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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Other Peoples' Problems

Hola, senors and senoritas! Como estas? (And that's the extent of my Spanish vocabulary).

So there were a lot of interesting/annoying people at work this week who I could write many stories about. I could make something up for the paranoid mom who's scared of every bent corner in whatever book she's buying lest she can't return it later on. Or I could go into detail about the old man who has to, for some reason, ask every question that comes into his mind twice. And then there's the teacher who teaches at my old high school and the mom whose son goes to said school, and how they met each other and talked about reading and English classes while looking over the 'Summer Reading' book table. But instead, I'm tell you about Marion, the grumpy and prickly grandma who thinks her problems are bigger than everyone else's and who automatically hates anyone who shows the slightest frustration towards her autistic grandson.

What I mean is, I was back in Music/Movies keeping an eye on everything when said grandson and his mom entered the section. He was making noise and talking to himself, so I knew automatically the kid had special needs. Then Marion and her husband came in, and the kid puttered around and picked out some DVDs. But then he started getting loud and high-pitched, and it didn't help that he set off the security system a few times by accident. By this point the mom has told me he has autism, and I'm like, "Alright", because I knew he had something like that in the first place, and who am I to make a fuss about his behavior when I have autism too? But he keeps making loud noises while his mom pays for one of his DVDs, and at this point I'm wincing a bit because my ears can't handle the chatter anymore and not because he reaches over the counter to grab at the movies. Of course, the mom and Marion see this and, not knowing the real reason behind it, say to each other, right in front of me, how the check out girl is getting frustrated with an air of silent disapproval around them like I'm being horribly discriminatory concerning the boy. I stay silent because I don't know how to explain myself properly, and eventually the mom and son leave to check out the rest of the store while Marion pays for the remaining movies. Still not liking my apparent attitude towards her grandson, she's short with me when I explain her membership has expired ("No, it can't be, I've already renewed it.") and at one point reminds me again that her grandson has autism and asks if I know what that is. I take this chance and tell her I have Asperger's, thinking it would give her a clue about the reason behind my reaction (because surely she would know about autism's symptoms, one of which is being sensitive to stimuli like loud noises) and also showing her I'm on her side. Instead, she brushes my explanation aside like she doesn't believe me or it's nothing compared to her grandson, who has, "moderate to severe autism", thus making it seem like his problems are so much bigger than mine. At this point I shut down, only saying the customary, "Thank you for shopping with us", and angrily stewing about it after Marion leaves.

The whole scenario just pisses me off. I mean, we were both in the wrong with Marion gossiping with the mom right in front of me and me wincing about the noise level, but she brushed off my own autism like it wasn't a good explanation for what happened. It's not like I was expecting her to be all, "I'm so sorry" and stuff, but an "Oh" would've been nice, and maybe we could've had a small talk about it. But nooooo, that's not possible, and according to Marion I should've known better since I'm either lying or have a mild case where I can easily control myself (not that she said this, but something like it was implied). Overall, everything about this situation just made me feel like my own diagnosis was unimportant, along with all the struggles I myself go through. Because yeah, I have a mild form, but even with that comes social anxiety, aloofness, shyness, and an inability to act normal in any given social situation. It took years of therapy to learn how to look people in the eye and control my tone of voice, but I still have problems not making faces, and I rather be alone than be social. I struggle with this every day, SO DON'T BRUSH IT OFF LIKE IT'S NOTHING!!! Just because you have your own problems doesn't mean you should be so ignorant to think that they're bigger than everyone else's or that everyone else doesn't have problems in the first place. Have some perception, lady!

Thankfully, that crummy customer wasn't enough to spoil my week or my excitement for Comic Con WHICH IS ONE WEEK HOLY COW!!! I'm nervous, excited, and pumped all rolled into one, and those feeling are amplified by two bits of good news. One, I got my promotional postcards in the mail. Don't they look great?

And two, I'm doing a panel (which, for those of you who don't know what that is, is basically a staged Q and A session between experts and an audience) on the 9th! I'll be talking about YA books and writing alongside some other local YA writers, Elizabeth Bunce and Bethany Hagen, and I can't wait. I wonder what type of questions I'll be getting; I hope I can answer them all (note to self: charge phone so video of whole panel can be taken) and a decent amount of people show up. Either way, it'll be a good experience!

I'm still stuck in the dialog bog with M.O.A-27. The girls are still talking, the guys are still complaining, and everyone's getting tired, including me (When am I going to allow myself to shift scenes? As soon as you think everything's covered, that's what!). The good news is I've made my way through a time transition, which can be stinkin' awful to write most of the times, but I did it. So far the boys and girls have checked out multiple recyclable sites and have walked many streets to get to each one, but neither group has run into the monster yet, and there's all sorts of security they have to dodge and hide from. It's only a few hours from dawn, and everyone's thinking of calling it a night and heading home, so they agree to meet at another dump site. I think we all know what'll happen next; the problem is, would it be too obvious to have the monster attack them all there? Please tell me what you think!

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Day old expired Godiva chocolate. We sale Godiva chocolate boxes around the store, and whenever the selling/'Good Thru' date passes, they're taken up to the break room and we employees get to nom on them. Delish!

Like 2: My postcards. See above.

Like 3: The panel. See above.

Like 4: Newest season of 'Face Off' started this week. Let the monster making and imaginations run wild (and possibly give me my own creature ideas)!

Dislike 1: People who think their problems are bigger than everyone else's, or those who think others don't have problems at all. See above for rant.

And quote!

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." -Mark Twain


Sunday, July 26, 2015

How Not to Get A Membership

Hey-yo, readers of all ages!

So I had a busy week at Barnes and Noble, in the sense that for the first time in forever I was working the front cash register. There were a lot of people (which was surprising for a Wednesday), and I lost track of how often I had to press the 'Help Wanted' button to get people checked out faster (though I did have to press it in the first five minutes I started my shift). It was up here that I met Rochelle and Ashley, two ladies who are the points of interest for my customer stories this week.

First, Rochelle is an African-American and a busy but caring mom of three. She's short with short hair, wears capris and T-shirts, and has some junk in the trunk, if you know what I mean. Rochelle knows what she wants, whether it be a certain book or a good deal, and she loves memberships that help her save money to buy that stuff she knows she wants. Ironically, she's not very good at keeping track of money and sometimes finds out she can't buy something in the middle of buying it ("There's not enough for the membership on my card?"). Rochelle also takes her time doing things, like filling out forms, because she's a thorough type of person, and while that's sometimes a good thing, more often that not she takes too long by asking a lot of questions when something confuses her, leaving people impatient and backing up checkout lines without even noticing it.

Ashley is a bright and bubbly brunette in her early thirties. With slacks and blazers as staples for her wardrobe, she looks every bit the casual architectect, but she knows how to have fun and is planning on going on vacation soon. Reading is a beloved past time of hers, and her favorite genre is mystery; she was recently recommended to get "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling by a certain cashier (and she got it). She likes a good laugh and is incredibly generous and nice, and she has a lot of friends who love her as much as she loves them. What really sets her apart from the rest, however, is how she recognizes the good in others, whether it be her family or complete strangers. Ashley sees what any person is like, what they can do, and the effort they put into both of these to be the best they can be, and it makes her want to be a better person as well. And since she's so giving, she sometimes hands out little rewards to unsuspecting people ("Here, this $25 dollar gift card is for you. You really made a conscious effort with that big line and kept your cool despite it all, so you deserve this."). She's just a overall great person who reminds you that there are great people out there and hard work does get rewarded.

For KCCC, I have finally ordered my promotional postcards, and they look rather nice if I do say so myself. Now it's on to ordering books, and I have to thank Rich-the-editor for the help. He told me about this business deal Spencer Hill Press has with this printing company called Midpoint Trade, where I can get 40% off my order of SWAMP ANGEL books (which is good, because I need to place a big order). He gave me this email to use to contact the company, and I've sent them the order. I can't wait to get a nice big box of my book!

I said last week it was either going to be more dialogue or some action for M.O.A-27, and I wound up writing more dialogue. We finally get more details about Aria/Moa's death; according to what the police told Ursele and co., it was a teleporter accident which resulted in Aria/Moa basically getting bisected, and it was so gruesome the body was cremated before anybody could see her. Ursele also tells Moa about how the friends were after the funeral and how they were up until Moa's appearance: Ursele buried herself in work, Thayer took on the whole Tar Pit and got into a lot of fights, and Len had to run the repair shop by himself because Shawney was so distraught (he was the one most effected by Aria's death since the two were childhood friends). And during this lovely talk about death, we discover info on everyone's parents: Aria's and Shawney's parents are dead (they're engineers who died in an explosion), as in Len's father who died of sickness. His mother and Ursele's parents are in group homes (not like retirement homes, but more like a commune, a big family), and no one knows what's up with Thayer's parents since he doesn't talk about them. For all intent and purposes, it was a very informative week this week, and I can say we're getting closer to action now that the lot they need to explore is now empty and they can get down to business finding the monster. Will they, though?

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: I got a $25 dollar gift card from a customer. See above.

Like 2: It was my grandma's birthday this week. Her, me, my grandpa, and my sister had a very delicious dinner at nice steakhouse, and everything was SO GOOD. The salad, the bread (oh, the bread), the sea bass I ordered, and the peanut butter mousse definitely gave me one happy belly, and it was nice talking and spending time with the loving people that are my family. I'll soon be living on my own when I go off to school, so I'll enjoy these moments when I can. :)

Dislike 1: I got COMPLETELY DRENCHED Saturday on my way to work. I didn't have an umbrella because it wasn't raining where I live, but by the time I got to the mall, it was coming down in sheets with the wind blowing everywhere. I tried waiting it out, but it didn't lift by the time I had to get in lest I be late. It wouldn't have been as bad if I parked closer to the doors, but as an employee, I have to park in the back so the customers can have the better parking. Of all the things to be jealous about. Thankfully, I didn't have to work in wet clothes the whole shift since they dried out pretty quickly, but my shoes were soggy the whole night, which made me cold the whole night. Hope I don't catch a cold. :P

And quote!

"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" -Robert H. Schuller  


Sunday, July 19, 2015

What's Half of Twenty?

Hello, my lovely readers!

So this week at Barnes and Noble was interesting both work-wise and people-wise. If I haven't said so before, the CD section is basically becoming the record section; other than the discount stuff and a small selection of CDs from each musical genre, most of music is records. I spent one work shift this week alphabetizing they and sticking them in the nice new plastic slots we now have for them. It didn't last the whole shift, but it was interesting handling the new merchandise, and a fellow employee showed me how to shrink wrap stuff as well in case I came across a record with a torn sleeve (I didn't).

Concerning people, the most interesting customers are a couple, the Duboes! They're young, in their late twenties, and both have brown hair, brown eyes, and barrel-like bodies since they don't have a penchant for not working out. They like doing everything together, which includes road trips, shopping, and movies; they're frequent visitors at the local AMC. And it's good that they like being with each other, because they don't have a lot of friends, being that you need an incredible amount of patience to be with them. Why is that? They aren't the brightest crayons in the box, being unable to read signs ("Does the red dot mean 50% percent off?) and do simple math problems ("Excuse me, but what's half of $19.99?"), and as such have to rely on others to explain things to them, which drives many people crazy and leaves them wondering how the two can be so oblivious (especially the cashiers who has other customers to help and stuff to clean). If they are aware of this glaring trait, they don't make a note of it, and thus go along their lives happy as they are and a little satisfied they they can be a bit lazy when it comes to figuring stuff out since someone will do it for them.

Concerning book stuff this week, the KCCC is coming closer, and I can't wait. The postcards are working out (though NO ONE who read this provided any feedback; is the comment section or the link to Facebook that hard to use?), and my mom liked the summary I wrote, so it's a matter of finalizing and ordering them. With M.O.A-27, the group has split, with the boys tackling one recycling dump and the girls taking another as they try to track down/run into the monster. Security is tight; police patrol every street, camera drones fly above, and people are freaking out. Despite this, the girls make it to their site and start exploring it. As they do, they talk, and we find out more about Thayer's back story and how he became friends with everyone (it happened when they were all 11/12 years old: he basically came up from Underground one day, found the four walking home from school, decided they would be his friends, and started following them home every day) and how the relationship between Thayer and Ursele has changed over time (hinting at so romantic feelings though Ursele never outright admits it). To summarize, not a lot of action, but a whole lot of character story and development, which is almost exciting or even better than action. Which will I go with next week? Stay tuned!

Weekly Dis(Likes):

Like 1: Allison visited. She and some friends of hers came into town to have a mini vacation at our lake house, so she wasn't around for too long, but I did get to see her and her friends when they came back but before they flew out. We had some good barbecue and talked, and it was just nice to see her.

Like 2: This story my grandmother told me. She was getting her hair done at the hair salon she frequents (I've been their a few times myself; it's quite nice), and another customer was talking to her hairdresser about her twin boys, both of which had recently been diagnosed with autism. She was worrying about it, so my grandmother told the lady about me and how despite my own case of autism (I have Aspergers, for those who don't know), I have been very successful with my life, as shown with my book getting published and graduating from college. The lady loved hearing that, and was very reassured by the story, and I was touched when my grandma told me about this. To think myself as some sort of success is odd; to me I'm just someone trying to live my life the best I can, which is something everyone does. But to inspire something like this is nice, and it shows me how what we think as average or ordinary can be extraordinary to others.

Like 3: Home-made marshmallows. One of my fellow employees brought a giant bowl of homemade marshmallows in original and strawberry flavored, and they're SO YUMMY! So much better than the bagged ones; I can only imagine how homemade would taste on a s'more (answer: delicious!).

Dislike 1: The fact I've been doing my new workout plan for two weeks and eating right, but I've only lost one pound. GAAAHHH! I mean, I don't know if I'm supposed to lose more weight than that in that time period, but if I am, I need to call my mom and talk to her. I might be doing something wrong, but I don't think I am. :( Either way, just got to keep trying. :)

And quote!

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable." -Louis D. Brandeis


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stupid Magazines! (GRRRR!)

Hi, everybody. Sorry there wasn't a post last week; I got caught with 4th of July festivities and didn't have time to do my weekly post. But that was then, and now is now.

Surprisingly enough, even though it's been two weeks, there isn't any customer that comes to mind when I try and think of an interesting/annoying person to tell a story about. But I do have something to discuss/rant about, so you might want to brace yourselves. The topic? The magazine racks. We have four giant ones near the cafe section of the store, loaded front and back with magazines, three by three. If I ever said there's an aspect of my job that I didn't hate, I take that back. I hate the magazine rack. Part of it is because it's so hard to put them away. Yes, the hand scanners tell you what section, but it doesn't tell you what row it goes in, so you basically have to find the stack of the same magazines out of dozens and stick it there. And since they overlap each other, there could be another copy right under your nose and you don't know it since it's hiding, or you never find the stack because you're holding the one copy the store has and you don't know otherwise. To summarize, putting the magazines away is a pain in the ass, but what make it even worse is that customers DON'T PUT THEIR MAGAZINES AWAY. They just pull them out and leave them lying around the cafe. The worse is the guy who reads a lot and leaves a giant stack behind. DO YOU KNOW HOW RUDE THAT IS!? I spent a good half an hour putting such a stack away during my last night shift that I didn't get home until 11 o'clock! JUST BECAUSE I'M A STORE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT MAKE ME A JANITOR!! You wouldn't want to pick up after people, so why would you put others in such a situation? (sighs) I just don't understand why people think it's so hard to put their stuff away. Is it short term memory loss and they don't remember where it goes? Laziness, because they know we'll have to clean up after them? I don't know, and I wish I did. Have you ever done that; leaving something out even though you know where it goes in a store? What was your reason for doing so? DId you think about how an employee would have to move said object back to its proper place? Tell me on Facebook or in the comments below.

Concerning M.O.A-27, nothing really interesting is happening right at the moment (the gang's basically returning to Renatola from the Underground as they start monster hunting, so there's no real action right now). I do, however, want to tell you about the M.O.A-27 promotional postcards I'm currently designing. My mom was the one who suggested it, saying that it'd be nice to promote my latest work at Comic-Con (and maybe get the attention of some visiting publishers/future readers), so right now I'm working on a story summary to put on the cards. Here's what I have so far:

"A thousand years after war ended the world, the pieces have finally been picked up. Bouncing back from the brink of destruction, humanity has settled together in the paradise of Renatola, where no one is poor, all vices have been banished, and technology has drastically improved the quality of life.

At least, for mostly everyone.

Moa doesn't know why she was created. A cyborg in a city where such fusions are illegal, the only thing she's sure of is that she needs to decrypt the memories that plague her mind. Breaking free from the control of the doctor who made her, what starts as a simple puzzle turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse as Moa discovers the conspiracies woven into the fabric of Renatola. With friends from the life she lost at her side and her creator and government officials on her heels, Moa will seek out the truth ... but what she finds just may destroy the world all over again."

What do you think, my lovely readers? Too long? Too wordy? Too over-dramatic (but aren't most descriptions?)? Most important, does this make you want to read the book, or at least check it out? I really would like to hear any critiques and suggestions you guys have so I can make this the best summary I can, so live a comment down below or on my Facebook page here.

Bi-Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: 4th of July! This year's celebration was better than ever because my aunt, uncle, and cousins were visiting while we were at the Lake of the Ozarks. There was swimming, good food (s'mores, blueberry pie, and a lobster boil, which has got to be one of the best meals I've had ever), and wonderful fireworks courtesy of the guy at the end of our cove. Only downside was a lack of boat rides and our own fireworks (just some Roman candles), but it was still really fun.

Like 2: Royals baseball. Went to the game today, and it was fun. Royals got six runs in the first period alone, but then the opposing team came back in the sixth with my beloved team messing up a whole lot (seriously, guys?). In the end, we won 11 to 10 thanks to a single home run (I don't want to think about what could've happened if we missed that), and it was just a good game.

Like 3: My sister's new friend. Her name is Melissa, and my sister met her at college. She flew out on Thursday to spend the weekend here, and she is a very polite and interesting girl. Speaking with her has been a genuine pleasure, and it's comforting a bit that my sister is making such good friends and surrounding herself with good people (even if she's never had a problem with that before). Thanks for the visit, Melissa!

Dislike 1: People who pull magazines off the shelf and don't bother even trying to put them back (see above).

Dislike 2: How sweaty I got at said Royals game. I only made it to the fourth inning before I had to go sit in the nice air-conditioned clubroom for the rest of the game, and in that time I swear I sweated through both my T-shirt and shorts. For all those complaining about rainy summer days, I rather have those back!

And quote!

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." -Arthur Ashe


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marriage Equality!

Salutations, my lovely readers.

It was another good week at work, though nothing too exciting happened. We're having a 50% off sale on stuff over by the mall entrance, and yesterday they kept bringing stuff over and telling me to find a place for it, but eventually it got to the point where there WAS NO ROOM! It was still something to do (as was straightening up said bargain when customers were too rude to put stuff away properly), so that was good, not to mention there's some good items out for sale: if anyone needs kid books, arts and crafts, soap, journals, etc., come check it out (as with the KCCC here).

You ever met someone who has a preference to book types, like between paperback and hardback? Our customer this week is one such man! Meet Victor, an African-American man in his late thirties. He's a family man, and is invested in his daughter's education, so much so that he tags along with her when she buys her required summer reading for school (The Secret Life of Bees). Wanting to see what kids these days read for school, he also orders his own hardback copy of that and some other books instead of just getting the paperback, but is patient and willing to compromise when it comes to where he picks his books up (even if it's not the store in Lee's Summit, and I don't know if we have one there). As it is, he likes hardbacks for how long they last compared to their paper counterparts, but he also believes that hardbacks have a better and stronger 'book smell' to them, which is his favorite scent in the whole wide world (and I can't blame him for that). A self professed 'huge geek', other than a love for books, he also has a thing for superheroes and gets easily distracted by action figures (his favorite being Cyborg from the Teen Titans series). This shows how horribly forgetful he can be with remembering stuff, like the phone number for his B&N membership.

Concerning M.O.A-27, don't worry if you're starting to get bored with the lack of action. I've finished the chapter off, and after a short Dreaming moment (in which we see more between Shawney and Aria), we'll be on track with monster hunting and trying to find the scary beast. As it is with the chapter ending, though, you really get a sense of a building connection between Moa and Shawney, especially how she tries to comfort him about Len despite everything telling her not to in her head. She knows about emotions, knows what they do to people, and knows how others commonly comfort those who are sad, but having never done it, nor not designed to do it, she's in a bit of a pickle. But she does her best:
            '“I know this is when someone says something comforting, like everything will be okay,” Moa said as much. “With your lost, and with what is coming, however … I do not know if things will be okay, in all honesty. But I can say this and mean it: the only way I will leave you is when I am dead and in pieces ... I will not leave you no matter what.”'

And it works; Shawney does start crying, but the two hug it out and find out how safe they are when they do so. Because where else is safer than in someone's arms? You tell me! But either way, it's interesting exploring emotional moments like this considering my own emotional problems (nothing serious; it's just autism); it's like I'm sorting out and investigating my own emotions when doing scenes like this and figuring out what's right and what's wrong socially. Then it's just a matter of going out and living my discoveries (which is a struggle, but I try).

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: The cute shirt my mom found for me at Anthropologie. It's a gray and white v-neck with a swooped hem and a eyeglasses print. I wore it to work the other day, and the one customer who complemented it turned out to be an eye doctor! :D

Like 2: Gay marriage is now legal across the US! I am straight, but it's been an issue I've kept an eye on, and it was amazing to hear the news on Friday, because everyone should have the right to be with whoever they want to be with. Hooray for human rights!

Like 3: Dairy Queen butterscotch dipped cones. YUM. :)

Dislike 1: Bug bites. I've got two mosquito bites on my arm and leg respectfully, and while they're aren't always itchy, they can suddenly go off at any moment (like if I accidently rub the offending limb against something) and then I just want to scratch like crazy. If there's one thing about summer I hate more than the heat, it's this!

And quote!

"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action." -Benjamin Disraeli

See ya later,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers' Day!

Hello, guys and gals.

So work was good this week. No complaints to be heard from me. It was another array of night shifts between the music section and the mall cash register, and I did some shopping errands for my grandma and picked up a few books for her. My manager Justin also got back to me about the number of books I should bring along to sell; he said about forty would work, which is good (and it helps I already have like eleven on hand), so I need to get those ordered. I'm also debating whether or not to ask my sister to do a little social media promotion about the event; I need to ask her about it, but I hope she says yes (if you want to check it out yourself, click HERE).

There were a lot of interesting customers this week, and I'm stuck between two of them and deciding which one should get a story. So how about two mini stories this week? First we have Bianca, a lady in her mid-thirties to early forties with dark brown hair held back by sunglasses. She loves an online deal, and when she finds something she can get on hand in a store, she goes after it. However, she usually gets a nasty shock when she finds out the in store prices and online prices are different, and then puts it on herself to explain price points to whatever employee she's talking about, going so far as to not understand what they're saying and interrupting them mid explanation ("No, that's not what I'm saying!"). She then explains that she owned businesses before which is why she knows what she's saying and feels the need to share and confuse people. Thankfully she never goes shopping without a friend, who speak Biana-nese well enough to play mediator and tries to translate what Bianca says so the employee can understand and vice-versa.

But though Bianca may forget her manners, Aermad doesn't! Aermad is a man visiting the United States from Armenia, a small country in Eastern Europe. He's currently on a cross country trip visiting all his American friends, and so far his favorite places are San Fransisco and Chicago. He loves to talk and loathes the silence, and as such makes friends wherever he goes, although sometimes he doesn't know when to be quiet, and his odd accent doesn't help when he's trying to explain things. He often gets asked to repeat stuff, but he doesn't mind. Aermad also knows his friends well and gets them books about their favorite subjects (like a guidebook to religion) because he loves to read. His favorite part of America is the sense of freedom throughout the country, and his favorite color is green, which gives him an appreciation of green eyes, which he compliments people on.

In M.O.A-27, plans have been finalized; after some rest and construction of some new hologram disguises and communicators, the gang's going to investigate the spaces where Moa and 35 died, then split up and look in similar areas (closed off, untrafficked areas, like recycling and dump areas). Ursele and Thayer hit the hay, but Moa stays up and watches Shawney as he gets to work. It's nice between them as Moa discovers why he likes holograms so much, but the conversation takes a sad turn when she brings up Len (which they haven't really had a chance to talk about until now). Of course, Shawney gets sad, and Moa asks if he blames her. He does say that yes, part of him wants to be mad at her, but part of him is mad at everyone, and he's still aware of how death can happen with what he's doing for Moa. How will this conversation end? For better, or for worse? Let's find out next week!

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: It's Fathers' Day! My dad's out in Colorado, but he called in saying he can't wait to read the book I got him. And I spent the day with my grandpa (who's also my godfather), and I got him a nice card and had a good dinner with him, Grandma, Mom, and Maggie. To the two best (and only) men in my life, I love you forever!

Like 2: Speaking of Mom, she's visiting for three weeks. She'll be staying through July 4th, and I'm just happy she's here (because I've missed her). We already have a bunch of fun things we want to do, like go see movies and blueberry picking, so I can't wait to spend time with her. :)

Dislike 1: The amount of stupid street construction going on around town. Maggie and I had to pick up Mom from the airport yesterday, and we couldn't take the usual route because of repaving or whatever. So that meant more driving time (and an angry Maggie), which wasn't fun. And this isn't the end of it either; it looks like they'll be doing some work along the usual route I take to work, so now I might have to find a new route (unless they leave it open with one lane). Either way, it's stupid, inconvenient, and may bad driving karma fall on those who signed off on this in the first place!

And quote!

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me." - Jim Valvano


Sunday, June 14, 2015

5 Year Reunion

Hey-yo, my beautiful blog readers!

Work was fine this week, but it was also slow in the sense that there were not many interesting customers to imagine stories for. However, I'll try my best! This week is Helga, an old grandmother type with short white hair and the whole 'cardigan and slacks' attire grandparents are known for. She has four grandsons, one of which is having his birthday this month, and believes in the good value of books for entertainment, education, and gifts, preferring them to those new-fangled video games. But she doesn't have the best memory in the world, and she also possesses the ability to lose things she was just holding a minute ago, like book receipts ("I swear I just had them in my hand a minute ago! Did you check the books?"), and then is never able to find them again. Whenever that happens, she starts to blame the person she was supposed to hand the thing to, but eventually realizes that that's not the right thing to do, and does her best to find it or replace it (like get some new receipts printed off). Taking responsibility for accidents and trying to fix them is, after all, one of her best qualities!

No new news on KCCC yet, but I'll share with you here when I do!

In M.O.A-27, it's time to go monster hunting! The gang, having realized the connection between Moa, 35, and the black scary monster from both their memories, have decided to find the thing and see what it knows. Surprisingly, Thayer of all people is hesitant about going after it, talking about how if Moa was almost taken down by one of her sister cyborg's, how much powerful would the monster be? And what would happen if it decides to go after him, Shawney, or Ursele when none of them stand a fighting chance (and it could go after them, considering they'll have to split up to find it)? Of course, Thayer also knows that there's no other alternative or lead to follow, so eventually everyone does convince him it's the right thing to do. However, that doesn't change the fact that Renatola is HUGE (roughly the same size as Andorra, that tiny piece of land between Spain and France), with a very large population, and both people and land mass about double when you factor in the Underground. Some logical thinking rules out certain times of the day (the thing starts hunting at sundown and through the night), who it goes after (single people, not groups), and the whole Underground is eliminated from the equation:

'"If it wants easy pickin’s it’s not gonna go after ungudies who can put up a fight. Even if te guy would lose, it wouldn’t be an easy kill," Thayer argued. "And that’s what te thin’ wants..."'

However, there's still too much ground to cover, so Shawney asks Moa if she can remember any clues from her and 35's memories that might tell them some locations they can start looking. Will she be able to remember anything?

And Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Ascension Garage Sale! My parish has this awesome sale in their basement each summer, and they have everything: furniture, clothes, books, jewelery, toys, electronics, etc. It's always fun to go and find some nice stuff for a few dollars, and I bought some nice things: some snakeskin flats, a new pair of jeans, some slacks for work, a green button up, some T-shirts, and a very pretty tunic/dress that I can't wait to wear out and about.

Like 2: Five year high school reunion! Me and about forty of my high school classmates (some of who were the ones who arranged it) celebrated our five years reunion at the local Johnny's Tavern, and it was fun! We had a back room all to ourselves, some good drinks, and tons of pizza, and I got to sit and chat with a bunch of my old friends. It was nice seeing who got married and what everyone was now doing with their lives, and it's nice to know that everyone's doing well. One guy read a list of things that had changed at my high school since we graduated (new babies, new principals, etc.), and there was a poll for certain categories like "Most Eligible Bachelor/Bachelorette", "Most Interesting Job Since High School", "Mostly Likely Came for the Beer", and others. I won the category for "Most Likely to Be Famous by Our Next Reunion" and got some cheap sunglasses as a prize. It was all good fun, and I can't wait for our ten year reunion!

Like 3: I finally saw Mad Max in theaters, and it was just as awesome as I thought it would be (though it was hard to stay under the speed limit while driving home afterwards)!

Dislike 1: I did sit in a sticky bar stool while at my class reunion, and while wearing my favorite pair of jeans too. It's not like they're ruined, but still! Ewwww!

And quote!

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us." -Ashley Montagu

See ya,