Something you internet denizens probably don't know about me (seeing as how I am merely a line of text) is that, in the real world, I wear hats.
They're simple hats. Ones with brims, like baseball caps, but not quite the same shape. I have four. One is a brown one I only wear as a last resort because it got washed once and now fits funny, two I got at Disneyland with my best friend (one that looks like Colonel Oneal's hat from Stargate and one that is from the Tower of Terror attraction and is purple with a silver key on the side), and a plain dark-green/brown one I got from Target while visiting Megan in Nevada.
All my hats (save for the brown one) have meaning to me. Granted, it's just the sort of shallow kind of meaning that comes from having an object for a long period of time from a place you like or person you love, but still, I'm attached.
There is a regular customer at the shop named Shirley. Well, actually there are two Shirleys, and both are problematic in their way, but this is about Shirley two. She is one of those people who have what I think of as an air of false niceness. I can't explain it. I've met people like this before, where they smile and their smiles seem sincere, and they say nice things, but at the same time even their seeming sincerity reeks of falsehood. I cannot tell if people like that are genuinely nice, and intentionally trying to make themselves appear nice (thus giving off the air of falsehood for their trying too hard), or if they really are mean and just pretending. Either way, she has that same personality that sets my teeth on edge and, though I smile at her right back and will help her, I still don't trust her. But I digress.
She is a very tall, moderately overweight woman who always wears shorts and some kind of Jesus T-shirt. Her voice has a bit of a rasp to it, and her hair is long and red-blonde and always under some kind of hat. She always lugs around a cart with a bunch of stuff in it, and she comes into the coffee shop to watch service on the TV and knit, usually interacting with the TV. If the pastor says to shout praise the Lord, Shirley shouts it. if he says "turn to the person next to you and say *SOME PLEASANT PHRASE ABOUT GOD LOVING THEM* she will usually find me and say it. She applauds to the TV when people in the congregation applaud. Every Sunday, like clockwork, she will come in, go to the back where we keep the creamers, and fill up her 20oz metal coffee mug with our milk, then bring us the empty milk canister to have us fill it up, just so she can get another cup of milk with her coffee. This irks me, but at the same time while it is an obvious abuse of the system, I can't exactly do anything about it.
Sunday she was wearing a cap that probably started out cream, but had yellowed around the edges and faded at the top. On it, the blue foam words "JESUS LOVES U" has been stuck on either by subtle thread or by glue. During the middle of service, she comes up to my counter (she always talks to me) and said,
"Excuse me, would you like to trade hats with me?"
I instinctively put my hand on my head. "What?"
"Would you like to trade hats with me?"
"Oh... no, no thank you. Yours is nice, but--"
She nodded. "It's okay, I understand. God just told me right now to offer trading hats. Mine has Jesus on it."
"Yeah, it's cool, but my friend got this for me--"
"Yes but Mine has Jesus on it."
I sorta mumbled placating nothings about how it was a nice hat and went back to restocking the cups.
At all three services that day, the Senior Pastor was giving away money. 40$ to every person in need. Ushers were handing out 20$s and people were lining up to receive, as well as give (which was nice. People went up to the stage to give ushers money to give to other people.) This is not the first time they have done this; I remember once when I was twelve they did this. So it's been ten years.
In the coffee shop, all four of us-- me, my brother, Jill and Stephanie-- were all contemplating going up there and getting some money, because if two of us went, then we could put the money in the tip jar and all of us would get at least 20$ that day (which would've been really REALLY nice, as out tips usually range to about 8-10$ each. Church people are terrible tippers).
Finally, during the last service, we convince Jill and Stephanie to go join the crowd of people accepting money. My brother and I watched the TV, looking for them in the crowd, giggling about what we'd done. Shirley, who had been sitting near the counter, comes up and leans over so we're almost nose to nose, and puts her hand out like she wants my hand (she has no sense of personal space and is always trying to touch my arm and it wigs me out) and says, smile on her face, sounding excruciatingly patronizing,
"You know, I was tempted to do it, too, but God told me that I don't need it. And you don't need it. We don't need it."
Normally, when I work, I'm all smiley, even when dealing with people who are less than pleasant. So I suppose it makes sense that she suddenly looked surprised when, for the first time in five years of working there, my face went cold and stony and in my most severe voice, I said,
"My brother and I are college students with massive amounts of debt. We live at home and our mother is getting laid off from her job. We do need it."
She backed off. It was the first time I'd ever spoken to her or any of our customers that way.
So congratu-fucking-lations, Shirley. You broke me.
Today was a roller coaster of emotions. Mostly positive.
So last night, I knew I had two big things due today's class. I figured, "I will play one hour of Planescape Torment, then do one hour of homework, and go back to planescape" and keep going until assignment number one (matching scenarios with school health/education codes and writing down the correct course of action, in case you were wondering). Finished that and thought, "awesome. Now I only have one thing to finish, then I can go to work, then school."
Woke up and finished the second thing lickity split because I am awesome like that. I check the class website just to be double sure of my awesome-ness andsee. ..
A third thing due.
Shoot. It's a health related lesson plan that should be woven into whatever content area/curriculum you'll be teaching. (In my case, I finagled one up with using Dragonwings by Laurence Yep-- which is a great historical novel kids book, by the way-- as a bounce off point for the dangers of narcotics).
But I finished it, so woop! Off to work.
Normally when I clean up Sunday's mess on Mondays, I am alone. I can come in whenever I want, and my boss doesn't care about how long I take, just so long as I get everything done. Today, though, She was there, the church financial-person-lady Susan was there, and some representative guy from the placer where we get our credit card reader machines was there. Apparently, they were in the middle of installing a new card reader and trying to install another, but the reception/connection was so bad (it was a portable one they were going to try out) that it wasn't working. So my boss immediately set me to work rearranging the backroom to fit some spare water bottles from the Reaching Out Center (I guess they had ordered too many) and so all my years of Tetris had come in handy. Then I got a crash course in using the new card reader.
Everybody left after an hour so I could work in peace, and I took the opportunity to continue reorganizing the back, because it is one of those things I always want to do, but am afraid of overstepping my bounds. The place is a jumbled up mess of cardboard boxes full of plastic pitchers, a wall of books and CDs to sell, another wall of shelves that would normally be full of sodas and juices, but currently is only full of dust since we're out of everything and due for another shipment. So I had fun moving junk that had always bothered me and making things look nice and I found TWO 20LBS BOXES OF SPRINKLES.
Red ones and green ones, both cartons (they were shaped like milk cartons) coated in dust. My boss called later about something else, and I asked, "I found some old sprinkles. What should I do about these sprinkles?"
She said, "Sprinkles? We have sprinkles?"
"Well bring them out and use them for something."
She came by later when I was near finishing up and took a look. "Oh yeah!" she said. "These were from a while ago. I've had them for a few years. We've got red and green? That would be nice for the holidays coming up. They're pretty old, but they're just sugar..."
"I checked," I said. "No expiration date."
"All the same, maybe you'd all better test them out first. I'll go to the dollar store or something and pick up a dispenser for them."
So I guess we're doing sprinkles now.
So, the other day I might've had a major panic attack regarding a certain test. I cried, I threw up, and emailed my credential adviser asking about the consequences of failing and the process of reapplying to my credential program.
I got an email back.
We won't drop you from the program if you don't pass. Just get it done when you can and bring us a copy of your results when you get them."
OH HOSANNA I CAN BREATHE AGAIN! PRAISE THE LORD AND GLORY BE TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST. Like a giant rock has been surgically removed from my chest. Gah, that feels good.
So I'm working on a project for money. It's an art one, and I guess I'm not supposed to specifically tell people about it because SECRETS. (But you can bet your sweet bippy I will be bragging up and down the hallway about it once it's actually over). The dude I'm doing it for is sort of technologically naive and mailed me a physical copy of the contract for it. There was a discrepancy in the payment amount and my first thought was,
"OH NO I FUCKED UP."
But that is being resolved and is fine now. I just thought it was funny that my initial reaction is "what did I do wrong?" I think that probably says something about me, but I don't know what.
School was school. Unremarkable, except that I turned in all of my stuff and got some graded assignments back.
Me and my bro took the bus home (he had stayed late to work on a school project) and we went to get a burger together. Me and my bro are bros. Everybody needs a bro like him.
My cockatiel Birb is a piggy. He took forever to wean, and when he started eating pellets, he wouldn't stop and nearly soured his own crop. We had to take him to the vet to get his crop pumped (like stomach pumped) and now after he eats, I have to give him water mixed with a little bit of baby food formula because he REFUSES to drink plain water. He is like eleven weeks and this behavior is irksome. I don't mind too much because I luffs my Birb, but I hope I won't have to do this for the next 15 years.
Oh, also we found a black kitten last week. He's about 10 weeks old and is also a she, but in our house the rule sorta is "if it's dark, it's a boy. Light is a girl." For instance, Ditto is a mostly-white boy cat. But we still call him "her." It's just one of those things.
So hey, if anyone wants a black kitten that is stupidly affectionate and likes to eat french fries, give me a ring.