Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quote of the day:

Sister Mary Fitzpatrick
 while attempting to read an email 
from a high school student:
"JK??  What does that mean?
 ...Jesus knows?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

When a middle-aged homeless man named "Jesus" asks permission to "bless you," 
ask a few follow-up questions before you consent.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Life lessons learned at Institute...

  •            You really should stick to pots and pans when choosing a receptacle in which to boil water.  There may come a time when you really need boiling water to soften your mouth guard and you may briefly consider pulling two empty glass beer bottles out of the recycling bin, filling them with water, and placing them on your electric stove.  Resist. This. Urge.   Apparently glass beer bottles aren’t exactly “multipurpose” containers… something about being unable to withstand intense heat.  Anyway…. If you’re not careful, you may have to duck down behind your kitchen counter to avoid the shards of glass flying toward you after beer bottle #1 has exploded only to later set your bath towel on fire while frenetically attempting to save beer bottle #2 from a similar fate.  Hypothetically.
  •            Your body, like a beer bottle, also expands in the heat.   This is why you shouldn’t assume that a roll of heavy-duty duct tape that fits easily above your elbow in an air-conditioned room will slide off just as easily after you have been moving loads of chart paper in the heat for several minutes.  As a matter of fact, you may not even realize just how much larger that part of your body  has become until you look down and see that said roll of tape is actually cutting off all circulation to your forearm.  It will require 30 minutes, scissors, soap, water, and at least one person with strong fingernails to free you at that point – but you will walk away from the situation with all extremities intact.
  •       Organic deodorant does not work.  Not even a little bit.  After you have spent several days marching around a predominantly un-air conditioned Philadelphia public school smelling like a particularly foul type of apricot, you will revert back to whatever cancer-causing, environment-destroying brand name deodorant the masses use.
  •       5 Hour Energy drinks have not been approved by the FDA.  Ingesting two of them per day everyday for 5 weeks is risky at best.  That being said, if you don’t mind potentially giving birth to flipper children or glowing in the dark by the age of 45, there really is no better way to fight off crippling exhaustion when a half-hour nap is simply not feasible.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quote of the day:

Woman screaming at her husband 
as they enter a parking lot:
"Just because the ambulances go by at high speeds 
does NOT mean they want to race you!"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quote of the day:

This morning on my way to work,
my Middle Eastern cab driver 
got stuck behind a 
slow-driving, constantly-braking SUV.
In frustration, he raised his fist in the air and shouted,
"He's killing me!
He's killing me softly with his stops!"

Best imaginable start to the day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

When Outlook spell check pops up, be careful what you click.

Otherwise, when emailing a client named Evangelia
you might accidentally change her name to Evangelical... and call her that...
 multiple times... 
in the same email.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

If you want to capture a photo of a strange-looking man on the bus with your camera phone, try to look like you're texting when you're actually taking his picture.

...unfortunately, forgetting to turn the flash off of your phone will ruin this little ruse and lead to an awkward encounter with the aforementioned strange-looking man instead.

Quote of the day:

"I used to think it was 'Hey Jew' like the song was just for 
our people.  
Especially that one line where it's like, 
'Hey Jew, don't be afraid.'  
Always thought it was referring to the Holocaust..."
- Liz recounting her childhood interpretation 
of a popular Beatles song

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

Don't ask the person interviewing you for a job
if they're pregnant because they're 
"wearing a pregnant girl dress."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quote of the day:

"You're probably still sleeping now since I received a voicemail from you at 4am. 
You were playing the harmonica.
- Message from my manager at noon

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote of the day:

Overheard on 14th St:
"Dude, I'm going to an Ambien party.  What should I bring?"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Telemarketers: Part One

What’s worse than a chatty seatmate when you're taking the red-eye?  Discovering that telemarketers have somehow acquired your cell phone number.  They call.  Constantly.  Making so many different offers that you can’t even keep them straight.  I’m starting to feel like Tiger Woods.  (Rimshot! Anyone?)  Anyway, I’m not really sure how I became such a hot item for these companies.  What about “nonprofit worker” and “public school teacher” screams high-roller?  Maybe the economy is just so bad that the $237.42 in my checking account makes me a modern-day Diddy. Who’s to say?  All I know is that I am longing to reclaim my anonymity.

Well... I was.  That was before today.  You see, this morning I realized something: as miserable as I feel on the receiving end of their calls, they must feel even more miserable making them.  I mean, imagine sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day calling strangers who will, more often than not, cut you off, hang you up, or curse you out.  It must be so… boring.  So predictable.

But not anymore.  Not on my watch.  There’s a new sheriff in town, ladies and gentlemen, and while she won’t be giving you the commission you so desperately crave, she will be giving you the next best thing: a story.  A story so ridiculously crazy that it will earn you your five minutes of fame at happy hour (because if anybody needs a stiff drink at the end of the day, it's telemarketers) and temporarily remove you from the eye-gouging misery that is your bland and purposeless life.

You. Are. Welcome.

Updates to come…

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

When the delivery man consistently
includes two sets of chopsticks
in your order for one,
it's time to reconsider
your sushi consumption.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A modern-day Anne Frank

I was a big Anne Frank fan back in the day.  I read her diary.  I admired her courage.  I identified with many of her thoughts and questions.  I did not, however, expect to find myself sharing in her experiences many years down the road...

You see, there is nothing worse than an irritating roommate.  Coming home at the end of a long, hard day and finding yourself face-to-face with a person whose mere presence makes your face tick... well, it's not quite like being hunted by Nazis, but it may compel you to change your name and move to another country.  Some flee these horrid living situations by emigrating to libraries or friends' couches - and some, like Anne, just hide and pray they won't be found.

I was a hider in college.  After class, I would rejoice upon realizing that I had come home to an empty house... but I knew it wouldn't last.  At some point - maybe in five minutes, maybe in five hours - I would hear that familiar jangling of keys in the lock, followed by the creaking of floorboards outside by bedroom door, and, finally, the knock-knock-knocking of a narcissist with between one and  five painfully detailed stories that she could not wait to share with me.

Unless, of course, the door to my room happened to be closed.  And it happened to be dark underneath the door.  And the darkness happened to be completely silent.  On these occasions, those creaking floorboards would lead her to her own room and the soft murmur of inane cell phone chatter that followed signaled my freedom.  I had been spared the misery of hearing about her day.

Granted, I only know these things, because I happened to be in my room the entire time... in the dark... motionless... silent.  With my phone off and my headphones in, I'd watch movies on my laptop, avoiding anything too funny or too scary - one muffled giggle or quiet gasp could have brought down the entire operation.  I also single-handedly disproved Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" theory as I would wait until 10:30pm to creep into the kitchen and snatch my dinner.  Even then, I chose stealthy foods - like pudding and oatmeal.  Chips and carrots drew far too much attention to themselves.  Years from now, you will find me in adult diapers since I have inevitably damaged my intestinal tract by "holding it" for hours upon hours - afraid to tiptop across the house until I was completely sure the coast was clear.  I don't care what Maslow says: no physiological need could trump my desire to be left the hell alone.
So, to all you modern-day Anne Franks out there: stay strong.  I may not understand what it's like to be hiding from someone who wants to kill you... but I know all-too-well what it's like to hide from someone who makes you want to kill yourself.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

If you do not own a toaster and want to cook a Poptart,
you should not set the aforementioned tart on foil
and the oven on broil
and assume it will be safe to touch with your bare hands
in a mere three minutes.

On the other hand,
if you want to develop 
an enormous blister
on the tip of your pointer finger,
follow those exact steps.

And be sure to touch the frosting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quote(s) of the day:

A postal worker to me:
"You can't put a UPS sticker
on a FedEx bag
and drop it off
at the Post Office."

A co-worker to me:
"I want to kidnap you and keep you in a glass box in my room
all the time so I can just watch you."

(Side note: Am doing my best to laugh about this last one... because, well, it is actually quite terrifying.)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quote of the day:

Overheard: "What do you mean you hate the Glee kids?!  That's like saying you hate world peace.  Or puppies."

Friday, February 26, 2010

An open letter to hair stylists

To whom it may concern:

I understand that hair is your thing.  As a tattooed hipster and/or gay man, those follicles that sprout from the top of your head are more than a biological feature - they're an extension of your personality... an art form... an expression of "you."  Not all of us feel this way.  Some of us, with less time and more responsibility on our hands, just need a way to cover our ears and/or feel feminine when we sprint out of the house without makeup.

Now that we're clear on this, I'd really appreciate a moratorium on the holier-than-thou, judgmental stylist commentary.  From the moment I sit in your chair and you start raking your fingers through my tangled mess of a ponytail, it begins.  First, you cock your head to the side and bite your lip - pensively diagnosing the problem.  Then, you frown - as if the worst of your fears had been confirmed.   After a few moments, you lean over to show me my own hair (like I hadn't seen it before) and say, "Umm... you have a lot of split ends."

Thanks for the insight, Dr. Phil.  Do you think I came to you because I wanted all of my healthy, perfectly moisturized hair removed?  I mean, what if doctors treated us that way?  Imagine: walking into a clinic, tissue in hand, violently ill, only to have your physician look at you with disgust and say, "Um... you have a really gross cough."  It would be one thing if you saw me elsewhere, but I'm here!  I clearly know that the split ends have gotten out of hand... isn't admitting it the first stage of recovery?

Soon after, in a tone of mock innocence, you lay your trap:

"Which products do you use?" 

At this point, I know it doesn't matter how I answer.  What you actually said, masked in question form, was "Whatever you are putting in your hair isn't cutting it... and I can think of a few paralyzingly expensive products that just may do the trick."  I prepare myself to sit through the lecture.  Oh, my hair is coarse and frizzy?!  Really?!  Do you think I made it through middle school without figuring that out?  Oh, I should be spending approx. 1 hour per day pre-rinsing, rinsing, moisturizing, deep moisturizing, and creme cooling?  Never.  Gonna.  Happen.

If you decide that you'd like to go into the business of making people feel bad about themselves, join the clergy.  Or PETA.  However, if you decide that you want to brighten the day of a hard-working, average person with more on her mind than Paul Mitchell and the depth of her artistic angst, ask me how I manage to keep my hair so voluminous in the rain.

Suavely yours,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

If the Chinatown bus you are riding is named 
"Double Happiness", 
you shouldn't expect happiness - 
even in its singular form.  
As a matter of fact, you may just find yourself 
double crowded 
by a doubled over snoring man
with a double chin
who should have purchased
a double seat.

Next time, you should just pay double fare and ride the Amtrak.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quote(s) of the day:

This is how accidents happen -
mimosas and dares and backflips.

I used to gnaw on Barbie's feet.
It was my grossest childhood habit.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Me gusta español

If it's true that most people's writing is reflective of their experiences, I want to be the author of a Spanish textbook... based on the example sentences alone.

Who wouldn't want to live like those folks?!  I mean, they practically reside at the discoteca... that is, when they're not busy sitting around in el café assigning genders to words.  Occasionally they swing by la biblioteca, but it's probably just because they need a quiet place to nurse their hangovers so they can rally for the evening's fiesta.  Why get a job when you can just lounge around in el parque giving directions to the bathrooms all day?  The constant memory loss, coupled with frequent hamburguesa and papas fritas cravings, lead me to wonder what they're really buying at el mercado.

But, occasionally, you glimpse the darker side.  One of my college Spanish textbooks used the sentence "I'm going to kidnap a woman" as an example of the future tense.  Oh really, Pablo?  I guess I missed the chapter where you stopped strolling along la playa long enough to develop a Grande Theft Auto addiction.  Dónde están la policía when you need them...

Life lesson of the day:

When you plan to leave your clients a series of very important
voicemails prior to a major deadline, check to make sure that your headset isn't muted.

It is preferable that you check this at the beginning of the day.  
Rather than at the end.  
After you've made all your calls.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bonus quote of the day:

"He's the 17th direct descendent of the 
Japanese warlord
Oda Nobunaga who conquered most of Japan."
- an Olympic commentator referring to 
this man

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Quote of the day:

"He doesn't even try to look graceful... he's an evil character out there and he knows it."
- an elderly commentator in a purple sweater referring to
this man

Only the Winter Olympics could turn a bedazzled Russian albino into a rebel without a cause.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

The details matter.
Especially when those details are the height & weight stats
on your driver's license.
Fact: According to standard measurements, I am
5'10" and 160 lbs.
(excluding November & December when one of those numbers changes significantly... I'll let you decide which one...)
Fact: According to my driver's license, I am
5'0"... and 160 lbs.

One errant keystroke transformed me from a relatively proportional giant to
an obese midget under the law.

Which brings me to the bonus life lesson of the day:
The DMV sucks.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

An open letter to those who choose to install fluorescent lighting in ladies' rooms

To whom it may concern:

As I'm sure you know, today is Valentine's Day. Like many women in this country, I will be spending it alone. I'm not complaining. I actually enjoy the freedom that the single life affords me and look forward to picking out my very own box of chocolates at CVS later this afternoon. That being said, on this day of all days, I want to feel as though singleness is my choice and that if I really wanted to be in a relationship there would be no shortage of eager, adoring suitors.

This is where my concerns arise. Before leaving the house each morning, I, like most women, spend time in front of my bathroom mirror - washing my face, putting on make-up, you know the drill. My bathroom, like countless others, is equipped with round 60-watt bulbs that emit a soft, white light. On days when I choose to put a little effort into my appearance, I am able to gaze proudly into that square mirror before leaving the house and say to myself, "Rachel, on a scale of 1 to 10, you are a solid 7.5." One spritz of perfume later, and I'm sauntering out into the crowded city streets with my head held high.

This carefree confidence usually lasts until about 11am when "nature calls" and I am prompted to stop by the ladies' room in our office. Unlike my bathroom at home, this facility relies on the rather harsh, unflattering light of fluorescent bulbs... and the result is positively horrifying. What happened to the attractive 24-year-old that left for work this morning? Where did all of those crags and blotches on her face come from? Why are her teeth so yellow? Who electrocuted her hair?! And all of a sudden, I begin to wonder how my co-workers can even tolerate my presence. Like Medusa, I could turn even brave men to stone (or at least celibacy). That's the point in the day when my hair goes up and my self-esteem goes down. All because of the lights which you, so flippantly, chose to install.

I understand the need for cost-efficiency. I understand that these particular bulbs provide more light for longer for less money. But can you really put a price on happiness? On behalf of all women everywhere who simply want to feel desirable as they eat their drugstore chocolates and adjust the order of their Netflix queue, please please please consider switching to a less abrasive bulb.

Yours in pursuit of beauty,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baby's first snow

Snow is a rarity when you grow up in Texas. I can count on one hand the number of times throughout my childhood that my friends and I ran around the neighborhood scraping dirty half-inch layers of ice off of parked cars so that we could create a stunted, gray snowman - so small and weak that we had to use a baby carrot for his nose.

When I moved to Baltimore, I spent a few years adjusting to the occasional 3- or 4-inch flurry. I even went so far as to invest in an ice scraper for my car after discovering just how unpleasant it is to start your day by rubbing your vehicle down with your coat sleeve.

Little did I know how little I knew about snow. This week, a meteorological disaster known as "Snowpocalypse" has hit the Northeast. DC experienced a blizzard back in December, and, like any good Texan, I wrapped myself in a Snuggie, sat in front of the TV, and drank coffee & whiskey till it melted. No such luck this time. With work requiring me to... well, work... I have been forced to actually function in this treacherous environment.

Folks, there's a reason we don't place baby deer in the middle of an ice skating rink. And it's the same reason I should be exempt from leaving my living room in this weather. In the past 48 hours, I have slipped and fallen at least a dozen times on the sidewalk. I have accidentally thrown my Blackberry into a snow bank (causing the battery to fall out, of course), broken my heels, groped a homeless man, yelled obscenities in front of small childen, stubbed my toe on an iron bolt, cried like a crazy person on a crowded street corner, temporarily halted traffic and, last but certainly not least, landed in a smear of dog poop.

I need sunshine. And a hug. And that flask of whiskey.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Life lesson of the day:

When Snowpocalypse has trapped you into your home for 3 days straight,
and you find that you have run out of toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, and tissues...
it's time to "get creative" with the coffee filters.

And, yes, that's exactly what I mean.

(Thanks to the anonymous friend who shared this story
and allowed me to avoid learning this particular
life lesson myself...)

...of course she did. Design by Insight © 2009