Friday, June 26, 2009

nearly gone

Our time in Tucson is winding down. The apartment is almost completely packed (the boxes are driving me nuts), and I’m getting sad to leave the office. It feels sort of like the last day of school, but with less signing-of-yearbooks and smearing-of-desks-with-shaving-cream. Granted, I still have another week, but I’ll be displaced from my workspace when the new girl starts on Monday, and things just won’t be the same I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure I’ve complained to most of you about my job (or should I say, complained about PEOPLE I’ve had to work with), but I’ve got to admit that the past two and a half years I’ve spent in this office have been good ones, and this experience will be hard to leave behind.

Which is not to say I haven’t had my fair share of things put on my plate that NO ONE should ever have to deal with. The most recent of these trials cannot be put delicately, so I’m just going to come right out and say it: a human took a dump in our parking lot. The culprit gave their species away by leaving a stash of toilet paper nearby. Poor Darren had no idea it was lurking there in his assigned spot, and ran it right over one Monday morning about six weeks ago. As the office administrator, and liaison for building maintenance, it was up to me to handle the situation. An uncomfortable phone call to the landlord later (“uh, a human took a dump in our parking lot, please send someone to clean it up”), and I figured it had been taken care of. They sent a cleaning crew, who subsequently billed us for the work, so I assumed it was done. It wasn’t until a month later that poor Vince, whose assigned spot is directly next to Darren’s, carefully brought up the issue with me that it had never been cleaned up. WHAT!!!? Another uncomfortable phone call was placed to the landlord, who was very apologetic and assured me that it would definitely be taken care of the next morning. I gave him the exact parking spot number, all of which are clearly marked, before hanging up the phone.

Next morning, I learned from the landlord’s assistant that the cleaning crew had arrived bright and early only to search the entire parking lot in vain before giving up and leaving to another job site. “Are you sure it’s really there? Have you seen it with your own eyes?” she asked.

Now. I’m a fairly patient person at work, but by this point I was fuming. FINE I told her, I WILL GO OUT TO THE PARKING LOT MYSELF TO GET A GOOD LOOK AT THE POO AND CALL YOU BACK. I marched outside, went directly to Darren’s spot, looked at the poo (which, though partially flattened and sunbaked, was still VERY visible), then promptly called the landlord’s assistant back to let her know I’d seen it with my own eyes, and that it was EXACTLY where I’d told her it would be. Apologetic again, I was told the cleaning crew would be dispatched one third and final time to clean it up. BUT, she asked, would you be so kind as to meet them in the parking lot and point them in the right direction? (AAAAARRRRGH)

An hour and a half later, I angrily stomped the cleaning crew supervisor to within a two-foot radius of the filth, POINTED AT IT, and made sure to remark aloud that it was just exactly where I had described it to be. AND YOU WONDER WHY IT’S YOUR JOB TO CLEAN HUMAN FECES OUT OF PARKING LOTS. Dishonest people make me mad.

Anyway, I guess stuff like that kept things interesting here. Human poo in parking lots is the spice of life. Didn’t someone say that once? I can’t be the first person to make that statement. And that wasn’t the only crazy thing I’ve had to deal with since taking this job, though, admittedly, was probably the most outrageous. There was also the drive-by shooting, that one lady that was being beaten by her spouse in our parking lot, and a full-blown cop stake-out in our downstairs conference room (they were watching the dumpster, which had been filled to the brim the night before with drug paraphernalia. As if the perpetrators were going to return in broad daylight the very next day, just to have another fond look at the garbage they left!! Silly cops, having to feel like they’re doing something all the time).

I digress. What I was trying to say is that, though there have been some crazy times, I’m feeling a little sad as I pack up my desk. Most of my belongings here at work are now sitting in a cardboard box in an empty office. The rest are in the fridge, calling my name.

Wish us luck this weekend – it’s going to be a busy one.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


...Please don't ruin this moment for me with suggestions like "assistant to his publicist's assistant", or "Twitter robots", or what-have-you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's not you, it's me

During my most recent trip to Salt Lake, the topic of my vomit phobia somehow came up. It’s something my family has always understood about me (as much as someone can “understand” an irrational fear, I suppose), but Annie’s husband Steve had a hard time wrapping his mind around it. It’s something that’s incredibly hard to explain, since it’s not like anyone ENJOYS the sound of someone throwing up, or the smell, or what have you. Like, I’ll mention “I’m terrified of vomit” and the well-meaning person on the other end of the conversation enthusiastically cuts in, “OMG, me TOO! I HATE throwing up or seeing someone throw up!” No, you don’t understand, I AM TERRIFIED OF VOMIT.

My typical anti-retch line of defense is to run. If I’m in a situation where I can’t run, I slide to the floor with my hands clamped to my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, and sweat profusely. I woke up once to the sound of Jon sick in the bathroom a few years back, and when he finally emerged he found me in a ball on the kitchen floor. It startled me half to death when he gently touched my shoulder to snap me out of it. And it doesn’t matter who is around. The fear grips me and the reaction is always the same. Much to the amusement of my friends, I once ended up halfway underneath the back seat of my friend Christa’s Jeep in high school when a group of us encountered a sick man in the McDonald’s drive through. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

But like I said, if at all possible, I run. Like the time my mom and I carried a deathly ill Annie to the truck for emergency care and I took off the second she threatened to throw up. Unfortunately, the moment occurred when Annie was only stuffed halfway inside the vehicle. In sprinting away, I left my poor mother attempting to simultaneously rescue the precariously positioned invalid from sliding out of the truck and desperately prepare a plastic bag know. Catching. Stuff.

Sorry mom. Sorry Annie.

Or that one time during youth conference when, right in middle of someone’s testimony, a panic-stricken 16 year old stood up in the middle of the chapel and shouted “Is there a doctor here?? Is there a DOCTOR??” I was sitting in the very back row and I was OUTTA THERE. Regrettably, my choice of footwear didn’t make for a subtle getaway. It was silent as the shocked congregation stared at him, mouths agape, but wait, what’s that noise? Flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop, there goes Jessie, sprinting out of the building. A friend told me afterwards that she was so impressed that my first reaction had been to run and call an ambulance. AN AMBULANCE! Nope, just looking out for Number One. That’s me. And as it turned out, he was having an asthma attack, not preparing to projectile vomit all over the house of the Lord.

Anyway, this is my life-long predicament. A prevailing fear of vomit. The implications for the future freak me out a little, I won’t lie. For example, what will happen when I have kids? From what I’ve heard, kids throw up constantly. Non-stop. And what about when a stranger is violently ill while also bleeding to death, and I’m the only person to apply pressure to their wound?? What then? Will I be able to handle it??

These are questions I do not have the answers to. I guess I’ll cross those bridges when I get there. In the meantime, please give me at least a twenty second head start if you’re feeling queasy. Kthxbai.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some people's kids

So a few weeks ago at church, a lady stood up during the announcements to inform everyone that she was throwing a baby shower for a member of the congregation, and that “pretty much everyone here will be getting an invitation this week”, she just hadn’t gotten around to mailing them yet. But, you know, just keep an eye out, because they were on their way.

Then yesterday it was announced that the baby had arrived: A healthy, happy boy, 8 pounds blah blah blah.

My invite must be lost in the mail.

PS – Completely unrelated: Does anyone need a crib? I bought one a few weeks ago as a gift but never had the chance to give it to the intended recipient…


Edited to Add: [sigh] I didn’t think I would have to say this, but three days of people asking me “Wow, you really bought that girl a crib for her shower?!” has forced me into it. I DID NOT BUY A CRIB FOR THE SHOWER. I didn’t buy a gift of any kind for the shower. I hardly even know the girl. In fact, she doesn’t even live in the ward anymore (yet still in the stake), which just adds to the absurdity of the original announcement. My point was that a crazy lady stood up in front of everyone and let us know that there was an upcoming baby shower, but that not everyone would be invited.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Plague Seated in 3B

The stench of beef jerky hit me as he hoisted his backpack into the overhead bin. He must have just swallowed the last morsel as he situated his 7 foot tall body into the seat next to me. The smell was even more appalling than his stringy little moustache. Instantly I pressed myself as close as I could to the wall and tried my hardest to ignore him. He was more than willing to expand his carcass into the extra room I inadvertently created, taking over the center armrest and extending a hairy leg into my personal space.

I tried to seem completely absorbed in my Sky Mall magazine to avoid conversation, and was relieved when, out of the corner of my eye, I could see him sticking in some earplugs. TWENTY SECONDS LATER he was snoring. Actually snoring. Loudly. Mouth agape. Lips twitching.


He roused himself a few minutes after we flew over the Grand Canyon and took a sudden interest in the scenery. He unbuckled his seatbelt and positioned his face an inch from mine in order to stare intently out the window. I grudgingly tolerated it…..until I was assaulted by the horrible blast of a jerky-burp straight to the face. Seasoned-meat-mingled-with-bile-induced nausea is a long, hard recovery, but I eventually pulled through, repositioned my magazine so that it completely covered the window, and began turning the pages as slowly as I possibly could. There was still forty minutes of flight time. HOW WOULD I MAKE IT OUT ALIVE????


He then began bobbing and weaving about, trying out every angle to see around my magazine. From the top, from underneath, craning his head around the side. All this motion caused another rumbling in his tummy, resulting in a belch even more revolting than the first. I only had a few pages left in my magazine! I had to make them last the remainder of the flight! But, no, the smell, OH HOLY ROTTING MEAT the smell!!! I couldn’t do it – I pulled my magazine from the window and began desperately fanning the air around me. Once it had dispersed, I deliberately faced the wall, blocking the window as best I could with my face and shoulders, and counted the minutes.

Tenderest of tender mercies, we landed without any more assaults to my senses. I SURVIVED. But I would be lying by omission if I didn’t add that as we taxied down the home stretch, I summoned up a treat of my own, silently willing it to be the most obscene burp of all time, and blew it in his direction.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

ready, set, go

There are ten thousand pictures so I'm jumping right into it. I'm pleased to report that I finished my Cafe Rio pork salad long before 8:00pm my first night in Salt Lake. Corinne and my mom picked me up from the airport, and Annie met us after dinner. The next morning we drove to Heber to have breakfast at a fun little spot called Breadstix and to see Annie's new house, which is adorable. Here's my ma and me at the restaurant. We look like pals, don't we? WE ARE.

At Annie's house, I had my first sip of raw milk. Straight out of the cow, and up until very recently, illegal to sell in the US. Notice I said 'sip'. Annie loves it, so that's all I'm going to say about it. Other than this: it tasted like it came out of the cow's butt. Aftertaste of Manure. Five minutes after I tried it, I explained to everyone that I kept smelling farm, and realized it was originating FROM MY MOUTH.

On the way back from Heber we hit up the outlets in Park City and got Slurpees.

We spent a lot of time outside on the patios enjoying the beautiful weather and my grandparents' amazing yard. Here's a picture of the front; jealous?

Corinne and Annie in the backyard :: BABY BUMP. Corinne was in her 30th week.

Penny's future best friend, Gunner, mauling The General.

He's the funniest looking lab on earth.

My parents at the Asian Star:

Great pic of The General with his dog:

Corinne wouldn't have wanted me to post this, but I love it: I caught her when she was genuinely laughing. I don't want to alarm anyone, but I'm kind of a professional photographer.

BABY SHOWER! This chicken salad was amazing. My ma is the best chicken salad maker EVER and she makes better chicken salad than ANYONE.

I made these cupcakes using baby food instead of oil. Get it? Baby food? For a baby shower?

LOVE THIS PICTURE. My sisters are so hot.

Present time:


The best onesie of the day went to me, if I may say so myself. Amazing.

The most disappointing onesie of the day also went to me. I blame it on the fabric markers. They were snaggy and unwieldy. I was told that the end result was so terrible, not even the local battered women’s shelter would take it. EXTREME SAD FACE :-( :-( :-(

First person to spot Annie in the crowd wins!

Why YES, this IS a picture of The General in a TIE-DYED DO-RAG AND LEATHER CHAPS, thanks for asking!

He wanted in on the onesie fun.


Steve's impersonation of Annie simultaneously raking through her hair and chewing her fingernails while signing their close-out documents on their new house:

Boba tea. Who has ever heard of it?? Not me, until a few days ago. Those huge black things are "tapioca pearls" and you suck them up through the straw while also drinking the smoothie. It's a DRINK you have to CHEW. Weird but good.

Quick story - on my way to the car to get breakfast for our picnic in Sugarhouse Park (pictured below) ... I HYDROPLANED across a puddle of water and ended up on the ground, in a crab-race-ready position. It was spectacular.


Monday, June 01, 2009

(in bed)

I got this little after-dinner gem during a family outing to the Asian Star in Salt Lake. You can imagine the subsequent delight the entire family experienced at Jon's expense. It became even more hilarious when I called him to relay the fortune and he quickly responded with, "What, are you having an affair?!"