Confessions of a Common Shopgirl|
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|Thursday, November 13th, 2008|
|This is the best meme in a while.
If you were to spot me being hauled off in a police car, what would you suspect was my "crime"?Post your reply here as a comment here, then echo this question on your LJ to find out what folks think of you. From mollpeartree
. Current Mood: sick
|Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007|
|Tuesday, September 25th, 2007|
P. is off doing interview rounds in NYC and DC yesterday and today, so it's been just me and the Daisy since we got back from the wedding. A little space is always nice, and Daisy and I were snuggling on the couch last night eating Pizza Rolls and watching that peculiar Kid Nation show. We live in a building abutting some train tracks (we didn't know they were there when we moved in -- it's a long story, but trust me) so we've become used to the background noise of living in a somewhat industrial corner of town. No one really ventures over the train tracks -- I mean, there are no bars there -- but they're right there.
I tend to automatically classify the noises we hear as either being people-related, which means they're coming from the bars out front, or train-related, which means they're coming from the back of the building. While we were camping out on the couch, Daisy and I, I heard four quick popping noises. I thought, "Oh, that sounds like a gun...it's just like home! Isn't that funny!" It was close enough that it sounded like it was in the parking lot, so I figured someone was having car trouble. I checked the clock -- which I always do, when I hear weird noises, in case the police come and interview me -- and it was 8:29, which seemed a little early for gunfire. I went back to my show and savored my little reminder of what Chicago sounded like.
About ten minutes later, I hear the short squawk of a siren that sounds like neither police nor fire. Well, fine. I get up and look out the window into the parking lot, as that's where the police usually set up to command on bar nights. Nobody there. Not in the front, not in the back. Whatever. If anything goes on, it goes on in the front anyways. Hey, there's just train tracks back there.
So, of course, what's on the news today? Some guy getting shot in both the legs out on the train tracks. At 8:30. It sounded close because it WAS close, just on the wrong side of the building than I thought.
TEN YEARS I live in Chicago, and never have a single problem. I live next to drug dealers and gang members in Hyde Park and drunken molesters downtown. I come down to Knoxville and some guy is getting his legs blown off in my backyard.
I have a hard time explaining this to people, because apparently to everyone else it sounds silly. But I have never felt as safe down here as I did in the city and I probably never will. The crazy people here...are CRAZY. We have bums that come and sit in the lobby of our building, or on the front steps, and stare at you. They don't ask for anything, they just stare at you. I'm alone during the day, and we're supposed to kick them out when we see them, but you're not getting me to confront some stranger about sitting on the couch and then just waltz back up to my empty apartment that he now knows the location of.
At least in Chicago I felt my criminals were predictable. Naive, I know. But true. There is an unpredictable element here that I don't understand and am not familiar with, whether we are living downtown, like now, or living out in the boondocks, like we were last year. Maybe I haven't ever had the opportunity of enough time to get familiar with the area, but I felt better staggering home down 60th drunk at 2am. Even my mom asks me to call her when I walk the dog at night, and she never did that in Chicago.
I know that random crime happens, in every area. There can always be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, in any part of town. But that's literally my backyard! I took the dog around the track side of the building two hours later because I didn't want to go down the street and have the crazy guy with the safety helmet and the little flag on his bike follow me like he always does. What if someone had been pissed off two hours later instead?
Sometimes people ask if P. were home more, if I would feel differently about things. I like to think not. I had no problem living on my own, ever. And when I'm inside the loft with the door locked, it's fine. It's what's outside that's weird, and that will be there whether he's around or not.
So why do I feel so irrational and ignorant for being upset about this? Current Mood: frustrated
|Friday, September 14th, 2007|
|The couple that kinks together...
Today while we were having lunch I was reading Patrick a gossip item about Sting and Trudie Styler going to brothels together.
"Well, that's the way to do it if you're going to stay together."
"That's the way to do it if you're going to stay together."
"No, that's the way to do it if -- what I meant was..."
"I'm just saying that if you're going to...if some couples...when you..."
"Oh, forget it."
"This is so going on LiveJournal."
"I WASN'T SUGGESTING ANYTHING!" Current Mood: gossipy
|Tuesday, September 4th, 2007|
|Whenever I need to set a mood, I search for the Deliverance banjo duet.
Today when I was out walking the dog, I noticed that the art gallery that takes up the basement level of our building had set some Art outside on the sidewalk.
When I got closer I realized that it was five actual fish heads, on spikes, that were set out to dry on some crates covered with butchers' paper. They were extra shiny, but I wasn't sure if that was because they had been applied with a lacquer of some kind or if that was just the natural gloss of dead fish-ness.
You could see the sinews and everything.
And it's really hot out today. Current Mood: sick
|Saturday, August 25th, 2007|
|Music Appreciation, and Bars
The downtown loft that P. and I moved into upon our return to Knoxville is, like most downtown lofts, in an old converted factory building. It's in what's called the Old City ("Knoxville's Bicentennial Neighborhood!")so it's a lot of older buildings and factories that are being rehabbed into condos and shops and things. It's still actually bordering on the seedy side, as there are lot of dusty storefronts and the only successful establishments so far seem to be the five bars that bracket our intersection. But it's one of those things where I have a feeling if we'd actually purchased this property and held onto it, in five or ten years we'd have our own magazine article, like the early adopters of the South Loop. But since our neighborhood consists of primarily nighttime establishments (and one venerable coffee shop to sober up in,) I'm accustomed to it being a ghost town during the day, with the real action happening after the sun goes down. (Just like The Old Neighborhood, but dustier, and with college kids instead of rich people.) Which is why I was surprised to be woken this morning to the sound of...a guitar solo?
I was confused. At first I thought it was our new neighbor, who apparently moved back in yesterday with a lot more banging and pounding and installing than was really necessary. But then I realized that it sounded like it was coming from downstairs on the corner. At this hour? I've been trying to take Daisy out early in the day this past week, both for my health and for hers, since by the middle of the day the sidewalk gets hot enough to burn her paws. But this musical event had managed to eclipse even the dog on a sleeping-in Saturday. So we went down to investigate.
One spoke of our four-way intersection was completely closed off, with a police car and everything. Beyond that, I saw a single portable stage with a bunch of shirtless men jumping up and down with their guitars. (Shirtless, I'm assuming, because it's still 100F and not just because it's part of their "vision" or anything. At least, I hope.) Then I saw the sign:
First of all, since it said "Ska Weekend!," and not, "Ska Day!," I'm assuming this means we will be graced with two whole days of musical appreciation. Second of all, I'm confused, as this sounds nothing like any ska music I've ever heard, and I was graced with a solid ska education during my college improv career, working with the Cobb Hall kids with the big pants. Third of all, none of these people look anything like the hipsters I commonly associate with ska appreciation. Sure, one girl I saw at least managed to get the shoes right, but then she killed the whole thing with her pink ruffly ass-band of a skirt and her cropped pink tank top. If you're going to show that much skin, you should put some sunscreen on. Melanomas are bad! Fourthly, they were selling tickets for this thing and people were lined up around the block. AROUND THE BLOCK. People of all ages. Pushing strollers.
I was left to question my world view as I continued down the street with Daisy, until we were stopped by a group of young people who looked like they had just left the ska experience.
"Do you live around here?"
"Well, uh, sort of."
"Do you know where we could find a bar?" [It was not yet noon.]
I looked back in the direction from whence they had just come. "Well, there's those four down there." [The fifth one is opening soon.]
"No, I mean, like,...a bar
"Well, um...then, I guess...no."
"Okay. [sigh} Thanks anyway."
And off they went.
I'm assuming that by a bar
, they were really looking for one that was open already. Seeing as how I try to drink at home before noon, there wasn't much I could do for them. I will be intrigued to see how Ska Weekend! plays out. The music has stopped now, though. Boy, that was fast. Current Mood: confused
|Tuesday, July 10th, 2007|
|Happy Happy Happy
Happy Birthday to my beloved voxel
, who will probably still get carded for buying lottery tickets. But maybe you are old enough now to look thirteen instead of twelve, and people will stop giving me that dirty look when we go out together.
|Monday, July 9th, 2007|
|Thursday, June 28th, 2007|
I just need to figure this out, once and for all...
If you are asked to provide references with your resume, how many should you provide? And more importantly, is it ever acceptable to list coworkers, or do they all have to be supervisors? Current Mood: confused
|Monday, April 30th, 2007|
|"Tis the Season
I just want to say, I have finally seen the light. I have finally discovered why I live in Tennessee. Actually, scratch that. I've finally discovered why I would *want* to live in Tennessee.
Of course, it would take a very special epiphany to come to this realization, and I had it this weekend. See, this weekend we were busy celebrating a very special holiday in Tennessee: the Sales Tax Holiday.
No other holiday before has ever catered so closely to my wants and interests. (If only there was some kind of pony holiday...but I suppose every day can be a pony holiday if you are really lucky.) There is no state income tax here, so they make up for it in other taxes. Everyone told me how much cheaper it would be to move down here -- "Oh, the cost of living!" they'd say -- but when your sales tax is 9.25 per cent I honestly didn't notice that much of a difference from Chicago. We don't own property and I don't make any money so really it was just the same to me.
What's even better is that this year was extra-special: there will be two -- TWO -- sales tax holiday weekends. Apparently this is a special year because that never happens. They usually only have one. And while there are enough caveats to prevent the virtual looting of big-ticket stores, the regulations are still loose enough that you can make out like a bandit. There was still a line at Best Buy where you had to give your name and sit and watch a movie until they called some harried teenage geek over to escort you through the computer section and explain what your options were under the sales-tax guidelines. After our college-age geek informed us that they made them all work 12-hour shifts in the computer section this weekend and that no, he didn't make any comission, it became my goal to make our visit as long and as entertaining as possible. Most of the qualifying computer models sold out early on, so now they are just taking your order so they can send it to your house anyway.
A lot of stores also offer sales and incentives the same weekend as the Sales Tax Holiday, so after that expedition we went over to Old Navy to buy our summer wardrobes. Pants for the whole family! Sadly, accessories do not qualify under the STH guidelines, so I couldn't get any handbags this weekend. Ostensibly, since the STH weekend is usually in August (this weekend was the "extra" one), it's supposed to be for "school supplies". Anything that would prepare you for school qualifies, and apparently they don't think you need a handbag for that. Someday, they'll learn.
On some level, though, I have to think that maybe people don't realize what a good gig they've got going with the STH. I quizzed Patrick about how it worked, and whether or not people got excited, like it was a big event, and whether or not the stores were busy, and I guess I expected more activity. He said that a lot of people aren't even aware of when it happens. Except at Best Buy, you really couldn't even tell that there was anything special going on. You know if they had that kind of deal in Chicago, it wouldn't be safe to go downtown.
But hey, that's okay. More pants for me! Current Mood: consumer-riffic!
|Saturday, April 28th, 2007|
|An Open Letter
Dear New Neighbor Lady,
Welcome to the neighborhood.
You know, if you are reported to the management office, they fine you $75 per instance for not cleaning up after your dog.
You've been here a week and I could've paid off my student loans with all that money. You have poopy dogs. Why opt for adopting dogs so large when you didn't plan on picking up after them? At least adopt a smaller dog, where your irresponsibility is less noticeable.
And yet when your overly large and unleashed beasts insist on making their sizeable deposits in front of my porch, and my tiny schnauzer barks at them, your dogs run off like little girls.
The fact that that tickles me is the only reason I haven't reported you yet. However, we move in two weeks. Good luck with your new and less tolerant neighbors.
p.s. Do you enjoy promenading in your tiny bathrobe with nothing on underneath? It must get drafty in the mornings. It's cold out there. Seriously, there are children who live upstairs. At least put on a shirt or something. Current Mood: entertained
|Tuesday, April 24th, 2007|
So I'm looking at pictures of all these sublets in Chicago, and in most cases they all look the same and after a while it gets pretty hard to distinguish them. And then it occurred to me: what did people do for cheap apartment furniture before IKEA came to town?
No, seriously, does anyone remember? Because I don't. I lived in Chicago for at least two years before IKEA opened, and I can't remember a time when I rented an apartment and someone didn't offer to sell me their POANG chair. Current Mood: nostalgic
|Monday, April 2nd, 2007|
So last night I had a dream. I dream a lot, and according to my unofficial poll, I remember my dreams more than most people. I would say eighty percent of them are not good, the other twenty percent are just interesting. Last night was one of the interesting ones.
I dreamed my friend Danika and I were going to church. I don't do church, but apparently we were going. It was a very old church, small and dusty, like the kind you might see in Europe. We were in a hurry because we were late. When we entered we realized that the church was packed. Everyone else was already seated and the service had started. We very quietly snuck down a side aisle to try to find a seat in the side pews. Danika went on ahead of me down the aisle, but I stumbled a little. When I turned to see what I had tripped on, I saw that sitting on the bench on the side wall was an alpaca farmer, and he had brought his family of alpacas. There were three adults and one baby. I turned to say, "excuse me" when the alpacas grabbed onto my clothes and wouldn't let go. In the dream I was uncertain if the alpacas were aggressive, as they weren't growling or snarling, so I wasn't sure if they were mean or if they just wanted to eat my clothes. But the three adults were all chewing on the back of my shirt and the baby was pulling down on the front.
I realized that this was possibly not the best way to find a seat so I turned to back down the aisle from the direction I came. But the alpacas wouldn't let go. I pulled and pushed at them but they only clamped on harder. I turned to ask the alpaca farmers for help and I realized that everyone in the church aside from the priest was wearing a mask, like the people in the orgy scene from Eyes Wide Shut. I was worried the alpacas were going to pull me down and then...eat me? I wasn't sure, but I knew if they got me on the ground I was as good as gone. I managed to fight the baby alpaca off myself, because he was smaller, but the adults were too much for me. At this point, the service had stopped because of the disruption with the alpacas. The alpaca farmers and the other parishioners tried to distract the adult alpacas long enough for them to let go of my shirt. As soon as they did, I kicked off the baby and made a dive for the exit chute. You couldn't exit through the door you came in, you had to go out the chute. I dove into the chute and saw the outside light hurtling toward me through the dark tunnel.
Then I woke up.
I don't know where Danika went. Current Mood: confused
|Wednesday, March 28th, 2007|
|Since you asked, Jen...
You scored 70% on The Last Unicorn Test!
You must love The Last Unicorn! You did great!
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
|You scored higher than 99% on magic points|
|Friday, March 9th, 2007|
|I knew it.
I have but one doppelganger. Now I am curious. I think limited editions do that to people. If there were a thousand of us I really wouldn't care but now I really want to meet this girl.
|Wednesday, January 17th, 2007|
|Is it fate, or is my last name more common than I thought?
(Back story: My last name is pretty uncommon. In fact, I haven't ever met a [last name] that I wasn't related to. I haven't met all of them, but we're all pretty much related, at least distantly.
So I've been doing some talking with some reception sites and vendors, trying to get an idea of our options for the wedding (Hotel or somewhere else? Chicago or England? Burning questions, people!) Today I got a phone call from a wedding coordinator at a downtown hotel that I had left a message for. We chatted for a minute, and then there was a pause. Finally he said, "I'm sorry, I feel awkward asking you this, but did you ever work at Northwestern University?"
"No, I interviewed there, but I never worked there," I said.
"It's just that your name seems very familiar to me."
"Well, I did work at the University of Chicago. Could that be it?"
"No, it's actually...well, I don't really know how to ask you this. A few years ago, I was doing offsite catering, and I put in a bid to coordinate a wedding for a Heather [same last name.} It was a really uncommon name, so when your name came up, I couldn't believe that it was the same person again. I was wondering if something had happened the first time around, but I didn't know how to ask without being rude."
"Actually, it didn't take the first time," I joked.
Then we all had a hearty laugh.
Spooky! I have a doppelganger! With the same wedding coordinator! Current Mood: amused
|Thursday, December 14th, 2006|
|Some of this is improbable.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, heathey
sent to me...
Twelve mammoths drumming
Eleven handbags piping
Ten catalogs a-leaping
Nine books dancing
Eight pandas a-milking
Seven puppies a-sleeping
Six margaritas a-knitting
Five pi-i-i-ink things
Four shiny things
Three barenaked ladies
Two david sedaris
...and a ponzu in a pie.
|Tuesday, December 12th, 2006|
|For Your Consideration
It's just what it says: http://cutethingsfallingasleep.blogspot.com/
Things are rated on both cuteness and sleepiness.
I recommend Sleepy Puppy 2 and Sleepy Kitten 3.
l was glad I found this the other night, after Patrick and I returned from an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the recent cuteness deficiency I feel is present in my life. "I want to see some puppies," I said. "I want some fat puppies. Not obese, just pleasantly plump. Some normally fat-tummied puppies."
There are no pet stores in Knoxville that sell pets, just pet supplies, so we went to the animal shelter.
Anyone else think that was a bad idea?
I cried all the way home.
Then I found this website. And Patrick gave a sigh of relief.
p.s. I'm contemplating volunteering -- they also have an open position for a Kennel Technician in what is possibly the ritziest animal shelter I have ever seen -- but I can't decide if it's one of those things that would make me feel better about the situation or just much, much worse.
p.p.s. We also went to look at some rabbits that we saw online, as we've been contemplating an addition to the family, until we found out one of the rabbits was actually as big as Daisy. There's a guinea pig that might be a winner, though. He looked intelligent enough. Current Mood: puppy-craving
|Friday, November 3rd, 2006|
|I am shocked....SHOCKED.
Current Mood: shocked
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Inland North
You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."
|What American accent do you have?|
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