The Burbs and The BF

How a City Mouse and a Country Mouse moved to the burbs and what happened there.

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I live with My BF and 2 cats in an apartment in a first tier suburb of Murderapolis. I am happily in a relationship.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Fine. Fuck it. I may be too proud to post this on Facebook for the world to see, but no one reads this blog so it might just be safe here. Besides, this is the kind of thing that needs to go down in print because it's so fucking unbelievable.

I started working at a place I will call Death Masters on December 13th of 2010 after running screaming from the banality of my previous job. It was collections, sure, but a different kind of collections that was very soft. We were collecting on DEAD PEOPLE after all. It's not as morbid as it sounds. Oh wait... YES it was. The company offered a ton of perks but also had a reputation for canning people left and right. I made it through the hellish training (5 in my training class weren't so lucky) and was placed in my cube. I was right in front of the break room. I did pretty well the first month, with the fresh optimism of all newcomers. Then the other shoe dropped and dropped and dropped. I won't really get into that cuz, boring-ass bygones. I'll just get straight to the foosballs. There were several times during the day where the breakroom erupted with raucous cheering and crashing from the foosball table. Apparently, there was a group of nerds who took it incredibly seriously. It bothered everyone around me. They had no care for the people right outside the door. I heard a co-worker mutter that she would love to steal the damn balls and throw them away. (LIGHT-BULB) One night when I was particularly crabby I decided to do just that. I snatched the 3 foosballs and tossed em in the garbage. The next day, like clockwork, I heard a gasp and "OH NOOOO!" then blessed silence from the foosball crew. An email went out asking about the location of the foosballs and a plea for their return. Everyone got a good chuckle about it. Anyway, it seemed like it was over. The next day, a FURIOUS email came out from what can only be cosidered the nastiest, most ill-tempered Jabba the Hut who also happens to be the HEAD of the department I was in. See it (not verbatim) below:



A ripple went out throughout the floor about what kind of fkng call center has surveillance cameras. So Big Brother was INDEED watching! WTF?!! I decided to do the right thing and dash out on my lunch break to the nearest sporting goods store and buy replacements. I bought a 6 pack of them and made sure to replace them. Sigh... It's over. Right? WRONG. The following day (today) I had an email from my supervisor (whom I was cool with and confided in abt it) that the foosballs I had purchased were not the right ones and asking if I could please purchase some more. Apparently, the ones I so carelessly tossed away had SENTIMENTAL VALUE!! Yes, folks, you read that right. SENTIMENTAL FOOSBALLS!!!

I planned (after much searching online) to hit up FOOSBALLS R US and get the best ones I could find, but to no avail. Within an hour I was called down to HR, fired for job performance, and led down the "stairs of doom". The one good thing I can surmise is that my supervisor did me a favor. I was let go for job performance rather than THEFT OF RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT or whatever my crime was which means I am still eligible for unemployment.

How am I? Relieved. My 3 months there were not altogether unpleasant, but it is NOT the kind of company I can imagine experiencing any longevity with. They fired people left and right and the ones who weren't fired got discouraged and quit. It was a lot of stress working somewhere with such a revolving door and such a TYRANT behind the wheel of. I mean, the above email is not the ONLY hissy fit I experienced from that man and I was only there 3 months. Sheesh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Quacking Quietly

Wilbert is our lot duck. That's the best way to describe him. He has been hanging around in the parking lot here at our apartment building for the past month or so. He barely moves out of the way when you drive by. He seems to be on a first name basis with everyone in our rather large complex. He is one of those blazing-green mallards with bright orange feet. His inconspicuously-colored mate and probably her eggs secreted up in the rocks near the building. I found my heart going out to the dutiful partner; the singular monogamous devotion that is so rare in the animal kingdom. Truly, we can learn a lot from Wilbert, I thought. What a thankless job, parading around a parking lot trying to distract predators. It got to the point where I was so used to seeing him around, that I started looking forward to my encounters with him. I asked him what he thought about the economy once and he quacked quietly, which I think is the best response I have heard yet. In fact, the next time someone asks YOU about your financial situation, just quack quietly. It is the best response you can give. He had the same thing to say about the environment, the fate of polar bears and the ridiculous democratic in-fighting that just may lose them the next election and doom us to Republican tyranny for another four years. Yesterday as I was leaving for work I saw Wilbert sitting in the center of a parking space, unmoving, next to something. Knowing that this was approaching heartbreaking territory didn't stop me from walking forward. Sure enough, someone had flattened the female duck (she was a flat pile of tawny feathers) and Wilbert was still dutifully protecting her. I wanted to scream, punch someone, pick the poor animal up and comfort him, tell him that there are other fish in the… well, ducks in the pond and that it was a tragic accident that has no explanation. Parking lots are heartless, merciless places. Shaken to the core, I called the BF and explained what happened to poor Wilbert. He was heartbroken as well. I was on my way to the park and ride and there wasn't much I could do. I told the BF to do something, like call animal control. I didn't know if they would respond to the heartbreaking call or not, but I felt like we should do something. The BF explained that he would do something. Later I called to find out what that was. "I prayed for him," he said. That gave me pause. The cynical side of me jumped out with "Well that'll help." But there was serene silence from him in response. I amended that with "It can't hurt." It really can't. When I returned from spending twelve hours with my friend in the HCMC emergency room (exactly twelve years to the day when I was wheeled in there after being shot by my friend) I noticed that the female's remains were gone, and so was Wilbert. I hope he's okay. Maybe he found another female to watch over. He's really good at it. Maybe he jumped back into the pond to start all over like so many of us vow to do after losing a loved one for whatever reason. I know he's quacking quietly somewhere about the steady decline of the United States of America, like I plan on doing from now on.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thank You, Constipation

I woke up this morning with bowel issues. I don't want to get graphic about it. Let's just leave it at that. This was around 5AM. I normally get my ass out of bed around 7:00 and barely stumble to my car to be at the park and ride by 7:30. After the aforementioned issues, I tried to get back to sleep. Finally, disgusted, I dragged myself to the kitchen and for the first time in a very long time made coffee for myself and watched a little TV before work. I could feel something happening to me, like a veil lifting. When I closed myself in my bathroom and got in the shower, a remarkable clarity hit me full force. It was like I had been asleep for the last few months and I was finally awake. And I was horrified at the levels of downright self-debasing, self-pitying depression I have allowed to wash over me lately. I am stronger than this. I am better than this. I have been wallowing in my own misery to the point of throwing my hands up with the situation with my shitty job, neglecting friendships, not writing, procrastinating about school, being a hermit and fighting with The BF about stupid things. I even burst into tears, mid-discussion a few nights ago and started mentally sorting out our property, trying to figure out the best way to make an even split; all of that because he admitted to having doubts sometimes about our relationship. I immediately jumped to the THIS MEANS WE ARE BREAKING UP conclusion and started sniveling and picturing how it would happen. Good GOD! This person I have been over the past few months is NOT ME. I even came very close to calling and cussing out a very good friend for a foolish, insensitive comment she made. In my mind, for a few days, our friendship was over. What she had done was UNFORGIVEABLE.

I don't know if it was the coffee or the constipation, but something lit a fire under my ass today. I got off the bus that normally brings me to my work DOORSTEP and walked the last few LOOONG blocks, iPod blasting, with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. Me and Kylie Minogue almost beat the damn bus there. I charged into work full of confidence, shut out all the negative banter and gossip around me, took my hated job by the horns and kicked ASS at it. I did better than I have ever done today (113 checks). Our goal is 100 for the MONTH. I feel like an idiot for sitting around and complaining about it when if I just sat there and DID IT I would be successful.

Mark my words: My lazy ass will be getting up every day from now on for my morning cup of coffee. I think it is the key to my success.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


  1. See a panda
  2. Go to Seattle
  3. Go to Europe
  4. Pet a large cat of some kind
  5. See a kangaroo
  6. Go on a safari in Africa
  7. See all Disney World Parks
  8. Stay at a cabin in the woods during winter with a huge fireplace
  9. Read a Charles Dickens book cover to cover
  10. Go skydiving
  11. Visit Eastern State Penitentiary
  12. Visit New Orleans
  13. Visit an actual historic plantation down south
  14. Make a full turkey dinner for guests
  15. See the Eiffel Tower
  16. See Big Ben
  17. Visit Auschwitz
  18. Visit Salem, Massachusetts
  19. Go on a tropical resort vacation
  20. Go on a cruise
  21. Watch "Brothers & Sisters" on DVD
  22. See Old Faithful
  23. See Mt. Rushmore
  24. Visit Walnut Grove, MN
  25. Write a full-length screenplay
  26. See "Wicked"
  27. Read "Duma Key" by Stephen King
  28. See "Sex and the City" movie
  29. Pet/hold a raccoon
  30. Re-read "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski
  31. Read "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman
  32. Listen to a full album by Joni Mitchell
  33. Take an acting class
  34. Get married to Ian
  35. Go to Switzerland
  36. Live somewhere with central air
  37. Buy a puppy
  38. Buy a house
  39. Get my degree
  40. Spend the night at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY
  41. See the New York Museum of Natural History
  42. See the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C.
  43. Decoupage
  44. Learn to knit
  45. Get acupuncture
  46. Have a drink at Alaska, a restaurant near me
  47. Finish watching "Alias"
  48. Have a picnic near a waterfall
  49. Visit LA
  50. Re-read the Landry, Hudson and Casteel Series by V. C. Andrews
  51. Go to Canada
  52. Drive a convertible during the summer with the top down
  53. Re-read "Misery" by Stephen King
  54. Finish the "Dark Tower" series by Stephen King
  55. Win something
  56. See a Cirque DuSoleil production
  57. Spend the night at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado
  58. Go to an Art Museum with Ian
  59. Own "The White Album" by The Beatles
  60. Commit to an exercise program
  61. Get Miwu groomed
  62. Babysit my sister's twins
  63. Reconnect with my sister Tammy
  64. Do karaoke
  65. Learn to draw better
  66. Nature photography
  67. Volunteer somewhere
  68. Get a piercing somewhere
  69. Go camping again
  70. Conquer my back pain
  71. Go tubing down a river
  72. See The Grand Canyon
  73. Participate in a real ghost hunt
  74. Swim in the ocean without freaking out
  75. Touch a dolphin
  76. See a red panda
  77. Fly a kite
  78. Watch "Dexter" on DVD
  79. Learn to budget my money
  80. Watch "True Blood" on HBO
  81. Read "From Dead to Worse" by Charlaine Harris
  82. Learn more about Nostradamus
  83. Quit US Bank
  84. Learn to grill really well
  85. Learn to build a fire without using matches or a lighter
  86. Visit Gettysburg
  87. Take a photography class
  88. Go hiking
  89. See Mesa Verde
  90. Learn to play a complicated song on the piano
  91. Try living in another state
  92. Read "The Alienist" by Caleb Carr
  93. Read a book by Mark Twain
  94. See a sporting event that isn't football or baseball
  95. Buy new furniture
  96. Buy a waffle maker
  97. Visit my mom's cabin
  98. Rent a cabin on a lake during the summer
  99. Watch every Best Picture winner there is
  100. Get a new cell phone

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Breakthrough

I am reading a book called "The Mastery of Love" by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the parts that I read recently was about how we should treat our partners no different than we treat our pets.  No, we don't potty train them and put leashes on them and walk them.  We give them unconditional love.  We accept them as being dogs and cats because that is what they are.  We need to accept our partners as human beings because that is what they are.  For example, one of our recent disagreements was because he wanted to go out on a Sunday night during a snow storm when I had to work on Monday and he didn't.  I wanted him to feel bad for leaving me behind because I thought that meant he would rather not spend time with me.  Conversely,  I was reading a book the other day and my cat Mimi was sitting beside me purring.  At one point, she got up and scratched at the door to get out.  I got up and let her out.  Why?  Because she's a cat and wanted to be in the other room.  Did I get all weird and emotional because that meant she loved me less?  No.  She just didn't want to be around me right then and I didn't take it personally.  Why can't I apply that same type of unconditional love to the situation with Ian?  Why do I have to get all caught up and emotional?  He didn't want to be around me right then and there's nothing wrong with that because humans feel cooped up sometimes and want to go out even when it seems like a bad idea.

One thing that struck me a few months back was an argument we had when we were drunk.  Unfortunately, alcohol can be a truth serum sometimes and it can reveal the ugly truth.  He said to me: "You love the cats more than you love me!!"  It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but a part of me recognized it and it's through this book that I pieced it all together.  He was telling me that I don't love him unconditionally.  And compared to how I act with the cats, it is apparent.  For example, if my cat Haxan jumps up on the counter and breaks a dish, I scold him and clean up the mess.  Maybe I spray him with water.  But two hours later when he jumps up on my lap and purrs, I am right back to loving him and cuddling him again.  Why?  Because he's a cat and cats break things sometimes.  It's part of owning a cat and it isn't personal. He didn't think in his kitty brain that he wants to break that dish because he knows it will make me mad.  He just wanted to be on the counter.

I remember being jealous of the cats I grew up with for the same reason.  I felt that my mom loved them more than me because she loved them unconditionally.  If they peed on the floor, she would scold them and then love them again an hour later because they are cats and cats pee on the floor sometimes.  However, if I forgot to do the dishes or left a mess somewhere she would be mad at me all night or bring my mistakes up several months later to make me feel bad.  I don't want anyone to feel that way, however irrational it sounds.  When I walk in the door after a long day I rush to the kitties and hug them and pet them and always smile at them and am happy to see them, even if  they made some kind of mess.  I say "Hi babies!  Hi sweethearts!" and they always rush to the door to greet me.  But if he is sitting there I will just say "Hi."  Why?!  Am I any less happy to see him?  No.  I am MORE happy to see him, but my fear of judgment holds me back from showing him how much I love him.  Why do human relationships have to be any different than the relationships we have with animals?  Why is it so easy to love an animal without fear of judgment but we have such a fear of the same from our fellow human beings?

I plan to love him as much and more than I love my kitties.  He brings just as much joy to my life as they do, and deserves all the attention and sweetness that they deserve for being kitties, because he is human.  With all his strengths and weaknesses, joy and anger, he is human.  And he is beautiful.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Love Your Failures

We love our successes.  We celebrate our successes.  We pat ourselves on the back when we are successful but we also need to love our faults, our failures and our shortcomings.  What is the obsession with perfection in this society?  Perfection does not exist.  It makes us a prisoner in our own minds; a victim to our failures.  Failing and picking ourselves back up is part of life.  More than that, it proves that you are alive.  That you exist.  That you breathe.  So forgive your failures and shortcomings.  They are part of what makes us human.  They are beautiful.  Our flaws make us individuals.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm thankful for clean drinking water, and purring cats; nature documentaries and a good scary movie.  I'm thankful for the basic goodness in all people and the badness that is on display for my entertainment in the media.  I'm thankful for family and friends and good food; mass transit and park & rides.  I'm thankful for the clarity a cup of strong coffee or a few mixed drinks at the 90s seems to provide me.  I'm thankful for a soft warm bed on a cold winter night.  I'm thankful for the first delicate snowfall and the "Six Feet Under" box set.  I'm thankful for walking into Target on Black Friday, avoiding the frenzy and walking out empty-handed.  I'm thankful for the laughs and smiles of my niece and nephew; their pure innocence and their eyes filled with wonder at every new discovery that I take for granted.  I'm thankful for no cable and DVR and the writing that pours forth from me when I'm away from TV.  I'm thankful for writer's strikes and Netflix; my sister's free-range organic turkey and my boyfriend's burnt green bean casserole.  I'm thankful for Weight Watchers and gainful employment, road trips and hotel rooms; far-flung new relatives and acquaintances in tiny Wisconsin small towns.  I'm thankful for inspiration and creativity, writer's block and espresso.  And pie.  French Silk Pie.