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...