i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
12:48 AM: bursting my bubble
washington mutual is being much more aggressive in its upselling techniques: every time i talk to a wamu teller they ask if i'd like more information about whatever service they're being asked to upsell that day; whenever i log in i now have a stupid interstitial screen that asks if i'd like more information about a service i don't have before i am allowed into my account.
but nothing compares to today. i was in freddy's looking at mozzarella for the pizza i was making tonight when two people dressed in washington mutual outfits approached me.
"excuse me, ma'am? are you a washington mutual customer?"
i turn, afraid this is some sort of official business: "um.... yes....."
the woman's eyes & voice brighten. "you -are-? have you heard of our credit card--?"
as soon as she said "you -are-?" i think "oh, no!" and my suspicion is verified when she starts to ask about credit cards. so i cut her off, begging: "please don't bother me. i'm shopping." which certainly isn't the strongest thing or everything i could say, but i'm very constrained by my naturally ingrained politeness and social awkwardness.
"oh." she says, and stiffens. they walk away. i feel relieved, angry and guilty at the same time, but i spend the rest of my time in the store afraid i'll run into them again. i get my cheese and use the self-checkout kiosk to get out of there as quickly as possible.
i really hate petitioners and the tactics they use to get your attention and how they try to make you feel guilty for not stopping. i hate how their demands erode the general goodwill of everyone walking down the street. and now i'm not even safe inside a grocery store! argh! i wish there was a "do not call" list or "unsubscribe" option for human interaction. i'm writing wamu & freddy's a letter in protest.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
1:33 PM: countdown
i've now seen three "during the fall of eastern european communism" movies in a month. i've always been attracted to dystopian movies, which now seems to include post-communist movies. they've all been pretty good, but one was especially exquisite and another was so emotionally wrenching i'm still recovering from it.
i already wrote about how much i enjoyed the lives of others; last week i also saw "goodbye, lenin," which was its polar opposite: a slightly charming comedy about the way germany should have re-united, but didn't. then yesterday i saw "4 days, 3 weeks and 2 days," which is one of the most powerful movies i've ever seen. though the central plot of the movie is about an abortion, it is in actuality an absolutely gripping movie about the day-to-day choices of living in a totalitarian state. the tension and hopelessness and sacrifice are palpable.
i saw "4 days, 3 weeks and 2 days" at the living room theatre, which is a fantastic place to see almost any movie, especially if you can go in the daytime. one other person came in just as it was starting but sat on the aisle, so it was like i had the whole theatre to myself (which is a good thing, because i've never cried so much at a movie before). combined with their theatre menu service, it's amazing (if a little weird juxtaposed against such a severe movie).
Friday, April 11, 2008
5:14 PM: jailbreak
such a beautiful day today! sven came bursting into the house, panting: "if you come for a walk with me right now, you'll see goats!" so we raced to the top of the hill (oh, how i hate that hill!) and was rewarded by the sight of three goats eating everything in sight. fortunately, they loved clover the most, and our neighborhood has a lot of that on the medians and lawns. we decide to go to the farm to tell them some of their goats had gotten out, but were faced with a major language barrier; the woman who answered the door primarily spoke russian, and i haven't spoken that in over 10 years. somehow we managed to convey "goats out in the street" and she called her husband to come deal with it.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
3:38 PM: attend the tale of sweeney todd
sven & i went to see sweeney todd last night. i tried to find a place that had meat pies for dinner, but i settled for a sausage calzone at oasis. i'd never seen it before but my dad was sweeney todd in college so i'd always been interested. sven's interested in seeing the angela lansbury version now. and of course johnny depp has a version, too, but i'm a little more cautious now that he's done a terrible remake of willy wonka.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
11:54 PM: fools rush in...
april is poetry month, national grilled cheese sandwich month, and buy local month. only two of those three are true.