Author Archive

The heist, part three   Leave a comment

Scene Two

The front desk, which is a large semi-circle with INFORMATION written on it in big letters. At the desk sits Brittany, the intern. Behind her is the door leading to the back offices. There is a sign that points to different exhibits of the museum, such as “sculpture gallery” “impressionism” “featured” “local” or “folk”, as well as “cafe/restrooms/gift shop” etc, you get the idea. Brittany is humming a song and sorting mail.

Jake enters from the direction of the Featured gallery. His phone rings, and he answers.

Jake: Hello? … Oh hey. … I’m just leaving the museum now. … No, she was fine with it. She’s going to spend the evening with her cats. … What are you wearing? … I think black is fine. … No, it’s classic. … Saturday night. Don’t forget a ladder. And a flashlight. … I’ll remind you when I get there. … Yeah, bye, toots.

He hangs up and exits.

Michelle, an administrator, enters from the back offices.

Michelle: Oh! It’s quiet. I thought you would be on the phone all day.
Brittany: They stopped calling around 2:00. I think their deadlines are at 3. That’s what my friend Schaefer says.

Eskars enters, carrying a cup of coffee.

Eskars: Ladies.

He exits towards the featured exhibit.

Michelle: Who was that?
Brittany: He must be new.
Michelle: He has a cute butt. (looks at the mail that Brittany is sorting) What are you doing? Is this outgoing?
Brittany: No, the postman came already. Why, were you…oh no. No, I asked, but he didn’t have the pamphlets with him.
Michelle: The opening is in two days. We can’t just not have pamphlets.

Dupin enters from the back offices.

Dupin: Who was that?
Michelle: I don’t know.
Brittany: He must be new.

Dupin exits the same way Eskars did.

Brittany: I checked the shipping code and it says eta tomorrow.
Michelle: Tomorrow! We can’t fold 2500 color pamphlets in less than 24 hours! I’ve already distributed all of our volunteer hours for the opening and I don’t have the budget or the time to hire any temps…
Brittany: What if you had a bunch of college kids do it? You know, some nice, well-behaved college kids who are very passionate about art and–
Michelle: Cut to the chase, Brittany.
Brittany: My friends and I could do it. I’ve already talked with them about it.
Michelle: Name your price. I can sign off on any community service hours, I could probably swing a pizza order…
Brittany: Pizza would be amazing, but we want in at the opening.
Michelle: I have several tickets available for Sunday.
Brittany: No, the opening gala. The one with the press and the celebrities and the caterers and the late hours and the fancy dresses.
Michelle: There are no more tickets for the gala.
Brittany: Sure there are. Maybe some set aside for radio contests or NPR contributors…
Michelle: Those were distributed two weeks ago.
Brittany: What about for friends of the museum?
Michelle: They were snatched up within days of the announcement. There are no more tickets, Brittany. I’m sorry. I would love it if your friends could help us out, but I can’t get you into the opening gala. Is there anything else I can offer you?
Brittany: I’ll have to ask my friends.
Michelle: Well let me know.

Michelle exits towards the impressionist galleries (I suppose that all the galleries could be in the same direction, I don’t know, I’m not the director). Brittany looks at the mail, sighs, and sits in her chair. She takes out her phone and begins texting.

Jackie, the head of IT, enters from the back offices.

Jackie: Texting on the clock, tsk tsk.
Brittany: It’s about the museum. My friends and I were hoping to get into the gala but it looks like we’re not going to.
Jackie: What do you mean? You work here.
Brittany: Yeah, but there’s no more tickets for my friends. And I haven’t been invited to the gala.
Jackie: Yeah but you work here. You could sneak in.
Brittany: What?
Jackie: Just come in from the employee entrance and act like you’re supposed to be there. Once you’re in they won’t be checking for tickets.
Brittany: But then how do I get my friends in?
Jackie: They come in the same way. All of you come in at the same time through the same door, acting like you’re supposed to be at the gala. No one will question you. There’s too many people.
Brittany: That seems wrong.
Jackie: So does not letting you into the gala.
Brittany: I feel like you’re not supposed to be telling me this.
Jackie: I’m head of IT. Are you spyware?
Brittany: No.
Jackie: Then what do I care if you sneak into the biggest event in the museum’s history? Young people are so cautious these days. Break some rules. Crash parties. See events in the making. Live art.
Brittany: I guess you’re right.
Jackie: Of course I am. Where did Dupin go?
Brittany (points): That direction.
Jackie: Excellent, I need him to sign off on some paperwork. I hope to see you at the gala.

Jackie exits.

Brittany: We do only live once.

Posted July 7, 2017 by agentksilver in writing

The Heist, part two   Leave a comment

Scene Two

Another gallery room. This one is dedicated to Impressionism. Jake is waiting, examining two paintings: one is an example of pointillism, Jake’s favorite form, and one is an example of divisionism.

Susan enters. She looks like the sort of person who would demand to see the manager. She is here to absorb some sort of personality, and unfortunately, she is in Jake’s realm. She looks at the divisionist painting.

Susan: That looks like something my daughter painted in kindergarten.

Jake laughs, and not nicely, because he hates divisionism, but not for that reason.

Susan: And why is this painting so fuzzy? What could possibly be the purpose of that?
Jake: The human mind creates patterns where there aren’t any. The painter uses a combination of CMYK color printing, like newspapers. What we are really seeing is just dots, but our mind blends them all together to create images that aren’t there. And look at this painting (indicates the divisionist painting), really that’s just squares arranged using optical color theory, whose primary colors are green, blue, and red. Like television. But it’s cheap because they can form the shapes much more easily that by simply dotting suggestively like with pointillism.

Susan began this conversation interested, since she is here to absorb culture, but she nods off after a while.

Susan: I hate modern art.

She exits.

Jake: It’s not modern.

Jake leaves those two paintings and examines a third one. Rachel enters with Michelle, a museum administrator, and Officer Dupin.

Michelle: We’ve ordered 2500 color pamphlets for the opening.
Rachel: Are they three-panel or one-sheet?
Michelle: Three-panel. They should be here on the 24th however.
Rachel: Oh that’s not enough time. Do you know what time on Friday?

Michelle, rather than answering, is looking at Jake. Rachel turns to see as well.

Rachel: Jake?

Officer Dupin grabs Michelle’s arm and pulls her offstage. After a moment, both stick their heads back in the gallery. On the other side, Officer Eskars, Jackie the head of IT, Brittany the intern, and several other employees also stick their heads in to watch.

Jake: Rachel. You’ve been my best friend for so long. I know we’ve only been dating for six months-
Rachel: Wait oh my god.
Jake: -but we’ve already been through so much together. I know I don’t have much-
Rachel: Oh my god.
Jake: -but I’d rather have nothing with you than everything and…not you.
Rachel: Oh my god.
Jake: I don’t have a ring, but I love you.
Rachel: Oh my god.
Jake: Will you marry me?
Rachel: Oh my god.

A beat.

Rachel: Wait I have to answer.
Jake: Yes.
Rachel: Oh my god.

Another beat.

Rachel: Oh! Yes. Yes I will marry you.

All the eavesdroppers cheer. Jake kisses Rachel.

Dupin: Alright, guys, let’s give them some privacy, clear out, nothing to see here, bye bye…(etc., until everyone leaves) Congratulations, you two.

Dupin exits.

Jake: Let’s get married tonight.
Rachel: Wait what?
Jake: Why not? We couldn’t afford a big wedding anyway. Not on your government salary.
Rachel: That’s not what I was expecting.
Jake: It’ll be a whirlwind romance. We’ll tell our kids about it. It’ll make for a great story. My buddy Paul’s a great photographer, you can put on that blue dress I like, we’ll sign the license on the fourth floor and then get married on the second floor…
Rachel: But that’s not what I want. I want the whole kaboodle, the white dress and the flowers.
Jake: We can get some flowers.
Rachel: But this isn’t an emergency. We’re not…this isn’t the nineteenth century and I’m pregnant or something. This is the twenty-first century. We can take our time. I want our wedding to be perfect. We could get married in the Statues Hall, they have a slot available in eleven months.
Jake: Babe.
Rachel: Jake.
Jake: Do you really want the stress and drama of a big wedding? Before I met you I couldn’t even imagine getting married.
Rachel: Babe, we met in college.
Jake: And I’ve been dreaming about marrying you ever since.

This reaches her.

Jake: I just don’t want to wait any longer.

She takes his hand and nods. They start to exit.

Rachel: Oh my god I’m going to be Rachel Barfknecht.
Jake: That’s cool. It’s the twenty-first century. You don’t have to take my name. In fact, I’ll become Jake Smith.

Eskars enters. He and Jake nod at each other.

Rachel: Really?
Jake: Yeah. I’ve always hated the name Barfknecht.
Rachel: Babe.
Jake: Jake Smith. Husband of Rachel Smith. And our children, Pierre-Auguste Smith and Mary Berthe Smith.
Rachel: You mean Livinia and Leonardo .
Jake: No, I mean Pierre and Mary.

They exit, still arguing.

Posted June 28, 2017 by agentksilver in writing

New me, new play writing   Leave a comment

Scene one, the Exhibition Gallery

The gallery is mostly bare, with two large doorways (one on stage left and one on stage right), a bench or two, a sign for the upcoming Giovanni di Como exhibit, and one painting: a large portrait of a fashionable woman of the Italian Renaissance. This painting is totally not the Mona Lisa and Giovanni di Como is absolutely not Leonardo da Vinci.

There are two people on stage: Officer Dupin, and Ellen Corby. Dupin is a security guard, several hours into his shift. Ellen is a lady in her 70s, retired, hunched and frail. She is standing and studying the painting, which we’re going to call Lady Madonna.

On the other side of the stage from Dupin, Officer Eskars enters. Despite looking like a security guard, the uniform is slightly different from Dupin’s. Eskars and Ellen look at each other. Eskars nods. Ellen stares. Eskars departs before Dupin can look up.

Ellen turns to leave through the other entryway, when Rachel Smith, museum curator, enters. She stops when she sees Ellen.

Rachel: Oh, admiring the Lady Madonna?
Ellen: I’m surprised you have it out already. This sign says the exhibit doesn’t start until the twenty-fifth.
Rachel: I decided to bring it out early. Why would you have a painting as famous as the Lady and keep it in storage?
Ellen: I take it you’re a woman of some importance here.
Rachel: I am. I’m a curator of this institution. Rachel Smith. Can I have your name please?
Ellen: Yes, Ellen. Ellen Corby.
Rachel: Wonderful, it’s very nice to meet you, Ellen. There’s a reason this painting is so famous. Just look at its use of classical Renaissance techniques. In this case, the triangle framing, formed by the arch of her arms, meeting just above her eyes. And most creatively, the background is terrible. The perspective is all off, making it look flat and dull when it’s actually a beautiful Italian countryside. It all works to draw you into her marvelous eyes.
Dupin: I thought this painting was so famous because it was stolen in the 1920s.
Rachel: Yes, that did increase the notoriety of the piece. It was gone for eight years until it showed up one day at an auction.
Dupin: Did they ever figure out who stole it?
Ellen: No.
Dupin: I bet it was someone in the auction house.
Ellen: No…
Rachel: I don’t think they were involved in the theft, necessarily. But I bet they knew who stole it. It’s a very thin line between art collection and art crime. They probably ran in the same circles.
Ellen: You’re a very astute woman, aren’t you?
Rachel: Art is a cutthroat world, Ellen. I’m very fortunate to make it to where I am legitimately. It’s a shame painting isn’t as valued in the modern day. Picasso drew on his napkins to pay for his lunches. There’s so many choices in every brushstroke. Every painting is the result of so many choices. It’s so much more personal than…anything, really.
Ellen: You are a wonderful young woman.
Rachel: Oh, thank you.
Ellen: When are you here? Monday through Friday?
Rachel: Oh, most days. I practically live here. My cats never see me. I come home and they say, “Who are you? Are you going to feed us?”

Jake enters.

Jake: Babe!
Rachel: Oh, hey handsome.

They embrace. He grabs her butt as they part, making her laugh. At some point in this conversation, Dupin exits.

Rachel: (to Ellen) This is my boyfriend, Jake. (to Jake) We were just talking about the Lady Madonna.
Jake: What, like the Beatles song?
Rachel: No, like-
Jake: Lady Madonna, children at her feet-
Rachel: You know what I-
Jake: Wonder how you manage to make ends meet?
Rachel: Like the painting right behind us.
Jake: That painting?
Rachel: Yes.
Jake: The one right behind you.
Rachel: Yes.
Jake: The one you’ve been talking about nonstop for eight months now?
Rachel: Jake.
Jake: No, I don’t know what painting you’re talking about.
Rachel: Anyway, what are you doing here? I’m at work.
Jake: Oh, work, you’re never at work.
Rachel: Jake.
Jake: I just wanted to see you.
Rachel: You couldn’t wait until dinner?
Jake: No, I wanted to tell you, my buddy Paul is arranging for a boy’s night tonight, and I thought, since you’re always busy, especially with this new exhibition…
Rachel: Oh. Okay. Go ahead.
Jake: You’re not mad?
Rachel: No.
Jake: Yeah, I thought, if I told you in person, maybe you wouldn’t be so mad.
Rachel: You have fun. I need a night to myself anyway. My cats miss me.
Jake: Thanks babe.
Rachel: You don’t need my permission. You’re a grown man.
Jake: Yup. Thanks. Bye babe.

He squeezes her butt and then leaves.

Rachel: He’s so sweet, isn’t he?
Ellen: Very sweet. What is his name again?
Rachel: Jake Barfknecht.
Ellen: What an unusual last name.
Rachel: I know!
Ellen: Well, Miss Smith, it was very nice to meet you.
Rachel: It was very nice to see you too. Thank you for visiting. I hope to see you here again soon!
Ellen: Oh I’ll be back.

Rachel exits. Ellen turns back to the Lady Madonna painting. She steps closer to it, looking at the frame. Officer Eskars enters.

Ellen: This painting reminds me of my late husband. Beautiful, but flat.
Eskars: I find it rather dull.
Ellen: You would, wouldn’t you? Doing this every day. (when Eskars does not answer) You’re just waiting for me to leave, aren’t you? When does the museum close?
Eskars: At five o’clock most days, at eight o’clock on Saturdays.
Ellen: I do like Saturdays.
Eskars: I see.
Ellen: My late husband and I had a regular dinner date every Saturday at 7:45 precisely. It would mess with the crowds, you know.
Eskars: That seems risky.
Ellen: Why should young people be the only ones to have fun?
Eskars: This isn’t fun.
Ellen: Why, officer!

Ellen exits.

Posted June 21, 2017 by agentksilver in writing

On Sleeping Around   Leave a comment

I’ve struggled with sleep issues since I was an early teen. In the 15 or so years since I started having issues, I’ve learned a lot about me and my sleep needs. I think I struggled in high school because of the way my bedroom was positioned in the house:

This diagram is not to scale in the least, but my bedroom was the one in the upper right-hand corner. Air didn’t naturally flow in and out of that room, and the sun was shining in the windows for most of the day. So the heat built up and never left. It was rarely cool enough for me to sleep. When I finally moved out, and into a house where the bedroom had the chance to get cool at night, I slept like a log.

Except for when the seasons change. Even though I spend 98% of my time indoors, whenever a solstice or an equinox hit, I can’t sleep for about a week while my body adjusts to…whatever the heck it needs to adjust.

It was recently the summer solstice, so Titania and Oberon danced on my brain for about a week. I’ve been weaning myself off of caffiene, but it hasn’t helped. Then last night, a thunderstorm brewed. Something I actually like about North Carolina: thunderstorm season. Last night was the first night of thunderstorm season, which meant that the heat finally broke.

I could feel it.

If I hadn’t had stuff to do last night, people to meet and places to go, I would have climbed into bed at 6:00 and been out by 7:00. But as it was, I downed a cup of coffee and chugged on. I went to bed around 11:00 or 11:30 instead (like I said: people to meet and places to go). And my body was out like a light.

I hadn’t slept in a week, so my body felt even heavier than usual. I didn’t even hear my alarm go off. I finally rolled over at 6:30 and realized that I was about half an hour late for work.

I called out. I feel bad, because I wasn’t actually sick. I just didn’t want to get in trouble. I didn’t actually say “I’m sick”, though, I just said “I am calling out”. I’m hoping that maybe, since I’m sleeping again, that means that tomorrow I will be awesome at work. Maybe. Here’s hoping.

Since I do have the day off unexpectedly, I’m reviewing my script again. As I said a few weeks ago on Facebook, I have two background roles, “Second Girl” and “First Cutie”.* As you can tell by the names, I’m never a standalone character. I have a scene partner in both. And, reading through the script, I realized that I am actually the Straight Man in both scenes. My scene partner is the Foil.

This is very weird to me, because consistently, across all of my acting career, I have either been part of a very large ensemble with no discernible character (fairies, cards), a character actor (Stapleton, Mrs. Pruitt), or the Foil (Second Deer, The Parade). I have literally never been the Straight Man in my entire life. Personally, I like being characters the best. You don’t have to memorize the entire play or carry the show. You just show up and add flavor to the experience of the show. You’re memorable without working too hard. This is why I was excited to audition for Olga the Manicurist. She’s a character, a one-scene wonder. The actress they ultimately chose for the part had much the same reading that I did, but with a better accent and a better sense of the character. So I’m pleased, both for her and for my ability to cold-read characters. But that still leaves me with two characters that I have no idea what to do with.

Really, for First Cutie, I think I have the what to do down pretty easily. Here’s her scenes:

Outside…outside a party, long story short, okay

First Cutie: It’s jammed.
Second Cutie: Oh, my boyfriend’ll get us a table.

More of the scene, then…

First Cutie: Thought you and the boyfriend had a row?
Second Cutie: We did.
First Cutie: What about?
Second Cutie: His wife.
First Cutie: His wife? What right has she got to butt in?
Second Cutie: He’s got some cockeyed idea that after twenty years he can’t kick her out.

They exit

Later, they reenter

Second Cutie: So there were on Saturday night and it’s Atlantic City. And he says: “I gotta go home tomorrow, baby!” And I says: “Why dja got to?” And he says: “My wife always expects me home on Easter Sunday.” So I says: “What’s she expect ya to do? Lay an egg?”
First Cutie: They got no sentiment.
Second Cutie: So I told him, “I had a great career until you made me give up the stage, you lunkhead. For what? A couple of cheesy diamond bracelets? A lousy car, which every time it breaks down you got to have the parts shipped over from Italy.”

They exit

I think First Cutie (my character) is only using Second Cutie for her connections, and is swiftly losing patience with Second Cutie. How I will portray that will have to do with Second Cutie. I’ll talk it over with her, whenever I see her again. I think it will be funny? Literally every single character in this story is 100% on board with cheating so a character who is annoyed by the whole prospect, but not for moral reasons, will be…she’ll be different, right?

Anyway the harder character is Second Girl, for some bizarre reason.

At a lingerie store

First Girl: Well, now we can put them all back again. Makes you drag everything out in the damn store, and doesn’t even buy a brassiere!
Second Girl: And that’s the kind who always needs one.
First Girl: This isn’t her type. That isn’t her type. I’d like to tell her what her type is.
Second Girl: I’d like to know.
First Girl: It’s the type that nobody gives a damn about! Gee, I’d like to work in a men’s shop once. What can a man try on?
Second Girl: Ever see a man try on hats? What they go through, you’d think a head was something peculiar.

They exit

That’s the entire scene for those two. They show up later in the scene to eavesdrop, but they have no other lines.

I feel like the key line for her is the last line. I have no idea how to gesticulate the meaning of that sentence. It needs something. I can’t just rattle off that line. It’s a punchline.

Maybe it, again, needs a readthrough with my scene partner. Or maybe not. I wish I had someone to talk about this with. But cats just kind of stare at you.

*Which reminds me. Yesterday I emailed my resume to James, because I was going to use his computer to print my resume out. I put in the subject “Resume For Printing” and then explained what I was doing in the body of the email. He emailed me back, saying that I had it all wrong and that it was actually a resume for being lovable.

Posted June 16, 2017 by agentksilver in Personal

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So for a space of about two weeks, I played a mobile game called Episode, which was a choose-your-own adventure type game. There were a variety of stories, but the whole thing seemed to be catered to and written by high-school-age girls. For the first week or so I found this fascinating to delve into, from a more grown-up perspective. What were the expectations that teenage girls had for romance? What did they expect the adult world to be like? How do they expect situations, awkward or dangerous, to be resolved?

I was surprised by how clingy the male leads were expected to act. I was surprised by the sheer amount of rich do-nothings. I was surprised how many romantic leads were interested in fashion.

As the novelty wore off I became more impatient with the game. The games always had a romantic subplot. I’m barely interested in romantic subplots written by professional writers. Heck, my own romantic subplot was only ever interesting to me because I was the female lead. I could only watch so many poorly-animated underage men drool over underage girls in fashionable dresses before I lost my interest. And I was mostly playing mystery novels.

I nowadays mostly play My Cafe, in which you run a coffee shop and gossip with customers, or Make Hexa, in which you make hexagons. We’ll see how long those hold my interest.

But my homemade calzone is in the oven, James is out of town, the cats are refusing to finish their breakfasts, and I have applied for three jobs today. The same games keep getting advertised on my apps: Bubble Witch 3, Supermarket Tycoon, Mobile Strike, Word Cookies, Gardenscapes, Island Experiment (whose ads make me feel like I have child porn on my screen, seriously marketers you need to get rid of that).

But the absolute stupidest-looking one that keeps getting advertised is Is-it Love? Ryan: Visual Novel

I don’t know who that is. I suppose it’s probably Ryan. But something about that makes me laugh every time I see it. SEDUCE HIM!!! It’s very effective! As if men walked around with giant SEDUCE buttons, and you just had to press the button and he would be seduced.

And also, the whole “you shall be my assistant” and you have the option to seduce him? What the heck is going on in this image?

You know what, I’m going to play it.

8:47: I have opened the game. I am talking to a “Miss Chocolate”, which is the most misleading name. She is white, and does not appears any kind of madame-looking individual. She’s just explaining that this is a choose-your-own adventure game (“you are the heroine of your own story. All the choices you make affect the story”). I wonder if this genre is so popular because a lot of people feel like they don’t have control over their lives.

8:51: Miss Chocolate explained the energy system and has now asked me my name. I think I’ll go with Schadenfreude? If that’s too long I’ll go with Sadie Hawkins. Sadie.

8:52: Miss Chocolate says “Hawkins” will be my name for the whole story so I guess I don’t ever marry in a conservative enough fashion to get a name change.

8:54: “Everything here reminds you that you’re part of something big and of fresh young people who have decided to dedicate their lives to their work…”

First of all, game, don’t tell me how to feel. Second of all, who the heck thinks like that? Aren’t I young? Doesn’t this take me out of the game and make me feel old?

8:58: They served us “the best petit-fours” at the office party? I love me some petit-fours, but I hope that’s not all they served because seriously?

8:59: “Matt looks at me smirking with resignation”

9:02: Now that I’m alone in the building, “something unexpected is about to happen, I can feel it” (Pfft $firstname! You watch too many movies!)

9:03: “My eyes turn back to my [phone] screen and I decide to start my favourite game up. It’s an interactive romance where the heroine that I play has a passionate love affair with her boss”

I feel very angry and annoyed. I smirk in annoyance.

“That’s something that’ll never happen to me… Honestly, I really don’t see how a powerful man could fall for somebody like me…”

9:07: I guess I’m meeting the boss right now, in the elevator? He’s “athletic looking” and has “subtle” perfume, and “his hands are those of a young man”

I smirk in confusion.

9:08: the elevator is falling? This is the most interesting thing. Maybe she’ll wake up in the hospital and fall in love with a nurse or something.

9:09: “actually being locked in an elevator with a total stranger is exciting. My temperature rises…I can feel nothing else but the presence of this total stranger and the blood beating in my temples” down girl

9:11 “we stay a moment like this as if he were reading my state of mind” GIRL YOU ARE DRUNK, YOU ARE IN NO POSITION TO MAKE OUT WITH STRANGERS IN AN ELEVATOR WHEN THEY HAVEN’T EVEN TALKED TO YOU

9:13: “I’m locked between his warm body and the cold steel of the elevator wall. I can feel that he’s placed an arm next to my face to better control the situation” oh my god this is turning into a rape

9:14: Seriously, this game is not giving me any options to let me pull away. There was one option that let me stop the situation, I pressed it, because gross, this situation is gross and rapey, and instead it just gave the text the ability to continue melting into this rapist stranger’s arms. DRUNK GIRL. LOCKED ROOM. NO WORDS EXCHANGED. NOTHING HAS BEEN ASKED. My options right now are “let him continue [kissing Sadie without asking]” or “kiss him back” absolutely not. No way.

9:18: Sadie tries to come to her senses, but “without giving [Sadie] a chance to think, he grabs the back of [her] neck pushing [her] to kiss him again]” Still no words exchanged. She’s pulling away (how else do you interpret “coming to my senses” and he responds by GRABBING HER AND MAKING HER KISS HIM SOME MORE


9:20: They are undressing and moaning and “my conscience is telling me to stop everything right now. I’m not that kind of girl!” as if this were a moral decision when THIS GUY IS RAPING HER

9:22: he’s holding her “in such a way that [she] can’t see his face]” SADIE YOU ARE BEING RAPED. WHY IS RAPE BEING MARKETED AS ROMANCE.

9:23: “try to catch a glimpse of him” uh, yeah “who are you” “you won’t know who I am” LISTEN HERE YOU LITTLE SHIT I’M GOING TO THE POLICE

9:33: [coworker] is so gossipy. Oh, let’s gossip about [another coworker]

Posted June 15, 2017 by agentksilver in Uncategorized

And yet another post about my health   Leave a comment

Before I begin, I would first like to show you the deepest trough of a customer I have had to deal with to date.

The phone rang. I answered it.

Kelsey: Thank you for calling Home Depot, how can I direct your call?
Customer: Yes, I have a question. How much does your building cost?
Kelsey: Uh…
Customer: I mean, it’s a big store. I can’t imagine how much it costs to heat and air condition, it must cost a fortune. It’s a huge store. Just the land must be hugely expensive. So I want to know, why does your management bother having that giant brick-and-mortar store if they’re just going to put everything on their website?


Customer: So anyway, the meat of my call is that I saw this chandelier in a magazine and it said that you could buy it at Home Depot so I went into your store but you didn’t have it. I asked a guy and he said it was on your website and I asked him for more information on the chandelier but he said he was new and couldn’t help me and walked away.




Sears Home Appliances — We Got a Guy (Cavernous)

Damn you, accurate criticism!

Kelsey: Well ma’am, I can definitely try to help you. Can you tell me about chandelier?
Customer: Well it was only a little tiny image in the magazine but it was a five-light antler chandelier for $189.

Hampton Bay 5-light Natural Antler Hanging Chandelier

Kelsey: I have it pulled up here in front of me. What would you like to know about it?
Customer: How big is it?
Kelsey: It’s…let’s see…it’s 26 inches in diameter.
Customer: What…what’s a diameter?
Kelsey: It’s the size of a circle from one side to the other side.
Customer: I’m sorry?
Kelsey: It’s…the measure of a circle from one side all the way to the other side.
Customer: What does that have to do with the chandelier?
Kelsey: Well it’s a circular base. So you would measure it from tip to tip, and that’s 26 inches. It’s 19 inches high and 26 inches wide.
Customer: 26 inches from what point?
Kelsey: Uh…you know what, the radius is 13 inches.
Customer: What is a radius?
Kelsey: That’s the measure from the middle of the circle to the end of the circle. So from the center of the chandelier to the edge of the chandelier, that’s 13 inches.
Customer: Why would I want to know that?
Kelsey: I don’t know…I just…the chandelier is 26 inches.
Customer: And you don’t have the chandelier in front of you?
Kelsey: No ma’am, just a picture from the website.
Customer: This is so useless. How can you know from a picture if it’s a good fit or not?

I don’t know, how can you tell from a tiny magazine photo if it’s a good fit or not? Cheese and crackers, I spent the rest of the conversation explaining that no, you have to pay for the chandelier before anyone will ship it anywhere. I just. After the conversation ended, I just had to sit back and think about the fact that this woman called to complain that we have a website.

Anyway, I am sick. I don’t know why. For the past week, I have been experiencing nausea. I’ll stand and make phone calls and I’ll have to pause and put a hand over my mouth because I just experienced a sudden, intense wave of sickness. I haven’t thrown up or anything, but I just…I just feel overwhelmed by the sickness or something and I have to sit down or put my head in my hands. I also have some heartburn and I feel flush and warm sometimes, but mostly it’s the nausea.

I’ve had random spells like this before. I just get sick sometimes, for no reason.

Cropped and edited version of a pic by thepan

I remember when I was on the verge of turning 26 and I mentioned to Mom that hey maybe I didn’t need health insurance, and she said, “Remember when you randomly got hives for weeks on end? You just get sick! You need health insurance!”

What’s weird about this is that while eating definitely makes the symptoms worse, it doesn’t matter what food I actually eat. I tried to deal with the problem by eating small meals made of up mild foods, like rice and crackers. Then one day I snapped and had James take me out for Mexican food. I had exactly the same after-meal nausea.

So this morning when I nearly threw up trying to process an appliance refund, I decided that I would wait until my mid-shift coverage arrived, and then I would go to the doctor. Because seriously, it has been a week and there is just no sign of stopping. It has been long enough that I can classify “good days” and “bad days” and today was a “medium day” while yesterday was a “good day” and the day before was a “bad day”.

Fortunately Home Depot understood because Home Depot has very good management. I went to the urgent care closest to my townhouse. They did the tests: I have a very mild fever (I am normally in the upper 97s but am currently in the mid-98s). I explained my symptoms in between belching because goodness gracious whatever it is that I have gives me gas.

First thing they did was test for pregnancy and No, I Am Not Pregnant. So they gave me a prescription for anti-acids (for the heartburn) and been referred me to an ultrasound person to test for gallstones.

The Awkward Yeti

And now I’m sitting here waiting for my body to finish processing my lunch. After I finish this post, I’m going to make some phone calls, get the utilities for the new house set up because we close on Friday. Then I guess I’ll do word puzzles until I feel okay enough to start sorting books and packing.


Posted September 14, 2016 by agentksilver in Personal

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The dog days are over, the dog days are done, do you hear the horses, because here they come   Leave a comment

I never really understood the term “dog days of summer” until I moved to North Carolina. Maybe it’s because I grew up with air conditioning. But there’s something in the air. If you step outside for just a moment, it saps all the energy out of you. You could spend all day in the air conditioning and be energetic and excited, and then you step outside for a moment and you just. You want to lie down in the shade and not do anything.

According to WUNC, the “dog” part of “dog days” literally refers to the Sirius star that’s at its peak this time of year. But I guess it also refers to dog tired. You know, when dogs just up and quit on you from too much walking.

On a historical note, the South has always been noted for its slower lifestyle. Abigail Adams, visiting Mount Vernon in in 1790s, noted how still everything was. Not in a tranquil way, either, like how Southern literature likes to portray it. Just…very few people, and all the people didn’t seem to do much, even the slaves, who were very unhappy but also very tired. Bad attitudes everywhere. It was the Dog Days in Alexandria. That was in Northern Virginia. The farther South you go, the worse it gets. I read an article that blamed the whole thing on yellow fever, but really, you just cannot escape the lethargy of this sun.

I knew I would be out and about today so I dressed to combat the heat. I wore a short dress, capri-length leggings, and canvas slip-on shoes. My plan was to stop by school, buy my books and visit my classrooms, then go shopping for home decor stuff. I would surely have time to visit two lighting stores and then some furniture stores, I thought to myself.

Wake Tech is 30 minutes from the townhouse, and 40 minutes from our future house. Fortunately I set my schedule so that school would be the only thing on the agenda during those days, but still. I hadn’t planned on spending 30 minutes driving through rural back roads to get to school. I was actually pretty nervous driving through those roads. What sort of community college was out in the middle of nowhere?

Wake Tech’s main campus is in a pretty rural area, at the very southern tip of Raleigh and pretty close to Holly Springs. It was really only 10 or 15 minutes or so from civilization. I guess I’m just used to urban campuses, where land is a premium so they charge you for everything.

Everything. When I walked into the student center, I realized I had to register my car, so I had to step back out into the heat and walk for two minutes back to my car to get my registration, then another two minutes through the heat to get back into the student center. Then I stood in line, wiping all the sweat off my face, then handed over my form, driver’s license, and registration in order to get a parking pass and a student ID. I had my debit card ready to cover costs. I had no idea how much parking was, but whatever, I had to park on campus so whatever it took I would pay it. At NoVa, it had been anywhere from $70 to $90 per semester for a parking pass. At GMU, I had paid $250 three times a year to park my car on campus (since I took summer classes).

She had me sit down and smile at the camera for my ID. Then she handed me a parking sticker and told me my ID would be ready in about a minute. I didn’t have to pay a cent for parking or for the card.

Downstairs, I spoke with the woman at the help desk while I examined a campus map. I mentioned my surprise at not having to pay a parking fee.

“Oh yeah,” said the woman at the desk. “I remember having to pay $6 to park at NC State. I was a visitor! I had to pay $6! Like, no thank you, I’m not going there.”


I walked back and forth several times between the Student Center and the bookstore. They were right next to each other. On a cold day it might have felt like nothing. But the heat was a tangible thing, like your parents making you put on a sweater when you weren’t cold. The sun was blinding. I spent $150 on textbooks. I could have spent $87 just to rent the things, but I had a bad experience renting textbooks so I’d rather buy them outright.

I sat in my car. I wanted to sit and play on my phone but I had places I wanted to be and it was 2:30, where had the time gone? I wanted to breathe. But I have a bad habit of sitting on my phone in the car for like an hour and I needed to get going and break that habit. So I drove across campus to the parking lot, and then picked up my rolling backpack and walked around the building, trying to find my classroom.

I hadn’t realized it was three separate buildings. I hauled my backpack upstairs and walked in circles, but the only room with the right number was an office, not a classroom. So I walked across the bridge to the next building. That classroom was a storage closet. So I hauled my rolling backpack downstairs, walked down the path back to the parking lot, and over to the third building.

Air conditioning greeted me like a long-lost friend. I could feel how stinky I had become just being outside for 15 minutes. And my classroom was right there. Right in front. So now I knew. I knew where to park and how to get to my classroom, and I wouldn’t have to do this on Thursday when there were a ton of equally confused people wandering around these campuses, taking up stairwells, looking for their classrooms.

I walked my rolling backpack over to my car, on the other end of the parking lot. The sun beat down from the sky and the lot beat the heat back up from the ground. No amount of sweating could fix this. I wanted to lay down and nap. It took all my energy to get my rolling suitcase into the car. I sat down in the driver’s seat and felt like I was about to jump into a swimming pool.

But I turned the car on, turned the AC on, and drove to the first lighting shop. Well, first I stopped and ate lunch at Bojangles. Another southern thing: fried chicken and biscuits.

It was a place James had recommended. I walked in and saw a whole bunch of chandeliers everywhere. Just everywhere. Not gonna lie: it was a cool aesthetic? If I ever get the chance to just design a small space really quirkily I’m going to cover the ceiling of the main entertaining space with ceiling lights.

But I didn’t see any ceiling fans.

The woman in the shop greeted me and asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. “Do you sell ceiling fans?”

She walked me to the back. They keep them behind a curtain, I guess to designate a “fan space” from a “chandelier space”. She pointed out a few of her favorites. I told her that I wanted something with up-lighting. No, they didn’t have that display any more. But she got me a few catalogues and stapled her card to the front and told me to call her when I had decided what I wanted.



I remembered there was another lighting shop in the area, so I drove there. Turns out I had mis-remembered: it was a home decor shop. Most of the showroom was for flooring and the like. They had lighting options, but I guess it was more part of the whole renovation package. The woman working the front counter asked me what I was looking for. Ceiling fans with uplights.

She took out a catalogue — the same catalogue from up the street — and went through a few options for me. This one was nice and simple. This one was just the up-light. This one had a light on both the top and bottom. This one had three lights on the bottom, which was kind of weird, but was that something I was interested in?

“So I hate the light flickering on the ceiling,” I said. “My realtor said that up-lighting was the best way to combat that.”

“The problem with that is, you’re not going to lose the flickering,” she said. “All you’re going to do is transfer it down instead of up.”

“What if I had a light on both the top and the bottom?”

“You’re still blocking the light box. You’re still going to have flickering.”

I thanked her and left. I have a lot to think about, I explained.

After all, if I’m going to have light flickering either way, then what was the point of an uplight at all? Just mood lighting? Showing off the crazy pattern on your ceiling? What? So what do I do? Install recessed lighting and just put a fan, no light, in the center of the room? (there’s just a boob light there right now) Do I just accept the flickering? Do I not put a fan in and just put in, like, a cool chandelier? Keep the boob light? Maybe if I put in enough other lighting, the shadows won’t be so noticeable?

I just turned on my ceiling light and then all the other lights in the room. Indeed, the flickering is still there, but it’s not, like, bad. When it’s the only light in the room, though, it’s bad. Maybe I care too much.

I was ponderous and tired. So instead of looking for furniture stores, I drove home.

I wish I could say that I learned something today, besides the true meaning of the dog days of summer, and besides the fact that uplit ceiling fans don’t prevent blinking. Maybe I could say that I learned something about myself, or some grand life lesson. But no. I went home and read over the results of the home inspection while Cornelius napped on the other side of the bed. The roof flashing needs to be fixed, and some HVAC insulation needs to be replaced.

Maybe I’ll nap.

Posted August 16, 2016 by agentksilver in interior design, Personal

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