Sunday, August 31, 2008

The social experiment

Last night was the first radio party of the semester, and Ellen, Julie and I attended.

In preparation for said party, I bought a six-pack of IBC cream soda and packed it in a little brown J. Crew bag to come with us. When we arrived there, we countered their Coronas and Yellowtail with our own glass bottles filled with amber liquid, and nobody questioned a thing. We laughed and danced to Of Montreal like we would any other time, and people had no problem joining in because they thought we had been drinking as well. At one point, a friend of ours walked over and we encouraged him to dance with us too. His reply was "No, I really haven't had enough for me to dance, really," so we let him in on our secret. He didn't believe us until he tried a sip, laughed, and allowed himself to be taught the Dino Dance.

It makes me think about social drinking as a concept--it's like a medium through which people feel "allowed" to be silly and fun together without being judged for their words and actions . . . it really is interesting. I still have another six-pack of party drinks, so I believe we'll be trying it again fairly soon.

Side note: Six bottles of cream soda cost $2.47 at Wal-Mart. The money saved went to possibly the best slice of pepperoni pizza I've ever had from Mia's.

All in all, the night was a big win.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hi, I'm alive . . . just busy as heck

I am officially in love with this semester. I feel like this is my first fall at Geneseo because last year was so clouded with anxiety about having friends and not having a roommate and whatever that I didn't notice a lot of things. I'd elaborate, but after one day of classes I already have plenty of work to keep me busy. Expect something tomorrow night at work . . . I'm closing at 1 AM.

Side note: I went to sleep before eleven last night and woke up before eight. EPIC.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Me, myself and . . . sigh.

"I HATE EVERYBODY. EVERYBODY HATES ME," reads my paperback diary circa second grade, all-caps rage scrawled in purple marker shouting my personal vendetta against the world. I'm positive that I am not who I was on that angry day in second grade, because I've decided that I would like to meet everyone before deciding that I hate anyone.

I came across my old diaries while packing today, so instead of boxing linens I sat in the middle of my messy room and revisited my former selves. It was weird; every time I scoffed at something ridiculous I'd written about a boy or my sister or whatever other crisis was at hand I felt I was betraying myself a little bit. It made me think about whether or not we are the people we were at earlier ages, and if we are in part, to what extent we were our current selves then. Does that make sense?

A question for you: what span of time does your "current self" encompass? Do you believe that you are the same person you were last year, last month, yesterday?

I've been trying to answer that for myself, and if I think about it enough, I'm never satisfied beyond a day, a moment if I'm overthinking. Which I am, at the moment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


(while showing me a rug she'd purchased at Kohl's)
"See, it says 'Peace, Love, Faith.' Ain't that nice? I'm real into that stuff now, now I'm a Born-Again Christian 'cause everything they say is the damned truth."
"Do you have any angels here, anything like that? I'm into that big time, I'm into figures, elephants, crystals . . . look, I've got these crystal bracelets and I'm wearing my jade elephant right now."

(she pulls out a calendar filled with pictures of Billy Ray Cyrus posing shirtless with various tractors and muscle cars)
B: Do you like Billy Ray Cyrus? You like him?
M: Yeah, that Achy Breaky Heart's pretty classic.
B: Well, look at this. I saw him in concert how many years ago . . . look at that, when's it from?
M: 1994.
B: Well me an' my daughter rented this great red car and saw him in concert at Westbury then; he's just the best. Y'know who I love now though? (puts hand on heart) That Ricky Martin is just dreamy. That Livin' La Vida Loca? Ahhh. I've got big posters of him all over my room, big ones in glass.

(after telling me about how she cursed out the teller at Chase and got a plastic pink pig keychain out of it)
"You take a lesson from me, I'm smart. I know what I'm doing."

And then she said the one thing I couldn't dispute:

"I'm gettin' crazy in my old age!"

Friday, August 8, 2008

Portrait of a bag lady

Well, she isn't a bag lady by definition because this woman does have a home (if her stories are true), but on all other counts Barbara can be adequately described as such.

Barbara is swiftly becoming the local wraith of East End Shirt Company. She's a random lady who visits the store daily, giant shopping bags in tow, bartering for trinkets and jewelry with anything and everything she has on her. After counting back the years since she'd seen Billy Ray Cyrus in concert (14, by the way), I learned that she is sixty-five . . . which shouldn't have surprised me because she asks for a senior citizen discount at least three times during each visit.

The answer is always no.

Barbara's hair is wiry and black, streaked with strands of white only slightly longer than the witch hair growing out of her chin. Behind glasses bent in such a way that it looks like she was punched on the bridge of her nose, one of her watery brown eyes is clouded by a cataract, so she's constantly asking whoever is working to tell her the sizes and prices of various store items she's interested in "buying." Her tops vary, but she almost always wears an ankle-length bohemian skirt. Even if she hadn't told me several times that she recently lost fifty pounds ("I used to be a hundred and fifty-something, but now I'm a hundred twenty-something!") I would've guessed as much because although she's on the smallish side, the extra skin on her arms create bingo wings like you've never seen. One day she was wearing a strappy green peasant top that didn't quite cover her lacy, light pink bra, and didn't cover her sunburned back at all. Because of this, I could see a protrusion right in the crease of her back, a pinkie fingernail-sized growth hanging off her skin so precariously that I wanted terribly to flick off--if it wouldn't require making contact, that is. Each limb sparkles with costume jewelry--chunky, beaded bracelets, a rhinestone-studded watch, fake silver anklets. She wears more necklaces at a time than I own altogether.

When she dropped by the first time, I wasn't super-friendly towards her because I had zero patience for her questions, her stories, or her bartering. But then, of course, she starts going on and on about how "nobody is nice to her," playing on my stupid conscience. She totally played me, and before I knew it I was hearing about how she gave the people at Chase a piece of her mind because it wasn't her fault that four checks bounced, blah blah blah, then I was showing her how to use her brick of a Nokia cell phone . . . she gave me a handful of Dum-Dum lollipops before she left because she's nice to people that are nice to her. She says.

More to follow.