Sunday, March 30, 2008

california dreamin'

in accordance with sara's post about the suckiness of today (though my day was much less suck filled than hers), i decided to post about my desire to escape to warmer and sunnier climates (yet, wasn't that what i was doing coming to wilmington in the first place?) i suppose what i really should say to describe my current ideal location would be warmer, sunnier, and DRIER. if you are looking for near desert condition without actually going to a desert, wilmington, nc is not the place for you, though it's southern location may lead to this incorrect conclusion.

don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful and historic place that i absolutely love and part of my heart will always belong to, but as far as the weather goes... well, it can keep it. we do have our nice days, some that are in fact so nice it allows you to forget about the other 360 days of the year when gray, overcast skies replace those gorgeous, clear blue ones. those aforementioned gray days are, however, rarely far behind. today being just such one of those.

it's been raining since last night, and according to, will be doing so off and on throughout the rest of the week. miraculously enough, not on thursday when i will be flying home to jersey for the weekend, but don't count your chickens before they've hatched if any of you are also flying out that day because if nicole is headed to the airport, you count on an unexpected and brutal storm of some kind or another...hurricane, blizzard, noreaster... you name it and if i have plans to fly, it will undoubtedly be there, too. (but that is all another story and will make a rather fabulous blog some other time, most likely after my airport excursions this weekend)

thanks to geography 130, i can tell you that wilmington is in a humid sub-tropical climate region, which for you lay folk means lots of rain and hot sticky days where you can't breathe and your clothes stick to you. (but if you spent any decent amount of time here, i didn't really have to tell you that, did i? that's for all the non-wilmingtonians) well, my friends, i am dreaming of a meditteranean climate. and while i do plan on going to italy and greece at some point in my life, the meditteranean climate i speak of is a little closer to home, and still on this continent. that would be my dear and highly beloved, california.

admittedly, i have never been there, but that does not take away from my love of it or claim of it as my own and one true state. our very own nedicus is from said dreamland, though from the northern part, which is of little use to me for this post, but still, how nice for him all the same. the california i talk about is one most associate with the golden state, the greater los angeles area. hollywood, beverly hills, santa monica, studio city...oh, how i love thee, let me count the ways. *sigh* ok, anyway, sorry, got caught up there for a minute. the point is that there lies the nearly always warm, sunny, and dry climate that i so long for. they don't say "it's always sunny in california" for nothin'!

yes, it's nearly april, and so comes the april showers children sing about in their rhymes about may flowers, but honestly! all this rain and we're supposedly in a drought! whoever heard of such a thing?! it's as if the surplus amount of rain usually received has become so commonplace that when a normal amount comes everyone thinks there isn't enough! i promise you the plants and animals are getting along just fine. have any of us had to go for days without showers or ration our drinking? nope. so, please,
everyone stop doing your rain dances!

i greatly admire the words of another childhood rhyme, "rain, rain, go away. come again another day." yes, rain, we are asking you to go away, but don't take it personally! we do also tell you to come to wilmington another day! and you know what day that is? the day i'm in california! see you when i come back and visit! ;-D

today has sucked

(Before continuing to read this post, please note: my awesome song and movie reference in the title.)

The last eighteen hours of my life have sucked. Flat out, and completely.

It started with rain. Which is a weird thing to say sucks, because generally I enjoy rain. I like the sound it makes and all the very big puddles and especially thunder and lightning. But the rain killed my car, for the third time now and a grand in fixing it later, it killed my car. I was driving back home last night around midnight - as I've said, in the rain - and I could feel my car doing it, doing that thing that it's done right before it stopped starting the last two times. It was doing this really weird, sluggish thing. Now, my car might be somewhat older, but it gets up and goes. I barely touch the accelerator and it jumps to fifty mph. Well, I'd be stopped at a light and then when it would turn green, even though I had my foot pressing it all the way down, it was barely getting up to twenty. And then a full minute later, I was struggling to keep it at forty. I was going to stop at Wal-mart to grab some things, but I just sort of knew. So I kept driving until I got home. I cut off the engine, paused for a moment, and then cranked it again. And it didn't start. The car I bought four months ago. And I am not happy about it.

Now, I don't say the last twenty four hours have sucked, because the first six of those twenty four were quite fun. I ate lots of pizza and ice cream and saw all three Screams for the first time and generally just enjoyed myself with my wonderful Nicole.

But then, this morning, though I was depressed about my car, I was ok. The whole thing's become rather routine by now anyway, so I just did what I do. Called AAA, called the Nissan place. Showered, dressed, chatted it up with the tow truck man. Well, since I don't have a car now, I got to ride my bike to work! Which honestly isn't bad, the campus is close and it's good exercise and I drink way too much Sundrop not to need exercise, so there you have it. Except it was still raining when I woke up this morning. And it was about 37 degrees (plus frigid water falling from the sky), which - in this town, in nearly April - is polar.

So I rode my bike to work and by the time I got there I was soaked all the way through. Picture this: me, scowling about my car and being wet and my ears that ached and my stomach cramping and shaky all over because I'm cold and freezing and quite irritated. Me, while scowling about all this, dripping all over the hot dogs I'm making to feed the customers who won't be coming to the softball game I have to work at that won't actually take place because, hey! It's raining! They don't play ball in the pouring down rain, it messes up the infield! But that's ok, because the hot dogs were warm.

Well, I get to the softball field (at this point, while I had dried off a little bit in the kitchen, my butt is all the way soaked through from sitting on the seats of the golf cart that refused to be dry even after I wiped it with a towel for ten minutes) and the gate is locked. This is that big flashing light that everyone gets right before they go into a situation that they should just walk away from. Kind of like when Nicole stuck her head outside last night before my car decided to break up with me and said "hey, it's raining." Big Flashing Sign. I didn't see it. At this point in my story, it's 11:30. They decide whether or not to call the game at 12:15, they say. Well, whatever, I'll just chill (wink) in the freezing concrete concessions stand and read for a while. Not a big deal.

They didn't decide they were having the game that no one attended until 2:00. But I had sterno. Now, sterno is this blue gel stuff in a can that you light for fire and it burns for about two hours. Kind of like portable fire. We, Aramark, and other food services people, use this. Also, hikers who hang out in the remote wilderness for weeks use it, and so does the military overseas in equally wild, remote places. Kind of like the icebox I was in, shivering and dripping wet and warming my butt up with sterno underneath my chair. I was braving it out there.

I'd planned to leave at no later than three, but clearly that wasn't happening because my boss was cozy in his office and didn't want to let me leave. Thanks. So I worked anyway, and it was totally worth it because I (Aramark) made $19 in nearly seven hours. Actually, I personally made about fifty, but hey? Hey. The funny thing about this weekend is that I worked eleven or twelve hours, and in all of that, the stand made $64. That's a little more than $5 an hour, and I wasn't even actually selling stuff about half that time, so please reduce the number by two point five. I'm pretty sure I could make more than that being a street performer. Or hooking, but that's not an option. I could even do something artistic with it like they do in New York, like stare pensively without moving a single inch of me for several hours. That would be neat.

But I made it back to Wag (the place I work out of) successfully. Counted the money, and very quickly might I add, since there was very little of it. And then I booked it out of there. Into the rain, of course. Riding home was a nightmare. My bicycle got torn up by some skinny high school HOOLIGANS last September. So since then the handlebars have been bent funny, the brakes don't work very well, and it only has one working gear - the slowest. This was me, peddling along on my bike like a cartoon whose feet are doing very very fast, blurred circles but who is moving along at snail speed. Meanwhile, being pelted with rain and unable to see much of anything, hoping and praying that I don't get run over by the massive vehicles with their very warm and dry interior, the massive vehicles that STILL DRIVE WHEN IT RAINS AND ACTUALLY START.

Good things about today, however: my ex-boyfriend's mortal enemy got stuck working too, so that cheered me up. And now, I am warm and dry and my belly is very full with hot chocolate, and I am knitting socks by the fire with care. How nice =)


Friday, March 28, 2008

The Kite Runner

Okay, so I know you all probably hate when people talk about movies you haven't seen or books you haven't read. But I'm going to do that.

All right, PLUG:

The Kite Runner is an incredible book. I really like reading, but it's not often I put a book down and am in awe. A lot of times my reaction is pretty average, I'll say it's a
good book, I liked it. Maybe I'll buy it, if it's good enough I may reread it. But when I put down The Kite Runner, I was floored. It wasn't because it was about Afghanistan or the country's struggles, nothing political, nor was it because I thought Khaled Hosseini was really great in portraying the side of his country we don't see. Those things were also great, of course. But let me tell you. This book was just incredible writing. And such a strong, heartbreaking, driving novel. And I haven't read a book written as well since I read it in October, and certainly not for several years before. So you should read it. =)

That said, I went and saw the movie several hours ago. I've been dying to see it since it came out in December, but about every single thing that could keep me from seeing it happened, so four months later, here we are. Things I liked about the movie: stuck pretty closely to the book, a lot of the movie (though not all, probably about
half) was in Dari (which, I've now read, is the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan and is the same as Farsi - hope that's right), and really it was moving. I nearly cried about seventeen times in the theatre. And I'm a little bit in love with Khalid Abdalla now. So you should go see it after you read the book. ;)

So, work tomorrow with crazy hot dog mongers. And I'm seeing Scream for the first time. I'm sure there'll be plenty to post. Until then, you should go look at pictures of Khalid Abdalla. Like this one.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pride, Penance, and Poker

So, I was going to write a post about my newly apparent addiction (I mean physically, people, as in I'm having withdrawals) to Sundrop. And then I was going to write about how much I really hate Hannah Montana. And then I was not doing my homework, and then -

uloveny (11:55:28 PM): also.. ive decided in order to start making more money...i should start gambling
cheezygrin3 (11:55:37 PM): what, seriously?
uloveny (11:55:39 PM): im very lucky at cards, etc
uloveny (11:55:40 PM): hahaha

So picture this: Nicole is four foot five (and half an inch). I'm not kidding. Her blog name was going to be Bitesized, because actually she is. Ned has a mouth the size of Lake Superior, and she fits right in there.

You should also know that our Nicole is a sweet Catholic girl. She knows the name of all four archangels, and she loves this movie called The Nun.

Now, I've never played poker before but clearly it's a men-only kind of game, for every reason you could think of, including (but not limited to):

1. Men are smarter and therefore better at games involving luck.
2. Only real men can shuffle a deck of cards, especially a new one that needs to be broken in.
3. Playing poker involves drinking whiskey, wearing sunglasses, and spitting in a bucket, all of which are unacceptable for women.
4. The whole thing involves the exchange of money.
5. Men aren't women, and women can't play poker for all of the above reasons.

Now, Nicole's pretty smart (and therefore luckier), and she can shuffle like nobody's business. And we'll not talk about her ability to hold her liquor. But she's really not very burly. However...

So, shady room and shadowed eyes, we have our five players seated at a table. The camera moves in. Player #3 is deep in thought, his eyes fixed, sweat on his hairline. Player #2 picks up a card, his arm like a massive hairy ham. Player #2 looks the part. Players #1 and 4 make eye contact briefly, and the former adjusts his ball cap. You almost don't see it, but the camera pans over Player #5, our Nicole. Only her eyes and the tops of her cards can be seen above the edge of the table. She's a real poker player, and real poker players don't use booster seats or phone books. It's just them, their cards, and the feeling of backside on wood, like being in the wild. There is a sound like quickened pulse, and Player#2 drops of bag of coins on the pile. Thunk-thunk. Thunk-thunk.

But then Nicole has laid down her cards, and it's a royal flush! The men are throwing down their cards, turning over their chairs. This breaks all the rules of poker! But little Nicole has her arms around the pile of money and liquor and bartering tools and is sliding it into her bag. There is wild cackle as she's running toward the door and Player
#4 swipes at the bag, but here Nicole uses her strengths - she's too short, his hand misses by whole feet.

On Tuesday nights in the darkened corners of pubs, this is where you will find her, winning money and ruining lives. So if any of you ever thought you knew the real Nicole, now you know.

Keep your cards close, and your money closer, and - especially to you men - your pride closest of all.

(Actually, she really just steals it from the indulgence pot, but hey, there are worse ways to make money!)


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the writer's block that isn't really writer's block

"writer's block" is a term widely well-known and used. people from businessmen, to novelists, to creative writing students who need to finish a workshop piece preferably before they graduate (insert huge blinking, neon down arrow above my head here) will tell you that it is everything but fun.

ask anyone and they can easily say that "writer's block" means you have no ideas, your mind is blank, the creative juices have stopped flowing, that once seemingly endless well of brilliant plots and characters and sentences has suddenly run dry, and so on and so forth. choose whichever you like, it's all the same game, the light bulb is officially OFF.

currently, when earlier trying to write my story for intermediate fiction (where you'd like to think if i made it this far i should be able to pull fresh light bulbs out of my hoodie's pockets), i assumed i had come to such a point-no good thoughts for miles. of course, this wasn't obvious until after i had watched 3 hours worth of shows i had taped on TV, checked my e-mail 1800 hundred times (within 4 minutes), gotten something to eat, changed my hairdo from down to ponytail to bun back to ponytail then let it down again, and seriously contemplated taking a nap.

once i returned my attention to the half completed work in the word document in front of me and that damned cursor that seemed to shout, "FINISH YOUR STORY! FINISH YOUR STORY!" with each unrelenting blink, i realized that it wasn't a
lack of ideas that was keeping me from continuing, but rather a surplus of ideas that was the problem. there are so many great lines and places i want the story to go that i can't get a handle on just one, so when i reach into my bag of creative goodies, i just come up empty handed.

i'm willing to say that this is more frustrating than having nothing to put down at all. how could that be you ask? because at least if there was nothing going in that head of yours you could actually enjoy all the other things you were doing when you were supposed to be writing your piece, as opposed to having 92387 ideas bouncing around and off each other constantly randomly popping up to remind you they're there, but still out of your usable grasp, and therefore ruining whatever it is you are currently enjoying.

now, i know you may be thinking, "well, if you can write this post, why not your story?" and let me tell you, my friends, if i had that answer, i'd be tapping into the slight bit of writing ability i'm apparently still able to access and would be writing my story instead of watching the jonas brothers on dancing with the stars. but hey, who ever said cute boys couldn't be inspiring? :-P

wish me luck!

"no need 2 speed"

North Carolina’s Highway Safety Program offers us this advice (or they will ticket us) as part of their “No Need 2 Speed” 2008 campain:

· Drivers – Take 5 seconds to come to a complete stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians cross safely.

· Pedestrians – Take 5 seconds to make sure drivers have seen you and are stopped before stepping into the roadway.

So, when it comes to vehicles or pedestrians, generally I’m a ‘they’ll get out of the way’ kind of person. It means nothing to me, while walking on campus across a designated cross walk, to step into the safe white painted lines with a massive Yukon barreling at me. I’ve got the right of way, and they’ll stop. I haven’t been run over yet. It’s the same thing when I drive. If a person is heading toward a crosswalk and I am too, nine times out of ten it’s a race to see who can get across first.

Basically, I’m the pedestrian every driver hates, the one who is asking to be plowed into, the one I myself chase down in road rage and shout obscenities at when I drive. That said, I’ve never actually hit anyone. I almost did once, actually, and it was the one time it would have been an honest accident, since most days I pull out of my apartment complex hoping today will be the lucky day I run over one of the idiots.

I was at Mayfaire one night dropping off a few friends to save us all seats for I Am Legend, when, once they were out of the car, I automatically left off the brake – right into the crosswalk. Whoops. As a dad ready to hulk my car (with me in it) into moving traffic (even I could appreciate the irony if he were to do that) one handed lifts his little boy out of the way. Of course, I am compassionate. I felt terrible and had that mommy instinct where I wanted to scoop the boy up and my voice went all high and funny and I forgot to start driving again.

However, recently I think I solidified my oh-God-it’s-one-of-those-drivers reputation. I insist it’s not because I’m a girl, that this is no case of female driving. Female drivers – according to male stereotypes, anyway – just can’t drive; I take a particular glee in driving like a maniac.

So anyone who’s ever been on our campus when it rains, knows that you literally wade through some parts. The flooding is ridiculous and I could write a post in itself about poor planning and not enough drainage, but I digress. Anyway, it was good fun freshman year swimming down the sidewalk and taking a picture with a car up to its mirrors in water.

But this Friday, I was not swimming through it, I was driving – really a whole different playground. As I’m driving (cautiously, might I add) down the street through the ‘puddles,’ the car in front of me swerved into the other lane to avoid missing one that was especially deep. I kept cruising along, same speed and – since another car was coming from another direction – in the same lane. Nothing I could do. I fly right through this thing, and let me tell you, it was like Sumatra [=(].

This massive tidal wave sprays outward from the car, flies through the air as this mass of water, and – I kid you not – twenty feet away I see this unsuspecting girl ducking for a half second before the whole thing landed on her. And I nearly ran my car off the road into her laughing so hard. I felt bad, but it was raining anyway and she had to have already been wet.

Anyway, I write all this to say I finally got my little car back. It has faithfully started about nine times for me, and we are very happy together. And now the university is stepping up its ticketing for a week, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as they say, for crazy drivers and those nasty tickers.


Monday, March 24, 2008

addendum to the pantsless-ness

Skirts are acceptable for three reasons:

1. Really, there's nothing around your legs. They're still naked, it's just sneakier, undercover nakedness.

2. If it came down to it, you could just lift the skirt over your head. None of the hassle of unbuttoning or wriggling it down your legs. It's always better if your clothing allows for quick escape, and therefore the skirt is championed best choice overall if clothing is obligatory.

3. They're twirly. And they're spinny. And they allow for things like that famous Marilyn Monroe picture.

Questions? Good. Skirts are cool, so wear them. And that includes you, Ned.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

rudeness is next to devilness

"you catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

there's a reason adages likes this transcend time. they are inherently true, and the universal truths of mankind are forever. sure, maybe cavemen (that's for you, sarawr) weren't aware that if they were nice to their neighbor in the next cave, that neighbor was more likely to give them any extra bones or mammoth meat they may have laying around, as opposed to if they grunted and demanded some communal sharing, but we can cut them some slack. however, i'd like to think humans have learned a thing or two along the way since then. though, perhaps being rude is just genetically encoded into some's DNA from their less mannered ancestors.

so, why is it that this idea of one good deed deserves another is lost on people of today? and not only that, but regarding the stupidest and most trivial things? most notably for instance, in my experience, the lack of a particular food item they wish to consume is in no uncertain terms apparently grounds to send you to the with their heads who dare not serve coffee in 55 degree weather or does not have an unending supply of popcorn! king henry viii's wives no doubt forgot to buy his cocoa puffs.

people are quicker to bite your head off for not having what they want than for thanking you should you in fact have it. what is up, people?! honestly, your mother never taught you manners? oh, well, then, how about a nice, little lesson in etiquette. when you ask for something, what do you say? "please." and when you get what you asked for, what do you say? "thank you." see? now was that so hard? i didn't think so, but obviously an uncanny portion of america has been raised by those cavemen i was talking about earlier.

is it really that difficult not to take an attitude the minute something doesn't go your way? or speak in a condescending tone at those who are humbly serving you, ESPECIALLY, if and just because they don't have a hot dog for you after the 5th inning of the baseball game? and if it is in fact so hard to control your inner caveman, then i suggest you bring some snacks from home before approaching the concessions stand with some righteous idea of what you are entitled to as a customer, or i might just have to tell you where you can find that hot dog you're looking for.

have a nice day! :-)

my pantalones

Let's be real here, guys. I don't like to wear pants.

I live at the beach, so I can get away with this much more often than if I lived in, say, Utah. Let's face it, if I'm running around in my bathing suit, I'm running around in my underwear, and wearing pants over your bathing suit is just silly anyway. But let me be more specific. What about shorts, right? Well, they're ok. I particularly like wearing them when it's breezy because we all know there's nothing better than feeling the wind slip around in there. But really, they're as bad as pants. Have you ever ran in shorts for a distance farther than two miles? Have you ever gotten that horrible rash between your thighs from running way too long in shorts that just rub and rub, and by the time you've gotten to the finish line you're running like you've got a corn cob or something between them? So take them off. Just take them off and leave them off and run or climb or watch tv with nothing but cool air between you and everything else. Best thing you've ever done with yourself. For... yourself. For yourself.

That said, granny panties are particularly nice. Big old parachute things, soft like spider silk, and they breathe like you're naked. Which is really the best option of all, but hey. So, remember when they shanked Donna on That 70's Show? She was playing basketball, but you don't remember that. What you remember is her granny panties. Best thing in the world, even Hyde and (I think) Kelso thought so. But I digress.

Anyway, moral of the story: don't wear pants. Whoever stole them, well... now I'm gonna go sans culotte through Taco Bell's drive-thru. Thanks guys.