Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can I (not) help you (you immigrant piece of shit)?

So you're a citizen. Great. Grand. Good for you. I'm a recent arrival, and if there's one thing that moving to a new country has taught me, it is that there is no incident in life more humbling than trying to get your visa in a suburb drowning in immigrants. Paris is a dream compared to my first experience.

Let me set the scene for you. It’s six am, and six degrees outside the ***CENSORED*** Préfecture and a short, white, (pompous, demanding, impatient), American girl is standing in line behind roughly two hundred African immigrants and their hordes of screaming babies. I had, in short, landed in the tenth level of hell with a sign on my forehead reading “loves emotional torture”.

I prepared myself for the long day of listening to unhappy infants and disgruntled parents, clutching my documents against my chest as if they contained the last known whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa. I was lucky that day. For once the saturated line was peopled with French speakers, and we inched our way towards the gate to watch the show that of comprised people being rejected one by one and then having a grownup version of a tantrum.

Two hours later my fingers had turned into Popsicles that my neighbor wanted to bite off since he just got rejected at filter point number one. My turn. I felt just like Atreyu approaching the deadly pair of sphinx statues prepared to burn me into oblivion. Except, my version had two five-foot-nine cops in uniforms almost as rigid as they were. Time to turn on the charm!

Me: My my my, don’t you look like a manly man with your little tuft of furry French hair sticking out under your tight navy uniform. I know you’re going to hate me by default, but can you ditch that rod-up-your-a**-frown for just a moment and… um... stamp this? Hmmm?? Pretty please? With a… cherry.. on … top? Do you have cherries here?

Cop-Sphinxes: (No response.)

I take this to mean I’ve been denied.

Me: How about 20$ and a bl*w job?

Cop-Sphinx number one handcuffs me.

Crap. It didn't work for Allen, I don't know why I thought it would work for me.

After smashing my head into the concrete a few times, I find the will to live and get in line to take a number to get in the line for the second waiting room where I will consequently take (yet another) number to wait in a different line before getting to talk to a very depressed human being.

Three hours and seven dead co-waiters later, I get to leave the first line in the series of lines and I am number 144! No one ever saw such a beautiful number. If I were another number, I’d want to have sex with this number. This number was a freaking Miracle with a capital “M”. Why you ask?? Because the woman, who most assuredly hates her life, announced that no one after number 144 will be seen today.

On cue, ten babies start wailing, five men rip up their tickets ferociously, and the people who don’t speak French begin milling around hoping to sneak upstairs to the forbidden room where the magic happens. Several baby-mamas form a multicolored huddle that made you dizzy if you looked at them for too long and start rattling off insults in the general direction of I-hate-my-life lady.

One and a half more hours later, my left leg was completely numb and the little desire I had left to go on breathing was fading away when... "144 (B*tch! Get your a** up here before I call 145!!!)" was screeched out by a portly woman with bright red hair and sky-blue eye shadow obviously meant to camouflage the fact that her eyes look like they were trying to escape from her face.

I leaped into action and immediately fell back to the ground, on account of the leg, then proceeded to hobble over to her desk hoping that my crippled status would inspire some pity.

Me: HELLO (I say too loudly, because you must). I'm married to a French man and therefore have all of the rights of a French citizen. Please stamp this?

Madame crazy-eyes Announcer: CLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAR THE PAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE... THE PASSAGE MUST REMAIN CLEAR INCASE OF A FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRREEEEEEEEE!!!! She howled at the non-french speakers.

She said “fire” looking directly at me as if she wanted me to spontaneously combust.

Me: I'm going to start your head on fire right after I pop your eye out with that stamper...
I mean…

Me: Hi. I'm here to get this stamped. Will you stamp it for me please?

Stamp-wielding Hag: Here. (gives me a different number)

I took the number like it was a countdown to my death and sat down next to a man with a funny hat who smelled like soup. I began wondering if the best way to kill myself would be to slit my wrist and write "I Hate You" on the sticky floor as the life drains out of my veins, or tape a photo of the Minister of Immigration with a bull’s-eye on his head to my chest and jump off the roof. Just as I was reaching for a knife, they called my new number. My time had come.

After only seven excruciating hours, I was declared ‘legal’ for another six months.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Please stop saying...


I wrote this blog last year, but it's still relevant and popping up in the forums I'm in right now, so enjoy!


1) "Dogg". Anyone who says this in my presence deserves a wedgie accompanied by an uppercut to the balls and/or vag. Yes, I said uppercut. I'm short, never underestimate an irritated dwarflike kickboxer with a penchant for words. Officially, no normal person should have said any name abbreviation followed by the word "dogg" (ex J-dogg) since 1998. It's like wearing white after labor day, except you sound like an idiot.

2) "Wigger". This one came to me while thinking of the first one. The lexicon has moved on, let's find a new way to mock these ethnically challenged losers.

3) "WAaaassssupppppp". Usually followed by #1 or "dude", also, must be stopped. I think I hate this mostly because it has been adopted by insecure, white, middle-class college students who think they sound ghetto.

4) "Excuse YOU". NO you rat-eating WHORE. You deserved whatever it was I did to you just for saying that.

5) "Yer fired". Yeah, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say nobody liked trumpy mc trumpkins before, nobody liked him after this super-catchy catch phrase... and nobody likes you if you say it. I will personally douse you with a hose attached to a butane tank and set you a-flaming should you say it within ear-shot of me.

6) "My bad!" . Every time I hear this it's synonymous with "I'm a f*cking idiot, please hurt me!!" and it makes me want to give you a swirly to put out the flames because you're probably dumb enough to have just said "yer fired".

7) "Winnable War". I'll keep my political views to myself and just say that the alliteration is annoyingly aggravating.

8) "Metrosexual". Can we just start saying "Part-gay"?

9) "Obviously" and "Clearly" ... when what you really mean to say is "If you even have a thought-bubble about contradicting my profoundly deep and undeniably correct insightfullness it will be obvious to everyone here that you're a-stupid".

10) "Life's a bitch and then you die". And in my opinion, if you say this, you deserve to be dead.

11) "winners never quit and quitters never win". Absolutely not true. Quitters can win. At quitting. Just look at Sarah Palin.

12) "lo and behold". Get off your biblical high-horse and speak like a human being.

13) "Don't worry, be happy!!". This phrase is like asking someone to smile at a funeral. Telling me to be happy doesn't MAKE ME HAPPY, it makes me want to break your leg and laugh at you while you cry. Wait... I guess I'm wrong, saying it would make me happy. Go ahead... try me.. hope you have insurance.

14) "Frankly" and "Truthfully". Whatever comes after this is probably a lie anyway.

I think I'm done for now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I hate you, end quote.

I am in love with Books, but I've been cheating on them with Movies my entire life. When I need some excitement, I tell Book I've got a headache until it falls asleep on the shelf next to my bed, then I sneak into the kitchen to make popcorn and finger my romantic-comedy collection. Cinema has always captivated me as books do now, but looking back, it was their common denominator, words, that had me hooked.

I first realized that I am a word-whore, grinding on anything with punctuation and emotion, thanks to my older brother (fondly known as "butt" or "buddy", I haven't used his real name in years). Like any siblings less than 2 years apart, we fought viciously. He was my nemesis. I was 'Luke' to his 'Darth', joined forever by the bonds of family but secretly wishing the other would walk in a steaming pile of yellow dog logs when they least expect it. (The really smelly kind that gush into your shoes and refuse to wash off.) From ages four to fourteen our sole purpose in life was to make the other:

a) cry.
b) bleed.
c) cry while bleeding.

Despite our mutual love/hate relationship I have him to thank for my epiphany. When I was ten my mother decided it was time for us to take a trip across the US to visit our family on the west coast. She naively thought that it would be lovely to do this by car; for which my only explanation is that she'd never been in the car with us for more than an hour.

We, her adorable offspring, started out the trip happily coloring, doing MadLibs and playing 'I spy', but the fun and games didn't last. We were bloodthirsty. Before making it out of state we were already "pretend fighting"; which consisted of slapping each other on the face repeatedly until for some reason one of us, (usually me), begins to find it less amusing, gets angry and tries to remove the eyeball of their opponent. About the time we hit the Illinois border, the scratching, kicking and screaming had come to such a pitch that my father began delivering his well practiced line: "You're laughing now, but you'll be crying soon!!". And someone, (usually me), always did. It was meant to be a warning which was correct 99% of the time; but being annoying, sugar-loaded, ferocious beasts, Butt and I would sarcastically mouth "you'll be crying soon" at each other in perfect synchronization with Papastrodamus and then, of course, try to get in a last slap.

The only way they got us to stop fighting was through the "mocks". We would re-enact our favorite movie lines from Ghost Busters to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and as if the hand of God himself was poised to backhand us across the cheek, we managed to behave like human children for a short time. I dare say that “Oooh look, I think my testicles are dropping” is not the sweetest line to come giggling out of a red-headed ten-year-old’s mouth, but if it kept us from drawing blood my parents were willing to sacrifice a little of my innocence. Butt would start it off, and being the pretentious little know-it-all that I was, I'd tell him he was all wrong and correct him word-for-word, reciting verbatim the correct script that I'd memorized perfectly. I knew even then that I was addicted to words, not love. Sorry Mr. Palmer. I couldn't stand it if even one word was replaced by its (evil) twin, knowing deep down that the right word was sitting in the back of my mind like a buried treasure, waiting to be unearthed. That, and it also gave me a reason to make Butt feel retarded. What little sister can resist that?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cheesey Pumps

Hello interwebs.

I'm blogging on my lunch hour -- I've got a "day job". I didn't know it was a DJ until recently, however. These things always sneak up on me. I've never been someone who absolutely knew what she wanted from day one and even when I was still sporting pigtails my hobbies varied day-to-day, and as I get older, month-to-month. Like those cartoons where the mouse begins to float and sway after a sumptuous cheesey perfume wafts in his direction, I am drawn to many things. In my cartoon, seventeen aromas are intermingling and I look like a drunken fool shifting from left to right on my tippy-toes trying to savor as much of the heavenly odors as possible. (In real life, I collapse, exhausted from the smelling-overload and my desire to do-all-know-all-now-now-now!!!) I've watched as my 'career' veered into a new direction every couple of years, following the cheesey-trail to professionalism that never seems to end. I am still drifting. Still following scents and waiting for my cheese to appear with a knife propped inside its oozing goodness, its cartoon mouth screaming “Eaaat me Shannon, I’m scrumptious!”. (I’m living in France now, so the smelly/gooey Brie has replaced the firm Sharp Cheddar of my youth.)

As with my bunioned right foot, I always needed to try on the shoe to see if it fit. I was never a home-shopping-network type. No, I had to go to the store, evaluate the options for at least an hour, exhaust the salespeople with questions, try on every single pair, pacing back and forth before I deciding if I would adopt them. The salespeople hate me. The shoe store is littered with foam insides, crumpled paper, empty boxes and mateless shoes strewn everywhere like discarded lovers. The delicious apple-red stilettos that drew me into the shoe store usually hurt too much to find a place in my closet and were replaced by sensible black flats. I do own a few pairs of heels, my babies, my cherished treasures, but I have so few occasions to walk around in them and bask in the pleasure of extravagance they afford.

Having already tried so many cheeses, bought so many pairs of shoes, I thought that now, at almost twenty-eight years old I had found it. The coveted fromage was being “dégusté” while clacking across the room doing the “happy dance” in my perfect pumps. When I got my first taste of Project Management, I thought -- THIS is my career. THIS is what I was meant to do. THIS is what I love. It actually does makes sense in many ways; I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy the flavor and fit of this DJ. Consider the prerequisites:
- Detail oriented (aka: obsessive much?) => Check.
- Organized (aka: control freak are we?) => Check.
- Delivery proficiency (aka: worry fanatically about things that won’t come to fruition for months?) => Check.
- Management skills (aka: master of manipulation?) => Check.
- Handle stress (aka: pretend you’re not worried about it, then whine to your husband all night?) => Check.

Yep. Seemed like a pretty good fit. Now, a few years under my belt and a "senior" status just around the corner, another irresistible fragrance is snaking attractive curls in front of my nostrils.

Do I follow the trail? The bouquet is enticing and my mouth is watering already. Do I exchange the comfortable flats for the latest hot-pink, diamond-encrusted heels that make me walk a little taller? Maybe it’s too soon to tell. For now, I’ll just try them on and see if they make me want to dance, or if I get burdened with blisters.

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