Why do people say that at the beginning of the month? Sarah Jessica Parker always does (she’s my Instagram friend), and because she does it, I think it’s cute, but all my life I have no idea why people say it.
But isn’t this literally a rabbit, rabbit month? Isn’t Easter this month? My calendar doesn’t tell me.
My mother got me this calendar for Christmas. It’s vintage pictures of dogs, which you’d think Edsel would rip up, given his love for other canines.
Guess who chews it instead.
Anyway, I love an Irish terrier. A friend in LA had two. They were adorable. So wiry! She rode horses, this friend did, and she’d take the Irish terriers to the stable with her, and they were thrilled.
I lived near there, and if you wanted to see my friend, you pretty much had to go to the stables. She once said they should just automatically deposit her paycheck to it.
The point is, I remember going there one night and sitting on the side, there, watching her ride under a full moon, with the hills of Burbank in the background. It’s such a cool memory. When did I go from being a peaceful person to a chaotic one?
Do you think Steely Dan ever laughs, or does he more sort of just smirk?
Speaking of how I need to get out more and stop thinking about my pets, I went to see all the live-action shorts last night. Not that bermudas and gyms were dancing about.
I saw the wrestling competition between madras and culottes!
Oh, can the jorts ever dance. Could you believe?
Speaking of how there’s something wrong with me because I hang around pets too much, I went to the movies last night to see the live-action shorts. Now I’m all set for the Oscars. I’ve seen all the bitches up in there, which is how they plan to announce them.
“And now, all the bitches up in are will be announced.”
The shorts were good, although all of them were incredibly depressing. The khakis pleated with me to nominate them, but I don’t know.
Really, though, when did “good” have to mean “earnestly depressing”? Can’t we just see a nice story in 20 minutes? This year’s crop included a school shooting in America, racism that lead to murder in the ’50s in the South, more murder in Somalia, and a deaf child whose parents suck ass.
These were not Richard Simmons’ cheerful ribbed shorts, man.
But now I can watch smugly, never thinking, “I wonder what this movie was about.”
Also, at work, they asked those of us who are into movies what we thought would win this year, and I don’t want to cockblock their surprise, so I won’t say which one I am, but they had us each reenact one of the movie posters of the best-picture nominees. Let’s just say I had to lie on the studio floor at work. In a dress.
I’d better go. I had some…trouble last night, in the stomach-al arena, and I wouldn’t go to work at all, but I’m in the middle of that huge project that I do at the end of every month that I launch into dramatically on the regular, and no one would be able to just pick it up and finish it, as I have my own method. So. I’ll go. I’ll hobble into work with my broken bone and queasiness, and no one will notice anyway because copy editor? Who cares?
Unless there’s a mistake. That’s how you know you’re good. When no one notices what you do. It’s odd, but it’s true.
I guess this post about seeing the shorts was short.
Yesterday morning, after I’d gotten up early and stressed own self over adding polls to this here not-blog (good participation, by the way!), I got an email.
“Can you knock this out this morning?”
I wasn’t even at work yet, and already I was anxious. It’s this big, several-tabbed Excel document that I copy edit every month, and of course copy editing is what I do, but this is several rows long, like sometimes 20 rows, and if you know from Excel, it extends all the way to the letter M.
Some squares I have to copy edit. Some I don’t. Some I have to count characters. Some I don’t. And it’s so big that I can’t see it all at once and actually proofread the words in it at the same time, so I have to blow it up and then clunk around on the thing, wondering, “Did I already read that? Did I count characters for this one?”
And always they need it in like two hours.
I keep saying, “Ideally, I’d like five hours to do this thing” but there never are five hours to be spared.
So that makes me tense every month, and there it was, the dreaded spreadsheet. And did I mention I wasn’t even at work yet?
As I was in the middle of that, someone ran up to me. “Can you look at this real fast?” It was a magazine cover. You screw that up, and you cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars to reprint.
So I stopped the scary thing to look at another scary thing, and as I was doing that, my boss’s boss, fmr., came over. “Come back in 20,” I groused, and just as I was getting that cranky sentence out, the phone rang.
“CAN I CALL YOU BACK.”
Then I finished my scary magazine cover, and my horrifyingly clunky spreadsheet, and addressed the request of my boss’s boss, fmr., and called back the poor person who’d phoned me (I explained to her all that was going on at my desk when she’d called. “You were surprisingly polite, with all that going on,” she said) and boom.
I got an email from a woman I used to work with. “I was hoping we could get a glass of wine or some coffee or something,” she said, and seeing as no one likes me (see above) I agreed immediately. “We can meet somewhere, but also I have four foster kittens at my house, if that’s a thing you’d enjoy.”
I mean, you come to my house right now, you’re gonna be covered in kittens. For some, that is paradise. We’re knocking on heaven’s door. And for others, it sucks. I don’t understand those “others,” either.
Anyway, she agreed that my pad was the place to be.
Meanwhile, I got an immediate-turnaround, emergency article, and it was all financial info that I didn’t understand, and unfortunately for me, there seemed to be a par-tayyy going on at another desk, with everyone talking and laughing, and I was totally Cinderella with her headphones on, tryina concentrate and sweep the hearth.
At 1:00, I finally got done, and headed home for lunch. I’d had one piece of toast all day, and I was feeling decidedly peckish.
But you know how your house seems okay until you know someone is coming over? “Aw, man, I should change the throw rug in the bathroom. Man, I should sweep this floor.”
Next thing you know, almost an hour had passed, and I STILL HAD MY COAT ON, and was taking out the recycling and scrubbing the stove top and oh my god.
I was already late for returning to work when I realized I couldn’t find two of the kittens.
I was missing goddamn Lexi.
And motherfucking Vicki, the tortoiseshell. Hey, June, why don’t you recover that chair.
Anyway, having had cats m’whole life, I wasn’t too worried. I looked under chairs, under desks, behind squeezy things.
Matt the tabby and Trixie the black one were in their room, being good cats.
MY COAT STILL ON, I started shining a flashlight under things, and by the way, did you ever have your lights off and shine a flashlight on your hardwoods?
MOTHER OF GOD with the fur everywhere. I mean, maybe it’s because lately I’ve had nine fricking animals here, but good lord.
I wrote my boss. Current. “Minor emergency, working from home.” And then, even though I’d gotten everything done that was due, I did work. I figured maybe if I sat still, they’d come out.
Then I started having dreadful thoughts. What if I’d washed them with Edsel’s bed? What if I’d taken them out with the trash? I actually went out and searched the trash.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted and worried. “Ima get a migraine,” I thought, because I also hadn’t eaten, and I know the kind of day I had was like a poster: How To Get a Migraine.
Right at 5:00, I heard a mew. I’d been sitting on the couch, proofreading things, and when I get to work today, Ima be bored stiff, I got so far ahead of self. Really, you get a lot more work done at home.
Where was it? Where was I hearing it? Was it outside? Oh, no, was it?
were under the sink. And then of course I had to worry they ate poison, but if they did they seem to be thriving on it, so.
Later, my pal from work came by, and enjoyed her some kittens and an indifferent Iris. Or was appalled by them. Also, I did not ask her if I could put her in said not-blog, so I hope she does not kick my ass.
It’s possible she was more appalled than happy.
Right as she was leaving, I felt the first twinge. It ended up being a two-pill migraine, and I went to bed about 9:00. Felt dreadful.
As I was drifting to sleep spooning Steely Dan (don’t tell anyone), I heard a
Fucking adventure tortie, seen here with her good pal and biggest fan, Edsel, had escaped the room, despite the 47 pillows I’ve crammed in the space. Like a day in the sink wasn’t fun enough. Now she has to creep about in the night.
So that was my day, and am sincerely hoping today is more copasetic, especially given that I have a migraine hangover.
In case anyone was worried sick, my presentation went fine. I had to present to the rest of the creatives–that’s what they call us: “creatives.” I had to show the rest of the CREATIVES why copy editing is necessary and why it takes so damn long.
We copy editors get a lot of, “Can you look at this real quick?” which is just exactly the opposite of what we do, so no. We can’t.
For the presentation, I wrote The World’s Worst Paragraph, with every error, every fact you have to research, every is-this-written-in-the-client’s-voice issue, and all the first person/third person woes you can imagine, to show how just one paragraph might take us two hours to complete.
“Can you look at this real fast? Just do a quick read.” Madre de Dios.
Anyway, it went well, and people laughed, which was my goal. I even used Oprah’s “A new day is ON THE HORIZON” line, so yay. Everyone needs more Oprah impreshes.
I also forced all the other copy editors, or CEs, and we’re called amongst the CREATIVES, to wear black and red, the official colors of copy editing. Behold The Poet, who even threw in her bunny socks.
The Poet is going to the opera, as opposed to the Oprah, this Friday. They stream New York operas to the movie theater, and you can buy a ticket for nine hundred dollars and watch at the movies. I’d expressed interest in it, but in a stunning display of How We Both Are, I can’t join The Fancy Cello-Playing Poet this weekend, because that day I have drag queen bingo.
In other news, I have this one cat named Steely Dan.
Have you heard about him? For he is ridiculous.
So far this year, it’s been damn cold. Un-The-South-y cold. And the only good part of that is that my wandering Jew stays home.
Steely Dan is not, in fact, a Jew. I always thought Francis might be. Edsel sure is. Steely Dan is all Presbyterian. Maybe working-class Catholic. With zero guilt.
Anyway, he’s been home a lot due to the cold, playing with that giant computer box that he enjoys so much that I’m loath to put it away, and fetching his mice till they all disappear and I have to go buy new ones. It’s lovely having him here, like a wayward husband who has a broken collarbone and has to stay in or something.
The point is, he chews. He chews clothes. He’s a clothes chewer. I’ve never had a cat who did this, but I’ve had other cats who left their mother too soon (See: Jewish Francis) and developed other odd allegedly soothing habits. Fran liked to chew plastic, and also paw euphorically at it while swinging his head from side to side like Stevie Wonder. He’d even eat plastic.
You’ve no idea how many times that cat swished into a room with dry cleaner bags half out his ass. Well. Like, twice. After that we got rid of all dry cleaner bags as soon as they got to the house. Remember when we all had to dry clean everything?
Have I ever told you the “Hello, Garden?” story? It involves doing an impression of an Asian accent, after all that yesterday.
…Actually, there used to be a punchline to this story, but now so many years have passed that I can’t remember it. Still, I used to live in Seattle near this place called Ace Cleaner, which was technically Ace Cleaners but they’d always call themselves Ace Cleaner when they called. And called they did, as I was never getting my clothes once they were ready. Because cost.
As a busy important receptionist at the time, a welcome addition to my wealthy existence was having to dry clean business clothes, which I had to wear every day. I can wear jeans to work now, and it’s funny to think of the long purple blazers over long black skirts because hello ’90s, and also the black hose hose hose out my ass like Fran’s dry cleaner bags. So many pair of hose. We MAY have had casual Friday, but I don’t think so.
Anyway, I was forever taking stuff to Ace Cleaner and then getting the fairly annoyed call. “Hello, Garden. This Ace Cleaner. Your clothes are ready” answering machine message. Because hello ’90s.
They always called me by my last name, but slightly mispronounced. And then I’d go there and just pick up one item, as it was all I could afford. I’m certain I wasn’t annoying at all.
I think they paid me $21,000 a year at that job, and insisted I wear fancy clothes that needed to be dry cleaned. What a rip. They DID pay for my bus card every month, though, so that’s good.
Oh my god, anyway.
So of course we don’t KNOW what tragedy befell Steely Dan’s motherless self, but we DO know that those two adorable gay college students saw a teensy, barely able to walk yet, barely legal all nude Steely Dan was toddling up the sidewalk in the rain two summers ago. So he left mom at a young age for sure, and thank heavens those boys took him in and cared for him, not knowing he’d grow up to be a panther with commitment issues.
So, whether it’s because his mom left too soon or he’s just a dick, Steely Dan eats clothes, a realization it took me awhile to have. I was all Ace Cleaner with my “just one” item of clothing suddenly having holes a’plenty, and I’d be all, that damn dryer.
That damn moth.
That damn hole punch I got stuck in and forgot.
Eventually I figured it out. I may have actually seen him ecstatically chewing chonies or whatever, but in general he tends to do his clothes chaw when I’m not around. It’s a private moment for The Dan.
So at this point, I’ve Anne Franked my clothes to the Nth degree. I hide the laundry baskets in the spare-room closet with the real door. Yes, he can open doors, but he hasn’t figured out that particular door contains a clothing smorgasbord yet.
I also keep my bedroom door shut AND a spare medicine cabinet–something we all have–shoved against the doors to the closet in there, as they are swingy, hello-I’m-in-a-Western double doors with no knob, for some reason.
Every once in awhile I’ll nap with the bedroom door open and I’ve heard from time to time a soft shove, and there SD will be, just starting to move the damn medicine cabinet to get to his closet.
Because the thing is, see, he loves my bedroom. It’s his home. It’s where he spent his childhood.
When he was a kitten, I kept him back in that room a lot. His canned kitten food was presented to him there, and while he ate, I had to shut the door so Edsel wouldn’t burst over and eat all the kitten food.
Then, unlike other kittens who’ve resided in my room, he was content to leap onto the rocking chair and just hang out alone rather than find a way to get back to all of us in the rest of the house. We matter little to SD, in the grand scheme. And now his goal in life is to reside in his old room, maybe casually meander to the food fest that is behind my swinging Western door closet.
So I’ve been careful to not let him have more clothes to eat, and I’ve even given him a whole SD Chewing Shirt that he’d already ruined. One month my Stitch Fix came, and I left it all in the box, and he got in there and helped himself to a whole shirt that I had to then buy already ruined.
So after I fed him poison razor blades and ran him over repeatedly with the car and he sprang back to life like the Friday the 13th guy, I gave him the damn shirt to chew at his leisure.
News flash: All the time, every moment, is Steely Dan’s leisure.
THE POINT IS, somehow this week, I left out ONE SOCK, one of my new soft Christmas socks with the rubbery stuff on the bottom so I don’t slide, and I discovered SD’s assigned shirt that he’d LEFT ALONE, next to my NEW SOCK chewed to bits.
And that is why I drink.
P.S. My new computer has new effects on its webcam, a feature I’ve been wanting to show you and forget to show you. You know how I am. See above.
I have to give a presentation today at work, so I’m distracted. But when I return to you, to your arms, where will hug in the dark of night, remind me to tell you about sitting next to The World’s Worst Person at the manicure place.
A few things. A few matters. Some housekeeping. Don’t you fucking hate people who say that? Is there anything you want to read less about than someone’s “housekeeping matters”? I mean, other than how little you want to hear the “let me back up” details.
I didn’t get to go to my work Christmas party. I had to work, like I was Cinderella. And all the powers that be said to me,”You’d better not stay here and work. We’d better see you at that Christmas party.” But I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I really had to get this thing done or it wouldn’t get done on time. I have to work on it today, too.
Then the next day I felt very sad for self, looking at people’s Instagram shots of our very lovely party at the lovely country club.
Alo, regarding my windfall from our last conversation/poll, June did something responsible.
[I’ll give everyone a moment to gather him- or herself.] [Like there are any hims reading this.]
When I get paid on the 1st, I use that paycheck to cover utilities, credit cards (fmr., as the only credit card I have now is the vet one, which, hello, keeps having a balance and why? Why, one wonders), the car payment, bullshit like that.
And why do I have to pay for electricity AND gas? Aren’t they the same thing, practically? Annoying.
Then the 15th, I pay my mortgage. Technically it’s due on the 1st, but they give you a “grace period” of the 16th. Why not just say it’s due on the 16th, then? I don’t know.
Anyway, I refinanced m’car recently, and they charge me less if I let them do an automatic withdrawal, and they insist on doing that on the 15th. So for several sad months now, my car payment and my mortgage come out of the same paycheck, leaving me with about 11 dollars that pay period.
So because I was flush this time? I paid my mortgage AND all my regular bills, to get myself out of that cycle, and now the first of the month will be sort of sad, but the 15th will always be really good, so I can save
save some of that flush-15th money to tide me over for the billsy 1st.
God, June, tell us more. Tell us about a couple housekeeping matters.
Who sent me this? Weeks ago this was on my doorstep, with treats for the pets and so on, and it was lovely, but no note.
And who sent me this? Came with a note about being glad I had a cyst, but no signature.
Whoever you anonymous gift-givers are, thank you!!
And finally, last night I started my end-of-the-year video, and even though I have 28 more days of this year, I am presenting it to you now, because really, what is going to possibly happen that I’ll need to include it in my veeeedeo? Hmmm? What?
Every time there’s a picture of a table, it’s from yet another date I went on that proved unfruitful. If you wanna see it full screen, click on the video’s title, and it’ll take you to YouTube where you can choose “full screen” in the lower right.
For years, we’ve been doing this project at work that is what you might call detailed.
If you’re a proofreader or a copy editor, all three of you, it has everything that takes time. Names you need to check? Yes. Numbers? Yes. Details that’re listed in several places and they all must match? Yes. Fact-checking up the ying? Oui.
Is it really important, so you can’t mess up? Yes, yes, yes.
I hadn’t worked on this thing in years, but last month I did, and found all sorts of errors that would excite only another copy editor (a word was lowercase in a few places, then capped in a few others, then…ready, three copy editors?…BACK TO CAPS AGAIN!) and I was extremely in love with self. This is the shit that gives us life.
So, I found all these errors, and was excited, then I got the thing again at blueline and found an extra word (“to”) in a paragraph.
What’s a blueline, June? This is riveting, we promise.
It’s the final, final version of something before it goes to print. And lots of what we do at work anymore doesn’t even GET printed, but print is scary. You screw up with print, that mistake is there forever. Or worse, that mistake means you have to reprint, and that’s never good.
The point is, because this thing is so huge and detailed and so on, I worked with the manager of the project and we worked out a schedule to determine when I’d read this thing, and when I’d again reread it, because detailed.
That schedule started yesterday. I’d had it on my calendar for weeks: Big project starts today. I was supposed to take all day yesterday and all day today on it.
Then next weekend I take it home and read it again.
When I got to work yesterday, it wasn’t ready yet, as everyone working on it is on business trips. They’re working on it from said trips, so it’d be with me any second.
“Hey, June, here’s another project. Can you work on this today?”
The thing is, I was just sitting there waiting, unsure of when it’d get to me. So I hemmed and I hawed, and I finally took the project, which turned out to be (wait for it) a lot of stuff, and detailed, and so on.
Naturally, the second I began, I got an email. “You can start that other big project now!”
Then I got two other emails from two other accounts I work on. “Here’s some work. Can we also discuss it in detail?”
And, “Here’s a project. Can you not just edit it, but write this and this? Here’s what I was thinking and what I want and…”
I had to write both those poor folks back and say, I can’t even read this whole email right now.
So I worked. And worked. I hadn’t put on my Frida costume yet, because everything that could have gone wrong yesterday morning DID go wrong, including THE CITY SHUTTING DOWN MY FREEWAY EXIT to get to work, so the plan was I’d get dressed at lunch.
Naturally I worked through lunch, then when I did get away, I had to run errands, so okay. I wouldn’t dress up.
“The costume contest is starting on the dock,” I heard the front desk announce, at 2:00. For the first time in my seven Halloweens there, I did not watch the contest, much less participate, as I had planned. I don’t even know what people dressed up as.
At 4:00, kids were coming for candy, so around 3:00 I just took my computer and went home, so I could work in peace. I was that curmudgeon.
Kit was supposed to come over last night, help me hand out the candies, and I had to cancel on her.
And by the way, just like my morning, everything that COULD go wrong with me getting the work and doing the work, did go wrong.
And truth be told, by 6:00, I was done. I could not make myself think any more. I’d been thinking so intensely. So I shut off the computer and lay blankly for awhile, till
“Trick or treat!”
“Wooo! WOO WOO WOOO WO!” snarled Eds.
If Edsel were a normal dog, we could do things like I could dress up as Little Red Riding Hood (Medium-to-Large, Depending, Red Riding Hood) and he could dress as the big, bad wolf. He could sit next to me nicely, with his gummy fangs or whatever, and everyone who came to trick or treat could say “Oh, there’s that cute dog that we pet on his walks” and so on.
Instead, Edsel dressed as banished-to-the-back-room guy.
I did not photograph trick or treaters, even though you want me to be the weird woman who photographs every fucking thing, because how, exactly, was I going to ask, “Can I photograph your children and put them online?”
The best parts were the one kid who said, “Oh, please, not a Snickers.” I gave that child coal I had left over from my own Christmas stocking.
And then this very small person just started barreling in. “You have a doggie!” she said, and my reputation precedes me. “Yes, I–”
“I want to see the doggie!” Her parents were all Ebony, don’t go in that lady’s house. Ebony didn’t give a shit. She wanted to see the doggie.
And finally, I saw Ava’s family. Of course, I recognized Jane right away, with her June hair and her attitude. In years past, she’s been Katniss or whoever that is, and other popular costumes of the day, and I’m all, Why aren’t you dressed in a pumpkin head or a plastic mask from the grocery store the way I would have been at your age?
But this year, she was just barely dressed as anything, and was taking a smaller child around, so I guess she’s aging out of this process. Jane is, I’d estimate, between seven and 19 years old.
Her brother I met way, way back, when I just had Tallulah. He’s the kid I ran into on a walk once, when Talu had been rolling in the blackberries or boysenberries or whatever the fuck grows in my yard that she used to roll in and get purple spots.
“I wish I had a yellow and blue dog,” I remember him saying. He asked about Lu’s breed for awhile, and told me about his dog. “What kind of dog is he?” I asked. I hadn’t met his dog yet, who in fact is an enormous, calm, steel-gray 100% pit who is Ava’s best friend.
“Oh, he’s a pet bull and a beagle,” that kid said at the time. And that is when I knew he was full of the shit.
The point is, a group of teenaged boys came to the door, boys who really should not even be trying to trick or treat, and he had cool hair, but I didn’t register that was old pet-bull-and-a-beagle, there.
“Ava’s gotten really big,” he said to me, and right then I knew. Oh, it’s that kid!
He’s somewhere between 11 and 32.
So, in reality, I guess I had the kind of Halloween most adults have who don’t work at a creative agency. I mean, I worked all day and handed out candy at night and The End. BUT I’M USED TO COSTUMES AND PARTIES AT WORK.
I gotta go. I’m slap in the middle of that project, and when you think of June today, and you will, think of me bent unergonomically over details. Deets. June checks the deets.
I know that seems scary in general, but when it comes to copy editing, I am stellar at the deets. Copy editing and stalking boyfriends: June is the deets master at those.
I gave up having cable TV about a year ago, because basically I was paying $110 a month to watch Bravo. And while I DO miss the old movie channel (a LOT), I kind of like having Amazon Prime and also, way down the rung, Netflix. Continue reading “June goes back to work”→
7:33: OH MY GOD. SERIOUSLY? Scream out of bed, dash to shower. Wash hair.
We curly people don’t wash our hair every day. Many of us have a concoction we create in dollar spray bottles purchased at Target. The concoction contains water and lavender oil. Or water and conditioner. Or water and gel. Or water, conditioner, gel and flax seed. Or whiskey.
Some of us have had all of those iterations in our spray bottle from Target. We spray our hair, scrunch it, and go the whole day with our hair looking like shit.
Since I’d had Bernie from Room 222 hair all week, and current references for four decades, yesterday was an actual wash-and-start-over day.
7:45: Put hair in careful microfiber towel for curly people, make coffee, feed animals, go outside with Edsel to watch him pee, as is required by law, lest you deal with a dog who will not go outside ALL DAY, and who hovers near you underbitedly wishing it be tyme to go out and watch Edzul pee alreddy cause he relly haff to go.
7:50 Begin blogging.
9:01: OH MY FUCKING GOD HOW IS IT ALREADY–
9:02: Throw on anything, pop in contacts, pour more coffee, scream out door. Catch reflection in car mirror.
Hair still completely soaked.
9:05–9:11: Drive to work with sunroof open and all windows down. Get to work and glance in mirror.
Hair still completely soaked.
9:12: Turn on computer hurriedly, glance at boss to see if he’s absorbed in work and not noticing lateness (NEWS ALERT: Boss is always absorbed in work), begin five-article project you promised another team that you were supposed to start the day before but were too busy.
9:13: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:14: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:15: PING! New deadline ass–
WHAT THE FUCK.
At work, we have software that, once your part of the task is completed, you check off a box and the next person in line gets an automatic email saying it’s their turn and with a deadline for their part.
Often, for some efficient reason, these deadlines are mythical, so the person before you will then email you personally to say, “Really, this has to be done tomorrow at noon.”
9:16: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:17: PING! New–OH STOP.
Then I started getting the personal emails. Hey, June, don’t make it bad. Take a sad article, and make it better.
In half an hour, I had 11 new assignments. Eleven. I won’t get 11 in a week sometimes. Those were followed up by “These deadlines are legit” emails from the editor before me.
9:30–12:30: Begin work on the 11 new deadlines, ignoring the five articles you still have to do for the other team. Get one done.
12:31: Realize you haven’t peed. In bathroom, glance at self.
Hair is still completely soaked.
12:35–1:30: Drive home, let Edsel out, stand watching Edsel pee as is required by law, realize you’re standing blankly thinking about all that you need to do back at work. Eat something that’s 15 Weight Watchers points (Amy’s Organic 3 Cheese and Kale) because there’s no time to think about thawing a chicken breast right now and that 15-point concoction is right there smiling at you kale-ly from the freezer.
1:37: Return to work, begin slaving on those five articles.
2:09: Email, “Is there any way you can get those articles done early?
2:10: Email from another team: “Did you forget you were going to proof our presentation today?”
3:00: Party for leaving coworker. Everyone heads to conference room to celebrate, except you and your boss. Boss has as much and very likely lots more to do. You sigh, pound your hands on desk, throw head back in annoyance, swear, and at one point, glance over at boss. He’s calmly typing, absorbed in work.
3:11: During yet another dramatic sigh and head throwback, glance down at boss, who is typing and sipping water calmly, like he’s on a meditation retreat or something.
“HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM?”
“I internalize everything,” says boss, never looking over at you and your still-soaking-wet hair.
‘That’s why you will have seven heart attacks one day.”
Boss finally looks over. “If you have so much to do, why are you talking to me?”
“What’s the point of you being the only person here if I can’t complain to you?”
3:12: Feel like boss is 100% over you.
4:50 p.m.: Person who asked if you’d do the five articles for her, and then if you can do them early, comes over. She is a good sort of a person. Have commiserative talk about how busy everything is, discuss who has cried at work today, smile wanly at each other and continue.
6:35 p.m.: Four of the five articles are done. Sure, there are the 10 others, and that presentation you forgot and have to do Saturday, but four of the five articles are done.
6:37: See The Poet in parking lot. Have commiserative talk. Realize Poet leaves every day at this time, then goes home and writes deep poetry. Realize Poet never once throws head back dramatically at desk.
6:40: Glance at self in mirror of car. Hair has dried into a ‘do not unlike Gene Wilder’s.
6:52: Plunk bag of carrots next to work computer (see above ref to 15-point kale) and begin freelance work.
8:30: Try to stop freelance work.
8:32: Feel too squirrelly about stopping now, when you could finish this whole project tonight.
8:52: Get email from woman at work who you did four our of five articles for. “I hope people tell you how much you’re appreciated.” Smile warmly at email. Coworker is good soul who never writes things like THANKS!! : ). Coworker writes in English. Coworker is bomb.
10:20: Finish current freelance assignment. Email Tank the Miracle Angel Baby, whom you’re working with on said freelance gig, to tell him. “That’s great!” he writes back. “We have one that’s five times as long as that one that we plan to get to you Tuesday.”
10:21: Mentally count dollars. Mentally tell self that if you can’t drive with broken back, at least you can polish fenders.
P.S. I forgot the good news, that at lunch, while I was staring blankly at Edsel, I also called my bank and set up a savings account, an account they will automatically add a certain amount to every 15th and 31st, an account I cannot access with my ATM card. Am practically Suze Orman. Plans to smile manically under corporate haircut and tell you all YOU can’t afford it, appearing forthwith.