Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A sure sign you need to update your taste in music

I changed departments this week, as per the rules of my internship. My new department is all kinds of fabulous. I am busy nearly all the time. I mean, not right now. That would be RATHER unprofessional of me. But other times. I love it here.

The only downside is that I work next to a woman named Joanna. She is lovely; very sweet, very helpful, really cute shoes.

But her name is Joanna. Which is a name I thoroughly liked until Sweeney Todd: The Musical came along. There is a young woman in it with that same name, and there is a young man who sings to her (whilst staring at her through a window), "I'll steal you, Joanna. Do they think that walls can hide you?" Like, in this really slow, high-voiced way.


Not out loud. But knowing me, it's only a matter of time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Things Today That Seemed Like They Might Kill Me, But That I Decided to Do Anyway, and Turned Out Fabulously:

Fix a paper shredder with a letter opener.

Things Today That Seemed Like They Should Be No Problem, But Actually Might Cause Me to Get Pneumonia:

Leave my umbrella at home.

*rings out shirt*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There's magic allll around us.

So I've officially started work. Totally settled in. I know all the names of the people in the cubicles I pass on my important walks to and from the water cooler. I know that if anyone ever asks me for any reason whatsoever, I am to say my boss is in a meeting, AND I know the various types of meetings I am allowed to make up. And I learned that our bathroom is the root of all magical powers.

Last week, I learned the bathroom was upstairs, more or less hidden in a corner, and that it had a special keypad, to avoid people from breaking into it and stealing the valuables.

"Who knows the secret code?" I asked, and I pictured solid gold sinks and an inlaid silver floor and several secret passages. I had a brief, wild fantasy that the real reason they hired me was to stand guard over the world's most priceless bathroom, and make sure no one came through the secret passages. Hard to say why that sounds appealing to me.

"Everyone," said my boss's assistant, Jane.


"Well, if we don't give it to them, they can't use the bathroom, so, you know...everyone."

It was very disappointing.

My visions of splendor were renewed when I asked for the code, however.

"It's--" Jane paused to blink into space. "If you start from the bottom, it's..." She reached out as though she were pushing the buttons herself. "The last...four? In reverse order?"

It was not. She came up to try it herself. "I've totally confused myself," she said.

We asked three other people. Everyone suffered from the same problem. They all started out confidently, and then suddenly and inexplicably forgot.

"WHAT THE HELL?" said the other assistant on the floor, trying desperately to break-in to the bathroom. "I type this in everyday!"

"I guess we just never think about it," said Jane. She'd bought us pretzels out of a vending machine so we could watch her crazed friend while enjoying a snack. It was almost as good as a movie.

"*I* guess it's magic," I said. People started to agree with me after another ten minutes.

It took us all another day to remember it was, in fact, the last three numbers. Not the last four.

I still suspect it's under a very specific type of curse.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A grown-up woman should never fall so easily

I moved to New York for the summer yesterday. 

Ah, love at first sight. I first felt it on a train. There were six of us sharing a sleep car, and I had the bottom bunk. Instead of sleeping, I listened to the wheels on the track, and the miles flying away beneath me. Clank. Clank. Clank. Clank. I could feel my heart beating against the mattress. Where are we now? And now? And now? I finally snuck out. Pressed against the window in the tight hallway, I saw the dark shapes of hills, the very edge of the black sky, and a world of mirror-lakes and unstoppable horizons so impossible I half-thought I had drifted off in my narrow bed. Switzerland at night. My first passionate love.

The train made a particularly enthusiastic clang just as my heart got snagged on the feeling, and I fell over. Into my history teacher's door. He was accompanying our graduating class on our senior trip. He was also not happy to see me at 3:28 a.m.

Not the point.

The point is, I arrived in New York yesterday after a missed flight and a delayed connection into a torrential June storm, and fell in love again. There is nothing else in the world like this city. Even when a newly arrived girl takes the right subway but then a wrong left turn and ends up lost for four hours. It's still filled with a special kind of exhilaration. 

I think if this city was a person, that would be the equivalent of letting them drive around lost for four hours and never making them stop to ask for directions, and then when they finally get you home, letting them have the last piece of cheesecake.

Of course, it isn't a person, and I'm the one who got me lost, which means all the cheesecake goes to me.

Good deal.

P.S. Switzerland: I am not cheating on you, darling. I promise I can love you both.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So should I dance down streets for money, or sing?

There are two points to this post. 

Point A) Monday morning my boss called me at 8 am to see if I had any last questions before I start my internship next week. Unfortunately, I was still asleep. More unfortunately, I answered my phone anyway. 

Phone: *RING*
Sara: *clicks answer and stares at the number. A number doesn't usually appear on the screen after the alarm has been turned off. That was the alarm, right?*
S: Oh my God. My phone IS ALIVE.
Sara's Boss, Christine: Is this Sara?
S: Yes. How are you doing this?
C: Um. Sara, this is Christine. How are you?
S: Fine. How are you? What do you need? How are you DOING THIS?
C: I just called to see if you had any last questions before you started and make sure you were all set for Monday.
S: Why? What's happening on Monday?
C:...You're starting work?
S: Yes, but--oh. OH. This is not my cell phone calling me. This is my boss.
C: A little. Did I wake you?
S: No, not at all! I'm always up at whatever time this is.
C: And do you have any questions?
S: Nope.
C: Great. We're all very excited to have you at the office. Even after this.
S: Haha! Great! I'm excited, too! See you soon! *hangs up*

S: *calls Victoria*
V: Yes?
S: My boss called me just now and I discovered I am going to lose my job before I even start it.
V: That's weird. My boss called me, too. He's a general. I asked him what kinds of clothes I should wear and what other styles around the office are. I'm sure that's what his military career has prepared him for.
S: Let's be homeless and jobless together.

Point B) I'm alive. So sorry for the long delay! Posting will commence as usual now. 

Not that there was a usual.


There will be a usual from now on. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apparently I was on drugs in the 7th grade.

I cleaned out my closet at home tonight. I don't know where to begin.

I knew it was going to be a special adventure when I pulled out a journal that I had kept maaany years ago pretending to be a rather unfortunate woman named Annie May Austen, who, at the age of 17, was pregnant with her second child, and whose young husband had died tragically of a drug overdose. I don't know why I even knew what that was. I watched a lot of talk shows which probably explains why I thought 17 was an acceptable age to have two children at. Because it was rather commonplace on Maury. Also, I named my two children Aaron Archibald Austen and Ellie May Austen. AND, after my husband died, changed my name back to my maiden name (Austen) because I was offended by his death. I was offended by many things. "About my husband dying of a drug overdose," I wrote. "It makes sad. And also offended."

I don't think I knew the meaning of that word.

"Mrs. Willis," I wrote to my fifth grade teacher in my pragmatic poem "SPAM" after she had given us all samplings of SPAM to teach us to be inspired to write by even the most mundane object, "what the heck is SPAM? Because you said it was meat, but it isn't. I'm offended that you gave me this. And the kid next to me ate his. Isn't that gross? That's gross, Mrs. Willis." Besides the obvious fact that I was born to be a poet, I was beginning to notice a trend. Everything in the world offended me.

"DO NOT OPEN THIS JOURNAL," I wrote in the "belongs to" space of said journal. "It has an alarm. You can't see it, but it's there, and if you open it, it'll go off, but only so I can hear it, and I will be offended. And hit you."

I don't know who is responsible for getting me off this talk-show-super-guest path, but I can't decide whether you ruined me or saved me.

Because on one hand, I appreciate not being a mother of children named Aaron Archibald and Ellie May. But on the other hand, I'd be famous on youtube.

It's hard to say. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quote of the Day, brought to you by the Textbook Buy-Back Cashier

Cashier: Hey, this book is worth four dollars!
Sara: Great!
C: This one is worth five!
S: Yaay.
C: This one is seventy-five cents!
S: Okay.
C: This one is two dollars!
C: This is one is four dollars!
S: You're going to do this for all of them, aren't you?
C: I went to high school with a girl who spelled her name like yours, all weirdly without an h. She was really religious. She told me I was born with Original Sin.
S: I can't tell if you're on drugs or if this is just how you are.
C: I told her, "That's not fair! I didn't do anything!"
S: I sort of hope it's drugs.
C: Hey! This one is five dollars!