Monday, March 29, 2010

not the best day to play hookie

I skipped work to meet my friends for lunch in the East Village and buy some new soccer cleats. Lunch was great, but unfortunately an alien from an alternate dimension was also shopping for some new cleats. It ripped through the space-time fabric of 9th street on a Tuesday afternoon. All anyone could see anywhere were these giant purplish tentacles, which started grabbing shoes and people who looked like they might be good at soccer (apparently this was also a recruiting trip). Luckily, I'm not such a hot player these days, and I escaped with my shoes and headed over to Troy, Michigan to meet my friend Steve for a drink. He took me to this members-only hipster bar on Big Beaver. No one seemed happy to see me. No one there seemed that happy to see anyone, actually. There was a walk-in clinic next door, so I decided to go get some alien-related injuries checked out while I was there and then head back to work to at least put in an appearance.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the worst

I was hanging out with my coworker Maureen in a park near an old chemical factory. We were having a great time. The sky was an ominous deep gray, but we weren't too concerned. A group of construction workers were loitering nearby, also enjoying the park, and occasionally making lewd remarks in our direction. We chose to ignore them.

All of a sudden, the construction workers started yelling and pointing at the chemical factory, which appeared to be imploding on itself. Maureen and I stayed where we were. Inexplicably, the men all ran toward the factory to get a closer look. Debris was flying all over the place, and I was sure some of them were bound to get hurt, but they seemed to be just out of the way of danger. That is, except for a large white bucket attached to a freestanding structure next to the rest of the factory. Maureen and I watched in horror as the bucket toppled sideways, falling directly on top of the men and trapping them underneath. We both started screaming and I started running. Then I realized that was not the right response, and headed for a pay phone to call 911.

As I tried to get through, Maureen came running up, screaming, "Oh my god! The chemicals are burning their skin off! We have to do something!" The operator picked up the line and asked for our location, but I drew a blank and just started screaming "At the factory! The old chemical factory!" The whole situation was just totally awful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

really bad day

My coworker Adrienne and I took a break from work to try out a new bakery down the street from our office. The place was basically someone’s apartment, with all kinds of delicious looking baked goods on display in the kitchen. Before we put in our order, we tried to find a seat on one of the couches in the living room, but it was already filled to capacity with the extended family of a grumpy patriarch with a terminal illness.

The old man’s children appeared to be arguing over his will. He was threatening to disown the whole lot of them and give all his money to some more deserving cause, like the Humane Society or his hot young girlfriend, also present. We decided to get our baked goods to go.

I ordered some strawberry bedtime loaf (a large thick cake intended to be eaten right before you go to bed) and a bear claw. Instead, the pastry chef gave my bear claw to the old man’s angry old wife, who gulped it down in a single bite before demanding to be shown to the bathroom. The chef led her off, tossing me a single plain croissant as he went. It was tasteless and dry. I looked longingly at the cases full of raspberry tarts and brownies and truffles, but it was time to go.

The rain was coming down outside. Adrienne and I opened our umbrellas and parted ways, and I fell into step with a group of super douchey bankers who were comparing the sizes of their recent deals. At some point they decided I was one of them, and the weakest member of their tribe at that, so they started mocking my inadequate dealmaking powers.

It was crazy windy out, and my umbrella almost blew away several times on the way to the parking lot, where my new friends and I had left our fancy banker cars. They all had Porsches and Lamborghinis and Maybachs and whatever other cars bankers drive these days. I had my old Dodge minivan from 1994.

The alpha-asshole of the group pointed at my car and laughed in my face, just as I finally did lose my umbrella. It flew up in the air and landed handle-first on the asshole’s shiny tank-like car, making an unpleasant scratching noise. Whoops. I tried to get in my van, but it was too late. The head jerk was already in his car and heading right for me, steam pouring from his nostrils and ears. He smashed into my van as hard as he could, and I figured that would be it, but he was actually just trying to plow the van out of his way so he could run me over personally.

So I started running, realizing it was one of those days when I just couldn’t win. This guy was going to run me over and then back up over my body until I was nothing but a bloody stain on the pavement. And then he would probably spit on me for getting his tires dirty. He was just that kind of asshole.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

i just came for the fjords

My brother and I went to visit a former coworker of mine who had moved to a small Scandinavian town. Everyone got around on rollerblades, which my brother loved and I found terrifying. I kept plowing into walls whenever we had to stop or go around a corner. Our host took us to a vegan food court, then back to her house for tea.

Her house was full of statues and expensive-looking antique knickknacks. We had tea on uncomfortable couches in the front parlor. Beyond the front parlor, separated from us by a glass wall, was yet another, fancier, back parlor, stuffed with all the antiquities and statuettes that were just too valuable for everyday use.

It was pretty fucking awkward. I don't think I was ever even really friends with this woman---I just wanted an excuse to come to Scandinavia. We ran out of small talk after about five minutes and just sat there pretending to admire all the crap in the room.

Then her younger brother burst in at a sprint, followed by six of his friends, all carrying futuristic hunting rifles. They passed right through the front parlor into the forbidden back parlor and started shooting at birds that had come to roost on the ceiling. The birds swooped down, flying out of the back parlor, through the front parlor, and out the door the brother came in through. The men followed them back out, and my ex-coworker gave us a pained smile as she took another sip of tea.

Monday, March 8, 2010

car + car

Oh, right. This blog. So my friend Adam and I were walking down Marcy, and instead of the Marcy Playground on our left, there was a big parking lot with a few broken-down old cars rusting miserably, fenced in with barbed wire. Then all of a sudden this VW van driving down the street next to us sprouts wings, bounces over the fence into the parking lot, and leaves a bouquet of roses on the front fender of one of the cars before flying off into the Brooklyn sky. I turned to Adam and said, "If you weren't here, I would have sworn I just dreamt that." He said, "I know, right?"