Saturday, April 28, 2007

Call Of The Wild

After spending the last few days depressed over the need to do see doctors, lose weight, find churches or SOMEWHERE where I can meet people, and get rid of the Acme job, I finally decided to just get out between episodes of "Sailor Moon Super S" and go for a walk in the park next to my apartment.

It was the best thing I could have done for myself. While not a perfectly sunny day, it was mild and breezy. I walked around the perimeter of the park and down to a tree on the very edge of the property, where there's a fork in the river. An old tree overlooks the fork. Unfortunantly, it's been attacked by the local teenagers and is covered with graffiti, but it's branches are strong enough for younger kids to play on. I greeted two people and their gorgeous golden retrievers; the smaller one even let me pat her head.

As I was heading out of the park, I noticed a small path in the woods next to the VFW. I followed it around the river to the train tracks and the train bridge. The bridge is also covered in graffiti, but as it's on the extreme edge of the park it affords some wonderful views of the river area, both the side I live on and the other side going towards the Oaklyn/Collingswood border. It was so beautiful and serene. I even walked out to the very edge of the rocky bridge, as far as I dared. I'll have to go hiking on that little path again sometime.

I felt so much better after my walk, work was a breeze. I tried my hardest not to judge people because of their rudeness or mistakes...or get upset over my own.

It also helped that my hard work in the past few weeks at work finally and literally paid off. I recieved two big paychecks for the last two weeks, one a vacation paycheck, the other featuring money from Easter. I'd worked unusually long hours both weeks. It'll pretty much pay this month's rent.
Return to Philadelphia

I went back to Philadelphia this afternoon, after spending the gloomy, wet morning helping Erica and fellow volunteer Jeannie sort through boxes and bags of clothes and other items. I put in another application at Barnes and Noble. I should have asked them for their phone number. (I'll look it up online.) I asked a Borders employee about employment there; all she could tell me was "look online." I'll just put in an application again. I passed Robin's Bookstore, a Center City Philly chain, on my way to the Speedline station. Nice store, but they weren't hiring.

What I'm really doing is...putting off my life. My councelor Scott told me to look up local churches with young populations my age. I haven't. I looked up whether or not I had full medical benefits, and was so confused by all the terminology I gave up trying to figure it out, but I haven't called the Union's medical offices yet, and I should. I haven't checked out any groups at all.

I know I'm stuck in a rut. I have been since I got out of college. I'm bored with being fat and plain and dull and doing nothing with my life, but it's safe. The Acme job is safe; I hate it, but it makes money. The books and DVDs and CDs are safe; they won't hurt me. Not like people. Nice quiet places with no people (or busy places with people who won't pay too much attention to me) are safe. Food is safe. It's always there. My stuffed animals are safe roommates. They won't make fun of me or make nasty comments. I'm just used to my older musicals and classic rock and mysteries. They're what I know.

I see a nine-year-old girl in the mirror. She's sad. She's scared. She can't understand why she's so hungry, or why her body's suddenly grown and developed while the other girls are still pretty and thin. She doesn't know why the boys don't like her, why the girls don't want to be friends with her, or why her mother and stepfather aren't getting along. She wants it all to go away, so she can be happy again. She wants to be a normal little girl, but she's afraid all the kids will hurt her, and she'll be alone, like always.

I'm still haunted by that little girl. She won't let me go. I don't want her to go away entirely. She gives me my creativitiy, my love of nature, and my ability to relate to other troubled little girls, but she won't let the past go. She still hears the jeers and taunts of the kids. If she turns her back on them, they'll snicker and call her fat and stupid. She's afraid she'll be punished for not being good and right and doing what the adults said.

All I've ever had is the past. The voices of children remain at the back of my brain; I hear them when things go wrong, when I'm hurt or someone's hurt me. I'm too afraid to make them go away. What if things happen again, and I get hurt?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What's A Girl To Do?

I'm so nervous. I hate doctors. I hate hospitals. I hate the antiseptic smells and having to be poked and prodded, and yet, I'm told it's "necessary," that I'm suddenly old and I need to be "checked out" because something "might" be wrong.

I don't want anything to be wrong. I'm scared to death that something is wrong, that I'm all wrong, that I'll turn into an old woman.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The More Things Change...

I had a long, long talk with Mom this morning. She's worried about me. Yeah, I know that's her job as a mother to worry about her children, and I understand that. I just hate this growing up business.

I don't want to see a doctor. I'm not sick. I don't smell bad. Other than my almost-recovered knee, I feel fine. I've never had any kind of intercourse in my entire life, not even when I had a boyfriend. (We didn't want to have children, and condoms are so undependable.) I hate doctors. I hate hospitals. I hate blood. They creep me out and remind me of illness and death, and who wants to think of that?

I KNOW I'm getting older. I KNOW I'm at risk for fifty million different kinds of diseases just because I'm fat and will be turning 30 in two years. I don't want to think about it. Thinking about it makes me depressed, and I do enough of that on my own. I don't want to have cancer, or fifty million other diseases, and how could I, anyway? I eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains and drink lots of fluids. I get outside as much as possible. I only ride my bike to work every day!

And now I find out there's the possibility of this stuff running in my family! I don't want cancer! My stepmother DIED of cancer! I don't want this!

I DON'T WANT THIS! I don't want to scan this or that. I don't want to see what awful shape I'm in. I'm not an old woman. I've never done anything worse than overeat and hurt my knee! I don't drink. I don't smoke.

Please, please, please, don't make there be anything wrong with me. I'm tired of there being things wrong with me. Everything's always wrong with me. I'm mentally wrong. I'm physically wrong. I'm fat and out of shape. I don't get along well with the other kids. I'm stressed. I'm anxiety-ridden. I'm diseased.

Go away. I just want it all to go away. I don't want to be sick.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Now that I've had my shopping spree, eaten my birthday cake and Easter candy, finished my spring cleaning, and joined Weight Watchers, I'm trying to enjoy the fruits of my labor...literally, considering the small bowl of fresh fruit I snacked on at the Acme tonight.

Making changes is very, very hard for me. It's probably one of the big reasons I don't get out more or search harder for a job. I don't like the Acme job, but it makes money and I've done it for a long time, so I'm used to it. I don't like it, but I'm used to it. Chasing jobs all over the place is not fun, and how do I know I'll get a job, anyway, and that it'll pay me enough to live when I do, or that it'll be better than my current job? How can I talk to people I don't know during an interview? What if I make a fool of myself? How will I get to work if it's not in the area and no one is willing to give me a lift? I can't make a car out of thin air.

I've tried to diet before. I've dieted. I've exercised. I walk everywhere, but I'm a slow walker who would rather be walking to get somewhere than just walking. I ride my bike, but I'm so slow I end up pushing my bike up the hills here. And what happens when I just get hungry? I can't help getting hungry. I like making baked goods. Once again, it's something I'm good at.

And where am I going to go when I'm not religious or a drinker? I'm not what you'd call garden club material. I've tried attending church, and I feel out of place. I've tried singles bars, and I feel out of place. No one notices me when I walk into local coffee bars; they all have their own groups of friends with no place for me.

It's so, so hard for me to change my habits. I panic and get upset when I do something wrong because I've always paniced. I know I shouldn't, but that's what comes out. It's what I've done since I was little. I can't help it. It just happens.

I want to be treated like an adult, to be taken seriously. Why does everyone laugh when I say I'm looking for a real job? Is it really so hard for people to believe? I can't help that I look like a five-year-old in a fat woman's body.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Brazzle Dazzle Day

Today makes up for spending most of the week indoors cleaning. (I actually did finish up the dusting yesterday; I started Wendesday but ran out of time, so I did the bedroom where all my collections are Thursday afternoon.) It also makes up for last weekend's nasty weather. It was gorgeous today, the most gorgeous it's been all year, 70 degrees and perfectly sunny and breezy, without a cloud in the robins-egg-blue sky.

I volunteered today, but only in the morning. I spent this afternoon spending my birthday money and gift cards. I picked up lingerie, a nightgown on clearance, and a pair of capris from Fashion Bug (using that gift card and some birthday dough), a hair cut (it's shorter, just above my shoulders, and really cute), a good-quality 8'inch frying pan (my old one was flaking) and the "Laverne and Shirley" second season set from Wal-Mart, and "The Broadway Melody," "The Pink Panther Collection Vol. 3 - Frolics In the Pink," and "Garfield's Fantasies" from FYE, the latter two (barely) used.

I watched the three specials on the "Garfield's Fantasies" DVD tonight after I finally got home. "Babes and Bullets" is a mostly-straight film noir with a believeable mystery and a wonderful 40s-esque atmosphere. "Feline Fantasies" parodies everything from "Airplane" to Indiana Jones.

The centerpiece is "His 9 Lives," which is supposed to revolve around pretty much "Garfield in history," but is also a trip through animation history. While "Cave Cat," "King Cat (Egyptian)," "Garfield," and "Space Cat" are drawn in typical Garfield style, the remaining five shorts are, to say the least, unusual. "Court Musician" looks like a blocky 50s Looney Tunes short. "In the Garden" is a cross between a cutesy little girl-oriented special and the late 60s surrealism of something like "Yellow Submarine." "Stunt Cat" is a brief homage to silent cartoons. "Diana's Piano" is a gorgeous, touching watercolor piece. "Lab Animal 19-GB" is a Disney-esque cartoon on a subject Disney would never dream of touching.

While I enjoyed them, I can understand why they're among the least-seen of Garfield's prime-time adventures. All four feature some fairly adult subject matter, use none of the regular characters but Garfield, Odie, and (briefly) Jon, and stray far from the regular format of the show and other specials. To Jim Davis' credit, they're also not like anything else Garfield-related on the market, either. (I seem to recall a "His 9 Lives" book that was equally surreal.)

The "Fantasies" are recommended for Garfield fans looking for something different than the usual "Garfield eats, sleeps, then kicks Odie off the table," animation buffs (who'll have a field day recognizing the styles in "His 9 Lives"), families with older kids, fans of mysteries and film noir, and anyone who's interested in seeing the outer limits of 80s cartoons.

I also got the CDWarehouse order today. I've only had the chance to listen to one CD, the first one. It's mostly familiar music from the 90s movies and "Mary Poppins," but we also hear from rarities like the tongue-twisting "The Spectrum Song" from "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color," the 60s update of the original "Disneyland" program.

All in all, this is the best day I've had in months. I'm almost regretting having to go back to work tomorrow, since I heard it's supposed to be even nicer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Well-Begun Is Half-Done

I'm still working on spring cleaning. Did the windows and vacumned today, including places I don't usually bother with, like under the wires on the computer (I'm always afraid I'll knock plugs or wires out and lose memory, or worse). I didn't move any furniture that requires more than one person, for obvious reasons. That strong, I am not.

Tomorrow, we'll do a throrough dusting, including under all of my collection displays (Sailor Moon dolls, bears and porcelain dolls, the seasonal doll display on top of the big bookshelf, the Star Wars action figures, the tiny Pokemon and Beanie Babies). I'll go under all the CDs, videos, DVDs, and books, too. Oooh, and the big plant needs to be watered.

I'm in the midst of re-reading one of only two Nora Roberts books I ever liked, Hot Ice. It's basically a variation on the 1984 film Romancing the Stone - bored rich girl meets guy with hot treasure they search for in an exotic place while being chased by bad guys. This is my kind of action, and the romantic aspect isn't emphasized too heavily, thank goodness. It's very obviously from 1987. This is very much a "Greed Decade" tale, from the exquisite descriptions of high-class, Dynasty-esque lifestyles of the rich and bored, to the breathless last-minute escapes and almost-implausible chases, not to mention a James-Bond-worthy villain.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Gift Of Health

My sister Rose gave me three free months at Weight Watchers for my birthday. We're going to try to do it together. My best friend Lauren's tried to get me into Weight Watchers for years, but I never had the time to attend the meetings, I'm not crazy about getting on a scale around strangers, and there's the whole "groups make me nervous" thing.

I figured I'd give it a try. I really need to lose weight badly. I'm so fat, it's disgusting. I shouldn't be this fat, but my hobbies - reading, writing, listening to music - are sedentary. I don't play sports (I doubt there are local women's field hockey teams, and I'm lousy at everything else), and I exercise to get places, not to exercise. It's been especially bad this winter, thanks to the weather.

I don't know how well I'll do. I've had a hard time with diets in the past. I get bored with them. I can't help it. I like to eat. I get bored with not eating as much as I want or the things I want, I get hungry, and I eat. You just can't read and ride a bike at the same time, or walk and watch a movie (though music, admittedly, is portable).

Day was variable other than that. I used that gift certificate from Lauren to buy a 6-CD Classic Disney import set for about $18. I have one of the original "Classic Disney" albums on cassette and I listen to it constantly. The "Classic Disney" set includes songs from live-action films, TV shows, little-known cartoon, and theme parks that are seldom heard today. (A good example - three songs from the controversial "Song Of The South" are included on this collection, including the Oscar-winning "Zip-De-Do-Dah" and the standard "Everybody Has A Laughing Place." Another good example - songs from the live-action Disney musicals "Summer Magic," "The One And Only, Genuine, Original Family Band," "The Happiest Millionaire," and "Newsies.")

(And if anyone knows where the Sherman Brothers novelty tune "I Dropped A $100,000 In the Market (But Found a Million Dollars In Your Smile)" comes from, please tell me, because CDMarketplace didn't know either!)

I deposited money in the bank from yesterday and did my laundry this morning, but this afternoon was nothing but trouble. Work was mobbed again; everyone was buying "flood supplies" and complaining about their basements getting water-logged. Well, what do you expect when you build a basement in a swampy area?

I'm really getting sick of the paranoia over the bottom of the baskets. How about we get new baskets with no grilles on the bottom? Or do what a customer suggested, spend a little money, and install cameras that can tell us what's under the baskets? I was scolded today because one of the front end managers reminded me to ask about it after I already had. I was annoyed and complained, but forgot I was doing it around customers, and the new head manager wasn't happy. I was depressed for a lot of the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wet N' Wild Birthday

My birthday celebrations continued today, despite the massive rainstorms that swamped the northeast. (It could have been worse. The Midwest got more snow.) Thank goodness work was far quieter this time. It started out steady-to-busy, but died quickly as it got darker and colder and people opted to stay at home for Sunday dinner.

My dad, my stepsister, and his girlfriend got back from vacation today, and I did a nice little birthday party at Dad's house. We had pizza and cake and watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." I got money from everybody, and some really cute cards.

Between last week's great paycheck and the birthday money, I figured it was high time to try for the Sailor Moon 4th season ("Sailor Moon Super S") again. I ordered it off of eBay proper this time. I ordered a bunch of the 2000 Sailor Moon fashion-type dolls and season 1 and "S" (season 3) off of eBay with no problems, so hopefully it'll be ok. (Knock on wood.)

I'd eventually like to get the second season (the only season besides the fifth I've never seen at all) and replace my videos of the movies. Why not get them off of, where they're also availble? Simple: they're cheaper at eBay. The most the sets cost at eBay are 30 with shipping. They can cost up to 200 at Amazon.
Birthday Girl

Yes, Saturday was my birthday. (I say "was," because despite what this blog says, it's actually about quarter of 1 on Sunday morning as I write this.) I had to run errands anyway, so I took myself out to breakfast at Newton Diner on the White Horse Pike in Oaklyn. I had a waffle (which I like to order when I go out to breakfast, as I don't own a waffle iron and was never very good at making them), orange juice, and two scrambled eggs. I also stopped at a yard sale a few houses down on the way home and bought a Sarah McLaughlin CD and a few seasonal odds and ends for the 4th of July. (The only season I don't have a lot of decorations for is summer.)

My mom, brother, and stepdad sent me a really cool tote bag that can be reversed and folded into a little bag the size of a change purse and clipped onto a larger bag. It'll be perfect for carrying items around on large trips, like when I walk around in Center City Philadelphia or malls, where my backpack would be too bulky and conspicuos and plastic or paper not strong enough for an all-day shopping excursion.

My best friend Lauren gave me a gift certificate from Cool.

My friend Erica gave me balloons at work. It was a little embarrasing, but it was sweet of her, and it was nice to have balloons.

Work was a literal and figureative pain in the butt. We were busy from my arrival at 2:30 up through the last half-hour before I left at 10:30, and I was so tired by the time I left, I was ready to cry. I shouldn't have let Erica talk me into getting a ride home, since now my bike's at the Acme and who knows when I'll be able to get someone to pick it up? It wasn't raining when we were going home, of course, though it sure is now. I was tired and my right side's been sore for a few days now. (I wonder if I wrenched my lower right back and torso somehow - probably sitting for so long in my computer chair reading that TV Tropes site last week!)

I just hope I can get out of the damn Acme this year. I want a life like other single late 20something adults have, with a nice group of friends to hang out with and a significant other to kiss. I wish all my friends were in one place, instead of in at least three different states and between the ages of 25 and 46. I wish I knew there were more people like me out there.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Little Dignity Goes A Long Way

Racist Remarks Cost Imus CBS Job

Good. I don't know what people see in "shock jocks," anyway. They obviously don't work in a grocery store. I hear enough ranting from many of my customers without hearing it on the radio and TV, too.

New Jersey is up in arms over this; Rutgers is one of New Jersey's largest colleges. (It actually has a campus in Camden.) The girls lose one big game, and some idiot makes racist comments? I don't care how long he's been on the air or how many fans he has, it shouldn't have happened.

While I don't believe in censorship, per se, sometimes, a little dignity and respect can go a very long way, in this case to keeping your job.
Little (And Big) April Showers

Today was volunteering day. I organized a few bags of clothes in the back and moved some heavier items to the $1 winter clothes/semi-damaged items rack, giving more room to newer items. Not that we'll get to use spring and summer clothes any time soon. Mother Nature seems determined to remain in the 40s and 50s, even after this morning's huge thunderstorm.

I didn't really do anything in the afternoon. I went to counseling between 2 and 3. We discussed my possibly looking into church groups. I'm not really very religious, and I haven't had much luck with churches in the past. I did go to a Lutherian church in Wildwood for a few months, not because I'm Lutherian (for the record, I'm Protestant, but most religions are really the same to me), but because they supposedly featured sessions with younger people. I saw them once, at night, and there really weren't that many "young" people there. (And the majority were in their teens.) Every other session I went to was filled with nothing but elderly couples and mothers dragging their children. I felt left out, and between that and me being the only 20something in Wildwood who could work in the morning and not have a hangover, I ultimately stopped going.

Of course, I didn't have much luck with the singles bar scene in Wildwood, either. I tried the Shamrock Cafe, a popular singles hang-out down the street from my old apartment, but I dropped it even more quickly than I dropped church. How can you meet someone in a place that smells like rank beer, sweat, and stale smoke? Everyone is either drunk or screaming, and the men are more interested in liquor or pool than a conversation, not that you can hear yourself, anyway. I'd have one drink, then spend the rest of the night dancing with a woman or two, drinking sodas, and watching "Fraiser" re-runs and the late-night talk shows.

Story of my life. I just don't belong anywhere. I feel out of place at the Acme, where everyone is either a teenager, in college, married, retired and making a little extra money, or a single parent. I often feel out of place at Friends In Deed. I like organizing things and getting first dibs on great used stuff, but most of the volunteers are middle-aged or older. I think I've met maybe three volunteers anywhere close to my age over the past year, and most have only been there a few times. I even feel out of place in my own family. I'm the only writer. Everyone else is interested in visual art (even if they're actually good writers, like Mom and Anny). I'm the only one who isn't interested in partying, too. I know they all care about me, but I still feel like an outsider.

I've spent my whole life trying to find the one place I belong, the one place I really fit in. I never did any non-school-related activities. My sisters and I were in swimming classes when we were really little, but I never did Girl Scouts or 4-H. Anything I did in high school and college, even Lower Cape May Regional's Mentor Program, was school-related. I didn't even do a "working" college internship. I made a TV short interviewing Stockton students about the events of 9/11 instead. I really have no idea how one makes friends outside of school or work.

Sometimes, I really do wish I had that nice little posse of friends. I wish Lauren and Amanda lived here. I'd have someone who knew how to get my original Nintendo working and clean it correctly and someone who could balance my record player and make it work right for more than two or three minutes. There'd be people to cook for, to show my apartment to, to watch DVDs with, to listen to music with, to talk to, to walk in the park with. There'd be someone to come home to.

Not that I don't like my stuffed animals, but they just don't hug you back.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Cleaning, One Room At a Time

Spring cleaning is coming along slowly but surely, due to my reletively early schedule this week. I did the bathroom yesterday and the kitchen today, doing as thorough of a job on both as I can. I volunteer most of the day but should have enough time to clean the refrigerator tomorrow and sweep the porch. I'll dust, vacumn, and do the windows on Friday morning. Saturday is my birthday; that's the last day I feel like cleaning (though I do have to work that day).

Work was long and, except for late afternoon, when everyone gets out of work, pretty quiet. I'm guessing everyone is either broke after Easter and/or on vacation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


This is stolen from Tina's blog:

James Brown or Marvin Gaye? Both. I'm a fairly big R&B fan.

Chinese or Indian takeout? Chinese...but I'd be willing to try Indian.

Fleece or knitted blanket? Both. Knitted blankets are nice and cozy and often handmade, while fleece blankets cover small spaces and look nice on overstuffed chairs.

Girls with makeup or without? Uh, well, I hate makeup. It's such a pain in the rear to apply, and I never go anywhere big anyway, so it seems kind of pointless.

Costco or Whole Foods? Until recently, I never heard of either.

Wildflowers or arrangements? Wildflowers are prettier.

Tradition or shakeups? I don't take shakeups well.

Cello or trumpet? How about a piano?

Watch-wearing or no? Watch. I need to be able to get places on time on my own, especially since I don't have a cell phone.

Salt water or fresh (to swim in, not drink)? Both! I love swimming!

Pants or shorts? Whatever the season, event, and weather calls for.

Chatspeak or absolutely NOT? Huh?

Digital camera or old-school? Old school. Cheaper and easier to figure out.

Wireless or plugged in? Whatever's cheapest.

Waltz or tango? I'll learn both!

Brian Williams or Anderson Cooper? Whom?

Time or Newsweek? Occasionally Time, when an article is of particuar interest to me. Newsweek is too dry.

Waterbed or mattress? Mattresses don't spring leaks.

Cream and sugar or not? Sugar (or honey or Sweet N' Low), no cream or milk.

CNN or BBC News? Uhh, probably BBC, but really, they're all alike to me - all depressing.

iTunes or something else? I don't download often enough to tell the difference.

Scented candles or unscented? Small scented candles during the winter, but otherwise, no candles. I don't trust them not to burn the house down.

Prairie or mountain? Swamps and woods. I was born in Florida and raised in Southern New Jersey.

Socks or barefoot? I'd go barefoot all the time if the terrain and weather allowed me. I hate walking around in socks!

Matt Damon or Ben Affleck? Matt Damon. I can't stand Ben Affleck. He's so smug.

Brass or pewter? Uh, for what?

Wool or cotton? Cotton. Wool itches.

Willow tree or pine? Both!

Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter? I was born in 1979 and remember little about either.

France or Italy? I'm gonna say France - I can even slightly speak the language.

Electric or gas stove? I'm all about gas. Keeps your electric bills down, warms your house, and cooks better.

Thrift store or outlet? Thrift stores. Outlets are usually boring.

Japanese garden or English garden? They're both pretty.

Sophia Loren or Liz Taylor? Sophia Loren still looks gorgeous and dignifed in what must be her 70s, at least. Liz Taylor...does not.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Clue-Ing Into Changes

Not a terribly exciting day by any circumstances. I did my laundry at Uncle Ken's house, then went straight to work, which was steady-to-dead with no problems.

Since everyone was busy or on vacation, I actually had the TV to myself, which proved to big deal. Everytime I get a chance to watch TV, I'm reminded of why I don't have cable at my apartment. I did a lot of switching around, but I ultimately watched three channels in full - TV Land, Nickelodeon's "Nick Jr" block, and the tail end of the MGM musical "Yolanda and the Thief" on Turner Classic Movies.

One of the interests I picked up from having frequent afternoon and night classes during my first two years of college was a fondness for toddler-oriented programs. I suspect it came from these practically being the only shows of any interest to me (other than game shows) on during the mornings and afternoons. I'm a big fan of "Dora the Explorer," and though I've only seen a few episodes, "Go Diego Go!" is beginning to grow on me, too. Any show that encourages kids to "walk the robot" to get to a volcano is definately fun, and I love learning about unusual jungle animals in "Diego."

"Blue's Clues" was one of my favorite shows in college. I loved playing along with cutie Blue, joking about how Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper somehow picked up (fairly accurate) French accents, singing along with all of Blue and Steve's cute songs, and shaking my head as Steve managed to miss another clue. I can usually figure out the "mystery" before Blue and her owners, but there's been a few shows when even I was stumped.

The particuar episode I saw today involved changes, and it revolved around newborn "baby" spice shaker Cinnamon. God, that made me feel old. I remember seeing the episode where Cinnamon was born. Heck, I remember the episode where his big sister Paprika was born!

I ran into a show I'd only seen in kids' books today as well, "The Backyardigans." I was wary of it at first, from the sing-songy opening sequence, but if the kids' books are any indication, this odd but adorable assortment of animal "kids" have spoofed everything from "Mission: Impossible" to the "Inspector Poirot" books done as an Easter egg hunt. Today's parody was of "Castaway/Gilligan's Island" stories. A trio of "Castaways" (moose Tyrone, penguin Pablo, and pink-bug-thingie Uniqua) need to figure out how to survive on a deserted island. Kangaroo Austin wants to help, but he's too shy, so he gathers things indirectly. The songs all have an appropriate reggae/tropical island flavor.

As much as I enjoyed the show, I will admit, the songs could get repetetous, and Austin's sudden bout of shyness was an obvious ploy (this is never mentioned in any of the books). On the other hand, the show is funny, the characters are genuinely cute, the genre spoofs are fun, and I love the name "Uniqua."
Easter Parade At Home

I had a reletively quiet Easter. I had brunch with my sister, her boyfriend, and their puppy and cat. We had cheese and fruit for appetizers, followed by his delicious hash browns, Canadian bacon, and fried eggs. I brought a cake for her birthday yesterday and to thank them for having me over, so we had some of that for dessert.

I spent the rest of the day at home, watching Easter specials (two Looney Tunes specials, two of the three Rankin-Bass Easter specials on DVD, "It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown") and "Easter Parade." I made my own big Easter dinner to cheer myself up, since I was alone on a holiday - baked ham with Pineapple-Apple Glaze, candied sweet potatoes, and steamed asparagus, with half of a Dove truffle egg Mom sent me for dessert. I did get a little lonely later in the afternoon, but it wasn't quite as bad as at Christmas, probably because I knew I'd be alone for part of the day this time. I got together with Lauren for chatting and to work on stories tonight.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Back On Track

I've put off posting in this blog for the past few days, partially because there's not a whole lot going on right now, partially because I got caught up reading a great web site I saw mentioned at Linda Young's blog. TV Tropes is a page about various common cliches and tropes for TV, comic books (on and offline), video games, and to a lesser degree, movies and novels. I've always known there were hundreds of cliches out there, and this proves it. ; 0 )

Not much went on this week otherwise. I was called into work early and encountered several grumpy or obnoxious people, but otherwise, work was just busy with people buying huge amounts of food to feed visiting reletives and/or kids home from school during the week. Volunteering went fairly well yesterday. We had a busy but not crazy day that I mostly spent going through donations. Didn't buy much, just two books (a James Bond hardback and a small cookbook) and a cute Easter bunny statue I put on top of the video holders in the TV room.

Oh, and Mom sent me Jelly Belly jelly beans and a Dove egg for Easter. Thank you, Mom! : 0 D

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beginning Of The Month Madness

I didn't really get a chance to do much of anything today. The first thing I heard this morning was a ringing phone. Turned out someone called out at work; could I please come in from 10:30AM to 6:30PM, instead of 2:30 to 7:30?

I went in. I'd rather work earlier than later, and this makes up for turning down those hours on Saturday. Of course, I was up late last night, but that's what they invented caffene for.

It was busy, too. Very busy. Long-line busy, all day long. It was just starting to thin out when I left. Not only is it the beginning of the month, but two of the most important holidays of the year in two religions, Passover and Easter, are tomorrow and Sunday respectively. So, not only were we busy, but we had some really huge orders of people buying food for holiday meals and to feed visiting family members and kids off of school next week.
Such A Thing As Too Secure

Today was mostly a pain. Doing the laundry went well enough, but I discovered, to my dismay, that my biological father and stepsister will be out of town for Easter and my uncle really has no plans I need to be tagging along with. I called my sister to see what she's doing, but she hasn't called back yet...and knowing her, will probably call back sometime next month. She doesn't mean to be tardy, she just forgets.

I was depressed all through work today, and some obnoxious customers and a busy night did not help matters. Also not helping matters is the new security manager (I don't recall his actual title) scolding me for carrying a very small backpack in the store. I need that backpack to carry groceries home on my bike! That guy's been annoying. He wasn't rude, but I really wish he wasn't so forward. He will stand in the front of the store and stare at the cashiers like he expects them to do something wrong on purpose! He really unnerves me, and I'm not the only person who's complained. (Our customers aren't happy with a guy who goes around telling them sixteen thousand rules they never heard of, either.)

The two managers up front ultimately told me to ignore him, but it underlines the problems I had a while back - I really wish they'd tell us the rules before we play the game...and find better ways of explaining them than "you can't do that" and staring at us until we're completely frustrated. : 0 p

Monday, April 02, 2007

More Disney Treasures And Other Awesome DVD News

First of all...YES! According to, there will be more Walt Disney Treasures sets on December 11th! There were rumors earlier this year that Disney was going to discontinue the series, and even Treasures narrator Leonard Maltin wasn't sure if there'd be more. For once, I'm really happy he was wrong! ; 0 )

Two of the sets originally confirmed as "Legacy" sets are now "Treasures," and one of them, the set with the remaining "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" cartoons, definately intrigues me. Oswald is Mickey Mouse's ancestor, Walt Disney's original silent creation before he lost the rights to him to Universal. Apparently, the Disney company bought the rights back from Universal and is now putting the existing cartoons out. Having enjoyed the early black and white Mickey adventures on the "Mickey Mouse In Black and White Vol. 2" Treasures set and the "Vintage Mickey" DVD (as well as the silent Felix the Cat cartoon on my public domain Felix tape), I'm looking forward to meeting Felix's contemporary and Mickey's early reletive!

And...more Donald Duck! Also confirmed for this wave is the third "Chronological Donald" set, featuring all of his cartoons from 1947 to 1950. I have the first two collections and adore them. Donald's been my favorite Disney character since I was little. I smell a Christmas present in the making! : 0 D

Also awesome news from DVD Verdict, which lists several favorite movies and TV shows I've wanted on DVD for a while as coming out within the next three months, including the first season of "WKRP In Cincinatti," the second seasons of "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley," the third seasons of "Dinosaurs" and the original "Scooby Doo," a whole bunch of Doris Day Warners musicals making their DVD debuts (I taped "On Moonlight Bay," "My Dream Is Yours," and "Romance On the High Seas" off TCM and hoped Warners would get to them one of these days), tons of John Wayne (my stepfather will be in western heaven), the entire Tyrone Power swashbuckling oveure (all right, "Captain From Castile!"), pirate movies ("Against All Flags"), the debut of "Dreamgirls" on May 1st, and intriguing collections for everyone from James Cagney to Droopy Dog. ("Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection").

I'd better start saving my money...
Calm Before the April Showers

My April Fools' Day was actually rather quiet. I just baked Chocolate Chip Muffins and listened to the Brunch With the Beatles show on WOGL this morning. Tonight, I made Tropical Banana-Citrus Tilapia with tri-color rotini and a romaine salad. (Also known as "what to make for dinner with limeade, grapefruit juice, bruised bananas, brown sugar, spices, tri-color pasta, and romaine lettuce") and watched the 1937 version of "The Prisoner Of Zenda."

"Prisoner of Zenda" is one of my favorite books, and I've only seen bits and pieces of this version on TCM. Boy, was it fun, with a corker of a duel at the end! I love some good swashbucklers. ; 0 )

I'll watch the 1952 version on the other side of the disc tomorrow before work.

Work was busy, but other than a few obnoxious customers, not really much of a problem. It'll be busy for a while. It's the beginning of the month and many people are recieving their food stamps and social security checks, plus we're coming up on Passover and Easter, the biggest holidays of the spring season.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Quick Note Before Bed

Just dropping a quick note to say yes, I'm here, but I just kept forgetting to post! I've been very busy on my two days off. Yesterday was my volunteer day. We did very well, both customer-wise and with donations. I met a new volunteer, too, Martika. She's my age and she likes thrift shops and works in a post office. I hope to see more of her. She was a lot of fun to work with, and a great help!

I ran a lot of errands in the Deptford Mall area today. In addition to small items and simple underwear picked up at Target (Wal-Mart is always out of my size, and Target's prices are better), I also grabbed two Easter DVDs (the Rankin-Bass special "The Easter Bunny Is Coming To Town" from Target and splurged on "Easter Parade" from Barnes and Noble) and the 1937 and 1952 versions of one of my favorite novels, "The Prisoner of Zenda," on DVD.

The Acme actually did call me in early this morning, but I turned them down. I do feel guilty about it, but I've put off the Deptford Mall trip for weeks because I usually used my only day off - Friday - for volunteering. I'll pick up more hours if they ask me to next week and in the upcoming weeks. (I didn't sign up to work for Easter, though that doesn't mean I may not still work the holiday. I won't find out until Friday. I'll make it up to them and work the major summer holidays.)