Thursday, September 30, 2010

Psycho Roomie, Part VI

Apparently it's been, like, a week since I blogged my about old psycho roommate from college. A few of you have commented on previous posts that you can't wait for more - I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. I didn't realize it would actually take so many posts to write about, but clearly, she was a psychotic dipshit and gave me some good writing material. Oh, and this is testing my memory of Roman Numerals. Seriously.

Moving on.

I did forget to mention in my last Psycho Suzi blog about the Great Mouse Disaster of 2002, that she had asked me not to mention it to either her parents or mine. Whatever. I so totally did. Not long after the Great Mouse Disaster, I got to a point with Suzi that I almost pulled a Betty. Meaning, I nearly beat her ass to a pulp. I've written in the past about how Suzi was adamant that I keep my oscillating fan off when I'm not in my room, turning off my computer when not in use, yadda yadda yadda. I think this happened when the September PG&E bill showed up. On this particular day, I remember having been on the phone with a friend. Possibly the previous roommate (i.e. the good one). I was slowly gathering my things as I was planning on heading to campus. I wanted to hit up the Ag computer lab to work on something before heading off to a club meeting. As I'm doing this, Suzi shows up at my bedroom doorway. My door was open, but she never once crossed the threshold. But she had her "pissy" face on and was obviously in a blaming mood. From what I recall, this is how the basic conversation went down:

What's up, Suzi?

(please imagine a very pissy face) Um, yeah, the PG&E bill came today. And, um, yeah, it's high.

Me: How high is "high"?

Suzi: Um, it's $106.00.

Me: Wow, that is high. Well . . . okay, maybe we shouldn't run the air conditioner that much? That costs a lot of money to run.

Suzi: (obviously offended I would insinuate such a thing) We don't run it that much. But your fan runs all the time. (we don't run it that much?? The damn thing is on nearly 24 hours a day!)

(We've been through this issue God knows how man
y times. Yet I fall into the same old trap.)

Me: Fans run mere pennies a day. Air conditioning units cost a lot more.

Suzi: (child-like in her defensiveness) Nah-uh. Those fans take up a lot more energy than the air conditioner! I've lived in this apartment 2 years, and I've never had
a bill this high. I think I've had as high as maybe $85.

(I'm starting to get seriously pissed off that she's blaming this whole thing on ME. What's more insulting is that she's WRONG.)

Me: (getting loud and pissed) Okay, then please
explain to me how I lived in an energy inefficient apartment and never had a bill over $80, Suzi? I'll tell you how. By using fans. We had three going non-stop over summer to cut down our air conditioning costs. (my first apartment had only wall units, those are definitely not very efficient.)

Suzi: A/C units don't use that much energy. (She's getting very aggressive about this and is getting in my face, yet still hasn't crossed the threshold into my room. She points at my fan and --) But that fan of yours is the problem!

(I had reached my breaking point the first time she said that. I was so mad I was starting to shake. I wanted to hit her, take her down.)

Me: (now I'm getting in her face) FINE SUZI! I HAVE TO GO!

I was quite literally thisclose to her face. As soon as I screamed in her face, I spun around turned off my fan, grabbed my bag and shoved past her. I walked so fast out of the apartment I may have left skid marks and a could of dust. I actually talked to myself (and shed a few angry tears) while walking to campus that evening, not caring if I looked completely insane to others. I was so pissed, I was shaking. If I hadn't run out of there and kept fighting with her, I would have hit her. How could she have the balls to blame an entire bill on me?

I tried calling my parents, but they weren't home. I left a message for them to call me back. I couldn't use the Ag computer lab like I'd wanted to as there was a class in there. I'd apparently left even earlier than I thought, due to the fight. But I found a friend, Miss J, sitting in the classroom where our club meeting would eventually be. So I plopped down and vented to her for at least an hour. Miss J turned out to be a huge asset to me during my time with Suzi. She let me vent constantly. I don't know how she still talks to me. My parents attempted to call back during my club meeting . . . it's always embarrassing when your phone rings in a classroom. Even if you're not technically in class.

I called my parents back as I walked back home. I told them everything. Luckily, I had calmed down a bit, but when I told my parents how mad I had been - shaking, crying, etc. - they knew. They knew how bad it had just gotten. I told them about the Great Mouse Disaster. How she blamed me and my one 12" oscillating fan for such a huge energy bill. I'm pretty sure there was a few other small things, as well, but I can't recall. My dad wrote stuff down and said he'd talk to Suzi's parents the next day.

Trust me when I say, at 22, I hated having my parents fight the fight for me. But I realized early on, that that is exactly what Suzi did. Her parents were so involved in her life it wasn't even funny. She talked to them multiple times a day. I'm not saying talking to your parents on a regular basis is a bad thing. If I'm not talking to my mom, I'm texting her. Or we're facebooking. My parents may always be in my life, but they don't run my life. My parents didn't mind stepping in, as they new three against one was a very unfair fight. So I made it three on three. Seemed only fair.

The next day dawned. I went to class, my stomach in knots. The stress of what was to come was killing me. I knew my dad was going to talk to Suzi's dad today. And I knew that Suzi's dad would then talk to Suzi. And Suzi would eventually come talk to me. She was like a Great White and I was the poor helpless Seal. God help me. After Zoology, Miss J and I were starving, and she knew I didn't want to go home yet. We decided to go out for lunch, and decided on Chevy's downtown. We enjoyed a nice lunch, and my stomach didn't start churning again until we went our separate ways and I had to walk the walk back home. My feet felt like lead, my heart pounded. My mind raced as to how this fight would go. I think I stood at the bottom of our stairs for a good 15 minutes before I finally started up. One painful step at a time.I opened the front door to see Suzi sitting on the couch, on the phone. I locked the door behind me (sealing my fate), and headed straight for my room to set my stuff down. I came back to the front of the apartment by the living room because that's where my bathroom was. I wouldn't have there if I hadn't had to . . . well, pee. I sit down and I hear Suzi say, "Hold on, I have to go outside. . . . She's in the house, Mom." I started laughing. She couldn't even be on the phone with me in the house. Sad. I went back to my room and pulled my books and started studying.

Anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes later, I get a knock at my bedroom door. I opened it and she says, (with pissy face on), "Um, yeah, we need to talk." I met her in the living room and there we hashed it out. She was pissed at me for telling the my parents about the Great Mouse Disaster, who then told Suzi's parents. I argued simply this: my name is on the lease, same as hers; the apartment manager doesn't care who is at fault if there's damage done to the apartment. I am just as liable for the damage, according to him, as she is. Not to mention my fear that the neighbors could smell the 100 mice that were now living with us. She then mentioned that damn PG&E bill again. I argued my point again: not only does my fan not cost that much to run, but she must also remember that Betty was moving out during part of that time and the door was open much of the day. (Not that I was blaming Betty, because when you move, the door stays open as a convenience.) Plus, Suzi has a habit of turning the thermostat down to (a record!) 55 degrees. I argued that no way in Hell should the thermostat ever be set lower than 68. Not only that, but she'll turn it on without telling me, and I've opened windows. (And God forbid should she actually check to see if windows are open prior to turning on the air conditioner.)

Her last item threw me for a loop, however. She got mad at me that I "missed our appointment to clean the apartment." (uh, I'm sorry, what "appointment"?) She claimed that (earlier in the week) had set a specific time to clean the apartment. I really didn't recall the "specific time" part. I countered with: "I know we agreed to clean house this afternoon, but I don't remember setting a time for it. Miss J and I decided to go have lunch after Zoo. Besides you don't have to wait for me to clean, you can start without me." She shrugged but kept her pissy face on. Then she decided to tell me about her brilliant idea. Are you ready?

She made a "sign off" sheet on Excel, so we could initial what we did for house cleaning, so the other person didn't come behind them and accidentally do it again. She had listed everything possible to clean, including wiping down the washer and dryer. No shit. And there was a sign off column for each week of the month. I wanted to rip it out of her hands and shred it. I wanted to give her a thousand paper cuts with it. Being that I didn't want a fight, I agreed that it was a good idea.

I'll give you three guesses who did all the cleaning for a year.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pet Peeves, Part III

11. Lunch Thieves: They got me last night, first time ever. And boy did it piss me off. I've heard it happens to others, but I was always of the mind that "it would never happen to me". I took the makings of a sandwich with a couple small lunch-size baggies of chips. I wasn't sure which one I'd want with my sandwich, so I took options - a little bag of Fritos and a little bag of Doritos. By the time I went to lunch last night, I was famished. I grab my bag from the fridge and reach up on top of the fridge for the two bags of chips. Usually they're safe. Unfortunately, this time, someone else decided they were free for the taking and freaking ate them. My hand grabbed air. I ate my sandwich with a side of sandwich thanks to a couple of assholes. Common courtesy folks: If you didn't bring, DON'T EAT IT.

12. Pushy Bosses/Co-workers: I know what time I'm supposed to clock out every day. I don't need to be reminded for the last hour what time I have to leave by. I don't need someone crowding me the last 30 minutes asking if and when they can take over for me. Pushing and crowding makes me nervous and rushed and then I make mistakes. Unfortunately I can't blame my mistakes on that, they still get blamed on me. So, when I'm ready, I shall come find you. Then I'll leave. On time.

13. Excessively Loud Apartment Living: College years are one thing, but most places I've lived since college are a place for adults to live a
nd possibly raise a family. Now, some things are accidental - you're on the top floor and you drop the mayo jar. Oops. My bad. I don't even mind hearing my neighbors music a little during the weekend - we all need to blast it once in awhile. But blaring it all day and well into the night? Come on, folks. Other people have to sleep. Or their kids have to sleep. If you live on the top floor, please walk quietly. There's nothing quite like being afraid for your life thinking the roof will collapse on top of you. And for the love of all things Holy, please don't practice your bedroom screams at 2AM. (Ya'll know what I'm talking about.)

14. Intersection Beggars: You've all seen them. The people that stand around an intersection with a sign that usually reads something like "Hungry: Anything will help. Thanks." They stare at you while you're sitting there in your car. You c
an feel their gaze burning a hole into your skull. What could be worse? Them hollering at you to roll your window down. Yeah. That's getting a little rude, don't ya think?

15. Forcible Donation Solicitation: Donations are simple. If you want to give, you give. You have the right to pick and choose to which organization(s) you'd like to donate to. Many companies like to "give back" to some of the larger charities. I commend them. I think that's great. The idea, that is. Unfortunately, the company as a whole, doesn't seem to want to give a lump sum every year, they leave it to the individual business parts of the company to raise the money. I've blogged a couple times regarding the Un
ited Way campaign at work (see crazy and forced), and how it's pretty much expected that you will donate every week for 8 weeks during each shift and each department's fundraisers. When people ask why you're not coming, you simply state, "I don't wish to participate." Then the interrogation starts. They hound you until you come clean as to why you won't part with $3. In my case, that $3 needs to stay with me. Then they throw the pity line and want to pay for me. That's very kind of you, but that's okay. Or they say things to the point of making you feel like a schmuck. A pissed off schmuck. And that's not a good feeling. Trust me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I seriously don't understand why some people have to create so much drama around them. I don't understand the draw. The only drama I seem to have in my life is their drama. My life has little drama. Good, bad, or indifferent. Right now the only drama in my life (that is mine) is the lack of funds and having to deal with 8 freakin' weeks of the United Way campaign at work. Which, by the way, those two should never really go together. Like grocery shopping when your hungry - always a bad idea.

Last night at work, I got scolded for the schedule I made for the week. Apparently, I put slow people on the hematology machines and there was no work. Our resident drama/crazy queen decided to have a fit and claim that no one started her bench (and I was still tired from her shit the night before). Our boss called in sick. Someone stole the only working can-opener from the break room and I only found out when I had to open my can of chili. And the cherry on top was our chemistry analyzer had a "flood" and we had to play musical reagents.

I was forced to semi-socialize with Ms. Drama on Sunday night. She was trying to help me as she didn't have anything to do. I felt so damn lucky I couldn't see straight. I stuck both headphones in from the second I clocked in (which is against work policy; we're allowed one ear piece in, but no management on Sundays so the mice will play). I had been hoping this would deter her from speaking a word to me. Nope. As I'm rocking out to my totally awesome tunes, she keeps coming up to me to tell me things. I simply stated, "okay", as they were not things that required full and complete sentences. I got attitude from her. You know the whole drama-wanna-be-diva crap. I really wouldn't be shocked if she talks to our boss later, being as how in her topsy-turvy world, I am the one with the at-ti-tude. What really gets her goat is this: though our work is done, I actually still have things to do to keep busy. I have all sorts of little things that I don't necessarily have time to do during the week. I have very little actual "down" time. She had probably close to three or four hours where she was wandering around like a lost puppy. And she kept hanging around me. (insert scream of terror here)

Come Monday night, Ms. Drama is having issues because the person who is supposed to be with her on her bench called and said they'd be late. Claims no one started the bench. It's a pack of baloney and she knows it. I so don't understand how people can say that kind of shit to others when they know it's not true and it can be proved. How do people blindly believe that crap that comes out of their own mouths? Creating drama and just plainly pissing of otherwise content co-workers? All they do is make the work environment tense and irritable.

And getting in trouble with my schedule, well . . . okay, so I tried switching it up a little. There was no variety. People doing the same benches on the same days of the week. My boss says some people are slower on certain benches. In a few cases I know this to be true. One person takes their sweet-ass time on two benches because they're not being measured by how much they do. A couple people are slow on one or two benches because they're not comfortable with them. But in the case of last night, when someone tells me that Thing 1 and Thing 2 are really slow on X machines, and to not put slow people in the cell (our automated machine area . . . sounds great, eh?) . . . and I don't see it. In my humble opinion that no one will ever hear, simply because I'm a peon and I don't matter in the grand scheme of things, there are other things to consider. Don't schedule a person for cross-training on a Monday. Ever. If you're short, why do you still sit in your office doing God knows what for two hours instead of jumping out on the floor and helping out? I went to the CBC drop off table and saw lots of work on the table - no shortage there. So what was the problem? The person whose station I was using filled in on a machine since I was in her way. There were three people running three machines like they should be, so why are you whining? Turn-around-time was still met. Training still got done. Quit your bitching at me - it makes me bitchy in return. And contrary to popular rumor, I don't like being bitchy.

So after all that freakin' drama is when I find that the one and only properly working can-opener in the break room is missing. I was starving. I was in a bitchy mood from the drama. I wanted my chili and garlic bread (which I realized as I was prepping my lunch that I had forgot the garlic on my kitchen counter . . . sigh). Instead I had to use the piece of shit can-opener where you put it on the can, squeeze, move it manually, squeeze, etc. You couldn't turn the handle because the cutting wheel was tweaked and it wouldn't turn right, nor would it cut. Me? Not. Happy.

After finally getting to eat my chili and going in the cell to work with a couple people who can make me laugh, I finally felt half-way normal. As in, not as bitchy. Still irritated. And now that I'm home I can relax and put it all behind me.

Of course as I type this, I have a neighbor who I can't see because of trees that is possibly moving and has no idea how to drag a dolly up or down the damn stairs quietly. I am effing thrilled that I get to report that every 10 minutes this asshole is BANGING the dolly up and down the stairs. This? This is just one among many reasons why I love working GRAVEYARD.

I feel another pet peeves blog coming along.

And here goes that fucking dolly. Again. Someone may die before today's over. Death by dolly. Can't be pretty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Volunteer Appreciation

Today, I went to a picnic at Homeward Bound that was put on by the two founders for their volunteers. It's two hours out of the entire year that the volunteers come together to thank each other for their help. It's two hours that the founders get to thank so many volunteers at once. Some of the volunteers are close friends, having been with Homeward Bound for several years. You hear them talking "shop" while eating. You see a dozen or more dogs that were once homeless and scared, now playing fetch or wading in the doggie pools, or even catching some shade under a table (and hopefully a piece of yummy Tri-Tip).

Until you go to a picnic, it's hard to understand just how many people give their time to such an organization. Being the only Golden Retriever rescue in the state of California, Homeward Bound gets dogs from literally all over. There are people who "taxi" dogs from one end of the state to the other, in a sort of relay. Every dog is seen by a veterinarian who donates her time and makes it possible for Homeward Bound to take in, quite literally, any Golden in any condition or of any age. There are the dog walkers. There's the dog groomer who donates her time. There are those that assist in facility maintenance. There are those that clean the kennels and feed the dogs (like me). There are those that help place dogs in homes, help possible adopters find the right dog for their families.

I go there one day a week. I see, maybe three or four other volunteers on that day. I'm a small fish in a very big pond, and until this picnic comes along once a year, it's hard to imagine how many others are out there. It's also hard to imagine how many dogs you've helped save, even when giving a few hours, one day a week.

Last year, Homeward Bound took in nearly 900 dogs. Partly due to the housing crisis. Partly due to horrific back yard breeders. Either way, that's a lot of dogs that were once homeless.

The dogs that people brought today were once part of that. Instead of being fearful and hungry, they are now thriving, happy Goldens who know no fear. It's an honor to help Homeward Bound find these adorable creatures new lives and new homes. And I am only one of hundreds of strangers who give their time. For one cause:

The dogs.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Psycho Roomie, Part V

This picture was taken a few months before the move-in. We were getting a tour of UC Davis Vet School - here sitting in on a radiology course. I actually understood the class. Suzi, not so much. Score 1 for the vet tech courses. lol

**And before I start on this installment of my psycho roomie story, I must thank Simple Dude for writing the words "power point" when I asked him how to write on pictures. LOL Thanks Simple Dude! (Although using it brought up all the memories of all the presentations I had to do using Power Point in my last year of school).**

In my last blog about Psycho Suzi, I mentioned her conducting her piss-poor idea of a research project in our apartment. Let me just say, I learned very quickly to love Febreeze.

By the time school started up, Betty was living elsewhere (and thus far, happily). I had a full load of classes, and a near full-time job with Petco. I became very thankful for my friends very early, as they were my free therapists for the academic year of '02-'03. They let me vent nearly every day about the goings on with Suzi. So, this is my (at least) my first shout out to my friends who helped me more than they will ever know.

I also mentioned in my last post about Suzi that at Chico State, the College of Agriculture requires of every student, a research project, in order to actually graduate. You take a class that teaches you different ways to conduct a project, and all sorts of variables you can use, and whatnot. Lots of technical jargon I really can't recall after all this time. During this class, you choose a project to conduct. Many students piggy-back off their professors. Some will come up with their own. Either way, you also have to give a presentation about your project - what you're looking for, what you're hoping to find. Once you've been through that special circle of Hell, your professor will let you know if your project is approved to actually begin. The second semester of this class is where you hone your presentation and research paper skills. I cannot tell you how many times I gave my presentation to my class before our final presentation. I could have done it while in a coma. At this point, I was a year from conducting my project, but you should know I'd been panicking about it since I found out about it my first week of school in 2000.

Suzi, wanting to attend vet school for small animals and "pocket pets", decided oh-so intelligently that she would conduct her project on the affect of cage size of (mother) mice, in regards to the cage sizes most research mice would be caged in. She bought a dozen or so plastic cages from Petco, water bottles, food, shavings, and even the mice. In the end, I swear we had close to 100 mice living in our apartment. And it smelled like it. Unfortunately, she bought the cheap-ass cages that have grated lids that snap on top. Petco does not sell the bottles that would properly fit in the hole for the water bottle that the lid had in it.

Anyone else see the problem there?

She had to jerry-rig it.

Now, during all this, I still didn't want to deal with her after what happened between her and Betty. I lost all respect for her in how she treated Betty and how she was suddenly trying to kill me with kindness. I was, for the most part, trying to ignore her. I kept busy with my studies, tried to study at friends houses or on campus - anything to keep away from the apartment. I voiced my concerns about having so many mice in the apartment, and badgered her as to why she couldn't find space anywhere to house the mice instead. She had the lamest arguments, but naturally she was in the right and I was wrong.

For those that have never owned a rodent for any reason - rodents smell. No matter how clean you keep them or their cages, rodents smell. With so many mice, I feared our neighbors might start catching a whiff and start complaining. My biggest fear was that they would get out and get in the walls, causing an infestation. And I, with my name being on the lease, was just as responsible for any damage to the apartment as Suzi was.

And wouldn't you know, my fear came true. The mice got out.

I got home from work one evening, to change out of my work clothes to go hang out with some co-workers at a bar downtown. Shoot some pool (of which I'm horrible at) and have a drink and some laughs. I'm in my room (at the opposite end of where the mice are caged) and I thought I saw a white flash on the floor. I figured it was my imagination. Until a second white spot flashed on the floor. I got on my hands and knees and saw MICE. In my room. I started cussing Suzi out enough to make a sailor blush. Unfortunately, she wasn't home. I nabbed the two mice and marched them right back to their room, only to scream in frustration and cuss a lot more. Suzi, being her brilliant self, had taped the water bottles to the tops of the cages, one of them had come crashing down. The biggest cage with the most mice. Of course. And the mice climbed up the bottle and right out of their cage. I shoved my two mice in their cage and stuck a book on top of the cage so they couldn't get out. I then called my superb roommate and left this message:

"Suzi, you need to get home right now. A whole cage of mice got out and are now wandering around the apartment. This is your mess and you need to get back ASAP to clean this shit up. I'm going out with friends."

I got home around 1AM to find Suzi and a friend looking for the last mouse. The stove sat in the middle of the kitchen. The fridge was catywompus. Her room looked like a tornado had been there. The entire house was turned upside down. Except my room. I had put towels under my door to prevent more mice from getting in. They finally found the last mouse hiding behind her dresser. All in all, about 10 mice, at least, got out. I didn't walk around barefoot ever again. I don't think I ever got an apology from her either. The next day, I found more duct tape on those cages that I care to mention.

The mice never got out again.

However, I sprayed Febreeze several times a day. Even on myself. I felt tainted by having to live with the smell instead of just working with it 5 days a week.

And this was only the first few weeks of school. Yeah. That's what I was thinking, too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm going to assume that nearly everyone, at some point or another, has had someone in their life that is a "helper". And I don't mean that in a positive way, either. I'm talking about a "helper" as in the fact that they only seem to help in order to get praise; in order for them to feel important. I more often than not find this in the work place. There always seems to be that one person who is looking for the praise, the attention from helping out as many people as they can. And in case they're not sure if everyone around them knows how "helpful" they're being, they list their endeavors to anyone who will listen.

Supervisors eat this shit up. Everyone else? Rolling their eyes and possibly wiping off the tip of their nose as a sign to the next person rolling their eyes, "Hey, did you hear the brown-noser?"

What's worse is when this "helper" is a person who goes through . . . periods, I guess, where they're not their cheery little helper-person. That every few months, these people decide to have fits where, if no one is noticing how hard they're working, they won't help. Maybe the wonder if no one knows? So they start telling everyone who crosses their path just to make sure everyone knows how helpful they are, therefore they get praised and it raises their spirits so that they're cheerful enough to make others sick.

I was raised with chores to do in order to get any kind of allowance. I was praised for my hard work with a few bucks and a thank you. When I had horses, I spent hours doing chores out in the corral and barn. For myself. When I got into the work world, I did the work because it was there, it needed to be done. More than likely it was assigned to me so I didn't really have much choice in the matter, but still. If I could do more, I did more. If I could help someone else with something, I would. I didn't stand there and demand to the thanked and praised for all my help and hard work. Unlike some other people.

Now don't get me wrong, I like praise. It's nice to be acknowledged for helping your co-workers out, or doing something you weren't asked to do. But it's not why I do it. Sometimes I feel that my boss may not praise all of us at work enough. We all work our collective asses off, and at the next meeting we might be fortunate enough to get a lecture on what else we need to be doing. My boss actually asked me one day (a few months ago) very randomly (like I was on lunch in the break room and she was coming in from sucking on a cancer stick), "Have I complimented you recently?" I was seriously dumbfounded, and probably looked like an idiot with my forkful of food an inch from my mouth with my mouth wide open just staring at her. I kept thinking, is this a trick question? I kind of shrugged and shook my head, thinking if I can't remember it's been too long, and saying "I don't think so, why?" And her replying back to me, "I love the way you do your amended reports. I wish everyone did them the way you do." It was a very random compliment over a very random item. As she walked away, I was happy to have gotten such a random compliment.

But I don't run to my boss (or anyone else for that matter) to list my goings-on at work so that I can continually get praise. If I covered someone's break, I will let them know what I did and there's anything special they need to be on the lookout for. I get a "thanks for covering me" or a "thanks for doing that", and I'm back to my bench. I usually don't give a detailed over-view of what I did, because it was stuff that should be done anyway. I don't deserve a ton of praise for doing my job.

And I also don't jump around all over the building helping everyone, because I'll never get my job done on time. Some helpers are all over the place, and once they realize that their actual assignment might not get done on time, they're suddenly all pissy. Like it's someone else's fault that they just I had to run around helping half a dozen people? No, actually, they didn't. Someone else could have stepped in to do some of that.

There is a reason why businesses hire several people - so the work gets spread out. So, "helpers", spread the love. Leave some out there for the rest of us. Don't do all the work, don't take all the credit, and don't bitch about not getting your own job done. Use your head. It's that lump three feet above your ass. At least . . . it should be above your ass.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forced donating

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the donation fiasco that I dealt with regarding my job's annual United Way campaign. My department's fundraiser is Thursday night, and I'm already feeling the pressure.

Last week, no one bothered me for much. Another department did a bake sale, and I offered to bake some cookies and muffins. I told the head guy that those would be my donations to United Way, seeing as how I can't even part with $5 as my bills are much more important. He was totally fine with that.

This week, however, is my department's turn. We're doing a Salsa Cook-off and Nacho Bar. I was planning on making salsa, as that's easy enough to do and let that be my donation. I won't be doing that anymore. The nacho thing got added Monday night as the salsa cook-off alone isn't a very big fundraiser. They charge per vote and per taste-test. You can choose a small nacho container or a large nacho container. And we're even making virgin margaritas for an additional cost. And at the last minute, my boss decides to charge an entrance fee for the salsa cook-off. I have to pay $3 just to put a bowl of salsa out for others to taste. Hell no.

What sucks is this: I love nachos. This is positively killing me.

Not to mention, while I was on lunch last night, my boss and two others were in the break room discussing our event. This was when I found out all these "donation" charges. As I'm sitting at my own table, eating my chili and garlic bread, my boss goes on and on about how she expects everyone to participate. Meaning, the nacho sign-up sheet that doesn't have my name it on . . . I could possibly get hell for that. When I don't have a bowl of salsa on the table, I could get hell for that. When I don't show up with my paycheck to donate all the money their looking for, I could get hell for that. She wants so hard to beat the other department who raised nearly $600 from their bake sale, because why? The department who earns the most money gets pizza.

I have nowhere to hide on Thursday night. It supposed to start at 1AM, and I don't go to lunch until 2:30AM. I have already refused to bring anything for the nacho bar, considering I'm not eating any of it, nor am I donating money to eat it. I'm not sure if my boss has caught wind yet of the fact that my name is not on that sign up sheet.

I know I'm within my rights to not donate for whatever my personal reasons are. But sometimes, others just don't understand - whether it's a can't or won't, I'm not entirely sure. I may not be destitute, but I need all I can get. If I have a couple extra bucks and decide to let loose once, I treat myself cheaply, like a $3 meal from McD's, or a $2 meal from Taco Bell. But that's at my discretion.

I know I'm a good person because I volunteer for my two organizations with my time. But I'm really starting to feel like a chump for not being able to give money to United Way. Especially with my boss hollering around the lab how she expects everyone to be buying salsa votes and nachos. I know I shouldn't feel bad, but I do. And I hate that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Psycho Roomie, Part IV

We left off with Betty leaving our apartment late at night with Suzi chasing her down, trying to get her back after she pushed her out. I was left standing in the apartment, completely astonished at what I witnessed. I don't really remember much else from that night. I think I tried placing another call, crying, to my then-boyfriend, who wasn't picking up. I don't remember if Suzi tried talking to me about the incident, as if I wasn't there. What I do remember is the aftermath.

Betty came home the next day with moving boxes and started packing. And looking for a place to live. At best, she was there another week or two, and she would be gone. Betty and Suzi never said another word to each other. Well, it was more like Betty refused to say anything to Suzi and did her best to not be in the same room as her. Suzi kept pushing. Creating drama at every turn. I stayed out of that one. Betty and I would sit outside her room at the front of the apartment late at night and talk. Betty often spent her nights at friends houses as she didn't want to stay over-night at our place; she feared Suzi might try something. And of course, Suzi's mother showed up to stay until Betty was gone, since Suzi's mother was afraid Betty would do something to Suzi. Seriously. Betty and I feared more for Betty's life than Suzi's.

I mentioned briefly, that when things started getting ugly in the apartment, I started having boy troubles. Right after this fight between Suzi and Betty, Boyfriend and I broke up. My parents were getting on a plane to take an Alaskan cruise for their 25th wedding anniversary. I kept my best friend from church crying for hours on her shoulder via the phone. Boyfriend broke my heart. He was my first boyfriend and the first boy to break my heart. Now, fast forward several years, he and I are excellent friends. Turned out better that way. My mom was grateful to Suzi's mother for one thing: being there for me when Boyfriend broke up with me. She gave me hugs and tried to tell me everything would be okay. I was grateful, too. Until Suzi and her mother did a group hug with me. The gratefulness stopped there. Then it got a bit creepy.

In a span of about two weeks, I lost the better of two roommates and a boyfriend. I was on a roll. When my parents got back from their two week cruise, Betty was gone, having found a room in a house near campus. I told my parents everything that happened and they were astounded by what went on. I told them I'd really rather not live with Suzi anymore. God only knew what she would do to me if she turned on me. In the end, financially, it wouldn't work for me to move. My parents spoke with Suzi's parents regarding rent and how we could only afford so much. Rent was agreed upon. And I was to remain living with Suzi. All I remember is my mom asking me to not blame them if I wound up in therapy from living with this chick.

With Betty gone, so was her nice entertainment center. Along with the TV, VCR, and DVD player. And her Play Station. So, since I was the only with a large enough TV, I moved mine on it's little stand out to the living room. I had it all, except the Play Station. And now that my TV stand was out of my room, I could move my book case into my room, which made Suzi very happy. Did I mention her giving me shit about my book case? I had a small three shelf book case from my Nana. It housed old text books for reference, all my CD's, and other random stuff. I hadn't had the room in my room to keep it, so we all agreed it was okay to put it in the living room. I even left the top shelf open for all three off us to put stuff on. So that it wasn't just "mine". It was all okay until Suzi realized my personal shit was on the book case. All Hell broke loose over that. She kept on me about until I cracked and yelled back at her "And where do you expect me to put the book case, Suzi? Please, tell me where I have room?" That shut her up. But now that my TV was out of my room, I unloaded my book case and moved it and all it's belongings into my room. She never said a word, but I'm pretty sure the bitch gloated.

Suzi held the threat of going to the cops over Betty's head for awhile. Unknowingly to Suzi, Betty had already gone with her dad to the police station to file a report about the incident. Nothing ever happened about that. Suzi was pretty much full of a hot air anyway.

I barely spoke to Suzi after that night. I didn't want to. I thought she had to be the worst person in the world to treat her "friend" like that. Remember, Suzi introduced Betty and I; her and Betty had been friends prior to this. Not besties, or anything, but friends nonetheless. Suzi was also going to be starting her research project. For the College of Ag at Chico State, each student is required to take a two part class for a research project, and do a research project of their own. Many students pair with a professor and piggy-back off their current project. Some come up with their own. Suzi did the latter. Considering the College of Ag works with farm animals and she doesn't. Also consider the fact that Suzi killed an Aloe Vera plant (not kidding), she wasn't going to do a project with plants. Oh no, Suzi came up with her own project and to my dismay . . . conducted it in our apartment. Me? Not a happy camper. Why? Her project title: The Affect of Cage Size on Mother Mice. (Regarding the size cages research mice can be housed in).

Anyone else see where this is going?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Unrequited . . . feelings

Today I watched one of my all time favorite movies. On VHS. Yes, I still have a VCR. I know you're giggling . . . you can stop now. I do own a DVD player - two in fact. The regular one I've had for nearly 10 years and the Blu-Ray I got this year. But I still own my first VCR, because it still works, and I still have movies on VHS because I never went and bought them on DVD. It's a rare day that I watch one of those movies . . . I mean, I actually have to check to see if I rewound it the last time I watched it.

The movie is "While You Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. I hadn't seen it in a few years, but I found that I still know every single word of that movie by heart. But there is one part of that movie that resonates with me, because, well, the description fits me. Good, bad, or indifferent, it does. If you haven't seen the movie, here's the premise: Sandra Bullock plays Lucy, a girl who is all alone. She saves a guy's life at Christmas and the family believes she's their sons fiancee, even though she's never actually met him. I found a clip on YouTube, that has the scene to which I'm saying that fits me. Unfortunately it's like a 10 minute clip, but if you go to 7:00 it cues it up nicely - "Lucy" is visiting her "fiancee" in the hospital:

The part where she starts her little monologue about where she had "planned" to be versus where she is now. How she states "that I have a cat . . . I have an apartment . . . sole possession of the remote control . . ." That is me. I'm not where I thought I'd be. Growing up, girls like to plan things out - what a good age to get married might be, and if that happens, the age they'd like to start having kids. Owning their first home. I'm still not there. All the ages that I thought things would be perfect have come and gone. And I'm left with "I have a cat, an apartment, and sole possession of the remote control." Now, I'm not alone in the world; I have my friends and family, without whom I'm probably be completely lost.

I thought about this movie today on my way home from my volunteer gig at the horse place today, being that I made a pit stop before I got home. This pit stop made me think of this moment in this movie (minus the bit about someone being in a coma). I mentioned in an earlier blog about a guy that I went to dinner with a few months ago. From this point, he shall be called WB - only a total of four people in this world know what that those initials actually stand for, and it's not his name. I stopped by his house today to drop off some beer that I had originally purchased for him to have with dinner I made one night. He's never been back to my place (and no, it wasn't my food! lol), and I don't drink beer. I'm not much of a drinker to begin with, and I've never acquired the taste for beer. So, a few months after not seeing him anymore, I finally emailed him and asked him if I could stop by to drop it off for him. I felt a little silly (okay, a lot silly) for driving thirty minutes out of my way to drop off four bottles of beer. But he said I was welcome to stop by, so I decided to just do it. Now, he and I have still talked on Facebook once in awhile, but we don't chat/talk/text like we did this last spring - which seemed like tons. I got to his house and meets me outside with his dogs gives me a hug and asks how I've been. He puts the beer in his fridge and asks me to come see the work he's been doing on his and his friends trucks (apparently his friend was there to learn from WB). He's restoring a 1950 dump truck for himself, and he's helping a friend work on a 1950 flatbed truck. Both trucks looked awesome, by the way. I chatted with WB and his friend for a good twenty minutes or so, with the conversation going smoothly. I threw the ball for his dog a few times. Shared a few laughs. When the conversation started to lag, I finally said that I should let them get back to work on their toys. WB walked me out, and I teased him about the way his house looks (he has about a dozen projects going, so it looks like a construction zone), and we shared some more laughs out front. And we hugged goodbye.

The thing about WB is that, from what I've seen and heard, he is what I've been looking for in a man. The only fault I can find with him is his apparent lack of romantic interest in me. He prefers country life to city life, his family owns a ranch, he has a college degree, a good stable job that he enjoys, and he's a perfect gentleman. He offered to kick my ex's ass for breaking my heart, having never met me nor my ex (who was a marine and could probably kill anyone with his pinkie finger). He's restoring the dump truck alone - that takes a lot of talent in my book. He has a house, dogs, has a great sense of humor, has a laid-back personality, is just the right height, has blue eyes that I could dive into, and to round out the whole shebang, he's handsome. I rarely say a guy my age is handsome, but he is. He's cute, good looking, but there's something about him that makes him handsome. And in some ways, I guess is the guy that most resembles my dad, and my dad is one of two men I compare all boyfriends (or potentials) to. Because I want a man like my dad.

For what seems like an eternity in my mind, I've thought him perfect for me. But I realize I can't make him like me. I can't continue to beat my head against a wall to see what else I can do for him to realize "that if he only knew me, he would (of course, dump the perfect model they were with) and realize that you were the person that they wanted to just grow old with". But, though I know I can't make WB do anything (Read: fall in love with me), and I can't stop thinking about him. It's like he's gotten under my skin. Why am I drawn to a person who doesn't like me romantically for whatever his reason(s)? I drove all the way out to his house to deliver four bottles of beer that reminded me of him every time I opened the fridge. I wanted to see him again, as three months of not seeing him was aggravating. I left his house hating him for being so nice and wonderful and handsome and funny. But I felt welcome, even though I felt silly for being there. He never made me feel like he didn't want to see me or talk to me, or introduce me to his friend. He never forced me out of his house to get back to work on the truck.

I remember the day I realized just how "not interested" in me he was. I was visiting my parents for the weekend, and I came out of the computer room and sat with my mom on the couch in the back of the great room. I laid down and put my head her lap, and cried. We talked about it. Mostly her talking and me whimpering, because as we all very well know - mom's are psychic like that. It's scary. I felt silly - 30 years old and crying over a boy with my head in my mother's lap.

And this would just be another reason why I hate boys (yet not really) and dating. Oh the vicious cycle.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Say what?

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but I have had my fair share of funny/odd/stupid things said to me over the years. Anyone who has ever worked in retail can attest to the fact that some people are definitely a few sandwiches short of a picnic. But you can find these people or moments even in your workplace. Some things are definitely not stupid, yet are silly. Some just make you go "huh?" and think before you either understand it or decide it's not worth giving yourself a headache over. I won't be using any Psycho Suzi ones in this, mostly because those really belong in blogs about that situation where I can properly set the stage for such comments. (Trust me, they're worth it). However, here are a few anecdotes from the silly questions/comments to the annoying, to the really dumb.

"You know about horses, right? Well, what is a 'draft' horse?" (a horse that pulls heavy loads, like the Clydesdales - they pull that big Budweiser cart) "Oh, see, I thought they were called draft horses because they hauled the beer!" (I totally see where she got that! Easy to make that reference! But still, funny shit.)

"Can I put boy ha
msters with girl hamsters?" (Sure, if you're looking to breed them.) "Don't they come to you fixed or something?" (O.M.G. who would PAY money to spay/neuter a hamster?!)

"I have this dog . . . he needs someone to visit him." (Uh-huh. You're old enough to be my dad, you're drunk, and this is your pickup line?) "He's at home, and he's lonely." (Seriously, dude, WTF? I'm going to have nightmares for a month.)

"What am I going to do with my machine? It keeps giving errors." (Okay, um, I don't know what errors you're talking about.) "Well, service called us yesterday." (FYI, I'm not psy
chic. I still don't know what you're talking about.) "It keeps beeping." (Yeah, that psychic-ness I mentioned earlier, still on the fritz.)

"I'm looking for a book on a dog breed." (ahh. easy.) "I think it's called (I'm spelling it how she sounded it out) Bitchin' Fries." (Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Don't laugh. Shit.) I reply, "Um, do you mean, Bichon Frise? It's a french breed." (Stop laughing at the customer.) "Oh! That's how you say it? Well, now we won't have to whisper it in people's ears." (Please walk away so I can let the real laughter out - it hurts holding it in.)

"I'm gassy today." (Oh dear Lord. Thanks for the warning, but, over share, dude. Over share.)

"I'm really sorry for freaking out. I have G.A.D." (dazed & confused look.) "General Anxiety
Disorder." (Riiiiight. Self diagnosis, am I right?)

"I'm really sorry for my attitude/mood swings." (One word: postal.) "I think my glucose levels are off today." (Ohh, that's --- what?)
"I think we're kindred spirits." (Um, okay . . .) "I feel like I could tell you my deepest, darkest secret." (On our third date? Please let it be he has a wife and three kids in Sydney.) "I d
on't like cheese." (.....................)

"I collect little Lego men." (pffft! really? I think my drink came out my nose.) "I'm currently living with Mom & Dad while I'm looking to buy a house." (buying a house? okay, I'll bite.) "I've been hunting for about two years." (............... blank stare .......)

"Hey, that's a cool bridge!" (Yep, the Brooklyn Bridge is pretty awesome.) "Hey, isn't that the Bay Bridge??" (Um. No.)

"Cool, a map of the US Mints. Let's see . . . where's Boulder?" (That would be in Colorado.)
"Where's this one?" (That would be where WE ARE.) "Oh my gosh! You mean D.C. is all the way across the country?!" (and THAT would be why we had a 4 hour flight here. Duh.)

"Wow, what pretty graffiti." (pretty graffiti? isn't that an oxymoron?) "I wish all graffiti was like that!" (that's what we like to call a mural, sweetie.)

"Donate to our church!" (you guys realize you're in an intersection. literally.) [bangs on car windows] "Will you help us help our church?" (help yourselves away from the car.) "No donations means you're going to Hell!" (and you're not on my list to get into my party.)

"You're from California???" (yep, that's what I said.) "So, do you know a lot of celebrities?" (hahaha - no.) "Don't you live in L.A.?" (you do realize there's MORE to CA than just L.A., right?) "Well, you're by a beach then, right?" (the beach of the Sacramento River. does that count?)

I worked for Petco for 3 years, and I came across several nice folks who, while it was obvious the lights wer
e on, it was apparent that no one was home. In some cases this shocked me; like how many times I had this conversation:

Me (heeeyy, he's cute): Hi there, can I help you?
Customer: Sure. I'm really loving this fish here. It's beautiful. I think I'll take it.
Me (ooh, switching to default mode): You'd like the Yellow Tang? Do you have a saltwater tank set up at home?
Customer: I'm sorry - a what?
Me (another one bites the dust): A saltwater tank. The Yellow Tang is a saltwater fish.
Customer: It's a fish. Doesn't it just need water?
Me (trying not laugh): Well, yes. But it needs saltwater, like the ocean. If your looking for freshwater fish, we have plenty to choose from over there in that section.
Customer: What's the difference?

Me (laughter subsiding, urge to slap commencing): Saltwater would be the ocean. Freshwater would be a stream or lake. Saltwater tanks are beautiful but really high maintenance. What sort of system do you have set up?
Customer: W
ell, I was just going to get a bowl. From the shelf out there.
Me (hello? anyone home? hello??): If you buy the Tang and put it in a bowl, it will be dead in mere minutes. If you're looking for a fish-in-a-bowl type, you can go with a Betta or a simple gold fish.
Customer: Well, how much would it cost to set up a small tank for this guy?
Me (waste. of. air.): About $500 minimum. I'll let you look around some more.

In my first three months, I had this "wonderful" encounter with an older gentleman:

Customer: I'm looking for something to keep the cats off my car.
Me (dumbfounded): Off your car, sir? I'm not sure that's physically possible.
Customer: I'm sick and tired of the cats running all over my car, leaving their paw prints.
Me (you and the rest of the world): I understand that - cats are notorious for going where e
ver their little hearts desire. But we don't really have anything that would keep a cat off a car.
Customer: Well, what do you have? I can't take this anymore.

Me (oh dear . . .): Well, we do have boundary/repellent sprays.
Customer: No no no, that won't do it. I need to keep them off the car. I don't think that will work on my car.
Me (well no shit Sherlock): Well . . . the only other thing we have are things to prevent cats from scratching furniture, but--
Customer: YEAH! Where's that stuff at???
Me (
omg, what HAVE I done??): Ummm, okay. As you see, it's to stick on your couch or chair. It's all sticky and cats don't like it.
Customer: So if I put this on my car, they'll stay off it.

Me (danger will robinson, danger!): You want to put adhesive Sticky Paws on your car? Sir, that will damage the paint job.
Customer: Well, I'll put newspaper under it.
Me (uhhhhh......): So when the cat lands on the car, all of it will slide off - cat and sticky paws.
Customer: No, it won't.
Me (I can't believe I'm having this conversation): So you're going to drive around with Sticky Paws plastered all over your car?

Turns out his daughter forced him to come back the next day and return said items. During my conversation with this man, another coworker was laughing his ass off (literally) at the cash wrap and was in my view the whole time. Made it that much harder to keep a straight face.

Sometimes, you just have to wonder.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Psycho Roomie, Part III

The first two months of living with Suzi felt very much like the worst roller coaster ride. Ever. Betty and I began to find out just how weird this chick was. Now, everyone has their little idiosyncrasies. Everyone has different levels of street-smart or book-smart. And some are a very special kind of stupid or naive. Whichever you prefer. You simply cannot live with someone and be perfectly fine with everything that they do. I'm pretty sure that even after being married for 33 years, my parents have at least one thing about the other that drives them up a wall. Most things you can live with. Or learn to compromise. But what if you wind up living with someone who doesn't really seem to understand the word "compromise"? I was about to find out.

I mentioned in Moving in with Psycho, that Betty and I noticed that Suzi was prone to believing something yet unwilling to show proof. This showed up early on. Suzi's biggest thing in the beginning was fighting about the PG&E bill. (Oh, for those reading that are not from California, PG&E is Pacific Gas & Electric; see: Erin Brockovich or San Bruno gas line explosion. Yep, that's our big shot energy company). She insisted that when not in use, that our computers be turned off. That if we're not in our rooms, any fans or lights should not be left on. This made sense to a point. Betty and I agreed (you'll find this happened a lot) that with the computers, being that we were college kids and all and on and off our computers all the time, that leaving the CPU on was fine. We both agreed that turning off the monitors and printers saved a few pennies, but the CPU doesn't use that much if in "sleep mode". Suzi disagreed. She kept telling us how horrible it was for our computers to be left on all the time. We argued right back that it's just as bad to turn them on/off all the time. Suzi insisted to the point of no return - until I finally had to scream at her that it was "none of her fucking business", that it didn't make that big of a difference on the bill. That shut her up. For about a week. (sigh)

If it wasn't the computers, it was the other thing - fans/lights on in our rooms if we weren't in them. I kept a 12" oscillating fan in my room. I've slept with a fan since I was a kid; I like it. It helps drown out sounds of the world and circulates the air. Suzi got on my case more than once about my oscillating fan being on when I wasn't in my room.

Now, the thing that interested me was that Suzi would insist on the rules above. Yet leave every damn light in the house on, and keep the a/c at 68 degrees. I'm serious. Every light the apartment - kitchen, dinette area, hallway, and living room. Not to mention her bedroom - three lamps. One of which had the fucking clapper that didn't work for beans. And she had the balls to get on our cases about whether or not the CPU's on our computers were on or off. Anyone comprehend this? Because years later, this shit still baffles me.

Every week, the same stupid arguments would come up. Every week, the three of us would be screaming at each other. Usually Betty and myself against Suzi. Nothing was ever resolved. I was really beginning to regret my moving decision. I was not raised in a household with fighting, especially screaming matches. Having to hear it all of a sudden every week was sickening to me. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger . . . right? In between the fighting things would be okay. There were days the three of us got a long great, laughing, joking around. For instance, one lazy afternoon the three of us enjoyed a lunch together at the apartment. Suzi was playing with her new snap bracelet. (Um, those that grew up in the 80's might remember those horrible snap bracelets. I think schools actually had to ban those things. Fits right in with all the other crap cluttered in this chick's room.). Betty and I teased her a little about it; I think I said, "The 80's called, and they want their bracelet back." She just thought it was the coolest thing. Ever. Possibly since sliced bread. After about 15 minutes of joking around, suddenly Suzi was offended. And all fun subsided. More arguing ensued. Over a damn bracelet. Oy ve.

At one point, Betty and I decided to plan a trip to Europe for the next summer. We thought about telling Suzi about it, but she'd already told us how she had absolutely no desire to ever leave the continental United States. (Seriously, she had no culture). So we decided not to tell her our plans. We bought a map and put it up in Betty's room, using tacks to pinpoint the places we really wanted to go. One afternoon, Suzi comes home while Betty and I are talking - about our trip. We simply switch topics with ease. Suzi asks us if we're talking about our big trip to Europe. Uh . . . what? It took us a day to figure out how she found out. Betty had left me a note on my pillow. The only way Suzi could have possibly found out about our trip was to gone in my room to read said note. So we set up a trap. Sure enough, the only way Suzi found out about the trap was because she'd read the note . . . left on a pillow. She sure respects privacy.

By the time August hit, things were not going so well. For some reason, Suzi was hell bent on pissing off Betty. Me, not so much. In the midst of all the arguing, I was having boyfriend trouble. At the same time things got ugly in the apartment, I stopped hearing from my guy for two weeks. Which in college-kid speak, is forever. Betty came home from a church camp just before school started up. And being that she was around kids for a week, she got sick. Suzi wouldn't let up, telling Betty to "not infect her because she couldn't afford to get sick". No matter how we explained that it was practically inevitable that we, as roommates, might get sick, Suzi kept it up. Basically she told Betty not to touch anything. Or breathe for that matter. Oh that did it. Fight fight fight. After enough screaming I finally went to my room. A few minutes later, I hear a noise. I came out of my room, peeked around the hall to the kitchen and gasped. Betty had Suzi pinned against the kitchen wall. Betty is 5'7ish. I'm 5'3. Betty was more like 5'9 in the shoes she was wearing that night. I knew that if I got directly in the middle I'd get pummeled. By Betty. By accident. I did a choke hold on Betty and dragged her off Suzi. Then got in the middle. I swear there was fire in Betty's eyes and smoke coming out her ears. Suzi was suddenly shouting about calling the cops for battery and filing charges, and fighting wasn't going to solve anyones problems. Betty got on her cell phone to call her mom . . . grabbed a bag and shoved clothes in it. Betty's mom heard the last half of what happened. Suzi practically chased Betty out of the apartment. Betty shouted how she was moving out.

From the minute that Betty crossed the threshold to the outside world, Suzi chased after her - yelling about how running away wouldn't solve the issue, and to come back to work it out.

Oh. My. God. Really?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick Observations

Just some observations from running errands and spending my hard-earned money this morning.

1. Why must Jiffy Lube keep it so cold inside their customer waiting area? It was at least 10 degrees warmer outside, and the temperature outside was probably around 60/65. Although I must commend them on not having one of their TV's on the stupid sports channel. I got to watch 30 minutes of National Geographic talking about one of the most adorable animals ever - penguins. And on an even brighter note - I got half off my oil change today! SWEET.

2. I think it does not speak highly of a banker to have such bling that the first words that pop into your head are "MTV Music Awards" or "Rap Artist". Seriously dude, dial it down a notch. Not making it any easier forking over my car payment.

3. I saw a bumper sticker on a truck this morning at Target:

Really? Unless there is a toddler in that truck, such a bumper sticker shouldn't be attached to a truck. Even then, put that bumper sticker in their room or something. Plus I hope that's not all they brake for. Considering Unicorns are very rare creatures indeed, I hope they also brake for all other 4 legged animals. Like those that aren't fairytale creatures.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving in with "Psycho"

Next up on the psycho roommate adventure is the actual reason why I moved in with said psycho roommate. Now, I don't blame anyone, not even my parents for making me continue to live with her for a whole year, as I really do think it was a very good life lesson learned: You can't win with crazy. But you sure can piss them off.

For two years, I shared a one bedroom apartment with a girl I met at a community college in Redding. We had one class together, and somehow it worked out that we were moving to Chico at the same time. She turned out to be the perfect roommate. Half the time she stayed at her boyfriend's (now her husband) apartment, kitty-corner to our apartment. She payed her half of everything and she was hardly ever there. To top it off, we actually got along. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. And we're still friends; we get together for lunch once or twice a year. Now, I was very upset when she graduated two years ahead of me. With her graduating and doing student teaching back home, I was out a roommate.

I tried talking my best friend into moving in and filling the roommate gap. No matter how I asked, she finally said no. Apparently she hated Chico with every fiber of her being and had to get out. So I was still out a roommate. As I mentioned in the Intro to Suzi, I had classes with her, so of course this topic came up a few times. Here's how Suzi needed a roommate:

For at least a couple years, she had been living with her boyfriend. Seemed like a nice guy, but really, he kinda gave me the creeps. Suzi had a plan. She was going to vet school. She was going to get married. She wanted to be married before she went off to vet school. So her brilliant plan of action was to give her boyfriend what every boyfriend really wants - an ultimatum. Apparently she told him around October or November that if he didn't propose by New Years, it was over. Guess who never got her engagement ring? Yep. Shocker, eh? A group of us told her it was a bad idea, that it would backfire and she'd be single. Her answer was "Whatever, then I guess it wasn't meant to be." If it was meant to be you wouldn't even consider giving an ultimatum. If you believe it's the only way to get married, then um, you'll never get married. So, come spring semester, I find out from Suzi herself that her boyfriend broke up with her over the ultimatum deal and she was forced to continue to live with him since he couldn't break his lease and didn't have anyone to take over said lease. I said to her, "Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that", when I was really thinking "You dumb ass. You made your bed, now you can lie in it." Not to mention I was probably doing the Grace Adler "I told you so" dance from Will & Grace.

Sometime during that spring semester was when I found out for sure my best friend wasn't going to stick around Chico. And June was looming. Somehow, Suzi and I got the idea into our heads that I could take over her boyfriend's portion of the lease and therefore, I wouldn't be homeless. And she'd be officially rid of him. Again, she had a three bedroom apartment, so I kept insisting that we get a third roommate. It would make the rent so much cheaper, and utilities. After nearly forcing this on her, she finally relented and found another friend of hers that was looking for an apartment. Suzi had us meet to make sure we'd be compatible. We got along great.

I think that was the start of some of the issues. The thing about the number 3 is that in most cases, someone gets left out. In this case, more often than not, it was Suzi. The three of us hung out some during the latter part of spring so we could all get to know each other a little, and make double-sure that we'd all get along as roommates. "Betty" (anonymity, folks) and I got along really well. So well that we both started noticing things about Suzi. Odd things. On occasion we would talk about these odd things at length. We found that in many cases, Suzi would make a claim, or state a "fact" that she believed in yet couldn't (or in some cases refused) necessarily back them up with an actual fact or source.

One thing Suzi insisted on before we moved in with her was to sit down and go over the "house rules". With Suzi's mother present. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not joking. Betty and I thought it was a complete waste of time. Here are normal roommate house-rules: clean up your own shit and don't bother me. Works great for most folks. Apparently in Suzi's world, things had to be discussed. Especially the boy issue. Now, at the time, Betty and I were both dating - in long distance relationships. Suzi insisted that no boys stay over. Betty and I thought was majorly lame-o considering we were all adults. We argued that if our boyfriends were in town, they could stay the night, but we just let everyone know that "there will be a boy in the house". (BTW, neither of our boyfriends ever laid eyes on that apartment). And besides, how could she insist "no boys allowed" when she had just, oh I don't know, lived with her boyfriend for, like, two years? Exactly. She also insisted that we do our own dishes. Duh. And the front door had to be locked at all times. According to Suzi's mother, we lived directly on Nord Ave. (which, Betty and I both figured out because we have excellent observational and deductive skills), one of Chico's busiest streets and college kid central - we never knew what kind of crazy person might try to get in. Betty and I argued that if someone wanted to get in, the flimsy apartment lock isn't going to stop someone; but that in our current places, the doors were locked, so it really wouldn't be much of an issue. Suzi's mother was adamant - I thought she'd make us sign something in blood. And lastly (and oddly included), was that nothing personal would be in the living room - all "personal" items would be kept in our respective rooms. This meant no pictures in the living room. No CD's. No personal, homey touches at all. I think I heard the Twilight Zone music in my head. I mean, that's just weird. Suzi also needed to know what to call us. In reality, "Betty" and I have the same name, so yes, it can be confusing, so we both had to come up with a nickname she could call us for the year. And we each got our own color of pen for the whiteboard in the kitchen. Plus, she also needed to know if we would share things like condiments, or if we would purchase our own. I'm sorry, but is there really a need to have 3 jars each of ketchup, mayo, and mustard in the fridge? Let me think - no. She already had the huge Brita tank in the fridge and the PUR tap filter. Betty and I didn't think we really needed anymore redundancy. In the end, the meeting was a waste of a good two hours.

June came upon me faster than I could blink. I had planned a trip to Colorado to see my then-boyfriend while he was working at an internship. Unfortunately my planning skills needed some work. The day after I got back, I moved. No rest for the weary. I moved in a week or two before Betty. My room was in the back of the apartment, across the hall from Suzi's. I managed to fit my daybed, huge computer desk, one night stand, my TV, and dresser in a room maybe half the size that I had in the one bedroom I had shared before. It took one step to get from my bed to the computer desk. Two steps from bed to closet.

Little did I know that I'd wind up locked up in that tiny room for a whole year to keep my sanity intact.