return to screencuisine

spinn | zomp | lore | lance

Words, Words, Words
Site Archives
Conversations with Clod
Essay Archives
Field Guide:
Not Your Desk
Field Guide Archives
Reviews Archives
Skillz Week
Themes Archives
My Desk:
Inherit the Wedgie
My Desk Archives
Vision of the Future:
VotF Archives
Hare & Hounds
Acronym Generator
Cheese Messager
Diversions Archive
Other Features:
Interview:  MST3K's Mary Jo Pehl
Kids Fun Page!
The Temp Test
Hall of Henchmen
Art Page
Message Board

8-31-01 - Slow Times at Smithtown High, Pt. III

Okay, might as well finish out the week on topic.  First, a couple female readers chime in on the 'sweet' issue.

J.A. writes:

"After reading's Thursday update, I felt moved to define "sweet" from a female's point of view--thought I'm not sure if it will brighten your day. When a woman (or girl, in the cases in question) call a guy sweet, they don't mean they have no interest in him. On the contrary, they're trying to use the compliment--yes, compliment!--to subtly gauge the guy's interest in her. Women use this and many, many more methods of subterfuge when dealing with men--and in the operatic, emotionally fragile teenage years, they're quite often _over_ used."

Do you hear that, guys?  Women are using subterfuge!  You heard it here first!

I should point out that I had a much more straight-forward approach when I liked a girl:  I simply did not talk to her at all.  Complete avoidance.  And it worked like a charm!  An evil, girl-repelling charm!

Jori writes:

"So THAT'S why the guys I liked never seemed interested....they thought I didn't like them because I called them "sweet". Sheesh. Now I know. Thank you for showing me the light, time I write a guy a note, I'll tell him he's the type that makes my blood burn, my scalp tingle, and my bodily functions disobey. ;)"

It's definitely worth a shot.  He'll either think you like him, or that you have radiation poisoning.  Good luck!

Now, a guy's point of view, from Matt:

"I had a friend in high school who was *the* chick magnet. He gave me some great advice once: "Whenever a chick tells you 'You're so sweet,' you have made a mistake.  And he was right."

Well, chick magnets can afford to think that way, I guess.  Smug bastards.

Also, my old school chum, Steve, e-mailed me today.  He actually dug out his yearbook in order to show me what I wrote, which is just a horrible embarrassment that I'm not going to reprint here.

Well, okay, I will.  Most of it is just a bunch of references and in-jokes, although we're both a little hazy on what some of them mean.  Keep in mind, Steve and I have been friends since grade school, so some of these references go back as far as 1980 or so. A sampling, none of which I'll bother to explain:

"Mrs. Pendleton's class and your hamster puppet"  " the Turtle Fort"  "diging a ditch in the woods"  "golfing (pineapple)"  "rabid charlie brown"

Etc, etc.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Boy, that ride I gave Mike to Aamco is looking a lot more poignant now.  As for digging a ditch in the woods, well, it was a small town, we were bored, and the kid was that way when we found him.

The truly embarrassing part is my tagline, which, upon seeing it, brought back a flood of memories, namely memories of me writing it in everyone's yearbook.  It reads:

"Thrive & Survive!"

Gawd.  My face is burning just thinking about it.  'Thrive & Survive'?  That's the best I could do?  Awful, trite, lame, and worst of all, rhyming.  My apologies to everyone in the world.

Thanks to J.A., Jori, Matt, and Steve for the e-mail!  Friends and Clutch Pedals 4-EVER!


message board                back to top                          archives

8-30-01 - Slow Times at Smithtown High, Pt. II

Continuing with our theme of 'Stuff Only Chris Cares About', let's take a look at how some guys signed my high school yearbook.  And tomorrow, there'll be an update about me cleaning out my fridge or washing my socks!  

Aren't you glad this is a free site?


It's been cool hangin' out Racing Down Hallock getting caught by the police you've been a great friend stay cool Definitely hang out During the Summer.

Your great friend, Dan

I have no recollection of a street called 'Hallock', and now that I think about it, only a vague memory of Dan himself.  I do, however, remember the police.  Among the four cars that were pulled over, there were fourteen moving violations.  The officer kind of looked at us for a minute, told us he didn't want to deal with all the paperwork, and let us go.  Anyway, if the cops caught Dan here, I suspect the charge would be related to an absence of punctuation.

Hey Chris,

I'm the first guy to sign.  Congrats by now you know who pranked you still drive like a phs  psh  syco (whatever) and have the lightest car.  I thought you would have figured out who had done the Pranks anyway hope you make it to Hollywood and top Speilburg.


P.S. - please excuse all the spelling mistakes you no about english etc...

P.P.S. - sorry for the Blatent disregard

If memory serves, Ken went on to college and graduated.  Scary.  The pranks he speaks of involved putting Vaseline on our friends' lockers.  Or something.  Again, the memories are fairly cloudy.  My car, a Plymouth Horizon, was indeed light, because three of my friends once picked it up and carried a few blocks away in order to make me think it had been stolen.  Good times, good times.  

The Hollywood reference is because, back then, I wanted to be a director.  Oops!  I seem to have strayed from the plan, because today, I spent the afternoon not setting up a panoramic shot involving the Great Wall of China, an exploding spaceship, and Edward Norton, but instead trying to locate a Glue-Stik for a real estate agent named Jurgen.

Hey Chris,

You are truly a great friend!  I'll always remember the long talks about how girls should act.  You've helped me through a lot of problems, thanks.  I hope you reach all of your goals.


P.S. Steven Spielberg is nothing compared to you!

Man.  If I was giving Kurt here advice about girls, well, he probably had the word 'sweet' appear in his yearbook 500 times, as I did.  And, for any curious girls reading this, here is how you should act:  you should make out with me.  Is that so hard to understand?  Is it?


Good luck and Thanks

Neil Gwinn

Dr. Gwinn was my high school guidance counselor.  I spent a couple weekends raking his leaves and cleaning his basement, which just shows you how optimistic he was about my future.

A big part of signing yearbooks, at least for us, was summing up memorable events that had happened during high school.  At least, that was the plan:

Dear Chris,

I really didn't know you until 12th grade.  To bad not sooner.  We had some good times, and I know there will be more.  Remember driving my car + Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I'm glad we became friends.

Jim K.

Memmmmmmories... okay.  I don't remember driving Jim's car, and even if I did, I'm not sure what I could possibly find poignant or inspiring about the memory.  "Dude, never forget the turn signal.  And 'No Right On Red', my butt!!  The clutch pedal 4-EVA!!!  Remember that flat tire?  It was so flat!"

While I do remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I have no idea what they had to do with Jim, or his car, or anything.


Knowing you has really been an experience I won't forget.  Thanks for taking me to Aamco to drop off my car.  You're a great friend.  Good luck and never forget the gang, dude.

Love, Mike

To the girls, I was sweet and nice.  To the guys, I guess I served as transportation to automotive outlets.  After eleven years, I don't expect people to have fond and specific memories of me, but this was while I still hung out with these people!  That's the best they could do?  'Thanks for taking me to Aamco to drop off my car'?  That's not something you write in a yearbook, that's something you mention offhandedly after someone actually takes you Aamco to drop off your car!

Sigh.  At the very least, this was a time of innocence.  I mean, a guy could still sign something 'Love, Mike', even when it was written to another guy. 

Dear Chris,

Hey Man!  I can't believe school is over.  You've been a great friend & ya know you are right, SPRING KICKS BUTT!  Keep in touch!

Your friend, Tim

Apparently, I coined the phrase "Spring kicks butt!" which went on to sweep the nation, along with phrases like "Show me the money!" and "Clutch pedal 4-EVA!"  What can I say.  I was a trend setter.


message board                back to top                          archives

8-29-01 - Slow Times at Smithtown High

Ah, high school.  For some, it represents four (or five) years of good times, great memories, and everlasting friendship.  For others, pain (both physical and psychological), rejection (both physical and psychological) and regret (mostly physical).

I graduated high school in 1990, and today, some eleven years later, I thought I might finally be strong enough to open up my yearbook again.

Well, I was wrong.  Some wounds never heal.  They just scab over, and no matter how long you refrain from picking at them, they spray fresh blood at the slightest touch, gushing forth the precious red until spots bloom in front of your eyes and you collapse into a inky black void of despair.

Anyhoo, let's take a look at some examples of how my yearbook was signed by my female classmates!  It'll be fun!

Dear Chris,

Hi!  I can't believe we're actually finished!  I'm really glad I got to know you this year.  You're one of the sweetest guys I know!  Good luck next year!

Love, Christa

'Sweet', as I'm sure many of my male readers can verify, is what girls call you when they spend time with a guy but won't make out with him.

I got called 'sweet' a lot.

A lot.

Dear Chris,

English Class is all over with.  No more spelling test etc.... Remember when we has computers Fun!  You are a real nice guy.  I hope the best for you.

Love, Christine

"Nice" is yet another way of saying "I won't make out with you." 

Sadly, I do not remember when we has computers Fun, and no, the irony of the mention of English class is not lost on me.


I'm so glad we became friends.  You are the sweetest, nicest guy I know.  Your easy going personality was always comforting after a long class or day.  I always knew that if I ever needed to talk to you about stuff, that you would always be there!  Thanks for being the great guy that you are.  Don't ever change.

Love always, Cathy

Boy, she wanted to make it really clear that she didn't want to make out with me.  Sweet, nice, great... by the sound of things, I spent a lot of time listening to her problems, too, most of them probably centering around other boys she wanted to make out with.


I'm glad I got to know you.  You're the sweetest person.  Though we never talked much I knew you were there for me if I needed you   Stay as sweet as you are!

Love, Allison

Yes, chances are, I would have been there if she needed me.  She must have gotten a referral from Cathy.

I'm not a therapist, but I played one in high school!

Hey Chris,

Fifth Period luck with Mrs. Jaye - Never forget it. We had so much fun picking on you.  You're a really nice guy.  Good luck in all you do.

Love, Andrea

Hey, great!  Glad you had fun picking on me!  Again, I have forgotten 'Fifth Period Luck', whatever that was.  I probably was forced to block it out along with all the abuse.


To one of the sweetest guys I know.  This was a great year.  I'm really glad we became Friends.  I had a lot of fun this year.  I wish you much happiness in the future.

Love Always, Christine C.

You know how girls had to go to the gym and watch 'the other film'?  I think that film was called "How To Sign Yearbooks For Guys You Like Platonically."


I just met you this year and I'm real happy I did you're a very sweet guy even though Mrs. Jaye had the hots for you!  I know I was rude to you but I was only joking.

Have a great summer, Anna

More abuse, and an indication that, apparently, my puffy-faced English teacher would have made out with me... maybe that was the Fifth Period Luck?


I'm really glad that we became friends this year.  You are one of the nicest guys I've ever met.  I've had so many great times hanging out with you and everyone.  Thanks for taking me out to lunch   I wish you the best of luck next year and all the years to come.

KIT, Alison J.

Man, I even took this one to lunch!  I sure was trying, huh?  $2.75 at the Bagel Bin, right down the drain.

Dear Chris,

I am really glad that we became such good friends this year.  I always wanted to be friends with you ever since I saw you in the film room.  Chris, you have a great personality   Please never change.  Keep in touch.

Love, Jennifer

The two ugliest words in the English language.  'Great personality.' 

And, finally, the coup de grace-


I'm trying to remember the first time I met you & can't. [Wow, how touching!]  But I know that when I met you you were a very welcome friendship into my life.  I could not even begin to tell you what a terrific person you are - you're sweet, kind, considerate & just plain cute!  [Yeah, yeah, y-- wait!  Cute?  That's promising!]  I hope that beyond this summer our friendship will remain as it is right now.   [Oooh, nice save, well played.]  Thank-you for your friendship. [Yes, yes, I GET IT.]

Love you, Michelle

Wasn't that fun?  Come back tomorrow and we'll see how the guys signed my yearbook, we'll see if they described me as 'sweet', and we'll see if I can manage to slit my other wrist.  See you then!


message board                back to top                          archives

8-28-01 - Surreal Estate

So, I'm working in a real estate office for a couple weeks.  And no, it's not particularly surreal, but that's the best pun I could come up with.

The office is in this tiny little town way up in the hills.  There's nothing there but the office, a market, a tiny restaurant, and a bank.  Total isolation.  Not exactly the best environment for a young, hip temp who's looking for some excitement.  It suits me just fine, however.

It's always a little odd when a stereotype you have in your head is dispelled.  I had always thought real estate agents were sly, underhanded, fast-talkin' types.  You know.  Salespeople.  I figured the place would be bursting with phony personalities and tacky blazers and people who smiled with their mouths and not with their eyes.  People who asked you how you were doing only so they could tell you how they were doing.

Turns out I was wrong.  Most of the agents are middle-aged or older.  Slow, shuffling types, mostly, and not a one in a blazer.  Their personalities are about as overwhelming as a body-slam delivered by Woody Allen.  Many of them are foreign and speak in vague European accents.  It's as if the terrorists from a Die Hard movie had survived, mellowed, aged about forty years, and taken up new careers selling homes.

The phone rings a lot with people who are interested in buying $800,000 houses, which I find vaguely depressing, since in order to have that sort of money, you'd think one would have to possess at least a rudimentary intelligence and a capability to form coherent words and perhaps even sentences, both which seem to be beyond the grasp of most of the callers.  Since I am not a licensed agent, I'm apparently not supposed to divulge any information about the properties they inquire about.  Like, nothing.  I can't divulge the price, confirm their availability, or even corroborate that they have reached a real estate office or that they are, in fact, having a telephone conversation.  I convinced one caller he was talking into a container of Country Crock Shedd's Spread, and suggested he might have a lie-down until he was feeling better.

Other than answering the phone, I sit there and watch everyone work.  No one really asks me to help them; I think they're too shy.  One woman even brought in her daughter or niece, a girl of about 10, to help her make copies and send faxes.  The girl couldn't quite get the hang of either of those tasks, being only 10, so I listened to her getting yelled at a lot.  It seemed a little weird and unfair that this poor kid should be hassled and harangued, while I, being paid by the hour, just sat there doing nothing.  I really started to feel bad when the kid couldn't figure out how to do a duplex copy, and the woman really started to scream at her.  She even went so far as to yell "What's wrong with you??"  That was the last straw for me.  There was just no way I could sit there, listening to that go on, and do nothing.  So, I went to lunch.

Also, my supervisor looks a lot like Frank Langella.  A lot like Frank Langella.  Which is a little chilling, considering that Frank's testicles still haunt me.  Still, he is perhaps the nicest person I've ever met (my supervisor, not Frank), so there's really no point in going on about him.


Hey, in case you weren't here yesterday, check out:

Adventures in Temping!

It's also been added to the Art Page.


Diversions this week:  A cool game called The Hare and the Hounds.  It's easy to learn, yet challenging, and you can play either side and at three different skill levels!  I dig it.  Also, an Acronym Generator for generating, um, acronyms.  For example, put in TEMP, and get back:  Tyrannical Egghead, Manifesting Philanthropy.  It's fun!  Also, the Cheese Messenger, where you leave messages written in EZ-CHEEZ.

Uh.  Enjoy?  Links are on the sidebar.  You know, the sidebar.  No, the SIDEBAR!  WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU??

Last Week on Not My Desk


message board                back to top                          archives


Please note: any e-mail sent to may be republished, reproduced, excerpted, and/or mocked on this site as the circumstances require.

Also note: This website may appear to be poorly designed when viewed through certain browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Lynx, WebExplorer, Spry, Spyglass, Links, w3m, Chimera, Opera, Cyberdog, and Mosaic. To improve the appearance of this site, try covering your eyes.

Also also note:  Any and all images used on this site are trademarked and may not be used without permission.  And when I say trademarked, I mean trademarked by whomever I stole them from.  So ask them for permission. 

All material 2000 - 2001 by Christopher Livingston. Yeah. That'll hold up in court.