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Archive for the ‘ways I embarass myself’ Category

Ouch

Reason #48 Why You Shouldn’t Walk Around Barefoot In Your Office, Even If It’s Intolerably Hot And Your Shoes Are Making Your Feet Simultaneously Sweat And Hurt:

You will most likely get a thumbtack imbedded in the ball of your foot, causing you to fall unglamorously to the ground, wailing and shrieking and cursing the Lord with very unladylike language.  You will then have to hobble around for the rest of the afternoon while people ask you, “What happened to your foot?” and your only reply will be to blush furiously and claim, “Nothing!”  And then those people will ask, “Was that you we heard yelling earlier?  Are you sure something didn’t happen?”  And you’ll have to shamefully admit that, yes, you stepped directly onto a thumbtack while barefoot and sheepishly dart away before they can ask you any more questions.

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Things not to say to the accounting manager at your company:

Hmm. Your department usually smells like Cheerios, but today it just smells like rubber doll heads.

As if I was expecting her to gesture broadly to a box in the corner of her office, filled with rubber doll heads, and say, “Thanks! I just got rid of my box full of Cheerios last week and it’s taken a while for the smell to clear out.”

What the hell, mouth? Do you not have internal conversations with the random-shit-filter in my brain before you start moving?

I mean, seriously. I hear a lot of stupid things at work, but — sadly — the stupidest things seem to come from me.

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You may remember my strange infatuation with men who three, maybe four, other people in this world also find attractive. One of those men, who I forgot to mention, is dear Tom Hulce.

Tom is probably best known for his eponymous role in Amadeus. The first time I saw Amadeus, I was four years old. My mother took me, a four-year-old, to see it when it was first released. I’m sure the other patrons were none-too-pleased to see a very young child in the theatre with them, but they had no reason to worry. I was utterly infatuated with the movie, my mother recalls, and stood on my seat in the back of the theatre the entire time, my little eyes fixated on the screen.

I obviously didn’t develop a crush on Tom Hulce until much later on in life, around 13 years old. His portrayal of Mozart is what did it for me: a brilliant, misunderstood, ridiculous imp of a man. Perfect for a similarly-misunderstood 13-year-old who also likes to tell fart jokes and play classical pieces on her viola at the school bus stop while getting teased by all the other middle schoolers. I also adored his antics in Animal House, but it was Amadeus that truly endeared him to me.

While I still harbor the same great and undying love for Amadeus that was born in 1984, my crush on Tom Hulce faded somewhere around the end of middle school and I hadn’t given him any thought at all until today. I was browsing my typical, classless gossip sites and stumbled upon…

What is this???

What has become of you, Tom Hulce, you great wooly mammoth of a man?  Where is my young imp?

This must be where youthful crushes go to die…

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If you’d been at Barnes and Noble last Saturday around 6pm, you could have witnessed me skulking shamefully around a section of the store that I normally avoid like the plague: the dreaded Romance section.

I’d taken my sweet little grandmother to the bookstore that evening just to get her out of the house for a while. I don’t know her to be a big reader, aside from People and Southern Living, but I figured we’d give it a shot. I asked her if she’d like to get a book or two while we were there. She paused in thought before saying, “You know, I used to love to read. But your granddaddy hated for me to read because I’d get so involved in a book…”

“Well,” I said, “Then we need to get you a book and get you back in the game!” She smiled and nodded her head. “What do you like?” I asked.

“Oh, I like detective novels. Gothic detective novels.”

Okay, that’s a bit specific. Hmm. I don’t read detective novels except for the occasional Elmore Leonard, and I don’t really think she’d like those. I steered her over to the Mystery section of the store, where she stood stupified.

“There’s so many of them! How do I choose?” The bright covers and multiple displays seemed to be sensory overload for her and she stepped away, turning back to the magazine section of the store.

“Okay, wait. We don’t have to get a detective novel; what else do you like?”

“Um…I like romance stories.”

Good grief. What?

“You like…romance novels? Like Danielle Steel?” I queried tentatively.

“No, not like that. Gothic romance novels.”

Again with the Gothic obsession! What is this? Where did this even come from? Jesus, I really hope that she’s not talking about some scary-ass A. N. Roquelaure-type novels. But it got even more specific…

12626430.jpg“I like romance novels with knights and castles.”

Whew. That seems a little tamer.

“Okay, let’s see what we can find for you, then.” I hesitantly placed myself fully in front of the romance shelves, my eyes shifting back and forth to make sure that no one I knew was around. I started picking books off the shelves according to whether or not they had flowery imagery on their spines. I figured, the flowerier the better and the less tawdry (hopefully).

“I don’t have my reading glasses. Can you read the backs of the books to me?” she asked expectantly.

Oh, dear God. Her hearing is terrible; I’m going to have to read these really loudly.

“Okay, here goes…’Headstrong Lady Portia Derring has an impeccable pedigree . . . and not a penny to her name. Which is why she is alone on the rain-swept Yorkshire moor, waiting for a wealthy earl she has never met but whom her family insists she wed. When she’s nearly trampled by the blackguard’s stallion, Portia is more determined than ever to refuse Heath Moreton’s suit. Handsome devil he may be, but she could never marry a rogue who’s so clearly out of control!'” I flinched with nearly every word.

“Ooh, that one sounds good! What about the next one?”

“‘Though she has yet to be courted by any man, spirited Gillyanne Murray decides the time has come to visit the dower lands gifted to her by her father’s kinsmen. She arrives to find the small keep surrounded by three lairds, each one vying for her hand.and property. Though resolved to refuse them all, the threat of battle on her threshold forces her to boldly choose a suitor: Sir Connor MacEnroy, a handsome, daring knight of few words. As his wife, Gillyanne is stunned by his terse, cold distance-and her own yearning to feel passion in his arms. Now, bringing her healing touch to a land and a keep ravaged by treachery and secret enemies, she dares to reach out for the one thing she fears she may forever be denied.her husband’s closely guarded heart.'” This was truly painful to read, and people were beginning to stare.

“I like the sound of that one, too!”

“Great — let’s get these two, then, and get you home so you can start reading them!”

“Well, what about those others? What are those about?”

And so it went, for another fifteen minutes. I gave a public reading of the descriptions of a large sampling of Zebra Historical Romance novels as the emo kids sitting in the Graphic Novels section openly snickered at me and the hipsters in the Poetry section eyed me with disdain.

My grandmother finally chose the first two novels I’d read from, nullifying any need for me to have read the others. I hurried her up to the cash register and we left, the shame of simply reading descriptions of such trash burning my literary soul.

The next morning, I called to check on the progress of her books. “How are they so far?”

“They’re awful. I can barely read this junk!”

Such is life.

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I have a new gauge for determining how boring a particular conference call is: whether or not I’m able to maintain consciousness.

sleep-on-desk.jpg

Yes, I officially fell asleep at my desk this afternoon while on a conference call.

I got plenty of sleep last night; that’s not the culprit.  The problem here is that we have roughly three conference calls a day involving about 20 different people.  On four out of five of these conference calls, I have absolutely nothing to say or do.  I’m just required to close my office door and call in.  And then I sit there for an hour, listening to a bunch of people ramble aimlessly about third-party sick-pay reports or SAR mailings.

Usually, I use this time to blog here or here.  Sometimes, I browse Perez Hilton or other gossip mongers to keep my attention piqued.  Other times, I catch up on paperwork.  The conference calls are unbelievably boring and if I don’t keep myself occupied, well, I guess this is what happens.

Today, I simply awoke an hour after the call had begun, drooling slightly and with a huge red mark across my face from my shirt sleeve.  The phone call was over; I guess it hung itself up after a while.  I don’t have any recollection of even falling asleep in the first place.  And I’m praying to God that no one asked me a question while I was off in dreamland.

My office door is still closed, and I think that I’ll leave it that way until the red mark from my face has faded a bit more.

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After spending a large chunk of the [rainy, cold and drizzly] afternoon watching “America’s Most Smartest Model” and then reading the recaps on TWoP (good gravy-fed God, I’m a dork!) I felt the need to purge some of my other guilty pleasures into the keyboard and onto the screen, in hopes that I’m not the only one who feels utterly compelled yet dirty after watching/listening to/reading/doing the following things:

  • Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick” — This song is seriously disgusting and unabashedly ghetto.  So why can’t I stop listening to it?  Because it’s hilarious, that’s why.  Listen for yourself.
  • Love Actually, two parts of it in particular which I’ve been known to rewatch several times in a row:
    • The entire scene where Jamie tracks down Aurelia in Marseilles, first by going to her father’s house and then walking to her restaurant with the entirety of Little Portugal trailing along behind him discussing how Aurelia is going to be sold into slavery or killed by this Englishman.  And then the proposal in the restaurant, with Jamie’s adorably horrible Portugese: “I’ve come here with a view to asking you to marriage me…”
    • The Mark and Juliet scene where he shows up at her doorstep with the flashcards and carol singers on his CD player, telling her that he’ll love her until she looks like a decrepit mummy.  Who wouldn’t fall in love with this?  Mark is far cuter than Peter, anyway.  Hee!

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  • The Darkness’ “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” even though its brief moment was over about three years ago.
  • The new BTVS Season 8 graphic novels.  Ohhhhh, yes.  Yessirree.  I AM that huge of a dork, there is absolutely no doubt about it.  Richard was too embarassed to accompany me to the “graphic novels” section of Barnes & Noble when I went to get the first volume.  He just hung around the “sports” section, eyeing me warily and shifting his weight nervously, hoping that no one would see his wife greedily grabbing a book out of the D&D section of the store.  I don’t care; they’re the best continuation of a beloved-yet-cancelled show since Serenity.  If you happen to be a Buffy fan and have somehow missed the memo on the graphic novels, you should check them out.  They’re everything a Whedon-phile could have hoped for.
  • And on that note, Moonlight.   This is probably the most embarassing guilty pleasure of all.  I have not one single friend who watches this and my entire family is very vocally ashamed of my inexcusable lack of taste when it comes to this show.  But I can’t help it.  It’s just the right amount of camp — not too over-the-top, tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Plus, it’s got a good bit of eye candy and, really, what else do I have to do on a Friday night?  Sadly, nothing.
  • Good blue cheese, by itself.  Well, maybe on a piece of endive for some crunch.  But definitely not with any crass interlopers, like crackers.  I just like the bare taste of an incredibly strong, salty, sharp Roquefort or Stilton.  Again, none of my other friends or family members seem to share this predilection, which often means that I get an entire wedge of blue cheese to myself.  And believe you me, I WILL EAT THE WHOLE DAMN THING.
  • TaB cola.  I once wrote an entire blog on how much I still love the 80s sensation that was TaB.  I’m sure you can find it if you poke around on here long enough…  TaB is like Diet Coke without the awful aftertaste of NutraSweet.  When I go into the store to buy TaB, there is usually one sad, little pink box among the masses of other Coca-Cola products, sitting dusty and alone towards the back of the shelf.  But it’s been waiting for me…maybe for months, who knows?…and I’m finally here for it.  The various clerks always give me the same look at the checkout stand: So that’s the weirdo who buys the one six-pack of TaB that we ship in every month.  Yes, that’s me.
  • And lastly — for now, at least — all of the following websites:

What are your guilty pleasures?

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So, I’m making my morning journey upwards in the elevator today.  It’s refreshingly nippy outside and our offices have been decorated for Christmas, so I’m in a bit of a holiday mood.  Since I’m the only one on the elevator, and I bore easily, I start singing to myself:

Santa Claus is coming to town, Santa Claus is coming to town, San-ta-Claus-is-co-miiiiiing-to-tooooooown.

I’m just getting into the drawn out “tooooooown” bit when the elevator doors open at my floor and standing in front of me are fifteen Germans in their finest business attire.  I’m embarassed into utter silence.  We’re staring at each other, thirty eyes on me and my two eyes skipping madly around, trying to figure out who these people are.

The way that my particular floor of the building is set up, the six elevators open onto a lobby that has two sets of glass doors on either end.  Both are locked at all times and both open onto further lobbies.  Those two lobbies have their own sets of doors that are locked at all times.  Once you’re past those doors, you can finally enter the offices.  We’re kind of big on locking things around here.  So, without a badge to enter the series of lobbies, you’re kind of screwed into sitting in the elevator lobby like a dog that’s been put outside for chewing on the sofa legs.

These Germans are packed into the elevator lobby like sardines.  I finally ask them if they’re waiting on someone; can I get that someone for them?  “Yes,” they say.  They are waiting for their “guide” but can’t be more specific than that.  I have no idea what they’re talking about, so I ask if they’d like to be let into one of the lobbies with actual chairs.  There is a chorus of eager, “Ja, bitte” all around.

As I’m holding the door open for the Germans, I’m thinking to myself, “Do it! Say something to them in German! Impress them!”  But the other part of me, the one that hasn’t spoken any German to an actual German or Austrian or Swiss person in about five years and that I secretly believe doesn’t want me to succeed at anything, ever, screams “NOOOOOOOO!  YOU’LL JUST EMBARASS YOURSELF EVEN MORE THAN YOU DID WITH YOUR STUPID SANTA CLAUS SONG! SHUT UP NOW!”  My internal battle raged as the last of the Germans marched through the glass doors.

They were all smiling at me, expectantly; I suppose it was because I was standing there acting like I knew what to do with them next: “Please, come along to this conference room over here! I will fetch your guide and a round of mimosas for you all!”  But really, I was standing there like a schmuck still trying to decide whether or not to say some fleeting thing to them in their mother tongue.  Somewhere inside, I realized that I had totally gone past the point where a casual little “Wie geht’s Ihnen heute?” would come off as surprisingly continental and sophisticated and was now at the point where I was starting to confuse them with my continued, mute presence.

Panicking, I turned to leave and make my way to my office.  I stammered out, “Oooookay, well, I guess I’ll just leave you guys here.  Good luck!”  Good luck?  What?  As I was walking away, a few of them said, “Thank you!”  And as I turned the corner down a hallway, I finally squeaked back, “Tschus! Biss dann!” and scurried away as quickly as possible before they could come after me with excited shouts of “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” because, no.  I don’t today, I’m afraid.

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