Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No Cactus Superpowers for Me :(

This weekend marked my first full weekend at working at Cactus and Tropicals...alas, no more weekends for me anymore. The nice thing is that the job isn't difficult, I only have to ring up customers and make sure that my area is clean. No customer service. It's great. The only thing that isn't great is the attacking cactus.

There I was walking with a slight hop in my step as I was going to go and get lunch, when I was attacked by a cactus. Two inches spires, and I swear it attacked me on purpose. My hand is all scratched up...I looked like I was clawed. My hand was bleeding and swollen all day Saturday.

My only regret:
that I didn't wake up the next morning with cactus superpowers.

A waste really.

In other news, yesterday was my birthday (don't say anything, I didn't want to advertise it!), and I was miserable all day long. And it wasn't as though people weren't nice to me...on the contrary. I had wonderful birthday wishes from all of those close to me. But no matter how nice people were yesterday...I just could not bring myself to be happy about anything.

All I could think about was that it was another day where I had to manage on my own. Mr.3 has now missed two birthdays (and I just tick off all of the important days that he misses anymore), and Mom and Dad are a state away so there was no one really to organize a family party. Even when I was in Turkey...someone managed to make a cake for me. I had to buy my own yesterday. And as such, I bought a super expensive cake that feeds a ton of people. So we really can't buy groceries until payday next Tuesday....so that cake is a bit more precious now. Mmmmmm....cake. Sounds so good at the moment...

Most of yesterday I spent crying in my office working. I just didn't want to go home and I stayed until 4 in the afternoon (I normally leave at 1:30). And today....all I want to do is go home. So I am leaving early today....in a half hour to be exact.

The cake is calling me...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nothing that String Cheese and a Pickle Won't Fix

Massive photo upload completed.


the fascinating photos that I took to amuse myself and chronicle our horrible movers! Except CJ, he was wonderful!


to the photos of the wildfire on Highway 6 that my mom and I took pictures of....

And stammer in wonder!

.....about how I am not going to tell you what the title of this post means.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Happiness of Mr. Potter

I pre-ordered the new Harry Potter book ages ago and got the free shipping on it. I honestly expected it to arrive next week sometime...so imagine my extreme delight and surprise after returning home from my first day at my new second job (cashiering at Cactus and Tropicals) to find the book on my doorstep.

I started it last night and finished it today.

It was really really really good...and I honestly can't wait to have kids and have them be old enough to share the series with them.

The only problem is that now that I have finished another reading book....I need to figure out what to read next!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hairspray with Jimmy

The Pride Center received a bunch of free movie preview tickets for a screening of the movie musical Hairspray. While I never would have paid to go and see this movie...I just wasn't interested....I am now a complete fan and I plan on buying the movie when it comes out on DVD and the soundtrack as soon as I can.

The pre-show people watching was great. Apparently the radio stations K-Bull and B98.7 gave away tickets to the show as well and Jimmy and I spent most of the time trying to figure out where different people got the tickets from. And luckily we managed to lose the lady in the line behind us who was so eager to tell me all about how what a hunk DJ Country Joe was.

Sometimes movie musicals are really well done like Chicago and Moulin Rouge, and sometimes they are horrible, like Phantom of the Opera. Hairspray was really well done. It didn't feel forced whenever someone broke out into song.

I was a little leary about John Travolta in it (he plays the Mother) but he was excellent! And I was in love with the girl who played Tracy Turnblat about 30 seconds into her opening number. Another nice thing about the movie was the energy of the audience....we were clapping at the end of numbers, laughing with the jokes and cheering and applauding during the credits....in fact we stayed through to the end of the credits.

So, I say...go see it when it opens...it was alot of fun...just go with the flow of it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Coffee Shop Craziness

So after our dinner of breakfast (waffles, sausage and hash browns baby!) Libby and I went out to get coffee to celebrate (not dinner but we were celebrating my election to the Global Voices board-I'll gush about this later).

Sitting at Beans n' Brew enjoying our iced tea, we started to hear what we thought was a play argument between the workers, but soon we realized that it wasn't the case.

Woman: "What is the difference between what you are saying and a lie?! Because you are a liar!"
Man: mumble mumble mumble
Woman: "No! You tell me how that is not a lie?! You tell me right now! How is that not a lie!?"
Man: mumble mumble "please be quiet" mumble mumble
Woman: "What is wrong with you!? You don't go and buy coffee with no money in your pocket!? How much money do you have in your pocket!!??"
Man: mumble mumble mumble
Woman: "What sort of idiot do you have to be to buy coffee with no money?! Show me your wallet! Show me the money in your wallet! Show me now you fucking idiot!"

At this point the woman is yelling at the top of her lungs, and looking like she is going to strike the man. The manager on duty goes over to the couple and quietly asks them to step outside to have their argument. Then the woman turns on the staff...

Woman: "Shut up! Shut! Up! This is NONE of your business! Get your nose out of our business!"
Coffeeshop Manager: "Ma'am, you are disturbing the other customers...."
Women: "Get OUT OF MY FACE! Do not bother me! Get out of my business! Stand away from the counter! No! Stand away from the counter and stay out of my fucking business! (To the man) You! You fucking idiot! This is all your fault! You are the fucking idiot who tries to buy coffee without money in your fucking wallet!"
Man: Grumble "bitch" grumble
Coffeeshop Manager: "Ma'am please step outside."
Woman: "You! You shut the fuck up! Stay out of my business, get away from this counter! I am trying to deal with this fucking liar here who can't pay for his own fucking coffee! Get away from the counter!"
Coffeeshop Manager: "Ma'am, I don't want to have to call the...."
Woman: "I told you to fucking shut up and get away from the counter! DO NOT GET INTO MY BUSINESS! (to the man) What the fuck were you thinking not having any money in your pocket!?!"
Coffeeshop Manager: "Ma'am, I will just give you your coffee for free if you will just leave...."
Woman: "What!? Fine! (to the man) See! See! This is all because of you! Now just look! Aren't you just..... (to the coffeeshop manager who is fixing their coffee) (calmly) oh, can I get a tall...make that order a tall. Thanks. (to the man, angry again) YOU are a fucking idiot, you fucking liar! You are SO lucky that they are getting the coffee to us for free!"
Man: grumbling and heading to the door "We got the coffee free because you are a fucking bitch"
Woman: "I'm a bitch?! You're the fucking lying idiot that forgot to bring money in his wallet!"
Man: "No, it is because you are a bitch!"

And the conversation continued like that until they got outside. Then they started to yell at each other in the parking lot, and then they were gone. It was completely crazy. When she was yelling at the coffeeshop manager I thought that she was going to hop over the counter and slap her. The other thing that was also most appalling about it (besides her public belittlement of the gentleman she was with) was that after her fit, and the free drink that they were offering her to leave....she had the audacity to UPGRADE her drink option.

We talked with the staff about it afterwards because the whole thing was just so crazy...and cool to watch in that voyeuristic way. There was alot of speculation as to whether they intended to make a scene in order to get free coffee...and even if they did, how absolutely low is that? I wouldn't want to show my face in that coffee shop ever again...and this woman thought nothing to the scene was making and how she made herself and the guy with her look.

If they were an item I hope that he broke up with her....no relationship should ever have public scenes that disgraceful.

Friday, July 13, 2007

End of URSA....is it the power of the boobs or the red dress?

Well folks, I'm back home from Cedar City. Overall things went really really well. I think that I made some excellent contacts and that I represented the MEC well.

Another thing that has come out of this conference is that I appear to have hypnotic boobs. We had the waiter transfixed, as well as the nice half Saudi guy I met. But of course, nothing proves your sexuality like getting attention from a trucker.

Driving along, minding my own business, I pass a semi-truck on I-15. When I pulled in front of him I noticed that he is flashing his lights at me. Weird I thought, no cops around and I definitely didn't cut him off, why the lights? Then a minute or two later, he tries to pass me....going 90 miles an hour in a semi-truck. I was lucky that I didn't die. I looked up at his window when he was passing by and I notice that he is practically in his passenger seat waving at me. I smile back and look down....he must have had an excellent view of the girls. A few minutes later I passed him again and he kept flashing his lights at me until I waved at him. I guess that is score one for my sexiness.

My husband better get back soon....because life is better when the girls are only hypnotizing him and not seeking attention elsewhere.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

URSA Conference Day 2

I had my first day of presentations today. The room that I had had a nice set-up, it was a small theater room. And while I may not have drawn in the crowd's, I hope that those there appreciated the fact that I had music playing as they came in.

Presentation 1 was an Introduction to the Outreach Program, and it is really difficult to make the information presented really interesting, but oh well. Out of the 5 people there, 3 of them happened to fall asleep during one point or another. Surprisingly enough the two people who were asleep left and came back for my second presentation....and didn't fall asleep at all.

Presentation 2 was about the Sunni Shia split in Islam, and it was a complete success! I took questions throughout and we even went over time in questions at the end. Some of the questions that I got caught me completely off guard, but it also showed that the teachers I was presenting too really had no idea...things like honor killings and veiling. Apparently I do come off as a convert, or the guy just had a really good guess. At the end a gentleman asked me if I had converted and if I was Sunni or Shia because he wanted to know if I was favoring one side or the other. I admit that I might have poked a little bit of fun at the continuous list of poisonings of the 12 Imams....but I have Shia friends who joke a bit about that as well. When I explained that I was Sufi and that either side didn't like me, that seemed to convince him of my objectivity. I definitely wasn't prepared for specific questions on Hizbollah, their Shia status, and their connection to Palestine....but I managed to hold my own. I think that as an advertisement for Outreach that the Sunni Shia presentation did more than the presentation that only illustrates what we do. Either that or I just need to jazz it up a bit.

Tomorrow should be better number wise. The conference is held between two buildings and the building that I was in today was not the main building....tomorrow I will be in the main building so more people will probably come.

The luncheon speaker was excellent, he talked about brain functions and how children of the current generation process information differently that their parents' generation. He also made mention of items like bloom's taxonomy that I had learned about in my classes...so it was nice to see that the graduate program that I am in is really on the cutting edge of research.

I hadn't seen too many teachers from this conference and the lunch time meeting gave me a chance to see people.....and you could tell that there were alot of teachers from rural schools, I haven't seen hair that big or female mullets so prominent since I lived in Texas in the 80's.

After lunch I just skipped the afternoon sessions and came back to the hotel....fell asleep for a while...and then woke up hungry and reluctant to brave the Bard's Food and Drink Establishment. I ordered an overpriced pizza instead, of which I have eaten one piece and decided that I was full. Oh well....it gives me a reason to skip lunch tomorrow and drive back a couple of hours early. Mmmmm.....pizza solves all ills.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blogging the URSA conference

So I am in Cedar City for the rest of the work week to attend and present at the Utah Rural Schools Association conference. I am doing two presentations (and presenting each of them twice). The first in an Introduction to the Middle East Outreach Program and the second is called Sunni vs. Shia- Deconstructing Islam for the classroom.

As I wasn't presenting today I wasn't in a hurry to get down here. I did manage to make the last session and find out which rooms that I am presenting in later. I was utterly shocked to see presenters in blue jeans. I mean I understand that everyone is teachers here....but why the lack of dress code for presenters? At least I know that I will be putting forth a good face for the MEC, even if I may seem to be overdressed.

It seems that alot of people were worried about my ability to get down here. There is a fantastically large wildfire down here, and according to the national news it is a third of the size of Rhode Island....I don't know if that is worse for Utah or just a reflection on the inferiority complex that Rhode Island must have. Because the fire has been hopping I-15, they have been threatening to close the road down. When I drove by I saw no fires, but I saw alot of the aftermath of them. I took some photos from the road, and I will try to get them online sometime soon. The fires didn't burn everything in sight, the fact that it didn't made the damage seem worse. There were many trees that were only half burned...the leaves went from black to brown to a small hint of green.

Cedar City is most known for the Shakespearian festival that it has every year....and of course this has made the ENTIRE city a walking Shakespeare theme park. I find it really annoying. The hotel restaurant is called "the Bard's Food and Drink Establishment" and every menu item has some cutsy reference to a Shakespeare character. No matter how good an alcoholic beverage might have sounded, I just couldn't bring myself to order "grog". My waiter was obnoxiously attentive to me....he asked me four times how my dinner salad was. While an attentive waiter can be nice, it was obvious that he was not interested in my salad but "ye old Debbie's breast'es" that were, unfortunately for him, NOT on the menu. It wasn't like I was parading them or anything....but I do think that he deliberately stuffed me into that booth to make them pop out a bit more and make the sight more to his advantage.

Although some things in this trashy theme world make it all worthwhile...I noticed as I was passing their conference rooms that their Canterbury room was spelled "Canterberry"....god love those that try to sound well-read.

Well off to practice! More tomorrow.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Top Ten List of Things that Happened Since my Last Post

1. While not in chronological order, this one is the most pressing as my feet are all wet. Even though it may sound like fun to fill up a balloon punching ball with a gallon of water....it isn't. Especially when it decides to burst all over you in the living room. My brother is now learning this lesson as he is cleaning up the "flood".
2. Mr.3 seems to be dealing well with the loss of his family members. And I am learning a new type of patience with his mother. While I spent a small fortune on flowers and sent money to help pay for the funeral, I do feel that I have managed to show my extended family that I am good in a crisis.
3. Nothing quite prepares you for the shock when you open the door and find out that the same putz who moved the piano so badly is also the same person paid to do your parents move. On Monday they were supposed to arrive at noon to start packing. They arrived at 1:30. Worked for 45 minutes then a 15 minutes smoke break, worked for another 45 minutes and then had a half hour pizza break, and then left for the day at 5pm.
4. If I could have adopted CJ, the driver from the National moving company, I would have.
5. On the second time of filling up the punching balloon my brother did manage to roll it down the front steps, several times, before it finally burst. In fact the first time he rolled it, it made it too the main sidewalk and then continued to roll down the hill. It was too houses down before it got stuck in the grass.
6. Never ever ever trust Campbell movers in Price Utah. The one day of packing became two and then three days. I watched them steal boxes and attempt to con the driver out of money for work they did not do. I watched them bring my mom to the point of raging tears, and I believe that the moving guy who took the brunt of it deserved everything that he got.
7. When people say that they don't have their limits, like I did, they are wrong. After helping the mover guy load until 3 in the morning, after cleaning the house for my parents, after running myself ragged for months....there is a limit and I hit it. The results weren't pretty.
8. I had to cancel a job interview because of the moving, and after the moving I decided that I wasn't going to look for a second job for a couple more months....well after consulting my bank account and the "help" I gave my in-laws I might be able to make one more month without a second job. So I guess that I start to go looking again.
9. It had now been six friggin months since I last saw my husband.
10. I had a run with the bug that was interesting....she was very rude and tried to shut my bosses' door in my face....the details are not important. What IS important was that I told her to her face that she was very rude and that she should not do that ever again. I think that everyone who witnessed it were probably more shocked than her to see it. In any case, she doesn't really want to deal with me....which is fine because I was spared today when she made the office sing her Happy Birthday.