Friday, May 28, 2010

It's always something

I don’t usually talk about my job. But in the obliquest terms possible.

People ask me how I got to be an administrative assistant from an English degree – just lucky I guess. Because, even though I can read Chaucer with an impeccable Middle English accent, there’s not a lot of call for it in today’s job market. Or any job market since about 1450.

But, the life of the admin is full of excitement. If you find stuff flying at you from left field exciting. And my boss is way capable of beaning me with a hard ball straight to the noggin’ every once in awhile. It’s like living in a prime time soap. The plot twists just keep coming. Even after 9 years.

You know, I’ll think I’ve got the job knocked. Nothing else can surprise me. Then . . . Like let’s say that I worked for a knife thrower. It’s like the boss will come up and say, “I think we need a pink Chihuahua into the act.” A Chihuahua? Pink? Are we still throwing knives? Gotta say, the boss can still stump me every once in awhile.

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, kids.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ushers make you booty go - right into it's seat

Okay, I love ushering. It’s community service, and I get to see a free show. Win-win. But there are 2 things that are starting to bug me. One comes from a complete lack of manners. And the other is from, shall we say, an overabundance of them.

The first is really many things lumped together under “I was raised in a barn” behavior. By the time your are an adult, you should know how to behave at a theater. No chitty-chatty. No putting your feet on the back of the person-in-front-of-you’s seat. Applaud when moved, or, barring that, when polite. And even by the time you are a teenager, if you aren’t up on all the niceties, you should be able to observe other people and do what they do. But when the adults have been raised in a barn, what are the kiddos to do? Okay, I admit some things are new or changing about manners. No one had to be told not to text or snap pictures during a performance in 1910, obviously. But word has gotten around. And some things have absolutely not changed. It was impolite to rush out to get to your car when Lionel Barrymore was on the stage. And it’s impolite now.

The other thing is seat switchers. Not that I personally have anything against the practice. I may or may not have given myself an upgrade in a sparsely attended performance. But here’s the thing – do not ask me, the usher, if it’s okay. I’m representing the house. Under most circumstances, I am obligated to tell you “no”. Regardless of how I may or may not feel about you moving to a better seat. But I’m very busy doing my job. I cannot be everywhere at once. I don’t remember where you were sitting. And as a rule, most ushers are very nice people. Even if we should notice that you are not now where you once were, we are highly unlikely to say anything about it. And if you were to do this without me noticing, and had done discreet reconnaissance work prior, you would not end up in a seat that someone was previously sitting in. If you were to do this. Without me noticing. And asking me if you can forces me to notice. Which I may or may not have done otherwise.

Are these little things enough to make me not want to usher any more? Hell no! Did I mention it’s a free show?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What a turkey (vulture)

TOTALLY disgusting:

Now as far as I knew, vomiting as a defense mechanism was only seen in turkey vultures (they're real attractive animals). But evidently it can also be observed in the North American drunkus idiotis sportsfanous.

I've always thought that if I was physically assaulted, peeing would be my first line of defense. But I guess barfing on my assailant might be a valid tactic as well. Luckily, peeing and throwing up is my natural response to physical jeopardy, so that works out. I'm a real attractive animal too.

Seriously though. What kind of idiot gets into an altercation and thinks "I gotta do what I gotta do" and busts out projectile vomitting as his weapon of choice? Other than Lindsay Lohan. What I find really astonishing is that he had a friend who went to the game with him.

We are not amused

You know that scene in the Untouchables where Robert DeNiro as Al Capone is circling the table with a baseball bat? Somehow, I imagine Queen Elizabeth gathering the “family” at Buckingham Palace to discuss business. Only she’s carrying a cricket bat. Or one of Edward the Second’s broadswords. Or maybe even that jewel encrusted scepter. And she stops behind Fergie and knight of the realm’s her brains all over the table.

Cause seriously, if I was QE-Deuce, I’d have had enough. At her time of life, all she really wants is for her idiot children to stop embarrassing her. Or her idiot children’s exes. And Fergie getting caught influence peddling like a Louisiana Senator at an oil lobbyist convention is just plain embarrassing. About the only thing that would have made it worse is if she was actually caught on tape selling access to the father of her children to Borat. Tacky.

The monarchy exists only on the sufferance of the British people. They’re like really, really expensive show dogs. Their job is to look well-groomed and prance politely around the ring. And keep the English flower industry afloat from small children handing them bouquets. But if the Brits suddenly decided that royals are no longer value-added, they will find themselves bounced out on their baby blue butts. And I can tell you, ribbon cutting skills are not exactly a hot commodity in today’s job market.

All people in immediate line to the throne (or consorts there of) need to do is be likable. That’s it. Don’t behave like a douche in public. And this bunch doesn’t seem to be able to get the hang of it. Obfiously no one has explained to the kids who will be the first with their backs to the wall when the revolution comes. I would blame the old girl at all if she wasn’t palming that scepter right now and doing a frame-by-frame review of DeNiro’s batting form. It’s time for a lecture about the old “family business.”

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breaking news

Okay, here it is – I have it from a reliable source, and on close (like a distance of no more than 5 feet close) inspection, that yes, Hugh Jackman is that yummy in person. Oh, my freaking gawrd.

Okay, let me just say that I’m ecstatic to have confirmation of what, in my heart, I’ve always believed to be true. But I’m actually really glad that it was her rather than me. There is no way I could have held my sh** together under those circumstances. I’d have devolved into a complete blithering loon. I would have embarrassed myself. I would have embarrassed him. Mortally. And I would never want to do that to him. But I would have no choice but to geek out in the most spastic way possible. Hysterical giggling would be guaranteed. Piddling would not be out of the question.

And the list of people on this planet that I would do this over is vanishingly small. Bono I would be excited about, but I could hold it together and seem like a reasonably sane person. Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, Cher, Sandra Day O’Connor, the Dalai Lama, Neil Gaiman would all be thrillsville. Politely offer my hand, how do you do, so pleased to make your acquaintance, lovely to have seen you, ta-ta. Cucumber.

Hugh Jackman? Not a chance. So I’m very content with reflected glory, from one degree of separation. And in the knowledge that he really is quite perfect. Sigh.

Not just any excuse for a party

My niece was off to senior prom on Saturday. She looked lovely, and was so excited. It’s a rite of passage that most American teenagers will participate in. It’s the whipped cream on the entire graduation moment. The diploma, of course, is the important part. But the prom is that moment to gather with your classmates are really realize how exciting this event is. And there will be so many more that will follow in the next 10 years. First vote. First drink. First real job. First home. First (hopefully only) marriage. First child. Each one marking a transition into a new phase of life. You may not hit all of those. But you need at least a few of them to really be a successful adult.

But then what happens? You enter this really undifferentiated miasma of adulthood, and you’ve passed all but a few of your “rites”. And you just slide from phase to phase with no event. No moment to realize, “Oh, hey. Now I’m this.” Nobody throws a grandparent shower. There’s no menopause prom. Hallmark doesn’t make a “You just bought a ridiculous sports car! Happy Mid-Life Crisis!” card. I think we try to do things that create a rite of passage (those gawdawful “Over the Hill” parties, ugh, and double ugh). But so little of what happens once you’re an adult, other than retirement, isn’t viewed as a positive. Whoo-hooo! You’re now in a protected age group for employment discrimination! Party time!

So I don’t know what I would suggest. A big Empty Nest bash when your last kid leaves the house? Or maybe that menopause prom. You wear a white dress to symbolize that you will never have to fear an “accident” again, and then ceremonially burn a heap of birth control and tampons. Guys could have manopause keggers where the get to put on pleat front pants and dress socks and tennis shoes. And they are officially given permission by the tribe to tell the same story over and over again and everybody will have to listen, sonny, cause when I was your age we had respect for our elders . . .

Not that we need like some big ritual every year. But there ought to be one or two events. Something to look forward to. Something to be the punctuation on the long run-on sentence that is adulthood.

TIME: Quotes of the Day