in the kitchen, we meet general office workers. i'm just eating leftover pizza, minding my own buisiness. MAN is fit, balding, effeminate, taking tomatoes out of a trader joes bag and slicing them for lunch. GIRL is pretty and vague, well-dressed, very feminine (uses fingertips to do everything, does not use hands), preparing noodles from trader joes. their voices hint to me that they are both angelenos. after a discussion where MAN directs GIRL on the best way to prepare said noodles:

MAN: so i'm watching "joan of arc." the movie.
GIRL: yeah?
MAN: yeah. the one with the girl from "resident evil."
GIRL: oh, milla jo..jovo...vovich or something?
MAN: yeah.
GIRL: wow.
MAN: yeah. she's a really good actor!! i'm not liking it very much.
GIRL: yeah?
MAN: yeah. it's kind of dark.
GIRL: have you ever seen that show "dexter?"
MAN: no.
GIRL: my roommate watches it.
MAN: isn't that about...
GIRL: its about a guy and he's a cop and a killer.
MAN: that's right. oh, that's DARK.
GIRL: she's watching it and i'm like, "what are you watching?"
MAN: ew.
GIRL: yeah.

i don't know why, but in the back of my head i just always assumed that if you live here and grow up here you're just constantly in the know or at least a bit more well-rounded when it comes to the entertainment fields.


just one more warm fuzzy reassurance that L.A. is just another city. like everywhere else.
hear ye, hear ye, major powow in the next cubicle concerning the color of the newly ordered post-it flags. instead of ordering the regular "green" flags, our office manager accidentally ordered "bright green" which is actually more of a lime color and

i just had this amazing moment of fight or flight today.

lately the bosswitch has been getting on a whole new nerve of mine...the MOM nerve. she seems to have advice for every little thing and it's driving me up the damn wall. when she heard i've been going to the chiropractor, she suggested i go to physical therapy instead. when a coworker said she was making a cake for her own birthday and had to pick up crisco for the pan-greasing, bosswitch schooled her on the better choice of butter. when dog lady stopped the shredding machine in time to catch the staple in the paper that would have ruined said machine, bosswitch walked by and suggested we take the staples out first. thank you, ann fkn landers.

today, my favorite coworker brought in the cake for her own birthday. it was this amazing buttrefinger/marshmallow/caramel monstrosity that was an oasis of awesome in this shitty shitty week. i waited past the original break time so i wouldn't have to deal with a big ol' crowd in our tiny break room. (the bosswitch hates this. she thinks i'm being anti-social when in reality, i just get nauseated and clautrophobic in a close crowd of people that are not my family or friends. random fact about amber #386.)

so i waited. i went in late, hoping i had missed the bosswitch. i sat down with the workers i liked and stuffed my sweethole with confection, and in walks bosswitch. she just wants a half piece, not a whole one, and what happened to the cake? my favorite coworker explains that she didn't have enough crisco and it stuck to the bottom, and she didn't bring a spatula so she was lifting it out with a couple of forks. no problem to me, says i. cake is cake. gimme. i eat. gooooood.

but no. bosswitch said that wouldn't do, started digging around in the cupboard for a spatula while lecturing my fave girl about using butter.

and i bolted.

before i understood what was happening, i was out the door, plate in one hand, spoon in the other, cake in mouth. it wasn't premeditated, it was a primal urge to flee from poison. like the birds avoid eating the malignant monarch butterfly or rhinos tramp out fires, something in me knew instinctively that i must leave for my own safety. what would have happened if i had stayed? who can know? i'm an open nerve this week and i've got a mouth like a razor. in that moment, my subconcious mind may have been keeping me from being fired or jailed for assault with a plastic spoon.
the mumbler: remember when george clooney was on "facts of life?"

me: with a mullet.

the mumbler and me: *laughing*

patridiot: hey. there's nothing wrong with mullets! stop laughing.

me: *sinking feeling in stomach* yes there is. nobody needs a mullet. mumbler thinks it's funny.

the mumbler: *laughing*

patridiot: stop laughing. there's nothing funny--nothing funny--about mullets.

me: um...loving a mullet is like loving hitler.

the mumbler: *laughing*

patritiot: stop laughing! that's not true! in fact, i might be a little offended!

me: listen. there are a very few people that like hitler. and there are a very few people who like mullets. nobody decent should like a mullet.

patritiot: my husband has a mullet, sort of.

me: and you like that?

patritiot: yeah!

me: well then. there you go.

the mumbler: *laughing behind her files*

patritiot: *air of superiority* *silent treatment*

me: *happy*
me: (putting down phone) c---? do you have the file on ****? he
just called and needs a copy of his statements.

patridiot: yeah, hon, i have it right here. huh. i wonder why he
didn't call me. i told him to call me.

me: i guess he liked my name.

patridiot: why?

me: i dunno. he said (affecting iranian accent) "a question for
you--you from iraq?" and i'm like, no. "oh. because amber is very
pretty name. in iran means very very good smell." oh yeah, i tell
him, i know it's a perfume. he says, (still affecting iranian accent)
"in the spring, the goddess bring the amber."

patridiot: that's not very nice.

me: what? i think it's kinda pretty.

patridiot: "in the spring, the gutters spill the amber?" ick.

me: ......

patridiot: you wanna smell like a gutter?

me: *sigh* yep.
patridiot: i felt like such a hipster last night!

me: yeah? what did you do now?

patridiot: i was watching VH1 "behind the music" and they were
talking about a band i didn't know. and they mentioned franz

me: yeah? who was the band?

patridiot: i don't know, and they mentioned a whole other bunch of
singers i didn't know and neither did my family. but i knew that one.
which was one more than they did. i'm such a hipster.

me: y'see? i told you you'd hear their name around.

patridiot: they're kind of funny-looking, ain't they?

me: (understanding that "funny looking" means "not tom cruise")
*grin* yes. yes they are.

patridiot: i told my family you were going to marry them.

me: good girl.

patridiot: they think you're nuts now.

me: sticks and stones.

patridiot: then we changed the channel.

me: that's probably for the best.
things you should know about the cast of today's "tales of the office":

--the mumbler. everything she knows she learned from movies. she is the
fastest talker i have ever ever known, but also the quietest--she must have
the internal volume in her head turned way up. as far as i know, she
survives soley on candy and red bull. she has seen no less than 6 of her
aquaintences on the following shows: ricky lake, jerry springer, and judge
judy. she has been arrested for bar-fighting. appearance: cute whitey
gang-girl, tatoos on wrists, belly always showing.

--the patridiot. her favorite thing in the world is american flags, which
dominate her cubicle. she sings to commercials on the radio. loves the
smell of babies and sniffs any that come into the office (i'm half afraid of
her eating one oneday, but half wanting to witness it). when the bathroom
in her house is occupied and she needs to pee, she will drop trou in her own
backyard. a state-fair enthusiast, her greatest daydream is to win
dairy-queen and get her head carved in a block of butter. appearence:
think mimi from "drew carrey" sans the crazy outfit but similar makeup and
hair. this just in: she just bought 12 pounds of butter last night. 12.

--me. too much of a culture-whre to work here.

today's episode: "classical entertainment conversation."

the mumbler: last night, i laughed so hard! they played "gone with the
wind" on t.v. and they played the WHOLE intermission!

me: ugh. "gone with the wind." what a "vanity fair" rip-off.

the mumbler: what? didn't that just come out? wasn't reese witherspoon in

me: dear, "vanity fair" was written in the 1800's. you know; thackaray?

the mumbler: *shrug*

me: he was an english author of the late regency period.

the mumbler: but they played the WHOLE intermission! who does that?

me: i dunno, i suppose if they're playing it on t.v. and you can't press
pause, it'd be nice to have an intermission. they always do it when they
play "amadeus," and i like it.

the patridiot: "amadeus?" i like that movie!

me: *shock* really?

the patridiot: yeah...i think...wait. which one's that?

me: it's the one about mozart.

the patridiot: is that the one where he's in the white suit?

me: ?

the patridiot: you know! with the funny hair and he's laughing all the
time! and he farts while he's playing the piano?

me: yes. it's about mozart. and it's a harpsichord.

the patridiot: yeah! i like that one. it's kind of weird, but it's really

me: well, it won the oscar that year.

the patridiot: well, i don't know if it's THAT good. *laughs to herself*
it's really funny when he lifts up the back of his suit and farts. doesn't
he fart at his dad?

me: *sigh* yes.

the mumbler: hey, i just got an email from my aunt! christopher walken's
running for president! yeah! i'm totally voting for him!

my favorite cubicle-life conversation of the day:

the patridiot (as she comes back into the office from the bathroom): it
smells funny in there.

the mumbler: like, "ha-ha" funny?


this is why the mumbler and i go drinking on wednesdays.



January 2015



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