I’ve spent most of the morning pretending to do stuff. Though I completed a 4-page essay on the meaning behind Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” I also went to the license branch (closed), picked up my tips from work ($12 – ouch), started the last chapter in my psych textbook (only got 2 pages into it), meant to go by the grocery store (but didn’t), and tried to figure out how the hell to remove the MySearch crap from my hard drive (still not working). The only real, solid thing I’ve done today is finish that paper and I already had three pages of it, anyway. I only had to fluff it up a bit and finish the works cited page.

Well, okay. I did empty the dishwasher. That’s one thing. But I also have yet to take out the trash.

This morning was rough for everyone. Kate had to drive to the northwest side from the house she’s been sitting, Charlie didn’t wake up until he heard my alarm going off (8:30: when he had to be at work), and I fell back to sleep until – I’m embarrassed to say – 10:45: 15 minutes before I had to be in literature class.

Ah, well. Missing those two classes today won’t hurt me at all. I just feel bad because I didn’t see Debby, the woman in my lit class who’s also a part-timer at my coffeeshop job.

God. Could I get any more boring?

Saturday night was fun, though. A friend from years ago who now lives in Atlanta came up and we went out with Kate, Liz, and a guy named Tony. We had a few drinks at the AlleyCat then headed over to the Vogue. Liz and Tony are the only ones who can go in there on a Saturday night without being three sheets to the wind. I love the place for concerts; it’s a small venue and you’re up-close-and-personal with the artists. Weekend nights and Wednesdays, however, it’s a meat market. If you go to the website and look under the “See Yourself” section, you may find that, had you been there on Halloween night, you won’t actually “see” yourself. You’ll see lots of really thin, “attractive” young women wearing next to nothing. That’s what I don’t like about the Vogue. I don’t mean because attractive girls go there, but because most of them wear skimpy little outfits and hump on one another to get the attention of guys, regardless of their (lack of) sexual diversity. It’s so base, so typical and animalistic.I didn’t meet anyone particularly interesting that evening. One guy named Joe at the alleycat stared at Kate’s cleavage the whole time we were there. One guy at the Vogue tried to convince me he was a socialist, which I found difficult to believe.Our friend Nathan seemed at once happy to see us and uncomfortable. He kept breaking out into peals of nervous laughter and haranguing young women for not wearing coats or for talking to him. I’m not sure what exactly took place in the those conversations, but he seemed to be more aggressive and confrontational than necessary. Or, more so than I remembered him to be. For a hockey player.


Sleeping all day

I have made a terrible habit these past few days out of staying up really late and sleeping in ridiculously late. Last night (this morning) I didn’t fall asleep until after 5am (during the week, this would be three hours before I actually have to be AT work, and about 1.5 hours before I would be getting up). I’m ashamed to say what time I eventually got out of bed. We’re supposed to be going out tonight but it’s rainy and 40 degrees outside. My mood is foul. I have to be up and out of here tomorrow to drive up to my grandparents’ for their Thanksgiving around 9am. This is going to be extremely difficult. I can’t believe the holidays are already over. Now I’m just waiting for Christmas break so I can do this again. At least then I won’t have any homework, I’m already registered for next semester’s classes, and I won’t have to drive around nearly as much. I’ll be able to work both jobs for a couple of weeks, possibly even getting in 40 hours total. The summer will be nice too. But let’s just get through this semester first, shall we? It’s not over yet.

At some point in the next couple of weeks we’re going to have to drive up to Charlie’s dad’s house to get this Corolla. I’d post a picture for you, but it’s such a nondescript car, who cares what it looks like? It’s not ’71 VW, but now we know why that car was so cheap, don’t we? In the process, we have to get all the paperwork done for the insurance company, get it notarized, and turn in the keys for the stolen car. Sniff, sniff. Boo hoo. Son of a bitch.

Sibling Rivalry

This was probably the most eventful Thanksgiving I’ve had in a few years mostly because my mom and sister got in to a fight.

Oh, you didn’t know I had a sister? Yes, it’s true. I have not seen or spoken with her in almost four years. In 1999 she called and asked if I could give her a place to crash for a few nights before she finished working her last two weeks at a hospital and moved to Ohio. I was shocked, but I said sure. What I thought was to be a few nights actually turned in to two weeks.

Nevertheless, Heather stayed with me, Kate, and Julie at our place, then left for Ohio at the end of the year, moved in with our parents, and . . . well, beyond that I have no idea what happened.

A little history first, shall we? Here is what I know about my sister: she’ll be 32 in February. She used to listen to stuff like Rush, Journey, and Foreigner (shudder — no offense). She has red hair and a lot of freckles. She has many nicknames she’s given herself related to the RPGs she plays. That is, role-playing games. Dungeons and Dragons-y type stuff. She’s shorter than me – I’m about 5’3″. She’s older than me – I’m 29. We graduated a year apart because she was held back. She dated a guy named Jason in high school. Jason was best friends with Matt. Matt was my best friend in high school. Matt’s sister is now my housemate and like a sister. So, in a sense, I’m playing six degrees of separation with my own sibling. About whom I know basically nothing.

Apparently she had told our folks she was coming to my father’s mother’s house for the festivities yesterday and would have in tow her current boyfriend of about a year. The day before Thanksgiving, however, my parents received an email from this beau (who had only gotten their email address by accident, sorting through a forwarded email my sister sent him that had orginated from our mother). This guy, John, said that he didn’t want to pass judgment and wanted to give my parents an opportunity to tell “their side of the story,” that he was sorry they wouldn’t make it out for Thanksgiving and so on and so forth.
What shocked my mother was that she didn’t know my sister wouldn’t be coming out, didn’t know what the hell this guy was talking about. Granted, I only heard one side of the story and my mom had knocked down a few glasses of wine, so I can’t be certain exactly what the communication was. It sounds as if my sister has told this guy that she had a terrible childhood and is somehow persecuted and tortured by our family.

I will volunteer that I did a great bit of torturing when I was younger, but kids will be kids. She was older, yes, but I gleefully projected my frustration and anger on to her whenever I would get the belt from my mom. Occasionally I deserved it, but for the most part, I was just a bit mouthy and my mother a bit unforgiving.

So my mom wrote the guy back and said she didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. The next morning, Thanksgiving, as my parents were packing up the car to head out for my grandmother’s, my sister called and totally reamed out my mom. Apparently there was much shouting and accusation until my mom finally told Heather to shut the f–k up and hung up on her.

Still, none of us can figure out exactly what this argument was based on, why my sister didn’t show up, why she’s so angry with us, and what she told this guy. I also find it amusing that my sister has been on everyone’s shit list for a while. She never calls, never writes, doesn’t RSVP for weddings, but sends out invitations to her graduation from community college expecting money. I was the Troublemaker perpetually from about age eight to eighteen; I’m now the Good Daughter. I don’t make waves, I get along with my parents, I enjoy spending time with them, we’re friendly, it’s not forced or obligatory. I’m responsible and somewhat of a grown-up, if not a bit immature for my age. And she always thought I was the bad one.

What makes me certain this is a strange topic is because I realized I kept going back to correct myself from saying “my parents” to “our parents.” Because she’s been so little a part of my life for so long I’d almost forgotten about her.

Homework is done!

I wonder if I should have gone to that basketball game with the crier from work. After all the excitement Friday night I’m almost sorry I missed Saturday. But it was just a bunch of people trying to get in on the action after the fact, hoping something bad would happen that they could witness.

I realize professional sports players are not role models, but now that they’re announcing all the punishment these guys have received as a result of being degraded on national TV, what are the Detroit fans getting for throwing things at the players and punching them? If someone threw a beer in my face, I don’t care where I was at the time – I’d lash out and defend myself. I had a drunk guy lighting matches under my fingers at the AlleyCat one night and you can bet your ass I knocked that shit right off his stool with my elbow in his face.

On to nicer things, though. My new boyfriend came over for dinner tonight. Of course, I’ll have to fight with Kate and Charlie over him, but were I single and available, 8-12 years younger, and in better shape . . . well, I would like to cuddle with him. That’s all.

I made pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions, plus a yummy dipping sauce for italian bread with feta cheese, garlic, basil, and lemon in oil. That part was good. The first part wasn’t. I thought the roast turned out terribly. It looked like a big gray piece of rubber but everyone swore it was good. All I know is, it didn’t look like my dad’s pot roast, so I need to find out from him what I’m doing wrong. We had some chit chat then watched “Arrested Development” after he left. Good times.

Speaking of families, I have to do Thanksgiving twice this year. At least it isn’t three times, though. Even with the letter from Charlie’s dad apologizing I’m not ready to do stuff with them. Thursday we head out to my paternal grandmother’s about 45 minutes away. Sunday we head up to my mom’s folks’ house. I just realized I haven’t seen them since Christmas last year and I feel really bad about that. But, hey, I was working 70 hours a week since February . . .

I also found a car I really dig. It’s red and they’re asking $2750. Right down the street from my house. I saw it on the way to the gas station this afternoon. It’s a 1971 VW Squareback with a great paint job other than the hood. I would really, really, really like to have this car. It’s totally awesome. But where we’d get the money when we still have fifteen grand left to pay on the stolen car . . . it’s beyond me.

UPDATE: my dad tells me ’71 was a really bad year for VWs – the reason that car has only 30,000 miles is probably because that’s all it could get. Never mind.

Wah, wah.

No news on the car. The vehicle theft dept had nothing for me when I called earlier today. Sigh.

There’s this chick I work with at the part time job that I’ve had since February who can’t stand me. Rumor has it she said I was a bitch and it’s on her face whenever I look at her that she doesn’t like me. Of course, she’s a crier. She cries over everything. When I tried to train her, when people ask her to pick up some of the slack, when she breaks something, when she says something one of us finds offensive (she went on a pride tangent one night about buying Bush bumper stickers and Jon told her he found no humor in that. So she started crying). It’s incredibly frustrating. You know, I’m sorry to anyone out there that’s emotionally unstable in any way. I can totally relate. But when you bring all that stuff in to work and get weepy and upset . . . well, it hurts the team. In whatever way I can say that without sounding like I’m going to do some sort of Wal-Mart cheer.

Anyway. The people I work with sometimes put drinks on their own tabs when another employee comes in to get something. Just sometimes and just to be nice. She never, ever, ever does. She always charges me for drinks and, most of the time, acts like she forgot to give me the employee discount until I bring it up. Tonight she came in and ordered the most expensive drink we have in the largest size we have. She stood around and chatted with this one guy who’s taking my place as a supervisor since I got the new job on campus. She slurped on it and got weepy because no one wants to go with her to this professional sports-type game tomorrow. Then she started to walk out. She stopped and looked back at me and realized I was watching her. “Do you want me to pay for this?”
Do I want her to pay for it? Of course I do. She never puts my drinks on her tab. So what did I say? “Sure, I’ll get it. I’ll just put it under my number.”

No time for chit chat

When finals are upon us, the holidays are coming up, I'm working two jobs and going to school full time, plus I have three 3-5 page papers due, not to mention a creative thematic project and a test in psych that I have to find time for before Monday . . .

Well, let's just say I don't have much time for tomfoolery on the computer.


And you thought YOUR life sucked.

As if things couldn’t get any worse . . .
I woke up Thursday morning and dragged myself out of bed at 6:30. I took a shower and dried off. I stood in the bathroom in my towel putting on makeup and messing with my hair. Charlie gave me a peck on the cheek and said he was going out to start his car so he could do some cardio at the gym before work. Five minutes later, as I was dragging the mascara brush over my lashes Charlie came bursting back into the bathroom, breathless and red-faced.
“Is a stolen car sufficient reason to call 911?” He panted at me.
I’m sure I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a while, mascara in hand.
“I guess so,” I said.
Charlie told me my car was gone from the driveway. Kate has just left and had passed Charlie in the hall, must have heard me in the bathroom showering, so it didn’t make any sense what he was saying. If Kate had just left, wouldn’t she have noticed my car was missing?
I recall standing in the bedroom, pulling on tights and a skirt for work, continuing to get dressed as I listened to Charlie on the phone with the police. His back passenger-side window had been busted out and his car was trashed. They’d pulled everything out of his glove compartment and armrest. Somehow or another they’d gotten in to my car and had driven off with it.
I put on shoes and a sweater and walked into the living room where I stood for a minutes, watching Charlie talk on the phone.
When he hung up, he said the police would be there “within an hour.”
“I guess I’m not going to make it to work, then,” I conceded. That’s about when I finally started crying.

It took a while to sink in and is still hitting me in the stomach every 15 minutes or so. Tonight at work it wasn’t so bad. I’d forgotten at one point for at least an hour. But every time I remember, I get a sick feeling, then I get angry, then I get depressed. When the punks stole the CD player out of my last car, it was such a violation. I couldn’t even afford that CD player. The only reason I had it installed in my car was because my parents had given us a Circuit City gift certificate. I wanted to smash in the faces of the people/person/kid/whoever that had done that to me and scream at them, “I don’t have any fucking money, you asshole! Why would you steal from someone who’s poor?!” Meanwhile strangling the shit out of them.
I’ve been fantasizing about doing this to the people/person who stole my Sonata. I could barely make the payments on that car, the oil needed changed, and I haven’t had it much more than a year. I have been working two jobs for almost a year to make ends meet, and Charlie has had two jobs for almost two years. Yet some punk shithead walks up to our own house and helps himself to the one thing we own that’s really not worth that much anymore.

The insurance company set us up with a rental that’s a piece of crap. The alignment is all wacky, the brakes squeak, it had hardly any gas in it, it’s a non-smoking car, there’s no CD player, and nothing in it is automatic. What’s the point of a rental car if you’re not going to live it up? My standard options were pretty sweet: CD player, power everything, cruise control, etc…

The best part is the rest of the day: first we went to a coffee shop down the street but forgot to feed the meter, so we got a parking ticket on the rental car we’d had for an hour. The only time I’ve ever been in that coffee shop where I didn’t have to wait in line for ten minutes. We were in and out within five and I got a frigging parking ticket.
Then I realized that, since I’d started the new job on campus Wednesday, I’d had all my personal information in the car: social security card, birth certificate, high school records . . . I almost threw up. But, don’t worry, I found that stuff in my purse at home. WHEW!
Then I realized that the garage door opener was in the car. They could waltz into our house whenever they wanted. So we disconnected the power to the garage door.
But the ultimate moment came when Charlie realized he’d kept a spare key to my car in the armrest of his. What are the chances they’d have stolen my car if they hadn’t had a free key just staring them in the face as they sifted through Charlie’s car looking for money?
Also, they got my only two scarves, my only winter coat, the last $12 I had to my name that I’d hidden in the ashtray for emergency gas money, and two textbooks and notebooks from classes.

So, to you little shitheads that took my car, my coat, and the only money I had before payday: You better fucking hope I never get my hands on you.


[pretend this car is blue]

Defecting some more. I said "de-FEC-ting."

How funny is this? And I thought I was only one of a few looking to flee the country. The best part is that this is just the men seeking women and just in Vancouver. That’s not including any other Canadian city or province, or women seeking men to expat. I plan on having the Consulate General send a letter to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. explaining why I’m going. I’m not kidding. Sorry to anyone who is tired of hearing people say that.