Move across the country, leaving behind (nearly) everything you’ve ever known. Oh wait, that totally doesn’t count as adulting.
Job hunt for three months, because you refuse to settle (at least until your shekels run out).
Land a job from your shortlist of “dream” jobs…then promptly find the negatives (even though you actually kinda love the work – don’t worry. I anticipate rants aplenty.).
Commuting an hour each way, in good traffic – only taking one week to get sick to death of that aspect. To death.
Keeping your after-hours tutoring gigs because bills. Because money. Because adulting. Because your “dream job” is highly underpaid.
Become a slightly better-functioning night-owl/pseudo-insomniac and running on four hours of heavily medicated sleep-aid sleep at best.
Start adding a shot of espresso to your usual vanilla chai latte because tired as fuck, even though the taste makes you want to spew chunks.
Neglect the things you like, again, but this time with legitimate excuses (such as the schedule that has me running from 5 AM to 8-9 PM (which is usually when I finally make it back to basement)).
Get used to being abandoned by those whom once claimed they’d be by your side forever. Grow just callused enough to make it through the day, but sometimes still cry yourself to sleep at night. Whoops, that got dark. My bad.
What I meant to say was something along the lines of: being lonely as fuck. And also something else to do with that “fuck” word. I want a buddy, a companion, a partner-in-crime, a lover. I’m sick of waiting around for things that I thought were something they weren’t. And I refuse to join some dating service. So that leaves me…right here, bitching!
Hmm. I know there’s more, but I have to get back to work. I took a brief lunch break…a break from writing to write. Heh. Fuck, I’m braindead. I’ve written roughly fifty pages this week – stuff like newsletters, newspaper articles, ad blurbs, radio scripts, and now I’m about to start on blogging. I’ve helped perform interviews. I’ve assisted in ad-buying decisions and helped negotiate contract prices. I’ve improved departmental organization. And I’ve been here a week! I’m fucking tired! And pleased – with my job.
So yeah. Break’s over. Enough writing. I have writing to do!
Breaking News Update: I’m full of shit and am not actually moving to Antarctica.
Dudes. So. The first half of my day was slow as fuck, so I made myself busy by slinging my resume at just about anything that would take it. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I’ve gotten pretty picky. Ish.
Today a few interesting things happened. Well, they were interesting to me.
One of the jobs I applied to – in the Greater Portland Area – got an instant nibble. The pay isn’t fantastic, but it’s good enough for me, for now. It’s comes fairly close to doubling what I’m making now (which is a below-market wage for what I do). So that’s pretty sweet, because I already know I can pay my bills on half that. Within minutes, homedude emailed me thanking me for my application, saying he was “impressed by [my] resume,” etc. He asked me a couple of questions, and I think I significantly erred with this one. You see, one of the questions was, “When are you planning to relocated to this area?” And I said, “August 1” (a date which is highly optimistic and contingent upon a very…very good opportunity). The fleshed out response included needing time to give my formal notice (though my current employer does know it’s coming soon), as well as needing time to actually get up there. I think that was a mistake. I think I should have said something a bit more hedgey. I like to be forthright, but there’s nothing wrong with hedging your bets a bit and letting the person know that “August 1” isn’t ironclad. I could be persuaded to move sooner. If I don’t hear from him in the next couple days, I’m planning to write to him again as a followup.
Next up – I applied for a gig in Antarctica. I shit you not, dudes. It’s some government gig, doing some research that you don’t get to know about unless you receive clearance and are accepted as a member of the team. I specifically applied to a human resources / research assistant position. It’s a year-long contract, and if you’re accepted you have to go through special psychological training in order to live in the extreme and isolated environment. Sounds fucking awesome. What an adventure, right? I could meet The Thing! Aliens! X-Files! The truth is out there! Dudes. I’ll never get it, because I’m a total long-shot. But I figured what the fuck and threw my resume at it, anyway. They wrote and asked me a couple questions, which I answered pretty much the same as the one I wrote about above.
Dudes. This one is fucking ridiculous. Right toward the end of the day, I receive an email from the top HR homie at corporate. Straight out offering me a job. Turns out he saw my resume on our intranet (it’s there, because I’m applying to other jobs with our company at locations in the PNW…which my intranet profile clearly states). Straight up offers me a job. Asks me to RELOCATE to this city for …. wait for it …. oh fuck it. For an ENTRY LEVEL accounting gig. That would have been fanfuckingtastic fifteen years ago. But this dude tells me he has an “excellent offer at our ______ office for this ______ position.” It’s entry-level, and he can see in our org chart that I’m beyond that now. He can also see in our org chart that I’m already here! And )(!*&#*$&)OIFJIOFJOI* I don’t know why, but that one really pissed me off. I think because when I first received the email, I thought it was gonna be in reference to one of the two I have my resume out on in the Portland/Vancouver area. No dice. Hmph.
Tomorrow, I will continue my quest. I’m not giving up on this. I’m not giving up on landing a gig with my company, either. That would be preferable, if the money and position were right. It’s beginning to look like I can get a higher paying gig with a better title at a different company. So long as I’m working in Corporate America, that’s the direction I need to go in to secure my future of selling all my shit and financing an adventure lifestyle. Fuckyeah.
I wasn’t gonna talk only about work. I had other stuff in mind, but it eludes me now. I have sleepy brain (YAYYYYY for sleepy!), and for some odd reason, I’m thinking about Japan. Specifically the Jigokudani Monkey Park…and the Shimanami Kaido. Yeah. Goodnight fuckers! I mean, friends! Friendly fuckers!
What up, homeslices. See how hip I am? I still say “what up” and am so gangsta I didn’t even use a question mark. Yeah, bitch.
So. Y’all already know I’ve been pushing myself lately. More than usual, I mean. You know I had the April thing get canceled and I carpéd the fuck out of those diems (I just indecently Latined all over your faces. You’re welcome.). With the haircut. Masturdating with Deadpool. At the bookstore. At the park. At the park again. I even willfully introduced myself to a stranger! And the little turtle peeking out of the shell didn’t get her little neck cleavered! Do wonders never cease?
They do not.
For the tale I am about to tell is a tale of public Stephanie in public at public places with public people doing public things.
Did I mention I did more things in public. Because I did.
I publicked my ass off. (That’s the correct way to past-tense verbify public. I know. I’m an expert on these matters.)
Ass Publicking Chapata One (That sounds so fucking wrong. So I’m leaving it.)
Rewind to Friday, April 22. That’s, what? Two Fridays ago? This dude suggested Happy Hour to me months ago, as a great way to loosen up, kick back and just enjoy life a bit. But I was adamant in my refusal. No. Fucking. Way. Was this ever going to happen. And then this dude pushed me to go “network” at Happy Hour for weeks. Relentlessly for weeks. WEEKS, I tell you! So I finally relented, but it was no easy task.
There’s a cool (and very popular) Irish pub within walking distance of my house. I’d been once before when the greatest history professor to ever walk the earth took all his Historiography grad students out for a couple of rounds on him. But that’s the only time I’d ever been.
Other than that, I was always on the outside looking in. I drive past the joint on a regular basis – in fact, I did so daily for several years.
But I was always outside.
At the people looking out.
At the people unwilling or unable or uncool enough.
To come in.
But this would be the day that I’d make the transition. I was fucking determined. But I was not going alone, damnit. That’s just pathetic. Single fat chick sitting alone at the bar during Happy Hour on Friday night? No.
So what’s a girl to do?
Round up a posse of course.
I was having a slow work day, so I wandered around the building herding geeks. Y’all know those little decorator crabs? The ones that wander around, plucking pretty debris from the seashore and affixing it to their shells? So that they may adorn themselves in their very surroundings and be hidden and protected?
That was me.
Unwilling to remove my shell, I wandered the building plucking rogue geeks and affixing them to my shell. They followed me around like Mother Fucking Goose. I was the Pied Fucking Piper of Geeks, trying to lead them down the path of rowdy drunken carousing.
At one point, I had about seven geeks straggling behind me. I’d formed my own posse. And we were going pubbing.
If we could get The Sloth to go.
See, these boys are a unit. And I was going to be the ultimate Dungeon Master, corralling them all for drinks and vulgarity and laughs.
Well, The Sloth would only agree to go if we could get Pookie to go.
So commenced The Hunt for Red October Pookie.
We couldn’t find him. I texted him silly pictures of The Sloth and Buttermilk doing slothy semi-gay things on warehouse equipment.
“LOLOLHAHAHA” came the mature and measured response.
Posse in tow, we rounded corner after corner until we had Pookie in our sights.
Naw man. It’s not pay week.
I told him I’d buy the first round.
I said, “I’m not being weird, you little fucker. Bring your damn girlfriend.”
He blushed again.
Well, I’d HAVE to bring my girlfriend.
I stared at him.
He blushed harder.
I stared at him.
He looked down at his book.
I stared at him.
I just really can’t. I’m broke! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!
“Pookie,” I glared into him with rage in my eyes and condescension dripping from my voice, “you’re dead to me. Now The Sloth won’t go. And then Buttermilk will back out. And then no one is going to go.”
What about Thundercat and Lebowski?
“I asked THEM before I asked YOU. But Thundercat is home alone with his spawn tonight, and Lebowski has to go to some viewing for a dead uncle he never met. You’re dead to me, you understand?”
As I walked away, he was laughing, blushing and apologizing.
I flipped him off without looking back.
So, as anticipated, everyone backed out. I nearly had The Sloth convinced, until he remembered he had other plans. Looking up at me from the filthy warehouse floor, looking every bit like he’d just disappointed the potty-mouthed version of Mother Teresa or gotten caught sniffing his finger after scratching his ass, all wide eyed and hesitant, he tells me…
Aw fuck, I wouldn’t have been able to go even if Pookie went. I promised Dangerhole I’d drink with him tonight.
“That’s a thing? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me right now, Sloth?”
Noooooooooo. It’s his drinking weekend, and last time I wasn’t there to keep him calm, he broke someone’s face and went to jail. That cost us a month of drinking money, man. I’m sorry, but I promised.
I called them all lousy motherfuckers, told them to enjoy their weekends jerking off in their mothers’ basements and stalked off. This whole mission lasted about two hours.
I had a decision to make, and fast.
To Happy Hour alone? Or to Home?
And then I remembered: you don’t have a home. You have a dwelling. A domicile. A house. Is that where you want to go? You want to go cry in bed? That’s preferable to going out just because you don’t have the support of a group of semi-friend stoner geekboys from work? You barely fucking know them anyway.
Decision made, I clocked out early and determined to open the place. It opens at 4:00, and I knew I simply Would Not Go if there was already a crowd before I got there. So if I was gonna tackle this, I was gonna do it on my own terms.
Fuck the Geek Squad.
Everything happened in slow motion:
I pulled into the parking lot.
I braked to a stop.
I put the car in park.
I looked at the guy unloading liquor from the back of a pickup.
I looked at him look at me.
I killed the ignition.
I palmed my keys and wallet.
I pushed my shades atop my head.
I opened the door.
I stepped out.
I closed the door.
I walked to the front (because I wasn’t a regular and didn’t realize there was a back entrance).
I opened the door.
I observed the old men at the bar.
I chose a stool near the register.
I sat on it.
I put my things down.
I made eye contact with the regulars observing me, the stranger.
I smiled back at the bartender.
Do y’all have cider?
I opened my very first bar tab.
Haha no, I’m not new in town. I’m just new. To going outside.
A big exhale.
My first sip.
And I was in.
Listening to the old men, who trickled in one at a time, talk about golf and wives and exes and crooked dicks and business trips gone wrong.
Right about the time I agreed to try Irish Champagne (apparently just some sort of Irish beer mixed with cider), Wes plopped down beside me.
Soft. Blonde. Blubbering. Gay. Twenty-something. College student. Clearly a regular. At some point, he simultaneously cracked open a Miller Lite and a lame joke. I laughed politely.
Then he showed me the picture he had up on his phone, “That’s my granddad.”
Is he flexing?
“Why is he in his tighty whities?
“Haha Haha………Haha. I don’t really know. I took a picture of the picture, and I think he must have been posing for grandma back then.”
The bartender, a chick, chimed in, “So that’s where you get it from.”
Haha no way, he was definitely posing for grandma, not some guy.
Much much laughter.
“That’s not what I meant,” she said, “although…but I meant the flexing in your underwear.”
He laughed and agreed that must be the case.
Wait. Wait. You flex in your underwear? And people…people know this about you?
“Hahahahayeah, wanna see another one??”
And from that point forward, I called him Flexy Wes and finally just Flex.
At some point in the midst of all this, I took a phone call. Laughing my ass off, I went to one of the tables by the window for the call. And I saw it. I became aware of what I was doing.
I was one of the ones on the inside.
I was looking out.
At the ones looking in.
I was looking out.
At the ones unwilling or unable or afraid.
To come inside.
I wasn’t one of them anymore.
By the time Flex left, I was about four or five ciders in and was feeling righteously buzzed. Also, the Friday night crowd was fast filling up the place, and I felt it was time to make my exit.
Fucking proud of myself, too.
I sat in my car for quite a while, waiting out the buzz. It was worth it. Totally worth it.
Ass Publicking Chapata One, Part Two
I got home. Changed clothes. Plopped down in bed. Updated stupidityhole about my “networking.” Played on my iPad.
And then The Anklebiter texted (about two hours later). She had been updating me off and on throughout the evening, telling me that she would perhaps, maybe, eventually make her way to the pub. But she never did. She kept trying to get me to go to this big party. I refused.
And now she was texting.
“Where are youuuuuuuuuuuu?!???????? Are you in bed???????????????”
I replied, “How did you know?”
“LOLOLOLOL that’s where I’d be! Come back! We’re here! Pleeeeeease! It’s my biiiiiiiiiirthdaaaaaaaaaay!”
So you know what I did?
I went back out. Met up with The Anklebiter and her friends. Wished her a happy birthday. Had more drinks. Listened to the band. Had more laughs.
And had a fanfuckingtastic time.
Booyah. First Happy Hour a rousing success.
Ass Publicking Chapata Two
Chapata Two occurred this past Friday. And it was happening because of me. You see, I had asked a certain group of people to do Happy Hour with me before I ever tried to get the Geek Squad. But most of them had prior engagements and promised they could go out next week. But I couldn’t wait. I had to go that first night – it was a now or never kinda thing.
I no longer wanted to go, though. I knew it would be fun, but I had a raging day-after headache from the Modest Mouse concert I’d gone to the night before. I always have head-splitters on the day after a concert. (And I went to that fucker by myself, was the only one standing in my section, danced and sang and cheered and had a blast. An absolute blast.)
But I took care of my headache, drove home from out of town, gave myself a pep-talk and went to the pub.
And this time was soooo different.
It was me, Anklebiter and Her Little Dog Too, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles, UberGeek McHottiepants, and even my supervisor, McFly, for a half hour or so. (Thanks a lot, Anklebiter.)
And I laughed so hard my stomach and chest hurt.
And then I drank some more.
A lot more.
And then I laughed so hard we became that table. We were outside, under the covered patio part, and we were the obnoxious ones.
And it was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in my adult life. Hands down.
I got there before anyone else – had to open the place to quell my anxiety. Got a cider or two in, and the old men from the first Happy Hour talked to me this time. Called me a snob for drinking cider. And I called them cheap old fucks with their PBR.
When the crew got there, UberGeek McHottiepants made me follow through on my promise to do an Irish Carbomb with him. HOLY. SHIT.
Everyone laughed and asked, “how was it?”
And the antics continued. There’s photographic evidence of me cringing as I slammed the carbomb with Uber. There’s photographic evidence of me sucking on a lime wedge after slamming Patron with Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.
It was hilarious and vulgar and fucking fantastic. Uber and I made some of the dirtiest jokes…but we were at a separate table for a bit, so we had a blast making the others wonder what was so fucking funny.
Once the band started setting up, everyone wanted to leave and go to Anklebiter and Her Little Dog Too’s house. Everyone except Little Miss. She bailed. (And McFly had been long gone, though he did witness the carbomb.)
Ass Publicking Chapata Two, Part Two
I went because I didn’t have a choice. Uber and I couldn’t drive yet, so we rode with The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles over to Anklebiter’s place.
There was talk of Karaoke and mixed drinks.
But we mostly chilled and talked about the concert I’d gone to the night before, concerts, 90s bands, gardening.
We listened to music. They learned how vulgar I was (this group had no idea – well Uber did. And Little Miss did. But the rest had nooooo idea).
I only had one more drink once we got there, because I needed to sober up to drive.
It was nice. Chill. We played with the dogs and had a fuckton of laughs.
And it made me question my judgment of The Anklebiter. She’s not what I thought she was. She’s not what she presents as. Well she kind of is, but not in a malicious way.
Before we left, Anklebiter had us all take a group selfie. One of them has a dog licking my boob. And the other one has Her Little Dog Too’s bare abdomen in it.
Not low enough for Grandma’s mustache.
Ass Publicking (Future) Chapata Three
And tomorrow night?
Happy Hour at a Mexican restaurant for three dollar margaritas with The Anklebiter and The Woman Formerly Known as Crankles.
I don’t want to go. It’s going to be extremely crowded. But The Woman Formerly Known as is like me in the sense that she’s trying to put herself out there for the first time. I never knew that. But she shared it with me, because I told them it’s what I was doing. They knew, anyway. I’ve rejected everything I’ve ever been invited to – granted, it has never been much. But I’ve never participated.
So. Even though I hadn’t gotten along so well with The Woman Formerly Known As back when I first started working here (she reminded me of my mother – and that’s a bad thing), she’s working on herself just like I am. And she asked me to go, so I’m gonna go.