Monday, November 29, 2004

La Chat Noir, Test Subject

I have volunteered as a test subject in my first research study. How excited am I!

Although I live V. near a major research university, it has never occurred to me all the wonderful gains (mostly monetary) associated with committing one's life to science.

This week, I will be paid $20 to walk an 80-meter obstacle course littered with what has only been identified as "objects" while wearing basketball goggles to restrict my peripheral vision. I am told that the risk of tripping is minimal.

That's right, I am being paid to fall on my ass.

I am not at all certain as to what these biomedical researchers are actually studying, just that it is a walking study. Whatever it is, I'm sure that my contribution to science will not go unnoticed.

And, I've already contacted another researcher conducting a Work-Life Interaction Study who requests that I fill out an online survey in exchange for $10.

It's almost like having a second job. Isn't science great?


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Britney the Bard

Since I'm new to this whole blogging thing, and I'm unsure of what direction my blog is headed, I've been surfing for other blogs to get some ideas.

One thing I've noticed is that many blogs include links to the blogger's writings or poetry. Predictably, most of it is awful.

Well, I, too, have some awful poetry to share. Though not my own (there's plenty of it ... especially that of the teen angst variety), here is a bad poem. Written by my favorite celebrity pop tartlet ... Britney.

Honeymoon

A honeymoon at last, to get away from it all,
My assistant Fe gave me the call.
I remember it well, as she was smilin',
She said it was called Turtle Island.

I packed my bags light and quick,
Then grabbed my pink dress & favorite lipstick.
We hopped on a plane and took our flight,
I slept really well, all through the night.

As we arrive, I turn and look out the door,
People are greeting us right at the shore.
A meal, a shower and some ice cream
Then I threw my man down, you know what I mean!

Magical nights filled with stars,
Silence is golden, no running cars.
Private dinners, romantic fires,
Little piece of heaven, whatever your heart desires.

Friendly "hellos" and never goodbyes,
When you're having fun, oh, how time flies!
As we sit and prepare to make our part,
I thank you, Turtle Island, with all my heart!

Special Delivery

Because I knew you would want to know.

After work today, I'll be picking up a box containing a cat that died on Monday and transporting it to the vet. So that it can be cremated and its ashes returned to its owner.

I am a really good friend.

The Art of Lying

Friends refer to me as a detail magnet. I'm fairly keen and observant, and I remember everything. These qualities lend themselves to one of my most proficient traits ... I am a really good liar.

And not just the run-of-the-mill "I'm lying to you so that I don't hurt your feelings" kind of lies. I mean I make up complete and total fabrications about myself. Things I've not done, places I've not been, people I've not met.

Sometimes my lies are based on bits of truth. For instance, I lived in Alaska for a summer. But when people ask me about it, I usually tell them I lived there for nearly a year. I talk about the differences between the summers and the winters. And why winter there is really not that bad.

Of course, I wasn't actually there over winter. I only heard other people talk about it while I lived there. And their stories became my stories. Their perceptions became my own.

And that is a relatively small, harmless lie compared to some of the stories I've told. You must have a good memory in order to be a good liar. You have to remember how the story goes, in case you are asked to tell it again.

Or worse, if you're telling an elaborate lie to one friend, in front of another friend that you've already lied to. And then you get the inevitable "I thought you said ..."

DANGER, Will Robinson! But the crafty liar will simply manipulate the half-truths to explain their way out of contradictions.

[insert segue here]

About three years ago, I went through training for a local crisis center. We were placed into groups where we were supposed to bond and share and all that.

There was a girl in my group whose mother was losing a battle against breast cancer. A woman whose son had committed suicide. Another woman who had to go into hiding after leaving her marriage because her husband beat her.* And the mentor of the group ... her dad was shot in the head at work by a deranged coworker. He's been mentally incapacitated and in a wheelchair since she was in high school.

The whole time I'm listening to them tell their stories, I was running down my list of lies. I wanted to have something deep and juicy to share, too. They each had some huge tragedy in life that they've had to overcome. What the hell have I done?

When it came my time to share, I told them that I was a liar. And that I'd never come clean about that before. That when I moved away from home after high school, it was easy to reinvent myself. No one knew my history. So no one could catch me in my lies.

Everybody in the group had the opportunity to ask me one question. They all wanted to know what made me do it.

Why do I lie?

I think that I lie because I don't think my reality is interesting enough. I want to be compelling. I want my story to amaze other people. I want them to be jealous of all that I've done.

I want them to like me.

The group of those who have borne life's burdens encouraged me to come clean about lying with my boyfriend (I did) and my mom (no way!). I told them I would try. I also promised that I would not lie to them throughout the course of training (I almost did) and I would stop lying in life, too.

I've been much better about not generating new lies since. Not to say that I don't ever lie. But I often will recorrect it moments later. Of course there are some lies that are still told because I lied before I made a pledge to clear my conscience. And it's difficult to take back stories of your past. Once they're told, it's who people think you are.

And I'm just not ready to go from "fabulous, interesting girl who's done it all" to "she lied to me and I can never trust anything she says ever again girl."

Truthfully, I'm not sure I ever will be ready for that.

*HA! Caught myself! Rereading this before publishing, it occurs to me that the beat-up woman is a fabrication! I do work with said women, but none was present during my training. The other three examples, completely true! How can you be sure that it is true, you ask? It is verified through my excessive use of exclamation points!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Le Chat Mort. Ick.

I was over at a friend's house last night. Her cat hadn't been feeling well, and she mentioned that he had gone upstairs earlier in the day. And never came back.

So I offered to climb up her narrow steps to the upstairs ... which basically consists of three rooms filled with shit. Not cat shit, just shit. She hardly ever goes up there.

Anyway, armed with a flashlight, I try searching for this cat that I'm pretty sure has expired. Looking in the closet, under piles of clothes, around stacks of tapes and crammed bookcases ... nothing.

Everywhere I turn, everywhere I step, I'm worried that I may hear something groan ... or squish.

I pull some boxes out from underneath a twin bed wedged in the corner of one room. And there's the cat. Unmistakably dead. It looked stuffed, really. Its four legs jutting out in front of it. Its mouth open in a snarl with its tongue sticking out. Yuck.

So I go downstairs and get a box and a towel. And when I come back upstairs, my friend is sitting on the floor. And she turns to look at me.

What? You want ME to fish out the dead cat. EEEEEEWWWWW.

It was all the way back in the corner. But, with the help of a sharp, spaded hoe, said dead cat was retrieved.

When I left, the plan was to keep kitty in the kitchen, so she could "see" him and reminisce. Apparently she was unconcerned by the possibility of critters that might come to gnaw on one's dead cat if it were left in the kitchen for a little while.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A dirty day

I went into work dirty today. I don't do that as frequently as I used to. But the thing of it is, I just really don't care for taking a shower. I know that sounds weird. Who DOESN'T feel better after showering. AFTER, I'm fine. But the idea of actually doing it ... really turns me off. It seems like so much work. So, sometimes, I just skip it all together. EEEEEEWWWWWWW.

Friday, November 19, 2004

I have bad thoughts

A co-worker's wife went into the hospital yesterday due to pregnancy complications. It's looking like they're gonna have to induce labor. The baby is six weeks premature at this point. And my reaction was: "Hmmm. That's sad. But I still think he's an asshole."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Joining the Flock

Everybody else is doing it, so why not me. Blogging, that is. Though many who know me would say I'm not one to follow suit, I'm intrigued by the idea of keeping a journal of sorts. My competitive spirit is piqued by the challenge of sticking with it. And of course, I'm V. interested in whether anyone out there cares about what I have to say. Shall I create a blog following? Stay tuned.