Overheared at a coffee shop

Guy 1: “…when she gets excited she sounds like Bartok.”
Guy 2: “Still don’t now what that sounds like.”
1: “Bartok the bat, from Anastasia.”
Girl: “That’s so mean.” -Shakes head and goes inside.
2: “Stepping on homegirl, comparing her to a comic relief cartoon bat.”
Guy 3 : “In a movie that butchered Russian history.”
2: “Haha, yeah. Anastasia survives? Not. Bitch got got.”
3: “Nah. Anastasia survived.”
2: “Oh, definitely.”

Woah.

And that one word pretty much sums up my past couple of weeks. But first (well, second? I have no idea what I’m saying), it reminds me of riding in the car with Eliza…

We are at a stop light, Eliza in the driver’s seat and me riding “gunshot” (as Bug called it). I stare out the window (as I tend to do), and just as we pull away I say, “Woah.”
Eliza: “What, the car behind us?”
Me: “…Nope.”
Eliza: “The dark sky?”
Me: “Nuh-uh.”
Eliza: “What, then?”
Me: “There was just… a super attractive guy at the red light.”
Eliza: *side-gawks at me*
Me: “What?! I didn’t mean to say ‘woah’, it just came out. And I mean… It was true though.”
Eliza: “Well, what did he look like?” (still gawking at me the way you would gawk at, say, a goat wearing spectacles and reading the paper)
Me: “He just had, you know, the face. And the hair.”
Eliza: “Wow, Pen, very descriptive.” And we both laughed.

On another car ride down a two-lane road, a truck passed us by too close and Eliza grumbled, “Road hog!”
As I shook my fist, laughing and imitating her, she said, “I’ve never said that before! It just came out!”

Speaking of driving, I have renewed my efforts in trying to drive officially. I used to have this fear that once I had my license, I would be forced to drive to this distant suburb at night, which would be really creepy. But then, for some reason, I kind of had a driving epiphany the other night that night driving is actually fun and the creep factor is all in my head and also, I am capable.

And also also, I want a car. (“I could be the walrus. And I’d still have to bum rides off of people.” –Yes, I have that whole little monologue memorized. Because I basically want to be Ferris Bueller… whenever I’m not wanting to be Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, Captain America, or some other  awesome character.) (Also, why are all my favorite characters guys? Are there just not that many cool girl characters, or have I not seen the right movies?) (I mean, even the Black Widow… She’s awesome, but I never can imagine myself as her, you know? It’s almost like she’s too cool. Agent Carter is a little closer, but even then, she’s so… shooty.) (I am not shooty. I am shield-y. If that makes any sense.)

Anyway, yeah. Cars. Driving. Vroom. I kinda lost my train of thought.

Now I completely can’t remember what I was going to tell you about? The Dublin Irish Festival, aka a sunny haze of green and food and music and hanging out with Bug? Maybe. Or was I going to talk about how I am finally filming a video thing and maybe sometime eventually when I have got enough shots of bedraggled, sun-spangled flowers it will be done? Or how a tree was cut down in my neighborhood and now there is a big blank spot on my horizon and it weirds me out and makes me panic that one day the distant oak tree that I look at through my eastern window will be cut down too and then I will lose my mind because all the other trees around here have those round, suburban palmate leaves of blandness?

I don’t remember. Clearly, I am in one of those moods where I just want to go on and on about everything in the whole entire world ever.

But I shall not. Because I shall go to work on finishing my book. (“To finish my book,” the DHFs always say in a Bilbo voice.) And also just plain go to work.

Sigh…
-Pen

such a long time since I heard from that girl of mine

Today felt like, dare I say it…(do I dare? and do I dare? Do I dare disturb the universe???) (I like the line about daring to eat a peach better, I have to say)

Today felt like spring!

And not Spring.
Because guys. We do not capitalize the names of seasons. It is not grammicly correct, as Bug would say.

Anyway, Mom and I went on an antiques odyssey today to a bunch of places we’ve never been to before. Usually we head into Lakewood for antique and vintage, because it’s riddled with cool little shops. But today we had to pick Dodge up from a retreat in far-flung Avon (I think someone should add “Stratford-Upon-” to that, because why not) and we decided to make a day of it. The weather was so warm that I wore only a sweater, and it was sunny and wonderful and meanwhile I guzzled hot tea from a paper cup anyway because I have a bad cold. So basically I also touched a lot of cool stuff with my germy fingers. Whatever.

First we went into this neat old house that was packed the brim, but still bright and clean. All the way from the enclosed porch to the attic to the basement, there was stuff to hunt through. I was dazzled by the sight of the house’s actual kitchen overflowing with vintage kitchen stuff and completely nonsensical antique cooking implements. I mean, you pick some stuff up and you wonder, Is this a utensil or a tractor component? It was at this house that I bought a big glass light fixture thing that is yellow and brass and shaped like a flower. And it’s epic. (Because I said the word epic!) We also went through a huge barn-turned-antique place where Mom became keenly interested in shutters; another house that was connected sort of in a way; and one more antique store that creeped us out because it was basically junk thrown everywhere in cobwebby corners and dim lighting and different music in every room and a slanted floor like a funhouse of DOOM. (*gasps for breath*)

Then we came home and collapsed for a bit, and I made newspaper pots for my seedlings, which I will plant tomorrow. (If I have soil. I kind of forgot to check… I’m a little disorganized this year for some reason.)

Oh! Oh! And! I forgot! This past week was the week I took my GED test! The actual test-taking was fine and surprisingly not difficult, which has the reverse effect on me than you might expect– I’m actually more apprehensive of what my scores will be since I found it so easy. (Everything has to be more complicated, said my overthinking brain.) And the part where we all sat around in the waiting area during the breaks in between sections of the test? Yeah, that was an experience. The guy I was sitting next to called his mom and asked her to bring him food…
Him: “I need food… No, I’m not trying to yell, I just need FOOD. … …Ew, no. Baloney is inhumanly disgusting. No. No…. What?… I said, baloney is disgusting. I’ll– I will gnaw the flesh off my own leg before I eat baloney.”

My thoughts: Please can break time be over.

So, once I am officially marked “Passed” for the test, I will be graduated! Now I can further my education in the school of LIFE. As if I haven’t already been doing that. As if I actually sat down and did actual schoolwork at all this year… Cough. It was self-guided study, okay?
Basically I’m unschooled, OKAY!?!?!

Also, people keep asking me what my “plan” is now. It’s not so bad when people I actually know ask me this, but when it comes to acquaintances and/or strangers, it gets kind of awkward because I don’t have “a plan”. (“If we sticks to the plan, the plan will work”, as my dad always says.) Well, actually, I do, but since I’m already implementing it (finish my novel and get moving on that writing career while working at the library and possibly moving up in rank there), it sounds lame. Life is so unfair.

Maybe I should start steering the conversation in a different direction. Like this:
“Wellll, technically, it’s not so much a plan as a goal…”
“Oh? So what is it? College? Career?”
“Heaven. You know. The usual. The great thing is, you can get a full ride.”

I mean, who can argue with that, right?

Yours till the ink smudges,
Pen

PS: *News Flash* (Or, as Francis would say, “News for you FLASH!!”)… Radar is real. In case you were wondering if he was actually just a really convincing hologram or something.
PPS: Also, while Radar was here, I became suddenly aware of the fact that so very many of my conversations with the DHFs are, like this blog post, laced with oodles of quotes from not only movies and culture, but also from each other. (“She’s leav-ing to-mor-row!” etc). We have a quote-addiction problem.
PPPS: Like how Eliza can quote the entire “Potato-Head Packing Scene” from Toy Story 2. Just saying. It’s that bad.

This should really be two separate posts. But… it isn’t.

So, I worked nine to five yesterday (yeah, cue the cliches) and had an oddly fun time. Because I got to, first of all, feel very official. (I mean, for some reason I felt like I was supposed to be there, unlike usual when I feel like… an intruding elf who sorts the books? I dunno.) Secondly, I got to hunt down books like Easter eggs for the first half of the day, talked to a lot of patrons (the place was hopping), and best of all, I got to spend some quality time listening to the circulation desk ladies chitchatting.

It’s true; the “Circ” ladies are maybe my favorite part of working at the library. Since the library is so large and busy, there are a lot of these ladies working at once; a couple of them behind the checkout area, three or four processing materials in the sorting room, and another one or two milling around taking care of odds and ends.

It’s a writer’s gold mine. The distinct characters! The dialogue! Not to mention, it probably fills some internal, subconscious need within the old-fashioned me to be surrounded by chit-chattering ladies while we all do some mindless task like weaving, or picking berries (or in my case, picking gross, faded pink “new!” stickers off of not-new-anymore books).

So, anyway, seeing as I was working a full day, I got a real lunch break. And this is what I heard as I ate my potatoes.

Guy librarian: “The new branch– have you seen it?”
Circ Ladies: “Oh yes, we hear it’s very nice.”
Guy librarian: “Lots of wood… And the kid’s area– They even have a little train going around above it.”
Lady A: “Yeah, a noisy, squeaking train–”
Lady B: “Someone needs to oil that thing.”
Lady A: “Ugh.”
Lady C: “I hate trains.”
Guy librarian: “Why?”
Lady C: “It’s a childhood thing. Always hated them.”
Guy librarian: “Oh, but did you hear what else? They have a fireplace, too. It puts out a nice bit of heat.”
Circ Ladies: “Psh!!”
Lady B: “And what’s going to stop some kid from going up and sticking their hand right on it?”
Lady A: “Parents.”
Circ Ladies: BAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA
Lady B: “You wish.”
Lady C: “Yeah, that happens one time, and they won’t turn it on anymore.”
Lady A: “Right! Why would you even put a fireplace in a library, anyway?”
Me (finally piping up): “Because it’s old school.”
Guy Librarian: “Yeah, it’s old school. It makes a nice mix of old school and new school.”
Lady C: “Yeah, there’ll be a fireplace and no books. Just stare at the wall!”
Me: (internally) Hear, hear!
Lady A: “I heard that the break room is like two chairs and a table. And that it’s practically in the middle of a hallway.”
Lady B: “And what was that one door…?”
Guy Librarian: “That was the staff bathroom.”
Circ Ladies: “That was the staff bathroom?!?!”

Totally worth the sore feet at the end of the day, that.

Well, I have been very negligent of you, blog readers. Sorry. I was going to blog about how Super Awesome my vacation in Kentucky was, but then I… didn’t. I really have no excuse.

This is the part where there’s a long silence and somebody coughs way in the back of the room.
And then you feel like you have to cough, but you can’t, because it would seem so loud–
But then–
Your throat itches–
And you decide, okay, I’m going to cough, but then you can’t cough so you do that awkward not-cough thing and…
Yeah.

Anyway, what else has been going on around here? Oh. Right.

WAAAAA-a-a-AAAAAA (Wua, wua, waaaaaaaaa). Aka the theme music from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Or, as my dad calls it, “The most epic cowboy movie of all time”.
I would have to agree.

I don’t normally like cowboy movies, especially not long ones, especially not long ones where at least one person dies every five minutes. All of which apply to “GoodBadn’Ugly” (which is another name my dad calls it. As in, “Let’s watch a movie.”
Everyone: “What movie.”
Dad, in one excited breath: “GoodBadn’Ugly!” …. “What, we have to watch it at least once a week.”).

But I do like movies that weave multiple stories together, which this does. And when something is historical, my FAVORITE way for them to be that way is to have a personal story with the historical stuff as the background– for the main action to be about the main characters and their peculiar struggle, and then WHAM, history leaps up out of the dull background like an Asian carp out of Lake Erie and smacks you upside the head. But it never overshadows the main story– it only makes the whole thing more epic, adds depth and whatever.
Actually, I think what it really does is bend your mind. You start out with the main story, which, since it’s the main story,  has a great importance to the watcher. It IS the story. But then the history stuff comes out, and what’s happening in the history can be so huge– yet it seems small because it’s the background here. It’s a reminder of reality, that whatever you’re in the middle of, whatever you’re looking at very closely, is what seems huge and epic. The lives of ants and sparrows are epic if you could follow them closely.
Which is to say, if the story of three guys trying to beat each other to 2,000 dollars in gold isn’t enough to hold your interest, imagine that it also takes place during a (surprisingly accurate, considering this was an Italian film) Civil War.

So that’s partly what makes that movie the most epic cowboy movie of all time. I also think it’s due to the cinematography– the move is so long because they will spend AGES on certain shots, which builds tension (and is also artsy). Plus, it was all shot in real places rather than on a fake set, so all the landscapes and long faraway shots and such are really cool. It also helps that there are some scenes where I wanted them to take forever on the shot, like when the ghostly carriage is racing toward them across the open desert…

The movie is highly quotable, too, I must mention.

And another major factor in making the movie EPIC is the EPIC MUSIC. I mean, the main theme is pretty cool by itself (it’s what I like to call “adventure music”), but when there’s also songs like this, how can it not be epic? I’m sitting here listening to it while typing, and the sky was all gray and brooding, and then right as the song hit the crescendo a sunbeam came out and shone on me. Like I said.
Epic.

Also. There is a scene where Clint Eastwood pets a kitten.
That seals the deal.

Well, this has kind of been like two posts in one… As usual, a perfect example of how my strange mind works.

Yours,
Pen

Things That Begin with the Letter B

(I wrote a long, looooonnnggggg post and split it into two parts. Here’s the first.)

Part 1: Buffalo!
The past week has been realllllly long and SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED that we are lucky my brain hasn’t im-/ex-ploded. So I was going to kind of summarize, but it was so awesome that I simply cannot just skim over it. (Plus I feel like I jipped you guys with the last post not going into extensive detail. So, details commence!)

Mom and I went to Buffalo, NY to visit the H’s, who are some friends you have not heard of on here before. I think. I am not combing my archives to see if that statement is true. Anyway. We left right after church on Sunday, and Mom “hauled bleep through Pennsylvania” and I played a bunch of music and fell asleep once we hit New York. It was my first time in that state, by the way. I said to Mom as we crossed the state line, “Wow, I’ve been so many places for the first time this year! Beach, New York, and whatever state I was in with the DHFs before we went to the beach…” (I am still confused about where the heck we were. Was it Virginia? D.C.? An alternate dimension? I may never know for sure.) Right after I said that, I realized what it sounded like: “Hi, I’m the stereotypical Ohio girl you see in poorly written TV shows where Ohio is like one big cornfield and the people have no knowledge of the outside world!”
Well, get ready for more of that, people.

We stayed with the H’s in their house in Buffalo. Highlights include playing games, seeing ducks, eating Buffalonian food, and generally just hanging out. But did I mention… We also went to Niagara Falls! And Dodge, if he ever read this blog, would get a smug grin on his face because of this conversation before I left home:
Me: “Niagara Falls? Come on. It’s just a waterfall.”
Dodge: “Well, it’s actually pretty impressive.”
Me: “How would you know!”
Dodge: *knowing shrug* (which sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s what he does)

Well, it did turn out to be “actually pretty impressive”. I was extremely enthralled by it. We stepped out of the car and I could instantly smell the water. It smelled iminently drinkable. We stayed on the American side despite Bram suggesting that we walk across the bridge to Canada (and then me suggesting that we run up to the border, put a toe over, and then run away). Actually, I liked the American side, because Canada, I love you but you’re all casinos and tourism and flashy-shiny-shouty stuff over there. And over on our side we had a park. (“WHAT NOW!!!” as Mom would say.) I have to write pages and pages about the experience in my journal I keep of such things (there are scrawly pages filled with things I saw/thought/experienced at the beach and also on random walks around my neighborhood. It was supposed to be an “idea journal”, but now it’s an adventure notebook!) so all I am going to say here is ohhhh pretty and wow and holy cow and… yeah. Also I told Mom that the park had a “vibe”.
Mom: “What kind of vibe?”
Me: “Um… a Niagara Falls park vibe? I don’t know.” thinking: I wish Bug was here!
Later, I called Bug and told her about it, and when I related that conversation to her, she said, “Oh, I know! The only named vibe is a creepy vibe.” So there you go.

Then we went to a Frank Lloyd Wright house, where we were peering in the front windows because it was closed. Or, it was supposed to be closed. Because suddenly a guy came out and he said, “Oh, do you guys want in?”
Us: “Um… is that allowed?”
Guy: “The door’s unlocked. I dunno. Sure.”
So we went in. It was all dim inside, but very fab, and we peered around for a couple minutes and I felt strangely hidden from the world. But then someone said, “Uh… I don’t think we’re really supposed to be in here”, and then we heard voices upstairs so we darted back out. That was fun.

Well, actually, the whole trip was fun. And the H’s were brill!

(Which is a word that begins with B, and as such is a good place to stop for now. Stay tuned for Part 2, aka the second half of my week, which I will post tomorrow unless a catastrophe happens or I simply cannot move, both of which are highly plausible at this point.)

Yours till the butter flies,
Pen