Friday, July 31, 2009

Bummer, Ted.

Oh, internets. There was a time. Winter of 2004. I was 16, and still high on the whole Pirates of the Caribbean thing. My days were taken up with alternately planning ways for Vanessa Paradis to die, and trying to decide what I should major in if my new career goal was to be Johnny Depp's kept woman. (Incidently, it probably would have been history- look how far we've come.)

I saw Secret Window in theaters four time. Restrained, actually, given the unbelievable and embarrassing number of times I saw Pirates. I loved that movie. Johnny Depp was crazy and creative and adorable and just weird enough that it was funny but not Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas weird that is just kind of off-putting to a little white girl from Bayside who has had it drilled into her by her mother since she was a toddler that anyone with tattoos is unacceptable.

We watched it again tonight, and I still totally love it.

The best part? The end, with the girl from the post office who was totally into him, you know, before he started killing people and then is all pssh, whatevs afterwards. My response? OH MY GOSH YOU DUMB WHORE IT'S JOHNNY DEPP I DON'T CARE THAT HE'S FOND OF DECAPITATION BY SHOVEL PUT UP AND SHUT UP.

Hmm. Maybe I'm the dumb whore.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Attention Span of a Gnat

Yesterday I was going to put up something about how life was generally going better than a year ago, a day when I was so emotionally drained that the sum total of my thoughts regarding my grandfather's funeral was "hey, that soldier guy was pretty hot and who can buy me another drink?"

Shining moment of emotional fortitude.

But by the time I got home and realized that I had to be awake in a very small number of hours, like, three, that...didn't happen.

That same commitment to excellence carried on this morning when I spent the whole hour before opening sitting on the ground in the religion section looking at books because THREE HOURS DID YOU HEAR ME???

(Also, I kind of enjoy getting my theology on while being vaguely unethical by, you know, not working so hard. I enjoy being a walking contradiction.)

Religion is probably my favorite section at work, if only because they refuse to let me place all the Alan Rickman DVDs on one shelf. No, seriously. Because it allows me to be moved, enlightened, made to feel guilty, and be judgemental- ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!! Like my internal monologue this morning-

"Ooh, is it possible to love Benedict XVI more because the picture on the cover of his book about St. Paul is a Caravaggio? I mean, I'm sure he didn't pick that out, but still...I love Caravaggio. And St. Paul! I should buy this book! What better use of my discount...okay. That's right. I'm poor."

"Am I the only person who gets massively confused when faced with the Summa Theologiae? Please tell me no and that I'll still get through graduate school."

"I really hate Bart Erhman. And Kerry Kennedy. And who keeps buying Andrew Greeley more printer ink? That man needs to be cut off. I am sick of his treatises on why he should be allowed to have sex."

Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to say any of those things to actual customers. Pssh. Whatever.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh, the vanity.

Yeah, I just straightened my hair during a severe thunderstorm warning. Like, I held small appliances that were plugged into live electrical outlets NEXT TO MY HEAD.

Because I was worried it was going to get worse and the power would go out, and then I would be stuck looking like a Muppet all day tomorrow and that would just be unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE AND WORTH POSSIBLE ELECTROCUTION I TELL YOU.

There weren't any major lightening strikes, and I managed to get through without frying my self and/or head. Always a good thing.

See? If God had just seen fit to give me nice normal hair that dried in a nice normal way that in no way resembled a flaming bush of Biblical proportions? THIS WOULDN'T BE A CONCERN.

But no. I got the shanty-Irish head of crazy. Thanks a lot, Dad.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I haven't cried today. I didn't drink...a lot. I mostly just feel tired.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Broken Record

One year ago tonight, I was driving home with my cousin and we were talking about how the next few days were going to play out. We knew things weren't good. I was the only one who read that "What to Expect" folder that the hospice people left, but I'm pretty sure everybody knew it was probably only going to be a few days at most.

He said how horrible it was, and how it sucked that we knew it would get worse when he actually died. We talked about how we knew we would all get through it though. That night, I stood in the living room and remembered being there the morning that Grandma died. I remembered feeling so horrible and thinking that we would never get through that. But we did. We got through it. I knew that whatever happened with Grandpa, we would get through that too. That was comforting.

Tonight, I'm not sure how I feel. I think I was right. We've all gotten through the last year. And despite whatever paint fumes-induced raging I may have spewed all over the internet (or how much I may occasionally still feel like that), we got through a year without Grandpa relatively intact.

But it still sucks. I don't know how tomorrow is going to be. I'm guessing it's going to be pretty horrible, because this whole damn year week has been horrible. I'm guessing I'm going to wake up, have a drink, and go back to bed.

(My mom: Yeah, because Grandpa would want us to deal with it by being sloshed.
Me: Um. Yeah. It worked last year! My Lord, my Sunday morning I was so sick I was like, "Yeah, thanks, we loved him too...I need to go sit down now..." And I do think that that is exactly how Mr. I-Used-My-Engineering-Background-To-Make-Beer-Better would want us to deal with it.)

So we've made it. But maybe I'll have to get back to you about the condition we've made it in next year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some days you do...

...and some days you don't. Apparently, I can write every single day for a year if people die, shit goes down, and I have to redo a house; but during a week when I have to work like thirty whole hours and be repeatedly body slammed by a three-year-old who thinks this is like the funniest thing ever? Forget about it. I'm not that busy. I'm not that tired. I've even kind of stopped working out because vermin babies have moved into the basement and like hell I'm going to spend half an hour alone down there at five in the morning while some mouse in the corner plans the quickest and most terrifying way to effect my demise. But with the writing? Meh. Notsomuch.

So remember last week? The whole volleyball fiasco game? I'm (marginally) better at four-square.

Yes. That's right. I don't suck quite as badly at a game that seven-year-olds can play with ease.

Monday, July 20, 2009

40 Years

Yeah, it's a geeky good time here tonight at Chez Morena, as my mother views all things space-related in the same way I view Johnny Depp movies. It is rather cool, and my little baby-of-the-eighties self wishes she could have been around to see it. Mostly I wish Grandpa was around for this, because he would have loved it.

Otherwise, not a whole lot else going on. I spent today doing errands like going to Wal-Mart (left feeling per usual) and the bank (if you're ever looking to rent a house, I highly suggest that you find a ridiculously wealthy couple who have a packed social calendar and no babysitter- it will be highly profitable).

And the Empress will be undergoing some imperial surgery tomorrow, so that is very sad. Although she is more sad that I am working throughout her recovery because (and I quote), "Who will run to get me coffee?"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kathleen & A Bottle of Wine Plus

So you know the bimbo that Jon (of & Kate) is going out with? Who's, like, my age? She's the daughter of the plastic surgeon who performed Kate's tummy tuck.

That, sir, is disgusting.

Why did y'all have to go and ruin that adorable show with the adorable children who will now just grow up to be crack whores and pimps?

It's just sad.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Things I Have Recently Discovered

I've taken to babysitting, because, well, Wisconsin raised tuition and I have credit cards and it makes Jesus weep less than stripping?

ANYWAY. Turns out you pick up a lot.

- The Milwaukee Country Club has a BUNCH of rules and a really long handbook. One that I read, cover-to-cover, and then checked the directory for people I knew. Because I am never going to be listed in that book with two separate addresses, one for summer and one for winter.

- Joe from Blue's Clues is kind of hot. A cursory IMDB search also indicates that he is (most likely) straight and engaged. Oh well. And here I thought I could have adorable children AND not have to keep them entertained.

- The couple, while perfectly nice, have no fricking clue what I've been through in that house. I was playing with the little girl on the floor and the mom went, "Heh, I bet you like coming over hear and having to deal with the hard floors. You must go home with sore knees!" Um. Yes. I tore up this carpeting. I've spend hours sitting on the floor because we got rid of the chairs. I once went home with sore armpits. Playing with racecars for twenty minutes isn't going to kill me. I promise.

- Playing with racecars on MY hardwood floor almost did, though.

- I seriously need to marry into wealth.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Inside Thought

This morning I was working in music, and played The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. A gentleman approached me.

Soon To Be Recognized As Creepy Guy: What song is this?

Morena: It's Music of the Night, from The Phantom of the Opera.

STBRACG: I thought I recognized it. I've actually seen it.

Morena: Oh, that's cool. Did you enjoy it?

STBRACG: Oh, yes. It elicited some very...intense feelings. *wink*

Author's Note: I am not even kidding. He winked at me.

Morena: Um...okay. Well, let me know if you have any other questions. *runs away*


Thinking back, now I'm confused. Was he into the Phantom? Was he into Christine? The weird, controlling, totally-not-cool aspect of their relationship. I don't know. And I don't think I really want to.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


...we can officially cross volleyball player off the list of possible careers. Despite the fact that it was the only unit in gym class that I attended before I got mono and the rest of my freshman year gym class consisted of sitting on the bleachers in cute clothes watching other people get all nasty and sweaty, I suck at volleyball.

I am, however, good at having fun at Bar Louie.

So. You know. There's that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yes. Fantastic timing.

I haven't worked, like, all summer. I have no life. Of course, the week that I have almost full-time hours and actual things to do, I would get a cold.

Okay. No, I don't have to go to Harry Potter at midnight tonight when I have to be up to open the store tomorrow morning. But, dude, it's Snape. Doing something to someone that I'm not going to mention in case there is someone who has been researching penguins in the arctic for the last five years and doesn't want the ending spoiled for her.

But, oh, God. So sick.

Monday, July 13, 2009

He's...really getting too old for this.

Harry Potter 6 tomorrow night, everybody! SO EXCITING. I just reread the book, and honestly? There's a scene in it in which Snape runs.

And my first thought was, "Ooh, that's...not going to be pretty."


Why couldn't they have started making these when A Rick was just a little bit younger.


In other news, my father just pushed a dirty dish towards me, as though it were my job to do his dishes for him. I informed him that this incident would be going on the internet and would survive in cyberspace for longer than he is alive.

Because NO ONE pushes dishes at me. Understood?

I understand that I'm the one who cleans the house. I'm the one who does the dishes that everybody just leaves in the sink. But your individual dirty dish? IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY.

Ah. That feels better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Eagle Odyssey

It took more work to get us all together for a day than it took to orchestrate the Camp David Accords, but dammit, did we have a good time.

And there are three separate Facebook albums up already, with probably two more coming. So if you'd like a minute-by-minute record of the day, check over there.

I think my favorite part? Was Colleen going, "Bringing anything organic into the country?"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I was hoping for more of a circus.

Ernest Borgnine came in to work today to do what was supposed to be an hours long reading and signing thing and ended up being a rather quick wait, what do you mean you're leaving, we have hundreds of people here holding pictures of clowns and what time exactly does the freaking game start?

Yeah. That was a little annoying.

Also annoying were the huge number of people who felt the need to come up to me and tell me how much they disliked the wristband system and that next time we should try something different (they all had ideas, they just had different ones and they were all ridiculous). To which my response was, "Listen, lady, if it worked for Harry Potter 7, it will work for pretty much anything. Now sit down and shut up."

Only I didn't say that. Because I enjoy being able to pay my tuition.

He didn't do anything inappropriate, though. That kind of disappointed me. I've heard him be really skeevy on other interviews, and I was really hoping for something inappropriate, but alas, no. *sigh*

I did, however, come across like four copies of that book written by that priest from Miami? You know, that one? For the low, low price of $3.99. Because, shockingly, no one wanted to know what his 7 Paths to a Deeper Relationship were. I'm guessing at least one path started with, "Remove Roman collar." And perhaps ended with, "Jump ship to the Episcopalians."

One of my coworkers did have a massive crush on Ernie, though, so that made me laugh.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Last night was...interesting. It was fine, the little girl was adorable and well-behaved and went to sleep at 8:30 leaving me free to be paid handsomely to lounge on their brand-new couch and watch Time Warner's digital cable package that I'm too poor to afford. And despite a frantic phone call from my mother ("Do you even know how to work a diaper?" "No, mother, I've maintained a 3.9 GPA without understanding how adhesive strips work.), there were no major mishaps.

Oh. She hit her head with the trapeze from the swing set. But her parents were still home, so that was totally not my fault.

But it was really weird to spend the evening in this house that I've spent so many evenings in before, but with someone else's kid and someone else's stuff all over. It was even weirder because they haven't bought a lot of furniture, so they've used a lot of my grandparents' stuff.

The strangest thing is that they don't know me, and they have no idea what that house means to me. Before she left, the mom got a bottle down from the kitchen cabinet because she wasn't sure I could reach, and my first instinct was, oh, yeah, I had to use a ladder to paint that. When Zoe and I played outside, it was like I was playing with my brother and sister again when we were little. When I grabbed her to stop her from slipping on the stairs all I could think about was how worried I was that Grandpa was going to fall on those steps.

But again. Being paid to be vaguely contemplative and watch BBC America in HD? Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Harry Potter and the Fundamentalist Judgement

For my tenth or eleventh birthday, I received a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It had just been published in the United States, and was hugely popular (although having worked at a bookstore the night the final installment was released, I think I know what the Chicago police felt like in 1968), but mostly controversial at the time. Remember the whole Christian right freaking out about Harry being a wizard and there was talk of censorship and book burning and I'm sure Jerry Falwell said something inappropriate? Yeah, that was going on.

I wasn't a fantasy girl. At all. The entire genre never held any appeal to me. I had plenty of other stuff to read, so I just never read it.

We were, however, hanging out with a lot of fundamentalist Christians at the time (thank you, homeschooling). One of them (actually, not from homeschooling, but whatever) was unbelievably bent out of shape over this whole thing, and took my copy of the book to show her pastor.

(Because he couldn't get his hands on the most popular book of the year? They've only printed 400,000,000 copies.)

I never got it back. I was a little peeved. But mostly scared of what she would say to me if she knew I wanted it back. This was the woman who told us we didn't need our pumpkins for trick-or-treating, because we had Jesus.

Well, yeah. But if I carried around a hollowed-out Jesus head, that would be a little bit disrespectful, now wouldn't it?

Yes. She was a little scary.

I didn't read the Harry Potter books until the summer the final one was released. Because, um, I work at a bookstore. And I was told my employment was based upon being excited, dammit. And if I had to be excited about being charged by thousands of people at midnight, and ringing up copies of the same damn thing until frick-thirty in the morning, then at least I would know what I was being excited about.

It's been about ten years. I've grown up. We don't see Fundamentalist in Question that much anymore. In retrospect, she was a perfectly nice woman who obviously had never watched an episode of Bewitched. And it's not like she took my favorite book away or anything (although again, I'm still a little peeved I never got it back.)

The next movie is being released next week, and I ordered a copy of the book from the library, so I could read it again before I see it. I was at the library yesterday, picking up some books that had come in. Guess who the woman at the desk was?

Ah, Fundamentalist in Question. We meet again.

I literally held my breath. Hoping, praying that it wasn't amongst them. I seriously did not want to deal with the judgey stare that I knew would be coming. It wasn't. Thank goodness.

So now it actually is in, and I'm scared to go pick it up. I kind of want to call and see if she's working. Or send my sister to pick it up for me. I think that's a plan.

Colleen suggested that I just remember that I'm a 21-year-old woman and I can read whatever the hell I want.

I know this. But she still scares me.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I really should keep my cell phone with me.

This afternoon I walked into the back hall to check my messages and was greeted with a missed call message on my screen.

One that said, "Grandpa- 7:24 P.M."

Wow. It's really too bad I missed that one, considering he passed away eleven months ago.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Spectacularly Bad Judgement

They're back. On Saturday, I ignored the little sign that said, "Ask about our treat receipts!", because oh, good Lord, I could see that going badly again. It would make terrible fiscal sense. I ignored it.

This morning, however, they didn't even ask. I just got a receipt. And then I went to work. For eight hours. In music. Which I have worked in one day. In November of 2007. And by the time some woman yelled at me because Michael Jackson never released a CD that contained the four specific songs she wanted on the SAME DISC which CLEARLY is MY FAULT, I really, really wanted that $2 grande.

Now. I always feel like I'm tempting fate, but this summer is going (slightly) better than last summer. No one's died yet. I'm desperately waiting for it to be over, and I had a slight nervous breakdown while taking a walk this afternoon but did stop myself from stalking Tenant Family. But still! Everybody's alive! So maybe I won't need quite as many $2 grandes.

However. There was the simple matter of that teensy breakdown. And I'm kind of a strung-out mess about school and the future and HOLY FRICK THOSE DAMN GRES.

So. Yeah. It could be pretty bad.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Never a good thing.

I have very little going on in my life, and decided to check my Yahoo e-mail account this afternoon. After trying six different username/password combinations (What? It's been awhile.), I was greeted by that little Yahoo guy (a pale imitation of the AOL running dude) telling me I had 866 messages.

866 messages that held absolutely nothing of interest. According to the date stamp on the oldest one, the last time I checked that account, Obama had just been elected, the bailout hadn't gone through, and Franklin College in Switzerland wanted me to know that I only had two more weeks to register for Spring semester.

The rest were a boring collection of New York Times alerts, Borders coupons (which I could look at if I gave a damn), and Blockbuster alerting me to brand new releases that I probably would want to pick up, like Iron Man on DVD. Sure. I'll run right out and get that.

This is my problem with e-mail, and also why I have a very clean Facebook page.(Wait. I'll get there.) Unless it's my school e-mail, I never get anything fun. Everyone I actually know has my school account, so yes, I get interesting, actual human contact messages on there. And also stuff about classes. Which is almost as good if you're a dork like me.

But for the most part, it's spam. Spam I'm sure I signed up for at some point, but spam nonetheless. It's like a moral struggle between the increasingly nasty, "Hey, please pay your credit card bill. Like, now." messages and the "BIGGEST SALE OF THE SEASON, 60% OFF AT KOHL'S!" It annoys me. So I ignore it.

Facebook has a tendency to do this too- if you let it. Tons of applications send you messages and dispense notifications that seriously kill the "YAY! I got a notification!" buzz that those of us who don't enjoy actual human interaction get. So I delete all of them, because frankly, Facebook disappoints me enough by changing the template every time I get remotely used to it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not a little nuts...

I watched a lot of Sesame Street when I was a little girl. A LOT. I still know most of the lyrics to the songs. My mother was arguably more upset by Joe Raposo's passing than she has been at many family funerals. The year I was six was the best year ever because I was the same age as Big Bird.

We would sing and dance to most of the songs, of course, but the one that five-year-old me was crazy into was the Peanut Butter Factory song.

Oh. Did I love that song.

In the Sesame Street clip, there is a little Asian girl who is incredibly talented (we found out later that those kids were actually from the American Ballet School or someplace that grows talented children in petri dishes until they are needed on public television.

I? Am not Asian. Am not gifted with the dance. A major part of why I had to drop gymnastics was because they made me take ballet twice a week. Ick.

Five-year-old me was not informed of this, however, and, dammit, she would DANCE. I did the little running under the table move, the knee thing, the counter thing. ALL OF IT.

Fifteen years later, my mom is still laughing at the memory of my uncoordinated white self doing the peanut dance.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Last Year, on Mad Men...

Okay. OKAY. I got a little behind. I got into various incarnations of Law and Order, and Time Warner changed the channel that AMC is on, and whatever, don't judge me okay? Just because I didn't watch the last episode of the season doesn't make me a bad fan. I got around to it. On a holiday weekend. Nine months later.

Military Base in Cuba:

Khruschev: *builds nuclear weapons*

Castro: *lets him*

Back Home:

Americans: *freak out*

Sterling-Cooper Employees: *drink heavily*

2008 Audience: *gets nostalgic*


Random Church:

Fr. Colin Hanks: We are all sinners. But we should all admit it. Even, some would say especially, that sweet-looking young lady in the back. Do you hear me, young lady I do not have a relationship with?

Peggy: Dude. I'm calling the archdiocese.


Draper Residence:

Betty: *is pregnant*

Betty: *is pissed*

Betty: *drinks a gimlet*

Baby Draper: *develops flippers*


Random Rectory:

Peggy: So...I brought muffins. For the nuclear war.

Fr. Colin Hanks: Aww, that's great. They should come in handy.

Peggy: So how about this bomb thing, huh? Makes you feel like the world could end at any minute.

Fr. Colin Hanks: I know, but that's really always the case.

Peggy: Makes you feel alive...

Fr. Colin Hanks. Yeah. Totally. You know, sometimes I feel like God called me to this parish. To reach you.

Peggy:, physically?

Fr. Colin Hanks: Hell is very real, Peggy! Unless you repent, you could be damned for all eternity.

Peggy: Wow. I thought you were going somewhere else entirely with that.

Fr. Colin Hanks: I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. Are you going to confess?

Peggy: Are you still going to stare at my ass?


Peggy: I should have just sent my sister with the nuclear holocaust muffins.


Sterling-Cooper Offices:

Sterling-Cooper: *is sold to Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny*

Don: *gets rich*



Later that day, Sterling-Cooper Offices:

Sleazy Campbell: Wanna ride out the nuclear winter with me?

Peggy: Meh. Might as well. We're all going to die anyway.

Sleazy Campbell: Why don't we every talk anymore?

Peggy: Easy there. The last time we talked, I had to fake a complicated relationship with food for nine months and now my mom and my priest think I'm going to hell.

Sleazy Campbell: I'm confused.

Peggy: Yeah. Tell me about it.

Sleazy Campbell: ...

Peggy: *waxes nostalgic about pregnancy for awhile*

Sleazy Campbell and Rest of Audience: *tunes out*


Draper Residence, President Kennedy just told everybody everything is going to be just peachy.

Don: *sits in silence*

Betty: *sits in silence*

Don and Betty: *hold hands significantly*


I miss this show. So. Much.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Ah, the almost 4th of July. When the colonists got fed up with helping to pay for their government, committed treason, got monumentally lucky, and we celebrate by setting off fireworks and getting together in large groups of people in a community park. Good times.

My family is being remarkably noncommittal about the whole thing this year. Still, no one will tell me what we're doing tomorrow, and it's like 10:43 pm. I just need to know if I need to be parade presentable, people.

Not that I would be wearing red, white, and/or blue. Because that's just way too cutesy for me. I haven't don that since my mom stopped dressing my sister and I in matching flag-colored outfits.

(They were cute, actually.)

(I imagine they would be less so now.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Evanston's not far, is it?

I met with me in ten years a neighbor yesterday to talk about my life's goals and have her talk me down off a GRE-related cliff and now have brand new things obsess over. Like statements of purpose! And terminal Ph.Ds! And post-doc years!

And now I completely want to go to Northwestern.

They have a Ph.D program that I could apply to for next fall, several professors I could work with, and all admitted students are granted funding that includes a tuition waiver and a living stipend.

Only problem- it's in EVANSTON. And I'm not. The reason I would need a living stipend would be so that I could move out. The place I will be moving to is in Fox Point.

According to MapQuest, that's about an 89.66-mile problem.

Oh well. At least I've stopped freaking out about the GRE.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Taking some time out...

...from looking at terminal PhD programs to die laughing at this. Flesh storm? I literally choked on my water when I saw that.