Thursday, August 30, 2001

I have added a new section to my site! I'm calling it "On the Record" (which is very funny, what with me being a journalist and all-- Hello, I'm Obvious Woman!) and it's just a nice collection of quotes. I am sure I will have misquoted some things, so this can be a source of fun for all of you who know that I do that all the time with song lyrics. Enjoy!
Okay, so I am feeling a bit better about this weight watchers thing. I got through today without too much temptation, and I managed to bank a couple of points for this wedding I am going to this weekend. This will be my third wedding this summer. What's up with everyone getting married? STOP IT, I say.

But! I will get to see Kelly which I am completely thrilled about. Love the lovely Kelly. We are both poor so we're probably going to just hang out and visit, but I can not wait to see her. It's funny, HEF and Gwen get to be with Scott; I get to see Kelly. Too bad we're not doing these things thousands of miles away from each other and thousands of miles away from other people we love. Hey, there's always Thanksgiving at my house, people. Come for pie! Unless I'm in Scotland or with Stephen, which are real possibilities this year. Well, my parents would probably love to see you, (whoever you are reading this, Mr. Pyscho Internet Stalker).

So, in order to help me stay on my new Postive Eating Plan, I have created a little televangelist type guy in my head. For example, tonight I went to Turkey Hill to buy some fat-free frozen yogurt to mix with a banana and a nectarine for my last four points of the day, and as I gazed at all the colorful rows of delicious Turkey Hill iced tea, my dieting evangelist shouted (in my head, I am the only one who can hear him), "Resist Temptation! Exorcise the demons!!" Apparently, the dieting evangelist is southern.

Speaking of Stephen, (we weren't anymore, but that's okay), he got a job in a magic shop in Boston. He is a demonstrator, which means he walks around with a monkey puppet and tries to make little kids beg their parents to buy them one. He is also learning a bunch of magic tricks and how to juggle, which are actually very good skills for an actor to have. I think one of the best things about his job relates to the fact that the store has this giant top hat that he gets to stand in and perform magic tricks. I couldn't figure out how this worked, and so I was asking him questions. Apparently, there is a cash register in the hat. I think it's so great that he has a job where his boss says, "Okay, Steve, you're in the hat next." Also, all the monkey puppets have to be brushed at the end of the day with a special monkey brush. I wish my job at the York Daily Record required me to use a monkey brush.

I love it when Stephen has interesting jobs. He used to be an ice cream man. Magic Store stories are almost as fun as Ice Cream Truck stories.

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

I just want you all to know that I hate food. I hate the concept of food. I hate that I have to think about food; I have to deal with food, every day, several times a day.

I am on Weight Watchers. I am counting points. I am mad at myself because I ate more points than I should have today, but I only got the plan at 6:30 p.m. so blaming myself for a program that I wasn't even officially on is ridiculous, which is sort of my theme song when it comes to me and diets. I have gained thirty pounds since graduation, so I have no choice. Thirty pounds. Thirty. I feel like somebody really, really thin has been beaming their calories to or elseI must have been unconscious while I was eating.

My 11th grade math teacher was sitting in front of me at the scary meeting. (Who else remembers Mr. Madara?) After the meeting, he said hi to me so I said Hello and asked, "How are you?" He said, "Fat." Ummm..... First of all, the fact that I am dieting again is probably stupid, but I refuse to keep gaining weight and I really think I need to be on some kind of program. Second of all, I hate that I am back in my hometown again-- fat, lonely and hanging out with my Trigonometry teacher.

Goin' for a walk now.

Monday, August 27, 2001

My latest pet peeve: people who don't return phone calls. (And I mean, professional type people re: jobs, etc)

Sunday, August 26, 2001

I can not sleep. Arg. I want to sleep. I am very tired.

I was just reading SARK's new book where she talks about taking vicarious travels. I really have the urge to travel again. I have been very nostalgic lately about places I have traveled, especially Spain. And Venice. I was watching a special about Venice on PBS today. I think I want to go to Greece next. That would be fun. I would like to travel with my friend Kelly, who has traveled vicariously with me to all of the places I have gone.

I'm wondering how my friends Gwen and Heather are faring on their grand adventure. I am imagining that tonight they just arrived in Portland after a long drive up a beautiful coastline and they were greeted enthusiastically by old friends. They are probably tired, with that special road trip punchiness that makes everything funny and makes you want to come into the place that you were travelling to and sit down with a thump even thought you have technically been sitting for hours. They are probably settling down for the night, laying on inflatable air matresses and fighting the uncontrollable giggles that always seem to hit either in church or in the quiet spaces of an unfamiliar house where you are a guest and are technically supposed to be sleeping quietly because someone's roommate type person has to work in the morning. Or in yoga class.

Alright, I am going to try and go to sleep again. There is no one here to giggle with.

Saturday, August 25, 2001

Okay. I got rejected from the job in Alabama today. I am really glad that the guy called me so that I wouldn't have to wait all weekend and worry about it. Am I disappointed? A little bit, I guess, yeah. It's hard because I sort of believed that this one would come through. I thought I might have a ticket out of here. Lancaster really sucks the potential out of people. I definitely don't feel like the potential is being sucked out of me-- I can and I will leave. But it is depressing. Every where I go I see people who aren't ever going to leave. It's random, really. I see people from the gifted program from elementary school working at Turkey Hill, and I'm like, why are you working in a convenience store?

It makes me hear what's-his-name, the Dawson Creek guy, James Vanderbeek going, "I don't want your life!" from the preview of that terrible movie "Dawson Gets the Blues" or whatever.

On the other hand, would I really want a ticket out of here to Alabama? It was just going to be so good. My college roommate Jo was thinking about coming with me and I would have had a friend and I could have taken my dog and- and- and- Sigh.... Back to the proverbial drawing board, I guess.

Friday, August 24, 2001

So I just got back from vacation in Rehobeth Beach. I have been going there since I was like, seven. It was very fun. I ate way too much crap, though. I will start eating healthier tomorrow. Tomorrow, as in, after I go to sleep and wake up, because as of right now, it's after 2 a.m. and I'm eating a grape popsicle and goldfish crackers.

I really, really dislike the new goldfish commercial jingle. You know, "Wrote a song for goldfish, a little song for goldfish... the snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off." I hate it. They were doing much better with the "I love fishes 'cause they're so delicious" campaign."Gotta go fishin'!" See, I couldn't resist. It's so catchy.

Alissa was talking about going back-to-school shopping on her web site today. I have no need to go back to school shopping. None whatsoever. It's a very strange feeling. However, I did buy a cool, shimmery lantern today for no reason. Actually, it's for the Imaginary Apartment. That sort of filled my need for a back-to-school shopping trip. It's the Non-Back-to-School Lantern, lighting the way to grad school. Or something.

I also bought a keychain at the same time that I bought the lantern. My Virginia Woolf book keychain broke last week. It was sad, but I have vowed to no longer get attached to my keychains. Too many bad things happen that way.

My need for small, metal keychains began back in 1995 in Salamanca, Spain. I decided to buy a fun Spanish blanket in the nice, little store, and then my fabulous sisterfriends who all read this web page decided to buy blankets too. (The blankets were all beautiful, and later that night we were running up and down the hallways of the hotel wrapped in our blankets- yes, we were clothed, too- and we scared this adorable old woman who gasped and said," Ay! Fantasmas! [Ghosts!]" and then Gwen was playing a song on this terracotta flute type thing and the manager of the hotel came and spoke to us sternly because it was after midnight. Ah...the days of the rebellion) Anyway, the nice old man who ran the shop where we bought the blankets gave me a wonderful metal keychain, and we had a nice little chat. It was my first experience with fluency, and I loved that keychain. I lost it in the summer of 1996 at band camp. Then, Meg Fuchs went to Spain in 1997, and I asked her to buy me an exact replica. She did! It was great! Then, it got accidentally flushed down the toilet with my keys in the autumn of 1998. That's kind of stuff that only happens to me, but anyway... I had my little metal book keychain, which was fine until it broke last week. But! I have a new keychain now. We'll see how long it lasts.
Just kidding, Nick.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

I have created a new section to my web site! I'm calling it the "Soapbox" where you can learn about feminist issues and read about my latest crusade. (Nick, you probably aren't going to like this very much-- Hey, look! I mentioned you! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Okay, now I have played seven games of Freecell. I don't feel inspired to recreate the same entry, so I will talk about something else. I am very excited because my sister is here! I was dying to see her. Love the lovely Manda. I forget how beautiful she is, both inside and out, and then I get to see her again. She is amazing. Definitely a succulent wild woman.

I am, like, giddy because she is here, and she is so much fun. Having my big sister around makes want to act like a little kid. I just ran into her room while she was on the phone with her boyfriend and started poking her with the broken-off stamen of an anthurium plant that came in this flower arrangement that my mom got for breaking her arms. Amanda started screaming, "WHAT IS THAT?!? What is that?!?" It was very fun. I feel like I'm six. I told her it was the stamen of an anthurium plant, which kind of look like those miniature corn-on-the-cobs (corns-on-the-cob?) on salad bars in grocery stores. She yelled, "I'm allergic to that, you know!" and my dad called upstairs, "Keep Bella out of Amanda's room!" which was very funny because Bella, whom Amanda is also allergic to, was asleep in my parents' bed. I said, "It's not Bella, it's the broken-off stamen of an anthurium plant," and he said, "Oh, that's cool." I love my family.

I am totally psyched because I was reading this magazine, Real Simple, which is a great publication for women who have enough time to read a magazine and perhaps prepare a meal using one of its recipes, such as the one for Asian Noodle Soup on page 136, (which is actually the whole reason I bought this particular issue because it looks like something that I would have eaten at this amazing noodle bar in London called Wagamama that my friend Luke-- I love Luke-- was so obsessed with that he bought the cookbook, which is funny because not only does Luke not cook, but his usual food groups include McDonald's, things from the Eggplant Diner in Dewitt, N.Y., Mountain Dew and Papajohn's pizza, but not the complimentary lime-green peppers that come with every pizza) but not enough time to do things like zest lemons (what the heck? isn't "Zest" soap?), dye one's own Easter grass (I have seen Martha Stewart do this on TV) and practice 146 positons adapted from the Kama Sutra (I mean, really, sometimes even the most well-intentioned plans to make love get side-tracked by-- I don't know-- the Model U.N. episode of the Simpsons; "Go Banana!")

If you followed that sentence, you get a gold star.

Let me try and translate that previous paragraph of Angiespeak into plain English, and then perhaps it will be as amusing to you as it is to me.

I was reading a magazine called Real Simple. I bought it because there was a recipe for Asian Noodle Soup on page 136. The soup looked like something I would have eaten in a noodle bar in London. My friend Luke loved to eat there. He bought this cookbook for complicated Asian food from the restaurant. This is funny because Luke does not cook. Back to the magazine. Real Simple is nice because it's fun to read, and it does not pretend that its readers have ridiculous amounts of free time. Martha Stewart Living, for example, does pretend that its readers have a ridiculous amount of free time. Furthermore, this magazine does not assume, unlike Cosmo, that its readers have the time or energy to expend practicing sexual gymnastics. "Go, banana!" refers to a line that Ralph Wiggum has during the "fruit race" scene of the Model U.N. episode of the Simpsons, which is, in my opinion, the funniest episode ever.

ANYWAY... I was reading this magazine, and there is an article about this artist-woman named Katri who essentially gives her life a makeover and starts her own Montessori School in a big red barn which gives her enough money to do her artwork in the summers. The author writes, "'Follow your bliss,' reads a magnet on Katri's refrigerator. Katri has done just that. We all have an inner voice that tells us what we want and need, but we tend, particularly in the years just after college, to muffle it. Maybe we feel we don't deserve what would make us happy. Maybe we're afraid that what we want will be seen by others as too odd or offbeat. Maybe we think, if we just wait, treading water, something good will come along."

Okay, I am excited about this for several reasons. 1.) Amanda gave me a "Follow Your Bliss" magnet for Christmas last year at the same time she gave me the "Life the life you've always imagined" magnet. I could form a whole life philosophy around these magnets, AND I have the same magnet as this cool lady. Yay! 2.) The inner voices thing. I have those too. MY GOD, THE VOICES! SOMEBODY STOP THE VOICES!! Just kidding. Hearing voices is one psychological symptom that has not surfaced, thank goddess. 3.) I am trying to hard not to muffle my dreams and to pursue that which I really want. This is sort of an affirmation of those attempts. 4.) me? offbeat? odd? what? 5.) Okay, so I am treading water right now. This woman did it too, and she achieved her dreams.

I think we're going to make it, all of us. All of you amazing dreamer-friends who read my hyperactive ramblings. This is good. I can't wait for a few months from now when I can go through my archives and say to myself, "What on Earth was I worried about? Everything turned out just fine. I worried for nothing! Silly me!" Could we please fast forward to that part?

I AM SO PISSED OFF. I wrote this nice, long post about Asian Noodle Soup recipes and my friend Luke and magazines and stuff and I accidentally closed my window without saving it, and now it's gone forever. FOREVER! Not even Harlan can save it, and I am IM-ing him. ARG. I hate that... I am going to play a game of Freecell and see if I feel inspired again. Boo!

Friday, August 17, 2001

Okay, so none of my friends who keep weblogs have been updating their pages. What are you guys doing? Working at your jobs? Come on, I am lonely and technically umemployed. Throw me a bone here, people. :)

Technically, I am not unemployed. I am freelance. I am trying to focus on the positive, emphasizing the FREE, as in freedom, of freelance. I shouldn't complain. If none of these jobs come through-- perish the thought-- then I will be starting an internship at a newspaper that I love and believe in and adore being a part of. I know, because I interned there before, which makes me feel a teeny bit stagnant, but I am glad for the opportunity to keep shooting and getting paid for it, which is all I really want anyway. Well, I also want health benefits.

I have insurance right now through COBRA, the insurance for unemployed college graduates. You know, in all their mailings they never explain what COBRA stands for. Does anyone know? Why would you name health insurance after a deadly poisonous reptile? It should be called something comforting, like eucalyptus, or something related to medicine, like Hippocrates. (You know, the Hippocratic oath and whatnot). Then, when I went to the dentist the other day, the receptionist, who has known me since I was four, could have been like, "Do you have your new card now that you are covered through HIPPOCRATES?" and I would smile my cavity-free smile (Not one cavity yet in 22 years, no sir. AND that's without flossing, because honestly, who wants to snap a spittle and blood-soaked string in and out of their teeth? Not me. Maybe the people who thought of called health insurance for unemployed college students COBRA do) and said, "Yes, yes I do." Although the medicine symbol has a snake coiled around it, too, so perhaps they are related.

I feel like my boyfriend or some other friends who know a lot of trivia would know this.

Okay. I am going to watch the end of Trading Spaces, "the exciting new home decorating show on TLC the Learning Channel," says host Alex McLeod (pronounced McCloud). It's a rip-off of a simlarly-themed show that I watched in England about neighbors who get to secretly fix up a room any way they want, with the help of an interior decorator (although they always say "designer" on the show; my, my) in their friends' homes. The English version was wittier and better, as are most other things British. Except for freakin' cake mix. The Brits, like, refuse to believe in cake mix. Sour cream was also very hard to find. I got the urge to make my mom's famous taco dip when I was studying abroad, and it was next to impossible. I almost died.

No, I didn't. Thank God for Tesco.

Maybe my mom and Mrs. Plotner could go on Trading Spaces, and we could finally change our Very Brady Orange Kitchen. Although, sometimes the homeowners have to use power tools and sewing machines, and right now, the way our luck has been going, I am terrified that my mother would lop off her own head with a paint roller. She is feeling much better, though, which is excellent.

Okay, the show is now almost over. Must run to TV for its hypnotic, soothing goodness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

By the way, Harlan the Amazing helped me figure out how to link things, so you can view the Coveted, Now Owned Dishes for the Imaginary Apartment by clicking on the green text in the previous entry. Yay!
When I was little (who am I kidding? I still do this) I had a security blanket that I call(ed) Lovey. Lovey was with me constantly, and if Lovey got lost, it was a major crisis. Once, on Thanksgiving 1981, I hid him in a ceramic turkey that my mother just loves. I was most definitely not allowed to play with the ceramic turkey. We looked for hours upon hours for Lovey. When I remembered where I put my blanket (Lovey is really much, much more than a blanket, although physically he is more like a mass of knotted string that fits in the palm of your hand right now) I ran over and rescued him from the turkey, the top of which I promptly dropped to the floor in my excitement. It shattered into hundreds of pieces, which my dad painstakingly glued back together over the course of three days. We still put the ceramic turkey out every year, but I have not touched it in the last twenty years.

Anyway, I was playing with my beloved dog today, and I decided that she is like the incarnation of all the love I ever gave Lovey and my stuffed animals (I have hundreds, literally) as a child. It's like all the love I put out there formed my guardian angel dog who scampered into my life just when I was on the cusp of a very difficult time in my life. My family, friends and especially roommates, boyfriend and college professors who saw me every day, really revealed themselves to by remarkable, generous people as they supported me through my last semester of college. I went through a phase where I did not feel any pleasure from the things I used to glean pleasure from, including Bella. It was all I could do to keep my commitment to feeding and walking her at my assigned times. At this point I was sharing her with my roommates/actresses/doglovers extraordinaire Jo and Erika, and they often took care of care of her when I was supposed to, but couldn't. Best Girl Photo Friend and Roommate Jillian also helped a bunch. (Thank you guys!)

All of that aside, I was petting Bella and thinking about how I found her in the rose bushes behind my house in Syracuse almost a year ago. She was so little. I really think she embodies all the love of the people who took care of me and all the love I bestowed on things like Lovey throughout my life. Animal companions are cool like that.

Monday, August 13, 2001

HOORAY! Love the lovely Harlan. Sss blurry good fren, as Bridget Jones would say. I emailed him, and he fixed everything! Now I can see my Web site. Yay! So I had a very good weekend overall. I helped Alissa say goodbye to Tyler, which was extremely sad. I would just like to say that Alissa is strong and good and amazing. I would have been an emotional basket case if the roles were reversed, and I had to put Bella sleep. Blarg. Don't even want to think about it. Tyler went very peacefully. He was a good cat. My Dad was in "Daddy-doer-of-the-impossible" mode, too, as he dug a little grave in our backyard. It was stupid hot. Yay, Dad.

It other news, my Mom fell at Isaac's. She broke her right wrist in two places, and the doctor thinks she broke her left wrist, too, but it may only be a hairline fracture. The left wrist is in a splint now, but she may need two casts. That would suck. A lot. My Mom can be the posterwoman for "Bloody Stump" now. Poor Mom.

OH! I have to tell you about the Imaginary Phone Stool. In my somewhat lonely state here in Lancaster this summer since Kelly and Jason and Scott left for their new, fun, grown-up lives, I have started planning my Imaginary Life. It all started with Wardell Pottery [How do I make that a link, Harlan? :)] where I bought a karma bank- like HEF's God Can, but with Karma. I am now doing things like buying dishes for my imaginary kitchen in the imaginary apartment. Sometimes the imaginary apartment is in DC, sometimes in Boston. It depends on where the latest job prospects are. Right now, the imaginary life is set in Alabama. "'Bama!" (said in Southern Wetzel voice). There is a job prospect there, but now I will shut up or else I may accidentally summon the Kinna Hurra Faerie.

Yummm... Best Reporter Ever Michelle just gave me popcorn. She rocks.

Anyway, I bought dishes for the imaginary life. Okay. I have had my eye on these dishes at Pier One for two months now. Then, last week, I was in Connecticut buying a wedding gift (urg, NOT old enough for friends my age to be getting married... I am the death crone; I am the death crone.) for my boyfriend Stephen's friend Josh's marriage. [Do I really have to say "my boyfriend Stephen?" Is anyone besides my friends really going to read this?] and I saw that Coveted Dishes were on sale. Yay! They were on clearance, which means they are being discontinued. Boo! So I used my SU student ID (bad consumer hell, here I come. SUBVERT CAPITALISM! Whoa there, Marxist Angie) and opened a Pier One charge for the additional 10% discount and used my Pier One gift certificate (Thank you, HEF, GRG and Liss!) and now I, Angela L. Gaul, own a set of Olive Mist dishes. They are purpley and pastel. I also got some of my first-and-a-half choice pattern, but I forget what it's called. I also bought a little teapot that sits on top of a saucer for Jo the British Best College Friend to use when she comes to visit me in the Imaginary Life.

The thing is, my Imaginary Life is totally achievable and do-able. It mostly consists of my living in a nice apartment where I can have my dog which is paid for by a staff photographer position at a respectable (I hope, I hope) newspaper or wire service in a town or city where I know and/or make friends. Sometimes Stephen lives with me in the Imaginary Life. He is always in a relationship with me, however. Oh, and I have short hair a la London Angie in this fantasy. The best thing about the I.L. is that I have an Imaginary Phone Stool. When Alissa moved in June, she was going throw away some white stools that used to live in Heidi's first Doylestown apartment, but she gave them to me instead. We started painting the Imaginary Phone Stool this weekend, which made us think of set-painting and Mr. Lehman.

Also, Mr. Lehman, who is pictured in "Hempfield Happenings," which I was reading in real, pathetic life, is more adorable than ever. He is now a husband and father, in case you didn't know. I bet he still smells good. And yes, godd-mmit, I bet his arm IS still hairy, thank you very much. Jeez. The Imaginary Phone Stool will sit under the phone in the Imaginary Apartment. I will perch on it as I talk on the phone to people I love. It is mostly primary colors right now, but it is also green, too. I am trying very hard not to beat it with the Ugly Stick, as Kelly would say.

Why am I all about the Random Capitalization today? It's even starting to annoy me.

Alissa suggested that I make an Ugly Stick, which can be used to banish away the urge to beat craft projects with the theoretical Ugly Stick. I think I will. Doing craft projects with Alissa is a very good way to ward of ugly vibes. She is very good at undoing ugly accidents.

So that's it. Soon I will follow the advice of a magnet that my sister Amanda gave me last Christmas. It said, "Live the life you've imagined." I will, too. That's all I need. Job with benefits, apartment that allows pets, short hair, magnet, phone stool, Stephen and friends, both new and old. Especially old. :)

Friday, August 10, 2001

OK, so here is a nice little post. I am very frustrated because I would like to have a cool, fun web site like my friends' sites, but I can't seem to do it... I chose Khaki Tuesday as my template, which I am very pysched about, except that it sucks because I can't see it. Hmmm... I will try "Post and Publish" and maybe, just maybe, something magical will happen.
This is the birth of a web site