Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cirque de Soleil - Easter Edition

Easter turned out well, meal and all... Five people (not including Mark and I) turned up, and there was plenty to go around (and plenty leftover). Everyone loved the food. Everyone loved the apartment, loved the dogs. We played yard games and watched silly internet videos. (Oh, the age of the 'net! lol) It was great!

The strangest part of my day was the church service we attended that morning. Mark's buddy, Wakefield, invited us to this place called "The Rock." I've never been to a mega-church before, so I didn't know what to expect. I certainly didn't expect the Cirque de Soleil.

Seriously. These guys had a full choir, two electric guitars, a 13+ piece drum set, a grand piano, a 15 piece string orchestra, a troupe of ballerinas, and three acrobats. Oh, and The Joker.

I am not kidding. You think I'm kidding? Watch the show they put on in the middle of the service:


It was a cool performance, don't get me wrong. And the music was all well-performed. But I am not religious to begin with, and this church certainly didn't help my faith. It was a sideshow. A circus. The whole thing left me kind of snide and bewildered.

I don't mean to offend those of you with faith - it's not so much the religion itself that bothers me, it's the hypocrisy.

You see, this was a church that called itself a "do something" church, and was preaching about donating money and time and whatnot to bettering the city of San Diego. At one point, they showed this guilt-inducing video of all the homeless people that hang around (there are A LOT). It's fine to preach the "do something" message (and I've been told that their outreach program is the largest in the city), but it makes me a little sick to look around and see all the expensive instruments and lighting and camera equipment... How much could that money have done for the homeless?

I'm not a saint. I'm not selfless - not by a long shot - but... I dunno. It makes me think of that Bible story about the beggar woman who gave her last two coins to the tithe. Didn't Jesus praise her more than the rich men who only gave a small portion of their wealth? It's because she didn't hold back, because she gave all that she had.

Looking around that church gave me the impression that, while they thought helping the homeless was well and good, the production was the most important thing. God, did they spend a lot of money on the production. They certainly were not giving local outreach all they had. Think of how much more they could do if they were!

Like I said before, there was talent there. It all looked very nice. But I won't go back. As an agnostic, it's a waste of my time.

I might as well just go to the circus instead.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Phone Spam

So, while doing some job-searching yesterday, I submitted an application and resume to what seemed like a legit position as a "housekeeper" for a nearby hotel. Oh boy, was I ever wrong. Once I finished filling out the application, it took me to a webpage with a phone number on it, saying I needed to contact one of their HR reps to "authorize" my application. No biggie. I've seen things like that before. So I make the call. (I really need a job, I should tell you.)

On this call, all they want to talk to me about is whether or not I'd be interesting in doing schooling online. I somehow get put on a list that allows EVERY FRIGGIN' ONLINE COLLEGE EVAR to contact me, hoping that I want more info. I was just ignoring the calls at first. Two phone calls turned into eight, and then ten (all in one afternoon, mind you.) Finally, Mark picked up the phone and declared - quite scarily, I might add - that they need not call anymore.

That only took care of one online college.

This morning, at 6AM, I get another call. It's my turn to be the bitch, because HELL NO am I going to talk to you about online college I never wanted at SIX IN THE EFFING MORNING.

Another one called at 6:30.

"I'm calling in response to your request for more information about our online Business Communications program."  (I'm an English Major, soo...no.)

 "I don't need any information. I'm on your list by mistake. I'm not interested."

"Oh okay. Well, one thing I can do for you today is get you connected with -"

"No, I am not interested."

"All it takes is -"


"Alright then. You have a nice day."


I have been answering every call since then, being very firm and direct, not giving them any ground and letting them know that I do not care to receive another phone call. Nor am I interested in their so-called online colleges. (I dunno if half of these places are even real.)

I'm pretty sure I only have one more college left to reject. It's the only other one that appeared on my missed calls list from yesterday. Maybe they're hoping that if they don't wake me up at the crack of dawn, I'll be more agreeable. Nope. I won't be.

I most definitely will not be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Easter snuck up on me this year. I act like that surprises me, but don't let me fool you: it sneaks up on me every year. It's just that there's usually someone else to take care of all the preparation that leads up to the glorious feast (truthfully, the only part of the holiday I give a hoot about, being both a glutton and an agnostic). This year, it's all up to me to take care of the food (glorious food)... else I'll probably be dining on hot dogs and corn chips.

Don't worry, though. I'm lucky enough to have realized that Easter is this weekend (it is this weekend, right?) early enough in the week that I still have time to plan for a meal. And to get all my recipes in order (thank you, allrecipes.com!), even the ones I have to collect from Mark's relatives. YAY! Go me!

I'm sure you're wondering what I'll be making? I know I would be. I love hearing about food - it's the only thing that makes the Food Network worth watching.

Here's the menu I've got going so far:

Brown Sugar Ham (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Ham/Detail.aspx)
Cheesy Hashbrowns (the recipe I have to obtain from my sister-in-law)
Green Bean Casserole (http://www.campbellkitchen.com/recipedetail.aspx?recipeId=24099&fbid=fBPOjceaJGn)
Sauteed Asparagus (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sauteed-Garlic-Asparagus/Detail.aspx)
Dinner Rolls (not to disappoint you, but I'm just going to buy these from the store - much easier)
Raspberry Jell-O (a demand of Mark's, for some reason. again, store bought)
Pie/Whipped Cream (the best the store has to offer. I dunno if I'm ready to take on pie single-handed)
Jelly Beans (because it wouldn't be Easter without them)

And that's all I've got so far. I'm really tempted to make another potato dish, but we haven't even invited anyone over yet and I don't want to make enough food to feed an army unless there's going to be an army to feed. Maybe I will anyway - there's nothing better than Easter leftovers. Unless it's Thanksgiving leftovers, because those are damn good too!

Kinda sad that all my Easter thoughts revolve around the menu, but... It's easier to think about what I'll be eating than the fact that this is the first Easter ever that Mark and I will being spending away from our families. Thinking about food eases the discomfort of that thought a little bit. I mean, it's food. Food is the mother of all coping mechanisms.

This Easter I am going to delve into Food Therapy until I'm sick. Or maybe that half-second right before sickness. Because there's nothing worse than having to throw up a delicious, delicious meal.

Except maybe cancer. Or paralysis. Or not getting that chiropractic office job (which I didn't. boo.) Ooh, or scurvy. Scurvy would be bad.

Wow. That was a weird note to end this entry on.

Oh well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's In a Name?

Got my roller derby gear this morning! Mark (my husband, if I haven't mentioned it yet) surprised me by taking me to Sin City Skates, where Trish the Dish helped fit me for my first (and hopefully not last) pair of derby skates... and knee/elbow/wrist pads. And a helmet. (Helmets are very important.)

I'm pretty excited - and terrified - about the whole roller derby thing. It feels right, you know? I've never been into sports before, but this one feels natural. (Wearing the skates doesn't...yet.) I'm just hoping I don't fall down and re-crack my tailbone (I've cracked it before, yes). Of course, I realize I'll be doing lots of falling. Even knowing that ahead of time, I'm still nervous about it.

Now all I have to do is decide on a derby name. (And learn to skate, I guess.) Who should I be? Should I be Malice in Wonderland? Or Pwn of Arc? Or Rumblesplitskin? The list goes on and on and on, but I think those are my top three at the moment.

Hehe. This is exciting.

I put on my skates as soon as we got back to the apartment and wobbled around the kitchen. (Then Mark started heating up the Canola oil to make homemade potato chips and I took them off. I want to learn to skate, but not when there's a possibility of falling into a kettle of boiling oil.) EXCITING!

Trish the Dish was very excited for me too. She's been doing derby for seven years, I guess. She said she's pretty sure the next try-outs for the San Diego Derby Dolls are next Monday. GAH! She said she hoped she'd see me there. I hope so too.

I hope I don't chicken out.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I am going to warn you: I do not feel like blogging right now. This may be short, and it may be a little grumpy. (I've been really, really exhausted lately. Not sure if I'm trying to adjust to the elevation, the noise, the time zone difference, the sleep schedule difference... or if I'm just a little bit depressed. So bear with me.)

California is... well, it's different and not different. I know that if I go outside, it'll be warm and breezy. I'll see palm trees and mountains and all kinds of flora and fauna that I wouldn't see if I were still in Minnesota. When I'm inside, it's just like home. (Well, the apartment is much nicer, but... yeah.) I do dishes and laundry. I assemble bookshelves and organize my (pitifully few) books on them. I make dinner. I check my facebook. I watch Dexter and feed the dogs. It's life-as-normal, but it still feels strange.

I know why it feels strange, of course.

Apart from the difference in my physical surroundings, the strangeness comes from the fact that I know next-to-no one out here. On Friday - to celebrate Mark's graduation from his first phase of Navy schooling - we had a grill-out/hot tub party. Ten guys came. Only guys. In a way, it was nice being the only girl - I didn't have to do any small talk, I could stand in a corner and just listen and observe, which is what I like to do best. It did mean, however, that I was afforded just about zero chance of making any new friendships. Not that I can't be friends with guys or anything. It's just that they'll all be going out onto ships. And I can't hang out with them without Mark. And also... they're all already part of their elite little group - a group I can't join, because I'm not Navy.

(I'm making it sound like they tried to disclude me or something. They didn't. What I refer to is the fact that, no matter how hard I could try, I can't really be part of their group on the level that they are. I will always be, at least in small part, an outsider.)


I haven't been going out much on my own. I don't know how to get around, and the roads are intimidating to me. You see, I'm terrified of bridges. And there are A LOT of really tall, long, winding, curvy overpasses here. I had to drive over a couple on my way to my apartment, and I just about had a panic attack. I know I'll have to get over it eventually, but for now, I am avoiding driving. Whenever I need to go anywhere, I take the train. Not that I have anywhere to go. I still don't know where most things are. I did go to Mark's base once. And I took Mom to some souvenir shops downtown (the fact that I found where they are without assistance is some kind of fluke). Beyond that, I walk the three blocks to Starbucks. Then I walk home and wait for Mark to come back.

I have applied a few places, including a chiropractic office. (They've already expressed some small interest in conducting an interview with me. We'll see.) I'm hoping that getting a job will force me to explore a little bit more, learn my surroundings.

I suppose I could explore without having a job to force me, but I've been feeling pretty unadventurous lately. Like I said at the beginning, I've been tired. And depressed, I'm sure. I'm very happy to be with Mark, the weather is beautiful, the apartment is nice, but still... I'm alone without him. And that is depressing. And I know that staying closeted in my apartment all day won't do me any good in the long run, but I'm just not ready to put myself out there yet. Soon, I hope. But not yet.

What I really am craving to do right now is write. Fiction, I mean. But again, the weariness and general blah-ness kind of detract from my ability. Also, I'm being plagued with that writing-fear. You know, the fear that sits with you subconsciously and keeps you procrastinating because...what if you write and it sucks? What do you do then? I'm afraid to write and discover that I'm not as good at it as I hoped.

No way to figure that out unless I write, though, is there?

I think I need to get back into the swing of writing random 400-500 word blurbs every day, just to get the flab out of my writing muscles. Then maybe I'll start work on bigger projects.

Sorry. Kind of rambling now. I feel like I'm typing a lot without actually saying much. I might come back and edit this later, tell you about some of the actual events of the move (and the first days of living in California). Maybe. If I feel like it.

For now, deal with it. 'Cause it's all you get.

Oh, and I lied. It wasn't short at all.