Well, I'm just about done packing, and now I'm going to settle in for a relaxed evening of "Amelie" and Powerpuff Girls episodes. The next update will be from the Pacific Time Zone. Huzzah!
posted at 6:07 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Things I Should Not Be Doing
1). Taking Sara to a bar. But that's what I am doing, because it's her 21st birthday, and people need to do that for eachother. I just hope she doesn't get as wasted as I did when my friends took ME out. "Here! Have another shot! It's your birthday!"
... Just finished watching "Pootie Tang" with my brother. That movie is so hysterical. Still. Thanks, Hemlock, for making me watch it instead of writing a paper. Ah, college.
Anyway, I'm off now, then I'll come home at 1 AM, pack some more, sleep, wake up, pack some more, freak out about packing, see my grandparents, freak out about packing, pack, sleep, wake up, drive to the airport, spend twelve hours travelling, and then be at my new home in the Pacific Time Zone.
posted at 8:12 PM
Sunday, August 25, 2002
Just In Case ...
Just in case anyone was wondering (not that I can tell, because my stupid comments server is perpetually down or busy), it looks like I've gotten almost everything straightened out with the BU money issue. After several angry phone calls, I was able to re-secure the money I was promised, and now it looks like all is well in that department.
In the faulty-laptop department, I've decided that if I don't get an acceptable response by tomorrow morning, I'm going to finally utilize the evil of Sovereign Bank and have them place a stop payment on the charge until this issue is resolved. As some may remember, I spent over a year wrestling with Sovereign Bank to try to get a $75 fee reversed. Those of you who lived with me may remember the constant swearing eminating from my room during this period. Now it's your turn, RecoupIT.com. Suck it.
posted at 8:47 AM
Friday, August 23, 2002
Things Are Never Easy Part Two
I just got a call from the BU Financial Aid department. Looks like they found the cheque and cashed it, but now they're telling me that there was an error and I'm ineligable for around $2000 of the money I was sent. What this means, basically, is that I do not have the money for living expenses BU promised me I would have in May and all throughout the summer.
I'm now waiting for a call from the head of the Office, because this is fucking bullshit.
posted at 11:02 AM
Things Are Never Easy
My laptop arrived today. The battery doesn't work. They told me to mail it back to them and they would send me a new one.
BU lost my loan cheque for $21,000. They told me they could request a new one, and I could just sign the cheque when I got back in the Fall.
The problem with both of these situations: I'm leaving for California in six days. And now I won't be able to fool around on my laptop when I'm sitting in the Cleveland airport for two hours.
posted at 10:50 AM
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Why I Can Never Work In An Office, Ever
I am sitting in a cubicle in a large office building. I am wearing a headset telephone, dialing random phone numbers and punching keys on my computer. I am also hand-writing the words you are reading now, for future update on my blog. I find this delightfully subversive.
I don't know why I didn't do this earlier. Probably because a few months ago, I would be screwed if I were fired, whereas now, with only two days left to go, I don't really give a flying feces. In a week and a day, I'll be in Los Angeles. Whether or not I'll be screwed is still up in the air.
Quinne was unable to get her father to let me borrow her laptop, so I was freaking out -- as I am wont to do -- until my Grandma (a.k.a. The Dickensian Benefactor) offered a small sum of money. A used, bare-bones Dell laptop is on its way to me now, Hallelujah. Still bothering me, however, is the fact that BU still has not received the money from my loan, which, left unchecked, could prevent me from having money for food and transportation in L.A., as well as possibly preventing me from going to L.A. at all. I'll have to look into that.
I've been using these past few weeks to try to get into personal contact with as many Bostonian friends as possible. Quinne came to visit for a few days and experienced sitting in my family's hot tub while drinking cocktails. Quoth Quinne, "I feel like I'm in a rap video!" Last weekend, I skipped work to flee to Boston again, where I got to see a bunch of people I saw on the Fourth of July, as well as a few notable faces I missed last time I was up. I also had a random run-in with one of my old TV writing students, which was very nice in its own right.
I spent most of Sunday wandering around one of my favorite places ever -- the Museum of Fine Arts. Nerdy, I know, but it's a really great place. Laurel and I also got to see the They Might Be Giants documentary "Gigantic," complete with a Q&A afterward with the Johns and a reception following the film, where I drank Perrier and pretended I was rich. You should go see the documentary while it's playing in Boston. It's quite good, and also prominently features the hysterical Sarah Vowell. Does anyone know if she wrote anything I can buy? Because if she did, I will.
Right now, people all around me are making office small talk. Right now, people need to shut the fuck up. Right now, someone is stepping onto a neud beach for the first time. RIGHT NOW! HEY! I'M ON A TANGENT!
So I caved in and bought Hipster Shoes. OK, because I need new shoes and I really liked them, mostly, but partially because new shoes today are awesome. As Joey told Christinia who told me, we are in the midst of a footwear renaissance. While I was in high school, my feet practiced a bipedal monasticism, requiring only the most puritan black canvas tennis shoes. Now that capitalism has started to latch on to the indie rock mentality and thrift store fashion chic, we can buy the same things we'd get at the Salvation Army for twenty times the price! While I'll still pay $2 for a pre-worn thrift store shirt, ain't no way in hell I'm gonna wear someone else's shoes, no matter how cheap they are. So thank you, Corporate America. Sort of.
In another example of the upsetting way the Dominant Culture absorbs and adopts elements of the Counter / Subculture, I saw a commercial for that bette noir of music lovers everywhere -- the "Now That's What I Call Music" series of CDs. While these commercials are normally pretty disturbing, as is anything that features a booty-shaking Shakira -- this one was even more disturbing because it featured the band OKGO.
OKGO is a great power pop band that I've loved ever since I sae them open for They Might Be Giants last year. They rocked. They rocked hard. And they were so underground that all they had to sell were self-pressed EP CDs. Even mentioning them would have given me enormous amounts of the indie cred I crave. But soon, everyone will know them, and screaming, obnoxious girls will show up at concerts to swoon over the nubile lead singer and ruin the concert for me. This is the curse of all who like independent music. But that's enough Marxist theory for today.
I just called someone whose name was Bella Della, Jr. What's upsetting about this is not that someone has a silly rhyming name. It's that someone had to suffer through adolescence with a silly rhyming name, enduring all the trials and tribulations therein, but still found it somehow acceptable to bestow this silly name upon his son. For shame, Bella Della Sr. For shame.
I am genuinely surprised we never hear reports of telemarketers snapping and seizing large office buildings. Given a few more weeks here, I think I could do it. I'd lead a glorious telemarketers' revolution, where our only demand would be to say what we're REALLY thinking when people are bitchy to us on the phone. Just one day of that is all we need. One magical day. Maybe we could make it a secret annual telemarketers' event. It would be so beautiful. So ... fucking ... beautiful.
But alas, we live in the real world, where people would probably sue us. And so, I thusly resign myself to this corporate hell for two more days. Then I will leave, hopefully never to return. Ever.
But before I sign off for the evening, I will leave you with a short scene from tonight's telemarketing hell -- an exchange that made me run into the bathroom to cool out for a bit. Enjoy.
Me: Good evening, Mr. Sullivan. This is Casey calling -- Mr. Sullivan: Who's this? I can't hear you! What I'm Thinking: Don't interrupt me and maybe you WOULD hear me. M: This is Casey calling from Connecticut Life & Casualty, and the reason for my call is -- Sullivan: (exaggerated) Is THIS a COURTESY call? WIT: What the fuck does it sound like, moron? M: I'm calling to offer you a no-obligation quote for auto insurance that could save you -- Sullivan: (indignantly immature) I don't wanna talk about it. WIT: You're not interested in saving 15-20% off your current payments you fucking idiot? M: You're not interested in saving 15-20% off your current payments? Sullivan: I don't wanna talk about it. WIT: I. Am going. To kill you. M: Then don't. (phone-slamming noise)
posted at 9:52 PM
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
One copy of the double disc DVD "Amelie," pre-viewed from Blockbuster: $12.99.
Mysterious Surprise Sale on pre-viewed DVDs: -$3.00.
Blockbuster Gift Card I won for somehow making the 3rd most sales in a week at my shitty telemarketing job: -$5.00
Total cash tendered for a double disc DVD of one of the best movies I've ever seen: $4.99.
Casey's attitude: Elated.
More to come later.
posted at 12:13 PM
Friday, August 09, 2002
A Modern Morality Play
SETTING: Casey is sleeping. He slowly wakes and sits up in bed, stretching. He takes a deep breath and sneezes five times in a row. He looks around the room for anything that will help. He tosses off his covers and stands in the middle of his basement-bedroom. On his dresser, he sees a bottle of Claritin D24.
Claritin: Good morning, Casey. Casey: Quiet, you! I will have none of your evils! Claritin: I don't know what you're talking about, Casey, but it looks to me like you've got a nasty bout of allergies this morning. Hmmm. I wonder what would help that... Casey: Enough chicanery, Claritin! Your side effects are too heavy a cross to bear!
Casey: (pointing at Claritin) Don't you say a word! Claritin: Why, I wasn't going to say anything ... I was just thinking about the 24 hour antihistamine protection I offer, as well as the additional decongestant I have to help alleviate stuffed sinus cavities. Casey: Don't forget about the "drowsiness or restlessness" that makes me too tired to do anything all day, then too awake to sleep at night. Claritin: But Casey, those side effects happened just as frequently as they did in placebo tests. Casey: I ... you ... damn you!
Casey seizes the bottle of Claritin and downs one of the pills.
Casey: Ah! I can breathe easy again! I can ... I'm ... so ... tired ... I --
Casey falls to the floor as the Claritin bottle laughs maniacally. FAUST enters through a window.
Faust: Hi, I'm Faust.
Faust and Claritin look at each other for a moment.
posted at 1:18 PM
Thursday, August 08, 2002
Treatise On Answering Machines
Answering machines can be fun, entertaining and lighthearted. They can reflect the person's personality and provide a brief moment of levity an an otherwise droll day. Or they can be insanely annoying.
The worst of all answering machines -- and I think you know what I'm talking about, here -- are the ones that start off with the person saying "hello?" on their message, as if they were actually there answering the phone. Then they launch into their message spiel after a pause. Do people think they're being cute when they leave these messages, or are they actually just brain-dead insensitives? Regardless of who's calling, telemarketer or normal person, these machines always result in the following:
Caller: (waiting) Answering Machine: Hello? Caller: Hey, John, I -- Answering Machine: We're not home right now -- Caller: Asshole!
Sometimes I wonder if these people even GET messages. Then I wonder if the messages they do get aren't just strings of expletives. Then I wonder if there was some way for me to hear those messages. Then I realize that there are. Then I realize that actually carrying that out would probably send me to prison.
In conclusion, don't be an ass. Leave a normal answering machine message.
And, on a completely unrelated note, how much do I love the Vines' "Get Free" right now? The answer: a lot.
posted at 7:01 PM
Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Quick Media Review; Evidence Contra Anorexia
Saw a few movies over the past couple days. First off, "Signs." "Signs" I liked. It was very suspenseful, well-shot and all that, and Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix were both very good in it. The ending, however, was far too simplistic for the level of complexity the rest of the movie had. That, and M. Night Shyamalan seriously needs to STOP PUTTING HIMSELF IN MOVIES.
Generally, I think directors who put themselves in movies -- unless they're playing a major role or something -- are just on some sort of an ego trip. When you see a director sneaking himself into one of his movies, you'll always say to yourself, "Ooh! That's the director!" Maybe if you're feeling especially clever, you'll lean over to your uncultured neighbor and let him or her know, thus establishing your film-knowledge superiority. Unfortunately, this completely takes you out of the experience of the movie as an alternate reality and, in my opinion, can seriously hinder any resonance the movie had to offer in the first place. Bad form, directors. Knock it off.
I also rented "Waking Life," which had always looked interesting to me. Unfortunately, actually watching it was a painful experience, both in visuals and thematic content, and I was tempted to just turn off the movie several times throughout -- something I have never, ever done before. This movie is too smug in its own cleverness, which really doesn't exist at all. It claims to get the viewer to think about "deep" philisophical questions, when in reality all it does is recycle actual philosophical theories in dumbed-down stoner-speak faux-profundity. And it does all of this in the most irritating narrative (if you can even call it that) possible -- a seemingly random series of bullshit monologues from "characters" that we get no introduction to or connection with. It's like getting hundreds of tiny speeches from the most annoying teachers you've ever had to listen to. And while I'll admit that the movie did raise some interesting questions, you'd be better off actually reading the people who first posed them hundreds (or thousands) of years ago. Bah! ANGRY!
Well, now that I got all that snootiness off my chest, let me offer some evidence contra the commonly-held belief that I am somehow anorexic.
My grandmother took me out to the Goodspeed Opera House today to see the musical "Babes In Arms," (which, as far as musicals go, was highly entertaining). Before the play, we went to "It's Only Natural," and afterward, we went to another excellent restaraunt called "Coyote Blue." I ate an obscene amount of food. So much so that, at the writing of this post, at 12:30 AM, I am still feeling full from when I stopped eating at 4PM (and even at dinner, I was still full from lunch at 11:30AM). That is insane. And yes, I have witnesses who can attest to this display of gluttony, and one of them is from the Isle of Man -- a friend of my great aunt's who was either impressed by or upset with the fact that I knew where her island was.
posted at 9:37 PM
Tuesday, August 06, 2002
I Am Amassing An Army Of Children
So recently, my mom gave me the "if anything ever happens to us" talk, which was pretty unexciting, except for the fact that they want my little sister Brooke to come live with me should anything, indeed, happen. This weekend, my hippie aunt and uncle implied the same thing would happen with their new hippie baby, Maia, mainly because I'm the only person in the whole family who would maintain her vegetarian diet, but also mainly because of my supreme paternal instincts and ability to entertain and engage children of all ages.
I am amassing quite the army of adorable little children, here. And obviously the best thing I could possibly do with all these children is set up some sort of an Oliver Twist scenario, whereby I send out my kids into the city to pickpocket and scam, providing me with the money I will need to pay back student loans and buy more DVDs and CDs. It will be a grand time. A grand time, indeed.
posted at 1:08 PM
Thursday, August 01, 2002
"Things I Wish I Could Have Seen Myself Doing" #22
SCENE: The crowded parking lot outside a Connecticut Liquor Warehouse. CASEY leaves the store, holding a small paper bag. He approaches his father's old Blazer, which he hates driving, but has driven anyway because it's the only car avaliable. CASEY pulls out the keychain and looks at the keys.
Casey has noted that, once again, his father has inexplicably left the key required to unlock the door to the truck off the keychain. Casey has, by sheer force of habit, locked the doors responsibly, and is now locked out of his car, holding a bottle of TGI Friday's Orange Dream mix, which he recommends everyone try because, as the label clearly states, "VODKA IS IN IT!"
After a moment, Casey notices that the rear sliding windows of the truck are open slightly. Is it wide enough for his gangly vegetarian frame to fit through? He approaches the window, sizing it up. He looks around at people in the parking lot, then tosses his alcohol into the truck's trunk through the window. Making several loud grunting noises, Casey hoists himself, head-first, through the window and very slowly and painfully manages to squeeze into the rear of the truck.
Casey climbs over the piles of junk his father has left in the truck and sits in the driver's seat. He puts on his seat belt, applies some sunglasses and leaves as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened. On his way out of the parking lot, he notices several people staring at him.
Yeah, so that happened. Also, my history professor at CCSU just offered me a job today when I went to hand in my final paper. I'll find out more in the coming months, but it sounds like he's starting up a business, and he wants "my analytical mind" on board for something (see enneagram test link below). This sounds like it could be pretty cool, and he's even willing to work around my being in Los Angeles and Boston. Here's to hoping this is the first really good thing to come out of my decision to to go L.A.!