Monday, September 29, 2008

Una mas cosa hoy...

I thought I would share this very helpful website with you all:

After spending an hour being bounced back and forth between invisible robots at two different credit card companies, I remembered hearing about this website a few years ago on the news. It contains a database of companies and instructions on how to bypass their automated voice systems and go straight a real human being.

The older the violin...

Check out this article for some great tidbits (bits of tid?) regarding superheroes. Some of my favorite information in the article:

- What effect does pink kryptonite have on Superman?

- Photo of the "Interactive 3 Level Batman Hamster House".

In other news, my older sister turned thirty on Saturday. The occasion was celebrated by a large group of friends and family at a Japanese restaurant Saturday night. At some point, Julie's friend Kara supplied one of the waitresses at the function with a cake and a set of candles that, when arranged properly, were supposed to say, "OH NO THE BIG 30". However, the language barrier reared its funny head and Julie was presented with a cake that said, "OH NO 30 THE BIG". She got some really cool gifts, most of which could be separated into the categories of red sox clothing and booze (both of which she enjoys). I chose a slightly different route and gave her a snuggly homemade pillow with the following image that I designed ironed onto a pretty ribbon-trimmed panel on the front:

Also in aging-related news today: Guess who found their first gray hair this morning? Ugh. I'm trying to not let it bother me because I really don't want to let myself care about that kind of stuff.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Those Crazy Dreams...

The other night, Kolleen had a dream that Jay and I had two daughters. That very same night, I had a dream that Jay and I were being chased by an enormous crocodile that reared up on its hind legs and yelled, "Flesh!"

Prophetic dreams, perhaps?

Not too soon, I hope.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lamest Dreams Ever

Regardless of where I was working, I have had work-related anxiety dreams fairly regularly for about six years now.

I recently made the difficult decision to move to a different restaurant after two years with the wonderful people at Edgewater Cafe in Salem. Last night I was engaged in four and half hours of paperwork, informational videos, and "fish school" at the new restaurant I was hired at in Peabody. And, after my very first night on the clock at my new job, the anxiety dreams began...

I dreamed that I was at an unfamiliar restaurant as the lunch shift was just beginning. There was some nice old gentleman who, for some reason, was supposed to be sat specifically in my section. However, I realized suddenly that I didn't know any of the table numbers or how the sections were divided. Frustrated, I went around the restaurant asking other employees to tell me where my section was but no one would talk to me.

Ugh. I feel so cheated after a night of obnoxious dreams like that. Dream time is supposed to filled with weird, dark, crazy goodness. It is supposed to be spent climbing through secret passages in your home that don't really exist, or being swept up by hundred-foot tidal waves, or running away from monsters that terrified you as a child (my personal demon seems to be the giant from Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure). It is not supposed to spent enduring an eight-hour unpaid work shift under the most stressful conditions your lazy, overworked brain sees fit to conjure.

What dreams do you hate having?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Writer's Block

Friday, September 12, 2008

More on ego.

It occurs to me that "artsy types" walk a very thin line - the line between being inspirational and being unbearable.

One of the key traits of being an artist, I believe, is having a strong sense of self-awareness. The practice of regular, conscious, honest analysis of the self can give a person invaluable insight into how to conduct negotiations between the world inside of them and the world outside of them. Self awareness is the gateway to that elusive goal of "finding your voice".

Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people in the arts (performing arts, visual arts, writing, etc.) cross that line and leap right over self-awareness into self-absorption.

I am tempted to wallow in frustration over all the people that I've encountered and taken classes with (I was a theatre major) that fall into this category. However, I am instead going to admit that I am aware of this epidemic mostly because I was a prime offender, especially in my late teens. In more recent years, I've been working on walking the line and plan on continuing to do so.


In other news, I received my edited manuscript from the beautiful and talented Kolleen today - hurrah! Along with it, Jason got the amazing monster that he ordered from her at her Etsy store, along with the monster's handwritten autobiography. It is now hanging on our livingroom wall, along with our Warwick Davis-signed photo of Wicket.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

whores de vore


I remember watching Saturday Night Live with my older sister and her friend, Michelle Johnson, down in the finished basement of the Johnsons' house while our parents were upstairs playing boardgames. Wayne and Garth uttered their famous catchphrase, "Shwing!", and Julie and Michelle burst into laughter. Going on their cue, I laughed too.

Julie turned to me (I was probably about nine at the time) and said, "You know what that means, right?"

My face burned as I shot back, fiercely, "Of course I do!"

I didn't.

I marvel now at the misguided pride that I clung to all the way up into my first college years. I hated admitting that I didn't know what a particular word meant, or that I was unfamiliar with some concept that other people were discussing. I held on to the unrelenting sense of shame I felt when I publicly discovered that the word debris was not pronounced, "deb-riss", and hors d'oeuvre was not pronounced, "whores de vore". I was so afraid of looking stupid that I would smile and nod whenever I heard an unkown word or idea, promising myself that I would look it up when I was alone but usually forgetting to do so.

I had good reason to be afraid of looking stupid - I was stupid; stupid for being afraid to admit that there were things I didn't know. Did I really think that I was fooling anyone? That people saw me, smiling and nodding, and thought, "Wow. That girl knows EVERYTHING."

What a pompous dope I was. I put my ego above the opportunity to learn something new.

Eventually, I made this revelation, and I resolved to always ask for a definition when presented with a word or idea that was foreign to me. I promised myself I would ask for the proper pronunciation of words I was unsure of, and I would learn to laugh at myself if I got it wrong.

It's made me a much happier person.

What's something you've changed about yourself from when you were younger? How's it workin for ya?