31 December 2005

play on?

Things are changing at the Jay Movie Gallery.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned before the likelihood of our store going up a revenue class, resulting in a promotion for me, with benefits and more hours and a higher wage. You know. All the stuff that goes with a promotion.

Change of plans.

As of last night, we're going DOWN a revenue class. So not only will I not be getting a promotion any time soon, but everyone will be getting fewer hours. If I, in a given week, am scheduled for 20 hours or more, Tami will be written up. Already the effects are being felt. I'm working 19 hours next week. And to make matters worse, Anna gave her notice. To keep me under 20 hours, she's bringin in MODs from Farmington to help out. Because I can't be overworked. And no one else on staff can open and close the store yet.

I need to find a different job.

If I look in the Lewiston/Auburn area, then I could commute with Jeremy, making the one-car issue a non-issue. That would involve finding a similar shift though. But then once we get a second vehicle, we're both fueling up twice a week, which is costly. And moving is a pain in the ass. If we scale back to one move a year, I'd be happy.

I hate when plans fall through. Seriously. I should be starting school, which would've made less work acceptable (since financial aid would fill in the gap left from wages unearned). And though Jeremy's got a decent job now, I don't want him to have to support us. We should be buying electronics and junk food with the surplus! Or saving up for something fun. I haven't given that aspect much thought. But I'm drifting from the point. Actually, I think I'm done with the point.

We bought chocolate non-dairy creamer yesterday. VERY VERY WORTHWHILE PURCHASE! It's like drinking a mocha, but without the extra effort. Coffee like candy makes Annie's a shiny happy New Year!

27 December 2005

2005 holiday roundup

'Twas a unique holiday, for certain.

Two weeks prior to Christmas, I received a call from Peter (that's my brother-in-law, in case anyone forgot), saying that he and Lorrie were coming to Maine to surprise everyone for Christmas. And that they needed to be picked up from Portland Jetport at 11:29 P.M. Christmas Eve. And could I possibly do it? Turns out I could! So Christmas Eve we went to Portland to pick up Lorrie and Peter, and immediately drove to Springvale from there, to surprise my mother. We arrived just after midnight. We pounded on the door, and rang the bell as obnoxiously as you would imagine my sister and I are capable of. Mom opened the door, and immediately started crying. Success! From there, their plan was to abduct Mom and make her bring Lorrie and Peter to Milford, to surprise Peter's parents. 30 minutes after arrival, that's exactly what they did. Mom offered the house to us so we could sleep before I had to work tomorrow, but we figured it'd be less hassle to drive back that night. We got to Jay sometime after 3:00 A.M., and went to bed.

Then GOOD MORNING, CHRISTMAS! I was scheduled to work from 3-6. Our plan for the morning and evening otherwise was to watch Dallas all day. But our precious gift from Adelphia changed all that. See, we paid off our cable last week, and I decided to downgrade our service to regular cable, but add DVR as a treat. It was still $35 cheaper per month. Anyway! We exchanged our digital box for a DVR box on the 23rd. Upon hooking it up, we got a surprise: every channel. The regular 80-channel cable we're paying for, PLUS all the digital channels, and every premium channel you can think of! And the ability to record programs off all of them!! We knew that this magnificent gift from god wasn't going to last, that Adelphia would get hip to their boo-boo by the time offices re-opened on the 27th. So we have been recording movies, shows, specials, shit we don't plan to watch, shit we should watch but will become bored with... so Christmas Day was the first day we enjoyed our cable booty. Straight Talk, Cooley High, and the entire season of Breaking Bonaduce. We watched a Christmas special about Christmas specials off of Trio, and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (the one with the mice who sing the song "you (something), and I'll (something else)"). We've got a bunch of stuff waiting to be watched, like Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3, Ninja III: The Domination, a special about the "Big Dig", Polyester, Rhinestone, Cutter's Way, not to mention a spattering of series subscriptions. Not to mention the stuff that's not here yet (like the biography of Patrick Swayze!). Stuff that will filter in every hour, on the hour. I'm exhausted with glee and satisfaction. We had an equally satisfying, though slightly overpriced meal of macaroni and cheese with red hot dogs sliced into it for Christmas dinner, courtesy of Cumberland Farms, the only other establishment other than Movie Gallery that was open in Jay that day.

Jeremy had the 26th off, because he's got the kind of job now that gives him days off for holidays even if the holiday doesn't fall on a work day. I had to open that day, and it was a shift of projects and coffee-drinking. Tami and I got to hang out in the office most of the day and file paperwork, while Andrea ran a register. A perfect Monday. More television was watched. Hamburger Helper was prepared and eaten, with garlic bread and chewy Chips Ahoy! cookies. An enjoyable meal.

Today is back to business. It's our four year dating-aversary. Dataversary. Annadatingry. To celebrate, we will work at our jobs, and watch more of the beautiful television. Life is good.

17 December 2005

celebrating 100 pots!

*bells and whistles*
*streamers and candy*

This morning I'm making my 100th pot of coffee since we've been in Jay - it's the last filter in the pack. And we didn't use any of them for paper towels or napkins (which we tended to do every so often in Washington, cheapening the 100-pot victory).

This morning I'll watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose (coming to your local video store/internet movie list Tuesday!). When Jeremy gets home sometime after 2:00, we're going to go see a movie at the theater! No clue what yet. Probably King Kong or the Narnia film. Or who knows! I have no clue what else might be playing at a theater near me.

I've seen some terrible movies in the recent past. I can enthusiastically tell you to avoid Must Love Dogs (which I liken to a black hole) and Rebound (I will never understand how Martin Lawrence makes money). And if you happen upon the new Snoop Dogg vehicle BossNUp, immediately put the movie back where it was and call 911. In a word, I'd call it a musical. Given the luxury of an entire sentence fragment, I'd call it a huge letdown.

If you can find it, you should rent Saint Ralph. It's Canadian, and Campbell Scott is very Campbell Scotty in it. And it's one of my new favorite movies. I'm not vouching for cinematic whoozits and whatnots, because I was too busy being sucked in to the story. One or two of the scenes are unnecessary, but that won't effect the overall feel. It's funny and heartwarming and just good. Not that you asked, but still.

And Roll Bounce is worth watching.

I'm stopping here, at the risk of turning into Richard Roeper. *shudder*

15 December 2005


There's a price one pays for gainful employment.

Jay Christmas, the stressfest that was scheduled to start this weekend, has been postponed indefinitely. Jeremy's new job involves extensive training...six weeks of it generally. Of course, since the company Jeremy works for is SO busy and doing SO good, they need people trained ASAP and have condensed the training into three weeks. Which means weekends. Which also means time-and-a-half this Saturday, as they had to spring it on everyone last-minute. But it also means that I would be left to tend to Christmas by myself. Between not being able to afford Christmas and not wanting family to spend the weekend at our apartment, we had no problem nixing the event. Jeremy's parents seemed relieved. My mother seemed disappointed.

So we'll maybe do something small and last-minute, which is perfectly okay by me. This isn't the year for a big ol' Christmas. Maybe a Dallas marathon, punctuated with egg nog and pizza. (that might be the first time I've ever written the word punctuated. I had to look it up to confirm the spelling. Thanks, www.dictionary.com!)

I just finished Al Franken's The Truth (with jokes). WOW! The second half will blow you away. Read it. If you have a chance, I mean. Sorry, I don't mean to dictate your actions. Please stop looking at me.

12 December 2005

home alone (no culkins in sight)

Jeremy is at work. At least I hope he's at work, having been able to clearly navigate the internet directions to his place of employment.

It's not that we entertain each other much most weekday mornings, but his lack of presence is duly noted, and I have no idea what to do with my day. I slept as long as was humanly possible (I got up at ten), provided that our inflatable bed is slowly dying (I woke up on the floor, surrounded by half-inflated bed parts...I was in the inflate-a-bed valley, if you will). So I finished writing about California (obviously, it's right there. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know), and am at a loss. Maybe I should watch a movie. Take a long shower. Jog in place a bit. I don't work until five. I could make a CD or something.


My birthday had more celebration to it than I would've anticipated. Emily threw a small get-together during our scheduled craft time (on Wednesday the 7th), and made mac 'n' cheese with hot dogs. She also supplied me with my first egg nog sullied by something other than coffee. Rum-pa-pum pum! It wasn't too bad really. It was maybe a little rummier than I was ready for, but I can see why festive merrymakers have deemed this a beverage of choice. I got to see some Portland pals, and it was good. We went to the Videoport Christmas Party from there, and had a pretty good time. I maintained my sobriety enough to drive back home afterward, as I had to be at Movie Gallery at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday. That was fun too, actually. Tami bought a box of coffee and a dozen doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts. We scanned items and made merry. That night Jeremy and I each drank a bottle of champagne to start celebrating my birthday early (since I worked the night of the 9th). 4/5th of the way through the bottle, my mother called. I talked to her for 45 minutes, virtually without stress.

The ninth was the day Jeremy got official word on his employment status. That was a nice present.

Today's Monday. Jeremy has the car, and is at work, working, in Lewiston. He is earning a living wage, and we can pay bills soon.

I've got nothing, people. I am going to find something to do.

california, part 3: increasingly passionless narrative

Very quickly, as I've waited too long and no longer care about accurately recording the trip:

Saturday we went to Hobee's for breakfast. They gave me a continent-sized piece of coffee cake with my already well-balanced, food-intensive meal. I got about three bites in before hitting my limit. From there we went to the Rose Garden. San Jose has one, and it's really amazing if you care a lick about gardening. I recommend going in the spring. I took lots of pictures for my and Jeremy's moms, as they love that kind of stuff. I amused myself with pictures of the restrooms and the icy stainless steel toilet seats, and dead flowers.

We drove to Santa Cruz and walked the boardwalk. It was like the picture you have of Califonia from watching it on television. It felt fake. We bypassed the world's largest avocado (not that a quick peek didn't have my vote), and drove back along Route 1. I saw lots of ocean hitting rocky cliffs. That night we went to Henry and Lisa's, where we (read: I) got drunk (not intentionally. Lisa makes an impressively mixerless mixed drink) and had dinner. We watched a movie in their movie theater, then Henry gave me the technology tour of the house. There's a lot of detail I don't remember anymore, but it was amazing. Henry is some kind of technological genius. Everything's wired to something, and he has these extra rooms he makes out of the desire to do something different...I can't even explain it anymore. The technology tour is the one part of this narration that suffers from time. We left just before one, and went immediately to sleep upon arriving home.

Sunday was a calm day. Peter went to Apple, and Lorrie and I watched television. In the afternoon, we went to Valley Fair (I think it what it was called?), the nearby mall, and she bought me some Origins products as an early birthday present. Peter picked us up, and we went back to their place. We tried Alton Brown's mac 'n' cheese recipe for dinner, but I think we used too potent a mustard seed. (brown instead of yellow? I think Lorrie said it makes a difference?) It was okay. We also had some exceptionally good spinach-artichoke dip. Peter retired early that night, and Lorrie and I got a chance to have some quality chitchat. And watch more TV. And a movie. We stayed up plenty late.

The next morning, Peter worked the morning at Apple, and Lorrie (who had the day off) and I slept. At 11:00 they brought me to the airport and took off. I went in and got settled. While having my luggage scanned, an alarm went off nearby. No less than fifty airport employees yelled "FREEZE!" and started charging toward the woman who must've set it off. The airport was silent for minutes after that. Everything stopped, and I stood and shoelessly waited to find out what the hell was going on. About ten minutes later, people started trickling back to the stations they were manning, and things started moving again. I never found out what happened, but it was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced. I got on the plane fine, and sat with an older couple from outside Portland, Oregon. We chatted on and off for the duration of the flight. We got to Boston at 10:30 p.m., where I waited two hours for my bus (it was 45 minutes late. I was convinced I had missed it). It came, we got to Portland at 2:00 a.m., and Jeremy was already there. We drove back to Jay, arriving at 3:30 a.m. I had the next day off, thankfully. And that was my trip.

04 December 2005

not dead yet!

I will not be attending school this spring.

The question is, "Now what?"

Hopefully Jeremy will get this job...we'll find out sometime this week, I imagine. That'd be a reason to stay in the area. I also have the option of staying at Movie Gallery and becoming assistant manager (Tami has informed me that as soon as we move up a revenue class, she's allowed an assistant manager, and she'd like for it to me be). Then I, too, would have a job with benefits and paid vacations, sick days and so on. I'm not sure climbing the Movie Gallery ladder is what I want to do. Jeremy suggested applying at Orono again, and I'm not sold on it. Though it would be easier to get in. Of course, I'm not ready to find out otherwise. One rejection from a UMaine-system school per year, thanks.

I might apply to CMCC. Chuck my other 64 credits out the window, and start afresh towards an associates degree in early childhood education. It's cheaper. Or maybe I should reconsider school altogether.

It's December. The first half of this month is going to be full. My dad's coming to visit Tuesday (unless it snows, in which case he'll come Monday night and stay over, possibly until Wednesday morning. Or he'll show up on the 9th, before I go to work). We'll be in Portland on Wednesday the 7th to make gifts with Emily, then head to the Videoport Christmas Party that night. From there we'll immediately drive home, as I'll have to work at 7:00 a.m. the next day (it's an inventory shift, which means no customers and MAYBE no uniform. And scanning things with Tami. It's a good time, seriously.) I'll work straight through my birthday and into the following week, to prepare for the stress extravaganza that will be Jay Christmas! Our parents, here. Overnight. For a holiday. There's a lot of cleaning to be done, drugs to be taken, traffic to be jumped into... It might be okay. It'll be one day shorter than originally anticipated (which upsets and depresses my mother, but she'll come around eventually. She has no choice.) But after that, we're done. The last two weeks of December are empty. If Jeremy gets the job, he said we'd have an awesome Christmas.

I am fully ready to be done with 2005. I think it's fair to say that Jeremy and I have almost survived the worst year of our lives. 2005, and 26, have been huge letdowns. Into the trash with them! 2006 will be full of rewarding employment, and meals at restaurants. 27 will be the age for rewarding life choices. Though I'll settle for delivery and a steady paycheck. That's why I'm eee-zaaaay (ah ah ah ahh)...

(I'll wrap up California soon. It's been a full week here at the ranch.)

30 November 2005

california, part 2: the adventure begins!

We stayed at Jim and Jhawn's place Thursday night, since my bus was leaving quite early the next morning, and the closer I could get to the bus station, the better. Unfortunately, sleep didn't come quickly, and when 3:15 a.m. arrived, I was in immense pain. I showered, drank coffee, and got to the bus station for 4:30 (the recommended time to assure me a spot on the 5:00 a.m. bus to Logan Airport). I read and listened to Concord Trailways radio on the ride down. I was also privvy to various stages of the sunrise, which was quite nice.

I got to Boston at 7:00, which left me two hours to kill before the flight. I checked in, found the gate, and sat down. I had three dollars to my name, and spent it on a bagel and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, and a package of Certs (so if forced to small talk with strangers, I wouldn't immediately offend them with my mouth). A woman named Ann chatted with me a little, and then asked me to watch her coat and bag while she went to find the bathroom. Forty minutes later, she came back. We also ended up talking to an older woman from Bethel, who would get my attention by saying "Hey! Girl from Jay!". The plane started boarding at 8:30. I was next to a young, clean-looking, well-traveled couple. They were extremely snobby, and we didn't exchange words. My seat was on the aisle, and any time I came near the arm rest between my seat and that of young pretty-man, he'd tense up. Not that I wanted contact with him any more than he seemed to want contact with me, but I new then and there that there'd be no sleeping for me on this flight. Luckily there was a movie. Unluckily, they were charging $2 for headphones, and I had spent my cash on breakfast and breath-freshner. OOPS! So I attempted lip-reading to try watching Must Love Dogs, but gave up almost immediately, and settled in with Augusten Burroughs (Magical Thinking is my airplane book. I've read it three or four times at least, but it's always good). It was a long, l-o-n-g flight, and I was exhausted when we finally got to San Francisco. It was 12:30 PST. Peter wasn't immediately findable, so I took the opportunity to pee and stick my face in a sink. I met up with my brother-in-law on my way to the escalator. He'd been at the baggage claim (I didn't check bags, since I'm a compact packer, and fit everything into a small duffel bag). He talked a lot about work on the drive, and I attempted to small-talk back and take pictures. I didn't do very well on either count. Peter took me to Apple, and I got to see his cubicle. I got to see Henry and Lisa again for the first time since Lorrie and Peter's wedding. Peter bought me lunch at the fancy Apple cafeteria (he told me a story about how when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, one of the first orders of business was to improve the meal quality. So now a catering company runs the cafeteria, and make this amazing food.) I got a pizza, and it was good. After some walking around, Peter took me back to their apartment to settle and watch TV while he finished work. We decided I'd be quietly sitting on the couch when he and Lorrie arrived home. I had planned to take a nap, but by the time I was actually at Lorrie's apartment, I was getting my second wind. So I watched television. Around 5:30, they approached the door. It opened, and there was Peter. Lorrie, thinking there was a prowler, was peeking around him, and I peered over the top of the couch and gave her a stupid grin. Then she started screaming. Loudly. Excitedly. Screaming and jumping, and very quickly moving toward me WHILE screaming and jumping. Peter told her to quiet down for fear that the neighbors will think that he beats her. I told her that if she wanted to continue screaming, she might want to do it further away from my face. But it was awesome. I had told Peter she'd scream, but I think he expected tears and subdued joy. But Lorrie's a screaming jumper.

That night we went out to the Mandarin Gourmet, which was excellent. We went back to their apartment after that, and watched some TV. By 8:00p.m. PST, I was starting to fall asleep sitting up. I had been up since midnight pacific time, and was working off of three hours of sleep. So at 9:00, Lorrie accepted that I was not going to be any fun that night, and let me go to bed. We made tentative plans for Saturday (Winchester Mystery House?) and Sunday (San Francisco?). I fell asleep the instant she and Peter left the room.

26 November 2005

california, part 1: the plan

This is from my Diaryland blog, which was resurrected briefly (since it was the only one Lorrie has no access to). From October 28th, 2005 at 1:07 p.m.

So I think this may be the only blog my sister doesn't know about. And the reason zero-access is required is because my new brother-in-law is flying me out to them in Santa Clara to surprise her for her birthday (belatedly)! And, stupid me, not forseeing a secret-surprise California trip in my future that I'd want to write about, gave my sister access to my blogs.

Peter (aka Bil2) called me three days ago and asked if I could fly out the weekend of November 4, as Lorrie's birthday is the 5th. With work wanting scheduling conflicts two weeks in advance, I was unable to accommodate. But we settled on November 18-21...all I pay for is a bus ticket to Boston.

In case I've been unclear or unwilling to relay facts, my sister and Bil2 got married on September 24, and a week later they moved to California so Peter could work for Apple and make mucho dinero (a lot of money, i think? right?) so they can come back to Maine in 5-7 years and build a home mortgage free (it's an obsession of theirs, mortgage-free living. I, for one, plan to have the mightiest, mortgagiest of home loans possible, and I will pay on it until the day I die. As long as it doesn't mean saving money. I can't save a hundred dollars, let alone hundreds of thousands of dollars).

So I'm going to California. I wasn't able to really get a feel for the state from driving through it, and I've been told that Barstow, our California pit stop on the way to Washington, is not a good example of California living. Thank GOD, can I just say. I will hopefully visit the Winchester Mystery House, which I've read so much about in the last three days. I will go to Safeway and Albertsons again and laugh at their horrendous prices. I will bask in sun and stucco, and breathe deep the Pacific vapors and smog. Though I think the smog might just be an LA thing. And I know Los Angeles is nowhere near where I'm going to be. Thank GOD, can I just say. Though I wouldn't mind hob-nobbing with the Hollywood elite. I know they'd love me. I'd be quiet and unassuming at first, then we'd secure sizeable cups of coffee and I'd let loose and impress them all with my acerbic wit and energetic dance moves.

Exciting. It's like a birthday present for me as much as it is for Lorrie. Two weeks past her birthday, two and a half weeks before mine.

It's a secret though. I trust you, the general public, inherently.

Also noteable, but unrelated: I have secured my first half-gallon of egg nog. I'm opting for light egg nog this year, which touts 50% less fat than regular egg nog. Couple that with the month and a half of abstaining, I will not gain 20 lbs. this holiday season. I'm don't have the math enough to give you an equation, but I'm going to put my money on a weight gain of no more than 7 lbs. Probably no more than 5 lbs., but I'm not going to set myself up for failure.

25 November 2005

grilled cheese chowder dreams

I dreamed weirdly last night! Weirdly in that they were fairly cohesive, and clearly plotted.
There was a quick, uninteresting dream in which Shanae, the former manager of Movie Gallery, was still working with us. I came in for a shift after her. I took over Tami's drawer, but hadn't closed her out of it. I kept saying I'd do it after the next transaction. Near the end of the night, I realized I was screwed, because all our transactions were one, and our statistics were going to be messed up. Nothing came of it. My work dreams are about as exciting as my work reality.

The next one was fairly straightforward - I was in a helicopter accident. We were at the lake my grandparents once had a camp on, and we (being either myself and my cousin Shawna, or me and my friend Crystal. It was unclear, but the familiarity was there). The helicpoter took off, got into the air, and when it tried to turn, the nose went upwards (I know, no nose...but try to reason with my subconscious. It's not having it) and we crashed, feet-first. We survived, and ran back towards the camp. On the way, I could see that the Daigle's A-frame had been broken into. So we ran on and got back to where Mom and Lorrie were, and told them about the Daigles' break-in and the accident. They weren't surprised by any of it. Really, the crash detal was what made that dream crazy.

The second dream had me working at Sanford High School as the assistant to the man who was principal while I attended, Mr. Rook. He was having image problems, and blamed his baby elephant throw rugs. But they weren't that overstated, and were rather atttractive. I suggested instead of disposing of them, he keep them under his desk, and attempted to fit them discreetly out of sight. But it was while fitting the rugs that I happened upon his big matching baby elephant computer chair. It was pastel yellow. I suggested that his image problem might spring more from the chair, opposed to the carpets. He asked me if I thought he should get rid of the chair, and I said no, I just thought it meant he shouldn't get rid of the carpets, as they're not the issue. (I was very reasonable in the dream). So there was going to be some kind of assembly. I don't remember what for specifically, but I knew Lorrie had done something, and was somehow going to play an active role in the gathering. So I got to make the announcement for everyone to go to the auditorium. On the way, I saw an athletic-type guy running after a girl, and it looked potentially violent. So I ran after them and told the jock to back off . I held up my fists to show I wasn't messing around. "Oh, you're going to fight me? I'd like to see you try!" said the asslete (haha! asslete. yeah.) "No, I'm going to kick you in the balls really hard," I replied, with conviction that surprises non-sleeping me. This gave him cause for pause, and he went away. Everyone was surprised by my toughness and also very thankful.

Also, does anyone think I could pull off Samantha Morton's haircut? Not the blondness though. No one at work seems to think so, but I REALLY like it. Or something similar to it. Too much?

24 November 2005

onto bigger & better holidays

Your Birthdate: December 9

You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.

Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility

Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic

Your power color: Pine green

Your power symbol: Circle

Your power month: September
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

I work from 12-6 on this glorious Turkey Day. We might have chowder for dinner once I'm home. But nothing's definite yet. At some point I'll have to compose a blog about California...but nothing drains me of the desire to live more than thinking about creating the entry right now.

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat your poultry responsibly. (does turkey count as poultry?)

18 November 2005

time (zone) traveller

I'm in sunny, abnormally warm California! There's plenty to explain, but this is a Dvorak keyboard. This sentence alone has taken the better part of 20 minutes to type.

In case anyone else isn't familiar with Dvorak, here's how he/she/it lays out the keys:


Dvorak is my new archnemesis.

More on Tuesday, when I know how to type again.

15 November 2005

the broad strokes of yesterday

(read: "bulleted" list! Aren't these exciting!)
- Woke up in the usual fashion, at about the usual time.
-Washed work uniform, had breakfast.
-Watched Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles; enjoyed it more than was anticipated or warranted.
-Worked. Lots of shifting and re-arranging. It made the time pass quickly.
-Made dinner (spaghetti!) then dropped it on the floor (my plate, of course); cleaned up the havoc reaped by dinner.
-Settled in for quality programming: Good Times, What's Happening?, The Colbert Report, and Golden Girls. It's becoming habit.
-Went to bed, made significant dent in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (VERY GOOD BOOK!)

13 November 2005

camper man

He came in while I was visiting Anna.
He made her show him how to use his DVD player. Several times. And how to adjust the volume and brightness. I suggested he consult his manual. Anna helped him.

What was a bizarre, thieving harmlessness before is now a much greater discomfort, and severe disliking. I don't like the way he is with Anna. And for as much as he stays away from me while I work, he's in her face, asking things. Things he clearly knows already. Like "what's a DVD?" (this was 15 minutes after asking her to make his DVD player work).

I'm going to close with her tonight. I don't want to scare her more by letting her know that there's something very very wrong with him, but there's no hiding it. And if he keeps playing whatever he's playing at, I am going to tell him to leave. Anna's so nice, and she's so in customer service mode, that whether she's been asked to do a task that makes her uncomfortable or not, she does it. I will make sure she doesn't have to. Whether I'm conveying the sketchiness effectively, I can't be sure. But I'm not exaggerating the fact that there's a problem. I just don't know yet what his deal is.

I LOVE ME! (and many of you, too)

I found this picture on the blog of another faceless acquaintance. I've stared at it long enough, though, that I decided I should post it somewhere I spend more time: Re-reading my own lovely words. I feel like a tool doing it, but I tend to read my old posts at least two or three times a week. I've always said that no one amuses me more than I do, and it's true. I really do write for my sake. I get all my jokes. There are many people who tie for a close 2nd in the amusement department, but I'm just the kind of jackass who derives joy from my thoughts (and sentence structure). I am hilarious.

We watched Happy Endings last night, and as a result I had insane massage-related dreams. I got a horrible massage at some place, where the woman attached me to tubes and started hitting me with something (certainly not her hands), which resulted in my convulsing on her table. SHe left the room for a long period of time, at which point I decided to make my escape. I ended up at my massage school, where Alton Brown was my instructor. He was free to give me a massage, so I of course took him up on the offer. We ended up back at his enormous house, which was peppered with Andy Warhol-like art of him on every possible wall. He set me up and prepped me for massage with lots of tomato-based product...stewed tomatoes, soup, etc...and I passed out. When I "woke up" (in the dream, as I'm still asleep in actuality), I learned that he had sex with me while I was passed out. He had told his wife and child to leave, and had also told Jeremy, who was now upset because I cheated. "But I didn't do anything! He took me in my sleep!" I cried. "But you liked it!" he argued. "I have no feelings about the buggering whatsoever, as I can't even prove it happened!" I argued back. It sucked, I was pissed at Alton for not only getting me in trouble with Jeremy, but also for not actually giving me a massage, which was the reason I was there in the first place, and what I was ultimately trying to get out of the dream.

Camper Man has been at the store every day. We're starting to find empty soft-core film boxes throughout the gallery. The other night he wanted us to contact him if Bad Education came in. But it was on the shelf. It was there. And the contact information he left was a Jay PO Box. So were we supposed to mail him to say "your movie is here!"? He didn't even have an account! Not until last night, that is. On a previous visit, he wanted us to help him find soft core films with guys in it, but was clear to remind us every third sentence that he "isn't gay". Last night he made Anna go around the store with him for half an hour, to help him find pornos with no men this time, because he "isn't gay". So not only was Anna creeped out, but thoroughly disgusted at having to find this man's porn, and smell him the whole time (he smells TERRIBLE. There's a stench radius around him that if you're within 10 feet of where he is, or has been, within the last five minutes, you'll involuntarily gag. I'm not exaggerating). Anyway, last night he also opened an account. Suddenly he was a cell phone, and an address in Augusta, and two valid forms of ID! And his name is Bernal! And he's 62! And he rented a lot of porn! So what we all want to know is:

-why is he coming to Jay?
-did he steal the movies that once filled the empty movie boxes? (since in the last week he's been there at least three hours a day. And I have to say, if he's not criminally insane, he's a genius, because of course no one wants to approach a man who spends several hours not renting movies a day, and smells like death reheated. Very tricky, Camper Man. And on an occasion where I was reshelving movies in his general vicinity and caught him off-guard by walking toward him, he bolted to another part of the store. Literally! He quickly escaped, to avoid me. I know avoidance when I see it.)

My newly-formed theory is that he's opened an account so we can't be suspicious as to why he's in the store, even though the 72 accountless hours before that tipped us off already. I'm hoping that he signed up with false information, and that maybe he'll steal the movies he just rented and disappear. What we fear more is that he'll keep coming back. I've gotten past "fear and moved onto "mild disgust" with him, but the others...younger, more fragile...especially Anna. Anna closes alone tonight, and asked if she could call me to come visit if he comes in. I said yes. I'm across the street. And even though Anna, body-builder that she is, could bench press him into oblivion, you can't not fear the unknown. And he's a weird one, Bernal Camperman (I feel I should probably not give his last name, just because he's creepy). He never used to approach us, or talk to us. It's an unfortunate turn of events.

And with that, I'm going downstairs. It's taken a surprising amount of time to type this. Oh, today's my first day off this week! CELEBRATE! (even though I might end up in Portland to help Michelle and David move. I should call them.)

11 November 2005

"oompa loompa" wasn't an option

You are Charlie Bucket! Congratulations! You are a
well-behaved individual! You consider others
before yourself, and give as much as you can.
While this is great, don't feel bad about
indulging yourself every now and then...you
derserve it after all.

What Child of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

This actually reminded me of last night's dream, where I was in a college lecture-type course, taught by Chris Noth, and the assignment was to remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Freddie Highmore was in my group! So of course we decided immediately that he mustn't be Charlie, because it had already been done, and we might lose credit. Then the phone woke me. I'll never know what happened.

bulletproof customer service

So yesterday's snow showers were more the latter than the former, and resulted in the disappearance of almost all the accumulated snow. I can see cold brown patches of dead ground again. I'm tickled.

Work yesterday turned out to be so much harder than I would've anticipated. We did 150% to goal last night. I closed half an hour late, as people were still milling about, wanting to rent things. I didn't leave until almost 10:30. I helped over 200 customers. If I had knows, I would've snorted pure caffeine before leaving. But for the most part, everyone who came in was enjoyable. Evil Camper Man was in when I got there, and I had to explain him to Anna. He left about an hour later, but came back 45 minutes after that, and stayed another two hours. But he bought a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, and two orange sodas, so that was nice. And somehow surprising. But still, good to know he eats. The second time he was in, I got a little paranoid. For the first 15 minutes I managed to convince myself he was carrying a gun, and that when the store emptied out he would shoot me and flee. Like he only came to Jay to kill. Much like the movie Stone Cold, starring Tom Selleck, which we watched a couple nights ago. But he left me unshot, and disappeared quietly with his snacks.

This morning I have successfully located Tuesday's Gilmore Girls episode, and am downloading it as we speak. (Erin: Limewire) So in roughly two hours, I will be delighting in quality entertainment, and my morning beverage of choice. And probably a piece of cheesecake. I might go for a bowl of the chili too. Or maybe just a sandwich.

10 November 2005


It has arrived. It has accumulated. It's expected again tonight.

Snow is a reality in November, especially in northern New England...especially ESPECIALLY if you're in the foothills of western Maine. But we're generally closer to Thanksgiving before the snow stops going away. It started unexpectedly around 4:30 last night, and stopped at some point before we got up this morning. It made work last night extremely busy, then quiet. I spend the last hour of my shift alternating between staring at the floor, and gazing sadly out to the accumulating winter precipitation. It's not all bad I suppose...and it's not like I had much winter to put up with last year (almost makes me miss the pacific northwest)...

We had slow-cooked chili last night. We tried a new recipe, and added the Pepper Man's peppers. It was kicky! Not as good as the last batch, but we're definitely going to add aspects from this batch to the last (italian sausage!). Eventually we'll have a unique recipe. We'll one day have a slew of our own recipes to enjoy and sell for profit. We also had cornbread, cheesecake that we were too full to eat (I'll make up for that at lunch today), and vodka. Cheap, Lewiston-bottled vodka. Added to iced tea. We went to bed after 1:00 a.m. more intoxicated than expected. Weren't we surprised when the window man knocked on the door at 8:00 this morning! Forgot about him, we did! He installed the upstairs windows this morning. We groggily and naueatedly watched The Today Show.

Around 10:00, Arthur came over with the vacuum. Now, I appreciate the thought, but I wasn't thrilled. When he came in, I thought he wanted to clean up after the window guy. There were wood chips to be taken care of, and I understood that well enough. But he vacuumed everything. He just...vacuumed everything! Carpets, no carpets...around us, around the window guy...and he spent a good deal of time on the stairs and entryway, which, if you'll remember from my previous window post, I vacuumed two days ago. And he didn't just touch up the stairs, he labored over them. Like they had never been vacuumed, and he had half a year's grime to lift out. Come ON! They smelled fantastic! They looked fine! After all was said and done, he told us that we had to "get on the ball" about washing the kitchen floor, and contemptuously told us that if our vacuum is what we vacuum the dining room with, it's just not good enough. (we sweep the dining room, since it's linoleum and we happen to have a broom.) He left and came back with one of his four machines for us to use. Jeremy told me to "calm down" when I started venting. I know my reaction's a bit much, but let me get it out! If I knew he was going to covertly inspect the apartment under the ruse of vacuuming up wood chips, I would've prepared. I would've washed the floor. I might've even scrubbed the toilet! So, in my eyes, he came over to spy, and insulted me in the process. I get to be pissed for an hour.

I'll likely be embarrassed about my ranting later. But there's no reasoning with me now, dear readers. There's a polite way to tell us we're gross. I can deal with manners in a mannerly fashion. But MAN!

Pressing on.

Al Franken has a new book, and I have started reading it (thanks, Jay-Niles Library!). It's called The Truth (with jokes). Al Franken cracks me up.

Okay! Everybody have a super-duper day! Don't judge! (PLEASE!)

09 November 2005

coffee pepper nog

I've been sitting here, staring at the screen for the past ten minutes, trying to think how how to formulate a sentence. Some mornings I can think before coffee, today is not one of them. I'll be right back. (yes, I know I mention coffee at least once per entry, and that will stop after today. Honest.)

The window installer ran out of time yesterday, but changed all the downstairs windows, as well as the one in the hallway upstairs. He'll be back tomorrow (he thinks) to take care of the rest. And maybe it's just me, but it's warmer downstairs. We turned the heat off completely yesterday, and the room maintained 62 degrees most of the night. Having nice windows for once makes me think back to Washington, where our windows pushed outward and latched with an eye hook (I have a feeling it might not be called an eye hook, but if anyone's unclear, just ask. I'll draw it for you).

Tonight we're making chili! This'll be the second time in 2 1/2 weeks, but I didn't have hot peppers from the Pepper Man before. Bob Winner, a fifty-something clockwork-regular customer at the store, grows hot peppers. He's brought Tami peppers for as long as I've worked there, and just recently he's started interacting with me. It came up that I like peppers, and he insisted he bring me some too. So last week he brought me six or seven of them. I told him I was going to make them up in a chili, and he is excited to know how they work out. He's so proud of his peppers.

I've gotten over a hump at work. You know when you start a new job, and for a few months you're hyper-aware that you're new, and are afraid to think for yourself without approval for fear of being fired - you've still designated yourself as "new", and you don't fully feel like you work there? I'm over it. And I think I got over it last weekend. I can't describe how it's different, but I'm doing lots of tasky things, "for the good of the store". Shifts pass lightning-fast. I'm not afraid to answer questions out of fear of saying the wrong thing. I have the authority to handle customers and store issues on my own, and it doesn't feel wrong anymore. I'm fluent in Movie-Gallerese. This doesn't mean I like my job any more than I did, but I think I'm willing to tolerate it a bit more. For now, at least.

As I'm scheduled to close every Tuesday of Sweeps, I'm missing all the "fresh" episodes of Gilmore Girls. They eventually become downloadable, but, much to my horror and chagrin, not within 24-hours. We don't have a VCR at the moment, and live near no one who could do us the favor of taping it. It's times like this that I'm glad we still have the fast internet. And perhaps I'll have caught up on all the pertinent plot pieces by the end of the year.

Still haven't bought egg nog. I'll gain at least five lbs. less this year than last. If I can make it to my birthday, that's seven lbs. that will not pad my abdomen. I'm strong in the face of a challenge! I will make it until Jay Christmas weekend! (Dec. 16-18). After that, it's a free-for-all.

08 November 2005

the seventh

I realized while showering yesterday that the root of the word "exclusive" is exclude. I will think twice about calling something exclusive. I'm more user-friendly than that.

So when I came up here yesterday morning to try squeezing out a blog, I had nothing to write about. But luckily, yesterday was a day where things worth writing about took place.

Jeremy defeated Final Fnatasy X. It was easier than either of us would've expected. It's because his characters were freakishly overdeveloped. He had to fight, like, twenty bad things in a row, and no one died. Not once. Even funnier: the ending he logged almost 120 hours of gameplay to achieve skipped and froze. So we don't really know what happened in the story. The badness has gone away, but what were the ramifications? Nothing but the best from Movie Gallery. Thankfully, seeing an ending staved my need to keep playing, at least for now.

The window man came yesterday to install Arthur's windows, and this morning he's doing ours. It'll make for a cold, awkward day today, but tomorrow we will reap the rewards in the form of less oil usage. He got here about ten minutes ago. Not knowing whether or not he needed to invade our space yesterday, we spent a chunk of the afternoon cleaning things. I've got to say, with a little extra effort, the apartment smells fantastic. We should be threatened with servicemen more often. I'm pretty sure I ruined our vacuum by using a sprinkle powder on the stairs and entryway. We have a bagless model, and when I emptied out the booty I noticed the filter was clogged beyond recognition with cakey white dust. And after that, it just sucked less (physically. though you could say for this reason that it sucked more. oh, the levity!)

Last night I quickly shut off Christmas with the Cranks. There was a scene where Tim Allen got water dumped on him many times in a five-minute span (while Jamie Lee Curtis sat unfunnily and Patricia Richardsonly in the car, doing needlepoint), and that was enough for me. We did, though, watch Blizzard in its entirety. Directed by Levar Burton, this was not an excellent movie. It was passably bland. Christopher Plummer was a hearing-impaired, borderline-retarded Santa Claus at a corporate-looking North Pole. He wasn't the star. The Hollywood elite this film drew (Whoopi Goldberg as the voice of Blizzard! Brenda Blethyn, apparently redeeming a favor owed to Levar! Kevin Pollack!) held minor roles. There's nothing much to say. I didn't turn it off. It was a cute idea. It's the film you'd expect Levar Burton would make. The enjoyment I derived came from Kevin Pollack, who in this movie made lots of Jhawn faces. It was what kept me watching. I started to notice the same general coloring and eye set between Kevin and Jim's hubby. He made this one big frown face that, I swear, he contacted Jhawn to learn. If you have ever met Jhawn, you should watch Blizzard. If Jhawn were Jewier, there'd be no telling them apart.

The best thing Comedy Central has ever made is The Colbert Report. I got to see it twice yesterday (funny the TV we've missed while defeating Sin and riding chocobos!), and not many other shows made me laugh as loudly. There's a writer who should be fired or sent back to the Daily Show (not to say bad things, I love Jon Stewart as much as the next guy, but I'm a little tired of the show itself. The correspondants just aren't what they used to be. I do like the interviews (BARACK OBAMA!), but I can only watch a show for its host so many times), but the overall funny surpasses the hit-or-miss captioning.

So I just ran downstairs to get a cup of coffee, and I saw one of the new windows. It's so pretty! Lots of light coming in, no heat going out...the installer was kind enough not to comment on the burger pants, or the crazed look of desperation as I shakily poured my first cup o' joe.

November's Oprah Magazine is both interesting and relevent. But what's new?

04 November 2005

duchovny loves irony

I've gotta say, a well-balanced meal really does wonders for dreaming. The shock of vitamins and nutrients to my malnourished system sent me into subconscious overdrive. At this point all I can remember are the broad strokes, but it was me, Ryan (friend from high school), April (faceless blog acquaintance), and David Duchovny. We were out and about, doing something or other, and we fell to the ground with laughter. It wasn't sincere. We were falling ironically. As we layed...lied...were laying there, David Duchovny sat up and whispered into my ear "I Love You." But that was ironic too...it was understood that he was quoting something from somewhere, and it was supposed to be clever. But this irony felt forced and fake, so I wound up thinking less of him.

Later we were in April's apartment, and all over the place she had McDonald miniatures. Tiny milkshakes, bite-sized double cheeseburgers...all available to be made into grab bags. So I assembled a mini McDonald's meal, and then Tony Sirico showed up! He told us he wore a wig, and proceeded to remove most of his hair to present to us. We told him he looked better without it, and gave him a grab bag. Then I woke up. I had two red hot dogs and a salad for dinner, and drank two glasses of water (opposed to the zero glasses I consume most days).

This is my second day off in a row. I worked a lot of days to get this, and will have to work plenty more before I get more time off. Tami's finally doing manager training, which means she's going to a "test store" somewhere else in the state for two weeks. That means extra hours for the three of us who are able to lock and secure the store. And really, that's all it means.

01 November 2005

more fun

I worked the day shift today. I kept busy. I'm in severe physical and mental pain, so consider this quiz my entry for today. And please, make the most of this All Saints' Day - tell that special someone you love them. Make them a cake. Rub their feet.

You're the ~ key!
When in front of a number, the tilde indicates an
approxomation. By the same token, you tend to
be indecisive when faced with choices. Even
though you may wish you could just make up your
mind, you can always be sure that you're making
the best decision that you won't regret.

What computer key are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

31 October 2005

the best quizzes come from erin

The Pixies - Doolittle
Pixies - Doolittle

What essential indie rock album are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

eight ladybugs

At present, there are eight ladybugs on the ceiling. I'm not sure where they came from, or why they're here now. They periodically relocate to different sections, or rest on the wall, but none are leaving the room. There's been no change of climate (other than sporatically turning the heat up to 60), and I doubt this is from not doing the dishes the last two days (they'd be in the kitchen, not congregated in the computer room!)...There's no reason that this would seem creepy, but somehow it does. Like an omen of death! Maybe not death. What do ladybugs symbolize? Picnics? Evil picnics?

The weddings are officially done! And I think this last one ended up being the best of the bunch. The impending union took us to Bethel. I was Emily's guest this time, and knew almost no one there. We gave ourselves plenty of time. We stopped for coffee at the 7-11 on Washington Ave. (in Portland), where I'm pleased to announce that they have a coffee beverage station! Lots of syrups, assorted powdered flavorings, and recipes to make fantastic-tasting cups'-o'-joe. The result is impressive. The beverage station itself looks a little pathetic, but don't let that deter you! I encourage those of you in the vicinity of the Washington Ave. 7-11 to go make yourself a fancy cup of coffee. It's fun. But I've strayed. Back to wedding summarizing.

We wandered around downtown Bethel a bit, which was really pretty. The leaves, the mountains, the decorations...a very nice place, while still being a little townie. I love townie towns. We wandered into a disapponting gift shop, a grocery store called "Food Line" I think...I forget. The name was displayed nowhere except on the paper taped to the counter, advising you who to make your check out to.

The ceremony itself was in an old barn, preserved by the historical society. The something-Mason House. It was charming. It was one room, very meetinghouse-y, with a fireplace on the front wall. Simple and perfect. The wedding was short, the food was awesome, and the band playing music in the corner (not for dancing, but for ambience) was good. Made up of three older men and a guy our age, they had a rockabilly sound to them. The young bandman stared at Emily and I a lot. We thought he was into us (which was extremely flattering, because he was H-O-T!), but the staring was endless. Everytime we'd look over he would be there, playing his guitar, and staring at us shamelessly, with virtually no expression on his face. So we started thinking that perhaps he thought we were lesbians. It's true, we were there without our respective gents. But how interesting is that? Was he hoping we'd start making out? I mean, unless he was living in a commune or extremely religious, lesbians wouldn't warrant intent staring. So hot though he was, he was also borderline psychotic from all we could tell. So we put to bed our "Whatever happens in Bethel, stays in Bethel" thought process. I also had nice conversation with the friend-guest of the other bridesmaid (had I mentioned that Emily was in the wedding party? She was), Susannah. We had a lot to talk about. It was nice.

Now that the weddings are done, it's time to look forward, to the holidays. Movie Gallery originally told me that I'd have to work two of the "Big 4" ( Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day), but have gone back and have now decided that of all the holidays, (now we throw in Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving), everyone will work ALL OF THEM. Everyone will be scheduled for at least two hours on every one of the holidays. The more I hear, the less I want to do anything for this company. I was planning to work Thanksgiving and Christmas anyway, so I could make holiday pay. But not Christmas Eve. And the day after Thanksgiving? The staff has to stick around and cancel any potential plans so we can work a two hour shift at Movie Gallery? And we get paid minimum wage for this.

We're doing Christmas early. My mother suggested we do Christmas in Jay, as it's a middle ground for everyone involved. I decided it might be an okay idea. But since I've given the green light, Mom's been trying to take control. She organized a "christmas organizational chat" online yesterday, with Anne and myself. I had ten Christmas-related e-mails in my inbox. I will have no control over this event. And no Lorrie to take the edge off off Mom.

Happy Halloween!

23 October 2005

the rest of my weekend

It was like drying my hair for the first time.

I inherited a hair dryer a month or two ago. I don't generally use hair dryers. In fact, I don't think I had dried my hair with anything other than towels within the last ten years. And I'm not sure exactly what it was that made me pull out the crusty old apparatus on Saturday. Perhaps time was an issue? Maybe I was just curious? Either way, I did it. And for the first time in life, I was not ashamed to be attached to my hair. It was so...not flat! And it didn't curve out in all the wrong places! It was respectable, adult-looking hair, suitable for semi-formal occasions and grocery shopping alike.

I'm wondering if it was my usage that was the problem in the past. This time around I was holding pieces up, and flipping my head upside down. Very acrobatic hair drying. I guess you can't just aim hot air at your head and expect anything other than disappointment. If I'm just trying to dry my hair, disregarding how I want it to look, I do better with a towel. I'm a towel-dry pro. But now that I have the power to not look like hell, the hair dryer is a weapon I will wield more regularly.

Mel's wedding was fancy and awkward. The reception was at the Portland House? The Portland Club? Something like that, right on State St. We were forced to mingle before being allowed to sit at our table. They were "saving the room for the bride and groom". So we stood awkwardly in corners, idly making eye contact and half-grinning at strangers. I dropped melon on the floor, and we both ate a lot of cheese. Jeremy was of no help to me, as he immediately detached and mourned the lack of open bar (which, I admit, didn't help the evening along). We skipped out immediately after dinner (I swear, my steak mooed. And Jeremy's meat had an aorta in it). I feel awful about it, but we weren't really interacting with anyone. I doubt we were missed. The practicality out-weighed the guilt. I'm not sure today that I did the right thing, but it's done.

And since I have another wedding next weekend that will bring me to Portland long enough to pick up Emily, Jeremy and I decided to take out several stacks of movies from Videoport. The plan today is to bring the TV up to the bedroom, throw on all the flannel clothing we collectively own, eat frozen pizza and enjoy videos. It all starts once I stop writing. So I'm going to stop here.

22 October 2005

it's saturday-ay-ay-ay-ay (weet weet, weet weet)

Another wedding today! This time in Portland, and for my best friend from my first two years of college, Mel. It starts at 5:30 p.m. I'm a little wary, as it's taking place at a Catholic church. I know this doesn't insure a Catholic service, but it seems more likely than not. And a Catholic service, for those of you who've never had to experience one, is literally endless. She won't be saying "I do" until sometime Monday afternoon. I was told in advance by the bride that she would very much like for me to get "wasted" at her reception. Her plan is to do the same, and she very much likes when we're drunk together. Let's hope for an open bar, shall we? We're staying with friends Michelle and David tonight, who live a maximum of two blocks from the ceremony.

We watched Bewitched and Melinda and Melinda last night. Bewitched was a clear example of what Nora Ephron does best: takes a very very stupid plot, and fills it with funny jokes. So the movie was, in fact, funny. But it's not good. As to how that translates for watchability, I say why not! That's not a recommendation. But if you wanted to see it before reading this, you must already have an inkling as to what you're in for. It'll meet your expectations. Also: Steve Carell completely channelled Paul Lynde. You can almost see him in his face. And that, folks, was far more than I indended to say about Bewitched. Melinda and Melinda is the newest Woody Allen movie, and I'm pleased to report that it's better than anything else he's put out in the last 5-7 years. Sadly, that's still not enough to make it interesting. Great concept, the story, but blandly executed. But it's kind of fun, coupling it with Bewitched for an evening of Will Ferrell-based entertainment. Compare, contrast...

My dreams have taken a psychologically interesting turn as of late. I've now dreamed a few times that I'm not naked, but in public in undergarments. Last night I was in downtown Orono with Crystal, my best friend from grade school, and I was in Wonder Woman underwear, and my legs were completely unshaved. She was fully dressed. We ended up at what used to be my grandparents' camp in Acton, and I had to swim. I should look up what this might mean. I'm quite sure this is my subconscious's equivalent to the naked dream, but my aversion to being nude is so deep-seeded that even my brain refuses to allow it. I also dreamed about an Eddie Griffin movie called "Junior Clinton's Rocks". I think this could actually be made. Of course, the plot in my dream involved three fold-out chairs in the middle of an empty room, but there are trained professionals who could spice it up.

21 October 2005

woe! oil and employment!

It's starting to get cold. This, for the most part, is a good thing. Sweater-weather is my favorite temperature. The scent of fall far surpasses the smells of the other seasons, not to mention the foliage. I sure love foliage. Anyway. I'm finding that, with our windows located as they are, most of the apartment doesn't benefit from the sun's heat. I'm also finding that when you're short of money, and are trying to stretch the 50 gallons of oil that you purchased two months ago enough to insure warm showers until you once again have money above and beyond rent to buy more oil, prioritizing needs is hard. Did that make sense? Let me simplify: it's cold, and we're afraid that if we turn on the heat, we'll run out of oil. And since it's too cold to stand cold showers anymore, we're screwed. Potentially.

So here's what I need to know:
-How does one determine how much oil is left in their tank?
-Exactly how much oil is burned by heat?
-How much has the hot water already used?
-Can we make it until Thanksgiving with what we have left? (my mother's giving us 100 gallons of oil for Christmas, and having it delivered at the end of November. Dear, wonderful woman.)
-Can we conceivably go heatless until Thanksgiving without causing ourselves physical harm? Mental harm? Perhaps spiritual harm? Really, any harm is a detriment.
-When will Farmington get its Target store? (I like my reasonably-priced warm layers to be fashionable, and in loud prints)

Once Jeremy's working it'll be better. Surprisingly enough, I can pay rent with my pathetic slave wages. But that's about it. Manpower's been nothing but a disappointment this time around. And they were so good about finding work in the past. I wouldn't mind finding a better-paying job either. I like my co-workers, and would do just about anything for my new manager, but - and tell me if this is possible - I think I have carpal tunnel in my elbow and shoulder. I guess not THE carpal tunnel...my median nerve only runs so far, y'know...but that same feeling. I come home from work unable to shrug my shoulders (and pain radiating from the base of my neck outward), with elbow pain and numb fingers. Renting movies to people shouldn't be this physically challenging. It never used to be. I should make at least $7/hr if I'm going to sacrifice limbs to the job. Dare I say, $7.50! Minimum!

Well, I think I'm done bitching for today. Sorry, kids! More jaunty retarded crap soon!

19 October 2005

the inner loser, finally realized

I watched two things on television today:
1) Lauren Graham
2) digitally animated evil-destroying asian twentysomethings.

That's three episodes of Gilmore Girls, and almost nine hours of "Final Fantasy X". But it wasn't Jeremy who played the latter. It was me.

I played nine hours of a video game. And I could very easily go back downstairs and play more.

What is my problem? I mean, no offense to anyone who has always enjoyed the game, but I have never found it to be anything other than bland, and a huge waste of time. And that I suddenly found the urge to not only pick up a controller and start playing the game, but to continue doing so well into the night? I'm not well. Someone stop me before I start appreciating Buffy the Vampire Slayer (again, no offense) or Lord of the Rings (take offense here. There's simply no excuse).

I'm fairly sure this new, pathetic development is contributing to my inability to fall asleep. We came up to bed two hours ago, and I've done nothing but squirm and itch in that time. So here I am, fighting the urge to chip another hour or two off of my Playstation saga. It kills me - I still don't necessarily "enjoy" the game. It's cheesy videos of cheesy dialogue, strung together with battles I don't necessarily understand (applying ether, a magical firaga attack...I can't tell you what any of it means!)...and that GRID! I sure do hate the grid! But still, that's where I'd like to be right now.

Screw it. I'm going to go itch and play video games. I've got years to make up for.

18 October 2005

surreal nights (PG-13)

Last night my soon to be former co-worker Dander* invited us over to hang out. Always excited for new reasons to leave the house, we went. She lives in Livermore Falls. Not the part near the Chuck Wagon Restaurant and Food City. It's somewhat beyond it. Behind it really. I wouldn't have guessed how remote Livermore Falls becomes. But suddenly the trees replaced the buildings, and then...nothing but open fields. Several acres later we reached their apartment.

Yes, "their". Living in this apartment are Dander, her husband Ving*, year-old son Humbolt*, and Dander's mentally-challenged brother Ron* who recently came into her custody after their parents kicked him out. Ron's brain stopped at seven- or eight-year old capacity. He's 19 or 20 now, so he's like a big 2nd grader. Dander's only 23, so to have her slightly younger brother in her custody must be a little strange.

Upon arrival, Ving left the room while Dander gave us an informal tour (we all stood in the kitchen as she pointed to different rooms and told us what they were). After removing my shoes, Ving reappeared with drugs. With Humbolt otherwise entertained in his playpen in the living room, we were brought into Ron's room to set the drugs on fire, if you will. Ving's brother is a dealer, so they're "all set". There was lots of conversation, a chunk of it centered around the closet-full of stewed tomatoes (Dander stews her own tomatoes! That's why her chili is so good! (she brought Tami and I chili and cornbread at work one night. Another time she brought us barbeque chicken and whoopie pies. She just enjoys cooking, something I think I'll never be able to understand)).

We went back into the living room. Dander prepared a lovely platter of assorted crackers, Fritos, and a nut-wrapped cheese log. We looked at pictures of Humbolt...one when he was 10 days old, sitting amongst pumpkins. The other picture can only be seen to believe. It was an 8" by 10" of little Humbolt, with a traditional portrait backdrop behind him. Oh, one more thing - a man in a bunny suit was behind him, with his hands on Humbolt's shoulders. "That's the Easter Bunny," Dander told us. But this bunny suit came straight from hell. It's not adorable. It's a terrifying, 1976 horror movie rendition of the Easter Bunny. Not only does he dwarf young Humbolt in the photo, but he looks like he's going to eat his heart once the camera has clicked. And Humbolt was smiling, unaware of the slaughter that was to ensue! Dander told us a large black man was inside the bunny costume. I actually laughed. I'm going to die young, and it'll hurt a lot, but I would pay money for this picture. That it wasn't a joke makes it that much creepier! Anyway, after admiring photos we spent at least two hours watching Baby Einstein videos. At some point it changed to Baby Shakespeare, which, in my opinion, isn't helping kids in the slightest. The other vidoes, sure, but what's a baby going to do with Shakespeare ? Infants are hard enough to understand as it is, the last thing I'd want to do is teach it Shakespeare. Neither here nor there. They were riveting.

Around the time I was thinking of leaving, and much without announcement, Dander suddenly changed the video to The People vs. Larry Flynt. Ving had quietly gone to bed earlier, because suddenly we could hear snoring from the upstairs. The People vs. Larry Flynt is a movie I'd always meant to watch, but never got around to it. I'd rent it, then never look at it. But I'm glad to have seen it! I knew it'd be worthwhile once I got it over with. As a result, my dreams were peppered with naked women doing naughty things. It was weird. And it wasn't the primary plot. The women were kind of on the sidelines, setting a general dream mood. But I can't remember anything else from it. Huh.

That's pretty much all I can say about the night. After the movie ended, we went home. I watched Jeremy play Final Fantasy part 10, then we watched some TV before going to bed. I have today off. I will watch a total of three episodes of Gilmore Girls, probably watch more Final Fantasy, and definitely consume lots of hot brown beverages (namely, coffee).

16 October 2005

celebrities, weddings, and presidential bodyguards

Thank God my borther-in-law is car smart. I called my sister on Friday to ask her and Peter's opinion on the status of my car, before spending money to fix a potentially unfixable problem. Peter's first suggestion was putting the car in park. I didn't think you could stop a car, take the keys out, leave it sitting through work and overnight, in park. So before going to Hannaford I stopped back at my car. And it was in drive. A car won't start in drive. So I put it in park, and it started right up. My car was parked in drive. It's not broken (yet). Inside I'm laughing.

I went to Wal*Mart to buy wedding-appropriate apparel (talk about a challenge!) and managed to find black pin-stripey pants and a basic top that matched the stripe perfectly. I also was forced to buy pumps. I can't call these shoes high heels, because that gives the impression of being a classy, semi-respectable shoe. These shoes are weird-looking, White Stag, $6.47 pumps. I had no other options. I needed shoes with lift because the pants were WAY too long. And with Wal*Mart being my only immediate option, and their selection being as poor it is, I had to buy them. My entire outfit, wearable for the next three weekends, was $33. I was still able to pay rent, which is always nice.

Dan and Tori's wedding was really fun. The Old German Church in Waldoboro is very old and quaint. It's also very cold and unlit. But at 2:00 in the afternoon, you don't really miss what lacks. Supposedly George Washington's bodyguard was married there. I can't be sure, that was the rumor spreading amongst the early arrivers. It's weird to think about George Washington having a bodyguard. It's not very 18th centrury-sounding. But hey - cool. It also took the entire wedding and most of the reception to decide undisputedly that Tim Curry was not in attendance. Not until the end of the night did we learn Tim Curry was in fact Dan's Uncle Dick. That didn't stop us from trying to take his picture. We never did. Almost got one of him dancing. We were seated at a far-away table with other like-minded individuals. It was a great time. It took us about an hour and 40 minutes to get there, so it wasn't too bad. We cut through the middle of the state, which was cartographically exciting for me. It rained, but it was still nice.

And today it's back to work. Not until 5:00 though. In the meantime I'm going make a pot of coffee. I'll sip it slowly and thoughtfully (after hungrily and desperately dumping the first two cups down my throat), and ponder life.

14 October 2005

trouble in paradise

My car has stopped running.

I don't know what the problem is. It's not the battery. I might be out of gas, but neither Jeremy nor I can remember where the gas gauge was at. When I turn the key, nothing happens. No noise whatsoever. No ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh sound, like the car wants to start, but it's just too tired. You know that sound. But I turn the key and it sits there like an idiot mute (my apologies to all the idiot mutes who may happen upon this). Sometime before work at 3:00 I have to purchase a gas can (which will hopefully be in stock at our local Hannaford store and walk to a gas station, get gas, carry it to work (which is where my car died last night), and hope it starts. I'm ultimately screwed if gas isn't the issue. There'll be no weddings this weekend, next weekend, or even the weekend after that. Jeremy will not be able to get a job, as there's no way to get anywhere. We'll be stranded in the foothills.

But perhaps I worry too much. Coffee will help.

13 October 2005

starts and ends with a dream

Last night I dreamed that my sisters were pregnant, and that Jeremy made a movie about airplanes and dogs wearing sunglasses, scored by the Benny Hill theme. It was REALLY funny. That's all I can remember.

I'm having trouble making my blog display a toaster photo, so I uploaded a few to Yahoo and made an album of it. I think you might be able to view it here. (This has proven to be harder than it's worth). I also took pictures of our "dining area" and the kitchen entryway (they were tidier than normal, and I was feeling ambitious...)

Tonight at work will be my first where I have keys and a code. There's a possibility that it might not work, and I've been told that the cops will show up if an invalid code is entered. I'm potentially in for a very exciting night. I'm also getting to work with Amber, who was hired with me but tends to open (I generally close). Time will pass quickly and funly (if "funly" is a word, I think I misspelled it.) I could've gone to a bachelor party tonight - my friend Dan is getting married this weekend, and had invited me to the male-intensive festivities. But in order to go to the wedding, I had to sacrifice. It probably would've been awkward anyhow, since I don't know any of Dan's friends (other than Jim, of course). And I need money.

Three more weddings to attend this month! I need to buy a nice top and shoes, since I own neither after my recent weight gain sent me out of contention for my old nice outfits (and I just don't own nice shoes. Never have, probably never will.) I should also think about gifts. I'm invited to the nuptuals with the understanding that I'll be rewarding the couple with a present. Other than the financial issue, the only place to shop around here is Wal*Mart. No one registered at Wal*Mart. Not that I blame them, but it certainly makes life harder for those of us who chose to live in the foothills of western Maine, far from the conveniences of modern life. (though I hear rumor that Farmington might build a Target. I pray to God in heaven that's true!!)

12 October 2005

days off and movies

Yesterday was my first day off in a week. So we made the most of my not-at-work time. I had told Tami, my manager, that I was going to sleep until noon. I was surprised when it actually happened. Coffee was consumed, television was idly looked at, computer was computed on...everyday stuff. And on a whim I suggested we go for a walk. Jeremy seemed up for it, so for the first time we hit the streets of Jay on foot. Near our home is a brown Baptist church with a street that we had assumed was a dead end. Not so! We walked up, and the street hooked right. And there we found where the people who populate Jay live. We found a slew of cute houses, not-so-modest trailers...a development without the monotony. It was nice. The air smelled like leaves and wood-burning stoves. Aaaaaaaah. Sweater weather. We went to the library for more books, came home for dinner, and split a bottle of champagne. Yum.

We've been renting movies a lot, as it's my only job perk. I'm surprised by how many decent films we've seen in the last week. Unleashed (watch it!!!!), Primer (watch it also!!!), Schultze Gets the Blues (slower-paced, but good), Enduring Love, and tonight we're watching Downfall and Imaginary Heroes. Jay Movie Gallery doesn't get many impressive films, but we're not as bad off as I had imagined.

We paid part of a bill today! Giving people money feels great, I tell you. I wouldn't expect it to be so nice, but every time we do it, our day is made. It's a habit I look forward to forming.

Tonight at work I witnessed graphic anal fingering. This couple was probably five feet from the counter, looking at our previously-viewed DVD section (buy 2, get 2 free!), when she just started groping the butthole part of his bottom. It couldn't have been a wedgie, because I don't think boxers or briefs can ride up that high. And if they had, wouldn't he have picked it out himself?? I can't really think about it. I'm really sorry I have to write about it at all, but I can't NOT mention it. I had to call Jeremy as soon as the couple left, just to get it out of me.

Really, I could talk about customers all night, but I have dinner to eat and films to view. I'll work harder at making a better blog next time.

07 October 2005

worth considering.

You Should Be a Hot Dog for Halloween!

You Should Be a Hot Dog for Halloween!

a crisp autumn morning in the foothills of western maine

I just now thought of the word I wanted to use the other day, in a context I can no longer remember. It was "concurrently". Of course this does me no good now, but it's nice that, even this far after the fact, my brain came through.

I only have small things to report before I run off to work. This warrants a list. Not bulleted, since I don't know how to do that.

- Minimum wage increased, so my rate-of-pay inadvertently went up. There's nothing like a non-merit-based raise to re-affirm that you're a viable asset to the company.

- A spider jumped on me in the shower. Number of times this has happened since we've been in Jay: three.

- We got a wood-paneled toaster from my sister. She says she...didn't want it? Some kind of gibberish. It can't be true. It's way too cool to give away. It also complements our kitchen beautifully. I'll have to take a picture of it, to share with anyone who cares to see it.

Crap, I thought I had more. I suppose it's for the best, since I still need to intravenously inject my coffee before going to my job.

04 October 2005

enough is enough

I've been very patient and understanding with Hollywood. I know they want to make money, and I understand it's hard to match every film they push out with a creative idea. Remakes and sequels happen sometimes, and I accept them. I tolerate them.

But I've hit my limit.

We were watching The Interpreter last night (not very exciting, but not a terrible movie. It's over two hours though, and you'll find you're aware of every minute). Immediately preceding the film were previews...big surprise, I know...

It was Pride and Prejudice.

No - not the 1938 one. Not the 1940 or 1952 versions. Certainly not the 1980 mini-series, or the flawless 1995 mini-series (the only one anyone should see...it's truest to the book). Not the shitty 2003 rendition, not 2004's Bollywood extravaganza Bride and Prejudice (kind of retarded, but kind of fun). It's new for 2005, starring Keira Knightly and Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn (which is unfair, because the cast begs you to see it, despite the audience's better judgement). Seriously, I'll deal with remaking a movie once, I'll poke fun and roll my eyes before inevitably viewing a second remake, but COME ON! Leaving out shorter TV specials and films whose plot loosely resembles that of P&P (Bridget Jones's Diary, You've Got Mail (which is a remake of The Shop Around the Corner...man, was there anything original about that movie? Perhaps I should take greater shame in the enjoyment I derive. I'm a sucker for Nora Ephron, so sue me!)), this film has been remade just short of TEN TIMES!

There's got to be a point where Hollywood realizes they're kropogs beyond desperation. There's nothing new to discover, no improvement to be made. If the perfect Pride and Prejudice hasn't been made yet, it's not going to happen (though it has, and it's absolutely wonderful, but not necessarily the point). Are there no other classic novels that translate to the big screen? Are they out of books to transform into sub-par cinema?

What about more Shakespeare? They're still two or three Hamlets shy of upsetting. More Jane Smiley, or perhaps a couple more Joyce Carol Oates could be worked over (make Foxfire again! There's a whole new slew of sassy teens to cast). I'd like to see some Paul Auster. Or Garrison Keillor!

Garrison Keillor movies would be awesome. Sit down with some chowder and pie, and take a nice nap...

30 September 2005

blame it on the rain

I worked eight hours alone today, and in that time I did just about all of Movie Gallery's business, thanks to the freak three-hour rain storm that hit, bringing with it fierce, blustering winds that... literally... lifted and haphazardly deposited customers into the store. I only broke the computer once, and the customers waiting for me to loudly and stressfully fix the problem over the phone all seemed to sympathize. Or simply not speak to me. Either way, I survived. I hurt immensely, as I think my shoes aren't appropriate for standing in place hours on end. But I'm alright. Don't nobody worry 'bout me.

Tomorrow afternoon we're going to house-sit in the woods. Jeremy's folks are going to Michigan to bring their other son a car, then will bus back. In the meantime we get a mini-vacation. She bought groceries, has provided ample dollars for gas... not that there is more exciting than here. If anything, it's duller. But there's no better place to enjoy nothingness. As of Saturday I start my three days off in a row, after working every day since Sunday. (yet somehow still only have 26 hours?)

Lorrie's moving to California on Saturday. We're going to see each other in some way, shape or form tomorrow evening. I'm not sad, but definitely aware that something is changing. Does that make sense? And of course I'm envious of her upcoming road trip. The driving's the best part of moving far away. It's the only positive thing I've taken from the six months in Washington (not that Washington was a bad place, just that Washington refused to feed, shelter, or befriend us. Washington mocked our pain, and laughed at our misfortune. Thanks, Washington. No, wait! Don't leave! I love you!)
Animal Crossing, the most addictive game Nintendo has ever created, has finally started being fun again. I'm off to fish and catch bugs. Jeremy caught a salmon the other day, and I still need one. I'm four fish away from a golden rod, and I'm getting impatient. So I'm going to desperately forage through the town, and make my presence known.

29 September 2005

today's unwarranted, unnecessary posting

You'd better sit down. You are suffering from
Annie's Disease.

Cause: running too fast
Symptoms: excessive suicidal thoughts, dementia, neck swelling
Cure: exercise

Oh, the fun to be had on the internet!

Not only have I been assigned a middle name ("Eagle-12", thanks!), but I've learned that product-wise, I'm "a piece of string that plays MP3s, automatically avoids obstacles and holds up to twenty cigarettes."

n. complicated acronym, meaning violence.
"Want some annie, Mom?"

Enough of that.

Work was okay. A guy I've dubbed "Evil Camper Man" spent two hours tonight not renting movies. He slowly, silently studied every movie box in the store. "Just looking," he told me when I asked if he needed assistance. Co-worker Amber came in to rent movies while he was in, and told me he spent a large chunk of time there yesterday as well. She seems to think he parks the camper in a nearby dirt field, and that's where he lives. He looks harmless enough, but two hours in a slow, small store is a REALLY LONG TIME when you're alone, and it's getting dark, and the guy refuses to respond to small talk. I get paid to engage you, sir. Please, play along!

I finally finished the sixth Harry Potter book. I can't say anything, because all I can do at this point is ruin it for other people. There's not much to say other than the spoiler bit, except that getting a copy of the seventh book is not going to be easy when the time comes.

My college application is still missing a page. I have to find the sheet that lists relatives who've attended the UMaine system, then send it to Orono, so they can ship my application to Farmington from there. I don't know what the cut-off date for spring enrollment is, but I can't imagine I'm going to make it. But you never know, right? Positive thinking!

28 September 2005

weathering the storm

Well thank god that's done!

I survived the extended weekend with minimal sleep, far less coffee than is fair to deprive any person of, and an alarming desire to never never never get married. At least not in front of people. I would've assumed that attending a wedding where 4/5ths of the attendees aren't complete strangers would be a pleasant change of pace. NOPE! I can't handle the small-talk. Or the stress. I can now only start to imagine the hell that would ensue if all my family and friends were stuck in a small, poorly-decorated room, celebrating me in a dress I detest, listening to the music I enjoy (oldies, polka, and powerpop), eating the food I like to eat (mac'n'cheese with red hot dogs cut in, just about anything slow-cooked, and cheesecake).

Supposedly, while we were prepping the Elks lodge for my sister's reception, there was a cheesecake-eating contest taking place less than a mile away, as part of "Riverfest". It's supremely unfair that I miss these events. Not that I needed the excess mass...my maid-of-honor strapless top was hooker-tight as it was, displaying my ample torso for all who cared to view it. And after the food, breathing was a chore, let alone dancing. I did it, mind you. No one can accuse me of not loving my sister.

My first shift alone at the video store is tomorrow night. I'm almost sure I can just about handle it. Does that sound confident enough? Positive thinking, I tell you!

We watched "Beauty Shop" last night, and "Layer Cake" this morning. If you haven't seen these films, then run...RUN!...to your local video store, or log...LOG!...onto your nearest internet-ready computer, and get them. Watch them. Appreciate them. Also, "The Wool Cap" was good.

21 September 2005

jenna von oy: shapeshifter

I thought I woke up at 8:00 this morning. Only upon going downstairs to re-heat yesterday's coffee did my rising time come into question. The clock on the microwave said it was 9:42. Adelphia agreed with them, as the same time was on the cable box. Weird. So I didn't get an impressive start to the day, but I'm still proud of 9:42 without an alarm on a day off. I know I dreamed weirdly last night, but all I can remember now is the school setting, Liza Weil asking me why I'd let myself slide academically, and Jenna Von Oy shapeshifting. No clue how that fits in, but it happened. It was scary. Scary and awesome.

This is a full week. Tomorrow I go into work at 7:00 a.m. to help with inventory. I leave at 3:00 and go directly to Old Town to help my sister get ready for her wedding on Saturday. I will be her errand girl for the latter part of tomorrow; the rehearsal dinner and impromptu bachelorette party (with minimal booze and zero naked dancing men...I'm not related to my sister at all) is on Friday; Saturday she gets hitched. Then Sunday I drive back for work at 3:00.

I'm going to a wedding, or a wedding-related function, every weekend of October. This is the year for everyone I know who hasn't already tied the knot or had babies to follow suit. The pressure is palpable. I've been with Jeremy four years, and the family's starting to ask questions. And Emily wants Joe3 to have contemporaries, and is bribing her sister and me with gifts and food in exchange for a baby. I have to say, I do like food and presents...

And that seems like a good place to stop! More soon.