Deum, vitam, litteras amemus
.:.:. :.:::. ..:::::. ::::..
Quote of the Whenever I Feel Like Changing It
“And don 't forget, the next time you're planning a family vacation, consider visiting Genovia. A country of majestic mountains and sunbaked beaches, filled with friendly, peppy people. Come see us. Genovia awaits you.” – Joe, “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement”

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middlegirl [userpic]

So I was supposed to start my new temp job today, but life had other plans.

We're still at Armine's, so I got all ready and headed out. It was super foggy, and there was more traffic than I bargained for - and I was in our crappy car, so I couldn't see - and for some reason, I was running late. I even budgeted to leave five minutes early, but somehow ended up leaving the house a few minutes late. I couldn't even get off Armine's street, so I called my agency to let them know I wasn't going to make it on time.

And then they told me I wasn't even supposed to be in yet.

Because the CPA office I'll be temping at requires a background check, I couldn't go in until it checked out.

And because I couldn't see in the fog to make a U-turn, I had to make a big loop around and back to Armine's house. My background check went through later in the afternoon, so I'll start Wednesday.

And in the meantime, I've been stuck here all day without a car (Shannon took the car we had here as soon as she knew she didn't have to stay here), and I've been watching Say Yes to the Dress and Doctor Who all day on Netflix and getting serious cabin fever. And I get to do it all again tomorrow, since Lauren's got school, and Shannon will probably still find some excuse to stay away from here. We're all getting fed up with the Schnauzers.

middlegirl [userpic]

Everybody says you can't, right?

So why is it that Christmas can be at the same time "too religious" and "too commercialized to the point of complete disassociation from its religious roots?"

Temp job is having a Christmas holiday party next month, and I was asked to make the box for the employees to drop their RSVPs into. So I did. I wrapped it up and put a big sign on it that said "RSVP to the Christmas Party," because I was asked to make a sign for the Christmas party. I didn't question. I just made it.

Today I find out that - after a week of it being on display for the whole office to see - someone complained about the fact that I wrote "Christmas" instead of "holiday." So I was told that we "couldn't be religious" and asked (at least it was done nicely) to redo the sign (I also ended up ripping the tissue paper the box was wrapped in - grrr), and now it's finally sanitized for mass consumption.

So Christmas is too Christian, and we need to avoid using it. But people of all walks (I've heard this even from atheists) complain that Christmas is so focused on commercial crap that it's gotten away from its Christian/pagan/ancient-break-up-the-mid-winter-monotony roots. So what's the average person to do? I'm not even thinking about religious observances here, just general parties and gift/card exchanges. (Speaking of which, I'm getting on the bandwagon on that, but that doesn't belong in a rant.)

So, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but in the spirit of kind brotherhood and platonic internet-friendship - and more than a little bit of rebellion - even if you look at December 25th as just another Saturday, Merry Christmas.

This message is not endorsed by the employees of Insert Robyn's Current Temp Job Here, or anybody else, really, probably even all the way up the United States Government, to be completely honest (did you see Obama's Christmas tree last year?), but I hope there are some people that agree with me.

(Also on the topic of Christmas, I get to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Saturday! It shall be amazing.)

middlegirl [userpic]

We've established already that my cat, Zoe, is evil. Get too close to her and you might lose a toe, regardless of whether she was rubbing up against your legs two seconds ago. Walk down a darkened hallway and you may be followed by a loud thudding as she darts past you. If she were an animated cat, she would be Evil The Cat from Earthworm Jim, and so on.

Now that we have Westley (who I've become fairly fond of, you will be pleased to know), we have installed a baby gate that blocks off the hallway and bedrooms. Zoe, however, has free run of the house. (She has to, considering the bathroom is where we keep her food and litterbox.) She can fit under the gate, but more often than not will wait for someone to open the gate so she can go through.

Which brings us to tonight's standoff. I had just left the bathroom after combing out my freshly-washed hair, and Zoe was sitting in the middle of the hallway. As soon as I came within a foot of her, she started growling. If I had taken another step, she probably would have swiped at me. So there I stand, roughly six feet from the baby gate with a two-foot and fuzzy Spawn of the Devil between me and freedom. I peek down the hall and I can see Dad in the living room, so I try and get his attention so he can come distract the cat. I try calling his name and waving my arms, but he's glued to his laptop and oblivious... we say he's going deaf, but this is ridiculous. I try to distract Zoe by tossing her toys, but she wants nothing to do with them, and she won't stop growling. So I backtrack to the bathroom and grab a towel, which I plan to use to either cover my feet in case of an attack, or to distract her a la a Spanish bullfighter, or maybe just to cover her so she can't see me make my move. She doesn't like this idea - probably felt cornered - so she starts hissing. Great.

Finally, I get Dad's attention, and I get him to come help me out. As soon as Dad gets to the baby gate, Zoe starts whimpering all cutely (Is that even a word? It is now!). Dad opens the gate, and she darts right out. Are you kidding me!? I could have done that for her if she would have just let me past.

Now I'm safely in my room, and Zoe is free to wreak her special brand of schizophrenic evil elsewhere. Probably on Westley, her new favorite punching bag. (I think she gets a high out of seeing him take the long way around the dining room table to avoid coming near her or hear him whimper when she drinks out of his water bowl. I swear, it's like living in a Garfield comic around here. In that case, I want a Nermal. I think I would like to have a cat that doesn't try to kill me.)

Time for bed. I have to get up super-freaking-early to make it to an AWANA training, which I'm helping teach. I'm this --><-- close to becoming one of the local ministry team, which makes me eek (Yes, that's a verb now), and tomorrow is part of my certification training...

Mood irritatedMood irritated
Music Telephone (a great cover)- Pomplamoose (YouTube it!)
Tags: my life is a tv show, seriously?!?, zoe
middlegirl [userpic]

I thought I could get through it, then reward myself by cutting it to shreds in a review for my blog. I thought I was untouchable. I mean, I've survived Manos: The Hands of Fate, Monster A-Go-Go, and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Movie, as well as all manner of badly-written fanfiction. Surely I could survive this.

I was wrong. Oh so very wrong.

And yet completely right, all at the same time.

I thought it would be clever to attempt to read the Twilight series, and do a review of it where I made it clear I tried to have an open mind and see where it went, simultaneously getting a crowd of junior high girls off my back (they declare that I am crazy for hating Twilight and Justin Bieber). But I decided to start with the preview. The book lost me with a flat, awkward conversation about a vintage truck 7 pages in, but then the preview skipped to the epilogue, where Bella, our heroine, utters, "Would I ever get used to his perfection?" I wanted to stop, but I kept reading, which is when she said, "Mostly I dream about being with you forever."


That's it. I tried, but this book is complete drivel, which means I was right all along: Twilight sucks.

My apologies to any people on my friends list who may like these books, but in my opinion (informed by years of college-level study in literature), you are so much better off reading something else*.

I'll just sit over here with my Shakespeare and my Quirk Classics mashups** and try to forget what I've read. (Actually, I may still do the video, if only because I need more material for my blog.)

*Just not anything by Samuel Beckett. He's full of crap.
**Yes, they are also stupid, but they aren't meant to be taken seriously.

I seriously need to go to bed. My baby sister graduates from high school tomorrow (OMG), and I need to clean my room for the inevitable grandparental invasion.

Mood cynicalMood cynical
Music Satellite - Lena Meyer-Landrut (Eurovision Song Contest 2010 winner)
Tags: books, seriously?!?
middlegirl [userpic]

Operation: Reorganize Life has hit a snag, as today a smell came over my room within the last hour... cat smell. Zoe hasn't been in my room all day today.

Back when the family first moved in (I say "the family" as I was away at college at the time), Zoe adopted my room as her favorite place, since I have a south-facing sliding glass door in my room, and she loved to sit in the sunlight. While I was at my grandparents', the family let Zoe hang out in my room again (I tend to not let her in my room, seeing as she has, to put it politely, exercised bodily functions in both my sisters' rooms, and I wanted to avoid this very thing.

Now my whole room smells like cat pee, but I can't find any spots in my room. I started under my bed, seeing as that's where she ended up when she snuck in yesterday, but while the general vicinity of my bed smelled the worst, everything stored down there only smelled of dust. So now I've got a candle burning to hopefully dissipate the smell, even though I really want to just go to bed.

I really want to just go to bed, but not until I figure this out. And Zoe is no longer welcome in my room, regardless of whether I'm at home.

Note to self: buy new fragrance diffuser.

Mood frustratedMood frustrated
Tags: seriously?!?, zoe
middlegirl [userpic]

I'm sure that many of you realize that fashion (not necessarily the wearing of clothes, but the idea that certain trends pop up which everybody then follows like lemmings off a cliff (which is not true, but the simile remains effective)) is cyclical. Things that were dubbed passé one year seem to return a few years later.

These last two years, especially, it seems like everybody has gone 80s crazy. Hume Lake camp went with a day-glo color scheme for their 2008 theme, which was robots, and leggings have come back full force. (Legwarmers tried to make a return a few years before this, but they didn't really take off. I did, however, receive a pair as a stocking stuffer my first year at Liberty, as I was constantly complaining about Virginia's particular brand of cold.) What I have termed "new-new wave" was the haute couture, and it proved all over again that fashion loves to borrow from past decades. When I was in high school and junior college, the 60s and 70s seemed to make a comeback, and most recently the 80s. I knew there was a chance that the 90s would come back eventually, but I had no idea it would happen so soon.

I went into Forever 21 today, which at our mall also encompasses a few of their sub-brands, including Heritage1981, and I saw something I did not expect to see again in a million years.

This is a bodysuit. It wears like a baby's onesie, just more fashion-forward and not meant to be covered in spit-up. In 1994, I was 10, and I wore a ivory, purple-and-berry-flower-patterned bodysuit to my first day of fifth grade, along with a very cute purple skirt that looked awesome but was not so good for playing kickball.

I almost laughed out loud when I saw this in the store today, but instead I walked out of the store slowly and feeling a little old. I also saw a blue chambray babydoll dress today, which proves to me that 90s fashion is on the rise. Sorta kinda makes me wish that I could still fit my old black corduroy overalls.

You heard it here first: 90s fashion is returning, and, if my channel guide isn't lying to me, so has Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (17-year-old reruns? seriously?). This will be the Year of the Nineties, and maybe next year, too.

Mood nostalgicMood nostalgic
Music The Sign - Ace of Base
Tags: seriously?!?
middlegirl [userpic]

It's an innocuous enough question on its own, right?

What about when the person asking the question is your mom?

Mom, I love you, but you know that I don't have money to spend on gifts. You know what I was planning on doing instead: good old-fashioned manual labor (I mean, when was the last time I offered to do anything like that?). This should not have been a surprise to you tonight, and to be honest, I didn't appreciate that slow nod. Again, I wish I could do more, but you heard the words "Great Depression Christmas" straight from me.

And on top of that, you taught me that a) it was rude and unladylike to ask for/expect presents, and b) that it's okay to spend gift money on yourself. How many times did that birthday/Christmas money go to groceries or bills? Probably more than we girls know, but you always seemed to compartmentalize that money and spend it on new clothes or something.

So why is it that you chimed in right after Grandpa asked me what I was going to do with the money he gave me?

Mood irritatedMood irritated
Music Shattered Dreams - Johnny Hates Jazz
Tags: christmas, parental units, seriously?!?, things i can't say on facebook
middlegirl [userpic]

This year, there's no Trunk or Treat at church, since it's a Saturday, and the church doesn't like to mess with the weekend services. (Which I totally agree with. So hold the thing on Friday. Seriously, Children's Department, geez.) Trunk or Treat itself is rather meh, but it's probably the only chance I'll have this year to dress up, so now I'm looking at a costume-less Halloween. Which is probably okay, seeing as I can't justify buying a new costume, and nobody recognizes me as Carmen Sandiego or as Susan Pevensie. I get called either "a spy" or "Princess Fiona."

But it's okay. I'll just have my movie marathon like last year, except this year I'm going to kick it up a notch. (Take that, Emeril. Bam!) Of course I'll have the standbys: Corpse Bride, Casper, Hocus Pocus - you know, cheesy Halloween goodness - and some MST3K B-grade horror-movie wannabe (I think this year it'll be "The Screaming Skull." You gotta love a movie that claims that it'll scare you to death, then, should you actually die of fright, offers your grieving loved ones a free coffin... maybe so you won't sue. IDK.) And, maybe I'll throw in Thriller. I do love me some Vincent Price.

But this year I'm adding one of the scariest things I've ever seen. Marc Summers' Mystery Magical Tour (not to be confused with the Magical Mystery Tour), which aired on Nickelodeon for years when I was a kid. I first remember hearing about it when I was 5, and let's just say I took the "spooky/mystery" aspect of it a little too far. (What can I say? I've always had an active imagination - and even at 25, it sometimes gets the better of me.) So naturally when I stumbled across it on YouTube, some deep-seated memories came bubbling up to the surface. It was an interesting feeling, one I don't usually have. Can't say I necessarily like it. Partially because I'm being reminded of what a weird kid I was.

Actually, now that I think about it, and read the Wiki synopsis, I don't think I've actually seen more of this than the commericals. My mom is fairly anti-Halloween (funny, it's one of my favorite holidays), and I can certainly see her taking me to the church's Unhalloween Party instead of letting me watch "spooky" TV shows. But after the way it's stuck in my memory for all this time, now I definitely have to watch it. It's a matter of honor. (Even though it doesn't look like it's aged very well. Holy crap this thing is over 20 years old.)

Mood slightly uncomfortable...Location Cupcakeworld
Mood slightly uncomfortable...
Music I am the Walrus - The Beatles
Tags: halloween, seriously?!?, the cineplex that is my life, yes i'm a youtube addict
middlegirl [userpic]

(I know it's been a while since I posted; my temp job had me working all day and too tired in the evenings to even go near my computer some days. I'll post an update soon.)

Okay, here's the deal. Michael Jackson was a great singer and performer. Pioneer in the industry? Yeah, sure. A visionary the likes of whom we've never seen before and will never see again? Gonna say no, or at least it's too soon to tell.

But this?

"The memorial would be "fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that's fit for Gary, Indiana's favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived." (emphasis mine)

DEAR SWEET MERCIFUL GOD IN HEAVEN, NO. (Note: This level of emphaticism has only been reserved for a few things, like the idea of Gavin "We'll have gay marriage whether they like it or not" Newsom as Governor of California.)

The man was a great musician, but he was just that, a man, and an obviously troubled one, at that. Save the title Prince of Peace for the One to whom it was originally given. People wonder why we have issues as a society, and I'll tell you. We deify celebrities, sometimes just for existing, and ignore the one Deity that deserves our full praise and worship. We bow to movements and ideas that promise nothing, and flip the metaphorical bird to the only God that can effect real societal change.

Look. I liked Michael Jackson, but mostly for his work in the 80s (Billie Jean, Bad, Smooth Criminal, Thriller, you get the idea), and I'm not trying to detract from his memory in any way, but I hope that if he were alive, he'd tell you all that he doesn't deserve this aggrandizement. (Then again, he named his sons Prince Michael I and II. He obviously bought into this "King of Pop" idea more than just a bit.)

In closing, I offer a message to his fans, the ones who have been bawling in front of Neverland Ranch for days, and to the people who are passing Congressional Resolutions honoring him (really?!?): Michael Jackson is gone. Mourn him and move on. Besides, there are more pressing matters. The same day Michael Jackson died, 3,750 babies were killed in abortions. People are dying in Iran for their right to have their vote counted and their voices heard. Perhaps we as a society need to reprioritize.

Mood kinda rantyLocation practically draped over the AC fan; it's 100 degrees out!
Mood kinda ranty
Music All for One - Spamalot Cast
Tags: seriously?!?
middlegirl [userpic]

Okay, I've been away from this for far too long. Here's what's been going on in the month(!) since I last posted...

Gleanings was great. I had a cabin of 13 amazing girls, and I had a blast, despite: all that junior-high girl-drama I wanted to avoid; the fact that allergies, spice powder and dust, and one of my girls' flu-ish bug conspiring to keep me from breathing; and a few boys' game of "let's annoy everyone we come across." As a group, we packaged near to one million servings of vegetable soup, probably cleaned one thousand buckets that will be filled with dried fruit this summer, and made/fixed more drying trays and pallets than any other youth group in at least nine years. We've got a great bunch of kids.

When I came home that Friday, on top of feeling completely drained, I found out that my bank account had become overdrawn because one of my Prudential paychecks didn't get direct-deposited, so I had to scramble to get things taken care of... it's a good thing I did, because I woke up Sunday morning with a 103-degree fever, and I was sick for at least half the week. The general consensus is that I had what-was-then-known-as-swine-flu, even though I didn't have all the symptoms. Whatever. The best part is that due to not eating all day Sunday, and then keeping it easy for the next few days, I lost five pounds. Which I've managed to keep off so far. Yay me! Another five and I'll actually have met a weight-loss New Years' Resolution for once. I guess I need to be flat-out sick more often.

While I was sick, I called in to work, because even though my fever hadn't broken yet, I felt okay enough to tutor, and I wanted to let my bosses make the final call as to whether I should come in. Turns out, though, that while I was gone, my kids got rearranged and I didn't have any left to tutor anymore. They all ended up at home tutoring, and I just didn't feel comfortable being in someone's home all by myself, so that's right. I came back from my missions trip sick and without a job. I knew it was going to be ending soon, but it was so abrupt, and combining it with being sick, life just sucked.

Thankfully, I got another student who needed to finish up her hours, but at the Learning Center (actually in Modesto instead of technically-in-Modesto-but-might-as-well-be-Ceres, and actually on my side of town - a mere 5 minute drive!), so I got some more hours... she's a busy (read: fairly hyper) kindergartener who might be borderline-Down's Syndrome, at least according to a tutor I share the classroom with and was apparently a superintendent for who-knows-what-district for who-knows-how-long... in other words, I don't know whether to believe him, and I don't have any experience spotting it, so I can't say. The point is, that she would rather play around than work on learning her letters, and even though it's frustrating, and every day I work with her I am reminded of why I decided to teach high school, but I can't blame her after being in school for all those hours and then coming straight to another two hours of tutoring.

Anyway, I also have another job lined up - I get my old temp position back from last summer working with the county starting on the 15th and going for 6 weeks. And it actually pays better than tutoring, just because I'll work more than 2 hours a day. So I'm still looking for a job - one with medical benefits, because I don't like the idea of not being covered and these wisdom teeth have got to go - but in the meantime I'll still be able to have some spending money, and buy that title I've been wanting for so long. :-P

Oh, and I bought a new book - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is a great book, and won tickets to Star Trek last night, which blew my mind with its untold levels of awesome.

There, I think I'm pretty much caught up - a lot of the rest of the time was full of getting better or being lazy.

Mood determinedLocation daybed
Mood determined
Music Seether - Careless Whispers
Tags: argh, newgen, seriously?!?, sick, update, work
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