Thursday, November 15, 2007

Further Adventures In Strangeland

I have already documented how the collection of eating places nearest my work is a vortex of bizarre behavior. First there was Bra Girl. Then there was the Cup of Ice. You will hopefully be pleased to learn that I have two new stories for your enjoyment.
First is the tale of the Pillow Salesmen. Yes, pillows. Now, keep in mind that this area consist of a bunch of restaurants next to each other and a large outside eating area, sort of like a plaza. In fact, exactly like a plaza. So as I was sitting in the warm sun enjoying my sushi and conversing with my friend, I looked up and saw something that completely arrested my attention. I stopped speaking mid-sentence. There were two men with their arms full of those memory foam pillows, all boxed up. They went to a few tables, selling the pillows. Then they went inside the sushi restaurant and sold more. I was apparently the only person who found this strange, since people were buying them like they had never seen pillows before.
The second story is better. This just happened today, and I need to take a moment to digress because I just discovered that the Pepsi logo on my cup is surrounded by a double rainbow of text smileys of various sorts, like this: :-( :-< -O :) :-E ;-) etc. Interesting design choice. Oh, the background is all different sizes of smileys, all in varying shades of blue and overlapping. It's an emoticon collage. There is a website. Curiouser and curiouser...
Ok, back to the story. I'd been eating for a little while when a girl sat down at the table next to my friend and I. Normally not a notable occurrence, except that this girl looked a bit like Natalie Portman and had a lot of facial piercings and a boy haircut. She pulled out a tupperware thing of some food and started eating. Then a guy at another table got up to walk his plate to the trash. The following conversation ensued, which I need to just write down verbatim:

Girl: Um, excuse me? [Guy stops] I know this will sound really strange, but, um, were you going to throw those away? [gestures at pieces of a sushi roll on his plate]
Guy: Well, yeah...[confused]
Girl: Do you think that I could, um, have them?
Guy: Yeah, if you want. I already ate the cucumber out of the middle though. [apologetic]
Girl: Oh, that's alright. [takes the sushi pieces off of his plate] Thanks!
Guy: No problem! [leaves]

The reason I know exactly what they said is because I was full on staring at them while this was happening. Because, seriously? Who does that? And I'm sure I had some sort of 'the fuck?' look on my face, since I have no control over my facial expressions. You can absolutely tell what I am thinking by looking at me. My friends are constantly stopping mid sentence and swinging their heads over to my line of sight to see what I'm making a face about. It's kind of a problem, really. But yeah. Under what circumstances is that acceptable behavior? And the guy responded to her like she had asked him a perfectly sensible question and was in no way freaked out.

I love this town.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Silence Is Golden

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I managed to convince my mom to let my (then) boyfriend, Joe, move into our house, since he was currently living in a tent in a trailer park. What can I say in my defense? I really did think that getting him out of that environment and into a better one would help him. And I loved him. And I was an idiot. Raise your hand if you’ve never done something incredibly stupid because you were in love. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
As you probably guessed, things did not go the way that I had envisioned they would. Joe and I did not have candle lit dinners in front of a fire; we argued about him not having a job, or him staying out until two in the morning. At some point I stopped arguing. After you tell someone the same thing forty times, and they still don’t listen, what is there to say?
Then I started a new semester at my community college. In one of my classes, I saw a guy who had been in a previous class of mine. We did the your-face-is-the-only-familiar-one-in-the-room-so-now-we-are-friends-thing, and I started getting to know Chris. He was the polar opposite of Joe. We bonded one day over Ralph, and I realized that I actually like this Chris fellow.
While I was making friends with Chris, things with Joe were becoming worse. He had become friends with my cousin’s douchey then-boyfriend (who would later attack her car with a baseball bat) and the two of them were acting increasingly shady. One evening, the four of us went out to a movie. After the movie, the two guys were going off and mumbling together. Alicia and I went to the bathroom for a conference. We decided that if they were going to stay out until two tonight, that was it. Last straw. We were done. We came back out and Alicia’s boyfriend asked if I could drop her off at home, since he and Joe had to “do a thing”. I agreed, and the whole way home we discussed how over this shit we were. I dropped her off and wished her luck, then drove myself home.
Now, those who know me well are quite aware of just how damn stubborn I am. In the previous weeks, I have become increasingly irritated with Joe. I had also met a guy who seemed to not only enjoy my company, but respect my mind. This did wonders for how I felt about myself and showed me how there really were guys who weren’t jackasses.
When I got home, I packed up all of Joe’s things in boxes and put them on the front porch. I remember my mom coming into my room, seeing what I was doing, and asking if I was ok. I told her “Yes, I finally am.” She just smiled and left me to it. I wrote a long letter explaining to Joe exactly what I was doing and why, and left that on top of his things.
When Joe finally did come home, it was light outside. After reading my letter, he tapped on my window. After I didn’t respond he went around to Brian’s window and woke him up. Brian told him that I would come out and talk to him when I was good and ready, godammit. I learned this later when I woke up. When I saw that Joe was still outside, I went out and handed him the phone, then went back inside. He tried to talk to me, but I didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. He eventually called his parents to ask them to come and get him.
It was the best breakup I ever had.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm a Nerd. No, Seriously.

Pure Nerd
82 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 26% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

This Monkey AIN'T Gone to Heaven

My upstairs neighbors are fucking idiots.
They have a wooden deck that is above our enclosed patio area. Two nights ago they decided that they needed to wash off their deck rightnow. Having apparently never heard of such inventions as a broom and mop, they decided to use a hose. To wash off their two feet by five feet deck. For half an hour. Which washed off our patio as well, so thanks for that. But man am I glad we don't have patio furniture or a barbecue out there yet.
I came home from work yesterday and I noticed that our doormat was wet:

As I was fumbling with my keys, water dripped on my head. I looked up and saw this:

The stucco is actually bubbling up. The porch light is full of water. The doorjamb is swollen, as is the door. We currently cannot use our own front door, we have to use the sliding glass door, which is all kinds of secure.
I called my landlord and told him what happened and sent him the pictures. He called management the next day and managed to garble the message so much that management called my roommate to ask her about our neighbors spraying our door with their hose. She explained what really happened, and they said they would talk to the upstairs people. Dalyne went upstairs a bit later to make sure everyone knew what was going on. After knocking three times and finally ringing the doorbell twice, the mom finally answered. We knew that they were home because we could hear them.

In the course of the conversation, Dalyne learned that the dad had actually hooked up the hose to their hot water heater to hose off the deck, and, "whoops, I guess he didn't turn it all the way off", but she thought that if we just let everything dry out, it would be fine. She didn't take up the offer to come and test out our porch light though.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stupid Girl

I've been trying to think of how best to write about what happened in the next phase of my life, and so far I've come up with nothing. A large part of that is due to the fact that my memories from this portion of my life are cluttered, unclear, and full of gaps, the reasons for which will become evident.

After Jim broke our engagement, I can now say that I was legitimately depressed. And angry. I felt nearly every negative emotion you can think of, and I desperately wanted to be outside of my own head, away from the memories and the aching pain I felt.

I went from drinking occasionally on weekends to drinking every weekend and during the week. Given the amounts of alcohol I was consuming, it's really surprising that I remember as much as I do. My tolerance was so high that I once drank a 300 (or more) pound guy under the table, and then finished the handle we had been sharing. I regularly ditched classes, mostly first period. I didn't even really do anything while I was ditching, just hung out with whoever I had convinced to come with me. Usually it was Terra, but we would occasionally bring other friends with us. I'm not sure how to broach this, because I'm not really sure how it started, but here goes. Terra's mom was bipolar, and she was on a lot of different medications. I don't know at all how it started, but we would steal pills from her and take them. I usually didn't even know what I was taking. One time that I remember, I took a Klonopin at lunch. In the next class it hit me pretty hard. I was sitting at my desk when my head suddenly felt incredibly heavy. I collapsed forward onto the desk, hitting it with my forehead. A friend of mine in the class helped me sit back up and managed to prop me up at my desk so I wouldn't fall out. He asked me what I had taken, and then looked it up. Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, used to control seizures, anxiety, schizophrenia, and a slew of other things. My friend watched me the rest of the period, even walking me to my next class. I tell you this to demonstrate how other people cared much more about what happened to me than I did. I literally didn't care. I drank whatever was in my hand, took whatever pill was handed to me, and put on a mask and pretended I was fine. I laughed and joked and chatted, and no one was the wiser.

The summer after we graduated, Terra went to Ireland with her sister, and after she got back we had a weird falling out. I started spending more and more time with Joe. He was having problems or his own trying to deal with social environments that he had never encountered before, due to his home-schooled upbringing. He drank nearly as much as I did, smoke a lot of weed (which I never did, I hate the smell), and did a few other recreational drugs like acid. I didn't really ever pay attention to what he was doing though. I didn't really pay attention to much. At some point, Joe got himself kicked out of the house he was living in. He wasn't allowed to move back home, so, having no other options, he set up camp in a trailer park. That's right. A trailer park. He didn't even have a trailer, he was living in a tent.

After a while I started coming back to myself. I had been taking classes at a local community college, mostly because that was just what you did after you graduated. I wasn't taking random pills anymore since Terra and I weren't friends anymore. I was drinking less because I had to be at work and class more, which meant that I had to drive more. But I still managed to do something supremely stupid. I convinced my mom that it would be a good idea for Joe to move in with us.