Uptown Rantz

Don't Wanna Be No Uptown Fool

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That’s My FWB!


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Ever have a FWB (if you don’t know, click here), and then you see your FWB out on an actual date with someone else? A little jealousy creeps in followed by the guilt of feeling jealous because there’s a supposed mutual understanding that you’re not dating each other.

I stopped in two nights ago at Green Mill Uptown after an evening of Christmas shopping traffic. I sat at the bar and immediately saw Jessica (not to be confused with my ex-g/f Jessica) at the corner table with some dude. His back was to me and she was facing me, but she hadn’t noticed me yet. I sent her a text. I saw her type her reply right in front of him. He got up to go outside and smoke, so I walked over to her table.

“You cheating on me already?”

She smiled, stood up and gave me an unusually long hug (she smelled amazing). Her date saw the hug through the window and immediately put out his cigarette. He returned to the table while I was standing there talking to his date. Jessica introduced us, he shook my hand and I returned my attention to Jessica. He was prematurely gray, shorter than me, and I was standing tall after seven straight days of workouts…stomach flat, delts bangin’, arms jacked (I know that sounded douchey as hell, but he was with my FWB!)

Jessica and I were talking about her work and her family, so he easily figured out that I know things about her that he doesn’t know. She told me she has more free time later in the week and that she would text me to hang out. I didn’t look at his reaction because I didn’t have to. He’ll shell out money for dinner and drinks, get a friendly goodnight hug and never come close to seeing Jessica naked. And the chance of him reaching the stage with her where she’s peeing on the toilet while he brushes his teeth, zero.

I returned to the bar and we continued to have text with each other right in front of him. I win.


Vans, Denise Richards, Westlaw Contractors

I was hammered last night. I reached that point of alcohol consumption where I consciously realized that I’m drunk. It happened as I was seated at the Green Mill bar and looking down at my coffee-stained Vans slip-ons, which I’ve worn for five days straight. I have plenty of other shoes that are nicer, but these Vans have been my second-skin for work, weekends, taking out the trash and anything else.

With the inebriation came the freedom from self-consciousness that will accompany being alone at a bar. I was no longer checking my cell phone every couple minutes pretending to be waiting for someone. And I was no longer attempting to read the City Pages because it was too dark to read anything anyway. And I thought it was hilarious that the website I write the next day (today) will be for a law firm that specializes in DWI law. That’s even kind of hilarious sober. But these Vans will also walk me home.

My personal remedy for a hangover is to wake-up and immediately do 50 pushups. Then get a tall coffee to-go from the Uptown Diner before I head down 35W. So that’s what I do. Now I have four pages of this DWI site under my belt and I need to take a walk. I walk through the skyway over to the Westlaw side. As usual, the Findlaw girl who looks like a young Denise Richards is talking with the black guy in the graphic print t-shirt in the middle of the skyway. She giggles and he acts cool even though he’s wearing a graphic print t-shirt. They don’t even notice me

Over in Westlaw, I pass the ice-cube trays where all the contractors are watching TV, You-tubing, and Facebooking. Speaking from experience, it’s completely amazing how much work goes un-done when you’re a contractor at this place. I watched three seasons of Friday Night Lights and bought and sold hundreds of dollars of ebay merchandise while all the Novus data I was supposed to be checking went un-checked in front of me. [editor’s note – if you’re a Westlaw subscriber and your database isn’t displaying properly…sorry…It was because I was on Hulu.com during external release testing.]

Caroline, Findlaw and Spyhouse Coffee

It’s the first cool evening in awhile as I walk towards Spyhouse on Hennepin because there’s nothing good on TV and I’ve read all my magazines. I walk in and the first person I see is Caroline, who I haven’t seen since she left Thomson Reuters for a lucrative position in government affairs at Target corporate over a year ago. We began as contractors in Westlaw at the same time and bonded because we were both way overdressed on our first day. When I moved to Findlaw our daily lunches were what I looked forward to most.

While working at Thomson, she did a lot of research and reached the conclusion that Thomson stifles ambition and doesn’t reward initiative. From that point on she focused her attention on Target and Best Buy.

I always admired Caroline’s resolve and positive attitude. Other contractors seemingly threw in the towel and took permanent positions at Thomson only to complain later about the money they could be making elsewhere. Caroline got into Target by not taking no for an answer and now she has a great salary complete with stock options. With annual performance raises, she’ll eventually earn six figures plus bonuses. I tell her we still get turkeys at Thanksgiving. And that even further on the upside, the web marketing training has helped make my ebay descriptions jump off the screen and sell faster. She smiles more out of pity, I think, instead of humor.

It takes zero convincing to accept her offer of beers and catching-up at Green Mill. So over pints and a shared plate of nachos we discuss her upwardly-mobile career and my lack of one. She smiles as she excitedly talks about life at Target corporate – even her eyes smile as she details the uber-nice downtown building and upscale professional dress code. She hasn’t seen a pair of crocs since happily leaving the Thomson campus.

She asks me about the various people from Findlaw she remembers seeing during our lunches in C cafeteria…the older lady who sits on the patio outside C cafeteria sunning herself, and who also looks exactly like Ms. Crabapple from The Simpsons and is even orange like a Simpson’s character…the short hipster Asian guy with the white leather messenger bag who walks around with the frumpy sarcastic Jewish guy…hot Elena…the guy who for some reason thought it would be cool to grow his goatee to a grotesquely long length probably to compensate for his pre-mature balding…the group of older writers that sit together in editorial meetings who I fear I may become if I don’t stay focused on my career goals…and the two blonde sisters who don’t look alike but they’re both pretty.

I tell her yep, it’s all the same. Nothing changes around Thomson – not even the pay scale. She says that Target’s regulatory department is rapidly expanding and she’ll personally pass my resume to the right person. It’s the best news I’ve heard since hearing Friday Night Lights is returning for a final season.

I cut myself off after two Stella’s. Besides, I have to rush home and re-do my resume. The next morning I e-mail Caroline my resume. I arrive at work and walk the 44 miles from my car to the building…past the guys at the security desk who are only slightly more pleasant than construction workers and probably less-educated. I sit down in my cube and Caroline has already replied with suggestions for revising my resume…remove the underlining and italics because it makes it difficult for HR to scan into their system.

I rapidly re-send. Caroline replies and says it looks good. Now I’m going to D cafeteria to stare out the window for awhile.

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