Monday, December 27, 2010

does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day?

Today was composed of "things nightmares are made of," with part "things dreams are made of." Think of one of the worst daily rites of modern civilization and combine that with one of life's greatest blessings. Yes, my friends... we are talking about shopping malls and time with friends.

The Mall of America is a place I covet and loathe at the same time (did I mention I'm a Libra?). As far as Minnesota's offerings go, the MOA is tops. It's a beautiful mall on the inside. There are live trees, indoor rollercoasters- yes, plural- and stores for every want. Having the largest shopping mall in the US has its obvious disadvantages though. Wall-to-wall tourists, lack of adequate parking ("you think they'd have the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America" -Drop Dead Gorgeous), the lingering smell of Sbarro and Panda Express... it's a regular mall times 400.

Imagine making a trip to the MOA right after Christmas. I would never dare do such thing if I didn't have a choice. My part-time j.o.b. has us pick up our paychecks there, even though I do not work remotely close to the MOA. Out of respect for a job I enjoy (minus the paycheck pickup hassles), I will spare the rant of the pay ordeal- and no, they do not offer direct deposit. On my day off from my day j.o.b., I make the trek to MOA in search of my Italy funding, I mean check. Leaving at 10:30am, I figure traffic on a Monday shouldn't be much of an issue, considering it's post-rushhour. Not only did it take me well over an hour to get there, finding parking was nothing short of horrendous. I settled for the farthest spot in the farthest ramp from my store after circling all the ramps. Then I nearly ran through the mall to go get my check, er weaved slowly through the billions of people trudging as slow as possible. Everything seems so slow when you're in a hurry.

Fast-forwarding to leaving the mall, you first must realize that MN drivers aren't very aggressive. By that, I mean they will wait all day to make a RIGHT hand turn. Of course, no one lets them in either. Common sense and driving here do not mix but I'll move on. Once it was finally my turn to exit the ramp, I was instantly calmed just to finally be in the flow of (slowly but) moving traffic.

Only to be directed back IN to the ramp. WHAT?!? There were guys directing outgoing traffic back through the ramp. Bigger problem: there wasn't any sort of organization to get back out. Everyone drove around like bumper cars and I drove all the way to the top of the 4th level of the ramp and had to find my way back down again. Once I finally made it back to the mall exit, the rest of the drive to the Southdale mall was a breeze. Thankgoodness for one back road to avoid the highways.

Why on earth would I attempt to battle another mall? The better part of my day, meeting up with Jeanette! I hadn't seen her since this summer and we were going to Francopalooza 2010, aka to see "127 Hours." Southdale is the only theater showing it in limited release here. It's always good to see a friend you haven't in awhile and to have one who shares a mutual love for James Franco is priceless. Since I was running late from the MOA debacle, we didn't have time for lunch and grabbed concessions instead. The theater was busy but people were polite. Okay, with the exception of one guy who rudely came into the theater late (with 2 young kids in tow, to a rated-R film) and yelled at Jeanette so he could sit in the seat in front of her. For 1.5 hours, it was all Franco on the screen. I want to write a review of the film so I'll skip my opinions for now. Jeanette had to go straight to work post-film so we gave a quick hug and away I went... into the mall.

Pretty much repeat the first part of this entry with a few less people.

And that was my day off.

I'd rather be working. Or hanging out with friends.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

would you leave your life and ride?...

Update from the last post...

Stacey did pass away overnight last night. She endured 6 years of cancer. 6 years.

For that, I say she won. That is a LONG fight. May she be resting peacefully now.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a little less conversation, a little more action please...

One of my old classmates informed me via Facebook that my old neighbor Craig's wife, Stacey, has been battling an inoperable brain tumor. Their friends are also showing support for this family through Take Them a Meal -a brilliant website where you can sign up to bring a meal to a family suffering through tragedy that could use a little extra help. Their particular sign up page can be found on the Take Them a Meal site, searching "Wasik" and typing in the password "1978." You'll then see a calendar sign up and what other people are cooking to bring to the family so you don't double up. If you live far away, it allows people in particular states to send a packaged meal that will be delivered to the family.

I'm honestly speechless over here at what Craig and his family are going through and how many people are donating time to help make their lives a little bit easier.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

you don't win fair, but you win.

Why do people have "online" wars a la twitter and facebook?

-To provide everyone else with mind-numbing entertainment!

I don't understand the airing of "dirty laundry" online and I'm really not that invested in any of it. But I will still sit here, read it, and laugh. See? I can't even remember what I was going to write about it.

Mind-numbing indeed.

Just don't do it. Nothing is worth public shaming. You'll forget what you were fighting with someone else about 2 hours later, unless you have nothing better to do.

Do I not have better things to write about in entry #2? Of course!:

Viva Italia! I remember when international airfares were half the price they are now. That was 12 years ago but still. The only thing that has changed is our level of cynicism. Oh and the way we have to handle security in our airports because of fun-ruiners. Can't we all just get along? Now we have to pay upwards of $400 in taxes just to get somewhere to escape. Ah, escapism at its most expensive. The American dream deflated!

I digress. Ooh, bad segue. Back to Italy. A few months ago, I was trying to choose between Florence and Rome. I chose Florence and returned all of my Rome library books for Florence ones. I even flipped through all of them, only to receive an email that I was indeed going to... Rome. I am fine with that. I got to choose 3 destinations for my overseas experience and Paris was my 3rd choice, as I have already been there. My travels are not extensive- flying between home in CA and my old home in MN in the dead of winter did not count. I went to Europe in high school as part of my French studies. My family was not well-off but found a way for me to go anyway. Going overseas and also moving across the country count as the most life-changing experiences I have had to date.

Which reminds me, I'm getting old and need to go to bed. I do work 7 days a week though so age may not be the problem at all. It's just that thing you say when you realize the concept of time has escaped your memory, even if you look at the clock several times and realize only a couple minutes have passed in your mind's thinking that the gap was longer.

I don't know. I'm tired. Buona notte!

a star is born...

"This is it, kid. SING!" --A Star Is Born (1954)

Here we go! Today marks the beginning of something wonderful: my random thoughts fleshed out onto the internet in more than 140 characters. I have been struggling with the idea of doing this for quite some time and am still unsure there is an audience for the hurricane swirling in my brain. My conclusion is that putting thoughts out into the universe can help organize my mind by realizing certain truths or trivializations when they are right there in front of me.

As soon as my paperwork is all in order, I will be starting my Masters in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language in January, 2011. Please don't judge my grammar 100% in this blog- ha! It is a top goal to produce quality writing but we all know thoughts don't always emerge in tangible form on the internet. I will do my best though.

A fire was lit under me yesterday when a customer came into my part-time job and described me as "reminiscent of Judy Garland"- my idol growing up! I almost cried on the spot but withheld the happy tears until I got home. Then I continued to hold them in while deciding it was finally time to write this blog.

With this introduction finally out of the way- and speaking of fire- I have an important announcement to make: my neighbor does not know how to use a fireplace. I sure hope my renter's insurance is up to date. My nose and eyes sting like an angry beehive. Yeowch!