Monday, December 31, 2007

Cigarette Lighters: Buyer Over 18

Who knew that in order to buy a cigarette lighter, you have to be 18 or older? Who knew they would actually card one for such a thing? But they do. Oh yes, they do.

Saturday night - or was it Friday night? They're all kinda blurring together right now... Friday night, it was Friday night - Mike stopped at a gas station and since I was going to buy gum, asked me to pick him up a lighter - he'd lost his, and then he'd bought another, and lost it, too.

So, I grabbed the gum and the lighter and the woman behind the counter said, "I'll have to see an ID."

So I showed it to her. She looked at me suspiciously, clearly not believing that it was a real ID. You know, since people forge passports on a regular basis. She finally said, "Okay," and gave me my total.

So, I said (making conversation... it's what I do), "How old do you have to be to buy a lighter?"

"Eighteen," more suspicious looks, as if she still disbelieved me.

I got out to the car and told Mike about it, and he laughed! "Do I really look that young?" I asked when he stopped laughing.

"Um... today... well, you know... well..."

"Nevermind, Mike."

"Thanks, sweetie."

And then, at dinner, Mike told Adam, who spit up his alcoholic beverage. (And then a friend of theirs apologized when he said his 18-year-old students are kinda stupid sometimes, thinking I was 18... Mike choked on his coke, Adam his taco. Dang it all.)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ali and The Boys

Hurray for having reliable internet for the first time in several days!

My puppy, Ali, seems to have made a few friends in the boys, starting with my brother, progressing to my father, and ending with my boyfriend.

Ali and Ken


The first time Ken saw Ali, he scorned her, "I don't like small dogs."
Ten minutes later, he was picking her up, throwing her, petting her, etc. He "borrowed" her and went down to the basement. When he returned her, he said, "I tried to ride her."
I was a little worried. With my brother, you just never know. Later, I asked one of his friends about it. Zach said, "No, he didn't. He threw her and dropped her and made her roll. I would keep him away from the puppy, if I were you."
Well, said, Zach.
The problem is, by then, she already had a puppy crush on him. As soon as she saw him or heard him, her little butt and tail would start wagging like crazy. Then, she would go crazy, jumping around, hopping, pumping herself up for the inevitable playtime.
And then, he was going somewhere, and didn't want to play. She watched him go, with big, sad eyes and then turned her craziness on the rest of us.
I can't break her of it. Merde.

Ali and Dad


My dad thought Ali was cute pretty much immediately. HE liked petting her and holding her and playing with her. He didn't like it when she bit. He helped me come up with a temporary solution. Temporary being the key word.

Ali and Mike

When Mike first saw her, he laughed. "My cats would eat her alive." True story.
Then, when she tried to bite him, he didn't do what Ken did (push her and watch her roll over - I think she liked it), instead he picked her up waaay over his head (like my dad did) and said, "You're a little shit, you know that?

Then, today, before Mike and I were getting ready to go to lunch (I still wasn't ready, and so he played on the computer: go figure), and she bit his toes and he told me, "She's a turd."
"You don't like her?'
"No, I like her. She's cute as hell."
And then she bit his toe again. Sharp baby teeth.

Puppy needs puppy classes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hilary Clinton and Universal Health Care

Chekc out this "commercial."





What do you think?

Personally, I think that's ridiculous. First of all, a gift is something you receive "freely." Hilary's "gifts" are something that we (as taxpayers) have the wonderful joy of paying for. Ourselves.

On a similar note, I realize that several people think Universal Health Care would be a good thing. I can say with certainty, that it wouldn't be. Government run health care programs have a tendency to fail miserably because "we the people" abuse them. What a concept.

If you don't believe me, check out the American Education system. It sucks. American Education couldn't be worse. Let's make a crazy assumption here, and say it sucks because it's government-run. Now, if the government can't run the education system, why should the health care system be any different? And if they can't run the education system, how will they be able to run both the education system and the health care system?

I'm against free health care. Because in my experience, anything that's "free" comes at great cost.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Puppy


Here are some pics of my puppy. Her name is Ali. But she hasn't quite figured that out. If you say "Ali" she occasionally looks at you and tilts her head like she thinks you might be referring to her.

There she is after her first bath. She needed it. Trust me. She also needed the second one. But look how cute and innocent she looks!






And then she adopted Cheryl's old coat... and she still has it... it's her bed since she hates her kennel with a passion I didn't know was possible in puppies.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Courage And Words

There are different kinds of brave, and different kinds of courage. There's the courage to get up in front of people, and to talk, or to sing or to share. There's the courage to get things done. There's the courage to ask people for things, like money. There's the courage to tell people the way things are - or should be. There's the courage to tell a friend that he/she is stupid.

The only way I'll get up in front of people and sing - even Karaoke - is if I'm drunk, I'm pretty sure. I don't know this from experience, it's just a hunch. It's something I would want to do - something I would love to do, really, I just can't do it. That's why I think that if I hadn't any inhibitions I could do it.

Mike doesn't get that. For him, singing in front of people is no problem. I was trying to explain to him why I can't, and he said, "Just watch me, you just get up and do it. It doesn't take courage." His best friend, Adam, understood better, and while we were both listening to Mike sing, said, "He'll never understand that, Robin. He just won't." So true.

I don't have the type of courage to call out a friend, either. I can gripe and complain all I want, but when it actually comes down to it, I won't do anything. I won't try to change it. I'll think about it for sure, but thinking is different than doing.

People talk talk talk talk talk about how things should be different, about how they should be better. But I've noticed something about people. Oftentimes, the ones doing all the talking, the ones who are so passionate about getting others motivated, don't do anything themselves - and oftentimes, they never will.

I think that's a different kind of brave. I think that having the courage to realize something is wrong and working to change that is one of the best kinds of brave, one of the best types of courage. Especially when that work goes unspoken.

Monday, December 10, 2007

*Long sigh* Yep, that was my weekend

It was a long weekend. Friday night Mike and I went to see the Golden Compass. We didn't enjoy it at all, which is sad because I was really looking forward to it.

Yesterday, I was going to go to church with Mike's grandma and uncle, but got to there house after they'd already left - and then ended up stuck.

Like the smart person I am occasionally, I called Mike to tell him I was stuck in his driveway. He laughed at me, but was willing enough to help me out. I was in the middle of explaining to him where I was, when my feet fell out from under me and I ended up flat on my face. "Humiliations galore" came to mind, but he didn't say anything, so I figured it was between me and God.

I got to the house, and he said something about seeing me take a tumble. I made a face, but didn't bother telling him that I hadn't wanted him to see, until later, when we were telling the story to his grandma. It was hilarious.

Then, he helped me get the car up the driveway. First he helped me get it out, and then he floored it, and got it up.

At least, that's what was supposed to happen. Instead, he floored it, we got about halfway up, and then it went off the driveway and into the corn field.

"We're stuck here, Babe. You're not going anywhere until someone can get this out."

So he made me breakfast. It's good to know my boyfriend can cook. I hate ice.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Rather Long Ramble

I spend most of my time at home. In fact, by the time Melody gets home, I'm so antsy to leave that I practically run her over. That's only a slight exaggeration, which she can confirm with only the smallest of eye rolls, I'm sure.

While I'm at home, I watch TV - and write. I need noise. I need it. I can't concentrate without noise. This leaves two choices: music or TV. I can only write to some music. Not some types, some music. Let me explain. I can write to Flogging Mary's "Light of a Fading Star" but none of their other songs. I can write to Liz Phair's "Why Can't I," Little Digger" or "It's Sweet" but none of her other songs. I can write to several of Avril Lavigne's songs, including, "Complicated," "He Wasn't," and "Things I'll Never Say." But even though I have those on a separate section in my iTunes, I can still only write to those songs sometimes... sometimes I can't do it, and I have to change the song in frustration. This disrupts my writing pattern twice - once when I hear it, and once when I have to change it. That's no good. That makes TV better - especially if it's a TV show I know well, like Smallville. TV is easy to drown out. (Isn't that awful?)

Anyway, one of my standard shows is "Little House On the Prairie."

In one of today's episodes, Mary Ingalls, Nellie Olsen, and a little boy who is disabled are running for class president. The boys figured that the girls would split the votes for Mary and Nellie, and all the boys would vote for the boy. I don't actually know what happened, but it ends all happy and the boy wins class president, chatta chatta. Like I said, it's drowned out. I don't pay much attention.

But today's episode brought back a crazy memory from elementary school.

My best friend, Jessica Kadlec, was running for student body president. I was soooo proud of her, and I knew, just knew, that she would do an excellent job. And if she'd gotten the position, she would have. But she didn't get it.

She promised things that could actually be done - but not things that many of the students really cared about. The guy who won, who probably didn't do anything he said he would because he simply didn't have the power, and whose name I've forgotten by now, promised all kinds of of ridiculous, but enticing things.

In elementary school, you don't really see a problem with asking someone who they voted for, and I remember asking my friend, Anna on the way home from school if she'd voted for Jessica. I mean, I was sure she had: I'd told everyone, literally everyone, that they should, because she'd do such a good job.

Anna, though, told me she hadn't, and when I incredulously asked why, she said, "Because, we can't have a girl president. Girls can't be president. They shouldn't even run. It just isn't done."

Funny, isn't it? I didn't see it then for what it was: an excuse. It makes me wonder when we vote on a larger scale: for our nation's president. Are we voting for who would truly make the better candidate, or the person who promises us the things that make us happy?

Sorry this was such a long post. Peace Out.

Monday, December 3, 2007

French and Star Trek

I have an adorable boyfriend. Yesterday (Sunday) we were watching a film - Star Trek Insurrection - and at the end, we still had a bit of time before we were meeting up with some of his friends (it was one's birthday), and we were going through the Special Features.

Once those were up, he selected a chapter (I wasn't paying much attention, one of the cats had decided to grace me with its presence), and then waited for me to look up. When I did, it started playing, and I looked back down. Until I heard it in French. I looked up again so quickly I gave myself whiplash. Good job, I know.

I was sooooooo excited, though. He just sat watching my expression until I looked up at him, and then he asked, "Can you understand all of that?"
"Yep."
"Could you understand it all the way through?"
"Yep."
"Tell me what they're saying."

So I translated four or five minutes of the film before we got ready to go to with the others. It was fun.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Buying a Puppy


Yesterday, I put a deposit down on a little female Cavachon. She's adorable. Even Melody thinks so, and that's what I call an accomplishment.

When I first arrived at the house last night, there was one puppy that I wanted immediately. He woke up, and pushed his sisters out of the way to come over and lick my fingers. I can't begin to tell you how sad I was that he was a boy. The second one I wanted was all excited to see me (a person, really, she probably didn't care much about me specifically). The other two were adorable, as well, but much more shy. Those two weren't doing the whole pushing/barking thing.




In any case, I decided on the "middle" girl. She's not the biggest girl, nor the smallest, she has neither the most nor the fewest red spots, her fur is long (and non-shedding, yeah buddy), but neither as curly as her bigger sisters' nor as straight as the littlest sisters'. They'll probably be less than 10 pounds when they're fully grown. *cute*

I can take her home in 2 and a half weeks. I need a name. I kinda want a name that starts with an "A." So far, these are the names that have been suggested: Airi, Aliera. Suggestions are appreciated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Love Actually: Focus on Karen


Oh yes, it is totally that time again. If you don't like it, that's too bad. Karen is played by Emma Thompson... you've probably seen her somewhere: like as Sibyll Trelawney in The Harry Potter films, or as Nanny McPhee in... well, Nanny McPhee. She's a phenomenal actress.

At the very beginning, she's talking to her two children, a girl, Daisy, and a boy, Bernard, who are excited about having just received their parts in the Christmas play. Well, Daisy is. Bernard's kind of an arse. She thinks so, too.
"We've been given our parts in the nativity play, and I'm the lobster."
"The lobster?"
"Yeah."
"In the nativity play?"
"Yeah. First lobster!"
"There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Christ?"
"Duh."

I love that Karen helps David with advice on his son. Granted, her advice isn't always very comforting, but that doesn't make it bad. "Get a grip. People hate sissies. No one's ever going to shag you if you cry all the time."

Karen is also the Prime Minister's sister. She calls him up to admonish him - even though he's her big brother, while he's being all patriotic, and she's working on her kid's costumes. She's listening to Joni Mitchell (amazing!) in the background and explains to her husband, Harry, (Alan Rickman, also known as Snape)that Joni taught "your cold, English wife how to feel."

Karen's no fool. She knows Sarah is in love with Karl - and good thing, too, or Sarah never would have danced with him. Karen is also aware that Mia is someone her husband should watch out for. His protestations and "ignorance" don't add up too much: she knows Mia's young and beautiful.

That said, I wonder if Karen knows, when she sees her husband looking at the necklaces that he really is going to buy one - and that it's not going to be for her. I wonder if she doubts at all, until she learns that that is what's happened.
I have to say no, because of her expression of surprise and happiness when she pulls out the necklace - gosh, that would suck.

And then... when seeing the CD? Yeah, good to know her husband listened, and remembered that she likes Joni Mitchell... but the necklace. Gosh, I'm sure any other year, she would have been thrilled that "Mr. But you've always loved scarves" got her something personal... I think that would make it worse, actually.

I also love Karen's reaction at seeing her big brother/the Prime Minister at the children's concert. Oh, and she warned poor Natalie... and I love her expression when she - and the whole rest of the world - sees them making out.

And then, comes what I would call the Ultimatum - when she confronts her husband about giving the necklace. And there, she says one of my favorite lines, a line that I always think of when I think of adultery.
"Would you wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or if it's sex and a necklace, or if, worst of all, it's a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pulling My Hair Out

Clean clean clean.

Melody and I ACTUALLY cleaned out the office today as well as some of the boxes from the kitchen. And we know where we're gonna put other things... kinda. Like the different stands, my Espresso machines, etc.

Took a look at a puppy today. I want a girl dog. It was a boy dog. Boys are bad. Anyone who's a girl knows that...

I want to drag the desk into the office... tchao.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hitman (The Movie)


While Bethany and I waited in line at Circuit City during Black Friday, Mike and I were busily making plans for Friday evening. Plans? Hitman.

Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled. His quick text explanations more confused with each additional message, and "video game" wasn't sounding like much of a plot. Or very interesting. I thrive on plot.

Surprisingly, it was good. I'll outline the beginning because I'm too tired to do all of it...

The story starts out with several young boys getting their heads shaved, and getting bar codes tattooed into their heads. They're all trying not to cry. Each boy is white, and they're all wearing white. The rooms are white, and all the people in the room are wearing white. I immediately thought "cult."

Later, the boys were walking down the hall in 2 straight lines. Like "Madeline," but there was no trouble-making Madeline to make it fun. Troublemakers were disciplined. Some... punished by death. By their own "classmates."

Imagine coming home, into your office, putting your gun on a table, and tripping over a body. You swear, turn the light up, and there, sitting in front of you is a man you've been tracking for the last three years - whom you thought you had three months ago. He tells you you have a nice family, and assures you that they're safe. And then, he asks you if you think you're a good man. You say yes, of course, and then he reminds you that you've killed people. You agree.

Then he asks you a question that he says will determine if you will live or if you will die, "How do you determine whether or not you should kill a good man?"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love traditions, even if they're not really traditions.

Every Thanksgiving from high school on, I have spent the night at Bethany's house (except the year I was in Paris), and then, the next day, we've gone to the Turkey Bowl.

Last night was no exception. Slurpee run, movie accompanied by work, a walk, another movie, and sleep. Turkey Bowl in the morning.

Traditions have a comfort in them, even if they're odd traditions.

Best quote from the Turkey Bowl this morning, "Bethany, you look like a Smurf!"
That quote, in and of itself is hilarious, but the thing that got me laughing: she was wrapped in a red blanket.

Congratulations, Drewie!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Butler Did It

It has been busy. Even so, Melody and I were able to go and see "The Butler Did It" at Grace with Celi yesterday.

I love Grace plays, normally, but I really wasn't a fan of last night's play. In my opinion, it wasn't at the normal caliber I've come to expect of Grace Plays. And that's not because of the acting. The acting was fantastic. The play itself was just really over-the-top cheesy. Funny, yes. Quite a lot of it was funny, but it just wasn't amazing. My favorite character was, hands down, Chastity (or was it Charity) Haze... not really sure on the last name's spelling, but she was great. The other characters all annoyed me to a certain degree.

That's not that it was terrible. The scenes were amazing, the set-up was adorable, a lot of the way they did things was fantastic. As I said, the acting was marvelous... the play was just too full of cheese. Or something.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

whew

It has been an incredibly long week. I'm writing for some new blogs for work!
www.famezee.com: celebrity gossip blog
www.celebzee.com: a look at the positive things celebrities are doing
www.hottogs.com: Hot and trendy things in the world of fashion
www.popsofa.com: a combination of hottogs and famezee
www.tenfootsquare.com: a travel blog
tv.popcrunch.com: a look at different television shows

I'm doing a lot of work. But I like it, so that's good, right?

And now, I need to decide where I'm going with the Novel...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween

Halloween was, sadly, rather uneventful. We had one child, a cute little boy dressed as Superman, come to our door.

This was probably only sad because Melody and I, despite ourselves, were actually prepared. We had 6 mice, 4 bags of candy, 2 spiderwebs (complete with spiders), 2 gargoyles, 2 costumes, and one (amazing) candy bowl.

But, had we not been prepared, it's very possible we would have children.

Nanowrimo starts today!!! I can't wait to get started!!!!! I want to get some work done, first. Today's goal: 3,000 words.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Close to finishing!!



The living room is painted!

Okay, so that's a lie. But half of it is. And that half looks amazing.

There's something amazing about having a clean area to live in, not-white-walls, and floor space.

And today the couch arrived. At first, I wasn't liking the way the colors went together, but now (with the sun hitting it differently, perhaps), I like it just fine.

Clearly, we have to finish painting today. And cleaning. Yes, it would also be good to finish cleaning.

When the couch guy came with the couch, he flattered me with, "You
have such a little voice. I thought you were about five when you answered the phone."

Gee, thanks, buddy.

Then, the other guy says, "I bet it happens all the time."

And then the first guy says, "So people tell you all the time that you sound like your four, huh?" Doh.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Top Ten Best Ways to Stay Awake Driving

10. Daydream. This works until your daydreams start putting you to sleep. Sleeping while driving is bad.

9. Talk to yourself. Or sing. This works well, but you might feel dumb. Other drivers - with people in their car - might look at you funny.

8. Call people and force them to talk to you. This only works if people answer. You look less odd.

7. Splash water in your face. It feels amazing, and it wakes you up. Drinking water also wakes you up, especially cold water.

6. Ice cream. McDonalds, Dairy Queen, the bars from gas stations, anything will do. Instant sugar. It kinda wakes the body up because of the cold. It's a quick thing, though.

5. Coffee. Or espresso. Chug it! Or drink it slowly... savoring is best. Those buggers are expensive.

4. Apples. They have the sugar of coffee and ice cream, but they take longer for your body to digest because of the fiber, and they're healthy.

3. Cold air. Just turn on the air or roll the window down. The problem is when you get cold and wanna turn the heat on. That'll put you right back to sleep, I promise.

2. LOUD music. Combined with cold air and coffee or apples, this is amazing.

And number one is:

1. Imagine how satisfying it would be to punch/kick/beat up someone you're mad at... or detest. This works unless your forceful punches make you shake the car. And then the terror of going off the road wakes you up. You win both ways!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What do you mean "No Connection Available?"


Sitting in Starbucks this morning, I had no connection (to the internet) for several minutes. Normally, that ticks me off (just ask Melody). Today, though, I was okay with it, and started going through my files for stories/articles that I could revise or finish.

I stumbled across one that made me laugh, mostly because I remember exactly how I felt. I called it "The Herding Mentality." It's a story about the first time I saw - as in saw in person, REALLY saw - the Eiffel Tower. It made me laugh because I'm a dork. And maybe it will make you laugh, too.


The Herding Mentality

Our first night in Paris, Sarah and I caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I think we stared at it, open-mouthed, for five minutes, before either of us breathed. Maybe not quite so long. In any case, it stood, only miles away from us, lit up like gold. We both gasped when it began to sparkle.

That remains my image of the Eiffel Tower, lit up in gold, with bright blue sparkles dotting the length of it, while the spotlight spins around, illuminating the sky.


Days later, Sarah and I paid our respects to the Tower. We’d visited it during the day, but it wasn’t until early evening of our last day that we climbed it.

It was still quite light when we stood in line, but, to my disgust, the line barely crawled. We waited for the elevator. We waited on the next floor for the next elevator. To add insult to injury, while others wandered freely, we were forced to stand in a single-file line, waiting for the poky elevator.


And to my utter humiliation, in my disgust (I hate lines), I cried out to Sarah, “I feel like a sheep!”

I can still see the expression on Sarah’s face while she waited for me to register what I’d just said. I don’t recall if she laughed or not; she probably did. After a moment, in a vain attempt to (unsuccessfully) regain my dignity, I added, “Well I do!”

To my relief, the elevator door opened soon after. We climbed slo-o-owly up the Tower. And at the top, there we were, finally. Finally, at the top of the Eiffel Tower, the top of Paris… the world spread beneath our feet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Power outage

The electricity went out last night. I love when that happens. For a lack of options, Melody and I lit almost all of the candles we could find in the house. It immediately made me want to write. There's just something about writing by candlelight that's so.... enticing. The candle's glow casts a spell over me that just makes me want to write... four hours if I could.

I think it has a similar effect on Melody. She pulled out my camera (her batteries were dead), and started taking pictures.

Maybe it's the aura. Or the silence. In this day and age, we so rarely have silence. There's the tv, or the radio, or car horns honking, or the sound of keys clicking away on a computer.

Last night, the sounds were... much more natural: the sound of the rain hitting the windows, or the sound of the distant thunder. The whisper of the wind through the trees, and the splash of the rain as the drops hit the tree's branches, or the sound of a puddle forming outside on the road.

Of course, there was the sound of my pen on the paper, and clicking of the camera, but I'm not sure those count.

And while I think Melody wanted the electricity to return (okay, I know she did), but I was thoroughly enjoying the relative novelty of the situation.

And then, my cell phone rang, thus breaking the spell.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Mess of Events

I should be working right now. Well, I am working right now... just taking a short break. I love working from home.

In any case, that's not exactly what I wanted to write about. Yesterday, after a nice date with Mike, I pulled a me. In other words, I managed to forget my house keys, and my car keys, leaving them in the house. What do I do? Well, there's not much TO do. I called Melody. Repeatedly.

Melody sleeps like the dead. I wanted to leave a message telling her that, but didn't. No point. I just called. Over and over and over. Mike kept telling me she left her phone downstairs or turned it off. I insisted he was wrong, and that it was near her. He right. I hate that.

At one point, I thought to myself that it was highly probable that I left the spare keys in the car. Neither Mike nor I know anything - ANYthing - about breaking into cars, but that's okay. My mom's car has one of those keycode things. So, while calling Melody, we tried that.

Problem? I haven't the slightest idea what the code could be, how many numbers it is, or anything else. We tried different combinations to no avail. Unless, of course, setting off the "thief" alert thing counts. Fortunately, it didn't beep, but if it had, that might have woken up Melody. And the rest of the neighborhood.

Then I had the bright idea to call my brother. Ken was the last one to live with my parents, he actually understands cars (comparatively speaking), he might know the code. Mike laughed at me because I kept changing between saying, "Please be awake" to "Please don't be on duty."

My poor little brother was sound asleep, "Wh...wha...what do you want?"
After a few minutes, I determined that he didn't know either. So, we tried calling Melody again. And then we tried Cheryl. A boy answered her phone. Friend's boyfriend. Hmph. She didn't know either and I suggested I call mom and dad. I felt horrible, but did it anyway. They didn't know, either. Of course not.

Mike and I each took a door and pounded on it, me in back, him in front. Evidently, that's what actually woke Melody, but I was unaware of that. I walked back in front and told Mike that I'd given up, and asked if he'd drive me to a hotel.

"Hon, you're not going to be able to find a hotel tonight. The Notre Dame game is tomorrow, and it's a home game. It's going to be booked. We'll get you in the house."

Seconds later, we saw Melody's outline behind the door. I was saved!

Thank you, Melody!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fixed water? hah





Well, here are the latest pictures of our basement. Needless to say, the plumber did NOT fix the problem.

"Love Actually: Focus on Sarah

I know, I know... I over-watch this film, right? Well, this time it was destiny. As E News finished, I was looking for something else to watch, and what is on, but "Love Actually?" Amazing. Just amazing. And so I decided that the first character I saw would be today's focus. Which is why we're looking at Sarah.

Now, it's a good thing I know this movie so well, or this wouldn't be so good, now would it?

Sarah is a friendly, sweet girl, who can't seem to figure out relationships. She has a brother who is institutionalized for... who knows what. "He's ill," whatever that means.

At her friend's wedding, she confronts Mark, asking if he is in love with him. Good question... wrong person. I don't know if she gets the answer she's expecting or not, but the important thing is that she asked. She understood that Mark is clearly hurting, and so she asked the awkward question so should he want to talk about it, he could.

And then, there is the horribly awkward conversation with her boss, Harry. I don't know about you, but if my boss were to ask me how long I'd been in love with a coworker, I'd want to sink through the floor.

Sarah has a similar reaction, but for one thing: she answers the question. She is rather shocked when Harry then suggests that she ask him out, then "casually drop into the conversation that you'd like to have lots of sex and babies."
"You know that?"
"Yes, I know that. Everybody knows that. Even Karl." Poor girl. And then, she thanks him for his advice, still a little stunned and leaves - as in walks the man of her affections. Ouch...

I came in as Sarah was sitting at work, late, after hours, putting on makeup. Karl walks out, and tells her goodnight. And she repeats the kind words. I can only imagine that her boss's words came to mind... but whether she had any intention of following through with his suggestion, we'll never know, because her phone rang. Her brother. Again. As usual.

A "concerned" Harry asks about the matchmaking plan, but agrees when Sarah explains she's gone goose egg (chickened out), and it's a good thing, because he's too good for her. I think his reaction is more to encourage her to do it than to be truly cruel. But her phone rings while they're playfully hitting one another with pieces of paper. Her brother. Again. As usual.

Oh, and you have to love her. Karl asks her to dance at the company Christmas party and the girl completely chokes, "Who, me?" He starts to back off, and then she fixes it. Fortunately, Harry's wife, who she's been talking to, has the foresight to take her drink so she doesn't have to worry about it any longer.

As they step out on the dance floor, the song, originally a fun dance song, turns to a slow dance song. And they dance happily in one another's arms.

Karl drives her home, and then, after a few awkward moments and some passionate kissing, Sarah invites him in. We all know they intend to have sex. Just as Harry encouraged her.

Funny insert: Karl, who is incredibly handsome is standing in his underwear by her bed, and one of the first times I watched this, my then-roommate (Portuguese, Euridice) and I were discussing how I think men in tuxes were hot. She was non-commital, and then, in this scene she turns to me and said, "Yes. He's hot. You can know because in a tux anyone is hot. But in your underwear it's just you and your underwear." Well, there is that.

In any case, just as Karl and Sarah look like they might actually be getting somewhere... the phone rings. Now, I don't want to encourage them to have sex... but she knows who's calling!!! Don't answer the phone! For goodness sakes DON'T DO IT!

But Sarah must be a nicer person than I, because she answers the phone. And it's her brother. Of course. As usual. She's off quickly, and she's left with a hot almost-naked man in her bed. Now what? The phone rings. Again. Of course. And she answers it. And it's her brother. Again. Of course. And she tells her brother that she's not busy, and agrees to go to see him.

While Sarah's sitting, talking with her brother, I can only think about what she's given up for the brother who loves her, but is never going to fulfill her. And I can't help but feel sorry for her.

Later, Sarah and Karl have one last goodbye and Merry Christmas... and threw her tears, Sarah calls her brother.

This movie doesn't end with a predictably happy ending for Sarah. And I think that's one of the charms of this film. Not everyone gets a happy ending. "Love Actually" shows love in all of its forms... love unreturned, love unfinished, love broken, sweet love, patient love, surprising...love(?),and love triumphant, too. And that's pretty cool.

(Off the subject: we have hot water!!!!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Water Pictures





I meant to update much earlier, but my computer was running slowly... among other things.
In any case, here are the water pictures from this morning:









The good news is that I spoke with the home warranty people today and they're sending someone out tomorrow between noon and one!
Hurray!














Now, I'm smart enough to know that they'll probably not be here until... say 2, but there's always a chance that it'll happen, right?




















Yeah, the water's pretty bad, now isn't it? I guess the idea is to NOT use the hot water until then.













I hate waiting.

And I really really hate not having hot water.

This is ridiculous.

Monday, October 8, 2007

More pics of the house

I hate Fed Ex, and from now on I will be using only UPS. More on that later, once I know the results of tonight's conversation.


In the meantime, I will honor my father's request for pictures of the house. Here are some pics posted a few days ago, and here are some from the day I bought the house.





The dagger I bought at RenFest











And then there are the latest pics.

my bedroom so far...








A peek into the guest bedroom







Bear in mind that the house is still a mess as we are in the middle of unpacking and have been hindered by our recent plumbing problems. Yes, there are basement pics, too.




Clearly, the washer and dryer


So, if anyone has any advice as per whom to hire, what to look at, or how to fix it, it would be worth it.

water in the basement

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Water, water, everywhere..."

The plumber came today! We had hot water!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said had. Why "had" you ask? Well, "had" is because of the short-lived nature of our hot water. Melody and I returned from our coffee run tonight (yay coffee in Nappanee), and when we returned home, it was to the alarming sound of the basement's fire alarm. Oh yes. Hot water. Everywhere. "Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink. Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink."

We turned off the pipes. Of course, the basement's puddled, and moist and humid and, well, wet, and now, we no longer have hot water to the house. I called the plumber. If he'd come tonight: 140/hr and 75 for labor/driving out. I don't think so. However, he did confirm how to turn off things, and was soundly unhelpful. Needless to say: I'm not thrilled.

Thank you, Melody, for thinking of bringing out a nice, cold one. And thank you, Ryan, for teaching me how to chug beer. Even if I'm not going to. It's funny how something as nasty as beer can make you feel better. I was telling Mike the other day that Ice Cream does that... but somehow beer does, too.

To cheer me up, though, here's what one idiot customer said to me today. "Is your guys's layaway gone?" Just say that with a hick accent, and half your teeth missing, and you pretty much know what I was up against. Guys's. Erg. One more day. "One day more..."

Funny, in "That Seventies Show", Fezz has his shirt off - and he doesn't look half bad.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wish List

Because my birthday was a few days ago and my parents (mom) and my sister keep asking, here's a short wish list:

1- Gas money so I can go visit Melissa!
2- Cool writing pens like these at Barnes and Noble that I always look at longingly
3- Shopping Spree!!!
4- Espresso Machine, need I say more?
5- Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich (I have 1-6, so say any 7-13)
6- Dave Duncan "A Man of His Word" Series, (includes "The Magic Casement", "Faerie Lands Forlorn", etc)
7- Anything by Patricia A McKillip
8- Cute Shoes!
9- Games: an extension pack to my Fairy Tale Game
10- Smallville Season 6
11- Scrubs Season 1 (well, any season, really, but one seems like the logical place to start)

Oh, and to my Euridice-roomie: it was good talking to you today! And as soon as I have pics I'll post them. Or email them to you.

Murphy's Law: If something can go wrong, it will

Melody chose to focus on the good things of our move... namely, how wonderful it is to live in something that's not a small, nearly non-existent town. Generally, she's a realist. Now, she's still a realist, even in this post, but she's chosen to be an optimistic realist.
I, on the other hand, am typically an optimist. I'm pretty sure I haven't the any optimism left in me. Here's why:

Borrowed my parents suv. It broke. It's been essentially out-of-commission since Friday.
My FORMER (hurray) apartment manager entered the apartment without letting me know he'd be in. That annoys me.
There's no hot water.
My computer cord was missing a piece. It was found. Then I left it in the locked car at the Ford place.
I missed three days of work. (Not too upsetting, honestly)
I worked most of Sunday night (since my computer cord made working Saturday impossible)
We had to stuff things into various vehicles several times. And still had to leave things downstairs, hoping they'll still be there
Still need to change our address.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The tally

This is the total from my customer tally today:

Rude: 11

Indifferent: 10

Nice/Polite: 8

Asked me (a photo associate)an electronic or connection center question: 13


My manager saw my tally (when it was in its beginning stages) and laughed... for about ten minutes. Her cheeks turned all red and she started to choke. She made me put it away (until she left) so it wouldn't happen again.


On a happier note, these are pics from painting this morning:

*This post has been edited to reflect the desires of my roomie*




Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm closing on the house today in an hour and a half. I'm pretty sure that, in the meantime, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown.







Monday, September 17, 2007

"If At First You Don't Succeed - QUIT"

A rather dumpy, unattractive young man came into Wal-Mart the other day, his too-tight t-shirt accentuating each every unsightly lump on his body, and the motto, "If At First You Don't Succeed - QUIT" brandished across it.

To be perfectly honest, the very concept, as well as related concepts, makes me ill. What kind of a culture do we live in when this concept is not only popular, and typical, but brandished across people's chests? Where would we be if this idea were abided by?

Popular variations of "If at first you don't succeed, quit" include: If at first you don't succeed... destroy all evidence that you tried, failure may be your style, redefine success, quit; don't be a nut about success... etc. Don't be a nut about success. I think that's the one that really riles me.

We all know the story of the light bulb. If Edison had given up after his first try, or even his first ten tries, or his first hundred tries, would anyone else have picked up where he left off? We wouldn't have had electricity nearly as soon... would we even have it now?

What about the telephone? That wasn't a one-try event. In fact, it took a span of more than 30 years to get from proving that the metal could vibrate and produce electric impulses to transmitting one sentence. More recently, it took multiple attempts to get cell phones to go from one carrier to another, particularly when the first was more advanced than the second - which is probably why most carriers sell "family plans."

The vacuum, that was no easy feat. Researchers and scientists world-wide spent years trying to create a usable suction. It took even longer to get that suction to work with the same magnitude that it does today. And even longer than that for it to be a small, compatible size.

What's with the defeatist attitude? What happened to "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?" Don't you want to do something with your life? Don't you want to make something of yourself? Or do you just want to sit in front of the television, mindlessly letting life pass you by?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's That Time Again

Love Actually: Focus on Jamie

First time we meet this guy, played by Colin Firth (love that man), he's saying good bye to his girlfriend, who's sick. He's on his way to a wedding, and she's too sick to come.
Something I've noticed about this movie every time I saw it is, he tells her he loves her, but she doesn't return the "I love you." She saws, "I know... Now get out. Loser." And it's said in a teasing tone, of course, but the lack of, "Love you, too," or whatever strikes me every time.
In a Sunday School Class several years ago, way back when I was just starting college and we didn't have an official sunday school so they lumped us with the old people (oh wait, that never changed...), one of the lessons was about marital relations, and how important it is that the couple says, "I love you," to one another, and in response, "I love you, too," or "Love you, too," instead of "You, too." I don't remember much else about that, just the importance of those three little words...

Jamie comes into the house in-between the wedding and reception to see his brother there. He's excited to see him, and they make plans for their mother's birthday - dinner, I believe. He confirms that he's just back to check in on his "lady" and then hears her voice, calling his brother, "I want you at least twice before Jamie comes home." His own brother.

The next time you see Jamie, he's in France, somewhere down south, by the look of things, writing, and we meet his nosy landlady, who is completely unsurprised by the lack of girlfriend. She has a cleaning girl with her, a cute little Portuguese girl who reminds me of my roommate. He fails miserably at speaking to her, but tries really hard. It's cute. He keeps pointing to things and trying to say random things. But meanwhile, he makes fun of himself and she is crazy confused, and laughs at him. It's great.

The next several interactions show Jamie and Aurelia, him saying something in English, and her saying the equivalent - or sometimes the opposite - in Portuguese. And you can tell, just by watching the way they interact with one another - stealing glances when they think the other isn't looking, the cute way their eyes meet, etc - that they're interested in one another. Even though they can't actually speak to one another.

I think, though, the hardest part of the film for him is as he's going home for Christmas. He's clearly upset about Aurelia leaving, doesn't know when - or if - he'll see her again, and then, he doesn't quite have the guts to kiss her. So he learns Portuguese for her, always in the hope of seeing her again.

Then, with his family, you can just see his brother's face for a split second as he pokes his head in the door. The question is: is his ex-girlfriend there? How much does it hurt to see his brother? Has he forgiven him? Will he ever forgive him?

My favorite part, though, is when Jamie goes to Portugal to ask Aurelia to marry him. Her older sister is spreading rumors that her father is going to sell Aurelia to the Englishman, and the whole town follows, curious. Or, rather more accurate: suspicious. Euridice explained to me one night that the Portuguese in general are very suspicious people, and they just don't trust others. "You always sleep with your door locked. I don't care where you live."

But this part reminds me of telephone, because by the time they arrive at the restaurant, people are saying, "Apparently, he's going to kill Aurelia."

In stumbling Portuguese, he asks her to marry him, even though they haven't known one another long, and he knows that she'll probably say no. And, in stumbling English, she says yes.

I realized for the first time today that Jamie's part in this movie isn't all that large. But he's my favorite character - and not just because he's played by Firth. He has a good sense of humor, and his pain is real, and instead of just living with it, like other characters, he works to change it. He pursues the girl he loves, even though he doubts anything will come of it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Lisey's Story"

Though there's no doubt in my mind, or anyone else's for that matter, that Stephen King is an amazing writer, the fact is that his writing disturbs me, has always disturbed me. He plays with... darkness? With mutilation and violence and brutality in a way that makes reading his work painful.

Currently, I'm reading "Lisey's Story." I picked it up because I haven't read King in a long time, and it sounded interesting. "Every marriage has two hearts, one light and one dark..."

Lisey is a widow, whose husband has passed away 2 years before. Scott Landon was a famous writer, and even know, two years later, she's still receiving the condolences of his fans. She's also receiving antagonism on behalf of various Universities who want to publish his unpublished works. Two years, and Lisey has yet to go through his study, to see what he has left behind.

The moment she begins, some of her husband's insanity overcomes her, and she begins a harrowing journey down memory lane, Scott's memory lane. Coupled with her memories of her journey with her husband, are two other things: her less-than-sane sister has entered a catatonic state, and it seems that Lisey's dead husband is trying to help, through a "bool," a game of sorts that he left for his wife.

And someone has taken into his own hands the responsibility of acquiring all her husband's papers. This man claims that Lisey can get his "business partner" to call him off, but it's already been tried, to no avail.

And this is where King gets me every time. The sick, bad taste that's left in my mouth upon reading parts of his stories. I didn't read "It," thank goodness, because my imagination, when left to its own devices is much more graphic than any movie could be. This book, and the other King novels I've read have been quite enough for me. Of course, it is a King Novel, so I'm not really sure what I was expecting. A happy ending? And that's really the kicker, because it might be a "happy ending' but it will never be satisfying.

And that's even worse, because there are psychos out there, and they do... bad things, or things at least. And though things may work out, that doesn't mean the ending is happy, now does it? And this ending, well it's not looking like it'll shape out to be "happy." It's looking like it'll shape out to be realistic.

Monday, September 3, 2007

"Death Sentence"

So, I thought it was time I update, and a movie seems like a good thing to update about. Saturday, Mike and I saw two movies. This might have been a bad idea on our part seeing as how I had to work and go to church in the morning. However, what's done is done. We saw "Death Sentence" and "Superbad."

Superbad, was well, super-bad. That's not true. It had a cute idea behind it, and I liked parts of it, but there was just too much stuff that I disliked about it to really say more than that. At that point, though, I was tired. (I put my head on his arm and left it there for the whole movie. He seemed okay with that. The theater security guard, though, stood behind us, like he thought we were going to get all hot and heavy in the movie theater. Puh-lease, we're not 13.)

Death Sentence, which we saw first, was amazing. It has an interesting style, going back and forth between a clear, standard movie type of filming, very crisp and perfunctory, and then a hazy, film. Parts of it made me think, "Documentary" though it was clearly an action film.

What is this movie about, you ask? A man (Nick Hume, played by Kevin Bacon), who works for risk assessment has 2 sons (Brendan and Lucas), and a beautiful wife. The oldest son (Brendan) is kinda the Star, y'know the type: the light in Dad's eye, can do no wrong... and he's a hockey player, talking about going to college in Canada to play. Now, I'd seen previews for this movie, so I already knew that Brendan died. (Sorry, but I'm really not spoiling anything there.) What got me is this, on they way home from a Hockey game where Brendan started, they're getting gas and Nick calls his wife. Get this: he leaves a message basically saying that Brendan has decided to go to Canada to play college hockey, and since they were already on the road, they decided to just take him to the airport and drop him off. "So, we'll probably never see our son again. You're okay with that, right?"

Seconds later, a bunch of kids enter the gas station where the son is buying a slurpee and they rob the gas station and kill Brendan. Though Nick takes Brendan to the to the hospital, by then it's too late.

The kid who killed him gets hit by car and then picked up by the police. Nick is told that by convicting the kid, they can guarantee that he'll be in prison five years. That's it. This is also where he learns that basically his son was killed as part of a gang initiation. He lets the kid go, then kills him. The cops tell him about it, but they let it go down as a gang war.

Mike leaned over to me at this point and tells me that it's true: the cops wouldn't pursue the case. I thought that was interesting.

The thing is, Nick's action strikes a gang war, they retaliate, he retaliates. The end question is basically: how far would you go? What would you do for revenge? Would you leave it to the police? Or would you take it into your own hands?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cough Medicine

My throat is currently on fire, with little bits missing here and there. My voice comes and goes as it pleases, without rhyme or reason that I can see. Penance for last night's activities, perhaps. That's when it all started. (Well, that's not true. That's when my voice decided to start joining in with everything else.)

Even knowing that I was sick, for some reason, I waited four days before going to the doctor. Notice how that never makes things better? (The waiting, I mean. Though in this case...)

I tried things and there to make my cough, sore throat, earache, headache, and overall body aches go away. Things worked. For a time. The problem is once they stopped working, pain came back in full force.

The coughing at night is keeping me awake. I can't sleep over the noise of myself dying. I suppose it's a survival thing. I'd rather sleep.

At the doctor's office today, I was eventually given two prescriptions. Prescription one: little green pill, designed to force me to cough up the mucus, and forcing the bronchitis to go away. Whiskey does the same thing. Well, the pill is also an antibiotic, which I suppose is something. Something to stay away from. (My family doctor hated them... prescribed them out only as a last resort.)
Prescription two: Cough syrupy stuff. It's in a hot pink bottle (which surprised me), but the syrup stuff is yellow (also surprising). It's thick and doesn't taste nasty (most surprising). The doctor prescribed it to me, promising that if I took it before bed, it would make me stop coughing so I could get some sleep. However, I've been coughing nonstop since taking this med, and, needless to say, sleep has alluded me.

I mean, you try sleeping while you're coughing so hard your whole body is moving with it, while it tears out your throat, burns in your chest, and makes your ears want to explode. (The perk to all this ickiness? I think I won't be going to work tomorrow.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons Learned in Kindergarten

People amaze me. Truly they do. I can't say that this is a good thing.

Have you ever noticed, truly seen, the way people treat one another? Yesterday at work I was struck just by all the things we learn as children, at home, at church, in kindergarten, wherever, that we seem to forget as we grow older. We have a "right now" "me first" attitude. We expect other people to go out of the way for us, but we refuse to contribute. Three lessons I think we've forgotten:

Lesson One: Wait Your Turn

Yesterday at work I was helping a customer, ringing him up so he could leave, and talking to him while doing so. (I'm a social person, he was buying a calculator for his daughter, we were discussing which math class she's taking -- I can't help myself.) I was in the middle of the telling him the total when a woman interrupts, "Can I use this machine!"
"I'll be with you in a minute ma'am." I had no idea why she was asking. Was someone else on the machine. Was there an error on the screen? Who knows.
"I just need to know if I can use it!"
"I'm not sure, ma'am." I could feel my jaw clenching.
"Well, can I?" I glanced apologetically at the man, who shrugged, and peered around him. There was an error message on the screen.
"I'm not sure, ma'am. I'll check in a minute."
"Fine."
I finished ringing my customer up, and then went to look at the error message. Ironically, it wasn't an error message, but a message telling my customer to put her card in. "Yes, ma'am, you can use this machine. Just stick your card in this slot."


Lesson Two: Listen

Yesterday was one of "those" days, I suppose. I had a customer call up, and ask how much it costs to develop a camera. I'm assuming she meant a disposable camera. "We have a two-day send out service and a one hour service. It costs $6.48 for singles for a 24-picture roll in an hour, and it is $4.48 for singles for the sendout service."
Silence on the other line. "Ma'am?"
"So how much does it cost?"
"$6.48 for singles in an hour, $4.48 for singles in the two day service, $8.88 for doubles in an hour, and $5.36 (I can't remember for sure, but I think this is right) for double in the two day service."
"So how much does it cost?"
Trying not to scream: "It depends, ma'am on whether you want singles or doubles, and whether you want the one-hour service or the two-day service."
"I know that. I want to know the amounts."
"It's $6.50 for singles in an hour and $4.50 for singles in two days."
"How much is it for doubles?"
"$9 for doubles in a hour and $5.50 for doubles in two days."
"How much is it for ten rolls?"
I blinked my eyes in horror, "For the sendout service or the one hour service?"
"Both."
"It's about $50 for singles for two days and $65 for one hour."
"What about for one hour for half singles and half doubles?"
"I don't know, ma'am. It's about $7o, I think." Math has never been my strong point.
"How do you get THAT!"
"Um..."
"Oh, never mind, I'll go somewhere else."
Click. Bye.

Lesson Three: Share

We have a drawer. Anything candy that is meant to be shared goes in the drawer. Heather and I contribute gum to the drawer on a regular basis. I buy at least once a week and Heather does the same. Every month or so, Torie contributes, and when Hans worked with us, he tossed in the occasional pack of gum with a piece or two that he didn't want.

Yesterday, I was popping cough drops like they were candy, and the occasional peppermint to rid myself of the taste. Cough drops went in the drawer. Peppermints were hoarded. I didn't want to share them. Yes, I know that's mean. I don't care.

Anyway, Rachel peered in the drawer, makes a face, and says, "There's no gum. Why isn't there gum? Robin, you've only put cough drops in here. Why haven't you put in your peppermints? You can get gum, I'll let you go even though it's not your break."

This lesson is more directed at me than anyone else. Should I have shared my peppermints? Probably. Did I? No. Do I regret that? Not in the slightest.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

World's Worst Facilities

I was somewhere in Pennsylvania, driving north on I-76, when I stopped at a safe-looking BP station for food, drink, and bathroom. This was a mistake.

We all know that gas stations are never the ideal place to go for restrooms especially, but I at least thought the food was safe. I mean, they were sporting a Subway. Subway is the same everywhere. I thought.

The women's room was down. I knocked on the door to the men's room. No answer. I rapped louder. Still no answer. I opened the door. Man peeing. Men: PLEASE LOCK THE DOOR! Or at least respond to a knock. For serious.

After that traumatic experience I was careful to lock the door myself. Seriously, it was the most disgusting facility I've ever used. Parts of the floor were caked with... something. The walls were covered in what looked to be puke that had been unsuccessfully cleaned up. I was afraid to touch the hand dryer thing, but there weren't any paper towels. And the toilet... I don't want to talk about the toilet.

Still hungry, I decided to be good and get some healthy Subway. But when I stepped to the counter, I noticed the meat... it looked tough. And brown. Not gray, though I suppose that's the color bad meat generally is. This wasn't. The chicken, though, was brown. So were the veggies. I opted out.

Hot dogs. Hot dogs are safe (excluding the horribleness that goes into them anyway), right? So not true. There were multiple problems with mine. 1) It cost 2.50. 2) It was cold. And I'd taken it right off the rolling thing. 3) It was spicy. There were peppers in it. There wasn't a sign... no warning at all.

I also got chips. With cheese. I asked the guy, before getting the cheese, if it was hot or cold. I didn't actually care, I just wanted to know. I prefer hot cheese for chips, but I figured I could deal with cold, too. He told me hot. It wasn't. It was cold. The chips... they were stale. The kind of stale that has probably been sitting out for a few weeks.

I realized, as I sat, munching on the stale chips and the hot-cold hot dog, that I probably should have bought something packaged (like the coke that was accompanying my less-than-satisfactory meal) after I saw the Subway food. Too late, though. The bad taste lingered after I'd eaten as much as I could stomach.

Three exits later, I got off and bought McDonalds. Mmm nice and thick an juicy. So much for healthy.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Musings from a Stairway

Though I'm not currently sitting in a stairway, this seems to be a good title for this blog post, because I spent a good 2 hours sitting in one earlier.
How, exactly, did I manage that?
I locked myself out of my friend's apartment.
Now, the really ironic thing is that I locked myself out of her apartment last time I visited her, too. This time, though, she was at work, and her roommate hasn't moved in yet. Her roommate also had his phone off, and he was at his parent's house.
So, while waiting for my rescuer, I had to do something. Granted, my contacts, glasses, keys, and magazines were all in the apartment.
Fortunately, I found a notebook and worked on a short story. I decided I hated the story. Happens.
But what really struck me is how often my imaginary world coincides with the real world.
In my short story, my stupid main character is a Golden Stag. She can shapeshift, and turn into another living creature whenever she wants. A locked door on the second floor wouldn't have been a problem for her. There's always a window or a crack. I have no suck luck, myself. I can't squeeze through cracks in walls, or turn into an ant or a fly or an anything.
Sarah should be happy, though. I sat down with my bobby pins and credit card and tried to break in. As I've done this before on my own lock, I'm pathetically quite experienced. I failed anyway.
I entertained myself by throwing a much-chewed ball against the wall and talking to Melody, writing out a cover letter... and wishing, that sometimes, the rules, laws of nature as it were, could change.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm watching "The Mask of Zorro," with Melody, and I must admit, I simply love this movie.
I have two favorite parts, and I can never determine which part is my favorite, because during the dance scene, that's my favorite part, and during the fight scene, that's my favorite part.
In both of these scenes, it fixes on Catherine Zeta Jones as Elaina and Antonio Banderas as Alejandro.

Since I just saw the dance scene, it's currently my favorite part, so I figure I should hurry up and comment on it.

I love the way that Alejandro subtly plays with the Captain, making little digs and being an all-around pain in the butt. However, though he keeps his tone fairly neutral, we all know that really he's thinking horrible things about him.

And then, there's the actual dance with Elaina. He suggests a faster-paced dance, and Elaina agrees, making a light joke.
I love Elaina's adopted father's reaction to the way they are dancing. Horror fills his whole visage, and I just love it. Melody asked, "Why did her father let her learn this dance in her schooling?"
Something tells me he didn't know she learned it. In any case, he was horrified, and Alejandro wisely lays the blame at her feet.
Her birth father's reaction, though, is completely different. You can see on his (Anthony Hopkins) face that the fact that his daughter is spirited thrills him. You can tell that he enjoyed watching her dance, because she enjoyed it.

I wonder why that is. Is it because she reminds him of her mother? Is it because he didn't raise her, so he doesn't feel the paternal instincts so strongly? Is it because he likes the idea of Alejandro and Elaina together?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Love Actually... focus on Collin

All right, I love this movie. I just adore it. One of the things I love about it is the amazing number of characters available to love.

Now, I decided to focus on Collin, who calls himself "Collin, God of Sex... I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all."

Poor guy, he just always chooses the wrong girl. He's awkward, and he just doesn't quite have what it takes to charm the British girls.

For instance, in the beginning of the movie, at Peter and Juliette's wedding reception, he is doing a fantastic job trying to convince people to eat it, "Taste explosion?"
But then, he crosses the path of the woman who made it. "Looks like a Dead Baby's Finger. Eww... tastes like one, too." Not exactly the best way to make a good impression, is it?

Collin is always hopeful. I love that about him. After buying his ticket to "a fantastic place called 'Wisconsin,'" He reminds his friend, "You know that any bar, anywhere in America, contains ten girls more beautiful, and more likely to have sex with me, than anywhere in the whole of the United Kingdom." Well, clearly, he's just in it for the possibility of sex, but the thing is, whether he really knows it or not: American girls go gaga over guys with British accents. We do. It's true.
(Happy sigh)

Of course, the way the girls are all over him in the bar isn't exactly true, either. It's simply how foreigners see American Girls: easy sluts. Or at the very least, easy.

Even so, I must admit that I'm glad for Collin's sake that he finally gets the girl. And I love that he brings back a girl for his friend. Even though his friend doubted him.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I wish I were more computer savvy, and that I could make cool links to things and what not. It would be fun to take an IT class, or a programming class to learn to do that, I think. It's one of those things that's generally pretty useful.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Frying My Brain

I finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on Saturday before I left for work. That book is amazing. Truly amazing.

I think that, while reading it, Melody and I downed 3 or 4 pots of coffee. I was on a caffeine high all day. My whole body was jittery. Every time I started to be even a little bit tired, the caffeine just kinda ran all through my blood, and I wasn't tired anymore. Shaky, but not tired.

Yesterday, I was rather dehydrated. It was pretty bad.

To my great joy, I've managed to get Monica (one of my co-workers) to also fall in love with Vanilla Chai. I adore chai. The more people I can convince to try it, the happier I am.

Chai...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good-byes


I'm terrible at Good-byes. They usually make me cry.

Sunday night was no exception. My Youth Pastor said good-bye to our church, having resigned his position.

I sat in the good-bye service, in my "I survived the 'Pastor Terry Years'" t-shirt, and wondered if I could join the ranks of people lining up along the wall to say nice things about him.

One of my best friends growing up, Josh, stood up and he said what dozens of others said about him later: Pastor Terry reached out to the weird ones, the outcasts, the kids who would fall through the cracks in any other youth group. The thing is, that doesn't mean he let the "normal" ones fall through, either. But then, who's normal?

The group of junior high leaders went up as one group, and they passed the mike around. Zach "Cuch" Cuchna, one of my little brother's good friends, took the mike, shook his head, and walked out. Immediately, six others pounced on him, drew him back, and forced the mike into his hands. "Thanks."

Though that doesn't mean much to anyone who will read this, Zach spent a lot of time at my house. The fact that he went up at all is something. We are talking about the most-shy person I have ever met in my life. The night before, playing Monkey Tag, I heard him speak more than I ever had before: and he said maybe 4 sentences in the two hours I was there. The fact that he went up at all says just how much of an impact Pastor Terry made in his life.

Jeff, a guy who graduated a year ahead of me (one of the two in that class - Josh was the other), took the mike and said to the crowd in general, while Zach cowered in the back, "You don't know what it took to get him up here. And then, to Pastor T, he said, 'It's because of you that I'm up here at all. You showed me that God doesn't choose just the normal people, the outgoing people, the people others would choose. You didn't let me slip through the cracks like I wanted. And when I left, hating people, especially Christians my age, you continued to challenge me, to care about me, to pray for me. It's only because of the way God used you in my life that I can work with Junior Highers now. I know who God is, and it's because of the years of prayer, Bible studies, time and love that you poured into me. Thank you for not doing what the world would have done and tossed me out."

But the thing that made me happiest was the number of Junior Highers who stepped forward and said, "I haven't know you a long time. I'm new to the youth group (or to the church), and you welcomed me by name." Or "I'd never been to this church before, but the first time I came in, I saw this strange man with glasses and a bald head who invited me in. And then, the next week, you welcomed me by name... you cared enough about me to remember me."

To me, Pastor Terry was a second father. And his wife is a second mother. I always know I can expect a welcome, just like the kids know that.

I didn't join the ranks of people who said nice things. I wrote cards. Every time I thought about making my way forward, I burst into tears. I read, once, that you can maybe remember one message, but you can remember three to five people who have influenced you. My youth pastor influenced the lives of dozens of people, dozens of kids, just as he was called to do.

As told to me and a small group of other students one day, during a Bible study:
"I knew I had the call one night after I had a dream. There were dozens of people, walking towards a cliff, with flames pouring out of it. I kept trying to get them to turn around. 'Stop! You're heading towards Hell!' I cried. They couldn't hear me. I tried blocking them. They walked around me. Finally I started grabbing them, and turning them in the other direction. Each person I grabbed was a child, or a teen: a junior high, high school, or college student. I turned them in the other direction, and I knew, even before waking, that God had called me to work with students. And that he would do the rest."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Buying a House

So, I'm going to be buying a house sometime in the near future. The very near future.

Unfortunately,

-Houses cost money
-The houses I like are expensive
-I've never bought a house before, so I don't know what to expect.

Yesterday, Melody went with me to to look at a few houses, and then my Realtor, Stacey, took me (us) back to look at a few houses I had already seen and liked.

I really like three of the houses. I want... really really really want... two of them

House One:

Syracuse
$105,000
3 bedrooms
2 bathrooms (one of which has a hot tub. Hurray)
ready to move into
beautiful carpet and tile flooring
lots of counter space
two car garage with plenty of storage
washer/dryer hookups, but no washer or dryer
no fridge, stove, dishwasher, etc
backyard
cute back brick patio
front porch
swingset (if only i had children)
AC

Goshen
$73,000
beautiful, old Victorian home
5 bedrooms
2 bathrooms
2 staircases
various nooks and crannies
the ceiling is falling out throughout the whole second floor
the bathrooms need to be fixed
several ceiling tiles are missing from one room in the first floor
one room would need to be redone (the wallpaper is horrendous)
the kitchen has basically no counter space, though some could be put in
washer/dryer hookups, no washer/dryer
no fridge, stove, dishwasher, etc
teeny tiny yard with two trees (one's a peach tree!)
full basement that I'd be afraid to go into
huge entryway
lots of closets
lots of storage space
needs new windows (several are missing altogether, the rest aren't... winter ready)
no AC
the outside would eventually need to be painted - touched up, at least

Words can't really describe why I'm having such a hard time deciding. I want in by mid-august. So that means the first one would be best, right? Yes, probably. Oh, but that house in Goshen...
you just don't understand.

Once Melody's pics are uploaded completely on the computer, they will be added in another post.

Other things I need to learn:

*how much do dishwashers, stoves, and refrigerators cost?
*how much are washers/dryers?
*is it really worth it?