Wednesday, November 30, 2005

casi un bolero

When I was studying in Spain, the Festival of St. George, April 23, was a day when people exchanged books and flowers -- supposedly 'The Day of Lovers.' Somewhere along the way it also came to mark the deaths of both Cervantes and Shakespeare. Regardless, this was a day when everyone was either giving or receiving a red carnation or books on the breezy streets of Granada.

i've always been a sucker for both a good browse and a good book, so when we looked out to see the plazas covered in folding tables overflowing with heaps of books, it was enough to make me get out of the house at a decent time to peruse. i must have flipped through hundreds of books that day and purchased a fair amount of cookbooks, novels and the like. i got my share of flowers, too.

but there's one purchase from that day that particularly stands out. it's simply called "56 Boleros." i should have read the back more carefully, however, because where the enticing blurb that is supposed to lure the reader is usually located, it says:

Si tienes un hondo penar
piensa en mi;
si tienes ganas de llorar
piensa en mi

(If you have a deep pain
think of me;
if you feel like crying
think of me)

after we shopped to exhaustion, a couple of my favorite people and i stopped off at our favorite cafe for some churros y chocolate. Now, this isn't your run-of-the-mill amusement park churro/choco combo: the pastry is crisp on the outside, soft and doughy in the middle, with crunchy sugar crystals that just melt into the chocolate on impact. and the drink is no watery Swiss Miss joke, either. we're talking liquid chocolate. god, i'm salivating just thinking about it. sigh.

anyway, we went out for a snack and shared our finds. somewhere along the way i got the idea that we should read from some of my new poetry books, and happened to choose good old 56. j cleared his throat, looked from s to me, and started reading in a cheesy operatic voice, but as he got farther along, the words sort of took over and we were all swept up in the drama of these poems that were famous for their lyrics and their melodies. maybe it was springtime. maybe it was spain. but all three of us were entranced.

not too long after that, things got very ugly. longterm friendships were severed. hearts were broken. bitter grudges were kept. i look back on that day, specifically on that book, and all i remember are the tears.

i hadn't thought about that stuff again for years, until we were talking about Boleros in the spanish class i'm now taking to brush up on my rusty skills. the senora is from Bolivia and was explaining that she doesn't think music today has the same feeling as those oldschool songs of love and loss that can make you cry just by reading the lyrics.

i went home and dug out old 56 for her. she looked through it, read a few phrases out loud, put her hand to her chest and shook her head. 'beautiful,' she said, her eyes welling up. and then launched into this terribly sad story about men, her divorce, her nogood ex-husband, and how she couldn't come up with anything consoling to say after her 20-year-old daughter had visited the father's office to find that the framed photos of herself and her brother on his desk had been replaced with ones of his new girlfriend's small children. soon we were both crying.

i don't know what it is about that book or its contents that taps into a person's emotions. but i'm pretty sure i'm not going to be flipping through it again anytime soon.

but just for old times' sake:

Musica y letra: Wello Rivas

Despues de tanto
soportar la pena
de sentir tu olvido
despues que todo
te lo dio mi pobre
corazon herido
Has vuelto a verme
para que yo sepa
de tu desventura,
por la amargura
de un amor igual
al que me diste tu.
Ya no podre
ni perdonar ni darte
lo que tu me diste;
has de saber
que en un carino muerto
no existe el rencor.
Mas si pretendes
remover las ruina
que tu misma hiciste,
solo cenizas hallaras
de todo lo que fue
mi amor.

Friday, November 25, 2005

the problem with parking vol. 9 -- DELUXE

the best part about working on Thanksgiving was being able to park in the company lot, as no bigwigs decided to clock in. so today -- the day after Turkey Day, also known as the biggest shopping day of the year -- i was thinking the same would apply, i mean, what person with any kind of corporate power was going to show up?

the usual policy is this: the suits get to park in the lot, and then after five the underlings can move our cars in from meters on the street in a single-file, around-the-block line, taking spots as they become available and hoping to still make it back for the late meeting.

i had hoped, while running late as usual, that they'd let us park in the lot again today. and when i got there, it looked good; at most the lot was about a sixth full (the emptiest i'd seen in ages). i rolled up and put my keycard to the sensor. a voice crackled over the speaker:

'you can't park here.'

'what? why?'

'you can't park till three.'

'are you serious? but the lot is EMPTY!'

(a man with three little kids walks up to a car in the lot, carrying a bunch of shopping bags. and unless we've changed the hiring policy, i'm pretty sure they weren't there to work). they drive off as my pleading continues.)

'so wait, you're telling me you're not letting me in?'


'REALLY? even though it's EMPTY?! please?... c'mon, man. it's two TEN.'

'i know, i have a clock right here. come. back. AT. THREE.'

'you have GOT to be kidding me.'

i backed the car out of the entrance ramp, cussing like a sailor. somehow i managed to find a spot on a street a few blocks away, especially surprising because our office is very close to an extremely busy retail thoroughfare and everyone was out and about. maybe all the mad shoppers who had been up for 5 a.m. sales got pooped and went home.

i crossed through the deserted parking lot to get to the office, fuming at the vast array of potential spots that i had been denied. i stomped up the stairs and into the office. it's freaking bad enough to have to play the parking game every other day, but today? an unofficial holiday? WHEN THE F-ING LOT IS EMPTY?? oh, the injustice.

a few coworkers agreed. one even told me with bitterness in his voice that as he was rejected from the lot, he saw a whole family get out of a car with their ice skates. here we are, WORKING, and these people are out for a wintery jaunt. and just in case they felt like using their reserved spot, we're forced to look into a perfectly good parking area we can't have, like a piece of cheesecake in a locked revolving case.

but worst by far, was what happened to a key figure in our operation. this guy was pretty much in charge of the show today, and he came in at 2:40, only to be rejected by the same joker on a power trip in the security booth. he was forced into street parking as well. For god's sake, THE LOT WAS STILL EMPTY!

so all of us, grumbling, resigned ourselves to the fact that they weren't letting us in. thinking about it further, i can see why they have to be so strict; if not, every tom dick and harry from the company would come, park and enjoy the city, locking all of us out all day and night. but there's no need to be such a freaking SMARTASS about it, mr. i-have-a-clock-right-here. jackass.

security is getting an e-mail about this.

what's worse is that later, when i went to move my car from the meter to the lot at 3:30, i SAW that little skating family. and they were DAMN ANNOYING. the really did have their freaking skates slung over their shoulders. and on top of that, all four of them had matching annoying little oldschoolpajamatype sleeping hats -- you know, the ones that have the long tail that ends in a poufy pom pom? -- WITH STRIPES. it was like a freaking Gap commercial right there in the parking lot! I'll bet they had a gd thermos full of spiked eggnog in the front seat console of their stupidass LandRover and were going over the river and through the woods to their damn grandmother's house for dinner. and what was i going to be doing? chomping on gum for the next few hours because i forgot to bring my lunch and didn't want to go BACK OUT again in the cold. grrr.

and there isn't one damn thing i can do about it.

THAT, my friends, is the problem with parking.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

sneaky little weasel

'what's up with you stealing my pillow last night? the guest room pillows are too puffy. i couldn't sleep, man.'

'yeah, my first night back i come home early from hanging out with the guys to watch the show with you when you got in, and you decide to go out drinking after work. what the hell?'

'huh? when i called to see if you'd landed, you were already at Dave's house. that's never an early night.'

'UH, but then i said i'd be home by the time you'd be. then i called you like five times.'

'i figured you were out, so i left my phone in the car. and uh, well... i kind of already watched it when i got home. but you were sound asleep!'

'WHAT?! i came home at TEN-THIRTY for you! oh i'm so gonna kick your ass. you just watch out, i'm going to saran wrap your bed or something.'

'dude... hey, isn't it punishment enough that i got a ticket?'

'just you wait.'

bye, ben

the stars aligned and i was able to go out with my coworkers after work. we had beers, snacks and conversation, a good chunk of which revolved around horror stories involving parking and towing in the city.

the girls made a few good arguments for moving downtown and ditching my car, but nothing was more convincing than getting back to my car to be welcomed by my second parking ticket in four days.

sigh. i'm going to miss what i could have done with you, mr. franklin.

Monday, November 21, 2005

the search is over.

anyone looking for the lyrics to 'dangerous on the dance floor' by musto and bones?
some anonymous person posted them in my comments!

i had no recollection the lyrics were so, uh, spicy. however, i'm glad that all those people searching for them can finally find what they're looking for.

thanks, anonymous!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

i'm acting like a cranky old man

i have a serious problem. it's been growing for nearly a year. slowly, silently, building an arsenal, strengthening while i wasn't looking. it's snuck up behind me, and is hanging onto my back like that monkey from the quit smoking commercials of the late '80s.

i'm crotchety.

i'm cranky, and irritable and easily annoyed by seemingly normal things and sometimes i just want to scream because i want things to be silent and still and peaceful. all the time.

like right now, my roommate is in the other room watching nascar post-race commentary where some nasally driver is going on and on and on AND ON about getting the job done, hanging in there, bla bla bla. and although my pal doesn't have the volume up too loud, just listening to that drone makes me want to take a deep breath and bellow at the top of my lungs, 'SHUT THE F UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP! shut up, shut up, shut UPPPPPP!!!!' sigh.

every day when the house phone rings (starting at nine am and continuing in a barrage of telemarketers once every 30 minutes until i leave for work), the sound climbs in deeper under my skin. and twitches. it makes me want to throw things. and even when my cell goes off, i'm often annoyed until i realize it's someone i care about on the other line.

on the rare occasion that i'm around other human beings, i don't know how to behave right away. it's like i'm suddenly socially inept. i scoff at meaningless pleasantries. when i go to parties, even among those i've loved for almost half of my life, it takes a good thirty minutes for me to acclimate to the smalltalk. it's as though the real me has been buried under hours and hours and hours of solitary silence and i have to dive in, grab her neck in the crook of my elbow and crawl back to the surface in order to function normally again.

this is not me! anyone who's met me would probably be just as baffled. i'm the girl who loves to chat, who can't stand to be home alone. even if other people are in other rooms doing their own thing, i need the security of knowing that they're around. i couldn't fall asleep in college until i heard the roommate's key in the lock and knew she wasn't abducted by aliens or drunken fratboys.

it all began when i started working these odd late-night hours last december. i live in a house with two roommates, but when i'm at home they are at work and by the time i get in, they're asleep. so i've become accustomed to having free reign. i come in, stay up late catching up on recorded television, netflix, e-mail, blogs, long distance phonecalls -- whatever my heart desires -- and i don't have to answer to anyone. i no longer make 'how was your day' chitchat. i don't have to share the remote control. i can have oreos and milk for dinner and don't have to worry about anyone's disapproving looks. i can sleep until 2 p.m., just in time to get ready while watching 'The Facts of Life'. i've embraced the beauty of silence.

as great as that may sound, it's a solitary lifestyle. but it's affected me so much, i don't even recognize myself anymore.

on friday night i worked an early shift. it put me back at the house at about 8 pm. i walked in on the phone, as usual, took off my shoes and coat and planned on scavenging around the kitchen for something to eat just as i do every night when i get in. however i wasn't fully prepared for both the roomies to be awake, watching tvs in different rooms, asking how i was, asking if i was hungry, asking how my day was, asking about traffic, asking about the weather and not really noticing that i was on the phone.

i went to my room to finish my conversation and get used to the situation. in 20 minutes, things were back to normal and we hung out just like old times. it was nice. i'm thankful they miss me and want to talk to me when i'm around. i'm blessed there are so many people willing to work around my inane scheduling conflicts who make time to see me and the ones who interrupt their lunch hours to call me or stay up way past their bedtime to say hello. it makes me feel special. it makes me feel loved. it helps me forget about the sometimes when i feel so alone.

but i don't like being like this. i'm supposed to be cheery and chatty and not annoyed that someone wants to know how i'm doing. i don't want to be like those ugly old people who yell at the kids who disturb their gardenias by letting the kickball fly into their yard. well, at least not for another fifty years.

there has to be a 12-step program for this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

will power

Part of me is starting to believe the quality of my life would be exponentially better if i could just get out of bed when the alarm rings and stay out.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

one thick layer

'they have a new baby next door.'

'yeah, i saw the big cardboard stork in their yard, but i couldn't read it. a girl, right?'

'mmmhmmm. they named her robyn rae.'

'cute. hey, how old is what's her name, anyway?'

'she's probably about three years younger than you. the husband is your age.'

'oh. interesting.'

'when i finish this blanket, i'm going to take it over there.'

'it's so soft, ma. and the pattern is beautiful. i'm sure they'll love it.'

'just wait, my grandchildren are going to have sooo much stuff. sigh. but only if i can still see by then...'

'what? you still have a good thirty years left to spoil children. i'm pretty sure i can come up with at least one bundle of joy for you in that time.'

'thirty years? na nana na, i'm not hanging around that long.'

'what nonsense. i CANNOT believe i'm even discussing this with you.'

'maybe it's just not in my fate to play with my grandchildren.'

'good GOD.'

'well, you're not going to wait too long after you get married, right?'


'maybe just one year. then it's time for kids.'

'dude, is there something here i don't know about? are you setting something up behind my back?'

'no, but you don't have a lot of time. you shouldn't really wait.'

'mother, let me put it to you this way: there's time to get to know someone, time to be engaged, and time to enjoy my husband. THEN maybe i'll think about children. that takes years. like maybe five.'

'what? FIVE YEARS? goodbye, cadiz.'

'you really are a professional, you know that?'

Friday, November 11, 2005


you know you're beat when there's an ache in the pit of your stomach, the coffee you had at 3 p.m. failed to make you crazy and wore off in less than 8 hours, and you're just a teensy bit delirious. but you're more zoned in than ever and have managed to accomplish more in the last 18 hours than you have done in the last week.

however, more than all that, it's knowing that when you do get to sleep, it's going to be ecstasy.

btw, thank you veterans and servicepeople.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

thick skin of my teeth

i relished my days off. slept in late. dawdled about getting ready. watched a lot of tv. it really was a lazy long weekend. but i didn't want it to count for nothing.

so i had planned for a lovely evening out. we were supposed to have dinner, catch a comedy show at Second City and make it to my friend's birthday party. reservations were at five p.m.

at four p.m., i was still lying in bed, yelling at julia roberts' character in 'my best friend's wedding' for being such a meddling, selfish beeyatch. (i hated her in that movie. the actress, the character, what she did, everything. if only i hadn't despised cameron diaz so much, i'd have REALLY hated old jules. ironically, i really like the movie itself -- mostly because she didn't get the man. that and rupert everett singing.) so when the restaurant called to confirm the reservations, i paused to panic and pretend i thought they were for five-thirty, which worked.

if you thought that stroke of luck would be enough to light a fire under my ass to get up and get ready, think again. i lazed around until after julia dedicated the sculpture-licker rendition of 'the way you look tonight' to the happy couple before getting it together.

we sat in monster saturday night traffic to the city, looked for parking and made it to the restaurant at six-fifteen. the hostess wasn't too happy, but gave us a pager anyway. our show started at seven, and despite having booked tickets almost a month ahead, it worked on first-come, first-served seating that began at six-thirty. yeah, our chances of making it were looking slimmer and slimmer. by six-thirty we were still ordering. but we mentioned to the server that we had a show at seven, and god bless him, he got us out of there with five minutes to spare.

we were cutting it close. especially when we went to the wrong ticket booth all together. by six-fifty-eight, it was likely we'd have to split up and sit in empty spots here and there or sit behind a pole or something. but we were the second-to-last party to be seated and still managed to get front-row spots off to the side. as we sat down, the show began.

after it was over (very good, btw), we had time to pick up liquor and chips and head off to the birthday festivities, even less than fashionably late. we even found a parking spot sort of close by. seriously, lady luck was winking at me that night. it's the only explanation for how such a sloppy start could turn into such a sweet evening.

the thing about me is, no matter how close i'm cutting it, somehow, someway, i manage to scrape by and make it. right up until seconds before deadline. it's always been that way -- and i get a little rush off the panic, too. i know, i have a problem. and one day it's going to bite me right in the booty. when it really counts. and of that very day i live in constant fear and paranoia; which consequently doesn't cause me to improve my behavior.

my company that night showed tremendous patience and sportsmanship, despite all the tailgating, screaming at traffic, time requesting, running, hostess pleading and inhaling of food that my tardiness demanded. the only comment was, 'you know, cadiz, you definitely get an A+ for planning. it's just the execution that needs a little work.'


Thursday, November 03, 2005


i actually managed to procure some days (in a row!) off.

so you might not be hearing from me for a bit.
but that doesn't mean i'm not thinking of you.

i'll be back to guard the dungeon again on tuesday.


p.s. old psychoblue said hello to me. (well it was more like a grunt, but still.) it must be my lucky day!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


i'm sitting at the dungeon, waiting for reports and reading the paper.

there's a story about how officials are struggling to decide just how people in post-Katrina morgues actually died. there's a photo with it, of a pink list of names of the deceased. it's taken from below and the biggest, most in-focus name is at the bottom.

It's "Deadman Jr., William"