I know I have mentioned at some point before my longtime fantasy of being pulled over by a cop who will probably write me the requisite ticket (we all have our crosses to bear) and then for some as yet undetermined reason stand on the side of the road for ten minutes or so while I unload the long list of reasons my car makes me cry onto his or her strong and apparently sympathetic shielded shoulder.

This is weird enough in its own right, but it has recently come to my attention that things are escalating; the other night the majority of the interesting bits of my sleep were devoted to a very long dream episode of this cop/car fantasy, so I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious. Fortunately for all the semi-sypmathetic cops in the Portland area, in fact sympathy not actually required, I think that just some proximity would do it, I have found what I hope is the solution to my problem. It should be clear to all of us by now that I need a car therapist, and what is another word for car therapist? Mechanic.

So the hood popper of my car was on its last leg, and I was very nicely informed by a bunch of Jiffy Lube dudes that if I didn’t want to end up opening it with a sawsAll the next time I needed my oil changed I should probably get that looked into. So I got up last Saturday at the cold crack of 8:30am and drove my car an adequate ways, by which I mean three blocks, to Cooke’s Brake Service, (service not limited to brakes), and I apprised the very nice guys there of my hood popping needs. They fixed it up in about an hour, but in the meantime they allowed me to talk about my car a lot, and watch the fixing process, and one of them at one point told me, and I quote:

You love this car too much. You shouldn’t fall in love with a car, a car will break your heart. And your wallet. You should get a dog.

My hamsters, I think I have found my car therapist, and we shall just see if ye olde Deputy Hammer ever shows up again in dreams of day or night. Maybe I will get a basset hound and name him Deputy Hammer.

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the anvil of daylight

April 23, 2013

Well oh my goodness you guys.

Today I unlocked the bathrooms after cleaning time, and just now I went back to pee and there was totally a hobo in the ladies room. I am not making this up. I was very surprised. However I figured the benefit of politeness belongs to us all regardless of where we live, so I went and peed anyway and snuck glances under the stall at her boots, which were actually super cute. Also, I myself was currently barefoot, a habit of mine that garners many looks of disapproval from other office building bathroom ladies. So I felt a kind of kinship between us, the stereotype discrepancy in our footwear, and I felt quite at ease. Here was not the angry murderous invasive hobo of rants foregone…it was just a lady with an impressive army of bags and a tired face and very cute boots. I padded back out to wash my hands and she made a bunch of nervous circles around the bathroom…and then I imagine she decided I was not much of a threat, so she asked me if I worked in the office down the hall. As I am that unfortunate combination of soft in the heart and disinclined to stick up for other peoples’ electronics and expensive office coffeemakers, and she was pointing in the opposite direction of my office, I just said no and hoped for a lack of further entanglements.

We finished washing our hands in a friendly silence, and I padded back to my office.

I still feel that locking the bathroom doors every day at 3pm is a silly way to make the occupants of an office building feel safe; but I am for the first time quietly respectful of the effort.

Also I wonder if the bag lady is entertaining any speculation as to the nature of my business in the bathroom; she knows that I was barefoot, and she knows that I do not work in one of three offices on this floor…furthermore, my hair is an absolute shit show today and there is nothing like makeup or deodorant remotely about my person. I kind of hope she thinks I could be a hobo too; street cred, you know.


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sinkin’ the kitchen

April 15, 2013

So I have to be awake and arrived at nine am on a Saturday morning. Guess. Guess why.


I have decided that owning a car is probably a lot like having kids, albeit without the hope that they will someday take over responsibility for their own damn wellbeing.

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As someone who has always struggled with packaging (at this late date in my life I just go get the scissors or a cleaver sooner than rage inducing later) this would solve all my problems except one: how to open the original milk carton.


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Every afternoon the bathrooms on our floor are locked. The boys and I come storming back into the office for the bathroom door keys, and gripe and grumble and cuss and complain, and Joe has gone so far as to call the management about it, but every day it happens.

One explanation is that the cleaning lady locks the doors of each bathroom after she cleans them, which: fine. I still feel that this is way too paranoid for a large office building, regardless of all the big bad riff raff roaming the desperate streets of inner SE Portland, I mean, I suppose if I were a murderous hobo I might not mind riding the elevator up eight floors to pee and a locked bathroom door would probably in no way enrage me into a previously unplanned floorwide killing spree, but come on. I appreciate the office building’s concern for my bathroom safety, but I think that the office building has not taken into account all of the ill advised outdoor peeing I have done in my lifetime. Call me crazy but I would rather deal with the possibility of the unexpected entrance of a murderous hobo with a full bladder while peeing than have to go (all the way) back to the office for my bathroom key every afternoon. I suppose I could just take the key with me every time, but that is folly.

However, sometimes the bathroom is locked before the cleaning lady does her rounds, and this has always confounded me. Furthermore, it has always pissed me off far more quickly because there is no sort of logic, however disparate from my own, attached to this random locking. Today I went to pee, and the bathroom door was locked again before cleaning time. I hissed a great big sigh of annoyance and went back for my key, and when I returned an old lady was slipping out of the bathroom. She looked at me with evident guilt, and as I entered a bathroom ripe with the lingering essence of a freshly dropped deuce I suddenly understood. It would certainly never enter my head to lock the door to the entire bathroom for a private personal dump, but then, perhaps when I am an old lady and the traffic does not flow as smoothly along the old intestinal highway, I will feel differently.

I have a distinct craving to hunt her down and high five her, for her ingenuity and her brashness, in taking what she wants and getting away with it.

Old lady dumps for the win.

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the moneytalk

April 9, 2013

Today I got into the elevator with an older gentleman. We rode in some silence together for several floors and I stood and wondered if that smell could really be coming from him. I had smelled it in the lobby as he mashed the Up button, and again when he pressed the button for his floor number, and mine. We hit his floor and he exited, and there could be no mistaking it; a cloud of Victoria’s Secret Sweet Pea wafted out with him, leaving my brain with a cacophony of thoughts, all very useless, most more or less incoherent.

It would possibly not be so startling to my brain to realize that a very grown man in jeans and a fleece, albeit with a very nice shoulder bag, is wearing VS Sweet Pea, except that it probably would anyhow because that is the scent of a teenage girl who is also maybe a stripper, but when I myself was a teenage girl I wore copious amounts of Sweet Pea. And I know the difference between smelling like it ’cause some female has been around or all over you, and because you have aimed the aerosol directly at yourself and let it rip.

So my brain stuttered and blinked and went dark, and made that buhhhhhhh powering down noise the Enterprise makes when it’s taken too much damage to the reactor or what have you, and you can go fuck yourself and just climb up the hyperlift shafts with a bunch of children strung behind you like beads on a friendship bracelet.

Mostly I think that this all systems shut down is due to an overwhelming sense of shame at the full force folly of my younger years, as brought to me by Sweet Pea in an elevator, thirteen to sixteen years after the fact, just as sickly sweet and sinus rot extreme as ever it was.

Also I really liked P.O.D.

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Today my heart is heavy and soft with the intangible weight of every person I have loved. Like so many times before, I remember your texture and contours, your magic and your density, and my blood pulses this your way once again:

I am