I lose again

A few months ago, when I got my raise and “promotion”, one of the terms of said promotion was that when we moved to the new office, we would hire a new receptionist, and I would no longer have to sit at the front counter. This would fully usher me in to the Portfolio Administrator role, and ideally, I would cease to be everyone’s butt monkey. There would be a NEW butt monkey in town and I would have my own office with a door that would prevent everyone from being all up in my business all damned day. So today, at my belated birthday lunch (since I was on liquids on my actual birthday), I mirthfully brought this up, because we will be moving to the new office at the end of the month. But lo, my sunshine was quickly blocked by a storm I like to call The Lil’est Dictator. She rained her little booty-less attitude on my parade by saying that we should really reconsider this idea, since we will have all kinds of hidden expenses from moving and whatwith the uncertainty of the upcoming company split. Valid points, to be sure. But rest assured, she would NOT have made these points if we were talking about HER. She would be fighting tooth and nail to get what she believes she deserves. Which is everything. And BECAUSE she gets everything she wants (why, I don’t UNDERSTAND. She is NOT a nice person. Yet, everyone caters to her every fucking whim), Boss Man started taking her side. He made it sound like it would be better for my interest too, because apparently the $24K a year that a receptionist would make would significantly cut into profits for, well, those guys. I’m sorry I wanted something that a) would make my life easier, b) would make me more productive for your unappreciative asses and c) WAS PROMISED TO ME. Thankfully, the Nice One was on my side and brought up a few points such as “she would be free to do more work for me” and “I think it would help all of us”. The outcome of this fun little democratic session was that now I have to WRITE SOMETHING UP that explains why I think it would benefit the ENTIRE company for us to hire a receptionist. Apparently, the next time I get a promotion, I have to get it in writing or it doesn’t count. The Nice One volunteered to add to whatever I’ve written up to strengthen the case. Regardless, if they even decide to hire a receptionist eventually, it now won’t be until “January at the earliest”. That means that it probably won’t happen before I (hopefully) put in my notice several years from now. And then they’ll have to hire TWO people. I hope that fits into their little plans.

So that was my birthday lunch. Happy fucking birthday to me. Thank you for the gift of putting me in my place once again. I’ll take that hot fudge sundae in enema form.

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contractor teamwork grassy

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead…
But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.
You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.
You just don't get ugly yourself – unless you have to!
How Machiavellian Are You?

Buddy – you are the hypochondriac

STOMACH-GATE ’05 UPDATE

Once again, my insides baffled the doctors. They took a whole bunch of unpleasant tests and left me with only theories as to what the problem could be. I am supposed to hear the results of the tests today. Her theories included appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, some dealy where your ovaries get caught on a ligament and then twist and twist back, causing a bruise, and a complication with IBS. With the snagged ovaries, she said she has no way of knowing if this happened once the ovaries twist back, but if that’s what happened, the only thing I can do is wait and heal. She did say that she didn’t think it was anything immediately life-threatening, because, if it were, I would probably have a fever and be throwing up.

The doc put me on a liquid and soft food diet for the next 24-48 hours (depending on how I’m feeling). This is a bummer because you can’t put a birthday candle in a bowl of broth. At least the real party isn’t until Saturday. However, on account of my health) or lack-there-of, perhaps I will do a bit less of the tying on than in past years.

Later today, I will hear the results of the tests. Her leading theory is that it’s something related to my IBS. Ah, lovely. My attractiveness points are skyrocketing. Come and get ‘em, boys.

Today, I definitely feel better but my guts just feel sore. Which is a weird feeling. At least my appetite is pretty low. Otherwise I doubt I would be OK with just feeding myself hearty cups of tea and snack packs.

TOMORROW: OASIS with the illustrious Ryan!

mont salami ammeter collaborate terse abusive

WEEKEND RECAP: THE CONCLUSION

MONDAY

Ben, Dom, Sherrard and I arrived at Seattle Center in reasonably jolly spirits. We parked Ben’s car, paid the ridiculous parking fee, and wandered toward one of the many entrances. Around that time, Ahe called me to inquire after my whereabouts, for she was already at the main stage waiting for the Decemberists to play. Having never had a problem before, I told her I would be there momentarily, right after I picked up my ticket. I had forgotten that Will Call was on the other side of the Seattle Center. So, being the little nerds we are, we made jokes about quests and riddles that must be solved in order to enter Bumbershoot. I definitely found it strange when we arrived at Will Call, and there was a sign which read “Send only one representative up to the window, bring two forms of I.D.”. Funny, I thought I was just picking up tickets to an event, not the dossier of a top secret government official. So up to the window I went, and handed them my driver’s license and credit card. After a few minutes (!), the lady handed me my ticket. Ticket? I ordered TWO tickets. One for me and one for Dom. That, I thought, is why my credit card was charged $36 plus a service fee. Is THIS the service they were talking about? I told her that I definitely bought and paid for TWO tickets. I even got an email confirmation for said transaction which I foolishly did NOT print out because of my pathetic human faith in the robots that run the system. She asked “did you buy the tickets on the 25th?” “Yeeeeeees.” “Oh. Well, apparently, there were some computer glitches with a number of orders that day. Yours must have been one of those orders.” Ok. Any respectable business would have then said “So here’s the other ticket you ordered. Have fun!” She did not do this. Instead, she “offered” to take my credit card and call the “head office” to see if she could find a trace of the other ticket. Meanwhile, some other poor girl was going through the same bullshit at another window. She kept asking them if she could just get in there and check her email to show them she did, indeed, buy her ticket. This, again, should have been reason for them to admit mistake and just fucking hand the things over. But nay. 15 minutes later, I was called back up to the window. “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t find the other ticket”. “Um. Ok, how do I get my money back for the other ticket I paid you guys for?” “That’s a matter you’ll have to sort out you’re your credit card company.” “I have to call my credit card company for your computer glitch?” “Yes ma’am”. “Can I buy another ticket from you for the original, pre-day of show price?” “I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” I’m sure you’re real fucking sorry lady. This was my queue to stomp away from the window and begin an impotent string of obscenities as I stormed up the street. I realize it’s probably not that particular lady’s fault, which is why I didn’t yell at HER. But, who’s fault is it? And what kind of dystopia of customer service do we live in when I have to track down retribution for a mistake that Bumbershoot ADMITS to have made?

So, this being the day of the show, the ticket prices have gone up TEN FUCKING DOLLARS. Dom kindly suggested that he just go home so I don’t have to buy another ticket. But I didn’t let him do that. I just bought another exorbitantly priced ticket for a festival that used to be free, and asked the cashier who I should call to voice my outrage about having to buy another ticket. He told me, and we entered into the pit of the hippie and frozen banana hell that is Bumbershoot.

I checked the time and saw that if we tried to see the Decemberists, we could stay for, maybe, one song before having to head over to the comedy stage to get in line. So instead we opted to buy lunch in the Centre House and cut our losses. Or rather, MY loss, and everyone else’s misfortune for being around a crabby Jessica.

By the time we got in line for Patton, I was feeling a bit better. I was still outraged, but Patton is Patton and I knew that, barring any further fiasco that would prevent me from seeing Patton, I would be ok. We were in line at 1:30 for the 3:00 show. That may seem ridiculous, but, trust me, it was necessary. After a while, Chris and his friend (whose name STILL escapes me) showed up, followed by his friend’s girlfriend and about a billion of Ben’s countless acquaintances. A few of us played cards (with my fan-made Serenity playing cards that I procured at Comic-Con. Joss’ face is on the Aces. Yes, I am a NEEERD). Andrew showed up to try and jump the queue. We did not have a problem with this, nor did any of the other hundred of people in line who’s friends were doing the same things. However, since we were at the front of the line, and because Andrew has that shifty look about him (just kidding, Galoo!), a security fellow told him he couldn’t cut. WHAT? Andrew was sent away and we never saw him again.

At 2:45, they began to let people in for the show. It was around that time that I noticed a small gathering of people on the other side of the door. Who are they, I wondered? Well, Sherrard told me. They are people who paid EXTRA for their tickets in order to receive VIP bands that allow them to get into places FIRST, regardless of how many people are in the proletariat’s line. Ah. I see. Bumbershoot is REALLY sticking with the original “music for the people” concept, aren’t they? AAAAARG. Anyway, the special people went in and we filed in after. We still got fairly decent seats, however.

The first comic who came on did not identify himself. It’s ok. He was occasionally funny and mentioned about 100 times that he was from New York. Isn’t it funny how different New York is from other parts of the country? Like, say, Seattle? That guy thought so.

Next up was Paul Gillmartin, who is none other than the Paul of Dinner and a Movie with Paul and Anabell. Yes, he is a twat on that show. Here, he was pretty funny. He did a character (Who’s name…guess what…escapes me), in which he was a Republican representative on a tour of liberal events to field questions. At first, I thought he would be taking questions from plants in the audience, but after a few questions, I realized that these were real questions from well-informed, liberal Seattle-ites, and he was giving off-the-cuff, conservative prick answers like “George Bush doesn’t hate black people. He just doesn’t think about them” and “the reason we care more about fetuses than babies that are already born is because we don’t know whether or not they’re gay yet”. I liked him. But, the whole show being only an hour long, I was eager for him to get off the stage to allow for more Patton time.

Patton. Was. Amazing. He did a few of the jokes from his album, but he always does some new stuff and he always treats each individual audience as, well, an individual audience. He also said he LOVED Seattle audiences because they’re the only ones in which every single person actually gets his jokes. He said Seattle is a beautiful city made of “unicorn tears”. He said that because of this he needed to prepare himself for touring in places like Idaho, so handed out some cards with some heckles on them and had people read the heckles after he finished a joke. Good stuff.

You know, comedy is such a BROAD subject. It doesn’t seem right that someone like Dave Coulier or Ray Romano can be considered a comic because that puts him and Patton in the same field. And they SO aren’t. Patton is more like a liberal unifier with some jokes. When I see him, I feel better about the world. If someone with those ideas can be put in a position to speak to large audiences, and maybe just one little girl or boy in Indiana or somewhere will see him and change their minds about Bush, we just might be ok. After his set, the audience gave him a very earnest standing ovation, and he thanked us profusely and humbly left the stage.

I felt pretty good after that, but I wanted to try and stick around for Eugene Mirman who was up next. For some stupid reason, they required everyone to evacuate the theatre before bringing in the next group of people. Obviously, if I went back outside and got in line, there is no way I would have gotten back in. So we tried something I’d done successfully a few years back. We hung around the bathrooms, pretending to be waiting for someone. It didn’t work this time. The big beefy security guys said that EVERYONE had to leave the theatre. OoooooK. What’s with the tight security? Just as we were giving up on the dillydally, Eugene Mirman walked RIGHT past us. I froze, trying to think of some reason to get his attention. I had nothing and he was gone before I knew it. Oh well. We lost Ben to his other friends and stood around in a daze for a while.

Finally, we decided to kill some time in the beer garden before Okkervil River. Mmmmm. $5 MGD. $6 Mike’s Hard Lemonades. They taste so much better than the reasonably priced versions. After a while, Sherrard noticed Ahe and her friends on the other side of the garden. We stared at her for several minutes attempting to get her attention but it wasn’t working. Finally, I decided to play “creepy stalker” and call her on her cell phone. I told her “I’m looking right at you,” in my best lecher voice. It would have worked better if cell phones didn’t have caller I.D. Eventually, she saw us and headed over. Our group of 15 corralled in the middle of the garden until a table opened up. One of Ahe’s friends was a PERFECT gentleman and insisted that I take his seat because he couldn’t let a lady stand. How often does THAT happen from a young male? Like…never. Unless it’s Dom. And he HAS to do that or else he’ll look bad. This was a guy I just met and it left quite an impression. Thanks, guy. I do wish I could remember names. Eventually, Team Ahe declared that they were tired of Bumbershoot, and headed off back to the Hill. Team Brugos sat in the empty chairs for a while and then it was time for the parting of ways. They were off to see some One Reel (fuckers) short films, and we were to take in some Okkervil River. On our way out of the beer garden, we passed…EUGENE MIRMAN, who was smoking and talking to some people. We paused for a bit but I could still think of nothing to say other than “Hey man, you’re jokes make me feel good inside” and so we departed.

Two songs into the Okkervil River set, we realized that they were drunk and definitely did NOT give a fuck. They were speeding and sassing through their set and, as Sherrard noted, playing their songs in album order. If they didn’t give a fuck, neither did we. Fuck you, Bumbershoot. Mostly. Sherrard is going to email Patton and request that if he comes back to Bumershoot next year, he should also play a venue outside of the ‘Shoot so that his fans don’t have to be subject to metaphorical sodomy just to see him. I hope it works.

We opted, instead, to buy Sherrard a birthday dinner at the best little Pho house in Seattle. After Pho, we pushed it a little too far by getting a drink at the Jade Pagoda, when really, we should have all just gone home and slept. This was confirmed the next day when I realized that I’d left my tab open at the bar when we left. As drunk as I get, I’ve NEVER done that before. And this time, I’d only had ONE drink. That’s how mentally exhausting this weekend was. But fun. Definitely fun.

yellowish to white

I love this. Although I'm not convinced that Micha Barton eats anything solid. Including lettuce.

Feel good concussion (part 1)

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY

Boss Man decided we needed a little company retreat, so my Friday started on his speed boat with my co-workers. We cruised around Lake Washington and had a grand old time taking turns being pulled in the tube behind the boat. Everyone had a grand old time except for the Lil’est Dictator, that is. She refused to put on a bathing suit because she thought it was “weird”. She also, apparently, can’t swim (file that bit of information away for a rainy day…) and was afraid that the “life jacket” wouldn’t effectively keep her boney, 90 pound ass from sinking to the bottom. Whatever.
Later, I had dinner at Palermo on 15th with Faye, Borgia, Ben, Dom and Ben’s piece du jour. :P
After dinner, we decided to play drinking games with the movies “Out Cold” and “Orgazmo” (the unrated version). Sherrard hated “Out Cold”, which is perfectly reasonable. It’s a silly movie with a cliché plot. Faye and I tried to figure out what we liked about it and the only explanation we could come up with is Zach Galifianakis. So there you have it. “Orgazmo”, on the other hand, was a hit with everybody and there’s no denying its brilliance. All I have to say about the “unrated version” is that I don’t understand what the hell the MPAA is doing. The only new bits we noticed were a few extended humping scenes (how much humping is TOO MUCH?) and a few little noises here and there. Weird, man. Anywho, it got late and Faye was supposed to meet Borgia at a bar with his friend who is deathly allergic to cats, so she couldn’t come to my house. Sherrard, being hammered at this point, challenged Dom to an Atari duel, but it never panned out and he left with Faye. I went to bed.

SATURDAY

Woke up feeling ok. Man, I miss that feeling. Dom and I watched some more Deadwood and Battlestar Galactica (THANK YOU, Ben, for getting us caught up on the new season of B.G.). Then I got a hair-brained idea that I should go to Value Village to look for brown coat. If you can’t guess why I would do that, I’m too embarrassed to tell you. Faye begrudgingly went with me. I didn’t find anything, but Faye found several cute tops that will aid her in her new persona: adorable urban cowgirl. Faye and I split for dinner with our fellas. I convinced Dom to take me to Ballet, a delicious “Asian” restaurant on Pine. Well, it’s delicious to me. Apparently, their meat dishes aren’t as orgasmic as their vegetarian ones (their mock chicken, while resembling unappealing and floppy dark meat, is tender and flavorful). Anywho, after dinner, Dom and I squeezed in one more episode of Deadwood before I rushed off to the Satellite with Sherrard to meet Ryan, Faye and Borgia. And thus the debauchery began. At the Satellite, the normally ok (but NEVER great) waiter was clearly in a bad mood and decided to take it out on our table by, well, completely ignoring it. For the first round, Borgia had to go up to the bar. After that, if we were lucky enough to get the guy to come to our table, he would inevitably leave before everyone got their orders in. I’m sure it only pissed him off further when he would return with the drinks and the person who got left out would then order something else. He only served us too full rounds and we were there for several hours. Meanwhile, he was attending to other tables like they were giving blowjobs for tips. Needless to say, we wanted to stiff him a tip, but without the proper change, we ended up giving him 12%. After that we decided to hit the Comet. We sat at one end of one of the big tables. After a while, a group of people took up the other end. Not a big deal. But then Ryan, Sherrard and Faye, who were all sitting on the same side of the table, got up at the same time to take care of their respective business. Not 5 seconds later, this girl, who already had a chair of her own, sat down in Ryan’s chair. I leaned over and said “Excuse me, that chair is taken”. She kind of glanced at me and then turned her head back toward her friends. She didn’t get up. I leaned further and said, a bit louder “Excuse me! My friend is sitting there. He just got up to go to the bar”. I looked at her friends for help. She was clearly wasted. And frankly, I was getting a bit drunk myself. Her friends looked back at me as if to say “We don’t even really like her. You’re on your own.” Finally, I got Drunk Girl’s attention. She looked at me like I was being the biggest bitch on the planet, gestured to the three empty chairs and said “Fine! You can have ALL the chairs!”. Then she sat in the empty chair on the end of the table and pulled Ryan’s chair right next to her. I tried to explain AGAIN that people were actually sitting in those chairs mere seconds before she sat down. Obviously, she was here when they were here so she would have no reason to doubt me. But she didn’t listen. So I just waited for Ryan to return. He did, and had to pull his chair away from the Drunk Girl and back to our side of the table. I told him what had happened. Later, the Drunk Girl got up and I told Ryan he should pull her chair closer to him. He did and that was when her friends decided it would be fun to fuck with her. They told him to tell her he knows “Brady”. When she sat back down, she missed the subtlety of the fact that her chair was now right next to Ryan, and he began to tell her about how he knew Brady. She believed him right away. Apparently, it was almost too easy. Especially since this girl was hammered at Brady’s wedding as well and wouldn’t have remembered Ryan if they’d made out in a broom closet. For all she knows, they DID. Wacky. By the end of the night, Drunk Girl and Ryan were best friends and she was never the wiser. After last call, we were ushered out by the Comet staff and decided that we weren’t tired enough to go home. Nay. Instead, we NEEDED to go to Faye’s house for a Dance Party right then and there. After a quick stop to QFC for some not-at-all needed beer, we headed over to Faye’s. On the way, Sherrard, who was carrying a 24-pack of bottled Weinhart’s, tripped. As he toppled to the ground, he instinctively held out the box full of glass to cushion his fall. Miraculously, only two or three bottles broke. Sherrard was embarrassed, but honestly, with the state we were all in, it could have been any one of us. At Faye’s, we began the dance party with the classic Nightwish song, “I Wish I Had an Angel”. Fans of the director Uwe Bole might recognize this song as the closing number in “Alone in the Dark”. Next up, Faye put on the ever-popular Brit Pop mix that I believe she made for A.J.’s birthday two years ago in an attempt to make him realize the genius of the English. Somehow, we got on the subject of the classic Disney film “The Electric Grandmother” and the rest of the night turned into a google party. Things got fuzzy. The next thing I knew, I was attempting to take a nap on Faye’s couch, when she clearly just wanted everyone to leave. Ryan and Sherrard convinced me that I could make it home with their help. Once inside my apartment, I saw that it was 4:30 in the morning and I knew that if I attempted to find my jammies, I would surely wake Dom. So, my drunky brain rationalized two options: 1) Sleep in my bed in my clothes or 2) Sleep on the couch in my clothes. For some reason, I decided the latter was preferable.

SUNDAY

Despite Dom kindly relocating me to the bed at 9am, I was still very much in a bad way when I was woken up at 11 with a phone call from Ryan. We had decided the night before that we would have breakfast at the Canterbury and I figured, at that point, that coffee and greasy food could only help a bad situation. Breakfast was great and hit the spot. After breakfast, I was badly in need of a nap, but there was no time. Dom and I had domestic things to do like buy bookshelves and go grocery shopping. We went to Target, but half way there, I realized that the sooner I got home and back into bed, the more likely I would be to actually DO SOMETHING that evening. So we bought a few essential groceries at Target and sped home. I definitely felt better when I woke from my nap. But after dinner, I was ready for another nap. There wasn’t time, however. Karaoke was calling. Dom and I met Ben outside of the Bus Stop, where we sadly realized that it was no longer our little secret. There were NO tables left, which isn’t surprising considering there are only, like, 5 tables in the whole joint. Luckily, we ran into our friend Rob in the street and he tipped us off about a place called Vito’s on Madison where he was headed after he “put [his] face on”. Sweet. We called the necessary parties and made our way over there. It’s a great little bar with a delightfully Mafioso atmosphere. We were met by Elyse, Gene, Andrew, Brugos and his friend who’s name escaped me because I’m an asshole who can’t remember names.
Ben, Dom and I were the last ones standing, and we headed back to the Zookster pad. Ben was staying over to ease the Bumbershoot situation the next day. For some reason, we decided to watch Reefer Madness the Musical in fast forward (i.e. only our favorite numbers) before going to bed. This resulted in me having “Listen to Jesus, Jimmy” in my head for all of Monday.

I will get into Monday tomorrow. I’m having a lot of trouble getting through this update on account of work being busy and because of having to welcome a new Baxter ailment to the fold: unexplained stomach pains! That’s right. Last night, I was getting some sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I assumed it was cramps, but as they worsened, and nothing seemed to dull the pain, I suspected they might be more. I could do very little about it but curl up into a tiny ball on my living room floor. So much for my friend’s birthday party. Sorry, Ryan. Anyway, this morning, they aren’t much better. I think I’m just used to the pain at this point. But it still hurts to walk or breath. So I’m going to the doctor at two. I can say this about my body: it’s never boring. But it does everything it can with each passing year to tell me that I should never ever pass these genes on to another human being.

Too much

The long weekend was, well, long. I am working on the update but also got slammed at work. And my head hurts. I think I have a 4 day hangover. Details tomorrow.