Friday, April 24, 2009

Girl Friday, get your act together

On the one hand, I should hate today. On the other hand, I am so far beyond amused at today.

I was running late for work, and I was kinda irritated. I was in a rush and needed to park, so when I saw three open spots across the street my workplace, I pulled in. Quick. One could argue that it was a little TOO QUICK, but those people would just be asking for me to lay down some ass-whupping because you do not get to tease me about my driving skillz. Which are plentiful, I swear.

Because, you see, I pulled in a little too fast, and somehow the angle of the turn and the speed of the car caused me TO HOP THE CURB SO BADLY THAT I KILLED MY TIRE. 


Two OU employees were walking by and turned to stare, a mix of shock and amusement on their faces. My tire had made a decent 'pop' sound when it hit the curb. I knew it was dead. So I just sat there and laughed. I felt like this woman in a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, the woman who is yelling "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" every single time she gets bad news. As if the world is falling down around her ears and every time she gets a handle on it, a curve ball gets tossed in her face.

I got out of the car and surveyed the tire, some part of me accepting the inevitable. And, yep, there it was: a two-to-three inch long tear in the rubber, all the way through the 'sidewall,' according to my dad. In the space of time it took me to explain to my dad what had happened, all of the air drained out of my tire. ALL OF IT. 

My boss let me move the car to our back parking lot, which was nice considering that it meant my other boss had to park in a spot meant for the people that rent the apartments above the shop. My dad came, checked the tire, declared it dead (which, HELLO? I TOLD YOU IT WAS!), picked up a replacement (artfully forging my signature, I am sure), and replaced it.

So that was my morning. 


I decided to just park my car in a local neighborhood for the rest of the day and just walk anywhere I needed to go. On my way to Chinese class, I saw a bicyclist get hit by a van. Once I saw the biker was okay, I laughed.

NOW, before you start saying I am a horrible person or anything like that, let me just point out that Athens bicyclists are more-often-than-not assholes of the best order. They are uppity and rude and obey NONE of the rules that they are supposed to. Oh, and they rarely wear helmets.

In this case, a van was waiting to turn left. Clear as day, blinker going and everything. It finally had a clear shot to turn and this bike came out of nowhere and basically got toppled over by the van. That's the best way to describe it. I heard an 'aaah,' which was more of 'whoa, what the hell, you mean there are CARS on ROADS?' scream of surprise, not one of pain. I screamed in shock, frightening my poor dad (who I was on the phone with), and walked closer to make sure the girl was okay. The business owner of where the van was going came out and asked if she needed to call 911 as a few cars stopped to see if they should help. The poor van driver stood there, looking panicked and upset.

The bicyclist stood up. "I'm fine, I'm fine, okay?" she snapped. Okay, fine, she was hit by a car, SHE IS TOTALLY FINE, SURE. Then she picked up her bike, popped it up and down once or twice and loudly declared, "YOU MESSED UP MY BIKE!"

Really? You came up on the LEFT SIDE of a vehicle when it was waiting to turn LEFT, you weren't wearing a helmet, you aren't letting anyone call 911, and you're pissed because your bike got messed up?

I just had to laugh. I mean, really? Of all the things you could be upset about, you choose to be angry that your bike isn't properly aligned anymore? Sure, she could have been in shock, but her reaction was just too ridiculous. 

I'm almost afraid to see what the rest of the night will be like. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wilco = awesome

Long overdue, I know, I know.

I saw Wilco last Friday at MemAud, a place that I am hoping to not enter again until May. Why? Because I was there until 2 in the morning for David Sedaris on the seventh (or the eighth, depending on how you look at things) and was there again a week later for a reading from Sandra Steingraber. Okay, sure, I was paid to go to both events, and I had been planning to go see Steingraber anyway, but really? How many hours do YOU want to spend in the university auditorium? 

Anyway. Wilco was pretty much awesome. Not as awesome as the JM show earlier in the week, but had that not been my baseline for the concert, it would have been pretty freaking spectacular. The band had good chemistry, Jeff Tweedy talked about as much as was expected (ie, not a lot), and they stuck around after the show so that the 30 or so fans who stuck it out to meet, at the very least, Jeff, got to. 

I got my shirt signed by Jeff Tweedy and got to tell him 'he was really good tonight,' only to be told that he actually doesn't hear that that often. Really? Why not? I'd like to think I'm not the only one who realizes that performers probably like to hear, 'oh my god, you were amazing tonight! Thank you!' rather than 'oh my god, I love you, will you have my babies?!' 

It'd be a just a little too ironic if I was the only sane one in this situation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blown away and blown down

Jack's Mannequin was spectacular. I usually measure the greatness of a concert by how I feel when the performer walks off the stage, and I felt both sad and surprised when he and the rest of the band walked off the stage (before coming back for an encore). They played for over an hour and a half, and I still can't believe how quickly the time passed.

At the concert, I learned an important thing about Columbus-dwellers/Ohioans. They don't fucking dance. Seriously. Out of a crowd of at least 300, I was the only one dancing that I could see. At the end of the show, I got a fist-bump from the event staff/security guard person, who said "You were rocking tonight!" Well, yeah. JM isn't the most danceable music in the world, but I was so jazzed to be there that I didn't much care if it was or not. 

I had my digital recorder with me, and I recorded the show, not sure if it were turn out decently or not. It did, but it's just for me. I often struggle to remember stuff if I have no record of the experience, and to get to repeatedly relive this experience is something I cherish. I also snagged a few photos with my phone. They turned out pretty decently for how tiny and bad they looked on my phone. Here's one from his encore, feel free to ignore the camera in the lower left hand corner: 

So there is that. Amazing. If you have the chance to see him this summer, DO IT. He is touring as the headliner for the next few months, then he will be touring with the fray. You can check out his site here

On the flip side, I came home, went to bed, and woke up to an e-mail from the Ohio Board of Regents, informing me that the scholarship I was awarded last year (the Ohio Academic Scholarship) is not being renewed next year. At the moment, there are no funds in Ohio's budget for this scholarship. On the one hand, I understand there is a financial crisis. I understand there is a massive meltdown of budgets right now. But this is a scholarship that I earned, a scholarship I received based on merit. MERIT. 

I will still be able to go to school next year; I was reassured of this by one of the workers at the financial aid office. But a lot of the aid I will be receiving is need based. It is hard to feel proud of my accomplishments at OU at this point when my aid is so heavily funded by 'need.' Yes, I NEED the money, but I was SO PROUD of the fact that I had more than one scholarship that I could point to as something I earned for working my ass of the past few years. I have studied myself to the bone, to the brink of sanity, to the point of severe sleep deprivation, and I am quite probably losing a scholarship because of a mismanaged budget and a financial crisis that I did not cause, that I am a victim of. I am so angry. I am also disappointed. 

I was given an e-mail for someone to contact, and hopefully she can lay out some sort of game plan for what I should do if this scholarship is eliminated. Because going to a bank and punching a CEO in the face is, sadly, not an option. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A long time coming

Tomorrow, I'm going to Columbus to see Jack's Mannequin, a band I have loved for a good long while. The 'band' mainly consists of Andrew McMahon, the lead singer, piano player and lyrical master, whose previous musical venture was Something Corporate, a band I had fallen in love with when I was 13. I was automatically excited for the first Jack's Mannequin album, Everything in Transit, and it blew me away. When I am old and my kids ask me what album defined my high school years, I will point to that album. I have listened to it many times, through my best days and my worst. It suits all of my moods.

Jack's Mannequin released their second album, The Glass Passenger, in September of last year. I put off buying the album for a while, after excitedly buying the two EPs that were released on iTunes in the months leading up to the release. I was in a bad state (as some of you might remember) and there is one song in particular that I can't listen to, because it has such a strong sensory connection to that time. I'm hoping that changes with time.

But I love this album. Like Everything in Transit, it has blown me away. Even the songs I didn't like at first have grown on me. I am so excited to finally get to see this artist that has shaped so much of my teenage years. The video below is an acoustic version of one of my favorite songs on the album. It captures how I feel some days really well. 

Sorry to gush internet, but I am excited. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Windows to the soul, new framing

I have had the same glasses for the past three years, a time that was far too long. I finally made the jump and got contacts, because I LOVE sunglasses. LOVE THEM. I think they are the best accessory ever, and love that they don't bother me the way any other accessories do (jewelry wise). I'm sensitive to metal, especially in my ears, which is really annoying.

Anyway, I ordered these:

I also bought these (worn by me):

I assume that you can figure out what the contacts look like. Me, without glasses, frameless for the first time since age nine. I go back tomorrow for a check-up, wherein I will complain about my right contact, and my struggles to properly focus indoors. I feel like I am constantly squinting, but for new, exciting reasons! Ones I can't figure out, because I am wearing 'my' prescription! YAY!

Monday, April 6, 2009

To beat the blues, sing

I am absolutely in love with this song and this video. Everyone I have shared it with has adored it, hopefully you will too. The artist is Oren Lavie, the song is 'Her Morning Elegance' and it should be listened to whenever necessary. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I have and do.