Monthly Archives: December 2010

ch-ch-ch-changes

Hello friends. We have not updated this blog in a very long time. This is a result of several factors, one of which is that both Heather and I are changing jobs. I feel like “changing jobs” feels very suburban, very adult, like maybe you are looking into transferring your 401(k). In actuality we are both going from jobs where we are expected to smile at people from behind a cash register into jobs where we have our own email addresses and aren’t supposed to let anyone know if we show up to work hungover. I have many feelings about this and suspect Heather does too, but I have already inflicted them on everyone else in my life, so I’m going to try to  let go of that or at least deal with it in private, like a motherfucking adult. What I wanna talk about here is the good things, the things I am happy about and will remember fondly. I’ve bitched about crazy, rude customers enough for a lifetime. Today was my last day at [place of employment], and now I would like to share about my favorite customers, in ascending order.

5. Christian

Christian is a Lebanese biker who wears spandex bodysuits at all times and loves beef wellington. He comes in almost every day and refuses to order off the menu. He either coaxes us into modifying actual menu items until they meet his specifications, or takes a retail prepared food item out of the refrigerated case and makes us reheat it in the oven. He exhibits Grade A annoying customer behavior but he is so goofy and heavily accented about it that you can’t really take it seriously, and he’s so good-natured and friendly (he knows all of our names!) that it’s pretty enjoyable. It’s annoying to put his shrimp in the oven for exactly 18 minutes, but on a day when you think a customer might actually stab you in the eye with a compostable fork it’s a huge relief to have someone so consistently weird. He will not eat anything on the  menu that is of Syrian origin out of national pride.

4. Sausage Flatbread, Light on the Peppers and Extra Feta, With Iced Tea To Go

I do not know this woman’s name but I am worried about her health. She orders a sausage flatbread (pork-and-beef sausage with olives and hot peppers on a flatbread spread with feta butter – that is CHEESE MIXED WITH BUTTER – and then rolled up, COATED IN OIL and grilled) every single day basically. I am afraid we are going to give her heart disease and kill her. I think she heard me say this to a coworker once and tried ordering other things for a while, but now she’s back to her usual. She is very courteous and I like her a lot. Sorry if we kill you, nice lady. Thanks for tipping.

3. Jim (Skim Latte To Go)

If our coffeeshop had a mascot, he would be it. He is a squat older dude in glasses who comes in every single day and orders a skim latte, either iced or hot depending on the season. Usually whoever is on drinks will signal to him from across the cafe to figure out which kind to make, and then make sure to have it finished before he makes it to the front of the line. He tips every single day. He is a rock star, and every single employee loves him. One of us recently petsat for him. There are few more authentic ways to express affection for someone than medicating their cat, even if you are being paid. LOVE YOU JIM.

2. Susan (Half-Caf Skim Latte For Here)

This is just the nicest woman alive. That’s all there is to it. She is small and older and has inexpertly dyed hair and she is so polite and timid that you almost want to apologize to her just in case you’ve made the register transaction stressful at all. She left a whole box of chocolates and glitter hand lotion (???) for the staff at Christmas, as well as a card. Also, there is something so endearingly careful and restrained and completely characterizing about a half-caf skim latte. I mean – I don’t know. It’s not even decaf. It’s half-caf. Do you know what I mean? Say you know what I mean.

1. Vanilla Coffee To Go

This is my favorite customer, hands down. It’s a controversial choice; I think everyone else thinks he is a pretty ok dude who looks vaguely like the grownup version of the ‘bad kid’ in The Breakfast Club. I don’t know. He comes in every day and orders a vanilla coffee, then adds milk. He makes conversation, and he’s so bad at it that it has to be completely genuine; I mean, clearly it’s not out of habit, you know? He is Jewish and unemployed and goes to AA meetings, which means I feel like we already get each other on a lot of levels. Once he came in dressed up and I told him he looked nice and he said “Thanks for saying that, that was a really nice thing to do.” It was so sincere it made me uncomfortable, which is a quality I kind of admire in people. He isn’t funny, and I like that. Tonight I told him I was leaving; he is the only customer I feel like I owe that too, because he’s the only one who might actually notice I’m gone (with possible exception of Sausage Flatbread, I am not sure anyone else knows her order by heart). He immediately knew that it wasn’t an unequivocally positive thing, asked if I had ever considered teaching English, agreed with me that teaching probably meant a lot of obnoxious children, and then wrote down on a napkin MATT GROENIG – WORK IS HELL, which is the title of a book. He said he thought it might help. He also wrote down LIFE IS HELL and LOVE IS HELL, which I don’t think are part of the book titles. I said thank you, that was really nice, and got him another coffee.

 

Then I went out and drank and also hugged some people. Things could be worse, is what I’m saying.

 

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

DADT repeal. About time, amirite?  Yes.  Rachel has a really great and nuanced article about the subject over at Autostraddle, which discusses the ideological and practical issues that come with the implementation of the repeal, as well as the sadness of the DREAM Act’s failure.  I’m not surprised that the DREAM Act failed –– maybe it’s the circles I run in, but more of the people I know are conservative than not –– but am stoked about the DADT repeal, as I didn’t quite expect it would happen.

The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s embarrassing how long it took me to get around to reading this.  I mean, I’m 23, for goodness’s sake.  I should have read it years ago!  It is so gooooooooooooooooooooooood.  (Not crazy about the end, though; it really couldn’t have ended any differently without collapsing the tension, but still, the part of me hooked on serial dramas was dying to know, what next?)

Antibiotics. Between my jobs, I’ve had exactly two days off since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  So you might not be surprised to hear I was felled by sinusitis this weekend of the degree that causes people to say “Who is this?” and then, “God, you sound horrible” when one calls them on the phone.  But today I feel better!  And it’s all due to the antibiotics my doctor gave me.  Thank you, modern medicine.

Mom and I have been watching The Sing-Off on demand. There’s been a number of good numbers, but my faves have been both gender-bending and awesome.  Look at these hip, vocally-excellent seniors perform “Mercy” by Duffy!  (Skip to 1:45 for the awesomeness.)

Oh, and there’s this too, I guess:

The other day at work, a dapper elderly gentleman came to the register to buy a puzzle while singing Christmas carols.  When I said the perfunctory, “Hi, how are you?” he sang at me, “I am great, how are yooooou?”  Sang.  Like a septuagenarian Darren Criss! Then he launched into “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and asked me to sing with him, so we caroled away while I rang him up.  Thank you, sir.  You kinda made my whole day.

LOOK AT THIS ANIMAL:

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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oy humbug

Five years ago, when I first worked at [redacted], I walked into work the weekend before Christmas to find that the store had gone back to its regular, non-holiday music.  Baffling!  Later, I found out that one of our managers called Corporate to tell them that if he had to listen to one more Christmas carol, he “was gonna kill someone.”  An empty threat, but they hastily stopped the holiday songs in our store –– and since the company uses one customized broadcast station, they stopped the holiday music in every other store across the nation.  Over a thousand locations!

I’m just saying.

Also, my mom called from the mall today.  She’s bought me the Glee Christmas album as an early present, since it includes “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  I can’t bring myself to tell her I already have “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

 

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top five: titles of my future memoir

1. Who Are You People

2. Back Pain: A Life

3. My Life in GChat

4. I Need A Vacation From This Vacation

5. Build A Better Life via Online Shopping and Supermarket Tea

 

In other news, last night my mother told me I should become a Buddhist.

 

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tao-lin-esque monetization schemes i have had

Most of them would really only work if I had the same internet following/fame/cult of personality, so, you know.

+ Selling origami cranes made of misprinted job applications from my shitty printer for $5

+ Selling my graduate school application writing sample (~35 pages) for $10

+ Selling handwritten copies of old journal entries for $15? $20? I don’t know

+ “Feed A Hipster” – a blog project in which I feed myself only on what I can make via paypal donations, and photograph/blog each meal

+ financial slave, a la slutever. i think this would only work if there were many pictures of me and my friends half-naked on the internet, also a la slutever, but whatevs.

 

If you are genuinely interested in any of these ideas, email heathernrachel at gmail dot com. In other news, things that have recently been eaten as full meals in my house: birthday cake and an entire package of tempeh. Merry Christmas.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Has it been another week already?  Boy howdy.  I had no idea.  The month of December has become one long series of selling products, ringing up products, buying products, making products, bagging products, and listening to Christmas music.  Punctuated by sleep and Glee.  Sorry about the lack of update last week, is what I’m saying.

Autostraddle made a list of good Christmas songs and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Guys, I cannot tell you how much I hate the song at [retail job 1] that goes, “I’m the happiest Christmas tree!  Ho ho ho, hee hee hee!”, nor how often it gets wedged in my brain.  I’d prefer it if they replayed that ballad about orphans writing letters to Santa to ask for parents.  (That is a real song, you guys!  The first time I heard it, I almost sat down right there in the picture frame aisle and gave up on life.)

I’m sorry, it seems my cat gas decuded ti crawl on me/my keyboard  Hold on.

Okay, back!  Like I was saying, Lindsay at AS has good taste.  I lost the Snowflake Day spirit this year — sure as shootin’, I lost it! — and if you know me IRL, “Heather” and “lack of holiday cheer” are generally seen as incompatible.  I mean, I’ve still been putting effort into people’s presents and everything, but mostly I want to burn every singing stuffed Santa in existence and hibernate until January.  Lindsay’s list of Chrismuhanakwanzakah tunes has started to revive me, though: “Things We Don’t Need Anymore” and “Fairytale of New York” have now gone into heavy rotation on my iPod.  They solve my psychological need for Christmas music without making me feel like I’m at work.  (Also, I love Wham! forever and ever, but you knew this.)

Glee had a Christmas special. Last Tuesday’s episode was more or less the combination of my three great loves: musicals, pop culture references, and Christmas episodes.  Also, Kurt and Blaine sang “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and it was GLORIOUS.  I get that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is effectively about hetero blue balls, and on a lyrical level it gets kind of uncomfortable from a feminist standpoint, but I can’t help liking that song.  It’s the only song at work I like, really (aside from “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which should have been in the Glee special as well, because… why wouldn’t it be?).  Oh, and Rachel and Finn did “Last Christmas”!  While unsurprisingly walking through a Christmas tree lot they found in the Studio B of Television Christmas Cliches! As you can imagine, I was on levels of serotonin normally achieved in the human subject by taking hallucinogenics.

The Giant’s House, Elizabeth McCracken. A former professor of me and Rachel (and Emma) recommended this novel about eighteen months ago.  It took me until this week to read it, but hoo boy.  The Giant’s House is one of those stories that creeps into your heart so slowly and unassumingly that when it nears the end, when all the events begin clacking into place, you’re shocked at how invested you feel.  I was seriously upset, you guys.  There I was, reading along and appreciating the lovely, imagistic mechanics of McCracken’s prose, when suddenly I found myself on the verge of crying.  It was the literary equivalent of being Wiffle-smacked in the back of the head.

iMovie. So much better than Windows Movie Maker!  So! Much! Better!  I’m making a video for the Kid Wonder’s Christmas present and wouldn’t use any other editing program.  Teaching cats to play soccer is hard enough without postproduction issues.*

I have the day off on Monday. What will I do?  I don’t even know.  It’s been so long.

*In this case, “teaching cats to play soccer” means both “yelling at cats while they ignore me/the ball” and “wearing a scarf as an ascot to make up science.”

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Stuff Rachel Fucking Hates

John McCain.

I watched The Runaways and was actually really into KStew, am I one of those people who’s really into KStew now? I just spent 10 minutes searching youtube for that scene with the showerhead to prove that she is objectively hot/dykey in this movie and it’s not just me, but I can’t find it and now I’m just embarrassed.

I am insane, a middle-aged housewife As my real-life friends know, I will have A New Job soon, which is actually really good because I will be able to afford other things besides just my rent and grapes-when-they’re-on-sale-at-Shaws. The combination of this jobs corporate-ness – like, I just signed paperwork documenting that I understand my employer has the right to search inside my car if they suspect I am violating the substance abuse policy – and my inherent babbling fear of change means that this has been kind of a weird week for me. So I have been dealing with it as I deal with all stress and change: obsessive online shopping and baking. I do not need an entire chocolate ginger cake and new winter coat, but fuck you, it will probably happen anyways. In related news, Urban Outfitters is really expensive!

Why hasn’t the Sleater-Kinney reunion happened yet There are some days where you just really need for that to be a thing, you know?

“The holidays” It’s not that I hate Christmas, so much as that I hate the way Christmas makes me feel. Specifically, it makes me feel broke and kind of helpless and like I want to bring nice things into the lives of people I love but my inadequacy as a human being means that I will end up getting them something from Yankee Candle Co. or, in the case of my brother, a Jay-Z album instead. The excessive cheer kind of just highlights my lack thereof, and it gets me into this downward spiral of self-loathing, the feeling that I usually try to counteract by buying things for myself, except Christmas is the one time of year when you’re supposed to buy things for other people, oh Jesus Christ, what is wrong with me.

I think I have left my laundry in the washing machine for like three days now SORRY HOUSEMATES

Why don’t I get a ‘winter break’ anymore I had thought that the not-being-in-school anymore thing would be hardest in summer, when you had to watch all those students cavorting around Cambridge in their rompers and gladiator sandals or what have you, but it’s actually way way worse right now, when you realize you are actually at least as stressed as you were about finals at the end of your college semester, but unlike then you do not get to go home at the end of it and participate in my personal favorite family activity, which is lying facedown on my living room sofa “feeling morose” while my mother intuits my emotional state and wordlessly makes me a cup of tea. Instead of that, you have to just keep going with whatever it is that your ‘real life’ is now made up of, which in my case is graduate school applications and work and really dry skin such that my knuckes are pretty much laid bare and trying to perform whatever unholy alchemy will allow Batia and I to plug in more than one appliance between both our rooms without the fuse blowing. Our couch doesn’t even really allow for lying facedown on it.

All of the X-Files episodes I’ve tried to watch recently have been super depressing Although Gillian Anderson’s hair has been superfly. I’m going to go try to watch Daria instead I think. Her hair never changes.

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