Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Long, Long Night

I don't know why it happened at all. I can't even fathom, which is odd. I'm very good at fathoming. but this time, my goodness, I have no idea. it's 7:30 in the morning. last night, I got zero hours and zero minutes of sleep. against my will, I should add.

Now on any given day I can drink coffee all day and I'll still be able to sleep when I put my mind to it. yesterday, I drank only one cup of coffee in the morning before work. that's all. other than that and a tiny sip of Rachel's Sprite later that afternoon, I had had no caffeine whatsoever. (hey! wait a minute! Sprite doesn't even have caffeine in it!) I had done nothing unusual as far as my daily routine is concerned.

So there I was. 11:45, I was crawling into bed and snuggling under the covers. 11:45. that's before midnight, people. word. anyways, it never takes long for me to get to sleep. I guess I've always taken that for granted, but after last night, I doubt I ever will again.

All of a sudden, hey, why is it so warm in here? *kicks off covers* I don't really like laying on this side. *flips over* What's that on my face? *kills bug* on and on the games continued. I tried everything under the sun--err, moon--to get to sleep. I even tried counting sheep, for crying out loud! that is, until one of the sheep got their leg caught in the fence. that put a stop to that game.

Every so-often I'd chance a look at the clock. always, always, it seemed like it had been exactly an hour since I had looked at it last. I tried reading, listening to my ipod, getting a drink of water, making my bed and then getting into it again (I dunno...sometimes that helps), everything you could think of, I did that. I could fill a book with all the things I tried. I could also fill a book with all the things that didn't work. by 2:00, I was so frustrated, I didn't know what to do with myself.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had to work at nine in the morning. see, then sleep becomes absolutely vital. otherwise, I would've rejoiced in this wonderful opportunity to be not sleepy. but when you have to get up at 7:30 and work from nine to five, sleep is sort of important.

By 3:30, I was scouring the bathroom for nyquil. I needed something. anything. I needed sleep. sorry, Nikki, but it's the first time I've ever been so desperate to get to sleep. and hey, we've all had our moments of weakness, right? but you'll be happy to hear that I didn't find any nyquil. and so my late-night escapade continued unchallenged.

So I laid there until about 4:30, without so much as a yawn, until I realized that I was not going to get to sleep. so I sat up and read until 6:00, when Jim got up and we drank coffee together before he went skipping off to class. that's when my mom came down. she looked at me and said, "You've been awake all night, haven't you?"
Blast. "Well, uh, I tried everything I could think of." I said lamely.
Mom looks at me, disappointed. "Jo," she says in a how-could-you voice. I knew it would happen. just knew it. somehow, some way, everything always becomes my fault. I had tried to get to sleep using every method I knew (except warm milk. yuck) and still, I felt like I had done something wrong. I don't get it.

So now it's about 8:00. I called Hy-Vee and explained that they would not be having the pleasure of my company today. I'm sorry, but I can not work an eight hour shift on zero sleep. I tried to sleep! I tried so hard!

So I'm still not sleepy. exhausted and zombie-esque, yes, but sleepy, no. but I'm sure I'll catch a few winks sometime today. I'd better. I'm a grouch in the mornings as it is. I shudder to think what no sleep is going to do to me. better steer clear, just in case.

I'm listening to somebody's annoying alarm going off. "IS SOMEBODY GOING TO GET THAT?!?!" wow. I really am a grouch. but y'know, right now I have good reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Little Buddy, Flip

So many little buddies. first Al, now Flip. I know, I know, you don't know who Flip is yet. I plan to remedy that now.

So there I was. tap tap tapping away one my computer late last night. "Jo! Jo! Jo!!" I heard a terrified voice cry. I looked at my firmly shut door and tried to guess how many seconds it would be before my youngest sister barreled through it. apparently, at my house anyways, knocking before you enter went out with the 90s. "Joooo!" Mary charges through the door, just as I knew she would. and they wonder why I like to lock my door.

"What is it, Mary?" I ask, not too interested.
"Jo, come quick. there's a bug on my bed! you gotta kill it!!" one look into her pale face, and I knew the situation was dire. soberly, I rose and fetched my fly-swatter. so the deed would fall to me. why do my sisters always come to me for this stuff? isn't this what brothers are for? maybe it's because I've had the most practice, or because I'm the most hard-hearted when it comes to killing the demon insects. but mostly I think it's because my bedroom is a whole lot closer than the boys'. I follow Mary into the bedroom that she shares with Rachel, who at the moment was curled up in a terrified ball on her own bed, watching the goings-on with frightened, yet relieved eyes.

I jump into the room, flyswatter poised, ready to do battle. bring it on, beasties! come on, cowards! I'll take you all on!!! Mary points a trembling finger to her bed. I frown and lower my weapon. squinting, I get right up close to the bed. That?!?! on the bed was a bug, one so tiny I would never had seen it if I hadn't been looking for it. I look disappointedly at my sisters. crickets, I can understand. beetles and ants, I can understand. spiders, heaven knows I can understand. but cowering in terror because of a microscopic insect that you wouldn't be able to notice even if it was swing dancing on your eyeball? I don't understand that at all. sighing, I picked up the bug with my fingers and carried it away. I had done my duty as an older sister. Mary and Rachel would sleep in safety this night.

In our house, there are several different methods used to "do away" with various insects. my personal favorite is "Obliteration". in this technique, all you do is hit it as hard as you can with a hard object until it just ceases to exist. for the smaller, more innocent bugs, you can just use your hands and carry it to the sink/toilet or, if you're in an especially good mood, outside to set it free. once when we lived in Ceresco, we had an infestation of these ginormous flies, which all seemed to flock to my bedroom. they were very slow-moving, and I spent almost an entire day down there slapping those flies right out of the air. I killed like...50 in one day. at the end of the day I had a little pile of dead giant flies on my desk. it was amazing, and slightly morbid. never underestimate the power of a frightened girl with a rubber-soled slipper protecting her bedroom.

But this time, instead of taking the bug to the bathroom to be properly disposed of, as tradition demands, I took it into my bedroom where I could get a closer look at him. willfully carrying a bug into my own bedroom? was I going mad?? but this one was different. he was really tiny, and even sort of cute, when you thought about it. he had no stingers or fangs, and from what I could see, he didn't have a poison-shooter. still slightly cautious, I put him on the desk where he began to walk in curious little circles.

After a little time of intense scrutiny, I decided Little Buddy could stay. he was cute. adorable, even. he liked to flip onto his back and use his wings to zoom around my desk like some kind of street racer. and so he became Flip. strangely, although he has wings, he doesn't fly. and though he has my whole desk to walk around on, he stays in one general area. every other bug I've ever adopted/captured made a break for freedom every chance they got. not Flip. I gave him a matchbox for a home, and he doesn't leave it, though he could if he wanted to. Flip is a homebody, and I like him that way. I don't have to babysit him every moment of the day and I don't feel like a jerk for making him stay where he doesn't want to be. I can go downstairs and leave him sitting on top of his matchbox and I know he'll be there when I come back.

He's still here. I'm playing with him right now, actually. watching him zoom around my desk to his heart's content. I know someday he'll probably run away, like all the others did. that's okay. I never expected us to become soul mates or anything. but for now he's content to zoom about the desk and circle the top of his matchbox home. aww! he just crawled onto my arm. maybe he's getting fond of me, too! and to think, I almost flushed him down the toilet.

"Hey Little Cobra" --The Rip Chords. one of the best songs ever to listen to in the car. although, I shouldn't listen to it as often as I do. it tends to make me stretch the meaning of "speed limit"...if you know what I mean. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What I Can Do

Dedicated to all my fellow Hy-Vee employees who put up with the same things that I do day in and day out. For all of us who have to laugh at the same jokes, listen to the same music, ask the same questions, get the same answers to those questions and do all the same stuff day after day for hours on end. For all of us who can do a gazillion things at once and never get props for it. Finally, a tribute to US!

I work at Hy-Vee grocery store
And I may look plain to you
But really, you have no idea
You’ll be amazed what I can do

I can talk while I think while I swipe while I smile
Direct you to the elusive aisle
Wear a tank top on a blouse and do it with style
Keep situations from becoming hostile

I can write while I chat while I laugh while I joke
Help you find the diet coke
Make you go completely broke
Suggest maybe the liquid smoke

I can promise you, no, the bread’s not stale
Help you find the beets on sale
Feel my train of thought derail
Recall every obscure detail

I can help you carry your huge bag of ice
Assure you, yes, it’s long-cut rice
Watch you faint when I name the price
I can do the math and be precise

With my skills I can give Superman a run for his money
Speedily help you find the honey
Promise the sauce is supposed to be runny
Laugh at jokes that aren’t even funny

I can look good to you, while inside I’m a wreck
Survive the whole day with a kink in my neck
Wait patiently while you write your dumb check
Smile even though you’re a pain in the neck

I can clean up the mess that you made on the floor
While apologizing for the horrid d├ęcor
While giving a tour of the entire store
While I organize my register drawer

I can work all day with a grin on my face
I can scan barcodes at a startling pace
I can stand all day in the same exact place
I can forfeit all notions of personal space

I can go the whole day without seeing sunlight
Admit that the customer’s always right
I can force myself to be polite
I can memorize prices and freely recite

I can ask if you found everything okay
I can help you find the cooking spray
I can state the amount you need to pay
Then smile and tell you to have a great day

I work at Hy-Vee grocery store
I can help you find groceries and food galore
But if you ask for my help on my way out the door
Sorry, friend, I can do no more.

"Le Festin" --Camille. very pretty song in French. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coffee And Other Sweet Nothings

So here I am. sitting in my bedroom drinking coffee. it's funny how I'll suddenly--like in a matter of a few seconds--develop a mad craving for the stuff. and that's just what happened a few minutes ago. one second, I was happily listening to music while cleaning--yes, cleaning--my room, and the next second I was making a mad dash for the stairs in an effort to get a pot brewing.

Oh man, this stuff is good. it's dark. really, really dark. Pretty much only Jim and I drink coffee this black. Sometimes Jim and I stay awake all night long, playing the wii and drinking insanely dark coffee. most of the time I humor my family and make it regular. but if I was to be perfectly truthful, I'd have to admit that this overly strong stuff that I'm drinking now is my favorite.

It's cold in the house, making the coffee taste even better. it seems Dad has won the battle over the air conditioner this evening, at least until Mom realizes that it's 60 degrees in the house and quickly adjusts it to 90. that's one thing about my house, it's either extremely warm or extremely cold. if my parents would just leave the air conditioner alone and let me have my way, we could all enjoy a much needed balance. but for some reason, if I turn it to something in-between, they both have conniptions. oh well. I try.

I tried to make Rachel take a taste of coffee earlier today. Rachel hates coffee. I tried to explain to her that when I was her age, I hated coffee too. Oh, I drank it alright. I drank it because my dad drank it and spoke so highly of it, and I didn't want to disappoint him. he said--jokingly--that if I didn't like coffee I wasn't a true Trexel. I laugh now, but to a child of a mere eight years, that's a serious thing. so I cringed inside and drank the bitter drink. I don't really know what happened. over a period of years, I grew to tolerate it more and more until I couldn't get enough of the stuff. now, well, you see what's happened. anyways. I was trying to make Rachel understand that if she would just tolerate the coffee for a few short years, she would thank me in the end. so she took a sip--if you could call it that--and immediately began coughing and gaging like she was dying or something. maybe she's too far gone?

Drinking this strong coffee takes me back to my Scooters days. every day I'd go in there between classes and order a large dark coffee. it cost exactly $1.98 and it was big enough to last me until I had to go to class. I miss that place. it was the only time I was ever considered a "regular". it was always the same guy working there and he would always come talk to me and give me free drinks and stuff. it was awesome.

Oooh...blast. see, this is one thing I hate about coffee. headaches. if I don't drink it, I'll get a headache. if I do drink it, I still get a headache! madness! tylenol is a good weapon, but it really only serves to put my headache to sleep for a few hours, and when it wakes up it's usually more irate than before. the mom of one of my childhood friends once told me that when I had a headache, I should lie down on my back with my eyes closed and think of a quiet lake. I tried it once, and managed to lie still for nearly thirty seconds before getting bored and thinking, "This is lame."

Anyway. the coffee--my second large mug of it--is gone now. my head still pounds like a madman with a jackhammer was let loose inside it, and I think it would be a good idea if I stopped looking at this computer screen. maybe I'll go pop some painkillers, if only to incapacitate the jackhammer-wielding madman for a few precious hours. Later, everybody.

"Fix You" --Coldplay.