Saturday, September 15, 2012

I wanted to share this weirdly awesome dream I had so y'all could enjoy it, too!

My dearest friends & I (aka The Collective) were in a bar but on a Sunday morning, enjoying brunch. We were sitting in one of those large, round-ish booths, and there were several of them in the room.  The decor on the walls was musically-inspired, with pictures of musicians and lots of those framed albums they make when singers or bands sell a lot of records.  It was somewhat bright in the room, as there were a few high windows, letting in the warm sunshine.

I decided to explore the rest of the bar, so I walked through some saloon doors into another room, quite different from the first.  On my right was a small, about knee-high, bricked in area, with 2 mechanical (sort of like remote-control but really fancy & expensive) dinosaurs fighting.  On my left was a 6.5-foot tall T-Rex from "Toy Story." When I walked past him, his forelegs flailed around and he said, "Oh! You scared me!" And I had to walk past him, as in the center of the room was another, much larger pit where people could quite literally wrestle alligators.

Past that took me into yet another much smaller and much quieter room.  It had a circular area in the center, slightly elevated, with a few chairs scattered around it, music stands, a couple of amplifiers, etc., where local musicians or bands could play or people could get together for a haphazard, impromptu jam session.

Through another set of doors brought me to the fourth & final & most epic room of the bar.  The walls were decorated with a wild assortment of colorful stuffed animals, creepy-cool taxidermy, and other weird, fun, and Gothic-inspired items.  The bartenders/waitstaff in this area were all dressed differently from the casual denizens of the other rooms, in white tuxedo shirts with black vests
& bow ties.  This room was my favorite because you could order any kind of dessert you could
think of, and they were all amazing and creative and heavenly.  I was ordering a rolled-cake, dark
chocolate with hazelnut vanilla buttercream, and a freshly-made raspberry purée drizzled over the
top. With it came a glass of champagne.  On the counters were bowls & jars of various
individually-wrapped, tiny treats, those that normally come like that.  For example, closest to me was
a bowl of bite-sized Walker's Shortbread Cookies, nearby was a jar of imported fancy chocolates, and farther down were 4-piece samplers of cocktail-inspired candies.

So, to sum up: dearest friends, Sunday Brunch, weirdly wonderful bar with good food, weird decor, amazing desserts & a unique experience. It was a really fun dream & if I were independently-wealthy, I would get that place built & running with a quickness!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

i don't understand...

Hello, darlings! It's late and I'm very tired, so this is going to be brief.  Just had some little tidbits floating around in my brain...hoping by writing them down, maybe I'll sleep better.

Being a woman in my (gulp)...oh, let's just stick with "in my 30's," shall we?...there is still so much about myself that I thought I'd have all figured out by now, and conversely, so much I thought I had figured out when I was younger that looks so much different from here.  So here are a few of those things:

I don't understand why I so often feel SO much sexier and prettier at night, when most of my makeup has worn off, and I'm in my standard uniform of jammie bottoms, a tank top, & a zip-up hoodie.  Something about my hair being just the right amount of dirty, the softness of my comfy clothes being so much nicer than most of my restrictive work clothes (beauty is pain & fashion is hard & all that, loves).  Maybe it's the invitation or promise of getting to be snuggled up in bed.  I don't get it at all.  Especially since, if I were to leave the house looking like this (I ain't too good for it, either), it would read less "sexy" and more "lazy college student" at best.  What gives?

I don't understand why, even if I can't think of anything that's truly stressing me out, even if the sometimes-throbbing pressure of being an adult lets up for a while, I still manage to be tense nearly all the time.  It feels like there's always something, even if it's just my sub-conscious gnawing on a thought not yet bubbled-up.  It's supremely frustrating not to be able to fully relax.

I don't understand why laying on my couch with my woobie, watching TV, is more appealing than nearly anything else I could be doing for that time.  Shopping is a close second, but the couch is definitely cheaper and usually more comfortable.  Incidentally, my woobie is a hand-made quilt I received as a gift from a student many years ago.  It's one of my favorite things.  I probably wouldn't try to save it if my house were on fire, but I would mourn its loss forever.

I don't understand insurance.

I don't understand willful ignorance.

I don't understand fishing shows.  Or hunting shows.

I don't understand why coffee is so amazing, but I know that it is.

I don't understand how my cat Rory can be such a total shit to everyone else, most especially the other cats, but be such a sweet, loving little monster to me.

I don't understand why it's so hard for me to get rid of magazines (just think of the potential art projects!!!)

And to wrap this nonsense up, I don't understand why I'm writing this when I could be snuggled up in bed with a good book.

So good night, loves, until next time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

just a few suggestions, darlings...

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed herein are mine and mine alone.  They do not reflect the opinions of my friends, family, co-workers, employer, or anyone's but my own.

This is something else that's been weighing on my mind a lot lately, in large part because of what I do.  Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that my job requires me to be intimately acquainted with applications.  And all the time, I see the silliest mistakes on these applications and can't help but wonder what people are thinking.  (I'll save my rant about peoples' wild and crazy names for another time, dears.)  So for all of your reading pleasure, I'd like to present Lola's Tips for Filling out Applications.  It matters not if they are job applications, loan or lease, college applications, or what.  I'm just asking for a little attention to be paid.


2.  Please know the difference between "County" and "Country."  It's really silly how often I see those two answers get mixed up, and it's always really obvious you just weren't paying attention.

3.  If the application asks for a nickname or preferred name, I promise it's referring to your preferred first name only.  If your legal last name and preferred last name don't line up, getting that paperwork squared away via the proper channels is on you, and it causes all kinds of havoc for me and my kind when you "accidentally" lie about what your legal name really is.  Also, even if you go by "Big Hoss," "McDangle," "Super Sassy," or "Babee Gurl," just stick with a derivative of your name, if that's what you go by, or leave it blank.  I'm assuming you're trying to make a good impression on whomever will be reading said application, so just consider that as you're filling it out.
     3.a.  If you list your preferred name as a school you previously attended, I'm going to wonder what question you thought you were answering.  I'm saying it because it's happened, folks.
      3.b.  If you've never legally had a different last name, it's not necessary to list your previous name as the name you currently have.

4.  If you can't spell the city or county in which you currently reside, I'm going to question your claim of legal residency.  Just sayin'.

5.  If an application asks for several phone numbers, such as your home, work and cell, and you list the same for all three, how am I to know if it's really a cell phone or a landline?  Sometimes this information is important.  If you only have a cell number, then simply list that in the proper space and leave the rest blank.

6.  If an application asks you for prior universities or colleges attended, and you list the school to which you're applying, including dates that occur in the future, you're making my life difficult.  Knock it off.  If you haven't been anywhere yet, that's ok, we all gotta start somewhere, right?

7.  If you're filling out an application for a job you've held before, an employer for whom you've previously worked, or re-admitting to a school of any kind, please don't assume that they have all of your most current information, or even that the old information they have on you is correct.  Generally, we treat every application as new, and sometimes don't even have the ability to double-check some of your old information (depending on the circumstances).  So please, be thorough and pretend that this is all brand-new information for us, even if you feel it's redundant.

8.  Your birthdate should be the day, month and year that you were actually birthed (or whatever your legal documentation says it is).  What I mean to say is that if you list your correct day and month but the current year as your date of birth, you again may be causing all kinds of havoc, so knock it off.  Please.

9.  Please learn the difference between "approximately" and "exactly."  They are two very different words with different meanings and should be treated as such. 

10.  Trust me, the application is interested in what you actually accomplished, not what you were enrolled in or hoping to complete.  For example, if you list that you earned 12 credit hours from the University of Bologna, but then indicate you also earned a Bachelor's degree from said school, but don't list any other colleges you've attended, I have to wonder what's going on.  Either you earned 12 hours and completed a degree with work earned at another school, or you earned 12 hours and NOT a degree.

11.  The emergency contact information we ask for is for your own good.  You don't have to fill it out, that's cool with me, I get it.  But if you do, please ensure you list their complete name (first and last--I don't want to make any assumptions about their relation to you), the complete address if it's asked for (I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a street address but no city or state--we do actually utilize this information), and finally, be sure you list the complete phone number--that's the MOST IMPORTANT PART!  I canNOT assume that the phone number you listed is attached to a local area code, especially when you didn't give me a city or state with the address!  Also, if the application asks for this person's relationship to you, I'd rather you leave it blank than put "Baby Mama."  (Again, I'm saying this because it has happened.)

12.  And finally, please, just be honest.  If you lie, mis-represent information, or try to get something over on us, we WILL find out.  Just trust me, we have our ways.  I certainly understand honest mistakes, not knowing exact dates or amount of credit earned, but if you lie and say you attended a school you didn't, you're causing extra work for yourself AND me.  Also, if you conveniently leave off a certain school you attended because you didn't perform as well as you'd hoped academically speaking, we WILL find out, and you'll cause extra work for a whole lot of people, including yourself.

My darlings, I don't think all people who fill out applications and make mistakes on them are idiots, and I hope you haven't been given this impression.  I want you all to make smashing good impressions on the people reading your applications, and I want to help you help yourself.  Please, just take your time, pay attention, and if you have questions, ASK THEM! 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

a little catching up...

The DH is all hard-working monkey now that he's retired...2 part-time jobs and will be going to school full-time in just over a week.  So I'll have time, maybe, to post more.  I'll try anyway.  OK, I'll think about it more.  I really do have things I want to write about, and sometimes I even make notes, but somehow I rarely manage to make/take the time and I should, because I love it so much.  Even if none of you are reading it, though I hope you are.  At the moment, I'm updating my iTunes, which is quite a chore because of the seemingly billions of podcasts I listen to.  Plus I had to buy some new music, and take some old stuff off--you know the deal.  What I'm saying is that I'm in front of the compy here at home, got some music playing, checking my Facebook, and typing away.  Cold beer in front of me, kittehs at my feet, and here we go...

The 1st thing that springs to mind that I've been wanting to write about is poop.  Well, maybe not poop specifically, but of poop...OK, I think you get the point.  Those of you who know me personally know that I will rarely pass up a chance for a conversation about poop.  I love to talk about poop, largely because everyone does it but it's still such a verboten topic, and it makes me laugh.  Plus I enjoy making people uncomfortable.

So I have this sort of on-going battle happening in the restroom at work.  There are close to 30 or 35 people altogether working on my floor, and nearly all of them are women.  We have 3 stalls, and for some bizarre reason, 2 urinals...Yes, it's strange.  Yes, I've seen feet in those stalls, which is even stranger.  Anyway, I personally sometimes feel that 1 stall should be the designated poop stall, although I realize this could present a problem if more than 1 of us needs to poop at the same time, so practicality deems that we scratch that idea.  My issue is the air freshener (which shall heretofore be referred to as "AF.")  We generally all take turns purchasing a can or 2 of air freshener for the bathroom, which is placed on the floor between 2 of the stalls.  Look I get it, easy access for both, right?  Sure.  I don't like it, I prefer my AF to be placed on top of the toilet paper dispenser, for discreet access.  I mean, I like discretion even though I like to talk about poop.  So usually when I require the AF, I kick the flusher to cover up the noise of the spray, then quietly place the giant metal can of AF on the toilet paper dispenser.  Makes sense, right?  But every time I come back in there, there the AF is, on the floor once more.  Fine, I get it.  Except.  Except that now, we have 2 cans of AF.  That's right, there's enough for 2 of the 3 stalls to have their own, and therefore both be designated as poop stalls.  So why, for FSM'S SAKE WHY, do I continue to come into the bathroom and find BOTH cans sitting inches away from one another, beneath the stall divider?!?!  I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why they BOTH now need to be placed on the floor, especially TOGETHER!  I don't think we really need variety of fragrance choices at work when it comes to pooping.  Lavender, vanilla, lemon, I don't give a shit (see what I did there?) as long as it covers the fucking poop smell!!  But no.  No, I must be subjected to this non-stop, passive-aggressive battle over proper placement of the AF.  Fucks' sake. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed herein are mine & mine alone. They do not reflect those of my friends, family, co-workers, employer, or anyone else I know.

The other minor thing is that I've been having really elaborate, very vivid dreams lately, and not all of them are medication-induced, alcohol-induced, or food-induced.  At least I don't think they are.  I've always done this, but lately I seem to be remembering them more.  Last night I dreamed that I was living in a post-Utopian future, and I was an indentured sex servant to a soldier (hint: he looked a bit like a young Hugh Jackman bred with Ryan Reynolds) in this really extreme, futuristic military faction.  The problem was that we were in love with each other, but if anyone found out, we could both be killed.  It was very intense and romantic and a little sexy but also sort of sad.

I have other things to share with you, but I think I'm going to save those to another post so as not to get too terribly messy and stream-of-consciousness with you.

With love and poop,

Monday, June 18, 2012

On the death of Rodney King...

I don't know why, but learning of the death of Rodney King yesterday at the age of 47 has left me deeply saddened.

Like the OKC bombing, the OJ Simpson car chase and subsequent trial, the Rodney King beating and the riots that followed were major historical events from my teen years that I'll be unlikely to forget in my lifetime. I remember watching footage of King's beating at the hands of members of the LAPD and being absolutely horrified at the unwarranted violence. I thought things like that only happened in action or horror movies, not in reality, with sworn law-enforcement members nearly beating a man to death in the street.

I know that King was no angel. I don't remember why the LAPD even crossed paths with King. Honestly, I could look it up, but in the end, what difference does it make? What those men did to him was wrong, and I feel certain the circumstances did not warrant the treatment King received. I know he was no saint, but no one deserves what happened to him.

Later, when those officers were acquitted of their crimes, the riots that followed were utterly terrifying, even from so many states away. And yet, there King stood, before the media and anyone who would listen, begging for peace, for calm. He didn't want that to happen, never asked for it, and obviously didn't know how to handle being suddenly thrust into infamy. Truth be told, I don't know how anyone could've handled that.

So his struggles continued--his struggle to come to terms with his role in contemporary American history, his struggle with the national spotlight, his struggle to maintain his health and his sanity. I confess, I'm a fan of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." Mostly because Dr. Drew is sex on toast...but also because I find that humanizing these "celebrities" reminds me that in spite of all our differences, people are people, and the afflictions are the same. So I remember watching him and crying because he just seemed like such a sweet, gentle man, still grappling with all his proverbial demons on top of his addiction. It was just so goddamned sad, so real, so brutally honest, and so heart-wrenching.

I had hope for him, as I do for almost everyone, sometimes to my detriment. I hoped that he had finally moved on with his life, retired to find some sort of peace. I guess those demons just wouldn't let go, and finally dragged him to the bottom of his swimming pool in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I don't believe in an afterlife, so I hope that in death he simply found a release from the turmoil he fought with his entire adult life.

I hope we who are left behind can remember the awful lessons we learned during that time. I hope we can find some way to honor the memory of a man who never seemed able to find his saving grace in life. I hope to never witness another event like that in my lifetime. I hope to never forget.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day...

I'm seeing a LOT of Facebook & Twitter posts about honoring veterans and soldiers today. "Freedom isn't free," "Thank you for your sacrifice," and my personal favorite, "Never forget..." (insert supportive military sentiment/patriotic cliche here). And I just have to say, for myself anyway, that forgetting isn't possible. I couldn't forget...literally not a day goes by that I don't think about it. I remember the injured, the dead, the veterans, those currently serving...they are all so close to me...

My DH is in the process of retiring after 23 years of active-duty service in the U.S. Army.
His brother M was a commissioned officer in the Army for a time, and his little sister A is currently serving as a medic in the Army. Their dad has served in the Navy for years.
My sister N is currently serving in the Air Force and is a Lt. Col. and totally an awesome badass.
Her husband W served in the Navy.
My brother K retired after 23 years of service in the Navy, and his son C is also now serving in the Navy.
My brother B was in the Air Force.
I have so many exes who were or are military, it's not even funny, to include a handful of one-night-stands.
Kids with whom I attended high school or college, or even met briefly once at some function are now lost to us.
I've had friends or relatives serving in nearly every branch of the U.S. military for as long as I can remember, since I grew up adjacent to an Army base.

Forgetting, ignoring, or not paying attention to those who serve isn't an option. I don't mean to sound ungrateful--what I mean to say is that I don't need a special fucking day set aside to acknowledge them, their service and their sacrifices. They are always on my mind. Every day, I dread reading the news or the obituaries just a little bit, because there is always a possibility that I will see the name & face of someone I know, or someone I once knew.

So today and every day, I salute those who serve, those who have served, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, May 7, 2012

stuff like that there...

I am oh-so-sorry, my darling readers, that I haven't posted in literally months. I have plenty to say--words bubbling up like hot lava in a volcano, just bursting the seams of the earth with all the pressure--but I just haven't. I have been really busy lately, brain full of so many other things I can't keep everything straight...but honestly, I manage to find the time to do other things like watch movies and shop. I just get so tired and overwhelmed with all the other directions I'm being pulled in that I can't seem to muster the mental capacity to do this, too.

I find inspiration constantly. I make mental notes about things I need to talk about here. I may even go so far as to jot things down on a scrap of paper or post-it note...but somehow, something always seems to get in the way. Something stops me; laziness, boredom, anxiety, distraction, you name it. So I don't. And another day goes by in which I feel I've dropped yet another ball. And the shame spiral continues.

So I figured that tonight, after I placed my Sephora order, I would just do it. Just break the chain of days gone by with no bloggy word vomit. Just type. And here we are. Funny thing is, I don't have much to say at the moment. Maybe if I get back in a regular habit, if I force myself to take the time to bang something out on this keyboard at least a couple of times a week, it won't feel so daunting and I'll be much more interesting.

Right now, I'm on my very comfy couch. Wearing some of my favorite Victoria's Secret jammie bottoms, a black tank top, and a ratty old black hooded sweatshirt that is thin and soft and comfy. My hair is in a ponytail. The DH and I are watching some shows on our DVR. Laundry is tumbling in the dryer. I have a very sweet little orange cat named Maggie at my elbow, another fluffy love monster named Hector on the arm of the couch, and a dapper little tuxedoed cat named Rory on the chaise in the corner. DH & I had a small CPK margherita pizza and salad for dinner, and I savored a small glass of a blended red wine from Washington state. I'm wondering what the weather will be like tomorrow, what work will be like tomorrow, what my hair will be like tomorrow. The point I'm trying to make is that my life is so very normal, so mundane, so...perfect.

Perhaps next time I'll manage something more controversial, more annoying, more frustrating, more moving...just more. I promise to try.

 Lovingly, Lola