rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)
I haven't posted in a while because I've been kinda busy. Lately I feel like my phone has been exploding with calls and texts, mostly from the Jews, and mostly asking me for favors. Can I help Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1 practice his lines for his latest play? Can I bring/make something for the dinner after services this Friday? Can I baby-sit again? Can I spend the night at the hospital with a sick lady from my congregation? Holy Moses! I'm tempted to smash my phone if it goes off one more time, and considering how many problems it's been giving me lately, that wouldn't be a huge loss. I need a new one, but I'd rather gouge my eyes out than sign another contract with AT&T.

Like a fool, I said yes to more of those questions than I should have, which is why I spent last night on a reclining chair in the hospital. First of all, I hate hospitals. They're very uncomfortable places for me; they make me think of Dad and Grandma and shots. Secondly, the lady I was staying with was very elderly, confused, and uncomfortable, so it was a pretty stressful night for both of us, and I wasn't able to get a lot of sleep before I had to go to work this morning. Ugh! I also bumped into my mom, which was weird. I was half-awake and had a conversation with her around 3am that I don't really remember now.

I honestly don't understand why they asked me to stay with this lady. (Actually, I do; it was because Sassy Jewish Grandparents #1 volunteered me for it. I'll take care of them later.) I barely even know her, and I'm not the most patient person. I guess it's the same question that got me roped in teaching Hebrew school -- "If not the least qualified person for the job, then who?" Oh, well, I know I shouldn't complain. It's over for me now, but the sick lady is still stuck in the hospital and could be for some time.

I missed seeing yesterday's new NCIS live since I was at the hospital, but I watched it online tonight. What a packed episode!


Notes on 10x11 "Shabbat Shalom," the first NCIS of 2013! )

I'm going to cry tears of joy over getting to sleep in my own bed tonight.
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
The last few days have felt pretty crappy. After school on Friday, I took "Briana" to the lakefront and we fed the ducks and splashed around in the fountain. That sounds like fun in theory, doesn't it? So why did she seem bored to death, yet again? Too often I feel like I'm forcing her to do stuff she doesn't want to. I need to call our caseworker at Big Brothers Big Sisters and discuss this.

However, in my defense, as much as I might suck at doing stuff with her, at least when we make plans, I stick to them. Props to me for that. Woo-hoo.

After work on Saturday, I went straight to the temple for Havdalah and Selichot services. We took the regular bima and Torah covers off and put up the special white-and-gold ones for the High Holy Days. There was also a little oneg with cheese, fruit, cookies, and of course, apples and honey. Yum! After that, I drove over to Mom's house because Adam and I had made plans to go to the movies that evening. I was looking forward to it -- which was my first mistake, children. When I got there, this was our conversation:

Adam: Well, maybe next time, when they're showing something better. [I know where he gets this from.]
Me: I thought you said you wanted to see it.
Adam: Well, I don't really like that movie.
Me: Then why did you say yes when I asked you if you wanted to go?
Adam: Uh...

Ordinarily, I don't think this would've upset me that much, but it came at a bad time. My family has a habit of cancelling on me like this, and I'm starting to suspect that they actually don't care about me at all or that I'm incredibly repulsive and no one ever wants to spend time with me (which would also explain why no one ever hires me and why Briana is always so bored with me). I know, I know, I'm whining now, but it really does bother me because I have few no friends and there are things I'd like to get out and do, but going it solo is hard for me. (Guess I better get used to that, since I'll be doing it for the rest of my life.) That's one reason why I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Speaking of which, the #1 rule they give you when you join that agency is this: "Be consistent and dependable. Do not oversleep, be late, reschedule dates, or make promises that you cannot keep." Why didn't anybody ever give this to my family?

And when I got home from work today, our power was out! Again! (It's back on now, obviously.) Sigh... I hope I snap out of this funk. The High Holy Days are coming, and I can't make atonement in a pissy mood like this. But I also can't get over the irony that I'm going to be saying the Kol Nidre, the Yom Kippur prayer whose specific purpose is to remind Jews not to make rash promises, and certain people I know won't.

15 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)

Excuse Rebecca while she gets some grumpiness off her chest. This is a list of things I'm sick of lately:

  1. TV spots for Savages. They show them pretty constantly on USA (where I watch old NCIS episodes) and A&E (where I watch Storage Wars).
  2. We're scheduled for inventory, which is always a headache, at work tomorrow. My managers have all been talking and stressing about it non-stop. I hate the word inventory now. But not as much as I'll soon hate back-to-school. Ugh.
  3. The smoke smell in one of my purses. I got it from my cousin. Most of the time, it's not noticeable unless you shove your face inside it. But I keep making the mistake of putting a change of clothes in it, and then my clothes end up smelling like smoke! Ugh! I'm going to flush that smell out soon.
  4. Our new stocker at work. He seems to find any excuse he can to talk to me. Within a few seconds of meeting me, he asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with him. (Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter? No? How about the new Spider-Man movie?) Ugh. If this keeps up, I'm going to talk to the manager about it.

And now onto happier news... As of tomorrow, we'll have had Tovah for one month! One of the reasons Sara and I picked her from all the cats at the animal shelter was that she's so skinny. (The last time I was at JC & Co's, I held their cats and the difference was amazing. I couldn't feel all their bones!) We've been trying to fatten her up and have offered her bits of just about every human food we eat -- pizza, cheese, ravioli, oatmeal, fish, beef, etc. But she never really ate any of it, she just sniffed. Remember how in the Ramona books, her cat was named Picky-Picky? Yeah, that's Tovah.

Then we made the mistake of giving her a slice of turkey. I've never seen Tovah gobble up anything so fast. Now she comes running every time she hears the refrigerator open (even if she's asleep in the next room!) and meows pathetically, like she's never been fed a day in her life. It's annoying, but we've started putting bits of turkey on top of her cat food, and she finally seems to be eating more and gaining a little weight. Hallelujah!

And for no reason, here's the trailer for a recent (2010) French biopic of Serge Gainsbourg. If I could find a version with English subtitles, I'd love to see this.

rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Rebecca didn't get to see the Avenue of Flags on Memorial Day, but I did go by Mom's house for Adam's birthday. Can you say free cake? He got a cookie cake, as always, with a sailboat on it. Last year, he asked for a dragon, but they put a dinosaur on it instead, and it looked like a five-year-old's birthday cake. He said that before he settled on a sailboat, he considered asking for a forest scene -- or as he put it, "a sylvan glen." What the hell? Who talks like that? It's like he lives in some other world.

Neither Sara nor I got him a gift because really, what's the point? He just turned 25, and he's never worked a day in his life. He's never paid for rent, bills, gas, groceries, etc. He probably never will until he's 30, at least, if ever. But I should probably stop before I start to sound bitter.

While leaving the apartment the other day, I managed to drop my camera. Down the stairs! It was one of those moments when time seemed to slow down. I could see the camera hit on every step and bounce high into the air in between. The SD and batteries came flying out, but I picked them up and popped them back in. The case got pretty banged-up, but I tried to patch it up with tape. I think it still works, but it probably won't for much longer, and it looks more ghetto than ever! Time to invest in a new camera. On the plus side, the quality on this one was so poor that I think any other camera I get would be better.

And in other news, just when I thought the movie selection in the breakroom at work couldn't get any worse, today I walked in to see Dragonball: Evolution. Ugh! As an aside, I used to be quite a fan of the Dragonball Z animated series back in the day. Thank goodness I didn't know fanfiction existed back then, or I probably would've written stories for it! Just thinking about it makes me want to hit the delete key.
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
I was off from work today, and I did absolutely nothing with it! It was so frustrating. I just hate the wintertime. What is there to possibly like about a season when it gets dark at 5:30 and your lips are chapped all the time? On top of that, the temperatures dropped earlier this week, so now it's cold too. Maybe not cold compared to most of the country, but definitely too cold for Rebecca. I tried to go for a bike ride today, but it was so cold that I had to turn around and come back after just a few wheezy blocks. (Last week, it was so warm that I was literally swatting at mosquitos while listening to "Sleigh Ride." I prefer that to being cold.) I really miss riding my bike when I can't do it, and I'm starting to feel stir-crazy stuck in this apartment!

Some random thoughts of my week so far:

~ I never realized how many people know my grandma until she got sick. Lately random people have been coming up to me at work and asking, "Rebecca, how's your grandma?" Sometimes, I have absolutely no idea who they are or how they know me! Weird.

~ There is one good thing about this time of year: the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbuck's! It is so delicious. Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1 bought up a cup last week, and I drank almost the whole thing in one go. I also discovered that I can custom-make peppermint hot chocolate at the much closer, cheaper coffee shop, although it isn't quite as good as Starbuck's.

~ Oh, and I still have not even started on my Xmas shopping this year! *shoots self*

~ And for no real reason:



Elle Fanning singing in The Nutcracker. Doesn't she have a surprisingly good singing voice here? It makes me wonder if she was autotuned.

I think I'll go eat some chicken soup now. Maybe that will improve my mood.
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Hallelujah, Rebecca survived Black Friday weekend! Friday and Saturday were both looong, hectic days, one of my coworkers quit, we didn't get pizza for lunch (like I thought we would), I forgot to buy the one sale item I'd wanted, the weather was wet and cold, and Sable pissed on the floor! Ugh!

To unwind from it all, I've been writing fanfiction and even broke out my old keyboard again. (I haven't done that in a while.) I had wanted to learn the T'Filah, a line we sing at services, but I couldn't find any music for it, so I tried to piece it together by ear. The Hebrew is complicated, but the melody is so pretty, and it's only one line, so I think I came up with something semi-recognizeable.

Today I did my laundry, and I just got home from visiting Grandma, which I've haven't done since she got out of the hospital. (And I didn't even see her on Thanksgiving. I know, I'm a terrible granddaughter.) She's lost weight and isn't doing too well. It was more than a little depressing to see. In some ways, my fifteen-year-old dog is in better health than she is. Sable can at least move around and usually get up and down the stairs by himself. Grandma can't even stand up without help.

My aunt: [about my cousin losing her job] "Well, they say when God closes a door, He opens a window." [Bitchy sarcastic aside: Thank you, Fraulein Maria.]
Me: "Yeah, so we can have something to jump out of."
rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)

As most of you probably heard, the world was supposed to come to an end on May 21, 2011. The craziest thing about the would-be rapture was that it all started with this one lone nutjob, and enough people believed him that it became a big deal. There was even a huge billboard warning about the end of days along the I-10. I first saw it on the way back from Purim in Lafayette. Obviously, nothing happened, but it did give me an excuse to listen to "The Man Comes Around" over and over. (Love that song, love Johnny Cash.)

Friday was a No-Good Very Bad Day, for a few different reasons. I was very late for work that morning. I had applied for a job at the place where my sister works and actually, foolishly started looking forward to it, but it looks like I won't get hired. At the temple that night, my Jewish grandfather had told my Jewish grandmother that I was looking for a job, and she bombarded me with all suggestions all through services. She seems to think that since I have many marketable skills -- yes, she obviously knows me really well -- I must not be looking hard enough. Ugh. I ended the day by riding my bike around late at night, in hopes that I might get hit by a car. Obviously, that didn't happen either.

But Torah study was the next morning, and this was one of the first times that I felt like the parsha really spoke to me. It was the last two chapters of Leviticus, and I took it as a lesson about being happy with what you have and a warning against being dominated by fear. ("The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as from the sword, they shall fall, though none pursues.") Everybody at the temple was talking about Netanyahu's recent visit to DC and press conference with Obama, to the point that I was surprised we got to the parsha at all.

In other Jew news, I'm starting to feel like I'm banging my head against a wall with Rabbi W. At the most, he's in town for services every other week, and whenever I talk to him about converting, he gives me the same directions every single time (things I've already done, some of them 2-3 times). I'm not sure what to make of this. I know he's a very busy, probably forgetful, and possibly a tad senile old man, but things have been going on in this vein since January, and it's becoming a little frustrating. I'm thinking about contacting the temple's former rabbi, who now lives in Baton Rouge. No doubt that'll be another awkward e-mail to write. But not as awkward as having to ask someone to come to your mikvah.

Grandma is about to sell Aunt Carolyn's old books and CDs, but first, she asked me if I wanted any of them. Haha. Best of Barry Manilow and/or Air Supply, anyone? But I did borrow a few CDs and I'm importing songs one by one into iTunes library right now.

rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)

I tossed and turned all night last night. I very occasionally have nights when I lie awake for hours worrying for over the most ridiculous, pointless things (things I have no power to change, things that are a long way in the future) and as much as I try, I can't make myself stop worrying or go back to bed. Yes, things are better in the morning, and all my worries seem stupid by the light of day, but still, it really bothers me when I have nights like that. I'm not the only one who does this sometimes, right? I think we all have fears that seem scarier at night.

It didn't help that immediately before going to bed, I checked my work schedule and realized that I actually had to work today, when I thought I was off. (I got Thursday and Friday confused; my day off is tomorrow.) How much does it suck to discover you have to get up early and go to work when you had planned on sleeping in? Ugh. I guess it's a good thing I checked the schedule.

On top of that, immediately before going to bed, I read the first eleven chapters of I'd Know You Anywhere, a book I found so disturbing that it made my stomach clench, but it was so well-written that I literally couldn't put it down.

Finally, sometime in a.m., I had to turn on my lamp and read the most boring Torah passages I could find until I felt tired again. Sable actually got out of his bed and came to sleep on the floor next to my bed.

I'm not sure what to make of it. Changes might be on the horizon, and I'm not sure what to make of those, either. Strangely enough, there are some situations where knowledge of child actresses is absolutely no help. Maybe I should go back to St. John's Wort.

rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)

Well, the sun may have come out for a few days, but it sure disappeared again quick. Today and yesterday were both back to gray skies, rain, and freezing cold. On top of that, the shrink episode of NCIS wasn't as good as I'd hoped. On top of that, I apparently didn't get the job I applied for last week. (Yes, the one I was so sure I had.) They said they would be making a decision Monday or Tuesday, and Rebecca was practically reduced to spending those days staring at her phone, waiting for it to ring. The lesson here, kiddos, is that no matter how well you think the interview went, you did not get the job.

I was tempted to spend yesterday at home being depressed, but instead, I picked myself up, braved the cold and rain, and went to a concert at the temple. An Israeli musician named Amir Gwirtzman was performing there, and the price of admission was canned goods to go to Abraham's Tent. It was a little strange, but I enjoyed it. He juxtaposed different wind instruments (like a saxophone and a shoffar, or a Native American flute and an Irish penny whistle) and made it seem like they were talking to each other, and he recorded them in layers to create the sound of a full band. He played one piece that he said was a traditional Korean melody, and I have no idea why, but it sounded so familiar and sad to me, I almost started crying.

 
Amir Gwirtzman

The temple was more crowded than I'd ever seen it, because most of the crowd was people of other faiths who'd come to hear the music. At one point I thought to myself how weird it was to see so many unknown faces in my temple, and then I did a mental double-take, thinking, "My temple?" Where did that come from?

But best of all, there was a reception afterwards of delicious dessert foods, and my sassy Jewish grandfather kept piling my plate with cream puffs! It was quite a replay of the Nuit Blanche 2007, when Rebecca stuffed with face with cream puffs in front of all her French professors.

Oh-seh shalom bimrom'vah hu yah-seh shalom aleinu v'al kol Mizraim.
This is a tweaked line from the only Jewish song Amir played during the concert, "Oh-seh Shalom." (We sing this song fairly often during services, and it's one of my favorites. Some of the first Hebrew I ever learned.) The original line ends in Yisrael. This version means, "May the One who causes peace to reign in Heaven cause peace to reign in Egypt."

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

Lately when I walk Sable, he's gotten into the habit of flinging himself in front of oncoming cars. I don't know if he's actually trying to do away with himself, or if he's doing on accident because he's just gotten that uncoordinated in his old age, or if he is so blind and deaf now that he doesn't know a car's coming. But either way, I have to make sure I don't take my eyes off him when we're on a walk.

My trips to the hospital for a breathing treatment and the doctor's for prescriptions, while they didn't put me in the red, turned out to be more expensive than I'd expected. And I still haven't gotten the prescriptions filled yet. And I need to order more contacts. And I should get a haircut and buy new dishes for Sable. It seems stupid to buy new dishes for a dog who might not even be alive to use them that long, but his old ones have gotten so grime-encrusted, and I can't pretend I can wash them anymore. *sigh* Back to collecting cans. I can budget, I just don't want to.

I'm trying to decide whether I want to do NaNoWriMo this year. Last year was my first attempt, and it didn't go as well as I'd hoped (i.e., I let it peter out before November was even halfway over). I remember thinking last year that for NaNoWriMo 2010, it might be fun to pull a really weird, random story idea out of nowhere and just go with it. The story I wrote last year had been sitting in the back of my mind forever, and I think that might've made me feel more pressured to make it perfect. It wasn't bad; I just wish I had done written more on it. I've been writing fanfiction pretty intensely lately (which is good practice, right?) but I can always put that on hold. I'm also trying to decide whether to put a link to my FF.net profile up here, but I don't think I'm comfortable with that yet.

rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)

I attempted to put up our Christmas tree today, and the effort... didn't go well. I got the little artificial I bought last year out of the closet at Mom's house, but its branches are now just collapsing, rather than taking shape, which left a gigantic gap in the tree. I repacked it in the shape it should take and plan to try again tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what we'll do, because I don't want to buy a real tree, and having to buy an artificial each year completely defeats the purpose.

Sara and I might both be coming down with something. Today she said she still felt cold under long pants, long sleeves, a jacket, socks, and a blanket. We have cold medicine but no vitamins, but I'm going to pick some up later this week, if I remember. It was so cold and wet and nasty out today that we stayed inside and watched one of the movies Ben lent me, My Man Godfrey, while bundled up in the bed of our new sleeper sofa.

Two radio stations are now playing nothing but Christmas music, and so is the muzak station at work, mostly. And I like Christmas music but only in moderation! Listening to it all the time, everywhere I go, is annoying as all get-out. Especially the craptacular Christmas music that the radio plays. And it's only December 1...

I'm trying to do most of my Christmas shopping online this year. I've just gotten started and it's already a little frustrating. So far I've been told "Sorry, we're out of that" on the first gift I tried to order, and the second gift I was hunting for, I could only find for sale on a webpage that was obviously fraudulent. "You don't need any information on the item! You just need to give us your credit card number!" But Rebecca's no fool -- no siree, she's gonna live to 93! -- so I contacted the website hosting said page, and they're having it taken down.

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

Our store did the big, dreaded, once-a-year inventory Saturday night. After all the horror stories I'd heard from people who did inventory last year ("We won't be out till midnight!"), we finished at 9:30. We hired an outside inventory crew to do the actual counting and stuff, while our employees... stood around and watched them count. Apparently there's some rule that they can't count the merchandise without someone watching them. It easily was the most mind-numbingly boring thing I've ever done at this job. I almost fell asleep standing up. At least there was lots of food in the break room: pizza, cookies, sodas, and a vat of spaghetti the size of a small bathtub. I am not kidding.

Sometimes it boggles my mind how our little apartment can turn into such a big mess. Our computer table, for example. I keep finding these little balls of dust (or balls of something) on it and can't figure out where they're coming from. And every few days our countertops are covered in so much salt and pepper that it's like someone stood over them and just shook the salt and pepper out for five minutes. How does that keep happening? Oh, well. I just gave the place a pretty thorough cleaning, and now I'm exhausted.

Sable has been farting all night! It's cold outside (Yes, cold outside. In Louisiana. In April. The hell!) but I'm very tempted to open a window to let the stink air out. That dog.

rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)

For some reason, my mom bought a lock for the backyard gate before she left for North Carolina. I have no idea why, because that backyard is probably the last place on earth that anybody would walk into of their own free will. But she bought one anyway and we've been using it. So early this morning I was woken up by my dog, who was whining because he needed to go out. But I couldn't put him in the backyard because I couldn't find the key to the lock. I had to wake up my brother, who was the last person who locked the gate, and he eventually found it. (He hadn't put it back where it belongs. Big surprise.)

Then I discovered that he also hadn't closed the lock correctly. He put it on upside-down, so now we can't get it open at all. And I can't ride my bike because my bike is in the backyard! What's even more frustrating is that if I had done this, my mom would probably spend all day yelling at me about it. But my brother did it, and Mom is a firm believer that He Can Do No Wrong. I'll probably get blamed for it, because she usually blames me and/or my sister whenever anything goes wrong. My older brother lived at home until he was 28 and I never heard Mom say one thing about it to him, but she tells me and Sara (frequently, and usually loudly) how much she hates us living here. She recently told me, and I quote, that after we move out, "I don't want anything to do with y'all."

Last time Mom called, she said that she wants to celebrate my birthday next weekend, when she comes back from North Carolina. I really don't want a birthday party this year (for reasons unrelated to Mom, but if I do have a birthday party, I really don't want her there), but I can't pass up the opportunity for some cake. The only thing I really want is a book that Sara said she'd order for me from her store.

Sara and I still haven't moved into our apartment because our utilities still haven't been turned on because of Hurricane Ike. We really hope to be out by the end of this week, at the latest. My brother had better get that lock fixed soon. If he thinks I'm a bitch now, he should see me after I haven't been able to stretch my legs properly for days.


P.S. I recently saw the movie Lawn Dogs, with 10-year-old Mischa Barton. Highly recommended. I loved it so much that I think I'm going to watch it again before sending it back to Netflix. I'll try to post more about it when I'm in a better mood.

rebecca_in_blue: (upset)

Tropical Storm Edouard made landfall today in the early AM. I sat on the back porch and watched the wind and rain with Eleanor. She is a very sweet little dog, but they keep her outside and she is so companionable that she wants someone to be out there with her almost all the time. She has learned to climb up to the dining room window and knock on it when she wants company.

Right now it is very hard not to be frustrated with myself for majoring in English and French, instead of a subject that could actually be useful in finding a job. But at the same time, I know it was the right choice, because the thought of majoring in a subject I hated for four years just so I could find a job later makes me want to vomit. And nobody finds their dream job right out of college, so I suppose I should cut myself some slack. It would just be nice to have a job, whether it was my dream job or not.

I think when Sara gets home, I will go out and buy myself some goat cheese.

rebecca_in_blue: (stiff shoulders)
Aunt Carla, Athena, Sara, and I ended up going out to eat at IHOP around midnight on Saturday night. I was pretty surprised at how crowded it was for so late. We had a lot of fun, and damn the food was good. I ordered a plate of pecan pancakes with sausage, and I sure as hell know what I'm getting the next time I go to IHOP.

July 14 was Bastille Day. I've always been sorry that I didn't get to be in France for that. And whatever I would have done in France would have been hella better than the fuck-tacular Bastille Day I had here. This is a word-for-word conversation I had with my mom this morning:

Mom: "Are you and Sara paying your car insurance separately?"
Me: "Yeah."
Mom: (pissed) "What does that mean? Did you forget about it again?"
Me: Silence. I didn't say anything because there was nothing to say. Her response said it all. There is no right way for me to talk to that woman. Every word out of my mouth, even a simple yes or no, just pisses her off. I won't go into why the rest of the day sucked.

Adam and I caught a few good episodes of Star Trek, which comes on for four straight hours on Monday nights, including the episode where Warf delivers Keiko's baby. Warf! Ugh. Really, there is no one on that ship I would less like to deliver my baby.

Since no one bothered to ask *hmph*, the new title of my journal (When we get the swell, we'll sail for treasure island) is a lyric from the song "The Captain's Kid," by Sybil Jason, one of the most charming and under-appreciated child actresses I know. And I just figured out how to convert said song from YouTube and add it to my iPod! I also just finished filling out a ton of job applications. My hand is hella sore, but I just hope that something good will come out of them.

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