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Renfield
So, after making that last post, I had lunch with another co-worker (Pecos). We eat lunch together most days, and she's the only person at work who knows about my crush on Perfect Tommy. She's apparently talked to him a bit more than I have -- which I need to question her about further, actually -- but she said that Tommy said he does actually have friends in D.C. he stays with when he goes out in the evenings. She also said that he made reference to not going to a thing one weekend because he said he "didn't have anyone to go with."

So he's quite possibly single after all. This doesn't mean I was also necessarily wrong about him not being into me, but now I have no idea whether I was accurately interpreting anything else last night.

I've got to figure out some way to find out without completely sabotaging our working relationship if he's not. So I have a few strategic approaches I've worked out.
1) Ask him to lunch. This seems like the safest, but also requires the most nerve on my part.
2) Tell him I'm trying to arrange a Friday night happy hour with the group, then when the others (hopefully) aren't able to go because it's a Friday night (he said he was available this Friday when we were planning for last night, so it's possible he usually is), tell him everybody else can't come but does he still want to? This exact play worked on me with Chief way back when.
3) Get Pecos to try to find out if he's interested.
4) Post a notice on the "missed connections" on Craigslist.

None of these sound super grown-up, but I think the grown-up thing to do would be to marinate miserably in my feelings and not do anything, for fear of screwing up my career. A grown-up would put her career ahead of the remote possibility that a cute boy likes her. On the other hand, a grown-up would also already be married by now, so fuck that.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
Renfield
So. I'm not having a great day. Week. Whatever.

I don't deal well with my birthday. As you might've noticed. This year my birthday present was finding out, in the course of a lovely evening out with my colleagues, that the co-worker upon whom I have a truly epic crush has a girlfriend. And finding out in that horribly roundabout way, so I can still contort everything to try to convince myself that I've misinterpreted what he said, thus sharpening the knife as much as I possibly can. (For the record, what he said was that he wasn't going home that night. He lives in Baltimore; we work in D.C. Sure, he could have meant it in the way that I do when I'm planning to pass out on Bartlet for America and Sparky's couch, so he could stay for another round, but... yeah, probably not. He's cagey about his personal life anyway -- and no, he's not gay, though he may have some kind of alternative lifestyle he doesn't want to broadcast. In any case, "not going home tonight" still means he was not planning to spend the night alone.)

And I also determined pretty conclusively that even if he were single, he's not interested in me. I mean, he was totally nice, just, you know, not into me.

And I didn't say this before, but the thing is, he looks a little like Scott. Not a lot, and maybe not to other people, and just in odd little ways. I mean, He dresses kinda like Scott, and has the same haircut. I have a type, but it's more than that. His hair's the same color, as are his eyes. He smokes the same way I always imagined Scott did, before he quit. Whenever I catch sight of him out of the corner of my eye, I get the same little stab of recognition and pain. He's like a ghost. It's poetic, somehow, that after two years of being haunted, that ghost is finally here in the flesh. "I'll always want you / I'll always need you / I'll always love you / and I will always miss you..."

This would not be such a big deal if I met guys I was actually interested in more than once a year or so. And it's playing quite nicely into my increasingly overwhelming realization that I really am going to be a spinster, and that if that's the case I really don't have a lot of use for the rest of my life.

Poe's song ends with, "One more look at the ghost before I'm gonna make it leave... I've got the pieces here, time to gather up the splinters, build a casket for my tears..." But why bother? Why even try to move on with my life if that's all it holds? Work and cats? Maybe I should just get myself a wedding dress and an old Victorian mansion and start trying to fuck up people's lives.

(A verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother. Thing is, in the real world, there are no Darcys. They're just not real. Like unicorns, or compassionate conservatives.)

(Or maybe they are real, they just aren't for me. Which is actually worse.)

I just... you know, I just can't deal with that. The one thing I really want in my life I just can't have. It makes the whole thing seem so pointless.
 
 
Current Mood: pessimistichopeless
Current Music: "#1 crush," garbage
 
 
Renfield
09 August 2009 @ 09:24 pm
 So, stuff happened. 

 

In no particular order:

 

1) I got the new job I mentioned last entry. Started Monday. It's been... nice. It's not the same instant love I had when I started with WJM last June -- which is probably just as well, as hopefully that means it won't be able to break my heart (although... see #4).  The work is interesting, it's challenging, it's important -- it's a lot slower than news, but that's a relief, really. My new co-workers are very nice, and at least on first blush less conventional than my old ones were. One of my bosses is a flake, but both of them apparently think I walk on water, which is a little terrifying -- there are some major expectations I could potentially fail to fulfill. 

 

While I'm ecstatic about getting of the night shift and happy about the substantially higher salary, not to mention getting out from under my batshit insane bosses, I have to admit to feeling a twinge of regret at leaving the news business. I'll miss breaking news, and the accompanying rush of adrenaline. On the other hand, hopefully I'll be able to get that rush from stuff actually happening in my personal life. 

 

It's amazing to think I was only at WJM for a year. It feels like an eternity -- it's a little hard to recall what life was like before it. I started it the day I moved here, so it has literally defined My Life Inside the Beltway (Part II).  

 

2) We had to put Neil's cat to sleep. It was a few weeks ago, and probably a big part of the reason I haven't been updating here, as it was just so hard to talk about in any meaningful way. I mean, it still is. He wasn't my cat, and while his death itself was devastating -- I'd never been present for the death of any of my family pets growing up, so this was new for me -- comforting Neil has been harder, especially given the ambiguous feelings I have about the friendship/relationship/whatever it is. 

 

3) It probably both helped and hurt that two days later, I went on vacation. It was wonderful to get away, relax, and largely turn off my brain for a week, though the timing felt wrong. I mean, Neil was doing appearances at Comic Con anyway, so staying here wouldn't have made the slightest difference, but. Well, I guess everybody has that feeling of guilt when you're enjoying yourself and you know someone you care about is unhappy, or the first time you have fun after someone you care about dies. 

 

Or maybe I have an overdeveloped sense of guilt. Anyway.

 

Yes, Jean Genie and I went to Key West for a week, which was brilliant. Key West was a good choice, as it was as stress-free a place as you can imagine. The place we stayed at, JG's cousin's house, was not exactly stress-free, but we minimized the time we spent there and it was all okay. We preferred sipping iced fruity rum drinks by the pool anyway -- and we actually did that. For, like, an entire afternoon and evening. Rum Runners and french fries while we lounged in a swimming pool, man -- that's the life. We hung out on the beach, we had lots of lovely food, we drank many lovely drinks, we went snorkling, we rode a mechanical bull. (As a matter of fact, we participated in a "sexy bull riding contest." Because it was the only time in our lives we would have the opportunity to do so. I say, when somebody gives you the opportunity to do something you can never do again, you gotta go for it. Especially something that weird.)

 

4) And in unrelated news: I have a crush on one of my new co-workers already. Actually, it was kind of comical: my new boss -- we shall call her Mrs. Johnson -- took me to meet this guy, who we shall call Perfect Tommy. We met, they talked about a project for a minute, I went back to my cubicle and sat down, and said, "Oh no. That is so inconvenient." 

 

It was that immediate, it really was, like that Hugh Grant scene from Love, Actually. A few of them rolled together, actually. There's also the scene where Sam tells his stepdad Daniel that he's in love with the coolest girl in school, and Daniel chuckles, "Basically you're fucked, aren't you?" Because of course this guy is incredibly good-looking and wicked smart and cannot possibly be single.

 

So yes. There's that. It's awkward. I'm trying to get over it. And by "trying to get over it" I mean "fantasizing constantly."

 

*headdesk*

 

5) Oh, also, I auditioned for a play yesterday morning. I've been called back for tomorrow night, but I think the part is a lock -- the cheeky Cockney maid who gets friendly with the master of the house in Gaslight. I was basically the only person under 40 there who could read, so. It's community theater on a completely different level from anything I saw in Madison -- a much, much lower level. Anyway. I'll update after I find out whether I'm cast.

 

 

 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
Renfield
10 July 2009 @ 08:36 pm
So, it has been an emotional roller-coaster of a day. 

First, Neil's cat is dying. He's not even a year old but it turns out he has a congenital condition that has taken a sudden turn for the worse. He may only have a few weeks, at this point. I've been on the phone with Neil off and on all day. He's been in California for the last month and the kitten has been at his parents' house, so he feels guilty, but there's really nothing that could have been done and no way to know this was going to suddenly happen. And he's just shattered -- this is the first pet he's ever had, and the first living creature that's shared his home, and he's just in love with the little guy. Neil's coming back on Monday and I'm really hoping that the kitten hangs in there until after I get back from Key West, just so we can celebrate his first -- and only -- birthday. I'm very fond of them both, and this is just really awful and unfair.

Which made finding out today that the org I interviewed with a few weeks ago is planning to make me an official offer next week sort of a head-spinner. I mean, obviously I'm over the moon -- except I'm not, right now, because of the whole Neil thing. So I'm hoping to get actually happy about that soon, because it's exactly what I wanted; it's the solution to the problem I posted morosely about just last night. I just... it's hard to get excited when the kitten is dying, you know?

 
 
Current Mood: sadsad/happy?
 
 
Renfield

Filled in for a co-worker today, which meant working the 10 a.m. shift. It went fine -- it was more tiring than my usual shift, because there's just more work to be done, but it was nice to do the normal commute. On the way out, though, I just got overwhelmed as I realized that I ought to be headed to rehearsal, or to see friends, or go on a date. And that if were going to get the job I interviewed for, I could be, but at this point that doesn't really seem plausible anymore.

 

This is just in no way the life I want to live.


Raining in BaltimoreCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: sadmiserable
 
 
 
Renfield
28 June 2009 @ 08:09 am
1) I interviewed for a job last Friday. I didn't want to say anything because I have been trying not to get too excited or optimistic. The HR guy emailed me Wednesday and said the interview had gone very well and could I send my references. So I did and now I'm desperately hoping that they do what they said they'd do and warn me before they call my current boss -- Toby -- so that I can tell him they're going to call him and also, by the way, I'm looking for a job.

Honestly, I don't think it will come as a big surprise; pretty much everybody at my level -- non-management -- at WJM is looking for a job, because the layoffs continue and the pay cuts suck. It's a crappy job and he knows that, and I would like to think that he would be understanding that I'm not going to stay in it for the long haul. But rationality is not necessarily Toby's strong suit.

The job I'm in the running for would be a web design (but not development, thank god), science writer and video guru position. They want a lot of varied skills and my weird work history actually leaves me with a lot of them. But we'll see. I'm determined not to get ahead of myself.

2) Also, I'm going on vacation.

Well, the vacation may wind up being a sort of a consolation prize if I don't get the job. Jean Genie and I have a plan to go to Key West. I, in fact, have a plane ticket for Key West. But the trip is planned for July 20-25. Now, Managing Editor actually let me schedule that week off, surprising the hell out of me (he denied my last vacation request). So it's a question of timing:  if I do get offered the job and they do that this week, I can still do my two weeks at WJM and then hopefully the new place would be cool with me taking another week before I start. Or if they don't make up their mind until right around when I'm leaving for Key West, then I can basically go ahead and go and then give two weeks notice when I get back -- again, if they're cool with me starting in three weeks instead of two. On the other hand, I'm trying to constantly remind myself that they might not offer me the job at all, and I should just concentrate on the trip and not worry about the stuff I have no control over.

The trip will involve a lot of lying on the beach and rum drinks with little umbrellas and sailing and snorkeling. I've never been on a vacation without my parents -- I mean, an actual vacation rather than a mass encampment with the whole tribe, which, while fun, are usually not much less stressful than real life, and anyway the last three of those involved weddings which are in fact the opposite of vacation. This is going to be fantastic.

Although I just realized that I'll probably need a bathing suit. Sigh. 

3) My computer is in its final throes of terminal obsolescence. It's weird: I still feel like it's new, even though it was a Christmas present in 2004, which is a long time ago for a computer these days. I swear, computers used to last longer. Also, I'm in denial about how long ago that actually was. The Marquis has been with me through a lot. But he's about to get power cord number four -- the current one has tape all over and I have to squeeze it and wiggle it every minute or so to keep it going. What's covered in tape is a bundle of completely frayed copper wire, which is obviously a fire hazard. The battery is completely shot. Plus I can't upgrade his system software because everything newer than what he's got requires an Intel processor, which means even though his hardware is still totally serviceable, it's terminally out-of-date. I'm not selling him, though -- it never hurts to have a back-up, and I can use him for storage, still.

The new computer will be either the 13.3 inch aluminum (2Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 160GB hard drive, from macconnection reconditioned for $909 plus warranty) or the snow 13 inch (2.13 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 160 GB hard drive, from macconnection for $924 plus warranty), and if anybody can tell me a good reason to go with the new snow over the recon aluminum, or even what the significant difference is between those two computers, I'd appreciate all the help I can get. (The new aluminum is $1019, which isn't a huge difference, but I'd just as soon not pay extra just for the privilege of being the first to get my hands on the thing.)

The computer will be paid for with a handsome check I'm expecting from the government. The new homeowner's credit in 2008 was $7,500, plus my regular refund of about $600. Most of that's going into a CD to be a rainy day fund, but I'm taking about $1200 out to buy the new computer and another $300 to make a few purchases that I've been putting off because I have no money -- basic but stupidly expensive things like some new bras and something for guests to sleep on in the guest room.

So yes, stuff is happening. Stay tuned for scenes from next week's Life with Flamingo.
 
 
Current Mood: awake
 
 
Renfield
16 June 2009 @ 06:21 pm
So, okay, I have a TV show. I mean, a TV show I now have to watch. This was totally unplanned.

People have been telling me for months to watch this or that -- Dollhouse, usually -- and I've been insisting that I just don't watch fictional episodic television anymore. Everything I watch gets cancelled or starts to suck eventually, so I would only watch something that had already been canceled. So I couldn't kill it. Plus, I would start watching it, and then something shiny would come along and I'd stop, and then I'm just left with one more unfinished task in my life, like, I can't even get past season two of Angel, how am I ever going to get a new job?

Anyway, Neil made me watch Reservoir Dogs last weekend because I'd never seen it and he's British so he thinks it's the Best Thing Ever. (Which is kind of true.) And I discovered Tim Roth -- which is weird because I've seen a bunch of his movies, and in fact watched Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead over and over again during my Gary Oldman phase -- but this was his movie, this movie and poor, heroic, doomed Mr. Orange. And now I luff him and must watch everything that he does. Except for Planet of the Apes, because, dude. That's a shitty movie. Actually -- no, actually, I'll post sometime about the awesome disappointment that was Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, but another time. The point is, now I've got this jones for Tim Roth movies, and I noticed he was on a recent TV show that Hulu conveniently has a half-dozen episodes of, Lie to Me.

So I glanced at the IMDb for this show and one of the top news stories listed on its page was about the shows that were canceled at the end of the season and I was like, well, just maybe one or two. I'm sure it sucks; everything on TV does these days. And it's finite, so if it doesn't suck I can lament it, but can't kill it.

So first of all, it's actually not that bad. It's got serious first-season-itis -- who am I? why am I here? -- it seems to say. But it's not bad. But Kelli Williams is surprisingly good -- blessedly sans bitchface, which she pretty much had through the whole of The Practice -- and Roth is delightful, of course. The writing isn't fabulous, but it's not bad, and the supporting cast is, by and large, a little bit better than that of, say, CSI : Miami. I mean, totally interchangeable with, but still better than.

Also, turns out it got renewed for the fall. Although with me watching, that can't last.

The point is: I seriously have to get a life before next season or I'm inevitably going to go all fangirly about this and I am so over that.
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
Renfield
11 June 2009 @ 04:03 pm
Again, not good with the posting lately. ... Yeah.

So here's a useful piece of information for anyone considering a bizarre shift: 

"The February 15, 2005 issue of American Family Physician noted that shift work has been associated with cluster headaches. Health problems in the short term can also include fatigue, stress and loss of concentration, a higher rate of absence from the job and poor sexual performance, as shown in the majority of 200 variable-shift workers in a recent study in Kuwait... Multiple studies have documented a link between night shift work and the increased incidence of breast cancer." (Thanks as always, Wikipedia)

All of that stuff is true. What they don't mention is that the effect is insidious, and cumulative. So you have a shitty first few weeks, and then it gets easier, and you think you've adapted. This isn't so bad, you say. It's kinda cool to be awake at this hour. It's like a movie, at the beginning, especially if you work in TV news with an old industry veteran and ex-Army lunatic who looks like Hunter Thompson and loses his mind about one thing or another every few hours. If I do ever write a movie, that guy's definitely gonna be a character.
 

After about six months, it's less like a movie and more like Chinese water torture. Slow, inexorable, deeply unpleasant, and completely maddening for reasons far more complex than a simple lack of sleep. They lay off that guy, and while the girl who replaces him is really nice, she's even sleepier and less accustomed to the hours, besides being the queen of mundane stories about the cute thing her kid did, so she's useless as a means to pretend that this whole experience is significant or meaningful or profound.

After a year -- it was a year Tuesday -- you pretty much just want to rip your fucking eyeballs out of your head every moment that you're awake.

...


Also I'm realizing why so many guys in journalism -- in particular the guys who didn't come in with a journalism degree and a network of connections to keep them out of shit assignments like this -- are so fucking weird. And look, I know I didn't start out the picture of sanity, but I seriously don't want to turn into the old night desk guy. Because seriously, when one of the day shift deskers quit, they still couldn't hire him back. Even those of us who really liked him agreed, he just can't be around actual daylight-dwelling people. He'd bug out. I don't want to be that guy.


...
The job search is not going well. I've lost count of how many I've applied for; exactly one has bothered to reply with a rejection. To say that I'm getting frustrated would be an understatement.

The most frustrating part is that -- okay, I hate my job. But I think if I worked a reasonably normal shift, I might be okay with it. I think my bosses would not give me panic attacks by having conversations I can't quite hear right behind me if I weren't, you know, overcome with paranoia and batshit craziness. Captain Fucking Paranoia has landed in a big way, y'all. I think I would not feel nauseous the sight of my boss and I would be able to cope with basically being a slightly literate button-pusher in the grand scheme of things if after work I could go have a life. Do an audition, have dinner with Sparky and Bartlet for America, go out for drinks with the coworkers I might be able to stand if they would stop TURNING INTO LIZARDS.

...

That's really all there is to say.
 
 
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: "brief candles," the zombies
 
 
Renfield
29 May 2009 @ 04:33 pm
Never let it be said that I never learned anything from nikitangel...Collapse )


Anyway. Yes.

Tomorrow night, there is an awesomeness on the schedule:  Artomatic. It's apparently this centralized multimedia festival of music and performance art and studio art and film and awesomeness. Cannibal Cheerleaders and Hamsters from Hell, FTW! I convinced Neil that he spends too much time in his apartment, and by means of agreement he suggested this. Sometimes he just impresses the hell out of me, you know?
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
Renfield
First off, thanks to erikharrison , pointnopoint  and trillian42  for your supportive comments on my last post. It was one of those days when everything sucks already, and that happens, and you know you won't sleep at night if you don't do something but you undertake the doing of something with the sinking knowledge that, when it comes down to it, you simply just don't care. And that was what I really felt guilty about: I did what I did to do to save myself the sleepless nights, not because I actually cared in the slightest what happened to any of these people. I used to care. I think the news has pretty much annihilated all interest or warmth I may have had towards humanity as a whole.

I came home today to find the baby-momma of the boyfriend of my next door neighbor screaming about how he can't spare five fucking dollars to get his son who he never did a damn thing for out of jail. Now there are children making child-noises outside and somebody in an adjacent condo or apartment playing shitty bass-heavy music.

So really, it's not just the news.

Speaking of which, the news was exhausting today. Out of a web team of five, Toby and I were the only ones who didn't call in sick. So I did a 10.5 hour day, and he'll do at least that. This sucked all the life out of me, but on the other hand, I get overtime. So that means I'll get another -- math -- almost 80 bucks. Which, sadly enough, I desperately need.  In the last couple of weeks I've gotten a haircut, taken Door to the vet and filled my prescriptions, which means I'm broke. Now the dentist is sending me a bill out of nowhere for another hundred, which I need to call about once I dig up the prior paperwork. Oh, and the IRS says I still owe them from 2005. Which, truth to tell, I probably do. I was distracted in 2006 and my taxes were kind of a mess.

Anyway, obnoxious neighbors aside, the migraine that's threatening in my right temple still has WJM's name on it. I'm going to Neil's on Sunday night and I may well call in sick for Monday.

 
 
Current Mood: angryangry