Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
My good pal over at Better Living through Bacon recently wrote about her six-year-old daughter's first (and last) visit to the Awana Clubs, a Kristian organization whose primary purpose seems to be scaring young children into believing in Jesus.
I'm sorry, but frightening six-year-olds into believing what you believe is simply not a legitimate use of religion in my book. Frankly, I think this kind of thing should be illegal.
I was raised as a Lutheran, although because we ended up attending the scarier Missouri Synod part of the church, I got a lot of the fire-and-brimstone education from which my more moderate Lutheran friends were spared.
It wasn't until I was attending a Lutheran college that I discovered mainstream Lutherans, you know, of the Sunday hot-dish church supper variety. We had none of that good stuff when I was a kid; for me, church was all about what would and wouldn't get you sent to Hell.
In my parents' defense, they would have put a stop to it if they'd known exactly what I was being taught in Sunday school and confirmation classes. Unfortunately, they were usually both too drunk to inquire. But that's another story.
One time when I was in 4th grade my school friend John Hagerson asked if I wanted to attend an Awana meeting with him. "Sure," I said, having no idea what "Awana" was. I was just usually game for anything that would get me out of the house.
When I arrived at the designated address I realized it was a church. "Oh," I said to the other kids there, "do you have to belong to a certain religion to go to this?" They all replied, in unison, "IT'S NON-DENOMINATIONAL!"
Well alrighty then!
There were some preliminary niceties, and then about 50 of us kids were seated inside the church and some guy was in front going on and on about how we needed to be "saved." Pretty soon he had all of us bow our heads to pray, and started asking which ones of us wanted to come up to the front to be "saved."
This was confusing to me. For starters, I had been going to Sunday school for several years by that point and had thought I was already "saved." Why was this guy acting like I needed to be saved again?
Furthermore, what exactly was he going to do to "save" me? Wasn't that God's job, not his?
After an uncomfortably long time sitting there with no one opting for eternal salvation, we were dismissed and the meeting was over. John came up to me holding two Snickers bars and handed me one. "This is our prize for me having convinced you to come tonight," he told me.
Oh, for crying out loud, I thought. Is this what this whole song and dance was about? You wanted a free candy bar? I smelled a scam.
I never went back. Those people gave me the creeps.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I was quite angry earlier today, despite it being Valentine's Day and all. Read my prior post for the context
But right now, all I can say is "thank God for Poor George!"
One homemade lobster dinner, three glasses of merlot, half a bottle of Proseco and one viewing of "Clueless" later I am not mad anymore! Funny how that works!
Some people in life are bitches, but with what I just described should it really matter?
I don't think so.
Happy Valentine's Day to all my Gentle Readers!
1. My sour grapes are telling me to say "fine, let her do all the selling if that's what she wants."
2. My inner paranoid-schizophrenic is telling me she's not including me because she thinks I'm annoying and a buffoon and would simply rather not deal with me.
3. My inner adult is telling me it was just an oversight and to chalk it up to a big "whatever, Mary."
Friday, February 08, 2008
Today's installment, recorded the day Poor George and I left to visit my parents in Illinois, features Mama Gin in one of her classic OCD-laden moments of repeated Q&A.
The knowledge that we will be traveling usually puts Mama Gin into such a state of panic that she doesn't allow us one moment's peace until we are safely locked away in a taxi and en route to the airport. Therefore, Poor George always delays telling her we are leaving until hours before our departure, at which point we hunker down in preparation for dealing with Mama Gin and her anxious banter.
In today's episode Poor George has just delivered the news of our departure to Mama Gin. She stands in our doorway as we take down our Martha Stewart Snowbird Mountain Christmas tree (a cat prevention measure) and repeatedly questions us as to the times and dates of both our departure and return. There is also of course mention of the requisite "get marry have baby" directive, without which no episode of The Mama Gin Files could ever be complete.
An approximate transcript is provided to assist those of you unable to decipher Mama Gin's high pitched accent.
Mama Gin: (Chinese, and something about PG's sister Ruby not being there to help)
CP: You can call Ruby if you have a problem while we're gone.
MG: I call Ruby, Ruby all the time not answer the phone.
CP: You call her and she doesn't answer?
MG: Yeah. (In Chinese she tells George her phone is broken.)
Poor George: Your phone works. There's nothing wrong. The phone is fine, I pay the phone bills. The phone is fine.
MG: You go and what day come home?
CP: We told you, January 2nd.
CP: We come home January 2nd.
MG: What day you come home?
PG: January 2. (In Chinese, January 2)
CP: No, no, we're coming back in January, right after New Year's.
MG: January? What day?
CP: 2. January 2.
MG: January 2?
MG: New year?
CP: Yeah. That's why we're taking the tree down today. Becky's going to be staying here with the cats, and we don't want the cats to ruin the tree while she's here.
PG: Yeah, like she gets that, like she gets "ruin" anything.
MG: You have gurlfriend, get marry!
PG: (Taunting) Gurlfriend! Marry! Gurlfriend! Marry! Hee hee! Marry! Gurlfriend! No gurlfriend!
MG: You have no family! No good!
PG: (Taunting) No gurlfriend, no good!
MG: I likely you get marry! Get baby!
CP: We have two babies, they're called the kitty cats. They're really cute.
MG: Do you have a gurlfriend?
PG: Oh, would someone just tell her? I've told her so many times - WE'RE GAY!!!!!!!!
MG: I can't hear.
PG: Yeah, you couldn't hear that one, right. It's suddenly like denial hearing. (To camera): Stop that, get out of here!
CP: Well, I'm Georgie's family.
PG: I know!
CP: I'm Georgie's family.
PG: I know! That's right!
MG: I can't hear!
CP: I'll always be around to take care of Georgie.
PG: Really? (swoon)
CP: So he won't be alone. Georgie will never be alone.
PG: I know, I'm the helper monkey. (Monkey noises.)
CP: Unless he kills me.
PG: I might do that too, though.
MG: You go tomorrow or today?
CP: We're going today.
CP: We're going today.
MG: You and Georgie go today?
CP: Me and Georgie go today. We're going to see my parents for Christmas.
CP: Tonight. Ruby's coming over to take us to....
MG: Becky what time come here?
CP: Becky what time come here? I don't know, maybe tomorrow?
MG: No, tell him come here, stay here! (Becky is female by the way.)
CP: Tell Becky to come here and stay here?
MG: Tell Becky stay here!
CP: Ok, I will. Well I have to go finish packing now. Do you have anything else to tell us before we start packing again?
PG: Happy Holidays! Have gurlfriend!
MG: What time you come back?
CP: We come back January 2nd.
CP: January 2nd.
MG: January, 2nd?
MG: When you come back, you not go, right? You stay, right?
CP: No, we're going.
MG: Go again?
CP: No no no, we come back, we stay.
CP: When we come back, we stay.
PG: She's afraid we're going to come back and move to California. Would you stop that? Put that thing away!
CP: Ok, I've got to go now, I've got to finish packing.
MG: Come back, you not go, right?
CP: Yeah, I not go.
MG: You not go again?
CP: Yeah, I not go again. I'm not going again.
PG: We're going to California!
CP: Alrighty, Merry Christmas everyone, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays from Poor George and Mama Gin.
(PG accidently flings an errant Christmas ornament across the room)
CP: Oh my God!
PG: Well there goes one of those!
CP: I know, there goes an ornament he forgot to take off! This is our Martha Stewart Snowbird Christmas tree which we're taking down even though it's not even Christmas yet. Bye everybody!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
In my last post I bragged about how I won the award for Strategic Sales Executive of the Year. #1 in the whole damn country. I get to go with Poor George to Pabooba for an exotic vacation in April.
Except for one small problem. They forgot me at our company's awards banquet on Saturday night. I was supposed to get to walk across a stage in front of 2,000 of my colleagues and be recognized.
But they forgot me. They gave fancy crystal vases to every other winner except me.
Then, during dinner, they flashed large screen images of the names and photos of all the winners throughout the evening - except for me.
Needless to say, I was puzzled and slightly upset. I asked my boss what was up, so he went to talk to the woman who coordinated the awards.
When he returned to my table he said "Tom, I spoke with Martha and she was really, really apologetic. But there's nothing we can do. You still won though, and you still get to go on the trip."
Bullshit. He could have gone to our president at the front table and explained that they accidentally left out the Strategic Sales Exec category and failed to announce the winner. He could have gone back on stage and corrected it. But I guess they didn't care enough.
I don't care about fucking Pabooba, and in fact we're no longer going. I'm going to stay home and eat my sour grapes instead, or maybe go somewhere else with Poor George on my own dime. I'd be too angry to be able to enjoy myself if I went after this slap in the face.
I kind of feel like a dick for even caring about this, but I do. I worked my ass off last year, and through a combination of hard work, teamwork and good luck I won. I deserved to walk across that stage.
Now, only the people in my immediate vicinity know I won. People in other parts of the company whom I've known for 18 years have no idea now that I have made good. People who might later be able to help me, knowing I have the cache of a national award behind my name, will not know anything about my achievement - unless of course I tell them. Which I don't want to have to do.
It may have something to do with having to get up at 4:00 am to catch my plane this morning, but in the cab ride home from the airport I actually shed tears over this. Maybe I need to get a life.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Greetings from a warm southern city - I can't get too specific because I don't want to be Googled by my colleagues. I am currently attending our annual sales conference. Me and 2,000 sales reps. It's just this sort of thing that normally puts me over the edge.
But this year is slightly different. You see, Gentle Readers, last night I learned that I am the #1 Strategic Sales Executive for 2007! I guess my Amanda Woodward-like attitude has finally gotten me somewhere.
Poor George and I will be joining my company's senior executives for a fancy award vacation on a tropical island. Again, I don't want to say where for fear of being Googled, but it rhymes with Pabooba and it's near the coast of Venezuela.
Finally, the recognition Poor George deserves for putting up with my non-stop bitching!