Return of the Psychobrat

Sister returned home yesterday from her class excursion to the Capital.  The very first thing out of her mouth as she opened the door was a heavy, exasperated sigh; I knew that life would immediately go back to normal (joy).  Apparently, she was (as predicted) pissed that the futon had been moved out of her room (we put it in the garage so that Brother would at last have a bed and get to it at a decent hour—Milo’s going to force him, haha).

Every story she has told so far has in some way involved “d— black people”.  One of the first words I heard out of her mouth was the ‘N’ word.  And then she said, “But these other two black girls who were whitewash were pretty cool.”  And ohh, that pissed me off.  I think that term probably pisses me off more than does the ‘N’ word.  I really wanted to say to her, “Look, dumbass, I’m so sorry your side lost the Civil War, but quit griping about it already!”  I think next time I shall.

Naturally, she was going on and on about it all night; Milo and I exchanged glances, half amused and half disgusted by her utter stupidity and annoying-ness, and said nothing.

And then this morning, I was in my room and heard her bitching about something, but couldn’t quite make out what it was because it was in this low-pitched, whiny voice, instead of a high one.  And then I heard my mom say, “That is not true; Milo does plenty to help out around the house!  A lot more than you do!”  And she went on to list things, which sort of silenced Psychobrat, which is good, because I would have immediately sprung out of my room to come to his defense.

My dad backs her up on this issue, too.  Simply because whenever there are loads of crap all over the house, and Milo is the one to move them out of the way, my dad complains that he doesn’t know where any of his stuff is anymore, that somebody who isn’t even a part of this family keeps moving it—so stop leaving it in the way!  Milo doesn’t want a filthy house anymore than any of the rest of us, and I would think that certain people could appreciate some of what he does around here like the rest of us, instead of just bitching all the time.

So then she started in on me, and how she does more around the house than I do, or Brother, for that matter, and all this other crap that I couldn’t really make out, but I know I distinctly heard, “I do more than either one of them!”

Ironically enough, just a few minutes before, I had been sitting in the kitchen, when my mom asked me to unload the dishwasher.  I said okay, and then she said loudly, “Sister…do you want to unload the dishwasher?”

Sister screeched back, “NO!  Why should I have to do it!?  I haven’t been home for a week!”

I smiled pleasantly and said, “Don’t worry; I can do it.”  My mom smiled back.

So, while the whole bitch-fest was going on, my mom informed her that I was the one who had unloaded (and re-loaded) the dishwasher that morning, to which Psychobrat responded, “Well, she should have to do it!  She’s been home all week!!”

My mom informed her that I don’t even eat off of the dishes, seeing as how I don’t eat any breakfast, I have a sandwich each day for lunch (on a paper plate), and I eat dinner at work.

Psychobrat said, “Well, good for her!  She’s part of this family, too!”

My mom said, “Yes, and as a part of this family, she helps keep this house clean!”

Psychobrat again said, “I do more than she does!”

There were some things said in undertone, and then Psychobrat started bitching that I have not yet moved out of the house.  My mom said, “She is at home working and going to college!  It’s not like she’s a bum!”

Psychobrat said, “I’m going to move out as soon as I’m old enough!”

My mom said, “It may not be as easy as you think.”

I thought about going out and making a sarcastic remark about how easy it would be for me to move out today, with the pittance I get each month after my car payment, but I didn’t care enough.  What is the point of wasting my breath on her?

Then my cell phone rang, so I was finally able to tune everything out.

Welcome home, Psychobrat.

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Adventures At Fort Caroline

I had overall a pretty sweet day today.

Tinny and I arrived at the U-Store place at 9:00 to supervise the movers handling Budget’s stuff.  (Only had to pass the place twice before we made it into the parking lot!)

While we were there, I spotted Budget’s senior yearbook sitting on one of the boxes, so I picked it up to give us something to occupy us while waiting.  I went searching for my message (because I remembered I’d written about a page) just to see what I’d said.  I was reading it out loud, getting a kick out of it, when, about halfway through the page, I was suddenly struck by how straight my writing was across the page.  Like I’d been writing on lined paper or something.  This is unusual for me; I have pretty neat writing, but not when there are no lines.  So I commented on this to Tinny.

And then I read the very next line—“I just noticed how straight my writing looks across the page…that’s amazing!”

How freaky is that?  I noticed the same thing at the same time as I did two years before when I was first writing it.

So then Tinny and I came back to my house, chilled a bit, and headed off to the Ribaut/Ribault (it’s spelled both ways) monument, so she could see what it was.  The weather was so lovely today…not too cold, not too hot…just right.

Then we went to the fort.  Fort Caroline.  We had the most amazingly fun time.  We were basically acting out every character in history that we could imagine being at that fort.  Sentinels, Commanders, enemies, tourists…you name it.  Man…I will never forget today.

And then we came back, picked up Milo, and went to lunch at our British place.  After that, we did some random driving around in places that I’ve never driven and that Tinny did not even know existed.  Then I dropped Tinny off, and we discussed how much we had bonded and grown as friends over the past 14 hours.  We had a good time today.

Fun At Work

My day began at 7 a.m. with my mom waking me up, asking, “Was I supposed to wake you up this morning?”

I’d forgotten to remind her the night before.

Because a tardy counts as an absence in my journalism class, and I knew I couldn’t make it there by 8:00, I rolled back over to go back to sleep.

Five minutes later, I woke up, overwhelmed with guilt and haste.

Somehow, I got a shower and got dressed and out of the house by 7:30.  (I didn’t wash my hair.  Ew.)

So I actually made it on time.

At work tonight, Jimmy came through the line like usual.  (Jimmy, for those who are unfamiliar with the name, is the president of Tinny’s and my fan club.  He’s always talking us up to the bosses.  Jimmy rocks.)  So he comes through the line, and he gets to me and says, “Ginny…you know the drill.”

Well, at first I’m a bit distracted, so I’m thinking, “The drill…I know I know the drill…vegetables?  I know there’s one guy who always asks for lots of vegetables, and I always give it to him, just because he’s…oh!  Jimmy!

So I gave Jimmy lots of vegetables.

Okay, that story was definitely funnier when I was telling Tinny my thought process out loud.

But the greatest thing that happened at work tonight was before dinner started.

Tinny and I went over to our line, where all the food was being put out, to get the sneezeguards and carry them to a table to clean.  We’re standing there looking at everything, talking about what we do and do not wish to eat, and she’s already pulled her sneezeguard out of the sneezeguard-holder (whatever that thing is called).

Then I notice there is bacon in the corn.

Tinny and I have this theory that the chefs are conspiring to kill off all the vegetarians one by one by persistently sneaking bacon into vegetables and the terra ve.

So, pulling my sneezeguard out of the thing, I said jokingly, “There’s bacon in the terra ve again!” over my shoulder, not looking at the person that I proceeded to whack across the chest with the sneezeguard, because I was looking at the corn.  But knowing that Tinny had just stepped to that side of me, I knew it must have been her that I’d just hit.  So I turned to say that I was sorry, and found that it wasn’t Tinny at all.

It was Dan.  My boss.

Now let me tell you a couple things about Dan.  Dan is…well…he has no sense of humor.  I’m not sure if Dan is capable of forming his lips into a smile.  He is all business, and has no patience for things unrelated to business.  He’s short, with grayish-white hair, a droopy moustache, beady sort of eyes, and a little round belly.  Sometimes he wears a chef’s uniform, complete with hat, which is how all of us workers know to hide behind something—when we see the top of that hat protruding above all the foodstuffs, and moving in our general direction from that of his office.

Now to be fair, I don’t know what he’s like outside of work.  He could be a very pleasant person.  But at work, if you see him coming, you scatter.

So I whacked Dan across the chest with the sneezeguard, laughing all the while.

When I saw whom I’d hit, I froze for a short, unnoticeable instant before saying, “I’m sorry” and then walking away as quickly as possible.

People high-fived me for it later.  I couldn’t stop laughing.

Karaoke And Quotes

So I went to karaoke last night.  As Milo was walking out the door, I realized going to karaoke would be good for me, seeing as how Mo’s not a part of that group and all, and I had to take advantage.  So I called, “WAIT!”  He stopped, just as he was stepping outside, and turned around, and I said, “I want to come!”  So I went.  It wasn’t bad, really.  I’m more familiar with more of the people now, so I enjoyed it more.

Well, I need to come up with a story idea for my journalism class.  Something relevant to FSCJ, or colleges in general…you know.  Something that people reading the FSCJ newsletter would care about.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Today’s Les Miserables quotes to ponder….  (The page numbers are for my own benefit, so that I can refer back to them if necessary.)

  1. 521: “The upright man frowns but never smiles with an evil smile.  We can understand anger but not malignity.”
  1. 564: “Fear is mute.”
  1. 575: “Pearls do not dissolve in mud.”
  1. 606: “The characteristic of prudery is to increase the sentinels, as the fortress becomes less threatened.”

Suffering And Boredom

I was reading Les Miserables this morning (yes, I still have quite a ways to go in it), and this one line made me stop and think.

On page 432, it says, “There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering—a hell of boredom.”

Isn’t boredom, in itself, a form of suffering?  Isn’t Hell completely about suffering?  That’s the point, right?  So really, the statement is contradicting itself—or at least, only comparing two different kinds of suffering.

I suppose the suffering Hugo is referring to is more of a physical sort, whereas boredom is a state of mind.

Or is he referring to mental suffering—anguish, despair?  It could be.

Before I look them up in the dictionary, let me attempt to define each.

Suffering, as I said, of the mental sort, is about anguish and despair.  It’s pain.  Maybe pain so defined that it begins to affect your body as well as your mind.  Psychosomatic suffering.

Boredom is a state of nothingness, of listlessness.  You can’t escape from boredom; otherwise, it wouldn’t exist.

You can escape from suffering.  It’s difficult, but it is possible.  Depending on the degree of suffering you are enduring, happy thoughts or a good mindset can cheer you, or at least partially.

Happy thoughts do nothing to overcome boredom, because even happy thoughts are not the same when you are bored.

Suffering and boredom are such abstract concepts; you could describe them both in so many different manners, and so you could compare and contrast them in a number of ways, too.  Well, here’s how Merriam-Webster defines them:

Suffering: 1 a : to submit to or be forced to endure <suffer martyrdom> b : to feel keenly : labor under <suffer thirst>
2 : UNDERGO, EXPERIENCE
3 : to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable
4 : to allow especially by reason of indifference <the eagle suffers little birds to sing —Shakespeare>
intransitive senses
1 : to endure death, pain, or distress
2 : to sustain loss or damage
3 : to be subject to disability or handicap

Boredom: : the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest

Interesting…the dictionary defines suffering as the inescapable one, and it lends boredom more the appearance of being one’s own fault; just the opposite of the way I described them.

Well, on a new topic, on my way to work today, I picked up Tinny on the side of the road, and when we got to the parking lot and drove around like ten times until a spot finally opened, this asshole stole it!  I had my blinker on, and I was there first.  It was clearly my spot.

So both of us went for it at the same time.  It was like we were playing a game of chicken for the spot.  Our two cars, my small Nissan, and his humongous roadhog Nissan Xterra, were coming at each other in V-formation, and would have collided head on, mid-parking spot.  Finally he honked, which symbolized his victory, and I backed off and drove around some more until I finally found a place.

…That guy is just lucky he didn’t come through our line last night, whoever he was….

Still have a cold, but I’ve started taking Waladryl (the Walgreens version of Benadryl) and it really works.  It’s like the cold is still there, but hiding.  I hardly even notice I’m sick.

Psychobrat is going to D.C. tomorrow, not to arrive back for another few days.  She’s going to see the Presidential Inauguration.  I inquired, all smart-alecky because I know how she feels about Trump, whether her group was going to protest, to which she responded vehemently, “No—I like Trump!”  …She would.

Actually, Psychobrat’s been acting pretty nice for a record few days.  Hope it lasts after she returns.  (And, yay—her being absent means no Spidermonkey for three days, either!)

Tinny brought up an interesting point at work tonight, something that I had noticed, myself.  People keep commenting to us, “Wow, you’re still here?” or, “I can’t believe you’re working another semester!”  Come on.  What did they expect us to do, go job-hunting on our Christmas break?  We like our jobs!  As I expressed to Tinny, when you’re in a job where you feel that athe apocalypse could happen and you would be stranded at work with just the people you work with and you think you could survive that…that’s pretty good.  We do have a good combination of workers like that.  There’s such a diverse range of characters in the café…it’s rarely-to-never boring.

I was reading again a little bit later today, and Milo said, “You’re still reading that book!?” in a teasing sort of voice, knowing perfectly well that it has over 1,000 pages and I was probably fortunate to have gotten as far as I had up to that point, now that school and work have started back up.

I said, “Well, I’m about 100 pages farther along than I was yesterday…and…*turning a page*…I now have only another 999 to go!”  I smiled serenely.

He laughed.  I love when he laughs.

Review Of Aida

We saw the opera version of the show, which was in Italian.  Neither Katie nor I had ever been to an opera before, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  First of all, it’s very different from a regular stage play—there’s not a lot of action or blocking; through a lot of it, the company just stands onstage, facing the audience, and singing.  (In fact, the whole thing is singing; there’s no dialogue.)  It sounds difficult to interpret, but there are subtitles above the stage, cast there by a projector.

We have a diverse range of characters before us.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Aida, an Ethiopian, who is slave to Amneris, the rich, prima donna daughter of the Pharaoh.  Both girls are in love with young officer Radames, who is to fight the Ethiopian army, at the head of Egypt’s.  They are also unaware of each other’s feelings for Radames, and both confident that he loves her, and her alone.

In truth, Radames loves only Aida, who, unbeknownst to him, Amneris, or anyone else, is herself a princess, daughter of the Ethiopian King, Amonasro.  This causes great grief and torment for Aida, who sings a long song about how she is uncertain whether she loves her father or her lover more, and how to choose between them, and for the gods to please have mercy on her.

Amneris, sensing something in the way Aida and Radames look at each other, grows suspicious about Aida and her feelings for Radames.  She devises the ingenious plot to tell Aida that Radames has been killed in battle, to determine from her bodily responses how she feels about him.

We see Amneris sitting on a little couch, being fanned by slaves with giant leaves.  At this point, two slaves in teeny bikinis take the stage to dance to a long instrumental number.  The girls dance poorly for a while (seriously…the dancing was really bad), and Amneris, evidently growing weary of the atrocious spectacle, orders everyone but Aida out of the room.  She then carries out her brilliant plan of attack on Aida, informing her that Radames is dead.  Shamelessly, Aida immediately crumples into a heap on the floor, weeping, and singing a long song to the gods for mercy.  Amneris stands back, watching this, enjoying herself, before she finally decides to reveal herself.

AMNERIS:  Haha, bitch—I lied!  I deceived you!  Radames is not dead!  But now I know you love him!

Aida, again with no attempt at all to reveal her feelings, flies into the air, does some cartwheels, and breaks into a little victory dance, while the Hallelujah! chorus plays in the background.

AMNERIS:  *laughs evilly*  Now I really know you love him!  But you can’t have him!  You must come to the victory celebration and watch him profess his love to me!

Aida weeps and sings a long song to the gods for mercy.

We go to the victory celebration at Thebes, where the stage is crowded by the whole cast.  The two slaves in slightly different teeny bikini-skirt ensembles, this time joined by a male slave with an even shorter skirt, dance across the stage.  One of the girls’ skirt lifts up in the back about halfway through this, and the guy…well, let’s just say his skirt didn’t have to lift—his ass was already hanging out the bottom of it.  The priests, the high priest, the Pharaoh, Amneris, Radames, Aida, and all the captured Ethiopians all stand statue-still behind them, stony-faced, and solemnly observing all.

After the dance number, the slaves exit the scene, and everyone starts celebrating Radames’ victory and the end of the dancing.  Aida spots her father across the stage and runs to him, shouting for all to hear.

AIDA:  Daddy!

AMONASRO:  Shh!  Not so loud!  Don’t let everyone know that I’m the King!

Aida falls silent, and then the Pharaoh offers Radames whatever he wants in return for winning the battle against Ethiopia.  Radames asks that all the slaves be freed, and this is granted, but the Pharaoh and High Priest decide to hold onto Amonasro, now that everyone knows he is Aida’s father.

Because in most situations of a similar nature, the hero would ask for the princess’ hand in marriage, and Radames doesn’t ask for this, the Pharaoh takes it on himself to just offer it to Radames anyway.

PHARAOH:  Radames, handsome young hero, you now have my permission to wed my beautiful young daughter!

RADAMES:  Oh, but I really don’t want—

PHARAOH:  Nonsense!

RADAMES:  Um…okay, dude.  Whatever.

Intermission.

We next see Aida, alone, singing a long song to the gods about how pretty her homeland is, and how she misses it because it has flowers and green fields and fragrant soil (and she asks for mercy, too).

Amonasro appears out of nowhere.

AMONASRO:  You are not a slave, and you and Radames will be married and live happily ever after in Ethiopia!

AIDA:  No we can’t, or Amneris will kill him!  And what the hell are you talking about?—I am too a slave!

AMONASRO:  I renounce you as my daughter and as an Ethiopian!

AIDA:  I’m so sorry, Daddy!  Please forgive me!  Forgive me!  I’m not a slave! I’m your precious Ethiopian daughter!

AMONASRO:  Radames is coming.  Quick, let me hide.  I will be listening to your conversation.

AIDA:  Radames!  Darling!

RADAMES:  Aida!  I love you!  Let us be married!

AIDA:  We can’t!  You have to marry that whore now!  And it’s all your fault!

RADAMES:  We can run away together!

AIDA:  But Amneris will kill you if we do!

RADAMES:  We can run away to the vast Egyptian desert!  No one will ever find us there!

AIDA:  But they will find us there!  We must run away to my homeland, because it’s pretty and it has flowers and green fields and fragrant soil!

RADAMES:  Hmmm….

AIDA:  We can have sex in the flowers and green fields and fragrant soil of my pretty homeland!

RADAMES:  Dude, let’s go!  But which way?  The Egyptians are going to try to break into Ethiopia from this really specific route, and here are the exact coordinates of where they will be hiding!

AMONASRO:  HaHA!  I tricked you!  Now my troops will know where to go to slaughter your troops!

AMNERIS:  HaHA!  I tricked you, too!  Now I know you really love her!

RAMFIS (THE HIGH PRIEST):  HaHA!  I, too, have tricked you!  Now I know you’re a traitor and you are the Ethiopian king!

Radames gets all pissed at Aida for tricking him, and she and Amonasro escape so that she can sing long songs to the gods to pray for mercy.  Then she decides to kill herself because she’ll never see Radames again or have sex with him in her pretty homeland with the flowers and green fields and fragrant soil.

Radames, furious with himself, turns himself in to the priests as a traitor, and the two dancing girls come out and do a mournful dance because they, sadly, don’t really know how to dance.

Amneris then offers Radames his life in return for his love.

AMNERIS:  If you act like you don’t know Aida exists, and you just forget everything that has happened and come and marry me, I promise no one will kill you!

RADAMES:  WTF bitch, you just condemned the girl I love to die!  Hell no, never!

AMNERIS:  Well fine…then you can die, too, for all I care!

RADAMES:  As you wish.  (Bitch.)

Radames is buried in the tomb.  He breaks into a long song to the gods about how sad he is that he will never see his true love again.  When he is done, Aida appears out of the shadows.

RADAMES:  Aida!  My love!  What are you doing here!?

AIDA:  I was going to kill myself anyway, but then I figured—why not just come and die in your arms instead?

RADAMES:  That was such a stupid idea!  Thank you!

AIDA:  No problem…I figured maybe we could have sex first too, before we die.

RADAMES:  What was that?

AIDA:  I didn’t say anything.

RADAMES:  …I heard something….

And then they sing a song about how happy they will be once they are dead and together in Heaven, which is far prettier and greener and fragranter than Ethiopia.

Amneris sits on top of the tomb and sings a song about how sorry she is that she’s such a bitch and that the guy she loves is now going to die (and she prays for peace, too).

KATIE:  …Why doesn’t she just get a bunch of her friends together to help roll the stone out of the way…?

Bottom line:  The singing was good, the plot was good, the acting was mediocre, and the dancing…sucked.

Absolute Cuteness

I saw Rian the other day at the Town Center.  He was coming out as I was going in.  His girlfriend, who is like 15, is basically an awful human being.  She wouldn’t even let us talk for two minutes.  First she gave me this death look, which I found completely hilarious, and smiled at her in return, and then she grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the store, while he called salutations over his shoulder.

While I was getting ready for the opera the other night, in the bathroom, putting on lipstick in front of the mirror, already in my prom dress…Brother walked in with the kid from next door and said, “Hey, Ginny…where are you going?”

I said, “To the opera,” completely nonchalantly.

He said, “Oh…where’s that?”

I paused and said, “You know…I really don’t know.  Katie’s driving.”

He said, “Well, in that case, if the Phantom gets you, I won’t be able to save you.”

My heart went pitter-patter at this absolute cuteness.  I turned to him, smiling my sweetest smile, and said, “Dearest Brother…I would forgive you!”

He responded with a grin and, “You want the Phantom to think you’re that girl so he will take you…don’t you?”

I said, “Something like that, yes.”

Haha.  My brother’s so great.  This morning he came up to me and said, “You know, I’m sort of happy and sad that you’ll be moving out soon….”

I said, “I know.”

He said, “I’m just a little happy, because Mom says when you move out and get your own cell phone plan, I’ll get my own cell phone.”

At this point, I interrupted:  “When I get my own cell phone plan!?  But I can’t afford that!”

Apparently, when I move out, I will no longer have a cell phone.

Anyway, then he said, “But I’m worried about it, too, because when you’re gone, it’ll just be me…and Sister….”

I said, “I know; I hate to do that to you, too.”

Poor Brother.