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3.22.02 - Erf.

Dang.  Thought I was gonna swing five updates this week, but it got late and I'm about outta steam.  Also, ELLEgirlbuddy is coming over.  I promised I'd buy her wine coolers.

I'll be back on Monday with something fun, though.  Seeya!


3.21.02 - Bad Bean

First off, take a look at this here link:

click->This Here Link<-click

You may have seen it before, but I hadn't.  It shows various spider webs, spun by various spiders under the influence of various drugs.  Results vary.  Still, they're all pretty alarming, when compared with a non drug-addled spider's web, which is shown at the bottom.  But the most alarming of all is the web spun by the spider dosed with a belt of good old caffeine (the 4th web shown).

Now, caffeine is my friend.  And here we see caffeine completely and utterly fucking up a spider.  The effect is brutal and impossible to deny.  I mean, hell, look at that web!  I could spin a better web using just my ass and fifty feet of packing tape.

Hm.  Actually, hang on a sec...

Okay, I was wrong.  And I'm in a lot of pain.

I've known coffee for a long time.  Soda, even longer.  Chocolate, longer still.  For my entire LIFE, caffeine has been there, guiding, supporting, helping.  Hell, caffeine has been a parent, a friend, a motivator, and yes, even a lover.  (I had a weird evening once with a Toblerone bar, okay?)

Caffeine never got jealous, not even when I made other friends, like nicotine.  In fact, they got along great!  There has never been anything like a cup of coffee and a cigarette, and there never, ever will be.

Alcohol and I have become an inseparable duo as well, and although caffeine generally doesn't hang around when I party with booze (except for that night with the Toblerone bar), caffeine is always there for me in the morning.  It never asks where I was or what I was doing, it simply gives me an understanding look, pats me on the shoulder, and alleviates my headache by reducing bloodflow through the dilated blood vessels in my temples with its vasoconstrictor action.

As far as my career goes, coffee has been there every single morning.  I can't work without it; it's like my very own personal assistant.  A personal assistant I imbibe and digest.  In the evenings, caffeine helps me stay awake long enough to work on this site.  On the weekends we read books together, share doughnuts, watch movies.  We tried to ride a bike together once, but it just didn't work out.

You know that poem about footprints?  Where the guy is on a beach, looking back at his life and the footprints in the sand, and he's talking to... I can't remember who, maybe Jesus or Buddha or Jamie Farr or someone?  And he sees that during the hardest times in his his life, there's only one set of footprints?  And the guy says "Hey, what up wit dat?"  And whoever it is says "That, my son, is when I ran to get a double espresso."

That's what caffeine has been to me.  And, I guess... I guess I just don't know what to think after seeing this spider web thing.  As a matter of fact, I was raising a cup of coffee to my lips when I came upon those images.  And there it was.  Proof that caffeine is not the friend I thought it was, not the benign, gentle being that has gotten me through so many days and nights and weekends, but instead, some sort of arachnid-corrupting DEMON BEAN.

I'm shattered.

Where do we go from here?  Caffeine is in the kitchen right now, sitting there, in the fridge, wondering why I haven't been in to say hello.  Do I pretend I never saw those pictures?  Can I go on as if nothing happened?  If caffeine finds out what I know, will it do to me the same thing it did to that poor spider?

Or... what if... what if it already has?  Does the spider who spun that web know what a pathetic and crappy web it is?  Or does it look pretty much okay through the cloud of caffeine?  What if... what if I AM that spider?  I mean, jeez, I'm 29 years old and I'm a temp, for crying out loud.  I have a junky apartment and no money and no career... has caffeine been doing this to me all along?  Twisting me like it twisted the gossamer strands of that web?  Here I am, a bright, capable, creative, and incredibly drop-dead sexy guy... man, am I ever sexy... so, shouldn't I be successful by now?

There seems to be only one logical thing to do.  Caffeine has betrayed me.  Hidden things from me.  Lied.  Possibly, just possibly, destroyed my life.  Maybe I was innocent, maybe I was asking for it, but my course seems clear.  I need to pick up an LSD habit.  Pronto.  LSD's web doesn't look half-bad.

Caffeine... I think it's time we had a little talk.


3.20.02 - Temp Chat... Sorta

Over the weekend, I saw a link on the bestest weblog of them all, metafilter, about some new AIM bots. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) bots are programs, I guess, that you can add to your "buddy" list.  If you chat to these bots, they will talk back and provide you with information.  Each bot has its own specialty:  one can give you information about eBay, one will give you the latest gossip about Hollywood, one will dish the skinny on business and finance, and so on.  There's even a bot just for talking about Lord of the Rings.

Then there's ELLEgirlBuddy.  EGB, as I've come to call her, is a female teen bot (see picture, top left) who can give you fashion and beauty tips.  Well, I decided to talk to her and see: a) just how realistic the chat experience was with the bot's artificial intelligence, and b) if she happened to know anything about temping.

Ya with me on this?

Let's Go Read Temp Chat 10!


3.19.02 - Course of Action

The work e-mail I got:

"Please send a check request to James to replenish these checks so James can deposit the replenishment check to your account. You can fax the check request and the petty cash reconciliation sheet to him and James can just attach the checks you faxed to me."

The questions I had:

1)  Huh?

2)  What check request?  And for whom?  And for how much?

3)  James?  Who is James?

4)  What checks?  For what?

5)  Who is James, again?

6)  What replenishment check, and for what, and for whom?

7)  And for how much?

8)  Again, what check request?

9)  Petty what?  Cash what?  Reconciliwhat?

10)  To whom?

11)  James who?

12)  What checks?

13)  Fax where?

14)  Why and when?

15)  For what?

The reply I gave:

"Okay!  No problem!"

The action I took:

Went home.


3.18.02 - ConFusion

Every few weekends, I'll actually wake up before 2pm and get myself a decent breakfast.  I don't mean "decent" as far as nutrition goes, I mean decent as "something better than cold pizza."

Usually, I'll hit a place a few blocks from me called "Happy Wonder Burger Coffee Shop", which is your basic greasy spoon:  blank white walls, crappy chairs and cheap tablecloths, etc.  It's run by a pleasant but tired-looking old Asian couple, and its menu features items like:

Two Egg Scrambles Make With Cheese:  $2.50

Pancake with Bacons OR Sausage AND 4 Toast Piece:  $3.99

Coffee Free Re-Fill, OJ Juice, Milks:  .99

You've probably eaten at places like that.  Anyway, it's good for a hot, fast, artery-hardening yet tasty breakfast, and it's generally not crowded.

Sunday morning, however, I got up early, and headed over to Happy Wonder Burger Coffee Shop and found, to my surprise, that the sign no longer said Happy Wonder Burger Coffee Shop.  Instead, it said:


Café Fusion?  What the hell?  Had Happy Wonder Burger gone yuppie?

It wouldn't be too surprising.  A few years ago, there were plans in my quaint little town to wipe out a couple blocks worth of retail shops and small restaurants, and put in places like Pottery Barn, Gap, and a multiplex.  I wasn't sure how I felt about this; I mean, I'd love to have a movie theater nearby (there are two, but neither of them are operating), but I do like the quaint nature of the town, and the parking is already bad enough as it is.  Plus, this was all slated to happen about a block away from my apartment, so I'd have to live with the daily construction racket.  In any case, the plans were vetoed by the city council or zoning board or whoever votes on these kinds of things.

But Café Fusion?  Were corporate interests making another attempt to infiltrate the town?  Subversively this time, whacking out the Wonder Happy Burger Coffee Shops and their ilk, one by one, sapping them on the back of the head and dragging them off into the alley?  Was Café Fusion a spore of the conglomerate, wafting gently and innocently in, nonchalantly finding purchase, and sitting there unnoticed for a while, before sinking its roots in, multiplying, and finally spreading like a black merciless unholy yet extremely fashionable cancer across my town?

Well, who gives a shit?  I needed some French Toast, stat.

I went into Café Fusion, and found the same blank walls.  The same crappy chairs and cheap tablecloths.  The menu had the same sort of items:

Eggs Ommlett makes with Ham OR Cheese AND Bacons:  $3.99

The only difference?  A slightly older tired-looking yet pleasant Asian couple was running the place.

I guess they just thought "Fusion" sounded good.  And it does!  I'm actually thinking about making up some flyers for Café Fusion, hip, trendy-looking flyers, and posting them all over the San Francisco Financial District.  There's a bench across the street, and it might be fun to sit out one morning and see the BMW's and SUVs pull up, crammed with yuppies, and watch them go into the place with their cellphones and laptops, expecting tofu and smoothies and frappuccinos, and instead, getting a nice plateful of Eggs Ommlett makes with Ham.

OR Bacons.


Last Week on Not My Desk!

Alas, Alack, Alarm
Bag Reel
A Hyena ate my Dingo Baby!
Missed Connections

My Desk Archives

Smurf Rescue
Donkey Kong
Space Panic

More VotF

Mary Jo Pehl Interview
Kids Page
The Temp Test

Hall of Henchmen


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