Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Above the Law...

Today I had a young customer at work who we've had problems with before, although I've never been the one to deal with him. In fact, I've never actually been there when he's come in with a problem, like the time he yelled at us for using his name. Today, however...

He mumbled something from the fourth lane of the drive up, something I didn't quite hear due to the rain and wind and train going by. I heard the words "money market" and "deposit in to checking." I thought he'd asked me to cash his check against his money market account and deposit it into his checking account. We don't cash checks and then deposit the cash into the account. It breaks policy when we do that. AND, when we DO do it, it's only with checks drawn off of our bank, since we can make sure the funds are available before cashing out the check (although we're asked not to even do that...). But when I looked at the check, it was drawn off another bank. We never cash out checks and deposit them if they're drawn off another bank. It's just bad business, easy fraud, etc.

So I figured I misheard him, and I deposited it into his checking account. He drove away, and a minute or two later, he sashayed into the lobby and flounced up to the counter. "I was just in the drive..."he started to tell Debbie when I walked up, "and he [pointing to me] was supposed to cash this check against my money market and deposit it into my checking account."

So I had heard him correctly.

I stepped in and told him that we don't cash out checks and deposit the cash, so I just deposited it into his account, and since it was drawn off another bank it would be available tomorrow. And then he threw this big hissy fit about how we were the only branch that gave him problems and how the people in Palatine did it for him all the time (totally breaking every rule we have). "This is ridiculous," he must have lisped at me across the counter four times.

My manager just explained to him that we don't do that. And he tried to explain to us how to do our job, how it was okay for us to break policy, and how he was above the law.


And when he went in to talk to the manager, I counted my till and went home, since it was time for me to go.

I don't know what ended up happening in the end, but this little incident got me thinking. Why do we each think we're above the law? Why do the rules not apply to us? I'm sure there are places where you get special favors from the people there who know you, but do you then expect them? And do you expect them at other places, too?

At my favorite Chinese restaurant Yen Ching we almost always get a free egg roll or fried rice or something when we get take out, and we don't get charged for it because they love Robb and I there.

We're above the law.

At Pizza Hut I used to get free pizza because a friend of mine worked there. I was above the law.

But I don't expect to walk into any Pizza Hut and tell them I know Eric and they should give me free pizza. I know it's a courtesy and a favor because I have a relationship with someone that works there. I am not entitled (there's that word) to anything. I am not REALLY above the law. And I am not a pompus enough ass to think that I am, unlike my swishy "friend" from the bank today.

Are there places where you are above the law?


Monday, March 30, 2009


Look at that title. I know that word turns people off. I'm sure there were people who say that on their subscriptions list and blazed right on past, glad to not get bogged down in choppy lines they think they won't understand in the end.

Well...there's something in me that is drawn to that word. I love poetry in nature and in conversation, in prose and music and fate. And illustration: A long time ago, probably at least five years, I was in Union Station under the streets of Chicago, and I spied this guy:

The first things I noticed were his glasses and the back of his neck...both kind of sexy. And then I saw he was writing. Even sexier. There was a small column of writing along the left margin of the page, and I couldn't describe how badly I wanted to see what it was. Poetry. An insight into what was going on in his mind. Words. Raw and unexplained. And I wanted them.

I still look at this photo and lament the fact that I can't recall what it was the page said--that I never will know what it looked like when it was finished.

The sexiest thing anyone ever did for me was write a poem about me. They read it to me over the phone. I can't recall what it said, but I remember the feeling. And I'll probably never see a copy of it. But that's how poetry works. It's a feeling that settles in your bones, something that stitches you into the fabric of the universe for a moment and makes your head nod in time to the pulsing of the stars. Yes.

Today, this poem was posted on this blog. It resonated with me, so I made a copy. I certainly hope you can give it a moment of your time. Nod with me.

Meditation on Ruin

by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom brawl,
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.


It's poetry.


The Last Hurrah...

Let us hope that this is winter's last hurrah. We got about six inches of snow on Sunday morning. And...by about three o'clock, it was mostly gone. Now I'm looking at a thin blanket of white on everything and hoping it's gone soon. April is no time for blankets, thin or otherwise.

Snow? Go.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Popcorn...

Thank God it's Friday.

It's that special day of every two weeks, my favorite day of every two weeks. It's payday.


It's the day the Water Guy visits us. *SQUEEE* *Swoon* He's the best thing about my every-other-work-week. He struts in, 5 gallon jug slung over his shoulder, and takes it to the back, leaving me at the counter hoping no one comes in so I can smile at him and take the order slip. And I do. And he smiles back. I don't know if he's interested (and, oh, I'm taken), but he sure is fun to look at.

Today he came in, went to the back, came up and set down his empty jug and chatted with me as he filled out our order slip. His shirt, per summer, was unbuttoned down to mid-chest, and he just smiled at me when he kind of caught me looking. *melt* He really brings out the thirteen-years-old girl in me.

In other news, check out this blog: Five Rules For Life. It's fairly amazing, and while you may not agree with all the people who post, I'm sure you'll find something to inspire you. You may even want to create your own.

Blind Melon's "No Rain" just came on the radio. It's one of my favorite songs...on a CD I've bought 3 times. Maybe 4. I've given my brother 2 copies, one of which he left in Iraq when he was stationed there, and one of which was in his car when it was stolen. And the third one I think maybe I gave him, too. And, now that I think about it, I don't ACTUALLY have a copy of this CD...it's just on my computer. But...good stuff.

So...hooray for Friday Popcorn! It's a good label for those days when you don't have anything significant to say but you don't really want to be silent.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Much to Say...

It's true. I don't even have a good story about a bad customer.

It's a dull day, a day wasted spent at work, a day in which I get nothing done but reading blogs and making money. I will go home to the boy, eat some dinner, and go to bed to repeat it all again tomorrow.

I think maybe that's what bothers me so much about this particular day: I know I'm going to have to do the exact same thing tomorrow. And I have a lot of stuff to do, like reply to messages and not get swamped by life...but being at work doesn't allow me the time to do those things, and when I get home I want to spend time with the boy, cooking and hanging out, not sitting in front of the computer anserwing "Who's that?" every ten seconds as I click around.

And...I started this post around 2:00. It is now 4:30, and I am feeling like the day should have been over six hours ago.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Giving In...

I'm all for tips on saving money, on cutting a tiny bit here and there. I'm trying to cut way back on eating out when there's someting at home to eat. But sometimes...

For a few days now, I've been telling myself no. Keep driving, go home, have some chicken nuggets or a sandwich. Don't you dare turn left after you leave work. And all the while I've been telling myself that, I've known that I'm going to lose the argument. Let's be honest, I know myself, and I know I always get what I want in the end.

So, today I finally broke down and hit up McDonald's for a Quarter Pounder and an orange Hi-C drink. Yum.

The funny thing about it is that I don't really even like McDonald's. But sometimes I get it in my head that I want a Quarter Pounder and some Hi-C orange drink. I know I can put it off. I know I can tell myself no for a few days. But in the end...I always give in. And then it's months before I even think about eating McDonald's again without shuddering.

I'm a weakling. I take one look at those puppy dog eyes in my rearview mirror and...end of story.

So, now I'm sitting here feeling like a fatty with a QP in my belly and some Hi-C orange drink by my side. But I'm a happy fatty.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not As Bad As That Guy...

I'm not one for using other people as your yardstick, as my mother used to say (and, I suppose, still does), but I think I can make an exception in this case.

Yesterday my boss came in to work, and the first thing she told us was that on Sunday they found a body in the Kishwaukee River near Hopkins Park, the park everyone goes to to jog and ride bikes and swim at the public pool. It was a beautiful day here on Sunday, and everyone was out. Apparently a family walking two dogs and several children found a bloated corpse pressed into the weeds on the riverbank that had been exposed "for several weeks," as the radio kept reminding me all day.

At work we were speculating on who it could be. There have been two prominent missing people (prominently missing, not so much prominent people gone missing) around here in the last few years, a guy last seen at Otto's (palm tree tattoo on ankle and sun on back, last seen at the bar on the fabled gay night--read: homo) whom there is a $50,000 reward for finding, and a guy from Wisconsin who checked in to the Best Western after an automobile accident on the interstate and never checked out (last seen on Christmas Day leaving without his belongings).

The autopsy revealed that the cause of his death was drowning. And they identified him as the guy from Wisconsin. Case closed.

There is a legend here about how if you touch the Kish you never leave DeKalb. Case and point.

So, that's the news from my small corner of the world. And from that news, I can tell you that my situation? Not as bad as that guy's.


Monday, March 23, 2009


Ugh. It's a Monday.

Gloomy here in northern Illinois.

I'm at work, but I'm not even looking forward to going home. All that's waiting for me there is dishes and obligations for things I forgot to do this weekend.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

About Flying...

The boy and I are going on vacation in July. He's got a GIS conference, and his work is footing the bill for a hotel for a week. So we're taking two friends and flying out to San Diego to kill a week and a half gallavanting around the city.

I plan on visiting the Nucleus Gallery while I'm there. I also plan on getting my picture taken in front of the National City, California sign for personal reasons. But my itinerary is subject to change until then. What isn't subject to change is my uneasiness with flying.

I wouldn't say it's fear. Flying just turns me in to an extremely religious person for a few hours. Every bump in the jet stream sends me into fits of prayer. To put my mind at ease, I do this little activity.

The first chance I get, I go to the bathroom. On my way there, I scrutinize my fellow passengers, count the children, look for nuns, look for people that may be murderers or rapists or Republicans. And then I make a judgment call. If the cumulative morality of all the passengers around me seems higher than normal, I feel safe. I think to myself, "God couldn't possibly knock a plane full of so many innocent chuldren and pious nuns and Jews out of the sky." If it looks like a bunch of nasty people who might as well all burn in a plane crash, I'm not so easy.

And I know it has nothing to do with their appearance or how many kids are on the plane...I know that a plane full of children and nuns is just as likely to go down as any other. But it makes me feel better.

And that, friends, is how I fly.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Who Is Watching...

...The Watchmen.

The boy and I went to see Watchmen on Saturday night. I was fairly impressed with how closely it followed the graphic novel, having just finished reading that. They made some fairly stupid choices, though, such as changing Bubastis's color for no reason and blaming John for the nuclear blasts rather than banding the world against a different outside force. Although that one I could understand...

Anywho, I swore I wouldn't talk about the blue junk, but I can't resist. It wasn't really all that noticeable or distracting. Until. There was a scene near the end of the movie where he was walking towards the camera, and the realistic juggle animation was only slightly less distracting than Lori's coochie-cutting bodysuit. How'd you like to have been the guy who has to animate Dr. Manhattan's jiggling blue junk? Yikes.

As far as violence? It's an adaptation of a graphic novel, so it's what you'd expect: definitely gory, in a comic-book way. Be prepared to see some bone, some muscle, and some splatter.

I'd say, if you've read the graphic novel, fork out the cash to see it in theaters. If not, it may be a little dense for your tastes. Overall? I'd give it eight jiggling blue junks out of ten.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Whatchu talkin' 'bout? Willis?!

Have you heard this one yet?

Apparently a company is renting a little over three percent of the Sears Tower (140,000 sq. ft.) for $14.50 a square foot. That's $2,030,000. And that's what it costs to rename a world landmark. Shameful, really.

Willis Group Hldings, Ltd. is to blame. And now...we have The Willis Tower. Boy, it has a nice ring to it. If you're deaf and stupid.

They said that they did it to show Chicago how committed they are to the city and how they think Chicago should be recognized as a center for commerce. Great plan! I can imagine the board meeting...

"How can we get them to love us?"
"I know! Let's rename their most beloved landmark with our company name!"
"That's brilliant! Bonuses for all!"


I haven't heard anyone say they're happy about this, and I most certainly hate them for it. Didn't take much. Great plan, guys. Great plan...


Thursday, March 12, 2009



The college students are all on spring break, so the bank is DEAD today.

That makes for a long day.

And what makes that long day carppy? Eh....typos that make me think it's raining bottom-feeding fish from the sky? No. What makes this day CRAPPY is that I just found out I was shorted a week's pay. Awesome. And there isn't anything they can do about it until my NEXT paycheck...which comes...on...eh...the 27th. Yup. And the reason? They say it's my fault for not submitting my hours. But, umm...pretty sure I just went back and looked and I had submitted ALL of my time. Because obviously I want to get paid.

But there's nothing they can do. So that means I'm going to be very poor for a long time. Again.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009


As I sit here with the ache of cold in my hands, something I always feel when I use the computer or play video games, for some reason, I am longing for a time when I have to shut the windows to keep the heat out. This winter doesn't feel near as long as the last one, but last year (if you go back to read my older posts, you'll see my outrage) it snowed in early May. The fifth, I think.

I find myself standing in the horizontal stripes of brightness and warmth when the sun sneaks in through the blinds. I always feel like a cat when I hunch my back to absorb the heat, smiling and wishing the patch were just a little bigger so I could fit my whole body into it. I shouldn't miss the sun enough to want to bask this much.

Why do I still live in the Midwest?

It's a black hole. You never get away. My step-grandparents moved to Florida for thirty years. They're back, now. Must be senility...

It's hard to imagine you'll ever live somewhere warm enough when your boyfriend thinks fifty degrees is too hot.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Gimp...

I forgot that I never mentioned this one.

The reason I've been away for a few days is simple: my boyfriend is a gimp.

He was on a ski trip (and I could stop there and let you all conclude the rest, as it's a fairly obvious story, but this one has a...twist) and went down a really steep hill. He didn't crash into a tree and he didn't fall down. In fact, he made it all the way down the hill. And when he'd reached flat ground (his nemesis, he'll tell you) he turned to take a photo of what he had conquered. And twisted his knee.


There was a pop, and then he couldn't really use it. So, like any sane man, he skiied on it all day. And then he calls me at 10:30 at night to tell me he's outside of Madison and should be home in a few hours. Okay...

So I got to tend to him all weekend. Saturday we drove to Mokena to get his crutches from his dad's place. And then we went to a birthday party. And Sunday was spent entirely indoors because neither of us wanted to go out.

And I was running to get things for him, to find his crutches, carrying things, openeing doors, etc.

So that's where I was.

Side note: When we went out to eat on Saturday, I was filling our drinks when our order came up. A complete stranger offered to bring our food to our table when he saw that the order they'd called belonged to the man on crutches. See? People aren't always bad. Oh, but my boyfriend told the guy I'd get it, knowing that a drink in each hand isn't enough to carry.

*shakes head*

I love him. And that's why I didn't mind being away.

Anywho...I'll stop rambling.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Common Courtesy a Misnomer...


If one more person today pretends I'm not here when I say "good morning" or "hello" or "have a nice day," I'm going to blow a gasket. Maybe it's a Monday thing. I don't really pay attention to weekly patterns at work, honestly. I should keep a calendarial tally of how many times people are rude during the week.

If you haven't worked with the public, you'd be astonished.

If you have...meh. Just another day at the office, right?

But really. I implore you. Please! When, during the course of your day, someone says "hello," respond by saying "hi" or "hola" or "hey there" or, my personal favorite, "ahoy-hoy!" Don't leave them hanging. And when they say "have a nice day," you should tell them, "you, too." Really. Dont be THAT guy or girl.

Common courtesy doesn't cost you anything. You're not out of pocket or out of time. And you might actually be that bright spot in someone's day (especially if you say "ahoy-hoy").

Let's all work together to make sure that common courtesy is aptly-named.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Soap Box...

The prophets died today,
God's word forever stuck
to swollen tongues and blistered lips.

I bought a megaphone.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Amazing Grace...

I wrote this poem a few months ago, found it again recently, and thought I'd share.

Amazing Grace

I don't want society's interpretation,
The judgment passed by neuroscience.
I am not interested in what this desire is called.
Don't quote me a percent,
Trying to transmit fear.
My love has been recovered from the enemy,
Particularly that which carries a cross,
That greatest hypocrite the world allows.



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Locked In the Car...

A guy came to the bank today to make a deposit, and when he got inside he told us he'd just locked his keys in his car. Drag. He called his buddy to come get him, hoping he wasn't in class. And since he had some time to kill, we had an impromptu story time.

Julie told us that when her boyfriend took her dog with him to go get Buffalo Wild Wings, the dog got so excited when he was coming back that he jumped on the lock button in the car, locking himself in when the car was running. Awesome.

And Nancy told us the story about how the only time she ever locked her keys in her car it was raining. Nice.

I told the story about how my brother locked his keys in his car three times in the Farm & Fleet parking lot. By the end of that particular few weeks, the cops knew him by name.

And then I told about myself.

I once locked my brother's keys in his trunk while we were out swimming at a pond we weren't supposed to be swimming in. And then he stood on the swivel seat in a beached boat and fell, landing on his back on the pointy front of the boat. And...we were stuck there. Luckily, the door were unlocked, so he opened them and tunneled through the insulation to get into the trunk. I was mortified, being that all his friends were there, too.

I also locked my keys in my car in the Wal Mart parking lot. After the cops came to get my keys out, I walked back in and had a copy made.

And the most embarrassing instance of all?

I was at Applebee's meeting my date in person for the first time ever. We'd talked online, emailed, and we were finally going to meet to have dinner. My first date. And I saw him parked in his spot, a cute guy. I was all flustered. I locked my keys in my car--while it was running. What a way to start a first date!

And you'd think that any guy whose date locked his keys in his car while it was running would probably not be in it for a second date, or even the rest of the first date...but that first date was Robb, and we've been together for over three years.

After telling the customer these stories, I looked him in the eye and said, "See? It could be worse." And he smiled, heading back out to his car to wait for his ride.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Have You Seen Me?

First off, I'd like to start by saying that "fun size" candy bars are a lie. What's fun about unwrapping three of those instead of one regular sized one? There's nothing fun about that. It's just annoying. A fun-sized Milky Way bar would be as big as a Greyhound bus and contain enough rich, delicious caramel to drown several children.

That said, even less fun are those bite-sized pests. You know what I'm talking about--that mix of Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Special Dark, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Mr. Goodbar, and Krackel. Don't get me wrong, I love a good mix. But unwrapping all those little pieces of chocolate...ugh. So much work.

And besides, I usually eat all the good stuff first, leaving the Mr. Goodbar all sad, yellow, and alone. There just aren't enough Krackels in there to keep me satisfied. So. I decided that while we were at the Hershey store in Chicago a few weeks back, that I would buy a regular sized Krackel and finally get my fill.

So, I looked. And I looked. I searched the bins and shelves and assortments. I even went so far as to ask a clerk. And you know what I found out?

There aren't any. They don't make regular-sized Krackel bars. Apparently there isn't enough call for them.

What? You'd better tell Nestle to discontinue the Crunch bar, then. Chocolate and crisp rice? Apparently over.

I guess that's why I'd never seen one.



I don't subscribe to the "Monday's Are Bad" school of thought, usually. But today...today is really trying my every last nerve.

Apparently they're tearing down ANOTHER old building in town, and this one also adjoins the parking lot at work. This means that this morning there was a huge demolition company semi parked directly in front of our ATM...blocking the parking lot entirely. Neither Nancy or myself could get in to work. So, we had to go all roundabout to get in. Meanwhile, they're taking up all our available parking spaces. And this will continue for a long time, because the building they're taking down shares a wall with a building they are NOT taking down. Tricky business, I guess.

Add to that the fact that we're short handed today, it's the beginning of the month, and it's a Monday. Shake. Don't stir.

But after one o'clock I'm free. At least until tomorrow at seven in the morning. And the third of the month is when all the crazies come out. Awesome.

So much to look forward to.