Friday, February 29, 2008

Fries with that?

I was in the cafeteria lunch line waiting to order a turkey wrap when I overheard the person in front of me order a mayonnaise and American cheese sandwich on white bread. The thought of it made me retch and almost change my mind about eating. I don’t know what I had been pondering in the second or two before hearing the person in front of me place her order, but whatever it was, it was replaced with this: “OH MY GOD! That’s one thing you’d never hear come out of my mouth!” – which of course got me thinking . . . what else would you never hear come out of my mouth? Here’s my list:

10. Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order please?
09. Do these leather pants make my ass look fat?
08. Sure hon, why don’t you drive for a while.
Your mouth probably needs a rest.
07. I do.
06. Alex, I'll take Islamic Law for a thousand, please.
05. How do you get to the Hyundai dealership?
04. Sure. I’d love to contribute to your campaign!
03. Why yes! As a mater of fact, these ARE Jordache Jeans.
02. Hi. One ticket for Les Miserables please.
01. No. I don’t mind if you sit next to me during the flight. By the way, is that a seatbelt extender?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Feet!

Mmmmm! Stylish!

And Comfee!

[Cue the Hallelujah Chorus for full dramatic effect].

After much discussion, apprehension, and procrastination, (click here, here, & here for details) I finally have my clogs!!!! I’ve been going on about getting these for over a year now and I’ve finally found a pair that look stylish, are comfee and don’t look like boats on my size 12 feet. I’ve never owned a pair before and these might just be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.

Now that I have them, I’ve taken a terrible disliking to all-things-footwear (other than my clogs) that reside in my closet. While showering or shaving in the morning, I find myself contemplating the possibility of wearing clogs with a business suit or to court. It always ends the same – with me wearing my Johnston & Murphys to work, grumbling about the lunacy of having to wear a suit at all.

Previously, on non-court / non-client days I’d rejoice at being able to dress down or better yet, wear jeans to work. Now, every time I see an appointment free day on my calendar, I immediately hear the word “CLOGS!” followed by 20 seconds of the Hallelujah Chorus. Ok. So the novelty hasn’t worn off yet. It’s just how I am. All I can say is that buying these clogs and now wearing them every chance I get has been doing a wonderful job satiating that part of my brain previously preoccupied with drugs. So sue me! Or better yet, go put on a pair right now and see if you don’t feel the rush . . .

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Like I need to know . . .

When I was in grade school I regularly wondered whether I would ever “need” much of what I was being taught. You know what I’m talking about . . . crap like how to find the area of a parallelogram or how many pairs of chromosomes there are on pig genes (19). I got to thinking about this the other day and was sort of rummaging through the dustbin of my mind, examining some of the useless information I acquired. I can’t believe how much stuff is in my head that I’ll never use. I jotted some of them down.

Here’s a partial list of some of the things I’ve learned that have proven entirely useless to me. I still may get onto a TV game show yet, so there’s hope that some of this crap may come in handy someday. In the meantime, this is utterly useless:

1. How to diagram a gerund (a what?)
2. The capital of all fifty states;
3. Attached earlobes is a dominant trait;
4. Helium is an inert gas;
5. Pluto is (was) the planet farthest from our Sun;
6. The square of anything;
7. Irrational numbers (nuff said);
8. Past perfect tense (and future perfect tense);
9. French;
10. How to calculate the radius of anything;
11. The science behind sublimation;
12. The “A” above middle “C” is tuned to 440 cycles (of what?);
13. Anything involving direct current;
12. The temperature at which water boils (212 F / 100 C)
13. The direction toilets flush below the equator;
14. How much government subsidized milk you can get for a nickel (ok – that was lunch)
15. Animal Farm and any lessons you might glean there from;
16. How many phonemes an infant can distinguish between compared to a 6 year old;
17. The rules of the game of basketball;
18. Anything involving Pi
(that 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097 thing).
19. That problem involving two trains leaving two places at the same time but traveling at different speeds (or cars, or planes or horses . . . );
20. What colors you get when you mix different combinations of primary colors.

Here’s what I absolutely could have afforded to learn in grade school but unfortunately was deprived of this information until it was too late:

1. Nothing good can come from knowing more than your teacher;
2. There is no truth, only perceptions;
3. The golden rule – he who has the gold makes the rules;
4. Being tall and beautiful will just about take care of any problem you might have;
5. There’s no justice – just us;
6. It CAN happen to me;
7. Everything, everything, everything is negotiable;
8. The President of the United States is NOT your friend;
9. Voting is like choosing between a stick in the eye or a punch in the gut;
10. There is a force in this universe much more powerful than me.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

King of Nothing - Redux

One of the hardest things about ascending from the position of supervisor to the position of “The Boss” is embracing and wearing the mantel of authority – particularly if you’re plagued by insecurity and happen to be a recovering addict.

When I agreed to be the managing partner of our firm’s newest office, I tried to work a deal where I wouldn’t be required to “really be the boss.” I was promised that there were other people in our organization that would handle all of the ugliness and insanity I would otherwise be expected to confront, like tough decisions, making people unhappy, firing slackers, deciding compensation, etc.

I loved this arrangement! In fact, it’s one of the main reasons I agreed to take the job. And it would protect me from what happened before. The last time I owned and managed my own office, I couldn’t handle the pressures of being “the boss.” It was during that three year period that my drinking and drugging got so out of hand that I ended up losing the business and going into rehab. There was just no way that I could let that happen again, so agreeing to be “The Boss” again was out of the question – hence my special arrangement.

However, once I arrived at my new job and opened up the office, I quickly discovered that not only had the special arrangement been just talk, it would have been impossible to effectuate even if the arrangement had been for real. Simply put, you can’t be the boss and not BE the boss. Much to my dismay, I’ve found myself making all of the decisions I feared having to make. Up until now, it hasn’t been the nightmare I anticipated. Though I’ve had to be the bad guy and enforcer many times and set a few people straight, there hasn’t been any bloodshed.

That’s about to change. One of my associates needs to be fired and it’s falling on me to take care of this unpleasantness. I hate him for it and I hate myself for letting myself get back into this position. My drinking is quietly watching from the sidelines, like a coach who must decide whether to keep his quarterback in the game or bench him. And it’s killing me. My preferred method for dealing with this until now has been procrastination. I’ve needed to fire this guy since at least November but I keep putting it off while secretly waiting for a miracle. I’ve been having nightmares about relapse and am terrified of the narcotics I keep in my desk drawer. I filled the prescription given to me by my doctor, following my car accident in December and have been very careful with my dosing. But every pill in that bottle knows my name and when they all sing it in chorus, the sound is maddening. I’ve thrown the bottle in the trash twice only to later fish it out in a moment of weakness, panic and shame. I keep it just in case.

If that’s not bad enough, I’ve started binge eating again and have completely ruined all of my hard earned results following a two-year love affair with the South Beach Diet. My clothes don’t fit, I feel like crap and I’m completely depressed. [The coach checks his clipboard and jots all of this down then checks his watch and looks at the giant game clock hovering over the field of play and whispers something into his microphone.]

Last Monday, my therapist told me that none of this has anything to do with work and has everything to do with my unresolved father issues. He told me that “becoming the boss and growing into your power doesn’t mean that you have to kill or replace your father – that the prince doesn’t necessarily have to kill the king in order to take the throne.” He said that my fear of power is deep seated because my father used his power against me so injuriously, so unfairly and with such venom. He said that it would make sense that I would always feel the need to run away from the mantel of authority should anyone try to cloak me with it. And that of course I’d feel the need to numb out and hide under such circumstances. He also gave me permission to let it all go. And he spent the better part of the hour encouraging and supporting me and reminding me about love.

So in the meantime, I’m vibrating somewhere between two places – one where I perhaps am meant to be “The Boss” – the king of my domain – and the other, a much more familiar place, the king of nothing.