Thursday, April 26, 2007


I know. I know. I haven't been around for awhile. There is no real excuse other than after reading a whole bunch of posts for school, my desire to write and read for fun tends to diminish. School is going fine. My teacher really likes it if we put graphics in our papers. A little odd, but it is a marketing class so I guess I see his logic.

On Tuesday night, I got home to find a woman standing in the entryway of my apartment building. I know this woman, unfortunately. I wrote about her once before, maybe a year/year and a half ago. She used to live in my apartment complex and I went to high school with her. I've known her since first grade and have never liked her. Besides the fact she has never had a concept of personal space (and my personal space is valued highly by me), she tends to rub against people and leeches onto people. In school, she was never really my friend, but attached herself to people who were my friends.

When I ran into her last time, she told me the negative things in her life - being evicted and working as a bagger at a grocery store. She also hugged me which is annoying if you don't like the person.

When I saw her on Tuesday night, it was a repeat of the hug and telling me all her problems. Apparently, her father lives in my building so she was staying with him. But she was staying with him because her roommate tried to kill her. She told me how nice it was to see an old friend, hugged me again, and told me how she got her clothes out of her apartment.

And all I could think of was, "I don't like you. If you keep touching me, I might want to kill you." Which prbably makes me somewhat cold-hearted. I didn't say this to her; I just tried to get away as quickly as possible.

So, that's one of the random things that have happened to me as of late. I still like everyone in the blogging world and I'm sorry I haven't been around. I'll try to get around soon, I promise.

Monday, April 09, 2007

For a Title, I'd Like to Quote Lyrics to a Song in the Easter Karaoke Fashion, But Tact Prevents Me

Solo tonight, I headed to the Chalet and arrived just as my watch signalled 9:30 PM. The infamous DM is MIA, claiming the sickness has won tonight. In telling Bryan, our minister and leader at this church of song, that she had to leave a wedding early on Saturday due to this illness, he is surprised by the notion. "I never remember that you can just leave." But then the thought of an "Uncle Joey" sampling an open (or cash) bar always keeps him present for the after festivities.

With this holiday (Easter) being an early morning event, the size of the crowd tonight will be a wild card. I hope the Angie Ang & Amy group shows up and it would be nice to visit with Jason & his crew. James is back in town so he should be up with Liz towards the end of the night. An absence of a certain phony Scottsman would be appreciated. Unlikey, but hey, a girl can wish.

Last year, we had an Easter karaoke worthy of our eternal destinations. Much enjoyment can be found in replacing each "baby" as "Jesus" in the songs. Some songs end up with a good Christian connotation; some do not.

Amy text messaged me to let me know she will not be up tonight. I hoped for Angie and Amy to be there, especially since Angie was part of the "celebration" last year and mentioned this upcoming Sunday last week, but no such luck.

There are two doors to enter the Chalet, one on each end of the bar leading from the parking lot. Both entrances are actually two doors. The entrance by the karaoke machine is close to airtight so when someone opens the outer door, the inner door moves slightly. This signal a new patron entering and is my secret to my "psychic" abilities. I am noticing that each time someone enters tonight, I am afraid it will be Craig and that I'll be stuckalone with him. This is not good. I do not like the feeling of worry I get over the fact I will most likely be stuck talking to him alone.

There is a post I have been postponing to write about this problem. File it under "unwanted advances." I suppose this post will be the one where I explain this problem. The issue is an overly friendly and obvious obnoxious man who is too closely intermingled in my circle of friends. I do not want to be rude tohim because he is a friend of a friend, but it comes down to the fact he creeps me out. He always tries to sit next to me, his mood turns sour when another man (interesting or not) sits by me, and feels the need to wear enough cologne to cause a medium sized community run for gas masks. His most recent attempt at flirting has been to introduce baby talk into his fake accent. "Gooseys" is not impressive. And there have been few in my life who have gotten away with their lives after calling me, "Bethy." My godmother is allowed that pet name; not him. It is a simple way to aggrevate me instantly. The metal baton and consistent 'I hate the bloody world' attitude he carries are also turn-offs. And forcing me to listen to an obscene song about a woman demanding oral sex is not going to make me want to go near you (or your Listerine infested crotch (side note: James and Dean shared a story about Craig's attempt at dating that involved washing himself in a certain area in the hopes of getting some action on a first date. This is also not a turn-on.)) Telling me that when "I take you out to dinner" (NEVER happening) that you'll bring me to a vegetarian establishment and we'll share tofu (I'm a carnivore ID-10-T) does not increase your chances.

I've been tempted to say to him, "Very few people are allowed in my bubble. You're not on the list and you never will be."

Bryan has not decided what our church is yet this year but has told me the disappearance of honey bees is the sign to prove we're right in our beliefs. It is good to be friends with such a creative and humorous man.

Andrew has arrived, receiving hoots and hollars of "I love you!" from the bar patrons (okay, mostly Donnie). Andrew is a fixture at the Chalet. He tends to follow Bryan around and they create mischief. They are the reason pick up baseball games are commonly held in the bar.

While trying to kil time on this slow Easter karaoke Sunday, I turn back in my notebook for random notes of unpublished posts. I bring you some of these now. Well, those that are Chalet related.

In January, I was practically mauled in the bathroom by a woman too highly hopped up on Woman's Lib. While I am an advocate for equality between the sexes, I ould choose another avenue to express this value. Yelling in pride at another woman that you don't know in a public restroom, "We just need a voice! We are women! We need toilet paper!!!" seems a bit extreme.

From sometime in February, I have this written in the notebook: Only at the Chalet can you observe an obnoxious, intoxicated woman screaming, "I need balls!" while trying to master the art of juggling, using her words and not mine, "weiners."

A conversation between DM and I while playing Trivial Pursuit in March:
B: What dictatorship was the only South American nation to support the British in its war over the Falkland Islands?
D: Iraq
B: What South American nation...
D: Oh! China?
B: [pause] [groan]
D: Chile?
B: Now you got it.

Ten thirty has arrived and Bryan has started a rotation. A guy just sang a great rendition of "The Lady is a Tramp," and now DM's fan is singing, "Love Me Tender." I lke the mood being established.

Okay, back to my notes. Speaking of fans of DM, a few weeks ago we met Tommy. Describing Tommy is important. Bryan allowd a cross between a pirate, Freddy Krueger, the Wicked Witch of the West, and David Bowie from the "China Girl" video. Aptly put.

DM was wearing her purple top that sparkles. It was a beacon for Tommy. He was inspired by her blouse to sing a song, or in better words, croon some Andy Williams while gazing at DM. He told her, while grabbing a seat next to her, "I love your shirt, your beautiful shirt. Did you make it?"

She replied in the negative and he continued. "Has anyone told you they like that shirt? Help me because I can't see [he was trying to read the karaoke book] - I love your beautiful shirt."

At the end of that evening, he stopped by the table again to compliment the shirt again. "I'm so absolutely in love with that blouse. I think it is the best ever." DM was ready to give him the shirt off her back just to satisfy him.

Two weeks ago, Bryan suggested a visit to Supposedly, this is a site that suggests fun activities to use those leftovers from shopping. And most of the ideads are terrible and involve young children. I keep meaning to check it out - Bryan mentioned it is good for one of those uncomfortable laughs.

Eleven PM is here now. So is Craig. His first words to me involved a story about a stripper and pasties. Great. During the rest of the evening, he mentioned bowel movements (in not so nice of terms) that resembled egg rolls and used more English slang than normal. I swear, Craig arrives and the stage direction should read, "Enter Uncomfortable Silence stage right."

Jason, Kenny, and Ryan did all appear after only 30 minutes of my torture with Craig. The bar filled up around midnight and karaoke was going strong. Around 1, Liz, James, and little Matt arrived. Liz and I had a great conversation about management frustrations (one of the reasons I love talking to Liz and James is the fact we're all managers in different fields so we can discuss the pros and cons without being industry specific).

I had a good time tonight, even with the creepy fake Scottsman (okay, he is from Scotland. But he has lived here for many, many years. His accent is only used on women) present. I'm happy to know that he will be out of the country for a few weeks starting in 9 days (yippie!!! Oh, sorry Europe) and the uncomfortable moments will subside for a bit. Everyone missed DM tonight and Easter Sunday was a little lower key than last year, but still a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Well, I hate it when I forget something rather important and it arrives unexpected. As I was checking my email tonight (hopeful for a response from a certain someone who is really getting on my nerves due to his busy schedule), I found an email from a woman I don't know. But that email held important information. Important information such as, "School starts at midnight." And guess what? It's already 3 am.

You know, I realized I would start classes back up in April, but I didn't realize it would be April 3. This class is Marketing and I hope I'll do okay. I printed up the syllabus, downloaded the text, and posted my autobiography in the chat room. I'm hoping that my learning group will not drive me batty and that I figure out a schedule quickly to accomplish random tasks and assignments.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Fun with Photoshop

When DM and I went to Wisconsin to visit with Diana, we stopped at a bookstore and I picked up a book about Photoshop Elements. Once in awhile, I read about a new technique and then try it out with some of the pictures from Portugal. I keep thinking that I need to go on vacation again to a new place. The newer camera and things I've learned just makes me wonder what I could come up with for pictures. But that's beside the point.

I just wanted to share a few of the newer pictures I've put together.

sitting in a cafe in Europe
Sitting in a Cafe in Europe.
This picture was originally taken with no purpose in mind. The original picture has received quite a few comments from those viewing it and most remark how it is typical of a European outdoor cafe. In the editing, I made a few layers for the image. In one, I defined the lines. Another layer was adjusted for colors - brightening the image quite a bit. I do enjoy the framing of this shot with the tree.

angel in Evora
Angel in Evora.
I just liked the way the colors of the marble were brought out when I edited this picture. The original is mostly neutral in color.

Along the Street
Along the Street.
This was taken as DM and I left the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon. It's not much for a subject, but I am quite proud of the editing I did. First, I blurred the background right behind the statue and sharpened the statue itself so it popped out more. I also converged the vertical lines by distoring the picture (using the perspective option). In creating another layer, I was able to enhance the color of the wall, making it a deeper shade of red and more vibrant. The clone function allowed me to remove a chip in the wall. I erased the entire frame of the statue in this layer and then flattened the image. I cropped it too. I like it more than the original:

Praca de Espanha
Praca de Espanha.