Been & Going

[TRENCHES] The Seven Deadly Songs pt. 1

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I have, let us say, a hobby.
Over the last eight years, I’ve occasionally lingered in karaoke bars. At least one night a week, in fact. In further fact, rather more frequently; it is not unkind to suggest the average is closer to the neighborhood of three-to-five nights weekly. To wit, I believe five hundred nights of in-the-field observation is a conservative estimate.
We may have left hobby territory and arrived at the crossroads of obsession and masked vigilante.

In my capacity as self-appointed karaoke Batman – or perhaps Doctor Strange? –  I’d like to extend to you a friendly warning. Ancient words of power have been locked within deceptively milquetoast boppings of pop, words that may be invoked to bring misery and despair. Only through mastery of eldritch forces may one attempt to unlock these powerful spells for the common good. To engage their limitless power in mere jest or mirth is to court ruin.

I speak, of course, of the Seven Deadly Songs.

The Seven Deadly Songs no woman or man should chance to utter, particularly into a microphone that has drank more than any regular patron of the establishment.

Beware these, in no order or hierarchy:

7. I’ve Got Friends in Low Places

This fable of a lovelorn man, desperate to win the favor of a woman above his station, is played out repeatedly throughout history. However, spurred by the early days of feminism, dark legions of Succubi held a conference and unilaterally agreed to amplify the suffering of thoughtless dudes. This lead to a noticeable uptick in self-effacing ballads betraying bitter ignorance of one’s entitlement. Country music has sucked ever since.
Singing this song is a one-way ticket to making everyone in the bar hate you, especially if performed unironically (because come on: dick move, we all know we’re in a low place, you don’t have to drag us down and advertise we know you, too). Otherwise, it mostly results in drunken country howling.
If you’re super lucky, the least disinterested audience members join in for a pity refrain.

6. Total Eclipse of the Heart

A little-known fact: legendary songsmith Jim Steinman briefly dabbled in the dark arts. In the very early eighties, he succeeded in conjuring the gorgon Medusa, famed creature of Greek myth. After a lengthy correspondence with the cursed creature, he became hopelessly infatuated with her salacious tales of the demon world.
At the height of his fascination with the demon’s exploits, he penned what he felt to be an essential tribute to the creature, so perfectly encapsulating the curious duality of the demon’s obsessions set against her revolting nature (as the song compels one to “turn around”).
As was his wont, he entrusted this fell ode to the voice of Bonnie Tyler.
Secretly regarded as a powerful witch, Steinman had no knowledge of the folly to which he was a party. Now, this demonic ode bids young maidens to turn away from the paralyzing visage of the gorgon, while singing praise of her all-consuming desire. The rite is often unwittingly shared by at least three women, much as the original myth of Medusa was split into the three Gorgons by hapless men desperate to fracture her power. Medusa cackles with evil glee at this tribute, staring molten daggers through the verses and pulling lost girls toward her siren song.

This evil riff also inspires interpretive dance, the most objectionable endeavor under the watchful eyes of a scornful God (behind autoerotic asphyxiation, which He finds somewhat laughable).

5. Summer Lovin’

This is just a shitty thing that girls do to their boyfriends, especially if they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention. There’s not really any demons here; I just hate listening to it.

If you think this is terrifying, tune in to the chilling continuation of the Seven Deadly Songs next week.
Until then, mostly I’ll just be here, watching way too much Buffy.

[Scandanavian Crime] Iceland Police Shoot and Kill for First Time

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It has been all over the news lately that on Monday, December 2, the Iceland police shot and killed a suspect who wouldn’t stop shooting at them. So why is this all over the news? 2 reasons:

1. It’s the first time in the country’s 70 year history that the police has shot and killed someone.

2. The police apologized for shooting the suspect, and the officers involved will be going to grief counseling.

Iceland ranks 15th among countries of gun ownership per capita yet there is almost no gun violence to speak of. Maybe that is why they can still mourn a situation that unfortunately seems all to familiar to us here in the States.

Story here.


[LefthandedJeff] Why LefthandedJeff? (A Sort of Lefthanded Manifesto)

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Why LefthandedJeff?

1. I like the sound of it. And I like the suggestions I find in it. So the assonance and the associations, you might say. But would I care to be a little more specific? By all means. So glad you asked.

2. I like the repetition of the “ef” sound from left to jeff. That’s a fine piece of assonance right there. And it’s something of a soft sound. Challenged by the repetition of the hard “d” in “handed.” I like that soft/hard thing, the yin/yang of it. And to my ear the “j” sound even offers a slight, subtle echo of the “f.”

Then the syllable “ef” carries other echoes and associations. It reminds me of one of my favorite salty words, for which it’s even the well-known stand-in: “fuck”—“the ‘ef’ word.” Again, the mix of soft and hard there. Both in sound and in the coming together of hard and soft that the word denotes.

More personally, though, that favorite syllable “ef” also points me toward the ineffable. Ultimate Mystery. Those things about which we say, “For lack of a better word.” What’s the first couplet of the Tao Te Ching? The Tao that can be named/Is not the eternal Tao? That.

The referenced, painted page of William Blake's Proverbs of Hell, from his book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The referenced, painted page of William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell, from his book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

And one of the things I often feel I’m trying to do in my writing, particularly my poetry, is what I like to call, “effing the ineffable”—trying to capture in words that which can perhaps never be captured in words. A fool’s errand on the face of it. But “If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise,” said old  Bill Blake, and I can only hang my fool’s cap on that one.

3. There are some common associations with left-handedness that I like, and some which I’d like to “reclaim” in the best outsider tradition of taking something considered negative and turning it into a source of pride. Left-handers are often thought to be creative, artistic, romantic; of above-average intelligence, even genius. I like all that, that’s fun.

There are also all kinds of linguistic roots that associate being left-handed with being diabolical, of the devil. Sinister. Haven’t tracked this down, but I seem to remember hearing that left-handers in certain medieval times and places were thought to be witches, and were tortured out of it or even burned at the stake. My memory may have exaggerated here. Pardon me if I’m being left-handedly creative/romantic with such conjurations.

4. So there’s a notion of contrarian, outsider status that comes with being left-handed. But it’s subtle. Handedness is much less apparent than race, or even national origin—apparent from language and accents whenever someone speaks. We speak of gay-dar, but not hand-dar. People often don’t notice I’m left handed unless I tell them. Yet we lefties are only about 10% of the population, and as every left-hander knows, the world is set up largely by right-handed people for right-handed people, to the extent that left-handers statistically have a shorter life span, because the right-handedness of the world keeps us that little bit more vulnerable, makes us just a little more susceptible to accidents.

Not only by virtue of my handedness, but in other ways, I have often felt like just a bit of an outsider. On my little idyllic dead-end lane, Junedale Drive, growing up in Kalamazoo, MI, I was the youngest kid on the street—including the youngest of three Jeffs; and the sole only child among large families. My friends were mostly working class and all went to one church or another, while my parents both had advanced academic degrees and were atheist/agnostic. When I was about seven in around 1970, I was the first kid in my 2nd grade class whose parents got a divorce. Later, in middle and high school, I was a bit of a nerd, but not irredeemably so. I always managed a little crossover. So. A consistent outsider, but not way, far outside. Enough to feel internally branded. Not enough for it to always show on the outside.

5. Then there are the political associations of left wing. While I have no firm allegiance to any political party, when it comes to our human political problems my analysis could generally be considered left wing, and the solutions I favor tend toward the left wing as well. I tend to favor solutions based on cooperation over competition, solidarity over division. That tends to shake out as democratic solutions over republican ones.

No doubt I’m influenced by the fact that my mom, Margaret B. Holman, was an anthropologist, in my belief that we humans are innately tribal, by predisposition of some chord of genes that gets strummed on the strings of our genome. Just as wolves travel in packs, but coyotes don’t; and lions hang in prides, but leopards don’t. Further, I believe that two of our most basic human instincts are those for cooperation and competition. Yes, our human contradictions are that built-in.

The book: The Archaeology of Mobility: Old World and New World Nomadism, edited by Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich. The article: The Social and Environmental Constraints on Mobility in the Late Prehistoric Upper Great Lakes Region, by Margaret B. Holman and William A. Lovis

The book: The Archaeology of Mobility: Old World and New World Nomadism, edited by Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich. The article: The Social and Environmental Constraints on Mobility in the Late Prehistoric Upper Great Lakes Region, by Margaret B. Holman and William A. Lovis

In an article of my mom’s about nomadic northern Michigan Native-American tribes, I was struck by the fact that each tribe, the Potawatomi, the Chippewa and the Ottawa, had its territory, through which it moved over the course of the four seasons, finding food and other resources according to its ecosystem and its food specialty. At the borders of its territory, each tribe had contact with other tribes, generally cooperative—trading fish for game, meeting and mingling and swapping young men and women for mates. The territory was bounteous and the population small, so the interactions were civil.

It seems that only when we perceive our resources to be too scarce for our numbers that we become competitive to the point of war, killing, rape and plunder. I feel like if we humans could only perceive that we’re all really one vastly extended tribe; that our commonness is more essential than our differentness; that our planet is still bountiful, resplendent; then we could come up with cooperative solutions to every one of the problems facing us which seem so severe, even lethal: food, water, energy scarcities & disparities, and climate change.

That’s where I’m optimistic: it’s possible. It’s conceivable. Where I’m pessimistic: It doesn’t seem likely that enough of us will make that imaginative leap in time. More probable, it seems, is that the savior of the human genome from its more self-destructive tendencies is likely to be the well-overdue pandemic that may soon come along and wipe out a solid majority of extant humans. It’s been said that the plague helped create the Renaissance. Such a pandemic could turn this place from an increasingly tapped-out, ever-growing garbage heap back into a rich, abundant paradise for whoever’s lucky enough to hang on.

6. Seems like a lot to pack into such a harmless, silly, singsong little phrase like “Lefthanded Jeff,” eh? Exactly right. But. The beauty of it is, you don’t have to know any of that. Hopefully it’s got a bit of a ring to it, a nice rhythm. A bit mnemonic while not too moronic. Fun to say, one hopes.

And on that note, I will leave you to it. At least for now.


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[TRENCHES] The Bitter Human Costs of Living Awesomely

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Enough with the goofy hat shtick.

By which, I mean: I have a couple rad ones cooked up, but I couldn’t be bothered to write them in a timely fashion. There’s literally too much Parks and Rec for one day off. Instead, I’m going to walk you through the mental yoga of priority management. This is the most elusive skill a professional theatre artist technician dude may not choose to exercise.
With the musical on which I am currently working drawing swiftly to a close, I found it telling to reflect upon my crazy show-biz lifestyle. In bitter spite of the reek of social, familial and professional commitment drawing me astray, I have stayed the course to show up thirty minutes early to my show run commitment and the fifteen minutes of real work it usually entails.
I joke; I sell the commitment short. For tech week, you can expect ten-to-sixteen-hour-days, sometimes even longer. For previews, you have roughly the same schedule, but whatever weird last-minute kludge fix you enacted in the heat of the moment has to last for the duration of an actual show for paying patrons. For the actual show run, you mostly just sit around and pray that nothing has broken, right up until it has, then you cancel everything and come in early to fix it. Even that is a broad stroke rough pass. Let me leap ahead to what you can expect to miss.
Over the course of this one job, I missed:

2 memorials; one for a beloved professor who – perhaps ironically – taught me to enjoy musicals.

1 funeral, but those are generally a bummer and the snacks are a let-down.

2 wedding receptions, one of which I may not actually have been specifically invited to in the socially responsible classical sense.

5 job offers from better paying short-run gigs

3 design opportunities, shirking my higher calling to pathologically work harder than my pay grade to provide an invisible service to an ephemeral craft whose labor’s fruits are tacitly ignored.

A sprawling desert wasteland with a sick-ass crunchy skyscape. I would see that as kind-of a bonus on social life terms.

Your social life, with a few more lizards.

3 Vegas Trips with gorgeous and flirtatious nubile women, and I guess also some dudes who know how to have a good time. Which I have never developed in regards to Vegas. Usually I crash in a cheap hotel room somewhere, smoke inside and drink beer on the strip because America.

176 hours of Cat Buddy Time®, tabulated by cross-referencing passive-aggressive stress pee and the loving hamburgering of my extremities. Such majestic creatures. The grace. What dignity.

1 naked calendar shoot. This one really chaps my grits, because the twenty pounds I lost in the process of tech for what I lovingly refer to as this aluminium monstrosity fits me better than the Fashion-District-cheap suits I slap on to look like a presentable person.

1 sketch shoot, the audition for which I inadvertently nailed at a surprisingly effective read-through. Pro tip: if you don’t absolutely want the gig, refrain from being awesome during the generative process. Sometimes that shit sticks. In fact, stay home. Don’t make friends and avoid associating with anyone who has “projects.” These people are sick, and you must fear them.

15 shows good friends had been in/worked on/somehow wanted me to see. This feels like a combination of a tithe, social commitment and, occasionally, low-caliber bullet dodged. There are undocumented benefits to being busy.

3 movies I thought it would be rad to check out, but, whoops, I guess. I’ll watch it on my phone in six months. I’m sure Gravity wasn’t as spectacular as nearly everybody cannot agree it may have been.

3 band gigs and/or cabaret performances by friends. This may have some overlap with the freewheeling Vegas ladies, so the collateral damage may compound on this particular metric.

1 night of Culver City’s mayor honoring the cast of a show I worked on. I want to believe he had a stovepipe top-’em hat, one of those british bling-ass mayoral necklaces and perhaps a staff. Also, in the City Hall of my mind palace, he was seven-foot-four and barrel-chested. I base the entirety of this image completely divorced from reality, having met the Mayor at various sundry events in the past. He’s a nice enough fella though.

4 birthday parties. Again, potential Vegas overlap. Perhaps I know a lot of showgirls? My priorities are beginning to leak here.

6 friends who were in town but I was too wiped-out, busy or asleep to see them. Sometimes all three.

9 friends making guest appearances on TV shows which I completely neglected to TIVO, because I don’t really have that. How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation and Community may as well be the Jury Duty of Los Angeles comedians. You know, like those CIS: Law and General Procedural things were for all those intensely weird, whispery dudes that take classes in Hollywood. You know, before they stopped making those shows because, you know, who has time.

28 gradual expirations of pre-packaged vegetable or salad mixes I completely neglected even to open. Parenthetical note, that did not deter them in any way from contributing to the general funk of my disarrayed Van Nuys apartment. Clever readers that may recall earlier inferences to the cat in residence may find reward in my acknowledgement of his ready contribution to the olfactory disaster I barely sleep in each day.

As many as five (perhaps? who can count?) assignations, trysts, lusty noontimes, clandestine paramores or other assorted calls-of-booty.

3 farewell shindigs, but fuck them anyway.

They worry about you. Call them. Unless they've already forgotten.

You used to have a family, right? They’re somewhere. Maybe Facebook?

48 coffee dates, but people don’t actually go on those anymore, right? I mean, that literally does not happen. It’s like asking someone “how’s it going” while mutually understanding either party lacks the fundamental interest in another person’s human condition. This is Los Angeles, and I am not your therapist. Unless I am, in which case, thank you for your candor in not yet reporting me to the pertinent mental health authority.

8 holiday themed parties comprising four holidays of significance. Ghosting the Columbus Day Fancy Dress and Ugly Sweater Cat Fashion Parade and Luau was perhaps the bitterest pill.

Almost every episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I take this as a personal kindness; sorry Joss.

Untold multitudes of karaoke scheduling fails, because I was either A. At the wrong place, B. Working late or C. Already deep in another karaoke adventure working late in entirely the wrong place.

2 family members visiting from out of town that I would otherwise totally bail to see, but they never see my shows, so screw them.

250 necessary hours of restful sleep, offset by borderline illegal stimulants and stress adrenaline. I’m comfortable with my identity as a cortisol junkie and recalcitrant chemical insomniac. You can’t fix me with your science. Not until they build robots that can solve my problems for me. Please don’t tell me if we have those; daddy needs his go-go party fun-time fix.


All of this. This litany of miserable human wages. ONLY ONE SHOW. Corwin, you had ONE JOB.

That’s how hard I work, folks. That’s just the stuff I can even remember. And usually I’m working on at least five damn shows at once. It’s not a glamorous life, but the parties are great. Well, they’re okay. Sometimes we get Taco Bell.

[Parrot News] Squawk and Roll

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Pop quiz – what’s the most influential band of 2013? (HA! “Pop” Quiz for a music test! I kill me!)

a. Daft Punk
b. Vampire Weekend
c. The National

The truth is- it’s none of those bands- and it isn’t Boards of Canada or Everything Everything or any of the other bands whose names I learned when  I Googled “what’s the most influential band of 2013”. No- the most influential band is clearly Hatebeak, which combines the punishing drums of Blake Harrison, the incendiary guitar work of Mark Sloan and the screeching, squawking and oddly repetitious vocals of Waldo the Parrot. That’s right- Waldo the Parrot. It’s the most exciting new band to feature a non-human lead singer since Deathtongue changed their name to Billy and the Boingers and KISS broke up.

By using a parrot as a lead singer, Hatebeak makes a statement about the music industry- the way in which bands are just expected to mindlessly “parrot” whatever The Man tells them to do, the way artists in America are little more than trained birds, kept in a gilded cage and repeating their simple tricks for petty rewards from their Big Corporate Handlers. They are also making the statement: “because my chronic and excessive marijuana use has severely and irreparably damaged my decision making ability I put a fucking parrot in my band. Dude, wanna go to Jack in the Box?”

Their most recent album also features Caninus, which uses two barking dogs as their lead singer to spread their message of animal rights, Parrot News- 110513- Caninusvegnaism and the importance of adopting homeless animals- although the only message the dogs seem to be able to communicate through barking is “somebody’s outside. Somebody’s outside! SOMEBODY’S OUTSIDE! SOMEBODY’S OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE! SOMEBODY’S OUTSIDE AND I’M FREAKING THE FUCK OUT ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT MIGHT BE A SQUIRREL!!!!SQUIRREL!!!!! Wait, i’ts not a squirrel. I’m going to sleep” which, I guess sort of sounds like an important statement about eating Tofurkey and saving the world.

So enjoy this article- and be sure to check out the sample track from their album Bird Seeds of Vengeance- and laugh all you want at Waldo- he does “what he wants, when he wants” – and if that isn’t rock n’ roll, I don’t know what is.

Just a couple quick questions:
1. Uhm…..why are these guys holding a gun?

2. If putting a parrot in your heavy metal band as a lead singer doesn’t disqualify you from buying a gun, then WHY EXACTLY DO WE BOTHER DOING BACKGROUND CHECKS IN THE FIRST PLACE?



[Scandanavian Crime] Slow TV–Possible Cause of Scandanavian Crime?

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Norwegian television set ratings records this weekend with a 13 hour show about knitting.

Ahem, let me type that again.

Norwegian television set ratings records this weekend with a 13 hour show about knitting.

Yep, hmmm….the first 4 hours consisted of a roundtable discussion about knitting. The next 9 was “long, quiet sequences of knitting and spinning.” Who needs Sunday Night Football on NBC? The picture above shows the triumphant sweater that was completed by the end of the night. The show was originally only supposed to be 12 hours, but it was going so well they extended it an hour.

And this Slow TV special followed previous specials, one about firewood and one following someone on a 7.5 hour train trip.

So yes, the happiest people in the world, also the most twisted. The confluence of this is rocking crime novels and 13 hours of high quality knitting television. Oh Boy! Sorry Granny Jan, but Norwegians are weird.


[Scandanavian Crime] It’s a Keeper

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How excited am I? One of my favorite Scandinavian crime books, Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen made into a movie? And it’s in Danish?!?! But wait…no U.S. deal yet for distribution? Why? Are we planning on remaking it badly starring Michael C. Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch. Which would be awesome, for sure, I guess in my attempt to be funny I just came up with my dreamiest casting fantasy of all time! Yay me!

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[Scandanvian Crime] Gets Dissed…

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The Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) is asking it’s 600 members to vote on the greatest ever crime novel. It’s chock full of somebody named “Agatha Christie” yet there isn’t one person on the list with an umlaut in their name. I love Raymond Chandler as much as anyone should really, but to snub all of our happy yet twisted Scandinavian crime writers is just plain wrong. And sure, maybe I’m biased, because I do *heart* Scandinavian crime, but there’s some pretty excellent crime fiction coming out of that region right now that’s above and beyond the cozy mystery of yesteryear. Just saying, CWA. No Jo Nesbo? No Jussi Adler-Olsen?

Ok, as I was typing that my brain was saying to me, really, greatest ever? I mean, Long Goodbye vs. Redbreast? Sherlock effing Holmes vs. the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? So, maybe not greatest ever, but at least the good stuff of what’s coming out now. I’d like to think Raymond Chandler would enjoy a good Harry Hole story if he indeed liked anything besides booze. (By the way, I’m not really a fan of Steig Larsson, it’s just that the title of his book works from a literary point. I would never compare him to Raymond Chandler. I much prefer the other Scandinavians).

Please Leave Fido at Home

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I want to bring my dog to work, but my HR Department won’t let me. Why are they so mean?

-Dog lover

Yo Dog,

Thanks Google—thanks for creating all these fun and friendly workplaces with all sorts of crazy perks like laundry machines and free food. Oh, and thanks too for telling the whole freaking world about them. I have a secret for you—shhhh! Don’t tell anyone—but you know why Google feeds all their employees a free dinner? Because it means that they’ll never go home, they’ll never leave the sparkling utopia of the Google “campus” (don’t even get me started on how much I hate it when companies call their buildings campuses) and trudge home to, I don’t know, see their kids, hug their wives, live a life that has nothing to do with Google, play with their dog. But wait, it’s brilliant, in that whole list, what was the one thing you actually wanted to do? See your kids? That’s exhausting! Hug your wife? She’s a hopeless nag! Who’s the family member you miss the most? Who’s the only one that lovey-dove-loves you no matter how many times you step on his tail or forget to give him water? (Note to my husband (Monsieur HR):I still contend that wasn’t my fault). So here’s the best part! Now you can bring him to work with you! It’s great, just you and him against the workday. Now you never have to go home, you can spend every waking moment of your life playing ping pong in the employee lounge, getting your clothes dry cleaned over and over, and playing with your dog. Oh, and working! Yes, don’t forget the working!

Disclaimer: I have no idea if Google, in fact, allows their employees to bring their dogs to work. I’m just assuming they do. And if they don’t, I’m blaming the irrationally high standard they have set in workplace tomfoolery as the reason other companies allow it.

Has the concept of work-life balance become so smudged in today’s day and age that we think this sounds like a good idea? Allow me to cite the example of my dog, who I like to call HR Dog. Now I lovey-dove-love HR Dog. He’s just the sweety-weetiest little (he weighs 90 lbs) thing in the whole wide world. When I ask him to sit so that I may hug him (I ask his permission), and he decides to do me that favor, and looks up at me with his big brown eyes and I put my arms around him, well I don’t have to say it’s just a little moment of joy in my life. In that very specific moment he is the perfect dog. You know when he wouldn’t be the perfect dog? If I brought him to work with me.

Here’s HR Dog’s day at my office:

8:30 am- hide under Mme HR’s desk, pay particular attention to where she likes to put her feet so I can lie exactly there. Oh, and rub up against her black pants a few times to leave optimum amount of dog hair behind.

10:00 am- manager comes into Mme HR’s office with a question. Bark loudly and incessantly from under the desk. The important part here is to not actually get up off the floor or come out, just to make it absolutely impossible for them to have a conversation. Repeat every time someone comes into the office, whether or not I’ve seen them before or know them.

10:30 am- Break time! Go with Mme HR outside to run around with other doggies in the little doggie area. Make sure to poo so Mme HR has to pick it up getting some on her pantsuit and making her hands smell like poo.

10:45 am- follow Mme HR as she goes to restroom. Follow her into the restroom. Follow her into the stall. Bark at anyone (from the stall) that comes in.

12:00 pm- Lunch! Follow Mme HR to lunchroom. Growl at anyone who tries to pet me. Sit at her feet watching her eat. Growl and/or bark at everyone who tries to sit next to or talk to Mme HR.

2:30 pm- Follow Mme HR to important meeting. When she doesn’t let me into the conference room, sit outside the floor to ceiling window and stare at her during the entire meeting. Oh, and bark at everyone who comes in and out of the meeting. Or who walks by. Or who breathes nearby. Or who answers the phone. Or who does ANYTHING!!!

3:45 pm- Break! Take a random mad dash through traffic while Mme HR pleads with me to come back to her and sit for hugs. As if. Have you seen all this traffic?

5:45 pm- Dinner! Free food! <See Lunch>

7:00 pm- curl up into corner of office and sleep while Mme HR finally gets all the work done she hasn’t been able to do today because I’ve just been so damn adorable.

9:30 pm- Mme HR joins me on the floor for sleep. Who wants to go home and deal with all those annoying kids (she doesn’t have any) or that nagging Monsieur HR (just kidding! You know I love you honey! And yes, I gave the dang dog water, quit nagging)

Ok, so I guess by now you are thinking that I’m just as mean and evil as your HR Department. I mean only someone whose heart is two sizes too small would be against bringing their dog to work. I guess my little story above did not inspire you. I suppose you think your dog is just the mostest bestest behaved dog in the world and would just be an angel all day to everyone. Maybe you’re right. Maybe your dog would be an asset to the work environment, a paragon of poochitude. He would lift everyone’s spirits with his sweet slobbery kisses. The whole company would become more productive under his watchful doggie eye, assembly lines will move faster, admin assistants will type faster, programmers will write code with a song in their heart and a twinkle in their eye. Soon there will be a painting of him in the lobby, an honorary seat for him on the Board.

So great, you have a fan-freaking-tastic dog. I’m jealous. But here you go, it’s not your dog I’m worried about. It’s the pit bull aspirationally named Peaches that Janie in Accounting just rescued from the Shaky Scared Pit Bull Love and Hugs Rescue who thinks it’s a good idea to bring him into an unfamiliar place with lots of unfamiliar people doing even more unfamiliar things. She thinks he will be just fine. He just wants love! That’s why he ripped off Johnny in Marketing’s face. It’s how he expresses love.

And don’t get me started about Bobbi in Legal and all of her animal hair allergies. The woman practically walks around in a face mask as it is. And what about clients or customers that come in to your office? Who knows how they feel about our four legged friends. Not to mention they have now become targets for Peaches to rip off their faces.

So you see, you are being unfair to your HR Department by calling them mean. Just look at all the crap they have to put up with on this just so you can bring your damn dog to work. This is your job, get over it. Jobs by and large suck, they aren’t as good as our houses. Leave the good things at home so you’ll enjoy it more. Get over it. Cut them a break and go home and hug your wife, toss a ball to your kids, read a story to your perfect dog. HR Dog and I are just going to be over there, in the corner, growling at you.

Good luck out there,

Madame HR (and Dog)

This post originally appeared on Fierce and Nerdy April, 2013.

Questions Madame HR? Submit them via the handy contact form to the right, or email me here. All questions and stories will be kept confidential!