Oi Oi Oi

February 17, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Life in the US, The Bucket, Working | Leave a comment

I’ve been feeling pretty oi, oi, oi lately.  My newest stress reliever is to lock myself in my co-worker’s fishbowl of an office and have her crank up “Fuck Her Gently” by Tenacious D.  Usually within the first few lines, I’m giggling hysterically and feeling much better. 

I’ve also found myself listening to a lot of AC/DC and Drop Kick Murphys, which is pretty much a sign that I’m full of tension. 

This past week, I threatened bodily harm to two of the guys I work with.

Your Highness and I took a little field trip to register him for his first GED exam and he was to stick around after filling out the paperwork to take his first exam.  He decided that he couldn’t wait the 45 minutes until the test all by himself, so we argued about whether I was going to take him home for a while.  He assured me that he’d have a ride to get back, but I was doubtful and told him that if he missed the test then I’d “hunt him down and murder him.” 

I then said that I might just book it out of the office, run to my car, and take off, leaving him at the testing site.  He laughed and told me that he’d hunt me down if I did that.  He reminded me that, after all, I’m the one that works in his ‘hood.

Another guy seriously tested the limits of my patience (a long, long story) and I told him that I wanted to scratch his eyeballs out.  Later on, when we weren’t as combative, I amended it to threatening to remove his vocal cords because he talks so damn much.

Before you decide that I’m psychotic and possibly violent, please understand that I’d never really inflict serious bodily harm on anyone.  Years ago I did pounce on a friend and earned the nickname Wolverina for that episode, but he definitely provoked me.  We’re still friends, though.

My week of tension and annoyances ended nicely, although I did have to flee my office a bit early because it turned into Romper Room for teenagers.  I decided to leave when I realized that the following activities were happening all at the same time in my immediate work area: one kid was playing the piano, four or five girls were listening to beats on a laptop and rehearsing for a performance, Your Highness was online chatting with his “ladies” while his friend listened to hip hop on YouTube, and five people were gathered around the foozball table.

We must be doing something right if all these people choose to hang out where I work rather than on the streets, but man, are they noisy!

What’s That Dude’s Name?

February 13, 2008 at 1:42 am | Posted in Immigration, Life in the US, Weirdness | 8 Comments

Michelle and her husband are a wonderful couple from Guatemala who study English with my husband.  We met them both this summer, got to know them better at a kickin’ party full of Central and South Americans (and one Mexican and one white girl).  Homeboy continues to study English with them.

Unfortunately, we don’t know Michelle’s husband’s name. 

After seven months of seeing someone fairly regularly, how in hell do you find out what their name is?  I don’t know how I got it into my head that his name was Miguel, but his name obviously isn’t Miguel.

Homeboy asked a mutual friend what his name was, and since it was a bit out of the ordinary, he promptly forgot it.

I told Homeboy to give the man a slip of paper so he could write down their phone number.  The guy wrote “telefono de casa” and the number.  And he put down his wife’s name, but not his.

I asked Homeboy if their English teacher takes attendance and he said that he passes around a sign in sheet.  Told him to look for their name on it next time.  He said that they always come late to class after the sheet has gone around the room.

They’ve invited us to their house this weekend, and I can’t believe we still don’t know his name!

I’m hoping that he leaves his wallet in the bathroom or something so I can go through it to check his I.D.  But I’m pretty sure that they’re undocumented so I wouldn’t be surprised if the name he used wasn’t his real one.  I doubt that he’ll have a diploma or something hanging on their living room wall.

How do we find out what his name is?  And will I really have to ask him what it is a full eight months after meeting him?

A Semi-Ode to Testosterone

February 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Quirks, Self | 5 Comments

When I was teaching ESL in Woonsocket, I was constantly surrounded by women.  I definitely felt a lack of testosterone-infused presence, so much so that I was hungry for a little masculinity.

See, I absolutely adore men.  I love how the air gets warmer when they’re around and the atmosphere changes.  It must be the pheremones, but if a particularly fine specimen is in my orbit, my ears start buzzing.  And if he smells good, I get dizzy.

I adore how they walk, especially when they saunter like a cat.  The phrase “a long cool drink of water” springs to mind when I watch the ones who move slowly.  I love when it seems they’ve got a bass beat throbbing in their ear and it’s mirrored in the rhythm of their walk.  I love to watch them in their element, be it a baggy-pants swagger down a city sidewalk or a shirtless, shoeless fisherman’s spring over the edge of his boat into the water. 

And I could go on and on about their voices, the deeper the better.  Get me on the phone with a deep-voiced slow talker, and I feel like I’m swimming in mercury.  I hear the way they maneuver the language they feel most at home with, and it’s like pouring warm water from a gourd down my back. 

I fall in love in little ways countless times a day, even if it’s only for an instant. 

But they’ve always got one fatal flaw that uncovers itself after a while.  Not the little quirks that every person has that may be irritating but forgivable.  But the giant, yawning flaws that make me wonder what in God’s name is going through their brain.  Case in point: an old, old friend who is smart, articulate, and funny as hell.  All good, until upon further examination you realize that he has no impulse control.  If you piss him off, he will pounce on you like a hyena or verbally abuse you until you cry.

It’s this kind of weirdness that seems ingrained in each and every man I know.  It’s just a matter of time before the exact nature of a man’s profoundly strange psyche becomes apparent.

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