January 2009

Monday night I somehow ended up making dinner for Old Man Bobby and his mother Mary. Mary was trying to figure out what kind of chicken to make. I told her I had a recipe. Suddenly dinner was all me. Um, I don’t really cook. I cooked for OMB once, other than just heating stuff up, and he made a classic blunder.

Question: When someone makes you dinner do you?

a) Smile and say, “Thank you, for dinner.”

b) Shrug and say, “It’s good. Not the best, but it’s good.”

c) Pray you say a) because if you say b) you’re never going to live it down.

Anyway, <ahem> I warned OMB within an inch of his life. Mary thought it was hilarious that I was coaching him on what he could say. She thought it was even more hilarious when the first thing out of OMB’s mouth when we sat down to eat was, “I’ll avoid the onions.” That was not in the script.

Sorry, I got distracted by the bus I was throwing OMB under. The tile of this post is Chicken Paprikash and Miracles. Paprikash is obviously what I made for dinner, and it was a success (a miracle in itself). OMB even said I should make it again soon. The miracle happened when just before dinner was ready I started doing some dishes. OMB came right in and said, “Let me do that; you made dinner.” I still hear angels sing when I think about it.

Yes, you read that right. Bella Skywalker. This could only be a Random post, right? For those of you who don’t know, Random is my Unicorn friend–that mythical beast know as the man who reads Twilight. Out of the blue, this is how the texting started this evening, as if there had never been an interuption in last night’s text conversation.

Random: Finished New Moon today. Edward has confirmed that he’s a retard.

Me: You’re retarded! ūüôā

Random: When you are over 100 years old and make Romeo look like a guy who knows how to make a plan work, that is truly special.

Me: You’re reading too much into it. That says a lot coming from me. He’s no more or less retarded than Romeo.

Random: Romeo is the king of dumb. And Edward is in his class at the very least.

(Agreed, but romance can make one stupid, especially boys.)

Random: And Bella is so typical. Although I expect that is the attraction for the target reader. She’s annoying as the heroine.

(Bella is typical in some ways which makes her relatable to a lot of readers. She a-typical in others whichs gives her the feeling of being special we all want. I relate to her in a big way, so I guess I’m annoying.)

Random: Then again, my favorite protagonists come from Ayn Rand and Isaac Asimov, so typical is not my cup of tea.

(Yeah, Random, I know you’re shocked, but I haven’t read any Rand and the Asimov I read was an¬†excerpt or short story way back in the day. We read so many so close together in that class that I don’t remember what was his. As always, “It’s on the list.”)

Random: New Moon will make a horrible movie with Bella whining more than a Skywalker.

(Bella hurts on the inside but she suffers in silence. As a movie we shouldn’t be so “in her head”. Maybe it won’t come off¬†so whiney to you.)

The texts were coming fast and furious while I was trying to find some paper to print my resume on. I couldn’t get a word in so I’ve added my thoughts in ( ).

I sat there dumbfounded at the Skywalker remark when my phone rang. I just started laughing. Apparently Random’s hatred for all things Twilight could not longer be contained in text. Rather than forgetting the books altogether, he needed to get vocal. I was still laughing when I answered. The first thing I heard was, “Bella Skywalker.” It had the ring of an epithet. I just laughed. Typical. Trying to get under my skin, deriding two of my favorite things at once: Twilight and Star Wars. And two of my favorite characters, too. Luke and Bella are the ones I relate to. Way to push my buttons, Random.

Ok, I had to admit Luke is a bit whiney: “But I was going to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!” I didn’t read Bella as whiney though. I read her as strong. She knows what she wants and when she doesn’t get it she fights for it. She gets angry, petulant. He asserted that stamping your foot and demanding your way is just the teen version of whiney. He might have a point. But doesn’t that make the character more believable?¬†Bella is¬†flawed. That doesn’t mean the writing is flawed, just the opposite in my opinion.

He liked Carlisle. He relates to him most. I suppose I would have guessed that. In fact I think I did guess that once. I believe I made Random take the survey¬†once upon a time, and predicted that he would be Carlisle. He thinks that the vampires being invincible superheroes is ridiculous, and that they should be running the world, not keeping the secret. The Volturi he thought were kind of cool. I had to admit that I never saw the point of keeping the secret even without the Volturi, as humans can’t harm vampires. But I try to let that sort of thing go. It’s fiction.

So we talked some shop, talked about the vibe at the company I no longer work for, but then we were right back to New Moon. He thought it was boring. He thought Edward was retarded. He was frustrated that Bella was going to be ok and then everything freaked out again. Basically everything I loved about the book, he hated. No big shock there.

I think the people who dislike the Twilight saga are the people who go into it expecting a vampire story. It’s a love story that just happens to have vampires and werewolves. As a friend of mine put it, it’s Vampire 90210.

We talked about the upcoming movie too. He’s convinced it will suck. He knows from the last two month’s worth of obsessing that I have my worries. If they stay¬†true to the book, he thinks, there will be a opening scene, then a whiney birthday, a paper cut, a bit more whining, then a really long boring part in the middle, followed by about 15 minutes in Italy, and a rushed happy ending. I think that sounds about right, except that as they are actually shooting in Italy I think they plan on getting their money’s worth. If anything is going to be rushed it’s going to be the long months that Edward is gone (Random’s “really long boring part in the middle”). If they are going to screw with anything it’s going to be the beauty of Bella and Jacob’s relationship. I think they’re going to rush us back to Edward/Robert Pattinson. It’ll be tricky not having the Heart-ThRob in most of the movie.

No one¬†I worked with recently¬†got me like Random did. We like a lot of the same things. It is typically frustrating talking to him about geek stuff though, because we rarely agree even about the stuff we both like. No matter how frustrating, it’s always good for a laugh though. Today’s big laugh was Random saying, “If Edward had an alignment it would be Chaotic Dumb.” Thanks, Random, I needed that. I hope you had fun storming the castle tonight. And I certainly hope the Pandemic bugs didn’t get you down.

I seem to have some catching up to do. Here’s another Random post for you. One day, after The Churro Bella Incident, Random decided that churros would not be his Bella. If there were ever a food that he could fall in love with, it would be Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I have seen him in action with the cups, my friends, and I would believe him if I were you. I thought about it. I had to think for a few minutes. I love food. Is there really just one food that is a powerful to me as Bella is to Edward? After a while I had it: chocolate and pear gelato from Arlecchino Gelateria in Phoenix. No, I can’t choose one. It’s the combination of the two that is so knee-bucklingly good. No lie. It’s the only food that’s ever made my knees buckle. I actually have an emotional reaction¬†when I am so lucky to have this gelato,¬†so it wins. It’s my Bella food. What’s your Bella food?

Some time after this conversation with Random he gave me one of his precious peanut butter cups (I know, right?). I was touched. It was a trap. I should have known. As I peeled off that brown paper in anticipation of a tasty morsel, Random shrieked, “What are you doing to Bella?!?” I paused. He laughed at me. Then I said, “Eatin’er!” And I took a nice big bite. I still had a mouthful when I reminded Random, “She’s not my Bella.” It was my turn to laugh at him then.

Of course I realize that this, like the Churro Bella Incident, are really exercises to try to teach me how ridiculous it is for vampires to fall in love with their food, but the joke’s really on Random. He just doesn’t get it. Vampires fall in love, it’s what they do.

I’m texting Random right now. I told him about Twilight last July when I was first reading it, and he quickly started calling it my “vampire porn”. He’s finally reading it. He started either last weekend or Monday (I found out Monday). He’s on New Moon, and now¬†claiming he’s only reading it for his daughter.

Me: I need a picture of you reading a Twilight book! ūüôā

Random: LOL. Maybe. I’m halfway through New Moon. I honestly do not see what all the fuss is about over this series.

Me: Of course you don’t. You wouldn’t like anything too many others liked. It’s just fun.

Random: Except that it was written from the point of view of a teenage girl.

Me: Think of it as recon. Know your enemy right? Well the teen years are when we lose out minds.

Random: Doc Cullen is interesting. Edward is retarded. The only real reason he loves her is he can’t read her mind.

Me: The doc is good. I disagree about Edward obviously. That gets his interest sure but after he gets to know her he loves her.

Random: (to my Recon comment) Indeed. I frequently find Bella completely annoying. The hissy fit over turning 18 would have made me put it down had T not asked me to read them.

Me: Her true love will never age. Of course she is upset. I freaked on my 18th and I didn’t have that good of a reason.

Random: He loves her? LOL…It’s pheramones and curiosity, with a dash of white knight complex.

Random: You mean her “one true love” in the 18 year old sense, I’m sure. I never got the feeling that actual love existed from either side.

Me: Yes 18YO sense. It’s fun to remember love at 18. Even more fun to throw vampire int othe mix.

Random: I might venture to say that Edward’s love for Bella exists as one may love a pet.

Me: When you’re done with the books you’ll need to read the Midnight Sun chapters online. You won’t believe me if I tell you you’re wrong. You’ll have to hear it from Edward.

Random: Ah…love at 18…That’s an all too common STD. I did like Edward’s breakdown of R and J (Romeo and Juliet) though. That, at least was spot on.

Me: You see? He’s not retarded. ūüôā

Random: She does an excellent job of writing teen angst. And the doc is believable. The love story is trite, and the realism nonexistant.

Me: At least you didn’t say derivative.

Random: The Buffyverse has miles of believability over Twilight. It’s definitely not a book I haven’t been able to put down.

Random: Physically, that is. My daughter laughed her arse off at my peanut butter cup love rant.

Me: LOL! Good times. Of course you realize I’m blogging this as we speak.

Random: (back to Twilight…see how he can’t get off that topic?) It’s far from the worst thing I’ve read, but nowhere near the epic it is being made out to be in the media.

Me: No it’s not epic but I do find the love story touching. I like the verse more than Buffy’s. I don’t know that I can explain why. (without saying the words EDWARD and DUH, that is.)

Random: (back to me blogging) LOL…of course you are. I’m not saying it’s the equivalent of a boy band, but it’s close. LOL

Me: Ouch. What will you say about my vampires when the time comes for you to read my book!

Random: (back to Twilight) The verse is one of the main issues I have. If vamps are THAT all powerful, there would surely be vampire lords ruling countries.

Me: So what part are you on? I’m jealous. I wish I could read them for the first time again.

I think I lost him there. The scenario I envision is Random checking his book to tell me exactly what part he’s on and getting sucked in. Happy reading, Random!

So two weeks ago I had my car in the shop for the third time for over-heating. A week after paying $760 to fix a bunch of stuff it over-heated again. This time it was the head gasket. That took days to fix. I stayed with Old Man Bobby for most of the week and he drove me to and from work. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be; it was actually kind of nice. But, I would rather have not had the car trouble and been able to sleep in my own bed. I would rather have not had to borrow money to pay for the $1170 in repairs.

I got my car back Thursday night. Friday afternoon I got fired from work. Like I said, it was the worst week ever.

The handwriting has been on the wall since we got our new team leader in the fall. She seemed to take an instant disliking to me, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The original dispute was mediated by her boss and I had hope that things would move forward from there. It was soon apparent that she was playing some sort of game. I tried to pay attention,¬† to find some reason to bring it back to her boss, but there just wasn’t anything concrete. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was being paranoid or just playing some political game. I tried to keep my head down, and make nice. Until yesterday when she had me fired, just a little too late.

Now I have to file for unemployment, and wait for it to be declined. And it will. That’s how they roll at my former place of employment. They don’t lay people off. Suddenly a lot of people find themselves on counseling, and soon thereafter they find themselves fired. The company doesn’t have to pay unemployment that way. People go to court over this, they sue for wrongful separation, and actually win. Why the company continues to handle it this way I don’t understand. Going to court must still be more cost-effective than paying unemployment.

What I want to say to my former co-workers who may be reading is, be careful. Stay off of couseling. I know it’s extremely difficult with the new policies being what they are, but those couseling plans they put you on don’t go away when they tell you they do. Even though they “expire” in 30/60/90 days, they stay on a “rolling counseling” plan for a year, which means even expired ones hurt you if you get on a new counseling. I did not now this until it was too late to do anything about it. And even though the improvment is obvious and well-documented in my case, it did not help. It won’t help if someone just wants you gone.

My¬†track record with the company¬†also did not help. Until last year I had never missed a ticket in my 13-year career. I had never had a debit memo or a customer service issue. Six months ago I was at Pacesetter, celebrating winning the company’s top honor for my accomplishments the year before, including several quarterly and monthly awards. Until the new team leader came to the team I was trusted to train new hires and cross-training employees, help with recurrant training, and to create and update all of our account’s training materials. I took on all sorts of projects large and small. At one point my old team leader told me to tell him if it was too much, that he just realized how much extra work he’d given me. I assured him I was good. I was enjoying the extra responsibility and learning a lot of new things. Once we got the new team leader, all my projects dried up. Other people were doing the training. Other people were getting the projects, even when I was most qualified for them and I volunteered. It one-on-ones¬†I was told I was a “disappointment”¬† repeatedly, and that my team leader “expects more from a Pacesetter.” I was told I have an attitude problem. I was told I was negative.

Yes, I was late a few times (a total of maybe 20 minutes in an entire year because of a medication that sometimes makes me ill–instead of calling in sick I was getting to work as soon as I could). Yes, I finally missed¬†a ticket (once in 13 years is well above average). But it’s hard not to see this as a witch hunt, when weighing these issues against my accomplishments, and looking at how fast it all happened. Six months ago, I was the best of the best. Two months ago I was told of a potential problem, and I’ve improved since then. Now I’m fired. Be careful my friends, be very careful.

I know a lot of you are very upset, for me (I appreciated all the texts and phone calls!), and also very worried about your jobs. Be worried, certainly, but don’t do anything rash. If you are going to bring it up, do it right. Talk about it in your skip levels. Get the documentation out there that morale is suffering because of instances like this, but under no circumstances should you give anyone the impression you are siding with me. It will only hurt your prospects.

Two scenes?!?

Robert Pattinson’s naked walk

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Robert Pattinson would probably walk around naked if he got a pay rise.

Rob told the BBC: “I read some gossip thing saying, because I looked really uncomfortable in a paparazzi photo or something, they’re like, ‘He should get used to it. That’s the price to pay if you’re getting $12m (¬£8.1m) a movie’.

Click here to see the latest photos of Robert and Kristen >

“If I’m getting paid $12m a movie I’d walk around naked.

“That’s all nonsense. I don’t know who makes that stuff up. Even the price for the first one was nonsense.”

Rob is still not sure whether there will be a fourth movie but he will definitely be in New Moon and Eclipse.

He says: “I went into it doing it as a trilogy. They’re shooting the second one in March.

“I’m not really in it that much in the second one. The lead character is somebody else, which is another reason why I’m not being paid $12m. I’ve got two scenes.”

Thanks, It’s A Bit Like This, for posting the Daily Rob. Check out the other articles posted there.

I failed you by not posting it yesterday when it premiered. Who knows if the video will ever show up. If you don’t see it below, click here.


Next Page »