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I Write, You Know

September 11, 2009

So, what’s new with me? What? Nobody asked? Don’t care. I’m going to tell you anyway.

I have an awesome part time job writing for a fantastic SEO Company full of terribly nice people. Among other things, I write a blog about Richmond that talks about the best of the city and highlights certain things and people and places. It’s www.richmondvapresents.com and I would love it if you’d visit it let me know what you think. Also, if you’re a Richmonder and have a business or thing (not THAT thing, you perv) you’d like me to write about, I’ll consider it. 🙂

I am in graduate school and beating my head against a wall for taking three (3) THREE literature-intensive classes this semester. The reading alone is enough to blind you, and on top of that you’re expected to be able to form cohesive thoughts and scholarly opinions about things. Don’t let me fool you – I love it, but I’m totally overwhelmed and freaking out.

Those are the two main things going on in my life other than The Hubs, The Rents, The Cat, The Dog, and The House, which are all doing pretty good and say hi, Internet.

Off to the weekend, which will not feel like a weekend at all because I have to do a ton of work and write a paper, prepare a presentation, and read practically everything Oscar Wilde ever wrote. But it will be fun, so who needs a weekend?

Awesome

September 4, 2009

I should have titled this post “Only read this if you know the movie “Dirty Dancing” inside and out, but I was afraid that would scare off new readers.

So, I’m freaking out about grad school. I’ve stepped in it with my boss. I’m generally in an 11:38 PM place where I haven’t gotten enough done and I am alternating between tears and hysterical laughter. Just another Thursday night.

So for background I put on “Dirty Dancing” because it was on TV the other day and I caught a minute or two and then I went to Best Buy to try to buy Wonderfalls and it (Dirty Dancing – the 20th Anniversary Edition) was on sale for $7, so I bought it.

A few pieces of criticism, as it makes me feel like I’m in control of my life (and I’m obviously not).

When Neil comes to Johnny to tell him that he wants to switch up the final dance of the season from something other than the Mambo, and Johnny shows him a few steps of the thing Johnny has in mind before Neil totally jocks him, those steps? Those are the ONLY steps the whole “staff” does at the end of the movie, while Jennifer Gray is standing there smiling maniacally and swishing her skirt. Really? Maybe he should have tried to verbally conceptualize the dance instead of showing off the ONLY MOVES that he planned on putting into this revolutionary final dance.

The 80’s music injected into a period piece? Not so great. Although I did learn how to play “She’s Like the Wind” on piano, that song “Yes” that they play when the sister is walking to get some for the first time with Robbie? And the use of “Hungry Eyes?” Not so good. Granted, I owned this soundtrack on cassette when I was 10 and found no fault in it whatsoever, I chalk that up to the fact that every girl wanted to be mousy ol’ Baby and find a hunky dancing Patrick Swayze to adore her and declare that she shouldn’t be put in a corner. Didn’t help that Jennifer Gray went and got decidedly un-mousy and let all us mousy girls down.

The lift at the end? From a pure dancing perspective (and I do have some authority to say so, since I did dance semi-professionally for a little while) it wasn’t so clever. Baby nods, gets lifted to the jumping point, runs at Johnny, and then just stays suspended in the air while everyone claps. Like a dog show, but with prettier clothes.

This is what I do when I’m freaked out. I ply you guys with semi-valid observations about 80’s movies. I’ve just put on Moonstruck, wherein I’ll roll around on the floor and wallow in my lack of productivity and mind-numbing fear.

A Few Things

September 2, 2009

I love it when, on a TV show or in a movie, the characters act in a way that is very different from their established character – as long as it is hilarious. When stiff, uncompromising characters all of the sudden act all loopy I really love it.

The other night, while drinking out of a bottle of Smart Water, I opened the linen closet door. My depth perception is obviously a little off, as I smacked the door into the bottom of the bottle, thus ramming the mouthpiece of the bottle into my pursed lips. I now have two fat lips with little cuts where the bottle smooshed my lip up against my teeth. It is unfortunate.

There is fall in the breeze, and when I catch a whiff of it it reminds me of unending possibilities and newness. It makes me feel happy.

Ah, LMN.

August 30, 2009

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a weakness for Lifetime Original Movies. In fact, a thousand years ago I wrote a Top Tenz list for it (you can see it here) about the “worst” (ie “the best”) ones.

I have a migraine today (I know, poor me) and so I spent the morning recovering (and taking copious amounts of headache meds) watching one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Lifetime Original Movies on the LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) channel. I know. I should have a problem with the fact that they bill themselves as “television for women” when I know that the crap programming they can have sometimes makes that tagline a total insult. I know that I have this brain that I’m supposed to be sculpting into a scholarly work of art. Darn it, though. I love me some trash TV.

For instance. There are these books that I’d never heard of that are written by a fellow Virginian called Ellen Byerrum. The books are a series called The Crime of Passion Mysteries. The lead character is named Lacey Smithsonian. I’ve never read the books, but I’ve seen the delightful Lifetime movie “Hostile Makeover” wherein fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian witnesses the hateful murder of supernerd-turned-supermodel Amanda Manville and gets sucked into solving the mystery. Yep. You read that right. Lacey Smithsonian. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty stoked that a fellow Virginian woman has made a living writing novels. I hope to join that club one day, so I’m not knocking anyone’s character’s names. Anywhoo. It was a fun movie and I will keep an eye out for the other one, “Killer Hair.”

True story.

Holy Bad Customer Service, Targetman!

August 27, 2009

So this once I’m not griping about a bad customer service experience that affected me per se, but I was involved, and I want to tell you all about it.

I was at Target with my mom (like we do) and I stopped to get a hot dog at the counter (like I sometimes do) even though I know that it goes straight to my spare tire making the once flat tummy incorporate itself into some past-thirty muffin-top nightmare. But I was hungry, so.

So I’m standing there, ordering my hot dog and a drink, and the lady behind the counter is none too thrilled to have to, I don’t know, DO HER FREAKING JOB, and she’s taking her sweet time getting her food service gloves on, retrieving my hot dog from the rolly hot dog holder thingy, getting it wrapped up, handing me a cup, etc. I mean, it’s taking a pretty long time.

All of the sudden, this Target Team Member walks over to the counter with two people who are kind of holding on to each other and they both have white canes. So, they are sight-impaired. Target Team Member lady says to Food Counter Target Team Member,

“Miss Yvette, could you help my guests here get some drinks?”

And then she bolts. No kidding. She just dumps these two blind people at the counter with Miss Yvette, who clearly doesn’t even want to exert the energy needed to hand me a single hot dog across the counter, much less come out here and get some drinks for these folks. And Peppy Target Team Member Lady is gone, vamoosed, like a ghost. We’re eating her dust.

Miss Yvette has still not finished ringing my order up, and the Blind Couple is a little confused, because I doubt they realized that Peppy McAbandonsblindpeopleattarget has vamoosed her little ass back to the customer service counter and left them in the care of Miss Yvette, who at this point has finally finished ringing me up and is now staring at Blind Couple with her hand on one hip and her brow furrowed, as if she’s thinking, “I could give them the cups, but how are they going to tell which soda fountain spout is which because I don’t think they have Braille on them?” or possibly, “Bitch is crazy if she thinks I’m going to come out from behind my counter to do this because there are, like, 2 more people in line now.”

What was I to do? I touched both of the sight-impaired people on the arm and said, “Let me help you get your drinks” and said to Miss Yvette, “Give me some cups. I got this.” Miss Yvette has the presence of mind to say “Thank you” with a little too much relief in her voice, and I ask the couple, “What kind of drinks do you guys want?” They tell me, and I grab the cups, go over and get their drinks (pushing down the little “Diet” depressor thing for the Diet drink so that they wouldn’t get mixed up) and walk back over to the counter. At this point, there are about 6 people behind us in line and Miss Yvette looks like she’s about to burst into tears or something because Blind Lady is trying to swipe her card, and Miss Yvette (as a Target Team Member) isn’t technically supposed to help her. So she says to me, “You’re gonna have to help her swipe her card” so I go over to the lady and say, “Do you want me to take your hand and swipe it” and she says, “Can you just swipe it?” so I do and it wants a pin number so I tell her I’m going to push “credit” and she can just sign so she doesn’t have to tell me her pin number. She says great, and then goes to put her card back in her wallet, then back in her purse (which takes all of about 30 seconds, but feels like 30 minutes when Miss Yvette is staring you down because you’re not taking care of Peppy Negligence’s guests fast enough and the Blind Dude is all “popcorn, we wanted to get some popcorn”

Luckily, Miss Yvette had already gotten the popcorn. Dude’s holding both drinks. Lady finally gets wallet back in purse, reaches down to sign the pad, mistakenly bumps the “pay another way” button on the touch pad.

Shit.

I look at Miss Yvette. She looks back at me. I say to her, “Can you just go back one screen and and she can sign?” Miss Yvette tells me she’d have to swipe her card again. There are now 10 people in line behind us. I am a crappy Good Samaritan. I say, “y’all, this is on me”, swipe my card, punch in my pin, grab my receipt from Miss Yvette, and look around for Peppy McIrresponsibletargetteammmember because maybe she was, like, in charge of their ride home or something. She’s nowhere to be found, of course. The lady pipes up, “Can you take us to where we can sit down to have our drinks and our popcorn?” I say, “Sure!” She says, “It would probably be best if you just pushed our cart here (they’d bought luggage) and we’ll sort of hang on to it.” Sounded good to me. I push the cart, they follow, I get them to a table, pull chairs out and get them sort of situated, and realize that my mom is still waiting on me, and she’s pulled the car around outside. I say, “Are you going to be OK?” and they’re all, “yes, thank you so much for your help” and I’m all, “no problem at all have a wonderful day” and I go outside to the car.

My mom says, “What took so long? The people who were BEHIND you in line just sat down.”

I regale her with the story, and find myself asking a lot of questions. How did they GET there, for one, and how were they going to get home? What if they weren’t really blind, and they just wanted some free sodas and it’s fun to get your kicks that way?

Nah, they really were blind. I just wonder how the Non-Miss-Yvette Target Team Member thought it was OK to just dump them off with ol’ Miss Yvette. Crazy.

On Being Treated Like a Leper and/or Being Totally Oversensitive

August 5, 2009

I have psoriasis. I’m pretty sure I mentioned that before, but it showed up when I was about 21 and has been going strong ever since. I don’t write about it much, because I don’t want this to be an “oh woe is me my skin is all funky and gross don’t you feel bad for me” blog. Generally I don’t even care, except when it kinda hurts or itches sometimes. It is what it is, you know? Life could be a lot worse. It’s not life-threatening, the arthritis that is associated with it hasn’t hit me very hard yet. It could be lots worse.

Anywhoo, so I’m at Food Lion several weeks ago (as an aside, I just recently started shopping at Food Lion – it’s cheap and they’re all, “Welcome to Food Lion”, which is nice) when a checkout dude gave me the stink eye just for having red scaly patches on my hands. I mean, come on. It’s not like I spit on him or wiped a booger on the conveyor belt. Him: long fluffy dark hair and patchy facial hair. Little wire-framed glasses. Me: work clothes (slacks and shirt), arms exposed. He wrinkles his nose when he looks at my arms, and then when I go to hand him my MVP card he tosses it back to me (even though I had my hand out) and then vigorously squirts hand sanitizer all over his hands and rubs them for, like, a whole minute.

I casually take my receipt, pick up my bags, and leave. I think about touching him as much as possible – patting him on the hand to say thank you, etc. I think about peeling off a flake and flicking it at him. I think about going back and explaining that what I have is in no way contagious and that he shouldn’t worry himself into a frenzy tonight that he might catch LEPROSY or a SKIN EATING BACTERIA and that maybe the next time he should ASK what’s wrong with me, because that’s a lot more polite than TREATING ME LIKE I’M DIRTY.

So then yesterday, at the same Food Lion (hey, it’s on my way home and it sells jarred pimentos) I go to check out in someone else’s line (Mama didn’t raise no fools) and she tells me the line on the end is open. I go to the line on the end. The lady there is spraying down the conveyor belt with Windex and informs me she’s not ready yet. I appreciate her spraying down the conveyor belt so I just shrug and walk over to the next line, which is manned by Mr. Sneer and Look at You In Disgust. I should mention that I saw him when I first came in, and I had shorts on yesterday (the horror!) so my calves and knees were showing, and they have some of the worst spots on them. I saw him look down at my left calf, and then turn away real fast. I didn’t think any more of it. So anyway, here I am in his line again, and he says, “This here is the 12 item or less isle, you’ll have to go somewhere else.” I, flustered, inform him that the other lady sent me down to the end and the end wasn’t open yet, but I yank my cart out of the checkout isle and go back to the isle I was in orignially. As I put my items on the conveyor belt I count them. 15. I had 15 items.

So, am I being paranoid? Did this dude’s first reaction to me make me expect a second, shitty reaction, or was he just consistently rude to me? I tend to lean toward the latter, because I really felt persecuted for a minute there, and I don’t get persecuted very easily. Really I don’t.

So, if you’re ever in a situation like this guy, where someone has got some awful rash and you don’t know what it is, trust me when I tell you that most people will appreciate an upfront approach. Here are some good ice-breakers:

“Hey, did you get into some poison ivy?”
“Wow, that rash looks painful, what is it?”
“What is that all over you?”

That last one seems a little blunt, but it’s a helluva lot better than just treating someone like they’re infectious.

The End.

Triumph, Thy Name is Tenacity

July 29, 2009

Our new house is kind of dated. One thing is that the electricity comes into the house through fuses instead of breakers. I guess that’s how it works. I haven’t really looked it up. All I know is in my apartment on Dooley, sometimes, if I used the microwave, the iron, the computer, and the stereo all at the same time all the lights in the apartment would go out. I would then have to hunt for the basement key, go outside and down to the basement, through the dusty door, past the bedroll where my neighbor let a homeless guy sleep sometimes, past the booze bottles, over to the breaker panel marked #3. The lights were burned out in the basement (no matter how many times I donated a bulb to the cause), so you can bet I brought a flashlight with me. I’d open the panel marked #3, stop and realize that even though my apartment was Apartment #3, that the breaker panel was the 4th one set up, so I’d redirect the beam of my flashlight to the panel marked #4. I’d find the correct breaker (ie the one that wasn’t facing the way the other ones were facing) and flip it, and when I walked back upstairs VI O LAAA I had power.

That’s about the extent of my electrical expertise, unless you count the decorative lighting fixtures I’ve installed from time to time, which I don’t, because Dwight often goes behind me and re-twists the wires together and re-wire-screws them. He doesn’t know that I know that he does this. But it irritates the crap out of me. Anywhoo.

So this morning, fixing some breakfast, because breakfast is a great way to start your day, I ran into a bit of a problem. I was just standing there in the kitchen, thinking about how nice it was that I don’t have to work until 10, so I had TIME to make breakfast and clean up after myself, and all that crap, and all of the sudden…as I was putting the turkey bacon back into the refrigerator…the refrigerator light went out.

Crap! Did I accidentally put the turkey bacon over the switch for the light? No! I go over to the toaster. My NutriGrain Eggos have popped up, but they are neither golden brown nor crispy. I look at the microwave. No glowy numbers. Shit.

I call my husband. He tells me to go to the fuse panel, open it, find the one that says “Kitchen Recepticles” and look inside the little window to see if the fuse is burned out. ?!?!?? How the crap should I know? I’ve never looked at fuses before. I said I guessed it was a little, well, smudgier than the other little fuse windows. He said did I remember the bag of fuses that the previous owner left us? It’s on the table in the blah blah blah and I’m all, “Yeah, but aren’t you just going to come home and fix it? Because there are, like, dozens of dollars worth of food in this refrigerator, and I’m all helpless and delicate (all the while I’m attempting to unscrew this questionably burned-out fuse) and could he just scoot on home for a sec and take care of this?”

He says the food will probably be fine until he has lunchtime, and to just not open the refrigerator anymore. I’m thinking of the eleventy hundred times I opened and closed the refrigerator trying to make the light come on again before I realized that none of the other electrical doodads in the kitchen were functional. Nah, that food probably won’t be OK until lunchtime. At this point I’m getting a little upset. I’m not mad or anything, but I’m frustrated that my stupid fingers can’t get the stupid fuse to unscrew and that the stupid refrigerator ws not working and that the stupid toaster hadn’t cooked my Eggos enough yet, etc. I get off the phone and cry a minute, and then I’m all, “Wait a minute.”

So the problem with trying to unscrew the fuse is that my hands are sweaty because I’m nervous about potentially electrocuting myself (which, incidentally, is a crappy way to start my third day of Part Time Job Part I) and because I’m frustrated and in a hurry. So I think “Rubber Gloves!” and go put some on. I try again. The little jerk comes out of his little hole. I take a replacement fuse (that was in a box, so obviously new) and screw it in. Nothing happens. I go check the fridge. Nothing. I call my husband again, “The new fuse doesn’t work either – the electricity is broken.” He says, “Did you screw it in the whole way?” I’m like, “YES.” He asks, “Did you use a new fuse?” I say, “I used one in a box.” He’s all, “Just because it’s in a box doesn’t mean it’s new. Sometimes people take the old one out and put it in a box blah blah blah.” I start to cry. He says he will come home.

I get off the phone sobbing. I put my rubber glove back on, climb into a sitting position on the washing machine, and unscrew said maybe-not-new fuse. I (still crying my stupid head off) take yet another 20 amp fuse and insert it into the hole. I screw it in. I, with excruciatingly tiny movements (because of course said fuse goes crammed in next to other fuse) continue to screw the stupid thing in.

Suddenly, the microwave beeps. Through my tears and gritted teeth I exclaim, “That’s right you Son of a Bitch!” and I jump off the washer to confirm. I have done it. I have replaced the fuse. I call husband. He’s all , “Way to go” and I’m all, “Blubber blubber tears tears” and I finally got to eat my damn Eggos.

The End.