Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You’re never fully prepared

My gym has a long history of broken equipment, surly staff members and a habit of losing perfectly valid memberships in its computer system. So when it gave me a coupon for a free smoothie WITH NO FINE PRINT, I should have been suspicious nonetheless. I’ve carried it around in my gym bag for months, deciding it wasn’t worth the inevitable hassle of trying to cash it in, but today I was especially hungry after my workout—and I’m still unemployed so I have a moral mandate to be scrimping and pinching—so I walked up to the smoothie counter fully expecting to get some excuse about how the coupon’s not good on days that end in Y or the gym only makes snoothies now and I’m sorry but that coupon is for a smoothie. But even my cynical mind wasn’t prepared for the excuse I got: stunned silence, followed by “I don’t know how to make smoothies.” When I pressed the issue with a helpful question suggesting that there was maybe someone else in the building who knew how to operate a scoop and a blender, I was told there was nobody in the entire gym certified in the smoothie sciences. Which leads me to believe that my gym installed a smoothie center complete with freezers and blenders and ingredients AND made a big sign about delicious smoothie flavors AND printed coupons it distributed to its members ALL AS A COMPLETE RUSE.

Microsoft Word thinks it knows what you want and it routinely modifies your documents accordingly—capitalizing words you don’t want capitalized, adding hotlinks where you just want text, making indented bullets where you just wanted plain-old asterisks and ignoring the editing preferences you very clearly give it. We’ve all learned to work around its many flaws, but there’s no way I could have been prepared for the way it sabotaged my job search this weekend. I bought these business-card forms, see, that you feed through your printer in one big page and then tear apart into standard business-card size business cards. I coaxed and cajoled some rudimentary design out of Word’s rudimentary formatting tools and printed a page of what turned out to be a rather handsome way to hand out my phone number, email address, and a URL with samples of my work and a downloadable PDF of my résumé to anyone I encountered who seemed to be a good job lead. Imagine my horror, though, when I discovered—after passing out a good half of the cards I printed, no less—that Word had decided my phone number was some sort of serial number that had to be automatically increased by one digit on each card. So I’ve now distributed business cards with sequential phone numbers—collect the whole set!—in a job search where I tout myself as a talented writer and proofreader. I hate you, Microsoft Worp!

My life has been kept interesting over the last month thanks to company layoffs on 9/11 and an extended holding pattern from my condo selling sooner than I expected and my new place not being ready until later than the developer had advertised. This week’s new wrinkle: a coughy, wheezy, grovely cold. So let’s add up the things that are making me currently sexy: unemployment, homelessness, sickness. And this picture, taken on Saturday after I ran 14 miles with Fearless Leader Matthew:

I wanted to show how I’d had my AIDS Marathon shirt customized so the race-day multitudes could cheer me on by name. But instead I just made a permanent record of my bedhead and my pasty white skin. So very sexy!

Thankfully, there’s the boyfriend, who continues to be … well, everything I could possibly hope for in a man. Even though he was a little freaked out when I told him I’d always thought there was something cute about Bob Saget—and then he was thoroughly freaked out when I told him he kind of had Bob Saget’s smile. Thankfully, that all happened after he bought me these little guys, which I’ve revoltingly cutely named after the two of us:

And because they’re so adorable, Mr. Boyfriend, I’m upgrading you from Bob Saget to Bob Hoskins. You can thank me later.

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