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Let it go

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

This weekend, something that I wanted to work out didn’t work out, leaving me sad and disappointed. Then my bike seat broke. Then I tried to fix my bathtub drain, but realized I don’t have the right tools. Then several people told me, in various ways, that a dream that I’ve been working toward is a bad idea. Then, after dealing with shoddy, unreliable internet service for over a week, I came home yesterday afternoon to find that my actual electricity was gone.

Must be the wind, I thought, as I dialed Xcel to report the outage. I followed the prompts on the automated service, and then took Foxy on her lunchtime walk.

When I arrived back at the house, I got a phone call from someone in the Xcel customer support department. He asked me some questions about the meter (“It should be on the south side of the house”), so I found myself prowling through bushes, being poked in the eye by branches, and reading the unit number to the man on the phone – only for him to tell me that that’s the gas meter, and we need the electric meter.

That’s when I remembered I was on the north side of the house, and also, a moron.

So I headed around SOUTH into the backyard, crawled on a ledge, and had to touch dirty, rusty things, relaying meter readings to the man on the line, just to have him tell me that none of that helped him, so he would send a technician out – except, wait a second. What’s this?

He put me on hold while he took a look at my account, and eventually a new voice – a woman, probably Bad News Special Forces or something – came back on the line. Apparently, a neighbor had not paid her electric bill in quite some time, so they had disconnected her service – at least, what they thought was her service. Turns out they turned off mine instead.

Whoops.

Oh, and they wouldn’t be able to send someone to turn it back on until tomorrow.

And all of a sudden, it was just too much. Something snapped. This is when, to use a technical term, I lost my shit.

I have worked in customer service before, and still do, to a certain extent – which is why I couldn’t believe I was finding myself uttering words like “infuriating” and “unacceptable” and “immediately” and “you people” and “enraged” and “now – NOW.” My chest was tight but my tongue was loose. I was on an absolute rampage.

I spent the night at Becca and Mike’s, where Foxy whined non-stop in the darkness because that big yellow dog Grizz is RIGHT THROUGH THAT WALL. RIGHT THERE. HE’S THERE. I got a grand total of 2 hours sleep, and spent all day today feeling downright witless.

So now I’m home and the power is back on and I’m typing all of this out, and laughing because it’s so ridiculous. I’ve been sulking about things really not worth sulking about – especially since furrowing my eyebrows is the last thing I need to do more of, seeing as how that look is basically already my natural resting face.

The older I get, the more I realize my strong need for justice – which is unfortunate, since it’s also the more I realize that life just isn’t fair. Sometimes your neighbor doesn’t pay her bills, and you are the one inconvenienced. Sometimes you take good care of your things, and they break anyway. Sometimes someone else makes a decision, and your heart winds up paying a price.

We can try to legislate fairness into our lives, but it just isn’t going to happen.

I could be a sulker. I could resent people and situations and reality itself. I could shake my fist at heaven and tell everything to go to hell.

But to borrow an idea from Proverbs, I’d rather be clothed in strength and dignity, and laugh at the days to come – or you know, Frozen, and let it go.

My [perhaps not justified] opinions

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

There are certain words and phrases that I do not – and will never – allow in my vocabulary.

The first thing is using “boo” as a term of endearment.  I have plenty of sweet, intelligent, fabulous friends who call their friends and/or significant others “boo,” and while I still love them, every time they do, I die a little inside.  You might argue that this is because I don’t have a significant other (thank you for the reminder), but trust me – the minute I’m no longer between boyfriends, I will feel just as strongly as I do today.

The next thing is calling a girl friend “lady.”  I think that my least favorite way to be greeted is “Heeeyyyyy, lady!”  This happens all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  If you’re a girl (or, as a friend reminded me the other day, a gay man), start listening for it – and just try to not cringe.

When Americans fly to Europe – specifically the UK – and they say they’re going to “hop the pond,” I’m torn between a strong desire to roll my eyes or to punch them in the face.  It’s not a pond, it’s the Atlantic Ocean.  I can’t think of a really good reason for me to get so worked up about this one, but it just bugs me, okay?  It reminds me of that oft-used Australian phrase, “Let’s put another shrimp on the bar-b!” that probably no one in Australia has ever actually said.

I will never shorten “totally” to “totes.”
Or “adorable” to “adorbs.”
Therefore, “totes adorbs” shall never pass my lips.

I probably have a ton of other words and phrases that I could find something wrong with or annoying about, because as my family can well attest to, one of my most natural states is “opinionated irritation.”  And maybe I’m getting all hot and bothered for no good reason, since, hello – they’re just words.

But so far this morning, I’ve had to clean up dog poop from the carpet and then kill a spider that I found CRAWLING UP MY SWEATSHIRT, so I think I should be allowed to simply mention some words that annoy me.  I don’t know how one justifies the other, but it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Update: home

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

All of last year, I lived in the apartment above the most silent man of all time.  The only time I ever saw him was when he would stand outside his front door smoking cigarettes with his headphones in, avoiding my eye contact as I would pass him on my way to the third floor.  The bearded mute would never speak – nay, make any noise at all.  For any awkwardness, he was quite possibly the best neighbor I’ve ever had.

I came back after New Years to find that the noiseless hermit had moved out, and been replaced by a frat house.

In the past month, I have occasionally woken up at 4am, wondering why I’m awake.  Oh.  Because there is BELLOWING beneath me.

On Saturday night around 7pm, the hollers had reached a crescendo worthy of an admittedly passive-aggressive stomping on my floor.  Everything fell silent for a moment – until they responded with a broomstick to the ceiling.

Oh hell no.

I left home for a bit, but later that night when I returned, I listened to the crowd of hooligans belt out “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.”  I resolved that if the noise continued past 11pm, I would don brass knuckles and storm apartment #201.

I spent the next 20 minutes pumping myself up for an all-out brawl – but right as I was ready to rumble, I listened to the battalion of delinquents file out of the apartment and down the stairs, heading up the block to the bars on Colfax.  Little do they know that they just narrowly escaped the wrath of a girl with two cocktails in her – just loose enough to not be held responsible for any words or actions.

But last night at 2am – a weeknight, mind you – I was stirred from a dead sleep by yells and laughs and “wooooo!“s.  It was on.  I pulled on my parka over my pajamas, stood in the living room for a minute wishing I had someone to fight my battles for me, and then marched downstairs.

My firm knock on the door was answered by a girl who hid behind it.  She hid behind it.  I never saw her face, but I heard her whimpers of embarrassment to the three men on the couch.  Oh honey, yes, you should be embarrassed.  You should be mortified.  You are sharing a one-bedroom apartment with these goons (do you have bunk-beds? Family bed? I’m genuinely curious), and obviously none of you have jobs, or you wouldn’t be so lively in the middle of the night.

“Hey, y’all,” I crooned.  I often find my alter-ego has a Southern accent.  “My name is Annie, and I’m your neighbor, and I’m so sorry this is the first time that we’re meeting.  But it’s 2am, and -6° outside, and yet I’m standing at your door in my pajamas.  This is how loud you are.  Can you please keep it down?”

Never in my life have I felt so much like an annoying parent-chaperone on a high school band trip.  It was a dark moment for my “cool” factor.

But for my sanity?  VICTORY.

I am switching apartments in a few months, and will no longer have to deal with these ruffians.  Until then, God help them, because these days, my tolerance is wearing thinner than the walls.

Phone woe

Monday, December 13th, 2010

My cell phone plan is with Verizon – because yes, I can hear you now.

The best phone I’ve ever had is the LG 8300 – the flip-phone of GLORY, that’s what.  It was perfect – curved naturally to the shape of my face, easy to find at the bottom of a bottomless purse, navigable.

No, it wasn’t as cool as an iPhone.  Sure, I had to text my name “2 – 66 – 66 – 444 – 33.”  Yes, I felt like a loser when I had to ask what an “app” was.

But the LG 8300 was like my 1990 Honda Accord in that, although brokeass and jankety, it never let me down.  I loved it so much that I kept it for 4 years – longer than I’ve ever had a boyfriend or an apartment or a job.  But this summer, it started to freak out, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before it died completely.  So in September, I threw a hissy fit, prayed the Serenity Prayer, and drove myself to the worst place on earth – the Verizon store – to get a new phone.

People.  I have no words to describe how much I hate my new phone.

It’s a Samsung slab of horror.

I hate it more than I hate peas, more than I hate Nashville summers, more than I hate superfluous exclamation points.  I don’t hate it as much as I hate animal abuse, or, you know, WAR.  But it’s up there.

This phone is to me as Toby is to Michael Scott.

The buttons are tiny and hard to press.  The font on the screen is ugly.  Anytime I want to do anything, I have to press two magical buttons to “unlock” it.  It has horrid ringtones.  Anything I try to do, it does the opposite.  It’s too skinny to find in my purse.  Sometimes I accidentally hit a button on the side and it starts talking.  The fact that it even exists makes me want to scream.

And, well.  That’s all.

I guess I’ll go to work now.

And now, for a long story

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

When I was a senior in college, I stopped every morning on the way to class at a coffee shop called the Java Bean.  Every day, I ordered the same thing: a 16 oz. cup of coffee with room.  That’s all, nice and simple.  The baristas recognized me, and I always had exact change for my coffee – $1.89.

Until one day.

I walked into the Java Bean, ordered my coffee, and opened my wallet to find $1.39.  I was 50 cents short – but these people knew me.  They knew I would be back tomorrow.  They knew that I always ordered the same thing.  They would take $1.39 for my coffee today, knowing I would be back in the morning with the difference.  Right?

“I only have $1.39,” I explained to the man at the counter.  I waited for him to waive the extra 50 cents, to tell me that the Java Bean loves me, to say, “I’ve gotcha, girl,” and send me on my way with a wink.  I waited.  I waited.

But this man knew no compassion.  He just stared at me.

Finally, he said, “Well, do you have a credit card?”

I was slightly shocked, but cooperatively opened my wallet and handed over my debit card.  I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to let me slide on out of there, cup of joe in hand, but whatever.  I didn’t invent coffee.  I didn’t invent money.  I’m just here for the buzz.

“There’s a $10 minimum on credit card purchases,” he said.

Buzz kill.

But never fear!  This man had an idea.  “You’re here every morning – why don’t you get a pre-paid card for your coffee?  If you pay for 10 cups right now, we’ll give you this punch card.  I know you’ll make good use of it.”  Yes, of course you know I’ll make good use of it – I’m here EVERY MORNING and will bring an extra 50 cents tomorrow – why don’t you love me?

“Well, okay,” I found myself saying.  My card was about to be charged $19.15 – $18.90 for 10 cups of coffee, plus a 25 cent credit card fee – all because I used two quarters in a parking meter, but no big deal.

I watched this man swipe my card, and then swipe it again, and then again and again and again – but the machine wasn’t having it.

At this point, there was a line of about 6 people behind me, stomping the ground like horses.  Come to think of it, they were exhaling loudly like horses, too – that exasperated puff of impatience.  My card continued to be no good, and finally, desperate for caffeine and escape, I couldn’t take the pressure.

“I’ll write a check!” I exclaimed.  “My checkbook is in the car.  I’ll be right back.”  I dashed out of the Java Bean, and returned to scribble a check for $19.15.  I handed it over just to have the man remind me, “Since this isn’t a credit card purchase, it’s only $18.90.”

My turn to exhale like a horse.

I tore up the check, and wrote a new one for $18.90.  The moment that I gave it to the coffee man, his dim mental lightbulb flared as he realized that the credit card machine had not been plugged in.

His “Aha!” moment was my “GAH” moment.

He handed me my freshly punched punch card and a paper cup for my coffee.  I walked to the pump pot on the counter to fill my cup and get on with my life, but the coffee pot was empty.

The coffee pot was empty.  I had just paid $18.90 and wasted 9 minutes of my life to discover that the coffee pot was empty.

I lifted the pot and marched it to the man at the counter.  “I’m sorry, but could I get some COFFEE?” I practically bellowed.

Scene?  Officially made.

I found an arm chair in the corner to sit in and stew as a fresh pot of coffee was being brewed.  I watched the clock on the wall, every ticking second matching the time-bomb in my chest.  My face was scrunched.  I was late for class, I was desperate for caffeine, and I was down $18.90.

“Anne,” the man called.  “Anne, come here.”  He had seen my name on my credit card – Anne Parsons – and was now calling me by my given name that I never go by, because if there’s anything that Annie Parsons is not, it is Anne.

“I’m so sorry for the craziness.  Here’s a coupon for the next time you’re in.”

The coupon?  50 cents off my next purchase.

Crash

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Salutations, readers.  Did you think I had abandoned you?

Oh please.

I should begin by saying that the sickness has left my system – literally, and glory hallelujah.  The only person that knows the specifics of my Monday is my mom, and I’m uncomfortable with even her knowing.  It was… I can’t even go there.  Let’s change the subject.

So here I am, back in Denver.

Time, catapult me out of August already.  August has spread me thinner than a hipster – and it isn’t even over yet.  I hate running on no reserves.

I’ve said before that I believe that our number one act of spiritual worship should be getting enough sleep.  Last weekend, Greta told me that she recently read that the most important factor in a woman’s happiness is whether or not she is well-rested.  How do parents of babies function?  This is an absolute mystery to me.  I don’t even own a house plant, and yet I am crashing – crashing like… why is the only metaphor I can think of “like Kanye at a Taylor Swift speech”?

See.  Crashing.

When I’m crashing, I lose creativity, and get all inconsolable about things like the cardboard box in the corner of my living room.  It’s just sitting there – but it’s just been sitting there since I moved in in January.  I don’t know where to put it.  I don’t know what to do with it.  It’s just THERE, taunting me with its displacement.

Twenty-eight years old is too old to get zits – but then again, Annie Parsons has never been a quitter.

I get irrationally annoyed at bad writing (in the interest of spying on people, I subscribe to some truly horrible blogs), and text messages in which every sentence ends in exclamation points!!!!  This is not the way you talk!!!!!  Calm the hell down!!!  You’re wasting your 160 characters!!!!!

Give my hackles a chance to settle down, and then I’ll tell you about my trip to Seattle last weekend.  Crashing or not, I can tell you right now that it was blissful.

I AM ONE GIANT STRESS BALL.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I am flying to Nashville tonight, and am the world’s worst packer.  No, really.  War is to mankind as Annie is to packing.  I ruin everything.  I pack too little, or too much, or all the wrong shoes.

Speaking of shoes, I bought a yellow dress to wear to Brook & Cara’s wedding this weekend, and I don’t have the right shoes for it.  I’m panicking.  I don’t have time to go buy new shoes – and even if I did, what WOULD be the right shoes to wear with this yellow dress?

Also, I know: I bought a YELLOW dress, something I really thought should never happen.  But I was feeling ballsy, so I bought it.  When I told my mom, she said, “Yellow?  YELLOW?  Are you sure?”  So now my confidence is shaken.  I’m worried that I will look ugly in yellow.  It really isn’t my color, I know.  I should have known better.

Last night, I dreamed that the Honda was broken into, and my big red leather bag was stolen, along with my laptop, my wallet, and my calendar.  I was most upset about my calendar.

It’s 55 degrees in Denver, and my fingers and toes are frozen.  But I’m heading to Nashville where I am going to melt like jelly in a frying pan – and not in the good, fluttery, crush-worthy way.  In the “this must be what it feels like to die” kind of way.

All I want to do is tell you how I made homemade cantaloupe bruschetta yesterday, and how amazing it was.  But I can’t.  I can’t, because EVERYTHING FEELS WRONG RIGHT NOW.

!!!!!!! !! !! !! !! ! ! !!!!!!!! ! !!!!

If you can’t bear your ugly heart on the internet, well then.  I just don’t want to live in that kind of world.

Bumming me out

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

When I moved to Nashville two years ago, I switched to Bank of America because I never wanted to have to switch my bank account again – so naturally, I chose the bank of AMERICA.

It turns out that Bank of America is actually the bank of NOT DENVER.

– – – – – – – –

Yellow traffic lights in Denver last roughly half as long as they do anywhere else.  When the light turns yellow, it means, “Arrest, or be arrested.”

– – – – – – – –

Every 5 minutes or so, my toilet screeches like the Nazgûl.

– – – – – – – –

The doctors installed the WRONG PORT in my MOTHER’S CHEST.  That’s probably the only time you’ll ever see the words “my mother’s chest” on this blog, so soak it up.  She showed up for her first round of chemo yesterday, and caused quite the ruckus when they discovered the WRONG PIECE OF HARDWARE SURGICALLY INSTALLED IN HER BODY.

Chemo went forward anyway, and she goes back again today.  The “Red Devil” is now pumping through her veins.  And righteous indignation is pumping through ours.

Frugality has its limits

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

You want to know what the lamest thing to spend money on is?  A vacuum cleaner.  I am currently researching the suckers, and it’s even less exciting than spending money on a beige bra.

Speaking of annoying purchases, I don’t think that dryer sheets make any difference.  They are a scam – a dishonest scheme to make you spend more money.

For a lot of years, I followed the instructions on the tube of toothpaste: “Squeeze 1 inch of toothpaste onto brush.”  One inch?  One INCH?  I was going through a tube of toothpaste every 3 weeks.

We are encouraged to get the oil changed in our cars every 3,000 miles.  I will typically wait until somewhere between 4-5,000.  My car is swiftly approaching the two-decade marker, but I never pay the extra money for the oil for my old (I prefer to call her “mature”) car.  And guess what: the Honda is holding together just fine.  Still.

I wonder how often we’re supposed to change our Brita water filters?  I’ve probably had the same one in my pitcher for a year.  I might as well just strain my water through some rocks or something.

I can’t help it.  I like to make my money go as far as it can.

However, there is one thing that I have recently decided is worth letting go of before I’ve squeezed every possible ounce of use out of it.  And that is…

The bar of soap.

When it reaches that flimsy, frail thinness, and you can’t use it without breaking it in half, then just let it go.  Because it’s gone.

Reasons “Pinocchio” is the worst movie ever

Friday, March 6th, 2009

–    “When You Wish Upon a Star”
–    Geppetto’s wish that a puppet would become a real boy.  What?
–    Creepy Blue Fairy
–    Cricket as conscience
–    “Give a Little Whistle”
–    Honest John (wicked fox).  MISLEADING.
–    Figaro (pet cat, unclothed, walks on all-4’s), and Gideon (mute cat, clothed, walks like a human).  INCONSISTENCY.
–    Cleo (flirtatious goldfish with long eyelashes).  AWKWARD.
–    “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee”
–    Pavarotti… I mean, Stromboli
–    “I’ve Got No Strings”
–    Puppet locked in a bird cage
–    A nose that grows with every lie.  A NOSE THAT GROWS WITH EVERY LIE.
–    Pleasure Island
–    Boys turned into donkeys for “behaving like jackasses”
–    Subsequent braying
–    Puppet swallowed by gigantic whale
–    Puppet sneezed out by gigantic whale
–    Puppet dies
–    Puppet brought back to life by the Blue Fairy as a reward for bravery
–    “When You Wish Upon a Star” reprise… because we didn’t get enough the first time around.