Friday, June 29, 2007

Maybe it's not for Robots and Zombies After All

This hedgefund office is freezing. For awhile I thought they kept it at this temperture because of the zombies they employ. It's a little known fact that the undead's flesh will rot if left in the heat. I figured it's cheaper to refrigerate the office for the unpaid zombie workers (the undead aren't really citizens nor are they illegal immigrants, and therefore have no civil liberities. This means you don't have to pay them.) than hiring actual living people to work here.

Now, I realize it's just a nefarious scheme to manipulate me and others into adhering to the dress code.

When I interviewed for this temp job (yes, that's right I had to interview for a job that is only temporary.) the woman who conducted the interview told me they are pretty conservative here. When it comes to dressing we should be wearing blazers. I don't own a blazer. Why? Because I'm not a "career girl," nor am I Diane Keaton circa 1982. But I went to Jersey and borrowed some blazers fromt he eternal career girl, my mother. My mom has a little saying she has told people my whole life, "If I weren't awake during the delivery, I would have sworn they switched babies on me." Which would mean that my father got some other woman pregnant at the same time he got my mother pregnant and they gave birth in the same hospital--because I look just like my dad. My point is the blazers I took from my mother don't fit exactly. I wore them the first week of this job and kind of had a Whoopi Goldberg look happening (except I kept my eyebrows.). I ceased wearing the blazers.

That is until this week when tempertures outside soared into the 90s with 767% humidity. It was hot outside but arctic inside. Meaning I had to wear layers if I was going to be able to nap comfortably in Central Park on my lunch break and not die of hypothermia during the rest of my day. I'm back to the slightly too big blazers.

It's unbelievable what corporate America will stoop to just to have things their way.

And those zombies with the moaning and the trying to eat me, it's un-fucking-bareble.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Norma Rae-chael

I've been temping at this hedgefund since May 7th. My attempts to unionize the other administrative assistants has not gone well. The first problem is that I don't technically work for the hedge fund. Technincally, I work for a temporary employment angency, therefore, I can't join the hedgefund union I'm trying to organize. However, I feel I could still be elected President of the Hedgefund Administrative Assistants Union (aka HAA) if I could just get someone to join. And there lies the second problem. I only know have contact with one other administrative assistant. The other 4 admins are sequestered away on the 19th floor, locked away from my charm, charisma, and my truth about the working man (in this case the working women.) Meanwhile, the other administrative assistant and I are working for pitance on the 17th floor.

My 17th floor cohort has not yet warmed to joining my union. She asked me if there will be any single guys in the union. I answered that she'd be the only person in the union, however, if she organized herself she could then demand that the firm hire single men, who aren't 22 year old analysts. She didn't like that idea. My little proliterate secretary doesn't want her bosses knowing about her personal life. I told her that a union could defend her rights against snooping capitalists. "Hmmm. I don't know. Gosh it's so cold in here," was her response.
"I know," I said, "They're abusing our bodies with these horrible chairs with no back support, and these sub-arctic environmental conditions, we need to picket today!"
"Well, I brought a sweater."
"A sweater? Did they pay for this sweater?"
"No. I brought it from home."
I'm beginning to think she really isn't grasping the whole unionize thing. I really don't know what to do with her. I have about 5 weeks left here (maybe fewer if God accepts the goat sacrifice I offered him last night.) and I need to get this union together. I have to leave my mark. I have to contribute something. Change the world in a small way, at the very least make the administrative assistant's life who works on floor 17 more meaningful.

Tomorrow, I'm going to demand that she take her lunch break. I think I'll have a sit in at her desk so she has to go outside and for an hour. I mean, we work a block from Central Park. How could she choose to sit at her back crushing desk answering phones when there's magnifence a block away?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paleo-Anthropology is Better than Office Work

1. Anthropologists actually have a good reason for getting up early in the morning. They have to dig up all those bones before the African sun melts their scientist faces. Where as data can be entered at anytime and yet they still require you to be there at 9:00am.

2. Pithhelmets and comfortable, khaki shorts are prohibited in your office.

3. Fossilized people don’t need their phone messages nor do they have expense reports.

4. It is conceivable that an anthropologist could secure a grant to dig a whole to China. Could you imagine getting paid to pursue your childhood dream?

5. Anthropologists frequently work outside.

6. Scorpions, rattlesnakes, and malaria are better than CEO, CFO, COO and human resource personnel.

7. Bones don’t file well into green hanging folders.

8. Anthropologists frequently work with Europeans and Europeans believe in afternoon napping—Score!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Defending Against the Rooster

Last week I played a gig on the Island of long and I heard a dude, seemingly a native of the land, wax on about the ladies who “cock block.” For those of you not familiar with the term “cock block” is basically defined as the following: a person or thing that thwarts the success of a man bedding another person, usually a woman. That someone or something has in effect (from the man’s perspective) blocked the man’s cock from getting into another person or more near to another person. An example of something might be a wedding ring or a Swastika tattoo. Frequently, though, these men don’t blame there lack of success with the ladies on things they usually blame it on the friend of the lady the man is pursuing, and usually these men describe the friend as “fat” This long island guy was no different. His pedantic ramblings on the “fat friend cock block” made at this ignorance. I have heard it too many times and I would like to not hear it any more. So, today I choose to enlighten my backwards baseball cap wearing brothers in attempt to end the spreading of this urban legend of the “fat friend cock block.”

First, ladies don’t traditionally travel in pairs. Women have been known to travel in pairs but no exclusively. Women will travel in groups of 3, 4 or more. And sometimes female humans will travel alone (yes, even to a bar or nightclub.) Second, women don’t seek out friends with the opposite body type as themselves. A 400lb lady isn’t looking for a 90lb friend nor vise versa. Though, those two women might be friends with each other, however as stated before they probably won’t just go out the two of them all the time.

Third, and this deserves its own paragraph because it is the most important part, women like sex. Women also don’t discourage one another from having sex. In fact when women spend a night on the town, they are usually themselves on the prowl for men. Women will encourage their friends to get numbers, and go home with men. However, if you a man is talking to a lady and she doesn’t like him and his opinion that Sylvester Stallone is the greatest American actor alive, “though, Dinero’s good too.” The lady will probably turn to her friend and widen her eyes and roll her eyeballs slightly in an upper left direction. This indicates to the friend or friends that the lady and would like help discarding him. The friend will come over and run interference. A friend will not encourage a lady to go home with a guy she doesn’t like, only men she is on the fence about. Now, is this friend fat? Probably not. But in fairness to the horny gentleman he has been drinking and probably got the lady’s friend confused with his own girthful buddy who struck- out all night with the girls and began talking the gentleman’s ear off.

In conclusion, true female friends don’t sabotage each other in the pursuit of sex, the aid, ebbed, and encourage. So if I some “fat chick” starts talking to you and or being rude and demanding her friend leave with her, after you’ve been talking to the “hot one” that means the hot one doesn’t like you.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Theory of Ridiculous Design

Why are the symptons of PMS and early pregnancy the same? They are the exact opposite things. The first one requires cotton the second requires surgery. It's like some sort of cruel joke played on humans by mother nature. You'd think she'd have sympathy being a mother and all. I guess the Earth is just one big unwanted child that Nature likes to torture.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Why Am I Not Getting Offers to Make Commencement Speeches?

A couple of weeks ago one of the top emailed articles for the NY Times was entitled “More advice College Graduates Don’t Want to Hear” by Damon Darlin. Darlin encouraged just graduated 20somethings to start saving money. The author stated that if these kids cut back on buying lattes and other extravagances they could afford to put 10% of their income into a 401K. The funds in the 401k should grow to about $500,00.00 by the time these young people were ready to retire. I disagree completely with Darlin.

My advice to recent grads is: Why bother? Don’t save your money for a future you’re never going to see. I heard on NPR the other day that the Orangutan will be extinct any day now along this came right before I read an Time article of how common birds like the sparrow are nearing extinction. And let’s not forget the world’s fish supply probably won’t last another 40 years. Oh and of course the ever rising tides and temperature of planet Earth. Dudes, they just re-opened a nuclear reactor in Georgia a month ago. Where are they going to put all the nuclear waste it produces? Under your apartment building that’s where. People who glow don’t need a 401K because they’re magical.

Young graduates, it’s going to be hard to $500,000.00 when money has no value. When the world goes completely to pot and the race war or class war or gender war or species war or the computers finally take over it won’t matter how much money you save. If you want to do something for your future don’t bother saving money start training. Get your body in tip top shape. Train your reflexes to be lightning fast. Build up immunity to whatever it is floating in the East River. Learn to live on 300 calories a day. And in the meantime live it up.

Spalding Gray Quote

"...I didn't know how to write or spell and I thought a writer had to be able to write."



From "A Slippery Slope"
Spalding Gray
: Fellow performer, Emerson Alum, and neurotic

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We Are Adults

People think my generation suffers from stunted emotional maturation. Many of us have not taken on the responsibilities that our parent’s generation had by the time they were our age. (Marriage, career, ownership of property, kids, etc) Further, many of us play video games. However, is that what makes an adult an adult tying yourself down with unpleasant, emotionally draining, time consuming things?

Monday night/Tuesday morning I realized what being an adult is all about and it had nothing to do with owning a house or kids.

1:30am Tuesday morning I was startled awake by some unknown entity. I was so freaked out I believe I screamed three times or I dreamt that I screamed three times. I thought there was a stranger in my room. In the dark I thought I saw a man sitting at the head of my bed, so I grabbed at something and threw it at his head. My desk lamp fell over. Apparently, there was no one sitting at the head of my bed. What troubled me was that I didn’t break the lamp. Yes, the part of me that would have had to pay to replace the lamp is glad it’s not broken, but the part of me that deludes myself into thinking I can defend myself against an assailant was not happy. If the lamp, or at least the bulb, didn’t break with my self defense action then clearly that same action would not have saved me from a person sitting on my bed.

Now, if a child or an emotionally immature person had experienced what I experienced Tuesday morning they would have crawled into bed with there mother and father. Or they would have called someone to come over and stay with them so they could get some sleep. But not me. I’m an adult. And as an adult I did the mature and rational thing. I picked up my lamp, turned it on, went over to my radio turned that on, and the proceeded to not sleep for the rest of the night. Now, a child would have not gone to work the next day because children don’t work anymore in this country (If they did perhaps we wouldn’t be loosing all those manufacturing jobs to Indonesian children.), but I went to work. And I went to work again today despite another evening of almost no sleep.

Emotionally stunted? I think not!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Before Rogen There Was The King of Queens and Jackie Gleason

My friend Charles Star was quoted in an article in the NY Post inspired by the movie “Knocked Up.” The article (which you can read here) is a tongue and cheek article where the author feels this new movie will make it easier for “schlubby” men (their word not mine) to date and/or even bed hot girls. Until this article I didn’t know it was hard for schlubby men to score with hot women. My best friend Anna seems to have dated only less than desirable men her whole life. I've noticed the schlubs don’t have to be employed, or funny, or even smart. Sometimes they’re not ever 70% nice. I think I know the reason for this dating disparity. Men are right: women are stupid.

I’m waiting for the new story to break about the average to less than average looking gal landing the hot, sweet guy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Product Placement

Earlier this week I was handed a takeout menu by a man standing on the street whose job it was to hand out take out menus for Texas Rotissiere Grill. The front cover of the menu claimed that the restaurant served authentic Texas Cuisine. When I opened it up I found listed in the appetizers section "buffalo wings." Is Buffalo, NY aware of a rival town of Buffalo in Texas also making wings?
--
I purchased conditioner made by Pantene. Supposedly, it's specifically designed for curly hair. On the bottle is printed the following statement "99% more curl definition." How do you measure curl definition? Are there instruments calibrated for curls? And how do you know if the curl is 99% more defined?
--
I'm just saying.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Work Will Kill You!

This morning NPR reported that computer keyboards have more bacteria on them than toilet seats. I've heard this comparison before with regards to kitchen sinks. Supposedly, the average kitchen sink has more bacteria than a toilet seat. Which has got me to thinking, maybe toilet seats don't have that much bacteria. I mean your upper thighs that make contact with the seat are not connected to your bowels. All the bowel involved organs and what not touch nothing, and the bowel activity goes right into the bowl. So how much bacteria could there really be on the average toilet seat?

Now, if you compared a keyboard to a baby's used diaper then I think we might have a problem.

Rachael's Secret To Sucess

A good thing happened to me yesterday. I want to share with you my secret of how I was able to procure this good thing.

First, I got really depressed. My life was going to shit and I obsessed about all the bad things that were happening. I blocked out all the good things that surrounded me, like my friends who put up with me despite my verbal brutality. I also decided not bask in the knowledge that my neigborhood hasn't been invaded by insurgence or a foriegn power. I just strictly focused on the negative. Next, I stopped exercising because I was too tired from a lack of sleep. This contributed to my ever growing depression. Then, I spent money I didn’t really have on eatting out, movies, a trip to CT. The financial stress this caused made me almost in operable as a human. The next thing you know I get a good thing comes my way via myspace. Myspace of all things. I hate myspace it's internet high school without the classes. But there it was a good thing.

See, you too can achieve your goals. All you have to do is give up any hope that you’ll be able to survive one more day on this planet. I like to call it "The power of hopeless thinking."

This is a true story..

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Of Coarse Don't Dance to Kenny Loggins, But Dance!

I usually don’t endorse political candidates on this blog, and today is no exception. Today I will non-endorse Rudy Giuliani for president because I believe him to be friggin’ crazy. I think he is delusional. I came to this conclusion after studying him for a number of years while he was the mayor of New York City. I noticed that he thinks he is the fictional character Reverend Shaw Moore from the movie Footloose.

While mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani decided to enforce antiquated anti-cabaret laws that had never been repealed. I believe the laws were first put on the books to combat the speakeasies of the prohibition era. Then prohibition was lifted and NYC forgot about the cabaret laws until Giuliani.

Just like Rev. Shaw Giuliani didn’t want the people in his community dancing. (And just like Rev. Shaw had a shitty relationship with his kid. Rudy’s kid wasn’t allowed to go to the prom with Kevin Bacon either.) In fact Rudy tried to shut down night clubs that had cabaret licenses and therefore were legally allowed to have dancing customers. Rudy’s excuse was that there were drugs being dealt inside the clubs. I say this was an excuse and not a valid reason because there was cocaine being dealt on Wall Street and he didn’t shut down the New York Stock Exchange. Why? Because coked-up stock brokers don’t dance. There were also drugs being in dealt in Thompson Square Park but he didn’t shut down the park because heroin addicts can’t motivate themselves to dance.

Now, it is one thing to be a fictitious reverend in a fictitious small, middle-American town in a 1980s Kevin Bacon vehicle and outlaw dancing. It is entirely another thing to be a real, live mayor of the largest city in America and war against dancing. The first one doesn’t effect anyone’s lives and can’t run for president, the latter is crazzzyy.

There will be a lot of issues brought up this primary season like how many spouses did the candidate have, how would the candidate torture a terrorist, who’s the funniest on the Daily Show, or who is most religious. We know one thing. Giuliani is not a good Christian. Which is proven by Footloose’s Wren when he reads from the bible, “Leaping and dancing before the Lord.”

Do you really want a heathen as your president?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where the Rutles Ever in a Rut?

I know what many of my long time readers are thinking right now, “Why haven’t you been writing about your relationship with Jack?” Good question. I asked Jack the same question last night. I came home after a long day of temping and comedy career pursuing to find my boyfriend Jack watching one of my netflix DVDs with my roommate.

“Hey, babe.” He said as I walked into the kitchen/living room.
“Dude, what the fuck?”
“What do you mean what the fuck? How about hello”
“Our relationship is in a rut.”
“Noooo. Pshaw. No way.”
“Uhh, yes way. I haven’t written about us on my blog in months.”
“That’s because we’re happy.”
“Are we? Are we happy or are you just happy?”
“No. I think we’re happy.”
“I don’t know. Where has the magic gone? I come home and you’re watching a movie with my roommate. First off it’s my Netflix account. You couldn’t have waited until I got home to start the movie?
“This is why our relationship is in a rut? It’s not like we’re not having sex.”
“Sex does not a relationship make.”
“Hey it’s more than most people have.”
“Well, it’s not enough. Where are the days of weather machines, trips to Ice Creamia, antagonizing young criminals for excitement, and visiting your parents (one of which doesn’t use verbs)? We were wacky and in love and I had a ton of things to write about. Now, well…I got nothing.”
“Don’t blame me, girly, just because you have become disinterested in writing about me and you.”
“Who else should I blame? My 4th grade teacher?”
“You’re the writer, you should be able to make our reading in bed funny and interesting if you were so inclined. Don’t be yelling at me, because you are in a rut, missy.”
“Way to be supportive, this is what I’m talking about.”
“Is that who you want me to be, some push over who won’t stand-up for himself?”
“You are missing the point.”
“Or are you in denial?”
“Forget it.”
“Well, after this movie is over I was going to go to Prospect Park and slay a dragon, apparently one has been terrorizing the guys who cruise each other at night in the park. I thought you’d come with me.”
“Yeah, fine, let’s go slay another dragon in Prospect Park. Maybe along the way something exciting will happen.”

--
Because I mentioned the band in the title here's a video of them.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Can You Bend A Spoon with Your Mind?

I was thinking about positive thinking and how sending mental messages out into the universe to get what you want. I think that’s all well in good unless someone wants the exact opposite of what you want, then it is a battle of positive thinking wills.

Let’s put in terms of sports first. The Yankees play the Red Sox. Yankees fans want nothing more than the Yankees to clobber the Red Sox. So you would think that if all the Yankees fans visualize the Yankees clobbering the Redsox then the Red Sox would get clobbered. However, you have a whole bunch of Red Sox fans visualizing and sending out into the universe the Red Sox clobbering the Yankees. So who does the universe pick for the clobbering? It seems the universe more often then not goes with the Yankees. Why? Is it because New York has millions of more people than Boston thereby overloading the positive thinking scales? At first glance that might seem like the answer. But then you have to factor in, most people in the country hate the Yankees and would like nothing more than to see them lose every game. The number of people in the country significantly out numbers the amount of Yankee fans and yet the Yankees do not lose every game. In fact, the Yankees are America’s winningest, professional sport franchise.

My point is I think that the Universe is somewhat of a Yankee fan.

Also if we take this Yankee scenario and extrapolate into our ordinary lives and ordinary positive visualizations we can see how asking the universe for what you want might not always get you what you want. Say, you really want a job and visualize yourself getting that job, but someone at that company really doesn’t want to work with you and they visualize you not getting the job. If the universe likes the other person better, you are out of luck, buddy.
Say you really want your marriage to work, but your spouse really wants you to go away. You both spend hours visualizing and asking for what you want. Only one of you is going to get it. Can you change someone’s mind by sending mental waves out into the universe? I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that even though the Yankees are 10 games back of the Red Sox, the Yankees will still probably win the American League East Pennant.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cass and Denny not as Close as Jimi and His Guitar

This past Tuesday I went to a screening of Monterey Pop, a documentary film chronicling the Monterey Pop Music Festival—which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. The festival was produced by the Mamas and the Papas founder, John Phillips. As I watched the footage of The Mamas and The Papas perform I couldn’t help thinking about Cass Elliot, and how she died pining after her band mate, Denny Doherty.

According rockin’ roll lore Cass loved her some Denny. Unfortunately, for Cass, Denny never ever reciprocated her feelings and to throw salt on the wound, at one point Denny had an affair with the other female member of the group, Michelle Gilliam, who was married to the fourth member, John Phillips. (It was all very Guiding Light meets On the Road meets Altered States.) As I am someone who has suffered my whole life from seemingly the same pining disorder Mamma Cass had, I have always found her life and death troubling. I know that her last thought was probably, “Maybe in heaven he’ll finally see the light—I’m a catch!!!”

As I watched the quartet sing in magnificent harmony I wondered if Cass Elliot’s friends tried to help her get over her feelings for Denny Doherty by making fun of him.. Were her friends like, “Dude, he wears a Nauru jacket. I know it’s the 60s and all, but come-on. No one is that high. You can do so much better. Really, Cass, he’s a man who sings folk songs. Sure, it’s a fine genre for women, but a man should at least play guitar. It’d be one thing if he wrote the songs. Cass, he doesn’t even write the songs! And what’s with that beard? If he’s going to be a hippie he shouldn’t have that thing so nicely groomed. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be part of the counterculture have a non-gnarly beard. If you’re going to have a beard it’s got to have birds living in it or a least a country mouse. We’re hippies we are one with the Earth, but Denny is not. He obviously doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. Girl, you could do so much better.”

And Cass would respond, “I know. You’re right. But I love him. Now-pardon me while I smoke a joint and have casual sex with some dude who’s name I don’t know.”



Thursday, June 07, 2007

Teenage Suicide: Don't Do It. Nah. Go Ahead, Do It

I’m struggling for something to write about today. When in doubt go to your old stand-bys in this case depression and suicide. Yay! Fun.

I was thinking about killing myself the other day and once again realized I lack the tools and skills to accomplish the task. I don’t own a gun, I can’t tie a noose and I can’t swallow pills. What’s a depressed girl to do? Monday evening, as I placed a nacho chip drenched in cheese and refried beans on my tongue, it dawned on me—I could kill myself with heart disease. All I have to do is eat deep fried bar food three times a day everyday. The arteries of my heart should harden to impassability in no time—like 20-30 years. I’ll take that over the 70-80 years I probably have left. The best thing about the heart disease method is that I’m right handed, so as the left side of my body seizes up in pain as my heart stops I’ll still be able to write my suicide note—genius. Or of course I could start writing it now and really have it polished by the time the end comes. It could be the best written thing I ever composed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Everyone Sing Along

I had another idea for a song. Well, it’s just the chorus, and well, I don’t have any musical ideas to go along with it. I guess it’s not so much a song idea as a thought.

You rush and stress to get to work. You don’t want to be late to begin your day, counting down the hours of your life away.

See there’s a little rhyme it could one day be a song.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Question

Who buys tuna packed in oil?

Lullaby

Today I’d like to explain to you the real reason humans couple off. People will tell you that humans marry and/or cohabitate because they want to reproduce or for the companionship. This is a fallacy. The reason people get married and cohabitate is to save money on the electric bill and perhaps rent.

Humans are instinctually afraid of the dark. In the dark our sense of sight is severely diminished making us more vulnerable to a possible tiger attack or a murderous rapist. Tigers and murderous rapist have much better night vision, so the dark gives them the upper hand. That’s why we invented fire. Fire provides light in the darkness. Tigers, like Frankenstein’s monster, are afraid of fire, but I think for different reasons. The tigers and mad scientists see that we can see and know that they can’t sneak up on us now and eat us. If we can see the tiger or the night stalker than we can shoot them. Humans are good at shooting things, and tigers and other large predators know this.

Uneasy about the large animals of pray how are we to sleep as sleep requires relaxation in order to occur. How can you relax if you fear you’re going to be eaten or murdered? That is why we sleep with the fire on in order to trick the tigers and monsters-in-our- closet into thinking we are awake and ready to shoot them. Knowing that our predators are tricked relaxes us and allows us the sleep we desperately need. The only problem is that we can’t sleep with the fire on because fire is like tigers if left unattended will devour us. That is why humans created electricity and the light bulb. (OK, Thomas Edison created the light bulb, but was he not a human?) Unfortunately, light bulbs running on electricity cost money. Not all of us have the money to pay to keep a light bulb burning constantly.

If you can’t afford an expensive electric bill there is only one other thing you can do. Find a bed partner, otherwise known as a spouse or domestic partner. Having someone you trust, not to kill you in your sleep, in bed with you during the dark hours of the day gives you a false sense of security that you need to relax and sleep. The irrational thoughts are as follows:

1. If a night stalker or tiger stalks his/her way into your abode he/she will hopefully see your spouse first and therefore kill your spouse first. Hopefully, the murder of your spouse will leave the night stalker exhausted and he/she will leave you be. Of course then you wind up alone, but with a hefty insurance settlement or at least Social Security check to help pay your expensive electric bill.

2. Your partner is a light sleeper and a loud screamer. When the large predator comes into your room the slightest noise will awake your spouse who will scream walking you up, so you can put the light on and shout the predator.

3. Your spouse will defend you from the people who have been hiding under your bed since you were a child.

Of course none of the above are true but it’s not the truth that matters as much as your ability to delude yourself into relaxing so you can sleep. And sleeping with a bed partner is a sleep you can afford.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Rest In Peace. Not if You're Alive

I had to attend my grandfather’s funeral Thursday. He died the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. Because he died on a three day weekend we had to wait five days before we could have the wake and 6 days before we could have a funeral. The living aren’t going to stop their three day weekend for death. That’s why this past Memorial Day weekend I honored my grandfather’s memory with a constant flow of wine from my glass to my mouth. It’s the way he would have wanted it.

After spending the entire weekend living the life my grandfather would have if he hadn’t passed I was exhausted. It was time to sober up and say good-bye, not to mention get some sleep. I figured the funeral would be a time to relax and not go to work. This was why I was looking forward to mourning the loss Wednesday and Thursday Oh how wrong I was. Sure, I got the day off of work Thursday, but I still had to work Wednesday. Which meant rushing to catch a 5:30pm bus to NJ to make the 7-9pm viewing. Wakes are not a time of quiet reflection they are a time where you the mourner feel obligated to make your friends and family not feel awkward as they offer their sympathies. They come over to you, grimace, go in for a half hearted hug, and say in a whispered tentative voice, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” They lace every gesture with insecurity and discomfort you can’t help feeling sorry for them, so you try make them feel better. You tell them a joke or say, “Thank you, thanks for coming. How are you doing? It’s been awhile.” Once they begin talking about themselves they start to feel a little at ease. It’s kind of like being at a company party-you have to be “on.” You’re hosting a non-celebratory party of death. All of this is fine it’s just not relaxing.

By the time I got home it was 9:30pm and I still had to do my laundry. I figured if I’m going to my parents house anyway I might as well do my laundry. Then I had to relay the story of how I accidentally emasculated a man this past weekend. Which I probably wouldn’t have done but I was trying to honor my grandfather’s memory. Not that he was big into emasculation but he was big into saying things that upset people. I went to bed around 1am. Only to have to rise at 7:45am in order to get to a 9am funeral.

Now here’s my question: why do we have to have a funeral first thing in the morning? The deceased isn’t going to get any deader if we wait half a day. Can’t we have a leisure funeral around 12noon or 1pm? And in my grandfather’s case we already waited 6 days to bury him would four more hours really be so bad? How is our physical suffering going to relieve our emotional pain? I was exhausted. It didn’t help matters that my family and I had to sit in the front two pews of the church. First off, if you’re in the front row you can’t fall asleep everyone will see you and judge you. Do I really need to be judged in my time of loss? Secondly, my family doesn’t know anything about religion. We sat in the front pews being the last people in the church to stand, sit, or kneel when the ceremony called for those praying positions. We’d kind of hear people in back of us stand-up so we’d turn around see everyone standing and then stand-up ourselves. Half way through the ceremony a woman, who was a member of the church (I don’t know what her title was, but she wasn’t a nun.), took pity on us and began subtly giving us hand signals for when we should rise and when we should sit. I think we might have gotten excommunicated that day.

Anyway after the funeral we had to go to the burial then to lunch which took nearly 3 hours and then I had rush back to Brooklyn. My point? I didn’t get any extra sleep yesterday, and I was hoping to.