Friday, August 29, 2008

I've kept two jobs out of necessity for the past little while, but I really can't wait to go down to one. I've been double-booked a couple of times in the past week, trying to wrangle my way out of shifts without coming off like a complete jerk. But I think I have. I've been trying to prioritize my new job at the bakery over my old job at the tea room, simply because I only have one week left there and it doesn't really matter if I piss them off. Thing is, it does matter, to me anyways, because I honestly care about that place and about the people.

Which leads me to tomorrow. I'm scheduled to work the evening at the tea room, and was just talked into taking a shift in the morning at the bakery. Not only is it going to be a thirteen hour day, it's causing me to cancel my date with Certain Boy.

I'd given up on him, and wasn't sure whether I minded. Then I ran into him the other night, outside a tattoo shop of all places, and we made plans for tomorrow. My head has been so swarmed with different things, I haven't been able to give it much thought, but he was in this morning for coffee, and he's definately still cute. And charming. Damnit, that's a deadly combination.

Looks like I'm going to be trained as a barista in the bakery. I know just about all there is to know about tea, and spent the slower part of today building boxes and swapping tea/coffee lore with the current barista. I don't drink much coffee, so maybe I'm not the best person for the job, but hey. It's probably better than serving.

At which, by the way, I'm getting much better. I didn't drop a single damn thing today, and I only had to hold up the till like a jackass checking prices on the menu a few times.

I'm volunteering tonight for the karate club, running the local bingo. Glamourous job. It generally includes empyting ashtrays and clearing tables. It will be made even better by the presence of M., who didn't show up for training last night and who I haven't seen since The Breakup. The only buffer will be our mutual friend, who I'm pretty sure doesn't know we've broken up yet. Or does, and was too polite to say anything.

Disjointed entry. My mind is still frazzled. I'm going to try to catch a nap before I have to go out again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sister and I are both on very feminine kicks. They may be quite different, but there's a whole lot 'o estrogen flying around this house.

Sister is seven months pregnant. I expected that 'nesting' would end with her incessant knitting, but nay. Yesterday, it meant that all the furniture in Munchkin's room needed to be rearranged RIGHT THIS SECOND AND CAN I HAVE SOME PIZZA HERE. Since, however, she is rounding the corner of too big to get off the couch easily, and Brother in Law was at work, three guesses who got to do the actual moving of furniture. Yup, that's right.

If my life were a book, two things would happen: there would be a lot more interesting dialogue, and there would certainly be a clever character foil between Sister and I. Especially now that we're under one roof. Sister is head of the mom's group, runs a charity for natural mothering, and knits matching santa hat's for this year's Christmas card / birth announcement. I, however, write satirical one-acts (still working on it!) and attend pro-choice rallys.

It's actually grossly cliche. Not that I don't support Sister's lifestyle, because I do; I truly respect it, because I know that if I had to spend one day inside knitting and watching 'teh-behs' (teddy bears), I'd off in a heartbeat.


My feminine kick is my usual post-breakup ritual. Revenge diet. A penchant for waxing. The sudden urge to buy a miniskirt, which, when paired with a fashonista shoe-salesperon best friend, usually ends in far too much exposed leg given the red, post-waxing skin. A haircut is in order.

And, while we're on it, an upcoming consultation for a piercing in a region where I'm saving the wax for the weekend.

(Off-topic: CORSET PIERCINGS. I was so sad when I found out they're temporary. Seriously, sexiest thing I've ever seen. Next time there is a formal event, you bet your ass I'll be getting holes punched in my back.)

All of this estrogen in the house has led to a surge in the ammount of shoes ceremoniously hauled downstairs to clutter up the doorway. And lipstick. Egads, the lipstick.

I need to go to karate and get my shit kicked right out of girly-town.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 hard to do.

I should've known it was coming when I suddenly got the urge to clean, which for me can be either extremely therepeutic or extremely aggravating. I felt the need, I think, to reclaim my room of one's own, so to speak, because I'd been spending far too much time at M.'s and it had gone pretty much to shit.

(To the point, as we've seen, where I've failed to notice my rat's to-be-fatal tumour and that my nephew can now inform us "I no seepy!" about half an hour before bedtime like clockwork.)

We were spending a few days apart, mainly out of inconvenience and other plans, and I happened to have those few days off. So I scrubbed. And dusted. And did more laundry than I care to admit was dirty.

Then, on Sunday, I ran into a Certain Boy who I had something of a crush on during second semester. Second semester, however, was a turbulentm time for me, what with the breakdown of the three-year relationship with M., ensuing depressing and oh-my-god-where-will-I-live stress, blossoming bisexuality and a sweet but ill-fated relationship (talk about bad timing).

Anyways. I ran into Certain Boy in a greasy fast-food place. Shortly thereafter, I realised that I was having feelings I hadn't had in a long time and had been trying to convince myself were a trick of my memory.

(No, nothing happened. I gave him my number, but he hasn't called. And even if he does, I'm not sure I'll answer.)

So I broke it off with M. Just now. He took it well.

I told him that I was in a horrible place when we got back together (which I won't go into - that's another story best told after a stiff drink) and shouldn't have been making decisions. I told him that it wasn't him, and that's not a line, it really wasn't - he'd done miraculous things to change those things about him that ruined our relationship in the first place. I was expecting to magically love him again after that, but it doesn't work that way; it had just been too long since I'd seen that side of him. I think I was over him long before it ended.

So here I am, sitting in my room that's already started collecting some clutter. On the floor. Staring at my old engagement ring which I'd taken to wearing around my neck for the past month, and wondering how I'm going to summon up the courage to ask customers tomorrow if they prefer a baguette or croissante with their nicoise. Knowing that I will.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I was walking home from work a few minutes ago, thinking about a lot of things that seem to be conveniently connected at the same time.

First, that fall seems to be here suddenly. We're winding down the summer at the ice cream shop, trying desperately to fill shifts in September when everyone goes back to school but there's still enough business to need them. (This, by the way, resulted in a minor promotion for me - too little, too late, I suppose.) I can't say I'm too sad to see summer fade away; I had kind of a crappy one, and can count on one hand the number of days I spent in the sun (three). We shut 'er down a few hours early tonight because the grand total of the day was $154; it rained enough to make the pigeons take baths in the puddles on the boardwalk, and it was so winter-y there wasn't even a rainbow to show for it.

Secondly, I've decided to put my cancerous rat down. Her tumour rubs against the cage bars when she climbs, and it's become raw and infected. She doesn't play anymore. It's time. Since my vet won't do it (grr), I'm employed a good friend of mine, who's a research biologist and trained in the art of killing things humanely. I told him I'm going to go for a walk, and while I'm gone he's to take Ozymandius to live on a farm.

OK, it may be silly, but I'm sad. She was my first real pet - 'real' as in one I could pet and play with. Oz was skittish as hell from day one, but we bonded, eventually, and even re-bonded when I got her back from M. upon moving into my new house. I got her to keep me company while M. was working out of town one time, and I got bloody attached to the little bugger.

Finally, one of the regulars from the tea shop is in the hospital. He had a stroke a few weeks ago, and we haven't seen much of him since, which has been strange because he used to spend entire days staring out our window with a cup of red rose tea. He was friendly, but quiet, and everyone's favourite. He has a pacemaker now, and can't get out of bed - - it's not looking good.

I was thinking about this one the way home, trying to decide how to write about it, when I realised I was being followed.

I thought. I wasn't sure. How long had he been behind me? Was his foot-shuffling getting closer?

I caught a quick glimpse behind me, and scaled him up. Big guy, but top-heavy, so I knew I could take him to the ground if I had to. I ran through self-defense scenerios in my mind, knowing that the only thing that would save me would be instincts from years of training.

Lesson One in self-defense is that prevention is far, far better than any other skill. So I turned around, clenched one fist and stared him in the eye. With the other fist, my better punching one, I grasped my keys so that one stuck out between my fingers. I gave him my best "try me" look.

(It's all about attitude, you know. Victims look like victims.)

I turned up my street, and he didn't follow.

So I never did decide what I was going to say about fall, Ozymandius, and my favourite regular. But while I was too busy worrying about natural mortality, the dangerous unnatural kind almost snuck up on me, and maybe that's what I can take from it.

On another note. I've been writing an oh-so-satiral one-act that's been rolling around in my brain, and I'll post it once a) I finish it (to some degree) and b) I figure out how the hell to use adobe.

For now, a villanelle I wrote recently that vaguely fits the subject at hand:

I haven’t seen a salt-gnarled tree
Or heard a gull shriek for a clam –
Three long years since I’ve been free;
Three long years spent from the sea.

In my sea-shack the drapes were dingy
And hung less stiff than where I am,
Now three long years since I’ve been free.

Sweet, temperate mornings the wind rose gently
And I woke to salt and brine, before
Three long years spent from the sea.

By night, the wind and waves would roll; we
Forget we’re moving till we reach our shore.
Yes, three long years since I’ve rolled free.

The pebbles seethed when they came for me
As the ocean drew a last wave away
For three long years spent from the sea.

This spring is coming happily:
They say it is my final May.
Three long years since I’ve been free;
Three long years, back to the sea.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Going camping for the weekend with the karate club. My vacation time was supposed to be four days - given that I haven't had more than one consequitive day off since June - but it was cut down to two when one of the girls called in with pinkeye last night at the ice cream shop / tea room and they were pretty desperate. And I agreed to work Sunday night, because I'm a sucker like that.

Last night. Oy. I'm not going to write much, because I'm supposed to be sipping pina coladas and letting all my stress melt away, but. We were out of chocolate, strawberry AND vanilla, AND we had to move a few dozen buckets of ice cream up three flights of stairs to make room for today's order. And the dishwasher blew. And one of the tills. And there was a certain power-trip issue that I won't get into now.

Anyways. Camping. I expect there to be some scandal when M. and I share a tent tonight, and I'm kinda sorta masochistically looking forward to it. I'm aloof like that, ya know - people can say and think what they want.

(Total lie. I'm worried sick.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

what doesn't kill you...

might kill your customers. Oy. I had quite the stellar moment today. I daresay I impressed the boss my first day at the bakery - but, to be honest, it had more to do with three espressos and a good night's sleep than anything else. A hangover paired with an old donut and half a glass of orange juice? Not so much.

The single dumbest work moment of my life came today when, in a moment of true brilliance, I placed my beautifully packaged to-go meal right in front of the cash drawer (you can see where this is going). I even managed to ring the man up without doing anything dumb. Then I opened the till.

Cha-CHING! went the cash.
CRASH went the meal. All over the floor. Smooth. Thankfully, the guy was cool about it and just laughed. Don't think I didn't buy his coffee.

My boss, who is also pretty nice and easy going, laughed as well. She told me she might give me shit if she didn't think the embarassment were punishment enough. And oh, it was.

I was out with the tea house gang the other night to celebrate one of my coworker's birthday. A few Long Island iced tea's later (what the hell is IN those to make them so sweet?) I was feeling no pain and thought myself rather invincible.

I was sitting with a coworker who I'd until then gotten along with very well - she was easily my favourite supervisor - when we spied two girls kissing at once of the tables. Apparently Katy Perry has that effect. Anyways, she leans over and says to me, "God, that's so gross!

Me: "Why, that two girls are kissing?"
Her: "Yeah! That's nasty!"
Me: "So I guess this wouldn't be a great time to come out."

She didn't even answer, just got suddenly tired and 'had' to leave. I sat in a pout for awhile before leaving, too. Seriously. If you don't like it, which is ridiculous enough to start, don't look! I really liked this girl, too. I've always sensed some homophobia at work, but it was never anything more than a few jokes before this. Ya think you know someone.

Took M. out to my parents' cabin last night, which was a coming-out of sorts. I really had trouble figured out what they thought of it, but hey, at least the secret's out now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesdays are my only day off right now, so I don't easily let them go ot waste. Today I arrived at the local animal shelter with a hefty donation of mostly cat food - it's that time of year, after all, when all the foster kittens are coming back, and holy shit, were there kittens.

I spent most of the afternoon there. It cracked me up that when I first walked in the cats barely opened their eyes to greet me; yeah, whatevs, another person to pet us. But as soon as I shook the treat container, all eyes were suddenly on me. One cat got so excited he fell off the window ledge. Ever had twenty cats rush you? Intimidating, to say the least.

I fell in love with two cats in particular: one, named Sashi, was a beautiful creamy white with orange points who wanted cuddles more than treats (which is cat blasphemy, by the way) and literally lept into my arms when I tried to leave. There was another, an older black male who's name I couldn't find, who was about equally as affectionate - and who I watched leave later with an old woman taking him back to the retirment home. Don't think I didn't blink back a tear.

I played with the puppies for awhile after that. I normally call all dogs "puppies", but there were a few legitimate puppies that quite ripped my heart out of my chest. Or at least licked the shit out of it. I also met two dalmations, a great Dane, and a very old yellow lab named Rocky. I have a soft spot for old animals, which explains why both my my - er, M.'s - cats are twelve and thirteen.

I've always wanted to volunteer at the shelter, and maybe now I'll have enough spare time to do it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

M. and I are in a weird place. At first, I had a "friends with benefits" thing in mind, but of course, there were feelings there, and has anyone ever made that work? Didn't think so. So we tentatively got back together, and I proclaimed quite adamently that I was not giving up my hard-earned independance and we were not that serious.

It has come to my attention that my independance has been lacking. Not from the not-so-subtle complaints of my friends who have barely seen me, or the fact that my bedroom - which until recently was my spotless pride and joy - is now littered with laundry and starting to smell like hamster shit because I'm just never here. Nope, I noticed this because my rat, Ozymandius, has a giant tumour bigger than her head that I've just now noticed.

Cancer is generally the way rats die, and Oz is getting on in age, so I'm not really surprised. But these are my first rats and I'm not really sure what to do, and trust me, it's pretty gross.

Tumours like this don't just sprout up over night. How long has it been since I really spent time here? I'm getting scared now, because it was a very long road to being able to spend a night alone here feeling content. I think I gave that up a little too easily. A woman I work with tonight said she's been through something similar, and it's impossible to get back together without reverting to the seriousness you once had - which for me means digging out a ring.

I don't want to give up my independance just yet, because I'm not quite convinced enough that things are different this time. But I don't want to be here in this room tonight with only the rats to keep me company, because to be honest, all I'm doing is thinking about him.

Friday, August 8, 2008

nerdyjamie pirouettes onto blogger...

...or rather, trips and stumbles into it, knocking over a few glass vases, which is really more her style.


Now is a good time to start a blog. I`m a writer, ya know, and fish gotta fly. Or something. I figured this is a good time because I just started my new job yesterday, which will turn into a full-time endevour in a few weeks. I`ll be serving tables at an authentic French café-bakery; a job I got by drastically embellishing my experience in my current job, at a ice cream scoopery-tea house, where I do much more of the former and very little of the latter. I actually know very little about serving, baking, or French cuisine at all, but goddamn, I know a lot about pretending like I do.

How I wound up here requires a little back story. I won`t write much about it; it`s boring, and besides, I`m all about mystique, ya know.

In February, things were very different. I was with my then-live-in-boyfriend, M., and attending school full time in a variety of writing and sociology classes. Very few people knew that M. and I were desperately unhappy. I started dating M. at the young age of fifteen, which everybody knows is too damn young to date anybody, let alone somebody you plan to spend the next four years with. But we lived together anyways. Talk about having all your eggs in one grenade.

One day, a trivial argument was the end of it.

I lived with my best friend, S., for a few monthes while I got used to this whole `single` thing. And once I got the hang of it, boy, did I run with it. There was a brief but passionate affair with an unemployed actor; then, afterwards, there was an unnoficial affair with his (female) roommate. There was (and is) a whole lot `o the feminism. There was beer. Egads, the beer.

I`m living now with my Sister, her husband Brother, their son Munchkin and second-trimester fetus Babytoo. I`m not going back to school, at least not yet, which leads me back to the bakery.

I know what you`re thinking: art student dropout waiting tables smells like a whole lot of nihilism. But not at all. I`m all about optimism. I`m trying to think of this as a different kind of school, with more tests but less homework, which sounds OK except I heard a rumour that it`s not fair. And I`m trying to think of `croissant or baguette?' as more of a cute catchphrase than a death sentence. I haven't been able to find existentialism in ice cream - yet - unless carpal tunnel counts.

Oh, and M. and I are back together. Secretely, of course.