A Collection of Oddities

If I didn’t have a tendency and honest love of living in itty bitty spaces requiring hyper-organization and detachment from cluttering trinkets, I’d probably hang onto a lot more of the oddities I’ve stumbled upon in my days.

A couple of years ago I worked in a bubblegum factory. That isn’t relevant to anything, but people often find it amusing. Anyways, I was leaving the factory early one morning, a bit dreary after my twelve-hour shift under fluorescent lighting, weaving down the sidewalk towards the bus stop. I cursed this bus stop as I went. My downtown address had acclimatized me to instant transportation, and I was not at all thrilled to have to schlep my way out to bus-only land to work a night job. By the time I reached my stop though, I was glad to have been working overnight and not amongst the car pieces still scattered all over the road. The accident must have been early in the night because there was no sign of anyone, or even the car itself. No crime tape, no cruisers, no investigation, no nothing.

So I picked up a few of the remnants; a bolt here, a bulb there, a piece of taillight and scraps of acrylic whatnot. I cleaned them and kept them in a jar, thinking they might be good for an art project. A year later while in school for professional makeup, I glued them to a girls face for an edgy applique look – and promptly forgot to take pictures. It turned out pretty good, even though my instructor didn’t always approve of my tastes (he preferred ‘pretty’ looks) and assumed the weight of the objects would peel them right off her face before I could finish. Good thing for that surgical adhesive is all I can say.

Then there was that deformed single-serve creamer that fell out of the box as I refilled the tray in the kitchen a few months ago. It’s intact foil-sealed lid covered not a hollow pocket for liquid, but rather gave way to an odd corkscrew of plastic. Clearly churned out of the machine on the quality inspectors day off, this thing looked vaguely inappropriate in about six different inexplicable ways. Talea and I studied it, flipping it over on the desk and poking at the foil, not speaking our individual hypothesis as to its potential uses for fear that each of us had a far dirtier mind than the other suspected. Instead we settled for a rounding fifteen minutes of Beavis-and-Butthead style snickering.

It might still be at the bottom of one of her desk drawers somewhere, but if I had a trinket box it would definitely go in.

weird plastic deformed possible sex toy thing?

Uhh...wait, what?

Since work is where I spend most of my time these days, it would follow that most of the oddities I’ve discovered recently have been happened upon at the office. None have been so exciting as car pieces or possibly-sexy dairy products, but there’s been a few head-scratchers.

There was that blue sucker I found stuck to one of the picture frames, back when we had a rowdy group of hoodlums calling themselves clients wandering around and making a shit hole out of my kitchen. (It may be the corporation’s office, but I’m the one fist deep in their ungrateful dishes, that is MY goddamned kitchen.) I peeled it off, wiped the goo, and marveled at it for a bit before chucking it in the trash. Fascinating in its irreverence for common decency, and historical in that it’s probably the grossest and saliva-iest thing I’ve ever had to peel off anything (keep in mind I used to work in a daycare, and even those tots had more sense of where to keep body fluids), I still wouldn’t want to keep it in a trinket box.

Mmm...sticky.

(Couldn’t find a pic of blue lollipops, but found this from bakerella.com. I’m sure they’re delicious and not at all saliva-ey.)

Today’s discovery was surprisingly less gross despite it’s vast, VAST amounts of thankfully untapped gross potential. The only reason it remains lower than the lollipop on the yuck-scale is because it was found still in its original packaging. A relieving fact at first, but later leading me to hope that its intended wearer also remained in his original packaging, as well as untapped, at least while on the premises.

Yep, just casually wandered into the kitchen this morning, chatting it up with clients and coworkers, none of whom seemed to acknowledge the strangely commonplace yet clearly out of place object nonchalantly placed on the table. I likewise ignored it, and then quickly snatched it up as soon as the room was empty, lest other innocent passerby stumble upon it and be forced to play the same game of ‘I don’t see that, do you?’

So far nobody has brought it up or asked about it, and I’m pretty glad. Because I, like them, haven’t a clue as to where it came from. And really wouldn’t want to know.

Definitely not one for the trinket box.

“Funny Little Quirks” or: A Brief Glimpse into my Crippling Neuroses

Ever notice little things about yourself that are a bit odd? Not necessarily quite ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’, but just funny little details that help you set yourself apart from the rest of the herd on those depressing Monday mornings when you realize those cute shoes you bought are about as unique as the fake Louis Vuitton purses sported by the frumpy office moms who apparently also thought that sensible ballet flats were special and different this year?

*pause for breath*

Ugh. Nothing I love more than the constant reminder that to the average onlooker, I’m just part of the flock. I put on pants nice enough to qualify as ‘business’, avoid open toed shoes or tops that leave my shoulders bare.  But in reality, I fall into the category of apathetic gen-Y office dweller. I’m not quite the post high-school slacker just working hard enough to not get fired, uselessly pushing the dress code with black sneakers and nailpolish. I’m not the razor sharp, well dressed, killer heeled Career Woman with expensive accessories. I’m not a Frazzled Office Mom with a mismatched pantsuit and the wrong sandwich in my knockoff purse that isn’t fooling anyone. I don’ t have a kid and/or mortgage, and I’m not stuck here doing my frantic best to make it through to retirement, realizing that one day I’m going to wake up amidst sit-com reruns, wondering where my youth went.

No, I’m just paying my rent, happy enough that I usually like my job and get to work with my best friend, before secretly running away to live in the south and save up for a trailor.

This last option actually kind of terrifies me. No, no, not the trailor thing. I mean, that’s scary, but crazy exciting. No, it’s turning into a Frazzled Office Mom that scares me. Because Slacker Girl won’t be able to pay bills, but at least she’s hip and cares not for ‘the man’. Career Woman may not have her looks forever, but for now she kicks a lot of ass. But Frazzled Office Mom? There’s plenty of  ladies sporting kids and bellies and mortgages wandering around my office looking lovely and ridiculously pulled together, but somehow I don’t think I’d be able to pull this off. I’m already flying around by the seat of my pants without throwing kids and “caring about my career” in there. And I seriously do not want to turn into my cubicle dwelling mother, shouting at the kids to hurry the hell up and get in the minivan, poking my eyes with mascara at stoplights and hating every minute of it.

And so this is why my morning arrival into the elevator banks is often nothing short of a brief, dizzying bout of introspective crisis. If I see in my fellow ascenders enough terrifying glimpses into the possible future to remind me that it’s a slippery slope from ‘just paying the bills’ to ‘stuck here for life’, it makes me want to throw down my latte and run, shrieking “I’m not one of you! I just have to wear these pants!”

Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea since while waiting to eventually say “Screw this noise!” and run away to the wilderness, I happen to enjoy at least electricity and a roof over my head. So I wear my pants and drink my latte and remind myself that aside from my crippling neuroses, I’ve got a few other traits that, at least internally, set me apart from the herd:

– I used to have eight barbells in the back of my neck. I didn’t take them out for my job, I took them out because it turned out I’m allergic to nickle and it would have cost an assload to have them plated in titanium and put back in (see: cost of roof and electricity). I still have the jewelery though – just in case.

– I get a sick kick knowing that even when I’m pushing the ‘doors close’ button on the elevator, it looks to the rushing fat guy that I’m pressing ‘doors open.’ The elevators are lined with mirrors, perfect for displaying the vaguely frantic expression of  ‘oh, so close!’

– I value my sleep enough that I’d rather show up with wet hair, put my makeup on at work and greet my clients blotchy-faced and blurry-eyed than show up looking professional and have someone ask me for stuff before 9am.

– Somehow, my ‘desk job’ involves an awful lot of ‘moving desks.’ Not sure how that happened. In fact, my ‘white collar’ job is actually about 25% blue collar. I feel this gives me the right to scratch and burp in a manner that would otherwise be deemed inappropriate for an office environment.

– At least once a day I belch fairly loudly at Talea. She usually belches back.

– I can pretend to give a shit in four different versions of engrish.

– While Josh enjoys my occasionally sexy corporate wear, he really wishes I’d dress like Joy from ‘My Name Is Earl.’ Secretly (in that ‘I just said it on the internet’ kind of way), I think I could pull it off.

– I get ridiculously annoyed at bathroom dwellers, like that ugly chick from across the hall who stands in front of the mirrors for upwards of ten excruciating minutes, morosely adjusting her ill-fitted clothes. I hate her. Yanking on your shirt will not make it fit, get out and let me pee in private!

– I consider corner cutting to be an efficient skill worthy of honing. Sort of along the same lines of “If you ignore it long enough, it will fix itself.” I’m also of the belief that sometimes, violence is the answer – particularly in relation to the Xerox machine.

– I sent one of my superiors the so NSFW links to ‘Like a Boss’, ‘I’m on a Boat’, ‘Powerthirst’ and ‘Powerthirst2’ because I felt he was not adequately in the cool kids club. I like my bosses to know when I’m making fun of them, or at least understand the humour of being ‘uncomfortably energetic’.

– Freaking out about something completely unnecessary is a part of my balanced breakfast.

There you have it. A little bit of me, myself and my brain. I hope this has been an enlightening or at least amusing adventure. At the very least, if any of you have the good fortune of meeting me in person, particularly at work, you may be less perturbed when I suddenly bust out with The Lonely Island. Because, you see, it’s very important to my peace of mind. So until I can kick this creased-pant habit and start wearing slutty tank tops, I’ll be here, drinking my latte, directing workflow.

(Like a boss.)