Saturday, December 31, 2005

101 Things in 1001 Days (Revised)

My (Revised) 101:
1. Come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days and post the list on the web. It sounds a LOT easier than it actually is, but at least I have one down now. (12/31/05)
2. Complete a gallery of 26 things.
3. Learn how to drive a car with manual transmission.
4. Learn how to change the oil in my car.
5. Learn how to knit.
6. Make a quilt.
7. Learn how to play at least three chords on the guitar. 'Cause that's how many you have to know to write a punk song, right? :)
8. Visit the new aquarium. Tim took me for my birthday (11/04/06)
9. Attend a Falcons game.
10. Attend a Thrashers game. (01/21/06)
11. Attend a Braves game.
12. Learn how to ice skate.
13. Make a photo collection of Atlanta graffiti. (an art project I've been thinking about for a while now)
14. Create a website for said pictures.
15. Go to at least five small art galleries in Atlanta, preferably featuring artists or periods/movements that I'm unfamiliar with.
16. Attend at least one opera.
17. See Rent live. (06/15/06)
18. Save one dollar a day for 6 months.
19. Create a website for Lizzie and the Chad's wedding.
20. Watch the top 10 movies on the AFI's top 100 list.
21. Finish my England scrapbook.
22. Watch a Spanish film without subtitles or dubbing, just to see how much I can actually pick up.
23. Get a teaching job.
24. Finish my NYC scrapbook.
25. Read at least 25 books on the ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list.
26. Read at least 25 books on the ALA's Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century list.
27. Finish my Salt Lake City scrapbook.
28. Climb Stone Mountain.
29. Go tubing.
30. Take Hunter to the Yellow River Game Ranch.
31. Finish the needlepoint that I started 8 years ago.
32. Re-learn all the presidents in order of office.
33. Learn all of the state capitals.
34. Eat a fruit that I have never tried before. This is actually really easy to accomplish, considering I now work in a grocery store.
35. Test drive my dream car - if I can complete #3 and find an MGB dealership in GA.
36. Learn how to say 3 basic phrases ("Do you speak English?" "Where is the bathroom?" and "Good morning, how are you?") in 5 different languages. I can already say "I am a big duck" in 9 different languages - Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Hindi, Cambodian, and of course, English.
37. Finish Violet's baby blanket.
38. Allow my sister to help me pick out an outfit that Stacy and Clinton would approve of. Potentially painful, as I'm sure pointy-toed heels will be involved. (01/07/06)
39. Get my England pictures put on CD.
40. Go through my CD collection, burn copies of everything I want to keep, and then sell them all at Warehouse Music. Mostly done. Apparently, they don't want to buy what I'm selling, but I'm working on it.
41. Take Tim to a comic book convention.
42. Volunteer. Anywhere. At least once. (I used to work with the Latino Outreach Center at GSU, and I'd really like to get involved in something like that again) I volunteered at the Eatonton Christian Outreach, which was basically a thrift store. It was...not what I was expecting. I ended up hanging and putting away clothes while the people who were actually paid to be there sat around watching soap operas. I also volunteered as a Book Buddy for the 2006-2007 school year.
43. Participate in the Peachtree Road Race with my mom.
44. Complete the Couch to 5k program.
45. Take a yoga class.
46. Take a karate class.
47. Become a Girl Scout troop leader. I've re-registered as an adult Girl Scout and help out with various service unit functions.
48. Write a short story.
49. Spend a day at the beach and not get burned, because I actually remembered to apply sunblock and kept it on all day.
50. Go to the planetarium.
51. Get enough My Coke Rewards points to earn that Nintendo DS.
52. Re-establish contact with five people I knew at Southern. Facebook counts, right?
53. Take Hunter to the zoo.
54. Upload all my digital pictures to Picasa and organize them. Still ongoing, but I've got all my old photos grouped and (mostly) labeled.
55. Go to at least five restaurants that I've never eaten at before. Easy, when you move and are forced to find new places to eat.
56. Sell off the comics I no longer want.
57. Graduate from my Master's program with at least a 3.75. I'd really like a 4.0, but I don't want to push it.
58. Get a medical check-up. I'm healthy!
59. Have the dashboard light in my car replaced.
60. Scrape all the old bumper stickers off my car. "Stop bitching, start a revolution" can stay. They're all gone.
61. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
62. Learn how to make a cobbler.
63. Send out Christmas cards.
64. Make Christmas cards.
65. Buy an address book and put all known addresses in it.
66. Collect all 50 US statehood quarters.
67. Take a dance class. Probably swing. I took a swing class in high school and really liked it.
68. Convince a male friend to take a dance class with me.
69. Make a batch of jam.
70. Learn at least one poem by heart.
71. See Eddie Izzard (or any comedian) perform live.
72. Sew an item of clothing from scratch.
73. Research my family tree as far back as possible.
74. Learn my family tartan.
75. Attend a Hawks game.
76. See Mario Lemuiex play for the Penguins just once before he retires for real. He went and retired on me, making this impossible to complete. So sad. (01/29/06)
77. Try out a new recipe once a week for a month. Non-work related.
78. Paint a self-portrait. I did this for a high school art project, and mom still has it hanging in her house. I'd like to make an updated one.
79. Buy stock. I put in a request for some Publix stock, but I haven't heard back yet.
80. Learn my correct bra size.
81. Learn how to make hummus.
82. Go horseback riding.
83. Finish Tim's scrapbook.
84. Plant an herb garden.
85. Get at least 5 pictures matted and framed.
86. Sing at least one karaoke song by myself. Done. Blondie, eat your heart out.
87. Take a pottery class.
88. Audition for a play.
89. Audition for a TV reality/quiz show. (I'm thinking more Jeopardy! than Real World)
90. Buy a new sketchbook and draw on every single page.
91. Have a reunion weekend for my old Girl Scout troop.
92. Write a toast for Lizzie's wedding.
93. Get a manicure.
94. Beat Final Fantasy VII.
95. Learn how to water ski.
96. Get at least one watch battery replaced. I have three watches, all with dead batteries. I want to get at least one of them working again, because not having a watch is annoying.
97. Participate in bookcrossing by releasing at least 10 books into the wild. Done, and I'm still releasing...visit my bookshelf
98. Rasterbate something.
99. Teach myself to write my name left-handed.
100. Organize comic books in long boxes and upload the list to Stash my Comics or some other site. Done, although it is an on-going process - I get new comics every week, and will need to remember to add them to the database. You can see my collection here!
101. Read a book in Spanish before I read it in English.

Completed: 18
In progress: 10
To go: 73

101 Things in 1001 Days

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

~ borrowed from triplux

My 101:
1. Come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days and post the list on the web. It sounds a LOT easier than it actually is, but at least I have one down now. (12/31/05)
2. Complete a gallery of 26 things.
3. Learn how to drive a car with manual transmission.
4. Learn how to change the oil in my car.
5. Learn how to knit.
6. Make a quilt.
7. Learn how to play guitar. Or at least one song on the guitar. And retain the knowledge, for the love of Pete! Ryan taught me how to play "Blister in the Sun" back in high school, but that's been lost to the ages.
8. Visit the new aquarium. Tim took me for my birthday (11/04/06)
9. Attend a Falcons game.
10. Attend a Thrashers game. (hey! I need at least one easy one) (01/21/06)
11. Attend a Braves game. (ok...make that two easy ones)
12. Learn how to ice skate.
13. Borrow Sis's digital camera and take pictures of Atlanta graffiti. (an art project I've been thinking about for a while now)
14. Create a website for said pictures.
15. Go to at least five small art galleries in Atlanta, preferably featuring artists or periods/movements that I'm unfamiliar with.
16. Attend at least one opera.
17. See Rent live. (06/15/06)
18. Save one dollar a day for 6 months.
19. Try at least five new cocktails, and learn how to make them at home. My goal is to find my own signature drink. It'll probably be a dirty martini, but I have to be fair and give others a chance.
20. Watch every movie on AFI's top 100 list. (not all at once, mind you)
21. Finally finish my scrapbooks from England, New York, Texas, and Salt Lake City.
22. Watch a Spanish film without subtitles or dubbing, just to see how much I can actually pick up.
23. Get a teaching job.
24. Work in New Orleans for the summer.
25. Read every book on the ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list. (not too difficult, as many are children's or ya lit)
26. Read every book on the ALA's Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century list. (slightly harder, as these are not children's or ya lit)
27. Travel to a Spanish-speaking country.
28. Climb Stone Mountain.
29. Go tubing.
30. Take Hunter to the Yellow River Game Ranch.
31. Finish the needlepoint that I started 6 years ago, and finish Matt's afghan.
32. Re-learn all the presidents in order of office.
33. Learn all of the state capitals. (is it sad that I don't know them?)
34. Eat a fruit that I have never tried before. This is actually really easy to accomplish, considering I now work in a grocery store.
35. Test drive my dream car - if I can complete #3 and find an MGB dealership in GA.
36. I can already say "I am a big duck" in 9 different languages - Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Hindi, Cambodian, and of course, English. I should probably lean how to say something I bit more useful, like, "Do you speak English?" Or learn "I am a big duck" in five more languages.
37. Learn enough French to understand the Circle bonus show. I think it's just Eddie performing his English show in French, but it would be cool to watch and understand anyway.
38. Allow my sister to help me pick out an outfit that Stacy and Clinton would approve of. Potentially painful, as I'm sure pointy-toed heels will be involved. (01/07/06)
39. Travel to at least five new states. One down, four to go... (03/09/06)
40. Go through my cd collection, burn copies of everything I want to keep, and then sell them all at Warehouse Music. Mostly done. Apparently, they don't want to buy what I'm selling, but I'm working on it.
41. Go to Wizard World Atlanta.
42. Volunteer. Anywhere. At least once. (I used to work with the Latino Outreach Center at GSU, and I'd really like to get involved in something like that again) I volunteered at the Eatonton Christian Outreach, which was basically a thrift store. It was...not what I was expecting. I ended up hanging and putting away clothes while the people who were actually paid to be there sat around watching soap operas.
43. Participate in the Peachtree Road Race with my mom. I didn't say place, I just said participate. And it's something she really wants to do, apparently.
44. Train myself to run a mile. Or at least jog it. I'm so out of shape.
45. Take a yoga class.
46. Take a karate class.
47. Become a Girl Scout troop leader. I attended a leader's meeting with my mom and have re-registered for Girl Scouts, so I'm getting there.
48. Write a short story.
49. Spend a day at the beach and not get burned, because I actually remembered to apply sunblock and kept it on all day.
50. Go to the planetarium.
51. Have a star named after someone. Don't know who right now. Probably my mom. Or sister.
52. Re-establish contact with five people I knew at Southern. I really should e-mail Dr. Griffin anyway, and writing it down ensures that I will do it. So far, I've gotten back in touch with Heather and Dr. Paige. Two down, three to go... Facebook counts, right?
53. Take Hunter to the zoo.
54. Go backpacking for a weekend by myself.
55. Go to at least five restaurants that I've never eaten at before. Easy, when you move and are forced to find new places to eat.
56. Go scuba diving.
57. Go back to Scotland and climb Arthur's Seat again.
58. Get a medical check-up. I'm healthy!
59. Have the dashboard light in my car replaced.
60. Scrape all the old bumper stickers off my car. "Stop bitching, start a revolution" can stay.
61. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
62. Learn how to make a cobbler. Stella says every Southern woman should do this.
63. Send out Christmas cards.
64. Make Christmas cards.
65. Buy an address book and put all known addresses in it.
66. Collect all 50 US statehood quarters.
67. Take a dance class. Probably swing. I took a swing class in high school and really liked it.
68. Convince a male friend to take a dance class with me.
69. Make a batch of jam.
70. Learn at least one poem by heart.
71. See Eddie Izzard perform live.
72. Sew an item of clothing from scratch.
73. Research my family tree as far back as possible.
74. While completing #57, get a kilt made or buy a kilt in my family tartan.
75. Attend a Hawks game.
76. See Mario Lemuiex play for the Penguins just once before he retires for real. He went and retired on, making this impossible to complete. So sad. (01/29/06)
77. Visit Philadelphia.
78. Paint a self-portrait. I did this for a high school art project, and mom still has it hanging in her house. I'd like to make an updated one.
79. Swim with dolphins again.
80. Go to a casino.
81. Drive Route 66. (if this is still possible, and gas prices go down)
82. Go horseback riding.
83. Own a sea anemone and clown fish, just because their symbiotic relationship fascinates me. And they're pretty.
84. Plant an herb garden.
85. Get at least 5 pictures professionally matted and framed.
86. Sing at least one karaoke song by myself. Karaoke Revolution, while fun, does not count. Done. Blondie, eat your heart out.
87. Take a pottery class.
88. Audition for a play.
89. Audition for a TV reality/quiz show. (I'm thinking more Jeopardy! than Real World)
90. Buy a new sketchbook and draw on every single page.
91. Have a reunion weekend for my old Girl Scout troop.
92. Visit Canada.
93. Get a manicure.
94. Own a Michael Turner sketch. Preferably of Nightcrawler, but I'm really not picky.
95. Learn how to water ski. (shouldn't be difficult, as my parents live on a lake and I have attempted to learn in the past)
96. I have three watches, all with dead batteries. I want to get at least one of them working again, because not having a watch is annoying.
97. Participate in bookcrossing by releasing at least 10 books into the wild. In progress...visit my bookshelf
98. Rasterbate something.
99. Teach myself to write (well) left-handed.
100. Organize comic books in long boxes and upload the list to Stash my Comics or some other site. Done, although it is an on-going process - I get new comics every week, and will need to remember to add them to the database. You can see my collection here!
101. Read a book in Spanish before I read it in English.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Seeing ex-boyfriends kinda sucks

Josh, my college boyfriend, is in town this week, doing a training thing for work. Although we agreed to stay friends after the break-up (doesn't everyone say that?), we only kinda sorta kept in touch (talking on aim every once in a while, exchanging emails once or twice a year) and it had been awhile since we'd actually seen each other. When he told me he was coming to Atl, I immediately asked if we could get together, fully expecting a no, since that's been his standard answer for the past few years. But this time, he agreed. He called me on Sunday after he checked into his hotel, and we went to dinner and then out for a few drinks. It was fun, talking to him and catching up. A little awkward at first, but not too bad. We went out again tonight, and talked about all our friends from college that we don't don't really keep in touch with anymore. Seeing him these past couple of days made me remember why I fell for him in the first place - although I'm sure some people *coughErincough* are probably still scratching their heads at that one. :) I'm actually amazed we were able to stay together for two and half years, given how different our personalities and interests are.

I'm pretty cynical when it comes to relationships, but I'm a big believer in love. I'm of the opinion that if you really love someone, that love you feel never goes away. It may change (from romantic to platonic, or vice-versa), but it'll always be there. I'm not still in love with Josh, but I do care about him and want him to be happy. When he dropped me off at the house tonight, he told me that he was going to a Braves game tomorrow, doing a work presentation Thursday evening, and then leaving on Friday, so we wouldn't be able to go out again this week. We hugged, and said our goodbyes, and that was that. I'm a little depressed right now, but also glad that I got to talk to him. I almost feel like this is the sort of closure I've been waiting for for the past 3 years. He lives in Iowa now, and is talking about transferring to South America in the next few years, so there's no telling when (or if) we'll ever see each other again. Probably never, but you never know.

So...yeah. I'm gonna go read comics or something now to cheer myself up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The verdict

We were listening to the radio at work today when the verdict was announced. One of the perks of working retail - we have to keep our display TV, radio, and DVD players running all the time. I was kind of torn when I heard "not guilty" on each charge. On one hand, Michael Jackson's pretty messed up (read: "borderline insane"), and I'm not convinced he didn't do it. But on the other hand, if the evidence was circumstantial, then you can't really have a conviction. Yay! for our wonderful justice system. If anything, I really thought he would've been found guilty of giving alcohol to minors, but I guess if you call it "Jesus juice," it makes it ok. Maybe now the whole media circus will calm down, and we can get to work punishing the REAL guilty parties - the parents who suspected Jackson of wrongdoing, but allowed their child to be alone with him anyway.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Cheese Danish

Matt and I ended upleaving the con early to go to a production of Hamlet at Matt's theater in Princeton. OMFG, that campus is amazing. It looks like a castle just plopped down in the middle (ok, south) of NJ or something.


The McCarter Theater


"The Arch"


Statue of St. George slaying the dragon


Cute statues of Princeton's mascot, the tiger


The play itself was rather...interesting. I was expecting a lot worse, to be honest. There were a lot of people who left during intermission, and even in the middle of scenes, which I thought was incredibly rude. The director definitely had an interesting take on it. Things I liked:

* Polonius standing between the audience and the half-drawn curtain as he listens in on Hamlet and Gertrude. This was really cool, because we saw the scene from Polonius's point of view. And when Hamlet shot him through the curtain, we could see the blood appear on the back of his white robe, which I thought was an awesome visual.
* The same actor playing Claudius and the ghost. This was a bit confusing at first, and I'm sure it drove first-time Hamlet-viewers crazy, but it turned out really well.

Things I didn't like:

* Hamlet didn't die at the end. You knew he was going to, but at curtain he was still alive. Also? HE SHOT HORATIO! That really pissed me off. Apparently, the director wanted everyone dead, so "the audience would be the only witness to the tragedy" or whatever, but still.
* The implied incest between Ophelia and Laertes. WTF? The Ophelia character had a lot of flaws, actually, but doing this cheapened her relationship with Hamlet and undermined her madness, imo. Plus, it was kinda gross and unnecessary.
There were other things, but I can't think of them right now. For the most part, it was just a really strange retelling. Not bad, but not fabulous, either.

Monday, June 06, 2005

WWP Day 3: Artists!

The last day of the con was spent walking around artist's alley, buying more comics, and sitting in a "Year of the Bat" panel, which was much cooler than I thought it would be.

In artist's alley, we met Chris Giarusso, who draws the Marvel Mini-Mates. He did a super-cute Nightcrawler sketch for me (#2 in my Nightcrawler sketch collection) and an equally cute-yet-grumpy Batman for Matt.


Chris Giarusso drawing Nightcrawler for me.


The finished product!


Plus, I got a copy of Dardevil signed by David Mack. It's the first issue in the second Echo storyline, which Mack wrote and drew. I love the character of Echo, although I think I'm probably in the minority on that one.

I also went back to the Aspen booth and asked JT Krul about upcoming Fathom stories and whether or not characters from the first volume would be returning. Happily, the mysterious blue dude will be back, and if he turns out to be Aspen's brother I will feel completely justified in my uber-intuitive comic-reading skillz. Or something.

The coolest thing about the Year of Bat panel: someone asked who would take up the costume were Bruce Wayne to retire or give it up. Dan Didio said that was something that would be addressed in the Crisis crossover. Crap, now I have to buy the thing.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

WWP Day 2: Sadly, no Seth Green

Apparently, we were supposed to get ot the con super-early, wait in line, PAY for a ticket, then stand in line again to get autographs from Seth Green. Good thing I found out after waiting for only 10 minutes or so. Argh. On the plus side, Matt completed his run of Spectre, so he's happy, and I bought three bootleg dvds: Clone High S1 (yay!) and Eddie Izzard's Sexie and Live at the Ambassadors.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Wizard World Philly Day 1: I met Michael Turner!

Today, Matt and I took the trains into Philly for the con. I haven't been on a train since my trip to England 4 years ago, so I was WAY too excited about it. When we got there, we had to stand in a long line before we could actually get inside, but we made friends with some fellow geeks, so at least we were entertained. Once inside, we wondered around and found the Aspen booth, so I was able to get my convention exclusives. Then, we went to a panel for Grim Jack, written by one of Matt's comic shop buddies. I was wearing my "Go Pirates!" Veronica Mars t-shirt, and when one of the panelists commented on it, I got to spread the goodness that is VM to a wider audience. Go me!

After the panel (which was really neat, considering I've never even read the comic) we hit a Wawa for lunch. Wawas are kinda like Quik Trips, but without the gas. They had this computerized-sandwich-ordering system that that would've been really efficient, had it not taken me three tries to get a tuna salad sandwich. But bygones, because after lunch....

I stood in line at the Aspen booth and....

Mike, JT, Pete, Koi, and Marcus at the Aspen booth


I got to meet Michael Turner!


THE MAN!


I was telling my line buddy, Stephen, that I would probably make an ass of myself and turn into a complete puddle of fangirl mush. And I was right. I have no idea what I actually said to the man, but he smiled at whatever it was, told me it was nice to meet me, and SHOOK MY HAND! SQUEE!!!

I am such an idiot. Oh, well.

After I recovered, I was able to catch the last bit of DC's "Crisis Counseling" panel, and then it was more Mike Turner goodness in the Aspen panel. Where I made an ass of myself again, mispronouncing the name of a book when I asked a question - EKOS is pronounced "eee-kos" rather than "eh-kos." But I did learn a lot of interesting stuff about my favorite book, Fathom, and it's always cool to see the writers and artists in person.

Tomorrow: Seth Green day!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The next shark lady?

There were a bunch of guys fishing in the surf last night after dark, and one of them caught a baby shark. It was only 2 feet long, if that, and it looked like a (mini) great white. It was so perfect, it almost seemed fake. They threw it back, thankfully. That little shark was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. It's also the first wild one I've ever seen, even after 20+ years of visiting the ocean.

Every time I go to the beach with my family, my mom asks me why I decided to study Literature instead of Marine Biology. Growing up, I was obsessed with dolphins and sharks. I wanted to be the next Eugene Clark. We started talking about it again this trip, and I've been thinking. How hard would it be to get a second Bachelor's degree in something like that? There's a great program at UGA. It's not a serious idea by any means, but still something to ponder. I'd love to be a perpetual student, and just keep studying something new all the time.

Oh, well. Time to go pack for my next trip. I couldn't find Heir to the Empire or Eragon at the library, which makes me seriously question the quality of the Fulton County Library System. Well, not really. Instead, I picked up Citizen Girl, about a women's studies grad student who starts working at a non-profit agency, and Vox, a transcript of a conversation between two people who meet on a phone-sex party line. Don't judge - my friend Ian's been raving about this book for forever.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Yay! Beach!

My vacation so far:
Woke up, 2 hours late on Saturday, feeling like hungover crap. Called Sis, who was supposed to have been at the house by this time, got packed (!) in 20 minutes, and drove to Hilton Head. This is the view that greeted us when we arrived:

Man, I love the ocean.

Sunday, Sis and I went to the pool, then the beach, where I saw more conch shells (inhabited by whatever mollusk lives in them - conch, probably) on the shore than I ever remember seeing before. And we've been coming to Hilton Head every year since before I was born. Anyway, I also saw a few people collecting them as souvenirs, which really bothered me because they're animals, you know? And all they're doing is taking them and killing them and then bleaching their homes so they have something pretty for their desk back home. Grr. Anyway, it's now my last full day here, so Mom, Sis and I are out shopping, and then we'll be going back to the beach, then the room for a tradition beach dinner of...spaghetti. Huh. Then it's just two days til Jersey! :)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yay! Star Wars!

My work friend, Stella, has been giving me her Star Wars toys from Burger King. So far I have a pod racer, chibi Chewie, a Jar-Jar Binks that squirts water, and a General Grievous that winds up and waves two lightsabers. It's interesting to watch the progression of the character of Grievous. He was pretty scary in the Clone Wars cartoon series, but in the movie he wasn't really that intimidating, at least imo. But the toy version? Is downright cute:

Aww! So cute! :)


And to make this post completely Star Wars-related, here's a "news" article that JoiseyBoi told me about. Too funny.

Now I'm off to trivia, and then I'm going to watch Episode III. Again. Good times. Everyone seems to enjoy it more the second time, and to get more out of it with repeated viewings. Here's hoping...

Oh, and if anyone has any book recs, I'm going on vacation next week (yessssss!) and I'm almost done with The Hours, so I'll be heading to the library for new reading material. I know I want to pick up Heir to the Empire and Eragon, but if anyone has anything else that might be good for beach blanket/in-flight reading, please let me know.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I'm sure only girls will find this interesting...

After finishing The Red Tent earlier this week (which was completely amazing, btw), I found myself without reading material for my lunch break. So on my way out the door, I grabbed He's Just Not That Into You, a book my mom bought me for Christmas last year (I think - hope - as a joke). If you've ever seen Sex and the City, you've heard the phrase -

"After the Sam-shaped cartoon puff of smoke has evaporated into the air, Mir describes the rest of her date: they kissed at the door, he declined her invitation to come up to her place, they kissed once more, and he said he'd call. Carrie thinks two kisses is "promising." Char says it shows "respect," and that he wants to take it "slow." Mir asks Berger what he thinks. He pauses and says ominously, "Honestly?" Here we go. Mir says she "wants a man's opinion for a change." Okaaaay. Berger drops it, with no "sugar-coating. He's not that into you." Carrie squeak-gasps, shattering glass throughout the tri-state area. Mir wants more elaboration. Berger says that if the guy was into her, he would have come up. Char screeches, "Don't LISTEN to him!" Carrie says there can be extenuating circumstances, like an early meeting. Char adds that guys don't want to be hurt, and Mir reaches even farther with "sometimes they're freaked out, by their own feelings?" Oh, please. We're talking about men. Feelings are so low on their list of priorities. Berger says that all this is "code for 'he's not that into you.' If he's into you, he's coming upstairs."

Mir lets this sink in. "He's just not that into me!" Sam tells her not to listen to Berger, since he doesn't know what he's talking about. She says to him, sotto voce, "You're fired." Berger tries to backpedal his way out of the canyon by saying, "If the guy's not into you, he's obviously a weenie." True, that. But still. It probably stings a little for Mir. And again -- she's just figuring this out? Has Mir never subscribed to the "get while the getting's good" rule many men (and women) live by? Dude. Mir, finally, says, "I love it! It is the most liberating thing I've ever heard! Think of all the time and money I could have saved in therapy had I known this before!" She didn't know? Oh my. Is this what the show will do in its final season -- drop anvils and S-P-E-L-L dating truisms out for everyone? Oh, right." - from Television Without Pity's 6.4 Sex and the City Recap


Apparently, the writer and consultant for the show came up the idea of a self-help/dating book based on the episode. It's actually one of the most enlightening things I've ever read. I passed it on to Fran, along with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but I think any female would benefit from reading it. I am NOT a fan of self-help books, but this one is funny, and it makes a lot of sense. The only part I don't like: girls are supposed to let the guys do the chasing. That includes letting him ask you out. If I waited for guys to do the asking, I'd never have any dates! But I'm willing to give it a try, for the sake of completely un-scientific curiosity. And I've already found the perfect victim test subject, as Rich has decided he wants to set me up with a friend of his from the comic book store. I've never been on a blind date before. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been set up before. I usually do the setting-up for others. Anyway, it should be interesting.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Obi-Wan is so hot...

How excited was I about seeing Episode III? So excited, I changed my outgoing voice mail message: "This is Jessi's inspirational thought for the week. 'Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.' Leave a message." Not only paying homage to the original trilogy, but my new favorite TV show as well (Veronica Mars, in case you were wondering). The reactions to the change have been mixed. Liz giggled and told me that she felt inspired to go out and change the world, Roger demanded that I change it back because it was "stupid," and Rich just said, "Yoda, man, that's awesome."

Moving on...

I was so excited, I requested Thursday off so I would have enough time to recuperate from the midnight showing. Unfortunately, we're in the midst of a big move at the store, and I could only take the first half of the day off. I was really tired, but it was worth it. Kinda.

I was so excited, I went to Burger King for dinner, specifically to get a Star Wars toy with my meal. When the guy told me my total was less than $5, I thought that was strange but it wasn't until I left the drive-through and was on the way to Jeff's house that I realized it was because he hadn't given me a toy like I asked. Or charged me for one, so I guess that was ok.

Jeff, Matt, Fran, Jay, Kevin, Adam and I were so excited, we met up at Jeff's house to watch the Clone Wars before the show so we would be prepared. Actually, Fran and I made Adam watch the clip show of America's Next Top Model while we were waiting for the others to get back from the store with supplies for Jell-O shots. (Which, fyi, are not nearly as good when I make them as when Liz makes them. Sad.) We didn't actually make it through the entire Clone Wars by the time we left for the theater. Oh, well.

I guess the one thing I learned was that, no matter how many fanboys praise a movie, never get too excited. Which is not to say that I thought Episode III was bad. It was good. Much better than the first two (which, granted, is not saying much, but still...) It was also really long, and a bit slow to begin. And the schmaltzy dialogue (excuse me, "dialog," apparently) between Padme and Anakin made me roll my eyes constantly. But I liked it, and I'll probably go see it again - not at midnight, since I was so tired, I kept drifting off - just to get a better feel for it.

After the movie, we went back to the house to play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit: the Saga Edition. Kevin and Matt totally hosed everyone else, but we had a lot of fun. Oh, and that one spoilery question we read a few weeks ago? Was so wrong. There were actually four, not six, beasts pulling the cart. I think we all counted when that scene came on, cause that was one of the first things we talked about as we left the theater. We are so geeky. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I'm in Athens, visiting Chris for the weekend, and I have commandeered his computer to check e-mail. It's been a very interesting week. There's a big move going on in the store, which has taken up most of my time and energy. I finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, a completely awesome (and very long) book. Fans of Harry Potter should check it out - it'll give you something to read until HBP. I've now moved on to The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant, which is about the life of Dinah, Jacob's daughter and Joseph's sister. Fiction, obviously, but still interesting from a Religious Studies-minor's point of view.

So, last night I came to Athens so that Chris and I could celebrate the end of his first year in law school and my newly-reacquired singledom. We ended up walking around downtown before heading over to Tasty World to see The Whigs, a local band (not to be confused with The Afghan Whigs, an early-to-mid 90's alternative band). I ended up getting completely drunk on screwdrivers before the band even started. To be fair, there were two opening acts to sit (and drink) through, Iron Hero, another local band who were really good, and Taylor Hollingsworth, one of those skinny indie guys that Chris wanted to buy a sandwich. I did manage to take two really blurry camera phone pictures:

The Whigs at Tasty World Hank Sullivant has red hair. That's hot.

So, yeah, that was a fun night. I passed out on the futon as soon as we got back to Chris's place. I was semi-falling asleep at the show, since it didn't end til 2 and I'm used to being in bed by 10 or so.

Fangirl time: I am beyond excited about Episode III. And super-sad about the season finale of Veronica Mars. But also? Super-glad that it's coming back next year! And the first season will be out on dvd soon. I would put SQUEE! in there, but I'm still groggy and slightly hungover.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Damnit, who was my flax?!

This is the awesomest game ever! Fran brought it to Jeff's last night for Board Game Night. Sorta like a cross between Uno and Go Fish, but much funner.

We were also gonna play the new Star Wars Trivial Pursuit Saga Edition, but when we started reading some of the questions we discovered that they had spoilers for the new movie. The big one that really upset me was: How many beasts pull Padme's body during her funeral procession? Answer: 6 (Highlight to read) That was something I probably could've guessed was going to happen, but still, I didn't want to know!

Another fun thing: playing "Assassins," which basically devolved into us running around the house, shooting each other water guns. So, so awesome.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's just not a Vegas wedding without Elvis

My cousin, Derek, got married to his girlfriend (Liz) this week. On 4/20. His idea, I'm sure. They had a small ceremony out in Las Vegas. Sadly, the King wasn't present.

Derek and Liz - Aww!


I'm happy, because Liz is awesome. In addition to reading comics (she introduced me to Fables, actually, for which I am eternally grateful), she also speaks Spanish (Bueno!). Sis is happy, too, but also slightly annoyed because now that side of the family will forever refer to her as "Lizzie" to differentiate between the two of them. Hee.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Google meme

A leftover from my old lj account:
Google the images
copy
paste
enjoy!

1. The age you will be on your next birthday.


2. Your mother's middle name.

(from the Jew of the Day website - hee!)

3. Your favourite color.


4. The place you lost your virginity (someone's house, their car, your bed, the woods, etc.) or would like to lose your virginity if you haven't.


5. A bad habit of yours.


6. Your favourite fruit or vegetable.


7. Your favourite animal.


8. The last name of your kindergarten teacher.


9. The name of a pet.


10. Your favourite band.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What, no "Piano Man"?

Went to "Movin' Out" tonight with Rob and Erin. It was spectacularly disappointing. Which is not to say that it was bad, just not what I was expecting. Not what a lot of patrons were expecting, if the grumbling on the smoker's porch during intermission was any indicator. I had wanted to see it, and now I have, so I guess that counts for something. For anyone who hasn't seen/heard about it, "Movin' Out" is basically two hours of interpretive dance set to Billy Joel songs. There was a plot, of sorts, but no dialogue (except for marching orders during the Vietnam scene) and the dancers didn't sing. But there was a live band above the stage, and the choreography was awesome. The only thing that really annoyed me: in one scene, one of the characters was dancing and the stage lights were shining right into the upper-level seats, blinding us to what was going on on stage. I'm sure it looked cool for the people at floor level, but those of us with crappy seats missed it and had to deal with bright lights burning into our retinas.

The Castle: NOT a restaurant

So...my company sent me to SC to help set up for the new Spring season. It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Drove up Monday morning, which was awesome because it was rainy here in Atlanta, and then almost as soon as I hit the state line, it suddenly cleared up and got really sunny and pretty outside.


Ghoti the traveling fish and Zeus the Moose (patron saint of my bad driving) accompanied me in the car, as always.


I wished I had been playing the license plate game (did anyone else play that during car rides as a kid?) because I saw plates from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee (not surprising, since they're not that far away), and also New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Lousiana, Rhode Island, and California. So that was amusing. Also fun? Listening to my Sabrina the Teenage Witch soundtrack. Don't laugh - it's actually really great driving music, 'cause it's filled with semi-obscure mid-90s pop. And it was one of the few cassettes I had in my car - I couldn't listen to cds because my phone charger was using the adapter, and I couldn't find a radio station I liked. There was even a Phantom Planet song on there, from the first album, which was a big surprise. It totally made up for the Britney. Afterward, though, I turned the radio back on, and the first song I found was none other than "Baby Girl," performed by Georgia's own Sugarland (featuring Jennifer Nettles)! So that was awesome. I think I actually squealed aloud as I turned it up to sing along. It's always awesome to hear one of the your favorite local artists on the radio, especially when you're in a different state.


Ghoti in SC!



This is how you can tell we're not in GA anymore: Pepsi, Pepsi everywhere and not a Coke to drink. Sad.


The store I was sent to is in a mall, and it's also the biggest store in the Western Division. This place was huge. Like, 4x the size of my store in McDonough. A little bit intimidating. But the people were all really nice and I got to meet Farrah, who's one of the most awesome people ever.

One of the big projects Michael and I got to work on was turning two T-walls into Prep Rally shops (Prep Rally being one of our themes for this season). We started off painting the two walls a lovely shade of bright yellow:

The WALL OF DOOM! before (actually, after we painted it, but before we fixed it up)


And then added shelves, face-outs, lettering, clothes, etc:

My WOD! after


Michael's WOD! after


Our first full day, Farrah kept talking about how she wanted to take us to "the castle" to eat dinner one night. She said they had really great food, but it was somewhat expensive. I didn't mind, as work was reimbursing me for all food and gas expenses this trip. Michael and I mentioned to another visual, Joshua, that we were going to "the castle" one night, which earned us some very strange looks. Turns out, "The Castle" is a gay bar in the city, but "California Kitchen" (or something like that), which is shaped like a castle, is a restaurant down the street. We all had a good laugh at that.


Not THE Castle, just "the castle"


Our company spends thousands of dollars on very silly things. For instance, I regularly receive collateral for brands that my store does not even carry. This stuff gets thrown out, and is therefore a giant waste of money. They also spend gobs of money on stuff like this lamp, which I could probably make for $50:

The $5,000 grade-school arts-and-crafts project


And then there's this little mostrosity, that you couldn't pay me enough to even attempt:

The $6,000 hunting-lodge-decor-gone-horribly-wrong-yet-still-PETA-friendly-world's-ugliest-lamp

Sunday, March 27, 2005

This is not the cake you are looking for...

Fran made a kick-ass R2D2 cake for Jay's birthday last night. And I finally figured out how to get my phone to send pictures - without reading the manual. Score!

Friday, March 11, 2005

"It's a bring your own God church." - Arlo Guthrie

*Went to the Gary Louris/Mark Olsen concert with Chris on Wednesday night. I rushed to Variety Playhouse after work and made it just in time. I walked in the door, and this guy starts smiling at me and waves me over to him. I'm sure I was gawking, because he looked just like Brian from Queer As Folk and I had no idea why he was talking to me. Then I realized it was Patrick, my pinball buddy from trivia. So that was cool, because I always like meeting up with random people at concerts. We talked for a while, then went inside. Chris had saved me a seat in the second row, which turned out to suck because when everyone stood in front of the stage, you couldn't see the band. So we moved to the floor for the majority of the show. But the best part was that one of the singers in the opening band was SARAH LEE GUTHRIE! I actually squealed when she introduced herself, turned to Chris and said, "Do you know who that is?!" He was not quite as excited as I was, but oh, well. (She's the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie and daughter of Arlo Guthrie, in case anyone's curious.) So the show was excellent, and I took some pictures with my new camera phone. As soon as I figure out how to email them, I'll put them up here.
...Oh, and Gary and Mark were great, too. I actually knew more Jayhawks songs than I thought I did. And the hippie mom in front of us provided entertainment as well. Remember "Moonbeam" from PCU? Picture her 20 years from now - that's who was shaking her ass in front of Chris all night long.

Pictures from the show:

Gary Louris

Mark Olsen

"Doc Brown" (Not really, but doesn't he look like it?)


* The store visit went very well. I got to meet John Belk, the (former) CEO of the company and a few other people. The important thing was that they liked the store, and that I was able to leave work early. So Charlie and I went to see The Jacket, which we both enjoyed. Charlie called it "the good version of Gothika," although I thought it was a bit more like 12 Monkeys. Since we were the only ones in the theater, we were able to talk and laugh without having to worry about disturbing other people, which was fun.

* After trivia last night, a bunch of us went to Eric's house and got completely messed up. We also watched Ali G in da House (which I unfortunately remember very little of) and the dog, Bo, kept trying to eat my hand. I think. Will drove Liz and Heather home, but I brilliantly decided to sit in my car, listen to music, and wait out my buzz. I ended up falling asleep in Eric's driveway. So that was interesting. I woke up at about 4 this morning, remembered where I was, drove home, and fell asleep again. Woke up late for my lunch date with Roger, but it was ok because he was a little late, too.

Now I'm just killing time before I head into Atl to see Charlie. We're going to watch a jam band called Umphrey's McGee and get dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Good times.

Tomorrow: Battle of the Bands at the Masquerade
Sunday: Hockey Night (or Hockey Afternoon, actually) in Gwinnett - with free Cam Brown bobblehead dolls!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Worst Week Ever!

Falling down a flight of stairs - DOWNGRADE!
Getting awesome drugs from the doctor - UPGRADE!
Having a visit from the corporate office to prepare for - DOWNGRADE!
Having a pre-visit-visit with the division managers, so they can tell you what needs to be fixed before the big visit - UPGRADE!
The division managers telling you that your store looks terrible and that you should be fired because you suck at your job - DOWNGRADE!
Your boss telling you that your store actually looks better than a lot of other stores in the region, and that you do not suck - UPGRADE!
Working late every night to fix all the crap the DMs want done - DOWNGRADE!
Getting paid extra $$ for working so much overtime - UPGRADE!
Missing your friend's birthday because you've been stuck at work every night - DOWNGRADE!

I finally have some time off tomorrow; unfortunately, I agreed to baby-sit Hunter, son of The Chad. Which really isn't that bad, cause he's 5 and a really cool little kid. Plus, I get to use Sis's SUV while my car is in the shop. I also have to send in my tax return, pay some bills, and go by the bank to deposit a few checks. And then I have to go back to work on Sunday. But I get a three-day weekend next week (possibly 4, if I stay late again every night) so that's something to look forward to.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I sincerely hope no one would actually pay for this

Vivienne the virtual girlfriend

Virtual girlfriend Vivienne loves flowers and chocolates just like a real girlfriend, but doesn't cause heartache.

Right, she just encourages you to waste all your money buying flowers for a program on your phone. This has got to be the most bizarre thing I've ever heard of. Are men really that pathetic?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Banned Books

List of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicise the ones you've read part of. Underline the ones you specifically want to read (at least some of).
#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence (audiobook, but still counts)
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Clearly, English majors love their banned books. The sad part is, I read a lot of these in high school. I finished The Lovely Bones and promptly started crying. I love Sebold's idea of heaven, but books about death always make me think about my dad, and then I just get sad for a little while. Anyway, I'm about to start A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat, by Arthur Rimbaud. It's another Christmas present from Chris that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. He got it for me because he knows I want to study the Beat poets in grad school, and apparently Rimbaud was a major influence for them. I'm just excited because the book has the original French en face.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Maybe he's not so bad, after all

I have to admit, having heard some of what then-Presidential-candidate Bush said on those now-infamous tapes makes me respect him just a teensy bit more. I like that he didn't want to talk about his drug use because he was afraid it would encourage kids to do the same. At least he didn't come up with some crap line, like "...but I didn't inhale." And I especially like that he said he didn't want to discriminate against gays, but I would respect him more if he actually held to that.

The tapes are interesting, because they give us an idea of what Bush thinks (or at least, thought) privately, as opposed to what he does publicly - trying to appease the moral majority. Kinda sucks that his "friend" taped him without his knowledge, though. And what a coincidence that he's releasing the tapes just as his book is being published!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sunday, February 20, 2005

"Amber VonTussle, you have acne of the soul!"

I cannot express how utterly fabulous the musical Hairspray! was. I've never seen the movie version, but after tonight's performance I'm definitely going to rent it. Even the pre-show announcements were funny: "The musical Hairspray! takes place in the 1960's. Since there were no cell phones during that time, we don't expect to hear any during tonight's performance." Hee. I also liked that the protagonist is a chubby little girl who helps to end segregation in Baltimore and shows the world that fat girls can be popular and get the boy. It was definitely one of the best (comedic) musicals that I've ever seen. During the standing ovation, Liz and I started clapping and dancing to the music. Luckily, we were sitting in the back row, so I don't think anyone saw us.

Broadway in America, which is the program we got our season tickets through, has also released the lineup for next year's season, if anyone's interested: Phantom; Tuesdays with Morrie; Little Women; Bye, Bye, Birdie; Wicked; and one more TBA. Four out of the five are based on novels, which I think is pretty cool.

I also finished Diary, by Chuck Palahniuk. I have to say, it was one of the strangest books I've ever read, but I really enjoyed it. The narrator was an artist, so it dealt a lot with the idea of putting yourself into your work and using pain to create great art. Very interesting. I've already started reading my next book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. I think it was an Oprah book a while ago, so I'm a little behind the times, but I found it for $4 at Borders and figured, why not?

Why I Hate Cell Phones: Reason #2,068

Ooo...Cingular made me so mad today. I stopped by the store while taking a break from my bagging-and-boarding duties to get my phone plan changed. Right now, it's in my mom's name and she pays the bills. I wanted to upgrade the plan (since there's not a phone at the house I'm moving to, and I use it for work a lot more now) to get more daytime minutes. I went to a Cingular store near work a week or so ago and the extremely bored young girl behind the desk told me that I was not listed as an authorized user of my phone, so my mom would have to call Customer Service and put the phone in my name. I called mom and asked her to do this, but she apparently forgot. Because she's my mom, and she does that sometimes.

So I went by this other store today and explained the situation to Un-Helpful Guy #1. UHG1 told me that my mom still hadn't called Customer Service, but that I could call her and he would help me out after he had helped this other couple that had just walked in. So I called mom, gave her the number to call, and waited. She called back to tell me that she had listed me as an authorized user, and the woman she talked to had told her that meant I could change the account and put it in my name. So, I went back to UHG1, who told me that it would take a few minutes for the change to show up in the system, so could I please wait while he helped another person who had just walked in? By this time, it was getting close to 6 pm, so I knew they were going to be closing soon. I knew exactly which plan I wanted (I've known for over a week now) so it probably wouldn't have taken that long, but whatever.

There was only one other sales rep (UHG2) working, and when he got done with his other customers, he asked if I needed anything. I started to tell him my situation, and he interrupted me, asking my age. ?! I told him (24), and he informed me that I was not authorized to transfer the phone into my own name. Which was crap, as the woman my mom had just talked to told her that I was, because she had transferred it to me. I told UHG2 this, and he said that mom would have to come into the store and sign a document stating that she was transferring the phone to me. My mom lives 2 hours away, and she doesn't have the time to come driving down here just so I can upgrade my phone plan. I asked UHG2 if I could have a copy of the form, and he told me no. I tried to explain that I just wanted it so I could read over it and fill out my part of the information, but he just kept insisting that mom had to sign it in person. The current popular theory is that he just wanted to get rid of me so he could close up shop and go home. Jerk.

At this point, I got way too frustrated with the whole experience and decided to leave. I had been in the store for almost an hour, and accomplished nothing. Grr! So now, I'm still without my new plan and growing increasingly annoyed with every Cingular store visit. Next time, I'm going to one of the mall kiosks.

Monday, February 14, 2005

It's amazing what you find doing random Google searches...

Ohio gay marriage ban at center of domestic violence challenge.

CLEVELAND - Darnell Forte is accused of slapping a woman he lived with. To try to get a domestic violence charged overturned, his lawyer has raised a wider issue, claiming a conflict between Ohio's new constitutional amendment defining marriage and the state's domestic violence law.

Opponents of the amendment banning gay marriage, among the nation's broadest, feared the measure would be used to try to curtail all sorts of rights for unmarried people, and they say the domestic violence case in Cleveland is one such attempt.

"What's at stake goes beyond the issue of gay marriage, it's whether or not a state constitutional amendment can strip Ohio people of basic protections," said Heather Sawyer, senior counsel in Chicago for Lambda Legal, a national gay rights organization.

The case is being watched nationally because of the precedent that could be set if the domestic violence charges are thrown out. Forte's lawyer argues his client cannot be charged with the felony because domestic violence charges should be reserved for married couples under the state's law defining marriage, which won 62 percent of the vote in November.

The OTHER 3 Amigos

Apparently, Valentine's Day also marks the start of National Condom Awareness Week. I was not aware we needed an awareness week for condoms, but whatever. Check out The Three Amigos website. It's a series of PSAs featuring anthropomorphous condoms. Interesting.

Happy Single Persons Awareness Day!

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but this Valentine's Day wasn't nearly as craptacular as I expected it to be. Work was fun, and there were actually a few very amusing moments throughout the day. We started the day off with a mini-party in the breakroom, with cakes, cookies, candies, and coffee - pretty much any "c" word you can think of that had enough sugar and caffeine to keep us peppy and motivated. I spent the morning running around, handing out Harry Potter V-day cards and trying to ride out my sugar high.

Right after we opened the store, I saw a young guy (probably about 14 or 15) walking around, looking confused.

Me: Do you need any help?
Young Guy: *stares at my breasts* Yeah, those Dooney & Burke purses you have sitting out, are those the only ones you have?
Me: (slightly amused) Yeah, I'm sorry. Was there something else you needed?
Young Guy: *still staring* No, that's ok. Thanks.

I had to resist the urge to either slap him, or to snap my fingers, point toward my face and say, "Hey, my eyes are up here, dude." To be fair, I was wearing my V-day shirt (it's pink, says "FLIRT" on it, and only cost $5 at Target), but it's not like it takes 5 minutes to read one word.

Another amusing thing actually happens pretty regularly (at least since our sliding glass doors broke, and we had to put a sign up saying, "THESE DOORS ARE BROKEN, PLEASE USE SIDE DOORS"). Every once in a while, someone power-walking up to the doors won't notice/read the sign, or they'll be walking too fast to stop in time, and they walk right into them. So that's always fun. One time, we were still in our morning meeting when this woman practically ran up to the sliding glass doors and we all had to try not to laugh at the confused expression on her face. Another thing about the sliding glass doors; people seem to forget that they don't work when they're leaving the store as well. They'll just stand in front of them, waiting for them to open. Eventually, they notice the sign or just give up and use one of the side manual doors. You never realize how lazy people really are (how hard is it to use a manual door?) until you see something like that. And it may seem mean to laugh at something like that, but if you've ever worked retail and had to deal with bitchy people during a major holiday season, then you'd probably find it funny, too.

Also, we made Valentine's Day bags a few days ago. Like you did in elementary school, remember? When everyone decorated a paper bag with hearts and stuff and then you gave out cards and your teacher always made sure that everyone had a list with everyone's name on it so no one would feel left out? Yeah, anyway...my bag started out pretty generic. There were paper heart cutouts we could use, so I glued one of those on there, then cut out an arrow and pasted it so that it looked like it was piercing the heart. Then I decided to draw some blood dripping down, and ended up with a little puddle of blood on the bottom of the bag. The reactions to this object d'arte ranged from "cute," to "interesting," to "morbid." One ASM just assumed it was a political statement (because I'm a bleeding-heart liberal, I guess), which I thought was funny. I tried telling everyone it was "emo," but since only one other coworker even knew what I was talking about, it wasn't that funny. Oh, well.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Like that scene in Chasing Amy, only not funny

This has got to be one of the most f-ed up stories ever:
One of my roommates, Jennifer, was at the grocery store today when she saw a little boy (about 3 years old) playing in a car by himself. Somehow, he managed to put the car in reverse and it started rolling toward a building. Jen lunged into the car and was dragged across the parking lot, but she was able to stop the car before the kid was hurt. When the father came out of the store, she explained what had happened and told the man that she had called 911 and needed to be taken to the hospital. This asshat pushed her out of the way and drove off. ?! She remembered part of the license plate, and has to file a police report tomorrow. He'll be charged with child endangerment (he didn't even have a carseat for the kid) and leaving the scene of an accident. Jen ended up with a hairline fracture in her wrist, multiple cuts down her back and legs, and possibly a dislocated shoulder. But at least she (and the kid) are ok.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

O, Canada!

I found out today that I've been singing the Canadian national anthem incorrectly. It's, "We stand on guard for thee," not, "We stand on God for thee." I swear I'm not an idiot; it's just that the only time I ever hear it is at hockey games. And it's always sung by chicks with Southern accents, so I can't understand them anyway.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I still like my version better.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The State of the Union

I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

-Voltaire


Michelle's friend, Jeremy, came to trivia tonight, and we spent the first half of the game good-naturedly arguing about the State of the Union address from last night. One part that really struck me: "Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them. Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage."

In other words, a ban on gay marriages. Stuff like this helps me remember why I support the Libertarians and want less government interaction in my life. I was actually pretty worked up when I was discussing it with Jeremy, but four beers and being up past your bedtime came really take the fight out of a girl. We may not have agreed on the issue, but it was nice having someone to debate with who had actually thought out his side of the issue and wasn't simply using the president or the Bible as irrefutable proof - it certainly made it more interesting for Michelle, the innocent bystander. One thing neither of us was sure of was the "real" definition of marriage, so I decided to do some research. This is what I've come up with so far:
mar·riage
n.

The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
The state of being married; wedlock.
A common-law marriage.
A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex marriage.
A wedding.
A close union: “the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream comics” (Lloyd Rose).
Games. The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
(from dictionary.com)

A tongue-in-cheek Biblical definition.

The legal definition.

After reading all these, I'm curious as to which one W. is protecting. :) At any rate, I guess I have more stuff for Jeremy and me to argue about next week.

(A bit off-topic, but I also found a really amusing State of the Union drinking game)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The most awesome thing I saw on TV last week

Actually, it was probably closer to two weeks ago, but whatever. There's this reality/dating show on MTV called "Room Raiders," and it has the silliest premise for choosing a date ever: three girls are kidnapped, and forced to watch as a random guy searches their rooms and picks one to go on a date with based on what he finds. I was flipping channels and happened on a "special" episode, in which the girls were kidnapped by the female rock group The Donnas. That in and of itself was awesome, because I couldn't believe The Donnas would do something like that. But they did. The second awesome thing about this particular episode was that it took place at UGA, which is about an hour from my house. It's also where Chris goes to Law School and where I spend roughly half of my weekends. I missed the first half of the episode, but I tuned in just in time to hear the guy talking about the fact that he was a virgin, but that he wouldn't mind giving it up on the silk sheets he found in bedroom #2. Klassy! He also found a butcher knife (she claimed it was for protection) in the nightstand. Ooookay. Bedroom #3 was the most interesting, I think. The chick had a compost bin by her bed (?!) because she was, in her own words, "a hippie." The guy opened it up and took a bite out of a half-eaten apple that was inside. Gross. Then he went over to the computer desk and found a pack of cigars. Because I know SOOOO many hippies that smoke cigars. Cloves, maybe; weed, definitely. Cigars? Not so much. But anyway...

So at the end of the episode, the girls go into the guy's room to snoop. He "catches" them, and eliminates them one by one. The first one to go was #3, the "hippie," because of the compost bin thing. Which, granted, was pretty weird. I mean, if you're gonna do that, at least keep it in the kitchen, you know? But the best part was that hippie chick went psycho! She started swearing and stomped out of the room. On her way out, she grabbed an Uga bobble-head doll off the dresser, broke it, and threw it on the floor! The other chicks were like, WTF?! It was awesome. Then the guy eliminated bedroom #1. She was just like, "Ok, whatever," and left. Boring. So he ended up going on a date with girl #2, with the satin sheets and butcher knife by the bed. During the credits, they were doing wrap-up interviews. Psycho tried to explain her craziness, #1 just kinda blew the guy off, and the "winner" said: "I don't like taking things from people, so I don't think I'm going to take his virginity." I almost fell off the bed when she said that, I was laughing so hard.

Then this past weekend, when I was visiting Chris at UGA, I mentioned the show to him. Turns out, the guy works at a gas station just down the street from Chris's apartment, and girls are constantly coming in and asking about him. Hee.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Buster Meets Four Mommies

Yesterday at work, we had two girls trying to shoplift a whole bunch of stuff. Luckily, they realized we were on to them and dropped the merchandise (about $900 worth) just before they left the store. The best part? As they were walking out, The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" started playing.

And apparently, the PBS cartoon "Arthur" is getting in trouble because the character Buster the Bunny goes to Vermont to learn about maple syrup and ends up meeting two sets of lesbian mothers. I think it's great PBS is willing to show something like that, but it may not air because so many conservatives are making such a fuss. I'm sorry, but this is one of those cases where I believe you should just turn it off if it offends you. There's a homosexual couple in that T-Mobile commercial ("Why is my cell phone bill so high?" "Who have you been talking to?" "YOU!") but no one's protesting them. I think it's great that PBS is trying to teach kids about different kinds of families and encouraging tolerance at an early age. "Arthur" can be the Heather Has Two Mommies for the new generation.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Raise some hell, y'all!

So this past Saturday, Chris took De and me to the Drive By Truckers concert in Athens. Southern Bitch and Centro-matic were the opening bands, and if those names don't give you an idea of the (sold-out) crowd that we were a part of, here's a little haiku to help you out:

Hold your cheap beer high.
Even the girls have mullets.
Where's my trucker hat?

The music was good - much better than I expected, actually - but the crowd was way too obnoxious. And hella drunk. So, that was my weekend.

I finished my first book of the new year: The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks (son of Mel, so you know it's funny). I've now moved on to Anonymous Rex, by Eric Garcia, which Stella loaned me last week when I stayed at her house for inventory. I'm already halfway through, which tells me that I read fiction much quicker than non-fiction, for some reason. Either that, or I'm just in a hurry to finish so I can return it and move on to my next book.

Also, I made a new resolution. I'm still working on my grad school thing, but I decided I wanted to be healthier. Not a diet, per se (though I could probably use one), just cutting out unnecessary stuff. First casualty? No more soda. Specifically, Diet Coke. Apparently, it's one of the 10 worst snack foods. I just figure I don't need the extra sugar, caffeine, or chemicals. Plus, The Zombie Survival Guide recommends weaning yourself off luxury items, so you don't feel deprived when you have to leave them behind during your great escape from the zombie menace.

Just kidding.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Score!

This has been the crappiest week. We had inventory Tuesday and Wednesday, which meant that I got no sleep. I worked 3 pm - midnight:30 on Tuesday, then 7 am - 4-ish on Wednesday. Luckily, Stella let me crash in her guest room so I didn't have to worry about driving the hour or so home and back the next morning. I also got to hang out with cute Jarod, our regional Loss Prevention manager (who, sadly, is very much engaged) and managed to talk some of my friends into helping out with inventory, at least for the first night.

Driving home Wednesday evening, I got into a slight accident. I was trying to pass a car next to me, when the lady in front of me slammed on her brakes, causing me to slam on mine. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to completely stop in time and I bumped her. There wasn't any damage done to either car, but she immediately called the cops - like, as we were pulling over to check it out. That was kind of annoying. When the hottie police officer finally showed up (over an hour later, due to the rush hour traffic), he inspected the cars, gave me this hilarious WTF? look, then spent five minutes trying to tell her that she didn't need to file a report because it wouldn't do anything except cause both of our insurance rates to go up, as there was ABSOLUTELY NO DAMAGE done to her car. She, however, was "adamant." I think that's cop-speak for "heinously bitchy." So, he ended up writing me a ticket for following too closely. And asking for my number. Is that standard procedure? :) I figure I'll show up in court to protest the ticket, and if neither of them come it'll just be thrown out. The insurance thing will kill me, though. Luckily, Liz came by and brought me a camera, so I was able to take a couple of pictures of her pristine bumper, just in case she tries to pull something later.

Wednesday night, as you can imagine, was spent playing trivia and drinking. Roger played Mojo Nixon's "Elvis is Everywhere" to cheer me up, and Fran and I did a terrible karaoke version of "Come on Eileen." Good times.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Go van Gogh

"I often think that the night is more alive and
more richly colored than the day."
~ Vincent van Gogh


Spent all day in Atl yesterday. Chris and I met up with my lj friend tardis_chan and her boyfriend, blackwolfga at the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch. De also joined us, and showed us where to find the half-price ticket booth at Underground, which was very helpful. For us, at least, as we bought the last of the half-price tickets for the High Museum for the day, and De and her mom had to pay full price (well, adult and student) at the door. Sorry about that. :)

The exhibit currently at the High is Van Gogh to Mondrian, and it was amazing. I've seen a few van Gogh pieces at different museums, and tried to get into the van Gogh/Gauguin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (I forget why we didn't see it, but I'm sure time, scheduling, or money were a factor), but I've never seen a large collection of his works all at the same time. Seeing as van Gogh is my favorite artist - I even sat through this awesomely bad movie called Starry Night because it was about him being resurrected at the Pasadena Rose Bowl parade - I was in heaven. They only had a few of his more well-known paintings: Café Terrace of Night, Olive Grove, and Self-Portrait (1887), so I still didn't get to see Starry Night. But the High was selling prints of it, along with the other paintings. So...yeah, that makes sense. Of course, they were also selling stuffed Vincent van Gogh dolls, along with Monet and Dali. And they had a box of fingerpuppet artists (van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Monet, and Dali; you could also buy Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera, separately), which was awesome.

Back to the art: Piet Mondrian was way too abstract for my taste - his Composition 10 in Black and White was supposed to be a pier and some ships on the ocean, but it really looks like a series of black lines. But I am totally in love with this painting, Odilon Redon's The Cyclops. And I really liked The Bride by Johan Thorn Prikker. There was another painting that caught my eye, The Harvest, but I didn't write down the artist's name and I can't find it on the HMA website. I think it might have been by Maurice Denis. If anyone knows, please comment.

We also checked out the permanent collection. I was disappointed, because Monet's Houses of Parliament in the Fog seems to have been moved. I always look forward to seeing it when I go to the High. This painting of peaches was so amazing, it almost looked like photorealism. I was also blown away by the marble statues, especially Medea Mediating the Death of her Children and the bust of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I can't imagine how someone could take a block of stone and chip away at it to make something so life-like. I had to do it once (with plaster) for a 3D art class, and it didn't turn out that well. My mom still proudly displayed it on the mantel, though, because she's nothing if not encouraging.

So...that was my day. We ended up spending a few hours at the museum, what with the lines and everything. Chris and I also went to dinner at Gordon Biersch (which was probably a little too expensive for us), and our kick-ass waiter, Ben, let me walk out with the mug my beer came in. Their Winterbock brew is excellent, by the way, and has the highest alcohol content of all their current beers. And you gotta love a beer company that uses slogans like, "Sure we could make a strawberry beer. We could put a little paper umbrella in it, too."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Rage Diary 1

I had a friend that really pissed me off last night. She didn't do anything to me personally, but she said some things that I thought were really stupid. I just had to vent, 'cause I really don't want to bring it up to her again.

We were watching Veronica Mars, and I mentioned this article that I had found a few days ago. She said something along the lines of, "Well, atheists don't know anything." I asked her to explain, and she said that the literal meaning of the word "atheist" is "a person who knows nothing." I told her that she was wrong, completely forgetting that she can't stand to be told she is, in fact, mistaken. About anything. She immediately raised her voice and told that she was not, and that was the word's actual definition. [I should probably mention that the last time we had a discussion like this was in the waiting room of her doctor's office, when she got mad at me for disagreeing with her opinion that having Whistler come back for Blade 3 was, in her own words, "retarded."] I didn't want to argue, because the show was coming back on, so I just told her to drop it. I realized at work this morning that she was probably thinking of "agnostic," but like I said, I don't want to bring it back up.

Anyway, after the show, the news came on and one of the first stories was that some musicians are talking about remaking "We Are The World" to help the tsunami victims. I groaned, because I don't think it should be remade - if anything, we should have a group of musicians get together and write a totally new song. She misinterpreted my groan, however, and said, "Yeah, I know. I wish they'd stop talking about it, too. I mean, the people are dead. Big deal. Move on."

?!

I think I was actually dumbstruck by that. I gaped at her, then said, "I can't believe you said that."
"Well, it's not like it affected me."
"Thousands of people have died. A friend of mine at work had an uncle in Thailand and up until yesterday she didn't know if he was alive [which he is] or dead."

There was a bit more to it than that, but she kind of shrugged and (again) I dropped it. But jeez! Then, I told her about finding the dead chipmunk at work and she said, "Aww." How the fuck are you going to be upset about one dead rodent, but brush off thousand of innocent lives? Especially now, with the new reports that the orphans are being kidnapped or claimed by people who sell them into slavery. Or that there are people still going to Thailand for vacations, and stepping over dead bodies on the beach. This world is so messed up.

This has been bugging me all day. My friends are such idiots sometimes.