Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's Gold In These-Here Hills

The prospector's cry was definitely heard in the frigid North at one time -- but now, the real money's in oil, and oil is in the money. In fact, the money comes from Big Oil.

The Permanent Fund Dividend, or PFD, is the dirty delicious payoff Alaskans receive to let Big Oil rape the ever-lovin' tar out of their state. (Was that a pun? Is it clever or obnoxious? WHO KNOWS) I view it as the ultimate level in my halting progress towards becoming an Alaskan, the Final Level. This year the payout is $1,300 buckeroos -- more than 3 week's worth of pay for everyone's favorite Kana.

Now, I have never received the PFD in all my (5+) years up here. Initially, it was because I had to prove I'd been here for more than two years, so the first two were moot. I'm fine with that; laughably, I was planning on leaving in that amount of time with a degree. Double ha.

Then, my mother refused to stop claiming me as a dependent in Hawaii -- even though she'd cut me off financially during the interim. "Details", right?

Out the door...
And after I went through the emotional battle the next year of refusing her my tax info so that I could claim myself as an independent, thus beginning a paper trail for myself in-state, I then would be two years after the last Hawaii tax return before I could be considered. So, years passed.

...And around the building
I work in a state building, and walk by the little lobby-PFD office everyday. It doesn't see much action for most of the year -- but right now, the prospecting pioneer spirit has brought hundreds out of the woodwork to stand in line and pan for riches at their four teller stations. I've seen it firsthand for two years now, my time with the state -- standing sheepishly outside and around the side of the building, no doubt aware that they look like a World War 2 breadline.

This picture was c/o of a blogger who is...aggressively
political. No citation for them!
I mostly ignore it, other than taking a fraction of a second to be grateful it's not me standing out there as I duck out of the cold into the warm and fragrant lobby. But this weekend Lovely and Pants decided it was high time I looked into applying for the PFD. And so, with their threats of many beatings blessing I looked into it...the prospects (Now it's a pun) still weren't good:

PROOF OF HAVING MOVED TO ALASKA. We moved all my belongings in me and my mother's carry-on and checked luggage, with no shipped belongings. I did not have my signature on any lease or rental agreement for four years after that, living in the dorms.

PROOF OF HAVING CONSISTENTLY LIVED IN ALASKA FOR 2+ YEARS. All my work had been done through UAA's Work-Study program, on-campus, while I lived in the dorms, and therefore I had not stepped off embassy soil while in this foreign state in any PFD-meaningful way. I had no non-university paper trail until the summer of the Spa, which was a local business not in association with University. In pretty much any way, including IQ, unfortunately. But I am in no place to judge; I hadn't kept track of my voting card from when I cast my ballot in the last presidential election, nor did I have an AK driver's license or State ID. I was nobody.

I'm totally from here!
PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP IN THE USA. I had an expired passport somewhere, from when I was little and did things, but my birth certificate (no copies accepted) was several thousand miles away over land and sea, along with my social security card. My  driver's license has never existed, as I don't know how to drive (I know, I know) so I might as well be from Mars as anywhere else.

Fortunately, I was cowed with threats encouraged to find contingencies; I found my old expired passport (11 year-old Kana was blonde, and, according to my darling LoveBun, homely -- but at least she was going to England, Scotland and France) and got the date I voted from the Alaska Voters Registration. So much fun, BTdubs -- I highly recommend it as an extreme sport. Combined with my jealously guarded W2s, I was ready to deliver my bona fides -- all I had to do was join the Breadline of Eternity.

I took an hour "lunch" to stand in the line, and I managed to make it in time -- ish. But by the time I straggled back upstairs, mission accomplished (hopefully!) I was forever tainted, and not just with the reek of a thousand redneck cigarettes. Those news reporters that want to feel up America's pulse should stand in the PFD line -- these total strangers will talk about religion, politics, healthcare, anything incendiary. Like the cigarettes, I think that they think this will keep them warm.

Note: 'incendiary' is not warm, it is on fire.

I wanted to kill everything, but especially the two people behind me, by the time I inched my way towards the indoors part of the line. I was the last in the group of five let inside at a time, and I was so happy to leave their bitching behind -- they had totally united over misery and kvetchery for the past 45 minutes -- so imagine my surprise when this horrible woman's stroller-chair bumped into my Achilles' for the nth time.

She'd come in anyway.

The unaccustomed sense of (relative) quiet was due to the fact that she'd abandoned her new synchronized bitching partner outside to fend for himself, and had (I suppose) played on the security guard's sympathies to get in that much more quickly. She was definitely failing healthwise, this much was true, but I bet if that security guard had been able to see how many cancer sticks she'd sucked down in between anti-government mutterings outside, he would not have been quite as sympathetic.

She found a new kvetchee to talk to behind me, and so Redneck Conservative Talk Radio resumed. He seemed more than happy to engage her, but I'm pretty confident that that's because he'd cut the line -- just joined the end of the indoor line. It was really chaotic in there, so the only one who'd really notice is the person you're standing next to. So he encouraged her to air her views with a strong dose of smarm n' charm. I understand the tactic, and respect the cojones; but I still hold that it's poor taste to loudly argue for smaller government while in a State building standing in line for free State money. That's too much cojones, especially for an old lady.

Fortunately, I made it without exploding at all, and will soon find out whether or not I qualify to become a True Alaskan -- selling my new home out from under myself for an annual payoff, just like everybody else. Go team go!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Well-Spent Childhood In Our Friendly Skies

Actual podiums my mom worked on Maui, c/o
When I was but a little lass, my mother worked for a nonspecific but very patriotically named (hint hint) airline. She worked the check-in counter at the main lobby of Maui's first commercial airport when it first opened, abandoning LAX for paradise -- or so she thought. She caught an STD (namely me) off some male model-nee-tour-bus-driver, and grew so fond of the little parasitic wart, she didn't bother to go get it fixed. (This is still me, not him. That wart dropped off of its own accord.) But the long and short of it was that now she was a young mother in a strange place with a demanding job. She did the best she could by smuggling me to work with her while I was still small enough to be smuggled inside things. (Really, REALLY not in the traditional airport-smuggling place of choice. Just FYI.) So if you wondered why your checker seems so harried, distracted or ready to cry/kill you, it might be because there is a fussy baby hidden in the podium between her and you and it is down there that her thoughts are truly centered. Is it going to cry? Spit up? WHY has it been fussing for four hours? If it throws up, I'm going to lose my job -- or maybe just my lunch.  Just for your future consideration.

What was nice about Mom's early job for Patriot Airlines was that we could fly in unprecedented style. You know, whenever she could afford to be doing something other than working. We flew to California see my new grandparents, who were as happy with me as they were mad at her; thirty, unmarried and now a bastard child? ("Awww, lookit that, Hal! She spit up on herself. Isn't she an angel.") They took me to Disneyland so many times I had the layout memorized, and would blithely inform my mother that I would meet her "back at Minnie's house" like I was house-sitting for the mouse. But even more fun than Disneyland, as anyone who has flown to California will tell you, is First Class on an airline. There should be a theme park to commemorate it. I haven't had the privilege of inspecting First Class compartments any time recently, as my mother moved on to another job when I was seven and if a Coach Class flier even looks too hard at the First Class cabin, burly flight attendants ask you to leave and you get stranded in Seattle AGAIN. And while Seattle may be aces at coffee, it's deuces at sandwiches -- two guesses as to which one of those I actually like, and da firs' one don't count.

"We're making money RIGHT NOW."
Brian Regan describes it pretty well in his skit; First Class people are lords, nobility who are disgusted that we commoners even get to walk through their special court on our way to the ox-stalls. And I've seen for myself that way they look up at you after they've pre-boarded and you're just shuffling by; they're sitting in their massive leather easy-chairs, laptops and PDAs already out, obviously making money even now. Only a fool like you would pay for the privilege of that sky-borne cattle car back there; they're getting paid to sip mimosas from underneath the corner of a complimentary hot towel, and put their feet up on baseboard storage compartments.

And that is where this tale comes at last to its long-awaited point.

In all the trans-Pacific travels of my childhood, whether for my mother's surgeries at UCLA (carpal tunnel is a big reason why she eventually quit Patriot Airlines) or those legendary grandparents-and-Disneyland sojourns, I spent most of my time in those baseboard storage compartments. They were huge compared to the overhead storage, just right for one little girl's BatCave. I'd drag my chosen toys of the day and their sundry paraphernalia off to one of the empty ones, and set up camp in there. It got so regular in my young life that everything started to have its particular place, and all baseboard compartments were in essence One; dolly's bed went over here, and the little bag I carried to show I was a "big girl" like Mommy (filled with more toys and crap) went over here. It was a constant in my travel-filled life, and I got fond of it. But now, as a slightly less self-centered adult, I wonder what that had been like for the hundreds of First Class passengers who had not realized you could store children in the baseboard compartments*. I imagine it would go something like this:

Livin' the high life - mimosas and hot towels await

Huh? Wuzzat?

Was that a GIGGLE?

But what can you say? "Excuse me, Miss,
I'm hearing crazy things at 40,000 feet?"
That's it, I'm getting to the bottom of this!
I'm a high-powered business executive and
I won't stand for this sort of mystery on my flight!
So as long as nobody's looking...

I hope it's not a talking animal, I hate that Disney shi-

Holy monkeys, a kid!

I would like to think that my rabid little child face did not peer up at them in the sudden light amidst my mess like some sort of feral weasel found in one's garbage bins, but I don't think I should fool myself; I was most likely published at least once as the "Wild Child of the Skies" before my mother could shamefacedly claim me. I probably bit at least one of them, in a child's experimental, easygoing way. It was probably a really big deal for a while, with a picture of the bitten passenger under the headline and my crouched four-year-old figure as the side panel shot, with the caption "An unexpected flight hazard of the Friendly Skies." Maybe I even damaged Patriot Airline's profit margin as they damaged my mother's wrists. I would find this highly acceptable.

*First Class people lead charmed lives that would prevent them from finding out about such unfortunate things as babies and the need to take them with you places. I have decided that the First Class decided that babies come from nannies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Ever-Renewed Spiral Into Embarrassment Oblivion

It seems only appropriate to follow up my last post with one about embarrassing myself.

I get REALLY embarrassed, humorously so, because my reaction to a remembered embarrassment is to physically cringe, compulsively mumble or hum, or clench whatever I happen to be holding. So it's a gift that keeps on giving, because when you do that shit spontaneously alone in public, guess what? It's effin' EMBARRASSING. New fodder for the twitchfest!

It doesn't actually happen all that often, thankfully -- maybe every other month or so -- when I remember what a TOTAL RETARD I was that one time, and how they probably still get a kick out of remembering how ass-stupid I was, off I go again with the good ol' twitch-and-mumble, usually voicing aloud whatever words were floating nearby in my consciousness. My stomach clenches, and my diaphragm just seems to pump straight into my voice box, and verbal diarrhea comes dribbling out, the first word with force and the rest sort of trailing behind like a comet's tail. It's not intentional and therefore not planned, which means these aren't the most coherent pearls of bon mot...usually something along the lines "WELL I guess so, guess so, did my best..."

I once went completely critical, remembering something embarrassing while on an escalator. This made me mumble and squirm while passing a stranger going past on the opposing escalator. This made me so embarrassed I keened and involuntarily shut my eyes. This caused me to fall out the end of the escalator and into a support column. Fortunately at this point I decided to flee the scene,  made a break for the Walden Books and broke the vicious cycle before I spontaneously combusted.

Fortunately, I don't usually get that bad, and just hum a little hum that no one notices in the noise of TV, dishwashers and other conversations. A lot of people have it worse, especially in cultures that have the concept of latah, where acting out when flustered can be exacerbated to extremes. I heard about a European colonial case of manslaughter where the defendant was exonerated because their extreme latah condition made them susceptible to orders given by others -- to prove the point (ha!) a board driven through with nails was placed points-up in front of the defendant and they were "set off", and told to hit the board while in that impressionable state. When they did so with force, the colonialists ruled that the latah was a truly involuntary condition, and that the sufferer was without guilt, while the one who told them to harm the victim was held accountable for the act itself.

I'm not latah myself, but I think that's just because my society didn't allow me the mental or emotional space to become one, and that I probably would have become one if I'd grown up in any of the several places around the world where the custom is found.

PS - I recommend checking out hyperekplexi, or a really strong embarrassment/startle reflex? Please share!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Changeability: A Study of Environment and Genetics On Hair

Humid Hawaii's tight, wiry curls
So as a kid, I had straight blonde hair. It went through an awful process at puberty, got ashy and frizzy, which I decided to reply to by dying and perming it. Just a big "Eff You" to nature and genetics in general; don't take me on. I'll tint the shit out of you. Red looks good with my pink complexion anyhow.
And the perm was just necessary. Have you ever started growing in frizzy hair over straight? Long, forlorn strands hanging weakly from the frizz storm exploding out the top of your looks like a homemade diorama of rain coming out of a cloud. So yeah.

Alaska's looser, longer curls
'Red and curly' became my MO, and I've had great consistency with that since the age of 15 - color out of a box, true, but the perm was just a cheat code to my ultimate curly destiny; by the time it wore off, all of my hair was naturally curly, so theoretically my perm held for almost a decade -- until now.

Straightened for my trim

Gods help me, I worked at a day spa over the summer. I had nothing in common with these people, and kept myself aloof of all offers to help "fix" me -- and then one day, this dear little old lady came in for some shampoo and loved my hair. I always ALWAYS wore it up at the spa for professionalism, but she wanted to know HOW it'd been put it I had to take it down to show her. One of our hairdressers saw my long, uncut Hawaiian-style hair, and lost his shit. He needed to trim it. I agreed on the stipulation that he kept it as long as he could, that I was vain about the length and that it was my priority. Then I said a retarded thing while in the chair; "Nah, I trust you." I meant that I trusted him to honor my wishes and do a good job. He took that to mean I had faith in his artist's vision of my head's future. Never, EVER say this while still in their chair.
The so-called "trim"

Because this is what you get; I now look like every other high-maintenance spa-going girl. And he STRAIGHTENED it -- which is why it looks close in length. It's a LIE, he actually took off half a foot of hair!

Still curly, though
But once I got away from the spa and his opinions (and his flatiron) my hair still had its own thing going on - a weird, defiant wild curl that was more reminiscent of the mane I'd rocked Before the Reckoning.

And then, after I'd come home from Christmas in Hawaii that year, it just sort of...gave up. Traveling is hard on dead parts like hair and nails anyhow, because of altitude and stress, not to mention from going between dry, dry Christmas AK, where the snowing has stolen the moisture from the air, to muggy HI, where the so-called "Winter" weather manifests as humidity occasionally relieved by rain.

And then...suddenly not?
Something just happened, and when I returned to AK, it sort of collapsed into this wavy soft stuff I'd never seen before - it was like wearing a disguise that fools even you. It had been reminded of childhood ideas about "straightness" by that damn hairdresser, and when it got too tired of my traveling malarky, it just regressed like a trauma patient. And even now, it is content with wavy -- if I put it into a scrunchie while damp it does a lovely little double wave, but the top of my head has a downward curve the likes of which has been only seen before in a class that grades on the curve.

Now to get it to curl tight I have to put it up the day before...which is not so bad, because I made these barrettes with fake leaves glued on, so I twist my hair up in a bunch of random knots and pretend my head's a bird's nest.Which is not so far from true, and much better than looking like a high-maintenance spa girl.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Update, OR: STOP IT ALASKA

So I woke up to this today...effin' Alaska! STOP IT. The traffic was poops, the whole city was at a loss to change back to old driving habits. And now that I'm at work, it's still just PISSING down out there, each large wet fluffy flake giggling obscenely as it passes my floor's least in my mind.

Look at it, just giggling merrily away like
so many little vicious pixies - EFF YOU SNOW
I might have gone a little cuckoo at the sight; you see I bought a t-shirt last night. Madness, you say? It was heady optimism, I know, and I was carried away  by the siren song of Summer -- and now, here I am, all enshirtled, gazing bleakly at the giggling snow. KHAAAAAAAAAN!

All upon a bleak midwinter? TRY MARCH.

::Mid-day Update::
I have been informed by my coworkers that I'm insane for expecting anything OTHER than this when it's "only March." I didn't tell them about the giggling snowflakes.

Potty Mouth

If you are of a refined or delicate disposition, be warned - I really am going to talk about a toilet. And mystery mold.

One particular toilet, in fact; the non-handicapped stall in the Ladies' on my floor. It is my bathroom-away-from-home, because I think there's probably a circle of Hades set aside for able-bodied people who choose the handicapped stall over a normal stall*, or something. We certainly vie for the "normal" stall like we will otherwise be damned. Anywho.

I think it's happy-looking
 It is a good toilet, as such things go, clean and well-functioning. But it has a unique feature, a birthmark of sorts; in the corner of the ceiling where it meets the stall wall there is a custard-colored snowflake. It has not grown or changed in any way since I started here a year ago, but its cheerful butterscotch color cheers me every time. Gods only know what mystery mold makes that color, and what spores it might belch on a microscopic level, but Fie, I say; It is cute, and it makes me happy.

This could almost have been one of my "Simple Pleasures" entries, if only there wasn't such a gray cloud in my toilet's silver lining; the paper liners. People go both ways on them, needing them to feel safe or condemning a wasteful act that preys on our hypochondria and supplies only psychosomatic protection. I can live without 'em, but prefer to use them if they're there. But I've never. NEVER. EVER been good at them. It's been years, I really have no excuse. Those things split in my hands, turning into parade-confetti supplies before my puzzled eyes. No matter how gently, or casually, or slowly I try to tear the central part loose from the border, it just becomes the flapping ragged sail of a ghost ship. (And those are not even remotely toilet-seat-shaped. Famed for it.) And even once I have something that can at least be sat on, in the time between putting it there and being ready to make contact it has sunk to the abyssal depths of the bowl like the ghost ship it thinks it's a part of. Well, it does follow; the majority of it hangs into the bowl, and then gets wet. It's just following its own poorly-thought-out design. So I usually have to sacrifice one to sleep with the fishes, and put another on top that will be partially supported by its brother in the water. But unfortunately, yesterday saw this sad moment on the left; even the second one started giving up the ghost when I went to go stage the photo-op. Maybe it's camera-shy?

Por que, paper liners?
So I'm like the ultimate waster; not only do I use them, I tend to use two; and then I did it just to take a picture of it. There's probably a Circle for people like me too. What would be hilarious is if it's right next to the one for choosing to use the handicapped stall if you're not handicapped. It would be just like old times...or, in other words, now.
* Having no other stall to turn to or needing room coz you're big, have a kid, or need to change totally absolves you. You just end up in Ambiguous Bathroom Choices Limbo. It's like that waiting room from Beetlejuice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't Be That Guy

 Perturbed baby c/o
There are lots of varieties of That Guy.

There's the That Guy whose spatial cognitive functions is so impaired that not only does his carry-on NOT fit anywhere in the overhead area, but he also doesn't notice the line (lit. 'column-shaped mob') of angry humanity congesting behind him as he tries to find the nonexistent angle at which his packing choices will fit neatly into the bin and redeem his recklessness. There's That Guy that you go out to eat with; a friend, family member or S.O. who cannot digest properly without sending their food back/talking to the manager. They derive nutrients from meat only at just the right amount of doneness, and even half-a-shade off in either direction is rendered useless to their alien metabolism.* Or That Guy who comes over all territorial about a parking space, regardless of proximity to it, and is perfectly willing to destroy a peaceable hunting-and-gathering session at the grocery store to take on the fool who dared to park in it first.

Personal comments from a surprisingly literate hamburger
That Guys are by no means only males -- all of the above examples are just as likely to be female. Being That Guy is usually temporary; few people are actually That Guy by nature. (McDuck is one of those tragic few.) Mostly it is a convergence of several mitigating factors, like how you didn't want to go out anyway, plus your man invited his obnoxious old high school friend who is a moron pothead (not at all drawing from my personal life here), and then you are deprived of the juicy burger-gasm you've been anticipating through the awkward appetizer conversation for the last forty minutes, because what they bring you is a charcoal biscuit from Santa's Naughty Children Sack and camouflaged it inside perfectly good hamburger fixings and you suddenly find the need to lance the throbbing boil your soul has become before its suppuration destroys relationships or is mistaken for mayonnaise. (Now I really am making it up; I've never sent back a burger. Once its in my field of vision, its mine. This is an absolute law, and other burger-enjoyers had better just pray that eating mine makes me too full to pursue theirs.)

Curb your nastier thoughts, gentle 
reader, I implore you
So there are many kinds of That Guy, and they are usually as involuntary and fleeting as they are varied. What's important is to maintain a level of self-awareness or a quality of friend who will tell you when you are turning into That Guy. I myself was recently That Guy when I decided that I was hilarious, which meant that anything I would do would therefore be hilarious, and so every impulse was to be immediately obeyed as an homage to the Spirit of Humor Itself. I did not realize I had become the nexus of That Obnoxious Raucous Party At The Next Table until my sudden lunge at Sweetness to put Button's kitty hat on his head knocked an entirely full Italian Cream soda into my lap, simultaneously creating an interesting crotch-staining phenomenon and shocking me back into icy creamy realization of my That-Guy status. I apologized wryly to my awed waitress and the nearby tables as I modestly sponged at my sodden groin. Almost any (inadvertent) poor public behavior will be forgiven if you clearly and explicitly apologize for it.

"And WHAT have we learned?"
What is unforgivable is being any That Guy that has been represented in sitcoms that have a mechanized laugh track. If a stereotypical behavior has become so hackneyed that even its own writers had no confidence in people's ability to properly emote to it, you should not do it. Do not deliver a moral to the string of events you and your friends have just struggled through in a condescending after-school-special tone. Don't even contemplate pinching a younger relative's cheek and making oo's-a-diddah-pweshus noises at them. No matter what age. And most of all, don't be the Parent Who Killed Their Child's Christmas by giving them socks.

My mother and I are the entirety of our two-person family, and so we have a tradition of giving each other several gifts at the holidays and at birthdays. They are usually something specifically asked for by the prospective recipient, directly to the prospective giver, during the year or leading up to the event. They have a tendency to be a bit on the expensive side because we don't have any Auntie Gertie or Nana Lois to get drug-store perfume for. It's a matter quantity and quality in our undiluted family sphere.

Pretending you're really, truly pleased for
like the 11th time: Saddest. Thing. Ever.
Which is why I was totally appalled when my mother came up here for her first white Christmas in thirty years and bequeathed unto me almost a dozen packages of socks. They weren't even funny or brightly colored. Just package after brightly-wrapped package of every child's holiday nightmare; the Functional Gift.

Happy un-birthday, Stinky
Let's just be clear. It is nice to get your child more of something he or she really needs, but hasn't seemed motivated enough to do for themselves. Especially if it is bothering you. If you're paying for it, these unspoken messages should be accepted with grace; the "impromptu" reservations made to cut your hair, the shopping trip that yielded more deodorant than one might rightfully have expected, etc. But that is for the rest of the year. Yes, showing those closest to you that you notice what they do and that you're thinking of them when you're out shopping is great...But if you dare to wrap something as functional as long underwear in holiday paper without meaning it as a joke, I will manifest wherever you are, hit you really hard in the shin with the nearest thing to hand and scream, "YOU'RE BEING THAT GUY!!!" So don't do it. Because rematerialization is theorized to be physically impossible and would rewrite or unwrite the current laws of reality. And its just not nice, destroying the universe like that. Especially at that special time of the year.
*This is actually untrue. What truly sustains them is the rising clouds of embarrassment emanating from their dining companions. They are like incubi of shame.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Allie’s Anti-Alliteration Attack OR: When Idols Fall OR: Maybe This Isn't As Personal As It Feels

Horrifying revelation c/o
Allie hates alliteration! This is terrible – I’m ALL ABOUT alliteration! It’s somewhere between punning and rhyming, that sweet spot between dorkiness and cleverness that feels just right. Now I will never become her Padawan. I mean, I'm not usually good enough to get the hat-trick trifecta that is typically thought of when one thinks about alliteration -- if one ever does -- but I love the twinsies shit that she specifically maligns in red above; oh the horror!

I also love toast. This is going to be a rough relationship.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Look At My Purse, Godsdammit ::AND:: Endless Summer Pining (A Double Feature)

 Look @ My Purse, Dammit

I bought a Kangaroo pouch last Christmas, and if this tale wasn't already gripping enough, let me hasten to inform you that it comes with BOTH a big and little version in the box, and that I gave the big one as a gift that holiday, in which to keep the small one for myself. The plan was simple, yet ingenious; I could switch bags easily, it would always be in the same place in the bag, and if it was done with NASCAR-speed, Bunny would not have the opportunity to tell me what I was doing was stupid. I'd like to avoid criticism without having to change anyway.

A gripping read so far, I know. BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE.

Here's the hook: Although the Kangaroo pouch would do all I had hoped, I didn't OWN any small, empty-center bags. I specialize in  messenger bags with ten thousand pockets to fit my big awful Mac laptop. So. I'm designing and making some. 

This is my simplest design, so I started off with him...he* only took two evenings, it was great, but when I proudly strutted into work the next day, nothing. I carefully positioned it in a prominent place with a solid backdrop, in full view of the mouth of my cubicle. And my job is a tiny, tiny world of bored people, mostly over forty. EVERYONE SEES EVERYTHING. And then TALKS ABOUT IT FOREVARS. Not kidding -- I once switched from my black messenger bag to my brown one, and couldn't move for "Oh, new bag?" inanities from both men and women for days. So what the hell, people? Brand new bag, matching entire outfit -- let's hear some feedback!
Prominently and attractively (?)
displayed - and yet not a nibble

No bite.

Eventually I announced to CubeTown at large that if someone didn't say something about my new bag RIGHT NOW I would explode. I'm still getting shit about it. Be careful what you querulously demand...
*There is no reason for the gendered usage except that there would have been an "it" on either side of the ellipses if I'd gone gender-neutral. And that sounds like the sound effect of a pensive squirrel: Squik it it squik kuchoo...


 Endless Summer Pining: Pt. 2 Of Crafty Double-Post

Some places can have these year-round. Oh Gawds.

I need sun. I need cold chicken and fruit from a little Igloo cooler half-full of melting ice keeping the sodas cold. I need sand, and sunburn, and green grass. And flowers. Goodlorda'mighty, flowers. In all the vivid garish colors that waver in the heat ripples.

I demand GRASS! GIMME!!

I might be ready for Summer. Just a little. Some hints:

I wear tropical colors and pretend my building
is a cruise ship, but its just not the same.

The outfits -- brightly-colored tanktop and dress shirt combos at work; at home flowered prints, shorts, skirts, and above all COLOR.


To clash/match any color scheme

I made flower barrettes -- no namby-pamby pastels!  I require the bright wildflower colors that make you feel that Summer sun on your skin. And in your SOUL. Or something.


The playlists -- I made two playlists for summer, one long and one short(er), and another for a tropical feel.  I play them all day at work, over and over. The short one is specifically for songs with 'summer' or 'sun' in the title/refrain, with a few exception like Heat Wave and What A Day For A Daydream, which are just necessary.


The "short" playlist... only comparatively so

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Privacy V. Dignity OR: Don't Eff Wit' Da Hawaiian OR: Nickname Bloopers

So I don't use my full name on here. I don't want my so-called 'real' life overlapping with this blog; I write about myself and other real people on here, and don't want it to bite anybody (especially ME) in the ass. Honesty shouldn't do that -- hence the nicknames. Plus it was fun to do

However, I am now hoisted on my own petard; my desire to preserve dignity and privacy might not be so easily facilitated by shortening a Hawaiian name. Because, as someone with a brain might note, the shorter version means something very different. Ideally it would mean "shortened version of my name," but that is not the case.

So I now have the exciting task of choosing which of the SEVEN meanings of the word I'd like to ascribe to myself:

- Multiples of ten - Yeah, I round up. That's how I roll.
Self-depiction of Allie, author
of Hyperbole And A Half

- Extremely/limitlessly - The adverb leaves it nice and open, I like it. Plus it gives me like one degree of name-separation from Hyperbole And A Half.

- Support beam - Boring. Structurally sound, but BORING.

- A way for one nobleman to hit another during a match - Iiiiiiiiiyuh just don't think so. Not much for the Marquess of Queensberry's pugilistic fisticuffs. Lame sauce.

Apache Chief hangs with
Superman, c/o Kidz WB

- A demigod best known for being a combination of Mr. Fantastic and Apache Chief - Not quite appropriate, I feel. I've never had to save my mother the moon from a giant mountain turtle.

- Shooting something - No. No. A thousand times no.

- A ton, aka 2,000+ lbs. - This one's just hurtful.

So, I think I'm gonna have to go with exaggeration. Maybe I'll even start actively living up to the moniker -- not that you poor fools will know! Muahahahahaaaaaaa!!