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Job Satisfaction Score

It has been the week from hell, which culminates with my hell day at work. Goody. Today, my blood pressure was so high that my hands-free phone set, which has an earpiece that goes into your head like a hearing aid, was bobbing up and down and then I realized it was my PULSE. I have become an ad for Sanka.

The best part was when I was arguing with the Indians who have taken the jobs of my coworkers and they assured me that they would ‘intimate the client about this the status.’ Yup. It’s a seamless transition. I so need another job.

There were some highlights, however. I continue to love escaping work on Tuesdays to go to my class. This week, I got to Milwaukee an hour early, despite pulling over for a half hour to participate in a conference call. It was just surreal, sitting in the car next to a trout farm in one bar of reception BFE, talking about deadlines and whatnot. I love technology. So with an hour of time to kill, I somehow convinced myself that I could make it from the lakeshore to the distant suburbs and have a ton of time to shop at my favorite diversion Mayfair Mall. Except that really, I couldn’t. Not with rush hour traffic and road construction. Perhaps with a jaunty time machine that looked like a police call box (hi, married to a geek boy, thank you very much) but not with a slightly dusty Chrysler. But instead I endeavored onward, running through the kiosks, speed dating the shirts at Torrid and making it out of the Aveda store in 3 minutes flat. I had planned to only do a drive by in Pottery Barn, but I ended up seeing the perfect black shelves for my kitchen and also, they were on sale. On SALE! And not available on the website. Arrgh! I was torn, but finally, I decided that I would just be a few minutes late to class because if I didn’t buy the shelves, I would be mad at myself for a long time and they would be the Shelves That Got Away forever and ever amen. So I bought them and then was told to pick them up ‘at the back door’. Um, sure. Ok. Whatever. But apparently the ‘back door’ was actually a loading door and I had to drive to a large garage door, which opened automatically as my car approached, and then led into a series of tunnels underneath the mall. Creepy! Then the doors shut automatically behind me and my radio went static and all signs of daylight were replaced with eerie yellow light. I expected rats or possibly zombies (Braaaaains) to stagger out at any moment. The things a girl will do for her 10 inch Pottery Barn shelves! Girls are obviously dumb. Or at least, this one is.

I left the mall catacombs with about ten minutes to get back on the highway, through downtown, and then three miles through a residential area, park under the Union, run through campus, up the stairs and into my seat. Except that it took me fifteen minutes just to get to the highway and then the traffic was going 10 miles per hour for no perceptible reason. Meanwhile, my Type A brain was freaking out, because I hate being late. Having grown up being the kid who was perpetually picked up last from every event and always missed the morning bell because her mother couldn’t be bothered to move any faster in the morning, I have a perpetual fear of being late. In fact, in college, if it looked like I was running late, I would just not go to class. Even if I was looking for a place to park at campus and could make it to class only a few minutes late, I’d rather take an absence than have to walk in after the professor started teaching. And God help me, I considered just skipping all together rather than have to make the horrible flake-style entrance after the three-hour class had officially begun. But no. No. I knew that we were workshopping a truly awful piece of fiction, full of ridiculous punctuation errors and painful stilting dialogue (‘I invited you into my bastion and you imbibe my libations and comestibles!’ Eeek! Drop the thesaurus and no one will get hurt!), and my wicked sense of schadenfreude prevailed. I just couldn’t miss watching the PhD lit snobs struggle with a polite way to say that the story sucked harder than Jenna Jameson during her close up. And luckily, when I breezed into class a whole half hour late, the professor immediately piped up and said ‘Don’t worry Weet, we just started so you didn’t miss anything.’

And then, in an attempt at damage control, he prefaced the workshop by telling us to not focus on the errors, which were many, and then accidentally commented that some of the problems were like nails down a chalkboard. He also had to remind the author that they weren’t supposed to be talking during the workshop something like eight times, and even still, the Chatty Cathy Doll had to keep trying to tell us why we were wrong and make excuses for the problems in the story, until one of my favorite people in the class (in fact, I think I have a girl crush on her. She invited me out for a beer after class in two weeks and I got a little giddy and started writing her name on my notebook) started making a pinching motion with her hand, saying ‘Shhhh! Zip it!’ because the woman just would not shut up.

I am a bad person, but it was the best class EVER.

Over the weekend, I cooked a gigantic butternut squash and have about sixteen quarts of unused squash in the refrigerator. One would think that I would then use it for something, such as squash soup or squash gnocchi or squash squash, but instead, the only thing I’ve cooked since then was tandoori chicken and naan bread, neither of which involved squash but did made us feel very cosmopolitan. Except that it’s not fair that something which takes kneading and an hour to rise will taste like forty-cent pita bread. Esteban liked it, but I don’t think I’ll try my hand at naan again anytime soon. I also had a rare transmogrification of events in which I made great headway on the (fucking) laundry and only have maybe 1.5 hampers of dirty stuff left to wash, as opposed to my normal metric ton of ass-smelling clothing. I’m pleased with myself, however, I just realized that five days have passed since doing laundry and I’m sure that the backlog is again reaching metric ton quantities. I also scrubbed the tub, decided to hire a housekeeper, and made an inaugural visit to our new Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I purchased a stainless steel trashcan and with that, may have reached the top of Maslov’s pyramid as the last empty place in my soul was filled. With a trashcan.

In other news, Death Lung 2004 seems to have abated and I am breathing with quiet whimsy, rather than with slide whistles and other Warner Brothers sound effects. Also, I have a story due next Tuesday, so now I’m panicking because I have to write and I think I sort of hate writing because it’s somewhat painful like child birth (the kind in which you are shrieking that you hate men and want more drugs, not the kind where you play whale songs and someone eats the placenta), but then, that’s nothing new. At least I have new shelves and a trashcan.

PS. It was ten years ago today that Esteban asked me to marry him and slipped a diamond ring onto my left hand while we were pulled to the side of the street downtown. And even though it was the third time he asked, that time it took. Happy engagement anniversary, baby!

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