-floating chocolate chips that your “Nestle® Toll House® Cookie Swirl” flavor promised.

And you took your advertising ploy one step further; you stamped two golden seals on the package, suggesting that this worthless product won a “Best Taste Award” issued from the American Culinary Institute. And because your marketing ploy was that good, I purchased your product.

But I was horribly disappointed. After mining your carton, I found only one solitary chunk of cookie dough— a fraction of the amount found in the standard cookie dough ice cream that your company also produces.

My extreme disappointment in your product, coupled with the bold packaging made me feel cheated. Later, I researched the ACI’s Best Taste Awards and realized that you received a general award for all of your ice cream products rather than for this particular flavor. But you were sneaky, carefully choosing which packages to emblazon the award seal on so it appeared that those actual flavors received the award instead of your entire company.

So, this is why I will shy away from your products in the future. But also because I have always preferred Ben and Jerry’s ice cream over yours, and here’s why: they have mastered the art of gooey, goodness-filled ice cream and you have not. By skimping on the gooey goodness you advertised in excess on your packaging, you’re lying to your consumers and missing what’s most important. For Ben and Jerry’s, they follow a basic prinicpal; they regard ice cream as a mere lettuce leaf bed upon which the main course resides. With their philosophy, the ice cream is a base that the mouthwateringly gooey goodness of ingredients require as a glue to unify them into one food product. In other words, the base of ice cream is not the entire product.

Note: This is a draft of a letter written almost exactly one year ago that I still intend to mail to Dreyer’s. I’ll let you know if I actually get off my lazy ass and send it.

The Neverending Intestinal Saga

According to Tyler, drinking laxatives is like drinking pus.

Because he will have anesthetics during his “procedure” tomorrow, I have to pick him up from the hospital. I’m preparing for the worst. I remember the one time in my life I had anesthetics, and believe me when I say that I would never wish my worst enemy to have an encounter with me then. Fortunately, I had a mouth full of gauze that prevented my parents from understanding the profusion of obscenities targeted their way.

Well, I’m off to eat the remainder of today’s breakfast- a Gordito’s grande burrito. And if the hapless Tyler ever comes out of the bathroom alive and feels up to “eating”, it’s warmed vegetable stock and lime jello (if it ever solidifies) for him. Tomorrow, we’re going to a Taste of India for dinner, so he will hopefully regain some weight.

The Year in Review

Or: All of the things I was either too depressed to write about, too lazy to write about, or too scared to write about

I graduated and lost my cozy, fun, and completely awesome student administrative assistant job.

I was unemployed for 5 months. For the first week, it was like a vacation. After that, it was like running through Dante’s 9 circles of Hell. During this period, there were a lot of really awful interviews on the scale of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. There were also not nearly enough interviews- you know, the normal kind that balance out the chain-saw hell kind. A job was offered and then retracted after a day of work, followed by an exchange of many poisonous words when my promised paycheck never arrived.

I became horribly depressed.

6 months after graduating, an envelope came in the mail. It had two diplomas in it, which made me feel rather prestigious. Sadly, the feeling only lasted for a minute or two.

I took a two-month contract job where I copied and pasted cell phone help articles for Verizon Wireless’ new website. I did a lot of re-coding of horrid HTML and some light editing and rewriting. Sometimes, I actually wrote an article from scratch, which made me happy. I had lots of nightmares about cell phones and Blackberries, but I was sad when the contract ended because I hadn’t managed to save much money. The job did make me much happier, despite the long commute out of Seattle, the nightmares, and the boring work. After 5 months, having a weekly paycheck was just that exciting.

I started an editorial certificate program, hoping that it would help me get a job. Instead, it became another expense that I can’t afford.

During my two-month contract job, I applied to over 140 jobs. Administrative, part-time, temporary- even a position that would clean up monkey poop at a research facility.

I went to New York, using a plane ticket I received as a graduation and going-away present from my awesome coworkers at my student job. While there, I stayed with my good friend, Dan. I had lots of fun, and spent some money. I also received a lot of calls for interviews while away. Then, I was so inspired by how good my friend’s and his girlfriend’s lives were, that I freaked out about my stale life.

I came home from New York and realized I was too poor to apply for graduate school this year. I also missed the deadline for the JET Program by one day.

I interviewed for a number of jobs- contract, part-time, full-time, temporary, and permanent. Only one of the many interviews went poorly, but it wasn’t on the scale of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. I did, however, encounter a lazy recruiter for a dream job who squelched my chances at a second interview that had been offered- all thanks to her laziness.

I spent the holidays unemployed and trying in vain to receive unemployment benefits. I later found out that I couldn’t receive benefits because I didn’t earn enough work hours while a student.

I was offered a part-time, temporary position at the UW two weeks before Christmas. I took it, and had to wait until the New Year before I could start working.

My Cubicle is Orange and Smelly

Yesterday was my first day of work, but they weren’t ready for me to start working. “Not ready for me” as in the team I’ll be working with didn’t know I was starting that day. My manager was in two very long meetings that morning, so the other two team members walked me around the cubicle labyrinth, showed me where my desk was, and had me look at the horrid New Employee Online Orientation Website. After slogging through tons of information that doesn’t apply to me because I’m part-time and temporary, the website forced me to register for a mandatory sexual harassment prevention seminar. When my manager finally showed up, he handed me tons of paperwork and then decided the entire team should go to a bar and have “lunch”. After four hours total of working and going to a bar, I went home because there was nothing else for me to do. Then I took a nap, and followed that by bothering a sleeping Tyler periodically throughout the afternoon.

This morning started out with “training”, which consisted of my manager being in more meetings and the other two members of my team telling me tons of boring information about the entire financial system at the UW. Needless to say, I think I know more than Mason does about accounting right now. After learning about every single division within the entire department, my two co-workers finally showed me the website and help pages I will be in charge of. But because all my passwords and logins still aren’t setup, I can’t do anything but sit at my desk and play Urbandead.

And speaking of my desk, did I mention that I was exiled to a dank cubicle at the furthest possible end of the building from the rest of my team? I didn’t? Well, I am. And my cubicle walls are leftover rust-orange artifacts from the 70’s that have a faint and unpleasant odor. I’m not really sure what division of the Financial Management Department I have infiltrated, but it’s something like “Accounts Payable” or “Payroll”, while I’m technically in a division titled “Desktop Support Services” that isn’t even part of the Financial Management Department.

So, things have been really boring and slow, which I absolutely hate when it comes to working. And because of some of the things my co-workers told me about why my position was created, I have a sinking feeling that instead of being part-time, I will end up working full-time (and possibly over-time) sporadically during the next six months. That makes getting a second job really hard. Also, the sheer amount of things I’m expected to do for this position definitely makes it a full-time, permanent position. And I’d be really happy about that, if I was confident that the dark overlords would allow enough funding for my position to be full-time and permanent.

But despite the boring start and the foreboding horizon, the three people I will be working closely with all seem like fun and interesting co-workers.