Incomplete Truth

As much as i love my new job, i have been incredibly busy since January – and it’s good to earn my pay!  The combination of frenetic pace and new operational environment has led to some speed bumps.

i am fueled by coffee. Not that fancy girlie stuff – coffee beans harvested by one-armed nuns and orphans, roasted over dried goat turds, then slowly brewed in a recycled art glass urinal.

Folgers. From a giant plastic tub. Brewed thick as oil in an ancient drip communal coffee maker that hasn’t been cleaned or sanitized in twenty years.

This is the kind of brew that i grew up on. Chugged into the early morning hours slamming for final exams, finishing a project, or working details.  This is the kind of brew that fueled Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Jack Kilby.  THIS is what powers my engine.

My new lab is inhabited by so many young scientists and engineers that i couldn’t FIND that communal pot. They grew up with refined tastes. Starbucks, for fucksake!  An espresso machine in the “collaboration space”. Really?  French press, if you’d prefer your coffee to be especially effeminate.

Fuck.

This would not do.

Finally found the dirty, nasty pot in the corner of the building on a lower floor. Where the old and crunchy scientists gather.  And it’s only twenty cents a cup!  Sufficiently cheap and suitably crappy coffee. Score!

So things had been going pretty well until i hit this week – caffeinated and productive. Hosting a visitor on Tuesday led me to a new problem: Where to get HIM coffee?

Not the fancy-assed stuff. Not the dirty pot.

The only solution was to take him to our building canteen, The Ptomaine Palace. While i wouldn’t make anyone eat the food there, it works as an emergency snack bar. Coffee would probably be sort of fresh, and they have all that sugar and cream stuff that people use sometimes.

He was agreeable and we went on about our business, trekking from office to office in a carefully orchestrated series of meetings. Same schtick each time, different audience.

After the fourth tour stop, i started to zone out. Noticing the unusual pattern on the styrofoam cup. What does that say????????????????????????????????

“An average weight paper hot cup with a cardboard sleeve generates 379% more solid waste by weight than a comparable foam cup.”

What? Corporate defensive marketing? Highly specific corporate defensive marketing?

Obviously, because statistics are involved, it must be the truth! But aren’t there a few other salient points left out?  To paint the full picture, perhaps there should be a few more details.

“A foam cup will last over a MILLION years in a landfill, while a cardboard cup only lasts 2 months.”

“Polystyrene cups are made from petroleum – which NEVER degrades – so you can use it once and not worry about finding a recycling bin!”

“Cardboard cups can’t hold heat!  Nevermind that reheating your coffee in a polystyrene cup will lead to styrene leaching into your body!  Some studies suggest that despite detrimental health effects, styrene in food can be a flavor enhancer!”

As we rolled into our next meeting, i found myself in the back of the room while my guest performed like the expensive circus pony i paid him to be… In my hand?  A foam cup half full of cold, bad coffee. And an ink pen…

???????????????????????????????What is an incomplete truth?  It is a lie.

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Off we go…

i should have known better than to drink whisky at a charity auction.  Just another Thursday night, and i was hanging out with Studley at a fundraiser for a local community outreach foundation.

Mostly, wanting to drop a little change in the till, peruse the raffle items, and encourage others to empty wallets, it seemed like a pretty brilliant idea.  i was also working the network of non-profits, kissing politicians buttbones and making connections to support my pet projects.

Four drinks into the evening, it was time for the live auction.  One of the items?  A chance to rappel down the side of a 30 story building during the annual autumn city festival.  Oh, THAT is a grand item for a woman with a paralyzing fear of heights!

My auction paddle (how DID i end up with an auction paddle, anyway?) jumped into the air and i started the bidding at $500.  Mercifully, i was outbid, and somehow found the good sense to put the paddle under my arse and stop bidding when it approached a thousand dollars.

Whew!  Crisis averted!

Momentarily, it turns out….

Not fifteen minutes later, there was another item that caught my attention.  “Fighter Pilot for a Day”.  Hello!  What’s that?  A chance to do ground school, and then sit right seat in a fast Italian turbo-prop acrobatic plane!  Well, that could be a good day.

Paddle flies into the air before i can stop it!  Bad auction paddle!  Stop that!

It was a bit of a frenzy, as there was a gentleman across the room who seemed fairly intent on indulging his testosterone on a day in the wild blue yonder.

What?  Me?  i won?

Oh, shit…. Yeah.  How’d that happen?  Well… ummm…. (heh, heh) It’s for charity, right?

Air Combat

So it’s on.  Still to be scheduled, but i’m going to do this.  Likely sometime this summer, i am going to put on a flight suit*, do a little bit of training, and launch myself into the sky to do a little formation flying, dogfighting, and underwear soiling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was posted on the book of faces later that night.  The next day at the office, i passed a friend in the hallway who had seen it.  He stopped me, shaking his head.

Bill:  You’re nuts, you know that?

daisyfae:  What?  i just bought a “Fighter Pilot for a Day”.  What’s the big deal?

Bill:  Have you figured out what you’re going to do with him yet?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i’ll admit, this is a little scary.  When i went to bed that night i stayed awake awhile, wondering if i could really suck it up, sit right seat in a very fast, acrobatic plane, and set myself up to pull up to 6Gs…

The next morning, i woke up with a very different thought.  Sure, i’m afraid of dying.  But i’m more afraid of not living.  Bring it…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* i will be wearing a substantial sanitary undergarment under my Muy Macho flight suit.  Video is taken in the cockpit.  It may be an hour of me screaming…

Book Covers

Muscling our way down the aisle of an Airbus 320, Studley and i were pretty happy to have wrangled seats on the same flight home after a weekend getaway.  Even though Row 35 is not exactly prime real estate?  i was glad to have a chance to drool on the shoulder i know, rather than the shoulder of a stranger.

We stowed our bags and got comfortable while we waited for the other 98 passengers to board the overstuffed plane.  One of the few perks of “kiss my ass” status on an airline?  Early boarding.  This means you can stow a bag in the overhead bin before they are crammed full.

We were mildly entertained as a raucous family of four occupied Row 34 – a mother, probably about my age, her two adult sons, and the cute blonde girlfriend of one of the sons.  Mom and one of the brothers were across the aisle, and the young couple parked directly in front of us.  Wearing a cocked baseball cap, he was channeling his inner Jersey Shore goomba.  Badly.  But they were having fun, horsing around and playing.

As expected, the overhead bins were soon filled.  People struggled to stuff bags into the few remaining voids.  As we prepared for push-back, the flight attendant offered a warning:  “Ladies and gentlemen, some of these bins will not close!  If we have to pull your bag and check it, there will be a fee.  Please do your best to get your bags into the overhead compartments!”

The bin over Row 34 was in obvious violation.  A late arrival in Row 33 had hopefully put his small roller bag into the compartment, directly under a hinge.  There was no way the door would close.

The young man in front of us decided to help.  Standing up, and making a rather big deal out of it, he tried to force the door to close.  When it didn’t break, or close, he then began chiding the owner of the protruding suitcase that he’d better deal with it…

“Yo, brother!  You’re gonna need to do somethin’ about the bag!  They’ll delay the flight if you can’t get it closed!” 

The passenger in Row 33 got back up and started trying to rearrange the bags in the compartment.  He tried to stow the bag.  The goomba felt compelled to provide running commentary and advice.

“Move that little one, dude.  Turn it around baby!  No, other way, fella – it’s like Jenga, baby.  JENGA!  Move the blocks.  No, other way.  Geez, you never play Jenga?”

It went on.  Louder and louder.

Meanwhile, a man across the aisle in Row 36 stood up and checked for space in the bin over his head.  i had noticed this man when he boarded – primarily because of the amount of blue ink on his hands and knuckles.  Prison tattoos.  Including the teardrop* under his right eye.  Without saying a word, he cleared space for another bag.

Goomba got louder and Row 33 passenger became a little more frantic.  Studley got his attention and pointed to the space over Row 36, now cleared.  Problem solved.  Both Studley and i caught the attention of the quiet man in Row 36 and thanked him.

Goomba wasn’t quite done, though.

“There ya go, baby!  Stick with me!  I got ya covered!”

(sigh)

LOVE HATE

beautiful image found here

* May be legend, but it is believed that a tear drop tattoo signifies that the bearer has taken a life.  There are other possible meanings.  But the blue ink?  Definitely implies time behind bars.