Thursday, November 11, 2010

earworms and other things that come to mind

The worst earworms are of course, songs one doesn't like.  There is music in my office; one woman plays an internet station that mixes late 70s to current, with a decidedly whitish cast (read: no hip-hop or R&B), and I pretty much like it.  But she's been out for a couple of days, and the other woman has been playing Z-100, which is mostly pretty awful.  It's all pretty current stuff, and they play the same stuff over and over.  Which is not bad if it's Grenade by Bruno Mars or Teenage Dream by Katy Perry.  But that friggin' Neon Trees song (Animal) is making me insane.  I actually had to look up the band & name from the lyrics, which refuse to go out of my head.

I'm not sure what to say about work, after a month on the job.  Some days are very stressful and overwhelming, and some are more pleasant.  I have a couple of no-brainer tasks that tend to be a soothing break, sort of what labeling and stuffing mailers was in publishing.  Some people find that kind of thing dull, but sometimes I just need a break from talking and thinking tasks.  I'm getting to know my vendors, who are mostly very nice (except when they're looking for overdue payments), and the women who work in the factory.  The women in the factory and the design and OAK (one of a kind) design room are almost entirely Hispanic, and mostly Mexican, I think.  It helps to speak Spanish, which I don't, but I understand it a lot and they tend to understand more English than they speak, so we manage and we get along.  My officemates and staff co-workers are nice enough.  Management is fairly hands-off and not really warm & fuzzy.  It's a workplace for me, not a passion, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I had a bad experience some years back working in manufacturing, partially because the boss (whose assistant I was) was flat-out crazy and nasty.  But it wasn't my favorite atmosphere.  Maybe it's just a little too stratified for my both jobs, there was a distance between the administration and the factory workers that I haven't seen at other types of workplaces.  The workers have to punch in and out, and they actually have bells (like in school) for start and stop times, breaks, lunch time, etc. 

Then again, I have a three-day weekend to frolic and be myself, even if I don't have much frolicking money.

I found a woman on Facebook who is the younger sister of my best friend from around age eight to twelve, and I got an e-mail address for her.  I listened to the Monkees with Carla, tried on her mother's makeup, drew "dirty pictures" (mostly just naked men and women, though we only had a very vague idea of what males looked like unclothed), and shared a crush on a boy at school.  She transferred to a different school, and we lost touch.  But she was a great, great friend.  Her sister turned out to be neat, too -- she sets up big equipment towers at stadium rock shows.

It's birthday season, Barry's today, Robin's on Saturday, mine on the 18th.  (I just found out that I share my birthday with James Wormworth, a drummer from the New York blues scene who is now the regular drummer on Conan -- he used to fill in for Max Weinberg, but now the gig is all James'!)  I got Barry a new wallet, which he needed, and a Swiss Army Knife, which I knew he'd love.  We were at Jannah's this summer, and he showed his knife, which John pronounced an imitation.  Barry knew that it wasn't a real one, but I think he may have felt bad, since John is such a mister fix-it and master of all tools.  So I decided right then that I'd get Barry a really nice and genuine Swiss Army Knife.  This one has 17 gizmos!

Robin (don't read this!) is getting a cashmere scarf, since she's perpetually chilly. 

I did get myself an early gift yesterday.  This horrible, tacky Russian-owned gift shop opened on Avenue U a couple of years ago:  ugly vases and ugly decorative items and ugly jewelry.  Except that there was one, exactly one, really nice pair of earrings in the window, silver and marcasite with three long drops.  I didn't want to spend the $85, of course.  Then there was a For Rent sign in the window, indicated some price drops, and I thought I might go in and make a cash offer.  But after a couple of months For Rent, just a few days ago, they posted a Going Out of Business -- 50 to 70% Off sign.  I went in yesterday and the earrings were $40 and I bought them, since I had been hoping to get them at some point for $40-50.  Happy birthday to me.

I generally don't judge people by race or ethnic group, but I make an exception for Russians.  We lived in Brighton Beach for about seven months, maybe five years ago.  The Russians there were very insular, not at all interested in assimilating or even learning English, and were extremely rude to us.  No exceptions.  We would go into a store, and have to wait until every Russian-speaking person was served, even those who came in after us.  And the stores, decor and dress were uniformly ugly, tacky and over the top.  Very nouveau riche, fur coats in 60-degree weather and the like.  That awful, rude, mean woman who cut my hair this summer was Russian.  This doesn't mean that I dislike every Russian person right away -- in fact, the GYN I just saw (she's in the same practice as my regular GYN, who doesn't have Friday hours) is Russian, and I liked her very much.  I guess I do judge people as individuals, except I tend to have an expectation that Russian people will be unpleasant. which I guess is why I mentioned that the ugly gift shop was was a very particular kind of Russian ugly/tacky.

In icky news, I went to the GYN the other day for an uncomfortable external problem.  (Squeamish folk can stop reading now.)  I found out that I have something called Lichen Sclerosis, which is a condition where your skin (often in the genital area) gets whitish and thin and itchy and sore.  She prescribed two creams, leaned on me to get some overdue tests (mammogram, bone density, etc.), and recommended a procedure (they don't even call these things "outpatient surgery" any more -- it's an "ambulatory procedure") for my slight stress incontinence (which used to be a lot worse before I started doing kegels, but hasn't vanished).  And a colonoscopy.  So I'll be having a bunch of fun in my spare time.  In fact, I'm having three tests done on Sunday (the mammogram, bone density, and I've forgotten the third, maybe a breast sonogram).  (The doctor did a vaginal sonogram at my appointment.)  My regular doctor is trying to arrange to do the colonoscopy on a Friday -- like many of my doctors, he's religious, and doesn't usually work on Fridays at all.  And Barry's trying to schedule the other thing for me.  Barry's been a huge help in scheduling all this stuff, since I can't make the calls at work.

Robin and I are having our annual birthday dinner tomorrow; Leslie (also a November birthday) was part of it when she lived in NYC.  We're going for Indian food in the East Village, also a longstanding tradition.  We haven't done it much since she got all South Beach on me, but before that we ate cheap Indian food there for years and years.  We used to eat Indian food and browse in a few favorite shops, including the late lamented vintage-goods store Love Saves the Day, and the late lamented craftsy Back From Guatemala.  Fun fact:  BFG was the first store to ever carry and sell any of my jewelry.  They bought an ocean jasper Y-necklace for $20 as a try-out, sold it, and went out of business soon after.

Speaking of which, I'm in the middle of a fairly ambitious jewelry project.  I rarely make anything that I can't finish in one sitting, maybe two.  (Same way I used to write short poems rather than short stories or a novel.)  But I decided to make a six-strand necklace for myself, mostly focused on green: ruby zoisite, fancy jasper, green kyanite (!!), some bits and pieces of moss agate and malachite, and some small green-gold pearls.  Some of the strands will be knotted, but not all.  I was actually somewhat inspired by a Chan Luu necklace that I won in a drawing at Fragments, and which I've never worn because it's too short for me (16 inches).  I don't do chokers -- they're not comfortable or flattering on me.  But the necklace is lovely, five strands of coral in different shapes, some knotted and some not, with a big carnelian pendant.  I'm still not sure what to do with that necklace -- I don't want to give it away, don't want to take it apart, and it seems a little sacrilegious to make an extender.  The thing sold for $395 at the time I won it, and I do love it.  But I'm going to make the green necklace just for me, and at a length I like.

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