What’s Happening

Finals are over for me already. I can’t believe it. I turned in my journalism portfolio on Thursday. I can’t say it’s the most exceptional thing I’ve ever written, but it was pretty good and I enjoyed the course. This morning I had another appointment with the doctors in the study to determine where I stand. They think I’ll fit, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m hesitant to take the actual study drug. Here’s hoping I get the placebo!

After that I headed straight to the SL building to take my psychology final. I sped through it, wondering why this exam felt so much easier than the last four. It wasn’t cumulative, and it was only over two chapters, but the questions even felt simpler. My instructor has a habit of being deceptive on the tests, like two answers sound really right and you don’t know which is correct until you realize one of the Latin names was spelled incorrectly or something like that. He’s tricky. When I got to the end, I checked my final score and I’d only gotten four questions wrong. I couldn’t believe it. Even though I was in a room full of other people taking tests silently, my arms shot up in the air in a little Rocky maneuver.

My final final (ha, ha) was at 1pm today and I soared through that, as well. To be completely honest, I didn’t try all that hard. It was four pages of stylistic editing, and while I’m pretty sure I caught all the little misspellings and grammatical errors, I wasn’t very interested in the text so I didn’t spend a lot of time on editing for style. I probably did “B” work but I know I’ll have an A in the class.

I go back to the therapist next Tuesday, and I don’t return to the doctors in the study for another two weeks. I’m glad for that. I just realized my parking pass expires on May 31st and I have no way to park after that, without dishing out money for a summer pass. I’m not thrilled with that idea.

Our “rebate” check should be directly deposited in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, my half is already spent. My summer class at Ivy Tech (finite) is $350, not including the textbook, and I have another appointment with the dentist next Monday. This time I have to get x-rays, so I have no clue what it will cost. Gas at the Shell down the street was $3.75 for regular this morning (what do you think of that, Cavan?), so Charlie and I are tossing around the idea of getting another car.
The Matrix doesn’t get bad gas mileage, and he’s not willing to part with his truck just yet. While we’ve had both vehicles for just about a year, we were pricing the Toyota Yaris and smart cars. Unfortunately, the Yaris is the better deal. smart cars have a 2+ year waiting list in Indianapolis right now. I joked that Charlie should pre-order one. By that point, gas could be five or more bucks a gallon, and he could trade in his truck for it. I’d give him the “bigger” car and take the smart car.

Audrey and I have toyed with the idea of applying at the new Fresh Market when it opens in a couple of months. She’ll be living in Broad Ripple and it’s just a short bike ride from here. I’ve been trying to talk Charlie into doing something — anything — else, other than managing the club. He thinks it will look bad to apply for another job when he was just promoted. It feels like it’s always something with that place. He has the most ridiculous sense of loyalty to it, and I just don’t understand why. I don’t trust the owner as far as I could throw him. Did I mention the owner fired Charlie’s assistant manager last week? He completely humiliated him and banned him from the club for life. I think he got wind that the guy was planning on moving to Florida with his girlfriend, and he overheard the assistant talking shit about him in the office. Oh, yeah – the owner has video and audio in the office and likes to watch at home. What a sleaze.

Groundbreaking Personal Discovery

Charlie and I were watching the news the other night, inundated with stories of food riots, financial crises, recessions, record gas prices, and local violent crimes. Now, I know you’re probably going to think this is really pessimistic, but we both believe that civilization as we know it may be coming to an end. It might not happen tomorrow, perhaps not even in our lifetime, but I imagine that, very soon, we will at least begin to see some really dramatic and maybe even shocking changes.

As the news projected the tremendous rises in gas and food prices, and the shortages of rice and water, I turned to look at Charlie. For the first time in my life, I had a thought, and I don’t know who was more surprised that I said it: “Do you think we should consider getting a gun?” I asked him. He laughed, not that what I said was funny, but because he’d been thinking the exact same thing.

We both determined that we weren’t going to be building a fall-out shelter or moving to Montana and joining a militia or anything — I don’t think camouflage is my season — but the idea of at least learning to use, and having on-hand, some sort of protection in the event of a critical shift in our civil rights was at least something to consider.

Curioser and Curioser

My older sister, with whom I haven’t spoken in over eight years, apparently got married over Easter weekend. I saw on her MySpace page that her status is listed as “married,” and I promptly emailed my mom and tattled on my sister. My mom responded to say they knew about it because my sister had sent them a card and a five page letter, explaining that they’d basically eloped, as well as detailing all the horrors she apparently has to endure with his nine-year-old daughter.

Most of the reason I ever visit her MySpace page is to read her rambling blog posts about this girl, her now-stepdaughter, and how terrible this kid is. She refers to the girl’s mother as her “bio mom,” despite the fact that the woman is, in fact, the girl’s mother — not someone who put up a child for adoption. I think I have a different perspective than my own mom, who mentioned something about “how many problems” my sister and her husband have with this girl. But I can’t help thinking the kid is only NINE. What sorts of trouble could she really get into? And how can the woman refer to her as a manipulator and always as “the stepkid”?

I will be the first to admit I know almost nothing about children. I don’t particularly care for them, although everyone tells me I’d feel differently if I had my own. I don’t like people talking down to kids, or using baby talk on someone who is six, ten, or even fourteen years old. And I’ve seen it. But that also doesn’t mean someone should go around the Web posting public documents about how this child is practically a sociopath, or that she needs to be in therapy, or how my sister doesn’t know how she can “deal with the brat.” Children seem to be able to pick up on stuff. If my sister has this sort of hostility and animosity towards a nine-year-old little girl, I imagine the girl’s behavior won’t be improving because she realizes she isn’t loved.

My mom said that she told my sister we’d be having a Memorial Day gathering at my house. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to see her again after all these years. The story is that she’s mad at the entire family because none of us “understand” who she is (she’s a self-proclaimed witch/pagan/whatever), and that we all should “know” whatever it is we did to her. My cousin jokingly said over Christmas that I should send my sister an email and say I was sorry for what I’ve done. I said “But I haven’t done anything.” He said it doesn’t matter. Just apologize and maybe she’ll feel better.

But I can’t bring myself to do it. And, to be completely honest, I don’t feel my life is any less full with her not in it.

No News is Good News

I haven’t had much to talk about lately. Actually, let’s be honest here. I haven’t had that much to bitch about on a daily basis, three times a day.

Kind of because I sort of feel a little on the lacking-in-personality side of things, and also because stuff doesn’t seem to be bothering me quite as much as it usually does. Dare I say that I haven’t been in a terrible mood? And what else do I do with this blog but bitch about the day-to-day?

I would say this is a relatively effective medication I’ve been on the past month. I’m now up to 100mg per day, and for two more weeks I’ll take that. Then they’ll see where I am, and if I still fit in the study. I think I’d rather continue with what I have been doing than take something that will probably make me a zombie, though. I still have reservations about the study drug, especially the more I learn about it. There’s a psychiatrist I can see at the CAPS office, but it’s $40 per visit, and that can add up, depending upon whether or not he wants to start me out at 25, 50, 75mg, or whatever, and then wants to see me each week, per increase.

Charlie said it doesn’t seem like I’m any less “myself” than usual, but I definitely feel . . . different. Kind of the same, but also sort of less of everything. In a way, of course, that’s good, because it means I’m not as tense, keyed up, and worried as usual. I don’t find myself obsessing quite as often, or quite as much. But it also means that I don’t feel particularly conversational, witty, or clever. While things seem to be on a more even keel, I wonder if I’m giving up any of my personality. I guess only time will tell.

I’ve been going to the gym an average of 2-3 times per week. It’s not a lot, I know, but for me, that’s huge. I happen to have gone down one bra size already (dammit!), and all of my summer clothes from last year are loose. Some are already too big. I wasn’t expecting any sort of results, actually, so to see a difference after just a few weeks is pretty cool. I almost didn’t go to the gym today because we met Liz for lunch and I was still kind of full. But I went anyway, and just did 20 minutes on the machines and about 10 minutes of weights.

On top of that, I’ve gone to therapy once a week for the past four weeks, and have another appointment this Friday. I’ve let Charlie drive the car numerous times in the past couple of weeks. I got a little bit nervous today, but mostly because a car in front of us came to a sudden stop. Liz even drove me home from work before we went to lunch. Granted, that’s just a block and a half, but still . . .

If nothing else, I think just going in to all of this with a positive attitude has made me . . . well, more positive. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t make me feel especially witty. But I guess I have to weigh the pros and cons for myself.

I’m Not Going to Say ‘I Told You So’

As Cavan so eloquently put it a few weeks ago, the shithole-of-a-place where Charlie works is already starting to rear its evil head – the one that makes it impossible for anyone to manage the club for any extended period of time without pulling out his or her own hair and leaving in a huff, screaming and cursing the establishment on their way out.

When the now-former manager announced his intentions to leave, and Charlie discussed with the owner the possibility of Charlie taking over, they also approached an employee to be the assistant. At the time, I laughed when he told me, because this is the same guy who, over the course of the past year or so, has announced his own intentions to leave about three hundred times. Every few weeks it seemed I was hearing a different story from Charlie about what this guy wanted to do. He wanted to go in to the Marines, but then couldn’t pass some sort of test. He decided to re-enlist in the Army, but later found out there was some sort of complication with that, as well. I think he’s tried to do the firefighter/EMT thing, as well as the police academy. He has also been trying to sell his house which his ex-wife is still living in, and which she refuses to allow him to sell, and the mortgage on which he is still apparently paying.

So when Charlie told me, with authority, that this guy would be a great assistant manager, I just said “We’ll see how long it takes him to tell you he’s leaving.”

That would be two weeks.

Now this guy has decided to move to Florida with his girlfriend — someone who moved in with him to his parents’ home after the separation from his ex, about a month after they started dating — so she can attend some sort of event management certification program in Orlando that costs more than my entire college education will once I’m done. Okay, fine. There’s got to be someone else who can do his job if he leaves. It won’t be his girlfriend, though – did I mention she also works at the club? And it won’t be the person in charge of the VIP section, because she’s decided she wants to move with them. And it won’t be the head of security, because he thinks it sounds like a great idea to move to Florida, too!

I tried to give Charlie some sound advice on all of this. Rather than kicking him in the shins and telling him how crazy he was to accept the job, I said give yourself a time limit. Six months, eight months, a year, whatever. By that point his salary will have increased enough that he can start socking away money. A month or so before this self-imposed deadline, I said, start putting out resumes. Put in your two week notice when you find another job, and wash your hands of that place.

With the schedule he’ll have to work (especially if he can’t get another assistant manager ASAP), keeping this job because “it works great when you take classes” will no longer apply. It will take up all his free time, which sucks the most because he’ll have to be at work until, like, five in the morning, despite having an early Thursday class, and has meetings all Tuesdays, when he has class until after one. Thankfully there are only about three or four more weeks of classes, so the former manager has agreed to continue meeting with reps on Tuesdays until the end of the semester.

Either way, I’m just so not thrilled with this place. I don’t see how the money will really be worth it. He’s already been getting dozens of phone calls throughout the day with ridiculous questions from everyone at work. Every time we sit down to eat, or play in the grass with the dogs, his phone is ringing. All I can do is hope the evil that is this nightclub ends its reign over our social and personal life in a timely manner.

The Local Flavor Part Bazillion: Feeling Better About Yourself By Yelling

We have this regular who we call by the name of the city she moved to Indy from: Cleveland. She used to come in to the Starbucks where I worked, like, 5 years ago, and even now she continues to rave about how much better Cleveland was than Indianapolis. One of the first days I worked at this coffeeshop, she came in (about three years ago), wearing the same cast on her foot and hobbling on a crutch. I thought this was impossible. You would have to do some significant damage to your foot to be wearing a brace after two years. But she was. She wore it for another full year.

During that time, she would bark at us to not fill up her coffee cup, because she needed extra space so she didn’t spill it all over herself in the car. One morning she screamed that the floor was wet from the snow and salt and that she almost fell and broke her leg. Another day she yelled at Mark for making her a sandwich using the same gloves he’d had on when he pulled out the sandwich fillings. Yet another morning she freaked out on Audrey for using what Cleveland thought were “dirty tongs.” They had some icing on them from a cinnamon roll.

She’s a really difficult person to deal with. We never have what she wants, and when we do, it’s “not right.” When we make something for her, we’re doing it wrong, or something is gross, dirty, full of germs, disgusting, too hot, too cold. I don’t think she’s a germ-a-phobe; I just think she’s a bitch.

Today she asked for a blueberry muffin. Matt gave her banana nut by mistake. She called the store fifteen minutes later and had a conversation with Matt of which I was completely ignorant. He told me later that she got the wrong muffin, so he put aside our last blueberry for her to come back and get it. I answered the phone a few minutes after this conversation, and she had worked herself in to a tizzy about the nuts in the banana muffins.

I was on the bar, trying to make five drinks at a time, while she was shouting in to my ear about how she has an allergy, and how people die from allergies like this, and she demands to know exactly what kind of nut was in that muffin. I wasn’t sure, but I was pretty positive it was walnut, so I told her to hang on and I’d ask. As I started to put the phone down and yell back at Matt, I heard Cleveland screaming at me to FOCUS! FOCUS ON WHAT I’M ASKING YOU! She was barking that I was obviously distracted, and kept telling me to FOCUS. I felt I was sufficiently focused on what she was saying, so I snapped back at her “I heard what you asked, and I’m trying to find out if Matt knows what kind of nut is in the muffin.” And I said it real shitty.

She continued to tell me to stop being distracted and pay attention to her, so I said she should operate under the assumption that they are, in fact, walnuts, and not to eat the muffin. “I already took a bite, but I spit it back out!” She yelled. “I could get really sick!”

Next thing I know she’s saying we apparently need to hold a special training session at our store on how to identify the few muffins we actually sell, and she said it real shitty, so I responded, “Okay, thank you,” and I hung up on her.

I spent the better part of the morning wringing my hands, waiting for a call from the owner to tell me I’m going to get written up or something. I was pretty rude, but only after Cleveland was totally condescending. I know she was calling me and Matt stupid for not knowing what was in our pastries, and I realize she got something that she may or may not be allergic to (I’m suspicious because she didn’t mention this to Matt on the phone the first time she called; it was like an afterthought), but there was no need for her to raise her voice and call me names, or try to make me feel retarded for “not listening well enough.”

I’m prepared for the worst. If I get written up, I get written up. It would be the first time in three years, which is a lot more than I can say for most of my co-workers. I’m not thrilled to see her the next time she comes in. I can just hope she’s pissed enough not to come back. Unfortunately, based on her behavior every time I’ve ever dealt with her, she seems like the kind of person who goes through life looking for a reason to sue someplace or someone. Some people seem to live by the rule that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. She probably gets a lot of complimentary meals and gift certificates from bitching her head off.