Thursday, January 31, 2008

Could We Start Again, Please?

Ok, when I told people I would go back writing about when things annoy me, I apparently gave a big smoke signal to the universe to unleash the Annoying Hounds. I have been chased by their incessant whining, rug soiling and leg humping ever since.

So far, in the last two days, I have screwed up my face in unimaginable ways to keep from crying in public. Upon reflection as to how this looked, I probably would have been better off weeping. Instead, there have been reports of sightings of Unga the Mongoloid Girl riding the train and loping through downtown.

The weather is certainly a factor, here. Enormous piles of snow in your path act like a giant magnifying glass to your emotions, particularly when you're forced to trudge through it. Last night, after spending another train ride with a rubber face and squinty eyes, I walked through the slush. Cursing, catching short breaths, feeling generally soul-crushed. This morning, in better spirits, I laughed my ass off as I walked 3/4 of a mile in knee deep snow to get to the train.

Then I got on the train.

I live pretty far north, so a seat is usually a guarantee. Not today, kids. People slept on the train just to keep a seat - the commuter's version of the lawn chair parking space claim. Save that the commuter example is a fictional exaggeration, and the lawn chair is unwritten Chicago law.

So I was bumped and pushed a lot - fine. I can handle that. I'm used to it. I can handle that and drink my coffee, check my email and fix my makeup while you whack me in the hip with your Timbuktu bag, sure. But the woman with the mucous problem in the seat next to my standing spot was rather hard to take. Every five seconds, she'd let out a goober-gathering snort that lasted three seconds. With the remaining two seconds, she'd clear her throat in a way that sounded like she was trying to imitate a dying goose. Delicious.

I arrive at my office knowing it will be a short day, as there is an anniversary party for the firm, and I will be drinking by 4pm. Heavens, that will be helpful. Bring me a martini and we'll call it even.

It was, of course, cancelled. In its place, I was given a consolation prize of utter humiliation at the hands of a client. Seems like a fair trade.

Thanks to my system crashing a few days ago, the client received an erroneous attachment in an email that was sent, not once, but three times. I got wind of this via email first thing this morning. The client responded to every email to my boss, the last response reading, "That's three. I'd be embarrassed if I were you."

No problem. I'm waaay ahead of you, sir.

Before I could control it, my body gave me two choices when my boss came out of his office to address this issue: cry or get mean. Meanwhile, my boss was smiling, telling me it was fine and the client's a nice guy and I've worked with him long enough to know that. Others gathered 'round and offered their two cents on the matter, my blood rising to my face.

Naturally, I kept my composure. I stood with grace and dignity. I acted like a professional, having been in this business for ten years.

"He can suck a giant cock and he can swallow and I'm not working with him anymore."

That's what I said. To my boss. About this client.

I took a breath. He laughed it off. I decided it would be best if I just sat quietly for a bit. In order to help this along, every co-worker I have stopped by my desk for various reasons, ranging from cat advice to general office kvetching. No one ever stops by my desk.

I then discovered I was going to spend the rest of my day digging through twenty-some-odd patent files to find a document_ This day was headed for an iceberg.

I went upstairs to calm down. Maybe have a bagel that I'm not supposed to have, since my clothes are starting to leave marks on my body in protest to my expanding waistline.

Oh, did I mention I quit smoking a month ago?

Yes, I'm working out. Yes, it's temporary. But the weight gain makes me about as happy as Hitler at a BarMitzvah.

Yes. That unhappy. Don't you judge me, I'll punch you in the throat.

So I'm toasting my forbidden half bagel, then I decide "Fuck it! The day is already sliding straight to hell!" And I consume a half a custard donut while I wait.

This was underscored by two attorneys discussing their workout routine. Awesome.

As I leave the kitchen, another attorney sees my napkin filled with some foodstuff and says, "Surely, you didn't take a donut. You don't seem like the donut type." I don't even know what that means.

I think today is competing for a title of some sort. It can have it. And a sash. And a crown. And a parade. Just go away.

Moon Pie. A History.

So this is my first entry on this site, and I've decided to dig up an old entry on the other site.

Perhaps not exactly a clean slate, but I'm putting something here to have something here.

As you can already tell, I am a master of the written word. Sigh. Here 'tis:

I don't usually respond well to orders, but a friend of mine once assigned me the task of writing about Moon Pies for no good reason. That was reason enough for me. After exhaustive minutes-long research, I responded to my task.

And I thought it might not be a bad inaugural blog post. So here you go.

My Assignment: Moon Pie

I have never understood the concept of a mud pie. Just because something is round and flat, why is it classified as pie? Pie should be something delicious that you would be proud to put in a windowsill to let cool…if anyone did that anymore. How on earth did we get a non-edible substance to be called pie? The solution must be children, for only they are excused for playing in mud and eating it without being heavily medicated as a consequence (we only do that if they daydream). So clearly, we all know as adults that just because it's round and flat, it isn't really pie and we're not eating it. We know better.

And yet...

You put a whole bunch of chemicals and sugar into a flat, round shape, slide it into a plastic sleeve and voila!! MoonPie.

Lemme just back up a sec...

Moon. Pie. Because on the moon, this is what a mud pie would look like? Because in the future (where everything has a "moon" prefix no matter when the "future" is for you), pies will be more compact and filled with marshmallow? Because in space, we lower our standards and believe that flattened cake is pie?

But logic doesn't matter, here. We're talking snacks.

And since I have the world wide web at my fingertips, I can look up the history of the MoonPie.

Ok, I just did. According to the fine folks at, the nomenclature of this particular snack was given because there was a full moon on the evening some hungry wild coal miners wanted something for their lunch pails that was solid and filling.

Apparently, they were also sick to death of nutrition.

So Capt. MoonPie (whatever his name actually was, I can say with near certainty that he would like to be known posthumously as Capt. MoonPie…I would) went to his bakery with this assignment of a solid, filling food that was as big as someone's hands framing the moon.

I think I'm gonna do that from now on. I'm going to go to bakers and other food artists and demand filling food that is about as big as something far away I can frame with my hands so that I can put a SearsTower Tart in my lunchpail.

While worrying his task (knowing full well that hungry coal miners will substitute blood for any food they desire and that they travel in packs), he handily noticed some workers putting graham crackers with marshmallow on the windowsill to dry.
Lemme back up a sec...

Not an apple pie cooling in the window, as we previously discussed. Not a loaf of bread. Some yahoos employed by a bakery were dipping graham crackers into marsmallow and putting it outdoors (in a coal mining town...mmm...sooty) to get stale. Clearly, he wasn't getting skilled labor.

So he did what any man in a pinch would have done: he layered it again and dipped the thing in chocolate in the hopes that no one would know that it was stale sugar and cracker underneath.
Apparently, these tooth reducing concoctions got so popular in the south that the phrase "RC Cola and a MoonPie" was very common.

Lemme back up a sec...

RC Cola. AND. A MoonPie. Carbonated sugar water and a chocolate-coated sugar cake.
This is why coal miners do not pinup models make. I'm just sayin'.

And as a bonus, apparently the same company that warded off a herd of angry coal miners also produced such products as the Peekaboo cookie and the Lookout Bran Biscuit.

As in, "Lookout!! It's a Bran Biscuit! That sounds healthy! Get me a MoonPie, an RC Cola, a tub of cotton candy and twenty sheets of rock candy. Stat!"

Ok, ok. Coal miners didn't say "stat". They probably couldn't. They didn't have any teeth left.

And today, as times change, the MoonPie sits on shelves eye level with a small child's eyes so they can reach for it with their grubby little hands that have mud all over them. Then they can hand it to their parent and ask for it by name.
"Mommy, can I have dis cake?"
"Pie, sweetie. MoonPie...and no, you can't. You had four mud pies already, you silly silly child. Don't touch me."