Bird Stories (Or, The Coolness of Brother)

All the same people are in here every single day.

I’m in the library again (where else?).  Just got back from guidance, where they still had not even sent UCF my official transcript (I’d been in there three times asking them to).  This time, they actually gave me a form to fill out; they never did that before.  So maybe it’ll actually get sent in.

That said, I still haven’t decided between UNF or UCF or if I just want to stay at FCCJ for another semester and actually get my AA before I go to either one of them.  I’m dropping that class at the end of the summer, along with the claustrophobic history class I’m in now that I sleep through every day.  (Got an appointment with a guidance counselor tomorrow afternoon to figure out that mess.)

Hmm, what else is new….

I was in the middle of a dream yesterday morning that I was wandering the halls at Hogwarts; somebody (I believe Ron, though I’m not sure) had just made a comment about the size of the hallways–I don’t know exactly what he said.  And then we stepped into the Great Hall and just…stopped, and looked at it as though we’d never seen it before.  I was really taking in its massive size, and just turning my gaze to the ceiling to take in the outside sky, when from behind me I heard my mom say, “Ginny, there’s a boy on the phone for you.”

I opened my eyes, rolled over, and said, “Is it Milo?”

“No,” she said.

“Tell him I’ll call him back.”  And I went back to sleep.

Despite all of my protestations, my parents went out yesterday to get a bird.  (Brother went with them.)

They returned with a cage containing a cockatiel and a parakeet.  The parakeet, having come free with the cage, was to be Brother’s, and he had named it (we think it’s a him) Pepsi.

“To arms!” Psychobrat yelled.  (Well, no, that’s just what I was thinking when they announced that Pepsi belonged to Brother.)

“WHY DID HE GET A BIRD!?” Psychobrat yelled.  “I WANTED MY OWN BIRD TO PUT IN MY ROOM!”

My parents tried to calm her down by telling her that she’ll get her own bird later, when she goes along to pick it out.  (*cough*DUDLEY*cough*)

“Pepsi is a stupid name,” she told Brother.  “You can’t name it that.”

“He’s my bird!” Brother retorted.  “And Pepsi isn’t a stupid name; I like it.”

“I think Pepsi is a cool name!” I called from across the room.

After a 15-minute argument, during which time Psychobrat tried to convince Brother that he should name his bird Blueberry, she finally retreated to her room and was not heard from again for a while.

Brother came up to me to show me Pepsi up close, and I repeated, “I think Pepsi is a cool name.  Nobody has that name for a bird.”

“See, that’s what I thought!” he said.  Then, with a sly grin, “I came up with the name Pepsi while I was drinking a can of Coke.”

Returning the grin, I said, “Brother, that’s awesome.”

Then he gave me further evidence that my training has been working to some degree.  See, recently, I’ve been showing him all this Python stuff, and Brother’s gotten really into it.  And we got A Fish Called Wanda, which technically isn’t Python, but it’s got Michael and John in it (my two favorites)…so Brother told me that when he was at the flea market, looking at all the animals, he approached a tank of fish and greeted them (loudly), “Hello, K-K-K-Ken’s p-p-p-pets!”

I was rolling.  Brother is awesome.

A bit later on, Brother found the old birdcage from like 15 years ago and took out some of the old ladders and stuff to clean and put in his new cage, and Psychobrat’s radar blipped on and she stormed from her room, shouting, “YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT STUFF!  WHAT AM I GOING TO HAVE IF I EVER GET A BIRD!?”

I said, “If you ever get a bird?  He has a bird now.  We can get something else for you if you ever get your own bird.”

It actually shut her up.  I was pleased.

And that’s really all that’s new for the moment.

Chilling in the Library

It’s now been over a week since I last updated.  What kind of stuff did I used to talk about back then, when I updated daily, or–frequently–two or three times daily?

I used to talk about my daily activities, but that was before they all turned into the same thing.  I dislike having the same classes every day.  It makes each day blend into the next until I don’t know what’s what anymore.  And then I used to talk about dreams, but I haven’t really dreamt in a while….  Hm.  The dreams need to come back.  I miss them!

I’m very glad to see that work is going back to normal.  Sure, goofing off and playing cards every day was fun, but I like having crowds!  I like being able to see and talk to people, hooray!  (Of course, I still am really not looking forward to the 1200+ people a night we’ll be having in July, but…that’s only for a week, I hope, unless something changes, and as Maggie pointed out, I can still do only one plate at a time.

Psychobrat is insisting that the computer is having even more problems now than it did before my uncle looked at it, but…she’s always insisting it’s got more serious problems than it does, and then blaming them on everyone else, like me.  Twice yesterday I got on right after her, when she complained about it taking her three hours to check her mail (both times), and…I had no trouble.  At all.  Tell me, how does that denote that it is my problem?  I think it proves what I’ve been saying all along…that she’s an idiot and is obviously doing something wrong.

I got a message from Dennis complaining that I got contacts.  ‘Twas only a matter of time, of course–he was trying to talk me out of them before the semester ended.

*desperately trying to think of anything else new…*

Okay, well…I’ll update again…um…soon.  *looks away, whistling*  All right, you try making summer sound interesting!  It’s not; it’s incredibly dull.  Same classes every day, and the whole day is just taken up with class, class, class, and work (which hopefully will become more entertaining very soon).

Psychobrat’s Attention Issues

Psychobrat, as you all know, has anger issues.  But, as I discussed with Cort earlier tonight, I don’t feel that it’s so much anger issues as it is attention issues.  Psychobrat can’t act, and it’s nearly always obvious when she’s faking something.

So when she gets “angry”, there is always much yelling and cursing, and often much crying, as well.  She will hit things or Brother as the urge arises, and slam doors, and do everything she can to be sure people notice.  It goes on until I wonder if she even cares anything at all about the anger-inducing stimulant, or if she only cares about the attention.

Today she was sitting at the computer while I was in my room changing for work.  I heard her start making noises, and then the pounding sound as she lifted the keyboard and smacked it against the desk several times.  She then did this with the mouse.

Milo once told me about a time that she did this while I wasn’t around, and how much he thought she looked like an ape as she did.  So, not being within eyesight, I pictured a big hairy chimp, banging the keyboard around and screeching, “YOU F—ING MACHINE!”

I moved into the kitchen to look for a snack.  She headed out the back door.  I didn’t know or care what she could possibly be doing out there, until I heard the pounding, which meant she was kicking the porch.

As I was checking the fridge, she walked briskly and purposefully back into the house, into the kitchen, past me, and out to the garage, where she grabbed one of those flat-head broom things, and headed out the back door once again.

I had no idea what was about to happen here, so of course I had to find out.  I looked out the back door and saw her hitting the tree continuously with the broom.  Um…okay?

I wasted no time.  I grabbed my phone and started snapping pictures.  At one point, I yelled, “Smile!”

She appeared to be trying not to laugh.  Angry…right.  As I said to Cort before, even if she had originally been angry enough to whack a tree with a broom, it had worn off.  This wasn’t instinct.  She had had plenty of time in there to cool off, between, “Grr, I’m pissed,” and, “Hey, why don’t I get a funky-looking broom out of the garage so I can hit this tree?”, and then the walk to the garage and back.  That’s not anger; that’s “Watch me make a spectacle of myself.”

Well, I am practically asleep now; I’m typing with my eyes shut.  I’ll post this and then get to bed.

“Do you believe in Moses?”: Fun Arguments As Usual In The Jones House

An interesting argument ensued in my house this morning between my father and me, when Psychobrat was going on about Amityville Horror and how she can’t sleep at night anymore, and the entire family went to the computer to look at pictures of the real house, read aloud something about a priest visiting the house and saying that the third floor was the worst part, and I mistakenly said something (but what?—I can’t remember precisely what my comment was) about how I don’t believe there are quite so many exorcisms being performed by priests as some would have you believe.

Not that exorcisms are something you hear about on the news every day.  What I meant was that I don’t feel that every case of divine intervention necessarily involves a Catholic priest (or that if it does, there’s quite a bit of hoaxing going on, as well).  Come on, I’m supposed to believe that God only works through Catholics?  And only the priests, at that?  That, just because a man is a Catholic priest, he can suddenly sense evil spirits wherever they may lurk?

I stated as much, pointing out that supposedly God works through plain old ordinary people quite often—people you just wouldn’t expect to see great things coming from.  (Jesus was a carpenter.  His mother was the wife of one.  Noah was no Prince of Egypt, although Moses was, but only in name.)

Somehow this led my dad to ask me questions like, “So you don’t believe there is evil in the world?”

Did I ever say that I don’t believe that there’s evil in the world?  How anyone could live in this world and not believe in the existence of evil is beyond me.

“And you do believe in Moses?” he went on.  And, “Why do you even believe in religion at all if you have thoughts like this?”

I said, “All I said is that I don’t believe God always chooses to work through Catholic priests!” and as he was partially distracted anyway, the conversation sort of died right there.

The truth is, maybe I don’t believe in religion anymore.  Or God.  I don’t know.  I just keep asking myself questions.  And to me it seems suspicious that religious people, like my family, are quick to get offended when you question things about religion.  I can’t ask an innocent question without you freaking out?  It seems like you have something to hide, like maybe deep down you don’t even believe in the religion and are afraid that if I won’t believe in it with you then it will be exposed as a fraud.  Because seriously, if “God works through more people than just Catholic priests” causes you to freak out and wonder whether I think Moses was real…it seems you’re hiding something.

But then I feel blasphemous and afraid for having these thoughts.  Like I’ve been brainwashed all my life not to question my own beliefs for fear of what could happen if I allow my mind to wander too much.

Anyway.  Cort and I got our apartment in Orlando.  Of course, I still have not heard from UCF, so god only knows if I’ll be moving into the place.

I’m not feeling too well at the moment, so I’m going to end this right here and just wait for the laundry to be done so I can go to bed.

Acronyms

Earlier tonight I was saying something about wanting to watch SNL later.  I wasn’t speaking to Psychobrat, yet she felt the need to interject with:  “Why can’t you just say Saturday Night Live?  It sounds stupid when you say ‘SNL’.”

“It sounds…stupid?” I said.  What the hell?

“You sound just like this girl I know who says, ‘L-O-L’ instead of just laughing.”

“…”  (I seriously didn’t know how to respond to this.)

“I hate when people say SNL.  It sounds stupid.”

“And yet, they’ve been saying it for over forty years now.”

“Well, if you don’t watch the show, which I don’t, then you wouldn’t know what it stood for,” she said indignantly.  “You’re just like that girl who says ‘L-O-L’.”

“That’s completely different!” I said.  “You say ‘SNL’ for the same reason people say ‘FBI’ instead of ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’!”  Should have asked her if she knew what ‘STFU’ meant.

Then, my dad, who had conveniently not been listening to any of the conversation prior to this, chose to speak up and prove Psychbrat’s point.

“What’s SNL?” he said.

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I didn’t bother to respond.  My mom did for me.  By this point, I was done with the conversation.

On a new subject…. Milo went job-hunting recently, and had just procured one at CareSpot when, on that very day, this guy who was in one of his classes last semester called and offered him a job at MOSH.  He told Milo that he remembered him, thought he was a cool guy, thought he could offer him something he’d really enjoy, and could he come in, work part-time, and accept (I can’t remember if it was 10 or 14, so I’ll say 12) $12/hr pay to do cool stuff like make dinosaurs (big dinosaurs) and shave fire extinguishers with razors to make rockets?

It’s perfect for Milo, and I told him it was density, so of course he took it.  He called CareSpot back and turned them down.  He’ll be working part-time so he can keep going to school, too.

And now he and his sister have found an apartment in San Marco, really close to where he works, and right in his price range, so they’re moving in there at the end of this month.

San Marco is also where Mo lives, so the whole thing is very convenient for him.

Everything seems to be going just so well for him right now; I’m very happy for him.

As for me, I’m just hoping to be accepted to UCF, but I have my doubts.  It’s not like I have the greatest GPA in the world, and from everything I hear, it’s really difficult to get in there.  I’ve never been one who’s good with academic competition.

So, considering I do get accepted there, I’ll be moving down with Cort at the end of summer.  I’d been assuming I’d be coming back here all the time on weekends, but so many people say things like, “Well, you’ll be down there,” as though I’m not going to see Jacksonville at all while I’m there, like once I get there I won’t want to come back.

And if I do come back once in a while, I can’t see him wanting to spend much time with me, since he’s got his girlfriend.  I know how that goes.  In fact, as soon as he moves out, I expect to hear pretty much nothing from him.

I think he’ll probably write my parents a really nice note, thanking them for everything they’ve done for him, and that’s cool; I’d think it strange if he didn’t do that.

I just hope he doesn’t write me one, too.  I really don’t want that.  I don’t want him to think of me as his charity case (and odd choice of words, I know, as it would seem to be the other way around).

This is another topic entirely, but I’m always saying that I feel like I’ve lived two lives:  The one in Virginia, and the one here.  It seriously doesn’t feel to me like the same lifetime, because both parts have been so different.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to realize that Virginia…doesn’t even feel like another life at all…it feels more like a dream that I had a really, really long time ago.  I mean, I still talk to a few people from there, but…well, we used to have so many stories that we’d tell over and over again.  People (like my mom, I guess) used to think it was so great how we could remember so many stories so well.  But I’ve been forgetting things.  The only thing I can say is that it feels like it was all a dream.  And that’s weird to me.

And now I have to get my homework done.  *Sigh.*  Another long night, coming up.

Taxes and Psychobrat and parking tickets, oh, my!

Here’s something amusing.  My mom had misplaced my W2’s, and so, when I first walked in the door after work, she was frantically searching every stack of papers in the house for them.

So we’re sitting in the living room looking around, and Psychobrat prances out of her room with her notebook.  She sits down at the computer.

“Uh…” my mom says nervously, “…when I find these forms, I’m going to need that.”

Psychobrat screeches, “I HAVE TO DO MY HOMEWORK!”

Mom takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly, and says, “I think that this is a little more important than your homework tonight.”

“WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, FAIL!?” she screeched.

“You can go one night without typing hundreds of definitions,” Mom replied.

“I HAVE TO DO 350 TONIGHT!” she screeched.  “THAT’S THE MOST I’VE EVER HAD TO DO!”

Silence.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THIS BEFORE!?”

Mom said, “I couldn’t find the forms,” at the same time as I said, “She’s been doing everybody else’s, that’s why.”

You’d think she actually had them in her hand or something and was telling Psychobrat she had to be off the computer immediately.

“Well, the only person who’s been messing with this stuff is Milo, so….”

Psychobrat let it trail off there.  Obviously she was accusing him, as she always accuses either him or me.  But the ironic thing here was, Mom had already asked Milo if he had seen them.  Psychobrat was out of bounds.  …And there was something else I’d wanted to add there, but I can’t remember what it was….  (I’m really tired.)

My mind seriously went blank there. I got distracted by Facebook, and I was tired as it was…okay, new subject.

Going to pay my damned parking tickets tomorrow (finally).  Tinny will be given the list of people to call beforehand (since I’d only get one call), in case I get arrested.

Ah, I’m too tired to write anymore tonight.  I’ll update later.

Tomorrow I shall tell about seeing Tinny’s hot Cornish Pixie teacher (who likes Seinfeld) at work tonight.  Maybe other random stuff.  But for now, bed.

The Delray Affair

I’m home.  I had a good weekend.

I won’t try and describe it all chronologically, but here were some of my experiences/thoughts/observations on everything.

No matter how many times I go there, I always enjoy visiting Delray Beach.  My parents (and many of their siblings) both grew up there, and there are parts of the city that just have that whole vintage feel to them.  In fact, there was a corner drugstore that looked very similar to the café from Back to the Future, and I wanted to walk in and yell, “HEY, MCFLY!”  But seriously, it’s really cool to just drive around looking at old buildings, or buildings that are no longer there, or that have been replaced with new ones, and listen to them saying, “Oh, and do you remember yada yada yada?”  The whole time I wished I’d had a video camera with me, so I could make a documentary on it all.  That would be so nifty.

Heard some bizarre family stories I didn’t know about.  Considering writing a book.  Actually, I’d been giving that some thought after my meeting with the FSCJ teacher (whose story I still have not written).  She was telling me how much of her book is based on her ancestors, and I was thinking how I’d like to do that.  And then Aunt Dianne was showing us old, yellowed pictures that she’d scanned into her computer, of all these different ancestors, and it was all really appealing to my sense of creativity (perhaps I’ll dream something up).

There was one point on the train when my mom put her head down on my shoulder so she could take a nap.  And now I must explain the “Lucius!” story, for those who haven’t heard it and won’t have a clue what I’m talking about if they don’t.

Cort, Nicole, and I were staying overnight at another aunt’s house in Orlando.  We didn’t have our wands with us at the time (in fact, I don’t think we had wands at all then), and it was really hot, and the air conditioner wouldn’t come back on.  So we were trying to do this snazzy (but bogus) little hand motion and cast a spell on the a/c to make it activate again.  We were yelling out all kinds of spells, and none of them were working.  So then we started yelling out things that weren’t spells and were just random words.  (“Wand!”  “Arithmancy!”  “Cockroach cluster!”)  It wasn’t until Cort yelled, “LUCIUS!” that the a/c finally heeded our pleas and turned back on.

So now, of course, “Lucius” is like the generic spell.  If we don’t know the real spell for something, we just Lucius it.  If we are without our wands, we do the ridiculous hand motion and hope that Lucius works (although we have tried other spells with the silly hand motion, too—it just seems like Lucius is the most common).

Back to the train.  So my mom put her head on my shoulder.  This was fine with me, but I was wearing my Gryffindor sweater, so I felt a warning was in order.

“It’s cool,” I said, “just don’t drool on my sweater, because I don’t have my wand on me, and Lucius isn’t powerful enough to get rid of it.”

We both laughed, neither of us mentioning the fact that Lucius, when timed just right, can turn on air conditioners, change stoplights to green, or deter people from our line at work, among other things.  It still can’t pick up drool off clothing, especially when no wand is available.

We played Scene It.  I was the only one who had played it before, but I think it may become another family favorite (even though I floored everybody—floored them).  They kept saying how I’m going to be the next Suzanne (Suzanne being the eldest of the aunts, and the best with trivia—everyone always wants to be on her team when we play Trivial Pursuit, a family tradition).  I basked in the praise and glory; I didn’t bother to remind them of the fact that I was the only one who had played the game before, and I chose not to point out that, apart from movies, I really don’t know anything at all.

We went into a bird store, where I couldn’t help but think of, as we were walking through rows of cages where birds were staring and squawking, The Birds, and, weirdly, Jurassic Park.  The whole dinosaurs coming from birds thing.  Ever since I first learned that (which was actually before Jurassic Park), birds have seemed more dinosaur-like to me. I  don’t know exactly what it is.  Their feet, I suppose, and their eyes.  I think the eyes more than anything.  I just…I don’t know, if I think about it too hard, it’s a bit creepy.

But oddly, I really like birds and I want one.  I shall probably never get one, but it’s fun to think about.  They’re pretty and cute and funny and just cool.

This morning, we went into John G’s, a restaurant that has been in the same place for I think 40 years, something like that.  (The name of it, of course, reminded me of Memento, which leads to a point I wanted to make a little while ago:  “So much of what I see reminds me of something I’ve read in a book, when…shouldn’t it be the other way around?” – Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail.  There.  I can’t even make a good point about my referring everything in life to a movie or a book or a TV show without doing it.)

It was a really good restaurant, and I had never been there, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  But it was in the rich section of town, and I feel like we were completely surrounded by people who live in mansions, and it was just an odd feeling.  And then later we went to the mansion-people’s mall to walk around.  And, as Cort said when we were walking around the Town Center, it just reminded me of Rodeo Drive.  And I was dreadfully uncomfortable.  I felt like everybody I looked at was thinking, “What the hell are they doing here?  They couldn’t afford anything here.  They don’t belong here.”

You guys know about my prejudice against members of the “Snob Squad”, as Debbie so aptly refers to them in Shameless, but I feel like it’s getting worse.  Because now it’s not just a grade school thing; no one is bullying me for being the poor kid anymore.  Now I’m projecting it outward, into everyday life.  And it’s really messing with me.

I guess I also have this thing where I always suspect people are talking about me.  I mean, I know while I’m having the thought that I’m being completely ridiculous and there is only a very slim chance, if any, that people actually are talking about me behind my back, but I always wonder.  It doesn’t matter where I am.  And it’s not often a problem; I’ve solved it for the most part—I just choose not to care.  I mean, it really doesn’t bother me nowadays what people think of me (although that doesn’t change the fact that secretly, deep down, part of me still believes they are talking about me).  But today it did.   I felt completely paranoid being in that stupid mall.  I kept saying, “Look, what difference does it make, it’s just money, and most of these people are complete snobs anyway, and who needs them?  And now you’re just as bad—if not worse than them, because who’s the one who’s standing here making judgments about everyone?  You are!  …But money is a very powerful thing….”  And I was just totally flipping out.  It was completely uncharacteristic!  But I think my little prejudice here is starting to be a big problem.

We walked into this one store just full of artistic décor for homes and stuff, and the moment we walked in, I knew (however founded or unfounded it was) that woman behind the counter was looking down her nose at us and thinking, “What are they doing in here?”  She was polite; she at least greeted us and said to feel free to look around.  But while Mom and Aunt Dianne walked around marveling at the items, I walked around marveling at the prices.  I don’t think there was anything in that store that cost anything under $300.

Okay, well…I was going to say more on that, but it’s almost 2:30 now and I have class in the morning.  I’m going to bed.  More later.