Friday, April 29, 2005

Concerts and such.

It is time for Memphis in May (a great concert weekend on the mighty, muddy Mississippi river) again and as usual, the weather appears to be going sour. For as long as I can remember, Memphis in May has always been right smack dab in the middle of thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes. Today we have a chance of thunderstorms with a possibility of a few tornadoes. This is a common occurrence here, so it really is no big deal, but I wish one Memphis in May weekend would be beautiful with cool daytime temperatures and slightly cooler nighttime temperatures. I am sure this will never happen because of the timing and location. Memphis is right in the middle of “tornado alley” and April to early June is our storm season. Then we are blessed with this terrible hot, humid bliss we like to call summer. Hell would be a more appropriate word, but I digress.

I decided to go to Memphis in May this year because I will not be around for it next year or the next, or the next, etc. Actually, I kind of hope I am never around here again. At least not to live, visiting is okay, but I really hope to never live here again. Heather, Jennifer and I are going Saturday evening to see Tesla, Collective Soul and the Killers. Aunt Vanessa (great friend, awesome nurse, and general, all-around nice gal) and I are going Sunday and are probably going to make a day of it, eating, shopping and such and then we will mosey down to the Elvis Costello concert. I am looking forward to all of this with the expectation of a kid going to a candy store because I am tired of Jonesboro and am looking forward to some muddy excitement.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What is worse than having no soul? Having no personality.

As I have stated, I hate my job. I can’t wait to quit. I try not to complain too much, but the folks I work with give me so much material it is hard to keep my mouth shut or my fingers still. Here is a for instance.

Almost monthly, we have a sales team from out of state here for a week. These particular people are the worst. The women walk around wearing the lowest cut, tightest outfits and the men are just the sleaziest scumbags I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. One of them, in particular, really gets on my nerves. His name is Scotty and along with his ill manners and being raised in a barn, he also has the worst personality of anyone I have ever met. And just like dogs and children hang around folks who don’t like them, he tries to converse with me as often as humanly possible every time the team is here.

This last time he tried to get to know me and asked me all sorts of questions, personal questions that he had no business asking. I was giving very brief answers to each question, hoping he would get the hint, which he didn’t because he is stupid. Anyway, some questions had to do with my education and I told him I had a B.S. in Psychology and a M.A. in English. Here is his response and, as God is my witness, it is exactly what he said. I wrote it down so I could refer back to it for a good laugh:

“I am really smart, too. I went to Vanderbilt for a semester
on a golf scholarship, but got kicked out when I got a D.U.I.
I graduated from a college about the size of A.S.U. in western
Tennessee. I can teach. I thought I was the only one up here
who was smart. I guess you are smart too. Boy. Man, I can teach.”

I am not going to point out the obvious or even comment for that matter. Just enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Fun with Phobias

The other day I was talking to a rather hysterical friend (who will remained unnamed) about her fear of lizards. She lives in the country and had seen what she thought was a worm, but after some thought, decided it could have been a lizard. She called me for reassurance, and I, being ignorant of her fear, told her it probably was a lizard. I realized too late what I should have said. I was trying to calm her down, but the more we talked, the more worked up she became. It seems her fear is really more of a phobia and by talking about it, she became more agitated. Even while we were talking, she was having a hard time believing that the lizards of earth were not after her. She thought her hair was a lizard and that all the dark shadows in her house hid the slithering reptiles. The whole conversation was quite amusing, and now it is really hard for me not to randomly call her and yell, “LIZARD,” or send her an email of a lizard, mainly because I think this phobia is silly and I happen to love lizards. I spent most of my childhood catching them and playing with them. I had a sandbox full of them. I used to try to get them to latch onto my ears. Every summer I would try to catch a really big one that lived in the tree right by my bedroom window. It was huge! My nickname for it was Godzilla (I wasn’t very creative as a child).

Back to my point though, aren’t phobias weird? I have always wondered why people develop them. I definitely have my quirks, and lots of them. For example, I am scared of snakes, terrified of Bob off of Twin Peaks, and am really, really uncomfortable of heights. I remember one time when I was cleaning under my bed and I got stuck and thought I would hyperventilate, but I don’t think I have an actual phobia. I wonder what causes otherwise rational human beings to be so mortally afraid of some things? At what point in one’s life does some normal occurrence become so frightful as to cause a phobia? (Can you tell I have a degree in Psychology?) Phobias are so prevalent in our society that I can’t even begin to name them all. Here are some, though, so you can learn something today.

Air swallowing- Aerophobia.
Alcohol- Methyphobia or Potophobia.
Animals- Zoophobia.
Ants- Myrmecophobia.
Bald people- Peladophobia.
Bathing- Ablutophobia.
Beards- Pogonophobia.
Beautiful women- Caligynephobia.
Bees- Apiphobia or Melissophobia.
Birds- Ornithophobia.
Blood- Hemophobia, Hemaphobia or Hematophobia.
Bridges or of crossing them- Gephyrophobia.
Changes, making; moving- Tropophobia or Metathesiophobia.
Chickens- Alektorophobia.
Childbirth- Maleusiophobia, Tocophobia, Parturiphobia, or Lockiophobia.
Children- Pedophobia.
Church- Ecclesiophobia.
Clowns- Coulrophobia.
Confined spaces- Claustrophobia.
Corpses- Necrophobia.
Creepy, crawly things- Herpetophobia.
Crowded public places like markets- Agoraphobia.
Death or dying- Thanatophobia.
Disorder or untidiness- Ataxophobia.
Failure- Atychiphobia or Kakorrhaphiophobia.
Filth or dirt- Rhypophobia.
Fish- Ichthyophobia.
Flowers- Anthrophobia or Anthophobia.
Flying- Aviophobia or Aviatophobia or Pteromerhanophobia.
Foreigners or strangers- Xenophobia.
Friday the 13th- Paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Frogs- Batrachophobia.
Halloween- Samhainophobia.
Hands- Chirophobia.
Heights- Acrophobia, Altophobia, Batophobia, Hypsiphobia or Hyposophobia.
Holy things- Hagiophobia.
Hurricanes and tornadoes- Lilapsophobia.
Imperfection- Atelophobia.
Injections- Trypanophobia.
Insects- Acarophobia or Entomophobia or Insectophobia.
Kissing- Philemaphobia or Philematophobia.
Love, falling or being in- Philophobia.
Men- Androphobia or Arrhenphobia or Hominophobia.
Mice- Musophobia, Murophobia or Suriphobia.
Mobs or crowds- Demophobia, Enochlophobia or Ochlophobia.
Mother-in-law- Pentheraphobia.
Moving or making changes- Tropophobia.
Needles- Aichmophobia or Belonephobia.
Nudity- Gymnophobia or Nudophobia.
Number 8- Octophobia.
Number 13- Triskadekaphobia.
Old, growing- Gerascophobia or Gerontophobia.
Open spaces- Agoraphobia.
Pain- Algiophobia, Ponophobia, Odynophobia or Odynephobia.
People- Anthropophobia.
Plants- Botanophobia.
Poetry- Metrophobia.
Rat, great mole- Zemmiphobia.
Relatives- Syngenesophobia.
Reptiles- Herpetophobia.
School- Scolionophobia.
Sea or ocean- Thalassophobia.
Sharks- Selachophobia.
Single: staying single- Anuptaphobia.
Snakes- Ophidiophobia or Snakephobia.
Snow- Chionophobia.
Society or people in general- Anthropophobia or Sociophobia.
Solitude- Monophobia.
Spaces, open- Agoraphobia.
Speaking in public- Glossophobia.
Spiders- Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia.
Staying single- Anuptaphobia.
Teenagers- Ephebiphobia.
Toads- Bufonophobia.
Tornadoes and hurricanes- Lilapsophobia.
Touched, being touched- Aphenphosmphobia, Haphephobia or Haptephobia or Chiraptophobia.
Wasps- Spheksophobia.
Water- Hydrophobia.
Weight, gaining- Obesophobia or Pocrescophobia.
Wild animals- Agrizoophobia.
Witches and Witchcraft- Wiccaphobia.
Women- Gynephobia or Gynophobia.
Work- Ergophobia or Ponophobia.
Worms- Scoleciphobia.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Drugs are bad, mmkay.

I had surgery last week and I have to give a huge shout out to my dear friend Vanessa Adams for taking me to the hospital, waiting for me during the procedure and taking such good care of me after. You are the best! I would also like to thank Amanda Porbeck for her help as well.

I got some pretty powerful drugs, Tylox, to be exact and now I think I may be permanently stupid. I only took 8 and have not had any since Sunday, but I am still having a hard time concentrating. Also, reading is almost impossible. I have come to the conclusion that drugs are bad, very bad!

I bought a digital camera and finally received it. It is an Olympus Ultra Zoom C-765 and I love it. I don’t think I could have liked anything any better, unless it had diamonds encrused all over it, of course. Be prepared for many pictures.

I must get back to work or at least pretend to get back to work. As I stated earlier, my attention span is not great today. I am just working hard at not messing up too much.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Some manners, please.

My best friend, Abbi, is in the National Guard and is leaving today to go to Iraq for about a year. Her husband is already over there, and between the two of them, they have 5 children. Needless to say, this is very hard on them. However, I think Abbi is looking forward to going, if only to get her tour over with. I called Abbi a few times last night to talk to her. Here is one of our conversations after my cell phone did something strange:

Angela: Hello, Hello?

Voice on the other end: Hey

Angela: What are you doing? You sound strange…..Who is this…..Abbi?

Voice: Who do you think this is? Did you have a brain fart or something?

(I am a little worried, because it sounds like Abbi has smoked 50 million cigarettes and has been crying for the past 10 days. So like any friend, I gently prod her.)

Angela: What in the hell is wrong with you? You sound like a drag queen!

Voice: I do not, I sound like a man. I always sound like a man.

(I am more confused than ever, but it does kind of sound like Abbi, and I hear an echo, so I think maybe she sounds funny because of our connection. I decide to keep talking, even though I keep thinking to myself, “did I dial the wrong number.”)

Angela: So how are things going?

Voice: Okay. We ship out tomorrow, so I won’t be able to call you anymore.

(Now I am thinking, “Alright, this is definitely Abbi. Who else could possibly be shipping out tomorrow?")

Angela: Seriously, you sound like a freaking drag queen. What’s wrong with you? Are you okay?

(By this time, I am seriously irritated, mainly because Abbi is being kind of weird, but also because I know that she is upset and isn't talking to me about it.)

Voice: I have been crying. I cried earlier when I talked to my mom. Maybe that is why I sound weird.

Angela: Why in the world did you talk to your mom? Was she nice to you?

Voice: My mom is always nice.

Angela: No she’s not. She is never nice to you. (Abbi and her mother have a less than perfect relationship and while this might sound like a very unkind thing to say, we are best friends and talk to each other this way all of the time. What’s a best friend, if not someone you can be totally honest with?)

Voice: Who is this?

Angela: Angela

Voice: Angela, who?

Angela: Angela Williams. I think I am talking to the wrong person.

Voice: Yeah, me too.

This whole conversation lasted about 3 or 4 minutes, proving yet again, that I am completely goofy.

I love you Abbi. Please be safe and try not to get shot!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More proof I am a genius.

My friend, Heather, emailed me this and it is great. I have nothing creative to say today, so I will just let everyone enjoy this, because as my friend Amanda said, "Trying to be creative on demand causes mental constipation." Or at least I think that is what she said. Anyway, enjoy!

The Stella Awards. It's time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States.
Here are this year's winners:

5th Place (tie): Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

5th Place (tie): 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5th Place (tie): Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.

4th Place: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3rd Place: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

2nd Place: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms.Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

1st Place: This year's run away winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned.
Mrs.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons around.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Love the paycheck!

As I have stated, I hate my full time job. Here is one of the reasons why.

A couple of months ago, one of the managers got on drugs and went bonkers. Well, in one of his better moments, he came to work with a gun and threatened to kill all of us. When we finally called the cops, the manager in question, got in his car and tried to drive into the building. Fun times! Well, needless to say, he was fired and we had some peace temporarily.

Today the peace and sense of well-being was shattered because for some reason, he was rehired. He showed up late and in a dirty shirt. Yay for us! Hopefully his aim isn’t too good.

Sundays are FUN!

I just started cleaning a house on Sunday. This particular house is owned by 2 wiener dogs who are quite friendly. One of the dogs likes to follow me around while I clean. It is a very stealthy creature, and from what I can tell, likes to sneak up behind me and watch my every action intently. At first this worried me, because I wasn’t sure if the dog would be okay around the cleaning supplies or not; however as it turns out, she just likes to watch. Aside from being startled occasionally, the dog’s nosiness doesn’t really disturb my routine, so we get along fine.

Yesterday I got up, got dressed and went to the house to clean. The shorts I picked were a little baggy, but who cares, nobody is home when I am there anyway. When I got to the house, I made a point to play with the little doggies for a while before I started cleaning. We played fetch for about 15 minutes and then I started with the dirty work. Every time I turned around, the nosey dog was right behind me, smiling. It was really unnerving because I almost stepped on her 100 times. I am a picky housekeeper and take great pride in doing a good job and for or some reason or another, I really had to scrub the master bathroom tub good. I had been bent over scrubbing with a brillo pad for about 15 minutes, when I felt something wet on my bum. My shorts were hanging kind of low and I thought I might have sweated or gotten water on myself, so I didn’t think much about it. Then I felt it again. I wiped at the part and didn’t feel anything, but this time I turned around and, low and behold, the little doggy was licking my exposed skin. She was quite happy and simply refused to be shooed away. What a lovely experience to have your first kiss of the week by a dog who is fascinated with exposed skin. Moral of the story (if there is one) is when wearing baggy pants, be prepared to have your bum licked by a wiener dog.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

First European Visit

These are pictures from my first visit to Europe. I stayed on a military installation, Coleman Barracks, which is located between Hiedelberg and Mannheim, Germany. Although I was working with the military, I had a LOT of free time and was able to travel extensively.

Hiedelberg Castle Posted by Hello

Building in Mannheim Posted by Hello

My German boyfriend. Posted by Hello

View from hostal in Garmisch, Germany Posted by Hello

Beautiful sunset in Germany. Posted by Hello

Pictures from Germany Posted by Hello

A Litte More History.....

So here is a little more history about me. I started college at 16 in order to graduate a year early from high school (1996). I then joined the Army National Guard at 17. Promising start as it was, my life has kind of fizzled out to the mundane, but now the excitement is back! Don't get me wrong, for the most part, I have had a pretty wonderful life. I have a great family, and really awesome friends, but I want the "zaza zoom" type of life. Anyway, I am 26, been to Europe a couple of times with the military, have worked numerous jobs, finished a Master of Arts in English, wrote a thesis, started my own business and pretty much have had an okay, so-so life.

Here's the exciting part. Just recently, on my 26th birthday, I received an offer to teach English at a French University for a year. This University is only a 45 minute train ride from Paris. I am basically going to be in PARIS!!! I am so incredibly excited about this opportunity that it is hard for me not to go around shouting at the top of my lungs how lucky I am. I don't because I know that would be rude and just plain annoying. That is the main reason I started this blog, so I can gush about this opportunity in writing. Also, I wanted a more creative way to keep in touch with my loved ones while I am in Europe. Until I leave at the end of August, I will be posting very boring stuff, but once I get to France I promise I will not disappoint.