Monday, December 10, 2007

Temp-er, Temp-er

The magical thing about temping is that it can be both incredibly boring and interesting at the same time. Today was one of those magical times, starting before I even walked through the door. The company, an investment banking firm, is on the
9th floor, so I confidently walked in the elevator and pressed the number nine button. Contrary to elevator button pressing logic, it did not light up. Of course, I took this as a sign that I've been eating way too many Christmas cookies and decided to get my fat ass off the elevator and take the stairs. When I got to the 9th floor, I pulled hard on the door handle: it did not budge. Panicked, I ran down to the next floor and tried the door. It too was locked.

Visions of explorers, hundreds of years from now, exploring this secret, dormant stairwell and coming upon the really cute bones of a girl clenching a venti caramel frappuccino Starbucks cup in her hand raced through my head. "What a pig," I could imagine them saying to the camera crew. Weirdly enough, the thought of anyone discovering my excessive sweet-coffee-drinking ways was more of an incentive for me to dash down the stairs in search of an open door than the thought of asphyxiation. Thank you, Starbucks! I owe you my life.

Ten minutes later, I had finally gotten settled in to my very important position answering phones at the front desk. I could breathe easy--even if incredibly dull, this job would be a piece of cake. I leaned back in my chair for a nap, only to be woken up seconds later by loud screams coming from the manager's office:
"Aah! I told you to let me know when a fax comes in!"

The door burst open and a very angry looking sales assistant stormed out. "All faxes go to Dave! There's no need to tell you about the faxes!"

"Don't give me that! Don't even start! Just do what I tell you to do!"

No sooner had I avoided almost certain death by stairwell then I was thrown right in the middle of a war zone.

Carl, the manager, not to be outdone, stomped out of his office. He was coming straight for me. I ducked under the desk.

"What are you doing down there?"

Damn. Busted. "Uh... just looking for a pen I'd dropped. Found it!"

"Amy, that's a piece of old gum. Listen, I'm sorry you had to be witness to that. Marlene's leaving tomorrow because of stuff she's pulled here, and apparently she thinks her responsibilities have already ended."

Huh? Was this guy really bitching about his (former) assistant in front of me? A sounding board for executive whining was not on my temp job responsibility list. What an ass.

Luckily, things quieted down enough for me to continue that nap for some time after that. Until Dave showed up to work. Dave was one of those loud, fast-talking financial advisors that had an answer and a (bad) wise-crack for everything. Dave apparently was also one of those guys who lives under rocks. He caught sight of a big gift basket on one of the other advisors' desks and it was all he could talk about for the next hour.

"Well would you look at this! Who sent this?" (Look at the card, Dave.) "Marlene, who sent this?" I was really hoping Marlene would tell him it was the office fairy, but unfortunately Marlene was one of those professional, non-smart-ass types.

Dave then called the person who had sent the basket. "Hey! We got this basket here and I wanted to know how I could order me some baskets to send to my clients." (Look at the label on the basket, Dave. It will tell you the name of the company.) I looked around for that damn non existent pen again so I could shove it up my ear.

Another two hours of silent bliss passed until the excitement of the basket wore off.

"Shit balls! I can't believe those sons of bitches! This is fucked up! Son of a bitch!"

Dave burst out of his office in a flurry of curses; at first I thought that someone had removed the gift basket from the office. Dave grabbed his coat from the closet, pulling the hanger with it. "I'm going home! This is fucked up!" And with that, he walked out the door. It was two o'clock.

Despite my desire to follow Dave out in a blaze of glory, I dutifully finished out the rest of the day. I have never been so refreshed. Of course, I realized as soon as I got home that I'd left my cell phone there. Sadly, I'll have to return tomorrow for the phone in the off-chance that someone should happen to call. I only hope that I make it out of there alive.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gym Rats

After a long hiatus, I've recently started frequenting the gym again. And suddenly I remember why I stopped going in the first place: There are a lot of people out there who do not follow proper gym etiquette and/or are just plain weird. I usually try to go either early in the morning or an hour before closing so as to avoid the large crowds, but it seems those are the precise hours that the weird people come out. I also get embarrassed by the excessive amount of sweat that pours off me when I work out. If I so much as lift a finger, sweat goes flying across the room. That and my face breaks out into red and white stripes, causing me to look like I'm going to pass out from a stroke at any second. After a while you just get tired of people coming up to you and saying, "Excuse me, but it looks like you're going to pass out. A tight ass is not worth dying over." Really? Because I thought the whole point of getting healthy was to keel over and die. Nice try, but you're not getting this machine.

This, however, is not as bad as hearing an over-abundance of grunting coming from the person working out next to you. When it is so loud that it drowns out Kelly Clarkson's infectious tunes, it is way too loud.

Of course, even this is not as bad as the person who brings their cell phone to the gym with them. The following conversations are loud and obnoxious and interspersed with many huffs and puffs. I can't even imagine being the person at the other end of that call: "Wait, why are you breathing so hard? Are you watching porn, dude? What? You're working out? Do you want me to call back later?" To which the annoying gym rat cell phone answerer responds, "No! (Huff.) Don't be silly. (Puff.) This is a perfect time to call. Burns more calories this way. Now let's talk about something really personal and private in really loud voices so we can annoy this girl working out next to me. (Grunt.)"

Yesterday, I was on the elliptical machine and a girl jumped on the one next to me. We were the only two people in the gym. Rows and rows of unused ellipticals, far, far away from me were there for her taking, but she chose to plant herself next to me. I am firmly convinced that this was a strategic maneuver so that she could further annoy me by not using the machine properly. I'm not sure what she was doing, but it involved much turning of the pages of the novel she was trying to read, the dropping off the novel she was trying to read, and abrupt stops and starts on the machine. At no time was she in constant motion. I wanted to give her a good push--you know, to get her going, but restrained myself for fear she would then start grunting loudly.

The worst is when you get to the gym and there are no open machines. I usually kill some time doing free weights as I keep a watchful eye on things. Of course, these are the days when everyone has filled up on Red Bull and run for hours. I then face the choice of either continuing with the free weights until my arms fall off, or looking like a jerk and confronting one of the exercisers about their ellipticial-hogging ways. Needless to say, I always end up going the jerk route. I figure if you're going to look like a jerk, might as well look like a jerk with a tight ass.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Good Samaritan

As I was walking into town today, I heard a loud “Whomp!” and looked down to see a man splayed out on the sidewalk as if he were about to do cement angels.
The weird thing was that there was no puddle, no ice, no banana peel in sight. What the hell had he slipped on? As I walked toward him, I noticed that he wasn’t making any effort to get up. He had a stunned look on his face as if he too were wondering what the hell he had tripped over to get him to that point. Either that or he was just really, really drunk. I looked around pretending that I didn’t see him, hoping that I wouldn’t trip over him in the process. I am a bad, bad person.

I then came upon one of those Salvation Army Santa Clauses, holding the bright red tin can and jingling his bells. He looked at me; I looked at him. I reached into my pocket, jingled some change, and WALKED MERRILY ON MY WAY. At this point I am pretty sure both Kris Kringle and Hanukkah Harry have a special (hit) list just for me.

Next, a harried-looking woman approached me on the street. “Excuse me…"

I shook my head and continued on my very important quest to find oatmeal raisin cookie ingredients. The situation was bleak. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the evil-o-meter, I was definitely pushing an 8. I had to redeem myself quickly lest I am finally forced to admit that I am no longer an angelic Jersey Girl but a bonafide Boston Bitch.

While I was checking out of the supermarket, I saw my chance. The girl in front of me was about to walk out of the store without putting her cart away.

“Um, excuse me miss!” I yelled after her. She turned around. “Is this cart yours?”

She looked at me blankly. “Um, I don’t know!”

“Well that’s interesting.” Apparently this girl had some sort of supermarket amnesia.
Even though I was not responsible for that cart, I took that sucker and wheeled it back where it belonged. Despite what you may be thinking, there was no trumpets or fanfare, no partying in the streets, no nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. But that didn’t matter to me, because I had acted selflessly, jumping in to save some poor, over-worked and under-paid grocery store worker from having to put the cart away themself. I no longer felt like a bad, bad person. Of course, some may argue that because I did this to make myself feel better, I was not truly acting selflessly, but I can live with that.

On my way back home, I came upon the Salvation Army guy again. We locked eyes. I reached into my pocket and pulled out everything I got…three pennies and a nickel. I threw it all into the bucket, pennies and all. He nodded at me and I continued on my way. Mother Theresa has nothing on me.

This One's a Turkey

So my birthday has come and gone, and so far, all my parts are still in place, and I have not received any literature from AARP. So far, so good!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd write about some fun turkey facts I found last year on the University of Illinois Extension School website( I added some fun "facts" of my own in italics. Happy Turkey Day!

Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.

Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.

Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.

Turkeys love the summer.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.

Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.

Turkeys' heads change colors when they become excited.

Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.

Turkeys are super heroes.

Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.

Days are not so quiet when a turkey is within a mile of you.

Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They especially like oak trees.

And oak trees especially like wild turkeys.

Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over.

Turkey breeders laugh a lot.

Israelis eat the most turkeys.....28 pounds per person.

Turkeys are anti-Semites.

Turkeys are related to pheasants.

Turkeys wonder why Americans don't try their equally delicious cousins on Thanksgiving.

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He "pardons" it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

George W hopes "Flyer" and "Fryer Turkey" will remember this at the polls.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lessons from The Wu-Tang

For two days straight, I have been subjected to music I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. There I am, on the bus trying to read, innocently minding my own business, when some young girl sits down next to me with her ipod on full blast. Not only that, but she is listening to The Backstreet Boys (don’t ask me how I know this). I turn to look at her, hoping she will notice the disgust on my face, but she is bopping her head around a la Stevie Wonder, eyes closed, fingers snapping to Larger Than Life (don’t ask me how I know this).

At this point, I’m really annoyed. I have read the same damn sentence tweny times, and I’d really like to move on. I oh-so-subtly stick a finger in my right ear, not to drown out the noise, which at volume 11 was a futile effort, but to show this girl how her music was affecting my Freakonomics reading pleasure.

I sneaked another look in her direction, but she was either oblivious to my suffering, or a real jack ass, because I swear the music level went up a notch, if it’s even possible to go up past 11.

The next day, another girl with another ipod sat down next to me, ipod blasting. Apparently this is no longer a rare annoyance but a full-blown epidemic. This girl, a pale, white thing with frizzy hair and unflattering glasses (meow!) was playing—and I swear I’m not making this up—The Wu-Tang Clan.

This time I looked at the girl not in disgust, but in pure amazement. There was no way that this plain Jane girl with the Buddy Holly glasses, who looked to be barely 24, was listening to Wu-Tang. Was she trying to intimidate me? Oh hellz no! She was messing with the wrong biotch. I would show her who’s a punk. I would grab hold of that frizzy, mousy brown hair…

Light tap on the shoulder. “Um, excuse me, would you mind turning it down a bit? It’s a little loud.”

The girl shrugged her shoulders and grinned sheepishly. “Sorry,” she whispered, and turned down the music.

I could now hear crickets chirping outside. Aw yeah, this is what I’m tawkin’ about, biotch--you don't mess wit me! ‘Cause when I come I bring the ruckus, famous Ames ain’t nuttin’ to fuck wit.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Final Countdown

The countdown is on: only one more week of life in my twenties. I have to say, the general public is doing a fantastic job of helping me through the transition. Just the other day, I was walking through Boston Common and got called “ma’am” not once, but twice. I actually looked around both times, as if surely they must have been addressing some old grandma behind me on a walker, but no, they were staring straight at me, smiling and holding out some petition they wanted me to sign. I told them that sadly my old arthritic hands could no longer hold a pen, otherwise I would be glad to help out the young whipper snappers.

The week before, I had stopped into my former office to meet up with a friend, and introduced myself to the young woman who had replaced me. She looked at me and said, “Wow, I thought the person before me was young like me.” I was shocked. Just how old did this bitch think I was? Maybe I need to stop sunning on my deck all summer. But damn it, how else am I going to enjoy my pina coladas? Pina coladas are meant to be enjoyed lying half-naked in the hot sun. That’s just the way it is, and if that’s so wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

In a city where the average age is twenty-six, I’ve had some time to get used to the idea that I’m ancient. The funny thing is though, I don’t feel like I’m about to turn thirty. Twenty-nine, maybe, but not thirty.

When I turned the ripe-old age of twenty-one, my best friend gave me a birthday card that read, “Old friends are the best friends.” Having had twenty-one drinks to go along with my twenty-one years that night (Just kidding! It was only twenty), I completely misinterpreted the card and thought that my bitch of a best friend was telling me I was old. I started crying and wailing, “I am old!” at which point, my friends threw me in a cold shower and I promptly passed out. The one good thing about passing out in the bath tub is that you're one step ahead of the game the next morning.

I guess the point is that age is subjective. It’s true that you’re only as old as you feel. I mean, look at Hugh Hefner. The man is like 100 and he’s surrounded by beautiful blondes, partying it up every other day of the week. I only hope that I can make it that long and that I will look and feel as good when I’m that age. If not, I always have my pina coladas. Funny how a little coconut, pineapple, and rum can delude you into thinking life is good like that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And Another Lostie Bites the Dust

Daniel Dae Kim, otherwise known as “Jin” to Lost fans, is now the fourth Lost cast member to be arrested for a traffic violation. Six other Lost actors have been cited. Citizens of Hawaii, I implore you to start posting signs alerting drivers to the impending danger on your roads:

Oh yeah, and Jin, you are such a goner. The three others who were arrested before you? Libby and Ana Lucia died from bullet wounds and Mr. Eko from the smoke monster. I have to say, you were really nice to look at, but the sub-titles were getting pretty annoying.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Me and my Buddy Phil Collins

So recently a friend of mine was trying to sell two extra tickets he had to a Genesis concert. Now, I will admit, Genesis and sexy Brit Phil Collins had once invisibly touched me...when I was twelve years old, but the magic has worn off a bit since their Su-su-sudio days (did anyone ever figure out what the hell a sudio is by the way?).

I didn't want the tix, but I wanted to help him out, so I texted my ex boyfriend in the hopes that he might want to buy them. Sadly, he had work to do so couldn't go. Now why going to see an over-the-hill eighties band that performed such hits as "Abacab" and "The Carpet Crawlers" does not serve as a legitimate excuse to skip out of work, I don't know. We are in a Land of Confusion indeed.

So the following week, my ex texted me to ask how the concert was. I hadn't actually gone, but decided to have some fun with it, because, well, he is my ex and any chance one has to fuck with one's ex must be exercised at all times. I texted him back, saying, "concert was gr8. Phil invited me backstage! Partied like rock star all nite." To which I got in reply, "Really? What's his poison?" I couldn't believe he had actually bought it. I thought that Phil looked like a whiskey kind of guy, so I answered, "Blue Label. I was drinking Cristal." I mean if I'm going to be fake drinking, I might as well go all out, right?

I didn't get a response for a couple of days, so I decided to take the joke one step further. I emailed my ex a couple of photos from my after-hours craziness with Phil. The first picture (and my personal favorite), with the caption "Me, Phil, and a bottle of Cristal":

Notice how I was able to subtly transpose an image of myself onto another (larger) woman's body, and how convincingly the bottle of Cristal floats in the air.

The second picture I actually had a friend of mine Photoshop. The caption read, "Things got a little out-of-control after polishing off the alcohol...":

I waited giddily for his response. I couldn't wait to read his reaction to believing I had actually been whooping it up with Mr. Collins. Finally, I saw the email I'd been waiting for in my inbox. So what does my brilliant ex respond with?

"I totally thought that "" was an advertisement for MILF porn."

Heh?? After a few more email exchanges, I finally figured out that he had skipped my email entirely and responded to a link advertising creating online family photo albums--one of those hotmail ad inserts that shows up at the bottom of email messages sometimes (Make your little one a shining star! Shine on!.

Big bummer. Not only did he not get the joke, but, more disturbingly, he misinterpreted an ad for creating an online baby photo album for cougar porn. The problem with practical jokes is that they only work on people who have a clue. (Not that I'm bitter or anything.) Luckily, I had some Genesis' tunes on my ipod to lift my spirits. It did the trick. I turned the volume as high as it'd go and let The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway rip (did anyone ever figure out what the hell that lamb was doing on Broadway in the first place by the way?)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

How to Make Time Stand Still

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For the past two days I’ve been temping for a company and I can’t even tell you what I’ve been doing. I think it has something to do with copying and pasting text from one Word document to another Word document, but I could have that backwards. What I do know is that time actually slowed down to a point where I became so alarmed that I was contemplating calling whoever watches over the Greenwich Mean Time to alert them to the situation. It was like I had been cast in a horror movie: a freakish cross between Ground Hog Day and Office Space that had no beginning, middle, or end in sight.

The office was a sea of cubicles as far as the eye could see. If the tediousness of the job didn’t actually drive me to the loony bin, the soft, yellow-green glow of the flourescent lights certainly made me think I was already in one. I felt like a rat in a maze trying to find the person I was supposed to report to. Whenever I wandered into the wrong cubicle, someone would kindly give me directions to “the white cubicle at the end of the hall,” of which there were twenty.

I tried to go into my happy place, but the inane office chatter kept bringing me back to reality. Unfortunately, I had an unwitting hand in my own undoing for my fondness of McDonald’s and the chocolatey goodness that is their milkshakes. Oh sweet, sweet nectar you are my heaven and hell. Being the conscientious temp that I am, I threw the bag out in the trash can located in the break room. Apparently, that was some sort of friggin’ big deal. I heard no less than three separate conversations about the presence of my McDonald’s bag in the trash for the next TWO HOURS:

“Heeeey…so who went to the Micky Dee’s? Someone need a little afternoon pick-me-up?”

“Whoa ho ho! McDonald’s! The Mick to the D! Who needed the fast food fix?”

“Someone went to McDonald’s I see… Funny, no one appears to be going into cardiac arrest…”

I slouched down low in my chair. It was like the owner of the McDonald’s bag had become a modern-day mystery to rival that of the Bermuda Triangle, crop circles, and Donald Trump's hair. I wasn’t sure what would happen if someone were to discover my deep, dark Chicken Selects loving secret, but I was sure it would involve a lot more discussion and my time was devoted exclusively to whatever the hell it was I was supposed to be doing.

Five thirty could not come fast enough. Despite my thoughts to the contrary, I did not shove a pencil up my ear at any time during my shifts. I did feel somewhat satisfied that I discovered the secret to stopping time; the only hitch now is finding out how to stop time in a place that doesn’t involve monkey work, cubicles, and controversial lunches.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Tool Time!

I think that I must look like a fun project to lame-ass men, because all the tools in the tool kit seem to gravitate towards me. After several months, I finally broke my involuntary resolution not to go out with men and agreed to meet up with a guy I’d just met for a few drinks.

Of course, I missed a few red flags along the way, the first being his website I came across when I accidentally googled his first and last name. The website was selling his services as a motivational speaker, or rather, “word artist” as I believe he asked to be called (since when did "motivational speaker" become politcally incorrect?). Unfortunately, I had pumped my volume setting up to “11” when I opened up the page—porno muzak blared from my speakers, and both couples who had just taken a seat next to me in the coffee shop suddenly remembered they all had appointments far, far away from me. Great. Where was I going to find another Starbucks in town? Even worse, gems such as “Happiness is not chance, but a choice” littered the page. If he was a word artist, then he was a really bad one. Like so bad they could have created a Museum of Bad Word Art that just displayed his website. I know, I know, I’m such the word art snob.

Despite this, I boldly set out to meet the man I was pretty sure I was not going to like. A girl’s got to drink, right? In his website profile, he compared himself to an amusement park ride—something about how experiencing him was the same as riding a roller coaster—so I made sure not to eat anything before-hand as I didn’t want to do a repeat performance of that time I took a spin on Space Mountain right after lunch. Let me tell you, those people below me were none too pleased I chose to have a sausage with all the fixins that day.

Our conversation started as most do: very awkwardly and with lots of “umms” and “likes” and “oh-fuck-I-shouldn’t-have-admitted-I-watch-Oprahs” sprinkled throughout. Things were actually pretty OK until he started to tell a story.
“Now before I begin,” he said, (rather dramatically), “I want to tell you that I label everyone for the benefit of the listener. For instance, if I were to tell you a story about my friend Bob, you’d forget his name immediately afterwards. But if Bob was one of my four best friends, who I call the four horsemen, I would call him "the horseman" when talking about him so that you would remember him better.”

I sat up straighter in my chair. “The four horsemen? Like of the apocalypse? Why do I need to remember his name anyway? Is there going to be a pop quiz later? Do I need to run out and get a #2 pencil?”

Ignoring my questions, my date went into a story about one of his four horsemen; he must have referenced this horseman at least 100 times throughout the story. I tried to keep a straight face whenever he mentioned his friend, the horseman, but I couldn’t help a little smile creeping out every now and then. I’m sure I looked constipated.

After another painful conversation about how he was going to save the world by becoming a lawyer, it was finally time to go. This guy had actually made me look forward to taking Boston’s public transit. As I sat on the T, gazing out the window and reflecting on yet another lame date, I began to cheer up at the story I could surely tell about it. And, in the spirit of the guy who has a label for everyone, I have decided to label my date “Tool” to make it easier on you, my dear reader, so that you may remember him long after the four horsemen of the apocalypse have destroyed all of mankind, and hopefully all word art as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Whore-oween!

Somehow, the porn industry has gotten ahold of what used to be a children’s holiday. Searching the net for a costume leaves me with little choice but to shell out a lot of money for not a lot of fabric. Now the naughty cat, the naughty pirate, the naughty devil I can understand, but the naughty nun? The naughty angel? The naughty…Amish woman? I might as well go to the downtown pimp and ho shop and save myself the shipping and handling.

I finally came across a costume that looked both cute and cool: the evil nurse from Kill Bill Volume I. It even came with a little white eye patch--I had to have it! It only came in three sizes: small, medium, and large. I ordered the small with some hesitation as the small claimed to fit anyone from a size 2 to size 8. Two weeks later, my costume arrived in the mail. I excitedly pulled from the box what looked to be an over-sized T-shirt.

‘Hmm, that’s strange,’ I thought to myself, ‘From the picture it looked like she was wearing a dress.' Packing peanuts went flying as I tried in vain to find the non-existent matching skirt. There was no getting around it: that T-shirt was my entire outfit.

‘Well, it can’t be that bad. Maybe it looks more revealing than it actually is.’ I quickly slipped the shirt over my head and looked in the mirror. The presence of my butt cheeks quickly confirmed that the outfit was indeed as revealing as it looked.

As I was going to a good friend’s house party and not, thankfully, going out about the town, I went to The Gap and bought a pair of white, boy-cut underwear and called it a night. It wasn’t until I decided to play a round of pool at the party when the shortness of the outfit actually came into play. Unbelievably, I couldn’t figure out why a crowd of guys would suddenly appear to watch whenever I had a particularly hard shot across the table I had to lean into. One of the guys’ girlfriends quickly filled me in.

I shudder to think what the onslaught of recent celebrity bad behavior will add to this year’s ho down. I can just imagine some chick walking into the party as Lindsay Lohan, wearing only a string bikini and shades, or perhaps Britney Spears’ a la the too-tight short-shorts and bustier she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards, or, horror upon horrors, her over-exposed vajayjay, which seems to be becoming more of a star than the pop princess herself.

I’m not sure exactly how and when Halloween became such a whore fest, but I for one would like to bring it back to the innocent days of my youth, where I could throw a simple sheet over my head, walk out blindly into the pitch dark, throw out everything I had been taught and take candy from strangers. Remember how fun that was? No? Well can we at least bring back the popcorn balls people? I need something to distract myself from the fact that my “naughty” costume is riding up my ass.

Stealing Booty

Stealing Booty

Unfortunately for me, I had the bad luck of being a teenager before the word "bootylicious" became part of the American lexicon.

I first discovered I had an ample rear end when my older sister, after suffering a particularly hard loss of "Candyland" to me, said, "You have a big butt."

Of course, being five, the news didn't bother me. My sisters liked to use my bottom as a head rest when watching TV, and I only had to pretend penitence when being punished for stealing cookies out of the cookie jar: my bum conveniently functioned as a protective barrier against spankings.

It wasn't until I was in my teens that having a bubble butt became the source of embarrassment. I started to run 4 miles a day in a feeble attempt to lose the bulge, but my butt stubbornly kept pace. I could feel it jiggling behind me, swaying up and down and side to side; despite my attempts to lose it in a cloud of dust, my booty was actually enjoying the ride.

I wore loose-fitting dresses in an effort to disguise my disformity, but it was like trying to hide the Empire State Building by throwing a washcloth over it. I became an expert at walking with my butt to the walls in school, although when I side-swiped a trash can outside the chem lab with my left butt cheek, I decided that my "drastic" situation called for a drastic measure, lest I inadvertently make my HS a dumping ground to rival that of the Meadowlands.

I soon made an appointment with a local cosmetic surgeon to liposuction the fat out of my butt. He told me that once the fat cells were removed, they would never grow back. I took one last, hard look at my rear end, turned to the doctor, and said, "Do you have anything you could give me for a sore neck?" After he supplied me with some Tylenol, I gave him the go-ahead to sculpt my butt into something less resembling a bubble.

On the day of my surgery, the doctor and his assistant had me undress and marked my butt up with lines and arrows that reminded me of one of John Madden's light-pen diagrams. The anesthesiologist inserted the needle into the back of my hand (a very uncomfortable and weird place for a needle to be, in my opinion), and I promptly succombed to the drugs.

When I awoke, I was freezing. My body trembled, as if in mourning for my ass. Even though I was black and blue and had six more weeks of recovery before I would fully be able to enjoy my new bum, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of me. Indeed, the doctor most likely sucked up about 8-10 pounds worth of fat from each cheek, if not a ton.

Now, ten years later, as I sit typing on my still small but shapely derriere, I can honestly say I have no regrets. In fact, my self-confidence soared as a result of the surgery. No longer was I self-conscious--I proudly walked in a straight line as opposed to the odd side-step of my youth.

Of course, butt augmentation is at an all-time high now, and what once was considered an embarrassing feature is now a valued asset, but I finally learned to love my body, and that to me, is worth all the booty in the world. I've learned that beauty is subjective, and that there is no ideal, as it constantly changes. Beauty is cyclical: what goes around, comes around.

I'm now excitedly awaiting the time when jiggly underarms become all the rage. Until then, I will raise my arm, jiggly underside and all, and defiantly give the one-finger-salute to anyone who has a problem with my body, because it is mine, and it is beautiful.

Boston: You Can Visit, But Don't Expect Us To Like It

It seems that whenever I am entertaining an out-of-town guest, some asshole does something incredibly rude to perpetuate the myth that Boston is a hostile territory.*
For instance, today when I was having lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends from Bombay, Vik, our waitress handed me the bill--while I was taking a bite of my sandwich.

“Uh, we actually aren’t done yet,” I said through a mouthful of hamburger (my mom would have been so ashamed), “We wanted a coffee as well.”

Our waitress quickly ran in back and brought out two mugs of what looked to be milk with a splash of coffee. She then brought us the check, which Vik kindly paid for: a thirty dollar bill that she paid for with two twenties.

“Do you want change?” our waitress asked.

I nervously glanced at my friend, who could be rather outspoken at times. To her credit, she did not respond with, “I’d like a change of attitude, you greedy whore,” but rather with a polite, but shocked, “Of course!”

Vik, kind person that she is, then went into her luggage to retrieve a gift for me.

“What are you doing?!” the waitress snapped.

I again nervously glanced at my friend. I could actually see the steam rising out of her head.

“I’m getting a present out of my luggage for my friend! Do you mind?”

To which the waitress retorted, “This isn’t your home!”

At this point, I was sure we were being punked. I looked around for cameras and Ashton Kutcher’s smiling, doofy face, but alas, all I saw were two pissed off chicks.
Vik, enraged, took back the tip she had left on the table.

The waitress laughed. “Oh, like I care about five dollars?” This waitress was obviously not familiar with Ben or Jerry and their tasty ice cream. Five dollars could get you a whole pint!

Unbelievably, we managed to make it out of there alive, although the lunch had been spoiled. It’s been about eight hours since I ate there, and so far, so good. I’m going to hold out hope that we did not receive any special cream in our coffee.

On another occasion, I was entertaining two friends from New York at a local bar. It was during the seventh game of the World Series: Marlins versus Yankees. My friends had no sooner expressed how much they were enjoying the bar, when a loud chorus of “Yankees suck! Yankees suck!” filled the air. The bartenders were passing out free shots to everyone and effigies of Derek Jeter were being burned at the stake; my friends looked on in stunned silence. The Marlins had just beaten the Yankees, and Red Sox fans always enjoy it when the Yankees get a beating, even if it isn’t by their hands.

“We hate this bar,” my friends muttered not two seconds after they were about to buy the joint.

“Heh, heh,” I nervously laughed. “You wouldn’t have by any chance driven into the city?”

My friends looked at each other in confusion, “Yes, why?”

“Oh dear. Does your car have NY plates?”

Confusion giving way to mounting fear. “Yes! Of course! We live in New York!”

I clutched at my heart. “Did you park in a garage?”

Now sheer panic. “No! We found street parking! We’re New Yorkers, what, like we’re going to pay to park? Fuggedaboudit!”

“Well, you can sure fuggedaboud finding your car in one piece. That poor car is going to look like Britney Spears got a hold of it by the time you reach it. Never underestimate how much Bostonians hate the Yankees.”

Luckily, they got away with only a few minor key scratches, but it could have been much, much worse. Now whenever my friends visit from out of town, I preface their visits by playing up the city’s sometimes rude behavior, like it’s a fun tourist attraction: Behold! The crankiest city on earth! If you want a coffee with a smile you can just fuggedaboudit. Now get the hell out of my blog!

*Author’s note: This is true only if one is a Yankees fan.