Thursday, July 28, 2011

SOON! Well, Not Really That Soon, But Still.

My cousin(ish) Kelly, who is super awesome and loves me so much, had all these airline credits that she needed to use up before they expired. So guess what she did. Can you guess? She booked a trip to Chicago to come see me.


Which is not only THE MOST EPIC BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER but also has given me a perfect excuse to talk about my mid January birthday in late July. You guys. This might be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

The planning, of course, began immediately. My party is officially called "Amber's Super Ultra Fantabulous Birthtacular Celebration Extravaganza: Now With MORE KELLY!" and features EPIC CAKE (to be announced), party hats for everyone!, possibly some partial nudity and some sort of THINGS! THINGS I tell you! It is not to be missed. Do so at your own peril, because later when everyone is like "Wasn't Amber's Super Ultra Fantabulous Birthtacular Extravaganza with More Kelly the best birthday party that has ever been held at any time on this globe?" you will have to be like "I don't know, I wasn't there" and then everyone will be like "Whoa, way to kill the mood there, Debbie Downer" and then there will be an awkward silence and it will be all your fault and they will think twice about offing you any leftover epic cake. So, you know, probably you should pencil it in.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Got Your Dime Right Here

This is not a post about my cat. Having said that, my evil cat is a tortoiseshell, which if you know anything about torties goes a long way toward explaining why she is so evil. When she sits back on her haunches, her particular brindle pattern makes it look like she's wearing a pair of light brown trousers. This is what I was looking at during dinner this evening that triggered me to start singing to her "I love furry pants, so come on and sit back and lick your paws" to the tune of "I Love Rock and Roll". And that in turn caused me to realize why that song has always bothered me.

I turned to the bartender, who is somewhat older than I am, and asked "Hey, was there a time you can remember when songs played on the jukebox cost a dime? Because I only ever remember them being a quarter. So, like, did she say 'dime' in that song because they used to cost a dime or because 'quarter' had too many syllables?"

The bartender is pretty used to my bizarre conversational tangents by now and has learned it's better to just play along. "They've always been a quarter in my lifetime," he replied kindly while thinking in his head Oh Jesus, not again.

"That's what I thought. We need someone older that can be like 'Hey, back in the 50's a song on the jukebox cost a nickel!' or whatever, but I mean, if it's a right-number-of-syllables issue then 'nickel' doesn't work either. But that still wouldn't make sense because that song is from the 80's and you just said in the 80's songs were a quarter. She wouldn't remember songs costing a dime. So what the hell? That's false advertising! It costs TWO AND A HALF TIMES as much to love rock and roll as what she's telling people!"

The bartender chewed his steak thoughtfully for a moment to give me time to stew and then sagely changed the subject back to the cat in an effort to stop my brain from derailing entirely. It worked for about 10 minutes and then we had this exchange: "She was doing that thing today where she just keeps coming in the room to wake me up and then when she knows I'm awake she walks out of the room again."

"She's so shitty when she's mad."

"And then she went and got one of her bottle caps to bring it in my room and bat it around so I couldn't go back to sleep."

"See, the way it should work is, songs should cost different amounts based on their quality. Like, if you want to play a disco song on the jukebox that should cost a dollar and REAL songs should be a quarter. Or a dime! There should be a premium applied for subjecting the people around you to shitty music is my point."

There was a long pause while I waited for him to agree with my obviously brilliant plan, but all he said was "Wow, you're still on that. Oh well, I tried."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amberance: TTN Mega-Guest

I got a Facebook message over the weekend from Max, host of the podcast Countless Screaming Argonauts and friend of my ONE AND ONLY favorite podcast on the whole earth, Total Talk Nonsense. Max writes that he wants to be my Facebook friend because he feels like he knows me. In fact, several people who are TTN listeners have expressed new feelings of familiarity toward me, which I think can be traced back to a couple of events: my hour long appearance on TTN episode 2T4 and my subsequent many hours long appearance on episode 2T5, which for those keeping score at home is the VERY NEXT EPISODE. Yes, for two weeks in a row I was a phone in guest on the greatest podcast going and those conversations appear to have been well received by all (bar one). This can only mean one thing - it is all downhill from here. I have achieved all that I have set out to achieve. Short of someday being an actual in studio, Glenlivet or Jameson or Red Stag drinking live guest, there is nothing else I can think of that would top this moment. If you think of anything, please let me know, because I definitely want to try that something. But I'm not holding my breath.


Episode 2T4 (or 224 for those unfamiliar with Scott's inability to speak clearly when drunk) where we discuss two major recent events in my life, neither of which have as yet been detailed here on Bizzybiz, the bartender's brush with death and a challenging game of Shit or Shinola that only ended because avocados are fucking gross. I also do a brief impression of Scott.

Episode 2T5 where I am on for basically the entire show except for the news portion. I would get carpal tunnel listing everything we discussed here, but a random sample of topics we touched on include a vitriolic reaction to my conversation on the previous episode by a person who hadn't actually listened to it, Scott's questionable romantic advice, a discussion of a movie I haven't actually seen, disturbing search terms that have led people to Bizzybiz, tet-anus, the gorgeous but reticent Gene Marteen and what precisely constitutes an "average" American house.

By the time you all listen to both episodes you'll know almost everything worth knowing about me other than what I look like naked and how many grapes I can fit in mouth at the same time. It occurs to me maybe this is a bad idea, as one could argue there would be no reason for anyone to read Bizzybiz again, but I would counter that I am certain to have new terrifying encounters with spiders, new bruises from running into things I know are there and new misadventures that only I could manage to get myself into. There is always more stupidity I can manufacture and you can get that right here.

Learning Curve

My company moved our offices last week, which has been quite educational as far as getting to know my co-workers and finding out which of them are crazy and which are not, something I will not go into here, less out of privacy issues than out of my not wanting to relive the experience because, seriously, oh my god.

On the whole this has been good. I now have an office of my very own with an actual door and a window and a desk made out of wood. Also I have a weird diagonal beam in the back of my office that half covers the windows and truncates the usable space. Obviously I requested this particular office because I thought it was awesome, not to mention the fact that it is also the last one on the far end of the space, meaning that anyone coming this way is doing so on purpose to see me rather than walking by on their way to somewhere else, thus retaining my status of having the most private space of anyone here, which is good because I take naps under my desk Costanza style on a semi-regular basis (I have a pillow and everything). It is also gloriously RIGHT NEXT TO BROWNSFAN'S OFFICE. On moving in, I promptly tacked up a paper ceiling cat to watch me calculate because the CEO thinks it's really stupid. On the other side of BrownsFan is the CEO's office, in which he has laid out his furniture in a way that causes there to be a long alleyway of empty space to one side of his desk that everyone has had a suggestion as far as how to fill. Bowling alley was an idea. I went pinball machine after learning that he has a Star Trek one IN HIS HOME which he should obviously bring here so that I can play it. He has boringly gone with his own idea: tree. I was disappointed until he told me I could decorate it for Christmas at which point I started jumping up and down and squealing. I WILL DECORATE THE CRAP OUT OF THAT TREE FOR CHRISTMAS. WATCH ME.

Our new offices are located in the office tower portion of a train station, which I explored last week in an attempt to educate myself about my new surroundings. Here's what I've learned:
  • There are no less than three Hudson News stores in this one train station (that I've found so far), two of which are directly across from one another. I bought a 20 oz. Coke Zero and a small bag of Chex Mix in there for over $7. It would have cost me less than $3 if I'd walked a few more feet to the CVS. I learned not to shop at Hudson News.
  • There is also an Auntie Anne's Pretzels in here. Dangerous this may become. I am trying to forget that I know that.
  • The trek to and from the office level floors involves a ride on the escalator. It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people get on an escalator and then just stand there, particularly when it's going down. People: The escalator is NOT A RIDE. Please either walk your lazy ass down the magical moving staircase or move the fuck over so I don't have to kill you.
  • There is one major drawback to working in a commuter train station, which I discovered almost immediately: at quittin' time, absolutely everyone in the world is trying to get into the place you are trying to leave. And since it's the end of the day and everybody just wants to go home, they will mow you the hell down if you get in their way. Since I am leaving the train station I am, by definition, in their way, and getting home for me is now similar to a very frustrated salmon getting pelted with massive rocks on its way to spawn, except at the end I don't get to spawn. This strikes me as a very cruel joke. 
Remember when I said I wasn't going to talk about my co-workers at the beginning? I lied. Back in our old space, all of the offices had glass walls and the rest of the space was a sort of open architecture dealy-o, meaning everyone was pretty much all up in each other's business because you could hear and see everything that was happening. If you wanted to have a private conversation or scratch your ass this was not a good thing, but if you wanted to get someone's attention three desks away you could just call to them whatever it is you wanted. Apparently after 20 some odd years, this practice is a hard one for a few people to break. Despite the fact that we have these amazing walls now and that the layout is not at all designed for line of site to anyone else in the place, there are a few people who continue to yell into the hallway when they want to talk to someone. This is usually met with a yelled back "What?" which in turn leads to louder hallway screaming. BrownsFan and I have been supporting one another in our attempts not to strangle the others, who have not yet noticed, despite our reminders, that we have these amazing inventions called "telephones" and that proper usage of said "phones" would allow one to speak in a regular tone of voice whilst still being heard by the person five rooms away one would like to speak to without disrupting everyone else by screaming at the top of one's lungs. The technology is amazing, it's way beyond our time.

More on this later, and photos when I remember to take some. Currently it is time for my desk nap.