8.28.2007

Longest Post Ever

Oh.

My.

God.


The past 3 weeks have been absolutely insane. Between family reunions, and working and bachelorette parties, and Busch Gardens, and getting nagged about where I work, and deciding to potentially move again, I feel like I need another vacation!!!



Seriously though, I had a lot of fun during my "vacation." (I put that in quotes because there wasn't a whole lot of relaxing going on.) First off, there was the family reunion. The first night there was a celebration for Stephanie's Graduation. The second night, my cousin Amiee got engaged. The third night, was my mom's birthday party (she's 50, but don't tell anyone I told you that). There was just so much going on.



Saturday night, we also went to a party thing at a neighbor's house. He was celebrating some work being finished on his house or something, and he had a bunch of his employees there. Apparently the party was for them, but there was only a couple of them. But we invaded and proceeded to get extremely drunk. My underage cousins were drunk, my alcoholic aunt was drinking, even my mother got down. We were all dancing and having a grand ol' time. Justin apparently threw up. Several times. I went swimming fully clothed (although I've done that sober, so the alcohol really isn't an excuse). I think I may have broken my toe, but it may just be unbelievably bruised. It still hurts. One of my cousins was hooking up with one of the male employees, though he was cute. One of my aunts was very flirty with one of the older guys. It was a crazy party.




Sunday, I was nursing my toe, so I didn't go with everyone to the beach, but that night, we all dressed for a funeral, aka my mother's birthday. We got a cake that said RIP Trudy, and Happy 50th. It even had 50 black candles that were the kind the re-light themselves. She got some fun gag gifts (like a ginormous calculator, and a package of Depends), and my dad added another diamond to her wedding ring and had it re-sized so she can actually wear it. It was really awesome.



The next week I spent pretty much just chillin'. We did some shopping, and hanging out and I went over to Laura's place to meet all her friends and her fiancee. I find it completely crazy that she's getting married next month. Laura and I met way back in my very first business class at FGCU, Intro to Marketing. We were both a little bit loud, obnoxious, and very smart-assed. We always knew all the answers, and had no shame in letting the rest of the class know it. The class was taught by a guy named Mr. Stern, and he insisted on calling everyone by their last names: Mr. Jones, Miss Smith, and so on (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent). But then when I decided to do a semester of Grad school, she and I were in the same class again, and we started hanging out for real. Her friends are crazy and I love them. I got to spend time with her and her friends while I was here this time, her and Angela and Andy and Rae and Mike and Chris and Jenn, and they're such cool people. Having a group of friends like that is one thing that could get me to come home. Plus it's cheaper than LA. And I don't necessarily have to live with my parents. Angela said something about her and Jenn getting a 3 bedroom house, and I could live with them. The other thing I was contemplating doing was moving up to Seattle. I think I could pretty much love it up there, plus Starbucks Corporate is there. It's cheaper than LA, and they get Rain! It just doesn't rain in Los Angeles. I swear: I think it's rained 6 times since I moved out there and people freak out when it does happen. Seattle is like a rainier version of San Francisco.



Friday night, we had the bachelorette party. Oh my. That was a lot of fun. We started out at a restaurant called Cin Cin which is fantastic, and I'll review at Yelp. (Another addiction, Yay!) We had tapas and shared them among us which was perfect for us all, and then we all had drinks, and I think Mary had 3 (there were 7 of us, so that's 10 drinks, probably more). So for drinks and food for 7 people, it was around $170 plus tip. Which is awesome especially considering how good the food was. We even had dessert, which were these amazing truffles. Total food-gasm. After that we stopped at Blu for a round of drinks, and then we climbed back into the limo after flirting briefly with the security guard. We went downtown to some place called Neo which was ghetto and had dancer in booty shorts dancing on the bar and crappy drinks. After that we were planning on going to TBL, but we kinda got high-jacked but some drunk guys who wanted us to go to a club around the corner with them called EnVie, which we almost had to pay for. But Laura was having none or that. It was excellent. The guys we sorta went in with finally figured out we weren't interested and went away, but we found new guys which were much cuter. I was dancing with one of them (the tall really cute one) in a way that Laura commented that I needed a condom to dance that way. Which was very nearly true. He was hot and I was having lots of fun. At that point I had had something like 3 drinks and a shot of something fruity, I think it had Parrot Bay Pineapple or Mango or something. The story of the shots is kinda funny too. We had these dice that we were playing with that had various things on them. One die had lick, suck, lap dance, and a few other instructions on them, and the other had the person on which you were to perform, such as a random guy, a random girl, the maid of honor, or the bartender. Angela rolled them and got "lap dance" and "bartender", so she took them over to the bartender at EnVie and showed it to him, but it was dark, so he took them and tried to see them in the light and when he figured out what it said, his eyes got really wide. He showed them to the other bartender and they started laughing. That's how we got the free shots, although Angela never actually followed through on the lap dance (though she apparently wanted to). About half an hour before closing time we left, we didn't want to get chased out, and the limo dropped most of the other girls off, but Angela and I stayed the night at Laura's and it was fun. We talked, and apparently she had spent most of the night making out with the shorter of the 2 guys, and had exchanged phone numbers with him. He called not long after we got to Laura's place, and it was highly amusing.



While I was home I worked at a bunch of different Starbucks stores. I went in a handful of them and actually worked in 3. It was a really good experience because I could see the differences between layouts and efficiency changes and what works and what doesn't. The fastest store I worked at was the store at the Miramar Outlets. Their bar and the layout of it is really good for their business. I think I would change it so their ice machine is in the front, but I think I would change that about all or most stores. The first store I trained at had the ice machine in the front, probably solely because they didn't have space for it anywhere else. They also had the dish sink out front, which looked really bad, but it was really convenient. In terms of where I'd want to work though, The store at College and Winkler is a really nice store. They have a lot of regulars who come in daily or weekly, and the people who work there seem really cool. The other store I worked at was a store inside the Edison Mall. It's only been open something like 6 months, so it's a nice store. I only worked one shift there, but the people there are pretty cool, but they don't have regulars you can get to know. That's the problem with stores insides malls and tourist attractions. They're apparently opening up a bunch of store out in Cape Coral too, so I could find a job out there if I decided to come back. The other thing I have to contend with, is that I applied for jobs up in Seattle. Jobs at Corporate Starbucks for things that I think I'd enjoy. I want more responsibility, something more interesting and honestly with my background, I think I deserve more money. Is that wrong? I don't think I deserve to be working for less than $10 an hour. That's like $20k per year, and I am barely living on that. I know I can make more than that, and I deserve to. What's more is my mom is totally nagging me about it which is seriously getting on my nerves. She's addicted to Cragslist, and keeps looking for new jobs and apartments for me. But at any rate, I applied for a job that I'm qualified for at the Starbucks corporate headquarters that I really hop I get. It's called a coffee and tea education specialist, and it's working on developing new training methods for partners about our various coffees and teas. I love our products and when I love something, I want to find out everything about it, and then I want to pass that knowledge along. So it's a job I think I can really enjoy, and since it's already within corporate, I'd have to move up to Seattle, plus I can probably move up within the Corporate offices easier from there.



Not only all of that, but I think I'm going to start bartending. I think I'd be good at it, plus I'd be able to make money pretty easily that way. I'm fairly cute and have a perky personality, so if I do that 2 or 3 nights a week, I could bring home an extra $2-400 depending on where I'm tending bar. There's a place that does an $85 certification, then they set you up with on the job training, which would be easier than finding one of those school, and a heck of a lot cheaper. So, I may do that, but I don't think I'll even be able to afford that until late next month at least. I didnt work as much while I was home as I normally do. I usually work around 40 hours, and I only worked about 20 hours one week, then about 34 then second, which, while still working and will make paying bills next month easier, is less than I usually work. Not only that, I spent more money that I usually do. I did the Bachelorette party, which was expensive (dinner, drinks, limo, etc). Then we went to Busch Gardens yesterday, which I'll tell you about in a minute. And I went shopping, and my mom actually made me pay for stuff. This being an adult thing kinda sucks...



Yeah, Busch Grdens. It was a lot of fun. We left Fort Myers late and got up there at almost 2pm. The place closed at 6, but that was enough time. We only rode 3 rides, one of them twice, but that was enough. We watched the monkeys and apes for like an hour. The chimpanzees were so funny. The males were fighting or trying to prove their dominance, and there was one that was younger than the others, and he was totally trying to start stuff. He was the young hot-shot, all "Look at me!" and "Who wants to take me?" and then if one of the older and bigger chimps started towards him, he would back off a bit, even run away. It was really interesting to watch. The gorillas were cool too. The first one we saw was a male, all off by himself, and he looked like he was pouting. He was like a teddy bear, then when we rounded the corner, we saw another ape, and she was totally protecting her baby. The young one I think was about a year and a half to two years old, but was still really small. On the video monitors, they were showing how they had done a c-section on the ape! The only rides we rode were the major ones: Kumbaa, Montu, and Sheikra. Sheikra is the new one, and I hadn't ridden it before, and it's really, really cool. You go up, and then you hang there for a sec, and then you go straight down. Then you spin around a bit, and you're done. I think I could design roller coasters for a living. I wouldn't know how to get into it, but it's a job I could definitely do. Someone else would have to do the engineering, but I could definitely design them. Like that Roller Coaster Tycoon game....



So now, I'm on the plane from Miami to LA. I already flew from Fort Myers to Miami. Jessica is supposed to be picking me up tonight. I have to work tomorrow, which kinda sucks, but I will get back to almost 40 hours a weeks.



I think I might officially be out of things to say.



For now.




--------------------------------



I just got off the plane, got my bags, and found an outlet that actually works. I'm hiding in a corner by baggage claim behind one of those racks of SmarteCartes, so at least I can't get run over. Our flight got in like 15 or 20 minutes early, but our baggage took that extra time to meander it's way out onto the claim thing, so I guess it all evened out.



I was sitting across the aisle from two enormous women. They were mother daughter and they had brought so much food with them, it was disgusting. I couldn't believe that a mother would let her daughter eat that way. The girl was round, spherical, like a snowman. She made the Michelin Man look skinny in comparison. It was gross. And they kept eating, and then over the 4 hour flight I think they each drank like 5 or 6 sodas. Fried food, and chinese, and sandwiches they bought on the plane. It makes me not want to eat. Ever again.



There wasn't even any really cute guys on board that I saw to make me feel better about the whole thing.... Although there was a cute guy outside just now... Mmmm.



I'm annoyed right now because I can't actually get online. I mean I can, if I want to pay T-Mobile, but I really don't feel like shelling out yet more money this trip, which is why this blog entry keeps getting longer and longer. I started it before my first flight, at like 11 am Eastern Time, and then worked on it a LOT between like 12 and 2:30 pm Eastern, and now it's 6 pm Pacific time. An I know this is a lot of time, because it's just stream of consciousness stuff. I have nothing better to do, so I'm just typing.



I'm trying to play with my phone too. I got a new phone while I was home. It's very cool. I can't remember what it's called, but it's a Kyocera, and I like it. It's got a full keyboard, and a camera and IM, and all sorts of fun stuff, plus, PLUS!, it was free. Which I love. I like Kyocera. They're generally good phones. I had one of the free ones for a while, and then I slammed it in the car door, and the damn thing still worked, I just broke the LCD screens. The phone they replaced it with really sucked though. It was a Kyocera too, but the battery was loose or something and it would randomly turn off. Which was annoying. The phone itself was ok though, I guess. This phone is cool. There's a loop built into the top to which you attach a belt clip thing so it will dangle off your belt loop, which I love. And you can flip it open while in the middle of a call, and it automatically goes to speakerphone, then you close it, and it switches back to normal. It's cool. I haven't figured out all the cool tricks it can do yet, I'm still playing...



Jessica just called my to tell me she's on her way to the airport from work. She works way up in Burbank, and in 6 o'clock traffic, it'll probably take her at least an hour to get here. We were thinking about having Kyle pick me up, but she said it would probably take him just as long to come get me.



Ok, I really am running out of things to say.



I'm starting to get hungry though. And I'm not sure I have any food at my place. Not having been there for 3 weeks, I have no idea what I have in the fridge. I may have some macaroni & cheese though. I know I have canned soup, but it's way too hot for soup. I may have to stop at Trader Joe's tonight, but I'm not sure I want to. I'm tired from traveling, I really just want to have like a hamburger or something super easy and take a shower and go to bed... I don't want to have to exert effort.



I need to make up my mind about this moving thing. I probably should just move up to Seattle either way, and try to get into Corporate from there, but moving back to Florida is SO tempting....



Dude, my butt hurts. coach seats are not comfortable, and now I'm sitting on this floor, waiting for Jessica, and I think my butt has gone numb. It's really annoying.



Ok, I need to stop writing, but I'm to the point of writing every last little tiny thing that pops into my head, and that's probably bad....



Just Say No to Word Vomit....



Or something.



(PS this is 6 pages long in MSWord, and over 3000 words…)



Question of the Day: What was the last trip you took?

8.09.2007

After the Wedding

This is a strange movie. It's in Dutch, I think and even watching the preview right before-hand, you have no idea what to expect. It's not strange in the vein of "Delicatessen" or "Secretary", more in that when you think the movie has nowhere else to go, it keeps going because it's just a slice of life for these people. In that respect it's similar to a movie by Pedro Almodovar, but it's less twisted (think incest and rape). This movie starts with a guy who does humanitarian work in India going back to Denmark to try to get funding for an orphanage that he's started. The man he's supposedly getting funding from insists on meeting him personally. Upon his arrival, he gets invited to the other man's daughter's wedding. When he gets to the wedding he meets the mother of the daughter who he appears to have met before, and the movie continues to unfold. It simply continues on and on and on, unraveling. It could have even have gone on from where it ended. I can see why it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It lost to The Lives of Others though, so it really didn't stand a chance.

A really interesting, engrossing film.

Family Ties

I know, I know...



I haven't written in a while, you can yell at me later, ok?



It's just that I've been watching a lot of movies lately, and I haven't even been doing the reviews on those, and I feel like I need to catch up on those before I do major updates on this blog about my personal life.



I feel very weird right now. I am currently in bed at my parents' house, in Florida! It's bizarre because I haven't been here in over a year and a half, and I'm spending 3 weeks here. I'm going to be seeing friends, spending time with my parents, and we're doing this big family reunion thing. My Grandfather and his wife, Robbie, are already here, and the rest of my mother's side of the family is arriving over the next two days. My Aunt Peggy and her 2 daughters come in tomorrow. My Uncle Matt, his wife and daughter (and her boyfriend) come in on friday, as well as my Aunt Diana and her 3 kids. My Uncle Mark isn't coming, something about bidding on a job, and not being able to get away for a weekend. He does clean welding, I think it's called-- the stuff they put inside nuclear reactors and power plants.



My family is crazy, but compared to families that I read about, or see in movies, they're pretty normal. They're all from central, very rural, Illinois, and since I was raised pretty much in San Francisco, I often times have a hard time understanding them. Preoccupations with alcohol and sex, but that's because there's not that much to do up there. I've spent small amounts of time in the town my cousins were raised in. I would go crazy if I had to live there long-term. My Aunt Peggy raised her two girls in New Jersey so they're a bit more sensible than they would have been otherwise. But my Aunt has also now been divorced twice. Not that I blame her. The guys she was married to were jack-asses, but that's gotta make things difficult.



My cousin Amiee (not Aimee) is the only one that's older than me, and that's only by about 9 months. My mother was the oldest of the 5 kids, and Amiee's father, Matt, was the second oldest. It's strange how she and I can be related and have so little in common. We have basic stuff, but we were raised so differently, with different values, that I feel like we don't have a lot to talk about. Recently, she's calmed down a lot, and I feel like I can talk to her easier, but now I'm the one who has to go out and sow my wild oats or something....



To completely change the subject, because I'm getting sleepy, I've been doing some cool things lately. I went to a party on Saturday for this Yelp thing. It was apparently the one year anniversary of having a separate LA yelp. It was totally cool too, because they did it like a prom, and everyone was all dressed up, and there was free drinks before 10, and I liked this one made with ginger flavored vodka and sprite. It was lots of fun.



And speaking of Yelp, I also found a guy to cut my hair through Yelp. He was great. Everyone who had gone to see him had given him 5 stars, and he had a %50 off deal for first-time people. It's a really cute cut, and I'll try to get a picture up, but I somehow doubt I'll succeed...



Question of the Day: What's crazy about your family?

8.08.2007

The Holiday

This movie was unbelievably cute. Some places it got a little overly so, but overall it's good. It's about two women who after being unlucky in love manage to stumble across each other on a home exchange website. They trade houses for 2 weeks over a Christmas Holiday, and things start to happen for both of them. Amanda, played by Cameron Diaz, is California-perfect. A small child notes that she looks like a Barbie doll, and she does. With perfect highlights, bright blue eyes, and a perfectly whitened smile, she embodies exactly what everyone envisions when they think of someone from California. It's kinda annoying with her hair constantly bouncing all over the place. Iris, played by Kate Winslet, is a much more familiar character. She's so much more relatable. She's supposed to be a tiny bit frumpy, I think, but this is Kate Winslet we're talking about, so that's not really true, especially when Jude Law plays her brother, Graham, who, of course, Amanda falls in love with. There are some wonderful bits full of big smiles and interesting interactions. It doesn't wrap up quite the way I would have liked, but I figure it just ends on Christmas, you can add your own happily ever-after onto the end of it: who moves to which side of the world to be with whom.

A cute, romantic, Christmas movie.