Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I think it sounds fun to wake up naked in the woods with a chicken in my hands.

I think I might turn into a werewolf on the next full moon. Padawan doesn't believe me. That's his mistake. He will be the first person I bite in my new wolf form. And I will be a terrifying werewolf, not a giant teddy bear thing that looks like a wolf puppy that ate a bag of Miracle-Gro.

I mean a vicious, human eating monstrosity from the horror tales of old that didn't end with a werewolf falling in love and turning over a new leaf or find a cure...

Why will I be a werewolf? Because of THIS thing: ----> Alright, so I wrapped it up in a lot of bandages because frankly I'm paranoid about infection, and I could have sworn it looked red and puffy this morning, and I didn't want to get gangrene, so I doused it in a second helping of peroxide and slathered it with Neosporin before I wrapped it up.

I didn't actually consider taking a picture of it when it happened because it was bleeding, and looking at blood grosses me out, especially when it's my own blood, even in a picture. Though I guess it would have been wise to do because then you could see with your own eyes the mark of the wolf on my arm.

Yup. That's right. I have claw marks wrapped around my delicate little wrist, and they're probably going to leave scars unless I turn into a werewolf and my skin regenerates into pure perfection. Which I'm just vain enough to wish for because I can't stand having scars on any part of my body, especially parts of my body that can easily be viewed. Such as my wrist. (I did just try to pull up the bandages to take a picture for you guys anyway, but when I tried to pull it up it hurt my skin and I didn't want to pull it again because I'm not really what you could call pain tolerant and I knew I'd start crying if I kept it up. I'll have to clean it again tomorrow so then I'll take a picture. Unless it's infected, then I'll take myself to a hospital and beg them to save my arm before they have to amputate.)

Anyway, so what happened was this: last night Padawan and I ventured forth to the far away land of Lago Vista to take my darling Choo Choo to my grandparents' house, where she will be staying for the next nineteen days until we move to our new apartment. (It's all for the best, really. It's impossible to get any packing done with her running under my feet or grabbing onto my jeans.) Little did I know, my younger sister's puppy, Kira, had grown another ten pounds since the last time I saw her. Which isn't really a problem if she was a normal dog that understood her size problem.

Unfortunately for me, Kira thinks she's a small dog like Choo Choo, so when Choo Choo jumps up on my lap, Kira thinks she's just as entitled. Kira is a wolf/doberman mix. She's four months old and weighs a whopping forty pounds and she's still growing. She's huge and she won't hold still long enough for us to trim her nails, so she's got giant wolf paws with sharp wolf claws which are perfectly shaped for digging into soft flesh.

When she jumped up on me, her claws caught my arms and raked around. I'm not sure who made the louder noise: me when I screamed bloody murder, or Choo Choo and Kira when they howled in response to my shrieks of pain. I might have added something to the effect of, "Kira, if you ever do that again I'm going to box your ears so hard your brain is going to bleed!"

Not that she understood the threat. And anyway, I'm pretty sure her behavior last night while I was trying to eat dinner indicates she knows I'm full of hot air and I wouldn't so much as slap her nose, let alone smack her hard enough to hurt her. It's not just that I don't really believe in hitting animals as a form of discipline, it's also that she's a freaking wolf breed and she could jump on me and swallow me whole if she felt so inclined. I'm not particularly inclined to hit things that could kill me.

But it's the wolf part that makes me think I'm probably going to turn into a werewolf. That's they way it happens in books and movies: you get bitten or scratched by a wolf and then you become one. So awesome! I hope I can remember the things I do in my werewolf body because they'd probably make for far more interesting blogs than I'm ordinarily capable of writing. I'd be like a guest blogger on my own blog: Tales from the Wolf. That might be fun.

Now I'm going to be severely disappointed if I don't turn into a werewolf for the full moon next month. I'm all looking forward to it and it's infinite possibilities of awesomeness now. Balls.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The gloves are coming off, Jerkface. I'm DONE.

I've been such a good, quiet roommate these last few weeks preparing for our big move. I've been trying extra hard to stay out of Jerkface's way, to make the last months easier on everybody. I've even gone out of my way to say goodbye or hello to Jerkface when he is coming or going and I happen to see him.

I've been the model of friendly roommate behavior.

Apparently it's just not enough, though. Apparently, some Asshat Supreme's are just too jerkfacey to understand when someone is making a genuine effort to not cause problems. I haven't even touched the thermostat in weeks, even thought it's been in the thirties and he STILL turns the AC on, and I stopped running up the electric bill months ago.

Well, fuck all of that. The gloves are coming off after this latest in Jerkface News. After I left for work this morning, Jerkface had the nerve, the audacity, to stomp around the kitchen slamming things for ten minutes. When Padawan asked him what was wrong, do you know what he said?
Chanel was slamming dishes and cabinets and the door this morning and woke me up. She's too noisy. 
Excuse me? 

Let me clarify: I had my coffee cup already sitting out this morning. I did not need to go in the cabinets for the coffee mug. As for slamming dishes? What dishes? I rinsed my mug out and put it in the dishwasher. The only noise I made was opening and closing the refrigerator once, and opening and closing the microwave twice. And correct me if I'm wrong, but there's really no fucking way to keep a microwave from making a noise when you close it. It's just not possible. You have to push it at the end to close it, and when it closes it makes a loud fucking noise. 

And I'm being too noisy with cabinets I didn't touch and dishes I didn't bother with? He's fucking out of his mind insane. And he's even more crazy if he thinks this is going to be the end of it. Because Padawan, in an effort to make peace, has asked me to turn the door knobs on any door I'm shutting before I close it so it won't make a click, and he's asking me to hold the cabinets until they are closed before letting go. And for me to try to find a quieter way to make my breakfast.

Breakfast is a Chai Latte made in the fucking microwave! There is no quieter way to fucking make my breakfast! As for trying to remember to turn the knobs before closing they are both out of their fucking minds. Half the time I forget to close the doors anyway and have to go back and shut them. I'd prefer to leave the doors open, to be honest. I'm going in and out of the bedroom and bathroom so many times it's a hassle to close and open them repeatedly. 

I'm not about to try to remember to turn fucking knobs before closing doors. I can't even remember to close the doors! Half the time I don't even close the front door all the way and have to go back and pull it too again.  I'm not about to add yet ANOTHER thing to the list of things I have to do properly in the morning. Besides, he couldn't remember his fucking promise to not touch the damn AC during the daylight hours over the summer, even though it made me miserable, why the fuck should I care about making his sleepy time better for him? I can promise you, he's not a nicer person when he's well rested. He's a Jerkface almost all of the time. There's no advantage in not interfering with his sleep.

But at least when I make noise, which is rare, it's a fucking accident. Most of the time. Padawan has pretty much broken me of my slamming the bathroom door in his face when I'm pissed at him habit. Jerkface if different. He's twenty five years old and he's going around slamming things because he's pissed off at me and he knows I'm not even there. What the fuck is the point of being mad at somebody and showing it if they aren't there to see it? The point was utterly lost on me. And if I had been home I would have popped my head out and said, "Shut the fuck up! You're an adult!" or something to that effect. Maybe without the swearing.

The part that gets me most about this whole thing, though, is that Padawan was home this morning and he's not shy about letting me know when I'm being too loud in the mornings. He jumps down my throat when I'm unnecessarily noisy because he doesn't want to disturb Jerkface. Padawan did not once ask me to keep it down this morning because I was silent as the fucking grave, and yet he's trying to humor that bastard by asking me to turn the damn knobs. 

This, I feel, is a betrayal. I've been really good about not throwing or slamming things when I'm mad. I haven't done it in something like six months. Maybe since May. That's more than six months, even. And nobody even appreciates this because apparently my best efforts of being easy to live with are just not good enough for Jerkface. 

Well fuck. That. 

He wants to complain about me being noisy? I'll give him fucking noise. I'll turn on my iPod every morning, sing along obnoxiously, especially in the kitchen. I will open and close every cabinet in the kitchen, the fridge and freezer, even the fucking pantry. I will open and close the microwave three or four times. I will open and close the bedroom door until I'm fucking sick to death of doing it. I will turn on the dishwasher, the ice maker, the washer and dryer, and I'll turn the fucking heater on for good measure just to spite him. I am so fucking sick of him going behind my back, never to my face. This is the same man who got mad at me for tripping as I was leaving my room and accidentally slamming the door in the middle of the fucking afternoon when he wasn't even sleeping. I'm tired of walking on eggshells just to have yet another complaint added to my list of grievances against Jerkface.

What about my list of grievances? What about my fucking needs? Don't I have a basic human right to be comfortable in my own fucking home? It's bad enough that my oldest friend from way before puberty was insulted and turned out of an apartment I pay one third of the rent for, but now I'm personally being attacked as well? This is the final straw! We've got twenty days left and I'm coming from a "No Holds Barred" system of reasoning. If he thought life sucked before I was royally pissed, he's going to really see how much fun sucking I can do in a single damn morning. 

Just watch and see if I don't.

After such a long absence you're probably expecting something more profound. My apologies.

I've been gone for a while. Sorry about that...if anybody noticed or cared. I just didn't know what to say after I finished saying what I needed to say. Does that make sense? Well, it made sense in my head.

Anyway, I haven't only been gone because I've been stuck in an Emo cycle of down swinging emotional nonsense. I've also been dedicating myself to my newest fan fiction, which is surprisingly rising in popularity. Would you guys believe that in the world of Harry Potter Fan Fiction I am famous? Twenty thousand readers at last count for my various stories that have been selected favorites, and the highest honor of all: Favorite Author of three thousand individuals. 

I can't help feeling proud. I'm a geek at heart and I love to have people loving what I write, even if Fan Fiction is considered bottom of the barrel writing. And a lot of it is. Some of it is so awfully written, so grammatically incorrect, so nonsensical or perverted I find myself wondering how people have the nerve to write such trash, let alone publish it. Furthermore, I wonder why on earth it was approved for validation. Because nothing you write on HPFF gets published without someone on the team reading and validating it, unless you're a Trusted Author. And you can't be a Trusted Author if your work is badly written, badly plotted, or full of grammar mistakes.  So I find myself confused as to how some of the drivel that passes as a story on the internet manages to get fans. I can't read more than three sentences of most of it.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on ranting about fan fiction today. I wasn't even going to bore you with the tales of my Thanksgiving, except to say that Padawan's grandmother thought I was Little Sister because the last time she saw me I was blond.

Nope, I just wanted to share a little story from yesterday. I was sitting in the living room mindlessly surfing the Internet while Padawan took a nap in the relative warmth of the bedroom, when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in a place there should have been no movement. Our balcony.

Padawan, Jerkface, and I live on the third floor of our building. There are no trees within thirty feet of our building, and no drainpipes by our apartment. Movement is very odd out there. And Choo Choo, who had been sitting in my lap at the time, noticed as well, so we both turned to look.

And there, sitting on the other side of the sliding glass door was a cheeky little squirrel, shaking its tale and chattering at Choo Choo, who immediately rushed to the door and started shaking her tale and whining because she wanted to go play with the furry animal that was about her size. I was so amused by the communication between the two of them that I had to take a picture. Unfortunately the squirrel moved away from the door and to the other side of the railing when I came up, and I only had my camera phone on me at the time.

But I still got pictures of the interlude they carried on through the glass.

It was so entirely cute and adorable and I really, REALLY wanted to open the door for Choo Choo to go outside to see what would happen. But I knew that if I opened the door the noise and vibration would scare the poor squirrel away and then Choo Choo would be sad. So I just took pictures and tried to get Padawan to get up to come watch, but he was entirely too engrossed in staying warm and cozy in the bed to come out and watch Choo Choo and Squirrel play through the glass. But that's pretty much all I had to say. Disappointed? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is why I forgive Daddy.

My youngest sister, Wheat, and Daddy have officially given up on trying to have a father/daughter relationship. I'm pretty sure message in my father's last text indicated that he no longer considers her a daughter, and since she stopped called him Dad three years ago, I'm confused as to why she's upset about this. But she's basically made it clear that she expects me to stop talking to him at all for this. And Padawan is frankly confused as to why on earth I'm not pissed at Daddy for never visiting, for hardly calling, for not sending presents.

And the answer is simple: it's not because I've always been a Daddy's Girl. It's not because I'm not angry that he left us with Mom, even though I understand exactly why he had to. It's not because he was the only person who ever bothered defending me from my Mother in my childhood when she would scream at me for anything and everything that went wrong, even when it was clearly not my fault.

It's because Daddy saved me.

I know that sounds strange...but let me see if I can get this down properly.

When I was ten, Daddy left us. We didn't know he'd left: we assumed that we would follow after Christmas, like it had been planned. We didn't realize that Mom had decided not to follow Daddy, that they had agreed it was best to just give up their marriage because, quite frankly, it was failing fast. We didn't know that I had been the source of the argument that had marked the end of their marriage. I didn't know that Mom was waiting for any chance she could take to get rid of me, because she blamed me. (I'm not just saying that because I believe it: I'm saying it because Mom admitted it a few years ago, and she's very sorry for how all of this happened, and she'd do it all differently if she could. So for those of you who are mothers and believe that no mother could ever be so cruel, you have to keep in my mind that my mother is severely bi-polar, and we've NEVER gotten along well, and this is how it REALLY was.)

Shortly after Daddy left and before we realized he was gone for good, I threatened a serious suicide. I was ten years old, lonely in a house full of sisters and a mother who did not understand me, emotionally destroyed by a tragedy I don't ever talk about, I had no real friends I could talk to because I didn't like children and couldn't trust adults, I was miserable, and I had recently seen Romeo & Juliette on TV and saw Juliette stab herself. Suicide seemed like a pretty good idea. I'm not sure I really understood the concept of Death too well then. 

But after it happened (I wasn't harmed) Mom realized she had the perfect way to get rid of me. The very next day she had me admitted to a children's psychiatric ward, insisting that she believed I was a danger to myself and to my sisters and even to her. I was left there under promises of being able to go home every night after therapy. I didn't realize she intended me to stay there until she never showed up that night, and then my psychiatrist told me that I had to stay in the hospital until I was better because Mom was afraid of me.

I'd never in my life demonstrated a violent tendency towards anybody but myself, and even that was only the  one time. I could not understand how my mother had led these people to believe I was a danger to anyone other than myself. I don't even understand how they managed to believe I was still a danger to anyone after a month of seeing me sit quietly in a corner and read, only speaking in group therapy because they told me if I didn't participate in Group I would never get to leave.

I was in there for two months with absolutely no hope of being let out, because every time my family therapy came up, only my mother was there, and she painted a picture of me that was such a gross exaggeration of my behavior that I felt lonely and unloved and betrayed. When I argued anything she said, when I gave MY version of how life was at home, about how I was always the scapegoat even when I hadn't been in the room when something happened, or how my mother would scream at me and call me names and of COURSE I yelled back because nobody likes to be treated like that, Mom would call me a liar. And there was nobody there to defend me, nobody there to say, "No, she's not lying."

And one day, when I was on my way to family therapy, there he was when I went into the room, looking more pissed off than I had ever seen him in my entire life. When the therapist asked him for a description of my behavior, he painted such a different a portrait of me that it sounded like my parents had been talking about a completely different child. And since both of my parents were home by the time I got home from school and neither of them worked on weekends, it was entirely impossible that I was showing different sides of myself to different parents. And when my Mom actually had the nerve to say that, "Of course he thinks she's perfect. She's always been his favorite. He only sees what he wants to see!" he turned around and gave her a verbal lashing like I've never heard an adult give to another in my life, in real life or the movies.

When he finished with her, he turned to the therapist and said, "I don't know what the hell is wrong with you people. Has she demonstrated any of the behavior her mother has described in the two months that she's been here? Has she been violent or aggressive towards the other children?" Of course the therapist had to answer in the negative, because I was a fine example of model behavior. "Then clearly you can see she doesn't belong here!"

And I never spent another night in that mental facility. He packed my things and signed the paperwork pulling me out because he was my parent, too, and legally was just as capable of pulling me from the hospital as my mother. The entire way home Daddy screamed at Mom, demanding to know why she hadn't told him where she'd sent me, why she'd lied about where I'd been when he'd called, how she'd had the nerve to send me away.

She only said that after my suicide threat, she didn't think she could handle me, and thought I was better off away from her and my sisters where people who knew what to do could take care of me. She didn't explain why she didn't tell him where I was, but she asked how he'd found out.

"Tom called me and tore me a new one last night for letting you keep her in that place for so long! Of course I felt like a damn fool when I said I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, because as far as I knew Chanel was always over at his house or a friend's house when I called! I should have known you were full of shit when you said she went to spend the night with a school friend! She doesn't like her classmates!"

And then I understood everything. I understood that Mom had kept my hospitalization a secret from him. I understood that Uncle Tom knew that I didn't belong in there when he visited me two days before. I understood that Daddy had flown down to save me within hours of finding out where I was. And I knew that my Mom and I would never have a healthy relationship because she resented me and blamed me for the final argument that had marked the beginning of a long battle for divorce.

That's what I mean when I say that Daddy saved me. He flew down and pulled me out of a hell I hadn't belonged in. It was his greatest, most memorable act that he gave in my defense. And so in the years that followed, when he called less and less, and visited less and less, and sent presents less and less, and started to forget birthdays, I would not hold it against him, because he saved me.

And maybe he has a new family and calls less than he used to, and maybe he forgot my birthday this year, and maybe he didn't come visit this past summer like he promised he would, but it doesn't matter enough to make me hate him. I have no problem telling him that I'm angry with him, that he's let me down or hurt my feelings. I never try to hide my feelings from him. But I love him, and I always will. I will always see him as I did that day  when I wandered in for family therapy and found him sitting in wait, an avenging angel waiting to deliver me from evil.

Maybe it doesn't make sense. Padawan doesn't understand, but then again, Padawan has the world's most caring, sweet mother, and his father died when he was eighteen, but he was sure of both of his parents' love and care. Maybe only someone who has ever spent time in a mental facility against their will could understand how horrifying it is, even when you receive "the best care the state has to offer." While you're there, you're just hoping for a get out of jail free card, because no matter how sick you are, there's always someone sicker sitting next to you that scares you. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

HP7P1 and "The Walking Dead"

HP7P1 was freaking awesome. I loved it. Except this one scene where Hollywood took some creative privileges that it didn't have and made someone naked with someone else when they were never, even in someone else's worst nightmares, naked together. Also, they completely left out a small piece of information which I thought made all of the difference in the books...And that's as close to a spoiler as I'm going to get, because I don't know if everyone has seen it.

I admit, I worried about them splitting the movies up into two parts to get it all done right. I was concerned they would leave off somewhere incredibly inconvenient, and I frankly didn't think there was anywhere they could stop that wouldn't suck completely. The pleasant surprise was that they ended it well, though I do hate a cliffhanger in a movie almost as much as I hate it in a book.

Of course, what really sucked about this whole thing was that after the movie I couldn't help ranting that the second movie was going to put into visual concrete the biggest cop-out any writer has ever done in a book before to appease fans, and I went off about people dying and then not staying dead, though it would have been tragic and beautiful if he had stayed dead, and then of course Padawan just popped up, "Hey! Don't ruin it for me!"

And then he had the nerve, that audacity, to stand there and tell me that he had stopped reading the series after the third book and he had no idea where this was going and had no idea how it ended. You can rest assured, I was disappointed in him. And then I felt bad for spoiling the ending for him. And then I went on to being angry that he had copped out of the series right before the best book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I mean, WTF, mate? Who stops in the middle of a series but goes on to watch all of the movies?

"Why read the story when the movie tells it for me?"

Gah. How could he say such a thing????

Yes. I was so baffled by his reasoning that I actually had to end with four question marks. 

Anyway, enough of HP7P1. I've been obsessing over Tom Felton lately, and if I keep going I might wind up breaking down, in minute detail, every second of Tom's five minutes on screen in which he totally owned, while managing to look damn sexy, despite his obvious fear of Bellatrix and Voldemort. (Haha...I said his name. Or wrote it. Whee!) 

Moving on...

I'm pretty much the biggest chicken on the planet. I can't watch even the dumbest horror movies without hiding under the covers, and Zombies terrify me, which is why it is completely shocking to me and everyone I know that I absolutely love that new AMC series The Walking Dead and the movie Zombieland. Alright, maybe the reason I love Zombieland so much is because it's really just a lot of humor with some Zombies in it, and it has Jesse Eisenberg...

But there is no actor I'm attracted to or any comic relief in The Walking Dead, so I can't figure out how I manage to love it so much. Despite my difficulties with far less disgusting movies, sitting through The Walking Dead isn't difficult for me: I don't feel the need to hide or scream (except in cheering on the Survivors) or anything while I'm watching. Although, I will admit that episode three where they dismembered the Walker and rubbed his insides all over themselves so they smelled dead and not alive made my stomach churn with disgust and I had to look away a couple of times.

And according to this article there are very few people who could actually sleep as soundly as I did after watching last night's stellar episode. And I have to say, mad props to whoever directed and wrote the screenplays of Walking Dead, because it's a really realistic experience. It feels like it's actually is happening, or could happen, which is probably why it makes it so hard for other people to sit through and sleep after. As for me, well, I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing. Though it feels like reality to watch the characters, I can separate myself from it because, hey, it's not happening to me. Whereas with other Zombie flicks it's so impossible and obviously fake that my imagination takes off after sleepy-sleeps and my mind creates a monstrous embellishment of the already ludicrous scenes, and I have horrifying nightmares that leave me cowering in fear of the closet and the space between the bed and the floor where monsters might be lurking in the darkness, waiting to grab my small ankles and take a bite of my calf. 

Anyway, I've received a list of characters and their statuses (alive, deceased, unknown) as of the latest issue of the comic on which it is all based, but I'm not sharing it with any of you because that would truly spoil the whole thing for everyone. I had to read the list because suspense doesn't really sit well with me, and it's easier for me to know what's going to happen than it is for me to sit there biting my nails and screaming encouragement to the characters. (Run, Glenn! Run faster! Gah!) 

Also, if The Walking Dead had been a book instead of a comic, I would have read it after watching episode one and would totally have already known this information in the first place. I'm even just a little tempted to buy the comic books just to know it all, but I've never like comic books or even real books with illustrations because I like to imagine everything myself and not have it painted out for me. Also, there's something like 78 issues of The Walking Dead and that would be one expensive investment if we're talking five bucks an issue, which seems like a reasonable price for a comic book. I don't really know: the only comic books I ever read were Batman, and even then they were a gift so I have no idea how much they cost then or now. 

But that is neither here nor there. Back to the point: if you guys haven't been watching AMC's The Walking Dead, you should start, because if I can enjoy it, and I'm a big chicken, then anyone can. Except children. I would totally never recommend that you allow anyone under the age of thirteen to watch this series because it is horrifyingly graphic, realistic, and disgusting. Padawan and I would never in a million years let Little Brother watch this show, even in daylight, because it's just too scary for children. (It's too scary for me, except that I can distance myself from it and not be scared. But if I was living it, I would totally be horrified. Or a more compassionate person.) But anyone over the age of thirteen can certainly love watching this series, even though it IS right before bed time. I just wouldn't try to eat while watching it. You might lose your dinner.

To end on a lighter note, I'm hungry and feel like eating lunch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is just rambling.

Who is excited to see the new Harry Potter movie starring Tom Felton?

*raises hand* I am!

That's right. In three short hours, yours truly will be seated at the Alamo Drafthouse (the only right way to see a movie) between Padawan and Little Brother, happily watching the magic unfold before my eyes on the big screen. While enjoying a fattening, large, unhealthy meal probably topped with a margarita and chocolate chips cookies served with Vanilla Ice Cream. But  you never know, maybe I'll just eat pizza and salad. (Is that the healthier alternative?) Oh, who cares. I've lost four more pounds (four!) without even trying (maybe it's the blood loss?) so I think a good gorging is well deserved. Also, I'm celebrating the fact that my body reset was successful, and as of nine o'clock yesterday morning, the bleed out was finished.

*high five* I don't know why the doctor didn't just suggest that in the first place instead all of that BS about bleed tests and monitoring the bleeding and blah blah blah. But then again, she did fail to warn me that something as common as grapefruit juice would completely void my birth control, so maybe she's just not the most responsible doctor in the world. But what can you do? Insurance is expensive and this doctor is a hell of a lot cheaper than the others. 

I am still very sad, however, that I missed the Midnight Release. Have I mentioned that I have been present at every single Midnight Release for Harry Potter? This is the first one I was unable to attend, and it just about broke my small, shallow heart. And let's face it, if I could have convinced Padawan to go ahead and do it anyway, I would have. Padawan is more honorable than me. See, we promised Little Brother we wouldn't see it without him, and the Midnight release was on a school night, so we couldn't take him with us. So we sacrificed our happiness for his so we could take him tonight. Padawan doesn't really care so much. Me? Well, I'm more selfish than Padawan. I still wish we had gone to the Midnight Release without Little Brother and just saw it again with him today. 

Speaking of Little Brother, though, we babysat him last night while his Mother went to visit Little Sister in jail. She was sentenced and shipped off on Thursday. And where does Little Brother think his sister is? Why, he's been told, by Mother and not Padawan, that she's working at the jail. Not sent to jail because she broke two important laws. But working there. Padawan and I are all for telling him the truth, but Mother won't hear of it. Apparently she thinks it might traumatize him or something. I personally think he's not that stupid and he knows exactly where his sister is, but then again, I tend to give children more credit than most people because I understood lots of things I wasn't supposed to as a child. Anyway, we don't normally watch him on Saturday nights, so I was all set to go home and watch the first season of Rugrats (a childhood favorite) and I told Little Brother he could watch it with me. 

What did he do? Immediately walked into our bedroom, turned on the TV, and started watching his tacky cartoons where the men are all buff and stupid, and the girls are all dressed like teenage prostitutes. I don't allow that kind of trash on my TV. If he wants to watch cartoons, that's fine. But none of that rot your brain trash that they play on TV these days. But when I put on Rugrats (a show about babies with big imaginations) he started to pout.

I do not tolerate pouting children. It doesn't make me feel sorry for them. It irritates me. So I told him we could pick out something together if he didn't want to watch Rugrats, and he stayed with his head under the covers, wallowing in his one man pity party. 

"Well, if you're just going to lay there and pout, I can just put you in the corner." I don't like putting children in the corner. It wasn't a punishment for me as a child, and it's kind of stupid. Padawan uses the corner as a threat and a real punishment, and Little Brother hates it. But I don't like sticking him in the corner, anyway, so this was an empty threat and I would not have used it if he hadn't been pouting under MY quilt for no reason.

Well, he took his head out and said, "I'm not pouting!" as he wiped his eyes. Even worse, he was crying for absolutely no reason. *rolls eyes* Even just remembering that irritates me. He was crying because I wouldn't let him watch some stupid, tacky, no plot cartoons. What is wrong with children today?

But the threat worked, and we picked Quest for Camelot together. But he watched it for all of five seconds before picking up Padawan's iPhone and playing silly games on it. Which irritated me further, so I said, "If you're not even going to watch the movie, I'm going to put Rugrats back on." He started paying attention again.

But I don't think he liked it. I don't think he knew who King Arthur was, or Merlin, or anything about Excalibur and the Knights of the Round Table. I think the entire point of this movie was irrevocably lost on him, and I think the songs bored him. This is a kid that can't sit at a table in a restaurant for five minutes without putting his feet on the seat or trying to get up to wander around, movies with music are even less interesting to him.

And as I watched the movie, I just couldn't help thinking that if I could have children, I still wouldn't because what if my kids liked trashy cartoons and stupid humor and stupid games and couldn't stand to read or learn about King Arthur?

I think I probably sound pretty horrible for that. It's not that I think Little Brother is stupid. I just think that he has been indulged and allowed to do whatever he wants to much, so his interests are not intellectually stimulating, and this is why he needs a tutor. If he could actually sit through a movie with music, if he could pick up a book that wasn't a comic or Star Wars related, if he could actually do something other than watch cartoons and play games, he'd be a better student. And probably less irritating on days when my patience is already short thanks to some thieves and security monitors that don't do anything because they're pointed in all of the wrong directions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I got distracted and wound up writing this instead.

First, I'm going to let my girly/nerdy side hang out and say that Tom Felton was voted the sexiest actor in the Harry Potter movies, followed by Robert Pattinson, and then Daniel Radcliffe (presumably...I didn't actually read the article. I just watched a video. There's responsible blogging for you.) Twilight fans everywhere were shocked by this sudden turn of events. I'm not really surprised since most Twilight fans probably voted for Rob. Me? Well, I love Twilight and all, but when I read the books (long before the movies came out) I always pictured Tom Felton as Edward. I still do when I reread them. Weird, right? Since Tom is blond and Edward isn't, and even weirder since they ultimately decided to have an actor from Harry Potter playing Edward. Why couldn't it have been Tom? I will never know. But anyway, it's no surprise to me that Tom was voted sexiest. I'm not a fan of blond men, usually, but I love Tom Felton. Maybe because I've always loved Draco Malfoy. I don't really know.

And since I'm already on my nerdy/girly streak I'll go ahead and add that Jesse Eisenberg and his costars from The Social Network were voted the Sexiest Geeks Alive by Entertainment Weekly. No offense to EW, but they seriously need to look up the definition of the word "geek," because I think they totally screwed that up when they included Justin Timberlake in that. Justin might play a geekish character in that movie, but he is by no stretch of the human imagination a geek. He doesn't even pull off the "geek" character convincingly. And it frankly irritates me that all of the articles I found about the movie and the "Sexiest Geeks" focus on Justin (and his lame pop music) and not Jesse

Let me just get this out: Jesse Eisenberg is my latest form of celebrity crush, second only to Taylor Swift in my world. (She's my woman crush who moved Jim Sturgess from number one to number two.) Ever since I first saw him in Adventureland, I felt the same way I did when I first saw Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings. Don't judge me, I was thirteen and impressionable. Jesse is everything that I find attractive in a man: pale, thin, brown haired, blue eyed, and endearingly shy and awkward. Every man I have ever dated has met this criteria (except for High School Boyfriend that was tanned and well made in a toned sense because he played football, but he was still a nerd). This is the type I am unswervingly attracted to: geeks/nerds. I find Jesse lovable in the same way I find Padawan lovable: there's just something irresistible in their mannerisms that it undeniably sexy. (My sisters do not agree.) 

Anyway, watching Jesse on Conan last night completely and totally reaffirmed my belief that he is the embodiment of sexy nerdy-ness, and Michael Cera (who was on Conan last week) comes in at a close second in nerd-ness, except that Miachael is far less endearingly awkward in interviews. But he's still adorable. And it makes me wonder how in the hell Entertainment Weekly so abominably skewed the word "geek" by including Timberlake. And making him the main topic. I'm seriously baffled that they bothered putting anything about Jesse and what's the other guy's name in at all since they focused almost exclusively on Justin Timberlake. For all that they were mentioned, they might as well have not been on the cover at all because they were an afterthought. It was really an article saying Timberlake was the sexiest geek alive. I'm not sorry to say that he's not. He's not a geek, he isn't a sexy geek, and more importantly he's not even sexy at all. I'm sorry for all of you women who think he is, but he's just...so overrated. And he's a liar. He never brought sexy back, he just annoyed the hell out of anyone with ears with his declaration to do so.

And while we're talking about sexy men, has anyone aside from me ever found Conan attractive? Gingery and tall and lanky, (and let's be honest: I'm pretty sure Tom Felton was a natural ginger thanks to his early childhood performance in The Borrowers) he's so funny and charming that I just can't thinking, "God, he's an attractive man."  The same goes for Alan Rickman, who stole my heart with his role of Colonel Brandon in the 1995 version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, in which he easily upstaged the ever-popular Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars and Greg Wise as the scoundrel John Willoughby. I don't think I've ever heard anyone my age, or even anyone a few years older than me, declare that Alan Rickman is far more attractive than Hugh Grant. But, I've personally never been particularly fond of Hugh Grant. The only character I found more endearing than the Colonel was Mr. Palmer, played by a younger and still impossibly sarcastic Hugh Laurie. And I think everybody except my grandmother has some form of crush on Hugh Laurie, so that's not all that unusual I guess.

You know...I was planning on giving my opinion on eating at the table like a family, but I somehow only managed to work in a bunch of irrelevant, pop-culture drivel that means absolutely nothing except that I have absolutely no life because I bother keeping up with these things. (Okay, most of my pop-culture news comes from watching Conan, and I'm proud of that, but it's still sad to blog about it. Maybe.)

But since I've already gone down the pop-culture path of no return can I just say that I have lost all respect for Pistachios and will probably never eat them again? Surely you know why. I can't be the only person in the world that's seen that Pistachios commercial in which Snooki (that tacky, fat, bright orange oompa loompa from Jersey Shore) uses a tanning bed to crack open a pistachio before eating it. And then the tag line says, "Snooki does it with UV rays." I don't even know where to start on this one. Her whoreish costume that makes her look like a prostitute propositioning the viewer? The ridiculous way of using a tanning bed to crack open a nut? The confusing message they give when they say, "Snooki does it with UV rays?" This commercial makes no sense and is tacky.

It just makes me want to know...what the hell is wrong with the world? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's all because of Grapefruit Juice. Thanks, Doc, for the warning.

You know what? I've never understood those scenes in movies where someone wakes up in a hospital in horrible pain, and they've got a white gown on and there's that stupid beeping from the monitors and they see someone, usually a nurse, and say, "Am I dead?"

It irritates me. Why? Because if you were dead, it just wouldn't hurt.

Every time I feel this agony, I know very well that I am not dead, because dead would feel so much better than the alien in my stomach trying to rip it's way out. It is just baffling to me that writers seem to think that the first thing a victim of some horrible crime will say, "Am I dead?" despite the clear indication that they aren't because there is pain.

It would make more sense if they woke up and said, "Please, kill me now, I can't stand the pain." In fact, that's exactly what I screamed when I woke up at three o'clock this morning, certain I was already dying and that the only way to end the pain was to shorten the process and end it right then. 

Of course, all I did was wake up Padawan, who hadn't understood what I'd screamed, he only knew that I had screamed and I was tossing and turning and crying because I was hurting. And since I'm clearly writing this right now and still in ridiculous amounts of pain, it's very clear he didn't do me the favor of putting me out of my misery. But he did heat up my rice sock, which helped enough to ease me back to sleep for a few hours.

Really, I knew this would happen. I knew that when I decided to go ahead and just reset my body that there would be no turning back and I would have to endure pain and more pain for a week. I knew that I would have to see it through from Sunday to Sunday and that anything in between would be necessary to stop the hemorrhaging.

Oh, and I now know what the hell through my body off in the first place. And I will just give SOMEBODY the benefit of the doubt and assume that he had NO IDEA what he was doing when he did it. But basically a gallon of Grapefruit juice came into my possession and I was drinking it every day for a month, and THAT'S what caused this whole problem. Grapefruit evidently prevents estrogen from being absorbed into the body, which is bad news for women on birth control. So basically when I was drinking the juice it was like I was suddenly not taking my BC and my body freaked out and went into overload. And Padawan and I were shocked when I found that article. But we're not blaming the giver of the juice because, being male, he probably didn't know what the hell he was doing.

But I'd like to rip his testicles off and deep fry them in front of him before forcing them down his throat because, accidentally or not, he's the reason I've been suffering for the last month and two weeks, and he's the reason I had to hit reset. Which makes him responsible for THIS right now. Stupid bastard.

And you know what? I think my doctor shares some responsibility in this, because grapefruit juice is something pretty common for people to drink. Shouldn't she have WARNED me that it would negate my BC before I went on the Pill? I mean, she warned me about antibiotics, but not the grapefruit. And when I called and asked they said, "Oh, yeah, that happens a lot." Well it's a damn good thing I'm not capable of having children, otherwise I might have wound up pregnant thanks to their lack of warning. 

I'm angry. And typing really hard like this makes the pain easier. But I think I'm going to go and curl up in the fetal position and cry for a while again because that also makes me feel a little better. If you've never noticed, sometimes all you've got is the scream, and it does help.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

R.I.P. Pink Lady: You will always be remembered with love and respect.

I just thought I should let you guys know that I sent Pink Lady back to Amazon today. Yes, I was very sad to do it, but she had a defect that made the ink stuff leak into the screen, and it wouldn't go away no matter how many times I restarted it while begging the God of Books to make it better. I had no choice after a week of enduring that growing spot interfering with the words on my screen. It was like having a giant ink blob on every page in a book you're reading, except it was on every page in every book I tried to read. I gave it my best, but it was just too freaking irritating.

On the bright side, if Customer Service everywhere could just watch the Amazon people go and emulate them, there would be nothing but customer satisfaction everywhere (except for those hateful people that just love to be mean to people when something isn't perfect). I literally held for less than a minute, and after less than five minutes of  conversation I had a new Kindle shipped to me scheduled for next day delivery, and an e-mail with a return label for my poor broken Pink Lady.

Now, I should have sent Pink Lady back the day after I got the replacement, but I guess they give you thirty days for a reason. They must have known how attached I was and how sad I felt at having to send my cheerful little companion away. Because, like all of my books on my shelf that I love and cherish, Pink Lady had become one of my favorite take with me everywhere companions, and it was hard to let her go. I feel like it makes sense to Amazon that I would try to hold onto her for as long as I could.

But, I reached the two week mark yesterday, so I printed up the return label, packaged Pink Lady up in the box she was sent to me in, and sent her off with Padawan to the Post Office to send her back to a place that is probably going to destroy her because, evidently, broken screens can't be replaced. It makes me sad to think she's going to be ripped apart and parted out so that she becomes a part of other Kindles sent in for easily handled repairs.

Meanwhile, I've been sitting around with the new Kindle, but I just can't bring myself to call her a replacement. I can't even stand the idea of putting her in Pink Lady's cover, so I've ordered a new one and I'm trying to think of a name for Kindle number two. I have to think of them as two separate entities. One went away, and I got a new one, but they will never be the same, and I will always miss my Pink Lady.

The problem, of course, is that my new cover also had to be pink because it is the only way to prevent Padawan from taking Kindle with him. Which means that "Pink" must be somewhere in the title, or something close to pink. A friend suggest "Pink Avenger," but that feels like she's trying to make up for the loss of Pink Lady, and that is too much like a replacement. So I can't do that.

And of course I realize that mourning the loss of Pink Lady is probably weird to most people, but then most people don't understand the connection between a girl and her books, and a Kindle is not just a book...she's a lot of books. So the love is really strong. On top of that, giving a name to anything makes it that much more special.

So, in order to seal the friendship between myself and the new Kindle, I have to name her. Otherwise, she's just this electronic thing that I own that is useful, but I don't love. And I have to love my Kindle. 

Basically, I'm begging for name suggestions. Ideas?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I love Karma. It makes me smile.

The closer it gets to move out day, the more excited I feel. Especially since it's not been warmer outside than sixty degrees all week and yet I'm not allowed to have the heater on for more than a few seconds before some stupid Jerkface Butt-Monkey Head goes and switches the AC on and sets the temperature to sixty five or lower.

And I've actually figured out that he can't even feel the difference when I turn the setting to seventy five without turning the heater on. He doesn't notice. It's only when he's walking by the thermostat and he sees the temperature setting that he feels the need to change it. 

Which just proves that he's a Jerkface. He doesn't need to have it really low to be comfortable. He only does it to be a pain in my ass, which is exactly why Karma decided to kick his ass on Saturday night. Yup, that's right, Karma kicked his ass. How? Well, like myself, Jerkface rents a garage every month. And on Saturday while he was working there was a clerical error in the computer and they cleaned out his garage instead of the garage next to it. Which wouldn't have been so bad, except that sitting in a box in his garage was a folder with important paperwork like medical bills, and another folder that had $1200 worth of money orders for his deposit and first months rent for his new apartment. 

Now, when maintenance cleans out a garage or apartment that is supposed to no longer be used, they generally keep anything they find. They go through things to find valuable stuff. So it was no surprise to me when the returned everything in the box except the money orders. However, the folder marked "deposit and first month's rent payment" was still in there. So there is proof that there was money.

However, nobody is coming forward with the $1200 that was inside, and Jerkface is very angry about the whole thing. The office is extremely apologetic, and they are interviewing all of the maintenance staff assigned to clean out the garage, but they are getting nowhere. What they should do, however, since it was their stupid mistake that caused this problem in the first place, is give him his money back so he doesn't sue the hell out of them. Because I would.

But I really don't feel very sorry for him because he's been torturing me since May with ridiculous temperatures that he doesn't even need to be comfortable. Padawan calls it bad luck. I call it Karma. Jerkface calls it theft.

What an Asshat Supreme. Maybe if he had been a little bit nicer to me and to Choo Choo this would never have happened. And maybe if he hadn't also cruelly tortured my beautiful cat Bellatrix it also wouldn't have happened. I've always believed every body gets their comeuppance when they're horrible people. And people who are mean to animals are horrible. There's just something wrong with people who don't like animals, and something seriously fucked up in people who are mean to animals. You can dislike animals without being cruel to them, you know.

All of these reasons are exactly why his garage was mistakenly cleaned out. And while I'm a little sorry that he lost his money and is probably never going to see it again, he did get the rest of his stuff back so it was really mostly just a minor inconvenience to him. 

And I was not mean enough to gloat about it to his face. I believe I gave the impression that I was a little sorry for him at the very least, if not totally sorry. I didn't smile, at least.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I feel like this is all over the place crazy.

Generally, I don't blog on Sundays. Not for any religious reasons. I'm not religious. But because Sundays generally find me sleeping in until noon and watching horribly cheesy movies (Caveman, anyone?) as I relax and enjoy the only part of the weekend I am guaranteed to have off ten of twelve months a year.

But I did promise Relly, my older sister, that I'd put her in my blog. I think she's somehow under the delusion that my blog has a wider following than it does. (I'm up to eight people. That's almost all of my fingers!) I think she likes the idea of being famous on the internet or something.

Anyway, a promise is a promise.

On Friday, while I was enjoying my surprise day off, Mom and Brat and Relly all issued an invitation for me to join them for lunch. They had all driven into Austin together that morning (Mom lives in Georgetown, Relly and Brat live in Lago) to accompany Relly on her trip to the Court House. She had to pay a five hundred dollar ticket, presumably for driving without insurance, but she wouldn't tell us. I'm pretty sure, though, that it was a no insurance ticket. Since they were all in the relative area of my apartment, they picked me up and we headed on over to Texadelphia, a particularly delicious sandwich place that has food that can only be described as orgasmic. 

I don't even like burgers (I despise ground beef) but every six months or so I'll have a craving for the fat and grease and order one. Texadelphia has a mushroom burger that is like heaven on whole wheat buns. It is so good you don't even mind the fact that you can feel your arteries clogging when you bite into the meat. 

Anyway, while we were there, I mentioned Proposition 19 being discussed on Conan (because I love all things Coco and I hate Leno and NBC with a passion that is equaled by nothing) and I said something about how people who are really effing high generally believe they sound brilliant, but they actually sound stupid. 

Relly, a stoner since high school, disagreed. Here is the argument:

"No, I have my best, most awesome, smartest ideas when I'm high as a kite! Yesterday I was watching The Best Little Whore House in Texas and I came up with my best idea ever!

First, let me just say here that any fool can see that no "best idea ever" can possibly come from The Best Little Whore House in Texas. Brat, Mom, and I just started laughing.

"Relly, no good idea could possibly follow The Best Little Whore House in Texas. I'm sorry, but it's just not possible."

"But it is possible! Just listen!" 

And she followed with a half baked scheme to start a bed and breakfast/brothel made with beautiful girls twenty one and over who have no place else to go. 

My sister wants to be a Madame.

And she couldn't understand why we laughed harder and harder the more and more she talked about it. Aside from the fact that prostitution is illegal everywhere except Nevada and she wants to set up shop in Austin, my sister lacks common sense as well as business sense. She can't keep her money to save her life, how is she going to start a bed and breakfast or a brothel? She couldn't afford a down payment on a building.

And then in the middle of our laughing Wheat called Brat. Wheat recently eloped, as you know, and she and her husband are living on their land in Terlingua. We've been waiting for her call. Last week she had a tumor from her breast removed the size of an apple. And while I was pretty sure it was benign (it was smooth around the edges and was able to be pushed around and moved instead of remaining stationary, which are both indicative of a benign tumor) we were all still worried. But we got the call that said, "Hey! My biopsy came back! It was benign!" so we stopped worrying and started celebrating.

Of course, Wheat was upset that we were all out to lunch without her. But we didn't feel bad for her because she eloped and moved five hours away, and it's not our fault. 

And that's about all I have time for right now. I have to finish getting ready because Padawan and I are going to fill out applications for...OUR NEW APARTMENT! Wish us luck on getting it. We really hope we do. It's conveniently located and a good size and brand freaking new, never been lived in, and it's in the right price range and the fenced in dog park is perfect for my nutball dog that likes to run figure eights in wide open spaces leash free. Granted, make almost enough by myself to qualify for the apartment, and that's just hourly not counting commission and monthly inventory. And I have savings, too. So the two of us together should be able to get it. I HOPE HOPE HOPE!!!!!

*clear throat* Sorry. I got a little excited.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What happened while I was not working yesterday

"We missed you! Yesterday was miserable."

Aw, I was missed at work. That's absolutely fabulous.

Unfortunately, my joy at being told how appreciated I am only lasted as long as it took me to clock in and head to my desk. Once in my personal space, I quickly became irritated.

Raspy, who worked the desk for one day, took it upon herself to change my desk around, starting with adjusting and arranging the cord of the phone so she could stick it on the left side of the desk. Raspy is right handed, like myself. So I asked her why she had moved my phone to the other side of the desk.

She said, "Oh, it's easier for customers to use the phone on the left side."

The lines of my phone can not be tied up while customers chat on it. When people need to use the phone, they are given the phones with long extension cords from behind the counter. I can not do my job if I can not answer phones. And now I know that at some point yesterday she let some random, germ infested person use my phone and probably ignored some calls in the process. This was very irritating by itself.

But then I noticed that she took down all of my signs.

"You are under surveillance." 

"Shoplifters will be prosecuted."

"Supervise your children."

"Please Present Sales Receipt."

And my personal favorite, "Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy."

She took all of them down, and the one about the espresso and puppy was actually my personal property that was a gift to me from Dizzy last year. I could maybe forgive the phone thing. And I don't really care about most of those signs. But my personal gift? And then she had no idea where she put it when I asked about it this morning. It took her an hour to dig it up.

Aside from that, she took some of the toys out of the toy box behind my desk and stuck them in the Lost and Found under my desk. Those toys were not lost and found. Those toys are the personal property of the store for children to play with while they are here. It keeps them from playing with expensive things like drum sets and guitars.

When I asked why the toys were in the lost and found, she said, "Oh, they were the small ones I took out of the toy box. I was afraid someone might stick them in their mouths and choke, so I took them away."

Small toys? These toys, while not the size of the stuffed animals and various noisemakers in the box, are too big to go easily in my mouth, and could not possibly fit into the mouth of a child young enough to try it. If she was worried about choking hazards then it would have been much more intelligent of her to remove the LEGOS from the toy box because those are small enough for anyone to swallow.

But even the LEGOS are a moot point because toddlers and babies small enough to want to put toys in their mouths are always supervised by their parents while they play with the toys. No parent is going to walk into a store and just leave their baby at a box of toys unattended, especially when it's made quite clear that the receptionist is not responsible for watching them. Even if I was willing and able to watch their kids, no parent is going to trust a stranger with their baby. 

There was no point in her doing that except to irritate the hell out of me because I had to turn around and dig all of the toys up out of the Lost and Found and put them back in the toy box. And those toys don't even have removable parts. Does she really expect a kid to be able to pick up a dinosaur eight inches long and shove the whole thing in his/her mouth? Unless this kid has excellent gag control and is a master of deep throating, (highly unlikely in a toddler) I can't imagine how she thought the dinosaur was a choking hazard. It's bigger than my hand and is one connected piece of rubber. 

I honestly think she was bored out of her mind yesterday and just decided to do busy work to help pass the time. But rather than cut up old posters for scratch paper, or making new signs for the different departments that have signs that are starting to look wrinkled and worn, she decided to rearrange and "organize" and area of the store she had no right to touch.

I'm sorry, if I worked at an office and a temp took my desk one day while I was out sick, I would be royally pissed if they rearranged my files, changed the picture on my desktop, moved my phone, or put away my personal things. Sitting somewhere for a whole eight hours does not give you the right to change it. That just irritates the person who comes back and uses it every day.

The only person who is allowed to rearrange anything around this desk aside from me is Former-Nun, who works this desk two days a week. And out of respect for my greater share of hours spent here, the only thing she does is move the phone on the two days she works, and then she puts it back to where I have it so that when I come in everything is just as I like it. And she does that without even being asked.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Whee! No work!

I normally blog on Friday's because I'm working at the desk and I have pretty much nothing to do other than answer phones and study the security monitor when we're busy. Today, however, I'm not working at my desk. I'm not even working the counter.

That's right, I'm not at work.

On a Friday.

And you know what rocks about this? I didn't even ask for today off.

Explanation? Due to some poor scheduling, I somehow wound up with fifty hours in one week. How did I do this? Well, I have no idea since I've worked the same days as always. Except for that one day last week when I took off Monday but worked Wednesday. That could have screwed everything up, possibly, but I'm pretty sure our weeks end on Wednesdays, so it wouldn't have mattered.

Either way, it's okay that I have two or three hours of overtime every paycheck, but not ten hours PLUS two or three. Manager gets a call when someone gets that much overtime when there wasn't inventory. So yesterday, while I was organizing our newest section of novelty gift items for people who want to buy musically themed gifts for friends or family, Manager said, "Hey, Chanel, do you want to take Friday or Saturday off?"

Obviously, I would have rather taken Saturday, but I knew that would be impossible before he finished his next sentence. "Raspy can take the phones for you."

My dreams of a lovely Saturday afternoon spent playing with my dog in the dog park, eating ice cream guilt free, writing an epically long chapter for my fan fiction, and generally doing absolutely no work on the first Saturday in I can't even remember how long died when he said her name. Raspy would not argue with him when it came down to working the phones on a Saturday, but she would not stay put, either. She would insist that she couldn't make money if she wasn't selling pianos, she would insist I was costing her money, she would leave the desk and security cameras unattended on our busiest day of the week just to make sure there were no lone customers wandering around the Piano Department. And sure enough, something would get stolen and then our Owner would be pissed.

Though I desperately wanted to be able to say, "I'll take Saturday off," I knew it would be irresponsible to say it, so I said, "Yeah, I'll take tomorrow off." Raspy agreed to phones because she's just Janitor Girl on Fridays and isn't allowed to sell pianos unless the Reverend calls in. 

Now, of course, I'm remembering past times when Raspy was put on the phones so I could have a vacation or a day off for the Doctor or something. When he knows that she's going to be there for a full day, Reverend has no problem calling in so she can fill in. Never mind that she's there to fill in for me if it saves him a day of trying to find a way into work because he's too old and senile to be able to drive without killing someone. (I actually have no idea if this is why he doesn't drive himself or not, but it seems plausible.)

If Reverend calls in, Raspy will be put in Piano Department, and someone will have to be taken from behind the counter to do my job. Dizzy is off, Denominator is off, Manager is off, and Coffin always calls in or comes in four hours late because Manager is afraid to fire him because he's a Mexican and Manager doesn't want to be accused of being Racist. (Which he is, and he's also sexist.) So Coffin takes advantage and literally shows up when he wants to or calls and tells ME to tell Manager he's not coming in. He doesn't even have to talk to the Manager about it. Needless to say, Fridays always suck when I AM there, so it's going to be worse today.

I did call this morning to let Jay Jay know that Manger had given me the day off. Manager has a bad habit of giving people days off and then not telling anyone about it so that we end up calling the employee only to be told, "Manger told me I could be off. Check the calender." And it's never on the calender, so we have to call Manager to confirm, and then we're all pissed. Last Friday, we were short four people so we had FOUR employees working our second busiest day, and three of them were supposed to leave at six, so Jay Jay had to stay an extra hour because one person can't work the last hour at the counter alone.

Anyway, when I called Jay Jay before we opened this morning, he had not been left a note or given a call explaining that I wouldn't be there, so I had to tell him about my overtime. Then he asked, "Who did he get to answer? Is it Former-Nun?"

I dreaded this part, but it was inevitable. "No...it's Raspy."

He groaned. "Oh, this is gonna suck so hard. Damn it all." 

Jay Jay likes two receptionists: myself and Former-Nun. We know how to answer phones properly and how to take messages and how to page properly. We are good at our job, and we're generally good at keeping customers happy on the phones and in the store. (Not always: some people are just assholes. Like that guy last week that sent the e-mail. He sent a reply to Manager's reply and also complained about Former-Nun, who he saw playing scrabble on her Kindle. Apparently, this is just as unacceptable in a fifty eight year old woman as it is in a twenty two year old woman. He was extremely pissed about it. And that's when Manager told him not to contact us again.) Jay Jay doesn't like anybody else answering phones. On Thursdays, when Former-Nun goes to lunch, I take over. But every other day, somebody who isn't one of us has to take over for lunch breaks. And Jay Jay hates it.

So an entire day of the least competent filler answering the phones is not something to which he can look forward. Raspy does not know how to put people on hold when multiple lines are ringing: she will ignore the other rings until she has the correct department, then put them on hold and page for one line. The proper way to handle multiple lines ringing is, "*name of store* Hold, please," and then going down the lines until all are answered and on hold. Then you go and answer the lines in order one at a time and connect them to the appropriate department. When you ignore the other lines, somebody behind the counter has to drop whatever they are doing to answer because, at all costs, the phones must be answered.

Raspy also doesn't grasp the concept of "take a message." When someone is with a customer, you take a message. When someone is on lunch, even if they are in the employee kitchen and can hear the pages, you have to take a message. If nobody picks up after two pages, you have to take a message. Raspy will sit there and page and page and page until the caller either hangs up, or somebody yells at her to take a message. And her messages never include the time or date, and never message. Just names and numbers and sometimes a department to direct it to at the top. Her method generally means we can't tell who called first, what department they called for, or what they were looking for so we can call them prepared with their answer with out having to stick them on hold again.

I feel really badly knowing that they're going to have problems with this. I'm afraid of what will happen. Maybe I will go in tomorrow to find the phone lines blew up from lack of answering. Maybe the message book will be completely full of names and numbers Raspy failed to pass on when someone was available. Maybe all of my co-workers will be picketing the front of the store on strike until Manager finds someone to have on call who can competently answer phones when either Former-Nun or myself isn't available to do so. Or I could arrive to have all of my co-workers throw themselves at my feet and beg me to never, ever leave on a Friday again, no matter what. 

*smile* You know, I think I actually like where that thought it taking me.

Hail, Chanel! Queen of Customer Service! 

The alternative to that is they all stone me when I arrive because they're uberly pissed at me for somehow winding up with a fucked up number of hours which led to their torture for nine and a half hours on a short handed busy day.

But I'm hoping for the praise. Of course, I could call to see how things are going...but then I'd just feel guilty knowing how badly things suck and it would ruin my day off. So I think I'll just go on ahead and finish my latte, hop in the shower, and watch rom-coms until Padawan gets home.

P.S. Congratulations to Doug over at I Like Cheese. He has a new bouncing baby.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

People we despise on Facebook: The Arguer

Have any of you ever read The Oatmeal? If you haven't, you totally should. It's funny as hell unless you're one of those people that gets offended really easily. In which case, I'd recommend staying away from it. 

But there's this comic that I particularly love. It's the How to Suck at Facebook comic, and it makes me laugh so hard that I could give the Hyenas from the Lion King a run for their money. But I feel like the writer of The Oatmeal left out a key Facebooker when he created this hilarious masterpiece of satire. 

The Arguer. I'm sure there's a better, more brilliant title for this obnoxious Facebook user, but I'm not the best at coming up with names. So I'll stick with The Arguer. 

This is a person who, like The Rash (definition is in the comic), will comment on everything that you say. But unlike The Rash, who will compliment you or agree with you even if you say "the sky is green with yellow polka dots," The Arguer will disagree with you no matter what you say, or find some way to imply that you are wrong or doing something wrong, and then they will tell you how to do it right or give you the correct answer.

For instance, if I were to get on my Facebook and say, "God, this lady was a totally bitch cake to me for no reason and refused to understand that my job is not to run and fetch things for her," then The Arguer would jump in and say, "Well, technically your job is Reception, which is defined as customer service, so it would be within your job field to help customers find what they are looking for and get them what they need. That's what customer service is about."

And if I were to take the time to explain that, "No, my job is quite literally to stay put at the desk and answer phones. I am not allowed to get up and leave the desk attended," The Arguer would respond with something else, trying to prove he is right. He would say something like, "But if everybody else is busy, your first priority is the customer, and the customer is always right, so you have to help."

And this battle will go on and on and on because he will not admit he is wrong.

If you say, "The weather is nice," he will reply, "Actually, it's too damn sunny."

If you say, "My dog is sneezing. Her allergies are acting up again," he will comment, "Actually, your dog probably has a severe cold. You're risking her life by not taking her to the vet."

There is literally nothing off limits. Even if there was something you posted a week ago, he will keep commenting on it, beating a dead horse until he's convinced that it's not just playing opossum. Even if you stop responding to his comments, he will keep adding more and more and more until he finally realizes that you are no longer paying attention to him.

And then he will pounce on whatever new thing you say.

"Wow, somebody just told me I have amazingly beautiful green eyes! I love it when people notice my eyes!"

And inevitably, he comments.

"Are they color blind? Your eyes are blue."

Yes. This is actually a friend of mine who actually felt the need to argue the color of my eyes. Though, if anybody knows what color my eyes are, it's me. I do have to look at them every day. And while I know that if I wear blue my eyes look bluer, most days of the week my eyes are a brilliant shade of jade green with a blue rim. My eyes are unusual and large and I love them. And there's nothing more irritating then sharing the fact that I got a compliment and somebody goes and tries to ruin the good feeling. 


And so I think The Oatmeal should edit their comment to include this particular Facebook user, because I'm sure everybody has one on their Facebook. And while I do love my friend, and I think he's a good person, sometimes he just doesn't know when to quit and I wind up like this...

Wishing I was a Jedi so I could force choke the shit out of him through the Interwebz, or maybe just force crush his balls so he can't have any more children, because he does not need to reproduce anymore. One kid is more than enough for him, thank you. He doesn't need to be passing on his uselessly confrontational habits onto his offspring.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

At least I can admit that I'm lazy about grooming sometimes.

Padawan returned home after breakfast to find Choo Choo sitting on top of the basket of dirty darks this morning, her bed sitting in the corner of the bathroom, apparently not good enough for her this morning. He was amused, and knew I'd get a laugh, so he took a picture with his iPhone and sent it to me at work. When I opened the file I was surprised, and I laughed for a few minutes before I finally got myself under control. It seems that my dog is determined to get into things she shouldn't this week. I wonder what she will get up to tomorrow?

In other news, I'm playing Receptionist today, as I do every Monday, but Manager was a little busy. The Company's accountant called this morning and said that our registers were off from Saturday. (We only figure this out on Mondays because we are closed on Sundays.) Unfortunately, our system is still stuck in the Jurassic Era, and so the only way to discover the source of a mistake is to go through each and every transaction slip one by one on the phone with the Accountant to discover what doesn't belong. Since Manager was preoccupied, he asked me to go through the lists with the Accountant.

So through the lists I went, through every single transaction number, total, type of payment, and invoice, including work orders and gift cards. It was a really, really long list and I was on the phone for the better part of an hour before we figured out that one of our newer employees rang up a refund as a regular transaction, which threw off the count. But just to make sure that wasn't the only mistake, we still had to go through the rest. In the end, it was balanced out and the employee who made the mistake was "talked to," which pretty much means she said, "You made a silly mistake. Try to be more careful." No real harm.

And after that I went right back to my important activities: creating an Epic Flow Chart for Chapter Three of my latest fan fiction. Like oh-em-gee, I know, I have no life. But you know what? As far as fan fiction goes, I consider mine a cut above the rest because I'm really just rewriting the story,  and I don't throw in any of that sexual smut that I find is present in almost all fan fictions. Not that there isn't romance. All of my stories feature a relationship between Draco and Hermione because...well, that's the way J.K. Rowling should have written it and since she ruined it in the end, I feel I need to go back and fix it.

Anyway, as I was filling out my Epic Flow Chart of Wonderful Plotting (I always plot chapters out by flow chart: this makes it easier for me to keep interest in writing the story, and I'm less likely to write twelve chapters and drop off mid-story) a customer came in and I greeted him. Then he stopped in front of my desk. He looked like he had a question, so I paused my hand and looked up with a smile.

"Did you have a question, sir?"

"What do you call that hairstyle?"

"Um...my hairstyle?"


Well, I thought about the truth versus an awesome name for my "hairstyle". After a few seconds, honesty won out and I shrugged and said, "It's called, 'I didn't feel like brushing my hair after my shower this morning.'"

That made him laugh and he said, "That's awesome!" then gave me a fist bump.

Generally, I try to avoid the fist bump. I mean, I know the way it looks when a skinny white girl does the fist bump: stupid. But this guy was a modern day Hendrix: he looked awesome, so I felt I would look less ridiculous returning the fist bump. That, and it's completely rude to leave a customer hanging, so even if he had been the skinniest and nerdiest of the nerds, I would have had to return the fist bump. But this return was a pleasure.

This is the hairstyle in question. Bear in mind, I took the picture with my phone in fluorescent lighting, so the color is all crappy and weird.

I thought it looked pretty good for hair that hadn't been given the minimum courtesy pull through, but I suppose a more practiced eye probably could tell by looking at me that I haven't actually brushed my hair properly in something like two months because wearing my hair curly means I can just put in some mousse and go, which is great because I hate spending more than a couple of minutes on my hair. I have better things to do, like brushing my teeth for ten minutes and moisturizing my skin.

On a side note: I think this picture proves that I did a fantastic job matching a filler pencil to my hair color as my blond eyebrows clearly match my hair. It almost makes up for my lack of nose in this picture. Maybe if I take the flash off on my phone, my nose will appear? Or maybe it's just doomed to suck in fluorescent lighting because camera phones are not noted for their awesome picture taking abilities. Note the blurred picture of Choo Choo taken from Padawan's iPhone: not great. My camera has a bad habit of making my face look dead white in this lighting. Maybe I can adjust the contrast?

Bah. Not worth the effort. The point of focus should be the "I didn't feel like brushing my hair after my shower this morning" hairstyle. Which is totally awesome. So be envious of my not brushed hair.

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