fearlesstemp: (eggs basket oh)
You guys! Why is it so difficult to recover from a trip? Maybe it's because when you're of town, it is easy to forget about your blah hometown existence, and upon reentry to reality, a period of adjustment is necessary. Or maybe you're just tired from carrying your bags.

Either way: I had an AWESOME weekend visiting the fabulous E. She was an excellent hostess and I had so much fun, and not only because I came home with 26 more books than I started out with! Okay, that's not entirely accurate; I had to leave some behind to be mailed to me because they would not fit in my luggage. But they will all eventually make it to my door! Sweet, sweet books! More than two dozen of them, waiting to be read! This may be the best feeling in the world.

It wasn't the best feeling in the world to leave, however. I kind of wanted to camp out in her extra room, hanging out with her pug and forcing her to watch old TV shows (like Relativity from 1996 - anyone out there remember it? Leo and Isabel? DOUG AND KAREN?), but I fear she would grow weary of me constantly wanting to talk about how awesome Matt Saracen is.

Speaking of! Friday Night Lights got picked up for a full season! Sweetness! I really should not talk trash about NBC; they nurtured The Office, they kept American Dreams on for three seasons (even if they did mess up with the finale), they haven't canceled 30 Rock yet, and now this. Yay!

There are lots of other things I meant to talk about, I think, but I am overwhelmed by blah-ness right now, due to hometown re-entry, the upcoming holiday, other generic long-standing stuff. Also, I think R., my Literacy Volunteers guy, is breaking up with me! One week his car wouldn't start, the next week he had a cold, the week after that he didn't return my calls - I think he's seeing another tutor! All this after I gave my big inspirational speech about the Wonders of Tutoring. Awesome.

Here's something else that is awesome: Now, Voyager , which is summarized by Rotten Tomates as follows:

Tale of an introverted and frightened woman, long crushed by her domineering mother, who visits a psychotherapist to cure her emotional problems. As a result, she undergoes a dramatic transformation, becoming a confident, exciting, and attractive woman. Desperate for the love she has never experienced, she begins a relationship with a married man -- and becomes very attached to his shy, troubled daughter.


LOVE IT. It is ridiculous on several levels, of course, but Bette Davis is great as Charlotte, and Paul Henreid is handsome if bland as her love interest Jerry, and! THEY SHARE A LOVE THAT CANNOT BE! Part of me kept wanting to Get Real with the characters, a la Dr. Phil ("Charlotte, if you want to be independent, move out of your mother's house and get yourself a job! And Jerry, what are you doing sniffing around a woman who is just recovering from a nervous breakdown? You're a married man!").

None of these concerns kept me from enjoying the movie, of course. In fact, I think they made me enjoy the movie all the more.

Anyway, before I go, here are a few Muppets/Sesame clips I've been watching to cheer myself up, and they have been successful!

Jellyman Kelly One of the things I loved about Sesame Street (I use the past tense only because I haven't watched it lately) was how natural the kids were, and in this video I love how you can see how anxious the kids are at first, only half-listening to James Taylor, waiting to come in on their cue. At first they're pretty loud, but by the end, they're LOUD, practically yelling, and, I don't know. It makes me smile. Also, I love James Taylor's voice.

Mana Mana WARNING FOR EXTREME EARWORMINESS. It's that song that goes: Do dooooo dee do do/MANA MANA/do dee do do/MANA MANA, etc. This song will get stuck in your head if you click on the link, but the video totally cracks me up.

A-B-C-D-E-F-Cookie Monster! A little girl goofs around on Kermit while singing her ABCs. Almost too adorable for words, especially the ending.
fearlesstemp: (eggs basket oh)
It's an exciting day here at Casa MyLastName: Today I remembered to buy toothpaste! For the last two weeks I've had to do battle with a tube of Colgate from approx. 1997, squeezing and rolling and cajoling until finally I started going through the travel bags I have for housesitting to find the little tubes of travel toothpaste I've accumulated. But today, holy cow, I have a big FRESH tube of toothpaste, and let me tell you, I am using a big dollop, one that covers all the bristles, tonight. No more economizing! We're living large!

In other grooming news: The other night I made my hairdresser's day by telling her that the next time I come, she will - okay, it's hard for me to type this - shewilldyemyhair. I'm 26 and I've never so much as put Sun-In in my hair, but the grays have gotten too aggressive in the past year, and what used to be a quirky, fun thing ("Look, I'm 17 and have a gray hair! How weird!") has become progressively less quirky and fun as the gray strands have become more numerous. And while I like the color of my hair a lot (dark brown/almost black) and have never wanted to change it, the thing is, the grays really stand out against it. But. It doesn't seem FAIR to have to start dyeing to cover grays at 26. I'm too young! AND I have terrible acne right now! It's like my skin is 13 and my hair is 45. So unfair!

Fair or no, it needs to be done. I knew it when I was talking to my grandmother about how I thought I might have to do it, and my grandmother said, and I quote, "No, honey, you look fine, you don't need to - let me look. Well. Maybe a rinse or something."

My Nana is never wrong!

I feel like I had something more substantive to say when I started this post, but no. I'm drawing a blank. Ta for now.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
Have I mentioned that I stopped biting my nails? Well, I did, and MAN, life is so much easier. I think I understand what it must have been like for humans to discover the value of opposable thumbs. I can open things! I can find the beginning of a roll of scotch tape! I can tap my fingernails impatiently!

Exciting stuff.

In other news: I spent the evening at a board game party (totally lost! every game!), and now that I'm home, I'm goofing around on the internet and while wearing a sweet posture-correcting device*. I am the epitome of cool.

Tomorrow's Goals: Return obscenely overdue library books! Return Blockbuster DVD! Arrive on time to work!

I thought I had more of substance to say in this entry. I was wrong.

*This is not the precise posture-correcting harness I am wearing, but is a fair approximation.
fearlesstemp: (eehorton)
What am I going to have for dinner? This is a big question. There is nothing in the house too appealing, but I don't want to leave the house because (a) I shouldn't spend money when I don't really have to and (b) my face is breaking out and I don't want to put on make up because (1) I'm lazy and (2) I'm running out of makeup and can't afford to buy more.

I guess I'm staying here.

What I really need to do is work. I turned down social engagements for tonight because I really do have an expletive-load amount of work to do, and yet I just spent the last hour on Television Without Pity. Story of my life.

My financial stress is invading my subconscious. Last night I had a dream that I stopped at CVS and was offered by the cashier a car for $45,000 that typically sold at $60,000 or something. She really wanted me to buy it, and I caved and gave her my credit card. After she swiped it through I had one of those dream-realizations where you suddenly with absolute certainty KNOW something even though it hasn't been spoken to or read by you - it's just suddenly present in your mind with the same certainty that up is up and down is down. The dream-realization here was that the car was non-returnable, and so I ended up in the parking lot with a BMW and $45,000 in debt. I think I was equally ashamed of owning a status car (it seems like such a stupid thing to spend money on, to me) as I was of the amount of debt I'd just put myself in. You'd think after spending three years in the hunk of junk I call an automobile, I'd be immune to vehicular embarrassment. Not so.

Why did I type all that up? It is a truth universally acknowledged that no one gives a crap about other people's dreams. But I fall back on that glorious rule: it's my LJ, and I can do what I want with it (except for post spoilers without a cut tag, or say mean things about people, because that is Just Wrong, and I mean that. Really. Please do not assume that this parenthetical is sarcastic in any way - our society runs on good manners, and a spoiler-protecting cut tag is as important as the wave after being let into traffic on a busy road, or "thank you" when someone holds the door. IMHO).

Do you ever look up from the computer and realize the room has gone dark around you because night is falling and you haven't noticed because you've been staring at the computer screen too long? Do you ever then have a moment of soul-crushing fear that you're going to be alone forever, and lie dead in a tiny studio apartment for weeks, only discovered when the smell becomes too powerful for those around you? No? Just me?

Okay then!

Just remembered that I've got leftover tortellini from last night in the fridge - sweetness! Off to eat, then do work, then maybe come back here to blather some more. Because, again, it's my LJ dammit. And I will do what I want with it! As long as it's not rude. Or mean. Have I been mean in this journal? I don't mean to be.

Leaving now!
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Last week, all I could do was complain about the Olympics to people, and talk about how much I really didn't care about them, and resented them for taking away my shows (specifically, The Office, because OMG Jim & Pam 4EVA!). Now, of course, I can't get through a night without watching, and getting extremely invested in, some obscure winter sport I don't understand. I have such faith in confident, faceless voices - I think I'd be a good candidate for a visitation from on high - and as a result, I so completely trust the announcers on any given sport, even though for all I know, they've just been pulled off the street and know no more about the sport than I do. When they get all righteously upset and disagree with the judges, I get all upset too, even though I have no idea what an inverted 940 is or what the objectives are when it comes to any of the winter sports (other than, of course, going really fast and cheating death).

King Kaufman has been writing about the Olympics in his column over at Salon.com, and, as usual, I heart him for his wit and insight and the way he closed yesterday's column:

Hench-items

~Did you see that snowboarder named Gary Zebrowski? If you didn't, did you picture a black Frenchman from Tahiti just now? Because that's what he is.

~"Coming up," came the announcement just before a commercial break, "we'll take a closer look at an athlete who truly embodies the Olympic spirit."

Just once, I'd like to get a closer look at an athlete who's anathema to the Olympic spirit. "Up next, a profile of a guy who's all about the Benjamins, hates foreigners and thinks the Olympics are a big joke. But he's really fast."

~Speed skater Chad Hedrick, who became the first American gold medalist of these Olympics Saturday when he won the 5,000 meters, is a 50-time world champion in-line skater. You can't hear two sentences about the guy without hearing that one.

Fifty-time world champion? What? Do they name a new world champion every two weeks in that sport? Is every competition a world championship? Are there no regular-season matches? I ask these rhetorical questions rather than bothering to find out the answers, about which I couldn't care less.


I want to meet the athlete anathema to the Olympic spirit, too.

Speaking of the traditional Olympic spirit, and embracing it - I am one of those people most faithful, true Olympic fans hate. Because you know those cheesy human interest stories true Olympic fans get annoyed about, because it's about the SPORT, man, the COMPETITION? Yeah, I love those. They are completely, 100% effective on me, even while I can consciously recognize how trite and blatantly manipulative they are. I CAN'T HELP IT. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me root for random countries I have no previous allegiance to.

There don't seem to be as many this year! Is it just me, or is that the case?

In other news: Happy Valentine's Day! I hope every single one of you had a lovely day.
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
First of all: Of course attacks on embassies are never funny. Still, I feel the need to pass along my confusion upon first seeing the headline at the top of my Gmail window – "Embassies torched in cartoon fury" – because even though common sense dictated that the author of the article could not possibly mean that some kind of Renegade Cartoon Faction had bombed an embassy, I still had to wonder: Were the hand-drawn feeling threatened by computer animation? Angry at Pixar? Mistakenly aiming their ire at a nation instead of a corporation (as so many disgruntled people have in the past)?

The fury was, of course, over a cartoon, not led by cartoon characters. (link here)

In other news: There is major stress at Casa Jess because Scout, the elder cat, has developed a limp. Within seconds of seeing it, I had diagnosed her with bone cancer and begun making preparations for her passing – a bit premature, as it turns out she just twisted it or got some kind of bite-that-didn't-break-the-skin. I know this because I spent four hours of my Saturday sitting in emergency vet clinics, where I met two (2) very nice vets, and one (1) slightly-horrifying vision of my future self.

We were at our second vet of the evening (the first vet's X-Ray machine having gone on the fritz), and ended up seated about fifteen feet away from a woman, her cat, and her mother. I was there with a cat and my mother, so I felt something of a kinship to her, which she detected since, about thirty seconds after we got in, she started confiding in me about her cat, whom she'd accidentally given her own medication.

Crazy Lady: An Ativan! So she should be calm! Ha! Haha!

Self: Ha ha, yes.

CL: I didn't even know I'd given it to her, only my mother noticed I'd dropped the first pill I tried to give the cat, and she said to me, 'What's that pill there-'

Crazy Lady's Mom: It was after she stood up, because she was sitting on the pill.

CL: Haha, yeah, I was sitting on it! Sitting on the pill!

CLM: And it was the wrong pill.

CL: That's right! The wrong pill! I gave the cat the wrong pill! So she should be calm! Ha! Haha!

[Reaches in to pet cat, who hisses and yowls.]

CL: Not calm yet! At least she's not constipated.

Self: . . .

CL: I'm always worried about her being constipated. One time I thought she was, but it was just that she wasn't eating. I noticed something was wrong because there wasn't any poop, but then the vet felt around and said that there just wasn't anything in her belly – isn't it amazing that they can do that? But they can! So they gave her a barium GI and it cured the problem itself. They didn't see anything wrong on the GI but after the barium, she was fine! They said the barium cured it! Haha!

Self: Wow!

CL: I still can't figure how they got the barium in the cat, though. Just can't see the cat lapping up the barium, you know?

Self: Me either!

CL: Did I tell you that she weighs six pounds?

Anyway, it was an experience! Really, a very nice lady, and honestly, there but for the grace of God go I, because I do think that most of us (or maybe just me) are just barely on the sane side of the crazy divide, and one too many bad breaks, or a mixup in the chemical cocktail that is our brain, and over we go to the other side. Maybe I'm already there and don't know it! My mother has been trying to get me to take some of her leftover tranquilizers lately, as I've been so stressed out – something to watch.

P.S. How awesome is General Hospital lately? I'm totally into the sweeps story, and also, I think Robin and Patrick are adorable, which is really all I need - one couple to root for. Add in cool characters from the past, and high drama from a deadly virus - does it get any better? I think not!
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
I've been wanting to write a 2005 wrapup entry, but I keep having to delete paragraphs because they suck so much, and so I will just post the highlights and then move on.

The main highlights of 2005!

(1) I went to Europe! I climbed to the top of that big hill in Athens and walked around those ruins you see in postcards. I went to London and got a scary free haircut and wandered around the Portrait Gallery. I went to Germany and bravely traveled around by myself without knowing anything of the language beyond Wie Getz (and I know I spelled that wrong - I'm going to clock how long it takes Anna to pop up in my LJ comments to correct me).

(2) I decided on a career! I went back to school for teaching, and have endured seven brutal months of a one-year 50+ credit Master's Degree program, and in June I will be done.

(3) I got involved in a political campaign! A losing one, yes, but still: involvement, investment, all that good stuff.

Moving on!

I spent New Year's Eve with my two best friends from college, Jo and Anna, which was awesome. Jo was dressed impeccably, as always, if a bit impractically, in boots with three-inch-heels, and so the three of us walked around the city in a line, Anna and I on either side of Jo, linked at the elbow to make sure she wouldn't fall down. It felt goofy and ridiculous and just like our friendship and I loved it. Naturally, at the end of the night, it was I, the one in ugly, practical, rubber-soled winter boots, who wiped out only ten feet from the car. I ended up flat on my back, arms and legs in the air, like a turtle stuck on the wrong side of her shell. It was pretty funny, at least until Anna stole my thunder by walking into the garage door at the end of the night, giving herself a big goose egg.

The scary truth is: None of us had been drinking.

The non-scary truth is: 2005 was a year of significant personal growth for me. I can't believe I typed that sentence, but I can't help it! IT'S TRUE. I did things I was afraid of and didn't give up! Who cares if I also went over my cell phone minutes to the tune of three figures in the last month of 2005? Does it really matter if my personal space was in such shambles that I found myself getting the same frustrated, disgusted, sigh-filled lectures from my parents that I remember from when I was thirteen? No, it does not!

What really matters is that I have my health, my family, my friends, and yes, my cats.

May 2006 treat all of you kindly.
fearlesstemp: (john doe mike)
I am so mopey and cranky and just not my best self today. I blame television.

i saw this documentary about a face eating tumor last night. feel no need to click through )
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
I left my peanut butter and jelly sandwich out overnight. Can I eat it for lunch today? Will it make me sick? It was wrapped and everything, but I'm pretty sure jelly is refrigerated for a reason. It will almost undoubtedly taste crappy, but one can say that about almost every meal I prepare.

Advice appreciated!
fearlesstemp: (john doe mike)
I have LJ-Block. It's an issue. I keep trying to start entries and erasing the first paragraph, which is stupid, because this isn't the Great American Novel I'm trying to write here, it's a summary of my random recent life experiences and thoughts, and really, I don't have many of either and this shouldn't be that difficult to do. AND YET IT IS. I've decided that I'm not allowed to delete this opening paragraph, am only permitted to alter it so that it doesn't violate too many grammatical laws, in the hopes that I will write an actual entry.

Okay, actual entry. I haven't been updating my LJ lately, mostly because I've been busy and behind on everything in life, including my LJ. I wanted to write all of these posts about my trip in March, my experiences observing in schools last month - neither happened. Why can I write infinite entries about my boring temp jobs and how much I love my cats, but when I actually do noteworthy stuff, nothing happens? I think it's such a shock to my system that I don't know how to process worthy life experiences. There's a theory.

Anyway. On the topic of non-worthy life experiences: my current workplace is located on this super-busy four-lane road which is lined on both sides with a variety of strip malls and cheap eateries. Making a left turn out of the parking lot is a bitch, but I enjoy the fact that, if need be, I can scoot over to Mr. Subb's and get potato nuggets for lunch and still make it back before my paltry half-hour lunch runs out, and also there are interesting, non-traditional organizations taking up space in some of the strip malls.

Like Scientologists. Driving home from work the other day, I saw the same big sign I've seen lots of times before: DIANETICS on a blue background. For some reason my long-term memory kicked in and I remembered that that was one of Scientology's nicknames (or maybe it's their official name? I'm no good at this. I was in college before I realized that the Latter Day Saints were the same as Mormons), and I got to thinking: I bet that's the best way to meet Tom Cruise. Like, sign up for the church, get heavily involved, devote yourself to the way, go to a big conference, and who knows? You could be sitting next to him at the Sunday night social! Or Jenna Elfman. Maybe even John Travolta.

It's a possible plan. But I'm pretty sure you'd go to hell for it. I mean, even if L. Ron is right, I bet that's not how God (or is L. Ron God according to Scientology? I really don't know) would like you to discover the right path. I'm no religious scholar (though I did win the 12th grade Theology award at my Catholic high school, thankyouverymuch), but I'm pretty sure. Also, it's pretty disrespectful. As is this entry, most likely. My apologies to any and all Scientologists if this offends. You guys really do seem to have it together. I hear Jenna Elfman has a new show next fall and everything.

In other news: I have been in Extra Cringe Mode lately, to the point that my family can't stand me. Usually I've got a fair amount of Stealth Self Confidence going on, so that even if I may appear scattered and vulnerable, deep down I think I'm pretty awesome. Lately it's just scattered and vulnerable all the way down, and I keep finding myself having Apology Attacks and Over Capitalizing and asking people forty times if the outfit I'm wearing looks okay. I don't know when it started; I can note that when I did my first observation, the teacher handed me her evaluation of my performance instead of sending it into the school, and on it I got all 3s (satisfactory) and 4s (excellent), except for one category, where I got a 2 (needs improvement). That category was self confidence - since this sheet is supposed to help the program design my curriculum, does this mean I get to take a Seminar in How Awesome I Am? Because that would be cool.


I think the crisis of confidence it has something to do with my being worse-off financially than I've ever been (those observations, writing up the journals, preparing for and taking Ed Psych test, my recent Heyer novel addiction: all things that take up time that could be spent earning money) and going back to school - I'm excited about it, but also nervous, and I feel like all this stuff is changing. Also, I went onto Friendster the other day and so many of my former classmates are having such exciting lives, and all I can say about my development in the past seven years is that I've got a better haircut. Whoot.

Okay, I lied, I can say more, and yes, I do appreciate my life choices, blah blah blah, but I'm sorry, you're just not human if you don't suffer some paralyzing self-doubt after seeing what your high school classmates are doing. Some of them are living out the dreams they had in high school. Most of them look great. A lot of them are in relationships. I'm very happy for them. Really. I am.

No, really, I am - I didn't mind high school that much, mostly because I was oblivious to the horrors of it. I don't remember there being popular people or judgmental cliques or anything but my best friend from way back, The Infamous Annie who really needs to update her LJ more, tells me they were there, and I trust her opinion. I was too busy obsessing over Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Remember WENN to notice. How cool I was. Or maybe I was lucky.

One note about current high school girls: they carry purses to and from class. Purses! Not bookbags or messenger bags, but purses, some of them the tiny decorative kind that don't look to be useful at all. Have times changed? Is this an isolated event? Have girls always carried purses in school and my school was just an anomoly?

I would give you more Purse Thoughts, but I have to go pay bills with money I don't have and then go to bed. Sweet dreams, all.

two items

Feb. 18th, 2005 12:33 am
fearlesstemp: (dusty sleeping)
There are actually a bunch of things I want to torture you with, including (but not limited to) recent tutoring, my most recent parking ticket, the latest annoying job, how I forgot my wallet today, the generalized self-loathing that accompanies any personal essay, how late my Proactiv is, and my cat's worrying ability to chew on his own collar - but there is not sufficient time for me to ramble on about these things at the moment. I have to go to bed.

I have time for two things!

First, because I am a sucker for memes - Lurkers! Are there lurkers out there? If there are, hi! It would be cool to hear from you, possibly via a comment to this post. Posting anonymously is okay. I swear I'm not scary. I use my cute cat icon to demonstrate my lack of scariness.

[SPEAKING of the cute cat - he totally just crawled into my work bag and sat there for a few minutes, quite content, until it started to tip over veeeeery sloooowly, at which point he did not get out of the bag, but just sat there looking kind of desperate and terrified. I rescued him! Oh, if only I had a digital camera. The cuteness was off the charts. Moving on!]

Second, am I the only person who really disliked Sideways? It has, like, a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I feel like I must have been shown a different cut of the movie than other people. Or maybe I just have pedestrian taste. I am, for example, kind of looking forward to that ABC Family TV movie starring Ryan Reynolds, who starred in one of my favorite mediocre sitcoms of the recent past, Two Guys and a Girl.

And that is all.
fearlesstemp: (dusty sleeping)
If I had a little more energy, and if we lived in times where it was culturally acceptable to storm upon a person's house carrying torches a la Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, I would so totally be on my local meteorologist's doorstep right now. I WAS PROMISED A BIG SNOWSTORM. And I did not get one! Nor did I get the snow day I was expecting! It only snowed a little bit and I couldn't justify calling in, and anyway, the roads were fine, except for that one time I almost spun out onto a rotary. I would say my life flashed before me, but it didn't really, because my mental space was taken up with the thought every experienced winter driver has in such a situation: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck*.

It is important that it is not in all caps and that it is drawn out, because the key to winter driving emergencies is to Remain Calm and Avoid Sudden Movements. So while an emphatic, choppy, "FUCK! Fucking fuckers!" is appropriate when one is cut off on the highway and allowed to Get Pissed Off and Swerve Wildly, it is not appropriate when one is sliding slowly but surely over snowy roads and must, as stated before, Remain Calm and Avoid Sudden Movements.

Anyway, I survived! Made it into work, did mind-numbing tasks, got caught checking e-mail multiple times. Did not care. Went out to dinner with buddy from ERLF after work. Came home and watched The OC. I know there was other stuff I meant to say when I opened that, but so tired now. So tired!

*insert curse word of choice
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith with book)
My father's latest crazy adventure is deciding in early December that he'd like to ring in the new year in L.A. with his family in tow. This means that my Christmas present from my family will be a trip to L.A. (can't really complain), and also that I will be in L.A.*! Excitement!

Does anyone have any tips as to fun things to do? I hear the Universal studio tours aren't as fun as they used to be, but are there any other fun studio tours to go on?

We are clueless, dorkorific Northeasterners! Help us, friendslist, you're our only hope!

*Small note -- the deal with the travel agent still isn't quite finalized, but it's looking good.
fearlesstemp: (mr. smith devastated)
Reached epic levels of crankiness this evening. I could tell because all day I was short with anyone who talked to me, and then tonight I found myself standing in the middle of the kitchen, staring into space, shoulders slumped oh-so-dramatically, as if wearing the Weight of the World on my back when, in fact, it is simply the weight of the GREs and a variety of self-created stressors.

To backtrack:

Have I mentioned that we're having thirty people at our house for Thanksgiving? Because we are. Okay, so really it's 29, but I know an extra person will slip in somewhere. Every weekend in November is devoted to making the house presentable, and my duties for today were two: (1) raking the leaves, and (2) clearing out the basement. (1) was awful wretched bad – I hate hate hate raking. It's so boring and strenuous and, as much or more than anything, futile, because at any point the wind can gust up and send the leaves flying, rendering everything you've done kind of pointless.

And it was really really cold!

Task (2) was not nearly as bad as feared, in large part because clearing out the basement involved discovering boxes of things I haven't looked at since we moved into the house when I was in high school. One item found: a black notebook from when I was seventeen, which had the following on the second page, reproduced here only slightly edited – I cut the second paragraph, which was boring, but left everything in the first paragraph exactly as it was in my own notebook, questionable quotation marks and all:

So. Today daddy dearest threw an idea out at me – "The Way I See It" by Jessica MyLastName. "A Collection of Essays," I responded. Why not, right? As dad was so eager to point out, I have a lot of free time over the summer – what with my best friend going away to school in a little over a week, my only boyfriend living in my mind, and Price Chopper ignoring my application for a summer job. The only other commitments I have are to my soap operas, and my father's office, which is where I'm sitting as I write this.

What happened next? From what appears on later pages, I took some annoying phone calls and wrote a letter to Oprah, among other things.

Ah, my Seventeen Self! So similar to the Self of Today, except the Self of Today can no longer do math. The GREs are kicking my butt, people, in a scary way. I forgot how to get the area of a triangle! More egregious: I was honestly surprised that they expected me to remember this! I haven't had to find the area of a triangle since, I don't know...high school? I took calculus my freshman year of college and did pretty well, but I can't remember triangles being involved in that. Lots of wavy lines, sure, and derivatives, but triangles? Nope!

Other things I'd completely forgotten: PEMDAS, how to deal with exponents, how to solve two equations at once, some parts of long division.

In other words, I forgot lots of stuff! Almost everything! I spent a bunch of yesterday and today going over things and re-testing and I'm making some progress, but it's slooow and infinitesimal. It's a good thing I started reviewing five days before the test! Way to give myself plenty of time to limit the stressage. Yay me.

I also discovered that while I'm considerably better at the verbal than the math, I'm still not all that, with a particular not-all-thattiness appearing in the reading comprehension section. That surprised me at first, but thinking about it later? There are so very many things I read and just don't get. Such as Faulkner.

Speaking of books: Another stressor today was my application to the bookstore. I want this job so bad I can feel it in my bones, so bad that I have several drafts of possible application questions already written and competing to make it onto the actual application. I want this job so bad that it's hard for me not to desperately scrawl PLEASE HIRE ME, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE across the application in red marker.

The weird thing is that I'm not sure exactly why I want the job so much – I'm not exactly rolling in the dough, sure, and a part-time job would help with that, but I'm getting by and busy enough already that it would jam up my schedule until January. After that, my temp assignment runs out and I could just work at the bookstore, I guess, but the pay wouldn't be great and, you know, retail. I've done retail before – it made me doubt humanity's worth. After the most recent election, could I really handle that?

I'm just so sick of temping. I don't know. We'll see!

Tomorrow I tutor R again. May talk about that tomorrow (and B. Jones, which I saw on Friday!) if I have time to post at work; right now it's almost 1AM, a full hour and a half after I told myself I'd absolutely, positively be asleep so that I can get up and exercise before work tomorrow. Doubt that will happen now. Probably wouldn't have happened even if I had gone to bed earlier; there are few things that will get me out of bed early. Exercising isn't one of them.

And now, to bed!
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
1. It is snowing out today, tons of tiny flakes that won't stick. It kind of looks like God's sifting flour or something. Because of this, everyone in the office is obligated to engage in the following conversation at least three times today:

Person A: Hey, it's snowing.

Person B: I know, can you believe it? It's too early!

Person A: And it's only the beginning.

Person C: Hey, it's snowing.

And so on and so forth.

What do people in the south talk about? I wonder if one could do a study: Is the desire to engage in meaningless, excruciatingly boring and predictable banter about the weather related at all to the severity of the weather changes in a particular region? If I lived in a more temperate place, would there be fewer of these torturous conversations going on by my desk? Or would people's desire to engage in excruciatingly boring and predictable banter about the weather transcend climates?

Something to ponder.

2. Another conversation that recently took place.

Fearless Temp: Holy crap, this transcript cost over a thousand dollars! That's, like -- more than five dollars a page!

Secretary: $6.50, actually.

FT: Wow.

S: I could've been a stenographer. (heavy sigh) I screwed it up. Well, that's what happens when you're a drug addict.

FT: [no idea how to respond]

S: But it wasn't really the drugs, it was the alcohol.

FT: [still at a loss]

S: Just generally screwing up my life.

[Awkward pause, during which I worried that she thought I was judging her, which I wasn't, and so thusly felt the need to say something comforting to create common ground. Something like --

FT: I used to drink a lot. Well, a few times. Okay, twice in college with my friends, but one of those times we got SO drunk that we got naked and ran around the memorial in the middle of campus. That sounds weird -- I mean, it was a thing, people did it before they graduated, it wasn't like we just decided to run around naked for no reason.

-- but did not have to, because a nanosecond before the silence got so awkward Fearless Temp would open her mouth, Secretary shrugged and put on her coat.]

Secretary: I'm going to go have a smoke.

FT: Have fun with that!

3. I'm taking the GREs next week (I know, soso late in the year, but what can I say? I'm a poor planner), and have been doing practice tests the last few nights. Horrifying. I think my father is right -- bad TV does rot your brain. It's the only explanation! I used to rock the standardized tests, man, and now I keep coming across words that I remember knowing, but cannot remember now, and find myself resorting to the old, "Hmm...well, there hasn't been a 'D' in a REALLY long time" method of test-taking.

Part of the problem is that I find the tests so boring that I have been doing the practice tests while watching bad TV. Maybe that's it.

4. Speaking of watching TV, on The OC last night, Ryan said, spoiler of the minorest sort, which I really don't think reveals anything, but better safe than sorry )

5. There are no words to fully express how excited I am about the new Bridget Jones coming out today. Have plans with Jo to go see it after work, and today when I was flipping through radio stations I came across a radio interview with Colin Firth, which caused me to clap my hands and shriek "OH MY GOD! COLIN FIRTH!" at the top of my lungs, almost swerving into another lane.

Am concerned about shrieking "OH MY GOD! COLIN FIRTH!" in the theater upon his first appearance. Almost as concerned as I am about shrieking "OH MY GOD! MATT DAMON!" should there be an Ocean's 12 preview before the movie (pleasepleaseplease).

And that is all.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
I've been having very vivid dreams lately, which I realize upon further examination have actually been low-grade nightmares.

Dream One: I was driving a car full of people and took us all into a head-on collision at an intersection because I wasn't paying proper attention! I assumed a car was going to turn left or something and then it didn't, and I rammed into it. I completely forgot about the dream until the middle of the next day, when I was in the middle of driving my family all around Cape Cod. I was positive it was a premonition and terrified the whole time.

Dream Two: In this dream, I ran into this guy I had three awkward dates with and then blew off last year. We exchanged pleasantries and then I went into this cafe alone, where I ran into this other random guy who I'd never met before but instantly developed a crush on. And so I'm sitting there, talking with him about the awkward interaction with this other guy, about why I didn't like him, etc etc, and then Guy No. 1 comes in and sits down with Guy No. 2 and clearly they're best friends. It was so incredibly awkward, I wanted to DIE.

So apparently my greatest fears are car accidents and awkward social interaction. Sounds about right.

Speaking of the latter: My mother is trying to set me up with this guy. She has been for ages. "He's great!" she says. "Maureen -- not your aunt Maureen, my coworker Maureen, who was your aunt Kelly's best friend in high school? Well, her sister Margie works with this guy who's supposedly really great, and she thinks you and he would really get along!"

"But I've never met Margie," I said.

"I know," she says. "But Maureen told her all about you!"

"But I haven't talked to Maureen in years," I said. "I mean, I like her, but --"

"Oh, you're both single carbon-based life forms," my mother said. "It'll be fine! Also, he likes cats."

Why is it so weird for men to like cats? I must have seen some movie or TV show as a kid where a really weird guy had cats, because even though intellectually I know it shouldn't mean anything, it still puts me off a bit when a guy lists felines as a main interest.

And he does do this. Do you want to know how I know this? He wrote me an e-mail and said so, though he doesn't have any pets outside of one fish. Also, he's very devoted to the Catholic faith. Does he know I'm a heathen Catholic who hasn't gone to Confession in ages? Who hasn't gone to mass at all in forever? He might have gotten some inaccurate intel on me in that department.

Speaking of Catholicism: I keep feeling like I should reexamine my faith, or my belief system, or whatever, but it seems like the kind of endeavor that would take so much energy. And time. And also, once you figure out for sure what you think is right and wrong, you don't have nearly as much leeway with your own life choices, which isn't all that appealing. Right now I know that I believe certain things are right and certain things are wrong, and then there's that whole mess that the jury's out on. Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini that I'm so indecisive -- and speaking of the Zodiac, how strict is the church about the zodiac thing? If I really dig into the whole Catholic thing, am I allowed to read my horoscope and attribute my flakiness to my sign? Or would that be a thing of the past? Would I have to blame it on original sin or something?

It's kind of stunning how little I know about my religious background. People ask me questions about Catholicism -- like, what's up with all the saints? Or, explain that whole marriage/divorce/annulment thing again? I always end up sitting there, desperate, trying to stammer out some kind of answer, usually a mish-mash of stuff I've picked up from my years and years of religious ed and listening to my grandfather. And then I go home and ask my mom, who will give a smiliar answer to the one I gave, followed by, "I don't know, ask your father," who will give me a similar answer followed by, "I don't know, ask your mother."

One time my friend Anna asked if we were allowed to marry non-Christians in the church, and I double-checked with my Dad when I got home. He got all over-eager, saying things like, "Oh, you can marry ANYONE you like, Honeybunch, a Muslim even! We'll work it out!"

And then I had to explain, no, really, my friend asked me -- no, REALLY, a friend! No marriage on the horizon! Just want the official church policy!

Also, I didn't know whether to bestow or dock points for the Muslim comment. My father can occasionally sound like a modern-day, slightly-more-liberal Archie Bunker. He becomes less and less PC with age.

And before I go on and say something horridly un-PC myself about my Dad's crazy beliefs, I will end this entry here, and go back to watching X-Files reruns.
fearlesstemp: (happy grover)
It's my birthday! Nothing can get me down! Not even extended awkward office going-away parties like the one I just had to endure, since not only is today my 24th birthday, it is also my last day at this, my latest in a series of lame temp jobs. I had hoped and prayed that I would get out of here without the awkward send off, but no such luck. I hate being the center of attention in general, and specifically when I'm in a room full of people I don't know very well, even if they are nice coworkers at a not-hellish temp job.

The problem is me. I never know how to handle these things! Do I steer the event? Do I have to talk that much? Do I decide when it's over? Do I open the card in front of people? Do I wait? I don't know! I don't know what to do!

Things like this make me seriously wonder if I have a mild case of social anxiety. Or maybe I just don't like lame, boring forced socialization. (I choose to believe the latter.)

Either way, I just emerged from the painful gathering (which was broken up by someone other than me about ten minutes after I probably should have ended it), and it did not kill me, so I call it a success. Also, they appear to have forgotten today is my birthday as well! I don't really mind because it's my person challenge everywhere I work to avoid any and all awkward social gatherings centering around me. Usually I am unsuccessful, but today I was one-for-two.

Anyway, so now I have to pack up my belongings to take on my merry way, which are:

-One (1) old Dasani bottle which I've been using as a water bottle since my second day here. Wow, that's a long time. I bet there's a whole ecosystem going on in there that I drink parts of every day. Happy thought;

-Two (2) bottles of Neutrogena hand cream;

-One (1) pack of Orbit gum; and

-A bigass pile of old timesheets.

That's it! I travel light! I always fear being fired in the middle of the day, or getting so annoyed with a place that I'll feel the need to leave in the middle of the day, so all of my belongings are within arm's reach for me to grab 'n go.

The main objective today is to REMEMBER TO GET MY TIMESHEET SIGNED BEFORE I LEAVE. This warrants CAPS LOCK because I always forget to get my timesheet signed until way past the submission deadline, at which point someone from my temp agency calls in an annoyed voice, and I have to pretend that my supervisor has been in a meeting all morning when really I'm sitting there frantically scribbling my hours in, trying to remember exactly how many of the five mornings the week before I was late (Answer: All). Actually, I've only done the supervisor-in-a-meeting-thing twice, when I was really really late. Usually I just apologize profusely. That's my method of handling everything: apologizing profusely. Annoying to others, accomplishes little. It's a way of life.

I had more to say but I have to look busy for a bit before I leave for the day. Thanks to everyone who left such lovely birthday wishes!! They're all so nice that it takes me, like, ten minutes to figure out how to reply without sounding like a spazzy cheerleader -- or, to be more accurate, it takes me ten minutes to reconcile myself to the fact that I'm always going to sound like a spazzy cheerleader, so I should just break out the multiple exclamation points and go for it.
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
1. I seriously spent all day today -- all day! -- contemplating the quickest route to my dry cleaner's, because I had a mess of coats and jackets that had to be dropped off today. The mess included the foolish Christmas gift I gave myself, a new off-white winter coat, which I still LOVE even though its upkeep will likely cause me to go broke, since I am notoriously spill prone. Example: Saturday, out at dinner, I proudly showed my parents the coat-care trick my friend Joanna, the always impeccably turned out, had shown me.

"See!" I said, turning the coat inside out, flipping the lapels in and folding it in half before draping it over my chair. "Now it will stay clean!"

"Ah," my parents said, suitably impressed.

And then I stood up to leave two hours later, put on my coat, and discovered a MASSIVE black grease stain right above my right pocket. How? How did this happen? Did I just not see it before I did the fancy coat flip? Or are stains so powerfully drawn to me that they can break the coat flip shield?

Anyway! So I had this massive grease stain, which Joanna advised me later should have been removed with hairspray but which my mother and I, being dumb about such things, just left alone and stared sadly at before sending it off to the dry cleaner. The dry cleaner closes at six, and I get out of work at five, and the difficult thing was that I knew that I could most definitely make it in that time frame, but there was no clear route from my current office to said dry cleaner's. Instead, there was a multiplicity of routes and I became fixated on figuring out the fastest possible one, taking into account traffic, construction, the direction of the wind, etc.

After hours of careful consideration I, naturally, selected the least efficient route, which took me north and south several times when really all I wanted to do was go east! EAST! I can't express how frustrating this was, to get halfway into a trip and realize that you have taken four separate shortcuts that make NO sense and that all of your clever plotting was for naught.

I did make it to the dry cleaner's just in time, happily.

2. Over the weekend I forked over $5.95 for a previously viewed copy of Orange County, and I think it may be one of my smartest purchases ever because seriously? I love that movie. LOVE. I may have to go on about it at length in the future, but for now, I will simply say orange county stuff )Another Jack Black movie that I heartily recommend: Saving Silverman, which is by no means sweet or warm but is enormously funny, featuring a Neil Diamond cover band consisting of Jack Black, Jason Biggs, and Steve Zahn called Diamonds in the Rough.

3. I've had this mysterious back pain for ages and am considering going to the doctor for it. I am, naturally, convinced that I am dying, because this is the conclusion my mind automatically goes to for every minor health concern. I blame thirtysomething, and their touching telling of Nancy's ovarian cancer, because after watching it at the impressionable age of eleven, I automatically associate lower back pain with ovarian cancer because that was Nancy's symptom! Does anyone else remember this? She kept having these tinges of pain in her back and was all "oh it's nothing" but it WASN'T!

I am, of course, as my mother told me, Talking Crazy, because the pain all started after that nasty spill I took in my driveway a few weeks ago, and I know that's the real source of it all.

4. There is no 4, because it is time for me to go to bed.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
The highlight of today happened smack dab in the middle of my commute, which was unusual because I hate my commute, even if it is relatively short. I was all annoyed because someone in the fast lane wasn't going fast at all for no good reason, and I had no means of passing on the right, when I looked over and saw this beat-up white VW Rabbit with four donuts as tires, and a shaggy-haired guy behind the wheel wearing the happiest little expression. I have a sneaking suspicion he was singing along to the radio, and I think I fell in love a little bit.

Where have you gone, Mysterious Rabbit Driving Shaggy-Haired Guy?? Where???

In other news: We're supposed to get another snowstorm tomorrow afternoon, which is annoying. Six to twelve inches, they're saying, which means we'll probably get more, and it's March! I shouldn't be talking about this, because I know it's crazy boring to talk about the weather. I think I die a little inside every time someone brings up the storm or other winter weather things lately, because I reached my fill of winter-related weather conversation sometime during the second week of November, as I think all Upstate New Yorkers did. But our lives are so boring that it's al that we can talk about, and so we just walk around in dazes annoyed with each other for bringing it up, trying to come up with new ways to say "cold" and "really cold".

I spent Saturday night watching a marathon of Chapelle's Show on Comedy Central and even though I'm sure everyone already knows about it, I must take a moment and let you all know that I think I pulled something that night laughing. Some of the funniest stuff ever -- though, as a warning, watching so much in a compressed time period can lead to behavioral changes. For example, I spend the bulk of Sunday ending most of my conversations with the phrase, "I'm Rick James, bitch!"

Which makes sense if you've seen the series of Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Stories skits. And if you haven't? You really should.

That is all I have to offer right now. Bedtime!

holy crap!

Feb. 13th, 2004 12:56 am
fearlesstemp: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot lately about those ideas that change the way you see the world, those moments when someone says, or refers to, something so simple and profound that you know you've known it all along on some level, but never fully realized it. And how when you do, it colors the way you see the world.

In other words: I went through four years of college and emerged with few marketable skills, but I did have a few moments that changed the way I see the world which I will, for the purposes of this entry, dub "Holy crap!" moments. I've been thinking about them tonight, for whatever reason, and I'd be interested to hear what other people's experiences have been, if anyone's inclined to share.

Anyway, in my case, the three that initially came to mind were:

*Human beings are the only creatures who know they are going to die.

Read more... )

*Men aren't afraid when they walk through a dark parking lot.

Read more... )

*Most of the people who do the most horrible things are ordinary people.

Read more... )

Anyway, those are my things. Why I thought about this tonight, and spent a sad amount of time writing this up instead of doing fun things, like watching my tape of The OC, or necessary things, like emptying the dishwasher, is unclear to me. But I felt the need to write it and so I'm going to post it, even if I do fear I come off sounding dumb, self-important, or both, because I spent so much time writing it. Also, my life is so boring that I have no real-life incidents to discuss here. And so you get my random core dump!

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