Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Washington is Waay Stressful Yo

So, remember how I was saying, Washington is soo great...how I love it and heart the USA sooo much??

I totally didn't count on having to WORK when I came back here.  This stupid "work" is impacting my blog time and my rigorous schedule of really stupid meetings is sucking the life out of me.  Plus, I come home and think I totally have to tell you guys about something really IMPORTANT -- like (for instance) TODAY -- when i'm sitting in this meeting and I notice a bowl of little mini-toblerones - and as the people are droning on and on AND ON -- usually using words I cannot understand and don't care to learn -- I study the assortment and notice that there are actually DARK chocolate toblerones....So now I'm thinking, not only is that shit potentially yummy, if my ability to pick and choose "facts" I read on the internet is correct -- that shit is also heart healthy.  (Like my nightly serving of one bottle of red wine is...)

So then, it's really just a matter of me deciding to make a healthy choice.  And I did it.  Mostly because Josh is not there to call me on it.  And nobody really seems to be paying attention to me.  And the bowl is toward the back of the table where all the insignificant people sit -- but yet "LUCKY" to be there because my office is only allowed to send 2 people and I'm totally one of those people you guys...totally...  that's how important-ey I am these days!!  Or, I happened to be sitting at my desk when the guy who was going walked by... Either way.

Anyway, I rip open the dark chocolate toblerone and am immediately reminded why foreign candy is far, far inferior to American candy.  The little triangle shapes.  What the hell is that?? Those triangles are wasting precious chocolate surface area!!  Then, after I take a bite, I remember that it has stupid chunks of honey in it.  WTF is that?? Why the hell would you put chunks of honey in your chocolate???  (A) It's not yummy; and (B) It just gets all stuck on your teeth - because apparently european honey has takes on the same characteristics as super glue when mixed with chocolate.

So now I'm sitting in the back of the meeting picking my teeth - trying (in vain) to get the damn honey flecks off of my teeth, mentally preparing the excuse I intend to give the dentist for how I managed to pull a tooth out of my mouth trying to get the honey un-stuck -- cursing European candy makers -- and I notice that everyone is staring at me...waiting.  Apparently, they've asked me to comment on something -- to which I obviously have not been listening...So, after I game it out and realize that I cannot fake an answer, like "well, you have a good point there...I'm not really sure..." because that only works if you have been tangentially listening to the conversation -- and I was utterly focused on my "healthy choice"...  I have to admit that I was distracted by the candy. 

Let's just say they were not amused.

So long story short - once again Europe has managed to eff up US diplomacy.

And the reason I have not been posting is because I come home and open the computer -- only to immediately get this:

Seriously!  Look at that little face!?! Who can resist that!?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It was Like That One Movie about the Cuban Missle Crisis, Only More Exciting...and it Pretty Much Ended in Two Hours...Which Is Better.

Okay, so today I sat through a 2.5 hour meeting -- which normally would put me over the edge and force me to verbally abuse the office intern for not knowing in advance that they should be on standby to interrupt any meeting where I might potentially be getting bored -- But I shouldn't have to TELL THEM when they need to show up. 

It's an internship!! There is a reason we don't pay you (because you could probably sue me).

Anyway, so this meeting was like edge of your seat diplomacy!!! There was action, there was adventure..there were donuts.   Everything you need to brew up some sort of international incident.  HOWEVER, this time it was not an incident of my making...

Okay, so NO SHIT! There we were.  Sitting in the most importanty of importanty conference rooms (that I'm allowed to use) for what will undoubtedly be the most crucial meeting of the year (for our intern).  So a team of crack diplomats from Team America are meeting with an unnamed (you have to wait for the movie) foreigners talking about issues that are on the cutting edge of our national policy and/or security!!! (I'm not trying to be coy with that one -- I just honestly wasn't paying attention and have no idea why we were meeting with these people....) 

So, naturally, because I'm a "seasoned leader" I realized that I am likely not qualified to actually speak for the USG in an official capacity -- So I ensured that the smart people were there to answer the questions after I finished pontificating.   So we're about halfway through the meeting and I am mentally congratulating myself for yet another international incident free day when the translator asks the Big Wig Foreigner (BWF) for clarification on what he means.  SUDDENLY, one of the USG smarty-pants leans in to clarify what he thinks the foreigner means (because that is always helpful!  Almost like when we lecture them on their culture and stuff...) and -- as if in slow-motion footage -- he lets out the most horrendous fart!!

I dont' even know how to describe it.  It started as kind of a high pitched whine and then ended with what sounded like rapid gunfire -- but only echo-ey (because we're in the big, marble, importanty conference room.   In the initial moments following the incident, the room was eerily silent -- as we all sat there wondering what the hell we were supposed to do now?

I mean, the international diplomacy handbook did not cover this type of situation, and I gotta be honest -- I was SERIOUSLY DYING.  I was literally experiencing physical pain trying to not only hold it together and not burst out laughing (because honestly...is there EVER a time when a fart is not funny?? EVER??  I submit to you, there is NOT!), but I was also trying to stop my body from erupting into the internal-hold-in-your-laughter convulsions.  In fact, I think I might have actually hurt myself -- my throat is STILL sore. 

Anyway, following the initial blast and horrified silence -- the translator looked around -- as if he were trying to determine whether he should translate that; AND, if so...how the hell do you say that in Arabic!  The offender, whom we now call, "Gassy McPoopshispants" just kinda smirked and shrugged -- although he might have apologized, but i had to rapidly look away in order to control my impending outburst. 

As I'm searching the room for somewhere to look -- the more junior members of the foreign delegation looked down at their notebooks, clearly a victim of the diplomatic shock and awe campaign.  However, the senior official looked me straight in the eye, cocked his head, and lifted one brow.  I gotta admit...at that point, I almost lost it. 

Well played, foreign man...well played. 

So I stared at the donuts in order to salvage any semblance of maturity left in me...And then I totally noticed that there was only one chocolate cream filled kind left.  And I could tell the intern was eyeing it.  THIS SOBERED ME RIGHT UP..and quickly!!

Distracted, I was able to move through the incident...however, after I finished my chocolate donut (ha HA intern!!) my glance fell upon the perpetrator of the incident.  We made eye contact.  It all came back....

In what was obviously a flash of genius, I interrupted the proceedings to suggest a "smoke break" (foreigners like to smoke -- Thank GOD!)  and the entire entourage leaped up and headed for the elevator.

As the doors closed, we all turned as one and looked at the perpetrator... and literally, lost it!  At one point, I put my head down on the table and cried -- I was laughing that hard!!!

Eventually, the foreigners returned and they calmly resumed the meeting. 

My only regret:  I should have sent the translator withthem so he could tell us how hard THEY were laughing once they managed to get away from us.

However, rest assured, I have once again ensured that the US of A is safe for democracy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Like Lookin in a Mirror...Only at a Boy!!

So yesterday, I met a kindred spirit.  It was like I was looking at me...only in boy form.  If I were a boy...and not chubby...and could do math...and thought that exercise was fun...and wanted to come to work...and cared about my work...you know, TOTALLY JUST LIKE  me!  Who is this paragon of virtue you ask?

I have no idea.  He said his name, but I wasn't listening.  He works somewhere for the government, not sure what he does, but he did talk about his work (but again, not listening...HELLO!  Please stop making me repeat myself!).  Anyway, this guy was in one of the 72 super important meetings I attend on a daily basis here in Washington -- the heartbeat of the Nation...I'm like super clued in these days (well, technically, I would be if I actually (a) cared; and/or (b) paid attention rather than doodled "bored..bored....bored....bored..." on my notebook the whole time...) 

Anyway, this happened to be a LUNCH meeting.  Which is super rare here in DC because the government won't allow you to pay for lunch if you're just meeting with other government people -- you see we don't TOTALLY waste taxpayer money -- anyway, so lunch drags on and on while people in the room pontificate (usually about themselves, which normally I would back - but it wasn't about ME or anyone I knew -- so it was totally boring)...and this guy is sitting across the table from me.  And, much like my friend Paul, he couldn't seem to school his facial expressions:  he would roll his eyes, nod, and at one point even put his head in his hands and sighed. 

It was friggin awesome!  He had no idea that people could SEE him.  I was totally entertained. 

However, (and this is where the drama comes in) the alloted time for this super important meeting was almost at an end...and the dessert was just sitting there...staring at me...untouched.  NOBODY would shut the hell up so that I could go get the cake.

So I start fidgeting in my seat, casting furtive glances over at it's chocolatey goodness.  And I notice, that HE is also gazing at the cake and starting to fidget in his seat.  However, this guy does me one better.  He INTERRUPTS  the current pontificator and says, "Should we continue this after we all get some cake??"  (Naturally, I nod in agreement....as do some of the others -- but I think it was out of boredom.  They didn't love cake.  They just wanted an excuse to stop paying attention. I could totally tell. )

So the pontificatee says, "Yes.  Of course.  We should..." THEN HE CONTINUES EFFIN TALKING.

My new best friend was obviously outraged (and rightly so)!  And he sits there for a minute, looks around the room, let's out a definite disgusted snort, and stands up to go get some cake with a muttered, "WHATEVER! I'm getting cake."  Naturally, his brave act of heroism allowed others (like myself) to make a beeline for the cake. while the pompous ass continued to talk.  (Seriously dude, I don't think he even realized and/or cared that nobody was listening.  WTF!?) 

When the meeting adjorned.  I walked up to my new best friend, pointed at him, and said..."I like you.  You got style." 

So my point is: (a) there ARE good people left in Washington; and (b) cake is friggin yummy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Saga of the Gift Continues....

So apparently, we have an ENTIRE STAFF devoted to this damn gift issue.   And also apparently, that entire staff has devoted their entire lives to making my life a living hell.   Mark my words Protocol...I'll find you....I'll figure out who you are and I will sneak in and giftwrap your damn cubicles with Care Bear wrapping paper -- OH YES! I swear I still have a roll of that crap from when my (now married and fully grown) niece was young....(She liked rainbow bear.) 

Do you guys remember that crap?? How the bear would stick out his tummy and a rainbow would fly out of his belly button and fight evil?? Seriously...if you were evil, you'd never see that coming.  It's BRILLIANT!! Although, now that I think about it - what the hell does a rainbow do and how could it really fight crime?  Unless of course, the rainbow flew out at the guy, but left a pot of gold behind - then there would be no need for him to turn to a life of crime...he'd have a pot of gold.  SHIT!  I wish Rainbow Bright Bear would show up at my house...I'm not adverse to turning to a life of crime!!!

ANYWAY, what was I talking about?? Oh yes! PROTOCOL.  So it seems that the Judgey McJudy's in Protocol are "concerned" that because the gift option that we selected seemed a "bit cheap" and they wanted to ensure that the individual who would be presenting this "gift" (they totally effin used QUOTES around the word "gift" in their email to me..) would not be embarrassed when it was opened....  WTF PROTOCOL!!!

You'd think I sent up a picture of a kleenex box cover I crocheted in the shape of a doll's skirt and then plopped a creepy doll head on top -- Although, now that I think of it, I might actually do that next week because that shit would be FUNNY!   I'd write a long paragraph on how the King learned to crochet as a child when he worked in a doll factory back in the days of yore, when an evil dictator was in power.  One day, while he burned random kleenex boxes for heat, one of the dolls came to life and told him that a Chubby Bear wearing the mark of the clover would arrive with his band of baby-talking belly busters and they would help him liberate his Kingdom.  She then told him she really loved the skirt he made and disappeared.  After he assumed the throne (with the assistance of the Care Bear Bunch), he vowed to always keep the kleenex Kozy near and dear to his heart.

You know they'd sit there and go, "Is she shitting us?? Is that true?"  Then they'd send down a request for the King's bio....

That's just more work for me.  Nevermind.

But my issue is this:  now, I'm torn!   Do I hate these people?? Or, do I actually respect that they are bitchy enough to send me a note and call me out on my laziness!?  (Seriously, the subtext of the email was...we know you told the intern to google some random gift idea five minutes before the submission was due and then fwd'd that up like you'd actually thought about it....)  WHERE DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS CRAZY TALK?

No.  You're right.  I hate them. I've always hated them....long before they ever hated me!!! 

This isn't over Protocol!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Public Service Announcement....

So you know how I mentioned that I hated working?? (And frankly, I'm starting to think that work is beginning to realize that they might actually hate me equally as much...)  Well, I decided that perhaps I should start thinking about other options -- you know, the option where I get a lotta money, but don't actually have to go to work??  That one...   And, since none of you freaks have decided to give me millions of dollars, I'm forced to actually think about potential options. 

So I went online to do comprehensive research on my potential options.  However, I got distracted by a huge summer sale at Ann Taylor -- but I couldn't find the right shoes for the new outfit, so then I had to research black strappy summer shoes...

Now I not only have to identify my non-work option, but also the "second job to pay for the damn shoes you insist on buying" as was recently "suggested" by my loving husband...

And then it came to me: Powerball!!! I would simply win the powerball!!! It was so simple, it was BRILLIANT!!!

Turns out...Powerball is not the sure thing that I assumed it was....turns out, Powerball does NOT actually give you millions of dollars in exchange for a $1 ticket...In actuality, what I think happens, is you pay some random man in a convenience store $1 for a piece of paper with
some numbers written on it.  However, -- and here is\ where I can see that the problem with my Powerball career begins -- that Man is not giving me the right numbers. 

Worst part of this scam:  When you go back to The Man and ask for a refund because he gave you the wrong numbers...be prepared for him to put on an act like he is all confused...and when I patiently explain  where he has made a mistake....he has the nerve to get all snippy with me! 

WTF POWERBALL!? Obviously, you don't care about customer service!  See if I buy your piece of paper with worthless numbers again!!! 

Eff U Quickie Mart Man!!  Gimme my damn dollar back!!  I suspect Quickie Mart Man is in cahoots with the Ice Nazi at the cafeteria at work. 

They owe me $1.10.  I'm not leaving until I get it back!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Where the Hell Have you Been!?!?!?

What do you mean, where the hell have I been?? I asked you first!!  PLUS, don't think I didn't notice that not a damn one of you chipped in and wrote this blog while I was out making the world safe for democracy (or watching all the TV I missed the entire year I was in Sudan...either way...)  NONE of you bothered to help me out! 

Helpful hint: Do you see what I did there?? I began with an accusation.  You see...I find that if you just walk in and start yelling and throwing out random accusations, people forget to ask me to explain myself.  Honestly, there's usually no explanation.  Trust me.  It's just better this way. 

So, it seems it is now July.  July 4th to be exact.  There is something about that date that I was supposed to remember...it's killing me.  Sounds sooo familiar.  Nevermind.  I'm sure it will come to me.

Anyway, I've started back to work after my vacation and I am actively making sure that freedom rings in this Kick-ass country....America, in case you were confused and thought maybe I liked your particular country that is not America.  I don't.  Your country honks.  Don't ask me to explain.  If you don't know...I am certainly not going to tell you... 

How do I do this you ask?? What is my contribution??

Apparently, I ensure that the precise gift that would be given by our fearless leaders to other (but likely more fearful) world leaders is PERFECT.   I continue to bolster the foundations of democracy so that it remains strong, apparently by ensuring that the appropriate gift wrap is used (Presidents don't like flowers or kittens) and that (**gasp**) no damn tape is showing.  (Obviously, the feds have never sent anyone to inspect the shit under my Christmas tree -- because I'm SERIOUSLY not qualified for that!)  Since I have returned, the focus of my life seems to be ensuring that random members of the world's monarchy are given a gift that is meaningful, but with no tacky scotch tape showing.  (Nothing says third world trailer park like tape just slapped on the outside of a present...) 

Ridiculous, right?? EXACTLY! That is what I thought too...however, apparently the State Department does not appreciate my opinions.

I guess I have also done some other things since I returned.  But I forget them now. 

And, they totally make me pretend to work here for the entire day too!  Which, frankly, is shocking!  For some reason, I had this vision of living in the USA as a utopia, where people don't actually care if I come to work, but would just pay me and be happy that I was back home.

They weren't. 

WTF America?? Land of the free my ass! Since I've been back, I've been charged for EVERYTHING.  In fact, that foreign lady in the cafeteria charged me 10 cents for a stupid cup of ice.  (I officially hate that lady and her ice-nazi ways!)

The real issue here is obvious though.  Josh won't let me be me...and the only way I can really be me, is if I didn't have to go to work and pretend to be that other me, the one who lied on her resume to get the job in the first place  -- I mean seriously, I don't have any hobbies or outside interests!!!  Why the hell would anyone believe I was a "soccer" and/or "martial arts" enthusiast?!?  If they fell for that, they're just dumb. 

  Suckahs!!!  I'm a federal "worker."  Clearly, God is teaching them a lesson right now...