Last week, as I was removing the 37th staple from the 37th bank statement in a mortgage loan file that I was preparing to send into underwriting, I couldn't help but feel VIOLENTLY ANGRY towards the loan officer who stapled them all together. It's like, I know where the bank statement stops and also where the bank statement ends. Do we really need to be stapling them? My nails are just tore up, guys. TORE UP. Gosh my job is so irritating. Probably the worst in the whole world. I can't think of any worse job in the whole world. I'm paid hundreds of dollars a day to remove staples. It's not enough if you ask me.
These mobile salespeople in Vietnam would agree that I am so mistreated:
I waved to this person and they waved back. I assumed it was "Hi!", but in retrospect I realized it was actually, "don't take my photo."
It's a difficult yet effective way to sell stuff on the go. You can even operate a food truck this way. Got a pho (noodle soup) business? Bring it to the people. I saw a woman with a pot full of soup on each side and asked her if I could try lifting it.
O. M. Gee! I felt like a champion power lifter. It was so heavy. HEAVY. That smile is actually a wince.
So, you cart around thousands of pounds of merchandise hoping to sell a couple bucks' worth each day. Later on I told her about the staples and the low pay. (In sign language of course.) She was like, "Lady. You got to QUIT. That sucks."
New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story first appeared when I lived in Costa Rica back on January 11, 2011:
I have been relying on Nicole for rides to pretty much everywhere I go. You can't really walk anywhere here. I mean, maybe to the mechanic but that's about it. I decided to stay here in Costa Rica for another three months, and so I am in the market for a scooter. Yesterday I went and looked at one, but the guy hadn't paid the Marchamo (yearly registration) for it. Because of that I couldn't even take it for a test drive. FAIL.
Today at lunch I noticed a local newspaper on the counter just as we were leaving. I thumbed through it and found some Classified Ads and a few scooter listings. I didn't want to ask if I could take their whole newspaper, but thought they might let me take the Ad page with me. So I walked up to the counter and asked in Spanish,
"Can I take just one page? I don't need all. Just one page." And I held it up so he could see what I was asking for:
Only I didn't show him that page. That page was facing me. Not until I got out to the car did I see what I really held up in his face. The 'backside' of the scooter ads. (Pun intended):
Would you like to see the series of photos that I took of myself to try and get that Angelina leg photo? I think it offers a little insight into a couple of things: 1) my basement is very messy 2) this blog doesn't write itself 3) it's really hard to tell Angelina and me apart
My buddy Shash inspired me to try my hand at my own link roundup and here you go. I'm not as good at the internet as she is, but I spend an inordinate amount of time on it and thought I would try to bring you some faves of mine this week:
I love this website so much. Dedicated solely to sharing the crazy stuff overheard in your city! p.s. I totally submitted the one about the gym rat and the mom and the tuna salad.
I'm homeless, single and almost 35, but sometimes I imagine lining up my fake future children before school on this bench to hand out lunches, tie shoes and put on hats and mittens. p.s. their names are Hal, June and Gertie.
New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story first appeared when I lived in New Orleans back on August 25, 2011:
In a nutshell, my job is to provide technician services for New Orleans energy customers who have opted into a grant-sponsored pilot program which provides a device that monitors energy usage (kWh). That usage is displayed on the device and translated into a dollar amount that can be tracked realtime and projected for the end of the month bill. The goal is to educate homeowners to reduce their bills and hopefully save the environment in the process. I have been hired to enter the homes of people whose devices aren't working properly and fix them. I love the program. I have actually heard people say, "So you mean, if I turn off the TVs in the bedrooms when I'm not watching them I can save money?" Hey, you don't know what you don't know. I'm happy to be a part of it and I can't wait until the devices are implemented nationwide and I can have one in MY house. My absolute favorite part of this job is overhearing the conversations between the energy company rep and the homeowner while I'm doing my job on the device. Today's overheard conversation was with a minister who admitted to siring 25 children and, no, he wasn't making it up. I know this because I asked him to name them and he did. Here are some of my favorite quotes (and please use your best 'Southern Baptist Minister' accent when reading): "I got a bill for four hundred dawlahs. I almost had a baby with a bonnet on." "I got 25 kids. Be fruitful and become many. But man, sometimes it's an uphill struggle with a downhill pool." "I don't want nothing that ain't gonna put nothing on the table. I don't even want a goldfish." "My son come here. Take a bath. Look in my cupboards. Don't you have no bath at your place? You got a brand new baby. I know you got a bathtub." "A dog is a pimp. What yo' dog do for you? Keep you in debt. He pimpin' you. You feed him, then he pass it. Then you gotta clean that up. Vet bills? Yah, he pimpin' you." "My youngest girl, I call her 'my little hemorrhoid'. Cuz she gotta talk to me every morning and every night. She tell me, 'don't you say goodbye to me.'" ----------
We were at this minister's house for three hours. He smoked several cigarettes during that time so when he left the house, it didn't seem strange. But when he got in his car and drove away, I couldn't believe it. "What the?" The mystery was solved ten minutes later when he returned with a round of Cokes for us.
Later, when I overheard him tell the energy reps that he was going to start taking cold showers to save on energy, I couldn't help myself. I said, "You shoulda thoughta that 25 kids ago."
I bartended at a couple of Fishing Lodges, near the border of Canada two summers in a row. As you can imagine, my personality lends itself pretty well to bartending. As you can also imagine in that job a lot of unwanted attention floats your way. I was able to deflect a lot of it, oftentimes by pulling out my surefire mood killer in which I stare 'em right in the eye and say, deadpan:
"I WANT A BABY."
Anyway, one night one of my seventyish-year-old customers asked me,
"Would you have sex with me for a thousand dollars?"
I politely declined.
He hung his head and said, "That's too bad. I sure could have used the money."
My recent Current Obsession is getting together a bunch of rag-tag homeless people renters, piling into my car, barging down the backyard fences of friends who have fire pits and forcing them to build us a fire. Tonight marked the third successful week of surprise fire-bombing by the Surprise Fire Brigade, of which I am the proud President.
This week somebody puked (Jude, 9, -- too many marshmallows), somebody found the perfect puke shovel and cleaned it all up (me), somebody climbed an unclimbable tree (Adam, after Jude offered to pay him 1 CENT), somebody drove to the store at my bidding just to pick up all the stuff needed for S'mores (Khia), somebody avoided telling anybody their name (Josh's dad), somebody proved she was taller than anybody else (Hauve), and somebody else learned how to strike the perfect male-model pose (Kasey).
Do you have a fire pit? Do you live in Minneapolis? Watch out. You could be next.
New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story first appeared when I lived with my parents back on July 14, 2010:
My dad and I bonded over toilet seat repair yesterday. But not in a good way. About two weeks ago, I leaned to the side to wipe, because that's how I do, and the toilet seat snapped off on the left side. (I do not approve of between-the-legs wiping. It doesn't work for the 'front-to-back' rule, and also not for number two, and so for 33 years I have been a leaner-wiper. Ooohh...I'd love to hear your comments on this subject...maybe an unofficial poll in the comments section. And remember, you can remain anonymous! But I'LL know who you are, because I have ways of finding out.)
Anyways, of course my dad was angry, because who breaks a toilet seat? ME. His no-rent-paying, delayed-lawn-mowing, in-charge-of-nephew-who-spreads-sand-on-precious-grass-watching, internet-time-spending, TV-watching ingrate of a daughter who never can quite read his mind about pet peeves and irritations early enough to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Fast forward to yesterday, when we decided to run some errands and go to the bank and post office. I had to exchange a $5 Canadian bill into real American money and he had to deposit cash in order to buy another dog my mom doesn't really want him buying. (A discussion fight for which I was the mediator.) Anyway, I wanted to spend my $4.55 US money on something spesh, because I arrived at that $5 bill by over-flirting with an adorable older German man from Fort Frances who happened to dine at one of my tables. I decided to take my Prostate-Cancer-Recovering dad for ice cream, and why the heck shouldn't we stop into K-Mart and I'll pick up a brand new toilet seat while we're at it?
I grabbed the cheapest toilet seat, three brand new clean $1.79 toilet brushes for good measure, generic Swiffer dusters ($5 cheaper than Swiffer) cuz we out, and an Aveeno SPF moisturizer to stop my freckle-mustache from getting any bigger. I got the heck out of there for only $41.51. Take that, Target! Good thing I saved all that money on the necessities, so that I could spend $19.99 on moisturizer. But I digress. Two Hardee's ice cream cones later we got home and set to installing the toilet seat.
My favorite part was CLEANING THE GUNK OUT FROM UNDER THE OLD SEAT BOLTS. Gross! But so satisfying. Insert rolled-dad-eyes here. My second favorite part was when my dad had to remind me again that it was almost impossible to break the toilet seat. By muttering. Under his breath:
When confronted with a situation where telling the truth will hurt or simply embarrass me, it's what I do. The good news is, my conscience hardly ever allows it to continue and I have to come clean immediately. Which is how I accidentally almost committed fraud against the State of Minnesota a couple of weeks ago.
You see, I got this great idea after filing my taxes and seeing that my adjusted gross income for 2011 was only $4040: I decided to take advantage of any low-income Doctor's visit benefits I could since I haven't had any checkups since I was working with health insurance benefits a few years back. I googled "minnesota sliding scale gynecology" and found Planned Parenthood. I called and explained that I had no health insurance and they told me to bring my last year's tax return. They made me feel at ease when they said most women pay nothing for their checkup.
The next paragraph serves only to set you up for the reason I told a big lie to the State of Minnesota:
In real life, my business is mortgage, where I calculate people's income all day long and I always always always use the most conservative approach. So, if I were applying for a mortgage, I wouldn't use my current income because there is no guarantee that it will continue. In fact, I would need to be on my job for a minimum of six months before I would even be able to consider that income. A two-year average over 2011 and 2010 would give a better picture of my actual income, however since I no longer hold any of those jobs, I would have to use a big. fat. zero. and I wouldn't qualify. Isn't my job interesting? ha!
I brought my tax return and my "zero-income mentality" into Planned Parenthood where I was asked straight out, "Are you currently working?"
I didn't expect this question. But I knew where she was going. In that split second, I had a crisis of conscience. Why should I be penalized and miss out on free health care just because I DO currently have a very temporary, very medium-paying job? Don't they know that any money I make in the next three months is going to have to last me for the next twelve? Don't they know I am a vagabond by choice and I don't want to spend my money on Doctors and groceries and car tire repair because I'd rather be padding my savings account for my next great adventure? Don't they know I used to responsible and trustworthy and employed and paid taxes for a good decade which probably covered hundreds of exams for the less fortunate?
What did I do? I froze. I panicked. I lied.
"NO!" I said, nervously, shaking. As the word escaped my mouth, I immediately felt my cheeks flush. Lying is bad! And of course it just snowballed from there as she made me FILL OUT A FORM stating that I had $0 income. I tried to make it better by averaging $4040 over 12 months which is exactly how I would have calculated my income at work. I told myself I wasn't lying, and that I knew better how to calculate income than the State of Minnesota Department of Health. But I also knew I was lying. Making it right would mean coming clean to the receptionist by admitting to her face that I had lied. I couldn't do it. I signed the form with the fraudulent information and went back to the exam room, stripped down, put my legs in the stirrups and talked to my Maker about what I had just done and how I was going to make it right. FYI I'm pretty sure it was He who made me have to fart at the exact moment the Nurse Practitioner was taking her look-see.
"The House of Lies"
With legs spreadeagle, I decided the best way to make the whole thing go away would be to go back out to the front and tell them that although I wasn't working (lie) I had money in savings (true) and that I could afford to pay for the visit (true) so could we just forget the whole form? I certainly wouldn't want to burden the poor taxpayers in Minnesota with my gynecological needs (lie).
So that's what I did.
For the second time the receptionist totally blindsided me by saying, "well if it's all the same to you, we'd rather get the funding because it's better for us. But if you have money and would like to make a donation for somebody else who can't afford it, we'd be glad to accept it."
My jaw dropped to the floor as I left my body, hovered above and watched myself NOT tell her the truth. We continued the check-out process and I hoped she'd forget about the donation bit, but of course she didn't. "Would you like to put your donation on your VISA?"
"Yes." I said, and donated $50. For my penance.
I drove out of the lot and called Summer. She could barely understand me as I wailed, "I'm going to prison!"
She told me not to panic and to call the Department of Health to withdraw my application in a few days, explain myself and then at least I wouldn't have to worry about the face-to-face aspect that made it so impossible for me to just admit the truth.
Which is what I did.
What did this ridiculous lie cost me? $280 for the doctor's visit, $50 for a donation I didn't really care to make, the squeezing to prevent the fart (which I'm hoping she took as timidity), 20 minutes hold time with the Minnesota Department of Health and some further embarrassment when a bill from Planned Parenthood will shortly arrive in the mail at the O'Connell's. Addressed to me.
On April 29, 1999, I was having drinks with friends at a restaurant in Minneapolis when out of the corner of my eye I noticed Leelee Sobieski walk by the restaurant. Why do I remember what date it was? I'm weird like that. Also it was the day the Blair Witch project opened and there were tons of people in Uptown.
Fun fact: Leelee and I share a birthday. June 10, 1983.
Anyway, we don't get a lot of celebs in these parts and I was so curious about why the heck she was in town (filming something? here for the premier of Eyes Wide Shut?) that I bolted out of my chair, ran out of the restaurant and down the sidewalk after her. When I got close, I stopped running and started walking. You know, to be normal. Then I purposely bumped my shoulder into her shoulder, looked at her confused like a best friend who hasn't seen another best friend in years, and asked:
When I was walking into the office, I was having an out-loud conversation with someone I need to confront, only they weren't there. I was practicing. Some people call this "talking to yourself".
Anyway, I looked up and a man was right in front of me, and so I blurted out, "HEH HEH. I WAS TALKING TO MYSELF!" and then I laughed maniacally. I didn't look back to see his response.
I walked to get lunch with an old friend and as I crossed the six lanes of traffic at the stop light a man was coming the other way. I thought it would be really cool if two strangers just high-fived eachother without a word as they crossed the street, so I lifted up my hand but he didn't return the favor. Without looking at him, and right as we walked by eachother I screamed, "DON'T EVEN LEAVE ME HANG-IIIIIING!" And then I laughed maniacally. Tons of people in cars waiting for the light witnessed the whole thing. I didn't look back to see his response.
New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story first appeared on March 26, 2011:
Josette and I used a taxi service for all of our taxi-ing needs while in Granada. One day I stupidly took coffee into the poor guys car and of course spilled it. He said, "no problem, there is a rag under the seat." So I dug around and had my hand under the seat, and it felt the rag and then I pulled it out.
I screamed! It was UNDERWEAR! I threw them to the floor. The driver died laughing. He was laughing so hard that he cried. And so did we. He goes, "don't worry. They're old!" Which made me feel worse.
Have you ever had the sensation that you thought you knew somebody, but then they do something or own something or wear something that seems completely against character? For example, I had a friend who was pregnant and she was given a maternity dress that she absolutely hated. It was denim and floral printed and ugly and she would never normally wear it, but the woman who gave it to her kept asking if she fit in it yet...eventually she decided to be nice and wear it. Once. That day (of course) she saw an old friend who hadn't seen her in a really long time.
She of course immediately explained about the ugly denim and floral print maternity dress. Her long-lost friend said, "Thank goodness. I was really confused and thought to myself...'just when you think you know someone...'"
If you're wondering why somebody who lives in a basement has so many keys it's because the people I live with gave me three keys just to get in their back door.
Knowing the love-hate relationship that I have with Crocs, she thought it a fitting gift. And she was right. I love it. But I hate it. I am embarrassed to carry it on my keychain, but it reminds me of my loyal-reader-turned-loyal-friend and I love her and it always makes me smile. It also makes my keys much easier to find at the bottom of my tote bag.
I have to say I really get a kick out of it when people look at it quizzically, wondering what the heck somebody as COOL as me is doing with such a NERDY keychain. And then I really love it when the confident ones eventually ask, "What's with the keychain?"
New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. Enjoy! This story first appeared on February 22, 2011:
So I was at the beach the other day, and I saw this little guy run past. His butt was hanging out, he had ice cream all over his face, and it made me laugh hysterically at how cute he was. Then he started karate chopping the air and running around in the waves, making his dad look and laugh. I wanted a picture. Or three. So I went running after him with my camera. But he only faced me for the photo. Obviously. So I told him in Spanish to turn around so I could get a picture of his butt. His dad was standing there, so I felt weird and creepy but still I told him, "I just want a picture of your kid's butt." I believe the word I used though was 'culo' which technically means 'a**'. You see, Spanish is my second language and I'm not so aware of what words are terribly offensive in which countries quite yet. But the dad didn't flinch thank goodness and told his kid to turn around for me. Sad. After I laughed maniacally (as usual) and took my photos, the kid took off running again. But I loved him, and so I threw my camera to my friend and chased him screaming "I'm gonna GET you!", while trying to actually GET him, arms outstretched. And then he fell in the water and later on my friends told me because I was chasing him with my arms out it looked like I totally pushed him facedown in the water.