Welcome back to Awkward Situations! In this episode: The Shopping Expedition!

So while the world keeps riding a roller-coaster to hell, life still goes on. Which in direct consequence means I still have to deal with the nitty-gritty, wibbly-wobbly, wishy-washy nonsense that is life among other people. I think we can all agree that we hate people sometimes. Not me, though; I save on postage and hate them always. Honestly, I’d almost prefer a zombie apocalypse. Hell, I’ll be first in line when they’ll hand out the zombie virus. Lurching around without being aware of anyone that’s not food, sign me right up! At least as a zombie you don’t get accosted by salespeople.

In the course of these human events it became clear one day that I needed a new computer chair, because for some reason this old back is not getting any younger and all the yoga in the world is not helping. So, new chair it is. Can’t do anything about the chair at work, so I’ll have to get one for home. Only problem is, to find out if you like a chair you have to sit in it. Physically. Because they don’t have 3D scans you can do from home. So I need to actually go to an actual store. Any store have any good ergonomic chairs? Yes, Ikea and some other place, both stores at opposite ass ends of nowhere. Actually, one ass end of nowhere is now a huge shopping mall because we’re becoming globalised over here. So I lurch (actually take the tram, then the subway, then another subway, then a ten minute walk) to that horrid place full of shops and people and children and beating-heart zombies who can’t look up from their phones to watch where the fuck they’re going. And apparently despite my obvious discomfort at the multitude of smells, sounds, and visual input, I still look like I’m up to buy a 30 EUR hand cream.

A guy from a booth in the middle of the way suddenly calls me over and first I think I must have dropped something, but no. That guy hands me a soap sample. Out of total brain confusion caused by sensory overload I thank him in English. And then the gates to cosmetic hell open up.

The problem is, despite my best efforts and biggest dreams, and the way I yell at my computer, I’m not exactly a fire spitting bitch, but a nice, mild-mannered person whose greatest regret at the end of life will be that I didn’t tell enough people to get all the way out of my face.

No. No, suspiciously touchy-feely salesman. Thanks for the soap sample, but no. But I’m feeling okay, like, not in full on fight – kill opponent – flight mode, so maybe I can flee by doing my usual routine of pretending I’m not from here? No, not working. Dude’s making small talk, still in English. Asks me where I’m from, tells me where he’s from, tells me all about this nail file, then about this cuticle oil, then about the hand cream… all the while rubbing stuff into my hands and I’m just there like…awkward-girl-meme

Trying to answer the age old question of how to politely tell a person to fuck off, while orchestrating this huge lie about being a grad student from Milton Keynes (no, I don’t know what was thinking when I thought of that!) and I’ll only be here for a year. And he just keeps going. Like, I know you need to make a sale, dude. You were probably spying on me from behind the fake greenery as my directionally confused ass was trying to locate the furniture store, and the vision of a commission was dancing in front of your eyes. I know your kind can smell a tenner a mile off. Or blood. One of the two. But, but, but… I’m not shelling out 30 for a hand cream. I tell him so. I tell him I’ll think about it while buying my new office chair. He says if I have an Austrian boyfriend I could rub it all over his body. I say I don’t think said boyfriend would like that. I make a joke about maybe I’ll ask my boyfriend to get me the stuff for Christmas anyway. He asks me why and I’m just… well, just so. Didn’t he get the joke? He didn’t get the joke. And suddenly he launches into a mini tirade about control within relationships and how back where he comes from they have these men’s/father’s rights groups who restore order within families when there’s problems and at this point I’m like…

target-lady

Someone get me the hell outta here! Somehow the conversation ends with my usual marketer spiel of “I’ll think about it, byyyyyyye….” and I flee. Making a mental note to find another exit from the mall so I don’t have to walk past him again. Text my small scale trauma to my actually existing boyfriend because WTF.

And then the furniture store doesn’t have the chair I wanted to try on (try on? try out? One of those). They miiiiight wanna put that on their website. Like, if they haven’t had that thing for a week, you know. Might be useful to change the little sign that says ‘in stock’. Because at this point it’s a barefaced, clean shaven, bold font lie.

Whyyyyyyy?

It’s the little things that confirm my hatred for most of my species. Milton Keynes me also hates people. Everyone of my fabricated personalities hates people. I’m just not made for the public.

Also, please tell me I’m not the only one pretending to be someone else when faced with a situation I can’t handle.

Also also, an hour later when I was finally home I discovered that cream gave me a rash. My usual 2,59 hand cream doesn’t do that.

And now I have to retreat to my bedroom, draw the curtains, shut fair daylight out, and make myself an artificial night in which I can ignore the world. Cheers.

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The Thursday of the Year

It’s November, and nothing good ever happens in November. Even the dead have come and gone, and the rest of the year sits outside your window like a dull grey shadow, waiting.

November is like the Thursday of the year, the day you can already feel the weekend, but you still have to get through a bit more.

The last months before the year ends always do terrible things to us. They definitely do to me, as they gave me some of the worst depressed weeks I’ve had in a while. It was the kind of depressive that makes you do crazy things like throwing all your cutlery and knives into the sink and all your shopping bags and dish rags on the floor and you have to fight not to break your dishes against the next wall. Why? No idea. But at that moment, the destructive force is all that’s keeping you alive. Needless to say, I had a bad week. And I could get on meds again but I can’t find the strength to go sit in a doctor’s office for five hours just to get a referral. I need all my energy to work and I really want to keep this job. In two months I’m eligible for vacation time. Maybe then.

I’m also thinking of shelving my whole master thesis thing and just getting a second job. I feel like financial security is going to be more important in the future than some fancy degree that’s not good for anything anyway. Also, the future scares me.

The most powerful nation in the world has just elected a man who has a trial for fraud this month, a trial for child sexual abuse next month, and about 50 other ones pending. Has said the worst things to come out of a human’s mouth since, well you know. And somehow this month has proven that you can be a lying, tax evading, racist, sexist asshole with no knowledge of politics or diplomacy, and you can still become president of the USA is you’re only white and rich enough. The turn to the right is almost completed in Europe, too. Science fiction was wrong, totalitarian governments are not our future. In the future, we choose our own destruction freely.

And you might say, if you’re not in the US, why doe sit matter to you? I dunno, why shouldn’t it? I’m on the same planet as those people. And now we here halfway across the globe have an election set for Dec 4, if it happens. And then what? Aye, and then what?

I feel like I’m living in the back story of a SF novel. “This was when it all changed”. Politicians rob you, corporations own you. I feel like I should learn how to hack and move to an underground sort of life, but I can barely get my virus scanner to work. I don’t have any skills for a hard world. I’m not smart enough. I wonder if this is remotely how people felt back in 1933, if anyone had a bad feeling about this. I’m wondering if anyone is seeing a pattern now. Makes you want to say, have fun, I’m out.

If the Canadian immigration website crashed, you know how bad it is. What about the people who didn’t vote for that guy? Why don’t they count for anything?

And it’s not the end of the world. That’s the terrible thing, it’s never the end of the world. It keeps right on keeping on, endlessly marching, and we’re just dragging along with no way out.

Rant Day: Tales of Urrrrrgh

Item 1:

Let’s talk about digital hoarding for a second. I’m sure you’re doing it. You, yes, you. Yes, you with the face. You’re a digital hoarder. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I mean. Are you trying to tell me you dont save millions of screenshots, pictures, recipes, conversations, thirty different versions of your résumé, and no longer relevant documents?

Oh, you really don’t? I’m so sorry!

And the worst of the offenders are of course us MMO playing wackos. Currently, I’m facing the mammoth task of… cleaning out my WoW characters’ banks. I could sing hymns of praise to our dark overlord Blizzard for finally installing a wardrobe so you don’t have to keep collecting outfits in like a semi-physical sense that clogs up all your bags. But I’m getting the same irrational separation anxiety I already suffer every year when I have to clean out my actual closet. But, but… what if I still need it?! What if it fits me after I lose some weight?! What if they get rid of this new feature?! What if the system crashes and I lose everything?! What if…

Yeah. I may or may not have a problem. Is it still First World Problems if it’s online? Do we call this First Cyber Problems? European Server Problems? Problems of a semi-millennial part-time digital native?

Item 2:

In other news, I’m fairly confident my thesis supervisor has fallen down a well somewhere. I haven’t heard anything from her since I sent her my theory part a month ago. She hasn’t had any office hours since mid-July. I feel like I’m at the beginning of an epic adventure film (parody) in which I will travel distant fantastical lands and battle demons and beasts and rare mobs in my quest to rescue my supervisor and thus can finally complete the main quest, my thesis!

Or maybe she’s just on vacation. But I like my version better.

Also, I still have at least 60 pages to go. I’m so fucking dead.

Item 3:

I just read today that Pokemon Go is losing players rapidly. I mean, I guess we should have seen this coming. It was new and innovative and new, and games don’t live long on the newness factor. After a while I guess people become bored or frustrated or don’t feel like bracing the sun and the rain and the group of jeering youths that mock you mercilessly because you’ve been trying to catch an ugly ass duck thing for five minutes now. Not that that happened to Boyfriend or anything, its just a random, oddly specific example.

The entire premise is discomforting anyway. I mean, look at it through the eyes of a peasant from the 14th century. You’d see a lot of invisible demons that might turn up everywhere, literally on your shoulder, and the only one who can control them is that weirdly clothed warlock with his magical handmirror. And maybe if you offend the warlock he’ll sic all the enslaved demons on you! Run!

Now there’s a movie idea. Forget Yankees in King Arthur’s court, fucking cart Arthur into the present! A present full of wizards! Witchcraft! The forces of evil have finally overtaken the land! And the good burghers think it’s a lark!

Item 4:

I made a mistake at work the other day and I feel like I should crawl under a rock and die a slow perfectionist death.

Item 5:

So anyway, y’all see the new Ghostbusters?

Actually, I don’t wanna hear it, I don’t care, that movie is awesome, my inner nine-year-old loved the everloving hell out of it and has also decided to marry Jillian Holtzmann when we grow up. I mean, mom would get used to her eventually and dad would be so proud because I’m sure he always wanted for me to marry an engineer!

And to anyone trying to come in here like, oh, but she’s not canon gay, I say she’s the gayest gay to ever gay! And it’s fucking obvious if you’ve been hit with the queer stick yourself! Chrissakes, she’s been hitting on Erin the moment she walked in the door! That was very obvious hitting-on! The only way to make it any more obvious was to hit her over the head with a phaser pack! While chanting “I want to get in your pants for sex purposes!”

Also, they shot that ghost in the boo-balls. Spooky nuts. Geisterklöten. I approve of that.

I’m not doing anything in particular, you wanna hear about it?

Updates from my life.

I’ve been at my new job for a month now and I think I’m doing pretty okay. At least no one’s complained about me so far, so that’s good, right? Still a bit confused about some of the administration-esque stuff but that’s just a matter of time. I suppose I might be confusing my boss a little, she keeps asking if I like it there. I’m like yeah, I like it, please keep me. Is it so weird for someone to like working? My colleagues probably think it is. I mean, we have these phases during the day when there is literally nothing to do, like nothing’s coming in, and they just go on facebook and stuff while I’m bored. And they keep telling me to be happy that there’s not much to do. I think I’m still suffering from newbie motivation.

It’s just like with the weather, I’m overjoyed that it’s raining again while everyone around me is tolling the death bell for summer already. I can’t wait for summer to be over. If summer was equipped with an agreeable temperature I wouldn’t mind so much. But the 30C and over nonsense? Keep that. Who actually likes sweating?

I suppose if this job thing takes off and I can find something full-time later on it’s gonna be time to move, I’m apparently not made for extreme climates. Is there a place on this planet that’s constantly within the 20-25C zone? No? Damn.

It’s like I came to Earth with a “Keep at room temperature” sticker attached. I’m like a fucking potted plant with feelings.

In other news I handed in the theory chapter of my thesis and as luck would have it, exactly two minutes before submitting my work I stumbled across more literature. That could be useful. Which somehow didn’t show its sorry face before that exact moment.

Speaking of thesis, how often can you use ‘disregard’ and ‘thus’ in 20 pages without sounding like you don’t give a fuck anymore? There really aren’t that many synonyms, though.

And then there’s the whole business of signing up to half a dozen scientific networks just so you can get access to ONE paper that looks promising and then you don’t get it because the author can’t be arsed to give you access and meanwhile you get notifications that your profile has been viewed, like no, don’t, stop looking at me! I’m just here to quote your shit, get off!

This might be the last academic thing I’ll ever write and I’m not sure if that thought should scare me.

And other than that… I’m doing nothing. I’ve never felt so lazy in my life. Sports? Nah. Computer? Still a month until Legion. Friends? Eh, every couple of weeks is fine. Family? They went to Greece and I haven’t seen anyone in over a month. Boyfriend? Lost that one to Pokemon Go.

I still have the sneaking suspicion that Pokemon Go is a cunning plan to get our overweight generation of children moving again. It’s damn more effective than any school programs, that’s for sure. Remember how old people used to complain that kids these days don’t play outside any more? Fixed that for ya! Everyone is playing this stupid game! If this was a Doctor Who episode it would be a plot by disgruntled aliens to take over the world. It’d work, too.

So I’m meeting a friend for coffee and we have coffee and then she says, hey, wanna take a walk in the park, weather’s so nice, so I’m like, sure. One minute in she pulls out her phone to just “quickly check” if there are any of those pesky little things about. Another minute and she joins the walking braindead. Half the city’s in the park. Almost no one’s moving. Everyone is staring intently at their phone. And I know I’ve lost.

I’m meeting some other friends a week later at my place. Everybody on their phone catching things I didn’t even know were in my flat. Also, apparently I live near a Pokestop. Hot?

Meanwhile I’m over here like… you fuckers laughed at my WoW pet collection and now you’re wasting precious cell phone space on this? You suck!

I mean, it’s not even like there’s a feature that projects a hologram of those things so it looks like they’re running along with you. You know? That would be nice, just having a little computer generated animal following you all day. It’d be cute! But no. Just run around like an idiot and get hit by a car trying to catch some fucking flappy ass bat thing.

And now suddenly, my reclusive shut-in semi-hermit of a boyfriend has the urge to take walks. Hey, let’s take a walk in the park! Flashback to when I said things like that last year and it was like… nah, gotta finish this Hearthstone game. Nah, I wanna play Hero League. Nah, Diablo season. Nah, people I don’t know are livestreaming their Heroes of the Storm games, don’t wanna miss it. Nah, don’t feel like going out, sick of people, I have to see people all day, I wanna stay home!

But give him some virtual Japanese clone failures and he’s all systems go! Need to walk 10 km to hatch this egg!

What’s happening to the world? Is this some sort of anti-terror strategy? Get everyone hooked on Pokemon so the suicide bombers and religious nuts are too distracted to blow something up because they found a Pikachu? I mean, whatever it takes, I guess.

Or is it exactly the other way round because I swear I could transport a dead body through the city on public transport and absolutely no one would notice. Hell, I’d probably make it to the cemetery (wha? where do you hide your dead bodies?), start digging, hide the body, cover grave, get rid of evidence, and saunter out of the cemetery. If there’s any witnesses all I’d have to do is get out my phone and scream “Oh my god, is that a Mewtew?!” or “Pokestop by the entrance, way at the other end of the graveyard!”

And I had this great idea for a zombie movie. Picture this: the sun is setting as a lone Pokemon trainer wanders into the graveyard without even noticing his surroundings. He sees a rare Pokemon. He aims his phone! Doesn’t notice the scuffling of feet behind him! Shoots pokeball after pokeball and misses as a grey hand reaches for him…

A blood curdling scream.

And then a cut, and we see a blood spattered phone falling to the ground. The Pokemon is still uncaught. Screen fade to black, next scene.

Or just, the zombie apocalypse has happened, but it’s less an apocalypse and more a bit of an inconvenience as a band of brave Pokemon trainers arms themselves with shotguns because a bunch of lurching corpses is no excuse to not Catch Them All.

Look, I think it’s funny, okay?

And yes, I will always and forever make fun of all the new and cool things the world can throw at me. I’m a contrary bastard and proud of it.

My Life as a Colour TV Stuck Forever in Fast Forward (Long Ass Post Ahead)

It’s been pretty quiet on here for, what, a month? How did that happen? And in my defense… I was busy. Yes, I know, everyone always says that, but… I’ve really been busy and when I wasn’t busy I was depressed. So there. Let me count the ways!

The following things happened (not necessarily in that order): The Abominable Blatherer got his ass fired and is now threatening to sue everything that moves. I got the green light from my supervisor to start the theory part of my thesis. I went to a requiem mass. I had a lot of meetings. I planned an event. I took care of my aunt. I had a presentation. I spent unimaginably little time in the library because now my thesis topic is registered I can just take books home with me for weeks on end. I’m also starting a new job.

Okay, move the camera, rewind.

This is me, a month ago, bitching about my co-worker who in actuality is a volunteer, I just call everyone a co-worker who works with me. Now fast forward juuust a little. It became completely impossible to work with him, for reasons I’m not at liberty to disclose (I mean… any more than what I already disclosed) so it was decided he had to leave.

I thought Nero had no chill when he burned down Rome. It’s generally agreed that Hannibal was fairly un-chill when he dragged elephants up the mountains and dissolved boulders with vinegar. Attila the Hun, my possible ancestor, possessed exactly zero chill, as is established by historians across the globe. Davros, creator of the Daleks, was at his un-chillest when his creation turned against him.

And then there’s this guy. The Grand Poobah of No Chill What-So-Fucking-Ever.

First he lets one of his weird friends send us a letter to tell us to take him back again or else…! Yah, or else what, you and what army? Then he writes long-ass rants to the office e-mail account. Then he threatens to sue everyone in the team for… lies and slander unless we take him back? Huh? Then he writes e-mails to individual people. Then he calls people under different numbers. Then he refuses to hand back the office key. Then he finds some higher-up and says we’re bullying him. Then…

Do I really need to go on? So because of this nonsense we’re busy for close to a month with damage control and emotional breakdowns. We check in twice with an actual lawyer to confirm he can’t actually do anything in terms of suing or pressing charges or whatever. And all this on top of the usual office stuff. Needless to say, we’re a team of nervous wrecks. Talks are to be had. Talks with mediators and moderators and god knows what else. While there is a barrage of e-mails coming in every second day about how he’s going to sue us. To which I would just love to reply, “Bring it, you useless paperclip”, but I’m not allowed to do that. So now I just have to sit and wait alongside the rest of the office for things to cool down, quietly singing DMX songs to myself, because as the great poet used to say: “Suck my dick.”

Forward a bit. The mediator talk was had and even the mediators were at their wit’s end with this guy. He’s just unable to listen to what people are saying without automatically hearing what he wants to hear. Seriously. Says it’s out of the goodness of his heart he won’t sue us. Whoop-di-fucking-do, jerkface, sue for what? I could tell a joke about your mom, you gon’ sue me for that? No, please do, I’d love to see a judge try to keep a straight face. “You said what to the plaintiff?” – “His momma so hairy only language she speaks is Wookiee!” – “*pffffffrrr* Yes, uh, you shouldn’t *pffffrrr* you shouldn’t say things like that, but that’s not actually a crime.”

I’d just love to fast forward twenty years to see him lose job after job after job for the same bullshit and hear him say how it’s all the employer’s/colleagues’/country’s/aliens’/disgruntled Ewoks’ fault.

ANYWAY. Halt the camera, close up of my annoyed face, change scene. I finally developed a theoretical concept that more or less makes sense for my thesis. Lotsa working definitions. Definitely lotsa working definitions needed. In writing this, I have misspelled definitions twice because by now it no longer looks like a proper word. Why do some words have so many i’s in them anyway?

Fast forward to three months from now and my inevitable nervous breakdown.

Rewind to my presentation when a colleague actually tells me they’re angry they did not come up with my topic idea themself. Cut to me doing a winning gesture in front of my entire class. The entire presentation went really well, actually. I really nailed the self-depreciating humour presentation style that’s informative and academic as well as light-hearted. Go me!

Rewind to last week when an acquaintance tells me about this friend of hers who’s working for a place who’re looking for someone to proofread, part-time like. My time at sort-of job is coming to an end anyway so this looks very much like destiny. Close-up of my brain, jumping in the air and clicking its heels together. One quick communication later I hold some contact details in my hand. I’m so going to write them, like, right now!

Stop camera, enter crushing self-doubt. But what do I write? Do I just jot down a quick note? Do I go with a full-blown cover letter? But those are always so over the top and fake because I can’t write to save my life! Do I attach my CV and credentials or is that too forward? What do I do?

I could sleep on it, I guess. But it’s like 10:30 in the morning and if I don’t act now maybe my acquaintance will have given that contact to twenty other people! I can’t wait! But what if I don’t have the skills? I mean, I have a certificate, but still. What if I don’t have enough work experience? I mean, I basically don’t have any. In this field. I mean, none that counts. You know how it is when you’re a student and your friends’ friends start paying you to read their papers, that hardly counts as experience, right? What do I do?

Write!

No.

Write now!

No!

Wriiiiiiiiiteeeee…

Oh, fucking alright!

Fast forward to literally ten minutes later and I close my eyes as I hit send on a very short e-mail that is expressing my interest and is also offering to send my CV if the interest is mutual.

Fast forward even more to me finding out this is not the right person and they’re forwarding my mail to someone who’s the actual right person. Fuck!

Fast forward a day. Actual Right Person has written back with some details about the position and asks me to call them.

Fuck! Phone! I hate phones! I hate people! I hate communication! And telecommunication in particular!

Okay, forward one last time. I have stalked this person’s linkedin profile, I have prepared my lines, I’m making a phone call. Elevator music greets my ears. I prepare myself for a five minute wait. The five minute wait is actually only 30 seconds, which was enough time for me to forget everything I wanted to say. I sort of stumble to the call, sounding probably like the escaped village idiot trying to make a living in the big city.

Fast forward to three days later when I’m having the probably shortest job interview of my life and get the job.

First I’m like, yes! Job! Money! I am employed and therefore special!

But it’s part-time. Still not bad, I can join the ranks of the walking underemployed!

Gee, that was pretty fast of them to decide to take me on. They must be really desperate for someone to fill in.

Shit, they would have just taken anyone, wouldn’t they? I thought I was special!

Then I remember that in a capitalist free market economy a few years after a recession no one is special. And I feel even worse, because society.

Rewind to beginning of June and it’s funeral time. Only there’s nothing to bury because grandmother decided to do the nice thing and leave her body to science. Considering the rare spinal deformation she had that’s actually pretty sensible of her. So all we have is a mass somewhere in a village at the ass end of nowhere, which is closes to where she lived, which was the other cheek of the ass end of nowhere. Priest is wearing Nike’s. I’m having an allergic reaction to frankincense. The family and me are in the first rows. The crowd isn’t huge. Actually, it’s only us, some of grandma’s neighbours, and the evening regulars.

The awkwardness hits hard. We’re all heathens and haven’t got a clue of what to do, because apparently you don’t just sit in church, you do things. We’re nervously watching the old lady three rows back because she’s an absolute church pro. Standing up, sitting down, kneeling, standing up, she’s doing great! Such vigour and she’s at least 80! Total champ at this Catholic cardio the priest is making us do! And singing along! I don’t know what you want me to say! What’s going on? Can’t you have one of those statues hold an electronic sign, or a prompter, that tells you what to do and when, and your lines? Do it for Jesus! I’m sure he’s shaking his head at my incompetence!

And I can’t stop laughing! I’m trying to keep it in, but it’s just so funny! And I can tell my aunt’s trying hard not to laugh as well! Did this guy even know my grandmother? He’s being much too nice. And what’s this anecdote? You know the one. The one about a young boy with a terminal illness and he’s dying and the doctors get him back to life for like two days, and he’s waking up like “Hey, why’d you bring me back, it was so nice there”? I read that story about a hundred times on the internet, with varying names and places. I don’t buy that you, priesty boy, have witnessed this first hand and it inspired you to become a man of the cloth.

And then he goes on a tangent. Yes, if you have no faith you have no hope for a life after death, which means you have to do everything in this life, you have to have every bit of fun and indulgence while in this life because after that you’ll be gone forever… I look over at my dad and my boyfriend and we all exchange a glance of “Sounds like a pretty sweet deal”.

And then there’s this weird food ritual. Any christians out there who can tell me if it’s normal for the priest to mix water into the wine? Or are they just on a budget out there in the sticks? I mean, I get the waffle part. But sweeping the leftover crumbs in the cup and washing that down? That seems weird. Can anyone confirm that this is how it’s done?

So we leave the service somewhat elated and no one wants to join us for dinner, so we set out to go eat, just the family. And we have a blast. Does any other country have the concept of “schöne Leich”? Because we do. It basically means a very good funeral. This was a very funny funeral. A true funeral feast. One might assume we put the fun in funeral. Both my mother and my aunt had a very good time discussing shapely men and looking at pictures of Brock O’Hurn and Lasse Matberg on my phone. Why I have pictures of those people on my phone is of course entirely beside the point. It’s much more important that you know how my father put his head in his hands in defeat and the Boyfriend asked, with his brows so high they vanished in his ample hair, if I’m going to be like that when I’m older.

Spoiler alert: Yes.

Also, yah, we’re heathens. Really easily amused heathens.

Fast forward to tomorrow when I have my first day at work. Cut to a close up of my terrified face.

Halt camera. Cut to ‘To be continued’ sign.

Abominable Blatherer Strikes Again! Who will save the city? Not me, I’m on break.

I’m going to name my first stomach ulcer after this guy.

Remember this guy? No? How ’bout now?

I don’t even know where to fucking start. He’s no longer satisfied with talking us to death, now he has upgraded to utter nonsense that, if this were a job in the so-called real world, would get him fired and thrown out on the street so fast his ass would leave cracks in the pavement.

Does he show up to any meetings? No, he cancels five minutes before. Does he show up for his assigned hours? No, he cancels without informing anyone. The work related thing that he absolutely wanted to do and whined about for weeks, does he do that? Nope, never shows up. Does he do any kind of work assigned to him? No, he’s got so much academic commitment, he’s busy, he just didn’t get around, and anyway, that’s your job! He’d much rather do this and this and this because that’s more important, that’s what’s really going to get this team working!

He’s acting completely on his own “authority” now. Going so far as to offer internships to high schoolers without so much as a by your leave, team! We do not offer internships. We have neither the authority, permission nor competence to employ interns. The higher-ups would be most displeased. We can’t issue certificates. Also, the Blatherer (who offered the kid an internship with him, not with anyone else, no, just him) does not work nearly enough for the kid to learn anything substantial. So I wrote the high schooler sorry, mistake, can’t do it, but maybe you can become a full-on team member once you graduate, and if you’re looking for internships herehavesomelinkstoplacesthatactuallyofferinternships! I was nice! I was personable!

In comes the Blatherer and e-mails the kid to disregard everything I said.

No, you don’t understand, he literally said ‘disregard’.

So then other people get on him and tell him not to pull shit like this. Definitely not without asking if it’s okay. Definitely not without asking if that’s even legally possible, Mister We-need-to-propose-motions-and-act-on-democratic-principles!

And what’s his argument? “Well, we never said we didn’t do internships!”

This is why common sense stipulations should be a thing. Like, a thing you have to sign once you turn 18, otherwise you won’t be recognised as a legal adult. ‘I hearby declare that I will use my brain before I do anything‘. Something like that.

And then he goes, weeeell, such and such official department said I could do that!

I e-mailed them today. Let’s see. I have the sneaking suspicion the truth content of this statement is comparable to “Yes, I read the terms and conditions”.

I just don’t get this guy. What does he want? Control? Power? Does that get him off? First he contacts a photographer without anyone agreeing; then blows up in the face of the computer department because they were trying to double check some data we sent them; now this. Also, he decided we should have a new team member! And he’s coming by tomorrow! Because!

No one of the other ones knows this guy. There’s no e-mail contact, nor phone call, nor nothing. Just because the Blatherer invited him without telling anyone. We have no way of telling the guy we can’t meet him on such short notice and without even knowing his name. The only thing we know is that the Blatherer apparently promised this young man to help him get his father from Syria (!) to come to this country. Which… how? We could pay the young man even nowhere near the amount he’d need for travel expenses for his dad. Civic participation and all… but we can’t do it. We don’t have the means! We don’t have the budget! We just don’t!

So now everyone’s pissed and the chairpersons are tearing at their hair and trying to come up with a solution. I already talked to the Blatherer a month ago about how he can’t pull shit like this. What did I tell him about unauthorized and unilateral decision? I told him not to do it! This should be easy enough to understand for someone who’s in his twenties! So now I say, let him crash and burn. Let him have his bloody intern, if the highers get his ass, that ain’t my problem. I tried being nice. I don’t give second chances.

Uuuuuuuggghhh. I’m so fed up. I’m so done. I was having fun, and then along came this guy. What am I being punished for, was my life too easy again? Someone please hit him with a rubber chicken, that’ll show him!

Standing in the kitchen at 1 a.m. like a confused velociraptor looking for food

I wish I would post more often. But then life happens. Why? Did I get a new squeeze? No. Did I get a new job? No. Do I have classes? Actually, no. Did someone die? Actually, yes.

Somehow between trying to get an ounce of sense out of my library books and procrastinating on contacting my supervisor, I’ve managed to paint the walls, write a guide, writing job applications, going to lectures about writing applications and assembling a modern CV, check out the Overwatch Beta, nurse Boyfriend through his nose drop high (I am being entirely serious), and… other things. Like becoming uncharacteristically depressed because I’m 106% sure my mother started drinking again which unearthed a whole host of repressed anxiety about our relationship. So I turned my phone on silent for a few days to get some thesis work done without thinking about the implications that I still feel like my mother’s keeper.

And then her mother died. This week is not looking good.

So my other grandmother died just two months shy of her 95th birthday, which seems to become a trend in this family because other grandma did the same. And they all die suddenly, is this supposed to give me hope or not? Like, the one time I turn off my phone someone dies, is this a sort of super power and if yes, does it only work with immediate family members or…? Because I have a list, so, y’know. But now mom and aunt are depressed because while their mom mistreated them their entire lives her absence still somehow hits them like an eighteen-wheeler. Probably because of all the missed opportunities to actually have a functioning healthy relationship with her. So basically, fantasy.

When all I wanted to do was level my next Diablo III season char. Guess what I’m not going to get around to for a while.

Also, everyone’s going crazy over the presidential elections. Two candidates and they’re both at roughly the same percentage. Best joke I heard all week: 100% of Austrians agree that 50% of Austrians are idiots. What am I doing about it? Well, I voted. What else can I do, sacrifice something to Satan? Or Cthulhu? Who’s more into politics d’you reckon?

Blagh. I’m getting a whiff of the human existential angst that makes you say “Everything was better in the good old days!” Yeah, damn right everything was better twenty years ago when I was a small kid and didn’t have to worry about politics and voting and which old white man gets to lord it over me.

So what am I doing? I’m in the kitchen where 50% of politicians would have me, and I’m eating everything in sight. Because if we go down, we’re going down with a stomach full of dessert. Kinda like my grandmother.

Act V, Scene II: In Which I am Really, Really Depressed and Vent mine Angst and Frustration

This post is not going to be funny because I’m at my lowest mood-wise since a long, long time. I’m having a bad week. Actually, the bad week started back in March. It’s the bad week of the year.

Nothing bad has happened. No one died. Well, no one I know. I’m sure someone died somewhere. Shit, now I feel guilty. Anyway. Nothing bad has happened but I’m miserable as hell.

Somehow I got roped into having a friendly talk with the Blatherer, and I think I got some points across, but who knows how long this will last. And all because no one else will open their damn mouth. Why does the not-people-person always get tasked with the someone-might-shoot-the-messenger quests? In other words, I’m no good with people, usually I just yell and threaten physical violence, so why do I have to go and talk calmly and reasonably to someone I really just want to throw a brick at? Read my lips: I. Am. Not. Friendly. I’m the worst at being nice. I wish I was nicer. I wish I still had it in me. But then people take advantage of my niceness. So I’m rather a really evil bitch. I’m really good at being a really evil bitch. Somehow I can deal better with people not liking me than people liking me for what they can get out of me. I dunno. I could just cry, but my tear ducts haven’t been working right for months now.

I’m good and ready to quit this sodden job thing, but I keep telling myself, two more months. And plenty of uni work to distract myself, what with a thesis, the theoretical base of which will just not shape itself. Okay, so I’m trying something new. I could have gone with an established theory like marxism, throw three novels together and I’d be fine. But I have to go and make life complicated. Also, that workshop thing didn’t work out so well, because even after all these years, speaking in public makes me nervous. Yes, yes, practice makes perfect and all. No! The inner perfectionist will not be satisfied with a less-than stellar performance! That’s the problem with me, I have to be perfect on the first go or I lose all faith in myself. Can I at least blame that one on my mom?

I don’t think I could hate myself more if I suddenly and inexplicably slept with any ex of mine, is what I’m trying to say. I’m at a point where the Camelot song from Holy Grail can’t cheer me up. I would jump off a bridge if it wasn’t so damned cold outside. Few things are worse than having your suicide go wrong in April, you end up having to drag your drenched ass out of an icy river and you come home cold, wet, and even more miserable. So not worth the effort of getting out of bed.

I just don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone for a week or five.

Also, those bitches from my side hustle won’t pay me until May. Christ, I worked for you in early March, gimme! I need a substance abuse problem badly and I can’t afford one if you fuckers won’t pony up my cash!

Forget What They Told You in Kindergarten, Whining DOES Solve Things

Breaking news from the Grad School front.

Okay, I got this shit in the bag! I got my supervisor, I did get into this stupid course, now I just need to write my thesis and…

And the record screeches to a halt.

Now all I have to do is write an 80+ page academic work.

If you’re frozen with fear, raise your hand. Oh, wait, you can’t. Try blinking. Yes, you blinked. I blinked, too. Because I’m scared. Very scared. Zombie apocalypse ain’t got nothing on this. With zombies, you know where you’re at. They either wanna eat you or you don’t register on their radar because you are also a zombie.

But with academics… they need to like you and your work.

Fuckity fuck.

Okay, stay cool, Self, you got this far. And we did it all by whining in the right place at the right time. We just need to keep doing that.

No, seriously, a bit of whining and a half-breakdown in front of people solves a lot. I mean, you won’t get your dignity back, but otherwise, a lot. I was venting my frustration to a colleague at the department. You know, I was trying to get into this final seminar? And then I didn’t get a grad in time for registration? And someone told me her friend had just done the seminar from the other degree programme instead and it worked out fine? And then someone else told me the same? And so I was all hopeful? And then the office told me that’s not even possible? Because who woulda thunk, I either imagined all this, or those other students found a loophole that had been closed for renovations the minute I turned up. Because of fucking course.

So I expose my vulnerable self to my colleague, finally admitting that I’m not an android programmed in sarcasm but a real human being with like feelings ‘n shit who has had a bad frustrating month. Colleague is like, don’t worry. Five minutes later I’m talking to a professor who then talks to the lecturer and two weeks later I’m in. Magic!

No, seriously. Seems a lot like magic. Maybe the whining sent out energy waves all across the department and threw off everyone’s vibe and they all subconsciously decided to get rid of the source.

And now I just need to write a monster of a paper. And then present this in front of an audience of bored academics who don’t care about anything but their own subjects. I’m so screwed, aren’t I? Couldn’t be more screwed if I was a cabinet.

I’m trying to sign up for an additional writing workshop. Therefore, I need to whine about this on the internet so they’ll let me in. Trust me, this works. I hope.

In other news, I was researching trap remixes of Frank Sinatra and suddenly got an idea for a zombie novel so I guess I have an alternative career path if the whole thesis doesn’t work out.

Yeah, that would be a nice thing for them to cut on my tombstone.

And now, the weather.

Rant Day! Things That Mildly Annoyed Me, March 5-12!

Item 1: This agonizing wait to find out if I can have a place in my last class!

Item 2: Nudity. No, not nudity itself. I’m very pro-nudity, nudity for everyone. But then there are lecturers who show a film clip, pause it in the middle of a naked woman swimming and go, “I’m sorry, I tend to forget to warn audiences about nudity.” Oh no, not the boobs! Anything but the boobs! Especially in this room full of people who have boobs! Seriously, there’s like 30 people in here, 25 of which have boobs themselves, including you btw. The other five have a 98% of having been nursed by boobs, a 80% chance of being attracted to boobs, and a 50% chance of having seen actual boobs in their life. I think they gon’ be fine. Now shut up, Kate Winslet is showing me her tits and I’m in love.

(Also, the males wouldn’t dare complain. They’re outnumbered, 50 boobs to none, we have them surrounded!)

Item 3: Kinda wanna dress up more, kinda wanna buy Nike sneakers and not give a fuck.

Item 4: Kinda wanna do something silly and teenager-y, like steal a traffic light, but that’s immature, but that’s fun.

Item 5: Diablo III is addictive as hell, and it’s also hard on Torture V, and those demons are hitting me, and Kormac, goddammit, where the hell you at, you supposed to tank! Move your shiny templar ass in front!

Item 6: Mom, thanks for trying to make me feel normal about my non-existent wish to procreate, but actually I wasn’t feeling weird about it. Like, at all. Look, your sister doesn’t have kids. Dad’s aunt doesn’t have kids. I grew up in a family where having kids is just one option. I know I’m approaching the age where you gave birth, but I’m fine. I can always freeze my eggs and have a child at sixty, you know how long we fuckers live, it’ll be great.

Item 7: I can haz moneys plz?! How long does it take you to pay my invoice? Come one, chocolate bunny season is about to start, I need cash!