Saturday, November 29, 2008

Classic Thanksgiving...

Since it’s two days after Thanksgiving, I of course have to post about it!

We went down to San Diego on Thursday to meet most of my family at my Aunt Christie’s house. It took twice as long to get there as it usually does, which wasn’t surprising, but annoying just the same. You can definitely tell that gas prices are down because everyone is on the road again!

When we finally got there, of course everyone else had already arrived. The funny thing was, I barely recognized my cousins! The have all gotten so old and have changed so much, it’s scary. Tommy and Kevin are just great looking young men who are both so smart and have really matured. Kevin has always been an attention whore, but instead of crying and being kind of a pain like he was when he was younger, now he’s the center of attention for being entertaining and funny. Tommy has always been very outgoing and talkative, but in just two days I saw that instead of trying to compete with his brother, he was quiet, but not necessarily shy. He seemed like he was in his own world and would talk to you easily and for as long as you were talking to him, but when no one was talking to him, he seemed perfectly content to just sit back and watch.

Maddy and Davis I think have changed the most, but that’s probably because I haven’t seen them in forever and since I can’t keep up with them on Facebook. I haven’t really gotten to see them change. Maddy is just gorgeous. She’s almost as tall as me and thin, although not in a scary, anorexic, Lindsay Lohan kind of way. She is still kind of shy, but she’s also a lot of fun and she and I, as usual, ended up sitting on the couch talking and taking bad pictures with Grandma’s camera that she’ll be mad about when she goes through and sees them. Me sticking my tongue out has never been a favorite. Davis is HUGE! He’s like 6’5” and is a stick, just like his dad. When I walked in the door, I almost had to ask who he was. He was also really funny and entertaining and is a great kid. He insisted that the whole family play Catch Phrase, which I wasn’t all that excited about because I don’t share the love of board games that the rest of my family does, but it ended up being a lot of fun, and Davis was the one who encouraged it.

The food was awesome! Aunt Christie made a “fresh” turkey, meaning it was one that was never frozen, and it ended up being AMAZING! It was super moist and had a great flavor. There was also cranberry stuffing and cream corn casserole and green bean casserole and spice sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce and gravy (that my mom and Aunt Stacey made from scratch, a first for both of them) and these homemade croissant roll things. It was so good! I think it was one of the best Thanksgiving feasts I’ve ever had!

And guess who was still at the kid's table?! Oh yeah, that would be 23 year old me. Although, I have to say I had way more fun there. I like to complain about being at the kid's table because it is pretty funny that I’ve graduated from college and can legally drink (only 2 glasses of wine, I was so proud of myself) but I can’t sit with the “adults” in the dining room. But we had a lot of fun, especially when Tommy dared Kevin to take a bite out of a decorative pear from the centerpiece. Classic.

After dinner, I played Guitar Hero for the first, and probably last time. The boys were so good at it, especially Tommy. Davis kept talking about how he was better at Rock Band and I think that was mostly because he was losing to Tommy. I made Maddy play with me on “easy,” and even though she beat me, I didn’t do too badly for someone who has never played before. Even still, I don’t think I’ll have anyone shaking in his Guitar Hero boots.

We had dessert and I, of course, made coffee for everyone, with Uncle Greg heckling me to make him a mocha. Typical. After dessert, Davis convinced everyone to play Catch Phrase because it’s kind of a tradition in our family to play board games, which I usually suck at and therefore abstain from. But, I figured I might as well participate, so away we went.

It was a really good thing we put Grandma and Grandpa on separate teams because between the two of them, they took up almost all the time! Grandpa would come up with things that really didn’t make any sense and everyone would just look at him with blank stares until the timer went off. It was hysterical. Kevin of course kept creating strategies to cheat, like yelling out random shit or not answering until the timer was almost out. It was still a lot of fun, especially to see Grandma and Grandpa try to figure out how the buttons worked and what to say.

Overall, it was a really great Thanksgiving. I got to see a lot of family that I don’t get to see regularly and I got a chance to talk with everyone. I am really happy to see that my cousin’s have grown up and they are slowly becoming the amazing people we all know they will be. Sometimes I do wish we all got together more often and lived closer to each other, but it also makes holidays like this more special.

The best thing that happened that day was finding out my cousin Lisa is pregnant! She wasn’t there but she called and let everyone know and it’s so great. I am so happy for her and I know she’s going to be an amazing mother. What better day to hear this wonderful news than on Thanksgiving?

Even though it’s incredibly cheesy, these holidays are all about family and at the end of it, I am so very thankful for my family.



Now if only I can find a new job before Christmas so I don’t have to spend it at Starbucks! That would definitely be a Christmas miracle!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A riddle with a hobo twist...AKA reason number 9,642 why I hate my job

So what do you do when a homeless man comes in with orange boxers and no pants comes into your Starbucks asking if you have any extra pants?

Ask him to leave.

What does a homeless man with orange boxers and no pants say to you after you ask him to leave?

“Why don’t you just slit my throat, cut off my dick, and cut off my balls? You murderous bitch!” (verbatim).

What do you do after a homeless man with orange boxers and no pants calls you a murderous bitch?

Call the good ole Burbank PD and let them deal with him.

Just another manic Monday….

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's been a rough night...

Alone.

Lonely.

I never thought there was a difference. I never even thought about it. Until now.

I was supposed to go see Twilight tonight. I got my shift covered so I could go, a shift I would normally have wanted because I got to work with people I really enjoy working with.

But then, of course, plans fell through. I now have no one to go with at midnight, so instead of going with all the other fans and having fun, I’m going to go by myself tomorrow morning. That way, I won’t feel as badly for going by myself because hopefully there will be very few people in the theater.

The thing is, I’ve been doing this a lot lately. The things I would normally do with friends, I’ve been doing alone. Movies. Shopping. Getting coffee. I haven’t yet gone to a bar alone, but I’m pretty sure that’s where this is going.

I really hate it. It’s not like I don’t have friends. I know that I do. Logically.

The thing is, they aren’t here. The ones that are…correction, one, that is here, is busy. I have to bargain to get people to hang out, which is something I’ve never had to do before and it makes me wonder: What’s wrong with me? How come I no longer have anyone to hang out with?

Like I said, I know I have friends. I know that I’m not alone. But when it comes time to hang out, I have no one. Alec can hang out when he has time but he also has other friends to hang out with, so I might give him a hard time about hanging with them instead of me, but I know that I’m not the only person he hangs out with. Even he is the only person I hang out with.

I really haven’t felt this way since my first month in Berkeley. I didn’t know anyone and everyone was making plans and going places and I had no one to do anything with. I sat in my room most nights and when I didn’t, I was going to caf├ęs on my own. It wasn’t until I asked people to go with me to a basketball game that I finally started to feel like I had people to hang out with. Thanks Hannah, Alana, and Jeliz!

But now, here, at “home,” I try to do the same thing. I have been somewhat successful, but it is erratic. I go out with the guys once, but then no one can do it again. I call people to make plans and they either come up with lame excuses as to why they can't/won't go. I make plans and then suddenly at the last minute, everyone flakes. I used to have several people to turn to when I wanted to do something. I would never have to stay home unless it was by choice. Now, I can’t even bargain or bribe. I really don’t know what to do.


Monday, November 17, 2008

This is why people hate hobos (and one more reason why I hate my job)

Transients. Vagabonds. Tramps. Vagrants.

These are some of the terms used to describe homeless people, "transients" being the preferred term used at Starbucks. They come into Starbucks and bother customers not because they are begging or doing anything remotely disturbing, but more because their mere presence just makes people nervous. To be completely honest, when I first started working at Starbucks, I was definitely one of these people who got nervous when a homeless person walked in the door or came up to the register. But, the more I met them and talked to them, the more I realized that they are not all smelly, scary drug addicts. Some of the them are, of course, but more times than not, they are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to pay for their drinks and will take whatever you can give them. These are the ones that I would call "transients."

There are, however, times when the homeless people do not deserve this word. Like when they take a shower in the sink in the bathroom, leaving dirty water all over the floor and in the sink. Or when we are nice enough to give them the pastries we are throwing out at the end of the night and they have the nerve to make a mess with them in the lobby rather than just eating them, and then not clean it up. Or when they come in and beg for free stuff and then complain that all we give them is a small coffee. "Can't I get a Frappuccino?" Or, like today, when they destroy our restroom and I have to clean it up. These are not "transients." They are HOBOs. If that offends you, then read on and you'll know where I'm coming from.

So it's about 9 am and I've been there since 4:45 am, so I'm already tired and I tend to hate people worse in the morning than any other time of day. A customer comes up to me as I'm talking to our delivery guy, and tells me that the men's restroom needs to be cleaned ASAP. I tell him thank you and I'll get right on it. As I'm saying this, of course another man walks in, uses the bathroom, then walks out and tells me that the men's restroom needs to be cleaned ASAP. Once again, I say thank you and I'll get right on it. Then, sure enough, as I'm telling my baristas that I'm going to go clean the restroom, Chris, one of our regulars who saw the two guys before him tell me that the men's restroom needs to be cleaned, walks into the men's room and walks right back out saying, "Geez, that's terrible. You need to clean it right away!" (Chris is definitely a douchebag who is unrealistically demanding and treats our store like he owns it. Always moving furniture to suit him and walking up to the bar before getting in line asking us to start his drink. I hate him, but he's a regular and sometimes interesting to talk to, so I have to put up with him.) I snap back at him, "Well Chris, I can't get in there to clean it if people keep walking in and using it!" He left after that. I'll wait for the formal complaint.

I finally get into the bathroom and am completely grossed out. Someone had gone Number 2, missed the toilet (or had a total disregard for it), then proceeded to step in it and walk around the restroom. There was not only shit all over the toilet and floor, but there were shit-footprints all over the bathroom. I was so mad and disgusted, I had trouble keeping my composure.

After getting a mop and the Starbucks-approved bleach-like restroom cleaner, I begin to clean the restroom and try to keep my breakfast in my stomach, unwilling to clean up my own vomit in addition to the shit I am now cleaning up. The smell is so bad that I don't even attempt to refill the air freshener, I just spray the bleach-like cleaner all over the bathroom, where I am discovering more poo all over. On the faucet. On the trashcan. On the paper towel holder. On the toiler paper cover and on the toilet paper. On the handicap bar. On door. Everywhere.

On one of my many I-have-to-get-some-air-before-I-puke breaks, I notice that there is shit on the floor in front of the retail display. In horror, I look up and see there is a trail of shit-footprints going out through the lobby and out the door. I clean it up really quickly before any customers can notice exactly what it is I'm cleaning up. That's when one of the baristas tells me who it was.

It was a hobo. He had come in and my barista noticed him because he had all his bags. She said the guy who went into the restroom after him was the first one to tell me the bathroom needed to be cleaned. Great. Just when I was getting used to the "transients," one comes in and does this. Fab.

I already have very little faith in mankind after seeing the disrespect people have for my place of business, let alone me or my co-workers, but it's when things like this happen that I just completely lose it. I understand that this man had something horrible happen in his life to make him the way that he is, but I cannot understand or be sympathetic at all to someone who is going to go into any place and do that. It is exactly why I hate working in customer/food service. Even when it's something much smaller than this, like leaving your cups on a table instead of dropping them in the trashcan on the way out or spilling sugar and not cleaning it up, it still gets to me. I don't care how big of a hurry I'm in, I can ALWAYS manage to find a trashcan to drop my trash into and at the very least, sweep my spilled sugar into the trash. I feel that anyone who does this should be forced to do my job for a month and see all the things I see. I am not a maid and I am not a servant. Don't treat me like one.

The rest of my shift wasn't too bad after that, but, really, how does it get worse than cleaning up shit?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More tiring that I thought...

I've been toying with the idea of writing about my experiences in Berkeley, not for a blog, but more for a creative nonfiction project that's really more for me than for anyone else. There are so many things that I remember that I really want to write down so that when I'm old, I can read them and remember the good times I had when I was young.

I decided to write using my Facebook status updates as a kind of inspiration/break in the story. Kind of like Chapter titles. I started out by writing a rough outline of the stories I wanted to write about, like being a scream-and-run from Cloyne and being the house manager and kitchen manager, in addition to stories about my classes and my friends. My outline became three pages long so I knew I wouldn't be able to just sit down and write them out in one day.

Today, I sat down and started it. I wrote about three pages about my first day in Berkeley, where I moved into Cloyne, then out of Cloyne, and into Hoyt. The surprising thing about writing it, is that I remember things better than I thought I would. It was almost three years ago, but I still remember that day and all its traumatizing aspects. There are so many more details I could have, and probably will, write in, that I actually felt myself getting physically tired. But at the same time, exhilarated.

As tired as I feel right now, I can't wait to write more. I really want to get these stories down and re-read them and edit them and really make them into something I can keep for the rest of my life and share with my family and friends. I honestly don't think I'm a great writer or story teller, but at the same time, it feels good to get some of the stories of my life down "on paper." I know that I will probably be the only one who actually reads it, but it feels good nonetheless. Who knows, maybe I'll put them in a blog so that anyone who wants to read them, can....

Damn Twilight

Have you ever had something that you hate to love? Not really a guilty pleasure, but more of a “dammit I really should spend my time on something more worthwhile but I can’t stop and kind of don’t want to and fucking hate that I don’t want to!” kind of thing?

For me, it’s Twilight. Honestly, I started reading it not because I was really interested, but rather, because I had heard so much about it and everyone raves so much about it. When you go online and all you see are trailers for this movie and dozens of groups dedicated to it on Facebook(my favorite of which is “Because I read Twilight I have unrealistic expectations in me), there are only two choices: give in and read it, or stay ignorant and be happy.

I, of course, chose the former, so I am now totally screwed. Completely. It’s really bad.
When I first decided to read the book, I was only going to read the first one and I was going to get it from the library because I didn’t want to spend my money on some teen book about love and vampires. Unfortunately, the wait at the library was soooooooo long I wouldn’t have gotten to read it until at least New Year’s and, since I am the least patient person in the world, I broke down and went on Amazon. I was already buying a book there, so I figured adding one more to my order wouldn’t really hurt. Of, with Amazon being the amazing website it is, the first and second book were 2-for-1, so I just went for it. Why not right? At least I would be able to say that I really gave it a good try.

The books came and I began reading almost right away. It was my day off and I had nothing to do and we all know I wasn’t going to do any of the chores I needed to do when I had a brand new book just waiting to be read. Who needs clean clothes anyway?


By the time I went to work the next night, I had already finished the first book, was on to the second, and had ordered the third and fourth on Amazon, and had to wear a shirt to work that I had already worn twice without washing but it had the least amount of shit on it. I was officially hooked. And pissed about it.


I hated the fact that this thing that was so popular actually lived up to what people were saying about it. I was hoping to mock it endlessly and make fun of all the losers who were in love with a silly series about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. But no. Now I was mocking it of course because nothing is off limits when it comes to my mocking, but instead of making fun of the people who loved it, I found myself debating with Michael at work over whether Edward or Jacob were better for Bella. (I’m totally on Team Jacob).


Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not going to say that the series is well written or brilliant, because it’s not. It is, however, really easy to read and really entertaining. The story itself is a decent enough love story that if you kind of get over some of the exposition (especially in the first book), then you will really enjoy it. There is a scene in the first book with Bella and Edward in a meadow and the intimacy of the scene and the way Stephenie Meyer (yeah, the spelling of “Stephenie” is correct…and kind of stupid) writes it shows some actual talent for writing. The whole series really brings you in and hooks you to the point that you don’t want to stop until it ends. It’s that good.


But now, of course, I have to go see the movie and be one of those people dying to go at midnight the night it opens. I hate those people. They are annoying and they always ruin the movie for everyone by telling them how good or bad it is and they start posting on websites about the differences between the book and the movie and casting decisions and sequels and…you get it. They are annoying.


As much as I don’t want to be that person, sure enough, as soon as people talk about it, I can’t keep my mouth shut so I join in. I have something to say about ever aspect of the book and will pretty much share it with anyone. Except on websites and the internet in general. I might be opinionated and obsessed, but the whole internet does not need to know it. Except now….Damn.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One minute writing....although it's going to be longer than a minute!!!

I've been following this blog called One Minute Writer (http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/) and I usually do the exercises in just a journal or something but since I have nothing to write about today (other than seeing McSteamy! ), I decided to write my response here. Instead of taking one minute, though, I'm just going to write until I'm done. It's my blog and I'll do what I want!

Here's the prompt:
If you had the opportunity to write as a career, what would you write?

I definitely don't think I would be able to make it as a writer. I'm really not as creative as most writers need to be and I'm really bad at the whole "show don't tell" thing. But, if I could get the hang of it and actually make a living out of it, I would really want to just write about my experiences. There are so many times that I come home from work or from being out and will write down what happened that day in my journal and sometimes, I think that other people would enjoy reading it.

I saw a trailer for the new Jim Carey movie Yes Man last night and, since I know it's based on a book of the same title in which the author decides just to say yes to everything for a year and then wrote the book about it, I think that sounds like a great career. You decide to do something, even if it's silly like saying yes to everything or something a little more serious like finding religion, and not only do you get to experience it, but you get paid to write about it. That's the kind of writing I really enjoy and think that, if I were to be a writer for a living, would be the kind of writing I would really enjoy doing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Old people can be so funny..

I went to visit my grandparents this past weekend. I always love going to see them because it's very relaxing not to feel like I have to do anything. My grandparents are really great people, even if we don't have to same views or beliefs in many areas.

My grandma and I went to lunch as soon as I got there on Saturday afternoon. She and I always go out for Mexican food when I go down there because Grandpa is not particularly fond of it. At lunch, I told her that I really didn't think that law school was the best path for me and that I didn't think I was going to go. She was a little surprised, but true to form, very understanding. Then we just talked about what I wanted to do and what she saw me doing and things like that. She agreed that I should probably move where I think I'll have the best opportunity, although she did bring up a really good point. I should look more for the smaller companies rather than the large ones right away. I would have a better chance of getting a job and I would probably learn more, despite the fact that I would be making nothing. But, now that I've really thought about it, I'm ok with not making any money for a few years if it means helping me to be successful later on. I mean, I don't want to be living in box on the street, but not having money is something I could definitely adjust to.

We went back to the house afterward and I went out to the "community" pool and did some laps. The pool is right outside their house, and it's heated, so it's not as gross as some "community" pools. It was nice to swim for a little bit, and about an hour after I was done, I realized that maybe I'd swam harder than I thought because I was a little sore!

Then, we watched Cal lose :( and talked some more about my options. My cousin Lisa called and so I talked to her for a little bit. She offered to take a look at my resume and have her husband maybe float it so someone who can help me on my job search. I'm not going to get my hopes up, but every little bit helps!

The highlight of the weekend had to be when my grandpa shared his feelings about Sarah Palin. My mom had told me that he liked Sarah Palin a lot, so I asked him if that was true. He said, "Oh yeah. She can clean my rifle any time." Now, my grandfather is the king of cheesy jokes, but innuendos are usually left to the youngsters. I almost fell out of my chair laughing and my grandma was a mix of being horrified and thinking it was hilarious. I guess I now know where I get my ability to make anything into a dirty joke!

We played UpWords, which is basically like Scrabble but better. I'm awful at it, but my Grandma is really good. Grandpa joined us and he did what he always does: he tried to make up words and we had to look up half the words he came up with. The worst was "sorb" a word that my computer right now doesn't even recognize, but it's in the Scrabble Word Index, so it counted. I had to look it up afterward and it turns out it's a type of tree. He ended up winning because of that word. Grandma was not happy.

On Sunday, we went to a bar to hear this jazz band that plays every Sunday afternoon for a large group of old people. The band itself is pretty old (I would say the youngest player is probably 55), but the crowd was definitely the oldest people in the desert. I was the youngest person there by 60 years at least. The waitressed and the bartenders were all at least 40, too. It was funny. The band was good though and it was fun to see my grandparents enjoying themselves so much.

I came home last night and now have to go work, which as usual, I'm not looking forward to. But it was good to be able to spend the weekend with my grandparents and get away from everything for a few days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How is it November already?

I don't know why, but it only hit me today that it's November. I guess it has to do with how hot it was throughout October and also how little I've been doing lately, but it's amazing how fast the time has gone. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was coming back from Santa Barbara with the girls, getting ready for the Halloween week in Berkeley and Hannah's birthday. Now here I am, at home, thinking about where the time has gone.

Of course these thought make me think about how much I want my life to start. Alec said something while we were out the other night. HE told me that even if it'll hurt my parents and even if I'm scared, I just have to pack my shit and get out there. If LA isn't where I want to be, then I need to get myself out. And he's right. I have to get out and do something with my life. I know it's going to be the hardest thing that I ever do. Making the decision to leave and actually doing it. But I have to. Otherwise I'll just end up at Starbucks for the rest of my life, which is unacceptable.

That said, where or when it's going to happen is up in the air. I'm thinking sometime after the holidays. We'll see...

Yay for Election Day tomorrow!!!!