Wednesday, January 30, 2008


On my way to work last week (on the metro, pre-shiny happy people) I was perusing the Express, you know, just to make the morning metro commute a little more bearable. I came across an article that prompted me to write a short series of posts. The article reads:

TSA: All Cats Must Travel in 1-Quart Ziploc Baggies

Tabby Gracie Mae’s odyssey ended happily after she crawled into her owner’s suitcase, went through an airport X-ray machine, was loaded onto a plane, thrown onto a baggage belt and mistakenly picked up far from home. The pet was returned by a stranger who went home with the wrong bag. “I went to unpack and saw it wasn’t my suitcase,” said Rob Carter. “A kitten jumped out and ran under the bed. I screamed like a little girl.” (AP)

You can’t make this shit up folks. And that is why I am now going to tell you about the slew of weird pets (and the weird things that happened to them) I had throughout my childhood. I wish I could fit them all into one huge post, but I feel like most of you will stop reading halfway through…not because my posts are boring (please) but because you are probably busy and want a quick laugh. Hence, a short series of posts (that will probably be peppered with other posts, who knows).

Let me start at the beginning, with the very first pet I had: Sparky, the lovable, cuddly, furry gray cat my father brought home in his briefcase from work one day. His name came from his gray color, and the fact that he always looked like a giant ball of walking static.

[Ok, actually the first pet we had was a cat named Kitty Coke. He was named Kitty Coke because that’s how my younger sister, Sistah Girl, pronounced “Kitty Cat”. I’m just adding this in because I know I’ll get shit from her if I don’t make mention of Kitty Coke, who was mostly her cat. I just hardly remember the animal because we were so little when we had him. So yeah, Kitty Coke, then Sparky.]

Sparky was a dream cat…you know, the kind of animal who purrs while little girls dress him up in hats and dresses. Which is exactly what Sistah Girl and I did. I specifically remember a t-shirt with a carrot on it that came off a stuffed bunny that we would shove on Sparky and push him around in a baby doll stroller. Sparky liked to sleep in my bed, and every night I would tell Sparky how much I loved him before I went to sleep.

As you can tell, Sistah Girl and I obviously loved to play with Sparky. I really enjoyed placing Sparky IN things…for example, in the stroller, in a wagon, in a basket, in a box…whatever. I must have been on some sort of packing kick. Well, one day, I took playtime a little too far.

My mother had these giant plastic Tupperware containers that she kept under our couch. She would keep magazines and toys in them. They never were of much interest to me, until I got Sparky, and realized I could put Sparky INSIDE them.

Before I go further, I want to note that I was extremely young when I first got Sparky. I was so young, I only have a few flashbacks of playing with him. I’m going to estimate that I was 3 years old when my dad brought Sparky home. So, I still had a lot of things to learn, and all of my play was innocent, or so I thought.

So, anyways, one day I was playing with Sparky and thought it would be the most fabulous idea to put Sparky inside the plastic tubs that were under our couch. I gathered Sparky in my arms, shoved him in a giant Tupperware container, then slapped on the lid. In my mind, I’m sure I was thinking, “Oh, what fun Sparky will have inside this plastic container.” I then proceed to shove the plastic container containing my beloved cat under the couch and went to go have cookies or something. When a kid has cookies on her mind, she forgets about pets, and the fact that they are in plastic containers under the couch. Also, when a kid is 3 years old, she might not understand the concept of how important oxygen is for pets and people.

Fortunately, about an hour or so later (we estimate because no one is really sure how long it was), my mother started vacuuming the living room. She made her sweep around the room, and finally came to the couch. She lifted up the couch flaps, and pulled out the plastic Tupperware containers to vacuum underneath.

Surprise! There was Sparky, stuffed into one of the containers, which was fogged up with his breath. Gasping, she ripped off the lid and pulled out a sweating, panting Sparky. I didn’t really understand what I had done until I saw my cat, who looked miserable. To this day I still feel guilty about packing up Sparky in a plastic Tupperware container. I’m just glad my mother decided to vacuum that day.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shiny Happy People

I think there might be something wrong with the parking attendant people at the parking garage in my building.

They are freakishly nice.

So far I've driven to work twice. Each time, they have waved and given me a huge smile. All of them. And there are like, 6, just milling about the parking garage entrance. I think there are so many of them due to security reasons...who knows. The first time they waved and smiled at me so big, I nervously checked myself in my rear-view mirror. Was there something on my face? Did I look weird? Were they laughing at my ancient Pontiac Sunfire? I mean, what was the deal with these people, grinning and waving at 7:30am? Do they make them do that to cheer us all up so we don't do anything crazy at work? It kind of freaks me out.

Today, as I was pulling in, the first attendant I passed gave a short, wave-like hand movement. As I am not yet accustomed to the plethora of niceness in the parking garage, I thought he was flagging me down. I stopped and rolled down my window, expecting to be in trouble or something.

"Yes?" I asked him as I slowly pulled forward, rolling down my pain-in-the-ass-non-automatic window.

"Oh, I was just saying hello!" he said back with a toothy grin.

"Um, yeah...hey," I said back with an uncertain smile, rolling back up my window.

I then slowly cruised past the 5 other parking attendants, who all smiled and ALSO gave a wave.

Prior to my personal parking garage experience, I've ridden with co-workers in and out of the parking garage for lunch. The attendants would always wave and smile to my co-workers in the drivers seat, and I would think to myself, "Damn, my co-workers must be super tight with the parking garage attendants."

No, no. The parking attendants are like the Super Garage Gang Welcoming Committee, who wave and smile at EVERYONE.

I'm tempted to go back to riding the metro, where everyone is bitter, no one waves, and a smile is a rare morning occurance. I just don't know if I can deal with these super friendly people at 7:30am.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Total Waste of Water

It's official. I am a bad person.

Today I watched a guy unknowingly dump an entire bottle of water all over his briefcase and office floor. I watched the whole thing without giving a word of warning.

Here is how it went down...

It was the end of a long work day. A group of me and my co-workers trudged into the elevator lobby on the 11th floor to wait for an elevator down. *Ding* An elevator opened up, and we all quickly shuffled in.

We went down a few floors and stopped at 9th. The elevator was a little stuffed, and I was standing near the front. Everyone behind me was engrossed in work conversation and, as I prefer to not discuss work as soon as I walk out of my cube, I was left to my own devices.

Now before I get into more details of the water incident, let me tell you a little bit about the elevators in my building. There are, um, about a MILLION of them. So basically, when you are waiting for an elevator, you kind of have to stand in the middle of of the lobby because you don't know which one will open up. And let me tell you, if you are standing at the end of the lobby, and an elevator on the other end opens up, you better be damn sure you are running to make that elevator, because its a big lobby and the doors don't stay open forever. Imagine 6 guys in suits milling about the center of an elevator lobby, poised, waiting for the *ding* signaling an opening, and then the mad dash to cram into the elevator. That's kind of what its like...most of the time.

So anyways, the doors open on 9, and the gentleman waiting for an elevator made a quick U-turn to head toward the waiting elevator. In one arm he was clutching a stack of papers. In his other arm, he was holding a giant bottle of know, one of those huge bottles that seem like a good idea at the time of purchase but always get in the way and will sadly never fit in your car cup holders. On the same arm that was carrying the bottle of water was the man's briefcase, dangling off the crook of his arm. As he swung around to dash towards the elevator, his briefcase slipped down his arm to his wrist. He obviously forgot he was lugging a giant opened bottle of water, because his hand tilted down to support the briefcase that had just slipped to his wrist and the water started to pour. Everywhere.

Now, here I am, standing in the front of the elevator crowd, watching this poor soul trying to successfully make it to the elevator. He had no idea that water was gushing all over his briefcase as he powerwalked toward the elevator, nor that it was splashing all over the lobby floor. No one else noticed either, as they were all engrossed in their own conversation. So this man is running toward the elevator, water splashing everywhere, leaving a potential lawsuit all over the elevator lobby. As he jumped lightly into the elevator, I gave him a big smile and said, "Great day, isn't it?"

He nodded, smiling back, slightly out of breath, and just then felt the water still streaming off his briefcase.

I laughed to myself the whole way home...if I passed you in the tunnels of Crystal City and I was smiling like a creep, I'm sorry...I just couldn't get over the man and his water. Hell, I was so distraught by it that I was looking for the SmarTrip pad at the top of the metro escalator...silly me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Mom was a Hitchhiker

Yes, it is true.

When I was home for Thanksgiving having a conversation with my friends and my mother, we stumbled upon the topic of hitchhiking. At my previous job, when I rode in one of the delivery trucks for a day (the one with a mouse living in it), the driver I was with said he hitchhiked a lot when he was younger. I asked him if he picked up a lot of hitchhikers now, seeing as he was a hitchhiker himself once. “No way!” he responded. I thought this was quite hypocritical, and brought it up in conversation when I was at home.

“Isn’t that interesting?” I commented. “A man who used to hitchhike a lot refusing to pick up hitchhikers.”

My friends all nod and comment, “Oh, yes.”

My mother chimes in, “I used to hitchhike.”

Our mouths drop, faces turn toward her.

She continues as if its no big deal, “Oh yeah, when I was about 15, I used to hitchhike to the local pool.”


Yes, my mother hitchhiked to the local pool, which was approximately 7 miles from her house. Yeah sure, she owned a bicycle, but that would have taken to long, according to her. Hitchhiking was apparently the fastest way to the pool on several occasions.

I mean, think about it. She must have wanted to go to the pool really friggin’ bad to HITCHHIKE to get there. I can just imagine her thinking to herself…

“Gee whiz, its super hot today. I really want to go to the pool. I could ride my bike…but that just isn’t fast enough for me. I need to get to the pool NOW. Let me just grab my towel, stick out my thumb, and be on my way.”

Badass, mom. Badass.

**Disclaimer: That woman in that picture is not my mother...just some random.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Last Meal

At work the other day someone was eating something for lunch with an aroma that was hauntingly similar to that of a school cafeteria lunch.

I friggin’ loved those high school lunches.

I don’t care if you think that is gross. They were so tasty, despite the fact that they were most likely saturated with sodium, processing chemicals, and god knows what else. And I loved how the trays had little sections for everything…the milk, dessert, buttered bread, veggie, main dish, and spork. I think they looked something like this:

This high-quality paint image that took me a super long time to make represents my most favorite school lunch of all time: Salisbury steak, fake mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, buttered bread, graham cracker with pink frosting, milk, and spork. Damn that sounds good.

I remember in school everyone was always like, “EEW! Its Salisbury steak day! Grosssss!” and I was like, “Yeah, Salisbury steak day, uh, totally sucks, yeah.” When I secretly was like, “Yes! I friggin’ LOVE Salisbury steak day! O man, will they be grossed out if I ask for an extra serving of fake mashed potatoes…do I even have the extra 35 cents on me?” You know, because it was extra for a double serving of something.

If I happened to pack my lunch that day, I would just leave it in my locker and be like, “Oh man, I forgot my lunch today. Now I HAVE to get Salisbury steak.” And all my friends would say, “Oh, that’s too bad. Salisbury steak is so gross.” I would sadly nod, when in my mind I was jumping for joy over Salisbury steak.

I used to eat it and be all like, “Ew, these mashed potatoes are so fake tasting.” (but secretly delicious) and “Salisbury steak, gross. What is it even made of?” (Who cares, its so good). I would even make accompanying faces of disgust. If only my friends knew I was twisting my grins of delight into scowls.

I bet all my friends secretly loved the Salisbury steak day too. You tricky bitches.

If I had to choose a last meal, THIS would be it.