Sunday, January 30, 2005

Friday Lunch

I sat in the lunchroom on Friday surrounded by some of my favorite co-workers: Bia, Timmy, The Cherub, and my replacement. I was enjoying my stuffed shells from Vincenza's for one of the last times. The Cherub and Bia were reading Cleveland Magazine together, when something in the magazine caught their eye.

"Hey, Amber, look at this picture! You should get this," said The Cherub, pointing to a picture in the magazine. It was a photo of a girl out partying, wearing a a black t-shirt, ripped at the neck, which read "I'm blogging this."

I grinned and, without speaking, pulled my sweater up to my chin, revealing...the exact same t-shirt.

When the laughter died down from that we played sex-themed hangman, with rounds including "pussy", "blow job", "deep throating", "swallowing" and "bukaki" (the last submission being Tim's).

I'm so going to miss these people.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I wish This Were a Joke

I fear that it is not. My only question: Would he institute the west coast offense?

Party (In My Pants)

The wife of a friend of mine is having a pure romance party next weekend. I am pumped (figuratively. At least for now). I am embarrassed to admit that my grown up girl toy box is practically empty. One lonely personal appliance populates the bottom drawer of my nightstand. Six packs of AA batteries populate the top drawer (some of them are for the TV remote, you sickos). I've had it just about for-EV-er, or so it seems, and being a girl with a short attention span I am REALLY bored with it. I am SO EXCITED at the chance to rectify this gross injustice by purchasing for myself an arsenal in one fell swoop. On the must have list, as reported to Timmy at lunch late last week:
  • Something that goes
  • Something that doesn't go
  • Something that is waterproof
  • Flavored lube
Timmy wanted to know: why the flavored lube? Eh, something different. I think it would be cool just to be able to say I have some. It's a good pick up line: "Hi! My name's Amber. I own flavored lube. What's your name?" See? You'd talk to me, wouldn't you?
I am also very much looking forward to another of the planned party activities: lap dancing lessons. Unfortunately for me, not from a live girl. I guess you can't win all the time. We'll be watching some videos. But I plan to be a very attentive student and take copious notes.
Also, my friend will be making sandwiches for us girls before he leaves. He claims he's going to go watch some WWII movie, but I suspect he's really going to go get a ladder from the garage and spy on us through the window.
I'm busting - I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Crisis of Faith: Over

In the past few weeks I've been having a little bit of "buyer's remorse" if you will. My move to Chicago is imminent, and some issues have cropped up. Issues such as:
  • I haven't sold my house yet. I don't relish the thought of paying a mortgage and paying rent at the same time.
  • The blow up argument I had with the bartender last week had me temporarily wanting to spurn the entire city.
  • The actual mechanics of moving. I can't drive Alistair and a moving truck at the same time, and I'm going to have to rely on someone to drive one or the other of them for me. It'd be so much easier to just, you know, NOT move.
These particular issues are pretty easy to get over. It sucks to pay rent and a mortgage at the same time, but I have enough to afford it and I might still get the house sold in the next month anyway. I'm pretty sure the bartender and I have resolved our differences, but even if we haven't, there are actually other places to drink in Chicago besides Tai's. And even if I stayed in Cleveland, I'd still be selling my house because it's too big for me, so as long as I'm moving anyway, I might as well move someplace that's actually cool.
The biggest thing that's been nagging at me is my job. Things have been really great around here the past few weeks. The Gander has been ultra sweet to me lately. There have been no major crises to stress me out. I have mad job security out the ass here - even though we've already hired my replacement and I've been training her for the last three weeks, the CEO is still telling me regularly that if I change my mind and want to stay I am more than welcome. I genuinely like what I do for a living, it challenges me and never gets boring. The people I work with are fantastic, we are a really close knit group and all hang out together regularly. So I was starting to wonder why, even though I LOVE Chicago and dream about residing there, I was actually LEAVING this job on purpose. Because there will never be another job in my life where I am secure, challenged and well liked to the same degree as I am here. Was I making a mistake? Should I forego living in my dream city to stay at what is pretty darn close to my dream job? I was starting to wake up at night with these thoughts scratching my brain.
I had created a report for a client last week that had a number on it that didn't really make sense. It was bothering me, so before I sent it to the client, I sent a copy to the Gander and asked him to review it. Now, the number didn't look right to me. The only thing that could have changed the number I calculated was a cash flow out of an account. I didn't have ANY paperwork showing me a cash flow. In the absence of that data, I used the screwy-looking number and asked the Gander to look into it. From a liability standpoint, I couldn't just "make up" a fake cash flow out of thin air just because I "thought" there should be one to make the number make sense, because if someone comes back and questions it later, I can't justify making something up because I felt like it. I have to use the number I calculated. That way, even if it turns out wrong later, I have a trail of exactly what I did to arrive at that number and that I followed procedure. I specifically said to the Gander "This number doesn't look right. Ask [the client] if there was a cash flow we weren't told about. If there wasn't, then this must actually be the number. The Gander, of course, a) didn't ever check the report and b) sent it to the client as-is without ever asking about a missing cash flow.
Surprise! The client forgot to tell us about a nearly $1 million cash flow. Therefore my return is wrong, the report is wrong, and the client is upset. At 4:59, the Gander storms into my office and reads me the riot act. How could I let this number go out when I knew it didn't look right? Am I a monkey that never thinks? Do I know how stupid I made him look in front of the client? Do I realize that this is a PUBLIC institution, and our mistake is now PUBLICLY on the books? Through gritted teeth I reminded him that I can't make stuff up, that I asked him to review it and he didn't, and that when we issue a revised report it will also become a matter of public record. He could not be consoled. It was my fault. He doesn't have time to check over all my work and make sure that I'm doing it right. We look like idiots. He was literally screaming, red-faced, as upset as if I had accidentally given nuclear launch codes to North Korea. This went on for 20 minutes. There was NO WAY I was going to concede the point - I followed protocol to the letter; he's the one who dropped the ball. When he realized he wasn't going to dissolve me into tears he finally stormed off. I had a lot to do and had planned to stay late, but I was so furious I packed up and left to go have beers with some friends at 5:30.
Nevertheless, I walked out of the building with a huge smile on my face. Problem solved; I remember now. Thanks Gander, you've been a big help.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hostage Situation

I was a prisoner in my own home this weekend. Friday I left work early, went home, drank a fifth of Nyquil (ok, it was the recommended dose - I just like to pretend I'm badass) and fell asleep on my couch watching Star Trek: Enterprise. On Saturday, I woke up feeling like a train hit me. Another shot of Nyquil and a treat (maybe 3 treats) for Kristen then immediately back to bed. At 2 pm, more because of an irrational fear of getting bed sores than anything else, I finally rousted myself from my bedchamber and looked outside. Apparently while I had been channeling Rip Van Winkle, God had decided it would be funny to first drop another foot of snow on Ohio, and then swirl it all around, culminating in a giant 3 foot snow drift covering half my driveway. Seriously, snow up to Alistair's door handles. In addition to my aching mucus-riddled head, I suddenly realized I was experiencing another sensation: Hunger. This was likely due to my having consumed nothing but Nyquil and water for the better part of two days.

I checked the fridge: onions, one Corona (been in there for 5 months - also no lime), expired apple cider, assorted condiments. Hmm. It seems I haven't gone grocery shopping in a while. I tried the cabinet: a can of stewed tomatoes, cheesecake flavored pudding mix, half a jar of Jif, olive oil, teabags, two packets of Changin'-Cherry Kool-Aid mix (the package reads "Watch the Green mix change into a Blue liquid. Surprise! It tastes like juicy Red cherry!" I think to myself :OH YEEAAHH! and crash through a brick wall, figuratively of course). OK. First of all, I can't believe I don't have any friggin pasta in my house. I ALWAYS have pasta; I'm Italian for fuck's sake. I can always count on pasta in an emergency. Not so much today. There is no way I am going to be able to shovel myself out of the driveway and get to the grocery store in my current condition. I'm woozy just from standing up for 10 minutes. I sigh, make a cup of tea, grab the Jif and a spoon and settle in on the couch.

I proceed to spend the next umpteen hours watching "I Love the 90's: Part Deux" on VH1. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It's worth it just for "Ben Stein's Pimpin'-est Tracks". Also for Hal Sparks' speculation that "More Than Words" by Extreme is not so much a love song as it is a euphemism for "Shut up and give me a blow job". Hal Sparks - what a card. I laughed out loud, and then said "Ow." When I finally couldn't take any more of that I put the Jif away and went to bed.

On Sunday I woke up feeling exactly the same, except now my lungs also hurt. I glanced out the window hoping that the snow had been miraculously swept away, but it hadn't. I really wanted to do two things: go to the doctor and buy groceries so I'd have something to eat. To do that I needed to get my car out of the driveway. To do that, I'd have to shovel. I put 27 pairs of pants on, my heaviest coat, my mittens (I wear mittens like a little kid - they're warm and I think it's funny when people say "What the hell are you wearing? Mittens?"), a hat, and my yard-work shoes and headed out to the driveway. I managed to shovel about a quarter of it before my disease-weakened frame gave out. I was not going anywhere. Defeated I trudged back into the house. Nyquil followed, and then football. Halfway through the NFC game I suddenly recalled that it was possible to actually have pizza delivered to the house. It just hadn't occurred to me before. So I called Pizza Hut and they brought me the first solid food I'd had in days. Smurfiest pizza I'd ever tasted.

I guess it wasn't so terrible. Kristen was pleased that I stayed home with her for two entire days, my inability to leave gave me a chance to watch both football games in their entirety, and I'd had the forethought to buy the Cherry Nyquil instead of that ass-flavored stuff, so I wasn't gagging on that all weekend. But in the future I will definitely make sure I have staple foods in the house at all times. And a backup plan for having some poor sap come over and shovel for me. Because you never know.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ill Communication

I am coming down with something. It feels like there is another, slightly smaller head inside of my outer head, and it's growing and trying to push it's way out. Sort of like Army of Darkness, except coming out of my head instead of my shoulder ("See, you're *good* Amber, and I'm BAD Amber!!!!") Also most of the cavities in my head are filled with goo. My head weighs 80 pounds right now. It is so gross being sick. We're starting our busy season at work, the time where I pack a bag, work all night and take a sponge bath in the bathroom at 6 am every morning. It is not a good time to be getting sick. I am going home, drinking some Nyquil, and getting catatonic with my bad self.

I'm out like NHL hockey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Lessons Learned

I had an eventful birthday party. I learned many new things. I will now impart to you my new knowledge, so that you too can learn from my experiences:

1. Just because you went home with the bartender on Friday night does not mean that he won't try to pick up girls right in front of you on Saturday night. He may also tell stories about other girls he's taken home in the past right in front of you as well. He also will have no idea why this might bother you.

2. If a really weird guy invites you back to his place on Friday night for some champagne and weed, without ever bothering to introduce himself, and you tell said headcase that you are busy right then, but instead he should come to your birthday party on Saturday night, he will show up at the party. And have some kind of weird expectation that you will remember having invited him. And he will leer at you.

3. Shots make you drunk. Moreso when you are not accustomed to doing shots.

4. If you are having a conversation with a group of guys, and you make an offhand comment to the effect of "See, the key to giving a good blow job is that you have to actually like doing it. That's why I'm so good.", the gentlemen you are speaking with will suddenly become very very interested in you.

5. If that same group of gentlemen happen to be close personal friends of the aforementioned callous bartender, and you complain to them about the recent behavior of the callous bartender, they will be extremely understanding and sympathetic. Additionally, if one of those gentlemen happens to break up with his girlfriend the very same night, he will be extra understanding and sympathetic.

6. If the bartender sees you flirting with/being mildly groped by close personal friends of his, he will not be amused. He will express displeasure with all of the parties involved by alternately ignoring them and giving them dirty looks. He will find it entirely irrelevant that he was picking up chicks right in front of you and that you found this upsetting. It is possible he will send everyone angry text messages the next day.

7. If you piss off your bartender, you will have to get drinks from one of the other bartenders, because your bartender will be "too busy". This is not really a problem, so long as one of the other bartenders is a 60-something sweet little Asian man who recognizes you and knows it's your birthday.

8. If your brother makes out with his buddy's ex-girlfriend, and has dinner with her before the party, he may uninvite his buddy from your party. If his buddy shows up at your party anyway, and brings his new girlfriend, when he comes up to hug you and you say "Hey I thought you weren't coming!", he may flash you a big grin and reply, "Yeah, I heard your brother made out with my ex and he was afraid I'd be mad, but I honestly don't care. So I'm here." If you are drunk and being groped by personal friends of your bartender at the time he says this, you will forget to tell you brother about the exchange. Don't worry about this - your brother can always read about it later on your blog.

9. If you are a big Ohio State fan, and one of the bouncers is a big Michigan fan, you can still be friends so long as you are charming and cute. He will probably agree that Lloyd Carr is an idiot anyway.

10. If one of your bartender's close personal friends is a talented musician with a recording contract, and he complains about how bad he sings/plays guitar/plays piano, and further complains that all of his relationships with girls are volatile and end in disaster, he will not be amused when you disparagingly tell him he is "SUCH a tortured artist", even if it's true.

And now you know everything I know. Stay tuned to the Bizzybiz Blog for more helpful observations on drinking and awkward social situations as they occur. Or leave a self addressed stamped comment for amberance at the lessons learned post, and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Friday, January 14, 2005

I'm a Big Girl Now!

It's birthday weekend in Chicago! The party is at Tai's tomorrow. I'll tell you all about is as soon as I'm released from detox.

In other news, I had an interview today, and my brother let me take the train home...ALL BY MYSELF!!! Apparently now that I'm 27 I'm old enough to take the train without a parent or guardian. Maybe next time he'll even let me go see a rated R movie.

I'm off to Tai's to practice for tomorrow. If you want to be good at something, you have to work at it...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Happy Birthday To ME!!!!

I woke up today to a torrential downpour. On the drive to work I sat in traffic for an hour. What is it about rain that makes people forget how to drive? Especially here? This is the Midwest people, IT RAINS HERE. It's not like it's Arizona where it rains and people say "What is this moisture appearing in the sky? Is God crying? What do we do?" No. It rains here all the time, and every time people act like they've never seen this before. I knew I should have driven the Ark this morning.

Today is the anniversary of my birth. I am now 27 years of age. Other birthdays of note today are Rush Limbaugh (54) and Howard Stern (51). I only know that because I find it amusing that those two share a birthday.

The birthday loot I've received so far today consists of:
  • A voicemail from Mary reminding me that "time is marching on, and still marching on."
  • A text message from my next door neighbor who I almost never see despite the fact that she lives next door to me.
  • A very sad e-card from 1153 that made me briefly cry.
  • A mug and snack dish set with kitties, a kitty notepad, and a kitty birthday card from Bia.
  • An off key rendition of "You Say It's Your Birthday" from Dennis.
  • A Happy Birthday e-mail from the Gander, whose birthday was yesterday and who is home sick and claims to be dying.
  • The complete studio recordings of Simon and Garfunkel from Mary, who saw me eying it on our last Best Buy excursion.
  • The following comment from Tim: "Oh, that's right, today's your birthday."
Dinner tonight is at Dale's, colloquially known as "Dad's", and will feature a homemade banana cake, and hopefully much oohing and ahhing over Alistair. Also my stepmom is likely to replenish my wardrobe for the year.
Mary would like to take me out for a birthday lunch now at our favorite, House of Blues, so send me lots of birthday wishes and maybe I'll give you guys a little birthday surprise later...

A Birthday Present From Me

OK, the picture I was hoping to post for you guys isn't going to be available today (entitled "Amber Wears A Skirt To Work on Her Birthday"), so instead you get one of me and my brother tying one on at Jack Sullivan's, which is the Ohio State bar in Chicago. It's all I could find. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Smurfing a New Habit

As some of you may have noticed, I am fond of words. One of my favorite games inside my head is to deliberately choose a word that is not the most obvious word choice (i.e. "let's go procure a caffeinated beverage" instead of "let's get some coffee"). It doesn't have to be a bigger word necessarily, just a word most people wouldn't think to use. I fancy myself a walking Thesaurus. I do this because it entertains me, it forces me to exercise my vocabulary, and it irritates the tar out of Mary. Mary calls me "word snob".

I also have this list of words I like. They are words I want to use, but I never remember them when the situation calls for it. One of these words is "Smurf". I was a huge Smurf fan growing up (I tried to get my friend Sandi to name her cat Asriel, until Mary went and told her it was the name of an evil Smurf eating cat). One of the things I liked best about the Smurfs is that they managed to replace just about every verb or adjective in the show with the word "Smurf". This makes no sense, but is hilarious. Some examples:

I'm going to go smurf a beer after work.

Are you smurfing that guy?

What a smurfy car you have Amber!

I finally remembered to start using it today, and it caught on really fast. Mary and Bia are both smurfing it up left and right. It shows up a couple of times in my previous post as well. So far I've been really pleased with the results. However, Mary pointed out today a potential flaw in my plan. Sometimes I get into this thing where I get stuck on a word or phrase and start using it excessively. This has happened with "hilarious", "bizarre", "it's hard to say", "potentially", "true that" and "I'm going to kick you right in the nuts" (used mainly on Tim, for the record I have never made good on that threat). I have to be careful about that happening with "smurf", because there are many situations where that will not go over very well. For instance, it would be bad for me to go to my interview on Friday and accidentally say "It was easy to get here, I just smurfed the red line." Also, if I ask my bartender to smurf me another beer on Saturday, he's likely to smurf me over the head instead. And of course I would be mortified if I ever said this in bed, i.e. "Yeah baby, smurf me!" So I'm going to have to be careful about smurfing "smurf" too much. On the other hand, it might be a good thing to add to the list of Ways To Get Annoying Guys in Bars to Go Away that Mary and I have recently been experimenting with. I'll let you know how it goes.


Things I realized while cleaning out my cars last night in preparation to trade them in for Alistair:

1. My kids were not as clean as I thought they were. They've been out of my life for over 6 months and I'm still dealing with their snotty kleenex and half sucked Jolly Ranchers.

2. So that's where I put those shoes and my favorite pair of khakis! Silly me, I never thought to look in the trunk of the Mustang.

3. Having a friend who will let you borrow her boyfriend for boyfriend-type grunt work such as driving one of your cars to the dealership is a good friend to have.

4. Having said pseudo-boyfriend drive the Mustang Convertible makes it easier to give it up since I didn't get one last ride.

5. I own three umbrellas. I had previously thought it was zero.

6. Naming my new car Alistair Cooper is just as funny as I thought it would be. At least that's what my best friend and boyfriend-on-loan tell me.

So Alistair is home now. I like driving him; it's smurfy. Pics to follow, hopefully in a few days. Also, when you buy a car from MINI, they give you mints. In case you were interested.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Why Is Amber Wearing a Skirt?

I don't dress up for work. I wear business casual pants every day. I comb my hair but don't style it and I don't wear make-up. I know I should, the whole "if you look good you feel good" thing, appearance counts, you should take care of yourself, blah blah blah. I'm just lazy. I dress up on the weekend every day. I put on make-up and do my hair and try to make myself as Fabulous as possible. I do it if I have a client meeting to attend. And if I get up early enough, I'll do it for work too. I'm just almost never up early enough.

Today I put on nylons, the skirt from my black suit, and my favorite electric blue shirt. When I showed up in the kitchen to get my coffee, I got an immediate reaction from Bianca: "Why are you all dressed up?"

"Funny you should ask," I replied.

As my friend Pronto keenly observed (how close were you looking at that photo? And where have you been? Are you still on vacation?), I have a belly button ring. I'd had the same one in ever since I got it pierced, a closed loop with a little green ball. It's not a screw on ball, it's one where you fit the two ends of the loop into the sides. It's very hard to get it out (I had to pull it apart with pliers. No kidding.) I had been getting bored with it for a while, so I decided I was going to get some different ones.

Last night at the store I saw the cuti-est curved barbell, with a little dolphin charm wrapped around a pink rhinestone. So I bought it and took it home.

I should tell you I'm kind of paranoid about changing this thing, which is why I didn't do it sooner. I'm totally convinced the hole is going to close up if I have nothing in it for more than 3 seconds. It's probably not true, but like I said, I'm paranoid. Also I'm afraid that once I get the old one out I won't be able to get the new one in, like the end is going to get lost in my stomach and never come back out the other side.

But I want this dolphin one. So, I pulled the old one apart (with pliers), and put some baby oil on it (and me), so that the baby oil would get in the hole when I pulled it out, and make it easier to put the new one in. And it worked! I got the new one through the hole and screwed the ball on the top. Then I admired myself in the mirror for a while, vowed to get my stomach flatter so I could show it to other people, and went to bed.

When Linkin Park woke me up this morning (I also bought a CD player/alarm clock last night), I got up, took a shower, and started drying myself off. And of course I hadn't screwed the ball on tight enough, so while I was drying myself it popped off and went flying across the room. Picture now a (dry) naked woman with wet hair, one hand on her stomach holding the dolphin so it wouldn't slip back through, and crawling on her hands and knees looking for a teeny-tiny round piece of metal. Yeah that's me. And I can't find it. Shit.

I gave up after 15 minutes and went upstairs, still holding the dolphin. The dilemma is: the dolphin is going to slip out unless I hold it there all day, and if I put the old one back in I'll never get that ball back on there by myself, what with the pliers and all, so that one is going to slip out as well. So what I decide to do is put the loop in, not worry about the ball, and go buy a new one at lunch today. But if I wear pants, I'm going to knock it out of there. But being so very brilliant, I had an idea. I grab a pair of nylons from my drawer and put them on, having realized that the waistband will hold the ring against my stomach for now and it won't slip out. So, since I have nylons on anyway, heck, I might as well get dressed up for work, right?

And that is why Amber is wearing a skirt today.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I saw this and I could not stop laughing at the top three winners. I think I'm going to make little warning labels for everything I own now:

on my pen: "WARNING: This product may leave permanent marks when used."
on my calculator: "CAUTION: This product may not calculate the correct answer if the user types in the wrong numbers."
on my cat: "This product eats stuff. DO NOT leave chicken being thawed for dinner unattended."
on my inbox at work: "CAUTION:Contents may cause boredom, frustration, and drowsiness. Do not use while operating heavy machinery."
on my plates: "May become soiled if you put food on it."
on me: "WARNING: This product WILL mercilessly make fun of you if you say something stupid."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Fear of The Unknown

I told you the last story to tell you this one:

Tim is freaking me out. This is in direct retaliation for me being obstinate about my fun hot sex story. (It was fun. And hot. And new. And Tim doesn't know!)

There is a poker game scheduled at Tim's for Superbowl Sunday. It's sorta going to be the last hurrah before I disappear into the sunset of Chi-town. Let's just say it's a special poker game. So, today Tim starts asking me totally bizarre questions like Do I have any business cards from Tai's and Is my brother in the phone book and Am I allergic to latex. Ok, not that last one. But still. THEN he tells me that the purpose of his questions is that he is planning some sort of "surprise" for me for the poker party. I was getting kind of nervous. Tim can be a sicko sometimes and "surprise" could mean anything from getting my brother to fly in for the poker game to getting some hookers to put on a can-can number for us. AND I don't like the self-satisfied grin on his face. So naturally I try to gain some insight.

"Is it something I'll like?"
"Is it something that will embarrass me?"
"Is it something we won't ever be allowed to speak of again?"
"Are you making this whole thing up just to disturb me?"

We played this for 20 minutes. Then he brought it up again on his way out the door. I have no frikkin clue what the eff it could be. And let me tell you something else - turnabout is NOT fair play. At all. I mean I really don't like this.

Some thoughts on what Tim could have up his sleeve:
  • A stripper pops out of a cake.
  • A midget pops out of a cake.
  • A cake pops out of a stripper.
  • A stripper gets popped by a midget.
  • A midget drinks pop and eats cake.
  • Peanut butter.
I might modify Heather's idea and send a cardboard cut out of me with my recorded catch phrases to the party. Cause I'm scared.

Timmy and The List

My darling co-worker Tim is irritated with me. I have done this deliberately.

The source of Tim's irritation is a fairly recent event that allowed me to check something off the Sexual Things I haven't Done (Yet) List. It's not an actual list that I wrote down, just a mental accounting of depravities I've not yet had the chance to indulge, a sort of grocery shopping list of aberrant behavior if you will. Anyway, as I mentioned, something got checked off a few months back.

Tim is an avid fan of my "guess what I did!" stories. He knows all about events like the Summer of Whoring and the Juggling of Co-workers and the Saga of Pedo-George. He's really accustomed to me being probably a bit too forthright with my adventures (sometimes mis-adventures: you've got to take the bitter with the sweet). So when I showed up at work and said "Hey Tim, I checked something off my list this weekend!" he knew exactly what list I was talking about and zipped into my office faster than Scotty could have beamed him there.

Sidenote: we do a lot of picking on each other here at the number factory. No one really means anything by it; we just like to tease each other. Tim gets teased for being the only guy at the lunch table. Bia gets teased for her really loud exclamations ("I DON'T WANT WHIP CREAM ON MINE!!!") The Cherub gets teased for her adorable comments ("I'm interested in vanilla.")And I get teased for being a freaking weirdo.

It was in the spirit of this that I suddenly decided maybe it was a little weird for a co-worker to feel entitled to get a blow by blow (sorry, had to) account of events every time I have sex. So, I decided to just not tell him. This is, of course, after I've come in and announced it and made it sound all exciting. Tim was not nearly as amused by this as I was. But I was stubborn. I wasn't telling him. He started playing 20 questions: "Is it something involving a toy? Is it something I would like? Is it something you would do again? Does it involve food of any sort? Candles? Velcro? Midgets?" Some of these I answered ("No midgets.") some I skirted around ("I can't presume to know what you would like, as I'm not you") and some I just flat out refused to answer (I'm not answering that." *smirk*).

Now, my original intention was to let him flounder for a little while and then eventually give it up. But he was so frustrated by not knowing. It was just hilarious. He had this crazed look of frenzied determination on his face, like the looks on the faces of two homeless guys who both spy a fry in the middle of the sidewalk at the same time. He just couldn't let it go. And therefore, I couldn't give it up. It was too much power. I totally had him. I could have made him buy me lunch all week if I had promised to tell him. It was. So. Awesome.

Weeks went by. I started this new annoying habit of breaking into a mocking chorus of "Tim doesn't knooo-ooow, Tim doesn't knooo-ooow..." at random moments of the day. Similarly, we would be talking about something work related and Tim would abruptly ask "What'd you cross off the list?" I smirked a lot. Tim frowned a lot. Then I did something even worse: I told someone else.

Bia was in Tim's office one day while we were going rounds ("Tell me." "No." "Tell me." "No." "Tell me"...). Bia and I decided to go downstairs for some coffee and in the elevator on the way down, I told her what it was. And also that she couldn't tell Tim.

Tim was really perturbed. And Bia started her own round of "Tim doesn't knoooo-oow" which I think has been my favorite part so far. I have to do bad stuff and not tell people about it more often; it has been endlessly fun for months now.

By the way, Tim STILL doesn't know. ;)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Mary Loves Me, But Why?

I have decided that I am fat and therefore on a liquid diet. I have further decided that I am only permitted to chew things between the hours of 5 and 7 pm each day. Until Valentine's Day. At the earliest. My friends find this to be 1) unrealistic and 2) beyond stupid. I know because they've told me so.

Another thing I'm told frequently by Mary is that it is very challenging to be my friend. She is frequently exasperated with me, as is basically the entire rest of the world. Her oft repeated description of our friendship goes like this: "Amber is A LOT of work. But it's worth it." Shucks, Mar.

Here is a series of e-mails from about 10 minutes ago to illustrate Mary's point:

Mary:Wanna watch This Is Spinal Tap & put together a Hillenbrandt Dragon puzzle tonight?
Me: cool.
Mary:And if we get there in your chewing window, you can maybe have a burger?
Me:Oh, that's pushing it. What kind of burger? A Rob-created burger, or one you buy somewhere?
Mary:Rob created, if he will oblige.
Me:Oh, so you don't even know anything about burgers really do you? I'll have a salad if we get there in time.
Mary:errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, huh?
Me:You said we would get a Rob-created burger, then you said Rob doesn't even know we're going to ask him to make burgers. And since I don't want to drop "hey wencher (or whatever you would call a male wench), make me a burger dammit!" on him with zero notice, a salad would be fine. If we get there in time, which is questionable.
Mary:Well, he told me that he bought stuff at the store today, including burgers, and in the same conversation in close proximity to this information, he asked if you might be coming over tonight, so I just thought. . .

I mean, he is our boyfriend.
Me:I am disappointed I didn't get a nod for wencher.
Mary:This is an example of when you are work.

I have GOT to get her to move to Chicago with me. Who will talk to me if I don't?

Ah. That Explains It.

I think I'll print this out and save it so I can rub it all over myself when I'm old and alone.

1153 and Me, Part 2

The weekend wasn't all that bad as my friend Kelly was in town from Cincy and we had bleacher seats for the Indians game that Saturday. Even so, on Monday I attacked Chuckie the second he walked in the door.

"Did you talk to him? What did he say about me? Did he say anything about me? Did you give him my number? Did he ask for my number? Is he going to call me? What does he think of me? Do you think he'll go out with me? Does he like me? Did he call you this weekend? Did he ask you about me?"

Chuckie was visibly irritated. "How can I give him your number if I don't even HAVE it, Amber?" he frowned. "Besides I didn't even talk to him this weekend, I was busy."

"Chuuu-uuuu-uuuck," I whined, "this is important."

Chuck sighed. "Look, if I give you his cell number will you stop talking and go away?"

"YES! Yes! Yes I will. I promise."

Chuckie handed over the goods and I ran into my office and shut the door. I got voicemail so I left a message. I decided to get some work done. I spent my morning preparing the payroll, and also pestering Chuck every 15 minutes: "Why hasn't he called me back yet?"

"He's probably working some part time at the bank. Which means he probably doesn't have his phone on him. Which means he will probably call you LATER. Which means you should LEAVE ME ALONE AND SHUT UP ABOUT IT."

He didn't call until that evening after I got home. He called me while he was working from inside the police car. I could hear the radio squawking in the background. "Hi, it's [1153]. From last Friday? Um, I was returning your call from this morning. So, how are you?"

"I'm okay," I said. "What are you up to?" (Duh, retard, he called you from the police car. You can hear the radio. He's working.)

"Oh, my partner and I just finished up a run, checking an alarm, and now we're about to call for 30. Oh yeah, that means we're going to have lunch." He sounded authoritative and important. Checking alarms and stuff. How brave of him. The radio squawked on importantly. "Anyway, I was hoping maybe I could take you out some time this week? I work nights, so I can't really do anything until real late, but I was thinking maybe I could take you to lunch?"

Whee! He asked me to lunch. The important, brave policeman wanted to have lunch with me. Me. This is the coolest thing ev-er. The policeman, asking me to lunch. Go Amber, it's your birthday..."Sure, that sounds fine," I replied casually.

"How's Wednesday for you?"

"Wednesday is great."

"Um, okay, so then I'll pick you up at noon on Wednesday at your office?"

"Yeah. So see you then."

On Wednesday, he picked me up and took me to Luchita's, which is one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city. For the life of me I can't remember anything we talked about, except for one story he told me about his partner. His partner apparently had a pretty rocky relationship with his wife, a stripper he met while she was dancing, and over the weekend they had gone to Pennsylvania. They got in an argument on the way home, and she got out of the car on the side of the highway and started walking away. So he left her there. And drove away. All the way back to Cleveland. "Is she okay?" I asked.

"I don't know, she isn't back yet."

Anyway, aside from that disturbing story (she hitch-hiked and made it home in one piece I found out later), the date went great. He was all about getting chairs and holding doors and acting interested when I was talking. He drove me back to work, kissed me goodbye (!!!!!!!!) and asked me to lunch again the next day. On Thursday he picked up some sandwiches from Subway and we had lunch in the park. He asked me to lunch for Friday.

"Actually I can't. I'm not working tomorrow because I'm flying to Atlanta for a weekend trip with my girlfriend." Stupid stupid Atlanta trip. I had almost forgotten it. I had been monumentally excited about it, but suddenly it was really damned inconvenient.

"That's too bad. I actually have this weekend off. I only get 2 weekends off in a 7 week period. Maybe I can come and see you off tomorrow?"

"Sure come on over my dad's. I'll just be packing." I gave him directions and he took me back to work.

He came by the next day, and we ran out and grabbed some pizza before I left for the airport. Before he left he kissed me for a really really long time. I was melting. "I'll call you from Atlanta," I said.

And call him I did. The second night we were there I waited for Smorgan to fall asleep and I called him with my calling card. We talked for 3 1/2 hours. I finally hung up the phone about 3 am and snuggled into my covers, grinning like an idiot. I couldn't wait to get back to Cleveland.