28 June 2006

life, right?!

Yesterday was many things. Here, a list!

1) My 4 1/2th dating anniversary. Happy Dating!
2) One year ago yesterday, we left Washington. One year ago this morning, we were finishing a complimentary continental breakfast in Butte, Montana. Or was it Billings? CRAP! I think it was Butte. It must've been Butte.
3) Our plans changed.

Yeah. So Jeremy had called out of work yesterday...no fantastic reason, but we enjoyed a day together. We watched Hoosiers and Mask (both movies I'd never seen - can I say, I'm officially a fan of Gar). I got a phone call early yestreday afternoon from Tami, who requested I go see her at the store immediately. I figured maybe she had finally nailed down a raise amount (because my review was Monday...I did good...maybe 25 cents more per hour!). Apparently, our new district manager had stopped in for a surprise visit. The store fared quite well, actually. She told Tami that she made an assistant manager position for the Jay and Farmington stores to share. No revenue class jumping necessary, because each store would have the assistant no more than 20 hours per week.

Guess who Tami recommended for the position.

In the middle of July sometime, I'll be filling out paperwork, maybe passing a background check, taking a math test, and training a week in Waterville to become the Jay/Farmington Assistant Manager. I will get a hefty raise (I really want to say how much, but I'm learning it's classier not to), be working full time, have a benefits package I don't pay for, vacations, holidays, sick time! etc.

Of course, I was very excited. At first. By the time I got back to the apartment, I started realizing that this position might be the start of a lucrative career with Movie Gallery, the problem being that I've wanted to quit my job from the day I was hired. A feeling of having failed at life settled over me. If I take the job, will I ever be anything other than an ASM for a retail movie chain? It would virtually eliminate any chance to finish my degree (I'm not sure if what I've heard about credits expiring after 10 years is true or not, but fall of '07 will be a decade beyond my first semester). So we went for a drive, because driving helps. And we came up with a plan.

I'm going to accept the job offer. This means we're going to remain in Jay for awhile longer. In the meantime, I'm going to apply to Orono again, hopefully to enroll for the fall 2007 semester. If I get accepted, I'll have put in a year as ASM, two years total with the company, and can guiltlessly move to Orono to finish my degree. If they don't take me, then we'll see what happens. Maybe we'll move to Brunswick!

19 June 2006

move on - i stopped thinking 17 degrees ago

On this day in 1997, I graduated high school. Exciting stuff.

This past weekend was all about changed plans. There were several things we could've done. For one, camping. Camping was the reason I had the weekend off in the first place. Camping was also the reason we didn't attend our second weekend option: Liam's 1st birthday party. We did neither. But we managed to have a pretty cool (NOT literal - 90+ degrees and humid is not what I would call cool...figuratively or literally) weekend.

We were both up early on Saturday morning, and thought we'd hunt down a few yard sales in the area. Once we were in the car, we instead decided to head toward Rumford. There wasn't a lot to be seen on the 18 some-odd miles of US-2, but it was a nice drive. We eventually found ourselves in Mexico, at a library book sale. They had free coffee and doughnuts. Not a whole lot to offer bookwise, but I came away with two summerworthy reads (after two munchkins and a big cup of coffee, I had to buy something!) We continued to Rumford, where we found a church rummage sale in its last hours. Fill a bag for $2? HELL YES! We left with books, shirts, two VERY cool games, silverware, etc. From there we went to Rumford's Business District. Not a lot to do really, but it made for a nice walk. After that we went back to Mexico for lunch at The Covered Wagon. We were the only customers there. It was fantastic. Our server was delightful, our food was awesome, and the decor was enviable (if you're into the whole wagon motif). Then we went home to drink beer and play one of our new acquisitions, The Omega Virus.

It's too hot to type. Sunday, very quickly, we were expecting company who had to cancel last-minute. We took to the road again, this time toward Skowhegan (for ice cream. Why not, right?) once we got there, we decided instead to keep driving. We went south on 201 until we hit Brunswick. We got Indian food for dinner (very good!), and went to Target, where I purchased work-appropriate shorts. Then we headed home. OH! And we almost ran over a turtle crossing the road. If you're a turtle crossing a busy highway, you're begging to get run over. He must've been desperate to get to the other side. It's kind of inspiring, actually.

And now, I'm going to take a nap in the fridge.

15 June 2006


I have a new boyfriend. I just found out this morning! He, Tami and I went out last night. He's smart and funny, short (never a problem), and turns six in September. Did that fool anyone, even for a minute? Tami took Trevor to Wal*Mart and Pizza Hut last night to celebrate getting good grades on his report card, and she invited me along. Needless to say it was very fun. This morning, while walking the plaza, I learned how big an impression I made. Apparently Trevor made Tami take pictures of him with his wrestling figures to give to me. Also, he's in the process of writing me a "love letter". I guess five year olds think I'm cool! It's the magic age that thinks everything I say is funny and interesting. So when I become rich and famous, I'm thinking I'm going to need an entourage of kindergarteners with me at all times. Perhaps my blueberry stoli recipe will net me more than just the respect of alcoholics - I'll get the adoration of the Barney set!

Also last night, Jeremy and I happened upon a Great Performances of interest - Bill Irwin, Clown Prince. Jeremy let me watch it. It totally made my night. I could watch Bill Irwin knit a sweater and be entertained. In an ideal world, my job would be to do what Bill Irwin does. Physical comic/clown/mime, with class. I could go on, but I'm the only one who'd care to read seven more paragraphs of "Bill Irwin rocks HARD! I (heart) him!"

I work 9-3 today. Hot Fed Ex Guy is going to be delivering a package to the store. Tami wants me to ask him if he's single. I promised her nothing, since I'm not a blatant flirter. I did tell her that if he brought her up by name, I'd dig a little. That's what friends are for.

14 June 2006

liquor up!

Very briefly, I'll sum up the end of the carnival: Saturday's weather resulted in fewer hours of operation, so they stayed until Sunday. Sunday was partly sunny. I couldn't convince Jeremy to come along. By the time we finally got to the plaza (we were going to pick up dinner foods and ride a ride), they had started shutting down. It was only 5:00 p.m. So my last entry sums up my entire carnival experience.

I can't remember what I was looking at yesterday, but I found a link to blueberry stoli. I clicked on the link because "hey, yum! blueberry stoli!" After arriving at the blueberry stoli site, I learned of the drink contest. Invent a drink, submit it, and the winner gets...not a whole lot, actually. Recognition. A name and the drink recipe printed in the company-sponsored drink book. But still, talk about fun! I'd love to share my ideas (because obviously I'm going to do it), but I'd hate to give away my creative edge.

I have today off. I know I'm going to wash the dishes at some point. Other than that, it's all up in the air. I'll probably grab a few movies. Maybe I'll read one of my library books. In all likelihood, I'll listen to podcasts and play Feeding Frenzy 2. Oh, and I'll celebrate the flag. I'll knit the flag a commemorative sweater, or eat a pudding pop in its honor. Happy Flag Day!

10 June 2006

awesome friday

I filled a hole in Tami's shift yesterday, a 2:30-5:00. Easy money. I had time to re-arrange and start shifting the gallery, and at 4:00 the customers came. From the highest mountains to the lowest valleys, everyone wanted movies. I had quite a line. Everyone was in good spirits, and the carnival served as easy small-talk. At 5:00, the evening shift arrived. It had yet to rain, and Tami and I decided to head out to the parking lot to ride a ride. We went on a hand glider contraption that goes in circles, where we control how high or low we went. Our co-riders were a group of 7-9 year old girls. From there, having survived the family-friendly ride without vomiting, we headed to the "ferris wheel of death". Not what it's actually called, but looking at it, one would easily identify the ride I'm talking about. Tami and I were the only people on it. After loading us in and securing us, the ride started. After one pass, they stopped the ride and told us they were going to put us in a different cage...one that would go upside down. Oh joy. So we were moved from a cage that had a sway to it but maintained an upright position, to one with no sway, meaning that by the time we reached the top of the wheel we'd be 100% upside down.

I should mention that Tami and I went directly from work to the carnival in full Movie Gallery attire. The fact that we clearly worked in the plaza, coupled with Tami being somewhat of a carny magnet, meant that all the handlers (or engineers, as one carny identified himself to be..."I'm not a carny, you know. I'm a mechanical engineer. I just travel with the fair part-time". Sure, carny. Sure.) felt the need to...I don't know. Get us. Make us puke. Make us giggle. But primarily, the puke part. I guess we were a novelty in our matching red polos and khaki pants. Not to mention being the oldest people at that point riding rides. So when we switched cages on the FWOD, their fun began. We handled upside-down like pros. Having not made us scream or cry, the carnies started slowing the ride down once we hit the top, leaving us upside down and virtually immobile, just dangling in the sky. Boobs flopping about, hair mussed, foreheads ready to burst. It was crazy. Tears were streaming down our faces from laughing so hard. After a few rounds, they brought us back down. Before letting us out, Carny Jr. reactivated the spin mechanism and hand-spun our cage ultrafast. He then stopped on a dime, and spun us in the opposite direction (forward to back, then back to forward). Ugh! We survived. The ticket handler commented on our lack of screaming. We told him we were awesome.

Surviving the FWOD perhaps made us a bit too cocky, a touch too confident. The apple ride I referred to the other day, "Spin the Apple"is pretty much like the teacup ride, but on a smaller scale. That, and you're actually inside a hollowed out apple. So the only open air you see is a window-sized square near the entrance. Anyway, we overspun right off the bat. Suddenly there was a very real danger of yakking. We stopped our apple and rode out the ride just going in a circle. But the damage was done. The apple ride, perhaps the family-friendliest contraption of the lot, wrecked us. We went back into the store and hid in Tami's office, waiting for the spinning to stop. We were officially done with the carnival for the night.

It's raining today, but it's lightened up considerably since 9:00 a.m. So they're possibly opening things up at 3:00 today, and I think Jeremy and I are going to check it out. I have yet to go on the La Kermesse ride, and I could use another piece of fried dough.

09 June 2006

food, fun, and falling down

It's supposed to rain all weekend. Through Monday, actually. It certainly rained hard and long yesterday, the first day of the canival. I'm not sure if it even opened, technically. It hasn't rained yet today, but the day is still young. I'm going to have to check it out. So needless to say, I haven't been yet. And there's a chance that I, and the town of Jay, are going to miss out. Sucky.

Wednesday, after finishing my last entry, I decided to re-arrange the furniture in the living room. I was excited and motivated and ready to move couches. It was then that I fell down the stairs. All of them. Top to bottom, level two to level one. My injuries would've been minor had I not extended both arms to grasp at the railings in an attempt to stop myself. I ended up unnaturally yanking both arms out of their sockets. It slowed me down, but as soon as I let go, I proceeded to fall the rest of the way down. I bruised my legs, pulled countless muscles, and had rug burn on my palms. Good times. It made yesterday's inventory shift a lot more interesting.

Actually, inventory went fast. We were both in extreme pain for various reasons, but we were efficient, and tackled the work like pros. The big scan was done around 1:00, and the three passes (a record for us!) were complete around 2:00. I was home early. It was too fast and too easy to be inventory. We had iced coffee and muffins. We didn't walk the plaza, because we were getting up early as it was...neither of us wanted to get up at 5:00 to allow for exercise befor counting every item in the store. This morning we skipped on walking because of the threat of rain. Perhaps I'll jog in place a bit in exchange...the next best thing!

Jeremy was home yesterday. After my early work day, we went to the library to return/renew my books, and select more. I kept "Home Comforts" for another cycle, because I am still inspired to homemake with every chapter I complete. I also picked up Stephen King's On Writing, a book of Annie Proulx stories (Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2) and Susan Susanka's The Not So Big House (because as of recent I'm into finding pictures of rooms I like, and storing them away to maybe one day build the ideal home). Jeremy grabbed, among other things, E.B. White's One Man's Meat, and I'm going to have to read it. Because I looked at a chunk of it, and it's great. We also had a present in our mailbox - Kansas City! The first of our vacation brochures arrived. There were lots of additional leaflets, a "Discover KC" discount card, and a map. It looks like a pretty happening city. Most entertaining was a series of "Halloweekends" at one of the big amusement parks. For example, "Camp Gonnagitcha Witchahatchet." And one we'd have no choice but to bring Jim to, "The Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns." Once we'd finished looking at books and mail, we decided on an evening of food and film. We went to the Farmington Diner for too much breakfast, and caught the 9:35 show of Mission: Impossible 3. It was great!

And with that, I'm going to go start my day.

07 June 2006

franco-american-inspired nostalgia

Last night the carnies set up a ferris wheel, but with death cages attached to the ends, replacing the more traditional seating. The granny smith apple from yesterday is now four apples: two red, two green, and they supposedly spin. It hasn't been set up yet, so I'm still in the dark as to how it's going to work. There's a kiddie-size scrambler, a ride I forget the name to but rode once at La Kermesse in 1987 (like a wire tire that you are strapped into, then it lifts up and spins), and lots of carny trailers. It's a nice little set-up, but I'm hoping there's more to it. Because if the carnival is comprised of nothing other than what's already there, I am going to have a hard time spending three days at it. I'll do it, but it'll be tough.

La Kermesse...1986 was my first year. We were living in Biddeford at the time. Fun. French. I think it was the next year that my Brownie troop was in the parade. We all got to dress in costumes. I was Mama from Mama's Family - I thought I was so awesome (who am I kidding...I was TOTALLY awesome!). The year that I rode the wire wheel of terror was the year that Lorrie got lost on the fairgrounds. A former teacher of mine, and Lorrie's then-current teacher, Mrs. McPhail, found her. That was also the night I learned that Mrs. McPhail smoked...it made me feel awkward, since at that age, and for many years after that, cigarettes were "devil sticks", consumed by bad people who did bad things. I can only imagine that it was a tiring brainwashing campaign on my mother's part. I was severely reprimanded for holding a candy cigarette when I was five, and since then, I can't come in contact with cigarettes without being overwhelmed with nauseating guilt. Lorrie doesn't have that problem. Not that she smokes, because she doesn't. But she has, at least once. She doesn't break out into a rash or have a panic attack when her best friend asks her to pick up a package of cigarettes for her (another story altogether. I did it, but at a cost to my mental well-being). She also never ended up arguing with another friend who wanted her to simply put a clove cigarette against her lips to taste the cinnamon (I couldn't do it even if I wanted to!) I have nothing against people who smoke. I have no qualms when people who smoke want to smoke in my presence. But I have no control over the resulting sadness.

Where the hell did all that come from? I'm cut off! More blogging later.

05 June 2006

i invent a social anxiety disorder and learn to use "myriad" in a sentence

Making a schedule is HARD. I spent four hours on Sunday attempting to cover shifts fairly, without exceeding our allotted hourage. It helped my shift pass, and once I finished, I felt extremely contented. There's nothing like hard work to make you appreciate things. Today was pretty crazy, too. The whole layout of the store needs to be revamped, requiring shifting and transferring and cleaning. The day flew. It's going to be a good week. I work tomorrow, Wednesday off, Thursday is inventory, Friday off. I was supposed to work Saturday morning, but Tami took the shift so I could come in Sunday night to help finish implementing the merchandising changes. This means two carnival days are completely work-free. The carnies have already started filtering in. This morning we saw a piece of a funhouse (or possibly a fake jail) in the dirt lot to the left of the plaza. There was another object, resembling a really big granny smith apple, which I can only assume is a people-sized fondue pot. Very exciting.

I think I'm bipeoplar. That's not a typo, I just made it up. By which I mean as of quite recently, I either am delighted to be in the presence of others, or freaked out. This evening I'm freaked out. It's like...like when your feet are being tickled, but it doesn't tickle good; it tickles bad. Like irritation, but without being irritable. It's the two extremes. I'm not sure if small town living is doing it to me, or if it's age, or who knows what else. Bipeoplar.

After watching a special on Loretta Lynn's Haunted Plantation last night (and after having recently seen Coal Miner's Daughter for the first time), Jeremy and I decided that it might be time for another trip to the south. I excitedly suggested we request travel brochures from various states and major cities. So that's exactly what we did. Half in Jeremy's name, half in mine, all due to start arriving in 10-15 business days. If you've never had random vacation guides sent to you en masse, I highly recommend it. I haven't done anything like this since 2000...I had an atlas or gazeteer, or some kind of travel book with pages of coupons in the back. All you had to do was put your name and address, and drop them in the mail. I sent a few to friends, and saved the majority for myself. It didn't result in a vacation, but, at least for me, sometimes thinking about the vacation is good enough. Planning adventures is almost as good as taking them. Anyway, what was I saying? Yes. There are a myriad* of eateries we'd like to patronize, along with some killer scenery. There are other things, but I can't tell you what they are until our catalogs get here.

*Usage Note: Throughout most of its history in English myriad was used as a noun, as in a myriad of men. In the 19th century it began to be used in poetry as an adjective, as in myriad men. Both usages in English are acceptable, as in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “Myriad myriads of lives.” This poetic, adjectival use became so well entrenched generally that many people came to consider it as the only correct use. In fact, both uses in English are parallel with those of the original ancient Greek. The Greek word mrias, from which myriad derives, could be used as either a noun or an adjective, but the noun mrias was used in general prose and in mathematics while the adjective mrias was used only in poetry.

About the tiny paragraph above here? I checked with dictionary.com about my usage of myriad, because I wasn't sure if making it a noun was accurate, and managed to learn something interesting. I just thought I'd share.

02 June 2006

cruel to bee kind

I decided to change my blog format. The old one was fun, but I prefer the font on this one. It's a little bigger, making my words look a lot more exciting. I don't want to dwell, I just thought I should acknowledge the change.

As of Tuesday, Tami and I started walking Jay Plaza in the mornings. Today was day three. I absolutely love getting up and doing something with my morning. We go anytime between 6:00 and 6:45, depending on how we're feeling. We've managed about three miles each day so far. We then drive to Dunkin' Donuts for iced coffee, then go home to officially start our respective days. The first morning was troublesome - sometime during the third lap, my stomach started to cramp. I blamed past inactivity, and pressed on. Once we finished, and I got home, something in my colon let go. For the rest of the morning, and the better part of the afternoon, I experienced what Emily referred to as "runner's diarrhea". It's not a phenomenon I knew anything about, and it was almost enough to prevent me from ever wanting to exercise again. The only perk was waking up the next morning and feeling light. Spry, even. Yesterday was not nearly as bad, and as far as today is concerned, I've successfully dodged the bullet (so far).

Tami had a meeting with the district manager yesterday, who told her she needed to delegate responsibilities to others. Without getting into the specifics, I am now going to be the schedule maker! There's no pay increase, or guarantee of promotion or power or whatever, but I'm THRILLED by the news. I've never made a schedule before, but I've always wanted to. All the figuring and placing and the numbers, working around limitations, budgeting the allotted hours...tee!!! Maybe it's crazy to call it a dream come true, but, you know. It is. If there was one cool thing I could do at work, making the schedule is it. And that she thought of me for it is a huge compliment. Life is good.

Tomorrow we're going to Topsham for a potluck spelling bee, hosted by Dan and Tori. I'm studying for the event the same way I studied for the SATs - not at all. I'm not playing to win. I haven't been a competitive speller since grade 6. I know what I know, and I'll last as long as I was meant to last. I don't want to win. As long as I get through the first round, I'm set. We might head down early to spend some time at Target. It's sad how much I miss living in a town with a Target. Sure globalization sucks, but my affection for quirk and value disallow me from judging.

I should stop. I have more to write, but I'll save it for tomorrow.