Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oh, Adulthood

It’s a helluva balance. I think my astoundment really kicked in on St. Patrick’s Day, one of those blissful, leisurely whirlwind nights out that started with limerick recitations and plastic pints of beer, wound through hat-wearing Chihuahuas and shiny beads, through Mr. Deelio lounging on couches at the bowling alley and me falling over the ball return, through Irish car bombs and fried ravioli. We went to Wal-Mart; people fell down and sat in the ice machine. (OK, that was the same person.) We bought cheese, frozen hashbrowns, bacon, sugar-free Canadian sparkling scarywater, a case of Bud Light and Manischewitz.

Who goes to Wal-Mart at midnight and buys pork products and Seder wine? Us. We do.

And then I awoke in the Deelios’ condo at 3 a.m. to CCB chuckling, “There’s a Deelio in my bed!”

Fair warning, a good host (who has earlier fallen down and then sat in a Wal-Mart ice machine) will sometimes unknowingly wander into his guest room in the middle of the night and catch some Zs betwixt his guests.

CCB: “Dude, seriously, you’re such a cock block.

MR. DEELIO: “What am I doing in here?!”

Y’see, from that you might think I was living a life of irreparable degradation. Except:

Not a week later, I find myself at a granite conference room table. Others there: three company presidents (“The Triumvirate,” I call them), associate publisher, executive editor, production manager and the owner of the company, seated across from me, asking about the nature of special advertising sections in relation to editorial content, paper weight, polybagging,  year-round distribution, designing a cover to accommodate a promotional sticker used for newsstand sales,  edit-to-ad ratios, and the like.

EXECUTIVE 1: “We can’t use their logo on advertising pages.”

EXECUTIVE 2: “We’ll use ours.”

1: “Do we have a logo for this section?”

2: “We’ll make one.”

[ART DIRECTOR sighs and scribbles a note on her pad.]

It was like a masters class in magazines; like my freshman year when I signed up for a 400-level course about Middle English literature—I mostly sat quietly and tried to soak in everything that I could understand, but even managed to contribute here in there. “This line from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde obviously directly influenced Shakespeare’s version of the story.”

“We’ve presented that information in sidebar Q&A format in the past; by contract, the disclaimer copy is supplied by the company.”

Maybe it was because it was 10 a.m. on a Friday and I was on my third cup of coffee, but I felt this strange sense of professionalism, like I’d opened the wrong door and stumbled into an established career while I was looking for my Burger King orientation class. I was wearing flip-flops, for god’s sake.

And so it goes, I guess: Afternoon PJs and Wii golf; production meetings and proof corrections.

Take a shot of tequila to help the trivia team’s turnaround; schmooze a benefactor at my table for a nonprofit luncheon.

Lift up my skirt to show my coworker the puck bruise on my thigh; interview a cardiologist at 3:30.

They’re nominating a couple of my stories for statewide awards. Imagine that. On Saturday I could go to Hungry Howie’s, sweaty and grass-stained in my soccer uniform, and then on Monday win a trophy at my job.

If they only knew…


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Things I’ve Done This Week

Qualified as a finalist in a limerick-writing contest.

Watched “Iron Chef” in an Army Reserve base.

Made black-and-tans.

Observed the networking techniques of a porn star.

Sympathized with Krazy Kevin.

Dreamt of new currency denominations.

Skipped work for baseball.

Drank beer through a straw in the presence of a Major Leaguer.

Saw a guy get kicked out of Hooters. (And then drank his beer.)

Judged a hot dog contest.

Got Final Jeopardy right (when all three contestants missed it).

…and requested a tete-a-tete with Olivia Newton-John.

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“Coffee, Coffee, You’re so Great…

…insomnia will be my fate.”

This is how my mind wanders when it’s happiest. These were written a decade ago at one job, published in another (aside from the Jabberwocky ripoff). I think they’ll feel most at home here.

There has yet on this earth to be seen
Another who so loved caffeine.
By cup or by shot,
I’ll drink the whole pot,
And then I’ll start chewing the bean.

Coffee, I’m sure not mistaken,
Is the reason my blood remains shaken.
But when it sits still
I feel slightly ill,
And then my poor head begins achin’.

When it comes to a morning-time drink,
There is liquor, of course, but absurd.
When I’m drowsy caffeine helps me think,
Though my vision is equally blurred.
I won’t sleep if I can’t even blink.
I like my veins shaken, not stirred.

The Coffee Black. (Don’t get it? Read Lewis Carroll’s version.)

‘Twas filling and the tiny pot
Perspired and darkened in the drip.
All flimsy was the styrofoam,
And how bitter the first sip.

Beware the coffee black, my tongue,
The drops that stain, the tastes that choke.
Beware the sugar-free and shun
The awful Diet Coke.

She took her sugar packs in hand,
Long time the bitter stuff she brewed,
So rested she by the old mug tree,
While thoughts of cream accrued.

And as the cream from fridge arrived,
The coffee black with caffeine drug
Came pouring from the grounds derived
And oozed into the mug.

Plop-plop, fizz-fizz, how sweet it is,
The sugar packs went in the cup.
And added cream to cool the steam,
And then she drank it up.

And hast thou drunk the coffee sweet?
Come to my veins, my friend caffeine!
Oh joyous taste is sugar-based
To brighten up the bean!

‘Twas filling and the tiny pot
Perspired and darkened in the drip.
All flimsy was the styrofoam,
And how bitter the first sip.

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