Thursday, December 17, 2009

ho pans!

My friend Kate and I were just talking about someone, and came up with the following insult. Use widely.

You really put the "ass" in "embarrassing."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

an old phone conversation worth reliving here

In cleaning out my email folders, I found this little (huge) email that I sent to some coworkers about two years ago when this crazy phone call happened. I'm so glad that it's recorded, because it was so
flipping
weird.





I could not stop myself from spending 30 minutes transcribing the conversation that I just had on the phone. Typically, I would write it as a conversation between this man and myself, but this 30 minute phone call consisted of him talking and me going "Mmm hmm," "ok," and awkwardly laughing, so I'll spare you from most of my comments and just write what Mr. Donald D said to me this morning.

To those of you who believe that the big JC purposefully send these people my way for my own entertainment, I am beginning to agree with you, as this man, who I have never met, who is not from my recruiting territory and who was interested in a program to which I am not connected, specifically asked for me.

Phone call as follows:

"Hello there, this is Mr. Donald D. I'm a veteran of three wars and I live up here in Scripps Ranch. I have a few questions for you...but it's a little bit of a story, so do you have a moment? Ok. I have three children, all in their 50s and 60s now. Well in 1990, I had radical prostate surgery, and they ended up freezing my sperm. My wife was very ill, and the doctor said 'What if you marry a younger woman? 'You never know when you'll want to have more kids!' Before my wife passed, one of my daughters and her husband found out that they couldn't have kids, so they decided they wanted to use some of my sperm."



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "SICK."



"I mean, they already knew what kind of kids they were, so it was a safe bet. Well my son-in-law said he would start saving for the procedure of fertilization, but if you knew him like we did, you would know that he never even saved five cents in his whole life! I mean, he worked with the San Diego Opera and didn't even save the tickets he earned! Anyway, we decided to pay for the procedure, and we worked with an egg donor and after five attempts in '99, we got a little girl! We were excited, but my daughter and son-in-law really wanted a boy, so we used the same donor and surrogate and in 2002, we got twin boys! Around that time, my wife passed away and my son-in-law died unexpectedly, and my daughter couldn't handle it, so she gave up all three kids to me. Now I'm a single parent, and I'm 82 years old! Well when my daughter gave up those kids, I tried to call her--she lives in Kensington--and she never answered and I haven't even heard from her in five years. Anyway, I knew I could use some help, so I found a nanny from Scotland. Rosalyn came over here on a work visa and she was with those kids for almost three years! We knew she was perfect when we went to visit one of the twins in the hospital--he was born without an anus and with a double urethra"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "Incest...in spirit at least."



"--and when she saw him in the hospital, he had blood all over him, and she said she would never leave him there again! She stayed by his side every time he went into that horrible place. Anyway, while she was here, she found out that she had family in Vancouver, so I bought her a ticket to visit them, and when she tried to come back, they wouldn't let her back in! Her visa was only for San Diego, they said, and that was a lie, because visas aren't for one city. But they deported her back to Scotland. Well she tried to get a visa and they denied her, but they wrote a letter to MISTER C. Looks like they don't even know the difference between a male and a female over there! So she wrote a letter to the first lady, and it got returned to her too with a no. Well I want her to get back here to help me...I made her the sole executor of my will and my childrens' guardian...and she went to Nursing school in Scotland, and I hadn't considered PLNU because of your high costs, but I just need her back here for those kids!"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "It took 12 minutes to get to the reason he called."



"Several other schools I've talked to suggested I just marry her to make the process easier,"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "SICK."



"but I can't do that to her, that wouldn't be right."


At this point, he paused for the first time, so I felt like I had to say something, but all I could come up with was "Yeah, that doesn't seem like it would solve the problem. What a story!"



"Well you wouldn't believe it, it's just like a soap opera! I don't know if you're aware of this, but when you have a surrogacy birth, you all have to go to the judge so the surrogate gives up all legal rights to the kids. Well we did that, but when our surrogate found out how much money I was worth and that I have a six bedroom two bath house up here, after my wife and son-in-law passed, she sued me for custody and said that she was the only mother figure in their lives, which is a lie! My housekeeper will tell you...she only showed up when she was pregnant for more money! Well we had a liberal woman judge who believed her, and the woman got partial custody of those kids, and support from me all because of that woman judge! She's a mess. I hired a private investigator to follow her"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "We're really about to go into someone else life story...minute 21"



"and I found out that she had been married five times and committed welfare fraud. Apparently one night, she and her second husband were in a hotel with her 10 year old from a first marriage and the police were called and the kid had blood on his head and was taken from her. Well she divorced that second husband and got married again, but she divorced the guy in Guam, and a Guam divorce isn't even recognized here in California, so on top of all this, she's a polygamist! Can you believe it?"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "Yes."



"Well finally last year, I took her back to court with this new evidence, and we found out that when the kids were there, they slept in a utility closet on a foam mattress. She tried to enroll them in a Lutheran school up there in Escondido just so she would have more kids there and get a break in tuition. Well she sent some woman to pick those kids up for Lutheran school with all sorts of studs all over her face and I told her 'No way are you taking my kids and my vehicle...I don't know you from Adam!' So anyway, when we took her back to court, we had a male judge and he said 'Why are we even here? She has no legal claim to these kids!' So I got my kids back. Oh my god my housekeeper just handed me a check for $4000 dollars."



At this point, I cannot contain my "What the hell?"



"I don't..." "This is from 1970! She just found a check from 1970 under the chest in the boys' room! I'll have to call the IRS on this one! My housekeeper is telling me what to do over here!"



Can't help it: "Maybe that's a sign...first tuition payment!"



"You're right!" "Well anyway you better believe that while the PI followed the surrogate, he found out a lot of things. First, she'd had her eyes operated on so she would look like an innocent little teenager. She was 200 pounds when the twins were born, and she was down to 120 because of an intestines [pronounced "en-TEST-tynes"] staple. And the worst of it is that after she birthed 11 children, her breasts were down to her belly button, so she had those things put back up where they were supposed to be. Can you believe it?"



Pause for a moment for my thought when he said this: "Yes."



It was at this point, 31 minutes in, that I realized that I had to stop this, so I basically interrupted, told him about Nursing and gave him their phone number. He was so great--he had me write down his name and Rosalyn's name, and I ended the conversation with:


"Well you know my name, so you call me back anytime you want to!"



I hope he does.




Two year later update: He never called back, and poor Rosalyn never applied. I hope everything worked out, but really, how can thing work out when you have no anus?

Monday, December 14, 2009

really weird conversations happen here

So corwoker Chad and I were in the mail center on campus, and I was just skimming The Good News (worst “news source” of all time…this week they include an article on why it’s ok for Carrie Prejean to have a sex tape, because it was a youthful indiscretion. Really? I’m pretty sure that they didn’t say that about Paris Hilton’s sex tape. Christian newspapers always let me down. It's not like real news isn't Christian news too, right?), and a faculty member walked in, and the following conversation ensued.

Faculty member: Hey! What are you guys doing?
Me to Chad: Just reading The Good News!
Faculty member: We sure could use some right now!
Me back: Yeah, well I guess this isn’t good news…it’s about abortion…downer! (jokes)
Chad: Downer.
Faculty member: Yeah, real downer, especially for the baby.
Me: …Yeah…
Chad: Haaaaayeah

Sidenote here—that was not meant as an endorsement of abortion, or a stance against it…just a comment that it’s not what one would necessarily think of as “good news.” I'm pretty sure both sides aren't sending congrats greeting cards on anyone's abortion.

So Chad and I jump back into our own conversation about something else entirely, and the faculty member, on the way out the door, says

Faculty member: I know it’s cool to have an open mind…especially about abortion…but I just can’t do it.

Us: Nothing (because what do you say to that?)

Faculty member: I know, it’s not cool.

And that was it.

Ah...the Naz.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a lesson in professionalism

This morning, I received this email in my inbox (where else would I receive it, really?):

FW: Holiday E-Card - Boomers!


Hi Shannon:


Have a very safe & Happy Holiday Season!!


Best regards,


Bill Bolen

Sales Manager

Boomers ! San Diego

6999 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92111

858-560-4211 xt 11

Fax: 858-560-5347

www.palaceentertainment.com

________________________________


That's it, exactly. No pictures, no colors, no cool fonts...nothing.

Let this be a professionalism lesson to us all.

#1--Leaving the FW: in the subject.

It's like he's saying "you're special because you're getting this, but not that special, because other people got it too." I like how it also totally negates my name in the first line.

#2--Inappropriate use of capitalization

There's no reason to capitalize Happy, Holiday or Season in the middle of a sentence. That makes me think you're yelling at me. This guy is a manager, for goodness sake. Grammar it up over there.

#3--"&"

Really? Typing out "a-n-d" was too much for you in this one line email forward?

#4--This is a one line email forward.

If you've already resigned yourself to being that guy who just forwards the same message to everyone and changes the name in the first line, couldn't you at least make the holiday wishes SEEM heartfelt by making it more than one sentence? I mean, you only have to type it out once, and then you can just insert the names in email merge.

#5--Oh yeah, learn email merge

The fact that the "FW:" is in the header means that you actually forwarded this out, one by one, to every person who's done business with you in the past year. Come on...email merge does that in one click, and it can even put my very individualized name in each e-card.

#6--We need to talk about what an e-card is.

I'm not sure that just because you are wishing me a Happy Holiday Season, an email turns into an "e-card."

Monday, December 7, 2009

this one time, I almost got arrested

I've always wondered what kind of pull-over I'd be, since I've been fortunate enough to never have a real-cop-pull-over while driving.

I know that all of you who have driven with me are pausing right now and thinking "Hmm...really? Because she is SUCH a bad driver!"

I know! I've been really lucky ("blessed" for those of you holier than I am). But despite my typically poor driving performance, I have yet to be pulled over.

Or HAD yet to be pulled over, before this last Saturday.

Let me start off (do you like how I'm "starting off" on the fifth paragraph?) by saying that I know the craziness of this whole story is negated by the fact that I'm even telling this story right now as opposed to sitting downtown in San Diego lock up, and you all know I would do almost ANYthing to make a good story great...but that was really put to the test this time, because I did sacrifice the better story for my freedom and clean criminal record.

So Saturday, I woke up early to the sounds of my neighbor cleaning house (sorry to all of you who I convinced that she was dead--she's not), and laid in bed, not happy about it (I did just write "pissed" here, but had to erase it in case any of you thought I actually peed the bed...Shy Ronnie), until I got a really happy text from Mary asking if I wanted to join her out shopping.

Yes. Always.

So I got ready really fast (no shower, cleeearly) and drove over to Mission Valley. To make this part of the story short, we also wanted to go to Fashion Valley, and by sheer chance, my car was closer than hers, so we took my car over, shopped there, and headed back to Mission so I could drop Mary at her car.

As we're turning onto that street that runs by the mall (Camino something? I don't even know.), I noticed that there was a police car behind me, but did not think twice about it, because there were SO many people on the roads...there was no way to speed or run a stop sign or anything. But right as I was starting to signal that I was turning into the parking lot outside of the Rack (for those of you who are here...just picture that parking lot and its tiny one-way aisles and overwhelming number of visitors), he turned on his lights and followed me in. I saw him and said to Mary "Am I getting pulled over???", and we tried to figure out what I could have done to warrant a pull over while I tried to figure out where I could pull over in the first place, because the lot was totally packed. There were no open spots...no empty spaces to stop in...clearly...it's December at the mall. So at the end of the first aisle, Mary just said to stop.

Thanks, by the way, Mary, because I was so nervous about finding a spot that I probably would've just kept going. I just want to do it right!!

So I just stopped, blocking in three cars, and opened my driver door because I'm an idiot and my driver's window has been broken for like three months. What can I say...it keeps me out of the drive thrus, so I haven't gotten it fixed.

The officer came up to me, I explained the window and apologized, he asked for my license and registration, then told me that the reason I was pulled over was because my back tail light was flickering. Keep in mind that since I have never really been pulled over, I'm trying to remember what, exactly, a "registration" looks like, and sifting through Sea World maps, Wells Fargo deposit envelopes and cassette mix tapes, all of which were on top of it in my glove box.

During this, Mary is helping me look, and we find my proof of insurance, which is outdated (not the insurance...just the proof. I have insurance. Promise. I have Geico, almost entirely because of their commercials). For some reason, I say, out loud, to Mary, "Oh, I think this is expired. Yeah, it is." At that point, the officer, who had not, up until that point, asked for insurance, heard me, and asked for insurance. Awesome. I told him (directly this time) "Oh...this is an old one. I didn't print out the new one. (Pause...pause) I can look it up online if you want...?"

He didn't want.

Then he took my license and registration, and asked me to pull up into the red zone. Why didn't I see that before?? So I did.

While sitting in the red zone, I'm just chatting with Mary, waiting, and I told her she could go to her car, which she did not, because she is a good friend, which I ended up really needing because, the officer came back up to me, and at the same time that we see that there was not only just the one officer who pulled me over behind me, but three police cars, all with lights flashing, sitting behind me in the red zone, the following conversation transpired:

Him: Where were you coming from? (serious)
Me: Fashion Valley mall. We were just mall hopping! (happy, like I like to be)
Him: And where do you work?
Me: Point Loma Nazarene (always throw in "Naz" if it's something serious...with a smile)
Him: Oh, I was just over there the other day
Me: No way! Why? Oh, I guess I can't really ask you that. Sorry! (still my good old happy self with the widest, most innocent eyes I can muster)
Him: No--I was taking a statement from Kerry Fulcher--I guess his daughter was threatened by some crazy guy.
Me: Oh yeah, we all got an email about that.
Him: Did the guy ever show up?
Me: No, not that I know of.
Him: Good. So did you know that your license is suspended?
Mary: WHHAATT???? Oh sorry...sorry.
Me: Wait what?? I don't even know what that means!
Him: Yeah, your license has been suspended for four months.
Me: Wh...no...seriously...I don't know what that means.
Him: Well, it mean that you can't drive your car unless you're going to and from work.
Me: (no WONDER he wanted to know where I was going...I thought that was weird). Uh...I...I don't even know what to say. Why??
Him: We don't have a reason here--just that your license was suspended. The DMV has record that you were served.
Me: I was what?? What does that mean?
Him: That means that a peace officer (really? so they're really sticking with that title?) or a DMV employee presented you with notice that your license was suspended and you signed it.
Me: Wait...I never signed anything...I wasn't even shown anything!

Mind you, Mary and I are still both half shocked, half smiley/laughy at this point, because this is so flipping crazy. I mean, unpaid parking ticket? THAT I can imagine, because I'm totally that person who would forget to pay a parking ticket or something. But driving on a suspended license?? I literally didn't even understand the offense. He may as well have told me that I was driving with a hibbidy gibbidy.

Him: Well sometimes the DMV makes a mistake, but not usually...
Me: Right...right...I mean...I know you can't just take my word on it, but this is the first time I've ever even heard about this!
Him: Well I'll get some more information.

At this point, Mary says "I'm so glad I didn't just go back to my car," I agree, and he steps back to confer with the TWO ADDITIONAL OFFICERS who were called in for back up, talks on the little shoulder radio, and comes back with another officer who's older and looks meaner (I should say just plain old "mean," because the first guy wasn't mean at all).

New guy: When was the last time you were in court?
Me: I was there for jury duty about a year ago...?
Him: No...when did you last have to appear in court?
Me: Appear?? Never??
Him: The system is showing that your license was suspended for failure to appear after you failed to report an accident.
Me: I haven't even been in an accident!
Him: Well the DMV doesn't just make this stuff up.
Me: (again) I know you can't just take my word on this one, but I have no idea what this is about.

Original officer: So...we're going to have to impound your car...
Mary: nervous laugh
Me: What?? Like...right now? You have to take my car??
Him: Yes. Could you turn off the engine and step out of the car?
Me: Right now???
Him: Yes.
Me: Ok...can I get my new boots? (I haven't purchased anything in almost four months...this was the first...more about that later...but I have no idea why I was worried about that at the moment)
Him: In a moment.
Me: Ok...ok...do you need my keys??
Him: Yes, if you could just leave them in the front seat.
Mary: But take off your house keys first.
Me: Oh yeah (thanks for that, because I'm sure I would not have)...really?? I haven't even ever gotten a speeding ticket! This is my first pull over!
Him: Yes. Please step out of the car.

So Mary and I fully step out of the car and onto the sidewalk, and the first officer opens up my drivers' side backseat door, pops the trunk and starts to fully search my car.

As I'm getting out, I hear the lady in the shoulder radio say my name, and ask if I was out of my car.

So it's really me they're after. Cool.

I am in awe of whatever is going on, and Mary and I are basically laughing, because what else do you do in this situation???? At some point, the first officer must have asked the other two guys to help, because we overheard the meaner one (who really wasn't mean either...the first guy was just so nice) say "No way man, this is your citation." But then they all laughed, and started searching my car together. I mean, we were laughing, so why wouldn't they be laughing?

Pause here for a shout out to Mary, who is SUCH a good friend. She just kept saying "we're going to go to my house, get a bottle of wine and make a plan. We're going to have a plan so on Monday, you can get this all cleared up. This is just a paperwork issue, I'm sure." So happy she was there to experience this with me, and to keep me from...I don't know...crying or something. Whatever I may have done, had I not been able to say "What the heck. What the heck. What the heck." to someone who agreed with me.

And she knows that that's exactly what I needed in that sitch...just a plan.

So anyway, the second officer was looking in the passenger seat and said "Uh oh, whose marijuana is this?," very clearly joking (which, later, I thought about and got real nervous, because that shouldn't be a joke that you make with a police officer searching your car, right??), and Mary said "Oh no, I was the passenger!" also joking, and I said "Come on guys...what would the Naz think about that?" and we all shared in a laugh.

What????

Then the first officer asked Mary if she also worked at Point Loma, to which she could not have more innocently replied "No, I'm a stay at home mommy!"

Looking back, I'm pretty sure that there were several times when they all looked at each other and said "Really? This isn't making any sense at all." This had to be one of those times.

They were looking in my truck about this time, which is, at the moment, full of clothes for Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill, and I felt it necessary to apologize, so I said "Oh sorry about all the clothes...that's embarrassing," and "Well, this is my first pull-over. At least it will be a good story." They liked that. Or hated it. I'm not really sure. That may have been another point that they had second thoughts about all of this.

So one officer was standing, listening to Mary and me talk (maybe to try and figure out what the heck was going on, or maybe waiting for me to admit it all), and I said "I can't believe they're taking my car," to which he replied "You should be glad he's not taking you to jail. This is a misdemeanor offense, and you could be arrested."

I could be ARRESTED??????? I could be arrested. I could be arrested!! That's about all that went through my head. Mary and I laughed more about this, because it was just too much.

I then noticed that there were two mall security "officers" standing about 30 yards away, staring at us, talking conspiratorially to each other, and not coming over. The real police also noticed this, and started making fun of them. One guy literally pretended to talk into his shoulder radio and said "Yeah, can we get mall security over here for back up?" We also all laughed about that. We were really having a great old time together.

So at this point, we're standing on the sidewalk beside my car, and there are three police cars with lights on behind me, so CLEARLY people walking around the mall parking lot were intrigued. I'm sure I would have been. But, in the spirit of the ridiculousness of the whole situation, for some reason, I was moved to wave at the people who had stopped to stare at me until they were embarrassed for being called out and went away. I did this to several people, until the first officer popped up from the car search and said "Do you know those people?" I told him I did not, but wanted to acknowledge them, because they were looking at me. He also thought that was funny, and told the other officers who were

searching

my car

for drugs.

Another group laugh.

I'm also, throughout all of this, working out with Mary what on earth may have happened to get me to this point. We had pretty much decided at this point that it must have been an issue with one of my 20 rental cars this Fall. Maybe someone right after me had crashed and not reported an accident. Maybe I had accidentally backed into someone in a car and didn't realize it. Maybe this was all a huge mistake.

So while we're talking through our "plan," the car search ends, and the three officers go back to the first officer's car, and I overhear--hold on--you know how sometimes you hear something, but it doesn't make sense, so you don't process it right away? Then later, when you get it, you think "OHHHH...so THAT'S what they were talking about when they said...."--so I overhear without processing: "What do you mean, you didn't run the number?"

So Mary and I are talking about how I need a ride home, how she and I are going to work this out (oh man, thanks again Mary...I'm not sure I would've handled this well without you there), and how I will have to pay SO MUCH MONEY to get my car out of impound, when officer the first comes back up to us.

Him: Well girls...I'm gonna give you a break.
Me: What?
Him: So...so they gave me the wrong information. Your license is not suspended.
Me: What?
Him: Yeah, you're just fine. There's Ashton Kutcher...you've been punked.
Me: (after I actually turned around when he pointed, because I was so confused, and also after I had to actually fight an urge to hug him, which, as you all know, is a HUGE deal for me, and shows how out of it I was, and then had to fight the urge to ASK if I could hug him). Wait, seriously?
Him: Yes. I'm sorry about that...they gave me the wrong information.
Mary: just laughing
Me: So I can take my car?
Him: Yep. You're good to go.
Me: This was my first pull over (why was it necessary to communicate that again??)
Him: Well I'm Officer ____. I'm glad I could be here to walk you through it.
Me and Mary: just laughing. More out of relief, but also because that was funny.
Him: So you girls are free to go.
Me: Thanks for not taking me to jail.
Him: You would never make it in jail.
Me: (I know...that's why I didn't want to go to there) laughing
Mary: Wait...which tail light was flickering?

Thanks again, Mary. Let's bring it back to the actual problem, because all I could think about was "I almost went to jail today."

So I took my keys, and pulled out of the red zone with such extreme caution (because I would be that girl to get out of this situation, then hit a police car), dropped Mary off at her car, laughed and laughed and laughed more our of sheer nervous energy than anything, and went to her house, just to continue to share in a few moments of disbelief.

That just happened, everyone.

I know that, like I said, the story is totally negated because I'm actually writing about it, which I would not be doing if I was in jail...but somehow, I was almost in jail...and I needed to pass that along.

Monday, November 30, 2009

things i'd eat right now if they were in front of me

1. cake
2. cupcake
3. birthday cake
4. fried chicken
5. a baked potato
6. any piece of candy except for a cinnamon disc or peppermint
7. a grilled cheese

oh sweet ass i just remembered that my coworker has candy in her office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

more isht to not buy

So I wrote this one on my last night on travel...but didn't have internet at the Condotel, so here it is...late...but who cares...because I'm finally home!!!!



By the way...the no shopping challenge has taken me to some strange places.

So my week on Oahu was no big deal, because I literally had not one second of free time to even try to go shopping. My few days on Kauai was easy too, because they don't really have malls or shops there. They do have a lot of free-roaming chickens, though. But I've been super-ready-to-be-home on the last two islands, and I got some bad news about sweet g-ma Faye, and those times are the times that aaaallll I wwaaannnntttt in the world is to buy something (everything).
Also, I ran out of clean chonies on Wednesday.

Weird--I thought I packed enough, but apparently, I did not. Why do I always pack the day I leave?

So I got out of my last high school visit early on Wednesday (because of a security lockdown--awesome. I was locked in the library with no students, and after ten minutes, the counselor came back and had security escort me to my car. I have no idea why. But there were six cop cars there, and all the buildings were chained shut. Did anyone hear anything about King Kekaulike High on the news??), so in my last pair of cleans, I ended up at a mall. And this was after I tried to waste enough time until my flight with a shave ice. No luck. The mall was not a very good one, but somehow, I ended up in American Eagle (??), and bought five pairs of awesome undies. I'm tempted to post a picture, but who knows when President Bob might find this, right? And you know I'd think of that every time I saw him.

So I left, $25 lighter, and was overcome with guilt. Like serious, serious, want to go to confession even though I'm not Catholic guilt. I haven't bought anything at a mall (or anywhere but the grocery, really) for myself since...I don't even remember...the first week of September?? All I could think was about how I ruined the No Shopping Challenge, and how horrible that made me. Yikes. I was basically like some sort of crazy person.

So I took them back.

Seriously.

With no cleans in my suitcase, I returned them. Interesting looks from the lady who'd just sold them to me. I told her that I bought them for a lingerie shower, but realized that I actually needed to get another size...from somewhere else.............

I got on the plane, made it to really creepy condo-tel, and the next morning, as I was fully prepared to go free-balling, I found two pairs that were hidden because they were black and looked like suitcase.

It was as though Jesus was like "Good job on the No Shopping Challenge. I want you to wear underwear today and tomorrow. Here you go."

things and things, Hawaiian radio and my haunted condo

Interesting times on the road.

I think I might have opened up some other blog with that same line...I'm not sure. I often think that...that line...not that I opened up another blog with the same line.

What?

Dear Hawaiian Airlines,

I love that you still have free movies and free meals. I love that even on my 15-minute-in-the-air inter-island flights, you give me juice, and even though it's only 12% juice, I still love it. I'll have two, actually. I also love how nice your employees are. Seriously nice--and I don't think they're talking about me behind my back when they leave the aisle. But really...REALLY...Hawaiian airlines...I can't handle the fees. Your tickets aren't cheap in the first place, but then to pay $15 for the first, $25 for the second bag from the mainland, then $17 from island to island, and $25 for overweight bags (p.s. the weight limit changes from mainland and inter-island--not fair), then $150 for any ticket change...you're killing me softly. I'm pretty sure I could have purchased another full ticket with what I paid in fees on this trip. And all I want to do is leave a day early...I'm so willing to pay the difference in ticket cost...but the change fees alone for my flight back to Honolulu, then to SD, is $175. That's unreal. Literally. I don't pay that much for a round trip ticket to Las Vegas.
And, consequently, Las Vegas is way more fun that the Big Island. Like, 100 times more fun. Maybe more.
In conclusion, I cannot love you, Hawaiian Airlines, because I hate you. And I cannot hate you, because...you get it.
I would just like to go home please.

Mahalo (they love that),
Shannon

Unrelated--I'm at Starbucks, and a girl just rang up for $13.49. She doesn't have any ground or bean coffee. What the hell can you order at Starbucks to total that much? "Hi, I'll have two large frappucinos. You know what? Let's make it three. With 20 pumps of hazelnut."

So, interesting times on the road. I've been driving a lot (surprisingly--the islands are not big), and my first rental car didn't have one of those little pluggers where you get to listen to your iPod, so I was stuck with the radio. Hawaiian radio is not good...no question. I listened to a lot of NPR. But I really, really, really love to sing in the car, so on Oahu, I resorted to listening to my iPod, earphones in, and singing. Even I realized that this was reeedic, so, also for my own amusement, decided to record myself singing to music no one else could hear, then listen back to myself singing along to nothing. Can't lie to you, I was laughing a lot about this. At myself. Singing. Now I know what some select few passengers experience when I get going. Sorry, by the way, to you guys. I did that for a while, left some people some singing messages, then went back to NPR.
Second rental car had a plug, so I listened to my iPod with much joy until it died, then I listened to the torrential rain that almost led to my death on the road (several times). Worst storm in four years? Sign me up. My hotel didn't have power when I checked in, or phones for that whole day.
Did I already tell you that? Sorry. Bad news when I'm repeating stories in a blog. I need human interaction so bad right now. I went to Costco with a youth pastor today. More on that later.
It wasn't until rental car four that I realized that I left my cord in rental car two. This has happened twice now, and oddly enough, no one at the rental place ever has record of someone turning in a cord. Assholes. They're like $10 at Target!! Stop stealing from me!! So I'm back to singing to myself through headphones. I did mess up one ear of the headphone with too much volume, I think...it rattles a little now. Oops. And I'm also back to NPR. I do love it, but I am at the point that I'm re-hearing stories about racial tension between Italians and Latinos on Long Island...so...so that's when I play the radio scan game. It's of my own invention, there are rules, and they're complicated. No one since three boyfriends ago will play it with me. But I got 21 points today.

I also talked to Chip for like an hour today. Remember Chip? I sure miss that guy. He was the perfect audience for my latest Naz church visit, which is a story best told in person. Or via voicemail, I'm told. Eric, are you reading this? Thanks for sharing that in staff meeting.

In my radio scans, I have been stuck on Hawaiian music from time to time. I have learned one major thing about Hawaiian music: a lot of it is non-Hawaiian music, re-recorded to sound islandy. I've heard Elvis, church hymns, Jason Mraz, Tina Turner...basically every style of music redone Hawaiian style. It's not good. But I did catch one real gem--a Hawaiian rapper. No lie, the rap started with "Yo yo...it about time dat we bring some jamz from da 808...uh-LOW-hah!" Unreal.

Finally: I am staying at the weirdest place ever.
I booked this place on Expedia and got a pretty good rate, which is always a key sign of danger. I have never, ever been pleasantly surprised by some random place I booked on Expedia. Am I the only one? Although I think if I were a--not alone, b--not at the end of like 5 million weeks out, c--on another, cooler island, and d--in a different state of mind, this place could have been cool. Maybe. Except I'm convinced I may be killed in my sleep tonight.

I'm pretty sure that only girls will understand this. Lucky for me, I am pretty sure that only girls read this. In fact, it may only be Mindy (see comments on every post...xoxo MVega!).

So anyway, I landed on the Big Island last evening, got my car, and put my hotel address in el GPS, and it's 45 minutes away. At this point, I just wanted to be home, so this was annoying to me. Even more annoying--the airport is surrounded my like 30 miles of just lava. Black, ugly lava. It's not cool or pretty. I hate the lava. And people take some white rocks from somewhere and write their names and things like "just engaged!!!!!!" and "aloha!!!!!!!" in the rocks, and it looks like graffiti, and I hated that too. I also passed a man on a recumbent bike, and hated the bike and him also. So my hotel is in the middle of nowhere, really...no shops or town or anything on my way there. It's also made up of many buildings, and is very spread out, which was, again, annoying. So I found the check-in place in some building in the middle. While checking in, I was going through the drill, initialing here, signing there, making up a license plate number for the rental car, the girl threw in this: "Would you prefer skim, 2% of whole milk?"

What??

So I told her that I preferred skim.

From there, she took my fruit juice preference (guava), my bread preference (wheat) and if I preferred butter or margarine (butter...unless I'm baking...then marg all the way. I didn't tell her that last part).

I think that, after 5 million weeks of alone time and personal reflection, that one of the reasons I get into so many crazy situations is because I HATE being out of the loop...so often, when I am, I just pretend like I know what's going on to see where the situation goes. This is often a mistake. Why not just ask what's going on?? I don't know. I just don't do it.

So girl was talking like I should know why she was asking me all these questions, and I went along with it, and she said "Alright, these items, a dozen eggs, and half a pound of bacon will be delivered to your condo tomorrow morning at nine."

What to my what?

But I didn't ask that. I just fake smiled and said "Great."

I don't even understand what she's talking about at this point, but I know that I will eat a total of none of that. I leave every morning I'm there before 8...I am not going to get up early for some 6 a.m. bacon and eggs with butter on wheat.

Then she gave me a map to my room (another thing I hate--if I need a map to get there, it's too far. I don't want to stay at places that need maps.) and I went back to my car to drive to building B.

Oh yeah, she also asked me if I minded being on the second floor. I said no, but I wanted to say yes. I hate dragging luggage up stairs! But I felt like saying yes would put her out in some form, so I said no. I am an idiot--who thinks those things?

So I drove to building B, dragged my overweight suitcase (according to Hawaiian Air...jerks) upstairs and unlocked my door to a condo that's bigger than my house.

At this point, anything other than what I expect is disaster, so my exact thought was: "What is this Iiiiiii hhhaattteee iiiittttttttttt!!!!!!!"

I am definitely not a tantrum thrower, but I did have a moment. I was just tired, and tired of not being home. I was over it quick. :) And I didn't throw one thing.

So I walked into a full kitchen with dinner settings for six, nicer knives than I have at home and a dishwasher, a dining room with seating for six, a living room, a full balcony/patio, a small door under the stairs, and don't worry--that was downstairs. Upstairs, there was a master bedroom, a bathroom and three locked doors. Awesome. Oh wait--it would have been awesome, if I had five friends with me. Maybe.

There is no better way to remind oneself that one is traveling alone than to walk into a dining room for six.

And I'm a great alone traveller...for two or three weeks. On week five million, I'm over it.

Sidenote--I'm SO over being on my own that I had lunch with a youth pastor today (who I met for 5 days at camp this summer), then went with her on her errands, including going to Costco, purchasing two large hams, and picking up her son from school.

So in order to feel at all at home (home being "in a hotel room," right now), I immediately went upstairs, grabbed two pillows and a blanket, went back downstairs and set up camp on the couch in the living room. My suitcase is on the coffee table, I brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink...I'm pretending like I don't even have an upstairs.

Also, there are three locked rooms, and I'm pre-he-hetty sure that some sort of criminal or Sloth from Goonies is living up there, just waiting for me to settle into the master bedroom.

Also, there are no restaurants nearby my creepy condo hotel, so I had to go to a grocery last night and bought the necessary items to make turkey tacos.

I made turkey tacos alone in my condo in Kona last night. After that, I loaded the dishwasher and went to sleep on the couch.

Get.me.out.of.here!!!!

I made a video of it (why do I feel like a grandma for saying that??), so once I figure out how to post videos...you can experience it for yourselves.

And there is no internet of any kind...ergo embarking on hour two at Starbucks (and that's just this visit--doesn't count my hour earlier in between visits).

I left this morning at 7 and haven't been back yet. Partially because it's boring...partially because I know someone dropped off a half pound of bacon there this morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

an extremely long post that will likely bore anyone but me or my mom, who doesn't read this blog, to my knowledge.

I have a feeling that this is going to be the least interesting blog ever for everyone.

So Fall Travel in Hawaii has been so flipping busy. I think I mentioned this—the traffic is the worst I’ve ever been a part of, and I traveled in LA for a year.


Most of my first morning visits were 15-20 miles away, and I had to leave, on average, two hours early, and I was almost late one morning. I think it’s a combo of several things:

--they don’t have a lot of lanes here. The major freeways are like four lanes.

--the speed limit is 50 on those little freeways, so even when you’re the only person on the road, it feels like you’re stopped in traffic.

--everyone is a horrible driver. I feel like I can say that because my wonderful host Lindy said that too, and she’s from here. But really—no one merges. They just stop with their blinkers on. And people don’t signal to get in or out of lanes. And no one honks, and in my book, that’s not a good thing. I honked once, and people looked at me like I was a huge bitch. Maybe don’t stop on the freeway and I won’t honk.

--people are allowed to ride in the backs of trucks and aren’t required to wear helmets. I’m not sure about anyone else…but that makes me want to drive slower so I don’t kill anyone…or everyone.

Sidenote—it’s never encouraging to see a security guard and gate attendant running, with walkie talkies raised, to your gate in a panic. It makes me feel like we may all die on this flight. This could be my last blog…what do you think of that, America? So now, potentially FROM THE GRAVE…

So traffic is horrible. But the schools…the schools are so…I don’t even know how to describe them. In order to make any sense of them, I have to describe private schools outside of public schools entirely. So private schools. I went to 15ish this week. They are:

--BEAUTIFUL. No lie—some of these high schools may as well have been colleges, because their grounds, their buildings…everything about them is just amazing. I felt a little out of place at a couple, because it seemed like I was at a country club.

--really old. Seriously. Many of them were founded in the 1800s. One of them is the oldest school (SCHOOL—not just high school) West of the Mississippi. That’s right…the Ol’ Mississip.

--HUGE. Huge. So huge. I went to a school that’s 700 acres. That’s the size of a town. All of the Naz’s campus is 92 acres. I was lost at least four times just on their campus.

--super secure. I had to check in at a security gate everywhere I went, and they had my name on a list, pre-printed nametags, etc etc etc.

--challenging. I asked one student what class he was missing, and it was SAT/ACT prep. They have an in-the-day test prep course. That counts for credit. Unreal.

--really nice. Every place I went gave me a gift—usually a little package with mac nuts, other snacks, pens and post it notes, etc. One gave me a meat rub that she’s famous for (so she tells me—I imagine she’s famous for it among the PTA or something). Two places gave me flower leis. They all acted like I was doing them a favor for stopping by. Seriously? My CA schools sometimes don’t even have a counselor there to tell me where to go.

So all of that to say that if I ever have (someone else’s) kids, they’re going to private school in Hawaii. Swears.

Public schools, however, are a different story. Not even “a different story”—more like HI private schools are to HI public schools as finding $100 in a pocket of designer jeans that you didn’t know you had is to getting peed on by a homeless man. In the face. And he was never even wearing pants, so you have to watch it all happen to you.

The public schools I went to were:

--designed to look like prisons. I am not kidding a little bit. I drove past one school, despite my GPS bitching at me, because I thought it was a prison.

--despite above, not secure at all. No gates, no security guards…nothing. I didn’t even have to check in at one place—I just wandered around, and no one stopped me.

--dirty. There was just a lot of trash on the ground.

--not challenging. Or maybe too challenging? I’m not sure. I just know when I mentioned our minimum GPA to be considered (and it’s a 2.8—come on, America), almost every student I talked to said “…oh…like…that’s the lowest I can have…?” and basically ruled us out. Which is for the best, because they would’ve had to pay $50 for me to say “So the minimum is a 2.8……”

--poorly outfitted. Most of the career centers I was in had computers from the late 80s.

--uninformed. When I asked why students came to hear about Point Loma, only one of the twenty-something I spoke to said anything other than “I want to go to California.”

So the pisser of all of that is that I was getting so frustrated with these public school visits, because I’m pretty sure that I will be able to admit none of the students that I met with (if any even apply, which is unlikely), but those schools are default for the normal kid! Some of the private schools have scholarships (see Barack Obama), but most of the kids there who are getting these amazing educations are rich already. I don’t know how a real smartie could even do well in a public school setting there. And those are the kids I want to work with in my ideal dream world where you get paid to do whatever you love—those who don’t really have any way to understand the college process in the first place. It just sucks that these kids start off at such a disadvantage—most of them (at least the ones I spoke to) have GPAs too low to be considered at most good colleges. Where do you go from there?

I’ll tell you where…riding on freeways in the back of someone’s truck. BTW--I'm no longer in the airport. That was a while ago. I lived through the flight!

Do I need to get a flu shot? I never know.

So anyway. Oahu was cool enough, but I didn’t even get to step foot on the beach for a second. It rained a little almost every day, so it wasn’t super sunny. The real reason it was cool is because I got to stay with two of my favorite people in the world—the Furushos! They’re like a really fun, cool aunt and uncle, and I could live with them. They’re super mellow, Lindy is a really good cook and taught me how to make spam musubi (Google it, because you’ll just tell me I’m gross if I tell you what it is), they like David Sedaris and Glee and they laugh at all my stories. What more could you ask for? Having familiar faces to come back to every night made fall travel totally un-lonely and great. They also took me to a sweet farmer’s market in Chinatown on Vet’s Day where I saw more dead animals and exotic fruit than I’ve ever seen, and they didn’t even laugh at me when I touched it all. I don’t know…I’m a toucher. Weird, because I’m not a hugger.

Another potentially boring tangent—I LOVE the food here. I posted about 50 pics of it on Facebook already, which should be embarrassing, but isn’t because I love food more than about 99% of things in this world. But seriously—I asked my friend who’s from there for some local recs, and I planned my days to include the places she suggested in between high schools. I had the BEST pad thai I’ve ever had (I’m not going to lie—it sort of made me mad at every other Thai place I’ve ever eaten for lying to me), amazing Hawaiian food (poke ahi…please find me some), really good seafood, Indian food, noodles, and as much shave ice as I could fit in. I won’t go into detail, just because I just spent so much time going into detail on Facebook.



ANYWAY anyway, I left Oahu today for Kauai, and had free time, which was wild. I can’t even believe this place—it’s so unrealistically pretty. I basically had my ideal afternoon driving through super green, super beautiful roads listening to music and singing really, really loud in the car. It started raining about 10 minutes in, then pouring, then I had to pull off the road for a little while, then I kept going, then I saw all these waterfalls, then I took a couple pictures, then it was pouring again, then the bridge I was going toward was closed because it flooded, then I turned around and went to my hotel to check in. Tonight I walked on the beach in the rain for a little—my first step onto sand!—which was pretty, and then ate at this local saimin place, and it was amazing. I love noodles, I love soup, I LOVE noodle soup.

Is it weird that eating is sometimes my greatest joy on the road?

Also, I saw someone’s house get hit by lightning, light on fire, then get put out by the rain. That was wild.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

going crazy, Shannon style

So I can't even describe how busy this week has been adequately...but it's been productive. Recruiting in Hawaii is no vacation though, so stop being jealous.

Unless you're jealous of all the flipping amazing food I've eaten.

But, as I've spent the last three hours at a Starbucks interviewing students and answering emails, I have only three minutes of my paid internet left, so I only have time for a short story.

I think I might legitimately be crazy.

So on Sunday, I visited a Naz church, which was good, but also busy. They have an 8 a.m. service, Sunday School, then a 1045 service too, and I was in it to win it. So after the first service, I pulled out my phone to check the time (not really...I'm just super obsessive about missing anything, ever), and saw that I had seven missed calls and voicemails from my friend and week-long host, Craig. Seven?? And all the voicemails were two seconds of silence.

So any normal person would've thought "Craig's pocket dialing me...what a joker." That was my first thought too. But about a tenth of a second later, I thought the following:

--what if Craig was kidnapped?
--what if he's calling for help?
--what if he can't say anything in the voicemail because his mouth is taped shut??
--what if he keeps calling because I was his last call and his hands are tied up and he can only recall the last call?
--what if he only had ten minutes of time alone and I was his only chance for help and now that I didn't pick up, the kidnappers are back and he's being tortured??

Now MOST of my mind realized that this was reeeedic...but there's always part of me...just a little part...that thinks "That's what everyone says when something horrible happens to them...'I never thought this would happen to me...'", and I was physically relieved to find out that I was, indeed, just pocket-dialed, and Craig was alive.

More about not-this later. More about actually interesting things later. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

some recent isht

...that I've purchased:

--food at the grocery
--a bunch of cold medicine
--socks for two really cute little boys
--a bunch of gasolina
--a car wash
--a penguin book for cousin
--some Frankenberry cereal for Frank(enberry)
--tickets to see Mika
--tickets to see Regina Spektor
--eyeliner
--the new Britney single on iTunes
--toiletries galore (how is it that I run out of contact solution, toothpaste and shampoo almost simultaneously every time? I do NOT use them on the same rotation.)
--a T-Pain voice app on my iPhone
--the new Dan Brown book (which is not as good as Angels and Demons, but DaVinci Code? Of equal good, at least)...but I'm planning on returning that. Is that wrong?
--a plane ticket to Chicago

So I've clearly fallen off the "no presents for others" wagon...but to a small extent. And I went to two concerts that were the bizzzzz...but for some reason, I didn't consider that shopping. Same with Britney and T Pain.

Not sure why not.

But still no mall/Target/any other awesome purchases, other than eyeliner.

And on that, I do not spend $28 on eyeliner because I'm elitist or love spending money. I do it because it's the best damn eyeliner I've ever used, it lasts forever, it doesn't smear, and if I don't shower (often), it often stays on all night. That's worth FIFTY dollars.

Ooh, not really. I would never spend that on eyeliner.

But here's the real deal...here is the isht I've WANTED to buy recently:
--this amazing owl cookie jar at Anthro
--this amazing dress at Anthro
--almost everything at Anthro
--t-shirts at both concerts I went to
--every other piece of makeup at the counter
--a NetFlix subscription
--hair color (about 11 times...I have never colored my own hair)
--about 11 cheap tops at Target
--a Sham-wow
--an external hard drive (may have to cave and buy this...too...much...music...)
--a tattoo
--shoes. So many shoes.
--this amazing scarf...at Anthro
--a plane ticket to Seattle
--a KitchenAid mixer (???)

There's more. I can't even go on.
Fight the good fight...get me out of here...I still have 20 more days on the road to not buy anything...but now that the gift ban has been lifted...be ready, everyone.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two reflections in my lifelong quest to stop being that girl who always says yes to things I don't want to do.

So I have a really hard time saying no to people. To anyone, actually. Case in point: CaseS in point, actually.

I was on jury duty in January, and got put on a two week trial. Every day on our eternally long lunch break (really...I do NOT need two hours! Give me a tuna sandwich and I'll eat it in the jury box if it means I can go home early), I walked past a guy who was signing people up for Greenpeace newsletters. I managed to catch him with other people for the first five days, but day six…he was alone and saw me coming. He was so nice…he was just so nice…I listened to the schpiel, and managed to at least tell him that I wasn’t sure if I could be a contributing member to Greenpeace yet. He seemed to be so sad about it…and he loved the environment so much…and, I mean...I like it too...I had to tell him that I would think about it over break and talk to him on my way back. I know that most people would not actually stop back by, but all I could think about are all those jerks who lie and tell him that they’re going to stop back by, then don’t, so for some reason, I HAD to be that person who actually stopped back. And I signed up to be a monthly contributing member of Greenpeace. And although I promised myself I would never tell anyone this, I have just decided to—I said I would contribute $10 a month, which is 100% more than I wanted to contribute, and he said “Can you make it $15?” And I just said yes.
WHAT??

Second case in point: I went to the optometrist the other day (I say the other day...it was like 6 months ago) because I needed a new contact lens prescription, and when I was in the chair (one, or two? One, two? Two, Three? Two or three?), I mentioned that I eventually wanted to get new glasses as well. So after the exam, working my new contacts, he sent me out and said “Ok, go ahead and choose your new frames!” I didn’t really mean to get new glasses right then, so I already was a little overwhelmed. You know...you kind of have to be in the mood to pick out glasses frames, right? This from a girl who sometimes drives to three different restaurants before actually deciding what I want for lunch. But thought that I may as well, since I was there and needed them, as it had been eight years since my last pair. Problem arose when a really nice and not bad looking Aussie came up to me and started helping me. He actually worked there, so it wasn’t that weird, but I was immediately flustered—I wasn’t even expecting to GET glasses, you know? And now I have this hot accent helping me out by picking frames and saying they look “sao noice, sao noice.” COME ON. How does ANYONE say no to that guy?? Anyway, long story short, I ended up with a pair of frames that I likely never would have even tried on myself, just because he said they were sao noice, and he had an accent. Damn it. This direct quotation should help you envision what I bought: “…and when you go out downtown, these can serve as an accessory!” Really?

That is my life. I buy things I don’t want or need because I hate telling people no. Once, at age 21, I bought a timeshare. But that's for another time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Naz church

So I visited a Naz church while on the road...you know...it's what we do, it's what we do. It was actually a nice break in my weekend of horrifying-non-shopping-boredom. But really...it was a surreal experience. This church, which shall remain (forever) unnamed, may as well have been a time warp, because once I drove onto their property, I'm pretty sure it became 1995. This place had EVERY stereotypical 90's church thing going for it, and it was made evident from the moment I walked in the doors.

I was greeted outside by a 55ish man, who asked my name, and said "Welcome, Janet!" When I went in through the glass doors with the black crash bars (of course), an 85-90ish TINY lady extended her arm for a hug. When I gave her the welcome-to church hug, she kept her arm wrapped around my waist (that's how tall she was) and said "Are you new?"

Pause for a moment to say that I'm so glad I wasn't some stranger who just thought "I don't know...maybe I'll try church today." I would have left as soon as some stranger tried to hug me.

Anyway, I told her I was new, and she guided/pushed me over to a Welcome Table, where another older lady was standing. I told her that I was from Point Loma, and she said "Poynnt Laoma?? Oh maaah...maa daw-tuh awlmawst we-unt theyrr, but ayt thuh layst sec-und, she dee-sided teau gaugh teau Ow-klugh-how-muh. Nah-ow she's murried aynd hay-us the cuh-yutest bay-bee Ah hay-ve aver sayne!!"

Texas and THEN some!! What are you doing in Reno???

Anyway, as it turns out, I know her daughter, who works at a church near Sacramento, and the best part about that is that they actually have two kids, but one of them is older and apparently not a big deal anymore, now that they have a baby. She didn't mention the older girl once, but proceeded to talk about the baby for a few more minutes.

So she made me fill out a Welcome card with all my personal business on it, then gave me some cookies and a free coffee coupon at...wait for it...the Holy Grounds Coffee Cart.

Do it, 1995!!

I could write about 10 pages about how awesome it all was, but in order to leave my office before it gets dark and because it's likely that no one has actually read this far down, I'll bullet point the rest.

--I was introduced as "Sharon Hutchinson"
--the "worship team" was ordered boy-girl-boy-girl-boy, and all the boys had dress pants, and all the girls had long dresses or skirts on
--the "worship band" was made up of a piano (leading, of course), drums, a guitar and three flutes. Awesome.
--they had special music. It was a piano solo from a girl who was home from college, and her new college boyfriend sat with her and turned the pages when she nodded very indiscreetly
--during the special music, the screen that typically had the words to the songs had a PowerPoint slide that was a close up of piano keys
--there was a sermon outline with at LEAST 30 blank spaces
--the pastor had an alter call in the middle of the service and said "you don't have to be a member of this church to come and pray"
--multiple people said "Amen" (including three when I was bringing greetings from PL).
--the carpet was pale-ish pink
--the sermon included three humorous-and-not-quite-relevant illustrations
--the bathrooms had "please don't flush your fem products down the drain" signs with clever Publisher clip art of a toilet freaking out.

Amazing, right??

Anyway.

All in all, although I openly mock, it was a warm fuzzy shout out to my entire childhood, and I'd do it again!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bathroom buddies

So here's something I think everyone needs: a bathroom buddy. Not someone who goes to the bathroom with you (that's stupid)...but someone that you can tell all the awkward-but-somehow-inevitable bathroom stories that arise to without it being weird.

My bathroom buddy (thanks Cat) is gone for the day, but I need to say this:

It is not normal for acquaintances to have a "one-in-the-stall, one-out" conversations.

I was just in the bathroom at work and a really nice lady from the office across the hall was washing her hands when I walked in, so of course, I said hello, and (as I know she's a talker) even hesitated just a second before I went into the stall to see if she was going to say anything after "Hi." She didn't, so I went in and shut the door. As I'm physically starting to pee, she says "So did you guys hire a new counselor?"

At this point, I know she is speaking to me, and I know that, as I have to pee REALLY bad, if I continue to pee, I may not be able to hear what she's saying, and she might feel weird because I'm talking to her and she's listening to me pee. So I stop peeing (I just found out a little while ago that not all boys can stop peeing once they've started. What the hell--doesn't that seem like a natural thing??) and said "Oh yeah...started Monday!" to which she paused, so I started to pee again, but immediately had to stop, because she said "Yeah, well I wasn't sure...I saw a new face, but I was like 'is she new??'" I fake laughed.

The only thing worse than really having to pee is to be sitting ON THE TOILET, skirt up, in pee position, and not being able to pee.

So I said "Yep, she's new alright." She replied "Oh great, I thought I was going crazy!" and then laughed for an unusual amount of time for that comment. So at that point, I'm having to extend a fake laugh longer than is ok, and not pee.

Also, I didn't have real lunch today...I just had a third cup of coffee for lunch. And I haven't peed all day. And it's four.

ALSO also, when one person is in-stall, there are no non-verbal "cool, this conversation has been over for almost a full minute" signals you can send, so she's just standing there, and I'm (obviously) just sitting there.

So I say something like "Yeah, no, you're not crazy, ha ha good one...I now have a bladder infection" (not really on the last part), and she goes "Well ok...well...goodbye!"

Yes, definitely, goodbye. This has been a great little catch up for us.

Anyway, all of that to say..."one-in-the-stall, one-out" conversations are SOMETIMES okay if you're with your best friend ever...and then never okay again. Two-in convos can be okay...maybe...two-out convos are just flipping fine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

personal intervention

Oh man, this weekend sucked big time in the No Shopping Challenge of 2009.

So I'm in Reno, and have been since Friday afternoon, and they have NONE of my normal "stop the shopping urge" fixers. In Sac, when I feel like I have to buy something, I go to It's a Grind, because they have delicious drinks and wireless and cupppcaaaaakessss...or Panera, even though I don't like their food, because of the wireless and iced tea.

Oh man, I love iced tea so much, and theirs is so good.

Anyway, I can spend hours in both of those places. However, Reno has no Paneras, and when I put It's a Grind in the GPS, it took me to an abandoned building. Thanks, Reno.

So Friday, I checked into my hotel (it was Harrahs. It. Was. Harrahs.) and was so bored immediately that I went to eat dinner at 530 (only old people--I thought it was a 530 thing, but I soon realized that it was just a Reno-in-general thing), and went back to my room and watched TV until I fell asleep. Seriously. Awesome.

Saturday, I woke up at 7 (probably because I basically went to bed at 7), and drove around for two hours (no lie) looking for free wireless that wasn't at a bar. When that didn't work out, I camped at Starbucks and worked for a few hours until I was disgusted with myself, at which point, I tried to find a movie theater. The first one the GPS took me to was at the back of a stadium sized parking lot with about 11 cars in it, and abandoned lots all around. The second theater, however, was perfect.

Everything about it was perfect.

It was in a new shopping center that had so many perfect stores...and they were all new...and so pretty...and I wanted to go in them so bad. They had everything I loved, and all these amazing looking onesie boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops...it was just perfect.

http://www.thesummitonline.com/reno/index.html

So I parked outside, told myself that I'd be fine, and that I could just look around and appreciate all the newness of it all. Then I turned the car back on and drove over to Buffalo Wild Wings (more out of frantic-ness than anything...because I knew I had to get out of there) where I ate, although I was not hungry. Then I went to see Fame

(which was SO HORRIBLY BAD)

and immediately left the plaza after.

The next morning, I had to visit a Naz church, which I did (more about that later, because it was epic), then I happened to find myself at the same shopping center.

All of this was made so much worse by the fact that it's been in the 40s and 50s here, and I didn't bring a sweater, scarf or jacket at all. I've been FREEZING in my work dresses and skirts.

So I ate lunch first, then drove past the movies...then around the plaza. I parked outside of four different stores and a nail salon before just driving back to the hotel. I'm sure most people around thought I was crazy.

I proceeded to eat again, although I wasn't hungry (more hot wings, oddly enough). I did that a FEW times this week when I've wanted to shop. Be ready for "storing a little fat for the Fall" Shannon.

But, America, I didn't buy a damn thing for myself this week, other than nail files, which I really needed.

Aaahhhh this sucks!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm 99% sure

that someone peed all over the air filter of my rental car. Every time I turn on the vent, I get a face full of pee smell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

scenes from a college fair

So I've been noticing some interesting trends at college fairs this year.
I do not understand 95% of high schoolers, and the ones I do understand are the weird ones. Cases in point:

--skinny jeans on not skinny girls. I mean, I understand wanting to fit in (with the crowd--clearly fitting into pants is not a concern) and all, but stop it with the skinny jeans. In fact, America, stop making skinny jeans in any size over a four. I know I can't wear those things, so I don't buy them. Every girl in high school only wears skinny jeans. Girls...they even make you size 6s out there look fat. Sorry. Stop it.

--colored skinny jeans. Really? As if drawing attention to the ill-proportioned hips most girls have wasn't enough...let's do it in purple.

--boys with hair like they just don't care. Come on...hair that perfectly unperfect is just as obvious as super done up hair. Stop it.

--white girls who think they're going to Princeton. I only got tired of this because I was next to them at two fairs, and their reps were this awesome old guy and this surgeon alum, and when I wasn't talking to someone, I was listening to them. They were oddly positive to every person who spoke with them...and I realized that they want every person ever to apply to Princeton so they can be more selective. Smart. But it made me want to say-in-caps: WHITE GIRLS OF AMERICA...YOU AREN'T GETTING INTO PRINCETON UNLESS YOU WERE HOMELESS OR ONE OF YOUR PARENTS IS ON DRUGS OR HAVE A WOODEN LEG!

--mom jeans. I thought those were things of the past, but they're still there in full force...and apparently they're making new ones, because I saw mom-jean-capris, and embellished mom-jeans too. Sick. Stop it!

--gifted education program t-shirts...never cool...even if you write in gangsta font. "Advanced Algebra, boyzzz!"

--admitting that you don't know your address will never, ever get you points with colleges. Seriously. I can't even tell you how many people (ok, girls. all girls) don't know their own addresses. Either that or they're acting stupid for the boys that are with them. I hate it either way.

--C.A. is not an accurate abbreviation for California.

--making your college decision on whether the school has a color guard team is a mistake.

--each high school group of girls still consists of: the cute friend, the funny friend, the girl with a boyfriend and the girl who everyone wonders how she is in the group in the first place. Good to know that that hasn't changed.

College fairs...I'm over them. Last one (until November) tonight!!

Two other things:

1--last night, one of the high school counselors walked around the fair with Purel hand sanitizer for us. That's nice--we shake hands all night, and I'm sure people who are concerned about germs are grossed out by that. However, she gave some to the guy next to me, who said thanks, to which she replied "Sure, it's always good to have a little sanitizer on hand." I laughed out loud...she looked at me...she did not laugh. Pun clearly NOT intended.

2--also last night, another rep sitting to my left (this matters) and I were conversing about the number of kids with facial piercings at the event. This was actually a weird stand out at the event--there were at least 30 under-18-year-olds with multiple lip, eyebrow, ear, nose, tongue, etc piercings. Different. Anyway, the girl is from a really small, really conservative Christian school, and told me all about how facial piercings are a sign of internal conflict, and are another way of cutting, self-mutilation, etc. As I knew it would only get more awkward, I turned my head to pretend to look behind me so she could see my nose ring, at which point she said "Well I'm sure not everyone who does it does it for those reasons..."

Purchased nail files last night, because I go crazy without. 86 cents...to good use!!!