Friday, December 30, 2005

2005: a review

well folks, i was all ready to write a play-by-play of all the wonderful and exciting things that happened to me this past year, but frankly, there isn't much to say except that i went into it sad but managed to come out pretty content. which is odd because i worked practically all the time. okay, that's not exactly true. i was actually trapped in a dungeon for most of it. and there's no cell reception in there.

nah, this was just a low-key year. i didn't have nearly enough time for the people i love, but i got a good glimpse of just who it is that loves me. you guys are the best and i don't know what i'd do without you.

but i do know one thing: this year i learned a whole hell of a lot about parking.

i'll be out for the next several days, so if you're bored, take a spin.
hope you have a safe new year's eve, and a happy and healthy 2006.

love, cadiz

vol. 1
vol. 2
vol. 3
vol. 4
vol. 5
vol. 6
vol. 7
vol. 8
vol. 9
vol. 10
vol. 11

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

yeah, you heard me

i think that there are certain things that we people of the night (who work evening and night hours) allow each other to get away with. or maybe it's our line of work dealing with reports. or maybe it's our -- shall i say finicky -- computer system. regardless, it seems four-letter words called out at various volume levels are no big thing around our office. it's always been that way in most places i've worked with these conditions. and people who have problems with it? well they just deal.

tonight i was dealing with a bit of a sticky wicket that wasn't a big deal by any means. the item in my project was a lot bigger than i had anticipated. by a lot. and i was having a hard time making it work.

'geez louise! this this is FRICKIN' HUGE!!'

'hey, watch it.'

'what? uh, i said frickin'

'i know you did. but that's just a SUBSTITUTE.'


for some reason, her manner and tone left me feeling like a middleschooler standing outside the principal's office with a pink slip in my hand, knuckles smarting from a ruler-rapping. and for the rest of the night i was sort of pouting about it behind my monitor. sure, i probably shouldn't have yelled out like that, but i was frustrated and had just drank a little bit of caffeine, and you know how i get with that stuff in my system.

as the night wore on, i was increasingly miffed. in the two hours since that incident, the guy behind this woman said 'co*ksucker', the person to my right said 'bast*rd', two more people said 'as*hole', and someone walking by said 'f*ck'.

WTF? all of this happened within TWO feet of this broad. but did she say a word? NO.

maybe it's because she's a little older and i'm a little younger than most of our colleagues. maybe it's because we've been pretty cool so she thinks she can *reprimand* me. this irritated me to no end. i wish there was something i could say, but that window was a small one and it's probably not worth it anyway.

but still. i'm FRICKIN' PISSED.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the problem with parking -- vol. 11

the problem with parking is that when your working hours are jacked and don't include any type of rhyme-or-reason around the holidays, you take for granted that the rest of the free world is off the day after christmas, don't expect seventy BAZILLION people to be downtown stepping into oncoming traffic aimlessly because they're done with family stuff and don't know well enough to STAY THE HELL HOME, and make yourself 20 minutes late finding and feeding a meter. then you get up into your ghost town of an office only to be called a moron because you could have parked in the lot because duh, today is a company holiday.

Monday, December 26, 2005

score one for me

christmas morning, i slept in late, leisurely played the stupid game with my family wherein everyone pulls out secret gifts we weren't supposed to buy from closets and under beds and presents them to recipients who dutifully shake their heads and say yearly refrains like, 'i told you not to buy me anything,' or 'you should save your money' while trying to supress the urge to completely rip open the paper around what they're secretly hoping is what they've been hinting at about for the last several months. what a freaking charade. sigh, but without it, christmas just wouldn't be the same. especially because the more i rack my brain to come up with the perfect gift for somebody, the more mild the thank you i get. and when i'm desperately in need for something and take a chance on a potential gift in the shop window, that's when they're overjoyed. i'll never get it.

case in point: i stumbled downstairs to see my brother watching some football recap about the 1985 Chicago Bears (a team he knows a hell of a lot about, considering he was only three during their Superbowl prime).

'you still obsessed with these guys? i mean, you really loved them, but i'm pretty sure you were in diapers back then.

'uh, YEAH. where the heck have you been? i LOVE that team. i'm a real fan. and i was NOT in diapers.'

'yeah, i guess i do remember you running around singing the lyrics to the 'superbowl shuffle in oversized Ray-Ban sunglasses.'

'DUDE, i have that same shirt jim mcmahon is wearing in the interview! he must shop at Target.'

'don't you ever get sick of watching and reading stuff about them?'

'hell no. what's wrong with you? hey, did you know some guy from the newspaper wrote a book about them? hang on, i think it's in the sports section'

'no, i hadn't. is it good?'

'looked pretty solid. here, lemme find that ad for it.' [rummaging through papers]

'okay you do that.' [walking away, smirking]

yeah, i had gotten it for him-- autographed. total last-minute whim purchase, about which i was very unsure.


it totally is better to give than receive, but when those Puma kicks he got for me finally come in the mail, maybe i'll be singing a different tune.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

and to all a good night

so i was sitting here in the dungeon drowning my sorrow in dr. pepper and chocolate chip cookies thinking man, i'd even rather be with my parents and brother at some family-friend-prayer-meeting snoozefest, fighting off pushy aunties inquiring about when the hell i'm going to get around to getting married already, than out here in the dungeon by myself on christmas eve. i was okay with it for the first couple of hours, but the more i thought about twinkly lights and crackling fireplaces, the more it started to suck. exponentially.

however, lo and behold, a jolly middle-aged elf with slicked back hair from the other department brings me my reports at ten forty! ANNND, tonight they're only doing one set, so that means i don't have to wait here till 2:30 as originally planned.

merry christmas eve to me!

so, sorry folks, i had a long post brewing for y'all, but it's gonna have to wait. i'm hitchin my sleigh and getting the hell up out of here!

i hope you all have a wonderful holiday and are surrounded by those whom you love best.


Friday, December 23, 2005

once bitten -- FOREVER

recently, someone asked me what my favorite Christmas song was. I said, 'of course, it's Oh Holy Night.'

yeah, i totally lied.

my actual favorite Christmas song is a little ditty performed by WHAM! -- more specifically famous for its frontman, mr. george michael. yes folks, i AM that cheesy. it's catchy, it's poppy and dammit it has all the best elements: love, heartbreak and a vendetta in a chorus repeated to the point of tattooing it to your brain. what's not to love?

okay, so if WHAM! ain't your thing, the song has also been done by the Beatles, Jimmy Eat World, Human Nature, Savage Garden, Westlife, some person named Billie Piper and (shudder) Hillary Duff. I'm sure a bunch of others have covered it too.

i'm on a mission to find some decent *new* christmas songs. why does everything have to be a re-do of the golden oldies? seriously. 'doesn't it feel like Christmas' CANNOT be all that's out there.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

these are the days

a radio station in town has long been classified as *alternative rock* (whatever the heck that is), which means i pretty much avoid it for the alleged 'metal-ish screaming' that i tend to pooh-pooh. give me a dope beat, a good hook and some clever rhymes -- okay, the clever rhymes are few and far between-- anyday. basically what i'm saying is this station is usually just another one i roll right past on the radio dial without a second thought.

however, in the new age of 'we play anything' formats that have taken over a good chunk of the presets, the old-style stations are scrambling to keep up. this alt-rock station has introduced its own 'shuffle' of sorts and intersperses some good old ditties from the '90s and even a few kicking beats from before then, too. they've added radio personalities who actually cut the talk to semi-interesting snippets, but what got me is an afternoon segment they call 'the last-letter game', which reminds me of a motherland game my mother kicks ass at, wherein you sing part of a song and other team has to come up with a new song that starts with the the last letter of what you sang. so i decided to give this station a whirl; it's now actually a preset in the car. besides, i need a vacay from mainstream radio hiphop. if i have to hear that stupidass 'Laffy Taffy' song ONE MORE TIME...

anyway, this week the 'alternative' radio station is celebrating its history by playing the top 101 songs of every year that it has existed. and some of those years were the formative ones of my youth -- back in the flannely days of Reality Bites when Soundgarden was still together. i actually listened to some of that stuff back then. but i was shocked at how many lyrics i can still recall. songs i didn't even KNOW that i knew.

one of the songs on the list for 1993 was 'These are the days' by 10,000 Maniacs. I haven't heard it in ages, but it made me feel all warm and happy. and it's funny, because at the time i had thought things were pretty lame. over the last few days, i've caught more of the lists and felt compelled to call some of my pals from those days. when James' 'laid' came on, i had to call a kid who simply looked over at me from across the room in spanish class and mouth you think you're so pretty and that high-pitched crooning was stuck in my head for days. or Liz Phair's 'supernova', which reminded me of all those times i forgot to tell my parents i was going to hang out at my best friend's house after school and we'd turn up the music so loud we couldn't hear the phone as we sat out on the roof, (which was cool until i came home to people who were pissed, having convinced themselves i'd been kidnapped and sold into street servitude in the city.)

it's funny how you never appreciate the situation you're in until it is so far gone, the only thing that can bring back a taste of it is a long-forgotten song.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

happy landings

remember back in the day, whenever you'd be in a plane and the pilot made a safe landing, everyone would clap and cheer? have we become so desensitized to the miracle of flight that it no longer deserves applause? what's up with that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

the most wonderful time of the year

i admit it, i'm a sucker for christmas carols.

my dad probably owns more christmas music on vinyl than any other type of music and i grew up listening to it at full blast every weekend in december ever since i can remember. he would record hours of christmas-music-only radio onto cassette tapes and label them 'CHRISTMAS' with a little stick-figure tree.

so when i went away to college, i made sure to bring along a couple tapes so i could sing along with Nat King Cole or Karen Carpenter when the season rolled around. I wasn't, however, prepared for my roommate's reaction. now let me start by saying i was lucky to be placed with this girl. she's one of the most kind and thoughtful people i know, but she won't lie and doesn't hesitate to say what's on her mind.

'ugh. I HATE this crap,' was what she probably said when she heard those tapes the first time. i totally thought she was kidding. i mean, c'mon! who doesn't love 'holly jolly christmas,' or 'here come santa claus'?! but no, she really couldn't stand it. but i still played them a bit and tried to ignore her rolling eyes. after awhile, it became a joke and i'd threaten to play them to wake her up. she said she was glad to be rid of my 'damn christmas crap' when we were packing up to go home for winter break. i just shrugged it off.

the next fall, we moved into a dorm room a floor above our old one. when the holiday season was approaching, i went searching through all my stuff for my dad's good old christmas tapes. i could have sworn i had brought them, but let me tell you, there aren't too many hiding places in a single room shared by two people. so i resigned myself to spending that winter humming snippets of 'reindeer on the roof' or 'good king wenceslas,' awfully surprised my roommate wasn't telling me to shut up. i was sad. i thought i lost my tapes. at that time there was no 24-hour christmas station either and i only got to hear 'rockin' around the christmas tree' when i watched 'Home Alone.' it just wasn't the same.

when we were getting ready to move out at the end of the year, i had pulled the bed away from the wall to get some of the stuff that had fallen behind it. i heard something being tossed onto the bed.

'i know. i'm a bitch,' my roommate said.

and there they were; two cassette tapes with little stick christmas trees, that she had stolen while we were moving in and hidden. an act, she claimed, intended to preserve her sanity.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

the problem with parking -- vol. 10

the problem with parking is when you tell your friend you'll be at her house in 45 minutes -- and you were -- however, it takes you another 40 minutes to find a spot near her building that isn't 2-feet deep in snow or taken up by plastic lawn furniture. sigh.

Friday, December 09, 2005

digging out

*I*T'*S* *S*N*O*W*I*N*G*!

i've always said that i need to be in a place that showcases all the seasons. and despite the fact that i had to dig my car out from under a foot and a half of snow this evening -- even after trying to park under a bridge -- and drive home on the highway at 30 m.p.h., hydroplaning once and afraid of being sideswiped by an errant SUV, i still think it's damn pretty.

but ask me again in March.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the single best thing about watching the Amazing Race Family Edition

not having to hear everyone refer to each other as 'babe.'

listening to racers bleat and bellow it ad nauseam -- to mean 'hurry the hell up' or 'you just put us in last place,' or 'i can't believe i brought you with me' or 'ohmygod i'm so not going to talk to you when this is over' -- erases any and all intrinsic sentiment from the word and encourages me to never want to use it as a term of endearment. ever.

i'm glad for the reprieve, even if it means i have to watch scantily clad sisters whine about how everyone is such a jerk but wonder why nobody likes them.

next tuesday night on CBS will be the season finale of The Amazing Race: Family Edition. if you're curious about what all the fuss is about, that's the time to check it out. it's two hours and will feature three families racing around the world to win a million dollars. and someone will win. without saying too much, the contestants include some characters. in the preview it shows that they'll be whitewater rafting, swinging on a trapeze, throwing each other down in an airport and --omar, this one is especially for you,-- curling.

just thought i'd put that out there. enjoy!

Friday, December 02, 2005

it called to me

a while back i went with my college girls to miami (south beach). there was plenty of sun and fun, but of course the festivities wouldn't be complete without a little shopping. being a very touristy spot, everything in the shops was marked up at an exponential rate correlating to the number of times it had been spotted on MTV. A few of my comrades found some pretty good things, but i was mostly there to window shop and had no intention of buying anything that overpriced from a chain store i could most likely find in the mall i've been going to since i was born.

but that didn't stop me from looking.

oohing and ahhing as other people tried on stuff was fun for awhile, but then i got the dangerous idea of maybe trying something on myself. you know, just for kicks. we walked into a popular nationwide chain. i was looking for something fun and ridiculous that i could entertain myself with but not actually purchase. i made my usual trip sequentially up and down every trendy little aisle being sure to look at everything at least once (you never know what gem can be hiding among corduroy capri pants). and while i can always appreciate what's hot this season, i realize the real value in a piece of clothing is its classic longevity, a rare quality that i hone into like a sonar.

and it happened. it was red. very plain and simple. hanging under the shimmery black one-sleeved numbers and the strapless assassins. very unassuming. easily lost in the crowd, but on its own, not half bad. a little like me. i pulled it out, holding it at arm's length. pretty decent. it was totally something i'd wear. the back was a little lowcut for my taste, but eh, it wasn't like i was going to buy it or anything. i slipped it on.

dude, it was like this dress was made for me. formfitting, but not in that annoying way that clings to every unattractive curve. crisp, but with just enough of a stretch to keep you from feeling locked in. it hit at just the right part of my knee, and the slits on the side helped with mobility, but weren't high enough for streetwalker status. it was well tailored and could easily be dressed up or down depending on jewelry and shoes. i was in love. until i looked at the price tag. the thing cost about as much as i was spending on lodging for that trip. and i clearly did not *need* it. so with a heavy heart, i spun around a couple more times and returned it to the rack.

you know when you find something perfect and don't buy it for some really stupid reason like you can't afford it, but then later catch yourself thinking about that item forlornly because it would have been perfect in so many ways? yeah.

however, there is a ray of hope in this story. a few months after my trip, it was getting to be christmas time. i decided to hit up the mall for a few gifts, and headed into a chain store that was moving locations and getting rid of everything in the building. the trip was on a whim, because everyone knows that after the first day, sales like that are often picked over so much that all that is left on the rack are damaged goods or things in size -18 or 56XX, that very few people can wear. but nevertheless, something compelled me to wander on in.

i brushed past all the oversized workpants and the sweaters that had bumps from being on a hanger too long when i saw it -- and i'm not even freaking kidding -- hanging nearly by itself on a rolling rack in the corner. there was nothing else hanging there but a looped up belt and half of a sweater set. the red dress. i recognized it right away and thought it was a cruel joke because of course it'd be in some ridiculous size or have a malfunctioning zipper or something. but upon further inspection, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. and it was my size.

i took it as a sign and went up to the counter, where i got the best news ever. not only was this dress *the* dress, it had been marked down SEVENTY-FIVE percent.

i'd have to say that's probably the most satisfying purchase i've ever made. it's just too bad that i haven't had any real opportunities to wear it. but even if i never do, just knowing it found me again is enough.