fearlesstemp: (cary and baby)
grandpa update )

Must go to bed, but before that, a quick non-depressing anecdote.

Last night I was sleeping peacefully when I was awoken by a shrill, terrified scream. My mother. I reacted the way any kind, loving daughter would.

"Ma!" I grunted, still in bed, eyes closed. "Wassit?"

Another shrill scream.

"MA!" I rolled around in bed, willing myself not to wake up too much because I wanted to be able to go right back to sleep, willing my mother to stop screaming. "MAAAAA! WHAAAT IS IT?"

Another shrill scream.

I gave in. I opened my eyes, rolled out of bed, put on my glasses and stumbled into the hallway; in the time it took me to do this, I heard my mother yell, "Get! Get out! GET OUT!"

I figured the cat had brought in a mouse. We have a two-story front hall, so I can lean over and yell down (and toss down laundry, very convenient) when necessary, and I did just that. "Mom, what the - AAAAAAH! WAS THAT-"

"YES!" She screamed. "AAAAH!"

A BAT. A BIG GRAY BAT, FLYING AROUND THE DOWNSTAIRS! Like he owned the place.

I shut all the doors on the second floor and ran downstairs to assist my mother; I was a big help. She was cowering in the bathroom with a butterfly net, and I crouched on the stairs across from her in my nightgown, and basically all we did was stare at each other in terror and have conversations that went,

"How did he-"

"I don't KNOW!"

"What are we going to-"

"I don't -"

"THERE HE IS!"

Both of us: "AAAAAH!"

(Fit of hysterical laughter.)

"Where did he go?"

"I don't know! WHY DIDN'T YOU LOOK?"

"WHY DIDN'T YOU-"

Both of us: "AAAAH!!"

Basically, all we did was stand there and scream at each other. It was terrible. A real low point for the feminist movement; we went on like this for about ten minutes, and then I had to go upstairs and wake up my brother because I realized my mother and I weren't getting anywhere. He got out of bed, put on his college sweatshirt, went downstairs, got a tennis racket, and within ninety seconds he'd used the forehand that ended many a fun tennis game (he was always hitting tennis balls over the fences, into the park or pond beyond the courts) on the bat, and now the bat is quite literally chillin' in a tupperware container in our freezer, awaiting extradition to the county health department to be tested for any number of scary things I'm convinced I'm now infected with. (That episode of House I saw a few weeks ago about rabies is NOT helping right now.)

More news as it develops.

briefly

Jul. 4th, 2006 11:59 pm
fearlesstemp: (ginger unimpressed)
Am just back from family vacation, and typical end-of-vacay crankiness has been exacerbated by:

(1) The journey, which was twice as long as expected (nine hours, each way, for a four-day trip), the bulk of it spent in the second row seat of my father's minivan, which meant that I was uncomfortably squished up against the person sharing the seat with me. By Hour Seven, I actually said that we needed to stop somewhere and buy supplies to build a cubicle between our seats. Sadly, no stop was made.

(2) My current task, which is to create a cover letter for a boring civil service job, since there are no social studies teaching jobs in the vicinity. The nearest one I found in my searches tonight is four hours away, and not an exciting four hours. Not like - ooh, Ithaca! I have friends there! Or - ooh, NYC! I could be all cultured and cosmopolitan while struggling to survive on a teacher's salary! More like - oh, I didn't know people had settled in that part of New York State!

(3) Tomorrow, when I get to go to work with the same people I vacationed with. We are so burned out on each other, I can't even tell you. There is no conversation left.

(4) The fact that Superman Returns supposedly didn't do too fabulously at the box office. Say it isn't so! I loved it! I am dying for a sequel! What if they don't make one? I WILL DIE. Okay, maybe not die. Actually, I'll probably forget all about how much I enjoyed it in a couple of weeks. But right now, I'm loving it, and despairing that more people weren't suckered in by the marketing campaign like I was. PotC is going to decimate it next week! What if it doesn't do as well as X-Men 3? Stress!

(5) The package of Oreos downstairs, which are for my grandfather, and which I therefore cannot eat. But I really want to. THEY ARE TAUNTING ME.

That is all for now. Happy Fourth, American peeps!
fearlesstemp: (elaine ugh)
This week is going to be a serious test of the MyLastName family unit. My mother has jetted off to Cape Cod with her sisters, leaving the three of us behind, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but recently both my brother and I have started working full-time in my father's office. His secretary left a couple of months ago and he never got around to replacing her because his law clerk was doing such a good job, and then his law clerk quit with three days notice a couple of weeks ago and it's CHAOS! So we're there trying to fill in the gaps until he can find quality help.

It's all fine, but since we're all living at the same place, it basically means that the three of us are together 24/7. My mom has been bearing most of the conversational diversity burden, introducing news and topics from her corner of the world, but now she's gone. Gone!

I think dinner tonight is probably going to go something like this:

(Lengthy pause.)

Person 1: Oh, the funniest thing happened at work today -

Persons 2 & 3: I was there.

Person 1: Dammit.

(all three stare into space)

Also, you can't complain about your asshole boss and idiot coworkers over dinner.

I kid! I kid. Work isn't that bad, actually, even if my father is stressed out to the point that he communicates primarily by shouting at the top of his lungs, a la the Costanza parents. He doesn't yell at either Jimmy or me, but at the world in general, annoying clients in particular, and, yesterday, 411 (Telecomputer: City and state, please? Dad Unit: SYRACUSE! NEW YORK!).

Randomly: Did anyone else watch Broken Trail? No? No one else watched Lowell the Dull Witted Mechanic share significant glances with Sun Fu the would-be Chinese prostitute? spoilers, just in case )

I wish more people had watched the movie so I had someone to talk about it with, but I didn't like it enough to justify foisting it on others. Oh well.

I am so tired right now. And I still have to go make dinner (am way behind schedule). Ugh.
fearlesstemp: (wrong number)
Someone needs to break into the house and take my mother's birthday cupcakes out of the kitchen. I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO RESIST YELLOW CUPCAKES* WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING!

Is anyone?

Off to eat one more, my final cupcake of the evening! Really! I mean it!

*I made them yesterday for my mother's birthday - yes, you read that right, I BAKED - and we were out of vegetable oil, so I used olive oil, and they taste all right and everything, but I keep thinking that they look yellow-er than usual. Or a different yellow. Mediterranean cupcakes or something.
fearlesstemp: (happy grover)
We are hosting 29 people for dinner. So far we have:

-realized we have five too few chairs,
-accidentally shoplifted some cheese and mustard, and
-engaged in misguided home-improvement projectss.

I am most guilty of the last of those, believe it or not. They have gone predictably off-course but there is nothing to be done about the eight crooked pictures hanging on my wall now. Will have to make do!

And now, I shower. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
Today's scorecard: My skirt fits funny and I have two runs in my stockings, both of them above the hem of the skirt right now, but they're moving fast. I had to scoot over to Rite Aid on my lunch hour to buy another pair, which I'm going to change into the second one of the runs sneaks by the hem.

The question of the skirt's funny fit is one I tried to solve in the bathroom earlier today by taking off my slip and then putting it on again to see if it was better with or without. I did this twice while standing in front of the bathroom mirror before realizing that anyone could open the door at any moment and see me standing there with my skirt hiked up, shimmying into the slip, since this was a three-stalled office bathroom and not my own little one-seater at home. I then became convinced that someone was going to burst in Right That Moment and hid behind where the door would open to fix my skirt, which was a ridiculous solution because (a) if someone opened the door at all, they would have nailed me and I would have had to explain why I was hiding in the corner of the bathroom, and (b) there was a private little stall just a few feet further away in the opposite direction.

Anyway. I am a mystery even to myself.

The verdict on the slip thing: Doesn't make much difference. The problem is my hip-to-waist ratio, which makes almost all not-completely-A-Line skirts problematic. Most that fit on my hips are too big on my waist and then fall down and sit funny. Note: The problem is less that I have a narrow waist (ha! Almost) but that I have far from narrow hips.

Also: I feel like my octogenarian Latin teacher from high school whenever I discuss wearing a slip, since I'm pretty sure I'm the only person under sixty who wears them. Mrs. R. had a tendency to put on the wrong slip in the morning and spend the whole day with three inches of the slip hanging below the hem of her skirt. Occasionally she'd comb her hair in the morning with one of those black thin barber's combs, stop halfway through with the comb in her hair, and then forget about it, only to discover it sticking out of the back of her hair halfway through her third class of the day.

I sometimes think Mrs. R. and I are spiritual sisters.

I got an invite to an alumni luncheon thing this year, which is featuring as its centerpiece yet another ceremonial award for Mrs. R. She got one last year and I'm pretty sure she got one the year before; she graduated from my high school sometime around 1930 and had been teaching for a few years when my grandmother had her in high school – and my grandmother was the class of 1947. She sticks around because she is from a wealthy family and is such a big financial supporter of the school that they're afraid to let her go, even though she's been having senior moments since the mid-eighties. I think they keep giving her these luncheons hoping that eventually, in one of her acceptance speeches, she'll announce her retirement, but no luck yet.

She was a character. I was one of four students in her Latin Culture and Vocabulary class, which was pretty much a joke. The night before the final exam she called each of us with mysterious messages like, "Think about Sparta...and Athens...and how they're different..." which then turned out to be the major questions on the exam. I think she was afraid that we were all going to fail because we'd all been so spacey and bored for the entire duration of the class. It was a legitimate fear; I was taking the class pass/fail, I think, since I was a senior approaching graduation with my college acceptance letters under my belt. I knew I would squeak by with a pass even though I'd been asleep for half the course both because I was a good test-taker and, also, I had a rep in the school as a Smart Kid, which, as everyone knows, cuts you a bit of slack at the end of your high school career.

She taught public speaking as well, and an odd assortment of other classes. Sometimes she would come in and spend the entire period talking about the dry cleaner down her street when she was growing up, and other times she'd tell us about the proper pronunciation of "often" (the t is silent) and the value of enunciation. One day she came in and taught me one of the most important things I learned in high school: what it really means to be a classy individual. She asked us what we thought it meant to be a classy individual, and we sat there, all fifteen and clueless, and said stuff about Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. and expensive silverware. None of us had the right answer. Class, she told us, is not a set of clothes or good lighting; it's a way of treating people with respect and kindness. It's making your first priority, in any given situation, that the other person is feeling comfortable. The classiest person at a dinner party isn't the one with the best dress who knows the right way to use the flatware; the classiest person at a dinner party is the one who sees someone nervously pick up the wrong fork for the salad, and picks that one up herself.

Anyone can do that, she said, in any situation. That's the way you should be.

My cousin Mike is a classy guy. I have a sweet story about him that I'm going to share here, even though it would embarrass him if he found it. Even though it may come off as kind of corny. It made me smile and so I'm sharing it.

mike and dan )

27 years

Aug. 28th, 2004 04:37 am
fearlesstemp: (fred and ginger pick self up)
In the car on the way to dinner, I asked my parents how old they were when they got married. I could have done the math in my head but I was feeling lazy.

"Twenty-six," my mother said.

"Twenty-seven," my father said.

"Huh," I said. "So as of today, you've been married half your life, Dad."

"Feels like ninety percent," he said, and my mother laughed. "Actually, more like a hundred."

parent anniversary. so corny. )
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
I burned my right pinky finger on the grilled cheese maker today. That's the big news of the day from here. And it is big news, because it hurts. A lot. Will it keep me from making more grilled cheese sandwiches on the grilled cheese maker in the future? Doubtful, because I have recently discovered that these sandwiches are the best food EVER in the history of the WORLD. You may think I'm exaggerating, but that's just because you've never had one. Oh, sure, you've had a grilled cheese before, but you haven't had one on this specific grilled cheese maker of mysterious origin, which my brother picked up secondhand at a flea market a few years ago.

It is awesome.

Now, this burn may not curb my grilled cheese appetite, but it may make me a bit more careful about checking that the machine is off. The whole leaving-it-on-for-an-hour-post-sandwich thing is, hopefully, a thing of the past. A painful thing of the past.

Other events of the day: The Mets lost. To the Braves. Brother, mother, and self made up different words to the "Meet the Mets" song to communicate our displeasure with the team. We talked about it a lot at dinner, too, before having the following fascinating conversations.

Dinner Conversation Part 1:

Jimmy: Look at that cat, just look at her.

(Entire table turns to look at the cat in question, one Molly Comet MyLastName, who sits with her back pointedly turned to the table, angry after having been unceremoniously tossed by my brother off of the counter, which she'd jumped onto in her ongoing quest to eat us out of house and home.)

Jimmy: She's, like, my arch-nemesis.

Me: What does it say about you that your arch-nemesis is a four-pound cat?

Jimmy: It says that I don't get out much.

Dinner Conversation Part 2:

Mother Unit: Jimmy, are you going to remember to take out the garbage?

Jimmy: (Long-suffering sigh)

MU: Jimmy?

Me: I don't know, Mom, I think he's a little worn out from emptying the dishwasher six hours ago.

Jimmy: Was she talking to you? Why are you still here, anyway?

Me: Because I'm a loser. That's why.

Dinner Conversation Part 3, featuring Jimmy's best friend since elementary school, Pat:

Jimmy: These cookies are far less dunkable than the Oreos.

Pat: What, did you do some kind of study?

Jimmy: Yeah. I had three of these cookies and the last three Oreos yesterday, and these got destroyed by the milk really quickly.

Me: But what about the M&Ms? I like the M&Ms. They kind of make up for the lack of dunkability.

Jimmy: Yeah, true, it is kind of a draw overall.

Me: Yeah.

Jimmy: Hmm.

[long pause]

We talk about the important things here at Casa Jess.
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
My brother came home from school tonight, which meant Sloppy Joes for dinner, his favorite meal. I loathe sloppy joes and instead decided to make my specialty -- ziti noodles, butter, and broccoli. I know! Such a chef! So I was standing there at the stove, stirring my noodles, waiting for the pot with the broccoli in it to come to a second boil, talking to my Dad who was standing beside me stirring the sloppy joe stuff, when! Out of nowhere!

The burner beneath the broccoli BURST INTO FLAMES! Flames! Big, yellow flames!

In the next few minutes, we all showcased how attentive we were during fire safety when:

-My father tried to blow it out;
-My mother shrilly screamed "Throw water on it! Water! WATER!";
-My brother took a tiny top to a pan and tried to shove it on top of it;
-And I ran around the kitchen throwing open cabinets screeching, "Baking powder! We need baking powder! BAKING POWDER!"

Of course, what we really needed was baking SODA, which I did find eventually, before the house was consumed by flames. The fire was effectively put out by yours truly (and no, I'm not too shy to take the credit), to my parents' amazement.

They asked, "You don't use water?"

And I stood there with the box of baking soda in one hand, going, "Grease fire! You use baking soda on a grease fire! And hey, why was there a grease fire?"

My father looked sheepish. "I may have spilled something on there before and, uh. Forgotten to get it up."

"Jimmy!" my mother scolded, and swatted him on the shoulder.

"What did you spill?" my brother asked.

"Kerosene?" I offered.

We never did find out.

I had to microwave my broccoli then, and it wasn't as good, but I was too afraid to try the stove again. Also enjoyable was how the smoke detector, which goes off every time we try to toast something more than lightly, did not respond AT ALL when there were flames shooting at the ceiling. That was nice.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
Since my mother has started going to the gym after work (unlike her lazy, slothful daughter), I'm usually the first one home most nights when I don't have to go out after work. So when I drove up tonight and saw the garage door wide open, I was surprised and wondered who beat me home.

And then I saw there were no cars in the garage or the driveway.

Now, any sane person would assume that the last person to leave the house (my notoriously forgetful father) had simply forgotten to close the door on his way to work this morning. I am not any sane person. I am, instead, a neurotic girl who spent too many hours of her formative years watching shows like Rescue 911 and America's Most Wanted (these were seriously my favorite shows between the ages of, like, seven and eleven. Until I discovered Quantum Leap, to put it in other terms). Naturally, the only conclusion I could draw was that crazy murderers were hiding in my house, waiting to pounce on me.

And so I called my father on his private line at work.

Dad: (Annoyed, his general state at work) Yello!

Me: Dad? It's Jess. (I still signify it's me instead of Jimmy even though we stopped sounding alike oh, ten or twelve years ago.)

Dad: What, Jess.

Me: Did you shut the garage door when you left?

Dad: What?

Me: Did you shut the garage door when you left? Because it's open now and I don't know if I should go in, and I wouldn't worry except for the whole garage robbers incident and --

Cell Phone: BEEP. (Digital Display: Signal Faded, Call Lost)

Exactly how all horror movies start! The truth is, a quirk of my cell phone plan is how I get no reception at my house. It's very annoying.

Naturally I called back several times, only to get cut off every time, until I got SO FRUSTRATED that I decided to go into the house to use the land line. Yes! My cell phone related frustration was greater than my fear! It's good to know something trumps that, but still, once I got into the house and onto the phone, part of me was all, "Okay, so how was this a good plan?"

I called my father again.

Dad: Yes Jess.

Me: I'm in the house.

Dad: You're in the house?

Me: Yes, I'm in the house. Should I not have come in? I probably shouldn't have come in. Why did I come in?

Dad: Well, you're in there now.

Me: Right.

Dad: [Silence.]

Me: So, uh, what should I do?

So we did a walk through of the house, found no insane robbers, and then my father, who had to go to a meeting after work and wouldn't be home for another couple of hours, told me I should either call the police (!!) or go visit my aunt who lives five minutes away if I was nervous. These were good plans, and I totally would have taken one of them, except -- well, except I really had to pee. See, when I get nervous? I have to pee. It's an awful thing. And the thing was -- if you're going to use the bathroom in a creepy place, you've kind of committed to that creepy place. It seems strange to bust out of someplace like a bat out of hell and stop in the loo on the way.

Naturally, it is far more normal to hang up with your father, stand by the bathroom, and say, in the most booming of voices your shaky nerves can muster, "Okay! So if there are any burglars in here or anything, I'm going to go --well, I'm going to go into this room here, and, well, I will stay there at LEAST a few minutes, and if you want to get out, you can go! And get away! I won't look! I won't have seen you! And, you know, I have a phone -- no, TWO phones in here -- so don't think of trying something. Okay? Okay. And my father is going to be home VERY SOON! Okay."

And then I went into the bathroom, took care of business, and promptly realized that I didn't want to leave. Because what if there was a scary burglar out there? I had no weapons except my cordless phone and, well, a bottle of Proactive Toner! Which I tried out a couple of times and provided enough squirty action to operate as makeshift Mace.

I called for backup in the form of my bud Anna, over the phone who, after knowing me for so long, didn't miss a beat and when I called and said, "So I'm in the bathroom now, and I'm afraid there's someone out there, and logically I *know* there's not, but I'm worried, and I've got some Toner here in my hand but if you could just stay on the phone with me while I go out there, that would be great," she said, "No problem."

Needless to say, there were no scary burglars in the hall. Instead, there was just Molly, flopped over on her back with her paws in the air in Designated Cute Kitty Pose #13, designed to get some attention and/or milk.

I explained the whole situation to Anna on my way downstairs, including the one thing in the house that seemed odd -- the jar of peanut butter in the middle of the kitchen floor.

"Do you think there are burglars who just come in and misplace household items?" Anna considered.

"It would explain a lot," I said.

We both decided it was definitely just my Dad being forgetful, which makes sense since he's the guy who's gone through two teakettles just this year, I think, by forgetting to turn off the burner on his way out in the morning, so that I return home to them sitting blackened on the stove. We're just lucky there hasn't been a three-alarm blaze. He's always running late and in a rush in the mornings.

Anna had to go because she had to call her Dreamy German Boyfriend, and so I called the next person on my list of People I Like To Annoy When I'm Being Crazy: Annie. Annie gave me some great advice.

"I think you should turn on the TV," she said. "That would make me feel better. Because even though it would totally drown out the sound of any approaching bad guys were there any actual bad guys, putting you in greater danger, I'd rather have the distraction and not know until the last minute."

"Good thinking," I said, and went into the living room and put on my Firefly DVDs.

Annie had to go eat dinner, and just when I was going to hit the next peron on my People I Like To Annoy When I'm Being Crazy list, Joanna, the phone rang and it was Anna calling back to check on my status. We chatted for a bit and were just discussing the merits of popcorn when lo! My wayward father returned, all apologetic for the whole situation, saying it was just his forgetfulness again.

"We should develop a system," I said.

Anna suggested a list by the door and I was about to pass that along when my father said, "I already have a system for the water."

"The water?"

"The teakettle. To remember to shut it off. I use the peanut butter."

"The peanut butter?" I was already laughing at this point.

"Yeah, I put it in the middle of the floor, and then when I'm on my way out, I see it, and remember to check the stove."

And so the Mystery of the Wayward Peanut Butter was solved, there were no scary burglars, and we all lived happily ever after.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
i.

Saturday night I went to the grocery store with my brother to pick up a few things, including this massive glass bottle of wine vinegar, which my brother wanted to buy for his growing stash of winemaking supplies. This led to a long, Abbot-and-Costello esque conversation regarding said wine vinegar.

Me: That's a lot of wine vinegar.

Jim: Yeah.

Me: I didn't know they used vinegar to make wine.

Jim: They don't.

Me: But it's called wine vinegar?

Jim: They get the vinegar from the wine. I think.

Me: But...you're making wine.

Jim: Yeah.

Me: Why are you buying something that comes from wine if you're trying to make wine?

Jim: Retard, I'm buying it for the bottle. It's huge. And it's only three bucks.

Me: You're so weird.

Since my brother's previous bottle-gathering method had been driving around picking up empty bottles off the road (I swear, it sounds like we raised him out of a cardboard box, or that we're hillbillies or something, and I swear we're not), I decided this was a step up. I picked the huge bottle of wine vinegar out of the cart to put it in my car and, of course, dropped it. On the pavement. Where it shattered and splashed wine vinegar all over our clothes.

Jim: You IDIOT--

Me: (already walking toward the supermarket to alert cleanup crew) Shut up! I know!

I walked into the store with the top of the bottle dangling from one of my fingers (I'd reached down to pick up part of the bottle before leaving the parking spot for some reason), and held it up like it were a live weapon before the customer service desk, where they not only booked it out there to clean up, but also let me have another whole thing of wine vinegar free! Even though it was my fault the other one was destroyed! Part of me thinks they just wanted me out of the store and away from them because of the whole being-drenched-in-vinegar-and-stinking-to-high-heaven thing, but still, it was pretty cool.

ii.

So I made the mistake of letting it slip that I'd been walking long distances to and fro class Monday nights, and my parents promptly freaked out.

Mom: You know, a girl disappeared just last week from a mall in, well, I don't know where exactly, but she just VANISHED and she was on her cell phone and the last thing her boyfriend heard on the other end was her saying "Oh my God" -- and you know, you can never be too --

Dad: Jessica. Why haven't you gotten a parking pass? You shouldn't be parking all the way across campus. That's stupid.

Mom: Did you forget to go? You forgot, didn't you. When can you go?

Dad: Maybe she should get some mace.

Mom: That's a good idea.

Dad: But what she really needs is a parking pass.

Mom: That's right. You know if you're kidnapped that the most important thing is --

Jess: Not to let them take you to the second location, I know.

Mom: I mean, if they're going to shoot you, they're going to shoot you, so they may as well do it right there.

Jess: There's a happy thought.

Anyway. So it was resolved, eventually, that I was to park illegally at the restricted lot right by my class so that no one would kidnap me. I know it sounds like my whole family is insane (and they/we are), but the truth is, a girl my age did disappear while walking across this very campus five years or so ago and she's never been found. Kind of creepy. Anyway, I agreed to park illegally partly to make them feel better and mostly because they said they'd pay the fine if I was caught, and due to my (lack of) luck with anything car-related, I wasn't putting much faith in my ability to avoid the law.

This was a good plan, an excellent plan, except for the fact that I had no idea where the parking lot next to my classroom was. It's a good-sized campus, the bulk of which was built at the same time and consists of four quads with identical high-rise buildings set at the four corners of campus. I cannot express to you how alike these quads look, especially at night.

So, short version: I got totally, totally lost, which led to me wandering alone, lost, and confused for a good forty minutes (including some time spent driving the car to different parking lots seeking out the correct building) instead of the usual four minutes I spent booking it across campus with my most confident stride. The correct quad was, of course, the first one I went to (I walked in the opposite side I usually do and got all discombobulated!), and I actually walked RIGHT BY my classroom while bitching into someone's voicemail about how confused and lost I was and how it was all the CAMPUS'S fault because it was so CONFUSING. Am such a tard.

Found class eventually! And got out of presentation for this week. Will have to go first next week. More time to prepare, which is good.

iii.

Speaking of my presentation, I must include this here because it must be documented for posterity. Conversation between me and my grandfather yesterday, after I'd dropped off some of his groceries.

Me: Well, I've gotta go. I have a project to work on.

Grandpa: Really? What are you studying?

Me: Women in the Temperance Movement.

Grandpa: [Spouts of impressive amount of facts about the Temperance Movement.]

Me: Wow, yeah. That's right.

Grandpa: And its leaders and members, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard -- ALL Pro-Life.

Me: Grandpa.

Grandpa: I know, I know, you don't want to hear it--

Me: You're right, I --

Grandpa: It's inavoidable! The most important matter of our day! THOUSANDS of innocent babies are dying EVERY DAY! It's INESCAPABLE!

Me: Sure it is! If we stop talking about it, I've escaped it.

Grandpa: [Isn't amused.]

Me: Okay, I really have to --

Grandpa: You can't hide from it. The Democratic Party, the party of abortion and homosexuality--

Me: Okay, gotta run! Love you! Bye!

That's become my way of knowing when to exit the room, the second the phrase "The Democratic Party, the party of abortion and homosexuality" hits the air. And yes, it does so at every gathering, and other places. Last week I came down to eat breakfast and my parents pointed me towards the Opinion section of our local newspaper, the Sound Off section in particular, where people can call in and voice their opinions to the Editorial staff's answering machine. One comment read (I'm paraphrasing from memory):

"The article of [insert date] about Eliot Spitzer clearly failed to mention his alleigance to the party of abortion and homosexuality."

I almost choked on my orange juice. He's everywhere!
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
Wednesday morning I got in my car and noticed that there was crap all over the floor of the front seat. Correction: I noticed that there was different crap than usual on the floor on my front seat. But since I'm a huge slob, I didn't think much of it (also I was running late), so I just took off the emergency brake and started rolling down the driveway into the street.

"Hmm," I thought to myself while I turned around. "My glove compartment's open. That's odd. I know I didn't go in there last night."

I shut it and shifted into first.

"Hm," I thought a few moments later. "I could have sworn that Diet Pepsi Twist can was in the cupholder last night. But maybe I finished it and put it on the floor ,where all of my empty cans go to die – HOLY CRAP THAT'S NOT EMPTY."

I swerved to a stop at the stop sign at the end of my street and retrieved the can and stared mournfully at the blobs of Diet Pepsi seeping into the carpet. I cared for approximately 2.3 seconds and then shifted into first again and got on the road.

"Hm," I thought as I blew down the main road by my neighborhood. "What is that whistling noise? That's odd. What could it – my door isn't shut! My passenger door isn't shut all the way! No one has used that passenger door in days! SOMEONE BROKE INTO MY CAR!"

!!!

!!

!!!!

At this point I was blowing down the main road at like 45 mph and couldn't easily pull over or anything, so I just did a quick assessment and didn't see anything missing (there was literally nothing of value in my car, unless you value empty lip gloss containers and half-full cans of Diet Pepsi). But it FREAKED ME OUT, man! I called the 'rents and told them so they could check their cars, and then proceeded to go about my day, la de dah.

Flash forward to last night: My mother and I stayed up late gossiping about various people we knew until about 1AM, at which point we retired to our respective bedrooms and I settled in to watch my tape of The OC. And then I heard the garage door open.

!!

!!!

!!!!

family wackiness, etc, cut because this got really long )
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
Tonight my father suggested that we have Chinese food for dinner. Or, to be more accurate, he bellowed "JESS!! CHINESE??" up the stairs to me from where he was watching baseball on TV.

"What do you think?" he asked when I came downstairs. "Do you want some?"

"You mean, do I want to go drive to the Chinese restaurant and pick up your dinner and, while I'm there, maybe get something for myself?"

"Something like that," my father said. "I have your change from last night."

"I'm buying again?"

"I have seven dollars change from last night," he said, ignoring the question. "But I have two more that I keep in my wallet for emergencies."

"Two dollars for emergencies," I repeated.

"I'm not stupid," he said. "I don't walk around with nothing!"

Because we do so often run into make-or-break situations where two dollars are the deciding factor.

Anyway, so we had Chinese (FYI: Chicken with Cashews for me, Sweet and Sour Shrimp for him), and I had to go pick it up. I raced over there and arrived, as usual, ten minutes after I had said I would, and raced through the door to the restaurant realizing a second too late that I should have zipped up my coat so that portions of my sweet ensemble (black capri yoga pants, sneakers, red white & blue T-shirt, unkempt hair, etc.) would be concealed.

Friendly Counter Guy: 8:15 pickup!

Me: Yes! Right! That's me!

InternalMe: Either he's eerily psychic or we picked the wrong Chinese place. Do they only have, like, one pickup order for the night? Let's not think about this. Positive things. Like...no visible health code violations! Eyes away from the kitchen. Away. From. The kitchen. Look at the posters! I was born in the year of the monkey. Fascinating.

Friendly Counter Guy: [Unintelligible friendly banter]

Me: Um....what?

FCG: [Unintelligible friendly banter]

Me: Um...I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

InternalMe: Oh God. Please let me understand this the next time, I can't ask him to repeat something again. He's being so nice and friendly and I'm too dumb to understand people with thick accents! It is my cross to bear! I will just have to do the Pretending to Understand Nod if I can't understand again.

FCG: You just getting home from work?

Me: Yes!

InternalMe: Comprehension! Yes! Wait! I didn't just get home from work. Why did I say yes? That makes no sense. I'm not dressed to be coming home from any kind of work other than...well, any kind of work at all. Oh God. What if he asks me something else, do I have to be all "Actually, no, I wasn't coming home from work, I just said yes for no real reason at all"? Can't do that. Okay, so I was coming home from work, and if he asks me what I do, I will say...the truth. And I'm wearing this outfit because...oh! There is a gym at my office! Yes! That's it! I'm coming home from the gym at my office!

FCG: Soy sauce?

Me: I was just using the gym at -- what?

InternalMe: What?

FCG: Soy sauce?

Me: That's okay! But thanks.

How I long to live in a universe where I'm not perpetually socially awkward.

Anyway. Obligatory Work Annoyance of the Day: Someone sat at my desk while I was downstairs getting copies at Kinko's (because the copier broke this afternoon! Bastard!), and spilled coffee! Everywhere! And didn't tell me! So I sat down and went to use my hand cream and noticed all of these little wet brown splotches on it and realized that it -- and the rest of my desk -- smelled like coffee. And I don't drink coffee. So I made someone come over and smell my hand cream (am I a fun coworker or what?) and got confirmation that it was, in fact, coffee! And then I reached down to get a paperclip I dropped and there was this wad of coffee-stained Kleenex under my desk and ew! Gross!

Anyway. I have to go to bed because, you know, work tomorrow, blah blah blah, and THEN I get to go spend most of the evening helping set up for Wedding Shower No. 2. I know you're all jealous, don't worry about hiding it.

Note to self: Remember to buy baked goods (you were supposed to bake) to bring to said shower. Options include (a) Lots of delicious, expensive cookies; (b) Lots of cheap, somewhat yummy cookies; and (c) A few delicious, expensive cookies for you to eat with your friends while everyone else eats the lots of cheap, somewhat yummy cookies you bought to go with them.

Tomorrow's Friday! Wheee!
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
i:

No one calls me at work. Correction: No one I know or would want to speak to calls me at work. A lot of obnoxious people call me at work, trying to reach attorneys who will never take their calls, but I get almost no personal calls. This is because I'm a loser.

Anyway! Today the phone rings, the other secretary grabs it, and says, "It's your mother." I turned to said secretary and said, "I bet you she's calling to tell me not to walk to lunch because it's snowy out and I'll fall and kill myself in these shoes." And, sure enough, it was. I felt so cool.

ii:

Because of said snowy weather and the mom phone call (see, the phone call ruined everything because even if I did disregard what she said, if I ever *did* fall and hurt myself after she told me not to go? I'd never hear the end of it. And I was not willing to risk it.), I ended up eating lunch at this coffee place in my building. Lesson of the Day: Do not get lunch from coffee place that only lists its lunch options on an off-to-the-side piece of chalkboard the size of a legal pad. The lack of interest in the menu options will be reflected in the quality of food.

Anyway! Got soup and half a sandwich and ate my little lunch, la di dah. I finished eating a while before my lunch break was over, and was faced with the Dishes Dilemma: Was this an informal, bring the plates up yourself establishment? Or was it a bit tonier, one where you merely left them to be looked after by employees? Quandary!

Because the cashier lady had knocked a dollar off the cost of my lunch because she thought it unfair that the pea soup cost a dollar more than all other soups, I decided to save her some labor and bring the dishes up myself. Got up, went to the flappy-mouthed garbage can, began scraping out my soup bowl, which was complicated work what with maneuvering to keep the flap door open while scraping, etc. Complicated work I am not capable of carrying out because! Of course! The bowl slipped right out of my hands into bowels the garbage can!

I stared after it in horror and looked around to see if anyone had seen my tardalicious move. No apparent witnesses and I decided to just take off without telling people, even though my mind immediately called up elaborate, dramatic confrontations at the end of the day when the Mean, Domineering Manager counted the bowls and started ripping into the Kindhearted Cashier who had given me a discount. So The Guilt was already warming up when it was kicked into high gear by the guy at the counter looking at me warmly and saying, "Oh, thank you *so much* for bringing these up yourself."

I looked at him, the door mere feet to my left. I could taste freedom! But I gave in because The Guilt always wins.

"I lost your bowl," I said. "I was trying to clean it and the napkins got stuck and so I was trying to scrape them into the garbage can and. It fell. The bowl is in the garbage can. That one," I said, pointing.

The guy looked like he would have rather had me stay quiet so he wouldn't be obligated to do what he ended up doing, which was walking over to the garbage can immediately, me hot on his heels, and sticking his hand into the bowels of the can.

"I'm so sorry," I said, multiple times. "Do you want me to reach in there? I can do it! As long as you have a sink I could use after? I'm so sorry! It's a little to the left, I think. Towards the front."

He ended up having to take off the protective shiny black casing of the can and reach in up to the shoulder to get the bowl. And then he did, and I apologized again and ran out of there even though I still had like fifteen minutes on my lunch break. Even after going down to the basement and buying a Diet Pepsi, I still had ten minutes left but nothing to do so I went back to work. I suppose the shortened lunch break was my penance for making Coffee Place Guy rifle through the garbage.

iii.

Tonight I got home and noticed that my car was parked in an odd spot -- we have a two-car garage and my parents' cars stay in the garage, mine at the end of the driveway so they can pull out of the garage and around my car if they have to leave before me. Tonight it looked like my car was almost in the street, and I just chalked it up to That Ole Ditzy Jess Behavior, and didn't think twice about it.

And then! Then my father calls from work and announces that, oh yeah, it wasn't my fault because he FORGOT that my mother and I carpooled into work this morning and, therefore, when leaving, hadn't looked behind him and PLOWED RIGHT INTO MY CAR! Put a huge dent in the front bumper! I swear, my car grows more ghetto by the second.

Anyway. Supposedly, it should run fine. We'll find out tomorrow when I either make it to work or end up being one of those annoying roadside disabled vehicles I mutter obscenities about every morning for slowing down my commute. Ah, I am such a sunshiny person early in the morning.

And that is all for now.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
The Mets won today, which automatically kicks this day into the good column (though it would have been there regardless). Really, though, the game-winning is becoming such a rare occurence that it probably could bump a non-spectacular day up to great.

Seriously. What's up with the suckage? I mean, they're a good team. They won the pennant last year! Mike Piazza! Edgardo Alfonzo! Benny! What's going on? They should be good! What's holding them back? Is it because I haven't been watching the games? (perhaps they can sense it) But guys, I don't have cable, I don't get FSNY. I'm with you in spirit.

Anyway.

Today was a Good Day. Spent it home with the fam, had a lovely fun-filled time. I washed my car (which is a Very Good Thing), and in the process got embroiled in an extremely tense water fight with my brother in front of our neighbors who were landscaping across the street. (I swear, all these people do is fiddle with their lawns. Not even flowers, just lawns. I'm convinced it's just to make us look bad.) Anyway, it was a long, hard battle, but I emerged triumphant. Must have been a sight -- me, 20 years old, chasing 17-year-old Jimmy around with a hose hollering "Coward! Stand and fight! Stop running in the house and hiding, baby!"

I then went to the grocery store with maternal unit, who (because she's an altogether lovely person) bought me supplies for my dorm room. Came home, hollered at Pat Robertson and then Pat Buchanan on CNN's Wolf Blitzer show, ate some dinner, and watched TV. A good day.

Speaking of TV: I watched the X-Files and totally, totally loved the ending. Because I'm a sap like that. I won't hide it! I am. Though the whole three wise men/guided by a star/miracle child thing was laid on a little thick (I wouldn't have been surprised if she said "Jesus" when he asked what she was going to name him), I did like the show. And the ending was just, well, sweet! I fell for it. Sigh.

So, if the show's going on, Mulder's not going to be there, right? I was all scared the episode would end with him running off to find Scully's kidnapped baby (a fear that probably made the ending that did occur appear all the more wonderful). So now will it be Reyes and Doggett running The X-Files? Because I wouldn't be completely opposed to it, I like both of them.

Some people ponder great life issues, I think about the fate of The X-Files. Such is my limited brain function.

Anyway, I'm off to bed, because I'm going to go exercise tomorrow. (I am! I am!)
fearlesstemp: (Default)
I went home for the weekend for Mother's Day -- a weekend during which my mom ended up buying me stuff and doing my laundry -- love ya Mom! There's something hopelessly wrong about that. But she did it on her own, really! I woke up today and BAM, my clothes were magically folded in my basket. And am I *really* supposed to say no to gas money or an offer to buy my oh-so-expensive (but necessary due to sensitive skin) face wash? I probably am, but I can't help it. I'm weak! My mom's far too nice! A deadly combination. I did thank her profusely and remark on the irony of the situation ("Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Now, will ya get to my laundry? And my car's not going to gas itself up, is it?") to her. And I gave her a nice card and a gift and she knows that I love her. Not to mention the fact that I never did drugs or got pregnant as a teenager, which is a gift that keeps on giving.

But anyway, I was home for the weekend and -- hurrah! -- had access to cable. It was lovely. Clear reception, lots of channels to choose from. I got to watch music videos and news shows and the Mets suck (which I can actually do from here sometimes), but ended up spending most of Friday night (pardon me as I reveal how incredibly dorktacular I am) watching the SciFi Channel. For hours. I watched FarScape and The Invisible Man and, in the wee hours, some show that got canceled a few years ago starring the girl from Will & Grace and the invisible man of The Invisible Man, Prey. I became most attached to the last show, of course, because I'm a TV masochist.

What is a TV masochist, you ask? Why, it's someone like me, who gets involved in shows long after their cancellation, when there is no hope for any resolution to any storylines left hanging. Also, it's someone who gets involved in shows that he or she can't really watch due to bad/inaccessible timeslot or station. Like me and Prey.

I should know better. The China Beach Incident was less than a year ago. I became absolutely obsessed with the show after watching a weekend-long marathon on TV Land with a friend, only to be unable to watch it after due to lack-of-cable, and unable to get any kind of closure because the dumbasses at TV Land didn't buy all of the episodes! Bastards. I still hold a grudge. And want to see how it ends.

Anyway, all I want to do now is watch Prey. Or maybe The Invisible Man or Farscape. You know, most scifi TV is is soap opera with aliens, I think, and that's probably why I can get so quickly and easily addicted. And they have cute guys running around acting all troubled and soulful and there's usually a little romance and -- sigh -- what more could a girl ask for?

A life, I guess, but let's not aim too high. :)

Booyeah!

May. 11th, 2001 04:48 pm
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Presentation is over, praise God (to quote odd high school religion teacher)! It's a wonderful feeling. Stress is vanished. Embarrassment at a minimum. Brain is, for now, sufficiently able to block any "Should've said" thought processes. Very enjoyable.

I'm currently reading the Bridget Jones sequel and I fear it's coming through in these journal entries. oh well. Are subjects really *that* important to sentences?

Must think of Mother's Day gifts for mother and grandmother. Both are impossibly difficult to shop for. Also, must drag brother to mall with me, as he has yet to buy our mother a birthday present, and I refuse to let him just sign off on my card and gift again. He's been doing that since I was twelve, and I'm drawing the line.

Not that my mom really cares. He's a good kid and I guess that's the best Mother's Day/Birthday present a parent (or a sister) could ask for. I think it's just that he'll be going to college soon and will be semi-grown up and I won't be able to boss him around anymore, so I'm kind of desperately looking for ways to do it now. But I'm a nice sister, really I am. Most of the time.

Well, I'm off to finish Bridget Jones. That book is mad addictive.

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