Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Office Giggles

I had an entirely different post planned as my next blog, but I'm feeling so utterly drained of energy over this past week that this is pretty much all I have the ability to do.

So, for your enjoyment, entertainment, or what-have-you, here are three things that made me giggle at work this past week:

Conversation with the president of the company:

"So, you go to UCF?"
"And you're majoring in business."
"English, actually."
"English? What are you doing here?"

A helpful note that someone put on some marketing materials that came across my desk:

An extremely effective insurance marketing photo:

It's the little things in life...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Opened eyes, blind date

I’m twenty-one and I’ve been single for some time. This usually leads to a lot of people wanting to “set me up,” but I’ve never actually acquiesced to go. But in Hawaii, I somehow wound up on my very first blind date. My father inadvertently set me up, but thought that he was giving the couple we were sitting at dinner with my phone number for their twenty year-old daughter, so she'd have someone to tan with.

He was mistaken.

I'll skip all of the awkward texting that we did in order to meet up, and get straight to the part where I have one of the most awkward hours of my life.

I sit down on the chaise lounge next to Owen.* He's from Texas, not bad-looking... but of course, that doesn't matter a great deal because really I know that the only thing I might get out of this is a long-distance friendship. But so what? I could always use more friends.

...But not friends who have the strong scent of liquor wafting off of them at three o'clock in the afternoon.

I try to ignore that. This is paradise, after all. Aren't we all entitled to a couple drinks?

First, I realize when he starts talking about his parents "matchmaking" attempts that this isn't just the "friendly hang" I have imagined. I've somehow inadvertently wound up on my first blind date.

He claims the need for a cigarette, asking if it bothers me. Well no, I'm not exactly picturing white picket fences in our future, so no, as long as he's not blowing the smoke in my face, I don't really care.

"Good because the last girl I dated? She was always like 'Ugh, I effing hate smokers. So, good. It's good that you don't mind smokers."

Alarm bells in my head? I might have a clinger on my hands.

The conversation goes fairly smoothly later. We talk about the company, previous trips, our tastes in music. And we slowly discover that we have very little in common.

Me: "I live with two of my sorority sisters--"
Him: "--Sorority?!"
I respond with a hesitant "Yes? Sorority."

He chooses this moment to adopt a falsetto, clap his hands together, and chime "Oh, Alpha Gamma Psi Delta, woooooo!"

Wow, dude. Seriously? I just told you I'm in one. Making fun of me is really what you wanna do here?

The conversation then turns to drinking because unfortunately, that's something most people our age have in common. I leave out the fact that I'm usually the Designated Driver because many people mistake this for me being a Debbie Downer.

Him: "You've never had a Long Island Iced Tea?"

Me: "Well, I've tried one, I'm just not a fan."

This is apparently unfathomable. "But it tastes just like Iced Tea!"

"I don't like Iced Tea either."

Despite my protests, he orders two Long Islands.

You know what? It doesn't taste like Iced Tea. What it tastes like is... nasty.

He prods me when I simply sip at it. "You're hardly drinking it at all!"

Boys, take note. This is not cute. Especially with a girl you've just met. This little move only says: "Hey. I'm trying to get you drunk."

I take an obliging sip.

Him: "I made this fake permit on photo shop before I left. I go to a tech school now, but I dropped out of college 3 times.

Oh, you're a winner.

"Yeah, alcohol's more what I'm really into now. Especially since I just got out of a two-year relationship a year ago."

Yeah, you seem really over it, the voice in my head chimes in. Helloooooo, baggage!

"It's better than the alternative, I guess," he says. "I used to be a big Ex-head."

I choke on my tiny sip and look at him questioningly. God, I hope that doesn't mean what I think it means.

He shrugs his shoulders and offers an apologetic look. "I used to be an ecstasy addict."

My eyes widen despite themselves. Uh. I've never even smoked pot. What do I say to this?

"I've been clean for two years," he adds hastily. "I had to quit after I overdosed and was legally dead for thirty seconds."


That was pretty much the point at which I decided I had a pressing need to go get ready for dinner.

(the dinner I escaped to)

And then he became an awkward clinger.

But more on that later.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Right now everything is great, everyone is happy, everyone is in love and that is wonderful."

Unless you're living under a rock, you know that today is Valentine's Day. And when you're single, you approach the day with a certain dread. There's an unnecessary emphasis put on the day by nearly everyone. Even the woman at Sprint that I'm on hold with asks what my plans are.

"Nothing, really, probably just going to hang out with a friend."

"That's it?!"

Lady, seriously? What if I'm ugly and I have a complex about this day or something? You could have just sent me into a spiral of depression.

It's hard to get away from the stigma because no matter what, you wind up acknowledging it somehow. It's a day like any other, but you feel compelled to have plans. To do something in order to avoid thinking about the fact that you don't have a significant other and if there's someone you like, you're trying to avoid thinking about what that someone might be doing today.

Every unattached person I know has their own way to combat it. In years past, I've spent the day eating Chinese food and junk food and watching Disney movies and chick flicks. Some people choose to engage in copious amount of alcohol and... ahem... one-night carnal pleasures. One of my roommates treats the day as normal. She goes to the gym, goes tanning, does her laundry, and studies.

But me? I'm a wallower. I can't pretend it's not V-Day, can't ignore it, and can't stop thinking about it. So this year, I chose to hang out with a friend and go to a cheapskate amusement park, complete with Go-Karts, Bumper Cars, and Bumper Boats. This was preceded by lunch and followed by junk food and a chick flick.

So pick your poision:
But take heart in the fact that whatever you choose, the day is allllllmost over!

Hey Dad, did you keep the receipt on that Fountain of Youth?

I’m cursed with a young father.

My dad is forty-five, but looks like he’s in his thirties. I am twenty-one and depending on who you ask, I look anywhere between my actual age or fifteen years old. This leads to the unfortunate assumption by many people that my dad is a cradle-robber when just the two of us are out somewhere. So when my dad and I departed for Hawaii on his company trip, and my mom expressed a fleeting hope that I’d meet a boy there, I assured her it would not happen.

“Why not?”

“Because when people see me with Dad, they don’t think he’s my dad.”

I usually hate being proven wrong, but in this case, I really hate being proven right. And it happened over and over again in Hawaii. And it never stops being awkward.

Laying by the pool:

Company photographer comes over to take picture of my dad. He doesn’t want to be in the picture alone. Taps me to lean in.

Photographer: “You gotta be in the picture with him!”

Dad: “Yeah, me and my daughter.”

Photographer: “That’s your daughter? Ok, you gotta be in the picture alone now. It’s too weird People might think something bad.”

Typical conversation at morning meetings:

Dad: “Hi, I’m Alan, and this is my daughter, Jen.

Attendee: “That’s your daughter? You don’t look old enough to drive!”

He is. And so am I. We’re both old enough to drink too. Wanna see our IDs?

Attendee: “You’re kidding. Seriously? Seriously. That’s your dad?”

Me: “Yep.”

Attendee: “Seriously?!”

No. We thought this would just be a really funny joke.


On a hike:

Woman to older couple: “How long y’all been married?”

Older woman: “Four years. We’re a redo.”

Woman to couple in my dad’s business: “You guys married?”

Couple: “Nope.”

Woman to me and my dad: “What about you guys?”

Dad: “That’s my daughter.”

Woman: “Seriously?!”

I’m going to scream.

She continues. To Dad: “You look so young! I thought you were a couple.”

Ok, my turn: Seriously?! Does she not realize how incredibly awkward this conversation is?

Dad: “Yeah, we joke that we had her when I was a baby.”

I jump in to clear confusion. “He was twenty-four. He’s forty-five. I’m twenty-one.”

She looks back and forth. “Really.”

Can I beat her over the head with a large branch or something?

Friday, February 12, 2010


The last time I ventured to Hawaii, I was in high school and my family and I went to the island of Oahu. I have very vague recollections of it, impressions mostly. I remember being tired and unimpressed. Oahu seemed a lot like home, but with a mountainous twist. At seventeen, I was jet-lagged and sulky. I couldn’t see why people made a big deal about Hawaii. We had the same stuff in Florida.

Ah, but Maui is different from Oahu. Maui is, for lack of a better word, amazing. I had the most relaxing and mentally recuperating half-week of my life.

Things I loved about my vacation:

1) Surfing. I’ve been surfing back home a grand total of three times. I’m definitely a beginner, but I love it. So of course, surf lessons were on my “To Do” list for Hawaii. It was different from back home, and I’m not sure if it was the location, day, or board. A little of all of them, I suppose. It was easier to paddle out and to catch a wave to ride in. But the hop off the board as the wave petered out is way easier at home, where the ocean floor is sand. My heel is still bruised from the rock.

2) Trying new foods. My new (and by new I mean created a couple of years ago) rule for myself is that on trips I have to try at least one new food. I tried a few on this trip. A Long Island Iced Tea (dislike), red wine (dislike), duck (eh), some berry thing in the rainforest (eh), and tiramisu (yum). I could not, however, bring myself to try the sugar ants off of the bamboo that “taste like a lemon drop.”

No, really.
3) The resort. I’ve stayed at some really nice places, but the Grand Wailea absolutely blew them all out of the water. Props to the Waldorf Astoria collection.

4) Being 21 in a tropical location. I definitely enjoyed sipping my daiquiri as I hung out by the pool and tanned (in other words, got slightly less white and slightly more freckled).

5) Hiking. I hiked in a rainforest, and around some waterfalls. My dad swam around in them and jumped down into the water, but it was just a smidge too cold for me. I only made it in up to my ankles.

6) The scenery. It was gorgeous. Breathtaking. Incredible. I really don’t have a superlative good enough for it.

And now, as I write this, I’m sitting in the Honolulu airport during a five-hour layover and wishing I could hop back on my Hawaiian Air flight back to Maui. I feel vaguely like throwing my arms around the nearest pillar and yelling “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”

Reality and Florida are calling, but I wish I could keep them on hold! Maui was paradise. But it’s back to facing reality in roughly eleven hours.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In and Out

Strange things at the office the past couple of days...

I walked in yesterday and felt like I hit a wall of heat. The lights were off. What on earth...? I looked at the woman behind the desk in the lobby. She shrugged with a laugh.

"Power's out."

Okay, that makes way more sense. Without an explanation, my overactive imagination had instantly cast someone I worked with as an eccentric money-saver ("If you're not in the room, turn off the lights! We don't need the A/C this cold!") and/or hippie ("Conserve power, save Mother Earth!").

No, I work with exceedingly normal people. Apparently, the power had been on and off all day the day before that, but only for a minute or two at a time.

When I arrived at work yesterday it had been off for a solid 10-15 minutes, with no return of power in sight for another hour or so. They almost sent me home! I quickly volunteered to stay and work on things that don't require the computer because let's face it... I have a cruise to pay for next month. And with a half-hour drive there, I did not relish having to turn around and drive an immediate half-hour back. With the use of about 1/8th of a tank of gas, I would have essentially lost money by leaving.

I believe it was off on the whole block because all of the stoplights on our street were out.

Yay for four-way stops. Ugh. I'm glad I live in hurricane central and listened to people go on and on about how dumb people were for not knowing that the rule is if a light is out, you treat it as a four-way stop. Otherwise I would have joined the brigade of apparent morons. So I set to work in the dark, warm (no power=no A/C) office, when, miracle of all miracles, power returned! Yay!

Now, today, in the middle of a phone call, the phones went out for about an hour and a half. I wasn't about to complain because this meant that I had the opportunity to get my cubicle clean! Putting together a couple marketing kits and taking the veritable mountain of empty boxes out to the trash only killed about an hour. And here we are.

Phone's just came back on. And now I'm stuck on the phone on hold listening to muzak. Muzak with words.

I think I preferred the silence.

(Edit: But not when it comes in the form of a dillhole hanging up on me! Real professional. People can be so rude!)

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