Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Long Ride Home

In this story you can find me on my way home from work, maxing it as usual, engrossed in my smart phone. So engrossed, in fact, that when I did happen to look up and notice where I was, I had only one more stop to go, my own.
The small screen read "Lloyd Center" and I settled back comfortably into a haze of technology.
When I glanced up again, the screen had changed. It now read, "Hollywood Transit Center" and I could hear the compelling electronic voice of a woman commenting, "the doors are closing." I bolted up and squeezed past the woman beside me, running pell-mell to the doors and zipping out, just in time to look up at the stops' sign: Lloyd Center. I had raced out to found myself at the wrong stop.
Did I, like a normal person, turn around to force my way back on the Max, as I clearly had one more stop to go? No. No, I acted as though that were my stop all along, walking along the tracks until the sounds of the light-rail faded away, and I could safely turn around and wait for the next train, almost ten minutes away, not having to worry about the judgmental glances and laughs of the STRANGERS surrounding me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

well, i think i've made my point

i was lookin good.
i was at the freddy's down the street picking up my dinner (potatoes and sour cream)
as i was checking out at the self-checkout, the machine prompted me to scan my fred meyer rewards! card.
I did so, and the machine responded "welcome valued customer" just as warmly and lovingly as ever
i clicked my high-heeled feet over to the self-checkout supervisor (so much for "self " checkout, if we need a babysitter)
I asked her, what, exactly, is the reward! behind the fred meyer's reward! card. It is not the safeway instant gratification as you watch yourself save card, and it wasn't the freak out and cancel the credit line one day later target card.
she explained the card (something about spending as much money as humanly possible) and i headed into the drizzle.
as i strutted professionally out of the grocery store, feeling much more aware of my reward! situation, i tasted something time had almost taken away from me, something a wee-toddler brooke had to pull on my blazer and bid me near her thigh-high mouth to explain. i tasted a snot drop drip into my mouth.
I would like to publicly commend this grocer on her abilities to speak to me straight-faced as a dollop of snot dangled from my nose (and probably wiggled/waggled dangerously as i spoke).

bonus side story-
as i left work today, still looking good and more than likely less snot-drippy, an older lady joined me in the elevator. she looked a little frazzled, and I, never being one to control my impulses to talk to strangers and friends alike, commented, "wet out?" her head turned dramatically my way, and she spoke in a thick, european accent, "it is terrible, just horrible out there. it is so windy, and it is raining very hard. do you have an umbrella?"
"oh no! no!, and this is all i wore today" (pointing to my less than adequate t-shirt/jacket combo.)
we reached our floor 1 destination and as we left, she expressed concern for me. I reassured her that I only had a few blocks to go and thanked her for being so kind.
I braced myself to step into hurricane bonnie (or whatever hurricane we are on now) and forced my body to step out of hi-rise comfort. and..was pleasantly disappointed? next to no wind. and the ground was wet, but it wasn't raining.
Sarcastic old wit? Or temperature -sensitive like none other? you decide.

Friday, October 29, 2010


as seen by me, in photographs.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It was midday, and I was lounging languidly on my bed, lazily surfing the web and downloading new music to fill my ears with. I grew bored, as I often do, and sat up to find something new to occupy my time. I looked around my room inattentively and my wondering eye caught a speck of white against my red sheet.

I peered closer, with one eye, to get as close as possible. "IT'S A TOOTH!" i screamed at the top of my lungs. "A HUMAN TOOTH IS IN MY BED!" and hurriedly picked it up and rushed from my room to share the surprise, discovery, and disgust with my roommates.
They quickly squashed my dream that the tooth fairy may be visiting imminently, as I was growing in my third set of teeth, as the tooth as much too small to be human.
Who else has been in my bed..who else has been in my bed I thought to myself..and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Javier. My head snapped up, my eyes grew wide: "JAVIER IS DYING."
A second roommate piped up from the cave that is his room--kittens lose teeth, Brooke. He's perfectly fine. Again, squashed anticipation, although this time a much more pleasant squash. I tumbled down the stairs and searched for my main man Jave, and upon finding him I pushed his lips aside and gazed into his mouth, and sure enough, a gaping hole gazed back. A molar . "He has lost a molar, is that normal, roommate #2--cat expert extraordinaire?" --Perfectly normal, Brooke. My gaze continued and expanded and I realized that two gaping holes occupied Javier's mouth. That second tooth haunts me day and night, staulking my dreams while the remaining teeth taunt me--where we fall out next, Mamasita? maybe your food. Maybe we show up in your bowel movement because we creep in your mouth while you sleeping, or maybe we join our brother and hide away until a stranger move into theese room and find us in some obscure corner, a pile of teeny-tiny teeth, and they will always wonder. (mexican cat teeth, obviously)

Friday, September 17, 2010

A joke to pass the time

Every morning I start my day by entering the breakroom at my work and eating something breakfasty. On this particular morning, all my coworkers wound up in there as well each doing their own day-starting tasks. We get on very well, and it wasn't very long before jokes arose and the laughing started. A certain coworker of mine was unpacking his shopping back, and out came a can of baby clams.
I looked at the can, looked him in the eye, looked back at the can and said, "baby clams, so-and-so? You're a monster!"
and that was the best joke to ever leave my mouth in the office setting.
(besides when the judge asked if a picture on his wall looked a little "cock-eyed" and I said, it's a picture, judge. It doesn't have eyes.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A defining moment in my life was when I walked all the way to the grocery story today, picked up groceries, walked all the way back, and saw my car. I could have taken it the whole time, and yet it didn't cross my mind once.
Think of the places I can go with a bike!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Tension and the Terror

I said something inappropriate at work. This wouldn't be the first time, but it very well may have been the worst time. In my line of work I deal with a lot of attorneys, especially on the phone. A certain man called up about a motion he had submitted and upon realizing that he had made a grave mistake, (after being informed by myself) politely thanked me for my time and hung up. As I was relaying this story to my co-workers, I joked, "well, what was I supposed to say, you messed up BIG TIME Mr. So-and-So." They laughed and replied, "busted!" To elevate the fun, laughter and joke a little bit more I answered, "you're SCREWED Mr. So-and-So." I said screwed. The co-workers gave eachother shifty, uncomfortable looks and finally said, "well maybe not that far." I returned to my workstation, ashamed.
The Food:
I had two main food experiences this week, one a drink, and one I can't even tell you because it would ruin the ridiculousness of the story.
The first: It was a particularly cold day in the office, (not outside:86 degrees, but inside where they blast you with air conditioning) and a co-worker of mine was feeling tired. I offered to go get coffee, and a cheer went up from the crowd. A second co-worker offered to buy me a drink as well, and not one to pass up free food, I accepted. Now, I'm not a coffee drinker. I don't really like it, and I hear it's bad for you. So I went with a chocolate shake.
Fast forward, one hour later.
I was tapping my fingers on the desk and bouncing my feet uncontrollably. Zipping from task to task, turning my head this way to that to this way to that. I was returning my pen to it's receptacle each and everytime I used it, even though I was using it about every 15 seconds. My voice shook as I spoke: I think my drink may have been caffeinated...! I looked it up online, and sure enough, 15mL of Caffeine RAGING through my body. I was basically, freaking out. Speaking fast and laughing at myself and everyone around me. I felt like I was on drugs. As my co-workers laughed at me, I grew curious as to how much caffeine pulsed through their veins. I looked up each of their regular coffe starbucks drinks online, and made them guess as to how much caffeine was in theirs. Their guesses? Since mine was 15...30, wait no maybe 45.
330. 330mL of caffeine in their coffees. That is 22 times the amount of caffeine that was in mine! Imagine me after drinking a cup of coffee--I would be bouncing of the walls.
The second: This story calls for a little prologue. I ride the max to work, everyday. I see the same people (for the most part, it's 7:15 in the morning) on the max everyday. So when I saw a new boy (about my age) on the max, and not only that but got off at my stop AND worked in my building, this was news. I have seen him each day since, and on the third day I spoke with him. We laughed at trivalties and told eachother about ourselves, but I didn't find out his name. The next day, I knew I would see him again, and wondered what his name was. Jokingly I thought to myself, "wouldn't that be the worst if his name is Shawn?" (my most recent ex is named Shawn.) There he was, on the max. We didn't speak, I had a seat and he stood. I looked around the familiar train and people watched. And then my poeple watching took a turn for the more interesting. Out of the corner of my eye, "eye" spyed a poptart. an uneaten poptart in a package (an open package). I looked around for judgemental glances, and when there were none to be found, I slipped it into my hand like it had been mine all along.
once off the max I spoke, for a second time, to the new boy in my building. I ventured, "I don't believe you ever told me your name...?" He replied, "I was about to say the same thing. I'm Sean." Shaun. Shawn. He was Shawn. I hope that my overactive mind didn't erase his real name and let me hear the name Shawn.
After my shock that not only was his name the same as my ex, but I had actually thought about that happening not 20 minutes before the fact, I pulled out the poptart. I told him, i'd found it open, on the max, for who knows how long, and that i wanted to eat it. I asked if he would take a bite with me. He refused. I hated him in that moment, and begged him. Pleaded him, cajoled him into taking a bite. He did it, he took a bite. (I took the remnants of the 'tart up to my office and devoured the rest of it.) He's a winner, I think.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Adverse Effects of College Life

So here I am sitting in my bedroom, trying to make myself write a paper that is due in less than 24 hours. (it's extra credit, give me a break!) Obviously, I am bored beyond belief, so I have started to eat the chips and salsa con queso that the best sister in the world brought over to me as a house warming present. (Jamie). I'm thinking these exact thoughts, "mmm this is so good." as i look down in the jar, hoping that there is a bounteous amount left, I notice something. Something small, something fuzzy. Something called MOLD. I guess they mean business when they say "refrigerate after opening".
what do i do? trying to save as much chips (i chose a tiny crumb) and as much salsa as possible, i scoop the offender out of the jar, place it in the garbage can, and continue eating my favorite treat in the world.
I'm broke, people. This is my life, it tastes, delicious.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Snub

The Location: Hollywood Transit Center
The Activity: Waiting for the Max
The Time: Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Audience: Randoms from the outskirts of Portland
The Snubee: Yours truly.
The Snuber: One homeless man in a wheelchair

There I stood. Waiting in the frigid night air of Portland that is sometimes called "spring". Waiting for the Max that the electronic signed labeled arriving in: 3 minutes. I was listening to the eerie tunes of Brand New, and pondering existence. To my right was a young fellow, probably in high school, on his phone constantly. He was wearing sweats and held a gym bag for dear life in his right hand, at one point he pulled out a water bottle much like Big Red, but could more aptly be called, Silver Bullet. To my left was a boy in his early twenties, a little overweight, sitting on a bench. He was extremely nice, everytime I looked over there with my soul-searching eyes (again, I was contemplating deep, meaningful subjects) he would smile, quite pleasantly. A little farther down on the left was a tall girl, long hair, headphones, pretty. Cool clothes, we would catch each other's eye sometimes, there were no polite smiles, but in the same token, there was no hostility eiher. Just looks.
A Max headed towards the city center pulled up, and it's contents were spilled haphazardly onto the platform. Among the trimet consumers was a man, in a wheelchair. Dirty clothes, dirty hair, dirty complexion. He rolled over to the athletics advocate on my right, and I didn't hear what passed between them, but the man had his hand held out, expectantly. The younger of the two took out his wallet, looked in, mouthed sorry and shook his head. The man moved on. I was next. I looked at him and smiled slightly, and truly I was planning to give him a dollar, I thought of my brother, Matt, who once told me, "I budget about five dollars a week just to give to the bums." (it could've been a little different than that, but the compassion was there none the less). The man in the chair looked at me, I looked at him. He stopped his shuffle-rolling of the wheelchair. We looked again. He turned around and went around the back of the glass divider for the two directions the Max arrived at. He stopped at the pretty cool tall girl, she shook her head. He rolled up to my left side and asked the twentyish boy who was sitting not two feet away from me. Again, he was rejected, dejected. Again, I waited for my turn. We looked. He rolled away.
It could have been the temperature, but as I watched him sholl (shuffle-roll) away, I felt my heart get a little colder.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

when you gotta go, you gotta go

i was at the DMV today, taking my driver's ed test (the second time, don't worry, i passed -phew-) and I really had to go to the bathroom. This actually happens quite frequently, i drink a lot of water? so... anyway, i paused my test taking hustled to the front and asked the man at the counter if they had a public restroom i could utilize. ( i did NOT say it like that, geez louise) he informed me no, i said, oh alright i'll just hold it. (now i did say it like that) and it must have been the dejected look on my face, or the slight slump of my shoulders, but something made this man change his mind. He said brooke, here's what you have to do, and spit out a whole slough of directions of how to get to the bathroom which i can't even reiterate here, because i zoned out about one/eighth of the way through. i declined and went back to my station to triumphantly pass my test (82%!) and then leave the DMV. I really had to go so i stopped at the nearest hi-rise, and asked if i could use the bathroom there. the concierge looked down her ridiculously long nose (it must have been an optical illusion because i looked back later and it was normal-sized) and asked if i was seeing someone in the building. no, no, no, nothing like that ma'm. she pointed me in the direction of the fedex down the street, which i potty-danced to. It was getting closer, I couldn't find the door, i was practically holding myself in with my own hand, i got the door open, i was teetering in with legs crossed, and looked around desperately for the bathroom, the door had a lock on it, i wondered if i would need to go ask for a key, i was getting frantic, i look up, there was a fedex ad right, there. it read, "we know how you feel"
really fedex? i'd like to claim false advertising.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Man on the Max

I would like to preface this story with where I am right now:
I'm at my school's library, typing because I have a 5 hour break between classes, but that is not the humorous part, don't worry. My school has these weird, tall computers on only one row of the lab. (they are set up on high counters) but then they have these short chairs for them. Every one on this row has opted to stand except for me, and I'm sitting ram-rod straight, my head is the heighth of the keyboard, I could literally just kiss to use the spacebar. Actually the guy next to me just looked over and laughed at me, but now he's sitting down so i guess comfort always eventually wins out. (not that this is particularly comfortable)\
so back to the story. I rode the Max (it's sorta like trax, but way better because i live in portland? so...) into work, and it was pretty jam-packed. there was an older gentleman sitting, with a chair open next to him, but he had placed his bag on it. now in my non-verbal communication class we have learned that this gesture would suggest, "give me some room" and society was listening. well, i don't always follow expectations. i marched right over to the empty seat and waited until he moved the bag. (not in a rude way, can you even imagine me rude? please!) so now this man has several things precariously perched on his lap. He was fumbling around for something, and i asked politely, "would you like me to hold something for you?" little did i know that this would invite a barrage of conversation to follow, which i would just have to type up in my blog later. he declined, continued fumbling, pulled out a new pack of gum and offered me a piece. I also declined, but he insisted and even went as far to say, "take two! you are going to fall in love with this gum, you'll need one for emergencies." i laughed jovially and took two pieces. People had started staring at us, lauging in the corner like old friends, over a piece of gum. (jealous stares, mind you)
we started talking, and i really did learn a lot about him, by the way, i'm pretty sure everyone has some weird connection to mormons, we're taking over the world.
at the end of the ride, he asked me to help him find a certain store, we exited the Max together, I pointed him in the right direction, and we parted ways. But not before he snuck in a hug. A hug!! He hugged me!
I guess people don't only think they can say whatever they want to me (just the other day a man in the mall came up to me and started talking about hospital food, and how you have to be careful about how many beans you put in your burrito, because they weigh the food at the end of the line, and that can really jack up the price. I nodded in agreement, and said "that's the WORST" knowingly) but they can apparently touch me now, too.
I actually kinda liked it, he was just some nice guy, making my life a little better.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I make every job fun!

i'm all grown up, with a real job and everything!
but don't worry, this job can't change who i am, i wouldn't let it!
case in point:
i was hurry hurrying to work, in the rain.
the little red hand was flashing: stop. stop. stop.
i had a small debate in my hand.
i continued across the street.
i was about 1/3 the way across the street,
the heel of my shoe got stuck in between two bricks
my momentum (i was practically running) propelled my foot out of the shoe
and onto the cold, wet street, at LEAST two steps.
i screamed: ahh! i lost my shoe! and turned around to pry it out of the ground.
bear in mind that i wasn't even supposed to be crossing the street!
cars were laughing at me, blatantly.