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Dudes, Louis From Interview With The Vampire Totally Works In My Building

  • May 19, 2011

As some of you know, I work as a contract human resources recruiter for a large mortgage company here in Des Moines (I won’t mention the name but it rhymes with Bells Cargo). My work bff Tami and I usually saunter down to the employee cafeteria in the morning for breakfast and gossip and one day a few months ago we were dumbstruck when we saw Louis from Interview With The Vampire standing in line to get an omelet. Or some o-neg. Whatever. It’s not important. And I mean Louis as portrayed by Brad Pitt because Louis is totally a fictional character and doesn’t actually exist. Anyway, when we spotted him we stood there with our mouths hanging open for a good thirty seconds. We might have also elbowed each other.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to snap a picture of him with my BlackBerry but the zoom function does not work for crap and I couldn’t get close enough without, you know, drawing attention to myself and making him think I was a complete whackadoodle. Which I’m not.

This is what he looks like: Long, blonde hair – sometimes in a ponytail, sometimes down – stubble (just the right amount), and sexy vampire-type eyes. He might also be wearing eyeliner but I try not to stare into his eyes in case he tries to glamour me. And he’s really skinny. Like I could not get one of my thighs in his jeans if someone was pointing a gun at my head. This does not detract from his looks, I’m simply pointing out that he’s tall but very, very lean. Also? He can be wearing anything from a blinged-out hoodie with skinny jeans or a pinstriped, three piece suit from the 19th century (three piece as in vest included). Seriously. And every single woman in the cafeteria is checking. him. out.

But the other day he wore something that I almost couldn’t comprehend and how he came up with this wardrobe choice I’ll never know. Maybe he woke up and thought, hmmmm…..I work at a large mortgage company in Iowa. What should I wear today? Oh, I know! My long, black, fur coat and a fedora (tipped at a jaunty angle, natch). Chicks! Will! Stare!

That’s about as silly as me showing up somewhere in a *poncho, beret, and feather boa, but somehow he pulled it off.

What’s even more entertaining is watching women strike up a conversation with him. Sometimes Tami and I like to watch girls fall all over themselves trying to engage him. And by watch I mean totally eavesdrop which is how I know he bought the fur coat in Greece.

So. I just wanted to tell you all about the guy Tami and I refer to as vampire boy or VB for short. People have a tendency to think Iowans have no sense of style and that we walk around in bullshit denim overalls with corn in our hair.

But let me tell you, there’s a dude in Des Moines that can rock vampire chic like nobody’s business.

*Unless I’ve been drinking and then it makes total sense. Stylish! Unique! Quirky! (but in a good way).

P.S. I apologize for the plethora of exclamation points. I don’t know what came over me.

P.P.S. I also wanted to use the word plethora because it’s a great word and I haven’t used it in a while.

The post where I point out how much I’m helping the 8th graders

  • October 14, 2009

Hi blogosphere!

I know, I suck. I wouldn’t blame any of you for never clicking on my blog again. But I’m glad you did because today we are piling into Marty McFly’s Delorean and heading back in time to 8th grade (oh how I used to ♥ you Michael J. Fox).

Now that I’ve been working with 8th graders on a daily basis, I can’t help but compare how different things were back in 1980/1981 when I was in 8th grade. And if you were not even born in 1980/1981 this post probably won’t make any sense and you should just skip it. Oh, and I hate you.

* 8th grade girls in 2009 like to sing really loud, especially any song by Taylor Swift.

When I was in 8th grade, we sang songs by Air Supply, Pat Benatar, and Queen.

* If Taylor Swift is the official singer of the 8th grade, The Twilight books are the official book series.

When I was in 8th grade, Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews was the most popular book in school. Cathy and Chris! Locked in the attic! Evil grandmother! Incest! A daring escape! I spent eight hours one Saturday reading Flowers in the Attic from start to finish (and of course I also read Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday).

* 8th grade girls in 2009 love their Uggs. I wonder what they will think when they notice me wearing my fake Uggs from Target (henceforth known as Fugg’s).

When I was in 8th grade Nikes were a really big deal. I had a royal blue pair with a yellow swoosh and I thought they were the coolest tennis shoes I’d ever owned.

* 8th grade students are so technologically advanced they could undoubtedly lock me out of my own cell phone, computer, and Facebook account.

When I was in 8th grade we had to use pay phones to call our parents, consult an encyclopedia to look shit up, and use a fucking abacus to help us with our math (after walking five miles to school, in the snow, while being chased by rabid dogs!).

Anyway, enough with the comparisons.

Now that the students are starting to get to know me, they’re getting friendly. They know that I carry a big tote bag with me and that I always have band-aids, extra pencils, and hand sanitizer. I also gave my 7th hour class Blow Pop suckers so I’m probably their favorite person in the whole school. I think I am also becoming the de facto guidance counselor for all boy-related problems. The following is an actual conversation I had with an 8th grade girl the other day (all names have been changed to protect the identity of innocent school children. And me. Mostly me. So I don’t get canned, you know).

Setting: Study Hall

Her: Miss Tracey?
Me: Yes?
Her: I have a problem
Me: Sure, what is it? Do you need help with your homework? Do you want me to help you review for the science test?
Her: No, I actually need advice about something. You see, I like “Billy” but so does “Susie” and if I go out with “Billy” then “Susie” will beat me up so now I’m trying to decide if I should just get back together with my old boyfriend. Or his brother. I can date either one of them.

Against my better judgment I asked for some clarification on a few things.

Me: Who do you really want to go out with.
Her: “Billy.”
Me: Does “Billy” even want to go out with “Susie?”
Her: No.
Me: Then he’s fair game.
Her: Thanks Miss Tracey!
Me: You’re welcome!

Really I’m just being helpful. It’s in my job description. Probably.

Shortly after this conversation another girl came to me with a similar dilemma.

Her: Miss Tracey, I really like “Bobby” but when I said hi to him in the hall just
now he ignored me.
Me: I’m going to give you some important advice. From now on, I want you to ignore
“Bobby”. Pretend that from now on, “Bobby” is invisible. Got it?
Her: What????
Me: Seriously, this is how you land yourself a boyfriend.

I am now drawing a small crowd of 8th grade girls. I swear they have bionic ears or something.

Her: But if I ignore him, he’ll think I’m being mean or that I don’t like him!
Me: No he won’t.
Her: But Miss Tracey, what if you’re wrong?
Me: I’m not. But you have to trust me on this. If there is one thing I can teach
you this year it’s that you must ignore the boy you like. Boys are all about
the chase. Never forget this.
Her: Okay Miss Tracey. I promise.

I think I am qualified to dispense this advice considering I managed, through a series of small yet manipulative maneuvers, to land Dave back in 1992(actually I got drunk on keg beer and let him spend the night way, way, way before we’d gone on ten dates. Or any dates actually. Or quite possibly it was the night we met. Huh. I’m not sure I should be dispensing romantic advice at all but whatever). Then, after a few years, I managed to convince Dave to buy me a shiny diamond ring (that I picked out) and marry me. And we’ve been together ever since so, hello? I am kind of a romance expert.

And who are we kidding? School is all about the four R’s: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Romance. Duh. Just being helpful again. I wonder if the school district realizes just how much I am going “above and beyond” my regular responsibilities?

I did manage to help another student make a decision that did not involve boys. The students are studying memoirs and were instructed to select a book from a list of acceptable titles.

Her: Miss Tracey, can you help me pick out a book?
Me: Sure, I love to read. I especially love memoirs.
Her: Well, I’ve picked out this memoir about ADHD and this one about a teen
model but I still need to choose one more from this list.
Me: Oooooh, Stori Telling, by Tori Spelling. You have got to read this one.

Wait a minute. Why the hell is this title on the accepted memoir list? And to clarify, I only went oooooh because I want to read the memoir so I can make fun of it.

Her: *blank stare*
Me: You know who Tori Spelling is, don’t you?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Beverly Hills, 90210? Brenda and Brandon? Kelly and Donna?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Oh my God, The Peach Pit?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Okay, okay, how about this? Aaron Spelling, his wife Candy, they lived in a
big mansion with a separate room just for wrapping presents…..
Her: Who is Aaron Spelling?
Me: He’s Tori’s dad. And he was the producer of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island!
Her: *blank stare* Are there any other books Miss Tracey?
Me: Yes, yes there are.

Okay so maybe that whole exchange did make me feel old (and I actually do plan on grabbing Stori Telling out of the big box of books so I can read it on my lunch hour and then make fun of it).

Then again, Tori Spelling is a published author and I’m not.

Ditto Lauren Conrad of The Hills.

So basically I am an old, unpublished author.

But the 8th graders? They don’t care about that.

They like me anyway.

Is anyone wondering where the hell I’ve been?

  • September 2, 2009

Dear blogosphere in general and my readers in particular,

Hi. I’m not dead!

If you’ve been wondering why I seemed to have disappeared it’s because:

A) I was carried off by a dingo
B) I fell down a well (a big one, not a little one like baby Jessica fell into in 1987). Obviously.
C) My Internet connection exploded
D) I got a job.

If you picked D, you’re the big winner!!!!!

Let me be the first to say, I’m not totally sure how this happened. I mean, I remember the general process. A friend told me about some available jobs, I went to the website, filled out a lengthy application and uploaded my resume, had an interview, passed the reference and background checks (I know!), and was offered a job. Which I accepted.

I am now working in our school district as a Paraeducator which is just a fancy way of saying teacher’s associate which is also just a fancy way of saying teacher’s helper.

I’m working with older students. It’s like the universe sucked me in and then crapped me back out right into a John Hughes movie. I’m pretty sure I spend 7th hour with the kids from The Breakfast Club except now they’re all wearing Abercrombie.

I won’t be able to blog about my job. Frankly, I’m surprised funny in the ‘hood didn’t get me dooced before I even started. And I certainly don’t want to get canned for violating student confidentiality guidelines.

You’re probably wondering how I ended up working at a school (because God knows I am). It’s not for the money, although I was formerly making zero dollars an hour and if you look at it from that perspective, I just got a nice raise. There are two main reasons I accepted the position. First, if the offspring are at school then I am too. If the offspring are home, so am I. I also have all the holiday breaks, early outs, and snow days off so Dave and I never have to worry about someone being home with the kids. Dave puts them on the bus in the morning and I’m home when they get off the bus in the afternoon. It’s taken a little adjusting but Dave assures me “It’s not hard at all Tracey, it’s really going quite well.” I imagine it is going smoothly considering I have every single thing organized and ready for every living person in this house, including Dave, before I walk out the door at 7:00AM. The second thing I like about this job is that it is somewhat temporary. I’m technically unemployed again when school gets out next May and if I don’t want to go back, I won’t. If the job market ever fully recovers I wouldn’t mind finding a part-time job in my field which is/was Human Resources and Information Technology recruiting. But for now, things are going okay. I am fortunate to be able to choose what I want to do and what I think is best for my family.

Now that I have a job, I am feeling very productive which is something I was lacking in last year when the offspring were at school all day and I was home alone. I’ll be the first to admit that I had acquired a pretty severe Internet addiction, one that kept me online for hours each day. I wasn’t as bad as those people you hear about that sit on a stool in front of a slot machine for so long they pee right in their pants but that’s probably only because there’s a bathroom ten steps away from my computer and I didn’t have to worry about anyone sliding onto my stool and stealing my triple 7’s jackpot.

I’d rather spend all day writing on my blog, reading other people’s blogs, and leaving lengthy comments on them. Ditto Facebook and e-mail. But the time has come to get off my ass and do something and so far, I’m feeling pretty good about my decision. My only regret is that I may not have as much time to write and blog. Hopefully, as I become even more efficient and get used to my new schedule, I will still be able to post a couple times a week.

So, even though my job is low paying, there are often BAD SMELLS, and it’s pretty much a given that I’ll come down with H1N1 at some point, I’m pretty happy right now. I may change my mind in November when I’m in the death throes of the flu.

When that happens, please send Kleenex and wine.

And don’t forget about funny in the ‘hood either.

Sure I’m busy. But I’m not dead.

P.S. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We are going to Tom and Amy’s lake house for one last hurrah.

P.P.S. They only reason I was able to write this post today is because I’m home taking care of Matthew. He has a raging case of strep throat and I feel sorry for my little buddy. We went back to the doctor for the second time and he should be fine by tomorrow.

P.P.P.S. Children’s illnesses = blog posts.

P.P.P.P.S. Cold and flu season is just around the corner so perhaps blog post volume will actually increase?

P.P.P.P.P.S. Will be spending meager paychecks on doctor co-pays and not designer purses.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Curses, foiled again.

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