Monday, July 30, 2007

Late Night Phone Call

Last night, at about 11, I got a phone call from my uncle Mark. I had been trying to go to sleep for over an hour and just couldn't manage to get down when my cell rang. I admit that at first when I get these late night calls I expect someone to have died. It's just how it usually goes in our family.

It wasn't a death, so that was great news. It was, however, a fire. The business that my grandpa started nearly 60 years ago and that my uncle Jeff had taken to a new level for the last 20 years was on fire. It had been closed. No one was hurt. But the fire was damaging.I'd have to say that as far as damage to personal property goes, fire is like the cardiac arrest of them. You don't see it coming. You don't get to say goodbye. You can only just celebrate what you had and hope that you can get it going again.

But on a personal level, the family business had been a special place for me. It was special to all of us in the family in one way or another for various reasons, but since I'm the one with a blog, I'll give you my reasons.

Besides the fact that if I wanted to see my grandfather as a child, I could always hang out at the "shop," as we all called it. Besides the fact that we had more than one Christmas there as a big family or that my grandparents threw my sixth birthday party there when I parents were called away. Besides all that, there is the fact that the shop saved me.

After my mom died I was lost. Keep in mind I was only 21, so I had the normal amount of "what am I going to do with my life?" lostness going on as well. But as normally social and outgoing I was, after my mom died I had quickly turned into someone with social anxiety disorder. I didn't like to see or speak to anyone. After months of this, my therapist told me that I should get a job, but to make things easier I should get a job similar to one that I had before. So with my fresh college degree, I headed to the mall to get a retail job. Thirty minutes, a panic attack and an incident of me puking into a potted plant later and I was on the phone with my uncle Jeff.

All I said was that I needed to find a job like one I had before and Jeff told me to come in the next morning at 8 a.m. to start. I got to work in a loving, family environment that forced me to talk with customers and get over my social anxiety. For a year, I got to hang out, heal and then move on in better shape than I was. I firmly believe that had it not been for that year, I'd have not been able to move away and be where I'm at today, which includes the loving arms of Chef.

But that's just my story. The shop was a landmark in the community and all day people have been sharing their stories on the newspaper article on the web. According to my uncles, others in the community are stopping to help them clean up. Some of whom they don't even know.

It just goes to show the impact that one place can have on a community and how thankful our family, especially my grandpa and grandma and my uncle jeff and his family who have made lots of sacrifices to keep it going, is to be where they are.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Potter-ific

This past weekend was Harry Potter-filled. I had resigned myself to getting up on Saturday morning (and by morning, i mean 8 a.m. not midnight), heading to the local Borders, and grabbing the lastest edition with some coffee, to tuck in for a long day's reading.

However, as Friday wore on and I saw that I didn't really have anything planned, I decided to take a different tact. I took a "nap" from 7 p.m. to one a.m. on Friday night, drove to Wal-Mart (which an hour after the affair was sure to have the least amount of adults sporting eye-liner drawn lightning scars) and picked up the "Deathly Hollows."

Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything. But I did stay up until 6 that morning ready, got up at noon and then continued reading on and off for most of the day. I convinced Chef that we needed to see the Order of the Phoenix on the Imax in 3D and he was game. So, we chose what I like to call the "Sinner Showing" of Imax, 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. There were plenty of other people there, but not nearly the bone-crushing, arm-rest fighting numbers that would've been later.

Of course, we got next to the group of very obese people that acted as if they had never been to the movies before and were indeed watching the feature from their living room. They were all five sitting behind us with two of the ladies taking up two seats. Chef and I were in the row in front of them, but had moved towards the center as to not be directly in front of the group. While he was mostly spared, this did little for me.

The two larger ladies moved to our empty row (so chosen because in two and a half hours, I know that I'll have to pee at least once, no matter what the movie is). So now I had to maneveur through them when I wanted to pee. They got up no less than two times to refill the two large popcorns. None of this would've bothered me if they'd have spoken at a normal level, but instead, they decided to screech "When ya get up, make sure to grab me some napkins or something because I'm going to be crying when Sirius dies." Not that the majority of people didn't know the twists and turns of the book, but some didn't and that's just damn rude.

I was annoyed the whole time, but still enjoyed the movie. We enjoyed the IMAX part, but there was only about 15 minutes of 3D in the movie. It was cool, but not THAT cool.

So I finished the book last week so that no one (namely Chef who doesn't read the books but chats with people who does and then comes in to shout surprising plot twists while I'm reading) could spoil it for me.

Part of me is sad that the books are over, and the other part is glad that I'll actually live like a human being this weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Still haven't found what I'm looking for

There really isn't a whole lot of double meaning to the title. I'm still looking for a lot of things and when I was starting to write this, that was the song that was running through my head.

Last night I attended a function where someone said something that was not at all that surprising. Something I've probably thought a million times. But when it comes from someone in a leadership position, it just makes you cringe a little harder. Reality sometimes slaps you in the face harder than other occasions.

But cryptic transgressions aside. Tomorrow, or rather tonight at midnight, is the release of the final Harry Potter. To be honest, I want one so bad that I'm actually contemplating busting out anything that looks remotely like wizarding garb and hauling my ass down to a bookstore to get it. But I'll probably just end up heading to Wal-Mart at 2 in the morning to get it in hopes of not having to deal with crowds. Perhaps that's just me.

Chef and I were hunkered in the middle of Harry mania a few weeks ago. I woke up one saturday and saw an ad for the video game. "I think I'd like to play that," I said. Video games are Chef's hobby, so for me to take an interest was all he needed to hear. We got the game and it was really good. The two of us played nearly non-stop all weekend and deep into the work week. It was awesome.

But I digress. Perhaps I'll have more to share on Monday.

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