Starting from the Beginning

Sept 24th, 2014

This morning proved to be a true breakthrough and will undoubtedly go down as one of the most significant days in American history.  Today is the day that I have invented the biggest thing to happen to coffee, since Starbucks.  Starbucks did a wonderful job bringing coffee into the 21st century.  No longer thought of as the businessman’s interlude or the housewife’s laxative, it is now an event; an engagement for friends, would be lovers, and lonely souls searching for companionship through the internet.

But time has continued to march and Starbucks, just like everything else, is growing tired and old.  That’s where Expresso comes in!  Expresso elevates your coffee drinking pleasure by becoming an interactive, social experience!  No longer will we simply walk into a coffee shop, receive our coffee, and go.  Now our coffee break is another opportunity to let the world know exactly how we are feeling in that exact moment!

This morning, I have invented stickers that are meant to be adhered to your coffee cup.  The stickers come pre-printed with the following, “I feel __________.”  Simply populate the blank with your expression, take a selfie while drinking your coffee, and post to your social media sites.  This is Expresso!

I have been walking around feeling reinvigorated today, which is a welcome respite.  Instead of occupying my days thinking about Ohranj, I have decided that I shall document my daily life.  I shall create a blueprint on how to start your own company and transform it into one of the most powerful and revered companies in the world.  This will be my legacy, my success journey, by Iris Cutter.

 

Sept 25th, 2014

The day started with a tragedy.  An iCal notification alerted me that I had one day until my $5 CVS coupon expired.   When I arrived at the CVS check out with St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub, it was only then that I took note that the coupon’s validation lapsed on the 24th, rather than the 26th, as I had programmed into my computer.  I walked out of the CVS, empty handed, not because I didn’t have any way to pay for the exfoliation product, but rather over my humiliation of presenting an invalid coupon.  I dread having to go back.

I later called a co-worker and informed him that I would not be making it in to work, but suggested that my return on Friday was probable.  I didn’t want the office to be too concerned about the state of my health, as I have been feigning illness since Tuesday.

I used the day to continue brainstorming the marketing and financials around my latest idea, Expresso, the stickers that allow coffee drinkers to signify the undercurrents of their soul and spirit.

 

Sept 26th, 2014

I made it into work today.  Shockingly, nothing has changed since Tuesday, other than the hideous little flower pot that someone has placed on my desk, with a little message growing out of it, as if a plant, blankly stating, “Hope you feel better.”  I have my suspicions that this is a little gift from Eric, whom I’d rather not date, so to be on the safe side, I have placed the faux flower pot on the bottom of my trash container and feverishly covered it with miscellaneous paperwork and a half eaten burrito.  No one asked about it.

I have made a pact with myself to exercise every day as part of my success regimen.  I packed up my workout clothes and headed for the gym, only when I arrived, I realized that I had neglected to bring a Mary Kay posting, thus creating the need to drive home and retrieve the item.  Once I got back home, I used poor judgement and turned on the television, which captured my attention so intensely, that the hour I had dedicated to workout had expired to the point that I only had time to return to the gym and attach my notice to the bulletin board.  I delicately placed the spread on the lower left hand corner, in the most appealing section of the cork board and then cautiously threw away the babysitting services notice that hung previously in it’s place.  I figured that no one really needed a babysitter since the gym offers a  child watching service anyway.

I arrived back home and brainstormed further on Expresso.  How in the world am I going to come up with enough money to market this idea?

 

Sept 27th, 2014

My lucky day!  I have received a gift certificate entitling me to a free haircut & style in the mail today.  I promptly called Cheveux and made an appointment, as I have a dinner party to attend tonight.  I believe that I am going to request something assymetrical or a gentle taper from the back to front.   A stylish new cut aligns perfectly with my new success regimen.  If I’m going to make an honest and sincere go at “Expresso”, then I must dress both sharply and intelligently.

I spent a great deal of time searching the internet for tips for successful marketing campaigns.  You would think with all the bloggers out there that I would have been able to find a single one that outlined the proper steps succinctly.  Instead, it appears as though I’m going to have to buy an expert marketing book tomorrow.  I flip flopped 3 times on whether I should order a book online or if I should drive to Borders tomorrow.  I finally rested on driving to Borders early in the A.M. as I must have my new marketing book as soon as possible as I cannot afford to wait one or two extra days for a book to arrive in the mail, especially since my current mailman is not to be trusted.  He once dropped a package addressed to a neighbor that lives 2 doors down the street.  This box sat on my steps for months before I finally took the package inside my apartment and threw it away.

I did not have time to workout today, as my carefully scheduled day was a bit thrown due to the unexpected arrival of a free hair cut and style at Cheveux.

Note to self:  Heavily consider the pros and cons between the two names “Expresso” and “Express-o”

Sept 27th, 2014, Continued

My haircut is less than ideal.  I selected a sublime cut from the fashion publication at the salon, but apparently Miss Tionne at Cheveux doesn’t know the difference between a scissors and hedge clippers, because my hair looks like a conical shrub.  I tried to mask the artless mess atop my head with a pair of modish earrings, but it did no good.  When I arrived at the dinner party, my best friend, Tamar Cleaver, smugly commented that all concerns that she and I would be fighting over the perhaps one desirable man at the dinner party suddenly disappeared.

I spent the rest of the night drowning my humiliation in a bottle of gin and am now feeling quite uneasy.

 

Sept 28th, 2014

I am floating down the river of death.  Nothing could be worse than the feeling I have in my head, heart, and pit of my stomach.  My best friend Tamar arrived on my door step early this morning to inform me that my ex-lover, Ohranj was out on a date with the vile Christy Calm last night.  I pressed as to where she heard this malodorous rumor and she rather enthusiastically informed me that it was all over Christy’s Facebook page.  I logged into Facebook and immediately found Christy’s insipid little status update that she and Ohranj were at a play, starring Jimmy Smits.  I’m totally crushed by this development of Ohranj’s and my love story.

Ohranj knows how much I detest Christy.  Her and my relationship is nothing more than a long list of unforgivables perpetrated against me starting from high school when she tactfully announced the course, black, curly hairs on my beach towel were pubic hairs.  In fact, those hairs were actually fur, from my beloved poodle, Cupcake.  Never-the-less, her impartation was the catalyst for the the tortuous nickname of Muff Puff, a name that required me to throw away my high school yearbook due to the high volume of people using this inhumane name in their salutations.   I had long thought that my senior yearbook would be a treasure trove of memories.  I carefully selected just the right extra-curricular activities and events to attend so that my posterity would be proud of me when perusing through the pages.   I even paid extra to have my name foil embossed on the lower right-hand cover.  All the work I had put in throughout my senior year was tarnished when I arrived home after the yearbook signing social and I noticed all of the Muff Puff references.

I secretly hope and pray that one of the unpopular twits from my class dies, so that I may pocket their yearbook and then populate it with proper messages of future success and musings of weekend shenanigans.

I can neither stop crying nor stop the Chinese mustard that is flowing out of my intestines, into my toilet bowl.  I am only slightly comforted by the fact that Ohranj had to spend hours with Christy, requiring him to carefully listen to her whining and her vapid musings on how close she is to suicide.

 

Sept 29, 2014

I was dreadfully tired all day today.  In addition to having an extraordinarily hard time falling asleep, I also woke at 5 A.M., turned on the television to calm my mind, and then watched Changling for the next hour and a half.  I had read that Angelina Jolie is curiously thin and I was compelled to intensely watch the movie to see if I was able to catch a glimpse of her freakishness.

7 A.M. arrived quickly, and despite my my agonizing heartache, I made it out of bed and sludged my way to the El.  I left the weekend auto-attendant on the phone lines as I needed to lament exactly how I should handle the Ohranj situation.   While I scribed personalized notes to both Ohranj and Christy, outlining the ways that they have hurt me, I was interrupted by my manager Jenny Baker.  She handed me items for a care package that she was sending to her son in Afghanistan and asked that I find a suitable box and to ship the package priority.  Among the things she was shipping was a pocket scripture booklet, titled, “Hope and Comfort from God’s Word.”  I delicately opened the book and the first passage read, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”  and instantly knew that this scripture was meant for me.  I realized that Ohranj and Christy’s date was a sign of the riches I was to earn through Expresso.  With a new vigor, I set out to Borders to find a how-to market wisely book and gently put the pocket scripture book in the side pocket of my purse to ensure no imperfections.  I want to frame it, as a reminder of how I almost lost sight of my own career and riches because of a silly little date between two people that were decidedly not worth another minute of my time.  I also took the tubes of Chapstick that Jenny was shipping to her son and replaced them with 2 boxes of paper clips.

I also forgave myself for using Sunday as a day of sloth and self-pity and made a new commitment to my success regimen.

While at the book store, I struggled to find a suitable marketing book.  No wonder the internet has replaced brick and mortar bookstores!  You can’t find anything worthwhile at these stores!  I wandered through the sparse shelves and stumbled upon a wonderful book, aptly titled, “How to Dress For Success”.  I was tickled to find such a pearl and brought it to the checkout counter.  I smiled at the cashier, however only received a half-hearted smirk in return.

I made it to the gym.  Recognizing that I hadn’t the first clue as to where to start, I quickly scanned the floor, found a woman with the type of shapely body I desired, coyly followed her, and duplicated her regimen.  I was deflated to see that someone had torn down my Mary Kay advertisement off of the locker room cork board.

No one at work commented on my new hairstyle, but that is possibly because I wadded up what is left of my lovely locks under a wrap.

 

Sept 30th, 2014

I can barely walk today.  The muscles in my legs, butt, and lungs have been decimated by my workout yesterday.  Typical.  My life is nothing more than a series of flux and reflux.  Just when I get on a roll, I’m stopped dead in my tracks due to extreme pain and displeasure.  I’m certain there isn’t a bible passage that can help me through this, which is all the same, because I can’t find the pocket scripture booklet that I took from the care package for Jenny’s son.

I spent my morning reading my newly purchased book, “How to Dress for Success”.  I know that I made the right choice in purchasing this book rather than a marketing book, because this book, not only teaches me about marketing, but it also teaches me about marketing my best product, me.

There are many aspects to looking successful than I had previously realized.  For example, it is just as important to look stylish in the gym as it is in the workplace.  So, instead of going to the the gym tonight, which was physically impossible, I headed to Sports Authority and found appropriate attire.  I selected a lovely all-white outfit of a collared shirt, a flexible and breathable skirt, a package of sensible white socks, all white tennis shoes, and a visor.   I used caution to not buy anything too revealing, so I brought my measuring tape to ensure my skirt was no more than 4 inches above my knee.   I wasn’t sure if I should measure from the top or the bottom of my patella, so I split the difference and measured from the middle.  While I want to present professionalism and virtue, I also do not want to discount allure.

I also scoured the internet to find prices on stickers for “Expresso”.  I want to design a label that is sleek, authoritative, confident, successful, smart, and thrilling.

 

Oct 1, 2014

My manager Jenny called me into her office today and asked me what made me think it was ok to display Mary Kay cosmetics on my desk for sale purposes.  I wasn’t sure if she was being sincere or not, so I took a chance and politely chortled.  Her response was less than ideal.  The grouch told me to remove all trace of my side business from my desk and to wipe the smile off my face while I was at it.  I returned to my desk, somber, and remained so for the rest of the day.  I left immediately at 5 P.M., but not before I printed out proper etiquette for a front office receptionist and placed it on Jenny’s desk.  I mindfully added that a sour receptionist can have far-reaching consequences on a company.

I called Ohranj three times today.  When I came to the realization that he was not going to call me back, I Facebook messaged him.  Then, I sat in front of my computer with a coupe of gin, and cried until my eyes were sore.  I called Tamar to join me, but she was engrossed in a game of Risk.

 

Oct 2, 2014

I had a meeting with my human resource representative, Patrick Rohm this morning.  I was handed an official notice for insubordination.  Another ignoramus with whom I have the displeasure of working.

I spent the rest of the day absorbing what everyone around the office was wearing.  I resolved that when “Expresso” had it’s own offices every employee would be required to have a wardrobe consultation.

I’m still unable to workout, but drove to the gym in order to attach another Mary Kay flyer to the locker room cork board.  I hung my advertisement along with a Post-it note which politely requested that no one do me the discourtesy of snatching down my notice.    If I don’t book a party soon, I fear I may end up with copious amounts of summer shades on my hands.

Afterwards, I went to the CVS, as I still required St. Ives Apricot Scrub for my face.  I slyly walked in, took careful observation that the employee in which I handed my invalid coupon was not on shift, and then purchased two tubes, at full price.

Oct 4th, 2014

I’m crawling out of my skin with disgust and humiliation.  I had intercepted a text sent to my best friend Tamar, from Ohranj, inviting her over to his house to watch Project Runway.  This questionable text arrived while Tamar and I were lunching.  Tamar was in ladies room and I was waiting at the table for our check to arrive.  I gracefully reached over to her phone when the text alert sounded, read the biddance and then patiently waited for my invitation to arrive.  I never received a text, but showed up to Ohranj’s at 7pm, as I assumed my lack of an invitation was an insignificant oversight on O’s part.

Upon arriving at Ohranj’s I took off my coat and selected one of my most favorite chairs in which to sit.  It was then that I noticed, from across the room, a hideous, Southwestern styled cloak, a frock that I very distinctly remembered a one, Christy Calm, wearing last fall.  My stomach immediately dropped.  It wasn’t even 30 seconds later that Christy walked into the living area, handing out hors d’oeuvres, as if she and Ohranj were hosting this little shindig together.  I did the very best I could to hide the revolt from my face, but the frail clod must have picked up on my non-verbal cues, because she broke out in a tirade regarding my presence and then forced Ohranj to ask me to leave. As he walked me to the door, I reminded him that this little stunt of his was going to require me to reconsider ever getting back together with him, a threat that he seemed to take rather well for hearing that he was about to forever lose the love of his life.  I then informed him that his appetizers smelled putrid, and he retorted my hair was unsightly and inelegant.

I shall be keeping my eyes and ears open around Tamar, as I my intuition tells me that she is running with the foxes and hunting with the hounds when it comes to this Iris/Ohranj/Christy saga.

 

Oct 5th, 2014

I woke up this morning determined to do something with my hair.  I will never again let my hair get the best of me, as it did last night.  I walked down the street, in the freezing fall weather, and walked into Strands.  I told them that I didn’t care what the cost:  I wanted a cut that was authoritative, yet sexy.  I pulled out all the stops.  It took the stylist and colorist over 3 hours to complete the transformation, but when they were done, I looked marvelous.  I put the $300 charge on my credit card and vowed to figure out a way to pay it off in less that 6 months.

While at the salon waiting for my new hair color to process, I saw an advertisement for Nina’s Place, a female teen help center.   I believe I possess the courage and strength to counsel someone through the darkest of times.  I called the center when I returned home from the beauty salon and requested  a meeting with their CEO or equivalent.  I have a meeting set up for Thursday.  I’m both excited and nervous as I have never met a real CEO before.  I’m also considering wearing a more modern outfit, rather than a traditional suit.  It is important that if I’m going to be counseling teenagers, that my new boss has confidence that I will be able to relate to teenagers.  In order to show my youth and individuality, I have decided that I am going to wear  decorative scarf, with a black pinstripe suit.  Rather than the ivory blouse that “How To Dress for Success” recommends to wear on a job interview, I have selected a red blouse.  I will wear it fully buttoned, to tone down the red color.

Just listen to me!  I guess that I’m absorbing “How to Dress For Success” faster than I thought.  Pretty soon, the next thing you know, I’ll be writing the updated version of the book!  I already know that if I do decide to write a book for power dressing, I will use my full name, Iris Elizabeth Cutter as my plume de nom.

 

Oct 6th, 2014

I spent the night spying on Ohranj and Christy.  I am totally revolted at the pace at which their relationship is blossoming.  After wandering on both of their Facebook pages at work, I was able to uncover that they were meeting up in Wicker Park for pizza.  I left work a tad early in order to ensure that I was deep under cover by the time the two love birds arrived.

I can safely say that Ohranj’s behavior was sickening.  He took about 30,000 pictures of Christy and she had a trashy pose for each and every photograph that he took.  They kissed as though they were the only ones in the family friendly pizza joint.  At one point, I truly believed that they might tear each others clothes off and I felt deeply embarrassed for them.

I’m devastated. I have no answers as to why Ohranj is doing this to me.  Has he forgotten about all the years we were together?  Has he forgotten about how we lost our virginity to one another at our Senior Homecoming?  Or how I let him violate my body at every single movie we ever went to see?  Although we have separated several times since we began our love affair in 7th grade, I silently resolve that I will never, ever take him back, no matter how much he begs.  The trauma of this situation has left me too hurt; too broken.

Christy is one of the most vile people I have ever met.  Her face is hideous, oozing with leukorrhea. I would rather swim in an insipid pool of both seminal and digestive secretions than look at her.

look at her.

Oct 7th, 2014

I created a lovely ensemble to wear to work today and it went totally unnoticed.  Admittedly, I haven’t the bank account to purchase reliable, high class logos and labels, but I am choosing breathtaking silhouettes and strategically hiding my feet until I can purchase more than just my staple loafers.  And what about my new hair?  Has my new color and cut escaped everyone’s attention?? The only person that has commented has been Eric, an office collegue in which I have no further interest than friendship, despite his subtle hints of further development of our relationship.

Eric is an aerodynamic engineer and has many desirable qualities in which one would like in a partner.  He has lovely dark brown wavy hair and a genuine smile.  I can tell he must be meticulous, because his teeth are strikingly white.  In our interactions, I have gleened that he enjoys listening to music, likes going to the beach in the summer time, and has a yearly barbeque on his rooftop deck during the air and water show, when almost all the engineers from the office cut loose an talk about the jets that fly-by.  However, Eric is a delicate man.  His thin build is not altogether unattractive, but his long and dainty fingers are so scrawny and graceful that they give me the creeps.  I sincerely can’t imagine how he will ever find anyone that can see past his fleshless fingers.

After work I scoured the internet for affordable Expresso stickers.

 

Oct 8th, 2014

Expresso is the new hottest thing!  Well, not quite yet, but I have ordered 5000 thermal cups from Amazon and once my sticker design is perfected and I have made a firm decision on either calling my coffee cups “Expresso” or Express-o“, it’s off to the printers, and then the shelves of every coffeehouse in America!  I will reserve 1000 cups and stickers for my nearest and dearest friends, so that they will be able to enjoy Expresso for free.   It’s the least I can do to recompense them for their years of continued friendship and support.  I want them to securely feel that I will never change, no matter how rich and powerful I may become.

According to my math, I will only be spending $1000 for the cups and stickers.  If I sell them for $1 each, I will be making $4000 in profit, leaving plenty of money left over for charity, monthly fees & dues, personal appearance, lawyer & professional service fees, and hush money.

The excitement I have about Expresso has almost made me forget that Ohranj and Christy are currently conspiring against me by dating each other.  I’m certain they relish in savagely and pitilessly gossiping about me.

I have also laid out interview “unforgettables” for my engagement with the CEO of Nina’s Place tomorrow, even though I strongly believe that a job outside of Expresso will soon be unnecessary.  I have neatly splayed on my dining room table 2 pens, a notepad, my wallet, the address  and phone number of my interview location, extra resumes, in case the CEO is so impressed with me that she would like me to meet with several others, a calendar, my cell phone, mint gum, extra pantyhose, and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

 

Oct 9th, 2014

I called in sick in order that I focus on my impending job interview at Nina’s place, only to discover, my meeting was a complete waste of time.  Rhonda Kafta, the CEO, met with me, but not to be a counselor for our troubled youth of tomorrow, but rather in order to interview me to assess whether or not there was an opening for me to become a resident.  I’m completely humiliated.  Imagine ME, living in essentially a half way house for mentally damaged girls and pranksters.  I believe I would shrivel up and die if anyone was to ever find out.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at the gym, where I imagined every single footstep I took on the treadmill was one right over the face of Rhonda Kafta.  Not only was she quite uptight and judgmental, but she dressed poorly.  My success regimen includes this mantra:  I shall dress with utter integrity, with the highest caliber materials available.  Rhonda, however, dresses like a schlep and not even the PhD diploma plastered to her wall can appropriately decorate her for the position she holds.

 

Oct 10th, 2014

My manager, Jenny, was struck by an automobile last night.  While she was unable to make it into the office, she sure had plenty of energy to call and direct me on how to complete all of her tasks as well as the wherewithal to remind me that I had reached my limit of sick days for the year.  I quickly changed to subject to her own health and safety, gently remarking that in the future, I suggest that she not cross the street while wearing an iPod or any other sort of mind occupying device.  While pedestrians do have the right of way, some just lack the respect and common sense needed in order to safely cross.

I have been unable to keep my mind off of Nina’s Place.  Why did the CEO believe that I was looking to be a resident?  What was it about me that gave off the impression of insanity?

 

Oct 11th, 2014

My insulated coffee cups for Expresso arrived today.  I have very limited space in my apartment, so I put the box in the middle of my living room and draped one of my favorite heirloom tablecloths over it.  While the box doesn’t quite appear to be a designer coffee table, it at least is tactfully covered, erasing concern that a snitch may come along, look into my windows, and swipe my idea.

Tamar came over and insisted I go shopping with her.  She has a date with a new man, Ross, a gentleman she met while waiting for a table at an American-styled bistro.  Since Ross works in the service industry, I recommended she select a fresh, well-pressed, tidy outfit that falls somewhere in the range of business casual to business appropriate.  Because it’s an evening look, I recommended a sweater set that is both feminine and very pulled together.  I just hope that she doesn’t become too inebriated, thus nullifying any thoughts he may have of her professionalism.

I called Ohranj several times and am losing my patience with his inability to call me back.

 

Oct 12th, 2014

I had planned to spend the day relaxing, curling up with either a good book or movie, but got an unexpected call from Christy, disrupting my mood for the entirety of the day.  She noted that she was fed up with my constant contact with Ohranj.  I mentioned that Ohranj and I had shared a closeness that can only be classified as “soul mates” and that I did not expect her to understand why it was that we would be a hairsbreadth from each other for the rest of our lives.  I further mentioned that I considered her only a blip in Ohranj’s and my love story and found it quite unexpected that she would be so worked up over my calls when she and Ohranj had only been seeing each other for mere weeks.

She then struck a low blow when she called me Muff Puff.  All of the pain from high school came rushing back.  I spent the rest of the day thinking about the humiliation I endured since she gave me that monicker.  Other than my senior yearbook debacle, there was also the fact that I was required to miss the Sadie Hawkins dance, I dance to which I looked forward since the day Ohranj and my eyes met in 7th grade science class.  After deciding to attend the boys basketball winter tournament, I was forced to run out of the gym in torment, after the dreaded “Muff Puff” chant was started in the student section.  Because I was hurried and weeping, I failed to notice a large patch of ice, causing my to slip and break my ankle.  Though I was able to extract a winnings of $15,000 from the City of Chicago for my suffering, I have never received one dime for the emotional distress I have had to endure since and will forever suffer.

There was no way I was going to be able to relax for the rest of the day, so I simply laid in bed, quietly suffering until I fell asleep.

 

Oct 13th, 2014

I had a grave argument with my boss Jenny while on the phone today. Jenny, still on the mend, had the nerve to call me insulting. Apparently she has been fuming all weekend about my remark on crossing the street with handheld devices. After our call, our HR representative, Patrick Rohm, walked up to my desk and asked if I had time for a discussion, in which he inquired if I had some kind of vendetta against Jenny. I mindfully replied that Jenny believes that I have taken issue with her, when in reality, there are many in which I feel a great deal of unaffection. I vigorously added that that several office employees earned higher salaries than I, despite their juvenile vocabularies and casual attitudes. I believe it is hard to take any of our executives seriously, as they dressed as if they had completely given up on becoming anything more worthwhile than their current position. And that asking their own employees to strive for greatness, when surrounded by mediocrity was the business plan of fools.

Patrick, did not react as expected, harshly explaining that there were several others who would enjoy working in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. He further noted he could be interviewing hopeful candidates as early as tomorrow. Shaken, I swore that I would continue to serve loyally, however could not hide my scowl when handed my second disciplinary notice.

I walked back to my desk and asked, “Why is it that I should apologize for being passionate?” I secretly admit, I am and have always been terribly afraid of disappointing others.   This shameful secret has driven me to do the best I can to complete tasks perfectly, but it also has its dark side. It has also driven me to hold others to the highest standards, constantly exposing their own imperfections, driving them to tears over their own feelings of inadequacy.

I believe I am suffering from what is known as the working man’s condition.

 

Oct 14th, 2014

I was the recipient of an invitation to Tamar’s Halloween soiree today. I walked into my house, without so much as taking off my blazer, and carefully sliced the envelope adhesive of the invite, in order to preserve the integrity and design. As per usual, Tamar’s invite was divine. Ever the creative, she used green and purple for this particular invite, cluing her guests in to the fact that this Halloween party was for grown-ups. It was enticing, thrilling, and full of zest. If I didn’t save her invites for display on my desk at work leading up to the event, and then for my scrapbook, I would certainly “inadvertanty” drop her invite in the foyer of my building so that everyone would know the type of affairs to which I am invited.

My excitement quickly transformed into anxiety, however, after it occurred to me that Ohranj may be invited, and that he may decide for some unworldly reason to invite that hag, Christy. I called Tamar under the guise of RSVP, however, slyly inquired about the guest list. She wryly replied “I invited Ohranj, if that’s what you are getting at, and yes, people are allowed to bring guests.” I feigned a buzz at the door and promised to call Tamar right back.

Just my luck. Just as everything in my life is falling apart, this too? Was it too much to ask to have things simply go right for a change? Was it wrong of me to want things, just for a week, to go my way?  I know God created two types of people: Ones to which he gives fish, other’s to which he gives a pole, a line, a lure, and a cunning instinct, but too, even the latter needs charity. I hopelessly went to my refrigerator, and pulled out a dainty, yet sharp cheese spread, smothered some Triscuit’s with the delightful pate, and tried to put things back into proper perspective while I ate.

Afterwards, I called Tamar back and affectionately announced to her that I would be attending her party with the firm intent of dancing until dawn, in a nice, loose, relaxed character dress.

 

Oct 15th, 2014

I scoured the internet for archery classes in a nearby area at work today and to my great happiness, I discovered there was a class, in close proximity to the train depot that commenced on this very night. I ran to the train after work, just barely arriving prior to departure. I had to sit next to a malodorous chap, but was no less enchanted.

Learning to arch is thrilling! While I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m sure I will catch on quickly, once I start to arch out of my office attire.   Moreover, I have never been one to fail at a new endeavor. Others have insisted that archery is for a more masculine woman, however I have decided that the most important sports a business woman can learn are tennis, golf, and archery in order to achieve the utmost respect from others with high titles.

 

Oct 16th, 2014

My relationship with Ohranj is weighing to be quite heavily on my mind, causing me to contemplate forward movement with finding a new man to share my life, hopes, dreams, and wealth.

What is really important to me? What kind of man would be tops on my list? First, I need a man that will let me make MY move. One that will not try to come in and take over Expresso, after all the hard work and creativity I put into it.   I will never allow myself to be sidled by someone who is only looking to take advantage of my youth and inexperience. Secondly, I will not allow anyone that is not in full support of my business choices to be by my side when judgment day arrives. My man, must be driven and successful, that’s a given, but he cannot let his own success lend itself to arrogance. He must think of me as an equal, in fact, it would be extremely beneficial, if he ran a company that manufactures thermal cups or stickers, so that we could illustrate our business savvy through negotiations. Lastly, I would want him to be affectionate, fun, caring, giving, attractive, funny, and suave. Oh Ohranj! Why won’t you come back to me????  Life without you is like a slow, agonizing night after drinking an elixir laced with hemlock.

 

Oct 17th, 2014

It was another tiresome day at the office. Jenny is still withering away in her bed, while I do my best to fulfill her duties of ordering office supplies, keeping the kitchen fully stocked, scheduling meetings in the conference rooms, and walking around with a general frown on my face bringing nothing but gloom and treachery to the office. I have to admit I am extremely surprised at how many in the office have taken the time to visit the laid up grouch. It’s no wonder some clod in the office put a little get well soon planter on my desk a couple of weeks ago. I am apparently working in an office of Florence Nightingale impersonators.

 

Oct 18th, 2014

I had a tremendous breakthrough in the middle of the night.   I was up at 3 am, admittedly in knots and ties over Ohranj and Christy when it suddenly struck me from out of the blue: Expresso only needs to be a sticker! I do not have to create a whole mug design. I could simply make a sticker that is tasteful with all types of coffee mugs and magnets for those aluminum thermal mugs so that you can change out your mood throughout the day! I could sell both the stickers and magnets in variety packs, so that people could use more than one a day.  Genius, it seems, is squarely lodged in simplicity.

Upon realizing I no longer needed the 5000 thermal cups I purchased, I immediately called Tamar and noted that I would supply all the drinking cups at her Halloween extravaganza. She seemed quite ungrateful, 3am or no. Again, one more thing I have offered up to my friends that goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

 

Oct 19th, 2014

I spent a great deal of time trying to find an appropriate costume for Tamar’s Halloween Party today. There is no finer a line that between allure and whoreishness than a modern day Halloween costume and I must be mindful to stay on the conservative side of this equation if I’m going to impress. While I am always one for creativity, I simply do not possess the time needed to properly make a costume that is suitable. While out shopping, I came across many cat outfits, which gave me the idea that I should disguise myself as a beagle, one of the most treasured hunting dogs in the world. What better way to stand out amongst all of the other woman, while giving off the air of accountability, reliability, and predatory instinct. I purchased a black body suit, on which I shall sew white overlays. I have some adorable dog ears and found myself a lovely face painting kit. Lastly, I purchased a pair of tall black boots in order to stand a good 2 inches taller, thus instantly eliminating 5 pounds off each thigh.

Note to self: Consider writing a “How to Dress for Halloween Definitive Guide”.

Once arriving back home, I called Tamar and asked if she wanted to come over for dinner. She accepted and we both joyfully chatted about our Saturday night affairs. She told me that she found herself a nice young man at a karaoke club that she took home and with whom she shared relations. I lied and said that I went out on a date with an older gentleman, a vice president that I met in the elevator at the office. I noted dinner was pleasant but that I was not about to get head over heels for someone that may or may not be alive in five to seven years.

 

Oct 20th, 2014

 

I walked into a buzz at the office today. Apparently Jenny took a turn for the worse over the weekend and is currently in a coma. I never thought that I cared much for the outdated dame, but to hear that she may only have a few days or even mere hours before she expires, has left me feeling helpless and full of sorrow. I am in sincere shock that I feel this way.

After work I took a long stroll down the street, through the neighboring park, and then to a wonderful little Greek restaurant. I ordered a classic Grecian meal and just for fun had a digestif called Ouzo. There was a dashing gentleman, also enjoying the after dinner drink, who inquired if I would like to join him. He was a wine dealer, named Arthur and quite a nice conversationalist. He told me about his favorite wines, wines from all over the world, and at some point in the night, I believed I promised to travel with him to sample these exotic potables in their motherland. However, now that I am home, I am in deep regret that I gave him my number.  This indiscretion on my part shall give me many sleepless nights. Already it is 2 am and I’m no closer to falling asleep than I was six hours ago. I hope this anxiety doesn’t drive me to the disgusting habit of skin scratching.

Yes, blog, I admit, that when I was a Freshman in high school and Ohranj and I broke up for the first time, I began to uncontrollably scratch my skin until it was raw and bloody. It started on my arms, but then it gradually spread to my torso and legs. I took me 7 years and countless rounds of therapy to get over this, but tonight, more than anything I just wanted to take a long hot bath and furrow myself until glowing crimson.

 

Oct 21st, 2014

I watched a French movie today and was astonished at the lack of precise language in the subtitles. Has everyone forgotten the beauty of language? Where is George Bernard Shaw when the world needs him most?

 

Oct 22nd, 2014

My second archery lesson was absolutely thrilling today. Holding my bow with the proper tension is grueling and fatiguing, but I believe with the proper training I could arch masterfully.  If not for the fact that I lack the pithilessness needed in order to hunt, capture, and mortally wound an animal, I certainly could become a stealth killer.  Never-the-less, without actually hunting, I believe that I can fully appreciate the glory of the longbow and its long history of warfare and challenges in artistry and etiquette.

After my lesson, I returned home to warm up, as it has gotten quite chilly out.  I snuggled up in an afghan my Grandma Katie crocheted for me and turned on the television.  I absolutely REFUSE to even entertain the idea of checking Facebook or my cell phone for possible correspondence from Ohranj.  In fact, I much prefer to believe that he is currently at Christy’s house, holding her dear hand, waiting for her hollow mind to forever close, due to assisted suicide.

 

Oct 23rd, 2014

Upon awakening this morning, I had a tremendous and crippling pain in both of my shoulders and back. The pain was so treacherous that I called into my office, intending to plead my argument for another sick day, however before opening my mouth, I was informed that Jenny suffered a heart attack in the middle of the night and passed away. Because of this, everyone that worked directly with Jenny was excused from the office to grieve.  I then delicately explained to Patrick that I shall be front and center, ready to take on all new responsibilities, if I’m asked to serve in a new role.

I spent the rest of the day nurturing my aching body with caffeine and muscle rub, while Facebook stalking Ohranj and Christy.  Apparently, Christy is still alive, despite my plea to the universe that she perish.

 

Oct 24th, 2014

I went into the office this morning and spent the majority of the day walking from cube to cube discussing Jenny’s passing. The overall consensus was that she died much too young, so I moped around with extra vigor in order to fit in.  Quite frankly, it wasn’t hard due to the intense muscle spasms I was still experiencing.

I continually caught Patrick throwing looks of disgust my way, so I politely posted an informative flyer in the kitchen and common areas reminding everyone that I would be happy to lend an ear to anyone stricken with grief.  While I’m not a licensed counselor, I am an apt listener.

After I arrived home, I received a call from Arthur, the wine salesman I met at the Greek restaurant, wondering what I was doing for the night. Given that he was calling me day of, I was resistant to any kind of last minute planning, but was amiable to meeting tomorrow.

I spent the rest of the night, admittedly, ever so gently, scratching my arms. The agitation against my skin was so soothing, that it honestly could have passed for a slight tickle.

 

Oct 25th, 2014

I went to Strands early in the morning, in the hopes that I would be able to “walk-in”. My hair has fallen decidedly flat, and I wanted to have my best foot forward on my date with Arthur. I’m not sure if we will ever become more than friends, but honestly, I feel I need a trusted ally in my life.

I’m not sure if I’m feeling so out of control because of Ohranj, my work situation, or just an overall feeling of gloom and doom, but I do need to have someone take me out and treat me.

 

Oct 25th, Continued

My date with Arthur was extremely exciting. I feel I may have cast him in a doubtful light earlier and that was quite wrong of me. Arthur is both charming and illuminating.  The first thing I noticed, as he was walking up to my door is that his stroll is unusually slow and masterful.  It appeared, almost, that he was lost in reverie as he approached my stairs.  I was alarmed, not wanting to spend an evening with someone that was possibly intoxicated before our dinner date started, but, just as I was about to turn off my house lights and all other trace of being home, Arthur, delicately sneezed into his hand, causing him to pause in his gait and gently pull a out moisturizing hand wipe from his pocket.  He did this delicately, yet purposefully, conveying grace, rather than inebriation.

When he came to the door, I was all to happy to let him hold my hand and kiss it.

Arthur’s face is amusing.  He has a wonderful jawline, intensely blue eyes, and a slight tan, which invokes an outdoorsman mien, yet his small, round glasses give him both looks of wisdom and conservatism.   I have to admit, dear blog, that I caught myself staring into his face, dreaming of what our life could be like, should we continue this affair.

As a matter of course, at the end of the night, I was playful, yet careful not to display any signs of come hither.  Unlike Tamar, I do not jump into bed with my courters, wily nily.

 

Oct 26th, 2014

Tamar came over today.  We both worked on our Halloween costumes, while I listened to her most current ungulate heartache.  Tamar is in pieces as her Friday night one night stand has sent her a private message on Facebook revealing he is currently in another relationship and shan’t be able to entertain further contact.   Why this trivial fling is meaningful to her can only be explained by the fact that Tamar has deep seeded masochistic tendencies.  While Tamar insists that she and this Tom have been building up to a relationship for some time, I gently reminded her that she continually entertains men that are either in a relationship, vulgar drunkards, much too young for her, or quite frankly, out of her league.

After we finished our costumes, I lined up my Mark Kay cosmetics.  Now that Jenny is gone, never to return, I figure that I should be able to safely and securely try to pawn off the summer shades on the old maids in the office without offense.

 

Oct 27th, 2014

As expected, I was able to set up a little display of cosmetic goodies at my desk without suffering the humiliation of scorn by my superiors.  As much as I hate to say it, the atmosphere in the office has been elevated tenfold, now that we no longer have to put up with the unsavory aura of Jenny.  I do not mean to sound cruel, but sincerely, Jenny somehow managed to tee me off, almost an unbearable amount of the time.

Jenny’s husband and son, who was granted reprieve from his duties in Afghanistan, called the office and reported that they will be visiting tomorrow in order to retrieve Jenny’s personal belongings from her desk.  I prepared my own armament to move into Jenny’s office after their visit.

I received a delightful phone call from Arthur.  He requested the honor of my arm at a fall ball, sponsored by Redbull this Saturday night.  I am head over heels ecstatic.

 

Oct 28th, 2014

Well, it’s true what they say, “When it rains, it pours.”  Jenny’s son, Ethan Baker, is one of the most breathtaking men, I have ever laid my eyes upon.  How I wish I had paid closer attention to the ravishing military photograph that Jenny kept on her desk.  Had I known what was going to walk into my life this morning, I would have worn a more revealing outfit, such as a sheath dress, rather than the midweight wool black pants I had chosen.  In order to compensate,  I was careful to feign a phone conversation, while Ethan was passing by, in which I was advising one of my friends that seasonless black pants in the workplace were the standard of perfection for a woman in charge.  I then gently winked at Ethan.  Pleasant behavior and mood certainly are easy, when the cause of your acrimonious behavior is dead.

Eric later came up to my desk, noting that I seemed to be in good spirits.  His long boney fingers were twirling around a pen, causing me to feel faint.

I also received a phone call from the gym, noting my absence.  I promised to make it in later in the day, then called at 6 P.M., in order to explain that my hamstring had rendered me powerless and that my presence was unlikely.  They fully understood.

 

Oct 29th, 2014

I’m completely flabbergast!  The entire collection of my Mary Kay summer cosmetics has been pilfered from my desk.  I immediately went to HR to file a report of the missing items.  I demanded to see security tapes, time stamps on employee badges, and a search of desks, lockers, as well as physical searches on all of the women in the office.  Patrick, mentioned that we did not have security cameras in the office.  He further noted that without an exact time of the alleged event, tracing employee movement through their badges would be an ineffective use of his time.   If that wasn’t slight enough, he went to further explain that he could conduct an investigation into desk drawers, but not without first giving notice to all employees and then asked me if I wanted to move forward with scheduling a search for tomorrow!  Yes tomorrow! This sounded about as valuable to me as pouring water through a sieve.  Has common sense really sunken to this level?

I went back to my desk holding back the ocean sized tears that were swelling in my eyes.  I honestly couldn’t feel worse.  I was relying on earnings from those cosmetics to help me pay for my new hairstyle as well as stickers and packaging for Expresso.  I fear I shall now be set back a few months and I wanted to have my stickers on every coffee shelf in America in time for the holidays.

I sent an email to Patrick mentioning that if our parent company is not going to assist in finding the office swindler, that I would be forced to include local law enforcement in my own personal investigation as well as require a company-supported lawyer in order to ensure that no further violation of my rights take place.  When I returned from lunch, a response was waiting in my inbox, where Patrick urged me to call the local authorities.  I took him up on his invitation, however, after calling 911 and explaining the crime perpetrated against me, I waited in vain for any type of officers to respond.

After an agonizing train ride home, I scratched my arms and legs until they were bloody, drank  three glasses of gin, and called Ohranj at least two times.  It seems that I have no course of retribution, other than to self sooth myself with various types of detrimental behavior.

 

Oct 30th, 2014

I woke up with the deepest of pits in my stomach this morning.  It was 6 A.M. when I realized that I had forgotten to attend my archery lesson last night.  If not for the disgusting crime committed against me and then the heinous way both my company and the police handled it, I would have remembered.  Instead of feeling invigorated and powerful, I now feel full of self-pity.  My arms and legs are mutilated, rendering me unable to wear a dress or anything strapless to the Fall Ball that I am to attend on Saturday night.

I tried to find a way to be agreeable in my office this morning, but frankly, I can’t give 100 percent to an office that clearly doesn’t value anyone but the aerodynamic engineers and sales associates.   We will see how far this company grows when the turn-key to their back office chews gum, leaves people on hold for excessive amounts of time, and veers from standard receptionist protocol.  While I want my name to be synonymous with perfection, I also want to teach these tyrants a lesson.

I spent the night rubbing healing salve and topical steroids all over my body.

 

Oct 31st, 2014

Tamar’s Halloween party was a roaring success!  While I was preparing myself for a night of discord and despair, I was pleasantly surprised with an evening of harmony, good spirits, and even, hope at another chance of dating Ohranj.  I swear, the couldn’t have worked out any better than if I had planned it.

Things started off sour, when I arrived at Tamar’s sans the insulated coffee cups I promised to her.  Relying on my cups, she had not purchased any for the party.  Always quick on her feet, she pleaded with Ohranj to drive me home to pick up the cups, in order that they make it to the party as quickly as possible.  Ohranj reluctantly agreed.  When he and I left the party, I looked back at Christy’s dumbfounded face and winked, for I couldn’t help myself.

Once I was alone with Ohranj, things felt just like old times.  I noted I was ill prepared for the weather and the gloves I had worn were insufficient for warmth.  I slowly pulled off my glove and nestled my hand on Ohranj’s leg.  He delicately took my hand and blew his hot breath on to it.  He then gently squeezed my hand and placed it back on my own leg.  He smiled and asked if that felt better.  I nodded.  Ever the gentleman, he then turned up the heat, remarking his desire for me to be adequately snug.  I jumped at the opportunity to declare, that if he were my man, I would forever be in clover, even if old man weather dropped the mercury below zero for the rest of eternity.  We then sat in silence for the rest of the ride.  Once we arrived back at Tamar’s, I told him that I would faithfully wait until he unburdened himself from the sleaze, Christy.

I am eternally grateful to Tamar.  I take back every terrible thing I ever thought about her and will forever punish myself for ever thinking that she was conspiring against me when it came to Ohranj and Christy.

 

Nov 1, 2014

I woke up early this morning and made my way to the gym.  I needed to clear my mind from the anxiety I was feeling over attending the Fall Ball with Arthur, and heard that yoga was a wonderful way to center.   Turns out, I only needed 10 minutes of stretching before I was ready to call Arthur and tell him I was unavailable to attend.  Yet, when I returned home I was incapable of telephoning the disappointing news.  Instead I hid inside my closet, buried knee deep in regret and tension.   I laid down amongst my shoes and laundry, and silently prayed for Arthur to fall ill.  After hours of inaction the time finally came for me to find a scintillating outfit that covered my disgusting scabs.

I chose a hideous floor length bridesmaid gown that I had worn at my cousin Molly’s wedding.  It was a completely inappropriate color, sky blue, and had an utterly unflattering silhouette.  I wore it, regardless, as nothing else covered the crusty sores on my legs, along with shoulder-length gloves.  While in stall in the bathroom I heard myself described by others as a robin’s egg.  After I emerged from the ladies room, Arthur sensing my insecurity, called me a beautiful box from Tiffany’s.  Because of this, I let him kiss me on the lips, at the end of the night.  It felt magical, most likely because he was now “forbidden fruit”.

I called Ohranj 3 times.  I did not receive a call back, as of yet.

 

Nov 2nd, 2014

I spent the morning nursing my scratches with topical steroid cream, while enjoying a pumpkin spice latte.  I stared intently at the cup, dreaming of the day that I finally have Expresso up and running.  I contemplated calling my parents, asking for a small loan, but am apprehensive.  My sister is a world class scrounger and I would sooner kill myself than sink to her level of beggary.

Tamar came over and divulged her weekend escapades, while we nourished our bodies with pizza.

I called Ohranj twice.

 

Nov 3rd, 2014

Today, at the office, I did the following at my desk: I enjoyed 3 beef empanadas, clipped and filed my fingernails, styled my hair, and advised visitors requesting directions to the restrooms that we were a “lavatory-free” facility.  About seventy-five percent of the visitors called my bluff.  For those, I followed up with directions, but conveniently forgot to hand them the key needed for restroom access.  I shall not stop this behavior until there is equality in the office, or at the very least, reimbursement for my stolen Mary Kay cosmetics.

 

Nov 4th, 2013

I am developing a deep concern for Ohranj.  I believe that he suffers from telephonophobia.  I have called him repeatedly since Friday night, and I have yet to hear back from him.  I sent him a private Facebook message assuring him that I would neither criticize nor make a fool of him during our conversation and that he should feel at ease about telephoning me back.  While I don’t want to enable his telephone avoidance behavior, I would like to find out when he will be dumping Christy for good.

In other news, Ethan Baker called the office today, inquiring about a ring that may be buried somewhere in his mother’s old office.  It belonged to his great-grandmother, and his mother’s sister had been harassing him and his father for the trinket.  I noted that I hadn’t seen such a treasure, but that his best bet would be to search the office, so that he and I could take a look together.  I have purposefully neglected to inform Patrick in HR of Ethan’s request, in the hopes that while searching for the ring, I may find a clue or even the culprit that took all my Mary Kay cosmetics.

When I got home, I laid out a beautiful ensemble to wear for Ethan’s arrival.  I chose an impactful all-red skirt suit.  The suit is much brighter than I would normally wear to the office, but I honestly feel that I must make a dress-code exception.  I’m getting too old to let potential suitors pass me by simply because of my superior dress code.

 

Nov 5th, 2014

Ethan Baker is gorgeous.  I studied his face quite closely while he was rummaging through Jenny’s old file cabinets and desk.  His best feature is, hands down, his dark brown eyes.  They are uncommonly large and stormy, expressing every thought that passes through his mind.  His lashes are nothing short of luxurious and I imagine that they must be quite apt at keeping out the Afghan desert sand.  His looks don’t end there.  The bridge of his nose is strong and his very pink lips seem to always be just slightly open, even though his jaw appears to be closed.  Something about that makes him look as though he is getting ready to whisper, “come closer”, without him saying anything at all.  I do however, have concerns about his intelligence level.  While he exhibited no signs of ineptitude, he stood rather like a blockhead when I invited him to arch.  I can’t spend the rest of my life with a man that I stupefy any time I open my mouth.

We didn’t have any luck finding his dead mother’s ring or any trace of my cosmetics.

My archery lesson was, again, enrapturing.  I hit my telos almost 100 percent of the time.  I also, almost arrowed the instructor Jerry, but I truly believe that there was a sudden gust of wind that caused the miscalculation.

I checked my Facebook, hoping for a response from Ohranj, but received nothing.

 

Nov 6th, 2014

My life is basically over.  All purpose is gone.  I received the following private message from O on Facebook.

“Iris –

Your constant contact must stop.  I can’t imagine why it is that you have not gotten through your thick brain that I am no longer interested in a relationship with you, so let me be clear:  I no longer want to be with you.  I find you impossible to deal with.  You show up at my home, when you haven’t been invited, I see you sneaking around places that Christy and I are patroning, and am fully aware of all the false Facebook profiles you have created, in order that you somehow find out more information about my relationship with Christy.  If it’s information you are searching for, well then, here it is.  Christy and I are in love.  Yes, love.  And I’m not talking about the type of love that you and I shared – she understands that when you love someone, you don’t try to change them or mold them into the prince that you always hoped that you would marry.  For the last 10 years, I have been tormented by you, constantly trying to live up to your impossible standards.  Well those days are over.  And in case your empty and lonely life is not clue enough for you, here is a bit of advice.  You are not perfect either.  When I was with you, many times, I hoped for you to just shut up.  That dream eventually grew into wishing you were not in the room, finally snowballing into out of my life. I have worked very hard to forget about you, and my wish is that you stop reminding me that you are still here.”

I want to die.  Anything is better than the pain I’m currently experiencing.  I would prefer to be sitting next to the deadliest farter on earth, while standing neck high in oozing, festering feces.  At least that way, I would eventually be overcome by noxious fumes.  I fear that my strong, albeit broken, heart shall keep me alive for many years to come, causing me to live another 60 plus plagued years.

 

Nov 7th, 2014

I have decided to retaliate against Ohranj’s vile and offensive message.  If archery has taught me anything, it’s that it takes much more than one arrow to win an end, and many ends to win a competition.  I sent this private message:

“Dear Ohranj,

Your hyperborean message has neither damaged my psyche nor deadened my pursuit for greatness.  I will continue to move forward while you bungle your life, with only one minor change.  Instead of you, I will keep by my side gentlemen that do not require perpetual handholding and prodding in order to live up to their full potential.  I’m currently being courted by a world traveler as well as an American soldier, both of which are very much enlightened and enamored with me.   They believe me to be fun and flirty and admire my ability to capture the attention of CEO’s and other powerful men in the world, without having to exploit my body. 

Au reste, I will have you know, that I am embarking on a journey in which many are envious.  I have invented coffee cup stickers which reflect the undercurrents of one’s feelings and soul and have called these self-adhesives, “Expresso”.  Imagine a person being handed a cup of their favorite coffee, then affixing an Expresso sticker revealing “I feel _______” to their toasty drink.  The individual will then take a selfie with their coffee cup to post to their online social accounts revealing their emotion at that exact moment.  Yes, O, you have just been given a glimpse into the future of interactive, social, coffee drinking and its been invented by ME, the woman of which you wish were never reminded.   In fact, if I had my stickers on store shelves right now, the selfie I would post with my Expresso sticker would say, “I am feeling Victorious” as I have no doubt that these stickers will be so popular, that banishing me from your memory will be a lesson in futility.  Yes, O, everywhere you turn on the street and on the internet, you will have a little colorful sticker staring you in the face, reminding you of the one person that was willing to love you forever.  Lastly, I believe I shall become just as powerful and rich as your ancestors from this invention. You scorn me for my drive and pursuit, conveniently forgetting that your family’s riches were obtained from exactly the type go-getter I am.  Vodka doesn’t sell itself, Ohranj.

Speaking of your grandparents and parents, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when they meet your current fling, Christy.  Tell me, Ohranj, is there a word in Russian for “Hoggish” or “Beastly?” 

I’m sorry, but I do have to run, my male suitors have been non-stop calling, while I type.”

 

Nov 8th, 2014

I reached out to Arthur, early this morning.  I admitted to him that the week flew by much more quickly than expected and that I deeply regretted not having contacted him earlier.  He sounded grateful and asked if I would like to do something this very night.  I jumped at the chance, despite the fact that I had scratched about 50 new pustules into my torso over the course of the last 2 days.

 

Nov 9th, 2014

Despite having a lovely evening with Arthur, I woke up in extreme agony.  Every bone and muscle in my body has been stricken with a viral or bacterial infection.  I’m certain that had I not fallen asleep in radical distress I would have woken up in the pink of condition, instead of crawling on my hands and knees in and out of the bathroom.  I am cursing myself for falling asleep thinking about my back and forth communication with Ohranj.

Arthur came over and brought me soup, which, as much as I appreciated it, caused a worsening in my condition.  I asked him to leave, as politely as I could manage, and then called my mother, insisting she bring me over her homemade meatloaf.  She took mercy on me, coming as quickly as she could.  I sobbed, uncontrollably revealing both Ohranj’s private message and my response to my mother while her meat baked.  She held me as I sneezed and sobbed.

When the meatloaf was thoroughly browned, I tearfully dined while my mother instructed me on the Z-Pak regimen to follow, since the medication came from Mexico.  My mother, while always good at tending to my maladies, also, predictably, brought over a couple bottles of wine.  She poured hefty quantities of god’s nectar, ensuring that we both fell into wine-induced comas.

 

Nov 10th, 2014

I dragged at a snail’s pace all day at work today.  I told anyone that would listen that I was severely overworked now that I was doing my dead boss’ duties, but no one seemed to believe me.  In fact, I heard whisperings that I appeared hung over.  When I questioned a coworker about it, I was brazenly told that my shirt was on inside out and my shoes did not match.  I was mortified.  I ran to the bathroom in humiliation and took a long hard look at myself in the mirror.   I vowed to never again let a broken heart and a possible infection turn me into a mongrel. While I fixed my shirt instantly, there was nothing I could do about my pumps, other than wait for lunch to go buy a new pair of power loafers.

Later, when I arrived back home, my mother was lying on my couch, in the midst of all my used Kleenex.  She was eating a corn dog, in her usual disgusting fashion.  She had the habit of pulling off the cornmeal shell, dipping it in yellow mustard, then dropping the bread-like pieces into her mouth with her greasy fingers.  The remainder, the foul-smelling wiener, usually reserved for her dog, Iffy, was lying limply on her plate as she had removed the stick that dignified people use to eat their corn dog.  She asked me to go get her a Coke and I obliged, only so that she would have the energy to leave.  My mother, while irreplaceable, has the uncanny ability to always over stay her welcome, usually due to high levels of intoxication.

Eventually, she called my father to come have dinner with us A.K.A., play chauffeur for the night.  He arrived about an hour later with Thai take-out.  As we sat down to dinner, he asked how I was feeling.  I smugly retorted that I was feeling better, but not as well as I could feel, had anyone mentioned to me prior to leaving for the office, that my shirt was disheveled and my shoes were mismatched.  My mother snickered and told me I needed to have a better sense of humor.  I excused myself from the the kitchen table to go to my bedroom and read an imaginary book.

 

Nov 11, 2014

I woke up this morning to a complete catastrophe in the living room.  My mother had rifled through my Mary Kay Fall Cosmetic collection and left it up to me to clean up after her little soiree.  I methodically put every eye shadow, blush, and lipstick back into my glamor kit, carefully noting everything she slathered on her face so that I could calculate her bill.  I have repeatedly informed her that my beauty-aid products are for my sales, not samples for her entertainment.

After I totaled everything, I tacked on an extra $100 to the bill, in order that I recoup some of my losses from the theft perpetrated against me.  I sent the sales receipt to her via email for documentation purposes.

I used the guise of Veteran’s Day to call Ethan Baker.  He is adjusting to life without his mother, but still sounded quite upset.   Despite my best attempts to lure him into a date with me, I was unable to get him to budge on his plans for the evening.  I have only a short two week period before he gets deployed back to Afghanistan.  I must pull out all the stops, if I am to romance him into my arms.

 

Nov 12th, 2014

I received a return email from my mother stating she needed an itemized receipt, showing exactly what beauty-aids she “bought” for $231.  She then requested I drop off the used Mary Kay cosmetics after work, so that she could compare the used make-up with the receipt.    Sensing perturbment in the tone of her email, I immediately responded that I would, as a favor to her, swap out all the make-up with which she experimented, with brand new, unopened shades for a total of $231.   Then I mentioned I would use the cosmetics she sampled for parties as testers.  She then retorted if I was going to use the makeup she sampled as testers for parties, then why make her pay?

I contemplated going home and damaging more eye shadows, blushes, and lip colors in order for her order to be worth the $231 I charged her before I decided to throw in the towel, fess up to an accounting error, and drop off the cosmetics she actually sampled, for a total of $131.   It seems that my mother has uncannily clear thinking for a world-class drunk.

After work, I gathered the products she sampled, threw them in a plastic bag and took a bus over to her house.  When I arrived, she had a bill for the Z-Pak she brought over to me.  I promised to pay her the next time I saw her, walked out the door, and shoved the slip into a neighbor’s mailbox.

On the bus ride home, I called Arthur.  Then I called Ethan.  Neither of them answered my call.  I spent the rest of the ride fuming about my smug mother.

 

Nov 13th, 2014

I woke up, yet again, to the realization that I missed an archery lesson due to stress and frustration with humankind.

I sat at my desk shivering for the better part of the day which soured my mood even further.  I swear, if I don’t get Expresso off the ground and running soon I’m going to I’m going to slide into a rapid decline.  I must get off this road to ruin.

 

Nov 14th, 2014

Another Expresso breakthrough!  Up until now, I had envisioned Expresso stickers that were sleek, innovative, and thrilling in design.  The phrasing, on the other hand, was basic and sensible.  I didn’t want drinker’s expressions to be convoluted with murky language.   It has always been my belief that the root of communication is clarity.  Because of this, I was content with, “I feel ________.”    I hadn’t considered anything more elegant or clever, that is, until today.

Today, I have created a rebirth of Expresso, an Expresso, that is for the more sophisticated coffee drinker.  The new phrasing is, “I drink, therefore I am __________”.  Yes! It’s a wonderful pun on Descartes’ philosophical statement, “Je pense, donc je suis; I think, therefore I am”.

The whole idea came to me, when, in a moment of boredom, I presupposed the statement, an unfinished sentence.  Perhaps Rene was a slow speaker, and what he really meant to say was, “I think, therefore I am sad”  or “I think therefore I am happy.”  Linking that thought with Expresso, was the next logical step.

I’m amazed that it has taken me up until this very moment to imagine this upgrade to Expresso, given the word sleuth that I am.

 

Nov 15th, 2014

Arthur called me early in the afternoon, wondering if I was available to see him tonight.  I instantly agreed, as I must occupy my time and mind with something other than Ohranj.  I admit, I’m still torn up over our Facebook correspondence, however I have resolved not to contact him or look at any of his social media until after he reaches out to me.  Waiting for him to establish a connection with me seems like an eternity.

I spent the latter part of the afternoon deleting the imposter Facebook accounts I used to pry into Ohranj’s latest fling.  Really, that was all for the best anyway.  I felt as though perfectly lovely strangers were beginning to fall for my jocular characters.

Arthur picked me up at 7 P.M.  He carefully walked up to my door, as before, but this time looked less odd, as it was snowing.  I dashed to the door, but then changed my pace after walking through the threshold, as I didn’t want to walk ahead, as though I thought I was better.  I was quite shocked to arrive to his car, which was a minivan.  He fully explained that he needed something that would adequately support his wine deliveries.

 

Nov 16th, 2014

I woke up with Arthur on my mind.  Can he be sneaking into my heart? I have to say, while I have been searching for someone with whom to share my life and dreams, I did not expect it to be anyone other than Ohranj.  But by simply opening my eyes and heart, I have found a true gentleman in Arthur.  I guess it’s true; love, like a butterfly, settles upon you when you least expect it.

 

Nov 17th, 2014

Arthur, Arthur, Arthur!  I can’t stop dreaming about his piercing azure eyes and his complex smile.   I after spending Sunday, carefully considering all of his aspects and attributes, I have fallen deeply in love.  Where to start?  His dashing good looks?  His winning personality?  His chivalrous tendencies?

Arthur is possibly the most well schooled man I have ever met.  When I earnestly asked about his favorite place in the world, his soul flowed about the exotic locations he’s visited and the amazing archeological sites he had the pleasure of viewing, but confessed that he’s most happy and content at the Sulzer public library.  He said he loves wandering through the stacks without regard, content to select whichever book is in front of him when his feet decide to stop moving.  He’s read, possibly, thousands of books.  While he is non-discriminate on what type of book he chooses, he acknowledged he reads history most often.

Despite all this time spent at the library, Arthur is not the least bit bookish.  His build, slender indeed, is muscular, even though he carries himself lightly.  I suspect a spectacular metabolism is to blame for his tone.  One would believe that if he worked out, he might walk at a slightly amped pace.  He did mention that he would love to arch with me which will indeed be a fine way to measure his athletic prowess.  I can almost imagine my arms around waist, holding his posture firm, while he fires his first arrow.  It will be a treasured moment.

I went to Facebook to find a way to express that a love is blossoming, without having to declare myself officially in a relationship.

 

Nov 18th, 2014

Getting to the office was abysmal today.  The temperature has fallen beyond what a human of my size and stature can stand.  Furthermore, all aspects of my winter wardrobe, from hat to boot, scream amateur.  My jacket is puffy, my hat knit, my boots purple.  My mother bought me an entire winter ensemble last Christmas and the only word that I can think of to describe the style is artless.   When I finally arrived to the office, freezing despite wearing my winter warmest, I peeked into the office, grabbed the key for the lady’s room, and then scrunched my jacket, hat, and boots into my archery bag.  After going to my desk I called the building’s maintenance team and requested they retrieve the bag and incinerate it.

I called Arthur to see if he was available to pick me up after work.  He didn’t return my call, so I was forced to ask the slender-fingered Eric to drive me to Macy’s in order that I select a proper winter ensemble.  All in, I spent over $600.  By the time I got home I had an absolutely vomitous feeling.  Leave it to my mother to give me a gift that ends up costing more than I have in the bank. I swear, no one but me would be out of pocket because of a gift.

 

Nov 19th, 2014

More unwelcome bad luck.  I took the train all the way to my archery lesson, only to find out the session I registered for expired last week!  I had no choice to play off my visit as an exploratory expedition for research into a book I’m writing.  I fear now that I will have to maintain this falsehood for weeks, if not months.  The only glimmer of hope is that the new session of archers are all simpletons; mostly soon to be hunters or young teenagers in love with the Hunger Games.  I’m hoping that they shall forget about my book proclamation before the holidays.

I called Arthur once in the afternoon and again in the evening but still haven’t heard as much as a peep out of him.  He did mention that he traveled significantly during the week, but I can’t imagine that excludes him from calling me or sending me a simple text.  His lack of attention these last couple days may tug my heart back into the abyss that used to be filled with intense love and pleasure, but as of late is lonely, cold, and filled with stone.

 

Nov 20th, 2014

I had to remind myself today that the road to success is bumpy.  I have focused much to much on men and money and not enough time refreshing my memory that by this time next year I will be richer than I ever imagined I could be.  Since September, when Expresso first entered my consciousness, I have grown ten fold.  I have a stylish new hair style and color, I developed and nurtured three major corporate dress codes (office attire, workout clothing, and outerwear), begun the thrilling art of archery, designed sleek and authoritative Expresso stickers, and brought the wording on the stickers to an elevated level.  When I look at myself even with a critical eye, I feel at peace.

I guess Thanksgiving has come a week early for me, which is really for the best, because the actual holiday will be a complete bust having to be forced to spend time with my undesirable family.

 

Nov 21st, 2014

I entered the office today with my head held high, in prideful spirits.  It’s much easier to enter in an agreeable mood, when you know that your days there are numbered.

I heard from Arthur, relatively early in the day where we agreed to meet at my house later that night.  Arthur suggested we stay in, and enjoy dinner and a movie, to which I was quite agreeable.  Arthur made it over around 7 P.M., and was exactly as expected.  He conversated under his usual guise of wonderment and eloquence and tenderly focused on me. But once we finished our delivery pizza and the movie commenced,  Arthur did the most despicable thing.    He strolled to my kitchen and after a couple minutes of scavenging through my cupboard and refrigerator, he waltzed back into the living room dipping huge stalks of celery into a disgusting amount of vinegar and oil.  I was completely repulsed, so much that I was forced to take a shower in order that I drown out the methodical crunching and acid stench.

I stayed in the shower longer than usual in order to ensure Arthur had finished the celery stalks he found in my fridge.  When I joined him again in the living room, he had disrobed and pulled out my Hide-A-Bed, clearly expressing his intentions of staying over night.  I insisted he, at the very least, swish and gurgle, but the damage was already done.   I tried to say good night and retire to my bedroom, but Arthur insisted I lie next to him on the pull-out.  I complied, but I was thinking about both Ohranj and Ethan before my eyes closed for the night.

 

Nov 22, 2014

I woke up in a complete fog this morning, having slept not more than an hour on my uncomfortable Hide-A-Bed with Arthur.  I was either busy defending my chastity or my share of the blankets the entire night.

Arthur on the other hand, when not groping at my body, slept like a baby and woke up with the vigor of a cheetah.  He rose, made both he and me a cup of coffee and whipped up a batch of bread pudding.  While the egg batter and bread was resting in the refrigerator he took a shower. Yes, blog, I thought he was getting altogether too comfortable in my house, however, I was willing to forgive both the celery incident and use of my shower because he was, after all, making me  delightful breakfast.  However, after he transferred the bread pudding casserole into my oven, Arthur, for all practical purposes, drove the first nail into our relationship coffin.   He logged on to Fitness Blender, an online workout site, and yoga-ed, thus ensuring our relationship over.

I have never been so disgusted this early in a relationship. First of all, he contorted his body into all sorts of indecent positions in nothing more than his boxer briefs.  His man parts were too snugly contained, forming a perfectly outlined portrait of what lied beneath.  And because his legs, arms, and chest were exposed, I was given the privilege of watching him tremble like a fawn just learning to walk. Secondly, while his face and body grimaced, little globules of sweat dripped into my carpet thus creating an ideal breeding ground for germs and other microscopic vermin.  As if that were not enough, he eventually developed a sweat stain that moistened his boxer briefs from the small of his back all the way down to his anus.  Lastly, all the while this was happening, he was grunting, groaning, and gasping like a Neanderthal would during coitus.  His post workout shower consisted of nothing more than drying off with one of my fine towels, then sitting down on one of my beloved kitchen chairs, while he refueled with water and the bread pudding.   He hadn’t even the decency to put on his pants.

He scuttled away shortly after, thus leaving me alone to start the vile task of spot cleaning both my carpet and chair.

I had always assumed that eventually I would become a master yogi, but frankly, after witnessing the carnal display that Arthur put on, I would sooner drink acid than practice yoga in public.

 

Nov 23rd, 2014

I woke up early and did my weekly shopping. My visit to CVS was rewarded with an ExtraBucks coupon, which I meticulously entered into my iCal notifications, using extra caution when checking the expiration date.  I shall not allow myself to be caught with my pants down at the cash register holding an invalid coupon ever again.

Tamar came over a little later and we lamented what I should do about Arthur.  On the one hand, there is no way our relationship can blossom further as his sweaty, awkward, flailing, almost-naked body has been forever seared into my memory, but I do not want to prematurely cut off contact as he could be a useful pawn in leveraging a relationship with either Ohranj or Ethan.  I let Tamar surf Arthur’s Facebook page and after much deliberation, she determined that I should continue with Arthur, but in order to keep things from progressing, I should only rendezvous with Arthur at group gatherings.  She then suggested we invite some of our nearest and dearest to a cocktail social on Wednesday night.  Our list of invitees included: Kennedy Johnson, Amanda Dahl, Adam Sousa, Ethan Baker, Ohranj Julius, and Arthur Knipp.   The plan is almost too perfect.  Now I simply have to find something desirable to wear while dangling myself in front of Ethan and Ohranj.

 

Nov 24th, 2014

The most tragic of events has happened!  After sending out an Evite to the cocktail social for this Wednesday, I received word back that Ethan Baker would be unable to attend as he, just like his mother, has been struck by an automobile.  I could hardly read through my tear filled eyes.  I asked Patrick in HR if there was any possible way I could leave the office in order to be by Ethan’s side, but he insisted that I wait until after 5 P.M., before I ran to aid my dear friend.  I sourly sat at my desk counting down the hours.  At 4:50pm, I scribed a note, outlining the amount of phone calls and visitors that came to the office since I was informed of the disastrous news and placed it on Patrick’s desk.  Phone calls: 0.  Visitors: 0.  I then gently reminded Patrick that time can pass up to five times more slowly when one is in the hospital and longing for comfort.

My poor Ethan is in rough shape.  Seeing him lying there suffering tied my stomach in such knots that my appetite was killed for the rest of the night.  I vowed to Ethan that I would visit every day, but the poor soul was so beaten that he was unable to have even the slightest of reactions.

I’m on the verge of transplanting the cocktail social to the hospital.

 

Nov 25th, 2014

I arrived to a menacing email from Patrick at the office today.  It read:

Iris –

Thank you for your note.  I made a copy of it and placed it on the desk of our CFO this morning.  We will take your input under consideration when budgeting for FY2015.  Please accept this email of official notice that your position is currently under evaluation for the upcoming year.

Best,

Patrick

I was sacked with rage!  Are we living in a world where one cannot put their thoughts down on paper without it becoming a perpetration against their livelihood? This was just one more cow chip to add to the muck that is backlogging my mind.   I’m beyond worried about Ethan’s health and I’m knee deep in hospital red tape as I’m doing my best to get the cocktail social that Tamar and I scheduled for Wednesday night moved to the ICU.  I have nothing to wear to said cocktail social and to top it all off, Ohranj has not even RSVP’d as of yet!  Does he know how extremely rude this is?

Obviously, after receiving Patrick’s email, I was in the absolute wrong state of mind to be retorting.  However, because of my high stress level, clarity eluded me.  I fired back an email in which I gave official notice of my intention to resign once Expresso was up and running.  Further I challenged Patrick to have fun filling the void with a more stylish and dedicated professional that doesn’t mind doing the job of both the receptionist and the dead office manager.

Now that I am at home, meditating in front of a candle and gently scratching my stomach, it has occured to me that I should have simply sent another note to be added to the CFO’s file which consisted of fabricated phone call and visitor statistics.  Thus tomorrow, I shall have to shlep to the office in the cold, send off the email I should have sent in the first place, and eat crow.  Thank god Thursday and Friday are work holidays.

 

Nov 26th, 2014

I was dreading going into the office today, but my meeting with Patrick turned out to be the most pivotal moment of my life to date. It was my intention to confess to Patrick that I believed I was still suffering from the sudden death of Jenny Baker and the email I sent to him was grief camouflaged in anger.  But to my great relief, he only wanted to talk about the new company I was starting, Expresso.  It was thrilling to share my new company with someone outside of my inner circle!  I admit, dear blog, that I even found myself picking Patrick’s brain about all things Human Resource for my new company.  He pressed me to clarify exactly when my last day would be, to see if perhaps there would be enough budget in FY2015 to keep me on board until I had planned to resign.  I informed him that at the latest, my last day would be April 1st.  The surge of emotion I felt upon speaking those words left my heart throbbing.

Patrick mentioned I would be free to leave the office a little early, since most would be out by 3 P.M.  I used that opportunity to purchase an alluring outfit for Tamar’s and my cocktail social.  I found a wonderful monochromatic blue suit skirt that I accessorized with a luxurious gold chain link necklace.  It was a bit pricey, but worth it, as today will be a celebrated day in the history of my success journey.  In fact, the cocktail social transformed into a congratulatory festival.  I was so intoxicated by sheer joy, that I hardly even noticed that Ethan and Ohranj were absent.

 

Nov 27th, 2014

Arthur and I woke up this morning on my Hide-A-Bed.  I was relieved to find myself still fully clothed in the blue skirt suit that I wore last night.   I hurried him out the door before he could start any kind of frenetic morning exercise routine.

After he kissed me good-bye, I excitedly took the bus over to my parents house to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I couldn’t wait to share the wonderful turn of events in my professional life with my mom, dad, and Maxine. However, my verve was quickly diffused, when after revealing my conversation with Patrick in HR, my mother openly snickered.  Her smugness momentarily transformed into sympathy so that she could gently reveal to me that she believed I had been outsmarted into quitting.  Then, just as quickly as before, her mood settled back into superciliousness.

I silently fumed while eating my Pesto Chicken.  Nothing is more ignoble to me than when the old bag gives me professional advice.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that she doesn’t even know how to turn on a laptop, much less how to negotiate her way through today’s fast-paced business world.

After dinner, Maxine and I were handed the odious task of cleaning the dishes while our parents snuggled on the couch with a bottle of wine.  Maxine complained about the current pinch in which she has placed herself.  Her latest boyfriend Ryan, whom apparently lived in the apartment above her, insisted she move to a building at least one train stop away if their relationship was to continue.  Like a dope, she complied and is now being pressed for rent from both landlords as she didn’t understand that she was obligated to pay rent at her old building, even if she wasn’t living there.  It is almost certain, that once Expresso is up and running, I will be assigned the task of permanent caretaker for my sister’s messed up affairs.

Eventually I grew tired and retreated to my old bedroom.  I haven’t the energy to take the bus back home.  Sleeping here shan’t be a complete loss however.  I will make good on the opportunity to get back at my mother by causally bringing up that Pesto Chicken is a completely inappropriate Thanksgiving meal tomorrow morning.

 

Nov 28th, 2014

Maxine woke up at the earliest possible hour to go shopping today.  Instead of tip toeing throughout the house while others slept, she stomped and clomped like an elephant that had just seen a mouse.  I sprung out of my bed after twenty minutes of restlessness, ran to the kitchen, and screamed for her to either take her shoes off or leave.  I was shocked to see my mother awake, pouring coffee into a travel mug, preparing to leave with her.  When did they plan this outing and why wasn’t I included?

 

Nov 29th, 2014

I waited all morning and afternoon for a call from my mother to invite me to go shopping with her before I decided to call Arthur.  I  had to clear my mind before I started scratching away my sorrow.  I never thought I would become estranged from anything or anyone, but here I am, unwelcome at work, unloved by Ohranj, and unwanted on family shopping excursions.

Arthur came over around 5 P.M., bearing a gift of chocolates.  I was so touched and moved by his compassion that I found myself a willing participant in his lovemaking dance.  I admit, his body soothed my tormented heart and I welcomed the warmth of his touch.  But afterwards, when we we lying together in my bed, I slumped back into my holiday blues.

Unable to tear myself away from Arthur’s pleasurable post-coital grasp, I was forced to reach for my iPhone in order to send my mother and sister a private message in which I pleaded with them to explain why I have been banished from their lives.  Normally, I would NEVER consider bringing any kind of electronics or battery operated device into my bed, but I had to make an exception due to my fragile state.

 

Nov 30th, 2014

I’m in absolute knots.  I cannot believe that I have allowed myself to sleep with a man other than Ohranj.   How will I ever justify this betrayal?  How will I ever be able to look at my one true love in the eye without being filled with shame?  I threw my sheets into the dumpster in the alley behind my apartment in order to forget my indiscretion, but it did no good.  All I could think about for the rest of the day was that I belonged in that dumpster too and if I were truly lucky, the garbage removal truck would crush me sooner rather than later in order that I become a permanent fixture in a vast wasteland of trash and feces.

 

Dec 1st, 2014

My departure was the headline at the office today.  Eric was first in line to congratulate me.  Thank god I am only five short months away from never having to set eyes on his featherweight witch-like fingers again.

I took a break from any kind of Facebook and/or social media activities.  I fear that the internet somehow knows that I was unchaste and any kind of online browsing for pleasure will betray my confidence.

 

Dec 2nd, 2014

I spent the morning justifying my sexual actions with Arthur.  Coming to the full realization that I have slept with someone other than Ohranj was a meaningful first step.  After acceptance, I forgave myself, as I cannot live a life torturing myself, especially when Ohranj is finding comfort in the arms of the despicable Christy.  I have decided to move forward, however more cautiously.   I vowed to be chaste and selective with whom I decide to share my lust but in the mean time, see no harm in being with anyone that is already on my short list of lovers.

After work, my mother swung by my apartment in order to resolutely maintain that she was not playing favorites between Maxine and I on Black Friday. However, not long after we sat down to coffee, she fawned over my newly-found fashion sense.  In order to prove that I could not be complimented into forgiveness, I ominously warned her that playing favorites can have far-reaching negative effects on children and I then slowly scratched my face.  To this she retorted with a deep sigh and then suggested we put together a nice new look for her on New Year’s Eve.  I whipped out my Mary Kay shades all the while mentioning that a flawless face began with a vigorous anti-aging and correction routine.  She bought the most advanced package of creams and serum for $200.

While I have decided to let sleeping dogs lie on the topic of Black Friday, I’m certain her purchase was a direct result of the guilt and shame she feels over Friday’s incident.

 

Dec 3rd, 2014

After work, I visited Ethan Baker.  He is getting stronger and stronger and is predicted to be moved out of the ICU tomorrow.  The best report, however, is that his tragic accident will keep him from being sent back to Afghanistan for a minimum of 3 months.  I admit, I was overcome with emotion upon hearing this news and let tears of joy flow from my eyes.  Could I have such luck that our relationship be given a real chance?

 

 Dec, 4th, 2014

Ethan Baker quizzed me today about the “other Iris” that works at my office.  At first, I assumed he was delirious from the painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs currently being administered, so I politely smiled and assured him over and over that I was the only Iris.  But then, he was able to quote a phrase I muttered to his mother after she was hit by a car with complete clarity.  He inquired, “Are you the Iris that told my mother that some people just lack the respect and common sense needed in order to safely cross the street?”

I vividly remember when I said that to Jenny.  It was right after she was barking orders at me on how to do her job while she was laid-up.  I’m sure she conveniently forgot to mention that part of the conversation to Ethan or that when she was struck by a car, she was probably texting on her iPhone.  Obviously his mother unabashedly badmouthed me to anyone that would listen.

I pleaded ignorance to Ethan and I believe he bought it, but certainly more revelations will come to light.  Jenny and I had a tumultuous relationship and its entirely evident that the old grouch was incapable of telling whole truths when it came to me.  If I have any hope to win Ethan’s love and affection, I will have to find a better, more plausible explanation as to why there was an Iris in the office in which his mother was not at all fond and how it was that I had forgotten about her when earlier inquired.

It’s amazing how much Jenny Baker continues to add stress to my life, even when six feet under.

 

Dec 5th, 2014

I went over my Christmas budget while at work today and I fear I have much less spending money than anticipated.  I telephoned the gym and requested they reimburse me the club dues for October, November, and December, pleading that I have been suffering from a rare disorder in which I’m unable to correctly chronicle time.  I whimpered that had I been able to mentally grasp how much time had passed since my last workout, I surely would have cancelled my membership.  They were dead set against any kind of a refund.

This soured my mood for the rest of the day and I wanted nothing more than to go home early.  However, given that I am out of sick, personal, and vacation days until the end of the year, I sat grumpily at my desk.  I admit, my temper got the best of me and for no reason, other than to be grating, I chastised Patrick from HR when he strode by my desk. I couldn’t help but ask him whether or not he believed our company offered the proper amount of grief counseling in order that the coworkers Jenny left behind properly cope.

I didn’t hear from Arthur at all today.  I found this to be a bit usual.  Could he be the type of unfeeling person that takes advantage of a young woman’s purity and flees?  Up until now, he has never acted the slightest amount dastardly.

 

Dec 6th, 2014

I sat around my apartment today trying to brainstorm anything to get for my parents and sister for Christmas.  Even though I’m not able to afford to buy anything just yet, I decided that I would purchase an antique globe for my father, a spectacular necklace for my mother, and a Ninja blender for my sister.  I further decided that I would make chocolate peanut butter balls for Ethan Baker and Tamar.  Arthur would be receiving a gift certificate at Everest for our dining pleasure, if, that is, I ever hear from him again.

I scoured the internet looking for any kind of evidence as to who, where, or what is keeping Arthur from contacting me.  My search divulged just one clue:  He has not posted anything on social media since Sunday.  If he is trying build an elaborate rouse in order to elude me, he has succeeded. I decided that I shall wait at least one more day before I start any kind of character assassination or smear campaign.

I read an update on Facebook that Ethan Baker has moved out of the ICU.  I am a bundle of nerves about visiting him again.  What else has his dead mother disclosed about our turbulent relationship to him and just how extreme were her exaggerations?  Did she go so far as to create deliberate falsehoods?

 

Dec 7th, 2014

I abruptly received the worst possible news about Arthur this morning.  At approximately 8 A.M., I was awakened by an excessive pounding on my door.  I quickly sprang out of bed and sprinted to the door as I thought perhaps the intense pounding was Ohranj, delirious to win me back.  I was floored when I opened the door as saw four agitated Chicago police officers.   Three of the officers rushed in, searching high and low for a one Ronnie Welchel, while the one remaining held me in the foyer.  I insisted I had no idea who Ronnie Welchel was, however, my cries went unheard until after a search of the apartment was complete.  When the officers calmed, they showed me a mug shot of a man with Arthur’s face, but Ronnie Welchel’s name, causing me to faint into the arms of the nearest agent.

Arthur Knipp, or Ronnie Welchel,  it seems, is a world-class thief.  He was never the gentle, well-read, wine salesman as he portrayed, but rather an armed robber that participated in crimes ranging from carjacking to extortion.  The authorities were able to track him to my home through my IP address, since he used my laptop when he logged into Fitness Blender.

I’m so sick with worry that I can hardly think straight.  If anyone were ever to find out that I dated and have had sexual relations with a fugitive, Expresso may be destroyed.  Even the tiniest blemish on a CEO’s reputation can have disastrous effects that last well into the future.

Furthermore, I’m nervous as a cat that I may develop Stockholm Syndrome given my open and generous heart.  While my number one priority is Expresso, Stockholm Syndrome is no more controllable than an untreated cancer growing within your body.  I asked the detectives if they could send an officer and therapist from the special victims unit, however, they rebuffed my request, insisting the SVU only gets called in when people such as I have actually been victimized.  By this logic, I suppose they wouldn’t want to send anyone over to help Elizabeth Smart cope either.

 

Dec 8th, 2014

After careful thought and consideration, I have decided that I am going to give Ohranj Expresso stickers for Christmas.  While I’m still raw about over our last correspondence, I would forever regret Ohranj not being the first to receive the wonderful stickers.  It seems short-sighted to slight the man that was my best friend and lover during all of my teenaged years, who will almost certainly be my husband, simply because we were on a hiatus at the same time that I was on the precipice of great wealth and success.  I simply can’t imagine having to explain to our children and grandchildren why he wasn’t the one to post the first Expresso selfie ever.

While I don’t have the wonderful little adhesives ready for mass distribution, I figured I could get something together for Ohranj, even if it is “hello, my name is” introductory stickers with hand written “I think therefore I am ________” scrawled on top.

I’m grateful that I found out the truth about Arthur, or Ronnie, before Christmas.  I would have simply died if the first person to post an Expresso selfie was a deceptive, repugnant evildoer.

 

Dec 9th, 2014

I looked around the office to see if I could find anything that could be used as Expresso stickers for Ohranj’s Christmas present.  I found some old mailing labels for #10 envelopes in the copy room.  With just a little more digging, I uncovered some shipping labels, that were a bit bigger and more square in shape.  I sat and weighed the pros and cons of each label before coming to the following conclusion:  The mailing labels with the more rectangular shape were more desirable than that of the square. If placed lengthwise on a coffee cup, they are perfectly readable when taking a sip.  The mailing label also had rounded corners, which I found to be more pleasing than the pointed corners of the  squarer shipping labels. While the square labels cover a larger area, allowing users to be bolder in their Expresso statements, I find them to be a bit ostentatious.  If having a sleek, stylish wardrobe has taught me anything, it is that simple and minimal always look more professional.

Prototyping Expresso stickers has almost left me with more questions than answers.  For example, coffee drinkers come in many ages and tastes.  While professionals will want a sharp, timeless shape adhesive, hipsters might prefer a non-traditional shape, such as a star.  Further, I hadn’t previously taken into consideration that Starbucks brand coffees have sleeves.  This is a major obstacle which I must engineer my way around.

All these new revelations have me wondering, “Should I get a same-gender mentor?”

 

Dec 10th, 2014

We drew names for the office holiday gift exchange today.  I selected Michael Schmidt’s name out of the stocking cap.  I must think long and hard about what to get him, since any gift that I give will likely be telling of both who I am and how I perceive my co-workers.  I want to ensure that I select a gift that is professional, thrilling, and just slightly above our set budget.   I pray that Mitch Fordam our CEO has drawn my name.  Every year, he gets his lucky recipient a gift well above what is expected.

After work, I mustered up enough bravery to go visit Ethan Baker.  I’m still apprehensive to visit him, full of worry on what his mother might have falsely divulged about my character.  Luckily, he was sleeping when I arrived.  I left a hand-written note, explaining that I stopped by but preferred not to interrupt his much needed rest.   Small little notes are wonderful ways to make someone feel special and might serve nicely in my favor.  I thought about going down to the gift shop and buying him a get-well plant, but thought I better not press my luck, lest he awaken during my delivery.

 

Dec 11th, 2014

Arthur was apprehended by the authorities and his picture was splashed on the cover of the Sun-Times and Tribune.  I received calls and private messages from just about all of my Facebook friends inquiring about the publications.  If not for the brown paper bag I kept handy at my desk, I would have hyper ventilated three or four times today.  I am absolutely mortified.

What will the mean for Expresso?  I feel the company of my dreams collapsing right in front of my very eyes.

 

Dec 12th, 2014

Tamar invited me to her company’s holiday party tonight.  I have been feeling very blue and Tamar thought a night out where no one knew about Arthur and me was just what the doctor ordered.  I leapt at the chance to attend.  I chose to wear a lovely floor length gown and matching jacket to impress the advertising experts that would be in attendance.

After we arrived, I asked Tamar to quickly scan the room and point out the CEO.  She said that her company didn’t have a CEO, per se, but that the owner was standing right outside of the men’s room.  I asked his name, which was William.  I then kissed Tamar on the cheek and made a prompt  B-line towards William.  I introduced myself, carefully revealing that I was on the precipice of launching a new product and was hoping to discuss the fine art of persuasion.  If I want the sales of Expresso to thrive, I must ensure proper and effective marketing execution.

William said, “Well, I guess it’s the right mix of the needs of your buyers and the specifics of their personas, isn’t it?  You have already identified these specifics for your product, haven’t you?”

I chortled and exclaimed, “Of course!”

I then quickly changed the subject to the holiday party.  I didn’t want to let on that had I not completed the above mentioned task.  After a couple pleasantries, I went to the ladies room and looked up “personas”  in my pocket dictionary, in case I ran into William again.  The word was excluded.

While I had hoped to glean as much information about marketing as I could at the party, I chose to leave early.   All of the creative types were smoking marijuana, which made me uncomfortable.  I understand that some like to throw caution to the wind, but I normally show restraint when it comes to cannabis.  A case of the munchies is a very real thing, and I didn’t want to unnecessarily eat due to a contact high.

 

Dec 13th, 2014

I had a long night of tossing and turning over the definition of “persona”.  I wanted nothing more than to jump out of bed, find out what a persona was, and then get to work on Expresso’s personas.  However, I was confined to my warm bed since my apartment has been dreadfully cold as of late.  I admit, my mind wandered to the warmth I felt with Arthur.

I finally willed myself out of bed at 7 A.M., immediately googled, and discovered that a persona is the specific gender, age, profession, title, education level, shopping habits, and reason for purchase of the identifiable groups of people who buy your products.  Anyone that is looking to corner the market with their product, must know this information for the different groups that make up the majority of their buyers.  After much thought and consideration, I decided that I am lucky enough to have invented a product that in and of itself is a form of viral marketing, thus excluding me from the daunting task of profiling everyone in the world.

 

Dec 14th, 2014

I took a chance and visited Ethan Baker today.  He was in absolute tears.  He expressed a deep sadness of entering the holiday season without his mother.  It was a true test of my spirit and patience to sit and listen to him talk lovingly about the old sorehead.   I tried to sway the conversation to Afghanistan, but that only exaggerated his mood.  The extent of his injuries are such that he may never be deployed back to his beloved combat position.  He feels as though he has let down his comrades, his superior officers, and his country.  I assured him that neither United States civilians nor military would ever think such things, but he was inconsolable.

I stayed in his room and held his dear hand for hours, until he fell into a deep sleep.  I tiptoed out and vowed to return every day.

I must admit, I am quite disappointed in myself.  I cringe when I think I left that poor soul alone to dwell in pain while I sat wondering whether or not he had misgivings about me.  I swear, instead of a moral compass I need a self-image compass.

 

Dec 15th, 2014

I’m in a complete panic.  Two Chicago police detectives came to my office today in order to discuss Ronnie Welchel aka, Arthur Knipp.   I had thought that Arthur was a fugitive, on the lam from crimes of yesteryear.  However, I have been informed that he was an active criminal during our brief courtship!  The detectives wanted to know every detail about our relationship.  Without thinking, I told them that I would have to go through my blog to refresh my memory.  Their eyes immediately came to life and they insisted that I print out all pages.  I pleaded with the officers to allow me to first launch my company, but they we unwavering in their request.

After the detectives left, I sprinted to the offices of our media relations manager, Alex Clark, and corporate lawyer, Cristina Hernandez, in order to discuss representation.  I promised if they helped me now that I would be forever in debt and ensured them employment at Expresso, once up and running.  They both declined despite my ocean-sized tears.

I am horrified.  If “The Secret of Success” is entered into evidence, without doubt, a lowly, unscrupulous charlatan will steal my idea.  I MUST find a way to ensure that Expresso remains a closely guarded secret.  I hope and pray that tomorrow Alex and Cristina will have better news for me.  If they don’t agree to help me, I don’t know what I will do.  Hiring a PR team at this point is financially out of the question and trying to find a lawyer that will work pro bono will be exhausting.

I went to visit Ethan Baker, but cut my visit short.   Even on my best day, I can only endure so much of his never-ending diatribe about his glorious mother.  On a day like today, sustaining a false warmness towards Jenny was virtually impossible.

 

Dec 16th, 2014

Today, in a bold maneuver, I posted the following to my Facebook page.  I cannot run from my past and despite the humiliation I feel now, I know that in admitting to the public my relationship with Arthur, I will emerge victorious.  I shall not remain silent and allow my future to crumble!

“Dear Friends, Acquaintances, and Family,

As many of you know, I have recently been associated with a man named Arthur Knipp.  To my shock and horror, I learned this repugnant man is and was a participant in organized crime.  His real name is Ronnie Welchel.   I would like to assure each and every one of you that if this reputed mobster had ever been the least bit honest with me, I would have had nothing to do with him short of turning him over to the proper authorities.  I promise I knew nothing about his background, character, or criminal record.

Like all strong women, I too shall overcome the harsh sting of deception with grace and dignity, while earning back your trust.  I promise that given the chance I shall live up to the hard-earned reputation that I enjoyed prior to meeting Mr. Welchel.  I have always believed that both good and truth prevail.  Please, I beg of each of you to open your heart and minds enough to allow the facts of this case be aired, before judging me on my current and future endeavors, whether it be personal or professional.   Many CEO’s of highly successful companies have been persecuted, deceived, and fallen victim to evildoers and I pray that the public keeps this in mind, should I ever find myself the head of a Fortune 500 corporation.

Lastly, I would like to thank the hard work of the Chicago Police Department that have worked so hard to keep evildoers off the streets, keeping our city, women, and children safe.

Please, I implore all of you to share this post.

With great admiration and respect,

Iris Elizabeth Cutter”

 

Dec 17th, 2014

I can’t believe Christmas is only a week away.  I looked into both my finances and the prices of the gifts I have decided to give and am flabbergasted.  Is the price of anything reasonable anymore??

The wonderful gifts I had planned on purchasing for my parents, sister, Tamar, and Ethan are at a much higher premium than I had anticipated.   Hence I have made the following improvisations. Instead of getting my father an antique globe to add to his collection, I have purchased a package of drink coasters with vintage globe adornments.  Rather than a Ninja Blender for my sister, I am going to give her a self-made holiday fruit basket.  I can use a wonderful cask that was delivered to our office and then buy her oranges, apples, and pears from the grocery store.  Tamar and Ethan will still receive homemade chocolate covered peanut butter balls, but I will have to find an alternate container solution.

A gift to get my mother is the biggest conundrum.  I feel like jewelry is harder to find at a low-cost.  I will most likely have to get her something other than a stylish bracelet or timeless earrings.  The question is, “What does an old, drunk, washed-up actress really want?”

 

Dec 18th, 2014

Cristina Hernandez walked up to my desk today and advised that I should take down the post to my Facebook page regarding my relationship with Ronnie Welchel.  She mentioned that I should not be publicly posting anything about an on-going criminal investigation.  Sure, NOW she wants to give me legal advice.

 

Dec 19th, 2014

I’m counting down the days in which I have before I can return to calling in sick to work again. January 1st cannot come soon enough.  If I don’t have a complete week free of “j’obligations”, I shall go mad.

I’m still racking my mind for any gift within the proper price range for my mother.  Perhaps I should simply go to the pound and bring home a filthy, disease infested, beast to go with her current mangy pet, Iffy?

 

Dec 20, 2014

My sister Maxine came over to my apartment today begging me to go Christmas shopping with her.  She was desperate to find a decadent gift for her boyfriend. She dragged me out in the cold for hours while she went back and forth between watches, colognes, golf accessories, and alcohol flasks.  Listening to her drivel on about the minutiae of each gift was nothing short of sheer torture.   When I suggested that she would not find a more thrilling gift than archery lessons, she scoffed and said she should have just asked our mother.  I’m not in the least bit surprised.  Both have the uncanny knack of falling short on taste when it comes to the finer things in life.

After shopping I was too drained to do anything else with what was left of my day.  I sat at home, turned on the television and used the new luxury back scratching device that I secretly bought while at a one of the countless masculine boutiques that Maxine and I visited.  Why it has taken me all these years to discover this glorious, life-altering tool is beyond all logic.

 

Dec 21st, 2014

I visited Ethan Baker today.  I admit, going to the hospital, even to see someone in which I greatly care, has become mundane and humdrum.   In an effort to invigorate my holiday spirit, I wandered down to the children’s ward, hoping that there would be some sort of deviation from the norm, if not merriment.

Oh, dear blog, the juvenile patients were nothing short of miraculous! Seeing their bright shining faces was truly inspiring and brought me to tears many times during my visit.  I made a pledge to each and every child that all would have a job waiting for them at Expresso, if they so desired to be part of one of the most influential companies in the world.  In exchange for their employment, they simply had to promise a speedy recovery.   With these youngsters on board, Expresso will fly higher than even I dared to previously dream.

My visit with the children immediately squelched my seasonal affective disorder.   I was able to return home and complete the odious task of doing my laundry as well as get cracking on my famous holiday peanut butter balls.  And to think, just this morning there was a fleeting moment in which I thought I might not distribute the much beloved treats this Christmas.

 

Dec 22nd, 2014

Today was our holiday gift exchange at the office and like a imbecile, I had forgotten to buy something for my recipient, Michael Schmidt.  I had toyed with the idea of dumping some of the office M&M’s into a gift bag, before I decided to briefly sneak out of the office to get him something more substantial.  I rushed to the nearest Starbucks where I purchased a lovely mug.  The irony of the gift was not lost on me.  However, given that I only had a pinch of time, I had to overlook the fact that ceramic mugs were a direct competitor with Expresso and buy him the trinket.

Michael seemed mildly touched by my purchase.  Apparently gift cards are the new black.

I received a copy of the movie, “A Christmas Story”.  Upon opening the DVD, I immediately broke down and sobbed as watching this holiday classic was a cherished annual event between Ohranj and I.

 

Dec 23rd, 2014

I slothfully traveled to the office today.  Our office was just as frigid as the outside temperature.  I did everything humanly possible to keep myself warm, including frequenting the break room every fifteen minutes in order to plunge my frosty hands into a bath of hot water.  I swear they keep the temperature in the office at a tepid 65 degrees just to save a couple of bucks.

After noon, I walked around our empty office and daydreamed that it was Expresso’s corporate headquarters, inspiring me to ponder the layout and design.  I want Expresso to be a place that both invigorates and empowers my employees.  I definitely do not want to my staff to feel the same lack of enthusiasm that plagues me every time I set foot into this office.   Between the beige walls, grey cubicles and the energy-saving motion detection lights, the office to which I drag myself, day in and day out, resembles a dungeon for white-collar clones.  The drab colors non-verbally scream, “Leave your creativity and individuality at the door!”  The shade I select to adorn the walls of Expresso will be a direct reflection on who I am as a CEO and a woman.  Hence, I need to select a color that is feminine, powerful, refreshing, sensitive, and mysterious.  Right off the bat, I thought a nice gold would be the perfect choice.  Although one of the boldest colors, it is also a metallic neutral, thus ensuring a complementary pairing with anything that I might be wearing.

After work, I briefly went to visit Ethan Baker, which proved fruitful as the gift shop at the hospital was selling delightful little holiday boxes, perfect containers for the much anticipated yearly peanut butter balls I made.

 

Dec 24th, 2014

The crotchety nurses at the hospital refused to allow me to handout the chocolate covered peanut butter balls I made for the sick children today.  They went on and on about health concerns around foods that were not manufactured or packaged in establishments that adhered to strict health codes.  While I was not agreeable, I didn’t object.  When I was growing up, I always detested that my mother kept the cat box litter in our kitchen.  I believe that I suffered through several bouts of Toxoplasmosis during my childhood because of this.  While I am thorough in my cleanliness and sterility, I understand that there are many others that are oblivious to common sense and decency surrounding food preparation.

Ethan and Tamar, however, were overjoyed to receive the treats.  When visiting Ethan, I mindfully included in my purse, the DVD of “A Christmas Story” which we played shortly after he opened his sweets.  I took Ethan’s hand in mine as we silently viewed the wonderful holiday tale, which eventually evolved into me gently caressing his forearm.  He did not pull away once.  My heart was racing when I left the hospital, so much so, that I almost forgot to put together my Expresso stickers for Ohranj.

 

Dec 25th, 2014

I woke up this Christmas morn, made myself a cup of coffee and leisurely scratched my back while I waited for my father to pick me up for the Cutter family Christmas celebration.  I vowed to myself to make today a treasured day, rather than partake in any kind of self-pitying or wallowing activities over not sharing this special day with Ohranj or the Julius family.  I promised to use all avenues of self-delusion, self-soothing, even, if necessary, self-scratching in order to stay happy.  When my father arrived to pick me up, I decided to announce to him that I had a new boyfriend.  Without missing a beat, he asked if I had done a background check.  I did not find this the least bit amusing, but stuck to my promise.

As usual, the Cutter household was in complete disarray when my father and I arrived.  My mother waited for the last possible moment to decorate our house with festive garlands and holiday lights.  A quick scan of the house showed haphazardly placed, half-emptied, musty boxes, tangled lights, and mangled wreaths and tinsel.  I suppose it made no difference, given that Maxine still opens her gifts with a fury that resembles a dog trying to unlodge a plastic container from her head. I, on the other hand, open gifts with the class and dignity of an aristocrat.  I’m always careful not to tear or lacerate the wrapping paper, no matter how eager I am to find out what’s lurking inside.

Amid all this chaos, I admit, I found a moment of complete joy.  I received the best present for which I could have hoped!  My mother and father bought me arching lessons at an indoor bow range.  I was truly surprised that they were able to get a gift that was exactly what I wanted.  I can only assume that Maxine mentioned this gift to my parents from our shopping experience a week or so ago.  I’m shocked that she was able to take my comment about archery being a great gift for any man and translate it into, “That would be a  great gift for Iris”, given Maxine is incapable of thinking or forming judgements through a process of logic.  In addition to the lessons, I received a photo album, a scented candle, warm socks, and a birthday fortune book from Maxine.  The gifts I gave to my family, coasters to my father, a fruit basket for Maxine, and a gift certificate for my mother at a wine and painting facility, Paint Misbehavin’, were all warmly received.

My jolly Christmas officially ended, when my mother’s treasured beast, Iffy, got a hold of her Christmas cake.  This set off a chain reaction of organic horrors in the house, including, but not limited to, hyperactivity, diarrhea, and uncontrollable vomiting.  I retreated to my bedroom and posted the following note on my door, “Do not enter or disturb for any cause, explanation, or justification of personal wants/needs.”  I was deathly afraid I was going to have to scrub clean a stain, or even worse, Iffy.  While I could hear my father’s low-pitched swearing, I populated my birthday fortune book with the birthdays of the most near and dear people in my life.

 

Dec 26th, 2014

I decided to stay at my parents house for an additional day.  I didn’t want to return home to my empty apartment and think about Ohranj all day.  Since Iffy was now weakened, he could cause no real harm or disorder.  Further, from the smell of the house, it was obvious that every square inch had been showered with bleach, easing my mind from thinking that I would be stricken with any kind of E-Coli infection.

In the spirit of the holidays, I decided that I would prepare the family’s lunch which required a visit to the Jewel grocery store.  The excursion was most disappointing.  The store did not carry Natural Ovens bread, Bulls-Eye barbeque sauce, or Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit.  I couldn’t help but notice that there were over fifteen varieties of Pepperidge Farm loaves,  ten kinds of KC Masterpiece barbeque sauces, and five types of chili spice packages by McCormick.  Is the world coming to a point in which only snobbish, over-priced grocery chains carry the exquisite brands that I have come to know and trust?

 

Dec 27th, 2014

I pleaded with my father to give me a ride home today.  He was insistent that since I hadn’t more than a gift bag size load of gifts that the bus would suffice.  Maxine said she would take the bus with me, squelching any chance that my father would get off his lazy ass and drive me.  While walking to the bus stop, she confided to me that she has been officially served with eviction papers from her old landlord.  She whined that if the ruling wasn’t in her favor (and it won’t be) she would not only have a tarnish her credit, but also be ordered to payout the previous and current month’s rent, totaling over $1600. I feel incredibly lucky that I wasn’t inflicted with the foolish, impractical, and senseless reasoning that plagues my sister.

After I arrived home, I spent the remainder of the evening researching the meaning of different colors for Expresso’s office walls.  A firm grasp on color psychology is needed if I am to design an office of free thinking and energized employees.

 

Dec 28th, 2014

I am, in all sincerity, growing largely concerned over not having anyone or anything to share my New Year’s Eve.  Are none of my high school or college friends having a gathering?  I haven’t even heard as much as a peep out of Tamar and her plans.  Does she know something I don’t?  Has the awful Christy Calm tarnished my name and reputation with deliberate falsehoods in order that I be shunned?

I can only remember one other time in my life where I was not included in a New Year’s Eve celebration.  I was during my second year at college.   I attended a local campus and had fallen in with an uppity crowd.  I admit I was insecure.   In an effort to impress my newly found pompous friends I falsely revealed that my parents house was actually my home, which I was able to purchase through lucrative investing at the tender age of five.  I humbly disclosed that in my maiden voyage into the stock market, I selected to invest in AOL, which thrust me into an obscene amount of money.  This little white lie, quickly grew out of control, as the spoiled brats insisted we have parties at my abode every weekend.  I tried to devise ways for my parents and Maxine to leave the house but it was of no use.  They were constantly home, foiling my charade.  However, the nail in my “I’m rich” coffin was hammered in by Neil Shepard, when he announced at our Winter Formal that AOL was not publically traded until 1991, when we all would have been 7 years old.  I was humiliated and speechless.  I tearfully pleaded for forgiveness, but not a single one of the toffee-nosed snobs ever had anything else to do with me.  I spent New Year’s Eve in my bedroom, scratching myself into a bloody mess while the rest of the world celebrated.

I’m petrified that I may have to re-live that experience in just three short days.   I pray that tomorrow, Tamar reveals that she has plans for the both of us.

 

Dec 29th, 2014

Only one more day of work before I can start to use sick, personal, and vacation days!  I can finally see light  at the end of what seemed like a never ending tunnel.

What’s even better news is that I will not be alone on New Year’s Eve as I have decided to be with Ethan Baker until the clock strikes midnight!  I can’t believe I was up all night tossing and turning over being alone on New Year’s Eve and it never once dawned on me that I should be with Ethan.

I can only attribute this complete lapse of reason and sanity to not being with Ohranj during this holiday season.  I wrote the following note to myself and delicately placed it into my purse:  “Even a year or two is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity.”  Now, any time I feel myself slipping into melancholy, for any reason, I shall read this note, reminding myself that soon, Ohranj and I will be together again.    In the meantime, I see no harm in entertaining other suitors.

 

Dec 30th, 2014

Today, after emerging from the shower, I noticed that my Adam’s apple is notably large.  Upon recognition of this freakish deformity, I instantly googled, “engorged Adam’s apple in women.”  Conditions from hypothyroidism to cancer to glandular disease arose, sending me into a complete tailspin.  Even as I type, I feel faint.  I drank over 5 glasses of Throat Coat tea and still see no shrinkage in my neck.

I called my mother and laid into her barbarian animal and his Christmas day antics.  I’m certain that disgusting stain on mankind has likely weakened my immune system with some sort of lower gastrointestinal canine malady, thus paving the way for this dormant disease to blossom.  To make matters worse, my mom had absolutely no sympathy for me.  Instead of rushing over to my apartment to stroke my hair and cradle me in her arms, she blankly asked, “Are you done?” when I finished explaining that any decent and reasonable person would agree that Iffy should be euthanized.

This will absolutely put a crimp in my new years eve plans with Ethan.  I cannot possibly visit him in good conscience.  I turned to Facebook, to see if there were any parties for me to attend, since this will possibly be my last New Year’s Eve ever.

When I layed down to bed, I prayed for God to take mercy on me, and make my last year of my life peaceful and as pain free as possible.

 

Dec 31st, 2014

I called Tamar today and insisted she come over and measure my laryngeal prominence.  The protuberance is 2 inches wide!   Tamar insisted it looked usual, however, it’s so large and distracting that it looks as though I ate a sweet potato whole and it has permanently lodged itself into my throat.  I rummaged through my closet, desperately searching for turtlenecks, scarves, and gaudy necklaces in order to hide my disfigurement, but I found nothing.  When I started dressing for success in October, I pared down my wardrobe to the essentials, i.e., suit separates, collared silk blouses, and fitted t-shirts.   Now, on New Year’s Eve, I find myself with absolutely nothing to wear.

Luckily, I remembered Tamar had a burgundy A-line wool dress with a polo neck.  I pleaded with her to zip home and return with it.  She complied, so I quickly pushed her out the door to retrieve the frock.   While she was out, I laid out my blue suit skirt, the one I purchased for my Thanksgiving cocktail social, as a gesture of gratitude. I scrawled out a quick  thank you note and delicately placed it on top.  If I had known how long it was going to take for her to get back to my apartment, I would not have gushed with quite the amount of appreciation as the note expressed.

After I dressed, Tamar and I drank the gin and tonic I had in my house and I then tagged along with her to a party in the Wicker Park neighborhood.  I had a wonderful time and met many proper men.  However, I was careful not to lead anyone on since I didn’t want to unmask the horrendous bulb in my neck.

 

Jan 1st, 2015

Finally it’s 2015!

As usual, I have made a list of New Year’s resolutions.

1.  I will do everything in my power to ensure that next year, at this time, I have a quality significant other.  My heart is rooting for Ohranj, but I will keep an open heart and mind in case another wickedly handsome, intelligent, loving, caring, and supportive man comes along.  However, due to the fact that I am now suffering from disfigurement, I truly doubt that I have a shot with anyone other than Ohranj.

2.  I will stop at nothing to make Expresso a reality.

3.  I will become a masterful archer.

4.  I will not, under any circumstances scratch my skin, unless I have a genuine itch.

Upon completion of my list, I went into my bedroom and buried the back scratcher I secretly bought while holiday shopping into the dark annals of my closet.  I then went to CVS and bought a lovely, sentimental holiday card for Ohranj.  I realize that I am an iota late but honestly, I felt it was best he experience the Christmas holiday without me.  As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder and that is exponentially true around the holidays.

I arrived back home and put together an elegantly wrapped package for Ohranj, which included both the card and my prototype Expresso stickers which I started to work on last week.  I went through the whole package of mailing labels before I was somewhat contented with the design and artistry.  There was only so much I could do with Sharpies and Avery mailing labels. However, I admit, I felt euphoric when I completed the labels.  I can’t even imagine how drunk with pleasure I will feel when, instead of handwritten stickers, I have thrilling, digitally printed adhesives.

I joyfully photographed the very first Expresso stickers with the highest quality setting on my camera.  I want this day to remain a  treasured, vivid memory for all time.   When Expresso opens it’s first office, I will first and foremost, transform this picture into a significantly sized poster for all to view.  Using a high amount of pixels will ensure that not even the smallest amount of clarity is lost.

 

Jan 2nd, 2015

I woke up early and prepared to call in sick to work.  Even though I am entitled to an unscheduled day of leisure to mend, I knew that Patrick in HR would have serious reservations as to whether or not I was truly ill.   Because of this, I tactfully planned an artfully executed phone call.  First, I called in 30 minutes past my usual wake-up time.  I feigned a morning shower and whimpered that I tried everything possible in order to muster the strength needed to trek to the office.  Secondly, I was extremely specific about the lump in my throat as any kind of uncertainly in the description of my ailment was certain to raise Patrick’s suspicions.   I mentioned that I was suffering from a two-inch mass, directly below my chin, that contained a vertical, centrally located indentation, that almost caused the protrusion to look as though it contained two separate hemispheres. Lastly, I assured Patrick that I would be seeking medical attention and would be in contact with the results as soon as I knew anything.  I was quick to add that even though it could be cancer, he should pray that it is something as benign as a thyroid nodule.

I admit, I disguised my voice as to that of a woman suffering from the sorest of throats.  I assumed that Patrick would have no clear understanding that just because my ailment resides in my neck area, it does not necessarily include a scratchy throat.

I feel liberated, now that I have vacation, sick, and personal days back in my queue.  Losing control over my weekdays was truly like looking into an abyss of family emergencies, intolerable illnesses, and severe bouts of self-loathing all spent behind a desk of never ending visitors and phone calls.  I swear, these last few months had me on the brink of a mental breakdown.  I can’t imagine the number of panic attacks I would have had today, had I been required to go to work with this hideous lump.

 

Jan 3rd, 2015

I finally made it to the CVS minute clinic for a thorough examination of my neck and the clod nurse practitioner said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my Adam’s apple.   She openly admitted that she failed to identify any kind of unusual swelling, puffiness, or protuberance, yet was unafraid to diagnose me as healthy.  I cannot for the life of me understand how it is that she had any confidence to give me a clean bill of health, when she couldn’t even recognize a tumor the size of Texas.   I asked her for a note expressing that I had visited and then huffed out of her office.

Th only positive that came out of my visit was that on my way out, I stopped for an orange juice and was rewarded with a $5.50 extra value bucks coupon.

I can hardly believe that I have to wait until Monday to visit a real M.D. for an educated diagnosis of my laryngeal prominence.  I had no choice but to dig out my back scratcher, troll Ohranj’s movements on Facebook, and examine my throat with an eagle’s eye.  I did call Ethan Baker, revealing to him that I was still unable to visit without a clear diagnosis of my health, but the call lasted, at most, one minute.  Then it was back to my uncontrollable worry.

 

Jan 4th, 2015

Today, I visited Ethan Baker, despite having no answers on what is ailing my Adam’s apple.  Inflicting further illness on Ethan is the last thing that I would want, however, he sounded desperate for a visit.  The poor thing has been laid up in the hospital since November and while I believe he had many family visitors at Christmas, he is quite alone.  He has explained many times that his closest friends are all in Afghanistan and he longs for companionship.   I agreed, but only on the condition that his doctor provided clearance.  I would be less than truthful if I didn’t admit that it had crossed my mind that I may finally get a reliable diagnosis on the hideous growth under my chin.

When I arrived at the hospital, I immediately ran to the nurses station and requested a quick conference with Ethan’s doctor.  After careful examination, both the doctor and nurse agreed that they could see no lump or unusual protuberance in my throat.  I was floored that I got the same response as I got at the Minute Clinic.

I turned into Ethan’s room and pressed him for his thoughts.  He told me, “It’s the same size it always is.”

Have I been obtuse to this deformity for months now?  For years?  How long have I been living with this disgusting mannish mound in my throat and why did it take until now for me to notice? To what other absolutely frightening part of my being am I blithely unaware?

 

Jan 5th, 2015

Panic struck around 5 A.M.  My mind was swirling with anxiety and self-doubt.   I sprung to my book shelves, whipped out my old photo albums and paid special attention to the size of my larynx in each and every picture.  Because I have always been meticulous in documenting my photographs, I was able to pinpoint the exact time in which my Adam’s apple catapulted to obscenity.   It was during my sophomore year of high school.  There is was, clear as day, sticking out like a mountaintop.  As I thumbed through the years, I noticed its undeniable presence plaguing almost all my photographs, while I naively smiled.  Furthermore, after introspection, I had no choice but to logically jump to the conclusion that my abnormally large voice box must be producing an unusually deep, masculine voice.  Yet another fact that has eluded my attention up until now.

After two hours of rifling through pictures, I showered and got ready for work.  Upon arriving at the office, I immediately turned on the phone system’s weekday auto-attendant and sat in silence.  I needed a good uninterrupted hour or two, to focus on self-realization and actualization.  I thought it best to call the one person I knew that could give me an honest, unbiased evaluation, my father.

Don Cutter, a theatre professor at DePaul University has for years, given my mother scathing criticisms over her performances and in preparation for her auditions.  One of the sorest days in the Cutter household was when my father muttered the words, “I can’t imagine your play is any better than your scene work.”  My mother, in a rage, shredded every image in her wedding album, trashed the bed she and my father shared, and moved back into her mother’s house.  She vowed never to forgive my father.  However, when the reviews of her performance hit the newsstands, she realized my father’s critique, though cold, was dead-on and she should have pressed him for further clarification.   She moved back in before the terrible play closed, about 2 weeks later.

If I am to be the CEO of one of the most influential companies in the world, I must be aware of all my shortcomings.  I rang my father and asked for his earnest and honest opinion on my quirks and nuances.

Without as much as a breath, he blurted, as if he had been carefully considering his answer for months, “You get crazy when you are PMS-y.  You’re very angry.  You say, “you know what I mean”, when no one could possibly know what you mean, and you fart in your sleep.  Is that enough?”

I pursed my lips and gently hung up the phone without so much as a good-bye.

 

Jan 6th, 2015

My indoor archery lessons started tonight.  I arrived at the field house with my head and stomach swirling.  I was nervous about meeting a new coach and quite anxious to observe the other archer’s the level of skill.  Never before had I been so terrified of my own proficiency.  When I started my arching sojourn, I was nothing more than a novice entrepreneur looking to busy myself with the arts and crafts of a leader.  But now, I am truly a budding CEO.  I have created the first Expresso prototypes, scheduled my last day of employment at my current company, and am knee-deep in color psychology and interpretation in order that the design of my corporate headquarters be inspiring and invigorating for my employees.  I admit, I often find myself terrified of my abilities and limitations and fear that a failure in any aspect of success, whether it be effective office management or arching, will soil my net worth.

But after meeting Teagan, the instructor, inner strength flooded my body and soul.   His authoritative demeanor was soothing.  As I pulled back my bow, he reminded me that I was a warrior in training and that my target was not just a wooden base loaded with straw and colorful markings.  The bullseye was my mortal enemy and in order to survive, I must strike with a confidence that rivaled Ares.  I never arched with such purpose or clarity.  All I had to do was imagine my father’s head in front of my target and release.

Mark my words, Don Cutter shall regret the day he tore into the spiritual part of my being.

 

Jan 7th, 2015

I woke up this morning with a pain in my neck and back, so debilitating, that I was tempted to crawl to the hospital, rip out the morphine drip that has been lodged into Ethan Baker’s arm for the last month and a half, and plunge it into my own veins.  I had forgotten how taxing archery can can be on even the strongest of bodies.  I barely had the strength to lift my arm high enough to reach for the useless Advil, which was inconveniently mounted on the top shelf of my medicine cabinet.   I fear the only amnesty I may have from this intense misery is death.

I entered the office a complete mess, unable to properly style my hair, put on make-up, or choose proper attire.  Unfortunately a power wardrobe consists of many sheath dresses, i.e, up-the-back zippers.  Even with the assistance of a wire hanger, fully closing my dress was nothing more than a dream.  I was forced to wear an over-sized sweatshirt as it was the only thing I could slide on my body with minimal movement of my arms.

Luckily, the slender-fingered Eric took mercy on me and brought me hot soup for lunch, twice slathered a muscle analgesic on my shoulders, and even gave me a ride home after work.  His niceties would have been treasured moments, if not for his scrawny, fleshless fingers.

Once at home, I lounged the best I could with a heating pad nestled underneath my neck and back.   I held my phone as loosely as possible and took close-up pictures of my Adam’s apple for examination, until my mind meandered to the subject of Ohranj.  I wondered what he was doing while pining for his sweet touch and caress.  I decided to private message him to inquire if he had received the gift package I sent.  As of 10 P.M., I had not heard back, thus forcing me to again toss and turn over my father’s thoughtless, heartless, remarks regarding my personality.

 

Jan 8th, 2015

After several nights of soul-searching, I have concluded that my father’s critique was a harsh joke played by an aloof man with a callous sense of humor.  I can say for certain that I am not an angry person; an angry person would have at minimum, retaliated against his remarks.  Nor do I ever, ever, lay or cut fart while sleeping.  The very thought that my father would even have knowledge of my nocturnal behavior is farcical, having always slept at home with my door tightly closed.

I am sickened that I lost even a minute of sleep over our ludicrous conversation.

I still have not heard from Ohranj, but with a little sleuthing was able to ascertain that he has in fact, received my Christmas card and Expresso stickers.  I’m absolutely dying for him to finally post his selfie!

 

Jan 9th, 2015

Today, I received the best news possible.   Ethan Baker, the strong and mighty soldier who has been laid up for the last month and a half will finally be heading home from the hospital.  Even though his future in the military is still unclear, he shared with me a happiness and enthusiasm that I have not witnessed since his injury.

While I do share in his excitement, I do worry about him in the outside world.  The psychological impact one may suffer when struck by a moving car is not to be underestimated.  I fear he may never again be able to take a leisurely stroll without the worry of death, disfigurement, or mutilation.

 

Jan 10th, 2015

The morning proved quite busy.  I hurriedly prepared for Ethan Baker’s release from the hospital.  I trudged through the snow to the Jewel grocery store, as I wanted to ensure that I had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  When Ethan visits me, and I suspect he will be a regular guest, I want to have the most nourishing food to help heal his mending body.

After visiting the Jewel, I made my way over to the CVS.  I packed my basket with vitamins and minerals, bacitracin pain-relieving and cleansing spray,  topical steroid cream, gauze, and medical tape.  I never thought I would say this, but my disgusting, self-mutilating scratching tick may prove beneficial:  I am well versed on nursing skin abrasions I will possibly be the most apt at tending to Ethan’s epidermal wounds.

While there, I also purchased two tubes of coconut and honey lip balm.  I see no harm in making certain that my lips are kissably soft.  Thanks to the extra value bucks coupon I received last week, the soothing glosses were practically free.

At the hospital, I first visited the children’s wing.  I vehemently reminded the youngsters that in a blink of an eye, they too would be free from their injury and disease.  I only wish that I had Expresso business cards to hand out to the sickly adolescents.  When I first visited the children’s wing, I made a solemn oath to all that they would have employment waiting for them at Expresso, once they reached adulthood and I wanted to make certain all were able to contact me.  Instead I had to repeat “Expresso” over and over, until the children were able to recite my company name back to me, without hesitation.

Ethan was packed and ready for wheeling once I arrived to his room.  I took a quick snapshot of him and his father as they rolled out of the quarters in which Ethan spent the last month and a half.  Once they exited, I did a quick scan.  It would be extremely easy to forget one of the many books, cards, or other trinkets that Ethan stored in his makeshift home and without a doubt, any left-behinds would be forever lost to the pockets of an unscrupulous staffer.

 

Jan 11th, 2015

I invited Ethan Baker over to my apartment for a most special dinner tonight.  I insisted that as his dear friend, it was not only my duty, but also pleasure to make certain that he was properly provided the necessary food and care for health.  As feared, he was hesitant to venture out of his house, into the same traffic that practically drove him to the grave.  I was understanding, but gently reminded him that the fruits and vegetables in my refrigerator would not last longer than two or three days.

Later in the day, I scoured the internet to find any kind of evidence that Ohranj used my Expresso stickers.  My search came up empty.  It was then that I realized that I neglected to include a Starbucks gift card in my care package! Surely Ohranj had not posted his first selfie because he was miffed that he had to buy his own coffee!  I was humiliated at my error.  I ran to the nearest Starbucks, got a $25 gift card, and promptly sent it to Ohranj with a note of apology as well as detailed instructions on how to use the Expresso stickers.

 

Jan 12th, 2015

I received another visit from the Chicago Police today.  I sincerely wish that they would stop calling on me at my place of employment, however I understand that there is a certain caution they must take in order to protect my safety.  After all, Arthur may very well have some underling staking out my apartment or tapping my phone lines.  I have explained in great detail that I know nothing further than what I have already confessed, yet, still they continue to check and double check my story.  I’m slightly disquieted that the officers may be methodically examining whether I might be a good candidate to perform in an undercover operation.  Such as it is, I’m extremely trustworthy and can be quite cunning.

I jumped on social media to find out if Ohranj received my Starbucks gift card, carelessly forgetting that yesterday was Sunday and mail pick up would not register my card in their queue until today.

 

Jan 13th, 2015

$3062.56!  That is the amount I currently owe Mary Kay Cosmetics for my advance purchases!  I’m in outright tangles!  How am I ever going to be able to square this debt?  I immediately called my sales director sobbing.  She assured me that if I tried with just a little more gusto, I could easily convert my inventory into cash.  But I have right-minded reservations.  I’m on the brink of opening my own company and I simply do not have the cycles to sequester my time with frankly, a provisional business.  I do not know what to do or where to turn.  How I wish I had never dreamed of living a life where I helped every woman live up to her full beauty potential!

I can’t help but think, had I not been so mentally bruised, battered, and baked before archery, I could have possibly shone as one of the best and brightest pupils.  Instead, I displayed a complete mockery of both the sport of archery and myself as a bowman.

 

Jan 14th, 2015

I’m absolutely horrified!  The hideous Christy Calm has been the first to post an Expresso!  I am absolutely livid with Ohranj over this betrayal in trust.  I don’t even know where to start, dear blog, I am just so full of rancor, contempt, disillusionment, heartache, and sorrow.  It is truly unfair that one should have to suffer all these feelings at once.  Even now, as I type, my fingertips quiver with the vigor of a polygraph hooked up to Richard Nixon.

It all started after I logged into my Facebook page and encountered Christy’s smug, lopsided smile, next to my darling sticker.  I let out a blood-curdling scream, which was followed by frenzied breathing and intense facial scratching.  When my co-workers ran to my desk, filled with fear about my well-being, I was practically lifeless.  I swear, had there been cyanide poison within my reach, I would have drunk the toxin with pleasure.

Slumped in my chair and unable to articulate words, I could only point to the devastating picture of Christy, her eyes piercing through my heart, with a dear message that read, “I think therefore I am LOVED BY OHRANJ!  I wished my tears were filled with tar, in order that a blackness as dark as pitch, would cloud my vision for the rest of my days and enable me to imagine a world where the first ever Expresso was posted by Ohranj with a message of “I think therefore I’m in love with Iris.”

I threw on my stylish winter coat and started to head out the door.  I had absolutely no choice, but to return home in order to drink copious amounts of liquor. This is most anguish I have ever felt.  Nothing, absolutely nothing is sacred to Christy.  No doubt, she even bought her coffee with the gift card that I purchased for Ohranj.

All I could do once I arrived home was sit in front of my computer and wait for my Expresso idea to spread like an opiate in the bloodstream with Christy’s detestable face.

 

Jan 15th, 2015

The devastation of yesterday’s events has left me only a shell of a human.  I tried with all my power and might to find a reason to live but have come up empty-handed.  I have  confined to the trash all of my color research, cleared from my computer’s cache all of the wholesale sticker websites in which I have visited, and expelled from my mind all things Expresso.   A loathesome picture of a hideous person is all that is left of what was once an idea of great beauty.

I tried to make Ethan Baker a nutritious dinner, but could only muster the amount of strength and energy it took to take a short walk to my freezer, pull out a frozen entree, and deliver it to his house, unthawed.

 

Jan 16th, 2015

I took the bus over to my parents house after work today, seeking comfort from the harsh reality in which I’m currently living.  My mother had some kind of insignificant audition for which she was preparing, hence keeping her from mending my broken spirits even in the slightest amount.  I had no choice but to turn to my father for comfort.  I was apprehensive, but desperate.  I hoped against hope he would offer words of encouragement and sympathy, despite not having a compassionate bone in his body.

I thoroughly explained to him how Christy and Ohranj had violated me and my company.  Their betrayal had me struggling over whether or not I should even continue down my road to success. I confessed that I secretly hoped that one day, Expresso would be included in the Smithsonian and a pop-culture icon.  I couldn’t bear the thought that, when the quintessential American museum came calling, I would have to share with them the very first Expresso picture, which would be the detestable Christy.   I was absolutely torn on whether or not I should move forward.   Turning my back on Expresso now would jeopardize my future; moving forward would immortalize a classless hog.

After a careful roll of his eyes, he pondered whether or not I was correctly focused.  He suggested that, instead of concentrating on the end of Expresso or the hurt I was feeling, I should ask myself, with complete honestly, whether or not the first person to post an Expresso was truly important.  He suggested that I take some time to think long and hard about my life and the obstacles in which I have already had to overcome.  He further pressed me to think about the curve balls that life could throw my way and recommended that I compare those with my current situation.  “Only then”, he said, “can I decide if this is a true emergency.”

I took the bus back home and thought long and hard about my life.  Upon arriving back home, I deduced, that, in fact, yes, this is a true emergency and yes, situation is dire.

 

Jan 17th, 2015

It seemed almost impossible to get out of bed this morning.  If not for Tamar’s insistence that I join her for a flick, I doubt I would have done anything with the day.  Tamar and I have a made a great promise, a life long pact, in which we must see all Oscar nominated films prior to the commencement of the wonderful award show.  Then, we make our own predictions and join each other for informed, lively commentary on Oscar night.

We decided to view a showing of an Oscar nominated film,  “Birdman”.   I left the movie with serious concerns over Emma Stone’s weight.  There was a time while watching,  in which I felt extreme hunger pains just looking at her frame.   Further, at some point, I became spellbound, imagining a harsh, accented-man standing over her with a whip, closely monitoring her daily caloric intake and workout regimen.  Before I knew it, over fifteen minutes of celluloid passed through the lens of the projector, leaving me somewhat befuddled in the story.  Is she suffering off the screen?  Should I write her a brief, yet compassionate note?

 

Jan 18th, 2015

I spent most of the day trying to get used to the idea of being nothing more than a receptionist and Mary Kay beauty consultant for the rest of my life.  I decided to slowly walk to the library in order to check out The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, as it appears as though I will be a laborer rather than part of the upper echelon as I had once hoped and dreamed.

 

Jan 19th, 2015

Another Monday.  I spent the morning on the train thinking about what it is that I’m going to do with the rest of my life.  I simply cannot surmise an existence in which I’m nothing more than a common denizen wandering the internet in search of new and creative ways to get people to buy more make-up, all the while sitting at a desk where I instruct visitors and guests on how to arrive at a lavatory so that they may free themselves from the muck that was produced from the previous night’s Chinese take-out.

I admit dear blog, that there was a point that I thought I should simply check myself into one of those designer rehab clinics intended to cure affluent individuals from their prescription addictions.  At least there, I could enjoy warm weather, long walks on beaches, and psychological treatment, all the while seeking out a suitable mate in which to spend the rest of my days.

While, I do not want to dwell on the situation, I must admit, I have brought my scratching habit to a whole other level.  I believe that CVS must think that I am a reseller of topical steroid cream as I have bought the ointment by over eight imperial gallons.

 

Jan 20th, 2015

I must find a way to stop perpetually yearning to go back to a time when Expresso was pure!  My constant craving is causing me to be a world class nuisance.  Just today, I almost killed Teagan, my archery instructor with a rogue arrow.  I was absolutely horrified!  It all started when the air horn which alarms the archers to put down their bows sounded.  The horn only goes off for one reason: Someone has entered the target zone.  Not two seconds after the alarm had warbled, without thinking, I loaded my bow, looked at my target, and let my arrow fly right into the very place in which Teagan stood.  I had no excuse as to why I had just unleashed unabashed fury into the target zone, so I did the first thing that came to my mind and feigned a seizure.

I violently convulsed on the floor, until I could hear the commotion surrounding me turning from “Iris, you foolish clod” to “Oh my God, something is wrong with Iris!”   After gaining a clear understanding that my health issue was overshadowing my blunder, I suddenly stopped my shaking and opened my eyes.  With a light trembling in my hands, I felt my forehead and asked very quietly, ‘What happened?”  I lied on the floor, until Teagen hovered over me and then I gently asked him to hold me, in order that he could feel the shiver that I conjured throughout my whole body.  At some point, I whimpered for a ride home, in which Teagan obliged.  I was as frail and fragile as possible.

After I returned home, I manically looked up seizures and what may cause them on the internet in order that when I return to arch next Tuesday, I can give the entire class an accurate and detailed report on the state of my health.

 

Jan 21st, 2015

Maxine called me tonight irate and screaming.  I could barely make out anything she was saying, other than her insistence to know where I was.  I told her that I did not respond to obnoxious, juvenile peremptory requests especially when dictated by a loathsome scourge that was four years my junior.  I then callously hung up the phone so that I could relax with the bowl of popcorn that I had just made for dinner.

It didn’t dawn on me, until 10 P.M.,  that it was my mother’s birthday.  I immediately texted Maxine inquiring as to why it was that she either didn’t remind me earlier in the day or call me repeatedly after our short call.  She immediately texted me back, spewing lies, intent that she had told me it was my mother’s birthday dinner.  I had no choice but to insist that my mother, father, and Maxine all stop over at my place for a nightcap.

I dashed around the house, looking for anything to make the place look festive.  Finding only toilet paper, I did the best I could to stream the rolls along my curtains, lamp shades and chandelier, without tearing it at the perforations.  Before I knew it, they were all at the house, ready to celebrate, giving me absolutely no time to hide my Mary Kay cosmetics, which I had intended on selling back to Mary Kay.

My mother and Maxine partied until the break of dawn.  I dread finding out how many of the cosmetics they have opened for their own personal tester party tomorrow morning.

 

Jan 22nd, 2015

As expected, my mother and Maxine tested enough make-up to fully decorate the faces of entire cast of Cats for two months or more.  I looked around my living area, helpless, knowing full well that I had no possible avenues of recouping the money.  First of all, Maxine had absolutely no money in which to purchase the cosmetics.  Secondly, if I brought up pricing with my mother, she would easily trump my complaint with feeble and petulant whining about forgetting her birthday.  I had no choice but to accept defeat.  This time.

 

Jan 23rd, 2015

As if things couldn’t get any worse!  Truly, I cannot imagine how heinous a life must get before one is allowed to go mad.  When I arrived home from the office, my mother and Maxine ambushed me with the following news:  I would be housing my sister until she could get her finances in order!  I was completely flabbergasted!

While I was gone to work for the day, Maxine and my mother had a little heart to heart, in which Maxine informed my mother that she was desperate for money.  After her former landlord, to which she is still obligated to pay rent threatened to evict her last month, she came to a resolution in her mind to pay her old landlord half a month’s payment and her new landlord the same.  Now, instead of being in deep with one tenancy, she is in over her head with two.  Maxine’s logic completely befuddles me!

My mother, apparently on the phone throughout the day with both landlords, was able to relieve Maxine from her obligations as of February 28th, in both tenancies.  However, the stipulation with her former landlord was that she must immediately pay all rent due through February 28th, and with the latter, that she must vacate the premises before the end of the weekend as well as pay the total amount of rent due.  I swear the saga with Maxine never ends!

I jumped to call my father when my mother grabbed the phone from my hands.  She insisted that my father must not know that my mother was fronting Maxine for the debt nor that she was on the verge of being evicted.  I slowly put the phone down, but not before my mother and I exchanged a look of understanding and agreement that the price for my secrecy was not available without charge.

 

Jan 24th, 2015

I spent the day labeling all of my groceries, hair products, and clothes, lest Maxine try to abscond or claim ownership on my belongings.  I used sticky notes on my groceries and hair jellies and creams, but my clothes took a bit more time to label as I used safety pins.  I didn’t want to spoil any of my delicate frocks with a snagged thread or unsightly little holes, so I needed to attach my name tags to zippers and interior tags.  I still must try to figure out a way to separate our dishes.  I absolutely refuse to allow her access to unlimited plates, cups, pots, and pans.  If she is given the opportunity,  I guarantee her soiled dishes will pile up higher than her debt, leaving me the vile task of washing her spit-soaked serving platters and flatware.

I put all my money, credit cards, and Mark Kay cosmetics into a locked piece of luggage and then hid it under my bed.

 

Jan 25th, 2015

My mother arrived at my house at 8 A.M. this morning.  She brought with her three cups of coffee from Starbucks, adding serious insult to injury.  I wanted to slam the door in her face, however she was able to wedge her toes between the door and jamb before I could bring my entrance to complete closure.

She was jovial.  In my opinion, too jovial,  as if her brilliant mood was going to make me feel any better about the violation she orchestrated against my home and privacy. She insisted her cherry disposition was due to having both of her girls living under the same roof, providing us a wonderful opportunity to become best friends.  However, I suspect she must have taken some sort of mood stimulant.  She was even able to snicker after I told her to “put a sock in it.”

We sat in my living room sipping our coffee for about 5 minutes before Maxine called to advise us that the movers were on their way to my house.  Yes, as ludicrious as it sounds, my mother provided Maxine a way to move with luxury and ease.  Does she even understand how delicate I feel in this situation and that every smile, helping hand, and provision of lavish moving assistance drives me closer and closer to the brink?

I can’t imagine it’s going to take more than a week before I reach my breaking point.

 

Jan 26th, 2015

I decided to treat myself to an over-sized slice of Hawaiian pizza for lunch today.  I truly believe that there is no finer a delicacy than Canadian bacon and pineapple on a perfectly crusted pizza and there is a wonderful little pizza stand, Luigi’s, three blocks from my office.  I waited in line for close to ten minutes to receive my slice, only to find I had no form of payment once I reached the cashier.  I had forgotten that I hid all my credit cards under my bed, away from Maxine’s grubby paws.

I was truly humiliated.  I can’t imagine ever going back to Luigi’s and I thirst for their Hawaiian slices.

 

Jan 27th, 2015

Maxine needlessly woke me up 3 times last night.  Once to ask for my address for Chinese delivery, once to ask how to use the remote control for the television, and finally, to ask for more bedding as she couldn’t find hers and she was freezing.  I told her that if she woke me up one more time, I would not think twice about throwing her out into the street to fend for herself.

Her antics left me so tired and weak that arching was impossible.  I wrote a very pleasant email to Teagan describing my fatigue.  He replied with a heartfelt apology and further inquired with great concern about my overall health due to the fact that I feigned a seizure during last week’s class.  Armed with knowledge of seizures since last week’s epileptic fit forgery,  I was quick to respond.  I explained that my joints and muscles were still quite sore and while my initial EEG showed some abnormality in my left temporal lobe, my neurologist was generally unconcerned.

I also mentioned that my short term-memory was suffering and that if I had inadvertently missed a date or special event in which he invited me, I would have most likely forgotten.  I feel it is always savvy to encourage people that I am receptive to polite, formal, and friendly requests to go somewhere or do something.

Once I arrived home, I realized that I made a grave mistake not attending class.  My home has been taken over by a lazy, slovenly, good-for-nothing twit.

 

Jan 28th, 2015

I invited Ethan Baker over to my house for a delicious and nutritious dinner tonight and he happily accepted.  I spent most of the day menu planning in order that I provide to him the most nourishing and healing of meals.  After an extended and frankly, useless call to Johns Hopkins hospital in order to get the best qualified advice on what I should prepare for my cherished friend, I finally settled on preparing chicken and whole-grain rice.  I hadn’t a clue whether or not this meal would be helpful to his well-being, so I decided that I would fortify his meal by serving the protein and fiber with a multivitamin.

I rushed from work to the grocery store and then to my house in order that I start cooking.  When I arrived home, Maxine was lying on her inflatable mattress.  It didn’t look like she left her lair all day, save to take the time to haphazardly sling her skivvies and pizza boxes throughout my living area.  I screamed at her to clean up her mess.  She responded with a roll of her eyes, although she begrudgingly rounded up her belongings and hid them in my hope chest.   If not for the fact that Ethan Baker is most likely clamoring for my affection, I would have properly cancelled the dinner as I’m sure that Maxine has brought many unsavory bacteria and fungi in with her belongings.

Ethan arrived at 7 P.M. sharp.  He looked confident and laid back.  He wore a pair of hip, yet sophisticated dark navy jeans and a soft, lavender v-neck sweater.  His boots, albeit, I little on the informal side were forgiven as there was snow on the ground.  I imagine he is very delicate and worried about improper traction.  I couldn’t agree more.  I would be absolutely mortified if he further mangled his already distressed body just because he felt he had to appeal to my superior fashion sense with a pair of leather loafers.  I gave him a very European hug and kiss on the cheek when he arrived.  I’m not sure if it was my imagination, but I believe he held me longer than a simple embrace between friends.  His touch gave me shivers through my body as I walked to my kitchen to check on the chicken.

Maxine, of course, quickly introduced herself and invited Ethan into the living room, where I’m sure she bored him to tears.  I did the best I could to save Ethan from her intolerable conversation, but I admit that I found myself unable to focus on the food and keep Ethan entertained from all the way across my apartment.

When dinner was served, Ethan and I had a very lovely time despite Maxine.  We laughed and carried on, just like we had been life-long companions.   There was even a magical moment where we completed each others sentence.  I had been extolling the healing properties of herbal teas, when I mentioned that the tea we were drinking had, in my opinion, too much…And that’s when we both blurted out in unison, “Cinnamon!”  It was one of the most exciting and intoxicating moments of my life.

The dinner must have done a world of good for Ethan as he lingered until the early A.M. hours.  Could the romance that I dreamed would happen between the two of us finally be blooming?  I feel asleep with visions of the life we could share as each others heart’s desires.

 

Jan 29th, 2015

I have been walking on air all day, dreaming about the romance blossoming between Ethan Baker and me.  I had a silly little day dream, that was so vivid, I nearly missed my train stop on my way home from work.   I imagined us, hand and hand, while walking down Michigan Avenue in the summertime.  We were both stylishly dressed.  I, in a wonderful monochromatic, shantung, boat neck dress.   He, perfectly groomed, in lightweight chinos and a tailored beige jacket.   Ethan stopped me in front of Tiffany’s, and peered into the window at the diamond rings.

“Let’s go in and buy one for you.”  he whispered.

Then, Ethan caught a glimpse of his facial scars in the sun-soaked window.  He turned to me with tears in his eyes.  He couldn’t believe that a woman like me was able to see through the deep trauma to his face and love him anyway.  His sentiment moved me.

I proclaimed, “Ethan, you must know how attracted I am to your scars.  Truly, your face is thrilling.  You are my lion and I your lioness.”

To this, he pulled my deep into his arms and kissed me.  Our embrace, so tight, yet tender lasted for minutes while the world kept spinning around us.  I was dizzy with lust.

It wasn’t until the train’s loudspeaker announced the doors would be closing that I was awakened out of my reverie.  I made a dash and was able to just make it through the exit.

To think, Maxine could have interrupted our budding passion with her unpalatable behavior the previous night.  She refused to retreat to my bedroom to give Ethan and I privacy, invited herself to our food, talked incessantly about Chinese good luck charms and lip balm ingredients, all the while with food spilling out of her mouth.  If she had ruined my chances, I would have never forgiven her!

 

Jan 30th, 2015

I was shocked and horrified when I returned home from work today and found Maxine and Ethan Baker sitting on her filthy inflatable mattress watching television!  Judging by the empty Coke cans and Snickers wrappers strewn around the bed, it appeared as though he had been there for hours!  All I could do was stand in my entryway, politely smile, and then announce that I needed the two to keep it down for the next couple hours as I would be preparing for a date with a distinguished gentleman.  I then ran to my bedroom and prepared a barrage of written questions to ask Maxine after Ethan left.

1.  How did she get his number?

2. How long had he been at my apartment?

3. Has she forgotten that she already has a boyfriend?

4. Did she kiss him and if so what other lewd acts did they perform on or with each other?

5. What were her plans for moving out?

While writing my interrogation, Maxine and Ethan slithered out of the apartment like snakes in the grass.  I waited (in vain) for hours for Maxine to return.

My mother thought I was crazy for labeling all my belongings and hiding my credit cards and money, but clearly, anything, even a dear friend, that Maxine sees as mine, she immediately confiscates and claims as her own!

Jan 31st, 2015

Maxine didn’t arrive back at the apartment until 10 A.M. this morning.   She knocked on my bedroom door, peeked in and then offered me one of the vanilla lattes in her hands.  My emotions were disheveled and raging, but I asked her to sit.  I absolutely could not banish her from my bedroom until she divulged every lurid detail of her night with Ethan Baker.

Maxine dove into her story with preposterous detail after preposterous detail.  I had to painfully listen to how Ethan told her that he never met anyone as amazing as her and that for the first time since his mother died has he truly felt happy.  Has he forgotten about all the times we shared at the hospital when he was laid up?  Or when we watched A Christmas Story with my hand on his arm?  What did he expect?  Fireworks and joviality while he was high on Demerol and OxyContin?  Also, what’s so amazing about sharing soup?

But truly, the most devastating detail was that they shared each others love in the form of sex last night.  I had an absolutely vomitous feeling in my stomach.  I tried not to imagine how wonderful that must have been, but Maxine couldn’t stop using words such as tender, strong, and sensual.

I had a small shred of hope that Ethan would come sprinting over to my apartment, imploring me to forgive his grave mistake; the cogitation that Ethan wanted so badly for last night to be shared with me, that when he heard that I had a date with a distinguished gentleman, he went mad with jealousy.  But all feeling of expectation and desire were dashed when Maxine confessed that Ethan was currently in our living room.  When she finished changing her clothes, they were going to set off to the Art Institute to look at the armor.

 

Feb 1st, 2015

The gods must be inhumane.  Ethan Baker came over to my apartment early this morning to visit Maxine.  They made mention that they were going to travel over to his house to watch the Super Bowl, but before they could trot away,  snow started to fall at a rigorous rate.   Within a blink of an eye, a day that I had dedicated to watching Oscar movies with Tamar became a day in which I was locked up in the trysting arena of two garish lovers.

A lesser person would have orchestrated a highly technical string of questions which would have fooled Maxine into admitting that she currently has another boyfriend.   Instead, while they obscenely snuggled in front of the television, I decided to call the slender-fingered Eric from my office and ooh and ahh over every word he muttered.

 

Feb 2nd, 2015

Yesterday’s blizzard has snowbound the entire city.  Most offices and businesses are closed.  Ethan Baker, unable to walk through the snow due to his broken hip and femur, is now permanent house guest until our streets become plowed and his father can pick him up.  And of course, Maxine, has no reason to leave since she has no job or motivation.  Hence, I’m trapped in a receptacle of filth in every sense of the word!

Filth definition number one: Disgusting dirt.

The living room couldn’t have any more candy wrappers, soda cans, or empty delivery containers than what is currently strewn in it.  I swear neither Maxine nor Ethan have ever heard of a garbage can!  Further, it seems as though Maxine is so territorial that she is marking her lair by spreading her dirty laundry over every square inch of the living room.  When she moved in, I set a clothes hamper behind the couch for her dirty undergarments.  I peeked inside it today and it was empty.  I’m on the verge of taking all her clothes and throwing them all into the street for the bums and beggars.

Filth definition number two: Obscene and offensive language or printed material.

Ethan and Maxine are addicted to watching YouTube comedy videos.  It would seem the youth of today have a vocabulary that spans no further than the “eff word” to express the highest quality or degree of an action or noun or describe anything marvelous, outstanding, or incredulous!

Finally, filth definition number three: corrupt behavior; decadence.

I woke up to the unmistakable sounds of a light moaning and a rhythmic crinkling which could only be made by two shameless people copulating on an inflatable mattress.  Truly, the rest of the day was marred by this abomination.

 

Feb 3rd, 2014

Being snow bound in an apartment with Maxine and Ethan Baker, while detrimental to my psyche, has renewed my vigor to continue forward with Expresso.  I must get back on my road to riches in order that I ensure I am never, ever trapped in a one bedroom abode with brazen lovers ever again!

I admit, I was still confused about moving forward.  On the one hand, I am completely enchanted with my Expresso idea and truly feel that it is my best chance of making all my entrepreneurial dreams come true.  Yet, I am still sore that my nemesis, the horrible Christy Calm, stole the stickers which were intended for Ohranj’s use and became the first person to ever post an Expresso.  After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the hand drawn shipping labels that the vile Christy Calm posted on her Facebook page were so amateur, that they don’t really count as the first Expresso.

My first order of business is to get official, possibly even licensed, professionally printed Expresso stickers.  Only those stickers will be REAL Expressos, thus voiding Christy’s post.  In fact, if things go as planned, I’m certain that people will see the unskilled and illegible sticker in Christy’s post as a lowly attempt on her part, to knock-off my creative adhesives.

Believe me, dear blog, I learned my lesson. Once I receive the official Expresso stickers, Iris Elizabeth Cutter will be the first to post.

 

Feb 4th, 2015

I’m absolutely thrilled to be back to the Expresso drawing board!  Designing just the right sticker has elevated both my day and overall mood ten-fold.  I swear, when I returned home from the office today, it didn’t bother me, even in the slightest, that there were two open pickle jars on my dining room table.  Admittedly, it threw me for a loop.  Were Ethan and Maxine blithely unaware that they already had one pickle jar open?  At any rate, I walked to my bedroom and devoted my entire night to the creation of my treasured official Expresso label design, without thinking twice about the bacteria they were allowing to grow in not just one, but two jars of pickles, that were bought with my money.

There are so many things to consider when graphically designing.  One must always be mindful that every choice of the final image will be a visual communication about both the company and the company’s CEO.  Shapes, colors, and composition all play an integral role in the overall reflection.  Furthermore, I have the unusual task of also having to create a design that represents any and everyone that will be posting official Expressos.  This means that my stickers must be universal enough to include people from all walks of life, creeds, and social classes.

I spent all night thinking, “Who are we as humans?  What makes us tick?”

I came up with the following four truths:  power, love, spirituality, and career.   I searched high and low for a symbol that I believe encapsulates this dogma and found the exactly right,  perfect image.

 

Feb 5th, 2015

I had to have lunch with the slim-fingered Eric today.  After showing him a slight amount of interest and affection during Sunday’s Super Bowl, I have been barraged with request after request for a lunch outing.  I do hope that after this meal, I will be safe from further requests.

 

Feb 6th, 2015

My mother invited Maxine and I to join her at Paint Misbehavin’ for a session of art and intemperance.  I leapt at the opportunity to sit down with true artists in order that I pick their brain for color interpretation and design for my original Expresso stickers.  Now that I have the perfect image for the stickers, I must be certain to choose just the right font and colors.  I want Expresso brand labels that are lively, thrilling, and youthful, yet, sophisticated and professional.

Upon arriving at the art party studio I was intrigued.  The studio was warm, inviting, and relaxing enough to inspire creativity.  However, because the walls were so many different colors, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Who is the CEO?”  As I looked around, I truly only saw, Paint Misbehavin’.  The interior designer completely neglected to tell any story what-so-ever on the owner and CEO, Cindy Mueller.  Was she hiding from herself or did she just not realize that her walls were more than just decoration for a wine and painting class, but also an expression of her?

My mother and Maxine were quick to accept a glass of red and start slopping paint all over their canvases, as if the award for “Best Painting” would go to the individual that used the least amount of thought or precision.  It wasn’t long before Maxine dove into a passionate sermon about her new love Ethan Baker, causing her to paint with an abundance of crimson and violet.  I swear, by the time she finished her painting, her canvas looked like the interior of a damaged stomach, swirling with red wine and bile, an instant before regurgitation.

I was quite possibly the model pupil.  Rather than using the painting session to promote a riotous lifestyle, as my mother and Maxine, I was sober and inquisitive.  I painted blocks of colors on my canvas and then polled the staff on the emotions that stirred within when looking at each individual color.

The frosting on the night was, of course, that my mother was able to provide a ride home for Ethan Baker.  I was exhilarated that tonight would be the end of his stay at my apartment.  When Ethan exited our apartment, I was polite.   I kissed him on both cheeks as well as called him my esteemed friend, however, I was adamant that he not travel either by foot or auto until the snow fully melted.

 

Feb 7th, 2015

I cracked the code!  Thanks to last night’s lessons at Paint Misbehavin’, I was able to decide what color to make the font on my official Expresso stickers!  The color of the font shall be, IRIS on the RGB color model, Hex #5A4FCF.   Why this color didn’t instantly occur to me is beyond comprehension!

Truly, everything is coming together absolutely perfectly.  With Iris as my new signature color, I’m almost ready to order my Expresso adhesives.  I’m certain that I shall be able to order, manufacture, and have the stickers sent to me on or before March 1st.    Expresso will then be able to make it’s big launch right around March 20th, the first day of Spring.  And nothing is more symbolic of springtime than the early blossoms of the Iris!

I must get a new Iris suit skirt for the occasion.  I feel that it is my responsibility, in my new position as CEO of Expresso, to buy nice clothing and to look a certain way; distinctive.

 

Feb 8th, 2015

I spent a large part of the morning brainstorming how to master the art of networking.  Soon I will be hobnobbing with America’s best and brightest and I must make sure that I measure up to their high standards.

First, I have decided that it is absolutely essential that I carry around business cards, Expresso stickers, and my most current press clippings.  It is imperative that I find an organizing system that will allow me to produce these things, at a moments notice, as well as enable me to accept the same from others.   I have made a solemn vow to myself that I will only give as much as I take, and therefore, only take as much as I give, in order that I maintain balance in my strategic networking business plan.  I do not want to develop a reputation of a self-interested, megalomanic that is only looking to expand her own horizons right off the bat.

Secondly, I must keep my eyes and ears open for publishing opportunities.  Getting published will provide much-needed credentials to my budding entrepreneurship and will eventually lead to wide-spread acceptance into both magazines and the hearts of other leaders.   An article can lead to invitations to speak at conferences.  Being a panelist on expert business skills or even creativity in the workplace would not only be thrilling, but could exponentially grow my list of contacts.

Lastly, I must revisit the idea of getting a same-sex mentor.  A trusted female adviser, at this point, would be a godsend.

 

Feb 9th, 2015

Tamar and I traveled to the Cineplex to watch an Oscar-nominated movie today.  During the picture, I slipped away to visit the ladies restroom where, on the way, I ran into Ohranj and his ungulate girlfriend, Christy.   I know that I must look and act like a higher class citizen, especially now that I am a CEO of a budding company, but my emotions got the best of me in this unexpected rendezvous.  I couldn’t help but remark to Ohranj, “I doubt you could have found yourself a better mate than had you searched the woman’s wing for obscure and oozing venereal diseases at the mental hospital.”

They both laughed and kept walking.  That’s when I noticed that I had nacho cheese dripping down the front of my shirt.  This was truly the last thing that I needed in my life, especially, five measly days before the treasured holiday of St. Valentine.

 

Feb 10th, 2015

I received a call from Mary Kay collections department today.  I promised I would send at least $300 by Friday.   I then sent my mother an invoice for the same amount for housing Maxine.  I swear, I have never been so worried in my life.  If Mary Kay could only give me two more months, I would repay them ten-fold with all the riches that I am sure to secure with Expresso.

To top things off, when I arrived home from work, Ethan Baker was back on the couch, snuggling with my sister.  There is no way I believe, not even for an instant, that she can maintain this double life with two men beyond Valentine’s Day.

 

Feb 11th, 2015

I received an email response regarding the invoice I sent my mother today.  The email read,

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

I typed the following email back,

“Mother –

It breaks my heart and torments my soul that you can so callously laugh at my invoice all while showering your other daughter with a never-ending supply of riches.   Though I am currently in my office, I can attest, with absolute certainty that she is, at this very moment, lying atop of a practically deflated mattress, with either one of two lovers, in the center of my living room floor.  Without doubt, the mattress, overworked and coated with a thin layer of scum and projectile excretions, is only collapsed because your youngest is too lazy to even exert the energy it would take to roll over to the wall outlet and plug-in the air  pump.   Mark my words, the only reason that she has become a beached whale is because YOU have enabled this to happen.  All the while, your eldest, is working her fingers to the bone to become a productive and successful member of society.  Your snicker at a paltry $300 request for rent has me wondering if there is any love left for me in a heart that is overflowing with love and admiration for Maxine.

I wonder what your husband, my father, would think of such inequality?”

I really hate to threaten to reveal to my father that my mother loaned Maxine over $5000 in order to keep her from being legally evicted, but what choice did I have?  Sometimes, lessons in life come at a literal cost.

 

Feb 12th, 2015

It seems my email to my mother worked as she stopped by my office today and dropped off $300.  She inquired if I wanted to accompany her to lunch.  After careful thought, I answered in the affirmative, but not without pretending to be extremely occupied.  I stated, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble for her and if she wanted to run out and bring something back, I would be available to dine with her in a conference room.   I then subtly requested for her to stop at a wonderful pizza stand called Luigi’s and get me a slice of Hawaiian pizza.

Oh, how I have missed Luigi’s!  I curse the day that I went in without my wallet, causing me a humiliation so intense that I have excluded myself from returning.  But because of my mother’s visit, I was able to again enjoy this heavenly pizza. Don’t get me wrong, my mother did everything she could to lessen the sweet and savory taste of the Canadian bacon and pineapple.   I had to listen to her go on and on about how she “honestly thought my invoice to her was a joke” and how I would “benefit greatly from a sense of humor.”  But no matter what the blabbermouth said, nothing was able to stop me from luxuriating in my sweet Luigi’s.

 

Feb 13th, 2015

There were flowers at my desk when I arrived at work today.  My heart skipped a beat in the hopes that they were from Ohranj.   Before I was able to pull my coat off and carefully pull the wrapping away from my bouquet, I envisioned a love letter so sweet and enduring that I would melt.  But when I opened the accompanying card, I saw the flowers were from Eric, my co-worker with the long, twig-like fingers.

I left the flowers on my desk and then tiptoed into the HR office, where I waited on alert to talk with Patrick.  I was petrified that Eric would see me and become overly excited about what he believes to be our beginning romance.  After ten agonizing minutes, I was finally able to meet with Patrick where I inquired about inter-office dating.  I had absolutely no interest in dating Eric and I wanted to ensure that he made no further advances.  I felt it would be best to keep Eric at bay under the cloak of company policy rather than reveal to him that I was physically repulsed by his fleshless, emaciated fingers.  While Patrick noted it was strictly forbidden for anyone to date their direct reports, he further explained it was perfectly fine to socially engage with a fellow coworker from a different department.

This news put a damper on the rest of my day, as I had to pull Eric aside and tell him that, despite his good looks and dashing personality, I would never be able to fully enjoy his company, as long as those spiny, alien-like fingers remained fastened to his slender wrists.

 

Feb 14th, 2015

This cherished day of love was turned into a completely thoughtless and vulgar expression of uncivilized behavior.  I left the house early on an Oscar movie-watching mission.  When I arrived at home hours later, I walked into my bedroom only to find Maxine and Ethan Baker in the middle of lovemaking in my bed!  I am completely revolted by their unsanitary and atrocious actions.

I immediately screamed and attempted to remove the corrupt lovers from my bed.  I tried grabbing at the soiled sheets in order to pull the two off of each other and on to the floor, but I was physically unable move their naked bodies.  My mind raced to anything that could cool the mood of the two lovebirds, so I ran to the bathroom, grabbed my hairspray and then ran back to spatter them with the uncomfortable mist.  I didn’t stop spraying them until the entirety of the bottle was dispersed on to their sweaty frames.

Maxine fought back, insisting that I was having a thermonuclear reaction over nothing, but I can hardly imagine a more heinous thing to do in a bed of another.  The worst part is that I have a overwhelming suspicion that Maxine has used my bed as her own personal brothel with Ethan as well as with her other boyfriend, on more than just this one occasion, leaving me to fester in their vile ejaculations for the last week or two.

I fear I shall have to buy a brand new mattress, box spring, sheets, and bedding sets before I can slumber comfortably ever again.  Currently, I’m shivering on the floor, doing the best I can to snuggle up in my sleeping bag and winter coat.  I would give absolutely anything to be over at Ohranj’s, curling up with him in front of his fireplace, sipping champagne.

 

Feb 15th, 2015

I wrote a long list of rules and set them on the dining room table today.  One would think that it would go without saying to keep out of my bedroom for any and all reasons, especially for sex, but when dealing with a mongrel, assuming etiquette and decorum is clearly a fool’s journey.  I swear if Maxine wasn’t using my living room, sheets, and inflatable mattress for her nightly comfort, I would wander the streets for left-behind dog droppings and leave them in her grubby burrow.

I called my mother and begged her to drag my mattress and sheets from my bed at home to my apartment.   She was uncooperative, insisting that putting my sheets in for a spin through the washer and dryer would be perfectly sanitary.  Perhaps it will disinfect the fabric, but no amount of washing or scrubbing will ever purify my mind from the vision of my sister and her countless lovers caressing each other while naked in my room.

 

Feb 16th, 2015

Well, I did it!  I designed my Expresso stickers today!  I’m completely head-over-heels in love with the design!  Truly, when I first imagined my Expresso idea, I never imagined that I could design something so sleek and zen-like, but I did it!

I placed an order for ten thousand stickers, for just under $2500.  I admit, it was more than I wanted to spend, but I am sure to make back that money in no time.  According to the website in which I ordered my lovely adhesives, my Expressos will arrive in about ten business days.  That gives me just enough time to consult with a lawyer in order that I protect my intellectual property from swindlers and other unscrupulous types that do not possess the creativity or prowess to think of their own million dollar idea.

I can’t believe it’s really happening.  I am so full of adrenaline, that my fingers are trembling and my heart throbbing!

 

Feb 17th, 2015

I spent the morning scouring the internet for the perfect iris colored skirt suit.  I found a wonderful monochromatic suit and shell.  I purchased the outfit, even though the neck is in the shape of “v”, as I am positive that I will be able to find the perfect scarf to hide my hideous, over-sized Adam’s apple.  I wish I wouldn’t think it, but truly, it is one of life’s greatest tragedies that I cannot surgically reduce the size of the protuberance prior to the opening of Expresso.

I finally made my return to arching class.  No one, not a single student or Teagan, checked in on my health, despite my sham seizure.   I realize that my epileptic fit was fake, but I was never-the-less hurt that my health went unacknowledged.  If not for the fact that archery is a symbol of style, integrity, and substance, I would have stormed out of class, never to return.

 

Feb 18th, 2015

I received an email from Eric today, requesting that I remove the flowers he sent me on Valentine’s Day off my desk.  I explained that I really didn’t want to throw the flowers away, since they were only slightly wilted, but that traveling home with them would be torturous in the the bitter cold.  I did agree however, to bring the flowers back to my residence if I was able to somehow secure a ride.  Later in the day, Eric, meekly asked me if I would like a ride home.  In any other circumstance I would have declined, but given that it was a miserable -20 degrees out, I accepted with pleasure.  I’m sure this was his plan all along.

 

Feb 19th, 2015

I found it absolutely necessary to call in sick to work today.  My neck and back are riddled in agony from sleeping on the floor.    Since it’s utterly apparent that no one, not Maxine, not Ethan Baker, least of all my parents, will buy me a new bed despite my very valid complaints, I spent the day laundering my sheets and bedding.  I further scrubbed my mattress until my knuckles bled.

Once the vile task was completed I took the train to a spy and security store in order to purchase an LED semen detection lamp.  I absolutely had to ensure complete sterility.  After carefully opening and lightly assembling the illumination device, I turned off my overhead bedroom light and scanned my mattress. The number of stains I was able to detect were beyond comprehension!  I was completely repulsed!

I ran out to the living room and insisted Maxine take a look at the atrocities she created on my bed.  Maxine insisted that UV lamps detected any kind of protein-based smears and that in all likelihood, all of the stains on my bed were caused by me, since she was only in my bed once.  I pushed her out the door as I was unable to listen to her preposterous lies.  She screamed that I was impossible to live with (her words – I know better than to end a sentence with a preposition) and then I heard her plop herself on her inflatable mattress and call Ryan, who I could only assume was her “other” boyfriend.

I picked to the box which contained my UV lamp.  Sure enough, the side of the box confessed that the lamp is capable of detecting human and pet stains such as blood, urine, and semen.  I rushed the box to the kitchen and thrust it to the bottom of our garbage can.  Only afterwards did I realize that even if it remained at the top of the trash, Maxine would never discover the proof that she was correct.  She hasn’t thrown one piece of garbage out since moving in!

I stomped back to my room, threw a sheet on the bed, and lamented for hours on exactly how my bed became so soiled.

 

 Feb 20th, 2015

I made several phone calls to corporate lawyers today and set up a meeting with a lovely woman named Karen Stibbs.  After carefully analyzing her LinkedIn profile page I feel confident and secure in her legal advice.  Not only does she run her own law firm, but she was dressed quite professionally and stylishly.  I was relieved that she was able to meet on Monday, since I fully expect my Expresso stickers to arrive prior to next week Friday.  Truly, everything seems to be falling perfectly into place for a March 1st “drop”.

I checked in with Patrick at the end of the day to remind him that my last day at our office would be April 1st.  He congratulated me and smiled warmly.  Of course now that I’m on the verge of a tremendous business boom, he wants to be my best friend.  Luckily I see through his charade and mark my words, once I’m running my own company, I shall not even consider his application for employment, should his resume ever make it’s way across my desk.

After I arrived home, I continued my efforts to sanitize my mattress until Maxine introduced me to her new house guest, Ryan.  I correctly assumed that he is the man she has been seeing for a couple months, the blockhead on whom she is being unfaithful with Ethan Baker.   I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone finding him attractive, unless of one is enamored with look of a grubby bug or beetle.  Ryan is unkempt, as thin as a rake, and unfortunately, touched with bulging black eyes.  Dressing in all black truly does him no favors.

After I meeting him, I closed the door to my room, wishing I already had my Expresso stickers.  I simply cannot wait to make a name for myself!

 

Feb 21st, 2015

I woke up  3 times before 6 A.M. this morning.  I simply cannot get my mind off the arrival of my Expresso stickers!  I can only remember once being this excited in my life and it was when Ohranj invited me to the Russian Nobility Ball.

In order to keep my mind occupied, I decided to close all the curtains in my apartment and meticulously scan the perimeter with my new UV light in order to ensure that I didn’t have any kind of vermin infestation.  I’m certain, it’s only a matter of time before the cockroaches and lice that religiously follow Maxine make their way into my apartment.

Once I was done with the outer layer of my scan, I next went to the bathroom which was littered with stains around the toilet.  Is it too much to ask Maxine’s suitors to pee IN the toilet rather than around it?   I was so enraged that I walked over to Maxine’s lair, pointed my UV light directly on Ryan’s clothes pile, and snapped a photo, so she could see all the stains on Ryan’s clothes.   I then proceeded to email Maxine a copy of the picture with the following message:

“Is this REALLY the life you’ve imagined for yourself?”

I then opened all the curtains in order to flood the house with day light.  I wanted to discomfort the parasites on my living room floor as much as possible.  I tightly closed my bedroom door, then left to watch another marathon of Oscar-nominated movies with Tamar.  Enjoying the movies, however, was a lesson in futility.  All I could imagine was Maxine in my freshly bleached bed with the beetle-like Ryan soiling what took so long to sanitize.

When I arrived back home, I scanned my bed with my UV light to look for any new stains.  Thankfully, my mattress had no new blotches.

 

Feb 22nd, 2015

Well, it was finally here; the treasured day of Oscar!  In preparation for Tamar’s and my time-honored, annual get together, I concocted an elegant spread of cheese triangles, vegetable crudite with tzatziki dip, and of course, chocolate-covered peanut butter balls.  I could almost hear Maxine and Ryan’s stomach’s cry out in disappointment when I packed up the treats and headed over to Tamar’s abode.

I arrived at Tamar’s right around 1 P.M.  I promised my dear friend that I would assist her with some light clean up and decoration while we waited for other guests to show up.  It was exactly when I was assembling the disco ball that a gentleman named Brett French, Tamar’s neighbor and sports journalist, walked in and dazzled my world.

I admit, Brett French is not your classically handsome man.  His chin and smile are extremely lopsided.  It would be fair to say that if his face was divided down the middle, one side would be considered the coveted oval shape, while the other might be called a masculine square.  However, his superior fashion and dark framed glasses give him an air of prestige, making up well beyond for what he lacks in the superficial.  Furthermore, he has an excellent vocabulary and a quick wit.  I was in stitches with his play-by-play banter during the Oscars.  Truly, I thought I would never stop laughing when he made the comment, “Benedict Cookie Batch.”  His type of comedy is smart and elevated, unlike the grotesque Christy Calm, who trolls around the gutter only so that she may humiliate someone with her immature, thoughtless, and low-brow nicknames.

Before the night was over, I was thoroughly enchanted.  I thoughtfully followed Brett to the kitchen when he was getting beverages for others and offered him an extra set of hands.  It was there, that I was able to divulge to him that I was starting my own company and that I would very much enjoy his companionship at my kick-off party.  He gave me a business card, while I simply wrote my number and email down on a dirty napkin, as I did not want to destroy our moment by running to the living room to get a clean one.

 

Feb 23rd, 2015

I called in sick at 6 A.M. today in order to ensure I received Patrick’s voicemail.  I couldn’t afford to talk with him live and run the risk of getting guff for yet another sick day.  I was meeting with corporate lawyer, Karen Stibbs and I had to make certain that I was without distraction or unnecessary stress.  I carefully selected the iris colored skirt suit that I ordered for the most precious Expresso meetings and opening affairs out of my closet and steam pressed it.

I arrived at Karen’s office 15 minutes ahead of our scheduled meeting time and then sat there for about 45 minutes before she was ready to meet with me!  I was extremely upset with her lack of time management. This is exactly the kind of arrogant, self-centered behavior that I abhor, so I walked out the door.  Before I left I scrawled a tiny note to Karen, to inform her of the cost of her lack of punctuality.  I scribbled:

“Dear Karen,

The hectic lifestyle of today’s modern business woman, does not afford her the luxury of sitting around waiting for scheduled appointments.  Because of this, I am unable to retain you for any legal services.  You should know, that I have my eye out for a same-gendered mentor, one which I was going to reward with a small percentage of equity in my company.  You no longer are a candidate I can consider for this honored position.  While some may argue that one cannot put a price on time, I believe that you can count on this last half hour in which you have been late for our appointment to have cost you billions.

Sincerely,

Iris Elizabeth Cutter”

Just as I was walking out the door, I noticed Karen walk into the lobby.  I carefully stood by the elevator, trying to make it look as though I were typing a text, while I was really observing her reaction to my note.  She did nothing more than toss it in the trash.  I guess she must be stricken with a mental disorder that can only be characterized as having significant difficulty in showing emotion or non-verbal communication.  I feel I dodged an enormous bullet.

 

Feb 24th, 2015

I had a premonition that my Expresso stickers would arrive today.  I called Maxine and begged her to stay at home all day so that she would be able to accept the delivery.  I could only get her to agree by solemnly swearing to her that I would treat her with more respect and courtesy.

Though the stickers did not arrive, I decided to prove that I was a woman of my word.  It is absolutely imperative Maxine not leave the apartment, not even for a split second, until those stickers arrive.   So, I returned home from archery with a box of chocolate pudding and whipped cream, Maxine’s favorite dessert.

I swiftly muddled the pudding powder and milk together and served her the creamy mousse in a delightful martini glass.  After she wolfed down seconds and thirds, I casually requested if she would be able to remain my faithful servant until the Expresso adhesives arrived.   She answered in the affirmative, on the condition that she be able to live peacefully without snide comments or sudden outbursts of anger throughout the duration of her stay.

We shook hands and I decided to retire to my bedroom in order to scour the internet for a new corporate lawyer.  Upon entering, I instantly recognized that the UV light which I had been using daily to scan my bed for new protein stains was missing.

Believe me, this is no coincidence.  But, until my Expresso stickers safely and securely arrive, it seems I have no recourse for this dastardly action.

 

Feb 25th, 2015

I have an intense itching on my arm.  No matter how much I go over the rough patch of skin, even with my wonderful back scratching device, can I get relief.  I fear my body may be going into some kind of phantom anaphylactic shock due to the uncertainty on whether or not I am sleeping on a sterile mattress.

Also, my Expresso stickers did not arrive.

 

Feb 26th, 2015

Bless the world!  I stumbled upon an online legal self-help site today and submitted my application to incorporate Expresso!  Well, technically, Iris Cutter’s Expresso.  I was unable to register my company’s name as Expresso, as there is already a courier service in Georgia name Expresso.  At first I felt devastation, however, after a moment of extemporaneous, off-the-cuff thinking, I named my LLC, Iris Cutter’s Expresso.  Once I am an established CEO and am requested to speak at leadership conferences for young entrepreneurs, I will make certain to impress upon the budding stars that a highly successful CEO must always be ready to improvise their way around any roadblock.

I registered my corporation in Delaware, in order that I be able to enjoy many tax breaks and benefits.  True, I have always promised to be a good corporate citizen and I very much subscribe to the belief that all CEO’s and corporations have an obligation to be humanitarians.  However, as every great philanthropist knows, one cannot help the world, without first helping themselves.

 

Feb 27th, 2015

At exactly 3:28 P.M. today my Expresso stickers arrived!  Maxine joyfully phoned me, right after she signed for the package.  I was so overjoyed and excited that I jumped right out of my seat and let out a celebratory high-pitched squeal.  I sat on my hands as long as I could, but admit, I stealthily sidled out of the office at 4:30.  I simply could not wait to see my stickers in the flesh!

I sprinted into my apartment and enthusiastically asked Maxine where my stickers were situated.  She smiled and pointed at the dining room table.  While my instinct was to lunge at the package and tear it open, I thoughtfully took a deep breath and savored the sacred moment.

When I first envisioned Expresso, I was in the depths of severe despondency and dejection.  Ohranj had, only weeks prior, confessed a secret infatuation for another woman, ending our year-long love affair.  Although we have always weathered an on-again, off-again romantic entanglement, this was the first time he ever had an adulterous heart.  I was devastated.  Truly, I can’t say for certain that I would still be in the land of the living, had I not dreamed up demonstrative coffee labels.

And here I was, on the precipice of opening the very first ever Expressos.

I slowly walked towards the delivery, tightly holding a box cutter, closed my eyes, and carefully made my first incision.  The box had very little give and before I knew it, I was gazing at 10,000 elegant stickers.  Tears starting flowing from my eyes in plentiful streams.  I took the very first sticker and carefully set it aside.  I instantly wanted to stick it on a cup, snap a picture and send it to the world, but restrained myself.  I must think long and carefully as to what to do with this sticker.  It is, after all, the adhesive that will change the way the world drinks coffee and will have an unmeasurable, inherent value.

I turned to Maxine and could see the unscrupulous wheels of her mind spinning.  I quickly packed the box back up and brought all of my stickers, the box cutter, and packing slip, to a secret location inside my bedroom.  I am certain, if left unattended, Maxine will undoubtedly post the first Expresso in order to usurp my fame and fortune.

 

Feb 28th, 2015

I couldn’t sleep a wink all night last night.   I am absolutely petrified that someone is going to break into my house and steal all of my Expresso stickers.  I cannot find a secure enough location for my state-of-the-art adhesives.

I phoned my mother and father and asked if there was perhaps some kind of confidential Cutter safe or safe deposit box which would be available to house a top-secret industry game-changer.  My father inquired if I was talking about my Expresso stickers.  Just my luck!  Maxine has clearly already blabbed to my parents about the arrival of my labels!  I shudder to think of how many other low lifes to which she may have divulged this information.

My mother suggested that I just post the first Expresso so that I could stop worrying.  Her idea was so absolutely idiotic that it surpassed amusement.  This is a cold, calculated world in which we live.  People will do absolutely anything in order to bathe in riches and luxury. Once the secret of Expresso is out, not only will there be animals that try to steal my adhesives for sale on the black market, but I too, will have a huge target on my back.

I think I will wait until my next archery lesson before I dare post the first ever Expresso.  While at the target range, I will make certain to visit the supply store and arm myself with the most reliable Kevlar or equivalent vest.

Mar 1st, 2015

Torture!  I went to the CVS Minute Clinic today as the scaly, prickly dry patch on my arm has been growing and the need to scratch the abrasion has risen to an urgent level.  The nurse practitioner took one look at my arm and declared that I have been stricken with a raging fungal infection of the yeast variety.  I have never been so humiliated in my life!  To make matters worse, the medicated cream I needed to purchase had, “anti-fungal” written all over the box.  I don’t know how I will ever show my face in the store again.

This malady has Maxine written all over it.  Believe me, if I had a choice, I would kick her scrawny butt to the curb.  However, dear blog, as much as it pains me to suffer through the daily tortures she brings into this house, I confess, that I do need the extra money.  Mary Kay has been harassing me for another payment.  The only way I can remain in good-standing is if I create a monthly invoice for rent and force my mother to give me another $300 or so dollars.

 

Mar 2nd, 2015

I received an email from LegalYourself.com today, stating that Iris Cutter’s Expresso is a certified and authenticated LLC.   I am now a bona fide CEO!  I am absolutely exhilarated!  It just goes to prove that if you have a dream, there is nothing to stop you from achieving it.

I immediately sent out an invite on Facebook for my Expresso release party.  I was careful to remain vague about the nature of my business in order to protect both myself and my intellectual property prior to the release.  I admit that I have told many about Expresso, however, the invite was posted on the internet, which hasn’t the ability to be discreet or discern between stand-up citizens and good-for-nothing derelicts.

I then put together a list of to-dos that absolutely must be completed before my kick-off party.  I resolved to complete every item on my list, even if it requires a mere 2 hours of sleep per night.

1. Trademark Expresso.

2. Create elegant, yet modernly styled business cards.

3. Create an e-commerce website that can handle a viral surge in traffic.

4.  Complete my last will and testament.

5. Write a thank-you speech that is sincere and inspirational.

6. Figure out the perfect word for the first ever Expresso!

 

Mar 3rd, 2015

Good news!  I have a new mentor, ME!  It turns out, all the legal filings I need can be found on LegalYourself.com.  I was able to trademark Expresso with a few clicks of the mouse!  While on the site, I decided that I absolutely needed to patent my idea.  I did a quick patent filing on a “sticker that allows one to present their state of mind on a coffee, tea, or other beverage cup via social media”.  Once I receive notice that my patent and trademark are pending, I will finally be able to exhale.

LegalYourself.com can also assist with my last will and testament.  In all probability, I will require another two or three nights of further reflection before I can move forward.  My family, is completely inept, thus unsuitable to inherit Expresso.  My father possesses the intelligence and cut-throat decision-making abilities of a CEO, but not the prowess.  My mother has a proven inability to achieve success, even in the mildest interpretation of the word. As for Maxine, well, I would sooner run Expresso from the grave before allowing her even a thimbleful of control.  Her folly would leave my legacy irreparably damaged, if not altogether forgotten.   Dollars to doughnuts, I most likely will not have to worry about dying, since I was able to ascertain a concealable, lightweight protective body armor vest through the archery supply store.

I took pity on the slender-fingered Eric and invited him to my Expresso kick-off party.  I encouraged him to dress stylishly, since it’s going to be a black-tie affair.  I do hope he’s savvy enough to understand that means gloves.

Mar 4th, 2015

Wonderful update!  Brett French RSVP’d,  “yes” to the Expresso kick-off party! I’m absolutely tickled.  I do hope that our magnetic attraction isn’t too uncomfortable for the slim fingered Eric.  While I don’t want to shove rejection in his face, if bewitched by Brett, I will be unable to ignore my impulses, as the definition of bewitched implies.

After work, I met with a web designer.  As expected, our meeting lasted several hours due to the urgency of my request.  I kept the site as bare-boned as possible, without losing too much of the class and sophistication that one would expect from Iris Cutter’s Expresso.

Mar 5th, 2015

My stress-level is at an all-time high.

I received a severely heartbreaking quote from my web designer, Scot Ipsum.  $30,000!  A quality site is critical in order that I be able to handle a viral amount of web traffic, however, I have no idea how I can raise the funds to pay him back.  I cannot risk using a do-it-yourself website that will crash with only a moderate surge in traffic.  I REFUSE to ever have anyone mutter the words “epic fail” and “Expresso” in the same breath, and I’m dead-certain a over-extended website will summon that exact result.

I quickly wrote an email back with a business valuation that estimated Expresso to be worth at least $1M by December of 2016.  I offered him a measly 10 percent, meaning in a year and a half, if Expresso stays on point, he will earn $100,000 for something that he has only valued at  $30,000.  The skater freak swiftly replied back with an emphatic, “No”.

In an act of desperation, I called my father to request an advance in my inheritance.  I have no idea how much he has allotted for Maxine and I, but I’m certain that he loves us enough that it’s a minimum of $100,000 combined.   He coldly told me to “go fuck myself”.   After a long awkward pause, I explained to him the importance of a quality website that has the bandwidth to support a million hits.  The damn fool said in an impatient voice, “Seems to me like you are spending a lot of your money on things other than your coffee idea.”

I flew into a mad rage!  I couldn’t believe the galoot thought Expresso was coffee!  I couldn’t bear to talk to him further.  I madly pressed the “End Call” button on my phone over and over, until I was certain that our call was disconnected.

A short time later my mother called with a promise of $10,000 for every 100,000 hits I get over 500,000.  I asked if that was per web page and she smugly retorted that perhaps I wasn’t able to start out with more than one page on my website.

Mar 6th, 2015 1 P.M.

I want to just die.  Today, of all days, the CEO of my current company has decided to have an investor meeting!  I have been running around all day constantly printing out everything from power point presentations to cockamamie boarding passes for flights.  How it is that these high-powered executives can’t do a single thing for themselves?

This lack of planning on my executive’s part has me in complete panic mode.  I hardly have time to pick up my business cards, much less write a carefully constructed speech or think of the perfect word for le premier pas Expresso.  Further, I haven’t time to select the appetizers in which to have ready for my guests and I haven’t any kind of signage to direct the party-goers to the back room where my Expresso kick-off party is to be held or even a reliable assistant with whom I can trust to make trendy and professional decisions.  I called my mother several times, however, she has answered zero of my calls.

The only silver lining to this morning is that my web designer, Scot, has agreed to build me a one page website for the price of $10,000.  He assured me that he will host it at the same site that hosts Netflix, thus easing my mind for the massive influx of traffic.

Mar 6th, 2015 11 P.M.

I shall never forget this truly wonderful night.  Everyone that is special to me attended, yes, even, my true love and soul mate Ohranj, who is currently waiting for me in my bed with open arms.

Mar 7th, 2015 Historic Expresso Kick-Off Re-Cap

Last was the most glorious night of my life!  My Expresso kick-off party was a complete success in every sense of the word!  As you know, the beginning of the day was a complete bust.  If not for the paper bag that I kept at my desk, I surely would have had an attack of panic.

Since my mother wasn’t answering any of my calls, I had no choice but to call Maxine to help me with the party planning and coordination.  I gave her very specific instructions:

1. Treat my party with the prestige and distinction of a royal affair.

2. Place a food order for worldly appetizers such an olive tapanade and/or bacon wrapped dates.  Just to be safe, I told her if I saw a hot wing or macaroni and cheese ball anywhere at my party, I would divulge to Ethan Baker and the buggy Ryan that she was a two-timing trollop.

3. Wear something suitable.  I requested she step into my closet and pull out an attractive and inviting pant suit.  I resisted the urge to mention the word “casual”, lest she show up in jeans and a sideways baseball cap.

4. I then disclosed that if she look under the far side of my bed, she would find a locked suitcase.  I requested she bring the secured carrier to the restaurant.  I purposely neglected to inform her it contained my Expresso stickers.

Finally, 5 P.M. came and I zipped off to my party in my iris colored skirt suit. I walked in to the party room where Maxine and Ethan Baker were waiting for my arrival.  They assisted me in setting up the room, which included placing a plethora of unused coffee cups on all of the tables.

Slowly, my nearest and dearest friends came trickling in, until finally, it was time to reveal my wonderful stickers!  I felt my voice trembling when I called everyone to attention, but then I quickly remembered that a CEO is confident and composed.  I shook off my nerves and using the most caution, unveiled my stickers, thus giving rise to the hottest new trend in America.  I instantly felt the sting of tears hitting my eyes.  I tried to mask my runaway emotion by looking to the ceiling and furiously fanning my face, but it did no good.  I looked back to my eighteen closest fans, blew them all kisses.  It was then, just as I was acknowledging everyone, that I saw my heart’s one desire, my treasured Ohranj, standing at the far end of the room smiling.

I grabbed one of the coffee cups and dashed off in his direction, carefully scanning the room for the hideous Christy.  When I arrived at his side, I narrowed my eyes and queried, “Where is your troll girlfriend?”

Ohranj smiled and said, “Relax, she’s out-of-town for the weekend.”

I giddily exhaled and gave him the most passionate hug I have ever given anyone.  I then, exclaimed to the world through my historic first Expresso, “I’m feeling unbridled joy”.   And in that moment and for the rest of the night, I truly was.

Mar 7th, 2015

After I completed my Expresso Kick-Off re-cap blog, I headed out to the Starbucks by my house and bought four vanilla lattes;  one for Ohranj, Maxine, Ethan, and myself.  It was a beautiful day out and the stroll back to my apartment was an ideal time for personal introspection.

Now that I am a CEO and Expresso has launched I must continue my rise.  I cannot rest on my stylish laurels and expect to maintain success.  I must carefully construct an image that is synonymous with prosperity and unconventional tradition so that I can continue to prosper as both a self-made businesswoman and a brand.  I made a great promise with myself to get my finances in order, assess and address any lingering self-loathing issues, and ready myself for on-camera appearances.

When I returned back to my home, I posted another Expresso and then gently snuggled next to Ohranj’s warm body.   I nudged him awake and handed him his vanilla latte.   While he sipped his beverage, I began to wonder if he was still spending all of his free time playing video games.  It is an obsession that lies much below his intellect and stymies him from achieving his potential.

This curiosity haunted my thoughts for the entirety of the day and a major portion of my night.

Mar 8th, 2015

Ohranj woke up early this morning and confessed that he had to get home.  I snuggled up to him and whispered that I would dreadfully miss his company.  As he started to pack up his belongings, I gently reminded him that even though it was still the weekend, that shouldn’t preclude him from moving forward with his goals and personal dreams.  I then packed up some Expresso stickers for him and kissed him good-bye.

Shortly thereafter, I evaluated all of the top talk show circuit opportunities.  My first priority is to share my success journey, not talk about my product. This automatically disqualified many of the night time network shows, since most of those shows are all about marketing.  I want to make certain that my brand is congruent with top-notch business acumen, not just inventive products.

With this as my driving force, I concluded that my first stop should probably be Larry King, with The View running a close second.  I would never accept an invitation to be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  His smear campaign against the traditional media is very problematic.  I do not understand how people who have degree’s from clown college think that they know better than people that have actually studied the fine art of journalism.

Mar 9th, 2015

I received an exciting phone call from Brett French today.  He asked me if I would like to accompany him to a Bulls game tomorrow night.  I regrettably replied in the negative since I am currently in a relationship.  However, his invitation encouraged me to call Ohranj and ask when it would be that he has told Christy to scram.  While I admit that I love Ohranj more than I could love anything or anyone, the length of time it takes him to accomplish even the most menial of tasks drives me mad!

I scoured the internet all day to try to find Expressos, however was only able to find five.  Three were posted by me, one was from Maxine, and the other from Ethan Baker.  I must remember to include #expresso instructions with customer’s online orders so that I am able to more easily track the world-wide phenomena.

Mar 10th, 2015

Good old fashioned CEO improvisation struck again and the result was a very lucrative day for Expresso!

Since my Expresso launch party, I have been checking my inbox for orders and still, nothing has come through.  I can see that over 30 people have visited my site, yet, I still have no confirmation of an order.  I immediately called my web designer, Scot Ipsum to inform him that something has failed on the site.  Either I’m not being notified of orders or the site is not working properly.

Even though he has assured me that everything is in place, I decided to set up a portable Expresso shop. I skipped to the supply room and found some lovely 8 1/2 x 11 vellum sleeves.  I brought the materials to my desk and was able to put together a delightful 10-pack of stickers for on-the-go customers.  Also included were my business cards and instructions on how to use hashtags in conjunction with an Expresso posting.

It didn’t take long for my coworkers to discover the wonderful adhesives and I sold three packs!  I was absolutely thrilled!  Then, later at archery class, I sold four of the packs to my fellow archers!  The excitement I felt witnessing the the four preteens clamoring for my labels was indescribable. I imagine that it was analogous to the way NASA felt when Apollo 11 made contact with the surface of the moon or the way Jonas Salk felt after he developed his vaccine for polio!

I shall absolutely treasure the $70 I earned today.  In honor of this very special day, I have decided that March 10th, shall be treated the same as a national holiday for my Expresso employees.   Each year, on this very date, they will be rewarded with the day off from work as well as a $70 bonus in their paychecks.

Mar 11th, 2015

One of the archer’s from my class, Piper Lehmann has posted an Expresso!  She felt “Happy” at exactly 3:30 P.M. yesterday.  I closely monitored the progressive amounts of “likes” she received, which made it’s way into the hundreds.  This is exactly the viral type activity that I was confident Expresso would generate!

I’m tickled pink at the progress that Expresso is making, but my excitement is slightly curbed by Scot Ipsum’s complete lack of urgency.  He is still insisting the site is working perfectly, which I know is a complete fabrication.  Countless numbers of people have seen Expresso and I still have yet to receive one online order!  The only conclusion to draw is that the site has a programming glitch, yet Scot has done nothing!  I was left with no other alternative to add my phone number and quick note of apology to anyone that has made an online purchase and not received a confirmation email.  I cannot afford another day of unfulfilled orders while the dufus programmer spends his time drawing digital street designs of the middle finger all while eating Extreme Doritos.

I still haven’t heard from Ohranj.  Has Christy been dumped?  Are we officially back together?

Mar 12th, 2015

I don’t know how I will ever fall asleep tonight!  This waiting around for Ohranj to dump Christy is treacherous.  Every day, I wait around for him to call me to let me know that the deed is done and every night, I go to sleep with uncertainty.  I have called, texted, and Facebook messaged him; I even stopped by his condo tonight, all to no avail.  Tamar suggested that he may be out-of-town, an idea to which I scoffed.  It makes no sense that he would spend two glorious nights with me and make no mention of vacation or business plans.  When I pointed out the flaw in her argument, she raised her eyebrows and bluntly told me, “Well if he ain’t outta town, then he’s clearly ignoring you.”

Could this be?  Did Ohranj only find me alluring and enticing because I was wrapped in the glitter and glow of my Expresso kick-off party?  Now that the party is almost a week behind us has he shoved me to the curb to find a new budding entrepreneur with which to play?

I’m not ready to write Ohranj out of my heart, but I will, moving forward, be extremely cautious.  There are simply too many unjust people looking to play with the emotions of a successful woman for amatory reasons or conquest.  Mark my words, I will not be one of them.

Mar 13th, 2015

I received an invoice from my web designer, Scot Ipsum today.  In addition to the $10,000 I owe him for my one page website (which I still believe is improperly working) he hit me with “fine print” fees totaling $400.  One line item was for PCI compliance and the other for an SSL certificate.  I swear, it never ceases to amaze me how much others will try to suck the fortune out of an accomplished businesswoman!  I can only surmise that he desires an overpriced flat-brimmed baseball cap and doesn’t have the funds.  Is this what it’s like to run a company?  Constantly babysitting others and satiating their every need?

Mar 14th, 2015

Today, I decided would be a day of action and forward movement.

I woke up and created another invoice for Maxine’s monthly rent and promptly sent it off to my mother.  I firmly, but gently reminded her that rent was due on the first of the month. Because it was now the 14th, I had no choice but to include a late fee of $200, making the total rent owed for the month of March, $500.

I then marched over to Ohranj’s house to get an answer from him once and for all.  While standing across the street, peering into his windows in order to properly ambush him, I noticed he and Christy through the windows.  They appeared to be in a heated argument.  I smiled and of course, assumed that Ohranj must have recently divulged our sultry weekend love affair with the boar.

I walked away felling satisfied and victorious, however am a dry pint unnerved that he still hasn’t contacted me.  While I do not want to make much ado about nothing, it is quite discourteous that Ohranj is leaving me hanging like this and I have a natural instinct to send him a large file outlining the negative effects lack of communication has on a relationship.

Mar 15th, 2015

I contacted a real estate agent to show me around to different corporate offices for Expresso today.  I could only muster the strength to listen to her ramblings about how there are many up-and-coming trendy neighborhoods for fledgling up-starts for about 3 minutes before I politely told her that I was only interested in a prime Loop facility.

Chicago success has long been associated with a sophisticated Loop location and if I am going to be taken seriously then I must look the other major players in the eye.  It is crucial that when CEO’s are taking a well-deserved reprieve from their busy schedule, they look out of their corner offices and see me, Iris Cutter, staring back at them.  This simply cannot happen without a carefully calculated location strategy.  I want my biggest competitors to know that I have arrived and that I mean business.

In other news, I took advantage of the seasonably warm weather and stood outside of a local coffee shop, “State of Bean” and sold two Expresso to-go packs.  Once Chicago wakes up from its winter hibernation, I am certain that Expresso sales will skyrocket.

Mar 16th, 2015

I tested my website today, by placing my own order of Expresso stickers.  I refuse to have egg on my face because of my lackadaisical web designer!  Fortunately, the order came through exactly as expected.  Scot must have finally decided to get serious about his career and fix whatever it was that kept people from ordering my fabulous product.

I still have not heard from Ohranj despite several calls and private messages on email.  This is getting absolutely ridiculous.  I had no choice but to write him a brief and pointed note that suggested a temptation for another.  Then, in a moment of weakness, I called and left a message for Brett French asking if he would be able to accompany me to a spirited night of live music, since there are always Irish musicians playing around town on St. Patrick’s Day.

This was a mistake of many multitudes.  Brett, of course, called me back promptly and left me a message that he would be happy to join me.  He said I should just text the time and address of the locale and he would be there.  I couldn’t bear to go out with Brett; not when Ohranj and I were on the verge of getting back together.  More so, a fevered paranoia took over my body and soul.  I was convinced that playing with the emotions of a classy man in order to accelerate Ohranj’s love would cause my newly established company to karmically crumble to the ground.

I texted Brett back and implored him to forgive me, but that I had suddenly been attacked with a viral illness that resembled Ebola, without the profuse bleeding out of my cavities.  I told him that I suspected I was exposed to this illness during a visit to the children’s wing at Northwestern hospital over the weekend.  He then instantly called me, causing me to further the charade.  I moaned and groaned while insisting he stay away for fear that he be exposed.  I then promised that I would immediately have Maxine escort me to the Minute Clinic at the CVS, where certainly, they could provide me with much-needed antibiotics.

I spent the rest of the night researching for an illness that comes and goes in as little as a day.

Mar 17th, 2015

I used my lunch hour to go stand outside of a Starbucks this afternoon in order to sell some more Expresso stickers.  You would think that I was asking people to buy girlie magazines!  I got absolutely the weirdest looks from the clods walking into the cafe.  I must have stumbled into a pouch of washed-up, tired, clones, such as Jenny Baker, because vibrant people live to post their innermost thoughts and feelings on the internet.   I’ll bet standing out at the Starbucks at an earlier hour when fresh and peppy people start their day will prove more successful.

Mar 18th, 2015

In order to bolster sales, I carefully curated list of other CEO’s in which to target to become users of America’s hottest new craze, Expresso.  This list, “My Dream 50” is loaded with only the best and brightest, including the current CEO of the United States, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.  This list, will be my main focus for the next couple months.  I simply will not be satisfied until every last member of My Dream 50 is an avid Expresso user and admirer.

What’s most thrilling is that I believe no other product in the world can boast such an allegiance.  Because Expresso is the only of it’s kind, I will be the sole provider to America’s most prestigious, a much coveted feat in the business world.

Tomorrow, I will finally get to tour office suites with my real estate agent, Chaz Murphy.  I’m absolutely giddy with excitement and anticipation.

Mar 19th, 2015

The worst thing in the world happened today! Christy Calm has posted the most repugnant Expresso one could imagine.  I’m enraged with the anger of 12,000 men!  Tamar called me at 6 P.M., as I was waiting for Chaz my real estate agent, and informed me that I needed to get on Facebook as quickly as possible.  At first I thought that Expresso had finally gone viral.  I have sold a couple of packs online and every once in a while, I see glorious posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  My heart skipped a beat while my body sprinted back to my office to investigate the commotion.  Tamar warned me for the worst, but I kept a good thought, despite.

But truly, nothing could have prepared me for the atrocity that waited for me on my computer.  One of my precious Expresso stickers was adhered to the dead center of a man’s butt-hole.  Scrawled across both of his cheeks was the message, “I’m feeling like taking a huge dump on Iris Cutter.”

I was absolutely horrified!  I felt like running into a conference room and hanging myself from the polycom phone cord.  To make matters worse, the post had already received what felt like a zillion likes and all I could do was sit at my desk and look at Christy’s post in disgust.   I felt all the pain and anguish from my high school days flooding my memory, leaving me a quivering mess.  I had no choice but to cancel my showings with Chaz and then run to the most private conference room in order to safely wail.  After a good hour of sobbing, I finally made my way home where I nursed myself with Taco Bell, tequila, and a good scratching all over my body.

Today was supposed to be a day of great excitement and exhilaration.  Ever since Expresso opened for business, I naturally thought that all my struggles were behind me.  But here I was, a broken victim of online cyber bullying with nothing more than empty taco wrappers and hot sauce packets to show for my life.

Mar 20th, 2015

After a night of deep reflection, Tamar, Maxine, and I have been able to piece together a series of events that have lead to the cyber smearing of Iris Cutter and Expresso.

First and foremost, it must be said that Christy Calm is an evildoer that will stop at nothing to kill my very soul.  Ever since high school, she has intentionally placed misery into my life from giving me the most horrible nickname to invalidating my traditional, yet stylish outfits, for seemingly no reason.  I know now, since I am older and wiser that she was probably severely jealous of my skillful vocabulary and my steamy relationship with Ohranj.  She must have been seething for weeks, secretly jealous of the success that I have achieved in frankly, a very short amount of time.

Since my Expresso launch party, I’m certain that Christy has been visiting my elegant website and reading my online posts regarding the hot new trend of posting one’s innermost thoughts and desires on social media.  The instant success must have been eating her from the inside out, causing a colossal fire to grow in her belly.  I’m sure she saw the post that indicated I was meeting with a real estate agent for my corporate offices, which caused an inferiority complex so large that she could only feel whole by tearing me down to the ground, as with most invalidating bullies.

Then, finally, Ohranj must have informed her of our wonderful weekend of love, warmth, and comfort, thus spinning her to fall into a complete tailspin in which she could only focus on my destruction.  She hurt me in the best way she could, by soiling my dear reputation and by disparaging my greatest success to date.

I will not cower from this sneak attack.  Believe me, I will find a way to put the screws to Christy, if it’s the last thing I ever do.  I have also deleted all of my business updates from my social media feed.  The last thing I need is another bottom feeder looking to cause me further mental anguish for his or her own pleasure.

Mar 21st, 2015

I have contacted a lawyer to draw up a cease and desist document insisting Christy take down her damaging and unlawful Expresso post.  I have further decided to move forward with a civil suit for harassment and defamation.

While I would never want to relive the agony that I have been made to suffer these last couple days, I secretly admit that the punitive damages I will be seeking will come in handy.  My last day at my current company is in ten days, and if I’m to pay rent, bills, etc, I’m concerned I may need additional income since Expresso has yet to go viral.

A viral infection on the internet, much like influenza, attacks when one least expects it.

Mar 22nd, 2015

I did a little bit of snooping around today and I have a sneaking suspicion that Ohranj and Christy are still a couple.  Furthermore, I’m skeptical of his intentions of getting back together with me.

Clue number one: Neither he nor Christy have updated their Facebook statuses to indicate that they are no longer in a relationship.  Certainly, if they had split, one or both of them would have raced to make the amendment to their profile.  This would have been followed by a series of sympathetic yet cryptic posts from friends and relatives on the other’s profile, a clear indicator that one has suffered a moderate to severe loss.

Clue number two:  Neither Ohranj nor Christy have participated in removing the hundreds of nauseating pictures of the two of them nuzzling from the internet.  I wonder how it was even possible for them to post so many hideous pictures in the six short months they have been together.  Truly, it’s as if they are trying to save everyone on the world-wide web, one vomitous photograph at a time.

Clue number three:  Ohranj has yet to contact me since our weekend together.  I have done everything I can think of in order to avail myself to him and I have not even heard as much as a peep.  I remember when he used to scrape and claw for me and now, well, it feels as though he’s actively trying to escape my love and affection.

Mar 23rd, 2015

I heard back from my lawyer today.  The imbecile refused to file a cease and desist claim against Christy, claiming that, “she is using the stickers exactly as intended; to share her thoughts and feelings on social media.”  I argued that the stickers were made to be posted on, and only on, coffee, tea, or other beverages one can purchase at a cafe or eating establishment, hence the name Expresso.

To this, he retorted that I better get used to the idea of people’s free will.

I responded with an Expresso of my own which indicated that I was feeling annoyed with Hans Lever.

Mar 24th, 2015

A week from today is my last scheduled day or work and I couldn’t be more delighted.  Truly, the freedom of being able to come and go as I please will be a welcome reprieve from the daily grind.  Finally, I will be able to enjoy a leisurely week day lunch without hassle.  Or take a day to recharge without worry that I will run out of personal days off.  I know all to well that not having an appropriate amount of time to center is the root of basic human illness and disease.  I hate to think about the irreversible effects my current job has bestowed on my life.

It comes as no surprise to me that now that I should be living care-free, Christy has decided to come after me with the voracity of a tiger.  I swear she won’t be satisfied until my health resembles a shriveled raisin that has been forgotten in a cold dirty crevice of a child’s car seat.

In other news, I believe that Ryan, Maxine’s insect-like lover, has found out that she has been seeing another man, as he spent the night howling a love song outside of our apartment.  He didn’t stop his amateur serenade until I stuck my head out my bedroom window and flung dirty socks at him.

 

Mar 25th, 2015

After purchasing some weekly cleaning supplies, I earned a $5 Extra Bucks reward from CVS.  I quickly ran to the cosmetic section to find a nice new gloss or fresh spring shade for my cheeks.  While standing in front of the vast array of beauty products, I was at first, brutally reminded that Mary Kay is breathing down the back of my neck for reimbursement for all the supplies that I purchased to sell.  But like any great CEO, I turned this negative into a positive and decided that I would recruit Maxine to get rid of my remaining products in exchange for room and board.

I zipped home.  Once I arrived, I brought all my supplies out to the dining room table and insisted that Maxine join me for her first lesson in beauty.   I started my tutorial with a brief introduction about the cosmetic expectations to which women are expected to live.  As it is, one  cannot secure a major position in the workplace without a little extra color in her complexion and that there is no such thing as a bare-faced beauty in the workplace.  As harsh as that sounds, it’s absolutely true.  One must always keep in mind the following: you are going to meet all types of different men when you are at work and if you want to leave a distinctive and lasting impression, you must stand out with a little bit of color, a lip that pops, or an eye that says, “I’m well rested, motivated, and powerful.”   I can say with absolute certainty that I am a CEO because I have always understood that natural beauty isn’t enough to make it in the workplace.

After going through all of my different shades and glosses, I told Maxine, that she needed to invite her most favorite friends over for a night of brains and beauty if she wanted to stay living with me for the next month.  She tried to object, however I reminded her that it was her rule, not mine, that we live together in harmony with out any major explosions of disapproval and disagreement.

Mar 26th, 2015

Does no one respect the sanctity of Expresso?  Today, my stickers were used as ammunition in a tweenage love triangle.  It seems everywhere I turn someone is using my lovely Expresso stickers in some sort of improper and vulgar way!  Before I ship out orders, I should be doing a thorough background check of other online postings by the buyer.  If only there were some way to know all their username aliases and handles!

After an hour or so of contemplation, I decided to call Brett French with the hopes that he would invite me to some kind of outing over the weekend.  In all honesty, I’m experiencing a completely non-rational bout of jealously and heartache with two men fighting for the grungy hand of my sister while no one is even courting me.  I have heard it’s lonely at the top, but I didn’t think that it would be this lonely, this soon.

Mar 27th, 2015

I met with my corporate real estate broker today and the experience was enchanting.  I fell absolutely dead-drunk in love with a prime office location at Madison and State Street.  As soon as we walked in the building it felt as though I had arrived home.  The exquisite building had a polished marble lobby, extremely professional looking security guards, and wonderful foliage that would fool any animal from the rainforest into thinking it was in it’s natural habitat.

I held my breath, hoping against hope, that we would be heading to a location that was as close to the penthouse as possible as we were signing in with security.  We walked in the elevator and Chaz pressed floor number 45, which greatly excited me.  I could only imagine the stunning amenities and high-end fittings that a suite on a floor as high as 45 would offer.  We exited the elevator and we when turned to the left, I was immediately blinded by a stunning view of Lake Michigan.  Scared to even ask, I gave Chaz a look of “Please tell me that we are going to that suite.”  He replied with a simple affirmative smile.

Suite 4505 was truly everything that Expresso embodied:  class, prestige, and vitality.  It’s glass entryway was sleek and uncluttered.  Situated right behind reception was a conference room which also boasted transparent, bullet-proof glass walls allowing for an immaculate view of Lake Michigan as well as top-notch security.  I could easily envision other high-powered executives admiring the classic decor and safety that Expresso’s offices claimed.

Immediately, I knew that my receptionist was going to be more than a simple turn-key for Expresso’s back offices and senior executives.  This office demanded that our receptionist act as a liason to the great city of Chicago, proficient in everything from pick-up and delivery of dry cleaning services to handling dinner reservations and evening activities.  In fact, I wanted my receptionist to be well-known as the most discreet and discerning of all the city’s concierges.

The rest of the office was just as enticing.  There was plenty of space for Expresso executives, two kitchens, a smaller conference room located within the cublicle area, and even an employee lounge, where my employees could find solace amid their busy work schedules.

I was in love and I told Chaz that I needn’t see another space. I turned to him, with tear stained eyes and told him through my sniffles, “This is the place.”

Mar 28th, 2015

Brett French called me this morning and inquired if I would be available for a date in the evening.  I immediately replied in the affirmative, despite it being an invite for the same day.  I usually decline same day invitations in order to let my potential suitors that I am not a last-minute date kind of girl.  It has always been my opinion that a last-minute date is a cure for common boredom and I absolutely refuse to be someone’s temporary bandage of good times and merriment.

I selected a wonderful decorative sweater for our evening out.  I had a perfect melon camisole to pair with the sweater, which of course, I found in the middle of a mound of dirty laundry next to Maxine’s blow-up mattress.   I tried my best to get it to smell fresh, but there was no way for me to get the hideous stench of Maxine’s personal “I-haven’t-showered-in-a-week” odor.  Instead, had to settle on a cranberry camisole, which looked fine, but was far from the sublime style to which those that know me best have become accustomed.

My evening with Brett was a barrel of laughs.  I inquired if he was always this funny and he noted that he was, in addition to being a sports writer, also an improvising comedian.  I admit, at first this was a turn-off.  Living with an off-off-off Broadway actress for the first 23 years of my life was scarring enough.  I truly cannot imagine spending further time with a talentless no one constantly yearning for the success of a Hollywood actor ever again.  But then, he mentioned that while he had a passion for comedy, his true calling was sports journalism.  I involuntarily breathed a huge sigh of relief, to which, of course, he chortled.

After dinner, we went back to my apartment, however, I was unable to invite Brett in for a nightcap.   I could see through the window that Maxine was home and I will never make the mistake of introducing her to another one of my love interests until I have him fully charmed and intoxicated under my spell.  She simply isn’t to be trusted.

Mar 29th, 2015

Today was Maxine’s first ever Mary Kay party.  It was pure hell trying to keep all of her friends’ grubby fingers out of the make-up! I swear, every time I turned around another one of Maxine’s friends was lunging for an anti-aging serum or dipping her ring finger into eye pigment as though it were crack cocaine.  What I had hoped to be a leisurely afternoon where I could dream about my new office space, became a glorified babysitting obligation.

Furthermore,  while Maxine was able to unload some of last year’s shades on her friends, getting them to actually understand the need for a luxurious beauty regimen was a chore and a half.  Has the younger generation completely given up on living up to their full allure potential?  I swear, these girls would have been satisfied getting together to sip gin out of licorice straws while wearing nothing more than diapers.

The only bright spot was that the girls were clamoring for my Expresso stickers.  They were posting selfie after selfie, letting the world know their sentiments and circumstances.  However, no matter how hard I tried to style their hair or impress upon them the need for sun-kissed cheeks, they were all too satisfied to take pictures of themselves with dull, lifeless skin tones.

Tomorrow I shall get a rental agreement from Chaz Murphy.  I can hardly wait to move into Expresso’s new home!

Mar 30th, 2015

All of my corporate office hopes and dreams have capsized and I’m completely mortified.  My real estate agent, Chaz, sent me over preliminary documents for the lovely office suite on Madison and State, which included the current rental price, $120,000 per month.  It was inconceivable to me that an office suite, would fetch such high rent. Thus, I consequently called Chaz and informed him that there was a mistake on my rental agreement.  I merrily announced that I had a good laugh over his rental rate and then asked him to take a look at the figure he typed into my agreement.  There was a long silence on the phone, until finally, he very flatly stated that there was no mistake.  $120,000 was the monthly rent.  I could feel the heat of humiliation travel through my body in the speed of a second.  I had no alternative, but to pretend to have another call in which to tend.

After I hung up from Chaz, I immediately called my mother and screamed at her for my flagrant under-preparedness.

“By all appearances, I possess the same strong entrepreneurial background as other CEO’s,” I pointed out.   “But you never taught me the ins and outs of high stakes business.  Instead, you spent your precious time snuggling with dad on the couch, in an almost sickening fashion!”

My mother was completely unapologetic.

“Oh, Iris, I simply don’t have time for this now.”  Then she muttered with great glee, “I’m snuggling with your father on the couch.” like she was some kind of brilliant comedian.

I don’t know how I will ever be able to face Chaz Murphy again or how I will ever find a corporate office as perfect of as the space on Madison and State.    I swear, I shall forgive my parents for this gross inadequacy.

Mar 31st, 2015

What should be the most glorious day of my life is instead turning out to be a day filled with self-doubt and worry.  Am I strong enough to be one of the most powerful CEO’s in the world?  Do I possess the needed skills and education to make it or will I become the laughing stock of the modern-day workplace, a cautionary tale of what can happen when a middle-class dreamer is born into a family of ill-informed, ill-humored, simpletons?

I tried to put on a brave face at my office send-off, but I couldn’t help but wonder, will I ever be back in the Loop?  Will I ever receive mail at a 60601 zip code again or am I destined to become one of the many small businesses that line the outskirts of Chicago’s Loop playground, constantly fighting to stay afloat all while fooling myself in believing that maybe today will be the day that I shall be discovered and my mundane, boring product will somehow be transformed into the hottest new trend.

Perhaps I am not special.

 

Apr 1st, 2015

If today is the day of all jokes, then truly the great joke of life is on me.  I was so depressed after paying my bills that I found myself dialing the office, requesting to talk with the slender fingered Eric for no other reason than to stay in the fore thoughts of my ex-confreres.

To make matters worse, I demanded to know every last detail about the receptionist that replaced me.  Her name is Ellie something-or-other and everything about her sounds disreputable.  For one, she’s the tender age of nineteen.  I’m absolutely gobsmacked that a multinational corporation’s single point of contact is in the hands of someone that hasn’t even the ability to share an after-hours cocktail. I’m sure she’s one of those text-at-all-hours of the day, Facebook addicts that is so busy with social media that she hasn’t the time to properly answer the phone or to be bothered with something as important as an emergency evacuation plan.  I told Eric that I hope and pray that no one in the office has a heart attack, because it wouldn’t surprise me if she thought an AED was some sort of urban internet abbreviation that meant “an early departure” or “alter ego disorder”.  Her inexperience only added to my melancholia.

I guarantee that she will never be able to transcend her specific duties to the be the internal unifying link for the company’s officers, it’s employees, visitors, and guests, something I was able to do with style and the grace of a celestial being.

 

Apr 2nd, 2015

Still enraged at the audacity of my old company to replace me with a gullible twit, I called the office today and asked if I could speak to Stephen R. Covey.  Ellie, my numskull replacement actually put me on hold while she looked for the dearly departed, world-renowned author and keynote speaker.

I spent the reminder of the day creating an April rent invoice for my mother, re-submitted March’s unpaid invoice, and then slumped in my bed watching court television shows.  I desperately waited for a phone call, text, and/or online correspondence from Brett French.  When no word came, I broke down and called Eric again.  He is truly the only person on which I can rely to securely remain my trusted admirer.

 

Apr 3rd, 2015

I hadn’t either the strength or energy to make it out of bed today.  I decided to concoct a list of compelling reasons to make the most of my day, but truly the only thing that gave me the spark I needed to drag myself out of my warm comfortable bed was to call the new receptionist at my old office and ask to speak with Steve Jobs.  As predicted, she put me on hold while she looked him up in the directory.  It makes me feel infinitely better to know that my old company must be missing my professionalism and deep knowledge of today’s business leaders.

After that, I decided to take a walk around the city.  I’m in tremendous need of an action plan for happiness and I thought perhaps the chill in the air would be clarifying.  I confess, that I have been scratching myself to a bloody pulp and this behavior must stop.  If I am to be considered an advanced intellect, I cannot be taking out my frustrations on my body.

 

Apr 4th, 2015

I woke up this morning with a resolve to re-energize my mind and body.  As luck would have it, I encountered a lovely book, “The Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be” on the discount rack at CVS.  I felt an instant connection with the book and scooped it up.  I then sprinted to the nearest health store where I bought an aromatherapy candle for meditation and deep introspection.

I couldn’t wait to arrive home so that I could take my life in a new direction.  I haven’t the foggiest clue as to why leaving my old job has put me into such a state, but I was bound and determined to get to the root cause and expel it out of my psyche.  However, when I arrived home, I was bombarded with chaos, as my mother’s ghastly animal, Iffy, came barreling to the door as I walked in.  The disgusting beast ran right for my legs, where he instantly started licking my pants as if they were soaked in a savory brine for three days.

The atrosities didn’t end there. My mother and Maxine were in the kitchen butchering an enormous piece of raw swine. The pig’s pale pink skin, still intact, was so revolting it made me want to regurgitate and the smell of raw flesh that permeated the air was enough to make me lose my appetite through the summer’s end.  I couldn’t possibly surmise which of the two came up with the idea that they were qualified to cut up an animal, nor could I imagine when they thought they would ever eat so much pork.  There was no possible way for me to meditate myself into deep thought and introspection.  Instead I lied quietly on my bed with my television blaring, in order to drown out the sawing and hacking sounds of the amateur cook’s mercilessly carving up the poor pig.

I swear if there is even the slightest piece of that decaying skin or a pig hoof anywhere to be found on my Easter dinner plate tomorrow, I will toss my entire plate, dish and all, into the trash.

 

Apr 5th, 2015

Today, my family celebrated the glorious holiday of Easter.  I wanted to spend a great deal of time trying to carefully read my new book, “The Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be” however, I had to focus all my energy on drowning out Maxine’s high-pitched squeals of delight every time she found a hidden egg or treasure.  “Found another!” she heartily announced with each newly encountered egg, as if we were all keeping close tabs.

My parents begged me to partake in searching for the hidden eggs, but I hadn’t the strength to get up off the couch.   The most I could give to the traditional holiday event was a silent over-indulgence of the chocolate covered treats that were stuffed in my basket, which I had Maxine seek out on my behalf. I wish I had never been awakened to the conclusion that my ordinary upbringing will forever keep me in the ranks of the un-gifted.   I fear my life-long dream of being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company will never be realized.

The only real bright spot to the day was that in addition to ham, my mother made a vegetable lasagna for our Easter dinner.  I was able to stuff a couple of pieces down my throat without worry that I was eating part of the disgusting animal that my mother and Maxine butchered yesterday.  So, at the very least, rather than spending this very special holiday discouraged, broken-hearted, borderline suicidal, and hungry, I had a belly full of nourishing pasta.

 

Apr 6th, 2015

I holed myself up in my bedroom in order to give my full attention to my moping, melancholy and moon struck madness.  I must be mindful that when one is a CEO, every day is the most important day of his or her life.  I simply don’t have the time to waste days at a time lying in my bed ignoring the world.

I opened my book, “The Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be” which promises a foolproof journey to success and happiness.  As it turns out, I began my upward sojourn two days ago when I bought my book!  Most people don’t even recognize the need to reinvent themselves and invigorate their careers, which puts me well ahead of all the other young entrepreneurs out there.  I felt infinitely better once I read that fact in my new book.

According to my guide, my next step was to write my own obituary which will serve as my mission statement.  It took several hours and soul-searching, but I finally completed my first draft.

Iris Elizabeth (Cutter) Julius, Inventor of Expresso and other Highly Original Products, Best-Selling Author, Motivational Mentor, & Key-Note Speaker Dies at 92 in the Bahamas.

Iris Elizabeth (Cutter) Julius died peacefully on her Caribbean estate yesterday, much to the world’s heartbreak.  A beloved businesswoman, Iris’ creative and inventive spirit was an inspiration to all that knew her.  In fact, upon hearing of her passing, US President, George Bush IV, her close personal friend and follower remarked, “The world has lost a great mind, humanitarian, and entrepreneur.  That was Iris Cutter Julius.  Never before have I seen someone able to educate and inspire as many as Iris, all while maintaining the highest standard in quality in her products and I don’t expect to see someone as special as her again.”

Bombarded with requests to be a motivational mentor and key-note speaker up until the end, Iris could often be heard remarking that she wished there were more hours in the day so that she could be an inspiration to more.

Mrs. Julius’ cardinal company, Expresso, launched her into the high stakes world of international business and earned her acceptance into the prestigious and distinctive “30 Under 30” club.  She was further honored internationally for her business acumen, charitable contributions, and ethics.  Her accolades include the title of Dame in Great Britain, a Nobel Peace Prize, and a legendary ten-time appearance on the cover of Time Magazine.

While Iris owned property all over the world, including Abu Dhabi, Paris, Moscow, Sydney, and Chicago, she felt most at home in her Caribbean estate.  She passed peacefully, surrounded by her husband, Ohranj, her two children and grandchildren, as well as the countless third-world sponsor children Iris financially supported.  In addition to providing countless opportunities for success to those in poverty, she never forgot her life-long promise to employ the sick children of the world.  All in all, Mrs. Julius spent the greater part of her $800 billion fortune on the diseased and deprived.

In lieu of flowers, the family of Iris request that mourners make a donation to the Iris Foundation for the Blind or one of her many charitable organizations, which can be found at http://www.iriscutter.org/giving.

 

Apr 7th, 2015

Tonight, while I was at archery class. I caught some of the other students smoking marijuana outside of the building.  Appalled, I marched into Teagan’s office in order to inform him of the gross negligence the other archer’s were displaying.  He seemed relatively unconcerned, given the gravity of the situation.

Later, I couldn’t help but notice the same archers, the four that were partaking in the illegal activity, we were enjoying target practice.  Clearly, they suffered no consequences to their actions.

I left class feeling both unsafe and unheard.  I can’t help but wonder if there is a legal lesson to be learned on the part of the archery club.

 

Apr 8th, 2015

Now that my re-birth has happened, I must continue to move forward in my climb to success.  I created for myself a list of To Do’s and To Don’ts.

1.  To Do – Find the mailing addresses of your “Top 50 Target CEO’s” and send personal letters which invite them to partake in the newest craze sweeping the nation, Expresso.

2. To Don’t – Stop seeking solace with the slender-fingered Eric.  You call him much too much.

3. To Do – Sell at least 200 Expresso 10-packs in order to pay your May bills.

4. To Don’t – Stop scratching your body to a bloody pulp.

5. To Do – Get Maxine to sell off the rest of your Mary Kay supplies.  She did a surprisingly good job at her last party.

6. To Don’t – Stop kicking Maxine awake in the morning, even though she religiously sleeps until noon every day.

7. To Do – Start sending Ohranj weekly jokes, light-hearted anecdotes, or musings.

8. To Don’t – Stop telling Ohranj that he has crushed your heart beyond repair.

9. To Do – Pay off your bills to Scot Ipsum, Mary Kay, and Visa.

10. To Don’t – Stop thinking about the wonderful office space at State & Madison.

 

Apr 9th, 2015

I wrote my first letter to my Top 50 today.  I kept it under 100 words.  I know that a lengthy letter to a busy CEO is a sure-fire way to leave a negative lasting impression.

However, once I completed the letter, I couldn’t silence the dreadful voices of inadequacy in my head.  I immediately wondered, “Will Expresso be enough?  Should I create more products in order that I let these great CEO’s know that I have a suite of products?  When they visit Expresso online, will they chuckle in amusement at my one-page website?”

I then decided to take action and I wrote the following footnote on my site,

“My name is Iris Cutter, Founder, Chairperson, and CEO of Expresso.  Much like any CEO, much of my drive is based on my pure addiction to business.  I am constantly growing and evolving in order push me and my company to the next level.  The intense pleasure I derive from my company is so personal, that I absolutely will not create a product, unless it speaks to me on an intimate level.  Because of that, I will not invent a new product, just for the sake of higher sales or wider margins.  For now, Expresso is simply, one highly original product that will increase your coffee drinking pleasure, ten-fold.”

I then sat at my dining room table and brainstormed ideas for my next million-dollar opportunity.

 

Apr 10th, 2015

Brett French called me and invited me to one of his improv comedy shows this Sunday night.  As it turns out, he called, right when I was brushing my teeth.  I gently set my toothbrush down on the side of the sink in order that I properly answer the phone.

I instantly responded to Brett’s request in the affirmative.  Brett is wonderful and bright, truly a perfect man with which to pass time while I wait for Ohranj to get his head on straight.  I walked into my bedroom so that I could have a little privacy while we finalized our plans.

When I finished our conversation I walked back into the bathroom to continue brushing my teeth.  However I was met with the foul stench of a recently soiled comfort station.  Had Maxine no decency?  My poor toothbrush was now besmirched with noxious fumes and tiny invisible particles of human waste rendering it completely useless.

I walked into the living room and threw the tainted brush at her face.  I then was forced to put on a presentable outfit and walk down to the CVS to buy another.

When I returned home, I took my beloved new toothbrush and stored it in a  resealable plastic bag and hid it under my bed.

 

Apr 11th, 2015

Today, I did my usual shipping of Expresso labels.  While putting together my ten-packs, I had to fight every urge to go into the bathroom to tinker with Maxine’s toothbrush.   The little cretin has absolutely no idea how difficult it is to have to constantly be on the lookout of one’s personal property and I would love nothing more to give her a taste of her own medicine.

 

Apr 12th, 2015

My date with Brett French tonight has given me a lot to think about.   When I was a young girl, I made a great promise to myself that I would never get romantically involved with anyone looking to make a life out of the fine art of theater.  Having an overly-emotional, consistently depressed, failed actress for a mother was unbearable.  Additionally, I was forced to attend boring old plays, only to be further lulled into a coma-like existence from the excessive whining that flowed from my mother’s mouth afterwards about her lack of recognition.

However, Brett French was truly a delight on the stage tonight.  He had everyone in the audience in stitches with his extemporaneous wit and banter.  Not only that but the improv theater’s walls were littered with pictures of famous actors and actresses that once graced the very stage that Brett was commanding.  Clearly it is very easy to break into showbiz when you have talent and I have a nagging feeling that I should not discount Brett as a potential lover.

I started the night out ready to impress upon Brett that I was much more interested in his journalism career, but by the end of the night, I admit, my head was swirling over his impending stardom.

 

Apr 13th, 2015

I went to the grocery store today to find a buy-one-get-one sale on Ben and Jerry ice cream pints.   I leapt for joy and instantly placed two Half Baked pints into my cart.  I cherish the velvety vanilla and chocolate creams with gobs of chocolate chip cookie and brownie dough, and so rarely allow myself to indulge in the pricey frozen morsel.

However, once I arrived home, I found the freezer to be chock full of the pig my mother and Maxine butchered.  There wasn’t even a sliver of space.  I called my mother and insisted she immediately drive over and take all of the disgusting meat back to her own freezer.  She agreed, but the dope didn’t get to my apartment for two hours.

All I could do was sit and watch my treats thaw in front of my very eyes.

 

Apr 14th, 2015

What should have been a relaxing day of discovery and reinvention turned out to be completely chaotic.  As I predicted, my father has found out that my mother has been dishing out money to Maxine hand over fist, including the $5000 she used to buy her out of two lease agreements.  He is livid.  My mother came over to my apartment with her dog Iffy, seeking solace.  Just what my one bedroom apartment needs!  Another person and a grotesque, filthy animal roaming around!

When my father cooled a bit, he called over to my house and insisted my mother put him on speaker phone so that he could scold all of us. He then said something so detestable and crass that it almost violated human decency.

“Iris and Maxine will never go to the store for milk, if they know they can just suck it off the teet, Lydia.”

I was immediately affected with nausea.   I interjected as quickly as possible, despite being inclined to vomit, that,  “I had absolutely no part in Mom and Maxine’s little scheme other than to provide housing for the little leach!”

However, my father threw back in my face that he had found the invoices I sent to my mother for rent and the matching deductions from his bank account.

The rest of my night was spent in a complete panic.  May 1st was quickly approaching and I was depending on a payment from my mother for Maxine’s rent.

 

Apr 15th, 2015

I woke up extra early this morning in order to be the first in line at H&R Block for my tax preparation and filing.  I had hoped against hope that the adviser assigned to me would find some tax loophole that would enable me to get thousands of dollars returned to me.  As I was striding to the nearest office, it occurred to me that I could file Maxine as a dependent and that I was possibly sitting on a business start-up tax deduction goldmine.

Those hopes quickly vanished when the tax agent explained to me that I couldn’t claim my sister as a dependent solely because she lived with me.   He further revealed that I could not include my small-business start-up deduction in my 2014 filing, since I didn’t incorporate Iris Cutter’s Expresso until March 2015.

I left the office with a measly $200 return and a strong distaste for my tax agent’s need to label Expresso as a “small business.”

 

Apr 16th, 2015

I’m woke up with a dire feeling of financial ruin, so I feverishly headed out to coffeehouse after coffeehouse in order to sell my wonderful little stickers.  My quest was not altogether fruitless,  but truly there were only so many locations that I could visit in a day.  It occurred to me that I should seek out young and daring entrepreneurs looking to work for a high-flying start-up.

I hurried home, called Tamar and asked for her assistance in creating a web advertisement to seek out the most eager and stylish sales professionals.  I was certain her ability to create the most adorable party invitations would translate beautifully into an online classified that would garner the most dedicated and polished sales staff for Expresso.  Additionally, I thought that I could ascertain any kind of confidential update that Brett French may have divulged to her about our date.

While Tamar was most helpful getting a thrilling ad up and running, she was of no assistance what-so-ever in providing any insight into Brett’s thoughts on what could be our budding romance.

 

Apr 17th, 2015

I visited the Loop in order to hand out my newly created flyers calling out for young professionals.  Being that it was an unseasonably warm Chicago day, many were out an about making it possible for me to hand select the talent pool from which I would be carefully choosing the next Expresso employee.  I was certain to keep in mind all of the important criteria: vigor, charisma, and a winning workplace wardrobe, when singling out prospects in which to give a flyer.

While in the area, I made certain to stop in to my old office.   No one, other than the slender-fingered Eric was even the slightest bit amused to see me.  It was devastating to realize that my daily company and companionship had gone unmissed.  Eric tried to cheer me up with a lunch offer, however, I couldn’t bear to eat while staring at his long fingers.  Instead we took a clarifying walk.  That’s when it occurred to me that many of my middle-management ex-colleagues were most likely seething with jealousy over my success.  I could almost hear them groan, “Why did SHE get to go right from junior staff to CEO?”

When Eric and I arrived back to the office, I communicated with several of my old officemates that my new position was a life-long goal and dream.  I explained that any perceived threat or inadequacy they were feeling was completely inadvertent and unintentional.  However, no matter how much I tried to convince everyone, there were still some folks that I could not get to warm up to my presence.

I guess there are just some people who will never understand that obtaining a C-Level title requires serious self-examination, an assessment of faults, and a superior product idea.  Until those certain individuals stop pointing their fingers at me, their chances for a high position are virtually nonexistent.

 

Apr 18th, 2015

My mother brought over a large tub of pulled pork today.  I exclaimed, right after she dropped it on the dining room table, “Oh good.  More pig.”  I then looked at Maxine and squinted my eyes into little slivers.

Wasn’t it enough that I had to live with her filthy, hoggish habits?  Did I now have to sit around and eat the disgusting remains of her and my mother’s culinary dissection; meat which just happened to be the very animal Maxine embodied to perfection?

The sick twisted irony of the whole situation was enough to make me want nothing more than to retire to my bedroom.  I closed my door, rested my body on my bed and pondered the real weight of Hollywood actresses, how much and how often did they found it necessary to surgically alter their faces and bodies, and if ever I would pass as a great beauty.

 

Apr 19th, 2015

Today marked a week anniversary since I have last heard from Brett French.  I sat in front of my computer and investigated his movements with the same intensity in which I used to cyber-stalk Ohranj.  I was able to conclude that he was in Boston, New York, and Baltimore, covering baseball games.  Furthermore, while he was in New York, he visited some of the local improv theatres.  He was gone for a total of 5 days.  I mapped out a timeline, cross checked it with both major league baseball schedules and Brett’s articles, and concluded that his silence was not a good indicator of his interest level.

At some point, Maxine, the little sneak, mentioned to me that desperation was a very unattractive quality.

Oh, how I long for the day when Maxine moves out!  I can barely remember the days when I could linger on a suitor’s web page without scorn or indulge myself with a little private investigating.  It seems that I can’t even daydream without Maxine looking over my shoulder ready to form an opinion about my life!

 

Apr 20th, 2015

Today, I went to a book store in order to hit a new kind of coffee drinking audience.  While I was there I opened a copy of “Chicago” magazine.  I instantly knew that I had to get Expresso featured in it’s glossy pages.   I scooped up a copy as well as a copy of “Weddings” and headed back to my apartment.

When I arrived, I very slyly reached for my computer and walked into my bedroom.  I typed as silently as possible as to not alert Maxine to my online doings.  Even though I was not at all confident or assured of Brett’s feelings, I sent a Facebook private message to him in which I posed the question, “Will you be requesting my presence at any kind of event this upcoming week?”

I then hid under my covers and admired all the pictures of the soon-to-be-brides.

After I felt sufficiently miserable, I walked into the kitchen to put together a light dinner.  All I encountered in the refrigerator was pork.

 

Apr 21st, 2015

More revolting pork.  It seems as though Maxine and I are now eating nothing but swine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner due to our sudden loss of finances.

 

Apr 22nd, 2015

I am absolutely tickled! Brett French responded to my direct message on Facebook!  After profusely apologizing for his silence, he asked if I was available to do something on either Thursday or Friday night.  My heart leapt with joy and I very quickly responded that Friday dinner would be ideal.

Without hesitation, he messaged me back asking if there was a special type of food in which I was in the mood.  I snickered at his request.  At this point, truly any type of food, even a brown paper sack drenched in last night’s grease, would be more appealing than another piece of pig.

Could it be, that finally, things were going to turn around for me and my love life?

 

Apr 23rd, 2015

My day was devoted solely to following up with my “Top 50” CEO list as well as creating an introductory letter to the editors of the following magazines: Chicago, the New Yorker, The Economist, and Fortune.  I thought long and hard about the story I would like to tell.  Young upstart?  Rags to riches?  The world versus Iris Cutter?  They all seemed like viable candidates, but I worried whether any of these ideas separate me from the dozens of leaders in which I will be competing for desirable keynote speaking engagements?

I confess, I have been dreaming about being a motivational and keynote speaker since I was 10.  When other children were out playing with neighborhood pals after school, I was standing in front of a jury-rigged podium in my bedroom, extolling the importance of a superior elegance and sophisticated vocabulary.  I longed for the day in which people clamored for my counsel and guidance.

Now that day is upon me.  I’m CEO of one of the most thrilling and inventive companies to come along.  To miss out on a dream conference simply because the lack of thorough media planning would be simply devastating.

 

Apr 24th, 2015

In preparation for my date with Brett French, I put together a clever little piece of ironic major league baseball antics as well as a lovely skirt suit ensemble.  Admittedly, I want Brett to think of me as a businesswoman of the highest class, however, I would not be objectionable to him noticing the amount of work I put into my outer being and my sports intellect.  I believe that my preparation worked quite to my favor as I was practically beating Brett off with a wooden spoon at the restaurant.

 

Apr 25th, 2015

I am on the brink of financial failure and ruin.  I never thought that this could ever happen me.  But here I am, on the precipice of a brand new month and I have absolutely no way to pay for a single bill, all when I should be basking in the glory of my newly found love, Brett French.  Truly the only way I see myself out of this bottomless hole is if Expresso goes viral or I get a job and I shudder thinking about having to live under the rule of another time clock.  Anything, even scrounging for pennies in sawdust laced with arsenic, sounds more appealing than going back to working for the man.

Would it be too much to hope for money to fall out of the sky?  Or perhaps Brett can assist me in playing the horses.  While I normally think gambling is despicable, I see nothing wrong with trying to make the most out of a desperate situation.

I hope and pray that Brett doesn’t discover that I am not the person with whom he has become enraptured.  I must do everything in my power to keep this a great secret.

 

Apr 26th, 2015

Maxine and I went over to our mother and father’s house for dinner tonight in order to grovel for financial assistance.  I fully blame Maxine for our predicament.  Somehow, her mere presence in my home has dragged me down to her level of extreme poverty.  I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if her fortuneless aura is the very reason that Expresso has yet to go viral!

My mood could not have been more foul when we arrived.  I have never had to walk into a room feeling as inadequate as I did when I walked into my mother and father’s house.  I went right for their liquor cabinet, pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay and instantly started to chug glass after glass, until I was inebriated and found the confidence to pull my mother aside and request $5000.

“Maxine had completely dried out my nest egg!” I complained.  “I desperately need to be repaid in order for me to continue growing my company.  Unless, that is, you don’t want me to be successful.”

There was a long silence after I made that last remark.  We looked at each other in the eye until I could see little tears forming and then I whispered, “Imagine what you could have been if only you had someone supporting you all those years.”  With that, she promised to take me down to the bank the following morning and I gave her a great big hug.

Finally able to breathe a sign a relief, I was able to enjoy the rest of the night. I shared with my family that I had found a new bright spot, a man named Brett French.  I noted his improv comedy background and remarked how he and my mother shared many of the same performance traits, even though I don’t believe my mother possesses an eighth of Brett’s talent.  I didn’t even complain when we sat down to a nauseating dinner of pork.

Later, when I arrived home, I called Brett.  I left a lovely message in which I reminded him of the wonderful time I had with him on our date and inquired as to his schedule for the upcoming week.  I then reached under my bed, grabbed the “Weddings” magazine and imagined the celebrity-studded wedding that Brett and I would share.

 

Apr 27th, 2015

My mother and I went down to the bank today in order to transfer $5000 into my account.  After the funds were securely in my account, I took her out to a nice lunch as both an expression of appreciation and in order to calm her out of the nervous wreck into which she spun herself.  I tried to reassure her that my father would fully understand why it was necessary for her to repay me for Maxine’s complete decimation of my bank account, but she couldn’t relax.   She left almost three-quarters of her cheeseburger uneaten.

When we returned back to my apartment, my mother and I found Maxine relaxing on her blow-up mattress, while my aromatherapy candle brightly burned next to her scrawny figure.  I turned to my mother and shouted, “This is exactly the type of abusive, improper, and parasitic behavior to which I have been subjected for the last four months!”

I walked to my room, slammed the door, and Facebook messaged Brett French to see if he would like to join me for a lovely dinner, my treat.  I couldn’t help but think, this moment could have been vastly improved if only I had a wonderfully scented candle burning next to my bed.

 

Apr 28th, 2015

Brett French and I have a full blown online love affair blossoming. It seems that morning, noon, and night all we can do is reach out to one another online.  We have connected via Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest and are constantly commenting and doting on the post of the other.  Never have I gotten to know anyone’s soul as quickly as I have gotten to know Brett’s.  It would be absolutely true to say that I feel like we have been dating for years.

I felt it imperative that he and I spend a glorious night together.  Since we have decided that Friday we were going to go out to dinner, I conveniently made reservations for us to eat at an establishment in a downtown hotel.  I carefully selected a restaurant with a high quality chef, in order that I give off the appearance of a persnickety diner rather than an overly zealous harlot.

I then, gently picked up my phone and made a room reservation at the hotel.  For Friday night, shall be the night in which I declare my deep love and adoration for Mr. French.

 

Apr 29th, 2015

I woke up this morning with a zip in my step and decided that today would be devoted to Expresso.  I emailed each and every person from which I received a business card during my talent search last week and inquired if they would like to interview for a position.  I was able to secure 3 interviews for next week Monday.  In an ideal world, I would have wanted all of the candidates to compete for my highly coveted sales position as soon as possible.  However, I didn’t want to seem rabid or desperate.  I know that the hiring process a cunning game of power and intellectualism.  Any slight misstep can result in a salary negotiation entanglement or a start date misfire, so I settled on interviews in 5 days time.

I also spent a large part of my day researching keynote speaking engagements in which I could make my start.   The top of my list included the business schools at DePaul, Northwestern, and Loyola.  I rang my father and asked if he was able to help me secure a date at DePaul, since he was part of the faculty there, however the lazy turd suggested that I inquire at the Rotary Club or an old-folks home for my debut.

He certainly knows how to take the winds out of anyone’s sails.  Will anyone ever know the amount of suffering and heartache in which I have been forced to endure?

 

Apr 30th, 2015

I called Tamar and asked her to come shopping with me for my tryst with Brett French.  Never before have I been so bold as to actually plan a night of lovemaking and pleasure.  While I assumed that Brett would rejoice in my body, I admit that I did have some trepidation, thus requiring me to pay extra mindfulness to my outfit.  I must walk the thin line between arousal and modesty in order to ensure that he is overcome with lust with me all while maintaining a chaste charade.

I needed something alluring, stunning, and utterly elegant without any kind of overindulgence in the neckline or hem.  Tamar and I shopped for hours before I found a lovely cocktail dress.  While the dress was quite conservative, it had just enough after-dark mystique that would pair nicely with irresistible sheer black hosiery.

Tamar practically insisted that I deny myself nothing when it came to my undergarments.  While I admire Tamar’s ability to overlook her own brazen style, I simply couldn’t entertain any of her intimate apparel options.  Everything she wanted me to purchase screamed “rent-by-the-hour-tramp” and I absolutely couldn’t risk having Brett think, for even a second, that I had arranged the entire evening just for a good rogering.

 

May 1st, 2015

I received the following email from my web designer, Scot Ipsum,

“Iris –

After several attempts to contact you and collect payment, I have no choice but to disable your website.  Please contact me as soon as possible to avoid further of disruption in service.”

I instantly went to my browser and typed in Expresso’s URL only to find the most hideous and hurtful filler page ever known to man.  The page, in big block letters, informed the world, “This page has been temporarily disabled due to lack of payment.”  I was absolutely mortified!  I instantly called the scoundrel and promised to make a payment of $1000 by noon, but he insisted that my payment be at least $3000 or the dastardly filler page would remain.  I had no choice other than to sprint to my bank and immediately wire the funds into his account.

I walked home from the bank completely broken.  I only was able to enjoy a measly five days of carefree living before I was forced back to the drudgery and toil of a beggar’s life.  Nothing could stop my mind from drowning in concern over the cost of tonight’s dinner and the non-refundable hotel room that I had reserved for my night of romance with Brett.

I toyed with canceling the night altogether, but truly, if ever there was a time that I needed the comfort of Brett’s arms, it was after a day like today.  I only hoped and prayed that I would be able to muster the charm and good temper needed into to ensure that Brett remained both clueless to my unfortunate situation and tempted by my feminine wiles.

 

May 2nd, 2015

My carefully laid out plan to entice Brett French into asking me to spend the night with him at a luxurious downtown hotel was successful in what it set out to achieve, but has left me with a mountain of mixed emotions.

The night started out wonderfully.  Brett and I shared a mouth-watering, expensive dinner at one of the finest eateries in Chicago.  While I was terrified at the amount we were spending, Brett’s company was so enthralling that I was able to have an absolutely splendid time.  I was whisked away to a future time where I was able to picture us, a high-profile couple that rivaled Randy Gerber and Cindy Crawford, dining at one of the finest restaurants in the world while others marveled over our presence.

With my plan to lure Brett into a night of passion firmly in motion, we hadn’t even finished our main course before Brett was hinting that we should get a room upstairs.  Not wanting to seem too eager, I was careful to allow Brett to appeal to my sexual desires for exactly 10 minutes before I excused myself from the table.  I then sprinted down to the reception desk and checked into the room I had reserved a couple night’s ago.  When I came back to the table, I presented Brett with the room key and whispered in his ear, “If you insist.”

Brett was instantly thunderstruck.  He all but demanded to pay for the dinner and then he took me in his arms and started to kiss me right at our very table.  I slipped one of the room keys into my sequined clutch and then told Brett to stay at the table, have a cocktail, and then meet me in our room in 10 minutes.

Once Brett walked into the room, he ravished my body.  At first, I was timid; I was uncertain if I was being too lustful.  But then Brett, always quick with his wit and charm captivated me so thoroughly that I was powerless to say no to his body.  We danced the dance of lovers until we both fell into each other’s arms, unable to further move.

All was perfect until I was drifting off into a deep sleep when I heard the television click on and then heard the vile sounds of ESPN’s Sport Center polluting the airwaves.  Can I really devote my life to someone that is completely obsessed with nothing but sports, sports, sports?

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