Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm shocked

I can't sleep so I thought I'd do some research for my next article for my writing class when I stumbled upon something that shocked me. And no it's not porn. It's a website for term papers. If this is not new news to you, well lucky you. Because it is to me! I'm shocked and rather angry that this website even exists. The home page says it has term papers since 1998 and that the reason they charge for them is because they have "more quality term papers on line than any other web site."

So what? You just go on the website, find your topic, find the paper that suits you best, pay for it and your set? You get a passing grade without learning anything! That sucks!

This is mostly annoying because the article that I'm researching is whether or not a college education is worth anything any more. It mostly stems from my experience, having a degree, using it for a while and then realizing that isn't what I really want to do any more. And most of what I have read says it depends on the field you want to go into. Which is pretty much where I stand. I think.

But having a website like the term papers on line one is ridiculous. Is learning not worth anything any more? And if you can't do research for your own term paper, how the hell are you going to function in the working world, no matter what career path you choose?

Hmmmm, maybe I can somehow include all of this in my article...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I see, what I hear

Riding the bus I get to watch and listen to some exceptionally interesting people. One of them last week was the bus driver himself. He looked like a redneck Santa. All big and jolly with white beard but just a bit rough around the edges. I was the only one who got on at the stop that morning and he asked if I was headed to work and where it was that I was employed. Yes, I replied. And I work at Barnes and Noble which he was just thrilled about. He loves to read and was right there with me when I told him that I could read or a living I would. We talked a bit about what kind of books we like and he liked history and current events which then lead us to politics. He asked if I was voting and if I didn't mind him asking, who would I be voting for. "I have my Obama button on right now." I said. "Good girl." was his reply. I have no qualms stating my opinion (as everyone knows. "Big surprise, Sarah" I'm sure you're saying.) We chatted just a bit longer and it came to a stop when he said "All right, he comes another passenger. I gotta be careful what I say. Nice talking to you." Same here I told him. And that was that. He was such a pleasant spirit but even more so at 7:20 in the morning. I love striking up a conversation with someone and seeing where it takes you. We all have so many differences, but at the same time we are all so alike.

Last Thursday evening after my nice dinner with my college girlfriends, I was waiting at the bus stop to head home. (By the way, drinking two glasses of wine without a second thought is great when you take public transportation.) There was a woman probably in her mid-60's with a very Lutheran photo of Jesus. And when i saw Lutheran I mean angelic, peaceful, serene. The catholics like their Jesus a little bit more worn, with the crown of thorns and on the cross. Anyway, this sweet woman with her hair in the bun, thick and large lensed glasses, and her orthopedic oxfords on her feet set her Jesus photo on the bench, displayed nicely next to her bag. And waited. Not too long after she sat down another woman came up, maybe a few years younger, she didn't have as much gray and was wearing jeans (tapered jeans but not slacks like the other woman.) The woman who had just arrived looked at the photo, then at the photo's owner and said "What a lovely picture." And the older woman perked up right away, beamed and said "Why, yes." And without missing a beat the younger one said "He is a bit caucasian looking though. There were no white people there, it's the Middle East" And the woman with the Jesus photo looked like someone had just told her that the Toothfairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa were all not real. Her dreams were broken and to top it off she was offended. But I also think that she was so shocked she couldn't come up with a comeback quick enough. And then the younger woman tried to back peddle with stuff like "We all really don't know what he looks like, we won't know until we die. We can just pray and believe, Jesus loves us all." But I think the damage was done to this woman however. I wanted to say to her, "Even though I agree with her about Jesus not being white, you take your lovely photo of Jesus home, Sweetheart. It's a beautiful rendition, and I'm sure it will look wonderful in your home." Instead, I let the two battle it out, smirked at their attempt to be politically (religiously?) correct, and giggled to myself at how quickly we as humans can become offended. Me included, but whether it directly involves us or not, we all have opinions and many times it will take a verbal sledge hammer to knock them down.

I love people watching, people listening.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick and easy

I rode a hybrid bus today. How awesome is that?! Not only is it doing it's part to save the planet, but it's also the smoothest ride I've had in a long time. No shift shock, no large angry engine growling from the back, and you get no bounce back from the pot holes! It was fantastic!

Training at work is going well. I've been told that I pick up on things quickly and am good at suggestive selling. Plus it's fun and fast-paced, which makes the time go by really fast. Next week I'll be at my store, which will be a whole new ball game.

Oh and I pulled out my winter coat this morning. It's cold at 6:50 am! I don't know what I'm going to do when it's actually winter!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day of rest? Not really

It is finally cold here. No you desert dwellers may be asking "Finally cold? What is this madness she speaks of?!" But I like the cold and the winter and wearing sweaters and scarfs and hats. It's cozy and playing in the snow is a blast. Plus it makes the warmer months that much more enjoyable. Now, unfortunately it's not the nice lovely cold, where the snow falls, new and soft it looks like little crystals. Or where you get to lay inside all day, reading, or having a movie marathon, eating yummy comfort food.

Today it's is windy and when I say windy I mean 30-50 miles an hour of sideways blowing winds, and it's not snowing and it's not raining, it's sleeting but the wet stuff isn't staying stuck to the ground. This kind of weather makes you want to stay inside because the cold bullets of water hitting your face sting like a son of a... But it's not so bad outside that you end up leaving the house to run errands, see a friend, go shopping. And getting slightly wet and a bit disgruntled in the end.

Ahhh well, I went to Target blew a lot of money on stuff for the new place, and then spent time packing more stuff in mom's basement.

Speaking of packing, man have I got a lot of shit. I've gone through every box I left here before the move to NM and got rid of many many things. But I've also come across so many things I forgot I had and then don't want to get rid of. Memorabilia, old papers from school, that sort of thing. However, my newest unanswered question is this... I am moving into a studio, where am I going to put the stuff I never look at but can't bear to get rid of?

Any thoughts?

Halloween is this Friday and I have no plans but some great costume ideas. I'd really like to go to a party. But no invites yet. If I sit at home I'll be very upset. And maybe a little blue too. We shall see.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few excerpts from the new job and much other rambeling

It's the end of day two of the full training for the cafe position. And I am tired. I was the same way after being in receiving the first few days, not in music thought. That area is a breeze, but cafe... sometimes I feel like I'm running around doing things and I'm not even sure what I'm doing. It's constant motion and there is always something to wash or make or bake. It certainly keeps me busy and come 2 in the afternoon today I finally realized I was hungry. Being busy also makes me forget to eat. Unlike in music, if I didn't eat by 12:30, I was crab-by! I am enjoying it so far, having fun learning new things and getting the hang of all the gadgets and timers and machines.

The newest fun thing for me is eves-dropping on people on the bus. Yep, watch what you say I am listening and I will write about you if you catch my attention. Like this woman today who was pissing and moaning about work. (Which so many people do. Newsflash, if you don't like your job, find a new one.) But what got me about this lady was she did the whole less-is-more thing. For those of you not schooled in the lingo of "Waiting For Gufman" (great movie, watch it), less-is-more is when you are talking to someone you face them but close your eyes. And then when you look away you open your eyes. Back and forth, opening and closing at the wrong times. It's very annoying to those that are observant. I also think it's a subconscious effort to stay disconnected from people. (Mind you I never took a psychology class.) The guy she was talking to seemed not to mind, but I also think he didn't look at her much. The gaffawed about life and I moved to the back so their conversation was harder to hear thanks to the engine.

I have had two exceptionally interesting people come through the cafe in the last few days. One is a regular who talks to herself. Now when I was in NYC in Spetember my friends taught me a game called "Bluetooth or Crazy" meaning you have to guess if they are talking into a Bluetooth or are they just crazy. And this woman is CRAZY. She has full out conversations with no one and it's really hard to tell when she is ready to order. I keep thinking to myself "Should I be listening to his woman?" And you know how when most crazies talk to themselves, you can't really understand what they are saying? Well, not with this woman. You can understand every freaking word and yet it still makes no sense.

Another woman intrigued me very much. She came in with one of those walkers that also has a little seat on it to rest. But her seat and the storage space underneath it had a plastic tub on it. And on the tub that was placed on the seat was a handwritten sign that said "Do NOT steal. God is watching YOU." with lots of rosaries and crosses taped to the tub as well. She also came with her own seat cushion. I was very curious about her because that statement was so forward and a bit hostel. Was she homeless? She didn't seem so. Was this just the stuff that she carried with her on a daily basis? Very possibly. Did she have a job? I'm going to go with no, most people with a job don't have a cart like that to tote around. Plus the tape that was holding her signs and rosaries was very old and dirty and wasn't even fully doing it's job. Which then leads me to believe that she does move this cart around with her everywhere, hence the no job. And yes I'm assuming here but I am just basing all this off of what I observed.

As for me and my life... I'm having dinner in a couple of days with some old girlfriends from college. I've gotten back in touch with them thanks to facebook. I think the last time I saw them was senior week so I am very excited. I am reading The Devil Wears Prada. It's OK, I haven't seen the movie and so far it's a lot of work in the office and I am over half-way through. There are some parts that make me giggle but mostly this would fall under the fluff category, when I don't want to think to hard to read a book. I'm working on getting all my things packed and ready not move out of mom's basement in under a month. In fact I was out in the garage on Sunday where I had a box of baby dolls that I was hoping to keep for my kids and a mouse and it's ruddy little family had made it's home in bed with my dolls. I had to throw almost all of them out, they were covered in mouse filth. That made me sad.

Ohhhh I saw Religulous. And it's is brilliant! Bill Maher puts into words everything that has been running through my mind about organized religion. He preaches doubt, he says. And I think he raises some great questions. And when he questions someone on their beliefs, asks for an explanation, they can't give it. He does a much better job in making his point than I do here. I highly recommend it to anyone, despite what your beliefs are. For how can you grow any stronger in what you already believe if you don't continue to question it?

OK, this was long winded... thanks for making it through.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Added to my list of why Minnesota is great

I have discovered something that just adds to the joy of being back in Minneapolis. There is a place downtown called The Loft and it's a business that is available jsut for writers. They have classes, reading/writing groups, little studios you can rent out just for writing. It's fantastic!

Last winter sometime my mom had sent me one of their monthly newsletters and i was so enthralled with the place that she got me a membership too. Well, last night they had a new member open house and I went. About 15-25 people showed up and we got an introduction the The Loft, a tour of the space, and they told us of all the benefits that they offer for writers.

I couldn't stay through the tour or for the reading afterward because I was the fool who drove downtown with not enough quarters and my meter was running out. So I had to leave in a rush. But I left in an excited rush. I was so stoked to have found this place. It's in what used to be three separate warehouses that were gutted and pushed together but it still has all the original brick work and floors, and fire doors. There is so much character in the building alone, let alone all the support for writers that they offer, it oozes creativity. I can't hardly wait to go back!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

John McCain for successfully dodging the questions, blaming others, saying nothing of importance and laughing at inappropriate times. Congratulations!

God, I pray and VOTE! that I don't have to eat my words in 20 days.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Early yoga and mid-day riding

I just did yoga for the first time in at least a year. It felt so good to be just in the moment.

I did have trouble finding the place, it's in a park center, in the middle of a park, near downtown. And the last time I went to yoga with this teacher she had her own space and was fully equipped with mats and supplies. This time it was just an empty room. Another student got there not long after I did and I asked her if she was there for the same class as me. She said yes and I tried to make conversation that it was my first time at this space, and I wasn't sure if I was at the right spot, and I mentioned that I didn't have a mat. As she walked away from me she said "Well you need a mat."

I sat down on a bench and almost started to cry. I had gotten up early, taken the bus down there and I didn't have the one crucial element to do yoga. I was really looking forward to it and didn't want to to have to leave because I was mat-less. Jane, the teacher was kind and let me use the spare and her friend that came with her used Jane's mat. So it worked out.

I am not nearly as flexible as I used to be. Time to get back into yoga! I used to be able to do more of the poses without shaking as much as I did today. But that is the best part about yoga, you do what works for you. And this park/studio place is about a 10 minute walk from my new apartment.

I got on the bus after grabbing some coffee in Uptown and sat next to some people who were speaking another language. I had no idea what they were saying but it was a very rhythmic sound to it. If their language could become something we could see or touch I imagined it as breezy window curtians with weights at the bottom so the fabric doesn't blow all over the place. The language just sort of blows in a rhythm but has a weight to it in it's tone.

There was also a very large man both in height and width in a wheel chair, with ear plugs in, and sound asleep. I hope he didn't miss his stop.

I love riding the bus, so many things to look at and listen to. My, it's good to be home.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Awesome awesomeness!

I spent the first hour this morning sitting in my jammies wondering what I was going to do on a dreary, gray day. It was a tad lonely getting up, with the sun in hiding, no one at home but the dog, and knowing all my friends are at work. So I watched Ellen, I love her, she is so funny! I made really bad coffee and didn't finish it. I wondered the house with the dog on my tail (get it? dog, tail. No? Just me then?) trying to decide what to do. And then the phone rang. And it turns out my day was going to be great. I got the cafe manager position at Barnes and Noble! YEA ME! I had interviewed with the head of cafe for the region yesterday and then I just sat back on my haunches and waited. So this morning I almost forgot about it. Or at least hadn't thought about in the first hour or so that I was up.

So I took the dog for a walk up to Caribou Coffee for a morning treat of well-made caffeinated deliciousness. On the way Jake called to congratulate me which was great! (I sent him a text the moment I found out. What can I say? I was excited!) I drank my yummy yummy coffee on the walk home and spent the rest of the day organizing all my junk that has been in my mom's basement since college graduation. Around mid-afternoon the sun had come out and it was a gorgeous fall day so I went out to pick raspberries. (Yes, I live in the city and my mom has a ginormous raspberry bush in the backyard.)

Mid-pick with my fingers all juicy and stained, my phone rings. And it's the apartment that I turned in an application for. And the day gets better because I got the apartment! My first place that is all mine, my furniture, my decorating, my food, mine. I get to move in around November 15th. I can't hardly wait!

A day that was cold and damp both literally and figuratively wound up being absolutely fantastic! I have a job and a new place to live and I haven't even been home a week. I rock!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mid-week home

So I rode the bus yesterday for the first time in something like 3 years. I got my all-access-ride-any-time pass and when I got on the bus it was like I had walked onto another planet. There was a new contraption for me to "touch and go" my bus pass, rather than slide it in the slot like a transfer. And I just stood there dumb-founded. It was rush hour, the bus was packed and there were two people behind me. I felt like a moron. I apologized quietly and to no one specific. What I really wanted to say was "I'm sorry everyone. I swear I'm not new! I'm just out of practice!" Instead I had the bus driver tell me how to pay properly, I walked back and took my seat, flushed top to bottom. But after I realized that no one really cares, and most people didn't even notice it was fine. Oddly enough it was a comforting feeling, being back on good public transportation, I sank right in and read my book. Glancing up occasionally to notice other people, what they were reading, the guy with the Dollywood shirt on wondering if he knows my friend Chet, or the uber cute red shoes on the girl in the back.

And today I took the bus down and even got some errands done. I got off and on and off and on again, all using my pass. I had another interview for my job, with the boss's boss. And I still have one more with the head of the department. I think it's going well, I'm hopeful. I also turned in an application for an apartment that I found yesterday and just loved. When I got there I was crabby, it was raining and I had smashed my finger trying to close my umbrella. But once I was in this old fantastic building and seeing where I could be living, it was like the sun was shining and I just won the lottery. This building was built in 1912 and was originally a hotel with a restaurant in the basement. It reminded me of The Shinning in it's decoration and history. It has hardwood floors, a deep tub, and big windows. I was sold on the place and couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day. So today I turned in my ap and now I wait. Keep your fingers crossed.

I stopped reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, just wasn't feeling it right now. And I picked up Water for Elephants which has gotten rave reviews. So far it flows well, has some funny parts, and leaves enough mystery for me to want to keep reading. And now that I'm on the bus I'll be reading more and more.

Tomorrow I'm hoping for a day at home, getting organized and repacked and stuff.

Monday, October 6, 2008

No "case of the Mondays" here!

"Monday morning, you sure looked fine!" (Fleetwood Mac, it's a good song, you should listen.)
Today was a day well spent. Mom worked but was a dear and let me have use of her car if I drove her to and from work. And since I was up before the sun I figured I'd stay up and get-along-little-doggy with my day.

1. I stopped to get Caribou Coffee. The best coffee EVER. For those who've only had Starbucks when it comes to chain coffees, that place ain't got nothing on Caribou when it comes to different drinks and service. My how I have missed it!
2. I walked the dog. I truly enjoy walking and taking the dog makes it fun. Someone to talk to even though he doesn't answer and someone to make me laugh even though he doesn't mean to.
3. I had an interview at my future Barnes and Noble and that was the most laid-back thing I've done in a while (when it comes to getting a job). I'm in like next spring's fashions. And it feels fantastic! I just have to interview with the DM to make sure that he thinks I'm fitting. But with the way it went today, should be just as smooth.
But keep your fingers crossed for me, just in case.
4. I got my hair did (yes, that was a Missy Elliot reference) at my old salon. Getting your hair cut can be a joy but getting it cut by someone who is as fun as the girl who did it today is wonderful. I shall be returning.
5. I apartment searched and got some appointments set up for showings. I saw one yesterday but later in the evening said no. It had no tub, and I like my bubble baths. But I have an showing (although shouldn't it be called a viewing seeing as how I am the viewer and they are the show-er) tonight and two tomorrow. And am waiting on a few more to call me back.
6. An I'm going to watch the Vikings game tonight with some extended family. I don't really care about the game (sorry Mom and Uncle Jon) but I'm more excited for the company I'll be keeping tonight. They are like my second parents and also my friends.

Tomorrow, another fun-filled day of getting settled back into home-city-home.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back where I started from

So I have arrived back in Minneapolis and it's a weird feeling. It's so nice to be back in my city but knowing what I left behind, just has me in a pendulum of emotions. The room I'm staying in at my mom's house was so full of my stuff last night that there was barely room for me. Now I have the task of unpacking the stuff I'll need and repacking the stuff that can wait until I move into my own place. Some times all I feel like I'm doing is moving things around rather than doing anything productive. And maybe I am.

The rest of the trip went well. We stopped at the Corn Palace and that was one of the tackiest things I have ever seen. We stayed in Marshall because I wanted to know why someone decided to build a building and cover it with corn. Turns out the story isn't exciting at all. I was hoping for some nut-job who was bored or something like Field of Dreams, but no. The locals just wanted to put Marshall on the map and cover a building with corn. The inside is just a stadium where basketball games are played and concerts are held. But seeing the thing at night all lit up, all that came out of my mouth was "Oh my God!" It was awesomely tacky.

We also stopped at Wall Drug. Why I have never been there, I have no idea. That place was full of kitsch, everything that has no purpose was sold in every store. I highly recommend that place as a stop every time you drive through South Dakota.

I have already been apartment hunting. Mom and I went out and drove around and got phone numbers off of apartment buildings and tomorrow is the day I call and make appointments to see the places. Plus I have to go get my job all set up. That is a tomorrow thing too. Goodness Monday comes again and it's back to work.

If I stop and think about everything that involves this move, both in what I have done/need to do and emotionally I'll start to cry again. Moving is hard. And nothing makes it any easier. I sometimes feel so lost I can't put it into words. And then I'll see something, or remember something and I know that this is where I need to be.

I have some wine, my mom just made a fire in the fireplace, and I'm going to start making a scarf for a friend in Las Cruces. So tonight is a good night. I know I said I'd post pictures from the drive, but that is just going to have to wait. Right now, that isn't very high on the priority list.

Stay tuned, back home and it's fall. A whole new set of things is in-store for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day two

We've made it to South Dakota, just in time for the Vice President debates. And can I just say "Shut the f up, Pallin!" Seriously, what the hell is she saying and does she really know anything substantial?! I don't want her to wink at the camera or at Joe Biden, I don't want her to mention another hockey mom, and you can tell when she starts talking about something that she really isn't sure on because she stops smiling and her eyes get flat. She smiles when she beats around the bush on topics and says shit like "Thanks but no thanks..." and "Well if I find any information, I'll get it to ya'." She is the tip of the iceberg on what is wrong with that political party.

OK, got that off my chest. If I offended anyone, sorry but it's my blog...

Our drive today was much better. Scenery-wise and emotional-wise. Colorado is gorgeous, all these trees and mountains and changing leaves. The last hour of Wyoming was painful. Just the same vast space to look at and I started to get bored. But the best part of today was seeing a few of my closest friends. I had coffee with my friends Ben and Ed in Denver in a fantastic little artsy neighborhood. It's so comforting when you can get together with friends who you don't see too often and have it be like it was just last week that you saw each other. Then we had lunch in Cheyenne with Hansen. And just like the coffee earlier in the morning, it was refreshing and so so so good to see my dear friend. When you have people in your life who stand behind you in everything you do, that is a rare find and something you don't want to let go of. Thanks Fellas, for your company today and your friendship always.

As for me and my emotions... I'm much more stable today. I only got choked up rather than sobbing several times like yesterday. I think it's the idea that I'm coming to terms with how quickly life can change. I knew this was coming but had no idea how hard it would be. No idea. I'm still nervous, it's such a large change that I chose to make. But the emotions aren't slapping me in the face over and over again like they were yesterday.

Tomorrow we are going to see Crazy Horse and hopefully make it across the state to see the Corn Palace. We are in Custer State Park right now, the Black Hills are so pretty, with the fall colors coming out.

I'm going to go step outside now and breathe in the fall air. A big deep breath to calm my soul.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Homeward bound

So many emotions and so little time. In the past 24 hours I think I've experienced all the possible feelings one human can feel without spontaneously combusting. It's very tiring. I wouldn't wish it on too many people. Yet amazingly here I am still awake and choosing to relive the feelings as I write about them. Maybe I'm a bit crazy. That is very possible.

My mother and I didn't stop to sight-see. I wasn't feeling like checking out the country-side other than through my rented tinted window. We've made it through New Mexico, that state takes forever to get through. And are slumbering in southern Colorado. I love Colorado. It's so pretty and calming and has fantastic seasons. Sigh... seasons.

We have plans with two of my closest friends from college in the next day or so. And also we are going to go through South Dakota and see Crazy Horse and The Corn Palace. And believe me, there will be pictures posted of an entire palace made of corn. How fantasticly tacky!

Think good travel thoughts for us!