Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I get a little too much pleasure out of making other people uncomfortable...

Every week at Starbucks, the tips get split among all the employees based on the number of hours you work, which isn't necessarily fair, but it makes things easier, and, let's face it, in a corporate business, it's not about what's fair. Moving on. Every week, the shift supervisor tries to buy as much of the small change (coins, $1, $5) for the safe so that people don't end up with 3 rolls of quarters, 2 rolls of dimes, 3 rolls of nickels, and 1 roll of pennies. However, there are always a ton of $1 bills. Therefore, some weeks, I will end up with $36 in singles.

Now, this is not a bad thing. It makes me feel like I have more money than I actually do and it makes my wallet look full. Also, it gives me the chance to make old ladies at the supermarket totally uncomfortable, and slightly offended.

I was in line, buying some basic stuff that added up to $25ish. The cashier is a girl I knew from high school and we joke around whenever I have to pay in all ones, usually making some obvious joke about my job as a stripper. This day, however, there was a woman who had to be at least 75 in line behind me and I caught her giving me a strange look when I pulled out all my ones. Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to some old woman who is so interested in everyone else's business that she has to notice when the girl in front of her pulls out a bunch of $1 bills. But, for some reason, I just could not resist.

Cashier: So, good night huh?

Me: Yeah. You know, it's really the lap dances where I make the big money but, to be totally honest though, I have more fun on the pole. It really lets me be creative.

The woman LITERALLY inched backwards to get away from me. The cashier laughed so hard that people in the lines next to us turned to stare. I walked out with a big grin.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thank god it was only $6...

This whole week, I've been working full time at the paper, which means I've been waking up early and going to bed early. Therefore, I looked forward to sleeping in today. Guess what time I woke up? 7:30 a.m. I was so determined to sleep in, I just stayed in bed until 8:45, trying to will myself to go back to sleep. It didn't work.

I decided that since I was up so damn early on a Saturday, I would go see a movie I had been wanting to see for a week: Julie and Julia. The plus of going early on a Saturday? AMC does this thing where any movie is $6 before noon. It's pretty great if you’re broke. Or cheap. Or if you wake up early for no fucking reason on a Saturday morning.

I really wanted to see this is because I thought it looked like an interesting idea, combining two life stories of women living in two very different times with two very different lives. Plus, anything with Meryl Streep I will see because, well, it's Meryl Streep!

I don't want to say I was disappointed, because there was a lot about the film I really enjoyed. But, about half of it I thought was pretty disappointing. Want to guess which half?

Meryl Streep was amazing. She was natural and did a great job portraying Julia Child as a woman who struggled with a lot but was grateful for all the amazing things she did have. Julia Child is a true legend and no one other than another legend could have played her so well. Stanley Tucci was a great choice to play Paul Child and there was an intimacy between the two of them that made the scenes very real and wonderful. It wasn't necessarily passion or fire, but more like that of a couple that has been through a lot together and are truly in love and happy. I would have been so happy to see a movie about Julia Child with just the two of them.

If Nora Ephron(writer/director/ruiner of Bewitched) had any sense, she would have just made the movie about Julia Child and left it at that. But, can I really expect that from someone who completely messed up a chance to remake a classic? (If you haven’t seen Bewitched, don’t waste your time.)

Now, I really like Amy Adams. I think she is cute and full of energy and has a lot of potential. However, this was not a great role for her. I didn’t fall in love right away like I did when Streep came on the screen and the entire movie I kept waiting to really feel something positive for her, but I just couldn’t. In a nutshell, Julie Powell wanted to be a writer but no one would publish her book, so she just goes day to day feeling bad at her job until she decides to take on this enormous task of cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and blogging about it. If felt that she just was a self-loathing pathetic character who is shown sitting inside an apartment writing instead of going out or doing, or hell, even cooking. Almost all the scenes are of Adams at a laptop with a voiceover of what she is writing. The best scene was when she has to boil lobster and that is just because Ephron actually showed it! As much as I love to read and write, making a movie where someone spends her time writing her blog is not entertaining.

Plus, when you look at the great relationship Paul and Julia Child had and the way that Tucci and Streep played these characters, you look at Adams and Chris Messina and feel like you are watching two high school actors playing their first romantic role. It’s so forced and you don’t really feel like they are in love or understand why they even got married. I looked up more about Julie Powell and found out that she had an affair shortly after this year of cooking was over, which made the distance between the two make a little bit of sense. However, since Ephron did not include this, the couple just did not work.

Like I said, I only paid $6, which is half of what AMC charges for a movie. Therefore, since I only truly enjoyed half of the movie, I think I got my money’s worth.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In lieu of an actual post...

So, I'm too lazy to do an actual post so instead I'm doing one of those stupid things you get on Facebook...although this one I actually like... Plus I've added my priceless comments, so it's really a win-win!

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put a 'Yes' after those you have read. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so i can see your responses!"

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - Y (This was the first Jane Austen I read. Molly made me. My arm is still sore from the twisting she did. Although, I've totally converted.)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien -Y (I know...I'm a big nerd)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte -Y
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - Y (Duh...)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - Y (Once again, I say Duh...any kind who went to high school in America has read this)

6 The Bible - (Sorta. I've read it in parts, but never as a whole. Plus, I didn't get into the Bible as Literature course I had wanted to when I was at Cal. Apparently I wasn't the only person who wanted to critically analyze the Bible.)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - Y (I read this when I was 12 and didn't get most of it. Then I read it again when I was 16 and enjoyed it. Then I read it for a class and fell totally in love.)
8 1984 - George Orwell - Y
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - N
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - Y (I hate Dickens. HATE.)

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - Y (I wish I could tell you how many times I've read this but there is no numerical value large enough)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - N
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - Y
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - Y (Yeah, even Titus Andronicus.)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - N

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - Y (Once again, I display my Dork Card proudly!)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk - N
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - Y (I actually didn't get it until I was in college...)
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - N (Should I?)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot - N

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell -Y (My dad made me.)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald -Y (I know it's kind of cheesy with obvious symbolism, but I still love it)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - N (Once again, I hate Dickens.)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - N (Not that I haven't tried...)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - Y (This one does not get my Dork Card approval.)

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh -N
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Y (For a class. I would not have read it by choice.)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - Y
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - Y (If you think the movie is a druggie's dream, read the book.)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - Y

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - Y (Do I make up points I lost from War and Peace)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - N (For the 3rd time, HATE Dickens!)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - Y (I actually haven't read all of them, but I have read the majority of it, so I count it as a yes.)
34 Emma - Jane Austen - Y (SO funny...I never knew...)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - N (Not yet...It's on my list!)

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - Y (Duh...)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein -N (Once again, I say, Should I?)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres - N
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - Y
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne - Y

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - Y
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - Y (Yes, and I would like my 4 hours back please. Dan Brown is everything wrong with writing, cuz he's TERRIBLE.)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Y
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving - N
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - N

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - Y (My sister used to have the whole series and I would swipe them when she wasn't looking.)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - N
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - N
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - Y (I still get all teary when I think about Piggy)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - Y (I would recommend this to everyone. It's like SVU without all the overt evil.)

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - N ( I tried and failed)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - N
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - N
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - Y (My second attempt at Jane Austen. I loved the movie too...)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - N

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - N
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - Y (Still, nuthin but hate for you Chuck)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - N
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon - N
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Y

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - Y (And there is totally a guy who works at another Starbucks that we have dubbed can imagine why!)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - Y (Beautiful. And creepy...)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - N
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - Y
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - Y

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - Y (Ramble much?)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - N
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - Y (I'm not proud of this fact...)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie - N
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - Y (You kind of have to...)

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - Y (For someone who hates Dickens, I really have read a lot of his work..)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - Y
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - Y (One of the first books where I had seen the movie first and then read the book.)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - N
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - Y (Unfortunately.)

76 The Inferno - Dante - Y (Not only have I read it, but I have several analytical papers on it.)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - N
78 Germinal - Emile Zola - N
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray -Y
80 Possession - AS Byatt - N

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - Y (Ok, this one I actually liked)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - N
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - Y (Hello, only one of my favorite books)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - N
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - N

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - N
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White -Y (How has anyone NOT read this book??????)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - Y(Once again, I'm not proud.)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Y (and I'm totally excited for the movie!!!)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton - N

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - Y (This and The Waste Land duked it out for the bane of my English major existence...)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - Y
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - N
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - N
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - N

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - Y
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - Y
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - Y (Again, I say duuuuuhhhhh)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Y
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - N (Nor do I want to...)

Grand total: 51 1/2 (The half is the Bible)

BBC...I say I proved you WRONG. Although, I was an English major so I guess I cheated.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Where the hell have you been????

I know....I know....I haven't posted in forever. Here's why:

I have 2 jobs now.

Yeah, you read it correctly. In these troubled times where people are lucky to have one job, I have 2. There's been accusations that I am hoarding all the jobs for myself, but nothing's been proven. Yet.

Job #1 is still Starbucks, where I now work almost every night. They started doing this thing called "optimal scheduling" which means that you have the same shifts every week. It's easier for the managers because then, instead of having to come up with a new schedule ever week, all they have to do is switch people around to accommodate time off requests.(Not that my new store manager actually pays attention to such things....But that's another story.) It sucks for everyone else, though, because then you are stuck working with the exact same people every week, so if you work with someone you don't like or with, say, someone who moves at a snail's pace and then moves even slower when you point out how slowly he works, you're stuck with that person until he requests a day off. However, I no longer have to wake up at 4 am to be at work, so I'm totally fine with all of this.

Job #2 is working at a newspaper, where I was originally doing an internship. I was an editorial intern, but now I am working as an administrative assistant part time. Yup, I have the big fancy title that almost all 20-somethings have. It's a nice way of saying "I answer the phones and am just paying my dues until I can get the job I really want or find something that pays better." I don't mind it too much, though, because I am getting to learn about the business side of newspapers, which I wish I could say was interesting, but it's not. The more I work at the paper, the more I realize that newspapers are just for advertising. That's where the money comes from and it really isn't about the news or the stories. But, if it weren't for the money, then no one would ever get the news. I guess it's just a vicious circle, much like everything else in life!

So, you ask, how do I have any free time? Well, I totally do...not at all. When I do have free time, I have to spend it catching up on all the stuff I don't have time to do, like laundry. It's amazing how quickly someone with a million clothes can end up with nothing to wear. But, some of it is my own fault, since I kind of pack up my free time, so much so that I can no longer call it "free" time.

I'll start from my last post, which was about 3 weeks ago.

My sister came down from Sacramento, so I spent the time I wasn't working hanging out with her. By "hanging out" I mean driving her around to see her friends. I think it's revenge for when we were younger and she had to drive me around. But it's ok, we had some good sister-time, like going to a movie-in-the-park and eating delicious corn and BBQ.

The next weekend, I was off on Friday and Saturday, so I went to see my grandparents. Going to their house is always fun because we just sit around and talk and catch up. We went to see The Ugly Truth, which kind of horrified me at first because I had read that it was a raunch-com. But, it was more of a raunchy chick flick. And the raunchiness wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so there was really no awkwardness with my Grandma after. On Saturday, my grandma and I had lunch with her sister, my Aunt Peggy, aka me in 60 years. No joke. She is loud and inappropriate and doesn't hold anything back, which I LOVE! The first time she met me as an adult, it was at my cousin Cheryl's wedding and I was wearing a particularly low-cut blue dress, so naturally my boobs were the prominent accessory. Before the ceremony started, she turned to my Uncle Greg and said, "Who's the slut in the blue dress?" Therefore, everytime I go to my grandparents' house, we try to get together with Aunt Peggy, if for no other reason than she's entertaining!

Then last weekend, well, that was just chock full of fun! Saturday was Alec's birthday, and, naturally, we ended up at Timmy Nolan's. I will spare Alec's dignity and keep the antics of the evening to myself, but needless to say, we had a good time.

Sunday was Torrey's wedding reception, basically the wedding minus the boring ceremony part. (I'm sorry, but let's be honest, the ceremony is boring. It can be lovely and moving, but whatever. I'm here for he party.) Torrey and Stephen got married in Hawaii, so my broke-ass, in addition to many other broke-asses, could not attend. Therefore, her parents threw them a reception here in Burbank so we could all celebrate their new togetherness. It was soooo much fun. Richard Blade was the DJ (If you don't know who Richard Blade is, then you didn't grow up in LA.) We all just danced and ate and drank. Then, that night, 6 of us went bowling and I got to show off how awful I am at bowling. I mean it. I'm terrible.

So, there you have it. I will do my best to update more often mainly because it drives me nuts not writing. I wish I had a better excuse other than "I'm busy" but the whole point of this blog is to write about living, so sometimes the "living" gets in the way of the blogging.