Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Messed Up

Yesterday Patricia and I flew into Memphis and spent the afternoon cleaning her house so she could move out today. We finished around 4 and decided we deserved to spend the evening in an air-conditioned movie theater after spending the day scrubbing down a house with no central air. Since we seem to be the only two people we know who haven't seen Knocked Up (this includes our parents) we headed out to the edge of town to the only theater showing it. We were pretty early but found a bar where we could grab a drink before the show.

The movie started at 7:15 and we got our tickets and walked into the theater right on time. The theater was empty, with all lights on and no ac. Another couple showed up a few minutes later and we decided to let the staff know the movie wasn't playing. They had no idea what was going on, but after a few false starts the lights went down, the air cooled off, and the previews started. The projected image was about 4 feet taller than the screen but we could live with it.

Everything was going fine until the earthquake scene. Right as the earthquake hit, the image split and nothing on the screen made sense. At first we thought it was some kind of intentional effect but when it didn't correct itself Patricia went to talk to the staff again. They couldn't/wouldn't rewind it so we missed about five minutes. When they corrected the projection the image stretched four feet above the screen and about six feet below. Everyone's mouths were at the bottom of the screen but the movie finished without additional problems.

It could have been worse, though. About fifteen minutes from the end of the movie a couple walked in loaded down with drinks and popcorn. They looked confused but sat down and started watching. We later figured out they had arrived for the late showing but caught the end of the early one because of the delays we had. At least it wasn't The Usual Suspects or another movie with a surprise ending.

Off to Kentucky tomorrow where the internet is only a dream that exists in a far-away land. I have some good Florida pictures (mainly of shrimp feasts and shrimp eating establishments) but I'll upload those later. We're off to the pool now !

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Randomness

I saw a license plate on the way to work this morning: UVOTED4W. Um, not really, so don't blame me/tell me I have no right to complain. Thanks.

The Tour of the South 2007 (tm) begins Monday. I'll be gone on a 12 day trip that involves 5 flights, 5 airports, one 8 hour round trip drive, night kayaking, turtle watching, shrimp feasts, and 6 bushels of tomatoes. That's right - canning camp is officially a go. Patricia and I have to pick up Ripley tomatoes on our way from Memphis to Kentucky - by the end of three days we will have all the tomato juice, salsa, ketchup, and spaghetti sauce our hearts desire. I'm not sure when I'll get to enjoy the results since flying with tomato juice=terrorism but my Mason jars will one day make it to NC.

I'll take some pictures of the beach and grandma's kitchen (not to be confused with Grandma's Kitchen, RIP) and shrimp deliciousness. I've got lots of packing, cleaning, cat wrangling, and drinking to do before I leave but I'll be in touch in Florida, provided I can crack my parent's Alcatraz-level wireless security.

Monday, July 16, 2007

In the Last 10 Days...

1. Lauren and Ian's wedding, with related dinners, parties, shower, rehearsal (outside at 3:30 in 95+ degree heat), beautifying, dancing, and be-hatted tea party. It was so much fun to spend time with the two of them and the wedding itself was perfect and beautiful. Here's hoping the photographer can airbrush out all the in-ceremony sweating.

2. A 36 hour trip to DC the day after the wedding. It is understandable, then, that I tried to check in for a flight on the wrong airline (and even in the wrong terminal). I didn't bring any reading or entertainment material, which made for long flights and an extremely boring night at the hotel. I also didn't bring any clothes with pockets or a purse so my attempt at a taking a walk was short-lived - wandering unfamiliar streets (empty except for me and homeless men) with wallet and phone in hand didn't seem like the best idea.

3. An embarrassing showing (despite a tied for 4th finish) at trivia on Wednesday. Good thing we didn't make and bring the heavyweight wrestling champ-inspired beer bottle top bejeweled belt.

4. A weekend visit from my sister that included a trip to Sunset, lounging at the pool, breakfast of pancakes and country ham, the new Harry Potter movie (which we watched from the second row - my eyes and neck are still recovering), and card games with Jeff and Heather.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

10 Years of Summer - 2000

Sometime during the spring of my freshman year of college I decided it would be a great idea to work far away from home over the summer. (This is said with a degree of sarcasm. I was going through a heart-broken/angry-at-the-world/depressed stage common to college freshmen after the sparkle of college and independent living has worn away. Spending the summer away from everyone I knew seemed to be the obvious solution.) I applied to work at several national parks and Yellowstone was the only one that ever replied to my application. I don't think I had any kind of interview or that they ever told me what I would be doing before I sent in my acceptance.

There are so many stories I could tell about that summer so I'll just give you the highlights:

  • As I've mentioned here before, my job was serving meals in the cafeteria at Canyon. This was the most terrible job I've ever had. It was hot and exhausting but had one redeeming feature: we could take home any food left at the end of the night. The food we served in the cafeteria was much better than anything served in the employee cafeteria so people would line up after the shift to fix themselves a plate of food for dinner. The people in upper management caught wind of this and banned the practice completely, forcing us to throw out massive amounts of lasagna, roast beef, and fried chicken every night. The rumored penalty for consuming food left over at the end of the shift was dismissal but no one really believed it. As the summer went on, the American college students working at the park would quit or get fired, resulting in a labor shortage. The park staff had anticipated this and began hiring young people from the Czech Republic to fill in the gaps. One of these new employees didn't know the rules about saving food and was busted taking home a plate of food shortly after he started work. He barely spoke English and had no idea what was going on, but he was nevertheless fired and put back on a plane to the Czech Republic less than a month after he arrived. Poor guy.
  • My first boss was arrested for drug possession (and maybe intent to sell?) about two weeks into the summer. That was kind of awesome.
  • My roommate got hit in the face with a softball about three weeks into the summer and had to go home. There was a mix-up in the housing office and no one ever noticed that I had a room to myself. Late in the summer there was such a shortage of employee housing that some employees had to stay in guest cabins and people would get new roommates within an hour of the departure of their old roommate but I kept my mouth shut. I really think having that room to myself kept me sane over the summer.
  • One night towards the end of the summer I was driving up to Butte with some friends to pick up someone's car that had broken down on a previous trip. We had some fireworks so after it got dark we drove onto some back roads and found a secluded place to light them. A couple misfired directly into the nearby cow pasture and set the dry grass on fire, much to the distress of the cows. We stared with open mouths until a few guys jumped the fences and stomped out the fires, then raced to the cars and got back to the main road as fast as possible. Good times.
  • I drove down to Durango for a family wedding at the end of the summer. I had about three days to make the trip so I made lots of stops along the way. Somewhere in Utah near Arches National Park I saw a ski lift by the side of the road and a sign advertising "Great Views!" I bought a ticket and rode to the top where the lift operator advised me to take a walk around the cliffs, assuring me the path was well marked. Obviously, it was not. I got completely lost and spent more than an hour wandering around cliffs, looking for footprints and anything that looked like a path. Did I mention it was 110 degrees? And that I had no water? And that I was wearing a skirt and flip-flops? It ended up being one of the most stressful experiences of my life - but at least I got some good pictures!

I went back to my first summer post and added some pictures. Marvel at how cute and skinny I was in high school.