Monthly Archives: July, 2003

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::checks guestbook:: Aww. Major bonus points to Homie K for making me feel better. :o)

Mrs. Maus’s son-in-law came back this afternoon from Afghanistan. I think he’s in the Army, and he’s been gone since right after Thanksgiving, so she was ecstatic. She called about six people, shouting, “The eagle has landed at Fort Bragg!” I overheard her call to her son, and when she said that, he replied, “What the hell does that mean?” I laughed. Mrs. Maus gets overexcited about things sometimes. When it’s my not-so-perfect playing, that’s okay.

Mom made an impromptu trip to Waldorf this evening. She and my dad got new Motorola flip phones. She was sent a text message from Cingular while I was looking for new flip-flops in Kohl’s, and she freaked out trying to figure out what was ringing. Then she couldn’t open up the phone. I called her old. But she did buy me those shoes. I needed some new ones. The brown sandals give me blisters, and my black ones are so old the cushion is completely worn out. I can feel the bumps in the asphalt when I walk. I also got a chance to exchange a shirt at Old Navy that I decided I didn’t like back in May. I just kept forgetting to take it with me; almost forgot this time. As luck would have it, they’re having a sale. I got three shirts, the counterparts of which I paid full price for last week. Sigh. But who can resist getting a nice shirt in a different color for $3.99?

I went in Borders after we left the mall to pick up Pride and Prejudice, true to my word. I’ve been taking notes so far, so I’ll keep doing that. I just can’t write in a book, you know? I did that with The House of the Seven Gables, and it just wound up looking ugly. Especially because my highlighter died halfway through, so I had to switch colors. The book is unappealing enough without looking like Halloween. I meant to get a Minibon while I was out there, but I forgot and had to settle for a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart. It’s just not the same. Next time, I’m getting a full-blown Cinnabon. I don’t care if you can see the calories, I haven’t had one in a long time and I have a hankering.

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Mrs. Maus asked me to play for one of her adult students today. I did. I love that she likes my playing so much, but I can’t help but feel that I’m showing off when I just play for random people. It’s supposed to help me combat my nervous shakes, I know. I guess it has, even though my fingers slip when I play for strangers. I still can’t ever concentrate on the music like I should when I know someone is watching. It might help to just play for a listener, without them being able to see me, but you have to watch to get the whole effect.

Which reminds me, I need to file my nails a little. And I will be retaking my senior pictures. Either at school in October, or at the studio whenever it suits my mom to go there.

As I was heading home (a little late; lost track of the time), she mentioned to her son about my car, and he said he’s wanted a Jetta for a long time. He wants the older, square kind, though. I prefer rounded cars, really. That’s my only criteria. Something round and cute. Preferably silver. No SUVs. I would look out of place in an SUV.

I wanted to maim the rugrats again this afternoon. They are old enough to clean up after themselves. I shouldn’t be able to walk around the house and know exactly where they’ve been, what they ate, and what they played with. It’s ridiculous. A light bulb exploded in their bathroom this morning for as yet undetermined reasons. I had to go fish the glass out of the sink. Then I had to fight not to attack them. I shouldn’t be so annoyed by them. Believe me, when they’re not around, I almost like them. They were lounging in the computer room this afternoon, making a mess, and preventing me from getting online. I think the wall between the computer room and my room is thin; I can always hear through it very clearly. Bits of their conversation wafting through while I was trying to read did not help matters.

I wish I had bought Pride and Prejudice. It would have been so easy to toss it in when I ordered those books from Amazon (which I haven’t actually read yet). I’ve decided that, if circumstances take me back to Borders before I finish reading the copy I got from the library, I’ll buy it and pick up where I left off. I really like this book. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have read it if it wasn’t an assignment, but either way I’m glad to be reading it. We got good books this year. It deserves to be a classic. The language requires some extra concentration to understand, but it’s worth the wading.

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I have Jessica Simpson’s “The Sweetest Sin” stuck in my head. I don’t even like that song. The lyrics are stupid, and the video is just wrong. Jessica? Lying in bed with your husband in your video is no better than lying there with some random model. She’s an okay singer, I guess. It is infinitely annoying, though, to have a song stuck in your head that you do not know the words to. That means I hear the chorus and random lines over and over and over. Save me.

I take back my edit from last night. I am getting addicted to fanlistings. i just can’t help it. Once I started on a joining blitz, I can’t stop. But I will try.

Finally. Everyone else got their AP scores, but my mail runs late in the day and lags behind everyone by a day or two. But I have it now, unopened. After hearing what other people got, I’m afraid to open it. But I will. ::opens:: Whew. I got a 3. I am much relieved.

Oh, and I have my senior portrait proofs. They misspelled the city again. Stupid school records. I had them corrected! ::reads papers in envelope:: Oh, Lord. They have a chart for writing down what sizes of pictures you might want to order for different categories of people: everything from grandparents to cousins to boyfriend/girlfriend, “best friends”, and “friends”. Yeah, you wanna let us decide on our own? Thanks. ::wades through excess forms:: ::looks at proofs:: I don’t like them. I never like myself in pictures… but the final decision, as always, is up to my mom.

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Ugh. I am unusually tired, considering what I did today. When I got up, the whole house was empty. The van’s battery died yesterday, leaving my mom pretty much stranded, but my dad picked her up and they left the van in a parking lot somewhere. It wasn’t far away, though. They went this morning to a mechanic. Or something like that. All I know is that I slept longer than usual because the house was so quiet.

My shower is still clogged up, so I had to use my parents’ once again. It’s so awkward. Even though their bathroom is cleaner than mine, I still feel weird. And their shower is different. It’s more like a square; mine is a rectangle. Anyway, they got more drain-cleaning stuff and a snake to help unclog it. I don’t know yet if it worked, but I hope so.

We went down to my grandma’s house today. Three of Labrons’s kids were there. Labrons is my only cousin on my mom’s side. He doesn’t seem to understand that his goal in life shouldn’t be to have five kids before he’s thirty (by at least two different mothers). The kids are cute, though. My grandma made food, and my mom forced me to play Bocce outside, and we checked out my grandma’s old Jetta, which she is giving to me. If only I could drive it. It’s a nice car, even if it is a bit on the old side. And there’s something weird about the door locks. But it is so mine.

We went to the pool when we first got there. I didn’t swim. I sat under the umbrella with my parents, reading Pride and Prejudice and listening to Michelle Branch. Paul B. showed up; he lives around the corner from my grandma. It was hot, but not unbearable. My parents finally questioned how I got all these mosquito bites (which are almost healed by now, thank God; the itching made me crazy). I left out the important part of the truth, but they didn’t seem to notice. Whew. Now, as long as I remember not to do that again, I’ll be good.

Edit: Last night and just now, I joined fanlistings for chips, chocolate chip cookies, sprite, My Wife and Kids, American Dreams, and 7th Heaven, and the new JK Rowling fanlisting. Obsessed? Maybe. Organized? Oh yeah.

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Saw How to Deal with Greg last night. We ran into Thomas and Alanna while we were there; I didn’t know she was a Mandy fan. Anyway, the movie was great. It had very little in common with A Walk to Remember, except the female lead actress. I saw a clip from the premiere party on TRL yesterday (Mandy’s hair is longer now), but otherwise I hadn’t heard much about it. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I will say that Mandy Moore is a better actress than I originally thought. Halley and Jamie are total opposites; that she can play both so well shows her talent.

Spoilers. Mandy’s hair at the beginning of the movie: What was up with that? No self-respecting teenage girl would let her hair get that tangled and uneven. I knew she’d cut it during the course of the movie, but still. Sandra Bullock was still pretty as “ugly” Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. Michael’s death: That was kind of sudden. Shouldn’t a doctor have noticed he had a heart condition before he was allowed to play soccer? Scarlett’s baby: Everyone is still in their wedding attire, so you know the scene is supposed to be shortly after she gives birth. But that is not a newborn that Scarlett holds up. That baby was too big, and its eyes were already open. It was cute, but you think film sense would dictate that they find a younger baby. Lewis: Dear Lord. Would any modern parent raise their son to be such a wuss? I mean, yeah, he was really sweet, but the hair? And his whole temperament — he was just not guyish enough. The realism factor: Bad things happen. But maybe not so many. If those events were spread out between the two books, I can understand. I know Halley’s life isn’t supposed to be wonderful, but did it have to be that bad? The schedule mix-up scene: That guidance counselor was funny. She acted like Halley was just whining. Macon: The tamer version of a bad boy. We never saw him drink, smoke, or really do anything wrong. We only heard about that pre-movie-time fire he set. Maybe it’s just his aura; you feel like he’s doing something wrong. Lydia (Halley’s mom): Perfect. Same for Halley’s weed-addicted Grandma. The music: Great. End Spoilers.

I wonder if this movie will turn out to be a triple threat (to me, anyway), like AWTR. I got the book from Amazon, but I haven’t read it yet. And I haven’t heard enough about the soundtrack, but I already plan to get that when it comes out on DVD. The press gives such crap to teen movies, but not all of them are stupid. I liked this one.

My shower drain is clogged again. It is no fun taking a shower in three inches of water, let me tell you. My dad got some Liquid-Plumr after trying to use the plunger on the drain. Which means I had to use my parents’ shower to wash my hair this morning. That was no fun. Now my whole bathroom smells like a toilet, and my hair looks bad because it’s always bad right after being washed.

Pride and Prejudice is a good book. Like The House of the Seven Gables, the writing style makes it harder to understand, but I sort of translate it as I go along. I had to do that for Their Eyes Were Watching God sophomore year. No author should be allowed to write an entire novel in slang. I understand that it’s supposed to evoke a sense of realism, but it’s such a pain to read. At least write the narration normally.

Since I forgot the Friday Five yesterday, I’ll do them today.
1. When was the last time you cheated?
On a person? Never. Otherwise… I don’t usually need or want to cheat. That makes me bad cheater. The last time I can remember is at the RP Symposium. We had to interview the seniors about their projects, and I didn’t feel like doing it, so I borrowed someone’s paper to write down their interview stuff. It was hot and we were being rushed back to class, and I didn’t want to lose points (not that I really needed them). But right then, Mr. Creveling walked by and saw me. Not fun. I don’t count asking people how they did something for homework as cheating. I never just ask for the answer.

2. When was the last time you stole?
I ate someone’s French fries from the refrigerator just a few hours ago. They were probably my parents’. They’re on the Atkins diet (but they cheat), so they wouldn’t have eaten them if they came with a meal. I don’t usually like cold fries, but I was really hungry and they were good. Does taking Aleve from my parents’ medicine cabinet without mentioning it to them count?

3. When was the last time you lied?
I don’t really lie. I dance around the truth. After my piano lesson on Thursday, Mrs. Maus was showing me something on her computer, but I really wanted to get out of there. I told her I had to get home because my parents might be cooking and I was hungry. I was actually hungry, but I knew my parents wouldn’t be cooking right after they got back from vacation.

4. When was the last time you broke or vandalized another’s property?
Apparently so long ago that I can’t remember.

5. When was the last time you hurt a loved one?
Last week. Not giving details here, but I felt terrible about it. The person reads this blog. You know who you are, and I’d be beating a dead horse if I told you again how sorry I am.

Afraid of the Dark

The family is out again. An Orioles game this time. Right after they left, I heard these creaking noises upstairs from someone walking around. But I didn’t panic. My mom and Courtney came back to get jackets and umbrellas because it started pouring just as they turned the corner.

When the power went out earlier this week (I am so hoping it doesn’t go out again today), I was scared. It was totally dark, and I was all alone. A stalker could have figured that out; the van in the driveway was there all the time, and only I ever went in and out of the house. My rational side reassured me that nothing was going to happen, but this little tiny part of me was freaking out. It’s something about being in the dark.

Do you remember that old Nickelodeon show, Are You Afraid of the Dark? I loved that show. The idea was that nothing is there in the dark that isn’t there in the light, too. If memory serves me, very few of the stories ever involved something happening in the dark. To my eight- and nine-year-old self, the stories were just scary enough without being too scary. Only one episode gave me nightmares. It was about this guy who drew a comic book about an insane joker, and the character came to life and starting chasing him. Or something like that. This geeky girl helped him; I don’t know why. They got sucked into the comic-book world for a while, and then some other stuff happened, and they finally got rid of the joker by erasing him. The girl used one of those giant “for BIG mistakes” erasers. I don’t know what it was about that episode that scared me so much, but I remember waking up, sweating, in the middle of the night after seeing that joker in my dreams.

I used to be afraid of the dark. Really afraid. And then I outgrew it. Then, when we moved to Japan, my mom got me hooked on my night-light again (she thought my room was too dark and I’d fall trying to climb off the top bunk). I eventually weaned myself from it. But that night I lost power, I was afraid of the dark once again. I had two flashlights. When I finally had to climb into bed, I considered leaving one flashlight on, but I turned it off in the end. I didn’t sleep well that night.

I saved part of the IM convo I had last night (er, this morning) with Rajni, who showed me how to remove the SMG ad (not without a trouble or two!) Of course, the computer started acting up and had to be put down, so I lost it. (Stupid fussy Internet-connected box.) We were talking about fanfiction; I was reading Harry Potter, she *NSync. I mentioned that I never real real-person based fics. I read one once, and it was really stupid, something about celebrities on The Real World. My philosophy is that if you ever actually met the person from an RPB fic, you’d expect them to be like their fic alter-ego, and for them to do something you read in a fic. That would just be disappointing. I’m sure there’s fabulous RPB fics out there (the equivalent of my beloved Draco Trilogy). I just guess it’s not my thing. And there’d be odd RPB-slash, too, which is just too much to handle. As my mom always says, to each his (or her) own.

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I had another of those mornings where I had to force myself out of bed. Never fun. I have this horrible groggy feeling until I get in the shower. The steam wakes me up, I think. And there was a spider on my bathroom rug, so I had to squish it (with those stupid blister-causing brown shoes) before I could get on with things.

Despite the bad start, my day was actually pretty good. Work was fine. More store-building and newspapers. She’ll be out tomorrow, so I have the day off. Whoo-hoo, guess who’s sleeping in? She told me today that she likes having me around. You know, just so she’s not alone in the house, and I sort the newspapers and play piano and help her with online stuff. I felt very… complimented.

I noticed half a dozen pairs of shoes drying on the porch when I came home. That clued me in that my family had come back from their vacation. I walked in the door and saw Ryan downstairs at the table. He immediately said, “Hey, Lindsay! We got hermit crabs!” Not even, “We’re back!” His hermit crab is bigger than Courtney’s. That puts them at 1.5 pets each. Everyone seems much tanner and happy now. They got one of those old-West style portraits done at Busch Gardens. It’s neat, but it seems so weird because they’re all in it. It’s like a family portrait. Without me.

My parents haven’t questioned my icky bug bites. And they gave me permission to go see How to Deal with Greg tomorrow night. He’s going on vacation next week, and I’ll be off at my leadership workshop the first week in August, so we probably won’t get to see each other until I get back. But he promised to take me to that movie. I love Mandy Moore. She sings, she acts, she’s nice; Britney who?

I went back for my piano lesson at 6:30. It was the first time Mr. Maus was around in a long time. I’ve been playing on her every day I go there, only for about ten minutes. That short amount of time is actually making me better. My touch has always been off because I only have a keyboard to practice on, but my teachers have always told me I adjust well to playing on a real piano. I know my songs by now; it’s mostly just polishing and memorizing them that keeps me practicing. So I played for the Mauses tonight, and received many compliments. I could feel that I was playing better than I usually do. I had more dynamic control, my fingers slipped less, my pedaling was timed right. I mean, I’ve been playing for six and a half years. That’s a lot of time to build skills. But they never really show like they did tonight. Oh, and I got paid (for working, not for playing).

I walked to the end of the driveway with Mrs. Maus (she had to get the mail). She commented, “Gosh, it’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?” It is. (Or… was.) And then, quite randomly, I started half-singing, half-humming “Bella Notte” from The Lady and the Tramp. I have no idea where that came from. I think I made up the tune as I went along. But it fit, so I guess it wasn’t as random as it could have been. Random is the song that popped into my head while I was clipping newspapers the other day, the one about soup from Alice in Wonderland (the modern version with Whoopi Goldberg and Christopher Lloyd.) Random is also the present they brought back from VA for me: one of those necklaces with your name written on a grain of sand. It’s actually kind of cool. The necklace itself is the adjustable kind, so I may not wear it often (adjusting is so tedious), but it’s pretty. And thoughtful.

Many thanks to any and all of you who sent in votes for the short story contest. I really appreciate it. It makes me feel good to know that people enjoy my writing. Also, I have updated the guestbook to match the blog (again). (Anyone know how to get the annoying SMG ad off my guestbook, or how to put it in a less awkward place?)

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