Monthly Archives: July, 2004

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I’m kind of depressed right now. Yesterday’s post apparently didn’t get published. The gist of it:

Now, you also know that it is one of my greatest ambitions to appear on Jeopardy!. I’d love to win, but it could also be like It’s Ac. I was on tv, and that was cool, even if it was a little-watched show and we lost. Twice. So, keeping that in mind, know that I am not jealous when I say that I’m tired of Ken. I want him to go home. I want the next article to be “Giant-Killer Dethrones Jeopardy! Millionaire” or something like that. He’s got enough money for a long time. Yeah, he’s good, but I just could use some new faces. A close game, where the leader isn’t winning by tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, the most interesting episode I’ve seen this past month was where Ken turned to his formidable opponent and said, “Good game.” If Ken hadn’t been there, that guy would have totally won. Ken, you’re great, but go home.

That said, I will be watching tonight to see what happens. You should, too. Channel 7 at 7:30 here, just before prime-time on ABC wherever you happen to be.

Ken won again on Jeopardy!. He stumbled, though. If he hadn’t gotten the last question of the Double Jeopardy round right, he might have had to actually take a risk. See, usually, his total is several thousand dollars above twice any of his opponents’ totals. If he hadn’t just made it, the woman from last night might have risked everything, gotten the Final Jeopardy question correct, and beaten him. That would have been cool.

Also, Greg is angry with me. I don’t want to talk about it.

And college worries me. Not that I’ve ever really felt good about it, but still. It’s so new. I was reading some things Rajni wrote about her schedule planning for the fall, and I realized that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not used to having so many options. So many choices to make. So many chances to royally screw things up for myself. Making excellent grades my whole life has made me complacent. I’m too used to doing well. Now, there are so many factors waiting to attack. Picking the wrong time for a class, or the wrong professor, not understanding the material, not being able to handle the work…. I can’t just hope things will work out. Most of the time, they do. But I hate hoping for things. It’s just that much harder when I don’t get what I wished for.

This is eerily reminiscent of the Year from Hell. It’s not fair. My life will presumably become more difficult as it goes on, but I’m supposed to be able to handle it, right? I don’t know if I can.

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I like comments. You lovely readers respond more using them than you ever did in the guestbook. I do miss my rubber duckie, though. Anyway, replies. Rajni, I don’t know why you couldn’t see the butterflies. I checked them after I read your comment yesterday, and everything looks okay to me. Thanks for the Geocities hint, though. Yay for insider tricks. Megan, we should definitely meet up before school. I move in on August 26th, so let me know if you’ll be back up here before then. Mandy, I loved the Spice Girls, too. And while I’m on the subject, I also loved Aqua, All Saints, Westlife, and a little Steps and 5ive. Watching UK cable channels will do that to you.

Cookies are a scary concept. I use SiteMeter on my pages, so if I log in there, I can set it to ignore visits from my IP address (which is dynamic, and therefore needs resetting every time I reconnect) so that I don’t throw the counters off. Anyway, in a moment of … not quite ignorance, but close, I told it to “remember” my login info. I never do that. If someone else uses my computer, I don’t want them to be able to log in using my info, no matter how much I trust them or how trivial the tool is. My blog, my SiteMeter, my email — it doesn’t matter. So, I looked in the Cookies folder to find that particular cookie, and I was shocked at how many cookies there were. Five hundred! I couldn’t find one that said SiteMeter, so I just deleted them all. Once I logged in, I went back to the Cookies folder, just to see how many I’d picked up. Four. Four cookies, just by pressing one button. That’s kind of scary.

The Terminal was great. Greg was totally prepared to blame me if it turned out to be a bad movie. He actually admitted, out loud, during the course of the film, that it was good. And it was. Tom Hanks is a great actor. I loved Cast Away and Forrest Gump. Hanks’ character’s accent was a bit annoying at first, but it grew more endearing as the movie wore on. Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character was okay, even though Greg hated her closure. I much preferred Zoe Saldana’s Agent Torres. The best, besides Hanks, were the group that play his “friends” at JFK. They were all hilarious. It was a wonderful movie. Don’t let the Oscar-worthiness or the Spielberg-ness scare you away. You’ll be laughing along with the rest of the theater.

Still no AP scores. It is now officially mid-July. The College Board sucks. I’m antsy.

My advisor suggested at orientation that, if I was truly interested in a “limited enrollment program”, I should have my major changed now or within the first ten days of class (the schedule adjustment period). (I’m learning all kinds of new jargon. Limited enrollment, deference, capitalization. I feel so smart.) So, I sent an email a few weeks ago to do that. I got a reply today, and now I am officially an Education major. At least, that’s what the email says. Testudo still says Undecided. Whatever. Now I need to check with the Education advisers about my schedule. It should be fine, but I still want to hear someone with authority say it.

The old computer still sucks. I spent almost an hour tonight trying to make it move my files, and it wouldn’t. That sucks. Especially since I know the CD drives are working now. Acknowledge my blank CD, you stupid computer!

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Weird moment of the day: I got tired of listening to the music I’ve ripped so far, so I got a CD from my room and brought it back here to play. I open the drive only to find that I left my Songs from “Dawson’s Creek”, Vol. 1 CD in there — where it has been for at least a week. And the CD I picked from my odd collection? B*Witched, self-titled. Never heard of them? I don’t blame you. Not many people would admit that, once upon a time, they had zero musical taste. Irish girl-pop isn’t a phase I like to admit to, but there you go. Even more embarrassing? I have their sophomore album, too.

Now that my musical reputation has been summarily ruined, I shall continue. The family went to Six Flags today. Like I wrote in my email to Andra, I don’t mind being left behind. I would much rather spend a weekend day at the museums and monuments in DC. I’d have to take a camera, though. I’d be a proper local tourist that way. (Yay for new oxymorons.) I had fun when Greg and I were out there earlier this year. It is high tourist season, and very hot, but I can deal. I need to get out of the house, anyway. And museums are free.

Later
I thought my post was suspiciously short. Just after I posted it, Papa called. He and Bridgette are moving to Biloxi, Mississippi. You think one of the parental units would have told me about that. They are physically closest to my house, you know. If I needed someone here right away, that’s who I’d call. Though, when I had my accident, I called my grandma. It’s a reflex, I guess, and a good once, since they’re leaving. He called to invite me to come visit sometime. I haven’t been down there since I was about four, since we’ve always been out of the country for family reunions. I might do it, but it’s not likely. He is planning to build a neat-sounding screened-in pool, though. I don’t know. I don’t have to know yet.

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Tonight, Greg and I are going to IHOP and to see The Terminal. My dad recommended it, and they were joking about it on Best Week Ever, so I have faith that it’ll be good. The panelists were like, “Tom, you don’t have to go for the Oscar every time. And enough with the weird accents in all your movies.” Greg wanted to see King Arthur, but I fear that The Terminal will stop playing at convenient times before I get to see it. We can see King Arthur next week. It’ll be around.

Yesterday, I went online to change my schedule. Testudo warned me to make sure that I had permission, so I went to that screen, and it said I had 12 credits total. I thought, “That can’t be right.” I knew I’d had three for the AP English Language exam, but I had no idea where the rest came from. So I checked my unofficial transcript, and I think I saw my AP scores from this year. They were … well, I don’t want to jinx it. I just hope I get the official letter soon; I’m too cheap to call and pay for them. I just hope they’re the same ones that I saw. If anyone else going to Maryland has called for theirs, will you check your transcript and let me know if they’re the same? Last year, I didn’t get my letter until August, I think. They’re supposed to be sent mid-July, but my stuff runs notoriously late. The wait is killing me.

I was so tired at work today, Mrs. Maus let me go early. She was tired of cleaning, too. I was overdressed for working in the upper, no-AC part of her house, walking up and down the stairs carrying boxes. I mean, that’s what I usually do, but I guess it hasn’t been this hot before. Or I was dressed more sensibly for summer. Something like that. Anyway, after we ran a few errands to the hardware store and their rental house (which looks light-years better now that they’ve cleaned it), she gave me a ride home.

I got a new phone today. My dad’s was broken. For some reason, our family plan means that since he got a new phone, everyone had to get a new one. I was fine with my old one, but hey, new stuff. I got a Nokia 6800. It’s built for text messaging, which is more suited to my habits than my old phone. My old Nokia 3595 was a game phone. Sure, the games were really cute, but the buttons annoyed me. It is so frustrating to push a button and get no response. I’ve been playing with my new one for a while, and I like it. The flip-out keyboard is the neatest part.

I started filling in my memory book last night. It was a present from my Uncle Hiram and Aunt Kellie for Christmas a few years ago. Kellie apologized after I opened it: “I’m sorry, I thought you were a senior.” I was a sophomore. So, now that I’m neither, being a high school graduate (yay!), I decided to finally fill it in. It’s still picture-less, though. I’ve never been a big picture person. All the prompts are great, though.

I live my life in words. Not pictures. I guess that’s just how I am.

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Everyone seems to be enjoying this summer. That’s cool.

I had two horrible days in a row Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, the fireworks didn’t interest me at all, my hair sucked from blow-drying and late evening humidity, my family went out to dinner after the movie — without even mentioning it to me, I had some totally unappealing Cheerios, and then I went to bed late. It sucked.

I had to work on Monday. My entire family was still asleep when I got up for work, which was depressing. I had to get up earlier than usual because she’d asked me to be there early. Then, just before I left, she called and said she was running late. So I sat around, killing time which I so would have used for sleep, until she got home. She’d just received the keys from the outgoing tenants of her rental house, so she wanted to go in and check it out, and have her husband change the locks. I spent a few hours cleaning. The house was terrible. The people had left random dishes, bottled water in the fridge, a towel over the shower rod, and assorted furniture. I’m almost certain that stuff (not even the furniture) didn’t come with the house, so why would the former tenants leave it in there when they returned the keys? We’ve only ever moved out of military housing, as long as I can remember. When you move out, you clean the house thoroughly and take everything with you. You won’t pass the housing inspection if you don’t. I hold other people to my standards. I try not to be judgmental, but I wanted to agree when Janet called the former tenants “slobs”.

So, I cleaned, quite depressed about the previous day. Out of nowhere, Janet just left. Her husband was outside changing the locks. She gave me a few more jobs to do, then left. I sliced my thumb while I was cleaning the crumb catcher from the left-behind toaster. It must have slid against the mechanical parts in the top slots. Luckily, the toilet paper they’d left helped me apply pressure to stop the bleeding. I wasn’t done, so I thought, “Okay, I’ll spray with that hand and scrub with the other.” No good. I wound up dripping citrus-scented 409 into the open cut. It stung like hell. I seriously wanted to cry. I managed to keep going, though I’m almost certain I forgot to wipe off the oven cleaner. I was trying with little luck to wipe off the top of the refrigerator when Brian (Janet’s husband) showed up. When Janet left, I’d assumed she wanted me to go back to the house when I’d finished. Brian thought otherwise. I finished up, and because there was no room whatsoever in the truck, he gave me a ride back to their house on his tailgate. That part wasn’t too bad, just more dangerous than I’d usually risk. When we got back to the house, she was gone. I picked up my bags and got another tailgate ride home, where I crashed, completely bummed.

I felt better later, though. Greg offered me a ride to St. Charles mall with him and David. Mindy’s still with Granddaddy, and I thought it might cheer me up to shop, so I went. We ate, then the boys did their shopping first. I felt so out of place in GameStop and FuncoLand. I finally got into Old Navy, to check out the latest stuff and return a top I bought a few weeks ago. They got bored following me around (!!!), so I kept telling them to back off. They ditched me for the massage chairs outside. Honestly. That hurt. I do my best to seem interested in not one, but two video game stores, and they can’t hold on while I look for clothes? They showed up after I’d gone to the dressing room, so we had a very public conversation for a while. Greg got angry again and stormed out. We found him in Reeds Jewelers, looking at engagement rings. We made up. And he took me to Wal-Mart. I got Never Been Kissed because it was cheap ($9.44), Greg hasn’t seen it (!), and I had a giftcard (yay!). Overall, getting out did me good. I got Arby’s (I love their chicken, bacon, and swiss sandwich, with no honey mustard, because eww), and I didn’t have time to wallow in my bad days. I felt much better.

Yesterday, work was fine. Janet’s got me reading this lesson she has to learn on annuities. Some complex financial thing. It’s boring, but I can handle it. I came across some of her daughter’s old Oxon Hill yearbooks while cleaning yet another closet. I think she (Janet’s daughter) may have known my Uncle John. He graduated in 1992, along with my World History teacher, Mr. Capati. She was a freshman that year. It’s that whole “six degrees of separation” concept. It was the same thing today, going through the things from the closet and reading about annuities while she watched her stocks.

I have nothing constructive left to say. That’s unusual. Hmm.

The Day I Discovered the Draco Trilogy

Happy Independence Day to all. Unfortunately for people with big barbecues planned, it’s been raining circus animals here all day. I glanced out the kitchen window and saw the various levels of our uneven backyard being slowly flooded. It hasn’t rained in a while. The plants are probably happier now. We usually go out to Bolling to watch the fireworks on the Mall. You can see them right next to the Washington Monument, but on the other side of the Potomac, on the base. That, of course, is out of the question now. Three years ago, it rained, but only after we were out there. That was a wet night. Instead of leaving, everyone crowded under the pavilions to wait it out. Then we watched the fireworks display. It was beautiful, like always.

Due to the rain, the rest of my family went out to see Spider-Man 2. That was a while ago, though. They bought their tickets online (always the best option, if you have or can borrow the plastic to do it), so I know they got in. And it was a long movie. I hope nothing happened to them. I’m probably just being paranoid.

Sitting here at the computer reminds me of a Independence Day two years ago. Hermit that I am, I shunned the family fireworks outing in favor of staying home. Or maybe they left me, thinking I didn’t want to go. I don’t remember. Anyway, I had just discovered the Harry Potter fandom, and had been searching for good fics on FictionAlley. That day, I discovered the incredible Draco Trilogy. It starts out with a hokey premise, but the writing is so awesome. I spent the entire day reading Draco Dormiens. The next day, I started in on Draco Sinister, but I took it a bit more slowly. Now, I’m eagerly waiting for more of Draco Veritas, the nearly-completed end of the trilogy. A sample, from my FA signature:

“I’ve been called a lot of things in my life,” said Draco, looking at the plate. “But never a vicious, cold-blooded piece of toast.” —Draco Sinister

If you’re up for the commitment (it has super-long chapters), you must read it. You’ll never look at a bake sale the same way again.

I haven’t sat at the computer all day today, though. While I ate lunch, and for a while after, I watched the Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet. I’d never seen the film before, only stills, so when I randomly found it via the Comcast Channel Guide thing, I decided to watch it all. It was great. It’s from 1968, but luckily, that play doesn’t need special effects. I liked the leads. Romeo wasn’t too cute, but Juliet was pretty. Really clear skin. The fight scenes were good, too. Nowadays, they usually look really choreographed — which they are, but it needn’t be so obvious. It was standard movie length, just over two hours (not like that four-hour version of Hamlet). It was definitely worth watching.

I’ve been writing this entry for a while, and my family is still AWOL. I hope they don’t go out to eat without me. They went to IHOP Friday night (boo!), but they’d usually call and ask if I want something. On this occasion, I think a burger is required. Either way, I’m going to go up for a snack, then come back down and read or something. Yay for lazy days.

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I don’t like the Blogger comment style. It makes everyone who isn’t a Blogger user into “Anonymous”, and you have to visit a totally separate page to comment. I’m trying HaloScan now. I may just go back to my trusty guestbook.

Spider-Man 2 was awesome. It was just… great! I think it was actually better than the first. People said that about Shrek 2, but I prefer the first to the sequel. Anyway, it was such a good movie. It was funnier, the action was incredible, and the dialogue was so perfect. It’s hard to do an adequate review without spoilers. Personally, I find Willem Dafoe (as the Green Goblin) to be a much scarier-looking actor than Alfred Molina (Doctor Octopus). I mentioned that as we were leaving the theater, and Ian said it might have to do with Dafoe’s facial expressions. That might be it.

Watching the movie wasn’t as awesome as the movie itself. We got there late (around 7:20). Greg was driving his family’s enormous truck, which is hell to park, even on a normal day. I knew we’d have trouble, especially since the parking lot’s always packed on weekends, and we did. David got out and directed, so Greg finally managed to get into the space. It was beautiful. I got stuck finding seats — all the way in the back, on the end. That’s part of the reason I wanted to get there early. It’s nearly impossible to find four seats together in a crowded theater, but I convinced the Spanglish-speaking guys to scoot down to give us room. (I mean that in a nice way. I know I heard them run Spanish and English together in the same sentence. Something like Ricky from I Love Lucy.) Then, Ian and David kept chattering. Ian’s voice is too low to whisper. The best he can do is talk quietly, which is totally ineffective in a hushed movie theater. Everyone else was too busy watching to talk. They turned me into the “shh!” girl. I hate being her. I mean, I can deal with Greg’s friends. But I’d rather go somewhere where they can talk and be loud, which is inevitable, as they are boys. Bowling, dinner, shopping, someplace where it’s not courtesy to be quiet.

I usually end my entries with something clever, poignant, or thoughtful. But now, I’ve got nothing. Think of something and pretend I said it.

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