Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Okay, I'm going to have to buy a space heater for my office. The fact that it's a constant 62 degrees in here is killing me. Maybe it's fine for the bulky men in suits, but I'm wearing two sweaters just to break even, and trying to type with cold, numb fingers is deterimental to my word processing. I wonder if studies have been done on the correlation between unreasonably low thermostat settings and the number of typos per document.

That's all I have to say about that. I'm also considering giving up blogging. It's depressing when all I have to talk about is how cold I am. I hate people like that, and I have no desire to be one of them. There are many more interesting blogs than mine out there. Go out and see for yourself. Go on! Shoo. I promise not to be witty and clever while you're gone.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Near the entrance to our building is a sad little table and chair reserved for job applicants. When some poor soul comes in, hat in hand, seeking employment, he's sent over to the table to fill out an application. Then everyone else, those lucky folks who have jobs in this economy, can walk by and peer over his shoulder, wondering at the turn of affairs that landed him here in such a sorry state.

This morning, the job applicant was particularly heartbreaking. Stocky, middle-aged, balding. Not attractive, but respectable-looking. Married (gold ring on his finger). He reminded me of my dad.

If his resume were an ad for a used car, it might have read: "Clean, dependable transportation. Good gas mileage. Some wear on body & interior, otherwise in good shape. Best offer."

Because my dad has had a comb-over for as long as I can remember, I have a sort of familiar affection for other men who do. I get defensive when people make fun of them and wonder why he doesn't just shave his head. My dad would joke about how little hair he had as if it didn't matter to him, and then painstakingly arrange those few hairs as if he were bargaining for just a little more time with each one of them.

And so it seemed to be with this man. He had a certain look of earnestness as he penciled in the addresses of former employers. The lines around his eyes reminded me of the periods when my dad was out of work and spent long, tedious hours scouring the want-ads, visiting potential employers only to return home tired and defeated. I wanted to go with my dad on those visits, to stand next to him holding onto his hand and enthusiastically explain to the bosses how wonderful my dad was, how hard he worked to care for us, and how smart, how dedicated, how kind he was.

I wondered if this man had kids at home who would have gladly stood beside him at the lonely applicant table, met my curious gaze defiantly and announced, "This is my dad. Anyone should be glad to hire him."

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Thanks to all who voted in the poll, the business has a name! We are now...

Disenchanted Princess Cards & Gifts

Look for items soon in a trendy retail store near you!

Here ends the shameless self-promotion. At least until the website is up and running. Giggle.

Friday, August 09, 2002

My friend Fluid and I are starting a business! We'll be making edgy, unique, artistic greeting cards for edgy, unique, artistic people.

Because edgy, unique, artistic things make the world go 'round.

Help us name it, and I promise you'll instantly feel more in touch with your inner artist!

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Cars and sex. Apparently there's more similarity between the two that I had thought.

For example, did you know that your local car dealer is looking for more than just a one night stand? It's true. This morning on the radio, I heard Mike Schmidt of Mike Schmidt Toyota tell me, "At Mike Schmidt Toyota, you're not just a number or a sale. We want to establish a relationship with you."

How flattering, I thought. But that's mighty presumptuous of you, Mike Schmidt. After all, we haven't even had dinner yet.

And maybe I'm not ready for a relationship with my car dealer at this stage of my life. There's something to be said for the quick and easy transaction, the no-strings-attached, no-questions-asked purchase. I know that someday I'll want that stability of one car dealer in my life, but for now I just want to see what's out there. Have fun shopping around. Experience what other car dealerships have to offer.

Forgive my lack of subtlety, Mike Schmidt. But at this point, it's not you I want. It's your Toyota.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

On my morning route to daycare with the kids, I always pass a certain old man who walks up the subdivision hills like clockwork. I shouldn't say "walk." He strides. His pace is better than any walker I've seen. And the best part is, he waves at every passing car. His whole arm shoots up in the air and he grins a mile wide, never breaking his relentless stride.

His other arm is attached to a leash, on the end of which a beautiful golden retriever keeps pace with him up those hills, pink tongue lolling out of its mouth, eyes bright and enthusiastic.

The first time he waved to me, I was caught off guard. People don't wave to strangers. I ignored him. I thought he was a nut. The next day, I gave in and smiled at him. Then I started smiling and lifting two fingers from my steering wheel. Before I knew it, I was grinning and waving wildly at the man as if he were an old friend I hadn't seen in twenty years.

He went on smiling and waving through the seasons, every single morning, whether it was 100 degrees or the roads were frozen over with ice. He and his dog made their trek no matter what.

Until one day when he simply wasn't there.

It took me a few days to notice. Then suddenly I realized I hadn't seen him for a week or longer. Maybe he had walked earlier. Or later. But it didn't make sense that he would change the routine that he'd kept for over 2 years. I assumed the worst, and I hoped that this physically active, friendly little old man wasn't stooped over in a nursing home from a stroke or heart attack where no one would smile and wave to him in the mornings.

About six months later, I finally saw him again, back on his usual route, keeping his vigorous pace, waving at the passing cars.

I saw why he must have been gone.

His beautiful dog was no longer with him.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

To the left is the Squeaky Weasel, official mascot of The Squeaky Weasel Gets the Grease.