Sunday, March 28, 2004

I Survived Yet Another Sunday


Work today was kind of weird. Not really bad, but not great, either. Except for my last table, which was extremely cool. It was a classy, attractive woman who looked to be late-40's-early-50's, and a younger male friend who, by all signs, was gay. They were both obviously intelligent, worldly individuals, and it was a total pleasure to wait on them.

The woman turned out to be a clinical nutritionist and was kind enough to talk some shop with me. They were both polite and had good taste when it came to ordering. At the end, I thanked them and told them it had been a pleasure waiting on them, and that if they ever wanted me again, they could request me. The woman flashed a grin and quipped, "Good marketing."

I grinned at her, shrugged, and said, "Hey..."

She laughed and nodded. I told her that I get great satisfaction out of waiting on tables like hers, and that I hoped I'd see them again. They didn't disappoint me in the gratuity department, either. So all-in-all, a more than pleasant experience.

Earlier this afternoon, I found myself in my bedroom and was compelled to straighten up a little. For some reason, it occurred to me that I haven't looked in my junk drawers for a while, and because I had nothing better to do, I decided to rifle through them.

One of the first things I came across was the card my mom sent me on my 21st birthday. I picked it up because it's one of those 'Secrets of Your Day of Birth' cards based on numerology, and I was kind of curious because Angie has The Secret Language of Birthdays and I had found that to be pretty accurate.

I think I'd mostly saved the card for the beautiful note my mom wrote inside, but reading it over again, I discovered the description for my day is actually very right-on. It also is interesting, too, that the card makes reference to bridges and spanning, when in The Secret Language of Birthdays, my day is The Day of the Bridge or something to that effect.

Born On the Seventeenth: Integration
by Taia Stewart

Your personality contains a fascinating duality. On one hand you seek outer recognition, wealth and power, while on the other, you quest for inner spiritual growth and fulfillment. You have many gifts which help you span both your inner and outer worlds: a highly determined will, perseverance, sense of responsibility, natural charisma and magnetism. At your core is a need for self-expression and recognition of your gifts and talents.

You are deeply aware of the need to bring integrity and caring to the corporate and political structure, as well as into personal life. You have a powerful creative mind reaching to seek innovative expressions that bring tangible results. The integration of the part of you who seeks and the part who leads creates a rich tapestry of awareness, bringing you to a comfortable place of self-confidence.

CAREER: Performing arts, law, entrepreneur, executive, money management, banking, investment brokering, healthcare professional, religious leader.

CHALLENGE: Your challenge is to feel nourished by an inner sense of self-esteem. The deeper challenge may be to develop the self-esteem in the first place! Trust your inner guidance and intuition. The more you rely on your innate creative spirit and share it with others, the more your power will radiate into the world. It is not for lack of expertise that you may go unrecognized ... perhaps you need to come out from under that rock and be seen!

* A natural scholar, philosopher, and business executive, you have a gift for bridging the gap between spirituality and business. Take center stage, and bask in the spotlight!


Currently Playing...
Song: Delerium & Sarah McLachlan - Silence
Obsessing Over: Life

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Haunting


Leslie emailed me this link and I honestly have few words to describe it. It's a selection of photographs from one woman's motorcycle rides through the Chernobyl area. The images are haunting and chilling, as they show the aftermath of one of the world's greatest tragedies.

To put it into perspective, roughly 3,000 people died during the 9/11 attacks. The estimate of the Chernobyl disaster is between 300,000 and 400,000 people killed -- that's a hundred times greater. Not to mention the area will be completely uninhabitable for centuries to come.

We have a tendency to make jokes about Chernobyl, but frankly, after looking at these pictures, I will think twice before laughing about it in the future.


Currently Playing...
Song: Dream Theater - Stream of Consciousness

Friday, March 26, 2004

Save the Trees, Cut the Bush


This article states it pretty well. People, please do yourself and this entire country a favor and vote for anyone but Bush come November. He is a scary, scary man and I'm extremely frightened at the prospect of another four years of him in office. Check out his track record, his lies, his hypocrisy. His conservative Christian right-wing agenda. Don't give away your hard-won freedoms this easily.. you're an American, and Americans have a long and amazing history of standing up against oppression. Don't back down; please vote.

The Editor's Letter in the December issue of Vanity Fair was a big eye-opener. I was stunned after reading it the first time, and had to read it again to really absorb the impact of our President's feats. I felt it was imperative that everyone read this information, so I started copying as much as I could to post here. The issue had arrived at my mom's right around my return to the U.S., so I was unable to copy the entire thing before leaving. Here's what I have:


Editor's Letter -- Vanity Fair 12/03
by Graydon Carter

As we near the three-quarter mark in the current president's eventful run, it's probably as good a time as any to assess his achievements to date. There's a lot of ground to cover here, so let's do it scorecard-style.

Ambitious Warrior

* 2 - Number of nations Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into office.
* 130 - Approximate number of countries (out of a total of 191 recognized by the U.N.) with a U.S. military presence.
* 10 mill. - Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest.
* $100 bill. - Estimated cost of the war in Iraq to U.S. citizens by the end of the year.
* $13 bill. - Amount other countries have committed toward rebuilding Iraq (much of it loans) as of Oct. 24.
* 104 - Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 (when Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared an end to the open conflict) and the middle of October.
* 0 - Number of American combat deaths in Germany following the Nazi Surrender in May 1945.
* 0 - Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed -- presumably to keep the spotlight off fatalities in Iraq.
* 53 - Percentage of Americans who doubt that the Iraq war was worth the cost.

Fiscally Conservative Warrior

* $28 bill. - Amount of proposed cuts to veterans benefits in the congressional Republicans' budget resolution for the fiscal year 2004. (In the end, they cut only $6 billion.)
* $6,000 - Amount of proposed increase -- opposed by Bush -- in benefits to families of soldiers who die in combat. (Thanks to White House pressure, the increase did not pass Congress.)
* 2 - Years that veterans in some parts of the country have to wait for a doctor's appointment; this with a proposed new $250 enrollment fee in their health plan, and increased prescription-drug costs.
* 7 - Number of hospitals Bush's Veterans Administration announced it was closing one day before the President addressed a group of veterans in St. Louis.

Money Manager

* $127 bill. - Amount of U.S. budget surplus in fiscal year 2001, the year Bush became President.
* $374 bill. - Amount of U.S. budget deficit in fiscal year 2003.
* #1 - This year's deficit will be the biggest in U.S. history.
* $290 bill. - Amount of the second-largest U.S. budget deficit (1992, the last full year of the first Bush administration).
* $6.84 quadrillion (yes, quadrillion) - Current national debt.
* $1.58 bill. - Amount on average the national debt increases each day.
* $23,396 - Amount of each U.S. citizen's share of the national debt as of Oct. 21, 2003.
* #1 - Record for most bankruptcies filed in a single year (1.57 mill.) set in 2002.
* 440,257 - Number of bankruptcies filed during the second quarter of 2003, more than in any other quarter in history.
* 3 - Number of consecutive quarters with an increase in personal-bankruptcy filings.
* #1 - Set record for biggest two-year point drop in the history of the stock market during the first half of a presidential term.
* $200 bill. - Approximate aggregate amount of state budget gaps in the past three years, the highest figure since WWII.
* 1.6 - Percentage increase in economic growth since Bush took office, the slowest rate of increase over an equivalent period for any administration in 50 years.

Shy, Retiring Type, Not One to Toot His Own Horn

* 9 - Number of solo press conferences Bush has held since the beginning of his term. (His father had managed 61 at this point in his administration, and Bill Clinton 33.)
* 1 - Number of executive orders signed by Bush permitting him to single-handedly suppress the release of his presidential papers and those of his three predecessors.

Has Lots of Friends

* $11.5 mill. - Amount of hard money Bush raised through the "Pioneer" program, the controversial fund-raising process created for the 2000 campaign. (Participants pledged to raise at least $100,000 by bundling together checks of up to $1,000 from friends and family. Pioneers were assigned numbers which were included on all checks to enable the campaign to keep track of who raised how much.)
* $113 mill. - Amount of total hard money the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign received, a record.
* $18.5 mill. - Amount raised through the Pioneer Program so far this year.
* $20 mill. - Amount raised through the new "Ranger" program so far this year. (Participants pledge to raise at least $200,000.)
* 212 - Total number of Pioneers identified by the Bush 2000 campaign.
* 524 - Total number of Pioneers later revealed through court documents.
* 61 - Number of Pioneers subsequently named to government posts.
* 19 - Number of Pioneers subsequently appointed as U.S. Ambassadors.
* 2 - Number of Pioneers subsequently appointed to the Cabinet.
* $75 mill. - Approximate amount of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign's pre-convention budget.
* $5.3 mill. - Amount Bush raised this past Sept. 30 toward his re-election campaign, breaking the one-day record he himself set.

This Land Is My Land

* 58 mill. - Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging, and drilling.
* 200 - Number of public-health and environmental laws Bush has worked to downgrade or weaken since taking office.
* #1 - Rank of U.S. worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

More Like the French Than He Would Care to Admit

* 28 - Number of vacation days Bush took in August this year, the second-longest vacation of any President in U.S. History. (Recordholder: Richard M. Nixon.)
* 13 - Number of vacation days the average American receives each year.

Loves to Travel (But Not Without a Purpose)

* 65 - Approximate number of fundraisers attended in 2002.
* 0 - Number of trips taken to Afghanistan before waging war against that country.
* 0 - Number of trips to Iraq before waging war against that country.
* 0 - Number of funerals or memorials Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Checking In


Yes, busy!

She and I spent yesterday running errands and junk, but first I took her to The Grind, which is the closest thing to a big city coffeeshop this area has. I knew Angie could appreciate it, so we went there for coffee and ended up playing Scrabble for like 3 hours. It was a lot of fun and I won, 440 to 315. I've been teasing her about it because I know she doesn't like coming in second. :D

Our waiter, Travis, was super cute and really nice. He acted as mediator to our Scrabble game and then finally fetched the dictionary he had in his car and let us use it. We totally made him blush when we asked him if he had a girlfriend because he was such a cutie and that we were trying to think of any straight girls we might know. We assured him we didn't like boys, and later he asked Angie if we lived around here. Think he was trying to say we don't act like normal Parkersburgians? Ha!

It was one of the best days I've had in a while, overall.. not only did I get to spend time with Angie, I also received the first CD from someone in my Burn It group, and Angie fixed my Nikon!!

Now, this camera has a history. It was first my mom's back in the mid-80's, and growing up with it pointed in my face constantly, I think I truly have always coveted it. It's a pretty decent/expensive camera and I was allowed to use it for photography back in high school. It was through this Nikon that I fell in love with photography.

Imagine my jubilation when my mom gave it to me when she moved to Italy.

My ecstacy quickly turned to disappointment when I discovered I couldn't open the back of the camera to load film; it seemed stuck. I called a camera place to get an estimate for repair and they quoted me about $80... and then that idea got shoved on a back burner because there was no way I had the money to spare.

I've held on that 'broken' camera for about eight years because I loved it so much and knew that one day I would be able to afford the repair. Somehow in my countless moves, it didn't break, or get lost or stolen. And Angie, Miss Supersexy Studly-Ass Photographer looked at it and had it fixed in like two seconds.

It was something very simple involving dead batteries, but because she is just so studly like that, she knew a workaround and got the back to pop open. And we went to get batteries and film; turns out it only cost me $6 to fix. Fucking rocks ass, you have no idea what a happy girl I am right now. My Nikon works! And not only that, Angie has been giving me lessons because it has been so damn long I have forgotten nearly everything.

It feels so good to pick up a camera again, but not only that, to be encouraged to do so. I don't think anyone else in my life understands the extent of how I feel when I'm behind a camera. It's so nice that Angie does.

Overall, I feel very allowed to be myself around her and I have to say this is really wonderful for a change. I feel free to be creative and unique and smart. Maybe that sounds stupid, but I have been with women who stifled my creativity, and it's become important to me that the person I'm with be able to understand and appreciate that part of me. I'm way happier when I'm free to be myself, and free to be creative.

I'm totally smitten, though I'm sure it's more than obvious already. I could say so many more good things about her, but I wouldn't want to keep you here all night. ;)

Adding to the happiness, the Burn It CD I got in the mail is soooo incredibly good. The girl who sent it is also from WV, so even though I was slightly afraid the CD would contain a lot of country, I had hopes that the swap would turn out well. And she did such a wonderful job! Not only is the music wonderful, she spent time on the overall design, including big confetti snowflakes. She listens to a lot of indie music, which is what I prefer, so there were a lot of great songs on there that I'd never heard before. So I'm very psyched about that, and the program in general.

Listening to the CD made me so antsy to go home and finish up my CDs. I'd thankfully finished the mix before meeting Angie (otherwise, I confess it would be very difficult to focus on and finish the project), so all I had to do was finish burning the last three discs. I'm really excited again about the project, and hoping to get my mixes out tomorrow.

And Alex, listening to this girl's mix.. I think you really are missing out here. You totally should have done the project, too! Lazy-ass. ;)



Currently Playing...
Song: Melissa Ferrick - Freedom
Book: The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith, Naked by David Sedaris, Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford, and The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono (been working on it for over a year now)

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Anyhoo..


So, yeah. Now you know why I've been AWOL for the past coupla weeks or whatever. She's great, she really is. It's been a little scary, in a good way, because she seems to be the most normal person I've ever dated. 'Normal' being relative and all, since no one is really normal, but there are varying degrees of good and bad abnormality in the world.

Her name is Angie (not that stupid Angie from last fall) and thankfully, it seems as if she's all-around a really sweet, caring, wonderful person. I told her I keep waiting for the horns to sprout, but I get the feeling that that's not going to happen. So, imagine... me in a relatively normal, adult relationship? Alert the newspapers! Hell could be freezing over!

She lives about five minutes from me, though we met through Yahoo! personals. She answered my ad and we played a bit of phone/email tag before finally getting together one night to go to OfficeMax. Yeah, kind of a random 'first date', though we ended up at Tim Horton's for coffee and food, and then we watched a movie at her place. We ended up in bed and I spent the night.. so the joke now is 'going to OfficeMax' = sex.

By the way, going to OfficeMax with her is fucking hot. Ha ha!

Other than that, it's been a couple of weeks full of sleep deprivation and overall it's been kind of a blur. Not in a bad way, in the least. I've just been floating along in a giddy little haze. Ahh, the poor people who have to put up with me like this.

I don't have a ton of news other than that, but of course, to me, that's the biggest thing that's happened in a while. I'm extremely pleased and happy, and so thankful that we met. I know I've said repeatedly that she's great, but I swear, she is. I think even my mom approves, which is something, considering she normally wants to hear absolutely nothing involving my gayness.

But my mom surprised me when I talked to her; instead of immediately changing the subject when I mentioned Angie, she responded quite positively and even asked me a bunch of questions about her. And then Mikey adores her, too.. so it's really all very good.

Gush, gush, gush. Yeah. I'm sure it's sickening to everyone else, but seriously, be happy for me, because I think I met the one woman on the planet who's not interested in fucking with my head and making me feel shit about myself. And this in itself is beyond fab.

I feel very comfortable with her, and since she seems to appreciate the weird, whacko, quirky self that is me, I get to be totally myself around her, even though that includes my random, goofy parts. We appear to be quite musically compatible, which is very important to me, and we are so totally sexually on par with each other that it's truly mind-blowing. I said the sex was fucking hot, and oh yeah. It is.

Aside from that, Mikey has one more week before he moves to Columbus. I'm a little depressed about this fact, because I am going to miss him SO terribly when he's gone. I don't know what I'll do with myself when my gay boyfriend is gone. Le sigh. He can't leave me here! I need him!!

But I totally know why he's going and if I were him, I'd do the same with very little looking back. And I know it's going to be so much better for him, so I can't not be happy for him. And because I know I'll want to visit, maybe it'll be an excuse to get out of Parkersburg and head somewhere a little more cultured and with something resembling a gay scene.

I'm not entirely sure what else to say, since the rest of my news is just little bits and pieces of things. Like I finally got a DVD player and I'm so excited about it. $60 at Wal-Mart.. I know it's not anything fancy or great, but as long as it works, that's all I care about at the moment. Oh, and now that I've been seeing Angie, it seems I can function almost normally around Gayla at work (thank god).

If I think of anything else, I'll add it later!


Currently Playing...
Song: Vanessa Mae - White Bird (Airscape Remix)
Book: Heh, which one? The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith, Naked by David Sedaris, Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford, and The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono (been working on it for over a year now)

Friday, March 19, 2004

Sleep? What's That?


Okay. I've been terrible about posting, though frankly I have hardly been home. The reason? I met a really wonderful woman and I've been spending heaps of time with her.

I've been going since about 11am on roughly four hours of sleep, so I'm just going to have to try and post more tomorrow before work.

Bed is calling.......


Currently Playing...
Song: Pentangle - Lucky Thirteen

Sunday, March 14, 2004

She Lives!


No, I am not dead. I just have been incredibly busy. I'd post more but that will have to come later when I feel better. :)


Currently Playing...
Song: Bond - Winter Sun
Book: The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
Obsessing Over: Nothing! Whee!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Low Places


I haven't been very good about things lately, things like updating here, or going to class, or getting out of bed in the afternoon. Yes, afternoon. I finally figured out last night what my problem is. I'm kind of depressed.

This is very much my cycle of behavior from when I used to be depressed all the time. Fortunately for me, the only time I get anywhere near depressed is during PMS time, and that's almost certainly the major cause of my recent mood. Usually, I find myself fairly down for no reason whatsoever, and I know my period is on the way.

This time, I have things that are really pulling me down. This car situation, for one. The fact that I have no car and have missed so many Sociology classes that at this point, even though I'm halfway through the semester and even took the midterm, I am going to have to drop the class. I may have to also drop math, but the teacher seems to be okay with me trying to keep up with the homework assignments on my own. Which would be grand, too, if I was actually doing my homework.

But it's the whole unmotivated, depressed thing. I haven't picked up my math book in two weeks. I need to arrange with Angie to take me over to the asshat mechanic and fetch my car, but everything these days just seems to take way too much energy. All I've really wanted to do is hide in my house and do nothing.

I stay up very late (3-5am), which is pretty normal for me, but then when 2pm rolls around the next day, I find it incredibly difficult to get out of bed. Like, even though I should have gotten enough sleep, I should feel rested, all I want to do is close my eyes, roll over, and go back to sleep.

And the fact that I'm exhibiting this stupid depressed behavior I thought I'd gotten past.. kind of depresses me even more.

A couple of people have seriously irritated me, as well. And for no major reason, either.. they're probably things that normally I might blow off, or might not even take the wrong way in the first place. But they've got me fairly upset, even though I know it's stupid and I should blow it off.

For example, Mikey last night asked my opinion on this photo he took of himself and made into black and white. Silly me, assuming that if someone asks my opinion, they want my honest opinion. So before I realized it wasn't the photo or the work on it, that it was his expression that I didn't like, I'd pissed him off. Actually, he got really bitchy about it and I had to stop talking to him because I just couldn't deal with it.

And normally, you know, he and I have these stupid little spats and then it blows over and everything is normal again. But I'm in a different mindset at the moment and I'm feeling a world of shit because of it and other things going on.

I just want my car back. Is that so hard to ask? I'd like to do laundry, and I'd like to go grocery shopping, and I'd like to actually, you know, attend school, considering that's the most important thing in my life.

Instead, I find myself holed up in my hermit shack, listening to music and playing Gemstone again. Last night, while lying in bed trying to fall asleep at 3am, when I had the random thought that instead of trying to get up and catch the bus for school today, all I wanted to do was play Gemstone.. I knew I was in big trouble. I mean, generally, I could take or leave GS. I haven't used it as an escape in quite a while.

It's kind of frustrating.

I'm actually quite grateful that the whole Depression Era of my life is over and done with, because I can't stand feeling this way anymore. Those of you who have ever experienced depression know how difficult it is to pull yourself out of it and fix shit that's only making you more depressed. You just have no energy or motivation to do it. It's a vicious cycle.

Plus, you know, I'm faced with the reality that Mikey will be moving to Columbus in a couple of weeks and leaving me here. And since Kit has agreed to move up there, too, at some point, that means my two best friends will be leaving me alone in this shithole. Of course, there's Angie, who I really do adore tons, but her husband Shane will be coming back from Iraq (having been gone over a year) very soon, and I know the two of them will be rightfully wrapped up in each other. I'm quite happy for the both of them, him finally coming home, because they're two awesome people. I just don't want to get in the way of the homecoming and their time together.

Adding to the mix of bullshit I've been feeling lately, there is a new girl at work who I sort of have a crush on, but it's more complicated than that. For one, she looks so incredibly like Jan, I have discovered that I can't be within a ten-foot radius of her without my brain shutting down. It throws me off so much that every time she walks by, I turn into a babbling idiot.

I am not the only person to comment that she looks like Jan, so I know it's not just my imagination trying to find her where she's not. It's really freakish.

She's straight, as I kind of figured she would be. And frankly, I am usually SO good about the whole crushes-on-straight-girls thing, because one of the things I try to do in my life is avoid emotional crap if it's not necessary. And having a crush on a straight girl, to me, is completely pointless and a waste of my energy. It's just.. maybe my present state of mind, maybe the fact that if she had red hair, she could be Jan.. whatever it may be, trying to function at work in any capacity while she's there is really difficult.

This conversation happened yesterday at work:

Rose: So has everyone met Gayla yet?
Me: Um.... yes! (I turn away toward the bar because the blush is coming back with a vengeance)
Everyone says hi to Gayla.
Me (turning back): Hi, I'm Alena.
Gayla: Yeah. I know.
Me: Oh.. Ha ha.. well.. cause.. I wasn't sure whether you remembered or not..
Rose: WHY ARE YOU BLUSHING?!?!
Me: Uuuhhhh... Shut up!
I realize I sound like a half-wit and bolt into the kitchen.

OMG... WTF is that?? I'm such an idiot.

I've tried talking to her.. I tried to explain that she reminds me of someone, sort of an apology if she'd noticed my extremely weird behavior. But when I'm in her presence, I'm thrown off by her huge, beautiful green eyes and I turn into the person you see in movies where they're fine until they try to talk to the person they like, and then the dumbest fucking crap just rolls off their tongue. Yeah, that's me. Trying to fix it only made things worse, I think. Fuck.

At least everyone else at work is getting a kick out of it and thinks it's really cute. I was a total flustered mess last night and on top of that kept cursing just how easily and obviously I blush. I mean, I can't even talk about her without blushing.

I'm really hoping this stops. It's going to make work really impossible. Can you imagine me trying to do my job when she's my roommate? Gaargh.


Currently Playing...
Song: Melissa Etheridge - Melissa (live)
Book: The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
Obsessing Over: Life

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

There's a moment when I look at you
And no speech is left in me.
My tongue breaks, then fire races under my skin
And I tremble,
And grow pale,
For I am dying of such love.

-- Sappho

Da News


I realize there has been a certain lack of content here within the past week. This is only partly due to my laziness; I actually have just not felt the writing vibe. I've been generally sick of listening to myself bitch about one thing or another, so, you know, I was sort of trying to also spare everyone else my general bitterness.

I reached a point at work a few weeks ago, a point at which I had been deathly afraid I would eventually arrive, where I angrily spat, "I can't take this shit anymore. I can not deal with these fucking people anymore and their cheap, bitchy bullshit!" at my managers and then, pointing my finger at them, I said, "My days here are numbered, guys. I can't deal with this anymore."

They just kind of looked at me and didn't say anything. Steve had a sort of amused look on his face and just sort of nodded and rocked back on his heels. I regret saying it now, considering how much I need the job that's five minutes away while I'm dealing with the car still at the mechanic.

It's so unlike me, and I hate that. I mostly hate this job because it brings out an ugly side of me. A side of me that isn't really present anywhere else in my life. I just am so completely tired of being unappreciated, tired of working my ass off to please ignorant/demanding/rude people who wouldn't know what a proper tip was if it bit them in the ass.

Oh, and then a couple Saturdays ago, I was written up by the new manager that I can't stand. I fucking hate this guy, you have no idea. I call him Naziface. And you want to know what I was written up for? Not bringing a botttle of wine out to my table. Nevermind that I explained I had been so slammed I had no time to grab coasters, much less a wine bottle... that my tables had been sitting there for a good five minutes and were looking sufficiently irritated that I knew I couldn't wait any longer to greet them.

His response was that I should know he's there if I ever need help and that he'd be happy to take coasters and a wine bottle out to greet a table for me. Fucking WHATEVER, dude. Oh, and the great irony of the evening? I sold a lot of alcohol and surpassed the alcohol goal for the night. But yeah, okay, write me up!

I am kicking myself for not getting my shit together sooner, so that I would be that much closer to finishing college and getting a real job. A job where my intelligence, creativity, skills, and hard work might actually be noticed. And if not, at least I will be making three times more money.

This time I've spent without a car has been fairly depressing. I don't know if it's the sudden restriction on my independence, or that I simply have more time to sit here and think about shit. Whatever it is, I've been feeling fairly frustrated with my life here. I'm sick of the little, drama-filled gay pool, tired of the lame-ass bar scene, fed up with the general lack of intelligence, diversity, and tolerance.

My mom's friend, Sandy, came by one afternoon last week and we went out to lunch. I talked to her about how much I wanted to leave this area, and she kept encouraging me to try to move to Morgantown sooner rather than later. She got me all fired up and made me want to leave even more than I did before, but I don't think that's really a good thing. After all, I think, logically, I know I have to stay here until the end of the year because as far as finances go, it might be the wisest thing.

But then again, I'm going to be looking into hotel banquet catering when I move up there. A friend of mine told me that's where the money is, so of course that got me interested. After all, I don't mind my job description at all. I'm a pleaser and I enjoy going out of my way to make people happy or give them a superb dining experience. It's just that because I make no money doing it right now, I feel less and less motivated to continue on. Because frankly, for the amount of myself that I put into my job, it would be really nice to get some form of appreciation for my efforts. And while I do appreciate compliments, I hate to say that they don't pay my bills. Neither does my $2.13/hr paycheck, so to me, $ = appreciation.

I am not so delusional that I believe I can avoid the stupid/ignorant/rude/demanding people, if I'm working in the service industry. I'm well aware that I'll run into it, no matter how classy the establishment. However, having worked in service positions of varying affluence, I do know that the job is much easier for me to blow off and suck up when I'm making decent money.

After all, I was making a ton at Applebee's up in St. Paul, even though we joked our location was 'in the ghetto' and we too had our share of crappy customers and tips. But with the money flowing like that, I really didn't mind working at all. In fact, I'd pick up extra shifts every week, often working 8 shifts in a seven day period.

The lack of appreciation is mostly what gets me down. It's disappointing to me, because these days I am more often a bitter bitch while there, than not. And since I can't really be that way to the guests, my poor coworkers have to deal with it, which makes me feel even more like shit because they're like my family and don't deserve to have to put up with me. It's just that the people I wait on delight in being as infuriating as possible, so to avoid total implosion, my frustration has to be vented somehow.

I wish I could just.. like.. fast-forward about four years and skip all this stupid crap.


Currently Playing...
Song: Annie Lennox - No More I Love Yous

Monday, March 08, 2004

On the Road..




create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide



Currently Playing...
Song: [Album] Bond - Born

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Heh...


I don't want a toaster.
Furnulum pani nolo. -- "I don't want a toaster."
Generally, things (like this quiz) tend to tick you off.
You have contemplated doing grievous bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen.


Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Currently Playing...
Song: I Got My Pride by Barry Harris (feat. Pepper Mashay)
Book: Still muddling through Bel Canto by Anne Patchett
Obsessing Over: Same crap, different day

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Satisfaction


Dunno how I keep forgetting about posting this cool video featuring hot chicks and power tools.

Kind of addictive.

Cont...


Essentially, I just want to gush that even though one of the pairs of jeans my mom sent is too small, the other pair is absolutely perfect -- plus they're button-fly.

Lurve the button-fly. It's gotten so hard to find a decent pair of jeans that don't zip.

So yeah, I'm really excited about the jeans.

I'm less excited about the fact that the beautiful morning has turned into the sky pissing down the rain, considering I have to ride my bike to work later.


Currently Playing...
Song: Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Flute, and Harp by Mozart

Bored and Killing Time


I'm currently hopped up on caffeine and cold medicine and waiting for my mom's friend, Sandy, to come get me because we're going out to lunch. Sandy lives near Pittsburgh and has been kind enough to babysit my car for me during my last two visits to my mom's. When I got back last time, I had an assload of presents for her in appreciation for everything she's done for me, but of course the fucktards at Alitalia lost my bags. No bags = no presents.

I'm a little unclear why she's in the area, though she said something about visiting somebody in Indiana. All I know is that despite sleeping nearly 11 hours, I still want to crawl back into bed. I'm sick and feeling rather run down, but ah well.

My mom, Angelo, and Valentina all were over here in North America for about six weeks. They spent a good deal of time in California visiting family and friends out there, and then I think they went and spent some time in Mexico, too. In any case, my mom sent me a nice package containing a couple of pairs of jeans, a Benetton sweater she didn't want anymore, some stationery with my initial, and some Ciobar, which is the best fucking hot chocolate on the planet (and which we kept forgetting to buy before I left Italy).

When I was over there over the holidays, I was rather stunned to discover that I wear a size 10. I say stunned because at my heaviest, I was somewhere around a size 18-20. I have this selection of old clothes I've had forever, and which have fit me over a variety of sizes and weights. And since I never go shopping for clothes, I had no idea what size I was.

Actually, I assumed I was something like a 12. I was more than happy with that, but then when I went over to my mom's for vacation, I was shocked to discover that my mom and I wear the same size now. This is a shock because the last time my mom and I were able to wear the same clothes was when I was 12, and I'd just come back from fat camp. And I wasn't even fully grown or developed then, so I pretty much figured with my large-ish frame, I'd never get as small as my mom.

Well, back then, my mom wore a size 8. She's put on a little bit, but still. I was floored when she gave me a pair of jeans to try on and they fucking fit!!! Totally floored. But then it turned into total stokedness, because my mom started giving me clothes she didn't wear anymore.

She's here.. more latah!

Currently Playing...
Song: Schism by Tool

What If It Were a Gay World?


Click here (Flash required)


Currently Playing...
Song: Coventry Carol by Mediaeval Baebes

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

My Personality Disorders


DisorderRating
Paranoid:Low
Schizoid:Low
Schizotypal:Moderate
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Very High
Narcissistic:Moderate
Avoidant:Low
Dependent:Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive:Moderate

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --





Currently Playing...
Song: Gave It Away by Kris Delmhorst
Book: Bel Canto by Anne Patchett
Obsessing Over: Whether my car will ever be fixed..

Monday, March 01, 2004

Random Rant


I'm bored but feel like writing. Therefore, I'm going to offer my thoughts on something that has been annoying me for some time.

The Atkins Diet.

People, I'm really happy this works for some of you, but in case you didn't realize it, it's not good for your body. In case you were unsure of how this diet works, the lack of ingested carbohydrates sends your body into a state of ketosis, which is just a fancy word to say that your body thinks it's starving. How can that be good for you?

Besides, it has been proven over and over that the best and most lasting way to lose weight is to do it gradually, with a mixture of exercise and diet modification. Let me stress again that you do not have to force your body into starvation in order to lose weight. I'm not sure what the weight bounce-back rate is after stopping this diet, but I imagine it to be high. Not only are you depriving your body of required nutrients, but you're possibly screwing around with your body's set point for weight, meaning that because your body thinks it's starving, when things go back to 'normal', it will probably pack on extra fat for storage, just in case the time of starvation comes again.

The whole Atkins concept throws sand in the face of all the nutrition information we were taught in grade school. Remember The Food Pyramid? I don't know if they still teach this, but I remember vividly that the bread/grains/rice/pasta group was on the bottom and that it called for the most servings out of the entire pyramid.

This group forms the bottom of the pyramid, so the foods in this group should make up the biggest part of what you eat all day. That's because bread, cereal, rice, and pasta are all great sources of carbohydrate, the nutrient that the body uses as its major energy source. So if you want lots of power, be sure to hit the bottom of the pyramid!

And carbohydrate isn't the only bonus you'll get from this food group: you'll also get lots of B vitamins and some iron.


In addition, the lack of carbohydrates in your diet often equals lack of fiber (through fruits and grains), which lends the lovely side effect of constipation. They recommend taking fiber pills and the like, but wouldn't that be a signal that you're obviously not getting enough of something in your diet? I'm in the school of thought that eating the right foods is better than popping vitamins to try and make up for it.

I tried the Zone Diet (similar to Atkin's) several years ago, but frankly what I was supposed to eat ended up making me feel gross and kind of sick. I don't see how eating almost solely protein and fat can be good for you. I mean, I totally felt bad for my arteries. My body was craving fruit, vegetables, and grains.

Interestingly, there was a high-carb, anti-Atkins experiment done and the non-control participants lost about 7 pounds without cutting calories and without exercise, and almost 11 pounds with 45 minutes of stationary bike-riding four times weekly. Which goes to show that it's not the carbs that are evil.

I'm not trying to slam anyone on this diet, because if it works for you and you're happy with it, that's great. I just want you to be aware that it's not the healthiest thing you can do to your body. If you're interested in knowing more, click here for my Google search or here for a more scientific and eloquent explanation of what I said above.



Currently Playing...
Song: Wading in the Velvet Sea by Phish
Book: Bel Canto by Anne Patchett
Obsessing Over: Stupid people

And In the Random News Items Category..


"The Most Vile Act Ever!"


Currently Playing...
Song: My Carousel by Finger Eleven

Googlism for: alena


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alena is a very nice site
alena is one of my favorite does

www.googlism.com


Currently Playing...
Song: Astronaut by Radiohead
Book:
Obsessing Over: My f-ing car, the fact that I left my carton of cigs at Angie's last night, that I'm running out of food and beverages!