July 23, 2014

That Moment....

Ah - that moment.  That moment when you realize you are no longer "young" and if nothing else, you are no longer interested in acting young.  As I always suspected, it was indeed a moment. And I thought it would be harder to accept.  I thought when it came I would be sad, possibly freaking out a little, desperate to cling to my youth and my simple views on the world.  I thought I'd wail and moan and deny it....stop calling me ma'am, do I look like your mother?  Stop it - I am young! 

Basically folks, I thought "the moment" would be more MELODRAMATIC.

Um, yeah, I was so wrong.  I didn't do any of those things.  I was actually relieved when it hit me, when it all came together and I suddenly looked with very clear eyes out at those around me who were doing truly ridiculous things, and thought "these people are idiots, and thank God I'm not like them."

So what prompted the moment?  Karaoke, Taco Bell and two huge bottles of Wild Turkey.  Not exactly my usual Saturday night stuff, but perhaps the unusual is what prompts the wake-up calls in life.

So I was at my World Championships this past weekend.  As has been mentioned in this blog before, I'm a Chief Instructor at a school, which I own, so I always go to this event.  I try to get my students to go as well. Big fancy hotel, two days of a crazy tournament, evenings out with friends, some you only get to see every 2 years.  It's a fun time.

So on Saturday night, one of my friends, a 4th Degree, was having a 30th birthday party.  I grabbed my folks and we went to support.  It was lovely - sitting outside, having drinks, inside was the karaoke, farther out was an awesome thunderstorm.  We ate dinner, we made a few toasts, I thought everything was under control. 

How did I miss that two of my guys were BEYOND drunk?  Their bills were each over $100 - that's a hard thing to do in the middle of North Carolina, where drink prices are NOT like the big city prices.  How did I miss that they were slurring, and that one of them was on stage singing a Men at Work song?  Poorly.  I mean, ear-ringingly bad.  How did I get there with 2 people in my car, and now had 5 of them?  How was it that I was being asked to stop at Taco Bell for something called a Quesarita? What the hell is a Quesarita?  But there I was, going through the drive thru with 4 wastoids, all yelling and drooling and chanting "TACO BELL, TACO BELL".  How was it that as we drove through, they decided they wanted a picture in front of the windows that had the big ad for a Quesarita or whatever the hell it was called?  And I was standing there, in the pouring rain, being the one to take the stupid picture.  How was it that we made it back to the convention center and the huge hotel parking lot, and we got all the way up to the 24th floor, before karaoke boy figured out his wallet was missing?  And of course it was me who went down to the car to look for it and then it was the both of us who had to drive back to Taco Bell to recover the wallet which was lying in the parking lot, in a huge puddle of water.  And then how was it that we ended back at the hotel room, and by now the birthday girl and her girlfriend had shown up and had devoured almost an ENTIRE bottle - a huge bottle, mind you - of Wild Turkey?  

How did all of this happen??? 

Cut to the chase - 20 minutes later, I was being begged by the crying girlfriend to break into the bathroom where birthday girl was puking and had locked herself in and passed out in front of the door.  I got her to unlock the door.  I went back in and pushed my way through.  I picked her up.  I'm a strong 5'10", and she's a slight 5'5", but she's all muscle.  Picking up a drunk person is like lifting bricks.  I got her inbetween myself and drunk Quesarito boy and we were on our way to the elevators to get her down to the service entrance where I figured no one would see her.   We were almost there, when she woke up, looked at me, and puked. A lot.  On the floor, on me, in a trash can that the crying girlfriend had rushed into the hallway with.......  As she puked, the gag reflex of the other 3 drunk folks, who were by now all in the hallway with us, failed. Epic fails.  ALL FOUR OF THEM WERE NOW PUKING OR GAGGING.

That was "the moment", by the way.  Standing there with my friend's puke all over me, watching the rest of them gag and/or puke and race back into the room for the toilet.  I stood there trying not to breathe thinking "I am way too old for this shit.  How is any of this even fun?  How is getting this stupid and acting this dumb on ANY level, fun or cool?"

I didn't cry.  I wasn't sad.  I didn't think to myself "goodbye youth... I will miss you."  I didn't wax nostalgic for a single moment.  I carried my friend into the room.  I laid her on the bed, and I turned around and did what I do best these days - I fixed things.  With authority, mind you.  You, clean up the hallway -NOW!  You, clean up the bathrooms, NOW!  You, get her into the bed, get her a glass of water and some aspirin, and call the cab and cancel it.  You - get rid of the alcohol, party is over, this is done.  Clean it all up - NOW!  The rest of you - go back to your rooms, go to bed, brunch at 11am - be packed, be cleaned up, be ready to go.

Maybe it was the fact that I am their Chief Instructor and therefore they sort of have to do what I say.  Maybe it was the fed in me coming out.  And maybe it was that they too, figured out that I'd just had "the moment" and that this was beyond stupid.  But I got a resounding "yes ma'am" from all of them, and within 10 minutes, everyone was either gone or in bed, puke was cleaned up, and I was on my way back to my room, ok with the fact that I was indeed "ma'am".

"That moment" has finally come, and has now gone.  With it, the arrival of the next chapter of my life.  As long as it doesn't involve karaoke, Taco Bell or Wild Turkey, I think it should be pretty interesting....

June 30, 2014

Daily Bitch: Moving Cubes

I've worked at my current agency for 9 years now.  Not as long as I once worked on Capitol Hill, shorter than I've worked at other agencies.  I'm somewhere in the middle.

I am, however, a senior member of the staff in the Division where I work, as with the turnover, at nine years, I'm one of the "old and wise ones."  I'm one of the people folks come to for answers and I've thankfully been promoted to the top of the chain, so I'm not in that awful race to try and move up a ladder.  I still have a ladder to climb, but I'm not desperately clawing at the straws that might get me there.

I work my ass off for these people, and I will state that definitively and with a clear mind.  I work an average 10 hour day, I work at night, I work on my days off, I've never actually had a real sick day..... what I do or don't do will never result in an agent's death, which is a good thing, BUT it sure as hell can result in what you see (or don't see) on the news each night - so there is some importance to doing my job well and not taking it for granted.

Let it be known though, my loyalty and pride in my job?  It gets me SQUAT.  No office, no big salary, no parking, no perks.  Just the satisfaction that I play a part in making sure that you who are reading this, get to go to sleep each night and the only thing you're worrying about is what to wear tomorrow, or how you're going to get the kids to soccer and ballet at the same time, etc.  You don't have to sweat the big stuff, and I'm pretty proud of the fact that I get to contribute in a small way to making sure it stays that way.

So no perks.  Except location.  Cube location - let's be clear.  I sit in a cube farm, which drives me nuts, but I do it and I make it work.

So am I crazy that today, after 7 years in the same spot, my boss tells me I need to move cubes because a new agent is coming in and he wants the guy to feel like he's a part of the unit?  And if he moved into one of the other, still vacant cubes that is - oh, let's measure this for posterity's sake - 3 feet removed from the other people, that this inclusion might not happen?

I just feel really annoyed; I feel like that is a bunch of bullshit and if the guy is an agent, who is USED to moving offices and desks, etc. that his sitting 3 feet away from the others isn't going to be that big of a deal.  But it's me - the senior member of the unit, who chose this cube for a reason, way back when, and who all my contacts know sits here, with this phone number... it's me who has to move.

I get it, I'm whining.  I feel justified though, I really do.  Oh - I put in the order for everything to be taken care of, and I just finished moving 7 years of my life down the aisle to another seat.  It's not like I'm going to cause a stink.  I bitch to you guys, not to my management. That shit would fall on beyond deaf ears.  I mean, who knows - I might even end up liking that desk more than this one.  It's just the point of it all - which is to say there IS NO POINT and I work for a bunch of men who are f***ing pansies and babies.....

Maybe I should leave a binky on the desk as a welcome to the unit present.  Then again, it's not the new agent's fault.  So maybe I should leave a big old pair of Depends on my boss's seat. Do you think he'd figure it out? I did already tell him today that he sucks.  More than once.  (don't tell anyone, but oh my GOD was that liberating and awesome! I fully recommend it to everyone.)

Only 17 more years until retirement.

ROCK ON.

June 25, 2014

The Other Shirt

I got the following text today from my mom:  "You're father wore the t-shirt you got him for Fathers Day today."

Cool I responded.  The one about beer?  (it's a picture of a bear, with antlers - get it? BEER!  I know, I know, I need help.....)

No, she says.  He wore the other one.

Oh Crap!  The other one?  The "other one" was a GAG gift.  My mom has been a cat rescuer for 20 years now.  We have always had dogs - big dogs. We currently have Boo, a 150 pound wolf/shepard/akita mix.  But my parents live out in the desert half the year, and their church is in a not-so-lovely neighborhood, and people abandoned their cats there.  There was a HUGE colony living there, and so my mom spent a lot of time and money and captured about 30 of them, and paid to have them spayed and neutured, etc.  She had to re-release them, as they were feral, so the church built an atrium with shade and plants and someone now goes to that church EVERY day and feeds the cats that are left.  But that's the point - not many left, b/c they stopped reproducing.

Well, that and my mom took about 5 of them home with her.  To add to the 4 she had already. (sigh)

Back-up real quick. Did I say my mom paid for this?  Um, yeah. Not.  My FATHER paid for all of this.  My poor dad...he really is a trooper and has long suffered my mother's desire to be the animal rescue queen of wherever they've been living.  ALL of our animals are rescues, strays, feral in-takes, etc.  He puts up with it all and feeds them, cleans them, goes to the church and even built the cats there a walkway to ensure they could escape to the roof if need be.  He is a dog person for sure, but he has always pretty much let my mom do what she wants with the cats.  The price we (my mom and sisters and I) pay?  He bitches.  A lot.  The cats are all "numb nuts" or weenies (or much worse), and they should all be shot, and have their necks wrung, etc. etc.  He would NEVER, but we all have to hear about it.

So enter Fathers Day.  Mom sends us kids a note - your dad needs new t-shirts.  So we all find weird and funny t-shirts, b/c my dad is one of those guys... let me put it this way, his favorite shirt at the moment says 7 on the front, and Up Yours on the back....  So I see this cat shirt, that says Worlds Best Cat Dad on it, and has a drawing of a cat.  It comes in Pink.  I start laughing hysterically and I buy it for him.  Sign the card "love, the cats".  It's a GAG gift.  Funny.  I know damn well he will never wear it, he'd rather die, so it's a safe and quirky 'haha' type of thing.

Apparently not.

I am horrified. I text back "Mom, that was a gag gift. I mean, it's PINK!  He's a Hall of Famer. You CANNOT let him go out in a pink cat shirt!"

She responds.  "Jokes on you.  He wore it. To Walmart.  I anticipate seeing him on People of Walmart any day now. Oh - btw - not pink. Blue"

Like that's any better??!?!?!?!?!  My 70 year old dad is wearing a cat shirt in public.  I decide this is horrifying and mortifying and I have been checking People of Walmart hourly ever since. 

Wait!  It is at this point I realize that my 70 year old mother knows what People of Walmart is.  This is equally scary, considering last year when I asked her what type of cell phone she had, she responded "it's a black one"........

She just texted me again.  "I told your dad you had a cow over the cat shirt thing. He laughed and told me to remind you of ALL the times you were so embarrassed by us as teenagers. He then said paybacks are a bitch, aren't they?"

No shit.