Posts Tagged 'Bryan'

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!

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.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/20/10

Looking over the Ashuelot River

For a little bit of a change of pace, this week I am going to write notes to the people whom I have qualm (or not qualms) with.  There are always those people who define your experiences, whether you like it or not, and they must be recognized.

Road Rage
Believe it or not, I see you there in your car.  Sometimes, I am the one doing something wrong, but Rage… sometimes, it’s you.  How does it help either of us for you to lay on your horn and flip me off.  I see your mouth moving profusely… you probably had a few choice words for me.  Is there any point in saying “I’m sorry”?  Nobody got hurt, and I’m not angry that you decided to pass me in an illegal zone and get mad at me over it.  I don’t really see how you flailing at me is accomplishing anything.  You’re still mad, right?  And I now feel lousy because of a harmless error, maybe not even mine.  Next time, can you please focus on driving well, instead of lowering my self-esteem?

And the Moral of the Story Is…
If you come up to me and say “this is broken, fix it now” I’m going to be inclined just to get done what you need and worry about the details later.  Don’t insult my intelligence by claiming “start” means “stop” and “confirm” means “cancel”.  If you start flailing angrily at me and demanding I do something for you, I’m inclined to do it to make you stop flailing.  If you want to learn “how” to do it, don’t tell me I need to do it for you fast and then scold me for doing it wrong.  Oh, and for the record, I pressed “confirm” because the details entered were correct.  If you had given me half-a-second to speak instead of calling me ignorant and stupid, I’d’ve told you that.  As it was, I was inclined just to get rid of you.  If you’d been a little nicer, we’d’ve gotten on much better.

So Easy
Thank you so much for bringing a smile, and patience, too.  In a situation where most people would prefer to shoot me in the head for taking more than five minutes, you volunteered days and then were thrilled with the end result.  I’m so happy you were happy.  Really.  Hearing patience and appreciation means a lot.

It’s Nice to Be Nice
I heard about your day, and boy-oh-boy it sounds like you are ready to kick your feet up and read a good book for a while.  And even though I saw how frustrated you were on the phone with the third party, I also heard how nicely you were speaking too her.  When you explained to me that while the situation wasn’t ideal, the third party was doing the best they can and there’s no point in acting childish asking for more beyond someone’s means… that really struck me.  I hope your situation ended up resolving itself well, because I think after your humanitarian wishes, you deserve it.

But, It’s Free
Yes.  I see how much money you’re spending.  I am also aware of the coupon in your hand that would have given you a free camcorder if you had ordered this all online.  I’m really glad for your opportunity, but I’m not just being a jerk when I tell you I can’t give you that camcorder.  Outside of policy – not following which could get me fired – I simply don’t have that item here.  Honest.  I’m not hiding it in a dusty corner, squirrelling it away for myself.  I just don’t have it.  You can spend this money online instead, and get that camcorder, but no matter how nicely you ask or how many different ways you phrase it, it’s just not going to magically appear in my possession to give to you because you want it.  I’m sorry… it just isn’t.

Mister Grumpy Gills
Thank you so much for the blueberries yesterday!  They made me smile.  I ate some on my lunch break along with my Life cereal, and it was delicious.  You know, I see it all the time, inside, you’re not Mister Grumpy Gills at all.  You’re a very nice person who is tired of being walked all over.  I get that.  Believe me.  And just so you know, I enjoy working with you and joking around with you.  It’s a lot of fun, and don’t worry… I won’t tell anyone how much you smile.

To all the people out there, big and small, who made this week extraordinary and interesting in one way or another… I thank you.  I would love to hear stories about all those people that really stood out since last Tuesday!  Please share your experiences.  Every person leaves an imprint on our lives, and they deserve to be recognised.

All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front

Sunset in Albany

The weekend is winding down to an end.  Out my window, I can see the golden clouds of Sunday’s sunset.  Still beautiful, touched by the magic in this world that all too often we forget exists.  It’s so easy to run about busy when we should stop every once and a while to look at the sky, trace leaves as they sit on the trees, and to pet the friendly dog that it pattering by.  These last few hours I have been breathing softly and still, living and relishing in this beautiful world and being grateful for the moments in my life that allow my to kick my shoes off and lean back and try to guess what shapes the clouds are taking.  What a wonderful weekend!

I rarely have the opportunity to relax.  Even when I have time off, I have projects.  Some projects are self-inflicted.  Others are assigned.  One way or the other, even in my “free time,” I am occupied (or at least I am supposed to be) and so I spend my free time procrastinating and begging my overheating computer for another excuse to put off the inevitable.  But not this weekend.  When you’re separated from your resources, you have no choice but to sit back, relax, and be grateful.  On Friday, I saw Despicable Me and it made me smile from it’s cuteness and creativity.  The characters were round (unusually so for a children’s film) and it was a movie equally enjoyable for adults and children.  It was cool to see the threate filled with all ages- you don’t get that a lot.  And I also spent the last couple days at Bryan’s house.  No internet, no phone calls… I didn’t even bring a book (pure accident, I assure you.  I was frantically digging through my purse this morning, seeking Scarlet.)

It was really nice to have the house to ourselves.  Nowhere to go, nowhere to be… nobody demanding our attention (except a kitten, who was mostly a pleasure to play with anyway).  We were able to curl up, talk about whatever we wanted, do whatever we wanted.  Bryan made a scrumptious steak that was marinated for a week (yes, I know, it sounds like overkill, but if you had tasted it, you wouldn’t think so) and we started watching this really awful movie called “Vegas in Space”.  We got about five minutes in to this ridiculous, B-rated, 1980s (at the latest) sci-fi murder mystery before it stopped being funny and started being painful.  It was still a lot of fun, though.  And it’s nice to be able to escape and burrow away with someone who loves you even when you look like Medusa when you wake up in the morning.

The clouds in the eastern sky are bright pink now, and the neighbors on the lake are starting to shoot off fireworks.  I think it’s time for me to bury my head into my writing and lose the rest of my weekend to comfort.

If only every weekend could be so simple and welcoming.

Home of the Free and the Brave.

Casey Drawing With Chalk

I’m celebrating my Fourth of July by watching Independence Day (I prefer it over 1776, and those are the two today-related films I have).  Since I spent the day working, and since my family is spread out all up and down the east coast, we never do anything exciting.  I try to commemorate holidays by at least watching a holiday-themed film.

In fact, I think the only time I really celebrated the Fourth of July, I was camping with my friend.  I think it was the only time I really enjoyed camping.  It was the only time I slept in a trailer (as opposed to in a tent, yuck).  Nikki invited me to go with her family.  I don’t remember where the campground was, but I remember that I liked it.  They didn’t have a pool or a games room, but they had big barbecues and a contra dance.  We didn’t go, of course, we’re both not-so-closet geeks and who would we dance with, anyway?  Awkward high school sophomores.  But I remember sitting with her and talking and watching fireworks that the campground provided.  I used to go to fireworks every year, but these last two years I haven’t had the time or opportunity.

The best firework show I’ve ever seen was at my old high school, over the baseball field.  They were big and bright and clear.  That was the first summer that Bryan and I were dating, and I remember walking back to the car with him, hand-in-hand, and he was singing “True” by Ryan Cabrera.

What about y’all?  Barbecues?  Amazing new family stories?  Fireworks?  If you have anything, I’d love to hear about everyone’s holiday’s!  If not, well, the night is young… go out and have some fun!

Tastes Like Melting Plastic

The lake at Robin Hood Park

Very impromtu last night, I went to a co-worker’s house for a bonfire.  I’ve never spontaneous, but it was fun.  We got marshmallows and graham crackers and Hersey Bars and made s’mores.  Well, sort of.  It was mostly people from work, but they’re all nice people.  Parker played his music and even though he’s big into rap and hip-hop and I’m not… it wasn’t that bad.  Zachary, our host, was a terrible host in the sense that he’s just not experienced at it.  He provided the bonfire pit, but couldn’t find matches or a lighter to start it.  Luckily, someone else had a lighter.  He also offered us “lemonade” which was really Arizona iced tea.  He’s a good kid, but a little flighty sometimes.

He didn’t like getting too close to the fire because it was too hot, so his marshmallows either took forever to roast, or burnt to a crisp, which was kind of funny.  We all showed him the proper way to make marshmallows.  I’m a pushover and it pains me to watch someone do something wrong, so I made him a bunch of marshmallows.  See, I enjoy making them, but not eating them.  I’m weird.

Zach found this old-school retro chair-thing.  You know.  The lawn chairs with the plastic weave and metal frames?  The first time someone tried to sit in it, it broke right through.  Teehee, whoops!  We ended up throwing it in the fire later that night.  The plastic arms were interesting to watch cook, because they melted slowly so it dripped down and stretched out like bubblegum or melted marshmallows.  We just threw it on the fire because it was something to throw on the fire.  It was fun, and I wish I had my camera with me.

It was supposed to rain last night, but it didn’t, and it looks like it’s going to now!  Yikes.  Hope I get to work before it starts!  Still, the bonfire was a nice chance to see people I like at work in an outside-of-work setting.  Besides Zachary and Parker, Kate and Ben were there.  I work with Kate later this afternoon, actually.  Bryan was there too, of course (can I go anywhere without him?  Rarely), but he spent a great deal of his time and energy making fun of Zach.  …  I think all him tormenting is one of the reasons I feel the need to be so nice to him.  I mean, I tease him too, sometimes, but not over the top.  I just feel kinda guilty.  Everybody jabs at him a little (he jabs back, too) but none as hard as Bryan.  …  It’s sad.

Anyhoodle.  I had a lot of fun last night and I needed it after some of my customers, but you will hear more about the rude people of the world in tomorrow evening’s update!

Until then… ciao!

Don’t Rain On My Parade.

Kids dressed up as an elepahnt for the Children and the Arts Day parade in Peterborough, NH; June 22, 2010

“Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to. / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you. / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?” ~ Barbara Streisand singing Don’t Rain on my Parade as Fanny Brice in the musical Funny Girl.

So this morning all my plans got condensed and smooshed into teeny-tiny crumbs too small for a mouse.  Sammy’s lovely, furnished basement flooded last night, and the poor dear spent many, many hours with her family containing it.  It was muchos sad, and or plans got pushed back an hour.  But I completely understood, and in her position, I probably would’ve cancelled, so I waited patiently.  This morning, I decided it would be a good plan to try to work on chapter five anyway, so I was feeling good about life.  I pretty quickly forgot about the brief lapse of disappointment and continued my day.

I sat down at my desktop.  I really like my desktop.  It’s a useless piece of crap if you want to actually do anything with it (i.e. games, internet?  Slow as a snail) but for writing, it’s ideal.  No distractions.  I sat, crossed-legged in my office chair and… nothing.  I sighed.  I spun around in circles.  I poked at the keys until eventually (five minutes later) I made a paragraph appear.  That was about all I could handle, so I tottered off to check my email on my laptop, and eat a bagel, and play two rounds of Pokemon with my brother, and play two-and-a-half hours of Rock Band.  All, naturally, incredibly productive for my writing life.

At 2:30, I left for Keene, arrived at my destination fifteen minutes before I was expected (yeowch), achieved a scoop on delicious, different mango-raspberry sorbet from Friendly’s (Free Ice Cream day for the win).  I would like to take this moment to note that I could have had anything on their menu, and I picked sorbet, which is significantly healthier than Mocha Chip or whatever yumminess I usually get.

When I got back to Sammy’s things were still a little chaotic, but I still did get to spend a little time with her.  It wasn’t as much as we were expecting, but I really enjoyed it.  I brought my typewriter for her to play with and she seemed delighted with it, and I liked to see her that happy so I’m loaning it to her for a week.  I trust her.  I know it’ll be returned in tip-top shape. Oh yeah. And I got a page of writing done, too. It wasn’t the whole chapter, but it was important progress.

After that, Bryan took me to Panera Bread (yummy!) where I tried both the Cuban Chicken sandwich (not bad, but I’ll stick to my Smokehouse Turkey) and the French Onion soup (delicious).  Today was a day of trying new things.  We spent some time together and had a delightful evening.  I felt very close to him tonight, and that was nice.  Sometimes, I step back and ask myself “what the heck am I doing with this moron?” but tonight wasn’t one of those nights.  We played half-a-game of Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly and we sat on the wall beside my driveway and chatted for a while.  It was nice.

So today?  Today presented me with grumpy friend’s parents, a shortened visit due to water disaster, parental badgerings, heat, a troublesome too-social-for-his-means brother… and I worked through it all, had a great day, and I’m in a fabulous mood.  Tomorrow I get to tell Mattie the good news that he’s been waiting for, and you know what?  I’m really happy today.  When everything tried to go wrong, we all made it go right.

So you know what, life?  Don’t rain on my parade.  Because I can capture every drop into a great big, shimmering blue swimming pool, splash around, and have a blast.  Nothing’s going to keep me down today.  It’s a great feeling.


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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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