For the Fun of It

Hey kids!

School, life, and the evil necessity of work are taking up quite a bit of time, but I do plan on posting the fourth and finalpart of the Shores series soon enough.   In the meantime, here is something I re-discovered a few weeks ago that had me cracking up.   I wrote it when I was nineteen – and holy cow, I used to be hilarious!  Enjoy <3.

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Hola! My name is Nichole…and I’m an alcoholic.

Only joking.

Seriously, though, my name is Nichole. Okay, fine, my name isn’t Nichole. It is, rather, my middle name, so that should be worth something, right? Wrong. Considering the fact that everyone calls me by my middle name rather than my first name, it’s worth a heck of a lot more than merely something. Hey, don’t start thinking that I think “Nichole” is worth everything, either, because I don’t. I’m not that full of myself right now.

Now, on to less tedious things. I work at a place called Old Farm. I also work at another place that’s in the same place as Old Farm. It’s called Wayland Station in Old Farm. And within the next month or two I’ll be expanding to yet another place that’s in the same place as Old Farm, too (but not in the same place as Wayland Station), that is called Lexington Village in Old Farm. It almost sounds complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.

Think of it this way: Old Farm is like a country. Within that country exist different states. There are three states within Old Farm, but we’ll only worry about the previously mentioned two. I have nothing to do with the third, and it is therefore unimportant in a profile about me; this is MYspace. Old Farm has an establishment of rules and regulations that all of the “states” must federally abide by, and the states can make no rules that infringe upon or nullify the ones laid out by Old Farm. The three sections are also able to make their own rules and decisions via their board members, who act as the legislature. So something could be prohibited in Lexington Village while that same thing could be allowed in Wayland Station. Allow me to elaborate with an example. Let’s say that it is against the rules to walk your dog without a leash regardless of where you are in Old Farm (and it is). If you get caught in that “country” with your leashless dog, then prepare for a severe scolding and demands to leash. Case closed.

Let’s say, however, that in Wayland Station it was decided by their board to outlaw using those leashed dogs as BB gun target practice because Nichole Sanderson and her posse of like-minded residential homies just won’t stop shooting at them. Being the obedient, law-abiding citizens that we are, we’d have to stop shooting the dogs in Wayland Station. Of course we would be very despondent about the whole situation; there are many more great vantage points in Wayland Station than in the other two places. Large trees, rooftops, watchtowers, and a variety of great hiding places with clear lines of vision abound there. So, dejected, we take our business over to Lexington Village and the problem is, for the most part, solved. Though Lexington Village is not as abundantly stocked with good stakeout locations, crap shooting ground is better than no shooting ground. And let’s look at the bright side: with all of the sneaking from bush to bush, running from building to building, and sprinting away like a chicken with its head cut off once discovered lurking in the shadows by angry, cane-wielding paranoid-schizophrenic old people, the entire troop would get into top physical condition within a matter of weeks.

So, by now you must be thinking something along the lines of “the stuff about countries, states, rules, and dog-o-cide is fantastic, Nichole, but what the FETCH is this place!?” Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a community of condominiums. Lexington Village and Wayland Station are, anyway. The third one that I mentioned earlier but did not name due to my lack of affiliation with it is a…well, I won’t tell you. I have nothing to do with it, and therefore it’s irrelevant on an “About Me” section on MYspace.

Old Farm was built in the 1970s or so. It’s an old place. A lot of people I talk to think it’s a retirement community, but it isn’t. Most of the residents are just old because they’ve lived there for so long, and it’s usually old people who can afford that kind of stuff anyways. That’s fine with me, though, since a lot of them are starting to become senile, and that provides me with some entertaining stories. From the old people I have acquired such stories as the one about that one lady who didn’t let go of my hand for at least 20-30 seconds after I had already established that the handshake was over by fully releasing my grip. Awkward.

A notable characteristic of Old Farm, aside from its old people, is its landscape. It has its own mini-lake and pond with ducks, a gravel pathway you can walk on that goes throughout the property, a small stream runs through it [but a river doesn’t run through it (HA, do you get it? If you don’t know who Norman Maclean is, then don’t worry about it. If you knew who he was then I’m sure you would have at least chuckled a little bit. If you do know who Norman Maclean is and didn’t chuckle even a little bit, then screw you*. I thought it was funny.)], plenty of grassy open space, and large, mature trees that provide just the right amount of shade. (Wow, just writing this is making me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Mmmm, fuzz.) It’s hard to find that kind of loveliness in more recently built communities. Nowadays all most builders care about is maximizing profit, which requires minimizing free space and the expenses that it takes to maintain what’s left.

But then again, I suppose it’s a good thing to be packed like sardines because not everyone is able to afford living in a community like Old Farm. With more features come higher fees. But then again, I do recall being a part of a conversation a while back involving the former manager of Old Farm. There was a slight controversy among the residents towards the end of 2007 over an announcement that fees were increasing at the beginning of 2008. She said that she had done some research into other communities and found that Old Farm usually either had a lower fee rate or the difference was insignificant. Hmmm…I don’t know. Oh well, I don’t care enough to think about it much further than that.

Moving on. I bet you have yet another question about my job that goes along the lines of “the stuff about working in a condominium community is fantastic, Nichole, but what the FETCH do you do there!?” Well, I’ll tell you. I’m a “maintenance technician.”

Before I elaborate, however, I would like to give an information update. Remember how earlier I said “And within the next month or two I’ll be expanding to yet another place that’s in the same place as Old Farm…that is called Lexington Village in Old Farm”? Well, forget it. It’s probably not happening now. I would explain why, but I’m far too lazy. Let’s just say that the Lexington Village people are noobs* at life even though a lot of them have existed longer than 98% of the world’s population.

If you’re wondering why I even mentioned working at Lexington Village if I’m not actually going to be working there, it’s because I’m writing this thing in chunks. I think I started the whole “About Me” section circa a month or two ago; I add to it whenever the mood strikes. The mood has stricken me, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this.

Anyways, back to your question, “the stuff about working in a condominium community is fantastic, Nichole, but what the FETCH do you do there!?” Well, I’ll tell you. I do a lot of things.

Before I elaborate, however, I would like to quickly give my thoughts on a topic of a slightly different note: children. This is my modification of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” 3/1 that, I think, sums up my mixed feelings quite well:

To bear, or not to bear: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The stretch marks and stress of outrageous pregnancy,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing prevent them?  To halt: to foil;
No fruit; and by a halt to say we end
The back-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To halt, to foil;
To foil: perchance to live, ay, there’s the rub;
For in that foil of fruitlessness what life may come
When we have shuffled off this maternal coil
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so infertile life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of vanity,
The unproductive’s waste, the desolate woman’s grief
The pangs of unknown love, the memory’s regret
The audacity of independence and the sorrows
That the patient merit of the unwilling takes,
When she herself might her gain make
With an open view? Who would babies bear,
To grunt and sweat atop a foreign birthbed,
But that the dread of something worse than death,
The lonely country from whose menopause
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those bundles we have
Than go to others that we know too well of?
Thus fear does make mums of us all;
And thus the native hue of autonomy
Is sicklied o’er with the dreadful cast of thought,
And enterprises of great vigor and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of liberty.

So, as you can see, I am troubled by the question of babies. Not other people having babies, of course, because I have nothing against other peoples’ babies. Other peoples’ babies are just dandy (except that they freak me out). This is more a personal matter; the issue of whether or not I will choose to have babies. But alas, I feel that to further express my serious concerns on this subject would be an endeavor far too revealing of my inner struggles. So I will make light of the matter in order to avoid any more self-disclosure.

If you take a gander at my “pics” you will notice that I have a habit of naming inanimate things. The things that I name are objects of common use, like ladders, gloves, and golf carts. I don’t know how I got into naming things; it’s just something that I do. And it’s not as if I sit around and ponder over what to name something, the name usually just sort of pops out of me without much effort or forethought. I use a few of ladders named Borris, Norris, and Morris, a right glove named Warren the Second, a leaf-blower named RAWR, and so on.

The other day I had a radical and rather profound revelation: If I had kids, I could give them whatever the heck name I felt like giving them! Puck, Howard, Gunther, Ulga, Steve, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Well, now I’m remembering that an unavoidable attachment comes with babies: men. If I had a baby, my theoretical husband might pose a serious threat to my namings. He may disagree. He may argue. He may protest. Hmmm…that sucks. In order to successfully carry out my plans I might need to get rid of the middle man in some sort of anthropomorphic act mimicking that of the black widow (Not literally. What kind of freak do you think I am? Some kind of freaking cannibal freak?! No! That’s gross.). It’s so crazy that it just might work!

Well, now I’m remembering that an unavoidable attachment comes with murder: police. With police come investigations and questionings and searches and paperwork and lawsuits and suspects and witnesses and forensics and all that kind of crap. I would need one heck of an alibi. That’s way too much work. Screw it*. I can’t have kids. At 19 this is a problem I hardly need to be thinking about anyway.

Now, back to your ever-arising question of “the stuff about working in a condominium community is fantastic, Nichole, but what the FETCH do you do there!?” Well, I’ll tell you. I do a lot of things as a “maintenance technician.” Some of those things are periodic, others are more sporadic, and the rest I’ve only done once or twice. Here’s a fun yet tragically incomplete list:

–Sweep, dust, and vacuum the 20 “ashford” buildings. This is probably the most dreaded part of my job since it takes about 45-60 minutes to clean one building. My manager tried to console me with “at least it’s only once a month!” If I had less self-control I would have said, “And so is my freaking period!” But I only responded with a polite smile and nod and “yeh.”

–Pack on RAWR, the leaf blower, and clear out the dust/leaves from the ashford garages. I find this very fun.

–Dust and disinfect equipment in the community center’s exercise room. I don’t mind doing this since I use the exercise room. It brings me great comfort to know that everything is being sanitized the way it should. This morning as I was running on the treadmill some old, saggy, sweaty, shirtless man behind me was using the weight machines. I know because the wall in front of me is basically a huge mirror. I saw everything. More than I wanted to see, really. But it was kind of comical. I laughed on the inside.

–Mondays and Fridays to throw people’s trash into dumpsters as one of my managers drives the tractor and the other manager joins me in the trash-throwing. It sounds like a crappy job and people tease us about doing it, but in truth it’s pretty fun. Sometimes it sucks, though, like the time a bag ripped open that had a bunch of rotting Spanish rice in it. As I was sweeping it up with a little piece of cardboard some rice flicked into my face…it was gross. I also hate it when I’m trying to blaze through a particular dumpster and I absentmindedly notice that someone threw something away that smells rather lovely. Immediately after I realize that I was enjoying the scent emanating from the dumpster, I feel ashamed. Garbage is supposed to stink. So, I run away from my true feelings and tell myself, “No, Nichole, it doesn’t smell nice. It’s garbage and it’s disgusting and it stinks!”

–Go on a spree of destroying spiders and their webs on all 50 buildings. Cruel, yet satisfying in a weird, serial killer sort of way.

–Check for and replace burnt out light bulbs. With over 1,000 light bulbs throughout the buildings and property, it’s inevitable that one of them is out somewhere.

–Vacuum tennis courts 1 and 2 during the winter, as they are covered by a freakishly large bubble that is fittingly named The Bubble. Tennis courts don’t seem to be huge, but when you’ve walked back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth again and again for an entire hour in order to clear away all of the “tennis fuzz” twice a week, they suddenly become ominous planes of green misery.

–Pack on RAWR to clear off the debris from tennis courts 3 and 4, as well as 1 and 2 when they’re in unbubbled season. Also very fun.

–Empty trash cans located throughout the property, including those set apart for dog poo. It doesn’t stink at all when I stop breathing.

–Not to go off on a tangent or anything, but I have been getting some flack about the “alcoholic beverage” in my default picture. Somehow people are getting the impression that I drink. If you take a gander at the smoke/drink thing it says no/no. That is merely an empty can that I found on the ground. I’m underage, and I only break the law when I’m driving. The speed limit’s only a suggestion, people.

–Trim trees/bushes/other plant life that doesn’t require any professional experience, know-how, or tools. I like this. I do a lot of it. I also like to climb the tree that I’m trimming if it’s necessary. My managers don’t like that, though. They even give me specific directions before I go to trim the tree and say, “Nichole…don’t climb the tree.” They think that I’m some sort of reckless teenager who has no fear of falling and breaking their self on the cold, unforgiving concrete below. The truth is, I’m a skilled, athletic youngin’ who is very in tune with her coordination and abilities. That’s why I’m not afraid of falling and breaking myself on the cold, unforgiving concrete below. It just won’t happen.

–I made a flower bed once. It looks really, really good, methinks.

–Discard dead animals IE: birds, ducks, mice, raccoons, etc. They won’t let me give them a proper burial. Something about the sight of funerals upsetting the older folk.

–I got to fill in a long, huge ditch that I didn’t even dig once. It was dug to put electrical wire en route to power some new lamp posts. Yay! Shovel!

–Go out into the duck-poo-polluted pond in a leaking boat using a shovel (Yay! Shovel!) to paddle. The oars broke. It wasn’t me, though. Promise <3. I was out there with my manager trying to fish out the algae that was developing into a thick, green layer of Hulk-looking fur over the pond’s surface. He didn’t like it as much as I did. He’s heavier than me and all of the water settles to his end of the boat, causing Shoes Soggy with Nasty Water Syndrome. Sucks for him.

–Go out into the duck-poo-polluted pond in a leaking boat using a shovel to paddle because the oars broke—again. There is a control box to the pond’s fountain that is mounted on an island out there. The big tree that it was attached to was dead and extremely rotted out. It happened to fall down during a wind storm, smashing the wooden box that surrounded the control box. Surprisingly, the fountain stopped working at that point. We went out there to assess the situation. It wasn’t too bad. The control box was still in one piece and only had one wire get disconnected.

–Go out into the duck-poo-polluted pond in a leaking boat using a shovel to paddle because the oars broke—yet again. This time we were trying to figure out why one of the pond’s aerators stopped working. As it turns out, that thick, green, Hulk-fur algae stuff that had been growing in the water in the time the fountain was out of commission was clogging the hose. Frickin’ algae. Because there were four different aerators attached to four different hoses that were attached to an air compressor on the island (right next to the control box), it really sucked finding out which hose led us to the clogged aerator. There were no bubbles to guide us: it was frickin’ clogged. So, from shore we were to pick a hose and pull at it, leading the boat along to its aerator. All fine and dandy, right? Sure thing, except for the part where that old rotted tree that fell over happened to fall right into the water where we needed to get to the hoses.

So, we marched onto the island from the back-side with a saw and pruners to clear the way. Since some of the limbs were too far out for us to trim off, my manager decided that it would be a good idea for me to climb onto an adjacent tree that was growing out over the water, parallel to the ground, and have me saw off a few limbs from there (OH, but it’s okay if I climb this deadly tree of death?!) Given the tree’s relatively small circumference, its two inch long thorns jutting out all over the place, the impression of a forewarning from the fallen tree right next to it, the water in which I could drown if my feet got stuck in the muck at the bottom, the mass of wild rose bushes that I would fall into if I fell in the direction of dry land, and the extremely awkward angles at which I would be contorting my body, I was a little bit apprehensive about being an obedient employee. I did it anyways. I have scars to prove it, too.

Once we cleared the way, all we had to do was pick a hose and pull at it, leading the boat along to its aerator. All fine and dandy, right? Sure thing, except for the part where the hoses had been resting on the bottom of the duck-poo-polluted, thick-green-Hulk-fur aglae-stuff-infested, decomposing-plant-life-filled nasty goo-ness. Those hoses were slimily disgusting smelly things! And guess what happened? The first one we followed: led us in the wrong direction. The second one we followed: led us in the wrong direction. The third one we followed: led us in the wrong direction. The fourth one we followed: LED US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION! Can you befreakinglieve that!? When they laid the hose down for the one we were shooting for, they must have taken it over to the other three, had an epiphanous moment in which they suddenly realized that you don’t need that many so close together, turned around, and put it all the freaking way to the other end of the pond! Frickin’ duh! It was a fun day, though, so no complaints.

The list I just gave is only partial. I do a lot more different things. It’s very unpredictable; my managers make it up as I go. It’s very difficult to tell people what I do, because if I just say “maintenance,” they expect me to explain. I’m too lazy for that. And if I say “maintenance technician” in order to at least appear a bit more high class, the down side is the “technician” part. There’s nothing technical about my job; “technician” just sounds cool. That means I have to be careful about who I say “maintenance technician” to instead of just “maintenance.” I can’t let certain people start expecting more than what I can deliver, you know? That’s too much pressure, and I don’t want to go around disappointing anyone with my true incompetence.

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ASTERISKICAL NOTATIONS

*screw you [skrōō yōō] -verb phrase Slang
1.
A semi-vulgar phrase used in a variety of situations such as in response to an insult, an obvious lack of interest in something that the sayer finds amusing, or a command that one does not wish to obey.
2.
Also used as a command itself, requesting that the sayee of the “screw you” remove their self from the 10 foot radius surrounding the sayer. Given the nature of “screw you’s” other use (as response to a command that one does not wish to obey), this second use for “screw you” should be used with caution. If not used carefully, one could easily find their self in an endless loop of “screw yous” with the original sayee and thus become a sayee as well.

Note: When I say “screw you,” I don’t mean it to be truly vulgar. Most of the time I’m just jesting, so don’t take offense. Really, I don’t mean it rudely. If I were serious, I could definitely come up with something a heckofalot more base than “screw you,” trust me. Plus, I love you. I would never say anything to hurt you. You’re near and dear to me because you obviously care about me enough to read this thing all the way through if you’ve gone this far, and I doubt many people take the time to read more than the first few paragraphs. They probably look at it and immediately just say “screw it*!” So I am really grateful for your willingness find out what it is that I have to say, however useless this information may be. Thanks. <3.

*noob [nōōb]-noun pl. noobs Slang
1.
A term derived from online video games that is often confused with newb or newbie, but rather than meaning “new to the game” as the those do, noob refers to people who have played the game for an extended period of time but are still really crappy at it and troublesome to other players.
2.
People characterized by an outward appearance of common and practical sense, but, upon closer inspection, attitudes and behaviors that are stubborn, selfish, and impractical manifest themselves copiously. These behaviors cause them to lack the most important skill of all: teamwork.

*screw it [skrōō ĭt] -verb phrase Slang
1.
A semi-vulgar phrase used when one encounters a task they do not wish to complete because it seems too wearisome, daunting, boring, frustrating, troubling, or time-consuming. It has close ties with “screw you” in that one will often distance their self from the 10 foot radius around the task the sayer has deemed “it.”

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