Monthly Archives: March 2012

Teacher Roommate made my day

Teacher Roommate can be very… blunt and to the point with herself.  This comes out in little ways like how she writes little reminders to herself in terse little messages on the back of her left hand, or in the titles of the alarms on her iPhone.

Her dad is in town on a visit.  They are the drinkin’est family I have ever heard of (aside from the Australians I encountered when I visited my family in Tasmania).  Naturally, when I get home around 730, they’ve already been out drinking for a while.  We texted back and forth for a bit about the internet debacle (now fixed), and how her dad helped her set it up (thanks dad!).  Then I receive this non-sequitur gem:

her awkwardness is my LOL

And my day has been made.  Thank you Teacher Roommate.

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No warrior, no war

It’s about a half-mile walk from my office at Office Job to my car at a parking structure a couple of blocks away.  Typically when I walk through any parking lot, I make it a point to keep my eyes up, and stop fussing with my phone, or stick my head in my purse, or otherwise distract myself from… whatever.

paranoid parrot knows what I'm talking about

I’ve come to realize that “whatever” really means imminent attack by some asshole who wants to steal my car/accost me, etc.  I’ve never been attacked by a sober person, so this would be a new experience for me.  Still, I can feel myself tense up a little when I step off the elevator to the third floor of the parking structure.  I’ve finally given in to reading The Hunger Games on my Kindle, but as the doors open, my eyes slip up from the screen, and I step forward, full of caution and confidence, ready for some hidden enemy to pounce.

There have been men working to replace all the lights in the structure every day this week, and yesterday was no exception.  As I walked away from them toward my car, I thought about how I could probably read my book right now instead of keeping an eye out since there are people around.

My mind goes to work.  I calculate how many times I would have to scream for them to realize what they’re hearing, and how long it would take them to arrive to help me.  At least one of them is overweight; he would never arrive in time, and probably wouldn’t be able to do anything useful, so I subtract him from the equation.  Then I calculate how likely these men would be to help a woman being attacked by a man a) with bare fists b) with a knife c) with a gun.  Anything worse than a pocket knife would probably scare them off.  On the other side of the equal sign I’m left with one not-overweight maintenance worker who wouldn’t jump in front of a knife to help me, which means I shouldn’t depend on him at all.  I decide I can probably trust them to ward off any attacker with merely their presence.  “I’m probably safe,” I think as I slip my Kindle in my bag and pull out my keys without breaking stride or dropping my gaze.   My eyes pan across the floor between cars for shadows and feet, then back across the windshields to see if anyone is lying in wait.  I’ve given myself permission to relax,  but I can’t stop preparing for… whatever.

Whenever I teach a women’s self-defense class, I try to calm them down: I say something like, “I just want to point out, and I don’t mean to sound callous or hurt anyone’s feelings, but you are not a special snowflake.  You will probably never get attacked.  I hate to break it to you, but you’re just not that special.  Relax.  You’re here to learn something potentially useful, not to safeguard against the inevitable.”

Where did this hyper-cautious impulse come from?  Did my training make me crave an attack so I can test my skills?  I could’ve sworn I had grown out of that phase.  Or do I worry about an attack because I know all the ways a person can cause injury to another with their bare hands?  Did the two fights I’ve been in make me like this?  They turned out well, what am I worrying about?  I’m no warrior, and there is no war going on.  Why am I like this?  What am I doing?  It feels like such a huge waste of time to be this tense every day… then again, if the alternative is getting blindsided by some asshole in a ski mask, I’d rather miss twenty seconds of whatever novel I’m reading to make it to the car sans violent encounter.


The best part of wakin’ up is Cthulhu in your cup

Who wouldn’t want this mug?  Seriously.  Adorable.  Must be hard to stir in your sugar, though…

Alternative title to this post: In his house at R’coffyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.


Verizon, die in a fire

hey look, it's me

Like most people, any good experience I’ve had with customer service from a huge company like Verizon/ATT/DirecTV has been buried under the mountains of horseshit that make up the majority of my interactions with said behemoth hell-spawn companies.  This past week has consisted of the horseshit variety.

Our modem broke last Tuesday night, so Verizon supposedly sent us a new one, which we never got.  UPS “left it on the doorstep,”  apparently.  So they’re sending us a new one for free (after some negotiating), and it should be here by Friday.  That’ll be ten days without internet at home.  We can’t ask for a refund of the time we’ve gone without internet until we get internet back.  They don’t know what happened to the $80 credit I’m supposed to have already received due to being wrongly signed up for Starz and Games Unlimited.  They don’t know why I haven’t been charged for March’s service.  I have spent (cumulative, over the course of four calls) 106 minutes on the phone with Verizon to discover they are clueless about my account which they control, and inept at fixing the problems they create.  And I am fresh out of surprise.

Imagine if I were already in school, and needed to “go to class” by logging onto the online classroom stuff.  What a hassle this would be.  I think it might actually make me mad.


Erin go braugh

i want to go to there

I’ve wanted to visit Ireland for about as long as I can remember.  The green hills, the pubs, the castles, the cold, I want to experience it all.  But it’s more than that.  I feel like if I went there, I wouldn’t want to leave.  It seems like the emerald isle could be the home I’ve never seen.  Ireland has been calling to me.

Diminutive Roommate and I were chatting at the breakfast table a few weeks ago about vacations, and how long it’s been since I took one (London with the family in May, 2009).  I said I would love to go to Ireland.  She said, “Let’s go!”  The show she’s on will be ending a bit before I start school, so I’m planning on leaving Karate Job a few weeks before classes start to take a trip with her.

It was a pretty flawless plan, but like most plans, it had, in fact, a flaw.  I IM’d Diminutive Roommate a week after our convo: “I’m getting excited about Ireland,” and got a response: I don’t think I can go with you.  Teacher Roommate had reminded Diminutive Roommate that she had promised to go with her to Ireland years ago.   My heart sank.  I wasn’t even angry, just horribly disappointed.  A couple of weeks passed while we ignored the topic, and I finally sat down while Boyfriend and Diminutive Roommate’s ex-boyfriend and a good friend of mine from college (let’s call him Boardgame Friend since he’s super into boardgames, and even taught a class on table-top gaming for actual credits at an actual school once) played a zombie game on the floor nearby.  I said, “Ok, what’s going on with Ireland?  Tell me what’s on your mind.”  Turns out she won’t be able to keep her promise to Teacher Roommate since her schedule will preclude her from traveling with her while TR is available to travel (August), while DR and I can travel in late May/early June.  This was all truth as of last week.

Yesterday afternoon I was chatting with Teacher Roommate about Diminutive Roommate’s schedule, and she said, “Sounds like they’re pushing the show back, too.”  I thought, No.  No way.  there’s no way Diminutive Roommate wouldn’t tell me that her schedule had changed, thus potentially changing my plans to travel abroad for the first time in three years.  Surely… surely she would tell me.

I texted her asking when her show would be done.  No answer.  When she got home, she broke the news that the show might be ending later than planned, but she wouldn’t know for another week.

Well.  Fine.

note to self: table flipping looks super gratifying. must try.

Now I’m placed in the position of deciding where I should really just consider where I want to travel alone.  Should I do another archaeology expedition instead?  I had such a blast in Belize, but I was surrounded by people my own age there, too.  Should I join a tour so I can experience the country in a group?  Wandering around alone definitely has its appeal, but it does sound a bit… lonely.  Sharing new experiences with someone you love is so fun.  Sure would be nice to have Diminutive Roommate there with me.


Sherlock Holmes, the human otter

No wonder I love Sherlock.  He is secretly an otter.  In case you didn’t know, otters are the cutest animal.

I’ve read a few Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was hilarious and a bit of a genius.  I love everything about these stories.  They’re short and fun, and written in what I like to call, “The Old Style” that I love so much (1880-1925).


Cameo

Image

love is forever. also, pretty creepy.

I had to share this awesome skeleton cameo.  My mom has a couple of cameos, a ring (and maybe a necklace?).  They’re such a cool art form, and I love the lolita/Dia de los Muertos look of this one.

But is this one really made from ivory?!  Isn’t that horribly wrong (and also completely illegal)?  That’s not what cameos are traditionally made of anyway.  My mom has a cameo ring with a thick gold band.  She always treated it as though it were quite delicate, but if it were made of some kind of stone… I wonder.


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