Friday, June 27, 2008

Ghost Boy

I have a mystery for you, dear friends.  

My new roommate, Jessica, is putting together a slide show for her sister-in-law's upcoming wedding, and was sent a large pile of digital photos to sort through.  I'm going to help her out a bit with the slideshow, and we were looking through photos last night, and found this one (click to enlarge): 

Now, what the hell is going on in this photo?  Is that boy transparent?  

My first assumption was that this was a film photo, and it was just a case of double exposure, but it turns out that it was definitely taken on a digital camera.  It's not a case of the shutter being open for too long, because the image on the television is quite sharp and stationary.

I also can't make him out in the reflections in the fireplace panel.  The child does belong to the family in the photo, but unless he's got some astral projection abilities, I can't sort this one out.  Any theories?

And, furthermore, is this as good as the ghost I caught on camera on spring break?

Just behind the brick thing, on the left - I've even got it zoomed a little.  Totally a face.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Grass on the Other Side Keeps Changing Colors

So, as steadfast as I generally am, something's going on with me here lately, where none of the decisions I'm making are coming along with that pre-packaged feeling of "this is absolutely the right choice!" 

That's normal, I know, but I'm used to that feeling.

I know I want to live in England, but I'm starting to get really nervous about it, and found myself today even looking at barmaid jobs there, because I guess I'd decided that finding film work wasn't going to happen.  Now, even if I do find film work, it might not be a bad idea to do a few nights a week at a pub.  The hours are decent, and I have bar experience, so I don't know why this is freaking me out so much.

I even had a moment of panic during the first day of my move in with Jess.  I think that's just because I stupidly didn't go look at her house before the move, so I didn't mentally prepare myself for it.  I'm okay now (because I had a few days of mental prep), and we're finishing up the move tonight and tomorrow.  At least I learned something about myself, yeah?

So, right now there's this line between Orlando and London for me, and while no matter how my mood may swing, I know deep in my heart that staying here would be the worst thing ever, there are these moments at work, or with my friends, or staring at the hot guitar player, that I start to become concerned that I don't have enough time left here to wrap things up in a perfect little parting package. 

I think this may be due to the fact that, in the past, I've been completely miserable when it's time to move on - thus the reason why leaving Arcadia forever, and graduating UCF didn't make me all melancholy.  So, in theory, I should be pleased that I'm not leaving Orlando at a rapid pace to flee a giant mess of unpleasant, but I guess I'm just not used to walking away from things that aren't broken.

I really hope that this reflection won't bring down a flurry of negative self-fulfilled prophecy, since that's not what I want, or what I'm saying at all.  I just needed to get it out.  I think big life changes are scary, and as my manager said last night, in reference to me up and leaving for London for no other reason than because I want to, "who does that?"

Sunday, June 15, 2008


So, over the past few weeks, the plan has officially been revised.  

Next week, I'm moving in with my friend Jess, who is allowing me to live with her, rent-free, until the move. This is going to save me piles of cash, and, I feel, improve my living situation, even though Jessica has a hubby and two kids.

While this might sound strange, anything is a step up from Queen Hick, her ghetto thug Prince Regent, and the dog(s).  Also, I won't have to worry about mice, giant roaches, or haunted happenings.  Hopefully.  

I also booked my plane ticket! (yay!)  So, I will officially be leaving on July 21st, which is Monday, at around 5 in the afternoon.  I have a few hours layover in Washington DC, and then a straight shot to London.

I wasn't able to get my Prior Entry Clearance, unfortunately, so if I'm going to see any of Europe for my first six months in London, I'll need to do it before September 30th.  This is kind of a drag, but it's hard to be bummed about specifics when I'm moving to London.  Plus, I'll be able to travel within the UK at my leisure, and there's more than enough there to keep me occupied for six months.

So, for now, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for potential job and flat postings that I can reserve ahead of time (though I have a feeling that won't be an option until much closer to my move date), and am trying to make the most out of what time I have left at my job, which I've definitely come to love :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Worst. Night. Ever.

Maybe not - no one died or anything, but the night itself was hellacious in a way only comparable to that night before Thanksgiving thing, last year.

Orlando is presently hosting a hair stylist's convention, and while these ladies tip well individually, in large groups, they seem to move around a lot and get too drunk to remember that they bought six rounds, each paid to the dollar in cash.  I got stiffed out of tips so many times last night that I lost count, which just never happens, even when I've got tables full of Europeans.  

So I worked my ass off on the level of around a $200 night, and ended up making around $70.

To top that off, the mood amongst the staff of Rising Star was also pretty sour.  We don't have the band on Sundays, so that already adds a layer of suck to the festivities, but we had an unfortunate combination of bartenders that get off on feeling superior because ... I'm not really sure why.  Because they mix drinks?  I dunno, but they seem to think they're meant to teach the servers lessons and talk down to us.  I suppose when your only career step in life is to make drinks, you need a means to validate yourself, but honestly - at one point, they made a server dig in the trash for a ticket she accidentally tossed, and at another point, decided to give change to a server who needed it $20 in one dollar bills.  "To make a point."  

What's the point the bartender was trying to make?  That menopause can happen at 25?  I'm not sure, and I don't think we'll ever find out.

Anyway, negative emotions continued to spike as the evening progressed, ending in a grand finale of the new girl getting a walk out on a $140 tab.  In most cases, I'd say it was her own fault for giving back the credit card before having closing funds, but I wasn't there and apparently she was bum rushed in a deliberate con.  That sucks, but it was difficult to sympathize for her when the laziest worker at the club told me and my dear friend Jess that it was our fault for not sticking downstairs to help.  As though we'd say anything to leaving guests other than "have a good night!"

They don't turn blue if they haven't paid.  There's no way to know that!

Anyway, so finally escaping out into the moist night air, we made it almost to the escalators before a man burst out of the Latin Quarter, projectile vomiting.  We were able to avoid him, just barely, but at this point, it's been seven hours of hell, and we all looked like war veterans, worn and haggard and just needed to get home.

So, we make it to the moving walkways and lo and behold, spot the man who stiffed poor Sylvia out of her giant tab.  As Sylvia is still stuck at the restaurant figuring out how to fix this debacle, and security is no where to be found, Jess and I figure we might as well approach him and let him know what happened on the off chance that it was an accident.

So, we round the corner, (and once again let me emphasize how haggard we looked), only to spot Guitar Guy standing near the garage escalators talking to a few of his friends, apparently just casually out for the night, and looking absolutely perfect.  I'm pretty sure I muttered, "Oh, my God," a little louder than was strictly appropriate.

If you don't know who Guitar Guy is, and we're friends, you don't talk to me enough.

So, he spotted us, and said, "Ladies!" looking happy to see us and all, and we told him to hold on for just a sec while we approached the Walkout Man.  The Walkout was very flamboyant, clearly a liar, and obviously deliberately skipped the check.  He kept saying he had never even been in the restaurant, which was absurd, because he was wearing a bright red and white button down cowboy shirt, and we'd all seen him.  He'd ask his friends, "Did we go into Rising Star?" and they'd all vehemently deny it.  If they hadn't, they probably wouldn't have been quite so high pitched or determined.

He then called us a slew of objectifying female-specific adjectives and we backed away before he could get physical.  My limit on being badgered by asshole male clients is one per month.  I've still got bruises from last time.

Guitar Guy was sympathetic, but I really just wanted to escape before he had any more time to see me looking the way I did.  He was also possibly with a girlfriend, which I knew there was a possibility of, and really doesn't bother me as much as you'd think, but I don't want to have to see her.

So, after a few minutes of standing, drained, in the parking garage, attempting some sort of recovery, Jess hugged me and pushed me in the direction of my car, which I climbed into and put into drive.

I was completely out of gas, so I drove past the I4 turnoff to try to find a gas station, ended up driving about ten miles in some unknown direction, and pulling into the only 7/11 on the planet with no gas pumps outside of it.  Seriously, what the hell?

Another two miles down the road was an overpriced Chevron, so I filled up there, and attempted to find a way to get back on the interstate.  That's a saga that can only be explained in stretches of road, so let's just jump ahead 20 minutes to my pull off onto the 408 ramp, where they'd closed off the side that leads in the direction I need to go.  Why wouldn't there be a warning sign on something like that?  

I ended up on Orange Blossom Trail, or the infamous redlight district known as OBT, if you're an Orlando local.  I sat at a literal red light for twelve minutes and was actively accosted by three (3) working prostitutes, one of whom was no older than 13.  They yelled through my rolled up window that I should give some spare cash to my fellow woman, and that the li'l sister should be home studyin' for algebra and not walking the streets.  Mercifully, a cop drove by and they vanished into the brush.  

Then, I stopped by Taco Bell to get some food, just to comfort myself, and they totally screwed up my order, charged me too much, and when I did get the thing I ordered, it was gross for the very first time in around six years of ordering this product.  

Upon reaching my door, the lock jammed up again, which I've only ever had to deal with outside of daylight hours, so I spent a few minutes apparently breaking into my own home, surprised that I hadn't been bitten by some tropical spider and died by this point.

This all following the previous evening where I received a text message from my idiot roommate accosting me for accidentally locking her boyfriend out of the house.  When I responded that he shouldn't be there without her anyway, she said it was rude.  I told her it was rude to move someone in against the lease, and she responded that I'm messy, and that's worse.  It was a very logical flow of events.

Someone hug me.