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I’ve never done this before, but I simply must follow up on my earlier post entitled “So hard to be the mayor

Today in the Providence Journal it was announced:

“CRANSTON — Cranston Mayor Michael T. Napolitano told The Providence Journal today that he will not be running for re-election in the fall.
The mayor, in the middle of his first term, cited family obligations.”

I guess he didn’t want to tell the media that he just found it to be too hard.

 

 

 

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I need to revamp my list of summer goals because in my haste to not fall behind, I’m gotten way ahead of myself.

* I’ve read Diary of Anne Frank

* Painted the ceiling in my bedroom (which brightens it up considerably)

* been running regularly

* Ate a sandwich while sitting outside talking to a friend (picnic)

* Chapter 4 of Passage to India

* Table is fixed

* Made a dirty martini that was very close to perfect– still a work in progress

* Went to movie theatre with self-service butter dispenser and $5.50 movies before noon, and it was a magical place for a number of reasons which I will now list.

Not only do they serve delightful Coca-Cola products, but they also provide small plastic cups to fill with butter and take to your seat with you so you don’t have to saturate the top of the bucket while leaving the bottom dry. Genius.

My friend and I got the “Jumbo” sized popcorn and soda, which has unlimited re-fills for only $10. They have a second concession stand on the theatre side of the lobby so you don’t have to walk all the way around and take more time when you go to refill your jumbo-sized concessions at a crucial moment during Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I’ve joined their movie club, which is free, and that’s already netted me a cool $.50 off popcorn or beverage next time I patronize that establishment.

I have a collector’s bucket, with handle, and Indiana Jones’s face of it still 3/4 full of the leftover popcorn.

Best movie theatre ever.

Except about the fact I can’t get a decent burrito except at Chipotle, but I’m working on that. The other day, at the public library, I was sitting at the desk doing some work, when a middle-aged man approached me.GB

“Hey, I’d like to buy one of those stickers.”

This particular library has those round black and white stickers like you see in Europe, but obviously an abbreviated name for the library on them, not CZ or somesuchthing. I walked over to the drawer, got one out, took his dollar, and said “thank-you.”

“I bought a new car so I need to have a new sticker to put on it.”

“I see, well thanks for your support.”

“I work in local government,” he told me, “so you probably want to yell at me.” Then he waited for me to yell at him.

Instead, I said, “No, I have no gripe with Rhode Island.”

His jaw dropped, “That can’t be right.”

Admittedly, that is not entirely true, but I’m certainly not going to yell at this man, and for a number of reasons:

1. I’m at work

2. I’ve had a pretty good day, I’m not too indignant about anything

3. I had 3 hours of work left, I’d rather not get indignant and yell at someone because he can’t solve whatever is presumably bothering me right now, and I’d rather write a strongly-worded letter, or do something else to let my opinions known while he is at work and not buying a sticker.

4. He didn’t even tell me what he does, just that he works in local government. He could be in the mail room, for all I know.

“I’ve only lived here since September.” I told him, hoping that that excuse, lame as it is, would pacify him and just get him to go away.

“You didn’t move to…”

“No, I live in Providence.” Haha! I thought, that will end it, he doesn’t work in Providence, he said he was local.

“Well, certainly you must have been taxed!” he countered.

By this point, I was completely over this conversation, and getting a little creeped out. Was this some kind of librarian fantasy? He didn’t have any book fines, so he had to come up with some reason for me to discipline him? I did not have my hair in a bun at the time, and I was not wearing my glasses, but maybe… Maybe all government officials in this town would rather just get yelled at all day, or wander around complaining than do actual work. I don’t know what to make of all this.

“Of course I’ve been taxed.” I told him, “but clearly not to the point where I’m angry about it. Ask me again in a year.”

That seemed to satisfy him… for now.

1. When someone is waiting and allowing me to turn left in heavy traffic, it is rude to pull around them and make me, the person waiting for me, and all of the people waiting behind me wait longer when my left turn would have taken mere seconds to accomplish

2. In this day and age, why would you ever make a salad dressing in a plastic bottle without a squeezy top?

3. It is ridiculous when people (usually short, middle-aged men) check out my speed on the treadmill at the gym and try to match it, but can’t because their little New Englander legs are far too short. This is a bit funny too, but mostly annoying because it happens like every time I go to the gym. I am too fast for you.

4. When my internet hiccups and I miss crucial bits of chat. This is my fault for having the lowest tier internet speed, but still.

5. Also, the fact that I can’t watch instant Netflix movies because, again, my internet is too slow even though I’m paying what I feel is an exorbitant amount of money per month for it.

6. The fact that I cannot ever decide what to wear because the temperature changes every 30 minutes. I eventually do decide, because I must leave the house, but I’m rarely comfortable.

7. I still haven’t managed to find a good burrito in the state of Rhode Island, although I now have better idea (information which was previously withheld from me) of where to look.

8. The fact that even though I flatly refuse to ever buy diet anything, I still manage to come home with stuff that has phrases like “only 1 gram net carbs!” on it. It’s Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (without a squeezy top), it will make you fat– full stop. Who the hell cares about how many carbs are in it?

9. Because my mother wholeheartedly embraces diet food, I still have a Lean Cuisine frozen pizza in my freezer from when the parents visited my in November. I do not want to eat it; I’m fairly certain it will taste like sand, but I hate throwing away perfectly good food. I also have two muffins from Tim Horton’s that my dad didn’t eat. I had one of the dozen he bought, and I know for a fact that these two extra muffins, now freezer-burned will taste appallingly bad, but I keep thinking that I’ll get poor enough/ drunk enough/ trick someone else into eating them. They stare at me every time I open the freezer, with their little freeze-dried bullshit blueberry eyes.

10. The two plants I bought last week are looked seriously peaky.

When I was a freshman in college, I lived in the same dorm as this chick that my other friends insisted was cool, but who I knew was crazy from the first time I spoke to her.  She was very small, and very tense, and was majoring in pharmacy not because of a love for medicating people (or whatever kind of love inspires a person to work in that field), but because they make a lot of money.  I usually feel sorry for pharmacists because they seem so bored counting out pills and yelling into senior citizen’s ear-cones trying to make themselves understood as they describe what it means to take a pill “with food”.

The TV show Felicity also started my freshman year of college on the new WB channel.  The WB was not part of the cable package in Moorhead, MN, so I really didn’t know anything about this phenomenon until tense girl started blathering one day about how her mother was going to tape the show for her and mail it to her– “We can all get together and watch it.” she assured us.

I shrugged, and said I’d never heard of it, which caused her to go on a lengthy tirade about why this show was amazing.  The premise: a girl from California who is planning to go to Stanford suddenly changes her plans and goes to NYU because a boy she’s had a crush on (who is rather strange looking) is nice to her at graduation.  Apparently this is supposed to convince me that this show is worth making ones mother tape and mail episodes.

Another theme on the show is that Felicity sends audio tapes to her former French tutor.  Instead of writing letters, she dictates some of the most awkward and embarassing bits of her life into a pocket tape recorder and then sends them off.  This is an obvious plot device to embarass Felicity horribly– but they wait until episode three, when she awkwardly talks about imagining losing her virginity to a guy who could care less about her, to use it.

I got the replay of the episode from the tense girl who re-told it with big eyes and seemed to feel the same kind of humiliation and agony that Felicity did as the tape was played to 25 people at a rather lame dorm party. 

So, for whatever reason, I got Season One of this stupid show from the library.  I like to try to understand what makes people love certain things as much as they do– as much as this girl liked this show.  The whole premise, as far as I can tell, is that Felicity is a pretty, intelligent, but sheltered, socially retarded, and rather crazy girl who romps around NYU overthinking things.  It’s awful, simply awful, and I think the people who watched it were girls who want to be Keri Russell and guys who want to sleep with Keri Russell.

Eventually the show was canceled after Felicity got a bad haircut, but I quit watching after episode three.  I need to stop wasting my time like this.

Now that school is over, and I’m finally starting to feel like school is over, it’s time to turn my attention to what to do with all of this spare time.  Lately, I’ve been coming home feeling guilty about schoolwork that I don’t want to be doing, then when I realize that there is no more schoolwork–for now, I wander around my apartment listlessly doing nothing, snacking, eventually half watching a movie or half reading a book feeling like I’m forgetting something.  That is finally fading, I need new goals.

1. Pay off Visa bill– this is a big one, but I think I can do it, maybe.  I’m certainly going to try, anyway

2. Learn Hindi alphabet, and start learning Devanagari script, work on vocabulary

3. Run at least 10 miles per week

4. Read Moby Dick

5. get a tan

6. Read The Diary of Anne Frank— I just can’t get through that stupid thing, it’s a long story, but I have a lot of history with that book.

7. paint ceiling in bedroom, and do faux-finish to walls– I know that faux-finishes are beloved of Trading Spaces fans the world over, but I think I can do it in a way that won’t look stupid.  Also, my room is too dark and gloomy, but I do like the wall color, hence, faux-finish!! I can retain the lovely base tone while bringing more light into my life.  I require light.

8. Make a perfect dirty martini

9. Wait and see if landlady plans to clean up the backyard, then, if she doesn’t, do it myself.  Then utilize backyard in a lounge chair/cocktail manner

10. Go on a picnic

11. Go to the beach– technically, I’ve already done this, but it was really cold, and there was no swimsuit involved.  Goal is: Go to the beach for real

12. repair table

13. Fix fridge door so I can line up condiments without worrying that they will fall and break everytime I open the fridge door.  I imagine I can accomplish this with thick string and adhesive

14. Go to movie theatre where they have the self-service butter dispensor and $5 movies before noon (sounds like a magical place)

15. Read A Passage to India— I read it as an undergrad, but that was before I was obsessed with India.  I think it may resonate more now

16. Watch All Quiet on the Western Front, since, apparently, the one I saw was a made-for-tv version and the real one is kick-ass

17. write

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but whatever.  This is a good place to start out.

 

 

Thursday, I was working from home, so my Jewish friend and I decided to go on an adventure (to put off working and being at home).  We racked our brains for something fun, inexpensive, and (as we seem to have adopted a true Rhode Island mentality when it comes to travel), not too far away.  We settled on the beach, specifically, the RISD beach at their farm campus in Barrington, RI.  Why RISD needs a farm campus is beyond me, I suppose the artists can draw inspiration from the sea– like I’ve always tried to do, or, as my Jewish friend put it “you spend $42,000 per year for school, you get perks”.

I left Fargo to come to Rhode Island one week before my brother left Fargo to go to Minneapolis.  I spoke to him on the phone shortly thereafter and he expressed how wonderful it was that my father had lent him his GPS (Global Positioning System, but everyone knows that)  It was so much easier to navigate a city he had visited dozens of times with this wonderful device barking out directions every 1000 feet.  Upon hearing this, I called my parents and explained to them exactly why it was ridiculous that my brother had a GPS to help him navigate a city that is a perfect grid, while I’m struggling with a part of the country that is designed like a broken wheel of cowpaths. 

Honestly, I didn’t want a GPS.  I was unemployed when I got here, and for the next seven weeks as well, so I had lots of time to get lost and figure my way around.  Now I impress people with my ability to navigate this ridiculous place, and even people who grew up here get lost all the time. 

A few months after my light-hearted chastising, my mother told me that she got a good deal on a GPS and she was sending it to me (I don’t know why all of my complaining about not having a camera didn’t stick– I’m still trying). So now I have this ridiculously expensive thing, which is named Susan, that I’d love to sell, but that really does come in handy at times (though using it makes me feel like such a weiner).

In Barrington, neither of us knew where the RISD farm campus was.  We drove around, took in the adorable quaintness of New England, saw lots of water all around us, but could not find the beach.

“We could ask Susan.” I finally said. “She can pull up a list of attractions for each city.”

Susan let us down and did not have our beach on her list of attractions, so we called someone to have him find the address online.  He looked, and looked, and finally after ten minutes or so gave us something.

My Jewish friend shut her phone and looked at me “He really has poor researching skills.”

“Sounded like, that took forever.”

“Well, it’s a bit tricky to find, but man, he’s just not good at finding things.  He apologized though, and said that I must be very frustrated with him, which I kind of was.”