Archive for the 'Life' 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.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

Pink Fireworks, Jaffrey 2010

For the first time ever yesterday, I went to the Jaffrey Festival of fireworks.  Let me give you some stats on them:

Length: 30 minutes.
Spectators: estimated 40,000.
Emergency vehicles spotted at the scene: 10-ish.
Children waving glow-lightsabers: Upwards of 200.

Basically, it’s a fireworks show put to music.  And since I live in The Sticks, I think that’s pretty awesome.  I was told that this year was incredibly less exciting than previous years, which amazes me further, because as a n00b, I was amazed this year.  Entry fee was $8, and we had to sit on a hill, but I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Perfect view, and the walk was less than a mile to his grandmother’s house, so we didn’t have to fight all the riddikulus traffic.

In fact, if it weren’t for Bryan’s sister’s obnoxious boyfriend (ahhh, relationship tongue-twister!) the walk back would have been utterly peaceful and perfect.  He was just captain obnoxious.  Oh yeah.  And we saw the tech that got fired from our workplace for downloading porn onto work machines.  He didn’t recognise me (hallelujah!) but he did recognise Bryan (sucks to be him) so I booked it and we ended up a bit ahead of everyone else.

But the fireworks were wicked.  I’d like to make a day of it next year, if I can.  But it’s hard to plan that far ahead.  I mean… who knows where my life will be then?  Louise (big boss lady) already took Bryan in for a chat and suggested the management track for him.  She hasn’t had such a chat for me, and I don’t know if I’m offended or relieved.  The company won’t be losing much if they lose me:  I’m a good team worker n’all but I don’t bring in the dough like my boyfriend does.

That was a digression.  My bad.

L’anyhoodle.  I had a long last 36 hours, and my 2pm to 10pm shift tomorrow promises to be a doozy, so I’m going to check my blogroll, then it’s off to sleep for me!

Bonne soir, mes amies!

Baby Steps

Penguin Painting

Got home from work yesterday and holed myself up in my bedroom because I had a ninja headache.  You know.  The kind where you’re fine one moment and then the next WOW! you kind of wish somebody would shoot you just to end the pain.  So.  After a night of acquainting myself very intimately with the white porcelain bowl in my bathroom, it’s finally starting to fade away.  Still a little nagging in my neck and around my jaw, but I’m no longer tempted to take a jackhammer to my brain.  Bryan was wicked sweet, though.  Came and stayed with me for a couple hours.  Wish I could say the same of the rest of my family, who were blasting the television, playing music, and practicing the ukelele.

Okay, the ukelele wasn’t that bad.  It was just the third factor of a noisy triumvirate.  Gah.  Pain.  For no reason, you know?  I’m not on my period, and I wasn’t straining my eyes, I’m not particularly stressed.  It was like the Pain Gods looked at me and said, “By George, dear fellow, this lass is due for a spot of misery.  Shall we indulge?” “Oh yes, dear fellow, quite so, quite so.”

All physical discomfort aside, I have other things to write about!  Ahem.

Oh goose, I feel like Umbridge.  Remind me never to say “ahem” again.

Okay.  So.  My landlord put out a new hummingbird feeder and every time I go to the window, there is a hummingbird.  Only I haven’t managed to snap a photo yet.  Yay hummingbirds!

At work yesterday there was a little  blonde girl who was incredibly upset about something and her mother was ignoring her.  After a while her older brother went up to her and started saying something, and pretty soon, she was laughing.  This is relevant, because it reminded me like Lucy and Timothy Brown in ‘Tweens.  Like… really reminded me of them.  The boy looked like Timmy.  It was uncanny.  And awesome.  This was before my headache, for those of you keeping a timeline.

I just logged into my email and one of the headlines on Yahoo was “Great Atlantic Garbage Heap”.  … I clicked on it thinking What is this madness about Atlantis?!?! and it was just about plastic in the Atlantic Ocean.  I guess that’s a big deal too, n’all… but it’s not Atlantis.  … I’mageek.

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I’m not really sure what the title of this blog entry has to do with the content.  Or the image, actually.  But hey!  It’s penguins!  And I painted that.  All by myself.  And gave it to Bryan’s sister for her birthday a couple years ago.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 8/10/10

Stubborn Donkey

This week I want to take a moment to examine the inner critic in us all.  This inner critic is what makes us (me) judge the people I come up against.  This inner critic is the one that obsessively checks her WordPress stats, and it is our inner critic that makes us run to (or away from) life!drama.  The inner critic is what makes my Tuesday entries plausible… and at the same time completely fantastic (as in… not real, vs. “totally awesome.”)

My inner critic is impatient and analytical, which allows my exterior to look patient, even when I am not patient.  I don’t like waiting for things to happen, especially under pressure from someone else.  I instantly get upset when people want things from me I consider impossible, or inconvenient.  When people cannot be reasoned with, they are (often unfairly) stamped with some derogatory term or another.

On the other hand, my inner critic is sensitive.  It thrives from attention.  Even bad attention, as long as it is equally balanced with good attention.  Whenever it feels like it isn’t being adequately watched, it gets whiny and wonders the ever-present question to anyone:  “what’s the point”.

My inner critic is also the one that isolates itself from people who smell of the Drama Llama.  It automatically judges these people as “stressful” and “irritating”.  In some ways, this is great, because hey… no llama-feeders, no drama!  But at the end of the drama, there’s also no friend.  So… eh.

My advice of the week?  Use empathy, not judgment.  Or else you will be lonely, grumpy, and tired.

This week… the “thank you, no get out” goes to me.

(Next week there will be badly drawn cartoons.  For realz.)

Time for a Gibbs-Slap

Stop, or I'll Shoot!

While I can’t call myself an NCIS-fanatic, I do indulge in the television series.  Yes, I know.  I’m three seasons behind.  Yes, I have seen episodes of LA and I don’t think they’re as good.  My favourite characters are Abby and McGee, but if it weren’t for Ducky, I don’t think I could stomach the show.  His sense of humour keeps autopsy from being nauseating for a girl who still occasionally checks and makes sure zombies aren’t under her bed.

I have to agree with Everyone Else, though.  Without Gibbs, NCIS just wouldn’t be the same (and isn’t, thanks for proving our point, LA).  Gibbs is a great leader, and he always goes with his gut.  To Tony, Xiva, McGee, and Abby, he’s a definite father figure.  And when one of his children has (or is about to) go astray, he knocks some sense into them.  Literally.  So, here I am.  I bow my head down to the great master, because I deserve a Gibbs-slap.

Lately, I have been selfish.  I complain about my weight (yesyesIknowI’mnotfat… I’m just fatter than I wish I was) and how many hours I’m working (honey, a couple months ago you’d’ve killed for 40-hours/week) and my family (…at least they love me?) and my boyfriend (I know he loves me) and my friends (okay, only a couple of them).  I told myself I was going to be better.  That I was going to look at the little things and be appreciative.  And I haven’t been.

A couple days ago, my friend Matt bought me one of those Oreo-Milkshake-Things that they have at Wendy’s.  He didn’t flounce up to me and say “HEY!  I bought you ice cream!”  I found it sitting on my desk, frosty and chocolaty.  I knew right away it was Matt, because he’s the only one who knows I like those, and he’s at Wendy’s all the time.  But when I noticed the shake (it took me a while… I had been running around) he was already working with a customer and by the time I was able to thank him, I drank half of it.

For my job, I have to smile.  Even if something isn’t funny, even if I freaking-hate-your-guts.  But when I saw the shake, I looked at him, and smiled for real.  It was just a random act of kindness, and it meant a lot to me.  When I was able to thank him, he simply smiled and said “I thought you would like it,” and kept going.  I’ve been thinking about it ever sense, because even though it may have been a little thing to him, it was a big thing to me.

I wanted to share that, because I read this post on Freshly Pressed and I wanted to emphasise how important random acts of kindness are.  The more I think about what Matt did, the more I realise how quickly I let myself fall back into the sinking sand, and how I need to stop being selfish (which honestly is one of my greatest pet peeves in people) and start being more selfless.

I think that the last selfless thing I did was buy Reeses just to give them away to two people I work with, just because.  And that wasn’t very selfless.  It was more… “You are having a bad day.  Would you like a Reese?  Okay, here.”  Pretty pathetic, but I am going to do better.  IamIamIam.

What was the last random act of kindness you performed?  When you find yourself slipping into selfishness, what is the Gibbs-slap that wakes you up to reality?

Oh, and by the way, y’all are welcome to give me a good virtual Gibbs-slap.

“I’m Dappled and Drowsy And Ready For Sleep”

Between work and homework and a late-wake-up-morning, and allergies (just shoot me) it’s been a long day.  But not in all a bad day; namely a tiring one.  But there is always, always a silver lining.

This morning, whilst looking for my “photo of the day,” I found myself at a loss and turned once again to knick-knacks, of which I have many.  I closed in on the image you see above.  It’s a tree, with the branches made of wire and the leaves made from stones.  There used to be more of it, but I cut off one of the branches and gave it to a friend when I was younger.  I won this knick-knack in a raffle in sixth grade, and I saved up tickets for it for months.  I wanted it so very badly.  I was bidding for it against a friend, whom I liked, but not enough to just surrender.  In this end, obviously, I got it, and I cut off one of the branches and gave it to her.  My sixth grade teacher said she brought it from Brazil (where she had lived, briefly) and I think that the idea of owning something from a different continent allured me more than anything else, though the tree is truly lovely.  As you can see in the image, it has amassed a lot of dust over the last nine years, but it’s still one of my favourite knick-knacks.  Thinking about it and it’s simplistic beauty and middle school this morning made me happy.

This evening, I looked out the window at work shortly before sunset, and the sky was marvellous.  There were huge cumulus clouds perched in the sky, and they were tinted not just one colour, but a rainbow of colours.  The upper tips of the clouds were gold, and that faded down to a soft pink.  In front of them, there were splashes of darker cirrus clouds.  It was really beautiful, and they looked that was for nearly an hour.  I wanted to kick myself for not having my camera with me.  I wonder if anyone else noticed them?

The last few minutes of a night often present themselves with the greatest challenges.  After dealing with a few people who I’d rather punch than smile at, I was able to leave and I stepped, flustered, into the sticky, humid night.  My summer coolant is the driver’s side window rolled down (something’s wonky about the passenger’s side), so I impressed upon that and tried to position myself so the headlights of the impatient driver behind me weren’t in my eyes.  Even though the humidity and the bright lights bothered me, I was comforted by the music.  Usually, I don’t have a lot of faith in my Zen’s shuffle feature (it likes to play the same few songs every two or three songs) but tonight, it was great.  It started with “Echo Park” by Ryan Cabrera, a song that reminds me of the image of standing on a ledge by the ocean and feeling the wind in my hair.  Second was “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has many memories attache to it, all good.  Third was “Kodachrome” by Simon and Garfunkel.  The first line of that song always makes me grin: “when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”  I sometimes feel that way about life in general.  Fourth, also Simon and Garfunkel, was “Feelin’ Groovy”.  The title of this entry comes from that song, as well as the telling line “slow down, you move to fast”.  A good reminder.  And as I pulled into my driveway, “Curve of the Earth” by Matt Nathanson, one of my top five favourite songs, came on.  So, after a long, flustered day… Zen- thank you for the music.

I had a peculiar dream last night that has been haunting me all day.  See, I never have recurring dreams, but I have a few very vivid recurring places and faces.  Last night’s dream was a recurring place and face.  I guess I’ve taken too many psychology classes, or maybe Inception still has me thinking about dreams… but I can’t get the images out of my head.  I can only remember glimpses, in bright, beautiful colour, and feelings.  Very few words, and definitely no “plot”.  I really enjoy dreaming because it gives me a beautiful world to escape into and harp on all day.  And, thank goodness, I rarely have nightmares.

Tonight, I hope that same dream visits me again; which it’s sunshiney neighborhood and the big grey house, the tall man with brown hair, and the fields of blueberry bushes.  In my dreams, I feel like a queen, and there’s nothing to bring me down or hold me back.  I am completely free.

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.


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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

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