Tuesday, July 31, 2007

General Update on my Life (and Harry Potter spoilers, so beware!!)

Somehow a whole week passed since my last post. Sorry. I'm not sure how that happened, since I'm thinking about the last week and it's not like I was all that busy. Busy, sure, but not too busy to tell you about it. Mostly I've just been lazy, I guess.
Here are some bullet points for you, since I'm still feeling too lazy to write an actual entry. I'm even too lazy to format actual bullet points, in fact, so just be grateful you're getting anything at this point. Ha.

-I e-mailed the head of the graduate department at my new school today to ask him when I'll be able to register and whether or not I'll be able to meet with an advisor or at least be given some recommendations of courses to take in my first semester. I got an automatic response from him saying that he is out of the country right now and his e-mail access is sporadic but he will respond as soon as possible, which is fine because for whatever reason I'm not freaking out about my lack of a plan (yet). But he spelled sporadic "spuradic", and secretly that kind of makes me happy because I've been a bit intimidated by his tone in e-mails prior to now. He's much less intimidating now that I know he misspells "sporadic". Not that I don't spell things wrong constantly myself, but it's reassuring to know that my superiors do it, too.

-I still can't believe I'll be on my way to UniversityLand in less than a week. I keep trying to envision living there, and I seriously can't. At all. I'll be all moved in and settled there in less than two weeks, and it still feels completely unreal to me. I keep waiting for someone to call me and say, "Oops, we made a mistake." And I bet that imposter feeling, the feeling that I'm weasling my way in somewhere I don't belong, won't go away any time soon.

-Last night was my last night of bartending. It was a perfect last night. I made good money, it was busy but not slammed, a bunch of my regulars were there early and fun people came in late, and even though we don't normally drink on the job I got three shots from my manager to celebrate my last night. I still can't believe how fast the summer went by. I could easily have done this job for another six months, I think, so I guess it's good that I'm leaving now before I'm burnt out on it.

-I have hung out with Phil a couple more times. I'm kind of sad that we wasted most of the summer avoiding each other after his outburst last month, but I'm grateful that we had the past few weeks at least and have worked everything out. I'm happy with the balance we're striking right now: friendly, more or less daily contact of some sort (IM, texts, etc.), but not so much time together that we're falling into that weird "are we dating or not?" place that we have fallen into so many times in the past when we've been in the same city. So everything is finally good. The boundaries are still a bit more blurred than I would like, but I'm finding it very manageable at the moment. Of course, I have thought this many, many times in the past, so we'll see if everything continues to be easy and nicely balanced once I get to UniversityLand. Generally, I tend to do better at maintaining our friendship on an even keel when we're not in the same city, and I also realized (and in some cases, re-realized) some important things last month when he and I weren't talking, so I'm hopeful.

-I had to take one of my mom's cats to the vet last week while she and my dad were out of town, and it turns out the cat has cancer. She has a big tumor in her chest, and there's nothing we can do to cure her so we're just keeping her comfortable for the rest of her life, which will probably only be a matter of weeks. Poor girl. My mom's really sad about it. And it is sad, we've had this cat and her brother and sister since they were born in my grandmother's flower box ten years ago. I'll miss her. And you know what's crazy? All summer long my dog has been particularly interested in this cat. He has been following her around the house, wagging his tail and sniffing her like mad whenever he sees her, etc. We have been joking that he likes her because he is tri-colored and so is she (she's a calico), but now I'm thinking that he has probably sensed all summer that she is sick and that's why he has been treating her differently than he has been treating the other cats. It just took us humans six weeks longer to figure it out.

-Oh, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! I actually finished it really early Thursday morning. I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. I didn't even mind the epilogue, which is the part most people seem to be taking issue with. It seems that a lot of people don't like Harry as just a dad dropping his kids off at the Hogwarts Express, but I don't understand why people are mad about that. Isn't that what he always wanted, the whole entire time? He wanted nothing more than to be a normal guy with a family like everyone else, and in the end that's what he got. I couldn't be happier for a fictional character. I especially loved that Rowling managed to give us the whole wrenching emotion of Harry's death as well as the joy of his survival and defeat of Voldemort. It was pretty close to perfect, as far as endings go. I was a bit sad when it was all over, though. I think I got a bit TOO into the whole thing when I re-read the series. Here's a list of dreams I had during the week I read books 1 through 7:
-I was getting off a train at the Port Authority in New York (a train at the Port Authority, I know, I know, it was a DREAM, people) and I saw Phil walking the opposite direction holding hands with a girl that looked exactly like my imagination's version of Luna Lovegood.
-I had to track down Peeves and stop him from causing so much chaos.
-I was on the quidditch team and I was making out with some hot quidditch player in the locker room as we were getting changed for the game. And then I went outside and actually played quidditch, which was fun. That was actually a really, really good dream. I was kind of disappointed to wake up and realize I will never get to have sex with a quidditch captain.
Anyway, I enjoyed the entire series, I was very satisfied with the ending, and I can't wait to re-read the books by myself eventually and then with a kid or two some day. I have a feeling the books are going to be timeless classics.

-This is in contrast to the Babysitters Club books I found at the top of my closet when I was cleaning it out today. Somehow I think any potential future daughter of mine will only read those books to make fun of them, and I kind of hope for his sake that any future son has no desire to read them. Ha. I know I'm planning on making fun tonight when I curl up with one of the Super Specials before bed.
Cleaning out my closet was weird. My bedroom here at my parents' house looks nothing like it did when I was in high school. My brother and sister's rooms are both pretty much exactly like they left them when they went off to college, but a few years ago my room became the guest bedroom and now it has completely different furniture and everything that used to decorate my bedroom was shoved into the closet. So it was time to clean it out. I'd already gotten rid of a bunch of stuff from childhood and high school several years ago, but today I really purged and got rid of six or seven garbage bags worth of stuff. Most of it was actually old notebooks and work from high school and undergrad classes. I also got rid of a ton of old toys and stuffed animals. I think every small plastic toy made in China between 1984 and 1995 somehow ended up in my bedroom closet. It was ridiculous. I got a bit sentimental about certain things, but I made myself be pretty ruthless. I finally narrowed it down to a box containing all my old journals, two boxes of stuff from elementary school all the way through my undergrad years (mostly old notes and letters and awards) a shoe box of pictures, a box of stuffed animals that meant so much to me when I was little that I just couldn't bear to throw them away, and some decorations from my nursery that I kept more for my mom than for myself. To be honest, as I was sorting through it all I couldn't figure out why I was keeping this stuff. Possessions are so strange. As I was going through it all I realized that I'm probably never going to look through it again in detail. I sorted through it now, kept what is truly important to me, and probably won't look at it again for years and years. And yet I can't bring myself to throw it away. I can't throw away the stack of letters Phil wrote to me while I was away at college, or the scrap of paper where the first guy I ever dated wrote down his phone number. I can't throw away the stuffed elephant that I slept with every night for ten years and proudly took to Show and Tell in kindergarten. I can't throw away any of the journals I have obssessively written in for over ten years, even though when I read through the old ones today they mostly just made me cringe. I have these romantic ideas about some of these things: that one day one of my grandchildren will read through my old journals and smile at my 8th grade angst, that I'll put some of my beloved stuffed animals on a shelf in another baby's nursery someday, that generations from now someone will find the folder of old letters and say, "Wow, handwritten letters!!" But what are the odds that that will ever happen? Probably the boxes will just sit at the top of my closet here, and then someday when I finally have a house with storage space I'll move them to an attic or a basement or the top of another closet, and then someday I'll be dead and gone and some relative will go through the boxes and save two or three things and throw the rest of it away. But for now I keep typing daily in my personal journal, I keep organizing meticulously labeled photo albums, I save show programs and my favorite correspondence in a filing cabinet, and I continue to hope that maybe someday I'll have the time (and inclination) to fondly look back on my life and that maybe the pieces of my life will be a happy discovery for someone someday.
Whew. That all sounds really deep and emotional. And I guess it sort of is. But mostly I just love minimizing clutter, so I'm proud that I finally managed to narrow down twenty five years of life into about four shippable boxes. Keeping a journal helps, I think. When I have my written memories of everything, it's much less important for me to keep any other souvenirs.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. We're going up to our cabin in the mountains tomorrow, so I won't have internet access for a few days. I'll update again when I can.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Last Week

Today I start my last week of work. I'll work six shifts this week (one shift every day but Tuesday) and then that's it, I'm finished bartending. I would like to say that I'll be finished bartending forever, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to end up being true. As long as I'm still a student with summer breaks and a limited stipend, I imagine I'll still be seizing any opportunity I can to make some fast cash, and, annoying as it is at times, waiting tables/bartending is the best way I have found to have a flexible schedule and make some fairly easy money.
I really was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying my job this summer. I know I keep talking about this, but it's still amazing to me that I liked going to work so much. I got along well with my coworkers (particularly at the opposite-side-of-town bar, where I ended up working most often), I managed to save more money than I thought I would, I didn't even mind chatting with my customers for the most part and since I tend to be sort of introverted, I thought that would be the hardest part.
Sure, I dealt with my share of morons, like the guy last night that fiddled with his wallet for a full minute when I told him what he owed, obviously hoping I'd have to walk away to do something else before he could get money out. Finally I guess he realized that even though the bar was busy, I wasn't going to walk away until the cash was in my hands, so he quickly threw five crumpled bills on the counter and then tried to scramble away before I could remind him that his bill was actually $7.50. And then he acted totally surprised. "OH, I only gave you five dollars? Really? You said $7.50? I thought you said five." Right, because "seven fifty" sounds so much like "five". It has the same number of syllables and everything! Obviously he was trying to just take his pitcher and run, or at least get away with only paying five bucks.
And then there are the guys who insist on giving me a running litany of compliments the whole time I'm working. I know this just comes with the territory of being a bartender and I was expecting it, but it is still amazing to me how many guys became enamored of me just because I said, "How are you?" and poured them a beer. They love my hair, they love my legs, they love my freckles, they love my personality, they love my smile, they love how I'm so serious, they love how I'm so funny, they love how I'm nice to everyone, they love how I can be mean, SHUT UP. I don't really understand the point of flirting with me. Do guys (and, one notable night, a drunk lesbian) throw compliments at me in the hopes that I will be flattered into giving them free drinks? Or are there just a lot of lonely and desperate guys out there? I'm not saying there's something inherently wrong with flirting with bartenders. Sure, if you're going to do it you have to be smart enough to know that everyone else in the bar is doing it, too, but I can see how maybe if I'd been going to the same bar for several months and chatting with the same bartender every day and I was getting little hints that he might be interested in me and I knew he was single, I might ask the bartender to hang out with me. But I cannot tell you how many times this summer a guy hasn't even gotten through his first beer before he asks, "So, would a girl like you ever consider going out with a guy like me?" [Incidentally, guys, if you have to phrase the question that way, odds are the honest answer is going to be "no", even if she's too nice to tell you that] Luckily this summer I have had the built-in excuse of, "Well, I'm moving in August so I'm not going to go out with anyone right now," but if I didn't have that excuse I'm not sure what I'd do. Disappoint a lot of people by flat out saying, "No," I guess.
So there are shady people and silly people, and sometimes the hours suck. Like this morning, when I didn't finish my shift at the bar until 3:30 and didn't get to sleep until after 4 and then at 6 freakin' 15 a group of construction workers rang the doorbell to tell my brother and I that we needed to move our cars out of the driveway so that they could park a dumpster and a porta potty there because they're beginning to replace our roof today. And then from 6:15 until 9:30 I had to listen to pounding on the roof, punctuated by occasional singing about "mi corazon". And then I finally fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion, but not before I had this weird, hazy, half-dream idea of putting a silencing spell on the construction workers, a sure sign that I have been reading way, way too much Harry Potter lately.
Speaking of which, I have a lot more reading to do before I have to go to work tonight. In fact, as much as I enjoy my job, I kind of wish I could skip it tonight to do more reading. Oh well!

Friday, July 20, 2007

La la la

Guys, things are not looking good. As of right now (11:30 PM on Thursday) I'm only 1/4 of the way through Book Five. And Book Five and Book Six are both really long. The upside is that I don't have to work until Saturday night. I think I can finish both books by then, but I wouldn't be able to even start on the new book until Sunday, and by then half the world will have already sped through it and will be busy ruining it online. Bastards. I really just don't want the ending ruined for me accidentally. I'm going to have to sequester myself or something.

So today was really not my day. I woke up this morning thinking I didn't have to be at the bar until 7:00 tonight, so I was sort of surprised when my manager called me at 2:15 and asked where I was. Turns out I was supposed to open today, not close. Oops. Luckily it wasn't a big deal, I was able to get everything set up, I just had to do it while taking care of customers, too. I did feel bad, though, because two of my bosses were like, "Wow, that's really not like *A* to screw up," so they tried to accuse the schedule maker of changing it but forgetting to tell me. I'm pretty positive it was my own dumb mistake, though, and I told everyone to quit blaming the guy that made the schedule. But I guess that just goes to show yet again how important first impressions, are: start off on the right foot and don't make mistakes often, and then when you DO make one, people will be so shocked that they'll try to place the blame on someone else anyway!
Anyhow, I was running late to work so of COURSE my gas tank was empty. [This happens to me all the freakin' time, and you'd think after awhile I'd get it into my head that I should always stop at the gas station on my way home when my tank is low instead of saying "I'll just do it on my way to [wherever] tomorrow," because I always forget about it overnight and then am pissed the next day when I'm running late (because I'm always running late) and I have to stop for gas. But no, I do the whole "Crap, I'm already five minutes late and I don't have enough gas to get there!" thing pretty much every single time it's time to fill up the tank again.] And the gas pump I chose was one of those faulty ones that you have to hold at a precise, uncomfortable angle to get the gas to flow, so it took about a million times longer to get gas than it should have.
And then once I got to work I sliced my pinky finger open while I was cutting limes. Don't ask how I managed to cut my pinky, I can't figure out how that was physically possible, either.
And THEN I thought a guy walked a $70 tab and that just about put me over the edge. Luckily I was mistaken and I had his credit card all along, so everything worked out alright.
Oh, and I thought the little mini-vacation to the mountains that I'm supposed to take next week had been cancelled, but thankfully my family talked themselves back into doing it, so that managed to resolve itself, too.

Other than all that, the day really hasn't been so bad. It ended up being kind of nice working the day shift, actually, because my whole night was free...except so far all I have done is fill out all of the tax and employment forms for my new job in UniversityLand. So that was fun. Especially the part where I realized with a sinking feeling that my passport and social security card are both in a folder in a filing cabinet that is currently in a storage cube thousands of miles from where I am right now. I'm an idiot.
I also called an insurance company tonight to get a renter's insurance policy, which is actually required by my new apartment. Is this an east coast thing? Because I've never had to do it before, nor have I heard of any other apartment complex requiring it (optional, sure, but not required). Luckily it's pretty inexpensive, and now I'm covered for pretty much everything other than the very-nearby lake flooding, which I'm actually not too concerned about considering my new place is on the third floor.
The guy that was setting up my policy over the phone was a dumbass, though. He was totally chatting me up. At first I thought he was just asking me questions related to the policy. There were a lot of questions that seemed valid: "Are you single?" "Are you a student?", etc. But then he was like, "So what school will you be going to?" "What do you study?" "How old are you?" (which I guess could have been a valid question on the application, but then he said "Wow, you REALLY don't sound that old!" because not only do I look 18, I sound about 9 on the phone) "Oh, wow, I see by this address that you're going to be living right by a lake! That's exciting, can you swim there?" "So what are you going to do when you finish school?"...by the end of the phone call he had also told me his name, how old he was, where he went to college, how he likes the insurance business, and how if I let him sign me up for this policy today he would reach some sort of goal and get a reward. I was just like, "Dude, you're at a call center in Seattle. Please stop talking to me and just give me my insurance policy."

All in all, it was a pretty lame day. So why am I in such an awesome mood?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Almost Time...

Whew, sorry about that whole music rant from the other day. I just really had to get that out of my system. I was kind of crabby the past couple of days. I don't really know why. Little things like the music thing were just annoying the hell out of me.
And also, there was this argument happening on the internet message board I frequent, which made me mad because (as usual in these cases) the fight was started by a couple of trolls who just wanted to rile everybody up and aren't even part of the community normally. I mostly stayed out of the whole thing, but it was frustrating to see my friends being bashed by people that don't know them remotely, and even more frustrating that technically we all believe the same basic thing but the people that came by just to argue were incapable of seeing that. Internet groups are a strange phenomenon. I never thought I'd be the sort of person that befriends people on the internet, but I've been posting fairly regularly at this board for a couple of years now, and now it's like a group of friends, even though I've never actually met any of them in real life. It's just weird to me because I feel like I know some of these people fairly well, and yet I have no idea if we met in real life if we'd actually click or not. I'm hoping to meet a few of the regular posters when I make my drive to UniversityLand in a few weeks, so I guess I'll find out the answer to that last question. At any rate, the posts going on over there were upsetting me. Luckily it seems to be over now.
And also, I am just getting increasingly nervous about UniversityLand. If I let my mind wander, I can find about a hundred reasons to freak out. I'm trying not to, but as it gets closer I get more excited but I also get much, much more nervous. And I realize that the thing I'm still most worried about is being able to afford to live up there, and logically I know that money should be the least of my worries because even if eventually I can't take care of myself financially, there are people in my family that will. I'd hate to ask them to, but they would. And I could take out loans, too. A loan for education purposes is a good form of debt, and I know that. But I choose to freak out about it anyway, probably because it's too hard to freak out about all the other unknowns, and if there's anyone that likes to freak out unnecessarily, it's me! Logically, I know I'll be just fine, but I have to reassure myself of that about five times a day.

But I went to work last night and had fun, even though it was pretty slow for a Saturday and I didn't make much money. And then I woke up this morning and the world isn't annoying me anymore, possibly because I've been spending a lot of time in the wizarding world. I finally broke down the other day and went and bought the box set of the first six books (in paperback). I would rather have hardback copies, but for now I just wanted to be able to re-read the books in the cheapest way possible. It's impossible to get them out of the libraries here because they're perpetually checked out, and normally I would have just borrowed them from somebody else but I don't know anyone here that has all of them. So I realized if I wanted to re-read that I was going to have to finally buy them for myself. I'm glad I did. I'm in the middle of book three right now and I've been averaging a book a day, although the last three books are a lot longer. I would really like to finish by the weekend, though, so I can read the new one with everyone else before people start posting spoilers all over the internet. We'll see if I can make it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sucky Summer Music

I don't know what the deal is this summer, but most of the music I have heard on the radio lately has made me want to yank my car stereo out and throw it out the window onto the freeway. Am I just getting old and crabby and completely out of touch? Or am I right in thinking that the past few months have given us a crop of songs so ridiculously horrible that I might be put off listening to commercial radio stations forever?

I think I have sufficiently bitched about Rihanna and her fucking "Umbrella", so we'll let her off the hook for today.

But let's talk about how much Gym Class Heroes make me want to scream. First of all, there's that "Take a look at my girlfriend" song. Absolutely nothing is more annoying than the opening, "Ba ba da da!" of that song, and it doesn't help that my idiot brother has been walking around the house singing-no, SCREAMING-that for most of the summer. And then the song doesn't even make any fucking sense!! The entire song is about how wonderful his new girlfriend is and how much he loves her, but then the chorus is "Take a look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I got, not much of a girlfriend, never seem to get a lot". And I realize that it's just an excuse to use a portion of an old song, but Jesus Christ, if you look at your girlfriend and think, "Not much of a girlfriend", then no, jackass, she's probably NOT the one from you. And the lyrics are even worse. If baking pancakes and giving you Alka-selzer and having her own ringtone and sitting on the phone with you for three hours "not saying one word" (then what the fuck are you doing on the goddamn phone?!) are all the things that equal love in your book, then wow, I bet you fall in love CONSTANTLY. 'Cause in my book "love" might actually take some trust, or understanding, or intelligent conversation, or honesty, or, I don't know, pretty much anything other than baking stupid pancakes! Is it supposed to be a joke? Like maybe the point of the song is that we're all supposed to laugh because Cupid has caused him to fall in love and become part of a completely unimpressive, idiotic relationship? I'd like to think that that's the case, but no, I just think this band is just mentally challenged.

Hence the title of their newest song, "Clothes Off", which includes the lyris, "We have to take our clothes off to have a good time." Not, "Hey, this has been the perfect night and if we had hot sex, that would make it even better." That would be somewhat acceptable. But no, here is a song telling the world at large that we HAVE to take our clothes off to have a good time. We also have to party all night. Because apparently, it's impossible to have a good time with clothes on. Anytime in your life you thought you were having fun with your clothes on, well, you were wrong about that. Because you can only have a good time if you're naked, according to the Gym Class Heroes. I really don't think I'm a prude, but I have to admit that I cringe every time this song comes on the radio thinking about all the fourteen year old girls that are going to decide that this should be their theme song for Summer 2007.

And then there's T-Pain. Someone tell fuckin' T-Pain that the word "drank" is not a noun. Someone cannot buy you a drank, jackass. And maybe there are people in the world that find his use of the word "drank" to be cute or funny or even cool, but I just think it's ignorant.
Also, someone needs to tell him to stop falling in love inappropriately with service professionals. First he was in love with a stripper, and now in his latest song he's in love with the bartender. As a bartender myself, I can pretty much guarantee T-Pain that the bartender is not loving him back, not at all. She's just flirting with him as she pours his Patron (or Hennessey, or Hypnotiq, or Grey Goose, because let's not forget that if you're a male rapper that's all you're allowed to drink) because she's not an idiot, she wants the biggest tip possible. She's definitely not going back to his "spot" after the bar closes. And also, T-Pain needs to be aware that if he's in love with her, every other guy at the bar is, too, and she can probably find someone much better looking than him. Preferably someone that knows how to spell "drink".
Oh, and the lyrics to this particular song include the oh-so-brilliant, "She gave us drinks to drink, we drunk them, got drunk." Fuck, T-Pain! That is when you can properly use the word "drank"! "She gave us drinks to drink, we drank them, got drunk." But no. You are wrong, AGAIN. Someone really should have taught T-Pain how to conjugate verbs before they let him be on the radio.

I could go on and on, but I'm going to give myself a heart attack if I continue. Somebody send me some good music recommendations, PLEASE. At this point, I am willing to try anything that won't make me want to punch people in the face.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Need to Get My Act Together

I need to stop sleeping until 1:00 in the afternoon every day. I also need to stop reading magazines and junk on the internet and actually start working on the things I wanted to do before I left here for the summer, like organizing my closet and labeling pictures and putting them into albums.

In a lot of ways I feel like this is the last summer vacation I'll ever have with nothing to do, since I think from this point on the whole research thing becomes sort of non-stop. But that doesn't mean I have to be as slacktastic as I have been.

On the bright side, I'm doing a few things right. I have been working out often, and working out hard, in a way that doesn't just involve walking the dog,which is what I count as a workout much of the time when I'm living by myself. It's just that when I'm living in an apartment, the dog needs a daily walk and I need daily exercise, and while it's hard to justify walking at my dog's pace as true exercise, I figure it's better than nothing and it's even harder to justify taking another 30-40 minutes out of a busy day to do another form of working out. I also do some strength training at home by myself. But this summer, I've been doing long workouts pretty much every day, lots of cardio and strength and core training, and I'm noticing a definite difference in my body. I haven't lost weight, per se, and I wouldn't even say that I needed to in the first place, but the weight has just redistributed itself into better places. I wish some of it would redistribute itself to my chest, though. Why are my boobs, already the smallest damn thing on my body, always the first things to shrink when I start getting in better shape?!

The other thing I'm doing well is making money. I've been working more often than I thought I would, about five shifts a week. And so I've managed to save up a decent amount of money. I actually reached my Summer Savings Goal last week, and I still have two more full weeks of work to earn more money. Of course, every time I realize I'm making more money than I thought I would, I also realize how it's going to be even more of a struggle to make ends meet than I thought it would be. It's going to be forty dollars a month to get cable internet, for example (don't even tell me I could go back to dial up; with as much as I use my computer for research, I think the frustration of dealing with a slow connection wouldn't be worth the money saved). It costs way more money to get your car inspected there than it does here. I have to pay $200 for a parking sticker, etc., etc. I keep trying really hard not to worry about it, because logically I know that I can certainly get through this first year and even have money leftover to do fun things, and I also logically know that after this year, I'll probably be able to figure out some way to make more money somehow. I also know that I have parents and grandparents who are not going to let me starve, or actually live in the 'hood. Not that I want to start relying on my parents again, but I know I could if I needed to for a little while. So I'm trying to just be happy that I'm saving money right now and not worry too much about the future where I could run out of it.

So yeah. I need to start setting some goals every day or something, because since I'm going on vacation at the end of the month, I really only have about two weeks to get stuff done around here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Please, please, please, somebody click on this link and tell me that you love it as much as I do:
Babysitters Club

Okay, maybe not as much as I do, because I am ashamed to admit how long I just spent reading entries in this blog, because I might actually have to use the word hour(s), and I bet none of you are that pathetic (or have that much time to kill right now).

But seriously. I loved these books when I was a kid. I mostly remember getting to buy several new ones every time my family was getting ready to go on vacation, because my parents liked to bribe us with new things to get us to shut up in the car/airplane. And then when I was in 4th or 5th grade my school library finally started to get the series, and all of the girls in my grade would battle each other each week on library day for the newest ones. The best were the Super Specials. I read the one about the babysitters going on a cruise to the Bahamas and Disney World so many times that it eventually fell apart.

Anyway, this blog kills me, because the author is dead on about how ridiculous the books were. At the time the babysitters seemed so sophisticated to me, and everything in the books was perfectly logical, or at least logical enough that it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the books. But now I'm like "Who the fuck lets their 13 year old daughter ride buses in Manhattan by herself, much less with two little kids in tow? Why does Watson Brewer (the millionaire) insist on taking a bunch of middle schoolers on his family vacations? Why have these girls apparently gone on like, 18 vacations in the course of one school year, as they are perpetually thirteen years old? Why were side ponytails ever popular?" And this blog hits all those topics and much, much more.

I actually laughed out loud. Many times. So I'm sharing the link with you. Girls, I'm betting many of you will appreciate it. Guys, I bet most of you don't even know what I'm talking about. What the heck were you guys into in 1991, anyway? Oh, right. Sports and videogames. EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS YOU'RE INTERESTED IN RIGHT NOW. Ha.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Lo and Behold!

So I came home tonight and for no reason at all whatsoever, and with no hope at all that it would actually work, I tried to sign on to the internet. And it connected! I have no idea why it's working now when it didn't work all weekend, especially when the people we called the other day told us that our modem was obviously broken and no one in my family did anything to fix it, but suddenly it's working again. It will probably be broken again tomorrow, but I'll take advantage while I can.

First, the update I owe you:
On the 3rd of July, I went to a 4th of July party at the country club where my parents are members. My dad's business sponsored a table, so the guests were my parents, my brother, my mom's best friend and her husband, and a couple of guys that work with my dad and their dates. Well, one of the guys, DD, has been working with my dad since about 1992 so I've known him since I was a kid. He's notorious for dating inappropriate women (girls that are way too young for him, strippers, strange women he meets on EHarmony.com, and--for quite a while--Possibly The Most Mentally Unstable Woman in the Entire Country, Or At Least the State). His flame of the moment is this girl who is about my age who works as an ad executive for one of the local radio stations. They've only been dating for about two weeks, and already he's tired of everything about her except for the sex, so I give it about another two weeks before he gets bored with that, too.
Anyway, this girl is nice enough. I had a pretty good time talking to her at the party, and the next day we cooked out and swam at DD's house and I had a fine time with her then, too. It helps that I was buzzed on both occasions, though, because this girl is a bit much. Her biggest problem is that she's kind of a know-it-all and because she works for the radio and spends a lot of time out on the town networking, she thinks she's this huge insider on "society" here in my hometown. Which, if you know my hometown (and many of you reading this do), you know isn't much of anything. She's the sort of woman that would be an annoying social climber if we were somewhere like Manhattan that actually has high society to try to claw your way into.
Instead, she has apparently decided that my father is some city VIP. Hence the fact that I HAVE to get married here in my hometown. She was drunk and talking about how DD already loves her (ha) and how she'd want to marry him in Las Vegas, and I guess I must have agreed that getting married in Vegas would be fun, because the next thing I knew she was on a roll. Here are just a few of the more outrageous statements that she made:
"Of COURSE your father wants you to get married. You're part of his image, you know?"
"Do you have any idea who your father is? Your father is Firstname Lastname! You have no idea what his reputation is in this city, do you?" [Uh, no. Clearly not, because the last time I checked, my father was not Donald Trump.]
"One day when you marry someone, you'll have a huge wedding here in town. Come on, you know you will! How could you not? Your dad would LOVE to throw a big event like that!" [This may actually be true, but I am fairly positive that if my dad ever did help me throw a wedding, he'd be doing it because he loves me and my husband and not because he has an egotistical need to show off to the rest of the town]
"Everyone in TownName knows your father. Whenever I tell people that I'm dating your father's best friend, they can't believe it. It's like, really impressive." [My father does seem to know a lot of people, which makes it annoying to go out to dinner with him because we always run into someone he knows, but knowing my father is not impressive. He's a fun guy, but really!]
"Everyone around here at least pretends to know your father, because people in this town flock to money." [There is this huge, HUGE misconception that my dad is loaded. This has been the case since I was in elementary school, when we really didn't have money, and is still the case now, when I will admit that at this exact moment in time my parents are relatively well off for this particular neighborhood in this particular city, but I'd say we're still very, very much middle class by national standards. I think this comes from the fact that my dad does run a few somewhat high profile businesses that--outwardly, to those that don't understand the nature of the business at all--appear as though they would be bringing in vast amounts of money. But they're not, not really. Trust me, if my parents were as wealthy as most of my hometown thinks they are, I wouldn't have been worried about having to live in the ghetto in University Land, now would I? I also don't think I would buy clothes at Target, or be worried about making my 4 year old car last another 4 years, etc., etc. Then again, wealth is a very relative thing, and while I can see how very, very far we are below big wealth or even moderate wealth, I suppose many people look at my parents and go, "They occasionally stay at the Four Seasons and they go to Las Vegas four times a year, therefore they are filthy rich." Fair enough. We all have different perspectives on these things, and I understand that. And I'm certainly not complaining about my lot in life, I fully realize that financially, I have so far managed to be more fortunate than many. I'm very grateful for that, don't get me wrong. I just wish people like this girl would get a broader perspective and quit acting like I'm a freakin' heiress. That's ridiculous.]
Anyway, this girl just went on and on and on, and finally I was like, "Oh, wow, here's another Vegas Bomb for you to drink!" and I changed the subject, but it was ridiculous and even though I found it very funny, it was also kind of awkward and uncomfortable and inappropriate. And it was just plain WEIRD. But DD has always liked the crazies, so I'm not exactly surprised.

Oh look, I've already written about a million words and I still haven't updated you on anything of actual importance in my life that has happened lately.
Like the fact that Phil texted me out of the blue on Thursday night and suddenly we're tentatively communicating again. And there's a lot I could say about that. A whole lot. But I'll just leave it at that.

Or the fact that I went out for dinner with Cake Guy tonight and my overall verdict was that I had a fun enough time that I'll probably go out with him again schedule-permitting. The thing is, I enjoyed our dinner but I just don't see this going anywhere as a relationship. I'm almost fifteen years younger than him (okay, not quite that much, but close). He wants to settle into a relationship, oh, TOMORROW, I don't think I really want a relationship at all right now. He's already talking like we could have some kind of long distance relationship, and I definitely do not want to do that at all whatsoever under any circumstances. Seriously, I don't. He thinks we're very compatible, and I recognize that we are in many ways, but...I don't know. I just don't know if I'm ready for all of this right now. He's head over heels for me, basically. I'm not bragging, he is. Me? Well, I'm not writing him off, but I'm not at all convinced yet, either. He thinks I'm perfect for him, and I very well might be. I just don't know that he's perfect for me. He's very confident that I'm going to fall for him, I'm fairly confident that I'll just have dinner with him once or twice more and call it a summer. We'll see who ends up being right.

Also, when it rains, it pours. First Cake Guy, and now another one of my customers at the bar somehow got ahold of my phone number and now keeps sending me text messages asking me if I want to go out with him. Although he is definitely cute, I can tell just from serving him drinks that he's not my type at all and my answer is "no", so I've been ignoring his texts. Including the ones that say, "You have spectacular legs." Actually, I was already aware of that fact from other sources, but thank you, Random Bar Guy! Ugh.

And hey, speaking of "ugh" things, I think when I got home from dinner earlier I walked in on my parents having sex! I didn't literally walk in on them, thank god, but when I got home the house was dark as if no one was here but my dog was sitting on the couch, so I said, "What are you doing out here? Why did no one put you in your kennel when they left?!" and then I headed down the hallway towards my room and got there just in time to see my parents' door being hurriedly shut. So they were in their bedroom, but the dog wasn't in there with them, which means they probably weren't sleeping. He goes with them when they go to bed if I'm not home. And nobody was like, "Hey, how was your date?!" which was weird considering how much hell they were giving me teasing me about it before I left. So I can only assume that I interrupted at an inopportune moment. Great. In theory I'm happy that my parents still have an active sex life. In practice, tonight reminded me why I'm happy that I no longer live with my parents full time. The teasing about my social life and the near-sex sighting were more than enough for one night.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I owe you an update, I know, but the internet stopped working at my parents' house, and no one can come out to fix it until FRIDAY. We've been without internet since Friday afternoon. The fact that it's going to take an entire week to get someone to come out and fix the damn thing makes me crazy, but there's nothing I can do about it other than bitching to supervisors at my parents' ISP about how they really shouldn't be signing up new customers right now since they clearly can't handle the ones they have. And I already did that.

So it's entirely possible I won't update again this week. There's the whole problem with the internet not working at my house, meaning I have to come up to the bar (which is a wireless hot spot) or find another spot to connect to the internet. There's also the fact that I'm working A LOT. I'm actually at work right now, in fact, but my only customers at noon on a Sunday morning are my brother and this regular we call MGD guy because he only drinks MGD and never tips, EVER. Needless to say, I'm not busting my ass to give him my best service. So yeah. This is my fourth day on in a row, then I work tomorrow and Tuesday and finally get a day off on Wednesday. At least today's shift is a day shift so I have the night free. I just worked three nights in a row, and after a while that starts to get a little rough, especially since when I work until 3 in the morning and then have to drive 25 minutes back to my house, I end up finally getting to sleep around 4ish and then sleeping until at least noon, which sort of wastes the whole day when I have to start getting ready for work again at 5.
I only have three more weeks of work, though! I'll be putting in my two weeks' notice a week from today so that I can go with my family to the mountains for a few days before I head off to University Land. Isn't that insane? Where the heck did this summer go? It flew by faster than almost any other period of my life, I think. In a lot of ways it's a good thing that time went by so fast, but I still can't believe it.

Alright, I guess I should go find some beers to restock or something. I'll update again as soon as I can.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Remind Me

It's the middle of the night and I'm having a heck of a time trying to write a coherent entry right now, but somebody remind me later to tell you the story of how I'm a local VIP, and how it's absolutely imperative that I have a local wedding someday. You think I'm joking about this, and I would like to think I'm joking about this, but apparently, I'm not.
Seriously, I can't stop laughing about this, so remind me after the holiday is over and I'll update you on my life, because it seems that I had a one day reprieve on Monday and then went right back into joyful craziness.
Not that I'm complaining about this. I'd much rather have a handful of crazy, story-making friends than no one to hang out with at all.
So potential update tomorrow. At any rate, it's at least in the works, but to be honest, I probably won't write anything until the 5th or 6th or later, so be patient.
Thank you and good night, Love, *A*

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

This article about a physicist's theories about the creation of the universe and the existence of human life completely blew my mind. I don't fully understand it--I had to look up how to spell "physicist" right now so I'm obviously not that smart--but it has some really crazy concepts. I can't even think about the universe and the potential meaning of human life for more than about five minutes without feeling a panic attack coming on. I have real issues with the idea of infinity or anything lasting forever. But there were some things that I thought were awesome about this article. This part was especially baffling, but somehow kind of comforting to me, too:
"Of course, most people think that there must have been a previous event that caused whatever event we're talking about. But this is simply not the case. We now know that time itself is part of the physical universe. And when we talk about the big bang in a simplified model, then we're talking about not only matter and energy coming into being, but space and time as well. So there was no time before the big bang. The big bang was the origin of time.

People want to ask, what happened before the big bang, or what caused the big bang? But in a simple picture where there's just one universe, the big bang can be the ultimate origin of space and time as well as matter and energy. So unless the universe has always existed, you're faced with the problem that time itself comes into existence. And any attempt to talk about causation has to be couched in terms of something that comes after the beginning and not before the beginning ... because there was no before."

I can't wrap my brain around it. And this part was cool, too:
"...you say that all these explanations about the universe are probably wrong, and "Perhaps we have reached a fundamental impasse dictated by the limits of the human intellect." Do you think future scientists will ever resolve these questions?

If future scientists are human beings, they may be stuck with the same problems that we have. The way we think, the way we like to analyze problems, the categories that we define -- like cause and effect, space-time and matter, meaning and purpose -- are really human categories that cannot be separated from our evolutionary heritage. We have to face up to the fact that there may be fundamental limitations just from the way our brains have been put together. So we could have reached our own human limits. But that doesn't mean there aren't intelligent systems somewhere in the universe, maybe some time in the future, that could ultimately come to understand. Ultimately, it may not be living intelligence or embodied intelligence but some sort of intelligent information-processing system that could become omniscient and fill the entire universe. That's a grand vision that I rather like. Whether it's true or not is another matter entirely."

That makes a lot of sense to me, too. I guess I just don't think that we ever are supposed to figure it out. We're just not smart enough to do it. No one is smart enough to do it. This gels well with my religious beliefs, too. There is some sort of meaning/purpose to our lives (if you want to call it that) and there is some sort of higher power/force, but we're just not smart enough as human beings to ever understand it all.

So yes, I'm sitting here reading this article while watching reruns of Laguna Beach on television. Interesting juxtaposition.

I worked today, but I have the next two days off. Tomorrow I'm going to a 4th of July barbecue dinner thing at the country club with my family and a bunch of people from work. Then Wednesday I tentatively agreed to go on a date with that guy that I wrote about yesterday. Tentatively.

Speaking of which, I leave you with another example of what a tool my brother is. He was making fun of me yesterday for the whole cake thing, and I don't really blame him because I was making fun of myself. But then tonight at dinner my Dad was talking about the guy again and mentioned what he does for a living. His job is sports-related, and my brother is a complete sports fanatic, so when Dad mentioned some people the guy knows, my brother said, "How does he know all those guys?" and my dad said what his job is, and my brother like, sat straight up in his chair and was like, "Whoa, really?! That guy is the [insert job title here]!?!?" and my mother and I died laughing. Yesterday he was a lame ass that bakes carrot cake, today my brother and his friend were begging me to start dating him, get in really good with him, and stay with him through at least the college football season so that they can reap the benefits. I pointed out that we haven't even been out together yet and it's entirely possible that I'll end up hating him, but apparently my feelings on the matter are no longer important.

Also, my brother's lamest friend (my sister will know who I'm talking about, even if none of the rest of you do) just burst in the front door and the very first thing he said was, "Hey, *A*, are "assert" and "accuse" synonyms, or is one like, stronger than the other?" Lord.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"Build Her a Cake or Something"

Maddi was in town this weekend, and we had the perfect time.
Friday night I picked her up at the airport and my dad treated us to a delicious dinner at this sort of touristy barbecue restaurant that I used to love going to when I was little but hadn't been to in years. Then the three of us went over to opposite-side-of-town bar where I work. After a while my mom and her best friend came to join us (they'd been out to dinner celebrating another friend's birthday), and after he got off work my brother came to join us as well. Between all of us, a couple of guys we met that joined us*, and my coworkers who were bartending that night and keeping the drinks more than adequately flowing, we had the most fun night I've had all month.
Saturday Maddi and I got up semi-early, especially considering how much we'd had to drink the night before. We went to lunch with my mom and brother at my dad's restaurant and then Mom, Maddi and I went over to this ridiculously cheap clothing store near my house that Mom just discovered. Nothing in the store is more than $9, and I'm sure everything I bought will fall to pieces the first time I try to put it through the washing machine, but I also couldn't resist the temptation to buy a dress and three shirts for $27. If I can get a cute shirt for $3.99, if it only looks good one night before falling apart, I don't really care. And if the shirt can actually be worn more than two or three times, awesome, what a bargain! After shopping, I took Maddi to one of those touristy sight seeing places where she could get some beautiful scenic views of the city and surreptitiously steal rocks from national park land, which was fun. Then we went over to my grandparents' house and swam and laid out for a couple of hours. Then it was home for dinner with my parents at one of our favorite Italian restaurants here in town, and then Maddi and I went out on the town again.
This time we started out at the other bar where I work, the one close to my house. My brother was bartending, so we had him make up some drinks for us, which was fun. His best creation was a Long Island Iced Tea with raspberry liquer in place of the triple sec. Maddi was like, "I don't want to tell him because I don't want him to get a big head, but damn, this is a good drink!" Ha. Then we headed over to the bars near the local university. I knew they wouldn't be that busy or fun on a Saturday night in the summer, and they really weren't, but I figured we should go to at least one watering hole where I'm not employed. We finished up the night at opposite-side-of-town bar, where we had been the night before, and we once again had a great time. Meagan had just gotten off work so she sat and had a few drinks with us and entertained Maddi and I with her ridiculous proclamations (My personal favorites: "Hey, you, Gangster Jones, where's the after party?!" to some random guy who was walking by our table and, "I drink Patron like it's water!", to which Maddi solemnly replied, "Yes. You do."), and then for about an hour after the bar was closed the three of us stayed there chatting with the guys who were staying late to do inventory. Jay and Vic, the two guys who had been bartending last night, were being very good sports dealing with us as we teased them and ran around the bar taking stupid pictures to send to one of Maddi's guy friends who is in Iraq right now. Jay already has a million tattoos, so Maddi was entertaining herself by drawing new tattoo options for him on cocktail napkins. The best were this woman with enormous boobs who had a cartoon word bubble coming out of her mouth that said, "Damn, I love my tits!" and a penis that came out so weird looking that Jay commented, "Who have you been sleeping with that has a penis like THAT?!"
I really like my coworkers at that bar. I like my coworkers at the other bar, too, but not as much. At the bar by my house, I have a cordial relationship with my coworkers but I wouldn't say we're exactly friends yet. We could be. I could potentially become actual friends with them if I were going to be in town longer, but as it is we're friendly at work but don't hang out outside of work and I'm not making much of an effort to make that happen. At opposite-side-of-town bar, though, I'm making actual friends, people that I text message and hang out with when we get out for the night, people that I'll honestly be sad to say goodbye to when the summer is over.
It's nice to actually be making some new friends here. And it was great seeing Maddi. When I'm out here in this city in the middle of nowhere, it's easy to forget that I do in fact have friends under the age of 50 and above the age of 20. Every now and then lately I've had these moments where I'm like, "Wow, I'm such a loser, how do I have no one in this town that I can go out with, other than my parents and their friends or my brother and his friends?" But then I remember:
a) I haven't lived in this city full-time in six years and all of my closest friends in high school were the sort of overacheiving people who had their choice of schools. I've always been a nerd like that. As a result, most of us chose to go elsewhere, as opposed to staying here to attend the local college. My boyfriend at the time and a few good friends did choose to stay here to go to the local college, but other than that, most of my best friends stopped living in this city full time in 2001 as well. And out of the friends that did stay here to go to college, pretty much all of them took jobs elsewhere when they graduated. And now that we all have actual adult jobs, nobody comes home for summer vacations like we did in college. So it's not that I don't have any friends from here, it's just that my friends from here don't actually live here anymore. That realization always makes me feel better.
b) Just because I don't have friends in this city doesn't mean I don't have friends. Seems obvious, yes, but it's easy to overlook that fact when I just want to go out and have a beer with somebody. I'm lucky to have many friends, it's just that 98% of them live 500+ miles away from me right now. And there's nothing wrong with that. Having to talk on the phone/internet instead of being together in person has it's frustrations, yes, but that doesn't make the friendship any less valid than it is when you're lucky enough to live in the same city.
c) I've only been living here a month, and I'm only staying here a month longer. That's not a situation that's very conducive to making friends. And yet I was surprised to realize this weekend that I actually am starting to make friends. So life is good.

Anyway, Maddi had to go home this afternoon, and I'm sad. But I had so much fun showing her around my hometown this weekend. There's nothing that makes you appreciate your home more than showing around someone who has never seen it before and can make you see it all with fresh eyes. She thought it was beautiful here. And you know, it really is.

*So Friday night my dad was talking to this guy and his friend at the bar. They'd met in a golf tournament earlier this week. So Maddi and I started chatting with them, and they ended up joining our party. After a while one of the guys said to me, "You're really fun to talk to, do you have any older girlfriends? Please don't take that the wrong way. It's just that I'd like to hang out with a girl like you, but you're a little young for me." So I said, "I guarantee I'm older than you think I am," and told him that I'm 24. He was surprised because he'd just assumed that I was 18 or 19 and only drinking because I was with my family (when I say I look young, I'm not kidding). So anyway, once he realized that, he started flirting a lot with me, and I was flirting back because, well, he had a really great smile. There were a lot of things I liked about him, actually. He's the kind of skinny, vaguely nerdy white guy I'm usually attracted to, he seemed easy to talk to, he had a good sense of humor (when my brother walked in he said, "So, I hear you work at the bar. I'm assuming you're a bouncer?" and trust me, you'd find that funny if you'd ever seen my brother), he has a Ph.D., he has a good job at the local university...Amongst other things, he told me that he likes to cook and bake, and somehow he ended up making this proposition. I almost don't even want to write about this because it's so cheesy, and so the sort of thing that would make me go, "Oh lord, that's ridiculous", if I read it on someone else's blog, but even though I'm possibly Girl Least Likely to Appreciate Grand Romantic Gestures, I occasionally inspire guys to try them (why is that, anyway?) and I figure I have to tell you all about this one even if nothing comes of it.
So anyway, the proposition was that he would bake a cake for me and if I tasted it and liked it I would have to go to dinner with him, but if I didn't like it I didn't have to see him again. Sounded like a win-win proposition to me, because I at least get cake, and maybe I get cake AND dinner! I laughed at the idea and didn't think he'd remember it, but we texted a little bit yesterday and then this afternoon he texted me and said that my cake was ready. So he stopped by my side of town and dropped the cake off on his way to dinner with a friend. He was dead serious about the deal, I thought for sure he'd use the cake thing as an excuse to have a drink with me or something, but no, he just dropped it off and said "If you like it, we're going to dinner later this week. If not, you're off the hook." And you know what? It's a really good cake! I mean, I would let him take me out to dinner regardless of his baking skills, just because any guy that's going to spend hours baking a cake for me is going to get a date out of the deal. I'm a kind person. But it really is a good cake.
It's one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me, mostly in a good way. I'll admit that the cynical part of me is going, "Whoa, that's a bit much." But how many girls have ever had a guy bake a cake for them, period, much less just to guarantee a first date? Guess I made a helluva first impression, huh? Ha. It's flattering. And true, I'd say the cake thing is a bit over the top, but he isn't showing any other signs of being overbearing. I'm extremely sensitive to overzealous guys. You all know that about me, the vast majority of the time I reject a guy it's because I feel like he's way more excited about me than I am about him. But this guy is actually keeping up the sort of contact I like: just one or two texts a day, enough to let me know he's interested but not so much that I'm like, "Dude, chill."
Who knows what will actually come of this. He already knows that I'm moving in a month and I do actually think he's too old for me (he's 37, I know age is just a number, but...) so we're obviously not going to have a "real" relationship. But I wouldn't mind going on a few dates in the next month, if that's what ends up happening. Or maybe he could just be another friend here, which I'd like, too. Or maybe nothing will happen at all, I'll just have a story about how a guy once baked me a cake to get me to go on a date with him.

P.S.-I realized something exciting on Friday night that I'd never thought of before: spousal support. This guy has an important job at the university, and in one of our conversations he mentioned that a stipulation in his contract is that his spouse, if he had one, would be given a job at the university. I'd forgotten that that happens sometimes. And while I don't particularly want to be that person who gets a job just because her husband gets a job, I also know that I would absolutely take advantage of that situation. So now my Impossible Daydream of my Ideal Life (which I recognize will never happen, that's why it's the Ideal Life) involves marriage to someone important enough that he can command a job for his spouse, or, alternately, to become important and respected enough myself that I can demand a spot for my tagalong spouse. Hooray for imaginary ideal lives!