* I was kind of waiting to update until the situation with Crazy Coworker had played itself out, but due to a combination of corporate machinations and Crazy Coworker ducking management for the past week there is not yet any news to share. Last Saturday night at work I set my keys down (in my apron pocket) to go to the employee ladies' (health code forbids us to wear our aprons into the loo itself, which is probably a good idea, and the area right outside is also right outside the management office, so generally a combination of managerial presence, video surveillance, and the honor system means you are safe to set your things down for three entire minutes), and somehow they disappeared entirely, which left me standing outside the bar across the street from Eclecstasy at 2 a.m. coatless and swearing mightily as I broke into the MFA Minivan with a wire hanger to retrieve the registration (I only have one key, and my license, bank card, etc. were in the card-case attached to it so I wasn't sure how to convince anyone with actual lock/key skills that the effing thing was mine to begin with). It turns out my coworkers as a whole are super-good eggs; two of our dishwashers stepped in and lent their criminal backgrounds to the endeavor, the very nicest FOH manager let the closing kitchen manager know what was going on, and he offered to run me home (a twenty minute drive). I'd been planning on just waiting until my BFF got off work at the local strip club at 3:30 but Management pointed out that it probably wasn't optimal for me to hang out outside the bar where the local service industry roughnecks go to party after closing, in the cold, in formal attire and no coat, with a large amount of cash on my person in the wee hours of the morning. I got into the kind kitchen manager's car and saw a familiar array of warning lights and empty indicators come to life in the dash. "Sorry about my car. I'm kind of broke because my dumb ass didn't pay taxes right and got garnished right before the holidays. I hate to ask, but I don't think we'll make it out to YourVillage if I don't put like five bucks in her..." he said, and was delighted when I handed him a twenty, exclaiming that this was actually really helpful to him since gas to get to work was a major worry until payday. Yesterday at work I went and found him and said a cab home would've cost me eighty with a decent tip, and gave him another twenty. He tried to demure but I told him he'd saved my ass and I was trying to express some fucking gratitude, so don't shit on it, Happy Holidays. I mostly work with some really good people, and while I know I didn't leave my keys anywhere in or around the bar across the street, when I called them in the morning to ask that they not tow the MFA Minivan while I figured out how to get a key made they turned out to have had my keys (and all cards, etc.) turned into their Lost and Found. YAY, GOOD PEOPLE! (boo, Crazy Coworker, I mean SERIOUSLY)
* I shot the BFF a text letting her know I'd found another way home, and in the morning I called her for a ride to get the keys and the minivan. Crazy Coworker was supposed to be working that day, and I was not looking forward to facing her after the key debacle, so when I found I'd gotten a nice voicemail from Nice Manager offering to help in any way she could with the key thing and telling me it was okay if I couldn't make it to work or needed to come in late (it is NEVER acceptable to not come to work at Eclecstasy or come in late) I read the writing on the wall and said I'd found the keys and that was all good but was thinking maybe the universe was telling me to take a day off and finish my holiday shopping. The effusive enthusiasm with which Nice Manager agreed told me I'd made the right call, and the BFF and I went and had lunch at Beta Job and planned our unexpected day together.
* Naturally we ended up at MFA City's most notorious tattoo parlor and body-piercing studio after shopping for our respective significant others. The BFF gifted me $100 worth of ink and got some of her own; there's a particular tattoo I've wanted for years and years that's always been in the "someday when I'm rich" category in my mind (a page from Professions For Women). Just out of curiousity I asked them to price it, explaining that once I started I'd probably go a hundred bucks at a time until it was done; I was contemplating using my gift to get started. "In $100 increments, I'd say ten sessions, minimum," said the artist. "Although most of that is because I have to set up, make and apply a stencil, do the work, and break everything down each time. If you have a wicked pain tolerance, three hours, and $300 I'm willing to do it all at once so I can finish my own shopping." A quick loan from the BFF and a handshake sealed the deal. I told the artist I wanted the ink to fit between my bra strap and panty line. He said no way, unless he wrapped it around my ribs. I said no problem. He said he wasn't sure he could even do a stencil that size in that shape. I suggested changing the orientation of his page layout. He cursed and grumbled and told me I'd have to be able to sit for three hours bent double. I said I was double-jointed, so we were good to go. The secretary laughed. He warned me that what I was asking for would REEEEEEALLY hurt. I said tattoos didn't bother me and he would need a break before I did. Those turned out to be some of the dumbest words ever to leave my mouth, because when he started at the bottom (to prevent smudging of the stencil), going from right to left like Hebrew (this tattoo is not in Hebrew, although the one on my arm is in Yiddish) across the sacroiliac joint I realized I had spoken hastily and possibly made a terrible mistake. THAT TATTOO WAS TWO SOLID HOURS OF PAIN WORSE THAN UNMEDICATED CHILDBIRTH. Having already opened my big mouth and willingly signed up for this, the only thing to do was mentally disassociate from my body, sit there with my face mashed into my kneecaps, and sweat profusely from the palms of my frigid hands feeling like a jackass while the needle moved from the jiggly-ticklish skin over my ribs, to the uncushioned flesh of my back, over my spine with a sickening amount of vibration, across the other side of my back, and over some more ribs. While this was going on, my friend got a tattoo the size of a pack of cards, with color and shading, and swore like a sailor, the artist sent the laughing secretary to buy his girlfriend's Xmas gift (he got her a WeVibe, and I mentioned that I'd gotten one for free in exchange for writing a review and they were pretty cool and the secretary stopped laughing and said "THIS bitch!" and we discussed its merits, a conversation I have zero memory of except that it generally happened) and took one smoke break, and it got dark outside. Then my friend and I went out for ribs, because it seemed like the thing to do, and I came home and dressed my back and changed into the "I ain't afraid of no ghosts" t-shirt I bought back when Stalky was harassing me via g-mail as "The MFA Gatekeeper" (at the time it was terrifying, but now I can look back and laugh at Hotter's suggestion that I be all "I'M THE KEYMASTER, BITCH!") and then never wore because it reminded me of Stalky. That shirt may not have been afraid of no ghosts, but it was VERY afraid of Virginia Woolf by morning, when it symbolically went right in the trash:
* The MFA Children had a good holiday, by which I mean that lights were lit and latkes eaten, they got their Steam.com wish lists, and while they can conquer entire worlds in-game my children cannot follow simple installation instructions so the house echoed with whalesong this morning until I went and helped troubleshoot, but then it was good. Hotter really likes his gift from me, and I am calling my crazy day off with my friend (and another one tomorrow, in which I am picking up an old Hotel California friend, a.k.a. my big gay boyfriend, and we are doing happy hour) my gift to myself.
* It feels like 2014 might just end on a good note, but I'm scared to jinx it by making that call.