Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Hate Re-runs

I couldn't believe my luck yesterday. My incredibly bad luck. I was riding the bus again to my second interview up north when the same foul-mouthed pregnant lady I was pressed up against last week hopped on board and plopped herself down across from me. I quickly closed my eyes, feigning sleep. It would've worked too if it hadn't been for a girl sitting next to me with a scratch-off ticket problem.

"My husband bought 300 tickets--he figures we have to win something with so many tickets."

"How much did that cost?"

"Six hundred dollars."

That opened my eyes so wide the pregnant lady immediately went straight into a rant about the incredible cost of having a baby ($100 sneakers not included). What is wrong with these people? Maybe if they weren't buying baby shoes laced with gold and $600 scratch-off tickets they wouldn't have to take the bus.

When I reached my stop, the girl was still scratching. I wished her luck and hopped off the bus, thankful that the hundredth ticket or so had lulled her into a silent trance, saving me from any more inane bus conversations. I had a good hour to kill before the interview. I found a cute cafe that served the best egg bacon and cheese sandwich I've ever had. I must've gotten a little too into it, because when I looked at the time after I licked off the last bit of melted butter from my fingers, forty minutes had passed. I had just enough time to make it to my interview.

I had walked the same route just a week earlier, so I was confident I'd have no trouble finding the place again. Why I had this confidence I have no idea. I once got lost for two hours running along the beach. It's a straight line. So of course I managed to stray off course and was only able to find my way again thanks to a very friendly school crossing guard. I looked down at my cell phone. I had only ten minutes to get to my interview, and I knew I had about a twenty minute walk ahead of me.

It was like that time I'd missed my flight while sitting at the gate all over again. I just couldn't be late to this interview. I quickly put my two-inch heel, backless loafers to work: I raced down the uneven, ice-covered streets, praying I wouldn't lose a loafer--or a leg--in the process. I can only imagine what a sight I must've been in my wool suit and long, beautiful white coat, running down the sidewalk like I was in some kind of corporate Olympics.

I made it just in time. Of course, my face was flushed and I was dripping sweat underneath my heavy suit, and my hair had an interesting tousled look, but I had made it. I might not have gotten the job due to my heavy panting at the start of the interview, but damn it, that egg bacon and cheese sandwich was worth it. Mmm... so buttery.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Into the Great Beyond

The only thing more painful than temping is not temping. For the past two days I have been interviewing for jobs outside the city. With a car, the commute would be a leisurely thirty minutes or so, without a car, aka “my way,” the commute is a painful thirty days, or so it seems when wedged between a smelly homeless man and a foul-mouthed pregnant woman on the number 441 bus to the North Shore.

Of course, being the paranoid person that I am (and also one who has missed her fair share of flights), I left myself three hours to make the hour-long trip up north. I settled into the mostly empty bus, and two others, one homeless with an essence of smoked fish about him, and the other a pregnant lady who liked to end everything with “Sheeit” sat down next to me.

The bus driver appeared to be aiming for every pothole and pile of snow along the way, making for a fun, pin ball-like experience for me and my bus mates. When the woman next to me started a conversation about how she prayed her baby’s $100 sneakers would not be stolen like her last baby’s, I did my own praying that my three-hour tour would not end up like a certain other goofy sailor's. I mean, what newborn needs a pair of expensive kicks? Where is this baby going? And who on this planet would steal a baby’s sneakers? Twice? Sheeit.
Thankfully, we did not run into any tropical storms along the way up north, and I did not find myself stranded on a desert island with a maniac bus driver, fishy homeless man, and pregnant lady with her millionaire baby’s $100 sneakers.

I had about an hour and a half to kill before my interview, so I thought I’d find a nice sit-down cafĂ©. Now, this town is a very beautiful place, it just doesn’t have a lot going on in town. I walked a mile in my heels before I came across a cute, small shop named, no doubt in a moment of brilliance, “The Little Shop”.

I was in desperate need of some caffeine, so I ordered a coffee to go, since the little shop was too little for such things as tables and chairs. I had basically walked into a miniaturized 7-11 and would not have been surprised if a Munchkin jumped behind the counter to take my order. The cashier asked how I’d like my coffee.

“I’d like a dark roast, please. French if you have it.”

My order was met with a blank, uncomprehending stare. “We got regular and decaf.”

If my face wasn’t already red from the cold, it certainly got there at that moment. I had just asked for French roast coffee in a model-sized store that sold chili dogs and pizza bagels.

Once I got my regular coffee and was sufficiently embarrassed, I walked back outside and found myself the lone walker amongst a sea of cars. The only ones who weren’t driving were very small carrying large backpacks, or were running very fast, in what may have been $100 sneakers. This was obviously not a place where one took the bus to get to.

Despite my little adventure, the interview went well and I made it back to the city just in time for my next interview, which was at 8:30 this morning in Canton, a good two-hour trip via shuttles, trains, buses, and taxis. Although it was a long commute, it was thankfully uneventful save for my Lebanese cab driver proposing marriage. It actually might not be such a bad deal. At least I wouldn’t have to take the bus again. Sheeit.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Apocalypse Pretty Soon

Last week it was so cold in Boston that I was actually thinking about taking a trip to Canada to warm up. I’m getting to the point where I would love to move to a place that doesn’t use “layer” as a verb. But that’s exactly what I was doing a few days ago: By the time I was done dressing I looked like Kenny from South Park. It was bad enough that the hood I was wearing left me with no peripheral vision, but it was also pushing down my knit hat over my eyes. In Boston, it’s not safe crossing the street when you have full vision, let alone none. I not only looked like Kenny, but was in jeopardy of being killed like Kenny as well.

Nevertheless, this blog ain’t payin’ the bills, so I boldly pushed open the door to the outside world, ready to face the sub-zero temperatures. What I was not ready for was the hurricane-force wind that pushed me back inside. This was not good. In Boston, one should really be allowed to call in cold. Since that is not yet an option, I had to suck it up and pray that I would not get blown over the bridge I had to cross to get to work lest I be forced to doggie paddle the rest of the way there. On my trek, I passed a girl wearing a skirt and heels and whose legs seemed an odd shade of blue. I couldn’t believe it. There I was looking like Sir Ernest Shackleton leading an Arctic expedition while some chick walking in the same negative-ten-degree weather I was looked like she was trying out to be the next Pussycat Doll. She probably would’ve made it too if it hadn’t been for those blue legs of hers.

I quickly forgot about the poor, poorly-dressed girl with the Smurf legs as I faced the inevitable crossing-of-the-busy-road. I could barely see in front of me, and could see to the left or right only by turning my entire body from side to side. This doesn’t seem so bad until one considers how much movement gets slowed down by huge, puffy, Michelin Man coats. It took a good five seconds for me to swivel to my left and then to my right, in an odd, penguin-like movement, leaving more than enough time for me to meet my demise by Mack truck, or worse, bike messenger (those suckers pedal fast). I was, however, at a crosswalk, which to a Bostonian driver means nothing except the possibility of taking out an ill-informed tourist or two who thinks that one can actually cross at a crosswalk. I was hoping those same tourists would be behind the wheel that day, being the types who actually stop at crosswalks as well. Who needs to gamble in Vegas when you’ve got walking in Boston to get your adrenaline flowing?

No sooner did I stick a trembling foot onto the road, when a car sped up and whizzed by me, horn blaring. I instinctively jumped back and flipped my would-be murderer the bird, which wasn’t very effective in my woolen mitten.

Of course, this week the forecasters predict it’s going to be in the upper 50s, possibly even reaching the 60 degree mark tomorrow afternoon, reminding me of a Lewis Black bit:

“I was in Boston, Massachusetts, and in four days I experienced five seasons. It was 30, it was 60, it was 90, then it was 12, on the last day there was thunder, there was lightning, and there was snow… TOGETHER! And I hadn't done drugs, cause when you're lyin' in bed and you hear thunder outside, and you get up to look, you have an expectation. And it's not snow with lightning behind it. That's fucked up. They don't even write about that weather in the Bible. I imagine if a prophet had seen that kind of crap, after he wiped the poop out of his pants, he'd a told us about it!"

I have seen the type of weather Black has ranted about, and while I haven’t yet soiled my pants because of it, I am convinced that this can only be the coming of the apocalypse. Either that or it’s a sign (just for me) that I really need to move to warmer climes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Heave

On New Year's Eve, I went to a house party hosted by a good friend of mine, who shall remain Belle-less, I mean nameless. We were all sitting around and chatting, having fun playing cards. My friend was having fun pouring us drinks and then spilling them. She would fill up those huge, red Dixie cups to the rim with nice champagne and then hand us a cup, which was really nice of her except she would forget to wait for our hand to take it. Needless to say, by the end of the night, I was on drunk detail, helping my friend out while Mr. Belvedere (vodka) worked his evil ways on her. I didn't really think too much of it--I mean, I only did what any friend would do, and I didn'teven get anything on my shirt. All in all, a pretty successful night.

Last night, though, I got a surprise phone call from the concierge: my friend had flowers delivered to me for coming to her aid. I excitedly walked to my building's front desk to retrieve them. The flowers were beautiful: a combination of pussywillows, bluebells, irises, and white roses. The concierge told me that he had had to beat away women from them with his night stick all day. I told the concierge I approved of violence against women only in this case. There were two such women who happened to be standing by the concierge station at that moment. One of the older-looking women practically swooned when she saw the flowers and started gushing, "Oh! How beautiful! What's the wonderful occasion?"

I took a look at her perfectly coiffed hair, Luis Vuitton purse and Chanel suit. Oh shit. "Oh this? This is a little thank you gift from my friend."

"What a lovely friend you have. That's a gorgeous bouquet--you must have done something great to deserve those flowers?"

I nodded in agreement, "Yes, yes, I most certainly did. My friend got a little tipsy on New Year's. I was on vomit detail all night. I guess she was appreciative her house didn't smell like puke the next day."

The women looked at each other in horror. I just hoped they didn't live in the same building as me. I had thought about lying to them, but I just couldn't do it what with it being the new year and resolutions and what not. I don't need to start out the year with that kind of karma. Getting on your hands and knees and cleaning up other people's messes probably isn't the best way to start out a new year either, but hey, at least I came out smelling like roses.