Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best pharmaceutical commercial ever

Who does depression hurt? Your toy-sized doppelganger.

Where does depression hurt? Her teeny tiny shoulders.

Has your toy-sized doppelganger been feeling blue? Do you have to wind her up more often than usual? Don’t worry – you can gaze lovingly into her black eyes once again. Ask Geppetto about Pristiq.

Depression hurts. Pristiq can help.

Side-effects may include dry-mouth, robotic walking and creepiness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CSL Cheat Sheet: Conquering Corporate America, One Transitive Verb at a Time

Being a CSL (Corporate as a Second Language) student is tricky because unlike learning a whole new language, becoming fluent in corporate speak requires one to re-learn a lot of known words that are used between cubicle walls in new and innovative ways. Nevertheless, as the progression of one's career is directly related to the speed with which she can saturate her vocabulary with these sophisticated words and phrases, it’s of the utmost importance to remain diligent. To that end, I’ve compiled explanations of some words that have perplexed me on the CSL learning curve.

Traditional definition (noun): a range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies or energies.
Corporate definition (noun): ability to complete a task, based on actual or fabricated schedule allowance. Use: Unfortunately, I don’t have the bandwidth to do your work for you today.

Traditional definition (noun): veterinarian, i.e. a person qualified and authorized to practice veterinary medicine.
Corporate definition (transitive verb): to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance. Note: I first noticed repeated use of this word during the 2008 election season; then it started popping up on conference calls. Key takeaway: When looking for new words to impress, start with the Obama Administration.

Traditional definition (noun): fun project your mom planned for birthday parties.
Corporate definition (transitive verb): to make or produce with care, skill or ingenuity. Note: This is a handy euphemism for “write” or “copy and paste.”

Carve (transitive verb)
Traditional use: I have to carve the turkey.
Corporate use: Let me know if you lack the bandwidth to craft these communications, for then I shall have to carve out some time to vet other possible resources. Note: Resources = humans that are not as important as you, i.e. CSL beginners.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've noticed a lot of copies of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on the CTA, so I was pumped when a co-worker said she could lend it to me. I became skeptical when I started reading, however. I read the first few letters and quickly flipped forward, looking for when the real story would start. Obviously I quickly realized the entire book comprises a series of correspondence between characters. Ugh. I like my books in standard form. Any deviation can cause extreme irritation. The comic strips preceding each chapter of The Tenth Circle, for example, did not sit well with this reader.

It didn't take long, however, for Juliet Ashton to win me over. On page 12 she writes, "I much prefer whining to counting my blessings." Finally a main character I can relate to! A nice change after weeks of trying to decide whether to be inspired or horrified by Mamah Borthwick's personal brand of feminism in Loving Frank.

And then Juliet's description of why she broke off her engagement sealed the deal:
"On the afternoon before our wedding, Rob was moving in the last of his clothes and belongings while I delivered my Izzy article to the Spectator. When I was through, I tore home, flew up the stairs, and threw open the door to find Rob sitting on a low stool in front of my bookcase, surrounded by cartons. He was sealing the last one up with gummed tape and string. There were eight boxes--eight boxes of my books bound up and ready for the basement ... I was too appalled to speak ... every shelf--where my books had stood--was filled with athletic trophies ... There were awards for every game that could possibly be played with a wooden object ... There were statues for everything a man could jump over, either by himself or on a horse... All I could do was scream, 'How dare you! What have you DONE?! Put my books back!' Well, that's how matters started ... He huffed and puffed and snorted--and left. And I unpacked my books."
Luckily when I moved last month, it was made clear ahead of time that my bookshelf was non-negotiable:

Hm... well, except for the addition of the Chicago Bears Checkers game...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Craig’s Just Not That Into You

I’m trying to purchase a couple of Cubs tickets for friends that are coming to town the weekend after next, and it’s not going as well as I had hoped. When I first started cruising Craigslist last week, I was full of confidence, not even looking at posts asking for more than $100. I sent a breezy e-mail to a guy who had advertised six for $75 each, asking if he would sell two. When he didn’t respond, I wasn’t too concerned — plenty of fish in the sea.

But when I got back on the saddle today, my heart fell — decrease in posts, increase in prices. So not only did I contact someone selling tickets for more than $100, but my e-mail took on a different personality. “Are your tickets still for sale?” I asked, not wanting to be too presumptuous. Then after 10 minutes of checking my inbox, I began to fire off desperate e-mails to any applicable post I found.

I bristled when my boyfriend suggested offering $105 to someone asking for $110 per ticket. I’m in no position to bargain! Noone will even e-mail me back! My mood was souring; “tix” became “tickets” in my subject lines. I also started adding that I’d pay the asking price in case the seller was negotiating with others … or annoyed with people trying to bargain… I want them to like me best!

When I finally got a response, my spirits lifted … then quickly fell again. The message said the seller had already found a buyer, and they’re meeting tomorrow — but he’ll let me know if the deal falls through. So now I’m actually hoping for sloppy seconds.
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