proustbot: (liz)
I.


This morning, Veronica boarded the bus at an earlier stop than usual.

"Yeah, I was walking M's dog," he said. "But right when I handed him off to my wife to take home, he managed to find an big chicken bone on the ground and eat it."

"Ah," I said.

"That's not good, right?"

"Ah, well, no, but--"

"I mean, my wife is watching him."

"Sure. I mean, in your shoes I would probably google 'what to do when dog eats chicken bone,' but of course you'd probably get a lot of alarmist advice..."

"Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to text my wife."

From the corner of my eye, I observed the beginnings of a guilt spiral.

"Or you could just call M's vet. I'm sure they get questions like this all the time. They'd give you some expert opinions."

"Yeah. My wife isn't responding. Maybe she didn't see the text? I'm going to call her."

A pause.

"Hey, sweetheart. Have you considered calling the vet? This was the suggestion from Proust...who is shaking her head, because she doesn't want to be a part of this."

II.


I told Veronica the story of Gosling and Lockwood.

ME: "I told Vidalia about it. And then I had to forbid him from e-mailing Gosling to ask him about his new best friend."

VERONICA: [laughing] "Vidalia! That's not how gossip works! You don't go straight to the source like that. Or maybe it speaks well of Vidalia. Maybe he just doesn't understand how gossip works."

ME: "Because he's never experienced it before? Oh, man, I don't think that was it, but it's an amazing theory."

VERONICA: "In high school, me and my friends never gossiped. We just said terrible things to one another's faces. I called it 'front-stabbing.'"

III.


At work, Gosling had fled without notice, leaving behind a project that he had been given only because it was the only thing he could be trusted not to fuck up.

As such, I was somewhat suspicious when my boss, cajoling me into taking on the project, explained that I was "patient" and "detail-oriented" and so perfectly suited for said project.

"Ah, yes," I said slowly, "People often say that I'm...detail-oriented..."

Later, after I expressed some confusion to the sub-boss, she laughed and said, "Well, yesterday when she said that she was going to assign you to that thing, she said it was because you were 'persnickety.'"

"I'm persnickety?" I said. "What about Veronica?!"

"Hey, hey, I'm sensing some hostility here," Veronica said.

"It's just, out of the two of us, when one person finds an error in the catalogue, one of us just shrugs and keeps on trucking, and the other is all, 'Oh, no, we have to fix this entry, everything has to be perfect.'"

IV.


At lunch, my boss asked us about a mysterious restaurant "coming soon" that has been advertised on the side of a new building for the past six months, and Veronica waited the perfect amount of time before he said, "We'll just have to keep hoping that it'll be a Cracker Barrel."

V.


Many hours later, Vidalia asked me how my stuff was going, and I told him at manic length, and he nodded sagely and said, "Well, I'm glad to see the flood gates have opened."
proustbot: (But it was she and not the sea we heard)
Wife A. decided to jaunt home for a few days, so I'm feeding her cat, Smallsie. Smallsie's name is ironic; he is a massive orange tabby cat. His shape can best be described as "bowling ball perched on tiny, dainty feet." He's not soft or squidgy at all; to pet Smallsie is to pet a dense, hard-packed body with an iron-like musculature.

So last night, after Ze Bar with Wife A. and the Dude and Lockwood (and after I dodged out on drinks with Thornton and Vidalia), I stumbled home to feed Smallsie. While he ate, I turned on You've Got Mail, and after ten minutes, Smallsie climbed up on my belly ("Oh, god," I groaned, "right on the breast...!") and proceeded to make bread on my brand-new T-shirt with tiny pricks of his dainty claws.

This morning, I drowsily repeated the process. We've now reached the part in You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks is about to discover Meg Ryan is the woman with whom he's been anonymously corresponding.

The Tombs of Atuan and All She Was Worth )
proustbot: (lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos)
I.


ME: "Catastrophe? Yeah, I watched the first season, but I haven't seen the second, because I find it kind of...corrosive?"

VERONICA: "Corrosive?"

ME: "Yeah."

VERONICA: "No, no, no. That's just real talk about relationships."

II.


I was telling Vidalia that A Fish Called Wanda was an important movie in my prepubescent sexual awakening, and he immediately started imitating Kevin-Kline-as-Otto, and I was overcome with a swelter of confused emotions.

Then I went home and watched A Fish Called Wanda. That movie holds up! And John Cleese's naked torso still confuses me!

III


I had a series of underwhelming professional experience this week. It may be time to run off and join the circus.
proustbot: (led by your beating heart)
I.

"Yeah, Snickers is amazing. I'm not arguing with you on that point. I remember getting it for the first time when Communism fell. But there was another kind of nut? A really fancy nut? That I loved eating the most when all those Western candy bars started flooding into the Soviet Union? Not a peanut, but some other kind?"

Hazelnut?

"Yes! That was my favorite. That was the expensive nut."

II.

Today the bro-iest bro in our program gushed to me about how much he loves reading Jane Austen. And Jane Austen fanfiction.
proustbot: (instant intimacy)
I.

"Yeah, yeah," I said, "but they need some mid-level grad students. If they just surveyed late-stage grad students, their survey would be full of bitterness and fury." Forgetting that the swivel chair was slightly broken, I tilted back a little too far and had to scramble upright as it threatened to tip over.

Veronica regarded the table. "Sure," he said softly. "It's fine now, but I'm sure in a year or two, I'll regret all the life choices that brought me here. I'll regret moving to the United States. I'll regret leaving my job. I'll regret blowing up my wife's career, just so I could satisfy my own selfish desires."

"Uh, well," I said, spinning a little and almost toppling over one side. "That's maybe a worst-case scenario."

II.

Today Vidalia spoke his native language in front of me, and it might be the highlight of my month. Or year.

III.

THORNTON: "Well, I would, but I can't take off this sweater. Do you want to know why?"

ME: "Yes. Tell me why you can't take off your sweater. I must know."

THORNTON: "Well. So [wife] just bought some new deodorant. From the Internet. Very expensive. But it's better for you than normal deodorant, because it doesn't have some kind of...metal...?"

ME: "Aluminium?"

THORNTON: "Yes! Anyway, [wife] loves the stuff. Swears by it. Told me that I had to try it. So I am...but I'm not confident that it's working, and so I dare not take off my sweater. I have to wait to go home so [wife] can check."

ME: "Yeah... I've think there's sometimes a problem with those natural deodorants, because after a while, you become acclimated to your own body odor? And your partner will normally find your natural body odor appealing, because of biology and pair-bonding, so they're not a useful second opinion."

THORNTON: "Oh, [wife] and I don't have that problem. Last week we were lying in bed, sniffing each other's armpits and talking about how bad we both smelled."

ME: "..."

THORNTON: "...I think I may have revealed too much to you."
proustbot: (young and drinking in the park)
Three years ago, I did one of those little "year in review" questionnaires that used to be all the rage. Today, it amused me to fill it out again re: 2015, the little year that could.

2015 in Review )
proustbot: (Default)
VIDALIA: "Hey, have I told you about last week's assignment for my Portuguese class?"

ME: "Nope."

VIDALIA: "I had to write a letter, as a mother, to my son Chico, who has dropped out of university to pursue his dreams of being a sculptor."

ME: "Okay."

VIDALIA: "I think I was supposed to write a comforting and supportive letter? Telling him to follow his dreams? Instead, I told him that he was a disappointment to his family, that we wished he could be more like his industrious elder siblings, who are respectively a lawyer and a doctor, and that we would be disowning him immediately. Immediately!"

ME: "Huh."

VIDALIA: "I'm still waiting to get my assignment back and see how this approach went over with the professor."

Bridge of Birds, Agent to the Stars, and Sunshine )
proustbot: (But it was she and not the sea we heard)
I.


VIDALIA: "Guys, guys, did you know that 'Philadelphia' literally means 'brotherly love'?"

EVERYONE IN THE WORKROOM: "Yes."

ME: [only half-paying attention] "Yes, but I know Latin, dude."

EVERYONE IN THE WORKROOM: "...It's Greek, actually."

II.


M: [loudly from the bathroom] "Ay, carajo!"

ME: "Is everything okay?"

[long pause]

M: "Oh, it's just that I almost accidentally used your toothbrush."

ME: "Oh, okay."

M: "But I didn't use it. But I'm just going to rinse it under the tap for a while anyway. For no reason."

III.


REYNARD: "Hey, does your roommate still have my bedside dresser?"

ME: "Uh, maybe. I guess you want it back before you leave the country, huh?"

REYNARD: "Not necessarily. I'd be willing to sell it to your roommate outright for twenty-five dollars--"

ME: "Okay, sure."

REYNARD: "--or just give it to you for free."

ME: "..."
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
VIDALIA: "Yeah, there's a museum in Wellington, and I missed going on a school trip there three different times. The first time I was sick. The second time I forgot to get my permission slip signed. The third time I overslept."

ME: "Wait. Your school went to this museum three different times?"

VIDALIA: [uneasily] "Well, yeah, I mean--"

ME: "By the third time, were your classmates giving the tour themselves? Were they docents?"

VIDALIA: "I think you may not appreciate the limited field-trip opportunities that Wellington possesses."

The Palace Job, Expendable, Operation Mincemeat, and The Hot Rock )

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