Home of the Blue Mango

One stop for insanity.
"If life gives you lemons, squeeze the juice into a water gun and squirt people in the eyes with it."
- This deep thought brought to you from Nina's subconscious.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

No, I still don't have a job.

I was definitely feeling some malaise last month...and I think it was because despite my tropical roots, I become kinda bitter if I have to deal with the following for an extended period of time:

1. Soul-crushing, smoggy, swampy, were-humans-even-meant-to-withstand-this-extreme-weather?! kind of heat. D.C. weather is NUTS. Minor inconveniences like a missed appointment or a bag of ripped groceries OR those two goddamn giggling teenagers making out in the stairwell that I nearly tripped and DIED trying to get past, are sending me into a Hulk Rage.

No seriously, can we talk about this? Perhaps I don't remember what it's like to be a dopey sixteen-year old deep in the throes of puppy love (maybe because I was TWENTY TWO when I finally experienced that!), but some sort of two headed Hugh Jackman/Ryan Gosling mutant freak couldn't get me to PAUSE in that sweltering airless death-trap of a stairwell. And yet, our apartment complex's very own Romeo and Juliet are practically swallowing each other whole for what seems like hours at a time. Kids these days.

2. UNEMPLOYMENT 2012! I have a love/hate relationship with the two temp agencies I signed up with when I moved to D.C. One is small, boasts "personalized" service, and told me I'd have my dream job, personal iced coffee machine and all, in a week or two. Naturally, it's been five weeks and I haven't worked a single day for them. The second agency is, uh, a bit less concerned with finding me my awesome full-time public health job and...more likely to throw me in front of any organization with some mini-skirt and clear heels, and say "Work for them! Be grateful! It's an excellent opportunity!" ...Yes, stocking kitchen pantries and filing medical records are my hidden calling. I just didn't realize it until I had been paper cut A THOUSAND TIMES during my two week assignment.

3. MAKING RENT: Moving to D.C., even with no definitive job offers, was totally necessary for my sanity (If I had a stayed a week longer in Womelsdorf, I would have probably been locked into wearing a dirndl and selling hotdogs at the Kutztown Folk Festival for the summer). BUT.. it's turned that totally boring, universal adult responsibility of paying rent into the Amazing Race. For SMF, literally. He's out there pedicabbing and making money literally by the sweat of his brow. I, however, put in my 40 hours dutifully at a nondescript office and then discover my paychecks have been shot directly into the SUN. So, all this amounts to is manically checking the mail-box for the checks that will never come and then rushing all of SMF's pedicabbing cash to the bank in the middle of a paralyzing heat wave, just so our landlord doesn't confirm that we are in fact as broke as we looked when we first moved in.

Luckily, last week, I scored the dream temp job. My fellow temps and I had an absentee boss (two actually), a series of meaningless tasks with a vague deadline ("Please finish this spreadsheet...sometime before you die."), and a well-stocked kitchen with an espresso machine and a Keurig (apparently the de modo kitchen appliance for every modern office). Just in front, on the counter, sits a small wicker fruit basket. A placard in front reads entreatingly, "Please don't hoard the fruit." The woman who gave me a tour of the office on the first day explained that every morning a man came to stock the fruit basket. After she saw me looking at the No Hoarding note, and said sighing "The fruit goes fast around here. It's usually gone in ten minutes."

After settling into a pleasant mindless routine my first week, I became fixated on getting my share of fruit. In this strange stressful time where I'm new in the city and underemployed, I'm reverting back to the poverty diet of college: crazy amounts of rice and beans and what little fruit there was to be had went quickly at the apartment. Free fruit seemed like the only way I was going to avoid scurvy. I quickly realized a few things:

1. The fruit basket is no match for the hordes of health-nuts in this office. I usually race towards the kitchen at around 9:15am. The second I spot the cadre of three tech guys eating bananas, I know all the good stuff is gone.

2. The Fruit Man is stingy. My first week, even when I began to show up at 8am, I never actually caught this mysterious figure. But one day, I saw him. He came in around 8:45 and slowly unpacked a crate of semi-ripe fruits. Despite the fact that the man had a rainforest worth of fresh fruit at his disposal, he only placed a few items into the tiny wicker fruit basket. And then only the greenest bananas, some rock-hard sour oranges, and a few sad looking plums at the bottom.

There's clearly ripe fruit in the crate so where the hell does it all go? I envision the Fruit Man brazenly taking all the good bananas, apples, and the normal non-hybrid plums to his apartment. Maybe the "no hoarding" sign was actually for HIM.

3. At the end of the day, nobody will eat the genetic hybrid freaks, like the Pluots. You know, these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluot

Sorry, guys.

Anyway, I have a break from my grueling 30-hours-a-month-usually-much-less work schedule because I'm visiting the motherland (Cupertino, not India) for two weeks. I can't wait to field the usual mix of asinine Baskin Robbins customer questions, only this time with a side of faux concern over my unemployment. It's especially enlightening when it comes from one of the many trophy wives that frequent my parents' store....nice work if you can get it, let me tell you. More often than not, these inquisitions are coming from the random old timers that have taken some sort of bizarre personal interest in the lives of their local ice cream shop owners. On top of this, did I mention that this is the first time I'll be back working at BR since I developed my dairy allergy? Seriously, are there ANY benefits to my parents owning this place?


"Everybody who comes in here is way too uptight. This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers."
--- Randall, "Clerks"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Another Year, Another degree - Adventures of the Unemployed

I'm back! ...And I think I'm getting a reputation. I turned 27 a few weeks ago and suddenly my grad school hopping is looking less like intellectual curiosity on steroids and more like a bone-deep fear of the working world. 

I  moved to D.C. a week ago after spending a whopping six months in the small Pennsylvania town of Womelsdorf. My epic move to Pennsylvania came on the heels of finishing a ten year stint in academia.  It was all rather anticlimactic; I was just handed another degree and booted out of my scatter-brained adviser's office with no goddamn clue how to find work, apart from some vague advice on networking. I knew it would take some time to find a job and that I needed to be patient as hell. But seriously folks, the months of scanning job-listings, numbly driving to interviews that seem to go downhill after five minutes, and trying to repackage a lifetime of short-term jobs into a selling point, would wear down even the most hardened employment hound.

Telling my father I couldn’t find a job was pretty humbling. When you’re talking to a man who has literally walked a Kansas freeway, barefoot, hunting for jobs as a new immigrant, suddenly all your complaints about the economy and the stone-hearted human resources department seem lame. “What do you mean? Have you tried hanging from a bungee cord outside the hiring manager’s office? Have you tried waiting outside their car? Have you tried calling them pretending to be their long lost cousin? Prostitution?” After the sixth “have you tried?” you start to feel like the laziest and least motivated human being alive. I don’t need those reminders. I’m sure if my dad knew I was getting up at 3pm most days, he’d have a stroke.

I might have gotten used to waking up in the middle of the day, but I really wasn’t prepared for how the  rest of routine life in Pennsylvania would start to drive me insane. There's a depressing car culture here: seemingly every ten  miles is a giant billboard cheerfully inviting people to drop twenty grand for the privilege of owning some hideous truck they can adorn with inane vanity plates and crass bumper stickers (half of which are inexplicably related to deer). Confederate-flag waving neighbors, old people, and cat-and-kitschy home-decor-enthusiasts round out the rest of the population (there may be a large degree of overlap in the aforementioned categories). After the novelty wears off, you start experiencing night terrors where you're 70 years old, wearing a faded terry cloth robe, and STILL living in Womelsdorf.

Of course it wasn't all bad. Who can say no to free rent, three healthy meals a day, and unfettered access to all the delicious baked goods that is bursting out of Amish country?  Unfortunately, I was foiled in my plot to eat my weight in shoo-fly pie because of some mysterious health condition (okay, not that mysterious, it's a dairy allergy! Somebody call House!). Please don't ask me what I did in those six months, because none of it is compelling. I didn't write the great American novel, find a part-time job, or pay any attention to my poor old blog (because seriously who wants to read about a routine that involves waking up at 4pm, dutifully shuffling into the kitchen at scheduled mealtimes like a fucking invalid, and sneaking midnight treats to an obese, diabetic cat named Sugar? Exactly, no one.)

I may have just given up altogether and picked out a headstone in the local cemetery, if we (the yoke mate and I) hadn't gotten a loan to get the hell out of dodge. We even lucked out on a nice studio apartment in a neighborhood that wasn't bombed out like...well, like the apartment I had circa 2005-6 that I will forever use as the barometer for how I'm doing as an adult. If I ever have to live in a place where random jerks smoke weed in my hallway/roof and I need to use a disposable plastic knife to open my own front door because the slumlord couldn't be bothered to put in a working lock, all the while hiding from one or more passive aggressive roommates, THEN I need rescuing, okay? But for now, I'm doing great.

My priorities being what they are, before I got a bed or air-conditioning to offset the volcanic intensity of the D.C. summer, I secured internet for my new apartment. Don't judge me. The only thing that alleviates unemployment blues is being able to Youtube Melissa and Joey episodes at 3am. Anyway, I'm trying to justify the purchase by pledging to spend even more time scouring Idealist.org for the tiniest shred of hope that my public health degree might be put to good use...or really, any use at all. I'm not picky. In the spirit of brutal honesty, I've gotten four interviews out of the bazillion jobs I've applied to since January. I might have let this draw me into a demoralizing existential tail-spin but luckily, I was already living in Womelsdorf where there were people drifting around with less purpose than me (I'm looking at you, old-man-sitting-in-front-of-abandoned-building-in-lawn-chair-12 hours a day), so I couldn't feel too bad.

Anyway, time to be a freaking adult and come up with rent money...

 Harry: I can't believe we drove around all day, and there's not a single job in this town. There is nothing, nada, zip!
Lloyd: Yeah! Unless you wanna work forty hours a week.
Lloyd: We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!
              --- Dumb and Dumber

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Review of Outsourced: Wake up and smell the cardomom...

So I've been kind of lying low and not really updating due to laziness and partly due to my flea-sized attention span that makes me lose interest in events to write about five minutes after they happen. But, I've ending my hiatus out of an obligation to warn the movie-going public at large about Outsourced.

You see, I've been a movie addict since I was little and in that time, I think I've developed a sixth sense for shitty, middling scripts and movies. I know what you're going to say..."But Nina, didn't you sit through Mannequin 2 twice?" ...yes. I did, but that was different...it fell neatly into the "Guilty Pleasure" category where a crappy script and poor plot mechanics was ultimately saved by the movie's charm.

In the case of Mannequin 2, it had 80's nostalgia, a great soundtrack, and at least one member of the Brat Pack to render it good cheesy fun. Moreover, it was a story about a mannequin come to life...this movie wasn't pretending to be Citizen Kane.

Outsourced, however, is ripe with pretension. The movie is helmed by John Jeffcoat...if you can somehow get past the stupidity of his name, you can surmise within 10 minutes of watching, that he was inspired to do this rambling, insulting, cliche-driven travesty by a semester spent studying abroad in India.

The plot in a nutshell: Clueless, anal-retentive corporate jerk off (Josh Hamilton) goes to India to torment a call center into lowering their average call time to 6 minutes. He is, of course, lauded for his patience (is he the one making the calls? Dealing with the racism and moronic tech questions? Didn't think so.), and ability to understand the locals' wacky idiosyncrasies. His transformation from ugly American to enlightened man-of-the-people involves not only generously sharing his leftovers with the beggars next door but welcoming the sight of cows inside the call center, and the terrible inconvenience of having his name "Todd" mangled. You go white man!

The movie doesn't proffer even one reason why the audience should like this guy, let alone continue rooting for him while he sits there with that moronic expression of his as he stares down the horror of...gasp...POVERTY!

This movie reeks of Western paternalism. The list of things Todd finds repulsive about India just keeps going on and on and the way we, the audience, knows this is from the semi-constipated grimace on his face as he takes in the dust, the poverty, and the cows. Cows, everywhere, even in the call center!

Another running gag involves our brain dead protagonist getting his cell phone stolen and then returned by a street child. Our brave Todd goes from irritated to charmed as he realizes the child has decided to ignore the gnawing hunger in his belly, forego selling the cell phone, and intead exist solely to add a little "authentic indian poverty" to his trip. And gosh what luck, the chaste call-center Indian girl Asha has a one night stand with him in Goa while they discuss the Kamasutra! I'm sure Jeffcoat really patted himself on the back for the subtle construction of that scene.

You know when you watch something so fucking awful, you naturally assume that everyone must feel this way? And then I realized, this was all a buildup to Slumdog Millionaire hysteria and as long as you toss in enough colorful saris, bollywood songs, and poverty porn you'll have a rapt, salivating Western audience ready to confirm what they already think about the Third World.

This is what some esteemed film critics had to say:

"If Ayesha Dharker and the Kamasutra are waiting for me on the other side, outsource me up, Spock " Monsters and Critics

"This modestly budgeted, yet strikingly polished, independent film exudes such warm affection and respect for India and its people that we can reasonably wonder if a love for the country inspired the movie rather than the other way around." Film.com

"Todd decides to give in to India and embrace its foibles and beauty, the story takes off into less clichéd waters - and watch out for the Kama Sutra Suite at a hotel." JS Online

Yes, because nothing says "less clichéd" like Kama Sutra jokes in India.

In fact, the only critic with cojones had this to say:

"The clichéd humor here consists of turista diarrhea and linguistic and cultural misunderstandings along the lines of “Eat with your right hand, wipe with your left” and “What’s that cow doing in the middle of the office?” Todd’s wide-eyed yet capable replacement Puro (Asif Basra) insists Todd stay with his auntie, who quizzes him about his love life and pushes food. A street urchin keeps stealing his cell phone. Todd falls for a female employee named Asha (Ayesha Dharker). They spend a “Holiday in Goa”—her euphemism for a premarital fling—studying the Kama Sutra and generally exploiting one another and the cultures they represent."

Finally, some sanity!

This movie opened to such rave reviews for a few reasons. One, they made the main character ((or "the hero" as my mom would say), utterly nondescript in every way; from his name (can you imagine anything more boring and all-American than TODD?) to his "Hi, I'm an every-man schmuck at my corporate job, secretly dying for an exotic adventure." Of course, what foreign adventure would be complete without some sexytime with local women. Wow, it's like someone in India actually finds this guy appealing in some way. Two, they make it okay for white men (guess who make up the majority of business schools in the US) to project their Orientalist dreams onto an eager, welcoming local woman (played bravely by Ayesha Dharker.) It's the bleeding, pulsating heart of every lame study abroad fantasy. And just in case you missed the numerous watershed moments on Todd's road to Nirvana, everything is accompanied by sitar music. Everything.

Why was this movie even called Outsourced, when it was just a transparent attempt for Jeffcoat to trivialize and whitewash the whole issue? There's even this creepy boss-underling dynamic, where female lead Asha is set up to stroke Todd aka Mr. America's ego and stares back at him with childlike reverence when he throws a few compliments her way.

Todd: "I think you can do anything."
Asha: "Really?"

Yes. You can split your time sleeping with me in Goa and then get on back to your call station. And keep it under 6 minutes! .....Oh yeah, Asha, you can do ANYTHING.

Shut. It. Down.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Three Idiots Walk into a Train Station....

the start of a terrible joke? Or the first instance I actually call someone "Limp Dick" in public?

The latter I'm afraid. I'm back from my blog hiatus to add to my growing file of public imbecility...

I'm on my way to the gym and waiting for the Orange Line train at Green St, paging distractedly through a copy of the Dig ( a weekly in Boston with exactly two interesting sections). All of a sudden, three guys dressed in corporate attire sit down on the bench next to me.

Now my olfactory senses aren't the sharpest but I know alcohol when I smell it. I didn't have to puzzle very long, because the guy sitting immediately next to me leaned in close with a flask and asked me if I wanted some. I politely declined and tried to surreptitiously scoot away.

"Why not?" slurred the guy, the silver flask nearly tipping over in his hand.

I don't know ...it's 4pm? You're a stranger in a train station? My fear of back splash? Pick one.

The Corporate Tool (CT) then asked if there were any jokes in my paper. After I said no again, he seemed irritated. He took another long swig of his flask and blearily glared at me.

"You want to hear a joke?" CT demanded.

"Not really...."

"So you hear the one about anal sex?" CT asked, already beginning to laugh. His moron friends joined in. My ears started burning...I was mad. I was really fucking mad.

See, it's one thing to indulge drunks, but there was something about this whole situation that felt more like an attack. This douche and his friends chose to sit next to me and then proceed to initiate a conversation for the sole purpose of making me uncomfortable... their primitive form of entertainment. They are three guys with massive entitlement issues and I'm a girl sitting alone, so...open season right?

"What the hell makes you think I want to hear your joke?" I snapped. I'm hardly the confrontational type so I was mildly surprised at my own outburst.

The two friends stirred uneasily next to CT and laughed uncomfortably. CT was not to be outdone and sneered at me. "Maybe when you grow up a little, you'll learn what's funny..."

I pointedly ignored him as he proceeds to tell his friends how "hostile" I'm being. Then in that same drunken sing-song voice he says, "I gotta give this girl props though. Most girls would've moved away, but she's standing her ground. Hanging onto her territory."

Moe and Curly laugh raucously at this. Comedy is dead in Jamaica Plain. Finally...FINALLY the train comes. CT is now done with his flask and surveying me with a disgusting grin. "Well, I hope you learn your place and don't sit next to me on the train huh?"

My passive Gandhi genes were now in full regression and I unconsciously balled my fists. "Why? Are you going to jack me up, limp dick?" I yelled. I then walked to the train as CT stared down.
I sat down hard in the orange train seat, steaming. It was only after a few moments that I realized that Early Man and his friends had entered the next car. HA.

This kind of thing was pretty much a regular occurrence in Pittsburgh but since my time in Boston, they've been pretty rare.I'm not sure if I overreacted but in any case, I feel like I "won" this against patriarchy. I think the scene would have played out differently if I wasn't a woman...maybe even if I wasn't a minority. It was the "know your place" comment that really made me want to break his jaw.

...anyway, good fuel for the gym huh?
Quote of the day:

Party Guy 1
: Hey. Partying hard, or hardly partying?
: Hardly interested.
Party Guy 2
: So... where you girls been all our lives?
: Waiting here for you. We were born in this room, we grew up in this room and we thought we would die here, alone. But now you've arrived and our lives can truly begin.
Party Guy 2
: [nudging his friend] She likes you!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reporting..LIVE from the Belly of the Beast!

Another "vacation" in Cupertino...spent working at Santa's Slave Pit aka Baskin Robbins.
I'm only home a couple weeks out of the year, and so I don't mind helping out my parents. My mom is in BR 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and she's in her sixties. I really think she deserves a break...but the longer I'm at the store, the more I feel myself undergoing the transformation Jack Nicholson did in The Shining. The perky voice transitioning to a low growl, the smile into a feral glare, the irresistible urge to swing an ax at the next person who speaks to me. It's not my fault though. They, the nameless, faceless, demanding throng of morons that constitute the store's customer base, do everything in their collective power to provoke me.

There is just so much degradation embedded in the customer-service industry. Why should the employees adopt this obsequious attitude when dealing with customers? We're serving them...they should be thanking us.

I find myself robotically answering questions before they're asked:
1. "No, we don't have a bathroom." Actually, there is an employee one, but after thousands of requests from angry parents demanding their diarrhetic child be allowed to use out facilities, my mom just told us to lie. Of course, after this new policy was instated, customers began suspiciously asking us where we use the restroom if there wasn't one in the store. To quell the controversy, I was forced to say we peed out back near the trash.

2. "Yes, that will make you fat."

3. "Your lousy tip keeps me from spitting in your cup."

4. "Thank you, come again."

etc. etc.

Anyway, I've identified some long-term effects of working here. For one thing, I am damn sure I never want children. Ever. Kids, when viewed through the distorting lens of Baskin Robbins appear to be crazed, sugar-addicted brats that appear relentless in their appetite for destruction, and unrepentant in the face of a weary aproned clerk.

I look at their parents, and wonder to myself if they were ever...you know..normal. Did they ever have conversations that didn't involve the numbing rotation of child-rearing tips, diaper brands, and "Ashley just finished 3rd grade!"? How do these people cope? Yesterday, a couple came in with their one daughter. She ordered a cone and the parents just sat down for over an hour and watched her slowly lick it into oblivion. The dad blearily stared at her along with the mother who was cooing loudly. Did I mention the girl was atleast 12? How exciting could this possibly be?

I'm headed back to Boston in a couple days, and frankly I'm pretty relieved. After informing my mother that I was now a member of the dating community at large, she freaked and now all her usual lectures come with the frantic subtext "Guard your carnal treasure!" ...I'm sure this news only served to expedite the final arranged-marriage showdown tentatively scheduled for sometime before my 25th bday. Be there. And bring ammo.

Quotes of the Day:

Video Man: "Eyes down. Don't smile. Indian bride never smiles. You'll ruin the bloody video. "

Dressmaker: "Don't worry, Miss Bahmra. Our designs will make even these little mosquito bites look like juicy, juicy mangos!"
--- Bend it Like Beckham

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Matando el tiempo...

I'm lousy at updating this thing...and it's not even for lack of things to comment on. It's just that it's all so classified I feel like I'd need some multi-layered blog security system and a mask on to be able to "confess my sins" so to speak. I wish I could go back to the time I thought no one I knew would ever read this (as opposed to the 3 people that read it now) Anyway, read on faithful ones!...

Another friend of mine is getting married, I just received a thick invitation in the mail asking me if I wanted "chicken stuffed with squash and pecorino" or "beef tenderloin medallions stacked with crab." Would it be in poor taste to ask just what the hell pecorino is?

I thought I had a couple years before my mom starts shopping my photo around the match making sites but lately, it feels like Mom the Human Pile Driver can't wait to use every conversation to get to the bottom of the pressing issues of how I'm spending my time and how I'm going to spend my time for the next 20 years of my life according to her....

1. "Nina, are you studying enough?"
"Yes Ma."
"Are you studying right now?"
"I'm talking to you right now."
"Well, what are you going to do after you talk to me?"

"I'm going to find a nice boy for you."
"No ma."
"Why do you say no? Don't you think I deserves a grandchild?"(A grandkid is not like a Christmas bonus. You don't just put in the time, and earn yourself the right to start demanding your offspring (who are not cute and cuddly anymore despite many attempts to infantilize them) to procreate.
(Silence. There's really no answer for this.)
"Nina..you are getting married."

This is repeated about 4 times a week unless I'm lucky enough to evade my gestapo-phone sessions with a bout of laryngitis as was the case this past week. Before that, I haven't had laryngitis happen to me since high school. That was a long fucking time ago. Unfortunately, the god-sent that is losing your voice manifested during Spring Break and not during regular school time when I could have used this neat, totally legit excuse while under the punishing lash of the Socratic Method.

Speaking of school though,.... I'm becoming a huge slacker. My work ethic puts Calvin to shame. And I better fix this if I want to pass my first year. A huge culprit is Constitutional Law, which is 2 hours long and goes at a crippling pace. Really, how can a class covering such hot button topics like race, abortion, freedom of speech, etc be so dull? Fuck if I know! I think about literally everything else before I think of Con Law: youtube, when I should clean my room, Rihanna's song "Umbrella." Really.. everything. Classes end sometime in late April, so I've got roughly18 hours left....

In other news...I finally got a cool internship at PAIR (www.pairproject.org) this summer and was thrown the presidency of NLG ( I really mean this. I hadn't even decided if I was going to run for the position before the current prez told me the job was mine. I have a strong suspicion that...there might not have been ANYONE ELSE in the applicant pool but me. Just a thought. Anyway...Gulp. More on my growing paranoia that my years throwing sparsely attended fundraisers at Club Amnesty in Pittsburgh will not adequately prepare me for this new responsiblity, later perhaps.

Last thing...
I've actually gotten out of Boston the last couple of weekends (shocking, I know):
-skiing in New Hampshire (this was a lot more fun than I remember it as a kid. Maybe because this time I actually decided to wear gloves and a hat.) I did the Black Diamond! It was...AWESOME.
-NYC...hung out with rather random group of friends and checked out the Little India (aka Jackson Heights. True to form, it turned out to be several streets filled with stores selling sugar-coma inducing sweets. Diabetes here I come!)

Random Tv/Movie Note:
Movies I'm dying to see:
Harold and Kumar 2:
Batman: Return of the Dark Knight

I've slogged through 3 seasons of 24 only to have them kill off all of my favorite characters in the lamest ways possible (Nina Myers...you deserved better) and drowning me in the right-wing pro-torture ideology the writers kept throwing in there, and now I'm an avid fan of LOST. Great show...but would it kill them to throw in a minority woman apart from Sun? Poor Michelle Rodriguez got iced after like 7 episodes and now we're stuck with all the hot guys on the island vying for the affections of melanin challenged waifs Juliet and Uno-Dimensional Kate. Damn shame, that's what it is.

Quote of the Day: (Exchange between radical Minerva Mirabal and dictator of Dominican Republic Trujillo as they were dancing)

TRUJILLO: Do you agree with my political ideology?
MINERVA: Politics don't interest me.
TRUJILLO: And what if I send my subjects to conquer you?
MINERVA: And what if I conquer your subjects?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This. Means. WAR.

Yes, it's around the holidays and I was going to write about finals..and law school. But no...SCREW all that. I have one pressing issue that is going to drive me to the nut house. My lovely closet-sized room in Boston has MICE. I'm happy to say, I have very few phobias, but VERMIN running across my room makes me want to let out a high pitched girlish squeal and throw myself out the window.

I first noticed them a couple days ago, when my floor admittedly was a mess. And I saw these two brown forms squirming over some of the papers. The only possible comparison I can evoke is that scene from the movie Arachnaphobia when Jeff Daniels slowly pushes over the couch to reveal thousands of spiders crawling everywhere. Let me tell you...I nearly threw up. Then, I galvanized into action, gathering everything on the floor into a giant plastic bag. Blindly throwing items around, shaking out clothes, stabbing at my book bag furiously with a broom, suspiciously eyeing the old wooden night table I had salvaged off the street as a possible location for Mouse Headquarters. But nothing. After checking everywhere, cleaning everything, dumping the trash, and doing everything apart from tearing up the floorboards...I found nothing. They apparently LIVE in the vents. Or in the walls. Or perhaps are laying little mice babies in my closet (shudder). Seriously, I'm getting nightmares about them. I'll come back from winter break to find my desk consumed.

This is kind of a shock to me. I mean, for god's sake, I lived in Centre Avenue....where there were regularly dirty dishes stacked to the ceiling, food crumbs so embedded in the carpet that all of us just collectively learned to ignore it, and overflowing trash. Hell, 4 slobs (myself included) lived there, and I didn't see a single rodent. Then...I tripled my monthly rent and upgraded into this bougie condo with a roomate that seems to view cleaning as a stress reliever, and disease-carrying pests are all over the place like gang busters. Oh, the irony.

My roomate and I have our issues...most of them seem centered around money...which I can deal with. But after the latest terrifying appearance of our creepy mouse head honcho, Fat Louie (really, he needed a nickname), I decided to "grow a pair" (so to speak anyway) and have a chat with the roomie about this. I figured, someone who has left notes about proper bathroom mirror maintenance would be up in arms over the news of infestation. I was wrong.

"Um...there are mice in my room."

"Yeah, they always come out in winter. I'm just used to them."


"They're harmless."

Right, because my irrational fear of mice isn't just that they'll eat my face when I go to sleep but that they're IN MY ROOM at all...my tiny..tiny room.

It would be one thing if I lived in a palatial mansion. Hell, I'm generous, I'd concede the west wing to Fat Louie & Co., as long as I didn't have to see them. EVER. They could consume their weight in food, slowly degrade furniture, who gave a shit, as long as I could remain blissfully ignorant of their presence. But no, they have the audacity..the NERVE, to scamper out in search of grub when 1) I don't even have food! Since the first time, I purged my room of anything that could even be construed as edible. If it meant starving to death, fine. So long as they were starving right along with me. 2) Aren't mice supposed to be nocturnal? What the hell are they doing out at 6pm?

My parents would FREAK OUT. Oddly my 1L brain began thinking along the lines of "Hey, I wonder if I can sue my roomie for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress...."

Thus far, in the last couple days there have been 4 sightings....each of which prompt me into a bout of masochism where I go trolling on the internet looking for mice info. Did you guys know mice are experts at climbing vertical fucking surfaces?!
There's also this site where people detailed their mouse-related grievances. Check this, there's a guy who's actually sleeping in his car because mice crawl into his bed. Poor bastard. And what about this priceless little fear factoid:

" If you see a rat or mouse, you can be sure there are many more. Rats and mice breed fast. A mouse can have several young when she's two months old. Then, two months later, her young will breed. In the meantime, the mother will produce another litter. So you must keep working to get rid of them."

Great, and here I was chanting over and over "It's just a couple mice." According to that website...not bloody likely. They're MULTIPLYING! AAAAAAAAaaaaaah!

Ahem, so I really need to move out. But that's 5 months away at the earliest, so it appears a confrontation is imminent. It's pretty simple, it's me or them. Mousetraps, mothballs, the whole nine yards. I've heard they hate the smell of peppermint oil so you can bet I'm going to douse the room in that. Maybe mothballs soaked in peppermint oil.

Because I'm pissed. I'm done with finals and I should be celebrating...instead of charting out war strategy like it's the Battle of fucking Antietam. This has been an update from the front lines. God speed.

Quote of the Day:
Once you've rid your house of mice, can you relax the forget them? No. New mice will find you. Save your traps. Be ready to go to war with mice again.