Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Self Check-out

There should be rules for who is allowed to use the self checkout lanes.

1. If you don't know what you are supposed to scan on your product, get away from the self checkout.

2. If you are going to move slower than a snail, get away from the self-checkout.

3. If you have A WHOLE CART FULL of crap, GET AWAY FROM THE SELF CHECKOUT (unless it's one with a belt).

4. If you don't speak english or spanish, you CAN'T USE THE SELF CHECKOUT.

5. you cannot hit "i don't want to bag this item" and then bag it.

6. Do not use the self-checkout, get as far as 'choose your type of payment' and then just walk away and out the door without a word to anyone. Seriously? (yeah, it was a man, so asking a question of the woman standing right there monitoring the self-checkout lanes was clearly out of the question) At least hit cancel.

7. Really, unless you once worked as a cashier, please stay away from the self-checkout.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Confederate Memorial Day

I know, fail again. The neighbor’s internet disappeared. Not locked, just gone. Guess I’m going to have to pay for my own internet now.

Last weekend I decided to go to this thing called Big Shanty Festival in Kennesaw, GA (I think it was about 45 minutes north). It was nice…Kennesaw has a small town feel to it…of course in the south that includes an old Civil War era building that looks like the Belle Watley’s saloon in Gone with the Wind. They were proudly flying the Confederate flag and there was a big confederate soldier painted on the side of the building. The south really is an interesting place. The festival was actually kinda fun…I dipped vegetables in a 3-beer dipping sauce with a couple Kennesaw policemen, watched as couples pushed their children around in strollers with one hand while holding a beer in the other, watched a fight between dueling birdhouse vendors, saw a guy dressed in a bear costume just walkin down the sidewalk, and even got a couple interesting things—like the 3 beer rub, some home fragrance crystals (that actually really work well), and some dried pieces of sweet potato for the puppy (he loves them). I also got a really cool chance to share my faith when the fragrance crystal lady saw the tattoo on my wrist and asked me what it meant. It’s Imago Dei, which is latin for Image of God. By explaining why this meant so much as to put it on my skin for life, I could share my faith and my desire to live for Christ and strive to be like Him. It’s like a WWJD thing, only cooler. People know what WWJD is, they won’t ask. Most people don’t know Latin and so they ask what it says—giving me a chance to tell them.

This past Friday was not a good day. By mid-day, everything hit me pretty hard. I was feeling like I made the wrong decision to move somewhere where I don’t know anyone, and I hadn’t found a church that really made me go, “this is it.” With Gateway, I knew the second I walked in the door. I hadn’t gotten that anywhere and I only had one more church left to try. I was feeling so lonely and sad that I ended up crying. Then Saturday morning, while I was still laying in bed, my grandma called and said her, my grandpa and my aunt and uncle were coming through Atlanta on their way back to Nashville from SC and asked if I wanted to have lunch with them. I was elated. I was going to have personal human interaction!...then I realized my apartment was an absolute mess and I had only a couple hours to make it presentable…knowing that my grandma and aunt like to open every door available, I couldn’t just cram everything into closets. I managed well. I cleaned the kitchen, set up the guest bathroom, uncovered my bedroom floor, and started to unpack my books (there are a lot of them, it takes awhile…plus they are separated by genre and then ordered alphabetically). They all liked my apartment, said hi to Quincy, and then we went to 5 Guys for lunch. It was nice, and I’m so grateful they came. Then Quincy had to go to the Vet in the afternoon. Poor baby got 2 shots, 1 nose spray, a thermometer up his butt, and an appointment for a dental cleaning. But he was a really good sport…he even took a nap while I was talking to the doctor. I couldn’t help but laugh when she stuck the thermometer up his butt though…he just looked up at me with giant, shocked eyes like “momma…?”

I found my church on Sunday. The last church. A church that I only found by accident when I missed my turn and drove where I never would have had a reason to drive to. It was totally a God-thing. The church is completely genuine, and the people are kind and very welcoming. I got 2 hugs and a kiss on the cheek (and if you know me, you know I probably was caught off-guard by that), but it didn’t really bother me. I was also invited to lunch. I teared up on my way home. No one at any of the other churches barely said a word to me, and here I was being welcomed with open arms (literally). The pastor is great and a Godly man, and he’s also pretty darn funny. He uses it well too. He’ll be talking, say something humorous so that everyone is laughing and then BAM, he makes his point and you’re like, “whoa.” Also doesn’t hurt that the seats are new theater-type seats…very comfortable…which is good because, like Gateway, the services can evidently go pretty long. Yesterday was just under 2 hours.

Oh, on Saturday it was storming pretty hard the whole day—thunder, lightning, tornado watch. At one point I couldn’t find Quincy. He wasn’t in his room, on the couch, on the bed, or directly under my feet (the only places he ever is). Then I look in the guest bathroom and he’s in the part with the bath tub, in the dark, curled up in a ball…He is REALLY afraid of thunderstorms.

Today is Confederate Memorial Day down south (as implied by the title). I caught a news article today about a service held in Alabama: "Anthony used the annual Confederate Memorial Day service Sunday at Pine Hill Cemetery in Auburn to blast the northern states for what he considered “four years of Yankee terrorism” against the south during the Civil War...Anthony, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Tallassee Armory Guards No. 1921, apologized to any Yankees in attendance for his rant. “I get a little upset when I think about what the Yankees did,” he said to the crowd gathered on a sunny afternoon. Anthony said he doesn’t blame northerners for the “terrorist acts” of their ancestors, but rather the course of history that led to stories of southern fighters being omitted from history books. He said the omission is a mistake, leading to the miseducation of generations." ...Now here's a special bulletin from yours truly: Dear Mr. Anthony, THE CIVIL WAR ENDED 145 YEARS AGO. The South lost, it's time to move on. Also, the South itself could've been considered terrorists by their act of secession and most likely committed many of the same crimes against yankees that the yankees committed against the south, so be careful in your accusations that the North committed "terrorist acts." Really? Terrorist? Research, think, then speak. You have freedom of speech, so you can speak. Just research objectively first rather than just spouting off versions of what your father and grandfathers probably told you. Sincerely, me. Overall, I find the whole 'South will rise again' mentality to be humorous, but this guy just annoyed me. Don't toss is the word "terrorism" just for shock value if you aren't going to back it up. And there was no miseducation of generations. I learned about the Civil War in New Jersey and you know what I was taught? Not that it was a war against slavery, but it was a war for states' rights. Is that miseducation? No, it's not. (Yes, I'm aware that slavery was part of the issue, but the main contention was states' rights). Ok, rant over.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day...whoopie...

As you all know, today is the last day that one's taxes can be post-marked...which means that I came into the office early today just to do them. I was missing the W-2 for Gateway Childcare so I just figured out a good number by multiplying the hours per week times wage times the number of weeks I worked. Smart, huh? no...

Upon being told to call and get a copy of the W2 faxed, I discovered that I was attempting to report $2,000 more than I actually made...hence having to pay the state of NJ. So now, I didn't have to pay, and I got a bit of a refund. I decided to donate my NJ refund to preventing child abuse. I had a foster child in my childcare group who had been abused and was definitely suffering psychologically because of it and it broke my heart to know what she had been through. Having been given the opportunity to donate my refund to a couple different funds, I saw the child abuse prevention fund and immediately decided that my money would do more for a child than a new handbag or pair of shoes would do for me.

The federal government is giving me a pretty nice chunk of change, but I'm not entirely sure what I will do with it. Saving it would probably be the SMART thing to do...however, the amount does come pretty darn close to being the cost of a pair of louboutins I've been eyeing...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home Depot in Heels

So, my kitchen table is in 2 parts...the butcher top and the legs. Bolts hold said parts together. Somehow I ended up with only 1 bolt. I remember being handed the other 3 bolts and shoving them in my hoodie front pocket and then stuffing them in a bag so they wouldn't fall out of the pocket. I don't know what happened to them. This meant a trip to Home Depot with the lone bolt and ring thing that goes around it. The only time I could go? Today at lunch. I am also wearing a dress that goes to the knees, a bright light-colored pink puff-sleeve cardigan and adorable heels. Perfect for a trip to home depot, right? I didn't even get into the store before one orange apron looked me up and down, and then 3 bombarded me as soon as I walked in. I'm not sure if it is because I'm hot (this is my blog, I'm taking some liberties), or because even in overalls I don't look like I belong in Home Depot. 2 more helped me out in the aisle I was going for. Anyway, when I showed one of the guys at the door the bolt (which I didn't know that's what it was called) and said, "I need a couple of...these things." He said, "that's a bolt" and pointed me to aisle 11. Between the 2 orange aprons in the aisle I was in, I found the matching bolts and went to pay. And then left the home depot. I lost count of how many shoppers did a double-take when I walked by or they saw me.

At least I know how to get the best customer service at home depot. Dress and heels. Flaunt what your momma gave ya to get what you want when you want it. haha jk

gLee

So the posting times on here are totally off by a lot. Weird. I'll have to figure out how to change that.

GLEE was excellent!

Brittany: Did you know dolphins are really just gay sharks?
Tina: {looks skeptical, confused}
Brittany: Yeah.

Idina Menzel began her stint, Sue Sylvester Vogued, new guy came on scene (don't like him...they could've cast someone better looking), I still want to smack Finn across the face the pansy giant who just looks constipated when he tries to look sad/upset, and I want Puck and Rachel together. Ok, actually I want me and Mark Salling together.

Ugly Betty tonight! I also want Daniel and Betty together. I have from the very beginning.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GLEE TONIGHT!!

In very exciting news...

GLEE IS BACK TONIGHT!!!!! YEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

I love Glee. Ya know, in case you didn't figure that. I'm a Gleek, and I'm proud of it. I had to seriously resist when they announced a casting call for new cast members recently.

That is all.

Monday, April 13

This weekend was fun. I went to Chattahoochee National Park to go trail running. It’s so beautiful. It’s a park settled along the Chattahoochee River (and I love rivers). I took pictures with my phone periodically during my run. It’s about all I could do with my phone too. Shake shuffle does not work out too well during a trail run. Every other step the song changes on you. It was fun. And I decided that running 3 miles on a mountain trail involving stairs, fallen logs (thanks beaver), roots, rocks, etc. is about the same as running 10 miles on a completely flat concrete surface. I really enjoyed it though. It was exhilarating. And every person I passed by (mostly kindly old men with their dogs) just smiled and said hello. No glares or anything…and most importantly, no catcalls like I would get in Jersey and CA.

I went home and set up my kitchen, shoved all the ‘meant for storage until I have kids of my own’ and memorabilia boxes into one of the closets in the guest room, and then watched a couple movies. What? I was tired. And I had a headache. At least the kitchen is set up…if you don’t count the table which is still in two parts.

Sunday I got up and headed to what I thought was the most promising church. The website made it look a lot like Gateway (my church in NJ) so I was excited. When I got there, I quickly realized it was nothing like Gateway (except that everyone was nice and welcoming but it is also the South). Also turns out it was a Lutheran church. I don’t care that it’s Lutheran so much (after all, my stepdad Tim goes to a Lutheran church), but it’s just not for me…too rigid. I like to get up and jump around…not try to make an already slow praise song from the mid-90s slower than humanly possible. All was not lost, however, as I did get a snack consisting of a Styrofoam wafer dipped in wine. I will admit that I was confused at the end. I’m familiar with the fact that Lutheran churches recite certain phrases periodically and evidently, there is one that signifies that the service is over. Everyone all of a sudden recited something that ended with Aleluia and got up to leave while I sat there thinking, “what? Is it over? … oh ok.”

Then I headed to church #2 (I am not patient and just want to find a church as quickly as possible). I was going to a church in Roswell (where I would then stop at Counter Burger for lunch) but felt God pulling me back to North Point. At the Lutheran church they give you a gift if you are a first time visitor –it happened to be one of Andy Stanley’s small books (Andy Stanley is the pastor at North Point), then on the radio they talked about something Andy Stanley said. And I felt a pull, so I changed course and went to North Point. It was an incredible message (not given by Andy Stanley, but by one of the middle school pastors) about “Where is God’s love Now?” (in the troubled times). It was excellent. It is probably still on the website too, so go to northpoint.org and click on Messages, and watch it (may be under ‘latest message’). North Point is definitely a contender, but there are 2 more churches I want to try next Sunday before I make my decision.

I took a nap after church with Quincy.

Today I worked…and hit day number 3 without carbs. Shoot me.

Things I've Discovered about Georgia...so far

Things I’ve discovered so far about living in Atlanta:

1. It must not be illegal to carry (and drink from) open alcoholic containers. This is evidence by the guy about my age (not bad looking, but tad short) walking to the mailbox with his beer. At least it was after 5. 5:02 to be exact.

2. There are no mice. There are, however, gecko-y salamander things. I actually think I prefer the gecko…and they stay outside.

3. traffic is reminiscent of los angeles…possibly worse. If I don’t leave the office by 5:10, I will get stuck and it will take me about an hour to drive the 4 miles home. It only took one time for me to start working 7:30-4:30…and making sure that I actually do leave the office by 5.

4. the guys really are such incredible gentlemen. It’s really weird. I’m still getting use to it. In jersey most guys could care less about opening doors for girls or letting the girl get the good parking spot, or offering the girl the last shopping basket, etc. etc. Down here, the lady is always first in everything. Even the parking spaces. The men at my office building will always give up the ‘good’ spot – even if it is the only one if the other car is being driven by a woman. It’s nice. So, all you guys up there in jersey, take note! The lady always goes first, and the man always pays (and drives).

5. the beach is kinda far away. I’ll either be going to Charleston, SC, or Savannah/Tybee Island) to go to the beach. Both about 4+ hours away. GA is bigger than I realized.

EASTER WEEKEND

I’m breaking this up since I failed yet again to update. First is easter weekend.

I left for Nashville after work on Good Friday. I skipped lunch a couple days so that I would be able to leave early and miss the nasty Atlanta traffic. Unfortunately, everyone else in Atlanta had the same idea and I spent nearly an hour and a half just getting out of greater Atlanta (should have taken about 15-20 minutes). I went along my merry way through Chattanooga…and was thoroughly confused when I went through Chattanooga (TN) and then probably 20 minutes later I hit a sign that said “welcome to Tennessee” … I thought I was already in Tennessee? I had been, but evidently, you enter TN, re-enter GA, and then re-enter TN again. It’s a good thing it isn’t like NJ where you have to pay to get out of the state. I didn’t want to arrive too late but because of the traffic, I didn’t get there till about 9:15. Luckily, I’d forgotten about the time change and it was actually only 8:15.

It was a fun weekend. Lots of good food, just like I expected. I ate the middle of the cake (though not on purpose, though my uncle might claim otherwise). I probably shouldn’t tell him after the fact that I prefer the edges huh? Hahahahaha! Did a photoshoot of mainly headshots that mostly turned out well. I’m probably too critical of myself…hate my teeth, hate my nose, hate my sometimes baby-fat face. Eh well. Watched ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans’ and frankly, I liked it. I know it got bad reviews, but I enjoyed it. It was funny to me…and I don’t care how repetitive Hugh Grant’s movie choices are, he’s still Hugh Grant and I still love him…even if he is starting to look a little rough around the edges.

Went to church Easter morning in my pretty easter dress. It was lavender. I’ve never worn lavender before but it was actually quite nice looking on me. It was weird to be wearing a light color though…I’m so used to dark autumn colors and black. Headed back to Atlanta around 3:30 and got home in 4 hours with a stop at McDonald’s to get the puppy a hamburger. Yes, I know, it’s shocking…he hardly ate all weekend and I felt bad so I bought him a hamburger. And let me tell you, he enjoyed it. Haha

Friday, April 2, 2010

So I'm in Atlanta Now

Huh…I said I would update more didn’t I…whoops. In my defense, I’ve lived a rather hectic life for the past few weeks. Down to Atlanta Monday, back up to NJ Friday, busy all weekends. Now, though, I am officially an Atlanta resident. Actually, I’m not sure how official that ‘officially’ really is since I haven’t gone to get my GA driver’s license or plates…and I still have and will continue to have for quite a while my NJ cell phone number. But I live down here full time now and don’t go back to NJ on the weekends (much to all my friends’ chagrin).

I moved down this past weekend. Upon loading up the moving truck I discovered something: I am so glad that there are no mice in my Atlanta apartment. I disgustingly discovered that my mouse problem in jersey was much worse than I thought. First clue: upon lifting the couch up, I see that the mice had been stealing Quincy’s (my dog) food and storing it under the couch in mass quantities. Also, upon lifting up the chair, hearing dog food roll around inside the bottom of it. It gave me horrible heeby-jeebies. And now I understand why sometimes Quincy refused to eat his food. It’s weird cuz I checked his bed and food everyday for “evidence” and never found any. And no, he did not stuff his own food under the couch. Second clue: finding dead mouse #9…actually, he may be counted twice because I probably counted him when I smelled him and thought he was dead in the wall but upon moving the bed found him half hidden under the radiator heat duct thingy…no wonder it smelled…he was roastin’ away. And for the record, I looked for a looooong time for the source of the smell and never found it which is why I thought it was in the wall. Third clue: “Evidence” found under things and in corners hidden by furniture. Needless to say, I was glad I did not sleep there one night more.

Saturday was moving day. It’s a 13 ½ hour drive from Clinton to Atlanta. Even with one gas stop, 3 rest area stops, and 1 food stop, I made it in 12 hours and 50 minutes. Woot Woot! Haha (pretend you didn’t read that grandma). While Quincy and I made it that fast, my father and the moving truck didn’t…so I collapsed to the floor and laid there for awhile. Then when he got there, we unloaded EVERYTHING…and in 2 hours. I’m still not sure how that happened…but it did.

Sunday morning I discovered that my key didn’t work in the bottom lock of my door. I found this out upon coming back from a morning walk with Quincy. Luckily my father was scheduled to arrive within 20 minutes because my phone was inside the apartment and it was Sunday so the office was closed. I ended up getting maintenance on the phone and an hour later he was wrenching the door handle off and putting on a new one. Did you know it’s really easy to wrench a door handle off? Food for thought. Then went to the late service (12:45pm) at North Point (Andy Stanley’s church). It’s a nice church. About 13,000 people attend (over the 3 services). The video production is amazing and the worship band is probably the best I’ve heard since Paul [Stephens] back at APU (and, btw, now he’s at Faith Community in West Covina). But, they also drive out from Nashville every Sunday so of course they’re amazing. They opened with a great little Uncle Kracker song haha. I would definitely have to hook into the singles ministry in order to meet anyone though. If you don’t get involved then there is no way you won’t be disconnected from it all.

Monday it was back to work…and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday (and tomorrow). I haven’t really unpacked. I opened the dinnerware box and grabbed a plate and a cup (my Lion King cup from the show in NY that you get when you order a soda at the bar no matter how old you are). I also opened a box of clothes…but just rifled through looking for what I wanted and left the rest. I’ve been so tired after work that I just couldn’t bring myself to do any unpacking…maybe next weekend.

I say next weekend because this weekend I’m going to Nashville!! YEY!! Well, just south of Nashville if you want to get technical. Spending the Easter holiday with my wonnnnnnderful Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob. I’m secretly hoping I get to take a trip to the dump. Hahaha JUST KIDDING. My uncle was always trying to get me to go to the dump when I lived there. I did go once…so exciting it was. Mostly I’m excited for the food I’m going to eat. My aunt is like a gourmet cook…she even wrote a cookbook so I’m expecting some yummy goodness to hit my belly. I’m not kidding. When I lived there, I ran 1-3 miles everyday for 3 months and didn’t shed a pound. Anyway, I’m excited.


That is all.

Oh wait.

I also discovered—upon missing my turn—that while I absolutely adore beautiful red brick colonial/plantation/antebellum homes…an entire development of “Mc” versions disgusts me. It’s too much. It dulls the breath-taking effect of a genuinely beautiful, once unique styled home. I also found an exact replica of Linderhof Castle (I’m not kidding, and I’ve seen linderhof in person so trust me) as I drove along a road…I wonder if there was also a secret operahouse hidden in a cave in the backyard…In case you want a history lesson, Linderhof was a mini-replica of Versailles that Ludwig II had built in Bavaria. Ludwig is the dude that built, or half-built, the Neuschwanstein castle that looks like a fairy-tale and is the basis of Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland. Ludwig II (who was completely 110% insane by the way) was afraid of people. He also loved opera like there was no tomorrow; however, because he was scared of people, he couldn’t go to the opera. So he built his own. In a cave behind Linderhof. He built the cave too. It was a floating opera. He took a ride on his little golden swan boat and watched a professional opera in his cave all by his lonesome. Special man he was…

Atlanta is Burning!

Original Post Date: 2/24/10

Okay...you got me. It's not really burning. That was just my cool way of saying, "I'm in Atlanta working my tuchus off."

Monday morning I was up at 3am as I had a very early flight to Atlanta. There weren't any cars to rent available to me this week for under $100/day so no car for me. There is a subway system in Atlanta though and it stops right inside the airport and one of the last stops is right across the street from the office. Subways are pretty easy, right? Yes. they are. Especially Atlanta...it was just a little unnerving when the crazy man started trying to rap. I resisted the urge to request "pants on the ground" as I wasnt sure if he was concealing a weapon. Also, a trip on the subway is $2.50 and I only needed one ticket but only had a $20 bill. I saw that the machine had a change bin that was pretty big so I went ahead and put the 20 in...no big deal, I wanted change anyway. Boy did I get change!! I got 17 dollar coins and 2 quarters. I thought maybe I was actually at the Las Vegas office playing the slots and won. Quite the variety too--JQ Adams, Monroe, Sacajawea, Susan B. Anthony, etc. I'm keepin the Adams one (duh).

Went to the office, worked, then left when it was starting to get dark. The hotel was less than a quarter mile away so I just walked. Then did some serious speedwalking (in heels!) another quarter mile down the road to find food as I hadn't eaten anything since lunch the day before and was starving. Found an Arbys. got too much food, speedwalked back to the hotel as it was getting pretty darn close to being too dark to be out alone, and then ate too much. and I was totally whooped. Momma warned me not to wear heels but I, of course, didn't listen and thought I knew better (why do I never learn?) and pained feet ensued.

I worked alllllllll day yesterday and then went to a sports bar/restaurant. It was trivia night. They had a Bible question: "Who was the first person in the Bible to get drunk?" Thought that was kind of a fun question. Answer is Noah by the way. The man even gave the reference and everything.

Today I worked alllllll day. I took a short break and had a "Princess" battle on facebook with Tegan... and also Billy who evidently wants to claim being the princess stating that both Tegan and I were "noobs" and lacking skills [compared to him]... Whatever, I'm the Princess. I won.

I skipped lunch and was hungry by the time 6pm came around as I had been working since 8:30am. I ordered a pizza to be delivered to my hotel room and realized I would have to tip the delivery man. And with what? My subway ticket booth slot winnings. Mr. Dominos delivery man was thrilled. Who doesn't like heavy change jingling in their pocket?