wZandria - Keep Up With Me
Age 23 * Richmond, VA * full-time college student * part-time call center * love to read and write * skeptic * quiet * thinker * independent * VISIT MY PHOTO WEBSITE


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wThursday, February 27, 2003


WOODSTOCK ‘99

I don’t think of Woodstock very much anymore (which makes sense, as it took place four years ago this July). But yesterday Dana was showing me some pages she’d made in her scrapbook, and there were photos and other memorabilia from the trip. **On a side note, why is it that people who do scrapbooks never seem to be scrap-booking relatively CURRENT events? Is it because of the volume of information to be included; that it’s impossible to devote as much time as would be required? Or maybe it’s just that, depending on when you start, you have so much old stuff that could be included that you tend to keep falling farther and farther behind? That’s probably why it’s never appealed to me personally – I can be creative but I don’t have a lot of patience for projects that don’t seem to have a foreseeable ending in sight.**

Anyway – back to the topic at hand. I’d have to say, given the opportunity to do it all over again, it would be a very tough decision to make. I’m glad that I DID take the chance back then, it was definitely an…interesting…experience. (I drove to Woodstock with my sisters, Elissa and Angela, and with Dana.) The best part had to, of course, be the bands. The music was AWESOME and I got to see many shows in the space of three days that I wouldn’t otherwise have ever been able to take part in. Here is a list of the not-so-great aspects but stuff that, in general, could be dealt with (or overlooked, if need be):

*The insane amount of people. It took place on acres and acres of land (I think it was an old airfield or something) in New York state, but there were only maybe a few feet between tents in the designated areas.
*The lack of shower facilities. Supposedly they were around somewhere, but in all our traipsing around we never once found them. This situation lent itself to four very stinky girls, but since everybody else also smelled it was never an issue.
*It was very easy to get lost. I think the event-promoters had tried to make an effort, by making maps available and putting up road-name signs at major “intersections” (if you could even call them that). But by the end of Day 1, definitely by Day 2, it just wasn’t working. The road-name signs would mysteriously disappear, or else you’d be leaving the last concert after midnight and with the place being as big as it was meant that it wasn’t very well-lit, so you just couldn’t see the freakin’ signs. I think we ended up getting turned around after EVERY concert. It wasn’t unusual for it to take an extra half hour or more to find our way back to the tent.
*Having to deal with ruffians. Multiple people would hold up signs asking us to “Show Us Your Boobs.” Yeah…sorry. Not everyone was crude and rude, we did have help putting up our tent the first night by a neighbor-tent of guys. (Granted, they DID have to watch us and laugh for about twenty minutes first, as we unsuccessfully struggled to put up a contraption that we weren’t familiar with.) Speaking of the tent though, Elissa and I were just laying down late one night when we distinctly heard the sound of someone peeing. Not on the GROUND outside of our tent. ON the tent. Pretty gross.

The thing that was the worse to deal with had to be the sun. It was unrelenting. New York in July is no picnic, mainly because of the humidity, and it had to be in the 90’s every day we were there. I had brought along sunscreen, but it usually ended up being applied only once a day, in the morning before we left to find a way to entertain ourselves. Due to the enormity of the place, along with the fact that it always took us so long to FIND our tent once we left it, it was impossible to go back for the “little things.” It would get so hot, and so humid, so early in the mornings that it was usually impossible to sleep later than 7:30-8am, regardless of what time we’d fallen asleep the night before.

I would have to say that the heat was the worse aspect because I’d never before been in a situation, or have been in a situation since then, where there wasn’t any relief in sight. We’re so spoiled nowadays, that even while we’re hot, and we complain, there is usually some place to go to find relief…even if it’s a store or something. There was absolutely not any one place to find relief. There weren’t any trees on these vast acres (being an old airfield), which meant no shade. You couldn’t use the inside of your tent for shade, because that basically just felt like a sauna. I think there were a FEW places that were set up with water “misters,” but these places tended to be so packed with bodies that they didn’t work very well.

The result of all this sun exposure was, yes, sunburn. I got burnt so bad on one side of my face that I got sun poisoning, the area from my forehead, to the eye itself, and underneath was swollen. At its worst point my eye was completely swollen shut, but luckily this didn’t happen until the very last day, when we were on our way back to Virginia. It was so bad that I had to go to my doctor the next day; he gave me steroids to take down the swelling. Not that this made up for it, but when my all-over sunburn had sunk in, I was more tan than I’ve ever been in my life (then or since). That lasted for about two weeks, then I was pretty much back to normal (that is why I think tanning is such a waste of time). I’ve got the pictures to prove it. I also have pictures of my “squinty-eye” – not pretty. Oh, the memories…



posted by Zandria at 8:16 PM


wTuesday, February 25, 2003


KLUTZ

Tonight I was making some brown rice with mixed vegetables for dinner. (It's something quick and easy to make, I'd been studying the previous few hours for a Lit exam I have tomorrow night, and had just finished my Spanish homework.) Rice was ready, waiting in a pan on the stove. I had just taken the vegetables from the microwave (steamed frozen vegetables...see, I told you the dinner was "quick and easy"). I opened the container with the vegetables, added some pepper for seasoning, partially replaced the container's lid and started shaking it with one hand, while with the other hand I reached for a bowl... (does anyone see where I'm going with this?). The lid slipped out of place. I didn't actually drop the plastic container, but it tipped over and allofthevegetablesfellonthefloor. It was traumatic. Okay, not traumatic, but for about six seconds I thought about hurling the bowl at the wall. But of course I didn't. I'm not a violent person. I think that even those of us without violent tendencies have those fleeting thoughts at times, even when we don't act on them (thank goodness).

The worse I felt was after I told Devin to "GOAWAY", when he heard the commotion in the kitchen and came to the doorway to see what was up, and being a normal 5-year-old had to start interjecting his thoughts. I wasn't mad at him, I was mad at myself. For no reason, really. So I dropped some vegetables. Temporary setback. All I had to do was get more vegetables out of the bag in the freezer, heat up some more, and clean up the floor -- the process probably set me back all of 5 minutes.

I just know that I get mad at myself when I do something that I know I shouldn't (like take my frustrations out on someone else), or if I'm clumsy, or even in situations where I'm just generally unhappy with what I'm currently doing...how is that anyone else' fault but my own? That's what I have to keep reminding myself of. In those situations where I'm not happy for whatever reason, I feel bad for passing my emotions on to others. Because everyone knows that one person's bad mood doesn't only affect that one person -- bad moods are contagious.

I guess that's why I'm such a strong believer in doing what makes you happy. If you're happy, then you're not only keeping YOURSELF happy, but the people around you are also affected.

(GEEEEEZZZ...all this "deep" stuff when all I did was drop some freakin' vegetables...)



posted by Zandria at 9:48 PM


wThursday, February 20, 2003


I have eight new photos on my Yahoo Photos website, seven of them from last Friday, Valentine's day. As usual, they're in the "New Uploads" folder.



posted by Zandria at 9:27 PM


wWednesday, February 19, 2003


UNSTUCK...AT LEAST FOR NOW

I did it. I was so proud of myself this morning. I dug myself out of my driveway...granted, it took me about twenty minutes. The car would move a few inches, I'd chop around the tires with the shovel, get back in the car and twist the wheel around, gain a few more inches, etc. I finally got out of the slight downhill slope in our driveway and up to the solid-packed ice on the road, then I pulled up to the top of the road and left the car there until it was time for me to leave for work (I started early in case I wasn't able to get the car out myself, that way I'd have enough time to call someone to pick me up and take me to work). They STILL haven't plowed our streets yet, I don't understand. The biggest mystery was that I heard a snow plow on the road in front of our house last night, I looked out the window just to make sure, but all he did was turn around at the end of our street and leave! I was like, hello...while you're turning around could you at least shovel the ice and crap off the road?



posted by Zandria at 3:03 PM


wTuesday, February 18, 2003


STUCK AT ONE PLACE, NOW ANOTHER

I made it home this afternoon, at the end of the fourth day spent at mom’s house watching the boys while she was gone. She finally made it home today, safe and sound, thank goodness. But now…my car is stuck in my home driveway. I don’t know if my car was ever technically stuck at mom’s, I never tried to get out until today, and that was after a snow plow had come through and cleared the road in front of her house. That has not yet been done on the side roads around OUR house. I parked in my driveway and then discovered that I could move neither forward or backward more than a couple of inches (this was an experiment after seeing that Elissa and her boyfriend Scott were trying to move HER car out of the parking space it had been stuck in since Saturday). At the moment it doesn’t look like either one of us are going anywhere, even after Scott tried to dig around my tires with a shovel. Since I don’t have to be at work tomorrow until 12 I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make some more headway. If not, I may be making some calls looking for a ride…did I happen to mention that I don’t like snow?



posted by Zandria at 10:21 PM


wMonday, February 17, 2003


AMUSING MYSELF

Being ice-bound to once again spend the day at mom’s house, I’ve had to find various ways to amuse myself. (I was here all day yesterday and looks like it will be the same today, at least until I can chip the ice off of my Civic – work is closed again today.) Luckily I bought some school books with me, so I got caught up with some homework that I was planning to do anyway, but that really only took a few hours. I’ve been studying my Spanish flashcards that I made in order to learn my vocabulary. I finished reading a book last night, a recommendation of my literature teacher at school (The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison). I talked on the phone yesterday with mom – she has to drive through the Baltimore/D.C. to come home, which of course is majorly dangerous right now, so they won’t be back until at least sometime this afternoon or tonight (instead of LAST night like originally planned). Afternoons are all about the movies. “Funny Farm” was on HBO yesterday – you know, that Chevy Chase movie from the late ‘80s where him and his wife move to the country so he can write a book, and it’s the town/people from hell?

It’s kind of strange spending so much time with my two brothers and Devin. Devin and Isaac have been playing outside with some other kids in the neighborhood; one of Isaac’s friends had a skateboard that he’d taken the wheels off of and they were using that as an improvised snowboard at one point. According to Isaac they weren’t really doing a good job of staying ON the snowboard, but they came back inside injury-free so I guess it was okay. Yesterday while they were outside I watched this French movie called Amelie. I’d heard of the movie because it won some awards when it came out a year or two ago, but even though I knew it was a French film I guess I didn’t realize that it was in subtitles. I still watched it though, it was actually pretty good. The only thing with watching movies in subtitles is that you don’t realize how much you have to pay attention to the screen, in order to read everything that they say (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is the same way). That’s really the only annoying part. For instance I couldn’t just turn up the tv to hear the conversation when I had to run into the kitchen to refill my water. I thought the funniest part was when the boys came back in from outside and saw me watching this movie in another language. No, they didn’t say anything, but I could only imagine what they were thinking: “Yeah, here’s our sister/aunt, we can’t watch the Disney channel because she’s watching some foreign flick….”

I think they’ve been doing an okay job of staying out of fights, seeing as how they’re all cooped up in here together, but I must admit it’s starting to grate on my nerves a little bit. They’re in the other room right now playing cards with one of Ben’s friends who’s visiting, and ten minutes into the game all I’m hearing is “You cheated!,” “No I didn’t!,” “Yes you did!” I may have to break out the Civic earlier than expected…



posted by Zandria at 1:21 PM


wSunday, February 16, 2003


NUTTY BARS

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Those Little-Debbie brand, crispy wafer-like bars made out of peanut butter and chocolate. Mom had some in her kitchen cabinet, and last night I was watching television with my brothers when Isaac had some for “dessert” (okay, it was actually right after he’d had some shrimp w/ marinara sauce for dinner and he was still hungry, but hey – when mom’s away I guess it’s okay for them to eat “bad,” right?). I hadn’t thought about this for years (and it was actually Ben who reminded me of it last night), but back when we were little mom and dad would sometimes buy a box of snack cakes when we were out shopping in town, and we’d each get one of the individually-wrapped cakes. This may not sound like a big deal, but we didn’t eat a lot of “junk food” growing up, and they wouldn’t buy snack cakes “just because” and leave them in the kitchen to eat whenever. So Ben and I had a laugh last night, remembering how we’d use to be like “Wheeee….Nutty Bars!” or “Yummy! Mass-produced chocolate-fudge brownies!” (okay, so maybe we’d leave out that “mass-produced” part, but you get the picture).




posted by Zandria at 9:18 AM


w


ICED-IN

Well, we were supposed to be SNOWED in today, but I don’t think that’s as likely as it was yesterday. It’s sleeting right now and it looks like there’s ice all over the roads so I’ve decided to either go in to work late or not at all. I was going to see how many people had made it in before deciding, but I couldn’t get in touch with anyone at work so I don’t think there will be many (if any) there today.

I hate driving when it’s icy outside. Yesterday afternoon before everything started my 10-year-old brother Isaac was bored and I was looking to escape for a few hours too, so I took him to the movie theatre and we saw “Daredevil” – that new movie with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. By the time we got out around 6:30 there was ice all over the place, and our shoes were slipping and sliding all over the parking lot. I stayed on the main road when we were driving back, rather than taking shortcuts through some secondary roads, so we were okay since the heat from the road was melting the initial ice accumulation.

I’ve been wary about driving on ice ever since I had a small accident a few years back, driving back from work one night when the weather was really bad. Luckily it just involved myself and not any other vehicles – I was driving home to the first apartment that Elissa and I lived in when we moved in together in Richmond, and on the road ahead of me there was some other accident going on because all these cars in front of me started braking all of a sudden. When I hit my brakes I also hit ice, and my car literally started spinning in circles. (Luckily?) the spin was stopped when the back of my car hit a concrete divider between the roads; one of my back tail lights was busted out and I had to get it replaced but that was it, I was in an older car that I used to have and I also wasn’t injured so I guess I came out okay in the end. But that doesn’t mean that I want to put myself in that kind of situation again if I can help it.



posted by Zandria at 9:07 AM


wFriday, February 14, 2003


Today I was a wedding photographer. (Or, technically speaking, a “marriage ceremony” photographer?) This morning around 9:30 my mom and her boyfriend got married by a justice-of-the-peace, an older lady who’s house that we drove to. I went with them so that they’d have some pictures to commemorate the experience (and I guess a familiar face doesn’t hurt either!), along with my younger brother Isaac who wasn’t feeling good today so he was staying out of school. Now they’re off to spend the weekend in Atlantic City….why can’t I get away somewhere to escape the rain and snow??



posted by Zandria at 2:51 PM


wFriday, February 07, 2003


WEB PICKS: "IS SHANIA TWAIN HUMAN?", POLICE VEHICLES GO GREEN, ALABAMA GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Mark Morford comments on Shania Twain's performance at the Super Bowl a couple of weeks back (so sue me, I haven't been updating my web picks as often as I used to). :)

Finally, groups other than tree-huggers and die-hard environmentalists are realizing the perks of driving eco-friendly cars.

No, it's not elaborate, but it is funny: the Alabama Gingerbread House.



posted by Zandria at 10:01 PM


wThursday, February 06, 2003


IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE

I had decided I wasn’t going to write about this in a public forum, until I got a call from an old, very close friend tonight. The two events are related in a way, but unrelated. Let me explain.

Two nights ago, a guy that I was acquainted with was murdered. I can honestly say this is the first person that I’ve known personally that this has happened to, and I pray it will also be the last. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year, but he was close to some very good friends of mine, and I know this news is hitting them very hard. In short, he was murdered by the ex of a woman that he had been dating, a guy who had previously proven himself to be a stalker.

I got a call tonight from a girl friend, a wonderful person that I’ve known since I was about 11 years old. She was supposed to come see me on Friday because she’s getting some business done and visiting her parents in a town not too far from here (she lives out of state); she called tonight she told me she couldn’t come because her ex just decided to inform her that he’s been stalking her. She’s been separated from him for over a year, she got married young and she found out (too late) that the relationship was basically built on a pyramid of lies that he’d told her before they were married. She’s thought for the past few months that he’s been living in Florida, and he may have been for a while, but tonight they crossed paths here in VA and he let her know that he knows not only WHERE she works, but certain outfits she’s worn recently, the way she’s worn her hair, people she’s hung out with, and landmarks that she passes on her WAY to work. How scary is that? And just too coincidental after finding out the news about this other situation just earlier in the day. She was calling to let me know that since he’s decided to reveal this information to her (and apparently he told her that he wouldn’t physically hurt HER, but he doesn’t promise the same protection to any guy that she may decide to see in the future), that she doesn’t want to come by and potentially reveal my location to either him or whoever else he may have spying on her. In case she needs a “safe haven” in the future, where she can leave where she’s currently living and come stay with me if she ever needs to, she’d rather not let her ex find out where I live. And thank goodness he doesn’t.

It’s all scary. Both of these circumstances. It’s also senseless, and totally avoidable if these crazy people maybe stopped to think of the countless lives that they’re affecting/have-now-affected because they just can’t let go.



posted by Zandria at 12:26 AM


wMonday, February 03, 2003


HE THINKS THAT HE’S SO SMART…

Tonight Elissa had a class at school so I picked up Devin from mom’s house when I got off work. I let him watch TV for about an hour or so while I got on the computer, and around 8 o’clock I could hear him start watching one of his favorite shows: “Spongebob Squarepants.”

I yelled into the room, “When that show that you’re watching goes off, it’s time for bed!”

I look at the clock at 8:30, and go into the living room. And what had he done? Yep, that’s right. He had turned it over from “Spongebob” (end time 8:30) to some movie on Nickelodeon (end time 9:40). Hey, I DID say “that show you’re watching.” I didn’t specify WHICH show, right? Too bad. That doesn’t work with big “mean” Aunt Zan. Off to bed he goes.

And get this – Elissa’s cat seems to like to bother Devin when he goes to bed at night, so until he falls asleep we usually shut the cat up in the hall bathroom or in one of our bedrooms. Tonight it’s the same thing, so I pick up the cat and take him to my room. Except this time, the cat gets frisky and claws me as I’m putting him down – his claw puts a two-inch gash down the inside of my left ring finger. And when I say “gash” I’m not exaggerating…it was bleeding and I had to wrap a wet napkin around my finger until it stopped. What a night.



posted by Zandria at 9:07 PM


w


HOW DO YOU....?

I was talking to a woman this morning and walking her through various screens on the company website. At one point she asked me, “How do you do this all day?” She was a totally nice woman; she asked it in a normal, pleasant, non-confrontational way. There are just certain questions where even if you’re not dissatisfied with what you’re doing, it automatically makes you think “How DO I do this all day?” Granted, call-center jobs don’t offer the same amount of flexibility and creativity as other professions. But seeing as how I don’t expect to be in this job for the rest of my life, I don’t mind doing the little mundane things that I sometimes have to do over and over throughout the day. You just get used to it. Do I always like it? No, probably not. But I can think of worse things I could be doing, where somebody might be more justified in asking “How do you do that all day?” For instance…cleaning out sewers. I don’t think that I’d like that very much. Working in a coal mine. Driving a taxi in New York City. Digging ditches. I guess it’s helpful to think of the other possibilities when you have those days where you wonder “Why am I here?” No matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse.



posted by Zandria at 3:19 PM


wSaturday, February 01, 2003


COLUMBIA

I feel really bad about those seven astronauts who died today when the spaceshuttle Columbia exploded. It was an AWFUL thing to have happen. But can I just say, is it really necessary to have endless-commentary commercial-free news on all of the major networks? For people who are just tuning in and need to find out the facts, that can be done in about three minutes. Then there are eyewitness accounts ("this is what I saw when I looked out my window!" and "the whole house shook!"), and the experts who are telling the Texas residents to please not go near any debris as the fumes could get into their lungs and possibly cause them to have a heart attack within 48 hours! Too much.



posted by Zandria at 2:02 PM