grrgoyl: (Buffy Tabula Rasa)
Thanks to all my friends who wished me a happy birthday : )

The day itself wasn't terribly special, particularly since it was one of my "fake days off" after working overnight where every minute is just a struggle to keep my eyes open. However Tery spent it striving to fulfill my one request, a pistachio cake like my mom used to make every year and I haven't had since I moved away from home. She had to recreate it based on the flimsiest of physical descriptions, and with the crushing pressure of not spoiling my happy childhood memory. She didn't do too badly:

The unnatural green color is one of my fondest memories

The punchline to this is that while Tery and I were talking to our respective mothers by phone and relating her success, her mother got misty-eyed at the thought of us preserving my family traditions, while my own mother had no memory at all of ever making me pistachio cake. I guess we now know where I get my pathetic memory from.

As for birthday swag, well, not much to list. Tery got me the new Muse (which rocks, btw. There are is a song near the end with a bombastic, Queen-esque, rock opera sound that bring tears to my eyes, some definite anti-Bush leanings, and Supermassive Black Hole and I are engaged to be married). I got South Park Season Nine which I had to buy for myself. Tery gives me shit because I shop for myself a week before my birthday. This is why: because I can't count on, or expect, anyone else but Tery to know what to get me. Then of course there's JeffyJeff's package, which won't arrive until mid September. That's just the way he rolls.


Another present I got for myself would be the last Harry Potter book. I decided to follow [ profile] ms_hecubus's lead and went to Borders hoping to score a free bumper sticker lying around unattended. Instead I almost immediately encountered an employee who asked if I needed help. Rather than wasting time, I asked about the promotion and he offered to reserve a copy for me on the spot. He was accommodating, enthusiastic, and perhaps more than a little gay. He seemed like he would be a really fun coworker and perhaps could have saved me from a life of working jobs requiring minimal human contact. I also know if everyone were half as stoked about customer service as he was, I'd be a damn sight happier as well. When he went to retrieve my sticker (hidden away behind the desk) he asked, "So, where do you stand on the issue?" Unhesitatingly I answered, "I trust Snape!" I heard him murmur approvingly, "I do too."

Snape, Snape, he's our man

Once I was in my car it occurred to me that maybe he agreed with everyone regardless of what they said, but at the time I didn't question him because I simply can't imagine how anyone could NOT trust Snape.


I'm one step closer to my trip to England. I had also planned on my day off to get my passport renewed (having found it at the bottom of my closet with enormous relief. It had been missing since my car break-in, thus I couldn't be 100% certain that it was lost and not stolen (though obviously only an idiot keeps their passport in their glove compartment). Like I do with most seemingly insurmountable problems, I put it out of my head for a couple of months. Then of course I faced the possibility that it might have been stolen and now had to explain to Uncle Sam that I did nothing about it for a couple of months. That's right, fuck you, Homeland Security! Hence you can imagine my relief when I found it in my closet).

So I had the address of a passport agency that sounded perfect, one-stop shopping for a new photo and application. The problem was it was somewhere on Havana and Colfax, a frightening, busy intersection and, as I discovered, every single shop sign was in Spanish. Rather than try to travel to all four corners surrounded by angry traffic, I hightailed it south back home. However, I know myself very well and that once I got back inside my house I wouldn't want to leave again, and I wanted to get this taken care of. So I phoned Tery for another address (what did we do before cell phones??)

She directed me to a place in an office building very close to our house. I found it with no problem. On entering the office, I was intimidated to be greeted by three security guards as well as a metal detector. Sheesh, did the flight leave from here too? They told me I had to get a new photo, fill out a form and return with a travel itinerary. I said my plans weren't set in stone yet, but they seemed quite insistent that I had to have an itinerary to apply for the passport.

Well, now this is stupid. I'm not about to book a flight and risk not getting a passport in time, but I can't apply for a passport without booking a flight? Only in Bush's America. I decided to apply by mail so I didn't have to face down an unreasonable security guard about this detail.

Then I set out in search of a place to get a photo. The guard had mentioned Walgreen's and some other places that did them, but I heard only Walgreen's. No problem. I could picture a dozen Walgreens in the vicinity, I thought. There was definitely one I knew for certain but it seemed farther away than the ones I was picturing. It turned out none of the places I went where I could clearly picture one actually had one. And why does every single store have a red sign? Rather than just go to the farther one, I obstinately insisted on trying the locations I felt were closer, consequently driving for a half hour in search of a closer one. Pah.

So anyway, I got to one, got my picture taken, and have sent off my application for processing. Since I'm not flying until at least July, I think I have nothing to worry about. Then again, this IS my life we're talking about here. Stay tuned.
grrgoyl: (Buffy Tabula Rasa)
List of DVDs currently winging their way to me from all corners of the globe:

Danger! 50,000 volts!: Because I believe Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Dylan Moran should band together and form the next Monty Python. Until they do, I will happily buy each of their individual endeavors separately because they are THAT funny.

Slither: Because it was actually pretty funny and twisted, and starred Nathan Fillion, who I never thought I'd adore as much as I do after playing the hateful Caleb in Buffy, but there we are. Firefly went light years towards overcoming my prejudice.

Saw II Uncut Special Edition and Saw III Unrated Edition: Because I'm still a terrible completionist. I think this fact has been the single most devastating blow to my efforts to save money.

Snow Cake: Because I can't possibly be expected to sit around waiting for this to maybe or maybe not come to select US theaters in April while the DVD sits on the website mocking me. I listed this last because it's what I'm most excited about.

Because it's my birthday in about 2 weeks and I don't anticipate my family being this good to me so I'm treating myself, because I'm worth it, that's why.
grrgoyl: (kitten in clocktower)
Yesterday Tery and I finally went on a shopping trip for my birthday. Until this point, her gift to me consisted of a brand new pair of toenail clippers (which I did need desperately). Our targets were going to be Old Navy (because we just inventoried one and saw all the fabulous sales), Victoria's Secret (because I just inventoried one and fell in love with their "Pure Seduction" fragrance) and of course Hot Topic.

It was during this trip that I noticed a disturbing phenomenon. Apparently when we are inventorying a store and not really allowed to browse at will, merchandise takes on a mystical, compelling characteristic...the air of the forbidden. Returning to these stores as a customer with every right to leisurely examine the goods for hours if we so choose, suddenly the mysticism and desirability have vanished. This happened at Old Navy (although I did get two pairs of cargo pants for work for around $ that third world child labor!) and, yes, it even happened at my beloved Hot Topic. All the things that made my head spin when I was browsing and penniless were gone. And the things that were still there just didn't hold the same appeal for me anymore. Poor Tery waited so patiently as I spent about half an hour desperately combing the store for...I don't know what. But it wasn't there. I saw things I liked, just not enough to buy. Like an awesome deep plum-colored button-up long-sleeved shirt with diagonal pink pinstripes that was probably too expensive and, try as I might to picture, would just not be suitable for my sister-in-law's impending wedding. And a very cool Donnie Darko piece, the 28:06:42:12 logo; it would have made a great bumper sticker but the problem was it was a sew-on fabric patch. I settled on a $5 CD sampler just so the trip wasn't a complete waste. When the tattooed girl rang me up and brightly asked if I had found everything okay, I guess my response was a little dejected. With a little prodding I explained my depressing realization. She said the same thing happened to her. She may have been lying, but I loved her for it.

The only success was Vicki's Secret, and that because I only wanted the one thing. It was our first stop so we had no other bags to carry. I chose a single bottle of body spray and we paid for it. The girl informed us, "Unfortunately we don't have any small bags left," looking at us expectantly. I explained that we had more shopping to do and didn't really want to carry the bottle around openly (I have such a fear of being mistaken for a shoplifter, I don't know why that is). She sighed heavily and produced in fact the largest bag the store offered, a bag big enough to carry hundreds of dollars' worth of intimate apparel. I was left to carry this pink monstrosity into my favorite goth store, but tattooed girl joined me in making fun of it, so it was all good (as soon as I walked out I stuck the body spray into the Hot Topic bag and ditched the cotton candy-colored menace).

So that was my big birthday trip. We saw an interesting license plate, though. At Old Navy we parked in front of a huge SUV with a plate frame that actually read, "Warning: In case of rapture this vehicle will be unmanned". Oh my word. Overlooking the obvious joke and the first thing that occurred to me (that being "unmanned" meaning "castrated', though that obviously is not what they meant), how very presumptuous of the owners to think that they already had a spot in the express train to Heaven. Does Jesus love your enormous, gas-guzzling SUV?

Finally I'm starting to worry that my most popular post to date will be the snarky comment I made in [ profile] sexy_librarians. People can read the complete tale here if they are so inclined. I recently got told off by someone, and boy did it hurt:

(My comment, as a refresher course): This is the stupidest, most demeaning "community" I've seen on LJ, by far.

(Their smackdown of me. Obviously my thoughts are in italics): That is horrible grammar at a new level! "Stupidest" is not a word! (Sorry, but actually it is) Plus your run on sentence looks like hell. (Maybe you should look up the definition of "run-on sentence") Next time you *try* to insult people, use correct English.

Apparently when members of [ profile] grammar_nazis and [ profile] grammar_whores get tired of judging people based on their language, they need to find places to judge them based on their looks. Again, a chickenshit anonymous troll which is why I won't bother with a response. But, their reply being the stupidest, I couldn't resist including it here.
grrgoyl: (bored now)
I just have to face it. Fate has clearly set Herself against me ever shopping at Hot Topic again. Either I'm in the store with no money, or I have money but can't get to the store.

After my depressing birthday Friday (thanks again to all who indulged my cries of self-pity), I was resolute and very excited about going back to Hot Topic for a little treat, maybe that $6 CD sampler that was just out of reach of my budget earlier, maybe some snarky bumper stickers, maybe even a little something to wear for my sister-in-law's wedding. My plan seemed even more perfect when I was scheduled into a Victoria's Secret Sunday morning and would be within walking distance of my destination when I got off work. Everything was coming together nicely.

But Fate tag-teamed it with Mother Nature and brought down one of our world-famous Colorado end-of-season blowout snowstorms. When I left for work at 5:30 a.m. the roads weren't too horrible, but apparently horrible enough to keep 21 of the 35 people we had scheduled from showing up. Not good. One of them had the nerve to call our boss to report that she had gotten halfway to the store and then decided to turn around again. Perhaps wisely, her identity was not shared with the class (though not for lack of me trying, certainly). The remaining 14 of us soldiered on.

My friends Ashley, Tamara and I didn't have it so bad at first, getting to count the fragrance side of the store while the other unlucky souls had to wade through box upon box upon box of bras and panties (because Fate's contribution to the Big Joke on me was to move all the contents of an off-site storage in for inventory. Fate, you are a bitch). We were singing a different tune however in the backroom, where we had box upon box upon box of mixed up cosmetics and assorted lotions and shower gels to dig through.

Naturally the prevalent topic of the day was the storm. Ashley was getting all worked up, remembering last season when the entire city was shut down for 3 days from a storm like this one, and becoming convinced we were going to get stuck here at the mall. I was a little less worried about the prospect since I wanted to shop anyway (not that I had any desire to shop for 3 days, though). Tamara (who is from Texas and stated in no uncertain terms that she does not "do" snow) started making plans to forcefully invade McDonald's and other denizens of the Food Court if necessary. Damn Texans. A few inches of snow on the ground and she was already trying to decide which coworker to eat first. I was just looking at the bright side and envisioning shopping in my favorite store all by myself without annoying goth kids shouldering me out of the way.

Then we started overhearing the store people talking about highway closures, a conversation that did very little to alleviate Ashley's rising panic. The eventual news that the mall would not be opening at all today didn't help much either. Well, goddammit. With my shopping trip suddenly ripped out from under me, the current situation quickly lost all its charm. As we neared the end I was getting a hunger headache and starting to eye my own buffet options among the auditors. There was an even more pressing question on everyone's mind, as most of us were also scheduled for a Barnes & Noble later tonight. Our boss was in constant contact with the District Manager, who would tell him nothing. The best he could offer us was the guarantee that if we showed up and the inventory was understaffed and cancelled, we would be paid for 2 hours and sent home -- smoothly downplaying the less appealing possibly-getting-stranded-or-killed-on-the-drive-there-or-back aspect of the deal. No, people were generally not happy with this offer.

We finally finished and fought our way through the blinding snow and lashing wind to our cars. This was my first inkling that clog-style shoes, no matter how comfortable, are really not ideal footwear for these conditions, as they almost immediately filled with the stuff, soaking my socks straight through. Before I could focus too much on this misery though, a little Asian man ran up to me from his car and asked, "Mall closed?" I was stunned. "Yes, the mall's closed. No mall today." He ran back disappointed, and I wondered what could possibly exist on the entire planet that was so crucial to buy that he braved such hellish conditions to get there. Crazy, crazy consumers.

The drive home was nerve-wracking at best. Everywhere the roadside was littered with the abandoned vehicles of other, less careful drivers. One notable idiot in a Volvo in front of me on the on-ramp kept slowing down and slowing down until we almost stopped. I know enough about winter driving that usually if you stop, you're a goner, especially driving as I was in a car with nearly bald tires. So help me if this moron got us both stuck...but we were alright. I didn't dare do more than 30 white-knuckled mph on the highway, and for once the SUVs were smart enough not to tailgate. It wasn't terribly far into this drive that I had made up my mind if my bosses thought I was going through it again tonight, with the rest of the city closed down, just for a stupid inventory, that they could fire me if they wanted. I was 99.99% sure Tery would have no problem with this decision.

I made it all the way to our parking lot safely, amazingly. But then the problem I faced was that every empty space was now full of 7 hours' worth of accumulation. I circled once and then realized I had no choice...I came back around and drove at top speed straight into one, deliberately burying my car in a snow drift. That was quite exhilarating! It was so high that when I opened my door I had to push hard to get it through the pile enough to exit. It came up to my knees as I walked to the house, again completely filling my shoes. I got inside and announced my intention not to leave the house again today. But thank god we got a call after only a few hours cancelling the inventory. I know it seems like common sense to the rest of the world, but in 14 years with this company I think I've only seen an inventory cancelled one other time. It simply doesn't happen.

But will I ever get to shop at Hot Topic again?
grrgoyl: (Tinies)
Yesterday was my birthday. Much appreciation to people who took the time to notice, namely [ profile] mooselet and [ profile] dean_r.

Why do my friends dislike me so?

After spending the entire day feeling sorry for myself, Tery came home and gleefully informed me it was also Congressional Majority Leader and All-Around Fuckwad Tom DeLay's big day. Making it officially the worst birthday I've ever had.

Tomorrow I'm treating myself to a well-deserved Hot Topic spree. Try and stop me.

Oh, yeah and Edit: The seller in the Run Lola Run debacle was perfectly reasonable and planned to refund shipping all along, making me feel like a First-Class Ass. I guess I'm just used to eBay sellers who sometimes refuse to. Oopsie.
grrgoyl: (Tinies)
For Tery's birthday in lieu of an actual present, I brought her out for a dinner and a movie extravaganza. She was dying to see Napoleon Dynamite, and thanks to [ profile] bohemian_charm's recommendation I was too.

The beauty of this movie is there is no need to cut for spoilers, since nothing much happened. But I'm not saying it is a boring movie. It is very much like Rushmore, except more so. It definitely wins the award for most original credits (as well as credits with some of the ugliest carpeting imaginable; not to mention credits with some of the most unappetizing-looking food imaginable. In fact, very few movies come to mind that use food as prominently while making it look as vile as this movie does). Napoleon Dynamite is as memorable a character as Max Fischer (if not nearly as ambitious). I was surprised this was playing at the mainstream theater because it has "cult classic in the making" written all over it. Maybe I was just in the right mood, but out of an 86-minute running time, I think I only spent actually 15 minutes all told NOT laughing. Oh yeah. This one's a keeper.

For the dinner part of our extravaganza I brought her to Red Lobster, despite her eating nothing but seafood when she went home to Connecticut recently. The girl loves her seafood. I hate seafood, which is why I like Red Lobster so much...despite a seemingly overwhelming number of menu selections, I really can only choose from the chicken dishes, numbering exactly four. Really takes a lot of the pressure off. Our waiter looked so much like Tobey Maguire that I wished I had [ profile] phreakychic's camera with me. I gave him a good tip (he was an excellent waiter on top of battling evil in his free time, it wasn't just a sucking-up kind of thing). Best of all, since we went to an early show and got to the restaurant a little early, we finished our meal and got to walk out past 10 or 15 people sitting around waiting for a table. Things NEVER work out for me that way, so I was understandably pleased.

Take note: this is the first entry in I don't know how long without a trace of bitterness or anger in it. Wow.



grrgoyl: (Default)

December 2011

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