Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tales From the People Aquarium

I work at a movie theater. More than that, because of my prowess and good-looks, I am usually (and by "usually," I mean "almost always") placed in the box office. For all of you non-theater-savvy folks, that's the place where you buy your tickets. It's separated from the rest of the theater, and I often work alone. In fact, the most accurate description I've heard is "people aquarium," indicative of the wide, tall windows that comprise the front half of the room. It's true. But the manager that termed it that had it backward. I'm not the one in the aquarium. Everyone outside is. I'm surrounded by windows, but people rarely see me until they need movie tickets. Sometimes, they don't even see me then.

I sound like a sad, lonely kid. I'm not. The reality is that while I am sometimes lonely and a lot of the employees that work the box office often suffer from several varieties of cabin fever, most of the time the entertainment that I get paid to enjoy is better than the movies I sell tickets for. Working has taught me many important life lessons. Among them are: people are morons, people are funny, and people are morons.

The only thing that links my tiny world with the outside one is a speaker/microphone and the little window at the bottom. The microphone is extremely sensitive. It's odd because it's not assaultingly loud when people are near it, but I can clearly hear conversations taking place halfway across the parking lot. I feel like a spy. Do you know how many arguments, evening plans, and breakups I've eavesdropped on? At this point, I know so much someone should be after me.

On an alarming number of occasions, I thank heaven for the plexiglass barrier between the customers and me. You'd be surprised how intrusive it feels when their hands come too far through the window. Stay on your side people. My side, your side. My side... Your side. See? It's easy.

I wear a nametag. For some reason, the public seems to think this entitles them to call me by my name. I am not your friend, I do not want to be your friend, and I'm pretty sure I don't like you. Don't use my name.

I can't believe I have to explain this one, but the box office is NOT where you order popcorn and drinks. Yes, someone actually did this. (Insert long, drawn out, heavy sigh here.) Honestly? Where am I going to get a large popcorn from, lady? Do you think it will come buzzing out of the ticket-printer? Or am I supposed to get it from the apparently infinite chasm below the counter?

There's one more thing you should know before attempting to go to the movies. We do not sell marine mammals at the movie theater. The word is matinee, not manitee. And it's pronounced mat-in-ay.

I often leave work seriously worried about the world. I don't know how it doesn't collapse in on itself, really. It seems like we ought to stupid-proof the earth the same way we child-proof our homes. But I realize we have. That's why we have movie theaters. Let's all sit in a big room for a while and quietly watch a movie. That's at least an hour and a half that they can't be out there breaking things. Here, have some candy. And I musn't forget the expected greeting (to which the majority of the aforementioned geniuses perfunctorily reply "you too"): Enjoy your movie! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Dream is a Wish...

Recently in Art class, we've been studying fantasy, surrealism, and dreams. As part of this unit, we've been instructed to record our dreams and look up the meanings of the symbols or objects we dream about. The idea is to learn about what our subconscious mind is trying to tell us when we sleep, and maybe that works. After all, there's probably a reason I dreamt about doing jumping jacks with alligators as opposed to crocodiles, right? Of what significance are alligators to me? Maybe deep down I wish I was an alligator. I guess that wouldn't surprise me too much... I wish I had teeth that hardcore.

However, I do believe that a lot of the dream interpretation "dictionaries" I had to wade through around the interwebs were completely unreliable. For instance, as soon as I read that my dream indicated something was going to happen in my life down the road, I went back to the search engines. It's a dream, folks; it's not a fortune cookie. True to form, these fortune-cookie-dream-meaning-sites gave explanations that were so broad they were sure to connect with something in everyone's life. One site--the best one I found, in fact--even included a disclaimer at the bottom stating that dreams do not have absolute meanings and that the significance of different symbols in a dream can mean different things for everyone. Wow. Thanks guys.

But I agree. There are some things in this world that just can't be standardized. I'd like to think that my mind is one of them. But I realized I don't really know what I'm talking about. It's easy to coach from the sidelines, right? So here's what I've done: I've created a Dream Dictionary of my own, because "a dream is a wish your heart makes," is it not? Well, it's time to find out a few of the wishes your heart is making. I've taken a few recent/popular searches from some of these sketchy websites and tried to add some credibility to the science of dream interpretation. Ready?...

If you dream about:
Being chased - your subconscious is telling you that you need to excercise more.

Tests/exams - indicates a longing for education. You love school and teacher and detention and cafeteria food. Can also indicate hatred of school, tests, pressure, stress, a stressing situation in your life or a test you are facing. May indicate that you have to pee.

Falling - indicates feelings of freedom, detachment from reality, failure, achievement, low self esteem, a desire or fear of taking risks, or that you have fallen off of the bed.

Flying - indicates that you seek a closer connection with birds and wildlife. Note: do not attempt.

Naked - indicates a deep-rooted desire to expose yourself/soul/inner being to those you care about. Can also indicate a longing to be naked all the time. May also indicate that you do not like nakedness, and wish some people would wear more clothing. Can also indicate confidence, security, closeness, high self-esteem, low self-esteem, insecurity, or a feeling of being disconnected. May indicate that you have to pee.

Teeth - indicates that you love teeth. May indicate that you have to pee.

Vampires - denotes a pronounced fear of blood, bats, glitter, bad teeny bopper movies, or Robert Pattison.

Breathing fire - indicates that you will go on a journey in your life, and will seek the help of those close to you to overcome it. Can also indicate that your house will burn down in the near future, or has burned down in the recent past. May indicate that you are sleeping with too many blankets, and are uncomfortably warm.

Stuck - wake up. Untangle yourself, and try again. If dream persists, contact poison control or seek medical attention.

Attacked - see "Naked"

Danger - indicates that you are in a perilous position in your life. May indicate a fear of change, progress, danger, or scary things.

Snake - means you like spaghetti.

Cherry tree - indicates an abundance of fruit in your diet. Can mean a desire or longing to travel, an love of Japan, Mongolia, or Antarctica; can indicate hunger, tiredness, or apprehension. May indicate that you have to pee.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cypress Trees

These are some of the many pictures I took at the cypress swamp yesterday. I was feeling a little artsy and put my camera in sepia mode for a while. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Lost" is Such a Harsh Word

Today, my grandma, sister, brother, and I drove to the beach. It was a trip that should only have lasted three-or-so hours, including bathroom and food stops. It took us almost five. The logical assumption would be that something went wrong, and more specifically, that we got lost. But I wouldn’t say this was necessarily the case.

The first reason I say this is because we intentionally took a detour, in pursuit of a swamp with cypress trees. Well, about halfway through this detour, we had driven for miles and seen lots of beautiful farmland. It was like the road was a time machine, preserved alone in the present while the landscape around us traveled backward a century and a half. It was nice, but we had yet to see any sign of the fabled cypress swamp. We were beginning to question whether we’d turned off at the wrong place, but decided to embrace the situation as an “adventure,” because we weren’t ready to admit that we were “lost.” The car’s compass told us we were still traveling southeast, though, and since that was the heading we wanted, we were content to keep driving… for a while.

Finally, after finding a state map in one of the nooks of the car, and driving some more, and more… and more, we found the swamp! It was worth it—Spanish moss was everywhere, the trees were beautiful, the water sparkled, and the stiff breeze made it all dance. Still, we had the small matter of getting back to the highway to tend to. I, who may or may not have been navigating, may or may not have suggested that we avoid the highway altogether, stay on the road we were on, and take it the rest of the way. This wouldn’t have been a problem if we hadn’t missed the turnoff for the road we wanted, and wound up five miles in the wrong direction on the wrong highway. We figured it out, turned around, and made it back to our route without incident. But it begs the question: were we lost?

There’s the grandparent school of thought, which says that if you aren’t lost for more than an hour, you aren’t lost. Here’s what I think: If you know where you are, you aren’t lost. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re where you’re supposed to be, as long as you know where you are. I also think that even if you don’t know where you are, if you don’t care, you aren’t lost. So, if you haven’t a clue where you are or how to get where you’re going, and you are, in fact, going somewhere, then sorry, you’re lost. Any other set of circumstances constitutes adventure. Adopting this state of mind makes road trips like the one I just enjoyed a lot more… enjoyable.

Socks and Shoes

The other day, I was getting ready to go outside and play ball with my sister, and as I was putting my socks and sneakers on, I put one sock on, then grabbed the sneaker for the other foot. I sighed and grabbed the other, thinking how inconvenient it was that socks fit either foot while shoes only fit one or the other. Then it occurred to me: people are a lot like socks and shoes.

Bear with me on this one, okay? Socks are the people who slip comfortably into any situation. Just like sock sizes refer to a range of shoe/foot sizes, and aren't left-right specific, these people are flexible, laid back, versatile, and generally comfortable. But you wouldn't want to go for a run with just socks on.

That's where shoes come in. We've all met them. These are the people that fit very comfortably into one or a few situations, and are a tad awkward everywhere else. You can always tell when one of these people is out of his or her element because it feels like putting a shoe on the wrong foot--it's just not quite right. The important thing to keep in mind about shoes, though, is that they're a lot better at protecting your feet from the rough, prickly, hot, cold, unfriendly ground than socks are. That's because in order to be so flexible, socks have to be thin. I don't mean to imply that sock-type people are superficial posers, but it's a "Jack-of-all-trades, master of none"-type scenario.

And I don't think you can categorize everyone completely as one or the other. For instance, I am very shoe-like in that I am rarely comfortable in socially demanding situations. I would much prefer to keep to myself, read a book, daydream, draw, etc. Even keeping a blog is easy because I can be purely me, without having to try to fit into some social sweater that's two sizes too small, or say, a right foot when I'm a left-foot shoe. See what I mean?

But I'm also a sock. I ski, I snowboard, I write, I draw, I like math, I play the saxophone, I taught myself to crochet--although I've neglected this skill recently, and I also used to ride horses. And I do/did all of these things with a certain level of skill, if I may say so myself. But I wouldn't dare to call myself an expert in any of these fields, and it's because I divide myself among all of these activities.

My sister, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a sock where I am a shoe. She is a social butterfly if I've ever seen one. She's a charmer no matter the occasion, and at times, I'm jealous of her, and I wish she could teach me to be a social sock. Unfortunately, I have not been able to learn this skill as easily as art, math, and music. It's frustrating.

So it's possible, unlike the actual footwear, to be both a sock and a shoe. Similarly, though, socks and shoes tend to work together pretty well. And while you may be able to wear any socks with any shoes, you wouldn't want to mismatch shoes. They'd probably clash.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Super-Sexy Awesomemobile

Today, I built a car. Well, I helped with/supervised the building of a car. It's slicker than a water park, hotter than a volcano, and probably a little faster than a turtle, if that turtle only had three legs. It's green, too, its only power source being the energy created by a falling four-pound yellow dumbbell. It's a physics project, and based on the way it will be scored, I am currently sitting squarely on an 86/100.

It tuckers out after about three meters, and it wobbles a little while it rolls, but that just means it has character. And after many hours spent thinking in a very deep and important-looking way, I've settled upon a name for the monstrosity I affectionately call my own. I call it "The Super-Sexy Awesomemobile," because, well, that's exactly what it is. It's like a big, rickety bucket of sexy with a generous helping of awesome on the side. Still, I'm glad I've been doing well on tests so far this semester because the Super-Sexy Awesomemobile is probably going to be a not-so-sexy test grade.

But I feel a little like a kindergartner, because I just can't wait to take it to school and show it off. Right now, it's just a skeleton of a car, with several steel bars held together by mass quantities of screws and washers and other construction-y things, but I plan to make it look as awesome as it is. I'll even add flames, because flames = awesome.

I still have some tweaking to do, which will hopefully increase distance. For the most part, though, it's done, and I owe a HUMONGOUS thank you to the two big guys that helped me build it (and by "helped me build it," I really mean "built it"). Thank you guys! We'll give that three-legged turtle a run for his money!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Total World Domination

Today, I started a blog. I am not sure what possessed me to do this or what I intend to do with it, but I am certain it will be loud, obnoxious, and hazardous to my health (and possibly yours also). But in my experience, things are more fun that way. Huzzah!

I have set for myself the loftiest of goals, although I would not venture to call it an unattainable one, that being world domination. It is my belief that the pen is, in fact, mightier than the sword, partially because if you want someone to listen to you, it's a good idea to leave their blood inside them. I have found people to be significantly more responsive when they aren't dead. And it's hard to write with a sword, given their size and general sharp-ness.

But it is not with a pen (or a sword) that I address you on this night, at 11:40-ish. It is with a keyboard. This is because our world is being taken over, as I type, by robots, and seeing as how I cannot beat them, I join them. Also, I type faster than I write and it is difficult to put something on the internet without the use of a computer. There you go. Three solid-as-diamond reasons why I'm pro-robot. If you think about it long enough, you'll probably find that you, too, are pro-robot, but I think I have strayed from my point.

It is my intent to use this robot of mine and all those robots of yours to take over the world and use it for my villainous plans. I don't know what they are yet, but as soon as I think of them you can be sure I will post them to this blog. And you can be sure they will be loud, obnoxious, and hazardous to your health, as well as mine. But for now, I bid thee goodnight, because I'm tired, and even someone as ambitious as I am must sleep occasionally.