Monday, December 8, 2008

Yes, David, the is life on Mars.

One of my favorite daily activities is perusing Wikipedia to find little-known facts and general information about my favorite music artists (I do look up info. about others as well, but my main interest lies in those who create the music I enjoy). With that, I'd like to let my readers know that today, Eric Clapton gave me a reason to keep going.

Turns out that when Mr. Clapton received a guitar as a gift for his 13th birthday, and struggled to learn how to play it. He almost gave it up, tired of the tedious hours of playing scales. Instead, he sat around with his tape recorder, listened to the blues, and picked out chords to learn.

Don't give up. If Eric Clapton did, we wouldn't have "Layla." And I really like that song, dammit. Especially the bluesey, acoustic version. As I write this, Bon Iver is playing over the airwaves, and I am happy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Lady Boss

7:37 PM - Medford Square - Monday night, December 1st

I was heading out of CVS, birth control perscription in hand, and feeling bummed that the song "November Rain" was no longer applicable to the current weather and month. Two short kids, who I judged could not be any older than 12 years, came around the corner. One of the kids was on a bike, and one strode behind him.

"Hello." He looked me up and down.

I nodded, gave him a weird look, and said "Hey."

"WAIT UP, N*$$*R...WAIT UP, N*$$*R!" Smooth talker called out to his pal on the bike.
I wanted to snap at the kid to never use such a horrible and degrading word, but didn't have a chance as the two kids shot out into the middle of the road, nearly getting hit by oncoming traffic. Now, across the street and behind me just a bit, smooth talker decided to try something.

"Hey, baby?! BABY! Hey SEXY!" This kid hollered across the road to me. Already feeling odd swinging my birth control in a baggie, I kept on trucking.

"YO! My friend likes you."

End scene.

* * * * *

10:02 AM - My place of employment - Tuesday, December 2nd

Two young men step up to the counter as I'm training one of my employees on a transaction.

"Do you like having a lady boss?" the short guy asks my male employee. Prajesh, unsure what to say, gave him a funny look and chuckled a little.

"Excuse me? A what?" I asked.

"A lady boss. You like when she bosses you around like that? (directed to Prajesh)."

I stood, bewildered, unable to keep myself from making various comments - "What the hell?" - yet not wanting to tell off a customer.

"I have a lady boss too."

"Oh yeah, and how is she?" I inquired.

"She's bossy."

End scene.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Overheard at the Airport

Last night I gave thanks. I thanked the stars as I flew into the night sky over Pennsylvania, and pushed through the freezing air into New England, for this life. Being home for Thanksgiving made me realize some things that I often forget; for one, tolerance is a skill, and, Mom makes better food than anyone else in the world. Something about the fact that the food was prepared by my mother, or grandma, makes it taste better. Coffee is a necessary and joyous beverage. And, my family will always be there for me when I need them.

After the very homebound and low-key weekend with my family, Rodney (little bro) drove me back to the airport so I could catch my flight to Boston. The flight was delayed, due to a sort of plane traffic back up in the inclimate weather of November. Originally intended to leave at midnight, my flight got pushed back an hour. I expected to board around 12:20, and was let onto the plane at 12:30. But not before I had the pleasure of finding irritation in just about everyone around me.

I got a set of headphones and sat down to work on my crossword book before catching an episode or two of Buffy on my laptop. At the same moment, a curly-haired young woman behind me ripped open a large bag of chips and began devouring them. CA-RUNCH-RUNCH-RUNCH-MUNCH-LIPSMACK-CRUNCH. My hair stood on end with each chomp. Force yourself to deal with it, Jamie. Sit here and deal. It's just chips. No one is coming after you. Chip-chewing does not merit murder.

The sound of a bag popping open resounded from another seat.

CA-RUNCH. CHOMP...Arghhhhhh!

Unable to deal, I heaved my backpack onto my back, scooped up my coat, and began my search for a new place to sit, void of people. There was a small room filled with old payphone terminals that were no longer in service. About three other people sprawled in various corners of the room with laptops were all removing chips from bags and chowing down. My skin crawled. I sat down and jacked up the volume on my laptop and began to relax at the sound of Spike's British accent, and Buffy's beat-em-up moves biffing and bopping on the screen.

Worried I would miss my flight due to Whedon (an embarrssing situation indeed), at midnight I re-joined the cast of mainly young persons like myself waiting for the plane to arrive. A young blonde girl sat to the right of me, chattering loudly, on and on to her friends about going to Boston College, cab fare, and the MBTA.

"I walked all the way to Southie one day with my friends," the girl said. "It was SO SKETCH. I seriously felt like I was in The Departed the whole time."

Excellent! Comparing Boston to a Scorcese flick - that's realistic! Southie, whoa now, look out, you might get knocked off by the Winter Hill Gang if you walk in that area. Gimmie' a goddamned break. Was I shocked that a prissy little Boston College student from Mt. Lebanon (affluent 'burb of Pittsburgh) made such a comment? No. Nonetheless it was disheartening. It's like reducing Pittsburgh to Flashdance. Last I checked, Jennifer Beals was starring in The L Word, and chicks don't typically work as welders/flashdancers in the 'burgh. But, that's what one might assume if they project Hollywood's image of a city onto it and tout it as "the way it really is."

Suggestion: give thanks if you can see past stereotypes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Women Who ROCK

During my lunch break, I checked out The New York Times website to catch some fresh news, and, to my total surprise, found this monumental tidbit:

For a debriefing, it's about three girls in Saudi Arabia who started a rock band. In Saudi, this is incredibly taboo. Imagine busting out of your black robes, picking up a guitar, and rocking your ass off in a country that believes women should be covered and quiet. I can't describe how much hope this gives me for women in the Middle East, and how much I admire these young women for their courage and creativity. I'm thinking of writing them a letter, and I'll surely check out their myspace page to hear some of their music. (They are called the Accolade).

Bottom line? Women rock, and they rock now MORE THAN EVER.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Put out the fire with ice cream

I hate when I wake up in the morning and my ass muscles burn. This is especially disconcerting considering I spend all day sitting on my ass, which hurts. I wonder if one can break their ass. I'm guessing this is entirely possible. Surely, the ass is smarting a bit due to the actual exercise I did last night at rehearsal for my burlesque troupe. One of our members is a belly-dancer and taught us some lovely hip-swiveling moves. Instead of looking like a delightful woman from a Bollywood film, I looked like a white girl attempting to shake it like a Polaroid picture (which reminds me, I should really get out Mom's old Polaroid and take some cool shots). The worst part was watching myself in the mirror and quipping my "ain't I cute!" face for myself. It was pathetic. This could be an opportunity to lose a few vanity pounds and practice my exercises daily. Or, it could pose an even better opportunity to gorge on junk. After rehearsal, I took my hour-long trip home on the MBTA in the bitter New England cold (it's not even winter yet, eek!) and made myself a huge hot fudge Sunday upon arrival at the home base. Tasty. Fattening. I feel like a stuffed duck. QUACK!

The election is tomorrow and I'm fairly pumped to vote. Tonight I must check out the dreaded Garment District for photo shoot clothing. You would think Wednesday could be busy enough with the photo shoot in the evening, and the need for an appropriate costume, but I also must go to Worcester for an Assistant Manager's meeting. Horrid. I have no desire whatsoever to do this, but I must, for the sake of keeping my job. Hello, Commuter Rail, how do you do?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Pill Stealers

I woke up this morning in a room that was not my own. Last night, after a delightful dinner with a female friend of mine, followed by some cocktails at a bar called DIVA, I meandered to my boyfriend's house and wound up falling into a blissful sleep next to him. This morning I was rudely awakened at 6:30 AM by my beeping phone, persistently calling me to awake from my partially alcohol-induced coma.

And that's where the real fun began.

I walked back to my place, which took half an hour, even though it usually takes twenty minutes. As far as I know, I didn't take any long roads home, so I have no way of accounting for this time lapse. Prior to getting a shower I looked down at my legs and realized that they bore the brunt of winter weather and it's only October. My thighs were red and callously chapped by the icy morning wind. Note: I was wearing pants outside (jeans). After my shower I quickly realized that I needed to take my meds, since I forgot them yesterday. The night before, I took my antidepressants in the kitchen. The bottle was not next to the microwave. It was not sitting on the kitchen table. I checked my desk - not there. Not under my bed, not on the floor, not in my pile of dirty clothing, not in the bathroom. Could I have accidentally flushed an entire bottle of pills? Did my cats hide them from me? A panic began to set in. Meanwhile, Charley and Le Tigre, my cats, were chasing one another around the house. Charley, the older cat, stopped in my room and began to make what I can only explain as "the hairball noise" - a horrific hacking beginning in her bowels and shaking through her body, rendering her powerless to the mass attempting to out itself from her system. Shit.

Fifteen minutes into the great pill search of 2008, I did not turn up empty-handed. My hands were occupied with collecting the mucus and food particles barfed up by Charley. Scrubbing the rug at 8:00 AM, knowing I needed to be at work by 8:30, I gave up. Someone stole my fucking pills.

At work, I scanned my desk for the bottle of depression curing miracle pellets. Not there. The worst part - I just called in an RX for these puppies two days ago and they're already gone. How does one lose an entire bottle of pills? Who does that? A drug addict? A dealer? I'm neither! WTF?!

Must have been the pill stealers.

In other news: I'm quite certain that my upper wisdom tooth is growing in a manner that will knock my back molar out of my mouth. Pain. Blood. Dentist? I'm reluctant. When I got the bottom suckers out, those idiots gave me an IV. I don't think I can deal with that. I slapped the nurse (not intended to, of course). I'd like to keep my veins to myself, yet I don't know if I can deal with this extra added bonus wisdom I have now acquired.

Tonight: Juliana Hatfield's reading and performance at the Kenmore Barnes and Noble. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


11:56 AM, Tuesday.

Customer (in baseball cap, smelling of cigarettes): I really hate books, you know?

Me: No. Can't say I do.

Customer: It's just the price, know, everything. You know, what I mean?

Me (growing angry): No. I'm a writer. I love books.

Customer:...? Oh... That's cool.


Is there any hope for this world?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I don't care for air.

Without further ado, this is the first entry of my blog. I will use this blog to share details about my life in the retail industry, and my daily meanderings on the job.

Last night, while at a bar and wearing a lovely dress, I noticed that the room temperature went from "comfortable" and "almost warm enough!" to "balls-out-cold." In October, particularly in New England, I would never dream of being in an air conditioned room, arctic air blasting forth from the metal ceiling vents. But, so be it. I froze in my dress, which I expected to withstand October's relatively mild tempteratures with a coat over it out of doors, and pantyhose beneath indoors. No, no. The club owner apparently thought "meat locker" would be the best temperature for his venue.


Going out on a limb, here: To me, AC gives me the same experience as standing in a room full of smokers as the sole non-smoker. Perhaps most of the large, padded people able to guzzle booze and breathe fire will remain temperately relaxed. I am by no means scrawny, but I am proud that I don't have this extra American padding like many of my young and already bursting-at-the-seams peers. If your large tank of an ass is so warm in a room at seventy degrees, while you are merely drinking beverages and conversating on a cool, autumn day, perhaps you should get your blood pressure checked. In the mean time, keep the AC OFF unless it's boiling outside. We'll save electricity, fossil fuels, and, most importantly, my ass from falling off like an icicle from a frozen tree trunk.

To my dismay, and, as usual, my workplace today also feels like a Siberian wonderland. My store is located in a large, state-run facility. One would think that air conditioning in autumn would waste energy that, oh, you know, taxpayers are paying for. Nonetheless, sitting at my desk is much like sitting atop a windy hillside in January. I prepare, I bring sweaters, wear layers, properly attire my feetsies with socks, yet the air keeps a-blowin.' Give it a rest!