Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Puzzler Meme

What time is it? 10:33 PM, Saturday night

Quick. What’s the first green thing you see? Sofa pillow

Do you like those Sudoku puzzles? I've never done one

Do you own a plaid shirt? No

What’s your favorite kind of pie? Strawberry rhubarb

Have you read a book today? Knocked off a chapter over lunch at the local sandwich shop

Do you like going to museums? Very much

Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? Yes. Three times, and loved it each time. I'm sure I'll go back someday.

Have you ever been to the state of Washington? Nope

Do you like apple juice? Sure

How cold is it outside? Unseasonably warm

Have you ever taken a course in Chemistry? Yes. Had to in order to graduate from high school. I hated it and barely passed.

Do you like to draw? I like to doodle.

What do you put on your french fries? Ketchup

Do you like everything to match? Yes

Do you like mustard? Not especially

Would you ever work at a movie theater? Yes. I think I'd enjoy it. I like the sound of movies and the smell of popcorn.

Do you have a phone charger in your car? No. No car.

Have you ever slept through an alarm? Yes. That's why on mornings when I have a plane or train to catch, I set three alarms.

Do you like pineapple on pizza? Not especially.

Do you like to hold hands? Depends on the other hand

Do you want a tattoo? No

When is the last time you ordered from a catalog? Last month

Do you know anyone who has a collection of old records? That would be me

What’s the name of the gas station you last stopped at? Don't recall because it happens so seldom.

What was the first song you heard today? "Young Turks" by Rod Stewart

Have you ever gotten a magazine subscription as a gift? Yes. I now receive US every week, courtesy of my aunt

What was the last video you watched on YouTube? Yeah, I know I just posted it yesterday. But it is the last video I watched and I do so enjoy it.

Have you ever sacrificed something for someone you love? Yes

Have you ever had your picture in the newspaper? Yes

There's no fool ...

I've seen this with my boss before. He falls into thrall with some of his coworkers. They always look the same: long, straight blonde hair and no bust. The first was The Chocolate Covered Spider. Then it was Blondie McBlonderson. They both quit in January 2015, and he was bereft.

I don't mean to imply that he's sleeping with these women. There were never any affairs. It's just that he's a balding 60 year old in a young person's industry. His college-aged son is having expensive medical and emotional problems. He gets off on being adored by svelte, flaxen-haired 30-somethings.

How do I feel about this? Sometimes I think it's sad/sweet. Sometimes I think it's creepy. Most of the time I think it's none of my business.

But the last couple weeks have been difficult because there's a new blonde in town. And, unlike The Chocolate Covered Spider and Blondie McBlonderson, this one is his boss. Which makes her my boss, too. So I've got to care.

She was hired without much fanfare over the summer. Then, all of a sudden, we got an email saying she was being installed as the top creative on our account, which is one of our agency's largest. An EMAIL! The two men who were co-directors weren't even told in advance that this new younger woman was replacing them.* Nor was my boss told that she was being installed as his immediate supervisor.

And I'd never even seen her. When I asked who she was, I was told, "You've seen her. She's a thin blonde who wears fashion-forward boots all the time." So every time a thirty-something blonde walked by, I'd echo the title of that children's book, Are You My Mother? That's why I shall hereafter refer to her as, "Mommy."

My boss began working closely with two weeks ago. "Mommy says this," and "Mommy wants that." I began imagining her as a brittle ball buster. "This is a new world," my boss would intone ominously. "We have to anticipate what Mommy wants and deliver."

Interestingly, my boss made no attempt to introduce us to Mommy. She remained this behind-the-curtain, larger-than-life presence. And she was getting in the way of me doing my job.

My client wants to be in the mail with a special promotion on May 1. That means it has to be written, designed, approved by the lawyers and ready to go to the printer on April 1. So the client wanted to see at least three concepts on Tuesday of this week.

But because Mommy wasn't going to be in the office on Friday, Monday, or Tuesday, we couldn't deliver. Because, my boss said, Mommy needed to approve everything.

WHAT THE FUCK?!? How big is her ego? She'd rather piss the client off, just to put her imprimatur on work that was begun before she took over the account?

Well, I met Mommy on Friday. It was over wine (she was drinking, I still can't) at Happy Hour. She's very nice, very unassuming, and let it slip that she couldn't have cared less about my project. She told me she was driving to and from the client's downstate offices every day Friday, Monday and Tuesday. It's 135 miles and 2.5 hours each way. She didn't want to stay at a hotel, even though it would have been easier, because she has a toddler and wanted to put him to bed herself. Anyway, she confessed that when she reviewed the creative we developed for my project, she really couldn't see it very well. She was looking at it on her phone when she stopped for gas. "But I gave it a glance because your boss wanted me to."

There's a massive difference between her having to approve everything and her giving it a glance. My boss is obviously working overtime to impress her.

A product of his generation, he doesn't know what to do with her. She's clearly his type, he's obviously attracted to her. And yet she has authority over him. Unlike Blondie and The Chocolate Covered Spider, Mommy is not going to look at him as a sweet and amusing elder statesman. She is rightly going to expect more of him.

And he's spinning out of control. It's too complicated and depressing to detail here, but in his obsession with Mommy he's making my life hell. He sees everything through a Mommy-colored prism. He doesn't care if the client is happy. He doesn't care if we're giving the ones who pay us their money's worth. He wants Mommy's approval. And the sad truth is, Mommy is (rightfully, I think) focused on the high level and doesn't really seem to care what we do down in the weeds.

And so, my boss and I are going to continue to clash. Because I insist on delivering for the client. And I believe that if our contretemps were escalated to Mommy, she'd side with me, because she's a businesswoman and, if our client is happy, our business will grow.

But my boss is spinning out of control and doesn't/can't see that. He's motivated by fear and confusion and sex and he's powerless to stop spinning.

*But they're dicks anyway, so I don't care.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Sixteen Tons (1955)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) 16 tons = 32,000 pounds, because there are 2,000 lbs. to a ton. Without looking it up, do you know how many ounces are in a pound? No. I'm hopeless with this sort of thing.

2) The singer describes himself as having "a mind that's weak and a back that's strong." Think about yourself. Which feels more powerful today, your body or your brain? Brain

3) The poor chap in this song has money troubles. Are you good at sticking to your budget?
No. I'm hopeless with this sort of thing.
4) Tennessee Ernie Ford snapped his fingers as he recorded this song. It's been said that while it's possible to snap your fingers of both hands, the noise is louder with your "dominant hand." (So if you're a rightie, the finger snap will be louder with your right hand.) Try it yourself. Did you find this to be true? Yes.

5) Mr. Ford appeared as "Cousin Ernie" in three episodes of I Love Lucy. What's your all-time favorite sitcom? Friends

6) Tennessee Ernie took the money he made from his performing career and invested in a California cattle ranch. Think back to the last beef your ate. How was it prepared? On Friday I had a Quarter Pounder. I looooooved it. When I was suffering from c. diff, I had a very restricted diet, and it didn't include beef. So this was my first trip to the Golden Arches this year, and I was surprised by how much I savored it. It wasn't just the beef. I got to taste onions and pickles again, too!

7) Mr. Ford passed away at age 72 in 1991. That year, Dr. Seuss also died. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book? The Man with the Mole on His Nose. OK, it's not a Dr. Seuss book at all, but it gives me an excuse to watch this clip again.

8) Gene Roddenberry also died that year. Mr. Roddenberry is best known as the creator of Star Trek. Who is your favorite Star Trek character? Sulu. I never watched Star Trek, but I enjoy George Takei's Facebook page a lot.

9) Random question: We're having smoothies. What's your favorite? Strawberry banana.


And so it begins

Behold my ballast! On Friday, the pitchers and catchers arrived at Mesa.

His happiness makes me want to cry

My 20 year old cat Joey is falling apart. He's so far sighted and has to literally put his nose into his bowl to find his food. His breath is terrible. He's losing weight at such an accelerated rate I can feel every bone in his spine when I pet him.

He is battling two fatal diseases -- an incurable virus and Stage 3 kidney disease. He is never going to get well. His entire life can now be measured in weeks.

And yet, and yet ... here he is, curled up beside me. He luxuriates in his naps and he loves to be petted. Last night he played laser tag. This evening, he joined in with the other cats as they battled and then captured some shoelaces. While these playtimes are short, they demonstrate that he's still social and isn't isolating himself.

He doesn't seem confused by what's happening, so I believe he understands that his body is failing. Yet his spirit remains joyous. Moment by moment, he's content. He's a dear soul and he's teaching me something about death.

It will be very hard to lose him.