Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 111

While I would love to say that today was filled with awesomeness and unicorns.
It wasn't.
I mean.
Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good day.
Despite submitting my UI claim three days late, it still came on time.
Which, at this point, really just means the bills can continue getting paid.
Is this depressing?
Kind of.
But that is what the recession does to you, folks.

Another thing it does is make you prioritize what you really NEED.
For instance:
E gets weekly tips from his job.
Usually, providing we didn't go crazy the week before, we use his tips to buy groceries.
And since we get a weekly farm share, most of our groceries are super basics like cheese, eggs, and dry goods (rice, pasta, flours, etc.)
And one of the things we have deemed "appropriate" to buy is alcohol.
E usually gets a twelve pack of beer, I usually get a bottle of wine, one could argue that I should be drinking boxed wine, but I always pick a bottle out of the clearance cart.
If we ever get in the black again, I will continue my bulk wine purchasing ways and buy bottles from Trader Joe's. Cos the white really wasn't that bad at all.

In other news.
I had a delicious breakfast of home-made strawberry shortcake.
Although I totally dicked up the biscuit portion, they were still edible.
I also acidentally spilled too much vanilla into the whipped cream, so that was a little too "cool whip" tasting for me.
And I hate cool whip.
But all in all, for my first time making it.
I thought I did an alright job.
Not EVERYTHING I make can be awesome and perfect.
I mean.
Most of it is, but...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 110

The majority of today was spent catching up on the ol' blog-a-roo.
Unfortuantely the past 10 days or so have been quite busy and quite hot that I can't quite get myself to sit in the office for any amount of time longer than checking email. I do dreadfull apologize, and I have since found a box fan that fits nicely in the office window, which blows in the shaded (read: cool) air. The room is actually quite lovely and cool now, competing with the downstairs as coolest room in the house.

And while I did blog for a while, I have to say, I could have kept going, had I more days to discuss. Maybe I really am good at this writing thing.
Who knew?!

Recession garden news:
It looks as if the vinegar trick really worked!
One we pull out the dead weeds, we then salt the patio and water the salt in.
This combination makes the patio inhabitable for plants, supposedly.
So not only is this trick "green" but also costs less than a bottle of Roundup!
I will keep you posted how it works.

Feeling the Recession:
While thus far I haven't exactly, hardcore, "felt" the recession, I am feeling it this week.
Today begins Summerfest.
And while most of my friends hate hate HATE Summerfest, I always have fun when I go.
Where else can you see Tom Petty for free from the grass seats?
Or the Foo Fighters on one of the side stages?
Sure it's full of drunken fools, but what bar isn't that time of night?
You're hearing good, live music.

So anyway, it appears as if I won't be able to go this year.
Which is truly unfortunate because a couple of my friends' bands are playing and I like to support good local music.
I like to support my friends.
And I can't seem to score free tickets for the life of me.
So I would just like to give my support here:
Good luck bands.
I hope you draw big crowds, and that people stop and listen to your music.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 109

For whatever reason I was up early today.
Since no heat advisory was in effect, yet, E and I decided to try to finish weeding/tending the garden. But let's be real. It was still hot out, and many water breaks were to be had.

I would also like to give E some major props for going along with my plan to keep the yard chemical free.
No chemicals=safe for dogs, safe for kids, safe for earth, safe for you!
This is no easy task in our yard as our brick patio, thanks to all the rain, is covered with weeds, as is the grass (I, unlike my diligent friend MG, didn't dig up all the dandelions before they re-seeded, so we have quite a few weeds within the lawn, but our main concern presently is the patio.

So E has been doing research online to see what will kill weeds organically.
Boiling water has worked, as he tried this the other day, but we can't reasonably boil and transport that much water.

He also found that vinegar will kill weeds, so he sprayed vinegar on all the weeds on the patio and along the alley, and while it smelled bad, it did enable us to let the dogs hang out with us outside and both of them had a water party with their water bowl, especially Rice.

After spraying the weeds, he helped me out by digging a trench for the flower bed, which I then helped him fill with the pavers/bricks that have been lying around since we bought the house.
When you're living through a recession you've got to be thrifty and use whatchoo got! I actually think it looks super great, E did a fabulous job, and I'm not terribly embarrassed by our yard anymore. True, it's a little bare, as my flowers from seeds didn't take as well as I had hoped, this is just something to think of and budget for next year.

My tomato plants look quite good, no flowers on them yet, but there is something growing on one of them...a flower? the first tom of the season? Don't know yet, I will keep you posted. It's times like this I wish I had a digital camera that was worth it's weight in batteries, but sadly, mine is grainy and a battery-sucker.
My tomatillos look as if they have wee little fruits developing! Which I'm very excited about and my broccoli/cauliflower (I ran out of labels!) is looking fairly healthy.

In other news:
I would like to comment on all the debauchery that has been going on in the political sphere lately.
Mostly all this brou-ha-ha over the extra-marital affairs.
1. This wouldn't matter NEARLY as much if your political party didn't espouse puritanical values.
2. Does this really effect the way said person governs? Quite frankly, I think we all know people who have cheated on a partner, hells maybe that is YOUR deep dark secret. Should this mean they have to resign from your job? Or call into question your integrity at said job? And especially in a nation where monogamy rates are below 50%. Is this really a shocker?
3. There was a female correspondent on CNN or MSNBC, who was saying we wouldn't have all of these affairs if more women were in politics. Which I thought was ridiculous. Are these male politicians just have sex with other males? Are you trying to tell me that when you are having an affair you don't know whether the other person is taken? Really? It didn't make sense to me. I don't think women are "purer" by nature or more monogomous, unless, as previously stated all the affairs are homosexual affairs.

In other news:
Way to go TMZ.com for reporting hours before everyone else that Michael Jackson had died.
You were right, and you made my fb statuf updates true.
I am actually more upset about Farrah Fawcett, because she suffered through horrible cancer, and kind of seemed like a nice person at the end. I don't know.
Plus she was nowhere near as creepy as Michael.
I hope Paul McCartney can get his songs back now.

I would also like to take this time to discuss a topic that has recently been brought to my attention.
That of the awkward, extended phone call.
Due to my continuous job search, I'm often forced to answer phone calls I would otherwise ignore, or answer the phone when an unfamiliar number appears.
This was the case yesterday.
A vaguely familiar number popped up on our caller id, I thought it might have been a neighbor, or maybe one of my old L's cohorts, as I don't have their numbers memorized.
Instead it went like this:
Jj: Hello?
JW: Jj?
[at this point I realize it's a dude, so I assume it's ZG, our CSP buddy, but it sounds nothing like him]
Jj: Yes?
JW: It's J.
[in all honesty I think to myself, this can't be my brother, why would be calling from a 414 number? Then I realize it's one of E's film colleagues]
Jj: Oh. Sure. Hi.
JW: Hi. How are you?
Jj: Um, alright.
JW: Just alright, huh?
Jj: Yep (sigh) How are you?
JW: Pretty good, pretty good.
Jj: Well that is good.
JW: So what are you doing right now?
[at this point I realize I am in for a treat of the awkward, endless phone call]
Jj: What?
JW: What are you doing. Right now.
Jj: Um, I'm watching a movie [which is now on pause because this phone call is never going to end] and folding laundry.

We then get into a discussion about what movie I'm watching, how he only really does commercial work, David Lynch (??), and FINALLY he asks if Erin is there.
I tell him no, but I would definitely give him the message that he called and have him call him directly.
Of course this wasn't enough information and he asks me about our pseudo documentary we're interested in doing, how he could help, blah blah blah.
Eventually, I said, well I will tell him you called, to which he said "Oh yeah, sorry I kept you on the phone so long--" and literally would have kept talking if I didn't say "Okay cool, talk to you later, bye.

To be fair, I've met this persona a couple of times. Most recently at the Firestarter Film Festival, where we discussed his film. He did accompany E and I to get some pizza, but that was it.

This is how I would've handled the sitch:
Jj as the caller: You?
You: Yeah?
Jj: This is Jj
You: Hi!
Jj: Hey. Hey is Potsie around?
You: Excuse.
Jj: Okay well could you ahve him call me when he gets in?
You: Sure.
Jj: Great! Thanks! Bye!
You: Bye. Ooh wait!
Jj: Yes?
You: Your blog is tops.
Jj: Aw shucks. Thanks. Bye!
You: Bye.

Okay so that blog part was just a little ego-stroking. But seriously. That is a one minute conversation at best. AT BEST. I don't even talk to E's parents that long, and I've met them and stayed with them numerous times.

E then gets home while I'm making homemade strawberry shortcake, I'm about to go into my story when he tells me how he saw Trevor Hoffman driving his truck, stuck in Milwaukee traffic.
How awesome is that! I was really excited for him, and for the fact that my whipping cream was finally starting to thicken.

I then laid into my story regarding JW and he says, "He's a talker."

If this recession is doing one thing for me, it's broadening my reading horizons.
As I've stated before I like to go in order at the library, and as I just finished regarding "Confederacy of Dunces" I decided I should move on to a non-fiction book, to get back to the old routine of fiction/non-fiction. So I am currently reading a non-fiction book about the mythos of the Priory of Sion. It's so unlike me, but thus far it's interesting and this way I will have a wee bit of knowlege about something that I knew nothing about before, well nothing that wasn't in "The DaVinci Code."

I have to say "Confederacy of Dunces" was a let-down. I kept waiting for the outrageousness that was promised by 95% of reviewers and fellow readers. I got a couple chuckles here and there, and that was it. No guffawing. No lol-ing.
In all fairness, I expected to hate the book, because it was getting such great, glowing reviews, so when I didn't hate it, I think I automatically expected to love it, which didn't happen at all. If you've read it, please let me know what you think. What parts had you rolling on the floor?

Day 108

At least the car has air conditioning.
I didn't have to sweat it out on the way to my interview.
My hair did have all sorts of kink in it, though.

Company K is a behemoth.
I probably should have checked it out in person before the interview, but didn't have the time/energy. And I'm not quite sure it would have helped to begin with.

I get there with 10 minutes to spare.
Which, any place else, should have been more than enough time.
However, all of the "close" visitor spots were taken, and I could find absolutely NO PARKING anywhere in the lots.
And there were probably 10 lots.
Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
I finally see a lady park on the edge of a lot, so people would still be able to drive through and get out of their spots, this is my only option, and I'm hoping my car doesn't get towed.

After parking my car I have about two or seven minutes to get to the front desk (our car clock is 10-15 minutes fast depending on which radio station you're listening to or what clock tower you're looking at), this is no easy task in heels, in the blazing hot heat. But I haul it and enter the the building that is closest to me.

As luck would have it, their clock says I'm five minutes late, which is blatantly false.
I know for a fact, it did not take me 5-10 minutes to walk from my pseudo parking spot to the first building.

So I tell the receptionist, who is wearing really garish make-up, that I have a nine o'clock with a Ms. P. She looks at me blankly and then I say "AP" which is the name I was told by the employment agency that set up this interview. Besides the initial blank stare, she is helpful, and calls around to see what is up.

I sign in on a computer and it prints out a sticker nametag, which I think is rather lovely, and she tells me I have to go to the next building, and that I'm meeting with K.

So I'm looking like a complete jack-ass at this moment.

So I walk to the next building and tell the receptionist there I have an interview with K, and that they just sent me over from the other building. She seems to have the same blank stare the other girl had so I explain myself again, and she says, "So they know you're here?" To which I reply, "I guess?"

There was another girl waiting there in a dark business suit, and for a second I thought I was under-dressed. I just think business suits are totally lame, and so not me, so why try to promote myself as some weirdo corporate type when that is clearly who I am not? So I was in my "interview outfit" that I think is delightful and professional. Just like me.

I don't have to wait long, probably because they were expecting me, but K is extremely nice, and apologizes for the building mis-hap, and I make a comment on the parking zoo, and I feel at ease.
Plus she's in jeans. So I no longer felt under-dressed.

She asks me the basic questions, then sends in D who would be a peer of mine (she is currently an editor there) and then the infamous AP comes in and I meet with her. I thought the interviews themselves went rather well. I think I answered the questions properly, the job sounds like it would be a good fit, even if it is just for eight weeks.

Could this recession be getting a break?! Only time will tell.
And don't you worry, since temping is obviously a direct desendent of poor times, this blog will keep going.

Upon returning to the oven that is my home, I changed out of interview outfit, to keep it as fresh as possible without having to dry clean it, and hung out in my room.
The only room in our house with an air conditioner.

That night we had a brewer game, and as E and I were getting in the car two of our alley neighbors were in the alley picking up the garbage cans that keep getting knocked over by hoodlums.
We currently have three garbage cans, and I have no idea how we've acquired this many. You are supposed to have one per dwelling, so if you own a duplex you get two. But somehow we have three, the single family next door has two, the psuedo vacant house has a couple (at least) and I think even the vacant house as one. And all of our recycling bins are gone.

Neighbor #1 says that his car was just stolen and asked if we saw anything. We told him we didn't, and then Neighbor #2 said his window was broken, but we didn't hear that either.
Seriously, with the heat we spend as much time in our bedroom as possible without getting bedsores.

So I made a comment about how, luckily, we've not had any issues since we started parking our car in the back, on our slab (there are no garages on the alley). And Neighbor #2 said we wouldn't have any more problems ever since he chased away the would-be burglar, that incidentally enough, I just referenced a couple blogs ago.

He then tells us that he had to be careful so he wouldn't get in trouble because when he saw him breaking our window he ran outside with his gun and then fired it in the air, but the police couldn't know about that.
E and I just kind of stand there like, "Oh, right." What does one say to that?
Then the other guy was like "I would'a just popped him. I wouldn'a shot in the air, I woulda just popped him"
WTF???? And these are like good neighbors, not ghetto, friendly, family-oriented people.
Jesus Aitch.
E and I then say, something to the effect of "Well we'll see you later, hope we get our recycling bins back!"
Because we are the whitest people we know.
So now our favorite thing to say (in the comfort of our own home, mind you) is "I woulda just popped him."
I guess we're thankful they are on our side?

Day 107--pre-recession blog inside!

Let's see.
It's a scorcher.
There really is no other way to put it.
If you don't believe me there was a heat advisory today.
But since I am a brave soul, I braved the heat (it's not so much the heat, but the humidity--whoever came up with this is ridick) and worked in the garden.
For two hours.
And that is when I learned, my ankles could sweat.
For they were sweating.
Water was dripping from my nose constantly, hindering my work.

I did get about half of my bed weeded, and helped E spread the gravel on our slab.
And then we called it quits.
Sweaty ankles and all.

The rest of the day is spent sweating.
What more can I say?

Because this is probably the world's shortest blog, I've included yet another "vintage pre-recession" blog, written this very same week last year...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Current mood: awake
Category: Parties and Nightlife

So it was a pretty typical night at L's.

And by typical I mean completely bonkers.
Mamby pamby if you will.
Which was a term I actually used on Saturday night.
Whilst playing bar dice.

Pre party at JW's complete with JC, vodka and tonic for JJ, Pacifico for PO, and pizza rolls for Jj.

I was the designated driver.

JJ and PO proceed to get pretty tipsy at JW's.
I eat hummus (daintily, not by the handfuls, that is a winterfest-only activity) and bugles and pizza rolls.

Have Bugles, Will Travel.
We head to L's.


We sit at the bar.
JJ learns alot about UFC, and places bets on the fighters (???).
We freak J out (at first) but by the end of the night he likes our company.
Or so he says.

JW makes friends and gets a shot from the drunkest or most retarded person ever. None of us could tell.

We decide we should learn how to play bar dice, sitting at the bar and all.
So we do.

Shots for the drunk ensue.
Shots shots shots.

JJ, PO, and I not so subtle-y check out J's ass.

We play Jenga, which turns into retard-Jenga (that is from winterfest!!!)

PO argues with someone who keeps referring to JJ as the nice one, PO the mean one. I had no label as I don't think I was drunk enough to par-take in the snap-judgement game.

JW goes home with his cutey-pie (FINALLY!!!) gf.
We continue to sit at the bar which shocks and awes the regular bar-sitting patrons.

I get blamed for the Janesville GM plant closing, when it was clearly PO's doing.

PO gets a glance from J/B and then an awkward hi.
I think if he could not be such a huge girl about it, *something* could happen.
Or at least we'd have something to blog about.

The car ride home reeks of booze with JJ passed out in the back, and PO singing in a falsetto voice (a falsetto child?) to music that isn't even on the radio.

I get home and promptly throw up because as my reward for being the good DD and staying sober, God gives me a migraine, which then incapacitates me all of Sunday.

In other news:
I will be venturing to California where the interweb may be sparse.
But barring any catastrophes I shall return with blogs galore and maybe pix too.


Day 106--classic blog included!

Today E and I worked on keeping the house some semblance of clean.
And by clean I mean straightened.
Nothing thrilling.

We went to Company K to get E some new tennis shoes, so I could pick up an ad (part of the interview is writing copy, so I needed to look at their style), and decided the rest of the day should be spent in air conditioning if at all possible.

We took a jaunt to superduper home improvement store to pick up some gardening supplies that were still needed, a hoe which had never been replaced from the attempted break-in a while ago.
An account of that can be read here, originally posted on my myspace page on the below date:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Current mood: annoyed
Category: Automotive
Yeah, that's right. An automotive blog.
Take that.

So it doesn't bother me so much when vandalism/attempted break ins happen. That is all part of an "up and coming" neighborhood. But when there is no point to the breakins.

Well, I guess that is what I don't understand.

First we get the crazy drunk who breaks the window of our back hall with my garden tools.
Seriously. Then he tries to open the back door, again with my garden tools.

Really? You're so bad at being a drunken hoodlum that you can't even use your own tools to break in? And break into my back hall? What? Are you going to fit my washer and dryer thru the window? Cos I got a fiver that says that ain't happenin'. Of course, I took geometry and understand how shapes work.

Oh and I forgot, the reason we knew he was drunk was because the back hall stunk to high heaven like cheap cheap booze. That is way past 4 chocky martini drunk. that is like perma-drunk. Forills.

So that was a while ago, and I got over it pretty quickly, although I will have to get a new hoe and rake since that jerk face bent mine all to hell.

Then today Erin picks me up from work and the driver side back window is broken/smashed. But oh, if that were it. It's not even the BIG window, the one you can roll down, it's the little triangle window. The one that even if you DO break it, you can't reach the lock.

WHAT?!?! I mean what's the point of breaking a window if you're not trying to steal something. Not like the dill weeds would want our Johnny Cash cds or Patty's Rock Mix or Afterbar Glory.

The plus side is, is that out neighbor told us that our car was fine this morning when he was shoveling, which we knew, but it's nice that our nieghbors are somewhat cool.

So now we gotta shell out the bux to fix the stupid window taht serves no purpose anyway. I think back in the day it would have been a cigarette window, ya'll know what i'm talking about.


I suppose I should say that I myself am an old pro at breaking into houses. But I never broke anything, mostly just took tapes. yeah. Cassette tapes and looked around at stuff. I was a very intellectual breaker inner. Of course I haven't done this in like 10 years, but still...

WILL work on the screen play tonight. I've just got to.

DEAN got adopted!:) By his newer foster family. That really makes me happy.

I made REALLY good fake chicken noodle soup last night. Why oh why are kluski noodles so AWESOME???? Seriously, they are the Beatles of noodles. Any polacks out there? Gimme a hell yeah!

I think I am also going to paint my nails tonight, like a real live girl.

So kids, on this most Holy of days, St. Valentine's, I wish all of you LOVE and smart thugs.

I hope you all enjoyed that blast from the past. I've decided I might start posting "classic" blogs, as I don't use myspace too much, and I had some funny shit going down back in the days of having jobs. We'll see. I should probably concentrate on keeping this one up to date.

After the hoe purchase we trekked off to the libes, as "Confederacy of Dunces" is coming to an end and I don't like to have gaps in reading. Sure I have books here that need to be read, but I like to alternate between owned/borrowed books and books from the library.

Upon returning home from the libes we found the house to be extremely warm. E had the brills idea of taking in a movie, as we actually have some gift cards that need to be used. He decided on "The Hangover" because we had heard it was funny, it was one of the movies that fit into our time slot, and there was air conditioning, and the library isn't open 24 hours.

In all honesty, I wasn't expecting much.
Which could be why I found the movie to be really funny.
And afterwards, E and I couldn't exactly decide what was so funny, but we were literally cracking up.
One of my favorite parts was the Lone Wolf speech by the future brother in law.
I couldn't stop giggling.
"I didn't know they give out rings at the Holocaust."
And let's be real.
It's totally crude, but hilarious.
Sure there were some gay jokes I didn't think were necessary, but barring that, funny stuff.
Well done, mainstream Hollywood.

Day 105

Considering I was up for 21 hours the day before, I decided to take it upon myself to sleep in.
It's not always an easy task with the dog telling you she needs to go out or eat or is just wishing you good morning, but I pulled thru.

I spent the first part of the day reading upon my sittee, because I am classy like that, and that it's about 5 degrees cooler downstairs than it is upstairs. Between chapters I would doze in and out, until it was time for me to go pick up my new foster dog, Rice.

Who, upon picking up, is covered in poo.
Not his poo, but poo just the same.
His leash, his paws.
Luckily, I have some old shirts in the car and try to get the shit (literally!) off his paws.
His leash is thrown in the trunk so I don't have to smell it, and a new leash is put on him.
Sick guts.

Upon entering the house, I call to E that he needs a bath; the other dogs are kenneled (I should note, when I say kenneled, I don't mean we have dog kennels in our house. I just mean they are either in their crate or in our room. "Kennel up" is a term a lot of kennels use to get the greys to get back in their kennels, so we still use that when referencing their crate, or our room).

E and I proceed to bathe Rice, who does okay, although we do get soaked in the process.
An inaugural walk after is bath dries him off nicely and he gets to meet the neighborhood kids who promptly ask:
"Why he bald?"
"Why he bald?" Then they point and I see they're pointing at his butt.
Greyhounds do have a tendency to have bald butts. No one really knows why, but Rice is one such greyhound.
I shrug my shoulders, "Well you know how some people are bald? Some greyhounds have bald butts, it's just the way it is."
Which I have to say is a really good answer. By the time these kids grow up they will have vast greyhound knowlege.
Maybe Cold Spring Park is breeding future vets of America, for the kids that are brave enough to "rub" the dogs.
By the by, in urban speak, rub=pet.
And E and I being the classist bourgeoisie that we are, always correct them, "Yes, you can pet them."

Day 104

Today was the grad party.
Good times.
The usual food.
The veggie pizza I made was incredibly salty thanks to the stupid ranch dressing mix I bought.
And it wasn't even brought out until we were about to leave.
Which was okay, as it cost like $10 to make, and I wanted to take it home even if you needed to drink a gallon of water with it.

After a day in the sun, playing bags, talking to relatives, pseudo planning a bridal shower for another cousin, EW, E and I had to head home.

I had a ladies night planned.
Usually I would say girls' night.
But as one is a new mom, that makes her a lady.
So the crew got together at had a delicious dinner at Byron's which is on the river.
If you haven't been there, I highly reccommend it.
While the patio was pretty busy, the inside of the restaurant was fairly dead.
Drinks are reasonable, decent veggie fare, and they have a great patio.
After a bit of a snafu of the bill, nothing major, (a drink was left on, my meal was left off, some confusion of my drinks), we all got buy one, get one drink cards! SWEET!
Needless to say we would head back there anyway, but that sealed the deal.
Another plus?
There was absolutely no confusion over the bill.
Everyone put in what they owed, with tip.
And once added up?
T'was great.
There was a larger group of what appeared to be multiple families who were letting their effing kids run around.
With waitresses carrying glassware non-stop.
And as it was busy, the patio was full.
I was super close to saying something, but we were ending our time there shortly.
I'm fine with children, but if you can't find a sitter for your night out boozing with friends, then maybe you should have a bbq at home.
Or control your god-damn kids.
Is this harsh?
Probably, but if I ever acted like that in a restaurant, that would be the end of it.
The end of going out to eat, and quite possibly, my life.

While we didn't booze it up as much as I would have liked, it was an early night for those who don't consider themselves locked-in ladies (ladies who get themselves locked into bars after closing--enabling them to keep drinking and commiserating); BP, the mom, was tired, I think she was just trying to be nice when she told me she had a small buzz. JL & SN had spent the day in the sun, and JL had to leave early the next day for market in NY. AA, trooper that she is decided to continue on, after we dropped off BP, to L's.
Our favorite watering hole.
While it was fairly crowded, and AA literally left the second she took a sip of her soda (understandably so, as there was a long story or RH, her bf, sleeping already...) PO and I had some really ridick/awesome conversation about college, dogs, comic book movies, feminism and Christian Bale.

A pretty typical night, I suppose.

Day 103

Tomorrow is my cousin's graduation party.
HS graduation, which I'm a little ambivalent about.
I do have a sordid history with this so bear with me.

The year was 1998.
I was a senior in high school, but being the over achiever that I was, I actually graduated in January. College wasn't going to pay for itself, and I had a job that, thankfully, was willing to give me extra hours so I could save up. It seemed more economical to work rather than stay in school, for what...the memories? False.
I worked with most of my friends anyway, and I ran with an older crowd, so I was kind of done with the whole HS experience.

Since I technically graduated in January, I thought I could skip the whole walking-across-the-stage thing.
While I didn't HATE high school, I didn't LOVE it. It was my means for going to college, which I did love.
But then my mom, in a weird maternal moment, states that I have to walk across the stage, because while I'm living there, I follow their rules (seriously? You're exercising that rule NOW?!?). So I had to fork over money for a gown, which I wasn't happy about.
And SINCE I was forced to walk across said stage, I assumed I would get to take part in the grad party tradition that all of my friends were having.
I had heard the tales: people getting enough money to pay for their books their freshman year; getting a car, maybe a trip to like Mexico or Florida.
I broached the topic with my mom and quite realistically she said, "Why should you have a party? What is there to celebrate? You finished High School. We'll throw you a party when you finish college. People up here [rural Wisconsin] don't go to college so high school is a big deal."

While I do agree with most of that statement, I was still extraordinarily jealous of my college-bound friends who got cash-money, or at least some good presents.

In all fairness my family did have some type of family picnic which I guess could have doubled for a grad party, as I think there might have been a cake that said "Congrats." But I could be conjuring the cake up. I do know this. I got some "presents." And I use this term incredibly loosely:
1. used tape deck, like that could hold 100 cassette tapes.
Cassette tapes.
In 1998.
2. economy sized box of tampons.
Okay, to be honest, helpful, but seriously? As a present?
3. card with $5 in it.

Those were three separate gifts people, from three separate relatives.

In all honesty, my parents weren't totally cruel. In fact, I would venture to guess that my parents were the coolest, much like Dr. LeFeber.
Case in point:
My friend LN and I wanted desperately to take a road trip to Cleveland.
I know, totally dorky, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was there and we are rock nerds.
So I had been trying to convince my parents to let us go and they had said no, but FINALLY said they would drive us if we would pay for gas. This seemed like a pretty sweet deal and we agreed to it.
After an amazing trip (seriously, I still think it was one of the most fun trips I've ever taken), my parents surprised us and said we didn't have to pay for gas (we were going to pay them back over the course of the summer).
So I guess my graduation wasn't without SOME type of gift, and my bestie got in on the deal as well.

But to this day, I agree with my mom.
If high school wasn't some epic academic or social struggle for you, shouldn't it be EXPECTED that you graduate, you finish your education with the bare minimum of academic skills?

I have a friend who is the principal (or maybe asst. principal?) of an urban Milwaukee school.
She was going on and on about the EIGHTH grade graduation.
The way people were gussied, swooned over, celebrated, etc.
Upon crossing the stage, KM told the students, "Congratulations, you've completed, a grade."
Which I think is perfect.

Anyway, my cousin, EB, is one of those who LOVES high school.
Was in sports, choir, lots of friends, the whole nine.
So it wasn't a schocker that she was having a graduation party.
While I knew of this party a while ago, I have been very busy reading and blogging.
I've just been incredibly lazy.
But I hadn't yet procured a gift for this party, nor had I any idea what I was going to make as it was a pseudo potluck.
So I called my aunt to ask what she still needed for college, and if I was supposed to bring something.
She called me back to tell me I had agreed to make a veggie pizza like a month ago, and asking me if I could make some mixed cds for the party.
Of course I obliged.
When one has a gift, one needs to share their gift with the world.
Unfortunately my gift is making cds.
With other people's music.

That evening we decided to take part in the Milwaukee film scene and head to the Alchemist Theater for a bi-monthly event produced by Firestarter Films.
It's basically a very informal film festival. People show their shorts (I believe there is a 10 minute max?) and then the audience gets to critique the film!
How had I missed this before?!
Most, if not all, films are made locally, or by local artists.
And I have to say, the quality of work was quite good.
There were some kids showing stuff they did (cute and what good parents to know about this!), some people showing old work, and then of course the reason I was there:
E's "New Day" trailer.
[sorry these are facebook links, but I couldn't find non-fb links...besides, who doesn't have a flipping fb page?]
I have to say I was a really good audience member, supporting the theater with three glasses of wine (all proceeds go to the theater!), filling out critiques for all the films, signing the poster.
It was a really good time. $5 gets you in for a good 3 hours (with breaks, due to the number of people there, they have to break the showings into groups) of film talk, short films, and supporting Milwaukee film, which I think is incredibly important. Plus the drinks are reasonable.

The trailer that links above is a bit different than the one I viewed.
I wasn't sure the original trailer gave enough of the story away, which I dictated to the director face to face. Everyone close to the film (besides E) thought that it perhaps gave too much away.
I was trying to be objective because I had read the script so I knew what the movie was about, but I don't know if the trailer did a good enough job conveying that. I think the one above, does a better job.
And to be honest, I'm sure I'm not their target audience.
But I was asked my opinion, and I gave it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 102

Well my love affair with the library just won't quit.
As some of you know, I'm not an orderly person.
My house is almost always a mess, always a-clutter, I'm always running late, the usual for a highly UN-type A person.

But I think as people we need some sort of order.
Since I'm not really getting that anywhere in my life I like to make lists at the start of each day.
I like to go in order at the library.
I'm currently in the A's for authors of fiction books, and in the A's for music.
While this does mean I have listened to some pretty weird albums, I never would have given a second chance, this also means that sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

This week's surprise was Audience's "House on the Hill."
I kind of know music.
Old proggy music anyway.
And I had never heard of this band, but the second I put it on I loved it.
It was like a mix of Jethro Tull, Yes, Moody Blues, etc.
So once again the libes pulls through.

Upon watching my share of "The Daily Show," I've learned that there is apparently a huge debacle taking place in regards to healthcare reform.
While I understand "The Daily Show" isn't the best place to get my news, it's the only news program I can stomach, minus listening to the BBC news on NPR in the morning.
Anyway, so while watching Jon Stewart be pithy and funny I learned that a lot of people don't want government provided healthcare.
I'm guessing these people all have insurance, and only know people who have insurance, or have unlimited resources to pay for medical care of some disease such as AIDS or cancer, or god forbid something like a birth.
All are prohibitively expensive.
Anyway, the big argument seems to be from people (and I'm not saying dems or repugs here, because I'm currently not ecstatic with the lack of support the dems are giving Obama on this issue) that how can the government run anything? Have you waited in line at the DMV? Do you want your dr. office to run like that?

First of all, where are they going to the doctor that they don't have to wait? Some fancy shmancy doc that makes house calls? It has become habit for me to call ahead to see if the doc is running on time, and even if they say yes, more often than not I still have to wait 10-15 minutes.

Second of all, the government runs lots of things that I necessarily don't want to do on my own:
take criminals off the streets (the police), put out fires (the fire dept.), take my garbage, mail my letters for a reasonaly priced 44 cents.

Third of all, I have no insurance right now (because I seriously know no one who can afford COBRA when they are not working). I would wait an hour or so if it means that I get to see a doctor. But maybe that is just me. Does it suck? Sure, but I guess it's better than dying of untreated pnuemonia.
And that's presuming the government-run healthcare will be run like the DMV, which doesn't really make sense because it's a government health plan, so it would be like instead of Aetna insurance, I have USA insurance.

I guess I just don't understand why almost every other country of stature in the world can have healthcare available to citizens and we are like "We're America! We're Awesome! But you can only have health insurance if you're working full time at selected companies."

Want to read a bit more?
CNN.com had a great article you can read here.

In other recession news:
I have an interview for the freelance job on Wednesday!
It's early in the morning (like at 9) and part of the interview is a copywriter test where they give me an object and I write copy for it.
Which is pretty similar to what I did for the job in Waukegan.
We will see.
It's just for eight weeks so it's hard to get super duper excited.
Plus I don't like to get all high on a particular job because, well, I still haven't gotten one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 101--open letter to Bill Hall inside!

I slept in.
Oh lordy did I sleep in.
And it wasn't like I woke up all refreshed.
Quite the contrary my friends.
My dear readers.
I woke up completely exhausted, and with my right ear clogged.

You see.
As many of you know, I have crooked ear canals.
Which means I have to get my ears professionally cleaned out every now and then because the wax can't come out the way it does with other people.
Totes gross, but c'mon.
Everyone has wax.
Not the greatest of malaises, I will admit.
But an annoying one.
Especially when one is playing the no-insurance game.
But let's be real, if having a clogged ear is the worst of it, I should be praising Allah.
So my ear was all wonky, I was exhausted, and we had a house to clean, since we totally skipped that part the day before.

After the preliminary email/facebook/gpa forum checking we settled into our routine.
E gets the upstairs, I get the downstairs, minus the kitchen as E doesn't like the way I load our dishwasher.
This isn't a lie.
Much like he doesn't like how I clean the bathroom so he does it.
No skin off my astrabula.
You wanna do it?
Go to town.

The house didn't take nearly as long as I had initially suspected.
Maybe we are getting better at not being utter, effing slobs.

E, in his super productiveness, started a loaf of bread, and after that was done, decided pizza for dinner would be a good idea, and started the bread machine for the dough.

My idea for dinner was brushcetta on the bread, and then a caprese salad.
E decided he wanted pizza too.
I thought this was a ridick amount of food, but obliged since he did make the bread and the dough for the pizza.
Since the dough was still a brewing, I decided to stick with my ever-other-day running routine and go for a run.
And by run, I should clarify that I mean jog.
There is nothing speedy about the way I run.
And it was a good one, if I do say so myself.
I got through all four of my songs, which is generally my goal, and thought maybe I could have done another one, but didn't want to push it.
If I keep this up, hopefully the pants will fit a little better.
Plus I do 100 crunches before the run and 100 after.
I have seen zero results as of yet, but I'm not giving up hope.

In other news:
I still don't get Weezer.

Dinner was, indeed, fabulous, but as previously assessed, too much food, which just meant pizza and salad as leftovers!

The night brought us baseball and reading, which seems to be our new nightly routine.
The Crew eked out an extra-innings win, no thanks to Hoffman (the reason the game went into extra innings), and JJ Hardy saved the day.
Thank GOD that he has broken his dry spell.
Even Billy Hall hit a homer.

Open letter to Billy Hall:

Dear Bill Hall,
I want to like you.
I like the way you play defense at 3rd (well I like it better than Gamel).
I understand that you have confidence issues, and I can't really understand that.
I'm happy that you seem to not be striking out on low and away pitches as much as you were last year.
But here's the thing:
You hit a homer last night, which is great!
Good job! Lord knows we need all the runs we can get versus the Indians.
But it wasn't a no-doubter, maybe off the bat it felt like one, but it barely made it over the fence.
And rather than running it out, you kind of just dropped your bat and watched it go out.
I don't like this behavior from anyone, really, unless you were previously beaned by the pitcher, or it's some major grudge match.
Or maybe you're batting .300 (i.e. Ryan Braun, but even most of the time he just jogs it out).
But even then it's iffy sportsmanship at best.
It's not like you were "owed" a homer.
It's not like you were even getting hard-hit outs like JJ Hardy (who by the way, didn't start "jogging" until he rounded 2nd).
You're barely hitting .200 (.201 to be exact).
Please act a little bit more humble when something good at the plate does happen for you.
Victim of the Recession

He had a 35 HR season 3 years ago, and have done little since then.
And, it appears that I am not the only one to have noticed this.
While most of the time the comments on the Brewer website are filled with fair-weather fans, or people who don't know much about the game, this lot had some good comments to make and some good discussion.
After the painful win (a dub is a dub is a dub), I finished watching "Angels in American," was happy with my pick-up of the abandonment motif, but would still like to read some articles/essays on other themes that I'm sure I'm missing. And I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, but I realize endings are hard, and I can't understand why Justin Kirk didn't get a slew of awards for his portrayal of Pryor Walter.
And I do love that name.

I then read a couple more chapters in "Confederacy of Dunces" which is just okay at this point.
I'm sure part of the problem is that it gets rave reviews from 95% of those who read it, and the other 5% hate it.
I'm in the middle.
It's not the best thing I've read, but it's certainly better than "Them" by Joyce Carol Oates.
Man, did I hate that book.

Day 100 (throws confetti, does happy dance)

Who's going to buy me a drink?

As I am but a poor, weary, non-paid blogger, in celebration of my first 100 days of blogging, I decided to change up the look of the ol' blog-train, and decided to add a poll.
Welcome to the 21st century, Victim of the Recession, this blog is now interactive.
Well for the next 6 days, anyway.

Although I was out later than expected the night before, I woke up in plenty of time to research my destination, get prepped, the yuge.

The psuedo-interview seemed to go well. The only glitch was that I don't have Dreamweaver experience.
But I tend to sell myself short on my computer skills, when in actuality, I'm not dumb, and I tend to figure things out "okay" on my own.
Or by reading instruction manuals.
Either way, I tend to figure it out, I just don't like it when I don't know the ins & outs of a particular program.
So that was the worst part of it, she didn't seem TOO concerned with that notion, and she just kind of went over the position again, and asked me a couple more in-depth questions.
Very business casual, but comfortable.
The next step? She passes my info to the account manager (remember it's a recruiting place) that works with Company K and then hopefully they will want to meet me.
And hire me.

The rest of the day was supposed to be spent cleaning, but E (and, subsequently, I) had a meeting with a friend of ours in regards to a documentary we want to shoot regarding our favorite topic: women and baseball. As luck would have it, she is a grant writer and has volunteered her services.
We met with her to give her an idea of what said film was about, our proposed budget for film, and our thoughts in general?
She brought up some great points, and gave us kudos for being so prepared (an actual company that she has just started free-lancing for was nowhere near as prepared as we were when she met with them).
It felt good to talk about a project, although we really can't do anything unless we get SOME funding, because you ain't messin' with no gold-diggers.
You are messin' with some broke-y brokes.

After the meeting we headed to our favorite recession-hangout:
The Washington Park Library.
I know it seems as if I talk about this place non-stop, but I truly can't get over it.
What is not to love?
If they don't have the book/music/movie that you want, chances are they can get it for you.
And if they can't?
You could most likely reserve it and pick it up at the library that does have it.
You know what would make the library perfect?
If they sold alcohol.
I'm being serious.
You get a listening booth like at one of those old boutique-y record stores and you listen to your music while drinking a red.
You sit at a cube with a beer and read the latest Douglas Coupland novel.
Maybe that should be my goal.
To make a place to read/listen to music, drink, and bring your dog.
Cos that would be the trifecta.

We didn't get any books, because I'm currently reading "Confederacy of Dunces" and E had just renewed his weirdo historical fiction. It's still weird for me to see E reading, so it still makes me giggle when I think of:
1. him reading
2. what he's reading, cos I don't think we could have more opposite tastes in books.

After the libes we settled in our messy house, vowing that it would be clean the next day.

The phone rings and I see it's the company that I had interviewed with the week before, the interview I though went, NSH.
(not so hot, for those of you who don't speak Starbuck)
Guess who has some intuition?!
That is right.
The author of this blog.
(On a sidenote, author was a word I always mis-spelled as a child, and I was a really good speller.)
Apparently I was one of the finalists, out of 500 applicants, and while I came right down to the wire, I didn't get the job.
While it was a bit of an ego-boost to think that I beat out 500 (or I guess 498) applicants, close only counts in horse-shoes and hand grenades.
Or as E said, "Too bad you don't get paid for second place."
So so true.

To finish the night off I took in the Brewers game, which was a win, but not quite the slug-fest that it was the night before.
The bats have awoken which is a good thing.
We look for the sweep tomorrow.
No easy task on the road, versus an American League team.

I finished up disc one of "Angels in America" and truly feel this film/play would be worth a whole class of dissection.
I can't decide what to focus on in the film, and thus can't decide what to interpret/dissect.
Perhaps the author was doing to much? Perhaps it's a huge metaphor that I'm not grasping.
Although I'm drawn to the abandonment issues that are prevalent in the film, and feel this could be the metaphor I'm looking for.
Even if you're not a fan of the story (and the sub-title for the play is entirely correct; "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes"), the acting is superb and it's directed supremely. The music got a little old, I would have preferred a glam rock/christian rock score, but what can you do?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 99

Recession News!
Recession News!

Upon completing my run yesterday, and after my 100 crunches (seriously, age is so not nice to ladies), I received a phone call from a potential job. I honestly had no idea what job it was in reference to, and I was still in my sweat-drenched clothes.

Fortunately for me the woman asked if it was an okay time, and since I have actually been reading about phone/live interviews, I knew it would not be looked down upon if I asked her to postpone. I told her I just got in from a run and just needed to shower and such. She scheduled the phone call for about an hour later, which at first I thought was weird, but then thought, "Nice. Might as well get the ball rolling, here."

Before hopping in the shower I logged into one of my babillion job-seeker sites to figure out exactly what this position was for.
And that is when I realized it was a freelance position, and that the woman calling me was actually a type of recruiter.
Hey, when the market is as slim as it is, you apply to everything under the sun, and sometimes you lose track, or in my case, don't really pay attention.
BUT, freelancing does seem pretty grown-up if you ask me.
Thru my awesome research skills I presume the job is for the competitor of the company that tossed me off their sinking ship.
She calls me, asks me some questions about my rezzy, tells me about the job itself (my presumption was correct, Company K being a direct competitor of BT Supercenter). But the job really does sound great, very similar to what I was doing before, and pays very similar.
The catch?
Well being a freelance position it's just for 8 weeks (covering for medical leave) and they are in a hiring freeze, while the woman told me they are really hoping the hiring freeze is lifted soon as they are all starting to feel the crunch, I'm not going to hold my breath.
But I do figure it would be a good way to get my foot in the door and maybe do some portfolio updates.
She wants to set up a face-to-face, and since she is super-efficient, or so it seems, we set up a wee-interview-type-thing for the next day at 1030.

While waiting for the phone to ring from the recruiter-esque person, PO called recruiting me for my other job...barfly.
She said the magic words of JJ and drinks and I immediately agreed as it has been FOREVER since I hung out with JJ and even longer since we've all been together in our natural setting--a bar. I do give her the caveat that I do have a pseudo interview the next day and need to be in a decent state of mind (no headache, no emesis). She concurs and the plan is set.
1030 at FF.

After the phone stopped ringing E and I had to make a run for some chow.
Dog and human chow.
Poor Super was down to her last cup of kibble, and E felt like some fancy fast food.

We get home and I settle in to watch the Brewer game.
Oh Brewers.
You had a heartbreaker yesterday, can you come back today and eke out a win?
On Major League Day?
Oh Lawdy yes.
And since they played the Indians, and they had a score of a football game, they even got some decent coverage on ESPN!
Shock and awe, ya'll.
Shock and awe.
The final score?
14-12, with the Brewers winning.
Down by 5 in the 7th, a run scores (I can't find out/remember who scored said run, making me think I need to keep score at home now.)
And then the 8th happens.
And we score 6.
First EVER MLB Grand Slam for Fielder.
And let's be clear:
It was a from a lefty, and it was the first pitch, and it was a no-diggity-doubter.
You knew the second it left the bat it was gone daddy gone.
It was a great game.
Sure I yelled at the tv some, I'm not a fan of being down by five twice in a game, but you gotta love a team that does give up.
And if watching a fabulous come from behind win wasn't enough, I still had a night of drinking to do!

What was supposed to be 1 or 2 turned into 3 delicious ciders and lots of girl talk.
And we were locked into a whole new bar this time.
I guess we're just really good at our jobs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 98

I've recently learned that some people would like there to be more economic theory in this blog, since I am claiming to be a Victim of the Recession.

I would like to address this:

Hells to the no.

1. I have never taken an econ class in my life. Actually I did, and the professor spoke such horrible English (and all of his analogies had to do with cheeseburgers) that I couldn't understand him, which forced me to drop the class.
2. I have no interest in economic theory unless it's espoused upon by some pithy character on The Daily Show or an enlightening guest on such show. Theories I do have interest in: film, feminist and queer theories.
3. I depend on E to tell me what he thinks, what other people think and then I form my own opinion. Incredibly lazy? You bet, but we do have conversations about it, which is more than probably 95% of America or Ammerrca.
4. I would hope that the someecards photo and the little description preceding the blog would give some indication that, while I suppose it's true that we're living in a recession, I don't really consider myself a victim as these blogs are mostly about me continuing my daily life...sometimes on the cheap, and always on the ridick.

And so I apologize if I've mislead or misinformed any of you.
And now back to regular broadcasting.

Today was a day of laying about.
Took in the excruciating 9th inning/Hoffman loss for the Brewers.
It appears the Crew is playing ball again. And I would prefer Hoffman to "blow a save" (although it wasn't technically a save situation, and he notoriously doesn't do PERFECT in non-save situations) now, versus an American League team, then versus a division rival.

After listening to the disappointing last at-bats for the Brewers we went and did a home visit for our greyhound group, Greyhound Pets of America, Wisconsin. It went fine, Super enjoyed the car ride, and could care less about his pet cat, so all was good.

We had planned on having one of my favorite meals of all time:
The Infamous Mozzarella Rustique sandwich ala Beans & Barley.
We make ours a little differently, but it's just as good.
Loaf of ciabatta bread
Fresh mozz (or the kind that comes in balls/logs...ha ha, I just said balls and logs)
Then you make a sandwich out of those delicious ingredients.
And it's amazing.

Upon getting home, we had learned of an impromptu BBQ that our CSPBFFs were throwing.
So we decided to take our ingredients and head over.
After an appetizer course of mango hookah and some adult bevvies we ate a delicious salad and heated our bread on the grill.
M&M also joined us, and we enjoy their company as they are young and fun like us.
Like true adults we stayed until a decent hour (M had a test the next morning and E had to work. I had some blogging to do).

E went to bed, I watched "The Dark Knight" which I was, I hate to say, disappointed in. I felt "Batman Begins" was much better and featured a lot more Christian Bale.
Granted "The Dark Knight" also features Aaron Eckhart, whom I've recently started finding attractive, it really didn't sate my hot-dude craving.
I almost watched "American Psycho" to make up for it, but it was already 3am and I had delusions of granduer that I would wake up early to take in a run.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 97

And I'm never goin' back to my old school.

Who doesn't love a little Steely Dan in the morning?
And it's the morning, kids.
Don't be fooled.
After hanging out with some of my oldest, yet still awesome friends last night, the dogs (all three of them) decided to wake me up at such an hour that I would say it's unnatural.

The day was mildly entertaining. After cashing some checks we decided to grill out as it was the first nice day we had had in a long time. We knew we had some dogs and burgs and the house but no buns.

So we decided to brave the Milwaukee Convenience Store to see if we could purchase some over-priced enriched bread product.
Apparently inner-city peeps don't eat buns.
Or bread.
Which, I have to say was disheartening.
I know I shouldn't be disheartened whenever I have an urban experience, yet I am.
I just think that if a place claims to have groceries, I would think they would have bread, milk, eggs and/or butter. I would think this would be the most basic of grocery items.
Instead, at the store on like 8th and Highland, they had rows and rows of candy, chips, soda and "juice," and one wee sections of bread that had four tiny loaves for almost $3 each.
So store #1 was a bust.
We also have a "Grocery Store" in our neighborhood, right down the street which we have never braved, although we were told that it was "nice."
I'm going to have to disagree.
The market is primarily for an Asian customer, and I would venture a guess to say Hmong customer.
The plusses?
1.People were friendly.
2. They had lots of Asian food/produce.
The minuses?
1. They had no bread of any type, much less buns.
2. The store smelled really, really bad. Like I had to get out of there.

So we headed to the nearest 'burb to buy buns and parmesean cheese.
Mission, prolonged by urban experience, accomplished.

The plan of the day was supposed to be to head to Pridefest with our friend JT, and then I would split off later to meet up with my old school (read: friends I've known the longest, but don't hang out nearly as much as I should).
But the gays were running about 2 hours late, and it really didn't make any sense for me to pay the $15 Pridefest ticket to stay for an hour.
If that.
So sadly, I told E to give my regards to JT and friends, and E did the same for our old pals and we made like a Journey song and went our separate ways.

I needed to bus it to Riverwest, and didn't like any of the options that googlemaps gave me so running about a half and hour late, I decided to just "figure it out" the way I thought would be safest and best.

Before you accuse me of being scared of bussing to weird neighborhoods, the bus had me going to 27th and Burleigh and then taking the 60 to get to Art Bar. While in the day time I would do this, I was also concerned with how I was getting home for the eveing.
I most certainly did not want to have to wait long for a bus (or god forbid miss my transfer and be stuck) on 27th and Burleigh at 1am. So I decided to take the good old 30 which I always feel comfortable on and know runs late.

As luck would have it I was also able to catch the 10 which dropped me mere blocks from my destination.

The whole thing (leaving the house/getting to the bar, including walking time) took an hour.
And while I was still late, I still beat my friends there (thank god for fellow tardy folks). I slipped my screwdriver slowly and started "A Confederacy of Dunces," which thus far has been an enjoyable read, but I am only on page 44 or so.

It was my HSBFF's birthday and she is quite close some old college friends of mine, and some other favorite people of mine E&J. Plus some extras.
And extras are always fun.

The ladies were already a bit tipsy from the bottle of champagne they split before leaving the house, and as I ate a light lunch, I was feeling no pain from my delicious screwdriver.
Well done Art Bar.
Well done.
I wish I lived closer cos that was a perfect bar to read in.
After healthy doses of nostalgia and story telling we then headed to the Tracks for some nosh and more bevvies.
While the veggie burger was delicious, I really can't eat veggie foods (dogs/burgers) while drinking.
Something happens in the tum that is not a fun time.
Nothing to the point of me spending the night in the bathroom, but I wasn't entirely comfortable the whole night either.
I think when drinking, I need to stick to fried foods, or junk food.
I'm just saying.
EL and CB joined us which was fabulous and we then headed to Foundations, which is, I would venture to guess, Milwaukee's only tiki bar.
While it was crowded, that didn't stop us from nabbing a table, then the booth, while most others enjoyed fabulous tiki tonics, I had a measly Malibu and pineapple and then a water.
The ol' tum wasn't liking the veggie food.
I did get to have some great conversation with PH and that was fabulous, because she is awesome, and her fiance seems cool too, even though we was getting sleepy towards the end of the night.
A plan was made to go K-oke but it was just past midnight and if I wanted to be sure to get home via bus, I was going to have to cut-out. Although it pained me greatly, as we all know, I love singing.
M&P were leaving too, so I asked if I could get a ride to the bus stop, but the kind souls offered to drive me home, which I gratefully accepted.

It was a great night.
Laughter, old friends, libations.
Who could ask for more?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 96--Women & Baseball special!!!

Today was spent blogging.
Lots and lots of blogging.

I had let the ol' blog fall by the wayside so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
And I recapped my recession filled life.
As I was about a week and a half behind, this really did take quite sometime.

E and I then traveled to the Brewer game.
Brewers vs. the White Sox, the first of a three game series.
I believe it was my first White Sox game of recent memory, but I can say with full confidence:

White Sox fans are 100% less douchey than Cubs fans:
1. They didn't boo their team (which I don't like at all, as it is not exhibiting true sportsmanship).
2. They stayed for the whole game (and the Crew was up 7-2 in the top of the 9th)
2. Some Sox fans sitting in front of us actually engaged us in conversation (okay maybe a little too much conversation, but better than yelling expletives at Brewer players/fans, I suppose).
3. They not only talked about Milwaukee, and how much they liked the city,but baseball, which in my experience, Cubs fans never do. Mostly because they are:
a. too drunk
b. mouths are full of Miller Park's awesome concessions/bevvies
c. Cubs fans don't really know anything about baseball
d. They're too busy yelling nonsense threats to Lou Pinella or Brewer fans.

This is not to say I didn't see some jerk White Sox fans, but I see jerk Brewer fans at every game. So I take them with a grain of salt.

I would also like to point out the sheer effing RIDICULOUSNESS of the GD Miller Cheerleaders.
The Diamond Dancers I believe they are called.
Since when does Baseball need cheerleaders?
Actually, since when does any sport need cheerleaders, to be perfectly honest, but this is in reference to Brewers Baseball.
The girls are dressed in typical stipper-slutty sparkly outfits and while their moves aren't incredibly lewd (Thank god for small favors), their dance before the game was pointless. The song had nothing to do with getting the crowd or the teams pumped up, in fact, I would say it wasn't really a prototypical dance tune.
As if having to watch booty-shaking dance/fitness majors from UWM wasn't bad enough at the start of the game, they even had a dance for that good ol' 7th inning stretch.
They have a dance for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

If a dance show is REQUIRED for Brewers baseball, which let's be real, I think a dozen people in the audience were watching, let's have it be from local college teams, or high school teams. Teams that are doing high-class stunts "Bring It On" style. I'm not doubting their athletic ability, just it's place at a baseball game (and dare I say it, basketball and football games).
Doesn't this just promote the notion that women are to be looked at and admired rather than actually contributing anything? Let's not forget the comment that Mets' announcer Hernandez made in 2006, in regards to the San Diego Padres' massage therapist, which was, "I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout."
This begs the question of where DO women belong then?
We can be on the Supreme Court, but not rubbing out a tweaked calf muscle in a major league dugout.

Tonight's game also taught me that although I have to have some knowledge about baseball, as I keep score, and keep score well, I might add, if a neighbor has a question, they will ask E. and not me.

Case in point:
Bottom of the 6th.
Two outs.
Crew is down by a run.
Pitcher is due up to bat.
Now Suppan isn't an ace by any means.
On a good day he is a work horse, an innings eater.
And I suppose one would say that this was the case for this day.
So the Sox intentionally walk Kendall to get to the pitcher.
All of the Brewer fans think we will just pinch hit for Suppan.
But Macha leaves him in.
No one can figure it out (although to be fair he only had 77 pitches going into the 7th, which is a decent count).
So we shrug our shoulders and cheer on "Sooooouuuuuuuuppppppp" which can sound like "Boo" but I'm fairly confident that the crowd was saying "Sooouuuupppp."
The guy sitting behind us taps E on the shoulder and asks him why he would do that?
E just kind of shrugs his shoulder, and we continue to cheer on as Suppan gets a bloop single that scores the tying run.
I look in my scorebook and see that at the top of the 7th Suppan has to face the bottom of their order, which TOGETHER might have an average of .200, remember the pitcher doesn't hit in AL games.
Add that to the fact that Supes has been pitching well that game, only has 77 pitches, and did actually get a hit earlier in the game...it all kind of makes sense.
Sure, if it would have backfired we would be cursing Macha, but in the end it began a rally for the Crew.
I guess girls' do know some stuff.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 95

While the hooch I brought to the BBQ was delicious at the time, I PROBABLY (hindsight is 20/20) should have eaten something before drinking ALL of it.
Because as much as I love veggie burgers, they NEVER do me good after a night of drinking.

So needless to say.
I slept in.
And had a headache.

The good news?
It was the perfect pretense to take in the Brewer game.
A game they lost, but at least (well not at least) they are putting up SOME kind of a fight.
I suppose one could say that is the good news.
Of the last five games we lost, we lost by one run in four of the them...the other one was by two runs.
But I'm kind of done with losing.
We need to win if we want to keep our lead in the NL Central which has now dwindled to a mere half game lead over the Cards.
And it's not like we play well vs. the American League.
The plus, is that most NL teams don't play well vs. the AL.
One glimmer of hope I guess.

Other than the ball game, I spent a rather cool day in the house, finishing up my book, which I can say I enjoyed and would recommend to others.
Next on my reading list?
Confederacy of Dunces, which I've heard only good things about, so we will see.
Obs I will keep you posted.

Day 94

Cue working girl shopping montage.
Cue heavy-synthesized music while girl is blow-drying hair and applying mascara and lip gloss.
Cue heary laughter and hand shakes
Cue toasting a new job.

It didn't exactly happen.

Sure I had to get up kind of early, take the bus to E's work, pick up the car, drive to Target, buy an interview outfit since our washing machine/sink is broken/un-usuable and I didn't have time to dig and search and go to the laundromat. If I was a grown-up I would have had time to have my things dry cleaned, but instead, I went to Great America the day before, kind of forgot I had nothing to wear and thus had to run to Target.

I found some brown linen pants, a mauve shell, and a cream colored ruffly cardigan type thing I thought would be a good choice.

By some miracle I get home from my adventures on time and hop in the shower and start preparing, physically and mentally, for said interview.
Interview questions--check.

Everything is set and ready to go.
We begin the interview process.
And I have to say.
I don't think I did that well.
I mean.
I think I did okay.
Average, perhaps.
But I didn't really feel a rapor.
Like it all felt very stilted, and stop and go.
Maybe this is because they aren't used to giving interviews?
Maybe it's because I didn't give great answers?
I don't know.
Let's just say, it won't be a shocker if I don't get the job.
At least I got thru the first couple stages.
Which must mean that my resume doesn't suck completely, nor does my cover letter.
So that is good news.
I can't say that the interview was a learning experience since it seems like:
1. I can't remember anything they asked that I found particularily difficult
2. I have no prospects on the horizon
Sure I've been applying but no one's been contacting me.
Maybe I was excited because I knew after the interview I was going to go to PO's house for a family/friend BBQ.

So upon arriving home, I told E the meh-news of my interview, and we packed up some beers and hooch (vodka-lemonade for those keeping track at home) and veggie burgers and made our way over.

And I have to say it was a great time.
Good stories by all.
Even if it was bittersweet as half of the party was moving this weeked.
Which seems to be the story of my life...I once wrote this short story where someone commented, "I feel like I just met all these really cool people and then found out that they or I am moving away the next day" and in this case it was true.
Such is life.

Make new friends.
But keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.

Day 93

Today I woke up at 430 in the morning, couldn't get back to sleep so actually got out of bed at 5am and read my book, The Future of Love by Shirley Abbott.
I know the book sounds totally lame, but is actually pretty good, and it reminds me of something I might write. It also reminds me I shouldn't judge a book by it's title, and is my first book of the A's in the Washington Park Libes. But in full disclosure I did skip a book that was laden with an African-English dialect and I can't handle reading dialects. I will only do so when forced, otherwise I feel it's not worth it, generally.
Anyway, Abbott's work kept me entertained and yet was literary. And as an added bonus I will be looking for more of her work at the libes, although it appears this was her first work of fiction.

I put a sizeable dent in the book and then watched...wait for it...
The Nanny Diaries.
Which was actually, a lot better than I thought it would be. I missed the last five minutes, where I assume she meets the guy with the a-hole friends at his beach home, which I'm sure you know I would love to do without.
But I could be wrong, maybe she doesn't hook up with him to which I would say "Yay!" as I really feel it would change the dynamic of the movie.
So I can't give a full review of the film, but I can say it was decent up to the last 10 minutes.

I had to give up on the last 10 minutes of the film because we were on our way to Great American with our neighbors' foreign exchange student, MK. She's leaving soon and Great America was on her list of things to do while she was here.

So we went, again, for the second time in as many weeks I believe.
And while it was busier, we still got to go on the Superman twice, AND since MK was with I got to do the Giant Drop, which was scarier than I expected, but oh-so-fun.
Not so fun?
The last ride we went on, where we got completely effing soaked.
And then had to walk to the car and drive home in soaking wet clothes.
Boo-zoes to that.

Day 92

Recession news:
New interview!
Well kind of.
It's with the same company that I phone interviewed/took assesments for. Apparently the hiring managers thought I was worth a look-see at.
So I will be interviewing on Wednesday at 1 pm.
Wish me some sort of luck.

In other news today it started out cold, then warmed up rather pleasantly, albeit quickly, and then there were tornado warnings and sirens abounding.
All news said it was south of us so I didn't have to take the dogs into the basement or any such thing like that, but we did have to hear the tornado sirens for about a half and hour.
And then it rained.
And then it was done.
There wasn't even any thunder or lightning from where we stood.
If I'm hearing tornado sirens I want thunder.
The way you love me is frightening.
Wait, wha???

Later in the day we had our First Annual Cold Spring Park Board meeting.
And guess who got re-elected to the board?!?!
Right here.
I got your CSP Board Members...
Right down here.
Sorry, that was from high school.
And I wonder why I can't use my powers for good rather than mindless drivel.
So another illustrious year of leading CSP out of the darkness of the ghetto and into the light of suburbia.
Jay kay.
Jay kay.
And let's be real. It was an uncontested race. So if I dropped out and put Super on the ballot, she probably would have won.
Still don't know about my position but I'm gunning for secretary again or veep.
It was a good time.

The meeting itself went okay, I would have liked a better turn out but to quote MG, "Whatever."
I kept myself from being negative during the SOHI presentation, so I thought I did a good job that way. And we found out that the Chinese restaurant is good, per the Alderman, so I'm hoping for the best, our next meeting will be held there so I will keep you posted.

On the docket for tomorrow?
Great America!!!
You are totally jealous, aren't you???

Day 91

Today was one of the most wholesome, yet fun days I've had in a while.
To celebrate my aunt and cousin-in-law's birthday, they planned a family softball game.
To be perfectly honest, I hadn't played softball, since the CSP/Concordia game a couple of years ago.
And I did not do a good job that time.
I was bumped from first to the outfield.
This game.
I showed 'em my skills.
Due to the fact that no one else took first, I took it, thinking I could re-live my freshman year softball antics.
Although apprehensive at first, I have to say I did pretty well.
Most of the balls I fielded were from Z whom I've mentioned before as the prospective baseball player of the family.
So these were some bullets.
Me pops also told me that while I was playing catcher (the at-bat team had to provide their own catcher) I, too, threw some bullets.
Also a little known fact:
I'm an opposite field hitter.
So much that they had to put the shift on while I hit.
Which I then beat at my next at bat.
I got accolades from everyone, mostly because I think I was the only girl who did any type of fielding or hitting.
But I'll take it.
And it totally made me want to play softball.
But I'm nervous about joining a league because I don't want it to be serious because I'm not that good.
I will just have to save my talents for the annual softball game, or arrange one myself.
I can only imagine I would get better if I played every week, as my skills were improving as the game went on.

By the time we were heading home we already could feel the soreness seeping in.
Being old is so so lame.

In other news, for their birthdays I made them (big shocker here) mixed cd's.
Is it lame that this is what I do for everyone's birthday/life event?
1. I don't have a job, and sometimes I do purchase a song if it's incredibly necessary.
2. Numerous people have told me I am a good mixed cd maker.
3. I really enjoy doing it.
4. I think there is a level of personal-ness that goes into it.

So I made them mixed cd's.
For my aunt:
Feelin' Fine at 49
1. We've Only Just Begun--
Grant Lee Buffalo
2. Feelin' the Same Way--
Norah Jones
3. Cecilia--
Simon & Garfunkel
4. Poison Ivy--
The Coasters
5. With a Little Help From My Friends--
Joe Cocker
6. Wizard of Oz (main title)--
MGM Orchestra
7. Forever Young--
8. Waterloo--
9. Ventura Highway--
10. Pick Up the Pieces--
Average White Band
11. No Matter What--
12. The General Specific--
Band of Horses
13. Summer Breeze--
Seals & Croft
14. Big Sun--
Eddie Vedder
15. Let 'Em In--
Paul McCartney
16. At the Hop--
Devendra Banhart
17. Beloved Wife--
Natalie Merchant
18. Bitterblue--
Cat Stevens

I thought it was a good mix of stuff she liked, and I liked. And who would think that a 49 year old born-again would be listening to Band of Horses or Devendra Banhart?

And for the cousin-in-law:
Talkin' Jive at 25
1. Feel Good Inc.--Gorillaz
2. Maneater--Hall & Oates
3. Let Go--
Frou Frou
4. Too Big for Gidget--
The Brunettes
5. Take a Chance--
The Magic Numbers
6. Sun, Sun, Sun--
The Elected
7. The Frug--
Rilo Kiley
8. Chick Habit--
April March
9. No One's Gonna Love You--
Band of Horses
10. Close to Me--
The Cure
11. And She Was--
The Talking Heads
12. Silly Love Songs--
13. Basement Apt.--
Sarah Harmer
14. Time--
Alan Parsons Project
15. The Bleeding Heart Show--
The New Pornographers
16. Fake Empire--
The National
17. Family Tree--
Belle & Sebastian
18. Brimfull of Asher--

Way more indie but still had some good old ones that everyone should know and love.
I hope you don't find it vain that I put the mixes on here, it's just that a lot of people ask what goes on them, so I thought I would oblige ahead of time.