August 31, 2007

my friends are funny

August 30, 2007

what do you mean you don't understand? I said it in plain Spanish...

I have one of those page-a-day desk calanders. It is called Living Language/Spanish, and it teaches me a spanish word and phrase-a-day. I've noticed a trend over the last 8 months that I'd like to impart.

Ya casi no existen pizarras negras.

No se? Let me translate: "There are almost no black blackboards left."

Umm... really? And not "really?" in response to the above statement, but "really?" in response to: Are you seriously wasting a 4x4 piece of paper on a phrase I will NEVER USE?

This is not an isolated incident either. Notice that earlier I used the word, "trend".

I want my money back.

August 23, 2007

in the red

Let me just start by saying I have always been incredibly responsible with my finances.

And without getting into too much detail, I TOTALLY overdrafted my account last weekend.

By $2500 dollars.

Yah - it was the furniture.

But in my defense, I HAD the money. It was just in a different account. It only needed to be transferred. I made said purchase on a Sunday. NOTHING clears on a Sunday. NOTHING clears same-day...

Curses to my overly efficient bank and pending purchases memo-posts.

So, probably the 10% off that Sofa Express gave me, plus some of the free shipping I scored, was eaten up in the $100 of overdraft fees initiated by my bank.

I understand. I completely deserve it. It's cool.

But I'd like to state a couple of things for the record:

I'd like to thank my overly-efficient Bank of America for being so underly-concerned about the fact that, in my entire tenure of banking with them, I have never made such a large purchase, no had I EVER overdrafted my funds. You'd think they could have at least made a courtesy call to ask if it were possible that someone had stolen my debit card. I've also heard a lot banks will call their members if they see funds being withdrawn from overseas. But out of the 20+ times I used my debit card in Panama, I received zero of these alleged phone calls.

Other BoA beef: once I feared my checking account info had been phished by an unidentified third party. So I called BoA, explained my situation to at least 4 different people, and no one took me seriously until about an hour into the phone call.

And while I'm at it, there's more:

Several times a year I get mail from BoA saying if I do such and such I will receive gift card for $25 or so bucks... Two or three times I participated in these promotions, and each time I would wait for my gift card. And wait. And wait. Still waiting... until eventually I would have to make a phone call, to which no help is received. To which I go down to my neighborhood branch, complain MULTIPLE times face-to-face with "customer service", and then and ONLY then would I receive a credit to my account in the promised amount (that was originally supposed to be a gift card).

When it comes to my bank, I feel so...faceless. And that is a sad thing indeed.

August 21, 2007

what dreams may come

I had an unusual and unexplained attack of the bowels last night.

Let me start a little further back.

Last weekend I spent a material amount of money on bedroom furniture for my new house. It was fun, but the excitement wained as I was informed I will not see said bought furniture until mid-November. Bleh.

I am currently engrossed in the final installment of Harry Potter. As of lights-out last night, I had read through chapter 10.

2am comes. Attack proceeds. The only part I can explain (as I outlined above) is that the attack manifested itself in a dream wherein the Dark Lord was uploading furniture through my colon. (because he really is that evil).

I regret this comes in the form of TMI. However, obviously I don't care since I'm sharing it on my blog.

Punch line: funny how, even through the searing pain that woke me from my gentle slumber, my initial reaction was, "at least my furniture came earlier than scheduled..."

August 15, 2007

a whole post about not talking about it

So people keep asking me...

Where's the new house? When do you move in? Are you already there? Are you excited?

And it's difficult because here's the deal: I just don't want to talk about it right now. I'm still a little freaked about the M word. My loan is technically not approved through THDA yet. I don't close for another 2 weeks. I have 2 months to move in. I want to get excited, but I'm really just not letting myself right now. Basically because I can't do anything about it for another 2 weeks. I won't let myself buy any new furniture yet, because I can't put in in the house yet. I havn't gone paint shopping yet because I can't start painting until Labor Day weekend. I'm this close to getting a dog, but I won't until I'm settled in the new place.

I'm just kind of in limbo right now, and so I don't want to talk about it.

Fair enough?

But in 15 out.

There will be pictures.

And posts.

And shopping sprees on furniture and linens.

And a puppy. Who will inevitably pee on my carpet. In my new house.

And I'll want to talk about. And I may not stop talking about it. And you're going to love it.

And there will be Sunday lunches at my place.

Heck, I'll even let you buy me a housewarming present. Yah - seriously.

But until then... you know the deal.

August 14, 2007

an open letter to Governor Bill Richardson

Dear Gov. Richardson:

You are cordially invited to Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery, Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, August 17, 2007 for one free beverage, compliments of myself and a blogger known as Newscoma.

This prize is awarded to you as a result of a blog conversation/contest that took place in your honor today, Tuesday August 14th, 2007 at at approximately 2:08 PM central DLS time.

We've heard you heed the cries of bloggers, so I'm confident you will receive this invitation in time. We've also heard you have commitment issues, so we'll understand if you can't make it.

Looking forward to Friday! We have a lot of questions regarding your views on important issues. We are also having a Blogger Picnic on Sunday, August 26. So if anyone gets mad about the opinions and beliefs you may allege on Friday, you can come back and publicly retract those statements at the picnic.

Emily Ramsey
Nashville, TN

August 07, 2007

long way home

*Revised - I realized my error when I was reading over my notes this evening. The correction certainly adds weight to an already extensive circumstance.

The flight from Atlanta to Panama City was 3 hours long. We had previously just flown from Nashville to Atlanta - a 30 minute flight that was shorter than the time we sat on the departing runway. We were laid over in Atlanta for hours longer than planned. Finally, seated in the next to last row, a 3-day migraine in-tow, we headed to a place none of us had ever been before.

I sat between two women. To my left, a Swedish girl - about my age - declined to watch the in-flight movie because she had watched it on her previous flight that day. She had been awake and traveling for 24 hours.

To my left, a Panamanian woman sat quietly. Peering out the window with anticipation most of the trip.

I made little small-talk with these women - only enough to find out what I relay to you now. I spent most of the flight desparatley and unsuccessfully coaxing the searing pain in my right cerebrum away. Breathing deeply and regularly to keep from losing hold of the in-flight pasta dish with side of spritzed 'salad', decent dinner roll, and gummy peach tartlet-thing.

I could not help but notice, however, as we made our initial decent towards foreign territory, that my neighbor to the left grew more visibly anxious the closer we came to land. She was not a nervous flyer. And although our arrival was by night, she pressed her nosed to the pane to see any and all signs of our impending destination. I watched her for awhile, smiling. I could tell she was headed home.

She must have felt my stare, because she turned to look at me. It was then that I asked her if Panama was her home. Her eyes widened and her bright teeth came forward. She answered affirmatively, and in the best English she could muster, told me she'd been gone for ten years*. For ten years she had not seen her family. For ten years she had not seen her home. This was her homecoming.

As I smiled back at her and welcomed her home, I understood a little better about this place I was only visiting for one week. This place that is home to many people just like this woman. In this place, I would be the foreigner. I would be the one far from home. And in that moment I felt a slight place-switching between she and I.

Somehow amidst all the planning of this trip, I had failed to recognize one very fundamental truth. This place I would visit would be the treasured home of everyone I met there. I deplaned that night with new eyes that would seek to acknowledge my week-long home with the esteem of a life-long native.


Anyone see a problem here?

Aside from the obvious triple-digits, I think the description of "fair" is....deceptive.

August 04, 2007

now, dangit!

So I went on a quest today to find The Bourne Identity in paperback. I, of course, started with the library, since I have about $50 in the bank until next Wednesday. But with the movie release of The Bourne Ultimatum this weekend, the library, of course, was out of copies.

No worries, I thought. I will just have to buy one at the supermarket. I need bread anyways.

I exist too easily in this world of instant gratification.

Luckily, I'm only down $5.99.

"Bourne" observations *SPOILERS!*

I'm still reeling from last night's perfectly cinematic, ultimately satisfying, three-part conclusion of the Jason Bourne series. Definitely the best of the three. I really wish I had had time to re-watch the previous two before taking in the finale, but I knew it would all come back to me once it began - kind of like a new Harry Potter book after 2 years of waiting for the next installment.

As the credit rolled, several pieces of the story began to connect in my mind, and I found myself dually impressed by the surprisingly intelligent and meaningful moral of the story. For those of you who have followed the Bourne series, and have already read the books - you should have more detailed commentary on my amateur observations. So please feel free to add in the comments section. As you are about to find, I am strangely affected obsessed with this story.

In the ten minutes of the first movie, Jason Bourne emerges from mysterious waters and finds that he has no idea who he is. He also has no idea where he is, and yet, is forced to save himself from some unknown enemy, for some unknown reason, while he simultaneously connects the dots of his own identity.

In the beginning, this seemed to simply be a thrilling plot that would keep its viewers on the edge until the last moments. And it was. But why do we care so much about this guy - who we didn't even know - who didn't even know himself? Why do we relate so deeply with him on such a subconscious level? He could have been his own enemy for all we knew - the antagonist of the story for all he knew. And in a way, he ended up being just that. And yet, we pulled for him - all the way through.

Throughout the series, Bourne visits a myriad of countries, and makes a plethora of mysterious phone calls from unidentified cells to his enemies. Outsmarting the agencies that made him the dangerous Frankenstein he had apparently become and using the heightened reflexes and illegal ninja moves against the very organization that had trained him, he journeyed through the mystery of his identity, and killed a lot of people along the way.

In the end, we learn that Jason was his own worst enemy. He learned he had volunteered to become a slave to the secret agencies of the federal government. He had literally sold his identity and adopted a new one. One that he wasn't so sure he wanted anymore. And as he made his final leap towards freedom, he returned to the waters from whence he came, born a new man and into a new life.

So here's my breakdown: we love Jason Bourne because we ARE Jason Bourne. We come into the world not knowing who we are, and constantly searching for our unique identity. Along the way we learn what is important to us, and sometimes what was once important to us, shows itself to be a lie, and we must figure out how to make it right. Ultimately, however, we tend to be our own worst enemy. The choices we make lead us down paths in which we are too easily lost. We volunteer ourselves to a cause that subconsciously we hope will save us from ourselves. And sometimes we find we made the wrong choices. But there is always hope. If we search for the truth, we can use it to escape from our wrong turns.

Coolest unexpected observation: I love the symbolism of water and rebirth here.

Second place: the almost-cheesy play on words of his name.

Oh, and yah - The Bourne Ultimatum had one of the best fight scenes EVER. I'll spare you the play-by-play here. You'll know it when you see it.

Ok, gonna go read the books now. 'Scuse me.

August 02, 2007

getting back into the swing

I just now finally finished catching up on almost 2 weeks of missed blog-reading. Sheesh - you guys write, like, ALL THE TIME! I'll admit, I didn't read every word of every post piling up in my feed-reader. With the small exception of a few favs.

Being away for a week has really been harder to recover from this time than ever before. I guess maybe it has something to do with the other major thing going on in my life right now. (that would be "buying a house" for those not paying attention recently). Anyone who ever tells you that buying a house is fun and not stressful and a very enjoyable venture, lies.

I look forward to tomorrow for the following reasons:
  • I will feel refreshed and ready to kick all tail at work and life in general tomorrow because I am going to bed in T minus 21 minutes. (9pm)
  • I am getting back to the gym for the first time in about 2 weeks. What's on the sweat-menu? Kickboxing, of course. Pray for me.
  • My first week back at work will officially be accomplished and I can bask in the glory of a successful vacation taken, returned, and conquered.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum will finally be mine in which to revel.
Stay tuned for a series of photo essays, and or stories from my trip. Coming this weekend!