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I think the company might LIKE this level of creativity...you know, quality under pressure. Or something.

Yesterday I had to put on my happy face and go to a company holiday party an hour and a half away. This required a ride in a car with three co-workers down a stretch of the most boring, and also the most deadly, highway in the state. It then required two hours of watching one of the said co-workers drink spiked punch and fall all over herself, then insist that she would be "FINE" driving the rest of us miserable sober sobs home after the obligatory amount of attendance time had passed. The attendance time included sitting through the most boring round of a "dirty santa" gift exchange I've ever witnessed. The most laughs came from a pair of slippers manufactured to look like bare feet in flip flops, only the toes were about the size of gorilla toes, and the fake gorilla toenails were painted fire engine red. These were the slippers that caused the tipsy co-worker to trip and almost fall, and she would blame those slippers for her flushed, tipsy state for HOURS to come. The final requirement of the day was a white-knuckled hour and a half ride home at 80 mph along the afore-mentioned deadly stretch of highway, this time with an irritable and insistently "not even buzzed" driver. Oy vey. Needless to say, after that, I needed a drink of my own.

I think my mom had my share, because she called us at home while were watching a movie later that night. Her husband's office party had been that day, too. She said she didn't know how many margaritas had been brought to the table, but she was so drowsy driving the three miles home and she wanted me to talk to her. The conversation went something like this:

mom: You have to talk to me. I dunn een know how many margurritas they brought to the table, Kristen.

Kristen: Where's Brent? Why isn't he driving you home?

mom: Uhhmmm, I'm not sure WHERE he is! I told him to ride with me, but he said he's driven in mmmuch worse states. But I'mmmm thinkinnn...he's getting older, too!

Kristen: Where are you?

mom: I'm almost home. I dunneen know how many margurritas they brought, Kristen!


mom: I tttried to get him to rrrride with me, but....

Kristen: How far are you from the house?

mom: Oh. I just pulled into the drivvvveway. This is a good thing.

Kristen: Go to bed.

mom: Tthhhat won't be a probbblem!

Note to anyone freaking out about my mom's mental state: this post is exaggerated for comic effect. It was a funny phone call, and she did have more to drink than usual, but she was coherent and in control. She sounded more fatigued than anything else. Nonetheless, given my dealings with tipsy drivers yesterday, and the fact that I could have done absolutely nothing to help the situation FROM THE PHONE, it was disconcerting. After we hung up, John said, "your mom just drunk-dialed you!"

Earlier this week I received a call from the company I used to work for. During the Enron scandal, they were forced to lay off a third of their employees, and I was one of the casualties of that layoff. There is an open position for which I've been in the running for the past nine months, and now, after a human gestation period of waiting, hoping, and then giving up, they have actually scheduled a friggin' in person interview. With me! In person! What's that? There's a little pre-reading to do? No problem. I like to read. Reading is good. Oh - you estimate it will take no more than two hours. That's a little much, but - no it's not, it's the perfect amount, I'm in!! Interviews are good. OH...the interview is ALL DAY LONG? Uh...okay. I, um, guess I can take the day off for that. Sure! What am I thinking, of course I will! I'd be glad to! I love taking random days off in the middle of the work week after a week long vacation - that never looks suspicious at all! What's that you say? Pre-interview essay questions?? That are really more like post-graduate level theses? Due two days before the interview? Geez, what kind of organization am I getting myself into here?

I spent the entire morning working on my pre-interview assignments, so John had the not-so-simple task of entertaining the kids, keeping the house quiet, and getting the festive holiday lights on the house. Bryce kept coming in and out of the house with heavy breaths, looking like a miniature professional skier with his sunglasses, fleece coat, and oversized gloves: "Mom, I'm coming in for a *gasp* drink of water. My throat is dry *gasp* so I'm just getting a glass of water, that's all I need. *gasp* There's something in my throat so I need some water to push it down to my digestion." Quinn was happy outside until John turned on the leaf-blower, which Quinn finds as tolerable as having nails shoved into his eye sockets. He ran inside and started rummaging around on my desk, picked up my mp3 player, put the headphones over his ears, and handed me the player, like, "Turn this on for me, yo?" Seizing the opportunity for three more minutes of silence to write approximately five more words of my brain-boiling essay about career development techniques, I turned the music on, stuck the player in his pocket, and sent him back outside. I was quite pleased with myself until I realized that I JUST GAVE MY MP3 PLAYER TO A TWO-YEAR-OLD WHO WILL PROBABLY END UP THROWING IT DOWN THE GUTTER OR FEEDING IT TO MY DOG.

Despite all the interruptions, I did complete my pre-interview post-doctoral thesis. Hopefully my answers don't have any references to gorilla toes, digestion, or drunk-dialing grandmothers.

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