Archive for the 'Anger and Doubt' Category

Libras Live on Balance.

Whenever I wake up and am working on things before 8am, and I decide to blog, my brain introduces itself by telling me I should start with the line “good morning teenage Baltimore!”  Yes, world, that is a Hairspray reference.  Since I don’t live in Maryland and most people my age don’t seem to bother themselves with musicals (*sniff sniff*), this would be a silly intro.  Therefore, I will simply say:  “Good morning!”

I have not been writing any fiction at all.  My brain will not allow it.  Besides, even though I’m only two days into school, I have loads of homework, so yeah… I don’t have time for a lot and still manage to sleep.  In fact, I got up early to do homework and I’m just procrastinating on it.  Yikes.  Right now, what I need to do is:

  • Read 60pgs. of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World; 1400-1800.
  • Read 37pgs. of Early Medieval Spain.
  • Read 13pgs. of a handout we were given whose title eludes me.
  • Read 5pgs. of Sustenance and Desire.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Dream Journal”.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Cooking and Eating Journal”.
  • Write up all notes from Africa and Africans….

That’s my per day allotment of homework for today and yesterday.  That’s 115pgs. of reading, and about, eh, we’ll say 5pgs. of writing.  Plus classes.  And work.  And my internship that won’t freaking go away.  … I feel a little overwhelmed already.  I’m accidentally taking two seminar classes this term, although to be fair, one of them wasn’t supposed to be a seminar, but the professor decided that the class was so small, she’d run it like one.

On the bright side, it’s going to be less rough between Thursdays and Tuesdays, when I have 5 days to complete the assignments, not just two.

When I think about all that… it’s… just a lot.  You know?  I did get my 60pgs. of reading done no-sweat yesterday before classes, but when I picked up the Early Medieval Spain book, I wanted to run repeatedly into a brick wall.  I think it’s going to depend on the book and on the location of work.  And the weather.  When it’s humid like this, I just wanna flop.  I woke up at 6am drenched in sweat.  Seriously.  Six o’clock in the freaking morning.  Do you even understand how miserably hot it’s going to be in town?  At noon?  Gahhhhhhh.

Sorry.  Sometimes blogging is my way of dispelling stress.  I was feeling like this last night, too.  Just… unbalanced.  So I had to leave my house, and ended up working for an hour and a half, of all things, which should have stressed me about more, but it didn’t.  In fact, I felt really in control there last night.  So it was a good thing, I guess, but I didn’t read a full chapter of Early Medieval Spain because of it, and none of the handout thing.  Plus no dreams that I could remember last night, so no dream journal entry.  And the Cooking and Eating journal needs to be started, but at least those things I can remember.  Om nom, food.

Wish me luck today.

Maybe Hermione’s wand will come in the mail and dispel stress?  At any rate, it is definitely a Time Turner day.  Iamageek.

Advertisements

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 8/3/10

Sunset across the way.

So.  This week, instead of focussing on the individuals that bother me, I want to focus on some pet peevish traits that are consistent in all these individuals.  I find that having only one trait doesn’t qualify somebody for this weekly rant, but the combination of several certainly do.  Lets see if any of you agree with these.  They say six in the number of the Devil, so in reverse order:  the six most frustrating traits of people in a work-relationship today.

6. Grumpiness
This bothers me the least, because it’s often easily justified and sometimes, you can even help to remedy it.  Nonetheless, it’s difficult to work with someone you sense is on the edge of anger and disgruntlement.  One wrong word, and KAPOW! – you may be at the center of the storm of the century.  I know it’s hard to wear a smile when your dog just died, or you’re being sued, or your supervisor just called you up and told you that you have to work next Saturday.  However, it’s really important not to project the anger you hold for a specific individual at those around you.

5. Dishonesty
This goes hand-in-hand with saying “That doesn’t make sense” when you really mean “I don’t like what you just told me”.  Some people think that making up stories and lying will get them what they want.  Saying things like “I just talked to someone on the phone an hour ago and they said the price was 2-cents/copy”.  People tend to lie and exaggerate when they are outraged by something.  I think it’s because they believe that by making such claims, we’ll have to match it.  We need to start taking responsibility for our thoughts and be clear with each other.  We result to little white lies at times of accusation and similar distress; it’s no wonder our community is having difficulty communicating.

4. Rudeness
I genuinely believe that there are people out there that think that the meaner they are, the more likely they are to get their way.  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but if someone is rude to me, my initial reaction is to be rude back.  If nothing else, I’ll stop trying to be friendly and be monotone, because I want to keep my job and if I’m rude to them, it’ll come back at me three-fold.  If they keep trying and pressing, yeah, they may make me feel like a waste of space and make me cry myself to sleep (okay, that was a little overdramatic), but they won’t necessarily get their way.  Being rude accomplishes nothing.

3. Impatience
Some things in life don’t go faster.  With the advance of technology we have photographs, movies, music, humans at the mere touch of our highly-advance cell phones.  From fast food to eBay, we’re used to instant gratification.  A lot of people have problems with the phrase “you’ll have to wait”.  Waiting is a word zoning out of our vocabulary.  We don’t have to wait for anything else.  Having to wait (impatience) often leads to rudeness and dishonesty and grumpiness.  “I have somewhere I needed to be ten minutes ago!”  My thoughts are – you walked into the store 3 minutes ago… you could have just skipped this stop if you’re so far behind.  Now, on the flip side, they may really have needed to be somewhere 10 minutes ago.  We as humans have a difficult time saying “no” (think Yes Man, but backwards) and we overfill our schedules.  If we’re not running around, stressed, and irritable.. something must be wrong, right?

2. Persistence
The phrases “you have to do me a favour” and “what do you mean, ‘you can’t'” fall into this category.  While in certain countries, haggling is the thing to do, in the United States, it’s generally frowned upon.  If you say “I want a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing in five minutes” and I say “I’m sorry, I can’t do that” there’s really no way you can negotiate your way into getting it.  “Can’t” is one of those final words.  Taking no for an answer is one of those things we were supposed to be taught as a child.

1. Selfishness
I think it all boils down to this:  selfishness.  People who think that they are entitled to certain things.  Yes, we all have unalienable rights.  These rights do not include “getting something for free because we don’t want to pay” or “cutting everybody in line because we don’t want to wait.”  Confusion between the words “need” and “want” contributes to this problem.  If you can cite the section in the Bill of Rights that gives these allowance, you may sway my opinion.  Being unselfish also includes taking responsibility.  If Sally is running late because she didn’t plan her afternoon well, she needs to not blame every single person she meets for inconveniencing her.  If Joe wants a cheese burger and he forgets to say “no lettuce” he needs to not blame the restaurant (what are we, clairvoyant?).  And if Courtney decides to quit her job on the first day in because she finds the training videos boring, she probably shouldn’t yell at the manager, saying she didn’t need this job and the company isn’t doing her any favours by giving it to her.  Um, hun, why did you apply then?

Well, those are my six greatest pet peeves in humans today.  Do you have anything to add to the list?  Certain behaviours that you wish people would just realise are obnoxious?  Little things that make you want to scream at people, even though you know you shouldn’t?  Let me know!

When Reality Hits….

A lamppost on Railroad Square.

For the last four years, at least, I have been corresponding with a beautiful, talented, hilarious young lady from England.  For me, this is a big deal, because I can’t even keep in contact with someone who lives the next street over, let alone someone who lives on a different continent.  But for some reason, I have managed to stay in contact with this girl, exchanging emails, Facebook messages, whatever, almost every day for over four years.  For privacy reasons, I’m going to give her the name “Belle”.

I meet Belle through my ex-boyfriend on AllPoetry.com.  No, my ex was a real person, but he was friends with her on this website, so I was too.  I loved Belle immediately, but then, I am always one to trust sooner than I ought.  Her poetry was always full of passion, which is how poetry should be.  She was a quirky, interesting individual with a bad home life (her mother is unstable, and her parents kept getting divorced and remarried, one moving back and forth from South Africa to England) who was afraid of geese and loved to run.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out where the downhill run started.  Only about a year ago, everything was still wonderful and normal.  She had a friend die… maybe it was there that the problems began.  She met her fiance shortly after that incident, and everything seemed okay, still.  But then the next thing I know, she is complaining about how she can’t even finish a yogurt because it makes her feel fat, and the doctors are putting her on special diets, and her mum is force-feeding her.  Then she goes to University, and suddenly she pretends to be taking a lot of showers, just so the sound masks her purging.

A few weeks ago, she was eating better.  I thought maybe, after working for so many months, she had conquered bulimia.  She was running again, and was living in a new flat, and seemed to be generally enjoying life.

About a week ago, I get a simple three-sentence email.  It basically said that she hadn’t had time to write because she was in the hospital, but she would soon.  Cryptic much?  I waited and worried.

This morning, I got another email.  Belle thoroughly believed (and still believes) that her skin isn’t her own, and was trying to scratch it off.  But it hurt, so she took a painkiller.  And another.  And eventually eleven, and nearly killed herself.  And here I am, knowing that she’s in the hospital, or was, for delusion-driven attempted suicide… a thousand or so miles away with no way to get there… and I’m at a loss.

What do you say to something like that?  How do you make it better?  How can you save a life, and convince the owner it’s worth saving?

Writers live so often in their imaginations that they become absorbed in their fabricated worlds.  Then reality hits, like a brick to the head.  And I stand here, helpless.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/27/10

Salve! My name is Gabriella Parker.  If you are rich, you may call me Riella.  If you are rich, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, and a single male, you may call me Ri.  If you call me Gabby, I will kick you in whatever place I think will hurt you most.  Understood?  Good.   Amber decided that she had a headache, so I get to do the update tonight.  We Parkers believe that it is a sign of weakness to leave records of our thoughts and experiences- it shows a need for the material in order to survive.  But who am I to judge my creator?

Right, of course, Amber reminds me that I am not here to ramble to you. You should see her, curled up on the couch, drinking iced tea like she was the Queen of the World.  It’s almost shameful that she had reduced me to her blogging assistant.  Especially without compensating me!

I suppose I should just get this over with.  I’ll just copy out her notes.  I swear, she owes me a manicure after all this:  all this typing is doing horrendous things to my poor, perfect fingernails.

She says that I should say something witty about the good, bad, and the ugly people of the week. I’m going to skip that part.

I think this says Blueberries and Cream. Yes? She says yes. Her note after “Blueberries and Cream” is: I was having a bad day.  She gave me a hug and left me blueberries. I’m not fond of all the little seeds in blueberries, and I tend to avoid hugs, so that must be a bad one. Next-

Oh. Amber says I have to illustrate. Use my imagination. Also that Blueberries and Cream was an “angel”. She really used that word. What. A. Sap.

NEXT. Someone called “Captain Hook”. I don’t really understand that name, but okay.  Apparently Captain Hook tried to cut people in line and was yelling because she couldn’t stomach the idea of “I am working with someone, I will be with you in a minute.”  Hmm.  Anyways.  Moving on.

There is someone called Back From the Dead here, and I’m not really sure the purpose of the name, but Amber insists that I leave it be.  She says it has a special connotation to herself.  Apparently this zombie person spent a great deal of time complaining about things that are beyond our control such as the weather and how quickly a photocopier prints out a copy.  According to these notes, she expected to be monetarily compensated for the inconvenience of her own poor planning, as well as the levels of humidity and items she ruined herself.  The notes on this person are really rather difficult to read, they have been scribbled ferociously.  Apparently Amber was incredibly hurt by this zombie-woman’s behavior.  That’s nice.  Moving on.

Oh, lovely.  There is nothing more.

Well, then, since that is the case, I am going to dismiss myself and go take a nice long beauty nap.  One can never have enough beauty naps.  Mother dearest always said that napping is good for the skin, and goodness knows that my shining complexion needs constant maintenance or else I’ll just fall to pieces.

Arrivederci!
.

.

Author’s Note: Riella is a character I used once on a Potter-verse-sort-of roleplaying forum.  I thought I’d try to spice things up a little bit by doing this week’s Thank You (Now Get Out) in a different voice.  I hope nobody hates it!
Much love,
Amber

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/13/10

So guys.  I’ve been a slacker this week and haven’t been keeping good notes, so everything this week is coming from memory.  Yikes!  So, what I remember of it (and if I don’t remember, it’s probably not worth my time, ja?)… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Cruisin’ Through Confusion
Confusion comes in a few shapes; this last week, I saw it in two:  snobbery and panic.  Confusion tends to be rude because the answers are elusive, and it doesn’t have the patience to be confused.  Panic!Confusion was a woman who bustled into the store half and hour before closing, saying she needed UPS overnight.  There are a few problems with that, one simply being that our UPS wasn’t going to be picked up again until the next day’s afternoon… which wouldn’t fit in her schedule.  In explaining this to her, she said “I don’t understand” and “that doesn’t make sense” a lot.  I’m generally pretty good at explaining things, so after about seven tries, and me apologising that I couldn’t do her a favor… it’s not that I’m a terrible person, it’s that I can’t call up UPS central and tell them to send down an emergency truck, someone has to get something somewhere stat… after all that, she grumped off.  Snobbery!Confusion was similar in giving me angry/confused glares and interrupting in the middle of an explanation to declare “I don’t understand”.  There aren’t many ways I can explain that I can’t bleed off a page; the machines require a small margin and changing that is completely out of my control.  He stuck around to badger me long enough to hold three other people up in line and complain about the price (after I gave him a nice break).  Oh, and Snobbery!Confusion… don’t jump over my counter and grab stuff.  That’s really rude.  Honestly, though, I sometimes wonder if Confusion declares “I don’t understand” as a testier way of saying “I don’t like what I’m hearing.”

Sleaze
I received a phone call last night that went like this:

SLEAZE:  How much are your copies?
ME:  49-cents.
SLEAZE:  That’s outrageous.  That’s absolutely absurd.  That’s robbery, that’s what that is.
ME:  Well, sir, we can price match.
SLEAZE:  Excuse me?
ME:  Price-match.  Basically, if you find another brick and mortar store anywhere in the world that is making the same exact thing… same size, same materials… if you can get a photocopy or a print out of their price, we’ll match it for you.
SLEAZE:  What do you mean?  You mean you’ll match another store?
ME:  Yes, sir.  But it’s can’t be like, freecopiesonline.com, it has to be a brick-
SLEAZE:  That’s so sleazy.  You’re a sleazebag.
ME: I’m so-?
SLEAZE: *slams down phone*
ME: O.o

Yep.  Um, I’m not trying to sound cynical, I’m genuinely asking here… doesn’t every store in the world price-match?  I’m not just talking, like, copies.  I mean everything.  If WalMart has Joe’s Sausage for $4.99, but Price Chopper has that same package of Joe’s Sausage for $3.99… don’t they price match?  Is what we’re doing so evil?  …  Besides, we’re not telling you to ditch the other store.  And I don’t make the guidelines.  Sleaze really bummer me out last night.  I mind his name calling and accusations less than him hanging up in my ear, though.

Hey, ‘Sup?
This guy was featured week of June 22, but I’m bringing him back again, because I really want to underline his progress.  Recently, there was a lot of drama in this guy’s life.  He redefined the phrase “the shit hit the fan”.  Last night, he was practically giddy.  I don’t think he’d like me using that word, but it’s true.  He was smiling, laughing, helping, having good conversation.  Whatever high road he’s on, I hope that he stays there for a while.  It’s true that a smile rubs off, if you’re open to letting it.  It was sure nice to see him smile last night.

BFG
Unlike Roald Dahl’s BFG, this Big Friendly Giant lets  people see his “friendly” as infrequently as possible.  Granted, this may be because I generally see him in a situation where he is unhappy, so he’s more of a Big Grumpy Giant.  But I learned something about him a few days ago that touched me.  He’s getting married in the fall, and he’s selling his motorcycle to help pay for the honeymoon.  He loves that motorcycle, and I was touched by his gesture.  It seemed like a really selfless thing to do.

A Need for Public Phones
There’s this guy who comes in every once and a while.  He makes me really uncomfortable.  He’s just a really dirty person.  He smells, and he looks very obviously dirty and decrepit.  And no.  He’s not homeless.  He waves big bills around like crazy.  He decided to come in and use the telephone on our fax machine to make a personal call.  We usually don’t mind, as long as people make it quick, since it ties up the fax machine.  This time, though, he was using the phone for an hour.  And there was a line for the fax machine (of course, right?).  We were trying to thin out the line… when… shazaam!  Our incoming fax machine broke.  We fought with it for about half an hour before giving up and throwing it away.  Meanwhile, there’s a line of angry people who want their faxes sent.  Public Phones won’t get off the phone.  And we can’t ask him to leave, because technically he’s not doing anything wrong.  Even though he’s a non-paying customer holding up paying customers.  So we’re stuck.  Getting fussed at from the people waiting in line while we try to set up a new fax machine for incoming faxes.  Getting fussed at by Public Phones, who doesn’t like being rushed.  Yarr.  Sometimes, you can’t win.

That’ll be all of interest or consequence that I can remember.  Three really frustrating things in the last six-seven days, not too bad.  I hope everyone else has had a fabulous week, full of delightful people.  And hey, if you’ve got any shining angels, I’d love to hear about them!  Share your stories: good, bad, and ugly.

P.S.  I just learned the difference between motels and hotels.  Motels you enter your room from the outside, hotels from the inside.  Learn something new every day.

Taking Responsibility

Snow on the branches.

This entry begins in my car this morning.  You see, last night, I lent my car to my mother.  While in my car (besides using up my gas), she decides that she dislikes my music and wants to switch from CD to radio.  Instead of pressing the switch button, she instructs my brother to remove the CD.  Where he removed it to, evidently, was a pile of goo (God knows what it was; I certainly don’t).  I find my radio cover (on the floor of the driver’s seat) and my CD (thrown haphazardly in a nook by the dashboard.  CD is covered in gunk and is well scratched.  Mother blames brother.  Brother blames me and my mother.  All I know is that I donated something because I’m nice to have it disrespected and some of my property ruined.  I don’t care who did it (though I am of the opinion they are both at fault) but I do need someone to take responsibility and make up for the error.

And I think that’s a huge thing in the world right now.  I know that I am more inclined to point at someone else when I have done something wrong and let them take the fall for it.  It’s one of those things that I am trying to work on myself.  Taking responsibility is hard, but it’s one of those things that if we do, and we learn from our mistakes, we become better people for it.

One of my favourite cries is “oh, but he said….” and to try to pin the blame on someone else, thus twisting the situation.  Guess what, world (and myself as well)- that doesn’t change the facts.  Yes, he may have said that but you had no right to have said this.  Be the bigger person, foresee the possible issue, do everything you can in order to be sure that it’s out of your hands… if you had, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

My second favourite?  “It was an accident.”  Bollocks.  So you took Gramma’s expensive vase and put it on the counter where the cat knocked it over.  You may have not knocked it yourself, it was an accident, the cat did it, but guess what, peanut?  You were directly involved.  Take responsibility for your involvement.

I have a story about a time it was an accident, and someone took responsibility, and everyone was the better for it.  I lent Rent to a friend once, who lent it to someone else (whose name she didn’t know).  We tried and tried but we could not find the person she lent the movie to (this, by the way, is why I’m so anal about getting my movies back).  I was miffed, but I let it go.  What could I do, anyway?  A couple months later, the middle party – who had lost it accidentally and meant no harm – bought me a new copy because she said she felt responsible.  I was happy because I got my property back, and she felt better without carrying that burden on her shoulders.  She didn’t have to buy me a new copy.  I never asked for it.  But she did because she rightly understood that I had entrusted her with the film and she was responsible for its loss.

Granted, I suppose not everyone in the world has that guilt complex.  I know I do… but I’m also aware that my brother (jerk) doesn’t.  I spoke to him about the CD, and his response was “well, Mom didn’t like your crappy music and it’s not my fault that it got ruined.  I just took it out of the player and put it somewhere.  Get over it.”  Then he went back to munching his Pringles and turned up the tele a wee bit more.  I know this situation shouldn’t frustrate me so much… but it’s the principle of the thing.  It wasn’t a CD I purchased, but knowing that people care more about their own well being than for the sanctity of others’ property… well… the only person in my family I’m going to be lending my things to now is my father.

For those of you out there more interested in “not getting in trouble” than doing the right thing… … at the risk of sounding like a conservative mother… shame on you.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 07/06/10

Nate in the Window

Due to the ungodly temperature of my bedroom and the burning sensation of my laptop on my lap, this week’s edition is going to be brief.  Although there were many I could nitpick at, I’m going to choose my two top, and my two most disappointing.  Ready?  Here goes:

Coach
I have talked to Coach twice this week and done work for him.  He has been very patient with me and listened to everything I said and been willing to compromise, especially on Independence Day when he came in with a large job for me to do.  I could definitely tell he saw me as a human, and not as a bumblebee, and I appreciated it.  He was also light-hearted and made our work together fun, instead of painful.

Your Fax Is Broken
You know, it’s really difficult to be on the phone and do anything.  So.  I’m not really sure you think you can send a fax while you’re talking on the phone line that it’s using.  I’m just saying, is all.  So for goodness sake, please don’t yell at me for the fax not going through- my machine is working just fine. Maybe you should hang up the phone?  Why are you on two phones at once, anyway?

Double Trouble
Saw him three times in the last two days and we can just banter back and forth.  It’s fun, and he comes into the store a lot, but I’ve never been able to just banter back and forth like that.  He expected a lot of me, but he expected it on my time, and not on his.  Again, I was recognised as a human being, which really earns top points in my book.  And I love how this guy knows my name, even though I rarely work with him.  Most people don’t take the time to get to know you.

Move Along
I’m sorry that the store is closing early today.  It’s a holiday, these things happen.  Me?  I’d like to be sitting by a pool or eating barbecue today.  I have warned you, nicely, that we are closing soon.  I’ve offered my own time and resources to help you get done what you need to get done.  Please don’t yell at me for being kind.  And please, don’t refuse to leave just to make me miserable for telling you the store is closing soon.  I didn’t make the rules.  As far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t be making copies of your bank statements on a holiday anyway, you should be with your family.  Oh yeah.  And when I tell you we don’t stock something, I’m not lying, and I’m not hiding it from you.  You don’t have to ask everyone else you see.  It’s really not available.

Well.  That’s about it for me- I want to shut my laptop down and go have some Lucky Charms (dinner of champions, my friends).  Did you run into someone this week that made your day?  How about somebody who ruined it?  I’d love to hear all about it!


tweet-a-twitter-twoo?

something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

Like what you read? Click here to get the latest posts sent straight to your email!

Join 6 other followers