Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This will Probably Make You Gag. You've Been Warned.

I am at work right now, working a half day (yay!) and then I have a 4 day holiday weekend. After work I am heading home to clean, cook, and pack for our trip to Maine. We will leave after Geoff gets home around 7pm, and I am so excited. We are celebrating Thanksgiving and my birthday this weekend so yeah...awesome.

Tonight we will arrive at Geoff's mom's condo in Portland around 10pm. Diane is working all night but Geoff's brother, B will be there (sans our nieces unfortunately). Tomorrow Geoff and his brother will have dinner at their father's place and I will have dinner at my dad's. That one will be small as it will be my grandmother, my dad, my youngest brother, and myself. Hopefully Dad and I will get some football watching in and lots of eating before I leave. Then I will pick up Geoff and we will head to my uncle's house for another dinner with my mom's side of the family. That one will have probably about 15 people. I'm going to be very full and very tired by the end of the day! But that's what Thanksgiving is all about, right? Oh...and being thankful.

Friday will be a relatively relaxed day and I am hoping to go out with a couple of friends to the Old Port (where all the bars are) to celebrate my birthday which is on Saturday. Saturday I have breakfast with Mom, a quick visit with Dad, then we're off to a huge surprise 30th birthday party for one of Geoff's friends. I'm so excited for a party on my birthday even if it's not my own...we still get to see everyone!

Sunday I will hopefully not be nursing a hangover as we drive back to Rhode Island.

Having divorced parents is hard as I'm sure many people know. Geoff and I both have parents who divorced, so it makes the holidays really crazy and frustrating sometimes. This will be the first Thanksgiving that we're actually having a dinner together since we're usually pulled in so many directions. It could be much worse though. We are so lucky to have parents who love us and big families full of wonderful people. I wouldn't trade them for the world. I know it's sappy and cliche, but I am going to do a quick bit on thankfulness.

I am thankful that I have a boyfriend who loves me and who treats me so wonderfully. He has stuck with me through some very hard times and I'm in awe as to how I am so lucky. He is an amazing man who really cares about others and who makes my world and others' a much better place. Also, he's pretty easy on the eyes so...I'm one lucky woman.

I'm thankful for my family. Yes they drive me crazy most of the time and yes we have our fair share of problems, but they love me and I love them. They will always support me and be there for me and for that I am forever grateful.

I'm thankful that my brother is stateside this holiday season and not fighting in Afghanistan like last year.

I'm thankful for my cuddly doggy. He makes life better.

I'm thankful that Geoff and I both have jobs and can pay our bills this year.

I'm thankful that I was born in a country that for all it's problems and ridiculousness...still is one of the best places to live. I have so many freedoms, rights, and opportunities that others in the world don't have access to.

I'm thankful for my friends. They are amazing people and make my world so much brighter.

I'm thankful for a million things that I can't possibly fit into one blog post...but I think these top the list.

Oh yeah, I'm also thankful for good wine and food. Bring on the turkey, pies, and booze. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

What are your plans?

Monday, November 23, 2009

More than You Ever Needed to Know About Me...but I'm Awesome and Superior so Deal with It (please?)

Anyway, last week I was given two awards by two lovely bloggers! The first is the awesome blogger award and it was passed along to me by Smileyfreak. She is a very nice girl and always leaves me wonderful comments. Thanks Smileyfreak!

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank whoever gave you the award.

2. Copy and post the award to your blog.

3. Tell your readers 7 things they don't know about you.

4. Give the award to 7 bloggers.

5. Keep being awesome.

Alright, let's start by talking about me, because apparently I am awesome! Here are 7 things most of you probably don't know about me:

1. One of my best friends from high school and my best friend from college are marrying each other in June of 2010. I'll be in the wedding, and I'm very happy for them! I'm also a little worried about them as they tend to do the on again off again thing every now and's hoping they'll have a long, happy life together!

2. I love helping people and I want to get back into working in non-profit organizations. My dream is to someday open my own non-profit and travel the world helping others. I was lucky enough to be born in a country where I have freedom and many rights that others in the world do not have. I believe that since I've been given this chance it is my responsibility to help others who are less fortunate.

3. My brother is a Marine and he will be home for Christmas this year!

4. I am terrible at hiding how I'm feeling and I'm also a very emotional person. I cry at commercials, I'll laugh at most anything, and I get irritated easily. Whether I'm happy, sad, or'll know it. Which is why I can never do the "What's wrong?" "NOTHING." thing with Geoff as my "NOTHING" always sounds like something.

5. I LOVE camping. It is one of my favorite past times. I don't mean on a nice campground with a pool and a playground, either. I mean in middle of the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont with no one around for miles but Geoff, Bandit, me, and the mountains and river. It depresses me to see that other people leave their trash and belongings behind in this beautiful landscape. I hate cleaning up other people's garbage...but I hate seeing this amazing land treated like a dump even more. I can't even explain how much I adore the tent, the campfire, and the great outdoors. Talking about it now makes me wish the camping season wasn't so far away!

6. I love playing Mario Party but hate most other video games.

7. I grew up in Maine but have never been skiing or snowboarding and as much as I'd love to learn, I'm pretty sure that I'm too much of a wimp to ever actually do it. I'm not very athletic or coordinated so sliding down a mountain on my feet probably wouldn't end well for me.

Now to pass the award along to others!

Amblus - She is a fun, quirky read. I love her biking stories as well as the funny things in her day to day life. You must at least check out the post about the greatest butternut squash you'll ever see.

f8hasit - I love her blog! She is a wonderful writer and always has a good post to read. She also has a great sense of humor. And she does a "Follower of Note" segment that can help you find even more great bloggers! Go see her!

From the Inside...Out - Kathryn is fantastic. She is always good for a laugh and her posts are all so creative! You really never know what you're going to get...but it's always worth your time and you'll be glad you stopped by. Plus in her welcome section she invites you to pour yourself a glass of wine and join in a yeah. Awesome.

Picture Imperfect - Penny is an amazing photographer. All of her posts are accompanied by beautiful photos she has taken. I am so jealous of her talent, but so thankful that she shares it with others. She is also a fun read. Thanks for blogging, Penny!

Ok, I am only passing this award onto 4 people as you can see, but it's because I also got presented with another award, and I'm too lazy to pass these on to so many people.

This award came from Dreamfarm Girl, and it's the Superior Scribbler award! As she said, I already have one, but I'd love to have two! Thank you so much! Before you finish reading this post (or when you're finished, whatever) go visit her. She's delightful!

The rules are the same as the other award above so here are 7 more things about me (gah! the pressure!):

1. I am an absolute sucker for holiday specials. I watch the same ones every year, and it drives Geoff crazy (he's not so much of a fan). Of course there are the Peanuts specials...Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I don't stop there. I also have to watch Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Garfield Christmas, A Christmas Story, and It's a Wonderful Life (though I do miss that one from time to time). Every year, without fail, you will find me spending the weeks leading up to Christmas watching these. Yes, I'm a sap. I don't care.

2. I am constantly battling between wanting to move back to Maine and wanting to move far away (the west coast? Europe?). I can't seem to think of a happy medium between my strong desire to travel and my serious homesickness.

3. Geoff and I met at work in the summer of 2006. We were both working for the same nonprofit and discovered that we also had the same major at the same school and would have two classes together the upcoming semester. I had just become single for the first time in a long time that spring and was planning on staying single for awhile. Geoff was supposed to be a summer fling at the most. Obviously it didn't quite work out that way. :)

4. I am turning 25 the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That is less than a week away. I am not super happy about this.

5. I play fantasy football. I've been a football fan for quite a long time, but I usually would watch all of the Patriots games and only a handful of other games each week. This year Geoff and his friends needed another person to join their fantasy league so I signed up. I love it. I have become way more interested in all of the NFL games and I listen to sports radio more often so I can get updates on players. My record so far is 8 wins 3 losses. I'm kicking some serious ass on those boys! I actually played Geoff's team last week and won...he was not too happy. His friends made fun of him...but I've won against most of them too so I don't think they have much room for talking.

6. I'm not much of a pie person. I love most desserts...cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. Pie...not so much. The only kind of pie I actually do like is pumpkin pie, and that is one of my all time favorite desserts. Yum.

7. I love to learn. I am really such a geek. I love science, politics, international studies, sociology, psychology, literature, and so much more. I always was a great student and while no part of me misses homework, I do miss school. I will have to go back sometime soon.

And now to pass this on to others!

Island Roar - I actually just started reading this blog very recently...and I found her through f8hasit's Follower of Note section! She's also an amazing writer. When reading her words I feel like I'm being transported the the time and place that she's describing. Good read. Go!

Lost in Thought - I found Meg when she started following me, and I'm so glad I did! If you're a dog lover like myself, you do not want to miss Furry Fridays when she posts pictures and stories from the dog shelter she volunteers at. If you're just looking for a good story, check out her Travel Tuesdays where she posts about her travels in Europe. Those ones always make me laugh:)
Jen's Voices - I was actually just noticing that Jen has received a lot of awards lately...but she deserves it! I am always so excited to see that she has a new post waiting to be read in my Google Reader. Her PSAs are the best!

The Checkout Girl - Some of you may have been lucky enough to have already discovered TCG. If not, this is your lucky day. TCG's blog shares the humor and ridiculousness in everyday life as a...well...checkout girl. Having worked in retail and food for minimum wage myself, I find so many of her posts to be funny and true. She's such a great writer that I actually read her entire blog last week. Yeah, go see her.

That's all for now! I'll try to do a post about my weekend later today. How is everyone? I know I've been blogging less lately...I miss my bloggy buddies!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hi, my name is Jen and I am a semi-thief.

I can almost NEVER return something I've rented on time.

This might sound like a minor problem to you, and of course in the grand scheme of things, it is. But guys, I'm seriously bad. I can name two libraries and three video stores that I can no longer borrow books or rent videos from and I'm thisclose to adding another library to the list.

I've mentioned before that I am the queen of procrastination, so that has something to do with it. "Oh I'll return it tomorrow." There are only so many tomorrows before you get a letter or email stating the ungodly amount of money you owe and a suggestion that you "Fine just keep the damn thing, but send us our money!" I mean, I use the library because I am broke and I can read their books for free, so how is it that on more than one occassion I have ended up owing them more money than the book is worth? How does that happen?

This all started when I was a teenager. I would borrow books from the library and then forget to bring them back for over a month. This resulted in me being unable to borrow from our hometown library anymore, and because I used my mom's card...she couldn't go either. Sorry Mom!

I managed to rack up a couple of late fees at the local video store as well, but I usually kept it under control. Until my freshman year of college. I was home on break and rented Basic with John Travolta. I left it in my closet at my mother's house and returned to school later that week. I couldn't remember where I'd left it and my mother kept calling to complain that the video store was calling her house wanting the video. It ended up being returned about 9 months later. What with the large sum of money I owed, I also can't go back there anymore. And for Basic? That movie wasn't worth a toenail. Sigh. Also, because I used my mom's card...she can't go there anymore either. Sorry again Mom! My younger brother went there with his girlfriend about a year after the video got returned and tried to get a movie. He had a card from my mom's account as well...and they practically tossed him out of the store. When he called my mother to see what the hell that was all about, she explained that his sister is hell bent on getting the whole family banned from every rental place in the area. I didn't know my plan was so obvious.

As the years went on I opened up my own accounts at video stores and libraries and similar things happened. If it wasn't them banning me it was me being too embarrassed to face the people behind the desk. I know what they were thinking. "You owe us money, lady. You owe us retribution! How hard is it to return something ON TIME?? Loser." I mean, it does get old to be reminded that you owe money every time you reach the circulation desk and have to mumble an apology as you thrust some singles at the librarian and push your way through the crowd head down, red-faced, as they glare at you, shaking their heads in disgust.

I thought I could start fresh after our move to Rhode Island...but I don't know who I was kidding. I had been doing so well at our local library...but I just got an email reminding me that the three books I took out are two weeks overdue. I could go home after work and take them to the library but I have a bunch of other errands to run, and I see the same thing happening tomorrow. Hopefully I'm still allowed in there by the time I finally drag my ass back over. It's doubtful though.

Do they have a help line for this?

Monday, November 16, 2009

How They Find Me and Weekend Happiness

Geoff and I had a pretty uneventful, but nice weekend. Saturday it poured and we did absolutely nothing all day except for cook, eat, and watch more stuff on the Netflix player. Yesterday morning we went out to breakfast at a little place Geoff had noticed on his way to work. Breakfast just might be my favorite meal, and it's definitely my favorite meal to eat out. Geoff had an italian omelette with pepperoni, olives, onions, garlic, mozzerella, and marinara sauce with a side of toast and home fries. It looked delicious! I had french toast, home fries, an egg, and bacon. We sat and chatted while sipping our coffees and enjoying our food. It was glorious!

After breakfast I had to go get measured for a bridesmaid dress (joy) before heading home. We enjoyed a lovely walk with Bandit, and it was so nice to have fall weather in the 60s again. Then we planted ourselves on the couch for the rest of the day to watch some football. Dammit Patriots! What was that all about??? I'm still disappointed this morning.

Anyway, I've noticed that from time to time other bloggers will post about the funny ways that people stumble upon their blog through Google search and I thought I would do the same! Below are some of the things people have typed into their Google search bar that led them to my blog. I've grouped searches that had similar themes together.

Love and wine and Wine Love - These make sense.

Pin the Part on the Old Fart and Old Fart Picture - These are a little strange but I'm pretty sure that they refer to the game from this post. If not we have a serious problem with the elderly in this country.

Kids Boyfriend Life Wine - How does one fit everything they love into a happy life? Perhaps that is what this searcher wanted to know.

Why is Wine Keeping Me Up at Night? - Good question. You probably aren't drinking enough.

I love camping - Good for you. Me too.

Who is the woman who talks to the cake in the yoplait commercial? - I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter. She's obviously delusional and we don't need to associate ourselves with people who think yogurt and cake are the same thing. Also, who talks to Google in complete sentences?

Special Life and Love in Turkey - I'm really not sure how I could have helped this person. I've never been to Turkey, and I'm really not sure what "special life and love" are.

Wine and its effects on love life - If you're having problems with wine affecting your love life, you obviously need to prioritize. He's not worth it.

Dangers of Bran - I was happy to see this. I thought bran was only out to get me, but I guess I'm not alone.

What to bake when you have the munchies - Seriously? Ok, well I think anything would probably do the trick, but it's probably best not to bake when you're stoned. I would just open up a bag of chocolate chips and go for it. Otherwise you could very well forget about whatever you put in the oven and start a fire. Also, opening a bag of chocolate chips takes very little effort so it's a win all the way around.

Be careful what you Google...someone may be watching you. And laughing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Time I Almost Got the Boot

As life has been pretty uneventful lately, I figured I'd share with you another adventure from my Subway days.

During my summers as a Sandwich Artisit, I was often chosen to either open or close the store as I was more trustworthy and more all around awesome than the other kids that worked there. That's right. I actually cared a little about my Sandwich Artist duties.

In the summertime we were open until 11pm or midnight, and because it was a small store I was often working alone for the last hour or two. This was fine, but sometimes a little creepy. While the store was in a plaza, everything else there was closed by 9pm. This store was in a small town in Maine and there really wasn't a lot going on around me. At times it felt a little eerie walking to my car across the empty parking lot. Working inside the store alone didn't bother me too much, however, as most everyone that came in at night was a regular, a teenager, or a frantic mom.

One night I had a group of camp kids come in right before close and I wasn't able to get them all served and out the door until about 15 minutes after close. Because I was in a rush, I forgot to lock the door. A few minutes into my closing duties, I heard the bell go off indicating that someone was entering the store. "Shit" I thought to myself as I scurried back to the front.

When I got to the register my jaw dropped. A short and stout older man (who looked like a hobo) was walking toward me wearing a winter hat, raggedy smelly clothes, a long snarled beard, and a few layers of grime. He was carrying a boot. A tall rubber looking boot.

I thought, "Holy crap I'm about to get robbed. This is it. There's probably a gun in the boot." That was the only logical explanation...right? Right?

"I...I'm sorry sir, but we're closed."

"That's ok. I'm not here for a sandwich."

(ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod! I should push the panic button. Should I push the panic button? ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod)

"I...I'm sorry?"

He reached the register and set his boot on the counter in front of me.

"Can you tell me how to get to (insert place I've forgotten here)."

"'s (insert random directions here)."

The conversation went back and forth like this...he wasn't understanding my directions, but a lot of the things he was saying just weren't making sense. I was sure I was about to be murdered. After what seemed like a long, twisty conversation, he picked up his boot.

"Ok, thanks."

"Y...your welcome!"

He left.

I was still shaken, but wasn't really sure why. I felt bad that I had just figured this smelly old man with the boot wanted to rob me just because he looked homeless...but the "I'm not here for a sandwich" line really set off the *FREAK OUT NOW* alert in my head for some reason. I finished closing up still feeling nervous, and was wondering if he'd be waiting outside in the parking lot for me. He wasn't.

Looking back I'm pretty sure he was just a drunk, homeless dude lugging booze around in a boot. Hopefully he and his booze-boot got whereever it was they needed to go.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Many Dangers of Oat Bran

Well I'm still sick and actually feel worse today than yesterday. What the hell, cold?

This morning I had too unfortunate incidents with oat bran.

Now, I like oat bran, but not oatmeal. I think it's a texture thing. It just tastes so yummy with cinnamon and brown sugar. So this morning I decided to have some for breakfast before work instead of my usual peanut butter toast. I figured it would feel better on my throat.

Unfortunately, after making this decision I realized that both my small pots and all of my bowls were in the dishwater. Dirty. Yeah, I'm a domestic goddess. To improvise I decided to cook it in a tupperware bowl in the microwave. Win!

When the microwave beeped I scurried to it, excited for my breakfast. Upon opening the door I found that my oat bran had all boiled over and was puddled on the tray. I mean there was nothing left in the bowl, but there was stuff oozed all over the outside of it. I looked at it, sighed, and went over my options. I didn't have enough time to make another breakfast. Our microwave tray is covered by this thin protective mat that is easy to remove and clean.
Ours is white
So...I wiped the bowl down with a paper towel, placed it in front of the microwave, peeled off the mat with both hands, and funneled the oat bran back into the bowl. It all slipped right back in! This is only a little gross...right? I mean it can't have been that long since I cleaned the thing. Riiiiight. Stop judging me!

Next I sat down in front of the computer with my bowl. I was happily reading emails, sipping tea, and eating my breakfast when I suddenly had to sneeze. I tried to finish chewing and swallowing my I couldn't...this sneeze was coming. I plugged my nose (I don't know why but many times when I sneeze I do this) and sneezed. I opened my eyes to see oat bran all over the computer monitor. Awesome.

How was your morning?

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Use Crying Over...Burritos?

I still have a cold and have been feeling rather crappy lately, so I don't have a whole lot to write about.

Geoff had a meeting for work Friday night and wasn't getting home until 9pm so I had to amuse myself after work and grocery shopping were done. I made myself some Kraft mac'n'cheese (I know, I know...but it's a guilty pleasure. I only ever buy or eat it when I'm feeling down and when I'm alone), changed into sweats, and decided to catch up on some of my Netflix movies.

I haven't watched a movie in quite awhile. We have a Netflix player and can download movies onto it...but I almost never watch them. In my weakened sick state, however, I managed to watch 4.5 movies from Friday night to Saturday night. Yeah.

Friday night I watched Seven Pounds. Holy depressing, Batman! I turned it off when Geoff got home. Once he arrived we snuggled on the couch for the night.

Once in bed, I could hardly sleep. My nose was runny, I was coughing a lot, nd I just felt miserable. I finally pulled myself out of bed at 7:30am. On Saturday morning. So not right. Geoff and Bandit stayed in bed snoring away and I hit the couch to finish the movie. After that I started watching Mad Money. It was cute, but far from great. A few minutes into it I couldn't stand the boredom of a quiet morning anymore and dragged Geoff and Bandit out of bed. It was after 10am by then anyway. Geoff made breakfast and tea while I snuggled back down on the couch to watch the movie.

Later that day Geoff went to get my tire changed finally. I have been driving around with the little donut on my car since my tire blew out on the way home from NH 3 weeks ago. I am the queen of procrastination after all, especially when it comes to car stuff. Oops! While he was gone I started watching Mr. Holland's Opus. Love that movie. I remember loving it as a kid too which is why I wanted to watch it again. The end always makes me cry. I was about halfway through with that when Geoff got from the tire place. Being as it was around 2pm I decided to shower and get us out into the beautiful fall weather that we were blessed with this weekend. I quickly showered and then got caught up watching the first half of Righteous Kill with Geoff before we ventured outside.

We headed to Providence where there was a Rock 'n' Roll Yard Sale going on. We weren't sure what to expect but the weather was nice and it sounded fun. Upon arriving at the building we found 'Gansett Girls selling beer, live music and DJs, and tons of people selling vintage records, clothes, and handmade everything. It was really neat! We browsed for about an hour before the insane crowdedness of it got to us. It was a very small space with lots of people and lots of tables. Still a good time though!

On the way to the car we stopped for burritos. Very yummy and a nice treat. Being as broke as we are we usually only have about $10-$20 worth of "fun money" for the two of us each week. These burritos were HUGE! While we were sitting down eating a woman ran over to us looking frantic.

Woman: (whiny voice...looked about to cry) "Do you have $6.99???? I ordered my burrito and I don't have my wallet and now I can't pay for it!"

Geoff: "Sorry, no"

Me: "We just used all of our cash on these."

Woman: (Sounding annoyed with us!) "Well do you have a credit card or something???"

We shook our heads. She sighed exasperated and went to another table. They told her the same thing and she KICKED MY CHAIR then ran out into the streets. I was apalled. What the hell lady???

She came back about 5 minutes later with a guy. I guess she had been out on the street begging for burrito money and this guy was nice enough to come pay for her. I felt a little bad for her at first but seriously who cries over a burrito? And who asks pissed off when complete strangers won't pay for your food?

Anyway, we headed back home where we finished watching Mr. Holland's Opus and then watched Out Cold.

I actually got a good amount of sleep that night and we spent the first half of Sunday lounging on OUR PORCH IN THE SUN!!! Finally! A day warm enough to go sans sweatshirt and get some rays. I love reading in the sun:)

We spent the rest of the day watching football, eating chips and guac, and enjoying the fall season. I pretty much did not move from the couch once I sat down. I'm still nursing this cold, but am hopeful that it will go away soon. I hope I get an energy boost in the next day or two because the apartment is a mess!

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Time Veggies Taught a Five Year Old to Condemn Me For All Eternity

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much this week, but I've been battling a cold that's left me in kind of a tired/bad mood. For the same reason, this will be quick.

I was just reading a story that reminded me of something kind of humerous that happened to me years ago. I worked at Subway during high school and if I had been blogging then I would have endless stories to tell you about the crazies I worked with and the crazies that came in. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I had this conversation:

Customer: Can I get a (insert type of sandwich here) sub?

Me: Do you want a footlong or a six inch?

Customer: I long is the footlong?


Customer: How long is the six inch?

These were serious questions and I kid you not, I was asked this more than once a day. I probably heard it as much as "no pickles". And I had to be all customer servicey and answer with a straight face.

That's not the story I set out to tell though.

One night while working the sub counter a little girl, probably about five years old walked in. She was very cute and sweet looking and had come in without her parents. When I asked her if I could help her she said "My mommy is at the grocery store and told me I could wait in here til she comes for sammiches." This Subway was in a plaza and the grocery store was one store over. Still weird.

Anyway, she sat at a table and since no one else was around I chatted with her from behind the counter. I don't remember what we talked about but she ended up talking about "Veggie Tales". I had seen it on PBS or something before and I think it's a cartoon where different veggies act out different parts of the Bible.

Little Girl: Do you watch Veggie Tales?

Me: No, I don't. Do you?

LG: Yup. (insert random commentary about the veggies and their adventures) Why don't you like Veggie Tales?

Me: I don't know...I just don't watch it...

LG: Do you believe in God?

Me: (unsure of the appropriate way to answer such a question while at a place of business) I don't know...

LG: (jaw drops and a look of horror fills her eyes) YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!

Me: Um...

Just then the mother walks in.

Mother: Hi! How are you today?

Me: Well apparently I'm going to Hell...

Mother: (turns to daughter and yells) Janie! What have I told you about preaching????!!!???

Haha, never a dull moment working in customer service or the food industry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not the Way Life Should Be

I usually try to keep my blog very non-political so as not to offend any of my readers. This is hard for me sometimes as I was a Political Science major in college and have great interest in many political and social issues. Today, I have to break the trend. I hope that I don't lose any readers after this. If you are afraid you might be offended by this post please skip it and come back tomorrow when we return to our regular programming.

As most of you know I was born and raised in Maine. I just moved to RI in September of 2008. Earlier this year the Maine state government passed a law that legalized gay marriage. I was so happy and proud. I have several friends and a family member who are gay and it meant a lot that they were finally granted equal rights in my home state.

Let me just say for the record that I respect everyone's personal opinions. I know that for religious (and other) reasons some people don't support gay marriage. That is your right and that is fine. But just because you disagree with something for personal reasons doesn't mean that it should be made illegal. The government shouldn't be able to decide who gets married and who does not. I have heard the arguement that allowing homosexuals to marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage. Bullshit. I don't see how two people of the same sex marrying for love can harm the institution of marriage more than all of those who get divorced, those who marry for money, those who marry because they got knocked up, and those who marry for convenience. That argument does not work.

Anyway, in Maine they have what is called the "people's veto". This means that after the state government passes a law any group that opposes it can collect signitures to have the law go to referendum to be overturned. As soon as the state legalized gay marriage, people took action. They gathered the number of signitures needed, though several of them lied to get them. Many people I know were approached by people with clipboards saying "If you support gay marriage sign this petition!" Luckily, many of my friends know to read things before they sign and also had the intelligence to question why they would need to sign a petition for something that was already a law. It was a trick. The anti-gay marriage campaign was using any means necessary to gather signitures, knowing that many citizens just don't take the time to think about what they are doing.

Once they got the signitures it was time for both sides to campaign. Thousands and thousands of people came out in support of homosexual rights and held news conferences, public meetings, and created tv ads. Most of the "No on 1" (the side that wanted to keep the law in place) ads were based on accepting different kinds of families. They begged the question "if you can marry, why can't I? What makes you more of a citizen than me?" One particular ad showed a man knocking on someone's door. An older man answered. The younger man said "I'd like to ask for Ashley's hand in marriage, and I need your blessing. The older man gave it to him. Relieved the younger man thanks him and leaves...only to knock on the next door and ask the same thing. It shows him travelling from town to town knocking on doors asking for permission from strangers to marry the woman he loves. Heterosexual people do not have to do this. This year homosexual men and women in Maine did.

The "Yes on 1" ads were completely different. The stated that if gay marriage were legal it would be taught to elementary students in school along with "gay sex education". Yes, of course if gay marriage is legal we will start teaching kindergarteners about gay sex. Obviously. (Are you kidding me??? Do people believe this crap???)

Well, the "Yes on 1" campaign was smart. They know that scare tactics work. Yesterday, Mainers voted to repeal the law legalizing gay marriage, stripping rights from people who had only held them for a short period of time. It was very close. 53% to 47%. Over 200,000 people voted to embrace equality for all Mainers. Unfortunately, over 250,000 people did not. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country. I can't quite see how this doesn't contradict that. Besides people's religious beliefs...why?

I am heartbroken for my friends and family who have lost the right to equality this week. Heartbroken. They are amazing people. They don't deserve to be treated as second class citizens. Maine is supposed to be "the way life should be". Today, it is not.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Going out in Costume the Day After Halloween is Always a Good Idea

Halloween weekend. What fun!

Geoff and I knew we wanted to go out and do something for Halloween, but until October 31st we didn't really know what. We still don't know many people down here, and those we do know didn't have any set plans. Last Halloween we had been here for about one month and didn't know a single soul. As it turned out, a friend of ours knew someone down here (Emily) who was having a Halloween party and connected us through Facebook. Emily kindly invited us to the party being thrown at the house she shared with some friends and we decided to attend. Don't get me wrong, I am a shy person and was pretty anxious about going to a party where the only person I had ever even seen before was Geoff, but we dressed up and went anyway. It was a blast! Three floors of crazy fun. I'm so glad that I was brave enough to go.

This year there were no such plans in the works. In the end we decided to attend Waterfire with our friend from college, Mark, who just moved to RI with his girlfriend, Jenny. As of Saturday morning I had no idea what I was going to be. I spent a good part of the day pulling random items of clothing out of closets to try to put something together. This is what I ended up with:

(Note: Pics taken on Sunday night and thus are costume is not as cool as it was on Halloween)

Geoff was a zombie and used ripped clothes for his costume and a red marker ink/toothpaste/cocoa mixture for blood. It was pretty good...I don't have pics unfortunately.

We met up with Jenny and Mark downtown a little after 9pm. It was about 70 degrees but SO WINDY. We're talking serious wind people. And of course it started raining as soon as we got out there...not too hard for most of the night though. They had never attended a Waterfire before so they thought it was pretty cool. It seemed strange to us as the city was pretty deserted. Usually on Waterfire nights you are shoulder to shoulder and heel to toe with people walking along the river. After we walked the length of the river we walked to another part of the city for beers at Trinity. Yum. Mark was sick so they were ready to head home after that. Geoff and I decided to find more fun. He called his friend Peter and we met up with him at a club across town. I had never been there and probably won't go was pretty sleazy. But it was Halloween so who cares? We finally made it home around 3am and made drunk nachos. They were delicous and exactly what we needed.

Sunday, as usual, was a lazy day. We spent most of it on the couch watching football and eating...yeah that's how we roll. Around 7:30pm I was flipping through the Providence Phoenix and saw an ad from the pool hall right down the road from us. It said that if you came in costume on Saturday or Sunday you could play pool for free until 10pm and get a free, one-year VIP membership (which means discounts and stuff). Also there would be a costume contest with cool prizes. I mentioned the ad to Geoff and we thought man...that's cool...too bad we're too tired and lazy to do it! A few minutes later we looked at each other and decided "What the hell? Let's go!" We gathered the pieces of our costumes once more and dressed up for another night out. This is big for us guys...we never go out anymore...too broke. When we got to the pool hall we found that we were the only ones dressed up! Some people were looking at us like "Ummm...Halloween was yesterday?!?" but others were like "You guys rock!" We got in a couple of hours of free pool and got our memberships as well. Two other people showed up in costume while we were there...Death and Little Bo Peep. Cute couple.

Just as we were leaving one of the beer girls (or whatever the girls dressed in Catholic School Girl uniforms who brings me beer are called) came over caring a big case of beer.

"Hey guys, thanks for coming dressed up tonight! Since there wasn't really much competition the owner wanted to give everyone who dressed up some gifts."

Me and Geoff looked at each other and then her. "Sweet."

"He wants you guys to have this case of beer (!!!) and gift certificates too."

"SWEET! Thanks!!"

It was pretty funny walking out of the pool hall in our costumes carrying a case of beer. People driving by were probably a little confused.

While it would have been great to be back in Maine celebrating the weekend with our friends, this weekend turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. What did you do?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have one of my (free!) beers.