Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's In Your Wallet?

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I was just issued a CapitalOne card. Wahoo for me getting approved, right? Now I don't have to worry about a band of Norsemen coming and beating me up while yelling Viking curses, because I have the protection of a CapitalOne credit card. I feel safe. Whooooo. :) haha

As the audition for American Idol nears, I'm actually getting a bit nervous. I wasn't nervous at ALL last season. But I guess I'm anxious this time because I've actually prepared for it. I've spent a couple months working a few songs up to snuff, and I'm taking my looks seriously, which is big for me. Maybe all of the work I've put in will pay off. Maybe not. We shall see in less than 2 weeks (ACH!!). It's weird to think that I'm taking part of such a huge phenomenon. And for all of you naysayers, well... You can't deny that it's a phenomenon. It's enormous. I'm not really all American Idol gungho myself, but I appreciate a massive world-changing reality show when I recognize one.

Along those lines, I guess I should mention that the media and I have never really gotten along. I've always scoffed at magazines like People, OK!, and other shallow magazines of that sort. You know the type. I see something like that and think, "Well, there's a poor tree gone to waste." I'm afraid that if I were ever to become famous for anything other than music, I'd show up in the tabloids as having attacked a car with an umbrella or punching a papparazzo. I just have this inkling that's what would happen. So why am I doing American Idol, you ask? Well, for me, singing is not about the fame. It's about doing what I love. I think that if I were singing for a career I could maybe handle the constant attention, the constant flashing of cameras when I was outside the confines of my house, because music works as therapy for me. It'd probably bug the crap out of me for people to follow my every move in hopes of getting that "money shot," but with my music, I hope I'd be able to take it with a grain of salt. I might try a little intelligent verbal banter laced with thorns with the people trying to take my picture, but... other than that I think I'd be a good girl. :)

On to other places in my life. Since I got canned I've had a bit of time to myself (when I wasn't out searching desperately for a job, that is). This evening, about 3 hours ago I had a brain blast. If you are one of those people that knows me really well, you know that I get a lot of crazy ideas that spawn novel ideas. Well, I had another one of those moments, and I think I've actually come up with something worth writing. Think Treasure Island meets Star Wars meets the feudal era. haha I know, it sounds absurd, but... I'm actually excited about it. I'll write more about it when I get more into the story. It's flushing out nicely, though, thus far.

On another note... I am in love with my LG Chocolate phone. :) It's so COOL (Excuse me while I adjust my glasses further up my nose and snort an Urkel-esque snort.)!! I'm even making my own ringtones, which is even cooler (Once again, glasses + snort.)! Now I just have to wait until my LG USB Port arrives (I paid $0.89 for it. teehee Gotta love Amazon.) so I can load them from my computer and onto my phone. It's pretty choice.

Anyways, I think that about covers it. It's around 4:30AM on the 31st of July (Holy CRAP! July is finished as of midnight TONIGHT!!!), and I strangely am nowhere close to tired. If anything I'm a bit hyper. This no work thing has gotten my body clock all messed up. I can't stand that. Anybody have a job for me???

Boo.

~SH

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You're just not the right fit...

So I finished Belmont's required AlcoholEdu course, and I've not been more aggravated. Not only did I have to sit through around 2 and 1/2 hours of alcohol-related information via a powerpoint-esque presentation, but they also made me take an exam going over every little detail. Thankfully, I already knew quite a bit about the whole alcohol thing, but... still. It was ridiculous. I've never been one for standardized exams, and the fact that the final exam going over all of the information they threw at me was standardized did not bode well. I ended up having to take it twice, and I only passed with an 80%. Ridiculous. Granted, I didn't really pay attention to the online course, but... hey, I passed, didn't I? haha Good for me.

I saw the Simpsons Movie earlier this week, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the movie. I rarely go into a movie and laugh through the entire thing, but I definitely laughed 98% of the time. It was hilarious. It was very true to the Simpsons TV episodes, which made me happy. It's so rare for TV to translate well to the silver screen, and I'm glad that the Simpsons turned out so successful. At least, it was successful as far as my opinion goes, not that that really says anything.

I am once again unemployed, and I've never been more crushed. In the words of my ex-manager, "You're just not the right fit for our establishment." I was completely shocked. I loved my job at The Farm, but I wasn't "the right fit." What the hell does that mean? She also said that as far as recommendations go, she would give me a glowing one because my customer service was wonderful, I got along with everyone, and I worked really hard. So why was I fired? Well, I can't tell you. I have no idea whatsoever. I wish I knew. So I am once again trying to find a job so that I can pay my bills. I'm hurt, though, because I really did love working at The Farm, and I thought I was doing fine. I don't get it. But that's over now, and I have to move on. Needless to say, though, I definitely cried quite a bit yesterday.

It also doesn't help that my car is going to hell in a hand-basket quicker than you can say 'Bob's your uncle.' It all started several years ago. The lock on the driver's side as well as the trunk lock stopped working inexplicably. It wasn't that big of a deal, so we never did anything about it. Then, about 2 weeks ago, a fuse blew in the front end of the car. This blown fuse resulted in the loss of power to my cd player/ radio, my power locks (I could still lock my car manually, though.), and most of my interior lights (not my speedometer... just overhead lights and the ones that light up the locks and whatnot). So nothing absolutely necessary was lost due to the blown fuse, but it did make driving much less convenient. I had to enter my car via the passenger side, I had no music (boohoo), and I couldn't see inside my car at night. I got sick of that rather quickly, so I took Gladys to Sevier (this auto repair-ish shop place near my parents' house). They fixed the fuse, and for a few moments it worked out. Everything was working wonderfully (minus the locks, because those actually need to be taken apart and oiled, and Sevier didn't do that... They mainly do oil changes and so on and so forth...), but right as I turned on to the street where I live (Vague musical theatre reference, anyone???) the fuse blew. Shoot me in the face, please! I turn on my blinker, and cablooey! No more radio, power locks, or interior lights. So we now know that something big needs to be fixed. It's not just the silly little fuse. So I made some calls, and I have an appointment at Lawson & Son's Auto Repair for Tuesday morning. Hopefully, they'll be able to fix both the locks and the electrical wiring problem.

That's life right now. Pretty much my life is under temporary suckage. Hopefully, it won't last too long.

~Stef

PS-- Also, why is it that when I'm going through a really hard time, all of my friends seem to fall off the face of the earth?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mr. Potter, Work, &... Work.

I'd never before witnessed the Harry Potter Craze, so I thought this past Friday evening would be a good chance for me to check it out. Not only did I check it out, but I also became completely sick of it by night's end. It just doesn't make sense to me. First off, the books really aren't that great. Secondly, I find Harry completely nauseating. He's a whiny prepubescent little boy, and I have absolutely no use for him. Be that as it may, there were several hundred people crammed into the relatively small space that comprises the Borders at Brentwood (you know, the one on Franklin Rd. next to Chick-Fil-A and whatnot?). People were dressed up, Gryffindor scarves and all, to celebrate the release of the final installment of the Harry Potter series. Now, I was there because I was helping out a bit at Borders. They needed some extra people, and I was free, so... There I was! In the few hours I was there, I was reminded of all of the reasons I chose to stop working there, and I'm very glad that I have another job that I actually ENJOY. That's big. Anyways, back to the task at hand: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows release party at the Borders at Brentwood. As I said, people were all dressed up as characters (some of them even insignificant little characters no-one remembers except for the psychologically insane) and were all boisterous and excited about getting their grubby little fingers on the first shipment of books. Now, I would probably act the same way if there was a release party for The Count of Monte Cristo, but... Then again, that's me. I'm a bit of a dork, and I fully accept that. Throughout the night, some of the staffers (one of them being me) walked around the store holding baskets full of free goodies like "Snape is loyal," stickers, or "Snape will betray" stickers, or even Borders glow-stick necklaces. You see, we ran out of $5.99 HP wands, so we started giving out glow-stick necklaces. Shh, don't tell anyone, but I took one for myself. :-D teehee I'm such a bad girl. Moving on... Whenever I walked around, people would practically run me down grabbing at what I had in my basket. C'mon people! They're STICKERS! Silly, insignificant, little stickers! And the glow-sticks weren't even HP related!! Now, that, my friends, is what we call stupid. Learn from it, and don't ever do it again. Now, I know I sound like an aggravated bitch who's PMS-ing, but... You know what? It wasn't all that horrible. It was actually kind of fun making fun of all the HP-heads. I thankfully got to leave at midnight, because I had work at the Farm the next morning at 8:45am. That was fun, let me tell you... At midnight, a group of Borders staff walked from the back of the store holding a single copy of the book. Imagine the scene, if you will: a group of around 7 or 8 people marching from the back of a people-filled store to the front registers holding a single book. Now, that's just silly. I must say I had a hearty laugh at that one. Oh, America, you never fail to amuse me. But hey, I'm sure it was no better in the UK. I mean, Harry does hail from those parts. I guess I should be saying, "Oh, Earth, you never fail to amuse me," but I don't think that's really applicable as starving children in Africa probably don't really care about the release of a new book. I think they'd want food more. Maybe that's just me being silly, though...........

There was a fun little up-side to the night, though. A small group of people were going around taping random customers. They eventually came up to me, and asked me if I minded them asking me a few questions. I was fine with it, so on the camera went, and suddenly I was thrust into this hilarious improv interview. He started asking me if I had any magical merchandise in my little basket of tricks, and I said, "Certainly! What's a Harry Potter reveal without some magic??" He then had me explain some of the magical items, which I did pretty well for having not been in an improv situation since AMDA. It started off a little rocky, but I was having a ball by the end. It was just so fun to make fun of the HP-heads. There was even one point where the guy asked me, "You do realize that all of this stuff is fake, right? You know it's not real?" I sighed for a moment and said, "You know. I have realized that, and I must admit... A little piece of me died when I figured it out. Now I cry myself to sleep at night." And we went off that a little, and then the interview was over. Oh, how I miss the acting life.

Now on to my other work. As you know, I am working at The Farm @ Natchez Trace (It's not really at Natchez Trace, but... whatever... It's close enough.), and my manager, Cogie (She's from Ireland; don't question the name.) is on va-cay visiting her homeland across the pond. Now, this would have been fine with me if she hadn't decided to go ahead and change my work schedule to my school schedule a month early so that she wouldn't have to deal with it when she got back. As of this week, I'm only working 16 hours/ week. That SUCKS. So hopefully I'll be able to figure something else out to bring in some income. Because 16 hrs/week is not going to cut it. Maybe while I'm in school... but until then I'm screwed.

I did some search on craigslist.org (Thank you, God, for that site.), and I found a guy who is looking for a pet sitter, so... hopefully that will work out. I sent him an e-mail, and I hope to hear from him soon. Please, please, Jesus. He lives near West End and Vandy, which would be ideal during the school year... Let's pray this works out!!

OK. It's 3am. I need to sleep. The one good thing about not having to work every day is that you can pretty much sleep in to whenever you want. Actually, that can be either a good thing or a bad thing... depending on how you look at it, that is.

Oh, before I go. My cat is horny because she hasn't gotten spayed, yet... And she's LOUD. Whenever I even come close to her, she sticks her butt up in hopes that I'll stick my phallus (the one that I don't have, that is) into her. Stupid, idiotic cat. Anyone want her?? She's still up for adoption!!

~Stef

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hippie Lifestyle

Why is it that kids in college (or kids around my age, anyway) feel the need to go through this hippie lifestyle exploration? Sure, the hippie ideal is nice with the whole community aspect, but... If you were to go back in time to the mid-60's to the mid-1970's and actually speak to an honest-to-God hippie... Well, if you make it past the horrible smell (au naturale, my ass), you'll realize that hippie theories are merely drug-induced nonsense. And whether they like to admit it or not, they were inspired by the beatnik media stereotype from the 50's, which was based on the distorted view of live people and Jack Kerouac's fictional spirituality. You know the people in cafes with berets and black outfits who snap their fingers at the end of a supposedly deep "performance" of a haiku-esque poem... Well, those are the beatniks, the starters of the hippie movement.

Hippies, in general, saw the dominant culture at the time to be a corrupt, hardened body that strove to have complete control over every aspect of their lives. This might make you think of George Orwell's 1984. I know it did me. Now, I'm as much a Beatles lover as the next woman-- in fact, I'm a big fan-- but they were the ones that made the hippie movement catch on in the US. Good job, guys. You made drugs and casual sex the cool thing to do. It's because of the hippies that AIDS got to be (and is still) such a serious problem. The hippie ideal of pacifism and anti-war is nice and, in theory, a good idea, but that Utopian society is impossible due to the human incapability of working without motivation. People need the prospect of receiving a reward for doing something or else that something will never get done. That's where we are ridiculously stupid. This peace that hippies keep pushing for is non-existent. We screwed up any chance of peace left for humanity long, long ago Anyways, though, hippies were deluded enough to think that they could actually change human nature. They were so doped up all of the time on cannabis and hallucinogens such as LSD that they were incapable of rational thought. Timothy Leary, a professor at Harvard of all places, said, "Expand your consciousness and find ecstasy and revelation within." This is all well and good, but such revelation and ecstasy is found via a massive quantity of drugs. I'd rather keep as many brain cells as I can, thanks.

I'm not saying that I think the hippie ideal is completely misguided. I think that a good portion of it is misguided, and quite a few of of their viewpoints are the results of a lifestyle dictated by the use of drugs... Their idea of having a true sense of community, while a bit lofty of an expectation for the human race, is a great idea. To have a community where everyone relies on everyone else. That, to be honest, is the preferrable Christian lifestyle. That's what the body of Christ is supposed to be like. Unfortunately, though, humans are fallible. I would love to say that there is a chance that such an environment can be created and thrive in adversity, but... there are too many people (especially in the US) that are so testy about changing, so set in their ways that they won't even consider something that might make the world a better place. I'd be all for a nice sense of community, but I really doubt that people will ever get to that point.



Oh well. I guess we can all decide that humans, in general, suck.

~Stef

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Been a While

It's been a while. I've just been so busy... ish... :) No, I've just been trying to spend less time on the computer. Anyways, though, life has been relatively busy. I mean, I'm working, and I'm also relearning how to play the piano, and boning up on my music theory. I was really embarrassed during my proficiency test for theory and piano. I seriously didn't remember ANYTHING. I've never been good at sight playing (I can sight sing like no one's business), but it was just horrible. I couldn't play anything. And then for the theory test. Now, I used to be pretty good with theory. I wasn't an ace or anything, but I knew what I was doing when I looked at a piece of music. But when I was doing that test... They were throwing around phrases like diatonic scales (which is, simply, a major scale... Stupid Stefanie) and relative keys (I kicked myself when I retaught myself the whole relative key thing.), and I simply couldn't remember what I once knew. I was upset with myself, and I guess that was the push I needed to make me relearn everything that I had forgotten. So that's what I'm working on right now.

I'm watching this show on TLC about the Brookhaven Obesity Clinic, and it's just infuriating me. All of these people are refusing to lose weight. I understand that food is a drug for some people and extremely addictive, but... come on! These people are upwards of 600 pounds. They have limited mobility (and by limited, I pretty much mean that they can't move at all), severe health problems, etc. etc. etc... For example, there's this woman who can't make it down a set of stairs on her stoop. That's ridiculous. I don't understand how people can let themselves get to that point. Now, I'm not one to talk, being that I'm 35-45 pounds overweight myself, but I'm actively fighting that. These people REFUSE to take action. No, scratch that. Not all of them refuse. Some of them are really fighting hard, and I really respect that. I guess I'm just annoyed with this one guy. He and his girlfriend live at the Brookhaven Obesity Clinic, and he is unable to walk due to a condition (I can't remember what it's called.) that has blocked a vein-- or something similar to that-- that transports all of the waste from the blood to be exited through urine or other forms of body waste. Therefore, the leg has swollen to about 5 times its size, and he's in danger of losing it. He says that he "gets bored" with the food they give him at the clinic, so his girlfriend goes out (She can actually walk.) and brings back junk food for them to binge on. Now, this I don't understand. He's paying SO much money just so he can sit in his bed and GAIN WEIGHT even though he's there to lose it. That's just stupid. Seriously. Why on earth would you do that to yourself? There's a chance that he might lose his leg! He has a sore on his leg that might turn into an infection and eventually KILL HIM. That would be kind of the point where I'd probably become anorexic. Maybe that's just me. Heck, I might even take that new pill, Alli, that supposedly purges you of fat via your intestines if you eat more than 15g of fat a day. I mean, this pill purges you. There are reports of people having violent, uncontrollable bowel movements. Imagine this: You're standing in the middle of Kroger, you know, doing some shopping, and then all of the sudden, your bowels empty themselves all over your thighs and onto the floor. How horrible would that be??!!? I would be humiliated. Once again, I'm not one to talk, being fat, but... I have not let myself get to that point. There is a silver lining to this, though. There's a lady at the clinic named Annette who is just wonderful. She is completely focused on getting healthy, and I respect her so much. She is 50, I believe, and when she was 45 they found out that she was pregnant, and even though doctors advised her to have an abortion she refused. She ended up having the baby, and he is now a healthy 5 year old boy. :) She has a lypoma (a fatty tumor, benign) on her thigh, and it needs to be removed. First, though, she has to lose 100 lbs. She had gone through a successful 4 weeks of the program (50 lbs. lost!!) when her insurance company decided to drop her and no longer pay for her to stay at the Brookhaven Clinic. Thankfully, the guy pretty much in charge of the clinic went out of his way to find someone to sponsor her stay. So now she can stay until she gets healthy enough to have the surgery to get rid of her lypoma. Let's hope she sticks with it.

~Stef

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Next Month Is Going to Be Killer


As I said, I'm going to be one busy chick from the beginning to mid August. It all starts on August 11th (So far, that is. There might even be more going on!), when I will take part in an audition for Into the Woods at the Boiler Room Theater. I'm extremely excited about that one, because it's been such a long time since I've actually done anything artistic or been in front of people on a stage. It's also wonderful that I am practically made for the part of The Baker's Wife. I know, it sounds like a bit part because she doesn't have an actual name... but that's kind of how the whole musical is. Oh, Sondheim, you are a silly, silly man (and by silly, I really mean absolutely brilliant.). Seriously, I've had several people tell me that I am Joanna Gleason's (the woman who originated the role of The Baker's Wife on Broadway) protege, so that's nice. I need to get my headshot /resume together.

After that, on the 13th, I'll be making my way down to Atlanta, GA (more specifically, the Georgia Dome) to attend one of this season's auditions for American Idol. I touched on this in my last blog, so I won't bore you with the mundane details.

Moving on... After that I'll get home on the 15th, and from the 18th until the 21st I'll be at Belmont University for their annual Welcome Week. I've heard that it's like going to camp, which I'm not too excited about, but whatever. I'll make an appearance, I think. I mean, it will help me to meet some people, but... I don't know. I'm afraid that it will be the same as Orientation was this past week. Don't get me wrong; I learned a lot, and I actually feel comfortable walking around the campus and so on and so forth... but I didn't really go out of my way to chat with the other people there or anything. I wasn't anti-social, but I felt like I was in a different league than these kids. That's just it. They were children, straight out of high school. It's been over 2 years since my graduation from high school, and I've already gone to school at another institution. They all seemed really scared and confused. It also didn't help that I was the only person there without at least 1 parent. haha Oh well.

After Welcome Week, I start school. Whew! I cannot wait! I know, I know... I sound like such a geek, but hey! I actually miss learning. I'm really looking forward to going to class and expanding my steadily shrinking knowledge base. I hate that I feel so stupid since going to AMDA. My grammar has gone down the craphole, and my creative writing has really taken a dive. I also can barely do even the most basic math. I feel mentally retarded. I've also noticed that, since being out of high school, my aproxia has gotten a whole lot worse. My vocabulary has shrunk substantially, so when my brain is searching for a word... Well, it can't find it. Therefore, I sit there stuttering for a whole minute while the person I'm talking to taps their foot thinking, "Spit it out!" And it's not even when I can't think of the word. Even if I have the word, even when I know exactly what I want to say... I just can't get it out. It's ridiculous. I wish there was some pill I could take that would stop it.

Enough pity party, though. That's going to be my August. 2 auditions, Welcome Week, and school. It's not really too busy, but compared to how slow my life has been of late it's like my life will suddenly be thrown into an F-4 tornado. I miss the fast paced life. It's been nice to have some r & r time, but it's definitely time to speed back up.

Brilliant.

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