Friday, June 29, 2012

The Adventures of Captain Negativity

There is this woman that I know that has been nicknamed Captain Negativity. She earned this name by being by far the most negative human I have ever met in my life. I swear I am not exaggerating. Little emo tweens have a better outlook on life than this woman does.

Now I am a pretty optimistic person; disgustingly so at times. When bad things happen my general response is to find the good in the situation and point it out. I know it is a totally obnoxious quality, and I try and reign it in when no one really wants to hear about silver linings, but it is still playing through my head. It is just how I work.

Admittedly I even have moments where I just can't seem to muster the happy shiny thoughts. I get discouraged like everyone else. I am only human after all. Typically though my pity parties are short and I try desperately to keep them contained to a small group of my closest friends. The general public shouldn't be subject to my outbursts.

Captain Negativity though can't find anything good about anything. Ever. In the nine months that I have known her I can not recall her saying one positive thing. She spins everything into something bad. Everything.

She gets her lunch and it is always wrong somehow. The other day they put a free pickle with her meal and she complained about it. She admitted that she loved pickles, but she didn't want a pickle that day so it was somehow a burden. Seriously if I get a free pickle I do a dance. If I don't want said pickle I can normally find someone who wants it, and if not, well I am not afraid to save it for later or just throw it away. It is a pickle.

I try desperately not to talk to her because all that negative energy just brings me down. Occasionally though she will corner me and my good southern upbringing won't allow me to just walk away from her when she starts talking at me. Damn me being raised to be polite.

Today she cornered me and asked nonchalantly how I was. I knew there was no correct answer that would get me out of a downer of a conversation with her. I tried to just give her a quick witty reply without making eye contact, but it failed as I knew it would. I simply said I was glad it was Friday, which in retrospect was a loaded statement for her, but it was the first thing that came to my head as it is stock polite conversation material.

I spent the next few minutes listening to her go on and on about how much she disliked Fridays because they led to the weekend which she dreaded because she always had to work. She told me all about how she could never get all of her work done, and take care of her toddler, and do the things that she can't normally do during the week, and could never relax or do anything fun.

Then she proceeded to tell me how she is taking a week long vacation in a few months. For one brief shining moment I thought I was going to at last hear a positive thing out of her. I thought she was going to say how she was looking forward to it and finally getting to relax. I expected her to say how good it would be to go back home and see her family. Perhaps she would tell me how much she was looking forward to spending quality time with her daughter or catching up on sleep.

The moment was fleeting.

She did nothing but lament that she was taking the trip. She told me how she dreaded it because she knew she would not be able to clean her house before the trip and would come home to a filthy mess and probably forget to take the trash out and come home to the smell of week old diapers. It sounded more like a looming punishment instead of a vacation.

Seriously she could find fault in a wet dream.

I find it exhausting just listening to her negative attitude, I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to live like that. She never smiles or really laughs. She has this strange nervous chortle that is accompanied by her baring her teeth at you. It is unsettling to say the least.

I wish there were some way to make her see the positive side of something. The optimist in me wants to smile and tell her it will all be alright and that there is good in most every situation. The realist in me however knows better than to even try such a thing. The realist in me tells me to just avoid her lest I get sucked into her negative world.

Bless her pea picking heart.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The power of the sticky note

My family is weird. We are very weird and are full of weird little traditions and rituals. 

Back before I was born my grandfather had quadruple bypass heart surgery. This was back when such surgeries were still fairly new and you couldn't just go to your local hospital, or most likely a hospital in your city necessarily to have the surgery done. As it was my grandfather had to go to Houston to have his done.

While he was in Houston for the surgery, my mother and her sister went to my grandparents condo in Connecticut to watch things. Faced with thoughts of their father mortality they did what seemed natural to them, and probably most of us honestly; they got drunk.

It was at this point that they, while incredibly inebriated, took a packet of sticky notes and began to label my grandparents possessions. They were placing a note with their name on it on anything that they wanted to claim for themselves in the eventual event of my grandparent's passing. As the story goes they were not so drunk as to forget that they had a brother who also deserved some of the things they were dividing up. They left to him one of the antique clocks that came from Europe, but nothing else.

I believe they also left the sticky notes up for my grandparents to find when they came home. What can I say, that is the sort of sense of humor my family has. I told you we are weird. It became one of those things in our family though. I knew this story from the time I was very young, and it was always told with a laugh, almost like a joke.

For years we joked that should we see anything that we wanted in the family we should put a sticky  note on it to get our claim in. I have to again remind you that while this is the sort of humor my family has, it is also sort of the way we operate. Yes it seems odd, however it is how we work.

So several years ago, probably five or six years now, my mother bought a number of beautiful antique pieces on craigs list. The family was a well to do one that was selling everything they owned so they could move to Europe and start over as they felt they needed something different in life. So my mom got these things super cheap. 

Among the pieces there was a beautiful antique hall tree. For those of you who are thinking, what the hell is a hall tree, let me explain. It is a narrow cabinet that is generally used in small spaces like entrance halls. You see a lot with coat hooks on them so that they can go next to doors in entryways. This one had no hooks, but it had a mirror. It was beautiful. I was in love with it from the moment I saw it.

My mother told me how my sister also loved the piece and had said that some day she wanted to have it. I responded in the only way I knew how; I asked if she had labeled it yet. My mother laughed and told me that no she hadn't. I practically ran to the office to find the sticky notes, and affixed one with my name on it to the inside cabinet door. My sister could want it all she liked, she didn't put a sticky note on it, so I won.

Of course when my sister found out about this she tried to pull my label off. She insisted that she had said she wanted it first, but my mother would not hear it. She stuck by my sticky note and insisted that had my sister been serious that she should have labeled it first. My sticky note remained.

Recently, with the passing of my grandmother, my mother has inherited new furniture. She is also moving into my grandmothers house, and is making a lot of changes in the things in her home. I had inherited an antique writing desk from my grandmother which I had to go and pick up, and my mom decided to give me some furniture she no longer wanted. Among the items was the hall tree.

I was so excited.
We didn't tell my sister.

I got it home and had it in place and decorated within five minutes.

Right by my front door.

It looks wonderful, like it always belonged there.


I wonder if I can take the note off now...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow

When I write I typically start with a small idea or a simple scene and sort of allow the story to happen. Sometimes the story ends with that moment. To be honest most of my stories are small. I don't want to say they are short stories, because while they are short, I am not certain that the tag of short story fits them. They are what I think of in my  head as small.

Small stories are just little ideas that do not have far to go in their journey. Sometimes small stories can grow into big stories, but mostly they are just small. They tell what they came to tell and then are done. I like small stories as they are easy to complete and incredibly satisfying.

I tend to find that small stories are ones that have little outside influence on them. I write them off of a thought that randomly pops into my head or something I saw in passing. Their inspiration is so fleeting that there really is not far for them to go, or much for them to feed on and grow.

It is when my inspiration is larger and has more scale that a big story is born. I always think that they will just be small stories, perhaps a scene or two, but that is never how it works. One scene turns into two, two into ten, and before I  know it I have been feverishly writing for hours and have ten thousand words that have poured from my finger tips onto the computer screen.

My biggest problem is keeping the momentum. Writing isn't a job for me or even a hobby that takes my full focus. Finding the time to be consumed by a story can be tricky in my day to day life. Finding the sort of inspiration that will continue to feed a growing story is also no easy task.

Unless I use music. Music never really ends. Even if it is just one song that inspires me all I need is to hear that song again and suddenly the story begins to churn and bubble and is ready to again consume me so it can grow.

A few years ago, only days after faire had ended, I was sitting at work and decided to listen to the CD of some of my friends. Their group is called Travelers Song and they sing mostly folk and drinking songs with a lot of Irish influence*. I had a scene that had been flashing in my head all morning and I decided that I should write it out as I was listening to this CD.

Five hours later I had ten thousand words in a file and an entirely new world alive and well in my head. This was no small story. This story was a creature that was alive and growing by leaps and bounds. I nurtured the story, I brainstormed it with my writers group, I brainstormed it with the husbeast, I jotted ideas and scenes on napkins in restaurants, I let it live in me.

Slowly though, as a story is want to do, it became quiet and still until it finally lay dormant. When I sat to work on it nothing new came about. The same old things just rattled around in my head. No one was moving anywhere or doing anything. My story had no future because there was a problem in the present that had to be solved before a path could be chosen.

If she lives it means one thing and if she dies it is another. Or does she really matter at all? Perhaps she was just a device to get things started and the story does not live in her but in the men. Still if she dies it changes how the story lives in them.

These questions were ones I couldn't answer. I killed her and nothing happened. I let her live and nothing happened. The story was not ready to grow. The story was ready to sleep after its growth spurt. So I left it to sleep. I had other stories and other projects to work on. If this story was ever to grow into what it should be it would do it in its own time.

I know a lot of writers who would say that is something you should really not do. Once you leave a story like that you have pretty much admitted it is dead. If you leave it alone too long nothing will ever come of it. I can not say that they are wrong. I can't say that most of the time I never go back. That is why most of my stories are small.

This story though, it was born of music. Every time that Travelers Song pops up on my iPod there is a fluttering in the back of my mind. I think fondly on the slumbering story, a warmth in me as I remember how good it felt to be consumed by it in those first few days. Still it is only a stirring.

Then it happened quite unexpectedly. Yesterday The Briar and The Rose played through on shuffle, and the words just never left my head. The tune haunted me through my work, and late into the evening. I lay in bed unable to sleep, still hearing the song, only I realized that was not all I was hearing.

I was hearing words.
A scene.

The story was awake again.

I threw myself out of bed and at my laptop, typing away with a renewed conviction. The story that had lay silent for nearly three years was chattering on in my head as though it had  never stopped. It had begun to grow again. The girl was alive, the men had purpose, the path was so very clear.

Half an hour and almost three thousand words flew by. I sat smiling at the screen filled with a contentment that comes from creating something new. I pasted my new words into the file with the rest of the story. It was raw and ugly, names that I had forgotten were substituted with crude place holders, dialogue was choppily thrown down, descriptions were barely hashed out, but it was there.

It was my story, there and finally ready to grow.

*I am certain the boys would bill themselves differently but that is the best I can do without just dumbly saying 'Its pretty music!'. What? I am not a music person. I like it or I don't.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Out of the stone age

Under no circumstances would I ever say that the husbeast and I are technophobes. We are so completely far from being ludites. Looking around our house it is east to see that we are both rather tech savy. Alright, he is tech savy, I just have some nice toys I like.

He is a computer guy though and well I love them even if I can't speak to them the way he can. We have always had pretty top of the line fancy stuff when it comes to computer like things. I mean we have also had frankencomputers that he has built from boxes of scraps, but that was more back when we were starving college kids.

There is one area though where we have both always resisted the tech call; phones. We both hate phones. Now I was totally the poster child for a second phone line when I was a teenager, you know back when you needed two landlines if you used internet or had a teenage daughter. I outgrew that phase when I graduated high school. Really I would have been less in that phase in high school if my best friend had had a computer and we could have chatted online.

I just prefer text to talking over the phone. I love talking in person, but I find phone conversations to always be a little awkward. I would much rather you IM or email me a question than call me on the phone for the answer. If I feel it needs an actual discussion then I might dial your number, but really that is the exception and not the rule.

The husbeast hates phones because he makes his living talking on them all day long. I can remember a point when we used to buy really cheap phones for the house because he would throw the handsets at walls when they would ring too often.

When we first got cell phones, we were among the last of our friends and family to give in to the trend. We both agreed that we really just didn't want them. We couldn't see the need to have a phone on us all the time. Alas we spent copious amounts of time driving back and forth across Texas and not being anywhere near our house, so we had to cave and get one.

Well then we decided that it was cheaper for us to both have cell phones and no land line, so we suddenly became a two cell phone household. Still we were on the phones you got for free when you signed your phone contract. It made calls, that was all we needed. There were no cameras or texting or anything on them.

The urge to text was low. Not a lot of my friends were texting, and if they were I didn't care. I could live without it, and the husbeast just didn't seem to get what the appeal was. We would upgrade our phones and the sales guy would desperately try and unload a text package on us, and we would scoff at him.

Finally I decided, under the oppression of an office that allowed us to do nothing but work or pretending to work, that texting would be  my only relief. We still had the craptastic cheap phones, but I was a texting fool. I was madly in love with texting. I really couldn't see how I had lived without.

So it was that the next time we got new phones we got ones with keyboards on them. They were still no where near the top of the line phones, or even the fancy ones. We were still firmly behind the times in phones. With the addition to a keyboard though the husbeast began to text. He still hated his phone but we found the convenience of being able to chat while at work.

Almost all of my friends have smart phones, and have for years. Hell my mother has had a smartphone forever now. Our phones had all data blocked. We couldn't send or receive pictures let alone play words with friends. I haven't a clue what Instagram is. This is probably why I can't understand Twitter. I just really didn't see the point in all of it. Why would I want to be that distracted?

Of course I used to say the same thing about texting.

About a week ago the touch screen on my phone started dying. I would press enter and get a 9. That is if the damn thing would respond to me at all. I asked the husbeast and he reported his phone was doing the same thing. It shouldn't have surprised us, the phones were two years old. They had the decency of dying just as our contract was ending and could get the upgrade price on new phones.

It was as we stood staring at the wall of phones in the Sprint store that we realized that we were so woefully behind the times. All of the phones in store were smartphones. If we wanted a non smart phone we were going to have to order one online.

So we debated; do we really need smartphones? Do we need or even want that sort of burden? Yes I think it is a burden. I think having all of that stuff with me all the time is a lot to deal with. There was also the question of would we really use them? Would our use, after the initial shiny and new period, be worth the increased cost of our phone plans, not to mention the huge price tag on these phones?

Finally we admitted defeat and decided on a making the change.

Of course this time we decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. We didn't get the small cheap phones that would suffice. Nothing in the beginner line for us. Nope we jumped in with both feet. We picked the top of the line that the store had to offer. In the end we both walked away with android phones, HTC Evo's to be exact.

The husbeast has a slight advantage over me, having had a tablet for about a year now he is at least used to the concept of how a smart phone works. I on the other hand feel like an idiot. I have been sitting poking at the screen since we got them yesterday afternoon, desperately trying to figure out how to work my phone. I've managed to figure out how to text, which is of the utmost importance, and I have managed to download some game apps. I also connected my gmail and facebook, which I still can not decide if that was a smart idea or not.

I am sure if you were to ask me in a month if I liked my new smart phone I would tell you I couldn't remember how I lived without it. As of right now though, I am just trying to figure out how to use it. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

The worst sound in the world

If you had asked me a week ago what the worst sound in the world was, I would have told you it was the sound of a jackhammer ripping up the foundation in your living room. Trust me if you have never had that experience, it is pretty awful. Every thundering crack reminds you of what an awful position you must be in to have your slab ripped open.

As of Wednesday I have a new worst sound ever. While this one also brings up horrible thoughts of why you are in a situation, the sound itself is repulsive. I hope to never hear it again in my entire life, and really hope none of you have to experience it either.

It is the sound of a dentists drill breaking your tooth apart. Yes you read that right, breaking the tooth apart, and on purpose too. I am not talking about the sound of getting your teeth drilled, which in and of itself is pretty horrid as far as sounds go. No I am talking about that high pitched whir, that grinding noise of metal on tooth that makes your skin crawl, and then a sickening cracking and shattering of tooth.

I had the unfortunate experience of having one of my wisdom teeth going bad. Well all of my wisdom teeth went bad, but the upper left one was a doozy. I had a couple get impacted and were easily pulled, and I had one come in half formed that was also a fairly easy pull, but not the upper left. This one was deceptive.

This tooth came in just fine. It was fully formed. It was not impacted. It had plenty of room to hang out with my other molars for the rest of time. So of course it would decide to be the most trouble in the long run since it looked to have the most chance of not getting yanked. Perhaps it just missed its brethren.

About seven years ago I started having severe tooth pain. A trip to the dentist revealed it was this particular tooth that had gone bad. There was an infection, and a sizable cavity in the tooth already. The diagnoses was it needed to be pulled.

Now if you have had a wisdom tooth pulled you know it isn't cheap. It is considered oral surgery and the trickier the tooth the more expensive it is. I am told my root is hooked and they will have to cut in to get it out and all manner of other things. The estimated bill is nearly $1000 with my insurance. That hurt almost more than the tooth.

Alas when my appointment came around I had the flu and had to reschedule. Due to the weird schedule of the oral surgeon and the fact that it was the holidays I ended up having to wait over a month before a new appointment could be made. In that time the transmission on our car exploded and we no longer had the money for the surgery.

I want you to take this scenario and repeat for seven years. We save the money, a pipe bursts. We save the money, I get a kidney stone that has to be operated on. We save the money, the husbeast gets laid off. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This last December I had to go in for a lot of really expensive dental work, and was financing the whole lot. I decided that if I was going to have $3000 worth of dental work, might as well make it $4000 and have that tooth pulled too. Of course by this point the tooth had all but crumbled away. The dentist said it was not an issue and added it to the list.

I know you are thinking now that December was certainly not this past week. What happened? Well after spending five hours in a dentists chair having a root canal, several partials and crowns, and a deep scaling, plus extracting another wisdom tooth that was an easy pull, they didn't have time to go after this one tooth. I would have to wait.

Then of course what always happens happened, we ran out of money. This was smack dab in the middle of the husbeasts last unemployment bout. I couldn't afford anymore payments to be heaped on. The tooth would have to once again, be put on hold.

This last week though it began to bother me, and we made the decision to have it yanked quick before something else happened. I went in expecting it to be a long drawn out painful and expensive process. The tooth, or what was left of it, was in very bad shape, and I still had a hooked root.

Half an hour, a lot of drilling, and a lot of yanking later, she had chipped away and removed all signs of the evil molar. I was wisdom tooth free and still pretty numb. I had my prescription for pain meds and antibiotics in hand and went to pay the bill, prepared for that to be the most painful part of the visit.

That is when I had to wonder if the shots she gave me were effecting my vision. My bill that I expected to be $1000 was only $230. The hell you say?! That was almost 1/5* of what I was expecting. Hellif I had known it would be that cheap I would have had the damn thing out years ago.

So in the end the only pain I am having is residual pain from having my tooth crushed from my head. I understand why this is the most painful after extraction experience I have had. If the sound that resonated through my skull as she broke my tooth apart with that drill was any indication of the pain I should experience, I am getting off easy.

Still, I hope to never hear that sound again.

*I tell you now that it took me a lot of time to decide if that was the correct fraction for what I was saying. Math not my strong suit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who are you?

Last night I sat perched on the edge of an overstuffed leather chair, nibbling on a piece of red velvet birthday cake, surrounded by rhythmic music, and watching the freaks play with their lighted hoops, colorful scarves, and flashing juggling balls. It was another wonderful evening with the circus freaks and play time was in full swing.

One of our hosts, a lovely statuesque woman who they lovingly call the Empress, sat across from me enjoying her slice of cake. I had the pleasure of getting to know her some out at faire during this past season. She had spent so much time in our sandbox, and I was happy to spend some time in hers. At faire though it is hard to get to know anyone. We only  knew each other in character.

So it was that she asked me what all people ask in the beginning; who are you? She wanted to know me out of character, which is only natural. My characters are fascinating, but they are not me. So she asked me, and I just sort of stared at her blankly.

I had no idea what to say to her. I mean really, how often are you honestly asked who you are? What do you really say to that?

I mean there are the obvious generic answers of job, marital status, political or religious affiliation; but is that who I am? I mean I am a Data Analyst. I am married. I am a pagan. I don't have political affiliations. How much of me is that though.

I didn't really manage to answer her. The setting wasn't exactly conductive to a long conversation. She had subjects who were wanting her attention, and I had more than my own share of distractions, so the question was never answered.

I have been pondering it over though. If I was asked again what would I say? This is the same sort of conundrum that plagues me when I have to fill in the info section of a website. I normally just say I am me and you either know me or you don't.

There has to be more though. There has to be something I can say that isn't my basic societal stats. So after much deliberation instead of sleeping this is what I have come up with:

I am a performer. This one should be obvious what with the faire thing and all, but it is a very large part of me. I have been performing pretty much since I could speak. I love telling stories more than anything else. Sometimes I ramble, but I like to think that even then I am at least engaging and entertaining.

I am a writer. This sort of falls in with being a story teller I suppose. I like telling stories, but I like making them up more. Another thing that I have been doing since I could talk. Just ask my mother, she will tell you all about the long car trips where I would talk for hours on end.Maybe with my blog I should have put this first, but it honestly wasn't the first thing that came to my mind.

I am a nurturer. I had a whole bunch of random things that I felt could be neatly grouped here. I love to cook, but more so I love to feed people. I love taking care of my people. Bringing them comfort in some way, whether it be a random present, a word of encouragement, a tasty treat, or a strong hug, I like to be there.

I am a costumer. I am not sure seamstress is really the right word, because there are a lot of places my sewing is lacking. I love to create images though. I like looking at a group and creating a look for them. I love the sewing and actually creating the pieces as well.

That is all I have come up with so far. I know there is more to me, but that is a good start.
In the end though I stand by what most of my profiles say; I am just me. You know me or you don't, and all you can do to really know me is just stick around.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How my Saturday was ruined by people fullfilling negative stereotypes; or: Don't be a jerk!

Do you ever make spontaneous plans to have a nice time only to have everything blow up in your face? Yea well that was my Saturday night. It was the sort of evening that makes me not want to interact with the unwashed masses anymore.

Let me explain...

Saturday started off lovely. The husbeast and I slept in a little before heading down to the Dallas Farmers Market. It was splendid. We loaded up on so much amazing produce and had some good quality time together. After we dropped our haul at the house and made some fresh strawberry lemonade from our bounty, we headed down to the faire site for cast picnic.

The picnic was lovely. The husbeast played volleyball and then fought with wooden swords almost the entire time. I sat and chatted with friends and got to oogle all the fresh babies. It was a nice relaxed afternoon with the people I like most. All in all a wonderful way to end the faire season out, and to spend a Saturday afternoon.

We headed out around 6 for home, but decided we weren't really ready to actually go home. Neither of us were terribly hungry so we decided to see a movie. We pass by a theater on the way home anyways, why not stop and see what is showing.

Now there was some debate over what to see; he wants to see Prometheus, I want to see Snow White and the Huntsman, so we decide on MIB3 because it is the only thing we both want to see. We are pretty good about movie compromising most of the time. Also it helped that there was a non 3D showing of MIB3 withing 40 minutes of our arrival to the theater, and they took passes which allowed us to not pay for the movie.

The husbeast puttered in the arcade for about 15 minutes before we went to sit down. Now the ticket guy pointed us down to the end of the hall to a theater we had never been in before. This was note worthy to both of us, and we soon found out why. The theater was the last one on the end, which is the tiny one with only 8 rows of seats. This theater is normally relegated to craptastic indy movies and movies that are at the bitter end of their run. Certainly this was not the appropriate theater to put in a movie like MIB3.

We double checked and realized we were in the correct theater. At this point we should have just asked for our passes back. I have serious depth perception issues which cause some pretty nasty bouts of vertigo. Sitting too close in a theater is an easy way to trigger that unfortunate response. Still I was going to try sitting in the back row and tough it out.

As the theater slowly began to fill you could see the same reaction on every persons face; "Where the hell are we?". I was happy to know we were not the only people shocked by the size of the theater we were seeing the movie in. It is like they are punishing people for watching the non 3D version of popular movies. Last time it was ridiculously inconvenient show times. Now it is crappy locations.

So there we are, sitting in the unusually narrow row of seats, about a minute from the previews starting, when into the theater walks a man.

Now I feel the need to point out a few things before I continue.

First of all, I don't typically subscribe to stereotypes. I find that they are most often not true, and so I never automatically assume someone is going to fall into that stereotypes. That being said stereotypes happen for a reason, and I really tend to hate people that fit those negative views.

Second, I am fat. I am in no place to judge anyone on their weight, because I have weight issues. I also don't care what you look like at all. I care about people behaving well and being respectful no matter what they look like or what I look like.

Ok back to the story.

So this man walks in, and I tell you now that he fit the not only the stereotype of fat slob, but also over-entitled asshole perfectly. He is a bigger man and he was laden down with food; a fruit smoothie, a large drink, a giant popcorn, and a soft pretzel on a plate. I really didn't pay him much attention beyond the fact that he also looked disgusted with the theater we had been placed in.

Then he came and sat in the seat in front of the husbeast. It was the only aisle seat left the wasn't right in front of the screen. We always sit on the aisle since the husbeast is 6'6" and likes to stretch his legs out into the aisle mid movie when they start to cramp up.

Now I mentioned before that the back row was unusually narrow, and come to find out the seats in the row in front of us were loose and reclined pretty much all the way back unless you actively sat forward. This man sits down and his seat comes flying back right into the husbeast shins, effectively crushing his legs.

This obviously wasn't on purpose. There was no way this man could know that the rows were narrow or the seat was so loose. The husbeast let out a cry of pain and quickly asked the man to sit up, which he did only so he could turn around and see who was talking to him. After we requested he not lean back he told us that he couldn't help it and turned around and proceeded to once again crush the husbeasts legs.

I should mention now that the husbeast has a few anger issues, and has been known to have incidents in movie theaters on occasion. He was trying to be civil, though he was obviously losing his patience as he once again told the man that he was physically hurting him and there was no way he could sit like that. The man responded by leaning further back and saying "I don't care what you do I am going to enjoy my movie."

What the hell? We were there first. There were plenty of empty seats in the theater that he could move to. It is not like we were asking him to move because we were somehow inappropriately offended by his presence. He was actually causing physical pain to the husbeast. We were not being unreasonable.

I could see clearly that this asshole was not going to make any attempt to resolve this situation. He did not care what we did or if we were comfortable. He was going to sit where he wanted, how he wanted, no matter what. I could also clearly see that the husbeast was about to punch the guy in the back of the head. At this point I suggested we trade seats with the man. Yes it was a row closer when I was already too close, but it was better than assault charges.

The guy reluctantly agreed to move. As he was trying to maneuver out of his seat with all his food he dropped his pretzel on the ground. I could see him in the dim movie theater light turning red as he wheeled on us to blame us for his lost pretzel. At this point though he laid eyes on the husbeast who had stood up to his full menacing height. The guy decided to not press the issue and just took the seat we offered him.

Unfortunately he decided to again sit on the aisle which meant that in order for the husbeast not to crush him, he had to lean forward in his seat all the way. This was obviously going to be physically painful very quickly. This solution was not turning out to be much of a solution for us at all.

I also discovered much to my dismay at this point, even if the change in seats had worked physically, I didn't want to sit anywhere near this man. He began hacking and snorting behind us, he was chewing his popcorn so loud that I could hear his crunching and smacking clearly, I am pretty sure he dropped his greasy popcorn on my head, and he kept shifting about making the most repulsive noises imaginable. Some tiny little tween girls had been sitting in the middle of the row, and he refused to get up to allow them to get out, forcing them to literally crawl over him to get out.

We made it through about four trailers before the physical situation and the sounds coming from behind us made us both throw up our hands in defeat and leave. There was no way we were both going to be so uncomfortable in so many senses for the length of a movie.

We explained to a manager the situation as politely as we could and were at least thankful that he was so understanding. He gave us two guest passes to cover the movie we were not seeing and also offered to let us see any movie we wanted for free. Since there wasn't anything we both wanted to see, and the fact that the husbeast was now in a really foul mood, we decided to just take our passes and go home.

Sadly the rest of the evening was ruined since it was after 8 by the time we got home and the general fact that the bad mood sort of permeated into everything else we did including eating dinner and checking our email.

I am so disappointed on so many levels. I am disappointed at Cinemark for again making very poor choices in how to handle the non 3D version of movies. I am disappointed in that fat asshole for giving fat people and people in general a bad name. I am disappointed that the episode ruined our evening and left a dark cloud hanging over what was otherwise an incredibly pleasant day.

People suck. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Try one thing every day that scares you

I went out to lunch today with one of my friends at our favorite chinese/thai/sushi/noodle place. I was enjoying a giant vat of lava like thai soup, which is my favorite, while she chowed down on a plate of sushi. It was a fairly typical lunch for us. We bitched about work, talked about faire, contemplated life in general, all while enjoying our tasty tasty lunch.

Well I can say my lunch was tasty because it is, and I eat it probably once every couple of weeks. Her sushi is another issue entirely. I do not eat fish, and have never in my life eaten sushi of any variety. Trust me when I say I do not like fish, I have tried the "good stuff" and keep trying to see if my tastes have changed, but inevitably I always hate it.

So as we were finishing our lunch and pondering wondering over to the bubble tea place for a smoothie, she offered me one of her avocado rolls which she had not finished. Now I like avocado and I like rice so in theory there should not be any reason I would not like this. I was skeptical though. I mean there is seaweed involved right? That just has never sounded appetizing.

I wanted to politely decline the offer and be happy with never attempting anything in this particular little food world. Then I remembered my New Orleans trip last year when I was so brave. I tried everything the husbeast ate, even the seafood, and I was surprised that I actually liked some of it. Besides it is not like a little avocado and rice was going to kill me. If I didn't like it I had a napkin, a glass of water, and more soup to wash away the taste.

I grabbed the chop sticks, dipped the little rice ball in some soy and wasabi, and popped the sucker in my mouth. You know what? It was actually pretty tasty. It was tasty enough that I ate another piece. It was tasty enough that I would eat it again.

Now this was not the most adventurous thing in the universe, far from it in fact. It was however a step outside my comfort zone. I knew I liked all the components, I was just leery about the application, which is just stupid.

There is absolutely no reason that I shouldn't try everything that I get the opportunity to try. What is the worst thing that could happen? I don't like it and I move on to the next thing. At best I could find something I truly love and might have otherwise missed out on.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to be brave. I have to remember that trying new things is scary but good. Stagnation is bad. Growth is good. I must keep growing. We all must keep growing, and tasting, and living as much as we can.

It starts with an avocado roll, who knows where it will end.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh look, a chicken

And now some random things that have been on my mind, but are not meaty enough to make an entire post out of.

- So I was driving to work yesterday and got stuck at one of the longer lights on my route. As I was sitting there waiting for the light to turn green I began watching the person in the car behind me through the rear view mirror, like you do. I wasn't really watching him, I was more staring off into space with my eyes on the mirror.

As I was not really watching him I noticed he was smoking a cigarette. This wouldn't be noteworthy except for the fact that the cigarette wasn't lit, it was just hanging in his mouth. Also as I looked closer I realized it was not really a normal looking cigarette. It was sort of crooked and shriveled. Then I watched as he lit the cigarette with an already lit cigar, which I at first thought was a really long car lighter.

At this point I was actually watching him. Something was off and I couldn't place it. Everytime he took a drag he would relight the cigarette with the cigar, and then I was fairly certain he wasn't exhaling. Which is about the time it hit me hard; he is smoking a joint.

I was a little shocked by this. I mean there he was, in his car, in public, on a busy road during morning rush hour, which is normally crawling with cops, and he is just toking away on a joint.

People are crazy.

- Speaking of smoking, my work has recently enforced new smoking policies. They are on this big health kick and have started doing things like charging you more in insurance if you are a smoker, which I think is ridiculous.

They have also made it a 'smoke free campus'. What this is supposed to mean is that no one is allowed to smoke on the property. If you go up to the main building there are signs posted everywhere telling you not to smoke. I work in a satellite building that is shared by another company who is not smoke free which means my building is still safe for smokers.

What has effectively happened is that all the smokers walk down the hill to my building on their breaks. I mean sure they are getting more exercise, but this is not very effective for the whole getting people to quit angle. I suppose nothing is perfect.

I had wondered though how they were enforcing things up at the main building since I am never over there. Well yesterday I had to walk up my annual criminal background check release form to HR and was afforded the opportunity to watch the new policy in action.

As I was heading out I was followed by a man that quite honestly appeared out of nowhere. He was moving with purpose towards me, and for a moment I thought he had followed me out of HR and was going to tell me I dropped my badge or my form wasn't completed. Instead he breezed past me to the parking lot.

In the handicapped spot was a car that was apparently waiting on someone to come out. It was nearly five and that is fairly common. The women inside were both smoking. Now let me repeat, they were in their car, in the parking lot, which has to be 40 or 50 yards from the doors of the building. Still this man goes and very sternly informs these women that it is a smoke free campus and they will have to put their cigarettes out immediately.

Are you kidding me? Non employees in a private vehicle in a parking lot are not allowed to smoke if they want to? Dude I get smoking is bad for you and I get not wanting people to smoke in an area that is 'public', but I have serious issues with telling people they are not allowed to slowly kill themselves in private where it isn't hurting anyone but themselves.

People are stupid.

- I get to go to the farmers market on Saturday for the first time since last September and I am so excited it is sort of ridiculous. I love everything about the farmers market; the atmosphere, the people, the amazing produce, all of it. It is one of those things that the husbeast and I find great joy in doing together.

We have big plans to grab a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies, and I have my eye on some local raised meat, and then it will be time to fire up the grill and enjoy all the goodness that the market provides. We have been waiting for this for months.

I just recently found a farmers market that is like two blocks from my office, which excites me in some ways. I now don't have to wait for a free weekend to be able to go downtown to the market. I can have the tasty local produce whenever I like. It is not the same though. It lacks the atmosphere and the bonding experience that the husbeast and I enjoy.

I will take what I can get.

- Now that faire is over I have this desire to stretch my writing legs. I haven't really written anything in months, and it is starting to bother me. I have a few projects that have been patiently sitting on the back burner, and I think it is time that I got to work on them.

Of course knowing me I may very well get distracted by something shiny, and never get around to writing anything. What can I say? I am only human.

Oh look, a chicken.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cleanliness is next to impossible

Sacred Saturday 2011
Sacred Saturday. This is a day that as a faire person is very important to me. It refers to the first free Saturday after faire ends. I haven't had a free Saturday since January. There are many ways to celebrate this long missed freedom, and mostly it involves a bow of sugary cereal and not much the hell else. Some people opt for bacon and eggs or dim sum but food is a fairly constant theme.

I would like to say that I follow with my friends and spend the day laying about doing next to nothing, but that would be a lie. I just can not do it. I have tried. I have cozied up on my couch with a book or the TV going and I just can not do it. All I can do is look around my disaster of a house and think about how I need to be cleaning it.

Now don't get me wrong, I am by no means one of those people who have to have and uber clean house. I am not a filthy slob either. I am more the type to live in comfortable clutter. However a season of faire does things to a house. Bad things. Dirty things.

Cleaning just really isn't something that can happen on a large scale during a faire season. I mean I can vacuum the floors once a week or so, and keep the kitchen clean enough to use, and the toilets at least get scrubbed once every couple of weeks, but that is all just surface cleaning. There is so much more that needs to be done.

So it is my Sacred Saturday tradition to do a deep cleaning of the house. I clean from the ceiling fans to the baseboards and everything in between. No room is left behind either, not even the rooms we never really go into. Two days of hard work to produce a sparkling clean house.

This year was a little different. Since Sacred Saturday fell on the same weekend as first Monday Trade Days at Canton, a group of girls were planning on an early day trip and I was invited along. I am a sucker for a good flea market and this one is the size of a small town, literally. The need to clean was still there though. I was torn.

In the end I did what any rational person would do; I took Friday off work and made that the first day of the clean. If you thought for one minute I was putting off the cleaning you obviously don't know me very well. It is almost a compulsion to do this cleaning.

This year was also different in the fact that I can not really bend my knee. I have strained the tendons on my right knee and haven't been able to bed it for over a week now. This made it practically impossible to do most anything at floor level. Thus none of my baseboards are clean. It is driving me a little crazy just now.

I also got it in my head to re caulk the bathtub and vanity in the master bathroom. I have done this before, and thought it would be an easy job. I really shouldn't think things like that. Whatever caulk they used on the bathroom vanity was insane. It was covered in plastic for one thing, and then under the plastic was a thick still sticky layer of goo. Think of stepping in gum on hot asphalt in July and that is the consistency this 10 year old caulk was. It took me nearly 45 minutes to remove three feet of caulk. It took me five minutes to remove the old caulk in the shower.

Of course I also experienced the problem that all the tile on the bottom row fell off once the old caulk was removed. I got a little creative, but in the end I made everything stay where it belonged and still look good. I am a caulk goddess.

It took me until about 5 on Sunday to finally finish everything on my list. My everything hurts something awful and I am exhausted, but it is done. My baseboards are still dirty and I left the kitchen and bathroom floors to be  mopped by the husbeast, but everything else in the house is clean. I even matched all the socks and pledged the ceiling fan blades.

Now that everything is clean I can finally sit back and relax. There is nothing I need to be doing and nothing to feel guilty about shirking. It is a calm that I can only achieve in a clean house. I know in a week or so it will be messy again, that is the way of things in a house that is well lived in.

For now though I am going to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.